Saturday, March 17, 2018

New Jersey’s Fiscal Suicide

March 17, 2018 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty
A couple of decades can make a huge difference in the political and economic life of a jurisdiction.
And here’s something especially amazing from a bit more than five decades in the past. New Jersey used to have no state income tax and no state sales tax.

Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you. The basket case of New Jersey used to be a mid-Atlantic version of New Hampshire. But once the sales tax was imposed in 1966 and the income tax was imposed in 1976, it’s been all downhill ever since.

An article in the City Journal helps to explain the state’s fiscal decay.
Brendan Byrne, a Democratic former governor of the Garden State, …told mayors that the state would need a “large revenue package”… The heart of the package would be a new statewide income tax, which went into permanent effect in 1977. Byrne promised that the additional money would help relieve the high property-tax burden on New Jersey’s citizens… Four decades later, the plan has failed. …politicians and special interests don’t see new streams of tax revenue as a means to replace or eliminate an existing stream, but rather as a way of adding to the public coffers. (For those who entertain fantasies of a value-added tax replacing the federal income tax, take heed.) New Jersey’s income tax started with a top rate of about 2.5 percent; it’s now around 9 percent.
Needless to say, nothing politicians promised has happened.

Property taxes haven’t been reduced. They’ve gone up. The government schools haven’t improved. Instead, the test scores in the state are embarrassing. And debt hasn’t gone down. Red ink instead has skyrocketed.

And what’s amazing – and depressing – is that New Jersey politicians continue to make a bad situation worse. Here are some excerpts from a Bloomberg report.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy proposed taxing online-room booking, ride-sharing, marijuana, e-cigarettes and Internet transactions along with raising taxes on millionaires and retail sales to fund a record $37.4 billion budget that would boost spending on schools, pensions and mass transit. …Murphy, a Democrat…has promised additional spending on underfunded schools and transportation in a credit-battered state with an estimated $8.7 billion structural deficit for the fiscal year that starts July 1. …Murphy said Tuesday in his budget address to lawmakers. “A millionaire’s tax is the right thing to do –- and now is the time to do it.” …The budget…would…restore the state’s sales tax to 7 percent from 6.625 percent… Murphy’s proposal would almost triple the direct state subsidy for New Jersey Transit, which has been plagued by safety and financial issues.
More taxes, more spending, followed by even more taxes and more spending.

I wonder if Greek taxpayers would want to tell their counterparts in New Jersey how that story ends.

Assuming, of course, there are any taxpayers left in the Garden State. There’s already been a big exodus of productive people who are tired of being treated like fatted calves.

And don’t forget that New Jersey taxpayers no longer have unlimited ability to deduct their state and local taxes on their federal tax return. So these tax hikes will hurt much more than past increases.

In any event, taxpayers better escape before the die.

Though I know one guy who won’t be leaving.

P.S. Anybody want to guess whether New Jersey collapses before California, Illinois, or Connecticut? They’re all in the process of committing slow-motion suicide.

Tillerson’s exit signals rise of global warming skeptics

by , 61 Comments

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s abrupt resignation Tuesday signaled the downfall of the pro-Paris accord wing of President Donald Trump’s administration and the rise of officials skeptical of global warming policies.

Tillerson was among a handful of top Trump administration officials to support the Paris Climate Accord, which former President Barack Obama’s administration joined in 2016. Tillerson’s the third pro-Paris official to leave the White House in the last month.

Trump tapped CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace Tillerson as head of the State Department. That’s good news for conservatives who pushed President Donald Trump to completely abandon Obama-era climate policies.

“President Trump himself stated that Pompeo is more closely aligned with him on international issues than was Tillerson, and both Trump and Pompeo have been vocal critics of the Paris Agreement,” American Energy Alliance President Tom Pyle told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“Tillerson was a supporter of it at ExxonMobil and during his confirmation hearings. On this issue, Pompeo is definitely an upgrade,” Pyle said. He once headed Trump’s Energy Department transition team.

Pompeo opposed the Paris accord. He criticized Obama for bowing “down to radical environmentalists, all the while refusing to stand up to radical Islamists.”

Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Myron Ebell, who headed Trump’s EPA transition team, echoed Pyle’s optimism on the news of Tillerson’s departure.

“In terms of the climate debate, I would say this is very good news,” Ebell told Politico Pro. “Pompeo has been very skeptical of the international negotiations that led to Paris, so I’d say we’re in a stronger position today than with Tillerson there.”

Ironically, Tillerson’s departure has environmentalists worried another pro-Paris voice on global warming has left the administration, including activists who opposed his nomination.

Tillerson distanced himself early on from Trump’s opposition to the Paris accord and belonged to a group of high level officials pushing to remain party to the agreement.

National Economic Council Chair Gary Cohn, former energy adviser to George David Banks and adviser to Jared Kushner and First Daughter Ivanka Trump, also supported the Paris accord. Two of those four have since resigned from the administration.

Cohn announced his resignation roughly eight days ago, and Banks left the White House in February after being denied a security clearance over past marijuana use. Kushner’s sway in the White House has been marginalized since being denied a security clearance.

Tillerson’s overtures for Trump to stay in the Paris accord largely failed. Trump announced in June the U.S. would withdraw from the accord, but administration messaging on the matter was muddled in the following months.

U.S. diplomats have still participated in international climate meetings — including the United Nations summit in Bonn, Germany, last November — despite the planned withdrawal. Banks is still pushing for rejoining the Paris accord, though Tillerson’s exit may dampen his hopes.

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This article originally appeared in The Daily Caller

About the Author: Michael Bastasch

Michael Bastasch writes on energy, climate and the environment for the Daily Caller.

State-Enforced Paganism in America

Academics reeling as market discipline comes to the University of Wisconsin

If you are sick and tired of professors indoctrinating students in politicized classes that teach nothing of any use in real life, and hate the idea that tenure immunizes them from accountability, the next decade or so is going to provide some relief.

The reckoning is coming, as shocked professors at a University of Wisconsin campus just discovered. The higher education bubble that Professor Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit has forecast to burst has just popped in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.

It turns out that you can’t earn a living teaching subjects that students aren’t that interested in. Even if you have tenure. Colleen Flaherty writes in the Chronicle of Higher Education:..........No doubt, those who celebrate this transition will be castigated as anti-intellectual barbarians. But the real barbarians are those who drove academia into self-absorbed obsessions of the left, making it irrelevant to the needs of students, while overloading their schools with administrative dead weight that has pushed up tuition to unaffordable levels..............Read more

My Take - I hate saying this again as I've said it so often.  We need to stop funding higher education. First and foremost is because in so many universities it's no longer "higher" education as much as leftist indoctrination.  End student loan programs, make those who borrowed responsible for those loans and stop trying to push it on to the taxpayers, end grant money and force this institutions to be for profit institutions.  Then let them teach whatever they wish to teach and sell that to the public. It won't be long before parents and student will start carefully looking to see where their hard earned money is going and what the end result will be. 

Oh, and one more thing.  When the funding dries up - the tuition will drop like a stone and all of a sudden they'll discover they don't really need all that administration drag on their profitability. 

AG Sessions fires former FBI Deputy Director McCabe and McCabe fires back

CNN’s absurd reaction to Andrew McCabe's firing

March 17, 201 By Patricia McCarthy

Channel surfing after the announcement that AG Sessions had indeed fired Andrew McCabe was like being yanked into the Twilight Zone. On Fox, Laura Ingraham addressed the firing calmly from all sides along with her guests Sara Carter, Alan Dershowitz, Harmeet Dhillon and Jonathan Turley.

Switch to CNN and one would be told that it was Trump who did the firing, that Sessions did it to keep his job. Barely mentioned was the fact that the recommendation to fire McCabe came from the FBI's own Office of Personal Responsibility (OPR), an almost unprecedented event. Don Lemon and his guests were apoplectic that this "fine and respected" man has had his pension taken away. They were not concerned at all about what he may have done to elicit the OPR's recommendation that he be fired. Not one bit.

This bunch takes as factual that Trump is evil and that he colluded with Russia, even though they know very well that he did not. They know that the whole "Trump colluded with Russia" theory was dreamed up by the Clintons to excuse and explain her loss to the man her crowd and the media thought had no chance of victory. But they still think the American people are so dumb that we don't know what they know. They still think they can sell their anti-Trump hatred with lies and snake oil. And Friday night, CNN was simply outraged that an object of Trump's well-deserved wrath was fired...............More

Feel the Bern: Venezuela begins power rationing as drought causes severe outages

By Anggy Polanco and Isaac Urrutia

Trump Official Assaulted by George Soros Operative on Capitol Hill!

By Andrew West March 16, 2018

Americans of a certain generation will remember the riots and the rowdiness of the 1960’s often with a bit of a romanic twist to the tale. Perhaps it is the effect of time on these memories that make them seem so fond............ Then, as Trump ascended into power, all hell broke loose on the left side of the narrative........
  • Soon we were watching Kathy Griffin cry on television after posing with a photorealistic depiction of the President’s beheaded cranium, as if she herself has decapitated The Donald.........
  • A heavily armed gunman ambushed Republican senators and congressmen at a baseball practice Wednesday morning, leaving House Majority Whip Steve Scalise in critical condition and wounding four other people.........
  • U.S. Capitol Police have arrested a male Democratic operative for assaulting a female Interior Department communications official following a House budget hearing Thursday.............
  • It appears that Beverly Hills Antifa may have been paying protesters ‘$15/hour’ which raises the question: How much was the faction promised by Soros? Just enough to cover payroll, or far more?.........To Read More......

My Take - And everyone's surprised why?  The left is insane. There can be no other explanation for their actions.  Leftism has been an abject failure everywhere in the world it's been imposed.  For anyone to cling to such a philosophy requires either contempt for humanity, history, reality and find leftism a tool to gain power, they're insane or both.  In the case of most of these leftist movements there are contingencies of all three. 

Immigrants who came here at the turn of the last century felt they's won the jackpot because commitment to civilized behavior in this nation and culture allowed anyone who was willing to work hard to have the things the people of the rest of the world would never have.  And that included freedom to own property and say what you believe in public.  Those are the two things the left hates most about America and those Americans who defend that right the most. 

The left has controlled the media for decades, as a result they've deliberately kept the American public ill-informed and misinformed.  They've taken over the education system at every level and deliberately filled these kids heads with leftist propaganda.  They took over government through election fraud. 

I can't prove it, but based on the numbers of fraudulent voters they've been discovering all over the nation, the latest special election in Pennsylvania that went to the Democrat was most likely the result of such fraud. 

When all that fails they resort to what they really are.  Violent anarchists who have one - and only one - insane moral foundation they will consistently cling to.  Do anything that will get them power to control our lives.

This violence isn't going to abate.  As we approach the 2020 general election this is going to become a national dividing force.  They will send thugs to stop people from voting, they will attempt to make illegal voting acceptable through violence and protests, they will try to overthrow the results of the 2018 election if it doesn't go their way, there will no borders for the behavior of the left, and it's going to start this summer.  And  those involved in that vile behavior will include elected officials. 

And no matter how the 2018 election goes - the uncivilized behavior, civil disorder and violence will continue.  America is facing a Seldon Crisis with no shared vision.  The only thing preventing wholesale civil war is the nation's economy.  If and when we face that destruction it won't be with a clearly divided border as in the North and the South.  America will become Balkanized with groups dividing into racial, religious, ethnic and localized regional divisions.  No one will be safe. 

Whew - I'm even depressed.  What a lousy way to start the weekend.

Friday, March 16, 2018

A Look At Snoring

February 19, 2018  By Michael D. Shaw @ Health News Digest
Snoring (not that you need a definition) is that rough, hoarse noise produced upon the intake of breath during sleep—and caused by the vibration of the soft palate and vocal cords. Typically, it is linked to mouth breathing, caused by nasal obstruction. Snoring is more common in men than in women, and it occurs more often in obese persons. In children, it is often caused by enlarged tonsils or adenoids. As the Mayo Clinic explains:

“Snoring can be caused by a number of factors, such as the anatomy of your mouth and sinuses, alcohol consumption, allergies, a cold, and your weight. When you doze off and progress from a light sleep to a deep sleep, the muscles in the roof of your mouth (soft palate), tongue and throat relax. The tissues in your throat can relax enough that they partially block your airway and vibrate.”
Doctors Daniel P. Slaughter (otolaryngologist) and Sudhansu Chokroverty (neurology/sleep medicine) were quoted in a WebMD article, and offered these suggestions, which may stop snoring:
  1. Avoid sleeping on your back. Instead, try sleeping on your side. A body pillow may help you achieve this. Chokroverty notes that taping tennis balls to the back of your pajamas might discourage sleeping on your back. Alternatively, you can elevate your position, with your head up—opening nasal airway passages. However, if snoring continues regardless of the sleep position, obstructive sleep apnea would be suspected. Get that checked out.
  2. Be careful with alcohol and sedatives. They reduce the resting tone of the muscles in the back of your throat, making it more likely that you’ll snore. “Drinking alcohol four to five hours before sleeping makes snoring worse,” Chokroverty says. “People who don’t normally snore will snore after drinking alcohol.”
  3. Try to practice good sleep hygiene (good sleep habits). Sleep deprivation leads to an overtired situation, whereby “You sleep hard and deep, and the muscles become floppier, which creates snoring,” Slaughter says.
  4. Keep those nasal passages open. Saline rinses and nasal strips can help.
  5. Watch out for allergens, as they can promote snoring. These include remnants of dust mites and animal dander.
  6. Stay hydrated. “Secretions in your nose and soft palate become stickier when you’re dehydrated,” Slaughter says. “This can create more snoring.”
Any number of natural remedies have been proposed to stop snoring, including several yoga asanas and pranayamas. Helpful videos are included at the linked site.

A particularly unique natural remedy for snoring involves playing the didgeridoo. As it happens, playing this instrument requires a technique called circular breathing, in which a continuous tone can be produced without interruption. The musician must inhale through the nose, while simultaneously exhaling through the mouth, using the air stored in the cheeks. In so doing, the weak upper airway muscles implicated in snoring are strengthened.

As to how snoring affects relationships, here is a disturbing, but often quoted statistic: Snoring is the leading medical reason for divorce among Americans and third leading cause overall, trailing only infidelity and financial problems. Related to this is the UK finding that 89 percent of couples in which snoring or sleep apnea exists, sleep in separate rooms.

I was recently introduced to a brand new anti-snoring product called Snorelax.. These are easy-to-use adhesive strips that keep your jaw in its normal position, and your airway open, thus preventing snoring.

I’ll give the last word to Jaime Raijman, COO of Snorelax…

“Snoring is more than a nuisance or a form of ‘noise pollution.’ It is often a warning sound about—it is a common symptom of—increased risk for heart attack and stroke, as well as obesity, depression, and early onset of Type 2 Diabetes, among many other conditions. Solving this problem requires excellence of design and efficacy of results. It means that Snorelax is the culmination of the medical research and product development necessary to address this challenge. It also means that form is as important as function; that style is inseparable from substance; that how a product feels is as crucial to how it works. Snorelax fulfills those goals.”

NPMA: To Win We Must First Define Our Enemies and Our Allies, Part I

Definition leads to clarity.  Clarity leads to understanding.  Understanding leads to good decision making.  Good decision making leads to harmony! 

Rich Kozlovich

Over the last two years our industry has been asked by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) to go to Congress on Legislative Day and ask our Representatives and Senators to bump up the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) budget by tens of millions of dollars.  I have some questions:
  • Who at NPMA makes such irresponsible decisions?
  • Who initiates such an irresponsible idea?
  • Did anyone vote on this?
  • If so, who were they and what would possibly possess their minds to think this was a “good thing”?
The EPA was born in corruption with President Richard Nixon.  His goal was to ban DDT.  He appointed William Ruckelshaus as the first director, an underground activist who made the decision to ban DDT irrespective of the fact none of his science advisors agreed, nor did Judge Sweeney, the federal magistrate who ruled none of the claims against DDT stood the test of scientific validity.  Ruckelshaus admitted years later his decision was a political decision, not a scientific one. 

As a result, Nixon, Ruckelshaus, Rachel Carson and the EPA are responsible for the blood of up to 100 million innocent victims, who’ve died unnecessarily from malaria, and hundreds of millions who‘ve been unnecessarily sickened every year since.  And that’s only malaria, that doesn’t count all the other insect borne diseases DDT could have prevented.  Because Rachel lied millions died, and the EPA knew it!

Has anything changed at the EPA?  Absolutely not! The radical agenda of EPA’s activists outranks science, economics or the human disasters they’ve created.  EPA was born in corruption and has remained corrupt ever since, with a virtual lava flow of scientific dubious and destructive regulations.  The fact they've done some good things doesn't give them a pass on who and what they really are. 

Then we have what’s called “sue and settle” regulations, which Pruitt has ended.  An illegal conspiracy to force regulations on the nation they don’t have the power or authority to impose.  A corrupt scheme between corrupt EPA officials and green activists via court decisions.   The greenies sue and the EPA either puts up a halfhearted effort to defend against that suit or they settle giving the greenies all they desire with the imprimatur of the federal judiciary. 
I've been told we don't want to do anything that offends EPA because we want them to trust us.  Our real concern should be is whether or not we can trust them.  And history has shown the answer to that concern - from the beginning of EPA until right now this very moment - is we can't, and we need to stop bending over the barrel for them and the chemical companies. 

Can someone explain to me why that isn’t the definition of a criminal conspiracy that could be prosecuted under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly referred to as RICO?

The current Director, Pruitt, has ended that practice, but what about all the damage that’s been done by those who participated in these corrupt actions?  Who will make those who’ve suffered from this illegal conspiracy whole again?  Who has even been fired for this?

But their “conspiracies” are even broader, more mendacious and more insidious.  Tell you what – we’ll come back to that!

They've spent untold millions promoting a pest control system that doesn’t exist.  IPM!  In point of fact there is no such thing as IPM in structural pest control. (Please see The Pillars of IPM.)
In 1996 the Congress in an effort to fix something called the Delaney Clause of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938 passed something called the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA). The Food Quality Protecting Act was supposed to be a pro-pesticide law, but with EPA tinkering it’s became the most anti-pesticide laws passed since Nixon.  We lost carbamates and organophosphates and now we have bed bugs.  For more information on this please go to my article, We Don’t Need No Stinking Badges. As a result, whole categories of safe effective chemistry was lost to the structural pest control industry, and to the general public.
They’ve instituted regulations to impose restrictions on the use of pyrethrins and pyrethroids based on dubious conclusions and industry played into this.   

And I’ll call it for what I absolutely believe what it is – a conspiracy between big corporations and the EPA that screws the structural pest control industry and the public, raising costs and reducing the effectiveness of our treatments. 

And this is the agency we want to have an increased budget?  Really?  Have we lost our minds?

The truth of the matter is this effort to increase the EPA’s budget is in effect blatant Corporatism.  This effort is all about chemical companies desire to get their products registered as quickly as possible, and I don’t fault them for that.  That’s good business.  But why are we being a party to this?   Is this increase in budget good for the pest control industry?

Do we really believe the EPA doesn’t have the money to do one of their core responsibilities? 

Recently it was reported one of the EPA’s core responsibilities is to clean up Super Fund Projects. How’s that been working? 
"With little media attention EPA under Pruitt has stepped up its efforts to clean the nation’s most toxic Superfund sites, putting the properties back into productive use. In 2016, Obama’s EPA remediated and removed only two sites from Superfund’s national priorities list (NPL). By comparison, in Pruitt’s first year, EPA cleaned up and removed seven sites from the NPL. It’s amazing what the agency can do when it focuses its efforts on core functions. "

We now have an EPA administrator who recognizes just how bad the EPA is for this nation, who before he was the administrator, “successfully sued the EPA numerous times, including convincing the courts to place stays on the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule and the Clean Power Plan (CPP).”

Here’s an administration that wants to cut a twenty three percent from the EPA budget and eliminate “dozens of programs”.  But now the NPMA wants our industry to go to Congress to plead with them to add tens of millions back to that budget.  Is it possible Pruitt knows better than the NPMA as to what the EPA needs to perform its core functions?

If the EPA is in such dire economic straits, I have a suggestion that can go a very long way in finding those millions the chemical companies think EPA needs.  Eliminate that core responsibility of registering chemistry from the EPA and return that responsibility to the Department of Agriculture.   Then eliminate all…..and I mean all…. The EPA regional offices.  Every state now has an EPA of their own, why does the EPA need regional offices?

But we have to come back to the core question.  Why are we adopting this stance to increase EPA's budget? 

Because that’s what “our allies”, the chemical companies, want us to, and please don't insult my intelligence claiming otherwise.

The chemical companies are at best leaky vessels as allies.  They treat us as allies of convenience, and we need to recognize that and treat them in exactly the same manner.  When it suits our needs, we defend them.  When it doesn’t – we don’t! If those in leadership can’t understand that, or do but don’t have the courage to act accordingly – we need to take a real hard look at that leadership.

I've talked to a number of the members of the Ohio Pest Management Association who will be attending Legislative Day and none of those I talked to will support this scheme.  One told me he will present NPMA's information and then specifically tell his Representative and Senator he absolutely does not support this budget increase for EPA. 
I encourage every member of every state association attending to take that stance. 
Let’s try and get this once and for all – There’s no good government or bad government.  There’s only limited or unlimited government, and EPA is now and always has been out of control.  They need to become far more limited, or better yet - eliminated, which I will address later.    
We have a window of opportunity with the Trump administration to fix many things.  But when that window closes, and it will at some point - it may close forever.   Leadership needs to get that!  It's now a matter of win or go home!
One more point.  I'm an autodidact who's willing to publicly debate anyone involved with our industry who disagrees with me on any of these points or issues, irrespective of their position or education.  I encourage NPMA to set up such a debate.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

An Obama Photo Worth a Thousand Lies

Posted by Daniel Greenfield 2 Comments Wednesday, March 14, 2018

When a a major Obama news photo story broke, the media was there to capture it. A 2-year-old girl was photographed looking at a really terrible painting of Michelle Obama.

"'A moment of awe': Photo of little girl captivated by Michelle Obama portrait goes viral," Washington Post cheered.  "Little girl awestruck by Michelle Obama's portrait believes she's a queen," urgently reported CNN. The sum total of this story is that a little girl looked at a portrait of Michelle.

Eat your heart out, North Korea. Our fake news propaganda is even tackier than yours.

Recently, a photo was released of Barack Obama meeting with Louis Farrakhan. The photo had been suppressed all these years to protect Obama’s career. Farrakhan was the racist leader of a hate group who had praised Hitler and described Jews as “satanic”. And yet he had met with the future president at a Congressional Black Caucus event. A CBC member, Rep. Danny Davis, had even praised Farrakhan.

You might think there’s a story in all that. And you would be wrong.

There isn’t a single Washington Post story on the photo. Not one. The same paper that believed its readers needed to be informed that a little girl had been photographed looking at a bad painting of Michelle Obama hasn’t found the time to report on the cover up of a meeting between top Democrats, including a future president, and the leader of a racist hate group that had once allied with the KKK.

It’s not that the Washington Post can’t report on Farrakhan. Or use Farrakhan to attack a president.

In ’15, the Post ran, “The bigotry of Trump and Farrakhan” and in ’16, “Why the Nation of Islam is praising Donald Trump”. Its stories about Obama and Farrakhan insist that the two men hate each other. A ’15 piece even attempted to link Farrakhan to Clarence Thomas, instead of Obama.  

The Washington Post can report on Farrakhan when attacking Republicans. It just won’t report on Obama’s links to Farrakhan. Neither will CNN. The only mentions of the photo on its site come from CNN personalities like Jake Tapper and Michael Smerconish. CNN found the time to report on a photo of a dog’s ear that it claimed looked like President Trump. But not on a photo of Obama and Farrakhan.

I reached out to Washington Post editor Marty Baron and media columnist Margaret Sullivan asking them to explain their paper’s embargo on the Farrakhan photo.  There has been no response.

Instead of coverage, the Washington Post has engaged in a cover up.

Ever since Obama left office, the media has reported on all sorts of photos of him. None of these photos are actually significant. The stories are puff pieces of the kind you expect to find in North Korea.

The New York Times, the Washington PostTime and other media outlets found it vital over the years to report on a photo of a boy patting Obama on the head. They continued revisiting the photo even after Obama was out of office. And then ran stories of the boy looking back on that “historic” head patting.

If only they had done a fraction of the research on a photo of Obama meeting with a hate group leader at an official Democrat function as they did on a photo of him mugging for the camera with a little boy.

"Photo speaks volumes about Obama and race," is how the Washington Post wrote it up. Does the photo of Obama with a black nationalist racist leader who praised Hitler say anything about race?


The Washington Post dedicated yet another piece to yet another photo of Obama and a little boy.  “A touched cheek and hope for the future,” it declared. CNN, for its part, ran, "Obama reacts to child's White House tantrum." The media finds staged photos of its beloved leader as newsworthy as any state propaganda agency in a dictatorship. But actual newsworthy photos get buried out back at midnight.

The propaganda photos were mostly taken by Pete Souza, Obama's Official White House Photographer. Souza had been brought on board to do his best Leni Riefenstahl shtick since 2005 when the Chicago Tribune assigned him to "document" Obama's first year in the Senate. That turned into a book, “The Rise of Barack Obama”, released just in time for the full launch of the Obama presidential campaign.

New senators don't normally have a former White House photog following them around. But Obama was being groomed for the White House even before he walked into the Senate. Souza was selected for the Chief Photo Propagandist gig by the Tribune’s Jeff Zeleny in ’04. Zeleny later became infamous, after switching to the New York Times, for asking Obama how “enchanted” he was by his first 100 days.

Obama wasn’t enchanted, but the media was. It was the Chicago Tribune whose dirty trick of unsealing the divorce records of Obama’s Republican opponent got him to the Senate.  And having used dirty tricks to get him there, it funded his hagiography without reporting it as a campaign contribution.

Behind the cute propaganda photos was a darker truth.

The White House Correspondents Association protested the ban on independent photographers. “Journalists are routinely being denied the right to photograph or videotape the President while he is performing his official duties,” they complained.

While President Trump allows the media to photograph him as much as its shutterbugs want, Obama’s official image was a carefully manufactured collaboration made to appear casual and natural.Instead of risking unflattering shots, Obama Inc. just tossed out propaganda pics from Pete. But photojournalists also participated in staging photos of Obama.

During his live speeches, still photographers would be kept out to avoid any unflattering pictures of the beloved leader moving his simpering lips. Then when he had finished speaking, the photogs were allowed in to take posed shots of Obama pretending to speak even while he was saying nothing.

That is a good summary of how the media covered Obama and how it’s still covering for him.

The media found the time to turn 5 different photos of Obama posing with kids into stories. It pretended that some of these photos, taken with African-American children, said something about race.

No, they didn’t.

The photo that does say something about race is the one of Obama smiling next to a notorious racist. And how many other photos like it remain buried? How many are locked away in a vault somewhere, like the Los Angeles Times’ infamous Obama Khalidi tape, awaiting the day when they no longer matter?

The Obama Farrakhan photo can’t be locked up again. But mention of it can be locked away by the media which will instead urgently report on a photo of a little girl looking at a portrait of Michelle Obama. Or a photo of a little boy patting Obama on the head. Or Obama with a baby.

Just like the countless propaganda photos and posters of Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Kim Jong-un with the kiddies. Here’s an adorable photo of the North Korean dictator at an orphanage. You won’t believe how cute this photo of Stalin holding a little girl is. Especially once you find out he murdered her parents. This snap of Hitler with the daughter of his chief propagandist, who was murdered when Hitler’s doctor forced cyanide tablets into her mouth, was meant to make people think he wasn’t a monster.

And this shot of Saddam Hussein ruffling the hair of a 5-year-old British hostage will melt your heart.

There’s a reason that dictators are often depicted with children. Yes, it makes them seem cuddlier. But it’s also the essence of tyranny for the servants of the people to play the parents of the people instead.

The people are their children who need to be told what to do and disciplined when we misbehave.

Soviet propaganda named Stalin, “Father of Nations”. (When he invaded other nations, he was just exercising his parental prerogatives.) Hitler was the “Father of the German People”. And Obama?

“The President of the United States is, you know, our boss. But also, you know, the president and the first lady are kind of like the mom and the dad of the country. And when your dad says something, you listen, “ said Chris Rock, at a gun control rally back in the Obama era.

And you don’t need to ask why daddy is kissing Louis Farrakhan. It’s none of your business.

That’s what the media is really telling us. And it’s telling that we have the same media as Russia, China and North Korea that runs propaganda photos of its beloved leader while smearing his opponents.

The media’s Obama kiddy photos and its sullen silence about the Farrakhan photos do tell us something. They tell us that we narrowly survived a cult of personality. And that we aren’t out of the woods yet.

The dictator is out of the White House. But his lackeys still control the news.

Change will come when the Berlin Wall of silence about the Farrakhan photo falls and when the Fuhrerbunker in which the Khalidi tape is buried pops open. We’ll know when the spying, the lies, the dirty tricks of the tyranny under which we’re still living come crashing down around its heads.

And then we’ll know that we are finally free.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

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