Archives for: December 2013

Onward and Backward

I would review 2013, but why waste my time when Dave Barry does it so well:

Did anything good happen in 2013? Yes! There was one shining ray of hope in the person of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford , who admitted that, while in office, he smoked crack cocaine, but noted, by way of explanation, that this happened “probably in one of my drunken stupors.” This was probably the most honest statement emitted by any elected official this year, and we can only hope that more of our leaders follow Mayor Ford’s lead in 2014. (We mean being honest, not smoking crack in a drunken stupor.) (Although really, how much worse would that be?)

Read the whole thing and laugh.

For me, personally, 2013 was a great year. We welcomed Hal 11000 Beta into our lives and a bunch of our friends and family were also blessed with children. Science continued to plug along, the country continued to semi-function and another year went by without the Yankees winning the World Series.

In politics, what was most amazing was the turnaround in the President’s fortunes. At the beginning of the year, he was riding a re-election and had gotten the tax hike he so desperately wanted. Now approval rating is at its lowest point, Obamcare continues to struggle, the IRS scandal lingers and all the evil Republican tricks that were supposed to ruin the economy — the sequester, the shutdown, recision — haven’t.

Politics is cyclical. Doubtless, there will be dead-cat bounce at some point. But right now, it’s looking grim at 1600 Pennsylvania.

Thank your for reading our ramblings this year and having spirited arguments in the comments. May all of you have a great 2014.

Another Year

Another year older (wiser……..ehhh)

For those, like myself, that don’t make it anymore to midnight, or don’t go out partying like when you were younger (Damn, the NY’s parties we used to have, a misplaced baby/lose tiger, missing tooth, all child’s play) here’s a bit of festivities you will enjoy;

The Chinese had the gold standard for fireworks displays during the Beijing Olympics, but this does that one better. Oil money sure does buy a lot of explosions.

Happy New Year to all.

Stupid Is, As Stupid Does

Calling your constituents stupid, an interesting tactic. Although if they really are stupid, calling them stupid is pretty stupid, considering they are too stupid to know they are stupid, so how stupid are you for pointing out the obvious?

Obamacare is the new leprosy for Democrats, there is no cure and no amount of running away from it will help. They brought this pig to the prom, now they have to dance with it. We are seeing some interesting spins, intended to put lipstick on this pig, and make it less piglike. And if you can’t see that it’s not really a pig after all, then you must be stupid;

Since October, Democrats have been desperate to answer one burning question: “Why aren’t people signing up for ObamaCare?”

Sure, the website was bad, but the numbers are just so dismal. Since it’s impossible that people don’t absolutely love this law, there has to be something else going on. Some mysterious factor is driving people away from the Affordable Care Act.

Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D., D.C.) has found the answer. To put it bluntly, people are stupid. That’s what she’s come up with. They’re so dumb, that crafty Republicans have been able to convince them that the law no longer exists.

It’s not the sticker shock, it’s not that they hate being told what to do; it’s that they’re a bunch of idiots who can’t tell the difference between debate and the repeal of a law.

Granted, you will never go broke underestimating the intelligence of your average voter, especially those in D.C., but this excuse really is laughable, considering that your low information voter isn’t paying attention to what the GOP is doing anyway, they don’t pay attention to anything they can’t eat/play with/or shit on. so no, they aren’t being snookered.

“When that fine is going to kick in, you’re going to see people trotting to sign on like you’ve never seen it before.”

Oh, goody, a law so necessary and helpful for “the folks” that the only way they want anything to do with it is by threatening them, compliance at the end of a gun, Stalin would be proud.

The low information voter, and his cousin the “give me free stuff” voter, asked for the big government solution, otherwise, they would not have voted for the big government guy. But even Pravda, who knows a thing or two about communist leaders and the damage they can do, has the pulse of American politics down pat;

Recently, Obama has been re-elected for a 2nd term by an illiterate society and he is ready to continue his lies of less taxes while he raises them.
—–
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.

Dang, is it that obvious?

I am going back to incandescent bulbs, man

So let me set this up for you so you can see who startling stupid these green laws really are, and I am gonna use someone else’s work to do this. Let’s set the stage:

Starting Jan. 1, the United States will no longer manufacture or import incandescent bulbs – although stores can still sell what they have in stock. The phaseout is a result of federal rules to switch to more energy-efficient bulbs. Energy-efficient bulbs cost more than incandescent bulbs but last much longer and save on energy costs in the long-term. So why are people still buying incandescent bulbs and what will the phaseout mean for you?

Get it? The greens passed a law banning incandescent bulbs because they were considered inefficient, energy wise, had a short life span compared to what they wanted to replace it with, at least so they claimed, and they created too much pollution, both on the energy generation/consumption/efficiency side of the calculation spectrum, and then they created lots of waste once they where spent and had to be done away with. But why take it from me? From the article:

Incandescent bulbs cost much less than their energy-efficient alternatives – mainly CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) and LEDs (light emitting diodes). An incandescent bulb can cost as little as 70 cents. Meanwhile, a CFL bulb sells for at least a few dollars and an LED starts at $10 but usually runs around $20. The problem with incandescents is you end up paying more in electricity costs. Incandescents are inefficient – 90% of the energy goes toward heat and only 10% toward light.

Incandescent light bulbs also don’t last as long as CFLs and LEDs. The typical incandescent bulb lasts about 1,000 hours, while a 15-watt CFL bulb lasts 10,000 hours and a 12-watt LED bulb lasts 25,000 hours. In other words, incandescent light bulbs last about a year while CFLs can last 10 years and LEDs up to 25. All told, your energy costs can be 25%-80% less by switching to energy-efficient bulbs, according to Energy.gov.

The alternatives sure do look awesome compared to these incandescent bulbs if you were to take this information they peddle as gospel. Also notice what’s missing? The fact that LED and CFL bulbs cost tens of dollars, each unit, compared to the cheap incandescent light bulbs, making it a shitty buy for the consumer unless they really do last at least 10, or more, times as long. Remember that important detail. And for now lets ignore the fact that neither the CFL nor the LED bulbs that are replacing incandescent light bulbs, produce the same amount of light.

That’s not me making up shit. I have replaced some lights in my home with the ultra expensive CFL and LED bulbs, and in every case I had to drastically bump up the wattage to produce the same light. What used to take a 75W bulb to illuminate requires a 100W LED or a 120W CFL. And the higher the wattage on these replacement bulbs, the more pricey they are. Going from a $1.00 per unit (I am being generous since I used to pay less than $3 for a pack of 4 incandescent bulbs) price to anywhere from $6.99 to $25.00 for the alternative bulb (there is a wide distribution/swing in pricing, and the pricing also seems immune to competition since it’s another government mandated pile of shit that completely squashes the need for competition), one can see the conundrum.

These things better work – at least when it comes to life span, since they already failed the light producing test and required higher wattage bulbs to produce the same light – as advertised on their longevity. Bet you already see where this is going, don’t you? Be patient: there is a lot more. Back to the article and why so many are not bothering with these miraculous devices.

Despite the savings, many still stick with incandescents because they typically don’t spend that much in the first place on lighting in their homes. “There hasn’t been a lot of incentive to go more efficient because it’s not going to make a big deal on their electric bill,” said Joe Rey-Barreau, a lighting design professor at the University of Kentucky and a consultant with the American Lighting Association, about why some people haven’t switch to more energy-efficient bulbs.

While an office building may use 21% of its electricity for lighting, a house uses as little as 13%, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Home improvement store Lowe’s did a study comparing electricity costs of an LED vs. an incandescent bulb. Energy costs for the LED added up to $30 over the bulb’s 22-year lifespan. Energy costs for using an incandescent bulb over that same period added up to $165 – savings, certainly, but perhaps not significant enough for many homeowners over two decades to alter their buying habits.

Wait a minute? If you were saving between 25-80% on energy, that should make a huge ding on your electric bill, right? So why are we not seeing that efficiency savings in our bills? I bet that’s because you have to use a higher wattage bulb, and that means you are actually not doing a good comparison of efficiency. Maybe someone should have done the efficiency test while factoring the candle power output of these bulbs? Then they would have realized they couldn’t just compare a 75W incandescent bulb to a similar CFL or LED bulb? Go figure! Bad information produced by people with an agenda!

And $165 (nice round number, huh?) spread over 22 years is not that big of a deal, I am sorry to say. I replaced my windows with energy efficient ones and my oil consumption to heat my home dropped to ½ of what it was. That saved me a shit load of money and made it worth it. Similarly, putting in a new central air unit and getting rid of 5 window units saved me about 48% on my annual electric bill.

I am also thinking of replacing my generator with a liquid propane one, since I spend $25 a day to keep my gasoline one running. I have done research and a liquid propane genny will run for $4 a day. Granted, I will not run that too often, but when we had no power in my state, 2 years in a row, for more than 10 days, it added up. The day I get a new generator, at least 4 years from now, since my unit is still in great condition even after 4 years (I do maintenance!), I will get a propane one.

But I ordered me a shit load of incandescent bulbs online, and plan to replace the LED and CFL bulbs I have now out, because they suck, and I got ripped off. The LED and CFL bulbs burn out in months, not decades as advertised, because a lot of my lighting is on dimmers and recessed, which neither unit handles well. Between the variable power and the heating, these super expensive bulbs flame out faster than the supposedly short lived incandescent bulbs. It’s not just my own experience, as the article covers this issue somewhat:

Some consumers complain that CFLs don’t last as long as advertised. One characteristic of CFL bulbs is they are “fairly fragile” and can succumb to overheating, said Terry McGowan, director of engineering for the American Lighting Association. “Those life ratings are established in a test lab and not established in somebody’s living room fixture,” McGowan said. “When you put them in a fixture and bottle them up in a glass shade, they get too hot and the life will be shortened.”

LED lights can also overheat. McGowan recommends using these bulbs in light fixtures that have good ventilation. CFL bulbs are also susceptible to shorter life spans when they are frequently turned on and off. A bathroom might not be a good place for a CFL, for example. A table lamp, floor lamp or hallway light would be more likely to extend a CFL bulb’s life span, McGowan said.

It’s not as if this fact was not brought up when the green scumbags pushed this into law! I know several people, including some on IEEE, that pointed this heating issue, as well as the candle power output inefficiency of CFLs and LEDs out, and they did this a long time ago. Long before our green government warlocks straddled us with this idiotic mandate. Those pointing out the problems with the tests and assumptions were basically told to shut up. A lot of people stood to make a shitload of money selling consumers super expensive crappy green shit, mandated by government threat of force, and thus, never subject to the usual pricing mechanism that would lower the cost, which wouldn’t really make that big of a difference in the long run. Don’t buy the nonsense that prices will come down. If they do it will be decades from now, after they lose their government enforced monopoly.

The lesson here is to verify the real life implications of these dumb studies that fool people. Thanks greenies!

Another reason I am glad I own an Android I barely use..

And that’s the fact that has backdoor access to iPhones. Forget the plethora of backdoor jokes and focus on the fact that the people at the NSA feel that spying on all of us is just peachy-keen, and that they likely are behind acts like this, to cover their own asses, with some even saying that the reforms might make things even worse for us people. Or ignore their ability to hack Wi-Fi systems from miles away, which they really don’t need much off I bet considering they they have an entire shadow operation to intercept and compromise electronics, anyway. The claim is that this is only directed at foreigners, for security reasons, but then again, the people getting nabbed by these highly unconstitutional operations seem to always be Americans. Sometimes it’s even American troops just having some phone sex with other people! Bonus points for the NSA pervs.

Then again, considering how big brother is in on everything, maybe they have my Droid just as tapped as they have the iPhones. At the rate this is going, I would not be surprised to find that they will start arresting people and accusing them of criminal activity after they put the evidence to make their case on their devices, and then, sooner than later. Maybe they have done so already. I doubt anyone is still wondering how this WH had confidential information on their political opponents that was not public before, so with one hand washing the other, expect more, not less, of this to go on. Welcome to the future, courtesy of progressives, I must add!

Which one of you bozos wishes you had done this?

This story made me think of you libs on this site. I fully expect to hear one of you pulled a stunt like this one of these days.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Louisville man was charged after police said he was drunk when he inappropriately disrupted a Bingo game. According to police, Deharra Waters was arrested at a Bingo hall in the 9200 block of Blue Lick Road Thursday evening. Police said he was running through the Bingo hall with his pants down screaming “Bingo.” That action, according to police, caused alarm to patrons and employees. Waters is charged with disorderly conduct and alcohol intoxication.

I bet they are making this story up cause they didn’ want a brotha to win the game! Bastages. I hear many of the old ladies complained when the police forced this guy to stop running around with his Johnson hanging out.

More Benghazi Details; More Left-Wing Obfuscation

The New York Times has an in-depth report on the Benghazi incident from a reporter who went there and interviewed dozens of people on the ground. Quick summary:

Fifteen months after Mr. Stevens’s death, the question of responsibility remains a searing issue in Washington, framed by two contradictory story lines.

One has it that the video, which was posted on YouTube, inspired spontaneous street protests that got out of hand. This version, based on early intelligence reports, was initially offered publicly by Susan E. Rice, who is now Mr. Obama’s national security adviser.

The other, favored by Republicans, holds that Mr. Stevens died in a carefully planned assault by Al Qaeda to mark the anniversary of its strike on the United States 11 years before. Republicans have accused the Obama administration of covering up evidence of Al Qaeda’s role to avoid undermining the president’s claim that the group has been decimated, in part because of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

The investigation by The Times shows that the reality in Benghazi was different, and murkier, than either of those story lines suggests. Benghazi was not infiltrated by Al Qaeda, but nonetheless contained grave local threats to American interests. The attack does not appear to have been meticulously planned, but neither was it spontaneous or without warning signs.

The person they finger in the attack is Ahmed Abu Khattala and Ansar Al-Sharia. I would point out that, to many, distinguishing them from Al-Qaeda is academic. Ansar Al-Sharia are an Islamist organization that wants Sharia law implemented and are certainly on the same page as Al-Qaeda even if they are not technically affiliated. But the Times also shows that the US had ample signs that something very serious was about to go down in Libya and distinctly failed to account for it. The video was part of the motivation, but this appears to have mainly affected the timing of the attack. The Islamists were going to hit the US at some point.

As you might expect, the reaction to the Times piece is falling along partisan lines. Republicans are claiming it’s all a cover-up and the NYT is full of crap (although NYT’s reporting is based on far more witnesses (and fewer fraudulent ones) than the 60 Minutes report). Democrats are claiming vindication and that the Benghazi scandal is all a hoax. Ed Morrissey has a great take, pointing out that this confirms what Lee Stranahan has been saying for months.

In other words, the White House story that this was a demonstration that just got out of control was false. As we have discovered through Congressional testimony and the release of communications from that night, the White House and State Department knew immediately that it was a terrorist attack. If the YouTube video played a part in the motivation, it was nevertheless only possible because of a planned attack on an egregiously undefended facility, in the middle of a region controlled by Islamist militias, on the anniversary of 9/11 — when the US should have had its highest readiness.

In other words, this only addresses the relative import of the YouTube video, not any of the questions of the incompetence from State and the White House.

In short, we’re slowly converging on the reality somewhere between the two political poles.

  • Benghazi had become a hotbed of extremist activity and the US had ample reason to believe their personnel were in danger. Nevertheless, security was weak and heavily dependent on locals.
  • Ansar Al-Sharia, an organization not part of Al-Qaeda but sharing its goals, had planned to attack the US for a long time. The “Innocence of Muslims” video served as a spark, but an attack would have come at some point.
  • The first attack wound up with the security forces retreating and Stephens and Smith in a safe room. The attackers set the villa on fire and the smoke inhalation killed Smith and Stephens. The CIA response team arrived within 20 minutes. They rescued the security team and recovered Smith’s body. Stephens’ body was pulled out by sympathetic Libyans and not, contrary to initial reports, violated. It was taken to the hospital and then, eventually, to the airport where the Americans were secured.
  • A seven-man response team was quickly dispatched from Tripoli but ran into problems at the Benghazi airport. By that point, the Americans were in the CIA annex. The compound had come under sporadic initial attack, but this had stopped by the time the response team reached Benghazi airport.
  • About eight hours after the initial attack, shortly after the Tripoli team reached the CIA compound, it was attacked by mortar rounds which kill the two SEALS. The personnel were then evacuated to the airport and from there to Tripoli.
  • In short, both sides were full of it on some points. The Right Wing’s talking points that proved wrong: that Obama had real-time video of events, that the attack was continuous for eight hours, that no response was sent from Tripoli, that Stephens was raped or violated, that the video had nothing to do with what happened, that this was Al-Qaeda. The Left Wing’s talking points that proved wrong: that it was a spontaneous protest, that it was any kind of a protest, that all possible assets were used, that AQ-sympathizing elements had nothing to do with it, that his attack could not have been anticipated.

    In short, the Benghazi conspiracy theories are garbage (with the exception of speculation about the CIA’s presence) but the “there’s nothing to see here; move along” Left Wing knee-jerk defense is garbage too. We’re back to where we were on September 11, 2012: an incompetent State Department that left US personnel in a vulnerable position and then tried to pretend the awful events in Benghazi could not have been foreseen. By the time the attack happened, the die had been cast.

    Sorry, Obama Defense Derangement Syndrome sufferers. This is not a “vindication” of the President.

    Yeah, this is some serious genius that’s gonna end well

    I am not the first to make the prediction that this idiotic idea will result in massive abuse and cost the tax payers of New York a pretty penny. From the article:

    New York’s first bank dedicated to boosting the deployment of clean technologies is set to open in early 2014, after the state’s Governor confirmed an initial $210 million of funding.

    The NY Green Bank is eventually expected to be capitalized with $1 billion, investing alongside the private sector in renewable energy, energy efficiency and other low carbon technology projects.

    On Thursday last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo confirmed an initial $210 million backing for the Green Bank, $165m of which is from unallocated government funds, such as surcharges in utility bills that the state already collects for energy-efficiency programs, and $45 million from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative emissions trading scheme.

    He said the bank was now on track to open for business and start offering its first loans and other financial products in early 2014.

    We all have seen how well this green sector shit has played out for us tax payers at the federal level. It’s been a horrible investment, period, and it has been nothing but crony capitalism wealth transfer schemes of the worst kind. Nothing says make the rich richer, and the poor poorer, like green energy. From Solyndra to Fisker, we have forked over tens of millions only to see a few connected people rake in the cash and the endeavor fail miserably. Tax payers were left to foot the bill and the jobs promised went poof.

    Now double down on the fact that this new green energy bank is in New York, only out-crooked by the state of Illinois when it comes to donkey controlled corruption, and you can see how this is going to play out. When you get these government-business incestuous relationships, especially around the idiotic concept of green energy, they are doomed endeavors. The only way for green energy to make money is by political fiat: i.e. onerous and illogical regulations that cost the people money, and produce marginal, if any, value, be it short or long term. Did I mention it is NY state and government is involved to make the point this is doomed to a scandalous failure? Some are betting we find out in two years or so that this whole thing has been abused, and that it either is collapsing, or needs a new cash infusion, courtesy of the tax payers. I think they are horribly optimistic in their predictions.

    They must be some kind of scared

    To resort to this nonsense, and then this early.

    The email, subject line “Impeachment,” was sent to Obama for America supporters, imploring them to contribute to the DNC’s 2014 efforts. “What do these people all have in common?,” the email asked, featuring quotes from Republican Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, Rep. Kerry Bentivolio of Michigan, and Rep. Blake Farenthold of Texas discussing the possibility of impeaching Obama for one of his numerous instances of presidential misconduct.

    The DNC email discussed the “I-Word” and said that “Republicans are actually excited about the idea.”

    Actually what they are excited about is the well deserved trouncing democrats should be about to get at the polls. Obama is a criminal, but it would be stupid to impeach the stupid fuck. Who the hell would want President Biden? Say what you want, but picking Biden for VP was a stroke of absolute genius. Probably the only smart thing these numbnuts gave done in the last 5 plus years. Anyway, the idiotic letter continues with:

    “Show these Republicans that they are way, way off-base, and give President Obama a Congress that has his back,” according to the DNC email, noting that Democrats need to win 17 GOP House seats to reclaim a majority.

    Because what this country needs is more of the prosperity, wealth, economy and life destroying shit the left has straddled us with! Those healthcare premiums being jacked up? Don’t worry people! You will be pining for those numbers in a couple of years when the premiums again go up by 100-200%! And we can then all pretend healthcare was finally fixed and that things haven’t actually gotten worse! But the DNC is telling you need more cowbell!

    Obama’s staff changed key talking points on the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack; his Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative groups during the 2012 election cycle; and Obama personally lied to the American people when he told them that they could keep their existing doctors and health insurance plans under Obamacare.

    Man, you guys are forgetting the gun running operations, Holders use of the DOJ as a club against this WH’s enemies, the spying that the NSA has now escalated to a level that would have given Dick Cheney a cubby, the expansion of the welfare rolls, the umpteenth time the donkeys have sworn they will finally focus on the economy, without doing anything of the sort, of course, unless you count making things worse as doing something, and so many other fun things that we could make a comment game of it all. And nobody in Gitmo was available for comment, since now that Obama is in charge of this stuff and busy drone striking everyone, the media is too busy looking at fake stories the left is desperate to have people pay attention to, instead of all the criminal activity by the democrats and this administration, Gitmo no longer exists. Or something.

    If there is any justice in the universe, what we get is a lame duck with lots of free time to watch Duck Dynasty, and his party forced to give up everything they stole from the working people. Of course, the republicans being who they are might still fuck things up. They are usually good at helping democrats, the more corrupt the democrats, the more successfully the help, to win elections they should lose by a landslide.

    The Tax Man Cometh Again

    Remember, as you read through these stories, the cardinal rule of government: everything you have is theirs. If you have such a thing as “take-home pay” it’s only because of their generosity in allowing you to take it home. Sort of the way a highwayman might let you keep enough bread to feed your family while stealing everything else.

    First, Chicago. The city of Chicago has figured out what every economist knows: when you tax something, you get less of it. This is why, for example, paying for healthcare reform with cigarette taxes never works. People smoke less in response and revenues fall below expectations. Taxes and fees on cars and gasoline are driving some people to ride bicycles. This is a good thing, right? Less fossil fuel use, more people getting exercise. The only losers are people like me who wear out their brake pads trying not to run over these hippie fruitcakes when they cut across a road all of a sudden with NO consideration for anyone else and NO concept of how much momentum a car has and there’s a Goddamn bike lane right there and we paid taxes to build that thing so why don’t you use it, you self-important piece of …

    Sorry, lost my train of thought there.

    Anyway, Chicago is floating the idea of taxing bikes.

    A city councilwoman’s recent proposal to institute a $25 annual cycling tax set off a lively debate that eventually sputtered out after the city responded with a collective “Say what?” A number of gruff voices spoke in favor, feeding off motorists’ antagonism toward what they deride as stop sign-running freeloaders. Bike-friendly bloggers retorted that maybe pedestrians ought to be charged a shoe tax to use the sidewalks.

    Chicago is by no means the only place across the U.S. tempted to see bicyclists as a possible new source of revenue, only to run into questions of fairness and enforceability. That is testing the vision of city leaders who are transforming urban expanses with bike lanes and other amenities in a quest for relevance, vitality and livability – with never enough funds.

    Two or three states consider legislation each year for some type of cycling registration and tax – complete with decals or mini-license plates, National Conference of State Legislatures policy specialist Douglas Shinkle said. This year, it was Georgia, Oregon, Washington and Vermont. The Oregon legislation, which failed, would even have applied to children.

    Don’t mention the shoe tax, guys. They’ll take it seriously.

    Second story: you remember how our budget deficit problems result from not being able to raise taxes? Well, welcome to 2014 when a slew of new taxes will be heading your way.

    The new taxes and fees include a 2 percent levy on every health plan, which is expected to net about $8 billion for the government in 2014 and increase to $14.3 billion in 2018.

    There’s also a $2 fee per policy that goes into a new medical-research trust fund called the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

    Insurers pay a 3.5 percent user fee to sell medical plans on the HealthCare.gov Web site.

    Americans also will pay hidden taxes, such as the 2.3 percent medical-device tax that will inflate the cost of items such as pacemakers, stents and prosthetic limbs.

    Those with high out-of-pocket medical expenses also will get smaller income-tax deductions. Americans are currently allowed to deduct expenses that exceed 7.5 percent of their annual income. The threshold jumps to 10 percent under ObamaCare, costing taxpayers about $15 billion over 10 years.

    Then there’s the new Medicare tax.

    Under ObamaCare, individual tax filers earning more than $200,000 and families earning more than $250,000 will pay an added 0.9 percent Medicare surtax on top of the existing 1.45 percent Medicare payroll tax. They’ll also pay an extra 3.8 percent Medicare tax on unearned income, such as investment dividends, rental income and capital gains.

    Oh, and this morning, I found out about this little gem:

    The new year is time for change, even in the service industry. Starting January 1, the IRS will classify automatic gratuities as service charges that are taxable as regular wages and subject to payroll tax withholding. That might sound like a bunch of arcane tax law mumbo jumbo, but what it means is that restaurants have to treat those tips like regular wages.

    Typically, the IRS left it up to the waiter or tipped employees to declare that money. But with this new change the waiter won’t see those “tips” until payday—instead of the end of the shift. And restaurants will have to withhold federal income, Social Security and Medicare taxes on that money, too.

    What it means for the diner is that those automatic 18% gratuity charges on tables of 6 or more may well be a thing of the past. The addition has been added onto large parties to ensure that servers are paid for catering to a large group.

    That doesn’t mean you should use this an excuse to start stiffing people. Remember, the minimum wage laws here in the states for tipped workers is still at a shocking $2.13 an hour. And, as evidenced by this video, a few extra bucks means a lot to the service workers of America.

    What surprises me — actually it doesn’t surprise me — is how much this stuff is going to hit the middle and working classes. Cycling taxes, insurance taxes, tip taxes — these will hit hardest on young people, the working poor and the middle class. This is a running theme in Obama’s America: the plebs get screwed; the elites pat themselves on the back for caring so much. Even when the elites do bad things, they are never punished for their misdeeds, not to the extent the rest of us would be for smoking a joint or chewing a pop-tart into the shape of a gun. It’s enough to make you think the system is broken beyond repair.

    Enjoy your new taxes.