El gran Debate

The great Republican debate is on TV tonight. It is being held at the Ronald Reagan presidential library. Perry may or may not show up. After all, his state is burning to the ground. Maybe instead of staying in his home state he should jet off to Martha’s Vineyard.

Anyway, in the lead up to the event tonight, I was reading an article on RedState.com posted titled: “Proposed Questions for the GOP Debate: Time for Specifics”. I picked a few (ok, more than a few) and answered them the way I think a candidate should. You know, one with actual stones.

Federal Reserve: Many conservatives have criticized the Fed’s interventionist policies as the culprit for a weak dollar and higher commodity prices. Q: What reforms would you impose on the Fed? Would you repeal the Fed’s dual mandate to achieve economic growth, leaving it to focus just on currency stability? A: The answer should be to dump it all together. Anything created in the Wilson Administration is by default, bad. Otherwise its single mission should be currency stabilization. It’s doing such a good job of it.

Taxes: Some candidates have offered a more specific tax reform plan than others. Q: What specific rates would you propose for the personal income tax, the corporate tax, capital gains & dividends? Should we abolish the death tax? Which tax credits and deductions, if any, would you keep? Do you believe in refundable credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit? Do you support Obama’s proposal to extend the 2% payroll tax holiday for another year? A: Don’t accept the premise of the question. I would go all in on the Fair Tax, a national sales tax to replace all other taxes. Damn the torpedoes! I used to advocate for the Flat Tax, but the Fair Tax is the only tax that is at least somewhat optional. With the fair tax, everyone will have skin in the game. Oh, and abolish the 16th Amendment.

Energy Subsidies: Q: Should we abolish ethanol subsidies, or merely reform them as some in the Senate have proposed? What about farm subsidies? Should government invest any resources in alternative fuels, or should that be left to private enterprise and the free market? A: Again. Faulty question. Abolish all subsidies. Read the Constitution. They (subsidies) aren’t in there. If a product can’t be developed in the private sector, it won’t be developed.

Healthcare: Presumably, everyone supports the repeal of Obamacare. Nevertheless, even before Obamacare, the cost of healthcare had been skyrocketing. Q: What do you think is the cause of the high healthcare costs and what conservative solutions would you implement to create downward pressure on healthcare costs? A: I agree, repeal Obamacare. It is unconstitutional & anti-constitutional. Health care is not a federal issue. It is a free market & state issue. The Feds should have no hand in health care except to allow for free interstate commerce of such.

Education: Q: Would you repeal No Child Left Behind? What role, if any, should the federal government play in education? A: Yes, repeal that horrible bill foisted on us by another progressive, George W. Bush. Again, read the Constitution. The Feds have no role.

Housing: Q: Should the federal government be involved in public housing, rental assistance, and housing finance activities? A: This is getting monotonous. Hello, Constitution!

I could on but even I’m getting bored with saying, “Constitution”.

Maybe someday I’ll see a candidate with the bolas to say what I’m thinking. I’m hoping to be pleasantly surprised, but I won’t be holding my breath.

Joke of the Day

A nice, calm and respectable lady went into the pharmacy, walked up to the pharmacist, looked straight into his eyes, and said, “I would like to buy some cyanide.” The pharmacist asked, “Why in the world do you need cyanide?” The lady replied, “I need it to poison my husband.” The pharmacist’s eyes got big and he exclaimed, “Lord have mercy! I can’t give you cyanide to kill your husband. That’s against the law! I’ll lose my license! They’ll throw both of us in jail! All kinds of bad things will happen. Absolutely not! You CANNOT have any cyanide!” The lady reached into her purse and pulled out a picture of her husband in bed with the pharmacist’s wife. The pharmacist looked at the picture and replied, “Well now, that’s different. You didn’t tell me you had a prescription.”

On the Express Train

I went to the Tea Party Express rally yesterday in Manchester, N.H.
Living only a couple of miles away from the venue I decided to ride my bike. I’m glad I did. It was held in a park in downtown Manchester. Turns out there wasn’t a parking spot anywhere near it. I’d guess there were at least 1,000 people in attendance. That may not sound like a lot, but for a small city in a small state the turn out was good & boisterous. Did I mention it was about 90 degrees with about 100% humidity? That didn’t dampen the spirits of the attendees. It did, however, dampen more than a few shirts. Everyone came to see Sarah Palin speak. She was great. Palin had a speech prepared which she followed but I also noticed her speaking extemporaneously. Pretty uncommon in this day & age.
Look Mom, no teleprompter!

This was the first time I’ve seen her speak live. I understand why people gravitate toward her. I liked her before but she is very engaging in person. Palin is very real, very personable & quite likeable, not to mention very conservative. Oh, and not an uglo-american. No wonder she pisses off so many on the left. I didn’t hear her saying anything regarding taking out the Sons of Bitches either. I must have come late. Speaking of which; I ran into a couple of friends there & they observed not seeing the usual disruptive lefty whackos. I hadn’t noticed, but they were right. There were only a couple of them out by the street waving a sign about Big Oil. One of them was dressed in a Polar Bear suit. That must have been comfortable in the heat. I regret not getting a picture.

Holy Crap! I just noticed. This is a New Hampshire Tea Party Rally. What’s a black guy doing here? I didn’t think they were allowed in?

Anyway, I’m glad I went. That’s the nice thing about New Hampshire at this time. Everyone must come here so there will be plenty more events to attend.

Joke of the Day

After being married for 40 years, a man took a careful look at his wife one day and said, “Forty years ago we had a cheap house, a junk car, slept on a sofa bed and watched a 10-inch black and white TV, but I got to sleep every night with a hot 23-year-old girl.”

He went on to explain, “Now … I have a $500,000.00 home, a $50,000.00 car, a nice big bed and a large screen TV, but I’m sleeping with a 63-year-old woman. It seems to me that you’re not holding up your side of things.”

His wife, being a very reasonable woman, told him to go out and find a hot 23-year-old girl and she would make sure that he would once again be living in a cheap house, driving a junk car, sleeping on a sofa bed and watching a 10-inch black and white TV.

Is Congress Waking Up?

From Newsbusters:

House Republicans introduced a bill last week with hopes of forcing major changes on the United Nations. The bill would require the United Nations to allow member countries to fund the UN agencies of their choosing rather than according to a formula, end funding for Palestinian refugees, limit U.S. funding to be used only for purposes specifically outlined by Congress, and end contributions to peacekeeping programs until changes in management take place.

With the United States contributing 22% of the UN’s operating budget, the GOP believes there is enough leverage to force these changes in the UN. Led by the Republican chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the changes are designed to end corruption and inefficiency in the global organization. How involved do you think the U.S. should be in the UN? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Further from Bloomberg:

The U.S. pays 22 percent of the UN’s regular operations budget and is assessed 27 percent of the peacekeeping budget. The U.S. payments totaled $3.35 billion in 2010, of which $2.67 billion was dedicated to the 16 peacekeeping operations worldwide, from South Sudan to Haiti. […]

Ros-Lehtinen’s aim in shifting the UN budget to a voluntary system is to encourage competition for funds and therefore elicit more effective performance from UN agencies, said a House aide familiar with the legislation. He wasn’t authorized to speak on the record.

The bill’s timing runs counter to the emergence of the administration’s “Obama Doctrine” of working with others to address international issues, particularly those that don’t pose an immediate security threat to the U.S., said Jeffrey Laurenti, a UN analyst at the Century Foundation, a New York-based economic, political and social research foundation.

Call Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen at (202) 225-3931 & thank her for her initiative & leadership.

Joke an Lae

A man walks into a bar and orders three beers.

The bartender brings him the three beers, and the man proceeds to alternately sip one, then the other, then the third, until they’re gone.

He then orders three more and the bartender says, “Sir, I know you like them cold, so you can start with one, and I’ll bring you a fresh one as soon as you’re low.”

The man says, “You don’t understand. I have two brothers, one in Australia and one in the Ireland. We made a vow to each other that every Saturday night, we’d still drink together. So right now, my brothers have three beers, too, and we’re drinking together.”

The bartender thinks it’s a wonderful tradition, and every week he sets up the guy’s three beers. Then one week, the man comes in and orders only two. He drinks them and then orders two more. The bartender says sadly, “Knowing your tradition, I’d just like to just say that I’m sorry you’ve lost one of your brothers.”

The man replies, “Oh, my brothers are fine — I just quit drinking.”

Woods to Play the Frys

Tiger Woods has signed on to play in the Frys.com Open in October. So why this tournament? It’s not exactly a first tier event. Was it just on a whim? Not at all.

A lot of the credit has gone to Duke Butler, president of the event, but Woods’ decision to play at the Frys.com Open is not solely the doing of Butler. John Fry’s commitment to the tournaments excellence played a major role. Butler has, however had a decent relationship with Tiger’s agent Mark Steinberg since 2007.

In 2010, the day before the U.S. at Pebble Beach, Butler picked up Steinberg & drove him up to San Martin him a tour of CordeValle, home of the Frys. Steinberg was introduced to John Fry. He was impressed.

It appears the event is sold out. Bet that’s never happened before.

I guess Tiger’s still has the Mojo to draw a serious crowd.

Joke van de Dag

Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson went on a camping trip. After a good meal and a bottle of wine they laid down for the night, and went to sleep. Some hours later, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend.

“Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see.”

Watson replied, “I see millions and millions of stars.”

“What does that tell you?”

Watson pondered for a minute.

“Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Theologically, I can see that God is all-powerful and that we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you?”

Holmes was silent for a minute, then spoke. “It tells me that someone has stolen our tent.”

0 Jobs??

Hey Hey Ho Ho, we don’t need no jobs no mo! Everybody chant!

Yes the monthly jobs report was released today. We added 0 jobs. Awesome! It’s the end of another recovery summer.

And, oh by the way, the change in total nonfarm payroll employment for June was revised down again (the way it always is) from +46,000 to +20,000, and the change for July was revised from +117,000 to +85,000. I’m sure the experts were surprised.

The economy expanded at an annual pace of only 0.7 percent in the first six months of the year. That was the slowest six months of growth since the recession officially ended in June 2009. Oh, it ended? Most economists forecast that growth may improve to about a 2 percent annual rate in the July-September quarter. But that’s not fast enough to generate many jobs. Are these the same economists that predict the jobs number every month? They’ve yet to get close. Back to jobs, or no jobs.
Hiring fell across many different sectors. Manufacturers cut 3,000 jobs. Construction companies, retailers, and transportation firms also cut workers.
Yet the unemployment rate is still at 9.1%, which we all know is a lie. There are accounting gimmicks at play here. Shocking, I know.
Very simply the government accountants magically shrink the workforce. One gimmick is the Employment-Population Ratio. It is a statistic that takes the ratio of the total working age of the labor force currently employed to the total working age population of a region, municipality or country. The employment ratio is subject to manipulation and may be skewed in order to give the perception that an economy, based on this metric, is performing better then it really is.
The other is the workforce Participation Rate. It’s a measure of the active portion of an economy’s labor force. The participation rate refers to the number of people who are either employed or are actively looking for work. The number of people who are no longer actively searching for work would not be included in the participation rate. In a poor economy many people get discouraged and stop looking for employment, as a result, the participation rate decreases.

By merely eliminating people from these formulas it keeps the unemployment rate down. Just like magic. I feel better, but then, I have a job.