Archive for the ‘US Politics’ Category

The Crib-note Guide to U.S. politics

October 10, 2010

So. You’re at a dinner party. Hob-nobbing with Australia’s elite. Mixing with the best of the best. And, as you are the sort of person who mixes with the worldly and politically connected, someone asks you the question: so, what do you think of what’s happening in U.S. politics? And you freeze-up. Because, let’s face it, with all that’s been going on in Australian politics, you haven’t checked your RSS feed entitled “U.S. politics” for two months. On the shame! The embarrassment! Your social standing will never be the same again!

But never fear, Tim is here! Your knight in shining armour! Just for you, I’ve decided to write this crib-note version of what’s going on in U.S. politics, so you can have ready made lines to fire off to seem like you know, and, more importantly, have opinions on everything so you can signal just how smart and educated you are.  Why? ‘Coz that’s the kind of guy I am: thinking for you so you don’t have to, that’s my motto!

So. Let’s get started. (more…)

Illegal Immigrants, Police Powers, Soviet Russia, and Arizona SB 1070

April 25, 2010

Back in 2004, when I visited Russia, one thing more than anything else stood in my mind: the power of the police to “check your papers”. Even after the fall of communism, an agent of the State could, with no provocation, with no reason, with no cause, demand to see your “documentation”. Everyone carried their passports (or their domestic equivalents) around with them at all times. Failure to produce could lead to jail time.

And I remember thinking to myself, “thank God I live in a free country”. Thank God I can walk the streets and not have a policeman demand to know why I’m doing so. Because, despite my (many!) gripes with government, we in the west, to a large degree, are still pretty much free.

Which is why I’m so disturbed by the passage of Arizona SB 1070, which effectively states that members of the police can, at their discretion, demand to see documents proving you are eligible to be in the U.S. if you do not have them on you, they have the power to incarcerate you.  Essentially the law gives members of the police power to stop you at whim, and demand to ‘see your papers’.

Now, it is well known I deviate from many libertarians on the issue of migration. Personally, I feel that whilst we should increase the number of migrants, border protection is a legitimate role of the state, and as such, I have relatively little sympathy for those who cross the border illegally (of course, the situation is somewhat different in the U.S. to Australia, because the legal migration system in the U.S. is just so screwed up, but that is beside the point).

Except this is not about immigration. Rather, it is a matter of the role of the state, and whether or not, in a free society, it is okay for the police, with no probable cause, to demand to see your ID.

This kind of state action was considered perfectly acceptable in the old Soviet Bloc. To have it viewed as legitimate in the United States – the “land of freedom” is disturbing at best.

Let us hope the Supreme Court (rightly) strikes it down as unconstitutional posthaste.

Breaking News: Barack Obama Wins More Awards

October 9, 2009

I heart ReasonTV. I really do. This is just friggen brilliant.

What Would You Do If You Were ACORN’s Crises Management Consultant?

September 22, 2009

Here is a hypothetical for you I think is rather interesting (one for the real hardened hacks!):

Imagine you’re a soulless spin-doctor, a ‘crisis management’ consultant. You have no scruples about the ideological leanings of who you work for, and will do ‘whatever it takes’ to get the job done.

And you have just been given one of the biggest contracts of the year: advising ACORN.

What would you tell them to do? I mean think about it, here you have a massive organization/criminal enterprise, that’s been effectively destroyed in terms of public perception in the last week. How can they get out of it?

Should they go on the offensive? Attack the vast right wing conspiracy and tough it out? Launch an aggressive donation campaign amongst its supporters.

Or should they admit fault, and have their head resign? Should they set up a new transparency initiative?

Maybe they should go further. Repay federal tax dollars, suspend operations?

Maybe they will have to be more radical – stop their voter registration actions, split into two bodies, or ultimately shut down (and re-brand later under a different name)?

Unlike a private company, of course, ACORN relies on taxpayer and donation funding, so its incentives are obviously different. And I suspect general public opinion is not as vital to it as it is for a private company.

But any any event, leaving all value judgments aside, what would you do?

What The Administration Really Thinks Of You

September 22, 2009

In today’s Wall Street Journal, we find out what the Secretary of Energy really thinks of US citizens:

When it comes to greenhouse-gas emissions, Energy Secretary Steven Chu sees Americans as unruly teenagers and the Administration as the parent that will have to teach them a few lessons.

“The American public…just like your teenage kids, aren’t acting in a way that they should act,” Dr. Chu said. “The American public has to really understand in their core how important this issue is.”

The sheer arrogance and hubris of this Administration never ceases to astound me.

Oh, and also, as they are also also proposing to politicise the classroom and brainwash school-children: “The Environmental Protection Agency is focusing on real children. Partnering with the Parent Teacher Organization, the agency earlier this month launched a cross-country tour of 6,000 schools to teach students about climate change and energy efficiency.”

Tax dollars spent to promote a political agenda to schoolchildren. That’s change you can believe in.

(H/T:  Cafe Hayek)

A Horrifying Look Inside The Bush Whitehouse

September 15, 2009

I want to make one thing clear to my readers. Now that the dust has settled, there can be no excuse for anyone still thinking President George W. Bush was a conservative.

None. Zero. Zip. Zilch.

On a purely factual basis his domestic economic policy was the most left wing in decades. He was Dukakis in a cowboy hat, and this can not be debated. There is no more room for doubt. Say what you like about his foreign policy adventures, when it comes to key conservative litmus tests on the economy, he failed each and every one. So if you live in Australia, and only read the Socialist Marxist Herald or the Spencer Street Soviet, and still think Bush was a conservative, get over it. It’s just not funny anymore.

With that out of the way though, even I was shocked to read revelations about President Bush’s blatant attacks on the conservative movement that were revealed earlier today, where he claimed to have ‘redefined’ the Republican Party, and – yes really – claimed to have destroyed the conservative movement.

But not even that could prepare me for the mind-numbing horror that an article in today’s GQ Style by former Bush Speechwriter Matt Latimer induced. Writing about the events surrounding the Global Economic Downturn in October last year, and President Bush’s decision embrace fully-fledged socialism, Mr. Latimer paints a portrait so vivid that… well… horror can be the only word to describe it. Jaw-dropping, spine-chilling horror.

Just read the article. And remember that Bush’s decision with TARP was the most radical socialisation of the US economy in almost 50 years.

(Note: Matt Latimer’s book is coming out on September 22. I have already ordered a copy)

Glenn Moon: The Techno Remix

August 27, 2009

I’m sure by now many of you would have seen a now-famous clip of Glenn Moon, Candidate for Council in the City of Livonia, and his pledge to fight Satan (and also declare war on grammar and prepositions). If not, here it is:

Anyway, we thought that this lended itself perfectly to a techno remix. So my colleague, Kevin Waterman, created one (I acted as creative consultant lol).

So, here in all it’s glory, is the Glenn Moon Techno Remix:

Also, I thoroughly endorse you having a read of Kevin’s blog, which you can find at Questing for Atlantis.

U.S. Taxpayer to Face Higher Top Marginal Tax Rate Than Communist China Or Cuba

July 20, 2009


RNC Chairman Michael Steele compared President Obama’s proposal for government-run healthcare represented socialism. He’s wrong. He doesn’t go far enough. This has gone beyond mere socialism. In fact, this is beyond even communism.

If Obamacare is enacted, then the American taxpayer will face a higher top marginal tax rate than either communist China or Cuba.

This is not a joke.

We have already commented on how, if enacted, President Obama’s proposal would result in the U.S. having a top marginal tax rate of over 50% – higher than France, Germany and Italy. A recent state by state analysis, however, reveals how truly frightening a prospect we have in front of us.
Thirty nine states would have a top marginal tax rate of over 50%, and in some it would be as high as 57.5%. That’s right, 57.5% – almost three-fifths of everything you earn. In fact, if you live in Oregon, you will have the distinct pleasure of having the second highest top tax rate in the in the world (second only to Denmark). Even if you live in lowest taxing states – the states without an income tax – this proposal will still have you paying a top marginal tax of 47.5%.

The People’s Republic of China has a top marginal tax rate of 45%, and Cuba has a top marginal tax rate of 50%.

This means that every single state would have a higher top marginal tax rate than communist China. Over two-thirds of all stateswould have a higher top marginal tax rate than communist Cuba.

Allow me to stress this point: under these proposals, the top tax rate in the supposedly capitalist U.S would be considerably higher in the supposed capitalist U.S. than in the last remaining bastions of dogmatic Marxism. Words genuinely do fail me.

In any event, it any surprise that the top 5 taxing states have an average unemployment rate a full 1% higher than the national average, and we have calculated that if enacted, Obama’s taxes will total over $4 trillion, or $4,000 per household.

Similarly, is it surprising that the Washington Post today reported that support for Obama’s health care plan has plummeted, with disapproval almost doubling in the last month, particularly independents in particular, where a clear plurality now disapproves of President Obama’s handling of healthcare. Rassmussen polls give President Obama a disapproval index of -7%, (in January, it was at +30).

Whether it be in the plummeting poll numbers, or in the hundreds of thousands marching at tea parties, the message is loud, clear, and unambiguous. The American people will NOT stand for this fundamental violation of the principles our Republic was founded upon. As the rest of the world embraces economic freedom, we can NOT descend into establishing a tax burden even higher here than in the heart of world communism.

President Obama and Congress should take heed. Enough really is enough.

Barack Obama’s own Facebook feed

May 20, 2009

This is a bit old, but only just came across it. This is a brilliant, brilliant summary of Obama’s first 100 days in office, as seen through his private facebook  feed.

Here’s the first part – but do read the whole thing!

Barack Obama joined the Washington, D.C. network.
Barack Obama is taking the oath of office.
Barack Obama is taking the oath of office.
Barack Obama deleted the group I’m a Lobbyist AND I Work at the White House!
Barack Obama deleted the group Guantanamo Bay Detainees 4EVA.

Joe Biden posted a note: 25 Random Things About Me.

Chris Dodd
#7 and #16 – Me too!
Michael Steele created the group R to the N to the C.
Rahm Emanuel updated his Education and Work info to Undersecretary of Go Fuck Yourself.
Hillary Clinton, Tom Daschle, Robert Gates and others joined the group Cabinet.
Hillary Clinton is adjusting :).
Reggie Love joined the group White House Hotties.

Tom Vilsack
Welcome to the club!
Steven Chu
One of us, one of us, lol
Senate Finance Committee invited Tim Geithner to the event Confirmation Hearing.
Tim Geithner joined the group Cabinet.
Senate Finance Committee invited Tom Daschle to the event Confirmation Hearing.
Tom Daschle left the group Cabinet.

Seriously, read the whole thing

(Via Mattie Duppler)

UPDATE: Link Fixed

Who Killed The Economy: A California Murder Mystery

March 24, 2009

This is brilliant. Utterly Brilliant.

(Made by the brilliant chaps at ATR)