Monday, January 23, 2012
Saturday, January 21, 2012
“I don’t know how many years I’ll release,” said Romney over-top of a booing crowd. Romney pauses then puts on his best presidential smile. “I’ll release multiple years, I don’t know how many years.”
- His tax rate. Romney is said to worth anywhere between 90-250 million. Gingrich for example showed income of 3.1 Million in 2010 and paid 31% of it to taxes. If Romney is using the 15% Capital gains tax; it would mean he is paying half the tax rate of say a Newt Gingrich who is worth considerably less. That wouldn’t fly in this economy nor would it do much to divorce him from the picture of him being an elitist taking advantage of loopholes (regardless if they are legal).
- Romney wants to just get to Super -Tuesday and then coast. Thus wrapping up the nomination and then promptly releasing his returns in April long after the dust is settled. Romney knows he isn’t a conservative, thus getting out of this vetting process will (in his eyes) be his biggest hurdle because he knows the Republicans will choose him over President Obama. Its then, when Romney’s true strengths will take over. His blend of moderate ideals coupled with his keen business acumen can go head to head with Obama in where the election will be won and lost. In that 15-20 percentile of independent voters.
Friday, January 20, 2012
Graphic courtesy of Propublica
What a difference 24 hours makes? We are seeing firsthand just how powerful the internet has become. The petitions and blackouts virtually killed two pieces of legislation that was aimed at crimping the net's influence; in one day. It stands to reason why those in the power structure wish to blunt its effectiveness. Information is the internet. Information = Power. The powerful don't like competition, therefore we must not allow any attempts to discredit or regulate the ability for us all to have access to it.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Whether it was Google's black stripe across its logo or Wikipedia actually blacking out its website for 24 hours, it appears freedom has one a battle in a long war waged by the State and its "business interests" in a conquest who's prize lies in the regulating of the internet.
Many internet users were surprised to see many of the sites the come to rely on so much in their day to day activities be altered or in cases like Wikipedia - shut down in protest of the legislation on the hill that threatens one of the key caveats of the net: anonymity.
That surly led to outrage, as users were directed by sites like Wikipedia to their local elected leaders of the House and Senate via their zip codes. I myself couldn't pass up on the opportunity to tell Mike Kelly, my Representative to the House just what i thought about HR 3261 (SOPA); and i did just that (thank you Wikipedia).
His office was rather cagey when asked of the Congressman's support for SOPA. Just introduced on October 26 2011, and being that its only in Committee, I was not sure where Mr Kelly would weigh in either way. He was not a co-sponsor and there was no vote and a Google search turned up... nothing. That's what his office basically told me... nothing: "we have no comment either way".
According to SOPA Track, Mr Kelly has received $101K from Pro-SOPA interests compared to $29K from Anti-SOPA interests. There has been online petitions with millions of signatures...4.5 million in Googles alone according to Forbes. In just days, eighteen Senators have tucked tail and dropped support due to the public firestorm, it will be interesting to see how this unfolds on a national level and in my case with Mr Kelly; the local as well.
Its a view that usually goes unnoticed, being the people vs big business and the representatives caught in the middle with their pants down. I, like many sit in eager anticipation to see where loyalties and convictions lie.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Muslims Say Ron Paul Is Their Kind Of Republican
Now this was not a piece written by the Huff-Post, but rather by a reporter from Religion News Service named Omar Sacirbey, who covers Islam for the organization. It was a story written around the opinions of three people who were presented to be of Islamic faith. One was a convert to Islam in her 50's named Adolf (no joke) and the other two were:
An 18 year old who said he like Paul because "is the only candidate willing to get tough with Israel." Now that was the authors viewpoint of this 18 year old, those were never his words in the report.
The other, was a man named Rizwan Kadir, a financial consultant in suburban Chicago who voted for Obama (imagine that) in '08 but who now say's he is "very disappointed." Just not enough to give up his support for Obama this year... at least not yet: "If it came down to him and Obama, I don't know," Kadir said.
Nowhere in this piece was anything (statistically speaking) that would indicate Muslim support for Dr Paul is of anything of significance. Maybe there is such support; you just wouldn't know it from this report. The problem is, if its just three people giving thier viewpoints and/or "four 'Muslims for Ron Paul' Facebook pages" or if one of those 3 people aren't even sure they will be VOTING FOR DR PAUL... its not an accurate depiction of the title. In fact, i don't know how a middle school newspaper could approve this of being newsworthy... but there you have it.
Obvious question is, why? Could it be Dr Ron Paul's Foreign Policies are quite controversial in Conservative ranks? Could it be an overwhelming majority of Republican candidates support a war with Iran? Could it be the uneasy topic of Muslim and terrorism and how many US citizens automatically correlate the two? Could it be the crack pot crazy uncle Ron is attracting the gutter once again, like the storm-fronters and 9-11 inside job camp? We have seen this narrative before and the more it goes on the more desperate those drumming up this hogwash look.
I for one, have no issue with Muslim Americans supporting Dr Paul. In fact, I welcome it. Liberty and freedom appeal to all demographics and Muslims that want the same should vote for Dr Paul because he represents just that. However, this tells the reader nothing about this. The Huffington makes no secret of where they butter they're bread. For a website and news-source that has more left turns than Talladega in early May... i find it curious the lengths they too have gone to drive "the agenda". Makes you have to say, hmmm?
Friday, January 6, 2012
- No more bailouts
- Reduce the size and intrusiveness of government
- Stop raising our taxes
- Repeal Obamacare
- Cease out-of-control spending
- Bring back American prosperity
“The Tea Party Express came into existence as the tea party movement was awakened by the famous Rick Santelli rant that swept across the country in February of 2009.”
My knee-jerk reaction is pretty straight to the point. Wasn’t it Ron Pauls 2007 “Moneybomb” record setting fundraiser in which he raised 4.3 million in 24 hours and protests on Tax day in 2008 that started the Tea Party Movement? Santelli’s epic rant was one year later.
If those six simple principals are what this Tea Party is about, and since they are all being of economic matters – how in the world is their any question who to support? Is there anyone more conservative economically than Dr Paul. How do these people get on national TV if a simple search refutes their whole existence?
Or are my thoughts and feelings about the tea party the last few years indeed more than just loose thoughts and instead obvious facts. The "Tea Part" of economic responsibility was hijacked by the remnants of the Neoconservatives and Obama bashers? Afterall, wasn't the tea party in Boston 200+ years ago about... taxes?
Thursday, January 5, 2012
As we continue our buildup to combat the dangers of the War on Terror, somewhere along the way; somebody failed to tell our elected leaders that the defense budget was becoming super sized. Wasn’t the Homeland security created to organize our communications and protect us here at home from terrorism? That budget this year was 57 Billion.
But the beat goes on and the defense budget keeps increasing. It was President Bush who was once labeled a war monger by many of us (and rightfully so) yet President Obama has not only kept up the same strategies, he has expanded upon them and increased spending along the way. So what exactly is the defense budget and how does it relate to other nations spending?
First, here is a little perspective:
"This may surprise some people, but there will be no cuts in military spending because we’re only cutting proposed increases. If we do nothing, military spending goes up 23% over 10 years. If we [make these cuts], it will still go up 16%."So, in reality this is just slightly blunting the momentum of the leviathan that is the DOD. The Department and its cozy relationship with Congress and Industry (queue the black and white Eisenhower farewell address) remain warm and fuzzy and most importantly to those three love birds: intact and thriving.
And that I believe is the point. It has to be. How can anyone, given the information and the trends not see defense as a bloated bureaucracy, one that should be first in-line on the chopping block? Our ever expanding Department of Defense is not in an arms race yet their budget and approach clearly says otherwise. Shouldn’t we be shaping our military to fight the battles of the 21st Century; instead of preparing for an enemy of the twentieth that doesn’t exist?
In 2010 we spent almost six times the amount on defense than China does and eleven times more than Russia; yet many if not a majority of our elected leaders refuse to accept the notion of making cuts in defense. To me, it’s pretty clear… if we take the 18 nations that spend the most on defense; the US outspends all of her counterparts… ALL 17 of them COMBINED. So cuts are not only logical in our economic situation but they are a necessity; even if we were not drowning in debt.
Isn't it a bit silly for us to be even worried about a war with another super power in the first place? The idea of us engaging in war with a China or Russia is almost laughable because of how implausible it is. For one, it would be certain nuclear mutual devastation and then you have the reality of China and the US being so economically intertwined; it would be disruptive to both countries at so many levels.
In fact so much so that even the funding of a sustainable war would be impossible. Most people in this country see China as an economic threat and rightfully so, but it’s a threat only because we depend on them so much; as they do us. Our 1/4+ Trillion dollar trade deficit with a nation has a tendency to create a little codependency.
We are building a military prepared to wage a war not seen since the days of Hitler and we are outspending every nation at astronomical rates. Who is the war on terror about anyway? Stateless organizations whom hide in caves and target random civilians around the globe. Isnt that a threat to all nations? Why do they not allocate the resources that we do?
It just doesn’t seem to make sense. To fight such an enemy that is no more dangerous or powerful than a drug cartel using conventional warfare with cold war spending and tactics. How we cannot connect these dots is astounding if it wasn’t so downright intellectually offensive.
Monday, January 2, 2012
"As a conservative, I do not make the charge of bigotry lightly. I do not accuse people of bigotry simply because I have good faith differences of opinion with them over policy."
Not once in this article does Mr Cohen ever talk about votes or policy, not once. Instead the focus is entirely around the eight sentences written 20 years ago that Mr Paul denied writing. My question is, if Mr Paul is a bigot than surly his record would indicate that to be true, right? If we are putting so much stalk in a few outlandish sentences written so long ago than his work as an elected representative for 30+ years should carry at least the same amount of scrutiny and be at least equally viable to help produce the conclusion of bigotry; or at least one would assume? However, that simply isnt the case.
Mr Cohen says he doesnt like to accuse people of something based on policy but he does however feel the need to brand someone as a bigot based on such a small sample size written many years ago without ever taking his voting record or policies into consideration? Is that logical? Or is that emotional? Mr Cohen calls himself a conservative but yet he worked as a bureaucrat under George W Bush the most liberal "Republican" in the history of this nation in terms of expansion of government... hardly conservative. I cant seem to find anything hes says negative about his former boss so therefore Mr Cohen isnt a conservative at all, despite what he calls himself . Hes a Neoconservative. A Big spending (liberal) Neoconservative. In fact that is what this article should have read:
“The "war on drugs" is a losing battle and has put tens-of-millions of non-violent Americans in prison giving America the highest prison population in the world. Doesn't sound like the land of the free afer-all, does it?. Legalizing drugs will make drugs lose their street value thus ending the stealing and killing that drug dealers cause. We need to work to help those that are addicted to drugs, not kill them or throw them behind bars! The losing drug-war has cost taxpayers billions while lining the pockets of government backed cartels!”
This is one last quote ill leave you with regarding Mr Pauls racist viewpoints: "A system designed to protect individual liberty will have no punishments for any group and no privileges. Today, I think inner-city folks and minorities are punished unfairly in the war on drugs. For instance, Blacks make up 14% of those who use drugs, yet 36 percent of those arrested are Blacks and it ends up that 63% of those who finally end up in prison are Blacks. This has to change. We don’t have to have more courts and more prisons. We need to repeal the whole war on drugs. It isn’t working. We have already spent over $400 billion since the early 1970s, and it is wasted money. Prohibition didn’t work. Prohibition on drugs doesn’t work. So we need to come to our senses. And, absolutely, it’s a disease. We don’t treat alcoholics like this. This is a disease, and we should orient ourselves to this. That is one way you could have equal justice under the law."
What holds more weight… a voting record as consistent as there is in any branch of government since the days of our founding fathers, a "libertarian message" that promotes individuality thus eliminating collectivism (racism) and the quotes above and many more like it from the same person? Or, maybe a few sentences from a few newsletters that was of racist content and denied by the alleged author written 20 years ago? How anyone can assume the latter is not only slander based on the content proving otherwise; it’s just not logical or even relevant. Or maybe for Mr Cohen, it’s more than that... maybe Dr Paul's plan to end the Department of the Interior on Day 1 of his presidency hits home thus nullifying his 15 minutes of fame? Or maybe, its just me and my emotion and imagination running wild. Funny how that happens sometimes isn’t it? Bureaucrat to the end it appears.
Saturday, December 31, 2011
Thursday, December 29, 2011
It’s kind of funny to watch Mitt Romney nestle up to the American working man of the mid-west. You see it all over Iowa as if he feels in his heart of heart… he understands their problems and really feels their plight. The man who once joked he was “also unemployed” to a table of alleged people in Florida who were actually… unemployed. All this despite that he sits on a net worth that’s said to be over 200+ million. Hardly, the same situation the almost 10% of Americans face, no doubt.
See, Romney chooses to be unemployed. He quit his job as Governor. What has he done since? He’s run for President ... yes, for four years. So, in reality, Romney should be the shoe in for the Republican nomination. He has obviously concentrated four years on this moment, thus his organization is strong and built up. He has the biggest war chest of anyone running. Last but not least, he has K-Street and big business on his side.
Politico ran a story in July about the super PAC: Restore Our Future, where 90 of the wealthiest citizens poured in 12.2 million dollars for Mr Romney. This was the same month where Jonathen Martin of Politico reported a fundraiser where Romney joined Trent (super lobby) Lott in a “lawyers for Romney” dinner that included a who’s who of lobbyists. According to OpenSecrets.com, Romney at this time, leads all candidates (including Pres Obama) in fundraising in the following sectors:
Hedge Funds & Private Equity
Securities and Investment
And not just leading; he’s cleaning up, at a rate of at least 2:1 in all three sectors. Why do you suppose Romney attracts the elite? Because, Mr. Romney is quite frankly, one of them. Good or bad he is big business through and through. He’s Wall Street incarnate. He presents both the ideals and the soul of Wall Street. That isn’t necessarily bad, but the soul and ideals of Wall Street are on separate paths.
The soul of Wall Street was and will always be the investing in America. It’s the place where mice become giants; both individually and corporately. It goes back to the time where people bought into companies for the long term because they believed in them. Not because of some algorithm or day trader of the modern era... it was but the true investing in the future of Americana. Mitt Romney is proof of that. He climbed the ladder. However, the ideals of Wall Street are much less clear. The best description would be murky at best; while many might say – haughty and insatiable. And it appears that is how some see Mr Romney as well.
This is a guy who made a fortune off leveraged buyouts; buying up struggling companies (with borrowed money) and then slashing personnel, shipping jobs overseas and selling off assets to pay off his company; while many of them filed for bankruptcy afterwards. If he views corporations as people, what does he see the people inside those corporations as? This is hardly a job creator...think of him more in the Ryan Bingham mold. But, its part of that Wall Street ideal he is a part of. How can anyone go into a job creation business (i don’t agree with this Presidential notion of job creating, it’s the general economy, but I digress) when all they have done is take them away?
Some might point to his tenure at governor where he left with a 2 Billion dollar surplus as an indication of fiscal conservatism and it would be hard to argue but should the government be running a profit? If you think about it, shouldn’t all levels of government look to break even? In an economy where jobs are at the forefront his term as Governor paints a picture that isn’t as rosy as his profits. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in his time in office the state only seen 1.2% more jobs then when he entered office, hardly a guy “who knows jobs”. If you factor in population and other variables; 1.2% isn’t worth a hill of beans. In fact during that time period, it ranked 47th in the nation.
What does this all mean? It means the country faces an era of uncertainty and a looming battle for what we want and how we will have to pay (without borrowing) for it. There is going to come a time where Americans have to understand that our way of life as we know it cannot be sustained on its current path and tough choices are going to have to be made. Is Mitt Romney a guy to do so? On the outside it appears, yes, he is. He has the credentials and the reputation as a “cleaner” and in this environment that could play well; we need someone to do just that, clean up the mess in Washington. However, underneath the surface what does that entail? His constant politicking and coming off chameleon like has put people off and the perception is he will say anything to anyone to win their vote; that just isn’t principled.
Then you have his ties to Wall Street. President Obama ran on a platform that was about as anti-establishment/Wall Street as you can get; however his cabinet was anything but. We didn’t see any change but instead more of the same old failures. How will Mitt Romney be any different, despite his proven ability to do so? From my view it’s hard to take the Establishment out of an Establishment candidate and if his backers are any indication - it looks like business as usual.