Archive for July, 2008

Drivin’ Down The Block

Monday, July 7th, 2008

Kevin Drum has a post pointing out that for the first time since 1983 the number of vehicle miles driven is down as compared to the previous year. This is a sign of how Americans have changed their behavior as a result of high gas prices.

Spending Like Their Ain’t No Tomorrow

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

Tim Pawlenty is one of John McCain’s likely choices for Vice President. Tim Pawlenty is not a great candidate on fiscal issues. Here’s the text of a post by Sam Batkins lifted from NTU’s blog:

Spending:

Like Governor Romney, Pawlenty’s spending record started off strong. During his first year in office, Pawlenty was actually able to cut general fund spending by 1.2%. This penchant for fiscal probity waned in later years, however. In the next four years, general fund growth averaged 6.6%.

This rate in government growth is average when compared to the rest of the United States. From FY 2004-07, spending increased 17.2% (from $13.6 billion to $15.9 billion).

Unfortunately for taxpayers, government employment in Minnesota grew 27.7% (from 33,279 state employees to 42,515) during Pawlenty’s tenure.

Taxes:

Pawlenty’s record on taxes can rightly be characterized as a disaster for Minnesotans. There have been no broad-based tax cuts in Minnesota and the largest reduction during Pawlenty’s time in office is only $28.7 million.

Overall, during Pawlenty’s tenure, taxes have increased $1.74 billion (with a b). Some supporters might attempt to describe these increases as merely fees, but consumers and corporations nevertheless have to pay the bill. To his credit, Pawlenty has proposed a modest $77.3 million reduction in sales taxes for FY 2009, but this is more than offset with $138.7 million in other tax and fee hikes.

Rumors are abound that Pawlenty is the front-runner for McCain’s VP slot, but with over $1.7 billion in tax hikes to his name and even more on the way, McCain might think twice about choosing Pawlenty.

This certainly wouldn’t be a way for John McCain to get libertarian types of people to vote for him.

John McCain = 50 Cent

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

The blogger Humanity Critic argues that John McCain is the 50 Cent of politics. Humanity Critc’s main point is that John McCain and 50 Cent have both retained higher levels of credibility with the media by bragging about their wounds:

At the height of 50′s career, whenever I would antagonize some of his misguided fans by sarcastically questioning his street credibility, more times than not I’d find myself on the business end of an extremely strong rebuke. With that person usually arguing their case like a seasoned trial lawyer, their main argument being that 50 Cent survived multiple gun shot wounds, smirking as if they had just nailed the landing on a Perry Mason style closing argument. No matter how many times I’d question that brand of logic, the intelligence insulting suggestion that failed murder attempts that leave holes in your respective ass somehow makes a persons street credibility beyond reproach, always puzzled me whenever one of his supporters would act as if going after his main narrative was off the table.

In terms of John McCain, everyone respects his fine service to this country, and if most people are honest with themselves for even a moment they will readily admit that if faced with the same hardships that McCain faced in that POW camp – they’d spend half of their time soiling themselves, and the other half offering their captors a complimentary reach around in hopes of preferential treatment. John McCain is a bona fide war hero. That being said, I reject the media’s misguided narrative that Obama cedes all ground to McCain on everything Foreign Policy solely based on the fact that the Arizona Senator spent time at the Hanoi Hilton. Even attempting to respectfully question whether or not being a prisoner of war qualifies you to be president is often met with fierce resistance, with the offended party acting as if you had just wiped your ass with the American flag in front of them. My question is, because John McCain constantly cites his service in Vietnam when on the campaign trail(..don’t buy into the media’s notion that he’s resistant to do so, that’s horseshit) – why can’t we have a both respectful and substantive debate on how that does or does not relate to being a commander in chief. I’m not in any way talking about denigrating the man’s service or his time as a P.O.W, I’m not even talking about citing irrefutable facts like him graduating 884 out of 889 in the Naval Academy, the fact that he crashed 5 different planes as a pilot, was known to disobey orders, and owes his military advancement largely to family connections(His father and grandfather were both admirals in the Navy) I’m just suggesting that we challenge the silly notion that John McCain’s foreign policy cred is beyond reproach because of his time in captivity – its almost like someone making the “Wait a minute, his mother was white!” argument whenever some bumbling pundit discussed Obama’s one time perceived problem with white voters during the Democratic Primaries. That simply doesn’t work.

Being shot down in combat does not solely qualify someone to be commander in chief then again neither does being a state senator.

Bobby Jindal Keeps The State Legislature In Check

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

Bobby Jindal has vetoed a bill that would have doubled the salaries of Louisiana legislators.

BATON ROUGE — Gov. Bobby Jindal announced today that he has vetoed the legislative pay raise.

After days of saying he would not reject the unpopular measure, Jindal said this morning that he had changed his mind.

“I thank the people for their voice and their attention,” Jindal said of the public outcry against the raise. “I am going to need your help to move this state forward. … The voters have demanded change. . . . I made a mistake by staying out if it” originally.

Jindal said that legislators “are going to be angry I broke my word to them” by promising to stay out of the pay raise issue. “Let them direct their anger to me and not the people of this state,” Jindal said.

The governor said that although he originally promised to refrain from injecting himself in the issue because a veto may threaten his future legislative programs, he was wrong.

“The bottom line is that allowing this excessive legislative pay raise to become law would so significantly undercut our reform agenda and so significantly diminish the people’s confidence in their own government that I cannot let it become law, so I have vetoed the bill.”

One would think of all people fellow politicians would know not to believe what a politician tells you. This is a good example that if the public demands something from the legislature politicians will respond and it does not necessarily cost the taxpayer money.

Video: Wale – The Artistic Integrity

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

Here is a new video for Wale’s song The Artistic Integrity off of The Seinfeld inspired mixtape The Mixtape About Nothing.

This is a good quality video to by Rik Cordero.

It’s not often you see quality videos for songs that have only appeared on mixtapes.

Link via Sit Down Stand Up

Laws Are Dumb

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

Laws are dumb or at least some of them are.

The Club for Growth can be a little apologetic of the Republicans for my taste. However, The Club for Growth has come out with a great new blog called Dumb Laws. The blog covers just that subject, dumb laws. It even has a feature where you can search the blog’s Dumb Law posts by state.

Barack Obama who?

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

I am starting to take a weekly poll of the readership of this blog. Last week there were 4 votes for Bob Barr, 1 vote for John McCain, and 1 vote for Ralph Nader, and no votes for Barack Obama. If there are any 3rd party candidates I should be including in the poll feel free to leave a comment.