Vitamin C Tied To Mood Benefits

Vitamin C tied to mood benefits While prescribing powerful drugs to treat even minor mood problems has become commonplace, there may be a simpler way to support mood.

A new study from researchers at Montreal's Jewish General Hospital has found that vitamin C supplements were able to significantly improve the mood of patients in acute care.

John Hoffer, who led the investigation, said that patients in this type of care often have low levels of most nutrients. However, they are often not given supplements as their care providers are generally more focused on treating more immediate concerns.

He and his team administered either vitamin C or D supplements to a group of patients. They found that individuals who were given C vitamins showed statistically and clinically significant improvements in mood.

"Most physicians are simply unaware of the problem [of vitamin C deficiency]," said Hoffer. "Subclinical deficiencies of vitamin C and D have each been linked to psychological abnormalities, so we examined that aspect in our clinical trial."

He added that the lack of benefit in patients who were given vitamin D supplements indicates that findings cannot be attributed to a placebo effect.
 

Vitamin D And Calcium Shown To Assist In Weight Loss

Vitamin D and calcium shown to assist in weight loss Individuals who are trying to lose weight may be overwhelmed by the number of diets available to them. It may seem that there is a new fad weight loss plan that comes along every month. However, a new study has found that simply consuming more vitamin D and calcium may assist in weight loss.

Researchers from Ben-Gurion University in Israel said that individuals who had consumed the most dairy products — which contain high levels of these nutrients — had the most success losing weight over the course of their two-year study period.

The findings held true whether participants followed a low-carbohydrate or Mediterranean diet, which consists mainly of fruits, vegetables and lean fish.

"It was known that overweight people had lower levels of serum vitamin D but this is the first study that actually shows that serum Vitamin D increased among people who lost weight. This result lasted regardless of whether they were on a low-carb, low fat or Mediterranean diet."

He added that fortified milk, eggs and fish are among the foods that are highest in vitamin D and calcium.
 

Poll: Voters Want Republicans In Charge Of Controlling Deficit

Poll: Voters want Republicans in charge of controlling deficitAmerican voters have more confidence in Republicans than Democrats when it comes to controlling the national deficit, a recent poll has revealed.

The latest edition of the bipartisan Politico-George Washington University Battleground Poll reports that 45 percent of Americans surveyed would prefer a GOP-led Congress handling the country's budget. Only 28 percent would favor Democrats.

In addition, approximately 45 percent of the registered voters surveyed believe that Republicans will take control of the House of Representatives after November's midterm elections. About 46 percent said that conservatives will take control of the Senate.

FOXBusiness.com reports that Congress' lack of progress on determining next year's tax rates could significantly impact the taxpayers.

"If Congress was to fail to extend [the Bush-era cuts], that would be close to disastrous," Clint Stretch, managing principal for tax policy for Deloitte Tax LLC, told the news provider. "I don't see how these folks can fail to extend the middle-class tax cuts. People would be angrier than they are now."

According to a report from Deloitte Tax, a family of four with a household income of $50,000 per year would have to pay almost $3,000 more in taxes in 2011, while a family of four accruing $100,000 a year will see a rise of $4,500.

Could you recommend a stock broker who deals in shares of gold mining stocks?

Dear Bob,

I was wondering if you could recommend a stock broker who deals in shares of gold mining stocks, such as what John Myers recommends. If you know of any, it would be most appreciative

A: I cannot recommend a stock broker for you. This is a personal decision you have to make because you must develop a relationship with the broker much as you would a physician, realtor or a lawyer. Unless you are prepared to do your research on your stock picks, you have to be confident he or she has your best interests at heart rather than their pocketbooks when making recommendations to you. One question you need to ask up front: Will you be able to hold the stock certificates yourself? This should be crucial to your decision.

If you are ready and willing to conduct the proper research before making a stock pick I would recommend you use one of the online brokerage companies in order to save money on your transactions.

Best Wishes,
Bob

“Food Safety” Bill Targets Natural Supplements

The war on your ability to make decisions about your own health continues with the introduction of a new bill in the Senate Judiciary Committee that would put draconian laws on natural health supplement companies and small and mid-sized farm and food facilities.

The bill is the Food Safety Accountability Act of 2010 (S 3767) and it increases fines and penalties for any person who knowingly introduces or delivers for introduction into interstate commerce any food that is adulterated or misbranded. It also imposes increased regulations and fees, including a $500 annual registration fee, which is a great imposition on small producers.

While at first glance it would seem a good thing to police adulterated or misbranded food, the problem is the vagueness of the definition of adulterated or misbranded. For instance, misbranded could mean the supplement was marketed using perfectly sound peer-reviewed research but without the approval of the FDA.

An example of this that has already occurred is a cherry producer who cited peer-reviewed scientific research from prestigious universities on the health benefits of cherries, but the FDA decided by citing that research it had, in effect, turned cherries into drugs through “false and actionable misbranding.” The FDA regularly censors science and quashes constitutionally protected free speech on healthful, natural supplements at the bidding of Big Pharma.

The bill is so draconian that even minor mistakes in record keeping can cause the supplement manufacturer and distributor to be guilty of a violation. It also holds the seller responsible for mistakes made by the manufacturer. This is part of an ongoing effort by Congress to control your ability to make your own health decisions.

The House version of this same bill — which passed a few months ago — is even worse. It imposes prison terms of up to 10 years and fines of up to $100,000 for individuals and $7.5 million for corporations, regardless of the size of the corporation.

While these harsh provisions aren’t in the Senate bill, they could be included in the final bill that comes out of the Conference Committee that merges the bills from the two Houses into one.

We urge you to contact your Senator immediately to state your opposition to the bill. For more information on the bill from the Alliance For Natural Health, go here.

Accelerating The March Toward One World Governance

Congressional Democrats and the administration of President Barack Obama are actively working to subject the United States to the dictates of the United Nations and are accelerating the march toward One World Governance. Recent speeches and actions by administration officials, key Obama appointments and pending legislation all point toward this conclusion.

In a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations — an organization whose members include former presidents and current and former cabinet members and CEOs of multinational corporations and which is actively working toward global governance — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared the United Nations is the “single most important global institution.”

“Now the U.N. remains the single most important global institution,” CNSNews.com reports Clinton told the CFR during a gathering in Washington, D.C. “We are constantly reminded of its value: The Security Council enacting sanctions against Iran and North Korea. Peacekeepers patrolling the streets of Monrovia and Port-au-Prince. Aid workers assisting flood victims in Pakistan and displaced people in Darfur.

“And, most recently, the U.N. General Assembly establishing a new entity, U.N. Women, which will promote gender equality, expand opportunity for women and girls, and tackle the violence and discrimination they face.”

What Clinton conveniently overlooks is the fact that U.N. is probably the most corrupt institution ever devised by man. It’s appointees in the U.N. hierarchy from around the globe enrich themselves and their cronies from programs supposedly designed to aid those in poverty or suffering under some man-made or natural disaster. Meanwhile, it rushes to the assistance of certain nationalities, classes or groups of people it favors while ignoring the plight of others.

For instance, while aid workers and U.N. “peacekeeping” troops are assisting in areas like Lebanon and Pakistan and Darfur, as Clinton mentioned, it has a history of ignoring the needs of other groups: The Hutu slaughter of Tutsis in Africa in 1994 and extermination of Christians in the Sudan more recently, for example. The U.N. also often supports trade embargoes that lead to the deprivation and starvation of certain cultures (Iran and North Korea as Clinton pointed out, but also Iraq) while sending food aid to corrupt totalitarian regimes in other parts of the globe with the full knowledge that the food is withheld from the citizenry and is used to further prop up those totalitarian regimes.

Endorsing U.N. Policies
Yet Clinton — certainly under Obama’s direction but obviously agreeing to the policy — continues to endorse and aid U.N. policies.

Case in point: The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. Under the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) — a foundation established by former President Bill Clinton to “help our world move beyond the current state of globalization to a more integrated global community of shared benefits, responsibilities, and values” — Secretary Clinton pledged $50 million from the United States Treasury to provide 100 million homes in third world countries with clean stoves and fuels by 2020.

Certainly this will turn into a multi-million dollar boondoggle, with the Secretary of State pledging U.S. funds that will be channeled through her husband’s foundation. No conflict of interest there, of course. But it’s typical of One Worlder thinking of taking from the rich countries (read America) and funneling money to pet projects through pet agencies to further their aims at enriching themselves while subjecting those countries to U.N. dictates.

“The new alliance [between the U.N. and CGI] gathers U.S. government agencies with the United Nations Foundation, Germany, Norway, Peru, the World Health Organization and corporate backers including Morgan Stanley and Shell,” reports CNSNews.com . The primary shareholders of Morgan Stanley and Shell are members of the Bilderberg Group which meets annually in an effort to push toward One World Government.

Obama’s recent appointment of former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels to a U.N. post is further evidence that Obama supports the U.N. initiative to remove firearms from Americans and leave them solely in the hands of a global military. Secretary Clinton had already expressed U.S. support of the U.N. Small Arms Treaty. But Nickels’ appointment is another finger in the eye of supporters of the U.S. Constitution.

Nickels is a founding member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns and the author of Seattle’s failed attempt to override Washington’s state firearms preemption statute, according to an article on the website for the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA).

Alan Gottlieb, chairman of CCRKBA said, “By naming Greg Nickels as an alternate representative at the U.N., President Obama has essentially told America’s 85 million gun owners that their firearm civil rights are in jeopardy. Nickels cannot be counted on to defend the Second Amendment because he would like to see it erased from the Constitution.”

Controls At Home
The Obama administration isn’t just working through the U.N. to establish totalitarian controls. He, his cabinet and the increasingly-Marxist Congressional Democrats are hard at work at denying Americans the freedom to choose which products they purchase while furthering their goal of a “Green” world.  On Sept. 16, Assistant Energy Secretary Cathy Zoi said the U.S. Department of Energy has a “mandate” to issue regulations to determine what household appliances are available to Americans in the future, according to CNSNews.com.

Zoi said the administration has four tactics to use to advance the “deployment of clean energy.” The first three include government subsidies for private-sector green energy projects, special tax incentives for green energy projects and low-interest government-backed loans for green energy projects. But then she said something chilling.

“The fourth one, which the secretary and I love, is where we have a mandate. Where we can actually just issue regulations and do market transformation,” Zoi said.

That transformation is going to take place through the imposition of new standards for refrigerators, microwave ovens, residential and mobile home furnaces, fluorescent light ballasts, residential clothes washers and dryers, room and central air conditioners and battery chargers.

“We’re going to update [the standards] more frequently. We have the power to do that in the statute,” Zoi said, according to CSNNews.com.

This is how the Obama administration plans to implement its cap and trade environmental agenda — overwhelmingly rejected by the American people — one little piece of bureaucratic regulation at a time.

Another backdoor effort at implementing cap and trade comes from a House bill passed quietly earlier this summer that will effectively cede control of energy production in the U.S. and off its coastline to an international body. This bill is now on the Senate’s calendar.

The bill is HR 3534, also called the “Clear Act of 2009.” Clear stands for Consolidated Land, Energy and Aquatic Resources, and it will hamper or delay future oil drilling projects, further increasing our dependency on foreign sources of oil and cost the U.S. $900 million per year for 30 years.

This legislation would impose a fee of $2 on each barrel of oil and 20 cents per million British Thermal Units (BTUs) of natural gas for all leases on Federal and offshore lands. The effect of these restrictions and fees would be increases in the cost of gas and energy and other petroleum-based products. But Obama has said in the past he’s comfortable with $5 per gallon gas and believes skyrocketing energy prices in exchange for a “clean environment” is a good tradeoff.

While Democrats aren’t afraid to take the lead on issues of cap and trade and subjecting the U.S. to U.N. mandates, this doesn’t discount the complicity of many so-called conservative Republicans: People like former President George H.W. Bush and Senators Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) to name just a few.

The global governance crowd has been hard at work for almost 100 years. They succeeded in their goal to unite the European nations under the European Union banner, and with their puppet Obama and the Marxist Democrats controlling Congress they see this as their best shot ever at subjecting the U.S. to U.N. dictates like the Law of the Sea Treaty and energy regulations.

Parties Divided On New Healthcare Reform Law

Parties divided on new healthcare reform lawSeveral key aspects of the healthcare reform legislation that was passed by Congress six months ago went into effect Sept. 23. Some of the changes include protections against denying coverage for children with pre-existing conditions, coverage for young adults up to 26 and elimination of lifetime caps.

The Affordable Health Care Act was praised by the American Heart Association (AHA), which said that millions of Americans will benefit from the new set of guidelines for health-insurance providers to follow.

Earlier this week Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said that health insurance companies in some states are backtracking on their previous pledge to write new policies to accommodate children with pre-existing conditions. Pelosi's statement comes amidst a plan from Congressional Republicans that aims to repeal segments of the bill.

"Under reform, families of these children have new options, but this reversal of their promise reinforces why a whole slate of new patients' rights must not be rolled back by Congressional Republicans — because time after time, insurance companies will place profits over patients," Pelosi said.

According to MSNBC.com, Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) believes that the public will support a sweeping change to the healthcare law, although he admitted that it will be difficult to achieve this because of President Barack Obama's authority to veto legislation.

GOP House Leaders Make Pledge To Cut Taxes, Control Government Spending

GOP House leaders make pledge to cut taxes, control government spendingRepublican leaders in the House of Representatives recently released a pledge to Americans, outlining their plan to cut taxes and repeal the new healthcare law.

The GOP-written "Pledge to America" vows to create new jobs and control government spending. Conservatives hope the 21-page document will help Republicans take control of the House in November's midterm elections.

"Regarding the policies of the current government, the governed do not consent," reads the preamble to the pledge, according to media reports. "An arrogant and out-of-touch government of self-appointed elites makes decisions, issues mandates, and enacts laws without accepting or requesting the input of the many."

In response, Representative James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said the pledge, if enacted, would be a "plague on Americans." He argued that tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, which is part of the GOP's agenda, would add $700 billion to the nation's deficit.

Other elements of the pledge include a hiring freeze on all government agencies, except for the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security, and a ban on Federal funding of abortion.

Vitamin D May Provide Health Benefits To The Obese

Vitamin D may provide health benefits to the obese Recent estimates have indicated that the costs associated with treating conditions related to the obesity epidemic are putting a significant strain on the healthcare system. Obesity causes a person's health to deteriorate in a range of ways, resulting in the need for significant treatment.

However, a recent study from researchers at the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center found that increasing vitamin D intake may help overweight individuals reduce their risk of developing some of these conditions.

Leena Hilakivi-Clarke, who led the investigation, said that losing weight is the preferred method for improving health. However, if that is not possible, vitamin D supplementation may provide positive results.

"Since over 50 percent of women in the U.S. are overweight or obese, and losing weight is difficult, other means are needed. One way is to use progesterone, but it increases breast cancer risk. Vitamin D supplements are likely to be safer than [alternative treatments]."

She added that taking vitamin supplements and spending a few more minutes in the sun each week may be an effective way for individuals to increase their intake of the nutrient.
 

Farewell To Newman, Oil Spill Lies, On Hold And Government Payments

*Farewell to “a tart-tongued grammar guru.”  Until I read about his death a few days ago I didn’t realize how much I had missed the delightful repartee and word play of Edwin Newman, the longtime NBC contributor.  If you love language, go to your local library and pick up a copy of Strictly Speaking: Will America be the Death of English?  You’ll enjoy reading it almost as much as he surely did writing it.

*The oil spill is over, but the lies aren’t.  Congratulations to everyone involved in shutting down — forever, we hope — the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  The engineering involved in working two miles beneath the surface is beyond my understanding.  Not so the propaganda surrounding this tragic accident, which I’m sure we’ll be hearing for the rest of our lives.  Like the time Katie Couric began CBS Evening News by announcing that “43 percent of Americans approve of President Obama’s handling of the spill, [while] only 13 percent approve of BP’s efforts.”  What the liberal cutie didn’t mention was that the same poll revealed that 47 percent of respondents disapproved of Obama’s performance.  That’s how the news is slanted, folks.

*Next time you’re put on hold, try this.  I just heard about a new phone service that promises to end waiting on hold.  Here’s how I’m told it works: Go to lucyphone.com and type in the customer-service number you want to reach.  After LucyPhone connects you, hang up.  The service will call you back when a real live human being actually picks up the phone.  Sure sounds worth trying.

*Some bills will never be paid.  Remember the Meadowlands — the football stadium in New Jersey where the Giants played all their home games (and Jimmy Hoffa is allegedly buried under a goal post)?  It no longer exists, of course.  It was torn down last year to make way for a brand-new stadium.  But get this: The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (aka the State of New Jersey) borrowed $302 million to build it and never paid the debt.  The bill now comes to $800 million and costs New Jersey taxpayers $100 million a year in interest.  See?  It’s not only the Federales who can be criminally irresponsible with taxpayer funds.

— Chip Wood

Decision To Dismiss Black Panther Case Linked To Obama’s Appointed Officials, Watchdog Group Says

Decision to dismiss Black Panther case linked to Obama's appointed officials, watchdog group saysThe decision to drop a case against the New Black Panther Party involved Department of Justice (DOJ) officials appointed by President Barack Obama, according to documents released by a public interest group.

The new evidence, obtained by Judicial Watch and prepared by the DOJ, contradicts sworn testimony by Thomas Perez, the assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division, who testified before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in May.

Perez claimed that political leadership was not involved in the decision to dismiss the lawsuit against the New Black Panther Group, which allegedly intimidated voters outside of a Philadelphia polling station on election day in 2008.

The evidence contains emails linked to political appointees inside the DOJ, including former Deputy Attorney General David Ogden and the Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli.

"This new evidence shows that the Obama team lied when it said politics did not influence the Black Panther dismissal," Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. "We now know that top political leaders inside Obama Justice Department were involved in the call to drop the [lawsuit]."

According to the Washington Post, former DOJ lawyer J. Christian Adams said that the Civil Rights Division acted only in the interest of protecting minorities.

An Out-Of-Control FBI

An inspector general’s report released last week says the FBI overstepped its authority in investigating left-wing domestic groups after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and then misled Congress about its actions, Yahoo News reports.

The report said the FBI improperly used the cover of “terrorism” to investigate a number of domestic activist groups from 2001 to 2006. Those groups included Greenpeace, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the pacifist Thomas Merton Center.

The Justice Department Inspector General’s report was requested by Congress four years ago and it said the FBI classified the cases as domestic terrorism cases but had little evidence to back up the claims. The FBI then made “false and misleading statements” to Congress about the investigations, including surveillance of an anti-war rally.

Couple this with the recent revelations that the FBI essentially entrapped a man in Chicago and prodded him into planting a “bomb” near Wrigley Field and you can see that we have an FBI that is out of control.

In the age of the USA PATRIOT Act — where almost any activity from drawing a picture to making an impolitic statement to sending inappropriate emails to attending a rally can get you branded a terrorist and thrown into prison and subjected to “enhanced” interrogation (see Jose Padilla) — it’s becoming increasingly dangerous to oppose the regime in power.

Under the George W. Bush administration, left-wing “terrorists” were the enemy. The only thing that has changed under the Barack Obama administration is that now the terrorists are Tea Partiers, Ron Paul supporters and former members of the military.

Anyone who doubts we live in a totalitarian police state simply isn’t paying attention.

Religious Leaders Oppose Bill They Said Would Violate First Amendment Rights

Religious leaders oppose bill they said would violate First Amendment rightsSignificant public attention has been focused on the proposed Islamic Center in New York and its implications for the freedom of religion. However, another First Amendment conflict has been brewing all this time which may also shape the role of government in regulating religious organizations.

The issue has centered around pending legislation that would prohibit religious groups that receive Federal funding from religion-based discrimination in their hiring decisions. The bill in question is HR 5466, introduced by Representative Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.), which would reauthorize Federal substance abuse treatment funding administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Recently, leaders of more than 100 organizations — including the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops — sent a letter to all members of Congress to protest the language in the bill that would ban them from preferring staff who share their religious faith. Among other laws, the signatories invoked the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as the grounds for their complaint.

"Stripping away the religious hiring rights of religious service providers violates the principle of religious freedom, and represents bad practice in the delivery of social services," said Anthony R. Picarello Jr., General Counsel of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. 

Multiple IRAs May Be A Good Option For Those Seeking A Comfortable Retirement, Experts Say

Multiple IRAs may be a good option for those seeking a comfortable retirement, experts sayMany Americans are looking for ways to preserve their assets to ensure a comfortable living when they retire, and despite a bad economy there are still many options to achieve this. 

Experts have been advocating gold purchases, since the price of the precious metal has been steadily rising this year, but financial goals can also be achieved through smart retirement investment strategies.

To illustrate the point, Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), a non-profit organization, has unveiled data on individual retirement accounts (IRAs). It shows that people who own more than one IRA have a total balance that is about 25 percent higher than the average.

In fact, while the average account balance in 2008 was $54,864, those who held multiple accounts had average aggregated balances of $69,498.

Craig Copeland, senior research associate at EBRI and author of the study, said that "IRAs are an incredibly important piece of the retirement puzzle, since they hold the largest single share of the $13 trillion in U.S. retirement assets."

The organization also says that men are more likely to own IRAs — 56.6 percent to 43.4 percent for women. 

It’s the Spending, Stupid

Now there’s a message I hope you’ll see and hear a lot between now and election day — on bumper stickers on the backs of cars, in email messages and letters to the editor, on radio talk shows and a hundred other places; including in front of every polling place in the country, if that were allowed.

Please do your share to pass it around — including sending this column to a few dozen friends and family members who should read it. I wish I could take credit for the slogan — an obvious twist on the James Carville/Bill Clinton message two decades ago — but I can’t. It was the headline in a Daniel Henninger column last week in The Wall Street Journal.

Henninger began by quoting the president at a town-hall meeting in Fairfax, Va., where our Obfuscator in Chief attempted to explain the election victories of various Tea Party candidates.

“They saw the Recovery Act. They saw TARP. They saw the auto bailout. And they look at these and think, ‘God, all these huge numbers adding up.’  So they’re right to be concerned about that.”

Right. You feel our pain. I think we’ve heard that before.

Of course, the president could also have mentioned new deficits of more than a trillion dollars a year, two $3-trillion budgets since he took office, and a trillion-dollar healthcare entitlement shoved down our throats. Voters aren’t just “concerned,” Mr. President. Many of them have had it up to here with bloated, wasteful government spending. They are, to quote a wonderful old movie, mad as h**l and they’re not going to take it anymore.

If you consider yourself one of the “they” referred to above, you can take heart from the latest poll results. Last week the Rasmussen poll queried potential voters. Nearly seven out of 10 — an outstanding 68 percent of the total — said they want smaller government and lower taxes, even if that comes at the cost of fewer services.

The number was highest, of course, among people who identified themselves as Republicans, with 88 percent saying they wanted spending reduced. Democrats scored the lowest, but a still impressive 44 percent in favor of cuts. And where did the independents fall? Some 74 percent joined the anti-spending crowd.

My liberal friends, you’ve got trouble. Big trouble. And not just in River City. I’m not sure there’s a lie big enough, or a smear nasty enough, to keep you from getting your heads handed to you this fall.

If I were running against an incumbent, one of the first questions I would ask is, where were you when the tax cuts expired? And why did you do nothing to preserve them?

In case you’ve missed all the hullabaloo, here’s what’s happening… or, to be accurate, not happening.

Back in 2001, blessed by a healthy Republican majority in the House and Senate, George Bush persuaded Congress to approve some of the largest tax cuts in our country’s history. The Democrats couldn’t stop the legislation, but they very cleverly exacted a condition: The tax cuts would expire on Dec. 31, 2010, unless Congress extended them.

We’re getting awfully close to the witching hour and thus far, Congress hasn’t done a thing… except expend a lot of hot air. If Congress does nothing over the next three months — and usually, I’ve got to admit, that’s exactly what I wish the esteemed men and women who represent us would do — you and every other taxpayer in this country will see a lot more money taken from your pocket next year and given to Uncle Sam.

In fact, it will amount to the largest tax increase in U.S. history. And it will impact almost every taxpayer in the country. The front-page story in my local paper said it all: “Unless Congress acts, almost all earning levels will be paying more — from the wealthy to the working poor.”

And please don’t let anyone sucker you into believing that what’s at stake here are “tax breaks for the wealthy.”  That is a bunch of hokum. Listen to this: “A typical family of four with a household income of $50,000 a year would have to pay $2,900 more in taxes in 2011, according to a new analysis by Deloitte Tax LLP, a tax-consulting firm,” according to a story by The Associated Press.

But if you do make more than Obama’s $250,000 threshold, get ready to be really hammered. Starting on Jan. 1, 2011, the top marginal income-tax rate is set to increase to 39.6 percent from 35 percent. The phase-out of itemized deductions will raise that rate to 40.8 percent. Now that Obamacare has passed there will also be a 3.8 percent healthcare tax, starting in 2013. So the total Federal tax rate for our highest earners will be 44.6 percent.

But, in fact, it will be even higher. When the Bush tax cuts expire, taxes on stock dividends and capital gains will go from 15 percent to 20 percent. President Barack Obama has said he would like to see them raised as high as 28 percent.

And here’s an astounding fact that is known (or should be) to every member of Congress: Whenever Congress has increased taxes on capital gains in the past, actual tax collections have gone down.

That’s right: When government raises the tax rate, actual receipts drop. When you think about it, it’s not hard to understand why. Capital gains only occur when someone sells an investment and reports making a profit on it. But most of the time, they don’t have to sell. Given the mood of the country right now, how many investors will sit on their holdings rather than give more and more of them to a greedy, grasping, irresponsible government?

Oh, and there’s one more monstrosity racing down the road toward us. That is the re-imposition of the dreaded estate tax. Beginning next year the estate tax is slated to return to 55 percent on inheritances above $1 million. Right now, because Congress did nothing last year, the estate tax is zero. That explains the delirious joy on the part of the heirs of such billionaires as John Kluge and George Steinbrenner.

By dying this year, they saved their families over a billion dollars in taxes. Imagine — their heirs got all the money, not Uncle Sam. No wonder the distributionists among us are having apoplexy.

Where does all that money go? Part of it makes certain that Federal employees now make, on average, more than twice as much as workers in the private sector. That’s the startling conclusion of an analysis by USA Today, which found that anyone lucky enough to be gobbling at the Federal trough receives, on average, some $41,791 in benefits a year.

That’s in addition to a salary, on average, of $81,258 a year. Private workers, in comparison, earn only $61,051 in total compensation.

Let me repeat the first number, to make sure you grasp it. The average benefits of a Federal employee, above and beyond the salary he or she actually gets paid, comes to $41,791 a year.

If that isn’t enough to make you want to throw some tea into Boston Harbor — and a whole bunch of incumbents along with it, I don’t know what will.

Until next time, keep some powder dry.

— Chip Wood

The Company You Keep

Georgia’s 12th Congressional District comprises 220 or so gerrymandered miles of economically and demographically heterogeneous land which includes everything from onion farms to America’s fifth largest port. The person who serves this diverse constituency, noted by the Cook Partisan Voting Index as being D+1 (listing slightly to port), is currently a wealthy trial lawyer named John Barrow.

Barrow himself is a fairly inconsequential fellow. Of his three successful campaigns for the House, two were decided by margins narrower than his shoulders. Pro-abortion group NARAL has given him a 100 percent rating; but he voted against major liberal initiatives like Obamacare and Cap and Trade.

In an effort to maintain his grasp on the good life afforded House members, Barrow horse-trades like the guy in the green eyeshade in a John Wayne movie; swapping votes for Nancy Pelosi for the power to pacify his more conservative constituents during Obama’s periodic assaults on their lives. To put a fine point on it: Barrow is everyone’s pal, but nobody’s friend.

The urbane Barrow is certainly not someone you’d expect to find skulking around the urban alleys of New York City. Indeed, it’s hard to picture the bespectacled Barrow, who’s whiter than Dennis Kucinich singing Conway Twitty tunes in a Branson karaoke bar, leaping out of his limo to hang with the homeboys who call Harlem home. So imagine my surprise when the ethics imbroglio surrounding comically corrupt Charles Rangel of New York’s 15th Congressional District (PVI: D+43 — more liberal than David Paterson’s “girlfriends”) managed to ensnare the pasty-faced Congressman from South Georgia.

For his part, Rangel has — ahem — allegedly committed a list of offenses which stretch from the Apollo Theatre to Augusta National. He has remained near the top of the D.C. heap despite even President Barack Obama reacting to his ethics scandals by suggesting he should “end his career with dignity.” During four decades in Washington, Rangel has salted away quite a pile, and has subsequently spread the wealth to far-flung congressional corners — including Southeast Georgia.

You read that correctly. The putrescence of liberalism extends from 125th Street all the way to the Savannah River. With a nod to The Bard via Charles D. Warner — politics does indeed make strange bedfellows. According to a Tuesday report in the Savannah Morning News, Barrow has been on the receiving end of Rangelian largesse since 2004 and has no intention of ridding himself of the repellent stink of Rangel’s rewards. To date, Barrow has cashed checks from the Regent of Riker’s Island totaling $24,000. And according to Barrow spokesmodel Jane Brodsky, he’s keeping the cash:

Congressman Barrow is not going to make a symbolic gesture based on contributions he received in past election cycles that were spent a long time ago.”

Truth be told, there’s not much point in Barrow dumping Rangel’s tainted treasure. With another nod to The Bard: that spot ain’t comin’ out in the wash. By refusing to divest himself of Rangel’s 24 grand, the supposedly Blue Dog Barrow has cast his lot with the far left of the liberal establishment.

Obama might call this sort of thing a “teachable moment.” Barrow, who is facing opposition from Ray McKinney (who sports an endorsement from the increasingly powerful Tea Party), may be in for a wild ride to November. While Real Clear Politics data suggest Barrow’s seat is safe, there are no polls which indicate an approval rating at or above 50 percent.

In an off-year election in which Democrats not only won’t have the benefit of Obama’s coattails, but would rather skip and go naked than huddle under the President’s hide, Barrow likely needs every nickel. Here’s the rub: when word of Barrow’s canoodling with Rangel gets back to Peach State voters, how much political vigorish will Barrow owe on the loan?

Barrow has played both sides of the fence for long enough to hold on to his seat on the back bench of the House, but has made little headway in terms of noteworthiness, much less notoriety. While he has a sizeable financial edge over McKinney, association with a wire-pulling reprobate like Rangel may cost him a great deal more than a lousy double-dozen large. And it raises fair questions about the Democrats’ direction.

Barrow’s financial fraternization with Rangel is apt allegory for the larger issues surrounding the Democrat Party in 2010. What happened to Pelosi “draining the swamp?” Where is the end of the liberal culture of corruption? And if I hold Barrow up to a 40-watt bulb, can I see where his spine is supposed to be?

According to Brodsky:

"(Barrow) has neither received nor accepted any contributions after allegations of (Rangel’s) ethical impropriety arose."

Barrow the Blue Dog and Rangel the snake — different ends of the same donkey.

U.S. Senate Blocks DREAM Act, Repeal Of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

U.S. Senate blocks DREAM Act, repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell'The United States Senate voted to block discussion of the 2011 defense authorization bill on Tuesday, effectively halting the passing of the DREAM Act, which would have created a new route to citizenship for certain illegal immigrants, and the repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

The Senate voted 56-43 to begin debate on the bill, falling short of the 60 votes needed. Following the tally, Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who sponsored the bill, expressed his displeasure with the GOP's lockstep, according to WBEZ.com.

"Where is the justice in this decision? At least have the courage to let us bring this matter to the floor, and stand up and vote 'no'," said Durbin, quoted by the news provider. "But to hide behind this procedural ruse — this unanimous consent request — is totally unfair."

The DREAM Act amendment, if passed, would have allowed immigrants who came to the U.S. as children to gain citizenship if they met specific requirements, such as graduating from high school or pursuing military service.

The "don't ask, don't tell" (DADT) policy bans openly gay, lesbian or bisexual Americans from enlisting in the military. The Pentagon is working on a review to determine the impact a repeal of DADT would have on the military.

Antioxidants May Improve Fertility

Antioxidants may improve fertility Millions of dollars are spent each year on fertility treatments and countless couples have sought complicated medical procedures to help them increase their ability to conceive. However, the results of a new study indicate that increasing consumption of antioxidants may be a simple, inexpensive way to help these couples conceive.

Researchers from St. Thomas Hospital in London examined the results of several previous studies that dealt with antioxidant supplementation and fertility. The results of these studies indicated that the nutrients may be able to improve men's fertility.

The authors wrote in their report, which was published in the journal Reproductive Biomedicine, that antioxidants may improve the mobility of sperm, making each cell more effective.

"Trials showed an improvement in either sperm quality or pregnancy rate after antioxidant therapy," the authors wrote. "The use of oral antioxidants in infertile men could improve sperm quality and pregnancy rates."

There are more than 7 million women who have sought infertility services in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
 

Obama Appoints Anti-Gun Proponent As Representative To U.N. General Assembly

Obama appoints anti-gun proponent as representative to United NationsThe General Assembly of the United Nations is convening for its annual session in New York City this week, welcoming representatives from its 192 member nations to deliberate global issues.

The General Assembly is one of the six organs of the U.N. and it provides a forum of multilateral discussions for the drafting of resolutions.

President Barack Obama recently appointed former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, a proponent of gun control, as an alternative representative to the U.N. assembly, the Seattle Times reports. The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) believes that Nickels was selected in order to rubber stamp a global gun control initiative.

"President Obama has essentially told America's 85 million gun owners that their firearm civil rights are in jeopardy. Nickels cannot be counted on to defend the Second Amendment because he would like to see it erased from the Constitution," said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, quoted by the news provider.

Gottlieb said that Nickels, when he was Seattle's mayor, supported every anti-gun initiative created by Washington CeaseFire, a non-profit organization which advocates for gun control. Nickels served two terms as mayor before failing to win the Democratic primary in 2009.