Tuesday, October 25, 2011

We suck, yes, but, these other guys...

I doubt at any time in American history there has been as inauspicious a beginning to a presidential campaign as we are seeing right now. The incumbent is presiding over a literal disaster. His one truly shining moment was being President when a nearly irrelevant Osama bin Laden was killed. Rumors abound that in fact Obama had to be dragged kicking and screaming to his fateful and "courageous" decision to take bin Laden out.

The administration can't point to a strong and growing economy, or robust job growth. We are mired in 9.1% unemployment land. They can't point to seminal legislation that was supposed to address a looming health care cost explosion. The plan was unpopular when it was passed in the dead of night just before Christmas 2009 and it's still unpopular. ObamaCare, as it has come to be known, has done more damage to an uncertain economy than can be measured. Already costs are rising just in anticipation of its implementation.

The Dodd/Frank bill the President signed is paralyzing the banking system even before the actual regulations have been written. Do they not understand that ours is a debt based economy and it's the private sector banks that introduce "new" money into the system. It's almost as if they - the President and the Democrats - are purposely suppressing the domestic economy (and by extension the global economy). To what end? Win elections? Hardly.

If ever there was a ready made situation for a John Wayne character to ride in on a white horse and save us from a deadly mess the 2012 election is it. Obama seems to be saying, yes, we suck, but these other guys, you won't want them, they're goofy.

So we turn to the Republicans which is like admitting to you're pining for hope and change. We hope this current field changes and soon. What a crop of misfits and dopes. Really? Can't we do any better?

I had hope for Perry, but then he opened his mouth and removed all doubt. I thought Obama was petulant little prick. Perry disappoints.

Newt, no.

Bachmann, hell no!

Santorum, Huntsman, Paul... zzz...

Cain. I love him, but every day I wonder if today will be the day he admits he's been yanking our chain.

That leaves Mitt. If it has to be Mitt so be (M)it.

This is the one time Obama seems to be telling the truth, these guys are goofy. But, as I've said before:
dogcatcher vs Obama. Dogcatcher.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Occupy This

I think it's interesting that the kids occupying Wall Street for 4 weeks now still don't know what they want. Mostly what I am hearing is that rich people suck. I'm sure some of them do, but I think some poor people probably suck too.

There, now that we've gotten that out of the way, we can delve into the true meaning of this protest. Just as with the Tea Party it's frustration over this country's failures that is driving this. While there is plenty of blame to go around I think the protesters are "occupying" the wrong city. Washington DC is where they need to be.

Simply put it's not capitalism or the so-called rich that have failed us. It is forced socialist policies designed to fail that make everything and everyone they touch fizzle a little bit more with each new layer of government bureaucracy. Am I being facetious when I declare that forced socialist policies are supposed to fail? Not really.

I used to think and still do in some instances that the do-gooders have the best of intentions, but it is the unintended consequences (of human nature) that ruin everything they foist upon us. After reading Bruce Carlton's post: Good intentions? Not so, I have to conclude that the good intentions motivation I have bestowed on extreme leftist (PC) policies are just the opposite.

At least capitalism in it's pure form is honest. Socialism, leftism or PCism - whatever you want to call it is a liar's game. If you believe the lies that America's financial problems are the result of greedy capitalists then no doubt you will side with the Occupiers and demand "someone" gives you what you want for free. The ones who believe the liars are ignorant or deceived or are lying to themselves. A child knows that someone else will always have more than they do, but only a child is allowed to deceive themselves into believing that the unfairness of it all should be rectified with more unfairness.

I have always marveled at the notion that a rich man's inheritors should be forced give a huge percentage of their gains to the government out of some sense of fairness. What fairness is it that the government deserves or has any right to that money? I don't care if it is more money than any one person could ever use - it is theirs. It is more obscene in my eyes that the government can by the use of force take a man's inheritence than it is for a man to have more money than he could ever use. To what end? So that the government can spend it better?

The list of government programs and agencies that have been wildly successful and worked as intended (without costing society in other ways) is very, very short.

The failure of America's financial system, fiscal system, educational system and moral system can be laid at the feet of the men and women in Washington DC not New York City's Wall Street. DC acts Wall Street reacts. This not defending Wall Street, this placing the fault where it belongs.

The totality of "good" government failures (with all the good intentions, or lies if you will) is long. From the mortgage/subprime meltdown and it's inception in government policies to the coming demise of the venerable postal system. Government makes the rules, the rules are fixed so that some succeed and the rest...

So tell me how (real) capitalism has destroyed our country?


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Occupy Wall Street and Me

My natural inclination would be to scoff at the "kids" putting on this Occupy Wall Street event. In general the proclamations I've been hearing from the participants leads one to believe they aren't really serious. It sounds like "we want everything, for free of course". Of the list of actions they are demanding almost none of them are reasonable or even realistic, but if I really listen what I hear is extreme frustration. Back in 2009 I myself participated in a rally where the overarching feeling was extreme frustration. It was the initial Tea Party rally in my area.

Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party are two sides of the same coin.

The Occupiers are upset about Wall Street bailouts, so is the Tea Party. The Occupiers oppose bailouts because Wall Street is "the rich" and the rich are the reason they are poor. The Tea Party opposed the bailouts because it's bad policy (so they say) and because it was done with deficit spending. The Occupiers are upset about corporate lobbyists because corporations are rich and the rich are the reason they are poor. The Tea Party opposes corporate lobbyists because they steer public policy so that it enhances their bottom line instead of ensuring that policy is good for the public.

The Occupiers sees corporate America as the enemy, the Tea Party sees an out of control government as the enemy. In some ways they are both right. The truth is the mega-government and mega-corporations are in bed together. It's a symbiosis that ensures riches for the prime movers in both entities. The worker and middle management in both government and corporate America are fungible and ultimately anonymous.

There is a divergence depending on on which side of the coin lands face up. While the Occupiers believe the government should give them the basic necessities of life just because they are breathing - not realistic or reasonable. They see rich corporations walking off with millions and billions while human services worthy or not are getting cut. Whereas the Tea Party sees government, particularly the Federal government as out of control as it exercises extra-constitutional power and enriching the elites inside corporations and by symbiosis the elites inside government as they move from one to other.

The rules are made by the government - and the rules are rigged. This is the source of the frustration for both.

Wouldn't be interesting if they somehow came together? Nah.


Friday, October 07, 2011

Shocker: Lawrence O'Donnell is off his rocker

Late to game yes, I am not the first to notice that Lawrence O'Donnell is insane. His antics are so off putting he is making Sean Hannity, Keith Olberman and Martin Bashir seem like reasonable commentators. It is his absolute pettiness and vitriol that makes him so "icky". Frankly he seems a bit unstable. His utter hatred for George Bush (either of them) is over the top. No one should hate that much. (Don't for a minute equate "policy" differences with Bush with O'Donnell's unadulterated hatred).

Recently his hatred was turned toward Herman Cain, a black man who has the audacity to be a Republican. Mr. Cain is diametrically opposed to President Obama on many levels and this is unacceptable to O'Donnell. A black man has no right to oppose the first black president. According to O'Donnell Cain is a traitor to blacks because he is not aligned with the socialist agenda of the Obama administration. Cain for his part believes that blacks should be allowed think for themselves, asking if they are better off since Obama has been President. I'll answer that Herman, no they aren't.

O'Donnell, in a recent diatribe I heard replayed on talk radio, (since I can't actually watch his show I rely on clips) about how Mitt Romney and Rick Perry don't want you to know their real names. Obviously they are hiding something from the American people. Apparently Mitt is actually Willard Mitt Romney and Rick Perry is James Richard Perry. Wow, men who use their middle name - this has never been done before. What do suppose they're hiding? A birth certificate? A false Social Security number? College transcripts? A forfeiture of their law degrees? Oh, wait, that's what Barry Soetoro has been hiding. Who is Barry Soetoro? Why that's Barack Obama's real name. Well, Lawrence, how about that?

One thing I imagine is that O'Donnell is a hoot at cocktail parties, but to prevent spittle from getting on you stay on the balconies and patios and avoid the bushes.


Monday, October 03, 2011

Fallout in Wisconsin:Walker sees vindication

The truth being revealed in the fallout of the turbulent legislative session in Madison Wisconsin earlier this year is instructive for many public union scenarios.

Racked by stories of destruction the liberal media in Madison and indeed across the country painted a picture of financial carnage for teachers and school districts. Now that some time has passed and the law implemented reality is somewhat different and somewhat rosier.

Byron York in a column on the WashingtonExaminer.com website describes the windfall one beleaguered school district will enjoy.

The Kaukauna School District, in the Fox River Valley of Wisconsin near Appleton, has about 4,200 students and about 400 employees. It has struggled in recent times and this year faced a deficit of $400,000. But after the law went into effect, at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, school officials put in place new policies they estimate will turn that $400,000 deficit into a $1.5 million surplus. And it's all because of the very provisions that union leaders predicted would be disastrous.

Far from disastrous, in fact because the bargaining now taken from the unions for contracting for health benefits led to a reexamination of the cost of these plans to the district. Lo and behold, a sweetheart deal for the union was undone and everyone benefited (except maybe be the union itself.)

In the past, Kaukauna's agreement with the teachers union required the school district to purchase health insurance coverage from something called WEA Trust -- a company created by the Wisconsin teachers union. "It was in the collective bargaining agreement that we could only negotiate with them," says Arnoldussen. "Well, you know what happens when you can only negotiate with one vendor." This year, WEA Trust told Kaukauna that it would face a significant increase in premiums.
Now, the collective bargaining agreement is gone, and the school district is free to shop around for coverage. And all of a sudden, WEA Trust has changed its position. "With these changes, the schools could go out for bids, and lo and behold, WEA Trust said, 'We can match the lowest bid,'" says Republican state Rep. Jim Steineke, who represents the area and supports the Walker changes. At least for the moment, Kaukauna is staying with WEA Trust, but saving substantial amounts of money.

The reason this is instructive for school districts in Wisconsin as well as government entities all over the country is because this is the kind of thing going on with many public unions. It's the public unions that fund political campaigns almost exclusively for Democrats. The representatives they help get elected create these spiffy little arrangements. The elected official has a vested interest in the status quo since they derive their war chests from some of this money as it gets folded back. These exclusive contracts cost the tax payer a ton of money. Honestly, it should a crime, but it isn't. This sort of thing wouldn't stand up to public scrutiny, but it never has to because the media just doesn't report it.

American tax payers should be incensed about these things, and Gov. Walker should be thanked for exposing the gratuitous under belly of Democratic politics. He won't be, it just doesn't fit the view of Walker as a cold hearted, anti-worker monster. These sorts of deals and the incredibly generous pensions afforded to public workers are out of whack, and even the retirees will admit this privately - whispering "I don't know how it can go on like this". It can't.

This is the kind of thing Gov.Walker was after. He shoots, he scores!