Posts tagged ‘bush’

No actual use for them

So today Obama lifted a ban on Embryonic Stem Cell research that was previously in place under President Bush. He stated the following . . .

“In recent years, when it comes to stem cell research, rather than furthering discovery, our government has forced what I believe is a false choice between sound science and moral values,” Obama said during the signing ceremony.  “In this case, I believe the two are not inconsistent. As a person of faith, I believe we are called to care for each other and work to ease human suffering. I believe we have been given the capacity and will to pursue this research – and the humanity and conscience to do so responsibly.”

My quick question . . . How is this sound science when after nearly ten years of research, there are no approved treatments or human trials using embryonic stem cells. Science is a trial and error proposition. Life either is or isn’t. You can not play it both ways. Not to mention the promise of expanded funding. How many jobs is that going to create in today’s hurting marketplace? Not too many I think. In every argument for stem cells they say it can, it might, it may, perhaps, nothing gives a definitive. I have no problem with using cord blood harvested at birth, adult stem cells, or even if they happen to get stem cells from miscarried pregnancies – not from embryos created just for this purpose. There should be plenty of people willing to donate to help further this research.

I see this more as an opportunity to just take back anything and everything that Bush put into place as a matter of principle. Congressional Democrats are now gearing up to make it permanent and ensure that future presidents will be helpless to put research bans in place.

March 11, 2009 at 3:38 am 2 comments

Childrens Books Abound

A quick break from my Federalist Papers to review a children’s biography on none other than . . . Nancy Pelosi. I could not help myself from checking out to read myself. I am amazed at all these biographies that are popping up on the current politicians. There are tons of books on Barack and Michelle Obama already. These would not even cover his presidency. He has not done anything yet. Why not wait until he has actually been in office for a period of time to discuss his career? I never got around to posting this picture from the bookstore the day of the inauguration there were so many different biographies out for Obama. Remember, this was also around Lincoln’s birthday celebration this year too and there was no big display about him.

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I was shocked and awed that there was even a biography about Pelosi. In case you had not followed any of my previous posts, I am not what I would call a fan. The book is titles, Political Profiles – Nancy Pelosi by Sandra H. Shichtman. The publisher also has titles for the following: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Al Gore, Rudy Giuliani, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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I get that she is the first woman speaker of the house, (which actually frightens me a good bit that she is third in line for chain of command) so maybe that is why she has a children’s biography. But here is what I learned:

Nancy’s dad was a 5 term congressman and three term mayor. It clearly defined her father as a New Deal Democrat under FDR, because they “believed that the government should help people who needed it.”

The most notable thing in the book to me just confirmed what I have always believed Nancy can not be bi-partisan. It is not part of her, it is not in her blood. She just can’t do it. There is a story of a worker for the GOP giving 7 year old Nancy a toy elephant at a polling location. Nancy gave it right back to the man and when she was asked about it now . . . “He thinks I don’t know what this is. I was offended. In our family it was about whose side you are on; the whole idea of working for families and the opportunity they had.” It goes on to say how even when she was young Nancy knew that the Democratic Party was her party.  (please note the italics on her are taken directly from the text, not from me to imply spoken language.)

So her whole family was in politics, she worked in politics her whole life helping promote other candidates, etc. Then when her own children were grown she ran for office the first time. This was in 1987. Would just like to remind people that she has been voted in since then. You keep sending her back. Nancy is very anti-Bush to put it nicely. She has had nothing good to say about him and in act has been pretty nasty. I had never heard this fine quote of hers, “President Bush in an incompetent leader. In fact, he’s not a leader . .  He’s a person who has no judgment, no experience, and no knowledge of the subject he has to decide on.” Nice Nancy.

So I gave you what I saw as some major points in the biography. It does chronicle what her different positions are and what she has “done” in office. I use that a bit loosely as I do not agree with ANY of her viewpoints. In fact I have not come up with one thing that she supports that I agree with. I will have to keep looking. I don’t think she can move to the center. Growing up with a father who is very pro New Deal I am not surprised at all at Pelosi’s quick leap into promoting other New Deal type initiatives. Even though historians and economists all say that the New Deal actually prolonged the depression rather than actually helping. Frankly I think we are recreating the exact same thing. The Depression ended when the war began.

March 10, 2009 at 1:36 am 3 comments

Tired of the daily press conferences

I have not been getting much posting done since I have been out doing my part to stimulate the economy and get almost all of my holiday shopping done, but today I am irritated and am back.

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I am growing tired of the daily press conferences from “The Office of the President Elect” – which on a side note really bugs me, check this out:

Only one problem – there is no such thing as the governmental “Office of the President Elect” and constitutionally, Obama only becomes the President elect once the electoral college has voted.

As it turns out, the “Office of the President Elect” is the invention of the Obama-Biden Transition Project, a 501c(4) organization. This private organization is overseen by three co-chairs selected by Obama, and is staffed by non-government employees. So, if this is a private organization, how did it get the .gov domain name? That’s a great question.

It goes on with more information about the whole things here.

I do think it is a good idea for Obama to get his cabinet in order and begin to make things transition ready. What I have a problem with is these daily conferences that basically inflate him to President already. His statements that there is only one President at a time are hardly believable since he is acting like he is already. He is only giving lip service to the fact that there is a currently a President other than him.

In listening to all his “plans” I cannot help but think on the FDR Presidency and the New Deal. We are headed for another New Deal and I am not quite sure just how he is planning on paying for this. Not to mention that there is a large number of people who don’t think the New Deal worked. Remembering that the people who suffered the most during the time are quickly decreasing in numbers. The population as it is now does not remember what it was like during the Great Depression.

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Then there are the crazy people actually suggesting that Bush AND Cheney should resign to basically let Obama take the office currently through his “surrogate” Nancy Pelosi. NY Times

Putting Barack Obama in charge immediately isn’t impossible. Dick Cheney, obviously, would have to quit as well as Bush. In fact, just to be on the safe side, the vice president ought to turn in his resignation first. (We’re desperate, but not crazy.) Then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would become president until Jan. 20. Obviously, she’d defer to her party’s incoming chief executive, and Barack Obama could begin governing.

As a bonus, the Pelosi presidency would put a woman in the White House this year after all. On the downside, a few right-wing talk-show hosts might succumb to apoplexy. That would, of course, be terrible, but I’m afraid we might have to take the risk in the name of a greater good.

Really. Come on. That is crazy. The media and Obama crowd are only serving to further the growing ego and setting obsenely high expectations. Which I guess the expectations are not such a bad thing, since he is only being set up to fail. Historically this type of government control does not work, in two years when there are Senate elections there will be a shift in the tide. And as much as you want to think that Bush is going to be regarded in history as one of the “worst”, I guarantee that you will be surprised in the long run. I believe that during the next decade we will be able to see truly that he was a great leader.

November 25, 2008 at 5:34 pm 2 comments

Massive Pet Peeve

So this one topic REALLY bugs me. Please let me start by saying that I have no racial issues or bias. I believe all people are equal in value and importance. But this issue really bugs me.

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I heard T.D. Jakes being interviewed after the election and they were discussing the effect that Katrina had on voters. Ok. This is where I see the election as having some racial factors. The whole implication that George Bush “does not care about black people” is absurd. (thank you for giving everyone that phrase Kanye, it is a gem that we will all remember). So yes, I think that people who have that presupposition stuck in their minds think that their interests would be better served with an African-American president. I find it very offensive to think that there is actually a racial bias in the White House. Should race really have anything to do with your vote? Or should the person best qualified for the job be in office?

So how does this shape the voters choice?

Oh yeah, because of the response of government. Ok. Well that can be played a few different ways.

The State and City Governments should have MOST of the blame placed on them. They are the first line of response and they failed. They failed to enact their own evacuation plan. The Governor and Mayor are not blamed nationwide for their part in the breakdown. If you ask anyone who was responsible for the failures of Katrina the first answer will be Bush. There is no doubt that there was a breakdown in the FEMA response but it was very much hindered by poor response and preparation by the Louisiana state government.

Where I find this most interesting is Louisiana has a Democrat Mayor and Governor. They shoulder as much responsibility for the failures yet the Republican party takes the brunt of the blame for the failures. That just confuses me to no end. AND Ray Nagin stays in office? Has he been absolved of all the responsibility that he had? Blanco did not seek reelection and is out of the picture.

Blame for lack of preparedness has been leveled at all levels of government. Kathleen Blanco was also criticized for not deploying the Louisiana National Guard sooner, although she did in fact deploy them before the hurricane hit and requested reinforcements from other states. President George W. Bush and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff were also criticized for failures on the federal level as well as with his leadership role. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has been criticized for not following the city’s evacuation plan which called for the use of school buses to transport disadvantaged and elderly citizens out of the city. Louisiana Governor.

Nagin accused the governor of delaying federal rescue efforts, “I was ready to move today. The governor said she needed 24 hours to make a decision. A FEMA official has claimed that Gov. Blanco failed to submit a request for help in a timely manner, saying that she did send President Bush a request asking for shelter and provisions, but didn’t specifically ask for help with evacuations. The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service has concluded, that Blanco did submit requests for shelter, counseling and provisions in a timely manner, but there is no mention that she requested assistance with evacuation. One aide to the governor said that Blanco thought city officials were taking care of the evacuation in accord with the city’s emergency plan.

There were reports that Governor Blanco was reluctant to issue a mandatory evacuation order until President Bush called to personally ask that she give the order. However, the mandatory evacuation order was issued by Mayor Nagin, and it is unlikely the Bush call was decisive in the making of the order.

The Executive Summary states (among other things) the following:

  • “The Select Committee identified failures at all levels of government that significantly undermined and detracted from the heroic efforts of first responders, private individuals and organizations, faith-based groups, and others.”
  • “The Select Committee believes Katrina was primarily a failure of initiative.”
  • “The failure of local, state, and federal governments to respond more effectively to Katrina — which had been predicted in theory for many years, and forecast with startling accuracy for five days — demonstrates that whatever improvements have been made to our capacity to respond to natural or man-made disasters, four and half years after 9/11, we are still not fully prepared. Local first responders were largely overwhelmed and unable to perform their duties, and the National Response Plan did not adequately provide a way for federal assets to quickly supplement or, if necessary, supplant first responders.”

Make sure and remember that local government is the first line of action. And they failed miserably.

“the way that emergency operations act under the law is, the responsibility and the power, the authority, to order an evacuation rests with state and local officials. The federal government comes in and supports those officials.

I do not think the actions or lack there of to this disaster had anything to do with race or anything similar. This was a disaster that tested all government – state, local, federal. It is obvious that there are some failures but the blame starts with the local officials.

Sources:

Hurricane Preparedness for New Orleans

Criticism of Government Response to Katrina

Ray Nagin

November 10, 2008 at 6:03 pm 2 comments

Understanding taxes (if that is possible?)

Unfortunately taxes are a necessary part of life. Generally speaking we don’t like paying them. But we do. Every year we file our income taxes – state & local, as well as pay city, county, social security, fica, etc. The list is exhaustive. Our current tax plan but into place under President Bush is set to expire soon so whatever the new President puts into place will affect us all greatly.

First I would like to point out that when talking about the current budget deficit critics are quick to blame the Bush tax cuts for the so-called wealthy for the deficit. In reality this is not the case. Revenue is the highest it has ever been. The cuts on capital gains taxes has brought dramatic increases in federal revenue. Truly. The increase in the deficit has to do with being in a war and government spending having increased by over 30%. It is highly inaccurate to blame the tax cuts for this situation.

Both plans have plenty in them to make you question what is the better choice. As well, there are exhaustive views and commentaries to support whichever view you support. On paper they seem to not have that much of a difference in the overall economic picture, as mentioned in the clip below.

From – How McCain and Obama will change your tax bill.

Under both plans, all American taxpayers could pay a price for their tax cuts: a bigger deficit. The Tax Policy Center estimates that over 10 years, McCain’s tax proposals could increase the national debt by as much as $4.5 trillion with interest, while Obama’s could add as much as $3.3 trillion.

The reason: neither plan would raise the amount of revenue expected under current tax policy – which assumes all the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts expire by 2011. And neither plan would raise enough to cover expected government costs during those 10 years.

“Distributionally, they’re markedly different. But in terms of their impact on revenue, the two plans are not terribly different,” said Roberton Williams, principal research associate at the Tax Policy Center and the former deputy assistant director for tax analysis at the Congressional Budget Office.

The differences come from how they are put into place and what the ramifications of each would entail.

So here it is:

McCain

  • Keep Tax Rates Low
  • Cut corporate tax rate from 35% to 25%
  • Allow First-Year Deduction, Or “Expensing”, Of Equipment And Technology Investments
  • Establish permanent tax credit equal to 10% of wages spent on R&D
  • Ban Internet Taxes
  • Ban Cell-phone Taxes
  • His most radical adjustment to the tax system which is not being mentioned as much in the tax portion is his health care credit. – “Transforming The Tax Code To Create Greater Equity: The McCain plan transforms the current tax code to provide all American families – including the self-employed and the uninsured – the same tax benefit, a $5,000 refundable tax credit ($2,500 for individuals) that was previously only available to those with employer coverage. Families can use this credit to purchase insurance of their choice, including keeping their current coverage.”
  • As well by not raising capital gains taxes the wealthy will continue to invest at a time when it is most needed to help our economy. If those taxes are raised the level of investment WILL drop.

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, senior economic adviser to McCain, notes that many reports does not take into account the spending reforms – such as eliminating earmarks – that are central to McCain’s strategy to support tax relief and help reduce the deficit.

Overall, we would all continue to do well under this plan.

Obama

  • Cut taxes for 95 percent of workers and their families with a tax cut of $500 for workers or $1,000 for working couples.
  • Provide generous tax cuts for low- and middle-income seniors, homeowners, the uninsured, and families sending a child to college or looking to save and accumulate wealth.
  • Eliminate capital gains taxes for small businesses, cut corporate taxes for firms that invest and create jobs in the United States, and provide tax credits to reduce the cost of health care and to reward investments in innovation.
  • Dramatically simplify taxes by consolidating existing tax credits, eliminating the need for millions of senior citizens to file tax forms, and enabling as many as 40 million middle-class Americans to do their own taxes in less than five minutes without an accountant.

Obama proposes a radical change in the tax system to cut taxes to the bottom “95%” of wage earners. Unfortunately this has major implications as well. It sounds good but there is much more to it. 50% of wage earners do not even pay taxes. So while what he says may be technically factual . . . the plan increases the number of welfare recipients, and extends the poverty trap of poor households.

    What it really means is that he is reintroducing a massive increase in the welfare state, costing about $30 billion per year. According to the Center for Data Analysis’ micro-simulation modeling, Obama would increase the number of tax filers who receive a check from government without paying any taxes, including payroll taxes — people filing just to receive a welfare check — by about 10 million. Where will the $30 billion per year come from? From those who are paying taxes, of course. And indirectly from all of us, when the economy is dragged down by higher tax rates on businesses. – from The FoundryBut it does not stop there, raising business taxes, national health care, etc. There are many facets to this plan that will have a trickle down effect. While taxes may go down for the lower income families, companies that are also hit by tax increases will raise prices, lower salary, cut back on jobs which in turn will all effect the very same people that Obama is out to help.

    Another good article on Obama’s 95% tax plan

To the surprise of some, even though Senator Obama’s tax plan lowers taxes for the bottom four quintiles, marginal tax rates would fall only for the very lowest-income couples. Taking both income and payroll taxes into account, those at the very bottom of the income distribution would see their effective marginal tax rates fall from 27.4 percent to minus 58.6 percent due to proposed changes to the earned income tax credit and Senator Obama’s new “Making Work Pay” credit.

Most low- and moderate-income couples would see their effective marginal tax rates rise, in some cases, significantly. Indeed, some low- and moderate-income taxpayers will see their marginal rates rise to more than 50 percent.

High-income taxpayers can also expect their effective marginal tax rates to rise—to 47.2 percent-under Senator Obama’s tax plan. This increase is caused by rolling back the 2001 and 2003 reductions in the top two tax rates, curtailing deductions and exemptions at high income levels, and potentially raising Social Security taxes. – The Tax Foundation

    Now some commentary:Aside from the overall theory of wealth redistribution, which some may relate to socialist types of theory, that does not help the economy in the long run. There should never be total equality in income. The neurosurgeon and the fast-food worker should not have the same salary. There has always been brackets, or castes if you want to call it that. Equality as a person is not equated to equality in income or possessions. All people are created equal, but it pretty much stops there. We all have different aptitudes and abilities and will work where we are best suited. The driven individual will work hard to become successful and then will be told, “Hey, we need your money to help Tom, he does not have as much as you and you have to share it with him.” That is wealth redistribution. I should not HAVE to give money I work for to someone else because they are not making as much as I am. It does not work.

    The definition of “wealthy” to be $250,000 does not allow for areas in our country where while that sounds like an amazing annual income, it is not. California and New York are two prime examples. This article explains it well, better than I can.  – Tax Rates for New Yorkers would top 50% under Obama.

    I was talking to someone yesterday who has valid fear of losing his home under the Obama tax plan since he does make $250 in one of those states. He has a family of five and is scared that he will not be able to afford the mortgage he saved for years just to get. As well I spoke to a mother who has lived in a socialist country and said she does not want to go there either, giving examples of the lack of incentive to the worker because they don’t care anymore. While it sounds good to the supposed 95% of the country the other five pump money into the economy to keep it moving, fund most of the governments revenue already, and are the most positioned to give generously.

    I am in favor of encouraging and rewarding people to work hard. To earn what they have. Not to blindly give more to them to try and make things more. While a plan might sound good on the surface it deserves to be looked into further to see what the actual ramifications and implications are to all citizens. If we are being fair and equitable, you will remember that that upper five percent helps keep our economy and businesses running. Personally I am a fan of the Fair Tax plan. I hope that one day it comes around as a possibility again.

    Look closely at the lines for $111,000 – $226,000 – According to those estimates you will actually fare better under the McCain plan. Curious.

    A final thought –

    Tax studies have shown that when tax cuts are deficit funded and they’re paid for by raising taxes in the future, “the economy is worse off than if you didn’t cut at all,” Burman said.

October 23, 2008 at 5:49 pm 3 comments

At least he knows.

Kudos for knowing that you are not yet the president Senator Obama!

Obama sidestepped a question on whether he would attend a summit of world leaders the Bush administration has called for Nov. 15 to discuss the global economic crisis, saying he has ideas but doesn’t want to say much about them yet. “We have one president at a time,” he said. – AP article

October 23, 2008 at 4:33 pm Leave a comment

Obama & the Logan Act

The Washington Post has this article today:

Obama tried to sway Iraqis on Bush deal

At the same time the Bush administration was negotiating a still elusive agreement to keep the U.S. military in Iraq, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama tried to convince Iraqi leaders in private conversations that the president shouldn’t be allowed to enact the deal without congressional approval.

For more information click here

One of my very favorite political analyst friends points out the following:

Heard of the Logan Act? I found this at www.scoopthat.org:

Obama really did try to play politics with the Iraqi war and our troops. Obama wanted Iraqi officials to stop negotiating with President Bush on the matter of U.S. troop removal until after the elections. Obama does not have the authority to speak for the executive branch of the U.S. government! Hopefully, Obama gets charged for violating the Logan Act, which specifically states no unauthorized U.S. citizen can negotiate on behalf of the executive branch of U.S. government.

October 10, 2008 at 4:12 pm 3 comments

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