‘The Donald’ Not White House Material

After reading in the local newspaper today that a St. Louis-area man had formed a committee to draft Donald Trump to run for president in 2012, I couldn’t help but ask the question, “Do we really want a man like Trump running the country?”

Donald Trump (Photo Gage Skidmore)

On the surface, Trump might seem like a likable guy in that strange “You’re fired!” sort of way, but “The Donald” isn’t the kind of guy I want living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

During this time of economic crisis in the United States, Trump touts himself as the savvy businessman ready to fix what ails the American business environment.  In reality, however, he’s been at the helm of several companies — including casinos — that have filed bankruptcy during the past two decades.  Hardly conservative Republican values.

Sure, many people think the United States is on the verge of bankruptcy today, but does that mean we’re ready to gamble — pun intended — on the business acumen of someone with so much experience being “in the red”?  I don’t think so.

During President Barack Obama’s first two years in office, many raised — and continue to raise — questions about his personal life:  Is he a United States citizen?  Is he a Muslim?  Outside of being a community organizer, what experience does he have that qualifies him to serve in the nation’s highest elected office?

When I look at “The Donald,” I see a hard-charging, twice-divorced, thrice-married man with several admirable qualities [Note: The comb-over hairstyle isn't one of 'em.].  But do I want him living in my White House?  Unless he’s the only option alternative to the man living there now, my answer is “No.”

UPDATE 4/14/11 at 8:44 a.m. Central: The Wall Street Journal published an article in which Trump was quoted as saying he would run as an independent candidate if he doesn’t win the Republican Party nomination for president.  Think Ross Perot.

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Obama Hints at Fairness Doctrine on Sunday Shows

Brace yourselves, conservatives:  While President Barack Obama used his appearances on the Sunday talk shows to push for government-run health care, he also fired what could be considered an Oval Office “missile” aimed squarely at conservative talk radio.

During a poignant segment of his interview the president that was broadcast on FACE the NATION this morning (above), CBS News veteran Bob Schieffer set up and asked a “softball” question as follows:

“Let me ask you a little bit about the tenor of this debate.  It seems to me that there’s a sort of meanness that has settled over our political dialogue.  It started this summer at these town hall meetings.  We saw the outbreak when you spoke to the joint session (of Congress).  Some people, clearly, just don’t agree with your policies, but there seems to be others that are just, just mad and angry.  President Carter is now saying he thinks its racial.  Nancy Pelosi says it could be dangerous. What do you think it’s all about?”

Obama responded as if trying to be every-man’s president:

“Well, what I think we have to remember is that, at various periods in American history, people get pretty rambunctious when it comes to our democratic debate.  That’s not new, and every president who’s tried to bring about big changes, I think, elicits the most-passionate responses.”

Sadly, he went on to offer a thinly-veiled comparison of himself to Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan:

“I mean, if you hear what people have to say about Abraham Lincoln or what they had to say about FDR or what they had to say about Ronald Reagan when he first came in and was trying to change our approach to government — that elicited huge responses.”

Next, he tells Schieffer Big Lie #1:

“Now, I think that what’s driving passions right now is that health care has become a proxy a broader set of issues about how much government should be involved in our economy, particularly coming off a huge economic crisis, and the only thing that I’ve been trying to say is, number one, I have no interest in increasing the size of government. I just want to make sure we have a smart government that is regulating, for example, the financial institutions smartly so I don’t have to engage in any kind of bank bailouts” [Note: "Big Lie #1" is found in the fact that he already bailed out the banks!]

It’s followed soon after by Big Lie #2:

“That’s point number one, and, point number two, even though we’re having a passionate disagreement here, we can be civil to each other, and we can try to express ourselves, acknowledging that we’re all patriots, we’re all Americans and not assume the absolute worst in people’s motives. [Note: "Big Lie #2" is found in his contention that we're all patriots, we're all Americans and we're assuming the worst in people's (i.e., "his") motives.  Truth is, we're not assuming; we're witnessing.]

Finally, he adds icing to the “cake” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi frosted yesterday by setting the stage for a push to enact the so-called “Fairness Doctrine,” a measure they hope will muzzle conservative media, especially on talk radio and in the blogosphere:

“I do think part of what’s different today is that the 24-hour news cycle — and cable television and blogs and all this — they focus on the most extreme elements on both sides.  They can’t get enough of conflict.  It’s catnip to the media right now.  And, so, the easiest way to get 15 minutes of fame is to be rude to somebody. In that environment, I think it makes it more difficult for us to solve the problems that the American people want us to solve.”

Brace yourselves conservatives: The (tea) party has only just begun.

‘Mattress Wallet’ Touted as Secure Place for Money

“Financial comfort in an uncertain economy.”

Mattress WalletThat was the headline of a news release I read this morning for something called “The Mattress Wallet.”

At first blush, I suspected the news release was either a promotion for some kind of financial advice seminar.  Then I thought it might be something individuals could use to literally keep money under their mattresses (bad idea).

Then I read the news release:

As the global economic crisis continues, investors are looking for the next sure thing. It’s well known that the safest place to put your hard earned money is in a mattress. But a mattress can be very difficult to carry around and sometimes your loved ones throw them away. The Mattress Wallet, introduced today, addresses these issues.

The Mattress Wallet provides savvy investors with a secure and comfortable place to put their money. The Mattress Wallet measures approximately 3.5″ x 4″ when folded, the same size as a standard wallet and is well-suited for international currencies as well as U.S. dollars. No detail has been overlooked down to the ubiquitous warning tag that should not be removed under penalty of law. Its cream-colored quilting features a subtle paisley pattern, bordered with fine satin trim that conforms to the shape of your body. No box spring wallet is required.

Debt is a critical part of most American’s financial planning, which is why The Mattress Wallet can hold at least 8 credit cards. The interior pockets are made of waterproof latex with satin detail and come with a supply of Mattress Wallet Deposit Slips. The Mattress Wallet packaging includes plenty of money-wise advice including, comparison graphs — The Mattress Wallet vs. The Stock Market and The Mattress Wallet vs. Traditional Ponzi Scheme. It also includes other sound investing parables such as “The money you put in, is the money you take out.”

Phil Converse, J.D., President of Balanced Accounts Company and a Mattress Wallet enthusiast, notes, “I consider this to be a quick and easy fix to at least one aspect of the financial crisis. Maybe two.”

Available exclusively at www.themattresswallet.com, The Mattress Wallet sells for $19.95 plus shipping and can be mailed anywhere in the world.

Will I buy The Mattress Wallet? Perhaps, but I’ll have to sleep on it first.

Postal Service Changes Raise Cash, Fight Hunger

The U.S. Postal Service expects to save more than $100 million annually through a series of cost-cutting steps, but a handful of other steps reportedly being taken by the agency during its economic crisis will raise both cash and eyebrows.

Eighty district offices will be closed, according to a recent news release.  In addition, more than 1,400 mail processing supervisor and management positions at nearly 400 facilities around the country are being eliminated and nearly 150,000 employees nationwide are being given the opportunity to take an early retirement.

According to an unidentified agency source, however, the agency is taking three other steps as follows:

  • The Postal Service will soon begin replacing its familiar red, white and blue outdoor mail receptacles with new coin-operated mailboxes.  In addition to paying for stamps, Postal Service customers will be required to deposit 25 cents into a slot in order to deposit a letter at a mailing location other than their home mailbox. So as not to confuse customers who wait until the last day to mail their tax returns, this program will not begin until April 16 and is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2009.
  • In order to lower printing and production costs and boost affinity program revenues, the Postal Service will no longer offer self-adhesive stamps or stamps pretreated with nasty-tasting moisture-activated adhesives.  Instead, customers will be able to choose from a variety of “Flavor-Lick” and “Fresh-Scent Spray” adhesives that capitalize upon unique marketing arrangements with several name-brand companies.  To date, the list of companies said to be partnering with the Postal Service on the “Flavor-Lick” initiative includes — but is not limited to — Coca-Cola®, Listerine® and Red Bull®.  A partial list of the companies said to be participating in the Fresh-Scent Spray” initiative includes — but is not limited to — Dolce&Gabbana®, Glade® and Yankee Candle®.
  • In an effort to help reduce world hunger, the Postal Service plans to phase out traditional wood-based paper envelopes.  In place of them, the agency will offer only envelopes made of rice paper after July 1.  Furthermore, the Postal Service has notified envelope manufacturers and customers alike that the agency will no longer deliver envelopes not made of rice paper after Dec. 31, 2009.

If the measures above are successful, many government watchdog agencies expect the Postal Service to implement several other ideas, many of which were reportedly submitted by third graders.

Did Obama Mention ‘Lifting Ourselves’ Again?

When I heard President Barack Obama mention in his speech to a joint session of Congress tonight the notion of “lifting ourselves” out of the current economic crisis, I felt compelled to republish a Winston Churchill-inspired My Personal Litmus cartoon.

Fair Tax Offers ‘Jumper Cables’ for Economy (Update)

FairTax.org, the grassroots campaign to replace the income tax with a national retail sales tax, announced in a news release they are running full-page ads (pdf) in papers across the country praising the FairTax as “The World’s Biggest Economic Jumper Cables.” today that they have begun running.

Ads will run this week in the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune and mid-sized papers including Juneau, Alaska; Tulsa, Oklahoma and Columbia, South Carolina in coming weeks. “We’re just saying in print what a lot of Americans feel — the FairTax can solve the economic crisis,” said national spokesman, Ken Hoagland.

Hoagland said that support for the FairTax is rapidly growing in proportion to worries about the economy.

Click to view pdf.

Click to view pdf.

“With the economy in tatters, what used to look like too big and too radical a change, now seems like it was designed to fit the dimensions of this historic crisis,” he said. Hoagland said that FairTax advocates know they have to force the change on Washington officials. “Congress and tax lobbyists, in particular, generally hate this idea because it closes all the loopholes and fundamentally changes the relationship between the citizen and government,” said Hoagland.

“Even our critics admit that the FairTax eliminates federal taxes on the poor and some will even concede that elimination of corporate and capital gain taxes will spur massive private investment in our economy,” said Hoagland. “We also believe that when every worker takes home significantly bigger paychecks, free of federal withholding and payroll taxes, million of distressed homeowners will find the means to pay their mortgages and save their homes,” he said. “Without massive government borrowing, ‘bad paper’ turns into ‘good paper’ and one root cause of the downturn is solved under the FairTax,” he said.

Hoagland said that many experts predict an infusion of trillions of now offshore private investment dollars on the heels of enactment of the FairTax. “The United States becomes the most favorable business climate in the world when we eliminate corporate and capital gains taxes,” he said. “That means job creation, capital formation and a stock market that goes up in stead of down,” Hoagland said. “Even better, the positive effects of the FairTax are almost immediate,” he added.

FairTax advocates say they have economic research proving that a national sales tax rate of 23 percent on all new goods and services is sufficient to replace all federal revenues now collected through income and payroll taxes. “This central truth has been distorted by those in Washington who don’t want to admit that their higher estimates are built on the faulty premise of continued loopholes, gimmicks and lobby favors that would require a much higher rate,” he said.

* * *

See also:

Video Compares Flat, National Sales Tax (April 16, 2008)

Fair Tax Proposal Worth a Second Look (Sept. 14, 2007)

UPDATE 2/18/11 at 12:43 p.m. Central: Considering the comments by Mark below, I’m afraid I’m going to have to reconsider my support of the FairTax and say, “Damn the fine print!”

Writer: Bush Not to Blame for Economic Crisis

As evidenced in the comments below (and others), President Barack Obama and his underlings seem fixated upon blaming the current economic crisis on President George W. Bush’s efforts to deregulate industry:

“But come on, we’re not — we are not going to get relief by turning back to the very same policies that for the last eight years doubled the national debt and threw our economy into a tailspin.” – President Barack Obama, speaking at a House Democratic Caucus meeting in Williamsburg, Va., Thursday, National Review Online, Feb. 6.

“Those who presided over the last eight years, eight years that brought us to the point where we inherited trillions of dollars in deficits, an economy that’s collapsing more rapidly that in any time in the last 50 years, don’t seem to be in a strong position to lecture about the lessons of history,” Mr Summers argued on ABC News. — Larry Summers, economic adviser to President Barack Obama, Telegraph, Feb. 8

Hoover Institution visiting fellow Scott S. Powell delivers proof to the contrary in a Barron’s article published yesterday.  It begins this way:

CONTRARY TO A VIEW POPULARIZED DURING THE 2008 presidential election season, the current economic crisis was not the result of deregulation.

The Bush administration made many mistakes, but deregulation was not one of them.

Not only was there no major deregulation passed during the past eight years, but the Bush administration and a Republican Congress approved the most sweeping financial-market regulation in decades.

Click here to read the rest.

Hat tip:  NewsBusters