Monday, June 28, 2010

Tom "the Taxer" Flip-Flops on Anything but Tax Increases

Milwaukee Mayor and Democrat gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett has provided voters with another reason to doubt his leadership: his recent flip-flop on gay marriage.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that while a member of Congress in 1996, Barrett voted for the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as between one man and one woman. Conversely, Barrett campaigned against the 2006 state constitution's ban on same-sex marriage.

And Barrett's flip-flopping record doesn't stop there. When Barrett made his first unsuccessful bid for governor in 2002, he supported the early release of criminals who were being held in prison for probation or parole violations. In May, Barrett said he has "serious reservations" about Governor Doyle's early release program.

Ironically, during a 2002 debate with gubernatorial candidates Jim Doyle and Kathleen Falk, Barrett went so far as to say, "I'm all in favor of punishing criminals. I'm not in favor of punishing taxpayers."

Wisconsinites may find it hard to believe these words ever came out of Barrett's mouth considering his legislative record includes voting for the largest tax increase in U.S. history, raising taxes every year as mayor, and voting against reducing income tax rates.

With 62 percent of Americans saying the country is on the wrong track, Tom Barrett's flip-flopping record is unlikely to provide voters with confidence in his leadership to get Wisconsin back on track.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Even if Health Care Bill "Saves" $, Still Less $ than Fed Gov't Spent in Feb.

Even if the new exclusionary figure the Democrats are touting as proof of the health care bill's ability to cut costs is accurate, an editorial in the Wisconsin State Journal makes a valid point. If the health care bill can miraculously save $138 billion dollars over the next 10 years, that is still $83 billion less than the federal government's budget deficit for February.

So, regardless of Congressional Democrats' blind praise of the health care bill's ability to save money, the federal government is still spending more in one month than it will save on a government takeover of health care in 10 years.

Click here to read the editorial

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Rep. Wood: Helping No One By Staying Put

Wisconsin state Rep. Jeff Wood inarguably has a substance abuse problem, and his constituents deserve better.

Instead of resigning, as so many lawmakers have suggested, Wood has resorted to playing the blame game. In order to convince members of the Ethics Committee that are discussing his expulsion not to expel him, Wood took the time to write a resolution citing all of the Wisconsin legislators who have been charged with crimes, yet were not expelled. He adds that the state constitution enables lawmakers to expel other lawmakers only if their behavior occurred during official duties on the legislative floor or during committee hearings. He also argues he is being treated differently because he is an Independent.

These excuses made by Wood demonstrate he is unwilling to take the blame for his irresponsible and life-threatening decisions. Although his arrests never occurred while on the job, it would be extremely unlikely that his substance abuse did not affect his work. Furthermore, it has some how failed to dawn on Wood that he is likely being treated differently due to the legislature's recent revamping of drunken-driving legislation. Wisconsin lawmakers have gone to great lengths to curb acceptance of Wisconsin's binge drinking culture, and ignoring Wood's crimes would not only be hypocritical, but also counterproductive.

Representative Wood is clearly unable to do adequately do his job. Members of Wisconsin's 67th Assembly District deserve a candidate who is coherent and responsible, two things Rep. Wood is not. Rather than continue to drag out the expulsion process that began in October, Rep. Wood should bow out gracefully and continue his treatment. Rep. Wood cannot help the 67th Assembly District if he cannot help himself.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

10 Ways to Tell if Your President is a Pop Culture Icon (Rather than a President)

1. If he refers to another pop culture figure as a “jackass” in an attempt to build report with journalists.

2. If he is able to recruit stars like Beyonce, U2 and Stevie Wonder to perform free concerts during his inaugural kickoff.

3. If his likeness and campaign slogan become such a viable brand that Advertising Age magazine names him the marketer of the year for 2008, beating out Apple and

4. If Ebony magazine groups him with celebrities such as Tupac and Jay-Z in a list of “Top 25 Coolest Brothers of All Time.”

5. If his First Lady, although she received her undergraduate degree from Princeton and her Juris Doctor from Harvard Law, is most known for her fashion sense. (See March 2009’s Vogue for more details.)

6. If he visits late night television regularly, including appearances on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and the “Late Show with David Letterman.”

7. If while appearing on one of the late night talk shows, he jokes with the host and says his bowling scores are comparable to “the Special Olympics or something,” in an effort to make the host and audience laugh only to later issue an apology for his vile attempt at humor.

8. If he is known more for his skills as an orator than his skills as the commander in chief, even though he constantly relies on his teleprompter.

9. If he admits to past drug use including “pot” and “blow”; but don’t worry, it never went as far as heroin, or as he calls it, “smack.”

10. If he is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize just 11 days after entering office, and wins it nine months later even though it took past presidents a minimum of five years to receive the honor.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Murder to Stop "Murder": 2 Wrongs Don't Make a Right

This post will not change the opinions of those who glorify the death of Dr. George Tiller; however, I feel I must belatedly cover the untimely death of America's most controversial abortion practitioner.

For over 30 years, Dr. Tiller was the target of ridicule, antagonism, and harassment from anti-abortion activists. And although I would never respond in this manner to a doctor who practices abortions, I cannot say I condemn the activists for doing so. I do fervently believe it is nearly impossible to change a person's stance on such a hot-button issue, yet people are and should be able to demonstrate, so long as they are following the law.

It is precisely this reason I find Tiller's death so tragic. Tiller was, in all regards, a law-abiding citizen. Kansas law permits late term abortion, but no state permits murder.

Furthermore, Tiller's murderer is a religious zealot. How any religious individual could justify murder is truly mind-boggling. Murder, no matter for what "greater good" said murder is intended to serve, is still murder. This sort of morality-put-on-a-scale is not based on Christian doctrine.

If this enigmatic mentality does not sound familiar, it should. It is exactly how the terrorists, more particularly suicide bombers, justify killing themselves and others. The Qur'an denounces taking any human life, which suicide inarguably is. Yet Islamic extremist terrorists rationalize suicide by believing the immorality of their deaths is outweighed by the greater good they serve by killing others.

While I cannot even begin to suggest alternatives for terrorists, I do have a suggestion for anti-abortion activists. What anti-abortion activists should be doing is working with the legislature, not accosting doctors who have every legal right to perform the procedures and whose minds are already made up on the morality of abortion.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Re-Allocation: A Dangerous Downward Spiral

Governor Jim Doyle has become quite notorious for the ways he chooses to spend taxpayer dollars.

Instead of decreasing state spending in the 2009-2011 state budget, which would clearly serve to help balance it, Governor Doyle and the legislative Democrats chose to increase spending by 6.6%.

Moreover, in an attempt to close the gaping hole that is only worsened by increased spending, Doyle decided to use one-time federal stimulus dollars to fund ongoing expenses, for instance medical assistance, general school aids, and highways.

Now, Governor Doyle is pleading with President Barack Obama to receive the 8 billion in federal stimulus dollars allocated for a high-speed rail network. Doyle is not alone in his quest for more federal money. Governors from Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and of course Wisconsin are seeking the cash in order to fund a Midwestern high-speed rail. Together, the eight governors have signed a memorandum which will coordinate their applications for funding.

Alarmingly, the price for the project is missing from the memorandum. However, projected costs for the Midwest rail are no less than $10 billion.

How does Doyle propose to fund the other $2 billion+? Why with other stimulus funds of course! At a news conference in Chicago, Doyle said up to 19 billion in federal dollars from other sources could be used to fund the cost gaps.

What happens when the federal money is needed to fund those “other sources” for which it was originally allocated? Must the nation dig itself further into debt by borrowing the money? The suggestion of taking funds for one (unnecessary and under researched) project and using it on another is reprehensible.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Presidential Earmark

Cap and trade is the practice of the government imposing emission limits on companies. When a company emits more than the federal government allows, it must purchase "carbon offsets" from companies that are below the government's allotted amount.

Cap and trade is a highly contested issue, and the arguments for and against it fall pretty much exclusively along party lines.

The argument made most frequently by Republicans are as follows. Inarguably, cap and trade forces the companies that have to pay for carbon offsets on to us. Second, China and India, the other global emissions leaders, refuse to set limits on their emissions. Consequently, the United States becomes a country that penalizes its own companies, and then forces the aforementioned companies to relocate to other limit-free nations. Additionally, if other emission leaders will not follow America's example and cap their emissions, America's efforts are inconsequential.

This, however, is not the truly crooked aspect of cap and trade.

Goldman Sachs, an investment banking and securities firm, made $2 billion last year and paid no federal income taxes. (In case you've forgotten, the United States began to experience a bit of a recession last year.) Isn't this a bit hypocritical considering senators, like self-described democratic socialist Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), see no problem taxing the wealthiest 1% of Americans an amount he will not disclose?

The reason Goldman Sachs was spared of what would be hugely disproportionate taxes, if Bernie Sanders got his wish, is it owns a 10% share in the exchange where the cap and trade deals will be made. On each deal, a commission will be paid to the investors involved in the exchange. So, Goldman Sachs pays no taxes but stands to make millions more than they already do.

Furthermore, Goldman Sachs' employees gave Obama's campaign close to $1 million. Sounds a lot like a Presidential earmark.