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Tax Day homily

Although this story focuses on California’s abuses, it shows how government gets its revenue in general: arbitrarily and with the power and willingness to ruin people’s lives.

In 1970, a young Southern California electrical engineer and inventor named Gilbert Hyatt filed a patent application for an innovative microprocessor chip…

Twenty years later…the U.S. patent office awarded Hyatt the patent…a multimillion-dollar windfall. He moved to Las Vegas, where he said he was a full-time resident before he received the earnings.

California’s Franchise Tax Board (FTB)…decided to seek $7.4 million in back taxes, claiming that he was still a resident of California when the money came in. That sounds like a simple enough dispute that could quickly be resolved, but what followed has been an ordeal that has consumed a good bit of Hyatt’s adult life.

…[for] a sum that now tops $55 million as interest and penalties have accrued…The tax authorities have been pursuing him through its administrative process. Tired of the endless investigations, Hyatt filed suit in Nevada court in 1998. California officials said they weren’t subject to an out-of-state tort lawsuit. California lost that argument in the Nevada Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court and the high court decision sent the case back to a Nevada district court, which awarded Hyatt nearly $400 million in damages after finding that the California authorities abused their power and invaded his privacy. That case is on appeal.

Hyatt believes that California officials are purposefully delaying. “Specifically, because of the 20 year delay Hyatt can no longer obtain a fair and full adjudication of whether he owes state taxes to California,” according to his lawsuit. “During this time, material witnesses have passed away, memories of witnesses have faded, and documents relevant and important to Hyatt are no longer available.” The board keeps assessing penalties…He suspects the tax board is waiting for him to die so that it can go after his estate.

Under California law, the Franchise Tax Board has the “presumption of correctness,” meaning that the onus always is on Hyatt to disprove what the tax officials say. And, he argues, they keep changing their stories and their allegations, thus resulting in more years of legal expenses and disputes…

To sum up – When dealing with the tax man in America today, you have:

  • No “innocent until proven guilty”.
  • No real “right to a speedy trial”.
  • Kafka-esque complexity and situations rigged for you to lose.

To anyone who wants to claim that our tax system is “voluntary”, or that government somehow isn’t a gun, or that taxation somehow isn’t a use of force on people (many conscientious tax-objectors are given long jail sentences): You’re just lying.

And suddenly, HFT

I never knew that Casey Kasem was the voice of Shaggy. But I digress.

CBS recently did a good piece on High Frequency Trading (HFT), a means by which well-connected computers churn the stock markets and skim the cream. 15 minutes, here it is:

But a few things are odd about HFT as a story, or at least noteworthy.

First: the curious absence of government involvement. HFT has been going on for years (Zero Hedge started blogging it in 2009). Where have the vaunted government regulators been, all this time? Answer: Nowhere (until right now, as we’ll discuss in a minute).

The CBS piece praises Brad Katsuyama, a trader who figured out years ago how HFT works and founded a new exchange, IEX, to try to defeat HFT. That’s a great example of private enterprise being ahead of the regulators.

In fact, private enterprise has run circles around the regulators; first by creating HFT, then by being years ahead of government in working to defeat HFT. Could it be that government regulation isn’t effective? (cough)

The mainstream media’s absence from the HFT story until now (2014) is also striking. And that brings us to the second oddity: the timing of the CBS story. As if by magic, within days of its airing, we have also had announcements that the FBI will finally probe HFT. And that Goldman-Sachs will back IEX, the new HFT-free exchange. (Update: And the pr0n-watching SEC finally, also, investigating.)

I’m old enough to recognize a co-ordinated campaign. Granting that HFT is a real story, I still must speculate that the reason why HFT is suddenly on our collective lips, under investigation, etc., is because somebody powerful finds it convenient, at this time. (Where in the previous five years, they didn’t find it convenient.)

Who is that somebody? I don’t know. I did just note that Goldman-Sachs is rolling with the punches, at least. Over at Zero Hedge, they speculate that HFT is now being set up as the scapegoat for a coming stock market bubble-crash. The Federal Reserve is (by its QE, ZIRP and many other policies) the biggest market-rigger of all. The Fed has engineered the stock market bubble of the last five years. And, when that bubble bursts eventually, the Fed will want us all to blame something or someone else.

UPDATE: On CNBC, Katsuyama and a (truly obnoxious) pro-HFT guy get down-n-dirty. Good times.

So let me get this right:

The administration—whose latest foray into unobstructed, unlegislated, we’ve-got-this, go-it-aloneism was the fabulously ‘effed up roll-out of HealthCare.gov—is going to make 2014 the year of the Executive Branch takes on the world without the messiness of involving the People’s Branch of the federal government?

This’ll be something to see…

-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from The Ranch)

Greens Behaving Badly; Evil Corporations Doing Good

The UK Daily Mail has exposed how the Green Movement has enabled the wealthy to become wealthier by using green energy initiatives to extract money from the working class. (This does not come as a surprise to those of us who have long found it curious that all the answers to Global Warming involved giving billions of dollars to organizations run by Global Warming activists.)

And in the USA, the highest paid employee at the EPA has been revealed to be perpetrating  a massive fraud. (Two, if you count both impersonating a CIA officer and Global Warming.)

Meanwhile, Lockheed Martin — the evil defense contractor that Left Wing Nut/fat sack of crap Job Michael Moore blames for somehow causing school shootings — has developed a revolutionary desalination process that has the potential to bring clean drinking water to millions of poor people around the world and lessen global tensions over water supplies.

I know there is outrage on the left over the private distribution of water, but, come on. Delivering clean potable water requires massive investment in infrastructure. The private sector, with an appropriate level of oversight, is well-equipped and incentivized to provide this service. And one need look no further than socialist Venezuela to see that putting bureaucrats in charge of public utilities doesn’t work out so great.

In any case, my guess is that due to Green interference, this technology will never reach its full potential.

Purity, Principles, and Dealbreakers

You get kind of tired of hearing Establishment Republicans whine that those of us who support the Tea Party over the Establishment are putting purity before pragmatism. Not at all. We just don’t trust the Establishment GOP because, time and time again, they’ve shown that they define pragmatism as stabbing the base in the back and helping the Democrat Left advance its agenda.

Marco Rubio won his senate seat promising to oppose Amnesty, and by his admission, a “path to citizenship” for illegal immigrants was Amnesty. Once in office, Rubio quickly betrayed his voters and signed onto the Gang of 8 Immigration Bill, that contained not only a path to citizenship, but gives the President almost unlimited authority to waive any of the bill’s requirements. (As if Obama would never do anything like that.) Pat Toomey also betrayed conservative who supported him by signing onto gun control. It’s Republican Standard Operating Procedure: Get Elected as a Conservative, Betray the Base, then lie about it . Meanwhile, someone like Ted Cruz actually does what he promised to do … fight Obamacare tooth and nail … and gets Cruzified.

You can follow the old, “someone who agrees with me 70% of the time is my 70% friend, not my 30% enemy” chestnut… and broadly that is valid. Sometimes you have to accept half a loaf. But not every compromise is worth making. There have to be some deal-breakers attached to that:

  • Amnesty – The importation of millions of unskilled foreign workers at a time when millions of Americans can’t find work is a crime against the working class.
  • Gun Control – The Second Amendment is Sacrosanct. And we know even the most benign-sounding gun control law is just part of the “just the tip” incrementalism the left uses to lead to eventual gun confiscation. They have admitted it. Repeatedly. And openly.
  • Fiscal Responsibility – Wasting money is a thing up with which we should not put. And especially no sucker deals where Democrats promise cuts later for tax increases now and the cuts never, ever happen.

You could probably add abortion-on-demand to that list as well. But the key point is, there is something very important that the Establishment GOP political insiders and their highly paid consultants (not to mention the left) don’t get and that is this:

Conservative voters don’t care about party affiliation, and we don’t care about personalities; we don’t base our votes on whom we would prefer to have a beer with or who has the nicest crease in their pants. (We further think people who vote on those criteria are idiots.) We vote based on principles, and we expect those whom we vote for to uphold those principles once elected. And when they don’t uphold them, we get pretty pissed off about that.

Update: Remember John McCain’s Gang of 14, that classic case of bipartisan compromise, where 7 Democrats and 7 Republicans ganged up to save the filibuster, prevent the nuclear option, and s-can most of Bush 43′s judicial appointment? Today, the Democrats showed their gratitude.

 

ObamaLies – in action

First, the facts.

  • October 16: U.S. national debt is $16,747,370,534,090.62.
  • Then they raise the debt ceiling.
  • October 18, at 3pm: U.S. debt is at $17,075,590,107,963.57.

That’s a $300+ billion increase, in two days. It’ll continue (albeit, at a slower pace). It moves the U.S. mathematically closer to its coming default, and the added interest will cost taxpayers (especially if interest rates rise in the future).

Now, here’s what Obama said during the shutdown. October 3:

I want to spend a little time on this. It’s something called raising the debt ceiling. And it’s got a lousy name, so a lot of people end up thinking, I don’t know, I don’t think we should raise our debt ceiling, because it sounds like we’re raising our debt. But that’s not what this is about.

It doesn’t cost taxpayers a single dime. It doesn’t grow our deficits by a single dime…it’s not something that raises our debt.

Or, October 8:

…it’s called raising the debt ceiling, I think a lot of Americans think it’s raising our debt. It is not raising our debt. This does not add a dime to our debt.

‘Nuff said.

Liberal Logic on Display: Two Prime Examples

I’ve seen two examples this week of jaw-droppingly appalling liberal logic which, I figure, just have to be shared in the same way that unusual specimens belong in a museum.

The first one appeared in Salon on Tuesday, and it purports to be a treatise on the necessity of “positive” rights.  It says that the original Bill of Rights doesn’t go very far, and conservatives are foolish and “short-sighted” to insist that those rights are essential and shouldn’t be tampered with.  According to the author of the piece, Michael Lind, what we really need is to endorse FDR’s “Second Bill of Rights”–which includes things like the right to a job, to a good home, and to medical care and good health.  Lind writes: “FDR’s Second Bill of Rights, and similar proposals, are not intended to replace the original bill of rights, but only to supplement it. Progressives believe that we should have both the right to free speech and the right to minimal healthcare at public expense.”

Lind’s article uses both appeals to authority (FDR and Cass Sunstein) and some sleight of hand to avoid tackling the very real contention that we can’t demand “positive rights” at other’s expense without in some sense enslaving those who are tasked with providing or paying for those “rights.”

In a brief rebuttal at PJ Media, Stephen Kruiser cites his own, contrary authority:

The negative/positive rights debate is brilliantly explored by Richard A. Epstein in his book Mortal Peril. He begins with a general discussion but his focus is on American health care. He points out that the positive rights frenzy contains “certain remnants of a discredited socialism” and that “…the protection of these newly minted positive rights invests government at all levels with vast powers to tax, to regulate, and to hire and fire the very individuals whose rights it is duty-bound to protect.”

The story, of course, is one we’ve seen over and over. The government continues to bloat itself as the social welfare state grows and in the process more rights are trampled upon than created.

The title of Epstein’s treatise can apply just as easily to the second, even more stunning example of liberal logic, which I saw linked by several folks on Facebook today.  It’s an article in Slate entitled “If You Send Your Kid to Private School, You Are a Bad Person: A Manifesto.”  The idea behind the article by Allison Benedikt is that public schools are ruined because students whose parents care enough about educational quality to devote their own resources to education aren’t forced to remain in the public school system.

Nowhere does it occur to this genius that perhaps the real problems with the public schools have to do with the teachers’ unions or with the educational bureaucracy which has arisen at public expense.  No, according to this author, the solution to all the problems with the public school system is that if everyone has to go, they will get better because parents will demand it, even if some large number of kids who would or could have had better options has to be sacrificed for the sake of liberal mediocrity.  (You really do need to read the article to believe it is not some sort of ridiculous hoax.  Even the usually liberal crowd of commenters at Slate are put off by the article.)

A much saner, contrary view appeared several days ago (before the absurd Slate article was published) at the Sippican Cottage blog (hat tip Transterrestrial Musings).  The whole piece is worth reading, but this excerpt nicely encapsulates the tone of the piece:

You see, there are no public schools in America that I know of. They’re reeducation camps for people that weren’t educated in the first place, maybe, or little prisons, or pleasure domes for creepy teachers, or places where tubby women work out their neuroses about eating on helpless children at lunchtime — but there’s not much schooling going on in school. A public school is a really expensive, but shabby and ineffectual, private school that collects their tuition with the threat of eviction from your house.

To liberal “thinkers” like Allison Benedikt and Michael Lind, unfortunately, that sort of a situation apparently sounds like a “great society.”

Holder promising not to spy

From rt.com:

United States Attorney General Eric Holder said during an off-the-record meeting Thursday that the Department of Justice will change the way it conducts investigations of reporters amid scandals centered on Associated Press and Fox News journalists.

Several news organizations refused Mr. Holder’s invitation to attend…the few attendees who accepted the invitation said that the DoJ agreed to let some details emerge…

…Mr. Holder hoped to convince journalists that changes are on the horizon for how his office conducts probes into journalists.

The Associated Press revealed earlier this month that the Justice Department subpoenaed two months’ worth of phone records for lines linked to roughly 100 journalists. Soon after, it was acknowledged that the personal emails of Fox News reporter James Rosen were also [taken]…

…Holder and Deputy Attorney General James Cole “said they are reaching out to editors and counsels for news organizations about how to strike what they called ‘the balance’ between protecting the flow of information and journalists’ ability to do our jobs and what they described as national security damage.”

Got it? Holder, a man currently under investigation for perjury in this matter, and who was found in contempt of the House for his willful obstruction of the Fast and Furious investigation, seeks ‘balance’. Hmm. Doesn’t the wolf do the same, when it’s cornered by the hounds? “Hey guys, let’s compromise, let’s reach a balance.”

The article continues:

…even if the DoJ acknowledged those changes, eyewitnesses say it’s not certain when or how adjustments will be implemented. While most attendees say that Holder and Cole seemed understanding of their grievances, few walked away with feeling fulfilled about promises that have yet to be cemented…

“…I think it’s sort of an opening gambit, an opening discussion,” New York Daily News Washington bureau chief Jim Warren told CNN.

Let’s be clear: Holder should resign, for various of his actions.

But these aren’t normal times; this is the Age of Obama, wherein the once-great United States devolves into a banana republic. So Holder might not resign. I’ll be surprised if he does.

The open question, for me, is: How quickly will the mainstream media forgive Obama and Holder, resuming their boot-licking role? How little will it take to bring them back into the fold? I bet Holder and Obama are pondering the same question.

FROM THE COMMENTS: jimmy nails it: Holder’s stance amounts to “I did nothing wrong, but I promise not to do it any more. But don’t quote me on that.”

Media angry with Holder?

From The Hill:

Fox News will not attend a meeting with Attorney General Eric Holder on the Justice Department’s policy of targeting the media in national security leaks investigations if the session is off the record, the network said Thursday…

Fox is just the latest media organization to say it will boycott the meeting if it is off the record. Holder asked for the meetings in an attempt to ensure [sic; assure?] the press corps that its investigations of national security leaks are conducted in a way that respects the First Amendment.

The New York Times, The Associated Press, The Huffington Post and CNN have issued separate statements saying they will not attend because the DOJ is requiring the content of the meetings stay confidential…

Is saying “We will only meet with you on-the-record” the media’s way of saying “We don’t trust you, scumbag?”

By the way – not to change the subject, but: the Obama administration’s violations of press freedoms and privacy rights (far in excess of anything Bush did) has me wondering, did Obama supporters in 2008 and 2012 know what they were voting for? Are they honestly disappointed with his administration now, like “that’s not what we voted for”?

You see, I knew. I didn’t know what specific violations were coming, but already in 2008, I knew that Obama & Co. were worshippers of the State (or of Big Government) who only pretended to care about the U.S. constitution.

It followed that, once in office, the Obama administration would violate people’s rights to freedom and privacy in various ways. Now we have the growing list of scandal revelations, to prove it.

If some Obama supporter claims they didn’t know, then either: (1 – seems less likely) I am smarter than them, or (2 – seems more likely) they aren’t being honest: they saw much of what I saw *and just didn’t care*. Which means they shouldn’t look at the Obama administration now and try to say, “That’s not what we voted for.”

Nixon and Obama: how similar?

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 6:31 pm - May 28, 2013.
Filed under: Democratic Scandals,Government Accountability & Ethics

Are people exaggerating the similarities? Or is this video (hat tip, Bruce’s Twitter feed) onto something?

YouTube Preview Image

Holder being investigated for perjury

From The Hill:

The House Judiciary Committee is investigating whether Attorney General Eric Holder lied under oath during his May 15 testimony on the Justice Department’s (DOJ) surveillance of reporters…

“In regard to potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material — this is not something I’ve ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy,” Holder said during the hearing.

However, NBC News reported last week that Holder personally approved a search warrant that labeled Fox News chief Washington correspondent James Rosen a co-conspirator in a national security leaks case…

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (Wis.), the second-ranking Judiciary Committee Republican, told The Hill that Holder should resign. He accused Holder of misleading the panel during the investigation of the Fast and Furious gun-tracking operation, and again when he claimed to not know about the AP probe…

The House voted to find Holder in contempt over his refusal to turn over documents to lawmakers on Fast and Furious…

I feel two ways about this. Part of me says, the AG should not get away with lying to Congress (if he has, in fact, done so). Another part says: what’s the big deal? Holder has a technicality here (he can say that he didn’t lie, because approving a warrant on Rosen with intent to see if he should be prosecuted is not actually prosecuting him). Anyway, the whole thing is the kind of (low) standard that we expect from the Obama administration, by now.

Brit Hume makes what may be a better point, that Obama putting Holder in charge of investigating the DOJ’s spying on the media is a giant conflict of interest.

UPDATE: Showing what sane people are up against in today’s world, Yahoo!’s current lead headline is “Obama, Christie rekindle their bromance”. Really, media machine? You couldn’t find something better to report on?

Food for thought

Happy Memorial Day, er, weekend! And a big Thank You to GP commenter heliotrope for the following, which he posted as part of a longer comment, some ten days ago. I must warn that it’s not exactly cheery; but neither is the state of America these days.

In an environment of enabling corruption, these words are tested:

“Experience has shown, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.”
― Thomas Jefferson

“The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.”
― Tacitus, The Annals of Imperial Rome

“A man who has never gone to school may steal a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad.”
― Theodore Roosevelt

“Among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist.”
― Edmund Burke

“Power does not corrupt men; fools, however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power.”
― George Bernard Shaw

“The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

“Look at the orators in our republics; as long as they are poor, both state and people can only praise their uprightness; but once they are fattened on the public funds, they conceive a hatred for justice, plan intrigues against the people and attack the democracy.”
― Aristophanes, Plutus

“Might and wrong combined, like iron magnetized, are endowed with irresistible attraction.”
― Nathaniel Hawthorne, The House of the Seven Gables

“Why should he watch the hideous corruption of his soul?”
― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

“I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

Obama, Hillary Clinton, Eric Holder have made “not knowing” an art form. They learn of bad things by an occasional glance at the TV where the news is reporting it. That is the modus operandi of corruption. Unlike Ghandi, their minds are open to walking through by all manner of dirty feet, so long as there is no record kept or chain of evidence linking to them.

David Gregory update

Remember talking about this guy? A few months ago he managed to typify much that ails America. An elite left-wing TV personality, in December 2012, Gregory violated the silly D.C. Code 7-2506.01(b), by obtaining and displaying (on air) a large-capacity gun magazine. Gregory did so after D.C. police had specifically told him not to… but they never prosecuted him for it. Since D.C. does prosecute the minor infractions of ordinary citizens (unconnected with any other crime, and regardless of the citizen’s lack of criminal intent or record), Gregory clearly got some kind of preferential treatment. Why (or on what rationale), we still don’t know.

William A. Jacobsen has been trying to find out why, and Judicial Watch announced last Monday “that it has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and Office of the Attorney General (OAG).” The lawsuit follows D.C. having stonewalled on Jacobsen’s earlier FOIA request for documents. Godspeed!

Jesus, on tax collectors

With apologies to the GayPatriot blog’s many Jewish friends and to its many “secular conservative” atheist/agnostic friends.

My only comment on the following material shall be this summary: It seems that Jesus took note of who was a tax collector and was willing to forgive them, on the premise that they were sinners who obviously needed to repent of their many crimes against their fellow man.

Matthew 9:9-13, English Standard Version (ESV), Jesus Calls Matthew

9 As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.

10 And as Jesus[a] reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Luke 15:1-32, English Standard Version (ESV), The Parable of the Lost Sheep (more…)

When should trading on inside info stay hidden?

Answer: When you’re a federal employee:

The U.S. House on Friday eliminated a key requirement of the insider trading law for most federal employees [ed: the 2012 STOCK Act], passing legislation exempting these workers, including congressional staff, from a rule scheduled to take effect next week that mandated online posting of financial transactions…

One advocacy group pushing for greater government transparency blasted the move, saying it “guts” the law…

To be precise: Federal employees would still have to report trades. But mainly to Big Brother. Not in a form that would let the proverbial Army of Davids (online citizen-journalists) catch inside trades.

But hey, at least we know now what the ‘gun control’ drama is about:

The House vote followed similar action by the Senate Thursday. The votes were done with little notice and came at a time when most people were paying attention to the Senate’s work on high profile issues like guns and immigration.

Hat tip, Zero Hedge.

UPDATE: The IRS is now watching your transactions; even your eBay auctions and Facebook updates.

Here’s the thing. As America has devolved into a social-fascist state these last several decades, we have increasingly developed a presumption that government employers can spy on monitor the taxpayers. But, taxpayers monitoring the government employees? Perish the thought! Repeal it by a unanimous vote of Congress, with Obama signing the repeal swiftly! That’s the opposite of what the American Revolution was fought for.

Why hasn’t this guy been put on trial?

Most of you will get the likely reason in one guess:

Democrat Jon Corzine

Yes, it’s “Jon Corzine” (don’t say Democrat! don’t say Democrat!!! it won’t matter, if nobody ever points it out!!!1!), formerly of Goldman-Sachs and MF Global.

At this time, the 767-word news article that I’ve linked to never gets around to mentioning that “Jon Corzine” is a top Democrat. It lists his political involvement simply as “former New Jersey governor”, omitting not only his party, but also his powerful roles as a Democrat Senator and as one of Obama’s very top fund-raisers and (formerly) advisors.

At this time, the article’s photo caption has even (wrongly) put an “(R)” after Corzine’s name. The caption reads:

Reuters/Reuters – Former MF Global CEO Jon Corzine (R) receives help with his notes from his legal counsel as he testifies before a House Financial Services Committee Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee…

Bias, anyone?

From The Comments: John points out that the (R) would of course be defended as the photographic “right”. But even allowing that, Corzine is not the guy on the right; he’s the guy in the center (of three people in a rapidly-receding perspective). The point is that somebody at Reuters is fine with allowing people to think that Corzine is something other than a top Democrat.

Ryan Unveils GOP Budget Set to Put US on Sane Fiscal Path

Faster, please.

House Republicans unveiled an ambitious cost-cutting plan Tuesday that would balance the budget in 10 years without raising taxes, while repealing ObamaCare and overhauling entitlements — a document Democrats are sure to reject but could be used as a negotiating tool in talks with President Obama.

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., chairman of the House Budget Committee, is sticking by controversial proposals, including one to give future Medicare retirees the option of using government payments for private health care plans.

Taxes are the vehicle that the Federal Government uses to strip power and freedom from its citizens. That immense power is sapping the private sector right now.

Here is the full text of the Ryan Budget Plan.  Read it for yourself.  No filters.

-Bruce (@GayPatriot)

Why Don’t Bush-Haters LOVE! Rand Paul?

Perhaps like me, you’re enjoying this great new TV show I just found on C-SPAN2 called Mr. Paul Goes to Washington where my favorite Senator is currently filibustering President Obama’s nominee to head the CIA, John Brennan. As I write this, he’s currently about to ring in his sixth hour. The goal of Senator Paul’s soliloquy is, as he has stated several times since I’ve been watching, simply to elicit one thing: A straight-forward answer to the question, (to paraphrase) ‘Does the president believe he has the legal authority to execute through drone strike non-combatant citizens on American soil?’

Brings up a very interesting point: For eight solid years, we heard screeching and gnashing of teeth from the Left about how George W. Bush wants to kill us all and eat our babies and of course shred the Constitution through wars based on lies and the horrible PATRIOT Act. But in the end, who is it who’s actually standing up for these ideals? Well, so far I’ve seen Senator Paul in exchanges with Senators Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Pat Toomey. Odd, don’t you think, that it’d be these ‘Tea Party right-winger knuckle-draggers’ who are actually doing the work that the Bush-haters allegedly wanted done while the leaders of their nominative party are lining up with their president in his expansion of Bush’s ‘unitary executive’ policies?

Clearly it’d be expecting waaay too much for the addlepated adherents to the Bush-is-Satan school of political thought to recognize the irony of the situation, let alone find that realization a great opportunity for self-reflection. Sad, that.

-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from HHQ)

NB: I had originally written the paraphrase of Sen Paul’s question as “power” to execute. Clearly that’s within the president’s power, but I’ve clarified (I hope) by changing my original post to read “legal authority”, which I think is likely more to his point.

SC Attorney General To Investigate
Ethics Charges Against House Speaker

Things are always interesting in South Carolina politics….

S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson’s acceptance today of an ethics complaint against state House Speaker Bobby Harrell highlights conflict-of-interest weaknesses in state law dealing with the House Ethics Committee.

Ashley Landess, president of the South Carolina Policy Council, the parent organization of The Nerve, this afternoon filed a formal complaint against Harrell, R-Charleston, with the attorney general, whose office said the matter would be forwarded to the State Law Enforcement Division.

In a letter this afternoon to SLED Chief Mark Keel, John McIntosh, chief deputy attorney general, said Landess has “brought to our attention today that there may be inherent conflicts of interest by potential witnesses with respect to any initial inquiry by the House Ethics Committee,” and that Landess referred the matter to the Attorney General’s Office for “handling as a criminal matter.”

The full letter from the SC Policy Council to Attorney General Wilson can be found at this link.

-Bruce (@GayPatriot)