The Good, the Bad, and the Stimulus

January 28th, 2009 Jr Accountant

Obama’s planned “economic stimulus” passed in the House today by a 244-188 vote. There is, as with all political and economic news these days, a good and a bad to this announcement.

Above all else, if you have not reviewed the actual appropriations of Obama’s plan, I absolutely recommend doing so. After all, this set of economic shock treatments will likely cost each American taxpayer around $6700 in the long run - this number is, of course, in 2009 money, which will shortly be devalued if Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve have their say, running the presses non-stop to cover endless government and private bailouts.

Full disclosure of the stimulus in actual dollar figures suggested by the committee may be found here and here. Warning: the contents of this bill are not pretty. Reading of this bill may cause nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, and vertigo. The pork is overwhelming and feels an awful lot like a giant government bailout. We have been down this road before (Citigroup, anyone?) and the scenery is certainly not entirely unfamiliar.

It is disgusting that this bill passed at all. Beyond that, it is sickening that our new President and Congress chose this as the hallmark of the new administration. Way to kick things off with this bloated joke of a bill, passing a government makeover at the taxpayers’ expense off as a stimulus to rebuild the broken economy which has damaged so many of those selfsame taxpayers.

The good? Not a single Republican in the House voted yea. It shows a strength and unity that the party has been desperate to formulate in recent years; could it be that Conservatives have once and for all learned that we are greater than the sum of our parts?

The bad? The Democrats still got their way.

It is a frightening reflection of the divide we now have to fight against; even when every single one of our conservative representatives in D.C. stand against a self-indulgent joke of a bill such as Obama’s stimulus, we are still defeated by the Spendmores on the other side of the aisle. That is a more frightening realization than the bill itself.

There is a healthy way to stimulate our floundering economy. This, my friends, is not it.

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Geithner Confirmation: A Clear Message from Team Obama

January 26th, 2009 Jr Accountant

Hearing of Timothy Geithner’s confirmation today as U.S. Treasury Secretary despite his tax drama while with the IMF, I couldn’t help but feel as if Obama’s team (and his equally transfixed-by-fake-rockstarism Senate) very clearly intended to send a message to America: We are going to do whatever we want and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.

There are still ignorant Americans bumbling along too distracted by their iPods and smartphones to realize that something insidious is at work in our country; Geithner’s confirmation only serves to clarify that point.

Who exactly is our new Treasury Secretary?

He is Dartmouth educated in government and Asian studies, pulled from the ranks of the Federal Reserve, and worst of all trained in the Robert Rubin school of economics. In case you are not aware (yes, I’m talking to you, stupid hipster bumbling around San Francisco too zoned out to realize you’re being ripped off by current Federal Reserve monetary policy), Rubin believes in greasing the dirtiest hands in corporate America; so long as he somehow makes off with part of the loot.

You may or may not know, then, that Geithner worked closely with Rubin to engineer the Citigroup fiasco. Remember? I’m glad that paid off so well.

In short, Geithner is exactly what this economy does not need. Money that has not even been created yet has been earmarked by both Geithner and Obama - with America continuously calling for stimulus. What don’t you get about inflation at this point?

Geithner, with his intimate knowledge of the inner-workings of the Federal Reserve (and more specifically, its ability to produce debt out of thin air), doesn’t care about your home or your job or your life.

Geithner’s confirmation as Treasury Secretary passed in the Senate today 60-34.

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A Proclamation to American Conservatives

January 22nd, 2009 Billy Hallowell

History was made this week when Barack Obama was inaugurated to serve as the nation’s first African American president. Obama’s historic electoral victory showcases the nation’s move beyond the stigmatization and segregation that existed just sixty years ago. It is a time of reflection not only for a country that has made significant sociopolitical progression, but also for a subset of the nation that has suffered two consecutive electoral losses – the American conservative.

It can be said without a doubt that many conservatives are still disheartened by the results of the 2008 election. But, as President Obama settles into the White House and begins to govern, our disillusionment cannot overtake us. In 2000 and 2004, we felt a high level of political efficacy as our candidate elevated to serve in the nation’s highest office. Today, this same efficacy is being experienced by American liberals, as Obama embodies the values and virtues this constituency embraces. Though these values often conflict with the notions we hold dear, we are all Americans and no matter how disappointed we are, we must endure.

It would clearly be a blind disservice to history and to this great nation to ignore the historical connotation of Obama’s victory. Ignorance to the historical relevancy of this time is, indeed, (and rightfully) hard to find. Most conservatives are, despite the sting that has come with suffering major defeat in recent elections, prepared to give President Obama the respect that American liberals ardently refused to give to President George W. Bush.

Surely we feel disheartened and anxious as we await the policy maneuvers and advances that are slated to violate our personal values and conservative character, but we cannot allow a difference of ideals to distract us from reformation. Instead of focusing our energies on how horrific we think Obama to be, we must work strenuously to showcase the relevancy of our policies and the potential results of our legislative potentialities.

In the end, the American conservative, though contemporarily subjugated at the polls and in the realm of ideological policy influence, has the advantage. It is our values that work to hold the fabrics of society together; it is our conscious that collectively seeks to bolster America’s most treasured ingenuities. Though we are underrepresented in the near-term, we are not forgotten.

As liberals celebrate their recent victory, we should be thankful for an opportunity to break free from the corruption and distractions that have permeated our party over the past decade. Now is the time to look beyond what has already passed and to focus on refining policy points, bringing the party together and harvesting the young leaders who will, in turn, assist America in sustaining and advancing her global position.

While American liberals have showcased their extreme excitement and awe over Obama’s win, the most inspirational result – aside from the social barriers that our new president has broken, of course — has been the character, spirit and resilience of American conservatives. As we struggle to understand the devastating losses we suffered in the Congressional midterm of 2006 and in the subsequent presidential race of 2008, we remain hopeful and confident that our nation – and political presence — will rebound.

Many of us, including former Republican vice-presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, have wished Obama well. When asked by Glen Beck this week if she considered Barack Obama her president, Palin replied, “Absolutely. Yes, he is. We are all Americans and united we stand.” As can be easily recalled, the left’s often harsh attacks against President Bush have never been particularly fortuitous. As per the New York Times:

In January 2001, when the country was divided over a disputed presidential election, the newest development was security checkpoints along the parade route on Pennsylvania Avenue, from the Capitol to the White House, to minimize the ability of protesters to disrupt the procession. None did, although several people threw eggs and debris at Mr. Bush’s limousine as it left the Capitol grounds.

As conservatives, there is no greater or more patriotic service we can do for our nation than to wish our new president well as he forges ahead into a mountainous terrain. Make no mistake: This is not to say that we should advocate ignorance when processing or addressing Obama’s often radical ideals; rather, as conservative Americans, we should come together to address the issues that are hampering our nation’s progress using clear and rational means. After all, it is in our best interest for Obama to reach some level of success while in office.

Instead of attacking Obama’s presidential vehicle with eggs and tomatoes, let’s prepare our arguments logically and present them with zest; let’s ensure that we support our president to the highest degree possible, while working to ensure our voices are heard. The stage has already been set, but the play is yet to be written.

The jeers that President Bush received this week when he walked onto the inaugural stage served as a confirmation and a distinct reminder of the following ideal: The American conservative must patriotically reject concentrating our efforts on pointless acts of vilification. We must rise to the occasion. We must reject the “not my president” mantra that so many liberals have held dear these past eight years. And finally — we must restructure our party, while making our voices heard loud and clear to the executive and legislative branches.

Surely, we disagree with Obama’s policy assessments, but, we can fight these progressions the fair and rational way: By rebuilding and mobilizing our base, and attempting to bring in leaders who seek true change in future electoral cycles. Whether we wanted him or not, Barack Obama is our president. Now, let’s get to work.

For more information on Billy Hallowell, go to

Technorati Tags: Barack Obama,Inauguration,Conservative,Sarah Palin

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Would-be Tragedy Inspires Reflection

January 18th, 2009 Billy Hallowell

On Thursday, a feeling of relief overtook anxious New Yorkers when news reports explained that a flock of geese most likely caused the emergency crash-landing of U.S. Airways flight 1549. This news, accompanying images of the safe exit of all 155 passengers, eased the tensions of a great many people who feared that the crash was a replica of the events that occurred on September 11, 2001. Thankfully, there was no terroristic catalyst involved.

I often find myself unaware or overlooking the fact that I live and work in a city that has remained a major target of potential terrorist attacks. While it would be foolish to continuously focus on this undeniable fact, it is important to maintain a healthy level of personal awareness and to make occasional consideration of the events and ramifications of the attack that occurred more than seven years ago. During and in the aftermath of last week’s would-be tragedy, it was impossible to avoid this awareness.

At the same time that flight 1549 splashed into the middle of the Hudson River, I was fast at work at my office in Queens. Upon receiving a text message from my father that read: “There is a plane in the Hudson.”  I notified other staff members and went directly to the television, where most of the staff had come to see what was going on. And what a relief it was to see the end result - every man and woman exiting the plane without a single casualty.

Living in the post 9-11 world and sitting in an office with windows that show the Manhattan skyline devoid of the Twin Towers, my first thought prior to turning on the television was “Oh no! Not again.” Luckily, my first reaction was anything but valid. We were truly lucky - as were the inhabitants of flight 1549.

The relief I felt when I saw these men and women being brought to safety was immense. And while I ventured back to my desk, I couldn’t help but think about the horror our nation has gone through this past decade. Had this crash-landing occurred in 2000, the words “act of terrorism” wouldn’t have so readily materialized in my mind. The world has truly changed.

With a new administration coming in, America cannot afford to cut loose when it comes to protecting the homeland. It is these thoughts that have been going through my mind since Thursday afternoon.

Ironically, this morning, I read a short post on The New York Times’ City Room blog entitled, “Sept. 11 Death Toll Rises by One, to 2,752.” The piece read:

Leon Bernard Heyward did not die until last October, at the age of 45. But his name was added Friday to the official list of people who died as a result of the attack on Sept. 11, 2001.

Heyward was exposed to dust while working at Ground Zero. Although his death comes years after the event that has forever changed America, he is yet another hero who is being counted among those murdered by radical Islamic fascists on U.S. soil. His name is not being invoked in this case to create anger in readers; rather, it is being presented to serve as a reminder of the sacrifices our nation was forced to make - sacrifices that continue to plague many of the men and women who volunteered during the aftermath of the attacks.

Thankfully, flight 1549 landed safely and has been slated an accident. Luckily, we have not had to endure another 9-11 and I pray that we will never have to again. The new administration - and most importantly Americans - mustn’t forget what happened in 2001. While it often seems embedded in the past, families, individuals and policy-makers need to remember all that was lost so that our nation does not become complacent again.

Technorati Tags: 9/11,Flight 1549,Hudson,NYC,Terrorism

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Hamas vows suicide attacks on ‘Zionists everywhere’ – what else is new?

January 2nd, 2009 Urban Conservative

So the violence in the Israel continues … but has it really ever ended? Ever since Israel became an independent state in 1948, they have been a target by the Arab and Muslim nations that surround the country. The only good news coming out of this is that the Israeli Air Force bombed a building in the Jabalya refugee camp in Gaza killing a senior Hamas leader and cleric Sheikh Nizar Rayyan.

The sad fact is that if the enemies of Israel disposed of their weapons and declared peace in that region, there WOULD be peace in that region. On the contrary, if Israel disposed of their weapons and declared peace, there WOULD be 8 million dead Jews.

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