Category Archives: News

Taxes on Big Banks

Tim Geithner, President Obama’s Secretary of the Treasury, now proposes a tax on big banks. Geithner says that the American people should be paid back for the bailout.

Mr. Geithner, who obviously does not pay attention to his bank fees, fails to appreciate that bank fees will increase on people who  have accounts. So, the reality becomes that the American people who pay taxes, live by the laws, and pay their bills will ultimately be responsible via their bank accounts for the bailout too.

This proposal is yet another example of the Obama administration taxing the responsible tax paying citizens for ill-advised expenditures. The imposition of this tax on banks is not a direct tax and therefore the Administration will be have cover to continue to blame banks. Do not be fooled: we will be responsible for this tax through increased fees.

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Friendly Security Reminder

Christmas 2009 brought the U.S. an unsettling reminder-airline security is not perfect. Unfortunately, the Obama administration fails to acknowledge, at least publicly, the words “terrorist” and “failure” of the security system. This morning, gossip and rumor, indicate that the bomber boarded that airplane without a passport. Seriously?

Mr. Obama’s policy of word parsing like many lawyers annoys and frustrates people who just want a facts and reality. In a courtroom, knit-picking and hair-spliting are perfectly acceptable behavior. Everyone in the courtroom, at least the lead actors, understand that the law is about the finer points of wording and phrasing. In the court of public opinion, however, the administration officials who dodge the use of the words terrorist and failure present as bobbing and weaving. Clearly, these people search for ways to avoid these words and fail to speak plainly.

Plain speech. Regular folks (those without law degrees or bureaucratic longevity) perceive that the administration is covering up something, hiding information and generally just lying to the public.

The Homeland Security Secretary said that the system worked because passengers stopped the attack. The general flying public is not charged with enforcing the laws of the skies. In fact, if the general public tried to enforce laws, they would be investigated and arrested because flight restrictions are so STRICT. The passengers reacted the way humans respond-fight or flight. Thankfully for the remaining passengers, some folks responded by fighting and self-sacrifice. Honestly, if the Obama administration’s view of success is relying on human nature, we’re all really in trouble.

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News for Money

Dear Mr. Murdoch:

Just to keep you posted, I will NOT be paying for your Fox News content at Foxnews.com. I read seven news sites per day. You are more than welcome to make a profit in this economy but it will not be on my back. I will continue to read your ticker via Dish Network, which I pay for already. Let me know how this works out of you.

 

Salmon and Grits

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In other news…

Rest in peace, Farrah & Michael, now there is other news. Both made a significant impact on popular culture, now go back to work and report and read some real news.

The New York Times actually reports other news. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that lab technicians who test evidence in criminal cases must actually testify, subject to cross examination, and prosecutors cannot rely on written reports. The right to cross examine laboratory technicians remain sacrosanct. Thank heavens. The decision can be found here.

The short explanation: the US Supreme Court ruled in Crawford  v. Washington  that certain exceptions to the hearsay rule were no longer exceptions. A witness, for the most part, must be present to testify against a defendant in live court. Out of court testimony (affidavits, statements to police) are not admissible if the only reason for the existence of the statement is due to the court case. 

The case before the Supreme Court reads as clearly a violation of Crawford. Affidavits or “certificates” signed and presented by the State of Massachusetts during trial established that the substances seized from the defendants tested positive for illicit drugs. These certificates circumvented  the defendant’s right to cross examine the lab analyst about the method of testing used, the steps taken, and efficacy of the tests used. 

We should all be cheering this decision and the preservation of the right to confrontation.

Also, the Supreme Court ruled that the strip search of a 13 year old girl by school officials to find ibuprophen was unconstitutional. Why did the Supreme Court have to make a ruling? It was Ibuprophen. Seriously? Have we as Americans vacated logic for strict compliance to rules and regulations?

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Crime, Crime, Everywhere Crime

Recently in Georgia, news broke that school officials from four counties altered the test answers of struggling students on standardized tests. These alterations boosted the test scores of those four schools and changed each school’s classification under no child left behind. The erasure marks on the score sheets led to an investigation by the State school officials.

Now, one legislator proposes a way to resolve the problem: criminalize the alteration of test responses. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the way to resolve failing schools and broken education systems is to create a new criminal charge. No, the Georgia General Assembly does not need to spend time focusing on repairing and revamping the State’s educational system and find more money to make these repairs. The General Assembly should spend time, money and energy creating a new crime which will be almost impossible to prove and burden an already underfunded, furloughed law enforcement system in this state. (Imagine getting a jury to convict a teacher of a crime like that!)

So, Dan Weber, spend more time fixing the state education system, Mr. Senate Education Committee chair, instead deflecting the issue to gloss over the real problem!

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Action and Reaction

As 2009 winds on, the expansion of the Federal government into the lives and homes of the American people is becoming more and more inescapable. In the Western United States, citizens respond with expansive gun legislation. At what point do we as voters and taxpayers draw the line? How do we draw that line? 

The Bush Administration slowly eroded the independence of states during that 8 year term in the name of education and the common defense against terrorism. In the last months since his inauguration, the Obama administration has created czars for every issue under the sun without any legislative oversight. These czars wield power and control over tax payer money without any recourse through the checks and balances of the Constitution.

How do we stop the expansion of government?

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Justice Debate

As we continue to wait for President Obama’s selection to replace Justice Souter, Stanley Fish discussed both sides of the law versus empathy debate in his NYTimes post. Read for yourself and decide, do you want someone who follows the established rules or someone who follows their feelings.

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