Category Archives: Unspin

Collection of posts that UnSpin the spin

The Fiscal Cake!

The Fiscal Cake!

You heard me right and I am not misquoting the latest Washington buzzword “fiscal cliff”. I really do mean the fiscal cake.

You see, when I was just a lad my Mom would say to me “you can’t have your cake and eat it too”. I would say to myself (in those days saying it to her would have meant an unscheduled dental visit to fix a loose tooth or two, if you know what I mean!) So I would say to myself “what the heck is she talking about, these old people are losing it and fast!”

But now some 35 years or so later, I want to say to the American people, “don’t be fooled by the election rhetoric, you can’t have your cake and eat it too”. And just like I queried the sanity of my Mom, you are probably wondering “what the heck is this crazy guy talking about”.

Well here is the “rubber meets the road” fact about the American economy: You can’t reduce the deficit without raising taxes and/or major spending cuts. So when Romney says to you “we will cut the deficit and we will not increase taxes”, I say “you can’t have your cake and eat it too”.

And this brings me to the fiscal cliff. In 2013 the Bush tax cuts are set to expire and an automatic $1 trillion in spending cuts is set to kick in. So we are facing the possibility of higher taxes and less government services. Paying more for less. It is not a pretty picture.

Now if Congress comes up with a sensible debt reduction plan the higher taxes and trillion dollar spending cuts will not kick in. At least that’s the plan.

But here is a question for the “geniuses” who came up with that plan: “what other sensible way can Congress reduce the debt that does not require more revenue, i.e. taxes, and/or less spending, i.e. spending cuts? So in effect, the fiscal cliff can only be avoided by a fiscal cliff.

So America, the choice is clear: either we eat the cake and don’t have it or we don’t eat the cake and have it. Complicated? OK, well let me put it this way: If we want to cut the deficit and “balance” the budget we are going to need more revenue, which means higher taxes and/or cut spending which would mean less government services.

Or we can say “to heck with the deficit and balancing the budget” and we can keep taxes low and maintain a reasonably unchanged level of government services.

Any candidate, Obama or Romney, who tells you otherwise is trying to eat the fiscal cake and have it too.

And according to my Mom, you just can’t do that! I trust my Mom more than I trust Obama or Romney.

When it comes to common sense, cakes and fiscal responsibility, Who do you Trust?

These politicians?

  

Or these Moms? 

 

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the fiscal cliff while reducing the deficit would create an economic slowdown by shrinking GDP by approximately 0.50% and increasing unemployment to 9%. This spells RECESSION.

My next blog we will look at whether there is another option that can avoid this fiscal cliff induced recession.

References:

Congressional Budget Office budget and economic projections for 2012 through 2022.

Why The GOP Lost!

So the buzzword now by the political pundits is “demographics”.  Garbage I say. Yep, the reason the GOP lost is garbage, not demographics.

First of all, to say the GOP lost because of the changing electoral demographics is euphemistically to say that the reason Obama won was because minorities voted for him because he was a minority. Are minorities that short sighted that they would vote for a president simply on ethnicity or color with no regard for the substantive issues of the president’s campaign? I say that to make the statement that Obama won, or the GOP lost, is because of changing demographics is an utterly racist statement.

The reason, the real reason the GOP lost was because their campaign, instead of presenting America with a viable alternative to a weakened opponent, they decided to focus on garbage like birth certificates, characterizing Obama as a welfare president and garbage like proposing a 5 trillion dollar tax cut with no clear concise strategy for paying for it.

Don’t feed me the garbage about demographics, Mr. GOP.

Instead of running a campaign that was as dirty and toxic as a garbage dump, next time try running a clean campaign focused on facts and reality. Then it wouldn’t matter what the demographics are and minorities would not blindly vote for a candidate based on skin color or race.

Best Education System in the World?

Do you know why politicians say the most “uninformed” or “intentionally misleading” things?

Because of America’s gullibility. Until America starts demanding truth and accuracy politicians will feed us a never ending diet of garbage, unvetted claims and intentional misrepresentations.

For example, Obama gave a speech in West Virginia this week and got a huge applause when he said that America has the best education system in the world. Oh yeah Mr. President?

Well Obama’s alma mater, Harvard University conducted a study which found that students in Latvia, Chile and Brazil are making gains in academics three times faster than American students. In fact America is seventh in literacy, 27th in math, 22nd in science.

 

And for young African American boys, who are systematically “under-educated” the picture is gruesomely bleak. 

So I get the President wanting to highlight American exceptionalism but no matter what formula you use, you won’t find American exceptionalism in the American education system. The facts just don’t add up! 

Anyone for an Obama-Romney Ticket?

Here is a crazy idea. Why not have both Mitt & Barack be Presidents. We have co-captains, co-MVPs co- everything, why not co-Presidents. If they both want the best for America, why not take the one step that will show that America’s interests are more important to them than winning the Presidency. Are they willing to put egos aside and work together for the good of America?

The truth is neither Romney’s nor Obama’s policies are the cure for what ails America. They both have policies and proposals that make sense for Main Street and they both have their fair share of boneheaded poorly vetted propaganda proposals that cater to the underbelly of American partisan politics.

So how about it America; an Obama-Romney ticket?

The American system of politics is brutally flawed in that it is an incubator for partisanship. Economic platforms are not judged based on merit but they are judged based on which party proposed it. So for Democrats, any proposal from a Republican is automatically flawed and to Republicans any proposal offered by a Democrat is intrinsically worthless.

Why not get rid of the party system and get the best and brightest of America and create a non-partisan working body that gets things done. Of course there has to be proper vetting and stringent guidelines to ensure that the will of the people is not slighted in any manner but I can’t imagine any system more toxic than the current state of politics in America today.

So anyone for an Obama-Romney ticket?

He ain’t no gander

I’m sure you have heard the cliché, “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander”. You may not be a farmhand but you probably know that a goose is a duck like creature and a gander is a male goose. Male geese or ganders are leaders of the flock of geese.

The logic behind this cliché is that if a rule or requirement applies to the “little people” or subordinates, it is just as applicable or binding on leadership.

Well, in case you missed it, Mitt Romney is no gander. His goose, i.e. Paul Ryan deemed it appropriate and reasonable to provide to Mr. Romney “several years of tax returns” as part of Romney’s vetting of Ryan as a VP candidate. So Ryan, like most Americans, believes it is reasonable and appropriate that for such a high profile position as VP he should submit “several years’ tax returns” to his prospective boss, Mitt Romney.

An article posted on a CNN Political Ticker on August 12, reported that Ryan “gave Mitt Romney’s vice presidential vetting team “several years” of personal income tax returns…”

Well good for Mr. Ryan. So what about Romney, his prospective boss? Well if Mr. Romney was a gander, which clearly he is not, the adage that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander would apply and Romney would recognize the need to submit “several years of tax returns” to his prospective boss, i.e. the American people.

And that is the problem with Romney: he is neither goose nor gander. In fact he seems so disconnected from the little people (that would be you!!) that one wonders whether he even recognizes what the big deal about his tax returns is.

The big deal is not what’s on Romney’s  returns or whether Romney used sophisticated tax strategies to minimize his taxes, America pretty much already knows he did. The big deal is the process of full disclosure and doing the American thing! If it is good for the goose, it should be good for the gander.

References

Acosta, J. (2012, August 12). CNN Political Ticker.

Usain Bolt: Fast Not High!

I agree with Bolt! Even though Carl Lewis’ comments were made some four years ago after the Beijing Olympics, Bolt has every right to hold Lewis in low regard.

Commenting on Bolt’s amazing victory in Beijing, Lewis commented to Sports Illustrated: “Countries like Jamaica do not have a random program, so they can go months without being tested. I’m not saying anyone is on anything, but everyone needs to be on a level playing field.”

Timing is everything. Lewis’ comments were made in the wrong place and the wrong time. In another time and place Lewis’ comments may have been given due consideration because it is in fact quite factual. There is much room for improvement at the Jamaican Anti-Doping Commission (Jadco). In spite of good intentions on the part of Jamaican Parliament to pass legislation that would make Jadco a viable and effective agency, it appears that Jamaican politics, much like US politics are not nearly as fast as Bolt!

Attempts by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) failed to verify that Jadco is conducting any tests at all.

However, it is not a free for all in Jamaica as Lewis comments might suggest. Anti-doping measures and testing is in fact being conducted in Jamaica by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

Here is the Spin!

The spin is that due to lax anti-doping practices Jamaica’s medal winners are some how tainted.

Well Here is the UnSpin

Jamaica is only one of many countries whose athletes excel at the Olympics that do not have stringent drug testing practices. Many of the Eastern Europe countries have lax drug testing policies.

A country’s (e.g Jamaica) lax drug policy does not automatically translate into rampant doping by its Olympic athletes just as stringent anti-doping policies (e.g. in America) do not prevent athletes from doping. The IOC tests nearly 50% of all athletes participating in the games and tests over 6,000 samples for banned substances. This is an effective deterrent for the large majority of athletes who compete at the games.

In fact, in this Olympic if medals were given out for doped up athletes then the medal count is USA = 1, Jamaica = 0.

Spin that, Mr. Lewis!

 Nicholas Delpopolo

Disqualified American athlete

Nicholas Delpopolo for Cannabis (i.e. ganja! And i thought that was a Jamaican drug!)

PANTS ON FIRE!

PANTS ON FIRE!

So whats Harry Reid’s problem? All this name calling about liar liar pants on fire!!

If he is going to all of a sudden develop a sense of morality that frowns on and points out the age old art of “political miscommunication” (that would be lying for regular folks like you & me!) then he needs to call out his fellow Democrats while he is at it.

The spin Harry Reid wants us to buy is that Romney is hiding some deception or falsehood on his tax returns and if he is not, then he should come clean and show his tax returns. So Mr. Harry, are you saying that Romney is guilty until proven innocent? How American of you, sir!

Of course the spin Romney is pushing is that his tax returns are completely above even the appearance of deceptive or borderline practices. Here is a question for Mitt: “How do you know what’s on your tax returns? Do you really know what complex tax strategies have been used on your returns?”.

This may sound like a unreasonable question, but recently when Romney was asked on a major network if he ever paid less than 13.9% on any of his tax returns, his response was that he had no idea what his tax rate was.

Hey Mr. Investment Guru Romney, isn’t your tax rate one the most elementary considerations when a discussing one’s personal taxes or making business decisions?

So if Romney doesn’t know this elementary information about his tax returns, does he expect us to  believe that he knows beyond a shadow of doubt that his tax returns do not have any questionaable or borderline legal stuff on his tax returns?

Yeah right Mr. Romney!

It is quite likely that both Reid AND Romney are “politically miscommunicating” (i.e. lying!). That wouldn’t surprise me.

Truth is, I heard somewhere, and I am not giving my sources (ala Reid) that all politicians are liars.

Really! Boycotting Chick Fil A. Yeah Right!

ImageI’m all for standing up for your rights and all that civil rights stuff. But really, boycotting Chick Fil A?

Now lets think about this without getting all worked up. And this is for both sides of the spin: the conservative Christian right spin who think all gay people are going to hell and the liberal left spin who think that anyone who does not agree with or condone gay marriage is well; like the modern day KKK.

So what is the UnSpun spin? Well the way I see it is that the same right of self expression that gays protest for and are willing to boycott Chick FIl A for is the same right of self expression that the CEO of Chick Fil A is entitled to.

Then of course, you might say this same right of self expression extends to those gays who decide to protest and boycott Chick Fil A.

What it all boils down to is there are some rights which we all have which when “over-protested” tends to lessen the impact of our protest when we indeed have a really important right that we need to protest for.

So to those on the right who protest the protest of the gay community and to those gays whose protest is being protested against: CHILL OUT!

If you want to protest a civil right being violated; how about both gays and conservative Christians getting together to march hand in hand demanding stronger penalties and more stringent legislation against sexual abuse of minors and the institutions that cover them up. This way we can smoke out perverts like Sandusky or Monsignor William Lynn who victimized children who put their trust in them. This way we hold venerable institutions like Penn State or the Catholic Church more accountable for actions of their officials.

Come on America, protesting a fast food joint because the CEO expressed dared to express his opinion? Yeah Right!

The Spin on American-Syrian Relations

What’s next in America’s foreign policy towards Syria and Assad? Republicans blast Obama for being to soft and not doing the typical American Imperialistic thing and going in to rescue the Syrian people. The way McCain puts it you would think Syria is the 51st state that has been kidnapped by a foreign enemy and it is the government’s moral and fiduciary obligation to go rescue.

Then to hear the Democratic pro-Obama spin, we need to get international co-operation and consensus before undertaking an expensive foreign intervention.

So that’s the right spin and that’s the left spin. So what is the UnSpun position? As always, its in the middle.

Are the Republicans really that concerned about liberty and freedom for Syrians in Syria? Yeah right!

And are the Democrats really wanting us to believe that America can’t take unilateral action on foreign soil? Yeah Right!

The way i see it is that until there is an immediate and eminent threat to America’s economic, military or political interest the political posturing will continue for public consumption. In the mean time somebody’s 5 year old son or daughter will be blasted to bits by Assad’s vicious bombs against his people.

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Untangling The Web of Mainstream Media Spin Speak