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Three more polio workers shot in Pakistan; eight dead in 48 hours
Today's Headlines
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Page 6: Politix
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9 13:35 Perfesser [6489] 
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Home Front: Politix
Biden to oversee White House effort to reduce gun violence
Reader Beavis points out this link as well.
President Obama will formally name Vice President Biden on Wednesday as the head of the administration's working group assigned to come up with ways to reduce gun violence following the Newtown, Conn., shootings.

The White House said Obama will make the announcement late Wednesday morning. Biden, a gun-control advocate during his years in the Senate, will supervise what the administration described as an "inter-agency" process to draw up a comprehensive strategy to address gun violence and the mass shootings that have battered a handful of communities during Obama's tenure.

Obama spoke Monday to Biden and several key Cabinet members, including Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, about the process.

White House officials say the eventual package of proposals will likely include some new restrictions on guns, particularly assault rifles, and high-capacity magazines. But they say it will also likely involve measures that touch on mental health initiatives and, perhaps, a discussion on the depiction of violence presented in popular culture.
Posted by: tipper || 12/19/2012 06:37 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6494 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Biden to oversee White House effort to reduce gun violence grab guns


How about this - allow any pol who wants to grab guns do the collection himself, unarmed, door to door without backup. Lead by example.
Posted by: P2Kontheroad || 12/19/2012 10:38 Comments || Top||

#2  Does this mean they aren't serious?
Posted by: Iblis || 12/19/2012 11:18 Comments || Top||

#3  The O admin knows that this will be a fight. They do not want to get any mud on O, so they will let Biden spearhead the effort, and when things go south, Biden will be da man to focus on. You sure as sh*t can't have Holder be point man.....
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 12/19/2012 11:22 Comments || Top||

#4  I assume Slow Joe will lead by example and disarm his Secret Service troop first?
Posted by: Frank G || 12/19/2012 11:22 Comments || Top||

#5  Champ passes the turd to Joe for safe handling. We'd rather not talk about F&F, Benghazi, Mexico ....guns, any guns.
Posted by: Besoeker || 12/19/2012 11:22 Comments || Top||

#6  Sheriff Joe will make sure you check your guns when you come to town.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 12/19/2012 11:35 Comments || Top||

#7  If Biden holds a Gun-press Conference nobody will show up without Vests. Just in case.
Posted by: Charles || 12/19/2012 12:33 Comments || Top||

#8  You know, this could be interpreted to mean that Obama really isn't serious about gun gontrol, this business of putting Slow Joe in charge.
Posted by: no mo uro || 12/19/2012 12:34 Comments || Top||

#9  Update
Obama Asks Biden To Draft 'Concrete Proposals' On Guns By January
Posted by: tipper || 12/19/2012 12:50 Comments || Top||

#10  "I will use all the powers of this office to help advance efforts to prevent more tragedies" such as Friday's, the president said.

The Congress be damned! Executive Orders forthcoming.
Posted by: Besoeker || 12/19/2012 13:08 Comments || Top||

#11  It would be a LOT more constructive if the Administration put together a special package to improve safety and security at American schools.
Posted by: Raider || 12/19/2012 14:42 Comments || Top||

#12  Doing nothing but giving the illusion of doing something? This doesn't square with O's gungrabber stance in the past.
Posted by: JohnQC || 12/19/2012 17:07 Comments || Top||

#13  Raising taxes is the main game right now. The gun issue is agitprop and distraction, plus battlespace prep for later.
Posted by: Grunter || 12/19/2012 17:41 Comments || Top||

#14  "It would be a LOT more constructive if the Administration put together a special package to improve safety and security at American schools."

There's your problem right there, Raider.

Plus, probably not enough opportunity for graft and corruption. >:-(
Posted by: Barbara || 12/19/2012 18:20 Comments || Top||

#15  Raising taxes is the main game right now

That will probably be the core of the gun grabbing legislation - registration of all guns with a high annual fee for each, plus a high tax on ammo and accessories.
Posted by: Glenmore || 12/19/2012 20:22 Comments || Top||

#16  An interesting economic consequence of the fear that the govt will clamp down on guns is that prices have gone exponential, rising by 200-300% since the day before the attack on eBay. People are buying at their Wal-Mart stores and gun shops, so much so that they are running out of stock in many areas and selling for a tidy 3x profit. It should be mayhem for the next month.
Posted by: tipper || 12/19/2012 23:12 Comments || Top||

The Most Absurd 'Loophole' in the Tax Code
And I mean absurd in the most literal sense. We all know that the U.S. tax code is riddled with "loopholes", exemptions and deductions intended to incentivize certain activities. Many of these are of dubious provenance and questionable utility. But, there is one that is particularly ridiculous. As in, how can this possibly be thought of as a loophole? But, to the technocrats in the federal government, the tax you don't have to pay on the value of rent you don't have to pay because you own your home is a loophole.

Read that last sentence again. Its called "The Imputed Net Rental Income on Owner-Occupied Housing" and the feds include it in their annual list of "tax expenditures." That term is how Washington officially refers to credits, deductions and exemptions. Here's how the federal government describes it:

Under the baseline tax system, the taxable income of a taxpayer who is an owner-occupant would include the implicit value of gross rental income on housing services earned on the investment in owner-occupied housing and would allow a deduction for expenses, such as interest, depreciation, property taxes, and other costs, associated with earning such rental income. In contrast, the Tax Code allows an exclusion from taxable in- come for the implicit gross rental income on housing services, while in certain circumstances allows a deduction for some costs associated with such income, such as for mortgage interest and property taxes.
Posted by: tipper || 12/19/2012 05:58 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6489 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Great! I get a tax deduction for expenses, such as interest, depreciation, property taxes, repairs, utilities, escort services?

But I already deduct interest and property taxes on my (underwater) Owner-Occupied Housing. So is the reporter mis-informed? Or the Federal Government stoopid? I'm betting on both.

Is the loss in value when the housing bubble collapsed considered "depreciation", I wonder? I mean, for tax purposes.
Posted by: Bobby || 12/19/2012 6:31 Comments || Top||

#2  No. When the actions of government cause the fair market value of a property to drop, that is a "regulatory taking." A type of eminent domain under the 5th amendment, for which the government is required to pay just compensation.

But that assumes the government repects the rule of law, and is not a communist money-printing thugocracy.
Posted by: RandomJD || 12/19/2012 7:35 Comments || Top||

#3  If you own your home out-right and don't have a mortgage at all, you would be "earning" $2,000 a month which the IRS thinks should be added to your taxable income.

While you have been paying Social Security for 49 years, you could have waited until age 70 to begin drawing Social Security. You however, elected to begin drawing your Social Security entitlement at age 62. Therefore, your entitlement is reduced approximately 40%.
Posted by: Besoeker || 12/19/2012 9:38 Comments || Top||

#4  Are they going to assess as implied income the difference between buying a new car, and the cost of keeping my current cheapass five-year-old Aveo on the road? Is my noninclination to buy dress clothes for work, and instead shop at Walmart, also a taxable implied event? How about my failure to buy cable TV? Eating in on cheap food instead of eating at a restaurant every night?
Posted by: Mitch H. || 12/19/2012 10:00 Comments || Top||

#5  The "Implied imcome" tax code language impacts only 50%, 49%, 48%, 47%.... a small number of taxpayers people.
Posted by: Besoeker || 12/19/2012 10:10 Comments || Top||

#6  Taxing the implied income of a home is actually Adam Smith capitalism.

You may not like it but it is.

Ground-rents are a still more proper subject of taxation than the rent of houses. A tax upon ground-rents would not raise the rents of houses. It would fall altogether upon the owner of the ground-rent, who acts always as a monopolist, and exacts the greatest rent which can be got for the use of his ground. More or less can be got for it according as the competitors happen to be richer or poorer, or can afford to gratify their fancy for a particular spot of ground at a greater or smaller expense. In every country the greatest number of rich competitors is in the capital, and it is there accordingly that the highest ground-rents are always to be found. As the wealth of those competitors would in no respect be increased by a tax upon ground-rents, they would not probably be disposed to pay more for the use of the ground. Whether the tax was to be advanced by the inhabitant, or by the owner of the ground, would be of little importance. The more the inhabitant was obliged to pay for the tax, the less he would incline to pay for the ground; so that the final payment of the tax would fall altogether upon the owner of the ground-rent.

— Adam Smith , The Wealth of Nations, Book V, Chapter 2, Article I: Taxes upon the Rent of Houses
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 12/19/2012 10:17 Comments || Top||

#7  Bullshi*! Businesses DON'T pay taxes, CONSUMERS pay taxes, AND they pay taxes on the same item purchased over, and over, and over again!

Business profit margins DO NOT and simply CANNOT ignore overhead costs (which also include what Uncle Sam may levy).
Posted by: Besoeker || 12/19/2012 10:28 Comments || Top||

#8  Bright Pebbles, I'm pretty sure that passage was about different ways of taxing property, and in particular, real estate property tax. Specifically, an endorsement of the land value or site valuation tax - a levy on the unimproved value of land. It's intended to encourage improvements by setting the cost of letting it lie fallow high.

But still and all, Smith and Henry George argued for an explicitly simple direct property tax scheme, not a involuted tax-expenditure accounting honeytrap built around income tax code.

I live in Pennsylvania, which already has a species of land value tax on the books. I probably pay *more* in mortgage, maintenance, and property taxes than I would to rent the same square footage in the same market as the townhouse I own. But the opportunity costs tied up in documenting that particular hypothesis to the satisfaction of some humorless IRS drone would not come cheap, relative to my modest income. And that sort of bureaucratic hoop-jumping crap is definitely not what the Georges and Smith intended.
Posted by: Mitch H. || 12/19/2012 10:38 Comments || Top||

#9  "Meet the new loophole, same as the old loophole."

Peter Townshend
Posted by: Perfesser || 12/19/2012 13:35 Comments || Top||

White House: Obama Backs Bill to Ban Assault Weapons
[An Nahar] President Barack Obama
How's it going, Sunshine?...
on Tuesday threw his weight behind a bill to reintroduce a ban on civilians owning assault weapons, in the wake of a gun massacre in an elementary school that shocked the nation.
That didn't involve assault weapons, from what I understand...
White House front man Jay Carney said the president would support a law proposed by Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein to prohibit the arms, defined as certain types of semi-automatic firearm with removable magazines.

"He is actively supportive of, for example, Senator Feinstein's stated intent to revive a piece of legislation that would reinstate the assault weapons ban," Carney said, when asked what Obama would do about gun control.

Carney said Obama would also support any move to ban high-capacity clips -- magazines that hold dozens of rounds -- and close the so-called "gun show loophole" that allows unlicensed individuals to sell guns privately.

Feinstein vowed on Monday to bring the bill forward, telling CNN: "It's going to be strong, and it's going to be definitive. And it's going to ban by name at least 100 military-style semi-automatic assault weapons."

A previous ten-year ban on military-style assault weapons was allowed to expire in 2004, and many U.S. citizens have since rushed to arm themselves with semi-automatic versions of rifles like the Kalashnikov or the AR-15.

On Friday, a 20-year-old man used a Bushmaster AR-15 assault rifle in an attack on a Connecticut elementary school, killing six staff and 20 children aged six or seven in a hail of high-velocity .223 rounds.

The slaughter has revived calls for stricter controls on arms in civilian hands, but Obama and Feinstein may encounter tough opposition from America's legions of shooting enthusiasts and a well-funded pro-gun lobby.

Obama has long supported a return of the assault weapons ban, but did nothing in his first term to put his own political muscle behind attempts to revive it.

America has suffered an epidemic of gun violence over the last three decades, including 62 mass shooting sprees since 1982, three of the deadliest in the second half of this year alone.

The vast majority of weapons used have been semi-automatic handguns or military-style assault weapons obtained legally by the killers.

There were an estimated 310 million non-military firearms in the United States as of 2009, one for each citizen. People in America are 20 times more likely to be killed by a gun than is someone in another developed country.
Posted by: Fred || 12/19/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6468 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Fast and Furious didn't work out, but then along comes this Sandy Hook disaster to take its place. Never let a crisis/disaster go to waste.
Posted by: Bobby || 12/19/2012 6:43 Comments || Top||

#2  Didn't Columbine happen right in the middle of Clinton's ban?

This isn't going to solve anything (but then it's not designed to).
Posted by: CrazyFool || 12/19/2012 9:18 Comments || Top||

#3  Every single mass killing (3 or greater) in the past couple of years has happened in a GUN FREE ZONE. Only exception is the Giffords shooting in Arizona.
Posted by: Ebboque Snainter4421 || 12/19/2012 10:29 Comments || Top||

#4  The hypocrisy of Fast and Furious (and Benghazi) and govmint attempts at gun grabbing is galling.
Posted by: JohnQC || 12/19/2012 17:13 Comments || Top||

#5  But completely expected, #4 John. :-(
Posted by: Barbara || 12/19/2012 18:29 Comments || Top||

Who's in the News
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Two weeks of WOT
Wed 2012-12-19
  Three more polio workers shot in Pakistan; eight dead in 48 hours
Tue 2012-12-18
  Syrian rebels take control of Damascus Palestinian camp
Mon 2012-12-17
  Rebel Offensive In Hama
Sun 2012-12-16
  Rockets Fired on Peshawar Airport, Five Dead, Dozens Injured
Sat 2012-12-15
  Tunisian Salafists attack bar, call drinkers 'infidels'
Fri 2012-12-14
  Coca-Cola resumes its production in Somalia
Thu 2012-12-13
  'Friends of Syria' Recognize Syrian Opposition
Wed 2012-12-12
  Syria Fires Scud Missiles at Insurgents, U.S. Says
Tue 2012-12-11
  North Korea 'launches long-range rocket'
Mon 2012-12-10
  Rebels Seize Chunk of Aleppo Base as Fighting Rages across Syria
Sun 2012-12-09
  Mohammad Ahmed Almansoor Drone-zapped in North Wazoo
Sat 2012-12-08
  Abu-Zaid al Kuwaiti Drone-zapped During Breakfast
Fri 2012-12-07
  6 dead, 450 injured in clashes at Egypt's presidential palace
Thu 2012-12-06
  Two Dead as Egypt Islamists Overrun Opposition Tents
Wed 2012-12-05
  Hundreds of thousands besiege Egypt's presidential palace to protest draft constitution

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