Category Archives: Government

Lloyd Ayers: The Philadelphia Fire Department Deception

I would like you to watch the worst testimony ever heard before a governing body.  The man you are about to watch is Lloyd Ayers he is reportedly the Commissioner of the Philadelphia Fire Department. I don’t think he is qualified to be a sewer cleaner.  No offense to the men and women in the city that actually do work in the city sewers.

Did you notice that he argued that familiarity with the run was not important?  The senior guy was unimportant.  The runs are preplanned.  But the learning curve for an entire fire local is not one year.  It may not even be two years.  But Lloyd being the bullshitter he is then says it is about familiarity with schools, businesses and  hospitals.  We  you don’t get familiar by moving people around.  One hospital is not the same as another but there are plenty of hospitals.  Who would you as a citizen want coming to your fire.  I guy who just got assigned with two other guys who might not be familiar with your home or office, or a team lead by a tenured firefighter who has been in the building numerous times and knows the layout like the back of their hand?

What Ayers is proposing is unprecedented in the fire service.  Transferring the most senior firefighters is a dangerous and frankly stupid thing to do.  Ayers looked like a fool in that video.   Now watch as a city council member just blows the commissioner out of the water.

Amazing isn’t it.  No former commissioner nor Fire Service leaders from other cities think this is a great idea.  If fact as the councilman is dumbfounded by the logic of this plan. Why you ask?  Because nothing in this plan is motivated to help the citizens of Philadelphia. Watch that first video again.  Listen as he chooses his words.  He is making it up as he goes along.  But what is really scary about Ayers and I guess his boss Michael Nutter (since Nutter keeps him in position) is they think they can drive fire from the city of Philadelphia.  No really they do.  Listen to Lloyd on the first video again,  Yes I know it is painful to watch the man talk but go back and listen to his logic about the partnership between citizen and the fire department.  He thinks he can drive the fire load to zero!  That line of thought alone give me reason to wonder about his ability to be a fire service administrator.

Fire is a random act.  A loose wire, a faulty switch or  a smoker who falls asleep.  You will never get the fire load to zero.  Lloyd KNOWS this but he pitches the lie that you can by education reduce the fire load to zero.  The reality is much of the really old housing stock in Philadelphia is burned out and since there are no new Highway projects (See the 1970’s and the second street corridor)  the fire load is down.  But to assume by moving firefighters around the city and doing more community outreach you can reduce the danger to the citizens is nothing short of foolhardy!

I once worked in the slowest section of Philadelphia when it came to fires.  Guess what area had the highest death rate?  Yep  the slow section of the city.

Lloyd Ayers is making up a false sense of fire safety by trying to tell you that he can reduce your chances of a fire to ZERO!  He is doing a head fake to get his way to punish the Firefighters for calling him on his poor leadership and absolute lack of knowledge.  Lloyd was not appointed because he was a great leader. He was appointed because he has influential friends and holds his position for the same SAD reason.



Filed under Firefighters, Government, Philadelphia Fire Department, Uncategorized

Appointments are not the Real Issue

The President did a recess appointment yesterday of 4 positions.  I will not get into the semantics of a recess appointment here or for that matter whether the Senate was in session.  What I will discuss is the abdication of power in Washington and the political fallout from that political move.

As congress passed bills to create agencies they placed wording in the bills to take things off their plates.  An agency gets a director or board and is then given the power to establish the limits of their jurisdiction.  Lets call some of those regulations.  These regulations by the power vested in the agency become law.  Each regulation put in place by an agency of the United States government is in its basis unconstitutional as it was never voted on by congress.

It can be debated that each law establishing a regulatory agency is unconstitutional.  I will not debate here the need for some regulation.  The constitution gives that power to the congress.  Does it grant the power of unfettered, unrepresented regulations?  No.

But the folks who we are sending to Washington are so intent on staying there.  With good reason, we are adding to the so-called 1% with every new person we send to Washington.  They have become the ultimate inside traders and will put aside any principles to stay where they are.  This is not a partisan issue.  All parties are equally at fault.  They use the system to pull a Pontius Pilate,  they wash there hands of much of the blame, leaving the bureaucrats to do as they wish and saying that they are working for us.

Let me give you a great example, the tax code.  The Constitution says this about taxation.

Section. 8.

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

Can anyone honestly say that the tax code is uniform?  There is no more unbalanced mechanism in this country than our tax code.  But Congress won’t touch it.  Why?  Because it is political suicide.  In attempting to repair the inequity there are only two  ways.  The flat or fair tax and a rebalance of the current system with a massive reduction in deductions.  Either way some Americans face either higher taxes.  Political expediency would tell you to screw the rich because there are less of them. DO we see that happening?  Where has this happened before and why did the founders want an equal draw from excises and duties?

In deference to the Ron Paul fans I will touch on the Federal Reserve too. It is the congress that was charged with the monetary oversight.

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

Without calling for the outright destruction of the Federal Reserve system, I will say that control should be in the hands of the congress (scary thought based on current partisan bickering) and not is a quasi-governmental agency.  The establishment of the Federal Reserve is another example of abdication of responsibility.  The congress is now not being held accountable for the fluctuations in currency.

Every regulation needs to be voted on by our representatives.  Monetary decisions need to be made by people who can be held accountable.  That folks is why they do what they do.  So they can not be held accountable.  Let’s call them to task on that, at least.

It is the lack of accountability and the lack of concern for the citizens that allow for these appointments.  All of this could be avoided if our Congress would just do their job.


Filed under Congress, Government, Uncategorized

Voter ID Laws

There is a drumbeat in this country to require voters to have photo identification.  For years now both sides of the aisle have balked about voter fraud. In fact the Democrats and Republicans alike cite various voter fraud instances almost every election. Whether or not they are proven is often not reported and in fact the media says it does not exist.

Here is how an editorial titled “The Myth of Voter Fraud” from the NYTimes from October of 2011 begins.

It has been a record year for new legislation designed to make it harder for Democrats to vote — 19 laws and two executive actions in 14 states dominated by Republicans, according to a new study by the Brennan Center for Justice. As a result, more than five million eligible voters will have a harder time participating in the 2012 election.

Of course the Republicans passing these laws never acknowledge their real purpose, which is to turn away from the polls people who are more likely to vote Democratic, particularly the young, the poor, the elderly and minorities. They insist that laws requiring government identification cards to vote are only to protect the sanctity of the ballot from unscrupulous voters. Cutting back on early voting, which has been popular among working people who often cannot afford to take off from their jobs on Election Day, will save money, they claim.

Wow, I don’t think you can get more partisan than that.  The NYTimes jumping in the tank for the Democrats!  But I have Democrat friends and they seem to have photo ID’s.  The State of NJ will give you a photo ID. It costs 6 bucks and they will issue after your 17th birthday.  How about PA? 13.50 will get it done.  What with the 40 Dollars that everyone is getting (what a lie that was) surely we can get our kids photo identification for voting purposes.

Here is  a good explanation of discrimination

In Constitutional Law, the grant by statute of particular privileges to a class arbitrarily designated from a sizable number of persons, where no reasonable distinction exists between the favored and disfavored classes. Federal laws, supplemented by court decisions, prohibit discrimination in such areas as employment, housing, voting rights, education, and access to public facilities. They also proscribe discrimination on the basis of race, age, sex, nationality, disability, or religion. In addition, state and local laws can prohibit discrimination in these areas and in others not covered by federal laws.

Now unlike our current President I am not a Constitutional Scholar (he says with tongue in cheek).  But a law that equally applies to all residents can hardly rise to the level of discrimination.  Unless it is a perceived one.  In this case the perception seems to be coming from the man whose job it is to enforce the laws of the country.  Attorney General Eric Holder.  If you read this blog regularly you know I don’t think Holder is either a good lawyer or a defender of the laws of the land.  In fact more than once Holder has chosen not to enforce exiting law.  That is not his job.  His job is to defend the law from false accusations.  Now we come to the case of voter ID laws.  Nowhere in any of these laws does it prevent anyone from any particular class from voting.  What it does do is make the act of voting a one time event for everyone.  The requirement to present ID is nothing more than a check to prevent any potential voter fraud.   Remember the NYT  called it a blatant play by the Republicans to disenfranchise the Democrats.  Are all Democrats so poor that they can’t get a photo ID?  I doubt it.  But like I said the argument goes both ways.  Doubt me?  How about Wisconsin?


As Yogi Berra once said it’s déjà vu all over again as for Wisconsin Democrats as they allege that the Waukesha County clerk is once again tampering with votes to hand an election to the Republicans.

Here is the statement of Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate,

The race to determine control of the Wisconsin Senate has fallen in the hands of the Waukesha County clerk, who has already distinguished herself as incompetent, if not worse. She is once more tampering with the results of a consequential election and in the next hours we will determine our next course of action. For now, Wisconsin should know that a dark cloud hangs over these important results.

Nate Silver of 538 projected that in the critical District 8 race the incumbent Darling will finish 1,800 votes ahead of the Democratic challenger Pasch, but the Silver also said that based on his modeling Democrats would be crazy not move forward with a recall of Scott Walker. He found that the race would be a tossup.

Since George W. Bush and his Florida shenanigans in 2000, it has become the norm for one side or another to allege fraud in every close election. This habit is nothing more that the collective psychological damage and distrust that the results of the 2000 election left us with, but in Wisconsin the skepticism is merited.

So who are the people passing these laws protecting, or for that matter harming?   Don’t you think if the photo ID laws were implemented that the potential for fraud from either side is diminished.

Now on to what AG Holder had to say:

As Congressman John Lewis described it, in a speech on the House floor this summer, the voting rights that he worked throughout his life – and nearly gave his life – to ensure are, “under attack… [by] a deliberate and systematic attempt to prevent millions of elderly voters, young voters, students, [and] minority and low-income voters from exercising their constitutional right to engage in the democratic process.”   Not only was he referring to the all-too-common deceptive practices we’ve been fighting for years.   He was echoing more recent concerns about some of the state-level voting law changes we’ve seen this legislative season.

I am mystified by the deceptive practices comment.  We have been fighting for years?  Who are we and what practices are they?  Oddly the criteria for the AG having to review is the 1965 Voters rights act and specifically section 5. Holder discusses this in his speech

Although I cannot go into detail about the ongoing review of these and other state-law changes, I can assure you that it will be thorough – and fair.   We will examine the facts, and we will apply the law.   If a state passes a new voting law and meets its burden of showing that the law is not discriminatory, we will follow the law and approve the change.   And where a state can’t meet this burden, we will object as part of our obligation under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

As many of you know – and as I hope the law students here are learning – Section 5 was put in place decades ago because of a well-documented history of voter discrimination in all or parts of the 16 states to which it applies.   Within these “covered jurisdictions,” any proposed change in voting procedures or practices – from moving a polling location to enacting a statewide redistricting plan – must be “precleared” – that is, approved – either by the Justice Department, or by a panel of federal judges.

Without question, Sections 5’s preclearance process has been a powerful tool in combating discrimination for decades.   In 2006, it was reauthorized with overwhelming bipartisan support – passing the House by a vote of 390 to 33, and the Senate by a vote of 98 to zero – before being signed into law by President Bush.

Let’s be clear here.  What AG Holder and others in this fight on the Democrats side are saying, in my opinion, is that these laws are racially discriminatory.  Period.  They will use section 5 as the club to “level the playing field”  even though these laws are nothing but even.  Covering all the people of the state.  Unlike Section 5 of the federal law which selected specific states for over site.  Wouldn’t that be considered uneven application and therefore discriminatory?  In fact on the DOJ website we find this little tidbit.

Under Section 5, any change with respect to voting in a covered jurisdiction — or any political subunit within it — cannot legally be enforced unless and until the jurisdiction first obtains the requisite determination by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia or makes a submission to the Attorney General. This requires proof that the proposed voting change does not deny or abridge the right to vote on account of race, color, or membership in a language minority group. If the jurisdiction is unable to prove the absence of such discrimination, the District Court denies the requested judgment, or in the case of administrative submissions, the Attorney General objects to the change, and it remains legally unenforceable.

Voter ID laws do not even come close to this level.  Unless you are an agenda driven Democrat true believer who sees everything  in two colors.  Right Eric?

(Holder lost another voter ID case, this one in Indiana.  The Supreme Court voting 6-3 ruled the law constitutional.  So far 20 states have ID laws. )

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Filed under DOJ, Government, Government Agencies

Tax Holidays: No More!

The reduction in Social Security withholding that President Obama got through congress last year might be one of the most shrewd political moves he has made.  Think about the implications involved with this reduction.

1. The Social Security Fund will get less money to bolster the already flagging program.  Even though the Politicians call it one of the most popular programs, nobody wants to actually talk about it. It needs fixing!

2. The ruling party has clout to get votes by forcing an extension and as such controls the length of that extension.  If the reduction had passed for 1 year right now two things would not have happened.  The Republicans would not have looked like the Grinch for demanding it (although the did concede 2 months) and the Democrats would not have another opportunity to beat the evil Republicans over the head with this tax holiday again thereby getting votes in November.  There would have been no ammunition had they agreed to the one year now! Count on ads about the evil Republicans and the terrorist Tea party.  It has already started.

3. The temporary nature, just like the Bush cuts, create a big stick to beat the minority with.  The act of extending the cut makes the majority look altruistic and the minority evil for opposing the extension.  But either they must end or they must become permanent.  In order to do that under the current situation these cuts really do need to be accompanied by cuts. That was the gist of the Republican argument.  But Mitch McConnell thinking he had a way out foolishly make a deal with Harry Reid to extend the cuts for only 2 months.  This deal pretty much cut the legs out from under the offset argument by the House republicans.

The lessons of both the Bush and Obama tax cuts is that you do not increase spending and cut taxes at the same time.  The national debt in the last 11 years has risen from 5 trillion to almost 15 trillion.  With half of that increase since Obama took office.  But during the Bush-era we did increase our debt almost 5 trillion in 8 years.

The President talks about being a tax cutter but he is also a big spender.  Bush was a spender but not to the scale of this administration.

It is a testament to how much the mind-set of the American People has devolved into a gimme mentality.  Social Security is not considered a handout.  But it is not self-sufficient, it may not be a handout, but it is a drag on the taxpayers of this country.  Welfare is a handout and at best should be a temporary situation but that is no longer the case.  Allowing people to live off the largesse of the Government is not the American way. Offering people the opportunity to advance in life is the American way. I could go on.

We need real tax reform and spending cuts.  That is the formula for success.  No more tax holidays, please!


Filed under Government


The President of the United States has chosen sides in the “Payroll Tax Cut” argument.  But what message is Barack Obama sending to the Democrats and the public in General.

We begin with the call to arms

As you heard the President feels the job was done when the Senate of the United States by amendment changed the timeline from 1 year to 2 months.  In fact he is proud of the Senate for “getting this done”.  But in any battle in Washington the job is not done until both houses agree and the President and the Democrat leadership of the Senate know this.  But in what can only be described as a purely political move, the Senate left Washington in all due haste.  Nobody reading this can think that the House was going to go for a 2 month extension.

Since day one of this debate there was no debate about the term of the Social Security Withholding Holiday (as it referred to in the bill).  In fact the Democrat Senate twitter pages and all the Senate Democrats posted a link on their government-funded sites showing their constituents how much they would keep in one year.  The numbers reach over a thousand dollars.

The problem we have here is that the job was not done.  The House had not voted on the measure and when they did they voted to shelf the bill and send it to conference.

What is this really about?  This is about the way to pay for these cuts.  The House passed a bill that would reduce government spending to offset the loss of revenue to the Social Security fund (long a reserve bank for most of congress).  The fund is in deep trouble and cutting the money going into the fund would only increase the national debt.

The 40 dollar campaign by the Obama White House is a bold face ploy to sway the very people who will be hurt by this expenditure.  The House for their part threw a bunch of stuff in the bill that would guarantee failure and would almost insure the result the Senate sent back.

But even as the bill is fading the White House and even the Press secretary continue to talk about the full measure.  Remember we are talking $40 here.  That number is based on Bi-weekly checks.  So if the house passes the 2 month bill, we the people will only see $160 dollars next year unless the congress can come up with a plan to extend it the rest of the year.  The situation in Washington does not bode well for that either. This stalemate is one piece of evidence, the other is the failure of the Super Committee to reach a deal on cutting spending.  Washington is broken and the Republicans are right in one respect.  If there is going to be a tax holiday extension it should be a full year.  Here is how Jay Carney said it on December 21, 2011:

But we have to get this two-month extension done or else taxes will go up on the American people.  And it really is not that difficult.  The House has the ability to call up the Senate legislation, pass it and move on, and taxes will not go up.  The average American family will not have to worry about how to make ends meet with $1,000 less next year.

So we urge them to do that.  That’s what the President urged the Speaker to do just moments ago.

Speaker Boehner and Paul Ryan have both said in the past that this reduction in the Withholding for Social Security is not a benefit to the nation as a whole, they also understood that it was not a win to let it lapse.  The same applied to the Bush-era tax cuts and the Democrats.  They too understood that letting these cuts lapse would cost them votes.  So why then are they putting the false story out there about how much we will see.   On the very next question Carney said this:

MR. CARNEY:  The President is committed to a one-year tax cut.  That’s what he’s been pushing both here in Washington and around the country since September as part of the American Jobs Act, and then when it was separated out from the American Jobs Act.  Senate Democrats, House Democrats are all committed to doing that.  Republican leaders of both houses say they are committed to doing that.  It can be done, so it would require finishing the work that Senators McConnell and Reid started as they tried to reach a year-long agreement.

They made good progress, but work needed to be done, which is why they then moved to the two-month extension to ensure that Americans didn’t have their taxes go up.

If they made such good progress why not a 6 month or 8 month extension?  More importantly this is a tax that is supposedly only temporary will by its nature will have to go away.  When? This is nothing but pandering to potential voters on all fronts.  Who in their right mind wants to tell American that their taxes are going to go up 80 dollars a month?  Nobody and that is the main reason the Senate republican turned tail and voted for the sham of a two month extension.

Bottom Line folks without some real reform in Washington we the people will be paying through the nose very soon for our national debt.  Remember Barack Obama has raised the debt faster than any President, including the much hated George W Bush.  Bush in 8 years raised the debt to 10 trillion from just over 5.  Now Obama in 3 years is approaching the 5 trillion number.  This can not bode well for America.

What would 40 dollars do?  If the President and Congress get serious and back to work it could begin to pay down our national debt.  But only if significant cuts are made in spending.  The Cowardly Lions and Scarecrows in Washington will never get that done.  We are in trouble folks.  Call your Senator and tell them to get back to work.   The job has not even started.

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Religious Freedom?

Two stories today just have my head spinning.  We live in a country that was established with freedom of religion.  The Constitution specifically says that the Government shall not ESTABLISH a religion  anyone remember this:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

That would be the first line from the first amendment.  Seems quite specific to me.  The Government can not create a religion.   Last I checked there is currently no Church of the United States of America.  But the Supreme Court has created a limitation on the free exercise thereof.

This story is the direct result of that decision by the court. This from on the banner in the town of Pitman that says “Keep Christ in Christmas”.

PITMAN — Borough attorney Brian Duffield said, at this point, the borough is treating the controversial “Keep Christ in Christmas” banner situation as a possible zoning violation and nothing more.

On Friday, the Freedom from Religion Foundation — a national organization committed to keeping religion separate from government — contacted Mayor Mike Batten and requested the banner be removed because it promoted the Christian faith. According to Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the FFRF, several other municipal departments were also contacted but did not return calls.

“In the letter FFRF sent, the suggestion is that the banner is on public property so we looked into it,” said Duffield. “We found out that the banner is attached on one end to the old bank — which is privately owned — and on the other end it’s connected to an Atlantic City Electric or Verizon pole which the borough does not own. Also, Broadway is a county — not a borough — road. Everything related to the sign is not on Pitman public property.”

Read that carefully the town of Pitman actually considered abridging the right for the banner to fly.  They actually researched whether they could order the banner to be removed.  We have gone from a country of freedom of religion to a country were people of no faith can demand we not publicly show our faith.  Now that takes me to this little gem.  Secretary of State Hilary Clinton hosted a conference called the Istanbul Process.  This was the beginning of her speech:

Well, good afternoon, everyone, and I want to thank you all for participating in this conference where we are working together to protect two fundamental freedoms – the right to practice one’s religion freely and the right to express one’s opinion without fear.

I’m delighted to see so many members of the diplomatic corps. I welcome all of you here to the State Department. I especially wish to acknowledge Ambassador Suzan Johnson Cook, who has been leading our efforts, and also Ambassador Eileen Donahoe, the U.S. Ambassador to the Human Rights Council, who has also been tireless in pursuit of America’s fundamental and the world’s universal values.

Now this year, the international community in the Human Rights Council made an important commitment. And it was really historic, because before then, we had seen the international community pit against one another freedom of religion and freedom of expression. And there were those in the international community who vigorously and passionately defended one but not the other. And our goal in the work that so many nations represented here have been doing, with the adoption of Resolution 1618 and then again last month in the General Assembly’s Third Committee, was to say we all can do better. And this resolution marks a step forward in creating a safe global environment for practicing and expressing one’s beliefs. In it, we pledge to protect the freedom of religion for all while also protecting freedom of expression. And we enshrined our commitment to tolerance and inclusivity by agreeing to certain concrete steps to combat violence and discrimination based on religion or belief. These steps, we hope, will help foster a climate that respects the human rights of all.

Well how about those folks in Pitman who put up a sign acknowledging a religions belief in a private site?  Do a bunch of radical atheists have the right to block the free expression of religion?  Of course not and the Supreme Court years ago was wrong too for not allowing prayer in school.  In Abington School District vs Schempp the Supreme Court ruled that forced prayer in school violated the First Amendments establishment clause.  In so doing they cited the Fourteenth Amendment as justification for limiting states power to enforce readings from the bible.  That is fodder for another post.

Free expression of religion means if a child wants to read a bible verse in school they have that right.  It means if my son wants to pray before class he should be allowed.  I am fine with not forcing children of other faiths but shouldn’t they all have an equal opportunity to express themselves with prayer if the so feel?

Clinton is a joke and the Freedom From Religion Foundation is a bunch of tools.

God Bless American and Merry Christmas to all.  May the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ bless all of your days.

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Ted Lieu: Out of Control

A corporate entity in the United States made a business decision to not back a television show.  The name of the company is not important.  What is important is the reaction of one very overzealous California Senator.  Not an US Senator representing California, but a Senator in the California State Senate.  His name is Ted Lieu.  Ted was very upset that an American company.  One that employs hundreds of thousands of Americans would pull its support of a TV show.  Now I hate to tell Ted this but this type of thing happens all the time.  Sponsors come and go and businesses decide to fund shows based on their business model or corporate culture.  Sometimes it is the content of the show.  Other times it is an influx of correspondence from people outside the company.  Either way the dollars spent need to be done for the biggest bang for the buck.  Here is a post from a discussion of the ratings for the show.

  All-American Muslim had originally finished ahead of the terrorism drama Homeland which airs in the same time slot, but last week Homeland finished ahead of it, and not because its ratings had improved. Homeland had lost viewers, but All-American Muslim had lost even more viewers making it by far the lowest rated show on TLC Sunday nights. Worse still its 18-49 demographic had been cut in half, which put it way at the bottom of the ratings pile and that made it a bad bargain for the advertisers who stuck it out with the controversial series only to be rewarded with a Halal turkey.

So what was the reaction or should I say overreaction from a liberal progressive Senator in California.  How about this.

Boycott and ‘legislative remedies’ will be sought if no apology
Sen. Lieu says (Company name deleted) pulling of TV ads from TLC show about Muslims is bigoted, shameful and un-American


Here is the abridged letter.

You know what I am not giving Ted the space on this blog.  His out of line letter and threats are proof enough that he is a corrupt person who is only interested in showboating and self promotion.

Ted did you actually speak with the CEO before you fired off the letter accusing the company of bigotry and hatred or did you do it to get votes and make yourself look like a warrior for the little man.

Ted tell everybody how much you cut out of the senior day care programs in California.  What will they do?  You did that didn’t you!

Ted is a fine example of why California is in trouble.  Legislate EVERYTHING!  It does not matter if he is right.



Filed under Government, Uncategorized