Obama’s Former Defense Secretary Has a Chilling Message About US Strategy in the Middle East

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Robert Gates, who served as Secretary of Defense under both Presidents Bush and Obama, made some disturbing claims on Tuesday about the ongoing fight to curb the expansion of radical Islamic terrorism in the Middle East.

On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Gates claimed that, “we’re basically sort of playing this day to day,” adding:

I think our interests are enduring, but I certainly don’t think we have a strategy.”

Turkey is currently attempting to stave off a growing ISIS influence, which Gates brought up. Speaking about U.S. allies, specifically Turkey, Gates said:

My own view is, you don’t walk away from the people that you’ve counted as your friends and allies for several decades. The question is, how should those relationships evolve?”

Gates’ comments on Tuesday came as ISIS has taken yet another key Iraqi city. Last week, the militants took Ramadi, one of the largest cities in Iraq.

The White House called the fall of Ramadi a “setback,” adding that efforts will be made to help Iraq take the city back from the radical militants.

Like Father, Like Daughter: Al Sharpton’s Kid Sues NYC for $5 Million For Sprained Ankle

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The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, especially when the tree is rotten.

Dominique Sharpton, the 28-year-old daughter of MSNBC host and race activist Al Sharpton, sprained her ankle last October on the corner of Broome Street and Broadway in New York City, and now she wants the city to pay – big time.

Claiming to have been “severely injured, bruised and wounded” by uneven pavement, Dominique is seeking $5 million in damages from taxpayers for the sprain.

Currently on vacation in Bali, the membership director for her gadfly dad’s National Action Network claims she “still suffers and will continue to suffer for some time physical pain and bodily injuries,” according to the suit filed against the city departments of Transportation and Environmental Protection.

And despite claiming “permanent physical pain” in a breathless notice of claim in December, at around the same time there were social-media shots of her in high heels and fancy dresses and climbing a ladder to decorate a Christmas tree.

According to the filing in her lawsuit, Dominique Sharpton is seeking payment for “loss of quality of life, future pain and suffering, future medical bills, [and] future diminution of income.”

Dominique’s father Al currently has roughly $4.5 million in tax liens against him and his for-profit businesses.

Rush Limbaugh: What if Jihadists Demand Sharia Law for Gays, Women in the US?

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The kneejerk response from MSNBC’s Chris Matthews was boilerplate liberal apologia for the jihad — yes, Atlas Shrugs blogger Pamela Geller and her American Freedom Defense Initiative have the right to organize a Draw Muhammad contest, but doing so was deliberately provocative and “caused” two fanatical Islamists to open fire outside the event.

Both gunmen were killed by a police officer, who was armed, this because the event was held in Texas and not France.

Why would jihadists limit their demands to a ban on caricatures of the Prophet, Rush Limbaugh asked his radio listeners Monday (audio)

Now, I want to go back to the shooting in Texas and before we get to the Pam Geller soundbites, I’ve a serious question here, folks, a very serious question — you just heard Mark Potok, something, this hate organization called the Southern Poverty Law Center, make no mistake, that is a hate organization, and their hatred is for anything not Democrat. Their hatred is for anything Republican or conservative.

I wonder how the president’s going to respond to the situation in Garland, Texas — ISIS shooters show up because it is said they were provoked. Pam Geller and her group, oh yeah, they can have a convention on drawing cartoons of the Prophet, but they are responsible for what happens, so if somebody pulls a gun out and shoots at ’em it is their fault — not the perps, not the shooters — it’s their fault, because Islam tells us you cannot draw pictures of the Prophet.

OK, fine. If Americans are to respect and obey the laws of Islam that prohibit the drawing of pictures of Muhammad, then why wouldn’t Americans have to respect and obey Islam’s laws and punishments regarding gays and women? I mean, if it’s that important to them, who are we to disagree? If they say you can’t draw pictures of the Prophet and we say, you’re right, we can’t, and anybody that does, why, they’re going to get what’s coming to them.

Now you move over to other aspects of militant Islam and we know what happens to homosexuals in Iran or any other Islamic country, we know what happens to women. Well, if we’re going to respect and obey the laws about drawing cartoons of the Prophet, don’t we have to respect what Islam says about homosexuality and women? I mean, where do we draw the line and say, no, no, we can ignore that? But this picture business — nope, we gotta follow that to the letter of the law. We gotta follow that to the letter of Islam. We gotta follow that to the letter of Allah, but the gay and women thing, not so much.

And how about that extremely provocative tendency of American parents to send their sons and daughters to school for an education — Islamists despise that.  

MSNBC’s endless advocacy for gay marriage — surely this too is deeply offensive and highly provocative to radical Muslims. Perhaps the network should stop doing it, rather than wait for the inevitable jihadist rampage. After all, Matthews and his cable comrades presumably don’t want to risk “causing” such a terrible thing, right?

Matthews’s openly gay colleague Rachel Maddow has probably already bought champagne in anticipation of the Supreme Court ruling in favor of gay marriage. If the court rules in the affirmative, shouldn’t Maddow refrain from uncorking the champagne live on the air — just to be on the safe side?

– See more at: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/jack-coleman/2015/05/05/rush-limbaugh-what-if-jihadists-demand-sharia-law-women-gays-us?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=marketing&utm_term=facebook&utm_content=facebook&utm_campaign=limbaugh-jihadist#sthash.rdagWVgr.dpuf


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Allegations that higher income earners don’t pay their “fair share” of taxes are a mainstay misrepresentation of the political left


In recent years, claims that “the rich” don’t pay their “fair share” of taxes have been repeated countless times.

But that excuse to tax them more to line others’ pockets is blown away whenever the highly disproportionate income tax burdens borne by higher earners are reported. As The Wall Street Journal titled a recent article,“Top 20% of Earners Pay 84% of Income Tax.” In fact, the top 1 percent of American earners earn about one-sixth of total income, but pay nearly as much in income taxes as everyone else combined.

Rather than abandon the electorally valuable false premise that such disproportionate burdens are justified, however, the political left rallies to its cause. They try to rescue it by asserting that other taxes are regressive, so that taxes aren’t really so clearly unjustifiable as income tax burdens reveal. The featured players in that drama are state and local sales and excise taxes and Social Security taxes. Unfortunately, those taxes are also misrepresented to defend “fair share” misrepresentations.

Columnist Michael Hiltzik illustrated the state and local gambit in a tax-day column echoing charges that their sales and excise taxes “disproportionately hammer lower-income taxpayers,” with that alleged regressivity offsetting income tax unfairness.

That claim arises because those with lower current measured incomes spend a larger proportion of them on those taxes. However, as Edgar Browning has noted, “relative to lifetime income, there is very little difference in the percentage of income consumed among income classes.” As a result, apparent regressivity using current incomes is shown instead as “roughly proportional” to income in the more-appropriate lifetime context. Low current-income families also often consume a multiple of their income, largely financed with government transfer payments excluded from income measures. That further exaggerates the share of their incomes going to such taxes.

The Social Security angle was illustrated in a Washington Post story a few days earlier. It argued that since Social Security taxes only apply to earned incomes up to $118,500, “the more money you make, the less your effective Social Security tax rate is, making this tax about as regressive as they come.” However, Social Security treats lower income workers far better than higher income workers.

Rather than being regressive, Social Security taxes are proportional to earned income up to the tax cap. So, for the vast majority of Americans who fall in that range, taxes rise apace with income. Beyond the cap, earnings are not subject to the tax. So for those earners, their average tax rates fall with further income. Only for them can one claim that despite paying more in total Social Security taxes, they pay a smaller percentage.

When one incorporates the fact that a great deal of income for low income households is government transfers that are not counted as official income nor subject to Social Security taxes, the picture changes. Years ago, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that incorporating such unmeasured income actually made Social Security taxes progressive for all but the top 20 percent of earners.

Even more important, Social Security’s supposed regressivity reflects only its taxes. But they generate retirement benefits, and evaluation must incorporate both. Doing so reveals Social Security as progressive.

For example, for a single earner retiring at sixty-five in 1993, Social Security replaced 59 percent of taxed income for low earners, 44 percent for average wage earners, but only 25 percent for an earner at the Social Security tax cutoff. Higher income earners received far smaller return on their contributions than average earners, and less than half that of lower earners. Taxation of benefits for higher income retirees now increases this difference. In terms of lifetime net benefits, in 1992 dollars, a single low earner retiring in 2000 would net $27,983 from the system, an average earner, $14,833, but a high income earner would lose $23,129.

Both approaches show Social Security does not benefit higher earners at the expense of lower earners. It actually redistributes income the other way.

Allegations that higher income earners don’t pay their “fair share” of taxes are a mainstay misrepresentation of the political left. And when facts such as income tax burdens get in the way, they double down with a defense that misrepresents state and local taxes and Social Security, as well. Unfortunately, that illustrates how important taking other peoples’ money is to their agenda and how unimportant the truth is in advancing it.