Open Chat... All Day, Every Day! Express Your Views, Debate, and Challenge the Views of Others!

In order to keep up with the nature of free, spirited debate, I wanted to place the chat feature at the top of the homepage. This ensures people can come here and share their views on anything they wish and not have it be related to any specific discussion. Here, people can share ideas, links, and views "unmoderated" and an their own pace. To me, this makes The Elephant in the Room blog truly a place for debate.

Saturday, December 31, 2011


From Pachyderm Pride - We hope everyone out there has a fun, SAFE time. Thank you to all the users, commenters, posters, writers, and everyone that helps spread the word. We have a lot of work to do, but so far, it has been great to see so many people expressing themselves and spreading their conservative message. Your support shows you care about our country. It shows you are tired of the status quo. It shows you don't want your minds made up by the mainstream media, and it shows just how great Americans can be.

At the end of the year, we launched Reader's Posts, and the support has been amazing. We are receiving tons of emails about RPs and are so glad to hear that people who want to express themselves feel they now can. We know not everyone has the time to write down every political thought they think of, so RPs are a great way to just "let it out" sometimes without all the maintenance, hassle and upkeep of running a full blog. Most importantly, people get heard and information is shared. We hope you continue to submit your writings, and we will do our best to post them quickly.

Onward to 2012! We are looking forward to a great year! Show YOUR Pachyderm Pride!

Friday, December 30, 2011

READER'S POST #2 - Democracy at its Finest: The Write-In Cain Movement

The Write-In Cain Movement
By: Totus Tuus

On Saturday, Dec. 3 2011, Herman Cain suspended his campaign. Prior to the announcement, my husband gave his prediction. He predicted that if Herman Cain came out swinging he would get more supporters than ever. My husband loathes politics so him giving his 2 cents was quite remarkable. He is still voting for Herman Cain in our primary. We had both made our minds up some time ago. It was a horrible day when we heard Cain announce the suspension of his campaign. We were sure Mr. Cain would come out fighting, but that's easy to say from our vantage point.

Now you can read all kinds of media analysis up one side and down the other. My take? Who cares? We know they want Romney on one side and Obama on the other. We know the media thinks we hired them to do some job and to get paid some good money. Someone needs to tell them they are there as a service to US and they owe US better. After this Herman Cain fiasco they owe us WAY better. That's a rant for another day, however, and believe me, it's coming.

So… what happened to all those people who got on the train and weren't going to get off? We're still on the train! The track has switched to the Underground Railroad and we're still going. We're voting for the person who is the best candidate, and that has not changed. Herman Cain was the same person before Dec 3rd as he was the day after Dec 3rd.

We hear things like, “it’s a wasted vote." To you, maybe, because it's not for your candidate. Maybe your vote is a "wasted vote" for all you know. It seems this was the same scenario we had in 2008, and look where that got us. We will not walk into a voting booth with our noses plugged this time. We're going to vote Herman Cain if he's on the ballot and write him in if he's not. We will be darned PROUD of that vote [Be sure to write-in Herman Cain! If you do a write-in, it MUST be exact or it will get thrown out].

Here's another doozy people demand from us about the write in movement: "stop it!" Our response: “do you think we're actively recruiting people?” We are not! What outsiders don't get is we're not coercing anyone. Voters would write-in or vote for Cain whether we said anything or not. It's a movement that consists of like-minded folks reaching out to each other for support of a common goal.

The final doozy is how we need to "work from the outside." Has anyone ever heard of a program or idea that came from a dropout candidate affecting anything or anyone? Yes! One of the examples someone cited to me was the tea party and the 2010 elections. The tea party evolved from our dissatisfaction with what remained IN the race, and no one can disagree with that. The question for those elected politicians is: what changed?

So who are these people involved in the Herman Cain write-in movement? They are people who are not going to be dissuaded, and they are from every state in the nation. Some appear to be new people who got on board recently. Perhaps after watching enough of the debates they realized how good a candidate Herman Cain really is. There are groups on Facebook, people on Twitter, and I have the feeling they are even people “out there” who are thinking exactly the same thing we are but don't use social media.We've been jumping up and down to get media attention although it might be better we don't. I have lovely thoughts of us coming in from under the radar (“stealth” so to speak) and knocking the MSM off their high horse.

From now until Caucus day in Iowa day (where our main focus is for now) we will be writing letters to the editors and constantly tweeting. We are presently trying to create some ads. Iowans who support Cain will still be wearing their Herman Cain gear. Some will even be wearing their Write-In Cain gear. Many supporters are advertising Write-In Cain gear and the proceeds are going to go for a write in Cain billboard. This is all part of the grassroots effort for Herman Cain.

The focus then shifts to the upcoming state primaries, but for now it remains on Iowa. Herman Cain suspended his campaign. Herman Cain should stand back up, get back in, and let the MSM know that he's with us. We will even try for a brokered convention.

We have become his campaign, and we need our candidate NOW!

We want our vote, and we will have it! Sorry MSM. Sorry GOP elites. Sorry to you silly pundits, too. We are the people, and we will have our!

Herman Cain America is calling. PLEASE answer.

Additional Information:

To put a name behind the movement, Carl Boyd Jr. has been the voice of the Write-In Cain movement on Twitter and Facebook. His radio show is out of Cain's birth state of Tennessee. I should note that there are states where it may not be necessary to write-in Herman Cain. His name will be appearing on many ballots as it is.

Here are some folks behind the efforts for the write in movement:

Facebook groups including write ins for Herman Cain and 75 million for Cain:

Follow the movement on Twitter. The following are those who tweet on a regular basis for the Write-In Cain movement. We generally use the hash tag #writeincain:

Aforementioned Carl Boyd Jr who's leading the charge: @WRITEINCAIN1
Me @ACatholic4Cain                                   

Disclaimer from The Elephant in the Room: The article posted above is the work of a blog reader, not an owner of the blog. In promoting an open forum blog, and believing that the passing of information is the reason we exist, we happily post most readers' work with little editing. While the article does appear on our blog, the owners of The Elephant in the Room did not write this article, and posting this article on our blog does not imply endorsement of the ideas and opinions expressed in the article. If you would like us to post your work, please submit it to

Thursday, December 29, 2011

READER'S POST #1 (Continued Analysis) - Using Math and Common Sense to Fact-Check the Media

By: 32slim32

Well President Obama is off on another vacation and this one with a price tag of over $4 Million to the taxpayer. What’s that? Oh, “Bush took over 1,000 days of vacation”. Yes, we have all heard it. Whether you read it at Politifact or somewhere else, it all comes back to CBS’s Mark Knoller. He keeps “detailed records” of the Presidents scheduled (since Gerald Ford) appearances, speeches, travels, and vacation days. He has somewhat been the authority on Presidential “vacation days” because of his “detailed records”.

First, let’s define what a “vacation day” is in Mr. Knoller’s “detailed records”.  A “vacation day” is a “day OR a PARTIAL day” that the President is not at the White House or Camp David (although he does keep track of days and trips to Camp David, he does not count them as “vacation days” since they are usually week end trips). Notice, I said Knoller does not count days at Camp David as “vacation days”, however, when you hear people saying “Bush took over 1,000 days of vacation” those are still Knoller’s  numbers because he does keep track of days at Camp David. It is the combination of Knoller’s “vacation days” and Knoller’s days at Camp David records.

While Mr. Knoller has not published an “official list” (that I have been able to find) of Bush’s numerous “vacation days”, he does consistently publish his numbers (you know, every time Obama goes on vacation), and they are consistent.

The main claim I want to address in this article is, according to Mr. Knoller, “President George W. Bush spent even more time away from the presidential mansion in the nation’s capital than Reagan. Of the 77 total "vacation" trips the former president made to his Texas ranch while in office, nine of them — all or part of 69 days — came during his first year as president in 2001, according to Knoller.” Again, notice the “all or part of 69 days”. 

As I mentioned above, I have not been able to locate an official list that Mr. Knoller has published, however, I did find a list that a local television station maintained of all of Bush’s visits to Texas at This list is very detailed. There were eight instances in which they did not list a departure date. In all eight instances I used a Monday departure date, as the majority were listed as “Weekend Visit”.

After having to make 8 assumptions on departure days (that were unlisted), I came within 3 days of Mr. Knoller’s number. His number was 77 trips for 490 days or partial days away from the White House, I came up with 487 days. Not too bad, I thought.

What is missing from Mr. Knoller’s report is a whole bunch of asterisks. For instance, a weekend visit to Camp David does not count as a “vacation day” (by Knoller’s standard). Mr. Knoller’s numbers include 130 days or partial days that would not be charged as “vacation days” with a Camp David destination, just from weekend visits to the Crawford ranch.

Another little asterisk that Mr. Knoller could have included would have been that at least 29 “vacation days” were meeting with leaders from other nations at the ranch, like:

- Vladimir Putin in November 2001
- Tony Blair in April 2002
- Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah April 2002
- Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar Bin Sultan August 2002
- Chinese President Jiang Zimen  October 2002
- Spanish President Jose Maria Aznar  February 2003
- Australian Prime Minister John Howard May 2003
- Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi May 2003
- Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi July 2003
- Mexican President Vicente Fox March 2004
- Egypt President Hosni Mubarak April 2004
- Mexican President Vicente Fox & Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin March 2005
- Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon April 2005
- Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah April 2005
- Colombian President Alvaro Uribe August 2005
- NATO Secretary General Jaap De Hoop Scheffer May 2007
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel November 2007
- Danish Prime Minister February 2008

How did Mr. Knoller’s “detailed records” forget those little details? 

Another little asterisk that Knoller could have included would be how Bush was charged with 4 days or partial “vacation days” by flying off to Iraq in November 2003 to visit the troops. Or another 7 “vacation days” while visiting wounded troops.

Another thing Knoller doesn’t come right out and mention, the 2 hour flight from Washington to Crawford counts as a “partial day” vacation each way. So there are 154 “vacation days” right here. And that brings me to the biggest anomaly in his record keeping. While a four hour round trip counts as two “days or partial days” away from the White House, a five hour golf outing doesn’t even register as time away from the White House.  How does that work, four hours on a plane is two “vacation days” and a five hour trip to the links is like you never even left the White House? 

So of the 490 days or partial days away from the White House (aka “vacation days”) it breaks down like this:

- 130 days or partial days on weekend visits to Crawford (that wouldn’t be counted if @ Camp David)
- 29 days (At the minimum) of meeting with world leaders while “on vacation”.
- 11 days of “vacation” visiting troops
- 154 “partial days” of vacation travelling to and from

That leaves 166 days of “vacation”, but in that, there are still meetings with economic advisers and security advisers, and some day trips that Bush took during his extended August stays at the ranch.

The next time you hear someone referring to Bush’s vacation days and using Mark Knoller’s numbers you now know how he inflates the numbers.  Maybe then ask how Obama hasn’t run up more days or partial days away from the White House than he has with 90 trips to the golf course.

Interesting little tid bit about Camp David. I believe the main reason Mark Knoller does not count time at Camp David as vacation time is because Jimmy Carter spent 376 days of his 4 years in office at Camp David, according to Mark Knoller. 

Disclaimer from The Elephant in the Room: The article posted above is the work of a blog reader, not an owner of the blog. In promoting an open forum blog, and believing that the passing of information is the reason we exist, we happily post most readers' work with little editing. While the article does appear on our blog, the owners of The Elephant in the Room did not write this article, and posting this article on our blog does not imply endorsement of the ideas and opinions expressed in the article. If you would like us to post your work, please submit it to

READER'S POST #1 - Did Media Matters Mislead its Readers?

By: 32slim32

I came across this while researching Bush’s vacation days:

“Bush Spent 5 Times More On Flights To Texas Than Obama‘s Christmas Vacation Costs”

First, I just love the rationale and the defense they use. “You can’t be upset about a $4 Million vacation when Bush spent $20 Million in 8 years flying to Crawford”.

Second, let’s look at how they arrive at that $20 Million figure. From the fourth paragraph of the article linked to above:

“During Bush’s two terms, the cost of operating Air Force One ranged from $56,800 to $68,000 an hour. Bush used Air Force One 77 times to go to his ranch in Crawford, TX. Using the low end cost of $56,800, Media Matters calculated that each trip to Crawford cost taxpayers $259,687 each time, and $20 million total for Bush’s ranch flights.”

By “Media Matters calculated” they mean they took the number published by CBS’ Mark Knoller of 77 trips and multiplied that by $259,687 (a CBO number they reference). Mr. Knoller always gives the grand total of “vacation days” for Bush vs Obama every couple of months or when Obama goes on vacation, whichever comes first. I have searched for his “official list” but all I find are the “summary reports” he gives us. I did however find a nice list at:

KWTX is located in Waco, TX, which is where Air Force usually flew in and out of. They do say the list is UNOFFICIAL, but it lines up with Mr. Knoller’s numbers on trips. While the list does not provide where the President flew in from or where he departed to every time, it does list several. Upon reviewing the list (which is no means complete) I have found at least 27 times that Bush went to the ranch in which he did not fly from DC and right back to DC like Media Matters number reflects.

Trips where Bush was going west and stopped at the ranch en route or returning from the west and stopped do not add $259,687. One trip, Bush flew to a ceremony in Little Rock, AR for President Clinton, went to the ranch for two days, then went on an official POTUS visit to Santiago, Chile. That trip didn’t cost $259,687. The return flight from Chile they stopped at the ranch and that didn’t cost $259,687. Several of Bush’s visits to the ranch were from official visits or campaign stops in Houston and Dallas, which again didn’t really quite fall into the parameters of the Media Matters conservative estimate.

Anyway, it is very possible that the Media Matters $20 Million could be off by as much $7 Million just based on these 27 trips. Please note, I am not saying that Bush NEVER flew from DC to the ranch and back. I just think the number that Media Matters published is a tad bit on the over inflated side, just because of their basic assumption that all 77 trips were for the sole purpose of going to the ranch. 

List of GWB flights (2002-2008):

Arrival Date
Departure Date
Arrive From
Depart To
New Mexico
Los Cabos
Monterey, Mexico
Davenport, IA
Las Cruces, NM
Little Rock, AR
Santiago, Chile
Santiago, Chile
Western States
Cancun, Mexico
Cincinnati, OH
South TX
New Orleans, LA
Greely, CO
Kansas City
St Louis, MO
Greensburg, KS

Disclaimer from The Elephant in the Room: The article posted above is the work of a blog reader, not an owner of the blog. In promoting an open forum blog, and believing that the passing of information is the reason we exist, we happily post most readers' work with little editing. While the article does appear on our blog, the owners of The Elephant in the Room did not write this article, and posting this article on our blog does not imply endorsement of the ideas and opinions expressed in the article. If you would like us to post your work, please submit it to

READER'S POSTS - Our Open Forum Blog

The Elephant in the Room exists for many reasons. The most important of those reasons is to provide a platform for any person of any political opinion to express him/herself. We are a conservative blog (obviously), and we have our views and our opinions. Yes, we stand by them. This does not mean we are the gold standard for political opinions, and we are always open to views from "the other side." Of course, whether it's a Reader's Post or an article we see on a mainstream media news site, we might challenge (respectfully) the views of anything we wish. We always promise to treat all posters with respect.

We provide open posting in our "Reader's Posts." We feel that this is a perfect way for the politically minded to express themselves without the work and upkeep of running a blog (we currently have 3 on our staff). Reader's Posts are articles that readers of all kinds (full time readers and the casual blog checkers) write and submit to our blog to be posted. We edit theses posts minimally (most edits are for blog formatting, not content) and post them as the author wishes.

If you would like us to post your work in our Reader's Posts please email us at and:

1. Keep it clean. Please refrain from using profanity and any form of hate speech (we are all adults; we don't have to explain what hate speech is)
2. Give us the title you would like to post it under. If you don't, that's fine. We will make one up for you.
3. Let us know how you would like the author named (your personal name, a handle, username, anonymous, etc.)

Once we receive, read, and edit your post, we will send you a screenshot of how it would look on our blog in addition to a word document of the exact text (content plus a disclaimer) that will be used in your post. After you review these documents and approve of them, we post your post live. Feel free to use the comments section as you wish to answer questions, defend your positions, etc.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email us. We hope people use our blog as a launchpad for their political ideas.

Senator Tom Coburn's Report on Government Waste... This is Funny

I didn't know it existed, but Tom Coburn's 2011 Wastebook (I'm assuming this is a yearly thing) is worth the read.

It can be found on his website here:

Follow this link to get to the actual report:

First, let me start by reviewing a few staggering numbers:

The government spent approximately $3,818,800,000,000 (yes, that's TRILLIONS) in 2011. Breaking that down, it equates to:

$10,462,465,753 per day

$435,936,073 per hour

$7,265,601 per minute

$121,093 per second

This comical report (the narrative is comical, the amount of government waste is not) highlights 100 wasteful or duplicative government-funded projects in 2011 totaling $6.9 billion. To put that in to perspective, granted, $6.9 billion would only cover about 15 hours and 49 minutes of government spending. But, with approximately 160,000,000 taxpayers in the U.S., cutting $6.9 billion equals about $43 in savings per person. Say, wasn't Obama asking taxpayers how much an extra $40 would mean to them??? Sure, he was referring to $40 per pay period (every two weeks), so 26 total pay periods of $6.9 billion in cuts equals $179 billion, or $1,121 per taxpayer. I'm sure the government can easily cut $179 billion (4.7%) yearly from its over-bloated $3,818,800,000,000 budget. Heck, if one congressperson alone found $6.9 billion in wasteful spending, imagine what 535 of them could do!

Anyway, I read the entire report and like I said, not only is it worth the read for entertainment purposes, but every concerned taxpayer should read it. My top 5 favorite wasteful government projects:

#5 (report page 55): Air Force Academy Builds "Stonehenge-like Worship Center - (CO) - $51,474
          - Yes, definitely important!

#4 (report page 22): Rockin' Robins: Study Looks for Connections Between Cocaine and Risky Sex Habits of Quail - (KY) - $175,587
          - This is a no brainer; we don't want the sex lives of cocaine-addicted quail to get crazy now.

#3 (report page 14): Remake of "Sesame Street" for Pakistan - (U.S. Agency for International Development) - $10 million
          - Perhaps they didn't notice we were coming for Bin Laden because they were too busy watching Sesame Street?

#2 (report page 47): Taxpayer-Funded Snow Cones for Emergencies (and Promotions) - $6,279
          - From the report: "According to the Michigan state government, the Snow Cone ice-making machines were intended to assist with treating heat exhaustion and other illnesses during large events (including possible terrorist incidents or similar emergencies). WHAT!? FEMA or DHS will be handing out snow cones if a terrorist strikes Michigan? Oh boy...

#1 (report page 7): Paying for Pancakes - (D.C.) - $765,828
          - I've heard of living off government "cheese," but pancakes? I don't like this; I prefer waffles!

Hopefully everyone reads through this report. It really should be passed on; I know I had a good laugh. Coburn's pictures are well-selected, too. Give your favorite wasteful projects in the comments section below. Be sure to tell a friend. Thanks!

Oh yah, in the time it took to read this, the government wasted $21,796,803 on snow cones and Sesame Street. Just thought I'd let you know!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Is This Really Anybody's Business?

I saw the following article on this morning:

If you do a Google search of "Nancy Pelosi Hawai'i Winter Break," numerous articles are returned.

My question: Is this really anybody's business?

In my opinion, how someone spends their private money on their private time is nobody's business. Period. Just because she is a public servant (granted, in my opinion, not a very good one) doesn't mean her private life isn't private. We strive to live and promote a free society. Peoples' private lives are to be respected (or so I thought), right? Are we truly free when our private spending and private vacationing habits are subject to media and public scrutiny? The best part of America is this: there is no law, no rule, no regulation that prevents me from having that kind of vacation myself. I am free to venture down whatever path I choose whether it's prosperity or poverty. News outlets shouldn't be scrutinizing wealthy politicians for how they take their vacations; they should be promoting the idea that every American is free to choose how to spend their own time.

Back to the article: for what true purpose did Fox write this article? Now, let's get one thing straight. A private security detail funded by the taxpayer is obviously the taxpayers' business. But the cost of the hotel and all the private places she might stay are not. With it comes to that information being spread, I don't agree with it, and I think this kind of overall headlining (of course, on both sides) should stop. Swaying the electorates' minds with articles about peoples' private spending happens is, to me, sleazy. We at our blog this this kind of reporting is counterproductive and only expands the divide between people of differing political opinions. What do you think?

On the side... tongue-in-cheek of course: Where is OWS on this? :-P

Friday, December 23, 2011

What Would You Say to Harry Reid and/or John Boehner?

Source: Wikipedia, Public domain
There they are: the "heads" of each of the two parts of our bicameral legislature. With the recent passing of the two-month extension of the payroll tax holiday, what would you say to either or both of these leaders? 

You know we love open forums and civil debates. Post your letters, questions, opinions, views, and anything else you want below. Thank you.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Revenues vs. Spending: Our Take

As we have said since the beginning of this blog, we take positions (albeit, conservative ones), and we tend to back them. This is what we stand for. We stand by opposing views that are backed over agreeing views that are not.

Allow us to try to shed some light on the revenues vs. spending issue we continually see discussed on various blogs and mainstream media news sites. Again, these are our views and our interpretations of the data. As always, the comments section is open for civil debate.

First, we believe that the current financial crisis (skyrocketing federal deficits and the increase in the national debt, and yes, we know the difference between deficits and debts) is the result of out of control government spending as opposed to those that think it's the result of lagging revenues. Secondly, we also believe that, in spite of what the mainstream media tries to brainwash readers with, the Bush-era tax cuts were a boon to government revenues. We must note that this is not an analysis of who or what party or president caused the problems; it is merely a review of which part of the federal budget, in our view, contributes most to deficits and debt. Our primary source of data is the Office of Management and Budget Summary of Receipts, Outlays and Surpluses or Deficits Table located here:

This report can be found on the OMB website located here: 

First, the data. We have selected federal budgets from 2001-2010, and the projected budgets for 2011 and 2012:

We are going to highlight selected years in the data:

1. 2004-2007 - We chose this set because 2004 was the first full year of the "Bush-era" tax cuts. It is also the first 4-year period in which these tax cuts were "seasoned," and their effects had made their way through the economy. We close the set at 2007 because this is the beginning of the recession and revenues tail off (though not to pre-recession levels) due to various circumstances which are not considered "normal" economic conditions (high unemployment, reduced corporate profits, etc.). The recession was not caused by the Bush-era tax cuts, and the economy was side-swiped by other exogenous forces. 

2. 2008-2011 - We chose this set because this was the era of increased government spending. Expenditures during these 4 years skyrocketed and, in our opinion, have contributed most to the mammoth yearly deficits our country is now experiencing. Unlike revenues, which are the result of economic conditions, expenditures are outlays that are the direct result of government officials' decisions and are made independent of economic circumstances. This is why we tend to discount revenues during this period while we take a look at government expenditures. To us, the story told by revenues during this period is not as significant as the story told by expenditures.

Notice the time period from 2004-2007. The yearly increase in government revenue was at its highest rate, and the change relative to base year 2001 was extraordinary.  Now take a look at expenditures in 2008. From 2001 to 2007, government expenditures increased by only 60%. From 2008 until 2011, in less than half the time, they went from 60% to 100% of 2001 levels. Prior to 2008, the greatest increase in yearly government expenditures was 7.95%. In 2008, it was 9.3%. In 2009, it was 17.94% year over year.

These figures might be easier to understand on a simple graph.

During the green period (the period highlighting the Bush-era tax cuts), revenues increased at a rate greater than the increase in government spending. The gap between the two was actually shrinking. The Bush-era tax cuts, as you can see on the graph, yielded the greatest increase in government revenues during the entire 12 year study period. 

During the red period (the period of increased government spending, ignoring revenues), government spending skyrocketed. When compared to revenues during this period, expenditures increased at a rate that exceeded the deceleration in revenues. Outlays increased 29% from 2007 to 2009 alone. Notice the gap between revenues and spending in 2010 and 2011. This is the yearly deficit, which, if left unbalanced (which it is) then gets rolled into the national debt. 

Let's look at another graph.

This graph supports the information presented in the previous graph. During the era of Bush-era tax cuts (yes, we know they are still in effect, but government revenues are greatly affected during recessions and therefore looking at revenues under these conditions would not be statistically sound), government revenues had its greatest year-over-year increase. As stated in the analysis of the previous graph, the rate of increase in revenues exceeded the rate of increase in government expenditures. During the red period, government spending increase at astounding levels year-over-year. 

This final graph is the most telling.

The first thing we noticed: Government revenues, since the first full year of the Bush-era tax cuts, never dipped below pre-tax cut levels. The tax cuts have always maintained a net positive revenue stream relative to the time before they were enacted.

The second thing we noticed: Government spending, especially since 2008, has been, in our opinion, out of control. In 10 years, the government has doubled its outlays. Perhaps, if the recession did not hit, looking at the rate of increase in revenues from 2004 to 2007, revenues might have kept pace (after all, as previously stated, revenues were growing faster than expenditures since the Bush-era tax cuts).

What does this all mean to us? Simply: the government spends too much. If a regular citizen started earning less money, he or she would naturally start to spend less. If not, they would certainly fall into bankruptcy. Adjusting its spending is not a corrective action our government seems to take in a similar situation. When the government started to earn less (nothe government does not have as much control over its revenues via taxes as people like to think), it should have started to spend less. Unfortunately, as the data shows, it actually did the opposite and started to spend more.

What should the government do? Duh, spend less! The government can easily cut trillions of dollars in unnecessary spending. There is no amount of tax increases that can keep up with this out of control spending anyway, and the only way for the government to bring its budget into balance is by living within its means. Empires fall because they go bankrupt, and, if the United States doesn't take heed, it will end up going down that long road to ruin as well.

Looking forward to your comments. Thank you.

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Monday, December 19, 2011

The Death of a Dictator

Kim Jong-il: (??? - December, 17th 2011)

There really isn't much to say here. He led a poor, struggling nation with an iron fist. The DPRK is one of the world's last truly centrally-planned societies, and it doesn't appear to be changing. He utilized propaganda to create a cult of personality and lived lavishly while his citizens starved. He held close the tenets of communism, and he forced his country into a form of international exclusion experienced by no other nation. His passing should cause us to think of the freedoms we have, and it should remind us of what happens when the government under which we live becomes too strong and too large.

What should his eulogy be? What would you say?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fox News Debate: December 15th, 2011 from Sioux City Iowa

This is the final republican debate before the primary election. Thoughts?


Are you going to watch the debate?

- Who is in the best position going in?
- Who will have the worst night?
- Will anyone drop out after this debate?
- Who will win?
- Other thoughts...


Did you watch the debate?

- Who won the Fox News debate?
- Who is going to drop out?
- Who will climb in the polls? Who will fall?
- Who will win the Iowa GOP primary?
- Who do you think will win the GOP nomination?
- Who can win versus Obama?
- Other thoughts...

Fun stuff:

- Biggest gaffe?
- Nastiest attack?
- Biggest lie?
- Etc. Etc. Etc.

All thoughts are welcomed.

Thank you!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Democracy No Longer Exists When...

Politicians realize they can hold on to their power by buying votes using the peoples' treasury. What are we talking about? See Obama's Facebook page below:
Maybe it's just me, but I don't think it was supposed to be like this. Without using so many words, Obama is spreading this message: "Hey, if you vote for me and my party, we will pay you $1,500 next year."

What do you think? Pure democracy, or a pure mockery of it?

Related Posts: 

Progressive Taxes: The Ultimate Conflict of Interest

Attn: Washington. I Can Take Care of Myself, Thank You

Open Forum: "Why Should" Questions...

With so much going on (high unemployment, OWS, an upcoming election, drones in Iran, GOP debates, and on and on and on) we are creating an open forum that we feel would help people express an important type of question: "why should?..."

What is this? Simply put, it's an open dialogue. This blog is about expression. LME has viewpoints, OWS has viewpoints, liberals and conservatives all have viewpoints, we ALL have viewpoints. With the constant flow and bombardment of information, sometimes it feels that specific "why should" questions not only go unanswered, but unasked.

We are establishing two simple ground rules here:

1. Either post a "why should" question, or post an answer to someone's question. Your post should start with "Why should........." or your post should start with "Answer to XXXXX:" and then your answer. There are no right or wrong answers. These are just opinions. We prefer if you leave a username/handle so that questions are appropriately addressed, but that's up to you.

2. Please don't use this as a rant forum to go on about problems you see in the world. We have other topics and forums for that :-)

Please, as always, keep it civil. Encourage all to join in. With this being our first one, we would like to see how this goes. Thank you.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday, December 12th: OWS Plans to "Occupy" Ports... Why?

I don't think I really understand this:

Occupy ports articles:     Fox News     Washington Post

But first, as always, I must say that I am a believer in the Constitution (as is everyone that runs this blog), and I do believe in the rights granted by the First Amendment. I must restate it here:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

First, where in the First Amendment does it say people have the right to "occupy?" Where does it say they have the right to prevent people from pursuing their happiness? America is a country that allows the rule of the majority to exist while not suppressing the views of the minority. With that, shouldn't the OWS movement understand that some people might not want to hear them? Shouldn't they understand that some people might not agree with their cause? By shutting down the West Coast ports, they are forcing (yes, this is a use of force) their views on other people. In spite of all the detrimental effects this might have (preventing the flow of goods, stopping people from going to their jobs to earn their pay, preventing the receipt of materials from which medicines are made, etc.) this OWS shutdown, to me, is rather selfish. If a group of protesters stands arm-in-arm and prevents me from entering the NYC subway, they are unlawfully detaining me and preventing my free movement as a citizens of this country. Occupying ports is no different. Again, I'm all for peaceful protest, but, in my opinion, this goes too far. 

I don't understand the "occupying" of West Coast ports for numerous reasons, and I'd hopefully like to get some answers:

- Why does OWS think it's okay to prevent hard-working citizens from getting to their jobs?
- What about the detrimental side effects of closing down the ports?
- What are your goals? By doing this, what do you think will happen? Where do you expect to see change? Do you think "Wall Street" or the government will just magically change because you are stopping the flow of goods?
- Why does OWS think it's okay to force their views on those that might not agree? (Both articles listed above state that local longshoremen unions are distancing themselves from the OWS move to occupy ports).

The last question is perhaps the most important. It is okay to peacefully and lawfully protest. It is okay to march. It's okay to be angry at the government, "Wall Street" etc. What's not okay is illegally trespassing, preventing free movement, etc. In my opinion, the police should always remain on the sidelines when protests as a whole are behaving within the law. Police should absolutely step in to ensure the laws are being followed. When OWS begins to "occupy" the ports, I support police involvement to ensure the workers of these ports are able to get to their jobs and perform them in a safe manner. 

I think if OWS wants to make a better case it should stick to means of protesting that do not infringe on the rights of others. They have the right to say what they want to say, but they should remember that people also have a right not to hear it. They should also remember that the innocent, non-involved should not have to have their lives affected too. OWS claims they represent the "99%" but in a democracy, we vote for those who represent us. If the workers of these ports to not support (as many union members said they don't) I don't think OWS should override these workers' preferences and force OWS representation. These are just my opinions, and I would love to hear the views of both OWS supporters and those opposed to it. Thank you.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

ABC Debate: December 10th, 2011 from Drake University

Did you watch? Yes, it was on a Saturday night during the holiday shopping seasonm which probably isn't good for viewership, but, if you did watch, who do you think won?

What was the most important moment?

... the best "gotcha" moment?

... the biggest flub?

... the funniest moment?

Did your pick for the GOP nomination win?

Give your opinions below. Thank you!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

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Polls: Americans Favor Taxing The Rich... Ok! Stop This Garbage

Yes, stop it! This is absolutely ridiculous. Here is the oft-quoted Gallup poll showing overwhelmingly that Americans favor taxing the rich more:

My take: Really?! No way! You're telling me the majority of Americans recognize we have a HUGE budget problem in this country, and they think the best way to solve it is to have someone other than themselves pay for it?! You know, if it wasn't for polls like these, I would have no idea this sentiment existed............ (cough)

Come on. Yes, I take the poll as a legitimate poll. I'm sure the numbers are correct. When the media reports it, it's not lying, but... come on. Think about it for a second... a two-thirds majority favor taxing someone else more. Does this surprise a single person? Is this a good thing to report out of context?

The fact that the media repeatedly trumpets this unscientific tripe in an attempt to make any kind of point is not only silly; it's just plain manipulative. To me, it's sleazy. Period. 

Here, I have some non-proven, unscientific poll stats that might surprise no one as well. They hold about as much value as this Gallup poll the media routinely cites:

- 93% of Americans think everyone else should donate a heart to help fight heart disease. 

- 86% of Americans want traffic alleviated by building a superhighway on the other side of town. 

I just hope the average American can see through the garbage the media puts out before making important voting decisions. 

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