Friday, November 21, 2014

Tax In The Form Of A Billy Club


Taxes have always been something that normal people resented. It’s not simply because the money raised is often wasted by those in power, whether those people happen to be kings, czars or congressmen, but because, as individuals, we resent many of the things our money goes to support.

But something else that everyone should resent is the use of taxes as a means by which those in power can punish others without having to involve judges and juries. For instance, cigarettes, which used to cost 25 cents a pack or $2.50 a carton now sell for $2.50 a pack or $25 a carton. It’s not because the price of tobacco, paper, plastic or cardboard, have increased by 1000%, but because the elitists wish to punish those who smoke. In the same way, they want to punish those who use fossil fuel, so they gouge you at the gas pump every time you fill up.

So it was that while the rest of the nation was busy electing senators and governors this past Nov. 3rd, in Berkeley, CA, the voters, by a 3-1 margin, passed the nation’s first city tax on sugary drinks. New York’s favorite nanny, Mayor Michael Bloomberg managed to ban super-sized sodas, but that merely forced people to buy two 16-ounce cups instead of a single gargantuan 32-ouncer. But even he didn’t add a sin tax to the beverage.

I am not campaigning for sugary drinks and I don’t own stock in Coca-Cola, but I don’t think it’s the job of politicians and bureaucrats to try to dictate legal behavior through the power of the tax.

And, yes, I do understand the argument for the other side. They claim that consumption of these beverages can lead to diabetes and other ailments and that places a drain on medical resources, although nowhere near the drain that ObamaCare does. Moreover, everything leads to something, but in the end nearly everyone lives to be about 75, no matter what they eat or drink.

Heck, anal intercourse can lead to AIDS, but I don’t see Berkeley levying a tax on homosexual activity, although that can also lead to a drain on medical resources. In addition, it happens to be a communicable disease, unlike diabetes.

At least the Berkeley tax was the result of a popular vote passed no doubt by those whose own preference is for coffee or, more likely, pot.

I think most of you know how I feel about third party candidates, but assume I only have the Tea Party in mind. Not true. If I seem to focus on the Tea Party, it’s because I have a vested interest in Republicans voting for Republicans, and not sitting out elections or voting for people like Maness or Sarvis when Republicans are already on the general ballot. But I also include Libertarians, Constitutionalists and the ecology crowd who look for a candidate with a (G) for Green on the ballot.

Third party candidates have no legitimate purpose, although those who vote for them always seem to believe they’re sending one party or another a message. The only message that gets through is that they’re idiots who long ago stood on a dock and waved their hankies in fond farewell as reality sailed away.

I have compared Barack Obama to so many creatures over the years, I was surprised to find I had never compared him to Chanticleer the legendary rooster who was convinced that it was his crowing that brought on the dawn.

Obama is so deluded about himself that in spite of the government-controlled press in China greeting him with insults regarding his brain, his will and his manhood, he believes he handled them and that they will cut back on their industrial expansion and abide by an agreement involving carbon emissions. It never even entered his brain to ask why they would actually do something that was against their national interest. But, then, he also never wondered why Putin would agree to a pact that called for Russia and the U.S. to deplete our nuclear stockpiles.

I suppose the answer must be that when you tell as many lies as Obama, it never enters your mind that others can also play that game.

Speaking of liars, when the video of Jonathan Gruber went viral, I wasn’t the least bit surprised to hear one of the architects of ObamaCare admit that he and everyone else involved in shoving the toxic bill down our throats knew they were lying. What shocked me is that the other academic panelists we saw in the video didn’t display shock, disgust, disapproval or any other natural emotion, as Obama’s favorite professor of economics rattled off exactly how he managed to put one over on stupid Americans.

Recently, when I wrote about Tim Russert’s being the putz who decided that blue would represent Democrats and red would represent Republicans on political maps, even though that was clearly at odds with red having been the color historically associated with communists and socialists, my friend Steve Maikoski sent me an email. He suggested that I begin thinking of blue as being representative of liberals, who typically regard themselves as blue bloods, elitists superior to the rest of us, and red as being representative of red-blooded American patriots who regard the Constitution as a sacred document and not as something written on water that doesn’t mean what it says, but only what some left-wing professor or equally loony judge claims it means.

That would certainly explain why a panel of academics could listen to a spokesperson for this rancid administration brag about telling one whopper after another to the American people and not even blink.

For my part, after spending years attacking the Affordable Care Act and cursing those who turned it into law, I am beginning to change my tune. I still believe it is an abomination, but I also have to credit it with being the major reason that 28 Senate Democrats and about 70 of their House colleagues are now collecting their pensions.

I can’t imagine anything that would have so radically changed the political landscape in America. After the disaster of the 2008 elections, I found myself wondering if the GOP would go the way of the Whigs.

But in their arrogance, the Democrats came up with a 2,000 page bill that was so vile and overreaching that not a single Republican in Congress could bring him or herself to sign on. Compounding matters, when a Republican even suggested an amendment to make it slightly more palatable, Obama, Reid and Pelosi, told him to sit down and shut up. This was their baby and they didn’t want to share paternity with anyone. How odd that a party that champions abortion on demand has gone down in flames because of the one abortion they didn’t perform.

So in a way, Obama has been the best thing to happen to the GOP since Reagan. I mean, even if, in 2009, Obama had dressed up in a Nazi uniform and high heels and started goose-stepping in front of the White House, I don’t think it would have made a bigger or more lasting impression on the American electorate.

Still, I suspect that, fashion-wise, it might have been a better overall look than that cheesy Mandarin coat he modeled in China.

©2014 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.


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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

"A Gruber By Any Name" and "A Survival Plan For The GOP"



If you've been watching Fox recently, you would think Prof. Jonathan Gruber had been given his own show. He’s been on more often than Juan Williams. While normally that would be a good thing, Gruber is no improvement over Obama’s house black.

In case you only watch the major networks, you wouldn’t even know that Gruber existed, let alone that, after helping to create the Affordable Care Act, he spent years bragging about how he helped the Democrats peddle chicken poop to the American people by calling it chicken fricassee.

What fooled me when I first heard about Prof. Gruber was that he was connected to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In my mind, I connect MIT to very brainy people who know all about science, math and engineering; namely, the college classes you can’t bluff your way through by regurgitating left-wing pap. But then I found out he was a professor of economics, and it all made sense. Economics is to actual science what sausage links are to haute cuisine.

Gruber was paid $390,000 by this administration to provide “impartial” testimony on behalf of ObamaCare to Congress, the Federal Budget Bureau and the media, and millions more for consulting on state exchanges. Inasmuch as he freely admitted that he lied and lied and then lied some more, the arrogant elitist definitely earned his money, while sacrificing his soul.

I’m not sure if he got paid extra to say that Barack Obama’s own series of lies about people being able to keep their doctors and their health plans under the ACA “constituted a profile in courage.” But I would have thought it was worth at least an extra fifty grand, especially as Obama was using our tax dollars.

All in all, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that it has to be more than mere coincidence that “Gruber” sounds like “goober” and that Adolf Hitler’s birth name happened to have been Schicklgruber.

The irony is that he did his job so well that in a very real sense, he is one of the people most responsible for the GOP’s taking back control of the House and Senate. If not for all the work Gruber did promoting ObamaCare, Republicans might have been forced to spend the next 40 years wandering in the wilderness.

Ironically, when Gruber repeatedly said Americans are stupid, he was only referring to Democrats. For their part, Republicans, both in and out of Congress, knew from the start that ObamaCare was one huge pile of socialist manure.

Gruber reminds me of every schlemiel in junior high who was convinced he was the smartest kid in school, and based that belief on the fact he was the only boy who didn’t know how to throw a football. It’s now been about 30 years since he was last pantsed and shoved head first into a trashcan. It’s time once again.

Trey Gowdy, one of the shining jewels of the House, in referring to such enormous, power-grabbing pieces of legislation as Dodd Frank, the Affordable Care Act and Obama’s Comprehensive Immigration Reform, suggested that “Comprehensive is Latin for full of bad stuff.”

Speaking of immigration, being American should never be the end result of sneaking across our border in order to give birth. Sneaking in is against the law, and in no other circumstance are people permitted to benefit from the commission of a crime. If that’s too complicated for Obama and the self-righteous members of the Congressional Latino Caucus to grasp, it would be tantamount to an illegal alien robbing a bank and his family getting to keep the money.

What’s more, in 2011, Obama told an audience that he lacked the constitutional authority to grant any form of immunity to illegals. Although he’s done his best to ignore the fact, the Constitution hasn’t changed over the past three years.

Although Chris Christie is one of a very few Republican governors I wouldn’t wish to see on the GOP ticket in 2016, I do appreciate that he did yeoman’s work in helping several of his colleagues get elected or re-elected in the midterms. In appreciation of his service, I will offer him a piece of free advice. While it comes as a breath of fresh air when a politician reacts to hecklers like a normal human being, you should ask some stand-up comic to provide you with a better line than “Sit down and shut up!”

What plays in New Jersey doesn’t work so well on the national stage. So while coming on like a street thug will get you face time on TV, it will not get you to the White House, except as a member of a tour group.

In other news, the FDA has announced it’s lifting its ban on homosexuals donating blood because of what it refers to as “an infinitesimal” chance of the blood being contaminated with the HIV virus. Far be it from me to question their definition of infinitesimal, but is it asking too much that the blood be clearly labeled and only used to transfuse gays and those straights who agree to sign a waiver?

Finally, Barack Obama’s net-neutrality is, as usual, a benign-sounding term to disguise a program intended to squelch conservative twitters. According to Michelle Malkin, while urging the FCC to “keep the Internet free and open,” Obama paid a million dollars to some professor named Filippo Menczer to develop a twitter-snooping database. (Am I the only person who feels a chill run down his spine every time I come across some hooker with a Ph.D servicing this administration?)

Although Prof. Menczer claims he only wishes to eliminate hate speech from the twitter universe, he has proclaimed his support for such left-wing purveyors of hate as Barack Obama’s Organizing for Action, Moveon.org, Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, Amnesty International and True Majority.

Clearly, Prof. Menczer is as politically neutral as Lois Lerner and every bit as fair-minded as George Orwell’s Big Brother.

It sounds to me like we need another trashcan.



A Survival Plan For The GOP



Although England has its own problems, there are things about their political system that I’d like us to adopt. First of all, I wish we, too, had a clear delineation between the royal family and the world of politics. In the U.S., we have combined the two so that the President and his family live like royalty while the President simultaneously serves as the Commander-in-chief and the very partisan head of his Party. It’s simply too much to expect of any one man.

Another aspect of the English system that I prefer is that when the Prime Minister’s policies seem unpopular and he wants to guarantee that he is still leading the nation in the direction it wishes to be led, they conduct a vote of confidence. If the opposition then wins a majority of the seats in Parliament, that party selects a new Prime Minister. After the midterm election results, if we had a similar system in place, there is no way that Obama would remain in power for an additional two years.

Speaking of the midterms, isn’t it high time we got rid of the two month lame duck session? By what right should people who lost their elections in early November remain in office until early January?

Perhaps in the old days, when it could take a long time for the newly elected to reach Washington, D.C., it made sense. But now, when even those who won in Alaska and Hawaii can get to the nation’s capital in a matter of hours, and those who lost can pack up their belongings in even less time, the two-month gap is not only unnecessary, but should be unconstitutional.

In other news, a 2013 video of Jonathan Gruber, an architect of the Affordable Care Act, addressing a panel at MIT recently turned up. Mr. Gruber is heard admitting that he and everyone else involved in pushing ObamaCare down our throats knew they had to lie about it as far back as 2009 in order to get the bill passed. That speaks badly about Obama, Reid, Pelosi and all their trained chimps in Congress, but it also speaks volumes about those voters who elected and then re-elected those same schmucks. But, then, Mr. Gruber did go on in his remarks to concede that the plan probably wouldn’t have worked if Americans weren’t so stupid.

Recently, someone sent me a two-panel cartoon. In the first panel, a reporter is asking Obama: “Why are you planning to grant amnesty to millions of illegals?” Obama replies, “Because they will do the jobs Americans don’t want to do.” In the second panel, the reporter asks: “Like what?” and Obama answers: “Voting for Democrats.”

In another email, a friend asked me why our fellow Jews continue to vote overwhelmingly for liberals, and went on to wonder why American Jews adored FDR, even though he refused to expand immigration for European Jews trying to escape the Nazi ovens and even refused to oblige his Air Force generals who begged to be allowed to bomb the train tracks leading to concentration camps.

I replied “Jews loved FDR because he was the first actual socialist elected to the White House. Some would say that honor belongs to Teddy Roosevelt or Woodrow Wilson, but it was FDR who actually adopted the socialist agenda as his own. It was no accident that between 1908 and 1932, the Socialists kept running presidential candidates, averaging 1.1 million votes in seven elections. But once FDR served his first term, the Socialist candidate never again garnered more than 187,000 votes. In 1948, starting with former FDR V.P. Henry Wallace, the Communists started running their own candidates, calling them Progressives.

When you grasp that for most of my fellow Jews, Liberalism is their true religion, you can begin to fathom why even during the recent tsunami for GOP candidates, 67% of Jewish voters voted the straight Democratic ticket. And that was in spite of the fact that Obama is the most anti-Semitic president we have ever had, dropping the vile Jimmy Carter into second place. Obama is a weasel who has had anti-Semitic mentors like Frank Marshall Davis, Jeremiah Wright and Valerie Jarrett, ever since he was a teenager, so it should come as no surprise that today he curries favor with despots in Russia, Iran and China, but dismisses Israel’s Bibi Netanyahu as a pile of chicken poop.

With 2015 looming on the horizon, when serious presidential candidates will begin making their intentions official, I am prepared to announce that my dream ticket is Scott Walker and Susana Martinez.

By way of explanation, I will point out that both have been successful governors with proven executive ability, having run on their records and been re-elected. In Walker’s case, having had to weather a nasty union-financed recall attempt, he’s actually been re-elected twice.

Geographically, Walker of Wisconsin and Martinez of New Mexico are well-balanced, and both are youthful. At least they are from my perspective. Walker is 47, Martinez is 55. Even when you add their ages together, they’re only 35 years older than Mrs. Clinton.

Inasmuch as I believe that we are best governed by people with executive experience, I prefer to have governors rather than senators or House members in the Oval Office. What sense is there in electing a president whose only experience consists of voting and giving speeches? Besides, we need all the Republicans we can get in Congress. No need to deplete our numbers by having them run for offices above their pay scale.

It might be in bad taste to mention that Gov. Martinez just happens to be a Latina, but the fact remains that it would provide the GOP with a convenient inroad to the Hispanic vote, and would have the added benefit of not having to pander by promoting their own pathetic version of amnesty or the Dream Act.

If you prefer to see two other people running in 2016, let me know by sending your dream ticket to me at BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.

What’s more, I promise to report the results truthfully even if you’re goofy enough to mention people like Jeb Bush, Rick Santorum and Chris Christie.

©2014 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.


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