Friday, November 12, 2010

That's What I'm Talkin' About...

After reading and hearing several responses to the report from the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, I thought I was losing it.

Then I found THIS ARTICLE by David Limbaugh.

As soon as I heard one particular item from the commission's report, I laughed it off. What a joke. They can't be serious.

What bothered me? The mention of eliminating the mortgage interest deduction.

Why start to eliminate certain tax deductions or exemptions. People will just find other items to reduce their tax burden, and those "people" include congress, who will subsequently pass laws to allow for other deductions. Eliminating tax deductions is essentially RAISING taxes. Changing taxes will not fix our problem, and certainly RAISING taxes will not, but SPENDING is our problem.

...and who benefits mostly from mortgage tax deductions. The middle class.

Seriously, they can't be serious.

Media Lies...

...why is the headline: Schroeder: Bush 'Not Telling Truth' in Memoir

...why isn't it: Bush: Schroeder Lied

I am biased, I like W, but does anybody believe Gerhard over W? If you read the article, it doesn't stop there. I demand more of my AOL reporters! (Yes, that was a joke).

The narrative continues:

"...More than a year later, Schroeder came out against the Iraq war, calling it an "adventure" based on incomplete data and false premises. It later became clear that he was right -- Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction, and U.S. intelligence data was faulty..." can't change history with hindsight. You can be against the decision to go to war with Iraq, but you can't change the facts. You can't deny Iraq violated the conditions set at the cease fire at the end of the Gulf War. You can't deny Sadam wanted the world to think he had nukes. You can't deny he tried to obtain them. can think it was right to invade Iraq, but you can't deny Sadam brutalized his own people. You can't deny he made personal millions from France, Germany and Russia in the UN Oil for Food deal. You can't deny that he was a state sponsoring terrorism.

...and now, you can't deny that the military of Iraq, touted as the most powerful, largest, and experienced in the Middle no longer a threat.

In all the mid-east war games played out in my head, EVERY scenario is better with Iraq neutered.

You can disagree on if it was worth the life of the several thousand American soldiers, and that the threat to them at the time was even higher. You can disagree on the strategy or the execution of the occupation.

But you can't speak now, as if we bumbled into war, as if our invasion was based on a single premise rather than the totality of the circumstances at the time. You CAN disagree, you can scream it, but you can't say Bush was wrong, and you can't go back in time.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

This for That...

...quid pro quo. In legal terms, or illegal terms, this is what public corruption investigators look for. It is NOT easy to prove most of the time. Why? Because most of the people violating it, know they are violating it, and it is easy to hide and disguise.

Many times when you think you see it, when something just doesn't sound right, its not an actual violation of the law. In the case of most "ethics violations" allegations, the case of a violation of the law could not be proven, but it was EASILY identified as unethical. (I don't know much about the case against Maxine Waters, but on the surface it sounds like at a minimum - it was unethical - we all know that its not a coincidence that her husband's company received benefits in areas that she legislates).

In the United States Congress, ethics violations are usually saved for those with power, or a big voice. One side wants to knock down the other side. Why only the ones in power? Everybody does it. It hits both sides of the aisle - Newt Gingrich, Tom Delay, Maxine Waters, Charlie Rangel. Members of Congress only push for an investigation when they think it can help them.

...and that brings us to Harry Ried:

Justice Department Weighs Voter Intimidation Complaint Against Reid Camp

The argument from the Angle campaign is that an email from a person working for the Reid campaign was sent to Harrah's Casino to get them to get their people out to vote. It appears as if an employee roster was included, and managers were to make sure their employees voted. To be sure, this was not just a 'get out the vote' campaign, it was a 'get out the vote for Reid' campaign.

Immediately, it smells bad, its not fair!?

But why shouldn't a person working to elect somebody - be able to tell another person - to tell that person's thousands of employees to vote - and if that person just happens to use coercion or lies to get the employees to vote a certain way (labor unions) - those people still go to the booth alone (presumably).

I don't have a problem with that. I don't like it, but that's because its for Reid. What if it was a strong conservative, and a person working to throw out Reid - who called a friend - who owned a business - and that person put a note in the paychecks of his employees that extolled the virtues of the conservative, and suggested a vote for that candidate. I like that.

What's the problem.

Quid pro quo.

"...On coercion, it boils down to what kind of threats, if any, were used against employees," he said. "Were they told there will be adverse employment consequences? The only way to figure out is to open an investigation, subpoena all the e-mails ... and get the employees in front of a grand jury so they can testify to what they were being told by supervisors."

But Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, CREW, said the case doesn't hold up.

"I think this is all quite a stretch," Sloan told "This isn't going to change an election outcome."

Sloan said she couldn't find any evidence of coercion of Harrah employees, and the Justice Department doesn't need to open an investigation into that unless there is an allegation..."

Wrong. Quid Pro Quo.

This case can't be made now. The Quo hasn't happened. Harry got his Quid, and there is NOTHING wrong with a little Quid. But a smart investigator will be watching for the Quo.