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Tim Lytle [03/23/09 18:00:00] | 2808 Comments | Point

Week-In-Review

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Food for Thought
If you thought selling Freedom Fires instead of French Fries was silly - you'll love this. Always on the cutting edge, a German food vendor is now selling Obama Fingers. That's right - tender, juicy, fried chicken. They claim they're trying to capitalize on the care-free American spirit - at least when it comes to fried food - and the international fascination with the new American President.

It seems they did not realize that there could be some racial connection to the product - and with an unblemished record of human rights and racial equality, why wouldn't you believe them. After all, it's not just fried chicken fingers, there's a curry sauce too.

Caterpillar Update
As covered before, the CEO of Caterpillar said if a good stimulus package was passed, and the economy recovered, they could do some re-hiring. But the President quoted him as saying, "...if Congress passes our plan, this company will be able to rehire some of the folks who were just laid off." Was the stimulus good? Guess not, Caterpillar announced more layoffs. Not so stimulating now.

Power Under Control
Carol Browner is an Obama appointee that you may not have heard about, since she seems able to pay her taxes. While she may be Goreish on climate change, she's not just a bunch of globally warmed air. The former EPA director is now the President's Energy Advisor.

What do we have to look forward to? A 'smart' grid. And by smart, she thinks that we're just stupid enough to let the power company decide how much power we need. I guess that's one solution to the rolling blackouts in California - rolling brownouts everywhere.

Tax Cuts for the...Famous?
Speaking of hot air, Alec Baldwin - known for his great insight - has seen the light when it comes to taxes. Well, when it comes to his taxes. Facing hard economic times, some New York state politicians thought the solution was to tax, well, everything. The response was not surprising.

So perhaps instead of new taxes, they should just remove some tax breaks. Not so fast says Alec Baldwin. When it comes to the 35% tax break the entertainment industry gets, well, that just shouldn't be touched.

But I thought it was okay to tax business. Looks like taxing the wealthy is good in theory to some, but not in practice. Baldwin is not alone - even Whoopi's feeling the crunch. There's a video, but you may want to look away. The View is never pretty.

Gitmo Update
Ready for your new neighbors? Wander on over with some cookies, but don't invite them to the pool party - they may have issues with Americans and water. As Gitmo closes, the 'residents' need to go somewhere, and not everyone wants them in their country - so they may end up in ours

Job Creation
In this economy it can be tough for tax evaders and former criminals to find a job. That's where the Obama administration has a plan. And it's working great. While on leave - due to the FBI corruption investigation of his former office -  it was found that new Chief Federal Information Officer, Vivek Kundra plead guilty to theft 13 years ago.

I don't believe there was prison time involved, or he probably would have been a grateful recipient of the spending bill's tattoo removal earmark. But others like him still need jobs. That's why Senator Bill Nelson says we need a National Cyber-Security Czar. That and the fact that his office's computer network has been breached by the Chinese three times in the last two months. 

Not to worry, it's not like he's involved in anything important. Just the Intelligence Committee. And the Armed Services Committee. And the Finance Committee. That's all.

Short Temper
Americas Next Top Model has finally allowed short models into the competition. I know, you were waiting for that too - right? That may have been a bad move. Police had to shut it all down after the thousands of contestants stampeded. Who knows what caused it, but it's a low blow to short models everywhere.

Bonus Points
Blarny Frank wants the list of AIG employees that received bonuses. And he wants them now - with no guarantees to privacy. That's right Blarny, just throw them out there. Maybe then we won't remember that the stimulus bill was modified to allow those same bonuses, that your party pushed that bill through before anyone could read it, and that members of congress and the administration can't consistently identify just how long they knew about the bonuses before they decided to become 'outraged'.

What's next? Writing a special tax so the government gets the money back. But wait, what about all the money AIG gave to members of congress? I guess they don't need it back - they already have it.

Brit Gift Update
While some may have joked that the rather simple gift of DVDs might be unplayable in England - they were. Next time , just shop Amazon UK.

A Bit Too Late
This is what happens when you leave the trusty teleprompter at home. Things get messy. You're taking about how bad your bowling game is and next thing you know, you're mocking the handicap. I'm sure we've all been there. But then again, we're all not the President.

At least the appearance boosted Leno's ratings - and what's more important that that? March Madness picks? He fit that in, too. Now here's something we can learn from England. Maybe what we need is a figurehead who appears on all the late night shows, does ESPN, visits schools, holds rallies, and is loved by everyone. And then someone else effectively manages the government. That might work.

If Leno's serious about getting some ratings before his exit, I'd suggest Sarah Palin. After all, she actually knows what the special Olympics are about. Too bad she doesn't have enough experience to navigate the minefields of Washington politics - she can't handle interviews, wouldn't be able to pick out gifts for visiting dignitaries, and probably wouldn't be able to weed out the corruption in her own staff . Too bad really, because I'm pretty sure she'd know how to gut a pig.

Now There's a Plan
I guess there was a reason behind the lack of specific details during the campaign. People wouldn't have liked them. Health Care reform so far has included removing restrictions on international abortion funding, considering the taxation of health care benefits, and making private insurance pay the bill when a soldier is injured.

They all sound great, right? Veterans - and the average citizen I'd assume - weren't too happy with that last one, so didn't take long to get it pulled.

It does make you wonder - these are the great ideas we were promised? What's next - letting the DMV run emergency rooms? Because that's what government health care would be. And they've done so well with the economy.

Tim Lytle [03/22/09 23:30:00] | 2148 Comments | Point

AO Schedule

It's been a bit sparse. We'd blame the economy, health care, and congressional corruption - but really, we just didn't get anything done.

We started off with a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule, which worked, but then we added the AO Cartoon and restarted the Week In Review.

Taking all that into account, here's what we're shooting for: Monday - Cartoon, Tuesday/Thursday - Article, Saturday - Week-In-Review.

We'll see if we make it.

The next WIR will be up shortly.

Tim Lytle [03/22/09 21:50:00] | 2670 Comments | Point

Week-In-Review

Now here's the short WIR promised last week.

Woah, Where's AO?
Yeah, yeah, so we missed a few of our normal publishing days. It'll be like that for the next few weeks as we work on a new publishing schedule that takes into account the AO Cartoon and yes, the WIR. Hope you enjoy. Until then, just keep an on the the RSS feed. Or refresh the page until you see a new article.

Just Pocket Change
Proving that the sure bet is always politicians spending more of your money, the four hundred billion (give or take) spending bill was passed this week . No surprise there. Not too surprised that the new administration hopes to change guidelines for spending bills, in the future of course.

But it's not just a spending bill - aren't you glad. It also removed regulations that put boundaries on environmental restrictions, gives judges a raise, and ends the D.C. educational voucher program. Yeah, that's one way to reform education. By not.

Gitmo Update
Looks like they're no longer 'enemy combatants' - poof, just like that. Just another step towards giving non-citizens the same rights as citizens. Yeah, because that worked before.

Abortion Update
Oh, and one more thing that spending bill contained - less restrictions for abortion funding. Guess that's how we'll avoid burdening the next generation with all this spending.

Tim Lytle [03/16/09 23:55:00] | 2438 Comments | Point

An Open Letter to the British Empire

Our bad. Really, our bad. No, not because of the Revolution. That seemed to work out alright to for you. Sure you lost a few colonies, but eventually the superpower they became turned into a great ally. And whenever those pesky Frenchmen complain, you can just blame us. We don't care, we're into Freedom Fries any more.

It's just that who would have known electing someone with less executive experience than Sarah Palin, and less national experience than a first term senator running for re-election would have turned out bad? Did you guys see that coming? And I thought it was the last guy would couldn't keep all these international things together.

First, thanks for the pen holder - we understand that it's not something you could pick up on Amazon, it could be one of the clues in National Treasure III. Speaking of movies, sorry about the DVDs - are they even playable over there? I know, it seems a little out of touch, you giving our President a gift made from one of the British Empire's great ships, and all you get is a pack of American movies.

But at least he's keeping it on his desk. You know, the desk the Queen gave to the United States, made from the timbers of the H.M.S. Resolute in memory of our rescue and return of the ship. Come to think of it, isn't the pen holder made from the timbers of her sister ship? Well, at least he gave you Psycho and Vertigo - they're like sister movies, right?

And "Schindler's List" might be a good movie, but it's not quite a match for your gift of a seven volume Winston Churchill biography. Of course, one day you may get it back, seeing how the Winston Churchill bust - given after September 11th as a symbol of unity - was returned.

This is just to say we're kinda puzzled at it all too - we were promised a new standing in the international community, 'citizens of the world' speech and all. We just didn't expect it would be like this.

Tim Lytle [03/11/09 23:30:00] | 2652 Comments | Point

Absolute Cartoon


Behind the cartoon.

Tim Lytle [03/09/09 15:00:00] | 1785 Comments | Point

Week-In-Review

This WIR is a little short (or it was supposed to be), due to all the work we've been putting into pay for congress' spending. April 15th is just around the corner, and after the Treasury Secretary's problems, I hear TurboTax fixed all it's bugs - so I'll be paying more this year. Oh wait, I paid the right amount, even when I used the same software, and was employed the same way. Weird.

The New Math
One plus one equals two, and seven hundred billion (bailout) plus one trillion (stimulus) plus four hundred billion (spending bill) equals a couple hundred politicians just getting started. Or, if you really want to know, that's over two trillion.

Of course here's another little government trick - big numbers are hard to figure. How much is a 2 trillion dollars? If you were given a dollar every second you would have eighty six thousand dollars by the end of the day, and over a half million in a week. But it would take over sixty three thousand years to reach two trillion. That just shows how big these number are.

Does the government need that much? Can they manage that much? Is this reasonable? With a population of around three hundred million people (with five hundred million loosing their jobs), it's only sixty five hundred per head. But there's only about one hundred fifty million workers, making it thirteen thousand for every job holder.

Think of it as a fee to be part of the greatest 'club' around, where those that make more than you, pay part of your share - and you pay for those making less, claiming less, or just working less than you. Maybe that makes is sound better, but still, it seems like it's time to forget who the club president is, and get rid of the dead weight on the board of directors.

Omnibus Spending
That's right, in case you missed it those tricky politicians are at it again. This time their spending money and disguising it as some kind of unified public transportation. And it's back to those earmarks - remember when the stimulus bill didn't have a single one? John Kerry wants $22 million for the JFK library. Robert Byrd is looking for $2.6 million for wood education - we do need smarter trees. Someone somewhere wants $200,000 for tattoo removal.

Both parties have called for this to be vetoed - because, let's face it, they can't even control their colleagues. We've been promised a line by line inspection of spending, then told we need to tax the rich more and been encouraged to consider cutting back the military budget. Seems like that line by line thing could work well here.

The blame falls on both parties, but the responsibility falls to a single individual - the promises of hope, change, responsibility, openness and transparency are debts being called in, the question is if President Obama has the moral currency to pay up.

He Said, He Said
Believe it or not, the people at Caterpillar (the heavy machinery company, not the fuzzy little crawly thing) didn't support the stimulus bill. Last month, before the bill was passed, President Obama said:

Today, the chairman and CEO of Caterpillar said that if the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan passes, his company would be able to rehire some of those employees.

Well, kinda. Turns out he said there could be rehiring if a responsible stimulus bill was passed, and if it succeeded in restarting the economy. Sounds like 0 for 2 to me.

Babies R Us
Not satisfied with creating an octuplet pregnancy? Now you can have your child custom made. Dark eyes, light eyes? Brown or blond hair? It's up to you. The LA Fertility Institute expects the first custom baby next year. I'm not sure if this is the advancement of a woman's right to choose or just a new low for science. Either way, Hitler would be proud.

So, what's the return policy?

That's Debatable
Only a week into his new radio show, Fred Thompson's trophy wife takes on the Rush Controversy, the Fairness Doctrine, and Liberal Condescension all in one blog post.

But since democratic (as in the party, not the process) loudmouths everywhere are calling Rush the defacto leader of the Republican party - in an attempt to somehow scare Republicans away from supporting conservative philosophies by equating them with 'extremists' - a debate between the two leaders would be interesting. I'm sure ratings would agree.

And to every self-aggrandizing actor out there who simply gets paid to play dress-up and pretend, I got some news for you: every time you refer to Rush as simple, uneducated, stupid, drug addict, or whatever else you can come up with, realize that you're insulting every one of us who listens to and appreciates his views and his program. And there's a lot of us.

Read It And Weep
Maybe this is why the debate will never happen, I doubt you could fit a teleprompter in Rush's studio. Teleprompter good? Bad? Who cares as long as it's real. It is real, right? Because if it isn't, who exactly is writing this script?

Tim Lytle [03/08/09 23:55:00] | 2339 Comments | Point

American History 101

The Founders of our Country
The founders of our country risked all that they had worked for to be free from tyranny and oppression without representation. The founders pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.  As they became revolutionaries, they in effect signed their own death warrants. Their end was sure if they were captured or the war lost. Historians will tell you that statistically, and strategically, the colonists should not have even come close to winning the Revolutionary War.  However, the colonists won the war despite all the challenges they faced.

Yet we seem to forget the price they paid, and the prize they sought, when they made their pledge.  Many of the founders did not survive the war due to sickness and captured, yet they risked everything that they had, not for their own benefit, but for the benefit of their children and posterity.  They sacrificed to better the future of their country, regardless of the cost to themselves. 

Are we sacrificing ourselves for the future of our country?  Or are we sacrificing the future of our country for ourselves?  Are the decisions we are making today in our government going to have a negative impact on our children's future?  Will our children pay for our mistakes?  Perhaps the decisions being made congress now should be considered in light of how they will effect our children instead of how they will 'help' our current problems or crisis.

The Civil War
Avoiding the issue that had divided the Continental Congress was the causes of the greatest conflict our country has ever known.  The Continental Congress could not come to an agreement on the proper way to deal with slavery and the trafficking of Africans.  They could not outlaw slavery and keep the southern states in the new union they were trying to form.  They decided to put the issue off, allowing their children to deal with the most explosive issue our country would ever face. 

While the founding fathers knew of the moral implications of slavery, they could not come to a decision that would settle the argument.  Eventually, this issue would become one of the major causes of the American Civil War, the cause of death for over 500,000 men and boys from different parts of the nation.  They chose sides according to what they thought was right, not because things were promised in exchange for their support.  Many men died for what they believed was right, even if their family did not believe the same way that they did. 

Because the founding father did not deal with the issue when they could have, their grandchildren had to fight to decide what should be done.  Are we putting off important decisions in our country that will cause future generations to die in deciding what we should have done?  That child who will be aborted by a doctor forced to perform the abortion, even though he his moral beliefs opposed it, could be your grandchild or great grandchild.  The death toll of abortions performed in our country from 2006-2007 was 1,206,200!

We remember the Civil War as the greatest cost of human life for a war fought inside the US, but the toll of abortions since Roe V. Wade is estimated at 49,551,703 .  You cannot tell me that the decisions we make do not effect our children.  It's time we stopped what has killed more than all of our wars combined.

Aaron Davies [03/06/09 20:30:00] | 2434 Comments | Point

Happy Birthday

I turned 21 a few months ago. I was one of those guys who really looked forward to this 'momentous' occasion. No, not for the ability to drink legally. Many of my generation aren't too excited about that anyway, it seems underage drinking is extremely prevalent. But that's another topic for another post.

I was looking forward to being able to legally purchase and carry a handgun. I'm one of those crazy people - I counted down the days for over 3 years. So obviously, the day I turned 21, I went to Cabalas to purchase my 'baby' - that's just for you Joe Biden.

The following day I had my new purchase in my vehicle with me. I did not have a permit to carry a concealed weapon, so the handgun was placed in its case, unloaded. My day ended watching the sunset in a parking lot. After said sun set, I left the parking lot, and drove to a gas station. I had one of those weird, surreal experiences where you think you're being followed by the guy behind you.

Turns out I was.

Apparently he called the police and reported suspicious activity. The local police in that part of town didn't have anything to do besides harass guys in trucks. Less than 200 feet after pulling out of the gas station, I was pulled over. Knowing I hadn't violated any traffic laws in that short period, I was relatively confused about the reason. Moments after pulling off the road (not enough time to run my plates) I had a police officer shining a light in my eyes. He asked me for my license and registration; I gave him my license but couldn't find the registration. He didn't care, and barely glanced at my license before handing it back.

Mixing his questions with insults, he took his time treating me with utmost disrespect. After a few minutes of being told I looked like a druggie and that I should stop lying to him about my pot addiction, backup arrived with another shiny flashlight. The backup took the other side of my vehicle, peering into the windows with rapt fascination. At this point the first officer told me to put my hands on my wheel. I did and he assured me that if I took my hands away he would kill me. I appreciated the warning - would have hated to find that one out the hard way.

After more threats and some signals to his partner on the other side of the vehicle, he put a hand on his gun and told me not to move. Then he told me to let his partner in my truck. And I was somehow supposed to do this without moving. We had communication problems.

These communication problems continued while they searched my truck, threatened to kill me, took my rightfully owned property out of my truck, threatened to shoot me, told me they were going to put me in jail for breaking laws, threatened to put a bullet through my head, and said how stupid I was. And those are the highlights.

I was unaware PA law only allows the carrying of a handgun to and from a shooting range if you do not have a concealed weapons permit. Even if it never leaves your vehicle.

Was I harassed? Yes. Was I being cooperative? Extremely. Did the people who swore to protect and serve me, treat me like someone who has no rights? Yes. Did they even have a good reason - let alone legal grounds - to stop and search my truck? Nope. But they had guns.

"What's your point Jesse? This is supposed to be about absolutes and opinions, and you're telling us stories about the police who called you a pot smoker and threatened to kill you."

Yeah, yeah. My point is this: in general, the idea of having a group of men and women, who protect and serve the people of this great land, is an excellent idea. Without it, we'd be in sorry shape. But the rub is in the individuals implementing this excellent idea. That's where it breaks down - we can have an excellent idea, but with terrible people enforcing it, the idea is worthless.

Corrupt police are one thing. We'd like to see as many as possible screened out before they get behind the badge, but that's not always possible. A bad person isn't going to become a good person when they have a set of good rules to follow. They will just be a bad person, badly following good rules.

Now what about corrupt politicians? We have absolutely no shortage of them. When corrupt people obtain positions of authority, the non-corrupt will be victimized. And as in any case, the more powerful the position, the more entrenched the corrupt become.

It's kinda scary when you hold the opinion I do, that the leader-in-chief is a corrupt man. Good Americans will be punished because of the ignorance of the masses. And it's not looking up anytime soon.

I echo Bobby's position. The answer to our problems is finding those non-corrupt people, and electing them, at all cost.

Jesse Lytle [03/04/09 21:00:00] | 2933 Comments | Point

Absolute Cartoon


Behind the cartoon.

Tim Lytle [03/02/09 18:30:00] | 2314 Comments | Point
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