National Debt Clock

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Economic Mess Explained: Knowable, Predictable, and Preventable

Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:

Fast-track process for passing a health-overhaul bill?

So it appears that this fast track process is used in the "budget-reconciliation process to pass health legislation, which would allow a bill to pass in the Senate with only 51 votes rather than 60."

Yet, Sebelius goes on to say, that "there was an interest in Congress in 'not taking tools off the table prematurely, but being very dedicated to a bipartisan process and bipartisan bill.' "

How exactly is requiring less votes for a majority bipartisan? Do they even listen to themselves when they speak?

1 million red envelopes deluge White House

I wonder if it will have any effect?

The G-20 Summit: Obama Can Stay Home,8599,1888348,00.html

Is our president the only one who doesn't get it?

A bill to let Big Government set your salary

It's staarttingggg...

"The measure is not limited just to those firms that received the largest sums of money, or just to the top 25 or 50 executives of those companies. It applies to all employees of all companies involved, for as long as the government is invested. And it would not only apply going forward, but also retroactively to existing contracts and pay arrangements of institutions that have already received funds."

Chinese Develop Special "Kill Weapon" to Destroy U.S. Aircraft Carriers

This is why cutting the defense budget is a baaddd idea.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Russia Backs Return to Gold Standard to Solve Financial Crisis

Genius. Having money backed by something of actual value, what a concept! Notice in the article how it says that the gold standard failed only when countries spent beyond their means. Perhaps that would be a good limiter on government spending. Now it does say that Russia backs a gold standard for the in global currency, which I am not for, but the notion of bringing back the gold standard is appealing.

U.S. Forces Out GM CEO Wagoner

First of all, I am torn with this move by the administration. On one hand I am content because the loans that the government would be giving GM come from us, the taxpayers. So, if the company isn't restructuring efficiently, I'm sort of glad to see that there are at least some preconditions that GM must fulfill. If that means replacing their CEO, then go ahead.

On the other hand, we now have the government forcing an employee of a private sector business to set down. Is that really American? If a company becomes uncompetitive through it's own fault, where in the Constitution does it say that I have to pay money to "save" it? Americans deliberately did not buy GM cars because they did not prefer them. Now we are being forced to buy them anyways by having to fork over our tax dollars. And when does it end? How much more money? If the CEO had to step down because GM isn't making necessary gains in restructuring, when do we cut our losses and say enough is enough?

And since when is a political administration experts in the auto industry? We have this:

"The clearest losers appear to be the thousands of bondholders and lenders to both GM and Chrysler. In both cases, administration officials said that the companies were burdened by inordinate amounts of debt that would have to be scrubbed. Chrysler's survival, the administration said, would require "extinguishing the vast majority" of the company's secured debt and all of its unsecured debt and equity"

So now the administration is cancelling debt? These people risked their money to invest in this company and they are now just being wiped out...through a political process that is arbitrary? What ever happened to chapter 11? That's what was set up for situations like this. If the investors lose everything in chapter 11, then so be it, those are the rules. But to have a political administration making decisions such as this is horrible.

So, I guess I'm not torn, this is a bad idea.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Welfare for Freed Gitmo Detainees?

...and guess who would pay for this welfare...yep you and me!

U.N. 'Climate Change' Plan Would Likely Shift Trillions to Form New World Economy,2933,510937,00.html

This is extremely scary, especially since we have a president that ascribes to this kind of thought. This is not about climate change, no, it is about creating a single ruling body that seeks to establish a world utopia. This would be a loss of sovereignty for any country that joins up. It wouldn't improve the world as a whole as capitalism and democracy has, but rather equalize everyone to a lower benchmark. This would be a step backward for humanity given that there are still quite a few reputable climatologists that refute the idea of man-made global warming, a thoroughly bad idea*.

Further shocking is this line:
"In an influential but highly controversial paper called "Key Elements of a Global Deal on Climate Change," British economist Nicholas Lord Stern, formerly a high British Treasury official, has declared that industrial economies would need to cut their per capita carbon dioxide emissions by "at least 80% by 2050," while the biggest economies, like the U.S.'s, would have to make cuts of 90 percent."

And this one:
"But even when it does hazard a guess at specific impacts, the report seems curiously hazy."

These people have no idea what they are doing. They have some ethereal idea that they blindly pursue in the name of a global "good." By capitulating to unelected members of a foreign NGO, the freedoms and principles on which the United States was founded will begin to erode away.

*Manhattan Declaration:

House Health Plan to Include Government-Run Option

Well, here it comes. I find it amazing that Nancy Pelosi can say this:

"This is not only about the health of individuals in our country, which will be justification enough...It’s about the competitiveness of our businesses to make them globally competitive because they are competing with companies and countries where the federal government -- their governments -- pay for health care. They don’t have to bear those health care costs.”

What happens to all the private insurance companies that can't compete with the government because the government gets free revenues through tax payers? And given the track record of other countries sub-par government run health care, why in the world would you want that? Every one can have health care, but it's going to be really crappy. Why do you think that our country has some of the greatest medical technologies in the world? It certainly isn't because the government was involved, but specifically because the government was not involved.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Senate reviewing how college football picks No. 1 what our elected officials are spending their time on! How is it possible that the Senate remotely thinks that they need to be involved? I'll tell you why. Votes. The current college football bowl system leaves much to be desired and many fans feel that the system doesn't accurately select the best teams to play in the title game. My belief is that if the government mandates a more "fair" system, fans will be happy and thus vote for them. Is this really what we have come to?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Daniel Hannan: "You have run out of our money"

I am simply blown away. Why aren't their more politicans like this! Why aren't their more men with integrity, honor, and character? Obama's supposed oration talent pales in comparison to this. This is straight shouting, no non-sense talk. This is what people want from their politicians. That is what our country needs.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

U.S. bill seeks to rescue faltering newspapers

Horrible idea, when is this going to stop? When is there going to be a "Tax Payer Bailout?" How about that Washington? Just because there is interest in a bill doesn't make it a good idea. Of course newspapers are going to be interested if it will keep them in business. Also, and more importantly was this:

"Under this arrangement, newspapers would still be free to report on all issues, including political campaigns. But they would be prohibited from making political endorsements."

If the day comes when newspapers cannot make political endorsements, we have lost our country.

U.N. accuses Israel of using human shields

It's curious to me that our society has "progressed" to the point where a self-proclaimed global, bipartisan agency would deliberately seek out transgressions of the supposed good guys while completely ignoring the transgression of obvious evil. When you have an elite military that has explicit, published rules on how their soldiers should conduct themselves in a lawful manner, I feel that any transgressions warrants the benefit of the doubt that it is an exception to the rule. On the other hand, you have a band of militants that also have explicit, published, and continuously demonstrated rules of conduct that are not so lawful. When one chooses to focus on the viewpoint of one and not the other, thereby implying that each are held to different standards, you forfeit your right to claim bipartisanship and elicit questions regarding your agenda. In addition, when your methods of so-called "verification" of claims is called into question...

"Indeed, in one of the cases cited by the U.N. – the shelling of a building with civilians inside – Hamas admitted it first fired rockets at Israeli civilian population zones from just outside the building." wonders...why? Are Palestinian children more precious or innocent than Israeli child? One also questions our payments to such an organization and what that says about us as a country.

Source is wikipedia so take it for what it's worth.

Checks and balances at work

While I really have no hope that I will be fully behind any taxation law that comes from this, I am impressed by how our checks and balances seem to be working. Well, check that, I shouldn't be surprised because this is exactly why our government was set up as it was. The Founders in their infinite wisdom warned against passion of the moment and the rule by mob. Lawmakers jumped to punish AIG because that is what the mob wanted and was politically acceptable at the time. But due to the legislative process, level heads are allowed to prevail over time. Well, maybe.

At the indication that Obama had concerns over the AIG taxation, congress is now revisiting the original bill, hopefully to moderate it a bit. Let us hope that whatever comes from this is, as Obama put it, not due to the passion of the moment. We can only hope...

U.S. Seeks Expanded Power to Seize Firms

"The Obama administration is considering asking Congress to give the Treasury secretary unprecedented powers to initiate the seizure of non-bank financial companies, such as large insurers, investment firms and hedge funds, whose collapse would damage the broader economy"

Be very worried because what collapses today the government deems damaging will change with the political wind. Once they start helping some companies, others will be coming to the table asking for more. In addition, when you give something freely, it tends to not be taken care of as well as if it were your own. These companies on the verge of collapse are essentially getting rewarded for doing a bad job.

"...use a range of tools to prevent its collapse, such as guaranteeing losses, buying assets or taking a partial ownership stake"

I wondering if they will offer this kind of service to companies that aren't on the verge of collapse, who played by the rules, and who through their own power are successful? You may say, well they don't need it, maybe not at first, but how are these companies to compete with a company that is backed by the US Government and is being helped along by such tools?

This is not the American way and many in Washington have forgotten this. We didn't become the greatest country in the history of the world in only 200 years because the government intervened in our business...

Monday, March 23, 2009

AIG's Rivals Blame Bailout For Tilting Insurance Game

Very interesting article about the other side of the coin. The media is only talking about how good or bad the government assistance to AIG is. Who's looking out for AIG's competitors who for years have run legit businesses? Will this bailout of AIG create an unfair advantage for an undeserving company over companies that actually deserve our business? By intervening in the free market, the government has potentially created an unlevel playing field. If this continues, a very unfriendly business environment may very well emerge.

The CEO of the company I work for, Ted Kelly, is quoted in this article which was linked to on Liberty Mutual's internal website.

Dow up nearly 500 on bank plan, rise in home sales

Be aware that the market reacts to two kinds of events: 1. Speculative and 2. Actual. This rise today is the former. The markets are up as a reaction to the government's bank "plan." We can see how well government plans fair when they are actually put into practice (eg AIG). While up swings in the markets can be good things, bear in mind that nothing, I repeat, nothing, has changed since yesterday. The foundations of our economy are still on shaky ground. Only time will tell if this government interventionist plan will solve this problem. I for one do not think so.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Will bonus fix slow recovery?

"Lobbyists and analysts say the new compensation restrictions just encourage more to opt out, fearing that the government could change the rules of the program without warning. That type of uncertainty could lead to only the weakest banks participating in the program"

This is clear evidence why government intervention will always fail...unintended consequences. That is why there is such beauty in the free market system. By allowing individuals to freely pursue their own interest, and allowing them to reap both the benefits AND the repercussions, the system will be able to maintain equilibrium.

It's almost like an "invisible hand" is governing or something. Now where have I heard that before? Obviously our policians weren't paying attention in high school. Oh wait, they wouldn't have learned it there!

Obama to seek oversight of 'executive pay at all banks, Wall Street firms and possibly other companies'

Well, you wanted change, here you go, the the totalitarian kind. I find this kind of intervention absolutely abhorrent given that it was government meddling in the first place that got us into this mess.

We now have a government, OUR government, dictating to supposedly private sector businesses what they can and cannot pay their executives. Something that the main stream media failed to present about those AIG bonuses is that many of them were incorporated in retainer contracts. These contract bonuses (which the government allowed by the way in the first bailout bill) helps a company to retain their highest performing talent. Most of the executives that aided in this mess are long gone and these bonuses were for the people trying to stop the hemorrhaging. What a welcome message to them, courtesy of the US Government.

You just wait, right now the government's wrath is on Wall Street. What happens when they decide that the way your company is running things isn't in the "best interest" of the country. Fear-mongering...maybe, but mark this date and this week as another potential turning point.

This country is of, by, and for the people. The government works for us, not the other way around. Stand up people and say enough is enough. What makes you think that their ideas are any better than yours? These politicians are only there because they won an election, not because they are subject matter experts. Start making noise. As Samuel Adams once said:

"It does not take a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men."

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Partial Birth Abortion
Detailed cartoon graphics of how the murder is done.

What have we come to...

2006 Distribution of Taxes


Key Notes:
The top 1% pays over 1/3 of the taxes
The top 10% pay over 2/3 of the taxes
The top 50% pay 97% of the taxes

Where exactly are we to go when he says tax the rich?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Don't Tread on Me!

Missouri MIAC Strategic Report - The Modern Militia Movement
As seen on Glenn Beck

"Militia members most commonly associate with 3rd party political groups. It is not uncommon for militia members to display Constitutional Party, Campaign for Liberty, or Libertarian material. These members are usually supporters of form Presidential Candidate: Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin, and Bob Barr."

It's my Constitutional right to support any candidate I so please and to display any type of flag I so desire! What makes America IS the diversity of beliefs and ideas. Squelch that and you have nothing left. If this is what they think a terrorist is now, sign me up!

Wiki article on the history of the flag:

I think I'm going to buy a t-shirt with that flag on it and if I can't find one I'll make one myself through those online shirt-making sites.

Transgender Ordinance

This seems to be a year old, but seems newsworthy none-the-less.

An ordinance was enacted on January 28, 2008 in Gainesville, FL which requires that "people not be denied access to public facilities based on the fact that they identify with a gender other than what they were born as."

Dude, I wish we had this in NH! At work they are renovating the men's bathrooms and I have to walk to the complete other side of the building to use the bathroom. It would be so much easier if I could just use the women's bathroom which is closer!

Glenn Beck: Last Line of Defense

Ok, so we are robbing Peter to pay...Peter, got it!

Glenn mentioned Zimbabwe as a case study for inflation. I found this informative, but rather long study called "A Decade of Suffering in Zimbabwe" done by the Cato Institute so you know it's good. Truthfully, I just skimmed it, but when I have more time I'd like to read it more in depth. For those of you that are interested:

$9.3 Trillion in Deficits Over the Next Decade



"In his White House run, Obama assailed the economic policies of his predecessor, but the eye-popping deficit numbers threaten to swamp his ambitious agenda of overhauling health care, exploring new energy sources and enacting scores of domestic programs."

Bowlin' like a Special Olympian!
I cannot take credit for remembering this, but rather heard it on Jay Severin. It's kind of a stretch in my opinoin, but still quite comedic.

This is an article from Spring 2007 where Obama calls for the firing of Don Imus over his "nappy-headed hos" comment:

" 'He didn't just cross the line,' Obama said. 'He fed into some of the worst stereotypes...' "

Fast foward almost a year and Obama on the Tonight Show said this in reference to his bowling skills:
"It's like the Special Olympics or something."

Considering this guy...

...I'd say that Obama might be feeding into some of the worst stereotypes. You decide.

Britain apologises for 'Third World' hospital

For all of you who think government run health care is a good idea, take a look at the quality of health care on the other side of the ocean.

Greatest line: "The British premier, who has trumpeted huge increases in spending on the NHS since his Labour party took office in 1997, said there were "no excuses" for what happened to patients at the hospital" ...Once again clear evidence that throwing money at problem doesn't fix it!

Think it can't happen here? Why, because somehow our government will run it better? It's amazing how people have such a negative view of politics, politicians, and the government, yet for some reason they think that these same organizations, with the same people, and the same processes will miraculously CHANGE if we only BELIEVE in them and have HOPE. Sound familiar? As someone much more wiser than me once said, the government doesn't solve problems, it creates them.

GOP Cross-Overs Have Earmarks to Gain in $410 Billion Spending Bill

Slightly dated, but I wanted to have it archived here

This is why no one likes politics. Both parties scream at each other, but in the end they do the same thing. It's like earmarks are only bad when they aren't yours...text-book definition of a hypocrite.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Brief Guide to the Flat Tax

Best summary I've found of what a flat tax is. I'm liking the 1 postcard as opposed to the 30 webpages of Turbotax...

Obama Climate Plan Could Cost $2 Trillion

1. Obama gives "middle-class" tax cuts
2. Obama proposes using the majority of the money generated from a cap-and-trade plan to pay for said tax cuts
3. US businesses either pass on the tax hike to customers in terms of higher prices or they go overseas where taxes for emission are cheaper
4. US loses jobs and customers now have to pay more money to buy US products

Where in this logic will we be improving the economy: higher prices and out-sourced jobs? Regardless of whether you think saving the environment is a noble cause, our economy won't be able to take this kind of hit.

Dodd Blames Obama Administration for Bonus Amendment

So let me see if I understand this correctly...

1. Obama wants a bailout bill
2. Chris Dodd helps write a bailout bill
3. Obama says he wants exemptions on bonuses for contracts prior to Feb 11
4. Chris Dodd adds an amendment to exempt said bonuses
5. AIG pays bonuses
6. Obama and Dodd are "Oh my God, AIG is so evil!"
7. Dodd admits he wrote the exemptions
8. Dodd blames Obama for the exemptions
9. Obama goes on the Tonight Show!?

Why is everyone so surprised that when you give free money to people they misuse it? If you aren't working hard for it, you will spend it with reckless abandon. This is what happens people when the government tries to solve problems.

Welcome to my blog!

I read my fair share of articles and I always seem to have an opinion on them. Go figure right? Me, an opinion, naww! I thought starting this blog would be an interesting way to keep track of the articles that I like, piss me off, or are just plain entertaining. I'll of course include some quick commentary on each for your reading pleasure. Enjoy!