Men by their constitutions are naturally divided into two parties: 1. Those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes. 2. Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe, although not the most wise depositary of the public interests. In every country these two parties exist, and in every one where they are free to think, speak, and write, they will declare themselves. Call them, therefore, Liberals and Serviles, Jacobins and Ultras, Whigs and Tories, Republicans and Federalists, Aristocrats and Democrats, or by whatever name you please, they are the same parties still and pursue the same object. The last one of Aristocrats and Democrats is the true one expressing the essence of all." --Thomas Jefferson to Henry Lee, 1824. ME 16:73That.
When I was three, a cat jumped off the roof of a screened deck onto my back as I was walking up the stairs to the deck. The cat shredded my shirt and turned my back to hamburger. I'll get back to that.
You know this cliché: "What goes up must come down."
It's true. Even satellites and space stations crash back to earth. And the long distance probes like Voyager will eventually crash into some planet or start.
What goes up comes down. And it breaks apart on re-entry.
Here's another cliché: "The bigger they are, the harder they fall."
Also true. Most clichés are true. In fact, "cliché" means "undeniable truth."
I just made that up. I have no idea.
But if a cliché were totally wrong, it would stop being a cliché. So clichés have some truth in them. Especially about things that go up come down.
With that law of reality in mind, look a this chart from the Federal Reserve:
I was born in 1963. October 5, to be exact. John F. Kennedy was President and would remain so for another 48 days. US government debt was, more or less, zero.
The debt line rose a bit through 60s, a bit more through 70s, especially during the Carter years. It grew a lot in the 1980s and 1990s, though it took a bit of dive in the late 1990s. Probably because I got out of the Navy in December 1994. I'll take credit for that.
Then, after 9/11, debt skyrocketed. Until 2008.
In 2008, US government debt rose almost vertically. It went straight up. Straight up.
From 1955 to 2001, time moved faster than the debt moved up. Since 2001, debt moved up fast than time moved forward.
Since 2008, debt's rocket so fast time seemed to stand still.
So did the US GDP.
When people like Ted Cruz talk for 20 hours, they're not just talking about Obamacare. And they're not advancing their careers.
They're explaining clichés.
What goes up must come down.
The bigger they are, the harder they fall.
Those clichés are true. I learned how true the were in 1967 when that white cat jumped off Spook and Bev Rustige's covered deck onto my back. The cat fell about 20 feet. I still remember Bev rubbing alcohol on my back with a cotton ball. It burned like hell. My shirt was ruined. I was crying. Screaming.
Those clichés apply to people, countries, and economies. And white cats.
That vertical line won't go horizontal. It'll come back down. At some point, it will fall swiftly back to meet the red line.
Not to be hyperbolic, but when that happens, people will die in big numbers. People will die of disease and starvation. They'll die of violence because government will collapse.
When the blue line meets the red line, Harvard professors won't survive--people with guns and food will.
That's what Ted Cruz and Mike Lee were talking about. They didn't use scary scenarios like people dying by the millions or white cats clawing the shit out of a 3-year-old's back, but that's what they were talking about.
No, we didn't win the shutdown. But no one noticed the shutdown. It didn't really affect anyone.
When the blue line crashes, everyone will shudder. And many will die.
The Republican primary for US Senate in 2016 will actually be a battle for an empty seat. Roy Blunt effectively abdicated his throne today. This morning, I showed where Missouri stands on Obamacare.
I've called, written, and tweeted to Roy Blunt. So have thousands of other Missourians. And so have Americans across the country.
I'm not surprised that Roy Blunt failed to publicly join Ted Cruz's filibuster. That kind of daring commitment to principle just isn't in his character. He wouldn't get anything out of it.
I am a little shocked that Blunt became only the third Republican Senator to publicly side with Harry Reid.
No one should be shocked that Blunt shamefully talked like a weasel about his decision to oppose Ted Cruz's strategy to defund Obamacare. Here, Blunt plagiarizes his leader, Mitch McConnell:
This week, I'll continue that fight by supporting the House-passed continuing resolution, which defunds ObamaCare and keeps the government open without increasing federal spending. I will vote to begin debate on this bill and move to final passage on the House-passed CR.
Weasel words. Clever. Slick. Insincere. Weak.
Blunt knows, as do you, that his vote against the final Senate bill is worth less than his promises to do everything in his power to stop Obamacare. I'd have more respect for him if came out and said, "I stick my neck out for nobody."
Instead, Blunt said he would "oppose efforts" by Harry Reid to remove the defunding language from the bill.
Really, Senator? How will you oppose? With a terse statement from the floor? Maybe with some pithy, digging tweets in between calls to happy donors?
Blunt's post-cloture opposition to Reid's efforts will be about as meaningful as my opposition to tomorrow's weather.
- By voting for cloture, Roy Blunt will vote to give Harry Reid the power to strip Obamacare defund language from the continuing resolution.
- By voting for cloture, Roy Blunt will put Obamacare on the fast-track to wrecking the American healthcare system.
- By voting for cloture, Roy Blunt will never again be able to say, "I did everything in my power as a citizen and a Senator to stop this monstrosity."
Now, along with Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn, Senator Roy Blunt forms a crusty club of warped old men who sit in the Senate and plot ways to increase their own power--even at the expense of yours.
What You Can Do:
- Tweet this post to @RoyBlunt
- If you go to CPAC St. Louis this Saturday, Blunt takes the stage at 10:02 a.m. Let him know how your feel. Assuming he shows.
- Send a thank you note to @SenTedCruz for being the bravest, most principled man in the Senate
Listen carefully. Rewind and listen again. This is Jimmy Rogers talking about Ben Bernanke's legacy.
I had no idea this was coming when I wrote my blog post on gratitude at midnight. From Heritage Action for America:
This morning, House leaders announced they would pass a continuing resolution that funds the government but defunds Obamacare this week.
In many ways, today’s announcement represents “a victory…for the GOP’s conservative wing and its tea-party allies.” (Wall Street Journal) However, it also represents a victory for the tens of thousands of workers who have seen their hours cut thanks to Obamacare and to the patients searching for new doctors.
It is also a reaffirmation that Americans outside of Washington can have an impact on the legislative process. According to National Review’s Robert Costa, Heritage Action’s nine-city defund Obamacare tour “drew huge crowds and inspired backers across the country to ask their representatives about where they stood. ‘A lot of members were put in a corner,’ says a House Republican insider. ‘They were caught by surprise.’”
I want to claim credit, of course. I really do. Not for advocacy or fighting hard. Most people in this fight work a lot harder than I do. For instance, Ben Evans of Heritage Action was actually on that defund Obamacare tour.
I want to claim credit for saying "thank you" for small wins. I want to think that my little appreciation to Ann Wagner for signing the Graves Bill made a difference.
And it did make a difference. Not to House leadership, but to me. My life became a little better because I recognized a small win and focused less on the big loss I expected.
I don't always follow my own advice. For weeks I'll religiously write down three things that I'm grateful for every day. Then I stop.
I have no idea why I stop, but I know what happens when I do: the little wins stop, too.
So, please, take a moment to use the tweet button or the facebook button or the linkedin button on this post to thank the House Republican leadership for deciding to fight with us. Thank @HeritageActMo, too. Do it for yourself because expressing gratitude will make you happier and improve your relationships. Even your relationship with Congress.
the administration has asserted that the government of President Bashar Assad killed 1,429 people, including at least 426 children, in an Aug. 21 attack on the suburbs of Damascus. British intelligence organizations said last week that they believed at least 350 people had been killed. French intelligence said Monday that it had confirmed at least 281 deaths through open-source videos, although its experts had created models that were consistent with as many as 1,500 deaths.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, generally regarded as one of the most reliable sources of information on casualty figures in Syria, says it has confirmed 502 deaths, including 80 children and 137 women. Rami Abdul-Rahman, a Syrian expatriate who runs the organization from his home in Britain, said he was shocked by the White House's count.
3. I believe John Kerry knowingly lied to Congress regarding the number of terrorists embedded with Syrian rebels. According to Reuters:
Secretary of State John Kerry's public assertions that moderate Syrian opposition groups are growing in influence appear to be at odds with estimates by U.S. and European intelligence sources and nongovernmental experts, who say Islamic extremists remain by far the fiercest and best-organized rebel elements.
4. There is no core US national security interest at stake in Syria.
5. Mutual defense pacts between Syria and Iran (and possibly Russia) risk escalating a civil war into a global war.
6. America's Millennial Generation has already sacrificed its best and brightest for failed nation-building attempts in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and Egypt. How many more maimed, scarred, and "dearly remembered" 20-somethings does John McCain want?
7. I don't believe we won't put troops on the ground (and no one else does, either.)
8. My son in the US Navy is more important to me and to the world than Obama's pride.
This issue could be the wedge that drives me permanently from the Republican party to the Libertarians.
If we don't stand for truth and justice in matters of life and death, war and peace, then we're nothing but opportunists.
More to come . . .
The House GOP leadership has a problem. The conservative base wants Boehner to use the continuing resolution to force a showdown over Obamacare. Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Sean Hannity, and millions of grassroots activists want the GOP to block passage of a continuing resolution because it funds the unpopular healthcare law.
Boehner doesn't want to. He's afraid that shutting down the government will hurt Republicans in the 2014 election.
Boehner could be right. If the House blocked the continuing resolution and later caved, voters would likely punish the GOP. But by committing now to defunding Obamacare, and following through on their commitment, the House would force Obama and the Democrats to negotiate.
Obama knows that politicians are fickle. They want the easy way out. We all do. Obama believes that the Republicans would cave before he'd be forced to negotiate. But Republicans like Representative Ann Wagner (R-MO) could change Obama's mind simply by signing the Mark Meadows letter vowing to vote against any bill that funds Obamacare.
By committing now, in writing, to blocking funding for Obamacare, the Democrats would know that reneging on an oath would be career suicide for Republicans. Sure, Wagner could sign the letter and later vote for funding bill. But she'd destroy her credibility. Voters would know even her sworn oath is meaningless. I know Ann. I like her. And I'm confident she wouldn't do that. She wouldn't renege on a signed commitment. I don't believe she'd renege on a verbal commitment, but words are flexible. Signatures aren't.
If a majority of House Republicans swear to stop Obamacare now, once they act on their promise, Obama will have to negotiate. Republicans can list 5 demands before funding the government. They can negotiate away two or three of them, so long as Obamacare isn't one.
Yes, it's brinkmanship. It's hardball. It's tough. Forcing a rival to negotiate always is.
It's also noble and courageous.
In 2014, voters will punish the loser. If the GOP caves in the face of danger, it will be the loser by default. If conservative voters believe the GOP House majority squandered its mandate, 2014 primaries could be difficult on incumbents.
Visit Rep. Wagner's Ballwin, MO office and politely ask her to sign the Meadows letter. Ask her to commit to forcing a negotiation and defunding Obamacare now. By taking your time to actually visit her office, you'll demonstrate your commitment.
hours: M-F 9-5:00pm
I’m in San Francisco this week. I’m taking notes.
I just walked past a carbon-copy of my little doggy Stella guarding her homeless master who was sleeping on the stoop of a building at 8th and Mission. They were the first two people on the street who weren't smoking dope.
Then it dawned on me. In San Francisco, there is no opportunity for people at the bottom to climb up to the top. And there's little hope for anyone who reaches a certain age (say 18) and decides then they want to make something of themselves.
So the Others get weed, and if they're lucky a fiercely loyal little dog to ward off predators.
This is the liberal dream. Money, culture, and power for the elite; free drugs for the rest.
In other words, this is the most depressing city I've ever seen up close. A bifurcated dissection of the American Dream. Two kinds of prices: super premium and free. Two kinds of cars: super luxury and salvage. Two kinds of people: Masters of the Universe and bums.
The liberals here have climbed the ladder, dragged it up to the roof, and burned the sonofabitch. “Ain't nobody challengin’ my status!” They've eliminated competition from below.
Yeah, I know there's other parts of town, but downtown defines a city. Downtown St. Louis is a study in denial. What was once America's largest small town is now America's smallest old industrial Big City.
San Francisco is the liberal dream. Super rich and gutter poor with nothing in between and no way to cross chasm.
Kind of like the old Soviet Union.
Please join us as we host Ray Cunio talking to us about Agenda 21. As a leading speaker on this very important issue, Ray will tell us what we need to know about Agenda 21 and what steps we should be taking in our communities to stop the advancement of this liberty killing initiative.
Sorry for the change, but I'm tired of tracing down fake names to proxy servers in Jamaica and Dubai. Registering on the site is easy. Just go to enter a comment.
I'll try not to spam you.
This couldn't get any easier. Look over to the right. See this?
That's the Hennessy's View Game Center. Just click the avatar and register using your Twitter or Facebook ID. You'll earn points and badges for just for visiting. You can earn even faster for sharing your favorite posts on social media.
Get extra credits for watching videos. And there's no easier way to score than to comment.
Special recognition for leaders!
Register now and start earning, because the longer you wait, the hard it'll be to catch up.
Reuters reports (via ZeroHedge) that Switzerland has reached a secret deal with the United States to assist the US government in conducted a Cyprus-style confiscation of deposits held in Swiss bank accounts.
The question then is: how many of the oligarchs, Russian or otherwise, who avoided a complete wipe out and total capital controls in Cyprus, will wait to find out if the same fate will befall them in Switzerland? Or Luxembourg? Or Lichtenstein? Or Singapore?
Or any other formerly considered "tax-haven" nation?
This should be a very interesting week in the banking world. I told you that the appetite of elites for other people's money is insatiable.
What would a run on Swiss accounts look like?
— Kristen (@Concrete_Runner) March 24, 2013
Things will taper off in early evening, but northern parts of STL region will have had between 8-14" of snow by then. #stlwx
— Weatherbird (@Weatherbird) March 24, 2013
— Derrick Neuner (@drock89) March 24, 2013
Well, it looks like the #stlwx people actually got this one right. I think their final score for the winter wound up at 2 for 4.
— Ben Cook (@Skitzzo) March 24, 2013
It's heartwarming to see all the love spilling over from Mizzou fans to the Bills, as Bernie Miklasz documents in a post today.
Anyway, I thought I'd present the Twitter responses to my question. There's a good mix here ... some humor, some bitterness and some harmless "hater" stuff too. As well as some anti-Kansas sentiment and a shot at Ole Miss hot dog Marshall Henderson. I even heard from a couple of Illinois fans, including the mayor of Jacksonville, Ill.
Wouldn't you love to see the Bills drive into the final four? And while I'm asking questions, if you're a Mizzou fan, have you adopted the Billikens?
What do we look like to people who aren't politics wonks? And why does it matter? This question is for my friends on the right. By "on the right," I'm talking about conservatives and right-leaning libertarians. (I'm not going to debate definitions, so accept mine or stop reading.)
Developing a Third Eye
When I was an acting student many long years ago, I had a director, Don Garner, who stressed the importance of the actor's third eye.
He wasn't talking about make-up and special effects. He was talking about developing an ability to see yourself on stage as if you were watching yourself through a camera in the house. Great actors, he claimed, had this third eye. They could see what they looked like from the audience's point of view. Until you developed that sense, your physical presence was at the mercy of your fickle mind.
In other words, you might look like dolt.
I think we on the right could use that third eye skill. And a third ear.
Most People Want To Get Through Life as Best They Can
When I was going through a divorce that was none too pleasant, at some point I had to stop fighting my ex-wife. I kept waiting for her to stop fighting, to be reasonable. Then someone (I don't remember who) made a point. He said, "it's like goin' through a crappy little town on your way to vacation, Bill. She's just trying to get through life the best she can."
He was right. That's what we all do. We're all trying to get through life the best we can, and it pisses us off when someone interrupts the comfortable route we've been driving.
Sure, some people take a stupid route to get from A to B. Some people choose destinations that are the places people like us are trying to get the hell out of. And some people drive drunk. But they're all just trying get through life and they're driving the best vehicle they can afford.
When we tell them their car's ugly or their destination's a toilet or their map's out of date or their left blinker's been on for the last 20 miles, they don't say, "thank you." They say, "mind your own damn business, ass hat."
Why are we surprised?
The Challenger Launched
Roger Boisjoly was right. The O-rings on the Space Shuttle tended to fail during cold-weather launches. He tried to stop the launch, risking his career, on the eve of the January 28, 1986 launch of the Challenger.
He failed. The Challenger launched as scheduled. And exploded in mid-air to a nation's horror.
We are right about much. We on the right. But being right doesn't necessarily translate into winning. Sometimes, they just don't listen.
Third Eye Blind
If Roger Boisjoly had developed a strong third eye, the Challenger launch might have been delayed. But he didn't. The brave engineer expected others to see his charts and tables through his two eyes. And they couldn't. So the Challenger launched and people died.
The people at NASA, the families of the astronauts, the students of teacher Christa McAuliffe, were on a path through life that included a Space Shuttle launch. They didn't want to hear Roger Boisjoly's arcane warnings about O-rings. They didn't want their trip interrupted.
Why Should They Listen to Us?
Government debt is is a problem, but it's not the real problem. The real problem is freedom. Government spending is a better proxy than debt for the loss of freedom.
Government spending represents decisions that someone else makes. Decisions that obligate you and me and our kids. Decisions that limit our futures.
Every penny spent by a bureaucrat is a choice denied to you and me.
You and I can't understand why others aren't as freaked out about this as we are. So we blame them.
We call them ignorant, selfish, mis-educated, drunk, stoned, communist, brain-dead. And we might be right.
Why are we surprised when they tune us out?
The NASA bosses should have figured out a way to see things through Roger Boisjoly's eyes. They didn't. They will go to their graves wishing they had, but that doesn't bring Christa McAuliffe and her crewmates back.
In the end, it's up to the person, to the people, with further vision to explain the situation in words that others understand. It's up to us to turn on our third eye and see what about us blinds them to our vision.
It's not their fault; it's ours. They're trying to get through life as best they can with what they've been given. If we look dangerous or crazy or mean, they won't stop and ask for directions. Until they do, we can't give them a better map.
That sucks, I know, because it's hard work, and we've already done so much. But it's way more productive than standing around bitching that no one sees the horrors that we see until it's too late.
That third eye and third ear will tell us what we look like and what we sound like to people who have no idea what our little play is about. Until we turn on those senses, we'll keep playing to an empty house.
Let's turn them on before it's too late.