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Lindsay Graham is a Republican. And a jackass.

Via Pajamas Media comes this de-pantsing of Senator Lindsay Graham by American Citizen Ann Barnhardt, followed by yet another delightful Koran-burning session:

Oh, and all of the above does not mean that Pastor Terry Jones--or Ann Barnhardt, for that matter--is not also a jackass. Burning books pretty much automatically makes you a jackass. But again, that's pretty much the point of the First Amendment, isn't it? Even jackasses have freedom of speech--otherwise freedom of speech is a meaningless phrase.

So I guess I'm saying you have the freedom to say pretty much anything you want, except for saying that people can't say what they want.

(The use of bacon as a Koran bookmark is especially insulting, isn't it? Completely protected not only as free speech but freedom of religion. Sorry, Lindsay . . . )

(And note, I personally make no judgments one way or another about the Koran or Islam here. I don't have to. I'm an American. That's a big part of what being an American means. And that's why a lot of radical Muslims hate America, by the way. Personally, I wouldn't burn a Koran, as I have known many Muslims who have been and are worthy of my respect. But I've known Hindus and Buddhists, too. Doesn't mean I have to convert to their religions, either. Not in this country, anyway.)

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Their Fair Share

Via Carpe Diem comes this nugget of info from the Tax Foundation, reporting income distribution and taxation figures collected by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD):

The share of total market income of the richest 10% of Americans: 33.9%

The share of total taxes paid by the richest 10% of Americans: 45.1%

Exit question: If paying 11.2% more than would be "fair" (i.e. if everyone paid the same percent of their income in taxes) isn't enough for the rich to pay, how much more would be enough?

Look at the numbers again:

Income: 33.9%;

Taxes: 45.1%.

If these numbers were talking about the poorest 10% . . . or the poorest 50%, most people would be outraged. "The rich should pay their fair share!!!"

So, when you hear that the rich should pay their fair share, the first question to your lips should be "OK, then, what's fair?"
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Why They Fought

It's funny 'cause it's true:
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The ponderous ship of science begins to turn . . .

. . . away from the increasingly dubious extreme claims of "anthropogenic climate change" and towards honestly looking at the available data--that's all of the available data--as is required to do good science:

From Anthony Watts' Watts Up With That blog:
The British government’s chief scientific adviser, John Beddington, has called for more openness in the global warming debate. He said climate scientists should be less hostile to sceptics who questioned man-made global warming. He condemned scientists who refused to publish the data underpinning their reports. He also said public confidence in climate science would be improved if there were more openness about its uncertainties, even if that meant admitting that sceptics had been right on some hotly disputed issues.

This being part of a call for interested scientists to participate in increased online peer review of not only the findings of climate scientists but also a peer review of all of the data underlying those findings. As we are increasingly finding out, those data, when considered in total, do not in fact support the findings that some scientists have asserted that they do.

Needless to say, this isn't how science is supposed to be done.

More science, less politics, please.
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Yeah, this does seem to be kinda true . . .

Jim Treacher: Rule of thumb: Liberals want conservatives to shut up, and conservatives want liberals to keep talking.

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No, the edit probably isn't completely fair. Oh, well. Neither is life.
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For St. Patrick's Day

This video. I think it may be real, but I can't quite bring myself to be sure . . .

Of course, we don't really know if leprechauns are real, either . . . do we?
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Well, **I** was too optimistic . . .

Remember this from my post of yesterday?
In less than fifteen years, these "entitlement" programs will consume all of the Federal Government's revenue. All of it. No more national defense, no more national parks, no more federal research grants, no more federal highway funds, no more air traffic control system, no more education grants, no more federally guaranteed loans or bank accounts, no more NPR, no more PBS. It will all be going to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

Turns out that "less than fifteen years" was actually RIGHT THE HELL NOW.

Well, Federal Fiscal year 2012 . . . which starts in October, 2011. If Obama has his way, that is.
Here’s a stat for you: In President Obama’s proposed 2012 budget, the White House Office of Management and Budget estimates (in Table S-4) that mandatory spending this year (2011) will be $2.194 trillion, while total federal receipts will be $2.174 trillion.

Raise taxes? Oh, sure, that's a wonderful way of strangling an economy that's already struggling under the weight of excessive government intervention, high unemployment, skyrocketing energy prices, and an increasing tolerance of both governmental and private-sector corruption.

Entitlements will be cut. You might as well get your mind around that idea right now, because it's going to happen. And it can happen the easy way, or it can happen the hard way.

The easy way is the Tea Party way. The hard way is the Democratic Party way.

That's the bottom line. And there is no more avoiding the bottom line.


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"Tax The Rich" is a lie

In order to get the deficit down to 3 percent of GDP, not to balance the budget, you would have to confiscate around 80 percent of all income over $209,000--recall that the large majority of these taxpayers pay state income taxes too--which would destroy the economy . . .

Via Powerline.

An influential Silicon Valley venture capital company prepared a report entitled "USA, Inc." which analyzed the financial state of the United States, as if the USA were a company in which they were considering investment.

Download the entire 420-slide Powerpoint presentation entitled "USA, Inc." here.

It is not pretty. But we have to face the cold reality of the numbers.

We have promised with Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid more than we can deliver. That is the bottom line. We will wind up breaking those promises. It is only a matter of when, and how. And on top of those empty promises, we lay out a new, equally undeliverable promise of universal free health care. A promise you can not deliver on has a name. That name is "a lie."

In less than fifteen years, these "entitlement" programs will consume all of the Federal Government's revenue. All of it. No more national defense, no more national parks, no more federal research grants, no more federal highway funds, no more air traffic control system, no more education grants, no more federally guaranteed loans or bank accounts, no more NPR, no more PBS. It will all be going to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

We need to stop lying to ourselves. We need to fix this problem.

If we do it sooner, the pain will be less for everyone. If we wait, or try to pretend that we can somehow muddle through, the pain will be much greater, and the pain will be greatest for those who are least able to bear that pain.

Compassion demands that we fix this.

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Reynolds' Law

Reynolds' Law:
“Subsidizing the markers of status doesn’t produce the character traits that result in that status; it undermines them.”

From The Professor himself:

The government decides to try to increase the middle class by subsidizing things that middle class people have: If middle-class people go to college and own homes, then surely if more people go to college and own homes, we’ll have more middle-class people. But homeownership and college aren’t causes of middle-class status, they’re markers for possessing the kinds of traits — self-discipline, the ability to defer gratification, etc. — that let you enter, and stay, in the middle class. Subsidizing the markers doesn’t produce the traits; if anything, it undermines them.
Emphasis mine.

This is what "progressives" do not understand. Wealth does not cause social conditions. Wealth is an effect of social conditions.

Don't believe me?

Dump a million dollars on Egypt, and dump a million dollars on Utah, and see what each culture does with the money. Are you seriously willing to argue that in ten years Egypt will have turned that million dollars into a larger pile of wealth than Utah? Really?

How much foreign aid have we squandered on various totalitarian hell-holes around the world? What have we gotten for that "investment?" How much money have we spent on the "war on poverty?" Is there less or more poverty than there was when we started? (Hint: more. Go look it up.)

It's not the money. It's how you get it that differentiates "good money" from "bad money." Bad money is generally obtained by pointing a gun at someone else. This is how dictators and much of the current Democrat leadership believe money is obtained. They believe in the "zero sum game." They believe in "getting a bigger piece of the pie." They might give lip service to "making the pie bigger" but deep in their hearts, they really don't believe it--if they do believe it, they sure don't act like they do.

Good money is created (or "earned") by providing somebody else with some good or service that somebody else wants at a price that somebody else is willing to pay. This is the "classical liberal" belief, and it fueled the greatest expansion of wealth to the greatest number of people the world has ever seen.

Yes, Virginia, it really is that simple.

But, despite this dazzling success of the classical liberal economics of Ricardo and Smith and von Mises and Hayek and Friedman, we today face once more what seems to be the fundamental conflict of mankind's nature: the tension between those who believe wealth can only be obtained by force, and those who believe wealth must be earned by mutually beneficial trade.

This conflict has been clearly illustrated by the recent unpleasantness in Madison, Wisconsin.

So, which side are you on?

The fist, the club, and the gun, or the handshake, the contract, and the trade? The time for choosing is very, very near.

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