Special People, Special Presidents

I’ve never had a President. The common construction, “He’s my President,” or, “He’s our President,” doesn’t fit my perspective. The relation between citizens and government leaders is not ownership. Presidents, as the Constitution was drafted, are chief executives. They fill a role in a bureaucracy. They’re not idols.

A President is just “the President”, not much different from the local Fire Chief or the CEO down at the widget factory. That a voter has some infinitesimal influence in determining who becomes President does not create ownership. Not to me, anyway.

The language of possession reinforces the passions. Campaigners exploit this. Once people begin to perceive ownership, the candidate becomes intertwined with their identity. The portion of reason or logic guiding choice and response diminishes.

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The 747 Inside Your Computer

Seagate Technology makes computer hard drives. They sell over $11 billion worth of them each year. Inside each drive is a collection of platters that store information and an array of heads which read and write that information to the platters. Twenty percent of those heads are made in NRR’s core service area (in the suburb of Bloomington, MN).

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Heathens Reject Obama Sermon

Emulating bin Laden, this week the current President released a video message to the Iranian people. It offered a customized version of the vacuous rhetoric Barry campaigned on:

In his video appeal, Obama said: "This process will not be advanced by threats. We seek instead engagement that is honest and grounded in mutual respect."

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Who Pays Taxes?

Tax Payment vs. Tax Burden

Tax payments are the amounts paid to the government, based on tax rates and tax rules. Tax burden reflects who a tax ultimately falls upon, after the cost of a tax payment is spread between higher prices, lower profits, and/or diminished activity. The distribution of the tax burden between various people is called the tax incidence.

Obama Insults His Ancestry

Obama’s oratorical incompetence is making headlines. He’s a stammering loon without his teleprompter. His St. Patrick’s Day debacle is good for a chuckle.

But I want to poke Barry with a different needle. After his self-congratulatory miscue, President Klink warned the assembled Irish-for-a-Day crowd:

about the free-flowing bar and warned his guests not to wear lampshades on their heads in front of the cameras.

The hurtful stereotype of the drunken Irishman is evidently still acceptable. Cultural sensitivity only matters if the victim group has been formally established in academia and sanctioned by government.

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Visions for Detroit

CNN has a pair of stories casting Detroit as a place of opportunity. First, Anderson Cooper reports housing has become so cheap that artists are finding they can afford to live there:

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British Fatties Shirk Responsibility

A British family of four claims they are too fat to work. Together they weigh over 1,150 pounds. And they’re in the news because they claim their welfare benefits, equivalent to about $41,000 a year, are not enough to live on:

The Chawners, haven't worked in 11 years, claim their weight is a hereditary condition and the money they receive is insufficient to live on.

The Honest Version of Obama’s Stump Speech

Usually, only the youthful first-timers actually believe a candidate’s campaign rhetoric. Last time it seems great swaths of the population, even graying old righties, were willing to suspend disbelief in trade for hope. Here’s the first half of the campaign speech Barry should have used if he meant to honor the faith so many placed in him:

”As we approach Election Day, the American people should not waste the crisis we find ourselves in.

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Optimum Regulation

Neo-neocon is musing about the debate over the role of regulation in our financial turmoil:

Conservatives and libertarians tend to be on the “it’s the fault of too much regulation” side of the question. Liberals tend to be on the “it’s the fault of too little regulation” side.

The Power of Imagination

Citigroup, one of the huge banks being bailed out by taxpayers, was at the top of the headlines again this week:

Citigroup Inc. Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit said his bank is having the best quarter since 2007, when it last posted a profit. The shares rose 38 percent and helped spur gains for finance company stocks. “I am most encouraged with the strength of our business so far in 2009,” Pandit wrote in an internal memorandum obtained today by Bloomberg. “We are profitable through the first two months of 2009 and are having our best quarter-to-date performance since the third quarter of 2007.”

Last week the pundits and news anchors quipped that Citi’s share price, which had dropped below $1, was less than an ATM fee. This week’s positive report from the Citi CEO was cited as cause for Tuesday’s major rally in the broader markets.

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Stem Cell Misperceptions

I’ve long been annoyed by lazy perceptions about stem cell research. Rhetoric and reporting tend to leave out important details. There are vital distinctions between embryonic cells and other stem cells. Taxpayer-funded research must be held to different standards than private research. Neo-neocon confronts the misperceptions in light of current events:

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Obama’s Identity Crisis

Last Friday, the New York Times asked President Klink if he was a socialist. On Sunday, the Times ran a follow-up:

On a flight from Ohio to Washington on Friday, Mr. Obama was asked whether his domestic policies suggested that he was a socialist, as some conservatives have implied.

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It Really is The Great State

Remember during the campaign how Sarah Palin was always referring to “the Great State of Alaska”? I think nearly everyone heard that like an air-headed cheerleader at a pep rally waving her poms and yelling, “Yay! for Alaska! It's so great! Give me an A…”.

She wasn’t being a cheerleader any more than Governor Pawlenty when he talks about Minnesota’s lakes. Or when Governor Doyle mentions Wisconsin’s fine cheese.

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Less of Something

Libertarians may be getting a version of the smaller government they desire. Barry has failed to fill 94 percent of the top spots in his administration:

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Less of the Same

The current US government is proposing and enacting a raft of new policies. When opposition is raised, a common retort goes something like, “So, you would rather have more of the same policies that got us into this mess?!”

Well, let’s pretend the people who respond with that vacuous non-argument understand the mechanics of policies they’re complaining about. Perhaps it is not the structure of those policies that created the problem. Maybe it is the scale.

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Girl Scouts Go Post-Modern

The Girl Scouts are in the midst of a major rebranding:

With enrollment dropping sharply, the organization is experimenting with a total makeover of the Girl Scout experience.

What's in: books and blogs written in girls' voices on topics such as environmental awareness and engineering; troops led by college students; videoconferencing with scouts in other countries.

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Libertarian Revolutionary Challenges Limbaugh

Texas Congressman and failed Republican Presidential contender, Ron Paul, heard last week’s  hubbub about radio’s top blowhard and the GOP. Paul has challenged Limbaugh to a debate, just as Rush challenged Barry:

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Commenting on “LET THEM FAIL”

My contribution to the discussion of LET THEM FAIL, at Café Hayek:

In several comments I sense a confusion between “wealth” and “money”.

The original post uses effective rhetoric. Saying “we’re going to run out of money” slams the idea home.

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Pitchforks!

In repsonse to tough times, Congress is stimulating itself:

We all need to sacrifice.
Well, everyone but those lucky enough to be a member of the Pelosi-Reid Congress.

They gave themselves a raise last month.
They now make $174,000 a year for their 3 day work week.

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Change Must Wait

Investment guru and entertaining TV hothead Jim Cramer appears to have joined Rush Limbaugh on the Failed Obama Administration’s enemies list. Cramer, on his Monday show, told viewers that Barry’s budget, “is the most, greatest wealth destruction I’ve seen by a president.”

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