Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Earmarks, Robert Byrd, and Taxes

I've never read a Dave Barry column before, but people say he's really famous and funny. Well, he is funny, here he is talking about earmarks and Robert Byrd from a column that came out around tax time:

The entire state of West Virginia is covered with a dense layer of federally funded buildings named after Sen. Robert Byrd, who will still be in office centuries after his death, which for all we know has already occurred. There is no end to the list of projects that congresspersons would like you to finance so that they can take the credit.
Further down, he talks about taxes and makes a very salient point:
My point is that, as you do your taxes, you should remember where your tax dollars are going, and recognize that you, as a citizen, have a moral obligation to prepare your tax return with the same degree of conscientiousness that Congress exhibits in spending your money.
Read the whole thing here.

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Judge Napolitano should be nominated to the Supreme Court

He was on Bloomberg a month ago and did a great interview:

Here's part 1



Part 2 and Part 3

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Most Over and Under-rated Presidents in History

David Wiegel over at Reason piles on with the Lincoln bashing (can't say I disagree with him either)

1. Abraham Lincoln. I'm sorry. By any definition of "over-rating," you have to go there. He has become our secular saint, with a multi-million dollar industry built around his veneration. That just makes it all the easier when some John Yoo or another seizes on Lincoln's abuses of power—suspending habeas corpus, directing funds without the approval of a rump Congress, the "rich man's" draft—to argue that the president has the right to split babies and shoot laser beams from his eyes.

See the rest here.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Great Emancipator?

Economics Professor Thomas DiLorenzo on the Lincoln cult:

Lincoln was a masterful politician who could use tongue-twisting rhetoric to deceive the public better than any American politician in history. In this regard he was Bill Clinton times ten thousand. For example, referring to the part of Declaration of Independence that mentions equality (while ignoring the fact that the entire document was a declaration of the right of secession), he said: "The African upon his own soil has all the natural rights that instrument vouchsafes to all mankind" (emphasis added). The italicized words are the key to understanding Lincoln on this point. He considered black people to be some kind of alien beings, which is why he called them "the Africans." More importantly, he believed that they could never be equal here in America, but only "upon their own soil" or "in their native clime," i.e., Africa, Haiti, Central America, etc., as he often stated. Moreover, he also clearly believed that it was undesirable to attempt to enforce racial equality in the U.S., as he stated in the above quotation from the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Harry Jaffa has spent his entire career spreading the Big Lie of Lincoln as a champion of "equality" in order to justify the Republican Party’s foreign policy agenda of military aggression and imperialism in the name of spreading equality around the globe. (Spreading "equality" around the globe at gunpoint sounds a lot like the professed goals of 20th-century communism, doesn’t it?).
Read the whole thing over at Lew Rockwell

Until maybe the last 4-5 years, I never really understood the fascination that people had with the Civil War. Of course, my public school education limited the reasons that we had a civil war to only one, to free the slaves. The idea of secession was never mentioned, or states rights, or the economic reasons behind the war.

But I still don't get the whole idea of recreating famous Civil War battles, someone needs to explain that to me, because that just seems stupid.

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At What Price?

Andrew Sullivan writes about the classic deal we have made with the devil (our government):

The manner in which free societies lose their moral compass is always incremental. Step by step by step, certain core values are whittled away. There is rarely a moment at which a government stands up, and asks its people if they wish to abandon such "quaint" notions as the Geneva Conventions, the rule of law, humane interrogation or habeas corpus. These things are abandoned incrementally or secretly, slice by slice, euphemism by euphemism, the chronology always clearer in retrospect than at the time. And each incremental step is always portrayed as a small but essential temporary sacrifice for the sake of security in a time of great and imminent peril.
Read the rest here.

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Justice Scalia on 60 Minutes

While not my favorite Supreme Court Justice (that would be Justice Clarence Thomas) I thought Justice Scalia's interview on 60 minutes was very enlightening:



See the rest here

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Revolution Lives

In Nevada:



Pilfered from Laura over at Red State Eclectic

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TechnoViking

This video has 2+ million views on youtube and I saw it for the first time today:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1nzEFMjkI4

Of course, there HAD to be a remix (which I like a little better) with Michael Jackson:

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Friday, April 25, 2008

"The Revolution: A Manifesto"

UPDATE: Welcome Mises.org readers!

It's Friday night and I just finished Ron Paul's book "The Revolution: A Manifesto". It's so brilliant that I wept upon turning the last page, like seeing your first born for the very first time...

No, not really, but Dr. Paul's short (less than 200 pages) prescription for returning these United States to her rightful place in the world as the beacon of hope, peace, freedom, and prosperity comes at the proper moment in time. This country is at a crossroads economically and politically. We have a dollar that is in collapse (it has lost 35% of its purchasing power since 2001), and entitlement spending that is ballooning in the near future that requires at least double digit economic growth to barely keep up (hint, we don't have double digit growth and haven't for decades). Our civil liberties are being rapidly eroded (of course, dipping crucifixes in urine and calling it art is still OK) with our government conveniently ignoring or evading nine of the first ten amendments consistently. Don't worry, the 2nd Amendment could be on its last legs as well depending on how and what the Supreme Court decides on the Heller case.

What Dr. Paul has done is put out into the arena ideas that we used to talk about, that this country was built upon. He asks questions that you won't find in the MSM, National Review, or the Pajamas Media Right. It is those questions that have made him a pariah in his own party and exposes what constitutes "mainstream conservatism" as the morally and intellectually bankrupt school of big government statism that we used to easily label as "progressive" or "liberal".

One example is in foreign policy. The conservatism of Bill Kristol, David Horowitz, David Frum, or yes, George W Bush has given us nothing but a foreign policy that is incomprehensible to anyone unless you grew up watching "Cruel Intentions", "Wild Things" or are a fan of Woodrow Wilson. Like the prom queen that maybe was a little too privileged, and a little too good looking during high school that got what she wanted whenever she wanted yet never learned that the real world doesn't work the way it did in high school (especially if it's twenty years later and you are divorced with kids, put on 50 pounds and are still a bitch). Our country doesn't have to play games and meddle, back stab, or undermine other countries in order to have peaceful relationships with them.

Dr. Paul distills what our trillion dollar foreign policy currently amounts to. We treat countries either one of two ways: we either give our money and arms to them (see Saddam Hussein) or we go to war with them (see Saddam Hussein) all in the name of some Wilsonian vision that we can impose our will with our money or at the point of a gun (but don't try and guess which side you are on). Never does anyone, aside from Ron Paul, suggest that we take our founding fathers advice and do neither.

I could go on, because "The Revolution" addresses economics, civil liberties, and states rights. But the bottom line is that what Dr. Paul has written is a call to return to the foundations of our country. To understand and take seriously the words of our Founding Fathers and not doze through them like it's a Sunday morning sermon on the one day of the year that we bother to show up at church and only because we are there with our parents.

Anyway, buy it, read it, let me know your thoughts on it.

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Why Socialism Will Fail

I'm in Las Vegas for the next few days so posting will be about what it has been this past week. After all, there is gambling to be done and the fortune I've made from the blog ads here isn't going to spend itself.

In the meantime:

Of all places, you will find an important point in economics at the Huffington Post (it shows you how far the right has fallen when you won't find any mention of this at the Pajamas Media Right):

The Federal Reserve insists that "inter-connections" require rescuing large institutions that might knock down other entangled financial dominoes. However, these would not have been so cocky or so inter-connected in their web-spinning if the Fed had not allowed so much greed and gamesmanship for so long. Ex-Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan is often singled out as a culprit, but most of what he did was what most of the financial sector wanted. They, too, loved making 4th of July speeches about the glories of free enterprise and free -- market profits while counting on the government to collectivize the perils of risk. Big, fat and dumb financial institutions could count on being big, fat and bailed-out.

There was a time in the annals of American finance when this kind of practice would have been unacceptable -- indeed, serious economists like Joseph Schumpeter recognized that "creative destruction" was part of a vital capitalism. Painful as the depression of the early 1930s was, its creative destruction so revitalized U.S. finance and enterprise that by 1950, the U.S. economy was the kingpin of the post-World War Two world, vital and vibrant.

Wow, how come you never see any of this talk on on the economy on the Pajamas Media Right?

Because, as Justin Raimondo points out, the big government socialists ARE the Pajamas Media Right.

Pilfered from Lew Rockwell

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Eclectic Linkorama

I've been so busy this past week that I've neglected to link posts that have caught my eye. So here are a bunch of them:

You know those dumbed down history text books that are politically correct and pretty worthless that they use in public school? I don't think this guy read any of them. From Reason

William Grigg has a couple of posts up about the what the raid on the FLDS Church by the Texas Rangers really means. This one makes a comparison between the Church and State as far as which is more evil and the resulting analysis may surprise you. This post shows that the pretext under which the raid was made may have been false. Could 400 children being taken away from their mothers be based on a lie?

Dr. Ron Paul's speech about capitalism is a must read. Read or listen to "Has Capitalism Failed?" here

"Necessity is the mother of invention" as the saying goes and Conservative Belle has a post up about illegals circumventing the border fencing that we have up.

Here's Ron Paul interviewed by Cavuto on Fox on Tax Day. Brilliant as always:



Finally, here's Vin Suprinowcz on the REAL reason for the 2nd Amendment. As a side note, I had commented over at Ron Simpson's blog that politicians (particularly Democrats) look really retarded when they talk about "guns for hunting" nowadays. Especially since it seems like 2-3 times a year there's a story of someone shooting up a mall, or campus, or other "gun free" zone.

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Federal Reserve

Why do you need to go all the way to the financial press in Sri Lanka to find stories by the one politician that question the very foundations of our money system?:

"Few Americans give much thought to the Federal Reserve System or monetary policy in general," Ron Paul wrote in his column this week.

"But even as they strive to earn a living, and hopefully save or invest for the future, Congress and the Federal Reserve Bank are working insidiously against them. Day by day, every dollar you have is being devalued.

"The greatest threat facing America today is not terrorism, or foreign economic competition, or illegal immigration.

"The greatest threat facing America today is the disastrous fiscal policies of our own government, marked by shameless deficit spending and Federal Reserve currency devaluation."

Read the rest here.

Pilfered from Lew Rockwell

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

First Among Equals: Thomas Jefferson

Tomorrow is Thomas Jefferson's Birthday. Read this:

He penned numerous documents extolling the revolutionary ideas of his time, including the stirring words on the parchment that is the soul of America, "The Declaration of Independence." Yet how many of our current citizens – and elected officials – truly understand its meaning?

The Declaration launched the first country in history based on the principle that every individual possesses certain "unalienable" rights. According to Jefferson's writings, "free people [claim] their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their Chief Magistrate." No tyrant can violate the rights of man, nor can any majority vote in Congress. "[T]he majority, oppressing an individual," says Jefferson, "is guilty of a crime ... and by acting on the law of the strongest breaks up the foundations of society.

Our rights belong to us as individuals, with each of us possessing the same rights. There are no "rights" of groups to any special favors or privileges. It is inappropriate, for example, for pizza eaters to lobby Congress for a "right" to a free pizza every Thursday. If Congress grants their wish, out of concern for their nourishment or their votes, it acts outside of its proper function. According to Jefferson, "Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare but only those specifically enumerated [in the Constitution]."

Our rights to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness are rights to take action; they are not entitlements to the goods and services of others. Jefferson defined liberty as "unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others." This means we may act in our own behalf, for example, to earn money and buy a house, but we may not expect the government to tax others to provide us with a house for free.

Read the rest here.

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Flags for the Nanny State

Over at Fark.com you can see what other people have put up. I like the idea but I can't say that any of the entries over there really jump out at me. I sorta like this one:

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

You think he'll call her?

A hot blonde gets rid of a one night stand:


http://view.break.com/484483 - Watch more free videos

Pilfered from Gorillamask.net

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The Federal Reserve

Eric Parks over at Red State Eclectic writes about the Federal Reserve:

In the fifth plank of the communist Manifesto, Karl“I-can’t-prove-my-own-labor-theory-of-value” Marx calls for the monetary means of causing the ruination of a capitalist society in order to bring about a Communist utopia. The Manifesto calls for “Centralization of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.” Other planks call for institutions that, on the face, seem normal to us today: Graduated income tax, inheritance tax, government schools, etc. They are all communist in origin.


Read the rest here

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Best. Column. on. Illegal. Immigration. Evah.

According to Fred Reed, our immigration policy can be described thusly:

To grasp American immigration policy, to the extent that it can be grasped, one need only remember that the United States forbids smoking while subsidizing tobacco growers.
Further down:
We have immigration because we want immigration. Liberals favor immigration because it makes them feel warm and fuzzy and international and all, and from a genuine streak of decency. Conservative Republican businessman favor immigration, frequently sotto voce, because they want cheap labor that actually shows up and works.
Read it here


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The Tyranny of the State

William Anderson writes about Judge Andrew Napolitano and his book "A Nation of Sheep":

After his introduction, in which Napolitano clearly lays out his thesis, he then explains the natural rights origin of freedom, and how many of the founders of the United States held to a natural rights position. Law, in their view, existed to protect individual liberties from those who would deny them. Today, the deniers of liberty are those legally entrusted to protect it.

Napolitano quotes Benjamin Franklin, who certainly knew something about a natural rights origin of law: "Those who give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." The judge explains that people who are willing to give up liberty are giving power to a government that will take away the rest of their liberties, and make the people even more unsafe, as a predatory government never brings safety.

In his first chapter, Napolitano takes issue with legal positivists, who seem to dot the political landscape these days. I remember speaking to a True Believing socialist who held a high place in President Jimmy Carter’s government, as he told me, "The Constitution is whatever the Supreme Court says it is."

Certainly, it seems that legal positivism holds sway. From the writings of Judge Richard Posner to the Federalist Society to the New York Times to the leaders of both major political parties (or the "Republicrats or Democans"), the idea of natural rights and natural liberty seem not only passé, but also downright subversive to Good Government. Even though politicians will make passing remarks about individual rights and Constitutional government, nonetheless they govern as legal positivists who do what they want whenever they have enough weapons to back up their positions.

Read the rest of it here.

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I like being Captain Obvious

Allahpundit dismisses the story that ABC News is running about the troops voting Democrat in November:

Doubtless there’s been some erosion of Republican support as the war’s dragged on, even within a profession that’s always skewed a bit right, but to the extent suggested here? With Republicans generally overwhelmingly predisposed to staying in Iraq? Even the left acknowledges that most troops are gung ho to win the war, and that was before 10 months of security gains. Maverick’s surely doing better than this.
Here's a thought, maybe the troops are "gung-ho" to win the war because that's the only way that they can come back home you ignorant fuck.

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Monday, April 07, 2008

Why is being a JBS'er a perjorative?

Justin Raimondo writes about the John Birch Society:

...the Birch Society has been the unfair target of a smear campaign for many years—and yet, without it, arguably, Barry Goldwater would not have secured the Republican nomination in 1964, and the Reagan Revolution would never have happened.

Read the rest here.

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Here's your ransom

I can't believe this movie came out 12 years ago. I still throw out the "Give me back my son!" line every once in awhile. Like this morning when I was standing in the checkout line buying the newspaper, I said it to the checkout girl...well, I never said I knew when it was appropriate to throw that line out there. Anyway, here's one of my favorite movie scenes:

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Friday, April 04, 2008

Reigning in the Executive Branch

Slate comes up with a few things that the next President can do to negate the damage that W has done to the office. This is something you'll only hear on the far-right:

Withdraw all U.S. troops from foreign countries. The Declaration of Independence explains that the purpose of government is to secure unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The United States was not created to build an empire, to aggrandize government, or to purge the planet of nondemocratic regimes. Accordingly, the next president should announce that we are withdrawing all U.S. troops from foreign countries and that, hereinafter, all the nation's military resources will be devoted to building missile, electronic, and other defenses against potential foreign attacks. The United States lacks the wisdom necessary to spin modern democratic gold from centuries of despotic flax by military force or otherwise. Iraq and Afghanistan are clear proof. Further, the United States has no moral responsibility for the destiny of persons outside its jurisdiction who pay no taxes to support the government and pledge no allegiance to the republic.
Read the rest here.

Pilfered from LewRockwell.com

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Lessons in Free Market Economics

Professor Sowell gets back to writing about the economy:

There was a real irony in the recent intervention by the Federal Reserve System to provide the money that enabled the firm of JPMorgan Chase to buy Bear Stearns before it went bankrupt. The point was to try to prevent a domino effect of panic in the financial markets that could lead to a downturn in the economy.

The irony is that it was almost exactly a hundred years ago -- 1907, to be exact -- that the original J.P. Morgan arranged a bailout of a troubled financial institution for the same purpose of preventing a panic that could end up with the whole economy declining.
Read the whole thing here.

The column is interesting because he ends his column with these words:
There is no question that the people who run the Federal Reserve System today are a lot more knowledgeable about economics than those who ran it back in the days of the Great Depression. Indeed, the average student who has passed Economics 1 today is probably more knowledgeable than those who ran the Federal Reserve System back during the Great Depression.

Being a disinterested government official does not mean that you know what you are doing. That fact gets left out of the equation in a lot of proposals for new government programs.
What Professor Sowell doesn't say is that even if we know more now than we did during the Great Depression, that still isn't enough knowledge for one person, the Fed Chairman, to make decisions that he is expected to make.

Speaking of free market economists, Vox Day has an interview up with Dr. Frank Shostak. Have you ever wondered what the difference is between Friedman's Chicago School and Mises' Austrian School of economic thought? What is the Austrian theory of the business cycle? Why is having a central bank a waste of time? Listen to the podcast here and find out.

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Ron Paul Abuses Ben Bernanke, Again Part 3

Pilfered from Liberty Maven:




In case you are wondering what that school of political thought is that Dr. Paul is referencing, i'll give you a hint: the first letter is "f" and it rhymes with mascism

The path our country is moving down is more along the lines of the Jonah Goldberg historical definition of fascism than the pejorative that the left usually hurls at people who they disagree with.

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Glenn Beck and Ron Paul

UPDATE: Ed Morrissey at Hotair plays cheerleader for the economy because today the stock market ended up 400 points. What he neglects to mention is that it is the *volatility* of the market that is indicative of the mess we are in. A movement in the stock market of 1 percent used to be considered normal, but these swings of 3-4 percent are symptoms of deeper problems. So don't be surprised to see more massive swings, both up and down in the coming days, weeks and months.

The other thing that Ed fails to mention is the inflation or loss of purchasing power of the dollar that Greenspan, Bernanke and our government has engineered. Sure, inflation is only 3 percent if you take the "core" inflation number that the government is running up the flagpole. So if you don't drive your car, don't use electricity and don't eat food, then yes, prices will go up more slowly for you. However, if you use gasoline, lights, or have meals, then you are looking at inflation as high as 13-14 percent.



Ron Paul was on Glenn Beck tonight talking about the Federal Reserve and in light of the proposals to increase the power of the Central Bank it's good to see that at least some media outlets are questioning the wisdom of that idea. Lord knows you won't see this from the Pajamas Media Right.

Click here to see the whole thing and below starts where Beck talks about the Federal Reserve:



Pilfered, as pretty much most of my Ron Paul interviews are pilfered from, the Liberty Maven

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The Kids are Alright

From Reason:

Dustin Zebro insists he didn't throw a root beer keg party to embarrass the police. His school, yes, but not the police.

It struck him as unfair that D.C. Everest Senior High suspended students from a dance team awhile back because they were pictured on Facebook drinking out of red plastic cups that tend to signal a beer bash.

So Zebro, an 18-year-old senior, devised a plan to show that things are not always as they appear. He bought a quarter-barrel - of root beer - and a tall stack of red cups, and he spread the word that the party was at his house in Kronenwetter, a village just outside Wausau, on a Saturday night this month.

"There were keg stands and root beer pong and all that, so it looked like a real party," he said. The idea was to post photos on the Internet and fool the school, he said.

Police showed up because of a complaint about cars blocking the road, and an officer administered breath tests to 89 teens.

Every kid blew 0.0.
Read the rest here

Here's the video

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Montana Wyoming is awesome

Montana is still awesome for their stand on Real ID and their threat to secede because of the Heller case, but since I'm on a states rights posting binge this is what you get:

Sheriff Mattis said, "I am reacting in response to the actions of federal employees who have attempted to deprive citizens of my county of their privacy, their liberty, and their property without regard to constitutional safeguards. I hope that more sheriffs all across America will join us in protecting their citizens from the illegal activities of the IRS, EPA, BATF, FBI, or any other federal agency that is operating outside the confines of constitutional law. Employees of the IRS and the EPA are no longer welcome in Bighorn County unless they intend to operate in conformance to constitutional law."
How can the Sheriff say that the alphabet soup agencies of the federal government are persona non grata in his county? Well it's not the Sheriff that says that, but the US District Court:
Bighorn County Sheriff Dave Mattis spoke at a press conference following a recent U.S. District Court decision (Case No. 2:96-cv-099-J (2006)) and announced that all federal officials are forbidden to enter his county without his prior approval ......

"If a sheriff doesn’t want the Feds in his county he has the constitutional right and power to keep them out, or ask them to leave, or retain them in custody."

The court decision was the result of a suit against both the BATF and the IRS by Mattis and other members of the Wyoming Sheriff’s Association. The suit in the Wyoming federal court district sought restoration of the protections enshrined in the United States Constitution and the Wyoming Constitution.

Guess what? The District Court ruled in favor of the sheriffs. In fact, they stated, Wyoming is a sovereign state and the duly elected sheriff of a county is the highest law enforcement official within a county and has law enforcement powers exceeding that of any other state or federal official."
The 10th Amendment and states rights lives!

Pilfered from Eric over at Red State Eclectic

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First Among Equals

In my worldview, there is no such thing as democrat or republican, liberal or conservative, there are only douchebags who inhabit Washington DC and they are all equally worthless. The only difference between any of them really comes down to what special interest gets rewarded and whose ox gets gored.

Here is head douchebag Senator Harry Reid in an interview being asked about taxes. Pilfered from the Free Liberal Blog, click on the pic to watch:


How is his answer to the question even considered coherent? Oh that's right, it's not.

We really should have more contempt, skepticism and yes, outrage with our government. We pay, depending on who you ask, between 40 and 50 percent of our earnings to the government in the form of taxes. Slaves in this country before the Civil War at most, would pay 10 percent of their earnings towards their slave masters. But slaves could actually save their money and buy their freedom. Oh yeah, and the purchasing power of those dollars wasn't being devalued at the rate of 10% per year by inflation either.

I pilfered this link from Hotair.com

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