Archive for the ‘Bailouts’ Category

Week Ending June 12, 2009

Saturday, June 13th, 2009

Do you realize what an incredible week this has been? I’m ready to go ahead and call it right now: In the months and years ahead, when Republicans and democrats try to figure out when the national scene all turned around, there will be bipartisan agreement that the fickle wheel of fortune did its spinning in the week ending June 12, 2009. That is when the Republicans really returned to power; when the democrats really fell out of it. When mainstream America figured out the Obama experiment was, in all the ways that mattered, a complete failure. Time to absorb the lessons of reality and let the tender bloated easily-bruised ego receive the punishment that had been coming.

There is, I confess, some wishful thinking involved in that. But that’s not really a bad thing. Every triumph against the odds, in human history, has started with that. And there certainly have been some. I’ll presume, for the thinking reader, no listmaking is necessary to bolster that point.

Let us instead fixate our list-making obsession on the week just departed. And in doing that, let us start with the big kahuna:

David Letterman’s sad, pathetic, stupid joke. Does Letterman have a Republican plant on his writing staff? The damage done here was incalculable. The joke delved down deep into what everybody knew, in their dark subconciousnesses, and brought it bubbling up into the light where it all had to be consciously acknowledged: How humor itself has been re-defined in the early part of the twenty-first century. Blue-blood super-liberal Manhattan comedian makes a conservative look like a buffoon, and the rest of us give a courtesy laugh. Even though it’s NOT FUNNY. This has been a seriously powerful weapon in the liberal arsenal, because if you respond to this the way a reasonable person does — roll your eyes — in our modern, twisted culture, you’re a die-hard lunatic extremist. In a more reasonable environment it is acknowledged that it takes a die-hard lunatic extremist to do the laughing.

The punchline simply didn’t pack any humor. Nobody’s waltzing into a bar and saying “Hey, didja hear the one about Alex Rodriguez and Sarah Palin’s daughter?”

What Letterman did, was wake up the “mainstream” Americans who don’t give a rip about conservatives or liberals — but who could’ve easily been suckered into voting liberal with some well-placed signals that Republicans are subhuman, beneath contempt, it’s okay to abuse ’em so it certainly should be alright to vote against ’em without bothering to study up on the issues. Well from here on out, maybe that will still work, but I think America will have a little bit better idea of what’s being done to it now. And that can’t be good for the plan.

Elsewhere on the Manhattan-lib fashion-plate front, Katie Couric’s ratings plummeted some more, and fellow fashion-plate blue-blood Manhattan-lib Jon Stewart actually had the balls to made fun of her about it.

Paul Krugman, seldom correct but never in doubt, tried to lead a charge against right-wing hate by fastening the identity of the Holocaust Memorial shooter to the conservative movement. And everly ambitious, he thought as long as he was at it he’d try to revive some credibility for that discredited Homeland Security report. He failed on both counts; as is usual for Mr. Krugman, his point failed when it was discovered the facts simply weren’t on his side. Hating George Bush, hating John McCain, being a registered Maryland democrat…these are not traits that typically apply to conservative-movement agitators. But they applied to this nutburger who’s supposed to be our new icon for conservative hate. Swing and a miss.

By now, there had arisen an urgent need to prove what was supposed to have already been proven seven months ago: that the democrats were innately nice folks, and there was something about human nature that made Republicans inherently mean. Typically, democrats like to pursue this with an objective of purity: Everything anybody does that is nice was inspired by a progressive movement somewhere, and every anecdote about man’s inhumanity to man has some conservatism in it somewhere. The Letterman joke all by itself was plenty enough to upset that applecart, so now the effort was to recover the sentiment through saturation. President Obama’s former Pastor and spiritual advisor Jeremiah Wright demonstrated his impeccable timing by choosing this as the week for his comments about talking to his former spiritual pupil: “Them Jews aren’t going to let me speak to him.” Good one! That guy we elected President to start our new Hopenchange good-time rock-n-roll chapter in history, who’d inspire us all to do better and love each other — he received spiritual counsel from this bigot for two solid decades. Republicans tried to warn ya. Ya didn’t listen. It was, and is, a reality. Yet another reminder.

And the week was still young.

Ah, but our country certainly knew what it was doing. We had a skeptical, energetic and free press filling us in on what was going on, and letting us come to our own decision about who would get our vote. Right? Well…hope you didn’t put too much faith in that. If you did, it might have come as a bit of a shock when Evan Thomas went on record to say President Obama “is sort of God.” Chris Matthews agreed. Yup. Real balanced and objective, there, gentlemen. I don’t understand why anyone ever doubted you. They must have been a bunch of unreasonable, lying, irrational, bitter angry conservatives.

Perhaps this is why — also this last week — a San Francisco Chronicle editor said “Obama and the fawning press need to get a room.”

After all that, the solid meat is still just ahead of us. Remember back in January when, if the world went to war and caught fire, you’d never have heard a single thing about it because the news was all filled up with stories about Michelle Obama’s gowns, Barack Obama’s ten balls (!), and hope was in the air? About how much the economy sucked but it was all going to get more better because we had our hopey changey iPresident now and He was going to fix everything? Nowadays the hardcore liberals, the mildly liberals, and the main-street guys who don’t care or say they don’t care — still defend that because hey, it’s only been five months since then. Give Him a chance! He’s trying His best! It’s too early, and He inherited all this! Well…sit down for this one…now, according to Rasmussen, by a six-point margin Republicans are more trusted than democrats on economic issues. Yup, that’s from this week too.

Now how’d that happen? I see a link between that story, and the one about the study from Ohio that found conservatives are more open to opposing arguments than liberals. Call me Pollyanna, but I think even the Main Street folks who don’t give a crap about any of this, intuitively understand that you can’t make good decisions in life if you already have your mind made up about something before you gather the facts. What I’m trying to say is that people want to follow a good leader, they know in their guts what a good leader looks like, and they don’t want to see someone locked into a mindset and with that mindset, a narrow field of options from which to choose for any given situation. Which, ironically, is what the democrats keep saying, citing reasons why conservatives can’t be trusted. But it turns out, in reality as well as in public opinion, liberals are the narrow-minded ones. This was aptly demonstrated when the study hit the innerwebs, and some cloistered communities of liberals aired their reactions to it. It typically looked something like this.

It’s not news to anyone who’s really been paying attention. But liberals are not open-minded, they’re not receptive to all points of view, they’re not willing to listen to new ideas, and they damn sure aren’t tolerant of anything called “diversity” unless, by diversity, you’re referring to monochrome concentrations of dark skin.

President Obama also thought He would demonstrate His impeccable political timing. Now that the country He was supposed to be leading was showing its reservations about investing in Him all this godlike power, He thought He’d appoint a czar to limit executive compensation at private firms. Now, He may have found it politically expedient to limit the effects of this to corporations accepting taxpayer funds in the form of bailout programs…and He may want to promote that…but you just can’t get around that it raises serious questions about the relationship between government and the private sector. And how long would such a policy remain limited to bailout firms? We’ll have to wait a few weeks for the polls to come out, I think. But my gut says most people are on my side on this thing, or at least, are similarly concerned. This is an alteration of the fundamental relationship between our government and the people it purports to govern. The party hacks get to decide if I’m making too much money, and cut me off at the knees if they think I’m getting as big as they are? What country is this again?

The point is, I thought it was Obama’s predecessor who was supposed to be making us ask that question.

Affirmative Action was in the news this week. You know what that is, right? That’s where, if your racial makeup is caucasian and you try to make something of yourself, you are artificially injured to help make up for the abuse that was heaped on persons of darker skin in times past. It’s a tit-for-tat thing. No wait…it isn’t…supposedly, it’s an effort to help the disenfranchised and underprivileged, and it’s entirely color-blind, any thoughts muttered to the contrary are purely hardcore right-wing agitprop. It’s long been my impression that a bare majority of the country does support Affirmative Action, but because and only because they believe that last summation. In other words, by a bare majority, we are on board with helping the underprivileged but we do not want special race-based privileges to apply. So it was further damaging when it came out that Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayer ‘fessed up that she is an “Affirmative Action baby” in comments released by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Affirmative Action baby…as in…her test scores were not comparable to her classmates’ test scores. She leapfrogged ahead in line because of her racial background. Her statement that says that.

Is America on board with that kind of Affirmative Action program? An outcome-based one that confers the same prestigious position — Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, in this case! — upon members of beneficiary-groups with mediocre achievements, as it would upon a boring-old-white-guy who can offer spectacular achievements? Don’t forget, across all racial classifications, mediocre people vastly outnumber spectacular people. So what are the ultimate consequences of this? More to the point, could the country possibly become worried about such consequences? Want to have your next brain surgery done by someone who’d never been called on to truly distinguish himself, except by his or her race? Does Main Street USA’s support for Affirmative Action extend that far? Maybe we’re about to find out.

Congressman Barney Frank…whom nobody thinks is a Republican…demonstrated that much-lauded progressive-liberal patience and tolerance for diverse points of view during a live television interview. Wonder if they factored this in to that above-mentioned study.

And then we had that progressive-liberal respect for the rule of law demonstrated by our Climate Queen — yeah, that’s another matter, our liberals-in-charge want to control our weather. Climate czar Carol Browner apparently violated the Presidential Records Act.

So the picture’s pretty complete — as it has been for awhile, but in this damaging, damaging week, it was pencilled in, painted in, tinted, shaded, and framed to perfection in such a way that the apathetic mainstream centrist voters can understand it. And understand it well. These people are in power, uncontested, out of control, as closed-minded as any Republican has ever been, hateful, intolerant, impetuous, as pissy and resentful as any loser of elections has ever been. They are as dim and incurious as George W. Bush has ever been. They cannot get along with anyone else, even their own. They cannot deal with important decisions because they cannot deal with facts. They just want to have power over everybody else, and that’s all. Well, that and accumulate magnitudes of personal wealth as lofty and imposing as what they would deny to others.

The only thing missing from this week…and this may have happened too, if I missed it…was the usual, regularly “scheduled” embarrassing gaffe from Vice President Joe Biden. Other than that one cherry on top, everything else was there this week.

Small wonder that Biden’s old contender for the #2 spot, apparently felt so justified in saying I told you so.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

Biden: We’re Going to Waste Some Money

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

Gee, thanks for clearing that up, Joe.

The liberal vision is an endless source of fascination.

Eradicating pain for everybody certain targeted classes of fortunates — the vision is one of perfection. We’re as sensitive as the princess reclining on the mattress with the pea stuck under it.

Human-activity-related emissions of carbon and other greenhouse gases — again. Perfection. If you could buy a three-wheeled hybrid and get 70 miles a gallon, your 50 mpg isn’t good enough. (So say I, the lib-politician, as I streak around the country on a whim in my 747 with eight people riding in it.)

Efficiency…naw. Some money will be wasted. It’s just the way things are. Get used to it.


Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

The money doesn’t seem to be going where it’s needed most.

Sunbeams From Cucumbers

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

George F. Will:

It is Demagoguery 101 to identify an unpopular minority to blame for problems. The president has chosen to blame “speculators” — aka investors; anyone who buys a share of a company’s stock is speculating about the company’s future — for Chrysler’s bankruptcy and the dubious legality of his proposal. Yet he simultaneously says he hopes that private investors will begin supplanting government as a source of capital for the companies. Breathes there an investor/speculator with such a stunted sense of risk that he or she would go into business with this capricious government?

Its chief executive says: “If the Japanese can design (an) affordable, well-designed hybrid, then, doggone it, the American people should be able to do the same.” Yes they can — if the American manufacturer can do what Toyota does with the Prius: Sell its hybrid without significant, if any, profit and sustain this practice, as Toyota does, by selling about twice as many of the gas-thirsty pickup trucks that the president thinks are destroying the planet.

Like Everyone Else, I’m Wondering…

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

…do I have to pay for all these stimulus packages and bailout programs Obama-self?

Frank Battles the House Republicans

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

Wow, did you see how Congressman Barney Frank, the guy who bears more individual responsibility for the financial mess than any living human, handled those House Republicans? Huffington Post is just all leg-tingly about it.

“This is really extraordinary,” he said. “What you have just heard is a denunciation of something the Congress did a few weeks ago and a refusal to undo it. I’ve never seen people, Mr. Chairman, so attached to something they hate. This is presumably a psychological disorder which I am not equipped to diagnose. The objection of the gentleman from Texas was that when the recovery bill was passed, it was passed too quickly [and it] included a provision that shouldn’t have been in there. This bill takes it out.”

“It is undone by this. And speaking of being undone, my Republican colleagues are being undone by the loss of their whipping boy,” Frank said, arguing that Republicans enjoyed scoring political points over the AIG bonuses but didn’t want to cap executive compensation generally.

“Truly, all I ask is transparency and for the taxpayers and the people of America to have time to read the bill,” responded [Texas Republican Congressman John] Culberson.

“The bill under consideration is five-and-a-half pages,” Frank said. “I believe even the gentleman from Texas could have read it by now. And if the gentleman from Texas has not been able to read this five-and-a-half page bill, I’ll talk long and even if he reads slow, he’ll get it done. The point is that this bill undoes what he is complaining about. Note the refusal to address the subject.”

Frank then offered some free psychoanalysis. “My colleagues on the other side, it’s kind of like kids who have had a toy bear or a blanket and this security blanket means a lot to them. Their security blanket is being able to complain about something that happened before the break,” he said.

The Huffington Post crowd is much more interested in the delivery of an idea than the idea itself, but for me, it’s not the idea itself that captures my fascination, so much as the other ideas that must support it.

House Republicans had criticism for the democrat leadership when the bailout legislation allowed the bonuses to take place. They aren’t obediently following along as the democrat leadership tries to close this loophole. That, on Planet Frank, deserves all kinds of commentary…and an offer of “free psychoanalysis.”

On the about-face the democrat leadership did…this Homer Simpson slap-own-forehead-and-yell-“D’Oh!” move…there is no occasion for comment whatsoever.

No allowance made for the possibility that maybe, just maybe, Republicans are opposed on principle to the government dictating bonuses — and spoke out a few weeks ago because hey, they still know incompetence when they see it.

Hey. Did ya hear the one about the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, the democrat that was able to accept responsibility and the democrat that was not…walking down the sidewalk and seeing $850 billion lying there? Which one picked it up?

The democrat incapable of accepting responsibility, of course. The other three don’t exist!

And Rendell Belongs to Which Party?

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

No more mopin’ around!

Gov. Ed Rendell is trying to do his part to aid the citizens of the commonwealth.

His latest plan is to use about $15 million from the federal stimulus funds pouring into the state to try and change the mood of Pennsylvanians.

The Patriot-News has learned that the money will be spent to hire clowns, mimes, magicians, street performers and comedians (nothing blue) who will be dispatched to malls, fairs and festivals across the state to boost morale.

I’m awfully glad the federal and state governments are spending this money so wisely. Who knows where it would’ve gone had the lowly citizens been allowed to keep it in the first place. They probably would’ve poured it in ditches and set it on fire.

How Do Stimulus Plans Work, in History?

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

Stimulating Ourselves To Death.

Hint: History and hope aren’t seeing eye-to-eye on this one.

Dodd in Trouble

Friday, March 20th, 2009

He just became The One To Watch. Good thing it’s Friday!

Democrats may want to start thinking about a bailout for Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, whose political stock has slipped amid the financial meltdown.

As a five-term Democrat who blew out his last two opponents by 2-1 margins in a blue state that President Barack Obama won handily, Dodd, D-Conn., should be cruising to re-election in 2010. Instead, he’s feeling heat from a Republican challenger eager to make him a poster boy for the tumult in the housing and financial markets.

A recent poll showed former Rep. Rob Simmons running about even with Dodd, a former national Democratic Party chairman.

As head of the banking panel, Dodd, 64, has become a convenient target for voter anger over the economic crisis.

“The fact that we have been beaten up, beaten around the head for the last eight or nine months on a regular basis has contributed to it as well,” Dodd said.

Some of the worst blows came amid the furor over $165 million in bonuses American International Group Inc. paid some of its employees while receiving billions of dollars in federal bailout money. After first denying it, Dodd admitted he agreed to a request by Treasury Department officials to dilute an executive bonus restriction in the big economic stimulus bill that Congress passed last month. The change to Dodd’s amendment allowed AIG to hand out the bonuses and sparked a blame game between Dodd and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

Dodd was guarded Thursday when asked about Geithner.

“This is obviously a matter that obviously should have been dealt with differently, but we are where we are,” he said.

Republicans branded Dodd’s reversal “astonishing and alarming” and fingered Dodd as the top recipient of campaign cash from AIG employees over the years.

The GOP is slamming Dodd, claiming he is cozying up to Wall Street insiders, raking in bundles of their campaign cash, shirking his banking panel duties and running for president as the economic crisis erupted in 2007.

This whole AIG bonus flap has me thinking of that scene in Jurassic Park when the T-Rex first gets out, right after she gobbles down that poor li’l goat. Remember when she’s tearing apart that little car with the kids in it, and Sam Neil comes at her with a lit flare. He trains her eyes on it by moving it back and forth, and then throws it off in the bushes, which makes her forget all about the kids and about him.

Road FlareThen Jeff Goldblum does the same thing, only not as well, and the T-Rex starts chasing off after him. Goldblum was playing Dr. Ian Malcolm, the “Life Will Find A Way” guy. Yeah. Life found a way to pay attention to what it wanted to, not what you told it to.

The T-Rex is you and me. The situation with these tasty humans running around, is the attempt to save capitalism by destroying it; we could say the tasty little boy is the auto bailout, the tasty little girl is the wave of tax increases that is surely coming, Sam Neil is the global warming scam and Jeff Goldblum is the government takeover of the banks. The lawyer that gets bitten in half would be any one of the number of other techniques being rolled out…the giveaways to the unions, the tinkering with the interests rates and wages, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Personally, I’d like to think of that lawyer as Rahm “Never Let a Crisis Go To Waste” Emmanuel. Or Sen. Dodd, that works for me as well.

The important thing, though, is the flares. The flares are the bonus payments to the AIG execs. If eaten, they wouldn’t keep a T-Rex fed for very long, which is appropriate because the payments to the AIG execs really don’t amount to anything. Nor are they symbolic of anything that should excite us in any sort of pejorative way; they symbolize free people making free choices to earn money competently disbursed for services honestly rendered, which was supposed to be our country’s primary reason for existing in the first place. The services weren’t honestly rendered, you say? They were retention bonuses. The service contracted was to stick around. Shenanigans may have been going on with AIG, but these aren’t them.

It doesn’t make any sense for the T-Rex to be chasing after those flares. We shouldn’t be wasting half a second on ’em. It’s just a primal instinct at work.

The first time the flare is used it works, and the second time, it doesn’t. I find that encouraging. It seems prophetic. Our current leadership, in spite of His fame as a charismatic speaker, does seem to have a success rate of about fifty percent when it comes to manipulating people. Using tools to manipulate people. Executive bonuses, road flares, teleprompters, DVD collections encoded for Region 1…on this issue, His chosen technique seems rather painfully obvious, and one wonders if the T-Rex is savage enough to fall for it. People are fed up with the bailout bonanza, so He’s going to wave around this flare — hey, look at those awful executives and their bonuses! — and we’ll go chasing after that, while he proceeds with bailout-this and stimulate-that, the very things that really pissed us off in the first place. I mean, look at the headlines on these stories about voter/taxpayer “anger.” And then when they interview the man-in-the-street about how cranky he’s getting, listen to what these guys are saying. Really listen. It isn’t that AIG people are getting bonuses that’s got them upset; it’s that their taxes are going up so that people they’ll never meet, people who took out mortgages they never intended to pay, can keep living in four-bedroom houses. It’s that hard work, personal sacrifice and good decisions don’t count for pig-squeeze anymore. That’s what has the T-Rex mad. It doesn’t want a road flare, it wants some tasty long-pig.

Well, I hope the AIG bonus-tactic ends up as a colossal Malcolm Maneuver.

But back to Dodd. This is probably the most important story of the whole week, because now a prominent democrat has been ensnared in this thing in such a way that he can’t get out of it. I’m hoping this is where the voters start to get it. This idea that the Washington crowd is going to ride in on a white horse and fix everything, that they can do no wrong now that we have such good, decent people in charge…it’s been dealt a serious blow. Well, good.

That really is a primary flaw in our democratic-republic workings, you know. The voters. It’s the way our brains are wired, somehow. Our noble public “servants” roll up their sleeves to fix our problems, and somehow, we believe that’s what they’re going to do. You’re just supposed to stand back, give ’em room, let ’em work, and if you so much as let out a peep of “Hey let’s think about it for a second or two” you’re almost dealt with as a traitor.

Said public “servants” could have made the problem under discussion, as recently as yesterday morning, maybe. And we don’t remember. We somehow keep thinking they’re a force for good.

Especially when it comes to dealing with money. That one…that one…really puzzles me. If there’s something I’m missing that explains it, please leave it in the comments below. I’d be grateful.

This Year’s Jerermiah Wright

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

Fellow Webloggin contributor Joshuapundit is skeptical about what & when the Obama administration did & didn’t know things vis a vis the AIG bonus flap:

The tag line for this nonsense is around $400 million in bonuses contracted by AIG to be paid to executives in their financial products division.

And Congress and the White House are outraged, outraged!

Never mind that it’s a bunch of horse manure.

The White House has known all along that those bonuses are contractual obligations and was absolutely fine with it, until White House press Secretary Robert Gibbs got slapped around over the matter by a couple of reporters like the punk he is.Only when it came to public attention did it become showtime for the Dems in Congress, the president and all his lackeys.

My take on it is slightly different: The public is being given instructions about where to direct its genuine outrage, which is genuine indeed, and because it is so genuine the public cannot perceive these as instructions about where to direct it. It’s an ingenious gambit the Obama administration is trying here: The bailout is good, the bonuses are bad, you doltish voters think they both are bad, so if we can offer you a two-minute hate against the bonuses you’ll spend all your anger on that, and we can still bailout-bailout-bailout to our heart’s content and you’ll kiss our asses and think it tastes like marshmallow unicorns.

Either way, I notice Obama looks worst if you take what he says at face value — that He just found out about these bonuses and wasn’t aware of them when He was cheerleading these bailouts.

It’s the same situation we had last year with that bigoted pastor of His.

He’s a dimwit who doesn’t know what’s going on, or a sociopath who doesn’t give a damn about it…or an active participant in what he so publicly abhores. Once again — it has got to be one of those three. It absolutely has to be. At least one.

I continue to prowl through all the bits of information that come my way on this. What am I trying to find? Some litmus test that separates me from an AIG executive. After all, I go to a job, for money. I’ve received bonuses. Some of those were retention bonuses. And brother, believe me when I tell you, if you sign on the dotted line promising to pay me a retention bonus after some term of time, and I live up to my end of it, you’d better goddamn well deliver me my dough. I don’t care who that angers and I sure as hell don’t care how angry they get. You’d better get me my check. I don’t want to hear one word about how much money I’m getting or where it came from or how much money I already have. Just skip all of it. A hearty feck-yoo to the folks getting all grumpy and grousy about my payout, and then, the actual payout. If you don’t mind.

President Obama: It isn’t the lack of responsibility involved in the bonus payments that has people all ready to tar-and-feather something, it’s the lack of responsibility involved in the bailout itself. The bonus payments represent the honoring of a contract, therefore, you’re put in the absurd position of arguing that “responsibility” has something to do with spreadin-the-wealth-around, but nothing whatsoever to do with honoring in deed what you had pledged to do in writing. This is the paradox with which you & yours must wrestle: Re-defining a well-established word that is supposed to be the cornerstone of what you’re all about.

That is your challenge. But you knew that already.

More on this later.

Bailouts and Bull

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

Two more nuggets I think are needed to make this truly complete:

Rahm Emmanuel, President Obama’s Chief of Staff, on the usefulness of a crisis…

How do you feel about salesmen who want desperation injected into the situation before they start the sales pitch? Emmanuel makes reference to “things you couldn’t do before.” Why can’t you do those things pre-crisis? People would’ve been thinking too clearly?

I just can’t see any other way to read that. If there is another way, you’re welcome to put it in the comments.

And, a link to Keynesian economics, the notion that money can be spent more efficiently when it’s taxed by a government and put into one big pot, compared to what would’ve happened otherwise if people were allowed to keep it and spend as they see fit.

What our government just got done doing, is predicated on the notion that this works.

We didn’t really discuss that. Not to my knowledge. We just kinda skirted straight past that whole discourse and got the money spent, because hey, ya gotta do something, can’t let a crisis go to waste, government can’t stand by and twiddle its thumbs.

Well you know what? Out of all the times Keynesian theory has been implemented, it’s never been shown to work. Ever. Not once. I would argue such proof is impossible, because the benefits to a Keynesian plan would have to be measured against what would’ve happened were it not implemented.

It’s a pig-in-a-poke, folks. And watch what Stossel is saying about inflation; think it’s only the rich folks that’ll be picking up the tab for this? Nine dollars for a gallon of milk, six dollars for a loaf of plain white bread, twelve dollars a gallon for gas…they’ll getcha. You can run but you can’t hide.

Best Sentence LVII

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

This afternoon’s Best Sentence I’ve Heard Or Read Lately (BSIHORL) award is for Frank at IMAO, who I think came up with this awhile ago…March 11, yes, that’s it.

When you’re done snickering, keep in mind it’s a pretty freakin’ important message.

Using socialism to help revive a failing economy is like putting angry weasels down your pants because you need some rest.

Maybe the message can be spread to those who need to hear it, with some nice sixties hippie-music. “How intertwined must a government be…before people figure out it’s just f@**king everything up? And how any trillions of dollars should it spend, before it’s seen as a bad idea?”

Government Cannot Eliminate Sadness

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

“Since the average American never took out a mortgage loan as big as seven hundred grand — for the very good reason that he could not afford it — why should he be forced as a taxpayer to subsidize someone else who apparently couldn’t afford it either but who got in over his head anyway?”

So Dr. Sowell has become the champion of forty-something apartment rats. Good. I’ll take him. He goes on to point out the obvious…

Even in an era of much-ballyhooed “change,” the government cannot eliminate sadness. What it can do is transfer that sadness from those who made risky and unwise decisions to the taxpayers who had nothing to do with their decisions.

I hear an awful lot lately about people wanting to “start national dialogues on” things. This is a national dialogue that would be most productive right about now: What is the worst thing you can possibly say about a government that, after fairly computing a tax liability necessary to raise needed revnues, which is the purpose of taxes in the first place…leaves personal assets and liabilities exactly as it finds them? Really, what’s wrong with that? Just skip past the meaningless bromides socialists usually use, like “In Times Like These” and “Middle Class” and “Workers” — just stick to that “Rich Not Paying Their Fair Share” and tell me why that is, with hard, established and verified facts & numbers.

One cannot help but wonder where we’d be right now, if there was some rule in place, enforced to the hilt, against redistribution. No subsidies, no taxes imposed to “get” dirty-rotten-scoundrels, no “If We Don’t Do Something To Help XXXXX, Disaster Will Follow.” I’m not the first to wonder such a thing and I won’t be the last.

Rightosphere Temperature Check for March

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

John Hawkins just took a poll of 55 right-of-center bloggers (this time around, we did not partake). The results are here.

One cannot help but wonder how well the nation’s future would be doing — hey, come to think of it, that’s supposed to be more important than anything else, right? — if you were required to be a right-of-center blogger in order to cast a vote in a national election. With things as they are, all the riff-raff voting, that future is looking a little on the dim side. In fact, if you accept that in a democratic-republic such as ours, if nearly everyone sees something as a bad idea, maybe it shouldn’t be done…with the stimulus and bailouts, we seem to have failed that test. Another test, derivative of that one, is that if nobody anywhere can put together a coherent argument why a proposal is a good idea, or merely a non-harmful idea, it should be tossed into the “bad idea” stack until the time such an argument is forthcoming. We’ve failed to do that, too.

But what really makes me entertain the idea of only-right-wing-bloggers voting? Sensible things like this…

If you had to make a non-binding choice today, which of the following candidates would you want as the GOP’s presidential nominee in 2012?

Mike Huckabee: 1 (2%)
Tim Pawlenty: 2 (4%)
Ron Paul: 2 (4%)
Bobby Jindal: 9 (17%)
Mitt Romney: 10 (19%)
Mark Sanford: 11 (20%)
Sarah Palin: 19 (35%)

Always makes me nervous to see my viewpoint in the majority, anywhere. I harbor no ambitions toward rebellion, but it does make me want to re-check things. Well, things check out. Usually, that means the facts are becoming obvious…

See, there is some hope. There’s going to be a lot of learning going on over the next 46 months, all up & down the political spectrum. A lot of learning carefully customized — life always carefully customizes it this way — to what we need to know, that we don’t know yet. Things our country desperately needs to learn.

It’ll happen, folks. And we’ll survive. We’ve had 44 presidencies now; only a dozen, perhaps just a smattering more than that, were truly worthy of mention. The rest of them were bobblehead-figureheads. Mediocre guys. In over their heads, you might say. Just like now. The nation survived.


Thursday, March 5th, 2009

I’m going to have to make this a regular feature…which is going to make it as boring as hell, to everyone, myself included. But it’s gotta be done. Might as well spice things up by spelling it wrong.


We pay our mortgage and debts, live within our means and try to save responsibly for our future needs. We provide health coverage, food, housing and clothes for our children without assistance. We pay our taxes and fees in full and on time, never dreaming to ask any agency we fund for a handout or exception. My husband keeps tens of people fully employed, at high pay, by his hard efforts. We volunteer our time and money to worthy causes. Our bill to the city, state and feds well exceeds the poverty line for a family of four. Why are we suffering the price for everyone else’s mistakes? We haven’t made any.

I am unapologetically conservative. I don’t believe another man has any right to the fruits of my labor. I do not believe that I am beholden, on any terms, to provide for another man’s housing, food, children, medical care, education or the thousand other items on the endless list of needs demanded of my money in the name of social responsibility. I have an obligation to abide by the law and be a productive citizen who honors his own responsibilities, the state does not have the right to mandate that I bailout its negligent mistakes or support its unproductive members. I don’t owe your destitute grandma or ill conceived child a damn dime. My children certainly shouldn’t be expected to pay for current lawmakers ignorant legislative blunders or Joe Blow’s lackadaisical take on mortgage payments or unaffordable procreation.

Save me the arguments that my money funds the betterment of society. It obviously doesn’t when 1 in 30 of our citizens are in the criminal justice system, as much as forty percent of our high schoolers drop out before graduation, a scandalous number of non-performing public schools, warehousing ignorant children, are still in existence and we have up to 70% out of wedlock birth rates standing alongside the total disintegration of normal family units in significant segments of society. My money hasn’t done diddley shit for the generations of shiftless idiots unable to carry their own water, except exacerbate the growth of disgustingly useless government programs that induced these ills to epidemic heights.

The ranting turns toward the Republicans, with a rant found at Right Coast by Tom Smith, against Chairman Michael Steele. Like Daphne above, Mr. Smith speaks for me…

The left wing of the Democratic Party is in power now and it looks like they will pass their budget and their agenda for the next year or two or four. There’s every reason to think it will be a disaster for the country. It’s not looking so great so far and the disaster may arrive ahead of schedule. I’d say there’s a nontrivial chance the country will be irreparably harmed by our American mid-life crisis. It’s going to suck, big time. All Republicans can do is be the party that says, this is a bad idea and we should return to what we really believe in. We should wear the label the Party of No as a badge of honor. No to higher taxes. No to soaking the rich. No to nationalizing health care. No to abadoning Israel (just wait — that’s coming). There will be a lot to say no to. No to tyranny. This whole country is founded on a No.

I love that last line. It’s true. We say “yes” when we imagine what we can do. We do not have a tradition of saying “yes” when others tell us what to do. There are enough other countries that can carry on that tradition.

The best for last: Melissa lets the moderates have it with both barrels. These are the folks who were not fainting at Obama rallies, holding Him aloft like some kind of rock star or movie actor, wanting “to be a part of this thing”…they had nothing to say, nothing at all. They just didn’t want to take a stand, and by standing in the middle of the road hoped to be thought-of as super-duper smart. They figured voting for The Holy One was just the thing everyone was doing last fall, so they want-along to get along.

May your chains rest lightly on you and may posterity forget you were our countrymen…

Moderates, as usual, are stupid. They play along with the administration’s games. They’re useful dupes. Rather than help shape an alternative argument, they trash the people who pay attention. Independents and moderates don’t pay attention–they hope for a middle, gentle, “nice” way. That way lead to the Obama administration to begin with.

Have you written your postcard to let Congress and the administration know your feelings? You don’t even need to leave the house…or the computer you’re using right this very second. One click away. Do it, do it, do it.

I just did…

People working hard to succeed, are being made to fail through taxes and government-sponsored debt.

People who bought more house than they can afford, are being given a perverse “guarantee” from that government that they can stay where they are.

So people who don’t try, are set up to succeed, and people who do try, are set up to fail.

Our President, who’s supposed to be the best ever, is blowing unprecedented amounts of money while telling us we must not burden our children with “a debt they cannot pay.” He’s telling us, when you’re out of money and neck-deep in debt from spending money you do not have, the thing to do is to spend it a whole lot faster. Congress seems to be in agreement.

The Dow is tumbling down like a lawn dart. It can’t be reasonably expected to do anything else.

Our President sees this and comments on how good he is at his job. I suppose, if you define that job just “right,” it must be true.

This is the delivery of what, half a year ago, I was told was “hope.”

It truly is an upside-down world.

Memo For File LXXXII

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

ONCE upon a time, there was a shipwrecked sailor. He had been knocked out in the storm that sank his ship. He was lucky to wake up on the beach. But he had nothing. Not even his memories. He didn’t even know his name. His only possession aside from the clothes on his back, was a pet duck pelican. The pelican’s name was Hope.

The man subsisted on coconuts for a time, and then he decided he needed to explore the island that was his new home. After walking for a day and a night, he saw a modest little house next to a small wharf. In the house he found a friendly old man who liked to fish. The old man was kind enough to lend the sailor some of his gear, and his bait. The sailor loved fish after living on coconuts, and he and the old man became fast friends. Every day they’d go down to the end of the wharf, the old man, the sailor, and Hope the pelican.

The old man had three daughters. Their names were History, Logic and Rhetoric. One day, the old man announced he would like the sailor to be his son-in-law. Nobody knew too much about the old man’s finances, but he had put away a tidy sum, and thought it would be just enough to buy a new house. He would be pleased to offer it to the sailor as a dowry.

But one problem remained. Which daughter would the sailor marry? And so it was agreed he would date each one of the daughters, starting with the oldest, and working his way down to the youngest. That night, he spruced himself up just as well as he possibly could, and he, his pet pelican Hope, and the oldest daughter History went walking down the beach in the moonlight.

The sailor found History to be a very sensible lady. She had a decent, working memory and used it to great aplomb. However, the sailor noticed History had a strange relationship with his pet pelican Hope. Sometimes History was very kind to Hope. Othertimes…not so much. He wasn’t always sure if History had a problem with Hope, or whether Hope had a problem with History.

And so it came as a surprise to the sailor when History started to talk seriously about the future. She sensed his concern and asked him to excuse her…she got that way a lot of the time. It was a habit she formed after many long years of noticing most people didn’t think about the future very much.

History continued: “Have you heard of that new housing community on the far side of the island?” No, the sailor had never heard of it. “Taxcutland,” said History. “It’s a wonderful place to live. I know of many people who have bought their houses in Taxcutland, and it has always worked out well for them.” “Is that so?” said the sailor. “Absolutely,” she replied. “In all the time I’ve been around, I’ve never known it to work out poorly for anybody.”

The sailor tossed and turned that night, thinking about his date with History. She did seem to be a very sensible lady, and he got the impression he should pay more attention to her than he did. But her looks bothered him. Sometimes she looked pretty, othertimes rather homely. Occasionally, when the light hit her really wrong, she could be downright ugly. And then there was that thing with Hope the pelican.

The sailor decided he would start dating the middle sister, Logic.

Logic was even more sensible than her older sister, History. Like most middle-children, she had often been neglected in her childhood. In large crowds, when she was ignored completely, she tended to stay by herself and find ways to stay entertained, alone. Logic was most capable; she was able to do amazing things, whereas History had a tendency to leave things more or less exactly the way she found them.

In spite of her personal tendency to stay away from people, Logic seemed to be somewhat more experienced in dating than History. The only problem was, for some reason, men tired of her quickly. She was accustomed to rejection.

The sailor, being the practical type, was favorably impressed with all the things Logic could build. But again, one thing put him off: Logic had a sweet-and-sour relationship with his pet pelican Hope. It wasn’t bad all the time; sometimes Logic and Hope got along great. But when they didn’t, the tension ran high.

The sailor thought he’d try and talk about the future, with Logic, just to see what would happen.

“Your sister was telling me about a new housing community called Taxcutland.” “Oh, yes!” said Logic. “I know all about it! It only makes sense that the community is doing so well, you know; the people who live there are free to do as they like.”

Again, that night, the sailor tossed and turned, wondering what to do. He was intrigued by the possibilities involved in a future spent with logic. And she was beautiful in her own way. But there were many fun things he thought he might not be able to do with her. He got the impression she was a bit of a killjoy…and, again, there was that matter with his pet pelican Hope.

The sailor decided he would date the youngest sister, Rhetoric.

Rhetoric was different from her sisters — passionate, carefree, spirited, bubbly, vivacious. The girl never stopped talking! She raised the sailor’s spirits in a way no one had before. But best of all, the pet pelican Hope just loved Rhetoric. They got along wonderfully, ALL the time. He was especially pleased to see how often Rhetoric talked about the pelican. Sometimes it seemed she had nothing else on her mind…just Hope, Hope, Hope.

The sailor had one question on his mind: What would a future be like, in which he turned his back on History and Logic, and gave his devotion to Rhetoric? He decided to try and find out. “Have you heard of this housing community from your sisters?” “Oh, that dreadful Taxcutland,” sighed Rhetoric. “It’s a fool’s dream, you know. Tax cuts. Same old story…the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer.” “Well if you had your choice, where would you buy a house?” “Oh I have no question about that at all,” said Rhetoric. “Stimulusville, that’s the way to go! I just think, when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody!”

The sailor had never heard of Stimulusville. But Rhetoric’s voice was so dulcet and sweet, if she liked it, he was sure it would be a fine place to live. He made up his mind. He would marry Rhetoric.

It was a wonderful wedding, the weather perfect for it. Hope the pelican served as ringbearer. The old man gave the sailor the dowry, as promised, in gold bars. And the sailor used it to buy a house in Stimulusville. He would pin all his dreams on this community, just as his new wife, Rhetoric, wanted him to.

The house in Stimulusville cost a lot more than the sailor thought. But he, Hope and Rhetoric were so happy, he figured it was worth it. Rhetoric told him to think of it as an investment.

But then the bloom wore off the rose. Stimulusville, it turned out, was leaking money pretty fast. Every year, it seemed the city council ran a serious budget deficit. They raised the taxes to cover it, but then all the businesses would pack up and leave — usually to Taxcutland.

The sailor’s taxes went up, and up, and up. Rhetoric would always say it made perfect sense — the money had to come from somewhere, and where else would the money come from? The city elders used the money for “stimulus” packages for chronic welfare queens, druggies, carjackers, perps, and other losers. Then they’d run their budget deficit, raise taxes, and drive more businesses out to Taxcutland.

Worst of all, his new wife Rhetoric seemed to be sleeping with every other guy in town. She was a flirtatious, precocious young lady, not at all unpleasing to the eye. Everyone liked hearing what Rhetoric had to say; she made a lot of friends, and there was no limit to how friendly she’d become with them. That was always the problem with Rhetoric; she never seemed to know where to stop with things.

Eventually, Rhetoric ran off. The sailor’s house, now mortgaged two and three times over, anchored him to Stimulusville for the rest of his life.

After a good cry, he realized he hadn’t seen or heard anything from his pet pelican in awhile. He searched all over the yard, and finally found the pelican, drowned, by the pond. His pet pelican Hope was dead. How he’d miss that pelican! He realized, he’d chosen his wife mostly out of concern for the pelican’s welfare, and that one single act seemed to have been exactly what killed it.

One day, a while after he buried his precious Hope, but not too long after, Logic came to his doorstep with a casserole. She heard he’d been having a tough time of it. He told her how much he missed her, how much he regretted turning his back on her. He should have bought a house in Taxcutland and married her. Logic agreed that was quite sensible. Why, she wanted to know, did he marry Rhetoric and move into this awful place? I don’t know, said the Sailor; it seemed to make good sense at the time.

No, Logic said; it didn’t, and you always knew that deep down. The sailor realized she was right.

You know, said Logic, nobody’s ever told you this, and you didn’t have too many chances to figure it out for yourself. But I disagree with my older sister almost as often as with my younger one. When you saw Logic and History both found the same plan appealing, that really should have told you everything you needed to know.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

Where the Present Crisis Began

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

Baron’s, via Hot Air, via Newsbusters, via Gateway Pundit:

We are in this mess largely because critical thought and moral judgment have been subordinated to the politicization of our economy, resulting in regulatory gaps and excessive controls of the wrong kind. Government regulations should be limited to those that increase and protect transparency and competition, protect public and private property, promote individual responsibility and enforce equal opportunity under the law. Even if the right laws and regulations could be found, they would prove insufficient to protect freedom and prosperity.
Today’s problems have their roots in programs and financial instruments that shifted the locus of moral responsibility away from private individuals and institutions to wider circles that were understood to end with a government guarantee. Heads of the top banks and financial institutions could approve substandard home-mortgage underwriting — prone to increased default — because those loans could be securitized by Wall Street and sold off to investors or to government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), with no likely recourse to the financial institution of origin.

Our present crisis began in the 1970s, during the Carter administration, with passage of the Community Reinvestment Act to stem bank redlining and liberalize lending in order to extend home ownership in lower-income communities. Then in the 1990s, the Department of Housing and Urban Development took a fateful step by getting the GSEs to accept subprime mortgages. With Fannie and Freddie easing credit requirements on loans they would purchase from lenders, banks could greatly increase lending to borrowers unqualified for conventional loans. In the name of extending affordable housing, this broadened the acceptability of risky loans throughout the financial system.
There is plenty of blame to go around on both sides of the political aisle. But the lesson should be clear that socializing failed businesses — whether in housing, health care or in Detroit — is not a long-term solution. Expanding government’s intrusion into the private sector doesn’t come without great risk. The renewing and self-correcting nature of the private sector is largely lost in the public sector, where accountability is impaired by obfuscation of responsibility, and where special interests benefit even when the public good is ill-served.

It’s not Bush-apologia, it’s just plain truth…and it’s important truth. This conundrum was not caused by a dearth of government meddling, but rather by an abundance of it.

Pretending to Value Experience

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

I thought it was interesting a few minutes ago when I noticed my local paper’s editorial section has four cartoons — all four of them are dedicated to a common theme. That these “Wall Street executives” are receiving huge bonuses and compensation for their experience, and it’s just a big crock.

One sympathizes. Who among us hasn’t worked for a large company, and seen his own division placed under the tutelage of a “seagull manager.” Who among us cannot recall one or several seagull managers brought in from the wreckage of some previous failure, often compensated to ludicrous extremes both in the past & present. Who among us cannot recall the resulting plummet in morale. Yes, experience can be overblown; in fact, the purported effort to compensate “appropriately” for experience, can be a half-hearted effort to camouflage something that could be called, with more than a hint of accuracy, bribery.

What is of interest to me, is Mr. Geithner’s fiasco. It’s just in our rear-view mirror, not too much distance between where that is, and where we are. We just went through it. For those who have been living in a cave, Mr. Geithner had thousands of dollars of unsettled tax issues, bearing the imprint of the weakest excuse there ever was — “I forgot.” The position to which he was nominated, is our nation’s top tax dude. And he was confirmed. Why? Because in times like these, we need his experience.

This is merely the latest example of the oldest rule in Washington: “Do as I say, not as I do.”

So is there anything at all that we could call the Geithner rule, something that takes the news and hardens it into precedent, allowing at least some of us a measure of forgiveness for our own innocent mistakes?

I think so, but you’ll have to bear with me. It goes like this:

Mr. Geithner got a pass on his tax problems because we really, really like him. So he gets a highly individualized form of amnesty. Sort of a personalized “olly olly oxen free.”

Also, we really, really need him. It’s almost like what Princess Leia said in Star Wars: “You’re my only hope.”

So if there’s a Geithner rule, it is extremely narrow. I believe that we should call it the olly olly oxen free, Obi-Wan Kenobi amnesty. If you are the nation’s only hope, you might qualify.

Here’s a simple test: Is your name Timothy F. Geithner? No?

See you at the audit.

Yeah, I think the rule is just a tad different. It has to do with experience. It’s a precious commodity if you work in government, especially if your job is to take money away from people who earned it. Not so much if you work in business and are tasked with making things happen that actually produce the wealth that the government will be taking away.

With its experienced people running the collection proceedings, and what-not.

Do you realize the utter devastation this mindset encounters if it is opened to just a tiny bit of challenge? Let’s try it: Once in awhile, here and there, a businessman will be experienced and his experience will really count for something — compensated or not. Money will then roll in, which means Geithner’s IRS will come knocking. To take that money. The continuing operations of the government will be counting on it, since experienced people like Geithner will be moving the money around, not actually producing it, which is an entirely different thing.

Government's RoleThe experienced people running our government will therefore be tasked with “appreciating” the experience of others…for the purpose of confliscating the money that resulted from that experience. Not for the purpose of compensating it appropriately. Only they, with their experience moving money around, may be compensated for their experience — which, in turn, is useless if there’s no money to be confiscated or moved around.

In fact, they’re about to use their experience to limit the compensation that may be made for experience in the private sector. Yeah, right now that limit is to apply only to firms that accept bailout money. If it passes. But that’s for now.

Bottom line: We’re still in the process of figuring out if there’s really a bunch of “hope in the air” after this changing-of-the-guard last month. Perhaps the status quo is much better now than it was previously. Perhaps it does make sense in the final analysis. Maybe the folks running the show really know what they’re doing. But if that’s the case, experience counts for — something extreme. All, or nothing. One or zero. No fractions allowed.

And it counts if you work in government, which produces nothing, and doesn’t count at all in business — where we absolutely, positively, must expect things to improve if the economy is ever gonna get turned around.

One wonders what these maybe-experienced, maybe-not business people are doing to create that money if whatever experience they have, doesn’t matter for squat. The mind boggles. If your scheme is to fly into Vegas and play the tables, you have to have experience to do that, right? If it involves just doing some kind of rain-dance and hoping it’ll rain dollars and quarters, I would think experience would count there, too. So what is it we think these people do? Just grow hundred dollar bills, like an old man growing hair in his nose & ears?

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.


Saturday, February 7th, 2009

This pays off part of his negative balance for Grahamnesty. I can’t ignore Grahamnesty, but I can’t ignore this either. Even with his hand in his pocket the whole time (and what’s up with that??)…it’s pretty daham good.

Of course the only time it was great was that “my time” comment. YEAH. Way to leave a mark!

Brilliant points on your part too, Babs. Because democrats are never theatrical. We all know that…


Update 2-7-09: Added the second clip, for sake of perspective. Also I don’t think that gem of a “my time” smack-down was in the first clip. Maybe I should watch it a fourth time to make sure…

Also, something that hadn’t caught my attention before. Sen. Boxer makes reference to one or several occasions on which former President George W. Bush sent down a bill twice as big.

I’m going to have to reach out to the nobodies who never stop by to not read The Blog That Nobody Reads, for help on this one. When did Bush/#43 ask Congress for $1.7 trillion in one bill??

Also, I’ve run into this on occasion with the “little” dems…the ones who don’t get elected, don’t make the rules, just get punch-drunk on the “Bush and the Jooz Caused 911 as a Pretext to Go Into Iraq” kool-aid. And then argue all day & night with good Americans like you & me over whether Sarah Palin is a dumbshit or not.

The cute little tactic is “If you aren’t on record saying bad things about Republicans, then you aren’t allowed to say anything against me and my beloved democrat party.”

Nothing like it would be permitted in any debate engaged for the purpose of finding logic and truth, and it certainly wouldn’t even pop up in debate engaged for the purpose of seeking “bipartisan” compromises. This tactic labels the opposition as exactly what it, itself, is. Only centrists may speak; you’re not a centrist if you say bad things about my team, and haven’t said anything bad about those other guys; if you’ve said bad things about the other guys, but not about my team — you’re a centrist and you may speak.

None of which is a terribly exciting revelation in the context immediately under observation. Anyone who’s been watching this, with something working at the top-end of the brain stem, knows this pig-in-a-poke doesn’t have a damn thing to do with saving jobs, it’s just a reward for whoever made it possible for democrats to win the election. But I find it interesting when democrats who don’t know what’s going on, deploy the same tactics as the democrats like Boxer, who do.

Maybe it’s printed up in those newsletters they mail out. Or maybe their neurons are all telepathically connected to some central “mother ship” somewhere.

Update 2/8/09: Oh jeez leweez…I figured out what my distinguished hippie-moonbat Senator was babbling away about. George Bush wanted to “spend” $1.4 trillion with his tax cuts back in 2001.

This puts Barbara Boxer’s statement (purely by coincidence, since at the time, I had no idea where she was going with this) on the list of things you do & say that reveal you’re a moron — Item #7.

I’m struggling to figure out how anyone, no matter how ideologically moonbat-ish, no matter how deranged, could truly, within their heart-of-hearts, think of these as the same thing vis a vis “spending.” Forcing us to spend money on a laundry list of Keynesian crap, is the antithesis of a tax cut in every possible way, is it not? One puts money into a burgeoning public sector spending spree, the other one takes it out. One allows us to keep the money we earned, the other one does not.

I can see how you call one “spending” and I can see how you call the other one “spending.” But to characterize the two of them as the same thing, so you can say “you can’t wave a big stack of paper around now if you didn’t do exactly the same thing back then”…which is what she’s trying to say, as I understand it…I don’t see how that argument resonates even with people who would be friendly to it.

If you run for President, but you’ve consumed hallucinogenic drugs, there’s going to be a scandal. I’m noticing the same is not true of our Congress. That is something that needs to change. And we certainly shouldn’t be allowing them to chase the dragon while they’re at work. Now, is that the case? Things like this give me serious cause to wonder.

The Boondoggle

Friday, February 6th, 2009

Current draft of what I’m planning to send to my Senator and my other Senator.

Yup…hope it works…

Dear Senators,


This is the one word I hear used, more often than any other, to describe the stimulus plan. I hear that from people in your own party as well as from the Republicans.

When Congress acts unwisely, typically the bill has to become a law, and we have to wait a few months or years to see that this word applies. This situation is unique in that the B-word has not only surfaced, but become dominant, while the bill is simply being discussed.

That’s a warning. I don’t think you can ignore it without working hard at ignoring it.

If I didn’t know any better, I’d swear this boondoggle is nothing more than a laundry list of things lusted-after by your party, and its patrons, to soothe feelings of discontent and angst felt by those who’ve been out of power for just a few years. To pay back, at taxpayer expense, those who helped the 2008 elections shape up the way they did. It’s as if you’re anxious to demonstrate that the real split between yourselves and the Republicans isn’t about whether or not to run up an irresponsible debt, and spend taxpayer money on irresponsible things…it’s about whether such hijinks should be engaged by professionals or amateurs. And the Republicans are the amateurs. You’re about to show us how it’s really done.

I know that’s not the message you want to send, so this taxpayer hopes you both reject this “stimulus” boondoggle altogether. After all: Some of this “change” you’re supposed to deliver, is supposed to be a change from reckless spending and a skyrocketing debt. Can you be trusted to deliver on that? So I say, go to the people who are counting on you to pass this boondoggle, and tell them: We tried to sell it to the taxpayers. The taxpayers aren’t buying it. We’ll have to find some less offensive way to pay you back.

I know that smarts, but your continuing political survival isn’t possible any other way. Even in California.

Here’s what taxpayers like me find most distressing of all: A trillion dollars is about to be gambled on Keynesian economic theory. Yes, the name is not often used with regard to this issue, but that’s what it’s really all about. Speaking for myself, it would really do my heart good if members of Congress would debate this the way things used to be debated, with at least an attempt at honesty and transparency, perhaps putting some noted economists on camera to discuss the merits of Keynes’ ideas — as well as the arguments against them. As it is, it seems everyone in Washington capable of appearing in front of a camera or a microphone, accepts Keynesian theory as a foregone conclusion and proven fact. Well, it isn’t. It’s a dubious notion at best. Winston Churchill said it the best: “…for a nation to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.”

Let us keep the money we earned. Do that, and the economy will fix itself. You already know this; we know it; you need to be told that we know it.

Please vote no on the boondoggle.

Can I Have Some? I’m Not an Unemployed Climate Modeler Either

Friday, January 30th, 2009

The Heritage Foundation would like to know why this stimulus plan…this stimulus plan, that is getting stinkier and stinkier as each debate-free minute ticks by…includes $140 million for climate modelers who are having trouble finding work.

It would appear they do not actually exist. Except in the form of this demand for 140 big ones.

This raises the question of how many unemployed climate modelers are out there pounding the pavement.

When presented with that question, last Friday, Pat Michaels, former president of the American Association of State Climatologists stated “I don’t know one unemployed modeler.”

Things that make you go hmmmmm….

Lots of things.

Time for a Third Party?

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

I still remember how it stung when I found out Ross Perot was crazy, and how this disuaded me from supporting the very idea of third parties for years afterward. Actually, right up until this week. But I also remember how Arnie was elected Governor of California. Gray Davis won the 2002 election, and we were scolded, tut-tutted, knuckle-rapped, that “The People Had Spoken” and Gov. Davis was the representation of that will, don’t we dare question it. The recall petition, therefore, was pre-destined to fail. Well, now. That isn’t how history unfolded, is it.

I’m looking at President Obama and I’m seeing another Gray Davis. The representation of vox populi…”mandate” and everything…we shall not question it…but what does one say, when we do so question, and this popularly-elected official is popped like a soap bubble Gray-Davis style?

I don’t understand Obama’s base at all, and I understand very little of what’s popular. But I do understand there is a common theme to the dissatisfaction simmering nationwide lately, and Obama’s policies, to the extent they can be defined, don’t seem to address this theme much.

Maybe it’s time.

If I wrote the platform, I notice I wouldn’t have to choose between “What I Know Is Right Come Hell Or High Water” and “What The People Want”. Those two appear to have merged. And they merge here…

Don’t Pass On More Debt to Our Children.

How would a party like that work out? It seems to me, if the Obama voters are being honest, a large chunk of their crowd would swarm over to my new party. How many times have we heard it…”spending under George W. Bush at an all time high, public debt swelled to ten trillion, expen$ive War in Iraq costing umpthyfratz billion a day, blah blah blah.” Would it not be fair to say this is part of Obama’s “mandate,” even though The Chosen One doesn’t seem to be acting on it?

I’d say, let’s take baby steps. Let’s start with passing on a public debt to our children, equal to or lesser than what it is now — adjusted for inflation. Let’s define a generation as twenty years.

Yes I know how the public debt swelled over the last eight years. The George Bush compromise was, support the military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, mister democrat congressman, and I’ll put my signature under any feel-good social program you care to name. Maybe that’s just the way people behave once they get real power. Maybe it was even the responsible thing to do. I gotta admit, if you make me choose between a President who’s willing to bribe a congressman to protect the country, and a congressman who’s going to bitch and piss and moan about “war crimes” until he gets his bribe and then suddenly shuts up…I know which one I’d trust more, and it isn’t the congressman.

But I simply can’t get behind this. President Freeberg would have said, this is the right thing to do, and if you don’t support it I’ll do everything I can to make sure you pay a cost for failing to protect the country at the voting booth. And you won’t get one nickel of spending past my veto pen over this.

But then again, President Freeberg probably wouldn’t have achieved that compromise, or any other. It’s very likely President Freeberg would have been stuck in a shouting match with Congress, with no troops mobilized anywhere.

Still and all, I can’t accept that we need to nearly double our public debt anytime some asshole like Saddam Hussein starts making trouble for the sake of making trouble.

From what I’m gathering, the democrats are getting elected by faking this “responsible stewardship of nation’s purse strings” thing. Their support comes from the idea that Former President Bush, all by his lonesome, stuck a valve in the public debt innertube and started pump pump pumping away. I think the electorate voted for whoever would pay the debt down, or at least quit racking it up. This other stuff democrats want…tax cuts are evil, we need Europe to like us moar better, you’re not a citizen you’re a serf, every little thing different about you makes you part of a complaining advocacy group, all men are rapists, guns iz bad, ten commandments are offensive, black people can’t make it without help, seventy languages are better than one, and my all-time favorite, all elections were stolen unless the democrat won ’em — the public is not, repeat not, on board.

I think the public wants fiscal conservatism.

I think they’re sold on the notion that tax hikes aren’t the answer. I think if you pass a true-false test around, with one question: “If you raise a tax rate 20%, you collect 20% more revenue” — the vast majority will, rightfully, choose FALSE. Furthermore, I think the public understands it is not only possible, but probable, that the public policy can raise more money by cutting tax rates.

But I think they further understand that raising the revenue is not the problem. Spending the revenue is the problem. Congress is entrusted with a responsibility of which, by design, it can never be worthy. My guys are doing a great job, your guys are demanding all these stupid line items in the budget we don’t really need. The system is not hospitable to the process of trying to bring a budget under control. We know this for a fact, because we have pretty much the same governmental structure in the states and they’re having exactly the same problem.

This is the source of the public’s discontent. They desperately want to send the message to Washington that spending should be brought under control — we don’t want all these feel-good programs, we don’t see ourselves as that weak, and we don’t need some burgeoning, bloated, tricked-out nanny state to tell us when our kids need to be wearing seat belts, or to put miniature trampolines under the trees for when those poor squirrels fall out of ’em.

And they don’t want a huge mess o’bailouts.

That’s why it’s so rare for the politicians to really come out and support the bailouts. It’s always the other guy supporting them. The guy you’re talking to, he hasn’t got a word to say about it, he just votes for the bailout.

That’s wrong, and the electorate knows it. They want it fixed. This time, neither one of the major parties is up to the task…or if either one really is, it isn’t really inspiring confidence in that department.

New Deal Wasn’t Big Enough?

Saturday, January 17th, 2009

Victor Davis Hanson takes a look at some more sudden hairpin-turning liberal looney logic that subtely deluges us lately:

Traditional conservative custodians of the budget can’t say much. They are largely discredited on matters of finance. During the last eight years of Republican prominence in Congress and the White House, the government borrowed as never before.

Liberals in turn have suddenly rewritten their own economic history. They used to claim the great surge in government under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt got us out of the Great Depression with deficit spending and federal jobs programs.

But many historians have argued instead that unemployment and slow growth remained high throughout Roosevelt’s first two terms — until the Second World War scared us all into a fit of national mobilization that alone ended the ongoing 13-year depression between 1929 and 1941.

Now here’s the irony: Liberals suddenly agree that only the Second World War stopped the Depression, after all! So they now argue that we need a new New Deal far greater than the old New Deal. In other words, they want to re-create the urgency of World War II to get government to grow and spend big-time.

Their argument is that if FDR failed to stop the Depression, it wasn’t, as conservatives insist, because he turned to unworkable government solutions, but rather because he didn’t try big enough ones.

Final News Conference

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

I found The Chosen One’s comments about “the lack of clarity” to be ironic. Not just a little bit.

I disagree with the current President’s position on the bailout, to a degree I can only describe as “visceral.” But you have to admire people who have that Howard Roark thing going on. Not so much “the hell with what people think,” for to support that, you have to play to the crowd — can’t go against the popular opinion if you don’t take the time and trouble to find out what it is.

No, the determination to just plow on past the trailhead, because you’re already doing something, knowing that down that way lies a vast bunny-trail and it’s best not to take the first step down it. Really, this is why people despise him so much. It’s the Ellsworth Tooheys of the world that despise the Howard Roarks in a way nobody despises anybody else, anywhere.

When your position in the world is to mold and shape popular opinion, and fool vast multitudes of suckers into thinking these thoughts were originally theirs, it’s quite a kick in the nuts, I imagine, to see someone with real authority come along who doesn’t care too much about any of it. I suppose it might even feel like something of a fuck-you. It isn’t that, of course, but I think it certainly must feel that way if you have become accustomed to something else.

And so we’re told to despise George W. Bush, because he’s a “war criminal.”

Also because he goes to his ranch house in Texas and clears brush. Clearing brush is just as bad as being a war criminal.

We’re told these thoughts are our own, even though vast sums of money were spent to get ’em planted in our heads.

And millions upon millions of us fall for it. They’re told what to think, they think it, and they go out and brag about what independent thinkers they are. It is exactly the kind of stuff that is melted away by history, and by not too much of it passing by. Like pissing on a snowman. And so, on the long-term vision of W’s legacy, our thoughts are already on record.

Update: Fred Barnes, on ten things the President got right. Not to be missed. So don’t miss it.

Update: Also, Sean Hannity’s interview. C’mon, you’ve certainly heard the other side of the story, often enough.

Not Guilty

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

DJ Drummond is noticing the same things we’ve been noticing. It’s about that word “everyone” which, in the past handful of years, is seldom-to-never used to describe a concept that subsantially resembles the classic meaning of “everyone.”

“Everyone is sick of this” means…an elite group of people who agree with me, has agreed to be sick of this.

Conversely, “everyone is guilty” is nearly always a flat-out lie. It means, an elite group is guilty, and we’re going to deflect the blame onto the real “everyone” with some fancy semantics.

In reading about the bank, mortgage, auto, and employment crises in the media, I notice a common theme appearing over and over, specifically that everyone must share the guilt. The writers do this, I think, in anticipation of government actions which will, in the main, punish the public. While this may seem a utilitarian answer and therefore the most likely to be chosen, it is morally unacceptable and will likely lead to great resentment among the many millions of Americans who are in no way responsible for causing the problems or guilty of overindulgence.

I speak as one such citizen. My house is a modest one-story home bought for $150,000 in 2005, and my car is a 12-year-old sedan with 145,000 miles on it. My wife’s car is a 10-year old CRV. I pay the mortgage every month, right on time, and we paid off the cars long ago, foregoing flashy cars and luxury vehicles we could easily have bought but always put prudence ahead of ego. We pay the total balance on our credit cards each and every month, and have never spent money on anything that could be called an extravagance. What’s significant is, pretty much everyone in my subdivision could say the same – we work hard for our money and are careful not to buy things we cannot pay for, and we do not cheat anyone. We work hard and build for the future, the future we promised to our children. And I would dare to say we would resent the hell out of being expected to pay for the sins of others, since our children would end up suffering through no fault of their own. I will not help a thief, even and especially if he sits in a taxpayer-provided seat in Washington, D.C.

Well, I have a new car. But I don’t think I need to “share the guilt” either, because I contracted for a purchase price, from which was derived an interest rate and a monthly payment, and I’ve been making that payment on time every month. Furthermore, I only have the new car because the old one blew a head gasket after 340 thousand miles and eighteen years. That’s 340 miles that ticked on by, while all the other Tom Dicks and Harry’s were out buying up brand new Lincoln Navigators because their wives told ’em to.

Anyone want to come after me and tell me now that I’ve bought the supplies, made the sandwiches and scarfed ’em down, that I wasn’t charged enough for the bread? Screw you.

I don’t mean to sound hostile. But thus far I’ve not yet seen it fail — when we re-define what the word “everyone” means, it has long-lasting consequences for everyone. And when I use that word, in that context, I mean the real definition.

North Pole Requests Bailout

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

Santa Pleads His Case

Girlfriend Bailout

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

Me, I’ve been successful. The road’s been rocky, but in the girlfriend department I’m in a good place. (My expanding waistline demonstrates this.) Others have not been so fortunate, and that’s just plain not fair.

So altogether now…one…two…three…


Office of the Speaker
H-232, US Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Madame Speaker:

I am writing to you as a natural-born citizen of the United States (copy of birth certificate available on request) who is suffering mightily during this recession. While my finances are mostly in order, my emotional life is a shambles, and therefore, as my share of the national bailout/stimulus package/whatever, I request herewith that the Congress take steps to find me a girlfriend.

I do not undertake this request lightly. The feeling that one is not desired, even in a heterosexual manner, is a serious blow to one’s self-esteem generally. We know the Congress takes an interest in self-esteem: this year Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA) introduced a bill to “encourage initiative and promote self-esteem,” and while he was thinking specifically of persons who are drawing Social Security for disability, it’s clear, given the size of the debt load inflicted on the nation by the Bush administration, that the government cannot afford to let persons with emotional difficulties become disabled as a result of those difficulties and subsequently end up drawing Social Security.

The Only Two Things You Need To Know About the Auto Bailout

Friday, December 12th, 2008

One — yes, it’s true (probably). There will be weeping, wailing, gnashing of teeth if something isn’t done. And that something damn sure isn’t gonna be selling cars. History has shown the American economy can tolerate a lot of things, but it doesn’t tolerate a high unemployment rate very well.

Two has to do not so much with the bailout itself, but with us, and our reaction to things like this. When we have to act to save jobs, and the proposed action is something our labor unions do not like, the thing to do has very little to do with the proposed action. It’s more likely got something to do with coffee drinks that cost a lot and that you can’t pronounce the name of, American Idol, Survivor, and dogs-in-purses.

When our labor unions like what we’re thinking about doing, all of a sudden, it’s important that everyone be concerned. As in, it’s the first thought you have when you wake up, and the last thought you have when you call it a night.

I find that curious.

This is a situation that has been in the making for a very long time. People working on cars in Detroit didn’t have to start worrying about their jobs just in the late autumn of ’08. That’s when the labor unions stood to make millions of dollars from us worrying about it, though, so that’s when we started worrying about it. Labor unions are good at telling people what they’re thinking and what they’re worrying about. The rest of us are good at obeying. And so, all of a sudden, in the span of just a few weeks, we have a +++cough+++ “real” +++cough+++ problem.

Maybe we do have to do this awful thing because we’re all out of options. Let’s just not start thinking this is going to solve anything long term, though. And let’s not forget what this is really all about.