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We are lonesome animals. We spend all our life trying to be less lonesome. One of our ancient methods is to tell a story begging the listener to say - and to feel - 'Yes, that's the way it is, or at least that's the way I feel it. You're not as alone as you thought.' -- John Steinbeck
Some people say the nation's current economic problems are due to the recession which began under the Bush Administration. Others say the problems are being caused more by the policies President Obama has put in place since taking office. Which point of view comes closest to your own?
1) Economic problems are due to the recession that began under Bush. 2) Economic problems are caused by policies President Obama has put in place 3) Not sure
If I were asked that question, I would agree that our nation's economic problems started during Bush's tenure. If allowed, I would add that what Obama's doing magnifies the problem in a big way. But of course, that's not captured in the survey.
Dude, forget Bush. I wish this guy had been president.
Freedom means freedom for everyone.
As many of you know, one of my daughters is gay and it is something we have lived with for a long time in our family. I think people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish. Any kind of arrangement they wish. The question of whether or not there ought to be a federal statute to protect this, I don't support. I do believe that the historically the way marriage has been regulated is at the state level. It has always been a state issue and I think that is the way it ought to be handled, on a state-by-state basis. But I don't have any problem with that. People ought to get a shot at that.
ETC: Carlos Watson predicted this very thing four days ago. Superb analysis, Carlos!
If only "self-improvement" had been as popular as "home improvement" in the last ten years, our economy would likely be in better shape.
You can make the case for a college being the place where people go to improve themselves, but at the price tag universities charge these days, where's the ROI? How does $60K in debt make sense for the Sociology student who will make $25K per year?
My conversation with Joe Hilley over the weekend has me thinking a great deal. Self-improvement...
In getting ready for my Internet radio show (The Growth Accelerator, Mondays, 2 PM to 3 PM on Des Moines Local Live), I re-discovered Frederick Douglass. He gave a speech in 1859 - before the Civil War - entitled "Self-Made Men." I'd like to quote some of it here (I'm amazed that it's not transcribed for the Internet anywhere, except in parts.)
"Self-made men are the men who, under peculiar difficulties and without the ordinary helps of favoring circumstances, have attained knowledge, usefulness, power, and position, and have learned from themselves the best uses to which life can be put in this world, and in the exercises of these uses to build up worthy character."
"[Self-made men] are in a peculiar sense, indebted to themselves. If they have traveled far, they have made the road on which they traveled. If they have ascended high, they have built their own ladder."
"Though a man of this class need not claim to be a hero or to be worshipped as such, there is genuine heroism in his struggle and something of sublimity and glory in his triumph. Every instance of such success is an example and a help to humanity."
"I do not think much of the 'accident' or 'good luck' theory of self-made men. It is worth but little attention and has no practical value. An apple carelessly flung into a crowd may hit one person, or it may hit another, or it may hit nobody. The probabilities are precisely the same in this accident the same in this accident theory of self-made men. It divorces a man from his own achievement, contemplates him as a being of chance and leaves him without will, motive, ambition, and aspiration. Yet the accident theory is among the most popular theories of individual success. It has about it the air of mystery which the multitude so well like, and withal, it does something to mar the complacency of the successful."
"Fortune may crowd a man's life with favorable circumstances and happy opportunities, but they will, as all know, avail him nothing unless he makes a wise and vigorous use of them."
"A wise man has little use for altars or oracle. He knows that the laws of God are perfect and unchangeable. He knows that health is maintained by right living that bread is produced by tilling the soil that knowledge is obtained by study that wealth is secured by saving and that battles are won by fighting. To him the lazy man is the unlucky man and the man of luck is the man of work."
"We may explain success mainly by one word and that word is WORK! WORK!! WORK!!! WORK!!!! Not transient and fitful effort, but patient, enduring, honest, unremitting, and indefatigable work, into which the whole heart is put, and which, in both temporal and spiritual affairs, is the true miracle worker. Everyone may avail himself of this marvelous power, if he will."
"He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance, by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else."
"The lesson taught at this point by human experience is simply this, that the man who will get up will be helped and that the man who not get up will be allowed to stay down. This rule may appear somewhat harsh, but in its general application and operation it is wise, just, and benevolent. I know of no other rule which can be substituted for it without bringing social chaos. Personal independence is a virtue and it is the soul out of which comes the sturdiest manhood. But there can be no independence without a large share of self-dependence, and this virtue cannot be bestowed. It must be developed from within."
"I have by implication admitted that work alone is not the only explanation of self-made men, or the secret of success. Industry, to be sure, is the superficial and visible cause of success, but what is the cause of industry? In the answer to this question one element is easily pointed out, and that element is necessity. Thackeray very wisely remarks that 'All men are about as lazy as they can afford to be.' Men cannot be depended upon to work when they are asked to work for nothing. All men, however industrious, are either lured or lashed through the world, and we would be a lazy, good-for-nothing set, if we were not so lured and lashed."
"If you wish to make your son helpless, you need not cripple him with bullet or bludgeon, but simply place him beyond the reach of necessity and surround him with ease and luxury."
"Thus the law of labor is self-acting, beneficent, and perfect increasing skill and ability according to exertion. Faithful, earnest, and protracted industry gives strength to the mind and facility to the hand. Within certain limits, the more that a man does, the more he can do."
I went to the doc recently and discovered that I have a torn meniscus in my right knee. I've been living with it for a while, and it's tough to manage. So I bit the bullet and went, for which I'm grateful. Probably should have gone sooner.
When I herniated my back a few years ago, it recovered on its own. A couple of months of supreme discomfort and shuffling like Tim Conway's speedster character, but it all worked out.
Not so with this. Sometime in June I get to be seen by the actual surgeon. When is the surgery? Summer, I guess. Sooner is better than later. Then I can go on walks with my wife again, something I haven't been able to do much of lately.
What would this all look like under Obamacare? No clue, but it can't be good. Government is never anything but a no-value-add, expensive middle man. Look at everything else it has ever touched.
ETC: This is fascinating. A woman from Canada writes in the comments with her own story of a torn meniscus under the care of the Canadian health care system.
I injured my knee back in mid-January. Went to my family doctor right away. Went back 2 weeks later cause the pain just wasn't getting any better. He referred me to the hospital for an MRI. I finally got a call they had room for my MRI appointment the Saturday of Easter weekend. Three weeks later my doctor called me with the results. His words: "You've completely destroyed your knee!" Next step is to meet with an orthopeodic surgeon and schedule surgery. At this point, I was told there is a one year wait to see the ortho.
Compare and contrast our private health care with a nationalized health care system:
I went to my family doctor, had an MRI the next week, got the results two days later, and an appointment with the surgeon set up within the next 30 days.
Estelle went to her family doctor, waited a couple of months for the MRI, got the results three weeks later, and now has to wait for a year before seeing the surgeon.
Yes, of course. Nationalized health care for everyone! Barack Obama - supah genius!
I'm going to repost a comment I left at the very informative Eye on Business blog at the Sioux City Journal. I grew up in Sioux City, and when I found the excellent writing there at the Sioux City Journal's web site, I started reading daily. Dave Dreeszen tells us, in his post today, of Michael Moore's vapid "GM shouldn't build cars, but should build bullet trains" plan. Dave writes:
Americans, he said, need to give up driving air-polluting cars, and instead zip around the country on "bullet trains." Much like the Japanese. Right.
How about those of us in rural areas not served by the train lines? We can ride on clean-burning buses. Is it practical to take a bus to call on clients, or go shopping or take our children to ball games, piano classes and dance practices? Not sure about that.
Anyway, how would we pay for all of these trains and buses? Moore wants to raise the federal gas tax by $2 per gallon.
What do you think about his so-called plan?
And my response...
While there's really no contesting Michael's ability to make a profitable movie, I might point out that his movies are products that require no union labor, no repairs (well, unless you expect him to fix the myriad factual errors), and don't threaten bodily harm from accidental injury that can spawn lawsuits against Michael.
The transportation industry is complex. To make a profit, all of the above must be navigated and(!) your product must stand out against the competition. That's quite a feat - and obviously something Michael knows little about.
Mass transit has no mass appeal, as you point out. In Japan and New York, mass transit works because the geography is small. Across a vast America? Puh-leez.
The American car has always symbolized freedom of movement and independence. It's a teenager's first escape from the oversight of parents. It's how you get your stuff to college. It's what you use to just blow off steam after an argument, driving streets and highways with the music cranked up. Can any of that happen on a train?
This is why putting the direction of this country into the hands of the far left - like Pelosi, Moore, Obama, Matthews, etc - is a really dumb idea. Companies are taken from their rightful owners, the media ceases to be an advocate for the common man and instead cheerleads and protects the political class of its choosing, and unworkable utopian fantasies - such as Moore's model railroad and Obama's health care plans - are offered up to us and to be paid for by greater and greater taxation on a people who can't afford such a burden.
Movies are two hours of escapism. When they're done, you can leave the theater and return to real life. There is no escape from the barrage of un-American nonsense coming from our politicians in leadership position today. Today, that is real life. The problem is that Moore's idea is no less workable than any other idea being floated from Washington (the VAT on top of income taxes, the refusal to drill for new domestic oil, bailing out companies and individuals who make poor choices with their finances, and on and on).
What happens when the successful choose to walk out of this American theater and "go Galt?"
ETC: My longtime friend, Kelly, sends me this jewel:
I've figured out Barack Obama. I get it. Completely. Read this through thoroughly. I'll let this post stay on top for a while.
In March, before he took over GM and Chrysler, I said in a post entitled The President's President that Barack Obama saw himself as the president of all private companies.
I'm sure I've been dense, but it just occurred to me why Obama thinks he can tell companies how to run their business, whether they took government money or not.
He's thinks that being president of the United States makes him the president of the president of any company. He's the boss' boss, in his mind.
That's key. Your company's org chart is incomplete, as drawn today. If you own the company or if you are CEO, you report to Barack Obama. You have to justify your stewardship of the company to him, from operations to salary.
With every crisis that he encounters, he will grab more power for himself.
So why does he appease and apologize to our enemies? To allow the crisis to happen.
Why doesn't he do anything to stave more expensive oil? To allow the crisis to happen.
Barack Obama is determinedly not pro-active. He's going to allow crises to happen. The more, the merrier.
Because each time a crisis happens, he'll grab more power. Which makes him predictable.
When oil gets above $100 a barrel, he'll use that crisis to nationalize oil and force us to GM vehicles. Why explore more oil? That would alleviate prices.
When North Korea and Iran happen to Israel or the United States, he'll use that crisis to absorb more power for himself. Why act to stop them now?
Modus Operandi: He wants as many crises as possible to happen.
I'm also convinced that he is using the office of the presidency to run for world leader. By kissing everyone's ass worldwide, he's working to set himself up the next rung of his intended ladder. So many countries will credit him with taking the US down several pegs. And he will begin to set us under international rule to control the US - and other nations - when he achieves his goal.
In a short five months, he's accomplished a good step toward this, but no one thinks that he is headed in the direction I describe. His followers certainly don't. But that's what he's doing. And by allowing the crises to happen, he won't have any accountability. He won't be directly culpable.
He wants bad things to happen. As many as possible. It's good for him and his goals.
The congressman in the video speaks to the "electronic run on the bank." I want to know who was withdrawing the money. No one has answered that question, and that there has been no journalist getting answers to that question is curious to me. One of the biggest events in our nation's history - the near-end of our financial system - and no story about who was running on the bank.
1: You decide to go to a show downtown that will cost $40. One of two things happens...
You pay $40 for an advance ticket online. You get to the show and realize that you've lost the ticket on the way to the show.
You decide to buy your ticket at the ticket window. When you arrive, you realize that you've lost two $20 bills somewhere along the way to the show.
Question: Do you pay $40 for a ticket at the window?
In both outcomes, you're out $80. No difference there...
In the first circumstance, by a 2 to 1 margin, people will not buy the ticket at the window.
In the second circumstance, by a 2 to 1 margin, people will buy the ticket at the window.
2: You have no money. But you get money in one of the following ways...
I give you $30, and then tell you that if you let me flip a coin, heads will give you another $9 and tails will cost you $9.
I tell you that if you let me flip a coin, heads will get you $39, tails will get you $21, or I can just give you $30 with no coin flip at all.
In both outcomes, you stand to make the same money. No difference there...
In the first circumstance, 70% of people will opt for the coin flip.
In the second circumstance, 57% of people will not opt for the coin flip.
This is called prospect theory. This way in which we frame our decisions for perceived risks is illogical. But we humans have a sense of accounting in our heads that bring about such "failure of invariance," as it's called. Logically, there should be no variance in our answers since the outcomes bring about the same result. But we fail to be steady in our analysis.
I'll give you a scenario of my own, but with only anecdotes and not statistics.
3: A fifty-year-old man and his family are rich. He has a net worth of $50 million and lives in a big mansion and drives nice cars. He got his money by either...
Starting a small business when he was young, working hard and building relationships and sacrificing.
Purchasing a winning Powerball lottery ticket for $1.
In both outcomes, the amount of money is the same. No difference there...
In the first circumstance, some people will vilify the man for his riches.
In the second circumstance, no one will vilify the man for his riches.
Think about that... the people who pour hatred on "the rich" exclude lottery winners from their loathing. Why is that?
Is it because one is earned over years of hard work through capitalism and the other acquired in two minutes of dumb luck through the government?
Which one deserves praise and celebration?
And liberals somehow think they're the enlightened ones...
If you read beatcanvas, you know how I feel. Here's Rush giving the facts and the numbers.
Do you love your children enough to stand and prevent the ruination of their future that our immoral president promotes with his astronomical increase of US debt? You either take a stand and make your voice heard or you are part of the problem with your silence.
Someday I'll write a book. It will be about the lessons learned in my entrepreneurial pursuits. Lots of lessons there...
Two years ago, I embarked on writing the 247 technology, which is a search engine of sorts that facilitates conversation. It was a good idea, but my selection of channel for it wasn't right. Then I tried another channel, and that didn't work either.
As I write code, I often put myself in the seat of the end-user. I'm good with database design, and other than a sound data schema and a rough sketch in my head of the user interface, I don't have a lot planned. I feel it out as I go, from the perspective of the end-user.
Then with what I hope is a workable design and good implementation, I go hunting for a market. And my first attempts are usually misses, on either market or product or both. I used to think I just had to scrap the whole thing. Now I know that I just have to listen a bit closer and tweak what I have.
It's why business plans are generally bullshit. Whoever it was who said it, that meeting the enemy always changes your battle plans, was exactly right. My first implementation of the 247 technology wasn't right, but that doesn't mean that it's pointless. Just as my implementation with the EverywhereCalendar technology - written about four years ago - didn't deserve the scrap heap either. I just wasn't knowledgeable enough back then to know what to do with it.
I once read a book (don't remember what it was) that suggested roles that we play in life. I altered the list a bit. I came up with these:
All are important. Success requires real effort, traversing new ground, mastery, and working and growing your network to attract others to what you're doing. But the one I think most neglected by people is the role of Explorer. It scares people. It requires confronting the new, adapting to change, and it carries risk.
By saying "Yes" to the role of exploration, as Patricia Ryan Madson suggests in her book Improve Wisdom, you open up worlds and opportunities.
This is going to sound crazy. Say yes to everything. Accept all offers. Go along with the plan. Support someone else's dream. Say "yes" "right" "sure" "I will" "okay" "of course" "YES!" Cultivate all the ways you can imagine to express affirmation. When the answer to all questions is yes, you enter a new world, a world of action, possibility, and adventure. Humans long to connect. Yes glues us together. Yes starts the juices rolling. Yes gets us into heaven and also into trouble.
It was by saying "yes" that the 247 technology is gaining the steam I've hoped for. Had a great meeting today about that, and I have more in the future, it seems. For one example of what I'm doing with it, check out forward247. I still have some work to do, but I believe in the idea. In fact, I'm quite passionate about it. And others are too, which was obvious in today's meeting. With each tweak, I get closer to a workable and sustainable and profitable model. I'm honing, not paring.
So, here it is late again, with me working on it. Today's demo only had a couple of bugs, and those who have used the technology in its prototype mode (in another interation of it), glowed about it. Yayy!!
With each exploration, I learn more about how this needs to take shape for my audience who craves it. Next Friday, I have another meeting and that meeting will be crucial. More importantly, it will be informative. I'll learn from it what their needs are. Each time this happens, I learn more the ways in which this can be applied.
Exploring...no more critical to success than being a laborer, an artisan, or a conductor - but also not worthy of neglect. It's just as critical as the others.
Now for my role as a laborer - one foot in front of the other...
I recently recounted my issues with a torn meniscus in my right knee. I first saw my family doctor about this in late May. Two days ago, I saw the orthopedic specialist.
After discussing with me the biology of cartilage, he said that doing surgery to remove my meniscus would only accelerate arthritis and that in 10 or 15 years, I would likely need knee replacement.
Or, he could give me a cortisone shot to reduce the inflammation, which, he explained, was the primary source of my daily discomfort. Obviously, I took the shot. It's cheaper and not invasive. Depending on several factors, the shot may become a bi-monthly routine.
The result: I can walk normal again without a limp. I'd say that my knee is now about 85% of what it was before the injuries to it.
All within a month, and for relatively little expense.
Estelle from Canada had written in with her similar story, except she has to rely on the Canadian health care system, which is nationalized. She has to wait until next year to see an orthopedist and have surgery. Here in the US, I was treated in less than a month.
Obama sucks. His intentions suck, his spending sucks, stealing from our kids' future incomes sucks. He sucks.
Estelle, if you read this, try to get a cortisone shot and see what that does for you. Your family doctor might be able to give it to you. That might at least alleviate your discomfort until you can have surgery.
Using his law enforcement experience and data drawn from the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit, Jim Kouri has collected a series of personality traits common to a couple of professions.
Kouri, who's a vice president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, has assembled traits such as superficial charm, an exaggerated sense of self-worth, glibness, lying, lack of remorse and manipulation of others.
These traits, Kouri points out in his analysis, are common to psychopathic serial killers.
But - and here's the part that may spark some controversy and defensive discussion - these traits are also common to American politicians.
Yup. Violent homicide aside, our elected officials often show many of the exact same character traits as criminal nutjobs, who run from police but not for office.
Criminal nutjobs... political nutjobs... what's the difference?
Twitter is an interesting exercise in brevity. Me, I use it mostly to remind the rubes who voted for and support Obama that the fashion of their Obama support (because that's mostly what it is for them) is not a good look. Supporting Obama is as hip and trendy as an overweight middle-aged man wearing low rise jeans.
One of the themes I use is "People with Obama bumper stickers might as well have [insert idiocy here] stamped on their foreheads." Here's my collection. Got any others?
People with Obama bumper stickers might as well have "I'd rather be bicycling" stamped on their foreheads.
People with Obama bumper stickers might as well have "I failed adulthood" stamped on their foreheads.
People with Obama bumper stickers might as well have "Ward of the State" stamped on their foreheads.
People with Obama bumper stickers might as well have "Net worth is unimportant to me" stamped on their foreheads.
People with Obama bumper stickers might as well have "What can the govt give me?" stamped on their foreheads.
People with Obama bumper stickers might as well have "I support taking money from children" stamped on their foreheads.
People with Obama bumper stickers might as well have "Unemployment is cool" stamped on their foreheads
People with Obama bumper stickers might as well have "I hate Israel" stamped on their foreheads
People with Obama bumper stickers might as well have "I can't do basic math" stamped on their foreheads.
For those of us who actually can do math, people who support Obama look like complete idiots amidst 10% unemployment - and climbing. Amidst debt that will bury our kids. Are Obama's supporters compassionate? Not even close. Obama's supporters are concerned only about their fashion and what they can get from the government.
If you support him, you look stupid. And greedy. And incapable of math. If you support Obama, you can't connect dots. You don't believe in freedom.
Chief among the stupid is Oprah. Is socialism living your best life? Is a weaker America living your best life? Is appeasing thug dictators living your best life? Is burdening children with massive debt living your best life?
She's a sham, overripe with the shallow fashion of appearance and a complete lack of American principles.
Obama's supporters are hurting my kids' futures, and they deserve my every ridicule.
And if you see this mess happening before you and you're still silent about it, you're part of the problem.
In the history of brilliant marketing, nothing takes the cake like the media's long-running decision to present mostly left-leaning bullshit - to the harm of our nation and its people. Given the recent poll that shows that conservatives are the biggest ideological group out there, what manager would decide to limit their need for mass exposure by half the intended audience? They didn't need the poll to determine that there are a bunch of conservatives out there. And of course, this deficit of attention to anything other than left-leaning fare is what has accounted for the success of FoxNews. But alas - with Fox sporting glam-anchors like Shep Smith, the opportunity for the conservative audience is once again a market opportunity. (Fox has other folks, like Cavuto and Beck, who do fine. But still...)
So today, for a mere $5 a month, I signed up for PajamasTV. And after checking out the content, it's good. It's professional. And it's smart.
I urge you to sign up. You certainly don't want to listen to the Obama Channels (MSNBC, ABC, etc) for news...
It's been a while since I put a song on the site, and this little nugget floors me every time I listen to it. I've been a Kate Bush fan forever, and her latest album has a brief song entitled, "Aerial Tal." It's a duet of her - and a songbird. If I told you that a singer was singing a duet with a bird, you'd think it was going to be stupid, but no - this is Kate. It's brilliant. Genius. Beautiful.
I was asked to paint something for the coaches of my son's baseball team. The coaches were awesome, so working from the only picture given to me that was workable, I did this.
Been a while since I've painted, and it was fun to do.
While I worked on it, I watched Indoctrinate U, a film about how conservative free speech is not nearly as allowed on campus as, you know, liberal free speech.
Good flick, well done for a first effort. It made its points well, and frankly the university folks come across as narrow and buffoonish. I'm sending my copy to my son, who is in college in Minnesota. Fortunately, he's smart enough not to get sucked into the liberal mindframe. Not that he won't discuss it or debate it, but his exerience has been like my experience: liberals don't like to have a conversation about differing points of view. It's just how they feel, and even if it doesn't jive with the facts, well, it's just how they feel.
One theme that is consistently clear with our president is his clear disdain for America as it is today. Campaigning on a pledge of "change," he has continued to push the meme. He seeks to change America.
Now I know that his voters thought it was great fashion to vote him into office. It made them feel better about themselves. It might have been because he was the anti-Bush. It might have been because he came across as youthful. It might have been the excitement of electing a black man into our nation's highest office. I know several Obama voters, and I've heard all three reasons for voting him in.
What I didn't hear from any of them was a desire to nationalize industries. I didn't hear a desire to control the banking system. I didn't hear that they felt more fees and taxes needed to come their way. I didn't hear that they wanted deficit spending to rise by multiples.
Who we are is defined by what we do.
Who is Barack Obama? Is he the youthful, peace-loving, polyethnic guy? Or, is he the power-grabbing, free-spending, thin-skinned fella who failed to speak out against tyranny and governmental violence in Iran until the polls said that he must?
Actions, not words.
And he acts like he is above the United States of America. Like he's better than America. Like it's distasteful to have to represent our values of liberty and individual freedom. This is why he seldom talks of liberty and freedom. It's why he hesitates to push other nations toward liberty and freedom. He doesn't really believe in such things. Instead, his sole mission is to flatten this nation into a model of fairness. That's the change he seeks. Not liberty, but fairness. Sameness.
Somewhere along the way, equality in America morphed into fairness. Equal treatment under the law transformed into similar outcomes via the law.
So I ask Obama voters: does he represent you? Did you want the government to take over industries? To hurt our economy through greater taxation and fees? To pass enormous debt to children? Is that what you stand for?
I realize that the fashion of an Obama bumper sticker seems exciting and rebellious, but by your enabling of his actions, you're the reason these things are happening.
Are you proud of that? Is he the instrument of your intentions, or is he just the accessory to your apparel? Because putting a man who perceives himself to be above his country and who works feverishly to change our country toward a socialist model is not attractive about you. You look the fool.
And because all of this debt will be transferred to my children, I blame you. I will fight you, and I will mock you. Because I'm proud of my country, and its historical stand for liberty and freedom. It's a damn shame you're not.
If you know me personally, you know that my road in life has been tough. If there's been one lesson of my life, it's the value of persistence. It's all one foot in front of the other. Just keep walking and don't quit.
I hear from folks on the Right and at times, they seem overwhelmed by what Obama and Pelosi are foisting on us. It's fast and furious, no doubt. The pace of it, coupled with the media's support of this socialist train, takes the wind out of the sails of some.
It's worth the fight. Keep at it. We're just getting started...
The Waxman-Markey bill, known as "Cap and Trade," might pass today. If it does, with their strong majority, the Democrats will likely pass it in the Senate. And of course, Obama will sign it into law.
On the day that happens, I'm pretty sure that most conservatives will wake up. I say most because while there are many who are somewhat aware of what's happening these days, most don't want to get involved. Politics is an ugly topic most of the time. Mostly, folks just want to avoid it except in private conversations where it won't prove contentious. Unless of course, it starts hitting their income. And most assuredly, this bill will hit their wallets.
When conservatives wake up, it won't be a Republican uprising. Democrats too, because most Americans are conservative. And more yet are fiscally conservative. Once Waxman-Markey hits the streets and hikes our energy prices, Americans will wake up.
At that point, here in the Land of Make-Believe, Americans will be pissed. Bush will be a distant memory compared to the increasing problems in the economy. You see, in the Land of Make-Believe, all these liberals hold to the idea that taxing people is just revenue to be gained in pursuit of economic justice and fairness. Take from the rich and give to the poor. The way life ought to be, according to them.
It's at that point, when the socialist rubber meets the road, that Americans wake up and realize just what the hell they did in electing this Congress and this president. It's at that moment that "The Big Undo" will start. Yep... nothing like a reactive response. For all the unwillingness to get involved earlier and be pro-active, they'll have to start electing people who promise to unravel the Barackracy erected to manage Cap and Trade's mandates. Because if they don't, America will deteriorate, and Americans will do what it takes to protect their wallets.
It won't just be the liberals who killed business. Nope. It will be the fence-sitters who refused to get involved earlier. Silence is enabling. For all the discomfort and lack of social graces that politics brings, it is necessary. Otherwise, crap happens like Waxman-Markey because conservatives, too busy being busy and worrying about their social status and network, refused to take action early.
Nicey nice is fine and dandy - except when you're parked in front of a train. See it coming yet?
To put it bluntly, the fiscal policy of the United States is unsustainable. Debt is growing faster than gross domestic product. Under the CBO's most realistic scenario, the publicly held debt of the U.S. government will reach 82 percent of GDP by 2019 -- roughly double what it was in 2008. By 2026, spiraling interest payments would push the debt above its all-time peak (set just after World War II) of 113 percent of GDP. It would reach 200 percent of GDP in 2038.
This huge mass of debt, which would stifle economic growth and reduce the American standard of living, can be avoided only through spending cuts, tax increases or some combination of the two. And the longer government waits to get its financial house in order, the more it will cost to do so, the CBO says.
The CBO's new long-term forecast is considerably more pessimistic than the one it issued 18 months ago, mostly because of the recession, which has driven the budget deficit above 12 percent of GDP. But the report makes clear that the recent economic downturn did not cause the government's predicament and that the situation will not necessarily improve once the economy does. The principal cause of long-term fiscal distress is the aging of the U.S. population, coupled with rising health-care costs -- which, together, will drive spending on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security to new heights. Unchecked, federal spending on Medicare and Medicaid combined will grow from almost 5 percent of GDP today to almost 10 percent by 2035 -- and to more than 17 percent of GDP by 2080.
The only logical question to ask is: do you love your kids enough to fight for their future?