Misc. stuff to hold your over

Posted in Michael's thoughts, Political Opinions, The Family on March 9th, 2009 by Michael

This week involves a crap load of work for me… the AT WORK kind of work, as opposed the around the house kind, the schlepping of kids around kind or the update of other things (e.g. web site) kind.

As some of you know, I recently changed positions, moving from an operational one to a more client facing, pre-sales-y kind of one.  I have my first deliverable and it is fast approaching.

Add in yet another round of colds, etc. in the house and I’m holding on for health long enough to get through the next 80 hour week.  Right now, it is only sore throat, which outside of vomiting, is my least favorite of symptoms.

Luckily, I did some relaxing things in pre-rush.  MA and I actually got to watch our Netflix movies and we were both pleasantly surprised.  First, we watch Juno.  I thought the writing was good, the direction just quirky enough and the lead actress perfect cute enough without making me want to puke.  Unfortunately, the disk had a scratch on it so we missed about 15 minutes towards the end, but no matter. It will surely find its way into the library at some point (economic crisis noted, I am not rushing out to buy it like I would have in the past – note: that this behavior is absolutely the opposite to what the ‘crisis’ needs).  Secondly, we watch ‘Get Smart’ the remake/take off of the 60/70s comedy.  Interestingly enough, MA has never seen the TV show, where I have seen all of them. Now, we did have low expectations of this movie – rightfully so – but it was enjoyable in the check your brain at the door and hope you didn’t pay $10 to see it kind of way.  Nothing great about it.  Nothing horrible about it.  Just what we needed.  I have to admit, I have slightly warmer feelings towards another takeoff movie – Dukes of Hazzard.  I would name this movie under the guilty pleasure category.  I just find parts of it pretty entertaining. Can’t sue me for that.

Speaking of take off movies, less than two months until the new Star Trek movie comes out.  I’m on the fence about this one.  These prequels can be iffy.  The Star Wars ones sucked but then you had a lot of ego there.  This one concerns me only due to the lack of strict adherence to star trek canon.  However, there are hints that this could be an excellent ‘shoot ‘em up’ flick.

Ran across a blog by Kevin McCullough that details out – so much better than I – what I have been alluding to regarding this Obama plan to move the country towards socialism (hey, he was the 2nd most liberal senator way before he go elected President).  He asserts – and I am not sure I buy into it – that Obama and crew are purposely driving the nation down a path, not to recovery but to crisis so that it has not choice to accept change as they believe it.  Now, this alludes to a more direct relationship between policies and actions than I have laid out before but covers similar ground.  Democrats have a distinct benefit when the country is in  dire straits because it is the party of governmental programs designed to take from one group and give to another.  I believe that the reason so many of the programs enacted to date by Obama have focused on these social issues versus truly economic stimulus programs is because he wants to play to his supporters (e.g. the receiving group above) AND he wants to engrain the concepts of these entitlements (where they are such) into the system so it becomes more difficult to remove later.  Once part of the system, this will feed a long line of future democratic voters.  Kevin believes he is tanking things to force his hand and has proposed evidence in Obama and crew speeches about “great opportunities in the midst of great crisis.”  I think that is a little paranoid and probably even too Machiavellian for even Obama and his handlers.  That said, we have yet to see anything that even closely resembles great come of the administration yet.  Anyway, he lays out some interesting tidbits.

He poses the question if “we the people” elected Barack to use “great opportunities” to change the face and fabric of the nation?  I think “we” did but not in the way that is occurring.  Snippets below

  • “We the People” were promised swift and effective action towards getting the markets repaired by President Obama, but they have dropped about 1400 points each week since he’s taken power.
  • “We the People” were promised greater fiscal responsibility by candidate Obama, yet his own proposals throw us down a black hole of debt, the likes of which we’ve never seen ….
  • “We the People” were promised the greatest commitment ever to oversight of the federal use of the money we send the government. What we’ve been handed is a series of embarrassing nominations of people who … did not think twice about not paying theirs.
  • “We the People” were told that his push for a stimulus would get people working again, yet barely 3% of it goes to actual job creation and projects that can even be initiated in the next 24 months.  [to be fair, I think it is 8%]
  • “We the People” were promised greater employment fulfillment and more vibrant business and economic outlooks when Obama’s administration finally put together their plan to save the lending institutions. What we are dealing with is a greater spike in the unemployment numbers in Obama’s first sixty days than was experienced under President Bush in his first seven years. [to be fair, democrats are sure that this remains Bush’s fault.  Plus, he didn’t have a trillion dollars to “fix” it.]
  • “We the People” were promised an earmark free, pork free, bare bones budget, but as of last count Obama’s omnibus bill contained 9200 earmarks. [to be fair, I think it was only 8900]

Interesting points.  You can read more about him – as well as some of those that I would consider nut jobs — over at townhall.com

Enough Barack.  I don’t have time to think about all of the hard work I am doing is simply going to pay for someone else to sit in the [tax funded] home, watching Oprah on a digital TV while getting up only to get the mail waiting for the next welfare check.  For those that like to take things and run with them (e.g. Maddow, knowing it is not true, repeating that Rush wants Obama and the country, not Obama’s policies to fail on Leno)… let me be clear, I am not targeting true and real acts of charity and/or assistance.  I am addressing those who lack accountability and the refuse to be part of the solution versus the problem.  Heartless – as with many others that feel the same way, we are not.

Maxwell’s eye is nearly received.  He looks better than Mackenzie, even after all of this time.  I guess part of it is where the injury was.  Z’s was in that soft tissue under the eye versus outside of it.  Nothing that some concealer (or Photoshop) can’t handle.

We are in the midst of pre-birthday events too.  We told her she could get a new bed and that is proving to be a challenge in finding the right one.   Never take three kids to a furniture store… Plus, as part of growing up, she can paint her room (well, her half).  At Home Depot yesterday, she picked out a hideous purple.  I got it two shades less hideous with some suggestion but hideous it still might be when applied.   Something for me to do in a couple of weeks.  Going to paint some other rooms too (with less hideous colors, however).

BTW, was yesterday a freakin nice day or what?  I smoked a couple of chickens on the treager.  We got grass seed and fertilizer out as well.  Spring is yippee time (now that we live mostly outside of tornado alley).

Mostly barack free – Safe for reading

Posted in Michael's thoughts, The Family on March 6th, 2009 by Michael

Well, it was going to happen and it did. After the numerous other injuries that impact kids, Max finally got his turn. As you know, Mackenzie had a huge gash under her eye curtosey of Meghan and the pointed edge of a hardcover book and Meghan has made it to the emergency room twice. So much for the boys are tough speech. As he was motoring around, his face came to meet with the outside step of the stairs (via gravity) one afternoon. Evidence provided for your observation.

In typical fashion, he has pretty much laughed it off (after the initial crying, of course) and back to being ‘smiley’ most of the time. That dude has one positive outlook on life. He didn’t get it from me.

Now if we could only get Meghan to stop taking his toys, Z from trying to pick him up and him from getting on the trampoline to jump, we would be in good shape.

Speaking of which, MA is off on a new diet and we are both starting to exercise. Yes, you read that correctly. I’ve gotten my fat butt off the computer chair (where I spend a TON of time doing things like populating hot galleries) and started a program. Pretty anemic program with walking a mile and some weights every other day, but it is a start and as they reference in the fabulous film “The Commitments”, I too believe in starts.

Speaking of fabulous, Burn Notice is on break until June! However, it did go out with an excellent episode. The show had lost its way a little (think Alias in season 3) but thankfully did not jump the shark. I think the new story arc is a good one and should allow it to get back to what it was good at: showing good triumphs evil, hot chicks, good explosions, strong interplay on friendship, a little suspense, some mcgyverisms, etc. Sort of Bond-lite.

Related to Bond, what the hell is Barack doing now besides pissing off the English, who have been really our only friends at times. I mean, really, I know he knows nothing about foreign policy (albeit that trip to Canada) but to cancel a public meeting at the last minute with the Prime Minister is rude. And to have someone call it out due to snow is an insult (don’t forget Barack – who mocks his green friends by keeping the oval office near 80 – recently called to task those in DC when they cancelled school during some recent weather). Hmm. Hypocrite. Plus, doesn’t the Whitehouse have a roof? Finally on this –I too am a little pissed about Michelle’s treatment of the PM family. I mean, after receiving handmade dresses from England, she had the audacity to have an aide fetch some toy helicopters from the white house gift shop as her response? I wasn’t there by the English papers seem to be uniform in their reporting of the situation. With all of the extra Whitehouse staff, couldn’t someone have coached her on how to treat our friends ? I mean it is one thing to barf at a state dinner due to illness, but quite another to not take any care in greeting a guest and ally (or maybe that is the plan… screw the English since they are old school and support the French, who are ‘progressive’). I frankly do not know but I am a big believer is treating people with the respect they deserve. Embarrassing for us.

I’m really sad that Citibank was one of my top 10 holdings.

I don’t get unions working in the auto industry. I don’t get GM’s hesitancy in going into bankruptcy. Just do it. Do it now and get it over with. Break the union clutch on your ability to deliver goods and services. If that doesn’t work, have the union buy the company. They (unions have lots of money – due to forced contributions – as evidenced by their recent lavish retreat). Let them be owner operators. Eat their own dog food. A nation of takers is not sustainable.

On the positive front, since hey, I’m all about being upbeat, there are some great deals to be had on cars with better ones coming I believe. I am appreciative of this as we will be getting ourselves a mini-van this year. It is going to be fun. You all know I hate to be screwed with, especially by sleazebags. For the record, not all car salespeople are sleazebags. Some are helpful. However, many if not most, are trained, encouraged and incented to take advantage of you through any means necessary. Those are the objects of my affections here. Anyway, unlike some, I go into a dealer with a concept, a plan and knowledge. Add in that I am patient, willing (and to be honest, occasionally gleeful) to antagonize them and have all of the cards (money, choice, etc.), I am their freakin worst nightmare. Should be fun. Note: they get the wrath of robbins ONLY when they initiate it. So, that ball is in their court.

Speaking of balls, I may be in the minority but the Cowboys releasing Owens was a stupid idea. I get he may be a locker room issue but for the millions of dollars these GROWN men are being paid, do they really need to have somebody play mommy for them and make sure their feelings aren’t hurt? This crap about this allow Romo to become a leader. Please. Leaders make themselves. If Romo can’t step up and take command, then how is going to do it now? I also understand that TO was a media nightmare. Well, it didn’t help that the media shoved a camera in his face 24 hours a day. The guy has an ego. Why exploit it? Wait. Rhetorical question. Owens has talent like you can not believe. Remember what happened when he went down? Oh yea, nothing good. Again, on the field, he was a stud. One of the few that blocked downfield. He chased back cornerbacks when interceptions were thrown. He did the stuff TEAM players do. Yes, he whined about not getting enough passes but the good ones always want the ball. Emmitt Smith did the same thing about rushes – but he was liked so no controversy there. Anyway, TO talked loud on the field. Unfortunately for him – on a team with egos like Jerry Jones – he talked off of it as well.

That is it for now…

Yet more.

Posted in Michael's thoughts, Political Opinions, Ranting on March 6th, 2009 by Michael

Damn, I just wish it were not so easy.

In the latest ironic category (after Joe Biden being selected for his ability to work with foreign nations – whom are ignoring him) is Geithner’s latest. First, wasn’t this guy uniquely qualified to the extent we decided to overlook his tax issues and illegal housekeeping (BTW, it is required that you have a housekeeper – and mostly illegal – before you take a government position? Seems that way). Well, after tanking worse the Jindal over the first financial plan (no details – only Barack gets away with that) and the failed bailouts, and the numerous other things he has yet to assist on, he goes out of his way to testify on two issues. First, he wants to go after tax cheats? Are you freaking kidding me? This is ‘the one who flew over the cookcoo’s nest , part II’. First, who is he talking to? Half the men and women in the room are guilty of it, including himself. Secondly, with the world’s market collapsing at his doorstep, is this really a priority? Of course, since people will assume he is going after republicans, which is a favorite game for many. Secondly, he decided to go after those evil oil companies for legally getting tax credits the DEMOCRATICALLY controlled congress passed (I might have to be fact checked on the timing of that one). Anyway, his point was not that they were boardroom full of Corporate bitches (it’s a Burn Notice thing), but that they contributed to global warming and democrats are opposed to that per Godfather Gore. Okay, I am no fan of the gas company (since they are pigs in my book) but I just have to chuckle over the rationale for it.

First, a lot of people are opposed to global warming. I am. However, I am also one that does not blindly believe the hype by a book selling, jet traveling, vice president whose life cycle equates to a decade of carbon foot prints of normal folks. Secondly, scientific data seems to be in a quandary. Leading global warming scientists have been discredited. Data has flatlined since 2000. We have seen colder temperatures (oh yea, I forgot, global warming is now extreme weather patterns). So anyway. I’ll have to make up my mind later. That said, we recycle, I want to get a hybrid, I do believe in turning off lights not in use, etc. I believe in being a good steward, just not a nut job (either ‘sky is falling’ or in the ‘these guys are making all of this up’ camp). I just do not understand why everything has to be so polarizing in this country.

BTW, why are democrats, including the Whitehouse Chief of Staff so pre-occupied with whether or not someone listens to Rush? Personally, I think he is a windbag even if there are occasional nuggets of wisdom tossed in with the tripe. As much as the everlasting campaign may want to assert, he is not the leader of the Republican Party. He is a rather large voice who happens to be a republican and more over, pissed off at democrats. Me things they are scared and doing everything they can to discredit him (and republicans by relation) or jealous that they can not get more people to listen to their propagandist talent pool (and hence plan to pass a law mandating it). Hey, at least that will keep Sean Penn busy for a little while. BTW, there does not seem TO BE a leader of the Republican Party and that is a recipe for disaster in this publicity based world. It is hard to be part of the hearts and minds of America, when no one can hear you.

Regardless, the Whitehouse should not be taking shots at Rush. It is political, wrong (after all, he is a PRIVATE citizen with an opinion, not an elected office) and frankly beneath the implied grandeur of the Office of the President. Plus, it just encourages him to spew out more combative versus progressive comments. No win there.

Back to my point, the stock market is not impressed with Geithner or Obama (neither am I, actually). It continues to loose ground daily. It’s down something like 25% since Obama took over and he got a $1TRILLON dollars to turn things around. Hmmmm. Wait, yes, I know, it is Bush’s fault.

So, Bush is responsible for:

  1. Global warming
  2. All economic downturns
  3. The firing of US Attorneys (who by law work (or not) at the pleasure of the President)
  4. Islamic Extremists (you know, he made them that way)
  5. All negative views of Americans, especially if you are French
  6. The Dallas Cowboy meltdown of 2008
  7. The loss of PE is schools (since he thought NCLB was important since it was ‘education’)
  8. The Iraq war (please, no mention of Sadaam here)
  9. Oil prices
  10. Illegal Aliens
  11. Offshoring of jobs
  12. The trade deficit
  13. Palestine
  14. Etc.

I’m sure there are more. I guess I just need to listen to Harry Reid or one of his lieutenants (like Carville, Olbermann, Mathews, or the newest nut job Maddow) more. They are required by their contracts or funding party PAC, to blame him every 2.3 seconds.

Seems Geithner is also having trouble hiring people with two more deputies pulling out their names this week. I wonder…is this because they have issues they do not want to be made public, they ‘suddenly’ decided that they like what they are doing or have they realized this ship is sinking and didn’t want their name attached to it since they will have to find jobs in a few years? I’m going with #3. Still, you would think SOMEONE would want to play with $1 TRILLION dollars. That is unprecedented financial power. I’m not generally a linker in this blog but I too was a little over come about how big a trillion dollars is.

Taxation blame is a fun game

Posted in Michael's thoughts, Political Opinions, Ranting on March 6th, 2009 by Michael

About taxation and the stupidity to playing to the masses (and/or “buy this vote” mentality). I’ve been saying for a couple of months now that this Barack idea (and frankly, democratic mantra) about taxing the rich is a bonehead idea. Well, a pretty smart guy (Steve Malanga @ the Manhattan Institute) did some helpful research to prove that I just might as smart as I look.

First, I have a few things to add. In no way shape or form, do I qualify for the Barack definition of being rich. I also understand and to some extent agree with progressive taxation (to a point). I believe in the concept of work hard and rewards. I believe in charity for those that NEED it. And, as un-Christian as it might sound, I believe it cutting those off who are to be little more than pond scum (by choice). And finally, just because I can, I need to confess that I think those people who make up their minds based on headlines do a major disservice to America.

Alright, some history pulled out by Mr. Malanga…

In 1980, the top 1% wage earners (e.g. the horrible rich), paid 19% of all total federal income tax.

In 1990, after all of the tax cuts (for the horrible rich, per democrats) by President Reagan and Bush, the top 1% of wage earners paid 25% of the total federal income tax. Hmmm.

In 2005 (latest data he had), the top 1% of wage earners paid 40% of the total federal income tax with the 2-6% top earners chipping in almost 20%. So, the top 6% of all income earners paid a total of 60% of all of the taxes (rich got richer and paid more…darn!). Yet, they comprised maybe 15% of the total vote (why not 6%? Higher income people tend to vote at a higher rate than lower income folks – except maybe where recruited and bussed to voting locations like in 2008). Sort of sounds like taxation without representation to me. Wasn’t there a war fought about that sometime ago? Anyway, for comparison, that middle class so near and dear to the democratic voting machine (31K to 104K annually) paid a whopping 27% of the total tax bill (and that represented a decrease from 44%).

Hmmm. So the tax breaks are for the rich (according to the campaign slogans) but they have paid (in percentages of total tax) 3 times as much in taxes (and rising with tax cuts) while the poor middle class that everyone believes is being burdened is paying almost half of what is was (and decreased with the rach tax cuts). Kind of boggles the mind, doesn’t it.

So, are you going to believe a Sr. Research Fellow who is using economic data or a sleazy politician looking to keep his government funded job? Well, sadly, most have chosen the latter and it makes me want to puke.

BTW, don’t believe the rhetoric about how people like Warren Buffet pays less as a percentage than you and I. While it is true as a percentage, you have to look at his story. He is rich but that doesn’t mean he makes that much more all of the time. Most of his money is “paper money” and not transaction oriented. If it doesn’t move, change or grow, you don’t get taxes on it outside of profits like dividends, interest, etc. When sold off, he was taxed on capital gains (long term and at a lower rate, since he is smart about it). And yes, that money is taxed less than normal income. That is for a reason and that is available to all of us the same, rich or poor. You never have to worry when a CEO pays himself a $1 salary… they make it up on the back end (well, not as much now that the market is crapping out… but it will recovery and you will see packages in the future – due to the delta between stock prices today and tomorrow be HUGE – larger than ever).

BTW, Buffet is mega rich. Most rich people do not fall into that category and in fact the top 1% pay an average of 23% in taxes. The middle class I talked about earlier, pay on average 7-9% of total income in taxes. I know that doesn’t sound right — but it is true. The middle class, besides the rhetoric, has all of the tools (credits, deductions, etc.) to pay 1/3 less than the “rich” and do on average.

To steal some of Steven’s thunder, he went way beyond just doing the federal analytics. He looked at the states too. They have a similar approach and when combined, the “rich” pay an even higher percentage for less representation. He looked at places where the percentage of rich contributions are the heaviest compared to the middle class. What did he find? New York, Connecticut and New Jersey. These states are not models of effectiveness.

He finishes with an assertion:

… little changes in the government of these states, much to the amazement of outsiders, who often wonder why voters continue to stand for it. The answer, I tell them, is that a very small percentage of voters are paying for this waste, mismanagement and bloat. The rest pay so little that they don’t really care, or they benefit from bloated government, either through jobs in the oversized public sectors, or as users of services.

This is what you get when the few support the many–the direction the federal government is now heading. You get Connecticut, New York or (God help us) New Jersey.

BTW, the Whitehouse knows and EXPLOITS this every day. They are going to milk this cow till it is time to make more boots for Michelle.

So, say you are one of these people who can not wrap their brains around the facts… let’s look at a couple of more.

Forget about some of the blatant exploitation for a moment (poof, most Americans already did). This is bad news for the economy short and long term and Barack knows it. He KNOWS that the rich are the ones that have muscled the economy forward. That is the reason that he decided to let tax breaks (for the evil rich) expire and not rescind them even though that was a major campaign promise. Not only that but the timing is great – just after another election where I am willing to bet large sums of money that the democrats will be chanting about raising the taxes on the rich while giving tax relief to the middle class (BTW, did you get your $14 this week)? For the record, that is two double ‘what-a-burgers with cheese’ and two diet cokes. Deliciousness aside, that’s not really a major achievement. If you don’t have what-a-burgers, you are missing out.

Anyway, the damage of this tax plan is not just the raising of the effective tax rate 4.5% because that is not all it does. Most wealthy folks have a steady income of stocks and use the reduced costs of capital gains effectively. And they should…their investment is what powers the economy. Anyway, he wants to raise that 5% more, which makes it LESS desirable to invest in stocks. Hmmm. Wouldn’t that lead to less capital for companies to use to grow? Isn’t that what the banks are doing (e.g. credit freeze) which is causing the markets to collapse (and us having to force them via the bailout)? Yes, rhetorical except for those with head still up ass. And my favorite bone head move…the wealthy will loose their ability to deduct charitable giving. Hmmm. That’s awful Christian of you Barack Hussein Obama and the rest of the democrats – which is okay, since pissing off the religion right (you know those ‘that cling to guns and religion’ during tough times) is a perk of the job. Anyway, so if they do not get to deduct, do you think they will give as much? Good will of the people aside, I think the answer is no. So, that means charities that help those that need help will get less. That means that they will have to rely on the government more. That means more social programs, more cost and wait, another opportunity to get votes. After all, those rich Republicans don’t care about poor people (even though they opposed everything that put you in this spot). The campaign ads will tell you that and people will believe it. Busses will show up to take them to the polls (or multiple polls if you live near Ohio) to vote for more. It is a vicious, rotten and horrible cycle.

The bottom line is raising taxes on the wealthy is an economically stupid idea but a brilliant political one.

People are idiots.

Posted in Michael's thoughts, Political Opinions, Ranting on March 6th, 2009 by Michael

I know some say, just men are idiots (aka the ‘sex in the city’ crowd), while others take a more partisan view (e.g. Republicans are idiots). I am going to take the view that people who take surveys are idiots.

Okay, we will ignore the media bias headlines “Obama more popular than ever” and focus in on the details of the recent articles. This revelation that Obama is more popular is really a misnomer given the frequency of the survey. One cannot really extract relevant data points in a non-controller environment ( aka before the election, after the inauguration, etc.) . Also, based on others being done, in that is it statistically unchanged from the previous week’s results even though raw data (not including margin of error) increased. Okay, so sloppy reporting aside.

How is it that these “people” believe:

  1. Democrats are better at the economy than Republicans (almost 2:1) ?

Hmm. I thought Republicans had all of the money (e.g. were the rich) and were evil since they would not share with the poor (e.g. Democrats). So, wouldn’t that suggest that Republican are actually quite adapt at handling financial matters while Democrats are not? I suppose these are part of the 88% of the Americans that believe that the President is responsible for the budget – not congress that constitutionally is in charge of appropriations). No wonder they blamed Bush. Stupidity does that.

2.) Republicans are more to blame than Democrats (and Bush’s administration more than most) for partisanship.

WTF? I guess they missed the part about Pelosi putting through a plan not seen by Republicans. I guess they missed the part about her changing the House rules to make it harder for the minority to debate issues. I guess they missed the part about her saying her job was absolutely not to work with Republicans but how it would be easier to work with them since she had a greater majority (aka, working with them means, ignore them). I guess they missed the part where the great Obama went to the tax payer funded democratic retreat to praise Pelosi for being a rock (e.g. his hammer) in dealing with the other side. Oh, and I guess they missed the part that when pushed for alternatives by a Republican, Obama said “I won”. Yes, bad, bad, partisan Republicans…

3) Obama and congress are moving us forward with the stimulus bill.

Okay, as usual, the democrats (and their extension, the media) have done a much better job that republicans on the PR trail. Still, this same NBC poll listed top concerns as being “too much pork”, “not enough tax cuts” and “spending in the wrong areas”. I mean 61 percent are “more concerned that the federal government will spend too much money and will increase the size of the deficit, than they are concerned that the government will spend too little money in trying to get out of the recession.” How do those things reconcile? Obama and congress are awesome but what they are doing is wrong ? Boggles the mind!

I guess you can not be too surprised about polls. Remember the TV bits and even the movie that showed interviews with voters and almost all them supported the position or issues of McCain yet said they were voting for Obama (and attested the views of McCain to Obama)? And yes, these stupid people are the ones that voted. I really would like to say they were uninformed but there is no excuse for such things in today’s connected world. These folks are stupid and their vote counts the same as mine or other informed people (if those that voted on the other side of things). Let us all remember, the margin of victory for Obama (in populous counts) was not that high (though the press pretends that it was in landslide territory).

We can blame them but sadly, an overwhelming number of people believe that it is the President that decides who and how to spend money (aka the budget). Boy, did the democrats play that up in blaming Bush for the economy. They still do it today. Every time they are asked about Republican opposition to the latest trillion dollar spending spree, they say things like “you going to listen to those in charge for the last eight years?” Frankly, there were some good years in those eight for a lot of people even with status shifting events like 9/11 rocking foundational components of our economy. The death spiral started in earnest two years ago…oh, perhaps by coincidence, when the democrats took over both the house and senate. That is not to say that some of the underpinnings that led to the free fall started then because it didn’t… that was a decade or more before (yes, pre-Bush)… but it was lack of oversight and leadership during this time that allowed bad to go to worse. Blame Bush but that was Pelosi, Frank, Reid and Schumer. Too bad people are too uninformed to know that.

I get you blame the quarterback, but he doesn’t run the defense. Plus, the QB is retired now – yet the team is still blaming him. Funny how that only works in politics.

Oh, we have to take a time out to celebrate the stimulation of the economy! The first jobs were ‘created’. There are a total of 60 of them. Like almost all of them in the bill, they are construction related. How does that help those at all of these retailers, fortune 500 companies, small businesses, etc that went under? They don’t unless you assume that with these 60 people working, they will buy more DVDs at Circuit City, etc. Wait, isn’t that a form of trickle down economics and isn’t that evil? I’m so confused… Anyway, construction jobs are important, even government ones, but I have never seen a shortage of union workers standing on the road, smoking cigarettes while supervising other construction works on the roadways of America during the summer. So, really, are these the people that we need to be helping most? I mean, they haven’t been impacted ANYWHERE near the extent of other businesses. Oh, yes, how much stimulation can the economy get out of these 60 jobs since they are all temporary (and most will go to beer and cigarettes)? But, that doesn’t matter. You must have a press conference even if this is only a six month fix. Promise kept! The press and public lapped it up. Yes, these are the same people who are having others (aka you and me) pay for that high speed rail line Senator Reid put into the bill between Las Vegas and LA. Yeah, critical to America…

Wait, I am not being fair. I read in one of the rags that there are a ton of news jobs being created. Of course most of them are in the government. I mean, Obama’s Whitehouse staff itself is 23% larger. Plus, you have all of the committees and panels and Czars… and their assistants, lawyers, etc. I’ve heard that this administration will be approximately 100,000 people larger than the previous one (of course, we have to wait for the CBO to confirm all of that). Those are real jobs except they really do not create anything and frankly, they do not help the economy since we are paying for them in form of higher taxes. Wait, we only tax the rich so that must be okay. I guess Obama when listening to Rev. Wright, missed the parable about teaching a man to fish. He so far has simply taught people how to go take fish out of the fisherman’s house. Maybe it is the same in his world.

Even as I typed that, I realized that I was shortchanging Barack. There are other jobs being created and according to sources like the WSJ, NBC and others, these are lobbyist jobs. Lots of democratic aides are leaving their government jobs to be lobbyists at huge salaries (good lobbyists go for $350K or so according the reports). Why, because even though lobbyist are bad (I read that somewhere), they are having a field day with the stimulus package and other pro-government spending. They need these ex-government folks to navigate the waters and figure out how to get their piece of the pie. Again, jobs that do not create anything. That said, they like to eat out, buy BMWs and such, so at least some money is trickling back into the economy. And, to boot, Barack will have to hire more lawyers to keep them at bay (or to approve his loose exception policy). I knew there must be a method to their madness. But what is it?