Archive for November, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 27, 2008

I just wanted to take the time to wish all of my readers a happy Thanksgiving.

Personally, I have so much to be thankful for: the fact that I can live here in America, where we have so many freedoms; my family; my friends; my roommate who proof-reads my blog for me all the time (I figured I’d mention him again); all my roommates and friends up at Central Michigan.

I just got back from volunteering at a local soup kitchen, and I’d encourage everybody to take some time and give back to the community.  If you can’t do it today, try for some other time this holiday season.  But don’t just do it during the holidays.  The homeless are homeless year round, not just at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  If you’re fortunate enough to be able to read this blog on a personal computer in your home, you’re fortunate enough that you can go out and help somebody in need.  We all don’t do this enough, including myself, but if we all give a little more, we can make the world a much better place.

Well, I’m about to head off to the couch to watch the Lions lose yet another game, and then it’s food time!

I wish you all a safe and happy Thanksgiving!  God bless you all and God bless America.

Done Celebrating,

Ranting Republican

The UAW Put the Auto Industry in the Position that It’s in Now

November 24, 2008

Today, I saw a TV interview that has confirmed what I’ve been saying for years (see the long paragraph in the middle).  The UAW has driven the auto industry down into a disastrous spiral.  Watch theses videos.  The first is an ad put out by the Employee Freedom Action Committee (EFAC), and the second is an interview with EFAC representative Rick Berman (done by Neil Cavuto):

Alright, so those videos discuss the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), a bill that would get rid of the secret ballot for unions (when workers vote to either unionize or not unionize) and would force workers to pay union dues even if they don’t want to.

There are Democrats in Congress who are supporting this, but the interesting thing is, they recently voted to keep Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) in their caucus, by … you guessed it … a secret ballot.

Now, in that second video, you saw the insanely huge contract that the UAW has forced the Big 3 auto companies into.  Yes, I said forced.  As I’ve explained before, the UAW has bullied the Big 3 into signing those insane contracts.  Because if the auto companies don’t sign, the union will go on strike, and the company will suffer and lose money.  Unfortunately, the companies give in, because their executives don’t want their companies to fail.  If I were the auto executives, I’d say, “Go on strike,” and when the company didn’t have enough money to stay open, I’d fire those union workers.  Then see if the UAW is so stubborn.  I guarantee they wouldn’t be.

There was a time and place for unions, but, for the most part, that time and place is all gone now.

Stand up AGAINST the EFCA and stand WITH the EFAC.  Fight the union bosses.  Fight for workers RIGHTS (the RIGHT to a secret ballot, which Americans hold so dear).

End this union bullying of the Big 3.

For more information about the EFAC, check out their website, Employee Freedom.org.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Alan Colmes to Leave Hannity & Colmes Show on FOX

November 24, 2008

News has just come in that Alan Colmes, the liberal half of Hannity & Colmes, the number 2 show in cable news (behind The O’Reilly Factor), will be leaving the show at the end of the year.  Colmes told reporters, “I approached Bill Shine [Fox News Channel’s Senior Vice President of Programming] earlier this year about wanting to move on after 12 years to develop new and challenging ways to contribute to the growth of the network.  Although it’s bittersweet to leave one of the longest marriages on cable news, I’m proud that both Sean and I remained unharmed after sitting side by side, night after night for so many years.”

Shine also gave a statement, saying, “We’re very sorry to see Alan reach this decision but we understand his desire to seek other creative challenges in his career.  We value his incredible hard work in making Hannity & Colmes the most successful debate program on cable news and we’re going to miss him on the show.  Thankfully, he will begin developing a weekend pilot for us.”

Hannity also released a statement, saying, “Not only has Alan been a remarkable co-host, he’s been a great friend which is rare in this industry — I’ll genuinely miss sparring with such a skillful debate partner.”

Roger Ailes, the Chairman & CEO of FOX News also said, “Alan is one of the key reasons why FOX News has been such a remarkable success.  We’re sad to see him leave the program but we look forward to his ongoing contributions to the network.”

Colmes continue working at FOX, as a liberal commentator on a variety of news programs, including The Strategy Room.  He will also continue to host his radio program, The Alan Colmes Show, on FOX Talk.  Additionally, he will begin to develop a weekend program of some sort.

Personally, I’m going to miss Alan.  I’ve always enjoyed the back and forth on Hannity and Colmes.  They actually had good debates.  I always found the format both fun and educational.

The future of the show is unknown at this point in time, but I’m sure that Sean is going to stay at FOX.

The good news is, this leaves room for me and my roommate to get a show on FOX, although I’m not sure that we’d be as civilized as Hannity and Colmes were.  Both him and I like watching COPS, so we joke about combining the two shows, kinda like a Hannity & Colmes with TAZERs.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Obama Advisor: Obama Likely to Not Repeal the Bush Tax Cuts

November 23, 2008

Well, I called this one (not on this blog, but another website I post on) over a month ago, when he said that a recession may make him delay the repealment of the Bush tax cuts.  Well, this morning on Meet the Press, an advisor on his transition team, Bill Daley (Secretary of Commerce under President Clinton), said that it’s looking like Obama isn’t going to push for them to be repealed, but just let them expire in 2011.  Here’s the transcript courtesy of Meet the Press:

MR. BROKAW: And let’s talk about taxes for just a moment ,if we can. The New York Times is reporting today that “in light of the downturn, Mr. Obama is also said to be reconsidering a campaign pledge: his proposal to repeal the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. According to several people familiar with the discussions, he might instead let those tax cuts expire as scheduled in 2011, effectively delaying any tax increase while he gives his stimulus plan a chance to work.” Is that your understanding of what may happen?

MR. DALEY: That looks more likely than not, Tom, but the president-elect is very committed to the fact that there must be greater equity in, in the responsibility of, of taxes in this country. We must bring tax relief to the middle class. He has said this now for two years as he’s been out there on the campaign, and he’s going to deliver on that. That’s an integral part of his economic recovery package next year is to bring some tax relief to the American people and the vast majority who are in the middle class, not those of us who do much better than that. So I, I think he’s going, he’s, he’s got a great team he’s putting together: Tim Geithner, Larry Summers, a whole host of other people, that he’s charged with putting this plan together. I think he’s gone out to get the most competent, qualified, experienced people to put this together. We are, as Secretary Baker said, in the middle of an unprecedented economic crisis. We will come out of it, but these are times that no one’s ever seen, and it’s a global issue. And of all the people he’s put forward in these major jobs are very experienced in a global setting of economics also.

MR. BROKAW: And, Secretary [James] Baker [Secretary of the Treasury under President Reagan], keeping the Bush tax cuts in place, will that be central to winning any Republican support for a massive public stimulus program of some kind?

MR. BAKER: Well, it depends on which you mean by keeping them in place. If that means he’s not going to try to repeal, not going to try to increase taxes during this very critical next two-year period, then, yes, it would be and probably would be if it means that he’s going to abandon the idea of, of keeping them, keeping taxes low thereafter. But let me, let me second what, what Secretary Daley said about the team that the president-elect is putting together. I think he’s appointed some extraordinarily capable people, and we’re going to see some more, as I understand it. And I think he’s to be commended for that. Bill Daley knows and I know that any new president has got to surround himself with competent advisers, and that’s even more so today when we’re facing the kind of economic crisis we’re facing.

May I say one other thing, Tom? I, I think that a lot of what we’re seeing out there today is a lack of confidence, and the president-elect and, as a matter of fact, the current president have to face this problem over the next 60 days. It’s unfortunate that we’re in this interregnum of a transition, but I think that something very useful might even come out of the two of them sitting down together and addressing not the, not the midterm, not the mid and long-term problem that we face that was the subject of the president-elect’s speech, but the–but facing–but addressing stability of our financial system and to see if there isn’t something that they could do jointly, together, over the next 58 to 60 days that would help us make sure that the–that the financial system is stabilized and, and secure. Because if that goes under, then this thing is even, believe it or not, going to get worse. And I think just the mere fact of their sitting down together and seeing if there’s not one thing that they could come together on would do a lot to restore confidence and, and remove the anxiety and fear that’s out there.

Well, now this is interesting, since Senator Obama has said that he would pay for his health care plan with the money that would come in from getting rid of the Bush tax cuts.  So, this will set him back 2 years which will be $100-$135 billion.

Like I’ve said before, Obama is all talk, on taxes, on Iraq, and on a lot of what he says.  He was elected on promises that he never intended to fulfill, but most Americans didn’t realize that.  Oh well, in 4 years, people will be begging for a Republican in the White House.  Either that, or they’ll excuse Obama by saying, “His problems were Bush’s fault.”  Knowing American voters, I’m scared that it may be the latter.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford: “Don’t Bail Out My State”

November 22, 2008

mark-sanfordThe following in South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford’s (R) editorial that was posted in the Wall Street Journal, with my thoughts and analysis spread throughout:

I find myself in a lonely position. While many states and local governments are lining up for a bailout from Congress, I went to Washington recently to oppose such bailouts. I may be the only governor to do so.

You’re better than my governor, Governor Jennifer Granholm, one of the people leading the charge for the auto bailout right now.

But I suspect I’m not entirely alone, as there are a lot of taxpayers who aren’t pleased with Christmas coming early for politicians. And I hope these taxpayers make their voices heard before Democrats load up the next bailout train for states with budget deficits.

Several questions led me to oppose bailing out the states. They are worth asking, even if you supported bailing out Wall Street.

Who bails out the “bail-outor”?

Washington is short on cash these days and will borrow every dime of the $150 billion to $300 billion for the “stimulus” bill now being worked on. Federal appetites may know no bounds. But the federal government’s ability to borrow is not limitless. Already, our nation’s unfunded liabilities total $52 trillion — about $450,000 per household. There’s something very strange about issuing debt to solve a problem caused by too much debt.

A very good question.  The answer, in my opinion, is eventually the taxpayers.  If we keep this set of bailouts going, we’ll ultimately just crumble the economy and economic infrastructure.  Heck, there may not even be a United States to bail out any more if we keep this up.  We’re entering dangerous territory economically, and if we aren’t careful, it may cost us permanently.

Do you now have to be a financial “bad boy” to win?

Community bankers tell me that they are now at a competitive disadvantage for being careful about who to lend to, because others that were less disciplined will get a federal bailout. This is also true for states. Those that have been fiscally responsible will pay for or lose out to the big spenders. California increased spending 95% over the past 10 years (federal spending went up 71% over the same period). To bail out California now seems unfair to fiscally prudent states.

But this has been the whole mindset since the beginning.  “I’ll take the risk, and if I suffer, they’ll HAVE to bail me out.”  I’ve been warning about this from the beginning!  But economically/fiscally dumb and irresponsible lawmakers in Washington have given in and now think, “If __________ fails, the whole economy will suffer, and we can’t let the economy suffer.”  Let companies go bankrupt.  Let people lose their homes.  It’s called a free market.  Companies and people never should’ve bought more than they could afford or taken risks that they couldn’t handle.

Was the economist Herb Stein wrong when he said that if something cannot go on forever, it won’t?

Medicaid grew 9.5% annually over the past 10 years. That’s unsustainable. But if Congress opens the checkbook now, there will be no reform.

Isn’t government intervention supposed to be the last resort and come only when it can make a difference?

EXACTLY!  And even then, in my opinion, the government probably shouldn’t intervene.  But it’s visible in the proposed auto bailout: Some in Congress are saying that the auto companies shouldn’t try bankruptcy first (even Represesntative Joe Knollenberg [R-MI9] said this!).

In 2008 bailouts became the first resort. Over the past year the federal government has committed itself to $2.3 trillion (including the tax rebate “stimulus” checks of last February) to “improve” the economy. I don’t see how another $150 billion now will make a difference in a global slowdown. We’ve already unloaded truckloads of sugar in a vain attempt to sweeten a lake. Tossing in a Twinkie will not make the difference.

That’s a really good analogy.

However, there is something Congress can do: free states from federal mandates. South Carolina will spend about $425 million next year meeting federal unfunded mandates. The increase in the minimum wage alone will cost the state $2.6 million and meeting Homeland Security’s REAL ID requirements will cost $8.9 million.

Based on what I saw in Washington, the bailout train is being loaded up. Taxpayers will have to speak up now to change its freight, tab or departure.

I feel that it may already be too late.  While Congress won’t give in to everybody who asks for a bailout, I think they’re going to give in to a lot of them, and who knows how detrimentally that will affect our economy.

Mr. Sanford, a Republican, is the governor of South Carolina.

So, there you have it.  Governor Sanford’s op/ed.  I couldn’t agree more with what the Governor said.  We need more people like him (although I don’t agree with all of his stances, I think he’s absolutely right when it comes to this issue).

If we continue these reckless bailouts, we’re all going to suffer.  And we may not be able to recover.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Timothy Geithner to be Secretary of Treasury

November 21, 2008

I’ve just received a report that Timothy Geithner will be nominated for Secretary of Treasury.  Geithner is the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York as well as the Vice Chairman of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC).

Geithner worked for Kissinger’s consulting firm and he later worked for the Treasury Department, becoming the Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs.

I really don’t know much about Geithner or his politics, but I’ll be sure to update this if I find out anything about him.

Hopefully he does a better job than our current Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson!  NO MORE BAILOUTS!

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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Hillary Clinton to Be Secretary of State; Bill Richardson to be Secretary of Commerce

November 21, 2008

This has just broke in.  We’ve been suspecting it all day, but today, sources have just confirmed that Hillary Clinton (D-NY) has been offered the position of Secretary of State by President-Elect Obama, and a source close to Senator Clinton has confirmed that she is expected to accept the position.

Meanwhile, Governor Bill Richardson (D-NM) has been chosen to be the Secretary of Commerce.

Now, personally (and my liberal roommate agrees), I think that Richardson should’ve been made Secretary of State.  After all, he was the Ambassador to the United Nations.  I think that Richardson would’ve brought more to the table than Clinton will.

But, Secretary of State is a higher position than Secretary of Commerce, so Obama probably did this to appease Clinton.  This definitely keeps her in the spotlight, and we may see a Clinton Presidential run again in 2016 (or 2012 if you believe the crazy Clinton followers who think she’ll challenge Obama in a primary).

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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Funny Video: How to Get Your Piece of the Bailout Pie

November 21, 2008

Last night on his show on FOX, Neil Cavuto gave 7 tips on how to get your piece of the bailout.  It’s pretty funny.  Take a look:

I love Neil Cavuto, but this was just great.  “Tell them you truly are pathetic.”  “Twitch a lot.”  Those were some of my favorite lines.

Well, that’s my humor for the day.

Done Laughing,

Ranting Republican
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Attorney General Mukasey Collapses During Speech; Now “Conversant and Alert”

November 21, 2008

Attorney General Michael Mukasey collapsed earlier in the night while giving a speech to the Federalist Society at a Mariott hotel in Washington, D.C.  He was then rushed to George Washington University Hospital.  The following is footage of Mr. Mukasey’s collapse:

Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr told reporters, “The attorney general is conscious, conversant and alert.”

Associate Attorney General Kevin O’Connor told reporters, “He just started shaking and he collapsed.  They’re very concerned.”

An FBI official has told reporters that Mukasey stuttered over a word and then “went down hard.”

White House Press Secretary Dana Perino told reporters that President Bush has been informed of the situation, “The president has him in his thoughts and will be kept apprised and hopes that he will be back up and at ‘em again soon.”

My thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Mukasey right now.  I wish him a speedy recovery.

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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Breaking News: Attorney General Michael Mukasey Collapses During Speech

November 21, 2008

This is breaking news coming in now.  Attorney General Michael Mukasey has collapsed while giving a speech.  He has been rushed to George Washington University Hospital in the nation’s capital.  There is no word on his condition or why he collapsed.  I will update this as reports come in.

UPDATE (11:07 P.M. EST): Associate Attorney General Kevin O’Connor just told reporters, “He just started shaking and he collapsed.  They’re very concerned.”

UPDATE (11:16 P.M. EST): A Justice Department and law enforcement official have told reporters that Mukasey was both conscious and talking as he was taken away.

UPDATE (11:35 P.M. EST): An FBI official has told reporters that Mukasey stuttered over a word and then “went down hard.”  Mukasey was talking to the Federalist Society at a Washington hotel.  White House Press Secretary Dana Perino told reporters that President Bush has been informed of the situation, “The president has him in his thoughts and will be kept apprised and hopes that he will be back up and at ‘em again soon.”

UPDATE (11:42 P.M. EST): O’Connor has confirmed that Mukasey is aleter, and conscious, and speaking.

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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