Thursday, February 26, 2009

Why don't he write?

Well, to be honest, I have had to avert my attention for awhile. I can't adequately express how disappointed I am with the way our Hope & Change government is pursuing the same old "The Answer to Every Problem is to Grow the Government and Increase the Deficit" policies. I can't describe the sinking feeling in my gut that I get every time a member of the O/P/R cabal, and yes, I'm including you, Senator Christopher "In Bed With More Repugnant People Than Barney Frank" Dodd (D-Citibank), opens his/her duplicitous mouth to spew forth further faux justifications to cover their unconscionable pillaging of our Treasury to further their liberal agenda and buy their way into lifetime sinecures.

So, other than that I'm doing fine. How about you?

Monday, February 16, 2009

I said it before...

... and I'll say it again:



It's all in the name.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Why there's a hollow feeling in my gut

As president, Barack Obama will restore the American people's trust in their government by making government more open and transparent. Obama will work to reform congressional rules to require all legislative sessions, including committee mark-ups and conference committees, to be conducted in public.

This is obviously yet another campaign promise cavalierly tossed aside by our soon-to-be Worst President Ever, but it's worse than that. Our congress is voting on a bill containing the most far-reaching, most expensive, and most egregiously socialist/liberal collection of wasteful spending ever, and none of them have even read it.

They. Haven't. Even. Read. It.

How can anyone, even a Democrat, vote for a bill that they haven't even read? What exactly are they being paid for? And more importantly, who is it exactly that they are there to represent??

Friday the 13th

There is a good chance that congress will vote on the so-called Stimulus Bill today. The bill will probably pass with no Republican support, other than a couple of RINO senators from the ultra-liberal coastal states. The reason for the complete lack of Republican support is that President Obama is not the uniter he promised to be. In fact, he is far more of a divider than the perpetually maligned George W. Bush ever was. Consider, if you will, the number of Democrats that voted to authorize the liberation of Iraq. That, folks, was bipartisanship, although the large majority of the democrats that voted in favor of it eventually changed their minds in light of political expediency. Or, if you will, became turncoats.

This "stimulus" bill is the polar opposite of a bipartisan effort. This bill was created solely by the rabid Democrats that for some unfathomable reason have been put in leadership positions for the Democratic party. I pity the millions of sane Democrats in our country; they must cringe at the idea of being part and parcel to the Reid/Pelosi leadership. Republican input on the development of the bill was not only unwelcome but forcefully and insultingly rebuffed. As such, the resulting bill is chock full of useless spending and even worse, government growth programs that will plague us for decades and quite possibly for the remainder of the still young 21st century.

One might wonder what became of that "smart young man" who was going to unite our lawmakers, who was going to go through each spending bill line by line looking for wasteful spending, who was going to usher in a new era of politics in Washington DC, and who was going to get a handle on the prolific spending and disastrous deficits of the Republican party. Where is he? Well, he never really existed. That fictional man was nothing more than a combination of media malfeasance and empty, disingenuous words. Oh, and an equally empty resume too.

We now have a president that skated into office based on a meaningless vote against an unpopular war and a grab bag of false promises. We now have a president that only answered one question honestly during the entire campaign. That question? Joe the Plumber's. Obama answered that question honestly: he is a socialist redistributionist. The answer to that question nearly derailed Obama's campaign, but the media (with help from Ohio governmental agencies) rode to the rescue. Their amassed forces were enough to discredit the questioner in the minds of gullible voters, successfully changing the debate from Obama's honest answer to Joe's "dishonest" question.

None of this matters now, of course. The bill is written, the congress will pass it, and the president will sign it. And despite the long-term damage that will result, not a single one of them will pay a political price for it. Why? Because we have spent the last few decades completely absolving more than half of the country from having any responsibility whatsoever to pay the bills incurred by federal spending. In fact, a very large number of them not only pay nothing at all, but receive government handouts. Those people could not care less about government debt; that's someone else's problem.

The someone else they are referring to is the collection of working class people euphemistically referred to as "the rich." Or, more accurately, "the evil rich." See, the only way to salve what little conscience these consumers have over the confiscation of earned wealth from the people that pay the vast majority of the taxes in this country is to demonize the wealth producers. Who are the purported villains behind this massive financial problem? No, not the Barney Franks and the Chris Dodds with their liberal policies that forced banks to make dangerous loans, not the dozens of legislators that accepted gobs of influence money from mortgage companies and pseudo-governmental agencies like Freddie and Fanny, and not the gullible and/or greedy people that took loans that they had to know that they could not afford to pay back. No, the accused villains are those evil CEOs. Now don't get me wrong, greed on the part of the executive management of banks and mortgage agencies surely played a part in this mess. Certainly there are complicit executives in those companies. But how does that fact seem to completely absolve Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, and the rest of our corrupt government? How is that allowed to happen?

It's allowed to happen because the general public has been taught that private business men and corporations are evil, greedy, and bring no value whatsoever to our society. CEO salaries are presented by the Democrats and their friends in the media as unjustified, egregiously high, and nearly criminal and ripe for governmental regulation. I find it interesting, though, that people making every bit as much money in the sports and entertainment industries don't fall into the same class. We demonize the CEOs of the companies that bring us heat, light, food, medicine, and all of the necessities of life, while we idolize the celebrities that bring us, well..., nothing.

We're told that no CEO is worth that much money. We're told that they must have cheated or committed crimes against society to achieve their wealth. But ask yourself this: how much money did Oprah make last year? Or better yet, how much money has Alex Rodriguez made from his steroid-fueled success in playing what at the end of the day is a meaningless game? Where is the demonization of Oprah??

We are headed down a very dangerous path, a path that has been walked before to catastrophic result. We are walking headlong into a Socialist society led by a charismatic, power-hungry leader. We are allowing the productive members of our society to be classed as the cause of all of our problems. History shows us what comes next, but a large portion of us is willfully blind to the danger, or simply doesn't care for so long as the government will toss them $13 a week out of a trillion dollar spending package.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Catastrophe? Sez who?

Last night:

He (President Obama) pointed to such scenes as proof the country is in a "full-blown crisis" and needs a drastic government response. The president warned that a failure to act could "turn a crisis into a catastrophe," and urged lawmakers to get a bill to his desk without delay.


How often have you heard this? "There's not a moment to spare!" Or, "This deal is only good for today, so you must buy now!" I'm guessing that you, like me, have heard these high pressure sales tactics often enough that alarms go off in your head warning you that you are getting a bad deal forced upon you. It's a well known sales tactic to push hard for the close of the sale before the mark (you!) gets wise to what's going on. After a few times through this maneuver, you learn to just go home and think about it for a few days. In most cases you realize that the person urging you to rush to a decision has a vested interest in making the sale, whether it be a cash commission or some other compensation. You must ultimately base your final decision on the credibility of the person making the argument that time is of the essence.

Let's think about that question of credibility with regards to our young neophyte president. In other words, why should we believe his words of impending doom? Think back to the campaign promises that were made, and then think of the more recent past where we have seen each and every one of those promises tested against reality and found wanting. Seriously, I have seen New Years resolutions last longer than the promises that Obama made to us. Does this young man, this man that was so wrong about the war ("It's lost! Let's bring the troops home. Genocide isn't that big of a deal, just as long as you aren't the victims of it."), this man that has already proven his demagoguery about Gitmo, FISA, renditions, and other purported Bush malfeasance to be exactly what I suspect that it was: nothing more than disingenuous, opportunistic campaign rhetoric, does this man have the credibility to demand a trillion dollars NOW! and expect us to trust his word?

"Fine," you might say, "but this is different. The campaign is over, he won, so why would he lie about this?" Well, I've often heard an expression that I think provides a solid hint to a motive: "Follow the money." Look at the spending earmarks (I suppose they will have a name other than 'earmark', though, since we were promised that there would be no earmarks in this bill. This reminds me of another expression regarding things that quack like ducks...) in the proposed bill, and look at the timing for spending the funds. You will find massive handouts to Democratic pet causes (i.e. locked in voting groups) such as the service unions, education unions, and non-taxpayers looking for enrichment via massive entitlements. The timing of the spending conveniently runs through 2010, 2011, and 2012. Quick question: what happens in 2012 that might interest President Obama?

So there it is. We are being stampeded into spending a trillion or more dollars to create the false impression of a good economy that will last just long enough to aid with Obama's election to a second term. After that the money runs out and we're stuck with paying the piper, but because of term limits Obama couldn't care less about that. This "stimulus" is nothing more than the taxpayer funded aggrandizement of Barack Obama as our Savior, with (to him and his fellow travelers) the salutary effect of also pushing us permanently into the European model of a second rate Socialist country where the super majority of the citizenry is entirely dependent on a gigantic government to provide a subsistence level standard of living. The minority? They get to pay for it all with their hard work, only to find their own standard of living dragged down to the lowest common denominator.

Joe the Plumber tried to warn us, but 53% of us would not listen. I understand why, of course. The alternative, John McCain, was an abysmally bad candidate. It's possible, though, that he might have stood up to our ridiculously bad congress and forced them to create a better package, but I doubt it. Our government seems that it may have reached a tipping point where both parties and all four branches (I include the press as a branch of government now) are complicit in this massive new power grab.

Why would they do this? Simple. Follow the money. Oh, and consider one further Obama comment:

"Only government can save us." Isn't that somewhat (or, well, a whole lot) ironic when you consider that it was government that created this mess? When you consider that the power we've given to government to regulate the financial industries involved came with the responsibility to avoid this type of so-called catastrophe?

Yeah, I find that to be painfully ironic.

So, you're no doubt asking yourselves what can be done? Clearly there is at least some kind of problem here, and government simply has to do something. Well, why couldn't we try a lower risk/higher gain plan first:

Rep. Walt Minnick, a freshman Democrat from Idaho, is pushing a better idea: The Strategic Targeted American Recovery and Transition Act (START).

Minnick is a member of the Blue Dog caucus of occasionally conservative Democrats. His START plan is a $170 billion “bare bones” pure stimulus approach that would put $100 billion immediately into the pockets of low- and middle-income Americans, then use the other $70 billion for basic infrastructure projects that create jobs. START requires that all funds not spent by 2010 be returned to the Treasury. START also stops stimulus spending when the nation’s Gross Domestic Product increases in two of three previous quarters, and all START payments are required to be posted on a public website.


Doesn't that sound like a far better idea? An idea that better addresses the actual problem and has an exit clause if it actually succeeds in solving the problem? Sure it does. But the critical flaw, the single reason that it will go nowhere, is that it does nothing to help grow Obama's government. In other words, it doesn't address the issue most important to Obama and the Democratic majority congress: keeping them in their jobs.

Monday, February 9, 2009

More on that civil disobedience thing

I'd like to thank everyone for their enthusiastic and almost universally supportive feedback. This sudden attention to my lowly blog has been almost overwhelming. Right on the heels of the Instapundit link came a link from Michelle Malkin. Soon after that came a phone call from Fox News requesting an interview. And this, I think, is where I get off the publicity bus.

The idea is out there, and people will do with it what they will. It is obvious that I merely tapped into quite a lode of taxpayer resentment, and that is a good thing. Being interviewed by Fox News, though, is something I can do without. I know it sounds silly for a guy venting through a political blog to say that he's not looking for publicity, but to a large degree that is the case with me. This blog had maybe 400 hits across a five month period. I had four or five other bloggers that stopped by now and then, and we had nice little conversations. I enjoyed it; it was therapeutic.

I was OK with the Instapundit link; those folks drop in, read the post, and the vast majority of them move on. After a week or so, things taper off to a much more comfortable level. But being interviewed on Fox News is a very different situation. Witness what happened to Joe the Plumber for simply asking a question of then-candidate Obama. This is the nature of today's political discourse, and I'm pretty sure I want nothing to do with it. For me, it's enough to know that I am not alone in my frustration with our political class and their elitist attitudes. I don't need my two or three minutes of fame, and to be honest, I can't see anything good coming of it.

Don't get me wrong: I have no outstanding tax liens or missed child support payments to worry about. I just don't want the inevitable phone calls and letters. I used to write letters to the local newspaper, and when they were printed I could count on a phone call or letter from someone that disagreed with me but didn't consider the public forum of the newspaper to be a suitably direct way to share their opinions with me. I have to think that talking with Fox News would have the same effect, albeit 1000 times worse.

So, there it is. I will still write to this blog as the mood suits me, but I am not inclined to seek publicity for it.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Why should I care?

It seems more and more likely that we will be saddled with a massive new government spending program as Congress embarks on its reenactment of an old Richard Pryor film, Brewster's Millions. The premise of the movie had something to do with a requirement that Pryor spend $30 million in 30 days without having anything at the end to show for it. I find this to be an apt analogy has Congress attempts to spend $1 trillion simply to be spending it. They neither want nor expect to get anything out of if, absent a massive enlargement of an already bloated government.

Public opinion is not behind this bill, although roughly 37% of us think it's just fine. Some of that percentage is surely simple partisanship: "if the Republicans are against it, them I'm for it." I also suspect that a good portion of those people support it because they think they will be on the receiving end of buckets of good 'ole free government money. In that they are probably correct, particularly if they belong to one of the liberal pet identity groups. Sure, they recognize that it's a lot of money, but they seem to be thinking "Why should I care?"

I believe that they are thinking that way because they pay no taxes themselves, so they think that they will not be on the hook for the tremendous cost of this spending orgy. I think they are sadly mistaken. There is simply no way that the government can throw away a trillion dollars that they don't have without causing a devaluation of the dollar. That doesn't even consider the further trillions that will be required to keep the newly bloated government going after the stimulus dollars are all spent. These people are going to find that the inevitable inflation and incumbent loss in buying power is going to hit them a lot harder than those that can better absorb such losses.

I think they will find out far too late that they should have cared.

How you know when the honeymoon is officially over

You have to dance around uncomfortable issues:



And if you're really awful at dancing, go sit in corner and pout. Ignoring the "What's wrong, Honey" question with the silent treatment or changing the subject? It's not going to work.

I don't think Jake will be getting any for awhile. (Any questions answered, that is. Get your minds out of the gutter, folks.)

Back to obscurity

It's tough when the party's over. The 11,000 unexpected guests from yesterday's Instalanche are gone and the house just seems so..... empty. Some will check in now and then, but most have moved on to the big party down the street, never to return. I'm proud of them all, though. 11,000+ visitors and 33 comments and not a single objectionable comment. Granted, the promotion of Geithner to the position he's in after the revelation of his rather obvious lack of fidelity to our shared burden is not in the least bit defensible, so I would have been somewhat surprised had anyone attempted to do so, but I've been on the Internet long enough to know that there is always someone that wants to pick a fight.

There were a couple of comments that pointed out that my little acts of intended vandalism do not count as civil disobedience. As a legal term, that may or may not be true, but I don't really see any reason to be pedantic about it. I suppose "non-violent protest" may be a better term for it, especially as I do not consider what I (and others, judging by the comments) will be doing to rise to the bravery shown by those that came before. People like Rosa Parks took far more risky actions than a small act of monetary vandalism entails, and the norms and mores of discriminatory society that she was protesting were far more important than my protest against a tax cheat sitting in a high government position. So, rest assured that I am aware of the scope (and ultimate futility, for that matter) of this gesture.

All of that being said, we have to start somewhere. We have to tell our elected legislators that we have had enough of their elitism, their unquenchable thirst for ever more power over us, and their abject failure to abide by the rules, laws, and regulations that they so cavalierly foist upon us, the very people that elected them to represent us. They need to understand that we are a sleeping giant, but that we can be awakened. They must know to their very cores that we Citizens acting as a group are to be respected, not herded. We are keenly aware of their hypocrisy, and we do not intend to sit silent while they endeavor to destroy our freedoms while granting themselves latitude to impose more and more shackles on our society.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Civil Disobedience



I think it's time for a comeback for civil disobedience. The only thing that angers me more than the rampant elitism and corruption in our government is that apparent tolerance for it that was demonstrated most recently with the appointment of what is almost certainly a tax cheat as the Treasury Secretary. Surely I am not alone in wondering why I am a big enough sap to pay tens of thousands of dollars in Federal taxes each and every year, while our Washington bureaucrats seem to get away consequence free with a pattern of cheating and fraud. And please, don't tell me Tom Daschle didn't get away with it. Sure, he lost his position for a cabinet position, but don't you think he will be laughing all the way back to his millions-a-year "consulting" gig? Will he be prosecuted for his fraud like I would be? Did he pay any penalties? No, and no.

Since my single, solitary vote is nothing more than a BB in a machine gun world, I intend to start practicing civil disobedience. In the case of Treasury Secretary Geithner, I am going to have a rubber stamp made that says "Tax Cheat!" in block letters. Every time I see a piece of paper currency with Geithner's signature on it, I am going to stamp over his name with my Tax Cheat stamp. Sure, this action is just as futile as my vote, but eventually maybe others will reach the same conclusion that I have: it is far past time to make our voices heard.

Update:

It looks like it's super easy and cheap to get a custom rubber stamp made. I was able to specify one at www.thestampmaker.com in just a couple of minutes, for a cost of $6.50 for a wooden handle manual stamp.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I don't blame Obama


I was hoping that there would come a time when I could say that. It helps me to feel that I am being at least as fair in my judgement of Obama as the left was in their treatment of Bush. Ok, that was a joke, since we all know how they  were.  But really, I am unclear as to how the tax problems crawling out from overturned rocks like so many roaches are Obama's fault. Sure, the vetting process should have caught these, but you have to keep in mind that these people are career cheaters and are sheltered by the close relationship between themselves and a complicit Washington cabal of quid pro quo compatriots.  They have been hiding these practices in the plain sight of an uncaring peer group for so long that it's nearly impossible to uncover their tracks.

My only criticism of Obama in these cases is the same criticism I had with Bush: it takes far too long to do the right thing and toss these crooks aside.  I think he will learn to get aggressively out in front of these issues, though, and hold these ethically challenged hypocrites to the higher standard that he promised during the campaign.

Or not. Time will tell.  

Update: 

The more I think about it, the more I grow somewhat irate with Obama's faux mea culpa. As I commented on The Black Sphere, 

If Obama were truly admitting to having made a mistake with Daschle, his first act of contrition would be to fire the even bigger cheat, Tim Geithner. That won't happen, you can be sure.

Obama's problem with picking a cabinet is his raw inexperience. He knows nothing about the jobs he is trying to fill, so, just as he did with Biden, he's trying to make "safe" picks from the vast pool of calcified and entrenched Washington insiders. It's going to be an on-going battle. While he himself somehow managed a perceived immaculate conception from the corrupt womb of Chicago politics, he is going to find that anyone he picks from the pool of Washington Corruptocrats is going to be tainted in one way or another.

In my opinion, Obama is the chihuahua that chased a garbage truck and now has no idea what to do with it now that he's caught it.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Doing my taxes differently this year

That's it. I am done with the 1040, Schedule A, B, D, and a handful of other forms. My original plan with to get the TurboTax Extreme(tm) version this year, hoping that I would be able to use the Geithner/Rangel options to reduce my overall payment. Not now, though. I've found an even better way.

I'm doing my taxes on the new IRSForm 1040dem this year. It's even easier than the 1040EZ, the only IRS form that can be filled out with a crayon. With the 1040dem, you just take the form, wad it up, and throw it away. One caveat: you have to fill out a Schedule OOPS if you ever get nominated for a high visibility position, but the chances of that ever happening in my case are virtually nil. In other words, I have as much chance of being appointed to a powerful government position as the chance that a Democrat will actually pay his taxes.