Monday, July 28, 2008

At the risk of being called a racist, my criticism of Barack Obama continues. I don't seek ways to criticize, I simply read stories and respond:

Today, he announced an economic plan that would increase taxes on those families making over $250,000 a year, and cut taxes for those making less than 150K. This has me a little confused because back in June he announced this exact plan but stated it was his way of fixing Social Security, basically increasing the payroll tax for those who make over 250K. So, if you make over 250K a year it appears that Obama will raise BOTH your income tax and your FICA taxes. Ouch!

He calls it the "trickle up" effect, and seems to believe that cutting taxes for the middle class will somehow stimulate the economy. Wow.

This in light of the fact that the top 1% of US income earners pay 40% of the nation's income tax revenue, and the top 25% of income earners pay 86% of the revenue, while the bottom 50% of income earners pay only 3% of America's income taxes. For some reason Obama sees this as unfair (and, in a way, he's right) and wants to change things so the "rich" pay MORE!!!

As a side note, since I am in the medical field, I think it's worth saying that if a hypothetical physician sees too many patients he/she runs the risk of falling into Obama's "wealthy" classification. Basically, he will give that doctor incentive to decrease the work load since it will be way too costly otherwise. Sure, that doctor wants to serve his patient population, but this can't happen if it's financially detrimental. This is just one example of why these kinds of taxes don't work. For some, it could lead to cutting patient enrollment. For others, maybe it's cutting jobs, or downsizing operations, or postponing any plans for expansion. There IS a point where the financial gain is overshadowed by the "penalty" of taxation.

In addition to these taxes, he has also previously stated that he will DOUBLE the capitol gains tax and place a windfall profits tax on large corporat profits, namely the oil companies. Anybody who knows even a little economics should now be terrified of a Barack Obama administration.

Here is what will likely happen if Obama does the things that he is proposing:

First, small businesses will fail. These are the folks who fall in the 250K category. They fit Obama's description of wealthy, but are hardly super-rich. Small business is a major driving factor in our economy, and a major employer as well. So you can imagine what will happen when they are squeezed from both ends of Obama's tax plan. Couple that with the recent minimum wage hike and you have the perfect storm for America's small business. At best, they cut jobs and unemployment goes up. At worst, the business folds, the jobs are lost and the local economy takes a hit.

Then, the windfall profits tax kicks in. What do you think will happen to the price of oil? There will be no limit. Once that skyrockets, again the national and global economy feels the crunch, as it is today. Yet that crunch will be magnified by Obama's stubborn unwillingness to explore US drilling options. Basically, there is nothing Obama plans to do in the short term to bring oil prices down, yet he promises a tax on corporate profits that will without a doubt send oil prices even higher than they are now. One wonders how much more $120+ a barrel oil this economy can take.

Finally, Obama's capitol gains tax. Even Hillary - who rarely meets a tax hike she doesn't like - stated that increasing the capitol gains, even by a small amount, would be a bad idea for our economy. But Obama doesn't want to increase it by a small amount, he wants to DOUBLE it. This means that investment will slow down, and the stock market will plunge. Naturally, the overall economy will take a hit. NEVER has an increase in this tax led to economic expansion...never.

Obama has announced a few plans for the economy, and none of them will amount to actual growth. NEVER has a tax increase led to economic expansion. This is because of a simple premise, and that is that the gov't isn't effective at efficient spending. The private sector is. Under Obama, I fear we will see higher unemployment, more small business failures, decreasing investments, higher inflation, astronomical oil prices, higher food prices, and one of the worst economic downturns since the Great Depression.

The economy is sputtering from oil strangulation and the housing market, there isn't much more it can take before bad things start happening. But small business and investment remain strong. What happens when Obama hits them with his economic policy?

Friday, July 25, 2008

I Am Legend

Okay, I am now officially creeped out by this Obama-mania that seems to have a kung-fu grip on so many people across the country and now, apparently, across the globe. I don't get it. This guy has zero executive experience and has only been in politics a few years, yet he can stand and deliver a speech full of corny cliches and idealistic imagery - while virtually absent of ideas - and suddenly he is the savior of the world and has everyone blindly chanting "yes we can". Huh? Have the Europeans really become that easy to impress? Well, I guess this isn't the first time.

I read the transcript from Obama's speech. I didn't watch the speech, mainly out of fear of coming under the Obamatron spell, I swear this guy has some sort of Gorgonian quality. Instead of turning to stone, those who look too long become blathering fools incapable of independent or analytical thought, with big sparkly smiles, brown noses and a tendency to laugh at anything the Senator says that may be remotely considered a joke regardless of humor level. His media posse of Stepford Wives have turned from "yes" men to "yes we can" men. The toughest question this guy has faced was whether he preferred to work out with machines or free weights. Even Frank Luntz, usually objective and cynical, seemed to have fallen into an Obamian trance last night on Hannity & Colmes. Et tu, Franky? We're dropping like flies. I'm beginning to feel like Robert Neville trying to find a cure for this plague while fearing every night that I will be eaten by my fellow humans-turned-night-seekers who have fallen victim to the disease. I am not legend, I am just a guy who would like the Senator to answer a few tough questions regarding what he plans to do should he become President.

But seriously, I read the transcript from the speech and I am not impressed. This wasn't Reagan, or even Kennedy. It was a pretentious display of bold self-indulgence and glorification that has me wondering what Obama is doing. Is he running for US President, or Emperor of the Galaxy? Should we expect a campaign tour of Mars soon? He no doubt has the money for it. Arrogant and elitist? No, this guy has transcended those terms. My great grandmother would say that he has "gotten too big for his britches". Maybe that's a better description. I wonder if Grandma would ever chant "yes we can".

Since I have been able to resist the tractor-beam of Obamacharm, I have my own critique of Obamapalooza 2008, and my own questions that I can only hope will one day be asked of his Highness. First, how does being popular with Europeans translate in America? The way I see it, there is a vast culture gap between mainstream Americans and mainstream Europeans. Our values differ a great deal. In short, we just don't have much in common anymore. Europe has become a wasteland of secularism, socialism and moral relativism. So when 200,000 Germans gleefully chant your name in support, how will that be received in America? When Reagan went to Germany, he was protested. In fact, the Europeans didn't like him all that much. But the LOVE Obama. In my mind, that's a negative and it only reinforces my opinion of his Highness. Being loved by the Europeans isn't something to brag about, and it isn't easy. You basically have to prove that you're similar to them in so many ways. Obama's socialist agenda complete with universal health care, carbon offsets, internationalist foreign policy and appeasement in the war on terror plays well with the Europeans. In their eyes, he's not American at all. I didn't see any protests. Just how important is it to Obama that he is liked by the world? To me, it seems very important...not a quality that I look for in a President. People in Californistan may approve, but I wonder how this will play on Main Street, USA. Just smile and say "yes we can".

Is it reasonable to expect the American tax payer to foot the bill for a portion of Obamapalooza? The first few days was labeled a Senate "fact finding" mission. This way, Obama was able to travel for free with a clear conscience. His campaign insists the trip had nothing to do with his presidential campaign. I'm not convinced and surely I'm not the only one. The Obama campaign should have funded the entire trip. Don't worry Mr Taxpayer, just nod and say "yes we can".

Did al-Maliki truly endorse your 16 month pullout plan? That's not what I heard. Al-Maliki said he supports the eventual withdrawal of all US troops and feels a plan should be in place for such a withdrawal when the proper time comes. Congrats to the Prime Minister, who is now part of a unanimous opinion, thank you for stating the obvious. We all want US troops to leave Iraq eventually. Now, if you speak Obamese then that apparently translates into an all-out endorsement of Obama's pullout plan. To which, Al-Maliki responded: "That's not what I said". Not that it matters, let's not quibble with details. The Stepford Wives lapped it up and formatted Maliki's words into a complete endorsement and no one has called them on it. In fact, if you believe Obama's posse then you probably think that al-Maliki bowed to Obama and asked his Highness to bestow his blessing upon Iraq and its people while bobbing his head uncontrollably and chanting "yes we can". But that's just rumor.

Why did you bother meeting with General Petraeus? This had nothing to do with fact-finding. Obama declared before the trip that he would pull US troops out of Iraq in 16 months. He made his Imperial decree before meeting with the General, before stepping foot in Iraq, basically before he knew what he was talking about. That was a mistake. At least he could have been more patronizing and announce his plan after meeting with Petraeus, but the Obamatrons didn't seem to mind. Again, independent thought isn't a trait of theirs. The General has long argued against unconditional timetables but, then again, he has yet to fall under the Obamacharm spell. Perhaps that's why Obama met with him. Alas, it was to no avail. The General still opposes unconditional timetables and thus Obama had to change his rhetoric. Before, he was pulling us out because the surge had failed. Now, he's pulling us out because the surge has worked so well that the Iraqis no longer need us. In Obama's eyes you can call it what you want, so long as he gets his 16 month unconditional retreat and keeps his far-Left river of money flowing. And in the process, he got some really cool photo-ops with the troops. Never mind, just nod your head and say "yes we can".

Why didn't you bother meeting with the injured troops in Germany? The Pentagon says they reminded Obama that any such meeting must be in private, thereby keeping the campaign off the base. Basically, Obama was told that he could have a few senate staffers with him and that's it. No press, no parade, no hoopla. To that the Senator said, "No thanks". Sure, he tried to paint it as the Pentagon's idea, but these rules have been in place for a long time and are applied equally to both parties. It seems, at least on the surface, that Obama isn't interested in meeting with our armed forces unless there is a camera close by to show the world how much he cares. At least that's how it seems. To those troops in Germany, just nod and say "yes we can".

And finally, Senator, please tell me what the difference is between the war in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan. You say we must win in Afghanistan but you're basically indifferent on Iraq. Why the two positions? In both places, we're fighting extremists who want to rule a country with the iron fist of tyranny, who live for the destruction of the West and anyone who disagrees with their way of thinking all while actively seeking the most horrifying weapons known to man. Did I miss something? Is there something going on in Afghanistan that isn't happening in Iraq? What is it that makes one crucial and the other an afterthought? I guess the people in Iraq should just nod and say "yes we can".

Something tells me I'll be waiting a long time before I get an answer from the Dems Manchurian Candidate other than the obligatory "yes we can". But I'll wait. Meanwhile, I'm gonna try to isolate the antibodies in General Petraeus bloodstream since he seems to be immune to the global Obamitis pandemic that has engulfed our world. Perhaps I am legend after all.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Today, the New York Times refused to publish an op-ed piece by John McCain. McCain's piece was written as a response to Barak Obama's column that was published by the Times 2 weeks ago. Unless you watch or read Fox News, you probably haven't seen anything about this surprise there.

The Times released a statement saying they will not publish McCain's column unless he meets certain pre-set criteria as deemed appropriate by their editors. Whether or not Obama was given these criteria is unknown.

The column Obama wrote is basically the speech he is giving on his recent Obama-palooza tour across the middle east. So, the Times pretty much printed an Obama campaign speech. The McCain column is available online and I have included it here on this site. The reader can form their own opinion about the Times, most of us already have.

By Sen. John McCain

In January 2007, when General David Petraeus took command in Iraq, he called the situation “hard” but not “hopeless.” Today, 18 months later, violence has fallen by up to 80 percent to the lowest levels in four years, and Sunni and Shiite terrorists are reeling from a string of defeats. The situation now is full of hope, but considerable hard work remains to consolidate our fragile gains.

Progress has been due primarily to an increase in the number of troops and a change in their strategy. I was an early advocate of the surge at a time when it had few supporters in Washington. Senator Barack Obama was an equally vocal opponent. “I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there,” he said on January 10, 2007. “In fact, I think it will do the reverse.”

Now Senator Obama has been forced to acknowledge that “our troops have performed brilliantly in lowering the level of violence.” But he still denies that any political progress has resulted.

Perhaps he is unaware that the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad has recently certified that, as one news article put it, “Iraq has met all but three of 18 original benchmarks set by Congress last year to measure security, political and economic progress.” Even more heartening has been progress that’s not measured by the benchmarks. More than 90,000 Iraqis, many of them Sunnis who once fought against the government, have signed up as Sons of Iraq to fight against the terrorists. Nor do they measure Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki’s new-found willingness to crack down on Shiite extremists in Basra and Sadr City — actions that have done much to dispel suspicions of sectarianism.

The success of the surge has not changed Senator Obama’s determination to pull out all of our combat troops. All that has changed is his rationale. In a New York Times op-ed and a speech this week, he offered his “plan for Iraq” in advance of his first “fact finding” trip to that country in more than three years. It consisted of the same old proposal to pull all of our troops out within 16 months. In 2007 he wanted to withdraw because he thought the war was lost. If we had taken his advice, it would have been. Now he wants to withdraw because he thinks Iraqis no longer need our assistance.

To make this point, he mangles the evidence. He makes it sound as if Prime Minister Maliki has endorsed the Obama timetable, when all he has said is that he would like a plan for the eventual withdrawal of U.S. troops at some unspecified point in the future.

Senator Obama is also misleading on the Iraqi military’s readiness. The Iraqi Army will be equipped and trained by the middle of next year, but this does not, as Senator Obama suggests, mean that they will then be ready to secure their country without a good deal of help. The Iraqi Air Force, for one, still lags behind, and no modern army can operate without air cover. The Iraqis are also still learning how to conduct planning, logistics, command and control, communications, and other complicated functions needed to support frontline troops.

No one favors a permanent U.S. presence, as Senator Obama charges. A partial withdrawal has already occurred with the departure of five “surge” brigades, and more withdrawals can take place as the security situation improves. As we draw down in Iraq, we can beef up our presence on other battlefields, such as Afghanistan, without fear of leaving a failed state behind. I have said that I expect to welcome home most of our troops from Iraq by the end of my first term in office, in 2013.

But I have also said that any draw-downs must be based on a realistic assessment of conditions on the ground, not on an artificial timetable crafted for domestic political reasons. This is the crux of my disagreement with Senator Obama.

Senator Obama has said that he would consult our commanders on the ground and Iraqi leaders, but he did no such thing before releasing his “plan for Iraq.” Perhaps that’s because he doesn’t want to hear what they have to say. During the course of eight visits to Iraq, I have heard many times from our troops what Major General Jeffrey Hammond, commander of coalition forces in Baghdad, recently said: that leaving based on a timetable would be “very dangerous.”

The danger is that extremists supported by Al Qaeda and Iran could stage a comeback, as they have in the past when we’ve had too few troops in Iraq. Senator Obama seems to have learned nothing from recent history. I find it ironic that he is emulating the worst mistake of the Bush administration by waving the “Mission Accomplished” banner prematurely.

I am also dismayed that he never talks about winning the war — only of ending it. But if we don’t win the war, our enemies will. A triumph for the terrorists would be a disaster for us. That is something I will not allow to happen as president. Instead I will continue implementing a proven counterinsurgency strategy not only in Iraq but also in Afghanistan with the goal of creating stable, secure, self-sustaining democratic allies.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Exposing Al Gore as a fraud has almost become too easy, but I think I'll jump in anyway. One year ago the Tennessee Center for Policy Research reported that Mr Gore was an energy glutton, basically consuming 20 times the national average at his Tennessee home. Gore was, of course, appalled and promised to change this. Well, that same group has done a follow up after giving the global warming guru an entire year to clean up his act, and guess what they found?

Gore's energy use in his home has actually INCREASED by 10%.

Mr Gore has no doubt taken the term "hypocrisy" to new levels. Meanwhile, he continues to tour the world raising alarms about global warming and calling on others to conserve energy and change their lifestyles. One wonders why anyone still takes this guy seriously.

Not enough? Well, consider his recent calls for more laws that would provide subsidies and mandates for the alternate energy industry. He names a few companies of this industry: Smartcar, Altra biofuels, and Ausra solar technology to name a few. Then, no kidding, he goes on to say: "Here are just a few of the investments that I personally think make sense. I have a stake in these."

As a side note, it's important to mention at this time that Gore has accumulated a fortune of over $100 million since leaving public office in 2001.

Is it just me or did Gore let the proverbial cat out of the backyard compost pile? He actually admitted that he has personally invested money in companies that stand to profit a great deal if the world buys his chicken little routine, all while he has INCREASED his own personal energy use at home. I'm no genius, but I can spot snake oil when it's being pushed on me. Gore doesn't appear to be nearly as concerned about the environment as he is about his own bank balance, or so it seems to the commoner.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for smart energy. We should maximize renewable energy, conserve as much as practically possible and do whatever it takes to become energy independent. But I for one am a bit tired of Gore's antics. The guy is a phony and it is slowly becoming evident that this enviro-crusade of his basically boils down to his own personal get-richer scheme. The man has no credibility in my eyes and I will consider anything that comes out of his mouth a lie until proven otherwise.

I think the wise man would do the same.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The "100 years" war

If you follow the news, especially the New York Times or CNN, then you certainly have seen John McCain's comment about America's future in Iraq. It happened at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire in January. A voter said to McCain that Pres. Bush has talked about staying in Iraq for 50 years. McCain's response was: "make it a hundred". This is what all the media outlets have pounced upon, and what Obama (who claims to practice a "new" kind of politics) has adopted as a quasi-campaing slogan. Of course, there is little mention of what McCain said immediately afterward: "We've been in Japan for 60 years. We've been in South Korea for 50 years or so. That would be fine with me, as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed."

McCain is right. There is nothing about his statement that is inappropriate or inaccurate. America helps protect its allies with a military presence. We're also based in the UK, Germany, Turkey, Guam, and many former Soviet republics. It's a fact and there is no reason to assume that we wouldn't have a permanent military presence in Iraq once the fledgling democracy is on its feet, especially given Iraq's strategic importance. The MSM has misrepresented McCain's comment, as has Obama (who claims to practice a "new" kind of politics), as some kind of endorsement of 100 years of war in Iraq without end. This is dishonest to say the least, and Obama should know better since he has been the victim of similar misrepresentations, ie the "typical white person" comment. The non-partisan watchdog group has said that "Obama's claim that McCain wants 100 years in Iraq is a serious distortion to the point of rank falsehood". Obama is getting muddy and it's not becoming of him, especially since he claims to practice a "new" kind of politics.

McCain isn't backing down and he has challenged Obama on the deliberate misrepresentation. Obama's response was that we have no business in a country that has nothing to do with the war on terror. This caught my attention, and warrants a response from WEP.

It's true that I've grown tired of trying to explain to liberals why war in Iraq was necessary...tragic but necessary. Either you get it or you don't, the debate is basically fruitless. They always come back with this ridiculous assertion that Iraq has nothing to do with the war on terror, and they think that our presence there detracts from the "actual" war on terror and ties up badly needed resources. I wonder who they think we're fighting in Iraq? I always thought we were fighting Islamic terrorists.

If you ask a typical liberal about the war on terror (or the "so called war on terror" as they like to say) you will discover that this war begins and ends with Osama Bin Laden. Apparently, once we capture him it is all over. All we need to do is withdraw from Iraq, focus all our efforts on Bin Laden and we can end this so called war on terror and get back to our ipods and Sex in the City reruns. Simple enough, right?

Well, I'm sorry, but fighting a complex war like this is not the same as playing a game of Stratego, which is basically what Obama's military strategy would be. Bin Laden is one of many Islamic terrorists who want all of us to worship their god or die. Yes, he is high profile but capturing or killing him would hardly end the war. Victory only comes with a change in mindset, governance, and perception in a culture that knows much of violence and little of tolerance. Bin Laden's capture wouldn't do much in that regard. If anything, it would inspire more fight in our enemies since they so admire the whole martyrdom thing.

So while Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11, saying it has nothing to do with the war on terror reflects a jaw-droppingly vast and dangerous lack of understanding of this conflict. Our troops are actively engaged with the enemy and they are winning. We have established a front line of battle in the war on terror and it is very far from main street America where the terrorists would prefer to fight. Where once they were hiding in the shadows, our conflict in Iraq has drawn them into a fight with our military, where they are greatly overmatched, as opposed to killing unarmed and untrained civilians as they would prefer. The enemy's focus is on driving our troops out of Iraq, more so than attacking our families here at home, and they are fighting this battle at great cost. Disengaging in Iraq would mean losing that front line and our enemies would creep back into the shadows looking for their next target, likely somewhere on main street America.

I think someone should sit down with Obama and explain this to him because he has no business being our next Commander in Chief if he doesn't understand such a fundamental military concept. Against a guerrilla enemy, it is much better to establish a line and provide them motivation to attack you and thus draw them into you strength rather than seek them amongst the shadows in their line of strength. The enemy's strength is their anonymity and invisibility which is lost when they are attacking our line of strength. Basically, our troops are fighting over there so we won't have to over here. It's simple, and believe me no one understands this more than the troops who are doing the fighting.

Obama clearly doesn't get it and neither do most libs who say Iraq has nothing to do with the war on terror.

We have paid a dear price in this fight. We've lost many brave soldiers and spent large amounts of treasure. But what is the alternative? Are we to simply give up and stop fighting altogether? Yes, we could disengage in Iraq and focus our efforts on seek-and-destroy missions, kill a terrorist here, capture another there. But we wouldn't come close to inflicting the kind of damage on these networks that we are currently inflicting in Iraq, not to mention the most damaging of all...establishing a democratic Islamic state in the heart of the middle east. When we began this fight in September 2001, President Bush said it was going to be long, costly and difficult. Were we not listening? Did we not believe him?

We've lost over 3,000 Americans in Iraq in 5 years of fighting. We lost more than that in one day on 9-11. We have options but to me the alternative to what we are currently doing seems much worse. It's the lesser of two evils once again. In 1945, Truman faced something similar and he chose to inflict misery on the enemy rather than allow the enemy to inflict misery on us. What are we to do today? Obama? McCain? This is the most important question of this year's election.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Progress in Iraq

In a recent report to Congress, the Bush administration reported that Iraq has now made satisfactory progress on 15 of 18 benchmarks. This is nearly twice the progress that was reported one year ago. If you were unaware of this, that's probably because NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN and the New York Times all completely ignored the story. That's right, none of these major news outlets felt Iraq's progress on meeting political benchmarks was worthy of reporting. But the full story can be found here.

This is no doubt bad news for Barack Obama, who is depending on US failure in Iraq to help him get to the White House. Perhaps that's why the aforementioned news agencies haven't reported on this. Obama has committed to immediate, unconditional withdrawal of US troops and it's a position that he can't reverse. So, the worse things are in Iraq the better he will look when he gives that order, which brings me to another issue.

During a debate, Obama was asked if he would still withdraw US troops EVEN if his top military advisors told him such a withdrawal would be disastrous. Obama answered yes, saying that the Commander in Chief has ultimate authority and is not bound to what his advisors say. This is where I have a problem.

Obama has no military experience. He knows nothing about military tactics or strategy. Yet, he hopes to command the greatest military force on the planet. That's fine. But it seems to me that someone in his position would listen carefully to his military advisors. After all, they know what they're talking about, he doesn't (at least when it comes to military issues). The idea that he is going to do what he wants to do - damn what his advisors say - is a bit frightening. It's just another example of Obama's arrogance, and it reflects a reckless military policy.

I for one am happy to see the Iraqi government making progress. In one year they have doubled the number of benchmarks met. We have given them freedom, then security, and it appears they are responding. Progress is slow, but we are heading in the right direction. It's my hope that America won't turn its back on the people of Iraq when they are so close to succeeding at building their democracy.

That will be up to the voters.