Friday, February 27, 2009
* Excerpting and critiquing...
We have known for decades that our survival depends on finding new sources of energy. Yet we import more oil today than ever before.
Yet you and your Party have by and large stood against nuclear energy... stood against drilling in ANWR... stood against off-shore drilling... (*SIGH*)
The cost of health care eats up more and more of our savings each year, yet we keep delaying reform.
Not "we," Mr. President; you - and again, by and large - your Party. I've always been in favor of delinking health insurance from the employer/employee tie that came out of WW-2. (Note: WW-2 ENDED in 1945.) I've always been in favor of MSAs (medical savings accounts). I've always been opposed to state regulatory barriers to interstate policy availability.
Our children will compete for jobs in a global economy that too many of our schools do not prepare them for.
And your "solution" is the same old tired "spend more, spend more, spend more" that has NEVER worked and WILL never work. Perhaps you should invite Charles Murray to spend a weekend at the White House educating you. Or... invite my daughter Kim over to chat with you. My God, Mr. President, if you can't see that the present American educational system is at best wasteful and misfocused and at worse dysfunctional and that simply giving MORE money to the same fools who have created the current mess over the past four decades ISN'T THE ANSWER... (*SIGH*)
A surplus became an excuse to transfer wealth to the wealthy instead of an opportunity to invest in our future.
What surplus...?!?! There was NO surplus! The "surpluses" were illusionary in the sense that part of the "revenue" cited as providing the "surpluses" came from "borrowing" the money from "excess" social security "contributions." Take that accounting gimmick off the table and we were running deficits all along.
Regulations were gutted for the sake of a quick profit at the expense of a healthy market.
Notice he doesn't specify WHICH regulations were "gutted" and how the "gutting" process scores according to Party voting records... including his own as a Senator? (*SMIRK*)
People bought homes they knew they couldn't afford from banks and lenders who pushed those bad loans anyway.
Listen. Every educated, knowledgeable person KNOWS that Obama is full of $hit here. Sure, the banks and lenders acted irresponsibly, but it was GOVERNMENT which PUSHED them to act irresponsibly in the service of a misguided effort to increase minority home-ownership based upon quota rather than quality.
Listen. When quotas are used to try to force "diversity" into colleges, the result can be seen in attrition rates; when quotas are used to try and force "diversity" in the housing market the "attrition" which results is called FORECLOSURE!
Now is the time to act boldly and wisely...
Yes! For God's sake... DO!
...95 percent of working households in America will receive a tax cut...
So much for shared "sacrifice."
Because of this plan, families who are struggling to pay tuition costs will receive a $2,500 tax credit for all four years of college.
Throwing good money after bad; adding to deficit spending, adding to the national debt. (*SIGH*) And "best" of all... adding to educational inflation because now the colleges know that their... er... consumers... are being subsidized to the tune of $2,500 above and beyond other subsidies already figured into tuition and room and board rates. (*SIGH*)
And Americans who have lost their jobs in this recession will be able to receive extended unemployment benefits and continued health care coverage to help them weather this storm.
Courtesy of me. (*SMIRK*) Courtesy of my wife. Courtesy of everyone who is working, including those of us who are self-employed and have seen their income shrink by God only knows how much. (In my case... at least 50%.) Oh... and the "continued" health care coverage part... that's a NEW middle class entitlement, folks. (*SIGH*)
I have told each of my Cabinet, as well as mayors and governors across the country, that they will be held accountable by me and the American people for every dollar they spend.
Bull$hit. Com'on... we all know this is bull$hit. He's like the frigg'n Wizard of Oz! The curtain has already been pulled back! We've SEEN the pork in the "stimulus" bill; the nation's newspapers and websites are full of the details of the pork in the newest budget resolution now before Congress. (*HEADACHE*)
The concern is that if we do not restart lending in this country, our recovery will be choked off before it even begins.
What is he TALKING about...?!?! I just bought a new car three weeks ago! As far as I can tell, there's PLENTY of credit around - credit if you're a sound credit risk. Extending credit RECKLESSLY is what got us in to this mess in the first place!!!
But credit has stopped flowing the way it should.
Again... not from what I can see; not from what I've personally experienced. He seems to be just making $hit up. (*SHRUG*)
First, we are creating a new lending fund that represents the largest effort ever to help provide auto loans, college loans, and small business loans to the consumers and entrepreneurs who keep this economy running.
Buy more stuff people! Go DEEPER into debt! That's Obama's... er... "solution."
Second, we have launched a housing plan that will help responsible families facing the threat of foreclosure lower their monthly payments and refinance their mortgages.
How'bout me? Is Obama gonna order my rent lowered? 32% of all Americans rent. Screw us, huh? In fact, to add insult to industry, make us renters subsidize home ownership even more than we've done so historically!
It's a plan that won't help speculators or that neighbor down the street who bought a house he could never hope to afford, but it will help millions of Americans who are struggling with declining home values...
Umm... Mr. President... whether we're talking about DECLINING home values or APPRECIATING home values, we're talking about FREE MARKETS. (Or at least were till Comrades Bush, Paulson, Bernanke, Pelosi, Reid, and now yourself got into the act.) (*SIGH*)
In short, folks, our President is calling FOR housing INFLATION... (*SIGH*)
Hey... those of you planning on purchasing your first home in a few years... you message from President Obama is that you should PAY MORE - pay more artificially thanks to artificial government stimulus and subsidy. Sound like a plan which makes sense to you...???
Americans who will now be able to take advantage of the lower interest rates that this plan has already helped to bring about.
Artificially low interest rates were a large part of the reason we got ourselves into this mess in the first place!
What's next... wage and price controls...??? (*SIGH*)
In fact, the average family who refinances today can save nearly $2,000 per year on their mortgage.
With me subsidizing it. (*SMIRK*)
Third, we will act with the full force of the federal government to ensure that the major banks that Americans depend on have enough confidence and enough money to lend even in more difficult times.
Even if we're simply PRINTING the money with nothing by IOUs to back it up... even if we're BORROWING the money with INTEREST ACCRUING leaving the debt and the interest payments to our children and grandchildren. (Hey... at least the Chinese are making money off Obama's plans...) (*HEADACHE*)
And when we learn that a major bank has serious problems, we will hold accountable those responsible, force the necessary adjustments, provide the support to clean up their balance sheets, and assure the continuity of a strong, viable institution that can serve our people and our economy.
Nonsense. Utter nonsense. By "clean up" he means debt will be taken OFF the shoulders of those who assumed the risk willingly in exchange for the possibility of profit and instead this bad debt will be shifted to... er... ME!!! (Me and you and you and you...) (*SIGH*)
And I intend to hold these banks fully accountable for the assistance they receive, and this time, they will have to clearly demonstrate how taxpayer dollars result in more lending for the American taxpayer. This time CEOs won't be able to use taxpayer money to pad their paychecks, or buy fancy drapes, or disappear on a private jet. Those days are over.
Perhaps someone might wanna tell the IRS that President Obama has declared an end to the deduction of "business expenses." Oh... you mean you forgot that when a company takes its executives, its employees, its clients out to be wined, dined, and entertained that the average Joe Blow is SUBSIDIZING these expenses to the tune of a 25% "business expense" deduction...??? (*SNORT*) Wise up, folks... this is the game...
Still, this plan will require significant resources from the federal government...
By "federal government" he means HE and CONGRESS do the "charging" on the national credit card and you, me, and our kids and grandkids do the paying when the bills come due. (*SMIRK*)
And, yes, probably more than we've already set aside.
"PROBABLY...?!?!" Did he REALLY just say "probably...?!?!" (*SMIRK*) Folks... that right there tells you all you need to know about President Obama.
But while the cost of action will be great, I can assure you that the cost of inaction will be far greater...
No. It wouldn't be. Seriously... it wouldn't be. Bush, Pelosi, Reid, Paulson, and Bernanke started us down this road to disaster, but Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and Bernanke are stepping on the gas rather than stepping on the brake. Folks... these people are just plain wrong. They're making things WORSE.
That would be worse for our deficit...
Folks. Com'on. (*RUEFUL SMILE*) NOTHING could be worse for our deficit that what Obama and the Democrats (along with Specter, Collins, and Snowe) have done and are continuing to do.
In the next few days, I will submit a budget to Congress. So often, we've come to view these documents as simply numbers on a page or a laundry list of programs. I see this document differently. I see it as a vision for America - as a blueprint for our future.
Raise your hand if you believe he's... er... read his own proposal word for word... gone over it line by line as he promised he would all during the campaign. (*SMIRK*)
We know the country that harnesses the power of clean, renewable energy will lead the 21st century. And yet, it is China that has launched the largest effort in history to make their economy energy-efficient.
So... anyone wanna hazard a guess to exactly how many new nuclear power plants will be build during Obama's first term? (*PURSED LIPS*)
As to China... sure, they're industrializing; they're also creating environmental disasters akin to that visited up the forest of Truffula by the Lorax! (Google it if you don't get the reference.) Oh... and by the way... child labor... slave labor... I could go on and on.
We invented solar technology, but we've fallen behind countries like Germany and Japan in producing it.
Solar energy provides exactly 0.6% (yep... 0.6 - not 6.0) of Germany's power requirements - and that figure is based upon artificial subsidy via Germany's Renewable Energies Act. (*SMIRK*) Japan? I'll let anyone interested do his or her own research. (*SMIRK*)
Thanks to our recovery plan, we will double this nation's supply of renewable energy in the next three years.
Big frigg'n deal. (*SNORT*) Operating under the assumption we actually will "double" the nation's supply of renewable energy by the end of three years, what would this bring it to, and at what cost? If I find $.85 cents in my couch cushions today and check again in three years to find $2.55... (*SHRUG*) (*GRIN*)
We've also made the largest investment in basic research funding in American history - an investment that will spur not only new discoveries in energy, but breakthroughs in medicine and science and technology.
Basic research in WHAT...??? A little specificity please... (*INQUIRING STARE*)
We will soon lay down thousands of miles of power lines that can carry new energy to cities and towns across this country.
And WHERE is this energy COMING from...??? (Yeah, folks... hard to believe, but even as a poli-sci guy without degree in electrical engineering, I seem to recall that it's not the LINES that CREATE the energy.)
And we will put Americans to work making our homes and buildings more efficient so that we can save billions of dollars on our energy bills.
Here's where it would be nice to hear some HONESTY from Obama. If he's interested in more AFFORDABLE homes... more ENERGY EFFICIENT homes in terms of energy requirements... then he should be telling Americans that we need to DOWNSIZE to SMALLER homes. But, no... he's NOT going to tell us that. He's NOT going to tell the truth. (*SHRUG*) (And even the most liberal amongst you reading this KNOWS I'm being absolutely accurate here.)
But to truly transform our economy, to protect our security, and save our planet from the ravages of climate change...
(*SIGH*) "Climate change" is a NATURAL phenomenon. How do you suppose the Grand Canyon got to be... er... GRAND...?!?! (*SNORT*)
As a general rule of thumb, as far as human activities and sustainable food production go... WARMER is preferable to colder. (*SMIRK*)
We need to ultimately make clean, renewable energy the profitable kind of energy.
Then create a legal climate where NUCLEAR POWER can expand and prosper!!! (But, no... we know he's not going to do that...) (*SHRUG*) Sentiment over substance, folks. (*SHRUG*)
So I ask this Congress to send me legislation that places a market-based cap on carbon pollution...
So-called "cap and trade" has been a disaster in Europe and will be here. Mark my words...
We will invest $15 billion a year to develop technologies like wind power and solar power, advanced biofuels, clean coal, and more efficient cars and trucks built right here in America.
By "invest" he means SPEND TAXPAYER MONEY... actually... SPEND BORROWED MONEY... actually... SPEND BORROWED MONEY WITH HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS GOING TOWARDS JUST FUTURE INTEREST PAYMENTS... (*SIGH*)
Speaking of our auto industry, everyone recognizes that years of bad decision-making and a global recession have pushed our automakers to the brink. We should not, and will not, protect them from their own bad practices.
Again... WHAT IS HE BABBLING ABOUT...?!?! We're BAILING THEM OUT!!! Everyone one of us KNOWS we're bailing them out! What's he TALKING about...?!?!
Already, we've done more to advance the cause of health care reform in the last 30 days than we've done in the last decade.
He says "advance." I say "make things worse." (*SHRUG*)
When it was days old, this Congress passed a law to provide and protect health insurance for 11 million American children whose parents work full-time.
Yes. Another expanded middle class entitlement. Plus... as a "bonus"... a sure to expand future unfunded liability.
Our recovery plan will invest in electronic health records and new technology...
Ask yourselves, folks... except for the military (sometimes!) and our intelligence services (NSA mainly), when you think of the technological standards of the public sector (think FAA, IRS, even FBI), what comes to mind? Look it up! By and large it's the PRIVATE sector where you get innovation and which set the timing benchmarks for technological upgrades; what our President is calling for is to put those LEAST able to quickly and competently adopt with regard to new technology in charge of "new" technology. (*SIGH*)
[We] will reduce errors, bring down costs, ensure privacy, and save lives.
Again... seriously... does this sound like GOVERNMENT to you...??? "Reducing errors... bringing down costs..." Seriously. Does this sound like GOVERNMENT to you...???
It will launch a new effort to conquer a disease that has touched the life of nearly every American, including me, by seeking a cure for cancer in our time.
From what I know, it has historically been the FDA which has SLOWED drug development and market availability of the latest private sector cutting edge pharmaceutical products. (*SHRUG*)
In a global economy where the most valuable skill you can sell is your knowledge, a good education is no longer just a pathway to opportunity - it is a prerequisite.
And apparently 13 years - K-12 - isn't sufficient to meet this "prerequisite." Ever ask yourself why...???
Right now, three-quarters of the fastest-growing occupations require more than a high school diploma.
Why...??? Seriously. Why...??? Why shouldn't THIRTEEN YEARS of formal government education at God knows how many billions of dollars per year create a "prerequisite" competence to enter a workforce which largely relies upon on the job training...???
Think about this: Wouldn't a certification system (think Paralegal... think CPA... think Microsoft Certification...) be a swifter, more certain, and far more cost effective route to most specific entry level para-professional and even professional jobs than the broad liberal arts education we now insist upon and which is used as an arbitrary screening tool by all too many employers regardless of whether "well rounded" (in a liberal arts sense) employees are what they really need...???
We've made college affordable for nearly seven million more students - seven million.
Via BORROWING the money from CHINA! (*SMIRK*) Again, folks... every cent above revenues that the government spends is either BORROWED (at interest... HUGE interest over time... interest often paid to individuals, organizations, and nations that do NOT mean us well...) or simply printed (thus devaluing the currency and stoking the fires of inflation down the road).
[W]e will provide the support necessary for all young Americans to complete college and meet a new goal: By 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world. That's is a goal we can meet. That's a goal we can meet.
Exactly the WRONG path. First of all, not all Americans SHOULD go to college. Not all Americans are INTELLECTUALLY capable of excelling in college and gaining a cost/benefit edge by attending anymore than "all" Americans can reach even the level of competence in gymnastics mastered by a gifted five year old.
Folks. Get it through your heads: By dumbing down education standards to the point where "everyone can succeed," we're defeating the very purpose of education. I call upon everyone reading this to read Charles Murray's "Real Education." (*SHRUG*)
Now, I know that the price of tuition is higher than ever, which is why if you are willing to volunteer in your neighborhood or give back to your community or serve your country, we will make sure that you can afford a higher education.
Again. Reality check. There IS NO MONEY. He's simply borrowing and spending... printing and spending... leaving us, our children, our grandchildren, and God only knows how many succeeding generations to figure out how to pay the bills.
Now, I'm proud that we passed a recovery plan free of earmarks...
Oh.... PLEEEASE...!!! So instead of "earmarks" linked to a particular Senator or House Member there was targeted spending... targeted to key Democratic constituencies - the Unions, etc. (*SMIRK*) Who does he think he's fooling...?!?!
I want to pass a budget next year that ensures that each dollar we spend reflects only our most important national priorities.
(*SIGH*) "Prioritizing" would mean living WITHIN your means... living WITHIN the revenue stream. (*SMIRK*) Folks... he's full of $hit.
And yesterday, I held a fiscal summit where I pledged to cut the deficit in half by the end of my first term in office.
(*SNORT*) (*CHOKING ON MY OWN LAUGHTER*) Very funny, Mr. President. Droll. Very droll.
My administration has also begun to go line by line through the federal budget...
Lies. Simply lies. HE promised to PERSONALLY go through federal budgets "line by line." Anyone believe he's done so...??? How about the so-called "stimulus" bill... NOT ONE SINGLE SENATOR OR HOUSE MEMBER ACTUALLY READ THE ENTIRE BILL WORD FOR WORD. (Yet... they voted on it... and now it's law - EACH AND EVERY WORD.) (*SIGH*)
But we have already identified $2 trillion in savings over the next decade.
Well, well... you'd think if that's so he'd at least PREVIEW some of the specifics... (*SMIRK*) (*SNORT*)
In this budget we will end education programs that don't work...
[A]nd end direct payments to large agribusiness that don't need them.
Finally, because we're also suffering from a deficit of trust, I am committed to restoring a sense of honesty and accountability to our budget. That is why this budget looks ahead 10 years and accounts for spending that was left out under the old rules - and for the first time, that includes the full cost of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. For seven years, we have been a nation at war. No longer will we hide its price.
I'll believe it when I see it. (*SHRUG*) I hope he's telling the truth here. Time will tell.
I will not allow terrorists to plot against the American people from safe havens halfway around the world. We will not allow it.
Again. He has my total support here. I just hope he's telling the truth. Time will tell.
To relieve the strain on our forces, my budget increases the number of our soldiers and Marines.
Good move. Smart move. (*CLAP-CLAP-CLAP*)
And to keep our sacred trust with those who serve, we will raise their pay, and give our veterans the expanded health care and benefits that they have earned.
Ahh... increase their pay... via BORROWING and PRINTING. (*SHRUG*) What a guy... what a guy...
Friday, February 20, 2009
Each day I feel nauseous.
I've been feeling this way since early 2005.
Yes... George W. Bush "kept us safe" - if by "safe" we mean no follow-up 9/11 scale successful terrorist attacks upon American soil post 9/11/01.
We can argue Iraq, but setting aside for the moment our divergent views on whether we should have invaded Iraq in the first place and side-stepping the question of whether history has... whether history will... view the Surge as having salvaged the promise of the initial invasion... my personal break with Bush came in 2005, when following his re-election he seemed to LOSE HIS MIND...
Remember Harriet Miers? Yeah... she was Georgie's kindergarten teacher or favorite waitress at the local Waffle House or something like that. On October 3, 2005, George W. Bush announced she was his latest appointment to the Supreme Court of the United States. That was the beginning of the end for me...
Most aspects of Bush policies and actions are debatable. Support, oppose, agree, disagree... there's plenty of room for debate concerning what Bush did right, what Bush did wrong, and what Bush SHOULD have done but didn't. All that aside... when George W. Bush attempted to place Harriet Ellan Miers on the Supreme Court of the United States... that was it for me. Never again afterwards would I - or could I - give the President the benefit of the doubt I afforded him in his first term.
So, folks... this is where I'm coming from: I'm a Reaganite. To a large extent I'm a Gingrichian. The Presidents I revere are George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Teddy Roosevelt and the aforemention "Gipper."
George H.W. Bush was such a disappointment to me that I left the GOP in 1992 to join the New York State Conservative Party in protest - a protest that extended to working for the Ross Perot campaign in 1992 and voting for Perot in that year's election. After Bill Clinton was elected, I gave him a chance but soon re-registered as a Republican upon seeing the Clinton presidential reality as having little connection to the Clinton presidential campaign rhetoric.
I was a Forbes man during the Republican primaries of 2000. When George W. Bush beat my man, I - though with misgivings - chose to support his candidacy against that of Democrat Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election.
Come January 2001 and George W. Bush was President of the United States. Unfortunately for the nation, by this time the political heirs to the 1994 Republican Revolution had turned on that "revolution's" most ideologically pure leaders and so instead of Newt Gingrich and Dick Armey leading a Republican House in the era of a Republican president, we had big spending wheelers and dealers more concerned with power than principle - men like Trent Lott and Tom DeLay - slowly but surely turning the Republican "brand" into the mirror image of the worst of Democratic power excesses of the pre-Gingrich era.
Come September 11th... 8:45 a.m., September 11th, 2001... everything changes.
For weeks... months... the nation came together. We were all Americans. Liberals, conservatives, Republicans, Democrats... even the damned politicians seemed to - for a small window in time - cooperate in order to serve something bigger than themselves, larger than their ideologies or Parties... the national interest.
It didn't take long though for the "war" on terror to be used as an excuse for uncontrolled spending, for turning budget surpluses (which by the way were themselves illusionary - but that's a story for another time) into deficits, for piling debt upon debt and pushing fiscal and monetary policies - mainly in a "bipartisan" fashion" - which inevitably led to the weakening dollar... the oil spikes... inflation... the bursting of the housing bubble... the banking crisis...
I FEEL NAUSEOUS...
I am so sick to my stomach each and every day as I watch markets tumble and government pour the equivalent of an accelerant upon the economic fires threatening to burn our entire economic system to the ground.
I FEEL NAUSEOUS...
We're out of the Bush frying pan... straight into the Obama fire!
Day 32 of The Age of Obama and here's a typical news headline: BofA, Citi Shares Fall On Nationalization Fears...
NATIONALIZATION...?!?! Nationalization of the BANKS...?!?! Nationalization of the banks in AMERICA...?!?!
Folks. I was ready to give Obama a chance. Hell... anyone who followed my postings on my cyber-peer Robert A. George's website knows that Obama actually was my "favorite Democrat" running all through the primaries and that if I hadn't had the "out" of voting for Bob Barr, I would have voted for Obama over McCain!
We're in trouble, folks. Sure... Bush started all this "stimulus" nonsense (with the Dems only complaint being Bush's stimulus policies didn't add ENOUGH new debt to our and our children's and grandchildren's future unfunded liabilities) and the "bailout" nonsense too, but if Bush's policies were too wasteful, counter-productive, and frankly socialist for you... what the heck do you make of OBAMA'S POLICIES...?!?!
What's the answer? I don't know. A military coup? God help us, but if the present executive, legislative, and judicial branch movers and shakers are what result from democracy... perhaps democracy is part of the problem...
Seriously... what is the answer? We're stuck with Obama for four years. We're stuck with the present House make-up and leadership for at least the next two years; and in the Senate - thanks to RINO Senators Specter, Collins, and Snowe and others of their ilk - prospects for reining in the worst excesses of Obama/Pelosi/Reid policies are effectively nil.
I'll keep on blogging. As ill as it makes me to read, listen to, and watch the news, I'll continue to do so and persist in highlighting specifics of disasterous policies foisted upon the American People by the duly elected representatives of... er... the American People.
I don't just read; I react. And no, my reactions are not limited to spouting off here at Usually Right or grousing with likeminded friends. I call my Congressman and my Senators. I email. I attend town hall meetings and such. WE ALL NEED TO DO THESE THINGS...!!!
You folks have computers. You have phones. I'm guessing you even have pens, paper, envelopes and stamps at home and at your offices! For God's sake, when you read about or hear about something government is doing which you KNOW is asinine at least make your voice be heard by those who supposedly represent you and respresent this nation!
O.K. Rant off. Enough... for now.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
God Help Us...
There is no "A, R or P" in the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program, quipped U.S. Bancorp Chief Executive Richard Davis Tuesday morning in front of about 300 business people in Minneapolis.
"It's just troubled," the 50-year-old CEO said at the Thrivent Financial for Lutherans' Business Leaders Forum. The forum invites executives to discuss how business and their principles intersect.
Ah... principles... those were the days...
Created to encourage lending to small businesses and consumers, TARP started by shoveling tens of billions of dollars at the country's biggest banks but soon was expanded to include banks of all sizes. Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp got $6.6 billion.
Billions of OUR dollars, my friends...
Now I'm not one for exaggeration, but this sounds like government policy made in China, any fascist or self-styled communist state, a tin pot dictatorship, or some sub-plot inserted into a novel or movie...
This is not MY America my friends...
Davis went on to say in his talk that while government officials marketed the program as a way to entice banks to lend again, TARP actually was designed to give solid banks like U.S. Bancorp some extra cash to buy weaker banks in the system. U.S. Bancorp did just that late last year when it acquired the assets of two failed banks in California, Downey Savings and Loan and PFF Bank & Trust.
"We were told to take it so that we could help Darwin synthesize the weaker banks and acquire those and put them under different leadership," he said. "We are not even allowed to mention that. ... We were supposed to say the TARP money was used for lending."My God... are you reading this...?!?! This is an outrage... unbelievable... unAmerican...
How can anyone - Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative - read this and not shudder in horror at what the politicians are doing to our nation...???
But Davis is talking about it now, he says, because he and others oppose current and future strings attached to the program. Davis didn't detail those strings, but he said he and some peers intend to voice their opinions to Washington, D.C., soon.
"Now they're punishing you for having the capital," he said, adding that he refuses to stand by and let his company become "collateral damage" in an attempt to nationalize the banks.
And nationalization does indeed seem to be on the table.
Davis touted U.S. Bancorp as a strong player in a weak industry, but also gave props to local competitors Wells Fargo & Co., TCF Financial Corp. and Bremer Financial. "That's why this city will continue to come through this difficult time better than almost any major city in America," said Davis, who came to Minnesota from California. "We didn't get into the stupid stuff two years ago that would have impaired us from doing the normal stuff today. So there." Davis also disclosed that a number of other states and cities have been working hard to lure U.S. Bancorp away from the Twin Cities, but assured the crowd that so long as he remains in charge, the company will stay right where it is. The company employs more than 10,000 people in Minnesota. God bless Richard Davis and let us pray that as the Age of Obama proceeds, men and women of his ilk continue to speak truth to political power run amuck.
Davis touted U.S. Bancorp as a strong player in a weak industry, but also gave props to local competitors Wells Fargo & Co., TCF Financial Corp. and Bremer Financial.
"That's why this city will continue to come through this difficult time better than almost any major city in America," said Davis, who came to Minnesota from California. "We didn't get into the stupid stuff two years ago that would have impaired us from doing the normal stuff today. So there."
Davis also disclosed that a number of other states and cities have been working hard to lure U.S. Bancorp away from the Twin Cities, but assured the crowd that so long as he remains in charge, the company will stay right where it is. The company employs more than 10,000 people in Minnesota.
God bless Richard Davis and let us pray that as the Age of Obama proceeds, men and women of his ilk continue to speak truth to political power run amuck.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Did anyone happen to catch "This Week With George Stephanopoulos" yesterday?
My U.S. Senator, Chuck Schumer, was one of the guests. Right out of the gate he falsely asserted that "we have the worst economy we've had since the Great Depression."
Hmm... let's look at some economic stats:
Today's national unemployment rate is 7.6%
In 1975 the unemployment rate was 8.5%.
So much for unemployment.
How about inflation...??? Let's see... inflation stats for 2008... 3.85%.
As to 2009 projections... hmm... deflation... really...???
Raise your hands, boys and girls, who would willingly trade today's inflation rate for... say...
1974 - 11.03%
1977 - 6.5%
1978 - 7.62%
1979 - 11.22%
1980 - 13.58%
It's a funny thing. I'm 46 years old and I clearly remember the Carter years, the Misery Index; why doesn't Senator Schumer, who is 58 years old... why doesn't President Obama, who is 47 years old?
In June of 1980 the Misery Index reached it's high mark of 21.98%. Do the math - we're no where near those obscene heights of misery today. We may yet get there - even surpass the past high mark - under President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Reid, but we're not there yet.
Just to put matters into perspective...
George W. Bush's "high water mark" in terms of the misery index was 9.61 for 2008.
2008 of course being the year Obama and the Democrats - with media cover - brought out this who "worst economy since the Great Depression" canard.
Yet... (*SNORT*)... in 1993, President Clinton's first year in office, the misery index pegged in at 9.87%.
Anyway... so much for demolishing Schumer's minor lie...
NOW... HERE'S WHERE SCHUMER REALLY SET ME OFF...
According to Senator Schumer, I didn't get a car loan two weeks ago.
According to my United States Senator... one of the most powerful Democrats on Capital Hill... no cars have been sold in America - apparently not for some time - and DEFINITELY no car LOANS have been made.
Here's the quote:
"...auto loans, which are now -- you can't get a car loan, even if you have a good credit rating."
I JUST BOUGHT A CAR TWO WEEKS AGO...!!!
And yes... while I put down $4,000 and got an additional $2,700 for the trade-in of my old 2001 Mercury Grand Marquis with 183,000 miles on it... I financed the rest of the purchase via a CAR LOAN... a BANK car loan since this was a USED car purchase.
No problemo! An UNSECURED loan! No collateral other than the car itself! And the rate...??? Five point nine percent. Yep... 5.9%. Same day financing, purchase, and delivery... on a Saturday... the vehicle purchased in New Jersey though I live in New York.
(Beautiful frigg'n car by the way... 2008 Dodge Charger RT - yeah... the HEMI - inferno red crystal pearlcoat, power sunroof, power/heated seats and mirrors, leather of course, five speed autostick, 18 inch alloy v-spoke wheels, premium sound with satillite radio - even side air bags!)
So what the hell is Senator Schumer talking about...??? Is he just lying... making it up as he goes...??? Apparently so.
Folks. It's getting worse. The politicians are gettting more and more brazen. And these are the people running the country.
We're in trouble, folks... and even my new red Charger - with the HEMI - ain't gonna be fast enough to outrun the damage these congenital liars in Washington are doing to our economy, our nation, and our national creed.
God help us all...
Friday, February 13, 2009
If this is an example of democracy in action...
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) predicted on Thursday that none of his Senate colleagues would "have the chance" to read the entire final version of the $790-billion stimulus bill before the bill comes up for a final vote in Congress.
Great. We've now come to the point where the politicians don't even bother to hide the fact that they're not even READING proposed legislation prior to voting EACH AND EVERY WORD of it into law.
When CNSNews.com asked members of both parties on Capitol Hill on Thursday whether they had read the full, final bill, not one member could say, "Yes."
No, folks... this is not satire; this is not the Onion, a SNL skit, or Chinese hackers attempting to subvert the American People's faith in representative democracy.
You want more news from our nation's capital...?
(Drudge Report) HURRY, FELLAS, LET'S VOTE, I AM OFF TO ROME!
Fri Feb 13 2009 09:18:52 ET
Rep. John Culberson, TX claims the "stimulus" bill must be urgently voted on today -- because Speaker Nancy Pelosi is leaving at 6:00 PM for an 8 day trip to Europe!
Culberson made the charge on Houston's KSEV radio.
Pelosi is hoping to lead a delegation to Europe; there's a meeting with the Pope and an award from an Italian legislative group.
Calls to Pelosi's spokesman went unreturned.
In the rushing, Democrats have now broken their promise to have the public see the $790 billion bill for 48 hours before any vote.
Again... NOT a joke; not a satire. This is Washington D.C. 2009.
My cyberfriend Anthony over at The Catholic Libertarian often chides me for musing aloud that perhaps it's time for a military coup, or vigilante justice against those of our "leaders" who are the worst of the worst when it comes to actual graft, corruption, and blatant dishonesty.
I ask readers, though... is what we have now truly a better system?
Forget theory; confront practice. Is all well in Washington D.C. - even close to it...??? How about Albany? Trenton? Sacramento? Springfield?
How many outright CROOKS have recently served in the United States Senate, the House of Representatives, various statehouses and governor's mansions... city halls... and how many are still occupying seats of official power?
How many of you would unhesitatingly raise your hand into the air to answer the following question in the affirmative: "Do you believe that your Member of the federal House of Representatives, your U.S. Senator, your state's Governor, your state representative(s) are both honest and intelligent; are more interested in your good... in your family's good and your children's and grandchildren's good than in their own personal political welfare? How many of you truly believe that the average politician puts the Constitution above political expediency and partisan interests?"
We're in trouble, folks. We're in deep, deep trouble.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Robert E. Rector and Katherine Bradley of the Heritage Foundation have just come out with WebMemo #2287, titled, "Stimulus Bill Abolishes Welfare Reform and Adds New Welfare Spending."
A major public policy success, welfare reform in the mid-1990s led to a dramatic reduction in welfare dependency and child poverty. This successful reform, however is now in jeopardy: Little-noted provisions in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate stimulus bills actually abolish this historic reform. In addition, the stimulus bills will add nearly $800 billion in new means-tested welfare spending over the next decade. This new spending amounts to around $22,500 for every poor person in the U.S. The cost of the new welfare spending amounts, on average, to over $10,000 for each family paying income tax.
The House and Senate stimulus bills will overturn the fiscal foundation of welfare reform and restore an AFDC-style funding system. For the first time since 1996, the federal government would begin paying states bonuses to increase their welfare caseloads. Indeed, the new welfare system created by the stimulus bills is actually worse than the old AFDC program because it rewards the states more heavily to increase their caseloads. Under the stimulus bills, the federal government will pay 80 percent of cost for each new family that a state enrolls in welfare; this matching rate is far higher than it was under AFDC.
It is clear that - in both the House and Senate stimulus bills - the original goal of helping families move [into] employment and self-sufficiency and off long-term dependence on government assistance has instead been replaced with the perverse incentive of adding more families to the welfare rolls. The House bill provides $4 billion per year to reward states to increase their TANF caseloads...
Proponents of the stimulus plan might argue that these changes are necessary to help TANF weather the current recession. This is not true. Under existing TANF law, the federal government operates a TANF "contingency fund" with nearly $2 billion in funding that can be quickly funneled to states that have rising unemployment. It should be noted that the existing contingency fund ties increased financial support to states to the objective external factor of unemployment; it specifically avoids a policy of funding states for increased welfare caseloads, recognizing the perverse incentives this could entail. If the authors of the stimulus bills merely wanted to provide states with more TANF funds in the current recession, they could have increased funding in the existing contingency fund. But they deliberately did not do this. Instead, they completely overturned the fiscal and policy foundations of welfare reform.
(*SIGH*) It gets worse, folks...
But overturning welfare reform is just the beginning. In his recent press conference, President Obama explained that the stimulus bill would provide "tax relief" and "direct investment" in infrastructure. He neglected to mention that of the $816 billion in new spending and tax cuts in the House stimulus bill - 32%, $264 billion - is new means-tested welfare spending, providing cash, food, housing, and medical care to poor and low income Americans.
A WELFARE SPENDATHON:
In the first year after enactment of the stimulus bill, federal welfare spending will explode upward by more than 20 percent, rising from $491 billion in FY 2008 to $601 billion in FY 2009. This one-year explosion in welfare spending would be, by far, the largest in U.S. history. But spending will continue to rise even further in future years. The stimulus bill is a welfare spendathon, a massive down payment on Obama's promise to "spread the wealth."
HIDDEN WELFARE SPENDING:
While $264 billion in new welfare spending may seem like a lot, it is only the tip of the iceberg. If the stimulus bill is enacted the real long-term increase will be far higher. This is because the stimulus bill pretends that most of its welfare benefit increases will lapse after two years. In fact, both Congress and President Obama intend for most of these increases to become permanent. The claim that Congress is temporarily increasing welfare spending for Keynesian purposes (to spark the economy by boosting consumer spending) is a red herring. The real goal is a permanent expansion of the welfare system.
The House and Senate bills contain a half dozen or more new welfare entitlements or expansions to benefits in existing programs. The pretense that these welfare expansions will lapse after two years is a political gimmick designed to hide their true cost from the taxpayer. If these welfare expansions are made permanent - as history indicates they will - the welfare cost of the stimulus will rise another $523 billion over 10 years.
Once the hidden welfare spending in the bill is counted, the total 10-year cost of welfare increases will not be $264 billion but $787 billion. This new spending will amount to around $22,500 for every poor person in the U.S. The cost amounts, on average, to over $10,000 for each family paying income tax in the U.S.
The overall 10-year fiscal burden of the bill (added to the national debt) will not be $814 billion but $1.34 trillion. To this figure must be added the interest on the debt issues to finance this spending deluge.
A Trojan Horse:
Both the Senate and House stimulus bills are Trojan horses that deliberately exploit anxiety about the current recession to conceal their destruction of the foundation of welfare reform and a massive expansion of the welfare system. Since its enactment in the mid-1990s, such reform has proven to be a very successful policy that dramatically reduced welfare dependency and child poverty. The fact that the stimulus proponents seek to conceal the bill's massive permanent changes in welfare is a clear indication that they understand how unpopular these changes would be if the public became aware of them. Far from an exercise in "unprecedented transparency" - as President Obama claims - the [House and Senate] stimulus bills are [each] an example of unprecedented deception.
And there you have it folks.
Yep... I'm referring to Congress - at least the vast majority of Members and Senators.
On Thursday, Jan. 29, showing rare courage and uncommon political and legislative competence, the House GOP caucus hung together to UNANIMOUSLY reject the Obama-Pelosi-Reid Porkulus bill.
Alas... yesterday, Feb. 10, with the support of three RINOs - Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania - the Senate of the United States in a 61-36 display of panic and ignorance running roughshod over reason and responsibility voted to join the House Democrats in voting AYE for irresponsible and counterproductive deficit/debt-driven spending which will further socialize and weaken our economy, policies sure to result in the current recession deepening into full scale stagflation by mid-2010 (if not sooner).
Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is the Republican Senate Minority Leader. Some leader! He couldn't keep Collins, Snowe, and Specter in line.
Jon Kyl of Arizona is the Republican Senate Minority Whip. So much for his... er... "rawhide."
Michael Steele, the new RNC Chairman... he was a guest on "This Week" this past Sunday. He did well. Still... talk is cheap. I'd like to know what actions the RNC now contemplates regarding RINOs - specifically Collins, Snowe, and Specter.
Personally... I'd like to see Collins, Snowe, and Specter expelled from the Republican Party. Period. I don't know if national Party bylaws allow such action... but I'd sure like to know.
Short of expelling Collins, Snowe, and Specter, why not a joint statement from Steele, McConnell, Kyl, John Boehner (House Republican Leader), and Eric Cantor (House Republican Whip) decrying the actions of RINOs Collins, Snowe, and Specter, along with a leadership vow to oppose - as private citizens, as individual Republicans, and as GOP governmental and Party officials - any future renomination and reelection of Collins, Snowe, or Specter under a GOP banner? At the very least, such principled, united action would indicate to the conservative grassroot base of the GOP that the Party establishment is finally willing to draw a line in the sand against those who would betray the Party from within.
I do not suggest this path lightly. Enough is enough though. The Republican "big tent" is simply not big enough to shelter those who would see free markets and capitalism give way to government controls and socialism. And don't fool yourselves... that is the path that the Obama-Pelosi-Reid Porkubus bill locks this nation upon. Once a bill of this sort and of this magnitude is passed... there'll be no going back - no "do overs."
Economic and political freedoms go hand in hand. History teaches us one leads to another. By the same token, the latter can not long survive absent the former. If this bill passes we'll have mortgaged our children's and grandchildren's political and well as economic futures; they're the ones who will suffer the long term results of giving in to current fearmongering and false promises based upon false premises.
Arlen Specter... Susan Collins... Olympia Snowe... HOW COULD YOU...???
Friday, February 6, 2009
In case you don't know or haven't guessed, the above phone number is for the White House Switch Board.
So... get this... it's Friday, February 6, 2009 and...
THE WHITE HOUSE OPERATOR CAN'T FIND A LISTING FOR THE WHITE HOUSE WEBSITE!!!
She tells me... "We're still a bit disorganized here."
Great. Just frigg'n great.
Folks... you can't make this kind of stuff up! (And by the way... I never would.)
Here's what occasioned my call to the White House this morning: Last night, while watching O'Reilly, Fox broke in with live coverage of President Obama's address to the Democratic Caucus presently on taxpayer subsidized "retreat" at the Kingsmill Resort & Spa in Williamsburg, VA.
While the President was speaking, I received a phone call, thus missing part of the speech. So, this morning I made it my first online task to locate the transcript of the speech.
I CAN'T FIND IT...!!!
Nope. Found videos. Found digests of the transcript. Found news stories quoting parts of the speech. Couldn't find the actual transcript. Not on the New York Times. Not on the Washington Post. NOT ON THE WHITE HOUSE WEBSITE!!!
So I call the White House. I ask to be connected to the office which handles the White House Website. Apparently... the White House Phone Center doesn't yet HAVE a number for the office that handles the White House Website. It's not that she didn't want to give it to me or couldn't give it to me - she made that clear; nope... it's that as of Februrary 6, 2009 they simply don't have a reliable all-inclusive internal phone number directory.
(You've gotta wonder... what would happen if President Obama picked up the phone and asked to be connected with the White House Website Webmaster? Would they say, "Sorry, Sir, that office isn't listed yet"?)
In all seriousness... TOTAL SERIOUSNESS... this is... er... troubling.
Anyway... I asked the operator next if she could instead connect me to the Press Office, figuring that they could steer me to where I could find a transcript, but this time I was told that only members of the press could be connected to the press office. (O.K., reasonable enough.)
America 2009. God help us.
*** Update: RealClearPolitics.com just came through! Here's the transcript!
I'll be commenting on the President's remarks within the Comments Section of this thread.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Drum roll please...
Folks... here is a list of the Republicans who voted to confirm Eric "Pardons For Sale" Holder as our nation's Attorney General:
Alexander (R-TN), Yea; Bennett (R-UT), Yea ; Bond (R-MO), Yea; Chambliss (R-GA), Yea; Collins (R-ME), Yea; Corker (R-TN), Yea; Graham (R-SC), Yea; Grassley (R-IA), Yea; Gregg (R-NH), Yea; Hatch (R-UT), Yea; Isakson (R-GA), Yea; Kyl (R-AZ), Yea; Lugar (R-IN), Yea; McCain (R-AZ), Yea; Murkowski (R-AK), Yea; Sessions (R-AL), Yea; Snowe (R-ME), Yea; Specter (R-PA), Yea; Voinovich (R-OH), Yea; and last... Martinez (R-FL), Not Voting
Will these people never learn...???
Oh... and just to remind people... six of the above also voted to confirm Geithner - the tax cheat - as Treasury Secretary and... er... head of the IRS:
Gregg R-New Hampshire
Graham R-South Carolina
No wonder the American People are so cynical. It's bad enough that the Democrats voted in lock-step to confirm Eric "Pardons For Sale" Holder (with Begich, D-AK; and Kennedy, D-MA not voting), but to have 20 Republicans with them on defining deviancy downward yet again...
Welcome to The Age Of Obama.
Monday, February 2, 2009
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - After one deep breath, Jennifer Hudson returned to the spotlight Sunday with a flawless performance of the national anthem before the Super Bowl.
Only... SHE DIDN'T...!!!
SHE WAS LIP-SYNCING...!!!
And according to the article I provide the link to, so was Faith Hill when she sang "America The Beautiful" prior to Hudson's... er... "performance" of our national anthem.
I know... I know... many "stars" do it. (Yeah... if you wanna consider Ashlee Simpson a "star.")
Did Whitney Houston lip-sync our national anthem at Super Bowl XXV in 1991? Not according to most sources, and not according to my eyes and ears.
How'bout The Boss...??? No news reports of his act - an entire band's act - being anything other than live... than REAL.
Do you think when Frank Sinatra was doing 15 shows a day (yes... 15 shows a day!) at the Steel Pier in Atlantic City with with the Harry James Orchestra there was any... er... "lip syncing" going on...?!?!
Granted, it's certainly true that with all that's going on in the world there are more important things to worry about than whether Jennifer Hudson lip syncs the Star Spangled Banner, but to me it epitomizes the continuing decline of basic standards in America; style over substance if you will.
Anyway... just one man's opinion.