Sunday, October 16, 2011

Random thoughts on the passing scene

So, the government interferes in efforts to drill for our own oil and natural gas, and reverses permits on coal mining projects that have already been approved, sacrificing billions in federal tax and lease revenue, and millions of jobs. And then it throws billions of our tax dollars away trying to make non-viable “green” energy companies successful. Note to President Obama: Billions of tax dollars cannot make a failing industry viable. It’s time to abandon that strategy and let the market decide.

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Agents of the federal government sent thousands of firearms over the Mexican border directly into the hands of criminals, without telling the Mexican government. Allegedly, this foolhardy international escapade was to track down, prosecute, disarm and break the drug cartels. As a result, approximately 200 people died, including an American Border Patrol Agent, and the Attorney General of the United States says he did not know anything about it. Seriously? What other similar adventures is the Justice Department involved in that the AG does not know about?

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The U.S. Census Bureau’s annual poverty report states that 46.2 million persons, or roughly one in seven Americans, were poor in 2010. For a family of four, poverty means earning up to $22,350 in the contiguous 48 states, and up to $27,940 in Hawaii. What the Census Bureau didn’t report is what it is really like to be poor in America.

Some Americans truly are poor, but it is a piece of conventional wisdom that America’s poor are substantially better off than the poor of other countries, who frequently are homeless and starving.

That wisdom is borne out by what the Census Bureau tells us about those Americans living in poverty:

• 80 percent of poor households have air conditioning
• Nearly three-fourths have a car or truck, and 31 percent have two or more cars or trucks

• Nearly two-thirds have cable or satellite television, one-third have a wide-screen plasma or LCD television, one-fourth have a digital video recorder system, and two-thirds have at least one DVD player
• Half have a personal computer, one in seven have two or more computers, and 43 percent have Internet access

• More than half of poor families with children have a video game system, such as an Xbox or PlayStation.

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The Obama job plan failed to get the votes necessary in the Senate to move the bill forward, and the president and the Democrats tried desperately to blame Republicans for it. The president’s bill didn’t even get the support of all 51 of Senate Democrats. Even though he said the words “pass the bill” forty-thousand times, Mr. Obama never expected the badly flawed bill that would raise taxes and costs on job creators to pass; it was merely a political tactic to get people all fired up against Republicans.

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Liberals, particularly black liberals, are busy trying to convince themselves and everyone else that Republican Herman Cain isn’t a “real” candidate for the presidential nomination. One of them even suggested, with a straight face, that Republicans are just trying to cover up their racism by supporting Mr. Cain. Another said that Mr. Cain is a pawn, and that Republicans would never nominate a black man. But that ignores the fact that Republicans have often supported blacks. Remember Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas; UN Ambassador and presidential hopeful Allan Keyes; Secretary of State Colin Powell; and National Security Advisor and then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice? Mr. Cain has committed the ultimate liberal sin: he’s an accomplished, successful, conservative black man. That isn’t allowed, and it scares them to death.

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The media focuses on irrelevancies to distract from President Obama’s poor performance. First, it was a Texas Baptist minister who introduced Texas Republican Rick Perry to a Texas audience. After making the introduction, as the minister exited the stage, a member of the media asked him a religious question on Mormanism, and he gave a religious, not a political, answer. The resulting firestorm was totally out of proportion. What that minister thinks about Mormanism isn’t relevant to anything having to do with Rick Perry, since the minister is not connected to Rick Perry, was not invited by Mr. Perry to introduce him, and doesn’t speak for Mr. Perry. What was the point of asking that question?

Then, country singer Hank Williams, Jr., appearing on a Fox News program, commented that when House Speaker John Boehner and President Barack Obama played golf together, and also when Vice President Joe Biden and Ohio Governor John Kasich played golf together, these events were as unlikely to produce something positive as Adolph Hitler playing golf with Benjamin Netanyahu. Immediately, Mr. Williams was accused of equating Obama with Hitler. But if you actually listen to what he said and how he said it, he didn’t equate any of the four people with Hitler. But distractions seem to work, so we should expect more of them. What will the media not do to protect their president?

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