Your Daley Gator CCW News Update For Friday 05/06/16


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Tow Truck Driver To Stranded Sanders Supporter: ‘Call The Government’ – Daily Caller
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After seeing “a bunch of Bernie Sanders stuff” on a car he was dispatched to tow, Kenneth Shupe “very politely” told the woman in the car that he wouldn’t tow her because she was “obviously a socialist” and should “call the government” to give her a tow.

Shupe, owner of Shupee Max Towing in Traveler’s Rest, S.C., told the local Fox station, WHNS-TV, he has decided to stop servicing Bernie Sanders supporters because they stiff him on payment.

“[In] every business dealing in recent history with a socialist-minded person, I have not gotten paid,” Shupe told WHNS-TV. “Every time I deal with these people I get ‘Berned’ with an ‘e’ not a ‘u’.”…

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Man Seeks Restraining Order Against God – Times Of Israel

An Israeli man has petitioned the Haifa Magistrate’s Court for a restraining order against God, claiming the Almighty has been particularly unkind to him.

The initiator of the request, a resident of the northern port city, represented himself in court, the Walla news site reported on Wednesday.

A protocol of the hearing noted that God did not turn up for the session, although it did not specify how the court determined the Omnipresent was not in fact there, as opposed to merely exercising the right to remain silent.

The petitioner, who was not named in the report, noted that he had tried to obtain the restraining order from police for the past three years but that police had merely sent a patrol car to his home on 10 occasions.

He argued that over a three-year period God, had exhibited a seriously negative attitude toward him, although details of just what divine mischief he had borne the brunt of were not mentioned in the report…

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Crooked Hillary & Bill Force Family To Pay A Million Bucks For Father’s Freedom – Mad World News
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Cooked Hillary Clinton is nothing but a money-grubbing liar. Along with her hubby Bill, the Clintons appear to have forced a family to pay cash for their father’s freedom, shockingly preying on their fellow Americans in need. The Clintons head a sick criminal network , proof positive they’re common prostitutes, taking advantage of a suffering American family.

Nima Taghavi, an Iranian-American businessman, found himself in dire straits after learning the Iranians imprisoned his father. The elderly Taghavi was visiting family, when a simple kind gesture, giving a distant family friend $200, turned into a nightmare.

Taghavi’s father, Reza, was placed under arrest after the man he gave the money was found to be a terrorist with connections to a group that blew up a mosque in Shiraz…

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Germany Funds Classes To Teach Migrants To Pick Up Girls, Provides ‘Sex Tips’ Booklets – Breitbart

A new video shows how the German government is funding a program teaching migrants how to flirt with German girls.

Released on YouTube, the clip shows what so-called integration classes for migrants in Germany really look like. A youth centre in the town of Eichstatt is helping migrants to integrate in a very bizarre way, by showing them how to effectively flirt with and hit on German women.

The clip starts by showing several migrants in a room with a few German girls, all of whom appear to be very young. The migrants are being taught how to flirt with a German called called Jenny.

The leader of the project Christian Zech encourages the migrants to attempt to use their best pick up lines on the girl but at first many of them seem too shy.

“The majority doesn’t have a clue how to approach the opposite sex in this country,” Zechs told Bayerischer Rundfunk television…

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Three-Time Deportee Arrested Again For Failing To Register As Sex Offender – American Mirror
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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement are touting the capture of an illegal immigrant who has repeatedly re-entered the country to rape young girls as the agency’s “profound and positive impact on overall public safety.”

ICE agents arrested Mexican national Sergio Amador-Olive, 37, at his home in Salt Lake City for failing to register as a sex offender, according to an ICE statement that described the repeat border jumper as a “priority for immigration enforcement.”

Amador-Olive – whose body is a tattooed collage of young girls in seductive poses mixed with creepy clowns and religious figures – was first convicted of impregnating a 15-year-old girl and removed from the U.S. in April 2003…

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The Insane Hidden Tax Burden Quietly Eating Up Your Paycheck – John Gray

There are few things I dislike more than paying taxes. As Americans, a third of all your hard earned dollars is confiscated by the U.S. government. Most of us get to determine what we do with our money – but not when it comes to taxes.

However, there is the argument that taxes are a function of our democratic system. Those taxes are the result of laws implemented by freely elected representatives. If anything, we – the voters – are as much to blame for the muddied tax codes as are the nitwit politicians we elect.

But not all taxes feel Constitutional, and not all taxes are the result of our representative government – particularly the taxes paid in the form of regulatory costs. Regulations increase the cost of everything – including the cost of our housing, clothing and food. In fact, they even impact our wages. What makes this form of tax so nefarious is that rarely do our elected representatives get to have a say in the matter; rather, America’s regulatory state is overseen by an authoritarian administrative state, ruled by unelected bureaucrats.

Nobel Prize economist, F.A. Hayek lamented the dangers of these unelected bureaucrats, which he called the “public administration movement,” in his book The Constitution of Liberty. Hayek believed these bureaucrats were often antagonistic, if not ignorant of, the rule of law, directing “[T]heir heaviest attacks against the traditional safeguards of individual liberty, such as the rule of law, constitutional restraints, judicial review and the conception of a “fundamental law.””…

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Your Daley Gator CCW News Update For Tuesday 05/03/16


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In 6 Months Since Budget Deal: Debt Up More Than $1 Trillion – CNS
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In the six months that have passed since then-retiring House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell cut a budget deal with President Barack Obama that suspended the legal limit on the federal debt until March 15, 2017, the federal debt has increased by more than $1 trillion.

The Senate passed “The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015” with a vote held in the early morning hours of Friday, Oct. 30. Obama signed it on Monday, Nov. 2.

At the close business on Oct. 30, 2015, the total federal debt was $18,152,981,685,747.52. By the close of business on April 28, 2016 – the latest date for which the Treasury has published the number – the total federal debt was $19,186,207,744,589.55…

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French Teacher At HISD School Doesn’t Speak French – KHOU

How do you teach a French class, if you don’t even speak French?

The I-Team discovered that’s exactly what is happening at the Houston Independent School District’s Energy Institute High School in the 1800 block of Sampson Street.

Sharonda White’s son Nathanial is a junior at the school.

“I thought it was a joke, I couldn’t believe this was happening,” White said.

We asked her son about his classroom experience.

I-Team: “Does your teacher speak French?”

Nathanial White: “No sir.”

I-Team: “Have you ever heard him speak a word of French?”

Nathanial White: “Bonjour, but everybody knows that.”

The teacher, Albert Moyer, said in a brief phone interview that the extent of his French education was just one year in high school.

So why was he hired? To replace Jean Cius, a certified French teacher for more than 25 years…

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Court Backs Sheriff Joe Arpaio On Arizona Illegal Immigrant ID Theft Law – Washington Times
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States can impose their own stiff penalties on illegal immigrants – or others – who steal someone’s identity in order to get a job, a federal appeals court ruled Monday, upholding Arizona’s strict law and dealing a setback to immigrant rights advocates.

The decision is yet another victory for Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and, more broadly, for Arizona, which has been a pioneer in trying to find ways to punish illegal immigrants, stepping into a void left by the Bush and Obama administrations…

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Muslims Think Allah Sent Gift From Sky, Mortified When They Learn What It Is – Mad World News

Believing Allah had blessed them with a beautiful gift, local Muslims quickly took in an object which fishermen witnessed fall from the sky. After spreading the news of Allah’s gracious present all over social media, the Muslims were utterly mortified when viewers told them what it really is.

The internet was abuzz with confusion and hilarity after a community of Muslims on an island in Indonesia mistook a very intimate object as being a fallen angel. The local media was quick to jump on the story, which alleged that a life-size doll was one of Allah’s angels cast down to earth. However, the porcelain-skinned figurine disappointed her Muslim saviors when they found out she was merely someone’s misplaced sex toy.

Local media have reported the bizarre incident as the possibility of a divine miracle, although they include some skepticism. The “girl” was found on a Kalupapi beach in Banggai by Pardin, a local fisherman who claims to have heard the moment of impact. After announcing his find, outlets describe locals as being jubilant over what they believe is an “angel child.”…

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Foreign Student Arrested For Hiding Cameras In Bathrooms Yo Record Women Showering – Breitbart
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A former student at Wheaton College has been arrested and accused of hiding “spy cameras” inside the bathroom of the college dorm room of three female students and using the cameras to record the women showering and using the bathroom.

Authorities in the Chicago suburb arrested Alexander Lim, 25, and charged him with six counts of making unauthorized videos of the female students. Lim admitted guilty to the counts so as to receive a plea deal with the Du Page County prosecutor’s office. Lim could face up to five years in prison, although the unannounced plea deal is expected to reduce his sentence…

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Indian Teen Fatally Shoots Himself While Taking A Gun Selfie – Time

A teen in India shot and killed himself with his father’s gun while taking a selfie with the weapon. The 15-year-old was reportedly posing with the pistol on Friday when he pulled the trigger.

CNN reports the safety of was not on when the teen took the picture. He was taken to a hospital in India’s Punjab state, where he succumbed to his injuries on Sunday afternoon.

Police told AFP they had planned to speak to the boy if he had been declared medically fit, before his death was announced. “We think that part of the blame obviously goes to the father for not keeping his loaded gun under lock and key at their home,” officials said.

India has seen a number of accidental deaths involving selfies recently. According to AFP, a teen died earlier this year after trying to take a selfie in front of an oncoming train. CNN reports Mumbai has declared some areas “no-selfie zones” to prevent injuries…

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Socialist Venezuela Sucks So Bad It Has Run Out Of Beer – Daily Caller
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The latest economic casualty in Venezuela under its perpetual Bolivarian socialist revolution is beer.

Empresas Polar SA, which produces 80 percent of the beer consumed in Venezuela, halted production at the last of its four beer factories on Friday, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The company’s other three factories were shuttered over the course of last week.

Empresas Polar has laid off 6,500 employees…

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Judicial Watch: Benghazi Email Trail Leads To White House – Legal Insurrection

Last week, I wrote about the emails uncovered by Judicial Watch related to Hillary’s clear knowledge, the night of the Benghazi attack, that it was a terror attack unrelated to the video she publicly blamed for starting a protest.

Emails involving the false video story lead directly to the White House and were a coordinated attempt to focus blame on the video rather than on Obama’s failed policies.

Judicial Watch reported in 2014:

Judicial Watch announced today that on April 18, 2014, it obtained 41 new Benghazi-related State Department documents. They include a newly declassified email showing then-White House Deputy Strategic Communications Adviser Ben Rhodes and other Obama administration public relations officials attempting to orchestrate a campaign to “reinforce” President Obama and to portray the Benghazi consulate terrorist attack as being “rooted in an Internet video, and not a failure of policy.” Other documents show that State Department officials initially described the incident as an “attack” and a possible kidnap attempt…

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Weather Channel Founder Slams Bill Nye: Calls Him ‘A Pretend Scientist In A Bow Tie’ – Climate Depot
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Weather Channel Founder John Coleman, a meteorologist for over six decades, slammed Bill Nye, ‘the science guy’ for saying that the new skeptical global warming film ‘Climate Hustle’ is “very much not in our national interest and the world’s interest.”

Coleman is featured introducing ‘Climate Hustle’ in theatres on May 2 for the one-night only showing. Nye is also featured in the panel discussion that follows the skeptical film in theatres on May 2.

“I have always been amazed that anyone would pay attention to Bill Nye, a pretend scientist in a bow tie,” Coleman said today…

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Your Daley Gator CCW News Update For Thursday 04/28/16


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Icegate: Now NSIDC Caught Tampering With Climate Records – Breitbart

You’ve read about the climate fraud committed ‘on an unbelievable scale’ by the shysters at NASA.

You’ve read about how NOAA overestimated US warming by 50 percent.

Now it’s NSIDC’s turn to be caught red-handed fiddling the data and cooking the books.

NSIDC – National Snow and Ice Data Center – is the US government agency which provides the official statistics on such matters as sea ice coverage in the Arctic.

Naturally its research is of paramount importance to the climate alarmists’ narrative that man-made global warming is causing the polar ice caps to melt. At least it was until those ice caps refused to play ball…

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Fake Hate: ‘Racist’ Noose Drawing Leads To Two Black Students – Fateway Pundit
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Call off the race hustlers…

Authorities decided not to press charges after their hate crime investigation led to two black students.

The n***er hangman was drawn by two black girls.

EAG News reported:

When Salisbury University police discovered that someone drew a stick figure hung by a noose on the school library’s whiteboard, they launched a hate crime investigation…

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Kerry On Terrorism’s Appeal: ‘Regular Meals, Companionship’… Not Necessarily Religion – CNS

Religion does not necessarily play a role in radicalization of Muslims, Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday night, citing political repression and denial of rights as relevant factors, along with the lure of “regular meals [and] companionship.”

In a speech at the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston, Kerry acknowledged that “you don’t have to be poor or repressed or receive special training” to become a recruit of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL/Daesh).

“You don’t even have to be religious,” he added, citing as an example a reported case of two young British men who went to join ISIS in Syria in 2014, but took with them the books Islam for Dummies and The Koran for Dummies.

“Daesh recruiting videos include a religious narrative but also point to an idyllic picture of Daesh families having picnics and going to amusement parks,” he continued…

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Liberty University To Allow Handguns In Dorms Next Fall –
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Liberty University will allow students with concealed handgun permits from the state to keep their weapons in their dorms beginning next fall.

The News & Advance reports those students would need permission from the school first. The guns would be kept in safes inside the residence halls at the private Christian university.

The policy change was given the go-ahead by the university’s board of trustees last week…

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Greg Gutfeld Goes Off On ‘New Campus Religion Of Safe Spaces’ After Seeing This Video Of Student’s Explosive Tantrum – The Blaze

Video of a woman protesting a free-space event at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst by screaming at the event’s speakers that their “hate speech” wasn’t welcome at the school went viral earlier this week. According to Fox News host Greg Gutfeld, the woman is “a victim of a cult-like indoctrination.”

“Now, it’s easy to mock her, but she’s a victim of a cult-like indoctrination by the new campus religion of safe spaces,” Gutfeld said on Fox’s “The Five” Wednesday.

“She’s so brainwashed she claims blocking speech is actually a version of free-speech. It’s not a bug in the system, it’s now the system – the result of the left’s long free reign over campus brain matter,” Gutfeld added.

During his monologue, the host also scorned an editor of the British newspaper “The Guardian,” who recently declared that correcting a person’s grammar is “racist.”…

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20,000 Illegals With Criminal Convictions Released Into U.S. Communities In 2015 – Washinton Times
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Homeland Security has made some gains in detaining criminal aliens but still released into the community nearly 20,000 immigrants last year who’d already been convicted of crimes – including hundreds charges with sexual assault, kidnapping or homicide – according to figures sent to Congress this week.

Between them the aliens notched a total of 64,000 crimes, including 12,307 drunken driving convictions, 1,728 cases of assault, 216 kidnappings and more than 200 homicide or manslaughter convictions, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform ahead of a hearing Thursday…

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House Committee Votes To Require Women To Register For Draft – CNS

Women would be required to register for the military draft under a House committee bill that comes just months after the Defense Department lifted all gender-based restrictions on front-line combat units.

A divided Armed Services Committee backed the provision in a sweeping defense policy bill that the full House will consider next month, touching off a provocative debate about the role of women in the military. The panel also turned aside a measure backed by Democrats to punish the Citadel military college in South Carolina for flying the Confederate flag.

The United States has not had a military draft since 1973 in the Vietnam War era, but all men must register with the Selective Service Systems within 30 days of turning 18. Military leaders maintain that the all-volunteer force is working and the nation is not returning to the draft.

The 32-30 vote Wednesday night came with a twist: The proposal’s author didn’t back it, a clear sign that more contentious debate is ahead…

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U.S. Economy Grew At Just 0.5% In Q1, Missing Expectations, Lowest Growth Rate In Two Years – Zero Hedge
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“Did the Fed have an advance glimpse at Q1 GDP?”

That was a question everyone was asking yesterday when the Fed came out with another not too hawkish statement. The answer may have been yes because moments ago the BEA reported that the US economy grew at just a 0.5% annualized rate in the first quarter, missing expectations of a 0.7% growth rate, growing at half the rate recorded in the 4th quarter, and the lowest quarterly growth rate since Q1 2014 (when the winter was blamed for a negative print). It was also the third consecutive quarter of GDP declines…

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Naked Man Attempts To Sexually Assault Homeowner, But Is Thwarted By A Gun – Daily Wire

A naked man tried to sexually assault a woman inside of her home, but was stopped because her husband had a gun.

According to The Sun Herald, the man, identified as Kenda Casey, broke into a Mississippi home nude and climbed on top of a sleeping woman in her 60s.

The woman woke up before Casey could sexually assault her and managed to throw him to the ground and pin him, giving her husband time to grab his gun.

“She threw him to the ground and got on top of him and her husband pulled a gun on him and held him at gunpoint until deputies arrived,” Lt. Coley Judy told the Herald.

There is no evidence that Casey and the couple knew each other…

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Obamaconomy Update: Surging Gun Sales Created 24,763 Jobs In 2015

Surging Gun Sales Created Nearly 25,000 Jobs In 2015 – Big Government

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The gun industry added 24,763 jobs to the U.S. economy because of the unprecedented surge of gun sales in 2015, according to an estimate by the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

The economic gain from the “wages, revenues, benefits, and taxes” associated with gun industry jobs boosted the economy by nearly $50 billion and expanded the sector’s role in the national economy by roughly 15 percent compared to 2014, says the NSSF estimate.

According to PIX 11, the jobs added in 2015 were “manufacturing and retail jobs for guns, ammunition and related supplies, like hunting gear.” The best states for such jobs were “Texas, with about 21,386, followed by California, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina and Missouri.”

Breitbart News previously reported that the number of background checks for gun sales began breaking records in 2015 during the month of May.

Records were then broken in June, July, August, all the the way through March 2016, which was the 11th consecutive month of record background checks for gun sales. The streak for record background checks also included Black Friday 2015, which surpassed all previous Black Friday records. A staggering 185,345 background checks were performed on Black Friday alone.

According to FBI figures, a total of 23,141,970 background checks were performed in the U.S. during 2015. That is over 2,000,000 checks higher than the previous record of 21,093,273, set in 2013.

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Over 40% Of Federal Student Loan Recipients Aren’t Making Payments On Their Debts

Shocking Statistic: Over 40% Of Student Borrowers Don’t Make Payments – Zero Hedge

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Over 40 percent of those in student loan programs have stopped making payments. Many borrowers have never made any payments.

The department of education (a useless body that I would eliminate in one second if given the chance), cannot figure out why this is happening.

“We obviously have not cracked that nut but we want to keep working on it,” said Ted Mitchell, the Education Department’s under secretary.

The Wall Street Journal reports More Than 40% of Student Borrowers Aren’t Making Payments.
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More than 40% of Americans who borrowed from the government’s main student-loan program aren’t making payments or are behind on more than $200 billion owed, raising worries that millions of them may never repay.

While most have since left school and joined the workforce, 43% of the roughly 22 million Americans with federal student loans weren’t making payments as of Jan. 1, according to a quarterly snapshot of the Education Department’s $1.2 trillion student-loan portfolio.

About 1 in 6 borrowers, or 3.6 million, were in default on $56 billion in student debt, meaning they had gone at least a year without making a payment. Three million more owing roughly $66 billion were at least a month behind.

Meantime, another three million owing almost $110 billion were in “forbearance” or “deferment,” meaning they had received permission to temporarily halt payments due to a financial emergency, such as unemployment. The figures exclude borrowers still in school and those with government-guaranteed private loans.

Navient Corp., which services student loans and offers payment plans tied to income, says it attempts to reach each borrower on average 230 to 300 times – through letters, emails, calls and text messages – in the year leading up to his or her default. Ninety percent of those borrowers, which include federal borrowers as well as those who hold private loans, never respond and more than half never make a single payment before they default, the company says.

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Crisis Easy to Explain

Carlo Salerno, an economist who studies higher education and has consulted for the private student-lending industry, noted that the government imposes virtually no credit checks on borrowers, requires no cosigners and doesn’t screen people for their preparedness for college-level course work. “On what planet does a financing vehicle with those kinds of terms and those kinds of performance metrics make sense,” he said.

I could easily come up with numerous reasons off the top of my head.
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1. Being in the workforce and having a job are two different things.

2. Having a job and making enough money to pay back hundreds of thousands of dollars is yet another thing.

3. Some feel cheated by the system, as well they should.

4. Many have figured out the consequences of default are small. The worst that can happen is wage garnishment. Should that happen, one can always find another low-paying job, buying time until they are discovered again.

5. Some never intended to pay back the loans in the first place. To those borrowers, it’s all free money for a few years. They will stay in school as long as they can. If by some miracle they actually graduate (or are kicked out), they never make a payment.

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Blame Bush!

A large portion of the blame for this mess goes to George W. Bush. Seriously.

The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act enacted April 20, 2005 made it much more difficult to discharge debts in bankruptcy.

Among other things, “BAPCPA amended the law to broaden the types of educational (“student”) loans that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy absent proof of “undue hardship.” The nature of the lender became irrelevant. Even loans from “for-profit” or “non-governmental” entities are not dischargeable.

The Deflation Guarantee Act of 2005

I predicted this mess when Bush signed the bill. As proof, I offer The Deflation Guarantee Act of 2005.

Here are my lead paragraphs as I wrote them at the time.
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Today Congress passed the “The Deflation Guarantee Act of 2005” currently known as the “Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005”. Twenty years from now economists are going to be studying legislation from this Congress and signed by this administration and be wondering: “What the * were they thinking?”.

Consumer Protection Act? LMAO

Anytime this administration passes a law with the “protection” in it, assume it will do just the opposite.

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Student Debt Highly Deflationary

I have wanted to refer back to that post on numerous occasions.

I had not done so previously because I strongly dislike my writing style in those days. I frequently used chat room talk like “LMAO” (laughing my ass off), in those early posts.

There are other aspects of my 2005 post that I dislike as well. However, I nailed the idea correctly. Student debt is a hugely deflationary force.

In the wake of that act (albeit with a bit of a delay), we saw massive amounts of seemingly reckless lending to students. Because of government guarantees, lenders did not give a damn who they lent to.

For profit universities flourished. Abuses at the University of Phoenix became rampant. And because of various lending programs that followed, education costs soared as well.

Those debts cannot be paid back, and household formation has gone into reverse. Students moved back home after graduation, and attitudes on debt have changed.

These are all debt deflation forces.

Modest Fee Request

The Department of Education will no doubt waste millions of taxpayer dollars studying this issue, only to come up with the wrong answers because students will lie.

Will anyone realistically admit “I never intended to pay back these loans”?

My modest fee for this analysis is a mere $250,000. Of that amount, I pledge $249,999.99 to the Khan Academy.

All I ask is a penny for my thoughts, saving taxpayers countless millions in useless department of education studies.

For more on the Khan Academy please see Teaching Revolution: Online, Accredited, Free; Start Learning Now!

Obama’s Role

President Obama does not escape criticism for his efforts to fuel the problem.

Here’s my blast at Obama: For Profit Schools Turn Students Into Debt Zombies; It’s Time To Kill The Entire Pell Grant Program.

There is plenty of blame to go around, but I have not seen a single person take this crisis back to the logical origin, the “Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005” making student debt non-dischargeable in bankruptcy.

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Obamanomics Update: U.S. Factory Orders Drop To Five Year Low – 16 Consecutive Months Of Declines

Manufacturing Recession Deepens: Factory Orders Drop To Five Year Low; 16 Consecutive Declines – Zero Hedge

In 60 years, the U.S. economy has not suffered a 16-month continuous YoY drop in Factory orders without being in recession. Moments ago the Department of Commerce confirmed that this is precisely what the U.S. economy did, when factory orders not only dropped for the 16th consecutive month Y/Y, after declining 1.7% from last month…

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…but at $454 billion for the headline number, this was the lowest print since the summer of 2011.

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Market reaction: stocks rebound on the news and are now well in the green.

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Obama In Argentina: Communism, Socialism And Capitalism Are All The Same (Video)

Obama Has His Say on Communism, Socialism And Capitalism… They’re All The Same – Independent Sentinel

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Barack Obama told an audience of Argentinian youth that the differences between socialism and capitalism make interesting conversation but just pick whatever works. The ideological-left U.S. president suddenly doesn’t have an affinity for ideology.

He said in the past there was a sharp division between communists, socialists and capitalists but that is merely an intellectual argument and it’s not so today.

The Marxist in the White House is erasing the lines between two dangerous ideologies and the one that made the U.S. great, just as he erased our borders. This is a man who would be at home in communist China.

“So often in the past there has been a division between left and right, between capitalists and communists or socialists, and especially in the Americas, that’s been a big debate,” Obama said at the Buenos Aires town hall.

“Those are interesting intellectual arguments, but I think for your generation, you should be practical and just choose from what works. You don’t have to worry about whether it really fits into socialist theory or capitalist theory. You should just decide what works.”

For Obama, high taxation, wild spending, government agency domination over the people and heavy regulations work which tells you what he is.

Obama made his comments in response to a question about establishing nonprofit community organizations and said it’s important to get government and private sector investment, which for him is a sketchy relationship between Wall Street and DC.

“To president Castro, I said you’ve made great progress in educating young people [Cuban dictators indoctrinate its youth]. Every child in Cuba gets a basic education. Medical care, the life expectancy of Cubans is equivalent to the United States despite it being a very poor country because they have access to health care. That’s a huge achievement,” he said about the repressive regime. “They should be congratulated. But you drive around Havana and you see the economy is not working. It looks like it did in the 1950s.”

The US president likes socialism but also likes the capitalism, both of which he has subscribed to for the last seven years.

Then he told them not to rigidly adhere to labels as if the systems of socialism and capitalism are mere labels.

“You have to be practical in asking yourself, How do you achieve the goals of equality and inclusion, but also recognize the market system produces a lot of wealth and goods and services and innovation and it also gives individuals freedom because they have initiative, depending on the social issues you are trying to address, what works? What you’ll find is the most successful societies and economies are the ones that are rooted in a market-based system but also realize a market does not work by itself. It has to have a social and moral and ethical and community basis.”

His love of wealth redistribution and social [unfair] justice trumps all.

During his trip, he told the Cuban dictator that his revolution was like ours – it was a liberation movement – and he told Argentinians earlier in the week that he is frustrated with the separation of powers.
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Related article:

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FLASHBACK 2012: Socialist Or Fascist – Thomas Sowell

It bothers me a little when conservatives call Barack Obama a “socialist.” He certainly is an enemy of the free market, and wants politicians and bureaucrats to make the fundamental decisions about the economy. But that does not mean that he wants government ownership of the means of production, which has long been a standard definition of socialism.

What President Obama has been pushing for, and moving toward, is more insidious: government control of the economy, while leaving ownership in private hands. That way, politicians get to call the shots but, when their bright ideas lead to disaster, they can always blame those who own businesses in the private sector.

Politically, it is heads-I-win when things go right, and tails-you-lose when things go wrong. This is far preferable, from Obama’s point of view, since it gives him a variety of scapegoats for all his failed policies, without having to use President Bush as a scapegoat all the time.

Government ownership of the means of production means that politicians also own the consequences of their policies, and have to face responsibility when those consequences are disastrous – something that Barack Obama avoids like the plague.

Thus the Obama administration can arbitrarily force insurance companies to cover the children of their customers until the children are 26 years old. Obviously, this creates favorable publicity for President Obama. But if this and other government edicts cause insurance premiums to rise, then that is something that can be blamed on the “greed” of the insurance companies.

The same principle, or lack of principle, applies to many other privately owned businesses. It is a very successful political ploy that can be adapted to all sorts of situations.

One of the reasons why both pro-Obama and anti-Obama observers may be reluctant to see him as fascist is that both tend to accept the prevailing notion that fascism is on the political right, while it is obvious that Obama is on the political left.

Back in the 1920s, however, when fascism was a new political development, it was widely – and correctly – regarded as being on the political left. Jonah Goldberg’s great book “Liberal Fascism” cites overwhelming evidence of the fascists’ consistent pursuit of the goals of the left, and of the left’s embrace of the fascists as one of their own during the 1920s.

Mussolini, the originator of fascism, was lionized by the left, both in Europe and in America, during the 1920s. Even Hitler, who adopted fascist ideas in the 1920s, was seen by some, including W.E.B. Du Bois, as a man of the left.

It was in the 1930s, when ugly internal and international actions by Hitler and Mussolini repelled the world, that the left distanced themselves from fascism and its Nazi offshoot – and verbally transferred these totalitarian dictatorships to the right, saddling their opponents with these pariahs.

What socialism, fascism and other ideologies of the left have in common is an assumption that some very wise people – like themselves – need to take decisions out of the hands of lesser people, like the rest of us, and impose those decisions by government fiat.

The left’s vision is not only a vision of the world, but also a vision of themselves, as superior beings pursuing superior ends. In the United States, however, this vision conflicts with a Constitution that begins, “We the People…”

That is why the left has for more than a century been trying to get the Constitution’s limitations on government loosened or evaded by judges’ new interpretations, based on notions of “a living Constitution” that will take decisions out of the hands of “We the People,” and transfer those decisions to our betters.

The self-flattery of the vision of the left also gives its true believers a huge ego stake in that vision, which means that mere facts are unlikely to make them reconsider, regardless of what evidence piles up against the vision of the left, and regardless of its disastrous consequences.

Only our own awareness of the huge stakes involved can save us from the rampaging presumptions of our betters, whether they are called socialists or fascists. So long as we buy their heady rhetoric, we are selling our birthright of freedom.

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Related video:

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Thanks Barack… Federal Government Flushed $1.2B Down Failed ObamaCare CO-OPs

Feds Flushed $1.2 Billion Down Failed ObamaCare CO-OPs – Moonbattery

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The long election season that has already degenerated into a circus is a boon for Democrats. It keeps most people distracted from how ObamaCare is unfolding:
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More than half of the government-funded nonprofit health insurers created by Obamacare have failed, sticking taxpayers with a $1.2 billion tab and leaving hundreds of thousands of people in more than a dozen states scrambling for medical coverage, a new federal audit reveals. The nonprofit insurers are known as Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan Program (CO-OP) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has pumped $2.4 billion into them under the president’s hostile takeover of the nation’s healthcare system.

Congress initially allocated $6 billion for the Obamacare CO-OP program, with the goal of establishing CO-OPs in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia. Thankfully, subsequent legislation slashed funding for the ill-fated experiment. In all, HHS has funded 23 of these dubious enterprises and 12 have already gone under after losing an astounding $1.2 billion that’s unlikely to ever be recovered. As a result 740,000 people in 14 states must search for new medical coverage they thought they had under the disastrous Obamacare plan. Every resident of the United States who pays taxes should be outraged by this monstrous failure, exposed in great detail in a scathing report published by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. The committee’s probe reveals that, even when the CO-OPs showed clear signs of financial failure, HHS kept giving them huge amounts of money in the form of “loans” the agency knew would never be repaid.

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Statists believe that anything can be made to work if you infuse it with enough of other people’s money. But as Margaret Thatcher observed, eventually you run out of that.

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Your Daley Gator Anti-Leftist Picture O’ The Day


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H/T Gateway Pundit

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Leftist Utopia Update: Rich People Want Homeless Removed From San Francisco Tent City

The Rich And Elite Want Homeless Removed From San Francisco Tent City – Weasel Zippers

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A liberal utopia can’t have a reminder of their failed policies.

Via San Jose Mercury News:
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Homeless people have until the end of Friday to vacate a rambling tent city along a busy San Francisco street declared a health hazard by city officials earlier this week.

Sam Dodge, the mayor’s point person on homelessness, said Friday that about 40 tents remained, down from a high of 140 this winter. The tents have lined both sides of a street under a freeway overpass for months, drawing complaints from residents and businesses.

San Francisco has long had a problem housing its homeless, but tensions have been exacerbated by a shortage of affordable housing amid a tech-based jobs boom.

Earlier this month, a founder of a technology startup posted a letter to San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee complaining that he “shouldn’t have to see the pain, struggle, and despair of homeless people” on his way to work.

The letter, which went viral, was soundly mocked on social media for its whiny lack of sensitivity but writer Justin Keller is not alone in demanding the city do more about homelessness.

People who live near the tent city, for example, testified at a city hall hearing on Thursday that they were afraid to step outside their homes due to aggressive behavior.

The homeless and their advocates say they need more services and homes for the unhoused.

“I’m not going to let somebody run me out of somewhere where I’ve made my home,” said camper Patrita Tripp, as she dished cold beef pasta out of a can earlier this week. “Where am I supposed to go?”

On Friday morning, city workers sprayed bleach and power-washed one side of the multi-lane street as campers packed up some half-dozen tents. City outreach workers are prodding many to move into a large canopy shelter on Pier 80 that has 150 sleeping mats.

Keep reading

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Poll: Nearly 60 Percent Of Democrats Are Clinically Insane

Poll: Almost 60 Percent Of Democrats Think Socialism Is Great For America – Daily Caller

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A clear majority of Democrats believe socialism has a “positive impact on society,” according to a poll by the American Action Forum (AAF).

The political and economic system that wreaks havoc across the world from Venezuela to North Korea is enjoying widespread support in the modern Democratic Party.

A telephone poll of 1,000 likely Democratic primary voters found that when capitalism and socialism were polled head to head, socialism won by 15 percentage points, with just 25 percent of respondents saying they favored capitalism.

In terms of definition, the poll made clear that socialism meant a greater role for government in the economy and substantial wealth redistribution, but the idea itself was not clearly defined by its traditional meaning as government ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange.

But despite some haziness around precise wording, there was no doubt that the number of Democrats who favored a totally socialised healthcare system far outstripped those who favored retaining a private model of healthcare.

Not only are Democrats far to the left of mainstream America on the question of socialism and health care but they are also largely suspicious of how the media covers hot button issues such as racial equality on campus.

More than two-thirds of those surveyed agreed with the statement “most of the media in our country is controlled by corporations who are more interested in profits than telling the truth. Before a corporate owned media entity covers a campus rally for racial equality, they should first prove that they are not biased against the content of the rally.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders’s decision to stand for the Democratic nomination on a platform of democratic socialism has sparked furious debate over what socialism means and whether it has a place in 21st century America. AFF’s poll suggests there’s a wide reservoir of support for many of the policies Sanders advocates.

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Leftist Louisiana Governor: No More LSU Football If Budget Isn’t Balanced – His Solution? More Taxes

Louisiana Gov. Edwards: Balance Budget Or No LSU Football Next Year – CNS

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In a televised address to the state Thursday, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) said that “you can say farewell to college football next fall” if the state doesn’t fix a near $2 billion budget deficit for the next fiscal year.

“If the legislature fails to act and we are forced to proceed with these cuts the LSU Ag Center and parish extension offices in every parish, and the Pennington Biomedical Research Center will close by April 1st and the LSU main campus in Baton Rouge will run out of money after April 30th,” Edwards said. “Many students will not be able to graduate, and student athletes across the state at those schools will be ineligible to play next semester. That means you can say farewell to college football next fall.”

Edwards noted in his speech, as found on NOLA.com, that the LSU system is not the only one in danger. Thanks to the $940 million budget deficit that Louisiana faces this fiscal year and the $2 billion budget deficit for the next fiscal year, the Southern University System, University of Louisiana System and the Louisiana Community and Technical College System are in the same boat.

“Without legislators approving new revenue this special session, some campuses will be forced to declare financial bankruptcy, which would include massive layoffs and the cancellation of classes,” stated Edwards.

According to Edwards, the budget deficit threatens other universities the state’s healthcare system and the New Opportunity Waiver program, a program for families with developmental disabilities.

To help bridge the gap Edwards said he plans to increase alcohol and cigarette taxes and also intends to add an extra penny to the state’s four cent sales tax, which he claimed isn’t permanent.

“I am proposing this penny as a bridge that will give us time to stabilize and restructure our state’s tax code,” remarked Edwards. “When that restructuring is complete, this penny sales tax will be removed.”

Alongside tax increases, Edwards called for reducing tax credits, suspending corporate tax deductions and making further cuts in an effort to stabilize the budget. Edwards said this would include a hiring freeze and more than $160 million in cuts in government spending.

He also proposed using $128 million from the rainy day fund and $200 million from non-coastal BP payments.

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President Asshat Bullied Bank To Pay Racial Settlement Without Evidence

Obama Bullied Bank To Pay Racial Settlement Without Proof: Report – New York Post

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Newly uncovered internal memos reveal the Obama administration knowingly exaggerated charges of racial discrimination in probes of Ally Bank and other defendants in the $900 billion car-lending business as part of a “racial justice” campaign that’s looking more like a massive government extortion and shakedown operation.

So far, Obama’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has reached more than $220 million in settlements with several auto lenders since the agency launched its anti-discrimination crusade against the industry in 2013. Several other banks are under active investigation.

That’s despite the fact that the CFPB had no actual complaints of racial discrimination – it was all just based on half-baked statistics.

A confidential 23-page internal report detailing CFPB’s strategy for going after lenders shows why these companies are forking over millions of dollars in restitution and fines to the government despite denying any wrongdoing.

The high-level memo, sent by top CFPB civil-rights prosecutors to the bureau’s director and revealed by a House committee, admits their methods for proving discrimination were seriously flawed from the start and had little chance of holding up in court. Yet they figured they could muscle Ally, as well as future defendants, with threats and intimidation.

“Some of the claims being made in this case present issues, such as use of [race] proxying and reliance on the disparate-impact doctrine, that would pose litigation risks meriting serious consideration prior to taking administrative action or filing suit in district court,” the Oct. 7, 2013, memo addressed to CFPB chief Richard Cordray acknowledges.

“Nevertheless,” it added, “Ally may have a powerful incentive to settle the entire matter quickly without engaging in protracted litigation.”

At the time, the Detroit-based bank was seeking permission from the Federal Reserve to remain a financial holding company. Without regulatory approval, Ally risked losing key business lines, primarily its insurance subsidiaries.

“Protracted litigation” would present “a high hurdle” to Ally retaining such status, the CFPB lawyers conspired.

Prosecutors also sought to use the Community Reinvestment Act as leverage against Ally. At the time, the FDIC was reviewing the bank’s compliance with the anti-redlining law.

They huddled with FDIC and Federal Reserve officials to get them on board with their scheme; and the Fed assured them it would look favorably upon “a prompt and robust” settlement by Ally, while the FDIC confirmed that a quick resolution would help Ally pass its CRA exam.

So CFPB applied the screws to Ally, saying it had “statistical evidence” showing its participating dealers were “marking up” loan prices for blacks and Hispanics vs. whites (by an average of $3 a month). Ally fought back, insisting non-discriminatory factors, such as credit history, down payments, trade-ins, promotions and rate-shopping, explained differences in loan pricing. After conducting a preliminary regression analysis, the bank found these factors alone accounted for at least 70 percent of the “racial disparities” the government was claiming.

CFPB admits in the memo that it never considered these or other legitimate business aspects of the car deals it investigated: “Such factors were excluded as controls from the markup analysis.”

Also in its initial rebuttal, Ally complained CFPB’s entire case was based on “disparate impact” statistics, not actual complaints by consumers, and that those estimates relied on guesswork about the race of the borrowers. (The auto industry does not report borrower race, so CFPB tried to ID race by last name and ZIP code, a so-called “proxy” method that is wildly inaccurate.)

“The evidence of discrimination on the basis of race and national origin is strictly statistical,” the agency confessed in a report footnote.

With all these machinations hidden from public view, Cordray held a press conference to announce “the federal government’s largest auto-loan discrimination settlement in history.” He claimed that 235,000 minorities had been harmed by Ally, even though he didn’t know the race of a single borrower or whether they had actually been harmed.

“He had no idea how many actual victims there were because their whole case rested entirely on statistical estimations they admitted internally were inaccurate,” said a senior staffer for the House Financial Services Committee, which recently obtained the internal documents from CFPB.

In fact, CFPB still has not been able to definitively ID the race of any borrower it claims Ally victimized – which is why it has taken more than two years to send remuneration checks to alleged victims. Desperate to find them, the bureau recently had to mail 420,000 letters to Ally borrowers to coax at least 235,000 into taking the money, and to allow Cordray to save face.

Checks started going out this month to the fictitious victims – just in time for the election. So what if some recipients are white? They will all no doubt thank Democrats for the sudden, unexpected windfall of up to $520 in the mail.

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Thanks Barack… Illegal Aliens Benefitted From Up To $750M In Obamacare Subsidies

Senate Report: Illegal Aliens Benefitted From Up To $750 Million In Obamacare Subsidies – Weasel Zippers

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Didn’t Obama say illegal aliens would not be getting subsidies?

Via Fox News:
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Illegal immigrants and individuals with unclear legal status wrongly benefited from up to $750 million in ObamaCare subsidies and the government is struggling to recoup the money, according to a new Senate report obtained by Fox News.

The report, produced by Republicans on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, examined Affordable Care Act tax credits meant to defray the cost of insurance premiums. It found that as of June 2015, “the Administration awarded approximately $750 million in tax credits on behalf of individuals who were later determined to be ineligible because they failed to verify their citizenship, status as a national, or legal presence.”

Keep reading

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Obamanomics Update: President Asshat Releasing $4 Trillion-Plus Budget For 2017

Obama Releasing $4 Trillion-Plus Budget For 2017; New Taxes And Spending – CNS

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President Barack Obama is unveiling his eighth and final budget, a $4 trillion-plus proposal that’s freighted with liberal policy initiatives and new and familiar tax hikes – all sent to a dismissive Republican-controlled Congress that simply wants to move on from his presidency.

The budget will be released Tuesday morning, the same day as the New Hampshire primary when it’s likely to get little attention. It comes as the deficit, which had been falling over the duration of Obama’s two terms, has begun to creep up, above the half-trillion mark.

The White House is countering the worsening deficit outlook with a proposed $10-per barrel tax on oil that would finance “clean” transportation projects. It also is sure to propose taxes on the wealthy and corporations.

Long gone are proposals such as slowing the automatic inflation increase for Social Security benefits and other ideas once aimed at drawing congressional Republicans into negotiations on a broader budget deal.

Now, Obama has broken out a budget playbook filled with ideas sure to appeal to Democrats: A “moonshot” initiative to cure cancer; increasing Pell Grants for college students from low-income backgrounds; renewed incentives for GOP-governed states to join the expanded Medicaid system established under the health care law, and incentives to boost individual retirement accounts.

The $10-per-barrel tax hike proposal comes as the price of crude has dropped to the $30 per barrel range.

“We’re going to impose a tax on a barrel of oil – imported, exported – so that some of that revenue can be used for transportation, some of that revenue can be used for the investments in basic research and technology that’s going to be needed for the energy sources of the future,” Obama said. “Then 10 years from now, 15 years from now, 20 years from now, we’re going to be in a much stronger position when oil starts getting tight again, prices start going up again.”

Republicans, however, immediately rejected the idea after its release last week and it will meet the fate of prior dead-on-arrival proposals such as increasing capital gains taxes on the wealthy, imposing a fee on big banks, and cutting the value of charitable deductions for upper-income taxpayers. Higher cigarette taxes and a minimum 30 percent rate for wealthier filers have also gone nowhere.

Obama’s proposed tax increases also mean that he can present relatively reasonable deficit estimates without having to go for painful cuts to benefit programs such as Medicare, health care subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, food stamps, and Medicaid health care for the poor.

The budget deficit, after hitting a whopping $1.4 trillion in Obama’s first year, dropped to a relatively manageable $439 billion last year. But a softening economic outlook, combined with a round of tax cuts and increased spending enacted by Congress last year, will make the deficit problem about $1.5 trillion worse over the coming 10 years, according to the latest Congressional Budget Office estimate.

CBO’s “baseline” deficit – what it expects would occur if Congress does nothing – would now total almost $10 trillion over the coming decade.

The White House hasn’t revealed what, if anything, Obama will propose to address the worsening deficit picture. In its budget roll-out, the White House has instead focused on new spending initiatives. The plan is also likely to call for a comprehensive overhaul of immigration laws, highly unlikely in an election year.

On Monday, Obama proposed $1.8 billion to combat the Zika virus, asking for the money immediately as emergency spending on top of the $1.1 trillion catchall spending bill that passed in December. The virus is spreading rapidly through Latin America. While most people experience either mild or no symptoms, Zika is suspected of causing a devastating birth defect – babies born with abnormally small heads – and the funding is aimed at fighting its spread both abroad and in the U.S.

Obama has largely shifted his focus elsewhere. After winning a higher income tax rate in 2013 on couples earning more than $400,000 per year, Obama and Republicans have battled over relatively small increases to the less than one-third of the budget passed by Congress each year. Republicans seeking higher spending for the Pentagon have been forced to accept Obama’s demands for additional funds for domestic agencies.

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Obamanomics Update: All U.S. Job Gains Since December 2007 Have Gone To Foreign-Born Workers

All Job Gains Since December 2007 Have Gone To Foreign-Born Workers – Zero Hedge

With the Fed on the verge of a full relent and admission of policy error, the Fed’s “data (in)dependent” monetary policy once again takes on secondary relevance as we progress into 2016. However, even with the overall job picture far less important, one aspect of the US jobs market is certain to take on an unprecedented importance.

We first laid out what that is last September when we said that “the one chart that matters more than ever, has little to nothing to do with the Fed’s monetary policy, but everything to do with the November 2016 presidential elections in which the topic of immigration, both legal and illegal, is shaping up to be the most rancorous, contentious and divisive.”

We were talking about the chart showing the cumulative addition of foreign-born and native-born workers added to US payrolls according to the BLS since December 2007, i.e., since the start of the recession/Second Great Depression.

As usually happens, it is precisely this data that gets no mention following any job report. However, with Trump and his anti-immigration campaign continuing to plow on despite the Iowa disappointment, we are confident that the chart shown below will soon be recognizable to economic and political pundits everywhere.

And here is why we are confident this particular data should have been prominently noted by all experts when dissecting today’s job report: according to the BLS’ Establishment Survey, while 151,000 total workers were added in January, a number which rises to 615,000 if looking at the Household survey, also according to the same Household survey, a whopping 567,000 native-born Americans lost their jobs, far less than the 98,000 foreign-born job losses.

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Here is a chart showing native-born non-job gains since the start of the depression:

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Alternatively, here are foreign-born worker additions since December 2007:

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Putting the two side by side:

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And the bottom line: starting with the infamous month when it all started falling apart, December 2007, the US has added just 186,000 native-born workers, offset by 13.5x times more, or 2,518,000, foreign born workers.

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If Trump wins New Hampshire and South Carolina, and storms back to the top of the GOP primary polls, expect this chart to become the most important one over the next 10 months.

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Leftist Nightmare Update: U.S.’s Largest Insurer Reconsidering Obamacare Participation After Near Billion Losses

U.S.’s Largest Insurer Reconsidering Obamacare Participation After Near Billion Losses – Truth Revolt

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UnitedHealth Group, the nation’s largest insurer, is reconsidering its participation in the Obamacare exchanges after reporting near billion losses.

According to figures published at Fortune, UnitedHealth will lose $100 million dollars more than it projected in its financial forecasts for the 2016 Affordable Care Act enrollment numbers. Previous estimates were in the $400 million range, now rising past $500 million.

What’s worse, last year, the company reported $720 million in losses thanks to Obamacare and that number is expected to soar past $745 million in the next year.

“By mid-2016 we will determine to what extent, if any, we will continue to offer products in the exchange market in 2017,” said UnitedHealth President Dave Wichmann.

Wichmann said his company is slowing marketing efforts, withdrawing certain products, and also increasing prices in hopes to offset some of the lost revenue. But as is noted in Fortune’s report, enrollment continues to rise despite these efforts,

Fortune also points out that UnitedHealth can boast $180 billion in total revenue currently, meaning the losses are just “a small fraction of UnitedHealth’s total business.” And currently, the company’s stock prices are up, perhaps indicating that investors aren’t too worried.

While this might not have as big an impact on a giant corporation, it is yet another example highlighting Obama’s “like your doctor, keep your doctor” lie as health care providers continue to pass on losses to their customers.

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Obamaconomy Update: Walmart To Close 269 Stores, 154 In U.S.

Wal-Mart To Shutter 269 Stores, 154 Of Them In The US – CNS

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Wal-Mart is closing 269 stores, more than half of them in the U.S. and another big chunk in its challenging Brazilian market.

The stores being shuttered account for a fraction of the company’s 11,000 stores worldwide and less than 1 percent of its global revenue.

More than 95 percent of the stores set to be closed in the U.S. are within 10 miles of another Wal-Mart. The Bentonville, Arkansas, company said it is working to ensure that workers are placed in nearby locations.

The store closures will start at the end of the month.

The announcement comes three months after Wal-Mart Stores Inc. CEO Doug McMillon told investors that the world’s largest retailer would review its fleet of stores with the goal of becoming more nimble in the face of increased competition from all fronts, including from online rival Amazon.com.

“Actively managing our portfolio of assets is essential to maintaining a healthy business,” McMillon said in a statement. “Closing stores is never an easy decision. But it is necessary to keep the company strong and positioned for the future.”

Wal-Mart operates 4,500 in the U.S. Its global workforce is 2.2 million, 1.4 million in the U.S. alone.

Wal-Mart has warned that its earnings for the fiscal year starting next month will be down as much as 12 percent as it invests further in online operations and pours money into improving customers’ experience.

Of the closures announced Friday, 154 locations will be in the U.S., including the company’s 102 smallest-format stores called Wal-Mart Express, which were opened as a test in 2011.

Wal-Mart Express marked the retailer’s first entry into the convenience store arena. The stores are about 12,000 square feet and sell essentials like toothpaste. But the concept never caught on as the stores served the same purpose as Wal-Mart’s larger Neighborhood Markets: fill-in trips and prescription pickups.

Also covered in the closures are 23 Neighborhood Markets, 12 supercenters, seven stores in Puerto Rico, six discount stores and four Sam’s Clubs.

Wal-Mart will now focus in the U.S. on supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, the e-commerce business and pickup services for shoppers.

The retailer is closing 60 loss-making locations in Brazil, which account for 5 percent of sales in that market. Wal-Mart, which operated 558 stores in Brazil before the closures, has struggled as the economy there has soured. Its Every Day Low price strategy has also not been able to break against heavy promotions from key rivals.

The remaining 55 stores are spread elsewhere in Latin America.

Wal-Mart said that it’s still sticking to its plan announced last year to open 50 to 60 supercenters, 85 to 95 Neighborhood Markets and 7 to 10 Sam’s Clubs in the U.S. during the fiscal year that begins Feb. 1. Outside the U.S., Wal-Mart plans to open 200 to 240 stores.

The financial impact of the closures is expected to be 20 cents to 22 cents per diluted earnings per share from continuing operations with about 19 cents to 20 cents expected to affect the current fourth quarter. The company is expected to release fourth quarter and full year results on Feb. 18.

Shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. fell $1.12, or 1.7 percent, to 61.94 in morning trading.

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Missouri Department Of Social Services Bureaucrat Stole $52,000 Worth Of Food Stamps

Food Stamps Ripped Off By Walmart-Shopping Bureaucrat – Daily Caller

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Missouri Department of Social Services eligibility specialist Pamela O’Dell faces criminal charges after she went on a shopping spree with $52,000 worth of food stamps she stole, according to a news release from the Department of Justice.

O’Dell was responsible for processing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program applications and files and used her position to replace participants’ home addresses with her own government office address in Dunklin County, Mo., when participants opted out of the program. That office then issued new Electronic Benefit Transfer or EBT cards using O’Dell’s information.

O’Dell did this from 2009 to 2014. She spent the benefits at a local Walmart and a grocery store in Kansas, according to the DOJ.

A federal grand jury in Cape Girardeau, Mo., indicted her on one felony count of mail fraud. O’Dell, if convicted, faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and fines up to $250,000.

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The Enduring Popularity Of Fraud (John Hinderaker)

The Enduring Popularity Of Fraud – John Hinderaker

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Steve’s post earlier today is a great reminder of how over the last 200 years, free enterprise has led to an unprecedented explosion of wealth, individual liberty and creativity. Nothing in human history – putting aside for the moment the claims of religion – has enriched the human race to anything like the same degree. If human history has conclusively established any fact, it is that free enterprise is fantastically successful, while socialism is a pitiful failure. Think of North Korea, the USSR, Maoist China, Albania, East Germany, Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Venezuela, Cuba, Argentina, India until it wised up. The list goes on and on.

And yet… the siren song of socialism still lures suckers. Currently, Venezuela is learning the age-old lesson the hard way. But we can’t laugh at Venezuelans, when Bernie Sanders is a serious contender for our presidency and is far and away the campus favorite. How is it that socialism (or the urge toward socialism, anyway) can survive? It is the cockroach of ideologies, seemingly impervious to all efforts to kill it.

It may be helpful to think of socialism as a species of fraud. There are many types of fraud, but nothing new under the Sun. The same frauds that Venetian merchants guarded against persist today. The same con games that flourished hundreds of years ago still work. Charles Ponzi’s financial empire collapsed in 1920, and he was arrested and sent to prison. Yet hardly a month goes by without another Ponzi scheme being revealed. There is only one way in which a Ponzi scheme can end: in disaster. This is a mathematical fact. Yet people fall for them, over and over.

People seem to be drawn to fraud like moths to a candle. When I was in law school, I learned about a relatively ingenious fraud. Someone placed an ad in all of the major newspapers on the East Coast. All it said was: “Friday, March 31, is the last day to send in your dollar. P.O. Box 1234, New York, NY.” Many thousands of people sent in their dollars: they didn’t want to miss the deadline. The perpetrators of the scheme were prosecuted, but it was a close-run thing: what was the fraud? The court accepted the idea that the ad made an implicit representation that there was a benefit to be gained or an evil to be avoided by sending in one’s dollar, but it was a pretty skinny case.

In the realm of fraud, the wisdom of the ages is reflected in the adage that a fool and his money are soon parted. The same, I think, is true of socialism. Socialism is fraud writ large. It is a fraud perpetrated by the cynical and greedy on the ignorant and credulous, just like a Ponzi scheme. Only we can add: a fool and his freedom are soon parted.

Only under socialism could Fidel Castro become the richest warlord, relative to his subjects’ wealth, in recorded history. (And that was the least of his sins.) Only under socialism could Maria Gabriela Chavez, daughter of socialist tribune of the people Hugo Chavez, beloved by the American left, waltz off with a $4 billion fortune. But then, she was a piker: Chavez’s Minister of the Treasury stashed $11 billion in Swiss bank accounts.

Charles Ponzi’s mistake was that he should have gone into politics. He could have gone far as a socialist politician, and could have avoided prison.

Socialism is, I think, a species of fraud, but socialism is also much worse than that. A fraudster like Bernie Madoff will only take your money. A socialist will take your money, but that is just the beginning. When you give power to the power-mad, your freedom and human dignity, and perhaps your life, are soon forfeit. So socialism is a uniquely evil variety of fraud.

The bottom line, though, is that, just as the familiar types of fraud have endured for centuries even though they have repeatedly been exposed and are known to the well-informed, so socialism persists, and will continue to endure, as long as men and women fall for the lies and blandishments of the cynical, the greedy and the power-mad.

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