30 September, 2009

A VAT Tax? I Hope America Isn’t That Stupid

John Podesta is in favor of a VAT tax. Before I get into what an insanely bad idea that is, let me add a few quotes.

“There’s going to have to be revenue in this budget,” said Podesta, Clinton’s former chief of staff and co-chairman of President Barack Obama’s transition team, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt,” airing today.

A so-called consumption tax would “create a balance” with European and Japanese economies and “could potentially have a substantial effect on competitiveness,” said Podesta. Value- added taxes in Europe and Japan encourage savings by taxing consumption.

Podesta contradicts himself between the first and second paragraph, and hopes we’re too stupid to notice. Or maybe he’s stupid enough that he didn’t notice himself, but I don’t believe that.

He correctly points out that one of the ways out of our coming financial crisis is by increasing tax revenue. Another way out is to decrease spending, but apparently he doesn’t consider that option. Actually, we’re going to have to do both.

Then he says that a VAT tax would “create a balance” with other economies which “could potentially have a substantial effect on competitiveness”. Well, yes and no. If you notice what Podesta is saying is that he wants to add a VAT tax to our existing tax code. This is another tax burden on the American taxpayer, and directly belies Obama’s promise to cut taxes for 95% of working Americans. But that’s beside the point. However, the reason the above economies are growing more than ours is not because they have a VAT tax in addition to an income tax, but that the VAT has largely replaced the income tax.

You don’t get the economic growth of a consumption tax without getting rid of the income tax. You never get economic growth by increasing the tax burden.

But, as I said, Podesta seems to think we’re too stupid to understand that contradiction.

Now if we were talking about getting rid of the income tax, then a VAT would only be a half-stupid idea as opposed to the completely brain dead idea that Podesta is proposing.

I know what you’re thinking. “But, Chris, you’ve raved about the FairTax a zillion times. Isn’t a VAT really the same thing?”

No. Not remotely. They’re both consumption taxes (and they really are consumption taxes, not “so-called consumption taxes”), but a VAT is largely a B2B tax while the FairTax is a B2C.

And this makes a huge difference. Why? Let’s go to the next paragraph from that article:

Podesta said such a tax may be regressive, but can be balanced by exempting some products and using “the money to support low-wage workers.”

Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!!

In one sentence, we have just summed up everything that’s wrong with a VAT tax.

When you start talking about “exempting some products” and being able to “support low-wage workers”, that’s a code. And it’s code for shifting around the tax burden based on lobbyist power and shifting political winds.

See, from the perspective of politicians, VATs are wonderful. They can shift around the tax so that industries they don’t approve of are taxed more heavily, or industries in their state or district are taxed more lightly. Let’s look at the example of building a car.

Car manufacturers buy raw and manufactured materials from companies all over the world. And some of these manufactured materials (your Bose stereo system for example) are built by other companies that also buy raw and manufactured materials from other companies. These are all B2B transactions and eligible to be taxed by the VAT. Eventually, all of these materials are put together and sold to the consumer which is a B2C transaction.

Notice that by the time the car gets to you, the consumer, you don’t know how much tax was involved in the production of this car. And you’re paying the tax. You don’t even know that the reason you can’t get a Bose stereo in your Jeep is because the VAT tax has been structured to make Bose stereos artificially more expensive than JBL. You don’t know that GM has 100% UAW membership because UAW workers receive VAT tax revenue in order to “support low-wage workers”. And of course, you don’t know that your VAT is paying for that too.

Nor do you know that the $25,000 car you just bought only costs $18,000 in Europe because in order to increase international sales, the U.S. government suspends the VAT tax on the material products if the end product is sold overseas (this is a common implementation of VAT taxes in Europe).

Nor do you know why the price of that car jumped from $25,000 to $26,000 mid-year even though nothing on it changed. It was because the VAT tax code changed and some component along the way got taxed more. And the cost got passed on to you.

And you think our tax code is complicated now.

The whole point of having a B2B consumption tax (a VAT) instead of a B2C consumption tax (a sales tax) is to hide what things are being taxed and how much. The only people this benefits are lobbyists and politicians. Lobbyists get paid big bucks to get tax breaks for their constituents and politicians line their pockets with the lobbyist money.

And you, the American taxpayer, get screwed.

In contrast, a B2C tax is highly visible. You know when you’re buying something whether you’re paying the tax and how much. It’s right there on the receipt. When the cost of your item goes up, you’ll be able to see right there on the receipt that the politicians snuck in a tax increase (hopefully you were paying attention beforehand and informed your representatives that if they raised the tax, they better pack their bags for home, but I digress).

This isn’t a left/right thing, or a conservative/liberal thing, or a Democrat/Republican thing. This is a political class/average citizen thing. A VAT should get 0% support from the American public, no matter what their political persuasion. It will never help the American consumer, and will only help our “friends” in Washington D.C.

Again, Podesta hopes we’re too stupid to notice that.

A Picture Still Paints a Trillion Words


A while ago, I linked to a picture from the Heritage Foundation on our exploding debt. It also showed the difference between the Bush years and the Obama years. It’s a popular picture, but is several months out of date.


Well, here’s an updated one from The American


Notice the legend. The orange bars are the Clinton/Bush deficits. The purple represents CBO’s deficit projection as of September 2008, before the “financial crisis”. The black represents the CBO’s projections as of January 2009. This includes the $787 TARP bailout funds as well as projections based on estimates of lower tax receipts due to the economic turmoil. The red is CBO’s deficit projection as of August 2009. The red you can blame on President Barack Obama (D-USA) and his policies.

And it’s worse than that. All CBO projections are based on economic outlook and financial outlook based on existing law. In other words, it doesn’t include Cap-and-Trade and Health Care Reform and Immigration Reform. Any or all of these will make these numbers explode.

And the smallest is already larger than the largest under Bush.

These numbers are unsustainable. The people in Washington trying to spend our money and our children’s money and their children’s money must be stopped.

29 September, 2009

Garbage In, Garbage Out

I wanted to call this post “They Faked the Whole Thing” but the current title fits my background better and doesn’t make the assumption that the problems here are deliberate. You decide for yourself.

I also considered calling it “An Inconvenient Truth” for a whole host of good reasons.

Anyway, we have a saying in the world of software development. The saying is “garbage in, garbage out”, meaning that no matter how good a program is, it’s still subject to the reliability of the data. If you input bad data, you’re going to get bad results.

Please read this article on global warming. Or if you have the math/science skills, read the article it’s based upon here.

But if you’re in a hurry, let me sum up. The models showing global warming are based upon bad data. When the real problems with the data are corrected, there is no evidence of global warming.

I’ll quote the first article:

Let me repeat this. The statistical models used by the High Priests of Global Warming are using a newly identified and specific data set which wrongly produces decades of warming where none exists in the raw temperature data 0r other data sets.

Basically, an unrepresentative data sample was used which improperly skews the results. Replacing the unrepresentative sample with a better one fixes the problem. The sample data in question is a set of tree cores in Russia which show a high degree of warming recently.

Look at the chart below:


The Y-axis sets 1 as an established baseline, or norm.

The red line indicates the data used in the global warming doom and gloom scenarios. It’s a variation of the well known “hockey stick” graph, and uses 12 suspect tree cores. The black line replaces this suspect data with 34 cores from other trees in the area and appears to actually show global cooling.

But wait, haven’t I done just the same thing I’m accusing the IPCC of? I took out some data I called suspect and replaced it with some other data that might be suspect as well.

Good point. Rather than picking and choosing, let’s look at all the data, shall we?


Same graph with a new line. The green line uses all available data. And guess what? No hockey stick. No evidence of any sort of climate change at all.

Garbage in, garbage out.

28 September, 2009

Intemperate Thought of the Day

Since becoming President, Barack Obama (D-USA) has met once with the commander of the U.S. led forces in Afghanistan. Actually, it’s worse than that. He’s met with him once in his entire life.

Since becoming President, Barack Obama has been on the late night talkers twice. Once on Letterman, just last week, and once on Leno back in March.

Nice to know where our President’s priorities are.

19 September, 2009

Play Like a Pirate

Get yer pirate booty here! Them scalawags at LucasArts have buried a free copy of Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 1, Launch of the Screaming Narwhal. Lucky for ye, I got me hands on a map to this treasure and I’m sharin’ it with ye.

Follow the link, matey, and be quick about it. The treasure will disappear ‘ere the sun rises on the morrow.

(Did I mention that it’s Talk Like a Pirate Day?)

18 September, 2009

A Simple Question

President Barack Obama (D-USA) is continuing his latest media blitz this weekend with appearances on all the Sunday talk shows (with one notable absence) to talk about health care.

I have a very simple question that I keep hoping some intrepid journalist will pose to him, but I keep being disappointed.

The question?

“Unemployment is now the highest it’s been in more than 25 years. Indications are that it will go even higher. Why is healthcare the #1 priority of your administration?”

I’d like to ask that to 100 Senators and 435 Representatives too, just change “your administration” to “this Congress”.

I actually believe that Obama has an answer to this question. It’ll be Orwellian doublespeak, but he’ll do it. It will be something like “We already passed a stimulus package. The stimulus is working. But in the meantime, the increasing unemployment only increases the need for healthcare for the uninsured.”

I don’t think Congress could come up with an answer even that smart.

Of course, if that is his answer, then the obvious follow-up question is:

“But the problem is that these high unemployment numbers mean both more uninsured and lower tax receipts, which makes it even harder to pay for your program. Wouldn’t it be better to help these people get jobs and reduce the number of uninsured that way?”

Obama has no answer to the follow-up.

Racism In America Up By 110%

Since January 27, racism in America is up by 110%

Ok, that’s obviously ridiculous, but that’s what former President Jimmy Carter (D-USA) and the MSM would have you believe.

These people would like you to believe that all opposition to President Barack Obama (D-USA) is based upon racism.

Well, on January 27, 2009, Obama’s disapproval rating stood at 20%. It’s now at 41.9%. That’s an increase of 110% in less than 8 months. That means America is creating over a quarter of a million new racists every day!


Let’s get real. Some of us, in fact, most of us, dislike Obama because of his policies, and we don’t give a damn how much melanin he has in his skin. He’s an awful President, and he’d be an awful President if he was an old white guy or a young white woman or a middle aged Hispanic or a youthful looking Oriental Asian.

Data for my numbers can be found here.

UPDATE: Fixed my poor wording for those of Asian descent. Thanks, Roy.

17 September, 2009

Size Matters; So Do Lies

I’m stealing this title from Nate Silver’s laughable post at FiveThirtyEight.com.

Basically, Nate goes on a tirade about “a real whopper”. A “lie” told about the size of the “not particularly large rally”.

Now, I want to say that Nate does a lot of poll analysis and number crunching on his site. And it’s first rate. Possibly the best analysis of such that you can find on the web.

His other posts and posts by other authors on the site are generally not worth the time it takes to read them, but I’m sure some think the same of my posts as well.

But here he discards his usual numerical analysis and speculates on the size of the crowd.

But yesterday, someone told a real whopper. ABC News, citing the DC fire department, reported that between 60,000 and 70,000 people had attended the tea party rally at the Capitol. By the time this figure reached Michelle Malkin, however, it had been blown up to 2,000,000. There is a big difference, obviously, between 70,000 and 2,000,000. That's not a twofold or threefold exaggeration -- it's roughly a thirtyfold exaggeration.
The way this false estimate came into being is relatively simple: Matt Kibbe, the president of FreedomWorks, lied, claiming that ABC News had reported numbers of between 1.0 and 1.5 million when they never did anything of the sort. A few tweets later, the numbers had been exaggerated still further to 2 million. Kibbe wasn't "in error", as Malkin gently puts it. He lied. He did the equivalent of telling people that his penis is 53 inches long.
Malkin, who to her credit later corrected the error, frets that it might be used to by liberals to "discredit the undeniably massive turnout". She's right to be worried -- it absolutely will be used that way. If you don't want to be discredited, then don't, as Kibbe did, tell a ridiculous (and easily disprovable) lie.

Here’s the problem. There’s actually two points of contention here. Did ABC actually say 2 million? And what was the real size? Nate claims that Kibbe told a ridiculous and easily disprovable lie. Nate’s trying to make you think he’s lying about the size, when all he “lied” about was where he got the information. Bad form, Nate.

But he does make a rather ridiculous claim.

The reason is that if there had in fact been 2 million protesters in Washington yesterday, there would have been no need to lie about it -- the magnitude of the protests would have been self-evident. I was in Washington for the inauguration, an event at which there really were almost 2 million people present -- and let me tell you, it was a Holy Mess

Self-evident. This is a code phrase in an argument. I’ve been a victim of using it myself. When someone uses it, it means that they actually don’t have any evidence for their claim and expect you to take it on faith.

Instead, Nate continues to repeat the real lie here, ABC’s. The claim that there were only 60-70,000 people there.

This was not a small rally. It was also not, in comparison with something like the 2006 pro-immigration protests, a particularly large rally. It was a business-as-usual sort of rally. Mock the protesters at your peril: business as usual suddenly isn't so good for Democrats these days, and the sentiments of the 70,000 people who marched on Washington surely mirror those of millions more sitting at home. They were done a disservice by being represented by a liar like Kibbe.

Since Nate couldn’t be bothered to do the numerical analysis that’s made him so famous, other people have picked up the baton.

Here’s a few links for you, Nate.

More 9/12 Crowd Data: Yeah, It Was Big

  • The estimate widely used in the legacy media is not from an authoritative source, and it isn’t even consistent with itself: “full back to 3rd Street” is around 250,000 by Park Sevice methods, not a quarter of that.
  • Many estimates, using different assumptions and different methods, arrived at numbers well into the hundreds of thousands.
  • This is clearly consistent with the panoramic photo that we can source reliably.
  • With everything above, and with several more estimates, I don’t think there is a plausible argument for any total attendance figure much less that 500,000 to 600,000. That is, nearly ten times the reported attendance.

Here’s a link to the photo that Charles mentions.

March on Washington: How Big Was the Crowd?

Just for comparison, we’ve got the Obama inauguration, which was originally estimated at 2 million and then revised down to about 850,000. Popular Science got GeoEye to take a satellite photo.

Oops. Nate lied about the size of the inaugural crowd too, so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised.

How many people were at the big 9/12 “Tea Party” protest? [UPDATED]

Still, even at our worst case of 522,000 souls, that's way bigger than what was reported

An Impression Of The Protest

I think it’s already very clear, however, that “hundreds of thousands” is the correct description of the size of the 9/12/09 DC protest.

9/12 March Crowd Size

So, my specific answer is 350,000. However, I believe the precise number is somewhat unimportant - what is important is the truthful and accurate reporting; it is clear to me that the real count is "hundreds of thousands". I do not see how any responsible reporter could suggest that there were only "tens of thousands" at the event - let alone the "thousands" that the NYT and AP had in their headlines.

Note that his estimate is the lowest of any I’ve seen, so he blasts the people saying 1.5 to 2 million as well:

Perhaps these people just made a mistake - they heard one person cite a number and then it got mistranslated and misattributed, etc. but if that is the case, they should recognize the problem now and issue a correction and an apology. Being off by 10, 20, even 50% is one thing, but it appears that both the media and FreedomWorks were off by 4-5 fold. That is simply irresponsible reporting.

The Real Number of Protesters - Zac Moilanen

With that, we get 1,782,760 estimated protestors marched in the 9-12 Project.

In conclusion, this number surprised me. I knew there were a lot of people, but researching this, looking at the map, and actually crunching the numbers, it makes sense. I’m not sure all of these marchers stayed at the Capitol, the field surrounding it, or even the mall. But that’s not what we have aerial footage of. Because of this time-lapse street cam, it’s easy to see that in the course of around two hours almost two million people marched up Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol Building.

Now, most of these links are people who support the movement, and they have reason to be optimistic in their calculations. However, you can find some libs out there too, and even they come up with around 250,000, and they have reason to be pessimistic in their calculations.

My speculation after reading all of the above (and I could do some math too, but I’m too lazy) is that it’s between 500,000 and about 1.2 million. Probably closer to the high side than the low side.

Now let’s go back to that final quote from Nate:

This was not a small rally. It was also not, in comparison with something like the 2006 pro-immigration protests, a particularly large rally. It was a business-as-usual sort of rally. Mock the protesters at your peril: business as usual suddenly isn't so good for Democrats these days, and the sentiments of the 70,000 people who marched on Washington surely mirror those of millions more sitting at home. They were done a disservice by being represented by a liar like Kibbe.

Nate, you’re flat wrong. I won’t call you a liar, even though your own lie is easily disprovable, and Kibbe’s numbers aren’t nearly as wrong as yours. In fact, some people have come up with numbers very similar to this man you repeatedly called a liar.

You owe him an apology and your readers a better post.

And Now The House Defunds ACORN

Hat Tip: BigGovernment.Com

Rep. Darrell Issa  (R-CA) offered the Defund-ACORN bill to the Student Loans bill.  The House vote convincingly to cut ALL federal funds to ACORN.

Vote: 345 to 75.  Complete results here.


It’s worth pointing out that this amendment is attached to a different bill than the one that the Senate voted on.

This means that the Senate will yet have to vote on this bill, and the House will have to yet vote on the Senate bill.

And then there’s potential Conference Committees, where either or both of these amendments could conveniently disappear.

And then the President would have to sign one or both of these bills as well.

We’re a long way from calling this a success.

American Pie 2009

A long, long time ago…

I can still remember how
That the news helped me relax.
And I knew if I had to choose,
That I could watch the news,
And maybe I’d learn the facts.

But this summer made me shiver
With every paper I would quiver
No news on my doorstep;
Of ACORN or Van Jones missteps.

I can’t remember if I cried
When I saw what they tried to hide;
But something touched me deep inside
The year that old news died.

So bye-bye Miss American Pie
Drove my ‘puter to Drudge Report,
Since the Times was bone dry.
And them good old boys were linking Breitbart and Beck
Singin’, D.C. is as corrupt as heck.
D.C. is as corrupt as heck.

Did you write about drama,
And do you have faith in Obama,
When the ‘prompter speaks to thee?
Do you believe in NBC,
Can the truth really set you free,
And can you teach me of what I should see?

Well, we know that you’re in love with him
’cause we saw you bowin’ on a whim
You all showed us the news
Man I dig those reds and blues.

I was a lonely mid-aged news junkie
With an ergo keyboard and wifi speed
But I knew TV was not for me
The year that old news died.

I started singin’,
Bye-bye Miss American Pie
Drove my ‘puter to Drudge Report,
Since the Times was bone dry.
And them good old boys were linking Breitbart and Beck
Singin’, D.C. is as corrupt as heck.
D.C. is as corrupt as heck.

Now with internet we’re on our own.
And news moves fast in the YouTube zone,
But that’s not how it used to be.
The Grey Lady wrote for the king and all
In a “scoop” they borrowed from Hardball
With noses that looked down on us all.

Oh, and while writers were looking down,
The Grey Lady lost her news crown.
The Senate was adjourned;
No funding was returned.
And while Obama read Alinsky,
The Post kept his rep orderly
And Rush shouted “why can’t you see?”
The year that old news died.

We were singin’
Bye-bye Miss American Pie
Drove my ‘puter to Drudge Report,
Since the Times was bone dry.
And them good old boys were linking Breitbart and Beck
Singin’, D.C. is as corrupt as heck.
D.C. is as corrupt as heck.

Town hall meetings in a summer sweater.
While newsies warned us all of hot weather,
3k miles from coast to coast.
Size of gov’t riled us the most.
Pelosi said we are all compost
With the Grey Lady silent as a ghost

Now the networks continued to fail
While Hannah told her special tale
We all looked to Gibson,
Oh, but ACORN was news to him!
When the ACORN Prez tried to take the field;
James and Hannah refused to yield.
Do you recall what was revealed
The year that old news died?

We started singing,
Bye-bye Miss American Pie
Drove my ‘puter to Drudge Report,
Since the Times was bone dry.
And them good old boys were linking Breitbart and Beck
Singin’, D.C. is as corrupt as heck.
D.C. is as corrupt as heck.

Oh, and there we were all in one place,
Tea partiers come to make their case
We called on Gibson once again
So come now: Chuck be nimble, Chuck be quick!
Chuck’s in Maine ignoring those hicks
Cause ignorance is the devil’s friend.

Oh, as I heard this supposed sage
My hands were clenched in fists of rage.
Someone would surely tell
And break Obama’s spell
But while we all waited into the night
For the real numbers of our might,
Obama was laughing with delight
The year that old news died.

He was singing,
Bye-bye Miss American Pie
Drove my ‘puter to Drudge Report,
Since the Times was bone dry.
And them good old boys were linking Breitbart and Beck
Singin’, D.C. is as corrupt as heck.
D.C. is as corrupt as heck

I read a girl who they call absurd
And the Times on her book has no word
But she just smiled and blew HotAir.
I went to the sacred station
I’d  once watched news of our nation,
And the Wolf there said that FoxNews wasn’t Fair.

And on the webs: YouTubers ruled,
The lib’rals cried, and anchors were schooled.
But not a word was spoken;
Of crowds or ACORN broken.
And the three we once trusted most:
Brokaw, Jennings, and Rather the host,
They caught a fast train for the coast
The year that old news died.

And they were singing.
Bye-bye Miss American Pie
Drove my ‘puter to Drudge Report,
Since the Times was bone dry.
And them good old boys were linking Breitbart and Beck
Singin’, D.C. is as corrupt as heck.
D.C. is as corrupt as heck

They were singing.
Bye-bye Miss American Pie
Drove my ‘puter to Drudge Report,
Since the Times was bone dry.
And them good old boys were linking Breitbart and Beck
Singin’, D.C. is as corrupt as heck.
D.C. is as corrupt as heck

Today Is Constitution Day

222 years ago today, the U.S. Constitutional Convention signed and approved the U.S. Constitution.

222 years.

Can our Constitution last another 222 years? 222 months? 222 weeks? I’m pretty sure about 222 days, but less sure about any of the others.

Every school child is taught the preamble, and it’s worth quoting one more time:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, ensure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

A great start, but we should all read the rest, and the Amendments. In particular, the President needs to read Article II, Section 2 and 3 to find out what’s within the scope of his job.

I have some interesting quotes coming soon from our Founding Fathers (yes, I’m not using the politically correct “Founders”) regarding the origins of the Constitution. You’ll want to see these, as they’ll really tell you what the Constitution is all about and you’ll see how much of the original intent has been lost over the years, by both Republicans and Democrats.


UPDATE: Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) has written an excellent article about the Constitution as well.

16 September, 2009

Intemperate Thought of the Day #9

At least after watching all these videos, I now know what a community organizer does.

But don’t miss this post. This doesn’t have anything to do with the videos and may be the most important post on the site.

To start this, we are publishing an internal quasi-employee manual Big Government has obtained. Given to all ACORN employees, it isn’t your normal manual. It doesn’t discuss things like sick leave or vacation time, but, rather, as the title states, the “Principles and Foundations of ACORN.” How an organization communicates with the public is important. How it communicates to its own employees, however, provides a richer understanding of an organization’s nature.

The whole thing is worth a read. I draw your attention to just one sentence (ACORN emphasizes it with italics):

ACORN’s lifeblood is conflicts with targets outside the organization.

Think about that. ACORN’s lifeblood isn’t empowering disadvantaged communities nor lifting people out of poverty. It isn’t concerned about increasing economic growth to improve the lives of its members. It’s lifeblood is conflict. Conflict with targets. It actually thinks of the world outside itself as targets.

ACORN Suspends Operations, Plans Internal Audit

The Washington Times is reporting:

ACORN, calling the actions of some of its employees "indefensible," has suspended advising new clients as part of its service programs and is setting up an independent review to see what happened.

ACORN chief executive Bertha Lewis said in a written statement that she was "ordering a halt to any new intakes into ACORN's service programs until completion of an independent review."

Jon Stewart asks MSM: Where The Hell Were You?

Unbelievably funny.

Best line: “I’m a fake journalist and I’m embarrassed these guys scooped me.”

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The Audacity of Hos
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Healthcare Protests

Intemperate Thought of the Day #8

We need illegal immigrants to help Hannah Giles and James O’Keefe in their undercover ACORN investigation.

Why illegal immigrants? Because investigative journalism is now apparently a job that Americans won’t do.

Intemperate Thought of the Day #7

Ok, this one I’m stealing from Frank Warner.

While Democrats Rule, 20 things the press won’t report on:

* The failure of Congress leaders to pay their taxes.

* Congress leaders accepting illegal campaign contributions.

* White House pressuring scientists to exaggerate global warming findings.

* White House claiming health care costs are going down when they are going up.

* White House claiming the deficit is not increasing when it is.

* The FBI wiretapping of Americans for purely political reasons.

* The firing of federal inspector generals for purely political reasons.

* The firing of U.S. attorneys for purely political reasons.

* The distorting of NSA, CIA, FBI or Homeland Security intelligence to serve a predetermined conclusion.

* The abuse of detainees by U.S. soldiers and contractors (unless Congress decides to surrender Afghanistan).

* Congress leaders accepting kickbacks from General Motors or Chrysler officials in exchange for laws giving GM or Chrysler an unfair advantage over other automakers.

* The continued paying of Congress leaders by officials of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in exchange for favorable regulations.

* The refusal by the Justice Department to prosecute Democrats who discourage non-Democrats from voting.

* The refusal by the Justice Department to prosecute Democrats who encourage voting by dead, fictitious or otherwise unqualified people.

* Subjecting Soldiers, Marines, Airmen and Sailors to poor health care at military hospitals.

* The failure of “stimulus” spending to create the jobs the administration projected.

* New health care regulations discouraging the number of breakthroughs in drugs and medical procedures.

* The relaxing of banking regulations after the White House and Congress promised tighter banking regulations.

* The failure of alternative energy sources to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

* A Democratic burglary of a Republican campaign headquarters.

Intemperate Thought of the Day #6

Have Libs ever heard of the story “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”?

The moral of the story is:

There is no believing a liar, even when he speaks the truth.

If you keep claiming racism every time there is criticism of President Barack Obama (D-USA), no one’s going to care if and when it actually happens.

Intemperate Thought of the Day #5

House Rules Committee Chairwoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY28) has released new guidelines for members and their conduct on the floor and in committees.

Under section 370 of the House Rules and Manual it has been held that a Member could:

• refer to the government as “something hated, something oppressive.”
• refer to the President as “using legislative or judicial pork.”
• refer to a Presidential message as a “disgrace to the country.”
• refer to unnamed officials as “our half-baked nitwits handling foreign affairs.”

Likewise, it has been held that a member could not:

• call the president a “liar.”
• call the president a “hypocrite.”
• describe the president’s veto of a bill as “cowardly.”
• charge that the president has been “intellectually dishonest.”
• refer to the president as “giving aid and comfort to the enemy.”
• refer to alleged “sexual misconduct on the president’s part.”

For the first time in my life, I wish I was a Congressman, so I could request time on the floor and say every one of these things about the President and the majority party.

Intemperate Thought of the Day #4

James Taranto, writing for the online version of the Wall Street Journal (I have no idea whether it’s in the print version) wonders:

How come Glenn Beck and Andrew Breitbart keep scooping the New York Times?

When I read that, I remembered reading All the President’s Men (one of the two best books on Watergate—the other is Silent Coup by Colodny and Gettlin) by Woodward and Bernstein. The interesting thing about that book is that not only do you learn a lot about the Watergate scandal and how sleazy Washington is, but you also learn how sleazy the news media is. And how they’ll stop at nothing to avoid being scooped or to get the scoop themselves.

Today’s Washington Post and New York Times are scooped almost daily.

And they don’t seem to care…

Intemperate Thought of the Day #3

The House of Representatives officially rebuked Representative Joe Wilson (R-SC02) for shouting out “You Lie!” to President Barack Obama (D-USA) during his speech last week. The vote was mostly on party lines.

Let’s review:

Republican Joe Wilson says “You Lie!” to the President from the House floor and gets rebuked.

Democrat Pete Stark (D-CA13) says “You gonna tell us lies like you’re telling us today?” and “President Bush’s statements about children’s health shouldn’t be taken any more seriously than his lies about the war in Iraq” from the House floor and gets nothing.

Democrat Pete Stark says “I wouldn’t dignify you by peeing on your leg. I wouldn’t waste the urine.” to one of his constituents and gets nothing.

Democrat Charlie Rangel (D-NY15) continues to stay one step ahead of the law with his ongoing tax problems and gets to keep his Chairmanship of the powerful House Ways & Means Committee.

Those are just a few examples off the top of my head.

Hypocrisy thy name is Pelosi.

Intemperate Thought of the Day #2

ABC News anchor Charles Gibson, of Sarah Palin interview fame, “doesn’t even know about” the ACORN scandal videos that have been flying across the web the last few days.

I bet Sarah Palin could clue him in.

Intemperate Thought of the Day #1

It’s been a little while since I blogged, but I have several thoughts running through my mind today.

Former President Jimmy Carter (D-USA) says that when Representative Joe Wilson’s (R-SC02) said “You Lie!” during President Barack Obama’s (D-USA) speech the other night that his comments were ‘based on racism’.

Well, I doubt that, but I’m certain that Carter’s comments are based on stupidity.

Mickey Kaus is right. Libs need to stop trotting out Jimmy when they need an attack dog. The man’s a moron. Conservatives don’t respect anything he says. I suspect most independents feel the same way.

11 September, 2009

It’s 12:16 PM September 11, 2001 – Where Are You?

12:16 PM

US airspace is clear of aircraft except for military and emergency flights. Only a few transoceanic flights are still landing in Canada.

Where were you?

2,996 souls were lost on that day, including 343 of New York's Bravest and New York's Finest who gave their lives trying to save others.

Oh, where was I during all of this? In a meeting. No one bothered to interrupt the meeting to mention what was happening. After the meeting, I walked out to my car, somehow managing not to talk to a single person. I got in the car and drove home for lunch, without turning on the radio. I got home, made myself a sandwich, sat down at about 12:05 PM, turned on the TV and discovered that the world had changed while I wasn't looking. Rudy Giuliani has said it best, many times (paraphrasing). "We learned on September 11, 2001 that we were at war. The other side had known they were at war for quite some time, but we didn't know it."

There's a very poignant picture on the NY Times website from 9/11/2006, with the caption "The Hole in the City's Heart"

Where were you?

On September 12, we all promised ourselves that we'd never forget the events of that day. Have you kept that promise?

The times and events listed here are a very small excerpt of what's available at the Cooperative Research History Commons. The whole thing is well worth a read, if you have the time (it's very long).

Where were you?

There's an excellent Flash video tribute here. Please be patient. It's rather large and the server appears to be somewhat underpowered. It'll take a while to load. But it's well worth the wait.

"Freedom and Fear are at War." - U.S. President George W. Bush

"This is a battle with only one outcome: our victory, not theirs." - UK Prime Minister Tony Blair

It’s 10:28 AM September 11, 2001 – Where Are You?

10:28 AM

The World Trade Center’s North Tower collapses. It was hit by Flight 11 at 8:46, 102 minutes earlier.

It’s 10:06 AM September 11, 2001 – Where Are You?

10:06 AM

United Airlines Flight 93 crashes into an empty field just north of the Somerset County Airport, about 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, 124 miles or 15 minutes from Washington, D.C.

It’s 9:59 AM September 11, 2001 – Where Are You?

9:59 AM

The South Tower of the World Trade Center collapses. It was hit by Flight 175 at 9:03 A.M., 57 minutes earlier.

It's 9:57 AM September 11, 2001 - Where Are You?

9:57 AM

Two groups of passengers (one containing Tom Burnett who has been on the phone with his wife, and one containing Todd Beamer who has been on the phone with a Verizon representative) apparently working independently attempt to to regain control of United Airlines Flight 93. Todd Beamer leaves his phone connected and at about this time is heard to say "Let's Roll."

It’s 9:45 AM September 11, 2001 – Where Are You?

9:45 AM

Ben Sliney, FAA’s National Operations Manager, orders the entire nationwide air traffic system shut down. All flights at US airports are stopped. Around 3,950 flights are still in the air. Sliney makes the decision without consulting FAA head Jane Garvey, Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, or other bosses, but they quickly approve his actions. It’s Sliney’s first day on the job.

My sister-in-law is stranded in Ft. Lauderdale, FL (yes, I know...not a terribly bad place to be stranded, all things considered) after her flight lands safely there, but all outbound flights are canceled.

It’s 9:37 AM September 11, 2001 – Where Are You?

9:37 AM

American Airlines Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon. Approximately 125 people on the ground are later determined killed or missing.

It’s 9:03 AM September 11, 2001 – Where Are You?

9:03 AM

United Airlines Flight 175 hits the South Tower of the World Trade Center (Tower Two). Seismic records pinpoint the time at six seconds before 9:03 a.m. (rounded to 9:03 a.m.).

It’s 8:46 AM September 11, 2001 – Where Are You?

I’ve been requested to do this again.

8:46 AM

American Airlines Flight 11 Hits the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Two minutes later CNN would break off a commercial with live news on this. Carol Lin says, “This just in. You are looking at ... obviously a very disturbing live shot there—that is the World Trade Center, and we have unconfirmed reports this morning that a plane has crashed into one of the towers of the World Trade Center.” CNN then switches to Sean Murtagh, the network’s vice president of finance, who says in a live telephone interview, “I just witnessed a plane that appeared to be cruising at a slightly lower than normal altitude over New York City. And it appears to have crashed into—I don’t know which tower it is—but it hit directly in the middle of one of the World Trade Center towers. It was a jet, maybe a two-engine jet, maybe a 737 ... a large passenger commercial jet ... It was teetering back and forth, wing-tip to wing-tip, and it looks like it has crashed into—probably, twenty stories from the top of the World Trade Center—maybe the eightieth to eighty-fifth floor. There is smoke billowing out of the World Trade Center.”

Video (requires Windows Media Player)