Congress Lifts Its Skirt Again

As I seem to be doing on a fairly regular basis at the moment, I must again apologize for the randomness of my posting schedule lately. As it turns out, time is such a limited commodity currently. But soon my tenure as a two job employee will be at an end. There is little doubt that the topic of the day seems to be the deal struck between the President and the Republicans in Congress to extend the Bush tax cuts for all Americans in exchange for an extension of the unemployment benefits for those who need them. I have to say that the world of Washington DC as I know it appears to be “Bizarro World”. The Democrats are lambasting the President and spouting off about standing up for their principles. The Republicans are lambasting the President and spouting off about standing up for their principles. Well, now USWeapon is going to NOT lambast the President and point out the lack of principle in Washington DC. What a bunch of hypocritical children we have in Congress.

So the deal is basically this: President Obama agreed to extend the Bush tax cuts for everyone, including those making over $250k a year, for an additional 2 years (the 2011 and 2012 tax years). In exchange, the Republicans agreed to extend unemployment benefits for 13 months. They proposed bill would also cut social security taxes for next year and set the estate tax at 35% with an exemption of $5 million.

Let me first say that I am going to support this particular legislation for one simple reason… every single thing that was mentioned above, with the exception of the unemployment provision, was a reduction in the amount of taxes that private citizens would have to pay. I, of course, would prefer that the estate tax be done away with completely. What right does the government have to that money? (answer: none). While I would like to see dramatic reductions in payroll taxes, far beyond what these “tax cuts” provide, I will support anything that makes the number lower rather than higher.

Personally, I think that the President was particularly wise in working this deal out now and attempting to get it done before the end of the year. The reality is that come January, the balance of power will shift in Congress and the Republicans would be able to get the tax cut extensions passed without conceding anything at all. Obama knows that and took the opportunity to at least get something out of the deal. The GOP took the deal because doing it this way is certainly easier than doing it in January without the White House’s help. What baffles me completely is the behavior of the far left in Congress, and truthfully, in the media as well.

Pelosi and her fair-weather friends are all the sudden at odds with the messiah in a way that I haven’t seen thus far. Pelosi went as far as to say that she will not bring this compromise bill to the house floor for a vote. And the rest of the far left progressive idiots have made complete asses of themselves for the better part of a week now. I give you evidence exhibit A, Anthony Weiner (has there ever been a more appropriate name for such a petty dickhead as Weiner?):

My favorite parts of Weiner’s ridiculous nonsense? The first has to be his plagiarism of the GOP line of placing debt burdens on “our children and grandchildren.” Interesting how NOW he cares about the debt burden place on future generations, but didn’t seem to mind it at all with both health care and the spendulus bill. My next favorite part (there were so many) was when he feigned concern for the people of the country, and how they are going to be impacted. Apparently, Representative WHINER is more concerned about taking an idealistic stand than taking care of the American people. Another favorite was how he shirked the responsibility for the fact that the Democrats in the house INTENTIONALLY pushed this issue until after the mid-term elections.

Georges St. Pierre

Perhaps my most favorite moment in that interview with Weiner was when Megyn Kelly asked him about the estate tax, a question that he absolutely acted like an arrogant prick about and refused to answer at all. She asked him why people should have that money taxed a second time in order to pass it on to their children. He REFUSED to answer, in my opinion, because there is absolutely no sane answer for that question that supports the progressive position. We don’t have to get into an estate tax debate today, because I am working on an article specifically on the estate tax. Bottom line for me on exhibit A is that Anthony Weiner is one of the biggest dickheads in the United States Congress and I would pay a large amount of money for a pay per view event where Weiner has to fight Georges St. Pierre and no tap out is allowed. Or, for that matter, I am willing to sub in for GSP, and I promise I will make it more entertaining but the result will be the same.

What has really happened with this entire debate is that the members of Congress have shown that partisanship and ideological stances are the backbone of how they intend to do business, regardless of the impact felt by the American people, or anyone else for that matter.

The Democrats have aired out their belief that money earned by the American people IS NOT THEIR’S. Weiner alluded to it it. Almost every far left progressive has alluded to it. Their premise from the start of this debate is that the President’s deal is giving money to the wealthy that they do not deserve, that they do not need. In this stance, it is the progressive premise that is completely flawed. It is THE GOVERNMENT that does not deserve this money. It was earned by the citizen, not the government. That the wealthy are willing to give any portion of the fruit of their labor to the government in order to help pay for government is ignored. And remember the wealthy already pay the lion’s share of taxes. But that isn’t enough for assholes like Weiner. He clings to the false belief that it is the government’s money and that the government has the right to decide how much of it the citizen gets to keep. How ass backwards is that?

There was also Republican opposition to the deal reached between the GOP and Obama. Senator Jim DeMint believes that his party gave too much to get the deal and should wait until January when the Republicans take over control of the house to broker a better deal. “I appreciate the efforts made by my party’s leaders to negotiate this deal but I believe Americans deserve much better. This deal should be rejected and then fixed,” DeMint wrote. “We can easily extend these tax rates without increasing spending once the new crop of Republican senators, including Pat Toomey, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Mike Lee and Ron Johnson are sworn in.” In other words, DeMint also doesn’t believe in compromise and believes that the GOP should, as Megyn Kelly noted above, play chicken with the fiscal future of the American people. Sarah Palin also appears to be against the deal, although her tweets are so cryptic I cannot be especially positive. She posted to twitter about the deal, “Obviously Obama is so very, very wrong on the economy & spins GOP tax cut goals; so fiscal conservatives: we expect you to fight for us”. I am not even sure what that means. Is she?

And for the record I am tired of hearing things like the heading of the “costs” chart above. Politicians are keen on telling us that something like this is adding debt to our children. Unlike the health care bill or the stimulus, this bill isn’t primarily about “spending” money. So the tax cuts are not costing $577 billion. They are not costing a dime. It does’t cost the government money to not take money from us. Instead, all that is happening is that the politicians are admitting that they are going to spend that tax revenue regardless of whether they get it or not. Whatever they do will cost something. Approving tax cuts will not. Here is a wacky suggestion…. Cut government spending by $577 billion, then the tax cuts are completely free. Does anyone else find it odd that the government never talks about cutting costs to pay for something like this? I promise you no one on either side of the aisle will suggest this anytime soon.

In the end, I believe that this move by the President was a prudent one. People like Weiner argue that the President failed to take a leadership position. I would argue that he did, in fact, take a leadership position. He decided that getting a deal done was more important than standing on his partisan principles. So he took the leadership position and made a deal. In doing so, he graciously provided cover for all the far left idiots in Congress. All they had to do was shut up and take the deal. If their constituents didn’t like it, they could blame the President! They should have thanked the President for providing them that cover. Instead they decided to remain idealistic and partisan. As a result, the leadership the President has shown will increase his appeal with independents and moderate Republicans. And the idealistic stance that the progressives have shown will decrease theirs. Are there any more questions as to why the approval rating of Congress is always 20+ points lower than whatever President sits in the Oval Office? Even Bush has a higher approval rating than Congress. And that is thanks to people like Pelosi, Weiner, DeMint, and the rest of the partisan hacks who pretend to represent the American people.

I could rant all day on the deal and the reactions to it. But I will instead stop here and open the floor for discussion. What do you think of the deal? Those on the left, do you agree with Weiner? Those on the right, do you agree with DeMint? And what are we to make of this false ideal in Washington DC that money earned by the citizens is by default the property of government, and that any amount we are allowed to keep is “given” to us? Isn’t it time we reminded them that what we earn is ours and that what we give to them is literally a payment for services? And since the service is so horrible, shouldn’t we stop patronizing this establishment?

And shouldn’t Anthony Weiner have to fight Georges St. Pierre? or at least USW?

.

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The DeMint quote was found here:  DeMint: Wait for Marco Rubio, Rand Paul before dealing on tax cuts – The Hill’s Ballot Box

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Comments

  1. Well now, maybe we wouldn’t be having this hassle right now if we voters had kicked ALL of those up for re-election out.

    So, lets make a date for 2012 and this time lets GET IT RIGHT!

    • The problem, PD, is that not enough people feel this way. People like Pelosi, Waters, and Rangel garnered 80% of the vote in their districts. Regardless of how bad these folks are, their constituents continue to send them back. How do you reckon we get that to change?

      • A coup d’etat?

        Or we could make it like jury duty where you just get assigned to congress randomly and against your will for a month at a time. I kind of like that one.

  2. Papadawg,

    Get what right?

    Where do you believe any government can cut the budget?

    What cities do you want to burn to the ground?

    • New York? Los Angeles? Berkley? A good start.

      • Admittedly, when things end up going bad, those cities will be the first to flare. The gigantic metropolitan areas such as NY, LA, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Miami, Baltimore, etc, will become the flashpoints for violence and riots. Nowhere are people less prepared for difficult times than in the big cities.

        • Ahhhh…my bro in arms….I was trying to be humorous….it failed. New York, LA, and Berkley WOULD be good places to start…re BF asking which cities do we want to burn…

          I would have to put Houston in the second tier….they really are not as radical as they are made out to be.

          • LA does know how to throw a good riot.. and as an added bonus, they have a long history with wild fires. I think they’re the most likely to burn.

          • Houston may perhaps not be radical, but I don’t really have radical as my criteria for hot spots. Large metro areas where there are a lot of poor people who are dependent on government would be the largest risk areas. When government cannot meet their needs, the “entitled” get restless.

            Your humor is never lost on me good sir. Berkley is close to the top of my list of places I would want to see eliminated.

            Hope your day is going well sir.

    • There goes BF, shooting from the hip again . . . so, where in my post did I say anything about burning cities to the ground?

      And since you claim to be this pseudo-anarchist kind of mentality, I know that you would feign not knowing how to understand something as simple a document as our constitution, so I will not waste my time explaining that to you.

      Oh, and no offense intended by the way, even though I know that you take offense to anyone who does not share your fantasy views.

      • Papa,

        I said cities will burn if government cuts.

        I asked you, though, Cut where?. As I have done a detailed analysis, I have concluded that no cuts are possible without risking massive social upheaval.

        Since social upheaval is totally politically counterproductive, no politician will make any cuts.

        But since you have not, or cannot not, do the mental work of analyzing your “cuts”, you’re provocations are completely irrelevant. You are wasting energy and electrons.

  3. Taxes are a direct drain on the People.

    The debt is a direct drain on stupid rich people and stupid rich foreign countries.

    Cut the budget, but that is a fantasy ten yards past the Genie in a Lamp and three wishes.

    Then, cut taxes and let the debt go up.

    The debt will be defaulted. Rich people will lose their shirts. Middle class will suffer, and the poor will suffer hardest. But it is survivable.

    More money in the people’s pocket will give them a chance to prepare for the default – which will happen with or without a tax cut.

  4. St. Pierre would whip your ass in the arena – because it has rules.

    St. Pierre and you in a real fight in the jungle – let’s say I wouldn’t bet on St. Pierre.

    • GSP is a bad dude… what he did to Koscheck Saturday night was a dismantling. Koscheck’s eye looked like Rocky Balboa.

      • GSP is a monster. Do you think for a minute that I would fight this guy fair? Look at him…it is illegal to look like that…or should be…..however, he would not get within shouting range….the only way to beat this guy is a cruise missile up his butt from 100 miles away….however…dont miss…you may piss him off.

        Don’t think he can handle the “Jungle Three Step, tho”…do you USW? we would have at least an even chance….given this guy doesn’t eat the jungle.

    • Loving the UFC reference!!

      I’m the first to say I love USW, but I wouldn’t bet against GSP versus any unarmed lone human in any situation.

      I’ll make a small concession for elite level MMA light-heavyweights and heavyweights, but that’s it. I think he’d manhandle anyone at middleweight. Sure, there’s no rules in “street fight,” but that means GSP doesn’t have any rules to follow either. Take a guess who’s favor that actually works in.

      Anyone notice that GSP beat Kos (an elite NCAA wrestler) in 2007 by outwrestling him, but beat him by outboxing him in 2010? It’s as if he just wanted to prove that, you know, he’s just solidly better at everything.

      That said, no shame in being unlikely to beat GSP. Except for Weiner. There should be ample shame for Weiner. It would be the public drubbing aspect of it that really drives it home. And by a Canadian! 😉

      • Ahhh…..Mike….you do not understand…there are street fights with no rules…I will agree with you…but the no rule jungle????…..naah…an unarmed GSP is no match in the jungle with an unarmed USW or D13…we do not play fair….not at all and not in the least….

        Now…suffice it to say, that if he is trained in the same manner as us in jungle warfare…both armed and unarmed….weeeooooooooo……I would have to cheat at a greater velocity. PLUS…if I ever got close enough to where he could grab me….all I have to do is be faster than the slowest guy……if there are none in the race but me…..I want to see how GSP is on traction with that brown sludge I will be leaving behind.

        I know…more info than some were probably wanting…but the only way I would fight him is in the jungle (with him not trained) or beat him to death in his sleep….or perhaps, send Sharon Stone in to see him for three hours. That would probably kill him.

        • Elude him or beat him? Elude, sure. Beat, how?

          If you’re unarmed, you must physically engage him at some point, right? What amount of mud, tree roots, mosquitoes, or humidity makes it more likely one could impose their will on GSP?? I suppose you could use the environment in various ways (lead him into deep mud, then whack him with a stick from the bank, etc.), though at some point one must wonder what really counts as “unarmed.”

          In any event, the Sharon Stone idea is just cruel. I presume you’d have her giving the poor man dramatic orations of Johann Hari articles? The depths of your depravity have been revealed sir!

          • Yes, I am brutal at times….then I would have her sing Arlo Guthrie tunes….and follow up with Kingston Trio tunes. I have NO shame.

      • Mike,

        I am not looking to tangle with GSP in any situation, but I do like my chances far better in the jungle with him having no training. He is amazing at what HE does. Then again, so are the good colonel and I at what WE do!

        AS for the Koscheck fight, I was truly impressed with his using the jab to dismantle. I never figured the fight for a stoppage as that just isn’t GSP’s MO. But they certainly COULD have stopped this one once that eye was completely closed.

        Hope you are well, sir, and your lovely better half as well.

  5. Bottom Line says:

    USW – “And shouldn’t Anthony Weiner have to fight Georges St. Pierre? or at least USW?”

    Absolutely not!

    Just the other day, regarding the same interview with Ms. Kelly, I told someone that his response makes me wanna choke him.

    If he fights you or Georges St. Pierre? first, he won’t have a neck for me to choke.

    🙂

  6. Ray Hawkins says:

    Its all irrelevant if spending is not cut. While I will give Wiener props for having the balls (or weiner) to appear on Fox – there is too much fundamentally flawed in those positions. There should be no estate tax. Zero. While we can debate endlessly the economic efficacy of extending unemployment benefits (the whole “for ever ‘x’ dollar spent in unemployment comp there is ‘y’ benefit to the economy), the core problem is that they still spend way too much money.

    And USW – be careful what you ask for – Weiner could probably do a lot of damage to your hands (or GSP’s) with his face.

    • That’s why you hit with an open palm. I know it doesn’t seem as effective, but trust me, it vastly superior.

  7. Here’s an interesting take from the economic side. Here’s an excerpt:

    When Americans went to the polls last month, many thought they were voting for a return of fiscal sanity in Washington. And with fiscal sanity, we’d have far better assurance of bond-market stability.

    Instead, three houses of ill repute — two on Capitol Hill and one on Pennsylvania Avenue — are joining to deliver one of the most wanton, deficit-busting, bond-wrecking bills of all time.

    What most people seem to overlook is that there are actually two bills in the works. There’s the bill Congress will pass this year. And there’s the bill you and I will have to pay next year, the year after, and perhaps till the day we die.

    President Obama and the Republican leadership are calling it a “grand compromise to stimulate the economy.”

    In reality, it’s little more than a great conspiracy to slaughter our nation’s finances.

    The sad irony is that nearly all key decision-makers in Washington — including some you and I may have voted for — are feasting on the spoils:

    The Republican leadership is getting the biggest prize — the extension of all Bush-era tax cuts.

    The White House is walking away with its own choice morsels — a 13-month extension of unemployment benefits, a major cut in payroll taxes, and more.

    And even rebellious Democrats are rebelling with a goal: To get a few leftovers for themselves as well.
    Nearly every leader in Washington has blood-red ink on his hands!

    None of the deal-makers have assumed responsibility for our future or our children’s future!

    The Biggest Self-Deceptions of All Time

    This was from an e-mail from Weiss Research.

    G!

  8. Great!! I just starting my Social Security in September & now I read that my government is cutting Social Security ‘donations’ in people’s pay checks? This is just wrong!!

    Great Article, again!! Thanks!

    • COMMUNIST! You’re accepting money stolen from our paychecks and complaining that they’re going to steal less from us to give to you? Tsk tsk tsk.. 🙂

      I don’t recall seeing you around here before, so welcome to the asylum..

      • Why do I feel that progressives have issues with seniors? OH! They do.

        • That’s right. We hate old people.

          Especially when they whine about how large and expensive the government is and how it can never do anything right, and then complain when they anything threatens their precious social security handouts.

          Let’s try to keep in mind that the money you paid into the system is gone – it’s spent. Poof. Vanished. Like a fart in the wind. The money you’re receiving is money from my paycheck. It’s wealth redistribution pure and simple. They take from me and give to you. You didn’t earn this money, I did. And you think you have a right to it? You dare object when that they might steal less from me because you might receive less of a government handout?

          I think it was best summarized during a McCain town hall event: “Keep your Goddamn Government Hands off My Medicare”.

          • No Red Bull today? Or too much?

          • Please continue to be on time with your paycheck…I have a couple of more years to go…but I wish to be one of those triple dippers…

            But, just in case you do not wish to pay me….I have also protected myself against the likes of you. So it really does not matter anyway.

            But…..I wish to be greedy today…so…please continue to put your hard earned money into the government coffers and pay for it later…ok?

            • BTW……raptor relief column on way to you with emergency supply of new 40 oz. Red Bull containers….enjoy.

              • Supply drop received. Deploying now.

                Next time, please serve chilled. Room temp just isn’t the same.

              • Damn….just like a liberal….complain about being hung with a new rope…sheesh!!!!…Drink up, sir. Raptor relief air drop on way with 50 pound blocks of ice…from 5,000 feet.

              • 10-4. ETA?

          • Reality check here Matt . . . The “baby boomer generation”, you know, the ones who are just about now reaching Social Security benefit age, are the ones who have funded our gracious and benevolent government since around 1960 or so.

            So now that they are reaching retirement age you want to give them the shaft?

        • Seniors who have worked 50 years, paying it forward, for some who have worked far less hard and have payed forward for a mere 10 or so years.

          • Your point?

            • My point is that we are demanded to pay SS taxes…we should then demand the safety net when our turn comes.

              I’m all for a phase out as some have suggested here..but to pull a bait & switch on folks who have paid for 50 years is wrong.

              • Nobody’s throwing the switch – at best, he’s referring to a minor decrease in benefits (how else to define this than a slow phase-out)?

                And, ponder me this: if someone stole your wallet years ago, does that make it ok for you to steal my wallet? This is MY money. Mine. I earned it. I’m happy to pay it into the system to help him if he needs it, but by what right does he complain when they take less from me?

                If he were poor instead of old, you’d be calling him a lazy entitled liberal. Can you imagine your reaction if a person on welfare complained that you weren’t taxed high enough to give him sufficient benefits? You’d have a conniption.

              • And, ponder me this: if someone stole your wallet years ago, does that make it ok for you to steal my wallet? This is MY money. Mine.

                That is exactly what the government is doing, wake up! 🙂

              • I know it is, and I’m ok with it, but she’s not…. except apparently for social security. I’m just trying to point out the inconsistency.

              • The inconsistency is that now that it is YOUR turn to pay, you want to be stingy and not want to pay . . .

                Typical Liberal-Progressive attitude . . .

              • I’m happy to pay. I just don’t want people complaining about welfare while cashing SS checks.

              • Mathius

                But I thought SS was NOT welfare?

                Can’t you lefties make up yer darn minds?

              • It’s supposed to be welfare – we want to means-test it. As is, it’s an entitlement whether you need it or not.

          • whoops..scratch ‘for’.. replace with versus

            • Ah, gotcha.

              I’m not objecting to giving handout to the elderly. My objections are that:
              (A) I see no reason to pay when they are still able to work, but choose not to.
              (B) They complain about taxes and the size and scope of government and handouts to the poor etc, but complain endlessly when anything threatens their handouts. This is hypocrisy at its finest.

              And just a reminder, I still don’t think welfare, unemployment, etc, should be automatic – the only people we should be helping are those who cannot help themselves, not those who choose not to.

              • B) They complain about taxes and the size and scope of government and handouts to the poor.

                Isn’t it the government who stole and spent their money to begin with? Oh, yes it is, but you’ll foolishly ignore that even though the same government is stealing from you to pay them for the BIG governments F#c&ing mistakes that you support to begin with by holding seniors accountable for what is being stolen from you, when they are also victoms of the same theft.

                I need a beer!

                Peace!

              • I don’t support everything the government does, and I do think we should be supporting senior. I just don’t think they should complain about Big Government™ while they’re cashing checks from Big Government™.

                I need a beer too, but it’s a little early, dontcha think?

              • Let’s see, Govt takes your money for decades, promises to give it back when you are at the age THEY determine you can get it, and when you get it, it only buys 5% of what is was worth when they took it. They have every right to bitch and they should do it loudly.

                No, it’s not to early for a beer, it’s 5 O’Clock somewhere 🙂

              • DPM just sent me a satellite message….go ahead..it is always 5 pm on his watch.

              • I knew there was a reason I liked him…

              • My attitude towards SS is that I am not going to count on it being there when I retire.

              • Same here.

  9. When Obama first proposed this compromise, I thought I would reluctantly support it, the tying un-employment extensions of 13 months to a two year tax rate extension is almost too much for me to swallow. Now they are adding pork and the standard sweetheart deals, “hypocritical children”, closer to call them extortionists, pay me off or the country can go to hell. I realize how crucial getting a tax bill passed is, in the end, I would have to go with someone who’s expertise I trust.

    Ryan Statement on Tax Agreement
    Bipartisan agreement avoids crippling, across-the-board tax hikes

    December 7, 2010

    WASHINGTON – In response to a recently announced bipartisan agreement to prevent looming tax increases, House Budget Committee Ranking Member Paul Ryan (WI-01) issued the following statement:

    “President Obama has acted responsibly in reaching an agreement with Republicans to prevent across-the-board tax increases from hitting American families and job creators. Sound economics appear to have trumped the politics of class warfare. While I prefer a permanent prevention of tax increases to promote growth and ensure certainty, there is a growing bipartisan consensus that raising taxes would be a big mistake. This agreement affirms an essential proposition: raising tax rates hinders economic growth and job creation.

    “Policymakers cannot continue to chase ever-higher levels of government spending with ever-higher tax rates. To address the Federal government’s fiscal imbalance, we need both economic growth and serious spending discipline. It is critical that we match opposition to tax increases with a fervent commitment to restrain the explosive growth of government spending.

    “While I have concerns with some specific aspects of the plan, I support the proposed framework to avert further economic hardship and provide a first step to restore the foundations for sustained growth and job creation. I look forward to working with my colleagues to keep taxes low, and will continue to make the case for an equal commitment to spending restraint and real reform.”

    • Opinion: So Who’s Holding the Unemployed Hostage Now?
      http://www.aolnews.com/opinion/article/opinion-so-who-s-holding-the-unemployed-hostage-now/19756212

      John Merline Opinion Editor
      AOL News
      (Dec. 10) — With Democrats threatening to block the Obama/Republican compromise on Bush-era tax cuts, does that mean they’re the ones now holding the unemployed hostage until they get their way?

      That was, after all, the charge Democrats and others had often lodged against Republicans.

      Examples:

      * Earlier this month, Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., said: “We could take a major step toward fixing our economy today if Republicans stopped holding the Senate hostage to more tax giveaways for millionaires.”

      * Last month, the liberal Daily Kos complained that the GOP was “holding 2 million unemployed hostage on behalf of richest 2%.”

      * Back in July, President Barack Obama accused Republicans of “using their power to hold this relief hostage — a move that only ends up holding back our recovery. It doesn’t make sense.”

      But now it’s Democrats who are threatening to hold up the tax deal — and with it the extension in unemployment benefits (which have already started to run out for millions of long-term unemployed) — until they get what they want on taxes.

      On Thursday, House Democrats cast a symbolic voice vote rejecting the deal. “This message today is very simple: That in the form that it was negotiated, it is not acceptable to the House Democratic caucus. It’s as simple as that,” said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.

      Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, added: “We were told yesterday by the vice president this was a take-it-or-leave-it deal. We’re saying leave it.”

      And Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who caucuses with Democrats, has vowed to do anything he can to block the deal in the Senate, including a filibuster.

      It was all too much for some centrist Democrats. Rep. Dan Boren, D-Okla., for example, complained, “We are allowing the liberal wing of the Democratic caucus to hold these critically needed tax cuts hostage.”

      Of course, Republicans are just as guilty of flagrantly flip-flopping on this particular issue. GOP lawmakers had repeatedly fought unemployment benefit extensions that weren’t paid for with spending cuts elsewhere in the federal budget.

      Sponsored Links
      Here’s how Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., put it in July: “We’ve repeatedly voted for similar bills in the past. And we are ready to support one now. What we do not support — and we make no apologies for — is borrowing tens of billions of dollars to pass this bill at a time when the national debt is spinning completely out of control.”

      And just a few weeks ago, Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., argued: “We’re facing a fiscal crisis in this country. If we’re going to choose to extend unemployment again, we’ve got to find a way to pay for it.”

      Now, suddenly, after getting an agreement out of Obama to extend all the Bush tax cuts, that concern has dropped from Republicans’ radar.

      It seems that in Washington, hostage taking — and fiscal responsibility — are in the eye of the beholder.

    • Obama tax deal being larded up with special interest gifts to win Democrat congressional votes

      by John Lott

      At what point will the Republicans jump ship? Even if they like that the current tax rates are generally continued, at what point does all this committed future spending become too much? It seems that the Republican House won’t require all this special interest favors to pass the bill after they take over in January. The Democrats currently have massive majorities in both the House and Senate, and they have had two years to work on this with Obama and two previous years to work on this when Bush was president, but the Democrats in the congress have waited until the last minute.

      The tax deal, reached behind the scenes and still informal, now includes ethanol subsidies for rural folks, commuter tax breaks for their cousins in the cities and suburbs and wind and solar grants for the environmentalists — all aimed at winning votes, particularly from reluctant Democrats.
      The holiday additions are being hung on the big bill that was Congress’ main reason for spending December in Washington, long after the elections that will give Republicans new power in January. The measure will extend Bush-era tax cuts, averting big tax increases for nearly all Americans, and keep jobless benefits flowing.
      Republicans generally liked that agreement, worked out by Obama and GOP leaders. Democrats generally didn’t, hence the add-ons. . . .

      Almost $5 billion in subsidies for corn-based ethanol and a continuing tariff to protect against ethanol imports were wrapped up and placed on the tree Thursday night for farm-state lawmakers and agribusiness lobbyists. Environmentalists won more grants for developers of renewable energy, like wind and solar.
      For urban lawmakers, there’s a continuation of about-to-expire tax breaks that could save commuters who use mass transit about $1,000 a year. Other popular tax provisions aimed at increasing production of hybrid automobiles, biodiesel fuel, coal and energy-efficient household appliances would be extended through the end of 2011 under the new add-ons.
      The package also includes an extension of two Gulf Coast tax incentive programs enacted after Hurricane Katrina to spur economic development in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama.
      The ethanol money was added despite a growing congressional opposition to subsidizing the fuel after decades of government support. Last month, 17 Republican and Democratic senators wrote to leaders calling the tax breaks “fiscally indefensible,” since there’s already a law in place that requires ethanol be blended into gasoline. . . .

      Even if the pork may be aimed at Democrats, there are apparently a few Republicans who are quite happy with it. Senator Chuck Grassley is among them.

      The Senate’s tax bill will include a 45 cent-per-gallon ethanol tax credit for one more year, through the end of 2011, a spokesperson for Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) told Agriculture.com at Thursday evening.
      The tax credit is in the draft of the tax extension bill the Senate is expected to vote on soon, said Beth Pellett Levine.
      The law will also reinstate the $1 a gallon biodiesel tax credit, retroactively for 2010 and through 2011, she said. . . .

  10. Wiener is ugly and then he opens his mouth and gets even uglier. What a stupid jerk. What state is he from again?

    • New York. Or Confusion. Both, I believe

    • Megyn did a fine job on him..Instead of challenging him on some of his comments she let him crucify himself on his own and he ended up looking like a fool. It’s amazing what can be learned if you just sit back and listen!

      • She has done that to him on more than one occasion. He has lots of videos out there of him making himself look like an a-hole.

  11. In a recent article in the Jounal of Medicine, scientists have discovered a new mental disease that is afflicting many Americans and is considered an epidemic. This is also a problem in Europe, but is accepted as a low level mental illness not to be concerned with. However, in the USA, it is causing enormous damage to ecomony and warping the minds of young children. It is highly contagious and affects those who follow Progressive and Left Wing political teachings.

    Here are the symptoms to listen and watch for.

    Big Government: “We are here to help”
    Progressive and Left Wingers: “We believe you”

    This affliction has been officially named ” Gullablitis Psychosis”

    Please report anyone afflicted with this problem to your local government official, so they can help 🙂

    • After being encouraged at StasiMart, I’ll think I’ll report them to HSA and maybe get a $25 dollar gift card! Got to report those suspicious people to Big Sis! Wow, I feel more patriotic already!

      😉

    • Crap.. I think I have this.. is it terminal?

      • It can be. There is formidable evidence to suggest that it can kill huge numbers when the right crisis occurs.

        • Is… is there a cure?

          • Affliction is reversible but time consuming. Just survive the upcoming govt sponsored crisis’ (actually, the truth is out there, but takes some effort to find) and you will be cured. Gullablitis Psychosis can only be cured through learning of the truth from experience (which equates to suffering at the hands of those who are their to “HELP” you). Good Luck Mathius. 🙂

            • Naw.. sounds too hard. I think I’ll just sit here and wait for someone to do it for me.

              • I think your wish will be granted quite soon.

              • Hogwash. There’s a whole lot more to that blatantly biased excuse for “journalism.” Give me the whole story, then let’s talk.

              • There ya go.. a lot less inflamatory, no? She asked questions, he answered, she left. Let’s remember that CPS is required to investigate every allegation no matter how silly. Every single one. He calls her a terrorist, but she never threatened him, or harrassed him excessively.. just asked her questions, got her answers, check on the kids and left him alone. Seems just fine to me. A state should always err on the side of too much caution where children are concerned. This is something I have some personal experience with.

              • And, BTW, this is only from his side – I wonder was CPS would say if they were allowed to comment..

              • Here’s another one Matt..same blog site..

                http://sherriequestioningall.blogspot.com/2010/12/is-govt-trying-to-find-out-who-has-what.html

                It can happen to you some day….

              • How does these issue qualify for a complaint:

                Don’t drink tap water, eat organic food, have a bug out kit, no vaccinations. These are not complaints, they are someones opinion and govt has no business in this guys house, period.

              • I wrote out a reply, but it’s stuck in moderation.. check back once USW gets some time to look at his queue.

              • CPS would probably say something along the lines of: “we got this report about a loner male with two young girls. None of whom ever leave the house and he has them on a ‘restricted’ diet that is highly abnormal including controlled water intake. Further, they are allegedly not being given adequate preventative medical care. Lastly, the complaint alleges that he has taken steps to be prepared to flee at a moment’s notice which is a step frequently taken by criminals or those otherwise in fear of the law. Though none of this alone is any great cause for alarm, taken together, this merits a personal followup and evaluation of whether further action may be required in the interest of the children.”

              • this merits a personal followup and evaluation of whether further action may be required in the interest of the children.”

                Why does this merit any govt intervention and why do you give them the right to do anything “in the interest of the children”. You would not like this happening in your house, questioning you and your wife, knowing that one wrong answer could mean they TAKE your child, all because you and people like you let them have this authority. It will come to your door, you will then be cured! 🙂

              • I wish to god they had come to my door when I was a child.

  12. Ray Hawkins says:
    • Ray Hawkins says:

      While this is a step in the right direction there is a clearly a long legal road to still navigate and it will have no effect on rates next year.

      • Nothing will derail the bill until the supreme court rules on it.

      • ????

        This must be a case of identity theft as this can’t really be Ray Hawkins?!?

        • Nah…. Ray always was one who did not like the health care bill as it was proposed. Now, does that mean he agrees with you on what it should look like ideally? Probably not, but he has always been clearly against it as it stands.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          @Kathy – its me – the Health Care bill is a piece of garbage plain and simple. Nothing will be reformed and most all of us paying into plans will end up paying even more. Colossal bullshit so POTUS could claim he did something (and btw I reject the notion of “get some reform in and we’ll keep fixing it” – that is a crock of shit and rarely/never happens).

    • Botoom Line says:

      “Several other lawsuits have been dismissed and others are pending, including one filed by 20 other states in Florida.”

      Just how many states does Florida have?

    • Hi Ray,

      Cold day here (15 degrees, high winds, snow coming, up to a foot). I can’t believe that a Judge would dare tell Obama, Pelosi and Reid that they are wrong. We could run a pool on how many death threats the Judge gets 🙂 I’ll start by saying hundreds by weeks end.

      Hope you and your family are well and warm.

      Peace!

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        G-Man – it cooled down again today after all that rain. Will need to burn some wood tonight to warm the family. I have at least a little confidence that our Judicial branch did SOMETHING. There is most certainly reform to be done – but this bill was not IT.

  13. A funny for today:

    Biology Class

    Students in an advanced Biology class were taking their mid-term exam. The
    last question was, ‘Name seven advantages of Mother’s Milk,’ worth 70
    points or none at all. One student, in particular, was hard put to think of
    seven advantages. He wrote:
    1.) It is perfect formula for the child.
    2.) It provides immunity against several diseases.
    3.) It is always the right temperature.
    4.) It is inexpensive.
    5.) It bonds the child to mother, and vice versa.
    6.) It is always available as needed.
    And then, the student was stuck. Finally, in desperation, just before the
    bell indicating the end of the test rang, he wrote…

    7.) It comes in 2 cute containers.

    He got an A.

  14. Couple off topic quips:

    USW – you would have an extra hour to play on SUFA if you would change the time stamp!

    Might be old news but I just noticed on ESPN that they named the new Big Ten Divisions: Legends(that would be us) and Leaders ( no smart alek comments from you know whos ).

    • Legends in your own minds?

      Hey, at least they didn’t name you the followers!

      http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=5915147&campaign=rss&source=NCFHeadlines

      • PLEASE !!!

        I like the coach’s trophy name: Hayes/Schembechler trophy. Nice!

        • Are you packed? Ready to be groped?

          • Can’t resist this one.

            Vacation love story

            He grasped me firmly but gently just above my elbow and guided me
            into a room, his room. Then he quietly shut the door and we were
            alone.

            He approached me soundlessly, from behind, and spoke in a low,
            reassuring voice close to my ear.

            “Just relax.”

            Without warning, he reached down and I felt his strong, calloused
            hands start at my ankles, gently probing, and moving upward along my
            calves slowly but steadily. My breath caught in my throat. I knew I
            should be afraid, but somehow I didn’t care. His touch was so
            experienced, so sure.

            When his hands moved up onto my thighs, I gave a slight shudder, and
            partly closed my eyes. My pulse was pounding. I felt his knowing
            fingers caress my abdomen, my ribcage. And then, as he cupped my firm,
            full breasts in his hands, I inhaled sharply. Probing, searching,
            knowing what he wanted, he brought his hands to my shoulders, slid
            them down my tingling spine and into my panties.

            Although I knew nothing about this man, I felt oddly trusting and
            expectant. This is a man, I thought. A man used to taking charge. A
            man not used to taking `no’ for an answer. A man who would tell me
            what he wanted. A man who would look into my soul and say …

            “Okay, ma’am, all done.”

            My eyes snapped open and he was standing in front of me, smiling,
            holding out my purse. “You can board your flight now.”

        • Hayes = Ohio State
          Schembechler = Michigan

          You are MSU.

          • Actually I HATE Michigan..bunch of arrogant crybabies! But I used to watch ol’ Woody and Bo tangle for years..back when it was free on ABC..Better than big time wrestling!!! But they were two legends of the Big Ten so I’m good with the trophy name. Hail to the Victors for U of M medical facilities tho..kept my sister alive and well!

            Have Decision Points and camera packed so far. Let’s take a vote. Do I scan or do I get groped?

  15. Boy, oh, boy … was this a wild and whacky post(sets of posts) … such violence when you’re all getting mostly what you want.

    Sure you think Obama is doing the right thing now … he’s Bush II (on steroids).

    Seize the assets, I say (much to Doc’s chagrin) … they won’t vote on unemployment unless the rich get richer? Put them in a cage match with a polar bear.

    Or toss them off a roof.

    Okay, have I stirred the pot enough now?

    Man, you guys are tooooooo much of late.

    • CS,

      Hope your day is a good one! Off topic, do you have any suggestions on aquiring the services of a good publisher? Any info would help, including USW passing along my E-mail address, if you don’t already have it.

      G!

      • G-man: The publishing industry is in a similar shape to most manufacturing in the U.S. The e-book market has put a dent in an already shrinking business; print publications are hurting big time. You’ll need an agent to be read by most big houses (and most small presses) but you may crack the small market without one. If you can get a foot in the door of a big house, make sure your manuscript is crisp clean (no screwups–pay the freight for a copy editor before you send it off unless you trust your eye enough to do without one). They want “ready to publish” manuscripts these days.

        I’m making more from foreign markets than U.S. (my wife thinks I’m the dan brown of Russia and I’m getting screwed but that’s not the case–they pay better but slower than molasses).

        If you don’t have an agent, small presses are the way to go, but don’t expect big advances. The industy is suffering for many reasons and declining readership is certainly one, but you can include the cost of books (especially hardcover–now a luxury). The proliferation of books on amazon, etc., that did NOT come from publishers is frightening … most of them are horrible. You lose credibilty if you go that route before finding a publisher. It’s sort of like a cheap vanity press way to go.

    • Let’s everybody skip Rep Weiner and pile up on Charlie!

      • Anita, you know you still love me …?

        I’m getting it from both sides lately. I’ve been all over Obama for being too much like GW … the Liberal Dems need to what yous guys on the right (of Genghis Khan) did … at least appear to break away from the mainstream party. They won’t though … they fall in line and start to defend this absolute incompetent policy.

    • Thought of you Charlie with this whole estate tax kabuki. Can hear you right there with this Weiner-of-a-guy claiming it as unearned income, so let’s double dip with taxes.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        Inheritances are unearned income to the beneficiary. If you rich old uncle passes away and leaves you $5M, how precisely did you earn that money (other than having to hear your rich old uncle tell the same old stories over and over again each year at Thanksgiving).

        • If I got 5 Mil from a rich uncle, I would say that I did not earn it. But at the same time, the govt already taxed the estate prior to his death, year after year, purchase after purchase, what right do they have to tax it twice?

          • Buck the Wala says:

            No answer I give will satisfy you here.

            Not exactly the same, but do you also argue the government has no right to tax you on your income because that money was already taxed at the corporate level to the corporation you work for?

            • Buck,

              Hope you and the family are well! It’s interesting you asked that question, that way. I have read that the original purpose of the income tax was for corporations, not individuals. However, not judge in their right mind would agree with this premise, so rather than visit Wesley Snipes, I just pay the illegal taxes demanded of me 🙂

              • Buck the Wala says:

                I asked the question that way for a reason – forgetting any other reason why you may be opposed to income tax, is your opposition in part due to a ‘double taxation’ concern?

                Things are good for me, though extremely busy for year’s end planning. How about you?

              • I’m doing great, thanks for asking. Relocated to the country and hunting to my hearts content.

                Not a “double taxation” concern, but a total lack of faith that what I’m demanded to give is used for the purposes that I am told. If my taxes are used to pay for government, as it is today, I want a refund. If it’s used to defend our nation against an enemy, I want a double refund.

                I moved to the country to:

                help father enjoy his remaining years,
                get out of the city,
                make myself invisible to government intrusion, of all kinds

              • Buck the Wala says:

                If not a double taxation concern, than why the concern over double taxation in the inheritance example?

                Enjoy that hunting and country living! Must be gorgeous out there. But still, I’ll take the city any day of the year.

              • Corporate tax and individual income tax are seperate things. I’m against both. The estate tax is on already taxed property, which I’m against. Needless to say, since govt can’t keep a balanced budget to serve us, they should have no right to taxes of any kind. If we held them to that, taxes would be much lower, with less discontent, regardless of differring political beliefs. It’s saddening that we, as Americans have allowed ourselves to become so devided, so a few can become wealthy and powerfull.

                Country living is so peacefull, with far less stress than city life. No crime, the police are actually nice to people, when you actually see one, and everyone gets along and helps one another when a need arises. In the city, you hide your guns for fear of theft, out here, you carry them fully loaded, on your person, in your truck, by your pillow, and noone complains.

                Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

        • So if Buck the baker works for 40 years building a business that his son has helped him build for 20 of those years, you want the government to take 55% of that business? Buck Jr. has to pay the government for the privilege of continuing his and his father’s work? On paper it’s worth 6.5 million, mostly due to the neighborhood where it’s located. They would sell and relocate, except for the market. Funny, property values and property taxes always seem to favor the tax collector.

          Add to that, family farms, from father to son to grandson.
          Go ahead, tell me any farmer has not worked to “earn” his inheritance. Each generation get’s to pay the government for the right to continue struggling to feed our nation. Is it a wonder family farms are in decline, being replaced by corprate farming.

          A little honesty please, its theft that is legal only because the thieves are writing the laws.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            You want a little honesty? Sure.

            Take a look at how many small family owned businesses (and farms) are worth more than the current $3.5M exemption ($7M for couples with proper planning). Take a look at the ability of farms to elect to pay off any estate taxes in an installment obligation to offset any proposed hardship. And please take into account the ability to conduct proper planning to minimize the impact of estate taxes.

            But in all honesty, many of my clients have successful small businesses. Very very few gripe about the impact of estate taxes on their childrens’ and grandchildrens’ ability to continue to run the business. Further, the vast majority support the imposition of the estate tax on their business.

            • A little honesty, second attempt. You did not comment on the theft being legal only because the lawmakers say it is.

              “Take a look at how many small family owned businesses (and farms) are worth more than the current $3.5M exemption ($7M for couples with proper planning).”
              Does the number really matter? It’s only a few businesses that are under special taxes, pay or we seize all you have worked for, but we have a nifty payment plan!

              “Take a look at the ability of farms to elect to pay off any estate taxes in an installment obligation to offset any proposed hardship.”
              Do the big corprate farms have to pay these taxes? Gives them an even bigger advantage over small family farms. Isn’t it strange how big government and big business seem to always be helping each other out?
              “And please take into account the ability to conduct proper planning to minimize the impact of estate taxes.”
              Yes, lets throw the lawyers another bone, there are so few ways for them to make a living without a the government assisting their profession with laws and codes the IRS cannot even answer accurately 60% of the time.

              Buck, your primary argument seems to be comparable to, “first they came for the jews”. Today, it is a small number of business affected, that has no bearing on the moral right or wrong. If a person owns something, and gives it away, they have already paid the taxes on that, unless it was stolen. And if they are giving away a business, to allow it’s continued operation, why does the government get to demand 35 or 55% of that businesses value? It’s an unfair hardship
              on the business that destroys.

              I think the farmer keeping that money will
              end in him growing his business, and there being more jobs as a result, along with cheaper food for us. And we have seen the government squander our money on studying whores drinking in China and Jesus covered in ants at the Smithsonian.

              “Further, the vast majority support the imposition of the estate tax on their business.”
              And most Jews supported Hitler, in the beginning.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Wow, way to compare the estate tax to the holocaust. That’s a leap I’ve never seen before.

                You want to make a moral argument out of it, fine, be my guest. I know you feel taxation is evil and is theft. I don’t believe that is the case. I didn’t mention it in my earlier post because we’ve debated this on SUFA ad nauseum and its getting tiring.

                The fact of the matter is the estate tax does not have the impact you want to ascribe to it. It is not this massive burden causing small businesses and farms to shut down, at least not from my vantage point. It is, however, a source of revenue for the government. We can debate how effective of a source and whether this should be a source.

                And for the record, I am not for the estate tax just because it affords me a way to make my own living.

              • Buck,

                Not comparing the estate tax to the holocaust so much as all these taxes start small, where only a few are affected. Income tax only affected the super rich, and was 2-3%.

                And yes, I do think taxes are evil and theft, but also support them and the principle of
                citizens paying taxes. So you and I might only differ on who gets taxed and by how much. Damn you, you made me think, headache begins. How about a tax system where as today, the government sets the amount we pay. But we decide where it is spent. I can direct mine to defense, you can pick SS, FDA, IRS, or those Chinese hooker studies.

                “The fact of the matter is the estate tax does not have the impact you want to ascribe to it. It is not this massive burden causing small businesses and farms to shut down”
                But is it not a continuing drain the large incorporated farms do not share? How is that fair? Why this special tax aimed at this group? The poor are not included, they have little to give(revenue). The very wealthy are exempt, converting their business into corporations with public stock. The family can retain control, and the company is no longer a target for inheritance tax. A bully picks on those who cannot fight back. A thief looks for those who have something they want, and who they think they can successfully take it from.

                “And for the record, I am not for the estate tax just because it affords me a way to make my own living.”

                I believe you sir. If I were to find fault with you, it would be because you seem to favor more laws, with more complications, or at least you do not oppose such laws. More laws mean more bureaucrats, and more taxes to support them. America seems destined to perish from papercuts.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                I see where you’re going with this (re: the estate tax) but it just isn’t the case.

                The ultra-wealthy are not exempt by converting their business into corporations with public stock. Estate taxes are levied on individuals, based on their individual assets. Take the wealthy businessman who establishes a publicly-traded corporation. He dies. Sure, the business itself is in no danger as he is not the owner of the business. However, his estate is taxed based on his individual assets, including the value of any shares in the business he may own. If there are no liquid assets available to pay the tax, the stock in the publicly-traded corporation may very well need to be liquidated.

                Its not that I favor more laws and more regulations. I do not. I favor smarter laws and smarter regulations. Its an important distinction to make. Whether or not this can ever happen, who knows.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                On farms specifically:

                http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/10/politics/10tax.html

                Choice quotes:

                “Farms, in particular, are not in jeopardy because of estate taxes”

                “…many Americans had a false impression that the estate tax was destroying family farming.”

                “…a myth that has been well spun.”

            • Buck….come on now…..I know many who have estates and I have found no one that likes the estate tax option….not one. HOwever, that said, you have probably figured nout by now that I am in that unique situation. I have a brother and a sister. The total family estate is worth somewhere around 25-30 mil. You nor the government is entitled to any of that estate. It is bought and paid for…..but, you, of all people, should know that we have lawyers as well and we have already figured out a way around the estate taxes.

              First, as I said, it is immoral and unthical to take something from someone simply because they wish to leave it to their family or siblings.

              Second, people say that the heirs did not earn it….by their definition….maybe they earned it from not having a father around while the fortune was being built or by 18 hour days and missing football games or tennis matches or whatever. Earning is in the eye of the beholder. Estate tax is the most gross form of confiscation ever.

              Third, those that want estate taxes are probably those that do not have that option. IS it possible that jealousy is a large portion of this?

              Fourth, I suggest that if you have a lot of clients that have estates and do not mind the taxes have not breathed free air in so long, they have forgotten and have been contaminated. Come to Texas….we do not believe in them at all. I run in those circles and I have not found one that likes them…..but we have all figured out how to avoid them completely or get the amounts down under the exemption rate.

              I do not understand the cincept of confiscating wealth. I never will understand it…but I will fight it.

              • Where did I spend a great deal of time on the day my father died. Talking to an attorney, at the bank-several necessary details, my attorney told me, to tie up concerning my parents estate. Things I felt were very important because my mom had alzheimers and we had no idea how much it was going to cost to take care of her. So we needed and wanted to protect as much of their estate as possible from the tax people. This shouldn’t have been necessary-I shouldn’t of had to worry about this stuff at one of the worst days of my life. My mother shouldn’t of had to worry about this stuff. At the very least an inheritance tax shouldn’t effect the estate of a couple until both people die. I don’t know all the ends and outs of the law but I know we had to jump through hoops to keep the government from taking a huge chuck of money away from my mother when my father died. What is right about this-please explain it to me because I don’t get it-they earned it-they were responsible for any taxes or bills equally but somehow when one of them dies-the government has the right to take money away from the one left.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                VH, I’m very sorry for what you had to go through.

                Just yesterday I had a client’s daughter in my office crying over the loss of her father. Fortunately, everything had been taken care of in advance and she didn’t have to do anything with banks or lawyers.

                Not sure of your exact situation, but there are no taxes due when the husband dies leaving everything to his wife.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Again, we’re starting from very different places.

                Sure, you may be dead against the estate tax as is everyone you may know that has to deal with an estate tax. But you’re from that crazy land known as Texas. Out here in NJ, the vast majority of my clients have no problem with it; of course they all hire attorneys to reduce its impact on them and their family, but I’ve also heard many clients argue that some of the loopholes and strategies should be closed as well.

                On your second point of earned versus unearned – it really doesn’t matter to me how you classify it. You want to make the argument that an inheritance is earned, then I’ll make the argument that, if its earned, every last penny should should be taxed as income.

                Third, no, its not jealousy. Again, many who are subject to the estate tax are for it. As for me, I’m just starting my career, but I hope to one day have to worry about being subject to the estate tax. Its a problem I would welcome.

                Fourth, its that crazy land known as Texas! :)Regardless of where you are though, no one likes paying tax and everyone will take the steps they can to reduce or eliminate their own tax burden.

              • Buck…Buck…Buck……quit that lawyering thang…ok. Earned was metaphoric…nice try.

                However, I agree that there are tax loopholes all through the code…and we take advantage of them. Some, I agree, are really stupid but they were put in and we will use them. We have to use them to protect our assets. I want my children to inherit what I get from my dad and what I built up and that inheritance should not be taxed. (Although, I did tell my son not to expect any…I would spend it all but we all know I wont)

                Interesting that you have a client base that WANTS inheritance taxes….and you call Texas… crazy

        • Buck is right!

          Put that money back into the economy. Remember what Don Corleone said about his future son-in-law: “Give him a living, but never discuss the family business with him.”

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Great quote.

            But again, in practically every instance, the family business gets passed on regardless of the estate taxes due.

          • Don Corleone is dead….

          • That’s what you keep telling me-I suspect there’s mountains of exceptions in your “But there are no taxes” all I have to go by is my own personal experiences. There are two-in one the woman had to sell her business when her husband died to raise the money to pay the tax and in my families case they were going to take money from my parents estate unless we did several things. My father’s attorney mentioned several times that if we knew who would pass first we could protect it better. Well fortunately or not depending on your perspective-we found out in time to change a few things. I suspect it comes down to-if you have dotted all your I’s, written your will correctly and hired a good attorney-you won’t be killed by taxes-but if you haven’t watch out. And that fact all by its self makes the inheritance tax laws crazy and unfair.

            • Obviously this is in the wrong spot-you guys should be used to me doing this-so I guess Buck will find it.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              There are very very few exceptions to this rule — if one spouse dies and leaves everything to the other spouse (and the surviving spouse is a US citizen) there are no taxes due at the federal level. The same is true for every state I am aware of, but don’t know the specifics of each state’s own estate tax laws.

              I can’t speak to your specific situation, but perhaps the business wasn’t left to his wife? Or there were other assets left to other individuals? Or maybe the problem was, now that everything was left to the wife, what can be done to avoid the estate tax at the wife’s death?

              But there is an extremely valid argument to be made that its ‘crazy and unfair’ because much of it can be avoided by hiring a good attorney and proper planning.

              • There should be no need for attorneys in the first place.

                When my dad died it took two full years to get all his assets into my mom’s name. Only then could she sell me the family business. At the same time she made a living trust, costing more money. Luckily, since she died this year with no estate taxes we were able to settle her estate pretty quickly. Even still we all,individually, have to pay tax on whatever profit she made from her annuities during this year. Total tax on the profits from Jan-midApril = ~25k. WTF? Planning or no planning Big Brother makes money from death.

              • Aaaand of course we had to pay her attorney 2,000 to settle the estate. Plus her home is for sale for way less than what they paid for it! Bullshit!

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Wow, only 2K to settle an estate!? I’m shocked.

              • Buck, I don’t think anyone is meaning to jump on you because your a lawyer-I for one, am very glad we have attorneys and in most cases they are worth the money-we need them to help us figure out this mess-but it is a mess. :)Buck, I don’t think anyone is meaning to jump on you because your a lawyer-I for one, am very glad we have attorneys and in most cases they are worth the money-we need them to help us figure out this mess-but it is a mess. 🙂

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Never thought I was being jumped on because I’m a lawyer.

                Also, I never said it wasn’t a mess.

              • Anita,

                Follow the money! This tax has lobbyist written all over it, and Buck has proven such. As he said, hire a good lawyer. The lobbyists for lawyers and big insurance want this tax, it enriches them. It’s the bait and switch, your estate will be heavily taxed, unless you pay for a life insurance policy to cover the costs OR you hire a lawyer to cut through the loopholes in the tax. Pure and simple – greed at it’s sickest form.

              • yyyyyyep! Fine. Not slamming Buck but greed will meet it’s maker someday too.

  16. They talked about this at donsmithshow.com. The liberal mindset is an amazing thing.

  17. I’d love Weiner if he weren’t a Democrat. I trust that party a hair more than I trust the other one (GOP) … and I trust neither enough to (cough) water if I saw them on fire …

    I used to like much of what Kucinich used to say … then he got that free-bee ride on Air Force 1 and showed his true colors.

    Single Payer … no more inheritance (just a living–2 years max) … the greater good … it’s the right thing to do!

    Now, give me a few minutes to put my helmet on and duck under the table …

    • JAC…calling JAC…

      Charlie needs some help here!

      • Buck

        The wail of the Progressive and Liberal.

        I have been hearing it my entire life.

        “I don’t want more laws, just smarter, better, more effective, more efficient, etc, etc.”.

        When does the reality that when it comes to Govt that such a thing can only be achieved for a fleeting moment, if at all.

        You efficiency simply means they can rob me with less effort.

      • Anita

        I am not sure how I can help a guy who has no understanding of economics, nor the definition of freedom or liberty.

        Perhaps we could all chip in and get him some rhinestones for his slave collar.

        🙂 🙂

        • Rhinestones??????? How gauche…….. Send him to California….he fits in quite well. This greater good crap needs to stay in Star Trek……

          How are you today, JAC…..and Anita….do not despair….Texas is sending some free air northward…hopefully it can help. JAC, have you noticed the lack of border coverage in Texas???? WE are doing good down here. Almost have shut down our portion of the border with our tactics…..we have pissed off Napolitano, but Perry is on record as telling her..”better to be pissed off than pissed on”…..our true unemployment numbers have not been released yet…I am betting on 6.8%. It is amazing how, with the diminishing number of illegal immigrants and the policing of state entitlements and a balanced budget…how they are flocking back to Mexico and those that were on entitlements are now having to find work and are now working the jobs that are available. Most of the independent school districts are on incentive education now the test scores are going upward in great leaps….English is once again becoming the prominent language…(we still have a long way to go)……we are exercising our state rights and have effectively told the feds to go to hell. It is becoming fun again. We have capped certain legal awards and some of the ambulance chasers and contingency lawyers are beginning to leave the State…(no offense intended Buck)…We have no state income tax, nor corporate tax….but we do have a franchise tax that is on the chopping block this legislature. NOw, if we could do something about the health insurance market…..that will save some more money. There was a forecasted budget shortfall but because we have a balanced budget requirement in our State constitution, the suggested cuts are in the entitlement programs and giveaways bringing our budget under control without increasing taxes……things are looking up here…….

          And Perry is leading or trying to lead most governors in the state’s rights area once again. We are not taking Federal money that has strings…and Perry is saying that ANY Federal money is wrong….we can handle things ourselves. NOw, to get rid of the rest of the Senators that are part of the establishment in Washington…..

          Live free, sir…we are fighting hard here.

          • D13

            Good morning Colonel. I am doing quite well thank you. The dam broke Saturday morning, allowing the cold air to leave for parts farther east. Three days to get the ice off the gypsy wagon and the drive way. But finally gone.

            It is funny how none of what you post here makes the news. Although it was humorous watching the media start reporting the border skirmishes the past couple of weeks. As if they just started happening.

            I saw some commentary last week that Texas is not in as great shape as the Gov. and “conservatives” would have us believe. Something about massive budget deficits and rising unemployment starting to take shape.

            Care to elaborate or refute?

            To be free you must live free.
            Best to you and family
            JAC

            • JAC says: It is funny how none of what you post here makes the news. Although it was humorous watching the media start reporting the border skirmishes the past couple of weeks. As if they just started happening.

              D13 says: Yes sir…you can fil volumes of what is not reported. However, it was reported that the Texas Department of Safety with State funds, now has a fleet of helicopters complete with insurgency/counter insurgency teams all militarily trained, now flying the borders…complete with infra red sensing, night vision goggles, etc. The media has yet to acknowledge our “rancher militia” (my words) and how we have trained them to be our eyes and ears and first line of defense.

              We shall see what the legislature does this time around and there are some reports out that indidcate opposite….but they are not the reality……as far as I can tell….but there are forces out there that do not want Texas to succeed. Napolitano among those. They do not want a State to take care of itself at all and are pissed that Texas does not take very much Fed money. We are not in good shape on the initial budget that came out. But we handled that budget, or about to, within our own pervue. The original budget included figures that were expired Federal money and that if we took Federal Money, we had to continue the programs forward. Remember that our budget is also a two year budget. Our legislature only meets every two years. BUt, Perry and our legislature have agreed to not take Fedral money that requires continuing programs…the budet has been redone…

              However, we shall see. But I think that I am on target with my predictions. Have been so far.

              Breathe free air, sir…..it is highly contagious.

              • Fox had Jennifer Griffin in a Texas DPS helicopter on the boarder. I thought she did a real good job on that story. I still heard more from you than her but overall I thought she did pretty good. Have you come across her down there in the last few weeks?

                FTR: I love Jennifer Griffin! She is the only one I can understand the Palestinian/Israel conflict from. Plus she kicked breast cancer’s ass! Go Jennifer!

              • Walked by someone yesterday, overheard them saying, “I’m a girl from Texas, I’m not used to it being this cold”

        • Come on, peoples … I used to be in (street) finance … sure I understand economics. I lend you money at my discretion and on my terms (capitalism). But what did our gov’t do? It gave lend money on the terms of the banks and at our expense. They have to walk that back before you further deregulate. Walk that back = bring back all the jobs they cut away (because the gov’t was too complicit in the corruption to demand they not outsource anymore).

          the greater good rocks … how are yous gonna understand that most famous of Dickens’ lines from A Christmas Carol (“Mankind is my business … the common welfare, etc.”

          Now don’t tell me you don’t like A Christmas Carol!

    • JOHN STOSSEL: The Lost Lesson of Thanksgiving

      Published November 24, 2010

      FoxNews

      Had today’s political class been in power in 1623, tomorrow’s holiday would have been called “Starvation Day” instead of Thanksgiving. Of course, most of us wouldn’t be alive to celebrate it.

      Every year around this time, schoolchildren are taught about that wonderful day when Pilgrims and Native Americans shared the fruits of the harvest. But the first Thanksgiving in 1623 almost didn’t happen.

      Long before the failure of modern socialism, the earliest European settlers gave us a dramatic demonstration of the fatal flaws of collectivism. Unfortunately, few Americans today know it.

      The Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony organized their farm economy along communal lines. The goal was to share the work and produce equally.

      That’s why they nearly all starved.

      When people can get the same return with less effort, most people make less effort. Plymouth settlers faked illness rather than working the common property. Some even stole, despite their Puritan convictions. Total production was too meager to support the population, and famine resulted. This went on for two years.

      “So as it well appeared that famine must still ensue the next year also, if not some way prevented,” wrote Gov. William Bradford in his diary. The colonists, he said, “began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery. At length after much debate of things, [I] [with the advice of the chiefest among them] gave way that they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves. And so assigned to every family a parcel of land.”

      In other words, the people of Plymouth moved from socialism to private farming. The results were dramatic.

      “This had very good success,” Bradford wrote, “for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been. By this time harvest was come, and instead of famine, now God gave them plenty, and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many.”

      Because of the change, the first Thanksgiving could be held in November 1623.

      What Plymouth suffered under communalism was what economists today call the tragedy of the commons. The problem has been known since ancient Greece. As Aristotle noted, “That which is common to the greatest number has the least care bestowed upon it.”

      If individuals can take from a common pot regardless of how much they put in it, each person has an incentive to be a free-rider, to do as little as possible and take as much as possible because what one fails to take will be taken by someone else. Soon, the pot is empty.

      What private property does — as the Pilgrims discovered — is connect effort to reward, creating an incentive for people to produce far more. Then, if there’s a free market, people will trade their surpluses to others for the things they lack. Mutual exchange for mutual benefit makes the community richer.

      Here’s the biggest irony of all: The U.S. government has yet to apply the lesson to its first conquest, Native Americans.

      The U.S. government has held most Indian land in trust since the 19th century. This discourages initiative and risk-taking because, among other reasons, it can’t be used as collateral for loans.

      On Indian reservations, “private land is 40 to 90 percent more productive than land owned through the Bureau of Indian Affairs,” says economist Terry Anderson, executive director of PERC. “If you drive through western reservations, you will see on one side cultivated fields, irrigation, and on the other side, overgrazed pasture, run-down pastures and homes. One is a simple commons; the other side is private property. You have Indians on both sides. The important thing is someone owns one side.”

      Secure property rights are the key. When producers know their future products are safe from confiscation, they take risks and invest. But when they fear they will be deprived of the fruits of their labor, they will do as little as possible.

      That’s the lost lesson of Thanksgiving.

      Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/11/24/john-stossel-lost-lesson-thanksgiving/#ixzz185uURatK

      “no more inheritance … the greater good … it’s the right thing to do!”
      Charlie,

      How many times must socialism fail, how many millions must die before liberals realize self interest is the greater good?

  18. Some turkey hunting humor!

    Hot blonde news anchor gives new meaning to the phrase “turkey gobbler”

    http://www.ihatethemedia.com/hot-blonde-news-anchor-gives-new-meaning-to-the-phrase-turkey-gobbler

  19. Buck wrote:

    On farms specifically:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/10/politics/10tax.html

    Choice quotes:

    “Farms, in particular, are not in jeopardy because of estate taxes”

    “…many Americans had a false impression that the estate tax was destroying family farming.”

    “…a myth that has been well spun.”

    Funny that report mentions most farmers have enough life insurance to pay the death taxes, I wonder….is there anyone that would support politicians that would craft laws that would benefit their company? Naw, too far fetched:lol:

    Donmoyer neglected to mention that Pomeroy is largest recipent of campaign contributions from the life insurance industry, which lobbies hard for the death tax, of any House member. In fact, New York Life, the nation’s largest life insurance company, is Pomeroy’s all time top campaign contributor (check out Carney’s post for links).

    As Carney notes, the death tax “drives billions of dollars in business to companies like NY Life every year.” Yet Donmoyer didn’t “follow the money” on that side of the debate.

    Read more: http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/lachlan-markay/2010/12/13/bloomberg-news-follows-money-only-direction-death-tax-opponents#ixzz185pqe8TX

    • Graph for the Day, December 14, 2010
      Janice Shaw Crouse
      “Congress frequently holds hearings on tax simplification so members can denounce the tax code’s complexity. Each time, congressional experts and outside think tanks provide useful simplification ideas. Then when the TV cameras are turned off, Congress promptly ignores them and votes for more special interest breaks. [Emphasis added.] The result: The number of pages in the tax code and regulations doubled from 26,300 in 1984 to 54,846 by 2003, according to tax publisher CCH.”[1] – Chris Edwards (Director of fiscal policy studies at the Cato Institute)

      “… [I]n 1995, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Archer promised to ‘rip the income tax out by its roots.'” In a 1996 report, Bob Dole and Newt Gingrich argued: “The current tax system is indefensible. It is overly complex, burdensome, and severely limits economic opportunity for all Americans.

      “… [T]ax complexity has spiraled upward … and there are more social engineering provisions in the code. [Emphasis added.] . . . Yet there is no shortage of simplification ideas. … In 2001, the Joint Committee on Taxation issued a 1,300-page report full of reform proposals, such as abolishing the alternative minimum tax, a complex add-on tax that will hit 30 million households by 2010.”[2] – Steny Hoyer, House Minority Whip D-MD (July 14, 2004)
       Graph at:
      http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/12/graph_for_the_day_december_14.html

      Indicator of Need to End Complexity of the Federal Tax Code & IRS Regulations:

      1966-1985 ~ Tax code and regs increased from about 16,000 pages to 27,000 pages (a 69 percent increase).

      1966-1985 ~ Business’ share of taxes dropped from 23.9 percent to 10.4 percent even as the maximum rate increased.

    • LOI,

      Good Morning 🙂 Hope you and the family are healthy and warm.

      I have found it amazing, that despite history, people in this country still argue for “the greater good”. No government in history has led it’s people to prosperity, but there are hundreds that have led their people to poverty and starvation. But still, so many in this country are so insanely brainwashed to believe it’s the way to go.

      As your post shows, it’s all about enriching a few, to the detriment of the many. Greater good? I would venture to say that about everylaw new law passed by BB (Big Brother) in the last 30 years was intended to enrich a few. You posted a fine example of this when it comes to estate taxes, yet some think this is good.

      Over the last two years, the folks at SUFA have discussed about everything possible. We’ve engaged the “greater good” crowd with facts, historical facts, and plain common sense, but have fallen short in getting this message across.

      Government is too big, too powerfull and too corrupt. This has happened in hundreds of countries, to the eventual detriment of it’s people. Economic devestation, civil wars, famine and millions of deaths were the result. What in the hell makes some people think it can’t happen here?

      As Mathius would say “people.are.dumb”. That couldn’t be more true today. Most just go about their daily lives, ignorant of the problems befronting them, listening to the lies of the corrupt that keep saying everything will be fine.

      I have news for them. Everything will not be fine. Hardships of today will be dwarfed by the hardships to come. Some of us will survive, and maybe even thrive, but most won’t. Any ideas?

      Peace!

      G!

      • G!,

        All healthy, not so warm, cold(for us) weather has hit, low’s in the teens. My 4th grader last week told me he was learning about global warming, and how we needed to use less oil and coal or the planet would get to hot for us to survive. Kinda relieved he wasn’t kicked out yesterday after I taught him a lesson on the earth’s weather.

        People are dumb! But old dogs do learn, if the lesson is presented often enough. Hardships more sheeple endure results in an awakening that liberal & RINO policies ends poorly. Millions have lost their homes and jobs and will look for someone other than themselves to blame. The Tea Parties show a large number are not falling for the old Repug/Dem blame game the media sells.

        My only ideal is learning new skills, getting pretty good at re-loading, my rounds are at least an inch better than factory ammo at 100 yrds.

        • Glad to here all is well!

          Weather here 12 degrees (-4 wind chill) with on and off snow, very windy. Been hunting, mostly deer, with some success. A three week late archery season starts after Christmas and I’ll be out there.

          Planning the garden for spring, making brandy to stock up before sugar prices go through the roof. Going to take up trapping next season and learn how to cure the pelts. I might write a book this winter to pass the time, fiction of course.

          Speaking of global warming, it ain’t happening in this part of the globe, so it can’t be called global anymore. I think I’ll call it “environmental idiocy” from now on, or EI for short, LOL.

          Shoot straight!

  20. One point that I heard yesterday was that the 2% SS reduction could impact the eventual payout of those in the 60-65 age bracket since eventual SS distributions are based on the last 3-5 years of payments into the system. Does anyone have a definitive read on this?

    To Mathius and others on the SS debate, I am not whine, I just think that all aspects of this should be aired.

    Also to Matt, you favor means testing for SS distributions, i.e. welfare. The system was never sold that way and to do so would be a major change in the rules. What about 2 individuals who make the same income all their lives. One skrimps and saves building a next egg for retirement. The other blows all his money on wine, women, a fancy boat, and the latest deer rifle (thought I would wake everyone up). Using your means rule, the thrifty person receives nothing on retirement while the spendthrift receives full benefits. Does this work for you?

    Off to work now, will catch up in about 10 hrs.

  21. My Opinion.

    I could possibly be considered far right radical Liberal. BUT.

    I thought the deal between Obama and the Republicans was pretty much a decent deal to start with. I didn’t particularly like the Unemployment part, but considering it was D.C. we were talking about, it was probably about as good as it was going to get.

    And you are right USW. Obama gave his Party the cover to keep their mouths shut, but that’s taking into consideration that Pelosi and her minions actually have brains. They don’t.

    Weiner sounded just like the dick you ascribed him as. A childish peckerhead. I half expected him to put his fingers in his ears and start yelling; “La La La La! I can’t hear you!”

    Don’t get me wrong. I personally wouldn’t have compromised a damn thing. Tax cuts didn’t cost us anything. The Unemployment part did. But I am a realist. IF Congress were to start changing the way they do business, they ain’t no way they are gonna do it THAT fast. I don’t think things are going to change much at all.

    • Oh USW. I would like to see GSP on Weiner also. Or maybe Anderson Silva. Somebody (you?) who would hurt him bad and make him scream like a little girl! 🙂

  22. Seems a guy cruises thru a stop sign, or whatever, and gets pulled over by a
    local policeman.
    Guy hands the cop his driver’s license, insurance verification, plus his
    concealed carry permit.
    “Okay, Mr. Smith,” the cop says, “I see your CHL permit. Are you carrying
    today?”
    “Yes, I am.”
    “Well then, better tell me what you got.”
    Smith says, “Well, I got a .357 revolver in my inside coat pocket. There’s a
    9mm semi-auto in the glove box. And, I’ve got a .22 magnum derringer in my
    right boot.”
    “Okay,” the cop says. “Anything else?”
    “Yeah, back in the trunk, there’s an AR15 and a shotgun. That’s about it.”
    “Mr. Smith, are you on your way to or from a gun range…?”
    “Nope.”
    “Well then, what are you afraid of…?”
    “Not a damn thing…”

    Now this is gun control!

  23. Thought for the day:

    Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.
    -Isaac Asimov

    • Oh come now Pirate Boy, a little violence can be fun as hell to watch.

      It can even be fun to participate in at times, depending on who you are inflicting it on.

      Incompetent my ass. That sounds like something a San Fran boy would say. I bet you voted for Pelosi too, didn’t you? Come on now, ‘fess up. 😉

      • Holy hell, Esom! I never lived in a place like San Fran. What do you take me for? I was born and raised in Los Angeles. Los Angeles, you hear? That’s like saying that Polk is interchangeable with Cleburne!

        • Oops! My bad! 🙂

          Hmmm. Who on here lives in San Francisco? Oh well. I was just playing anyway.

          And by the way, Polk and Cleburne aren’t even in the same state. Cleburne’s even more bassackwards than we are.

          • Exactly my point: LA and SanFran aren’t in the same state either. LA is SoCal (AKA: Super Awesome Land). SanFran is in NoCal (AKA: That losery wannabe place that wishes it was SoCal). They’re even more ass-backward than we are.

    • Mathius,

      Government is centralized violence.

      Add Asimov and do the math.

  24. Inheritance Taxes and Estates

    Buck, Anita, V.H.: The complications Anita and V.H. described sound like issues caused by differences between common law and community property states.

    Buck, I think you miss the whole point. If it weren’t for the BS tax rules on inheritance, nobody would have to hire lawyers, create LLCs, Trusts, etc to avoid taxation that forces liquidation of the assets. This whole Estate Tax issue goes far back but is primarily fueled by Marx and the Progressives who picked up his view.

    The NYT article on “farms” is a joke when you get outside the small farm belt. I have posted here before that “working ranches” in the west start around $2-3 million and usually get into the $20 million range. The fact that the benevolent Govt will take payments over time is laughable. So they won’t force liquidation, just attach all future revenue.

    So to avoid this the rancher and his wife must pay for a life insurance policy which of course reduces their profits which are needed to buy hay for the winter, etc, etc. The article itself mentioned the impact to existing and future profits created by the inheritance tax liability.

    Now with that said, I think there is a solution that could be considered equitable. I won’t use just or fair, just equitable.

    NO tax on assets until they are sold. Then tax capital gains on the original basis and current sale price.

    Tax Cash received as ordinary income.

    Perhaps later today I will post a short justification for some type of Estate Tax that dates back to the early 1800’s. It has to do with the idea that those who “own” land in fact owe something to society because the value of the “land” was community property at one time and that value was simply taken when we created “property rights”. Well, I guess I don’t have to wait until later. That pretty much summarizes the idea right there.

    Along with the concept that anything placed on the land is the “property” of the person who created the improvements. As such it should not be taxed because that would be a violation of man’s right to property.

    The land would be taxed upon the owner’s death and sold if needed to make the payment. Each owner would be similarly taxed upon their death.

    Interestingly, if this were applied it would eliminate the problem with addressing depreciated property. As land is not depreciated only the original purchase price would be required. Or perhaps not even that. A simple $/acre charge for all land evenly applied across the country. That would be Justice.

    Happy thinking. Off to the gym for a bit.

    • Buck the Wala says:

      No time at the moment to comment more fully, but this year, 2010, with no estate tax, we have a similar system as to what you propose – no tax on assets until sold. It is an accounting nightmare.

    • Can’t do a $/acre charge, the government would owe too much money to itself.

  25. Julia Roberts may have been crowned best actress in 2000 for her performance in (and as) “Erin Brockovich”, but the film did what politically-loaded Hollywood products often do: it distorted the facts, and may have done more harm than good to the town of Hinkley, CA.

    The film followed Brockovich as she led a class-action suit against Pacific Gas & Electric for releasing hexavalent chromium, or chromium 6, a cancer-causing toxin, into the water supply in Hinkley. PG&E eventually went to arbitration, and awarded a record-$333 million in damages to residents of the town.

    But now, 10 years after Roberts’s award-winning performance, and 17 years after the actual suit, cancer rates in Hinkley are unremarkable. In fact, they are lower than would normally be expected. The Associated Press reported Monday:

    A California state study has not revealed elevated cancer levels in the town of Hinkley, a small desert community whose struggles with contaminated groundwater inspired the award-winning Hollywood movie “Erin Brockovich.”

    The California Cancer Registry has completed three studies on Hinkley, where a toxic plume of cancer-causing chromium 6 is once again growing, but found that from 1988 to 2008 cancer rates remained unremarkable.

    Read more: http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/lachlan-markay/2010/12/14/despite-erin-brockovich-bluster-calif-town-shows-below-average-cance#ixzz186xGJK1x

  26. Mrs. Weapon says:

    I have to say that the world is talking. It is starting to seem like the middle ground is finally showing its face. Within a world where people want/need every cent they earn, why does the government need it? It isn’t their’s to need…

  27. Three hours sleep…I’m good to go! See ya’s, wouldn’t wanna be ya’s! 🙂

  28. “Business!” cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. “Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”

  29. Bottom Line says:

    If the government has a right to tax you for the land you own, then it can tax you for whatever OTHER property you own.

    It can impose an annual/periodic tax on furniture, electronics, appliances, books, tools, athletic equipment, clothes, jewelry, farming equipment, etc., etc., etc…pretty much anything considered property.

    It sounds pretty ridiculous when I put it that way, huh?

    Same principle, different stuff…Where do you draw the line?

    Either it has the right to tax your property, or it doesn’t…and I’m going with it doesn’t.

    The government has the “right” to run a protection racket, but the mafia doesn’t?

    • The govt. is going to get much worse!

      • Bottom Line says:

        Sup G!

        Indeed it is. They’ll keep pushing to do whatever they can get away with, whatever the people accept and allow.

        Today it’s your land, estate, car, and income. Tomorrow it’s your TV, home gym, and lawn-mower.

        • Hey BL

          They can demand all that they want. The dollar is quickly heading towards worthlessness. The DC hoods won’t stop spending beyond their means, and despite the last election, it will continue until a total economic collapse hits all of us. Far too much of this seems “on purpose” it amazes me.

          • Bottom Line says:

            G – “Far too much of this seems “on purpose” it amazes me.”

            BL – They cannot claim incompetence. They know exactly what they’re doing. Of course it’s on purpose.

            My question is… Who exactly is “they”?

            You have to tear something down before you can rebuild it as something else.

            New World Order Out Of Chaos.

            🙂

    • I don’t know that government has the “right” to tax you. It has the ability to tax you, and the social utility argument to justify it. Does that make it a right? I couldn’t say, but I don’t think it is necessarily wrong to do so either within certain bounds.

      But that’s because I’m willing to accept the argument that social utility can sometimes trump individual rights. Without that argument, I’d have to agree that no taxation is permissible.

      • Bottom Line says:

        So racketeering is justified by ‘ability’ and ‘social utility’?

        So if an organized crime syndicate gave part/most of their racketeering profit to programs that had some sort of social benefit, it’d be okay?

        So if the government imposed an annual tax on your clothes, and required you to wear a a registration/license patch on them, all justified by using the money for clothing the poor and free school lunch programs for children, it’d be okay because they can, because there’s some social benefit?

        • Bottom Line says:

          And what’s with this whole “…social utility can SOMETIMES trump individual rights.”?

          Does it trump or not?

          Lemme guess, it’s about extent and not absolutes?

          • There ya go.. take two examples:

            (A) Everyone has to buy and wear licensing patches on their clothing to provide school lunches to poor children.

            (B) Everyone has to pay a few buck a year to fund the police department.

            A: High cost, moderate social benefit
            B: Low cost, high social benefit

            A: Fail
            B: Pass

            • Mathius,

              Hight social benefit = police department?

              The only thing the police do is give the masses the false impression of being protected. If the people would take this upon themselves, we would not have more people imprisoned than any other nation on the planet. We would instead have far less crime, and criminals would be truly held accountable.

            • Mathius,

              You fail.

              You fail because in your conceit, you believe everyone sees the same value in a good or service as you do.

              Because of that conceit, you believe your measure is universally correct, and therefore grants you violent power to enforce your view point.

              • I don’t think everyone agrees with me. But my system does not require that they do, yours might, but not mine.

                Mine allows for a majority (acting on behalf of “society”) to override the wishes of the minority.

                This violates your system’s internal rule structure, not mine.. mine has a built-in error handler.

              • Mathius

                I don’t think everyone agrees with me.

                Fair enough, then let me adjust my complaint.

                Those that do not agree with you, you ignore – because in your conceit, you believe you are right anyway

                But my system does not require that they do, yours might, but not mine.

                You purposely present a misleading statement.

                You do not demand that they agree – you demand that they obey.

                Mine allows for a majority (acting on behalf of “society”) to override the wishes of the minority.

                Exactly.

                Might is Right – the Rule of Savages – is your society.

                This violates your system’s internal rule structure, not mine.. mine has a built-in error handler.

                Yep, I know it does

                Your “error handler” always ends up to be the most violent, irrational, vicious, mass murdering person.

                In computer code:

                If
                kill millions
                endif

              • I coded the code in error – Gawd, I hope your error handler has been commented out! 😉

                If *error*
                kill millions
                endif

              • That’s about right.. close enough for government work, anyway.

                If *ERROR*
                Use FORCE()
                End If

                It doesn’t have to be millions, and they don’t have to be killed – imprisoned is usually sufficient.

              • Mathius,

                There are days I do not know if you are arguing for or against my position.

              • I feel the same way.

              • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

                Y’ARRGH, me too!

        • Sometimes it does. It has to outweigh the costs so, to me, forcing everyone to wear an ID badge in order to provide lunches to the poor doesn’t balance. It’s not worth it.

          Likewise when they take our money to spend unethically (ie, unnecessary war), I find the taxes associated to be unethical.

          But how does one pick and choose?

          • Mathius

            Your question is the answer itself.

            That is why “social utility” can NEVER trump individual rights.

            You may CHOOSE to give up some of your freedom for some perceived “utility”, but you have no right nor the authority to TAKE my freedom for your utility.

            Any society that can only survive by stepping on the rights of the individuals within that society, will not endure. It is supported by a rotten foundation that will eventually cause the entire structure to collapse.

            That my friend is what you are witnessing today. Once you grant that kind of power to something called Govt, you grant the enslavement of your very sole.

            • “but you have no right nor the authority to TAKE my freedom for your utility.”

              Right, but that’s where force comes into play. They forcibly trample your rights for (theoretically, anyway) the benefit of society.

              When the net benefit to society is greater than the cost of the violation of your rights, the action is justified. When it is not, the action is unethical.

              • Mathius

                And that was the reason given by Caesar, Napoleon, Genghis Khan, Hitler, Pol Pot, ………………………..

                Where does it all end?

                Who decides? How do they decide?

                If these questions apply then you are trying to rationalize evil.

              • I thought I was the only one who used Reducto Ad Absurdum around here… oh well, I guess I can share.

                Yes, carried to the extreme, it can have bad ends. That is why you much constantly weigh it against individual rights. Hitler did not do this – he didn’t care about the rights of the individual – so the two are hardly analogous.

                But, you ask a fair question: who decides how far is too far. Unfortunately the answer seems to be “whoever has the power to do so.” Now, we give the government it’s power, so when they push us too far, we can push back or remove that power (and we occasionally do). But it’s not an answer I like very much.

                Still, democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others (including VLDG and Pirate-topia).

              • Our current government should have a “ism” at the end, not an “ic”. The DC hoodlums are assholes

              • Mathius

                My examples were not absurd in the least.

                Hitler did care about the rights of the individual………as in German. But he is just another of a long line who placed “society” above the individual rights, of even his beloved German. The fact that he was mad simply freed him from the burden of guilt.

                Once you open that door, you let in all the characters like those I mentioned. Not absurd my dear fellow, but absolutely rational.

                “Now, we give the government it’s power, so when they push us too far, we can push back or remove that power (and we occasionally do).”

                My dear lefty friend. Please provide me an example when “we” removed “that power” or when we even diminished it in any way. Meaning of course, since 1787.

              • Mathius

                OK, I will grant you single example.

                Except, I call point of order.

                The power reduced was a power taken in the first place. But is was also a power that was not diminished in any way. It was taken by the Fed from the State and then returned to the State. But it was not a power eliminated.

                Now answer this. If we did in fact eliminate this power then why is the first name in the agency called ATF…………Alcohol?

          • Bottom Line says:

            Matt,

            So, SOMETIMES it’s okay, but other times it’s not, depending on social benefit, cost effectiveness, and ethics?

            By what measure do you figure social benefit to cost ratio?

            By who’s ethics do you decide?

            Matt – “But how does one pick and choose?”

            That’s just it, you don’t pick and choose according to some subjective frame of reference.

            You draw a line based on rights and responsibility as it relates to freedom and decide whether it is or isn’t.

            I have a right to my property as does everyone.

            No one has the right to steal my stuff, nor anyone else’s property.

            It’s not my responsibility, nor yours, to provide clothes for homeless people or lunch for someone else’s child.

            My stance is definitive and universal. Yours is a big gray area that incorporates the use of a “SOMETIMES” type of logic.

            I think JAC is right, …that you are trying to rationalize evil.

            • It’s not my responsibility, nor yours, to provide clothes for homeless people or lunch for someone else’s child. See, that right there, is where we part ways. I believe we do have an obligation to help others and perform for the benefit of society as a whole. So long as you reject this notion, you will a myopic view of the world in which everything is either good or evil. There are grays in between, but you won’t see them.

              • Mathius

                If it was the natural state of mankind to have such an ethical or moral responsibility then each and every one of us would have that responsibility. Each to the other, without argument, despair nor petty jealousy. The rich for the poor and the poor for the rich.

                If all of this were true, then why would mankind need Government to force all of mankind to accept this premise?

                Altruism is a bankrupt philosophy that eventually leads to evil against those it is supposed to benefit. While each attending to themselves requires no such intervention or interference. Charity applied by the selfish man goes to the truly deserving. It is done out of the pure selfish motive of empathy shared by all humans.

                Charity applied by the selfless man, the truly Altruistic man, must be done with a gun and a lecture on moral responsibility.

                So which view is truly myopic?

                That where good and evil can be identified or your world of gray where evil men hide behind the shroud of “society’s needs” and the “greater good”?

              • Mankind is naturally mean, brutish, sociopathic, etc. In nature, we would kill, steal, rape, pillage, and otherwise misbehave. Our nature is not a model for how we should be have, and it is foolhardy to imagine that it is.

                We should aspire to be more than we are. We should not hide behind our “nature” as evidence that we don’t have an obligation. Evolution wasn’t concerned with morality, it was concerned with survival.

              • Mathius

                Mankind is not what you claim. If we were then a discussion of morality and ethics would not even be possible.

                We can not live beyond what is our nature. Mankind’s survival is tied to morality.

                It is the morality of Altruism that will destroy man, not our “natural” state of individual freedom.

                But in the end, you still rationalize the use of force to impose your view of moral obligation upon the rest of us.

                And you call this what? The civilization of man, perhaps?

              • Mankind needs to e extensively trained and reinforced in childhood to not lie, not steal, not fight, play nice, share toys, and so forth. All this goes against our nature. Society (nurture) is at war with our nature. Take away that check and you’d see anarchy resulting in wholesale evil that you and I cannot even begin to imagine. We have built these walls around our true selves and become what we were molded into, but it’s not the real us, just something we’ve grown accustomed to – like a watermelon grown in a square box becomes a square fruit, that doesn’t mean that it’s nature is to be square – just the way it was raised.

              • Mathius

                If mankind is so corrupt, ignorant and evil, then WHO is it that will “train” mankind and WHO will “reinforce” these moral laws of yours?

                You are proposing that members of a corrupt, ignorant and evil specie are capable of teaching other members of that specie to act differently.

                How did these “select” members of you group become so “enlightened”?

              • Through millennia of trial and error. Society has evolved – mankind has not.

              • Mathius

                So a “group of people” has evolved but the “members of the group” have not.

                Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm……………????

              • Yes.

              • Bottom Line says:

                Matt – “I believe we do have an obligation to help others and perform for the benefit of society as a whole.”

                Listen to what you’re saying.

                YOU believe that “WE” have an obligation to help others.

                First of all, you imply that I also have an obligation based on YOUR ethical standards…which should be enFORCED by proxy of government…which is an encroachment of my right to property.

                Secondly, this social obligation is contrary to any natural or universal standard of responsibility.

                Just exactly how is it MY responsibility to take care of other people?

                How is it that I am obligated?

                Because YOU think so?

                Matt, if you feel so obligated to help others, then perhaps you should go spend YOUR money on some beneficial social program that YOU decide is ethical or is justified by the cost.

                But don’t assign ME the responsibility/obligation to do the same, just because YOU say so.

                Further,

                “SOMETIMES” is BS. Your premise has to be universal.

                The plus sign(+) is a function of logic that ALWAYS means add no matter which math it’s used with.

                You cannot say that it means add “SOMETIMES” but not others.

                You cannot say that when the number 4 is part of the equation, that plus(+) means divide by(/).

                You can’t say that 2 + 1 = 3 and 2 + 3 = 5, but 2 + 2 = 1, because I believe 4 should be avoided and plus(+) SOMETIMES means divide by(/).

                If your premise fits here, it should also fit there, and everywhere.

                I can say the no one should have their right to property violated and be forced to accept the responsibilities of others because it is definitive and universal.

                But you cannot say that people have their right to property , but it depends on this or that and SOMETIMES applies, but not others.

                Either it does, or does not.

                If it applies, It applies all of the time, everywhere. If it doesn’t apply, then it doesn’t ever apply, anywhere.

              • Plus means plus in my system as well. But there is more extensive logic built in.

                IF X > Y THEN
                Ethical
                ELSE
                Unethical
                End If

                it’s still consistent, just more complicated.

                For example, your way of thinking of things is that X is right, not X is wrong. Therefore X is right in all situations. So if it is right to press on the accelerator (as when a light turns green). But then it must always be right to press on the accelerator even if there is a person in the road in front of you. My logic work better here, but you insist on absolutes. So you run over the kid in the road and think you did the right thing.

                Stop deliberately oversimplifying.

              • Bottom Line says:

                Matt,

                That’s straw-man.

                “X” is a variable.

                + is a function of logic, and ALWAYS means add. No variation.

                Do not confuse simplicity with consistency.

                Get what I’m trying to say…

                If government has the right to your property, it has the right to ALL of your property.

                If it has the right to your property in THIS instance, then it has the right to your property in THAT instance too, and in ALL instances.

                And if government has a right to ALL your property in ALL instances, then EVERYONE has a right to ALL your property in ALL instances.

                Therefore, there is no such thing as an individual right to property.

                If there IS a such thing as an individual right to property, then NO ONE has the right to ANY of your property in ANY instance.

                So, do you have an individual right to property or not?

                “SOMETIMES” isn’t consistent. It’s just a bunch of gray area rationalized BS.

              • Mathius,

                So long as you reject this notion, you will a myopic view of the world in which everything is either good or evil. There are grays in between, but you won’t see them.

                My constant complaint about you, which you (and Buck) actively (and consistently) avoid.

                You refuse to define your terms.

                What is “good”?
                What is “evil”?

                How do you measure them so to accuse others they cannot see the “gray” between them?

                The problem you face (thus why you avoid to define), is that your definitions are subjective – making your claim on others inability to see YOUR subjective values as objective to be their fault!

              • I don’t need you to see our value system as objective. But you refuse to see the subjectivity of it either.

                Is a Van Gogh better than something I drew in kindergarten? Why? Or, because it’s subjective, are you unable to decide with an absolutist answer?

              • Mathius,

                You continue – as predicited – to extend my complaint.

                You refuse to offer rational definitions of the terms you use to judge other people.

                Thus, in your conceit – you claim your objective view as valid and enforceable – subject to no oversight by anyone – because you never provide rational definition.

                Thus, you can act irrational on whim, and claim you are consistent.

                Re; your art or Van Gogh

                I judge independently of anyone else.

                Further, whether I judge your art good or rotten makes not one wit of difference to my neighbor because no matter my judgment, I have no violent enforcement on my neighbor to agree.

                And this is where you fail badly.

                You apply your subjective judgments – but then claim you can enforce them with violence

              • Yup. Isn’t this fun?

              • Mathius,

                Isn’t this fun?

                No.

    • It was called the personal property tax in IL until it was dropped for the income tax.

  30. December 15, 2010
    Dems dump 2,000 page omnibus spending bill on Congress10 days before Christmas
    Rick Moran, American Thinker
    Election? What election?

    “The twelve bills included in this package fulfill the Congress’ most basic responsibility, to exercise the power of the purse,” he said in a statement. “This measure reflects a year’s worth of work by members of both parties. Together, we have closely scrutinized the president’s budget request, held hundreds of hearings, thousands of meetings, and asked literally tens of thousands of questions to each and every federal department and agency seeking justification for how taxpayer dollars are being spent.”

    Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, responded in a statement, saying that after neglecting to pass a budget, “today we learn Senate Democrats now want to sandwich them together, totaling almost 2,000 pages, and jam them through in the waning moments of this lame duck session before anyone can read them. This political end-around reveals just how quickly my colleagues across the aisle have already forgotten the voters’ message in November.”

    What about those earmarks?

    In total, thousands of earmark requests are listed. The financial services
    earmark chart, for instance, lists 220 earmark requests from dozens of lawmakers, mostly in the House, each worth anywhere from $50,000 to $2.4 million. The largest sum was requested by Inouye and his Hawaii colleague Sen. Daniel Akaka for “Bank on USA” demonstration projects” in their state. The projects are designed to give underserved communities greater access to financial institutions.

    Elsewhere, the Department of Defense earmark list, mostly requests by senators, is 29 pages long and individual requests more often are worth $2 million to $5 million each. In that list, Inouye’s requests total more than $159 million, including $21 million for a Hawaii Federal Health Care Network. Cornyn’s defense spending earmarks total nearly $16 million.

    The list was released after a Republican policy lunch that a source said was devolving into pandemonium.

    “All hell is breaking loose,” the source told Fox News, noting that Sens. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Jim DeMint of South Carolina were expected to insist the omnibus bill be read in its entirety by the clerk on the Senate floor before a vote is held. They also were expected to seek debate on all earmarks and any amendments.

    Wow. There is going to be some blood on the floor in the senate.

    Actually, Reid knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s flushing out the opposition, seeing how far they will go:

    In some cases the spending bill not only rejects President Obama’s proposed cuts, it actually boosts spending. For example, Mr. Obama earlier this year told Congress to cut funding for the health and welfare package targeting Mississippi’s Delta region, which in 2010 received about $26 million. But the Senate bill includes funding and actually increases it to nearly $35 million in 2011.

    Senators also picked up the slack for their House colleagues, whose bill was devoid of pork-barrel earmarks, by including House lawmakers’ requests in the Senate’s own bill. Still, earmarks total less than 1 percent of the bill’s spending.

    Reid is threatening to keep the senate in session until after the 1st of the year in order to get everything passed. And don’t you just love our brave House members who slipped their senate colleagues earmark requests thinking no one would notice? What a bunch of dishonest rats.

    I think Harry knows his audience, though. Precious few will stand in the way as business as usual continues on the Hill.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      @LOI

      “Still, earmarks total less than 1 percent of the bill’s spending.”

      Glad to see we focus solely on that 1% rather than the other 99%

      • Ray,

        If someone’s overweight, is it wrong to cut out the twinkies first?
        I have seen it estimated that 10% of earmarks make it back to their sponsor. Spend a million taxpayers dollars, get a 100K campaign contribution.

        For the record, I would love to give you the job of overseeing gov. spending. I have no doubts the waste and graft would come to a screeching halt. Therefore, you or people like you, never get those jobs.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          @LOI – my view is that the 1% is not insignificant. Wasted money is still wasted money – sure there may be some “legitimate” reason to spend money to study the masturbation habits of beavers in North Carolina, but when spending is out of control as it is today, the low hanging fruit needs to be picked. I’d much rather see the Congressional heavyweights having meltdowns over that other 99% in the spending bills.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Interesting site: http://www.legistorm.com/index/about.html

      Had not run by it before…..

      • Ray

        Great find. Just checked out some of the TRIP records. Like where they went and how much WE paid.

        Hope all is well with you today.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          I poked around the site a little more – seems legit so far. Interesting to see no earmarks recorded for Jim DeMint.

          On a different note – the witch’s tit smacked me in the face this morning when I stepped outside. Cold is ok. Wind chill I am not a fan of.

          • Ray

            Wind Chill is Mother Nature’s way of reminding us who is in charge.

            All the clothes you got can’t keep it out sometimes.

            But that is also why God invented wood stoves.

            The combination of the two is pure heaven.

  31. Gunman opens fire on school board.

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/12/14/florida.meeting.shooting/index.html?hpt=Sbin

    I can’t help but thinking this will happen again and agian as more people turn to violence as a result of their personnal hopelessness, something that is growing each day throughout our country. Fortunately, he missed all of his intended victims.

    As these events grow in numbers, what should we do? Pass more stupid laws or ease/elliminate all gun control measures and arm up?

    Most know my answer 🙂

    G!

    • http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/12/14/official-gunman-killed-fla-school-meeting/

      By this report, it sounds like he deliberately missed, hoping the police would kill him. A shame. What to do? You cannot prevent crazy people. I assume the meeting was on school property, a gun free zone. Just like the TSA, most security measures are PR bulldookey designed to make the public feel safe, but providing little real safety.

      • Hey LOI,

        I don’t think he was crazy at all. He lost hope, he wanted to die rather than adapt and overcome. If he were angry, he would have shot the dumb lady with the purse. He gave up on society, and he wasn’t be the first and won’t be the last.

        The “have not’s” have had it with the “haves”. “Off with their heads” chants in Britain, people killing their family then themselves ect. The “haves” are winning because the “have not’s” won’t/can’t get organized. Even if they did, the “haves” would murder them.

        The only thing I think would work, and be nonviolent, would be a total national strike, and a lenghthy one. Just some ramblings 🙂

  32. To you guys who think mankind is the primary cause of global warming.

    You would not believe Alan, Black Flag, Peter (all had a background in science), or the rest of us non-science types. Would you believe NASA?

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/12/climate_change_its_the_sun_stu.html

    December 14, 2010
    Climate Change: It’s the Sun, Stupid
    Randall Hoven
    Guess who wrote this.

    “The Sun is the primary forcing of Earth’s climate system. Sunlight warms our world. Sunlight drives atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns. Sunlight powers the process of photosynthesis that plants need to grow. Sunlight causes convection which carries warmth and water vapor up into the sky where clouds form and bring rain. In short, the Sun drives almost every aspect of our world’s climate system and makes possible life as we know it.

    “… According to scientists’ models of Earth’s orbit and orientation toward the Sun indicate that our world should be just beginning to enter a new period of cooling — perhaps the next ice age…

    “Other important forcings of Earth’s climate system include such “variables” as clouds, airborne particulate matter, and surface brightness. Each of these varying features of Earth’s environment has the capacity to exceed the warming influence of greenhouse gases and cause our world to cool. ” [Emphases added.]

    Lord Monckton didn’t write that. Neither did physicist Richard Lindzen, physicist William Happer, or physicist Hal Lewis. Nor was it Steve McIntyre who blew the whistle on the “hockey stick.” It was none of the usual suspects among the “skeptic” community.

    It was NASA, home of our space program, the currently unmuzzled James Hansen and one of the major centers for collecting climate data and analyzing it. (HT: Ace.)

    The NASA statement is simply astounding to me. It says, quite unambiguously, that our climate is dominated by the sun and our orientation to it. It also credits non-carbon sources as “important forcings” of our climate: clouds, particulate matter and surface brightness. Finally, it warns of coming global cooling!

    Of course, the NASA statement still says there is human-caused warming. But, it will be swamped by these other forces to yield net cooling. In short, whatever man is doing to the climate, it is insignificant in the face of natural forcings.

    The science “consensus” has not only collapsed, it has raised the white flag and confessed that the skeptics were right all along. I think we can stick a fork in the climate change agenda. A few nuts will continue to wander the streets, mumbling to themselves and each other. But as a significant political agenda, I think it’s over. I sure hope it is.

    • The latest Fox “scandal”: DC bureau chief Bill Sammon told staff to refrain from pronouncing one side of the climate change debate unequivocally correct. That’s right, Sammon’s insistence that Fox not make definitive judgments on contentious political issues is a sign of Fox’s unethical journalistic practices, the Fox haters bizarrely claim.

      The occasion for the latest bout of anti-FNC bloviating was the leak of an email from Sammon, sent during the height of the so-called Climategate scandal. It read:

      Given the controversy over the veracity of climate change data, we should refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question. It is not our place as journalists to assert such notions as facts, especially as this debate intensifies.

      So Sammon instructed staff to incorporate the most basic tenets of science and journalism – skepticism and political neutrality, respectively – into their reporting on contentious scientific issues with tremendous political implications. And this is a problem?

      Politico, which reported on the leak, focused on the wealth of scientific evidence supporting the belief in antrhopogenic global warming.

      Read more: http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/lachlan-markay/2010/12/15/far-left-attacks-fnc-telling-reporters-not-take-sides-climate-covera#ixzz18Dh74fvA

  33. Buck the Wala

    The other day in your discussion over estate tax you posted this:

    “Buck the Wala said
    December 13, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    No answer I give will satisfy you here.

    Not exactly the same, but do you also argue the government has no right to tax you on your income because that money was already taxed at the corporate level to the corporation you work for?”

    Your income paid by your company is NOT double taxed Buck.

    It is the “dividends” paid to you from your company stock that is “double taxed”. And yes, that is WRONG and should be stopped.

    • LOI

      It is NOT over.

      Today, right now, the policies of your Federal Govt are driven by the conviction that global warming is real and is man caused.

      • “the policies of your Federal Govt”

        NO,NO,NO!JAC. It’s the policies of YOUR Federal Gov., not mine! I moved to Aanarkeya.:lol:

        I think most in government who support all the cap & trade, etc. are after the power and revenue. It’s another class warfare battle, punish the rich, give to the entitlement class who deserve the same plasma TV as the guy who works 60 hours a week.

        Wealth transfer, greater good. How about it Charlie? Matt? Ray?

        • I swear to the Gods, I am so fraking sick of that argument. No one deserves a plasma tv as an entitlement. Ownership of one while on the dole, in my mind, constitutes an abuse of the system. Ray, Charlie, Buck, Todd, and I have all been very clear, time and again, that we support helping the needy with the necessities. Never once has any of us suggest that we should redistribute wealth so the “entitlement class” can buy luxuries.

          If you insist on continuing to use straw-man arguments, there is no way we can have a rational discussion.

          • Matt,

            1) You shouldn’t swear. ( I know, I bring that out in a lot of people)
            2) Could be the system is just screwed up, I have seen people in new Cadillac SUV’s using food stamps, wearing a lot of bling. The problem is, where both parties talk about reforming welfare, education, etc, they always need more money to fix it, and it stays broken.
            3) Would you care to have a rational discussion on if Cap & Trade is more about wealth redistribution, or reducing our “carbon footprint”?
            4) Would you care to have a rational discussion on
            weather mankind is the primary cause of global warming, or nature, including the sun?
            5) Not sure I am very good at the rational part, but will take a swing.

            • 1. But it’s so much fun….
              2. I have seen abuse too. It means the system needs to be fixed, not that the underlying concept is flawed. On balance it’s better than not (opinion), so I’m good with keeping it around. But I’d sure love to plug some holes.
              3. Not really. Surprisingly, I’m not that interested in the topic.
              4. Not really. I haven’t made up my mind yet. But I generally think it’s wise to err on the side of caution.
              5. Meh.. rationality is probably overrated anyway. I propose we have a grog instead and talk about stupid coaches who trip players from the sidelines and still manage to lose the game.

          • Bottom Line says:

            Matt,

            Is the cost of violating someone’s right to personal property through coercion and violence justified by the benefit of someone else having their necessities?

            If I earn the money to buy a big screen HDTV through hard work, should I have to sacrifice owning it for the benefit of some stranger to eat?

            How do I benefit by having my money stolen from me.

            How am I obligated to give up my hard earned luxury for the necessity of a stranger?

            Where does that responsibility come from?

            • If I earn the money to buy a big screen HDTV through hard work, should I have to sacrifice owning it for the benefit of some stranger to eat? Yes.

              Where does that responsibility come from? From the fact that he will die without it. And his life is more important than you HDTV. The logical extension of this is that we should take all your stuff, leave you with just enough to eat, and give it to everyone we can so that everyone can eat. But that’s where the balancing act comes in. You have a right to your stuff, and society’s needs can only trump so much of it. It’s hard to define and quantify – we do the best we can with it. I know, I know, it’s wishy-washy.. I know. But it’s an art, not a science.

              • Bottom Line says:

                Matt – “From the fact that he will die without it.”

                BL – That is an unfortunate consequence of the circumstances of his life, but still doesn’t explain how he is my responsibility.

                Matt – “. And his life is more important than you HDTV.”

                BL – Who says?

                Matt – ” The logical extension of this is that we should take all your stuff, leave you with just enough to eat, and give it to everyone we can so that everyone can eat. But that’s where the balancing act comes in. You have a right to your stuff, and society’s needs can only trump so much of it. It’s hard to define and quantify.”

                BL – In other words…SOMETIMES.

                Matt – “we do the best we can with it. I know, I know, it’s wishy-washy.. I know. But it’s an art, not a science”

                BL – Wishy-washy art huh?

                It’s called rationalizing theft. 🙂

              • Yes.

                Yes it is.

                So?

              • Bottom Line says:

                So…

                You cannot justify theft of property of one to give to another based on some rationalized fallacy.

                So…

                You admit that your “greater good” philosophy is baseless and without merit.

                So…

                Stop arguing for theft by proxy of government.

                🙂

              • I don’t think I agreed to all of that…. (re-reads posts)….. nope.. but I do think taxation can be considered theft, and I do think it can be justified (rationalized, if you prefer the term). I’m not sure where I agreed that it was a fallacy though, could you point that out for me?

              • Bottom Line says:

                I think it’s safe to assume that “Yes” isn’t an explanation of what makes another my responsibility, nor is it the answer to “Who says?”.

                I think it’s safe to assume that “Yes” was in response to “In other words…SOMETIMES.”

                …and the “Yes, yes it is” was in response to “Wishy-washy art huh? It’s called rationalizing theft”

                So…

                If it’s inconsistent, if it SOMETIMES applies, if it’s a wishy-washy thing, then it is baseless and without merit as it is a logical fallacy.

                If you agree that it is as such with “Yes” and “Yes, yes it is.”

                …,then you willingly admit that it is baseless and without merit as it is a logical fallacy.

                So…

                If you admit that you cannot justify theft of property of one to give to another, and that your philosophy is baseless and without merit…

                Then stop arguing for theft by proxy of government.

                🙂

              • So to sum this discussion up:

                “Old Man Potter” government is going to force us to be a bunch of “George Baileys” and all the while tell us how “It’s A Wonderful Life?”

                “”$cha ching$:: Oh, hear that? Another angel had their wings paid for!

                🙂

  34. SUFA

    Good Morning everyone. Woke to about 4 inches of fresh powder this morning. Went out to shovel off the drive before everyone got going and wanted to share.

    While there were a few clouds remaining, floating there like big cotton balls, the sky was mostly clear and black.

    You know, that midnight deep blueish black. The stars shone so bright they actually lit up the sky with the reflection off the fresh snow. Trees and shrubs covered as if dusted with a heavy coat of powdered sugar. The surrounding mountains smothered in the brightest white with just glimpses of the dark pines beneath. Dead quiet. The morning star was so bright it would have put the star of Bethlehem to shame. Or at least given it a good run for the money.

    As I passed back and forth, up and down the drive the colors began to take on the new day. The sky became a pallet of blues, from Turquoise in the east to that deep blue black in the west. The bottom of the clouds began to glow, first salmon on the bottom and then yellow white on top.

    Just before the sun broke the horizon the sky overflowed with bright blue, pink, orange and yellow whites. And there shining even brighter than before, the morning star. Searching for its cousins who had all now hidden behind the light of day.

    It was a most peaceful and reflective morning. The kind that makes you forget the ice forming on your whiskers or the bite of cold upon your cheek. That start of a day that makes you glad to be alive. But that is hard on the back. 🙂

    The best to you all this day.
    JAC

    • JAC,

      Hope your Day is a good one 🙂

      The only thing I can think of to make your morning better, would be enjoying it in a deer stand. Not so hard on the back!

      G!

      • GMan

        Or huddled in a corn field waiting for a flock of ducks or geese to come a calling.

        The sky was so bright this morning you could have shot geese long before daylight. And with no moon. Just the starlight and reflection off the snow.

    • Happy holidays, everyone!

      (Adding, I think the bus driver (who lost his job, btw) did exactly the right thing, but the kids who put it there should be arrested – someone could have easily died swerving around Frosty)

      • Mathius

        While the kids were wrong to place an obstruction in the street, there was absolutely NO good reason for the driver to cross the street to run over this snowman. Would he have done the same for a cardboard box lying in the street?

        From his view point he could not have known if someone was behind the snowman, or inside it for that matter.

        And you are willing to use “police arrest” to address a snowman in the street for something that “might have happened” but that did not happen, even to the car just before the bus.

        See, there is no end to the use of violence once you rationalize its use for the greater good. It seeps into everything and takes over our thinking process.

        • I didn’t notice he crossed the street, no, I don’t support that. I thought he just hit it (clearing an obstruction as it were) and avoiding a potentially dangerous swerve. Having re-watched and seen what you said (that he crossed to hit it), yes, I think his dismissal was justified if not 100% necessary – a warning probably would have been sufficient, but it’s a private company and they can do what they like.

          As for the kids, they created a dangerous situation. It very easily could have caused a car to swerve into oncoming traffic, no? And in icy conditions, it is very plausible someone could have died. There was no reason to create this danger other than amusement. That is unacceptable – the kids should at the very least have to serve some community service.

          Apply cost-benefit: Middle/high risk of catastrophe, minor reward. This is tantamount to playing with matches in brush country during a drought – sure they may not have started a fire, but it could have easily wound up killing people. A fine or community service seems perfectly justified to me. Or it such behavior perfectly acceptable until someone loses their life in a completely needless way?

  35. http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/4604

    Totalitarianism And Education
    From the desk of Svein Sellanraa on Wed, 2010-12-15 09:30

    Between the ages of 16 and 19, virtually all Norwegians attend upper secondary school – an optional, three-year add-on to 13 years of compulsory elementary education. Most opt for public schools over private ones, and a goodly chunk of that group chooses a course plan whose emphasis is on history, social science, and the humanities. As our educators admit, though, Norwegian students would be remiss to expect to actually learn anything about those subjects. This is not an accident caused by the quality of the school system, which the international body PISA has repeatedly found to be among the worst in the developed world – it is a consequence of design. The bureaucrats and intellectuals who create the curriculum for Norway’s State schools, most of whom attended university during the 1960s and 1970s and partook of that era’s student radicalism, agree that the goal of education is not the transmission of knowledge, but the propagation of soixante-huitardisme, relativism, and a bellyfeel hatred of white Europeans.

    For influential Norwegian pedagogue Harald F. Skram, for instance, the belief that history constitutes “an objective account of what happened in the past” and the rejection of cultural relativism are both earmarks of low academic historical competence, while “an awareness of how history can be used politically” is a sign of high competence. Harald Syse, writing in the renowned quarterly Prosa, assures us that “it’s been a long time since historical education has had as its only goal to communicate the truth about the past.”

  36. Back to the topic of Congress’ lack of brains.

    You have probably heard/read that Sen Reid is now trying to push through a massive Omnibus Spending bill before the end of this Congress. Threatening to keep everyone in D.C. until it gets done.

    Well here are some interesting things buried in the 2000 plus page bill. From Ms. Malkin:

    http://michellemalkin.com/2010/12/15/omnibus-double-whammy-the-dems-lame-duck-land-grabs/

    Please note that many of these things never got out of committee. Including Tester’s big land bill. Which is not revered by many in the state of Montana I might add. He forgot to deal with the issue of preventing further lock ups by the environmentalists through litigation once they got the million plus acres of wilderness.

    Can’t wait to find out what else is buried in this tome or is it tomb.

    🙂

    • One New Mexico activist, Marita Noon, said the federal plans to usurp nearly a half-million acres in her state would result in an “illegal immigrant superhighway” off-limits to border security enforcement. Security analyst Dana Joel Gattuso pointed to a recent General Accounting Office report on how environmental permitting rules and land-use regulations have hampered policing efforts at all but three stations along the border.

    • No more lameduck. All this crap is really, really getting me PO’d and I don’t want to be spending my time and energy on these corrupt assholes.

      No, No, No to everything!

      No to tax bill – let BO’s tax increases go into effect and then extend current rates – retroactively – long term. Nothing else in the bill.

      No to Omnibus – WTH! Harry Reid is just plain nuts! Extend Federal funding at current levels until new Congress.

      No to START, DreamAct, and any other junk they are thinking about. You were fired! Go home!

    • http://www.semissourian.com/story/1687936.html

      Earmarks are small potatos except when they are $48B.

    • JAC, get with program. It must be passed before you can read it.

  37. Probably the largest check every issued.

    $9 billion to Morgan Stanley

    http://dailybail.com/home/check-out-the-9-billion-dollar-check-that-saved-morgan-stanl.html

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