Posts Tagged ‘Il Duce’

It widely known that California has moths in it’s pockets. The state is virtually bankrupt, even after receiving almost $7 billion in stimulus money from the American taxpayer. Last year, everyone knew the state was in trouble, but it took until February for Governor Schwarzenegger and the State Legislators to agree on a new budget which closed a $42 billion spending gap.

Part of the new budget involved $13 billion in new or higher taxes, and $15 billion in total spending cuts, including $8.6 billion in cuts to public education. $1.4 billion was also cut from state payroll costs. Part of that budget was to go into effect immediately, while other sections had to wait until July 1st. Just as an aside, last time I checked, $13 billion plus $15 billion did not equal $42 billion – I’m just saying.

With the state’s coffers in such need of filling, the $7 billion in stimulus spending dangled by Il Duce was happily received – strings, hooks, and all. The money replaced a proposed $0.12 per gallon tax hike, which I’m sure most Californian’s were happy to see left out of the budget. But then the other shoe dropped.

In a show of what can only be described as Brass Balls, yesterday President Obama jerked on the stimulus money, setting the hook, which will now allow him to control the state’s budget. Specifically, $74 million dollar budget cuts to the pay of unionized home healthcare workers. As reported in the L.A. Times,

Schwarzenegger’s office was advised this week by federal health officials that the wage reduction, which will save California $74 million, violates provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Failure to revoke the scheduled wage cut before it takes effect July 1 could cost California $6.8 billion in stimulus money, according to state officials.

In other words, Obama is doing the same thing to California that he is doing to the auto and banking industries. Do what we want, because we gave you money. You took money, therefore we own you. The citizens of California are unimportant. The projects that would be paid for with the $7 billion, also not important. The taxpayers, many yet to be born, that are paying for the stimulus cash, definitely not important. The home health care union workers, who I’m sure would rather take a pay cut than lose their jobs, they’re important.

However, they are important only to a certain extent. The workers belong to SEIU, which is a branch of ACORN. As reported in the L.A. Times, but probably never in the MSM,

The workers, who collectively contribute millions of dollars in dues each month to the influential Service Employees International Union and the United Domestic Workers…

This is an ACORN payoff, plain and simple. ACORN is in large part responsible for the election of Barack Obama, and he owes them big. The state might very well be out of cash by June, so for Obama to put a political ally ahead of they needs of millions of citizens (which, ironically, voted for him in large numbers) is narrow minded, supercilious, and narcissistic.

Sorry California, you just got punk’d by a nut.

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There is no question that our country needs a comprehensive energy plan, but how much of it should be government controlled is the true problem we face. So far, we have done alright while mired in regulation after regulation, wild price swings caused by fiscal policy and flaky Arabs, and various attempts merely poking around the edges of an energy policy by various Presidents and congressional busybodies.

Obama is taking a different approach. Some will say “finally.” But then they really haven’t connected all the dots. Il Duce plans on completely starving this country for energy. There is no other alternative explanation. It goes way beyond drilling or Cap and Trade. So let’s take a look at everything so far.

First, he agrees with Congress on preventing drilling for oil. The Continental Shelf is still closed to the best fields, and what was opened in the last administration will soon become closed again. He has directed Ken Salazar to void leases in Utah, and the Department of Interior has begun a review of oil and gas leases sold under the Bush Administration. To add insult to injury, Congress is going to place another 2 Million acres off limits as nature preserves, many of which have known supplies of oil, gas, and oil shale.

The E.P.A.’s Lisa Jackson has begun the process of canceling mountaintop coal mining permits claiming concerns over the environmental impact. So there goes the most efficient way to extract coal. More than 200 current projects have been affected throughout Appalachia as well as thousands of jobs.

Well, what about nuclear? The President just de-funded the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage project, which has burned through almost $8 Billion dollars in it’s 22 years under construction. It would have provided a much safer place to store waste as the facility is over 1000 feet underground and more than 90 miles from civilization. While this might make Harry Reid and some NIMBY Nevada residents happy, it effectively kills additional nuclear reactors being built.

I’ve already posted about attempts to kill several renewable energy projects. Solar and wind farms are under attack as well as transmission lines necessary to carry electricity to population centers. It seems even solar power suffers from NIMBY syndrome.

That brings us to Cap and Trade, effectively the final blow to America’s dependence upon energy. This sinister piece of legislation not only taxes carbon-based fuels in our own country, it also places high import tariffs on imported fuels. Coincidentally, Canada is now looking at Asia as a much preferable market just to get away from our regulatory and tax induced mess. In fact, there will hardly be a country that would want to sell us coal, natural gas, and oil when this system goes into effect. Ethanol might help some at first, but at the expense of food prices. Eventually though, even ethanol won’t save us, and all we’ll have to show for the experiment is a far thinner waistline.

Of course, price will overcome opposition, that’s the law of supply and demand. The prices are going to go through the roof as our population grows and demands more energy. Eventually, rationing will occur, next, only the super-rich will be able to fuel their cars or light their homes. Unless someone invents a small, home-sized fusion generator, I’m afraid we are in for many dark nights.

Oh, someone in the back just asked a question about hydrogen. Hydrogen is a complete non-starter. It has been a way to provide hope, while wasting billions of dollars on an element which cannot supply energy, merely carry it. We might as well hang our hopes on Flubber. Some have written books on the subject, so I’ll suffice it to say that any competent physicist, chemist, or engineer should be able to put this one to rest in a few minutes. If you want to ask about it, I’ll be more than happy to answer questions.

Well, I’d better get to work building my basement methanol production facility so I can keep blogging. Unfortunately, there won’t be anyone who can read it. At least the stars will be easier to see again.

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by Stephen Crowder

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Grade Il Duce!

Caught this over at Right Voices. Go to this link at MSNBC and grade Obama’s performance. I’d like to see his negatives up a whole lot higher than the 24% it is at the time of this post. Drive the MSM nuts.

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The President, Congress, and the Media are whipping up the American people into a National Hissy-Fit over AIG’s “bonuses”. Barney Frank wants their names, or he’ll subpoena AIG for them. Chucky-Cheese Schumer has promised to get the money back “one way or another.” The Media is running almost non-stop viewer statements of angry Americans who are apoplectic over these bonuses. I have never seen anything like it (more here). The closest was Congress and the Media beating up on the oil executives over “windfall profits” made at a time when gasoline cost over $4 per gallon.

It is obvious that Tim Geithner, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, and the President knew about the pay structure of AIG. And these “bonuses” are a part of their pay structure. These are not some monetary version of the “cherry on top”, but are in fact an agreed upon portion of AIG’s payroll. Taxes will be paid on this money, well over a third, and probably half, of this money in fact will return to the Treasury (not the “American Taxpayer” – we will never see a dime). But, in the grand scheme of things – so what?

Congress agreed to bail out AIG. All they needed to do was suspend Mark-to-market accounting that drained AIG’s cash, but instead they handed the insurance giant a few huge checks. Congress did it without strings. Additional funding was provided for in the Stimulus Bill, and provisions included to exempt AIG (and other bailed-out corporations) from restrictions on meeting its payroll obligations. We fought and fought against this bill, however, it passed. Ironically, many – if not most, of the people who supported the Stimulus are now joining in this National Hissy-Fit.

Pardon me for a moment while I say…WE TOLD YOU SO!

Anyway, there is only ONE reason why the President and Congress began this Hissy-Fit. Class warfare. This was absolutely orchestrated and the Media, along with millions of Americans, fell for it hook…line…and sinker. Il Duce wants the average American to be beyond angry at bankers, Wall Street, and companies like AIG. He wants you to be angry at oil companies. He wants you to be jealous of Americans who earn more money than you.

He is playing you like a fiddle my friend.

Obama’s next step will be to subtly change his language to produce a distinction between those who work with their hands for a paycheck, and those who use intellect, or assets, to make a living. Bankers and Wall Street executives are a perfect target. The average American has no idea how the financial market works, nor can they comprehend the amount of money that flows through their hands. It does not matter how much these people work, or sacrificed to obtain their position. It does not matter how much education they have. It does not matter that these people are needed. It does not matter that they are our fellow citizens. To Il Duce, they are the enemy of the common worker, “the people”, and therefore, the State. The original Il Duce, Benito Mussolini, felt the same way and played the same game.

Socialism, and its evil twin Fascism, require that there is a distinction between workers and “the elite”. This distinction becomes a weapon to nationalize our financial institutions. It allows the criminalization of those who took risks with their assets, made loans, or created the widget everyone bought. With criminalization comes seizure of their “ill-gotten” assets to “return them to the American taxpayer.” When that happens, we will no longer be in a Representative Republic. Will will be in a Socialist State. Life in this country will be irrevocably altered, for the worse.

We need to wake up. WAKE UP! Stop giving in to these divisive hissy-fits. Call them what they are and fight to keep our country free. Please, don’t let me, as my last act of defiance before being arrested as a political dissident, type the words…”I TOLD YOU SO!”

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If you read one document this year, read this one. “A New Era of Responsibility: Renewing America’s Promise”, has been released from The Office of Budget and Management. It is the closest thing to a blueprint of Obama’s mind a mere mortal will understand. For those of you who are Conservatives, it will make blood shoot out of your eyes. For those of you Republicans who don’t believe Obama is a Fascist, that we have just been too mean to our new President, reading through the 146 page “budget in a nutshell” should push you over the fence. Those of you who are on the Left will either think it’s too far left, right, or just about right…which will show that you are either a socialist, communist, or a fascist.

Page two has some interesting morsels of what is to come. One statement “…we will make the investments in the next three years to double our Nation’s renewable energy capacity,” is convenient since the Department of Energy has claimed this would happen if Congress did absolutely nothing. Further on in the paragraph he mentions creating “green” jobs. Only he forgets to mention that these are usually short in duration and produce about 1/6th the amount of kilowatts of energy per man/hour as non green energy jobs such as coal mining.

On page three, I found this interesting statement “We need to put tired ideologies aside, and ask not whether our Government is too big or too small, or whether it is the problem or the solution, but whether it is working for the American people.” Which means that he would like Conservatives to shut up, sit down, have a “Coke-and-a-smile,” and stop poking around.

Page five is a bunch of “woe is me” statements, filled with half-truths and flat out lies. Take, for example, the statement “With loosened oversight and weak enforcement from Washington, too many cut corners as they racked up record profits and paid themselves millions of dollars in compensation and bonuses.” Just who is he talking about, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Wall Street, or capitalists in general? This type of generalized statement reeks with the intention to stir up class warfare. It is a dangerous game as anyone can move freely between “classes”. This is not a serfs vs royalty system where one was born into the class he died in. Here, anyone can move from a pauper to a millionaire (or vice versa) on their own merit, ideas, and hard work. But he continues, “There’s nothing wrong with making money, but there is something wrong when we allow the playing field to be tilted so far in the favor of so few.” This statement is a flat out lie, as the last decade saw more millionaires being created than any other time in America’s history. These statements come from someone who sees the world’s economy as a fixed sum system. Where people can only raise their income at the expense of another. Not only is that type of thinking dishonest, but the irony is, that is exactly what welfare does. It raises some unlucky soul’s income from zero to something, through forcefully taking the hard earned assets of another. On it’s face, his statement is socialistic.

I now call your attention to misleading figure 2 on page 6. While this chart looks scary, remember these are percent declines in job creation from business cycle peaks, not baseline. The light, incomplete line for the current recession (Dec 2007), has about the same slope and just a little more depth than the 1960 recession line. Recessions with steep slopes, such as this one, are the fastest to recover. Recessions with gradual slopes, such as March 2001, are the slowest to recover. For all the talk that this is “the worst recession since the Great Depression,” you would expect the line for Dec 2007 to be far larger [as an aside, why is the Great Depression not depicted here?]. However the 2001 recession is still deeper. Did we spend $2 Trillion dollars to get us out of that one? Did we need to dump money into banks (who are now trying to give it back), car companies, mortgage bailouts, etc? No, of course not. Would this recession be worse if we hadn’t spent that money? With history as a guide, we would have been just fine – but now we will never know.

Figure 4 on page 7 is also slightly misleading for two reasons. One, 1946 was just after WWII. Almost the whole of American manufacturing capacity had been brought to bear against our enemies. After the war, we had several countries to rebuild and resupply, since heavy manufacturing had been laid to waste throughout Europe and parts of Japan. The decline in our manufacturing began in the late 1980’s as our economy shifted from a manufacturing base, to a technology and service base. Robots were being installed in that decade at a record pace. Manufacturing productivity, on the other hand, will have increased in that same time period.

Going back to Obama’s chart, with the exception of a slight 1996-97 uptick in manufacturing jobs, after 1994, it is all downhill. Any guesses? If you said NAFTA, you would be correct in part. NAFTA went into effect on January 1st, 1994, and our manufacturing jobs went away with it.  There are, however many other contributing factors, such as increases in automation, and our productivity has still been increasing at just under 3% average per year.  In short, we are still producing more and more goods with fewer and fewer people.

I’d like to turn your attention now to page 9.  First two paragraphs:

For the better part of three decades, a disproportionate share of the Nation’s wealth has been accumulated by the very wealthy. Technological advances and growing global competition, while transforming whole industries—and birthing new ones—has accentuated the trend toward rising inequality. Yet, instead of using the tax code to lessen these increasing wage disparities, changes in the tax code over the past eight years exacerbated them.

According to the Internal revenue Service, the Nation’s top 400 taxpayers made more than $263 million on average in 2006, but paid income taxes at the lowest rate in the 15 years in which these data have been reported. In constant dollars, the average income of the top 400 taxpayers nearly quadrupled since 1992.

Populist, Socialist, garbage!  Wealth is not a fixed asset!  It grows with GDP!  The number of millionaires increased from 1996 to 2006 by 11% to 8.3 million.  The number of of households with $500,000 in investable assets (excluding the home), rose by 7% during the same period to over 14 million.  More people changed their status. But instead of this being a good thing, it is obvious that he feels those who make good money are to be punished.  And something else he does not mention, the amount of tax paid by the top 10% of wage earners, has increased almost 50% since the early 1980’s.  Facts do not matter to this man.  Retribution is the name of the game!  He will use the tax code to punish you.  He does not care about revenues to the government either.  It is all about taking from the ‘haves’ and giving it to the ‘have nots’, with the government taking about a 90% cut off the top.

This man, and those whom he has surrounded himself with, are socialists.  Their insistence that government is the answer shows they are also statists.  Throw in the self-aggrandizing worship and you have a fascist.  He is following in Mussolini’s footsteps, which is why I call him – Il Duce.

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Karen Shih, over at Slate.com, has a cute way of tracking just how far Left Il Duce takes the country.  It’s called the “Change-O-Meter,” a running scale scoring the President’s performance (from their standard) on a scale of zero to one-hundred.  Currently, he’s running a paltry 12, which shows he’s not making his peeps too happy.

Here is a tiny section revealing their obtuse scoring system (you can read the whole piece here):

The EPA, meanwhile, is planning to establish a national system for reporting greenhouse-gas emissions, a system that would include up to 90 percent of the country’s output. The program was drafted during the Bush administration but blocked by the White House budget office at the time—still, better late than never. This move could be the first step in creating an emissions cap to help curb global warming, for which the ‘Meter awards 25 points.

I say we (and by we, I mean someone with more web technical skill than I) hi-jack this idea for our own ends. A Fascist Meter. Anyone want to take a stab at this? Don’t be shy.

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