Archive for October 14th, 2008

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Christopher Buckley Resigns from National Review

October 14, 2008

After his endorsement of the One, it appears that reader outcry and an editor with a spine weaker than a soggy piece of spaghetti has forced William F. Buckley’s son to resign from National Review. Here are his comments:

Within hours of my endorsement appearing in The Daily Beast it became clear that National Review had a serious problem on its hands. So the next morning, I thought the only decent thing to do would be to offer to resign my column there. This offer was accepted—rather briskly!—by Rich Lowry, NR’s editor, and its publisher, the superb and able and fine Jack Fowler. I retain the fondest feelings for the magazine that my father founded, but I will admit to a certain sadness that an act of publishing a reasoned argument for the opposition should result in acrimony and disavowal…

So, I have been effectively fatwahed (is that how you spell it?) by the conservative movement, and the magazine that my father founded must now distance itself from me. But then, conservatives have always had a bit of trouble with the concept of diversity. The GOP likes to say it’s a big-tent. Looks more like a yurt to me.

While I regret this development, I am not in mourning, for I no longer have any clear idea what, exactly, the modern conservative movement stands for. Eight years of “conservative” government has brought us a doubled national debt, ruinous expansion of entitlement programs, bridges to nowhere, poster boy Jack Abramoff and an ill-premised, ill-waged war conducted by politicians of breathtaking arrogance. As a sideshow, it brought us a truly obscene attempt at federal intervention in the Terry Schiavo case.

So, to paraphrase a real conservative, Ronald Reagan: I haven’t left the Republican Party. It left me.

Two main things here. First, go back and read Christopher Buckley’s argument. It was far from reasoned.  It was drivel beneath the abilities of the man.  Second, like Mr. Buckley, we think that Jack Fowler is an outstanding person, but the heydays of National Review are well behind it. With the notable exceptions of Ramesh, Geraghty, Mark Steyn, and VDH, the magazine has little to offer.  I cancelled my subscription about two years ago and rarely go to the blog.  Personally, I have never found Rich Lowry capable of taking the proper leadership role for the caliber of magazine that NR should be.  He lacks a presence in both print and when he subs for Hannity.  I would love to see Mark Steyn take over and revitalize the magazine.

If I am going to get some sort of political information through a print magazine, I’d prefer something like the Economist so I can at least be pretentious.

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Obama Tax Plan – Spread the Wealth … read “Income Redstribution”/”Socialism”

October 14, 2008

Change, that is all you’ll have left in your pocket.
-AP

Plumber to Obama: “Your new tax plan is going to tax me more. Isn’t it?”

Obama: “It’s not that I want to punish your success, I just want to make sure that everybody that is behind you, that they have a chance for success too. I think that when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

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At Least He’s Honest

October 14, 2008

Israel, BFF no more, just acquaintance. Amir Tehari in the NYPost:

He promised “fundamental changes” in US foreign policy – saying America must “heal wounds” it has caused to other nations, revive its alliances and apologize for the “arrogance of the Bush administration.”

The most important change would occur in the Middle East, where “decades of putting Israel’s interests first” would end.

Jackson believes that, although “Zionists who have controlled American policy for decades” remain strong, they’ll lose a great deal of their clout when Barack Obama enters the White House.

“Obama is about change,” Jackson told me in a wide-ranging conversation. “And the change that Obama promises is not limited to what we do in America itself. It is a change of the way America looks at the world and its place in it.”

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Obama’s Economic Fairy Tale

October 14, 2008

James Carter and James Miller III in the WaTimes on Obama’s naivette or dishonesty when it comes to his economic plan:

— Magic Fact No. 1: Senator Obama will cut income taxes “for 95 percent of working families, 95 percent.”

It would be truly magical to be able to cut income taxes on 95 percent of working families when only 68 percent of tax filers actually pay the federal income tax. According to the Internal Revenue Service, of the 136 million income tax returns filed in 2006, 43 million returns reported positive adjusted gross income but had no income tax liability because of assorted deductions, exemptions and tax credits.

So how do you give a tax cut to someone who doesn’t pay income taxes? Mr. Obama proposes a massive program of “refundable tax credits.” Those on the receiving end would simply get a check from the federal government. In other words, they would pay a “negative tax.”

By wrapping a thoroughly liberal position – larger welfare benefits – in the mantle of tax cuts, Mr. Obama has very nearly managed to neutralize one of the defining issues of this presidential campaign. If that sleight of hand isn’t magic, we don’t know what is.

— Magic Fact No. 2: Mr. Obama pays “for every dime” of his proposals.

According to the nonpartisan National Taxpayers Union Foundation, Mr. Obama has offered 73 proposals that would collectively increase federal spending $365.6 billion annually. That’s literally a $1 billion-a-day spending increase. And, unfortunately, that figure doesn’t include the cost of Mr. Obama’s 88 other spending proposals for which no reliable cost estimates exist.

How does Mr. Obama propose to pay for these new and expanded spending programs? He begins by squeezing defense spending. He would then repeal “the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.” (Never mind that the Bush tax cuts are already scheduled to expire and that the revenue is already included in the government’s budget forecasts.) Finally, he would “close corporate loopholes, [and] stop providing tax cuts to corporations that are shipping jobs overseas.”

These steps would not come close to paying for the senator’s spending proposals. Assuming they offset $100 billion of new spending, paying for the other $265.6 billion (still ignoring the cost of Mr. Obama’s other 88 programs) would require an across-the-board income tax increase of 19 percent. And, of course, this figure does not reflect the tax increase that would be necessary to pay for Mr. Obama’s “tax cuts.”

The IRS reported earlier this year that the top-earning 5 percent of taxpayers shouldered 60 percent of the federal income tax burden in 2006. If Mr. Obama insists upon having a tiny fraction of Americans shoulder the cost of his spending and tax proposals, the tax increase on those taxpayers would have to be huge – far larger than the 19 percent tax increase described above. This would slow investment, employment and economic growth – and, yes, total governmental receipts.

Sen. Hillary Clinton once threatened, “We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.” Perhaps she would have been Mr. Obama’s ideal running mate after all.

— Magic Fact No. 3: Economists overwhelming favor Mr. Obama’s economic policies.

The Obama campaign likes to say it has the support of professional economists. Yet, that “fact” is based on two, methodologically flawed polls circulating the Internet. True enough, majorities of those surveyed said they favor Mr. Obama’s economic policies. What else would you expect from a poll where Democrat responders outnumbered Republicans by nearly 3-to-1? Only 17 percent of the surveyed economists were Republican. In the second poll, Democrats outnumbered Republicans nearly 5-to-1. Only 10 percent of the respondents were Republican.

Meanwhile, more than 500 economists from across the country, including five Nobel Laureates, have signed a statement supporting Sen. John McCain’s economic plan. (For the text of the statement and a complete list of the signatories, see www.economistsformccain.com.)

Get ready for Jimmy Carter’s second term.

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All ACORN Submissions in Lake County, IN fraudulent

October 14, 2008

It never ends. I can almost guarantee that this election will not be over until 2009 with the rampant voter fraud

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33% Parking Tax in Chicago

October 14, 2008

A sign of things to come around the country?

On Tuesday, workers at a downtown parking garage will hand out flyers to motorists using their facilities, urging them to complain to their alderman. They say Chicago has the second highest parking tax in the country, and with the new proposal it could rise from 27 percent to 33 percent.

A parking industry spokesman said monthly parkers are already paying up to $780 per year in taxes alone, and people who park downtown say it is not a luxury.

“You’re at the mercy of the parking people, and they say 250, you pay 250,” commuter Richard Petrusky said. “Otherwise, you don’t park there.”

“When you think about the gas prices, you think about what you have to pay for car insurance living in the city of Chicago, when you think about how much you have to pay for parking – I wish I could take the CTA or Metra or something like that,” commuter Ken Smith added. 

The parking industry says taxes in Chicago are higher than even in New York or Los Angeles, and if customers have to pay too much, then no one will want to come downtown and it will be detrimental to other industries.

“It’ll be the sixth time in the last 12 years that they’ve raised the parking tax in the city and county. Chicago parking taxes are already higher than Manhattan. You’re gonna stop people from driving. By doing that, you’re going to stop them from going downtown,” said Brian Rainville, a spokesman for the Parking Industry Labor Management Council.

I am very proud that I don’t own a car but I could not imagine living in Chicago and not owning one. They are biting the citizens’ wallets everywhere.