Friday, May 2, 2008

Hillary, O'Reilly and Poetry Too

I have finally watched the second part of Hillary Clinton's interview with Bill O'Reilly. And there's two impressions I got from listening and watching Hillary: Thoughtful and presidential. Listening to her talk on important subjects, I got the impression she has analyzed them within the prism of her philosophies. And in the sense of a president, I think she has, for the first time, appear as someone who possesses the discipline and ability to run the country.

Now these are my impressions, divorced from her positions on issues. I sure as shitfire wouldn't vote for her, as her philosophy is that of big-government liberalism. And being the more ball-wielding part of the Clinton machine, I can't stress my dislike enough. However, I can say with honesty that, were it a choice between Clinton and Obama, I stand even more so behind my assessment that she would do less damage, therefor be the better choice. However, that is as relative as you can get. It's the choice between burning alive and jumping off the top of a high rise. It just depend on how you want to die.

Now, on to the poetry!

Since I know I couldn't fill an entire post with Hillary coverage, and since it's the weekend, I decided to leave you with this post from my poetry blog. A few of you may recognize the subject matter:


You know you stimulate you argue
Until I really don't have and answer
Or cogent response because you come
With the force of your passion and
The weight of your convictions prepared
For every battle ever fought over lines
Over ideology, over right and truth
But on I go without end because I know
You feel the same.

Battle lines drawn the war rages between
Two camps with labels affixed like pins
Waving flags on your chests, armor worn
Destined to meet, to fight, to never give
Even an inch to your loony adversary who
Cuts and pastes a wall and a castle around
A solitary point on the field of battle
Wholly opposed on every front and dedicated
To total victory.

Blessed you would say, given to grace and
To defend the values on which your heart lies
You walk with God through the world to make
Both it and yourself better and then go
To passionately stand up with words to match
Your deeds and share of yourself so that the many
May be led down a path where all are saved, not
By the God of your fathers but by the principles
Espoused by you.

Into this maelstrom of noise a vulgar hand grenade
Erupting with a Report across America that is
Right in Heart, with a Mission to bring
the level of Discourse to a new level.
You know of whom I speak.


Toad734 said...

I agree with your first paragraph. I like her a lot more after seeing that interview and she seems to know what she is doing and has a solid grasp on the issues which is completely the opposite of the way she used to be when she would say anything to get elected or please the group she was speaking to.

That being said, no one could possibly dream of doing as much damage to this country as Bush has done and I don't care if you put another chimp in office, it would be a good change.

Here's what Oreilly was wrong about: Income Redistribution. If you are against income redistribution then stop buying products made in China and stop voting for people like Bush. I am going to do a post on this soon but here’s the gist of it.

Over the last 40-50 years tax rates for the wealthy have gone down from a 90% tax rate to 33%. The tax burden has shifted from corporations to individuals. In that time the rich have therefore gotten richer and the poor have gotten poorer and the net value of income for the middle class has decreased. For instance, in 1985 the Forbes top 400 rich people were worth 221 billion, today they are worth 1.13 trillion. There have only been a few new additions to that list and the median household income has been stagnant.

Adjusted for inflation, the minimum wage has gone down 40% since 1968. If hourly minimum wages have risen at the same rate as CEO compensation it would be over $20 per hour. United Airlines, which is a poorly run airline and is barely staying a float and isn't that far out of bankruptcy gave their CEO 39 million dollars in salary (which was more than their profits) and bonuses in 2006 while cutting pensions and salaries of most of their employees. Exxon has been ripping of the American consumer and had posted record profits because of the war while poor Americans spend 1/4 of their income on energy costs.

That is income redistribution, not someone having to pay taxes on money they didn't work for when their rich father dies and leaves them 3 million dollars.

Patrick M said...

Okay, first of all, I'm not sure how you got your definition of income redistribution, but let me correct you on that. Income redistribution is forcibly taking money from one group and giving it to another group. How trade with China figures into it, I don't know.

A 90% tax rate is almost total income redistribution

And the tax burden is always on the individual, as businesses always pass on any taxes in the cost of goods and services.

Now I have no problem with the rich getting richer, as that creates more opportunities for them to invest or donate that money rather than feed the pig in Washington. After all, they can only spend so much.

I've noticed you seem to always want to punish the rich, even when they have worked their asses off for their money.

This is the biggest difference between us. When I look at America, I see opportunities and good people, with a smattering of bastards. Based on what I've read, you see bastards trying to control and take from everyone, with only an occasional saint.

I'd better stop now before I start quoting Star Wars.

Toad734 said...

Paris Hilton, The Waltons? These people worked their asses off? These are the people you don't want to tax? You think these people need more money? You are willing to let our schools go to shit, close mental hospitals, cut afterschool programs, pay teachers shit, let infrastructure fall apart, underpay police, firemen, teachers, close libraries, cut student loans and grants, underfund drug rehabillitation programs so Paris Hilton doesn't have to pay taxes on her inheritance and Enron can take their employees money and Exxon and ADM can get federal subsidies? That is income distribution. That is taking money away from the poor and giving it to the rich.

How China figures into is that, with lopsided trade agreements, you allow a CEO to close down his factory full of living wage earning people in the US and move it to Mexico or China so he can get richer and keep that money that someone else worked for, for himself. Those goods, 90% of the time, don't get any cheaper. I own a pair of Chuck Taylors which were made in the US. I paid about $35 for them. They are now made in China and sell for $39. They aren't exporting our jobs to save the consumers money, they are doing it to make more money and so the US government rewards them by cutting their taxes from 39% to 33%. I, mr middle class, now have to actually pay more for those Converse and the rich guy who was appointed CEO of Converse gets that extra money. That's how China fits into it.

And I am really glad Paris Hilton and the Waltons have someone to fight for their cause, I can only imagine how much they have suffered and I am glad you are diverting time away from your family to fight for them because God knows they need a voice.

I have no problem with rich people getting rich as long as it isn't at the expense of someone else or because they paid off the right senator or it didn't come from my pocket. When Exxon gets a subsidy, it comes from mine and your pocket. Do you now see how that is income redistribution. I know you like to think your taxes are wasted on poor, fat, black, crack moms in the projects who had too many kids but its really going to rich guys at Exxon, whose companies profits last year exceeded the GDP of 2/3 of the worlds nations. And if it isn't going to them its going to middle class Israel or a bunch of rich crooks in poor countries such as Iraq and to Military contractors who once again, take your tax money and charges the government 6 times the amount the government pays a soldier to do the same job. Guess whose presidential campaign got a huge donation from the CEO of Blackwater? Again, taking your money that could be spent on schools and giving it to rich people. So please, stop crying about Exxons CEO whose taxes will increase by 6% if Socialist Hillary or Obama becomes President.

And by the way, when you are talking about fair tax, you might wnat to include how unfair it is that I pay a higher percentage of Social Security tax than the CEO of Exxon does. If all these rich peopel paid what I pay in social security taxes we wouldn't have to be talking about privatizing social security. Thats fair.

Patrick M said...

Paris Hilton, The Waltons?

No, they didn't work for it. But the Hiltons (not sure which) that came before did, as did Sam Walton. That money has been taxed. Taxing money twice is a sickness that only government could come up with.

This is the real problem with income redistribution. You want to take money from someone that they have earned or inherited because you know how better to use their money than they do.

The problem with this ideas is simple: Where do you spend the money?

You complain about the government taking money from people to subsidize thing you don't like (big business, tobacco, etc) but you want to do the same thing except to fund your pet projects. It's big-government socialism either way. And it only takes an election to change where all our stolen money is spent. And you know and I know that someone we don't like will get elected in the next 4 or 8 or 12 years, twice in the next 6 years in the Senate, and every two years in the House.

So it boils down to who should decide what happens to their money: The person it belongs to, or a government agency?

The only way to get this shit under control is to stop giving power to people to take our money away. And since you brought it up, the FairTax does just that.

It treats every individual equally. Part of the final price consumers (individual or business) pay is the 23% FairTax. It is charged once on any item, which means you don't have to pay the tax on anything used (CD's, furniture, cars, houses). And to offset the cost of living, every household receives a check to pay the taxes up to the cost of living. So if you buy ramen noodles and mac&cheese (a toddler staple) and do everything to keep your budget down, you pay no tax. If you get $600 haircuts, buy new yachts, and only wear new outfits once (I'm sure Paris does this), then you'll pay the lion's share of the tax.

And if the federal government wants to add a percent to the tax to expand something, then they can't hide a damn thing.

shaw said...

Nice poem.

Rivka said...

I just linked you. I thought I had and didn't realize it until today.

Great poem and as far as the Hillary interview, it was hard for me to watch it because I can't get out of my mind that she has an acting coach and of course as you know I can't stand her ideology. I have heard through the grapevine that she is really mean to everyone around her. People aren't allowed to look at her in the face and must look down when they pass by her. She did this when she was in the White House.

I think that both Obama and Clinton are dangerous and about the same for many reasons. Clinton sounds like she would be more sane, but when you add the 'power' factor they have over everyone it is scary. Obama couldn't get the clips of Wright to vanish.. If it were Clinton, she would and could. THAT is what scares me.

You are much braver than I. I couldn't watch the whole interview because she was coming across so nice with no anger at the tough questions when you know she was. Also, she was putting forth her socialistic views in an attractive way. She moved a bit to the center and is looking tough now. It is all a big show. SHe is dangerous.

I think Bill should have hit her with the Chu scandal and others. It does matter. I think for the most part it was a softball interview. BUT I didn't watch all of it because I couldn't stomach it. SO.. I could be wrong. ;~)

Patrick M said...

Shaw: you forgot to ask where I got the inspiration.

Rivka: The fun of not having a horse in this race (disliking all the candidates is fun) is that I can sit back and just take the interview and judge it on its face.

Now the Bill O'Reilly I know doesn't softball. But in interviewing a candidate, a few rules are in place that are obvious.

1. Be respectful and fair. You don't just start kicking, because then it shows bias. And once you have an answer, unless there's too much spin, you move on

2. Live in the now. Two things matter here. First, policy questions have to be asked. Second, current events and scandals.

3. Get as much information as possible. These candidates are busy. To get a sitdown, you have to accommodate that. That means choosing your questions wisely and trying to get as much out of the candidate as possible. Can you imagine if O'Reilly had started in on the scandals? That would have taken at least 3 days to get through.

So was it a perfect interview? No. Was it a good interview? Yes.

Shaw Kenawe said...

I was of the impression that poets don't like to say where they get their inspirations.

But I would like to know.

PS. I have a poem on a similar subject that I'll pass along to you in a day or so. IF I can find where the heck I filed it.

Patrick M said...

It depends on the poem. In this case, while it's about some of the blogs I read regularly, the inspiration for writing it can be found in the first stanzas.

I'd say more, but then all the conservatives that read me would be shocked. And Awed.

Wordplay is so fun.

Toad734 said...

You do realize that we need a federal government right? You do realize that without the government building us roads, our economy would crash harder than a bucked of water on an Arabs head at a Republican convention. You also realize that in places like Brazil, there are Rich people and very poor people as they have no welfare system. Homeless kids run the street robbing people and doing what ever. Is that the society you want to live in?

And stop pretending that anyone who works has the same opportunity to get rich as one of the Waltons. If your great great grandparents were slaves and my great-grandparents were rich plantation owners who owned slaves, do you really think we have the same opportunities in life? Sure I could become a drunk and spend all my money on whores and you could learn to dunk and become an NBA star but those are extraordinary circumstances. Do you really think it’s a coincidence that Bush, Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill are all descendents of King Edward Longshanks the 1st who was king of England back in the 1200s??? Wealth and power are passed down, the ones who have it and were born with it will almost always succeed, the ones who were descendents of slaves and peasants will likely never break out of the working class. Say what you want about tough breaks and having the freedom to pass on your estate to your children but don't act like those children deserved it, worked hard for it or that a descendent of an ex slave or migrant worker has the same opportunity in life. That’s probably one of the most naive things I have ever heard you say.

You act as if my money isn't taxed twice or that poor people’s money isn't taxed several times. An inheritance is income plain and simple. Someone is handing you a check, you are "earning money" and you should be taxed on it just like I am taxed on my checks and gifts from my company such as Christmas bonuses. The IRS does allow some cash gifts to be tax exempt, just not gifts of more than 2 million dollars. My income is taxed by the feds and then by the state. When I invest that money and it makes me more money it is taxed again. When I go to the grocery store it is taxed, when I fill up my gas tank it is taxed again, when I buy tires I not only pay a sales tax but I pay a tire tax, I also pay sales tax on my car but also have a license plate tax and a parking tax etc. So if some rich snob gets handed 20 million dollars for doing nothing, she shouldn't be bitching about paying the same taxes I pay when someone hands me a check. Again, that’s fair.

And please explain how sending someone a check to cover inflation isn't welfare or income redistribution?? So you now at least admit that giving free money to ADM and Exxon, profitable companies in their own right, and giving money to Israel and subsidizing bum crops which aren't profitable is more of a problem that putting a roof over someone's head who has 3 kids?

Patrick M said...

Toad, you add way too many irrelevant things to the conversation, so try to find where I covered them in detail on other posts. But a few points:

I'm for limited government, with as little intervention as possible. However, a safety net is a social responsibility that can be fulfilled mostly by private charities and less by government.

And I have been clear on my support of the FairTax. I don't want ANYBODY to be taxed again and again and again.

That's how you create opportunity.