Elkhorn Creek Lodge

The Second Coming (of Barry as Jimmy)

Posted in democratic party, economics, obama, politics by Eugene Podrazik on February 27, 2009

To those who cared to look beyond the MSM smokescreen of the last election, this comes as no surprise.  But, the evidence is all in that Barry’s nothing but a tax and spend liberal.  We’ve got a budget outline that approached four trillion dollars.  And, after congress gets through it will be four trillion since Barry on set a floor on his budget proposal and has a tacit understanding with Reid and Pelosi, to run the tab up even more since he’s going to sign anything.

Then, we have proposals for more than a trillion dollars in tax increases.  The combined wet dreams of FDR, LBJ, Carter and Clinton, combined could not imagine such a number.  Well, maybe Clinton.

And, then we have the other boiler plate to the standard liberal.  The slow pre-emptive surrender to Islamic imperialism.  In Iraq, all our enemies have to do is run the clock until August 2010.  How’s that for telegraphing your attentions.

And gun control.  It seems that his lacky at justice, Holder, is making noises about re-instating the so-called “assault-weapons” ban in part because assault weapons are flowing from the north into Mexico, supplying the drug lords in their civil war against the government.  Never mind that Mexico is just this side of being a failed state.  Of course, this stuff never came out of Obama himself.  But, he like Pelosi, Reid and Schumer are just waiting…

Bait and switch.  The true intentions covered up by a compliant press.

But, it is worse.  If only we could have the day’s of Jimmy Carter.  What we really have is not a president but the UN secretary general occupying the Oval Office.  This man is a natural born citizen by virtue of the technicality of being born over US soil.  But, he spent his first ten years of life abroad.  Not at a military brat, who lived with a sense that he was a part of America.  But, as a Muslim in Indonesia, including attendance to a madrass.  So, not only did he live physically away from America, his upbringing was in a Muslim world-view; an antithesis of individual liberty which is the root of Western Civilization.

And, though he didn’t wind up practicing Islam.  His choice of “Christianity” was the virulent anti-American, anti-semitic variant of the “Reverend” Wright.

So, to add to the cheap vote-buying ethics of a Chicago ward-heeler.  So, to add to the fact that this man’s enitre adult life was living off other peoples’ money, extorting other people’s money.  So, to add to the fact that this man never ran a business, hired employees or met a payroll.  This man is now engaging in a third-world mentality of reducing his fellow citizens to the status of serf and subject.  

Obama’s spending and tax proposals make a mockery of the notion of private property.  These are whole sale expropriations of property that place him squarely in the company of Evo Morales and Hugo Chavez.  No, the comparison isn’t meant as a compliment.

Fraud, Pink Elephants, Taxes and Elvis

Posted in economics by Eugene Podrazik on February 25, 2009

Consider this.  A survey, completed in the mid-90’s calculated that the average American family had tax liabilities (federal, FICA, state, local, ect) that consumed 40 percent of that family income.  That’s the average.  You have to know that liability is much higher in localities like New Jersey or California.  That is, in round numbers, the need to earn two dollars before you can have one dollar to put food on the table, clothes on your children’s backs and a roof over their heads.

But, on a macro level, every transaction, whether buyer or seller has this assumption built in–that any purchase must account for the fact that for every dollar spent, another dollar will go to the government.

Now, consider this.  There was another survey of generation X’ers done in the mid-90’s that determined that a greater percentage believed that Elvis would return to earth on a UFO than ever seeing a dime out of Social Security.  The 90’s, before our latest financial meltdown, back when time were really good.  Aside from the humor in this survey there is an undercurrent that nobody really believes that US government is going to really deliver.

So, here’s the pink elephant, standing in the middle of the living room, that everyone seems to tip-toe around.  The enormous incentives to “game” the system to eek out an extra dollar from wherever you can find it.  It is not to justify the moral righteousness of the excesses of Wall Street or the tawdry tax evasions of Obama cabinet appointment after appointment.  But, we live in an era of such moral turpitude in which our money is being spent by our solons in congress that will beggar our grandchildren’s grandchildren.  We have seen tax evasions on the part of cabinet appointees, an ex-senator in one case, that gets off with a slap on a wrist or appointment anyway to Treasury Secretary.  And, we therefore have a tax cheat as head of the IRS.  What sort of wrath would be visited upon the “unconnected” by the IRS for similiar offenses.

In Obama’s home town of Chicago it isn’t subtle.  Everything is for sale.  Even Senate seats.  There is a resultant cynicism seeped into the bones of every Chicagoan that makes even the rare examples of true public spiritedness suspect.

And, in so may ways we have governance by people who seem to think that laws and rules are for other people.  And, so with such conditions of confiscatory taxes and moral turpitude the temptation to cheat starts to grow.  It becomes a game.  Minimizing exposure to the IRS.  Bartering dental fillings for an auto tune-up.  Everything done on the black market is an automatic 50 percent discount.

If people could actually keep more of what they earned would there be less cheating?  Would there be less incentive to take short cuts?  It’s interesting to note that VAT taxes never yield more than ten percent of the items being taxes.  Since any VAT tax over ten percent stimulates the establishment of a black market that immediately drives the the VAT tax yield back down to ten percent.

A while back, I read in the WSJ that a socialist economist, I think in the 50’s, calculated the most efficient tax rate to maximize wealth transfer.  This taking into account that higher tax rates would depress economic activity to drive down the amount of wealth that could be transfered.  His result; his optimal tax rate was 20 percent.  The exact same percentage that Pharaoh, at Joseph’s behest, taxed to have enough save away from the seven good years for the seven lean years.

Barry, You’re So Last Century

Posted in economics, obama by Eugene Podrazik on February 24, 2009

The patterns are coming clear about Obama’s world view and economic views.  His stimulus plan falls into the pattern.  No, Obama didn’t write it.  But, he didn’t care so long as it spent a lot of money.  And, it starts this nation down the past of big city machine politics.

What has been slowly metastizing from local, to state and now to the federal level is a model of governance that seeks to fleece some minority of taxpayers for the benefit of a given politician’s friends and allies.  This was the model that to some degree afflicts almost every large city in our country.  This has been the model of economic stagnation for the last century.  Big city machine politics creates a voting bloc of 51 percent to steal from the other 49 percent; economic justice and fairness don’t you know.  The 49 percent vote with their feet, leaving said city an economic wasteland.  So, since that city can control a significant block of representatives in the state legislature, this same city machine needs to go further afield to find that 49 percent to tax, but at the state level.  The net result is to saddle, at the state level, the same diastrous economic policies that now render that state an economic wasteland.

And, regions and states mimic stellar evolution going from the young blue-white star of economic vitality, to the to the aging red giant start of a state-wide economy where private sector economic activity is beginning to struggle to keep ahead of taxes and public spending.  Then, there’s the black hole; the where the citizen is just regarded as a sheep to be fleeced and flayed to generate revenue for the sake of the friends and dependents of the ruling political machine.  

And, this country is now littered with economic black holes.  Whole metropolitan areas, whole states where governmental entities lurch from budget crisis to budget crisis in search of tax revenue to make it another year.  States like New York, California or New Jersey.  New York used to be a veritable hot house of economic activity and innovation.  Corning, Kodak, Xerox, Westinghouse.  Out on Long Island, yes on the same island that now hosts the oh so politically correct Hamptons, was Grumman, grinding out Hellcats and Wildcats that helped on our march to victory in the Pacific against imperial Japan.  Victory, what a quaint term.  Now, economic news out of Rochester consists of how many more layoffs are coming out of Xerox or Kodak.  Meanwhile, back in Albany, you have the same set of buccaneers trying to figure how to pay off their constituencies by trying to find something else to tax.  New Jersey, speaking of innovation, was where Thomas Edison invented and innovated. 

California?  What’s to say. Other than the fact that California seems to be the harbinger of trends that sweep the nation.  Maybe, in the light of Hoover, when we are indeed thrown into a real depression, we can name our shantytowns Obamavilles or Pelosivilles.

But, after a century of this Ponzi scheme of creating coalitions of 51 percent to stick it to the other 49 percent, we only have one way to go.  Now you have to take city-wide extortion that metastasized to state wide extortion to a national scale.  And, somehow this model of economic extortion will now work on a federal level when it failed, over the long term, in various and sundry places at the local and state level.  And, internationally, wherever socialism has pushed out free-markets.

And, yet, the President of Cool, the President of “change” comes to Washington D.C. to promote an economic model that is failing or failed in so many diverse places by doubling down and trying to promote this last-century economic of political machine bossism (socialism, American style) on the country at large.  Yes, at this point, the productive 49 percent will no longer be able to vote with their feet, but they will vote with their cessation of productivity.

Minnesota Dreamn’

Posted in uncategorized by Eugene Podrazik on February 22, 2009

It’s my dream that the court proceedings trying to adjudicate the close senatorial election between Coleman and Franken could be turned into a “teaching moment” (I think that’s the liberal term) by throwing the entire election out and demanding a new election.  I don’t know that the courts have that authority, but they could in effect by demanding strict accountability for every vote cast.  

The point is not to come to some particular conclusion, but to establish legal president for what sort of electoral behavior will have standing in the courts.  So, I would propose that the courts demand a “chain of custody,” so to speak, that would ensure that there is a validity to every electoral evolution with the ultimate goal of making any given election free of any taint of fraud.

Who ever wins this election will win by a margin that falls within the margin of error.  It become even more important that every effort was made to insure the validity of each vote.  

Therefore, I would love to see the court demand that voter registration rolls are accurate.  Moreover, to have legal standing the state of Minnesota would have to demonstrate, in a very transparent manner and public manner, that voter rolls are kept scrupulously accurate.  Perhaps by insisting that voter registration close a certain specified number of weeks prior to an given election to allow the state of square those tallies.  

I’d love to see the courts then insist, for a successful challenge that each voter be matched to those voter registration rolls by means of biometric data–a governmental issued photo ID.  Then, finally to insist, again for standing in a court challenge, to have physical evidence (a marked ballot) to correlate with each vote tally.  I’d like to see strict physical accounting for each ballot published and no batches of ballots somehow being “discovered” in someone’s car trunk.  Finally, guidelines for the election judges to insure exacting and uniform standards treating the counting of each ballot.  In other words, I’d like to see the Coleman/Franken court challenge be turned into an exercise of exacting accountability every step of the way.  

Put it this way, would you like to see the decision for a radical mastectomy, made on the basis of a breast biopsy, that was handled in the same manner as some of the ballots that mysteriously appeared in some envelope that someone “overlooked.”  Speaking as a physician, that would constitute a slam-dunk malpractice action; just settle ’cause you’re never going to get it past the jury.

People make a whole big deal about the “right” to vote.  But, the right to vote, like any right, entail certain responsibility.  I could never see what was so difficult about voting with the old punch card; the ones of “chad” fame.  You simple check your ballot after marking it to make sure that the chads have been punched out.  Frankly, if you can’t do that you don’t belong in the voting booth.  In a similar fashion, it’s not rocket science to follow directions and put an “x” in a box next to the candidate of your choice.   Or, to fill out an oval if the ballot is to be electronically read.  

The first time I voted, I voted absentee.  That meant I just got a booklet and a punch card.  I then had to find a chad labeled, say #34, in order to vote for a particular candidate. I didn’t have the advantage of a voting machine that would allow me to line up the card and just punch a hole in the machine desk top to punch that particular chad.  Boy, was that stressful.  The state of Illinois should have provided me with psychotherapy afterwards.  But, of course, Obamacare wasn’t available in 1976.  

Seriously, though.  Participation in any democratic process requires a certain level of personal responsibility and, dare I say it, virtue.  And, if  you can’t cope with a little personal responsibility, you can move to Northern Pakistan where the Taliban will tell you what to do.

Get Out of the Kitchen

Posted in uncategorized by Eugene Podrazik on February 19, 2009

A little dust up occurred over the New York Post’s publication of a cartoon using the recent new item of police shooting a rampaging pet chimp to death and the recent stimulus package just signed into law by Obama.  The outrage is the alleged “racist” implications of comparing the dead chimp to Obama; Obama being black. Here

Whether racist or not, it’s just too bad.  Obama’s fellow travelers just need to suck it up.  Frankly, I think that the cartoon pokes fun at the grotesque overreach of the bill.  Passed in the dark of night with few if any of our congressmen or senators even knowing its contents.  To that end, the dead chimp represents the utter lack of thought or reflection over the looting of the public treasury for a law that will have decades of baleful unintended consequences.

And, any conservative would have the sense to know that blantant race baiting will more harm than help the case against Obama’s ideas and policies.  

I think the larger issue is the fact that when a black man is now the occupant of the Oval Office, we have prima facie evidence that racism is no longer an issue.  And, when and if you aspire and actually attain that office, you will have to deal with the baggage that comes with the office.  Part of that baggage is the reality that you better be prepared to take all sorts of slings and arrows.  Including any low blows that any critic may want to unload.  

But, if such low discourse is truly upsetting, the Democrats need to look in the mirror.  The last eight years have seen even our Senators referring to Bush as a Nazi.  And, this doesn’t even begin to address the coarse and utterly foul discourse in the liberal blogosphere.  Now, if some of this coarse political dialogue comes back to redound on Obama; well too bad.  

 

The Measure of the Man

Posted in uncategorized by Eugene Podrazik on February 13, 2009

As Nancy Pelosi is jamming this Trojan Horse of a “stimulus” bill, loaded with socialist manure, down the throats of America.  She’s moving fast since mulling over the details of what she really wants will ultimately kill the bill and spell electoral disaster for her party in 2010.   She probably knows that 2010 will be a disaster for the Democrats anyway.  So, she’s got to ram through a package with her socialist agenda before enough people get wind to stop it.  

Socialism doesn’t sell well in the light of day.  All it is is a pitch to join my tribe of 51 percent so we can take stuff from the undeserving 49 percent.  When enough Americans sit down and think about it, they realize it’s a bargain with the devil.  A bargain that leave one wondering if I will always remain a member in good standing in the 51 percent tribe.  

And, it not like that’s a great deal anyway.  You may wind up with a little more as compared to the 49 percent tribe.  But, only the elite, the self-styled philosopher kings really benefit; and do so in spades.  Seriously, look at Daschle.  Here’s a guy who gets in trouble for failing to pay 140 grand in taxes for the receipt of $250,000 of service being driven around in a limo.  A man of the people?  A prairie populist?  The new William Jennings Bryan?  Most people don’t have  the luxury of being able to deal with a $140,000 tax bill for income of a quarter of a million dollars of limo service in addition to another five million in consulting fees.  Five million trading on insider contacts.  This must be the new Grange movement now moved to Washington DC.

But, it not just the agenda that has a short shelf life.  No, Nancy has the measure of the man that now occupies the Oval office.  And, Obama has an equally short shelf life.  Once beyond this “stimulus” package and the honeymoon, Obama’s wheels are going to really come off.  Even now, he’s running with one wheel in the sand.  Already, you get a feeling that this guy isn’t ready for prime time.  His “indispensable” tax-dodging treasury secretary’s performance is already giving you the feeling that Obama hasn’t thought it through.  Or, he doesn’t care as long as he keeps his party’s interest groups well fed.

Cabinet nominee after nominee keeps falling to the wayside.  Tax dodging seems to be a common characteristic.  Or, influence peddling.  And, now Senator Gregg.  Obama still hasn’t got a full bench.

Surprising?  Not really.  Obama’s apprenticeship has been in the protected bubble of Chicago politics.  Promotion in the system is reward for party loyalty.  Every elective post is pre-ordained by the party leadership; with an election to provide the veneer of democracy.  So, instead of a mentorship of leadership, Obama grew up in an environment of promotion for political loyalty.  Now, he’s the ultimate leader with no experience in leading.  It’s one thing to fool enough people with enough promises to vote for you.  It’s quite another to lead.  To deliver on those promises.  To deliver on whatever he meant by “change.”  And, it another to lead when events, like war or economic crisis, develop a life of their own.

Socialism must exist, insulated, in a bubble of unreality.  And, there are other socialist gangs of 51 percent who want to puncture your bubble to take your stuff; there is no honor among thieves.  Very likely, you will see such a challenge in the form of a foreign policy disaster.  Iran detonates a nuke this year.  Maybe said nuke will be detonated over a US carrier task force in the Persian Gulf.  Or, Israel launches a preemptive strike against such a detonation.  Or, North Korea does something stupid on the DMZ; maybe with a nuke.

Obama will react like a deer staring into your headlights.  For the next three years and nine months.

The Liar

Posted in corruption, democratic party, economics, main stream media, obama by Eugene Podrazik on February 10, 2009

Sins of omission are venial; sins of commission are mortal.  Except the sin of omission that allowed Obama, with a knowing wink from the MSM, to hide the true ideologic identity of his impending presidency during the last campaign.  The omission was done wiht the intent to deceive; both Obama and the MSM knew that.

Change, change, change.  That was not fair warning because every presidental candidate has always projected himself as such an agent.  Seriously, when’s the last time a presidential candidate say “Vote for me because I’m a stick-in-the-mud like the guy I want to replace.”

No, this promise of “change” was purposely kept vague to hide an agenda that only now have become utterly manifest.  An agenda that amounts to transforming America into a EU social-welfare democracy.  To be sure the mask slipped a few times; the “spread the wealth” remark to Joe-the-plumber and Obama’s interview about bankrupting companies wanting to burn coal to generate electricity with “cap and trade.’

But, there was plenty of evidence that Obama was in the pocket of his socialist and Marxist mentors and professors.  There was no way that Obama didn’t know what Bill Ayers true views and background were.  He served as co-chair with Ayers on the Chicago Annenberg Challenge to distribute some 100 million dollars of grant money.  There was evidence all over that Obama was an unreconstructed Marxist from the beginning.  But, like Carter, like Clinton, those embarrassing past fact were papered over by a compliant and fully knowing MSM.  We knew more about a pregnant 17 year-old, who couldn’t even vote, because she happened to be the daughter of a vice-presidential candidate.

Then came January 20th and the most expensive bait-and-switch in world history was unveiled–the economic “stimulus” bill.  This wasn’t creeping socialism; this was a full bore, in your face, coup d’etat.  Jefferson, Madison, take a hike, you’re history.  

So, now, the Democrats are trying to push this bill through before public opinion really trashes its chances of passage.  As I write, three Republicans have broken ranks and the Senate version will probably pass tomorrow.  I predict that the bill that will emerge from conference will merge the differences by authorizing spending for everything in the Senate and House versions; creating a bill that will almost definitely break a trillion dollars.

But, figures, especially one trillion, never lie and liars never figure.  The silver lining is that this bill, if it passes, will expend the good will and credibility, almost entirely, of Obama’s nascent administration.  All within the first month.  Bait-and-switch has a way of pissing people off.  

And, in the end, Obama will have been rolled, not by the GOP, but by his own party.  And, the credibility that will be needed to try to enact the rest of his agenda will no longer be present.

The Politics of Overreach

Posted in biden, corruption, democratic party, economics, gop, obama by Eugene Podrazik on February 6, 2009

The socialist revolution planned by Obama and company may have been upended by hubris.  Hubris and the insularity of politicians that come from jurisdictions that sport one party rule and a whole lot of corruption on the side.

Let’s start with Pelosi.  She’s busily and bravely taking bullets for Obama in pushing a frankly socialist remake of America.  The results of her so-called stimulus plan is a grotesque caricature of the “tax and spend” liberal; so over the top that is will supply the likes of Jay Leno with jokes for the next century.   It is a spending plan that puts the US into the realm of financial stewardship reflective of a banana republic.  And, this, thankfully is its downfall; both of this particular piece of legislation and, hopefully, the rest of Obama’s agenda.  

But, this grotesque spending plan is the product of a congresswoman who inhabits a district from San Francisco where her chances of being picked off by a Republican challenger is somewhat less than zero.  This is the neighborhood of the Getty manse; the venue of Obama’s famous “bitter” remarks (except they really believe it there).  Further, she has plenty of personal wealth, to augment her congressional perks of power to easily insulate her from any of the economic hard times now rocking many of her fellow Americans.  The result is a completely tone deaf woman who thinks that cornering the condom market is economic stimulus.

The we have the exalted one; Obama.  As I type, he’s had four key nominations in serious ethical trouble; one for pay to play and three for taxes.  And, the grand solons of the MSM wring their hands as to how their exalted leader has such a flawed vetting process.  

The real answer is again the arrogance and insulation that comes from operating in the corrupt one-party rule of the Chicago Democrat political machine.  In Obama’s mind, there’s nothing wrong with his vetting because such vetting would be more than adequate in Chicago.  In Chicago, everyone has ethical skeletons in the closet.  To insist, in Chicago, on such things as being reasonable accurate with tax filing would amount to the pot calling the kettle black.  I suspect, so conditioned to ethical lapses, that the Obama team never even realized that people outside the bubble that is Chicago machine politics may actually object to failing to report and pay hundred of thousands of dollars in taxes.

Obama, like many of his fellow traveller in the Democrat caucus, have lived their entire lives using other people’s money.  Obama drew a salary as a ward heeler (the old fashioned term for “community organizer”).  And, his employer, ACORN made its mark by extorting  money for “free” home–the nidus of the sub prime meltdown.  Through these activities, Obama was deemed worthy to co-chair the Chicago Annenberg Challenge to distribute $100 million dollars to selected friends and do nothing to do the stated goal of the Challenge, improve public education.  This is the “executive” experience he now brings to the White House.  Then on to the Illinois State legislature, the US Senate and now President.  Obama’s a very wealthy man who never added one iota of wealth to the GDP.  

And, while in Chicago, his only experience with economic policy is Chicago economic policy.  The fine art of taxes and graft of the truly productive elements of the Northern Illinois economy; just enough squeeze but just short of the breaking point.  The result is a miserably expensive place to live.  Sales taxes hovering around ten percent.  Property taxes, as compared to my home town, that aren’t just a lot more but a lot more by almost an order of magnitude.

Obama’s vice-president, Biden, got himself elected to the US Senate two years out of law school.  Then kept getting re-elected and re-elected.  The job in the Senate is the only job Biden’s held and only paycheck he’s has drawn for his entire adult life.

Then’s there’s Daschle.  A man, since his exit from the Senate, who became a multi-millionaire trading in favors and connections.  Again, wealth without one iota of economic growth or innovation.  And, by the Biden’s standard of tax paying patriotism, Daschle is clearly un-American.  

Yet, Obama, with a knowing wink, hands his legacy over to Pelosi, to write a “stimulus” bill that is a Trojan Horse for the down payment on the new Socialist America.  To say the least, the gross excess is so excessive that it takes no effort to ridicule, it ridicules itself.  

In the process, we find Obama getting rolled by both parties.  First his “friends” in his party set him up with this “stimulus” and now the GOP is making him look like a fool for being within ten miles of this legislative dog.  Our enemies are very astutely weighing this sterling example of presidential leadership.  The real irony is that Obama is so bought into this “stimulus” that he’s practically committed to signing anything, including a pig with lipstick (couldn’t resist), that walks into the Oval Office with the word “stimulus” painted on it side.

Since his only “exeuctive” experience was giving money when chairiing the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, we have a man with none.  This was not an exercise in delegation, it was abdication of responsibility to Pelosi and the solons of the House Democratic Cacaus.  With similiar dithering on Gitmo, were going to just outsource torture.

At bottom, politics has rough principles of honesty.  Everything in politics consists of verbal agreements; you’re only as good as your word.  With fellow politicians and with the public.  Everyone knows to discount a certain amount of verbal hyperbole, but the bait-and-switch that is the Obama-Pelosi-Reid troika is the result of three politicians that don’t have the grounding that there are a lot of people who still value the fact that your word is your bond. 

In Chicago, there is essentially a breakdown of the rule of law.  A cynisicism governs all things public; born of a knowledge that everything is for sale.  And, it creates a seperation between those who nominally hold the public trust and those for whom they govern.  there exists a seperateness that politicians live in their own world and the subjects do what they can, after paying tribute, to keep government at arm’s length.  So inured is Chicago to this attitude that a politician like Obama can assume that this is just business as usual.  But, outside Chicago, outside safely Gerrymandered congressional districts are people who will look upon the lies of these insulated politicians and vote to counter these liars.