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    Thursday, September 29, 2011

    Monday, September 26, 2011

    President Wants Janitors to Pay "Jew" Tax: Fact Checked and Debunked, Again. Simple Math.

    The President of the United States, perhaps because he's in front of a comfortable crowd in the Congressional Black Caucus, says he doesn't mind being called a class warrior if that means asking a billionaire to pay the same tax rates as a "Jew."

    The prepared script said "janitor" and the president's mis-speaking (mis-reading?) doesn't mean there's any hidden anti-semitism here, but, I guarantee you that in that room, there were a few anti-semites.

    Let's take the president at his written word and do a little fact-checking here on our own.

    The average annual salary for a janitor is $24,403.

    It does not appear that anyone has done the research for billionaires, but, the Associated Press (that right-wing news outlet) has done the research for millionaires, and has found, "This year, households making more than $1 million will pay an average of 29.1 percent of their income in federal taxes, including income taxes, payroll taxes and other taxes, according to the Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank."

    On the other hand, that Janitor, making about $25,000: "Households making between $20,000 and $30,000 will pay 5.7 percent.

    I don't know about you, Mr. President, but 29.1% is > 5.7%.  That's what I call "simple math."

    The next time a liberal says the rich need to pay their "fair share," ask them exactly what percentage of their income that is, and when they respond that so many rich want to pay more, and are willing to pay more, ask them why then they don't promote the pay.gov web site, where these generous people can fork over money beyond their required taxes.  If the liberal persists, ask him why he doesn't fork over a few more bucks, seeing as he's so altruistic with other people's money, maybe he could set an example by shedding some of his own.

    I'd just love to see the answers to that.

    Friday, September 23, 2011

    The GOP Field - Where I Stand Today

    Dick Morris thinks last night's debate "was the end of Rick Perry's front runner status."
    I admit, I only saw the last 45 minutes last night, and parts of the previous debate with Perry, and, while I like him on many of the issues, and I think he has a great story to tell about Texas vs. Obama, this year I want someone who can sell the American people on Conservatism and the rightness of it.
    To me, those people in this field who can do that are Romney, Cain, Gingrich, Santorum, and (grudgingly) Huntsman.
    The people who can't make the sell of Conservatism are Bachmann, Paul, Perry and that dope Johnson.  Add to that list, Sarah Palin.
    The difference between the former and the latter is the former are serious, thoughtful, intellectual conservatives who understand conservatism and can articulate it in a manner that makes sense to people and that advances the cause.  The latter group are cult-of-personality politicians, for whom the message is more about them, than it is about the ideology.  As Herman Cain would say, we just tried that approach, and how's it working it out for us?
    You might argue that we need a retail campaigner with electric appeal to defeat Obama and solidify the House and get to 60 seats in the Senate.  I reject that argument.  Obama is a deeply flawed president. His ideology is a failed ideology.  Anyone with half an ounce of understanding of History or economics knew his policies would fail.  I will admit that I didn't think his policies would so effectively stymie a nascent recovery, but....if you set out to do everything possible to screw up a recovery, you couldn't have mapped it any better than Obama has. 
    Obama's going to lose in 2012.  He's probably going to lose by a lot.  The Bush red states will return to the GOP, and I think it's highly likely we could see purple states in the Midwest return to the GOP (Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan), and Pennsylvania's Republican legislature and governor are considering awarding electors on a congressional district basis, so this could give the GOP 10 of PA's electoral votes.  With redistricting, the Dems are losing 7 electoral votes from Blue to Red states as well.  I expect Colorado to return to the GOP and Maine will give at least 1 of it's EV's to the GOP candidate.
    2012 is shaping up to be a bloodbath for the Dems, and it really doesn't matter who the GOP candidate is, but it should be one who will run as a conservative and govern as a conservative, not as an everyman.
    This country is in serious trouble, and even leftwingers like the Washington Post's Richard Cohen are lamenting the end of America as we know it, brought to you by Barack Obama, even as they whine about Republicans not looking toward Washington to solve the problems. BWAHHHH.

    Thursday, September 15, 2011

    Monday, September 12, 2011

    @USAToday: A Ponzi scheme? A failure? A lie? Really? Yes, really.

    I respond:
    As a fire breathing, right-wing tea-party sympathizer, I will agree that Social Security is a popular program, perhaps the most popular program in American history, even if its existence is constitutionally troubling, it is here and has served millions and millions of seniors.  In all likelihood, some other means of forced savings could have served seniors better (let's put it this way, I'm 46, and looking forward to the payout from my 401k more than my social security check), but social security has a valid use as part of the social safety net, which was its intent. 
    So, there.  A right wing nut job has stipulated that much.  And, to the left-wing editors at USA Today, you are intelligent enough to stipulate the salient point in this debate:
    "Yes, Social Security has major funding problems. It pays out more in benefits than it takes in, and the gap will grow steadily worse as Baby Boomers retire."
    From here, you proceed to go off the rails defending social security from Gov. Rick Perry's charge that it more resembles a Ponzi Scheme than retirement program.  I have to give you credit for the effort, but, it's weak, let's look:
    • "Ponzi schemes have two salient features. First, they are criminal enterprises, which Social Security is not." - I think this is certainly the entire point of the comparison, isn't it?  We can operate something just like a crminal exercise, but, because it has the blessing of Congress, the imprimateur of a President, and the wide support of the American people, and extremely wide support of the beneficiaries, it is acceptable.  This defense falls to the level of technicality.  You say potato, I say potato.
    • "They work only until people get wind of what is going on, at which point they inevitably collapse." - At least until the 2000 election, we had a candidate running on a major party ticket trying to convince people that their social security savings were all in a "lockbox."  I bet you if I looked at that 2000 election I can find a USA Today editorial telling me Al Gore was right.  People are catching wind now to what is going on with Social Security.  Does that mean an inevitable collapse?  Perhaps.
    • "Social Security's finances are plainly visible for all to see. The imbalances emerging now are a surprise to no one"
      This really is the major difference between Social Security and Ponzi schemes.  In the Ponzi Scheme potential investors aren't forced to invest.  They at least have to believe that the risks of the pyramid are not so great as to topple it before they recoup and expand on their investment. At least in a Ponzi Scheme, there's some element of choice.  As a criminal exercise, when the cops put the bad guys away, the investment stops and boom, everyone's out their money, except the few at the top.  In social security, however, we can "adjust tax rates, benefit formulas, and the retirement age."  Why can we do that?  Because the government, and legislators hold the power to tax that money from young workers to pay retirees. And if the younger workers refuse to pay their new, higher taxes, well, we can just haul them off to jail.  In the REVERSE of the Ponzi Scheme puinishment, it's the investors who are guilty, not the perpetrators of the crime.
    Finally, to the Editors at USA Today, and Leftists everywhere, us lunatic tea partiers are not against social security.  We believe in the safety net.  What we are against is the LIE that is the program.  End the lie, be honest to the American people that this is, indeed, another transfer program, and let's go from there.  But, as Governor Perry says in his editorial, we can't have this debate without being honest about this program, and USA Today's editors, rather then being honest, have chosen to regurgitate left-wing talking points rather than face true issues.

    Wednesday, September 7, 2011

    Good story about the work being done at Newport News Shipyard, with submarines (Minnesota, North Dakota)  and aircraft carriers being overhauled (Roosevelt) and built (Ford). The 784+ block III boats will have the Ohio-like large tubes, 2 of them, in lieu of the 12 Tomahawk tubes. 

    So, they're busy at NNSY, if you're looking for work, there are worse things in the world to do than build nuclear ships.

    Tuesday, September 6, 2011

    @moronwatch on AGW. Moronic indeed.

    Oh Lord, again MW demonstrates that he is incapable of buying anything except what the AGW Alarmists tell him.

    Let's stipulate that the planet is warming.  It's been warming since the end of the Little Ice Age, although the last 10 or so years, the warming has decreased to near 0.

    In paragraph 1, MW claims "nevermind that all warming predictions have come true."  Would you mind citing a couple, because I'd love to hear what this crowd has gotten correct. 

    But, don't believe me, how about from some of those hacked emails from your pals at East Anglia University's Hadley Climate Research Unit (you know, the most vociferous warming alarmists):
    "where the heck is global warming?... The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't."
    So, there's one prediction that hasn't come true, and since the prediction was for warming, it's a central one to this debate.  I could stop right there, and let your own team declare me the winner, but, I like to really rub it in, so here are some more falsehoods you're passing off as fact. 

    MW repeats the standard mantra, "glaciers and ice caps are visibly receding, or that extreme weather conditions have increased (as predicted) or that computer models based on different methods all predict warming."

    1. Computer Models predict warming - see the quote above from the ClimateGate emails.  Precisely because the models predicted warming, and it wasn't occurring, we got the quoted consternation.  So, that fact is wrong.  Besides, even if the "models" predicted warming, what would that prove?  That a model predicts warming.  A model can be manipulated.  What matters is what actually happened, and the models that predicted warming were proved wrong after 1998, when the warming significantly slowed.  Most of these models used assumptions that gave the maximum positive feedback to factors that would increase temperatures.  Unfortunately for the modelers, most of those predictions have failed to pass.  So, bad model = bad assumptions = bad policy = stupid people.
    2. Glaciers visibly receding.  Duh.  Even the AGW crowd agrees that we are in a long-term recovery from the Little Ice Age, which ended in the early 1800's.  Glaciers have been receding since then. 
    3. Polar ice caps melting.  The careful alarmist usually uses the phrase "Arctic" Ice Caps are melting so we can not accuse him of lying.  MW is not that careful, thus, we can safely call him a liar.  Yes, Arctic ice has melted, but, Antarctic ice is at historically high levels.  Of course, we have a problem since our history of measuring the extent of the polar ice is not long.  Anything more than 30 years ago, before widespread satellite coverage, is anecdotal.  So, we really don't know what normal is.  However, for those who care about these things, sea levels won't change too much unless that Antarctic ice really starts melting, since 90% of the ice on land is there, with another 8% in Greenland.  Most (nearly all) of the Arctic ice is floating.
    4. Extreme weather conditions are increasing.  Really?  For the US, where we have the best weather data over 100 years, we have not seen more drought days during the latter half of the 20th century, when most of the CO2 increase has occurred.  The worst droughts were in the '30's and '50's.   The number of most dangerous tornados also have not increased.  The number of reported tornados has increased, but we can logically attribute this to better detection systems, and heightened awareness.  Hurricanes?  Again, they get more press these days because of the detection capability, but, violence, is really unchanged in the 100 years we've been actively tracking them.  Rain?  Again, remarkably steady over the last 100 years. 

    MW then resorts to the favorite argument of the AGW Alarmist - the "you can't trust him because he's funded by the evil oil industry" argument.  My favorite person who stands to gain from a universal adoption of anti-warming policies - Al Gore.  How interesting is it that  the guy who stands to become a multi-billionaire if countries adopt tricks like cap and trade is also the largest (and I mean that literally) proponent of AGW. 

    I'm not going to convince anyone who just believes what they are told, has no or little scientific training, and isn't open or able to interpret data themselves.  The problem here is these alarmists have hitched their wagons to a theory that CO2 is causing temperature increases, and CO2 is primarily created by human activity, therefore changes in our lifestyles are required to stave off the predicted horrible results.  The problem we have seen, though, is that the feedback mechanisms tend to be negative, not positive, thus, ameliorating the impact of CO2 on global temperatures.  And, history actually shows that CO2 concentrations are a result of warming, not a cause of it.  This actually has a physical reason, as warming causes the oceans to release CO2.  You can see the problem here is that we aren't even sure what's contributing to the CO2 increases. 

    Of course, we have more things the AGW crowd ignores.  Solar activity is ignored.  Land use changes are ignored.  Ocean cycles are ignored.  If you ask an AGW alarmist, they want to hide the Little Ice Age and Midieval Warm Periods. 

    The thing is, MW and your readers, AGW is a very flawed theory, and everyone does not agree with it.  It's not settled science.

    The only thing settled is that CO2 concentrations have increased, and that temperatures have increased until about 1999, but that continued an increase that actually began in the early 1800's after the end of the Little Ice Age. 

    I encourage all to actually study the issue and decide for yourselves.

    This will help.