Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The 92 Percent Solution

Via JustOneMinute:

Feel the anger - here is a website dedicated to the 92 percent of Americans who are making their mortgage payments.  The mission statement reads more like the Declaration of Independence

From their own Welcome Page:

The 92 Percent Group is committed to the preservation of free-market economics in the United States, specifically in relation to the Obama Administration's Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan.  We believe this plan is unjust to the vast majority of American taxpayers; in particular to the 92 percent of homeowners who are current on their mortgages.

And yes, they have a blog.

Congressional Representation for D.C.

I think that the founding fathers were right to not allow D.C. to have a representative in Congress, but I’m willing to be persuaded otherwise.

What I’m not willing to be persuaded about is whether there should be a bill passed to allow them that.

No.

It would require a Constitutional Amendment.

CNS News, which can normally be counted on for reliability, drops the ball on this one.

The bill advances a controversial item on the agenda of congressional Democrats, but which many Republicans say is unconstitutional.

Am I the only one who remembers grade school civics class? It doesn’t take being a Republican to recognize the constitutional problems faced by this bill. Any sixth grader ought to be able to help our Democratic friends.

From Article I of the Constitution:

Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Number

but each State shall have at Least one Representative

The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof;

….

To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States

Clearly, Article I establishes that states and states alone have Representatives and that only states can elect them. It also, just as clearly points out that the seat of government is formed by ceding of land by states and is not a state itself, but a District.

You want to give residents of D.C. representation? Fine. But the only legal way to do it is through a Constitutional Amendment. Any law passed that attempts to do such a thing is a farce.

About That ‘Fiscal Discipline’ Thing? We Were Kidding

The AP reports:

House Democrats unveiled a $410 billion spending bill on Monday to keep the government running through the end of the fiscal year, setting up the second political struggle over federal funds in less than a month with Republicans.
The measure includes thousands of earmarks, the pet projects favored by lawmakers but often criticized by the public in opinion polls. There was no official total of the bill's earmarks, which accounted for at least $3.8 billion.

Yeah, so much for fiscal discipline. Glad I didn’t waste my time believing it.

Monday, February 23, 2009

“The Rant” and a “Dissenting View”

By now, you’ve surely seen or at least read Rick Santelli’s “Boston Tea Party” rant from last week. If, somehow you’ve lived in never never land and missed, here’s the obligatory YouTube embed:

 

Santelli pretty much nails how an overwhelming majority of us feel.

However, Doug Masson, a blogger from Indiana has responded to it in his blog. It’s worth reading the whole thing, but I’ll extract one of the few remotely salient points:

These guys, if they are smart, do not want to draw attention to themselves. There is a lot of ambient anger out there looking for a place to land. Because the “financial industry” is nameless, faceless, and complicated for the “Average American” (including this one), very few individuals have taken too much heat for the economic collapse. But if a guy like Santelli wants to stand up and tell honest folks who got in over their head despite hard work and good intentions that this is all their fault, I just have to say “good luck with that.”

The most interesting thing about Masson’s piece is it’s Clintonian nature. Barack Obama (D-USA) needs someone like this in his administration, because the response is brilliantly done.

Notice how he never refutes anything that Santelli has said. Instead of attacking the message, he goes straight for the messenger. Bill Clinton was a master at doing just that.

Note to Doug: the message is still valid, no matter what you may think of the messenger. And that’s yours, and Obama’s problem.

Laughable Quote of the Day

President Barack Obama (D-USA)

said he is determined to "get exploding deficits under control" and said his budget request is "sober in its assessments, honest in its accounting, and lays out in detail my strategy for investing in what we need, cutting what we don't, and restoring fiscal discipline."

Restoring fiscal discipline? Who’s he kidding? I’m sorry, Mr. President. That ship has sailed.

Of course, he has a brilliant plan to do it, too:

Obama also seeks to increase tax collections, mainly by making good on his promise to eliminate some of the temporary tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003. While the budget would keep the breaks that benefit middle-income families, it would eliminate them for wealthy taxpayers, defined as families earning more than $250,000 a year. Those tax breaks would be permitted to expire on schedule in 2011. That means the top tax rate would rise from 35 percent to 39.6 percent, the tax on capital gains would jump to 20 percent from 15 percent for wealthy filers and the tax on estates worth more than $3.5 million would be maintained at the current rate of 45 percent.

As Ed Morrissey at Hot Air aptly puts it:

Those who do not read history are doomed to repeat it.  And those who repeat failed policies of the past are doomed to failure themselves, and the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

He’s already passed a non-stimulus stimulus package and now he wants to raise taxes in the middle of a recession. I thought this man was supposed to be smart? That’s what the press keeps telling us.

Raising taxes in the middle of a recession is beyond dumb.  It’s practically criminal. I said before that I thought Obama would almost certainly win a second term. I’m not so sure anymore. I have already completely lost faith in him. If there was a grade lower than ‘F’, he’d have it.

I said in my last post that he’s making me yearn for the days of George W. Bush. It’s worse than that. He’s making me yearn for the days of William Jefferson Clinton.

Actually, I suppose I can’t give him an ‘F’. He does still have 33 terror free days under his belt. Now why do I get the feeling I’m going to be resetting that counter before the end of the year?

Laughable Headline of the Day

Obama Warns Mayors Not to Waste Stimulus Money

President Barack Obama (D-USA) should take a look at this (Click on the pic for full size).

Or perhaps he should take a look at this spreadsheet. There appears to be plenty of waste to choose from there.

BBC News Names Countries that Will Miss George W. Bush

Link here. Chief among them is Israel, no surprise.

They missed one obvious one though, the United States.

True, I wasn’t expecting to love a Barack Obama (D-USA) presidency. But I didn’t think he’d have me feeling a desperate longing for Bush before the end of February 2009.

UPDATE: The Anchoress misses Bush too. It’s not just me.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Forget 100 Days – How’s The President Doing After 30?

It’s 30 days into the administration of President Barack Obama (D-USA). Unless you’re the most ardent of Obama fans, you’d be hard pressed to claim that his Presidency so far is anything other than a complete disaster.

To wit, as I noted in brief earlier:

  • “Hope and Change” has given way to “politics as usual”. The biggest spending bill ever has passed with virtually no bipartisan support. Now, I think if I were trying to convince the American people to spend that much money, I would try a little harder to convince all of the American people, not just those on the left. In addition, the bill was rushed through with a proper review by Congress or the American public.
  • His Cabinet appointments have been a joke:
    • Bill Richardson (D-NM) withdrew his nomination for Secretary of Commerce after his alleged involvement in a pay-to-play scandal was revealed.
    • Tom Daschle (D-SD) withdrew his nomination for Secretary of HHS after it was revealed he failed to pay taxes.
    • Nancy Keillefer withdrew her nomination as Obama’s Chief Performance Officer after it was revealed that she also failed to pay her taxes.
    • Timothy Geithner was confirmed to the position of Secretary of Treasury despite not paying his taxes.
    • Judd Gregg (R-NH) withdrew his nomination for Secretary of Commerce because of fundamental disagreements with Obama.
  • The candidate who campaigned on transparency has none.
  • His White House has attempted to take over the 2010 census
  • The Dow closed at its lowest level in 6 years.
  • The process of finding a replacement for his Senate seat has been a joke. Now the person who was finally appointed may have to resign after corruption charges start to stick.

Clearly this is a man who was not prepared for the job he he asked the American public to give him. We knew that last year, but gave it to him anyway. “Does experience really matter?” we asked. Now we know the answer.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Ok RNC, You Were Right…

…but you’re still not getting my money.

For most of this decade, I have bemoaned how the Republicans in Washington had lost their way. They’d forgotten the principles that had gotten them elected, mainly small and limited government.

As a result, I became one of the many unenthused conservative voters in 2006 and 2008. The RNC warned me that I still needed to vote and support Republican candidates because “the Democrats are worse”.

I believed they were probably right, but how much worse could they be? I couldn’t keep on rewarding bad behavior.

29 days into the Barack Obama (D-USA) administration I know the answer, and it’s worse than I ever imagined. Worse than I ever thought possible.

29 days into the Obama administration, and already I long for the days of 2004 with Bush and the Republican Congress.

Ok, RNC, I’m sorry I doubted you. The Democrats are far worse. And I now reserve the right to say “tax and spend Democrats” for the rest of my life without worry about the common reprisal of “Republicans can not criticize on fiscal discipline”.

A Guide to Republican Reform Rhetoric

Jon Henke at TheNextRight has posted this guide to Republican reform rhetoric

  1. [BAD] Bargaining: "If you return us to power, we'll stop the Democrats! And behave better!"
  2. [INADEQUATE] Apology: "We've learned our lesson"; "We lost our way."; "We need to return to principles."; "You can tell we've learned because we're voting against Democrats!"
  3. [GOOD] Repentance: "I was wrong to [fill in the blank with specific votes, decisions and opinions], because [fill in blank with specific reason] and I pledge not to do that again."
  4. [BETTER] Acceptance: "You have absolutely no reason, none, to trust our word or our actions at this point." - RNC Chairman Michael Steele, acknowledging the Republican Party's failures, lack of credibility and responsibility for same.
  5. [BEST] Reform: "We abused the power we were given, and we should not be trusted with the majority again until we have taken steps to reform ourselves. To that end, we are unilaterally adopting transparency, ethics and procedural rules for the Congressional Republican Caucuses. What's more, the RNC, NRSC and NRCC are adopting strict accounting rules to protect donations and expenditures, and strict communications accountability rules, including disclosure of evidence for independent review and verification, that will ensure the integrity and accuracy of any message we communicate to the public. We hope the Democrats will join us in these reforms, but we will not wait for them to act before we get our own house in order."

Unfortunately, all I keep seeing is the first. This is what the RNC has been using on me for the last two years every time they call.

Until we see more of the last two, a lot more, Republicans will have an uphill climb. Fortunately for them, and unfortunately for us, Democrats seem hell-bent on giving back Congressional control to the undeserving. More on that to come.

Boortz on Change You can Believe IN

As seen here, and quoted pretty much in its entirety.

  • The Dow at a 10-year low.
  • A tax cheat running the IRS
  • Another tax cheat as the Chief of Staff
  • A trillion-dollar plus federal deficit
  • Over one-half of voters relieved of any federal tax liability
  • Government mandated limits on executive compensation
  • Three failed attempts and still no Commerce Secretary
  • Tom Daschle rides his free limo into the sunset - after paying taxes he evaded.
  • The White House performance czar turns out to be a tax cheat also
  • Lobbyists hired to work for the Obama Administration
  • The census gets politicized
  • Double government spending in one year
  • The word "freedom" fades into obscurity
  • Increasing home loan mortgage rates across the board
  • Millions of Americans made dependent on government
  • Moving unionization-by-intimidation forward
  • Welfare checks become "tax cuts."
  • Illegal aliens free to work on taxpayer-funded "stimulus" projects
  • Welfare reform reversed, states ordered to increase welfare roles
  • Move to silence critical talk radio shows
  • Selling Senate seats
  • Obama books in religious sections of book stores
  • More government workers, not private sector jobs
  • A government bureaucracy to intrude on doctor/patient relationships
  • Stage set for medical services rationing
  • Annual welfare checks for middle income families

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