"Once abolish God and the government becomes the God." -G.K. Chesterton

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Obama Makes JW's "Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians" List

No surprise here. The president has brought the Chicago Way to Washington, with less transparency and more closed door meetings and secret deals than ever before. It's been a long, sad year of passing bad legislation by buying senators' and representatives' votes. On top of that, you have the Fauxbama attacking and demonizing private companies and investors, not to mention the watchdog media and conservative critics, while working to line the pockets of his Democratic firends and allies. The One has spent us into oblivion, growing corrupt government agencies while the private sector and small businesses suffer. He finished the year by vacationing in an expensive Hawaiian villa while 1 in 6 Americans is out of work.

Here's what Judicial Watch had to say about President Obama's "change":

President Obama boldly proclaimed that "transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency," but his administration is addicted to secrecy, stonewalling far too many of Judicial Watch's Freedom of Information Act requests and is refusing to make public White House visitor logs as federal law requires. The Obama administration turned the National Endowment of the Arts (as well as the agency that runs the AmeriCorps program) into propaganda machines, using tax dollars to persuade "artists" to promote the Obama agenda. According to documents uncovered by Judicial Watch, the idea emerged as a direct result of the Obama campaign and enjoyed White House approval and participation. President Obama has installed a record number of "czars" in positions of power. Too many of these individuals are leftist radicals who answer to no one but the president. And too many of the czars are not subject to Senate confirmation (which raises serious constitutional questions). Under the President’s bailout schemes, the federal government continues to appropriate or control -- through fiat and threats -- large sectors of the private economy, prompting conservative columnist George Will to write: “The administration's central activity -- the political allocation of wealth and opportunity -- is not merely susceptible to corruption, it is corruption.”

Nine of the ten spots were occupied by Democrats, including Senate Banking Chair Chris Dodd (D-Conn). But if you think Judical Watch is a partisan attack machine, think again. Last year 4 Republicans made the list.

Lost hope yet?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Top Ten Worst Top Ten Lists of 2009

Tis the season for every yokel with a blog or a column to engage in the pompous ritual of making an end of year or decade list. Me included. Here are some of the lamest lists I've encountered thus far:

10. Top Ten Animal Stories of the Year (Time)
Because animals are a core demographic coveted by high dollar advertisers.

9. Top Ten Movies That Almost Made my Top Ten List (San Fran Chronicle)
Some people might call this a top twenty. I call it indecisive.

8. Top Ten Canadian Foods (Crave Online)
Canada apparently has its own cuisine. Who knew?

7. Top Ten Astronomy Pictures (Discover)
They've got one of Orion taking off his belt.

6. Top Twenty iPhone Apps (Wired)
Also known as top twenty ways to ignore everyone in the room.

5. Top Ten Poker Events of the Decade: Part 1 (pokernewsdaily.com)
Here's betting their definition of "event" is a little more lax than yours or mine.

4. Top Ten Marriage Blogs (themarryblogger)
Slightly less salacious than the singles blogs I visit.

3. Top Ten Political Tweets (Politico)
Almost as exciting as a Palin facebook post.

2. Top Ten Transportation Stories of the Decade (Baltimore Sun)
Six of these are still under construction. The other four made last decade's list.

Maybe those astronomy pics aren't so bad after all. How else do you explain this?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Silent Night, Obama Night (A Christmas carol for the new messiah)

When the Democrats and crazy progressives are finished passing their "gift" to the American people on the floor of the US Senate come Christmas Eve, a promise to intrude into our personal lives and regulate individual behavior forever while confiscating even more of our wealth, remember to sing it loud and sing it proud. We're all socialists now! All hail the mighty new messiah!

Silent night, Obama night

Reid holds vote to slash your rights

Pay your taxes to abort a child

Holy Senate spends money like wild

Sleep in bureaucratic peace

We've rationed your health care

So rest forever in peace.

Silent night, bribery at night

Americans quake at the sight

Glorious gifts for Dodd and Landrieu

Nelson is singing Alleluia!

Obama's the Saviour its sworn

But the Constitution's been torn.

Silent night, liberty's fight

2000 page bill is tyranny-lite

Radiant beams from lobbyists' face

Premiums to rise at a record pace

Jesus, what have we done?

We shouldn't have elected The One.

Yes, it's truly come to this. Obama can't handle being upstaged even by Christ, so he's going to make himself the focal point of Christmas weekend. I'm holding out for a miracle, but if this monstrosity goes through I'm afraid 2010 is going to be a depressing year. Pass the eggnog.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Return of Barack the Magnificent

Today, Barack the Magnificent brought out the usual smoke and mirrors to pretend he was concerned about government spending and the ballooning national debt. He pretended to have just discovered that the government wastes money. Eureka! In related news, Tiger Woods pretended he just discovered infidelity.

Of course, we all know Obama has never met a statist policy or earmark he didn't like. This is a man, after all, who believes government can solve everything and blames free enterprise for our current problems. Nevermind progressives and progressive policy are responsible for the majority of the fiscal gap facing our nation, and the entitlement programs they started are bankrupting us while guaranteeing higher taxes down the road.

Polls show Americans are worried about wasteful government spending, so Barack has to put on a dog and pony show. He does this every time the people get wise to his endless spending schemes, donning the tuxedo and waving his magic wand while winking at the Far Left. "I'm not a Big Government guy," he promises. "There's nothing up my sleeve."

False. You don't propose more spending than any US president in history if you are really worried about deficits. You don't pass huge new entitlement programs when the country can't even pay for the current ones. You don't sign two trillion dollar omnibus bills with billions in earmarks that greatly expand almost every bureaucrat's budget by 10 percent, especially during a recession. You don't propose these things and then claim to be worried about wasteful government spending. It's like an alcoholic switching from beer to crack and then claiming they've kicked their drinking problem.

It used to be funny to watch this clown shuck and jive and try to convince us he wasn't doing what he was really doing, or that he didn't like doing it but felt forced to by the economic crisis. Now it's just a tired charade, a joke you've heard a thousand times. That's one thing about the new, unrelenting breed of progressive Democrats. They are disingenuous, never tiring of repeating their lies, wearing you down for having to explain the obvious over and over again. My only question now is how long until the American people hold them and this fraudulent administration accountable. Because too many people are out of work, and it's not going to get any better next year.

Mike Myers used to do a skit on SNL called SPROCKETS, in which he played a German talk show host who would tell his long-winded guests, "Your story has grown tiresome." That's how I feel every time I hear Barack the Magnificent putting on his desperate act, repeating the same idiotic lines and lies about special interests, inherited crisis, fake saved jobs, and false promises of reform. It all sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard. Your story has grown tiresome, Mr. President.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I'm a Casualty of the Obama Economy

My apologies for disappearing from the blogosphere for a while. I am in the process of closing a business, a retail store in Austin which did quite decent until this year. Since our lease is up at the end of December, I have been trying to clear all our inventory. The discounts are steep and I am probably losing money, but since most of it's massive handmade furniture, storing it will be more expensive. I think we will still have an online presence. It's fairly easy for me to call my manufacturers and have them ship something out, so if you are interested in distressed hacienda style furniture, visit the online catalog.

Anyway, I will write more about my experience on the front lines of this dreadful economy once I close and have a chance to clear my head. Suffice it to say, Austin did not experience a housing bubble or bust like the rest of the country. We are seeing population growth (as people move here from California or Michigan) and the recession in Texas has been described as fairly mild in regards to layoffs. But I can tell you from my perspective that President Obama has created a climate of economic uncertainty with consumers - they are afraid to spend while government messes with rules and regulations. Meanwhile, Democratic allies or leftist causes receive the bulk of our tax dollars in the form of porkulus money. This is anything but a stimulus.

When consumer spending is 70% of the economy and all that's in the news is more government intervention, regulation, and taxes, that's not going to encourage consumers to part from their hard-earned money. They are hanging onto it like squirrels gathering acorns for the winter. Without massive tax cuts, I fail to see how or why consumers will feel relief from this recession. I have written before that the worst of the banking and housing crisis is over, but Obama's policies are killing economic recovery in the womb.

That's one of the reasons that I am closing my store, a small business that has brought in and helped circulate over $1,000,000 to other small businesses and local craftsmen over the past five years, not to mention all the tax revenue that the government has collected off my success. Should enough small businesses like mine fail, you can see how that trickles down (yes, even poverty can trickle) and has a devastating effect on the economy. No spending or government interference coming out of Washington is going to prevent that. It can only make it worse.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tyranny by Bureaucracy

We are halfway to tyranny by bureaucracy. The Obama administration's recent move allowing the EPA to declare air, that's right AIR, as a pollutant is just the latest demonstration of the danger of allowing government to regulate our lives through an endless array of federal agencies and unelected bureaucrats.

Since every human activity produces carbon dioxide, the EPA has basically been granted unprecedented power by the Obama administration to tax and control every aspect of our lives. The only bigger threat to our democracy is the government takeover of health care, which should it pass, will create 111 new bureaucracies. Together, these two entities will strip away every one of our freedoms until we won't be able to do anything without a bureaucrat's permission. And since these bureaucrats are not elected, it's next to impossible to hold them accountable. Once they become entrenched, it's even harder to remove them.

Democrats and the Left try to sell their intrusive big government programs as beneficial and compassionate, but there is nothing beneficial or compassionate about tyranny by bureaucracy. It replaces individual choice with false promises, promises the government makes in benefits it claims it will hand out, only to snatch them away later by creating a maze of arcane rules and confusion that prevents those most in need from ever receiving them. This is why many people eligible for Medicaid fail to sign up. It's also why it takes an average of 6 months to get an MRI in Canada and twice that to have surgery. Is there anything compassionate about forcing someone to wait a year in pain and agony for treatment? Is there anything compassionate about telling someone to take the pain medicine instead of ever getting treated? Of course not.

Every progressive program sounds harmless at first, but in reality they are a virus feeding on their democratic host. Create an agency that provides health care or an agency to protect the environment. Who can argue against such lofty goals? But they are a ruse. Once granted unlimited power, these agencies hemorrhage dollars through fraud and waste all the while destroying the spirit of the individual. We see this today with the EPA, which can make or break entire industries, killing jobs and putting families out of work simply by how they choose to regulate air.

Of course, If the bureaucratic virus prevails, the host will die, and since the virus can't stand on it's own, the whole system eventually collapses into chaos and anarchy. This was the goal of Karl Marx, the father of progressivism's sister ideology, who wished for "an endless revolution." Again, I note that endless revolutions are neither compassionate nor beneficial.

Perhaps no one understood the tyranny of bureaucracy better than Adam Smith, one of freedoms greatest proponents and a founder of America's free market principles, when he warned:

"As soon as government management begins, it upsets the natural equilibrium of industrial relations, and each interference only requires further bureaucratic control until the end is a the tyranny of the totalitarian state."

The progressive movement, and Democrats in particular, have spent the last 100 years chipping away at the Constitution for "the greater good", adding one bureaucracy on top of another. Unfortunately, there is no "greater good." If the liberties of one man or woman can be trampled upon, then by definition no rights are absolute, and the government can run over anybody they choose. Nothing good can come of this.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Obama Jobs Tour: Hide the Decline in 09

The Obama Jobs Tour: Hide the Decline in 09! officially kicked off in Allentown last week with more tour dates to be announced in selected swing states. Nothing like a slew of campaign rallies to jump start the economy. Well, at least those peddling anti-Obama merchandise might make out with some quick cash.

The tour is free, but as everything goes with Obama, the cost to America will be great in the long run. The president promised more jobs as soon as private companies start hiring again. Of course, private companies aren't going to start hiring so long as President Obama continues to pursue statist, anti-capitalist policies like government takeover of health care, crap and trade, higher taxes, and more government bailouts.

Obama's policies have destroyed at least four million jobs this year. That's how many people have been laid off since February. Yet he keeps insisting that he's saved jobs, that it would be worse if not for his policies. Is this provable? Absolutely not. That's why he makes the claim. Just like the global warming crowd has been fudging the numbers, Obama wants to hide the decline, to be judged by an imaginary, immeasurable, and arbitrary number instead of the actual proof on the ground. It's a brilliant political strategy because the media lets him get away with it, but it's a lie. The lie may make Obama look better, it might even make him feel better, but it does nothing for out of work Americans or the 10% unemployment rate.

Here's a reminder for brain dead Democrats who still fail to grasp economics. The government doesn't produce wealth and can't create wealth. They only confiscate it from the private sector. Oddly enough, the private sector is the only place where wealth is produced. When the government confiscates this money, the private sector loses capital it would otherwise invest in jobs, research and development, and expansion. So how do you encourage companies to hire, reduce unemployment, and boost the economy? Stop confiscating the money by cutting taxes. There's your answer, Mr. President, and it has nothing to do with another porkulus or making homes more "energy efficient", which are just some of the lame, useless ideas to come out of his jobs summit.

No matter how much money the government spends on "Jobs Programs" or temporary financial incentives like cash for clunkers, they are ignoring free market principles, artificially boosting demand at the expense of market correction, which is necessary for long term stability and growth. You might as well just light a match and have a big bonfire with all the money this administration has wasted on "economic programs" so far. It's worse than doing nothing, because we are literally digging a hole that ends in bankruptcy and a next to worthless dollar.

The more Obama spends on expanding state bureaucracy and saving bloated government jobs, the more he is ensuring higher taxes in the future, discouraging companies from hiring in the first place. Stop confiscating the money in corporate and income taxes, let those who earn the money spend or invest it, and watch the economy take off. You'll still get credit for it, Mr. President, and it works every time it's tried.

But I guess that's too much to ask from an administration whose economic advisors have almost no experience in the private sector. In fact, only 7% of Obama's economic advisors have actually worked outside of academia or government. Let's put that in perspective. The current unemployment level is higher than the experience level of the men Obama has put in charge of fixing it.

In his autobiography, "Dreams of My Father", the president referred to his brief stint in the private sector as "going to work behind enemy lines." Which poses an interesting question. If Obama considers the creation of wealth the enemy, how does free enterprise even stand a chance, and who exactly will Obama let hire who without government interference?

Hat tip: Stefan Deeran at BNET Intercom.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Raisin Awareness

From the "what were they thinking" file, Sun-Maid has given the California raisin girl a makeover. Actually, it's more like full fledged plastic surgery. What could be more California than that? The new Sun-Maid girl looks like she came straight out of central casting for Entourage. She's slimmer and sexier, with a look that can only be described as Amish Barbie. Are those raisins looking perkier or is it just me? No word yet on whether the company plans to change the name from Sun-Maid to Sun-Laid, but one thing's apparent. Sex not only sells booze, jeans, cars, cigarettes, and male performance enhancers. Sex now sells raisins. Who knew?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Obama's Mission Accomplished Speech

Tonight, President Obama will announce his newest new strategy for Afghanistan. You may remember the announcement of his original new strategy for Afghanistan in a speech on March 27, 2009. The president had this to say:

"Today, I am announcing a comprehensive, new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. This marks the conclusion of a careful policy review that I ordered as soon as I took office. My Administration has heard from our military commanders and diplomats. We have consulted with the Afghan and Pakistani governments; with our partners and NATO allies; and with other donors and international organizations."

Well, apparently we know now that the careful and comprehensive strategy wasn't up to the new standards of even more carefully deliberated and comprehensive strategies. And even this newest new strategy will probably see a newer, more comprehensive strategy down the road when General McChrystal makes his next troop request. Allowing three and a half months for dithering, of course.

Remember, with this president it's all about what it looks like he's doing, not what he's actually doing. After all, this is the Commander-in-Chief who said in a previous press conference before the troops, "You make a pretty good photo-op." Likewise tonight, the West Point cadets will make a pretty good backdrop for the cameras. I wish we had a leader who saw those willing to sacrifice their lives for our freedoms as more than endless campaign props, but I get the feeling that tonight is all about dear leader.

Rest assured that President Obama will spend a lot of time talking about the tough decisions he has to make, how hard they are to make, how incorrectly they were made before him, and how good he thinks he is at making them. In a way this is Obama's version of President Bush's "Mission Accomplished" speech, only worse. Obama thinks in just deciding whether or not to commit more troops, by finding the political middle ground (not too many, not too few), that he's actually accomplished something.

Having settled that dilemma, he can get back to a more comprehensive review of the economy and dither over a new program to create or save jobs, since the last one failed to employ anything but creative accounting, or try to figure out the newest new way to close Gitmo, a failed-to-materialize achievement he technically celebrated a year ago. Like a trophy for every kid who plays t-ball, Obama expects praise just for showing up and reading the teleprompter. Sadly, he usually gets it from the mainstream media. We'll see if that still holds true tonight.

Exit Question: Now that 2009 is the deadliest year in Afghanistan for our troops and Iraq is no longer stealing resources away, who does Obama throw under the bus and how does he explain his failures there?