$30 million in maple syrup has been stolen from Canada’s strategic syrup reserves
With the US election picking up more and more steam every second, let’s not forget that there’s serious news from other parts of the world. Like how $30 million in maple syrup was stolen from Canada’s strategic maple syrup reserves, and how that could lead to some sad and dry pancakes. My heart goes out to you, Canada.
Drizzled throughout a few rural Quebec facilities, the emergency syrup supply previously contained 37 million lb. of the stuff. But that surplus has been significantly depleted after thieves took off with more than a quarter of it, the Wall Street Journal reported. During a routine inventory check at a warehouse about 100 miles northeast of Montreal, the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers noticed scores of empty barrels. These barrels — more than 15,000 of them — had contained an estimated 10 million lb. of syrup worth more than $30 million.
Quebec, which produces an estimated 75% of the world’s maple syrup, has maintained the cache since 2000, as a bulwark against poor harvests or unexpectedly high demand. The St.-Louis-de-Blandford warehouse, the location of the heist, is secured with fences and locks, officials from the federation told the Journal. The other facilities housing the syrup reserves have not been targeted, and the theft is still under investigation. Current theories suggest that the stolen goods will be sold on the black market.
Though 10 million lb. might seem like quite a bit of syrup to vanish, the federation said there would be no immediate effects on the global supply. Still, it looks like there really is a need for emergency syrup reserves after all.
We wrote about the extreme 2012 Democratic platform this morning, noting that it excludes God and Jerusalem, yet includes taxpayer-funded late term abortion. Even the media found these decisions slightly unusual, leading to a noisy chorus of criticism that eventually built to a critical mass. The decision was made to uproot the platform and undo the controversial language and omissions. The problem? The platform was formally adopted yesterday. Democratic officials couldn’t just quietly tweak the document behind closed doors; they had to put the modified platform up for another vote. When they did so, chaos erupted. In three separate voice votes, delegates were asked whether they supported the inclusion of God and the recognition of Jerusalem in their party’s guiding policy document. Three separate times, loud shouts of “no” grew in volume and intensity. A flummoxed Chairman Villaraigosa ultimately just declared that the “ayes” had it — even though multiple reports indicated that the consensus was nowhere hear the requisite 2/3 majority. As God and Jerusalem were inserted back into the Democratic platform, the hall exploded in boos — a humiliating disaster for the party. The stunning video:
Finish reading this entire article at the Townhall.
Time to hear from a once in a while writer, the IowaHawk.
Special Guest Commentary
by Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA)
The statistics are sobering: the cost of American heath care is rising almost as fast as the cold, briny water bubbling up from our floorboards. So far we have already lost the 8-track player and several Vic Damone tapes, and if allowed to continue these trends threaten to engulf all of us within the Oldsmobile. We must quickly wake up and face the facts: inaction is no longer an option. That is why it is critical for the future of all the occupants that one of us swim off and get us some kind of free health care program. I nominate me.
Why me, you ask? As I explained to you back at the party, I am passionate about many things. Politics, sailing, the art of Leroy Niemann, Dewar’s, my etchings. And let’s not forget that sweet tight body of yours, which I must say looks stunning in the watery glow of the dashboard lights. But did I also mention my passion for universal heath care? Hey Baby, ol’ Teddy Bear is all about that. As the Conscience of the Senate, I have led the fight to win comprehensive national medical benefits for you and other vulnerable Boiler Room Girls who have been denied coverage by their heartless employers. I fervently believe we’re all on this boat together. Okay, Oldsmobile. Now, if you’ll just let go of my arm, I’ll make a break for it and continue the fight for your health care rights back at my lawyer’s office.
Ow! Jesus! That fucking hurt! Come on now, Baby. Let’s all just calm down, take a shallow breath, and look at our heath care predicament rationally. We obviously can’t both stay here in our current plan, and if we both opt out of our windows at the same time it will sink the entire system. Even if we both made it out, there will be difficult questions and bureaucratic forms and red tape. Like I also told you back at the party, my wife doesn’t understand me. And she sure as hell won’t understand this.
Obviously the answer is some sort of window rationing system where one of us waits here while the other one swims for a comprehensive solution for both of us. Did I mention I was on the Pi Eta swim team? We won 3rd place at the Harvard Greek intramurals in ’53. Ow! Fuck! Stop screaming your crazy bitch, you’re using up the oxygen. See? I’m only thinking about what’s best for you.
Look, I know you have misgivings about some aspects of my plan, but the time for debate is over. As a passionate advocate for health care reform, I will have the details and alibis worked out by the time I get to the Sherriff’s station. As soon as I call my lawyer and get a couple cups of coffee, I will demand they dispatch rescue vehicles back here, with CPR-certified divers.
Apparently, Monday, Aug. 27, was opening day for Hysterical Liberal Sanctimony About Imagined Republican Racism. During this first round, The New York Times, The Atlantic and the TV networks each put in a splendid showing.
I’d need a book to cover it all. HOLD ON! I HAVE ONE — Mugged: Racial Demagoguery from the Seventies to Obama available in fine bookstores near you Sept. 25, 2012.
Today, we will focus on the outstanding individual performance of the man who, since the departure of Contessa Brewer, is widely regarded by his colleagues as the stupidest on-air personality at MSNBC. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Chris Matthews.
Appearing on “Morning Joe,” Matthews exploded at Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus, alleging that Mitt Romney’s harmless birth certificate joke from a few days earlier was a “cheap shot,” “awful,” and an example of the Republicans playing “that card.”
(Discussing his hometown roots while campaigning in Michigan, Romney had cited the local hospitals where he and his wife were born, adding, “No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate.”)
Even the liberals on the show were perplexed. Asked to clarify whether he considered the birth certificate joke “playing the race card,” Matthews angrily said: “Yeah, there’s no doubt he did with his birth certificate. No doubt. Why would he bring it up? Why would he say, ‘I have no problem with my birth certificate’? What’s that supposed to say?”
Mika Brzezinski: “Because he’s an awkward joker?”
Joe Scarborough: “Because he misfired badly on the joke?”
But Matthews didn’t have time for alternative explanations. Besides, he had already yelled at Joe and Mika, so the issue was obviously resolved. Chris quickly moved on to Romney’s ads describing the Obama administration’s change to welfare requirements as another example of racism.
Matthews said that Romney’s (factually correct) claim that Barack Obama is weakening the work requirement for welfare was “playing that card,” fuming at the RNC chair, “and you are playing that little ethnic card there.” Priebus, like most people who haven’t spent much time around Matthews, could only laugh awkwardly.
Matthews raged: “You can — you play your games and giggle about it, but the fact is your side is playing that card. You start talking about work requirements, you know what game you’re playing and everybody knows what game you’re playing. It’s a race card.”
Asked by Scarborough if he really believed that the welfare ad was racist, Matthews said: “Of course it is. Welfare? Food stamps?”
On “Hardball” that night, Matthews continued his welfare rant: The Romney ad was “ethnically charged” and a “dog whistle.” (The phrase “dog whistle” is a dog whistle for imaginary sightings of racism.)
For the clincher, Matthews added: “Did you catch Romney following it up by saying this was Obama’s effort to excite and shore up his base, passing out welfare checks? His base.”
As everyone but Chris knows, the “base” Romney referred to consists not of individuals collecting welfare, but those distributing it, i.e.: union-dues-paying government workers. Democrats’ problem with welfare reform always was that if it worked, we would need fewer of these well-pensioned public employees, a fact repeatedly acknowledged by liberals themselves.
When welfare reform was first proposed in 1994:
– Will Marshall of the Progressive Policy Institute said the reforms would sever Democratic ties to the liberal “base,” which he described as: “Congress, the interest groups that cluster around them, the bureaucracies that work closely with them, the social service providers and experts and think tank types.”
– Robert Kuttner of the uber-liberal American Prospect magazine wrote that welfare reform would hurt Bill Clinton with “the Democratic base.”
– Liberal journalist Jeff Greenfield of ABC News said that Clinton’s becoming a third-way, New Democrat would risk “alienating a liberal base.”
I’m sorry, gentlemen, but it is my sad duty to inform you: You’re all racists.
The next night on “Hardball,” Matthews made his most dramatic announcement yet! It seems the mention of “Chicago” in relation to the president is also a racist dog whistle.
We have heard many times from President Barack Obama how he plans to raise taxes on “millionaires and billionaires,” but not on the middle class. Apparently, if you don’t happen to be a millionaire or billionaire, you don’t have to worry.
But the numbers say otherwise — and say so big time.
The actual tax increase plans being proposed by Obama do not start with people who have an income of a million dollars a year. They start with people with incomes of $250,000 and up.
That is more than most people make, but it is far short of a million dollars, and miles away from a billion dollars. How many of the people who stand to get hit with Obama’s higher tax rate plan are in fact either millionaires or billionaires?
According to the Internal Revenue Service, there are more than 2,700,000 people who earn $250,000 a year or more — and fewer than one-tenth of them earn a million dollars or more. So more than nine-tenths of the people who would be hit with the higher taxes supposedly aimed at “millionaires and billionaires” are neither.
When businesses advertise one thing and then actually sell something else, that is called “bait and switch” advertising. That is exactly what President Obama is doing with his proposed tax increases on “millionaires and billionaires.”
It gets worse when you look at the potential economic consequences of the tax rate increases being proposed. The small proportion of the people targeted for Obama’s higher tax rates who are in fact millionaires and billionaires have the least likelihood of actually paying the higher tax rates.
People with annual incomes in the millions or billions of dollars can live pretty high on the hog on a fraction of their income, leaving them with plenty of money to invest. And they can invest it in ways that keep it away from the tax collectors. In addition to tax-exempt bonds, they can invest in other countries that have lower tax rates.
Hard facts show this happening as far back as we have had a federal income tax.
The Constitution of the United States had to be amended in 1913 to permit the federal government to collect income taxes. Almost immediately, very high tax rates on people with very high incomes led to their taking steps to avoid paying those taxes.
In 1920, Secretary of the Treasury David Franklin Houston in the Democratic administration of Woodrow Wilson pointed out that the taxable income of people with incomes of $300,000 and up had been more than cut in half, just from 1916 to 1918. He did not believe that this was because the rich were becoming poorer but “almost certainly through investment by the richer taxpayers in tax-exempt properties.”
Read it all HERE>
We have not seen an advance copy of President Clinton’s speech, scheduled for tonight, but we already know the message Democrats wish to convey with it. They seek to associate President Obama with the prosperity of the Clinton years. Democratic policies worked in the 1990s, they will argue, and they can work again. This story won’t sell, because the gap between Obama’s record and Clinton’s is so vast and obvious.
Clinton bucked most House Democrats to liberalize trade. He signed Republican bills to reform welfare, restrain spending, and cut taxes on investment. Obama has done none of these things. He has weakened welfare reform by telling states that the administration will waive work requirements. He has greatly increased spending. He has raised taxes on investment and wants to raise them more. Obama is no Bill Clinton: good news for the first lady, not so much for the rest of us.
The main continuity between the two Democrats’ economic policies is that Clinton raised the top income-tax rate and Obama wants to do so as well. It is certainly true that we had both stronger economic growth and higher tax rates in the 1990s. It does not follow that the higher tax rates contributed to that growth then, or that they would do no damage now. The country enjoyed favorable circumstances in the ’90s — technological, demographic, and geopolitical — that we do not now enjoy and cannot replicate. Hiking taxes would likely lead to worse results today than it did then.The argument for Clintonomics was that raising taxes would lower the deficit, a lower deficit would bring down interest rates, and lower interest rates would bring economic growth. It didn’t actually work that way in the ’90s: Interest rates fell only when Republicans took control of Congress. The logic is in any case inapplicable now, because interest rates are already very low.
Clinton knows, we suspect, that higher taxes will not bring back the economy of the 1990s. He knows too that Obama has not governed — has never had any interest in governing — as Clinton did. It will be fascinating to see how the Clintonite wing of the Democratic party will react if Obama loses. In that case we will be listening to Clinton with close attention, after the election.