Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Senator Baucus's version of health care reform would dramatically increase marginal tax rates on ...

the poor. Yes, the poor. As Harvard economics professor Greg Mankiw notes, the Congressional Budget Office has issued a report indicating that Baucus's plan will increase the marginal income tax for those whose income is at the "poverty level" to those earning 400% of the poverty level "approximately 22 percentage points." Now, I am not a Harvard economics professor, but I am pretty sure that raising the marginal tax rate on the poor does not make any sense, either economically or politically.

Exit question: is this what most of President Obama's supporters had in mind when they voted for "Hope and Change?"

I'm back from vacation

Okay, there is a lot out there for me to comment on, and I've had a lot of stuff going on at me real job. So please be patient as I get back up to speed. Thanks, Bru

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Vacation time

Mrs. Bru and I are leaving for vacation and will not have Internet access. I'll be back around October 11.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Overpaid, un-informed celebrities get schooled on health care reform

Will Ferrell and a bunch of other "celebrities" I don't recognize did a satirical public service announcement in support of health care reform recently. Unfortunately for Will and the other "celebrities," the PSA was much more annoying than humorous:

As Ed Morrissey of Hot Air noted with this PSA came out, Will was paid $20,000,000 for the movie "Bewitched" in 2005 and, therefore, may not have much room to complain about other people being "overpaid."

Thankfully, someone came out with a spoof of the above video that is actually funny. And it calls out Will and the other celebrities for their un-informed, self-righteousness:

There is nothing that makes me smile like self-righteous people getting called out for their vapid positions.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

President Obama makes the French look tough

I never thought that I would see the day when an American president made the French look tough. Unfortunately, I have because French President Nicolas Sarkozy was not amuzed with the One's response to the most recent news on Iran's nuclear aspirations. The Wall Street Journal reports:

President Obama wants a unified front against Iran, and to that end he stood together with Nicolas Sarkozy and Gordon Brown in Pittsburgh on Friday morning to reveal the news about Tehran's secret facility to build bomb-grade fuel. But now we hear that the French and British leaders were quietly seething on stage, annoyed by America's handling of the announcement.

Both countries wanted to confront Iran a day earlier at the United Nations. Mr. Obama was, after all, chairing a Security Council session devoted to nonproliferation. The latest evidence of Iran's illegal moves toward acquiring a nuclear weapon was in hand. With the world's leaders gathered in New York, the timing and venue would be a dramatic way to rally international opinion.

President Sarkozy in particular pushed hard. He had been "frustrated" for months about Mr. Obama's reluctance to confront Iran, a senior French government official told us, and saw an opportunity to change momentum. But the Administration told the French that it didn't want to "spoil the image of success" for Mr. Obama's debut at the U.N. and his homily calling for a world without nuclear weapons, according to the Paris daily Le Monde. So the Iran bombshell was pushed back a day to Pittsburgh, where the G-20 were meeting to discuss economic policy.

Le Monde's diplomatic correspondent, Natalie Nougayr├Ęde, reports that a draft of Mr. Sarkozy's speech to the Security Council Thursday included a section on Iran's latest deception. Forced to scrap that bit, the French President let his frustration show with undiplomatic gusto in his formal remarks, laying into what he called the "dream" of disarmament. The address takes on added meaning now that we know the backroom discussions.

"We are right to talk about the future," Mr. Sarkozy said, referring to the U.S. resolution on strengthening arms control treaties. "But the present comes before the future, and the present includes two major nuclear crises," i.e., Iran and North Korea. "We live in the real world, not in a virtual one." No prize for guessing into which world the Frenchman puts Mr. Obama.

"We say that we must reduce," he went on. "President Obama himself has said that he dreams of a world without nuclear weapons. Before our very eyes, two countries are doing exactly the opposite at this very moment. Since 2005, Iran has violated five Security Council Resolutions ...."

Again, President Obama demonstrates that he is completely out of his depth and has no clue how the real world works or reacts. Perhaps this is why some members of the British media have started referring to him as "President Pantywaist."

Monday, September 28, 2009

Hillary Clinton told us of then candidate Obama's priorities last year

In March 2008, Hillary Clinton ran the following ad during her presidential campaign. It specifically notes President Obama's lack of any real interest in the Afghanistan war and seems right on given General McCyrstal's statement that he has only talked to President Obama once in 70 days.

(H/T to Sweetness and Light for locating and posting the ad).

Here is the transcript for the ad on the off chance that someone scrubs it from You Tube:

Hillary For President“True”TV : 30

Announcer: Barack Obama says he has the judgment to be president. But as chairman of an oversight committee charged with the force of fighting Al Qaeda in Afghanistan–he was too busy running for president to hold even one hearing.

Barack Obama: “I became chairman of this committee, at the beginning of this campaign-at the beginning of 2007, so it is true that we haven’t had oversight hearings on Afghanistan.”

Announcer: Hillary Clinton will never be too busy to defend our national security-bringing our troops home from Iraq and pursing Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

Hillary Clinton: “I’m Hillary Clinton and I approved this message.”

(Emphasis added).

Leadership and Priorities ...

Two things that are in short supply with our current administration.

Let's see, we have Iran test firing long-range missiles that can reach Israel and announcing that it's got a second nuclear facility strategically buried under a military base near a holy city, our military leaders in Afghan are waiting for President Obama to act on their request 30,000 to 40,000 more troops because that war is going to hell in a hand basket, and our economy continues to suck with the unemployment rate for people ages 16 to 24 years old at over 50%.

So what is President Obama doing? He's heading to Copenhagen, Denmark later this week to schlep for Chicago's 2016 Olympic bid:

The president called Mayor Richard Daley, who left for Copenhagen Friday, at 6:55 a.m. Eastern time to say that he was indeed going to Denmark.

“President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama symbolize the hope, opportunity and inspiration that makes Chicago great, and we are honored to have two of our city’s most accomplished residents leading our delegation in Copenhagen,” Daley said in a statement.

“Who better to share with members of the International Olympic Committee the commitment and enthusiasm Chicago has for the Olympic and Paralympic Movement than the President and First Lady.”

Patrick Ryan, CEO of Chicago 2016 is equally enthused.

“There is no greater expression of the support our bid enjoys, from the highest levels of government and throughout our country, than to have President Obama join us in Copenhagen for the pinnacle moment in our bid,” Ryan said. “We are honored that President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will be with us to extend a hand of friendship on behalf of our nation and the City of Chicago as we seek to welcome the world for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

At the same time, it appears that President Obama does not have time to discuss Afghanistan with General Stanley McCrystal, the man he handpicked to lead our war effort:

The military general credited for capturing Saddam Hussein and killing the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq says he has only spoken to President Obama once since taking command of Afghanistan.

“I’ve talked to the president, since I’ve been here, once on a VTC [video teleconferece],” General Stanley McChrystal told CBS reporter David Martin in a television interview that aired Sunday.

You’ve talked to him once in 70 days?” Mr. Martin followed up.

That is correct,” the general replied.

(Emphasis added).

Seriously?? I really just do not even know what to say at this point other than the President and his administration seem entirely out of their depth. And our country is the worse for it.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The First Lady should have slapped him

It looks like Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi wanted a little something, something when President Obama introduced him to the First Lady at the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh yesterday. Given the stories about Mr. Berlusconi, I'm guessing that she would have preferred to slap him with her hand, especially given the look he gave her, and really, who would have blamed her. Certainly, not me.

Students sing the praises of our Dear Leader

So this You Tube video caused a big dust up on the internets yesterday (yeah, sorry, I'm a day late):

Okay, I think it makes sense for schools to recognize the historic nature of President Obama's election and his accomplishments. But to have kids sing songs that glorify him and indoctrinate him to his political positions is neither good nor healthy; no, it is something you would expect to see in North Korea. Even the folks at MSNBC, which will never be accused of being a right-wing mouthpiece, recognized this point:

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Also, when I first saw the video, I had just assumed that it was a lone teacher who had simply gone a little overboard. No, apparently, the kids sang this song at an official school function back in February, and the school district was okay with the song. Here is statement that the district released yesterday:

Dear Burlington Township Families:

Today we became aware of a video that was placed on the internet which has been reported in the media. The video is of a class of students singing a song about President Obama. The activity took place during Black History Month in 2009, which is recognized each February to honor the contributions of African Americans to our country. Our curriculum studies, honors and recognizes those who serve our country. The recording and distribution of the class activity were unauthorized.

If you have any further questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me or Dr. King, Principal of B. Bernice Young School, directly.


Dr. Christopher M. Manno,

Superintendent of Schools

Again, teaching the kids about President Obama's historic election, good; indoctrinating them to his political beliefs, bad. It does not appear that Dr. Manno understands this point. I hope that the kids' parents do.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Light Blogging

I apologize for the light blogging. I am at a CLE seminar and will not have regular access to my computer until Thursday morning.