Friday, July 10, 2009

President Sees Something He Likes a G8 Summit

President Obama sees something he likes at G8 something. French President Nicolas Sarkozy appears to agree.

Senator Rockefeller’s Stimulus Numbers Don’t Add Up

On June 9th, 2009 Senator Jay Rockefeller sent out an e@mail to many of his constituents. In the e@mail he explains why he voted for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as the “Stimulus Act.” So far the Stimulus Act has done little to help the economy and has mostly been filled with waste, like “$18 million in additional funds are being spent to redesign the Web site” as reported by Jeff Klein of ABC News on June 8th. Peter Nichols of the LA Times reported that over 8,000 stimulus checks were mailed to dead people.

These are just a few of the things happen when our elected officials fail to read what they are voting on. You think they would be able to take the time to do their job right and actually read the bill. One of West Virginia’s representatives, Congresswoman Capito, actually did the right thing and voted “no” because enough time to go over the bill was not given. As the Stimulus Bill continues to fail the American people, those that voted for it are trying to cover their backside with the voters. Senator Rockefeller is no exception, but his numbers do not quite jive.

In the e@mail sent out the Senator states, “700,000 West Virginia families are receiving $300 million in tax cuts through the Making Work Pay Tax Credit.” There is a problem with that number. According to the US Census Bureau’s latest numbers, there are only 502,381 families in West Virginia.

Senator Rockefeller goes on to state in his e@mail, “88,000 West Virginians are benefitting from an additional $25 per week in unemployment compensation, the extension of the emergency unemployment compensation program, and the tax break on the first $2,400 in unemployment compensation benefits received in 2009.” According to the US Department of Labor’s, Bureau of Labor Statistics latest numbers there are only 68,543 unemployed in West Virginia.

This begs the question how can Rockefeller effectively represent the people of West Virginia if he can’t take the time to read the bills that affect us? Rockefeller voted for a bad bill without having the time to read it. He sends an e@mail trying to justify his voting for the bad bill, but portions of the information are just flat wrong. It took less than 5 minutes on the internet for one person to get the correct data, while the Senator with a full staff couldn’t get it right. Rockefeller’s e@mail states, “West Virginians deserve economic policies that will support them through these tough times.” I agree, but I also believe West Virginia deserves a representative takes the time to read bills before he votes on them and takes time to look up the correct information before making a decision for the people of West Virginia. You can’t make good decisions with bad information.

Stepping Stones and Entitlement

It is part of the job of commentators, bloggers, columnists, etc. to look for deeper meanings in everyday events and controversies. Sometimes we stretch things a bit and find depth in a situation where none exists. Sometimes the faithful reader has to be the judge of whether or not we are on target.

Consider the story on the very periphery of the legitimate news, actress Megan Fox's blowup at Transformers director Michael Bay. The 23 year old actress claimed that she did not want to dump feces (she, of course, used a more vulgar word) on her own movie, but went on to say how the emphasis was on special effects rather than acting.

Well, duh. You are in a movie based upon a cartoon originally conceived to market a line of Japanese made toys, not Richard III. I was impressed that the first one had any depth at all.

This is a director known for smash 'em up, big budget, big audience blockbusters. He introduced Nicholas Cage, Ben Affleck (for better or worse) and others to mainstream audiences. You want depth, there are plenty of graduate school film students out there looking to give you a big break. Might not pay as much as a Bay film, though.

The deeper issue is this belief by many young folks that they are entitled to what they want, when they want it. Many young people, even in their early 20s, just do not have a proper perspective to make mature judgments. Bay has made a gazillion dollars over the last decade and a half making a certain brand of movie. At the end of the day, it's less about art and more about capitalism. Expecting him to make something different so one actress can explore her artsy side is ridiculous. Nicholas Cage makes some movies for art and others for a pay day. Stephen King writes in the same way. The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon was art, much of the rest of his writing is for cash and fun.

Megan, it's called a stepping stone and almost all of us do it. We take a job to help develop ourselves even though it means not getting all we want. You build a resume and strike out afterwards for more ambitious roles. Young people naturally think that youth and energy entitles them to anything. They should be taught that paying your dues and working hard is the way to get what you want.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Obama's numbers go negative!

If Slasher Flims were Pro-Second Amendment

On Czars

The first man to assume the title of "czar" was Ivan the Terrible in Russia. His reign introduced a period of totalitarianism never seen again in the country until the time of Stalin. Over twenty years ago the word was used in American government to refer to officials with unprecedented powers to address dangerous problems. President Reagan appointed one to address drugs. Subsequent presidents appointed a few here and there. They were seen as emergency officials, not part of the routine.

Obama has appointed thirty one. Thirty one!

Czar Nicholas I wanted to expand his authority over Russia in the 1800s but found the traditional bureaucracy in his way because his ideas wer emostly ill-founded. To get around them, he appointed special commissioners to do his bidding and ignore the usual government procedures. This created confusion and turf wars more than anything.

Now we have the spectacle of a president creating positions to try and get around the Cabinet that he appointed. Senator Byrd has attacked the proliferation of czars as an abuse of power and an attempt to do an end run around the authority of the Senate over the executive branch. It is now routine in the Obama era to try to rush wrong headed policies thorugh as quickly as possible. The president's henchmen are empowered to do whatever he wants with no oversight whatsoever.

2010 cannot come quickly enough.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Biggest Threat to Our Constitutional Rights

Credit Don Surber for bringing this to our attention.

Let's do some math.

Take the Department of Homeland Security listing tea partyists, NRA members, veterans, etc as potential terrorists.

Add it to a current proposal by Democratic Senator Frank Lautenburg to outlaw gun ownership for anyone on the TSA's no fly list.

What do you get?

A system by which the federal government could outlaw gun ownership to anyone that could not prove their innocence to a liberal bureaucrat.

It is interesting that liberals are so concerned about the rights of those captured on the battlefield, while they seek to void the Constitution for law abiding American citizens.

"Liberalism" is supposed to be based upon the same root as "liberty." All liberals seek to do is tax your wealth, infringe upon your rights, and augment their power.

These people seek to not only roll back the Reagan Revolution, but to also redefine the ideals, values, and very freedoms of this nation. I teach my students that rights are given by God, not a list of things the government lets you do. These people never took that class. At the end of the day, if we let them, we will end up with all the freedoms of North Korea along with the prosperity of that ill starred land.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tom Tancredo Says Sonia Sotomayor Member Of "Latino KKK"

Sypolt Is More Jeffersonian Than Most Attendees of Jefferson Day Dinners

State Senator Dave Sypolt spoke to the Keyser Rotary last week about legislative affairs. One theme that he constantly returned to while discussing the business of the Legislature and the running of state government was efficiency and reduction of costs. For example, he suggested using technology to integrate state information systems to make operations more efficient. That alone could save a great deal of money and reduce the need for personnel. It would also make delivering information less time consuming. Sypolt also criticized the "think tax" mentality of many in state government when it comes to meeting revenue shortfalls. He stated over and over that if we run government more effectively, we can save enough money to make up the difference. Senator Sypolt by principle votes against tax hikes.

Senator Sypolt is right and his principles are very much shared by the founder of the Democratic Party, Thomas Jefferson. While researching my Saturday column, I found repeated statements written at different times in Jefferson's life advocating for small government. Elected officials must remain vigilant and cut programs and positions whenever possible. That way, the government does not have to raise taxes that could ruin private fortunes for public consumption, as Jefferson once explained. The State of West Virginia has a stagnant population. With technology improving constantly, there is no need for our state budget to continue to expand at 8% per year. As Senator Sypolt explained, if we use it right technology can keep our budget at the same levels year after year. Sure this means less political jobs for the administration to use to reward the faithful, but the people of the state would be grateful and vote for any party that cut the budget and taxes for them.

Small government? Less taxes? How often do you hear those concepts at Democratic Jefferson Day Dinners? Sounds like the GOP should have Jefferson dinners, not the modern Democratic Party.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sarah Palin Bashing Award

Gotta Love Joe Biden

Presidential Candidate? You Betcha!

I like Sarah Palin. She brings a fresh and honest approach to national politics that appeals to many people who do not live within 100 miles of blue water. However her decision to resign as Governor of Alaska is truly mystifying.

One ought to run for president based upon what they have done. We have seen very clearly what happens when the people elect a celebrity rather than a person of substance. Substance comes from accumulating years of experience in a position of trust and responsibility. Experience and accomplishment transforms one from a political preacher to the choir to someone that can reach a broader audience who might not generally agree with you.

Few occupations prepare one for the presidency more than two terms as governor of a state. Sarah Palin as state governor had the ability to speak to the burdens that Obama's failed policies place upon her state, its people, and its industry. She could also complain that the empty policy towards North Korea placed her state in the line of fire of that country's nuclear arsenal. Alaska was purchased by Secretary of State William Seward (Republican of course) as a strategic asset. Did she not understand the politically strategic position she used to enjoy? The media didn't like her, but as a state governor they had to pay attention to her. Unfortunately by shedding her position of responsibility, she will be pushed farther into the realm of celebrity and farther away from serious politics. That is not my wish, but it is the way of the media world.

I can understand that she felt that she was trying to sit on two stools balancing her ambition to be president with her job as Alaska governor. In spending too much time in the lower forty-eight, she was losing the allegiance of the people in her own state. It was an honest decision made by an honest person and that in itself is respectable, even if I see it as unwise and missing a huge opportunity.

In such a situation, the aspiring president should cut back on the campaigning and continue proving in their work that they ought to be trusted at the next level. Sarah Palin has only given more ammunition to her critics and that is unfortunate. Winning the GOP nomination means convincing Republicans. We have a different standard than Democrats in expecting a candidate to bring a resume to the table. They nominated a man for president strictly based upon the fact that he could read in a pretty voice.

Like I said, I like Sarah Palin. I just do not see how quitting her job to be a full time candidate will help her ambitions.

Blast from the Past: Walkin on Wall Street