Bush Administration Deficits Secondary to Democrats not Paying Taxes

That headline might be a stretch …

Then again, it might not …

Maybe Barack Obama should nominate every Democrat for some position so their tax returns have to be audited. Then we might be able to reduce the National Debt significantly.

Geithner, Daschle, now Sibelius …

Is anyone keeping up with the total of what these people have wound up owing? And, why aren’t they having to pay penalties as well as interest … and interest on penalties … like everyone else?

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Charleston Democrats Amass Whopping 125 People to Protest Education Issues

According to the Charleston Post & Courier in two lead articles, Tuition tax credit foes hold rally to air views and Stimulus rally supporters gather at Brittlebank Park, an estimated total of 125 people attended both rallies … in total … 50 at one and 75 at the other.

Within the comments a few mentioned that they might have attended the protests and rallies if they had been held at a more convenient time of day rather than their near midday times. The reason for the particular time of each event was stated to be able to make the evening news.

I think making the news with next to no attendance is slightly counterproductive, but what would you expect from a group of people rallying and protesting about educational issues. Duhhh!!!

The issues at hand are South Carolina governor Mark Sanford steadfast refusal to take $700 million in stimulus money earmarked for education and state senator Robert Ford’s introduction of  state school voucher bill, each written about in other articles,  SC Governor, Mark Sanford, Being Hounded Over Stimulus Money and Local Paper Recruits Home-based Political Hack to Attack Black School Voucher Advocate.

Once Upon a Time at a County Democratic Party Meeting …

A few years ago … okay, a little more than a few years ago … when I was beginning the sixth grade … the local school system hired a band director and began organizing a high school band. The system was so small that even junior high school students were incorporated into the band. If it couldn’t be good, it could at least be large. I felt I was musically inclined so I joined, being one of a little over 100 students who also decided they had an inclination toward musical talent.

At that time, the early 1960’s, the South was, for all intents and purposes, functioning under a one party system … the Democratic Party. Republicans were some sort of strange creatures which didn’t exist south of the Mason-Dixon Line.

After what seemed like a minimal time for practice, our band was asked to perform at a county Democratic meeting. The new band director chose a select group of about 20 to 30 students, essentially the ones who had figured out which end of their instruments to blow into, and proceeded to prepare us ( I was one of the chosen few ) to play several pieces of music with a minimum of bad notes. It was an ambitious endeavor.

The evening was exciting. This was my first opportunity to perform as a musician in public and my first exposure to the inner workings of a political party.

I remember very little about our actual performance other than some polite applause. The performance probably wasn’t something to be remembered anyway.

But … I was totally fascinated by the proceedings that were going on around me. The meeting was held in the county high school auditorium. This was the old high school auditorium located in a building that had been constructed in the early 1920’s. It was subsequently demolished and replaced by a modern high school building which was completed midway through my freshman year in high school. The old auditorium had class … a raised stage which was deep with an extensive lighting system and lots of massive curtains … suitable for a first class theatrical production. The seating sloped down to the foot of the stage and a substantial balcony was accessed from the second floor. In comparison, the new high school auditorium was flat, tasteless and doubled as the school cafeteria … very tacky and even more tasteless.

The meeting proceedings were fascinating. I began to notice that, as various speakers were giving their presentations, the same few select individuals who were scattered about the group would get up and begin cheering and applauding at fairly regular intervals which encouraged everyone else to get up to cheer and applaud. This gave the meeting the air of a festive gathering. All motions that were proposed were approved by applause or acclamation. No votes were taken.

Finally, a distinguished looking gentleman got up to address the group. With the usual prompting, everyone stood up to cheer and applaud him for a rather lengthy time. I’m sure he was the keynote speaker for the evening, a term which had no meaning for me at the time. Upon his introduction, I knew who he was. I had never met him personally, but was very familiar with his name and position in the community. He was a local physician who also owned and ran one of the two hospitals in the county as well as having extensive farm holdings. Everyone who was anyone owned farmland. He was also the representative for the county in the state legislature … a very prominent man indeed.

I paid little attention to what he said until the end of his speech. In two short sentences, he caught and held my attention like a lightening bolt.

“I’ve always been a Democrat and will always be a Democrat.”

“I’ve always voted a straight Democratic ticket and will always vote a straight Democratic ticket.”

Everyone stood up and applauded and cheered for what seemed like forever.

But, at the age of eleven, his statements seemed to me to be insanely odd. I distinctly recall assessing his position and the fact that he was an intelligent and educated man.

I also vividly recall my immediate impression of what I thought was the total absurdity of his statement. He had just professed in public that, even if the Democratic Party nominated a total idiot for a political position, he would vote for the idiot. That assessment of his statement was glued in my memory.

Isn’t it interesting how the mind of an eleven year old works?

Bush’s Upcoming Proposal to Overhaul Financial Regulation

Knology – News

Like John McCain, I’m no economist or financial expert. Neither are Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. Both of the Democratic candidates are quick to point out John McCain’s statement that he doesn’t know much about the economy. McCain’s honesty is refreshing and should be lauded rather than ridiculed.

After spending several years of retirement watching CNBC and Bloomberg trying to figure out the best way to make investments, I’ve come to the conclusion that the so-called “experts” don’t really know that much about it either.

That’s not to say that economists with bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees don’t have a lot of knowledge regarding economic history and theory, but it’s also very apparent that there are as many opposing views about economics and the application of economic theory as there are political opinions. Everyone, well, almost everyone, has 20-20 hindsight. There are some out there that will still argue that the sky is green and not blue.

It almost humorous to watch CNBC (my current favorite) invite economists and financial experts with opposing views onto their various programs to “duke it out”. It’s sort of like, “If you get enough views expressed on your program, in all probability, one of them will be proven to be true … in a given circumstance.”

I’ve noticed also, if the market is down on a particular day, CNBC will get the nay sayers, the prophets of doom and gloom, to come on and say, “I told you so.” If the market is up or showing signs of improvement, they’ll get the preachers of “good times are here forever” on their shows to match the market sentiments. When the market is “iffy”, get ready for both and a string of heated arguments. Then there’s Cramer, Jim Cramer. This guy’s so influential that you can’t afford not to watch him. But, hold your breath. If he happens to trash that favorite stock you just purchased, get ready to watch it plummet to the bottom of the cesspool. If you’re really lucky, you’ve done your research ahead of him and his callers and are holding a stock that he mentions favorably on his show that everyone’s been ignoring. Then you can watch it climb astronomically in after hours trading as his listeners try to get the jump on the next morning’s trading. I think the only group that may be more fanatic are the followers of Warren Buffett’s portfolio. Simply look at Burlington Northern as the latest example of Buffett’s influence. Warren Buffett could buy stock in a company that packages dog poop for party favors and the stock would go up 20 points.

I manage several portfolios for my mother so I have the responsibility to her and my siblings of not loosing the family inheritance. It’s a formidable responsibility to try to maintain and enhance her fragile investments which are a significant part of the sum of her life’s work and savings.

I am old enough to remember the out of control economy of the Carter presidency with nearly 10% unemployment and interest rates passing 20%. I was in the unfavorable position of having to buy my second home at an interest rate of nearly 15% in 1983.

The facts above really make me wonder at the demagoguery of Democratic pundits complaining about the current 5% unemployment and the “high” interest rates running between six and seven per cent recently. You would think all of them were born yesterday. Or, more accurately, they’re treating the American public like we were born yesterday … with short attention spans and even shorter memories. I give my dog credit for a better memory than they seem to attribute to the American public.

The fact that so many people have been getting into trouble with minimal increases in interest rates on their adjustable rate home loans and the massive crisis this has caused in banking and investment institutions is a reflection of the lack of adequate oversight by the federal regulatory bodies who have been given that responsibility.

There are already laws on the books regarding proper lending practices and these have been completely ignored by the lending institutions and the federal agencies who have the responsibility to exercise that oversight. This is criminal and the justice department should have enough investigations and pending cases to keep it busy for a very, very, very long time. These should include not only corporate personnel but the bureaucratic bumpkins responsible for the oversight.

Adjustable rate mortgages are not new. I don’t know whether the subprime lending practices are new, but someone in a position of responsibility should have been diligent and alert … sensing that the real estate bubble wasn’t going to last forever and someone eventually would be left holding the bag … like a chain letter.

Anyone over forty years old should remember the real estate bubble that burst in the late 1970’s. That’s just not that long ago.

I can recall when, even in the rural community where I grew up in central Georgia, agricultural land appreciated to valuations ranging from $1200 to $3000 an acre. This was 50 miles from any urban centers. The land became practically too expensive to buy for farming. When the bubble burst, the land depreciated to a more realistic $200 to $300 an acre … and that was the best land. The current crisis was predictable.

Fortunately, I became very uneasy about what was going on in 2006, a full year before the meltdown began, and got my mother out of banking and financial stocks and resisted the temptation to jump into the blind elation that was rampant during 2007 which ran these stocks up before their sudden collapse.

I was no more prophetic in 2006 exercising caution with financial stocks than Barack Obama was in 2002 when he spoke out against a war in Iraq. There was one big difference in our actions, though. My actions were based on experience and his was based in ideology.

Barack Obama has already vaguely outlined a plan, or at least his desire, to increase the regulation of financial institutions. The Democrats may oppose the Bush recommendations simply to forestall President Bush from stealing their thunder. That, in itself, would be reprehensible since there is an immediate need to fill in any gaps which may exist in the ability of the government to oversee the financial markets. Any improvement in this ability is better than none. The politicians shouldn’t be “playing politics” with this crucial necessity. I don’t know that they can be trusted to resist the temptation … probably not.

By the way, someone should inform Obama that having his picture taken with Warren Buffett doesn’t make him a financial guru. Maybe Obama and his wife should get an IRA or 401-k (which neither have according to their tax returns) and see what it feels like to try to invest for the future. Even a little experience would help if he’s going to be president. I suppose he’s counting on the federal retirement system to take care of that problem. That’s arrogance … or stupidity. Take your choice.

Regardless, the current crisis isn’t simply a product of the Bush administration and has nothing to do with his economic views. It has resulted as a lack of proper oversight and could have been deterred to a large degree, if not in entirety, if existing laws had been enforced. This is the responsibility of a career bureaucracy which is little, if any, changed from administration to administration. It is also the responsibility of the Congress which has been too busy with political bickering, both Republican and Democratic, to fulfill their responsibility to the American public. Frankly, I’m sick and tired of their finger pointing.

Some bureaucratic heads need to roll … from low to high. And … people need to be held accountable and criminally prosecuted if warranted from property appraisers and loan officers to high corporate officials.

Relationships with Ministers

I just finished watching Barack Obama try to explain his position regarding his minister on Fox News. And, now,  I’ve also heard him with Anderson Cooper on CNN.

Barack Obama may think that he’s qualified to be president of the United States, but I would question his ability to be head of the CIA or FBI.

He states he had no knowledge that Jeremiah Wright was saying these things … in twenty years of association with that church, that congregation and that minister, he had no knowledge. I thought he was involved with that community. Didn’t he ever talk to any of those people who were loudly cheering Reverend Wright? I suppose Mr. Obama wants everyone to believe that Jeremiah Wright was a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde … and always Dr. Jekyll in his presence. Okay, if you believe that, I have some swamp land in south Georgia I want to sell you.

At one time, I considered joining one of the local protestant churches with the minister even visiting my home. As I was debating whether to join this particular church, I had the opportunity to talk with one of the members in a professional capacity. This person had just gotten out of a local mental hospital. He had been treated there for severe depression. It turns out that his wife served as secretary to the minister for this particular church and he found out that she was having an affair with the minister.
I decided that, in good conscience, I couldn’t sit in that church every Sunday, listening to that minister telling me how to be saved. I had a choice and made it.

Barack Obama knew. He had a choice and made it.

Or is he that incompetent, not to know what was going on and being said in his community and church? And in fact, as president of the United States, he will be in charge of intelligence gathering. He will be expected to know. After all, isn’t that what’s supposed to be wrong with George Bush … the wrong intelligence or no intelligence? Furthermore, he will be in the position to appoint the heads of our intelligence agencies.  Will they be people like Jeremiah Wright?

Should someone who professes to be so ignorant of what’s going on within his own constituency, his own community and his own church be considered savvy enough to function efficiently and knowledgeably as president of the United States?

Barack Obama’s Minister

Written 3/13/2008:

How long has Barack Obama been a member of the Trinity Church of Christ? Didn’t Barack Obama say it was through his church and its minister that he developed his relationship with Christ? Didn’t he also say it was through his relationship with this church and its minister that he developed his understanding of himself as a black man?

It’s apparent after listening to sound bites of Jeremiah Wright preaching his version of Christianity from the pulpit of Trinity Church of Christ that everyone really should stand back and ask a few questions about what Barack Obama really believes and what kind of relationship he has with Christ?

Jeremiah Wright, with his race baiting and hate-mongering as well as his vulgarity while ministering to his congregation, is unlike anything I have ever witnessed within the supposed sanctity of a church. It does appear obvious that his congregation seems to love his hate filled harangues. Jeremiah Wright makes Jim Baker and Jimmy Swiggert look like untainted heavenly angels. I don’t recall them ever preaching anything so hatefilled unless it was about the devil … or the IRS. Jeremiah Wright is so full of hatred for his fellow man and woman that the notion of him have consensual sex with another person even if illicit seems beyond comprehension. He only hates white people though, so that’s all right.

For some reason, I always thought that ordained ministers were to be held to a higher standard. I suppose it’s possible that the Church of Christ has very different standards which they consider “higher”. It really appears that they have no standards at all. Barack Obama may be successful in deluding people into thinking that he doesn’t share his minister’s (and mentor’s) beliefs, but I am curious as to how the chruch of Christ organization will do the same.

And, yes, Jeremiah Wright has been Barack Obama’s mentor as well as his minister in Chicago, a very long association dating back to the early 1980’s. I would be surprised if it weren’t Jeremiah Wright who assisted Barack Obama in getting his acceptance into Harvard Law School through some affirmative action process. After all, it’s never been my impression that being a B student in high school was Harvard material. Maybe he did better in college.

I’m just curious as to how a person can unify the country who is, by his own admission, so grossly preoccupied with race and his own racial identity and who finally found the answer to his racial identity in a hate filled buffoon like Jeremiah Wright.

Did Abraham Lincoln have someone like Jeremiah Wright in mind when he seemed to distance himself from organized religion?

Somehow, Barack Obama simply saying he doesn’t agree with everything Jeremiah Wright says, doesn’t quit relieve my concerns about his beliefs. He doesn’t exactly specify what part of Jeremiah Wright’s antics and pronouncements he doesn’t agree with. And, quite frankly, I find it hard to believe that Barack Obama has had such a long relationship with JeremiahWright if he isn’t in universal agreement with him. To put it another way, how can a person of good faith sit in church every Sunday and listen to the person talking to the congregation and not believe in what the speaker is saying … and do it for 20 plus years.

Based on what I’ve heard come from Jeremiah Wright’s mouth, the notion that Michelle Obama’s statement about her feelings regarding the United States of America has more of the ring of literal truth, especially when taken in the context of her thesis at Princeton.

I presume that we are now supposed to believe that Barack Obama has markedly different feelings from both his wife and his minister. Reverend Wright openly hates white people. Obama’s wife openly distrusts white people. Barack Obama sleeps with one every night and seeks his salvation through the ministrations of the other. Yet, he claims he is untouched by their influence. Interesting.

So, if Barack Obama is elected president of the United States we will have a first lady who is openly contemptable of a large part of the population of this country and a president who will have his spiritual needs fulfilled by a man like Jeremiah Wright. Very interesting indeed. I suppose that’s what he means by “change”.