“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” - George W. Bush

All The Best


I want to thank everyone who participated in the Elephant Bar over the past twelve years. We had millions of visitors from all around the World and you were part of it. Over the past dozen years, two or three times a night, I would open my laptop and some of you were always there. I will miss that.

My plans are to continue my work with technology and architecture. You know my interests and thoughts.

At times, things would get a little rough in the EB. To those of you that I may have offended over the years, I apologize. From all of you, I learned and grew.

An elephant never forgets.
Be well.

Deuce, 21 June 2018

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Happiness can mean saying goodbye.

Catalonia vote: Early exit polls show region may be on road to independence
Catalans may have set their region on the road to independence as early analysis suggested they had handed their separatist leader a mandate to push for a break with Spain.
By Fiona Govan, Barcelona TELEGRAPH
8:53PM GMT 25 Nov 2012

As ballot boxes closed in the region's parliamentary elections, the first exit polls showed that voters had chosen to return the centre-right Convergence and Union (CIU) to power, giving them between 54 and 57 seats in the 135 seat regional assembly.
The party's leader and incumbent president, Artur Mas, had pledged to call a referendum on Catalan independence if returned to office.
The exit polls also showed that the separatist left wing ERC party appeared to have doubled its share of the vote, securing between 20 and 23 seats. That would make it the second largest party in parliament, according to exit polls published on Catalan television channel, TV3.
Two smaller parties that also back a referendum secured at least 15 seats between them.
The election results set the stage for a showdown with Madrid, threatening Spain's conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy with the biggest political crisis since the nation's transition to democracy.
Mr Mas called the snap elections two years early centering his campaign on the promise of a Scottish-style referendum within four years, if his party secured a majority.
Although tonight's exit polls appeared to so far show his CIU party had fallen short of the absolute majority Mr Mas had hoped for - and in fact had secured marginally fewer than the 62 seats it won two years ago - there should be enough parliamentary support to push through a referendum on auto-determination.
Those parties in favour of a referendum are now likely to negotiate some form of coalition.
After casting his vote earlier in the day, Mr Mas, 56, said: "These are the most decisive elections in the history of Catalonia, the most transcendental, in which we all play a role as country, as a people.
Polls show up to 57 per cent of Catalans would vote yes to independence, a figure that has nearly doubled since the start of Spain's economic crisis in 2008.
Anger over "unfair" tax demands from Madrid have fueled separatist sentiment in the industrious and economically important region, as Spain suffers deep economic crisis and unpopular austerity measures.
Many voters believe the region, which boasts a strong cultural identity and its own language and contributes 20 per cent of Spain's economic output, would fare better economically as an individual state within the European Union.
But the drive for independence risks Catalonia being blocked out of the European Union, threatening devastating consequences for Catalan trade.
There is widespread perception that Catalonia's resources have been drained by Madrid with the region of 7.5 million residents paying about 15 billion euros more than it gets back from the national treasury every year.
Mr Mas was forced to go cap in hand to Madrid earlier this year to ask for a 5 billion euro lifeline to help meet operating costs in a region with a debt of 48 billion euros.
He has blamed tax transfers to Madrid as the root of the region's woes and tried to negotiate a new fiscal treaty, a move that was rejected by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.
The regional election threatens to set Catalonia further on a collision course with Madrid with the central government warning it will fight any moves that could lead to the break-up of the eurozone's fourth largest economy.
Mr Rajoy, already battling to avoid an international bail-out for Spain and growing social unrest within a nation suffering 25 per cent unemployment, faces a looming constitutional crisis as his conservative government seeks to use all "available measures" to block such a referendum, which is banned under Spain's constitution.
There are fears that any move to independence by Catalonia could be swiftly followed by the Basque Country and force a renegotiation of terms across Spain's 17-semi autonomous regions.
But one of the biggest hurdles ahead is whether a newly independent Catalonia could remain within the European Union and the euro currency. Brussels has indicated that membership would not be automatic and it would have to join the queue. The admission process would likely be blocked by a vengeful Spain.
During weeks of campaigning the region has filled with Catalan national flags in a wave of separatist sentiment.
By 6pm, some 56 per cent of the 5.2 million eligible voters had visited the ballot box, some 8 points higher than in the last regional election two years ago.
"This is an historic moment," said Jordi Casas, 24, as he cast his vote at a polling booth in Barcelona. "The time has come to say 'enough'. Madrid doesn't represent our interests and now we want the chance to decide our own future."
Others have said the campaigning has focused too heavily on independence, while issues of the economy were set aside.
"I think these elections are a disgrace because countries are there to unite, not divide," said 65-year-old pensioner Josep.


  1. Can the Basques be far behind?

    Seems like I've seen this show before. I'd think they'd have a better time getting away with it now, being everyone is so civilized these days.

    Maybe the world needs an Endangered Cultures Act.

    1. November 25, 2012
      Spain without Catalonia?
      Rick Moran

      The storied Spanish region of Catalonia has resisted Muslim invaders, rancid kings, and even thumbed its nose at General Franco on occasion. It is known for its beauty and the fierce independence of its people -- ancients settled the region long before Spain was considered a country.

      There is a desire in Catalonia to once again achieve independence. The Basque terrorists who recently concluded a deal with the Spanish government that granted their region more autonomy was considered a step forward by the people, but with the huge economic troubles facing Spain, many Catalans are wondering if full fledged independence wouldn't be a better option.

      There is a vote in Catalonia today that might be the first step to realize that goal.


      Catalans have begun voting in elections that could lead to the north-eastern region breaking away from Spain, after the region's leader Artur Mas made the running in the campaign by vowing to hold a referendum on independence for rich but indebted Catalonia.

      Unlike the Scottish referendum set for 2014 in agreement with London, the central government in Spain has pledged to block an independence vote for Catalonia by appealing to the constitutional court, which stopped the Basque country from holding a similar plebiscite in 2008.

      Voting closes at 8pm local time (19:00 GMT), and exit polls are expected shortly afterwards. A Sigma Dos opinion poll for the Guardian on Thursday predicted that Mas's Convergència i Unió (CiU) party would fall 9-11 seats short of an overall majority in the Catalan parliament, meaning he would have to reach deals with smaller parties to hold the referendum he has promised within a four-year mandate.

      "Catalonia is one of the oldest nations in Europe and the world. We have overcome all our difficulties: we have fought the military and dictatorships, and we're still alive," Mas said on Friday, the last day of campaigning allowed by law.

      Apart from opposition in Madrid, and heading for fewer seats than he won in the last elections two years ago, one of Mas's biggest difficulties is uncertainty over whether a newly independent Catalonia could remain within the European Union and the euro currency.

      The European commission president, José Manuel Barroso, said in Spain last weekend that EU treaties required breakaway states to join the queue for membership.

      Catalonia has its own distinct language and culture, and many Catalans think they would be better off without Spain, because some estimates show they pay more in tax than they get back from Madrid. In September, 1.5 million people flocked to an independence rally in Catalonia, which prompted Mas to call for early elections and a referendum.

      A recemt poll showed 57% of Catalans would support independence - as long as they could retain the Spanish language, Spanish passport, and other manifestations of Spanish citizenship. This makes any "referendum" on the subject an exercise in futility. The Catalans want more political clout and more money from Madrid. If they can get that, the move for independence will lose most of its luster.

  2. I have always believed that the United States would be better off if it were less united. Stronger state’s rights naturally weaken the federal government. The weaker the federal government, the less means for mischief. A United Independent States sounds fine with me.

    The current US Senate is nothing more than a house of lords. It is perfect for career politicians to serve the corporate interests of the federal system.

    A house of governors, duly elected and subject to recall by their individual states with the ability to override the federal courts would be a real step towards personal liberty and restrain the worst impulses of the federal corporate juggernaut.

    Congress has ceded it’s constitutional duty and obligation to declare war. Strong states would be far more jealous of the misuse of the state’s guard units.

  3. Talk about choice. How about being able to choose from fifty?

  4. The burden of illegal immigration falls on the states, as well as federal tyranny over education. Please don’t raise the canard of individuals being discriminated against for racial reasons. Those days are over. The question is simple who do you trust? Nine federal wizards in black robes or the governor of your own state and your collective ability to get rid of them if they fail to perform?

    1. Those days aren't over, not by a long shot. See the elections in Ohio, and Florida THIS year. Witness Pennsylvania's attempt to rig the vote.

      Do I trust 9 federal wizards in black robes over a planter-wannabee Southern Governor? You bet your sweet ass.

    2. How's that "local control of education" working out in Philadelphia?

      What was that again? 52% rate of illiteracy?

    3. And, speaking of mischief, where did all the support for the worst mischief in recent memory (the debacle in Iraq) come from? It wasn't the Northern Democrats; which leaves . . . . . . .

    4. That said, probably the best thing that could happen to the Northern Industrial States would be for the "Red" States to secede. Especially the "Solid South."

    5. The Philadelphia School districts were wrecked by the unions and the courts and Democratic politicians that refuse to allow underprivileged students to go to a school of their choice. The Democrats are more interested in freedom of vaginas than they are of freedom of brains.

    6. Whatever causes it, it's hard to argue that the Feds would do worse.

    7. Then take a look at the Washington DC school system. Just for fun.

    8. :) Okay, ya got me on that one.

    9. To paraphrase Casey Stengall: Does Anyone, here, know how to run a school system? :)

  5. Those days aren't over, not by a long shot. See the elections in Ohio, and Florida THIS year. Witness Pennsylvania’s attempt to rig the vote.

    I can’t speak for Ohio, but Pennsylvania required nothing more than the same proof you would need to buy a pack of cigarettes. If a red herring in a red state wants to be any kind of governor, that is their business and not that of a federal busy body.

    As to Pennsylvania rigging the votes. it sure was, but not by the state:

    In 59 Philadelphia voting divisions, Mitt Romney got zero votes
    November 13, 2012|By Miriam Hill, Andrew Seidman, and John Duchneskie, Inquirer Staff Writers

    Share on emailShare on printShare on redditMore Sharing Services

    It's one thing for a Democratic presidential candidate to dominate a Democratic city like Philadelphia, but check out this head-spinning figure: In 59 voting divisions in the city, Mitt Romney received not one vote. Zero. Zilch.

    These are the kind of numbers that send Republicans into paroxysms of voter-fraud angst, but such results may not be so startling after all.

    "We have always had these dense urban corridors that are extremely Democratic," said Jonathan Rodden, a political science professor at Stanford University. “Its kind of an urban fact, and you are looking at the extreme end of it in Philadelphia.”

    You could say what you like to come up with 100%, but what of the wards where turnout was less than 100% but every registered voter voted for Obama? Pennsylvania , as every other state has the right to defend the right of the state to have a fair election instead of election fraud.

    1. Virtually the same thing happened with McCain. Why in the world would any poor black vote for McCain or Romney instead of the Black Democrat?

      They may be, in many cases, illiterate, but that doesn't mean they're stupid.

    2. Whether, or not, those old, black people can buy a pack of cigarettes is not relevant to their "Right" to vote.

      Even after the Court told'em they'd have to wait on he ID until they had a better system, Pa continued to run ads, etc, misrepresenting the law. It was actually pretty disgraceful.

      Mississippi, btw, did the same thing; as did several other states.

    3. Let me make it more clear:

      You have a ward with 1000 registered voters.
      900 show up to vote.
      1000 votes were cast for Obama.

      They must be very smart when they can think about their feelings about a candidate and their vote just happens to appear on a voting machine.

    4. Rufus said...

      Virtually the same thing happened with McCain. Why in the world would any poor black vote for McCain or Romney instead of the Black Democrat?

      They may be, in many cases, illiterate, but that doesn't mean they're stupid


      Because Black unemployment would go down.

      Chances of better schools woul go up.

      Any pol running on school choice should get 100 percent of the black vote.

      ...and you lump lifetime pol in with Romney - a lifetime of success in the real World.

      At least at one time McCain was incredibly brave, something that could never be said of parasitic socialist flea, BHO


  6. We’ve spent most of the year listening to Democrats and liberals lecture the American people about how there is no such thing as vote fraud in the United States. The best response to these disingenuous arguments, which are intended to prevent the adoption of voter ID laws, could have been summed up in one word: Philadelphia. There may be other cities where electoral hijinks are far from unusual, but is there anything to match the long and not very honorable tradition of crooked elections in the place where both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were written and adopted? The city’s Democratic machine is a throwback to the Tammany Hall era of American politics that has vanished in even most of our most corrupt urban areas, but which is still going strong in the City of Brotherly Love. While liberals claimed the Pennsylvania Republican Party pushed through a voter ID law in the state legislature in order to steal the election, the real motivation for the law’s passage — and for the fact that most Pennsylvanians approved of it — was in the well known propensity of Democrats to pile up majorities in Philadelphia that were more than a little suspicious.

    The latest example of this practice came today as approximately 70 Republican poll watchers were either denied entry to Philadelphia precincts to observe the proceedings or were actually tossed out of voting sites. But the GOP went to court, and has already obtained a judicial order enabling their officials to do their jobs, with the assistance of sheriff’s deputies if necessary.

    To anyone who knows anything about Philadelphia politics, this is a familiar story.

    I have personally supported the candidacies of several nationally know black Democrats starting with Bill Gray for Congress, Wilson Goode for Major, and the Street brothers. I had my reasons and the return on $1000 was amazing. I was invited to the belly of the beast and enjoyed the education. I think I know how Philadelphia works.

    1. Cool story, but still no evidence of voter fraud in those 59 precincts, much less "fraud that would have been mitigated by a Photo ID Requirement."

  7. Chicago has nothing over Philadelphia.

  8. Former world champion Hector “Macho” Camacho died Saturday from gunshot wounds sustained in an attack last week in his native Puerto Rico. He was 50 years old and had flirted with trouble before.


    Reacting to his violent death, De La Hoya sighed and said, “It hurt me deep in the soul. I know what he went through.”

  9. Heather al-Yousef, a counsellor with Relate who married a Shia Muslim man, was one of those asked by the Christian Muslim Forum to give advice for the guidelines.

    "There are, of course, a whole range of Muslims and Christians. Some groups are liberal about mixed marriages, others much more proprietorial.

    The good news is that Christians and Muslims are increasingly recognising the need to talk about these things. The very fact we've got so many people talking is in itself a success."

  10. Obama's Soviet Mistake

    ...Well, any normal individual understands that as true but liberalism is a psychosis . O'bomber even keeps the war going along the Mexican border with projects like "fast and furious" and there is still no sign of ending it. He is a Communist without question promoting the Communist Manifesto without calling it so. How shrewd he is in America. His cult of personality mesmerizes those who cannot go beyond their ignorance. They will continue to follow him like those fools who still praise Lenin and Stalin in Russia. Obama's fools and Stalin's fools share the same drink of illusion.

    Reading Putin's speech without knowing the author, one would think it was written by Reagan or another conservative in America. The speech promotes smaller government and less taxes. It comes as no surprise to those who know Putin as a conservative. Vladimir Putin went on to say:

    "...we are reducing taxes on production, investing money in the economy. We are optimizing state expenses.

    The second possible mistake would be excessive interference into the economic life of the country and the absolute faith into the all-mightiness of the state.

    There are no grounds to suggest that by putting the responsibility over to the state, one can achieve better results.

    Unreasonable expansion of the budget deficit, accumulation of the national debt - are as destructive as an adventurous stock market game.

    During the time of the Soviet Union the role of the state in economy was made absolute, which eventually lead to the total non-competitiveness of the economy. That lesson cost us very dearly. I am sure no one would want history to repeat itself."

    President Vladimir Putin could never have imagined anyone so ignorant or so willing to destroy their people like Obama much less seeing millions vote for someone like Obama. They read history in America don't they? Alas, the schools in the U.S. were conquered by the Communists long ago and history was revised thus paving the way for their Communist presidents. Obama has bailed out those businesses that voted for him and increased the debt to over 16 trillion with an ever increasing unemployment rate especially among blacks and other minorities. All the while promoting his agenda.

    "We must seek support in the moral values that have ensured the progress of our civilization. Honesty and hard work, responsibility and faith in our strength are bound to bring us success."- Vladimir Putin

    The red, white and blue still flies happily but only in Russia. Russia still has St George defeating the Dragon with the symbol of the cross on its' flag. The ACLU and other atheist groups in America would never allow the US flag with such religious symbols. Lawsuits a plenty against religious freedom and expression in the land of the free. Christianity in the U.S. is under attack as it was during the early period of the Soviet Union when religious symbols were against the law...

    1. I think I may add Pravda to HotAir and American Thinker as my sources.

    2. Another data point for the "republican brain" research.

    3. :)

      Putin warned us. Don't go down that road, he said.

      And the Russian general told us on Afghanistan, good luck, chump.

      They at least know what Obama actually is when so many here do not.

  11. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Sunday that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice would have an opportunity to convince him to back her to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, days after the Arizona lawmaker pledged to block her possible nomination.

    Appearing on Fox News Sunday, McCain was asked to respond to a statement Rice made Wednesday, when the diplomat told reporters that while she respected the Arizona senator, "some of the statements he's made about me have been unfounded, but I look forward to having the opportunity at the appropriate time to discuss all of this with him."

  12. The battle of the sexes is alive and well. According to Pew Research Center, the share of women ages eighteen to thirty-four that say having a successful marriage is one of the most important things in their lives rose nine percentage points since 1997 – from 28 percent to 37 percent.


    To say gender relations have changed dramatically is an understatement. Ever since the sexual revolution, there has been a profound overhaul in the way men and women interact.


    It is precisely this dynamic – women good/men bad – that has destroyed the relationship between the sexes. Yet somehow, men are still to blame when love goes awry.

    1. Women aren’t women anymore.


      Ain't that the truth. Some women is more man than woman these days. One man alone ain't got no chance no more, and the women is all competitors or lesbian settlers.

    2. Fergot to sign my name,


  13. God help us. Putin as . . . . . what the fuck ever it is that is causing you folks to quote him.

    We're through the worm-hole, Jim. Welcome to the 23rd Dimension.

    1. :)

      Putin warned us. Don't go down that road, he said.

      And the Russian general told us on Afghanistan, good luck, chump.

      They at least know what Obama actually is when so many here do not.

    2. Putin, singin' from the Republican, trickle on playbook.

      It don't get no better than that.

  14. Some of the biggest litigation arising out of the mortgage crisis will move to the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday.

    Lawyers at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, who represent UBS AG in the litigation's lead case, argue that the agency filed the suits too late ...

  15. Rufus said...

    Virtually the same thing happened with McCain. Why in the world would any poor black vote for McCain or Romney instead of the Black Democrat?

    They may be, in many cases, illiterate, but that doesn't mean they're stupid


    Because Black unemployment would go down.

    Chances of better schools woul go up.

    Any pol running on school choice should get 100 percent of the black vote.

    ...and you lump lifetime pol in with Romney - a lifetime of success in the real World.

    At least at one time McCain was incredibly brave, something that could never be said of parasitic socialist flea, BHO

    1. Yeah, the Bush Financial Meltdown did wonders for black employment.

      ditto the schools.

      Romney, a lifetime of fucking the IRS, and shipping those poor blacks' jobs to China. Thass a winner.

      And, Courage? Man that Romney showed him some o' dat. 'specially when him and his buddies was holding that little kid down, cutting his hair. Bravery persimonified, that wuz.

    2. My feeling was, if Romney had gotten a vote in downtown Philly I would have been amazed.

      That he din't - not even mildly interesting.

    3. There you go with that Bush financial meltdown craparoo again. When really it was the Fanny and Freddie Meltdown, brought to you by Bwaney Franks and the Democrats, against which Bush warned eight times.

      You need to go to AA.

  16. Replies
    1. :) You guys are citing Bad Vlad, and "I" should join AA?

    2. Maybe it's a mandate under OCare but I doubt it.

  17. Cannabis consumption has been falling in Britain as well as the rest of northern Europe since 2004, but the age when teenagers start taking the drug is also going down. There has been a nearly 20-fold increase in first-time use by under-18s, with 40 per cent of under 15-year-olds in the UK having used the drug.


    Debate over the risks or lack of them stemming from cannabis has traditionally been rancorous and embittered, often revolving around the separate issue of decriminalisation. There is limited reference to long-term mental illness.

    The pro-cannabis lobby says that the so-called "war on drugs" has failed and legalisation or regulation should be tried, though critics argue that no government would ever license a drug that sends at least two per cent of its consumers insane.

  18. Exit polls from elections in Spain's northeastern region of Catalonia show the majority of local parliamentary seats will go to nationalist parties that favor independence from Spain.


    Both parties have pledged to hold a referendum asking Catalans if they wish to split from Spain, a move the central government says would be unconstitutional.

  19. THROUGHOUT Washington, policy makers are debating how to avoid hitting a wall on Jan. 1, when large and abrupt tax increases and spending cuts will take effect automatically unless Congress acts. The debate is perhaps no more fervent than it is inside the head of our newly re-elected president, who must now decide what kind of policy leader he will become, both in this confrontation and throughout his second term.


    Here is the dialogue, as I imagine it, between the two policy wonks — the Moderate Obama and the Liberal Obama — struggling for control of the president’s soul.

    THE MODERATE OBAMA: I am sure glad the election is behind us. I was really getting tired of giving all those platitudinous campaign speeches ...

    THE LIBERAL OBAMA: Yeah, me too.

    MOD: ... and beating up on Bain Capital.

    LIB: Actually, I enjoyed that. It’s fun to make the plutocrats squirm.

    MOD: The good news for the nation is that we can now resolve the budget impasse quickly and avoid the fiscal cliff.

    LIB: Really? I don’t see how.

    Obama's Mind

  20. .

    Remind me again, why do we need a Director of National Intelligence and also a Director of Central Intelligence?

    At her press conference the other day, soon-to-be Secretary of State Susan Rice explained that she would be misspeaking if she were to explain why she misspoke about Benghazi until something called the Accountability Review Board has finished "conducting investigations" into "all aspects" of the investigations being conducted, which should be completed by roughly midway through Joe Biden's second term...

    Perhaps, we should push for Jill Kelley for Secretary of State.

    In other words, neither of these women passes the smell test. Which is a problem insofar as Petraeus, as CIA Director, is supposed to be head of the national smell test, and Gen. Allen, as Petraeus' successor in Kabul, is supposed to be head of the smell test in Afghanistan. In the Gaza "peace agreement" signed last week, they flew in Hillary Clinton to give the impression that she had something to do with it, where as, in reality, she was entirely peripheral to the deal. But Jill Kelley is apparently essential to anything that matters in CENTCOM: When Pastor Terry Jones was threatening to burn a Koran, Gen. Allen asked Mrs. Kelley to mediate. When radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge was threatening to "deep-fat fry" a Koran, Gen. Allen recommended the mayor of Tampa ask Mrs. Kelley to intervene. The U.S. government is responsible for 43 percent of the planet's military spending, and apparently all that gets you is that, when the feces hits the fan, the four-star brass start emailing Jill Kelley of Tampa...


    1. Actually I think Jill is a little heavy, misshapen and stupid looking. These old Generals don't seem to have very high standards. But they have been out in the field a hell of a long time, and I bet she'd do it on the dime, and breathe heavy too, doing it.

    2. And she would make as good a Secretary of State, perhaps even better, than Hillary or Rice.

  21. Who's using whom? Not too long ago people were speculating about Jill Kelley's Lebanese connection. I'm going back to my movie "Masquerade" with Rob Lowe.

  22. How the Implementation of Obamacare Will Make the GOP a Majority Party

    Rick Moran

    As we get closer to the day when Obamacare moves from threat to reality, it seems probable that the resulting catastrophe for tens of thousands of businesses, as well as the massive increase in premiums for many families, will propel Republicans to majority status in 2014.

    How many businesses will be forced to close shop? How many will cut back on the number of employees to stay in business? How many will refuse to expand, unable to handle the increased costs?

    How many jobs will Obamacare cost?

    Michael Tanner, senior fellow at the Cato Institute, lays out the grim reality:

    Under ObamaCare, employers with 50 or more full-time workers must provide health insurance for all their workers, paying at least 65% of the cost of a family policy or 85% of the cost of an individual plan. Moreover, the insurance must meet the federal government’s requirements in terms of what benefits are included, meaning that many businesses that offer insurance to their workers today will have to change to new, more expensive plans.

    ObamaCare’s rules make expansion expensive, particularly for the 500,000 US businesses that have fewer than 100 employees.

    Suppose that a firm with 49 employees does not provide health benefits. Hiring one more worker will trigger the mandate. The company would now have to provide insurance coverage to all 50 workers or pay a tax penalty.

    In New York, the average employer contribution for employer-provided insurance plans, runs from $4,567 for an individual to $ 12,748 for a family. Many companies will likely choose to pay the penalty instead, which is still expensive — $2,000 per worker multiplied by the entire workforce, after subtracting the statutory exemption for the first 30 workers. For a 50-person company, then, the tax would be $40,000, or $2,000 times 20.

    That might not seem like a lot, but for many small businesses that could be the difference between survival and failure.

    Under the circumstances, how likely is the company to hire that 50th worker? Or, if a company already has 50 workers, isn’t the company likely to lay off one employee? Or cut hours and make some employees part time, thus getting under the 50 employee cap? Indeed, a study by Mercer found that 18% of companies were likely to do exactly that. It’s worth noting that in France, another country where numerous government regulations kick in at 50 workers, there are 1,500 companies with 48 employees and 1,600 with 49 employees, but just 660 with 50 and only 500 with 51.

    New York City’s small business could be particularly hard hit. Of the 238,851 city firms included in a state Department of Labor survey, 96% had fewer than 50 employees. How many of them, given the chance to expand, will look at the mandate and decide they’d rather keep their small business small?

    Overall, according to the Congressional Budget Office, ObamaCare could end up costing as many as 800,000 jobs.

    You read that correctly: 800,000 jobs. And that’s according to the CBO, a notoriously conservative outfit when it comes to projections. (Its current estimate of Obamacare’s cost from 2014-2023 is $2.6 trillion.)

    Individuals and families who will be forced to buy their own insurance when companies drop their health insurance plans will be in for a shock. Even with subsidies, some families will end up paying nearly 10% of their gross income for health insurance.

    1. The bottom line is mass confusion. Put simply, the American people are unprepared for such a massive change in their lives. Most people don’t realize that their current insurance coverage is inadequate. They actually believed the president when he looked into the cameras during his 2010 State of the Union address and assured citizens that they could keep the insurance plan they have now. Instead, government-mandated coverage for a wide variety of services that many current insurance plans don’t cover will radically alter health insurance for millions.

      Many economists are already predicting a recession as a result of implementing Obamacare. Coupled with voters doing a slow burn over the sheer complexity and maddening bureaucracy that will come with Obamacare, the Republicans, if they play it right, should find themselves in an excellent position to put a stranglehold on Congress and set themselves up for an excellent chance to win the White House in 2016.

      The GOP will be blameless in this fiasco. The warnings from Republicans since Obamacare was first proposed about the consequences of the law will make the party seem like soothsayers. The Democrats will be forced to defend a law that caused a recession, significantly increased insurance costs to families, and brought many businesses to their knees. It’s hard to see how the elections of 2014-16 won’t severely damage the Democrats and make them a minority party for the foreseeable future.

    2. If this should turn out to be so, one can only say, "Why, thanks Rufus1" and then get on with repealing the monstrosity.

    3. Nah, it's not gonna happen that way. There'll be a few glitches, and Drudge, Malkin, etal will have you jumping up and down and shittin' your britches, but they'll get fixed as we go along.

      When the shouting's over, the businessmen just want to do business, and they'll make it work.

    4. The businessmen in Insurance will be run out of business, resulting in single payer Hell in Healthcare.

  23. It was entertainment night at the senior citizens' centre.
    After the community sing song led by Alice at the piano
    It was time for the Star of the Show-
    Claude the Hypnotist!

    Claude explained that he was going to put the whole audience into a trance.
    "Yes, each and every one of you and all at the same time." said Claude.
    The excited chatter dropped to silence as Claude carefully withdrew from his waistcoat pocket
    A beautiful antique gold pocket watch and chain.
    "I want you to keep your eyes on this watch" said Claude, holding the watch high for all to see.
    "It is a very special and valuable watch that has been in my family for six generations"
    Said Claude.

    He began to swing the watch gently back and forth while quietly chanting
    "Watch the watch --- Watch the watch ----Watch the watch"

    The audience became mesmerised as the watch swayed back and forth.
    The lights twinkling as they were reflected from it's gleaming surfaces.
    A hundred and fifty pairs of eyes followed the movements of the gently swaying watch.

    And then, suddenly, the chain broke!!!
    The beautiful watch fell to the stage and burst apart on impact"

    "SHIT" said Claude.

    It took them three days to clean the Senior Citizens' Centre

    And Claude was never invited to entertain again!

    1. I hate it when that happens,
      thats why I appreciate them bleeping that out on Am Radio.

    2. Could have been worse. About half the time I go with the f-word.

      Goria Steinem immortalized a statement made to her by a cab driver: "If men could get pregnant, abortion would be available on demand."

      Pravda ain't got nothing on these guys.

  24. re: Petraeus and Chickenshit Editors...

    And Mommy the Writer of "All In"

    She wanted to go with "Balls Deep" but was overruled.

    ...no doubt costing millions in lost sales.

  25. Israel says successfully tests more powerful rocket interceptor
    By Dan Williams | Reuters

    JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A new Israeli air shield against rockets more powerful than those intercepted by Iron Dome in the Gaza conflict passed its first field test last week after being rushed through development, officials said on Sunday.

    They said that David's Sling, billed as Israel's answer to the longer-range missiles of Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas and Syria, shot down a target rocket in a secret November 20 desert trial that coincided with fierce shelling exchanges between Israel and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

    Worried about deteriorating security on the fronts with Gaza, Lebanon and Syria, and the international showdown over the disputed nuclear program of arch-foe Iran, Israel has been accelerating work on its multi-tier missile shield, with extensive help from the United States.

    A source in Israel's defense industries said David's Sling was originally scheduled for live trials in 2013, and that this was brought forward "given the general sense of urgency".

    David's Sling uses technology similar to that of the Iron Dome system, which Israel says had a 90 percent success rate, intercepting 421 of the rockets fired from Gaza in eight days of fighting that ended in a ceasefire on Wednesday.

    Also known as Magic Wand, David's Sling is being made by Israel's state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd and U.S. firm Raytheon Co.



  26. Earthshaking Mars Curiosity discovery probably not so earthshaking
    posted at 6:31 pm on November 25, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

    Earlier this week some exciting sounding news came out of NASA. The Curiosity Rover was continuing with planned soil and atmosphere experiments on the red planet when one of their engineers let a tidbit slip in front of an NPR reporter. But they weren’t ready to say exactly what they’d found.

    “We’re getting data from SAM as we sit here and speak, and the data looks really interesting,” John Grotzinger, the principal investigator for the rover mission, told NPR. “The science team is busily chewing away on it as it comes down.”

    “This data is gonna be one for the history books. It’s looking really good,” he said, cryptically.

    But as excited as NASA and Grotzinger are by the data coming in from Curiosity, the space agency says it will be several weeks before it can announce what it has, well, unearthed.

    This led to a ton of speculation, much of which had me sitting on the edge of my seat. More cautious outlets were focusing on the first results from the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) testing. Perhaps it had found some of the signatures of compounds required for organics in the Martian soil. Or methane in the atmosphere, which could signal very interesting reactions taking place. And of course the more wild eyed were wondering if perhaps there was some sign of the big “L word.” The Examiner went so far as to wonder if maybe Curiosity had turned over a fossil.

    Alas, in an update over the weekend, it looks like NASA is seeking to lower the expectations.

    When a NASA official said last week data from an instrument on the Mars Curiosity rover suggested something “for the history books,” many people thought an announcement was imminent of the possible discovery of life on the Red Planet — until the space agency began to seriously backpedal on the story.

    It may be a case of once bitten twice shy as NASA has been through this before — a hotly anticipated and heavily hyped bit of news that only disappoints in the end…

    “It won’t be earthshaking but it will be interesting,” said spokesperson Guy Webster of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

    NASA’s caution is understandable; it has been through this before.

    That article goes on to list some of the greater misfires of NASA announcements, many of which went on to be criticized after thorough review. But I’m still holding out hope for something good here. No, I’m not expecting fossils or little green men, but it would be nice to know if there’s any subsurface activity going on there. We may still get to the point where we’ll be exploring some of the lava tubes on the planet which aren’t exposed to surface conditions and who knows what we’ll find there?

    It may still wind up being fossils. Or at least I’d like to hope so.





    1. Misogynist Aussie Ex-Pat A-Hole!

      Them love handles are just more to love.

  28. Ruus II Said...

    "Yeah, the Bush Financial Meltdown did wonders for black employment."


    BHO II was running against Romney ,not Bush II, to all but true believers of BHO's Campaign of lies that his opponent was Bush II.

    ...that would include Rufus II.

    Ethanol Defender in Denial