Okay…

I know it’s been a while and my sabbatical has been one of laziness and energies elsewhere. But with mid-term elections coming up and the chatter on cable news, talk radio, and blogs heating up, it’s time to assert Re:Pundit as a voice to be heard.

Look for more frequent updates and posts in August and beyond…

Thanks!

Published in: on July 30, 2010 at 4:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

Spending Our Way Out of Bankruptcy?

VP Joe Biden may be telling us that we have to spend more to keep from going bankrupt, but there is another way out of this financial recession…one that actually makes sense.

The answer is the FairTax.

The FairTax plan is a comprehensive proposal that replaces all federal income and payroll based taxes with an integrated approach including a progressive national retail sales tax, a prebate to ensure no American pays federal taxes on spending up to the poverty level, dollar-for-dollar federal revenue neutrality, and, through companion legislation, the repeal of the 16th Amendment.

The FairTax Act (HR 25, S 296) is nonpartisan legislation. It abolishes all federal personal and corporate income taxes, gift, estate, capital gains, alternative minimum, Social Security, Medicare, and self-employment taxes and replaces them with one simple, visible, federal retail sales tax administered primarily by existing state sales tax authorities.

The FairTax taxes us only on what we choose to spend on new goods or services, not on what we earn. The FairTax is a fair, efficient, transparent, and intelligent solution to the frustration and inequity of our current tax system.

The FairTax:

– Enables workers to keep their entire paychecks
– Enables retirees to keep their entire pensions
– Refunds in advance the tax on purchases of basic necessities
– Allows American products to compete fairly
– Brings transparency and accountability to tax policy
– Ensures Social Security and Medicare funding
– Closes all loopholes and brings fairness to taxation
– Abolishes the IRS

Published in: on July 17, 2009 at 8:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

Patients First: Americans for Prosperity

President Obama is using every tool at his disposal – TV, online video, Twitter, Facebook – to get the word out about his vision for health care. The Left is responding with throngs of supportive e-mails. You must answer them now! Help spread the message online through your social networks! Share the “Hands Off My Healthcare” petition on Facebook.

Patients First is running TV ads targeting key senators. Check out one of the ads here. We must unite to prevent Washington from taking control of our health care! Take action by contacting your members of Congress directly through the Patients First website and tell them you oppose government-run health care.

Published in: on July 11, 2009 at 9:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

Energy Bill Riddled with Problems

The fact that a 300-page amendment to the cap-and-trade energy bill was added at 3am on the morning of the vote, shows that 1) there’s a lot of information to go through when regulating CO2 and energy  2) some politicians want quick, impulsive votes and 3) they will use sneaky tactics to get their legislation passed.  I would like to ask how many of the 435 Representatives read all 300 pages of the amendment, much less the original bill itself.  Admittedly, I have not read the entire bill either, only excerpts as well as analysis from political commentators and news agencies.  But it is not the content itself that I’m concerned with, it is what the content is based on that matters most.

What troubles me is that a scientific/economic report by EPA analyst Alan Carlin urging for more research was ignored by the EPA.  You see, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued it’s findings in the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) back in 2005, and it is this document upon which the energy bill and the EPA’s support was based.  Carlin’s report debated many of the findings of the AR4.  However, he was silenced and asked not to speak of his findings.  (Click here.)

Also, the AR4 was released in 2005.  According to an internet search of articles related to ‘general circulation model’ (which is what computer models that project global warming are called), almost half a million documents have been released since the IPCC report.  Thats half a million pieces of information related to climate change that the IPCC was not privy to when it came out with the AR4.  So that means the billed that passed the House is going off of climate data from 4 years ago.  Technologies and science rapidly advance as we learn better and more accurate ways to accumulate and process data.   Shouldn’t such a large overhauling of our environmental policies and regulations receive as much information as is available?  According to the IPCC website, the AR5 is currently in the outlining stage and will not be released till 2014.  So if Congress just can’t wait 5 more years, then at least use data from the past 5 years to construct a more timely and informative piece of legislation.

Did the Congress rush to judgment on a issue which is hotly debated and still up for interpretation?  Yes.  Did they do so for the country’s benefit or their own?  Only time will tell.

 

Thank you to Thomas Fuller and Examiner.com for covering this developing story in much more detail.

Published in: on June 27, 2009 at 1:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

All This Energy in the Wrong Direction

With an almost 80-seat majority, Democrats barely passed the President’s cap-and-trade energy bill: 219-212.

I think it’s telling of our political system when a representative receives numerous phone calls from constituents, “And it’s disproportionately vote ‘no.'” Yet he votes ‘yes’ anyway, because he believes it was special interest groups who generated the “negative feedback.” (See the story on CNN.com)

Number one, when do politicians bemoan hearing from and often giving into special interests? Number two, couldn’t all those calls be from people who just happen to care what happens in Washington and don’t want a bad bill to pass the House?

Some would like to do more. Some would like to do less,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said in advance of the final vote. “But we have reached a compromise … and it is a compromise that can pass this House, pass that Senate, be signed by the president and become law and make progress.”
That seemed unlikely, judging from Reid’s cautiously worded statement. “The bill is not perfect,” it said, but rather “a good product” for the Senate to begin working on.

“Some would like to do more. Some would like to do less,” says House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md.  “But we have reached a compromise … and it is a compromise that can pass this House, pass that Senate, be signed by the president and become law and make progress.”

Well, now it’s up to the Senate to reconstruct this cap-and-trade fiasco into something that will be good for this country. Even Harry Reid has some reservations, “The bill is not perfect,” but rather “a good product” for the Senate to begin working on.  Maybe they will actually listen to their constituents and choose to represent those who sent them to Washington…

Who knows? It could happen…

Published in: on June 26, 2009 at 11:47 am  Comments (1)  
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Poll: We Want More Government

The latest New York Times/CBS poll shows that a growing percentage of responders to surveys want more governmental interference, I mean control, over our health care system.  You see only 895 people answered this survey, so could they really speak for the 280 million in this country?  I guess they can.  According to the poll, 85% say there should fundamental changes to the health care system and 72% would like to see the federal government administer such a change.

Let me remind you what they already do with our tax dollars: of the thousands of agencies in the federal government, just Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security make up about $1 trillion of the budget.  That’s about a third of Obama’s budget, and analysts keep telling us that these programs are in the red and cannot maintain there current path.

So how is the President and his team going to offer coverage to the whole country without bankrupting us all?  I don’t know and neither does the President.  I find it disingenuous for him to say that government health insurance can reduce costs and increase efficiency while not cutting any services, accepting any pre-existing conditions, and covering the 47 million uninsured.  

(You can read Obama’s own words here.  The Republicans have an alternative plan, but don’t know how they are going to pay for it either.)

Getting back to the NYT/CBS poll, the respondents may want more government in their health care, but they also want government in their wallet, with 57% saying they are willing to pay higher taxes.  I think this signals a dramatic shift in the spirit and ethic of this American society.  The “old-fashion” idea of working hard and paying for what you get, combined with a freedom to live your own life in both success and failure, is gone or least fading rapidly from the American landscape.  What has replaced it is the notion of entitlement and fairness.  “I want what I want when I want it and no one should have more than me!”  

Wasn’t it my coach who said “life isn’t fair”?  It’s a game of winners and losers.  And the only way to eliminate the possibility of losing is to also give no chance of winning.  Can you imagine the uproar if the NFL decided that all future Super Bowls will have no score?  It’s enough to just watch the game and enjoy how two teams move the ball without the hinderance of an unfair goal line.  How boring and how ridiculous!

It’s time to wake up and follow what’s going on, whether the issue is TARP funding, auto bailouts, or health coverage.  Because the most telling statistic from the NYT/CBS poll had to do with those who are informed about the issues.  Kevin Sack and Marjorie Connelly of The New York Times state, “It is not clear how fully the public understands the complexities of the government plan proposal, and the poll results indicate that those who said they were following the debate were somewhat less supportive.”

Read.  Learn.  Know.  That way no matter what direction this country goes, you know the truth of how we got there.

Published in: on June 23, 2009 at 1:52 am  Leave a Comment  
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Texting Olympics

Not only did I not know that a quarter of a million people competed in a Texting Championship, but I was even more surprised to learn how much you could win…

Published in: on June 18, 2009 at 2:15 am  Leave a Comment  
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Apathy in America

Even though I notice it more and more often, I usually just let is slide by, but today I was listening to talk radio and the guy hit the nail on the head: “Have you noticed that people just don’t listen anymore?”

That’s exactly it!  And it manifests itself through apathy, inconsiderate actions towards others, and a lack of concern for the thoughts and sometimes even the existence of others.  The examples are endless, and I’m sure you’ve got your own.  Here are a few of my own experiences:

• Movie theaters seems to be one the most common places for rudeness and being inconsiderate. I have witnessed a little teenager girl not only answer her phone but have a conversation, en entire family discuss the movie while chewing loudly on their popcorn, someone kicking my seat even after “the look back”, a group of rowdy teenagers laughing and giggling and talking during a dramatic scene, and not to mention the mess that most people leave behind when they leave.  Is it that hard to carry your cup to a trash can? 

• Then there’s all those 1-800 customer no-service numbers.  Why are those people on the other end of the phone if they either do not understand my problem and try to help or have to put me on hold for 15 minutes while the supervisor is brought on the line to assist me?  Then there’s the customer service reps who are in another country and can’t speak English…does it really cost THAT much to have an American call center?

• I thought Orlando was bad, but since coming out to Vegas I now realize that the West Coast has the worst drivers in the country.  They will ride your bumper for “only” going 80 MPH, turn left from the right lane, weave in and out of traffic, nearly miss hitting you by inches and then give YOU the finger — and all of this without using a signal!  

• Now the facelessness of the road is one thing, but face-to-face contact should be better, right?  Well, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been at the register when the cashier doesn’t greet me, talks incessantly to fellow workers who must be “on break” while I’m waiting for my items to be rung up or my order to be taken, and then says nothing as my change is handed to me and moves on to the next customer.

• Lastly, there have been more times than I can count when I have held the door open for someone who walks right on through without so much as a nod or grunt of thanks in my general direction.  I’ve also had someone in front of me just let the door close behind them, without even the slightest push of the door my way so I can grab it as I walk through the doorway.

Now maybe I’m just in a foul mood, maybe I’m being insensitive, maybe I need to lighten up, but am I that far off when I say that people are more rude today than they’ve ever been?  Now as much as we might want to blame it all on those callous and self-centered teens and pre-teens of today, they are only part of the problem.  I’ve seen my fair share of idiotic adults who need some training in listening, watching, and recognizing others in their lives as well.

All I’m asking for is some courtesy and consideration.  I’m not perfect either, but together we can make the day-to-day activities just a little more manageable easy to deal with.  You’ll be surprised how far even the most modest of appreciation and understanding will go, if we all just watch and listen for opportunities to notice those around us.

 

…Thank you.

Published in: on July 19, 2008 at 9:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Potty Break

Now there have been a lot of jokes as well as commentary and analysis on Larry Craig and what he did or did not do.  People have played partisan politics, like this is somehow indicative of the entire Republican party.  Well, it doesn’t matter whether it’s Bill Clinton in the oval office with an intern or Larry Craig in the bathroom stall with an undercover cop, it is a simple combination of lust and poor judgement — and no one party has the corner market on either of these attributes.  You will find a multitude of examples of hypocrisy, greed, power-grabbing, stupidity, and indiscretion on both sides of the aisles.

At this point, however, Larry Craig’s political career and influence are finished.  Bill Clinton, on the other hand, despite being impeached in the House for technically lying under oath, is still highly regarded and could possibly be the nation’s First Husband to President Hillary Clinton.

So why is there such disparity in outcome between these two instances? 

To me the biggest difference is the issue of homosexuality.  Clinton’s affair involved a young woman, while Craig is alleged to have solicited sex with another man.  As much headway has been made by the homosexual community to become more “normalized” in society, there is still a greater outrage to sexual offenses when they involve same-sex partners.  Compare George Michael’s consequences and career since his incident in the bathroom stall to Hugh Grant’s continued popularity since his romp with a prostitute.  Though they are both just as selfish and lustful, the homosexual act is scrutinized with far more shock and condemnation and has more drastically affected the performer’s career than its heterosexual counterpart.  

The second point I want to make or question I want to ask is: Why is what Larry Craig did illegal?  From what I understand there was no public exposure, no money exchanged and no sex acts performed.  So what was the crime?  Simply using hand signals to ask if someone is interested in having sex?  Now while I can certainly see the moral issue with that, I fail to see a legal issue.  I truly know very little of this law, which seems to be in most states in one form or another.

In talking with my friends, I found out that one of them was arrested when an undercover cop asked if he wanted to go back to his place and my friend responded sarcastically with something like, “Depends on what you have in mind…”   So does that mean simply meeting someone and wanting to have sex is a crime?  This seems to make as much sense as those sodomy laws that were in the news several years ago.  I think government has to walk a fine line when legislating morality.  If laws begin to be made that can dictate moral and religious actions that I may happen to agree with, what is to stop legislators from enacting such laws I don’t agree with?  It is especially hard to enforce such laws when they involve two consenting adults in the privacy of their homes.

Now getting back to Larry Craig and Bill Clinton.  Did they make an error in judgment?  Sure they did, but neither of them deserve to be stripped of their political office for that one action alone — unless the people vote them out.  Remember: someone is innocent till proven guilty, there is a democratic process in place of voting some one in or out of office, and most importantly we should all exhibit an attitude of grace and forgiveness towards those who are really no better or worse than we are ourselves.

“There but for the grace of God go I…”

Published in: on September 4, 2007 at 12:38 am  Leave a Comment  
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