Make Orwell Fiction Again (Hunter Biden Edition)

A family member commented on a sticker on the back-window of my van by affirming the idea of “Make Orwell Fiction Again.” (Click to Enlarge) [This will be a continuing series to address this idea]

However,  knowing that his only form of news is essentially late-night [political] comics, CNN, and NPR… he meant it in a differing way than both the novel, and I meant it. So, below will be the beginning of a series of articles with small excerpts that I will continually add to in other posts. And note as well that what we have is a marriage of Orwell as well as Huxley as expressed in the quote from Joshua Charles’ book, Liberty’s Secrets: The Lost Wisdom of America’s Founders, found here: Orwell vs. Huxley (Big Tech Update)

MOST MEDIA EXCLUDES CONSERVATIVE IDEAS

Only a society that can effectively block and censor news, and shut down free expression is the kind the sticker refers to. Non-conservative ideas and news stories can be found readily in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times, San Francisco Chronicle, ABC, NPR, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, etc.

In fact, almost every newspaper WITH THE EXCEPTION of the opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, and the New York Post, and at times FOX NEWS, have a more conservative leaning bias and news stories to be considered.

One example is that years ago the L.A. Times carried columns by Dennis Prager (and other conservative voices). Today they carry zero.

TWITTER/FACEBOOK CENSOR MAJOR NEWS STORY

THE NEW YORK POST was censored for many weeks… scrubbed from Twitter as well as Facebook. Here is what my past Twitter looked liked when trying to share the story:

This was all common knowledge [for the most part] because of Peter Schweizer’s March 2019 book, “Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends“. And the NEW YORK POST had a wonderful article that Facebook, Twitter, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, NYT, WaPo — essentially ignored or censored.

EVEN LEFTIE GLENN GREENWALD CENSORED

Armstrong and Getty cover Glenn Greenwald resigning from the “free speech” news outlet he founded. The article mentioned them of Glenn’s is this one: “Article on Joe and Hunter Biden Censored By The Intercept”. [As an aside, I added MUCH MORE of the Tucker interview.]:

In Glenn’s article, this stood out (SUBSTACK):

….The U.S. media often laments that people have lost faith in its pronouncements, that they are increasingly viewed as untrustworthy and that many people view Fake News sites are more reliable than established news outlets. They are good at complaining about this, but very bad at asking whether any of their own conduct is responsible for it.

A media outlet that renounces its core function — pursuing answers to relevant questions about powerful people — is one that deserves to lose the public’s faith and confidence. And that is exactly what the U.S. media, with some exceptions, attempted to do with this story: they took the lead not in investigating these documents but in concocting excuses for why they should be ignored.

As my colleague Lee Fang put it on Sunday: “The partisan double standards in the media are mind boggling this year, and much of the supposedly left independent media is just as cowardly and conformist as the mainstream corporate media. Everyone is reading the room and acting out of fear.” Discussing his story from Sunday, Taibbi summed up the most important point this way: “The whole point is that the press loses its way when it cares more about who benefits from information than whether it’s true.”…

50 FORMER SENIOR INTELLIGENCE OFFICERS WERE WRONG

The NEW YORK POST opines on the recent “discovering” of an old story: “Liberal media ‘snuffed out’ Hunter Biden coverage until after election to help defeat Trump: critics” . But a must read article is this one over at RED STATE: “Ric Grenell Blows Up, Big Time, the Group That Should Be Most Ashamed of What They Did on the Hunter Biden Story

So we’ve all been talking a lot about the investigation into Hunter Biden and how the mainstream media seems to have finally caught up to the fact that yes, it’s real and it’s Russian disinformation as some tried to claim before the election.

Now that they think Joe Biden won, they’re free to just say “oh, well, here’s this thing.”

Never mind that they consciously suppressed it from the American people and completely failed in their supposed job prior to the election.

We saw a lot of conservatives chastising the media today for what they did.

But I wanted to talk about another group.

We expect the Democrats to cover for Biden. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) told CNN it was a “smear” straight from the Kremlin. CNN’s Jeff Zucker said in his morning conference call to impress upon people this stuff about Hunter was just more “Russian disinformation.” A lot of mainstream media has become little more than Democratic operatives at this point.

There’s a group that we don’t expect and for sure shouldn’t be playing this game and that’s the intelligence community.

But they have and they did in this instance as well.

There were 50 former senior intelligence officers who signed a letter saying that Hunter Biden’s emails had all the signs of a Russian disinformation campaign……

MEDIA “DISCOVERED” STORY AFTER BIDEN ELECTED

Except the story was [and still is] 100% true. It was Russian disinformation UNTIL BIDEN WON, then the media discovered it’s veracity.

After the New York Post’s reporting was dismissed and characterized by members of the media as a “baseless conspiracy theory,” a “smear campaign,” and “Russian disinformation,” Wednesday’s announcement from Hunter Biden was ultimately too much for the media to ignore.

All three major networks’ evening newscasts addressed the controversy, with “NBC Nightly News” spending the most time on the subject, clocking in at roughly one minute and 16 seconds of coverage while “CBS Evening News” came in a distant second, with roughly 45 seconds of coverage, followed by ABC’s “World News Tonight” with roughly just 30 seconds. 

CNN anchor Jake Tapper reported the breaking news as it happened during his program, which was quite the opposite tone that he took during the election when he dismissed the allegations against Hunter Biden as “too disgusting” to repeat on-air.

Tapper’s colleagues Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper also mentioned the explosive development on their shows, while CNN anchors Erin Burnett, Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon avoided the subject….

(FOX)

  • Jake Tapper declares Hunter Biden claims ‘too disgusting’ to repeat on CNN: ‘The rightwing is going crazy’ — CNN is among other major news outlets that continue to downplay the growing Biden controversy (FOX)
  • CNN boss, political director spiked Hunter Biden controversy, audiotapes reveal: ‘We’re not going with’ story — Project Veritas’ James O’Keefe vowed he will release ‘raw recordings’ of the over 50 conference calls every day until Christmas. (FOX)
  • Ric Grenell calls out CNN’s Jake Tapper for belatedly covering Hunter Biden story — ‘This story broke in October. You didn’t do it then,’ former acting DNI scolded the CNN anchor (FOX)

1984 JUMPS TO #1 ON AMAZON AMID EXPANDED CENSORSHIP

JUST THE NEWS notes the jump to #1 of 1984 on Amazon

As “big tech” companies have moved to silence conservative voices on the Internet, mega-marketer Amazon reports on Sunday that its overall top-selling book is 1984, a decades old novel that portrays a society completely controlled by government “Thought Police.”

The spike in sales comes amid a rush of shutdowns in which these moves occurred in rapid succession:

  • Twitter on Friday booted Donald Trump from its platform and erased the entire history of his tweets;
  • Facebook deleted a grassroots organization for disenchanted Democrats, WalkAway;
  • Apple and Google banned the messaging platform Parler from its app stores;
  • and Amazon said it imminently will ban Parler, which is used by many conservatives, from company servers.

As of Sunday morning, Amazon book sales showed that the top-selling book is the dystopian novel published by George Orwell more than 70 years ago. The classic novel, published in 1949, depicts how government Thought Police eavesdrop on citizens in their own homes, searching for heresy of any kind. Anyone whose beliefs deviate from the official norm are declared “unpersons” who never existed.

Reviewers on Amazon drew parallels between the book’s plot and current events in the United States.

“Born and living in communist Romania I went through the same ordeal described in 1987,” wrote Constantin Turculet, who is listed as making a verified purchase. “After 40 years I managed to escape to America, only to find after 35 years of living in freedom that this country is pushed toward the same horror scenario I thought mankind will never forget.”

CLICK TO ENLARGE

  • Later ages are always surprised by the casual brutality of totalitarian regimes. What those innocent ages neglect is the unshakeable (though misguided) conviction of virtue that animates the totalitarians. The historian John Kekes, writing about Robespierre in City Journal some years ago, touched on the essential point. If we understand Robespierre, “we understand that it is utterly useless to appeal to reason and morality in dealing with ideologues. For they are convinced that reason and morality are on their side and that their enemies are irrational and immoral simply because they are enemies.” That is the position of conservatives in American culture today. (AMERICAN GREATNESS)

WARNINGS YEARS AGO

Tammy Bruce’s book, “The New Thought Police: Inside the Left’s Assault on Free Speech and Free Minds,” was an important salvo in all this. Not the first book, but one of the most relevant for it’s day. Tammy has noted for years the censorship of the Left, one example is an older post:

Well, this explains why I never got a response to my #AskPOTUS questions, “What’s wrong with you?” and “What meds are you on?”

Via Washington Examiner.

A former Twitter CEO took measures to ensure messages critical of President Obama wouldn’t circulate too widely on the platform during a 2015 question-and-answer session, according to a new report.

The incident allegedly occurred during a May 2015 “#AskPOTUS” event on the platform, when former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo purportedly ordered the creation of an algorithm to suppress the messages and used employees to manually scrub any critical content missed by the software.

Costolo kept the decision secret from company executives for fear that someone might object, several sources told Buzzfeed….

Related: NY Observer: Tech Companies Apple, Twitter, Google, and Instagram Collude to Defeat Trump

The tech companies are just emboldened now. That’s all.

TONY BOBULINSKI AND LEFTIE LEGAL SCHOLAR, JONATHAN TURLEY

Yep, there were MANY disgusting videos on Hunter Biden’s laptop: him sexually abusing underage girls, including a family member, smoking crack, etc. But what was more disgusting was covering up a real news story [evidence of pay to play in the Ukraine and China] by almost all news outlets (print or media), as well as the censoring of it on social media. However, as Jonathan Turley notes wisely about NPR….. the designation as “a distraction” shows a bias rather than a news outfit, video precedes Turley’s article for context:

Tony Bobulinski will attend Thursday night’s debate as guest of President Trump.

JONATHAN TURLEY [Lefty Legal Scholar] notes this about Tony Bobulinski giving AMPLE evidence of who “the big guy” is:

A former business partner to Hunter Biden, Tony Bobulinski, has made a bombshell statement that not only are the emails on the Biden laptop authentic but the reference to giving a cut to “the big guy” was indeed a reference to former Vice President Joe Biden. More emails are emerging that show Hunter Biden referring to his family as his asset in these dealings.

The emails that have attracted the most attention refer to an actual meeting of Joe  Biden with these foreign figures and one referring to a proposed equity split of “20” for “H” and “10 held by H for the big guy?” Bobulinski confirms that “H” was used for Hunter Biden and that his father was routinely called “the big guy” in these discussions.

Another email Bobulinski being instructed by James Gilliar not to make any mention of the former veep’s involvement: “Don’t mention Joe being involved, it’s only when u [sic] are face to face, I know u [sic] know that but they are paranoid.”

 Bobulinski said he was brought on as CEO by Hunter Biden and James Gilliar and stated that he believes Joe Biden was lying in denying any knowledge of these dealings, stating Hunter “frequently referenced asking him for his sign-off or advice on various potential deals.”  He added that “The Biden family aggressively leveraged the Biden family name to make millions of dollars from foreign entities even though some were from communist controlled China.”

His statement reads in part:

I am the CEO of Sinohawk Holdings which was a partnership between the Chinese operating through CEFC/Chairman Ye and the Biden family. I was brought into the company to be the CEO by James Gilliar and Hunter Biden. The reference to “the Big Guy” in the much publicized May 13, 2017 email is in fact a reference to Joe Biden. The other “JB” referenced in that email is Jim Biden, Joe’s brother.

Hunter Biden called his dad ‘the Big Guy’ or ‘my Chairman,’ and frequently referenced asking him for his sign-off or advice on various potential deals that we were discussing. I’ve seen Vice President Biden saying he never talked to Hunter about his business. I’ve seen firsthand that that’s not true, because it wasn’t just Hunter’s business, they said they were putting the Biden family name and its legacy on the line.

I realized the Chinese were not really focused on a healthy financial ROI. They were looking at this as a political or influence investment. Once I realized that Hunter wanted to use the company as his personal piggy bank by just taking money out of it as soon as it came from the Chinese, I took steps to prevent that from happening.

This is obviously just one side and the documents do not show a direct role or benefit for Joe Biden. However, it would seem that between the FBI statement and this witness statement, there is ample foundation for media scrutiny.  Yet, organizations like NPR has dismissed the story on Thursday as a “distraction.”

[….]

I have written for years that Hunter Biden was clearly influence peddling and he contradicted his father’s denial of any knowledge of his dealings.  The media can continue to hold its breath for weeks to try to avoid the obvious in this story.  That could well guarantee Biden the presidency but it will destroy the media’s credibility for years.

THIS CENSORSHIP PUSHED BIDEN INTO THE “WIN” COLUMN

It did guarantee a Biden victory BTW:


OMISSION


Click to enlarge:

(CNS NEWS)


…For the post-election surveyThe Polling Company interviewed 1,750 Biden voters in seven swing states: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, six of which (excluding North Carolina) were called for Biden. The voters were asked about their knowledge of eight news stories, all of which the liberal media had downplayed or censored.

The survey showed “a huge majority (82%) of Biden voters were unaware of at least one of these key items, with five percent saying they were unaware of all eight of the issues we tested,” reported the MRC.

For instance, despite the #MeToo movement and the media coverage it garnered, the survey found that 35.4% of Biden voters were unaware of the serious allegations of sexual assault made by Tara Reade against Joe Biden. Reade had worked for Biden in the 1990s.

“If they had known about Tara Reade’s sexual assault allegations, 8.9% told us they would have changed their vote — either switching to Trump or a 3rd party candidate, not voting for any presidential candidate, or not voting at all,” said the MRC.

“By itself, this would have flipped all six of the swing states won by Biden (Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin), giving the president a win with 311 electoral college votes,” said the organization.

Another important story buried by the major media was the Hunter Biden laptop story, which showed that Joe Biden was aware of his son’s business dealings in the Ukraine and in Communist China.

Yet 45.1% of Biden voters said they were unaware of the laptop story.

“According to our poll, full awareness of the Hunter Biden scandal would have led 9.4% of Biden voters to abandon the Democratic candidate, flipping all six of the swing states he won to Trump, giving the President 311 electoral votes,” reported the MRC.

Similar results were found when Biden voters were asked about the other six censored stories – Kamala Harris’s radical left-wing policies; positive economic and job reports; Middle East peace deals brokered by Trump; energy independence; and the swift vaccine production as a result of Trump’s Operation Warp Speed.

“Looking at all eight of these issues together, our poll found that a total of 17% of Biden’s voters told us they would have changed their vote if they had been aware of one or more of these important stories,” reported the MRC.

“This would have moved every one of the swing states into Trump’s column, some by a huge margin,” said the MRC. “The President would have trounced Biden in the electoral college, 311 to 227.”

The MRC noted that the Biden voters who said they would have voted differently had they been properly informed by the media, did not have to vote for Trump for the president to have won a second term.

“Just by choosing to abandon Biden, these voters would have handed all six of these states, and a second term, to the President — if the news media had properly informed them about the two candidates,” said the MRC. (Emphasis added.)

(SEE NEWSBUSTERS)

A Call for Apple [Tim Cook] To Be Truly Courageous

Gay Patriot notes of the following letter:

It takes N0 courage to “stand up to” bakers and florists who just don’t want to take part in gay weddings (although it gets you a lot of “trained seal applause” from other sanctimonious poseurs). Standing up to legitimately brutal regimes … that would be actual courage.

(See more here on the topic of Tim Cook and Saudi Arabia) Here is John Hawkin’s post about the letter which those at Gay Patriot signed on to — take note I am not important enough to be asked to sign the letter — feeling sad:

Last week, I got together with Bruce Carroll from Gay Patriot to write a letter calling on Apple to live up to its publicly stated principles by pulling out of countries that murder their citizens for being gay. After the letter was written, we asked some other conservatives to sign on with us. A full list of signatories follows.

Recently, Apple CEO Tim Cook said,

“Our message, to people around the country and around the world, is this: Apple is open. Open to everyone, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, how they worship or who they love. Regardless of what the law might allow in Indiana or Arkansas, we will never tolerate discrimination.

…This is about how we treat each other as human beings…  Opposing discrimination takes courage. With the lives and dignity of so many people at stake, it’s time for all of us to be courageous.”

Tim Cook’s message seems rather ironic in light of the fact that Apple willingly does business with some of the most virulently anti-gay nations on the planet.

According to their Islamic-based governments, homosexuality is punishable by death in Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Iran.  So not only is it willing to “tolerate discrimination” in those countries, Apple is also happy to sell an iPod to the people who are murdering gays so they can listen to some cheery music when they’re done….

[….]

Tim Cook says that, “Opposing discrimination takes courage,” and we agree.  We call on Mr. Cook to live up to our shared principles by pulling Apple out of Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Iran until they stop their official government policies of jailing and murdering gays and lesbians.

…read more…

Google Joins the Common Sense Crew On Renewable Energies ~ Finally!

Google Dirt

“At the start of RE<C, we had shared the attitude of many stalwart environmentalists: We felt that with steady improvements to today’s renewable energy technologies, our society could stave off catastrophic climate change. We now know that to be a false hope… Renewable energy technologies simply won’t work; we need a fundamentally different approach.” (Spectrum, via What’s Up With That)

Via Breitbart, useless venture.

Some people call it “renewable energy” but I prefer to call it “alternative energy” because that’s what it really is: an alternativeto energy that actually works (eg nuclear and anything made from wonderful, energy-rich fossil fuel.)

Now a pair of top boffins from uber-green Google’s research department have reached the same conclusion.

Ross Konigstein and David Fork, both Stanford PhDs (aerospace engineering; applied physics) were employed on a Google research project which sought to enhance renewable technology to the point where it could produce energy more cheaply than coal. But after four years, the project was closed down. In this post at IEEE Spectrum they tell us why.

We came to the conclusion that even if Google and others had led the way toward a wholesale adoption of renewable energy, that switch would not have resulted in significant reductions of carbon dioxide emissions. Trying to combat climate change exclusively with today’s renewable energy technologies simply won’t work; we need a fundamentally different approach.

Why is renewable energy such a total fail? Because, as Lewis Page explains here, it’s so ludicrously inefficient and impossibly expensive that if ever we were so foolish as to try rolling it out on a scale beyond its current boutique levels, it would necessitate bankrupting the global economy….

…read more…

Lets apply to this issue the three magic questions that are never asked by the left:

1) compared to what?
2) at what cost?
3) what hard-evidence do you have?

Now, let’s apply this to the newer power plant in the Mojave desert and see if these questions were asked beforehand?

….A solar power plant in the Mojave Desert that’s attracted negative attention for its injuries to birds is producing a whole lot less power than it’s supposed to, according to Energy Department figures.ivanpah-solar-10-30-14-thumb-600x400-83195

According to stats from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, a number-crunching branch of the U.S. Department of Energy, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in San Bernardino County has produced only about a quarter of the power it’s supposed to, with both less than optimal weather and apparent mechanical issues contributing to the shortfall.

[….]

As Danko points out, Ivanpah’s owners have recently sought extensions on the repayment schedule for the $1.6 billion in government-backed loans that paid for Ivanpah’s construction, hoping to delay writing checks until the firms can secure a government grant they hope to use to pay down the loan….

(KCET)

Solar

So it seems that these more left leaning environmentalists think it is okay to spend billions of tax-payer money and regulate businesses on ideas that do not work anywhere but in Utopian dreams. Let’s end with WUWT quoting these Google Ph.D.s and then segway out with commentary:

“Even if one were to electrify all of transport, industry, heating and so on, so much renewable generation and balancing/storage equipment would be needed to power it that astronomical new requirements for steel, concrete, copper, glass, carbon fibre, neodymium, shipping and haulage etc etc would appear. All these things are made using mammoth amounts of energy: far from achieving massive energy savings, which most plans for a renewables future rely on implicitly, we would wind up needing far more energy, which would mean even more vast renewables farms – and even more materials and energy to make and maintain them and so on. The scale of the building would be like nothing ever attempted by the human race.”

I must say I’m personally surprised at the conclusion of this study. I genuinely thought that we were maybe a few solar innovations and battery technology breakthroughs away from truly viable solar power. But if this study is to be believed, solar and other renewables will never in the foreseeable future deliver meaningful amounts of energy.

Apple as well is struggling with it’s Utopian — only works on paper — dreams.Solar Apple

Powerline notes that “yesterday’s Wall Street Journal story about the production difficulties of the Arizona supplier that Apple selected to make sapphire screens for the iPhone 6 was fascinating in its own right, but there was one little detail in the story that zipped by too quickly.” Continuing they quote the WSJ:

Mr. Squiller, the GT operations chief, told the bankruptcy court that GT lost three months of production to power outages and delays building the facility.

Whoa, show down there a moment: what’s this about power outages? I’d sure like to know more of the full story here. Was this simply bad engineering on site, or was there a problem with the local grid or the energy sources supplying the grid in that area? Grid stability is going to be a more serious issue going forward as we compel more and more “renewable” (meaning “less stable”) energy as part of the EPA’s mania to restructure the electricity sector through the Clean Air Act.

 

Examples/Evidence of Obama’s Policies Not Working, Thus Proving the Republican Position Works

What many Democrats seem to forget is that the reason for Big Business to join forces with Big Government, is to run any threat of competitiveness out of the market. To MONOPOLIZE. Obama’s policies are proving that these Big Businesses are not altruistic in their reasoning for pursuing such causes like Obama-Care and raising of taxes and more regulatory conditions. From over Obama-Care 2,000 waivers, to the stories below, Obama’s policies are filling the rolls of LARGE insurance carriers and forcing small companies who cannot compete with large “Warren Buffett” type firms to move many of their full-time workers to part time. FAILED policies.

What is funny — to give one more example — a family member of one of the Gay Patriots told him he was voting for Obama because he thought Republicans wanted to cut Pell Grants. Sorry Charlie:

Sorry, college students. President Obama has cut your access to Pell Grants by 33%; he just forgot to mention it before Election Day. During the recent campaign, President Obama claimed credit for increasing funding to the Pell Grant program, which provides college funds, free from repayment, to millions of students.

[….]

This cut in eligibility was never mentioned by President Obama during the campaign, and when he boasted about increasing funding to the Pell Grant program, CNN fact-checked his claim as true. While the amount of government funding to the program is going up in future years, CNN failed miserably by not pointing out the cuts in eligibility to students. The cuts could be a rude awakening to students who thought President Obama was expanding their educational opportunities.

Hollywood is another example of this hypocrisy of avoidance, proving, yes PROVING, the Republican position. Hollywood and most in it campaign for higher taxes. But what is wrong with this is that after these taxes hit, they leave California to shoot movies in other states with lower tax-rates. Here Adam Corolla and Dennis Prager talk about this:

Another example of what Democrats voted for, unlike Bill Clinton who, yes, raised taxes but REFORMED social programs and CUT spending at the time. Obama is offering another stimulus (more government spending) that is about equal to any forecast gain in tax increases/revenue — the exact opposite of Clinton!

Like medical giant, Stryker, one of Obama’s biggest financial backers, laying off almost 1,200 workers to prep for Obama-Care, and the falling revenue (33%) of the Californian government showing in the the micro what higher taxes and more regulation does to the engine of the economy. Here are more stories of failure, and how these higher taxes will hit the retired folks that worked hard their whole lives, just to see it disappear. Google and Microsoft are two of Obama’s largest financial backers (Bloomberg):

The company avoided about $2 billion in worldwide income taxes in 2011 by shifting $9.8 billion in revenue into a Bermuda shell company, almost double the total from three years before, filings show.

Governments in France, the U.K., Italy and Australia are probing Google’s tax avoidance as they seek to boost revenue. Schmidt said the company’s efforts around taxes are legal.

We pay lots of taxes; we pay them in the legally prescribed ways,” he said. “I am very proud of the structure that we set up. We did it based on the incentives that the governments offered us to operate.”

The company isn’t about to turn down big savings in taxes, he said.

“It’s called capitalism,” he said. “We are proudly capitalistic. I’m not confused about this.”

[….]

Google’s overall effective tax rate dropped to 21 percent last year from about 28 percent in 2008. That compares with the average combined U.S. and state statutory rate of about 39 percent.

…read more…

Costco also was a huge supported of Obama and is borrowing money to avoid paying higher taxes on it now (WSJ):

When President Obama needed a business executive to come to his campaign defense, Jim Sinegal was there. The Costco COST +1.92% co-founder, director and former CEO even made a prime-time speech at the Democratic Party convention in Charlotte. So what a surprise this week to see that Mr. Sinegal and the rest of the Costco board voted to give themselves a special dividend to avoid Mr. Obama’s looming tax increase. Is this what the President means by “tax fairness”?

Specifically, the giant retailer announced Wednesday that the company will pay a special dividend of $7 a share this month. That’s a $3 billion Christmas gift for shareholders that will let them be taxed at the current dividend rate of 15%, rather than next year’s rate of up to 43.4%—an increase to 39.6% as the Bush-era rates expire plus another 3.8% from the new ObamaCare surcharge.

More striking is that Costco also announced that it will borrow $3.5 billion to finance the special payout. Dividends are typically paid out of earnings, either current or accumulated. But so eager are the Costco executives to get out ahead of the tax man that they’re taking on debt to do so.

[….]

To sum up: Here we have people at the very top of the top 1% who preach about tax fairness voting to write themselves a huge dividend check to avoid the Obama tax increase they claim it is a public service to impose on middle-class Americans who work for 30 years and finally make $250,000 for a brief window in time.

If they had any shame, they’d send their entire windfall to the Treasury.

…read more…

Other companies as well that bundled, supported money (and press time to) Obama are doing the same (Townhall):

One of the people who will benefit from this deal will be Costco’s co-founder and former CEO Jim Sinegal who owns more than two million shares of its stock and will collect about $14.4 million from the special dividend. Had he taken that next year, he could be slapped with a tax rate of 43.4 percent if Obama’s proposed tax increases become law (boosting the tax rate on dividends to over 20 percent and adding a surcharge tax on millionaires).

Instead, Costco decided to pay its stockholders before Dec. 18 so that the special payoff plus a regular quarterly cash dividend of 27.5 cents will be taxed at the current 15 percent rate under the investment tax cuts wisely enacted under President George W. Bush in 2003.

This means Sinegal, who gave a prime-time speech in behalf of Obama’s re-election at this summer’s Democratic national convention, would avoid paying about $4 million in higher taxes next year.

Costco is not alone in its early tax-avoidance payouts. Many American businesses, from Wynn Resorts to Tyson Foods, have also declared special dividends to avoid the higher tax rate if the Bush rates expire.

One of the most notable Fortune 500 companies to join the pack is the Washington Post who endorsed Obama for a second term and has warmly embraced his tax increase plans. The media conglomerate has announced it will pay its 2013 dividends “before the end of this year to try to spare investors from anticipated tax increases,” reports the Associated Press.

Among those who stand to benefit from the Post’s beat-the-tax-deadline — and pocket a bundle of money — will be stock tycoon Warren Buffet and his Berkshire Hathaway firm, the newspaper’s biggest shareholder.

…read more…

How can governments stop people from doing this, besides the right thing and lowering taxes to increase the amount of businesses staying in our country and wanting to move their operations here? Why, enforce the law with threat of prison and fines! Here is an example from France, whom, you’ll remember, raised the top rate to 75%, here is a story from Libertarian Republican (“stopped at the border… ‘papers please'”):

The President of France, François Hollande, announced today the possibility of reviewing the existing tax treaties with Belgium to prevent welthy people from moving to the neighboring country in order to evade taxes. One of the most recent cases was that of the famous actor Gerard Depardieu, who decided to set his house in the Belgian town of Néchin, where other wealthy French citizens live in order to benefit from a more lenient tax regime. “Everyone should have and ethical behavior, regardless of his job,” Hollande told reporters. The tax exile of the highest paid actor in France was described as a lack of patriotism, especially since he always boasted of its popular origins and occasionally denounced social inequities.

What other option is there? If you are Big Government that is!

1) On a dark street, a man draws a knife and demands my money for drugs;

2) Instead of demanding my money for drugs, he demands it for the Church;

3) Instead of being alone, he is with a bishop of the Church who acts as the bagman;

4) Instead of drawing a knife, he produces a policeman who says I must do as he says;

5) Instead of meeting me on the street, he mails me his demand as an official agent of the government.

If the first is theft, it is difficult to see why the other four are not also theft.

Anti-Bible Apps Okay At Apple, Anti-Qu’ran App Not Okay

Creator of this app and the “Bibly-Thumper” app records call with Apple:

From HotAir:

Happy “Everybody Draw Mohammed” Day.

iSlam Muhammad apparently depicted images of the prophet Muhammad (forbidden by Islam) and outlined disturbing passages from the Qur’an. It’s surprisingly similar to BibleThumper, a Christian-bashing app that remains in the App Store

What’s disappointing is that this points out Apple’s lack of consistency in approval of apps, as well as their inability to provide recourse to developers who have had apps rejected for seemingly weak reasons.

Yes, the BibleThumper app really does exist, although if there’s an uproar over the double standard here, Apple will likely cave and pull that from the app store too in order to be “evenhanded.” Which is precisely the wrong outcome insofar as it further rewards intimidation by expanding the zone of religious criticism that’s off-limits. That’s a potentially powerful weapon for Islamic zealots, as some believers of other faiths — not all or even most, but some — will take a free ride and applaud businesses for showing greater “respect” for religion by limiting attacks on it. Respect has nothing to do with it, of course; fear is the engine here. But some, in the interests of shielding their preferred belief system, will be happy to pretend.