Note to self: The “Will of the People” is only important when it’s democrats we’re talking about

Remember all that talk about the “will of the people” we heard throughout this past year?  The screaming and breath-holding and tantrum-throwing we got to watch in Madison?  Folks chaining their heads to railings, beating drums and thrashing about?

Stuff like:

Scott Walker’s ton of cash can’t counter people power.

Wisconsin will test the prospect that people power might yet beat money power.

A Call to ACTION in WISCONSIN: It’s Time to Fight the Powers That Be With People Power.

Yeah.  That stuff.

You’d think Scott Walker winning election initially, and then winning a very well publicized recall election by an even greater margin could possibly be seen as a window into the “Will of the People.”

Not so much.

Wisconsin Workers Applaud Ruling Overturning Walker’s Anti-Collective Bargaining Law

The ACTUAL will of the people, you know… when we all go out to the ballot box and cast a vote, as opposed to marching and chanting and pumping fists in the air… that doesn’t count so much.  Just so you know.

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The exaggerated excuse of Republican obstructionism

It’s not really a myth, so exaggerated excuse seems about right.

The Republicans are certainly trying to obstruct large portions of the President’s agenda, and they have been since he took office.  But, I mean, they’re the opposition party.  What do you expect?

Although there’s a lot of grumbling about both parties being the same, that’s not really true on a lot of core ideals.  Yeah, there’s the soft, compromising middle that requires everything meet some watered-down, inoffensive standard, but the reality is that even the most liberal Republican will take a stronger pro-business, pro-freedom, pro-Constitution stance than the most conservative Democrat.

There are differences, the two parties fight about them, and neither side gets their way in full.

So when we hear the wailing from the left that the Republican Tea Baggers are horrible obstructionists, who have kept Obama’s beautiful Utopian ideals from being enacted and saving the universe… well, you can just pay no attention to that, because it’s flat out not true.

Before the mid term elections, Obama and the Democrats had the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives fully in their control.  Even Jon Stewart understands that Obama could have accomplished virtually whatever he wished, if only he could have convinced his own party to ride along.  But members of his very own party, worried about their own popularity and careers, fought Obama tooth and nail.

We’re seeing it again.  Obama is doing arm twisting to get his supposed “jobs bill” through, and the arm twisting he’s doing is on members of his own party.

David Plouffe, a senior adviser to the president, acknowledged after a marathon meeting in the Senate’s Mansfield Room that not all Democrats are sold on the plan.

Obama’s plans to pay for the jobs bill, which he unveiled this week, met a cool reception from some Senate Democrats.

Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) has said Congress should not increase taxes on ordinary income, calling the idea terrible.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) has also come out strongly opposed to higher taxes on the oil industry.

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) has balked at the idea of raising taxes on the health benefits of high-income earners.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Thursday morning that Obama should abandon his jobs plan, given bipartisan opposition.

“The White House probably expected stronger support from Democrats than it’s gotten so far,” McConnell said.

Just keep this in mind the next time you hear about Republican obstructionism.

Typically, the opposition party–who even now controls only one house of Congress–is going to oppose the agenda of the President.  That shouldn’t be a surprise.

But when the President’s own party is fighting against him, as it has throughout most of his term in office… well, then you’ve got an entirely different problem.

It would be nice if the liberals were honest and spoke out loudly against the Democrat obstructionism, but that’s not as convenient a meme to push, is it?

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Y’know, I just can’t figure why the economy is in the toilet….

I’m sure it has something to do with those evil companies hoarding all of their money.

The CEO’s won’t make any jobs for the regular people because they’re too busy rolling million dollar bills into cigars and smoking them.

Or…

What might surprise Americans, however, is how the President is setting up the U.S. economy for one of the biggest tax increases in history in 2013.

Mr. Obama said last week that he wants $240 billion in new tax incentives for workers and small business, but the catch is that all of these tax breaks would expire at the end of next year. To pay for all this, White House budget director Jack Lew also proposed $467 billion in new taxes that would begin a mere 16 months from now.

What this means is that millions of small-business owners had better enjoy the next 16 months, because come January 2013 they are going to get hit with a giant tax bill. Let’s call the expensive roll:

• First comes the new tax hikes that Mr. Obama proposed on Monday. Capping itemized deductions and exemptions for the rich would take $405 billion from the private economy for 10 years starting in 2013. Taxing carried interest would raise $18 billion, and repealing tax incentives for oil and gas production would get $41 billion.

• These increases would coincide with the expiration of the tax credits, 100% expensing provisions and payroll tax breaks in Mr. Obama’s new jobs program. This would mean a tax hit of $240 billion on small business and workers. That’s the downside of temporary tax breaks and other job-creation gimmicks: The incentives quickly vanish, and perhaps so do the jobs.

• January 2013 is also the same month that Mr. Obama wants the

Bush-era tax rates to expire on Americans earning more than $200,000. That would raise the highest individual income tax rate to about 42%, including deduction phaseouts, from 35% today. Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation found in 2009 that $437 billion of business income would be taxed at higher tax rates under the Obama plan. And since some 4.5 million small-business owners file their annual tax returns as subchapter S firms under the individual tax code, this tax increase would often apply to the same people who Mr. Obama is targeting with his new tax credits.

The capital gains and dividend taxes would also rise to an expected 20% rate from 15% today. The 10-year hit to the private economy for all of these expiring Bush rates: about $750 billion.

• Also starting in 2013 are two of ObamaCare’s biggest tax increases: an additional 0.9-percentage point levy on top of the 2.9% Medicare tax for those earning more than $200,000, and a new 2.9% surcharge on investment income, including interest income. This will further increase the top tax rate on capital gains and dividends to 23.8%, for a roughly 60% increase in investment taxes in one year.

We don’t normally steal this much from the publications we link to here, but there was something about this laundry list of butt-rapings that has to be seen in full to be appreciated.  Thanks, WSJ.

If you’re a business struggling to survive in a competitive economy, where every dollar counts, I just can’t figure why you wouldn’t want to hire in an atmosphere that constantly pounds you in the scrotum.  It’s like playing Let’s Make a Deal, where every door has some poisonous snakes or starving cheetah or shark with laser beams.  You realize pretty soon you’re not going to win, so you just stop playing.

Most businesses have discovered that what’s behind door number two is just as bad as what’s behind door number three, so they’re just going to sit on the set of steak knives they’ve already won and not play any more.

 

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Hold on. Wait. You thought that was your money?

You’ve got another thing coming.

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky has her eye on your paycheck, and she means to let you know it, too.

During an interview on The Don Wade and Roma show on Chicago’s WLS radio, Schakowsky made it clear how she feels about you keeping the money you’ve worked hard for.

“I’ll put it this way. You don’t deserve to keep all of it and it’s not a question of deserving because what government is, is those things that we decide to do together. And there are many things that we decide to do together like have our national security. Like have police and fire. What about the people that work at the National Institute of Health who are looking for a cure for cancer,” Schakowsky said.

Sure, we do decide to contribute toward a common goal when we live together in a society, but what the congresswoman doesn’t understand is that she’s got things a little backwards.  It’s our money first, and we then choose to put a portion of that toward various government functions that we would not be able to take care of ourselves otherwise.

Although these were the first examples she reached for, no one is complaining about having to fund police and fire departments.  And only the liberals complain about national security.  What we do complain about is Washington shoveling tax dollars into a bottomless pit of waste and cronyism.  Solyndra, anyone?  How about cocaine for monkeys?  Hundreds of thousands of dollars per Stimulus job?  And more waste

How about we get back to the idea that we all work hard and keep our money, and maybe send a little of it to Washington to take care of the big picture things that we can’t handle on our own?  To liberals like Congresswoman Schakowsky, it should all belong to the government to play with and distribute and roll around naked in.

The funniest part of the interview is the complete disconnect she has with understanding why so many of us object to Big Government and liberal taxing and spending.

She lets us know it’s not really our money, and we should get this silly idea out of our heads that we somehow “deserve” what we work for.  She then says firmly that the reason the Stimulus wasn’t successful was because clearly we didn’t spend enough money.  It wasn’t BIG enough.  And yeah, here’s the topper:  That Solyndra thing?  You know, where half a billion dollars were funneled into a bankrupt company that had no viable business model… We’ll look into that.

So there, in a quick interview, is everything that is wrong with liberal democrats today.  Not your money.  Let’s spend more of it.  We blew it?  Oh well, let’s have some more!

Why is it only monkeys get to apply for federal cocaine, huh?

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Riots in the US: Coming soon to a corner near you?

There are a number of articles attempting to place the ongoing British rioting into proper context being written now.  Mostly the context of oppressed people rising up against their oppressors–namely, the taxpayers who no longer have the cash to fund their welfare ride any longer.

Nina Power in the Guardian, pushes that point of view.

Since the coalition came to power just over a year ago, the country has seen multiple student protests, occupations of dozens of universities, several strikes, a half-a-million-strong trade union march and now unrest on the streets of the capital (preceded by clashes with Bristol police in Stokes Croft earlier in the year). Each of these events was sparked by a different cause, yet all take place against a backdrop of brutal cuts and enforced austerity measures.

Those condemning the events of the past couple of nights in north London and elsewhere would do well to take a step back and consider the bigger picture….

The bigger picture for liberals is, of course, more spending.  More government programs.  You know the routine.

Some British politicians are voicing this concern, too.

Chris Williamson, Labour MP for Derby North, suggested the Government’s austerity drive was to blame.

On Twitter, he said: ‘The Tories are back alright. Why is it the Tories never take responsibility for the consequences of their party’s disastrous policies. #tottenham’

While it’s in a different portion of Europe, the decay and resulting social unrest isn’t a whole lot different from what we’ve seen in Greece in the very recent past.  From June:

[T]he real drama began outside parliament where another approach to democracy saw protesters battle with riot police. The clashes continued into the early hours as MPs return to parliament today to vote on a law that will speed the austerity measures through parliament.

Teargas filled the air and Syntagma Square, the nerve centre of Greece’s new resistance movement, descended into chaos. Within minutes, the plaza resembled a warzone. The detritus of battle lay everywhere with burning barricades, smashed pavements, shattered masonry, looted shops and destroyed kiosks.

Why the riots in Greece?

At 4.39pm on Wednesday the Greek parliament approved a five-year austerity plan that could sink or save the country.

Austerity meaning, “Holy cats!  We’re broke!”

How long before we see this here in the States?  We’d probably like to think we’re above this, somehow.  That our social ties or history of freedoms and whatnot will prevent this from happening.

Well, I’m sure the Brits thought so, too.

But there’s very little to do when the social welfare state runs out of money.  And it has.  You can tax the citizens to absolutely unprecedented levels to continue to feed the leviathan, which is a possibility.  Please… no calls for closing loopholes and reducing “waste and fraud” as some sort of fix for the calamity we’re about to face.  That’s like dusting your mantle when your house is burning down.

You could also slash the government presents everyone has now come to expect.  200 million checks per month from Uncle Sam.  That’s a lot of cutting.  And wait until Grandma has to wait five more years to collect her SS, or the welfare checks get cut, or food stamps, or the unions…

It’s already happening here.  Please notice the “Week of Rage” in Wisconsin over the supposed slashes to the budget.  As fiscal sanity forces more cutting, there will be more screaming and more protests, people claiming there’s no way they can live without their government check, their government job, their government benefits.

We’re only at the tip of the iceberg now.

 

 

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London burns, and proves how useful the nanny state really is

The London riots continue.  Lots of flames and throwing things and crazy videos.

In many areas, the police are completely overwhelmed, and are being pushed back routinely by aggressive rioters.

Some of the highlights?

Copycat riots in Birmingham, Bristol, Nottingham, Liverpool and Leeds.

Birmingham Children’s Hospital staff forced to barricade themselves in last night as yobs try and break in.

400% surge in 999 calls on night of violence with 20,800 dialling the emergency services in London.

Plenty of interesting photos and videos at the link.

Despite the gun-toting redneck image that is often projected on those of us who believe in the Second Amendment, it’s times like these that make the definitive argument for why it is important for the citizens of a country to be able to bear arms.  Big Government, for all of its promises, can deliver on very little… especially when the chips are down.

Which leads us into point number two…

If the giant tax and spend nanny state that is the United Kingdom can’t provide the very basics most of us believe government is responsible for, like preventing violence against its citizens, what good is it, anyway?  It’s too busy sending out checks to welfare families, cracking down on folks illegally selling goldfish, and exploding its debt to actually do the things its should be doing.

One of the very root faults with liberals and their philosophies involves this naive thinking that investing more power into a central government will somehow produce benefits down the road.  Some sort of leftist utopia where everyone lives in peace, picks fruits and berries from trees, and sings Kumbayah  around a blazing fire at night together.

More often than not, government will not help you out.  The individuals within government are typically looking out for themselves and their own interests… such as diverting money to allies, securing their financial situation, providing for their re-election.  Whether or not you and your family are safe while rioters fill the streets is a distant concern to them.  They have photo-ops to worry about, and press conferences, and parties to attend.

Don’t worry, as David Cameron said, the rioters will “feel the full force of the law.”

Meanwhile, in reality, the riots continue, the police get pushed around, and you huddle in fear in a closet hoping to avoid your worst nightmares.

As has been proven time and again, government can’t be everything to everyone.  It needs to focus on providing the very basic essentials that we seek out when we group together with others for security.  Keep the citizens safe from internal and external violence.  Enforce the laws.  Maybe some fire protection.  Y’know, stuff like that.  Not sending out 200 million checks per month.  Maybe Londoners wouldn’t have to be cowering in fear while the police are bullied if the government had some basic sense of what its priorities were.

As conservatives preach, it’s all about liberty and responsibility.  Don’t trust the nanny state to be there for you, because it’ll write you an IOU in the end.

 

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Cool Dudes: Why CWM Deniers aren’t

A CWM is, for those of you who don’t know, one of the vilest, evilest, most selfish and greedy things on the planet.

A Conservative White Male.  Responsible for all the ills of the world, and as this article in Psychology Today points out, so pathologically stunted as to not even realize the harm it perpetrates on the rest of the peace-loving races, political orientations and sexual preferences it is so eager to destroy.

The article looks at a recent study, “COOL DUDES: THE DENIAL OF CLIMATE CHANGE AMONG CONSERVATIVE WHITE MALES IN THE UNITED STATES” which links some sort of inbred CWM need to destroy the world due to their inability to see the oncoming DOOM of our loving Mother Earth.

The study confirms what many others have suggested, that conservative white males (CWMs) are more likely than any other segment of the population to deny the overwhelming body of science that anthropogenic climate change is underway, and a serious threat to the biosphere and everything in it, including human beings. This is not particularly surprising.

A famous “White Male Effect” paper suggested “Perhaps white males see less risk in the world because they create, manage, control, and benefit from so much of it. Perhaps women and nonwhite men see the world as more dangerous because in many ways they are more vulnerable, because they benefit less from many of its technologies and institutions, and because they have less power and control.”

But what about the conservative part? Why would people who are politically conservative be more likely to deny the evidence about climate change? Well, conservatives are generally what Cultural Cognition theory calls Hierarchists. They like clear and fixed hierarchies of class and race and social structure, a rigid predictable ‘that’s the way it’s always been done’ status quo.

Notice it’s not disagree with the evidence.  It’s deny.  As if some sort of heresy has been committed.

If you’re a CWM denier, the article says, you can be forgiven if you return to the faith, because you’re just too darn intellectually ignorant to know any better.

So Cs – conservatives – who tend to be Hierarchical, feel threatened not by the facts of climate change but by what the solutions to climate change might do to the way society operates. They cherry pick the facts to support a view that will preserve the social order they prefer, and defend that view fiercely, because it’s about way more than climate change. It’s about protecting their identities, the tribe, their safety.

Protect your tribes, CWM deniers.  That’s all you know.  Facts?  Meh… what’s that?

The funny thing is that while the article suggests that the scourge of the earth, the CWMs, are the last brutish holdouts in a world of enlightenment, the facts–which CWMs apparently don’t pay attention to–show that there’s been considerable movement away from the AGW mindset that has dominated for years.

Gallup, for instance, conducted this survey of 111 countries in 2010 and shows enormous erosion of support in just a few years.  A drop of 10 percentage points in belief of the importance of a global warming threat just in the US alone, and that’s probably more than just CWMs.  A ten point drop in Western Europe, and a seven point drop in Eastern/Southern Europe.  Middle East and North Africa have shown a five point drop, as has Developed Asia.

I guess there’s a lot of CWMs living in North Africa and Developed Asia these days.

In 2010, Gallup also published a survey in Australia showing a substantial drop in support for the idea that humans are responsible for whatever climate change may be occurring.

Meanwhile, an August report from Rasmussen shows

The number of adults who say it’s likely scientists have falsified data is up 10 points from December 2009 .

Fifty-seven percent (57%) believe there is significant disagreement within the scientific community on global warming, up five points from late 2009. One in four (25%) believes scientists agree on global warming. Another 18% aren’t sure.

Republicans and adults not affiliated with either major political party feel stronger than Democrats that some scientists have falsified data to support their global warming theories, but 51% of Democrats also agree.

That’s a pretty big rush away from a movement so grounded in “settled science.”

The AGW Inquisition would like you to believe it’s just the CWMs kissing a statue of the Devil in some secret room during their initiation ceremonies, but the reality is the Global Disaster Crowd overplayed its hand, committed too many fouls, stretched too many truths, and failed to produce real evidence real people could see.  While we’re being told to stop driving our cars, stop building power plants, stop eating meat, the elite leaders of their movement do exactly the opposite.  While we’re waiting to see some real life evidence of their claims, they’re insisting our efforts are to prevent a 2 degree climb hundreds of years from now.  Maybe.

While it would be easier to pin the lack of faith in their message on the Eeevil White Males, the truth is many of the flock are falling away due to the failings of the message itself.

 

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Stock up on canned foods… Borrowing now 100% of GDP

Oh yeah, nothing to see here.

It’s all good.  So long as we’ve raised the debt ceiling, everything is all right with the world.

Right?

US debt shot up $238 billion to reach 100 percent of gross domestic project after the government’s debt ceiling was lifted, Treasury figures showed Wednesday.

The new borrowing took total public debt to $14.58 trillion, over end-2010 GDP of $14.53 trillion, and putting it in a league with highly indebted countries like Italy and Belgium.

Apparently we’ll be back arguing about raising the debt limit in another month or two again.  We should just make it a monthly event, y’know.  Fight like cats and dogs, pretend we’re cutting, watch the debt skyrocket, do it all over again in 30 days.

The cool part?

Ratings agencies have warned the country to reduce its debt-to-GDP ratio quickly or facing losing its coveted AAA debt rating.

Moody’s said Tuesday that the government needed to stabilize the ratio at 73 percent by 2015 “to ensure that the long-run fiscal trajectory remains compatible with a AAA rating.”

73% by 2015?  In four years?  Good luck with that.

And here is the problem.  After weeks and weeks and weeks of wrangling about raising the debt limit, finally getting a deal done mere moments before the supposed deadline, everyone breathes a collective sigh of relief and… it was all for nothing.

Whether you agree with raising the debt ceiling or not, it is certainly not the root of the problem.  A downgrade in our debt rating is less about raising the debt ceiling and far more about the reason we need to raise the debt ceiling.  The real problem is our spending is far outpacing our ability to pay for it at this point.  Our current government is an absolute runaway financial disaster and there is no sense of sanity anywhere in sight.

Unfortunately, this still doesn’t seem to be a conversation the American people want yet.

Maybe when we have to start eating our pets to survive we’ll be more in the mood.  We’ll see.

 

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Oh, about your speech, Mr. President. Some quick questions…

You said this during your address to the nation this evening:

Congress now has one week left to act, and there are still paths forward.  The Senate has introduced a plan to avoid default, which makes a down payment on deficit reduction and ensures that we don’t have to go through this again in six months.

I think that’s a much better approach, although serious deficit reduction would still require us to tackle the tough challenges of entitlement and tax reform.

If entitlement and tax reform are the serious issues you claim, why didn’t anyone think of working on this at all between the beginning of 2009 and the end of 2010 when you and your fellow Democrats had complete control of  the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives?

And along that same line of thinking, you mention:

 But if we stay on the current path, our growing debt could cost us jobs and do serious damage to the economy.  More of our tax dollars will go toward paying off the interest on our loans.  Businesses will be less likely to open up shop and hire workers in a country that can’t balance its books.

Yes, yes.  We understand.  It’s Bush’s fault.  That’s cool.

But, let me remind you again, you took over in January 2009.  Was the growing debt that your arch nemesis left for you not a concern then?  We weren’t worried about businesses being less likely to open up shop in 2009?  We were waiting for just the right moment in 2012 to address this whole, “Businesses opening up shop” thing, I guess.

Good call, Mr. President.

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