Tuesday, August 30, 2011

YOUCUT Phase 2

VOTE on CUTS  Here:

We have changed the debate in this country. Two years ago, Washington was focused on new ways to spend trillions in new programs - today, the debate has finally turned towards ways our government can get its fiscal house in order.

You elected the new House Republican majority with orders to stop Washington from spending money it doesn't have, and we listened. The jobs and savings of too many Americans are at stake for Washington to continue ducking the toughest choices.

This spring, the House passed a budget that would cut spending by trillions of dollars and encourage private-sector job creation - without raising taxes. Among its key components are tax reforms that close unfair tax loopholes, while lowering the tax rates for everyone.

Unfortunately, the Democrats who still control the Senate and the White House rejected both our budget and a House-passed "Cut, Cap, and Balance" plan that would save trillions.

The Budget Control Act, which has now been signed into law, represents a step toward fiscal sanity in Washington, but only a step. It includes roughly a trillion dollars in up front deficit reduction including real caps to restrain future spending, and no new tax increases.

Bottom line, Washington can't keep spending money it does not have. By participating in the YouCut program over the past year and a half, you were among the first Americans to take action in this cause. Together, we have made a lot of progress, but much more remains to be done.

In the weeks and months ahead, be sure to stay tuned, as there will be several unique opportunities for you to participate in the legislative process. Working together, we will change Washington's culture of spending into a culture of savings.


Rep. Eric Cantor
Majority Leader 


Monday, August 22, 2011

National Debt - Simple and Understandable

A short (3-minute) video that simply explains the size of the National Debt.

Watch this before you vote in any national or state election.

Friday, August 19, 2011

You Can KISS Obama Goodbye

Just looking at a picture of KISS grosses me out, but you’ve gotta wonder whether Gene Simmons might be on to something with a prediction he tweeted yesterday.

“I voted for Pres Bush. I voted for Pres Clinton. I voted for Pres Obama. The next president will be Gov Rick Perry,” Simmons broadcasted.

A few minutes later, he backed up the prediction with another tweet touting what few conservatives would consider to be Perry’s most sterling credential.

“Gov Perry worked for Al Gore and then switched to Republican. He will be our next President. I’ve never been wrong,” Simmons wrote.

But, before you disqualify his opinion because he voted for Clinton and Obama, consider that Simmons has been vocal about his regret for the way he cast his vote in 2008. The Daily Caller has more:
While the iconic musician may claim to be an infallible crystal ball, Simmons has on multiple occasions expressed regret for voting for President Obama. In an interview with CNBC last May, Simmons, who is Jewish, slammed the President for calling on Israel to return to its 1967 borders.
“I think [Barack Obama] is actually a good guy. He has no … idea what the world is like because he doesn’t have to live there,” the vociferous musician told a rather startled Jane Wells.
In the same interview, the increasingly political Simmons waged a harsh war of words against the United Nations, calling it the “most pathetic body on the face of the planet,” “garbage infested, and a “paper tiger.”
Simmons did, however, accurately predict the outcome of the 2010 mid-term elections last September, forecasting that the Tea Party movement would bring “major change.” Only time will tell whether the KISS front man will be right again.

Of course, any astute observer could have predicted that the Tea Party movement would bring “major change” in 2010, but that doesn’t mean Simmons is wrong about Perry. Any astute observer of the GOP primary race so far knows the Texas governor has already brought major change to the dynamics of the field, from topping Romney in Rasmussen’s latest poll to trading barbs with the president about jobs to accusing Ben Bernanke of treason. The question, of course, is whether he has staying power. The Ames debate and straw poll have barely receded into the background and the nation’s already ready for the next debate — or, really, any opportunity to scrutinize or praise Perry on the national stage.

by Tina Korbe 



Thursday, August 18, 2011

I don't know, so I'm an atheist libertarian

I try to claim that I was friends with the genius Richard Feynman. He came to our show a few times and was very complimentary, and I had dinner with him a couple times, and we chatted on the phone several times. I'd call him to get quick tutoring on physics so I could pretend to read his books.

No matter how much I want to brag, it's overstating it to call him a friend. I would never have called him to help me move a couch. I did, however, call him once to ask how we could score some liquid nitrogen for a Letterman spot we wanted to do. He was the only physicist I knew at the time. He explained patiently that he didn't know. He was a theoretical physicist and I needed a hands-on guy, but he'd try to find one for me.

About a half-hour later a physics teacher from a community college in Brooklyn called me and said, "I don't know what kind of practical joke this is, but a Nobel Prize-winning scientist just called me here at the community college, gave me this number, and told me to call Penn of Penn & Teller to help with a Letterman appearance."

I guess that's close to a friend.

My friend Richard Feynman said, "I don't know." I heard him say it several times. He said it just like Harold, the mentally handicapped dishwasher I worked with when I was a young man making minimum wage at Famous Bill's Restaurant in Greenfield, Massachusetts.

"I don't know" is not an apology. There's no shame. It's a simple statement of fact. When Richard Feynman didn't know, he often worked harder than anyone else to find out, but while he didn't know, he said, "I don't know."

I like to think I fit in somewhere between my friends Harold and Richard. I don't know. I try to remember to say "I don't know" just the way they both did, as a simple statement of fact. It doesn't always work, but I try.

Last week I was interviewed for Piers Morgan's show (which used to be Larry King's show). Piers beat me up a bit for being an atheist (that's his job) and then beat me up a bit for being a libertarian (also his job). He did this by asking me impossible questions, questions that none of us, Harold, Richard, me, (or Piers), could ever answer.

He started with "How did you get here?" and I started talking about my road to showbiz and atheism and he interrupted and said he meant how the universe was created. I said, "I don't know."

He said, "God," an answer that meant Piers didn't know either, but he had a word for it that was supposed to make me feel left out of his enlightened club.

Then he asked me what we could do to help poor people. I said I donated money, food, medical care, and services and he said, "No," he meant, what could society do to solve the problem of poor people. Again, I was stumped.

He said the government had to do it, which I interpreted as another way of saying he didn't know, but he thought that made me look mean ... even though I do care and do try to help.

What makes me libertarian is what makes me an atheist -- I don't know. If I don't know, I don't believe. I don't know exactly how we got here, and I don't think anyone else does, either. We have some of the pieces of the puzzle and we'll get more, but I'm not going to use faith to fill in the gaps. I'm not going to believe things that TV hosts state without proof. I'll wait for real evidence and then I'll believe.

And I don't think anyone really knows how to help everyone. I don't even know what's best for me. Take my uncertainty about what's best for me and multiply that by every combination of the over 300 million people in the United States and I have no idea what the government should do.

President Obama sure looks and acts way smarter than me, but no one is 2 to the 300 millionth power times smarter than me. No one is even 2 to the 300 millionth times smarter than a squirrel. I sure don't know what to do about an AA+ rating and if we should live beyond our means and about compromise and sacrifice. I have no idea. I'm scared to death of being in debt. I was a street juggler and carny trash -- I couldn't get my debt limit raised, I couldn't even get a debt limit -- my only choice was to live within my means. That's all I understand from my experience, and that's not much.

It's amazing to me how many people think that voting to have the government give poor people money is compassion. Helping poor and suffering people is compassion. Voting for our government to use guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral self-righteous bullying laziness.

People need to be fed, medicated, educated, clothed, and sheltered, and if we're compassionate we'll help them, but you get no moral credit for forcing other people to do what you think is right. There is great joy in helping people, but no joy in doing it at gunpoint.

People try to argue that government isn't really force. You believe that? Try not paying your taxes. (This is only a thought experiment -- suggesting on CNN.com that someone not pay his or her taxes is probably a federal offense, and I'm a nut, but I'm not crazy.). When they come to get you for not paying your taxes, try not going to court. Guns will be drawn. Government is force -- literally, not figuratively.

I don't believe the majority always knows what's best for everyone. The fact that the majority thinks they have a way to get something good does not give them the right to use force on the minority that don't want to pay for it. If you have to use a gun, I don't believe you really know jack. Democracy without respect for individual rights sucks. It's just ganging up against the weird kid, and I'm always the weird kid.

How did we get here and how do we save everyone? I don't know, but I'm doing the best I can. Sorry Piers, that's all I got.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Penn Jillette.

August 16, 2011  By Penn Jillette

Monday, August 15, 2011

Disappoval Rating at 54%

Latest Gallup Poll:  Obama Approval Rating at 39%

And for Obama, that is the good news.  The Disapproval Rating stands at 54%

Gallup tracks daily the percentage of Americans who approve or disapprove of the job Barack Obama is doing as president. Results are based on telephone interviews with approximately 1,500 national adults; Margin of error is ±3 percentage points.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Associated Press: Yellow Journalism.

Quote the Associated Press:
"Nothing is unconstitutional until courts declare it to be so."

So I guess that means if Obama declares that all AP news stories must be approved by his staff, then the Associated press would fully agree.

Oh - wait -  that is already the case.

 Here is a direct quote from an AP story from August 12:
The first big GOP debate of the primary season brought viewers a flurry of claims and counterclaims, not all built on solid ground.

A look at some of those claims and how they compare with the facts:
BACHMANN: Spoke of "the unconstitutional individual mandate" several times, a reference to a requirement for people to carry health insurance, a central element of the 2010 federal health care law.

THE FACTS: Nothing is unconstitutional until courts declare it to be so. The constitutionality of the individual mandate has been challenged in lawsuits in a number of states, and federal judges have found in favor and against. The Supreme Court will probably have the final word.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Yet Obama plods along . . .

August 11, 2011

Problems drown out Obama

by Dana Milbank 
WASHINGTON – A familiar air of indecision preceded President Barack Obama’s pep talk to the nation.

The first draft of his schedule for Monday contained no plans to comment on the downgrading of the U.S. credit rating by Standard & Poor’s. Then the White House announced that he would speak at 1 p.m. A second update changed that to 1:30. At 1:52, Obama walked into the State Dining Room to read his statement. Judging from the market reaction, he should have stuck with his original instinct.

“No matter what some agency may say, we’ve always been and always will be a triple-A country,” Obama said, as if comforting a child who had been teased by the class bully.

When he began his speech (and as cable news channels displayed for viewers), the Dow Jones industrials stood at 11,035. As he talked, the average fell below 11,000 for the first time in nine months, en route to a 635-point drop for the day, the worst since the 2008 crash.

It’s not exactly fair to blame Obama for the rout: Almost certainly, the markets ignored him. And that’s the problem: The most powerful man in the world seems strangely powerless, and irresolute, as larger forces threaten the country and his presidency.

The economy crawls, the credit rating falls, the markets plunge, and a helicopter packed with U.S. special forces goes down in Afghanistan. Two-thirds of Americans say the country is on the wrong track (and that was before the market swooned), Obama’s approval rating is 43 percent, and activists on his own side are calling him weak.

Yet Obama plods along, raising gobs of cash for his re-election bid and varying little the words he reads from the teleprompter. He seemed detached even from those words Monday as he pivoted his head from side to side, proclaiming that “our problems is not confidence in our credit” and turning his bipartisan fiscal commission into a “biparticle.”

He reminded all that the situation isn’t his fault (the need for deficit reduction “was true the day I took office”), he blamed the other side (“we knew … a debate where the threat of default was used as a bargaining chip could do enormous damage to our economy”) and he revisited the same proposals he had previously offered to little effect: extending unemployment benefits and the payroll tax cut, and spending more on infrastructure projects.

This, he said, is “something we can do as soon as Congress gets back,” along with further deficit reduction. “I intend to present my own recommendations over the coming weeks.”

Over the coming weeks? As soon as Congress gets back?

In the White House briefing room after Obama’s statement, the press corps grilled Jay Carney about the lack of fire in the belly.

“The president said our problems are imminently solvable, and he talked about a renewed sense of urgency,” CBS’ Norah O’Donnell pointed out. “Why not call Congress back to work?”

Carney chuckled at this suggestion.

“I mean, the Dow dropped below 11,000 – where’s the sense of urgency?” O’Donnell persisted.
The press secretary uttered something about the founders and the separation of powers.

NBC’s Chuck Todd was not swayed. “Why not bring Congress back now?” he repeated, pointing out that “the American public seems to be in a little bit of a panic” while Washington says, “We’re going to stand back and wait until school starts.”

“It seems we’re getting a drumbeat here,” Carney said. “The press corps is leading here – always appreciated.”

At least somebody is.

Various reporters tried to elicit more information about Obama’s economic plans and deficit-reduction proposals, but Carney declined again to take the lead.

“I don’t want to get too far ahead of the process,” he explained, adding that Obama “will be contributing to that process, not driving it or directing it.”

“Why?” inquired Politico’s Glenn Thrush. “He’s the leader of the free world. Why isn’t he leading this process?”

That is the enduring mystery of Obama’s presidency. He delivered his statement on the economy beneath a portrait of Abraham Lincoln, but that was as close as he came to forceful leadership. He looked grim and swallowed hard and frequently as he mixed fatalism (“markets will rise and fall”) with vague, patriotic exhortations (“this is the United States of America”).

“There will always be economic factors that we can’t control,” Obama said. Maybe. But it would be nice if the president gave it a try.

Dana Milbank’s email address is danamilbank@washpost.com.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Holy Deficit Batman! BOHICA

Congressional Deficit-Reduction Super Committee

Senate Democrats were first out of the gate on Tuesday with their appointments to the 12-member panel. They were Senators Max Baucus, John Kerry and Patty Murray, a trio that analysts said sent a mixed message about the panel's potential.

Only three more slots on the panel remained to be filled by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.


Patty Murray and John Kerry NEVER saw a government handout they didn't like.
When Standard and Poor's gets a load of this, bond ratings will be in the dumper.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Richer Too

Despite what you hear from the media and the Democrat party, the poor are getting richer.
In fact, America's poor are so rich, we should be celebrating it.
Bill Whittle has the facts to back it up.

The unfortunate truth is that those in greatest need of hearing and understanding Whittle's message will lose interest in less than 2 minutes and miss the good stuff at the end.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Business woman to Obama: Apologize!!!

Did Obama inherit this financial mess?
Yes, of course he did.
However the CEO of every business in America does that every day.
That is their job - to fix problems.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

They've Lost That Lovin' Feeling

By Peggy Noonan · Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Republican establishment reasserted itself this week, and good thing, too, because the establishment was right. It said Republicans in the House should back and pass the Boehner bill on the debt ceiling because it goes in the right directions, contains spending cuts but not taxes, and is viable. So accept victory, avert crisis, and get it to the Senate.

The establishment was being conservative in the Burkean sense: acknowledge reality, respect it, and make the most progress possible within it. This has not always been true of them. They spent the first decade of this century backing things a truly conservative party would not have dreamed of -- careless wars, huge spending and, most scandalously, a dreamy and unconservative assumption that it would all work out because life is sweet and the best thing always happens. They were mostly led by men and women who had never been foreclosed on and who assumed good luck, especially unearned good luck, would continue. They were fools, and they lost control of their party when the tea party rose up, rebuking and embarrassing them. Then the tea party saved them by not going third party in 2009-10. And now the establishment has come forward to save the tea party, by inching it away from the cliff and reminding it the true battles are in 2012, and after. Let's hope the tea party takes the opportunity.

As this is written, the White House seems desperate to be seen as consequential. They're trotting out Press Secretary Jay Carney, who stands there looking like a ferret with flop sweat as he insists President Obama is still at the table, still manning the phones and calling shots. Much is uncertain, but the Republicans have made great strides on policy. If they emerge victorious, they had better not crow. The nation is in a continuing crisis, our credit rating is not secure, and no one's interested in he-man gangster dialogue from "The Town." What might thrill America would be a little modesty: "We know we helped get America into some of this trouble, and we hope we've made some progress today in getting us out of it."

But that actually is not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about something that started to become apparent to me during the debt negotiations. It's something I've never seen in national politics.

It is that nobody loves Obama. This is amazing because every president has people who love him, who feel deep personal affection or connection, who have a stubborn, even beautiful refusal to let what they know are just criticisms affect their feelings of regard. At the height of Bill Clinton's troubles there were always people who'd say, "Look, I love the guy." They'd often be smiling -- a wry smile, a shrugging smile. Nobody smiles when they talk about Mr. Obama. There were people who loved George W. Bush when he was at his most unpopular, and they meant it and would say it. But people aren't that way about Mr. Obama. He has supporters and bundlers and contributors, he has voters, he may win. But his support is grim support. And surely this has implications.

The past few weeks I've asked Democrats who supported him how they feel about him. I got back nothing that showed personal investment. Here are the words of a hard-line progressive and wise veteran of the political wars: "I never loved Barack Obama. That said, among my crowd who did 'love' him, I can't think of anyone who still does." Why is Mr. Obama different from Messrs. Clinton and Bush? "Clinton radiated personality. As angry as folks got with him about Nafta or Monica, there was always a sense of genuine, generous caring." With Bush, "if folks were upset with him, he still had this goofy kind of personality that folks could relate to. You might think he was totally misguided but he seemed genuinely so. . . . Maybe the most important word that described Clinton and Bush but not Obama is 'genuine.'" He "doesn't exude any feeling that what he says and does is genuine."

Maybe Mr. Obama is living proof of the political maxim that they don't care what you know unless they know that you care. But the idea that he is aloof and so inspires aloofness may be too pat. No one was colder than FDR, deep down. But he loved the game and did a wonderful daily impersonation of jut-jawed joy. And people loved him.

The secret of Mr. Obama is that he isn't really very good at politics, and he isn't good at politics because he doesn't really get people. The other day a Republican political veteran forwarded me a hiring notice from the Obama 2012 campaign. It read like politics as done by Martians. The "Analytics Department" is looking for "predictive Modeling/Data Mining" specialists to join the campaign's "multi-disciplinary team of statisticians," which will use "predictive modeling" to anticipate the behavior of the electorate. "We will analyze millions of interactions a day, learning from terabytes of historical data, running thousands of experiments, to inform campaign strategy and critical decisions."

This wasn't the passionate, take-no-prisoners Clinton War Room of '92, it was high-tech and bloodless. Is that what politics is now? Or does the Obama re-election effort reflect the candidate and his flaws?
Mr. Obama seemed brilliant at politics when he first emerged in 2004. He understood the nation's longing for unity. We're not divided into red states and blue, he said, we're Big Purple, we can solve our problems together. Four years later he read the lay of the land perfectly -- really, perfectly. The nation and the Democratic Party were tired of the Clinton machine. He came from nowhere and dismantled it. It was breathtaking. He went into the 2008 general election with a miraculously unified party and took down another machine, bundling up all the accrued resentment of eight years with one message: "You know the two losing wars and the economic collapse we've been dealing with? I won't do that. I'm not Bush."

The fact is, he's good at dismantling. He's good at critiquing. He's good at not being the last guy, the one you didn't like. But he's not good at building, creating, calling into being. He was good at summoning hope, but he's not good at directing it and turning it into something concrete that answers a broad public desire.

And so his failures in the debt ceiling fight. He wasn't serious, he was only shrewd -- and shrewdness wasn't enough. He demagogued the issue -- no Social Security checks -- until he was called out, and then went on the hustings spouting inanities. He left conservatives scratching their heads: They could have made a better, more moving case for the liberal ideal as translated into the modern moment, than he did. He never offered a plan. In a crisis he was merely sly. And no one likes sly, no one respects it.

So he is losing a battle in which he had superior forces -- the presidency, the U.S. Senate. In the process he revealed that his foes have given him too much mystique. He is not a devil, an alien, a socialist. He is a loser. And this is America, where nobody loves a loser.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Debt and budget bill saves more than $2T - What a load of hooey!

The $2.1 trillion in savings over the next ten years amounts to $210 billion per year.
At today's rate of Obama's spending, the deficit is increasing by $4.1 Billion per day.
$4.1 Billion per day times 365 days = $1.5 TRILLION per year.
The debt-limit / deficit reduction bill is hogwash increasing the deficit by $1.3 Trillion per year.
The crooks in Congress just keep on keeping on.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new study says the debt and budget bill backed by President Barack Obama and congressional leaders would save taxpayers at least $2.1 trillion over the coming decade.
The Congressional Budget Office analysis says the initial down payment of spending cuts — tight "caps" on the operating budgets of Cabinet agencies like the departments of Defense and Education — would produce more than $900 billion in savings over 10 years.
The rest of the savings would come from a special bipartisan committee that would make recommendations for the rest of Congress to vote on later this year. There's no way to predict what the panel will come up with, but CBO credits at least $1.2 trillion more in savings because the legislation contains a special enforcement mechanism.

Debt and budget bill saves more than $2T - Yahoo! News