Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Political Digest November 28, 2009

PoliI post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree with every—or any—opinion in the posted article.

Taxes going up? Voters: yup
Excerpt: Just as my column appeared, pollster Scott Rasmussen reported that 48% of likely voters expect their taxes to go up and only 9% expect them to go down. That’s a vivid contrast with the responses back in January, when only 29% expected their taxes to go up and 21% expected them to go down. About half of American voters, it seems, have caught on to the Democrats’ stuff-the-beast strategy: raise spending to previously unheard of levels and then raise taxes to reduce the deficit. Moral of the story: never underestimate the perceptiveness of the American voter.

Obama Shatters Spending Record for First-Year Presidents
Anyone who didn’t expect this on November 4, 2008 just wasn’t paying attention.

Obama meets Hu, says Tibet part of China
Well, so much for those “Free Tibet” bumper stickers—the One has spoken. Excerpt: "We did note that while we recognise that Tibet is part of the People's Republic of China, the United States supports the early resumption of dialogue" between the Dalai Lama's representatives and Beijing," Obama said after his meeting with Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao. Chinese President Hu Jintao hailed US President Barack Obama's recognition of sovereignty issues dear to China. "China approves of President Obama's repeated reiteration of the one-China principle," Hu told reporters.

Comment from a Marine buddy: Tibet has had a totally different language and culture from China for thousands of years, and has never been identified as part of China. It was taken over by brute force decades ago, many thousands killed then and still since, the culture subordinated to Chinese, the children forced to learn Chinese, Chinese immigrants as appointed "managers" (read rulers), no civil liberties, freedom of the press, freedom to dissent, etc. For an American President today to recognize Tibet as part of China would be like FDR recognizing Silesia and the Sudetenland as parts of Germany after the Wehrmacht marched into those places. I am totally appalled at this, there is no excuse for making such a statement, it is a gross betrayal of the basic American commitment to human rights. It is more than puzzling for Obama to do this. And he got nothing whatsoever for this, the Chinese will not really join in on reduction of hothouse gases (they're building coal fired plants faster and faster), they won't revalue their money to realistic adjustment to the dollar, and they lecture us on being more responsible. Essentially it was a social visit, an exchange of niceties, but zip in the way of any accomodation to Obama's programs. So why throw the Tibetans under the bus, and thereby tell every other small country that they cannot depend on the US to even talk about their rights when the bigger, well armed neighbor nation decides to pound them or take them over? Very, very, very sad. So much for moral leadership among nations. –Del

PC-ed to death
Nice to have a TV editor tell it like it is. Gotta love this guy.

Timely Medicine – Not
Excerpt: As America rushes headfirst into Government Run Healthcare, here are a few realities Americans should not ignore. As a Canadian, I was raised since the mid 1960’s on a diet of Government Paid Healthcare. In a single statement: IT WAS TERRIFIC. But, I have to emphasize the word WAS.

Why Obama Isn't Changing Washington
Excerpt: Why has the president's publicly expressed vision of a kinder, gentler Washington failed to materialize? I think Mr. Obama—while hardly the only person at fault—is chiefly responsible. He might have spawned a different Washington, a less divided town with Democrats firmly in charge but Republicans actively involved. The bonus for Mr. Obama and Democrats would be higher popularity and better prospects in 2010 midterm elections. Instead, the president made three strategic mistakes—or, really, misreadings of the political landscape—and they've come back to haunt him and his party. First, Mr. Obama misread the meaning of the 2008 election. It wasn't a mandate for a liberal revolution. His victory was a personal one, not an ideological triumph of liberalism. Yet Mr. Obama, his aides and Democratic leaders in Congress have treated it as a mandate to radically change policy directions in this country. They are pushing forward one liberal initiative after another. As a result, Mr. Obama's approval rating has dropped along with the popularity of his agenda. Mr. Obama should have known better. The evidence that America remains a center-right country was right there in the national exit poll on Election Day. When asked about their political beliefs, 34% identified themselves as conservative, 22% as liberal, and a whopping 44% as moderate.

Kill the Bills. Do Health Reform Right
Excerpt: The United States has the best health care in the world -- but because of its inefficiencies, also the most expensive. The fundamental problem with the 2,074-page Senate health-care bill (as with its 2,014-page House counterpart) is that it wildly compounds the complexity by adding hundreds of new provisions, regulations, mandates, committees and other arbitrary bureaucratic inventions. Worse, they are packed into a monstrous package without any regard to each other. The only thing linking these changes -- such as the 118 new boards, commissions and programs -- is political expediency. Each must be able to garner just enough votes to pass. There is not even a pretense of a unifying vision or conceptual harmony. The result is an overregulated, overbureaucratized system of surpassing arbitrariness and inefficiency.

Bomber may have been heading for Eilat
Didn’t get the Religion-of-Peace memo. Excerpt: An IDF bomb squad detonated a 15-kilogram explosive seized during a search conducted along the Egyptian border on Thursday. Late Wednesday night, IDF troops on a routine patrol of the border area spotted a suspicious figure carrying a bag containing what was later discovered to be a 15-kilogram bomb. The soldiers ordered him to stop and fired several shots in the air. However, the man fled the scene back into Egypt, dropping the bag in his haste.

Iranian pilgrims stage hajj protest
Didn’t get the memo. Excerpt: “Death to America, death to Israel," thousands of Iranians chanted inside a huge tent on the Arafat plain.

Be thankful that you are breathing
Excerpt: Jihad attacks and attempted attacks inside the U.S. have sharply increased. In response, the entire government and media establishment hastens to assure the world that the root cause is not the root cause. And the President of the United States rushes to make more concessions to the jihadis and their sponsors and allies. Eight years after 9/11, and fewer people than ever know or care about what we are really up against. are alive. You are breathing. You can read this. You are not beaten.

Find a gun, turn it in, go to jail
Zero tolerance in the UK

How to answer the census
Very funny.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Creating wealth by magic!

Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else. -Frederic Bastiat, French Economist (1801-1850)

This is from the daily e-mail briefings by the National Center for Policy Analysis. You can sign up for free at

They send you 5 or 6 short summaries of important stories on the economy, government and health care every day. It's free.


The stimulus bill currently steaming through Congress looks like a legislative freight train, but given last week's analysis by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), it is more accurate to think of it as a time machine. That may be the only way to explain how spending on public works in 2011 and beyond will help the economy today, says the Wall Street Journal.

According to CBO estimates:

A mere $26 billion of the House stimulus bill's $355 billion in new spending would actually be spent in the current fiscal year.

And just $110 billion would be spent by the end of 2010.

This is highly embarrassing given that Congress's justification for passing this bill so urgently is to help the economy right now, if not sooner, says the Journal. Even worse, it seeks to act like a time machine in the sense that it's based on an old, and largely discredited, economic theory: As Harvard economist Robert Barro has pointed out, the "stimulus" claim is based on something called the Keynesian "multiplier," which is that each $1 of spending the government "injects" into the economy yields 1.5 times that in greater output.

There's little evidence to support this theory, says the Journal, because it assumes that the government can create wealth out of thin air; if that were true, it should spend $10 trillion and we'd all live in paradise, says the Journal.

The problem is that the money for this spending boom has to come from somewhere, which means it is removed from the private sector as higher taxes or borrowing. Barro wrote about this way back in 1974 in his classic article, "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?":

For every $1 the government "injects," it must take $1 away from someone else -- either in taxes or by issuing a bond.

In either case this leaves $1 less available for private investment or consumption.

The government spending will be a net stimulus only if its $1 goes to more productive purposes than those to which private investors would have put that same $1.

There are some ways we may want the government to spend money -- on national defense, say -- but that doesn't mean it's a stimulus, says the Journal.

Source: Editorial, "The Stimulus Time Machine: That $355 billion in spending isn't about the economy," Wall Street Journal, January 26, 2009.

For text:

For Barro article:

For more on Federal Spending & Budget Issues:

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Democrats and Republicans--the difference

Q: What the Difference between Republicans and Democrats?

A. You only need to read the papers to find out. Republicans are extravagant, wasteful and obscene. Democrats are wonderful people who do great things.

Q: Can you give me some examples?

A. Sure. When President Obama raised over $100 million in campaign funds in one month in 2008, the media hailed it as a great achievement. But when George Bush raised than half that in a month in 2004, the media called it obscene.

When President Obama spent $150 million on his inauguration, the media said he sure knows how to throw a party to cheer up Americans in the midst of a recession. When President Bush spent about $45 million in 2004, the media called it wasteful, and suggested the money should go to Hummers for the troops in Iraq or to the poor.

When President Obama works out twice a day, the media calls it a wonderful way to relieve stress and set a healthy example for Americans. But when President Bush worked out frequently, the media said he was taking time away from his important duties, and we didn’t need a president at that level of fitness.

When Congressman Gary Studds (D-MA) had sex with a 17-year-old male page, he was allowed to serve six more terms in Congress, and to become a committee chairman again. But when Congressman Mark Foley (R-FL) sent e-mails with sexual content to under age male pages, he had to resign, and the Republicans lost control of the Congress that year, due to media attention.

Q. Is that fair?

A. No. Foley should have gone to jail for sending such obscene e-mail to boys under 18. Studds merely had, as he said, a "consensual relationship with a young adult." Not the same thing at all.

Q. I don’t understand.

A. You need to watch more TV. Republicans who raise and spend money are greedy, Democrats are not, because they are Democrats. Republicans who have sex are hypocrites, and must be punished. Democrats are only making their usual lifestyle choices, based on diversity. That’s why former Congressman Mel Reynolds was pardoned by Bill Clinton. Reynolds was convicted of 12 counts of sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl, obstruction of justice and solicitation of child pornography. Later he was convicted on 15 counts of bank fraud and lying to the FEC and SEC. But he was a Democrat and thus deserved a pardon, so the media didn’t make a big deal of it. What Foley did was disgusting and much worse.

Q. Now I think I get it. Democrats good, Republicans bad. Right?

A. Exactly. That’s what the media says, and you know they are independent, and determined to bring us the truth, no matter what or who gets exposed. So it’s no wonder that as a candidate President Obama sent tingles up the legs of our unbiased, hard-nosed, cynical, guardians-of-our-rights in the media.

Q. But, if Republicans are so awful—and reading the papers or listening to TV, it sure sounds that way—how do Republicans ever get elected to public office? I mean when we can have leaders like Congressmen Charles Rangel, William Jefferson, Mel Reynolds and Gary Studds and Governors like Rod Blagojevich, all great Democrats?

A. Beats me. I guess some people don’t like Kool-Aid.

Friday, January 23, 2009

War on Terror Over!

I Guess Terror Won.

Do you feel safe with the "War on Terror" Over?

Put me down agreeing that "War on Terror" was a bad name, though I used it as a heading for a column predicting September 11, 2001 published in August of 1998. (It’s in the blog achieves below.) "War to preserve American constitutional liberty against Islamofascists who want to subjugate everyone, especially women, under the brutal tyranny of Shari’a Law” is probably too long. But we will find a better name after the next 9/11.

As Israel learns again in Gaza, because you stop killing them does not mean they will stop killing you.

Only when an American city lays a smoking, nuclear ruin, or tens of thousands innocent Americans lie dead in the streets from a bio-war plague will America get serious. Denying foreign terrorists their “constitutional right” to plot murder on their cell phones without US Agents listening in will be the least of it.

And we will remember who let our guard down.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wonder what caused this?

The Stock Market is supposed to go up on good new!

Sell-Off Is Sobering Welcome From Wall Street

By Binyamin Appelbaum and Heather Landy
Washington Post Staff Writers Wednesday, January 21, 2009; Page A01

As Washington celebrated, New York fretted.

The Dow Jones industrial average yesterday fell below 8,000, shedding 4 percent, its bleakest performance on any Inauguration Day since the index was started 124 years ago. Nasdaq and the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index both plunged more than 5 percent.

The World Turned Upside Down

The World Turned Upside Down
Thomas J. Hall, JD
January 17, 2009

On January 20, 2009, the United States will joyfully inaugurate “the politics of change.” It may prove to be the most momentous transition since Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown . The American Way is about to become the Chicago Way.

The “ Chicago Way ,” of course refers to a particular style of bare-knuckled politics, exemplified by quick-witted, “Take no prisoners!” operators such as Rahm Emmanuel, soon to be White House chief of staff.

Indeed, the Way is a political proving ground nonpareil. It rewards intelligence, commitment and hustle—but, most of all, loyalty to the Boss. In Chicago , it’s “who sent you?” not “who are you?” The greatest proof the efficacy of the Way is the meteoric rise of Barack Obama. Despite a resume bereft of substantive accomplishments, he out-maneuvered Hillary Clinton at every turn and reduced John McCain to the desperate ploy of naming as his running mate an attractive woman almost as inexperienced as Mr. Obama.

Yet the Way is not without its flaws. It provides no immunity to human weakness, as demonstrated most recently by the arrest of “Gov. Blago.” And the conviction of former governor Ryan. And former governor Walker. And former governor Kerner. And former congressman Dan Rostenkowski. And Obama confidant Tony Rezko. It appears a requirement of high office under the Way to be indicted, or at least closely aligned with a felon. Yet to question Mr. Obama's personal integrity based on such facts would be “guilt by association” and wholly inappropriate by the standards established by the Media from Democrats. But, his Cabinet nominations thus far suggest an administration that will set an entirely new standard:

Eric Holder, for Attorney General. A lawyer's lawyer known and admired for his deft handling of the sale of numerous potentially controversial presidential pardons at the end of the first Clinton administration.

Hilda Solis, for Labor. A California congresswoman who has told the Senate that she is “not qualified” to answer questions about right-to-work laws, even though she would be called upon to administer those laws.

Timothy Geithner, for Treasury. An accomplished executive who committed the innocent error of failing to pay $34,000 in taxes. He did, however, correct the oversight, days before his nomination was announced.

Leon Panetta, for CIA. Mr. Panetta has vast political experience and may be the one person who was ever able to impose discipline on Bill Clinton. Critics note that he knows nothing about running an intelligence agency, but he may have a more compelling qualification: knowing where the political bodies are buried.

Hillary Clinton, for State. The Secretary of State is America 's official representative to the world and must be able to speak truth to power and uphold the highest standards of integrity and American idealism. Mrs. Clinton's commitment to outspokenness and truthfulness are already well documented. In addition, her effectiveness should only be enhanced by her marriage. After all, her husband appears to be on the payroll of virtually every thug or despot with whom she may be called upon to deal. Such pre-existing relationships are certain to be invaluable.

To borrow a phrase from an earlier administration, Mr. Obama is building a Cabinet that “looks like Chicago ” - tough, shrewd and goal oriented. That Bill Richardson, a proven leader, was bounced from this team is perplexing. Perhaps he did not grasp the Prime Directive of the Way: “Cut it out, or cut me in.”


Blogger's Note: Posted with the author's permission. Since he's an attorney, to avoid his suing me for tarnishing his reputation, I should note that despite the last names, we are not related.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Chicago Way Wins

Illinois’ Chicago Way upsets Washington Hot Air!
Robert A. Hall, Sports Reporter

In a stunning upset, a fired-up Illinois team, The Chicago Way has upset the highly favored Democrat Hot Air from Washington, DC on their home field. The Way is owned and often coached by Richard “Boss” Daley.

Harry “Empty Suit” Reid, quarterback of the Dems, had been trash-talking the Chicago team for weeks. “Them tainted bums won’t score a point,” Reid had scoffed, in one of sport’s greatest misstatements, “The door is shut.”

The key play came when Illinois quarterback Rod “Bleepin’” Blagojevich ran an option with only seconds left on the clock. The Hot Air blitzed, and it looked like Bleepin’ was going down, but just as they swarmed him, he tossed a Hail Mary pass to wide receiver Roland “Blacker-Than-Barack” Burris.

Burris, who hadn’t started for Chicago in several years, came in at wide receiver when more experienced players refused to play with Blagojevich, claiming Bleepin’ was “tainted,” a charge Hot Air players used to taunt him. Fans were disappointed that the team salary cap wouldn’t let them suit up favorite Number Five, Jessie “Junior” Jackson, who badly wanted to start.

But the experienced Burris snagged the pass, despite playing in a cold rain, and turned up field to face what looked like an impenetrable Hot Air line.

Then, out of nowhere, Chicago Fullback Bobbie “Race-Card” Rush threw a terrific block that flattened the entire Hot Air team. Linebacker Dick “Double Your Lawsuits” Durbin was so disoriented by the hit that he switched sides and started blocking for Burris, forgetting that, though he played for Chicago for years, he was now Co-Captain of the Hot Air Eleven.

With the way cleared by Rush and Durbin, Burris danced into the end zone untouched for the winning touchdown, where he was flagged for excessive celebration. But the penalty didn’t count as time had expired, leaving Blagojevich and The Chicago Way with the upset win.

Reid was gracious in defeat, calling Burris, “One of the game’s great players” and inviting him to play for the Hot Air team. Burris accepted a two-year, no cut contract, with an option to renew, and will suit up with the Democrat Hot Air for at least the next two seasons.

Barack “Changin’ Hussein” Obama, another former Chicago Way player now with a starring role in the Hot Air organization, originally had refused to indicate which team he supported, saying only that he would be “present.” However, Obama missed the game, because, as he said, “There can only be one quarterback at a time,” but professed himself delighted with the Chicago win that brought Burris to his team. “He’s exactly the caliber of player we need,” Obama gushed, “With Burris and Al “Funnyman” Franken in our lineup, people will know what Democrats are made of!”

Bleepin’ Blagojevich’s triumph may be short lived. Fans and members of The Chicago Way farm team, which plays in Springfield, IL, were still demanding that he be canned, with Pat “Pushover” Quinn taking over the quarterback role.

But no one can take this sweet victory from Blagojevich, because, as he said, “It’s Bleepin’ Golden.”

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Economic Freedom still benefits people the most

Three interesting articles on the economy

Freedom Is Still the Winning Formula

Trade Gap Plunges; Feel Better Now?

"Shipping Jobs Overseas" or Reaching New Customers?
Why Congress Should Not Tax Reinvested Earnings Abroad

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Treasury Nominee Accounts for Own Tax Errors

He said he thought his employer was paying the taxes. Must not be able to read a W-2, which is where I look for that info when doing my taxes. And he's going to be in charge of the economy & the IRS. Wonderful.

PS: Sen. Reid, if not paying thousands in taxes is a "hiccup," you won't miss a few hundred bucks off mine at all, will you?

Update: Great funny video on the topic:

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Democrats cave on Burris

See this great Washington Post column:

Gee, who could have predicted that Democrats who vowed that no appointment by the innocent-until-proven-guilty Governor Blagojevich would be seated, would fold when the Black Caucus got behind Burris?

Ok, who other than me in a post last week (published in the Wisconsin State Journal, Saturday, December 3, 2009). Here's what I wrote in that column:

"Q: But suppose black leaders like former Black Panther and now Congressman Bobby Rush start criticizing the Democrats for not seating Mr. Burris?"

"A: That changes everything. If enough black leaders criticize the Democrat senate leaders, white liberals may give fewer dollars to the Democrat Party. Then the Democrats will cave and seat Mr. Burris."

To read the full column, scroll down to "Your Blagojevich Scandal Questions Answered."

There's a rumor that Obama called Reid and said, "Make this problem go away."

Ya think?

New Question. Supposed Governor Blagojevich (B-eBay) had appointed an equally-or-more-qualified white guy. Would he be on the verge of being seated?

Answer: Not if it was Gandhi.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Another "Pay to Play" scandal

Another Democrat governor. Another "Pay to play" investigation. When will we end the Democrats' "Culture of Corruption"?

But even if his phone is bugged, Richardson is miles smarter than Blagojevich, so will probably walk.

Politics Trumps Security

President-elect Barack Obama stunned the national intelligence community by selecting Clinton White House chief of staff Leon E. Panetta, a longtime Washington insider with little intelligence experience, to serve as the next head of the CIA.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Taking Chance

A "must read" Marine officer's story of escorting home the remains of a brother Marine KIA.

Get your Cabage Patch Doll of the Reformer from Chicago

People were sick to death of the Republican incumbent. They wanted change. And then, from Chicago of all places, along came a new type of politician, pledged to change and reform. He was elected overwhelmingly and brought the promised change.

Now, for a low price, you can have your very own cabbage patch doll of this reformer. Don't miss out!

New Bumper Sticker

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Your Blagojevich Scandal Questions Answered

Q: Was Rod Blagojevich legally elected governor of Illinois?

A: Yes, he was, in 2002 and again 2006.

Q: Did President-elect Obama (D-Camelot) endorse him?

A: Yes, he did.

Q: Is Blagojevich still legally Governor?

A: Yes, he is.

Q: Does the Governor of Illinois have the authority and duty to appoint someone to fill a vacant US Senate seat?

A: Yes, he does.

Q: Could the Democrat-controlled Illinois legislature have passed a bill providing for a special election to fill President-elect Obama’s now-vacant US Senate Seat?

A: Yes, they could have.

Q: Why didn’t they?

A: You’d have to ask them. The speculation in the newspapers is that they were afraid the people of Illinois, if they had a chance to vote, might elect a Republican, which would have been un-Democratic.

Q: Is Governor Blagojevich’s appointment to the senate seat, Roland Burris, legally qualified to serve?

A: Yes, he is. He’s a registered voter in Illinois, a citizen and over the minimum age of 30.

Q: Congressman Bobby Rush has been saying that the Governor should appoint a black person to Obama’s seat. Is race a legal qualification for serving in the US Senate?

A: No, it is not.

Q: The newspapers have been saying that Burris is an “empty suit,” whose only qualification is that he’s black. Can someone hold high office if that is his or her only qualification?

A: Obviously.

Q: Has Governor Blagojevich been convicted of anything?

A: No, he has not.

Q: Doesn’t the United States Constitution hold that a person is to be considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law?

A: Yes, it does.

Q: Haven’t the Democrats been picturing themselves as defenders of the constitution against Republican attempts to trash it?

A: Yes, they have.

Q: I don’t understand. If Governor Blagojevich is innocent until proven guilty, and is still legally the Governor, and the Governor has the legal authority to appoint a new senator, and he has appointed Mr. Burris, and Mr. Burris meets the minimum qualifications to serve, by what legal authority can the Democrats bar him from serving?

A: If following the constitution might make the Democrats look bad in the media, politics trumps the constitution. Everyone knows that.

Q: But doesn’t barring a legally-qualified and legally-appointed black person from serving also make them look bad?

A: Only with black voters, and they are going to vote for Democrats no matter what the Democrats do. So the Democrats don’t have to worry about what they think.

Q: But suppose black leaders like former Black Panther and now Congressman Bobby Rush start criticizing the Democrats for not seating Mr. Burris?

A: That changes everything. If enough black leaders criticize the Democrat senate leaders, white liberals may give fewer dollars to the Democrat Party. Then the Democrats will cave and seat Mr. Burris.

Q: Is President-elect Obama involved in all this?

A: No, he is not. He conducted an investigation himself, and cleared his staff of any wrong doing or involvement.

Q: Isn’t that like Vice President Dick Chaney investigating and clearing Scooter Libby?

A: No, it is not, because the media wouldn’t accept that uncritically from a Republican.

Q: Does anyone benefit from this scandal?

A: Yes. Late Night Comedians. Republicans whom Speaker Pelosi famously accused of being part of a “culture of corruption.” Former Congressmen William Jefferson (D-Cold Cash) and Congressman Charlie Rangel (D-Property Taxes), because everyone has now forgotten those scandals.

Q: A final question. Will this scandal hurt President-elect Obama?

A: Not unless the media finds out he’s an Illinois Politician.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year from Peggy Kinnane's Irish Pub
in Arlington Heights, IL