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Tuesday, April 12, 2011
The latest triumph from TSA. Posted without comment:
This is the America we live in folks.
Posted by Hal_10000 on 04/12/11 at 07:15 AM in Politics Law, & Economics • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
Monday, April 11, 2011
IRS On the Loose
There’s a video accompanying the link which I highly recommend. The reason behind this is the Administration’s desire to improve global tax compliance. While that might or might not be a laudable objective, the fact is that Congress has forbidden it.
We’ve this kind of regulatory overreach before—using the EPA to enact carbon restrictions in defiance of Congress, for example. Obamacare and Dodd-Frank are filled with blanks that the regulators are filling in. But this has to be a new low.
For too long, Congress has punted the responsibility for law-making to the executive branch. We can now see the culture this has created—agencies that are laws unto themselves. It’s time to put a stop to this. And it’s not a conservative-liberal thing either. Both parties should support putting the clamps on the bureaucracy. That is, unless Democrats are really itching to have President Palin’s HHS passing regulations on abortion.
Update: Continuing this theme, you must read Don McGahn’s response to those who want the FEC to go ahead and enforce laws that the Courts have declared unconstitutional. Money quote:
Stand by for Obama to replace McGahn forthwith. We simply can’t have the executive branch following the Constitution? What are they, Oath Keepers or something?
Posted by Hal_10000 on 04/11/11 at 05:54 PM in Politics Law, & Economics • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
This is why the demcorats have been so resistive to cuts
Not because they think that these cuts will hurt anyone, well maybe their power and base, or because these cuts are bad for the American people or economy, but because it’s the government’s money anyway and they want more of it. From the start the left’s strategy has been to spend so ridiculously much money they don’t have, under whatever stupid excuse they could use to sell this idiotic plan to the people, that the only way to make up the difference was to force tax hikes on everyone. And if you doubt that’s the plan, just read the story.
If the government confiscated all the money from the rich they could finance this charade for maybe a year. This is about the left’s plan to go after small businesses and people trying to get rich, and to thus force them to deal with whatever the powerbrokers want from them before they get the loopholes needed to stop paying the graft passed. As Obamacare and everything else in the last 2 years have proved, the left’s strategy is to straddle us all with as many ridiculous taxes or costs as they can, then give their friends and cash cows exceptions. The suckers pay morem, the ones connected to the left enhance the left’s power to avoid paying. This is more of the same in the works. The corruptocrats believe it’s their money, and they want it NOW!
The left is pretending to need hike taxes to “protect” the middle class. What a pile of shit. This is sure to force people to move their wealth into shelters and away from the grubby hands of the crooks in DC, but then again, the crooks are fine with that too. They are more interested in a large beholden class that depends on them for subsistence, than they are in actually fixing either the debt/deficit situation or the economy. With the left it is always about increasing its power and thus government, first, second, and always. Tax cuts and smaller government are anathema to them. Don’t buy this umpteenth attempt to screw us all over as anything but.
Posted by AlexinCT on 04/11/11 at 09:02 AM in Decline of Western Civilization Deep Thoughts Elections Election 2010 Health Care Left Wing Idiocy Politics Law, & Economics The Press Machine • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
Sunday, April 10, 2011
The Fingerprinting Charade
Lenore Skenazy, from the awesome Free Range Kids blog, has the latest local government stupidity:
Of course, if your child is ever harmed, it is most likely to come at the hands of someone who doesn’t have a criminal record. And the most effective means of keeping your child safe is to teach them to take care of themselves (the three R’—recognize, resist, report). But what’s the harm of fingerprinting people? What have they got to hide? Skenazy:
I really don’t understand this country’s fingerprint fetish. My wife, an Australian citizen, is fingerprinted every time she comes into this country. The main reason for this, supposedly, is to fight terrorism, even though it’s vanishingly unlikely that we have any particular terrorist’s fingerprints on file. The really real reason for it, as I suspect he really real reason for the little league fingerprinting, is to move us closer to a society in which the police have everyone’s fingerprints.
Every day, we seems to surrender a little bit more of ourselves to the state. One day, it’s to fight terrorism, the next it’s to protect kids, the next it’s to save the environment. And it come from both Right and Left. At what point do we say “no further”?
Posted by Hal_10000 on 04/10/11 at 07:57 AM in Politics Law, & Economics • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
Saturday, April 09, 2011
Lesson in this tragedy..
The Dutch are super strict about guns. Seems that didn’t make a difference. We are always told about how this can never happen in Europe where they do not allow gun ownership to the citizens. Tragic event, but the lesson is that banning guns will not tpevent evil people from getting them and using them on those that follow the law.
Friday, April 08, 2011
That’s the latest number being bandied about for the agreement to finish FY2011. Riders will be dropped in exchange. The government will go for another week, then the final budget will be voted on.
If these reports are accurate, I have to tip my hat to Boehner. He will have cut some $70 billion off the FY2011 budget, using the riders to negotiate a deal. This is not as trivial as it sounds since every dollar of spending sets up $10 down the road. No shutdown and an end to this sets the stage for the real debate to begin on the long-term budget.
I never thought I’d say this again: well done, GOP.
Now let’s get to work.
Posted by Hal_10000 on 04/08/11 at 09:33 PM in Politics Law, & Economics • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
The Practical Politics of Shutdowns
This will not be a popular post. But I have to agree with Matt Welch, editor of the Best Magazine on the Planet, when he argues against a government shutdown tonight.
This encapsulates my feelings entirely. A government shutdown is the nuclear button of budget battles. The ensuing theatrics will make our current environment seem calm and reasoned. Once you’ve pressed the shutdown button, where do you go from there? If this tactic is used now, what does the GOP have left when it comes to the real fight over trillions of dollars in tax hikes, entitlements cuts and/or defense cuts? We will have exhausted the public, rallied the Left, hurt millions and for what? $10 billion? Less? If Harry Reid is to be believed—yeah, a stretch, I know—it’s not even that much; it’s about funding Planned Parenthood. This is peanuts.
Do you really think the public is going to like this? The base will love it, but what about the other 80% of the country? Millions of working poor will not be getting their EITC checks. Millions more taxpayers will have their refunds delayed. Hundreds of thousands of government workers will have at least delayed paychecks, missing mortgage payments or daycare payments (and they contractually can’t work elsewhere while the shutdown is on). This isn’t liberal bias; this is fact. Whether you oppose the EITC or think all government workers are overpaid or whatever is irrelevant. That circus will be coming to town.
We have to remember that the country has a limited tolerance for politics. And the GOP has a limited supply of political courage. No matter who is at fault for a shutdown—and I’d put almost all of the blame on the Democrats—a shutdown makes it easier for the politicians to do what they desperately want to do—cut a few billion in discretionary spending and claim they’ve fixed the problem; make Paul Ryan and his charts go away. Either way, the liberals win. There’s not just the precedent of the 1995 shutdown. Welch talks about the catfight with the unions that derailed Schwarzeneggar’s efforts to fix California.
We should have a showdown with the Democrats. But that showdown has to be over the long-term fixes necessary to fix our budget. Watch that Paul Ryan video again—the computer simulations crash in 2037 on our current fiscal path. A train is coming at us but the GOP is worried about a cockroach on their leg.
All of the arguments for a shutdown sound like bluster. Having a cage match over 2011 will not strengthen the GOP’s spines—their spines are too weak to be strengthened. It will simply move forward the date when their spines break. Sticking a fork in 2011 doesn’t give the Democrats a “win” (as if that mattered). They’re already lost the argument, having ceded billions in cuts. And like it or not, the Democrats control the Senate and the White House. We can’t wait a year and a half and hope the GOP wins something in 2012. However we fix our budget, Democrats are going to have to be dragged along. Is that more or less likely to happen after a shutdown?
A shutdown will be great for political bobbleheads like Rush Limbaugh and the Fox News gang. I’m sure it will boost their ratings, which is why they are cheerleading so hard for it. But we—the people who want this problem solved, not demagogued—have to be looking at the long term. We have to start the FY12 debate over the budget and we have to start it now. Every second and every soundbite that goes in the FY2011 debate over $10 billion is a second and a soundbite that does not go into the FY2012 debate over $4 trillion.
Let’s pick our battles. We have a limited supply of bullets to fire at the Beast of Big Government. Should we empty the clip at its toes? Or save them up to fire at the heart? Stick a fork in 2011 and get on o the real business of overhauling our government. We’re winning. Let’s not drop the ball now just to have a slap fight with the liberals.
Update: I would just like to note that this post must set some kind of land speed record for mixed metaphors.
Update: OK, now I’m freaked out. Michelle Bachmann and Mike Huckabee agree with me.
Posted by Hal_10000 on 04/08/11 at 02:40 PM in Politics Law, & Economics • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
Thursday, April 07, 2011
The Congressional Progressive Caucus is working on a counter-proposal to Paul Ryan’s roadmap. And ... my God.
I’ve blogged before on why this would be a bad idea. It would drive the marginal tax rate on “the rich” over 50%. Payroll taxes are a big driver of unemployment, significantly increasing the cost of hiring employees. And it would put more money into the non-existent “trust fund”. But at least it would destroy the lie that Social Security is an investment system. It can’t be when benefits are capped but taxes are not.
We’re now talking marginal tax rates of nearly 70%, once you include payroll and state income taxes. Even Paul Krugman would find it difficult to argue that a 70% marginal rate would not have a bad economic impact. The corporate foreign income tax is perhaps the most pernicious and economically destructive proposal. It would mean that foreign earnings for firms based in the US would be taxed twice—once in the foreign country, once in the US. But earnings for firms based in other countries would only be taxes once (even European socialist states aren’t stupid enough to punish companies for selling things overseas).
Here’s the punchline, though:
That’s only slightly higher than Simpson-Bowles, which is not nearly as economically destructive. So they’d cripple American business for ... almost nothing. And note that the CBO has yet to score this. I suspect the revenue would be a lot less than they expect. I also suspect that, overall, without any changes to Medicare, the plan simply won’t work.
There’s more. $1.45 trillion more in stimulus spending, a public option for Obamacare and price controls on prescription drugs are highlights (since we all know how well price controls work). At least there’s some cuts in defense spending.
Even if you take the worst rhetoric about the Ryan plan at face value (that it guts entitlements to cut taxes for the rich), it is still infinitely preferable to this. The Congressional Progressive Caucus—the largest Democrat caucus, incidentally—deserves some credit for putting forward an honest vision of the America they want—one with the most destructive tax regime in the developed world, an endless river of pork barrel spending and a socialized retirement and healthcare system.
I really really really hope the Democrats roll out his proposal. Because nothing would generate more support for the Ryan plan or Simpson-Bowles than seeing the alternative.
(And please, before you tell me that the 1950’s prosperity was built on huge marginal tax rates, read this. The effective tax rate in that “golden era”—an era of 50-hour work weeks, racial discrimination, and a lack of employer-based retirement and insurance for anyone who wasn’t in a union that had a monopoly stranglehold in the auto industry—was much lower due to copious tax loopholes.)
Posted by Hal_10000 on 04/07/11 at 05:19 PM in Politics Law, & Economics • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
All The Porn That’s Fit to Eat
The Republican Party occasionally has its uses. But there are times, particularly when they push a Religious Right agenda, that I want to start smacking them upside the head with the nearest garden implement. Viz:
The most recent federal obscenity prosecution—that of John Stagliano—was an expensive fiasco that was dismissed at trial for a “woefully insufficient” case. Apparently, we should be spending a lot more time on such pointless wastes. Because we all know that our society is crumbling under the pernicious effect of ... what?
Here’s a question for the floor: are the anti-porn crusaders lying or just lazy? Are they aware of the above statistics and just ignore them in their crusade to save us from the dread menace of bare breasts? Or do they honestly think things are worse than ever and are calling for a course of action from the Justice Department without bothering to check if a problem exists first? I’m not sure which is worse.
Now to be fair, the letter is signed by several liberal Democrats, including the increasingly idiotic Diane Feinstein and Amy “Frau Blucher” Klobuchar. But that alone should tell you how stupid this is. Religious Right loonies and neofeminists are combining to demand an initiative from the Justice Department. Is there any possible way they could be suggesting something wise? Especially when almost every “study” they cite to support their claims is categorical bullshit?
(While I’m on the subject of sex crimes and bullshit, I’ll take the opportunity to plug Maggie McNeill’s awesome blog. McNeill is a former call girl and clearly smarter and better educated than about 99% of the people with letters after their name who write about prostitution, porn and sex. Lately, she’s been debunking bullshit studies about sex trafficking, underage sex trafficking, AIDS in porn and other things. The more you look into the supposed research backing up the supposed epidemic of sex crimes in this country, the more you realize that it’s not research at all; it’s puritanical advocacy.)
The porn grabbers are desperate. The wave of sex crimes they thought internet porn would produce failed to happen. The epidemic of broken marriages from internet porn failed to happen. The epidemic of teen pregnancies and abortions failed to happen. All they have is bullshit anecdotes and pseudo-scientific “studies” conducted by PR firms. They’re been reduced to sticking their fingers in their ears and saying, “Nah! Nah! Nah! Naked girlies are bad! I can’t hear you!”
Posted by Hal_10000 on 04/07/11 at 04:12 PM in Left Wing Idiocy Right Wing Assholes • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
The race in WI just got really interesting
Well Kloppenberg already declared victory yesterday as Hal’s post below shows, so revelations like this one are going to be problematic.
It now seems clear to me that the despite their efforts and AP’s help to inform the demcorats what they needed to push for a win, they did not manufacturing enough new ballots to push the vote. Doesn’t mean they might no find a whole bunch that have not been counted yet under some stairs or in someone’s trunk, to push Kloppenberg over the line, but this new number putting Posner over 7500 votes ahead of Kloppenberg sure shifts the picture and makes the job real hard for the donkey machine. Even more problematic are revelations like this one, which immediately should raise massive suspicion with anyone that understand how unlikely this particular set of circumstances are.
Really, 10K votes, all for Kloppenberg, and all only checking that vote, while ignoring the many other hotly contested races? Sounds like the new box of uncounted votes in the car trunk/under the stairs scenario didn’t include enough made up votes. Yet? Who knows, we are talking about demcorats here.
Posted by AlexinCT on 04/07/11 at 03:47 PM in Deep Thoughts Elections Left Wing Idiocy The Press Machine • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
Oh, that media bias!
Want to see the media shill for Obama some more? Well, this link will take you to the scrubbed version of the AP article where Obama was asked about high gas prices. Focus on this portion:
Find here an image of the original article and look for the missing quote:
See the difference? Let me point it out for ya:
Ah, so AP figured telling people to go buy a new car made Obama look bad and elitist, and decided to take it out. Heh! The guy is a douche for saying shit like this. Americans ought to know so. Think they would have done something like this if Bush had said it? Yeah, thought so.
Posted by AlexinCT on 04/07/11 at 08:07 AM in Left Wing Idiocy The Press Machine • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
Brave new world!
Well, even the crazy cowboy diplomacy of the Bush years couldn’t do this much damage to the US. Seriously, it’s becoming obvious that the strategy of the community organizer in chief is to destroy the prestige, economy, and prosperity of the United States and to force a new world order upon us based on their idiotic beliefs. They simply can’t be this inept.
Posted by AlexinCT on 04/07/11 at 06:33 AM in Decline of Western Civilization Deep Thoughts Left Wing Idiocy Politics Law, & Economics • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
Kloppenburg … Wins?
After weeks of a fairly nasty campaign, JoAnne Kloppenburg is declaring victory, currently leading the count by 204 votes out of early 1.4 million cast in the most contested judicial election I’ve ever heard of. This is, supposedly, a referendum on Governor Walker’s evil union busting.
Here’s the thing. The passion on the Left on Wisconsin is about as intense as it could be right now. And they’ve managed to barely win a judicial election that probably won’t have any effect on the new anti-union law. THeir efforts to recall a bunch of Republicans have stalled, with only one potentially facing a recall election in a very safe district.
If this is the peak of the people’s revolution, I’m not terrificly worried.
Posted by Hal_10000 on 04/06/11 at 08:10 PM in Politics Law, & Economics • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
I want a government shutdown!
Know first that the budget we are having problems with was/is the 2010 budget, not the 2011 one. Yeah, that’s when the democrats owned all 3 branches of government, with comfortable enough margins to push through whatever they wanted. They hung the costly yoke of Obamacare around the tax payer’s neck, in a practically party line vote, and then only after promising billions of dollars & oodles special exclusions and favors to other democrats that needed to be bought to get them to go along, without a problem. They didn’t even care when people pointed out how disastrous the extra spending for Obamacare would be, or how big of a job killer the government takeover of healthcare and the new taxes they plan to add to cover some of this massive spending would be. Obamacare wasn’t the only idiotic and unpopular bill they had the time to pass, nor the only stupid shit they wanted and got done. Everyone was screamed about jobs and the last thing on their minds was that. But that 2010 budget? With the elections not to far away? No freaking way!
So in order to avoid the consequences and obvious lash back from the American people at the polls, because of another multi trillion dollar deficit spending budget bill that only served to enrich demcorats and their special interests, they basically decided not to do a budget at all and to fund the government with incremental bills that would allow them to hide the depths of their depravity. It certainly helped some of them from the beat down – Harry Reid, the current asshole holding everything up, for sure – that the 2010 elections brought to the donkey party. With republicans handily taking over the House, they donkeys knew they would be in trouble, but counted on Reid to do their dirty work, and he has so far done it, limiting the cuts the new freshman Tea Partiers are demanding.
So now Harry and Chuck (Shumer) have decided that they can recreate the famous 1995 shutdown that turned people away from the republican party and into the lecherous hands of Clinton, with help from their friends in the MSM of course, by actually forcing a government shutdown. It’s their Hail Marry play. One they are choosing to go with because they likely have concluded that that their current strategy of accepting the short term spending bills in the long run was going to cripple them anyway, with no discernable benefits at the polls come the next election. The rhetoric - and all the accusations that these cuts are extreme and the faux concern for how these “extreme” cuts will cost jobs, is plain and simple rhetoric & posturing, from people that didn’t give a flying fook about jobs or anything but expanding their own power while they had control of all 3 branches of government, and nothing else – is bullshit. If the $12 billion cut the republicans want in the current short term bill is such a big deal, when we are running annual deficits in the trillions, then we as a nation are doomed. The House has passed a bill. The Senate, controlled by Reid, is playing games in the hopes it can score them points like it did in 1995. The MSM has been carrying their water, but they don’t control the news cycle anymore like they did then. So let the damned demcorats force a shutdown.
Hammer home the fact that this is the 2010 budget. Hammer home the fact they have tacked on $5.2 trillion of new debt in these last few short years they controlled the purse. Hammer home how the current rate of spending is unsustainable. Hammer home how we are all going to suffer far worse because of them. Hammer home how their boy wonder is giving a new definition to the word inept. But most importantly hammer home the fact that without even bigger cuts, we are talking trillions over the next decade, not some piddle tens of billions – that we are doomed to an economic collapse, and then sooner than later. The MSM will fail trying to only get out the donkey talking points, like they did the last election, anyway.
I hope Harry doesn’t blink. Really. I want this shut down. We need it so we can put some perspective on how useless most of those that are part of this bloated government machine is anyway. I want these morons to keep thinking they are going to get the same as they did in 1995 only to get another beat down like the 2010 elections. They need to be taken apart and blamed for the damage they have done so this country has a chance to get things back in order. So yeah, SHUT IT DOWN!Close this post...
Posted by AlexinCT on 04/06/11 at 01:28 PM in Decline of Western Civilization Deep Thoughts Elections Left Wing Idiocy Politics Law, & Economics The Press Machine • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
Much ado about nothing..
Many out there on the web are going bananas about the recent Daily Caller revelation about CBS and the WaPo receiving big cash from Obamacare slush funding, and insinuating that this definitely should have been pointed out as a conflict of interest by them considering their support for it and all the positive reporting that has consistently ignore the fact this boondoggle has been sold using a lot of smoke & mirrors to pretend it will cut the deficit or improve healthcare.
Let’s quickly rehash some of thehealthcare facts they have gotten wrong. Obamacare portends to reduce the defect over the next 10 years by some $120 billion through an accounting trick that forced the CBO to come up with those numbers. If you tax people for a decade but then only offer them services for the last 5 years of that, and then pretend you can control that cost as well, you can make it look like you saved the $120 billion. But those of us that understand Obamacare will not suddenly stop offering health services for the first five years of the next decade but collect the same taxes realize the fact it will then add trillions of new debt obligations! Then you have the whole problem of throwing in some 30 million new people that will have to be paid for, and the fact that gutting Medicare – under the guise of cleaning up waste amongst all the ludicrous lies that are part & parcel of this fairy tale - and transferring that cash to Obamacare isn’t going to do much other than make it harder to follow which bureaucracy is screwing us over. In short, this thing is likely to be the final dagger the collectivist seem to want to shove into the heart of this county’s economy, likely to bring it down, and nothing more.
But I have been over this all already, am tired of repeating it, and enough Americans understand that this plan is plain bullshit, and it remains unpopular. Now we finally even have congress starting to defunding most of it, thank the lord. So let’s get back to this revelation that SeeBs and WaPo are raking in a considerable chunk of change, taxpayer dollars allocated to Obamacare, not mentioning they are doing so until caught, while reporting positively on Obamacare, and the furor it seems to be causing. Come on! These shills for the donkey machine would have done the same even if they had not been lucky enough to score some tax payer money anyway. It’s not like the WaPo or SeeBS would suddenly have come out against Obamacare, considering how beholden they are to the collectivists and their agenda, you know. At worst, what we have here is some icing on the cake from either SeeBS’s and WaPo’s perspective, and that’s about all. So what if they are getting paid to do the hack reporting job they would normally do for free?
Posted by AlexinCT on 04/06/11 at 11:16 AM in Deep Thoughts Elections Health Care Left Wing Idiocy The Press Machine • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
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