Irish wisdom

An Irish Man sitting in the pub with his wife and he says I love you. His wife asks,”is that you or the beer talking”?  He replies It’s me talking to the beer.

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Motivation, lies and more lies-Libya

So I keep hearing about Qaddafi killing his own people and that’s why we need to intervene. Well from a humanitarian viewpoint, that sounds like the thing to do. Then why is it we haven’t intervened in the Congo? China, Georgia, Iran, and any number of other countries where atrocities, genocides and such are/were taking place. Just something to think about before our President gets up there and pontificates before us tonight.

It never ends.

Eastern-Sierra-Back-Road,-California

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) this week released a report that said taxing people based on how many mileshttp://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/151765-cbo-says-taxing-drivers-based-on-miles-driven-a-real-option-for-raising-revenues they drive is a possible option for raising new revenues and that these taxes could be used to offset the costs of highway maintenance at a time when federal funds are short.

The report discussed the proposal in great detail, including the development of technology that would allow total vehicle miles traveled (VMT) to be tracked, reported and taxed, as well as the pros and cons of mandating the installation of this technology in all vehicles…

…Conrad said in response that federal funds are tight, and in asking for recommendations on how to raise that money, he noted the possibility of a VMT tax as a way to solve the problem of collecting less in taxes as people move to more fuel-efficient vehicles…

Here’s and idea, quit spending.

 http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/151765-cbo-says-taxing-drivers-based-on-miles-driven-a-real-option-for-raising-revenues

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They’re just laughing at us folks.

Senator Claire McCaskill “DISCOVERED” that she didn’t pay the taxes.  Humm..

Any way you slice it, $287, 273 is a lot of money, especially in this economy. For one-term Senator Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., up for re-election in 2012, that’s the amount of personal property taxes she failed to pay since 2007 on a plane she and her husband, a millionaire businessman, partially owned.

"I have discovered that the…personal property taxes on the plane have not been paid," McCaskill told a small number of reporters on a conference call Monday. "There should have been a reporting to the county of the existence of this airplane…There are people I could blame for this, but I know better. As (a former) auditor, I know I should have checked for myself. I take full responsibility for the mistake."

Well no Sh*t lady.  It’s your responsibility and your fault.  But I know it was just an “oversight”.  I wish I had the opportunity to make an “oversight” like that.  Hell most of us our happy to pay our utilities. 

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Piecemeal approach to the budget

captialhill

Glen Tschirgi over at CaptainsJournal has an interesting idea about the budget.

Republicans in the House need to fund the federal government in a completely upside-down manner, and they need to do this not only for 2011 but also for 2012 and, perhaps, beyond until some mechanism is put into place that can reliably shrink the federal government.   The solution is to stop funding the government with comprehensive, unitary budgets and, instead, as Ferrara alludes to as a sort of desperate measure, fund the government in piecemeal fashion with bills that fund specific government departments or activities…

…Instead, Boehner should flip the funding process on its head and abandon the comprehensive approach.  Rather than presenting one, unitary budget with spending cuts reflected in it, Boehner should present to the floor of the House a whole series of individual bills that fund only those essential functions of government that must be funded.  And the funding bills should be presented in order of political priority.

So, for example, the first funding bill to come up would be funding for Social Security for the balance of the 2011 budget year.  Let the Democrats in the Senate try to explain to the public why they are voting against Social Security.   They will cave in a heartbeat.  Just as liberal Senators, in the end, caved in on voting for military funding for the Iraq war in 2007, although they denounced the war as a lost cause and a crime against humanity, they knew that they could not face re-election having voted to deny our soldiers and marines the materiel needed in the midst of combat.  Same thing applies here.

Boehner and the majority in the House would continue to line up single funding bills in similar fashion:  for the Defense Department, for Medicare, for Veterans Affairs, for payment of interest on the national debt — there goes that favorite argument about raising the debt ceiling.

In short, this is a historic opportunity for the GOP to fund only those federal activities that are clearly necessary and Constitutionally prescribed…

Read the whole article.

Other referenced Article.

Budget Nuclear Option: Shut Down Obama Until the Election – Peter Ferrara

Suckers!

So with the rebels taking a beating in Libya the Arab League joins in the chorus asking for a no fly zone. But of course the only ones that can actually do it are the western countries. France joins in, Briton is online, but the US holds out. I’m not sure holds out is correct but can’t seem to decide what to do. Then the Arab league chimes in. Yes we need the no fly zone.

The US joins.  Of course it probably wouldn’t have happened without the US. 

Well they are on board until the missiles start to fly. Now they are critical of the operations. Hummm

Arab League support for international military action against Gadhafi, which had been a key factor in U.S. involvement in the effort, waned Sunday when the group’s leader criticized the coalition airstrikes as breaking with the objective of the mission.

"What happened differs from the no-fly zone objectives," Amr Moussa told reporters after cruise missiles and B2 bombers pummeled Libya overnight. "What we want is civilians’ protection not shelling more civilians."

Did they not understand how a no fly zone is implemented? Oh I’m sure they did.

Ever felt like your being played? 

This is why you must lead and not follow…..

Slow posting and US News in pretty weak

Hey I know the posts haven’t been exactly flowing out of here lately.  I’m finishing up a practical exercise in my final week of training in my new position.  It’s not hard or bad but does take some time.  When I do get some free time I watch the news which has turned into pure garbage.  It would seem nearly impossible to get actual information out of a news report these days.  The continual over hyping and hand wringing makes gaining genuine knowledge very difficult.

There have been some interesting changes though. It would seem even the media that fully supported this President have found some cracks in his façade. Some of them are beginning to admit that behind the front there isn’t any thing holding the building up. The empty suit is becoming clear.

There are times you have to make the call or hand over the call making to others. It appears others are running the operations.

Karzai, wants OPS to end

ASADABAD, Afghanistan (AFP) – An emotional Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Saturday told international troops to "stop their operations in our land", his strongest remarks yet over mistaken killings of civilians.

Karzai’s comments came after a week in which a relative of his was killed in a raid by foreign forces and he rejected an apology by the US commander of troops General David Petraeus for the deaths of nine children in a NATO strike.

"I would like to ask NATO and the US with honour and humbleness and not with arrogance to stop their operations in our land," Karzai said in Pashto as he visited the dead children’s relatives in Kunar province, eastern Afghanistan.

"We are very tolerant people but now our tolerance has run out."

In an apparent reference to neighboring Pakistan, where insurgents have hideouts in lawless border regions, Western-backed Karzai said international forces "should go and fight this war where we have showed them (it is)".

"This war is not in our land," Karzai added.

This has been coming a long time.  Karazi who’s relatives seem to have some interesting connections, a cabinet that is fraught with corruption and large sums of Iranian money points to the ally I’ve seen throughout. 

At many levels in Afghanistan the US military is making great strides.  The ANA has improved, the ANP is working on it and the ALP program shows promise. This is all contingent on a solid Kabul however.  But you can’t build if it’s broken at the top.

And Kabul is where the problem is. USAID’s report on Afghan corruptions says this.

Corruption, defined as “the abuse of public position for private gain” is a significant and growing problem across Afghanistan that undermines security, development, and stateand democracy-building objectives. Pervasive, entrenched, and systemic corruption is now at an unprecedented scope in the country’s history. Thirty years of conflict that has weakened underdeveloped state institutions and the country’s social fabric, Afghanistan’s dominant role in worldwide opium and heroin production, and the tremendous size and diversity of international security, humanitarian and development assistance all increase Afghanistan’s vulnerability to corruption.

Others have claimed Afghanistan is the second most corrupt nation below Somalia. This is the situation after 10 years of our war there? Over ten years we have been in place. What have our leaders been doing? Perhaps we should leave the nation building to others and just stick to retribution and defense.

He is right about one thing.  There is a fight to be fought in Pakistan. 

 

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Friday post

scotch and cigar

Well Friday has arrived.  For those of you who aren’t working this weekend I hope you enjoy.  I have one last cigar and a bit of highland scotch.  Unfortunately I work a swing shift tonight and it’s a bit late to smoke after work so I might have to put off the smoke till Saturday. 

Wisconsin lawmakers pass removal of many collective bargaining rights of the states employees.  Yes this is in the good column.  I’ve no problem with union in the private sector.  Ok I have some issues but I don’t think they should be illegal, however I have no such belief in public unions.  They only create inefficiency which the government already has an abundance of.  Government employees are not there to make a profit but to maintain good order with our money.  To spend it as the public deems necessary.  A union is a block to good fiscal policy which again is hard enough to achieve in government as it is. 

That’s the good news.  Bad news to follow:

Tsunami hits Japan: This wave was created by a huge earthquake off the Japanese coast.  8.9 is the figure I’m seeing.  Hundreds (maybe many more) are dead and there is lots of flooding.  Japan is probably more prepared for this type of event than most countries.  But it’s still devastating.  I can only wish the best for them and would support any help we may be able to provide as a country.

Libya:  Well since our esteemed Intelligence director James Clapper says they rebels are likely to fail I would guess any support for them is off the table.  Hell why would we support the overthrow of a dictator that personally authorized the death of many Americans and others.  Has he really worked with us enough to justify his continued reign?  I guess the administration thinks so. 

Oil prices:  While there has been a bit of a drop we still see very high prices and little the US can do.  We have trapped ourselves in regulations and denied permits.  We have created a situation where we are not depending less but rather more on foreign oil and the instability that brings.  Those that look ahead can see that electricity is not the answer as it takes a very robust power grid to support electric cars and we’ve all seen how weak our grid has become.  Ask some Texans about that.  Or hell just look at your electric bill.  While I’m all for increases in many choices for fuel that doesn’t mean we weaken our nation by not utilizing what we currently have in abundance.  Unless your agenda is something much different. 

Any and all thoughts / comments are welcome.  Unless you disagree.  Just kidding.  Hell if I only talked to those I agreed with I’d have no conversations at all.  Wait I have no…. sigh….

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