Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Finally, An Attempt to Ask For the Truth

I have been working on a post for a couple of weeks. I read a story today that said everything I was also trying to say. So, I dumped what I was working on, and instead I am reprinting the article. This is such a great open letter! It is long so please read to the end, and everyone who starts to think that this is just more ramblings from the right, keep this in mind. It was written by a Democrat.

WorldWatch First appeared in print in The Rhinoceros Times, Greensboro, NC

By Orson Scott Card
October 5, 2008

Would the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights?

An open letter to the local daily paper -- almost every local daily paper in America:

I remember reading All the President's Men and thinking: That's journalism. You do what it takes to get the truth and you lay it before the public, because the public has a right to know.

This housing crisis didn't come out of nowhere. It was not a vague emanation of the evil Bush administration.

It was a direct result of the political decision, back in the late 1990s, to loosen the rules of lending so that home loans would be more accessible to poor people. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were authorized to approve risky loans.

What is a risky loan? It's a loan that the recipient is likely not to be able to repay.
The goal of this rule change was to help the poor -- which especially would help members of minority groups. But how does it help these people to give them a loan that they can't repay? They get into a house, yes, but when they can't make the payments, they lose the house -- along with their credit rating.

They end up worse off than before.

This was completely foreseeable and in fact many people did foresee it. One political party, in Congress and in the executive branch, tried repeatedly to tighten up the rules. The other party blocked every such attempt and tried to loosen them.

Furthermore, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were making political contributions to the very members of Congress who were allowing them to make irresponsible loans. (Though why quasi-federal agencies were allowed to do so baffles me. It's as if the Pentagon were allowed to contribute to the political campaigns of Congressmen who support increasing their budget.)
Isn't there a story here? Doesn't journalism require that you who produce our daily paper tell the truth about who brought us to a position where the only way to keep confidence in our economy was a $700 billion bailout? Aren't you supposed to follow the money and see which politicians were benefiting personally from the deregulation of mortgage lending?

I have no doubt that if these facts had pointed to the Republican Party or to John McCain as the guilty parties, you would be treating it as a vast scandal. "Housing-gate," no doubt. Or "Fannie-gate."

Instead, it was Senator Christopher Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank, both Democrats, who denied that there were any problems, who refused Bush administration requests to set up a regulatory agency to watch over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and who were still pushing for these agencies to go even further in promoting subprime mortgage loans almost up to the minute they failed.

As Thomas Sowell points out in a essay entitled Do Facts Matter? "Alan Greenspan warned them four years ago. So did the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers to the President. So did Bush's Secretary of the Treasury."

These are facts. This financial crisis was completely preventable. The party that blocked any attempt to prevent it was ... the Democratic Party. The party that tried to prevent it was ... the Republican Party.

Yet when Nancy Pelosi accused the Bush administration and Republican deregulation of causing the crisis, you in the press did not hold her to account for her lie. Instead, you criticized Republicans who took offense at this lie and refused to vote for the bailout!

What? It's not the liar, but the victims of the lie who are to blame?

Now let's follow the money ... right to the presidential candidate who is the number-two recipient of campaign contributions from Fannie Mae.

And after Freddie Raines, the CEO of Fannie Mae who made $90 million while running it into the ground, was fired for his incompetence, one presidential candidate's campaign actually consulted him for advice on housing.

If that presidential candidate had been John McCain, you would have called it a major scandal and we would be getting stories in your paper every day about how incompetent and corrupt he was.

But instead, that candidate was Barack Obama, and so you have buried this story, and when the McCain campaign dared to call Raines an "adviser" to the Obama campaign -- because that campaign had sought his advice -- you actually let Obama's people get away with accusing McCain of lying, merely because Raines wasn't listed as an official adviser to the Obama campaign.

You would never tolerate such weaselly nit-picking from a Republican.

If you who produce our local daily paper actually had any principles, you would be pounding this story, because the prosperity of all Americans was put at risk by the foolish, short-sighted, politically selfish, and possibly corrupt actions of leading Democrats, including Obama.

If you who produce our local daily paper had any personal honor, you would find it unbearable to let the American people believe that somehow Republicans were to blame for this crisis.

There are precedents. Even though President Bush and his administration never said that Iraq sponsored or was linked to 9/11, you could not stand the fact that Americans had that misapprehension -- so you pounded us with the fact that there was no such link. (Along the way, you created the false impression that Bush had lied to them and said that there was a connection.)

If you had any principles, then surely right now, when the American people are set to blame President Bush and John McCain for a crisis they tried to prevent, and are actually shifting to approve of Barack Obama because of a crisis he helped cause, you would be laboring at least as hard to correct that false impression.

Your job, as journalists, is to tell the truth. That's what you claim you do, when you accept people's money to buy or subscribe to your paper.

But right now, you are consenting to or actively promoting a big fat lie -- that the housing crisis should somehow be blamed on Bush, McCain, and the Republicans. You have trained the American people to blame everything bad -- even bad weather -- on Bush, and they are responding as you have taught them to.

If you had any personal honor, each reporter and editor would be insisting on telling the truth -- even if it hurts the election chances of your favorite candidate.

Because that's what honorable people do. Honest people tell the truth even when they don't like the probable consequences. That's what honesty means. That's how trust is earned.

Barack Obama is just another politician, and not a very wise one. He has revealed his ignorance and naivete time after time -- and you have swept it under the rug, treated it as nothing.

Meanwhile, you have participated in the borking of Sarah Palin, reporting savage attacks on her for the pregnancy of her unmarried daughter -- while you ignored the story of John Edwards's own adultery for many months.

So I ask you now: Do you have any standards at all? Do you even know what honesty means?
Is getting people to vote for Barack Obama so important that you will throw away everything that journalism is supposed to stand for?

You might want to remember the way the National Organization of Women threw away their integrity by supporting Bill Clinton despite his well-known pattern of sexual exploitation of powerless women. Who listens to NOW anymore? We know they stand for nothing; they have no principles.

That's where you are right now.

It's not too late. You know that if the situation were reversed, and the truth would damage McCain and help Obama, you would be moving heaven and earth to get the true story out there.

If you want to redeem your honor, you will swallow hard and make a list of all the stories you would print if it were McCain who had been getting money from Fannie Mae, McCain whose campaign had consulted with its discredited former CEO, McCain who had voted against tightening its lending practices.

Then you will print them, even though every one of those true stories will point the finger of blame at the reckless Democratic Party, which put our nation's prosperity at risk so they could feel good about helping the poor, and lay a fair share of the blame at Obama's door.

You will also tell the truth about John McCain: that he tried, as a Senator, to do what it took to prevent this crisis. You will tell the truth about President Bush: that his administration tried more than once to get Congress to regulate lending in a responsible way.

This was a Congress-caused crisis, beginning during the Clinton administration, with Democrats leading the way into the crisis and blocking every effort to get out of it in a timely fashion.

If you at our local daily newspaper continue to let Americans believe --and vote as if -- President Bush and the Republicans caused the crisis, then you are joining in that lie.

If you do not tell the truth about the Democrats -- including Barack Obama -- and do so with the same energy you would use if the miscreants were Republicans -- then you are not journalists by any standard.

You're just the public relations machine of the Democratic Party, and it's time you were all fired and real journalists brought in, so that we can actually have a daily newspaper in our city.

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.


That article says everything I wanted to say. Thank you Orson Scott Card, for having the honesty and guts to say it for me. Please forward this to as many people as you can. It is not too late to get the truth out there!

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Simple way to explain how taxes work

I have heard this explanation of taxes and how they work before, but I think it is a very good way to simply explain this to people in a straight forward easy to understand story.

Thanks to my brother-in-law for sending this to me written out. Here is the story...

Let's put tax cuts in terms everyone can understand.

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that's what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. "Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20. "Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?' They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce eachman's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so:

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

"I only got a dollar out of the $20,"declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man," but he got $10!"

"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar,too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!"

"That's true!!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!"

"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics
University of Georgia

For those who understand, no explanation is needed. For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.

...This is such a great illustration of how our tax system works, and how some exploit "tax cuts for the rich." I could say more, but I will let this story speak for itself.

Thanks again to my brother-in-law for sending this to me, and to David Kamerschen, Ph.D. for writing it in the first place.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

One big reason Obama Scares me

There are many reasons to vote against Barrack Obama for President. You can go down the whole judgement path with his associations with questionable characters, but if you want to stick to the issues here is a big one.

While in Toledo recently, a plumber raised the issue with Obama that under Obama's economic plan, the plumber's taxes would go up. Listen to the clip below which features Obama's answer. Listen carefully. Listen twice if you need to, I'll wait.

Okay, are the hairs on the back of your neck standing up? This has to be one of the scariest answers to a tax question I have ever heard from a Presidential candidate. For those who don't understand the answer, let me spell it out as clearly as I can. This is pure Socialism. Obama is talking about redistribution of wealth here. He believes that he knows better than you do how to use your money.

If you have a friend or relative that thinks Obama has a good economic plan try explaining it to them this way.

Let's imagine that Obama has proposed a new tax plan that he is running through congress. Let's also say he is calling it The citizen helps plan for America. In this plan, the government will decide who owes money and who needs help. Instead of you paying your taxes to the government (remember, even if you got a refund, you still probably paid some amount), your neighbor sends you a bill that says you have to pay them directly. It could be $2000.00 a year, or $500.00 a quarter, but either way, you are legally bound to pay your neighbor the money because the government decided that you make too much and your neighbor doesn't make enough. If you don't cut your neighbor a check and they complain, you will be held accountable by the government. Maybe you won't be able to register your car, or you get a fine, or something similar.

Do you think this idea would fly with the American people? No way, you're crazy, people would never agree to this idea would they?

The only difference between my example above and Obama's plan is the middle man. Yes, under his plan, you pay the government, they hold the money for awhile, and then they decide who to cut the checks to.

So, you think I'm exaggerating? You think his plan doesn't do this? Obama keeps saying that 95% of Americans won't pay any additional taxes. He also claims that most of the middle class will get a tax cut. Wait, lets look at his tax plan a little closer here.

First: The first thing Obama plans to do is repeal the Bush tax cuts. That will immediately raise everyone's taxes. Even though the Liberals like to claim that the Bush tax cuts were only cuts to the rich, the fact is the middle class got a very nice tax cut as well. My own tax burden went down over $2000.00 with the cuts and I am anything but rich.

Next: Obama doesn't have any actual tax cuts in his plan. He calls them refundable tax credits. Now, this is important because it means that anyone can claim these credits, even if they don't owe any taxes at all. Stick with me on this one because this is where the wealth transfer happens. If someone doesn't pay any taxes because their income level is too low, but they are still able to claim these credits, it means they are getting money from the government. Money that you and everyone else that does pay taxes is going to those who don't! Isn't this exactly the same thing as the example I used above?

Also: Let's not forget, Obama has also promised to raise capital gains taxes which will affect anyone who has a 401k, 403b, or any other savings plan that has money in the stock market. He has promised to raise corporate income taxes on any business that makes over $250,000.00 a year. He claims this won't affect small businesses, but one study showed that over 97% of all small businesses in America make over this amount a year.

He also wants to tax what he calls windfall profits on businesses. Okay, first of all, what constitutes a windfall profit, and who gets to decide? Secondly, if a company is worried about getting hit with this tax, will they strive to reach those profits, or will they slow production when they get close to this magic mythical number? Finally, Liberals don't seem to understand that companies don't pay taxes. Huh? That doesn't make sense? Think about it this way; if a company's price on anything goes up, do they just pay the increase or do they raise the price they charge to customers? Does the price of milk, eggs, clothing, or anything else go up? Why? Because the producer of those products had an increase somewhere while making the product. This includes taxes the business has to pay!

Okay, with all of Obama's tax increases coupled with repealing the Bush tax cuts, and no actual tax cuts. Obama will push this economy into a recession that may take years to reverse.

That scares me! It should scare you too!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Definition of Irony

Two accidents at a company separated by five years and different circumstances, but they illuminate a stark contrast in outcomes due to laws set up to protect businesses at the expense of the worker. It took me years to put the accident and the way I ended up being treated by the company behind me. I haven’t thought about any of this for years, until I saw a thirty second news clip that stated a jury had awarded Quad/Graphics sixty million dollars for the fire that destroyed a building at their Lomira plant five years ago. That was the whole sound bite, but that was all it took. Everything came crashing back in my mind and I can’t help comparing the outcomes of these two accidents.

No one from the company has ever heard my side of what happened to me during my recuperation and rehab from the accident. To be honest, no one ever asked or seemed to even care all that much. I took great pride in my job, and felt I did it very well. I had also just finished Quad’s Leadership Development program which, at that time, you had to be recommended by your supervisor just to get into the program. My plan was to continue working my way up in the company and eventually retiring from the company. Even after my accident I planned on returning to work as soon as I could. My wife realized before I did that I was not going to be able to work again, and started looking for work without telling me because I was so adamant about going back and did not want her going out and working. I even tried to keep working after the accident because I didn't want to miss work, but that only lasted a day or two as the pain was just too intense.

After my first surgery my doctor at Quad/Med said I would have made a good soldier. At first I didn't understand this, but he went on to explain that after looking at my MRI films and reports he said most men would have been crawling into the office in pain from such a badly blown disc. Throughout the whole ordeal, he was the only person in the company who seemed to truly believe me and be on my side. For his belief in me he was eventually told he was not allowed to see me any more by the head of Quad/Med in Pewaukee.

While I was seeing my back surgeon, I was also going to rehab, and my doctor at Quad wanted to check in with me once a month just to oversee everything and make sure everything was going okay with my recovery. The head of Quad/Med in Pewaukee told him he had to stop seeing me because he was wasting Quad’s time. He said, “We are running a business here, not an old printer’s home.” That’s really looking out for the employee’s best interest isn’t it?

I ended up having four surgeries, and attended rehab on different occasions. The last time was at the West Allis location. When a person goes through rehabilitation, you would expect the physical therapist you are working with to work with you; to be on your side if you will. I felt from the beginning though that this person was questioning everything that I tried to convey to him. As with most rehab we started slowly and worked into more strenuous routines. The injury by the way left me with severe nerve damage in the L4-L5 nerve root so that as the routines progressed they inflamed the nerve root and caused me intense pain. There were some exercises that I couldn’t do at all such as riding a stationary bike because the hip rotation really irritated the nerve root. I tried to explain to my physical therapist that I was in increasing pain and there were some things that I wasn’t able to do. He seemed to be very reluctant to believe me at all, but finally agreed to let me do what I could. After awhile it became apparent that the rehab was actually making me worse so my surgeon pulled me out completely. After some tests we found out the extent of the damage to the nerves which also helped explain the numbness in my left leg.

I always felt like the physical therapist didn’t believe me, and after I did leave Quad I asked for all of our families’ medical records so we could give them to the next doctor we went to. I found some of the reports from this physical therapist and read through them. Imagine my surprise when I read one of them that says, “Every time we start talking about going back to work, patient’s pain seems to increase.” Now, when I read this I was really…well, pissed! This is a physical therapist who is supposed to be working with ME to help ME get better but seems more interested in trying to find a way to prove that I am some how faking my injuries. Was he working in my best interest or the company’s?

Through four surgeries, Quad never sent me as much as a card. Nothing.

When I came in after my first surgery with a workman’s compensation question the only thing they wanted to know is where the ladder came from that broke. They wanted to know if it was purchased from an outside company or if Quad built it. Unfortunately for me it was built by Quad. It was old, rotten, and there wasn’t a darn thing I could do about it because of a law in Wisconsin that says you can’t sue your employer even if they are at fault for the accident. When the women who take care of the work comp insurance found out that Quad was the one who built the ladder they told me, “Sorry we were at fault.” Well, it was nice to hear someone from the company admit it but it sure didn’t do me any good.

Legally, Quad did nothing wrong. In fact, on paper I quit working at Quad so it is all wrapped up pretty as you please with a nice bow on it. Quad offered me a desk job that I was physically unable to do. I had no choice but to tell them that I was physically unable to do the job. Two days later in the mail I got a letter from Quad that made it sound like they bent over backwards to accommodate me and I “abandoned” them. I was furious but knew there was nothing else I could do. I tried more than once to go back to work after the accident, but the nerve damage was just too severe. According to the surgeon, I came within hours of losing bowel and bladder function permanently.

And now my right leg, along with being numb from the knee down, is starting to waste away. I asked my pain management doctor how far it will go, or if I will completely lose use of it eventually? The doctor just shrugged his shoulders. No one knows how bad my leg is going to get. At least now I can show my leg as proof of my back injury.

No, Quad is not legally responsible for any of this. But at what point does a company that prides itself on taking care of its employees do the right thing on a moral level? On Quad’s own website they proudly proclaim to be for the employee;

“Quad/Graphics is a leading printer and employer, and we remain fully committed to realizing Harry’s vision of finding “a better way” — whether that's putting ink on paper or servicing customers beyond expectation or taking care of employees and their families.

At any point in my situation was I or my family “taken care of” by the company?

I used to sit in the employee stock ownership meetings with giddy excitement. We were always told in those meetings that we would never get rich working for someone else, and that was one of the reasons that we were part owners in the company. We were told that if we stayed with the company long enough, the company would make sure we would retire rich. We were always given examples of the “millionaires” Quad had already made from employee ownership. What happens to those of us who get hurt and can’t work anymore? Does the company owe the employee or the employee’s family anything if it is the company’s fault that they can’t continue? Where does that statement come into play when this happens?

It seems ironic that the same company can get $60 million for another accident that involved a building. Sure the building held a lot of valuable equipment and product, but wasn’t all of that insured? If this accident is worth that much, how much is my accident worth? My ability to earn a living was all but crushed along with my discs and nerves when that rotten ladder broke. Am I worth 10 percent, 5 percent, or even 1 percent of that?

It’s almost a decade later now. We are still trying to build a better life for ourselves. I am trying to give back to the community by donating my time as my son’s Scout Master for Boy Scouts. My wife has finished nursing school, and we are looking at $150,000.00 in school loans that we are going to have to somehow pay back. We have two teenagers who are also going to want to go to college, and Quad gets $60 million?

Is it apples and oranges? Maybe. Is it sour grapes? Again, maybe. But to me it still all comes back to a difference between what is legal and what is moral, ethical, and right; especially coming from a company that was founded on taking care of its employees.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

War protesters show true colors

"I support the troops, but I don't support this war."

I don't want to hear that crap anymore after what happened this weekend at a recruiting center in Milwaukee.

A group, estimated in number to be between 30 to 40 young men and women, using the pretense of the fourth anniversary of our involvement in the Iraq war to take to the streets in protest decided the best way to send their message of disapproval was to desecrate and vandalize a local army recruiting center. The group, dressed in all black and carrying signs decrying our involvement, stopped in front of the army center and began breaking windows, spray painting the front of the building, lit fires on the side walk, and for the final insult threw bags filled with human excrement into the building.

The left can't claim this was just a group of protesters whose emotions got the better of them, or that it was an unorganized "mob" that just happened to join together. Largely due to tips from witnesses, 21 of these "protesters" were able to be apprehended by local police. They ranged in age from l4 to 24, were male and female, and they came from all over South East Wisconsin.

Thinking about this logically tells us this had to be planned well ahead of time. They were all dressed in black, they had to meet in a location close enough to walk to the recruiting center, but probably the grossest fact that tells me this was planned ahead is that someone (probably more than one someone) had to defecate and then collect/assemble it into those bags thrown into the building.

I know the response from the left is that this is just an isolated group who was acting on their own and don't represent blah, blah, blah. But why is it that only the left has their activism turn violent? The tolerant, compassionate, reasonable, supportive of the little guy left is always the side that turns to violence.

Don't believe me? Tell me this, wasn't it great to see all of the supporters of the war as they gathered peacefully in Washington, DC as a counter to the anti-war protesters? The supporters actually outnumbered the protesters and...what? You didn't see the pictures of the supporters? You also say you didn't even know the supporters were there at all?

That pretty much makes my point about the media bias. They made it sound like this huge group had gathered, but failed to mention at all (or mentioned as an afterthought) the larger group of supporters.

The spokesman for the Army recruiting center made a statement about this group of absolute thugs. His words sum up the arrogance and stupidity of this so called protest group. He said that, "we are here to protect this group's right to protest..."

Let that sink in for a while.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Another Phony Scandal

Here we go yet again. The Media and the Democrats are going crazy again claiming that the Bush Administration is trying to cover up a scandal involving the firing of eight United States attorneys. This happened two years ago at the beginning of President Bush's second term as our President. Some of the attorneys are now crying foul, and the Dem's and the media are all too happy to give them a voice. The media is also bringing up the fact that Harriet Miers, who was the White House council at the time, recommended that Bush fire all 93 U.S. attorneys to start the second term fresh. The media is claiming that this was somehow a huge deal, and that the eight that were fired had "political implications."

Let's stop here and take a breath and look at some facts, again. The media didn't bother to tell us that one of the jobs of the President is to appoint the attorneys, and the attorneys serve "at the pleasure" of the President. If Bush wants to hire and fire the attorneys he can. Of course the appointments are "political" because they serve the President.

Now we are supposed to believe that doing something political in Washington D.C. is a scandal? It is part of the job of the people we elect to be political and do the things we sent them to do in the first place.

Another fact of this that the media completely ignored is that when Bill Clinton was president he fired ALL 93 attorneys. When he did this the media didn't seem bothered by it at all. Clinton was the first President ever to fire all 93 at the same time. Here is a dirty little secret that the media also never told us. The only attorney Clinton actually wanted to get rid of was the one from Little Rock Arkansas. That attorney was in charge of the Whitewater investigation and Clinton wanted to put someone of his choosing in there to end the investigation. Clinton knew that he might be called to question if he only fired that one attorney so he decided to fire them all and claim he just wanted a "fresh start" for his term in office.

Which situation is the actual scandal, and if this was such a huge deal why didn't anyone question Bush's decision two years ago when it happened? The Dem's and the media are desperate to create a scandal of some sort because their goal is to bring down our President before his term in office is over. The visceral hatred of this administration is astounding.

We have come to expect this kind of activity from the other side, but I am getting tired of the Republicans total lack of "back bone" when these false accusations are thrown at them. Attorney General Gonzales has said that "mistakes were made" in this situation. What mistakes? Even the media that has been writing and talking about this have all begrudgingly admitted that "no laws were broken," and "nothing illegal took place." Why then are we apologizing and making it look like we might have done something wrong? Someone from this administration needs to stand up and set the record straight. We need LEADERS!

Part of the problem started when Bush tried his "new tone" when he began his Presidency. He has consistently tried to get along with Democrats, but they don't play that way. It frustrates me that Bush hasn't learned by now that you can not get along with Democrats, and it seems that the rest of the Republican party is distancing themselves from Bush because of the upcoming '08 elections.

The Democrat's, with the help of the main stream media, are able to bring any type of charge against this administration, and it seems that no one has the "stones" to fight back.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Scooter debacle

The main stream media is happier than they have been in a long time after hearing the verdict in the Scooter Libby trial today. The reporting has been nothing short of orgasmic, and if the only information you get is from the MSM you may think that this case has finally proven that the White House lied about intelligence leading up to the war in Iraq.

Unfortunately, the case had nothing to do with the war, and the media is perpetuating many lies told not by the administration, but by the clown Joe Wilson.

Some facts are needed in order to put this case in the proper context. These facts are very important but seem to be ignored by democrats and the liberal media.

First; Vallery Plame was NOT an under cover agent for the CIA. The CIA didn't even call her an agent in their statements about her but merely called her an employee.

Second; Joe Wilson was NOT sent to Niger by Dick Cheney, or anyone else in the White House for that matter. He WAS sent by the CIA at the recommendation of his wife-Vallery Plame.

Third; After hearing his report, the Senate Intelligence Agency, which is a bipartisan group, determined that his report SUPPORTED the administrations beliefs that Iraq had in fact been in contact with Niger for the purpose of buying yellow cake.

Fourth; Joe Wilson wrote an op-ed that claimed Iraq did not seek yellow cake. The whole op-ed went against his original report. In other words; the op-ed was the lie.

Fifth; Libby did not leak Plame's name to Novak. It was actually Richard Armitage.

Sixth; Special prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, knew that Armitage was the person who leaked Plame's name BEFORE he indicted Libby.

Okay, this investigation was started to find out who leaked Plame's name. Once it was determined that she was not a covert agent (so no crime was EVER committed), and that Richard Armitage was the person who gave Robert Novak her name to begin with the investigation should have stopped right there. Fitzgerald should have come forward and said that no crime was ever committed so the case is closed.

People are now wondering why Fitzgerald kept going? Did he have a vendetta against the administration, was he trying to make a name for himself, did the power he was given go to his head? It's true that he was given unlimited resources which is unheard of so maybe it did go to his head. After hearing his closing arguments and his statements after the verdict I have come to the conclusion that he had it in his mind from the beginning to try and get Chenney or Bush but Libby was the highest he could get.

So, what did Libby actually do? He talked to some reporters to try and defend the administration's position and refute the lies that Joe Wilson was spreading about his trip to Niger. Wilson was claiming that he was sent by Chenney, and Libby was trying to tell people that it wasn't true. The media has somehow turned it into a crime for the administration to defend its positions. It was never about smearing Wilson or Plame. It was about the truth. But the media has taken Wilson's claims as the gospel truth instead of the lies that they have been proven to be.

The only thing Libby did was not remember who he said what to when. He got caught up in a process crime that Fitzgerald took and ran with. If Fitzgerald had been honest about what was really going on it never would have gotten to the point of Libby's bad memory.

Libby was never charged with anything that had to do with the leak or the war intelligence. But, the media has now spun the whole thing as an indictment against the entire administration. This is a sham and a real person is now facing a felony conviction and possible jail time. This isn't a TV show. A real family is now being torn apart, and a real person may go to prison over something that never even happened.

This is a sad day for our legal system, and a sad day for America. The media and the left however think its Christmas, or should I say "Fitzmas".

Monday, March 05, 2007

Double Standards

Ann Coulter is being criticized for using one of the "F" words that are not allowed in today's society. No, not the big one, but the one that is a derogatory term against homosexuals. She has even drawn the ire of some Republicans who claim she should apologize, and they disavow themselves from herself and the comment. I even heard a caller from a national radio station claim that we as conservatives should always take the high ground and not use terminology like that.

Okay, would I personally ever use that word? No as I don't believe it serves any positive purpose, but I would like to look at this situation in context. The word was used in a joke that revealed the recent trend of people using a quick rehab stint to get back into the good graces of the American people.

I like Ann for many reasons, one being the fact that she is a strong conservative who speaks her mind and never backs down from a fight. I believe she knew this was going to be an inflammatory statement that would bring to light the hypocrisy of political correctness. PC speech is a huge pet peeve of mine as it is with a lot of conservatives. The only point it serves is to give liberals a tool to try to silence speech they don't agree with. The left tries to scare people into believing our rights are being taken away with things like the Patriot Act. PC speech is a much more subtle virus creeping into our lives, but instead of trying to inoculate ourselves from this virus the left embraces it.

Let's look for a minute at the double standard applied in just a couple of cases. If you are a Democrat you can say anything to smear Republicans, our military, Christians, or even our President. Howard Dean,the leader of the DNC (Democrat National Committee), said he hates Republicans and conservatives. He said we are evil, stupid, and the only way we could get a group of African Americans together in a room is if they are part of the wait staff. More than one Senator has called our military an evil organization that tortures, rapes, and kills innocent civilians. Senator John Kerry has told lies about our military twice; separated by thirty years. Rosie O'Donnell, a liberal host of a TV show, said that Christians are just as big a threat as militant Islamofacists and possibly more dangerous. How many times has the President been described as a stupid, dunce, frat boy?

None of this is ever called out or condemned by our media. It is okay to trash these people. What's worse is that too few people on our side ever stand up and fight back. Ann is one of the few who will push back. So when she uses the word to make a point, why are we surprised that she is taken out of context by the media who also completely miss the point of the original statement.

So when I hear one from our side saying that we should always take the high ground I say no. No, because the left is the one setting the high ground, but it is only applied to us. They never play fair so even if we try to follow their rules they will just; change the rules. I would love to see more people like Ann stand up and say, "Hell no! We refuse to play by your rules."

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Discussions with liberals

I spend a lot of time reading as much as I can from both sides of the political aisle so that I can keep myself properly informed. It is a great way to make sure that I am able to form my own opinions. At times though it is very frustrating when I run across an article in a newspaper that is so factually inept that my first instinct is to go into the comment section of the website to try and make my case. This was the case when I read the article entitled "Smearing like it's 2003" by E. J. Dionne Jr. It appeared in Mondays Washington Post, and when I went into the comments section I quickly decided to give up any attempt at correction or even sanity. The absolute drivel and outright filth in the comments section was an eye opener.

So this brings up a question that I have not found an answer to; How do you hold a rational political discussion with a liberal? My original thought for this post was to take apart the article line by line and refute it with facts. But, after reading the comments another thought came to me. I really don't know what the answer is because every time I have tried the discussion quickly disintegrates into an emotional rant or worse, name calling. At this point I have two choices; either try to continue the discussion without sinking to their level or; laugh and walk away from the whole thing.

If you try and continue it is very hard to stick to facts (they have stopped listening by now anyway), and once the inevitable name calling starts it is over anyway. It is funny to note that name calling is always the end result from the left.

I decided to try the "laugh and walk away" tactic. I must say that the results are much more satisfying. You still end up with a few names thrown at your back, but it is fun to hear the frustration.

The only civil conversation I had was with a professor through email. I didn't get any names thrown at me, but I also never got any answers from him. He started with a question which I answered with great detail and loaded with facts. I ended with a question for him to answer, but got nothing in response except for three more questions. I let this continue one more time and yet again got nothing but questions. In the end he did compliment me on my knowledge and said I could have a PHD in political science. This was all fine and good, but he still refused to ever support his positions. I never got any answers from him. I expected more from a professor, but that was my mistake.

I guess my advice is this; if you find yourself trying to talk politics with a liberal don't lose your temper with them, and never sink to their level. Sometimes the best thing to do is just laugh and walk away.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Jim Doyle's definition of a tax

Wisconsin's Governor must have absolutely no idea how businesses operate or capitalism works. Governor Jim Doyle was elected to his second term this past November, and in both of his campaigns he promised all of us that he would not only not raise taxes, but would additionally put in place a "tax freeze". Okay, enough of you out there bought his load of bull to get him re-elected. I want to go on record right now and say, "Don't blame me because I didn't vote for him."

Doyle spent last week talking to various news outlets trying to explain how all of his increases do not qualify as tax increases. Some of his logic is sophistry, but some of his explanations make me wonder if he knows anything about businesses and how they operate. Doyle is proposing huge tax increases on cigarettes, oil companies, hospitals, replacing the 2% cap on property tax increases to 4%, and possibly removing the QEO for teachers. There are also fee increases proposed on vehicle registration among other things that don't get called taxes, but let's get real. If you have to pay something I don't care what you call it; it's a tax.

Doyle's proposals amount to a 1.7 billion (yeah, that B as in BILLION) dollar increase in taxes and fees that you and I are going to have to dig into our pockets to pay for. The worst part of the whole thing is the way Doyle is trying to "spin" all of this. He thinks the average Wisconsinite will believe him when he says that his oil company tax won't be "passed on to the consumer." He actually called this tax increase a "no brainer." He is trying to tell us that language in his increase would keep oil companies from passing on the increase to consumers. Come on, does he really not know how businesses operate? Businesses always pass on their costs to consumers, and paying taxes is one of the costs of doing business that gets passed on. I'm not picking on oil companies here either. All companies do this; if a company can't cover the cost of doing business AND make a profit they won't be in business very long. Oil companies will get this tax money back. They can call the increase to the customer anything they want and there isn't a darn thing the Governor of Wisconsin can do about it.

Democrats always say that they are "for the little guy." How, if that is actually true, can Doyle justify increasing the tax on a pack of cigarettes from 77 cents a pack to $2.02 a pack. Who is this going to hit the hardest? A "rich" person who smokes can absorb the $1.25 increase per pack a whole lot easier than a "poor" person. Doyle says the increased money would help cover the costs of health care and help wean people off of smoking. Huh? If he really believes this will help people stop smoking then he would have projected the money this will generate a lot lower. The whole thought process behind his increase is wrong. But, he knows that no one will object to this because even smokers won't raise any objections to it. If democrats really want to help the little guy why not out law all tobacco products? They will never do this because while they say they are against smoking; they sure do like all of the tax money collected on the backs of tobacco.

Doyle's tax on hospitals amounts to nothing more than a shell game in which he not only gets to punish hospitals that do well, but also get federal money in the process. In a democrats mind any money that the federal government offers must be spent. Even if you have to raise taxes to do it. Where does he think this federal money comes from? Once again, we the tax payers have supplied the federal government with the money that Doyle wants. He tries to claim that hospitals will end up getting more money in the long run. That only works if the State makes good on its promise to give them the money. If I ran a hospital I wouldn't hold my breath on that one. Once again Doyle misses the main point that the cost of this new tax will be passed on to its customers who happen to be sick.

At what point will the public tell Doyle enough is enough? Are we all just sheep who do what ever this Governor says? If that's the case then we really do deserve the government we elect.