Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ron Paul Is Not Wrong... It Is Time We Begin To Understand The Motivations Of Extreme Islamists

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Birthplace of Independent Conservatism
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Rep. Ron Paul - Republican Presidential Candidate

I read with great interest Ron Paul's recent statements in Iowa with respect to the 911 attacks on America by Islamic extremists and their primary motivation.

Nowhere in candidate Paul's statement did I see where he justified the attacks that resulted in the death of 3,000 plus Americans.

What I did read was a rational analysis of what motivated the attackers and why they were so motivated. Call it thinking outside the confines of a restricted and often myopic view of reality.

In other words Paul is saying first seek to understand the motivations of a dangerous extremist group and then seek to effect ways to change their reality. IE: Perception. Because perception is reality to all people who perceive.

Those who perpetrated the 911 attacks on America were monsters, and they deserved to face a full and justified response to their actions.

Those who continue to bring further harm and destruction to any people in the name of Muhammad and Islam deserve to face a just and swift response.

However, as previously noted Paul is correct in bringing the discussion to a reasoned and rational level. A level without emotion so we can see clearly and make logical decisions for the future.

Continuing to do the same things over and over again in the same way is the definition of insanity and will no doubt bring similar results.

Iowa Caucuses reporting.

At a campaign stop on Saturday in Winterset, one man asked Paul how terrorist groups would react if the U.S. removed its military presence in Middle Eastern nations, a move the candidate advocates.

“Which enemy are you worried that will attack our national security?” Paul asked.

“If you’re looking for specifics, I’m talking about Islam. Radical Islam,” the man answered.

“I don’t see Islam as our enemy,” Paul said. “I see that motivation is occupation and those who hate us and would like to kill us, they are motivated by our invasion of their land, the support of their dictators that they hate.”

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Paul referred to a military base in Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, as a key motivator in the Sept. 11th attacks. Osama bin Laden viewed it as an American desecration of holy land.

“After 9/11, (people said) ‘Oh yeah, it’s those very bad people who hate us,’ but 15 of (the hijackers) came from Saudi Arabia,” said Paul. “One of the reasons they attacked us, is we propped up this Sharia government and the fundamentalists hated us for it.”

The congressman particularly decried U.S.-led bombings in foreign nations, saying that “almost always those individuals that they are trying to kill did not have any direct relationship” with threats to the U.S.

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“(9/11) was one of the main motivations for getting your attention on why they hate us and want to kill us,” he said. “You could send 20 million people over there and all it would do is make our problems worse.” {Read The Full Story}

Indeed it is time to begin thinking outside the box of 19th and 20th century thought.

Representative, and candidate for the republican Presidential nomination, Ron Paul is just the man to provide such reasoned and logical direction.

Via: Memeorandum

The Truth About Texas Governor Rick Perry...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Birthplace of Independent Conservatism
Liberty -vs- Tyranny


Rick Perry
, the new "hot" candidate of the Tea Party, has intrigued me since he hit the national scene and declared his candidacy for the republican nomination for President.

Mr.Polish has been selling himself as the conservative alternative to President Obama and business as usual in DC. But is Mr. Polish really a conservative with proven bona fides? Me thinks not.

In fact as my research progressed it became clear Mr. Polish is much more the big government profligate spender and corporate kinda guy {read corporate whore} than I originally suspected.

Some of Mr. Polish's most severe critics actually come from the fiscally conservative right. A right I willingly take credit for being a part of.

What I find most befuddling is how anyone with a modicum of understanding of what true conservatism is can be fooled by Mr. Polish.

Given my skepticism of Mr. Polish it was only natural I look deeper. It seemed only rational to turn to those who know full well his record as Governor of Texas.

What I found was enlightening and solidified my skepticism of Mr. Polish as nothing more than a slick, and disingenuous politician that lacks a consistent political philosophy. Other than a "fly by the seat of your pants" crony capitalism acumen.

Some highlights of rational analysis from The New Republic.
It’s true that Perry has trafficked heavily in anti-Washington rhetoric, especially in the run-up to his candidacy to become president. But the closer you look at Perry’s record in Texas, the harder it is to discern any coherent ideology at all. When GOP primary voters in other parts of the country examine his signature legislative accomplishments and policy stances, some won’t like what they find.

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The first Perry proposal to rile some Texas right-wing activists was the Trans-Texas Corridor—an ambitious plan to cover the state in a series of toll roads. Perry first pitched the idea during his 2002 campaign for governor. The plan would have used government’s eminent domain authority to seize rural farmland not just for multi-lane tolled highways, but also for rail and utility lines. Perry’s office and the Texas Department of Transportation gained legislative approval for the plan in 2003. The state handed the contract for the road planning and building to a Spanish-based company named Cintra.

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Perry’s plan for a comprehensive network of toll-roads would eventually die slowly over the next four legislative sessions, meeting resistance from conservative Republicans. Toll roads are still being built in Texas, but the corridor plan is remembered as a colossal failure for the governor.

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Perry caused conservative revulsion again in 2007 when he proposed that all young girls in Texas receive the HPV vaccine. The drug company Merck had just put the drug on the market, and the governor’s office made a heart-wrenching case for why all Texans should have access to it. His office brought to the Legislature a young woman with terminal cervical cancer, caused by HPV, to meet with the press and argue for mandatory vaccinations.

Some Texas Democrats agreed with Perry’s position. But the governor’s critics also pointed out that Perry’s former chief of staff, Mike Toomey, was serving as a lobbyist for Merck, which stood to make millions from the vaccine requirement. In the end, conservative Republicans in the Legislature bucked at the thought of requiring young girls to receive an STD vaccine, and Perry's effort died in the Legislature.

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Then there’s the one major proposal that Perry did, in fact, pass into law—the state’s business tax. This tax increase on business was crafted in 2006 as part of a school-finance reform. The idea was to cut local property taxes and replace the lost revenue with a new business margins tax. This 2006 tax “swap” was the one instance during Perry’s decade as governor when he proposed a wide-ranging plan and successfully pushed it through the Legislature mostly unchanged. It will likely be remembered as his signature legislative accomplishment.

The problem is, it’s been a disaster. Small businesses hate it because they’re forced to pay regardless of whether they’re turning a profit: it seemed to be the very definition of a “job-killing” tax. Some conservatives simply hate it on principle. A few even argued that Perry’s business tax is unconstitutional—amounting to a tax on income, which is forbidden by the Texas Constitution.

But worst of all, the tax doesn’t even generate enough revenue. The tax “swap” has cost the state $5 billion a year for five years running. The Texas budget now faces an ongoing structural deficit because of the underperforming business tax. And with a tax increase on small business and a structural budget deficit to boot, it’s clear that Perry hasn’t taken conservative economists like Milton Friedman as his inspiration.

Another example of his conservative heresy is the Texas Enterprise Fund, which Perry seem to be especially proud of. The purpose of the Fund is to dole out public money to lure companies to Texas. It has created tens of thousands of jobs in the state, but critics have not incorrectly, labeled it “corporate welfare,” a slush fund for well-connected businesses. The Observer investigated the fund in 2010 and found that several companies with political ties to Perry had received state grants. Some Texas Tea Party activists have been especially critical of Perry's Enterprise Fund, labeling it a quintessential example of wasteful government spending

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As governor of Texas, Perry’s lack of policy depth hasn’t hindered him much. He simply lets the Legislature do the heavy lifting. When the Legislature isn’t in session, Perry is largely content to float from one public appearance to another, cheerleading the Texas economy. He rarely bothers to diagnose the state’s problems, or offer any novel solutions.

When Perry does involve himself in policy debates, the most consistent thread is that he has sided with big business—that is to say, with industries big enough, or fortuitous enough, to have strong connections with the state government...

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In many ways, Perry is quite conservative. He espouses limited government, low taxes and light regulation. But in his 10 years as governor, he’s often strayed from conservative orthodoxy. If there’s one phrase that best describes Perry’s governing ideology, it isn’t “conservative.” It’s crony capitalism. {Read Full Article Here}

Further research of Mr. Polish's background revieled the following.
The narrative is appealing: Small-town guy becomes Texas governor and makes (the economy) good—all by sticking to conservative principles. But while Texas remains “open for business”—the slogan of his successful re-election campaign in 2010—the state’s Legislature is in the process of a going-out-of-business sale. The Texas budget for the next two years is a mess of accounting tricks and gutted programs, thanks to an unprecedented budget shortfall. The state’s business tax has not only been unpopular, it also doesn’t generate nearly enough revenue. Operating at a structural deficit, the state has even begun to attack funding in the once-hallowed ground of education. And while Perry has spent a good bit of June on his non-campaign-campaign, state lawmakers from both parties are fighting tooth-and-nail to legislate around his dictums.

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...as he told the Associated Press, “Texas is better off than practically any state in the country,” Perry, along with the rest of the state, soon discovered that Texas’s budget gap—$27 billion short of what it would need to maintain its already lean services in the next biennium—was among the worst in the nation.

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...many lawmakers didn’t want to use the rainy day fund in the first place, but that’s because they know a dirty little secret: Even after this two year budget period, the state’s fiscal woes are far from over. The Lone Star State has a standing $10 billion shortfall every two-year budget cycle, thanks to a faulty tax system pushed by Perry that fails to balance the budget.

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State legislators on both sides of the aisle have decried Perry’s ill-conceived fiscal planning. The chief Senate budget writer, Republican Steve Ogden, hasn’t been afraid to mince words about just how bad the business tax is. “None of us were elected to raise taxes on anybody,” he said the first day of the session.{Read The Full Article}

The most damaging is the following as it exposes Rick Perry, Mr. Polish for the fraud that he is.
The following are 14 reasons why Rick Perry would be a really, really bad president….

#1 Rick Perry is a “big government” politician. When Rick Perry became the governor of Texas in 2000, the total spending by the Texas state government was approximately $49 billion. Ten years later it was approximately $90 billion. That is not exactly reducing the size of government.

#2 The debt of the state of Texas is out of control. According to usdebtclock.org, the debt to GDP ratio in Texas is 22.9% and the debt per citizen is $10,645. In California (a total financial basket case), the debt to GDP ratio is just 18.7% and the debt per citizen is only $9932. If Rick Perry runs for president these are numbers he will want to keep well hidden.

#3 The total debt of the Texas government has more than doubled since Rick Perry became governor. So what would the U.S. national debt look like after four (or eight) years of Rick Perry?

#4 Rick Perry has spearheaded the effort to lease roads in Texas to foreign companies, to turn roads that are already free to drive on into toll roads, and to develop the Trans-Texas Corridor which would be part of the planned NAFTA superhighway system. If you really do deep research on this whole Trans-Texas Corridor nonsense you will see why no American should ever cast a single vote for Rick Perry.

#5 Rick Perry claims that he has a “track record” of not raising taxes. That is a false claim. Rick Perry has repeatedly raised taxes and fees while he has been governor. Today, Texans are faced with significantly higher taxes and fees than they were before Rick Perry was elected.

#6 Even with the oil boom in Texas, 23 states have a lower unemployment rate than Texas does.

#7 Back in 1988, Rick Perry supported Al Gore for president. In fact, Rick Perry actually served as Al Gore’s campaign chairman in the state of Texas that year.

#8 Between December 2007 and April 2011, weekly wages in the U.S. increased by about 5 percent. In the state of Texas they increased by just 0.6% over that same time period.

#9 Texas now has one of the worst education systems in the nation. The following is from an opinion piece that was actually authored by Barbara Bush earlier this year….

•  We rank 36th in the nation in high school graduation rates. An estimated 3.8 million Texans do not have a high school diploma.

•  We rank 49th in verbal SAT scores, 47th in literacy and 46th in average math SAT scores.

•  We rank 33rd in the nation on teacher salaries.

#10 Rick Perry attended the Bilderberg Group meetings in 2007. Associating himself with that organization should be a red flag for all American voters.

#11 Texas has the highest percentage of workers making minimum wage out of all 50 states.

#12 Rick Perry often gives speeches about illegal immigration, but when you look at the facts, he has been incredibly soft on the issue. If Rick Perry does not plan to secure the border, then he should not be president because illegal immigration is absolutely devastating many areas of the southwest United States.

#13 In 2007, 221,000 residents of Texas were making minimum wage or less. By 2010, that number had risen to 550,000.

#14 Rick Perry actually issued an executive order in 2007 that would have forced almost every single girl in the state of Texas to receive the Gardasil vaccine before entering the sixth grade. Perry would have put parents in a position where they would have had to fill out an application and beg the government not to inject their child with a highly controversial vaccine. Since then, very serious safety issues regarding this vaccine have come to light. Fortunately, lawmakers in Texas blocked what Perry was trying to do. According to Wikipedia, many were troubled when “apparent financial connections between Merck and Perry were reported by news outlets, such as a $6,000 campaign contribution and Merck’s hiring of former Perry Chief of Staff Mike Toomey to handle its Texas lobbying work.”

Rick Perry has a record that should make all Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and Independents cringe.

He is not the “conservative Republican” that he is trying to claim that he is. He is simply another in a long line of “RINOs” (Republicans in name only).

If Rick Perry becomes president, he will probably be very similar to George W. Bush. He will explode the size of the U.S. government and U.S. government debt, he will find sneaky ways to raise taxes, he will do nothing about the Federal Reserve or corruption in our financial system and he will push the agenda of the globalists at every turn. {Read The Full Article With Videos Here}

Rick Perry, or as I prefer to call him Mr. Polish is indeed the the fiscal conservatives worst nightmare. He is not only lacking in a consistent and rational political philosophy, he epitomizes he worst in the anti-capitalist methodology of "crony capitalism."

Just what we DO NOT NEED, anther GWB in the Big Chair.

Via: Memeorandum

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Credit Where Credit Is Due

Ron Paul is considered by many to be a flake (myself included at times). But he was 100% right about one thing, folks. The fellow totally predicted the housing/financial crisis. Here is a portion of his direct testimony before the House Financial Services Committee on September 10th, 2003 (forewarning us on the destructive consequences that an unchecked Fannie and Freddie would eventually level on the U.S. economy)............: "Ironically, by transferring the risk of a widespread mortgage default, the government increases the likelihood of a painful crash in the housing market. This is because the special privileges granted to Fannie and Freddie have distorted the housing market by allowing them to attract capital they could not attract under pure market conditions. As a result, capital is diverted from its most productive use into housing. This reduces the efficacy of the entire market and thus reduces the standard of living of all Americans.

Despite the long-term damage to the economy inflicted by the government's interference in the housing market, the government's policy of diverting capital to other uses creates a short-term boom in housing. Like all artificially-created bubbles, the boom in housing prices cannot last forever. When housing prices fall, homeowners will experience difficulty as their equity is wiped out. Furthermore, the holders of the mortgage debt will also have a loss. These losses will be greater than they would have otherwise been had government policy not actively encouraged over-investment in housing."............I ask you, folks. Compare this testimony of Mr. Paul's to that of dullards like Barney Frank and Maxine Waters (circa the same time) and tell me, who's the real flake now?

Advocates Of Capitalism and Rational Self Interest... Smith and Rand

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Birthplace of Independent Conservatism
Liberty -vs- Tyranny


Adam Smith has been caricatured by some as endorsing greed, much as his modern counterpart Ayn Rand has been by today's political left. The truth is neither were advocating a society driven by greed. Rather both advocated a society driven by rational self interest. Which is to say a free and open market economy.

Both Adam Smith and Ayn Rand would likely find the American political, economic, and social system of today anti rational. Rational self interest dictates that not only do you work for prosperity for yourself and family but also for society at large. Individuals, businesses, and government must grow to understand this, and act accordingly if the country is to ever return to economic stability and real national prosperity.

Today corporatism and crony capitalism are systems that benefit the few and often reward the most unworthy. In doing so capitalism, as well as the concept of rational self interest based on ethical behavior is destroyed.

As our government and businesses have become steadily more corrupt and unethical the results are taking a heavy toll on individuals as well as the nation. Like Rome, American government and businesses {as well as many individuals} seem to be unable to grasp the inevitable outcome of our lack of fiscal and moral discipline.

Perhaps Rand had it exactly right when she asked in the title of one of her books... "Philosophy, Who Needs It?"  The answer it would seem is... Everybody.

Given the state of our nation today isn't it becoming clear Americans are following political, governmental,and economic systems that are lacking in rationality and sound ethics?

From Adam Smith Institute:
Self-interest and virtue

Some people wonder how the self-interest that drives Smith’s economic system can be squared with the ‘sympathy’ that drive his ethics. Here is his answer:

How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortune of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it except the pleasure of seeing it.

In other words, human nature is complex. We are self-interested, but we also like to help others too. Smith’s books are complementary: they show how self-interested human beings can live together peacefully (in the moral sphere) and productively (in the economic).

The Wealth Of Nations is no endorsement of economic greed, as sometimes caricatured. Self-interest may drive the economy, but that is a force for good – provided there is genuinely open competition and no coercion. And it is the poor that economic and social freedom benefits most.

Could it be that the very capitalist system that created the greatest prosperity the world has ever witnessed will ultimately be responsible for its own demise in America? Time to think outside the box and ones comfort zone methinks.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Just Ducky

Click To Enlarge

With their debt ceiling agreement, Congress touted the nearly $1 trillion in spending "cuts" as a sign they were ushering in a new era of fiscal responsibility. But is this really the case? In addition to the spending reductions, the deal included a spending cap on discretionary outlays. Putting a cap on how much the federal government can spend? Sounds reasonable.

But what good does a spending cap do if Congress just ignores it and spends more? And even if they did operate within the cap, where does it get us if the spending cap just increases from year to year?

Indeed.

h/t: Bankrupting America

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The First Lady Certainly Enjoys the Perks of Hubby's Office

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Birthplace of Independent Conservatism
Liberty -vs- Tyranny



It is being reported the FLOTUS has spent million on holiday and vacation getaways in the last year. Most of course on the public's dime. Sounds a bit like Royalty to me I must say.

Now before the uber liberals, who seem to find nothing even remotely questionable with anything the FLOTUS does, let me say I fully understand her desire for the finest. After all the lady does have looks. She exudes fashion. One can say she exemplifies class. Hell, there are probably millions who think the POTUS is a pretty lucky guy.

Did I forget to mention the FLOTUS has intelligence, and no doubt can engage with the best of the intelligentsia and the political powers here at home, as well as around the globe?

Here, for your reading amusement are some excepts from Mail OnLine :
The Obamas' summer break on Martha's Vineyard has already been branded a PR disaster after the couple arrived four hours apart on separate government jets.

But according to new reports, this is the least of their extravagances.

White House sources today claimed that the First Lady has spent $10million of U.S. taxpayers' money on vacations alone in the past year.

'When it's all added up, she's spent more than $10million in taxpayers' money on her vacations.'

The First Lady is believed to have taken 42 days of holiday in the past year, including a $375,000 break in Spain and a four-day ski trip to Vail, Colorado, where she spent $2,000 a night on a suite at the Sebastian hotel.

And the first family's nine-day stay in Martha's Vineyard is also proving costly, with rental of the Blue Heron Farm property alone costing an estimated $50,000 a week.

'The vacations are totally Michelle's idea. She's like a junkie. She can't schedule enough getaways, and she lives from one to the next...

While the President and his wife do pay for some of their personal expenses from their own pocket, the website whitehousedossier.com says that the amount paid by the couple is 'dwarfed by the overall cost to the public'.

The magazine also reported that Mrs Obama, whose fashion choices are widely followed, had been going on 'wild shopping sprees'...

But the situation sparked further anger after he and his wife elected to fly separately to the Massachusetts retreat - despite travelling on the same day.

Mr Obama left the White House aboard Marine One on his way to Andrews Air Force base to hitch a lift aboard Air Force One - along with First Dog Bo.

His wife and daughters, who arrived just four hours earlier, were also traveling from Washington, but took a specially designed military aircraft.

They would also have had their own motorcade from the airport to the vacation residence. {Full Read Here}

It is true that with the trappings of power comes distinction and a privileged existence. It is also true that Americans understand this and actually accept it. Moderation of course is usually always the best companion.

Certainly... and especially given the economic uncertainties of millions of Americans, extreme moderation would be the prudent course for the FLOTUS while vacationing.

Of all people she should be trying to be "one of us." But hey, she does look great in her fashionable attire.

More at The Lonely Conservative, and Gateway Pundit.

Via: Memeorandum

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Story of Alligators and Politicians












by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Birthplace of Independent Conservatism
Liberty -vs- Tyranny




Received via e-mail from a Rational Nation subscriber... We just couldn't resist publishing.

Enjoy!
Two Alligators were sitting around talking, and the smaller Alligator turned to the bigger one & said, 'I can't understand how you can be so much bigger than me. We're the same age; we were the same size as kids. I just don't get it.

'Well,' said the big Gator, 'what have you been eating?'

'Politicians, same as you,' replied the small Gator.

'Hmm. Well, where do you catch them?'

'Down the other side of the swamp near the parking lot by the Capitol'

'Same here. Hmm. How do you catch them?'

'Well, I crawl up under one of their Lexus cars & wait for one to unlock the car door. Then I jump out, grab them by the leg, shake the shit out of them and eat 'em!

'Ah!' says the big Alligator, 'I think I see your problem.. You're not getting any real nourishment. See, by the time you finish shaking the shit out of a politician, there's nothing left but an asshole and a briefcase.*

Has there ever been truer words spoken? LMAO!

Our National Dilema... Caused By Fiscal Irresponsibity... Then and Now

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Birthplace of Independent Conservatism
Liberty -vs- Tyranny


CBS NEWS - The latest posting by the Treasury Department shows the national debt has now increased $4 trillion on President Obama's watch.

The debt was $10.626 trillion on the day Mr. Obama took office. The latest calculation from Treasury shows the debt has now hit $14.639 trillion.

It's the most rapid increase in the debt under any U.S. president.

The national debt increased $4.9 trillion during the eight-year presidency of George W. Bush. The debt now is rising at a pace to surpass that amount during Mr. Obama's four-year term.

Mr. Obama blames policies inherited from his predecessor's administration for the soaring debt. He singles out:

"two wars we didn't pay for"
"a prescription drug program for seniors...we didn't pay for."
"tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 that were not paid for."

{Read More}

Indeed the Obama administration bears responsibility for the nations fiscal crises. So does this, as well as prior Congresses. As do former Presidents.

Until such time as everyone acknowledges these simple facts, and accepts it is time to begin holding our elected officials to a standard of fiscal responsibility and fiscal conservatism not a thing will change.

Whether under democratic or republican leadership. It is just that simple.

Via: Memeorandum

Monday, August 22, 2011

There Is Wisdom From the Past... Irrespective of What Progressives {and Neo-Cons} May Think

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Birthplace of Independent Conservatism
Liberty -vs- Tyranny


As a conservative/libertarian I cannot help but be amazed by the progressives inability to accept the truth that the past can indeed teach society something of value.

Perhaps this affliction stems from the desire for rapid uncontrolled change and the desire to do something, or anything, just to be able to say they supported something. Whether it works or not is not the primary concern or issue to the radical element(s).

The same can be said of the radical element(s) on the right.

Being a student of history, and drawing from the wisdom of patriotic American intellectuals from prior generations, I found the following quite interesting as well as spot on.

From the playbook of Classical Liberalism:
"Without justice being freely, fully, and impartially administered, neither our persons, nor our rights, nor our property, can be protected. And if these, or either of them, are regulated by no certain laws, and are subject to no certain principles, and are held by no certain tenure, and are redressed, when violated, by no certain remedies, society fails of all its value; and men may as well return to a state of savage and barbarous independence." --Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833

You'll forgive me if I sense the American society is rapidly approaching this point in its history.

The question we should be asking ourselves is this... How do we as a nation, bound by common cause and values, solve our common problems without losing our sense of individualism and personal responsibility for our lives.

Indeed this nation faces problems of gargantuan proportions. One must wonder, especially in light of recent politics, if we as a people are capable of working together to solve our nation's deep problems.

Make no mistake. If we fail to do so in this generation the next will face by far worse circumstances.

Just the opinion of an independent conservative.

Stimulus Deja Vu

By: Pamela D. Hart



Here we go again! Obama wants to stimulate the economy and create jobs with…yep you guessed it, STIMULUS! And we know how well THAT worked in 2009! Those Shovel Ready jobs weren’t as shovel ready as they expected, we found out two years later, although, those of us on the Right knew they weren’t, but hey, why listen to us, we only wanted jobs created by the private sector, not TAX dollars.

And that’s what Obama is proposing now…or so the “leaked” info says.

According to the information “leaked” to the press, once President Obama returns to the White House after his vacation, he’s going to propose targeted tax breaks for companies that hire, mortgage relief for struggling homeowners and infrastructure deals…um didn’t we do that in 2009? Wasn’t that part of the almost one trillion in so-called stimulus?

This is déjà vu! And it’s going to be déjà vu all over again with results. We NEED private sector jobs, NOT jobs created by tax dollars. Even Jan Schakowsky’s (D-ILL) plan to create 2.2 million School Improvement, Parks Improvement and Rehab and Weatherize jobs over two years are STILL tax dollars (even if they are millionaire tax dollars) and it’s NOT cheaper, as she claims. It’s cheaper to pay unemployment. Furthermore, her calculation of $227 Billion is most likely under calculated, as we’ve found over the decades, government always UNDER estimates!

Besides, spending money we do NOT have to supposedly stimulate our economy isn’t economically smart. These so-called Shovel Ready or School Improvement Corps jobs are just fancy names for Tax Payer Temporary jobs. When the bridges, parks, schools and homes are fixed, the jobs are DONE and those people will be out of work yet again and back on the unemployment line. We need the private sector to create jobs which will sustain their employees for the long-haul, not just six months or a year. We need long-term permanent jobs and those can be found in the private sector.

Government incentives aren’t the answer, as they end up costing us tax payers. We need growth, as both sides agree, but the conundrum is HOW we get that growth. The Left says the stimulus from 2009 wasn’t big enough. I have to respectfully disagree. Had we spent two trillion dollars and shoveled more money into the system, those Shovel Ready jobs still would’ve ended, thus driving those people back to the unemployment lines, albeit a little later, but there nonetheless.

The only way the private sector is going to hire is if they have sound reason. Right now business owners aren’t feeling secure. They are hoarding trillions of dollars because they don’t trust this administration with things like Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, the threat of higher taxes and more and more regulations being imposed which impedes them and their cost to do business, thus costing them money, hence reducing their bottom line. Let’s face it, there is no company open to be charitable or noble, except charitable associations! Businesses are in it for the bottom line, i.e. PROFIT!

They are the engines of our economy and they need oiled, not demonized and certainly not taxed to the hilt. Besides, our officials should be balancing our budget, not implementing more and more regulations which impede business or drive it off our shores! They should also be going after fraud and abuse within the existing programs and cutting everything that is unnecessary, but they are busy vilifying the other side, STILL pointing fingers and casting blame, and frivolously spending our money. None of which will get us off the edge of the cliff.

I’m sick and tired of politics as usual and really wish we’d get people who would implement some real change. I want to stay optimistic, but quite frankly, I’m beginning to lose faith.


**Cross-posted @ The Oracular Opinion**

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Truth Behind "The Deal"

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Birthplace of Independent Consevatism
Liberty -vs- Tyranny


After what seemed a never ending fiasco {debate} over raising the debt ceiling and deficit reduction {spending cuts} the Congress and the President produced results that could allow both sides to claim a win. Well a partial win anyway.

And the United States triple A rating was lowered to double A plus. A downgrade that will cost the tax payers of the nation in future years.

So what is the actual reality behind all the hoopla?

From Bankrupting America:
The months-long debt ceiling debate ended abruptly and just in time as Congress reached an agreement to raise the limit and cut nearly $1 trillion in spending. But is it really fair to call those spending reductions cuts? A closer look at the numbers reveals that the agreement doesn’t actually cut spending from current levels, but merely slows the rate at which spending increases.

Check out our latest infographic below where we visualize this unfortunate reality.

The months-long debt ceiling debate ended abruptly and just in time as Congress reached an agreement to raise the limit and cut nearly $1 trillion in spending. But is it really fair to call those spending reductions cuts? A closer look at the numbers reveals that the agreement doesn’t actually cut spending from current levels, but merely slows the rate at which spending increases.

Check out our latest infographic below where we visualize this unfortunate reality. {(Click the image to enlarge.}


Shifty until proven thrifty?

Indeed. Congress found guilty as usual.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

More Distressing News For The POTUS

by:Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Birthplace of Independent Conservatism
Liberty -vs- Tyranny


Polling results are interesting. They provide a snapshot of the public's opinion with respect to the perceived job performance of the President.

The President's approval ratings are on a decided southward slide. With the nation's dismal economic performance and high unemployment following the stimulus package and bailouts it is no wonder his approval rating is tanking.
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama, who political experts say will need a win in Pennsylvania to retain the White House, dipped to 35 percent approval among the state's registered voters, according to a Muhlenberg College poll released Friday.

The results come on the heels of a bad week in polls for Obama that showed him first dropping to 39 percent nationwide in Gallup's daily tracking poll. Then another set of Gallup results Thursday showed only 26 percent of Americans approve of how Obama is handling the economy.

These numbers are a huge blow to Obama who won the state handily in 2008, and a significant drop in just a few weeks from when Quinnipiac University polled Pennsylvania voters and found the president with 43 percent job approval.

Even in traditional democratic strongholds such as PA the President is in trouble and continuing to sink. Whether the President has the insight and ability to turn the direction of his current trending remains to be seen.
In the Muhlenberg surveys alone, Obama has dropped more than 10 percentage points in less than six months. In March, he held steady with 48 percent. In April 2009, a few months after he started and just after the stimulus bill was passed, Obama was at 61 percent approval in the state.

With unemployment hovering at 9 percent, Pennsylvanians seem pessimistic about the economy. Asked if Obama's policies have helped or hurt the economy, just 23 percent said helped, 41 percent said hurt and 32 percent said his policies haven't made a difference.

It certainly appears, and solidly so, that the American people are waking up to this President's inability to lead and make a difference. Even given President Obama's intelligence his obvious lack of experience, both domestically and internationally has hindered his success in both areas.

However, in fairness to the President he has recently shown positive movement in efforts to cut bureaucratic spending of 5-10% in 2013 department budgets.
Bankrupting America: In advance of the President’s major speech after Labor Day laying out the Administration’s plan to reduce the national debt and encourage job creation, the White House has asked agencies to cut 5 to 10 percent from their fiscal year 2013 budget proposals.

The move comes on the heels of the debt ceiling agreement that formed a super-committee to identify $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction

Politco reports:

In a two-page memo this week, Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew warns that unless a department has been given explicit direction otherwise, “your overall agency request for 2013 should be at least 5 percent below your 2011 enacted discretionary appropriation.”

He then quickly adds: “As discussed at the recent Cabinet meetings, your 2013 budget submission should also identify additional discretionary funding reductions that would bring your request to a level that is at least 10 percent below your 2011 enacted discretionary appropriation.”

Lew writes that he wants to see real cuts from discretionary appropriations and even warns against a tactic he has frequently used himself in negotiating with Republicans: substituting savings from mandatory benefit or subsidy programs also funded through the appropriations bills.
It’s encouraging to see the White House making such requests. However, agencies should have been making such cuts long before now. For years the federal government has spent far beyond its means. That’s why we find ourselves in this difficult situation where significant spending reductions have become necessary. Washington must make cuts now, in FY2013 and in the future until spending is returned to a sustainable path.

As Bankrupting America points out while these are encouraging signs such budgetary cuts and restraint ought to have become the norm rather than the exception quite some time ago.

Via: Memeorandum



Put Up or Shut Up

by: Joe Hagstrom

It struck me as not just ironic but hilarious that the same outfit that downgraded U.S. Government debt thinks it needs to downgrade state and local governments credit because they won't be getting enough borrowed money from Uncle Sam.

The fact is we're all on the government teat to some degree or another. Screaming about government debt and then complaining because our states or municipalities don't get enough help from the Feds is hypocritical and disingenuous. Quite frankly, anyone who complains about debt without the willingness to sacrifice their own goodies, whether it be an interest tax deduction on a home mortgage, or the closure of a military base or reduction of airplane orders. Or a grant to help pay for an exhibit at the local museum. Whatever, you need to shut the hell up.

Editor's Note: Joe is a left leaning blogger who maintains a rational perspective. He brings to the table a realistic view that is more often than not worth considering. Joe has told me he is "just a regular working stiff who's figured out the people on his side are either dead or considered kooks by the right and the left." Check Joe out at his site, Truth 101.

The 50 Richest Members of Congress (2011)

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Birthplace of Independent Conservatism
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Seven of the top ten wealthiest members of Congress are democrats. An interesting bit of information I suppose.

At the end of the day what is the practical usefulness of this information? I mean really. Other than it explains perhaps why they really show little concern for the true voice of the people.
Roll Call - To determine the richest lawmakers, Roll Call adds up the minimum value of total assets reported by each Member on their annual financial disclosures and subtracts the minimum liabilities. Percent change refers to the change since last year's disclosure forms.

An asset valued at $5 million to $25 million is counted at the lesser amount, as is a liability valued at $1 million to $5 million.

You can visit previous editions of 50 Richest lists here.

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) $294.21 Million
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) $220.40 Million
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) $193.07 Million
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) $81.63 Million
Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) $76.30 Million
Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) $65.91 Million
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) $55.07 Million
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) $52.93* Million
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) $45.39 Million
Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) $44.21 Million

Via: Memeorandum

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Obama's Approval Rating On Economy Drops 11%... To A New Low Of 26%

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Birthplace of Independent Conservatism
Liberty -vs- Tyranny



Bad news for the President just keeps coming. It seems the more he does the worse it gets for the Chief Executive Officer.
GALLUP - A new low of 26% of Americans approve of President Barack Obama’s handling of the economy, down 11 percentage points since Gallup last measured it in mid-May and well below his previous low of 35% in November 2010.

Obama earns similarly low approval for his handling of the federal budget deficit (24%) and creating jobs (29%).

What puzzles me is why anybody believes the President or the government is, or should be, in the business of creating jobs. Other than the bureaucratic ones requird to run Leviathan.

In a capitalist system it is the job of the producers {businesses} to produce the products and services demanded by consumers. It is the job of government to create an environment in which competitive businesses can prosper.

Having said the above... Given current numbers it is looking more and more like the President will be relocating in January 2012.

Cross posted to the Left Coast Rebel

Via: Memeorandum

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Due to pressing issues content at Rational Nation will be limited for the foreseeable future.

I thank all readers of this humble blog for their continued readership.

While posting will be limited and sporadic for sometime, regular blog activity will resume when time allows.

Thank you,

Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA

Sunday, August 14, 2011

As the GOP Field Grows... and We Yawn

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Birthplace of Independent Conservatism
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

               For The Want  Politicians With Integrity


Rick Perry. Another in a very long line of so called fiscal conservative republican candidates that promise to "take America back." Of course his candidacy will be packaged with the usual hyperbole, half truths, and pandering to the power brokers that control the parties agenda. Party politics as usual.

I'm thinking, right. Here we go again.

We are living in historic times. Not only are the dynamics of our nation changing, the dynamics of the whole wide world are changing as well. Perhaps this change requires a new brand of conservative/libertarian thinking.

So you ask, exactly what does the foregoing mean. Well  for starters...

  • Thinking that is both conservative, yet outside the box
  • Realizing that there is indeed room to significantly trim the MIC
  • Accepting the tax code must be simplified
  • Accepting government can no longer afford to subsidize businesses, they must stand on their own
  • Being willing to make hard choices with respect to entitlement reform
  • Understanding the "free market" needs some protection - That tariffs are not always bad
  • Accepting  the nation is in need of a cohesive coordinated economic and trade policy, one that benefits America as a whole and not just huge corporations, Wall Street, and predatory trading partners like China
  • Recognizing that industrial trade unions are not the enemy of business but rather should  be viewed as partners with mutual interests
  • Realizing that the ever widening income gap in America is a recipe  for unrest and eventual revolution
  • Understanding that America must cease shipping jobs offshore and take the neccessary actions to make it happen
  • Taking realistic and positive action to stop the flow of illegal aliens entering our nation - through all points of entry and reestablishing immigration quota's annually
The above is just a short list. It would be refreshing to hear conservative candidates discussing these issues honestly and without the usual hyperbole that plays well to many who want only simple answers to complex issues and problems.

Perry is as unlikely to talk straight,  and offer plausible solutions to the nations problems than are Bachmann, Palin, or Romney. As to be expected the republican candidates that are offering outside the box solutions, Paul and Johnson, have been marginalized by their own party.

That ALONE ought to tell us something.

Via: Memeorandum

Memorial To My Mother

 Barbara Jean Carpenter
           1934 - 2007

It has been four years since you had to leave Mom. And, it is true that with time the pain of losing a loved one lessens. Yet there is never a day that passes without you entering my thoughts.

I often find myself thinking back to those days, now long past, when your quiet strength, and steady hand were always there helping guide me into adulthood. You lead all your children by example. And by your example we became better people.

It helps to talk to you Mom.  Even though you can't answer I suspect you are out there, somewhere in the vast universe, keeping an eye over us all. I know a part of you resides in me.

I miss you Mom, and I love you.

Your Son




August 14, 2010 is the third year of our beloved mother's passing. Our mother was the pillar of our family's strength. A women who never complained about her troubles and was always there to support us in her own quiet yet reassuring way. She was the ideal of what a mother should be.

She raised us to be our own person, never questioning our desire or need to grow in our own direction. She provided the quiet yet stern guidance we needed when necessary. She never criticized in a way that was hurtful, rather she did so in a way that caused us to question the validity of our thoughts or actions. She showed her love for us in the same quiet, non public way she conducted her entire life. Yet we knew how important we all were to her. In her own quiet way family meant everything to her.
My mother taught me many lessons thoughout my life. Lessons I shall never forget, and many I hope I have passed on to my children. Perhaps the most important of which is; stand for what you believe yet always respect the beliefs of those who may differ with you. Judge others as you would want to be judged, on the facts as you understand them. Which is to say fairly and without malice.

Our Mother was a true Patriot who loved this country and all it stands for. She would be pleased to see the political activism taking place today for she would recognize it as truly the American way. 

I know that while my mother would disagree with some of my positions and statements on this blog...  I also know she would be proud of me for exercising my right as an American citizen, one who loves his country as much as she did , to speak out, stand up, and be heard.

I miss you Mom, I love you, and I shall always carry deep within my soul all that you so freely gave me. As you rest in eternal peace I know that your spirit is with me.

Your Loving Son,

Les

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Concepts Foreign to the Extremes (A Partial List)

1) The law of unintended consequences. 2) The law/point of diminishing returns. 3) The fact that when you subsidize something, you generally tend to get more of it. 4) Nuance/complexity/vicissitudes. 5) Compromise. 6) The "double-edged sword". 7) Pragmatism. 8) Open-mindedness. 9) The fact that we don't have political enemies but political opponents. 10) Cognitive dissonance. 11) Doubt. 12) Dialectical thinking. 13) Humility. 14) The fact that hyperbole (Bush is Hitler, Obama is Hitler, etc.)/"true believing" can often be destructive. 15) Perspective-taking. 16) The need to NOT take oneself so seriously. 17) Self-deprecation. 18) The fact that unfettered spinning tends to make a person look moronic. 19) Contingency awareness/the limitations of human knowledge/multi-causality. 20) Friendships based upon things other than politics. 21) Impartiality (the fact that "your person" doesn't always win the debate)/the need to sometimes give credit where credit is due. 22) "Devil's Advocacy". 23) The keeping of one's "powder" dry/the need to sometimes "pick your battles" and/or know when to "fold". 24) Civility. 25) Respectfulness. 26) An awareness that you can sometimes learn from those who you disagree with. 27) Moral consistency/"a spade is a spade". 28) The fact that the good isn't always the enemy of the perfect. 29) Differentiating fact from opinion.

It is What It Is... The Question To Ask Is, Does It Have To Be So?



Via: Someone Who Cares

Suffering Michele Backmann's Absurdities

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Birthplace of Independent Conservatism
Liberty -vs- Tryanny


Joe Scarborough's remarks with respect to Michelle Bachmann's utterly ridiculous statements during Thursday evening republican debate are spot on.

Mediaite - The morning after a big political event is always a good day for morning news programs such as MSNBC’s Morning Joe...

What sets Morning Joe apart from its competition is the unpredictable, and sometimes brutally candid, assessments that often surprise.

ake for example the following rant by host Joe Scarborough, who was without relent in completely dismissing the candidacy of Michele Bachmann, and the political import of Iowa as well.

The nut of the comment is sure to be talked about for some time:

Michele Bachmann’s first answer, Mark Halperin, was, I wish the federal government had defaulted…had defaulted a week after Americans lost, some of them, perhaps, lost half of their pensions. Lost half of their 401(k)s with trillions of dollars that went down the drain with Americans suffering, she said that and got applause. And if anybody thinks that guys like my dad are going to be voting that way when this rolls out of Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina in the early stages and really gets going, they are out of their mind, and they are too stupid not only to prognosticate, too stupid to run Slurpee machines in Des Moines.

I got it all off my chest. Michele Bachmann, she is a joke. And now I will pass it on to you. Her answer is a joke. Her candidacy is a joke, and anybody that sits here and says, she has any chance of winning anything is out of their mind. Take your straw poll, take your caucus, but Iowa, if you let her win, you prove your irrelevance once again.

This woman gives even the most forgiving of individuals cause to shudder. Her Thursday performance should, without question, sink Michelle's quest for the republican nomination.

In the attempt to be "nice" lets just say the elevator likely never reaches the top floor.

One can only imagine her as President of the United States... the nation that spawned the greatest governmental system humankind has ever experienced... dealing with much brighter, and shrewder world leaders. She would be not just a minnow out of water, but trying to swim in a sea of piranhas.

Video Clip:


Via: Memeorandum

11th Circut Court of Appeals Strikes Down ObamaCare's Unconstitutional Individual Mandate

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Birthplace of Independent Conservatism
Liberty -vs- Tyranny


Rational thought again prevails. It's now on the the High Court.

(Reuters) - The U.S. Appeals Court for the 11th Circuit, based in Atlanta, ruled 2 to 1 that Congress exceeded its authority by requiring Americans to buy coverage, but it unanimously reversed a lower court decision that threw out the entire law.

The legality of the individual mandate, a cornerstone of the healthcare law, is widely expected to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. Opponents have argued that without the mandate, which goes into effect in 2014, the entire law falls.

The law, adopted by Congress in 2010 after a bruising battle, is expected to be a major political issue in the 2012 elections as Obama seeks another term. All the major Republican presidential candidates have opposed it.

Skip

"This economic mandate represents a wholly novel and potentially unbounded assertion of congressional authority: the ability to compel Americans to purchase an expensive health insurance product they have elected not to buy, and to make them repurchase that insurance product every month for their entire lives," the majority said in its 207-page opinion.

Skip

"Today we have prevailed in preventing Congress from infringing on the individual liberty protected by the U.S. Constitution," Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said.

The 11th Circuit did not agree that the entire Obama healthcare law should be tossed out. Many provisions are already being implemented, including allowing children to stay on their parents' health insurance plan until age 26 and banning lifetime coverage limits. {Full Story}

This is great news. In the battle to retain our rights to make individual choices this is certainly sweet.

If reason prevails a majority of Supreme Court Justices will find the individual mandates unconstitutional. In fact, if reason is alive and well the decision will be 9-0. Nine declaring the unconstitutionality of governmental coercion and force requiring a free individual to purchase any product against their free will.

Repeal of ObamaCare in its entirety would be the ideal.

Go here for the link to the court decision.

More excellent commentary here, here, and here.

Via: Memeorandum

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Palin Bus Tour To Be In Iowa This Week

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Birthplace of Independent Conservatism
Liberty -vs- Tyranny


CNN - Palin is bringing her Constitution-draped bus to the Iowa State Fair, just 30 miles south of where the Republican presidential field will take the stage on Thursday for a presidential debate in Ames.

It's not yet clear which day the tour begins, but her surprise arrival in Iowa will happen before the closely watched Ames straw poll. Palin is not on the straw poll ballot.

A Gallup survey out Tuesday showed that Palin generates more enthusiasm among GOP voters than most of the candidates already in the race. And as Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour recently put it, "she could raise enough money to burn a wet mule."

Her advisers have long emphasized that such star power gives her the ability to delay a decision about joining the race until after Labor Day.

Palin has pointed to September as a loose deadline for making a decision about whether she will seek the GOP presidential nomination.

Damn, Sarah sure is a hottie! And a folksy one at that. But Presidential material?

The rest of the scope here.

Via: Memeorandum

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tea Party Still Regarded More Favorably Than Congress

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Birthplace Of Independent Conservatism
Liberty -vs- Tyranny


Question for the Tea Party, is it time to rethink position and strategy? Given the trending one would have to say yes methinks.

Rasmussen - More voters still think the average Tea Party member has a better handle on America’s problems than the average member of Congress does, but there’s a sharp difference of opinion between Democrats and Republicans.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 42% of all Likely U.S. Voters believe the average member of the Tea Party has a better understanding of the problems America faces today, while 34% think the average member of Congress is more clued in. Twenty-four percent (24%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Still, that marks a 10-point drop in confidence in the Tea Party from March of last year when 52% felt the average member of the grass roots smaller government group had a better understanding of America’s problems. But the new findings aren’t a big boost of confidence in Congress since there’s been only a slight increase from the 30% in March 2010 who thought the average congressman had a better feel for the nation’s problems.

Sixty percent (60%) of Democrats, however, have more confidence in the average member of Congress. But 68% of Republicans - and a plurality (46%) of voters not affiliated with either major party – think the average Tea Party member has a better understanding of today’s problems.

Just 36% of all voters now have a favorable opinion of the Tea Party which has come under fire from President Obama and congressional Democrats for pressuring Republicans into rejecting any tax increases as part of the recent deal to raise the federal debt ceiling. Forty-four percent (44%) view the Tea Party unfavorably, while 20% are not sure what they think of the group.

But again there’s a noticeable partisan divide. While 63% of GOP voters hold a favorable opinion of the Tea Party, 75% of Democrats regard the group unfavorably. Unaffiliated voters share that unfavorable opinion by a slim 42% to 38% margin. {Read More}

Via: Memeorandum

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Miles Davis His Way

Some things are just too fine for words.



Our Biggest Creditor {China} Tells Us "The good old days of borrowing are over"

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Birthplace o Independent Conservatism
Liberty -vs- Tyranny


As the chickens come home to roast... Unbelievable we have been this stupid.

(Reuters) - Global leaders on Saturday arranged a round of emergency calls to discuss the twin debt crises in Europe and the United States that are causing turmoil in financial markets.

After a week that saw $2.5 trillion wiped off global stock markets, they are under pressure to show political leadership and reassure markets that Western governments have both the will and ability to reduce their huge and growing public debt loads.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who chairs the G7/G20 group of leading economies, conferred with Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron ahead of a call planned for this weekend by G7 finance ministers and central bankers.

"They discussed the euro area and the U.S. debt downgrade. Both agreed the importance of working together, monitoring the situation closely and keeping in contact over the coming days," a spokesman for Cameron said.

Standard and Poor's deepened the urgency for action late on Friday by stripping the United States of its top-tier AAA credit rating, a move that over time could ripple through markets worldwide by pushing up borrowing costs and making it more difficult to secure a lasting recovery.

It cited the acrimonious debate in Washington on raising the debt ceiling and near political paralysis over the best way to reduce the its $14.3 trillion debt, which on the current trajectory could climb above 100 percent of U.S. national output this decade.

Skip

S&P's one-notch downgrade of the U.S. sovereign credit rating to AA-plus, while not totally unexpected, adds another level of uncertainty. Loss of gold-plated status for the world's benchmark interest rate risks pushing up borrowing costs on everything from car loans, mortgages and corporate debt to government bonds worldwide.

Skip

China, the largest foreign holder of U.S. debt, took the world's economic superpower to task for allowing its fiscal house to get into such disarray. It also revived its calls for a new stable global reserve currency to replace the U.S. dollar, gaining a sympathetic ear in the United Kingdom.

"The U.S. government has to come to terms with the painful fact that the good old days when it could just borrow its way out of messes of its own making are finally gone," China's official Xinhua news agency said in a commentary.

Xinhua scorned the United States for a "debt addiction" and "short sighted" political wrangling. China, it said, "has every right now to demand the United States address its structural debt problems and ensure the safety of China's dollar assets." {Read Full Text}

Simply unbelievable!

Via: Memeorandum

Standard and Poors Downgrade and the Need to Further Reign in Spending...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Birthplace of Independent Conservatism
Liberty -vs- Tyranny


The debt ceiling/deficit reduction debate/crises is concluded. The result? Our nation avoided defaulting on its obligations. A good thing. That and the Congress & President now have the green light to spend a couple trillion plus more over the next year and a half. Not a good thing.

Of course the special "super commission" is supposed to come up with an additional trillion and a half in spending cuts. Cuts both the Congress and the President will have to approve or the triggers dems fear will kick in and automatic spending cuts will occur.

That's the plan at this point anyway. We'll see.

The forthcoming debate over how to handle the details of "the deal" will be every bit as rancorous as the debt ceiling/deficit reduction debate just concluded. Such is American politics. We can all be relatively certain given recent history that the American people are likely to come out on the short end of the stick. Again.

After all the various gyrations, equivocations, posturing, hyperbole, and the ever present brinksmanship, we finally struck a deal. While we avoided default our nation's AAA rating was downgraded to AA+ by Standard and Poors, with the warning our rating may be downgraded to AA in the next couple years if the Congress and the President fail to find further cuts or increased revenues.

The Hill - Standard & Poor's laments the possibility cuts to entitlement programs won't materialize and the decreasing likelihood of new tax revenues.

The decision by Standard & Poor's to downgrade the U.S. credit rating to "AA+" at once laments the possibility that cuts to entitlement programs will not materialize and the decreasing likelihood of new tax revenues. But it appears to give more weight to the need for more spending cuts, as it warns that a further credit rating downgrade is in the cards if the U.S. does not trim spending.

In contrast, while the report indicates that new tax revenues would help mitigate the debt crisis, failing to find these revenues does not immediately put the U.S. at risk of another downgrade.

Specifically, the report warns directly that a further downgrade to "AA" status could occur within the next two years if there is "less reduction in spending" than what was agreed in the debt ceiling agreement. S&P said one factor that could lead to this second downgrade is if the minimum $1.2 trillion in spending cuts under the debt ceiling agreement does not occur.

But S&P sees the continuation of the Bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 as something that could still allow the U.S. to maintain its new "AA+" rating.

While this difference would seem to put a greater emphasis on spending cuts, the report more broadly seems to value both spending cuts and tax revenues as a way out of the debt crisis. S&P said it takes no position on the "mix of spending and revenue measures" needed to put the U.S. back on a path to its historic "AAA" rating, a sign that it believes both are needed in some measure.

It also laments Congress's failure to find a way forward on either prescription as part of the debt ceiling agreement. {Continue Reading}

It is clear that Standard and Poors recognizes the most desirable path to fiscal sanity, and thus stability rests in further spending cuts. There is a reason for this.

This nation has been living beyond its means for a long while, going back to the seventies. Deficit spending has somehow crept into the American economic lexicon as an acceptable way of doing the government's business. Perhaps this is because Americans, possibly due to the relative prosperity of the fifties and the sixties grew to feel they were "entitled" to prosperity as a given. Thus the increasing array of social welfare programs ushered in by LBJ, and continuing on in succeeding administrations.

Or maybe it is due to the flawed economic principles of John Maynard Keynes being readily accepted by politicians who were only to willing to pander to their constituents every social whim and a MIC that continued to grow ever larger and more costly.

The need for spending cuts are real, and the proper and rational way to proceed is to cut spending across an array of programs. From bureaucratic excess, to eliminating duplicity and overlap, to costly and unnecessary regulations that hurt American competitiveness, to reigning in the MIC, to reforming entitlement programs, to scraping ObamaCare and instituting market driven healthcare along the lines of the Swiss healthcare model, to reducing the number of tax brackets to three and eliminating loopholes just to name a few.

After all this is accomplished perhaps then, and only then should further increases in looting American's income be considered. That folks is the point Standard and Poors is attempting to make in a politically viable and acceptable way.

Via: Memeorandum

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Then and Now... Obama 2009 -vs- Obama 2011

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Birthplace of Independent Conservatism
Liberty -vs- Tyranny


Amazing, truly amazing!



h/t: Breitbart

Via: Memeorandum

Harry Reid Believes S&P's Downgrade Supports Dems Call For Revenue Increase

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Birthplace of Independent Conservatism
Liberty -vs- Tyranny


In a nutshell folks get ready for the biggest TAX increase you likely have witnessed in your lifetime. The taxing party of America will be peddling "good ole Harry's" line for sometime to come. That would be until they get the tax increases they have been salivating for since Obama extended the Bush tax cuts.

The Hill Standard & Poor's decision to downgrade the nation's credit rating reinforces Democrats' call for increasing tax revenue, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Friday.

In a statement, Reid said:

The action by S&P reaffirms the need for a balanced approach to deficit reduction that combines spending cuts with revenue-raising measures like closing taxpayer-funded giveaways to billionaires, oil companies and corporate jet owners. This makes the work of the joint committee all the more important, and shows why leaders should appoint members who will approach the committee’s work with an open mind - instead of hardliners who have already ruled out the balanced approach that the markets and rating agencies like S&P are demanding. {Continue Reading}

Someone ought to design a head piece for "good ole Harry" that represents the class warfare he so readily pushes. Wait, make that three for troika of Obama, Reid, and Pelosi.

Via: Memeorandum

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Craziness Of It All...

The following brought to you by BankruptingAmerica.
To give you an idea of just how out-of-control Washington's spending is, reports this morning show the U.S.'s gross debt-to-GDP ratio has surpassed 100% for the first time since after World War II. This ties an unfortunate bow on the mind-spinning debt ceiling debate that ended just a few days ago.

But we wanted to put a little more humorous spin on the recent events. In our latest video, Randall (of Honey Badger fame) gives us a rundown of just how crazy Washington got over the last month.



Via: BankruptingAmerica

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Air Force Stops Ethics Training... Christian Bible Passages Responsible

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Birthplace of Independent Conservatism
Liberty -vs- Tyranny


This site promotes no religious dogma or beliefs. It does note however that our nation and culture has always been predominately Christian. The Constitution insures the freedom of religion, not the freedom from religion. Further the reference to "separation of church and state" is not to be found in the constitution. Rather it is from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to the The Danbury Baptist Association in 1801, which can be found here and here.

It took attorneys and Supreme Court Justices to find a way to incorporate Jefferson's "thus building a wall of separation between church and State" into what we have today. I fully agree that government has no authority with respect to religion. Interpreted ;properly this should mean the only role government should play is in assuring the right of ALL religious belief to PEACEFULLY practice their faith.

The following should be a bit disturbing, even to those of little or no faith I would think. From Weasel Zippers:

(Fox News Radio) — The Air Force has suspended a course that was taught by chaplains for more than 20 years because the material included Bible passages.

The course, called “Christian Just War Theory” was taught by chaplains at Vandenberg Air Force Base and used scripture from both the Old and New Testaments to show missile launch officers that it can be moral to go to war.

But the Military Religious Freedom Foundation said the course violated the Constitutional Separation of Church and State. The organization was created to “directly battle the far-right militant radical evangelical fundamentalists” in the military.

The MRFF filed a complaint last Wednesday on behalf of 31 missile launch officers — both instructors and students.

David Smith, the spokesman for the Air Force’s Air Education and Training Command, said the main purpose of the class was to help missile launch officers understand that “what they are embarking on is very difficult and you have to have a certain amount of ethics about what you are doing to do that job.”

He said the class was suspended the same day the complaint was filed. The class is currently under review by Air Force officials who will determine whether or not to revise the material or end the class.

Keep reading

Via: Memeorandum

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