Thursday, December 29, 2011

Romney Wins Iowa

If I’m wrong it won’t be as embarrassing as “Dewey Defeats Truman”, but then this ain’t exactly the Chicago Tribune.

This bizarre Republican Primary season and its flavor of the week madness have to come to an end and it just may be next week in Iowa.

I’m no fan of Romney; in fact, I’ve disliked him for quite a while. I also don’t like Bachman, Perry, Huntsman, Santorum (I REALLY don’t like Santorum) more on that later. Newt, I kinda like, except for the mischievous grin and the lunar mining idea. But at least he thinks outside the box and apparently even the planet. But back to Romney, he’s a Democratic (Dems don't like their political opponents to use Democrat, so I'm trying to be respectfully consistent), ok maybe not a registered Democratic but he was Governor of Mass for crying out loud. They don’t elect Republicans, Senator Brown being a rare exception and probably a one termer. But my big beef with Romney are his 5 sons. Not one even considered going into the military. When asked about their non service he said they serve by helping him get elected. Nice.

Rick Santorum; this guy actually believes that “Pursuit of Happiness” in the Declaration of Independence  meant obeying God and doing God’s work. This is outrageous, showing a total misunderstanding of our founding documents and brings into stark relief what a religious nut Santorum is. He is dangerous and should be kept as far away from the Presidency as possible.

Ron Paul. I’m a small and large L libertarian and the small L libertarian likes Mr. Paul except for this little race problem he seems to have. He’s been a good, consistent libertarian except that now we all have to deal with being associated with a possible racist. Great. Iowans will now rethink using Ron Paul to send their message of dissatisfaction with the field. They want to send a message but not one that makes them look bad. BTW, Gary Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico recently quit the Republican Party and joined the Libertarian Party….so I now know for whom I’ll be voting for President.

So why is Romney going to come from behind and win Iowa? Because the Republican base is going to come to the realization that a long drawn out primary is not in their best interest and will only provide fuel for the campaigner-in-chief Barack Obama. Mr. Romney, as much as I hate to say it, is without doubt the one with the best chance to beat Mr. Obama. I think a campaign between Newt and Barack would be a lot more entertaining but politics isn’t a reality show, OK, it actually is a reality show and it's the best reality show on TV but that’s beside the point. If the Republicans don’t get behind Mitch soon they risk re-electing Mr. Obama.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Warren Buffett on tax rates and the benefits of a monetary printing press

Mr. Buffett on Charlie Rose recently said that the U.S. government credit rating should remain at AAA. His justification for that is we can continue to print money unlike the EU countries (Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal) currently suffering a significant sovereign debt crisis. He said those countries wished they had their printing press, implying that if they did their debt problems would disappear.

While Mr. Buffett is a strong capitalist it is apparent that he, like most is a believer in Keynesian Economics and as his recent Op Ed in the NY Times indicates a supporter of progressive fact, it's not progressive enough for him.  He wants to increases the marginal rates on incomes above $1M and even futher for incomes above $10M.

Jack LeMenager in a letter to the editor of the NY Times wrote, " The Internal Revenue Service’s own statistics indicate that if the top 1 percent of all taxpayers (households with annual income of more than $380,000) were taxed at a rate of 100 percent, it would net $938 billion, which would barely make a dent in the nation’s multitrillion-dollar annual budget."  This would not come close to eliminating the deficit for a single year.  While Mr. Buffett has not suggested any specific tax rates, any increase in marginal tax rates on small businesses will have an impact on job creation. 

John F. Kennedy found high marginal tax rates to be bad for the economy.  If it was bad for the economy in the 1960's it's bad for the economy now.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Rebuttal: “What our Declaration Really Said”, E. J. Dionne, Jr. July 4, 2011

It is amazing the depth of intellectual dishonesty in which the Left will engage to misinform the American public in an attempt to promote their agenda; the growth of government via the decimation of the Constitution’s concept of enumerated powers.

Mr. Dionne describes the Tea Party movement as being anti-tax, and while this is not inaccurate, it is misleading. The Tea Party is more about concern for the size of government. It is not a misplaced notion as everyone, even the Left, knows that our debt problems are due to the size of government and specifically the expansive (Progressive inspired and implemented) entitlement programs. Although even the Tea Party, when polled, are found to be hypocritical on this latter point as a majority of THEM are opposed to reforms to social security and Medicare. That they hold these views this is testimony to the success of the Progressives indoctrination over the last century or so.

But my problem with this piece is Mr. Dionne’s attempt to interpret The Declaration of Independence as a document about collective rights instead of individual rights. He states, “The very first item on their list condemned the king because he “refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.” Note that the signers wanted to pass laws, not repeal them, and they began by speaking of “the public good,” not about individuals or “the private sector.” They knew that it takes public action — including effective and responsive government — to secure “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Where to begin…. yes, the founders wanted to pass laws not repeal them. This should not be surprising. Our Founders were men of the Enlightenment and were implementing their ideas of government in this new land, ideas that did not believe in an intrusive government. But reading this you’d think the Founders were channeling the not yet conceived Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt. So, what laws did our Leftist Founders want to pass? The Declaration tells us:

• He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people …(This charge refers to a grievance that arose because of the British government's fear that the popular assemblies of the colonies were growing too large and powerful as new communities were formed and additional representatives were elected to the assemblies of the colonies. New Hampshire, South Carolina, and New York passed laws allowing for the establishment of new communities with elected representatives to their respective popular assemblies, all of which were disallowed by King George. Virginia was also constrained by the same policy. The colonists insisted that representation in their assemblies was their right, because government must be by consent of the governed. The British maintained that representation was a privilege granted by the King.)

• He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

• He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

• He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

Radical collectivist stuff, this. It certainly isn’t the positive law that Mr. Dionne and his ilk have been foisting on Americans for 100 years. But Mr. Dionne concludes from our Founder’s wanting to pass some basic laws necessary for proper self-government as benefiting “the public good” and “not about individuals or “the private sector”. Actually, those laws were about securing those previously elucidated “unalienable rights” which is without doubt a public good. Mr. Dionne should investigate what defined “the public good” in the 18th Century before inferring that it means the same in the 21st Century (again, thanks to Progressives). This is semantically dishonest.

Mr. Dionne then turns his attention briefly to the Constitution where he makes the correct assertion that it was created to provide for a stronger central government, but I submit not an all powerful central government. Again, those pesky enumerated powers explain categorically the role the federal government was to play. They may have said “We the People” and not “We the States” in the preamble but there’s nothing in the federalist papers that encourages future Hamiltonians to use the “Commerce Clause” to usurp the intent of enumerated powers. Not even Alexander himself said that and he wrote most of the Federalist Papers.

In Federalist number 23 Alexander Hamilton states the purposes for the union succinctly; “The principal purposes to be answered by union are these -- the common defense of the members; the preservation of the public peace as well against internal convulsions as external attacks; the regulation of commerce with other nations and between the States; the superintendence of our intercourse, political and commercial, with foreign countries.”

It’s interesting to note that Hamilton sees regulation of commerce as the same internationally and domestically. Therefore, the commerce clause was seen as simply the regulation of commerce between the states and not as a loop hole for federal intrusion into all aspects of our lives. Later in the same document he wrote, “… it is both unwise and dangerous to deny the federal government an unconfined authority, as to all those objects which are intrusted to its management. It will indeed deserve the most vigilant and careful attention of the people, to see that it be modeled in such a manner as to admit of its being safely vested with the requisite powers. ”

Yes, not understanding the intent of our Founders could cause us to make “some remarkably foolish choices”. Thanks to the Progressives interpretation we’ve been doing it for over 100 years.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Atlas Shrugged

Atlas Shrugged has finally made it to the big screen.  I found the movie entertaining and emotionally engaging.  Is it a "great" movie.  No.  But it is a good movie with some technical and aesthetic flaws.  Dialog in a screenplay of a typical novel is used primarily to develop the characters, the pictures tell the story.  But Atlas Shrugged, as noted in the recent edition of "The New Individualist" is not a typical novel.  There is an underlying philosophy and political message that can't be communicated completely with visuals, words are needed; specific words.  So the dialog may come across as a bit stilted by someone who hasn't read the book.  But I think the movie will entice a newcomer to read the book.  And that is the ultimate goal of the film.

Friday, February 25, 2011

"Shock Doctrine, USA"? Please!!

Dr. Krugman writes that Governor Walker's efforts are "an attempt to exploit the fiscal crisis to destroy the last major counterweight to the political power of corporations and the wealthy." This is tenuous at best. These public employee unions are NOT a counterweight to powerfull corporations and the wealthy, they are a counterweight to their fellow citizens, the taxpayers, who, these days are anything but wealthy.

And what's so bad about privatization? Chicago privatized their parking meters to the tune of $3B. It was a good deal, except that they blew through the money to pay the excessive demands of the public employee unions.

To quote The Reverend Wright, "the chickens have come home to roost".

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Pope John Paul's II Miracles

It was determined that Pope John Paul II has only one more miracle to go to meet the requirement for Sainthood.  Pope Benedict the XVI has approved the curing of Sister Simon-Pierre of Parkinson's disease, the same disease that Paul II suffered, as a miracle after she found herself cured upon waking from a dream about the dead Pope.  She and others had been praying to John Paul II to help her.  But I submit that another miracle is not required.  Cardinal Bernard Law, formerly the Archbishop emeritus of the Diocese of Boston resigned that office on Dec. 13, 2002 and immediately left for Rome to become  Archpriest of the Basilica de Santa Maria Maggiore, at the direction of John Paull II, allegedly only hours before Massachuettes State Troopers arrived with subpoeanas for his appearance before a Grand Jury investigating his part in the cover-up of child molestations.  Pretty miraculous in my opinion.

Keith Olbermann & the Hypocrisy of the Left

Keith Obermann has left MSNBC.  I don't know what the brouhaha was all about but I have one question.  Why did Keith negotiate a contract for $7.5M per year for 4 years?  The left complains loudly about senior executives making more than 20 times the average wage.  They cite European companies where that ratio is typical as the model to follow.  Using a liberal number of $92,000.00 as the average wage scale for NBC, Mr. Olbermann should have insisted that his contract not exceed $1.8M per year.  But, in reality, if $1.8M is what he believes would be a fair salary for the CEO of General Electric, then for the sake of equity, something the left is passionate about, he should have insisted on being paid signifcantly less that $1.8M.  I think $900K would have been fair. If it's determined that this divorce was about money, I'm sure it was because Keith was insisting his salary be lowered and he decided to resign to protest MSNBC's intransigence.

NY Times: Jigsaw picture of an accused killer 15 January 2011

To the Editor:

As a factual presentation, this article is excellent. There are however, two instances of editorial commentary that, not surprisingly, tie Jared Loughner to right-wing extremists. This isn’t accidental. The New York Times and other main stream media outlets are determined to link this incident to right-wing politics. I find it reprehensible.

Both instances are related to his views on the “the need for a new monetary system” that he ostensibly thinks should be “gold and silver”. There are extremes on both the left and the right that would replace our monetary system and based on the economic events of the last couple of years not only extremists are contemplating the need to consider new and even old ideas in this area.

It was gratuitous of the New York Times to link Loughner to right-wing extremists in this article and a retraction is requested.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Email to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke

Dr. Bernanke,

I was extremely dismayed by a response you gave on a recent "60 Minutes" interview. I believe it was Steve Croft who asked you if the Federal Reserve was "printing money" to pay for the Treasury Bonds it is purchasing as part of QE2. To answer that question literally was extremely disingenuous and makes it difficult for me to believe anything you say in the future. You and I both know that by use of the phrase "printing money" Mr. Croft was not referring to printing currency. I'm sure the Fed is not paying for these bonds with currency. He was, in fact, referring to the fact that the Federal Reserve is paying for these bonds with created money. There's no shame in that. It is simply the truth. And for you to obfuscate the obvious is inexcusable.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Larry David Op Ed New York Times Dec. 21, 2010

To the Editor:

Larry David is a very funny man.  But it is a sign of psychological distress when someone uses humor to assuage guilt.  The Jews and Catholics have a common tradition when it comes to guilt as a child development tool.  As a cradle Catholic, I’m familiar with the phenomenon.  It is obvious to me that Mr. David feels extreme guilt for his not having donated his portion of the Bush Tax cuts of the last 8-10 years.  He needs to write that check today before his mother finds out.  Make it out to the Internal Revenue Service.  You’ll feel better in the morning.  I promise.