Archive for June, 2011
The White House announced today that it will begin implementing a plan to remove most U.S. combat troops from Afghanistan by 2012. This incredibly short-sighted withdrawal would remove 10,000 troops by the end of this year, followed by a rapid reduction in troop numbers by 2012. The move is somewhat perplexing, as Afghanistan has experienced significant upgrades in security in its western and southern areas recently, but the eastern territory is still rife with insurgent strongholds. After all, Obama himself realized how vital the Afghan theater was in the War on Terror, as he authorized an unpopular troop surge there several years ago. With America on the verge of success, we shouldn’t just abandon the cause now, should we? In the end, this political blunder is yet another example of the haphazard and reckless foreign policy decisions committed by Kenya’s favorite son.
As the election year grows closer, Obama is forsaking the advice of his military generals and opting for the politically expedient solution of premature troop withdrawal before true stability in Afghanistan has been established. The poll numbers do not lie. Our foreign wars are vastly unpopular, amongst Republicans, Democrats, and independents. However, a true leader would withstand the lashes of public opinion and the barbs of the mainstream media to strive towards a real goal he believed in. That was the greatness of George W. Bush. Hate him or love him, his determination to bring forth a democratic Middle East is the reason why the Arab world is undergoing a Freedom Revolution right now. He didn’t care what the public said about him now, because he knows he will be vindicated by the history books of tomorrow. Obama is exactly the opposite. He is a man without character, motivated only to act in accordance with the most publically agreeable course of action in order to secure his re-election, regardless of the dangers of doing so.
Abandoning Afghanistan now would be a fatal mistake to U.S. foreign policy. The country just experienced its most violent month in terms of civilian casualties this May since mid-2007. The Afghan president and his cronies are corrupt, tolerating and negotiating with the Taliban in the countryside instead of helping American troops root them out. If we leave now, all that will happen is a truce between the terrorist insurgents and the Afghan government, and that truce will lead to terrorist safe havens, training camps, and a fertile breeding ground for Al Qaeda all over again. It is tragic that we have lost so many good American lives, spent so much money, and had to grieve over so many casualties over the years… but what was the whole damn point if we just leave now and let things return to the way it was before? Even Defense Secretary Robert Gates cautions for a very conservative troop withdrawal, and Senator John McCain warns that putting a timetable on the withdrawal at all will just allow the terrorists to “wait out” the Americans.
This is not like withdrawing from Vietnam. Nixon implemented a policy of Vietnamization, putting more of the security responsibilities on the South Vietnam government, just like Obama plans to do. When Ford pulled out entirely, the house of cards fell, just like what will happen in 2012 when we fully withdraw from Afghanistan. The ensuing invasion by the North was of little consequence to America in the end, because the Northern communists only wanted to rule their country, not export their hatred across international borders. But Obama faces a different ideological enemy. Al Qaeda is entirely an international terrorist organization, wishing to plant itself in as many countries as possible, and its message is that of militant, Islamic terrorism against civilians. They will not stop until a Caliph rules the entire world, and we are all subjects of Allah. We must seek out and destroy each Al Qaeda operative, and purge their rhetoric of hatred from our world.
I am disappointed in yet another instance of the failure of Obama’s resolve, but I am not shocked. What is frustrating to see, however, is that Obama is expanding American military intervention in Libya, and the liberal media is near unanimous in their support of that campaign. I don’t give a fuck about Libya if Afghanistan, the breeding ground and originator of the terrorist group that killed 3,000 innocent American civilians, is still a mess. We ought to fix what’s broke right now, instead of trying to break something else.
I saw the trailer for Moneyball yesterday before watching The Green Lantern, and I don’t know whether or not to see this movie. On the one hand, I think Brad Pitt is a phenomenal actor, the storyline intrigues me, I read the book, and how often do you see a movie based off sabermetrics? Cool. On the other hand, I fucking hate Jonah Hill, and the fact that he’s been cast as Peter Brand, the ingenious assistant to general manager Billy Beane (Brad Pitt’s character) might lead me to boycott the movie altogether.
Now I know some of you are saying I’m over-reacting. “Jonah Hill is funny! Superbad was awesome!” Yes, Superbad was funny, but that was because Jonah Hill’s character was a fat fucking loser who couldn’t get laid and was socially inept. My favorite part of the movie was early on when he got spat on the face by the punks near the liquor store. Take that, you fat ugly fuck. Jonah Hill more or less played the same character in Knocked Up, but it was a minor role and thus he was less memorable(that movie also featured the adult version of Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, who is equally fat and disgusting in addition to always being cast as a stoner). The shift away from this lovable idiot role started with Forgetting Sarah Marshall, where Jonah was a drug dealer waiter at some island resort in Hawaii with witty one-liners and the nerve to mock rock stars. In reality, if a fat ass waiter mocked a rock star in real life, there wouldn’t be hilarious banter back-and-forth. There would be immediate job termination of said fat ass waiter… maybe a physical beat-down as well.
My sneaking suspicion that Jonah Hill was transforming into a “cool, hip” actor was fully realized with Get Him to the Greek, an awful film in which Jonah played the enviable role of an up-and-coming Hollywood agent who gets into all sorts of exclusive bars/clubs and fucks all sorts of hot bitches. Hold the fuck up here. When did we approve of this? Jonah Hill is funny to me when I’m laughing at him, not with him. I want to see him fail and be spurned by ladies, not succeed and bang girls I can only dream of getting with. This switch infuriated me, and the fact that it’s being continued with Moneyball infuriates me even more. There is no fucking way Jonah Hill, in all his disgusting, fat, horribly unwitty self should be allowed to become Hollywood cool.
I would rather two big black men gorilla fuck and double penetrate my wife/girlfriend/sister/mother than have a one-on-one with Jonah Hill. The fact that Jonah Hill already gets tons of pussy in real life because of his money and fame pisses me off. If he starts playing that character in movies, I will just boycott every Jonah Hill movie ever made. Think about it – we all know women are money-grubbing whores, with no regards for character, personality, or good looks. In Hollywood movies, we can still convince ourselves that women are attracted to the latter. If you start churning out movies where fat disgusting fucks like Jonah Hill gets the job, gets the money, AND gets the girls… why, you’ve destroyed Hollywood magic and all that is holy.
Fuck you Jonah Hill. The fact that you’re famous, and you got your start as being a fat fucking loser pisses me off to no end. Now that you’re transitioning from that beginning, you think you can land a role next to Brad Pitt in a movie I’ve long waited to see? No, it doesn’t work that easy. I pray America is still a land of shallow, empty people who will be repulsed by your rolling double chins and that disgusting thing you call facial hair. I pray Moneyball tanks, and the reviews for the movie blast your casting choice and you will forever be typecast as a fucking loser like Rob Schneider. I know ten disgusting fat fucks from high school and college that can portray your characters just as well as you can, you pathetic excuse of an actor. You are not witty, you are not cool, and the only thing funny about you was laughing at you.
FUCK JONAH HILL.
Frank and Jamie McCourt reached a settlement today which will hopefully be the beginning of the end for this sordid chapter in Dodgers history. Ballpark attendance has plummeted this season, averaging merely 35,000 fans for a stadium which once regularly boasted an average of 44,000 fans in 2010. Following the beating of a San Francisco Giants fan several months ago, the stadium is no longer seen as a family-friendly venue, and the despair circling the team’s overall poor performance and ownership woes has heavily contributed to low ticket sales. Dodgers coach Don Mattingly recently said the Dodgers must “make a move” in order to rise in the standings, but with Frank struggling to even meet payroll on a monthly basis, that is a luxury we will not be able to afford. Fans can only root for the failure of Frank McCourt and the sale of the team to another owner.
In order for Frank McCourt to retain ownership of the team, two things must happen:
- Bud Selig must approve a long-term television deal between FOX and the Dodgers which Frank McCourt has been dreaming of ever since he took over the team. The deal would be to the detriment of the Dodgers, because it would arrest their ability to have their own cable network in the model of the Yankee’s YES, and would not generate the same profitability for the team. But it would fatten the wallet of Frank McCourt. Thankfully, Bud Selig has professed his inclination towards rejecting the deal, or at least postponing until the point of Frank’s insolvency.
- Frank will have to win a one-day trial under Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon, who will make a final determination as to whether the Dodgers belong solely to Frank or is to be considered communal property with Jamie. If the judge rules the latter, then Frank will undoubtedly have to sell the team, as he will be unable to raise the hundreds of millions of dollars required to buy out Jamie.
Sounds like a tough deal for Frank, huh? Actually, I don’t think it’s harsh enough. This is a man who has skimmed literally hundreds of millions of dollars in profit off of the organization for the last several years, and refused to pony up for the landmark ace pitcher which could have helped the Dodgers win a World Series when the team made back-to-back NLCS appearances. Every year under his control, the Dodgers payroll has steadily decreased. His tight payroll budget dictated that General Manager Ned Colletti had to make risky, high-upside moves that have more-or-less backfired on the Dodgers, most notably paying Manny Ramirez over $20 million during a decline year (or signing Vicente Padilla for $5 million).
I pray that Frank loses control of the Dodgers and the team goes for sale. And I also pray that Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, with a net-worth of over $2.5 billion, somehow makes it past the fraternity of baseball owners screening process and has the opportunity to buy the team. As we saw with the Mavericks over the last decade, Cuban is an owner willing to spend, spend, and spend to put a winner on the court/field. Los Angeles would love Mark Cuban as an owner, and we would be lucky to have him. But right now, even the Wilpons sounds better than the McCourts.
Due to the sizable response I received from my previous entry on the DREAM Act, I have decided to write a follow-up post to answer some of the objections and questions raised in the comments, as well as to illuminate other dangerous consequences of our changing national demographics. Nay-sayers to the TRUTH hide behind baseless accusations of bigotry and racism, but ignore the undeniable fact that illegal immigrants are changing the landscape of this country for the worse. The political, social, and economic ramifications of illegal immigration have already crippled this great nation. I hope my voice is only one among a sea of others who will cry out for stronger immigration control to restore this nation to its former glory.
One of the main criticisms of my argument was that the DREAM Act wouldn’t further strain U.S. tax payers, but rather contribute to the eligible tax pool by providing a more educated workforce which could obtain higher-earning jobs and thus generate more in state and federal taxes. Such an argument might be correct if it weren’t for the fact that we are currently experiencing double-digit unemployment rates during one of the worst recessions of this nation’s history. According to a report released by the National Employment Law Project in late February of this year, “higher-wage industries constituted 40 percent of job loss, but only 14 percent of recent growth.” Meanwhile, “lower-wage industries constituted 23 percent of job loss, but fully 49 percent of recent growth” (Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/23/us-economy-trades-high-pa_n_827360.html). Much of this has to do with the fact that fewer and fewer higher-wage jobs are located in the United States, as they have been outsourced to an exploding group of over 70 million educated, middle-class workers from emerging countries. Thus, what scant amount of higher-wage jobs remain in this country is already a source of fierce competition from legal Americans. The last thing we need is to drain the taxpayer money to pay for the education of illegal immigrants who will only further exacerbate this crisis.
The cost of educating anyone through higher education is growing exorbitantly more expensive, whether through public or private institutions. According to the College Board, public four-year college costs is an average of $7,605.00 per year in tuition, and private nonprofit four-year colleges charge on average $27,293.00 per year in tuition (Source: http://www.collegeboard.com/student/pay/add-it-up/4494.html). The DREAM Act, if enacted upon a national level over a 40-year period, would cost U.S. taxpayers $6.2 billion a year and be a further detrimental impact upon our already crowded schools and universities (Source: www.cis.org/dream-act-costs). Even proponents of the bill who absurdly claim that the DREAM Act would actually raise trillions of dollars in taxable revenue at some undeterminable point in the future admit that we would lose at least $5 billion a year for the next 10 years until 2021 (Source: http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/119xx/doc11991/s3992.pdf).
Let’s ignore the fact that we’ve already debunked this supposed claim that the DREAM Act would somehow provide more taxable income through higher-wage earning jobs, because we’ve already proven those jobs are scarce and hotly contested in America by LEGAL citizens already. More importantly, it is absurd that in the midst of economic chaos we are willing to spend, on a conservative estimate, $50 BILLION, and possibly upwards of $62 BILLION, on a hand-out project for illegal aliens. Even more absurd is to honestly believe economists have ANY fucking idea what the job market will be like in 2021-2051, or what the DREAM Act could generate in terms of added revenue during that time period. What we know is that the program will involve a definitive sunk cost of billions of dollars over a decade, and may or not be off-set sometime in the future by gains in a job market we cannot predict. And this is to the benefit of illegal aliens, not U.S. citizens. Sounds like an excellent way to dig us more and more into debt.
The economic reality is right there in front of us, in all its bleakness and unpleasantness. The reason why politicians from both aisles continue to ignore it is because they want to pander to the Hispanic voting bloc in this country, which is rapidly growing by the day. Legal Hispanics feel some sort of camaraderie with their illegal counterparts, and have consistently supported amnesty or other efforts to hinder immigration control because of this twisted belief in commonality. One of the main reasons Obama may even win re-election despite enormous failures in his domestic and economic policies is the Hispanic voting bloc. Hispanics in this country overwhelmingly vote for the Democratic Party, and the Democrats pander to this demographic without paying any heed to the fatal economic consequences of their actions. When Republicans cry out for economic sanity, they are labeled as racists and bigots. As long as the Democrats continue this reckless and wholly irresponsible behavior, they will continue to monopolize the growing Hispanic electorate, and undoubtedly use this enlarging base to seize more political power.
What Hispanics must realize is that illegal immigration does as much harm to them as any other legal citizen of any other ethnicity. Their legal, U.S.-born kids suffer from impacted schools as well. Their taxes pay for emergency room treatments for uninsured illegal immigrants too. They travel the same roads, freeways, and bridges that illegal immigrants use (without paying the necessary upkeep) too. Their neighborhoods and homes are ravaged by the same bloody drug war raging across border states and inner cities as well. It is irreconcilable to profess love for America and for an unfettered immigration policy. To support the latter is to destroy the former. Our only hope lies within educating the Hispanic base that it is in their best interest as well to have a well-regulated immigration policy, both economically sensible and humanely just and fair.
I’m not holding my breath.
As we inch closer and closer to 2012 and the end of the disastrous term of Kenyan-born native Barack Obama, the Republican Party is struggling to unite behind one candidate that can take him down. Donald Trump is out, even though it would have been awesome to hear the line, “Obama – you’re fired!” from Trump. So too is Mike Huckabee, the die-hard Evangelical candidate for the Southern Republican base. Far and away the most popular, front-runner choice right now is former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, the business-savvy Mormon who passed an identical version of ObamaCare (RomneyCare?) when he was a sitting governor. However, the left-wing media has done its best to hype up the inane Sarah Palin as a viable front-runner as well, hoping to discourage independents by focusing on her campaign. The best way for me to opine on each candidate is to break them down one-by-one, which I will do so now.
Once a highly esteemed vanguard of the 1994 GOP movement and the architect of a Contract with America, Gingrich is simply too partisan to be electable on a national ticket. His numerous successes and accomplishments as the leader of the House during the Clinton years, when not wholly misattributed to Clinton, are clouded by the federal government shutdown in 1996. His economic plan, such as eliminating the capital gains and death tax, reducing the corporate income tax, and replacing the Environmental Protection Agency with a far less powerful regulatory branch, is far too bold to be accepted by the American people. His “shocking” idea of extricating ourselves from the Middle East and foreign oil by drilling more oil domestically will be ridiculed by environmentalists and bleeding heart liberals alike. Gingrich’s goal to privatize healthcare through the use of Health Savings Accounts has little chance of gaining mainstream acceptance, as demonstrated by a similar rejection when George W. Bush tried to push the same agenda in 2005. Personally, I think these are fantastic ideas, and would serve Americans well in fixing our ailing economy and correcting our enormous federal debt. However, Newt’s problem is that he’s too entrenched as a partisan, and he will never be able to garner the independent votes needed to overcome Obama. Besides, his foreign policy message is vague and unclear, and he pays the usual mindless lip service to pro-life advocacy. I’m not entirely sure that he would be a man of his word and fulfill on his campaign promises either.
I’m not quite sure Sarah Palin has any real policies. Her mantra during the run-up to the 2008 general election read like a rehash of right-wing partisan ideals that a campaign aide wikipedia’ed and gave her on note cards. Her embarrassing lack of knowledge about foreign policy, the war on terror, domestic policy… pretty much the gauntlet of national issues, was revealed during the vice presidential debates and nationally ridiculed by Tina Fey on SNL. The liberal media had already fast-tracked Obama’s path to the White House in 2008 by giving him extensive media coverage and hailing him as a savior, but McCain’s decision to select Palin as his running mate did the GOP no favors. She has latched onto the public dissent over Obama and projected herself as the face of the Tea Party Movement, a branding the liberal media is more than happy to help with. Let me be clear. Sarah Palin is a moron. She is more concerned with her own personal fame and selling books than she is with job creation or national security. Regardless of how hard the liberal media wants to paint her as a viable candidate, few Republicans see her as such. Despite her ranking as a distant, minor candidate in the primaries, the liberal media wants you to believe this is who Republicans want as their next President. The only people buying into that idea are other liberals who want to ridicule Republicans and will vote for Obama anyway.
The surprise winner of a straw poll during 2010’s CPAC convention, Ron Paul is the front runner of the Tea Party movement which has swept across America. He is a strict constitutionalist and libertarian who believes in drastically reducing the federal government’s size and scope, as well as abolishing the Federal Reserve. I like some of Ron Paul’s principles, but he is far too extreme on others. His attack on the Federal Reserve is centered on runaway inflation… but his solution is to put us back on the archaic gold standard, and not introduce anti-inflationary measures such as increasing the interest rate or reducing the monetary supply. To put it mildly, that’s a little extreme. Also, Ron Paul would like America to return, more or less, to a policy of isolationism throughout the world, abandoning our foreign military bases and withdrawing from conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yes, this would save us billions of dollars in military spending… at the expense of endangering hundreds of billions of dollars in American foreign investment. There is a reason we have military bases in Germany and South Korea, despite WWII and the Korean War being long over. Europe and East Asia are two of our most crucial trading partners, and we have billions of dollars and untold assets invested in their economies. To simply abandon our military bases would leave our allies, and our investments, open to aggression from hostile governments such as North Korea… or possibly even Russia. The Cold War might be over, but the Russian Bear is not dead. Putin and his gang are already flexing their arms with joint military exercises with China, and we would be naïve to believe they don’t want to expand their spheres of influence and encroach upon ours.
Despite all these objects, there are many Ron Paul policy issues that I wholeheartedly agree with. His opposition to earmarks and pork barrel legislation is like music to my fiscally conservative ears. His desire to secure our borders is something we really ought to do. Paul’s socially moderate policies on the war on drugs, abortion, and health care reform are both refreshing and integral to the betterment of this nation. Most importantly, Ron Paul has been consistent with both his voting and his rhetoric for his long, distinguished tenure as a house representative. His sometimes radical voice is a breath of fresh air, and sorely needed in Washington to re-align the Republican Party to its more traditional, libertarian roots. However, his war on the Federal Reserve and his isolationist attitude will strike most mainstream Americans as either too extreme or too idealistic today. Ron Paul and his followers believe we can return back to the days when the federal government was nothing but a Postal Service and a small standing army to defend against foreign aggressors. Too bad 150 years of modernity occurred since then.
Ah… ol’ Romney. Considered the front-runner among many media polls and pundits, Mitt Romney flat-out terrifies me as a candidate. I don’t know if what he’s actually saying on the pulpit is what he intends to do, or if he’s just paying lip service to the Republican base and being politically expedient to get the nomination. You need only to look at his record as governor of Massachusetts to see what I mean. Despite balancing the state budget at the end of his tenure, Romney reneged on campaign promises of not raising taxes by doing so with both property and corporate taxes. We already face incredibly high taxes in America, and struggle with the burden of an increasing welfare state. If history is any indicator of the future, Romney’s solution will be to cleverly extract more taxes from corporate America and the American people to balance the budget, instead of cutting federal spending. That is clearly not the solution. And “lowering taxes” but “closing loopholes” for corporate income taxes is essentially an oxymoron.
RomneyCare is definitely the scariest part of a Mitt Romney presidency. When you think about it, his plan for health care reform isn’t all that different from ObamaCare – both systems forces the people to opt-in to mandatory health care insurance or face steep penalties. When asked by a reporter what the difference between his plan and ObamaCare was, his response was both nonsensical and asinine, something along the lines of, “well, his is federal, mine is just a state.” Um, duh. Romney is also a foreign policy newbie. His proposals are generalities (“We must be strong and communicate with our allies, blah, blah, blah) and lack any substance. Honestly, he just has the best hair out of any candidate. Sadly, that’s usually enough to clinch the ticket.
The last of the big names seriously being considered as a viable nominee, Tim Pawlenty is the former Minnesota governor who was once the front-runner to be McCain’s choice for VP before the disastrous Palin pick. Once again, we have a case similar to Romney in which the lip service being paid to Republican ideals and his former record as governor does not reconcile. During Pawlenty’s tenure as governor, he presided over both a growing state budget with increases in the state’s minimum wage and spending on mass transit and public education. In 2006, he signed into law PawlentyCare, a state-wide healthcare program modeled after RomneyCare, and seriously considered mandating that all Minnesotans had to buy health insurance. Perhaps worst of all, Pawlenty is an environmental liberal, imposing some of the most progressive policies requiring renewable energy mandates in the nation. Renewable energy is both a waste of time and inefficient, but I’m sure his increases in tax rates helped subsidize that too. Pawlenty would be an awful choice for President, and his position seems anathema to Republican dogma. Which begs the question – why bother running as a Republican at all?
I’m not going to cover Michelle Bachmann, Jim DeMint, Gary Johnson, Herman Cain, or Rick Santorum. To me, they don’t even register as viable candidates and are too unknown to win the nomination. Giuliani has a chance, but he hasn’t declared yet, and I doubt he does. Regardless of who runs, they will be facing an incumbent President who has presided over a small recovery in the economy since 2008, the assassination of Osama Bin Laden, and the withdrawal of main U.S. combat troops in Iraq. If the economy improves by any measure over the summer of 2012, sad to say, Obama will probably win re-election in a landslide. Currently, however, the economy is nowhere near strong, runaway inflation is threatening the stability of the dollar, and we are mired in yet other military conflicts in the Middle East, including enlarged operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Libya. There is a chance the Republican nominee can win back the White House in 2012. The only question is if he’ll be able to be true to Republican principles and ideals, or if he’ll simply compromise or renege on them yet again.