Are Republicans Set to Cave on Tax Hikes?

November 27, 2012 at 10:56 pm (Fiscal Cliff, Lindsay Graham, Medicaid, Medicare, Peter King, Saxby Chambliss, Social Security, Taxes)

A skilled poker player as they say, never shows his cards. Republicans seemingly haven’t heard such advice.  With ‘fiscal cliff’ negotiations taking place in the media of late, they are proving to be poor poker players, poor negotiators, and all-to-willing to fold.

Several Republicans, responding weak-kneed in a kneejerk reaction to their 2012 election beating, have signaled a willingness to compromise on tax hikes, despite little indication that Democrats would make similar concessions with spending cuts. Senators Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Lindsay Graham (R-SC), and Peter King (R-NY) have gone so far as to walk back a no-tax pledge they placed their signatures upon.

Amelia Chasse, vice-president of Hynes Communications, says that while Americans are looking for both sides to come together after the election, Republicans should not be so quick to give away the farm.

Discussing the matter on Neil Cavuto’s show late last week, Chasse opined that, “In terms of raising taxes, I think Republicans will be making a huge mistake with their constituents if they agree to any proposal that raises taxes for the sake of raising taxes”.

According to a source with knowledge of the negotiations however, Republicans are set to do just that.  Their information indicates:

“We suspect that enough Republicans could support a top tax rate in the 37-38% range along with limits on deductions, which together would raise $600-800 billion over 10 years.  Along with a few other revenue provisions, the total deficit reduction from revenue could reach $1 trillion.”

The 37-38% represents an increase on the current level of 35%.  Chasse indicates that such a tax hike plan “would raise rates for some of the most vulnerable taxpayers in this economy – small business owners”.  Furthermore, limits on deductions would have the same economic effect as raising marginal rates on upper-income taxpayers even further.

Why would Republicans agree to such a plan?

“The key to Republicans going along with this tax increase,” the source adds, “is structural reform of entitlement programs”.  This would presumably involve such programs as Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare.  The wisdom being that meaningful deficit reduction can be accomplished through ‘means testing’ and raising the eligibility age.

FreedomWorks Vice President of Health Care Policy, Dean Clancy, doesn’t believe these methods will be successful.

“These two ideas are unpopular, and, while they are better than across-the-board cuts, they do not alter the underlying structural problems with the big entitlement programs or make them more voluntary for individuals.”

He adds, “If ObamaCare goes into effect, raising the Medicare retirement age will have the effect of increasing federal outlays for ObamaCare premium subsidies and for Medicaid.”

So a cave-in on tax hikes is being negotiated for the benefit of a deficit reduction plan that would likely be unsuccessful.  But at least an agreement and compromise on tax rates and entitlement reforms will lead to significant cuts in the deficit, avoiding an economic calamity, right?

Not quite…

The real key for a fiscal cliff breakthrough, according to the source, lies with the President himself.

“If he puts major entitlement reforms on the table, a grand bargain that reduces the deficit by roughly $2-2.5 trillion over ten years is likely.”

Such a ‘grand bargain’ would fall significantly short in terms of necessary deficit reduction over the next decade.

Clancy claims, “We would need more like $8 trillion in savings over 10 years to balance the budget within 10 years.”

Chasse agrees, stating that the President’s proposals “would barely make a dent in the deficit”.

With the fiscal cliff looming in the near future, Republicans are foolishly signaling a willingness to concede on tax hikes.  Such concessions – with little to no valuable reductions in spending and entitlements – indicate the party has not only lost the election battle of 2012, but they may be willing to surrender in the war on conservative fiscal values.

Cross-posted at FreedomWorks

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E-Mails Show White House Knew Benghazi Was a Militant Attack Two Hours In

October 24, 2012 at 12:05 pm (Ambassador Stevens, Benghazi, John Bolton, Libya, Obama Administration, President Obama, Saxby Chambliss, Scandal, State Department, White House, White House E-Mails)

So much for reporting on the intelligence available at the time.  My question – Do you not as Americans get angrier with each and every lie that comes out of the White House regarding the murder of four fellow patriots?

Does it bother you at all?

Via Reuters:

Officials at the White House and State Department were advised two hours after attackers assaulted the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11 that an Islamic militant group had claimed credit for the attack, official emails show.

The emails, obtained by Reuters from government sources not connected with U.S. spy agencies or the State Department and who requested anonymity, specifically mention that the Libyan group called Ansar al-Sharia had asserted responsibility for the attacks.

The brief emails also show how U.S. diplomats described the attack, even as it was still under way, to Washington.

U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the Benghazi assault, which President Barack Obama and other U.S. officials ultimately acknowledged was a “terrorist” attack carried out by militants with suspected links to al Qaeda affiliates or sympathizers.

By ultimately, they mean several weeks later.  This is definitive proof that Obama’s White House was not getting bad reports and bad intelligence from the State Department or the intelligence community, and simply erroneously relaying information that a video had sparked the attack.

They knew.  They knew, and they lied.

More details from Gateway Pundit:

This email was sent to State Department officials, White House officials, Secret Service officials at 6:07 PM EST on 9-11.

This was at least the third email sent to the White House the evening of 9-11 on the Benghazi attack.

Barack Obama was meeting with his security team in the Oval Office that evening.

The email clearly blamed Al-Qaeda linked group Ansar al-Sharia for the attack on the US consulate.

This was before the lifeless body of Ambassador Stevens was dragged from the consulate ruins.

A copy of the e-mail:

Then there’s this from Fox Nation via Maggie’s Notebook:

The United States had an unmanned Predator drone over its consulate in Benghazi during the attack that slaughtered four Americans — which should have led to a quicker military response, it was revealed yesterday.

“They stood, and they watched, and our people died,” former CIA commander Gary Berntsen told CBS News.

The network reported that the drone and other reconnaissance aircraft observed the final hours of the hours-long siege on Sept. 11 — obtaining information that should have spurred swift action.

But as Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three colleagues were killed by terrorists armed with AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenade launchers, Defense Department officials were too slow to send in the troops, Berntsen said.

“They made zero adjustments in this. You find a way to make this happen,” he fumed.

“There isn’t a plan for every single engagement. Sometimes you have to be able to make adjustments.”

The Pentagon said it moved a team of special operators from Central Europe to Sigonella, Italy — about an hour flight from Libya — but gave no other details.

Fighter jets and Specter AC-130 gunships — which could have been used to help disperse the bloodthirsty mob — were also stationed at three nearby bases, sources told the network.

The White House knew about it and did nothing.  They watched it happening in real-time and did nothing.  President Obama knew about it and went to sleep.  Literally. 

Republicans are responding.

NewsMax:

Republicans are blasting the Obama administration for failing to act on real-time information that the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya was under attack. Emails obtained by the news agency Reuters show that officials at the State Department were told within two hours of the attack starting that the al-Qaida-affiliated group Ansar al-Sharia had claimed responsibility. Reacting to the report, former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton said he was not surprised by the disclosure, telling Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren Tuesday night that “what the emails show beyond any doubt is that the State Department was fully possessed of the information in real time.” Bolton said the “paper trail” now makes it harder for the Obama administration to “sweep away” the security failure at the U.S. compound in Benghazi, in which Ambassador Chris Stephens and three other Americans were killed. On Capitol Hill, Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss, the vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, called for additional hearings on Libya based on the emails…
… Bolton also blamed the failure to launch an immediate military response to the attack, based on the email traffic that reportedly reached the White House situation room and the State Department, on election year politics and the administration’s reluctance to admit that al-Qaida “was resurgent in Libya.” “It undercut the [Obama campaign] storyline that the war on terror is over, al-Qaida’s on the run, the Arab spring has been a success,” Bolton said. “And that led to the denials of the request [before the attack] for security enhancement. That led to the tragedy in Benghazi. And I think that then led to this ridiculous story that it was caused by some YouTube video.” Bolton described it as “a willful blindness” to reality.

Willful blindness to reality.  Does that statement apply more so to the administration, or those voters who will ignore this massive scandal come election day?

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Will the Department of Justice Investigate Attacks on Conservative Bloggers?

June 6, 2012 at 10:48 pm (Aaron Walker, ABC News, Brett Kimberlin, Department of Justice, Eric Holder, Free Speech, Georgia, Saxby Chambliss)

Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), has sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, requesting that the Department of Justice investigate threatening actions being carried out against several conservative political commentators.

ABC News provides excerpts:

“I am writing with concern regarding recent reports that several members of the community of online political commentators have been targeted with harassing and frightening actions. Any potentially criminal action that incites fear, seeks to silence a dissenting opinion, and collaterally wastes the resources of law enforcement should be given close scrutiny at all levels,” Chambliss wrote in the letter.

“Regardless of any potential political differences that may exist, threats and intimidation have no place in our national political discourse. Those who choose to enter into that political discourse should not have to worry about potential threats to their or their family’s safety,” Chambliss continued.  “While I am certain that local law enforcement is reviewing each of these instances, I am asking you to please look into each of these cases as well to determine if any federal laws may have been violated. Future targets of SWAT-ting, whether engaged in political speech or not, may not be so fortunate as to escape physical harm.”

The report goes on to mention the man suspected of these SWAT-ting attacks is Brett Kimberlin.  You may remember, we covered him here a couple of weeks ago…

… everyone who reads a conservative blog is likely to learn his name – for Kimberlin is a serial domestic terrorist. 

His terrorism ranges from the literal …

Kimberlin is known as the Speedway Bomber, who was convicted in 1981 of a series of bombings that caused extensive property damage, and severely mutilated a man who happened upon one of his explosive devices, eventually leading to the man’s suicide.  Some law enforcement officials believed the bombings were actually an attempt to distract from the murder of an elderly woman in Indianapolis, a crime in which Kimberlin was a suspect.

To the legal …

Kimberlin has recently terrorized several bloggers through litigation, intimidation, and implied threats.

He attempted to frame Aaron Walker (a.k.a Aaron Worthing) of a crime,  and cost him and his wife their jobs.

He has harassed Patterico to the point that he has crafted a rough draft explaining what has happened and distributed it to various people in the event that “an unfortunate accident were to befall” him.

He has targeted Liberty Chick.

And more recently, Kimberlin has terrorized the popular blogger known as The Other McCain (Robert Stacy McCain).  Apparently, reporting on the Speedway Bomber’s past has once again resulted in unrelenting harassment by Kimberlin, this time forcing McCain to move his family out of state for their own safety.

But even within the ABC report, Kimberlin again proves himself to be a serial liar, stating (emphasis mine):

Kimberlin denied he was responsible for the post, even saying that he does not maintain any online presence and said he and his family have been victims of threats themselves and accused the bloggers of constructing a “false narrative” about him.

“I don’t blog, I don’t comment, I don’t tweet on any blogs at all.  This is a right-wing attack on me and my organizations and it’s a smear job. It’s a swift boat action against us,” Kimberlin said. “What they’re doing is an obstruction of justice and it’s defamatory.  We’re cooperating with the authorities in this matter.  They have engaged in a massive smear campaign against us that has resulted in death threats to me and my family and to others associated with us.”

In another case which saw blogger Aaron Walker actually jailed for writing about the domestic terrorist, Kimberlin stated in court:

Mr. Walker has tweeted on Twitter about me in alarming and annoying ways over hundreds of times in the past week and urged others to attack me. He has generated hundreds of blog posts directly and indirectly based on false allegations that I framed him for an assault.

Mr. Walker has had many people threaten me directly with death, and told me to stop talking to the police, and not show up in court or I would die.

He ends up with a running tally of allegedly 14,000 tweets, which is astounding considering his entire Twitter history lists a total of just over 12,000 tweets.  That aside, I’m curious how someone who doesn’t maintain any online presence was able to read thousands of tweets from Walker’s feed, and analyze the commentary section of “hundreds of blog posts”.

Here’s how – an eyewitness report of the Kimberlin/Walker case states:

Here’s what seems to have happened. Although Kimberlin’s first peace order against Walker was eventually thrown out on appeal, it appears that while it was in effect Walker wrote a blog post about Kimberlin. This triggered a Google Alert that Kimberlin had set up. Kimberlin filed criminal charges based on that, apparently claiming that constituted “contact.” The court apparently agreed, and Walker was arrested.

Harvesting Google alerts on your own name is not the same as somebody e-mailing you directly, but the fact that he set up Google alerts in the first place demonstrates some degree of internet proficiency.

Audio of the hearing provides this statement from Kimberlin (h/t Joe Newby – Spokane Conservative Examiner):

I’m the director of several non profits in the area I work with human rights issues and government accountability issues and so it’s part of my job to to work on the internet because it’s basically a social networking job and so I get Google alerts all the time mentioning my my organizations, my name what work we do and (inaudible).

And of course, Kimberlin’s non-profits also maintain an online presence – Justice Through Music and Velvet Revolution come to mind.

So how does someone with no online presence maintain such a high level of online presence?  ABC News and the rest of the mainstream media should be wondering the same.

The final question is, will the Department of Justice try to figure out who is responsible for these SWAT-tings, and will they investigate multiple complaints against a convicted bomber?

Time will tell…

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