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Posts Tagged ‘Obama’


Posted by Euroranger on October 4, 2013

Oh look…it’s our economy under the leadership of Hopey McChange.

I’m not a self-important man.  I’m not a petty or boastful fellow.  I’m not so convinced of the superiority of my intellect and/or common sense that I disdain others’ opinions automatically.  I can and have been known to be wrong (if you consult the lovely and talented Mrs. Ranger she will enthusiastically confirm this).  I actively police my opinions for such personality flaws.  I do try and “put myself in the other guy’s shoes” and try and discern the merits of opinions I don’t necessarily share.  Because of all that, I’m going to write this post to memorialize something I’m about to say that, I believe, will turn out to be probably (sadly) prophetic:

Obamacare will seriously gut this country’s economy

I’ll keep this brief (and I really mean it this time).  All I’m going to do is to spit out a few facts of my own personal situation and then make a few observations and leave this here so we can all either come back and laugh at it later…or wonder why, if I was so damned prescient, didn’t I play the Powerball.

I am a married father of 2 kids living just outside of Atlanta, GA.  Our ages are 47 (me), less than 47 (Mrs. Ranger), 13 (Ms. Ranger), and 11 (Mini-Ranger).  None of us smoke or are morbidly obese.  We have a health insurance policy that I secured via eHealthinsurance.com that I pay $4665 per year in premiums that features a prescription drug plan and has a 20% co-pay and $3500 individual deductible.  It’s with a reputable highly rated company.  It’s not cheap and the coverage is, by no means, one of those “Cadillac” plans we’ve been hearing the President and his parrots in the mainstream media snorting derisively at.  I’m a middle class guy earning a middle class paycheck and this is the health insurance coverage I can afford.  Obamacare, as pretty much all of you by now have heard, started a few days back (October 1).  I’ve had coverage so I never really concerned myself all that much the dire doom and gloom warnings we’ve all heard about the economic Armageddon we’ll all get cordially invited to when the entirety of the the ACA (the soon-to-be-widely-recognized-for-its-immense-irony named Affordable Care Act, aka: “Obamacare”) kicks in.  That said, I got a letter in the mail from my carrier the other day inviting me to partake of a one time opportunity to reset my current health policy to a December 1 inception date (so that it runs from 12/1/13 to 11/30/14) for a mere monthly premium increase of $40.  I looked at this letter and wondered “why the hell would I volunteer to pay nearly $500 per year more for the same coverage I already have”?  It was then that I came across an online forum wherein a poster (we’ll go ahead and safely and with little real debate refer to him as “f***ing idiot”) was crowing about what a great thing Obamacare is and will become.  To prove what a great thing it is, he helpfully posted a subsidy calculator (check it out here: http://kff.org/interactive/subsidy-calculator/) to tell you how much “free money” you’d qualify for to help pay for your healthcare due to the changes coming with Obamacare.  Needless to say, because I worked hard, went to school, got an education and then actually worked at many and several jobs over the years…my family doesn’t qualify for a subsidy.  Oh well, I thought, that’s hardly surprising.  But what I read further down the page on that site after I entered my details really took me by surprise.  It told me that the predicted cost for an unsubsidized premium for a “silver plan” (read: “worse than the plan I currently have”) would be $9780 per year.  Let me say that again: for worse coverage (in our case, higher deductible and coverages we don’t need, don’t use and don’t want) we can expect to have to pay 109% MORE THAN WE DO NOW!  Even their cheapest plan coverage level, “bronze”, comes in at a predicted $6656 per year or just a 42% increase (and with much, much worse coverage).

It’s almost like he’s talking to every voter who cast a vote for Obama…oh well, the 1%’ers will now be the people with good paying jobs AND healthcare. Way to go you f***ing ignorant illiterate idiots.

Well, after I emptied the outrage-inspired crap out of my trousers, I said “to hell with predictions, let’s go quote a policy and see what I can find”.  So, I went over to eHealthinsurance.com (where I bought our last two policies) to see what I could get for a quote today.  Cheapest that I can quote now is $7104 per year and that’s with the deductible getting jacked up to $6350 per person and going to a 30% copay. That’s a jump of 53% in a single year…and that’s literally the cheapest private option on that site for us for much worse coverage.

Just to summarize: I’ve been “invited” to extend our current coverage and pay an additional $500 per year to do so but because of the absolute crap premiums I’m staring down due to Obamacare, that’s actually a great deal.  The absolute best I can hope from, from what I’ve been able to discern just earlier today, is a jump in my family’s health insurance premiums of at least +40%.  Let me be clear here: this isn’t predictions or estimates or “according to statistics from blablabla”.  This is the actual, no shit reality me and my family is facing as a direct consequence of this country voting for Barack Obama as our president.

That’s the best case scenario…and I get absolutely nothing more for that huge outlay than I’m getting today.  To put it another way: my already tight budget is going to need to squeeze out an additional $2000 in 2014…all so someone else can have what I have but didn’t bother to work for to afford.  And this is merely the best part.  We didn’t even discuss what employers are going to do when this shitstorm hits.  Companies are already turning full time jobs into part time jobs (cutting hours and pay) because the employer mandate says the employer only needs to pay the health care premiums for full time employees.  It’s pretty mercenary of an employer to do that but hey, this isn’t their idea, is it?  Employers do what the economy dictates and this law dictates that full time employment will now become an elitist, status symbol…ironically driving even more people to the public dole than Obama has managed to do in his first 5 years in office.

The American Dream officially died today people…and you have Hopey Hussein McChange to thank for it.

My name is Euroranger and I approved this message.


Posted in In the news, On the web, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The difference between Left and Right

Posted by Euroranger on August 22, 2013

…and just like kid’s shoes, the two sides work better when they’re closer together than when they’re miles apart.

This brief post will be about politics.  Not politics in specific, though, but the political spectrum in general.  We all choose political sides on issues.  Some of us choose them on specific issues and because the sides sometimes switch between topics we like to think of ourselves as “free thinkers” or simply not being entirely aligned to a political “side” for what passes for politics in the United States these days.  Some of us have a “hot button” issue that then directs us to support the opinions of the political party on other issues that champions our view on our dearly held issue.  Regardless, there are two basic sides in America and we all arrive there via some means of thought or value process.  In all fairness, what I’m about to discuss isn’t a new concept and isn’t breaking any new ground but with revelations over the past couple of years, is, to me, a lot more stark example of where the origins of thought are when discussing how people in our single country can be so politically polarized as we appear to be.

I believe the genesis of someone’s leaning in one direction or the other comes down to one value: “confidence“.

In general terms, it is the level of confidence in one’s self to be able to succeed with varying degrees of government “help” to do so.  If you feel that you can be successful without the government lending a hand you tend to lean one way.  If you feel that you need the government to “level the playing field” for you in order to enhance your chances of success then you tend to lean another.  Now, understand, most people don’t hold opinions wholly in one direction or wholly in another…it tends to be a shade of grey somewhere in the middle…but in general terms, I believe a individual’s confidence (in more than just themselves) is what starts the leaning in opinion in one direction or another.  In fact, going back to the first example (the level of confidence in one’s self to be able to succeed with varying degrees of government “help”) it’s also a measure of which do you feel more confident in?  You or the government?  Now, because I, like everyone else, has a political opinion, how I describe that may unintentionally convey a leaning in and of itself.  That’s unavoidable but being aware of it should explain any received bias, if any.  People who identify themselves on the political “right” in this country would probably tend to say they prefer to rely more on themselves and less on the government for their success in life.  People who identify themselves on the political “left” in this country would probably tend to say that not all people are equal but that everyone should have an equal shot for success in life and see the government as the means to enact such “balance”.  In shorter terms, people on the Right tend to trust in themselves overcoming obstacles to success more while people on the Left tend to trust in the government to remove obstacles to success for them.  In even shorter terms than that: people on the Left tend to have confidence in and trust the government more than people on the Right.  With this value in mind, you can look at nearly every political issue in terms of that balance between confidence and trust in yourself and confidence and trust in the government.  Thinking on that theory for a moment, consider some of the news of the past few days and realize that there is a change underway in this country.

One of those news items was this: welfare pays more than a minimum-wage job in 35 states, creating little incentive for Americans to take entry-level work and likely increasing their long-term dependency on government help.  That’s a fairly stark statement and, for this country, has never occurred before on a scale like this.  What it means is that our government is taking so much from those who work and giving so much to those who don’t that the incentive for those who don’t work is to not even consider working in first place.  Wealth (individual as well as collected wealth) in this country is generated by those who work.  Our entire economic system is based on the productivity of the American workforce and the rest of the planet, like it or not, is reliant on the American economy.  This percentage of people in poverty who are living at the pleasure of government entitlements has exploded in the past several years and shows no signs of abating unless radical and drastic changes are made…and those changes would be painful and very controversial.

The other news item is yet another revelation of how our own government views its relationship with its governed populace and how their view appears to be changingTurns out, contrary to each and every statement denying such by the NSA, the White House press secretary and the President himself, the NSA is, has and continues to spy on Americans who have nothing to do with foreign threats or terrorism.  The trouble with the news article in that link I just posted is that it contains so much troubling content.  The government spying on their own people is one thing.  The government outright lying to the only body that stands between them and the people (the FISA court judge) three times in the past three years ought to be even more troubling.  Keep in mind now, when I say “government” in this context it’s actually more like the executive branch and the legions of bureaucrats that the executive controls and not Congress.  This is alongside the other and previous scandals like the bureaucracy of the Justice Department running weapons into a neighboring foreign country, lying about it, getting caught lying about it and nothing happening as well as the bureaucracy of the IRS actively stifling political speech that would likely be contrary to the political views held by the current executive (President Obama) again with no apparent penalty.  Those, of course, aren’t the only three incidents where it would appear our own government executive branch regards itself as separated from the populace and at least appears as though it has a divine right to rule.  That kind of thing has always been the case but it’s only recently that that same executive, at least via it’s actions, seems to regard the rule of law as not applying to it and, what’s worse (if that’s possible), that the populace it governs is contemptible and possibly adversarial.

Look carefully at this image. That building that looks like a fancy grain silo? That’s the Bastille: the very epitome of a repressive regime. Those people on the bottom? That’s the repressed. Those things they’re holding? Weapons including guns. Situations like the one depicted in this image are the very reason we have a right to keep and bear arms…a right that our own executive branch stands opposed to today.

Obama’s own healthcare law was, by law, to go into effect August 1 (about 3 weeks ago)…and Obama simply said “no, I’m delaying that part”.  It’s the law.  How does the president believe that he has the authority to suspend the law whenever it suits his personal or political whim?

People who remember history or have even watched a passably accurate movie about historical events would remember governments who had agencies called things like “the Cheka”, the NKVD and finally the KGB.  They’d remember such government organs like the private Sturmabteilung (SA) which eventually was superceded by the governmental Schutzstaffel (SS) and went hand in hand with that other famous contemporary governmental agency, the Gestapo.  What all such governments had in common was that they were swept into power by a popular revolution of sorts.  In Russia, it was a revolution against the Tsars, followed by a civil war where the Bolsheviks (who were promising their version of Hope and Change) won with the support of the people.  In Germany, it was the National Socialists who were elected as the largest minority group via the very people they’d turn around and cull from their ranks, the homosexuals, the Jews and every other undesirable via death factories like Dachau (a death camp actually on German soil and operating before the war even started).

In both such recent cases and the case of the American and French revolutions further back in history, the government serving the people was either repressive or criminally inept and corrupt…and so a radical change was made by the people.  The point I’m making here is: all governments come to that point.  No government or system of government is eternal.  China, Greece, Rome, the Pharaohs, various emperors, kings and queens…they’ve all ruled and they’ve all eventually fallen.  Were there governments that didn’t fall?  Of course, but they were the ones who weren’t victimizing their own people to the extent that the people revolted.

The ones that did victimize their people had government agencies to excessively seize wealth and property from their people (agencies like the IRS) and agencies to keep an eye on those people because the government realized that with enough confiscation of the peoples’ money and property, they might get mad and turn their anger against that same government (agencies like the NSA).  Is the United States there yet?  No, and not by a long shot.  However, what the government spends isn’t matched by the wealth the IRS seizes from us individuals.  These days they borrow the money…except the point is fast approaching where they won’t be able to do that anymore and they’ll be forced to either cut back drastically on what they spend (which will cause a revolt amongst those who are dependent on the government handout) or they’ll have to take more from the people than they do (which could also cause a revolt).  In either case, you have the executive branch of this government using both instruments (the IRS and the NSA) to act against the people in a manner that exceeds their prior activities…and for that everyone should ask the simple question: why?

If you have confidence in yourself and not as much trust in the government you may answer that question in a way that matches your values.  If you have more confidence and trust in the government you may get an answer to that same question that also comports with your values but will be almost entirely opposite the answer the first group arrived at.  Regardless, the conditions that Americans face today (a repressive IRS and a domestic intelligence gathering effort by the NSA) are both new things…and if you’re not asking “why the change” then maybe you should start.

My name is Euroranger and I approved this post.

Posted in History, In the news, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

When winning is actually losing

Posted by Euroranger on June 6, 2013

Hell, he even has three more years…assuming we survive that long, that is.

This will be a very brief post because I figured that many of you may find yourselves in the same boat I found myself in earlier today.

I was reading the latest “scandal du jour” spawned from the magnificent leadership that is our President Barry when it struck me that I’d actually lost count of how many scandals this historical embarrassment of an administration has piled up.  To be entirely fair, lately they’ve been falling out of this administration’s diseased uterus at a rate that practically nobody could keep up with so much so that you almost want to keep a scorecard (or need a program) to make sure the newer ones don’t eclipse the importance of the older ones…lest we forget.

So, anyway, without further ado, let me throw down a list of the scandals that call this administration “home”:

  • The Blagojovokujojevich (or however you spell that walking hairpiece’s name) selling Barry’s Senate seat scandal
  • The Joe Sestak bribery/influence peddling scandal
  • The ignoring the Black Panthers voter intimidation scandal
  • The Solyndra scandal (and all those like it)
  • The Pigford scandal (the Agriculture Department money giveaway to minority farmers)
  • The Fast and Furious, ATF gun-running into Mexico scandal
  • AG Holder perjuring himself about the Fast and Furious scandal
  • The dozens of Obama recess appointments scandal(s)
  • The GSA, VA, HHS and IRS spending money like it was water scandals
  • The Benghazi, abandoning Americans to die so we don’t offend Muslims, scandal (as well as the subsequent lying about it)
  • The IRS suppressing political organizations with agendas contrary to those of the President scandal
  • The Justice Department seizing telephone records of the AP scandal
  • The Justice Department seizing work and personal telephone records for a Fox reporter because he helped publicize a story embarrassing to the administration scandal
  • AG Holder blatantly perjuring himself when he said he knew nothing about the Fox reporter investigation scandal
  • The EPA, Freedom of Information Act preferential-to-liberal-groups record requests scandal
  • …and finally, today’s scandal: the NSA conducting a massive internal surveillance program that would make the KGB nod proudly

This guy has only been in office just over 5 years now and the above list is hardly exhaustive.  I could have included Kathleen Sibelius being found to extort money from companies HHS would administer or her having violated the Hatch Act when she was blatantly campaigned for a Democrat candidate in North Carolina or even Barry’s own habit of executive rule changes, instructing federal agencies not to enforce laws passed by Congress and just, in general, acting like the laws of this country don’t apply to him (or to anyone in his administration, for that matter).  Add to that the coming Obamacare debacle as well as his absolutely disastrous debt spending campaign that have us in the hole to the tune of around $17T by now.

I guess what I’m saying is, for all my study of American history, you’d have to go pretty damned far back in our past to find an administration and president as absolutely corrupt and dismissive of the rule of law as this guy.  The real irony is that in 2008, the mass of young people who poured out of college campuses nationwide to support candidate Obama and vault him into the presidency were doing so because of what they perceived as Bush’s corruption.  Outside of playing it safe and relying on questionable intelligence that was a product of the Clinton years, what scandals can we collectively recall from the Bush years?  Sure as hell not this many.  That all said, while this president’s administration is ever more quickly revealing itself to be the most anti-American, anti-taxpayer and thoroughly corrupt administration in generations, there is one American who casts his gaze on all this shit…and smiles:

If you ever thought you’d live long enough to experience a president who made Jimmy Carter look good…you’re either the world’s best fortune teller or the world’s worst pessimist.

So anyway, there’s your Obama Scandal Scorecard…for those of you playing along at home and trying like hell to keep up.

My name is Euroranger and I approved this message.

Posted in On the web, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Time for “Connect-the-dots”

Posted by Euroranger on May 14, 2013

Billy C. lying his ass off

Smell my finger. Smells like intern with a hint of “fuck your petty laws…I’m the fucking President”.

I’m going to try and keep this one short and to the point.  Yes, I know, I’ve said such before and that normally precedes a rambling soliloquy that probably ought to come with chapters and probably more pictures (for those of you with Attention Deficit Disorder).  I say “short and to the point” on this one because circumstances have, just this week, conspired to pull aside the nearly omnipresent curtain of time diminishment when it comes to apparently disparate issues that are, in fact, joined but that most think are not.  I guess what I’m really saying is that, for some issues, most people simply don’t get why some of us get all worked up about things because they don’t see how or why the issue, by itself, is such a big deal.  And the reason almost always is: because the issue ISN’T “by itself” at all.  For example, remember when Slick Willy got his willy slicked by Ho-monica in the Oral Office and the huge national debate about the impeachment that followed?  There are still, today, many people (the majority, in fact) that believe the entire impeachment process was about President Clinton getting a blowjob from a White House intern…when, in fact, the issue was that he lied to a grand jury when directly asked that question earlier.  That is: the president of the United States, the guy who stands at the pinnacle of American society, committed blatant perjury in front of a federal grand jury.  None of our jobs require us taking an oath when we accept the job offer.  The president’s does and the part of that oath he takes that says “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution” actually means something.  If we accept that it’s A-Ok for the president to lie his ass off to a federal grand jury then we pretty much say he’s not subject to ANY laws of the land.  That’s not the way America works and in Clinton’s case it wasn’t about the oral sex but that he LIED ABOUT IT and we as a people cannot let even a single instance of presidential law breaking slide.  This week’s example of issues being connected has kind of the same circuitous, but entirely valid and appropriate, logic involved.

By now, we should all know and accept that President Obama’s most recent attempt to neuter our 2nd Amendment rights has and will continue to fail.  Oh, the debate is still going on and those who want to see all of us disarmed in the absolutely laughably utopian result of no gun violence are still out there trying to shame people into supporting their position by saying that by not supporting them we instead support the mass murder of little children.  To Obama and his ilk in this debate, it’s about people “clinging” to their guns for no reason other that some misplaced aggression, some paranoia about crime busting through your door or even as a replacement for a small penis (I have no idea which body part they pick on if you’re a female 2nd Amendment defender though).  In fact, let’s quote Barry directly.  This is what Barry had to say in April 2008 at a fundraising event in San Francisco:

We’ve got a couple of folks who are heading out to Pennsylvania to go door to door with us. And the question was: What kinds of questions should I expect them to get?…The places where we are going to have to do the most work are the places where people feel most cynical about government…You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, Ohio—like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years, and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration and the Bush administration. And each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are going to regenerate. And they have not. So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, and they cling to guns or religion, or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them, or anti-immigrant sentiment, or, you know, anti-trade sentiment [as] a way to explain their frustrations.

It’s only “clinging to your guns and religion” when you’re a Christian American. If you’re Muslim, hey, that’s your “culture” and we should be sensitive to that.

So, just so we’re clear here: the reason some of us want to retain our right to keep and bear arms, to Barack Obama apparently, is because times are bad, jobs have fled and the promised “progress” hasn’t reached these folks so they’re frustrated, racist, Christian, country folk.  THAT’S who wants to keep and bear arms and why…to those on the left.  To them, we don’t wish to keep and bear our arms through any actual thought out, rationally explained reason: we’re just jobless, poor, pissed off, Bible-thumping bumpkins.  Unfortunately though, for the anti-gun crowd, this week’s news pretty much illustrates what most of the rest of us actually believe and that is the 2nd Amendment exists as an ultimate means to address the encroachment of our rights by government when that encroachment goes too far.  In other words, when the government becomes despotic the 2nd Amendment means the people have the option (through force of arms) to overthrow that government.  Now, absent any evidence of the government being despotic, that kind of confirms Obama’s description of such people as “cynical about government”.  But like I said, this week put that whole “oh, you’re just being dramatic…the government isn’t like that” kind of leftist dismissal to the lie that it is.

First off, we had the evolving story of the IRS targeting groups whose political beliefs oppose those of the current administration for harassment via increased scrutiny of their applications for tax exempt status and higher than normal levels of audits and such.  Ever evolving in that initially it was explained as overzealous low level workers in isolated district offices but that turned out to be total bullshit with the revelation that the top guy at the IRS was aware of the activities and had been for more than a couple of years.  In short, the government tried to squelch dissenting political views in what we thought was our free society.  But that entire and ever growing debacle was joined today by the news that this same government demanded and got records listing telephone calls for the work and personal phone numbers of AP (Associated Press) reporters and various AP offices.  This was ostensibly done for a government investigation of a leak that lead to a report by the AP last year of a CIA operation in Yemen that stopped an Al Qaeda plot in the spring of 2012 to detonate a bomb on an airplane bound for the United States.

So, in literally successive days, we have our government actively suppressing free political speech of specific groups it doesn’t like through intimidation via our tax collecting apparatus AND violating the law, free speech, freedom of the press and individual privacy rights by seizing phone records for individuals that might have been associated with publicizing a story the government didn’t want told.  In both these cases, direct violations of the law were made by members of our government acting on instructions from someone higher up in our government…and all to suppress constitutional rights that the government found inconvenient.  In summary, we have government acting against entirely legal organizations solely due to the activities of those organizations being contrary to the pleasure of the existing administration.  This isn’t the first time this has happened.  Back in the 1970’s this identical situation was called Watergate and it lead to the one and only resignation of a sitting president (Richard Nixon).  Back then, the left was up in arms over the government disregarding the law and rights of organizations (like the DNC).  Time to find out if the left was outraged over the actual abuses…or by who committed them.

So, yes gun grabbers, some of us DO see a direct correlation between our 2nd Amendment rights and the fear (now somewhat more justified than before) that our government may one day decide that our rights are superfluous and disposable.  It can’t happen, you said last week?  How about now?  How many examples of our government acting like our individual rights are merely guiding principles and not the very foundation of our country does it take before you agree “we the people” need a means to address that?  Exactly when do these government excesses become enough to acknowledge that our Founding Fathers weren’t misguided idiots when they presumed our (the peoples’) need to protect ourselves one day from our own government?  Guess what, that was a rhetorical question because I don’t care what YOUR opinion is of where that imaginary line is in your head.  I just place my faith in the guys who did the hard and revolutionary work that built our country and not the dismissive assholes that dysfunctionally mismanage it today.

My name is Euroranger and I approved this message.

Posted in History, In the news, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Ask Your Doctor If Sequesterol® Is Right For You

Posted by Euroranger on March 15, 2013

Godzilla...minus KY.

[“Bite the pillow. I’m going to love you now…vigorously”.]

So, here we are in Sequester-land.  It’s not so bad, right?  I mean, all the advance hype about it from some quarters would have led one to believe it would rate on the enjoyment scale somewhere between being boiled alive and being date raped by Godzilla.  The government hasn’t collapsed.  The world continues to turn.  Western civilization hasn’t collapsed in on itself despite the promised Armageddon that would result when the Air Force wouldn’t be able to purchase $10,000 toilet seats for their aircraft.  Barry did close the White House to tours but almost immediately backpedaled on that idiocy when he realized that closing the People’s House to tours claiming budget strictures (and blaming the Secret Service in the process) was laughable when we were also still spending money on his weekend golf outings (think “commandeered Air Force aircraft”).  In fact, spitting in school groups’ faces (the ones who’d planned months in advance and spent a fair amount of money to travel to Washington D.C.) is just one facet of the president’s plan to make the mandatory budget cuts hurt.  Memos have since surfaced at the Interior Department, the Department of Agriculture and at Homeland Security instructing managers to cut back on services visible to the public, presumably to underscore their point that the government can’t possibly function without a daily exponentially increasing amount of tax money.  It seems kind of obvious, after the first week anyway, that the public won’t tolerate this kind of underhanded political gaming and so the forecasted doom and gloom hasn’t appeared and, even when it does, it likely won’t be nearly as apocalyptic as we were all told it would be.  In the meantime, enjoy crapping on the Air Force Gulfstream on the way to your tee off time Barry.  You’d damn well better use that gold plated pooper perch we paid for.

Anyway, something caught my eye today as I was perusing the news.  Barry wants to fund ways to encourage the United States to wean ourselves entirely off foreign petroleum.  Calling it the Energy Security Trust fund, Barry wants to encourage private industry to develop new ways to lower the cost of vehicles that run on electricity, biofuels, natural gas or other non-oil fuel sources.  He proposes drawing $2 billion over 10 years from royalties the government receives from offshore drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf.  Now, those who have read previous post on this blog may recall that I supported not just Barry’s decisive statement about wanting to move America away from a petroleum based energy infrastructure but also Bush’s bold statement during his State of the Union address which is going on…what…12, 13 years ago now?…to move the United States toward a hydrogen based economy.  Both statements turned out to be total politician lies so why does this pronouncement from Barry rate even a comment?  Well, something has changed and that something is that the United States is now nearly off foreign oil or are in a position to be if we decided to do so.  Recent technological leaps and the price of a barrel of crude have made extracting the oil under our own feet a viable activity.  Because of that, the Dakotas these days are booming oil fields and we’re sitting on so much untapped natural gas in this country that some experts suggest that even applying the curve of our ever increasing hunger for energy, we have about 200 years worth of natural gas under our back yards here.  So, Obama’s desire to set up a fund to encourage alternate energy technology sounds great right?  I mean, it’s even revenue neutral (or at least paid for) because it’d come out of the fees the government collects from offshore drilling permits.  Who could be against such a great idea?

All those who remember the Solyndra debacle, for starters.

Cost of White House public tours for one year: $936K
2010 White House state dinner for Mexican president: $970K
You kids wanna see the White House? Go get elected President of Mexico.

Look, as I’ve said before, I’m an American before I’ll accept any other label people like to use to describe their stances on things.  I personally think Obama has been a substandard president and shows the damage that can be done in electing a novice ideologue solely on the basis of race (and yeah, that’s why he’s there folks…unless you think Hope and Change would have worked for a similar white Democrat which we all know it would not have).  But he’s what we have to work with/endure so that’s that.  One of the reasons I dislike him though is that either his naivete about giving public tax dollars to private firms with no strings attached or his bald corruption of giving public tax dollars to private firms with no strings attached who contributed to his campaign as a kickback reward (pick whichever one works for you) is much less effective than simply crafting a tax incentive for such industries.  Why give these firms money we can ill afford to simply give away these days in the midst of Sequesterpalooza when writing a tax refund for successful such firms would be much more likely to, you know, actually produce the results you say you’re after?  The reason why is because Barry is simultaneously locked in an ideological battle with his Republican opponents over how best to form the nation’s financial house such that we don’t end up being Greece or Spain’s bigger idiot bailout brother several years down the road.  Front and center in Barry’s plan to do so is to…raise taxes on corporations.  It’d be kind of hard (even for Barry) to say “raise taxes on corporations” while at the same time saying “give tax breaks to some of them”.  He’s also railed about tax moneys that go to “big petroleum” but it’s those very firms that’d probably be best positioned and knowledgeable about how to create and deploy ways to lower the cost of vehicles that run on alternative energy.

To sum it up: great idea Barry (even if not even a single atom of it is from an original thought) but lousy way to implement it.  Reduce government spending (like maybe demand to know what’s so compelling about lesbians and gay men being fat that the NIH feels compelled to hand out $1.5M in a study to find out), create incentives for private business such that they grow, employ people (maybe even some fat gay ones) and create increased tax revenues…and stand the fuck aside and let America do what it does best: innovate.  Know why we’re nearly energy independent today?  It’s because it now makes good business sense to come up with the new drilling and extraction technologies.  The government had little direct role in encouraging or funding that.  That was nearly all private enterprise doing what it does: serving a need and responding to economic conditions.  Give those companies a tax break for doing the work we want them to do and, by God, they’ll do it.  It’s not like 240 years of history of free enterprise in this country could be mistaken.

My name is Euroranger and I approved this message.

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No Cure For Stupid

Posted by Euroranger on November 12, 2012

As I mentioned last week, I wanted to take a few days to digest the recent election activity and then comment on it.  I’ll spare you all from a rant and tirade about how the election turned out, who did underhanded what to whom and so on and so forth.  You can find those a dime a dozen on the intarwebz and I strive to deliver a somewhat fresh (or at least different perspective) on not so much what happened but what it will mean to our country.  To that end, after a week of somewhat erratic contemplation, I have come to two conclusive opinions:

Franklin et al

These guys actively modeled our country on the Roman Republic. They even knew that one day, we’d screw it up just like Rome managed to.

1./ The decline of the American Republic is at hand – Well, THAT sounds all doom and gloomy, doesn’t it?  Exactly the kind of bombast you’d expect from some dyed in the wool, hard core conservative, right?  Well, my assertion is based on history and not partisan politics.  I don’t really care who won the election…what I care about is who was elected, what those people have demonstrated over the past several years and what it means to America’s future.  What I’m talking about, of course, is our national debt.  Currently, the national debt stands at (get this) $16,260,696,626,397.55.  I kid you not.  I got that figure from here.  Said in plain English that’s “sixteen trillion, two hundred sixty billion, six hundred ninety six million, six hundred twenty six thousand, three hundred ninety seven dollars and fifty five cents”.  However, by the time you read that number out loud it was already obsolete by nine million additional dollars or so.  Yep, we here in the United States pile up debt by the assload like nobody else.  Anyway, everyone knows (or thinks they do) that the debt is one big ass number, right?  Well, it is and most people think it’s always been this big.  But the word “big” in this context has dramatically changed over the past 5 years.  This year, we’ll add another $1.5T or so in new debt.  Prior to President Obama taking over though, our deficits were more in the neighborhood of 200 to 400 billion per year.  Truly bad numbers back then to be sure…but those numbers are less than 1/3 of what we’re doing these days.  Go back even further to the last time Congress claimed to get serious about controlling the debt and budget deficits and you see deficits of less than $200B per year.  Just so we’re clear: days where we ran deficits around $200B = shit’s serious enough to enact legislation to try and control Congress spending like a drunk sailor on shore leave.  Days where our deficits are more than 6 times that much = meh, who cares (aka: “today”).

Since you’ve read this far, you’re probably wondering: how does this equal the decline of the American Republic?  It’s not complicated but it does require understanding how the process for funding our debt works and accepting that history has a tendency to repeat itself.  Our debt is funded by our treasury issuing something called “T-bills” or treasury bills.  The government makes such bills available for purchase and buyers of those bills receive a guaranteed modest amount of interest on their investment.  That means that for every dollar the government borrows, it ends up paying like $1.10 or so which is the original debt plus the t-bill’s interest.  Governments, private firms, banks and individual investors buy t-bills because their return is guaranteed.  However, “guaranteed” is the sticky point here.  Every country issues debt bonds (t-bills) to fund their debts, public works projects, etc.  Every entity that issues such a debt bond receives a debt rating from several international ratings agencies.  This is basically nothing more than an assessment of the risk of that issuing country making good on their guarantee to repay.  For countries that’s called their “credit rating”.  On August 5 of 2011, for the first time in the history of our country, our credit rating was reduced by first one then all the major rating agencies from AAA (outstanding) to AA+ (excellent).  The reason this happened was explained as two main reasons: our debt to revenue ratio and our political gridlock (Dems and Repubs not playing nice together).  In short, what the international ratings agencies said to investors worldwide was “while we still like America as an investment, they’re not as solid as they used to be and they don’t appear to have a plan to improve the situation”.

What does this have to do with the American Republic?  Just this: we just re-elected both a president and a Congress who, collectively, have added somewhere north of SIX TRILLION DOLLARS IN NEW DEBT IN THE PAST FOUR YEARS.  Re-elected.  That means, that despite the fact that we all supposedly knew how bad the debt was, we still returned the same buffoons who have proved they can’t and won’t control their spending.  Alright, you might say, but still…what does that have to do with the health of the Republic?  Just this: the only real parallel we have to historically compare ourselves with is the Roman Republic that disappeared in 27 B.C. when the Roman Senate granted exceptional ruling powers to one man (Octavian) who proclaimed himself Augustus and became, in essence, a Roman emperor.  To understand why this happened and why it’s a parallel to our situation you only need to know the the Roman Republic was experiencing many of the same types of pressures we are today:

– rapid expansion from a small entity to a large, world spanning nation (the United States only really became the world spanning nation in 1945 after the end of WW2)

– both nations maintained large, well funded armies (Rome because they were conquering the world, ours because we can no longer allow Europe the luxury of fighting amongst themselves every other generation now that we have atomic weapons) that placed a drain on the nation’s finances

– both nations polarized into conservative and popular (liberal) factions where the former derived power from the elite class while the latter looked to the lower classes for support, dividing the people and classes into what seemed like warring factions

– both experienced eras of huge social upheaval.  For Rome it was the importation of millions of slaves who took over the menial work of nearly everyone while in the United States we preside over the continual destruction of the traditional family while redefining both societal and gender roles for men, women, adults and children

With society changing at such a rapid pace, the demands of the nations required more and more revenue.  Rome acquired theirs via conquest and higher taxes.  Already in the United States, the call has begun for higher taxes to support lavish social entitlement spending.  In Rome’s case, taxes then were sold as “patriotic” and many people paid them gladly.  However, they eventually discerned that their taxes were being misspent and wasted and many stopped paying their taxes.  In other words, Rome couldn’t fund their debts.  That coupled with the rapid remaking of society, gridlocked politics and no real reasonable solution in sight was when people started thinking that their only salvation was to turn everything over to a single person who would have absolute power.  In the United States, we already have the fiscal hole we’ve dug ourselves and the societal upheaval.  We lack only the rapid shutoff of financial solutions for our spending.  Should our debt and deficit problems remain unaddressed, the rating agencies will have no choice but to downgrade our credit rating yet again.  Do that enough times and suddenly you have a scenario where the United States can no longer find buyers for our t-bills.  If you think this is impossible, you have only to look at Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland and a host of others around the world to see the lie.  There is nothing special about the United States that magically insulates us from economical reality.  If we keep on this path we will eventually be truly broke…and then rather than a dictatorship, we’ll have another revolution.  Either way, it’s the end of the American Republic…and our re-affirming election last week means we’re at least another 2 years away from even starting to address the problem responsibly.

White Obama

Don’t tell me this isn’t every Democrat strategist’s wet dream

2/ The Democratic Party may not nominate another white male for president again – There.  I’ve gone ahead and said it.  Democrat white dudes winning the nomination may never happen again.  While to some that may sound racist, I submit that a suspension of social outrage is in order while we examine the election’s demographic breakdown.  That link goes to demographic results that are, well, fairly stark in terms of demographic politics.  To put it bluntly: if you were white you voted for the Republican to the tune of nearly 60%.  White voters in this country made up 72% of all those casting votes and Obama got just 39% of you.  And yet, he won the general election by 3%.  How is that?

He won because he carried blacks by 93%, hispanics by 71% and asians by 73%.  That being the case, what does that mean?  Well, let’s look at the last times Democrats ran white men as their candidate: Kerry in 2004 and Gore in 2000.  Both men ran against Bush who, by all reasonable accounts, was vulnerable in both elections, yet he managed to win.  The numbers though, tell the tale:

In 2000 the non white vote was 19% of the total.  In 2004 it was 23% and in 2008 it was 27%.  In none of the elections (2000, 2004, 2008, 2012) did the Democrat candidate carry the white vote despite it making no less than 72% of all votes cast.  The Democrats lost the elections in 2000 and 2004 by close margins.  In fact, in each year except 2008, the white vote decreased for the Democrats each election.  While Al Gore carried 42% of the white vote in 2000, Obama got just 39% of the vote in 2012.

What it means is this: the Democrats know (or should know) that they cannot win the presidency by counting on the white voter.  That voter has become ever more hostile to their message over the years (albeit gradually as Clinton carried only 44% then 39%)…but the white voter is losing influence in this country to the hispanic voter bloc.  While I was aware of these numbers somewhat (I didn’t know their exact breakdowns), last week I asked myself a fairly straightforward question and didn’t like the honest answer: if Obama had been a white male running on the record of his deficits, poor employment numbers and such, would he have been re-elected?  The answer to that, I believe, is “not a chance in hell”.  I have to say, given that the minority vote in this country (especially black and hispanic) is so skewed by the race of the candidate, that the Democrats will eventually come to realize that they won’t win the presidency unless their candidate is a minority or is female (although no polling back in 2008 showed Hillary doing well should she have won the nomination).  That, to me, is a rather sobering thought.  White voters have split between Democrats and Republicans fairly reliably regardless of the ethnicity of the Democrat candidate.  Not so for blacks and hispanics.  This suggests a low level racial component when campaigning for minority votes would not only be advisable but beneficial.  It also suggests that, for a block representing more than 1/4 of American voters, issues and platforms matter less than the race of the candidate does.  In fact, if these numbers were somehow reversed and showed a race bias on the part of white voters, I shudder to contemplate the volume of the racial protests that would follow.  However, in this current era of media-sponsored political correctness, not only will there not be a protest, the very existence of these numbers won’t even be mentioned and if they are mentioned, they’ll be summarily dismissed.

Except, I expect, by the king makers in the Democratic party who are just as good with such numbers as I or any of you would be…and they look for any edge they can get in the biggest political game on the planet.  Oh, and by the way, for the time it took me to write this post, the United States added an additional $227 million dollars in debt.  Nice, huh?

My name is Euroranger and I approved this message.

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ObamaCare vs. SCOTUS, Round 1

Posted by Euroranger on March 27, 2012

Barry praying

Yeah...too little, too late, too false, sport. No amount of divine intervention's gonna save this steaming turd of a law now.

In the interest of holy brevity (which I rarely observe), I’ll try and keep this short today…mostly because, in a few months, this post will be rendered obsolete.

Today is day 2 of the Supreme Court hearing the case of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services et al v. Florida…or otherwise and more famously known as “Obamacare”.  So far, the news today is that one of the thought-to-be crucial swing votes, Justice Anthony Kennedy, has been posing some skeptical questions to the government’s lawyers (the ones defending Obamacare) which, in turn, makes people start to think the court may indeed rule against Obamacare.  This is all info that can be found practically anywhere on the web today.  What’s interesting though is that we have a fight in court simply because of political cowardice…and that cowardice ought to be nigh unforgivable should this law be struck down as unconstitutional (which, I believe, it will be).

Why cowardice?  Well, it’s because of the issue that’s actually being argued in court today: does the federal government have the right to compel a private citizen to purchase a product they may not want to purchase?  This is being argued because of the coverage mandate language of the Obamacare law that states that, with only few exceptions, everyone must be covered by a health insurance policy by some future date or risk being assessed a penalty (call it a tax as well if you like) by the IRS on your next tax return.  The government is arguing that they can enforce this clause via the rights ensured to Congress via the interstate commerce clause of the Constitution.  The law’s opponents, naturally, have responded with the legal language equivalent of “bullshit”.

Anyway, if the federal government’s goal was for everyone to have medical insurance, wasn’t there a better and easier (and constitutional) way to do this?  Oh, you bet your ass there was.  It’s called “taxation”…something the federal government positively excels at.  The cowardice charge comes from me because this law SHOULD fail because the Congress didn’t have the stomach to do this the way they should have (if they were going to go this route of ensuring everyone is insured) and copped out by saying they were requiring people to buy their own.  Had the Democrats in Congress simply manned up and said “we’re imposing a new tax to pay for health care coverage”, issued people a voucher for X dollars per year to pay for it (probably via their tax return) OR simply given the taxpayer a choice of insurers their voucher could be sent to (so they wouldn’t simply pocket the money) so as to pay for the premiums then this law would likely survive and maybe do what it was intended to do.

But they DIDN’T man up, didn’t call it a tax when it really IS a tax and instead pussed their way out so that they could run for office back in 2010 without the claim hanging over them that they just ushered in the single biggest taxation increase in United States history.  What it boils down to is: they wanted to be re-elected more than they wanted (ostensibly) to help the country and its citizens.

Coming soon

This is one of those times you see the depth of wisdom of the Founding Fathers to have a Supreme Court to ride herd on the government.

The SCOTUS, I think, will strike down at least this portion of the law and rightfully so.  If you allow the Congress to get away with passing a law saying you MUST buy something then you’ve opened the Pandora’s Box a crack to allow them to decide you need to eat certain things, engage in certain activities, must read and possess certain texts, etc.  It is a way too intrusive step of the federal government into our lives and hopefully the Supreme Court will bitchslap this stupid law back to the frickin’ Stone Age.

You want universal healthcare?  Fine.  There’s really only one way to do it: expand Medicare to cover every single American for a minimum of basic medical coverage.  This will mean that your tax bill WILL increase but you get to do away with Medicaid and the VA.  Also, your private insurers will still survive because the coverage provided is basic…and they’ll sell supplemental policies which (if I had my way) would be strictly regulated.  But none of this will happen because our Congress doesn’t give a flying rat turd for the country when that care is opposed to their getting re-elected to office.  So, this law will fail, Obama was an idiot for proposing it, an even bigger idiot for going along with all the concessions he made to get it to pass and he deserves the full blame (along with Reid and Pelosi) when the court rightfully squashes this idiocy as it almost surely should and probably will.  And just so I’m on the record: I too believe we have a major problem with health care in this country and I believe the only ultimate solution is to go to some form of a single payer solution.  Only problem with Obamacare is: this ain’t it and it deserves to die so we can all deal with the shock of that and move to address the situation with a mature, comprehensive, bi-partisan plan.

I almost typed that last part without laughing out loud.  Almost.

My name is Euroranger and I approved this message.

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Please make it stop

Posted by Euroranger on February 14, 2012

Obi Wan the Wise

Also, this is not the Hope and Change you were looking for...but it can have a strong influence on the weak-minded.

So, just a quick word today on something I kinda need to get off my chest.  I’ve made no secret of my dislike for Barack Obama’s presidency.  I didn’t drink the Kool-Aid like so many of my fellow Americans did 4 years ago.  I didn’t fall for all the Hope and Change slick marketing bullshit like so many did.  I didn’t go and cast a vote one way or the other based solely on the race of one of the candidates like so many did.  Barry is a product of the Chicago political machine and as Obi Wan once sagely observed, “you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.”  He also immediately followed that up with, “We must be cautious” but I guess nobody stuck around long enough to give THAT warning any real thought.  Anyway, despite my absolute misgivings over putting a complete political novice in charge of the world’s most prosperous and powerful country, for the sake of that same country, I really wished I was wrong and that he’d turn out to be at least not a complete unmitigated disaster of a president.  However, as we all know now, the only thing Barry’s managed to accomplish with his presidency, to me so far, is to make Jimmy Carter’s presidency look not quite as bad by comparison…and that’s not a good thing.  This all gets spit out here today because of the budget Obama squatted out a couple of days ago and, well, it really just pisses me off.

Why angry?  Well, let’s start with the nearly universally accepted acknowledgement that this budget will never be passed.  That’s right.  Barry knows it.  Both sides in Congress know it.  Every credible media outlet bothering to comment on it knows it.  Quite simply: it’s not a budget…it’s a campaign platform.  In other words, it’s outright lies.  The man is STILL the president of this country for almost another entire freakin’ year and something as serious to the country right now as our collective finances…and he completely abandons leadership and responsibility in favor of fucking campaigning.  Goddamn it Obama you asshole, YOU’RE ALREADY THE FUCKING PRESIDENT, START DOING THE GODDAMNED JOB!  I don’t think it’s too much to ask that this pathetic excuse for an entirely two-dimensional, manufactured, Chicago stuffed shirt grows a brain, spine or balls and does the job the idiot majority of the voters in this country elected him to do 3 years ago.  I mean, for crissake, when he won last time he won a FOUR year job.  It’s still got a year to go and he’s simply abandoning the job and diverting his attention to ask us to give him the same job for four MORE years?  How about you do the job you’re supposed to be doing now, do it well and, hey guess what?…people will re-elect you because you’re doing a good job.

Obama facepalm

"Oh shit...math. They told me there'd be no math."

But you’re not, you never intended to and this (our collective future) is just one goddamned great big game to you, isn’t it?

You said 3 years ago that you’d halve the debt.  When you were sworn in as president on Jan. 20, 2009 the debt held by the public was $6.3 trillion.  The White House’s Office of Management and Budget (your own guys!!!) estimates that the debt held by the public will be about $12.8 trillion by the end of fiscal year 2013.  Half of $6.3 trillion would be $3.15 trillion.  Gee Barry, you only missed the mark by $9.65 trillion dollars!  Thaaaaat close.  You didn’t halve the debt, YOU FREAKIN’ DOUBLED IT!!!!  How does the most powerful man in the world not know the difference between “multiply” and “divide”?

So, after last year’s wildly popular, record setting $3.73 trillion budget proposal (I have to describe it as “wildly popular” because English simply doesn’t have an adequate term to relate the concept of “what-the-hell-is-the-matter-with-you” outrage) and huge public backlash against such ridiculous economic recklessness, what does the president’s budget this year look like?  Oh, it’s merely a $3.7 trillion budget adding an additional $1.3 trillion in new debt.  Keep in mind, the entire debt up to Obama’s presidency was $6.3 trillion.  His budget last year (2012) produced a $1.327 trillion dollar deficit and this one (2013), if passed (which, to be fair doesn’t have even the theoretical snowball’s chance in hell) would add another $1.3 trillion.  The magic of his first two years?  Yeah, that was $1.267 trillion (2010) and $1.560 trillion (2011). Hoping that Barry’s adding/subtracting skills are magically better than his multiply/divide confusion, that’s $5.454 trillion in new debt…IN JUST FOUR YEARS!  It took us 230+ years to amass $6.3 trillion, Barry would stack up an additional 87% to what was there when he took office…in just his first administration.

I have to break this part out so it doesn’t get lost in all the clutter.  In each of Obama’s 3 recorded years and his now one requested year, his budgets have never produced LESS than a $1.2 trillion debt.  But since I’m about to compare him with his immediate predecessor (whom he initially blamed for all this) we need to use similar measures and for that I need to express the Obama budgets in Bush era budget terms.  Barack Obama’s budget debts:

  • 2013 – $1300 billion (proposed)
  • 2012 – $1327 billion (all the rest are actual from here down)
  • 2011 – $1560 billion
  • 2010 – $1267 billion

Bush’s last 4 budgets by contrast:

  • 2009 – $1413 billion (that’s actual…his submitted budget had just $407 billion)
  • 2008 – $455 billion
  • 2007 – $161 billion
  • 2006 – $248 billion
Deficit chart

If you're like Barry, numbers can sometimes be hard to grasp. How about a picture? Does a picture help?

Those are pretty stark numbers folks.  Look, let’s be clear here for a moment: while I don’t by any means like Barack Obama as a president, I didn’t much care for Bush either.  But the hard evidence is that in Bush’s last 4 years his TOTAL submitted budgets added less to the debt than any ONE of Barack Obama’s last three SINGLE years.  That means that 3 years of Obama budgets are worse, debt-wise, that TWELVE years of Bush’s worst.  People flat out hated Bush and thought he was dumber than a stump…but is this brains by comparison?  Really?

Finally and personally, while Barry has yet to find a program he can’t resist throwing bushels of borrowed money at, this proposed 2013 budget of his, while claiming to highlight “new manufacturing and new sources of energy and new skills and education for the American people” actually CUTS NASA’s budget…which was already just $18.7 billion for 2012 to $17.7 billion for 2013.  For crying out loud, one of the few government programs that has ever done anything to further the human condition and this jackass can’t figure out how to fund it to the tune of better than 1/2 of one freakin’ percent of the entire federal budget?  For instance, he proposes a cut for Mars exploration of $226 million or 38.5%.  Lopping nearly 40% off scientific exploration and our future as a species in space…from the asshole whose administration gave Solyndra $535 million?  This idiot shouldn’t be trusted with his own milk money much less the finances of the United States of America.

Anyway, the entire upshot of all this (get this) is the generally perceived wisdom in the media (which has got to be a bigger oxymoron than any of us realize reading that) that this budget is Barry’s campaign platform for the 2012 election.  Pause a moment and think on that.  Obama introduces a budget solely as a political move (it’s not meant to actually, you know, run the frickin’ country…it’s solely for his personal quest to get re-elected) and it’s this gawdawfully bad.  I mean, if it’s anyone with a clue, he introduces a budget that he could point at and say “I’m working hard here to get the job done”.  But no.  Not Barry.  This document is analogous to a slacker at work, in the week before his annual review, showing up at the office in his bathrobe and then proceeding to take a nap in his office.  Not hustle and get some important work done to show he’s competent and capable.  No, double down on everything he’s done wrong to that point and go all in.  Mind you, maybe Barry IS intelligent enough to know that his record to this point is so absolutely awful that nothing he can do this late will save it…so he abandons doing the job at all and goes full balls out on a smoke and mirrors (Hope and Change again anyone) marketing campaign.

You see, while I don’t much care for any of the Republican candidates, literally anyone would be better in the Oval Office than this failed Chicago community organizer.  I don’t know if we can take another 4 years of him.  I know we certainly can’t afford it.

My name is Euroranger and I approved this message.

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Budgeting – Three Card Monty Style

Posted by Euroranger on February 14, 2011

Stupid people

Only when dollar bills become as sharp as ninja shuriken would this picture represent some kind of progress for the country.

Quick post today on one of the things that’s most wrong with our country.  There are two types of wrong people in the world: people who do the wrong thing even though they know better and people who do the wrong thing because they didn’t know better.  This is quick example of that second kind.

Lots and lots of people have opinions about all kinds of things.  By and large, most of those people are sane, level-headed normal folk like you, and most of the time, me.  How then on issues like politics do we have such a sharp divide in the United States?  When you encounter someone who disagrees with you on what you think is a fundamentally easy issue to agree on, have you ever considered that they’re simply not just brain-numbingly stupid?  People form their opinions using two tools: the facts and their values wherein they weigh the facts and determine the facts’ importance to them in coming to an opinion.  It’s easy to understand that not everyone shares the same values.  However, it’s not too obtuse to suggest that collectively, our values in many areas are pretty much the same.  If you accept that most Americans’ values on most things are fairly similar then it’s the facts portion of the formula for deriving an opinion that might could be the culprit.

For a long time certain groups in the country have railed against the bias of mainstream media and suggest that the facts are selectively delivered (or omitted) and accompanied by a large dose of political bias on the part of the journalist.  I happen to be a very discerning reader of the news and I do see this quite often…and today provided an excellent example of that.

Case in point: the president delivered his proposed 2011-2012 budget today.  I’d like you to read the Associated Press story on this budget that I just read via my Yahoo homepage a few moments ago.  If you’d prefer to skip it, I’ve helpfully bullet noted all the actual pertinent news the article contains (and some that it doesn’t but should) afterward:

Obama unveils $3.73 trillion budget for 2012

By MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writer Martin Crutsinger, Ap Economics Writer 2 hrs 2 mins ago

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is sending Congress a $3.73 trillion spending blueprint that pledges $1.1 trillion in deficit savings over the next decade through spending cuts and tax increases.

Obama’s new budget projects that the deficit for the current year will surge to an all-time high of $1.65 trillion. That reflects a sizable tax-cut agreement reached with Republicans in December. For 2012, the administration sees the imbalance declining to $1.1 trillion, giving the country a record four straight years of $1 trillion-plus deficits.

Jacob Lew, Obama’s budget director, said that the president’s spending proposal was a balanced package of spending cuts and “shared sacrifice” that would bring the deficits under control. Appearing on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Lew said that Obama’s budget would “stand the test that we live within our means and we invest in the future.”

Senior administration officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity in advance of the formal release of the budget, said that Obama would achieve two-thirds of his projected $1.1 trillion in deficit savings through spending cuts including a five-year freeze on many domestic programs.

The other one-third of the savings would come from tax increases, including limiting tax deductions for high income taxpayers, a proposal Obama put forward last year only to have it rejected in Congress.

The Obama budget recommendation, which is certain to be changed by Congress, would spend $3.73 trillion in the 2012 budget year, which begins Oct. 1, a reduction of 2.4 percent from what Obama projects will be spent in the current budget year.

The Obama plan would fall far short of the $4 trillion in deficit cuts recommended in a December report by his blue-ribbon deficit commission. That panel said that real progress on the deficit cannot be made without tackling the government’s big three entitlement programs — Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security — and defense spending.

Obama concentrated his cuts in the one-tenth of the budget that covers most domestic agencies, projecting $400 billion in savings from a five-year freeze in this area. Some programs would not just see spending frozen at 2010 spending levels but would be targeted for sizable cuts.

Republicans, who took control of the House in the November elections and picked up seats in the Senate in part because of voter anger over the soaring deficits, called Obama’s efforts too timid. They want spending frozen at 2008 levels before efforts to fight a deep recession boosted spending in the past two years.

They are scheduled to begin debating on Tuesday a proposal that would trim spending by $61 billion for the seven months left in the current budget year, which ends Sept. 30. They also have vowed to push for tougher cuts in 2012 and future years.

“Americans don’t want a spending freeze at unsustainable levels,” said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell. “They want cuts, dramatic cuts.”

The president’s projected $1.65 trillion deficit for the current year would be the highest dollar amount ever, surpassing the $1.41 trillion deficit hit in 2009. It would also represent 10.8 percent of the total economy, the highest level since the deficit stood at 21.5 percent of gross domestic product in 1945, reflecting heavy borrowing to fight World War II.

The president’s 2012 budget projects that the deficits will total $7.21 trillion over the next decade with the imbalances never falling lower below $607 billion, a figure that would still exceed the previous deficit record before Obama took office of $458.6 billion in 2008, President George W. Bush’s last year in office.

Administration officials project that the deficits will be trimmed to 3.2 percent of GDP by 2015 — one-third of the projected 2011 imbalance and a level they said was sustainable.

While cutting many programs, the new budget does propose spending increases in selected areas of education, biomedical research, energy efficiency, high-speed rail and other areas Obama judged to be important to the country’s future competitiveness in a global economy.

In the energy area, the budget would support Obama’s goal of putting 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015 and doubling the nation’s share of electricity from clean energy sources by 2035.

The budget proposes program terminations or spending reductions for more than 200 programs at an estimated savings of $33 billion in 2012. Programs targeted for large cuts included Community Development Block Grants, trimmed by $300 million, while a program that helps pay heating bills for low-income families would be cut in half for a savings of $2.5 billion while a program supporting environmental restoration of the Great Lakes would be reduced by one-fourth for $125 million in savings.

The biggest tax hike would come from a proposal to trim the deductions the wealthiest Americans can claim for charitable contributions, mortgage interest and state and local tax payments. The administration proposed this tax hike last year but it was a nonstarter in Congress.

Obama’s budget would also raise $46 billion over 10 years by eliminating various tax breaks to oil, gas and coal companies.

While Obama’s budget avoided painful choices in entitlement programs, it did call for $78 billion in reductions to Pentagon spending over the next decade by trimming what it views as unnecessary weapons programs such as the C-17 aircraft, the alternative engine for the Joint Strike Fighter aircraft and the Marine expeditionary vehicle.

Administration officials said that the savings from limiting tax deductions for high income taxpayers would be used to pay for keeping the Alternative Minimum Tax from hitting more middle-class families over the next two years.

Another $62 billion in savings would be devoted to paying to prevent cuts in payments to doctors in the Medicare program over the next two years. Congress has for several years blocked the cuts from taking effect.

The budget will propose $1 billion in cuts in grants for large airports, almost $1 billion in reduced support to states for water treatment plants and other infrastructure programs and savings from consolidating public health programs run by the Centers for Disease Control and various U.S. Forest Service programs.

The administration will also propose saving $100 billion from Pell Grants and other higher education programs over a decade through belt-tightening with the savings used to keep the maximum college financial aid award at $5,550, according to an administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity in advance of the budget’s Monday release.

The surge in deficits reflect the deep 2007-2009 recession, the worst since the Great Depression, which cut into government tax revenues as millions were thrown out of work and prompted massive government spending to jump-start economic growth and stabilize the banking system.

Republicans point to still-elevated unemployment levels and charge the stimulus programs were a failure. The administration contends the spending was needed to keep the country from falling into an even deeper slump.

I know that’s a long article but what did you glean from all that?  Did you know that the tone of the article is set within the first sentence and paragraph and that most people will reiterate the general message of those words as though that was the facts the article delivered?  It’s true and it’s manipulation at it’s worst in this case.  Let’s re-read that first bit again:

President Barack Obama is sending Congress a $3.73 trillion spending blueprint that pledges $1.1 trillion in deficit savings over the next decade through spending cuts and tax increases.

Stupid people

How's all that "Hope and Change" bullshit feel now? Were you really that gullible? Next election, could you make an effort to remember that your own judgement isn't to be trusted? Thanks! Sincerely, the rest of the U.S.A.

Reading that, one might think that the president delivered a budget aimed at fighting the federal deficit and finally getting the message that we cannot afford to be spending borrowed money like it’s going out of style.  However, if you carefully read the article again a second time you will be exposed to these facts…although perhaps not truly appreciate their import in face of the article’s initial claim of “deficit savings”.  Some of those facts are:

  • He’s introducing a $3.73 trillion budget.  Know what the budget was last year?  The year voters supposedly got fed up with big government spending?  The election wherein Obama claimed “he gets it” and heard the will of the American people?  It was $3.456 trillion.  That’s right…Obama saying he gets it means we add another 7.9% to the friggin’ already bloated budget.  Remember now…the nice writers at AP told us this budget will result in “$1.1 trillion in deficit savings”.  How the hell is that?  IT’S A BIGGER BUDGET IN A YEAR WHEN TAX REVENUES ARE DOWN!  Increasing the spending when you’re not increasing what you bring in is called a deficit!
  • In fact, despite AP’s initial claim that the budget somehow (presumably through the use of magic) will result in $1.1 trillion in deficit savings, they do go on to admit “that the deficit for the current year will surge to an all-time high of $1.65 trillion“.  However, they manage to explain that away with the next line: “That reflects a sizable tax-cut agreement reached with Republicans in December”.  In case you’re keeping track at home: largest budget ever in history introduced, largest deficit in American history proposed, it’s all the Republicans’ fault for not letting the federal government tax us even harder.  Of course by “us” I mean those nasty rich people…so not really us.  It’s okay to be discriminatory as long as it’s on the basis of the rewards of success, regardless of how you manage to succeed.  American dream indeed.
  • This one needs to be quoted in its entirety because to chop it up would allow all the comedic gold to escape: “Jacob Lew, Obama’s budget director, said that the president’s spending proposal was a balanced package of spending cuts and “shared sacrifice” that would bring the deficits under control.”  Note to Jacob Lew: “balanced” doesn’t actually mean what you and Barry apparently think it means…not when “balanced” to you guys means a $1.1 trillion difference between what we take in and what we spend.  How the hell does anyone not currently suffering from a seeping head wound believe that a $1.1 trillion shortfall means bringing such shortfalls under control?!?!

The rest of the article contains the usual left leaning blame laying for and obfuscation of Obama’s horrifically outrageous budget and the fact that he obviously DIDN’T get it this past November.  The writers even quote the blue ribbon deficit commission that recommended somebody someday having to address the big three budget killers: “that panel said that real progress on the deficit cannot be made without tackling the government’s big three entitlement programs — Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security“…but then simply couldn’t resist tossing in their entirely personally opinion based 4th item “and defense spending“.  It’s almost as if by quoting a legitimate study’s findings that mentions THREE programs that they believe nobody that reads their tripe will notice that FOUR quoted items isn’t THREE…but they might come away with the mistaken impression that the deficit panel included defense spending as one of the Big Three.  Hey, it’s just news…what’s a little political opinion, right?  Not like news should be objective and unbiased, right?

Look, I’m piling on Barry because it’s his budget.  I didn’t vote for the fraud but I am an American and I hate to see the future of our nation sold down the river by any president regardless of party affiliation…and this one is doing just that.  We don’t need MORE spending.  We need LESS.  Do you expect to get a 7.9% raise in your paycheck next year?  Well, if you didn’t what the hell are you doing?  Barry believes the government should get one…or at least will spend like they will (hint: they won’t).  You would think that this complete failure as a president would take a lesson from what’s happened in Tunisia and Egypt lately and realize that people have a limit.  In their cases, it was dictators.  In ours (as we demonstrated around 230+ years back) it’s fiscal repression by a government who can’t seem to be concerned with what they’re doing to the people they govern.  We’ve done it once and at the rate we’re going, we’ll end up having to do it again.

What’s almost worse though is that the mechanisms we the people are supposed to use to know what’s going on (a free and unhindered press) were at some point co-opted by those who seemingly cannot deliver a news story without trying to slant it to deliver some kind of political message.  And this is the AP.  I have to tell you, Reuters is unashamedly worse.  I can hardly read a new story coming from Reuters anymore without hip waders and a healthy fresh breath before I slosh on in.  How are Americans supposed to form an educated opinion on their own when the news they receive comes pre-tainted with this crap?

My name is Euroranger and I approved this message.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Thoughts of a tardy nature

Posted by Euroranger on June 1, 2010

Zombies...the  other white meat

Yes, even Zombies like to pose like faux teenage MySpace tough guys. Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still club them in the head with a cricket bat though.

Just like that sore on your lip that all your best friends keep telling you is herpes…I’m back.  I can only hope that my return is slightly more welcome than a self-evident result of the combination of poor decision-making processes, inherently flexible morals and beer goggles during your college days.  Or “last Friday night” if you didn’t attend college but need a parallel example.

Anyway, I used to afflict my gaming buddies on our forum with my occasional thoughts on politics.  In return they found my views so repellent compelling that they insisted I share them with the wider world via a blog (and not confine nor even repeat them on the gaming forum).  Much like inviting the village idiot to take his soapbox for a long walk off a short pier, here I am.  Normally I only pinch off a post here when something particularly noteworthy occurs to me (or I get bored).  As you can see from the length of time since my last post, nothing has tripped that particular threshold for almost 2 months.  That is, none of the news or personal happenings has been of sufficient interest to interrupt my award winning apathy AND I discovered Left4Dead 2…and nothing beats out a potential blog post like blasting zombies into smaller unrecognizable parts of zombies with an AK-47.

However, I am at work right now and because most of my work for the week is already done (and the sound of me gleefully slaughtering the undead would likely arouse suspicion) I find that I am at loose ends right this moment.  What better time to blather on inanely on mundane subjects!  So, let’s start:

Gulf Oil Spill (aka: “BP Fucked Up”) – So, around a month or 2 months or a year ago (I don’t keep track of time well), there was this explosion on a deep water drilling rig out in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana and it killed some men and then sank and the pipe that sat on the sea floor over a mile under water didn’t do what it was supposed to do and so it’s been leaking anywhere from a few cupfulls of oil per day to anywhere around a gazillion barrels of oil per second into the water depending on whom you decide to listen to.  This is what is known in industry (pretty much any industry) vernacular as “a very bad thing”.  The oil that’s leaking is washing up on beaches and ruining them, sticking to the ocean bottom and ruining the shrimp and oyster beds and generally being an immense nuisance to BP’s bottom line.  You might think that there’s really no “sides” in this kind of thing.  I mean, it’s pretty much universally accepted that a regionally catastrophic oil spill of this magnitude won’t have many fans cheering for it…and you’d be right.  However, there is something I’d like to remind folks of and that is that we (as in “the United States”) are to oil like fleas are to a dog: we can’t seem to get off it.  I mention this because in the wake of such a terrible environmental and humanitarian disaster such as this, there are those who’d react far too emotionally and would advocate to simply stop all offshore drilling completely.  This, I cannot agree with.

Brown pelican in oil

Shopping tip: when buying Brown Pelican pass on the “packed in oil” kind. Higher calories you know.

I have, more than once before but possibly not here, said that the number one thing the United States could do to help ourselves, our allies and the rest of the world in general is to get off oil and move to a more diversified energy economy featuring hydrogen as the main source of energy supply.  Former President Bush said as much during a State of the Union address almost 10 years ago and Obama campaigned with similar promises in 2008…and they both turned out to be full of shit.  Bush was full of shit because he pledged to fund such an initiative to the tune of $1.2B which is something the president can’t actually do.  Obama has been, quite surprisingly worse still, with his proposed budget cutting $100M from the already paltry budget earmarked for hydrogen cell research.  What neither of these buffoons seem to realize is that a domestic hydrogen production capacity does several beneficial things:

  • Stops sending money to the Arab world which winds up eventually funding anti-West terrorism campaigns
  • Immediately reduces the national trade deficit when we reduce our purchases of foreign produced energy (oil, natural gas, hydroelectric, etc)
  • Slows or even reverses a decades-long national decline in heavy industry (think “jobs that actually produce a product”)
  • With a new national energy creation industry, tax revenues would skyrocket from the new businesses, higher paying jobs, federal and state excise taxes on the fuel produced
  • Would revive our ailing automobile industry which could find itself leading the world in the production of hydrogen powered vehicles (see last point for why that might be a good thing)
  • With more electricity production and personal automobiles using hydrogen, our generation of pollution goes way down (according to some, this would be a good thing vis-a-vis “global warming”)

So, while we can cheerfully bail out banks and mortgage lenders who seem to exist for no other reason than to fuck us legally, the chunk of common sense that is committing to and funding an essential industry in the interest of our collective future gets flushed by Washington like so many other good, common sense ideas. That said, we still have to have oil to run our economy.  Cutting back on drilling because of a single accident (not to minimize it’s impact) exacerbates an existing problem.  The remarkable thing is that we CAN extract useful amounts of oil from the deep ocean floor.  The even more remarkable thing is that while people are outraged at the revelation that private industry will endanger the lives of their employees and the viability of the environment all in pursuit of the almighty dollar such that a vocal minority are railing against all drilling…a similar hue and cry did not result from the Upper Big Branch coal mine disaster just under 2 whole months ago today.  Yeah, I’ll bet you DID forget about that one already, huh?  No cute animals got soaked in coal dust I suppose.  Although 29 men were killed…so there is that, I guess.

Barry walking the dog in his shoes in the White House

Barry walking the dog in his shoes in the White House…

Barack Obama is just another politician (aka: “Hope and Change” was a huge load of shit swallowed willingly by idiots the world over) – I’ve made no bones about the fact that I was not one of the ones who drank the Kool-aid during the last presidential election.  I have always wondered how it came to be that a first term junior senator from Illinois whose only real claim to effectiveness was a description of the man as a “community organizer” wound up being pushed forward ahead of Hillary and won the presidency of my dear country.  My suspicion was that it had way more to do with race and the sleazy world of Chicago politics than it did B.O.’s superior organized communities.  So, the man gets elected and right off the bat there’s the whole sordid episode of the governor of Illinois getting cold busted trying to sell B.O.’s recently vacated (and hardly used, to be honest) Senate seat…which is, of course, a no-no.  Somehow, through the miracle of a mainstream news media being way too hung over from the months of fellating their newly crowned hero to actually pursue the story worth a shit, Obama’s administration manages to successfully hang the entire thing on Blagogagvukovich (or whatever that toupe-wearing clown’s name is) and skip away unspattered by the unseemly affair of selling political favors (which is a Chicago specialty but which, naturally, B.O. has never ever encountered).

Well, it would seem that while he’s the grand master champion in the community organizing category, he’s a little lighter in the “learn from your fucking missteps, dummy” category as familiar accusations of political influence peddling came up the past several days in relation to the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania.  You see, Barry liked Arlen Specter, the roughly 315 year old former-Republican-now-Democrat Senator who’d been in Washington since the time Moby Dick was a minnow.  Barry liked Arlen because Arlen had a revelation and realized that his personal ideals and morals were now more accurately reflected in the positions and policies of the Democratic Party rather than the Republican Party he was about to get his fucking ass handed to him in the next Republican primary because he had betrayed many of the ideals and positions he’d claimed to hold when he was elected…so he switched parties.  Well, it seems that turncoats aren’t the most popular folk and don’t engender a terrific amount of trust in their oaths and promises.  I know, right?  Anyway, another Democrat in that district, a dude named Joe Sestak, took exception to the newly self-proclaimed Democrat and decided to run against him in the upcoming primary election.  Well, would you believe that the people of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania decided they didn’t want an ancient political flip-flop for their Senator and the polls soon showed Sestak would be the Mexicans to Specter’s Alamo?  Well, Barry, being the shrewd man of character that he is saw the writing on the wall and decided to take the high road, respect the opinion of the people of Pennsylvania and welcome the new Democrat nominee to the fold should he win the primary.  Ha-ha!  Just kidding!  No, someone in the White House offered Sestak a high ranking job in the senior executive branch of the government if only he’d drop out of the race.

Barry at the mosque

…Barry at the mosque. Y’know, respect for institutions can be such a funny, fickle thing.

You know: he offered him something of value to subvert the American political process upon which the entire foundation of the country rests.   Oh, I know, I was absolutely flabbergasted that such a thing could happen.  But hey!  Good news!  It turns out that it wasn’t Barry’s idea at all!  It was Bill Clinton’s and most assuredly not Barack Obama’s!  You all remember B.J. right?  The guy who pretty much gave the finger to the entire American judicial process when he lied his everloving ass off in front of a federal grand jury?  That Clinton?  Yeah, well, it seems that Bill, and absolutely not Barack Obama, through some bizarre notion that he, and not Barack Obama, had the ability to offer high-ranking federal positions to people in exchange for favors, ended up offering Joe Sestak a high ranking federal position in exchange for the favor of him dropping out of the race!  Because Bill Clinton, and definitely not Barack Obama, has an overriding interest in who wins the Pennsylvania Senate seat.

And now I, through a most ironic twist, am really looking forward to some “Change”.  Not much “Hope” though because of…

The Rise of the Tea Party (aka: “People being dismissed by the establishment”) – Aside from the enormous embarrassment of Barry campaigning for something like 6 politicians and they all went on to lose their respective primaries, we get to enjoy the rich counterpoint of the establishment Republicans getting their asses handed to them in their primaries by candidates espousing the Tea Party mantra of lower taxes, less government involvement, etc.  Across the country, mainline Republican candidates and a few incumbents have been getting systematically defeated by up and coming candidates who tout the mores of the Tea Party as their guiding political principles.  If it weren’t for me being such a cynic, I’d actually have some hope that finally those in the middle of the American political spectrum might actually be seeing a movement to stake out middle ground between the two increasingly radicalized main political parties.  See, I don’t like my politics controlled by those who lick the boots of evangelical Christians any more than I like them being controlled by those who owe a reacharound to the gay/illegal immigrant/ecological batshit nutball coalition.  I guess I’m just weird that way.

Drilling in Alaska?  You betcha!

Drilling in Alaska? You betcha!

Anyway, it would seem that the recent moves by the state of Arizona to finally do something about the unchecked tide of illegal immigration in this country, coupled with a simmering anger over the out-of-control deficit spending by the federal government and the health care boondoggle that was foisted upon us a few months back has given birth to a movement of people who are determined to test their political will and muscle…at least in the Republican party.  Normally, this would be a great thing and if sanity ruled the day would be heralded by mainstream media as Americans standing up and deciding that a Change was in order (y’know…kinda like they did for that Obama guy a couple of years back).  Alas and alack, that is not to be.  Generally derided as nutjobs, ignorant racist rednecks, and Libertarian loons, the general press about the Tea Party movement has been overwhelmingly negative.  I’m not saying 100% of that image is undeserved.  I have seen video of people who I wouldn’t trust to carry a bucket of crap espousing their political acumen on TV in response to some reporter asking them “why are you here and what’s this all about?”.  Mind you, they do take pains to find the most repugnant, imbecilic, brain dead douchebag to ask so they might imply that such is representative of the movement as a whole.  While that is a tactic that has worked previously, I believe it has the potential to backfire spectacularly and produce something we truly don’t want: mob rule.

Mainstream media, to my mind, still does not truly grasp the informative nature of the internet.  That is to say, clinically they get it that it’s everywhere and that it’s much faster at delivering a message than their existing media outlets are…but they don’t quite yet grasp that they’re no longer leading the horse.  Every time they portray this group as a fringe, easily dismissed, transitory movement they risk illustrating exactly what part of the group has gathered together for in the first place: to NOT be ignored and pushed into the background in favor of big business, gay activists, abortion protesters, tree huggers, entitlement champion Liberals and others who truly ARE the actual fringe groups in America.  By denying them their rightful place in the political debate as what is likely the largest minority group they risk lending actual credence to their claims that politics in this country is all about money, media and good ole boys.  If the voice of the largest minority (and I’m just guessing at that…I don’t and won’t bother to go look up “stats”…it’s just my opinion) can’t be heard fairly and clearly then that group may begin to believe that it cannot work within the existing political rules to get their issues addressed.  You only have so far to look as Arizona to see that in action.  And any time you have a nebulous group of disaffected people who are just discovering they have actual political power…things can get unpredictable.  I’d like much more to see Sarah Palin on the cover of Playboy than I would on the cover of Newsweek, if you know what I mean.  That’s not to say I don’t like women in power…that IS to say I don’t like HER in power.  As much as Barry was an inept and inexperienced pretender being championed by an ill-defined group such that he earned my instant suspicion…so goes Sarah Palin.

My name is Euroranger and I approved this message.

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