This was taken at a BP station in Atlanta, via Rusty Tanton.
For months now, the American people have watched in horror as a dark, viscous fluid has hemorrhaged out of a well. It continues every minute of every day, day in and day out, with no end in sight. Even though we know it threatens the livelihood of everything and everyone in its path, we have been unable to stop it. We have elected officials that we have called upon to put an end to it, yet they have thus far proven completely incompetent, unable to get the job done and end the leak. Indeed, most of the time, despite the grandstanding and the bold talk, it seems as if the government is not only unable to end the leak, but unwilling. For, despite the rhetoric, the actions of government thus far have not been the kind that will end this disaster.
“Plug the damn hole!” our president cried in frustration. I agree. But…
As bad as the oil spill in the gulf most certainly is, the leak I am talking about is the unending gusher of red ink which comes from the “well” in Washington, D.C. This leak is doing far more damage to our country and will take much longer to correct than the leak in the Gulf of Mexico. Its effects are far more problematic for the health of our country, yet far less is being done to combat it. At least BP is making an effort to stop their leak, even if most attempts have proved futile so far. In our nation’s capitol, everyone talks about the need for fiscal responsibility, but few have shown they believe those words by allowing the danger to galvanize us into action.
The GOP will be watching the U.S. Senate race in Georgia very closely this year. Johnny Isakson, disliked by many Republican voters, is expected to win the election in November and return to the U.S. Senate for another six years.
In the past few years, Georgians have been awakened to Isakson’s liberal tendencies, but they are scared to vote against him. No viable candidate will challenge Isakson in a primary election, and he will win the general election because voters refuse to vote for a non-Republican out of a fear of being represented by a Democrat.
Isakson has spent his time in Washington – even his time in the Senate during the Obama administration – working to increase government spending and to justify the continued growth of our federal government. Johnny Isakson is clearly not a good choice for the conservative voter.
There is a conservative on the ballot this year, his name is Chuck Donovan. He wants to cut spending, reduce our federal debt, and limit our financial obligations. I am convinced he would work tirelessly, without compromise, to meet these goals.
Not too many years ago, the GOP had a chance to stand against big government and increased spending. That opportunity was squandered by the likes of Isakson, which caused them to lose the majority in Washington. If we vote to re-elect those that wasted their opportunity to limit government the first time around, how ludicrous is it to think they will do better if given another opportunity?
Today, we learned that the economy had added 431,000 jobs in May but that most of them were temporary Census positions:
Employers added 431,000 nonfarm jobs nationwide in May, the biggest increase in a single month since the recession, the Labor Department said Friday. But the bulk of the growth was in government jobs, driven by hiring for the Census, and private-sector job growth was weak.
The unemployment rate fell to 9.7 percent nationwide, from 9.9 percent in April, the department said.
The figures for May represented the fifth consecutive month that payrolls have risen, but fell below analysts’ expectations that 540,000 jobs would be added to the economy.
The shortfall was immediately reflected in futures trading in the Wall Street stock indexes, with the Dow Jones industrial average expected to open almost 2 percent lower.
Altogether, 411,000 of the jobs added were for Census workers whose positions will disappear after the summer.
The net gain in government jobs was 390,000, while the private sector added only 41,000.
In other words, 95% of the jobs created in may were government jobs that will no longer exist as of mid-July. But for that census hiring, the unemployment rate would not have gone down at all and we would have had an anemic jobs report.
This is six months after we were told that the worst is behind us.
President Obama, however, thinks this report was good news:
President Barack Obama said on Friday the gain of 431,000 jobs in May is a sign the U.S. economy is getting stronger, although there will still be ups and downs going forward.
The New York Times reported Sunday that the White House was considering a value added tax to trim the budget deficit (God forbid the propose real spending cuts):
One way to reach that 3 percent goal, by the calculations of Mr. Obama’s economic team: a 5 percent value-added tax, which would generate enough revenue to simultaneously permit the reduction in corporate tax rates Republicans favor.
Robert Gibbs, President Barack Obama’s press secretary, has denied this. This denial was repeated on Morning Joe by Austan Goolsbee, a White House economic advisor, who gave Mark Halperin a “non-denial” denial:
Look, we are not, the report — and I’m not sure where it came from cause it’s not anything I saw — was that they were contemplating a VAT, that is not true. We have stood up this bipartisan fiscal commission, which as I understand it is considering a whole bunch of things.
What does Barack Obama say about the possibility of a value added tax? You think he is sticking by the public claims that his spokesman and advisor gave? Nope. In fact, he is awfully fond of a VAT:
When asked if he could see a potential VAT in this nation, the president said: “I know that there’s been a lot of talk around town lately about the value-added tax. That is something that has worked for some countries. It’s something that would be novel for the United States.”
Yesterday in Miami, President Obama had this to say about the Tax Day protesters:
OBAMA: We cut taxes for 95 percent of working Americans just like I promised we would on the campaign. […] So I’ve been a little amused over the last couple days where people have been having these rallies about taxes. You would think they would be saying, “Thank you!” That’s what you’d think!
Obama’s comment, of course, ignores the massive spending and deficit increases that he’s presided over, but what about this claim that he cut taxes for 95% of Americans ?
Yea, well that doesn’t really hold water either.
First of all, the tax referred to, the Making Work Pay tax credit doesn’t amount to much of anything:
Q: What are some of the tax breaks in the bill?
I confess. Ever since the passage of healthcare-hell on March 21, I’ve been torn between the two conflicting extremes of despondency on the one hand, and hilarity on the other.
Thus, it’s been a couple of weeks since I wrote anything for this site, or even had an inkling to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, as it were). And while I had some real-life situations interfering with writing – a death in the family, a particularly vicious and fatigue-inducing virus – for the most part I just couldn’t think of anything to say that wasn’t being said already and ad infinitum on every talk show and by every conservative pundit in the known world, and for the first time in a long time I found myself asking, “What’s the use?”
For a week I didn’t read anything online, including Mark Steyn’s columns, which for anyone who knows me well suggested symptoms of deep depression. I barely even glanced at the Wall Street Journal, again a sure sign of an impending retreat to recluse-land.
Being a Randian (Ayn Rand, that is) intellectual and philosopher of the first order, I figured now was as good a time as any to say to heck with freedom-fighting and do the John Galt thing: Stay off the radar and watch the economy collapse. That is, after all, what Rand’s superman did through most of his fictional life before Mulligan established Galt’s Gulch. He worked as a track walker for Taggart Transcontinental at some hideous minimum wage, all the while developing his super-motor in a dilapidated tenement in New York City.
It will be many years before the definitive book about the 2008 Presidential campaign is written, probably long after most of the participants are dead. After all, it took over eighty years for a truly definitive look at the Election of 1920, and more than forty for a similar volume to be written about the 1960 Election. However, for those of us who are political junkies and lived through it, Game Change by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin.
Recently, former Vice President Dan Quayle offered his two cents about the tea party movement:
Like many influential causes before it, the “tea party” movement appeared on the scene uninvited by the political establishment. Democrats in the White House and in Congress recognize it for what it is — a spontaneous and pointed response to the Obama agenda — but some Republican leaders still aren’t sure what to make of it, as tea partiers have risen on their own and stirred up trouble in GOP primaries.
The tea party movement is not exclusively a reaction only to “the Obama agenda”. And if the GOP buys into that, they’re buying trouble. Quayle even acknowledges that without knowing it when he talks about trouble in Republican primaries.
This grass roots movement didn’t begin when Obama took office or in reaction to his specific agenda, but instead began to form during the Bush administration as government continued to expand. About the time TARP found its way into the political lexicon, it went public. It was the size of the crisis and response – the trillions of dollars thrown around like confetti – that finally spurred people into the streets and birthed the official “tea party movement”.
I really wish that were true, Bruce, but Quayle is right.
In the greater Seattle suburb of Kirkland, a very quaint and beautiful area where I would love to live someday, there is a grade-A @$$hole who has led a fevered vendetta against gay rights. He’s the pastor of Antioch Bible Church (where he’s been for over two decades) and has not only been a firm opponent of gay marriage, but of anti-discrimination legislation and domestic partnerships. He is arguably to the right of many gay marriage opponents from far more conservative areas of the country.
It’s worth noting that the pastor in question, Ken Hutcherson, is black. Whatever solidarity he is supposed to have as an ethnic minority for a sexual minority is apparently quite lost on him. Ken Hutcherson’s existence shouldn’t be shocking to those with life experience outside of textbook indoctrination. I’ve met many racists and homophobes, some white, some Hispanic, some Asian, and they all come in many different colors, shapes and sizes. It’s nearly a waste of time to confront them about it. Bigotry is not something people like to admit, and if you mention it they tend to act like they’ve been unfairly attacked.
Now that the high emotion surrounding the passage of the health care bill is in the past, it is very important to remember this. Racism and xenophobia is rampant in the culturally homogenous society of Japan, where even those of Japanese ancestry who were born elsewhere have difficulty being accepted. I’ve personally heard very disparaging remarks towards blacks from Hispanics, heard bigoted comments towards blacks from Indians, heard whites say horrible generalizations about black people and vice versa. Racism is not a homogenous factor of one particular ethnic or political group; it’s the result of the natural tribal instinct that we share with our primate cousins.