30 June 2009

No New Taxes for Anyone Making Less Than $250k?

Remember when Obi-One promised that? How's that working out, Mr. Gibbs?

Translation: "The President was full of s--t when he said that to get elected." (Translation and video courtesy of Jawa).

Liberty Letters

A 912er has produced a series of letters designed to be sent to our state and federal representatives They are well worth reading, and if you feel so inclined, please send them to your reps. Visit Congress.org to find all your reps.

Shifting Polls

Rasmussem Reports has some interesting polls available today:

The presidential approval index has been steadily falling over the last couple of months, and is now at a -2 (more people strongly disapprove than strongly approve).

69% of Americans think that the stimulus has either hurt or not helped the economy.

74% trust their own judgment more than Congress' when it comes to economic issues. (Gee, you don't think the Crap & Tax bill had anything to do with that, do you?

Only 37% believe the country is headed in the right direction.

76% think that the government is likely to waste stimulus money. And yet we're looking at another stimulus package looming on the horizon.

So, will all this public "discontent" actually translate into something substantive? If history is any indication, the answer will be no. The 2010 congressional elections will see the same corrupt politicians (republican and democrat alike) weasel their way back into office. Will Americans care enough to be informed and vote for a candidate who actually represents them? We'll just have to wait and see. I still have a small amount of faith in the American spirit, but that diminishes with each election cycle.

Another Fallen Hero

With the wall-to-wall Michael Jackson coverage, this story has slipped through the cracks unnoticed, which, ironically, is probably how US Marine Corps Col. Kenneth L Reusser would have wanted it.
They came by ones and twos Friday, quietly slipping into the pews at New Hope Community Church. They smiled at the words honoring a man whose faith made him an inspiration and whose exploits in three wars made him a hero.

And when the last mournful drone of the bagpipes faded, they said goodbye to Col. Kenneth L. Reusser of Milwaukie, the most decorated U.S. Marine Corps aviator in history.

"He was the finest gentleman I’ve ever met," said Harley Wedel of Fairview, a fellow Korean War veteran. "I’m really going to miss him."

Reusser flew an amazing 253 combat missions in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He was shot down in all three wars — five times in all. He earned two Navy Crosses, four Purple Hearts and two Legions of Merit among his 59 medals.

In 1945, while based in Okinawa, he stripped down his F4U-4 Corsair fighter and intercepted a Japanese observation plane at an altitude much higher than usual. When his guns froze, he flew his fighter into the observation plane, hacking off its tail with his propeller.

In 1950, while serving in the storied "Black Sheep Squadron," he led an attack on a North Korean tank-repair facility at Inchon, then destroyed an oil tanker — almost blowing himself out of the sky in the process.

During the Vietnam War, Reusser flew helicopters. He was leading a Marine Air Group in a rescue mission, when his own "Huey" was shot down. He needed skin grafts over 35 percent of his badly burned body.

Reusser was born Jan. 27, 1920, the son of a Cloverdale minister. While still a teenager, he became a committed Christian, which remained a big part of his life.

Reusser lived a "Tom Sawyer-ish" existence, Wedel said, jumping off a barn roof to test a parachute, racing motorcycles to help pay for college and earning a pilot’s license before WWII broke out.

After retiring from the Marine Corps, he worked for Lockheed Aircraft and the Piasecki Helicopter Corp.

In recent years, he remained active in veterans groups.

29 June 2009

Energy Czar Hasn't Read Cap-&-Tax? Shocking!

Apparently I've read about as much of the Cap-&-Tax bill that just passed on the House on Friday as Obama's energy Czar.

Here's a transcript, just in case you couldn't hear (emphasis mine).
STEVE DOOCY: “[I] know the bill is over 1,000 pages long. Have you have read it?”
CAROL BROWNER: “Oh, I’m very familiar with this bill.”
DOOCY: “Have you have read it?”
BROWNER: “We have obviously been watching this for a very long time. I am very…”
DOOCY: “I’m sure you’ve got an idea of it, but you have read it?”
BROWNER: “I’ve read major portions of it, absolutely.”
DOOCY: “So the answer no you haven’t read it. But you’ve read a big chunk of it.”
BROWNER: “No, no, no that’s not fair. That’s absolutely not fair.”
DOOCY: “No, I’m just asking you if you read the thousand pages.”
BROWNER: “I’ve read vast portions of it.”
DOOCY: “Ok.”
Not fair? Not fair? You don't think it's fair to be held wholly accountable for everything in that sham of an energy bill? You're the freaking Energy Czar, whatever the hell that means! Of course you're accountable to know what goes into the bill! If 1200+ pages is too much to read, then submit a smaller bill! Or give yourself (and everyone else) more than a couple of hours to read the damn thing!

And for any nerds out there (like me) who actually watched the debate, there was this maddening exchange:

And that debate over whether there was even a physical copy of the bill present, or whether it needed to be, continued for several minutes. It was later revealed that it had just been brought in, and the 300+ page amendment was being added at that very moment, but that it wasn't available for anyone to view yet. Rep. Waxman (D-CA) brought up that a copy was available online, which Rep. Barton (R-TX) astutely pointed out was useless for those on the freaking floor debating the bill!

Even John Boehner (R-OH) took advantage of his position as minority leader to spend over an hour reading from the 300+ page amendment and tearing it apart. When asked why, he said, "Hey, people deserve to know what's in this pile of s--t." Holy crap, I need some duct tape. Please allow me to repost a video that succinctly sums up my feelings (I will probably be coming back to this video many, many times over the next 3 1/2 years. Just a reminder: you may want to cover your children's ears).

Oh, and here are the 8 republican turncoats. There were reportedly others who promised Pelosi that they would support the bill if their votes were needed, but these were the ones that actually sold their souls. Make sure you contact their offices and voice your frustration at their lack of "representation."

Bono Mack (CA) (202) 225-5330
Castle (DE) (202) 225-4165
Kirk (IL) (202) 225-4385
Lance (NJ) (202) 225-5361
LoBiondo (NJ) (202) 225-6572
McHugh (NY) (202) 225-4611
Reichert (WA) (202) 225-7761
Smith (NJ) (202) 225-3765

26 June 2009

Advanced Indian Military Tech

I'm taking a break from following the Cap & Tax debate on CSPAN because my head is about to explode and blood is starting to shoot from my eyes. The BBC is reporting the advances that the Indian military is making in technology.

Indian defence scientists are planning to put one of the world's hottest chilli powders into hand grenades.

They say the devices will be used to control rioters and in counter-insurgency operations.

Researchers say the idea is to replace explosives in small hand grenades with a certain variety of red chilli to immobilise people without killing them.

The chilli, known as Bhut Jolokia, is said to be 1,000 times hotter than commonly used kitchen chilli.
Now that's what I'm talking about. So who cares if our government takes our guns away? I'll just get some chili grenades to protect my family.

What if Government Ran Health Care?

You know those clever Sprint/Nextel/Whateverthey'recallednow commercials? Reason TV has produced one of their own. Enjoy.

h/t: HA

UPDATE: Here's another video courtesy of Reason TV.

25 June 2009

Presenting: Arnie the Amazing!

Step right up! Step right up, folks! Be the first to witness the magnificent! The incredible! Arnie the Amazing Magician! That's right, folks, not only can he eliminate robots, aliens, barbarians, and about 500 Colombians, but he'll eliminate California's budget deficit right before your very eyes! "How?", you might ask. Well, my friends, a good magician never reveals his tricks. But since Arnie isn't a very good magician (or governor, for that matter), I'll let you in on a little secret: it's called...shhh...budget magic! Here's how it works:
Need an extra $2.3 billion? Easy — just make people pay more of next year's taxes this year, by increasing paycheck withholdings and estimated tax payments.

How about selling a chunk of a state insurance fund? That's good for a cool $1 billion on paper, even if experts say it's highly uncertain the sale would fetch that much, if it can be executed at all.

Expenses still too high? Here's a really creative one: Push back state employees' monthly paychecks in June 2010 by a single day — from June 30 to July 1 — and thus onto the next fiscal year's books. Just like that, $1.2 billion "saved."
This virtual ponzi scheme would shave an estimated $10 billion off California's $24 billion budget shortfall. Wow! What a wonderfully marvelous idea! How could this possibly go wrong? Why didn't anything think of this earlier? Wait, maybe because it's illegal!
Edward Chiang, a certified public accountant in San Jose, said it would be hard for [the Governor] to get away with the kind of financial accounting coming out of Sacramento.

"It's borderline kiting," said Chiang, referring to an accounting term that Webster's defines as "to get money or credit by using bad checks."

"Basically you use one receipt to pay for another and keep shifting it down the line, kind of like what Bernie Madoff did," he explained. "You can keep borrowing from Peter to pay Paul, as long as you don't run out of Peters." (Chiang added that he wasn't accusing anyone, particularly our muscle-bound governor, of doing anything illegal.)

Ultimately, Sacramento's number-crunchers believe an economic recovery will rescue the state from a Madoff-like fiasco. When the economy picks up, the thinking goes, tax revenue will shoot up and allow California to square its expenses with actual revenue.

"The odds are, there is a point during the next budget year that (revenue) will bottom out," said former Assemblyman John Laird, D-Santa Cruz.
So they're betting that all their economic woes will magically come to end and they'll make a surplus of money by next year, and they'll do it all without having to cut necessary programs like health care and scholarships for illegal aliens. Again I say to you, what could possibly go wrong? This plan, although proposed by state dems, was actually initially weakly opposed by the Governator.
When Schwarzenegger last week criticized the Democrats for including one-time "gimmicks" in that plan, a reporter pointed out that he had done the same thing.

"Very good point," the governor responded.

Obamacare Fine Print

Does a health care plan offering better health care coverage, lower costs, and more options, all run by the government, sound too good to be true? Congratulations! You have a brain! Despite repeatedly promising that Americans can keep their current health care plan if they are happy with it, without incurring additional costs, Obi-One is now considering a mandate to force us to accept government insurance, or incur a financial penalty. But don't worry, it gets worse. John Fund from the WSJ reports:
In a desperate scramble to pay for the soaring costs of President Obama's health care plan, the Senate Finance Committee is contemplating taxing for the first time the health insurance benefits workers get from their employers...But the taxes wouldn't be applied equally. Union members serving under collective bargaining agreements would be exempt, even though they often have the richest and most extensive packages of benefits.

There's a reason the Obama health care plan is being rushed through Congress this summer -- because the American people would likely never support it if given time to absorb and understand such fine print. If the union carve-out isn't sufficient to excite public anger, wait till you hear about the version of the Obama plan prepared by Senator Edward Kennedy, which would specifically exempt Members of Congress from many of its provisions.

As the U.S. Office of Personnel Management notes, Members of Congress "enjoy the widest selection of health plans in the country." According to page 114 of the Kennedy bill, a similar array of choices would not be available to other Americans in the future. Instead, they would be shunted into health insurance plans under the straightjacket of whatever the government decides is a "basic" plan.

The goal would be to restrict care for the general public in order to control costs, while making sure Congress gets the gold-plated attention it's accustomed to. Ultimately, the rest of us would be asked to trade a private insurance company as gatekeeper for a government gatekeeper. The difference, of course, is that most of us can fire our insurance gatekeeper. Just try to do that once the government fills that role.
Well said, John.

24 June 2009

Just in Case You Need Another Reason to Love Our Miliatry

Nothing much needs to be said about this clip, other than that Paul, this could be you!

Obama Flip-Flops on Mandatory Health Care

Way back when Obama was on the campaign trail (has he ever really left it?), he battled with Hillary Clinton repeatedly over health care. Both candidates were promoting health care reform, but allegedly differed on how to implement it. For example, while in Iowa, Obama criticized Hillary's plan: "Senator Clinton is arguing that the only way to get every American covered is if you force every American to buy health care." Then during a contentious debate in NV, he said this:
The only difference between Senator Clinton's health care plan and mine is that she thinks the problem for people without health care is that nobody has mandated -- forced -- them to get health care. That's not what I'm seeing around Nevada. What I see are people who would love to have health care. They -- they desperately want it. But the problem is they can't afford it.

He underlined again during the debate: "I don't think that the problem with the American people is that they are not being forced to get health care.
So compare then to now. During Diane Sawyer's interview with Obama that aired this morning Good Morning America, she asked the One about his health care reform plans. Here's what he says (emphasis mine):
Mandates are an example of... something that I was resistant to during the campaign... this is an area where people have made some pretty compelling arguments to me that if we want to have a system that drives down costs for everybody, then we've got to have healthier people not opt out of the system. And I think that you have to be careful to make sure that there's a waiver. So that if we haven't made health care affordable yet, you're not punishing people, not only because they can't afford health care, but -- now giving 'em an additional fine. Any program that we put in place, I think there will be some phase-in period. So that we can calibrate and adjust to make sure that there really is affordability there before we start trying to penalize people. But I think my thinking on the issue of mandates has evolved. And I think that that is typical of most people who study this problem deeper.
Forcing people to accept the care? Penalize people for opting out? Gee, that sounds awful contradictory to what Obama's own website says: "Q. I like my current insurance coverage. Will I have to change plans? A. No, you will not have to change plans. For those who have insurance now, nothing will change under the Obama plan – except that you will pay less." But will anyone call him on it, other than the "right-wing extremists" at Fox News and conservative blogs? That's a rhetorical question, btw. No need to answer.

h/t: jpt

23 June 2009

Is the Obamanation the next stop for Fehr?

Donald Fehr, the most powerful union boss in America, has announced he will retire no later than the end of March 2010. Fehr has been the head of the Baseball Player's Union since taking over the position in 1983. Under his direction, the league has seen the baseball strikes of 1985 and 1994 (during which the World Series was canceled), and the lockout of 1990; the average salary has risen from $289,000 to $2.9 million (that's an increase of over 900%; the average American salary only increased about 165% over that same timeframe), and steroids have ravaged the sport because of Fehr's refusal to cooperate with virtually any and all forms of drug testing. His opposition to the implementation of a salary cap has also devastated many of the smaller market teams (former Kansas City Royals players like David Cone, Jose Offerman, Carlos Beltran, and Johnny Damon, all left the team for more lucrative markets).

All of these traits would seem to make him a remarkably qualified candidate for the Obamanation. To recap, he is the most powerful union boss in America, and he vehemently pursues his own agenda and the agenda of those who pay his salary, regardless of the wake of destruction he leaves in his path. He opposes any attempts at transparency in his industry, and he is more concerned about big business than small business. Yup, sounds like a lock to me. (It may also be worth noting that the 1994 stoppage ended only when the National Labor Relations Board, at the union’s request, obtained an injunction to restore work rules from US District Judge Sonia Sotomayor, nominated last month by O for the Supreme Court).

I'm not predicting anything...I'm just sayin'...

22 June 2009

It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's SuperO!

I guess I've been on a video kick. Maybe because it requires less thought than writing a meaningful post. :) Enjoy this video by JibJab.

h/t: jpt

Obama = Snake Oil Salesman

The 912 Project had this posted to their website the other day. It explains very succinctly the dangers of communism, fascism, and every other "ism".

Socialism: If you have two cows, you give one to your neighbor.

Communism: If you have two cows, you give them to the government and the government gives you some milk.

Fascism: If you have two cows, you keep the cows and give the milk to the government; then the government sells you some milk.

New Dealism: If you have two cows, you shoot one and milk the other; then you pour the milk down the drain.

Nazism: If you own two cows, the government shoots you and keeps the cows.

Capitalism: If you have two cows, you sell one and buy a bull.

h/t: 912

19 June 2009

Bill Whittle Eviscerates Jon Stewart

You may have seen the interview that Jon Stewart had with Cliff May, the president of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracy. Stewart appeared to get the better of May during their heated, yet cordial discussion about torture. Then along comes Bill Whittle from PJTV. He wholly and absolutely eviscerates Stewart for his "logic" and "facts".

The most irritating thing about the whole interview was how representative it was of MSM/liberal media bias in general. There is no fact-checking anymore because everyone is in the same political bed, and subsequently everyone is regurgitating the same garbage as everyone else. Who's going to call them out on misinformation when they're all saying the same freaking thing? I do feel that at some point there will be a reckoning, though, and then guys like Keith Olbermann will be out of job. And if the ratings are any indication, that may be sooner than later.

17 June 2009

I'm Back from the Dead

Ok, so I didn't die. I just took a much needed vacation. I have to be honest, I didn't read or watch a single thing about politics. And you know what? It was refreshing! Unfortunately, I'm back in the real world now, and mad as ever about the state of our nation. Glenn Beck read the following letter on his radio program yesterday that he received from a woman in Arizona. I think this sums up how a lot (I would even wager most) Americans are feeling.
I'm a home grown American citizen, 53, registered Democrat all my life. Before the last presidential election I registered as a Republican because I no longer felt the Democratic Party represents my views or works to pursue issues important to me. Now I no longer feel the Republican Party represents my views or works to pursue issues important to me. The fact is I no longer feel any political party or representative in Washington represents my views or works to pursue the issues important to me. There must be someone. Please tell me who you are. Please stand up and tell me that you are there and that you're willing to fight for our Constitution as it was written. Please stand up now. You might ask yourself what my views and issues are that I would horribly feel so disenfranchised by both major political parties. What kind of nut job am I? Will you please tell me?

Well, these are briefly my views and issues for which I seek representation:

One, illegal immigration. I want you to stop coddling illegal immigrants and secure our borders. Close the underground tunnels. Stop the violence and the trafficking in drugs and people. No amnesty, not again. Been there, done that, no resolution. P.S., I'm not a racist. This isn't to be confused with legal immigration.

Two, the TARP bill, I want it repealed and I want no further funding supplied to it. We told you no, but you did it anyway. I want the remaining unfunded 95% repealed. Freeze, repeal.

Three: Czars, I want the circumvention of our checks and balances stopped immediately. Fire the czars. No more czars. Government officials answer to the process, not to the president. Stop trampling on our Constitution and honor it.

Four, cap and trade. The debate on global warming is not over. There is more to say.

Five, universal healthcare. I will not be rushed into another expensive decision. Don't you dare try to pass this in the middle of the night and then go on break. Slow down!

Six, growing government control. I want states rights and sovereignty fully restored. I want less government in my life, not more. Shrink it down. Mind your own business. You have enough to take care of with your real obligations. Why don't you start there.

Seven, ACORN. I do not want ACORN and its affiliates in charge of our 2010 census. I want them investigated. I also do not want mandatory escrow fees contributed to them every time on every real estate deal that closes. Stop the funding to ACORN and its affiliates pending impartial audits and investigations. I do not trust them with taking the census over with our taxpayer money. I don't trust them with our taxpayer money. Face up to the allegations against them and get it resolved before taxpayers get any more involved with them. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, hello. Stop protecting your political buddies. You work for us, the people. Investigate.

Eight, redistribution of wealth. No, no, no. I work for my money. It is mine. I have always worked for people with more money than I have because they gave me jobs. That is the only redistribution of wealth that I will support. I never got a job from a poor person. Why do you want me to hate my employers? Why ‑‑ what do you have against shareholders making a profit?

Nine, charitable contributions. Although I never got a job from a poor person, I have helped many in need. Charity belongs in our local communities, where we know our needs best and can use our local talent and our local resources. Butt out, please. We want to do it ourselves.

Ten, corporate bailouts. Knock it off. Sink or swim like the rest of us. If there are hard times ahead, we'll be better off just getting into it and letting the strong survive. Quick and painful. Have you ever ripped off a Band‑Aid? We will pull together. Great things happen in America under great hardship. Give us the chance to innovate. We cannot disappoint you more than you have disappointed us.

Eleven, transparency and accountability. How about it? No, really, how about it? Let's have it. Let's say we give the buzzwords a rest and have some straight honest talk. Please try ‑‑ please stop manipulating and trying to appease me with clever wording. I am not the idiot you obviously take me for. Stop sneaking around and meeting in back rooms making deals with your friends. It will only be a prelude to your criminal investigation. Stop hiding things from me.

Twelve, unprecedented quick spending. Stop it now.

Take a breath. Listen to the people. Let's just slow down and get some input from some nonpoliticians on the subject. Stop making everything an emergency. Stop speed reading our bills into law. I am not an activist. I am not a community organizer. Nor am I a terrorist, a militant or a violent person. I am a parent and a grandparent. I work. I'm busy. I'm busy. I am busy, and I am tired. I thought we elected competent people to take care of the business of government so that we could work, raise our families, pay our bills, have a little recreation, complain about taxes, endure our hardships, pursue our personal goals, cut our lawn, wash our cars on the weekends and be responsible contributing members of society and teach our children to be the same all while living in the home of the free and land of the brave.

I entrusted you with upholding the Constitution. I believed in the checks and balances to keep from getting far off course. What happened? You are very far off course. Do you really think I find humor in the hiring of a speed reader to unintelligently ramble all through a bill that you signed into law without knowing what it contained? I do not. It is a mockery of the responsibility I have entrusted to you. It is a slap in the face. I am not laughing at your arrogance. Why is it that I feel as if you would not trust me to make a single decision about my own life and how I would live it but you should expect that I should trust you with the debt that you have laid on all of us and our children. We did not want the TARP bill. We said no. We would repeal it if we could. I am sure that we still cannot. There is such urgency and recklessness in all of the recent spending.

From my perspective, it seems that all of you have gone insane. I also know that I am far from alone in these feelings. Do you honestly feel that your current pursuits have merit to patriotic Americans? We want it to stop. We want to put the brakes on everything that is being rushed by us and forced upon us. We want our voice back. You have forced us to put our lives on hold to straighten out the mess that you are making. We will have to give up our vacations, our time spent with our children, any relaxation time we may have had and money we cannot afford to spend on you to bring our concerns to Washington. Our president often knows all the right buzzword is unsustainable. Well, no kidding. How many tens of thousands of dollars did the focus group cost to come up with that word? We don't want your overpriced words. Stop treating us like we're morons.

We want all of you to stop focusing on your reelection and do the job we want done, not the job you want done or the job your party wants done. You work for us and at this rate I guarantee you not for long because we are coming. We will be heard and we will be represented. You think we're so busy with our lives that we will never come for you? We are the formerly silent majority, all of us who quietly work , pay taxes, obey the law, vote, save money, keep our noses to the grindstone and we are now looking up at you. You have awakened us, the patriotic spirit so strong and so powerful that it had been sleeping too long. You have pushed us too far. Our numbers are great. They may surprise you. For every one of us who will be there, there will be hundreds more that could not come. Unlike you, we have their trust. We will represent them honestly, rest assured. They will be at the polls on voting day to usher you out of office. We have cancelled vacations. We will use our last few dollars saved. We will find the representation among us and a grassroots campaign will flourish. We didn't ask for this fight. But the gloves are coming off. We do not come in violence, but we are angry. You will represent us or you will be replaced with someone who will. There are candidates among us when he will rise like a Phoenix from the ashes that you have made of our constitution.

Democrat, Republican, independent, libertarian. Understand this. We don't care. Political parties are meaningless to us. Patriotic Americans are willing to do right by us and our Constitution and that is all that matters to us now. We are going to fire all of you who abuse power and seek more. It is not your power. It is ours and we want it back. We entrusted you with it and you abused it. You are dishonorable. You are dishonest. As Americans we are ashamed of you. You have brought shame to us. If you are not representing the wants and needs of your constituency loudly and consistently, in spite of the objections of your party, you will be fired. Did you hear? We no longer care about your political parties. You need to be loyal to us, not to them. Because we will get you fired and they will not save you. If you do or can represent me, my issues, my views, please stand up. Make your identity known. You need to make some noise about it. Speak up. I need to know who you are. If you do not speak up, you will be herded out with the rest of the sheep and we will replace the whole damn congress if need be one by one. We are coming. Are we coming for you? Who do you represent? What do you represent? Listen. Because we are coming. We the people are coming.