Friday, June 13, 2008

Speaking As a Child.

The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that Gitmo detainees have the right to haebeus corpus petition. It was a strongly divided decision, 5 to 4, and there are core beliefs in this decision that appear irreconcilable; and a thoughtful person acknowledges them. The decision will have a huge impact on the prosecution of the Global War on Terror; according to a report on Gitmo by General McCafferty a large fraction of the detainees are considered extremely dangerous, a portion of these combatants will likely be released and undoubtedly return to their efforts to kill Americans and some will be successful. Those that are cheering the Court's decision are deluding themselves if they do not acknowledge this likelihood.

The candidates have made statements about the decision. One statement respresented a thoughtful, balanced and mature view, the other statement was puerile politics. From the Washington Post:

McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, told reporters in Boston that he had not yet read the opinion, but he expressed concerns about the rights it might impart to the people being held there. "These are unlawful combatants, they are not American citizens and I think we should pay attention to Justice [John] Roberts's opinion in this decision," he said, referring to the chief justice's dissent. "But it is a decision that the Supreme Court has made. Now we need to move forward. As you know, I always favored closing Guantanamo Bay and I still think we ought to do that."

Obama issued a statement expressing support for the decision, saying it strikes the proper balance between fighting terrorism and "protecting our core values." The Illinois Democrat said that "the court's decision is a rejection of the Bush administration's attempt to create a legal black hole at Guantanamo -- yet another failed policy supported by John McCain. This is an important step toward reestablishing our credibility as a nation committed to the rule of law."

Mr. Obama's statement is yet another example of his tendency to unilaterally find fault with his own country's actions to protect its citizenry while failing to acknowledge the realities in dealing with a foe that uses the shield of civilization to pursue the annihilation of that civilization.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What's In the Box? Part II: Taxes

Barack Obama appeared on CNBC to talk economy and taxes:

...Obama told CNBC that he would raise taxes on Americans making $250,000 a year or more and raise the capital gains tax for those in higher income brackets while exempting small investors. He said the U.S. economy has been "out of balance for too long."

This is insane. Right now the high price of petroleum, coal, and natural gas is spurring a great deal of investment to displace these traditional energy sources. Raising the capital gains tax on investors not considered to be "small" will stifle this investment. Of course, Mr. Obama has a solution to that: take the taxes collected at the increased rate and provide government direction of investment in alternative energies. Like the enthanol boondoggle? A theme begins to take shape: expanding government-supervised industrial policy funded by increased taxes on private investement.

Other questions come to mind: $250K is certainly within the income levels of many small "S" corporations, small entrepeneurships that declare their income on the owners' personal 1040 returns. Will some elaborate tinkering with the tax code be required to patch up this bug? And what in the hell does he mean by "out of balance"? What is an economy that is "in balance"?

Last, but not the least, Mr. Obama wants to institute a windfall-profits tax on "Big Oil". The definition of this term is vague. How much profit is "too much"? Shall such a calculation take into account the actual profit margin of the enterprise ("Big Oil" has suprisingly modest margins)?Shall only the large integrated oil companies be taxed? Should the tax also include the drillers, refiners, or natural gas and coal companies? Such issues must water the mouths of left-wing socio-economic planners.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

End the Enabling.

We at Deaddrifts recieved a weekend solicitation phone call from the RNC. After explaining to the "salesman" that we would be confining our political contributions to Misters McCain and Walberg (our Congerscritter) directly, the salesman attempted to persuade us otherwise. We were not amused.

The RNC must accept the fact that it had, expressed in the idiom of test pilots, "screwed the pooch" in the last seven years. Not in the manner in which the Left shrieks, but in dismantling an exciting movement of conservative ideas and philosophy of governance for forty pieces of silver and the incessant pursuit of ever-increasing political power. They have, we are sad to say, met the enemy, and they is them (hat tip to Walt Kelly).

One of our principal complaints is the noxious triad of expanding government, drunken-sailor spending, and the inevitable corruption that accompanies it. Tonight Fox News presented "Porked: Earmarks for Profit", and highlighted the shenanigans of several Republican congerscritters in adding earmarks to spending bills that ended in personal profit for the pols, including former Speaker of the House Dennis ("Mr. Permanent Minority") Hastert and California Representative Ken Calvert. Fox also discussed how the current House Republican standard-bearer, Mr. Boehner, squashed the appointment of Jeff Flake, the Arizona Republican and sworn enemy of earmarking, to the House Appropriations Committee. The reason given that Boehner gave to Flake was, well the obvious: it would put the pigs off their feed.