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December 17th, 2009 By: Michael Merritt

Anyone who has worked for a significant amount of time will find this topic familiar, but as someone relatively new to a “real job,” it came as real surprise to me when this year’s work bonus was about 26% less than I was expecting.

The story starts a couple weeks when I saw the amount of my bonus, and was disappointed to notice that it was significantly less than last year.  At first I thought it was my performance, but then today I finally looked at the pay stub, and discovered the real reason for the smaller amount: 41% of my bonus was being withheld as taxes.

I was sure that this couldn’t be right; it had to be a mistake.  I wasn’t expecting to get my bonus for free, of course.  I’m pretty sure I fall into the 15% bracket, so that’s how much I expected to lose from the feds, and whatever the state usually takes.  That would have been okay with me.  But how could I be taxed more than 3 times as much on my bonus as my normal paycheck?  Now, I have money taken out for health and dental insurance, which alters the taxable amount, but the proportion still seemed off by quite a bit. Read more…

PG Analysis

December 2nd, 2009 By: admin

1 comment

This analysis is brought to you by Stratfor.com: the best online intelligence community.

Obama’s Plan and the Key Battleground

By George Friedman

U.S. President Barack Obama announced the broad structure of his Afghanistan strategy in a speech at West Point on Tuesday evening. The strategy had three core elements. First, he intends to maintain pressure on al Qaeda on the Afghan-Pakistani border and in other regions of the world. Second, he intends to blunt the Taliban offensive by sending an additional 30,000 American troops to Afghanistan, along with an unspecified number of NATO troops he hopes will join them. Third, he will use the space created by the counteroffensive against the Taliban and the resulting security in some regions of Afghanistan to train and build Afghan military forces and civilian structures to assume responsibility after the United States withdraws. Obama added that the U.S. withdrawal will begin in July 2011, but provided neither information on the magnitude of the withdrawal nor the date when the withdrawal would conclude. He made it clear that these will depend on the situation on the ground, adding that the U.S. commitment is finite.

In understanding this strategy, we must begin with an obvious but unstated point: The extra forces that will be deployed to Afghanistan are not expected to defeat the Taliban. Instead, their mission is to reverse the momentum of previous years and to create the circumstances under which an Afghan force can take over the mission. The U.S. presence is therefore a stopgap measure, not the ultimate solution.

The ultimate solution is training an Afghan force to engage the Taliban over the long haul, undermining support for the Taliban, and dealing with al Qaeda forces along the Pakistani border and in the rest of Afghanistan. If the United States withdraws all of its forces as Obama intends, the Afghan military would have to assume all of these missions. Therefore, we must consider the condition of the Afghan military to evaluate the strategy’s viability.

Afghanistan vs. Vietnam

Obama went to great pains to distinguish Afghanistan from Vietnam, and there are indeed many differences. The core strategy adopted by Richard Nixon (not Lyndon Johnson) in Vietnam, called “Vietnamization,” saw U.S. forces working to blunt and disrupt the main North Vietnamese forces while the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) would be trained, motivated and deployed to replace U.S. forces to be systematically withdrawn from Vietnam. The equivalent of the Afghan surge was the U.S. attack on North Vietnamese Army (NVA) bases in Cambodia and offensives in northern South Vietnam designed to disrupt NVA command and control and logistics and forestall a major offensive by the NVA. Troops were in fact removed in parallel with the Cambodian offensives. Read more…


More Analysis

November 6th, 2009 By: Michael van der Galien

26 comments

Before I start, let me repeat Michael Merritt’s words of yesterday: We here at Poligazette would like to send out our thoughts and prayers to all the families of the men and women who died today at Fort Hood. And we wish all the injured a full recovery.

What happened yesterday was,…

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November 3rd, 2009 By: Michael Merritt

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www_2The net neutrality debate rages on within the halls of Congress, on Wall Street, and Main Streets all across America. What is the future of the Internet? Will it become exclusive to the wealthy, or is there a window of opportunity to achieve neutrality without the hand of government guiding it?

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November 2nd, 2009 By: Michael van der Galien

3 comments

In a post for Dutch blog Dagelijkse Standaard, I respond to an article written by another Dutch blogger, Erdebe. In it, Erdebe argues that it is time for the productive part of society to rebel against the socialistdemocrats running this country into the ground. Following in John Galt’s footsteps – the infamous…

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November 1st, 2009 By: Jason Arvak

10 comments

Same-Sex-Marriage-2The recent endorsement of same-sex marriage by a few states is raising some unexpected but inevitable legal issues. Specifically, the Volokh Conspiracy points out that courts now need to grapple with the effects of same-sex marriage on civil litigation and criminal trials. To wit, do the confidentiality provisions for spouses shield…

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October 31st, 2009 By: Michael van der Galien

1 comment

Although I have linked to most of the posts I’ve written for David Horowitz’s NewsRealBlog, I forgot to inform you all that I have become a regular contributor there. I contacted them a while back myself, asking them whether they could use more contributors. If so, I said, I’d love…

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October 30th, 2009 By: CFN

9 comments

BLS 10292009The elite media is euphoric, saying the Obama stimulus package worked and we had 3.5% economic growth this quarter!

Unfortunately when I explain to you how the U.S. Government comes up with that number you are going to realize why the CBO likely never has an accurate forecast and why most…

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October 29th, 2009 By: Michael van der Galien

4 comments

On his show yesterday, Fox News host Glenn Beck argued that the financial crisis is part of a deliberate strategy to expand the size and scope of government.

NewsReal’s Matthew Vadum explains that ‘it’s called the Cloward-Piven Strategy of orchestrated crisis. It’s an approach to radical social and political change articulated by Marxist university professors…

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October 27th, 2009 By: Michael van der Galien

23 comments

When Governor Sarah Palin endorsed Conservative Party candidate in New York for Congress, she took quite a big risk. If Hoffman would lose, especially against Republican Dede Scozzafava, many would interpret it as a sure sign that Palin’s power, popularity and influence are dramatically overestimated. And, it has to be…

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October 20th, 2009 By: admin

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By George Friedman and Reva Bhalla.

The decision over whether to send more U.S. troops into Afghanistan may wait until the contested Afghan election is resolved, U.S. officials said Oct. 18. The announcement comes as U.S. President Barack Obama is approaching a decision on the war in Afghanistan. During the 2008…

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October 17th, 2009 By: admin

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This commentary is by Robert Ellis

naamloos

Like Ireland, Cyprus has been a victim of geography and both are today still divided. As the Arab geographer Muqaddasi wrote in 985: “The island of Qubrus is in the power of whichever nation is overlord in these seas”. And with its position 40 miles…

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October 14th, 2009 By: Michael van der Galien

12 comments

The powerful Senate Finance Committee voted (14-9) to pass the Baucus Bill yesterday, also known as ObamaCare. Although leftist media in the United States and Europe pretend that the vote was a tremendous victory for the White House, the greatly respected Jay Cost explains that the result can hardly be called surprising.…

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October 13th, 2009 By: Michael van der Galien

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U.S. President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize last week. Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, established the prize, which was to be awarded to the person who has accomplished “the most or the best work for fraternity among nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and…

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October 12th, 2009 By: Michael Merritt

6 comments

IRAQ BARAK OBAMALast night, Barack Obama gave a speech once again promising to end Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. When will we see action?

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October 10th, 2009 By: Michael van der Galien

33 comments

obama nobel peace prizeThe left-wing NRC Handelsblad (Netherlands): ”What got into the committee to award this prize to a man who has yet to live up to the high expectations? Were they drunk?”

Center-left to center Volkskrant (Netherlands): ”It’s clear that Obama has increasingly more difficulty meeting expectations.  His inspiring words about peace and deproliferation have yet to…

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October 8th, 2009 By: Michael Merritt

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big_governmentFor the past few years, online media publications with a partisan bent are stepping up to the plate to fill the void by the less than honest mainstream press.

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October 7th, 2009 By: Michael van der Galien

5 comments

andrew breitbartAndrew Breitbart, the founder of Big Hollywood, Big Government, Breitbart.com and the brain behind the Huffington Post, has had enough of criticism from leftists. Especially an article published at The Daily Beast, and the Atlantic’s Andrew Sullivan’s linking to and affirming it, provoked his ire.

The author, Breitbart believes, came up with a…

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October 7th, 2009 By: Michael Merritt

17 comments

One Nation Under God Painting, by Jon McNaughtonA politically charged, religiously inspired painting is creating waves in the leftist blogosphere. But one element of the painting seems to express quite a radical view, at least in terms of today’s America.

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October 6th, 2009 By: Michael van der Galien

1 comment

bobby jindalThe Washington Post published an op-ed yesterday written by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. Read it; it’s a good one.

Jindal believes that Republicans have to join the “battle of ideas” about health care reform. Reform, he says, is necessary.

He first gets a dig in at Democrats:

The debate on health care has moved on.…

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October 4th, 2009 By: Michael van der Galien

6 comments

Tom Friedman hits the nail right on its head in his latest column for the New York Times. The liberal hawk summarizes recent events in the war on terrorism in the West – several wannabe terrorists were arrested recently at the moment they wanted to kill innocent citizens – after which he…

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PG Commentary

December 17th, 2009 By: Michael Merritt

8 comments

Anyone who has worked for a significant amount of time will find this topic familiar, but as someone relatively new to a “real job,” it came as real surprise to me when this year’s work bonus was about 26% less than I was expecting.

The story starts a couple weeks when I saw the amount of my bonus, and was disappointed to notice that it was significantly less than last year.  At first I thought it was my performance, but then today I finally looked at the pay stub, and discovered the real reason for the smaller amount: 41% of my bonus was being withheld as taxes.

I was sure that this couldn’t be right; it had to be a mistake.  I wasn’t expecting to get my bonus for free, of course.  I’m pretty sure I fall into the 15% bracket, so that’s how much I expected to lose from the feds, and whatever the state usually takes.  That would have been okay with me.  But how could I be taxed more than 3 times as much on my bonus as my normal paycheck?  Now, I have money taken out for health and dental insurance, which alters the taxable amount, but the proportion still seemed off by quite a bit. Read more…


More Commentary

December 14th, 2009 By: Michael Merritt

2 comments

By: Glenn Greenwald

Hurray! There is a liberal out there who didn’t ignore Obama’s position on Afghanistan.

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December 13th, 2009 By: Michael van der Galien

3 comments

The mainstream media and blogs cannot get enough of the controversy surrounding golfer Tiger Woods. Wherever one turns, whatever channel one watches, whatever newspaper’s website or blog one visits, there are Woods and his mistresses again. And I’m not just talking about the American media, it’s even all about Woods where I live,…

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December 10th, 2009 By: Michael van der Galien

18 comments

Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele gave the only appropriate response on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” today, to Senate Majority Leader and member of the anti-war Left Harry Reid comparing critics of health care reform to opponents of abolition: he refused to answer questions about it and told CNBC commentator Donny Deutsch to change the subject.

It was…

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December 9th, 2009 By: Michael Merritt

No comments

A recently released report by Seton Hall University reviews an August 2008 report by the U.S. government that concluded three detainees housed at the Guantanamo Bay facility in Cuba committed suicide by hanging in June 2006.  According to the report:

There is no explanation of how each of the detainees, much less…

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December 9th, 2009 By: Michael Merritt

32 comments

As if a public option wasn’t enough, now some Democrats want to control how health insurance companies spend their money.

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December 8th, 2009 By: admin

No comments

Best seller author and prominent conservative David Horowitz wrote a must read reflection on his latest book, “A Cracking of the Heart,” for PowerLine. In this book, Horowitz looks back at the life his daughter Sarah led, until death took her. She was 44 years when she died.

Excerpt:

I have had…

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December 8th, 2009 By: CFN

5 comments

As is often reported by this blog, my blog, our friends and NewsReel, HotAir and Fox News, the elite media has become advocacy journalism that bucks ethical standards whenever it suits them. In this installment of how attitude change propaganda works, I bring you this article from Scientific American Magazine, which presents…

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December 7th, 2009 By: Michael van der Galien

1 comment

Via Conservatives4Palin comes this article at the Wall Street Journal (of all places), about Arizona Senator (and the GOP’s presidential nominee last year) John McCain’s appearance on MSNBC’s “Meet the Press” earlier today. The article is yet another prime example of how the media purposefully distort comments made by conservatives, to manufacture controversies meant to weaken…

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December 6th, 2009 By: Michael van der Galien

1 comment

This article on China and Russia by Professor Barry Rubin, is the most interesting analysis of international politics I’ve read this week:

China is very much motivated toward development rather than ideology or geopolitical ambition. It wants to get along with everyone as much as possible and make lots of money. (Quite a…

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December 6th, 2009 By: Michael van der Galien

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Harvard-trained historian Richard F. Miller, author of In Words and Deeds: Battle Speeches in History, wrote a guest post for Jules Crittenden’s blog about President Barack Obama’s West Point speech. His assessment: it a “midst of war” speech, and not a good one.

The most important convention these sorts of speeches is first,…

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December 6th, 2009 By: Michael van der Galien

1 comment

Michelle Malkin recently wrote a tremendous column for TownHall about the war on cops, which has killed many police officers:

The left’s police-hating chickens are coming home to roost. While partisan liberals have gone out of their way to blame conservative media and the Tea Party movement for creating a “climate of hate,”…

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December 5th, 2009 By: Michael van der Galien

15 comments

Appearing on CNNs “Larry King Live,” former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney lashed out at former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee for granting clemency to Maurice Clemmons. Clemmons was found guilty of armed robbery and other violence crimes. Although prosecutors and Clemmons’ victims urged Huckabee not to pardon him, the governor did so nonetheless: a major…

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December 3rd, 2009 By: Michael van der Galien

No comments

It’s utterly insane,  but Governor Sarah Palin sold one million copies of her memoirs “Going Rogue: An American Life” in just two weeks time.

HarperCollins spokeswoman Tina Andreadis said Tuesday that just two weeks after publication, Sarah Palin’s memoir has sold 1 million copies. The print run for “Going Rogue” has been increased…

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December 3rd, 2009 By: Michael van der Galien

24 comments

It’s unbelievable, but while the entire Left has decided to ignore ClimateGate, leftist comedian Jon Stewart broke ranks. On his show yesterday, Stewart shattered the silence surrounding the scandal and actually criticized the scientists involved. It’s yet another sign that Conservatives are mistaken to believe that the host of “The Daily Show”…

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December 1st, 2009 By: Michael van der Galien

17 comments

Former Vice President Dick Cheney once again made headlines recently by criticizing President Barack Obama. As we’re used to by now, Cheney doesn’t mince words:

On the eve of the unveiling of the nation’s new Afghanistan policy, former Vice President Dick Cheney slammed President Barack Obama for projecting “weakness” to adversaries and…

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December 1st, 2009 By: Michael Merritt

5 comments

U.S. President Barack Obama will give a speech tonight announcing an increase of troops to Afghanistan. Some of his fans on the Left are not happy about this. Wait…they were paying attention during his campaign, weren’t they?

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December 1st, 2009 By: Michael Merritt

1 comment

The War on Christmas crowd has found a new subject to target for this year’s holiday season when retailer Best Buy wished Muslims a happy Eid Al-Adha in one of their recent circular ads.  They got into a huff, promising to take their money elsewhere.

Their protest is under the pretense that…

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December 1st, 2009 By: Michael van der Galien

1 comment

Donny Deutsch is host of The Entrepreneurs, a primetime special profiling the success stories of America’s entrepreneurs on CNBC. I thought I would introduce him to you because I didn’t know who he was until he appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” today, and I assume you haven’t heard of him before…

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November 29th, 2009 By: Michael van der Galien

5 comments

After I moved into a different home two months ago, it took my provider several weeks to install digital television, which would allow me to watch ESPNAmerica, the only American sports channel airing in Europe. I couldn’t wait: I wanted to see the play-offs in the MLB. I’m a big Yankees…

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November 29th, 2009 By: Michael van der Galien

7 comments



I missed this earlier this week, as did most other conservative bloggers, but it seems that MSNBC once again enabled a Palin-basher to spew her hatred of the former Alaska governor on national television.

Tina Brown is founder and editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast website and a convinced Leftist. Needless to say, she also hates Palin’s…

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November 25th, 2009 By: Orson Buggeigh

3 comments

A short teaser. More later, when I have more time. There are several good posts and threads of comments on Man Made Global Warming (AGW for the PC) on the Volokh Conspiracy. Ilya Somin’s recent post, yesterday,entitled “‘Climategate’ and the Social Validation of Knowledge” is worth looking at. some of…

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