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04 January 2009


James Currier

I would think you would endorse this move with applause rather than derision (calling him blowing in the wind). Why do you think he's blowing in the wind. Perhaps he's not as left as you think. He opposed the silly governement manipulation of gas prices last summer proposed by McCain and Clinton, and that certainly would have been a good opportunity to pander to this base you say he lied to. Maybe he does really want to include both Republican ideas and Democrat ideas in his policies. Wouldn't that be a good thing? He's done nothing wrong and you're already deriding him for doing what you would propose yourself. He never said he wouldn't do tax cuts. He actually proposed bigger tax cuts than McCain during the campaign. Why would you continue to attack him if he is doing things you approve of. He didn't lie to anyone. That's what Bush did. Obama has been playing it straight.

George Rebane

Sorry for being unclear, I do approve of this post election tack. Let's hope this one pans out and there are more of them. But as far as "playing it straight" is concerned, he had half the country's political commentators fooled along with his far left wing. I'm just a backwoods blogger who happened to agree with what these folks saw in candidate Obama's copy.

James Currier

Well, your language and imagery is derisive. And you're no backwoods blogger. That's a trying to fool people. :-)

And if the people wanted someone who was incredibly left wing... why? It's because of W.

Here, by the way, is this nation's biggest and most costly flip-flopper during my lifetime.


Hopefully, Obama is what I heard him say he was, which is centrist.

Mikey McD

BO's constituency will go along with this new plan as long as his campaign goal to loot the wealth generators is realized. I suspect the tax breaks will only go to the low income (under $200k year) and the enormous corporations that paid BO to play (campaign contributions). The typical American only writes checks to the US Treasury, never made any deposits from.


Mikey McD (couldn't resist)

Where will the tax cuts come from... just pick one...
Tax Poem

Tax his land,
Tax his bed,
Tax the table
At which he's fed.

Tax his tractor,
Tax his mule,
Teach him taxes
Are the rule.

Tax his work,
Tax his pay,
He works for peanuts

Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.

Tax his ties,
Tax his shirt,
Tax his work,
Tax his dirt.

Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he
Tries to think.

Tax his cigars,
Tax his beers,

If he cries
Tax his tears.

Tax his car,
Tax his gas,
Find other ways
To tax his a__.
Tax all he has
Then let him know
That you won't be done
Till he has no dough.

When he screams and hollers,
Then tax him some more,
Tax him till
He's good and sore.

Then tax his coffin,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in
Which he's laid.

Put these words
upon his tomb,
' Taxes drove me to my doom...'

When he's gone,
Do not relax,
Its time to apply
The inheritance tax.

Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL license Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Excise Taxes
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax (42 cents per gallon)
Gross Receipts Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Luxury Taxes
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Personal Property Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service Charge Tax
Social Security Tax
Road UsageTax
Sales Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Utility Taxes
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax

Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, and our nation
was the most prosperous in the world.

We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle
class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.


Keep in mind folks, you can only get so much blood out of a turnip. As for me, I am looking at a portion of my back lawn to turn into garden this year. And wealth, it is starting to look like more people are going to be hiding it. Our state and Federal government are headed for some real money trouble, and I think most folks are beginning to feal it right now.
Just try to imagine it, $41,000,000,000. our State is in the hole. It is going to cost you more to live here. And gas for your car, even if the price of a barrel of oil doesn't go up, your price per gallon will because of some new ways of taxing. They are going to tax your home fire insurance to pay for CAL-Fire. They are not going to remove the fuel loading. Keep an eye on the California State budget, it might surprise you.


And this will be brought to you by your Democrat majority in Sacramento. Really bad situation for Arnold.

George Rebane

James, for emphasis my comments from time to time are derisive and are meant just so. I believe Obama’s flip upon being elected deserves such commentary. He switched from being an inexperienced socialist ideologue to what now appears to be a pragmatic politician. And in doing so, as evinced by WSJ’s midnight email alert and the next morning’s page one article he not only fooled half the country’s electorate, and half of his own supporters, but also some pretty sophisticated people at places like the left-leaning Brookings Institute. I believe you may be among the astute minority who knew all along that the guy was going to chuck his espoused principles. I was among those he had scared stiff. Why?

I am more familiar than I want to be with would be leaders who rise from midst of swooning flocks of sheep. To me the scenes of people teary eyed and crying at his Berlin and convention acceptance speech performances were extremely scary. They hearkened back to the films of eager multitudes looking up and listening to the nascent dictators of the 20th century promising paradise and delivering unimaginable hell.

The American democracy has always viewed its politicians with a gimlet eye, and has done so with much justification. Would that my pen was as sharp and biting, nay, derisive as those of a Mark Twain, Will Rogers, or P.J. O’Rourke but it isn’t. And therefore I cannot do justice to the level of suspicion in which every American politician should be held during the term of his office. Today’s news of our elected ‘honorables’ overflows with corroboration of this wise strategy. In a free country all should know that government is a latent evil that should be watchfully kept on a short leash. When we forget this, autocracy creeps in (as now) and tyranny follows.

My piece on Obama’s flip is also a sigh of relief. I would much rather have my leader turn out to be a politician of known stripe, than remain a champion of an ideology that I know to be in error and therefore detest. As for the Bush flips on the link you cite, I’ll let history be the judge. The world changed on 11 Sep 2001, and the left has yet to acknowledge that. I believe that Obama, as he moves to the center, will overcome his lack of experience as he listens to the pragmatic and experienced Beltway crowd that will now displace his “hope” and “change” electioneering rhetoric. Somehow we all will muddle through as long as there is a broad and constant chorus of criticism that looks under the hood and kicks the tires of every policy he proposes. And some of that criticism may even be on the mark.

James Currier

Well spoken, as usual, George. I agree with much of what you said.

But I will have to disagree that the world changed on 9/11, just as the world didn't change when the Berlin Wall fell. Both of those were obvious 10 years or more before they happened. The Soviets were running on fumes in late 1970's and at least in my house in New Hampshire, it was common knowledge they were done. As I told you in 1992, the muslims are the enemy from the late 1980's to 2020, and then it will be China's turn for 60 years until AI. As we discussed back then, the technology of our time gives the advantage to to the small cells of people over the larger organizations. Perhaps the internet will again turn the tide and make centralized, larger systems dominant by 2030 or 2040. We saw this with the gatling gun giving the advantage to defense in WWI. In 1996? Gary Hart ran a commission that was asked to assess the greatest threat to US security and the answer was terrorists operating in small cells using atomic, biological and other small weapons to target our most dense population centers. Well... that's what happened. So I would argue that nothing changed other than mass awareness of something that had been true for a long time. As we have discussed, I think the both sides, but particularly the Right, over reacted to 9/11 as if it was news. It wasn't news. Pathetic "leadership." Zero vision.

Oh, and I wish you had applied this energy to look under the hood and kick the tires of the multiple failed policies of Mr. Bush for eight years. I understand why Bush supporters say they will let history be the judge, because there is nothing positive to say now. But in fairness, when can we say we've given it enough time to let history be the judge? For instance, W's failures have pushed what you believe to be a flaming liberal collectivst into the presidency. History would now judge Bush badly for that already, yes? People elected him to be a collectivist according to what you say, and as anyone watching the campaign knows, Bush made that happen. So can I start judging. Are we in the history part yet?



How do you account for the failure of those small cells to make any progress in attacking the USA during the "failed" Bush Administration. How do you account for the fact that the EU is now getting ready to adopt the Bush Administration's views on voluntary CO2 reduction goals and all future reduction programs should not damage national economies. How do you account for the fact the Bush Administration pointed out the problems of with Freddie Mac and Fanny May, but a liberal Democratic Congress refused to act to reign in the growing house of cards created by the sub-prime lending. Loaning money to people who cannot pay is not good economic policy and we are paying the price, and it was the doing of a liberal Congress, not Bush policies.

History has revived "failed Presidents" and it will happen again. Will history be kind to Bush, we will have to wait and see. I hope that conservative do not adopt a hate Obama mantra like the liberals have of Bush. Being critical is not hate, it is a desire to fix an problem. I thing liberals could have had move influence on Bush if they had dropped hate mime, and used constructive criticism. I am not going to hate Obama, but will be critical of his policies when they deserve a review. I am truly concerned about Obama's climate change green team at the EPA and NOAA. The world is cooling and the IPCC and NASA models are wrong. Historically his green team has show a religious dedication to the global warming models. We need some real scientist, not policy wonks making energy policy as the climate cools.

Mikey McD

I agree that the world did change on 9/11. The enemy of the USA was known, but, without a smoking gun there is not onus to fight said enemy. Bush's legacy will be fraught with bias for years to come. In my mind W's tax cuts kudos were offset by the patriot act liberty looting. His administrations early warnings about Freddie/Fannie was offset by his outrageous spending, W's ability to keep us safe since 9/11 in the states is offset by his continued ignoring of the Darfur genocide. His meaningful crusade for revenge in Afghanistan was offset by his horrific war in Iraq. His great gains in empowering faith based organizations to combat hunger/disease/etc was offset by the nationalization of banks/mortgage houses on his watch. The list goes on...

George Rebane

James, this thread is unraveling delightfully into several important topic areas. It seems that we all understand each other on the matter of Obama’s pragmatism as he approaches inauguration. But you raise important new perspectives which I want to start with its own post as a new discussion of geo-political realities that will advise, affect, and alter Obama’s policies (as they are now variously understood) during his administration.

To dispose of a couple of points. The machine gun was the technology du jour that gave defense its advantage during WW1 (Gatling guns saw their prime in the latter 1800s.). But defense has tactically always had the advantage throughout history as witnessed by the ready expenditures for fortifications by all civilizations.

Bush and history. Well, the early rehabilitation of Bush’s tenure has already started in several publications. We know that historical interpretation in the short run bounces back and forth until it finally settles down into one or two accepted channels of ‘truth’. Witness the new historical interpretation of Roosevelt’s administration and its economic programs of sixty plus years ago. Basically, useful history comes from follow-on observers who aren’t anchored by their for-the-record ‘I knew that’ and ‘I told you so’ pronouncements. So I don’t know when you can start judging – perhaps right away is good enough, but don’t hold your breath that your assessments today will become the accepted knowledge fifty years from now. As an example, consider the silly inclusion of Katrina in the assault on Bush. That little piece of silly propaganda is dying on the vine as we speak, but its attendant views as to what role the feds vs locals played, and what roles they should have played is giving rise to a productive dialogue on governance. Though it did demonstrate again that idiots cannot govern, even though we continue to elect them.

To address the larger points raised in this comment thread, I invite the reader to ‘President Obama’s Policies for a Real World’ .

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