Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Health and Human Services nominee Kathleen Sebelius has corrected three years of tax returns and paid more than $7,000 in back taxes after finding "unintentional errors" -- the latest tax troubles for an Obama administration nominee.
The Kansas governor explained the changes to senators in a letter dated Tuesday that was obtained by The Associated Press. She said they involved charitable contributions, the sale of a home and business expenses.
She and her husband paid a total of $7,040 in back taxes and $878 in interest to amend returns from 2005-2007.
An Obama nominee forgetting to pay taxes? You will have to excuse me now, I need to go lie down and try to recover from the shock.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Truth is I think it's an incredibly bad idea to change the name, I thought it was fine the way it was.
With this said, I cannot work up a huge lather about it. It is a new administration and they have to set their own course.
The reality is that it is only semantics and what they do from here is the real issue.
The reason I think it was a mistake was because of the atmosphere in which it is being done. To say that Obama is changing the way we fight terrorism would be an understatement of biblical proportions.
We are closing Gitmo.
He is reaching out to countries that support terrorism in a naive belief that if we just all understood each other, things would be fine.
They even appear to be getting away from using the word terrorism at all.
Again these are all his prerogative and I would think that if he did not chart his own course, it could be argued that he is not a strong leader.
The problem is that terrorism is not an issue that can be taken lightly. It is quite literally a life or death problem. Decisions made now can effect whether Americans die later.
I think if he were to make one or two of these changes in isolation, it could be viewed as him putting his own mark on the fight.
Making all of these decisions together makes it appear as if we are giving up the fight altogether.
Terrorists do not respect diplomacy. They are the quintessential "bite the hand that feeds them" people.
Like sharks smelling blood in the water, terrorists are drawn to any sign of weakness.
Make no mistake, terrorism is a war and terrorists only respect strength. With the changing of Presidents, now is a pivotal time in our struggle against those who want to harm us. I fear the Obama administration is projecting weakness when it needs to show resolve.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
My favorite part of this, and my quote for this week, is his explanation.
"Last week, AC/DC played the Czech Republic,"..."And their cult song 'Highway to Hell' may have influenced me to use, in my very improvised speech, 'the road to hell."
Combining criticism of Obama with an AC/DC reference, brilliant.
Rest of story.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
New YORK — The Freedom Tower is out. One World Trade Center is in.
The agency that owns ground zero confirmed Thursday that the signature skyscraper replacing the towers destroyed on Sept. 11 will be more commonly known as One World Trade Center.
The building under construction at the site was named the Freedom Tower in the first ground zero master plan. Officials at the time said the tallest, most symbolic of five planned towers at the site would demonstrate the country's triumph over terrorism.
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey chairman Anthony Coscia says the agency refers to the building as One World Trade Center. He says it's the building's legal name and "the one that's easiest for people to identify with."
This has been a bug up my butt for awhile. I have thought this whole "Freedom Tower" idea was nonsense. The terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center Tower, we need to put it back up.
I have thought all along that replacing the building and calling it the World Trade Center Tower sent a loud and clear message to these murderous bastards; Kiss Our Ass. You can knock us back a step but we will never stay down.
Friday, March 27, 2009
WASHINGTON (AP) - Everyone from President Barack Obama on down to fans has criticized how college football determines its top team. Now senators are getting off the sidelines to examine antitrust issues involving the Bowl Champion Series.
The current system "leaves nearly half of all the teams in college football at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to qualifying for the millions of dollars paid out every year," the Senate Judiciary's subcommittee on antitrust, competition policy and consumer rights said in a statement Wednesday announcing the hearings.
Under the BCS, some conferences get automatic bids to participate in series, while others do not.
Obama and some members of Congress favor a playoff-type system to determine the national champion. The BCS features a championship game between the two top teams in the BCS standings, based on two polls and six computer ratings.
Behind the push for the hearings is the subcommittee's top Republican, Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah. People there were furious that Utah was bypassed for the national championship despite going undefeated in the regular season.
The title game pitted No. 1 Florida (12-1) against No. 2 Oklahoma (12-1); Florida won 24-14 and claimed the title.
The subcommittee's statement said Hatch would introduce legislation "to rectify this situation." No details were offered and Hatch's office declined to provide any.
Hatch said in a statement that the BCS system "has proven itself to be inadequate, not only for those of us who are fans of college football, but for anyone who believes that competition and fair play should have a role in collegiate sports."
In the House, Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, the top Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee, has sponsored legislation that would prevent the NCAA from calling a football game a "national championship" unless the game culminates from a playoff system.
Now, I love college football and actually I agree with a lot of the arguments here. I am a big fan of a playoff and I do think that smaller schools and smaller conferences get screwed in the process. The question though is; Is this really worth literally making a federal case out of it?
We are heading into real dangerous territory here folks in that Congressmen are moving more and more towards government control of, well, everything. It would be real easy to rail against liberals, I now I do it all of the time, but this is not just a conservative v liberal issue. More often than not it is liberals pushing things like this and they do tend to push harder but take note that it is a Republican proposing this legislation.
I know this is a small issue and I am not being a paranoid conspiracy theorists but at some point we need to put the brakes on these types of things.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
I think though that this statement by the author speaks volumes.
Ironically, Obama's proposal to change tax policy is intended to help raise hundreds of billions of dollars for expanding health care -- but Hillman said in the near-term, the tweak to charitable donations policy could put more strain on hospitals that rely heavily on philanthropy.
Anyone else think the plan here is to take money out of philanthropic giving and into the control of the federal government?
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
This family in the UK had to go one level deeper into Hell:
School Warns Parents Dead Daughter Can't Go to Prom
The parents of a British teen, who died suddenly two months ago, received a disturbing letter from the girl's high school saying she needs to improve her attendance or can't go to the prom, the Manchester Evening News reported.
The letter said Megan Gillan's attendance was 60.4 percent and the school requires its students to keep a 92 percent attendance record.
"I screamed when I first saw it," her mother Margaret Gillan told the newspaper. If they want her to attend that much I'll take Megan's remains. It's disgusting."
Gillan was found dead Jan. 19 in her bedroom at her parent's home. The letter was dated March 16.
"Megan would have loved going to the prom," her mother said. "She planned to go with a group of friends, she was really looking forward to it."
A school spokesman apologized and told the Manchester Evening News, "that letter should not have gone out," and blamed it on a "software error."
I realize this is a computer error but this is the kind of error that an organization is not allowed to make. I work in a profession in which mistakes are huge. I have always been of a mind that someone that allows a mistake on this scale needs to lose their job. I stand by this now.
I offer my deepest sympathies to the family of Megan Gillan, both for the horror of losing a child and the horror of dealing with idiotic bureaucrats.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
So I want to brag a little about winning the t-shirt, thank them for the shirt, and most importantly, encourage all to stop by and see them. They have a great site over there.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Stimulus? U.S. to buy Chinese condoms, ending Alabama jobs
Call it a condom conundrum.
At a time when the federal government is spending billions of stimulus dollars to stem the tide of U.S. layoffs, should that same government put even more Americans out of work by buying cheaper foreign products?
In this case, Chinese condoms.
That's the dilemma for the folks at the U.S. Agency for International Development, which has distributed an estimated 10 billion U.S.-made AIDS-preventing condoms in poor countries around the world.
But not anymore.
In a move expected to cost 300 American jobs, the government is switching to cheaper off-shore condoms, including some made in China.
The switch comes despite implied assurances over the years that the agency would continue to buy American whenever possible.
I don't know about any of the other gentleman (and ladies) out there but I would insist on American made. Keep the condom jobs here.
If you do choose to buy Chinese made, do so at your own peril. Realize, they can't even make toys that are safe.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
What crime did this beast commit? It wasn't fighting. He didn't get caught carrying a concealed (or unconcealed) weapon. There were no drugs involved. He didn't speak unkindly to the driver or another student.
Yes, you guessed it, Jonathan farted.
"Jonathan passes gas on the bus to make the other children laugh and it is so stink [sic] that you can't breathe after he does it," Was the quote from the bus driver.
If we were to crack down on boys farting to make other kids laugh, the girls on the school buses would have a lot of room. For his willingness to take a stand for boys everywhere, I give Jonathan a SALUTE, from afar that is.
Story credit here.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
More evidence that CNN is going to have to find a new strategy fast or risk becoming a cable news also-ran: In the month of March so far, the Time Warner-owned network has come in fourth place in prime time among adults 25 to 54, the key demographic for advertisers, more often than not.
Through March 17, CNN trailed not only Fox News and MSNBC but also its own sister network, Headline News, on nine out of 17 days. On one day, March 13, CNN even drew fewer 25-to-54 viewers than CNBC -- the first time that's happened since November 2007. And of the eight days it finished higher than fourth in the demo, five were either Saturdays or Sundays, typically the lowest rated nights for the news networks.
Now if your a cable news network and your drawing fewer viewers than MSNBC, that's harsh. To be fair though, MSNBC is increasing their viewership. Word is at their current pace they may even get people outside of their employee's families to watch.
The question is, what is going on? CNN used to own the cable news market, before Fox that is. Now they're struggling to keep the lights on.
Not surprisingly, I have a theory.
The country is highly polarized politically right now. Of course, this is entirely the fault of the Democrats, they just won't listen to reason.
I wonder if this is CNN's problem. They have a tendency to be a relatively moderate network with a left-ward lean.
While Fox is a fairly balanced network, it does lean right.
MSNBC by contrast is so far left that they make Nancy Pelosi look like, well, a less liberal Democrat. They are effectively the Obama News Network although I think the rumors that they are changing their name to ONN are untrue.
So Fox has the right-wing and right of center viewers pretty well locked up. Right now they are the only news network that is reporting all of the news on Obama. Undoubtedly their on-air people are mostly right leaning but I challenge anyone to show proof that any network, cable or broadcast, is giving a more balanced account of the Obama presidency. So, in other words, Fox is reporting the truth. People that want to hear it are tuning in to them.
MSNBC is getting the left-wing and a lot of the left of center viewers, especially Obama supporters. They are saying what Obama supporters want to hear. It may not always be the whole story and is at times wildly inaccurate but it is like comfort food for a lot of Obama supporters.
I wonder if in this scenario CNN, being a moderate network in a politically polarized country, is the odd man out?
Friday, March 20, 2009
Special Olympics bowler: I can beat the president!
Mar 20 01:59 PM US/Eastern
By COREY WILLIAMS
Associated Press Writer
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - The top bowler for the Special Olympics looks forward to meeting President Barack Obama in an alley.
"He bowled a 129. I bowl a 300. I could beat that score easily," Michigan's Kolan McConiughey (KO-lahn Mc-KAHNA-he) told The Associated Press in an interview Friday.
The athletic-minded president made an offhand remark Thursday on "The Tonight Show" comparing his weak bowling to "the Special Olympics or something." He quickly apologized and told the Special Olympics chairman he wants to have some of its athletes visit the White House to bowl or play basketball.
McConiughey, who is mentally disabled, is just the bowler for the job. He's bowled five perfect games since 2005.
The 35-year-old McConiughey has been bowling since he was 8 or 9. His advice for Obama? Practice every day.
Maybe if Kolan does get to go to the White House for Obama's photo-op, oops, "meeting" with the Special Olympians, he can teach the President a little class while he teaches him to bowl.
To my liberal friends, I promise this is the last one. It was just too easy and I'm lazy.
President Obama sat down with Jay Leno on Thursday for a late-night TV interview that spanned a range of topics -- from the economic crisis to the presidential dog -- and even, at one point, featured the president joking that his bowling ability was suitable for the Special Olympics.
The bowling comment was a reminder of his poor performance on the lanes last year during one of his campaign stops. Obama bragged to "The Tonight Show" that he recently bowled 129 on the White House alley.
"It's like Special Olympics," he said.
I know people make comments they wish they hadn't made and I know that mistakes are made. Making a comment like this though is not misspeaking, it's a character flaw.
I am sick to death of the media and his supporters making excuses for this man. When the Hell is he going to start acting like the President instead of a damned idiot?
For a good example of his supporters downplaying this, look at this poll on HuffPo. As of this writing, 77% thought it was no big deal.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
OSLO (Reuters) - Investments of $750 billion could create a "Green New Deal" to revive the world economy and protect the environment, perhaps aided by a tax on oil, the head of the U.N. environment agency said on Thursday.
Achim Steiner said spending should focus on five environmental sectors including improved energy efficiency for buildings and solar or wind power to create jobs, curb poverty and fight climate change.
"The opportunity must not be lost," Steiner, head of the U.N. Environment Program (UNEP), told Reuters of a UNEP study that will be put to world leaders meeting in London on April 2 to work out how to spur the ailing economy.
The UNEP report said investments of one percent of global gross domestic product, or about $750 billion, could bankroll a "Global Green New Deal" inspired by the "New Deal" of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt that helped end the depression of the 1930s.
Investments should be split between more energy efficient buildings, renewable energies, better transport, improved agriculture and measures to safeguard nature -- such as fresh water, forests or coral reefs, it said.
Thursday's study adds details of spending after UNEP called for a Green New Deal late last year.
Steiner also said that the world urgently needed funds to jump start a U.N. deal to fight global warming, due to be agreed in Copenhagen in December to succeed the U.N.'s Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012.
He floated the possibility of taxing oil in rich nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to help a new pact become the cornerstone of a greener economy.
See, they're not taxes us, they're taxing the oil companies. Anybody else think it's a bad idea to tax oil in a global economic downturn and give the money to the UN to spend?
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
SALISBURY — In her final State of the City address, Salisbury Mayor Barrie Parsons Tilghman warned residents of what she sees as a great danger to the city: malicious bloggers.
Tilghman said in her address Thursday that over the last five years, the presence of a small group of suspicious, mean-spirited people focused on the negative has grown, endangering the city's vitality.
Tilghman says some people are avoiding serving their city because it's not worth chancing the scorn of bloggers. But Tilghman says they need to stand up for the city.
Tilghman's final day in office is April 19, but she says she plans to remain active in the city. She says she plans to give a less formal farewell address before leaving office.
Now I don't know the political convictions of this Mayor and feel they are irrelevant. Further, I do not know what the "malicious bloggers" are saying.
Without giving my opinion, I want to see what everyone else thinks. This is a relevant point for us as bloggers.
What is the line bloggers should not cross? In other words, what is malicious? Is malicious something that is in the eye of the beholder?
Some in the MSM have argued that the growing influence of bloggers is not a good thing. They argue that there is no standards, no code of conduct, no limits. A curious argument by an industry that is so heavily biased and pushes their political agendas with abandon. But, never the less, how important to an open an honest government is blogging?
Is it possible that blogging is what the framers of the Constitution envisioned when they set forth freedom of the press? Is it possible that a vast array of individual and diverse writers is the purest form of freedom of the press?
Finally, does freedom of speech and freedom of the press negate this entire argument? Is the real test of freedom of speech accepting speech we do not agree with?
Share your thoughts.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
I do want to do a little follow up on it though.
I came across this list this evening (hat tip to Right Side Politics Examiner for the link). The article links to a site, American International Group: All Recipients, that lists the top recipients of AIG political contributions over the last 10 years.
Now if you read the article I linked to last night, Obama Says Administration Will Try to Block AIG Bonuses, you will see that a number of politicians are critical of AIG's bonuses. Turns out a couple of these politicians have received money from AIG.
President Barack Obama (D) $107,332
-Obama called the bonuses "hard to understand." and "an outrage"
Sen Richard Shelby (R, AL) $31,250
-"These people (AIG) brought this on themselves. Now you're rewarding failure. A lot of these people should be fired, not awarded bonuses. This is horrible. It's outrageous,"
It appears Sen Shelby is talking about AIG but substitute "AIG" with "US Congress" of which Mr Shelby is a part and he could be talking about himself.
As a bonus, we have another Obama official
-Vice President Joe Biden $41,350
Now the question is, if these men are so outraged by what is happening at AIG, shouldn't they return these campaign contributions?
As most readers of my blog know, I do not very often agree with Barack Obama. This is mostly because he is virtually always wrong. I am big enough though to admit that I can be a little partisan too.
As far as this issue with AIG, Obama Says Administration Will Try to Block AIG Bonuses, I agree.
I am a very strong advocate of the free market system and I am not at all comfortable with the governement setting compensation for employess in the private sector.
I further am a strong believer in the 'slippery slope' theory in that if we allow something "just this one time", it will be easier to do it again. My concern therefore being that if we set compensation for the execs this time, then in the future it will be easier to set salaries, then future bonuses, etc. If we were to let this continue we could go as far as price controls and the logical conclusion would be governmental control of the private sector. Not a guarantee, possibly even unlikely, but a risk we should always guard against.
With this said, we need to do something to stop Wall Street and the rest of the financial sector from raping us. We have had too many instances of these companies getting billions from us and then throwing their employees lavish parties, giving out big bonuses, and flying around the country on private jets.
I have never been in favor of the bailout plans, neither the ones during Bush's last year or the new ones under Obama, but we did it. It's time to draw a line in the sand and tell these companies that if we are going to loan them money to stay afloat, they need to use our money wisely and use it to strengthen the economy, not as their own little slush fund.
Part of the argument for leaving the companies alone and not attaching stipulations to the money is that the amounts they are spending are but a fraction of what the stimulus money is. This is true but $165 million is a lot of money. If they were to send that money back out into the private sector as loans to businesses, we would create jobs.
The other argument put forth is that these companies have to compensate their staff well or they will leave. WTF? These staff have run the company into the ground. Let them leave and hire more incompetent people for less money.
So, for once, Obama is right and I agree with him. Don't worry though, it probably won't happen again. The doctors are adjusting my meds, I should be back to normal soon.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Obama said during the campaign that he did not agree with taxing employer paid health care benefits. After making a big show of being against the idea during the campaign and gaining political capitol out of it, he is now quietly signaling through his staff that he would be willing to consider taxing the benefits.
The word from his staff is that Obama would not oppose the tax if Congress passed the legislation. This is sleazy. You can write the script now. Congress will attach the tax to a budget bill, they'll throw in some scraps for vets or something to make it hard for the GOP to vote against it, and Obama will hold a ceremony saying he does not agree with the tax and is upset that Congress did not follow through with his campaign pledge but he must sign it anyways "to keep the government running"
Sound familiar? You heard the same routine last week on his opposition to earmarks. Funny thing about the earmark farce is that he was able to blame it on Bush even though it was written by a Democratic controlled Congress and Bush had nothing to do with it. Luckily the whores in the media will believe anything he says and run with it.
The not so funny part of this issue is that he attacked McCain for doing the same thing. During the campaign McCain proposed taxing employer paid health care benefits and Obama criticized the idea (one of them few Obama stances I agreed with). In fact, his exact words were that it would be “the largest middle-class tax increase in history.”
Keeping with his style of attack ads during the campaign, Obama did not tell the whole truth on McCain's plan, leaving out the fact that McCain wanted to give everyone a tax credit to pay for health coverage.
Now, I thought that McCain's plan was stupid but give him credit for being upfront about it. I guess the moral to the story here is that Obama has shown that dishonesty in a campaign pays.
So the recap, McCain says during the campaign that he wanted to tax employer paid health care, Obama (who promised to cut middle class taxes) criticized it as a tax on the middle class. Now Obama wants to tax employee paid health care.
We haven't seen this level of audacity since, yesterday.
I assume everyone remembers during the campaign that McCain said the fundamentals of the economy were strong. Obama and his people howled. What a ridiculous statement. There is some speculation that this statement along with Obama's attack, as much as anything else, cost McCain the election.
Now back to the present. Yesterday on Meet The Press Obama economic advisor Christina Romer said, you guessed it, the fundamentals of the economy are strong.
But on Sunday, that optimistic message came from economic adviser Christina Romer. When asked during an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press" if the fundamentals of the economy were sound, she replied: "Of course they are sound."
"The fundamentals are sound in the sense that the American workers are sound, we have a good capital stock, we have good technology," she said. "We know that - that temporarily we're in a mess, right? We've seen huge job loss, we've seen very large falls in GDP. So certainly in the short run we're in a - in a bad situation."
Do not let anyone tell you differently or try to explain this away, this is exactly what McCain was saying. One can only assume that Obama will go on the attack against his advisor and run a commercial ridiculing her statement.
So, for any aspiring politicians reading this post, the lesson today is; say what you want during the campaign, once you get elected you can change it all. Change, that is definitely one campaign promise Obama has kept.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
First we have a blast from the past.
This was Barack Obama on the campaign trail.
“We need earmark reform, and when I’m president, I will go line by line to make sure we’re not spending money unwisely,”
This is President Barack Obama this week justifying signing a bill, written by Democrats, full of earmarks.
"I am signing an imperfect omnibus bill because it is necessary for the ongoing functions of government."
Saying that the bill "completes the work of last year by providing the funding necessary for the smooth operation of our nation's government."
Then this about his critics:
"ironic that some of those who railed the loudest against this bill because of earmarks actually inserted earmarks of their own -- and will tout them in their own states and districts."
This is what his fellow Democrats in Congress think about Obama's criticism.
One Hill Democrat, firing a warning shot, suggested that the president ought not overlook his own stake in the omnibus bill — namely, the more than $315 million in earmarks in the measure requested by Vice President Joe Biden, chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and Cabinet members while they were still in Congress last year.
Dueling Dems have Obama in earmark jam
Obama signs earmark-laden budget bill
Obama to Unveil Proposals to Help Small Businesses
WASHINGTON - Amid misgivings over his spending blueprint, President Barack Obama has decided to provide billions of dollars in federal lending aid aimed at struggling small business owners.
The broad package of measures to be announced Monday includes $730 million from the stimulus plan that will immediately reduce small-business lending fees and increase the government guarantee on some Small Business Administration loans to 90 percent. The government also will take aggressive steps to boost bank liquidity with more than $10 billion aimed at unfreezing the secondary credit market, according to officials briefed on the plan who demanded anonymity to avoid pre-empting the president's announcement.
"It's a huge step in the right direction," Giovanni Coratolo, director of Small Business Policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said Saturday. "In this economy, having the least amount of risk for banks will incentivize banks to lend to small businesses. A lot of small businesses will benefit from this."
Obama will announce the new measures with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner at the White House.
They come as Republicans have sought to build on some bipartisan misgivings over Obama's ambitious spending blueprint. In particular, Republicans say Obama's budget proposal to raise taxes, starting in 2011, on individuals earning more than $200,000 and on households earning more than $250,000 will hurt small businesses which face higher dividend taxes and limits on itemized deductions.
The administration's proposals to improve worker access to health care and address climate change also could add higher health and energy costs to small businesses. The Obama administration maintains that revenue from auctioning off carbon emission allowances would offset much of the higher energy costs for many Americans.
So what we are talking about here is giving BILLIONS to small business to help them out and build their businesses so that we can then destroy them later with income tax increases and itemized deduction decreases, taxes on employee paid health care, and taxes on energy costs?
It will be okay though because we will saved by these "carbon emission allowances" auctions, whatever in the Hell that is.
So anyways, drop a comment if you would, I'm going to sit here and drink my coffee and continue my descent into madness. I'm okay though because there are a lot of people here talking to me, I just can't see them.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Personally I don't care what he says. In my line of work this is often used as a greeting. I have sat and listened to a drunk man repeat it over and over again for an hour and a half straight. So, needless to say, I'm not a real sensitive person.
My only real point here is that a VP has used this word so we can all assume the media will talk about nothing else for the next 2 weeks and the late night "comedians" will beat it to death for a month. Right? I mean, that's what they've done in the past.
In fact it is so good, let's not stop with the board room. Let's apply it to state and federal governments. Let all Congressmen, state legislators, Governors and the President work by a similar pay scale.
If the country is staying safe from harm, if they have the budget balanced, if Social Security is staying funded so we can retire, if people are working, then they get paid accordingly.
If they have the country in a mess, if we are not protected, if we have people poring across our southern border like it's a Best Buy sale the day after Thanksgiving, if unemployment is in the high single digits, if the stock market is in the low 4 digits, then they get minimum wage.
I would even be willing to pay a very good salary to them. Set a benchmark for performance and if they exceed this they get bonuses.
If the members of Congress are not willing to apply the same standard to themselves, the office of the President, state legislators, and Governors, than they need to mind their own business and stop wasting our time with gimmicky legislation.
What are your thoughts?
Friday, March 13, 2009
Obama: Economic crisis 'not as bad as we think'
U.S. retail sales drop not as bad as feared
Wall Street set to extend gains for 4th session
Now we all know that the mess the economy is in right now is George Bush's fault, all we have to do is turn on the news or listen to an Obama press conference. There is no blame for Congress which the Dems have controlled for the last 2 years, with Obama as a part time member. There is no blame for Bill Clinton who is largely responsible for the ruinous lending policies that led to this downturn. There is certainly no blame for Obama even though a bad Wall Street sell off turned into a nightmare Wall Street sell off the minute he was elected.
It's Bush's fault because we are so close to his presidency.
Let me further be clear in that I believe Bush and the GOP held Congress that was in session before the current Dem Congress do have to take a fair share of blame.
My question though is, if the economy were to all of a sudden begin to make a recovery, who do you think would get the credit?
Now this is only a theoretical exercise because;
One, I do not believe the economy will make a sudden turn around, the ailments of the economy are too complex for a short term fix.
Two, I know who will get the credit and who will not.
Just curious as to what everyone else thinks.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Now to the part where Rove agrees with me. He wrote a great opinion peice in the WSJ today. The White House Misfires on Limbaugh
Just a quick aside. When you go to the page I linked to, I want you to notice one thing right off. The WSJ called this article an opinion piece. It's right there, spelled out, "opinion". Why is this relevant? Because if you were reading this article on most other news sites, at least the ones that don't start with "Wall Street Journal" or "Fox News", the article would be called news. See, respectable sites like the WSJ or Fox, label articles like this as opinion pieces. Whereas when visiting the majority of the media, CNN, MSNBC, etc, the "news" stories are opinion pieces.
Now back to the regularly scheduled rant.
Rove wrote a piece today about the Obama administration's war on freedom of speech, er Rush Limbaugh. Rove was not defending Limbaugh's position or really even criticizing Obama's attack on the position. It mainly looked at the political rationale and implications of the attack. (all emphasis mine)
Team Obama -- aided by Clintonistas Paul Begala, James Carville and Stanley Greenberg -- decided to attack Rush Limbaugh after poring over opinion research. White House senior adviser David Axelrod explicitly authorized the assault. Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel assigned a White House official to coordinate the push. And Press Secretary Robert Gibbs gleefully punched the launch button at his podium, suckering the White House press corps into dropping what they were doing to get Mr. Limbaugh.
Was it smart politics and good policy? No. For one thing, it gave the lie to Barack Obama's talk about ending "the political strategy that's been all about division" and "the score-keeping and the name-calling." The West Wing looked populated by petulant teenagers intent on taking down a popular rival. Such talk also shortens the president's honeymoon by making him look like a street-fighting Chicago pol instead of an inspirational, unifying figure. The upward spike in ratings for Rush and other conservative radio commentators shows how the White House's attempt at a smackdown instead energized the opposition.
Did it do any good with voters not strongly tied to either party? I suspect not. With stock markets down, unemployment growing, banks tottering, consumers anxious, business leaders nervous, and the economy shrinking, the Obama administration's attacks on a radio talk show host made it seem concerned with the trivial.
Why did the White House do it? It was a diversionary tactic. Clues might be found in the revelation that senior White House staff meet for two hours each Wednesday evening to digest their latest polling and focus-group research. I would bet a steak dinner at Morton's in Chicago these Wednesday Night Meetings discussed growing public opposition to spending, omnibus pork, more bailout money for banks and car companies, and new taxes on energy, work and capital.
What better way to divert public attention from these more consequential if problematic issues than to start a fight with a celebrity conservative? Cable TV, newspapers and newsweeklies would find the conflict irresistible. Something has to be set aside to provide more space and time to the War on Rush; why not the bad economic news?
This is all stuff I, along with others, have been saying. The attack on Rush, while making the far left giddy, is petty and small and runs a real risk of costing Obama the support from moderates that he is getting now.
The rest of the article is well worth reading. Rove goes into the long term ramifications of Obama's policies.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
With that said, I am not the best judge of fashion. Even I think this is weird though.
Actually my wife wore this to the Christmas party this year
This is what I call high fashion, plus she's prettier than these women
Any ladies reading with any fashion sense, let me know your thoughts.
Monday, March 9, 2009
He has the Obama team so upset that they have resurrected Richard Nixon's enemies list and are targeting Rush and any other journalist and/or radio personality that does not fall in line with them. We are now having daily "who we hate today" briefings from Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary. The administration vows to continue these briefings until they can pass the fairness doctrine and get rid of that pesky free speech once and for all.
What is funny about this is that they are misrepresenting Rush's words. He did not say he wanted America to fail. In fact he has said just the opposite. He views Obama's policies as pushing the country into socialization, rightfully so I believe. It are these policies he wants to fail. I have been confused as to what the issue is.
That's the funny part, this is the hypocritical part.
Rush Limbaugh took a lot of heat for saying he wants President Obama to fail -- but a lot of Democrats felt the same way about former President George W. Bush during his second term.
An August 2006 poll conducted by FOX News/Opinion Dynamics showed 51 percent of Democrats did not want Bush to succeed. Thirty-four percent of independents also did not want Bush to succeed.
By comparison, 90 percent of Republicans said at the time that they wanted Bush to succeed, and 40 percent of Democrats said the same.
Conservative radio talk show host Limbaugh says he doesn't want the economy to fail -- just Obama's policies. But his comments last month at the Conservative Political Action Conference drew sharp criticism from the White House.
After CPAC, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel told CBS' "Face the Nation" that Limbaugh's stance was the "wrong philosophy for America."
Rush wants Obama's socialization of America to fail. What did the Dems want Bush to fail at? The economy? The war on terror? What are your thoughts? What would Rahm say if he saw this poll? Undoubtedly he would say the Dems were wrong then. Right?
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Senator Tom Harkin (D, IA) quickly became my favorite when he said this about his $1.8 million earmark for pig odor and manure management at the University of Iowa:
(insert favorite pork barrel spending joke here)
"I suppose we'll hear a lot of jokes on David Letterman and Jay Leno and a lot of other people will be making jokes about this money for manure, but keep in mind this is not wasteful or unnecessary or frivolous, this is very important to the daily lives of people in my state and North Carolina and anyplace else that we raise swine,"
For Sen Harkin's defense of an industry vital to the health of our economy, I give him a can of Glade Hawaiian Breeze air freshener, only $2.79 a can at Drugstore.com.
Link for quote
Saturday, March 7, 2009
BRZEZINSKI: Ari, if you were standing at that podium, would you have not taken the opportunity to do what they are doing with Rush Limbaugh?
SCARBOROUGH: Let's say Michael Moore.
FLEISCHER: You have to be careful when you stand at that podium, you don't realize until you're in that unique job how much weight your words have. When you previously as a Senator's press secretary or a party secretary, press secretary, could dismiss or take a slap at a political opponent, when you do it from the White House, you're bringing the weight of the government onto that private person. So, you really have to be careful about it and do it with some grace. Going after Rush Limbaugh, it's just -- to me it's the usual nonsense.
BRZEZINSKI: They're not going after him, they were just labeling him as the leader of the Republican Party and saying --
SCARBOROUGH: They targeted him, Mika.
FLEISCHER: It's gamesmanship.
BRZEZINSKI: I'm saying you wouldn't have pointed that out?
FLEISCHER: It's gamesmanship, what difference does it make? Are you going after Democrat members of Congress for why they aren't distancing themselves from Keith Olbermann?
BRZEZINSKI: That was a good one. We're all thinking.
FLEISCHER: That's my point. That's my point. It's a one-sided debate because largely the press loves it because the press doesn't like Rush.
SCARBOROUGH: I'm going to have a -- I can't talk right now because I'm drinking. Mike?
BRZEZINSKI: Mike Barnicle?
BARNICLE: I have to ask you, Ari, because you were really good when you were standing at the podium.
SCARBOROUGH: No, that was good.
BARNICLE: But did you have to soak your face in cement this morning to come out and say all of this with a straight face. I mean, come on!
FLEISCHER: You are so part of how Washington's always worked and this is why people give up.
BARNICLE: [Laughing] Me? What?
FLEISCHER: You guys love this story. You love what Barack Obama and Rahm Emanuel are doing because it gives the left an excuse -- not you, Joe -- to go after people like Rush and conservatives and like they did to Newt. But don't you realize, this is why so many people in America tune out Washington? Especially at a time when we got so many bigger issues. Yeah, Mike, it's two or three minutes a day, that's all it took for them to plant the seeds of destruction they wanted to plant.
Rest of story here.
Good for Mr. Fleischer. This is what the GOP needs to do more often. Throw this nonsense from liberals back in their face. He could have also mentioned Chris "I have a gay crush on Obama" Matthews among a multitude of other "journalists" inside and outside of the NBC network.
I would like an honest comparison of right wing bomb throwers and left wing bomb throwers. Wonder who has more?
Friday, March 6, 2009
Clinton told young Europeans at the European Parliament global economic turmoil provided a fresh opening: "Never waste a good crisis ... Don't waste it when it can have a very positive impact on climate change and energy security."
So in other words, let's use this economic crisis to push our far left global warming (read farce) agenda. The assumption is that she is concerned that the public is catching on and they need to jump now while the jumping is good.
Warning: Do not look too far into the far left liberal mind, it is mostly empty and there is a considerable risk of getting lost and not finding your way back out.
Rest of story.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Professor Takes Heat for Calling Cops on Student Who Discussed Guns in Class
A professor in Connecticut reported one of her students to the police after he gave a class presentation on why students and teachers should be allowed to carry concealed weapons on campus. Now, free speech activists say the professor’s actions are what really need to be investigated.
Last October, John Wahlberg and two classmates at Central Connecticut State University gave an oral presentation for a communications class taught by Professor Paula Anderson. The assignment was to discuss a “relevant issue in the media,” and the students presented their view that the death toll in the April 2007 Virginia Tech shooting massacre would have been lower if professors and students had been carrying guns.
That night, police called Wahlberg, a 23-year-old senior, and asked him to come to the station. When he arrived, they they read off a list of firearms that were registered in his name and asked where he kept them. Guns are strictly prohibited on the CCSU campus and residence halls, but Wahlberg says he lives 20 miles off-campus and keeps his gun collection locked up in a safe. No further action was taken by police or administrators.
The article then went on to list other similar incidents on college campuses around the country.
In 2007, Shibley noted, a student at Hamline University in Minnesota was suspended after writing a letter to an administrator arguing that carrying concealed weapons on campus may help prevent tragedies like the one at Virginia Tech. The student was allowed to return only after undergoing a psychological evaluation, he said.
This student had to undergo a psychological evaluation to return to school. So in Minnesota practicing your 1st amendment right in asking for the right to practice your 2nd amendment right is considered a mental disorder.
Shibley also cited an incident at Colorado College last year in which campus administrators denounced a flyer as "threatening and demeaning content" because it mentioned guns. He said the students who produced the flyer were found guilty of violating the school’s violence policy, which was added to their school records.
In Colorado you get a permanent black mark for practicing your 1st amendment in asking for your 2nd amendment right. One can only assume that anyone that has been caught harassing ROTC members or burning the American flag in protest, an act I consider threatening, have suffered similar fates.
Some on the left will celebrate this type of treatment but everyone should be terrified of the actions of these colleges. Today's celebration of free speech can be tomorrow's thought crimes.
Anyways, this incident happened a couple of years ago. We have a bin that we put our pop bottles and cans in. One of the nurses takes them back periodically and cashes them in. For those outside of Michigan, we have a 10 cent deposit on bottles and cans.
We split the proceeds up for this. Half of the money goes to our fund for the Christmas party, etc. Half goes to pay for cab fare for people that need it. We are located in an area with a lot of homeless and most of the cab fare is spent to cab people to the shelters, especially when it is cold. Some of the money though will be spent on people that truly have a need, elderly stuck without a ride, etc.
We paid $11 for a man one night that was in the ER from out of town and did not have cash, only plastic. He was a professional that generally would not need help and was quite grateful for it. We thought nothing of it and went about our business.
The next day the man returned and gave us $110. He said he gave this specific amount because it was exactly ten times what we gave him, to him this seemed significant. He wanted us to put the money into the fund to help other people, which we did.
We work in a tough part of town. Our ER can be a war zone. I have been punched, kicked, bitten, and have heard the F word spewed at me unstopping for long, long periods of time. We have had staff injured from assaults. I have walked out to my car at night and there was a man down in the street shot.
We are considered the charity hospital. The population of patients I often work with are, let‘s say, a little different. People that live off of the public dole and are indignant when they feel they are not getting their money’s worth are the norm.
Now let me say, I work here intentionally. I like our mission to help the poor. I like working with the underserved and actually enjoy a lot of the indigent patients I work with. It’s just frustrating to work with some of the people I come in contact with.
Anyways, to say this man’s actions were something we were not used to is a bit of understatement. We’re used to ingratitude or at best begrudging thanks. We’re used to people that expect handouts and therefore have become a little jaded about the whole thing. To have this man go out of his way to return a favor restores a little faith. To have him repay the money was something we, as far as I know, have never had before. To have him repay it tenfold to help others was definitely a new experience. We talked about this man for days, it gave the staff quite a lift. I still think of this man from time to time when I am paying for someone’s cab fare.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
I will not even bother with the fact that this little drama shows a complete and total lack of class on the part of the Obama administration. From the Chief of Staff attacking a radio personality, to his spokesman attacking a TV personality (Rick Santelli), to his Wednesday night toga parties in the White House (hat tip to Chattering Teeth), the administration has shown that there is a definite change in the White House atmosphere.
What is really behind this fight though? Part of it is a genuine disagreement and ideological differences. Part of it is the fact that Obama and his team have shown themselves to be thin skinned and unable to handle criticism. Finally, part of it is that Obama has shown himself to petty and small at times, attacking anyone he is in disagreement with.
I think it goes farther than that though. I think it is part fear and part design.
First the fear part. I think he knows that barring a decent turnaround in the economy, he is in quick danger of losing his base. He made a lot of promises coming in and it is starting to appear that they will go unfulfilled.
“Lobbyists will have no place in my administration”. That was gone in the first couple of days.
“Transparency” in government. He never even tried to do this.
“Change” in the people he will have in government and accountability. Unfortunately he has done this, just not for the better. Considering a fair percentage of the people he nominated were tax cheats, this did represent a change from the Bush administration. The fact that he chose to ignore this unlawfulness in his administration quickly took care of the accountability piece.
The incredible part is that he has only been in office for a month. Most Presidents wait months or even years to break their promises to us. If you say nothing else about Obama, he is ambitious and a quick starter.
Back to the fear. His politics are far left, he knows he will not hold on to the right forever. That is why his approach to bipartisanship (another campaign promise) has been, for wont of a better term, cynical at best. Also, Rush is a definite threat to him keeping conservatives on board.
His real risk is losing his base. This will not only diminish his political capital, an important commodity for a President, but could cost him his Democratic Congress in 2010. I realize the conventional wisdom is that this is the Dem’s time and the GOP is wandering in the wilderness. For any smug Democrats though, remember 2 years is an eternity in politics and fortunes change quickly. Especially when the economy is bad.
How does Rush help with this? He is a common enemy. He is someone that will distract the base and unite them to fight off the scourge, better known as Republicans. Obama’s hope is that Rush is the equivalent of a shiny object for his base, something to keep them busy while he destroys the country around them.
Now for the design part. It is not impossible that the Obama administration has not given up completely on the liberal dream of passing the “Fairness Doctrine”. What better way to facilitate this than to demonize right wing talk radio? Rush is the perfect person for this. The left hates him. If they can make the “Fairness Doctrine” about Rush, they may be able to keep people from realizing the truth. What the “Fairness Doctrine” really is about is limiting freedom of speech.
Or, maybe I’m reading too much into it and Obama and Emanuel are just assholes. What are your thoughts?
Monday, March 2, 2009
According to this article, Obama is blaming the recently passed $410 million, pork laden, debt increasing budget on Bush. All emphasis mine.
WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama will break a campaign pledge and sign a budget bill laden with millions in lawmakers' pet projects, administration officials said.
Administration budget chief Peter Orszag and White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel both downplayed the $410 billion spending bill and signaled Obama would hold his nose and sign it. Orszag said: "We want to just move on. Let's get this bill done, get it into law and move forward.
Said Emanuel: "That's last year's business."
The House last week passed the measure that would keep the government running through Sept. 30, when the federal budget year ends. Taxpayers for Common Sense, a watchdog group, identified almost 8,600 specially sponsored projects totaling $7.7 billion; Democrats say the number is $3.8 billion.
Either way, it is far more than Obama promised as a candidate. He refused "earmarks" for the economic stimulus package he championed and a children's health bill.
He similiarly pledged to reject tailored budget requests that let lawmakers send money to their home states. Orszag said Obama would move ahead and overlook the time-tested tradition that lets officials divert millions at a time to pet projects.
"We want to make sure that earmarks are reduced and they're also transparent. We're going to work with the Congress on a set of reforms to achieve those," said Orszag, director of the Office of Management and Budget.
Obama's top hands assigned responsibility to their predecessors and President George W. Bush.
Blaming Bush-era proposals for deficits, Obama wanted to set up his own budget that would start Oct. 1, which he proposed last week with a bold goal of cutting the deficit by half within his four-year term.
"First, this is a $1.7 trillion deficit he inherited. Let's be clear about that. We inherited this deficit and we inherited $4 trillion of new debt," Emanuel said. "That is the facts."
-Before and after the election the Democratic leadership in Congress signaled that they would leave legislation like this until the new President took office, assuming at the time it would be Obama.
-The Democratic leadership was saying back in December that they would work on a budget to have it ready for Obama to sign when he took office.
-This budget was passed last week, by a Democratic Congress, a month after Bush left office.
-It was signed by Barack Obama, a month after Bush left office.
-It is all Bush's fault.
Is everybody caught up now?
Finally while Bush has to own up to the $1.7 trillion deficit (although the generally accepted number is $1.3, but to these guys whats a few hundred billion here or there?), where the Hell did the $4trillion new debt come from? Maybe Obama's new spending? Which is naturally Bush's fault.
You can almost imagine a glass case in the Oval Office with a littler hammer. Imprinted on the glass is the message "In case of being questioned about your budget, break glass". Obama can then take out the digital recorder and replay the "It's all Bush's fault" recording.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
This one was too easy to ignore though.
First a little history lesson so that I will not be accused of being mean spirited. On June 15 1992 Dan Quayle mistakenly corrected a kid who spelled "potato" on the blackboard, telling the kid it was spelled "potatoe". He was ridiculed for years, you still hear jokes 16 years later, about this. The truth behind this is he was going by the misspelling on a flash card provided by the school. While I am not defending Quayle, he should have got it right, maybe the better discussion to have would have been about a teacher misspelling it.
The only reason I mention this is because I am getting tired of the constant defense of Biden and his utter stupidity. We defined one VP by one quote and give another one a pass for being a walking gaffe machine. This man cannot open his mouth without saying something retarded. Yet he is shielded by the media.
Finally do we have to rehash the whole criticism over John McCain not knowing how to do e-mail? Somehow that seemed to be a major story for the MSM. The story behind this week's quote, not so much.
Anyways, off the soapbox and back to the quote.
Speaking of the administrations new website Recovery.gov, a site devoted to Obama's new era of "transparency" in government, Biden made this quote:
“You know, I’m embarrassed.” To someone offscreen: “Do you know the website number? You know, I should have it in front of me, and I don’t. I’m actually embarrassed.”
I think the operative term in that quote is "I'm embarrassed". For his ignorance about the internet I give Biden Al Gore's phone number. Since Gore invented the internet, maybe he can give Biden some tips. Once he's done saving the planet that is.