Saturday, April 24, 2010

Devil in the Details

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To help strengthen his push for greater regulation of Wall Street, Barack Obama is demonizing Goldman Sachs as being corrupt and not looking out for "the little guy."

Then who has Goldman Sachs been looking out for? Oddly enough, it's Barack Obama.

In 2005, Republicans wanted additional regulatory power over lending institutions - including the soon-to-fail Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But Democrats, including Senator Obama of Illinois, unanimously opposed it.

Which is why, in 2008, Goldman Sachs and its employees said "thank you" by giving candidate Obama over $950,000 in campaign funds. In fact, it was the largest single source campaign contribution since the beginning of campaign finance reform.

(As an interesting aside, in taking the money Obama broke a solemn campaign promise and an agreement with John McCain that he would run only on public funds to avoid corruption and influence peddling. In fairness, John McCain was pretty much the only person who actually believed him.)

Since January of 2009, Goldman Sachs has passed out another $900,000 in campaign funds...69% of which went to Democrats. And surely they expect to get a good return on their investment.

The financial regulation proposed by the Obama administration will be bad for Wall Street in general, but not particularly hard on those devilish companies that had the foresight to, in the words of one financial services lobbyist, give the Democrats "an assload of money."

Friday, April 23, 2010

Brown is the New Green

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As expected, the mainstream media used the occasion of "Earth Day" to repeat and promote the many myths and distortions about man-caused climate change. And Climategate? Sorry, never heard of it.

The push is well-timed (not coincidentally) to help lay the groundwork for the introduction of "Cap and Trade" legislation next week...which some are accurately calling a "Global Warming Tax."

Here at Hope n' Change, we're all for trees, forests, clean air, clean water, recycling, energy conservation and other green-friendly ideas. But we're also rather partial to science. And when it comes to man-caused climate change - let alone a new tax to "change the change" - we think it has more than a passing resemblance to what a bear does in the woods...

Earth Day 2010: "We Cry...Because Trees Can't"

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The High Cost of Free Speech

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FAIR WARNING: We have to apologize in advance that today's topic is disturbing...and if you had a hard time with the cartoon, you may want to skip the details in the link below. That being said, we really DO have a point to make beyond pure revulsion.

The Supreme Court has struck down a law intended to prevent the spread of so-called "Crush videos," in which women torture and kill small animals while engaging in sexual language. The reason given is that the law, as written, was overly broad...and so is a violation of Constitutionally protected free speech.

This is not a partisan issue. The court voted 8-1 to strike down the law, both conservatives and liberals, and we can only imagine the distaste and reluctance of the justices who cast those votes in order to protect the right of free speech.

The justices understood the absolutely critical and essential importance of free speech to our country. But if such horrendous "speech" is protected...what kind of speech should not be protected?

According to the mainstream media, complaints about taxes, the national debt, and lack of transparency or accountability in government are being described as "seditious," especially when uttered by people like Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin.

All of which is to say that the Supreme Court understands the importance of free speech, and those who are attacking conservatives and the Tea Party movement (including an all-too-visible Bill Clinton) do not. And make no mistake- the enemies of Constitutionally protected speech, whether by intent or ignorance - are dangerous enemies of freedom.

Postscript: the Supreme Court has said that a more narrowly worded law against "crush videos" probably would pass Constitutional muster, and we certainly hope that lawmakers will waste no time in getting one enacted.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Gods Are Angry

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Much has changed since the old days when virgins were thrown into volcanoes. For one thing, it's much harder to find a virgin...for which the mainstream media is significantly to blame.

But to make up for it, news outlets like NPR and CNN are suggesting that the Gods can now be appeased by sacrificing taxpayers and businesses.

On NPR, host Diane Rehm speculated about the "human involvement in all of these eruptions, earthquakes, and storms," and her guest from CNN followed up by speculating "How much climate change is contributing to earthquakes and volcanic ash."

This stunning lack of basic scientific knowledge, or even the ability to tell the difference between "cause and effect," would be amusing if it weren't for the fact that the media is using these arguments to support "cap and trade" tax legislation that will put a crushing financial burden on every individual, family, and business that uses energy.

Of course, these "cap and trade" taxes won't prevent volcanoes, earthquakes, or hurricanes. But, as the NY Times points out, they will "generate mammoth amounts of money for governments."

Which just goes to show that someone has to go into the flames when the Gods are angry. Or greedy.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pew - Something Stinks

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A recent study by the Pew Research Center shows that only 22% of Americans believe that the government can be trusted all or most of the time. And frankly, we suspect that the people in that 22% aren't exactly the brightest bulbs on the tree, if you know what we mean.

The study shows that a growing number of people want less government control (which is to say, less government deception and ineptitude), and that the trend has accelerated significantly since the Obama administration took office. Talk about your amazing coincidences!

Comparing the figures in this study to other polls turns up some interesting statistics: more people believe in ghosts, believe that UFOs are visiting Earth, or (disturbingly) believe that 9/11 was an "inside job" than believe the current administration is truthful and/or competent to solve our nation's problems.

"Pew" just about sums it up...

Monday, April 19, 2010

Beggars Can't Be Choosers

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According to a study by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, the Obama administration's decision to raise marginal tax rates and scale back deductions for charitable giving will cost charities $5 billion this year alone.

The negative impact is so tremendous that some experts believe that the tax policies are deliberately designed to curtail private giving, so the government will have more control over who does (and doesn't) get helped and, more importantly, prevent the poor from becoming confused about financial aid being available from any source except the government.

Of course, nothing comes for free...and the tradeoff for punishing the "evil rich" is less money and more suffering for the genuinely poor and needy.

It's all too easy to imagine this president arching an eyebrow, waving a lace handkerchief at the poor outside his palace window, and saying
"Let them eat hope."

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Devil with a Blue Dress

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A recent study by the University of Kentucky found that less than 20% of young adults think oral sex is really and truly "sex." And the researchers made no bones about the fact that the turning point in this belief occurred when Bill Clinton waggled his finger at a national audience and declared "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."

Granted, being from Arkansas, the president might have believed that "sexual relations" referred only to sisters and cousins...but it seems more likely that he was simply lying through his teeth.

Comedy aside, there's an important lesson to be learned here about the long-lasting social impact which follows public wrongdoing, combined with a complicit media which goes into overdrive to convince the public that wrong is right, and morality (as well as legality) hinges only
on semantics.

We've already seen the impact on sexual attitudes (and plague-like levels of STDs). But what will be the eventual consequences of today's liberal/media saturation campaign preaching anti-capitalism, the end of American exceptionalism, a "dependence mentality," and the fomenting of class envy?

Frankly, we'll all be screwed...and that won't be sex, either.

"I did not pay that dry cleaning bill!"

BONUS: Bill Clinton has recently spoken out on the dangers of the Tea Party's rhetoric, associating such speech with the Oklahoma City bombing. He then goes on to say that this does not mean "we should reduce our passion," and emphasizes that "we should not gag each other."

Some jokes just write themselves...