Tag Archives: Politics

Iran's Nuclear Program Revisited

It wasn’t that long ago that Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was portraying the United Nation’s IAEA, and the New York Times, as confirming that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program. Remember, it was reported to have stopped about the time we entered Iraq militarily, 2003?

It doesn’t jibe with today’s headlines on the subject.

U.N. council imposes new sanctions on defiant Iran
Iran defiant over new UN nuke sanctions
ElBaradei urges Iran to clarify atom arms allegations

In U.N, diplospeak, it’s blah blah blah blah

There were 14 votes in favor, none against and one country, Indonesia, abstained. Previous sanctions resolutions were adopted unanimously in December 2006 and March 2007, but council envoys said Monday’s message to Iran was a strong one.

That and, it depends on what the meaning of ‘strong’ is.

Iran denounced the current and previous resolutions as violations of international law and said they only harmed the 15-nation Security Council’s standing.

You can see where this is going.

Governor Crist's Crime Prevention Priorities

Governor Charlie Crist has run out of money. So, as part of his proposed 2008-09 fiscal budget, Crist called for the transfer of more than $740 million from various trust funds to the state’s general revenue fund. This includes $5 million of the $7 million Crimestoppers Trust Fund in Manatee County. Both the Manatee Crimestoppers and Manatee County Sheriff are against Crist’s plans to take that funding for the state’s general revenue fund saying it ‘will hurt its ability to curb crime through anonymous informants.’

About the program in Manatee County, Steve Rowland, president of Crimestoppers in both Manatee County and statewide said this about the governor’s plans.

‘It really hurt us to see that the governor would come after our program,’ said Steve Rowland, president of Crimestoppers in both Manatee County and statewide. ‘A program that is proven to improve our safety and security by getting criminals and drugs off the street.’

Since the 1970s, Crimestoppers has provided an avenue for citizens to call in anonymous tips to law enforcement to report criminal activity, Rowland said.

Any tip that generates an arrest can lead to a reward of as much as $1,000.

Over the years, Rowland said, tips coming in through Crimestoppers have led to $44 million in drugs seized, $16 million in property recovered and 24,000 arrests.

A compelling reason not to cut the program, which is the way Crimestoppers and the sheriff portray the consequences of the governor’s request. However, the governor’s office says

taking the $5 million would still leave $2 million in the trust fund, allowing Crimestoppers to continue to operate at its current funding level.

If the governor’s response is correct, then Manatee ought to be able to continue to do well the ‘same as last year’ funding. If crime goes out of control, then maybe they need the National Guard instead. If we are to believe Sheriff Brad Steube and Crimestoppers, that it will be like removing a tool to fight crime, and will hurt their ability to fight it ‘through anonymous informants,’ then it seems the governor has his crime fighting priorities upside down.

And if this doesn’t work, how long before Governor Crist looks for more and higher taxes?

related link: Bradenton Herald

What Recession?

Who better to comment on the financial misdeeds of President Bush (who he affectionately calls the ‘shrub’) than Air America Radio investor and talk show host Mike Papantonio?

According to Papantonio, Bush has this economy in ‘a full-blown recession.’ Actually, he is hoping the economy goes into a recession, or at the very least convince you that the economy actually is in a full-blown recession.

Probably not as good a record as say, Air America Radio, but here are some facts about our economy that the rabid left either ignores or lies about.

Since losing 4 million jobs after the combined effects of the Clinton recession that Bush inherited, and the attacks on 9/11, and devastating hurricanes, that snake-bit president has presided over 54 months of continuous job growth, creating over 8.3 million jobs since August 2003.

Despite all the catastrophic spending the economy of this country has so-far withstood (war and hurricanes), deficit spending is below 1.5% of GDP. That’s lower than the average of the last 40 years.

In true liberal fashion, this significant bit of dishonesty with smoke and mirrors is this statement that we are in “a full-blown recession”. The lesson here is simply this. The economy is still growing. Only in liberalspeak can they both be happening at the same time.

This claim of a recession employs the flawed liberal logic that an increase is a cut. Even the left-leaning Christian Science Monitor has to admit that the economy has grown by “1.4 percent for the calendar year, whereas the economy normally posts growth of 3 percent or so.” In other words, because it did not GROW as much as it has in the past (another fact Papantonio ignores), it must be a full-blown recession.

The unemployment rate was 5 percent in December. This is below the average of each of the past four decades. Of course this must be bad news.

Real after-tax personal income per person has increased over $2,800 – or 9.6 percent – during this snake-bit administration. The truth is the poor are actually getting richer.

And, if you are happy with the price of gas and food nowadays, you can thank the environmentalist movement, and wimpy politicians who won’t stand up to them, for preventing us from using our own resources while making the problem worse with bio-fuels.

related links: Pensacola News Journal | Christian Science Monitor | The White House | Bureau of Economic Analysis

Are These Real Democrat Flip-Flops?

Sure looks like it to me. And, let me catch my breath that this comes from the Washington Post. The WaPo lists 5 each from Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton.

For example . . .

Special interests In January, the Obama campaign described union contributions to the campaigns of Clinton and John Edwards as “special interest” money. Obama changed his tune as he began gathering his own union endorsements. He now refers respectfully to unions as the representatives of “working people” and says he is “thrilled” by their support.

and

NAFTA In a January 2004 news conference, Clinton said she thought that “on balance [NAFTA] has been good for New York and good for America.” She now says she has “long been a critic of the shortcomings of NAFTA” and advocates a “time out” from similar trade agreements.

Interesting that the title of the piece is ‘Top Obama Flip-Flops’ when there are five each on Obama and Clinton. So who ever accused the WaPo of being fair and balanced anyway?

related links: Top Obama Flip-Flops | Democrats Equally Adept at Shifting Positions

h/t Hip Hop Republican

Mocking McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform

Here’s a story in today’s Washington Post that actually represents a fine tutorial on how illegal campaign contributions get to the Clinton campaign. But it could be to any-one’s campaign. The only thing missing in this article is how these ‘contributors’ who don’t have two nickels to rub together get their money back from Alonzo Cantu, a self-made multi-millionaire who literally owns McAllen, Texas, a small border town near the Rio Grande.

Well, it’s not exactly missing. Instead of checks to replace their contribution, those people do business with and get business from Cantu. There’s the quid pro quo. But try to prove that in court.

Campaign finance reform is the one thing that politicians really don’t want, but say they do. Bottom line, it doesn’t matter that congress, Bush, and the SCOTUS all had their hands in it. It needs to go.

The premise that special interests, aka money, are corrupting the politicians and that laws need to be made to limit the money, totally misses the point. If anyone is corrupt, it is the politician that does a quid pro quo or who otherwise breaks the law in money laundering and/or takes bribes like William Jefferson (D-La) did. It’s not the donor, it’s what the recipient does. Don’t re-elect a crook.

related links:
How Big Man In McAllen Bundles Big For Clinton | Way More Than The Lincoln Bedroom | Questions For John McCain and Russ Feingold

Truth Is The Poor Are Getting Richer

Want to tic off a liberal who says that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer? U.S. Income MobilityShow them this report from the Treasury Department that exposes those claims as so much “populist hokum.” The reason it will tic them off is obvious. It takes the wind right out of their class warfare, class envy sails. The reality is that over the last 10 years, the lowest quintile of working people have seen the largest percent increase in their income, 90.5%. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the highest quintile realized an increase of 10 % over the same time period.

A closer examination of that highest quintile, the upper 20% of working people, highlights even more the fallacy of the left’s argument about the rich getting richer. When you look at the top 10 percent of the highest quintile, that is to say, the top ten percent of income earners, they saw their incomes actually decline to the point where the top 1 percent, the ‘filthy rich’, were the biggest losers. Their income decreased by a whopping 25%.

The great irony is that, in the name of reducing inequality, some of our politicians want to raise taxes and other government obstacles to the kind of risk-taking and hard work that allow Americans to climb the income ladder so rapidly. As the Treasury data show, we shouldn’t worry about inequality. We should worry about the people who use inequality as a political club to promote policies that reduce opportunity.

Key findings. . .

  • There was considerable income mobility of individuals in the U.S. economy during the 1996 through 2005 period with roughly half of taxpayers who began in the bottom quintile moving up to a higher income group within 10 years.
  • About 55 percent of taxpayers moved to a different income quintile within 10 years.
  • Among those with the very highest incomes in 1996, the top 1/100 of 1 percent, only 25 percent remained in this group in 2005. Moreover, the median real income of these taxpayers declined over this period.
  • The degree of mobility among income groups is unchanged from the prior decade (1987 through 1996).
  • Economic growth resulted in rising incomes for most taxpayers over the period from 1996 to 2005. Median incomes of all taxpayers increased by 24 percent after adjusting for inflation.
  • The real incomes of two-thirds of all taxpayers increased over this period. In addition, the median incomes of those initially in the lower income groups increased more than the median incomes of those initially in the higher income groups.

WSJ Opinion Journal link
Income Mobility Study link
NewsBusters link

Earmark, “Congressionally Directed Spending.”

Earmark smearmark, where is the will to forbid them? Not in Washington DC that’s for sure. Washington’s fix regarding earmarks works as good as their answer to campaign financing. It still goes on but it now has a different name, “congressionally directed spending.” Take Rahm Emanuel for example. He is chairman of the House Democratic Caucus and has been a major proponent of making earmarks in spending bills more transparent. Rahm speaks with forked tongue.

Rep. Rahm Emanuel was extremely proud when the House passed a major spending billRahm Emanuel, who is chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, has been a major proponent of making earmarks in spending bills more transparent. early this year that contained not a single special-interest project. “This is an earmark-free bill,” the Illinois Democrat jubilantly declared on Feb. 1.

A week later, however, he and 18 other Illinois lawmakers signed a letter to the Energy Department to “express our strong support” for a bio-energy project at the University of Illinois. Emanuel also sent his own letter to the department seeking “support and assistance in securing” $500,000 for Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago and $750,000 for the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Such requests for specific institutions are commonly known as earmarks. But Emanuel, a member of the Democratic House leadership, declines to call them that. “Letter-writing is not an earmark,” he said in an interview.

What perfect Clinton-speak. Letter-writing for earmarks is not an earmark. That and, it depends on what the definition of is is. Pelosi and Reid are doing a bang-up job on their ethics reform campaign, beginning with William (Dollar Bill) Jefferson (D-LA). And it goes downhill from there.

Washington Post link: Pet Projects’ Veil Is Only Partly Lifted

Go Left TV Takes On Conservative Media

Proof that the fairness doctrine is a big mistake, the left has sprouted up a new presence on the Internet in the form of GoLeft.tv. It’s a mistake in the sense that everyone has a shot at playing pundit, success or failure depends on them, not the government.

They are properly optimistic, with all the bravado of the kick-off of Air America Radio a couple years ago. From the press release. . .

“Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Bill O’Reilly, Michael Medved and the rest of right-wing, conservative media, beware!”

Among the people behind GLTV is a familiar face in Air America Radio land. Pensacola attorney Mike Papantonio, and his buds at his BIG LAW law firm are the major “investors” in the project. The “Pap Attack” is something he does on his Air America Radio show called the Ring of Fire, available on short wave, the Internet and a few conventional AM outlets. As referenced in the previous post, watching a minute or two of the Pap Attack will give you an idea what hate radio (hate Internet?) is.