Monday, October 15, 2012

New Obama advertisement

Narrated by Morgan Freeman (one of my favorite actors....sir, please stick to acting as politics obviously is out of your league), the new advertisement for President Obama has the following text:
Every president inherits challenges. Few have faced so many. Four years later, our enemies have been brought to justice. Our heroes are coming home. Assembly lines are humming again. There are still challenges to meet, children to educate, a middle class to rebuild — but the last thing we should do is turn back now
Now, I acknowledge that the challenges that President Obama has faced have been numerous:  War in Iraq, War in Afghanistan, poor economy, housing in a freefall, unemployment, and consumer confidence waning.  However, is this any different than any other president?  Bill Clinton is the only president that I can think of who faced very few crises during his presidency.  With Bill, the economy was humming (and yes, even at the beginning of his presidency, the economy that had stagnated under George Bush was picking back up).  Foreign policy issues under Clinton?  Oh, fire the occasional missile at Iraqi fighters violating the no-fly zone, but nothing major.

And "our heroes are coming home"?  Holy hell man, there are still over 300,000 military personnel deployed overseas.  How is that "coming home"?  That's barely under the number that George W. Bush deployed during his terms, but he was called a 'war-monger'. 
"Assembly lines are humming again"?  Where?  In China perhaps.  Not here.  The unemployment rate has been over 8% for the majority of your presidency, sir, how the hell can you possibly claim that assembly lines are humming again?  Not only that, but if you have your way, the increased expenses imposed on small businesses will cause a slowdown that makes the most recent recession look like a walk in the park.

"Children to educate"?  Indoctrinate, more likely.

Seriously, didn't this guy ASK for the job four years ago?  Now he's whining because being president is HARD?  Waaaah...someone call a waaaahmbulance. 

Take off the skirt, Mr. President.  It's going to interfere with your golf game.  And no one wants to look at those bird-legs of yours anyway.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Michigan Votes

So, this post will be for my Michigan readers.  Anyone who doesn't live in Michigan is more than welcome to read it, but most of you could likely give a rip as to what sort of crap we're voting on here in the Magnificent Mitten.

Proposal 1:  Here in Michigan, we have what is called an "Emergency Manager Law (EML)".  In a nutshell, if your city, county, township, or school district has been so amazingly mismanaged that you have very little money left to run your governmental body, the state government will appoint an emergency manager to 'take over' the running of your organization.  Proposal 1 is a referendum on that law.  It makes us decide whether we should continue to allow the governor to appoint these emergency managers or whether to allow the elected politicians to continue.  This law originated under the previous governor, a Democrat, in an attempt to help the Detroit School District, city of Flint, city of Benton Harbor, and all kinds of other areas.  Apparently, the unions are perfectly fine with a Democrat appointing an all-knowing/all-seeing financial leader of a governmental unit, but once there is a Republican governor, they want to repeal it.
I am basing my vote on this upon the performance of the law.  Thus far, the areas that have been affected by the EML have continued to function, some of them have improved their performance.  Detroit Public Schools and the City of Benton Harbor have actually been moving toward a better financial position.  That's all I need to know.  The fact that the unions are pissy about the law is an added bonus.  Anything I can do to piss them off definitely gets my vote.  So, yes on prop 1.

Proposal 2:  In an attempt to ensure that Michigan does not follow Wisconsin in their renegotiation of contracts with governmental employees, the government union employees have pushed this turd onto the ballot.  This allegedly protects collective bargaining by ensuring it's part of the constitution.  Unfortunately, most people in the state don't realize that collective bargaining is already protected in a number of laws.  This proposal is just a union power-grab for the teachers union and government employee unions.  It essentially repeals laws that have been passed over the past few years that have allowed school districts to fire teachers who violate the laws or public trust with the students.  It would make it much more difficult for school districts and lawmakers to adapt as times change.  It also would prohibit any law that gives workers the freedom to choose whether or not to join a union.  Needless to say, I'm voting against proposal two for multiple reasons, the biggest of which is pissing off the unions.

Proposal 3:  The environmental lobby has proposed a constitutional amendment to require that by 2025, Michigan will generate at least 25% of their electricity from renewable sources.  While in principle I agree with this, to write it into the constitution is a horrible mistake.  Just like we shouldn't write drivers license rules into the constitution, we shouldn't write energy policy into the constitution.  Additionally, the cost of electricity in Michigan is already higher than the surrounding states, for multiple reasons.  We already have a target of 10% by 2015 and should continue to work toward higher amounts, but as of right now, the technology just isn't there to keep it affordable.  Our families and companies aren't in good enough shape to take yet another increase in costs.  No on Proposal 3.  Not sure if there are any unions I'm irritating by this, but if there are, BONUS!

Proposal 4:  I've already posted my position on prop 4.  The SEIU forced unionization onto home healthcare workers.  Most homecare workers don't make very much and to force them to pay union dues, seems overbearing and idiotic.  See my older post for more reasons to piss off the SEIU.

Proposal 5:  Prop 5 would require a 2/3 vote of the legislature to pass any tax increases.  Ok, so here I'm going to have an issue.  I don't like the fact that we have to have 2/3 of the House/Senate to pass an increase, but a simple minority can lower taxes.  Yes, I love lower taxes and want to see less taxes in the state.  However, I think that this could be an issue going forward as economic situations change and it doesn't allow our lawmakers the flexibility they need to clean up the tax code.  They would need a 2/3 majority to get rid of loopholes and complicate the budget process.  We've had a history of budgetary idiocy here in Michigan, so any level of complexity added to the process will continue to cause financial issues here.  I like the idea, but I don't like the law.  No on Prop 5.  I wonder if that'll piss off the UAW.....hmm....

Proposal 6:  We have one bridge in Detroit to Canada, the Ambassador bridge.  It's owned by Matty Maroun.  Who would think that an independent entity could own a piece of transportation infrastructure?  But he does.  And he's pissed that people are going to possibly use someone else's bridge (if we build it).  This proposal requires that any future construction of international crossings be approved by the people via a vote.  Even if it doesn't cost them a damn thing in tax dollars.  The current proposal for a bridge has Canada footing the bill for the entire construction project, making up the costs in tolls.  I don't see a problem with this and in an article I just read, apparently the UAW is aligning themselves with Maroun.  If that's not reason enough to vote against 6, I don't know what is.  No cost to the Michigan tax payers AND we get to piss off the UAW?  Oh, where do I sign up?

Monday, October 08, 2012

Mitt is no conservative

Today I read an article where President Obama's team is attempting to present Mitt Romney as being "right of even George W. Bush". 

I find this amusing, since absolutely no one with any sort of actual intelligence could ever, ever, ever, call George W. Bush a right-wing conservative.  He's barely a conservative by strict measure of the word, given his promotion of growth in government to the point of ridiculousness.  Let's look at a few things:

Medicaid Part D:  Seriously?  Would a right-wing conservative ever had passed this turd?  Yet, somehow Bush is categorized as a conservative, despite creating a program that we'll spend $723 billion on over the next five years.  Absolutely nothing about this program reflects anything conservative or right-wing.

Homeland Security Department:  This utter waste of time, effort, and money is yet another money-grab that no self-respecting conservative would actually support.  Obviously it was passed in the heat of the moment of 9/11, but instead of passing things because they feel good, we should be reviewing them and making sure that they're the right thing to do.  No self-respecting true conservative can look back on that and say "Yes, that's right thing to do" after looking at the return on the investment of approximately $600 billion we've spent since it's inaugural year.

No Child Left Behind:  This utter joke of a program forces yet another federal imposition onto the states and local communities.  A true conservative would have rebelled against such an overbearing intrusion into the state/community responsibilities.  The federal government has absolutely no constitutional authority when it comes to education, yet forces local districts to follow their rules.  Interestingly, NCLB is long as the school district who opts out agrees to forego their federal funding, which we all know would never happen.  This vomitous mass of a program has "only" cost the tax payers $75 billion or so (depending upon what sources you believe) at the federal level.  Unfortunately, because of the requirements that NCLB imposes on the state & local authorities, it's cost them much more.  Additionally, the federal government didn't fully fund their own requirements.  So essentially, they said "Here's a new requirement that you have to meet in order to get federal funds, but here's 50% of the money that it's going to cost you to fulfill the requirements".
Now, I'm actually against federal funding of education of any sort.  I think this sort of thing should be block-granted to the states and the feds should stay the hell out of the entire thing.  But if the feds are going to force states to do something, they should damn well come up with the cash to back it up.

So, I think it's safe to say that GWB is absolutely no conservative.  Sure he had a few things that made him look the part:  Stem-cell research opposition, the war on terror (although I'd argue that Al Gore's sorry ass would have gone to war just as quickly as GWB did), and his frequent invoking of God's name in whatever speech he happens to be giving.  Additionally his support of gun-rights was strong and I give him credit for that.  However, John Dingell (D-MI) is an ardent gun-rights supporter, voted for the war on terror, and occasionally uses God's name in speeches, does that make him a conservative too?  I'd argue no friggin way, and I'd say he would too.

Mitt is absolutely no conservative.  His frequent moderation when it comes to gun control, abortion, states rights, and other hard-core "conservative" values would back that if anyone would have the intellectual honestly to do a little bit of research would know that as well.  But since most people are too lazy to do that, I'll do it for them:

Gun Control:  Romney has consistently been in favor of some levels of gun registration and gun control (something I oppose wholeheartedly).  While governor of Massachusetts he signed one of the most restrictive assault weapon bans in the country.  He also backs a 5-day waiting period on purchases of guns. 

Immigration:  Romney states he's not in favor of amnesty.  Yet he supports the "Z-Visa" which is essentially, amnesty.  It allows someone to stay in the country indefinitely.  They have to re-register for it every so often, but essentially, it's amnesty for those who have already entered illegally.  Ironically, not breaking the law is one of the requirements of the Z-Visa, but of course, they've already broken it if they're in our country, something that the liberals who support such idiocy are conveniently choosing to ignore.
Abortion:  In this case, Romney and I agree.  He personally thinks that it's wrong and does not support abortion, but does support a woman's right to choose.  During the 1994 race for the Senate, he discussed a case where his brother-in-law's sister died of complications after an illegal abortion which is why he supports keeping abortion legal and safe.  In my situation, I believe that it's a woman's choice and no governmental entity should make a law restricting that choice.  I also believe that it's a horribly immoral thing to do and that it's not just the mother's life who is affected here, but if a woman wants to live with killing her child on her conscience, who am I to stop her?

Gay Rights:  Mitt Romney actively campaigned for gays to be allowed to serve in the military "openly and honestly".  He also ok with the Boy Scouts being forced to allow gay people to serve as troop leaders.
So, I think it's fair to say that Romney is no Reagan...nor is he Pat Robertson, Rick Santorum, or any other far right wing politician who wants to control what you do in your bedroom.  And anyone who says otherwise has something they're trying to sell you.