Friday, January 28, 2011

Why we don't trust government: SOTU and Egypt

From the economy to foreign policy, it's all a mess. The Democrats just don't get it, and the Republicans don't have the guts to do what they know needs to be done. And out here in mid-America, we're fed up.

In a minute, I'll get to Joe Biden. But first, sent me their weekly roundup. Seems that everything coming out of the mouths of our politicians -- regardless of party affiliation -- is bullshit. Here's a summary:

FactChecking Obama’s Address
We find some debatable claims and ambitious promises in his State of the Union address.

FactChecking the GOP Response
Ryan and Bachmann made two new false claims, and repeated other talking points, in their responses to the president's State of the Union address.

Schumer Exaggerates Proposed Defense Cuts
The Democratic senator vastly overstates Defense Secretary Gates’ plan.

Job Loss, Health Care and Bankruptcy
Former Bush adviser Hughes and Democratic Rep. Clyburn both come up short of the facts on 'Meet the Press.'

Pawlenty’s Bailout Blarney
The potential GOP presidential contender has changed his position on

And now on to our 'jenious' vice president, Mr. Joe Biden. For all of you out there blasting away at Sarah Palin, you really should have a look at Biden. He's just plain dumb...but of course he's not as sexy as Sarah.
From the Christian Science Monitor:
Ahead of a day that could prove decisive, NewsHour host Jim Lehrer asked Biden if the time has "come for President Mubarak of Egypt to go?" Biden answered: "No. I think the time has come for President Mubarak to begin to move in the direction that – to be more responsive to some... of the needs of the people out there."
He also appeared to make one of the famous Biden gaffes, in comments that could be interpreted as questioning the legitimacy of protesters' demands. Monitor Cairo correspondent Kristen Chick, other reporters in the country, and activists have generally characterized the main calls of demonstrators as focused on freedom, democracy, an end to police torture, and a more committed government effort to address the poverty that aflicts millions of Egyptians.
Biden urged non-violence from both protesters and the government and said: "We’re encouraging the protesters to – as they assemble, do it peacefully. And we’re encouraging the government to act responsibly and – and to try to engage in a discussion as to what the legitimate claims being made are, if they are, and try to work them out." He also said: "I think that what we should continue to do is to encourage reasonable... accommodation and discussion to try to resolve peacefully and amicably the concerns and claims made by those who have taken to the street. And those that are legitimate should be responded to because the economic well-being and the stability of Egypt rests upon that middle class buying into the future of Egypt."

Anyone who knows anything -- especially the conditions in Egypt and most of the Arab world -- would just have to conclude that Biden is indeed the dunce of Washington.

I say let the Egyptian people decide who rules them. (And I mean the people, not a radical group like the Muslim Brotherhood). And Mr. Biden would be better off not talking. Maybe we'd be better off too.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Oh. Oh. Another conservative woman in the spotlight

Or dare I say crosshairs. It seems the new Miss America, Teresa Scanlan from Nebraska, is politically conservative. Even worse, she was home schooled. And...drum roll please...she plans to attend a conservative Christian college. My, my, what a field day the media will have. Or are already having. From the Washington Examiner:

according to Fishbowl LA, the West Coast site of the media insider's favorite web site. FBLA headlined its clip of Scanlan's response with this: "Miss America hates Wikileaks, might be an idiot."
All you have to be is conservative and female to be labelled an idiot. This is how "liberals" view all conservatives, especially women. If you don't agree with them, you must be stupid.

And good job on the civility of it all...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Payroll tax cut no gift horse

While we did get a 2 percent cut in payroll taxes (for employees, not employers), the Federal Income Tax Withholding rates went up also because of the laspe in the stimulus cut.

In my case, on my most recent 2011 payday (tomorrow), my FITW went up by 11.7 percent, but my deduction for Federal Social Security Tax went down by 32 percent (in dollar amounts deducted).

Overall my net pay has increased 1.3 percent (though after increasing my 401(k) deduction by 2 percent, my take home pay is actually less than last year, but that was my choice, not the government's).

Woohoo. I'm singing all the way to the bank. Just think how much this will stimulate the economy. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

It's not just the right that advocates violence

Admittedly, some hate speech does originate from the right. But a lot comes from the left as well.

Yesterday, a liberal blogger left this comment on one of my previous posts:  "It's the right that advocates violence." Oh really? This was after his take on the shooting in Tuscon:
As much as I dislike the thought of Sarah Palin, as a politician, I think it is a real stretch to say she had any responsibility in the Arizona shooting, although there is an eerie video with Giffords saying she feels threatened because of Palin's 'reload' comment and finding herself 'in the crosshairs' in Pain's ad.' However, other right wingers, like Sharon Angle, of Nevada, have to share some of the blame. Her remarks, like, 'we need a 2nd Amendment (right to bear arms) solution to government officials' is totally irresponsible, and puts her right up there with Rush and Glenn Beck in inciting the whackos to violence. Words have consequences, and you never know who's listening.
Never mind that the Democratic National Committee also used crosshairs in 2006. Baaaaa go the sheep. This is just a regurgitation of left-wing talking points, by the likes of Paul Krugman, Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews and their ilk.

Here are a few summaries of how the left has used hate, murder and mayhem. They are easy to find.

Michelle Malkin provides a history of left-wing hate and violence through pictures and video.

Michael Filozof provides a history of left-wing violence in his article at American Thinker.

Hate, Violence, and the Progressive Left (Vanity inspired by KOS rhetoric).

FNC’s Brit Hume rips left-wing ‘habit’ of equating disagreement with liberalism with hate

Return With Us Now To the Peaceful Protest Imagery Of the Bush Years AND How the Left Manufactures Hate For Political Gain

And for those of you who are too lazy to read -- or at least scan -- the articles above, take the time to read David Brook's "The Politicized Mind" published at the NYT. It is an excellent op-ed that provides balance to all the idiotic rhetoric.

And last, but not least, Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT), is using the tragedy for fund raising. A tragedy in which six people were killed -- including a 9-year-old child. Despicable.

So not only do those on the left advocate violence, they practice it too. To claim that only those on the right advocate violence is blatantly dishonest, and I'll leave it at that.

More Gun Control?

It didn't take long for many people to call for stricter gun control laws after the shooting in Tuscon last weekend. But is this the answer?

One of the first things I thought of -- as I learned how mentally unstable Loughner was -- is how did he get a gun?

While I disagree with just about everything Eugene Robinson writes and says, he was pretty much on the money when he wrote this for the Washington Post:
We do know, however, that Loughner reportedly had a history of drug use and bizarre behavior. Students and a teacher at a community college that Loughner briefly attended found him so erratic, confused, menacing and potentially violent that they persuaded college authorities to bar him from campus pending a psychiatric exam.

Yet on Nov. 30, he was able to walk into Sportsman's Warehouse in Tucson and purchase the weapon that authorities allege was used in Saturday's rampage. He apparently also bought extra magazines loaded with ammunition.

To buy the gun, Loughner was required to pass a federal background check - and he did, a store manager told reporters. It is against federal law to sell a gun to someone who is mentally ill, but there is no indication that Loughner was ever officially deemed to suffer from mental illness. Even if he had been, there is a good chance that his name would not have been properly entered in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
To me, this is just another example of how systems we have in place to protect us are not being managed effectively by our government. So more laws aren't the answer, but the proper implementation of laws we already have.

But we know how well that works. This is one of the reasons -- and a big one -- why average Americans don't trust their government.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Krugman, Fonda, et al, are sick

After the terrible shooting in Tuscon, you might expect this from Jane Fonda, who I've always considered a left-wing wacko traitor, but for Paul Krugman...he's just earned my utmost disrespect.

You know that Republicans will yell about the evils of partisanship whenever anyone tries to make a connection between the rhetoric of Beck, Limbaugh, etc. and the violence I fear we’re going to see in the months and years ahead. But violent acts are what happen when you create a climate of hate. And it’s long past time for the GOP’s leaders to take a stand against the hate-mongers.
For one thing Mr. Krugman, Beck and Limbaugh are not GOP leaders, any more than Olbermann and Matthews are Democratic leaders.
Krugman's claims are completely divorced from the facts: Jared Loughner's beef with Rep. Giffords was that she couldn't answer his incoherent question once in 2007; and no one has found the words Obama, health-care, deficit, or taxes in Loughner's insane screeds.

Of course, our "unbiased" news media will fan the flames, as Byron York points out in his editorial.

Yet the network that had shown such caution in discussing the Ft. Hood shootings openly discussed the possibility that Loughner was inspired to violence by…Sarah Palin. Although there is no evidence that Loughner was in any way influenced by Palin, CNN was filled with speculation about the former Alaska governor.
And speaking of CNN, there's Ruben Navarrette Jr., who has used this horrible tragedy and sick act of violence by a deranged individual as his own personal soap-box promoting his cultural agenda. I believe the term 'hijacking' would be applicable in this instance. They say that you can't squeeze blood from a stone, but I imagine that if Navarrette were to give one a squeeze he'd manage to find Latino oppression dripping from it.

When it comes to violent rhetoric, of course it was Obama who said, "If they bring a knife to the fight, we'll bring a gun," and other comments about getting "in their face." Olbermann once said that he wished Hillary Clinton dead.

But I doubt if Palin or Olbermann had that much influence on Jared Loughner, who has been described as a pot-smoking crazy liberal, a paranoid social outcast. Really? I don't think his political orientation had anything to do with his killing six people. He was freaking crazy, OK?

While it's popular nowadays to point fingers and try to push the blame on to someone else (oh, it's not my fault!), there is only one person here who pulled the trigger. And since he still lived at home with his parents, where were they all this time?

What we need in this country is a return to the concept of personal responsibility and morality, not liberal moral relativism and the preaching of vicitimhood.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Porker of the Month

A little old (October), but still illustrative of the bullshit that our elected officials push on to if we're that stupid.

Also some good reading with the Citizen's Against Government Waste 2010 Congressional Pig Book Summary (pdf).

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Reading Room for Jan 6, 2011

Thomas Sowell: The progressive embrace of Third World culture
Dr. Victor Davis Hanson's quietly chilling article, "Two Californias," in National Review Online, ought to be read by every American who is concerned about where this country is headed. California is leading the way, but what is happening in California is happening elsewhere-- and is a slow poison that is being largely ignored.

Byron York: Pelosi's partisan parting shot
At mid-day Wednesday, it fell to now-former Speaker Nancy Pelosi to introduce her successor, John Boehner, as he was sworn in as Speaker of the House. Some might have forgotten, but four years ago, on January 4, 2007, it was Boehner (not the departing Dennis Hastert) who introduced Pelosi when she first became Speaker. A look at the two speeches -- Pelosi introducing Boehner and Boehner introducing Pelosi -- shows striking differences.

Larry Elder: The top 10 political lies of 2010
The biggest political "lie" of 2010? The winner is: the Republican assertion that ObamaCare is a "government takeover of health care."

City Journal: Why NYC can’t afford enough sanitation workers to clean up the snow
If money could melt snow, Mayor Bloomberg would be basking in victory over the storm. When he took office in 2002, Gotham spent $1.3 billion annually on the Department of Sanitation. Today, the city spends more than $2.2 billion on “New York’s Strongest.”

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Promises, promises...

When Nancy Pelosi took over as House Speaker, she promised to "drain the swamp" and eliminate deficit spending. We know how that worked out, when corruption remained the same and her Congress raised the deficits more than any other in history.

Now, John Boehner just took the gavel and he's promising to give government back to the people and end congressional gridlock.

We'll see. I'm really not getting any warm and fuzzies that this Congress will be much better, but will give them a chance to prove themselves.

We can always fire them again.