What’s Up: October 1, 2012?

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· Top Five Worst Obamacare Taxes Coming in 2013 Of the twenty new or higher taxes in Obamacare, below are the five worst that will be foisted upon Americans for the first time on January 1, 2013. – Of the twenty new or higher taxes in Obamacare, below are the five worst that will be foisted upon Americans for the first time on January 1, 2013: The Obamacare Medical Device Tax – a $20 billion tax increase: Medical device manufacturers employ 409,000 people in 12,000 plants across the country. Obamacare imposes a new 2.3 percent excise tax on gross sales – even if the company does not earn a profit in a given year. In addition to killing small business jobs and impacting research and development budgets, this will increase the cost of your health care – making everything from pacemakers to prosthetics more expensive. The Obamacare “Special Needs Kids Tax” – a $13 billion tax increase: The 30-35 million Americans who use a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) at work to pay for their family’s basic medical needs will face a new government cap of $2,500 (currently the accounts are unlimited under federal law, though employers are allowed to set a cap). There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children. There are several million families with special needs children in the United States, and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education. Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington, D.C. (National Child Research Center) can easily exceed $14,000 per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education. This Obamacare tax provision will limit the options available to these families. The Obamacare Surtax on Investment Income – a $123 billion tax increase: This is a new, 3.8 percentage point surtax on investment income earned in households making at least $250,000 ($200,000 single). This would result in the following top tax rates on investment income: Story Continued:

· Riots Break Out Between Black, Latino Students At Victorville School – VICTORVILLE (CBSLA.com) — Students at a high school in Victorville said violent fights have been breaking out between African-Americans and Latinos for the past two days. Rafael Muñoz said a group of people started the fights at Silverado High on Wednesday, which have poured out into the streets. “One person started fighting, then the other would jump in. And continuously jump in and (it) ended up to be mob fighting. (I) got pepper sprayed by the security,” he said. Cellphone video caught one brawl, which spilled into 14-year-old Jeremy Buenrostro’s lawn. “They busted my lip. Well, they broke my tooth. And then I have some knots on the back of my head,” he said. Monica Rodriguez, who asked the school for extra security and complained to police, said the riots are a recurring problem. “The cops are nowhere to be seen. We’ve been calling them. They took forever. 911 placed people on hold. It was ridiculous,” said Rodriguez. Story Continued:

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· Secession! Lakota Sioux Nation Leaves The Union! (Again) – President Barack Obama has an unexpected foreign policy problem – in the Western United States. The Lakota Sioux nation has seceded from the United States, according to a story on the anti-American website La Voz de Aztlan. “We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us,” long-time Native American radical leader Russell Means said. The move potentially impacts the states of Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. Means has been a well-known Native American radical and actor since 1973 when he and others were involved in a siege in Wounded Knew, S.D. and Means proclaimed: “sometimes there has to be violence.” “In 1973, Mr. Means led a siege of Wounded Knee by Indians who alleged that the tribal leadership was corrupt. Two Indians were killed and one Federal marshal seriously wounded by resulting gunfire, and the episode divided many residents of the Pine Ridge Reservation,” The New York Times reported Dec. 30, 1990. Story Continued:

· U.S. Move to Give Egypt $450 Million in Aid Meets Resistance – The Obama administration notified Congress on Friday that it would provide Egypt’s new government an emergency cash infusion of $450 million, but the aid immediately encountered resistance from a prominent lawmaker wary of foreign aid and Egypt’s new course under the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood. The aid is part of the $1 billion in assistance that the Obama administration has pledged to Egypt to bolster its transition to democracy after the overthrow last year of the former president, Hosni Mubarak. Its fate, however, was clouded by concerns over the new government’s policies and, more recently, the protests that damaged the American Embassy in Cairo. The United States Agency for International Development notified Congress of the cash infusion on Friday morning during the pre-election recess, promptly igniting a smoldering debate over foreign aid and the administration’s handling of crises in the Islamic world. An influential Republican lawmaker, Representative Kay Granger of Texas, immediately announced that she would use her position as chairwoman of the House appropriations subcommittee overseeing foreign aid to block the distribution of the money. She said the American relationship with Egypt “has never been under more scrutiny” than it is in the wake of the election of President Mohamed Morsi, a former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. “I am not convinced of the urgent need for this assistance and I cannot support it at this time,” Ms. Granger said in a statement that her office issued even before the administration announced the package. Story Continued:

· 1 million Ohioans using free phone program – A program that provides subsidized phone service to low-income individuals has nearly doubled in size in Ohio in the past year — now covering more than a million people. At the same time, federal officials say they’re reining in waste, fraud and abuse in the program. The Federal Communications Commission announced recently that reforms have saved $43 million since January and are expected to save $200 million by year’s end. In Ohio, savings are expected to be $2.9 million a year. The savings were realized in part because the government gave out fewer cellphones to ineligible people and took steps to avoid issuing duplicate phones. But the size of the program in the state — and profits to the increasing number of cellphone companies involved — has exploded in recent months, according to a Dayton Daily News analysis of program data. The program in Ohio cost $26.9 million in the first quarter of 2012, the most recent data available, versus $15.6 million in the same timeframe in 2011. Compared to the first quarter of 2011, the number of people in the program nearly doubled to more than a million. Growth could cost everyone who owns a phone. The program is funded through the “Universal Service Fund” charge on phone bills — usually a dollar or two per bill — and the amount of the fee is determined by the cost of this and other programs. A growth of $100 million in this program could result in an increased fee of a few cents on the average bill, according to officials from the agency that administers the program. The total cost of the program nationwide was $1.5 billion in 2011, up from $1.1 billion in 2010. Story Continued:

· No, You’re the Racist, or Blogging About Obama Phones – Yesterday we asked “How Racist Is the Obama Phone Video?” It turns out that we didn’t just need to explain the degree of the racism, but whether it was racist at all. After rallying around a video of a black woman explaining (incorrectly) that Obama had given her a free cell phone as a sure-fire way of boosting Mitt Romney’s campaign (“I could see that video turned into an incredible ad. No voice over needed. Just let it play and at the end, ‘I’m Mitt Romney and I approved this message.’ Landslide.”), some folks acted outraged that we would notice that they were trading in horrendous racial stereotypes. While there are plenty of studies investigating the way racial code words are used in political advertising (“inner city,” for example), this is not coded. This video, if placed in a Romney ad, would make George H.W. Bush’s 1988 Willie Horton ad look subtle by comparison: the other guy is supported by scary black people, vote Republican! The “Obama Phone” video is not being used by the Romney campaign. So we can’t say that it’s a racist attempt to get votes in the election. Right now, it sits in the middle ground between “stuff on the Internet” and “serious political issue.” But it took one big step toward becoming a serious issue when, on the same day, Rush Limbaugh played it repeatedly on his radio show and the Drudge Report posted it at the top of his page. They’d probably call it humor? Limbaugh finds a lot of things funny about Democrats, like how fat Michelle Obama is. And an Obama voter who seems to be dumb? That’s comedy gold, or as he described the “Obama Phone” video, “That’s not Saturday Night Live. That is a real Obama voter.” Because a video of a black woman with bad teeth and a poor grasp of the history of the Universal Service Fund proves that Democrats are stupid, lazy, and, oh, black. “That is a real Obama voter.” We say, that’s racist. Story Continued:

· Racism could sway the election – Credit R. Wallace “Wally” Hudson, chairman of the Mecklenburg County (Va.) Republican Committee, with demonstrating how new social media platforms can broadcast ancient hates. The Post reported this week that the county GOP’s Facebook page had displayed for months photos portraying President Obama as a witch doctor, a caveman and a drug dealer. Ah, life in post-racial America. Virginia’s Republican Party chairman, Pat Mullins, ordered the offensive photos be taken down. But Hudson, who acknowledged posting most of the images, stood his ground, saying he didn’t see what all the fuss was about. “We know our regular readers, who are good conservatives,” he told The Post on Tuesday. “They’re gonna get a kick out of it.” Who better than Ol’ Wally to know? Sadly, the Mecklenburg GOP’s disgusting images — which have since been removed — are not an isolated case of ugliness. Baylor University assistant professor Mia Moody did a study of social media stereotyping of Barack and Michelle Obama; her findings appeared in the journal New Media & Culture. Moody researched hundreds of Facebook groups and pages. She found numerous examples of the president and the first lady being targeted with racist and sexist rhetoric that, not surprisingly, also indirectly spread hatred toward women and blacks. She uncovered pages with titles such as “I don’t discriminate, I hate the white part of Obama too,” and “Yes, I hate Obama because he’s black.” She also found groups that claimed to be motivated only by politics but whose sites still led to racist rhetoric. The mission statement for one such group stated: “No! I don’t hate blacks! I just think Barack Obama is a terrible president.” Its page posed the question: “Don’t you just hate it when people call you racist because you hate Barack Obama? Do they ever consider that Barack Obama may just be a [expletive] president?” Moody observed that, while the group professed to dislike Obama not because of his race, most comments on the page attacked the president “personally with racial slurs.” Just one example: “Obama needs to step down and go back to Africa with the rest of the coons!! He’s nothing but a jigaboo and spear chucker!!” That site, Moody wrote, was archived and later removed from Facebook. She found others that resorted to demeaning stereotypes. One doctored photo that Moody cited featured President Obama holding a can of Welch’s grape soda and wearing stereotypical garb such as heavy jewelry and a baseball cap. The caption asked, “Where all the white wimmin at?” Story Continued:

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· Daily Presidential Tracking Poll – The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday shows President Obama attracting support from 48% of voters nationwide, while Mitt Romney earns the vote from 46%. Three percent (3%) prefer some other candidate, and three percent (3%) are undecided. See daily tracking history. Four years ago today, Rasmussen Reports tracking showed Obama leading John McCain by a 51% to 45% margin. The numbers barely budged for the rest of the campaign season as Obama enjoyed a comfortable lead and stayed between 50% and 52% every day for the last 40 days. When “leaners” are included, it’s now Obama 49%, Romney 47%. Leaners are those who are initially uncommitted to the two leading candidates but lean towards one of them when asked a follow-up question. Today is the last day that results will be reported without leaners. Beginning tomorrow, Rasmussen Reports will be basing its daily public updates solely upon the results including leaners. Platinum Members will be still be able to see the more detailed numbers along with demographic breakdowns, and additional information from the tracking poll on a daily basis. Currently, 43% of voters are “certain” they will vote for Romney. Forty-two percent (42%) are that certain they will vote for Obama. The remaining 15% are either uncommitted or open to changing their mind. To many Americans, especially partisan activists, it is hard to imagine how someone could be anything but certain at this point in time. One of the distinguishing features of these potentially persuadable voters is that they don’t see the choice between Romney and Obama as terribly significant. In terms of impacting their own life, just 28% say it will be Very Important which man wins. Story Continued:

· Democratic National Committee predicts Romney will win first debate vs. Romney – It’s a further lowering of expectations ahead of the first debate in Denver next week. Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse tells Fox News he thinks Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will win. Woodhouse says the way the DNC sees it, challengers win the first debate when they are up against incumbents. “Mitt Romney has had a lot more time to debate, the president has not debated in the past four years in terms, of a campaign debate. I think the president will hold his own, but he’s not known for sound bites. And these are 60 second, 90 second responses.” Woodhouse says Democrats are “trying to be realistic about expectations” because the president is “lucky to be able to devote three consecutive hours to debate preparation.” Woodhouse also paints Romney as a good debater and gives him credit for “dispatching Newt Gingrich” who Woodhouse considers a pretty good debater. Woodhouse said he wants to see Obama “talk from his heart about where the country was and where he wants to take the country.” He’s looking to see the president connect with Americans during the debate, the way Woodhouse thinks Obama was able to do in Charlotte during the Democratic National Convention. The first debate will focus on the economy, and Woodhouse wants specifics from Romney on his economic plans. “It’s going to be interesting to see if Mitt Romney will bring more than just zingers to get under the president’s skin,” he said. “It would be nice if he came with some substance for example like his tax plan or his plan to voucher-size Medicare.” Meanwhile, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie predicted Romney will do “extraordinarily well” in Wednesday night’s debate. Speaking on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Christie conceded that it’s been a “tough couple of weeks” for Romney in his campaign and there’s no way to “sugarcoat” that. Story Continued:

· Ryan: Obama running on division, distraction and distortion – Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will argue in the first debate that President Obama has taken the nation in the wrong direction and the GOP is offering the best choice for voters, Paul Ryan said in an interview on Fox News Sunday. This election is about “stagnation versus growth, dependency versus opportunity and upward mobility. That’s the classic choice, the difference we’re offering and we hope what people get out of that debate is that choice,” Ryan said. The Wednesday debate will showcase “who is Mitt Romney, what kind of president will he be and what choice do I have,” he said. “Then the country understands the choice they have to make.” With only 37 days to the election, polls are leaning in President Obama’s favor, especially in key battleground states such as Ohio and Florida, meaning Romney will need a dynamic performance to swing the momentum to his campaign. “First of all, the polls are close, this is going to be a close race,” Ryan said. “Second we’re running against an incumbent president with incredible resources. But more importantly, I don’t think one event is going to make or break this campaign.” Ryan called Obama a “very gifted speaker” who has been on the national stage for many years and who is an experienced debater, while “this is Mitt’s first time on this kind of a stage.” Ryan brushed off questions that Republicans have shifted from a referendum on Obama’s policies to giving voters a choice between the candidates’ policies. “The president is trying to paper over his problems and mislead and distort the record. It’s a failed record,” Ryan said. “At this phase of the campaign, we want people to know it doesn’t have to be this way. We can get the country back on track,” he said. “Mitt Romney is offering leadership and policies and principles to do that.” Story Continued:

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· Tired Cries of Bias Don’t Help Romney – In the last few days, conservatives have become agitated about Mitt Romney’s drop-off in the polls. So did they think the stumble was because of the ill-fated “47 percent” slip of the lip, or the hasty effort to gain a political edge after the death of an American ambassador in Libya, or more problematically, a campaign that can’t seem to stop pratfalling no matter what the news?

clip_image006Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney on board the campaign plane at Dayton International Airport last week. Republicans have denounced recent unfavorable polls. No, in their view, the mysterious drop can only be explained by the fact that the mainstream media have their collective liberal thumb on the scale, in terms of coverage and, more oddly, polling. On Sunday, Mr. Romney’s running mate, Representative Paul D. Ryan, got right to the point. “It goes without saying that there is definitely media bias,” Mr. Ryan told “Fox News Sunday.” “I think most people in the mainstream media are left of center and, therefore, they want a very left-of-center president versus a conservative president like Mitt Romney.” And ostensibly tendentious coverage was cited last Wednesday in a letter addressed to the “Biased News Media” and sponsored by the Media Research Center, which defines its mission as “holding the liberal media accountable for shamelessly advancing a left-wing agenda.” The letter said in part: “This election year, so much of the broadcast networks, their cable counterparts and the major establishment print media are out of control with a deliberate and unmistakable leftist agenda.” Story Continued:

· Pat Caddell: Media Have Become An “Enemy Of The American People” – In recent remarks to an AIM conference, “ObamaNation: A Day of Truth,” former Democratic pollster and analyst Pat Caddell said, “I think we’re at the most dangerous time in our political history in terms of the balance of power in the role that the media plays in whether or not we maintain a free democracy.” Caddell noted that while First Amendment protections were originally provided to the press so they would protect the liberty and freedom of the public from “organized governmental power,” they had clearly relinquished the role of impartial news providers. Nowhere was this more evident than during the tragic death of a U.S. ambassador in Libya that was lied about for nine days, because the press and the administration did not want to admit it was a terrorist attack. “We’ve had nine days of lies over what happened because they can’t dare say it’s a terrorist attack, and the press won’t push this,” said Caddell. “Yesterday there was not a single piece in The New York Times over the question of Libya. Twenty American embassies, yesterday, are under attack. None of that is on the national news. None of it is being pressed in the papers.” Caddell added that it is one thing for the news to have a biased view, but “It is another thing to specifically decide that you will not tell the American people information they have a right to know.” Story Continued and to watch the video:

 

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