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Does Anyone Have a Problem with This?

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Yup.

Cliven Bundy and Imperial Washington

While illegal immigrants are over-running and the Obama Administration is going out of its way to avoid any enforcement of immigration laws; they managed to muster hundreds of heavily armed (with real guns, not the beanbag guns border patrol agents are mandated to use), armored vehicles, and helicopters to punish one rancher in Nevada for grazing his cows. (In the process, tasering his son, killing his cows and breaking up his stuff.)

It’s pretty simple really, Democrats don’t agree with immigration laws, so they don’t enforce them. On the other hand, they do believe in environmental laws, and their mentality toward those laws is exemplified by EPA Adminsitrator Al Armendariz; who compared the EPA’s enforcement tactics to those of the Roman Empire: “Kind of like how the Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean: they’d go into little Turkish towns somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they’d run into, and they’d crucify them. That town was really easy to manage for the next few years.” Basically, the idea was to crucify Cliven Bundy as an example to terrorize the remaining ranchers to bend to the will of the State.

It’s alarming, or at least it should be, that Federal bureaucrats see themselves as Roman occupiers, and the citizenry as subjects who need to be terrorized in order to maintain control.

Thought for the day

We live in a world where the central bank (Fed) *rigs interest rates low, in order to rig debt levels and asset prices high* as they can possibly go.

I know it’s abstract and I comment on it ad nauseum, but I’m not sure it can be over-stressed. It has lots of bad effects.

  • You think homes are unaffordable, compared to (say) 20-40 years ago? Guess why home prices aren’t a good deal lower. (There are many reasons – but try guessing the biggest.)
  • Feel hopeless about your ever retiring? Take a guess why retirement income is hard to come by.
  • Feel like you struggle to make ends meet every month, while wealthy people (having lots of financial assets) keep doing better and better? One more guess why.
  • Feel like new, good jobs are impossible to come by? The Obama administration (including Obamacare) is a big drag, there. But the Fed doesn’t exactly help.
  • Feel like the stock market is a crazy bubble again? Feel like we learned nothing from the 2008 crisis, and our economy is still much too ‘financialized’ and debt-ridden? Again, many causes – but one guess as to the top cause…

Interest rates are the most important price in the economy. They should be set by the People in free markets. I see no reason to have a Politburo which plans them – and plans them badly, in ways that injure society.

Yet another ‘limousine socialist’

Left-wing NYC Mayor de Blasio has released his tax return. Guess what?

  • “$165,047 in total income” (probably includes his “$52,000 in rental income”)
  • “Mr. de Blasio’s effective tax rate was 8.3%.”
  • “reported $5,597 in gifts to charity, roughly 3%”

So de Blasio got a 6-figure income and gave basically 11% back to the society in which he lives.

I seem to remember lefties screeching with drama and contempt in 2012 when Mitt Romney paid an effective tax rate of 14.1%, plus another whopping 29.7% to charity, for a total give-back to society of 44% of his income, or four times the rate of de Blasio.

Leviathan Unleashed

Helicopters, armored vehicles, thousands of heavily armed Federal Agents in body armor, snipers, all dispatched (allegedly) in the service of punishing a rancher for grazing his cows. (I guess the Government needs to shake down ranchers to make up for the $6,000,000,000.00 Hillary Clinton “misplaced” while she was running the State Department.)

Update: Apparently the BLM has backed down for the time being. Interesting that when the Government “loses,” no one dies. Compare to Waco and Ruby Ridge, where the Government “won.”

Wild Horses-Tension Growing

Bundy3

Bundy4

Do you think if one of Harry Reid’s cronies could make money off of it, we could get this kind of coverage at the Southern Border?

Tell me, lefty progressives, is this the America you envisioned when you voted for Barack Obama?

This Is What Desperation Looks Like

Ezra Klein — who is at least a Level Six Operating Thetan in the Cult of Obamatology — desperately spins the hopeless disaster of Kathleen Sebelius Reign as Commissar of the Department of Hell and Inhuman Servitude.

Obamacare has won. And that’s why Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius can resign.

Sebelius is such a colossal FAIL she couldn’t even make it through her own resignation speech without a glitch, but Ezra Klein and the rest of the glassy-eyed cultists refuse to see the failure.

Ezra Klein and the rest of them were so convinced that Obama really was the Lightbringer, the Socialist Ronald Reagan who was so brilliant, and so deft that Big Government would finally work. Socialism would finally work because finally “the right people” were in charge of it.  But it hasn’t. Massive Government in the economy has brought nothing but stagnation, cronyism, and death. The Obama Foreign Policy is a complete shambles. Michelle Obama’s school lunch program has resulted in school lunches even more vile and unpalatable than they were before. And Obamacare has turned out to be nothing but another bloated, inefficient Government program noted for spending tons of money and making lives worse for its victims.

But the True Believers can’t bring themselves to admit this. Admitting that Obama’s Policies have failed means admitting that Progressive Socialism has failed. Worse, it would mean admitting that Obama’s critics (blasphemers!) were right all along. And that is too devastating a blow for the leftist ego to contemplate. (Caribou Barbie was right and the Clean Articulate Unprecdented Black Man from Harvard was wrong? Inconceivable!)

The Progressive Mind cannot process the possibility that their Religion (Progressive Socialism) and their Prophet (Barack Obama) have failed. They must convince themselves that the prophecy must have been… misread, somehow. The flaw cannot be in Progressive Socialism, but in the failure of the people to live up to its tenets.

Update: I found this quote in an Ed Driscoll post about David Letterman:

“The laments of the small-town leftists get voiced with such intemperance and desperation. As if those who voice them are fighting off the nagging thought: If the Republicans aren’t particularly evil, then maybe I’m not particularly special.”

Recovery for the One Percent

To continue my series on this, I’ve been accumulating chart links. There are so many, especially on Zero Hedge which has great coverage. I’ll make some introductory remarks, then show the charts.

As a capitalist, I have no objection to the good inequality that investors, employers and consumers award by their actions in the marketplace. The problem is inequality awarded by force or fraud. That includes crime of course; but the systemic problems in our economy today arise, sooner or later, from *government force* and fraud. Under President Obama – and our nut-job economic planners at the Federal Reserve – we have more government intervention than ever. We also have more inequality. It can’t be a coincidence.

I believe that Obama likes it on some level, because the more inequality there is, the more he can offer (still more) government intervention as the alleged “solution”. While our problems did not start with Obama, he has exploited and worsened them because inequality of power – taking ever-greater amounts of power away from the People, giving ever-more power to the Party/bureaucrats/government – is the deep tendency of the State, and as well, the deep goal of the Left.

I could talk about the explosion of welfare dependency under Obama, which rapes the “working poor” (among others) for the sake of the “lazy poor”. But my focus today is on the rape of the middle class for the so-called “One Percent”, the wealthier people who gain from our government-planned economy and government-rigged markets.

The charts show that under Obama, U.S. income inequality has increased and may be the biggest it’s ever been.

Under Obama, U.S. income inequality is the greatest it's ever been

More charts: (more…)

After All, It’s Not Called the “Human Protection Agency”

Posted by V the K at 4:00 pm - April 3, 2014.
Filed under: Socialism in America

Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency went all Tuskegee on some Americans, so they could justify their economy-crippling Eco-Agenda.

The Environmental Protection Agency has been conducting dangerous experiments on humans over the past few years in order to justify more onerous clean air regulations.

The agency conducted tests on people with health issues and the elderly, exposing them to high levels of potentially lethal pollutants, without disclosing the risks of cancer and death, according to a newly released government report.

In a similar vein, once the Obama Administration and their Union allies took over General Motors (with the help of many billions of taxpayer dollars), promoting the “success story” (“GM is Alive and Bin Laden is dead”) became much more important than the safety of those who purchased Government Motors products. Hence, while the Obama administration was publicizing non-existent defects in the vehicles of competing, non-union car companies, they were hiding a deadly defect in their own product that killed at least 13 people.

The fix for a faulty ignition switch linked to 13 traffic deaths would have cost just 57 cents, members of Congress said Tuesday as they demanded answers from General Motors’ new CEO on why the automaker took 10 years to recall cars with the defect.

But if history teaches us anything, it’s that where socialism goes, death follows. The state is always more important than the people.

Detroit and Venezuela: Socialism’s Inevitable End Points

Posted by V the K at 5:04 pm - March 23, 2014.
Filed under: Socialism in America

DetroitNagasaki

The bankrupt city of Detroit has been run since before most of us were born by a series of very left, progressive, Democrat mayors. Most of this time, the city council and mayor’s office were run by African-American Democrats who pursued policies of taxing those who earned more in the name of fairness, labor union empowerment, racial favoritism in hiring and Government contracting, and crony relatioships between Government and favored business interests. Critics of these policies were called racists; that they wanted to see a black man fail because of their hate. They were also called “anti-worker,” said to be pawns of “Big Business.” As the city decline, its leadership blamed its problems on Republicans, who by that time were long out of power and in any case offered little opposition to the city’s progressive Democrat leadership.

Does any of that sound familiar at all?

The city declared bankruptcy last year, and for most low-information voters, that was the end of it. They went back to following the Cardassians on their Obamaphones, or whatever. However, Detroit is still providing us with regular cautionary examples of the failure of Socialism.  Just this past week:

It’s a testament to human stupidity that no matter how many times socialism fails, there are always those eager to give it another shot.

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Left-Wing Radio Collective Demonstrates Why Leftists Should Not Be Allowed to Run Anything

Left-Wing Pacifica Radio Network* is collapsing in a heap of drama, mismanagement, and financial incompetence. [Much like anything else that is run by doctrinaire leftists.] [*So far left they consider Obama a moderate centrist.]

First, the mismanagement and incompetence.

Pacifica has a long and storied history, and still features such leading liberals as Amy Goodman, the widely known host of Democracy Now! (on which journalists Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill are frequent guests), but it has fallen on hard times of late. Listenership, according Reese, is “extraordinarily low.” During an average 15-minute period, just 700 people listen to its Los Angeles station, 90.7 FM KPFK, for at least five minutes, according to Nielsen Audio, which monitors radio ratings.

Pacifica’s New York station, WBAI, is even worse off, with too few listeners to register on the Arbitron rankings, and is all but bankrupt. Last year, most of the staff was laid off, including the entire news department.

Making matters worse, the federal government, via the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, is withholding Pacifica’s grant money, thanks to the network’s “failure to provide documentation” for a 2012 audit.

Then, the drama.

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It’s hard to blog about Obamacare

It’s hard because there are so many items to choose from, weekly. And they’re mostly both technical and depressing (not fun to read). Obamacare is a mess of unbelievable proportions. Even now, I have 40+ related items open in browser tabs, that I had meant to get to sometime.

But here goes; I’ll try to hit a few highlights. First, President Obama’s top three Obamacare promises in 74 seconds, all lies:



The House GOP want to bless Obama’s delay of his “individual mandate” (that immorally forces people to buy insurance). Yet Obama means to resist them.

Last month, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that Obamacare will weaken the economy. Along with other Obama policies, it effectively raises marginal tax rates, giving people less incentive to work. “…the CBO…reported that by 2024 the equivalent of 2.5 million Americans who were otherwise willing and able to work before ObamaCare will work less or not at all as a result of ObamaCare.” Labor unions agree that Obamacare will slam wages and work hours.

Even Dana Milbank (liberal at the Washington Post) agrees that young people are rejecting both Obamacare, and Obama. “The administration announced last week that only 1.08 million people ages 18 to 34 had signed up for Obamacare by the end of February…If the proportion doesn’t improve significantly, the result likely will be fatal for the Affordable Care Act.”

Robert Tracinski asks, What was the point of Obamacare? Because it’s not insuring the uninsured; many of them are finding Obamacare unaffordable (!) and not signing up. The Washington Post agrees.

Along those lines, Catherine Austin Fitts observes, “I don’t see Obamacare as something designed to offer healthcare…It was designed to create a framework that would allow three things. One…to use digital technology to radically reduce labor costs…Second…you wanted, as the baby boomers were aging, to…dramatically reduce the healthcare services available to them…Third…to use healthcare to really control the population…an effort to centralize power.” – Austin Fitts sees government bureaucrats as profoundly competent, once you know their real plan. What they achieve in practice (which may be bad) was very likely their real plan, as opposed to what they told the public.

Bonus article: The Greeks are finding that socialized medicine doesn’t work, once you get older and need more of it.

UPDATE: Obamacare raises family insurance costs MORE than the previous eight years, combined. Just like Obama adding more to the national debt than the previous 8 Presidents combined, I guess.

NYC Mayor’s Agenda: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need

Posted by V the K at 7:58 am - February 11, 2014.
Filed under: Socialism in America

New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio went to Nicaragua in the late 1980′s to support the Soviet-backed Sandinista regime (but grace forbid we should infer from that that he is ideologically aligned toward Communism). He apparently learned much from his mentors. His recent State of the City address reads like Hillary’s Christmas list, and validates my characterization of the Democrat Value Proposition: “We will take money away from people you don’t like and spend it on you.”

We will offer every child, from every borough of this city, truly universal, full-day Pre-K.
We will provide quality extended learning programs for every middle-schooler.
And for this, we won’t wait. We have a detailed plan to put this program into effect THIS September.
And we will do this by asking those who make more than a half-million dollars a year to pay a little more in taxes.

Ask? I was rather under the impression that taxes were somewhat mandatory.

We do not do this to punish success. We do it to create more success stories.

Government cannot force success onto people; people will succeed according to their talent, abilities, and social connections. Government can only impede people from reaching their full potential. These schemes to keep kids (whom he creepily refers to as “little flowers” [Woody Allen on line 2]} in school longer won’t make any of them more successful, but it will create more jobs on the public payroll for his political supporters. New York Public Schools, by the way, have been cutting programs for gifted and talented students because it’s been judged as unfair and counter to the diversity ideal to enable some students to achieve more than others.


Mr. de Blasio is also obsessed with “income inequality,” which is the latest Democrat buzzphrase; based on the idea that it is just unfair that people who work harder and make better choices in life have more money than those who don’t. In Venezuela, the government has pretty much licked the income inequality problem. The result is people rioting over milk in empty grocery stores.

Is the Left Admitting that Obamacare Is Pretty Much Marxism?

A report was issued by the Congressional Budget Office, yesterday, that contained two very useful nuggets of information.

1. Despite trillions in spending and the vast expansion of the Federal bureaucracy, the number of uninsured will be unchanged after Obamacare.

2. 2.5 million jobs will be destroyed

Democrats have been treating the reduction in jobs as wonderful news. In their spin, the reduction in jobs means workers will be “liberated” from “job-lock,” in other words, they will no longer have to work full-time to have health care insurance.

So, in other words, the workers have nothing to lose but their chains.

And the reason they will be able to work part time… or not at all… is because those who are working full-time will be subsidzing their insurance through higher taxes and higher insurance premiums. Those who work less, or not at all, will get Government subsidies to cover their insurance. Those who work more will not.

So, in other words, from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.

It is not so often that the left comes out and admits that this scheme of confiscating the earnings of the productive to subsidize the unproductive… i.e. their voters… is really what they’re all about.

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Lefties: No moral self-confidence – and fearfully proud of it

I had a lunch discussion recently with two former co-workers. Both of these men are engineers in their 30s who are fairly hard-working, competent and successful, pulling six-figure salaries. In the free and dynamic America of yore, these men would be proud of where their choices in life had taken them. But this is 2014, they are white, and they are MSDNC-watching left-liberals in a “Blue” area.

“Mark” started saying how lucky he feels to be an engineer because the work is physically so much easier and safer than being a field worker or factory hand, and pays more. I agreed, while reminding Mark that the work is mentally exhausting, something much-demanded by society (the market), and something most people wouldn’t even attempt. In other words, reminding Mark that he deserves his salary.

As if to answer me, “Ross” instantly went into a description of himself as “born into privilege”, saying how he had never really chosen anything in his life, but his course has always been determined by the social forces pushing him along and granting him privilege. This was strange, because I know for a fact that Ross works hard, which is a choice right there. So I reminded him of the constant stream of choices that he faces – be it as simple as “go back to work after this lunch, or not?” – and how those choices affect his results, like having a salary or not.

I won’t bore you with too many details. The conversation continued as a debate of Free Will implying self-responsibility and pro-liberty politics, vs. Social Determinism implying “you didn’t build that” and re-distributive, left-wing politics. We didn’t get into politics much; it lurked in the background.

But I want to tell you about the discussion’s ending. Here’s the short version: I was nice enough, yet Ross and Mark were red-faced with anger and embarrassment – because they didn’t “win”. I punctured their bubble.

At first, Ross could not process my point that all people have choices, by which they determine their own success. Asking near-childlike questions, he had me explain the concept over and over. “What if a person is born in poverty?” I’d explain how poverty is indeed a circumstance shaping the person’s life; but they still choose their *response* to it. Poverty may limit a person’s range of choices, but even poor people still face a stream of choices, that only ends when a person dies.

If a poor person joins a gang or develops a drug habit – and sticks with it, in adult life – that’s a series of choices they made. Likewise if, for better success, they work hard to get a G.E.D. and become a shift manager at the local McDonald’s, it is a series of choices they made. Likewise, my life-long self-education has been a choice. Thus I explained.

As Ross caught on, he correctly saw the implication that the McDonald’s shift manager would *deserve* her success being greater than the gang member’s or drug addict’s – just as he, Mark and I each deserve our success. And Ross didn’t like that idea. Smiling his best “Jane, you ignorant slut” type of patronizing smile, he suggested that I was out to rationalize backward, unjust notions.

With a smile right back, I pointed out that nobody was rationalizing anything; my success having come from my hard work and personal choices was not a rationalization, but a fact; and a fact that his determinist philosophy badly needed to deal with. That was the exact moment when Ross turned beet-red.

His words turned sarcastic (suggesting anger), while his voice turned quavery (suggesting anxiety). I could see that Mark, now silent, was also getting red – with a deer-in-the-headlights look of uncertainty around his eyes.

Mind you, nobody raised voices in this discussion; nobody called names or made the least of personal attacks. All I did was display my moral confidence, my certain knowledge that I had earned my success – and imply that Mark and Ross should also be morally self-confident, as they had earned theirs.

My doing that alone, nothing more, made these two men visibly feel both uncertain and violated. The interaction ended there, as we’d run out of time. I think it says a lot about left-liberals.

Lefties live in a world where lack of moral self-confidence is a required personality trait. Humility is not required; leftists usually proclaim their beliefs with arrogant certainty. But among those beliefs is a dogma to the effect that no one, including the leftie, *deserves* to have any confidence or any certainty, since no one is ever better than the worst “poor” criminal out there. Any educated, enlightened person must genuflect and display his official, dogmatic lack of confidence that he could ever be right about anything. THEN he can go on to make arrogant proclamations (provided they are left-wing).

If someone shows a different way of being – if someone thinks differently from the leftie, and has moral confidence in doing so – showing, for example, confidence that her success is deserved – many a leftie will find that person threatening. Tactic A is to smile and patronize the person as benighted; perhaps tactic B would be ridicule. If neither works – if the tables are turned, if the left-liberal’s worldview is punctured or exposed as the hollow thing it is – then the average leftie will go into fear and anger.

Sad!

Recruiting Poster for the FSA

Posted by V the K at 6:45 am - January 28, 2014.
Filed under: Socialism in America

Al-Jazeera USA asks the Taker Class: What else should the President take away from hard-working productive people and give to you in exchange for votes? (Although they don’t quite phrase it like that.)

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(For those of you in Rio Linda, FSA stands for “Free Sh-t Army,” i.e. the people who vote for Democrats based on the promise of more Free Sh-t from the Government.)

Nick adds: Perhaps we should be submitting some of our own? Follow me (@GPColoradoPatriot) and see I’ve added a couple already under #DearPOTUS

The Communist Work Ethic

Posted by V the K at 9:43 am - January 21, 2014.
Filed under: Socialism in America

New York’s Communist Mayor is already demonstrating the laziness and cronyism one would come to expect.

  • Comrade de Blasio is perpetually late for meetings and press conferences.
  • Despite being elected ten weeks ago, he has made few appointments.
  • His staff spends their days goofing off, watching Netflix, and playing cards
  • His wife appointed an Al Sharpton crony as her chief-of-staff for a six-figure, taxpayer-provided salary.

Why does the wife of the mayor of New York need a Chief of Staff? Don’t ask me, I’m not a progressive.

In other news from the People’s Republic of New York, Anthony “Show Me Your” Weiner and wife are looking for cheaper digs, because being the beard for Hillary’s girlfriend just doesn’t pay that well.  Cheaper in this case being $8,000 a month. Maybe this will help them learn to relate to the little people who can only afford $8,000 a month Manhattan condos.

Progressives Dream of State-Controlled Media

Posted by V the K at 7:08 pm - January 18, 2014.
Filed under: Socialism in America

Salon imagines a world in which there are no privately owned media outlets; just progressive Government networks putting out propaganda. (This article is presented by Salon by way of promoting a book advocating Utopian Socialism in the United States.)

In a socialist society a portion of the media would be reserved for news disseminated by the democratically elected governing bodies, that is, working people elected by and for working people.

Discussions, debates, even battles will continue, and social justice committees will be elected by the union membership to look into complaints and to dig up and root out capitalist, racist, and sexist weeds that continue to grow.

In short, imagine a world where MSDNC was on every channel, and the only alternative was NPR.

The left hates it when you call them Fascists, but the idea of all media being controlled by the state is pretty… um… Fascist.

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This Is What a Crushing Bureaucratic State Looks Like

Posted by V the K at 10:40 pm - January 14, 2014.
Filed under: Real Reform,Socialism in America

Courtesy Whackobird Senator Mike Lee: The little stack on the top is laws passed by Congress and signed by Congress. The big stack consists of 80,000 pages of regulations written by unelected Federal bureaucrats that have the power of law; each and every one of them requires an army of bureaucrats and armed officers to monitor and enforce against the citizens of the United States.

laws-regs

I liked it better when “Banana Republic” was a clothing store, and not a description of the country I was living in.

 

Health, Education, and Welfare

Posted by V the K at 7:31 am - January 14, 2014.
Filed under: Socialism in America

This story about a public school in a poor neighborhood of Progressive-Run New York City is a litany of the failures of centralized, socialist education:

  • No textbooks have been purchased for the mandatory Common Core curriculum.
  • No art classes, no gym classes. Instead, the kids watch movies. Lots and lots of movies, and not even educational movies.
  • Kindergartens jammed into rat-infested trailers.
  • The school library is a dump.
  • The principal, who takes home a six-figure salary, shows up only once or twice a week, and “works” about half a day.
  • Teachers afraid to complain about conditions for fear of bureaucratic retaliation.

In short, the educrats who run PS 106 just don’t give a damn, because they get their paychecks regardless of whether the kids actually learn anything. And the Teachers Unions — loyal minions of the Democrat Party — insist that holding schools accountable is anti-progressive, an insult to the professionalism of “educators,” and, of course, racist, since dark-skinned minorities cannot possibly be expected to perform as well as the lighter skinned races.

BTW, 80% of students graduating from NYC public schools who attend city universities require remedial education in basic skills. Imagine how bad the ones who don’t go onto college are.

And now consider, this is how the Progressive Left wants health care to be run as well; by bureaucrats paid by the state with absolutely no incentive to provide quality care. This is socialized health care, a.k.a. single payer, and this is how well it works with the public schools. (Of course, the progressives will make sure to carve out an exemption for the powerful and connected, just as they give Congressional and White House employees a massive taxpayer-provided subsidy for Obamacare that ordinary citizens cannot get.)

Anyone advocating for single-payer health care should be reminded just how awful single-payer education is.

Taxpayers Get the Shaft Again

Posted by V the K at 11:25 pm - January 13, 2014.
Filed under: Socialism in America

Medicare spent $175 Million buying penis pumps between 2006 and 2011; buying them at a modest 100% mark-up over the normal retail price.

That’s a pretty stiff mark-up.

Something to remember the next time Democrats insist, as Nancy Pelosi did, that Government has been cut to the bone.

Update: Speaking of men who can’t perform, the House Republicans have completely caved to the Obamacrats and undone the sequester cuts in accordance with the Paul Ryan sellout plan. Even though the Obamacrats are getting a Trillion dollars to spend, the parasites are whining that there still isn’t enough spending.