Enough SaidWith friends like this ...
Former Senator George McGovern, the Democrats' 1972 presidential nominee, in a television interview following the funeral of Gerald Ford: "I have to tell you something I've never said before publicly. I voted for him in 1976." (link)
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
For the same reason we don't complain about income tax rates. One tax is collected surreptitiously at time of payment of paychecks in the form of withholding. The other, though sometimes buried in mortgage payments, comes due all at once.
And boy do people complain.
Well, Governor Kaine here in the commonwealth has just introduced a plan to combat high property tax bills. His proposal is of no great consequence and will have negligible effect on your property tax bill so I'll just link to it here and leave it at that.
More importantly, the underlying reason for all the hand-wringing is the very reason why I have advocated the elimination of both property taxes and income taxes (and luxury taxes and capital gains taxes and gasoline taxes and ...):
Roll all the taxes into one - the sales tax.
People will then come to suddenly - and shockingly - realize what they pay to have their government do all the goofy and wasteful things it does.
And boy will they howl.
Then, only then, will they do something about the monster we've created in Richmond.
U.S. Airstrike Aims at Qaeda Cell in SomaliaIraq is but one of the battles raging around the world. It and they will be won.
By David S. Cloud, The New York Times
Washington, Jan. 8 — A United States Air Force gunship carried out a strike Sunday night against suspected operatives of Al Qaeda in southern Somalia, a senior Pentagon official said Monday night.
The attack by an AC-130 gunship, which is operated by the Special Forces Command, is believed to have produced multiple casualties, the official said. It was not known Monday night whether the casualties included members of a Qaeda cell that American officials have long suspected was hiding in Somalia.
Special Forces units operating from an American base in Djibouti are conducting a ... (link)
I read the other day one of Virginia's many small-minded bloggers dancing a jig over President Bush's popularity rating. What he'll never understand is the fact that the our President could give a damn. George Bush will tell you that, since 9/11, his overriding purpose is to protect the American people, whether they want it or not. Whether they like him for it or not.
We can - and will - do a lot worse.
Democrats. Boldly going where no man, uh, or woman or uh,person of trans-gender or uh, person of undecided gender has ... well, maybe they have gone there before or maybe they have gone only part-way there and then turned back or maybe they didn't even try to go there or maybe they took into account the implications of going there and decided reluctantly not to or ...
Democrats Split Over Iraq Approach
By Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times
Washington, Jan. 8 — The new Democratic majority in Congress is divided over how to assert its power in opposing President Bush’s plan to send more troops to Baghdad, as leaders explore ways to block financing for a military expansion without being accused of abandoning American forces already in Iraq.
While Democrats find themselves unusually united in their resistance to a troop increase, party leaders are locked in an internal debate over how far to go in objecting to the administration’s Iraq strategy.
The White House has invited some Democrats to meet with Mr. Bush before he gives his Iraq speech on Wednesday, even as others have scoured the history books to find cases when Congress has reined in the commander in chief.
... Harry Reid of Nevada, vowed Monday “to take a look at it.”
“I don’t think we should be pulling back any funds,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat...
... Mr. Reid, who said on Dec. 17 that he would support a plan for a temporary increase in increase troops. Two weeks later, he announced his opposition ...
Representative Adam Smith of Washington, vice chairman of the moderate New Democratic Coalition, said he feared that ... (link)
"That some should be rich, shows that others may become rich, and hence, is just encouragement to industry and enterprise."
-- Abraham Lincoln, 1864
"Probably the greatest harm done by vast wealth is the harm that we of moderate means do ourselves when we let the vices of envy and hatred enter deep into our own natures."
-- Theodore Roosevelt, 1902
The election of 2006 is over. The dust is settling. The Democrats have won a decisive victory over their Republican opponents. The celebration begins. Power shifts. The platform takes shape. And, as if we learned nothing from the early '70s when the party then (and now) in power did its best to drive the wealthy among us into oblivion, and nearly destroyed the economy in the process, we find ourselves once again returning to the ugly politics of class envy.
It first arose here in Virginia. Just days after James Webb won an upset victory over Sen. George Allen, Webb wrote a commentary for The Wall Street Journal in which he brought us the shocking revelation that some in this country have accumulated great wealth while others haven't:
"America's top tier has grown infinitely richer and more removed over the past 25 years. It is not unfair to say that they are literally living in a different country. Few among them send their children to public schools; fewer still send their loved ones to fight our wars. They own most of our stocks, making the stock market an unreliable indicator of the economic health of working people. The top 1 percent now takes in an astounding 16 percent of national income, up from 8 percent in 1980. The tax codes protect them, just as they protect corporate America, through a vast system of loopholes."
What Webb plans to do about this situation wasn't stated. But his having mentioned the tax code makes his intentions clear. Since the bottom 40 percent of wage-earners pay no federal income taxes, you can bet your life savings -- at least the portion that he doesn't intend to confiscate -- who it is Webb plans on going after. The detested rich.
Then there's Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel's call for the reinstatement of the military draft. Traditional arguments in favor of forced conscription revolve around the fulfillment of manpower needs in the most expedient, if ultimately detrimental (think Vietnam), way. But if you listen to Rangel's explanation, you come away with the understanding that his goal has nothing to do with improving the fighting effectiveness of our military; he simply wants Harvard and Yale students, those children of the pampered and pompous classes, to be dying in Iraq too. Feel the resentment:
"Am I raising the class issue? You bet your life I am. Am I saying that the affluent and those that are hooked up politically are excluded from serving? You bet your life."
Blind, seething rancor. And a jaw-dropping misunderstanding of how our all-volunteer military is incorporated. How does drafting the wealthy improve the military? To him it doesn't matter.
Closer to home, certain left-wing bloggers here in the commonwealth have taken up the cause too, not realizing the hypocrisy in their denouncing the war raging in Iraq and decrying the tragic loss of American lives, while at the same time demanding that the children of the rich share the experience. How depraved.
It has been said, and I believe it to be true, that the key difference between conservatives and liberals is in their attitudes toward the rich. Conservatives work to make everyone someday wealthy. Liberals work to destroy wealth.
I called a meeting of my sales team not long ago and in the course of my laying out the coming year's plan, I told each of them: I intend, if you do your part, to make every one of you rich. In so doing, of course, I intend to enrich myself. For having succeeded, the corporation to which we all answer will prosper. As will its shareholders. And the families of each shareholder.
As someone once said, "A rising tide raises all boats." This will only happen, though, if there isn't a tidal wave of class hatred sweeping over and capsizing us all.
I guess I should have known.
All cells considered
Roanoke Times editorial
Wake Forest University researchers discovered that developing fetuses shed cells into amniotic fluid that may be as useful in developing cures for devastating diseases as embryonic stem cells.
They claim the fetal cells in the amniotic fluid are as versatile as embryonic ones in their ability to morph into the type of tissue desired and are easier to control.
If, indeed, the amniotic cells live up to their promise, it is tempting to wish that this would end the political debate over the ethics and morality of using embryos for research even if they were already slated for destruction.
However, there is still much research to be conducted to rule out any possibilities, as ... (link)
I should have paid closer attention to my own words. It has never been about the stem cells. It's always been about the babies.