Archive for June, 2009

Healthcare Is Never Free

Friday, June 12th, 2009

Healthcare is never free. According to Charlie Rangel, the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Chairman in order to pay for the “health care reform” taxes will be raised by $600 billion and Medicare and Medicaid will be cut by $400 billion. This plan will not only cost more money but old people and poor people will have their healthcare limited to provide healthcare for other people.

Obama had been hoping health care reform would only cost $634 billion but it looks like it will now cost over $1 trillion.

Taxing Cellphones

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

According to The Wall Street Journal, The IRS is considering taxing cellphones provided by employers. Currently cellphones and the cellular service that employees receive from employers is considered a fringe benefit and taxed fully by the I.R.S. Most people and corporations don’t enforce it.

Any change in the tax law even if it is only taxing cell phones as being personal use 25% of the time. Increased enforcement would be the equivalent of a tax hike. When the tax law was established on cell phones in 1989, cell phones were a luxury. Cellphones have now become a necessity and to tax them as a corporate luxury would be ridiculous.

Do the taxpayers get something in exchange for this tax hike? Probably not.

Hip-Hop Links June 11, 2009

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

Unkut has a list of the most graphic STD rap songs.

Dallas Penn now is starting to Podcast on his blog.

Here is a new song form DC rapper Soulstice featuring Kev Brown called “Bird’s Eye View.” Worth a listen.

The Meaning Of Dope posted this link to an old MTV News story about Ice Cube’s The Predator album. I’m starting to think I am the only one left in the world still buying CDs.

Jay-Z – "DOA" on Autotune

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

So Jay-z has his new song out “DOA” about the Death of Autotune. Last Friday Hot 97 premiered the song on Funkmaster Flex’s show making it out to be a big deal that they had a new Jay-z song first repeatedly playing the song over and over. Then song itself is okay. The beat contains a sample from Janko Nilovic with a guitar lick that Jay-z doesn”t even that great rhyming over.

Essentially,Brandon Soderberg is right that the song is essentially a concept rap song in which the rapper tries to prove they are real hip-hop by taking on whatever goofy trend is currently popular. I do disagree with Brandon Soderberg’s defense of autotune. Autotune does make club/dance style music but it certainly should not be called hip-hop or rap.

It is confusing to understand Jay’s attack on autotune when he has defended T-Pain, Kanye West and Lil’ Wayne. Ron Brownz seems to be the only person Jay-z is addressing.

When Jay-z speaks, hip-hop listens. Jay-z criticism of Autotune will probably have some effect at the margins in terms of pushing up and coming rappers and producers to turning to voice effects.

Close the the National Drug Intelligence Center

Monday, June 8th, 2009

Republican leaders in the House of Representatives, House Republican Whip Eric Cantor and House Minority Leader John Boehner released a set of budget cuts on Thursday including closing the National Drug Intelligence Center. This should be the first in many steps in scaling back the drug war. The Republican leaders pointed out that the National Drug Intelligence Center unnecessarily duplicates the work of other agencies. Closing the NDIC will save $44 million the first year and $220 million over five years. President Bush unsuccessfully tried to close this boondoggle.

Republicans are probably just proposing closing the NDIC to poke at John Murtha since the Center is located in his district. The reason it is being closed should not matter. Bad policies should be ended.

Ron Paul on Freedom Watch

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

Ron Paul appeared on yesterday’s Freedom Watch with Andrew Napolitano. Freedom Watch is a web only news show hosted by former Judge Andrew Napolitano.
Ron Paul is right we should have allowed GM to go bankrupt months ago. Keeping GM alive these several months was just a waste of money but then maybe it is cheaper than unemployment insurance for all those workers. Ron Paul is right to say that the Republican Party has given up the right to provide opposition to these bailouts by supporting them when George Bush was in power.

The argument often made in favor of why Republicans supported the bailouts is that we were in an emergency and something had to be done. Yes, we were in a bad situation but there is little evidence that government action has helped to solve the crisis. The Government always uses emergencies as an excuse to take on more power and do things that the people would not normally approve of.