“What is a mere individual to do? Live as sane and decent a life as you can, love your family and friends and understand that everybody is in this together." 

 · Ron Smith


Finally, the President and I agree on something. I’m sure he’ll be thrilled.

In his first remarks on the Malaysian plane crash last Thursday, he said the “world is watching.”

Indeed, the world is watching. I sent the President an email to that effect, telling him that the world is watching and that we, the people, are waiting for his response and actions.

Here’s the response to my missive so far:

“Thank you for contacting the White House.

“President Obama is committed to creating the most open and accessible Administration in history.  That begins with taking comments and questions from you, the American people, through our website.

“Our office receives thousands of messages from Americans each day.  We do our best to reply to as many as we can, but please be aware that you may find more information and answers to your questions online.  

“We encourage you to visit WhiteHouse.gov regularly to follow news and updates, and to learn more about President Obama's commitment to moving our Nation forward.

“For an easy-to-navigate source of information on Federal government services, please visit: www.USA.gov.

“Thank you again for your message.”  The Office of Presidential Correspondence

I dutifully entered my personal information on the submission form. That’s a requirement for submitting a message to the President who “is committed to creating the most open and accessible Administration in history;” who does so by “taking comments and questions” from we, the American people, through “their” website.

“Their” website. Hmmm. Whose website is it? Theirs or ours? But I digress…

I don’t expect to hear from the President any time soon. He’s at Camp David. Last week must have been exhausting with all those Democratic fundraisers, baby holding, and “managing” world crises.

According to his official schedule I call “The Royal Watch”, the President has no public meetings scheduled for the next couple of weeks.

There is no mention of the Presidential Daily Briefings in the Oval Office, closed to the press, of course. No meetings scheduled with the Vice President, Secretary of State Kerry or Secretary of the Treasury Lew. Nothing being done “for the children”, the catch-all phrase that can’t be criticized.

If you Google “Where is Obama Right Now” the latest information posted is for July 13th and states that “President Obama is taking action to help ensure opportunity for all Americans.”

That was a week ago Sunday and that post doesn’t match the “no public schedule” on the “The Royal Watch” for that day.

As the President said, the “world is watching.”

I’m betting he’s watching the British Open…


Laney B sent Thomas Lifson’s recent piece on feminism from the American Thinker and her thoughts on the topic:

“All the feminist prattle in the world doesn't change biology. Women are not men physically, have different biological urges, and the denying of Mother Nature has done more harm than good to those who swallowed the ‘you can have it all’ rhetoric. A solid education and hard work can lead to a satisfying career, but realizing that a career is no substitute for family and love seems to elude the clueless. All that crying after the ship has sailed is a cry for the pity of the less deluded. If one chose career over marriage and children, they were willing to swallow being ‘independent’ well into the years when they should have known better. I, for one, have no empathy for this conundrum.”          

American Thinker / July 17, 2014

By Thomas Lifson

How’s that feminism workin’ out for ya? According to a survey reported in a Psychology Today article, the unhappiest workers are Female

  • 42 years old
  • Unmarried
  • Have a household income under $100,000
  • Work in a professional position (i.e., as a doctor or a lawyer).

Sounds exactly like the feminist ideal: a woman who needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle. On her own, independent, unburdened, I am woman, hear me roar. Except that she’s not very happy.

The author, Sherrie Bourg Carter, Psy.D., notes that while it is possible the survey is inaccurate (the sample size is only 670 North American white collar workers),

In fact, a comprehensive analysis of the trends in subjective well-being across several decades revealed similar findings regarding female happiness. In The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness published by the American Economic Journal, researchers Betsy Stevenson and Justin Wolfers found that although women's life circumstances by most objective measures have improved greatly over the past few decades, women's happiness has declined both absolutely and relatively to men. 

Dr. Carter’s further explorations of this “paradox” deals with married women, who suffer the burdens of unequal cooking, etc. For example:

56 percent of working women assume responsibility for cooking compared to only 29 percent of working men, and 62 percent take care of the laundry compared to only 31 percent of men. 

But that completely evades the point that it is unmarried women who are unhappiest.

It’s almost as if there is something like human nature and sex differences. The biological fact that females carry the next generation within them, and then nurture them with mother’s milk couldn’t possibly incline women toward nurturance, could it? Why that’s heresy to feminists! It’s certainly “old-fashioned” and probably “patriarchal” so it must be wrong.

So I guess we are stuck with a “paradox.” Reality doesn’t fit with our assumptions. But instead of questioning those assumptions, we just reframe the question. Men and women are exactly the same, so much so that people get to choose which sex they live their lives at. It is all a social construct anyway. Ask any liberal.  The “party of science” knows that chromosomes mean nothing.


I’m with you on this, Laney B. As Coco Chanel said, “I do not know why women want any of the things men have when one of the things that women have is men.”


Yesterday, President Obama tried to manage two horrific world crises by phone from the White House and Air Force One.

Then he was off to a photo op at the Charcoal Pit restaurant in Wilmington DL, where he posed for photos, picked up a baby—de rigueur for all politicians—and mentioned Joe Biden whose home is nearby.

Glad handing and baby holding accomplished, he was off to New York for two Democratic fundraisers.

The White house says the President does not want to get ahead of the events unraveling after the crises in Ukraine and the Middle East. So while he was at a photo op and a pair of Democratic fundraisers, the brain gang at the White House and the State Department were working frantically to figure out what Obama should do next.

Words and actions matter especially when they are coming from the Leader of the Free World. I saw little evidence of Obama’s leadership and management of these horrific events.

Let’s not forget that the United States is still ranked at the top ten list of Super Powers in the World atop of the Russian Federation.

The People’s Republic of China; France; Britain, Japan, the Republic of India; the Federal Republic of Germany; Pakistan; and the Republic of Brazil round out the list.

It’s ironic at this point in time that the term “Free World” comes into play. That term originated from the Cold War and used to “distinguish between democracies, specifically the United States and Western European countries, and the communist Soviet Union and its allies. As the United States led the war against communism, the President of the United States came to be known as the “leader of the free world.” This term is often used today because of the hegemony exercised by the United States and the power of the presidency itself. As president, a leader can begin a war, overturn legislation, and build diplomatic relations among countries.” (From www.wisegeek.com)

It’s not just Obama, folks. Republican House Speaker John Boehner went with a wait-and-see approach, saying “Many innocents were killed today. It is horrifying, and we await the facts. Right now, we should all take a moment to reflect, count our blessings, and convey our prayers to the loved ones of the victims.”

Secretary of State John Kerry said late Thursday that “authorities still were trying to determine whether any Americans had been on the plane.

This is what passes for leadership in this once great nation.

Obama’s aides are briefing him as I am writing this. Vice President Biden is in attendance. Remember, he was added to the Obama ticket for his “expertise in foreign affairs.”

Fingers are flying across computer keyboards at this moment as those behind the scenes prepare a statement for the President to read at a Press Conference at the White House—just bumped from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.—before heading to Camp David for a weekend getaway.

Official word from the White House is that the President’s comments will “be dominated by the investigation into the Malaysian jet crash in Ukraine and the Israeli invasion of Gaza.”

Just another example of the White House telling us what we know and not telling us what they know or what we need to know.

This story has more moving parts than a Swiss watch, an apt metaphor for what will transpire today at the White House and around the world.

Tick tock.


“More grist for the mill,” said Bill Urban a/k/a Catonsville Bill about The Wall Street Journal’s editorial, Jack Lew’s Flee America Plan.

Several registered approval of Bill’s comment in the forum following the editorial: “Lew was the Office of Management and BUDGET Director ignorant of the simplest Senate rules on budget votes - obviously qualifying him for Obama's White House.”  Add mine to the list, too.

Jul 16, 2014 · The Obama Treasury wants to drive more U.S. companies overseas, the Wall Street Journal observes in an editorial.

Jack Lew’s Flee America Plan – The Wall Street Journal / Top Stories in Opinion

So the same Administration that refuses to work seriously on tax reform has decided that its top economic priority is providing even more incentives to drive American companies overseas. And then accusing anyone who disagrees of having a lack of "economic patriotism."

Yes, that can only be Jack Lew in action, the Treasury Secretary who must make the statue of Alexander Hamilton want to put on a blindfold. On Tuesday he sent a letter to House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp urging the Michigan Republican to punish American companies that decide to opt out of the developed world's highest corporate tax rate.

"What we need as a nation is a new sense of economic patriotism," lectured Mr. Lew. The letter called for Congress to urgently enact new penalties and restrictions on businesses that relocate outside the U.S.

Mr. Lew is responding to a recent flurry by U.S.-based companies to merge with or acquire foreign companies so they can relocate their headquarters overseas. These so-called inversions allow companies to reduce their overall tax burden by avoiding America's 35% corporate tax rate—40% on average including state levies—on income they earn overseas. The combined U.S. rate is double the average in Europe and is more than triple the 12.5% rate in Ireland.

The pace of inversions has been picking up as more CEOs conclude that President Obama isn't serious about tax reform. These executives have a fiduciary duty to their shareholders, and they can't cede a permanent tax advantage to their global competitors. So they decide to move.

Pfizer PFE in Your Value Your Change Short position tried to do an inversion earlier this year with its attempt to buy U.K. drug maker AstraZeneca, AZN.LN in Your Value Your Change Short position which rejected the offer. And this week two U.S.-based drug firms, AbbVie Inc. ABBV in Your Value Your Change Short position and Mylan Inc., MYL in Your Value Your Change Short position announced plans for foreign mergers that would allow them to move overseas. The Journal counts 19 inversion deals announced since the beginning of last year, with 14 this year alone.

There's a liberal canard that the U.S. statutory tax rate is high but companies pay only a few cents on the dollar in reality. That's true in some cases in which companies are able to exploit loopholes (especially green-energy subsidies) or deduct big losses over several years. We've written about Whirlpool, for example.

But the claim is obviously false in general given deals like Mylan's proposed acquisition of overseas generic drug businesses from Abbott Laboratories. ABT in Your Value Your Change Short position The new combined company will be based in the Netherlands, where the corporate tax rate is a high but not insane 25%. Even a 10-percentage-point rate cut is enough of an incentive to relocate.

Mr. Lew doesn't know much about economics or he'd realize that his rush to block these inversions will have the perverse effect of driving even more deals in the coming months. If CEOs think Congress will close the inversion possibility, and that tax reform is dead until Mr. Obama leaves office, more of them will decide to move while they still can.

As for "economic patriotism," Mr. Lew also doesn't understand that foreclosing inversions would only make U.S. firms more vulnerable to foreign takeovers. If executives can't reduce their tax disadvantage by moving abroad, more of them will choose to serve shareholders by offering to be purchased by foreign firms that have a lower world-wide tax rate. And even if CEOs resist a foreign offer, shareholders might prefer the higher after-tax return on their investment. Who's the real Benedict Arnold of tax policy here?

Even Mr. Lew admits in his letter to Mr. Camp that the "best way to address this situation is through business tax reform that lowers the corporate tax rate, broadens the tax base, closes loopholes, and simplifies the tax system." But he and the President have done

Former Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus worked hard on reform, but Mr. Obama showed no interest and the Montana Democrat finally gave up and agreed to be U.S. Ambassador to China. In February Mr. Camp introduced the most thorough-going reform in a generation of both corporate and personal taxes, but the White House ignored it. The basic problem is that Mr. Obama and his political factotum Mr. Lew care less about reform to make America competitive than they do about raising more tax revenue to spend.

As Mr. Camp put it to us in an email on Wednesday: "We've been down this road before, and we know companies will continue to do this as long as our tax rates remain the highest in the world. America cannot compete as long as our tax policy is so dysfunctional. Even the Secretary admits that tax reform is the right answer, so let's do it. Send me your plan."

Don't hold your breath, Congressman. Mr. Lew's letter shows that the White House now wants to exploit the inversion flurry as an election year opportunity to demagogue business. Look for Majority Leader Harry Reid to rush a bill to the Senate floor on Mr. Lew's punitive proposals and then try to use the votes in Senate races this fall. Republicans ought to turn the tables and assail Democrats for supporting the world's most punitive corporate tax rates and driving capital and jobs overseas.

A real agenda for "economic patriotism" would support a tax policy to make America competitive again as a destination for global investment and job creation. But that's going to take a less cynical President and Treasury Secretary.

Thanks, Catonsville Bill. “More Grist for the Mill” is an apt metaphor for those of us who remain committed to seeking the truth and separating the inedible chaff from the actual wheat.

Keep it coming!