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    By Hook Or By Crook, They Will Get Their Revenue

    In what had to be one of the more epic political understatements of the last five years, President Obama announced in his grandiloquent, condescending manner that he wouldn’t balance the budget just for the sake of balance. Well that’s a relief. Maybe our President could try balancing it so that we don’t wind up allocated a significant chunk of our GDP in the out years to paying off our current year ongoing spending binge. Oh, wait, I get it! The light bulb just turned on. President Obama doesn’t even intend to TRY and balance the Federal Budget. Wow! That makes it easy.

    So if we no longer care about balancing the Federal Budget in any way, shape or form, could we all just scrap the idea of jacking everyone’s taxes through the roof. I mean Ben Bernanke will just print us out of any trouble. The dollar is the world’s de facto currency. Our government’s spending is no problem. Therefore, we can all just keep our money and live happily ever after in our Post-Modern, Disney Consumption Land. Barack Obama is far too nice a gentleman to even consider another round of tax increases. Bwank! Thanks for playin’!

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    The “Good” Republicans Kill Conservatism

    Step forward, Senators McCain and Graham: we hear That you are good men. You cannot be bought, But only because the McCain-Feingold Law prohibits those who would spend their money to inform the electoral process from speaking. You hold to what you said. But what did you say? Or do you even deign to address those who you consider to be silly, or hobbits? You | Read More »

    The “Good” Republicans Kill Conservatism

    Step forward, Senators McCain and Graham: we hear That you are good men. You cannot be bought, But only because the McCain-Feingold Law prohibits those who would spend their money to inform the electoral process from speaking. You hold to what you said. But what did you say? Or do you even deign to address those who you consider to be silly, or hobbits? You | Read More »

    Citizens, Subjects and The Curse of Too Big To Fail Banking

    Celebrity CEO Jamie Dimon has made a compelling case against breaking up major US financial institutions. He cites the advantages inherent to economies of scale and claims that bigger banks are able to get better leverage out of their assets and thereby give average customers like little old me a better deal on financial products.

    What doesn’t get mentioned by Dimon and his entourage is the power of moral hazard, the implicit subsidy and the blackmail potential that all come implicitly with being a bank that is too big to fail. Without indulging in paranoia worthy of Beppe Grillo and looking for the Bankster under the bed, we still can make a reasonable case that bigger banks are given significant advantages that exempt them from the laws that mere mortals like little old me are forced to obey if we desire a peaceful life.

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    Citizens, Subjects and The Greatness of Rand Paul’s Filibuster

    There are two ways you can relate to the entity that governs you. You are either a citizen or you are a subject. There is a significant difference between the two. This difference involves the number of rights you enjoy and the amount of freedom of action and thought you get to exercise. Tupac Shapur sums it succinctly: Real n—– do they wanna do, b—- n—– do what they can.

    In a philosophical sense, Senator Rand Paul just asked Attorney General Eric Holder which class we, the average American fit. Can we do what we want or do we what we can? Or more directly; can the people in charge of the government do what they want? Because if the government can do what it wants, then the people are not citizens, they are subjects, they have to do what they can.

    This political moment of import erupted from a rather mundane Senate Hearing. President Barack Obama needed a new Director CIA Director. His former Director, David Petraeus was ummm, compromised. He selected John Brennan and expected that the Senate would advise, consent and go back to playing with their Power Ranger Action Figures instead of passing a Federal Budget. Then a wee fly landed in the ointment

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    Hugo Chavez Esta Muerta

    Time Magazine amazes me this morning. It prints one of the most intelligent and thoughtful descriptions of who and what Venezuelan Dictator Hugo Chavez was during his brief, frightening and frenetic life.

    Chávez called himself a “21st century socialist.” In reality he was a throwback to the dogmatic and authoritarian 20th century socialism of Castro, Cuba’s former dictator, and to the 19th century caudillo tradition of Chávez’s demigod, South American independence hero Simón Bolívar. Chávez hoped that being democratically elected would obscure the fact that he didn’t govern all that democratically. It didn’t. So it’s tempting to dismiss him as an anachronism, a vulgar populist famous for gratuitous yanqui bashing — for calling then U.S. President George W. Bush a malodorous “devil” at the U.N. in 2006 — an erratic and messianic retro-revolutionary whose country’s vast petrowealth let him indulge his Marxist nostalgia.

    For many, Hugo Chavez was a living, breathing throwback to the Cold War Era. A fitting reminder of how dead, backwards and bereft of original thought the so-called Progressives truly are. This was their icon, their Homo Universale. Ecce Homo! That man was Hugo Chavez.

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    Immigration, Unemployment, The Golden Dawn and The Not-So-Funny Side of Beppe Grillo

    So just how do we construct a valid set that that contains poorly-regulated immigration, unemployment, The Golden Dawn, and Beppe Grillo? If we’re lucky, here in America, we probably cannot. So, as Cliff Eastwood famously asked. “Are you feeling lucky?”

    Now given the nice, violent intro and the unresolved rhetorical queries above, I should explain this all a bit. I’ll endeavor below. The governments of what we typically refer to as The West are following a set of economic policies and a set of immigration policies that are accidentally making the rise of a politically influential fascist movement more likely in the Western World.

    If things work out really badly over here, we could easily be on our way to having people gain power in America like Governor Huey Long. We once had a President who thanked and congratulated Filmmaker D.W Griffith on his pro – Ku Klux Klan historical fantasy “Birth of a Nation.”

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    The Tears of a Clown Named Beppe Grillo

    You want to hear something funny? The most powerful guy in Italy right now is a former stand-up artist named Beppe Grillo. He went from being a joke for a living to leading a political movement that won 25% of the vote in Italy’s Parliamentary Elections. The temptation here is to write the whole thing off as an attention-grabbing stunt.

    Yawn! Grillo dubbed his 5-Star Movement a “non-party.” I’m amazed a smart guy like Ross Perot forgot to copyright that. Many of the people he won over were outsiders who were registering a protest vote against the status quo. Grillo got them out to the polls, and observers had the following reaction.

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    Harold Myerson Authors A Fireworks Display of Remarkable Unintelligence

    The Washington Post treats us to a particularly fact-free, faith-based, disingenuous sermon from the Secular Gospel of Keynes entitled Sequestration Stupidity. The preacher, Harold Myerson, perhaps has handled one snake too many and the venom has enstupidated his brain. It seems he doesn’t care for sequestration. It makes him sad that government just can’t spend whatever it bloody well pleases. He laments the evil of people who believe that governments should live within a budget.

    Like an uninspired, hung-over reverend, Myerson attempts to preach a set of moral values he does not practice using a parable that represents the world as the world is not. We get treated to homilies of the sort that follow below.

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    Maxine Waters Wins A Fields Medal

    Sequestration isn’t as bad as I exaggerated it to be yesterday. It’s worse. Out of the 143 Million people who work, Sequestration will cause 170 Million of them to lose their jobs. It’s Obamacare on steroids and it’s growing huge.

    OK, so that’s a wee tad inaccurate. It could even be argued that Congresswoman Maxine Waters respects the truth about as much as Occupy Wall Street demonstrators respect police cars. She sincerely has no clue what Sequestration will do or will not do to U3, U6 or U235 unemployment rates. But hey, look! A microphone! Journalists!

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    Explaining Obamacare Nicely To Donna Brazile

    I’ve been told by people who know her that Donna Brazile is a dear, dear lady who is not your typical, predictable member of the Left Wing Journalistic Taliban. Given that strong personal endorsement coming from people whose opinions I respect, I’ve decided to explain something to poor Donna – nicely for a change. It could feel like turning over a new leaf. It seems some people have noticed two rather dissonant opinions that she’s offered on Obamacare via twitter that I thought I could help her reconcile.

    It seems she strongly, strongly supports Obamacare. This is not a shocking thing to hear form a former lead campaigner for Al Gore’s Presidential Team. Here’s an example of her Obamacare boosterism and Dem Team Spirit. I promised to be nice about this and after enough coffee I can even stomach Dallas Cowboy fans. Thus I’ll let her 1st tweet stand as Exhibit A and offer no further snark.

    The conundrum here is that Donna seemed colossally uninformed as to what would happen to the cost of health insurance plans as a result of the Obamacare legislation she herself cheered for. She wonders why she’s having to pay more now that #Healthcareworks.

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    The Sequester: Sturm Und Drang and Fecal Fertilizer

    I hate to admit that I work for our pathetic, whiny, pussified excuse for a Federal Government. I am a Civil Servant, but I promise not to whine about how much I’ve had to pay for tampons over the looming Sequestration !CRISIS! You see, Sequestration stands poised to invade our galaxy. Run for the Hills! Flee, you fool. DOOM is at hand. The bloodied Sword of Damocles hangs tenuously above the callow heads of our fair and innocent citizens. As Bill Paxton’s PTSD’d Space Marine put it in Aliens: “GAME OVER, MAN! GAME OVER!”(NSFW – language)*

    Just how bad and how vile is the carnage? What could lay low the American Nation and strew the flotsam and jetsam of a lifetime’s worth memories across the fruited plains? We quiver like pillars of gelatin before a reduction of outlays totaling $44Bn out of $3,553Bn. Yep. We’re reducing the current year budget by less than 2%. $44Bn out of $3,553Bn roughly approaches a budgetary number equal to the left-hand limit of chicken-(expletive)! That’s how pathetically little this sequestration really cuts.

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    Holding Them Accountable – Richard Shelby Edition

    In many states and many places people believe that elections are the only time participation is required in a Democracy. You show up, you vote, you wash your hands of it until they bother you again. Many citizens vote the way many loosely-affiliated Christians trek over to the local church once on Christmas and again on Easter. Check the block. Move on with life. Never mind that you are being robbed blind and governed dishonestly as soon as your back is turned.

    Fortunately for us, regrettably for Republican Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama, not all Americans have degenerated into Amerikans. Quite a few people in Alabama found the time and volition to turn away from another riveting episode of SpongeBob. It seems they are engaged in behavior hostile to the continued cavorting of our disingenuous politicians. Fortunately, the GOP rank and file in Alabama did not take kindly to Senator Shelby’s having announced his support of Secretary of Defense nominee and former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel.

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    Subjects, Citizens, Guns and The Sequester

    OK Americans, you; and I mean you personally, have a serious ego problem. You are not grateful enough. President Obama works so hard for you, and you don’t show him adequate love. He’s had it. He won’t be putting up with any more of your shenanigans. Therefore, you are going to get both gun control and sequestration – good and hard!

    You see, some people are actually bringing up the point that sequestration was a proposal put forth by The Executive Branch. The audacity of these peons! They think they are citizens when in fact they are subjects. Morale Conditioner, Chuck Todd lectures us on how to think properly harmonious social thoughts.

    CHUCK TODD: Of all the dumb things Washington does, this “who started it” argument has proven to be one of the dumber ones, especially since we’re so close to the actual cuts going into place.

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    Detroit and How Democracies Die

    It’s easy to kick Detroit. The place just about roles over and begs for it. Now we learn that the City Henry Ford built is now eligible to be put under emergency management by Governor Rick Snyder. Michigan State Treasurer described the situation succinctly below.

    “We believe there’s a financial emergency in the city and that there’s no plan in place to correct the situation … I do believe strongly Detroit is fixable,” he said.

    I read this, nod in sad agreement and then think to myself that Detroit is just the symptom. Detroit is just the canary that died in the burning coal mine of American finance. Our country is going bankrupt and despite our heartfelt desire that this not happen, most of us are helping it occur. We are caught in what’s called a discursive dilemma. Gonzalo Lira gives us an explanation of how we made it to sequestration below.

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