Nine Trillion with a "T"

Most of us middle class slobs slugging it out in the trenches have a hard time comprehending $9 million or $9 billion, let alone $9 trillion, but $9 trillion is the amount the U.S. Senate just raised your debt ceiling and mine to: Thirty grand apiece for every man, woman and child in the U.S

Dirty Harry Reid's attempt to hang the "fiscally irresponsible" moniker on Republicans is a load of crap. As Tom Coburn rightly pointed out, both parties are to blame for the out of control government spending that necessitated this debt-limit increase and had the treasury secretary groveling at the feet of senators "pleading" for this increase to save the government from defaulting on some of its debt obligations. Like one of us middle class slobs borrowing from one credit card to pay off another, this does nothing to actually solve the real problem and, in fact, makes it exponentially worse. It would be better for the federal government to default on some of its debt obligations. If they did, the spineless Washington political whores might actually have to come up with a plan to DEAL with the problem instead of putting it off on our kids and their kids.

As far as the root of the REAL problem that got us where we are, the blame can be laid squarely at the feet of the Democrats and the welfare state they erected piece by piece beginning in the mid-30's with that scam they call "Social Security". The Great Society War on Poverty, started by Johnson in the mid-60s did absolutely nothing to eradicate poverty, created an underclass of slothful slobs whose "welfare" is funded by the taxpayer and has created the multi-trillion debt mess we face today. Projected to cost $9 billion in 1990 when first conceived, the actual cost of this wasteful behemoth was $109 billion -- and that was better than a decade and a half ago.

Thanks to the Democrats we have a $40+ trillion unfunded liability in Social Security and thanks to George W. Bush, we just created a $20 trillion unfunded liability that, among other things, helps grandpa achieve an erection providing he can figure out how to use it (the program, not the stiffy). There is plenty of blame to go around but Republicans have come to the spending party just recently. For Democrats, out of control spending is their legacy.

The damnable lies of the Democrats regarding taxes and deficits only serve to further obfuscate any attempts to cut spending and increase revenues to the treasury through tax cuts. The first of these is Dirty Harry's notion that Bush's "tax cuts for the rich" (funny, I'm sure as hell not rich and I got one) contributed to the deficit problem. In fact, tax revenues of late have increased dramatically due to the increased economic activity generated by allowing people to keep more of their own money to spend and invest. A Jasminelive example of this is the 45% increase in capital gains revenues to the treasury as a result of the 25% reduction in the capital gains tax by the Bush Administration in 2003. Kennedy proved it in the 60s, Reagan proved it in the 80s and Bush is proving it again: Tax cuts actually INCREASE tax revenues thereby reducing deficits. The problem has always been that the tax cuts and revenue increases haven't been accompanied by corresponding ACTUAL CUTS in government spending.

The cutting government spending is the other damnable lie nearly all Democrats tell: no federal budget line item ever suffers an actual real decrease unless you're talking about defense spending under a Democrat administration. Democrats love to whine and complain about decreases in the rate of growth of their precious social programs as if conservatives who want REAL cuts in government spending are ready to throw grandma and grandpa into the gutter with a paper bag rather than fund their Social Security or literally steal food from the school lunch program out of the mouths of babes. As long as this dishonesty on the subject of government spending, tax cuts and the deficit is allowed to continue, we will get nowhere and John Snow will be right back in front of the senate two years from now begging them to increase the debt ceiling to $10 trillion.

President Bush's biggest triumph has been his ability to get real tax relief to the American people. His biggest failure has been an appetite for out of control government spending not seen since Johnson's "Great Society" in the 60s. We've got to stop mortgaging the future of our kids and grandkids by continuing to allow ourselves to go deeper and deeper into debt and the only way to do this is through real spending cuts combined with making the Bush tax cuts permanent and cutting taxes even more.

Considering the Covenant with Black America, Part One: Healthcare and Well-Being

As promised, I present to you the first of a series of discussions surrounding the points presented in The Covenant with Black America, a book of essays designed to put the spotlight on ten significant problems confronting the African-American community in America and to suggest ways to solve those problems.

The book was introduced to America during Tavis Smiley's recent "State of the Black Union" meeting, where it and its logical implications were the subject of discussion among an array of noted African-Americans from a variety of fields of endeavor.

It is my hope that, in this very public forum that is (no offense, guys), predominantly a discussion among white people, we may give a hearing to the claims made in this book and the live sex shows solutions it suggests. If there are problems in the African-American community, there are problems in America--and here at Pardon My English, I would hope we are concerned about the problems of our great nation.

Come, let us reason together, and see what this covenant is all about.

The first subject tackled in the book is "Healthcare and Well-being." It contains some grim statistics and a serious warning to the African-American community. While, it could be argued, whites have just cause to complain about the general healthcare system in America (and many do), this chapter notes that black health is considerably worse than that of whites in many area, and the two races experience significantly different healthcare outcomes, even when facing the same health concerns.

For example, African-Americans have the highest hypertension rate in the world. Admittedly, some may choose to argue that this may have some kind of physical basis, or be a result of particular lifestyle choices within that community, how can you explain the next observation--that "white adults are more likely to receive treatment for hypertension complications, even though African-Americans are affected at a higher rate?"

Black women are 80 percent more likely to die of a stroke than white women. Diabetic African-Americans have a 27 percent higher death rate than white diabetics. You can pick your malady: AIDS, asthma, cancer--black Americans are more strongly impacted than whites.

The chapter also notes that black Americans tend to live in neighborhoods that are farther away from supermarkets (which leads to less consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables). They exercise less, are exposed to less green space, and are far more likely to live in counties violating federal air pollution standards.

The chapter contains advice on how to take personal responsibility for one's own health--including eating more fruits and vegetables, walking, and being proactive in your neighborhood to encourage others to do the same.

As it will throughout the book, this chapter includes the bolded text advising that "MOST OF ALL", one should "Hold all leaders and elected officials responsible and demand that they change current policy." The policies that seem most in need of change are in the section called "What Every Leader and Elected Official Should Do," and include improving data collection and research; creating universal access to quality healthcare and treatment; increasing levels of physical activity and access to healthy foods, promoting environmental justice; and broadening the training of healthcare professionals.

My initial impression of this chapter (your mileage may differ) is that it presents startling statistics, reasonable demands, and an opportunity for discussion.

As I will ask with each of the ten points that make up this book, I ask this chaturbate forum to consider the following questions for discussion:

1. Is the problem real?

2. If so, can it be changed? If not, why do people believe it is?

3. If outcomes differ between races, what is causing it, and how would we want it to be changed?

4. Is this an issue on which conservatives in general can find common cause with African Americans in bringing about a solution?

5. Do conservatives already have an answer to this problem that has simply not been tried, or not been fairly considered?

I hope some of you who drop in on pardonmyenglish regularly or just once in a while will get a copy of this book, read it, consider its arguments, and join the discussion. I will present what I can (with due consideration of copyright laws, of course), and hope to do justice to the hard work that has been done by those who put this document together.

Tavis Smiley and some of the most influential thinkers in the black community have invested great time, energy, and care in this enterprise. Those who consider themselves students of politics owe them a fair hearing.

Let the discussion begin.

Coddling Criminals

Back in 2004 Debra LaFave apparently got off on raping a 14-year-old boy. Yesterday she got off with a gift: A get out of jail free card from the Marion County Florida prosecutor's office. While the play on words makes a catchy lead, there's more to the story than this: It's a story about making excuses for reprehensible behavior:

Ah, yes; we have the "excuse": She's not responsible for her actions because she was "insane" -- a "victim" of bi-polar disorder.

Anyone who listened to excerpts from her extensive comments at the press conference she held yesterday could tell that this little chic is obsessed with herself, obsessed with the attention she's getting and bent on making excuses for the rape of a 14-year-old boy. The "apologies" and "remorse" were secondary to her obsession with herself and her "disorder". In fact, I came away with the impression that if her attorneys hadn't coached her to mentioned remorse, it would have been the last thing on her mind: She was totally into herself and her "disorder". People "just don't understand" that mental disorders are real and LaFave said she wants to focus attention on the plight of the mentally ill.

While there is a definite double standard here -- if LaFave was an ugly 25-year-old male teacher and the victim were female, the guy would have ended up doing at least some hard time and would be a total pariah as LaFave should be -- what we really should be focusing on is the plight of kids victimized by child rapists. Screw the mentally ill. I don't care WHY an adult rapes a kid. I just want that adult put away. If they ARE mentally ill, that's all the more reason to put them away and there shouldn't be second and third chances to rape a kid again.

It's this attitude that child rapists are "mentally ill" and shouldn't be held after they are "no longer a threat to society" that needs to be done away with, whether the perp is a little blond hottie or a ugly 70-year-old drooling pederast. We need to start focusing on the crime, not the state of mind of the criminal. It goes without saying that an adult who would rape a child is a sick freak, but if you rape a child, you shouldn't see the light of day -- period.

The fact that the prosecutors in this case would enter into a plea deal that involved no jail time for this pervert is inexcusable. The lame excuse the chief prosecutor gave just doesn't cut it:

You won't find a lamer excuse for letting a rapist go free and you can bet it wouldn't have even been considered if LaFave were a male teacher. Everyone knows there are ways of allowing victims to testify while sparing them the trauma of live testimony. What about video-taped testimony? Closed circuit TV? What about having the victim testify behind a curtain? The well-being of this victim was already badly damaged by his rape at the hands of a teacher. What possible good can come in having the rapist go free? The risk of this blond bimbo rapist going free by copping the insanity defense is outweighed by the certainty of her walking away as it stands now.

With all due respect to the family and the victim in this case, we're fighting for a larger principle here than sparing this victim the trauma of having to testify. LaFave is the one who inflicted the trauma on this boy, including whatever trauma he suffers in giving the testimony that could put her away. She should have had to pay for the crime.