100 Days Until Taxmageddon

Photo credit: AllenWestForCongress

Sunday will mark the start of the 100-day countdown to “Taxmageddon” – the date the largest tax hikes in the history of America will take effect. They will hit families and small businesses in three great waves on January 1, 2013:

First Wave: Expiration of 2001 and 2003 Tax Relief. In 2001 and 2003, the GOP Congress enacted several tax cuts for small business owners, families, and investors (later re-upped by President Obama and Democrat Congress in 2010). The following tax hikes will occur on January 1, 2013:

Personal income tax rates will rise on January 1, 2013. The top income tax rate will rise from 35 to 39.6 percent (this is also the rate at which the majority of small business profits are taxed). The lowest rate will rise from 10 to 15 percent. All the rates in between will also rise. Itemized deductions and personal exemptions will again phase out, which has the same mathematical effect as higher marginal tax rates.

Higher taxes on marriage and family coming on January 1, 2013. The “marriage penalty” (narrower tax brackets for married couples) will return from the first dollar of taxable income. The child tax credit will be cut in half from $1000 to $500 per child. The standard deduction will no longer be doubled for married couples relative to the single level.

Middle Class Death Tax returns on January 1, 2013. The death tax is currently 35% with an exemption of $5 million ($10 million for married couples). For those dying on or after January 1 2013, there is a 55 percent top death tax rate on estates over $1 million. A person leaving behind two homes and a retirement account could easily pass along a death tax bill to their loved ones.

Higher tax rates on savers and investors on January 1, 2013. The capital gains tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 23.8 percent in 2013. The top dividends tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 43.4 percent in 2013. This is because of scheduled rate hikes plus Obamacare’s investment surtax.

Read more from this story detailing the Second Wave (20+ new Obamacare taxes) and the Third Wave (AMT Increases and Employer Tax Hikes).

House: No Ethics Charges for Rep. Maxine Waters

California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters won’t be charged with ethics violations following allegations she steered a $12 million federal bailout to a bank where her husband owns stock.

House Ethics Committee members said Friday at a hearing their investigation found no violation by Waters, a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee.

However, the committee said Waters’ chief of staff, Mikael Moore, did take actions in Congress in an attempt to help the bank and violated House standards of conduct. Moore likely will receive a letter admonishing him for his conduct but will not face more severe punishment, such as a reprimand, by the full House.

Virginia Republican Rep. Bob Goodlatte, acting chairman of the panel, announced the tentative findings at the hearing but noted the committee had not issued a final report.

Goodlatte said the committee was convinced that when Waters asked for a meeting at the Treasury Department to discuss financial help for minority banks, she believed she did so on behalf of all minority banks — not just OneUnited, where her husband owns stock. Goodlatte said the committee agreed with Waters’ assertion.

Read more from this story HERE.

Americans’ Distrust of Media Highest in History

Americans’ distrust in the media hit a new high this year, with 60% saying they have little or no trust in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly. Distrust is up from the past few years, when Americans were already more negative about the media than they had been in years prior to 2004.

The record distrust in the media, based on a survey conducted Sept. 6-9, 2012, also means that negativity toward the media is at an all-time high for a presidential election year. This reflects the continuation of a pattern in which negativity increases every election year compared with the year prior. The current gap between negative and positive views — 20 percentage points — is by far the highest Gallup has recorded since it began regularly asking the question in the 1990s. Trust in the media was much higher, and more positive than negative, in the years prior to 2004 — as high as 72% when Gallup asked this question three times in the 1970s.

This year’s decline in media trust is driven by independents and Republicans. The 31% and 26%, respectively, who express a great deal or fair amount of trust are record lows and are down significantly from last year. Republicans’ level of trust this year is similar to what they expressed in the fall of 2008, implying that they are especially critical of election coverage.

Independents are sharply more negative compared with 2008, suggesting the group that is most closely divided between President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney is quite dissatisfied with its ability to get fair and accurate news coverage of this election.

More broadly, Republicans continue to express the least trust in the media, while Democrats express the most. Independents’ trust fell below the majority level in 2004 and has continued to steadily decline.

Read more from this story HERE.

Nazi Atrocities Were Not Limited to SS; New Book Details Widespread German Barbarity

For years the blame for horrific war crimes, rape and genocide were laid at the hands of the SS and Hitler’s right hand men but a new book details how widespread the barbarity went.

Between 1940 and 1945 the British and Americans bugged about 13,000 German and several hundred Italian soldiers of all ranks and services – many of which in the Trent Park detention centre for POWs in north London.

It was hoped the recordings would reveal military secrets of potentially strategic importance, instead they catalogued open and uncensored conversations about war experiences – often as to boast.

They detail not only the extreme level of violence but a disturbing sense of enjoyment from the soldiers.

One example of many recounts: ‘There was an event in the market square, crowds of people, speeches given. We really sprayed them! That was fun!’

Read more from this story HERE.

Stupid Liberals Push “Suicidal” Western Policies that Facilitate the Rise of Islamo-Fascist Nuclear Powers

A liberal friend writes that, okay, so all religions are crazy, and the Muslims are, too. He is wrong, of course. All the great religions — the ones that have grown over thousands of years — have had periods of violence and war. All the great religions except Islam have given up war and now practice peace. That’s the big difference.

Ninety percent of Muslims today may be peaceful, but they tolerate in their midst an explosive minority who can cite the Koran on violent jihad to convert the whole world. Islam is only 1.4 billion out of 7 billion people on the planet, so the arithmetic, contrary to liberal defeat-mongers, does not favor Islam. It favors tolerance, with the ongoing spread of Christianity (in China, Russia, and Africa), the existence of the State of Israel providing self-defense for the first time in two millennia to the Jews, the worldwide spread of Buddhism Lite (it’s rarely real Buddhism) and Vendantist Hinduism (again, the McDonald’s version).

If that’s true, what’s the fuss all about? Why worry about 9/11, the Blind Sheikh, the Iranian madcaps, and now Egypt’s Brother Morsi? Because liberals are historically ignorant, arrogant, and stupid, and they are happy to surrender and be lied to on behalf of neo-fascism of the nuclear Muslim variety. With suicidal Western policies, the new rise of religio-fascism with nukes could well succeed.

It’s our nation and the Western Enlightenment that are at stake, and so far our leftist parties have happily betrayed their countries for money, oil, and power to beat domestic enemies. When British PM Gordon Brown was campaigning for re-election last year, a nice lady asked him whether Britain’s suicidal socialist immigration policies were not a little bit too much. Brown, a truly dreadful ideologue, got back in his armored Bentley and was heard to tell his buds that “she’s just a racist.”

That is objectively mad, and it reflects the national suicide the socialists have brought to England and all European nations. The fact that politicians in Europe are routinely bought off by Saudi oil billionaires shows how decadent and corrupt they have become. Muslim radicals know perfectly well how corrupt and morally feeble we are. They test us and see it every day.

Read more from this story HERE.

Video: After Obama Apologies, Bangladeshi Muslims Still Torch “Cofin of Obama”

Thousands of Bangladeshi Muslims, protesting the Innocence of Muslims video, marched in Dhaka with a coffin bearing the words “Cofin [sic] of Obama”. After stuffing it with an American flag, the protesters torched it. Keep in mind, that’s after Obama’s repeated apologies for the US pornographer’s anti-Muslim video.

If you look closely, this clip also has a bit of humor. At about 57 seconds into the video, an apparent Imam (in the background) kicks at some boys, almost loses his turban, and then one of his apparent victims seems to yell “Yeow!”

DNC Literally in Hock to SEIU

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) owes at least $8 million to a bank owned by one of the largest unions in the country, according to the committee’s most recent financial report.

The DNC initiated an $8 million loan with the Amalgamated Bank of New York on Aug. 10, the report shows, accounting for the majority of the committee’s overall debt of $11 million.

Amalgamated Bank, often described as “America’s Labor Bank,” is a national entity, the majority of which is owned by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), a politically active union with deep ties to the Democratic Party. The SEIU is also involved with the Democracy Alliance, a shadowy group of wealthy left-wing donors founded by billionaire investor George Soros.

The bank announced in an August press release that the DNC had “moved its primary banking relationship” to Amalgamated Bank, which would handle the committee’s “day-to-day banking needs.”

The DNC had previously done most of its banking with Bank of America, which helped finance the Democratic convention in Charlotte.

Read more from this story HERE.

US Buys Advertising on Pakistani National TV to Broadcast Obama Denouncing Anti-Muslim Video

The US Embassy in Islamabad is spending $70,000 to run advertisements on Pakistani TV showing US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton denouncing an anti-Islam video that has sparked protests in many Muslim nations.

The American Embassy in Islamabad, in a bid to tamp down public rage over the anti-Islam film produced in the U.S., is spending $70,000 to air an ad on Pakistani television that features President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton denouncing the video.

The State Department said Thursday the embassy had compiled brief clips of Obama and Clinton rejecting the contents of the movie and extolling American tolerance for all religions into a 30-second public service announcement that is running on seven Pakistani networks. Obama and Clinton’s comments, which are from previous public events in Washington, are in English but subtitled in Urdu, the main Pakistani language.

Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the aim was to get the messages to the widest possible audience in Pakistan, where tens of thousands of protestors angry about the film tried to reach the U.S. embassy before being turned back by Pakistani police. She said embassy staffers had decided the ads were the best way to spread the word. The seven networks have a potential audience of 90 million people, she added.

“The sense was that this particular aspect of the president and the secretary’s message needed to be heard by more Pakistanis than had heard, and that this was an effective way to get that message out,” Nuland told reporters in Washington. The ads are not running in other countries, she said.

Read more from this story HERE.

The Coming Global Disorder

Woody Island is a speck of land in the middle of the South China Sea, not quite a square mile in size. Over the past 80 years it has been occupied by French Indochina, Imperial Japan, the Republic of China, the People’s Republic of China, South Vietnam, and, after a brief war in 1974, the People’s Republic again. Now known as Yongxing to the Chinese (or Phu Lam to the Vietnamese, who still lay claim to it), the island has an airstrip, a harbor, and a few hundred Chinese residents, none native-born, many of whom make their living as fishermen.

An obscure tropical island may seem an odd starting point for an essay on the coming global disorder. Yet great conflicts have been known to flare over little things in faraway places. “On the morning of July 1, [1911,] without more ado, it was announced that His Imperial Majesty the German Emperor had sent his gunboat the Panther to Agadir to maintain and protect German interests,” wrote Winston Churchill in his history of the First World War. The proximate causes of the German foray to this deserted Moroccan bay “were complicated and intrinsically extremely unimportant.” But the real purpose of the kaiser’s move was to test—and, he hoped, to break—Britain’s alliance with France and, perhaps, scope out the possibility of establishing a German naval base in the north Atlantic. “All the alarm bells throughout Europe,” Churchill recalled, “began immediately to quiver.”

Could another Agadir crisis be lurking in the South China Sea? On July 24, 2012, Beijing decreed that henceforth the little village of Sansha on Woody Island would be considered a “prefecture-level city,” complete with a mayor, a people’s congress, a military garrison—and claims to administer the 770,000 square miles of surrounding waters, an area larger than the Gulf of Mexico. Beijing’s coup was protested loudly by Vietnam and more quietly by the U.S. State Department, which fretted that the move ran “counter to collaborative diplomatic efforts to resolve differences” in the South China Sea. In response, Beijing called a U.S. embassy official to the carpet and demanded that the United States “shut up.”

China’s leaders are fond of advertising their country’s “peaceful rise,” and the pro-China chorus in the West has sought to engage Beijing as a “responsible stakeholder” in global affairs. Yet in the last three years alone, Beijing has provoked quasi-military confrontations over disputed waters with Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, and even the United States, all the while insisting that it has “indisputable sovereignty” over nearly the whole of the sea. “China is a big country and other countries are small countries,” explained Chinese foreign minister Yang Jiechi at a regional summit in 2010. “And that is just a fact.”

What is also a fact is that the South China Sea sits on estimated oil reserves of 213 billion barrels and equally massive reserves of natural gas. Fully one-third of the world’s overall volume of trade passes across the sea every year. Each of the sea’s other claimants has reasons to accommodate Beijing even as they resent its bullying habits. China, it is sometimes noted, sees the sea not just as an economic resource and an extension of its sovereign domain, but as the natural basin for a 21st-century version of a Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, this time under Beijing’s sway.

Read more from this story HERE.

Horror of Black Christian Crucifixion in Yemen & Egypt

Shocking evidence has emerged from the Mideast about an escalation in the persecution of Christians in Muslim countries. According to a report in Lebanon Today, at least one man was crucified and two others were otherwise executed by the jihadist group Ansar al-Shariah that had taken control of a region in Yemen and imposed Islamic religious law, known as shariah. The jihadists accused the trio of being agents or spies for the United States and killed them several months ago during a period when the Yemeni government was challenged by riots and rebellion. The MEMRI website has photographs of the jihadists’ victims.

A caption to a video of a victim of crucifixion explained that he was an accused “spy who was executed by extremists for placing sensors in militant’s cars to direct U.S. attacks on them.”

A report issued to subscribers only by the MEMRI website showed a photograph of the victim crucified on an electric pylon in south Yemen’s Abyan province. Translated, a sign affixed above the victim’s head displayed the flag of the Al-Qaeda-linked group and a text from verse 5:33 of the Koran: “The recompense of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and do mischief in the land is only that they shall be killed or crucified or their hands and their feet be cut off from opposite sides, or be exiled from the land. That is their disgrace in this world, and a great torment is theirs in the Hereafter.”

Walid Shoebat, a former PLO operative who is now a terrorism analyst, said that the inscription in one of the photos reads, “He was crucified for three days in accordance with shariah.” According to Shoebat, the group carried out the Shariah-prescribed penalties as retribution for allegedly giving information to U.S. forces which then carried out drone strikes against terrorist in Yemen.

According to a translation by Shoebat, a report on the crucifixions said, “One they nicknamed ‘Captain’ was executed by crucifixion for three days at the entrance to the city of Jaar in the Abyan province, to be viewed by passersby entering and leaving the city.” Shoebat provided a translation of other summary executions carried out by the jihadists, “Two Saudis and a Yemeni were also executed by the sword at dawn at the hands of Ansar al-Shariah, and [the terrorists] absolved [a] fourth defendant from execution for his young age.”

Read more from this story HERE.