When you’re retired, as you probably know that I am, it’s inexcusable to be running late. If retired people are going to run late, how are the productive members of society supposed to get anything done on time? OK, so I’m late, to make up for that I’ll write quick.
To the Ecothugs and the Drillers, how about that Pickens Plan now, eh? The spill in the Gulf of Mexico looks like it’s going to be a monster. Natural gas always has been the right solution, as Mr. Pickens has pointed out. A while back, I pointed out the benefits of keeping our crude oil in the ground until everyone else runs out.
I will back and vote for and work long and hard for any candidate who will come forward an endorse the Pickens Plan. It’s simply the right things to do. Let’s see who has the guts to “gore the beast” and back a plan that won’t pamper the vested interests. Slogans and chants are not the right answer. Keeping crude oil in the ground and exploiting domestic natural gas, along with wind, is the right answer.
G’day all, and may God continue to bless America!
I’m listening to Republican Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin describe to Greta Van Sustern (Foxnews) how he intends to to maneuver the President’s budget commission toward a spending cut solution to the debt crisis.
I wrote about this a couple of days ago. You can’t “cut spending” your way out of this mess for two reasons. One, if you cut spending that much, fast enough to stave off default, you will crater the economy. Second, you are picking a purely partisan fight that is “kill or die”. The other, tax-raising side, will fight you to the death and the Nation will be left facing the same fate we face now … default.
If I’d been listening to a Progressive tax-raiser, I’d be giving them the same advice. This is purely insanity, the politicians of Left and Right are doing the dance of death while the Nation staggers under the abusive debt load piled upon us by both sides in evil cooperation. Both sides need to listen to the grownups: Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles. Everything has to be on the table, except for orthodox ideology.
Getting the pitchfork-and-torch base stirred up is mandatory to getting elected. Unfortunately, if done artlessly it is a permanent disqualification from ever being able to govern. Anyone running for public office needs to think about what they hope to accomplish around the communal well, after it is poisoned. There is no good to be accomplished by trying to use brute force to win one’s ideological agenda at any cost. They used to say that politics was the art of the possible. It has now, thanks to everyone in public life, become the art standing around uselessly while driving the Nation off the road.
I am worn out by listening to politicians trot out their pet plans without regard to the practicalities of human communities. If I’m a high tax payer, I don’t care what numbers you show me, if you want me to pay more taxes you have to show me how you intend to consume less. If I’m a low tax payer, I don’t care what numbers you cook up, if you want me to accept fewer benefits you have to show me how you’re going to pay more taxes. This is real “Team Effort”, not just a throwaway phrase but real, put your ass on the line, team effort.
Fire Lynn Woolsey, Fire Nancy Pelosi. Vote in a new team, not necessarily because they’re better, but because they can’t possibly be worse. Politicians should live in fear of being fired, reinforce that message by visiting:
Well, that’s it for tonight. In politics, never give your best friend more power than you would want your worst enemy to have. Keep in mind what’s important and give the other guy what he needs to support what you need (that is a genius of politics that got this Nation to where it is, but has now been lost in the declining years of this Republic).
I was in Southern California and Mexico the past week, so my apologies for no updates here for some time. I did have the dubious pleasure of continuing an online pizzing contest with some local Progressives. When they run out of ideas, logic, and eloquence, they can be depended upon to resort to name calling, ad hominem attacks, and veiled threats of violence. As I said, it was a dubious pleasure, but the call of duty can be a demanding mistress.
For a quick bit of historical perspective: the Tea Party is named for and inspired by an 18th Century rebellion, wherein the rebelling Bostonians were upset at paying 1/4th the amount of taxes that Londoners did at the time. The Progressive movement is founded on 19th Century Marxist principles that have failed everywhere they have been tried, except where a repressive government has used their monopoly on force to coerce the people. Today is the 3,403rd day of the 21st Century. The world looks nothing like it did in the 19th Century, much less the 18th Century. Isn’t it time for a new approach, appropriate to the times?
Today I want to share with you my thoughts on the President’s debt commission. News coverage here, and I encourage you to become familiar with this effort. I’ll state it simply: this is the last chance that we in this Nation has to decide our own future. If we screw this up, if we play name-calling and finger-pointing politics as usual, events will take their own direction and our descendants will rightfully despise us for the selfishness, weakness, partisanship, and shortsightedness we will have, in that case, demonstrated.
America, we can do this. We must do this. We are all in this boat, in this case I know exactly what I’m talking about, and the boat is on fire. Nobody is going to survive unless we all do our duty.
I heard former-Senator Alan Simpson and former-Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles on the radio two days ago. Folks, these gentlemen are absolutely dead serious about the concept of everything being on the table. The commentator (Chris Wallace) tried every journalistic trick to get them to lean, if not commit, to implementing either tax increases or spending cuts first. Both gentlemen were diligent in refusing to provide solutions before everyone is made to understand the problem. I cannot possibly overstate how impressed I was with the commitment and wisdom of these gentlemen. I have questioned President Obama’s wisdom on several matters, but in this case I have to give him full credit for picking two exemplary individuals to lead this effort.
Shame on Congress for being unable to stand up this commission by statute!!! This Congress is so dysfunctional that as a matter of conscience, every member who failed to support this commission in legislation should submit their resignation. This is just one more example of how utterly destructive to our future this Congress has become, it’s poisonous. It is literally as though the Republicans and Democrats in Congress are acting out, like 3 year olds, throwing tantrums and relying on some mythical grownups somewhere to keep them from burning down the pre-school. Well, I guess “We the people…” are the grownups, since in the end we pick up the bill.
So anyway, trying to wander back toward the topic, this Debt Commission must become the center of all effort and cooperation, until we regain our footing. This is far more important that the environment, left to her own devices Mother Nature will heal herself. This is far more important than individual health care, the federal budget is a raging epidemic of catastrophic mortality, this is runaway Ebola. This is too important for ideology, whether it be Tea Party or Progressive.
Truths I can guarantee you, if you have any desire for an America in the future that is able to offer your descendants the opportunities you had:
1) There will be tax increases, this is absolutely certain. Income tax rates will go up. There will be a national VAT of some sort. Exemptions and deductions will be eliminated, restricted, or restructured. Get used to it.
2) There will be cuts to entitlement programs, and the recently passed health care reform act may have to be deeply modified, if not rolled back entirely. There will be cuts to Social Security and Medicare, there will be cuts to defense and education and virtually everywhere else. Get used to it.
As Senator Simpson so truthfully and clearly stated, we cannot possibly grow our way out of this problem. Social Security and Medicare consume all federal revenues. Everything else is financed, everything! The only way out of this is to increase revenues and cut spending (and try to do that in a way that doesn’t sink the economy into a deeper recession).
Anyone who tells you there is a simpler way out, or a less painful way out, tell them they are lying through their teeth. That’s just the old left/right “play politics my way” mentality. There is no Conservative answer to this problem. There is no Liberal answer to this problem. There is only a practical, Responsible answer to this problem that lives in the hearts of the 70% of Americans who are practical, Responsible, non-ideological citizens.
That is my piece for today. Maybe I overshot on this, but I’ve been thinking about it for the past week. I’ll try to be more regular with posting in the future.
G’day all, and may God continue to bless America!
As I explained a few days ago, I’m not a Liberal or a Conservative, I’m a Responsible. Do what you have to do, but give me the bill! Don’t pilfer my credit card, charge the dinner you just said you gave me on it, and then slip the card back into my wallet.
Right now the Tea Party is riding the crest, and to all appearances seem to be enjoying themselves. But there’s a fly in the salve of tax cuts, and that is deficit spending. Presently, 2 dollars out of every 5 dollars of federal spending is being charged to our grandchildren. The Tea Party is advocating for specific solutions that doesn’t necessarily solve the problem. Let’s take a look at the big picture.
The big picture here is not tax rates, it is not revenues, it is not economic theory, marginalia, or footnotes. It is deficits and federal debt. The Tea Party movement has a lot of enthusiasm and energy, and a few votes lined up, but they are being as myopic as the present Liberal government. What really matters at this point is how to get federal deficits and debt under control. Ways and Means must answer to that end.
I am fully aware of the theory of increased revenues from lower tax rates. And I am a firm believer in fact over ideology. But there are two problems with the theory of increased revenues from lower tax rates.
One, despite increased revenues, the federal debt tripled under President Reagan. That is what really kicked off the era of modern deficit spending, leading us to the catastrophic position we’re in today. So obviously, lower tax rates alone (even if they generate higher revenues) are not a magic cure for deficit spending. Spending cuts are mandatory.
Two, the entire drumbeat of tax cuts is too divisive to really help the Nation. A group at the top advocates for advantages for themselves, and as history has proven to us (see above) those at the bottom are going to have to forego existing benefits. The people advocating the tax-cutting policy stand to benefit personally from it, and that perceived imbalance rankles at least 50% of the voting public.
The Tea Party needs to understand that everyone in America gets a vote, and they need to figure out how to make the message serve others, outside their own socio-economic group. If the well off are to benefit, even if it is to create jobs and pay more taxes in the end, it is unacceptable to have the less well off give up benefits (which of course, as President Reagan proved, would be the only way to balance the budget). We are all in this, we all need to pull together.
It’s time for the Tea Party to conduct outreach and include today’s skeptics, if not adversaries. It is time for the Tea Party to advocate for responsible federal budgeting for all. When tax cuts are part of a responsible overall plan to balance the budget, that is what we should do. But the Tea Party will end up losing votes for themselves and Republicans if their only interest is to cut their own taxes, spend only on what they approve of, and everyone and everything else be damned.
I would sincerely hate to see the Democrats retain a majority in both houses of Congress. Defeating Lynn Woolsey (Ca 6th), Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive caucus, is my major career objective at this point. If the Tea Party folks don’t collectively start to see this big picture, and place equitable treatment for all ahead of narrow self-interest, they are simply splintering the chance to a real alternative to Progressive Democratic control.
Sure, it feels good to be empowered, have a microphone or a poster or a flag in your hand, be amongst a few hundred or a few thousand like minded fellow citizens. Every movement reaches a point where it’s time to transition into maturity, and that time has arrived for the Tea Party. Because until they are ready to do that, and despite their great potential, they help no one.
G’day all, and may God continue to bless all Americans!
Looks like there is favorable progress in Afghanistan. The Taliban seem to be making noises that they’re ready to talk. After all the biting criticism, comparisons to Viet Nam, and declarations of defeat regarding any effort to mediate the situation in the Mid East, this may come as a stinging disappointment to the Progressives in Congress, their supporters and followers. This is as much a lesson for Conservatives as it is for Progressives: it is one sad day when good news for America comes as a disappointment to those of a particular political orientation. I do know a sports fan or two who literally relishes rooting against a particular team, but that is deviant behavior. It’s whack, and people who do that are shunned, ostracized, and ridiculed.
If someone wants to root against America, they are welcome to pick another team.
G’day all, and may God continue to bless America!
I’ll be off the air here for a few days while I vacation in Mexico. It’s a sort of mini-reunion of ex-shipmates. 19-23 April in San Quintin, Mexico. I hope everyone has a great week upcoming, and I’ll let you know how it went.
G’day all, and may God continue to bless America!
In case anyone questions the wisdom of spending money on a NASA space program when we have so many problems here on Earth, please see my article of yesterday, or listen to President Obama’s explanation from his speech today.
I listened to most of his speech, and I think I’m particularly lucky to have the background I have to help me understand and interpret the speech. Few people know it, but the United States Navy needs auxiliary (supply) ships in order to maintain a worldwide presence. They need fuel every third day, food every couple of weeks, and ordnance whenever they are doing a lot of shooting.
But the United States Navy does not operate their own supply vessels. The Civilian Mariners of MSFSC operate all of the US Navy’s auxiliary ships. And when pushed on the subject, both military and civilian hate that. Those government employed ship operators are considered such a pain in the butt that both military and civil service would love to get rid of them. Military and civilian alike would love to charter a package solution, ship and crew. That way they don’t have to commit scarce capital to owning and operating the ships.
I believe that is exactly what President Obama intends to do with the space-vehicle-flying astronaut corps. I think the Obama Administration intends to lease or rent spacecraft that come with flight crews as part of the package. I believe that the sneaky little administrative pencil pushers figured that the best way to deal with difficult astronauts is to outsource them to either foreign governments or the commercial sector.
Now, this is from what I heard, so I am not betting everything on this interpretation. But what I heard is what I’ve heard so often before. And in the past, when I heard this, the intent was clear, and I believe it is this time, too. I believe the Democrats figure that we can have a “space program” without actually designing or building or maintaining or preparing or operating or flying our own space craft. I believe they are intending a Disneyworld space program, where everything looks real, but there’s nothing behind the stage setting.
For what it’s worth, which some may think is not much, in my humble opinion, if you don’t do all those things (design and build and maintain and prepare and operate and fly) your own space craft, you don’t have a space program. Or, closer still, you have the kind of space program that Israel has, where their astronauts hitch rides into space on other people’s spacecraft. Now Russia and China, you can bet everything you have and everything you ever will have, that they will maintain a real space program, come heck or high water. Those countries have been around a long time, and they’ve seen some truly tough times, and they don’t want to go through that again, and they know what they have to do to avoid that prospect.
We, on the other hand, are acting like we were born yesterday, and everything prior to that was the work of stupid people. As President Obama said in his speech today, we don’t want to keep doing what we’ve been doing. Regardless that “what we’ve been doing” got us to the Moon and back, gave us leadership in every aspect of space travel and high technology, put the Space Station in place, and many other notable triumphs. We must have been stupid to do things that way when it’s so much more clever to just outsource and offshore the whole thing!
Government bureaucrats, including elected officials, cannot stand the idea of government employees who have actual skills and perform actual useful tasks (like maintaining and flying spacecraft). This is what I think is coming, and I believe this may be the reason that all of the lunar astronauts are so hot about this. If this comes to pass, it guts our space program and we don’t lose just a few years or a generation, we lose skills and experience that were bought at precious cost in treasure and human lives. Putting our astronauts on outsourced, offshored space vehicles, indeed. Great job, government bureaucrats!!! (sarcasm intended)
G’day all, and may God continue to bless America!
Since my work of the past two days (below), I’ve been following the news to shape up my next piece. I can’t do it, I can’t stand the strain, my head is simply about to explode.
Is it my Responsible attitudes and policies, or is The Fool in cahoots with the wrong side, too? Check this, please check that link. If something isn’t working, or isn’t going to work, it doesn’t matter what your ideology is … it ain’t gonna’ work.
Why do we have a space program? There are people way better qualified to answer than me, but let me give it a shot. First, the direct technology benefits in electronics, processing, communications. Medicine and materials science. Etc, etc, to a long and distinguished list of tangible benefits. Second, world leadership, a position from which we have benefited mightily, to the distinct discomfort of some, but truth is some culture or nation will exert leadership, there is no better than ours to fill that role. Leadership in space is essential to maintaining that. Third, like the NEA, museums, liberal arts programs, and other cultural activities, our space program inspires us, informs us, broadens us, uplifts us, an uniquely reaffirms the value of heroism. If we spend no money on space, or arts, or museums, or liberal arts education, or cultural activities, there will still be needy people. What is President Obama doing that has Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and the rest of the corps of veteran astronauts so upset? Could it be that after the end of this year, we will have to rely on Russia to lift American astronauts to the International Space Station? I don’t know exactly what it is, but there is something very, very wrong going on here and I urge you to investigate for yourselves.
Then there was Chairman Bernanke testifying to Congress that we are spending 5 dollars for every 3 we take in (he was asking me about where I got the 3 for 2 number I’ve been reporting and I explained that I was using a different assumption for future interest rates, but he was grateful for my raising the alarm on this so he wouldn’t seem like the only one). As he said so succinctly, this “is not sustainable”.
As I pointed out to a dolt online at another blog, we have borrowed our way to $13 trillion in debt, on which at today’s rate we give $400 billion dollars a year in interest payments to China, me, and a few other people. If we didn’t have that interest nut to make each year, hold onto your seats, we could GIVE FREE HEALTH CARE to all uninsured Americans and still cut taxes without increasing the deficit. But we can’t because the federal government has borrowed us into a hole. And the interest we pay is absolutely going to go up, there is no alternative except default. Our only hope on this is for the economy to continue its non-recovery, thereby holding down interest rates. I predict that in five years, between the spenders and the tax cutters, we will be paying $1 trillion a year to service the interest on the debt.
So my head is ready to explode. Then some Democratic Senator accused the Republicans of excessive partisanship regarding President Obama’s policies (citing bipartisanship under George Bush). Senator, think about what your party did to the Nation two weeks ago, passing by devious maneuver, without a single Republican vote, a rewrite of the federal debt and deficit situation (aka, “health care reform”). As you know, I’m an equal opportunity blamer, and the Republicans get every bit of blame they so richly deserve for getting us to this point. But the Byzantine Democratic maneuvering on so-called health care reform has poisoned the well for a generation. I do not blame the Republican Party for declaring war on Democratic agendas, their ire is righteous.
My head is still ready to explode. Iran is looking nuclear, and we dither atop the fence. We’re going to corral lose nuclear materials within four years, yet by all estimates Iran will be nuclear-armed within one year. And sitting on a pledge to “wipe Israel off the face of the Earth”, or whatever it was they said. Just 65 years ago, world Judaism came close to being exterminated. I do not believe that as a sovereign state, with the obligations of every sovereign state to defend itself, that Israel will sit by and wait for their own annihilation. There are atrocities, then there are monstrosities. Anti-Semitism is alive and well, and is soon to be nuclear-armed. The unreasoning, unapproachable, irrational hatred held by Anti-Semites is immune to witness, reason, nor human decency. More insidious is the hidden prejudice, the person who struggles to maintain a reasonable false front to conceal hidden hatreds. From my childhood I recall “Never again”, and I cannot blame any people for being willing to bring down others, rather than perish as helpless victims.
Well, my head hasn’t exploded yet, but that doesn’t mean I’m in the clear. I’m sure that our federal government politicians will figure some new outrage to perpetrate upon “We the people” as quickly as they’re able. In the meantime, Nancy Pelosi need to be fired. Dana Walsh is opposing her, check www.danawalshforcongress.com. Lynn Woolsey needs to get her pink slip. Jim Judd is out to give her the bad news, check www.jimjuddforcongress.com.
If I have anything posted here tomorrow, my head didn’t explode. If this space is strangely silent, maybe I overpressured my cranium. G’day all, and may God continue to bless America!