Elected officials have power to affect your life, a corporate CEO has none

Nolan Finley, one of the more conservative columnists at Detroit’s more conservative paper published an interesting column lamenting the dearth of quality candidates that voters have to choose from in the upcoming 2014 primary election:

I’m in the middle of the candidate endorsement process, sorting through questionnaires and interviewing candidates to help voters make the best choices in the Aug. 5 primary.

I’ve also moderated a couple of congressional debates recently.

Here are two phrases that do NOT come to mind as I evaluate the options voters face: “best and brightest” and “cream of the crop.”

With a few exceptions, the mediocrity of the candidate field is stunning.

While I agree that we get pretty poor choices of who will represent us in Lansing and Washington, I have to wonder where Nolan has been the last 20+ years? With very few exceptions, we rarely get the “cream of the crop” when it comes to potential representatives.

With that being said, I guess Nolan is particularly disappointed with this years crop.

Perhaps 1 in 10 of the candidates who returned questionnaires rise to the level where we’re entirely confident of their competence. And that talented tenth may not even get elected.

Many of the hopefuls show an appalling lack of understanding about both the scope and limits of the Constitution. They offer solutions that would trample the Bill of Rights. Many of the candidates can’t spell. Some can barely write.

At a congressional debate, one candidate said he wanted to go to Washington to “teach the Republicans a lesson” — and then later boasted about his ability to forge bipartisan alliances.

Can’t write? Hey, that’s what staffers are for…

One point of disagreement that with Mr. Finely’s column is in this important paragraph.

And yet winners of the elections will move into positions that ultimately come with as much power as a corporate CEO. Few could ever climb their way into a private sector C-suite, but they’ll be playing the tune the corporate execs will have to dance to.

The frightening thing is people elected to office have significant power to affect your life while a corporate CEO has none. A CEO can’t raise your taxes and throw you in jail if you don’t pay up. A CEO can’t deny your building permit or seize your property through an eminent domain proceeding. A CEO can’t arrest you or tell you your mother would be better off taking a pill rather than giving her a pace maker.

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CEO’s have no influence over your life while politicians do. This is why politicians will crawl over broken glass to get elected.

Lois Learner didn’t print official e-mail because she “did not think it was required”

I’m sure if the shoe were on the other foot and an average citizen tried this excuse, it wouldn’t fly:

Taylor said Lerner did not print out official records she may have sent over email because she didn’t know she had to.
The Federal Records Act requires agencies to back up all “business” correspondence — anything dealing with policy or operations, for instance. And while the IRS says it’s up to employees to print off hard copies of official emails and file them, Taylor said Lerner did not because she “did not think it was required.”
National Archives, which oversees the law, and the Treasury inspector general for tax administration are currently probing the lost emails and the backup policies. The Archivist has already said the IRS did not follow the law because it did not alert the Archives to lost emails that could be important, which is required.

Our entire political system, including paying taxes, relies on the concept that everyone is equal before the law and, right now it  doesn’t appear that way.

Also, we need a flat tax to prevent the IRS from becoming a political weapon in the future.

IRS IT budget could purchase 2.5 Carbonites and still have a cool billion dollars left over

Only in Washington D.C. could someone call a $1.8 billion I.T. budget for a government agency “wholly deficient.”

The Internal Revenue Service’s email system, the center of a Congressional investigation into the agency’s treatment of conservative political groups, is “entirely underfunded and wholly deficient,” a congressman said.

Rep. Sandy Levin, D-Mich., made the allegation June 20 during a contentious hearing in which IRS Commissioner John Koskinen was hammered by questions from Republican members of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Levin is the ranking Democrat on the committee.

Critics noted that the IRS operated with an IT budget of $1.8 billion in fiscal 2012 and 2013.

Carbonite, the online back up company has a market cap $294.95M. The IRS could purchase two and a half Carbonites with their IT budget and still have a cool One Billion Dollars left over.

carbonite market cap

The United States desperately needs a flat tax to do away with this nonsense.

Straight out of an Arthur C. Clarke novel: Cold dead star may be a giant diamond

‘I first suspected it from some chance observations in ’57, but didn’t really take them seriously for a couple of years. Then the evidence became stronger; for anything less bizarre, it would have been completely convincing.

‘But before I could believe that Mount Zeus was made of diamond, I had to find an explanation. To a good scientist – and I think I’m a good one – no fact is really respectable until there’s a theory to account for it. The theory may turn out to be wrong – it usually is, in some details at least – but it must provide a working hypothesis.

‘And as you pointed out, a million-million-ton diamond on a world of ice and sulphur takes a little explaining. Of course, now it’s perfectly obvious and I feel a damn fool not to have seen the answer years ago. Might have saved a lot of trouble – and at least one life – if I had.’

Arthur C. Clarke, 2061: Odyssey Three, chapter 53

Reading a story how astronomers think a “cold, dead star” could possibly be a massive diamond reminded me of Arthur C. Clarke’s  2061: Odyssey Three and how they found Mt. Zeus, a giant mountain on Europa that turns out to be a giant diamond.

Via Space.com:

Scientists have identified what is possibly the coldest white dwarf ever detected. In fact, this dim stellar corpse is so cold that its carbon has crystallized, effectively forming a diamond the size of Earth, astronomers said.

“It’s a really remarkable object,” study leader David Kaplan, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, said in a statement from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO). “These things should be out there, but because they are so dim they are very hard to find.” [10 Strangest Things in Space]

Kaplan and colleagues were able to find this cosmic gem because it has a more conspicuous companion. The white dwarf does an orbital tango with a pulsar, or a fast-spinning neutron star formed from a supernova explosion that sends out a stream of radio waves like a lighthouse beam. Dubbed PSR J2222-0137, the pulsar lies 900 light-years away from Earth near the constellation Aquarius, and it was first detected using the NRAO’s Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia.

Interesting…

Suckers. Total suckers… So much for Obama ‘restoring’ America’s standing in the world

Remember when Dear Leader promised that he would “restore America’s standing in the world?”

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Well, that didn’t happen…

Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski thinks the Polish-American alliance is “worthless” and “bullshit,” according to tapes of a private conversation released by Polish magazine Wprost.

“The Polish-American alliance is not worth anything. It’s even damaging, because it creates a false sense of security in Poland. It’s complete bullshit,” Sikorski says. “We will get a conflict with both Russians and Germans, and we’re going to think that everything is great, because we gave the Americans a blowjob. Suckers. Total suckers.”

The way Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski is speaking, you would think he was a jilted Obama voter.

Election 2014: Left is now blaming economic malaise on increased partisanship

It seems that every mid term election there is a push from the left trying to convince conservatives and spineless moderates that “if we can somehow compromise, we can solve so many issues.”

This election cycle, the left is quick out of the gate implementing a “let’s not be so partisan” full court press trying to blame every national ill to an ‘increase in partisanship.’ They are even going so far as trying to tie our current economic malaise to this so-called increase in partisanship.

A new study by Pew Research verifies much we already know about political extremism in America: It’s getting worse and interfering with social and economic progress. The big question is: Why?

Pew doesn’t address that question, but here’s a plausible answer: Voters are becoming angrier because living standards are falling and the middle class is shriveling. Prosperity breeds comity, but when it gets harder to get ahead, the natural inclination is for the losers to look for somebody to blame and the winners to feel more threatened. That’s been going on for nearly 30 years.

Income inequality began to worsen in the United States starting around the early 1980s. Most of Pew’s data on political polarization begins in 1994, and shows Democrats and Republicans consistently growing more distant from each other in their views and ideology. Most of the split occurred during the last 10 years, a time in which median household income dropped for the first time since the end of World War II.

Here’s a thought, maybe our benevolent government is regulating every drop of life from our economy. Here are a couple charts to consider.

number-pages-regulations-added-to-federal-register-each-year-1936-2012-projected

Hmmm…  An explosion of regulations added to our economy started in 1970 and really never stopped growing.

cost of federal regulations

As the above chart illustrates, an ever increasing amount of money is now diverted into government compliance activities rather than being used to grow business and by extension our economy.

Returning to the partisan question, who is the partisan group of big government? Which partisan group is anti-business? Which partisan group is interested in stoking class warfare? That would be the Democrats*.

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It should be obvious to anyone paying even the slightest bit of attention that continuing the current regulation regime is driving business away from our country and spending our nation into oblivion not a recipe for success. Why should we conservatives compromise with that?

*This also goes for squishy RINO’s… They’re nearly as bad as Democrats.

Geotagged map depicting where a firearm was used in self defense August 1, 2011 to present

A picture is worth a thousand words…

geo tagged self defense incidents

Each marker on the map is a reported self defense incident where a citizen used a legal firearm to protect himself (or herself). Via Ironic Surrealism:

The map [above] shows all of our stories geo tagged on a map. Many stories do not give the exact addresses for obvious reasons, but we try to get the points as close as possible with the information provided.

The map shows incidents recorded from August 1, 2011 – Present. There may be handful (less than a dozen stories) recorded prior to that.

View Guns Save Lives in a larger map

Amazing when you see it displayed on a map like that.

Low information voters have to ask themselves how does $4.00 gas help the middle class?

Inflation is taxation without legislation.
Milton Friedman

Remember in both the 2008 and 2012 Presidential campaigns how Dear Leader prattled on endlessly that he and only he is for the “middle class?”

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Predictably, low information voters bought Obama’s ‘promise’ hook, line and sinker.

Sure, income taxes haven’t been raised however,low information voters are unable to connect the dots between the leftist economic policies implemented by Obama and his Democrat henchmen and the steady across the board inflation we’ve been dealing with for the last 5 1/2 years while wages have, for the most part, stagnated.

Guess what middle class low information voters, you’ve been hit with a hefty tax increase and you don’t even recognize it.

For example, gasoline was around $1.75 when Obama seized office:

Historical Gas Price Charts   GasBuddy.com

Today,gas is running around $4.08 per gallon for regular. Has your income increased by 2.3 times over the last 5 1/2 years to cover this increase? Probably not.

According to MIT’s Billion Price Index, everything has become more expensive:

US Daily Index » The Billion Prices Project   MIT

Democrats continually blather that they ‘fight for the little guy’ or the ‘middle class.’ In reality, their economic policies do the exact opposite. So, low information voters have to ask themselves a difficult question, how does $4.00 per gallon gas help the middle class?