Monthly Archives: January 2013

Barack it like a Hurricane!


Last week, I had to go to Beeville, Texas for work, and it’s a healthy 6 hour drive from Fort Worth. Not a bad little town. I recommend the Dog and Bee Pub if you’re leery about stopping at the various hole-in-the-wall Taquerias that dot the area. High risk, high reward with those places. I decided to take a detour and make a pilgrammage to Shiner,  home of the Spoetzl Brewery, the oldest independent brewery in Texas and producer of liquid heaven, Shiner Bock. After raiding the gift shop and sampling the local chicken fried steak entree at the only decent looking resturant in town, I headed north to I-10. Now, between Shiner and that major road trip artery lies the town of Moulton. Fun facts about that place:

  • The town motto is:


  • Per the 2000 Census, its population held steady at 944
  • In February, they hold a Miss Moulton Pageant
  • In December, they sponsor Christmas in the Heart of Texas
  • The speed limit is 40 mph.

Which apparently I sailed right over at 57 mph, according to the police officer who flagged me down. Upon reaching my driver side window, he asks me why he pulled me over. I hate it when police officers ask questions like that. It must be in their procedure booklet on page 5: “Upon pulling over motorist, ask a meat ball of a question that even a low level smart ass would consider swinging at it.” I let that ball sail by and replied in the negative. He then asked how fast I thought I was going. Here, I took a swing at it and said, “The speed limit. ” With an incredulous look, the officer asks if I know what that limit would be? Straight ahead, about 10 feet, is a speed limit sign with 55 mph posted on it. I point to it. “It’s 40 mph through town, ma’am,” said in a tone one would say to a puppy puncher. I’ve clearly offended him with my lead foot. I’m also not getting off with a warning, that’s for sure.

License and registration, ma’am.”

Okay, here’s my license and I think my registration is in my glove compartment.

I reach in and start digging around for my card and suddenly we both hear this:

This very object was given to me by my brother as a gag gift for my birthday. It has other phrases like, “I’m bringing you some hope! Hopey Hopey Hope!” and “I’m Barack Obama, I said a B to the H to the O.

I can’t get it to stop because something is pressing on it to make it go off. The registration card isn’t in there and even after I slam the compartment shut, the toy continues to spout Barackisms. I’m truly mortified, and contemplate telling the peace officer, who is also a gentleman of color, that I’m really not a racist. Instead, we  just stare at each other, I give a sheepish shrug and pull out the registration card that had been in my wallet the entire time. When I hand over the card, he snatches it, and says, “Ma’am, turn off your vehicle and place your keys on the dashboard.” 

After what seems like half an hour of him doing an FBI level background check on me, he finally issues me a ticket and informs me that the next town, Flatonia, has an in town speed limit of 30 mph. He gets back into his squad car and leaves me to contemplate what a horrible person I am for going over the speed limit and being a racist. Or something like that.

I hope the city of Moulton appreciates my $215 donation and that they put those funds to good use. Maybe buy a sense of humor. I still have the gag gift in my car, but have placed it in a spot where the risk of it unintentionally going off is gone.

I may drive a little slower now, but I still will cling to my God, Guns and Sense of Humor, damnit.


“People Don’t Realize That Taxes and Healthcare Are Connected”

I saw this commercial a couple of times in the past two days. I searched for it on YouTube, but  I could only find the radio version of it. Regardless of its medium, it irritates the heck out of me because it reinforces all the negative things about Obamacare that first drove people to their town halls in 2009 . It’s big, complicated and confusing and that’s admitted by the tax professional used in H & R’s commercial. The bill was so long that neither the Congressmen who voted for it nor the Justices who ruled on it bothered to read it. The agency charged with overseeing its implementation, Health and Human Services Department, really has no idea how to go about it as it issues one contradictory rule after another. These people are now in charge of 15% of the economy. Brilliant.

The ad continues with the tax professional stating that by the time you’re done with her, you’ll know “your eligibility, your potential monthly costs for health insurance and your potential tax penalty if you opt out…” The latter point instantly reminds me of the individual mandate, that odious linchpin keeping this entire law together. And finally, the very first line of the ad, People don’t realize that taxes and healthcare are connected,” stings the most because we have Chief Justice John Roberts to thank for that. The Obama administration and its surrogates protested mightily and repeatedly that the individual mandate wasn’t a tax and maintained that line even after the Court made its ruling. And yet, Congress’ authority to tax was the peg the majority hung its hat on for the law to pass constitutional muster.

This entire ad begs the question, “What kind of law is this where the average person who is expected to abide by it requires a third-party to help him interpret it?” A bad law. Ushered through by a corrupt process. Not that H & R Block minds. They love it because it means more customers for them. Which further reveals another aggravating point: So many entities made out like bandits on this law and the people who didn’t are the ones this bill was seemingly supposed to help. Be it the large insurance companies benefiting from the individual mandate provision or the politically connected businesses granted waivers from their Congressmen, the entire law is covered in a thick layer of crony capitalism. Don’t say we weren’t warned though.

All this grief from a simple one minute commercial. I actually think this ad does more harm for Obamacare than some realize which is why I encourage its widespread viewing. Perhaps others will have the same reaction that I did: “Man, I’m really getting hosed on this law, aren’t I?” The fact is, Obamacare was ruled constitutional and it is now law. The odds of getting it repealed are as good as the Houston Astros making it back to the World Series. But it’s not entirely hopeless. Obamacare opponents should hope that this Administration, normally so eager to embrace Lincoln comparisons, inadvertently adheres to his warning: “The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly.” By design, all the goodies in the bill were handed out first.  Now we’re rapidly approaching payment date and mandate time. Strictly speaking, that’s going to burn.


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