No Peas, No Justice

In his press conference Monday, President Obama discussed debt ceiling negotiations and told us that it was time to “pull off the bandaid. Eat your peas.”

It was a flip comment, but an insightful one as well as to how he thinks.

Hey, a lot of us like peas. Why wouldn’t we eat them? He assumes that because he thinks we’re children and don’t know better. Evidently Obama thinks we have neither the intelligence nor the discipline to conduct ourselves in a healthy manner. It is so disrespectful of the American people it’s appalling.

Why are he and Michelle so obsessed with what people eat anyway? It pops up almost daily, as it did in his presser. Meanwhile she’s telling kids to eat vegetables – and got a billion to overhaul school lunch – while she runs to the Shake Shack for a cheeseburger, fries and milk shake. It’s a Marie Antoinette moment.

While we’re told to be on a diet when it comes to sacrificing for the budget, he’s heading to the all you can eat Congressional pork buffet.

It’s not right and the American people know it’s not if you watch the polls. President Obama, you’re the one who needs to go on a fiscal diet. You eat the peas and then we’ll talk.

Mitch Is Right

Before you get riled about Senator Mitch McConnell’s proposal regarding the debt ceiling, take a deep breath.

Talk radio and blogs are near hysteria, calling him Pontius Pilate and pontificating that we must stand by our principles! Ditch Mitch bumper stickers are being printed. Many doubt that the senator from Kentucky has our interests at heart. They see him ceding power to Obama and taking it away from the legislature.

It’s always fun to get indignant and self righteous, but consider what’s going on. Yesterday when Obama said he couldn’t assure “folks” (Why always folks? Can’t we be Americans or citizens?) that Social Security checks, veterans benefits, military pay or disability checks would go out if the debt ceiling was not lifted. Many like to think the electorate is savvy enough to recognize this as the deceitful ploy and thuggish threat it is, but don’t count on it. A staunch Republican 83-year-old called a friend “frantic” with worry about whether she’d get her check. We all thought she knew better, but when people are scared they do not act rationally.

Jennifer Rubin, writing the Right Turn blog at the Washington Post, sees what’s happening. Here’s how she describes it: “McConnell had enough of the phony White House talk. The White House offered a paltry $2 billion in actual, immediate cuts.

“McConnell gave a speech to make clear that wasn’t enough and that the debt limit would be raised only with real cuts and without tax hikes. McConnell could sit back and wait for default. But he comes up with a mechanism to force Obama to put up cuts. Send them to Congress and face default if the president’s cuts don’t go through.

“In the process he makes 34 Democrat Senators vote over and over on cuts (the sound you hear is the conga line at the Senate Republican Committee headquarters).

“But if there is no deal then the defaults will not be on the shoulders of the Republicans.”

McConnell explained a few of these facts on the Laura Ingraham radio show this morning. He pointed out that we only have one third of the government. He said that the U.S. has never defaulted and wasn’t going to this time. He emphasized that he will not accept tax increases. He also said he would not stand by and let his party take the blame for any fallout. Obama owns the economy and should in 2012.

In this scenario the House retains full appropriation authority, giving Obama the rope with which to hang himself. As McConnell said a day ago, it is clear that the only real solution to the problem is a new president. He’s looking down the road – realistically – to 2012.

Keith Koffler at whitehousedossier.com blog calls it the “GOP Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too” plan and “brilliant.” Koffler understands that “McConnell will take the crap from them (Congressional Republicans) for getting them off the hook… Conservatives get to pretend they’ve done something noble by supporting a policy of not raising the debt ceiling that would quickly destroy the economy. And Obama and the Democrats will take the heat.

“The reality is that voters who put Obama in office and gave the Senate to the Democrats. If a deal with Obama that doesn’t raise taxes is not possible then you don’t destroy the country out of spite. You go back and campaign to get a different political calculus in Washington.”

Some of the hysterical voices on talk radio, the National Review and Redstate are not thinking strategically. Their advice didn’t work out so well with Mitt Romney who enacted Obamacare in Massachusetts or with Christine O’Donnell in Delaware who gave the almost certain Republican Senate seat to a far left, Socialist Democrat, did it?

McConnell is a smart and trustworthy Republican. Let’s give him a listen.

Taxing Events

Two stories today illustrate the absurdity and frustration of our tax system.

When Derek Jeter attained his 3,000 hit over the weekend Christian Lopez caught the ball. Although the 23 year old cell phone salesman could have kept it and made a lot of money from it, the sports fan did the honorable thing and handed it over to Jeter. In appreciation, the Yankees gave him tickets for a suite for the rest of the baseball season, plus bats and jerseys.

The ball was estimated to be worth $250,000 but Lopez said, “He (Jeter) deserves this, he’s worked hard for this… I’m not the type of person to take this away from him.”

His generosity was quickly called foul by Uncle Sam. Sam says the tickets are worth about $40,000 and Lopez owes the IRS $10-14,000. Lopez, a recent graduate of St. Lawrence University still owes money on his student loan. Now he owes that, plus another chunk.

Lawyers say Lopez should have kept the ball and sold it later. He could have given it to Jeter in the future, either for money or not, keeping it on the QT from the IRS. Now Lopez is being called a chump. How sad is it that now it’s a matter for legal sharks to tussle over and ultimately benefit from. Something is wrong with our system.

Something is also wrong with our system when people are now suggesting that charitable donations not get tax deductions. Allan Luks of the Fordham Center for Nonprofit Leaders wants people to give to the government rather than to personal charities. He suggests people pay taxes on their first $1,000 charitable deduction. This would mean that the $10 you put in the church basket would cost you $350 when the tax man takes a look.

Luks says this needs to be done “as a symbol that we all need to come behind the government.” He thinks that the current government debt crisis should be our major concern. The government should be the recipient of our charity, too, because they know better how to apportion it.

It’s also a great way to weaken organized religion and faith. Get rid of that and the government can assume an even greater moral role in our lives.

That’s why taxes need to be pared and the correct vote when taxes are a ballot issue is always no. It always means that you lose rights and the government gains power.

The Very Young Republican Club

Republicans in Shelby County just expanded by two.

On July 8, John Charles “Charlie” Joy entered the world at 2:39 a.m. He is the son of Shelby County Republican Chairman Justin Joy and his wife, Amanda. Charlie weighed 7 lbs. 2 oz. and was 21-1/2″ long.

Former Election Commission chairman Bill Giannini and his wife, Michelle, welcomed another Republican into the world. He is Andrew Coda Giannini.

Congratulations to both parents!

O’s Press Conference Translated

Obama was late to his 10 a.m. press conference today. When he got to the podium, his eyes looked different – more sunken than I have seen. There was a whiff of desperation about him. The usual elongated “ands” (annnnnd), “thats” (thaaaaaaat) and “is” (iiiiiiiis) quickly punctuated his speech.
I’ve picked out the more interesting things he said, along with my comments in parentheses.
He began by discussing the dilemma and said he told Congress “to bring back to me some ideas.” (Wait a minute; isn’t he supposed to be the one who leads?) Obama said he would “not accept a 30, 60, 90 or 180 day stop gap resolution to this problem. This is the United States of America, and we don’t manage our affairs in three month increments.” (Whenever someone puffs up and hides behind “this is the United States of America” righteous – on their part – indignation follows. Three month increments? Would he prefer the five year plans of Communist states?)
“If we think it’s hard now, imagine how these guys are going to be thinking six months from now in the middle of an election season when they’re all up,” Obama said. (Just them? Aren’t you up, too, in fact the top billing on the marquee?) He went on to say it was time to “pull off the bandaid” (even if we’re still bleeding?) and “eat our peas” (the special, organic, no pesticide ones Michelle grows in the White House garden or do you mean the LeSueur canned ones because I like the fresh ones better?)
“I want to be crystal clear,” Obama said. (Uh, oh, that always reminds me of Nixon wanting to be perfectly clear.) “Oil companies and profits” followed. (You knew it would. It’s become a drinking game tag along with corporate jets and that was right behind it.)
Here comes the Bush bash, “The place to get those revenues is from folks like me, who have been very fortunate and millionaires and billionaires who can afford to pay a little bit more (only a little?) going back to the Bush tax breaks.” (Bingo!)
“We don’t want to let hedge fund managers or best selling authors off the hook.” (I get the hedge fund boogie men, but when did authors assume that role?)
“That is a reasonable proposition. So when you hear folks say (why are we always folks? It sounds quaint, but patronizing) the president shouldn’t want massive job killing, tax increases when the economy’s this weak, nobody’s looking to raise taxes this week. We’re talking about potentially 2013 and the out years.” (when you have squeaked into your second term and can lower the boom then.)
He goes on to say that letting the payroll tax holiday lapse would weaken the economy. “I have bent over backwards to work with the Republicans trying to work up a formulation” (I think you want them to bend over backwards.)
“I don’t see a path to a deal if they don’t budge period. If the basic proposition is it’s my way or the highway then we’re probably not going to get something done because we’ve got divided government.” (You had the trifecta for the first two years and all you Democrats managed to do was to spend us up the river.)
Chip Reid, a usually reliable Obama acolyte, actually managed to ask a good question, well sort of. He said wasn’t it the people who weren’t in the room with O, McConnell and Boehner – the Republicans (the elephants not in the room, so to speak?) and the 69% of the American people who don’t want the debt ceiling raised who were impeding the effort? “Isn’t the problem that you and others have failed to convince the American people of the crisis we’ll have?”
O went on to tell him the difference between professional politicians and the public at large. “The public is not paying close attention to the ins and outs of how a treasury auction goes. They shouldn’t. (Yes, if we all just sat back and thought of England we’d enjoy it so much more.)
“We’re paid to worry about it.” (Yes, but it’s our money.) “The professional politicians (aren’t you one, too?) know better and for them to say we shouldn’t be raising the debt ceiling is irresponsible.”
He said he and Tim Geithner don’t relish all this bad news. “I’d rather be out here talking about things like new programs ($$$$), the NFL season getting resolved (that shouldn’t even be on your radar!); unfortunately that’s what’s on our plate” (That’s what being president is all about, isn’t it? Cue the tiny violins.)
He talked about how “Medicare might run out of money and we will not be able to sustain that program.” (His Affordable Care Act cut it in half, whacking 500 billion out of Medicare.) Then he finished with a litany of things “Progressives care about” that make America great: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, student loans, roads (unions!), Head Start, medical research, infrastructure (more unions!).(All share the commonality of dependence on government, don’t they? Not what I think makes America great.)
Obama spoke of preserving Social Security, but no Republican has suggested it be gutted or stopped, only the age limit pushed back in the far future. Ah, Social Security, the bloody flag Democrats always rally around.
He goes on to say that he wants to do something big and something reformative, but it’s a chimera. This same playbook was foisted on Reagan. He agreed to some tax hikes with the promise of reform down the road, but it’s always down the road. Congressmen have their terms up and poof they’re gone and so are their promises. No thanks, Mr. O.
The press conference lasted about 45 minutes. Obama did remind us that his “biggest priority in the administration is putting the economy back on track and putting people to work (that year of Obamacare getting passed wasn’t a distraction) but without relitigating the past I am absolutely convinced and the vast majority of economists are convinced that the steps we took in the Recovery Act saved millions of people their jobs or created a whole bunch of jobs (on this planet or another?) and part of the evidence of that is as what you see happen as the Recovery Act is phasing out. When I came into office (me! me! me!) budgets were hemorrhaging at the state level (still are) and it was giving states help…”
And so it continued. Had Obama given this during the campaign or early in his presidency perhaps it would have gone over better. Now that we have heard the words, but not seen the results, it was another pathetic performance.

Twisted Logic

Today the House plans to vote to repeal the ban on incandescent light bulbs. Since they voted to oust light bulbs in favor of the twisted CFLs, the House has heard from Americans eager to stop this intrusion into our lives. Not only are the CFLs expensive, they are dangerous. Break one and your whole house needs a hazmat team to get rid of the deadly mercury. And who should tell Americans what they can use in their own homes?
Energy Secretary Steven Chu believes Congress does. He thinks they have the right to tell us what kind of light bulb we buy. He said, “We are taking away a choice that continues to let people waste their own money.”
Now let that sink in.
He is saying – as is the administration – that you do not know what to do with your own money. You are not responsible enough to spend your money. The government knows better than you do what kind of light to put in your house. You are not smart enough to figure it all out. Only elites can do that.
The scary next step – and there would be one – is taking your money directly. Uncle Sam already has his hand on your paycheck before you even see it with taxes and Social Security deductions. Why not take the whole thing and give back to you what you need, since you aren’t smart enough to determine that?
Well that’s Communism bright as day.
And that’s why this light bulb issue is such a big one. It takes away a basic, simple right that would appall our Founders.
Getting you to accept something always starts with the little things.
Let’s hope this passes in a veto proof majority. If not, they’ll have to keep bringing it up until it does.

Memphis Talk Show Host Targets Romney’s Mormonism

Local talk show host Ben Ferguson, who also appears on Fox News as a commentator, discusses Romney’s chances on this local newscast. He then goes to the street to ask people if they know about some unusual beliefs about the Mormon faith.

You may find it offensive that he jabs Romney’s beliefs, but he has a valid point. Obama’s team will be sure to bring these issues up. Romney escaped scrutiny in 2008 because he did not win the nomination. Should he get it this time, operation researchers in Team Obama will have lots of ammunition, not to mention late night comedians.

Local talk show host Ben Ferguson, who also appears on Fox News as a commentator, discusses Romney’s chances on this local newscast. He then goes to the street to ask people if they know about some unusual beliefs about the Mormon faith.

You may find it offensive that he jabs Romney’s beliefs, but he has a valid point. Obama’s team will be sure to bring these issues up. Romney escaped scrutiny in 2008 because he did not win the nomination. Should he get it this time, operation researchers in Team Obama will have lots of ammunition, not to mention late night comedians.

Nit Twits

There is no more humorous writer in the blogosphere than Iowahawk. If you haven’t visited his website, www.iowahawk.typepad.com, do; it’s a treat.
Of course, he had lots of questions for Obama’s Twitter Town Hall. Here are a few:
“How come you haven’t made unemployment illegal? #duh
Would you get tougher with Iran if you knew they were working with Scott Walker?
Is this question racist?
If Joe Biden has a massive stroke, (a) do you have a replacement in mind, and (b) how would you tell?
The staffer who suggested this twitter Town Hall is fired, isn’t he?
Subtract Malia’s age from the number of states. Multiply the result by the number of jobs saved or created.
When you’re visiting his volcano lair, does George Soros let you feed the laser sharks?
Why isn’t your cabinet unionized?
Instead of making cars get 62 mpg, why not 62 million mpg? Also, do something about the gravitational constant.
On behalf of the entire US population: dude, WTF?
Lets say instead of winning the future, we end up in a tie. Do we then go to sudden death overtime?
When your economic advisors hold policy meetings, do they stuff a towel at the bottom of the door?
Does it bother you that your Twitter stunt worked out better for me than you?
Will you be my 10,000th follower?”
There’s much more. Go check it out.