Friday, May 15, 2009

Around the Web

Dead People Get Stimulus Checks

One guy died 34 years ago, and he left the United States in 1933. He was never even part of the Social Security system. Wonders never cease. Many people are wondering about his voting record all these years too.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari thinks Osama is dead.

Zardari also reiterated his belief that bin Laden is dead. "I have a strong feeling and I have reason to believe that because I've asked my counterparts in the American intelligence agencies and they have not heard of him since seven years."

Angelo M. Codevilla from The American Spectator thinks so too: Osama Bin Elvis

All the evidence suggests Elvis Presley is more alive today than Osama bin Laden. But tell that to the CIA and all the other misconceptualizers of the War on Terror.

Seven years after Osama bin Laden's last verifiable appearance among the living, there is more evidence for Elvis's presence among us than for his.

Angelo Codevilla bashes our entire intelligence structure in that article.

George Will: Tincture of Lawlessness

The Obama administration's agenda of maximizing dependency involves political favoritism cloaked in the raiment of "economic planning" and "social justice" that somehow produce results superior to what markets produce when freedom allows merit to manifest itself, and incompetence to fail. The administration's central activity -- the political allocation of wealth and opportunity -- is not merely susceptible to corruption, it is corruption.

It is corruption. Well said George.

The Secret of the Curve Ball


From Powerline:

Documents Confirm Treasury Bullied Banks

Thanks George! You set the table.

Powerline quotes Bill Otis on torture investigations:

All you have to do is read a few 5-4 Supreme Court opinions to understand that the most adroit of lawyers can come to wildly differing conclusions on matters of life and death and of national security. Should we impeach the dissenters in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, the same way the Left wants to impeach Bybee? The Post thinks the death penalty is also "immoral." So maybe we should investigate those in the Criminal Division who approve seeking it.

At some point we need to say out loud what's really going on here: This is not "accountability." It's revenge, plain and simple. . .borne of. . .thug impulses. . . This is banana republic stuff. The Post says that Yoo and Bybee should not be punished on the basis of "policy disagreements," but exactly such punishment is what this is all about.

Mark Steyn: Live Free or Die

The bailout and the stimulus and the budget and the trillion-dollar deficits are not merely massive transfers from the most dynamic and productive sector to the least dynamic and productive. When governments annex a huge chunk of the economy, they also annex a huge chunk of individual liberty. You fundamentally change the relationship between the citizen and the state into something closer to that of junkie and pusher—and you make it very difficult ever to change back. Americans face a choice: They can rediscover the animating principles of the American idea—of limited government, a self-reliant citizenry, and the opportunities to exploit your talents to the fullest—or they can join most of the rest of the Western world in terminal decline. To rekindle the spark of liberty once it dies is very difficult. The inertia, the ennui, the fatalism is more pathetic than the demographic decline and fiscal profligacy of the social democratic state, because it's subtler and less tangible.

The 81% Tax Increase

Present Values of unfunded liability connected to Social Security and Medicare:

Social Security: 17.5 Trillion
Medicare: 36.4 Trillion
Medicare Part B: 37 Trillion
Medicare Part D: 15.5 Trillion

To put it another way, the total unfunded indebtedness of Social Security and Medicare comes to $106.4 trillion. That is how much larger the nation's capital stock would have to be today, all of it owned by the Social Security and Medicare trust funds, to generate enough income to pay all the benefits that have been promised over and above future payroll taxes. But the nation's total private net worth is only $51.5 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve. In effect, we have promised the elderly benefits equal to more than twice the nation's total wealth on top of the payroll tax.

How popular will FDR be once his gift to us breaks the whole system? Sphere: Related Content

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