Category Archives: Current Events

MUSIC MONDAY Every James Bond Theme Song, Ranked Worst to Best Part 5 (#5-11)

________

 

I really enjoyed the latest James Bond film NO TIME TO DIE and for my thoughts on it you can go to this link

Continue reading

MUSIC MONDAY Every James Bond Theme Song, Ranked Worst to Best Part 4 (#12-17)

________

 

I really enjoyed the latest James Bond film NO TIME TO DIE and for my thoughts on it you can go to this link

Continue reading

Dan Mitchell article: Debunking Biden’s Absurd “Cut the Deficit” Claim

A.F. Branco for Oct 21, 2021

Debunking Biden’s Absurd “Cut the Deficit” Claim

After almost 16 months in office, what is President Biden’s track record on fiscal policy?

The good news is that his big tax-and-spend plan to “build back better” has not been approved by Congress (and fingers crossed that it stays that way).

The bad news is that he has done other things, such as getting a fake stimulus though Congress, as well as a so-called infrastructure package.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget put together an estimate of his major initiatives.

By the way, the CRFB folks fixate on how these initiative impact the deficit. What we really should be concerned about is how much money is being spent.

But let’s set that aside and focus instead on a jaw-dropping claim from the White House.

Even though all of his major initiatives have increased red ink, he is patting himself on the backfor lower deficits.

For what it is worth, Biden’s claim is semi-accurate. It is true that budget deficits are temporarily falling.

But not because of him. Instead, red ink is falling because there was massive, one-time, multi-trillion dollar emergency spending for the COVID pandemic in 2020. That spending began to wind down in 2021 and it has mostly dissipated this year, so of course deficits have fallen.

For Biden to take credit for this drop would be akin to Truman taking credit for the big drop in red ink after World War II ended.

Eric Boehm of Reason wrote a column that debunks Biden’s ludicrous claim.

…this year’s budget deficit is forecasted to be the third or fourth-largest in American history—but President Joe Biden claims…his administration is overseeing a period of fiscal austerity. …Here are some words that actually tumbled out of the president’s mouth at a press conference… “We’re on track to cut the federal deficit by another $1.5 trillion by the end of this fiscal year. …on top of us having a $350 billion drop in the deficit last year, my first year as president,” Biden continued.…Those facts, however, exclude a few key details. …Biden took office the year after the budget deficit hit previously unimaginable highs due to a completely unprecedented spending binge triggered by a once-in-a-generation public health disaster. …if you look at the actual budgetary baselines published by the Congressional Budget Office—that is, the ongoing amount of annual federal spending absent any emergency stimulus bills like the ones passed on several occasions during the height of the pandemic—Biden has overseen a noticeable increase in the deficit above the pre-pandemic baseline. According to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a fiscal watchdog group that advocates for lower deficits, Biden’s policies have added about $2.5 trillion to the deficit over the next 10 years.

Brian Riedl is now with the Manhattan Institute, but we used to work together earlier this century at the Heritage Foundation. One of his admirable traits is that he hasn’t lost the ability to be outraged.

That comes through in his tweet about Biden’s supposed accomplishment.

By the way, I’m not making a partisan point. I have no doubt Trump would have done the same thing.

After all, politicians are probably the least ethical people in the nation. And Washington brings out the worst of the worst.

Biden talks up deficit reduction, as watchdog says it’s ‘highly misleading’

Last Updated: May 4, 2022 at 11:50 a.m. ETFirst Published: May 4, 2022 at 10:22 a.m. ET

President: ‘Bringing down the deficit is one way to ease inflationary pressures’

President Joe Biden speaks Wednesday about the economy at the White House. Also pictured (L-R) are Shalanda Young, director of the Office of Management and Budget; Cecilia Rouse, chair of the Council of Economic Advisers; and Brian Deese, director of the National Economic Council.

AFP/GETTY IMAGES

President Joe Biden on Wednesday delivered an economic speech that highlighted cuts to the federal deficit, even as some watchdogs have criticized his rhetoric around reducing red ink.

“The bottom line is the deficit went up every year under my predecessor, before the pandemic and during the pandemic, and it’s gone down both years since I’ve been here. Period. They’re the facts,” Biden said at the White House.

“Why is it important? Because bringing down the deficit is one way to ease inflationary pressures.”

The president has been talking up fiscal deficit reduction as a way to win over a key Democratic senator — West Virginia’s Joe Manchin — who has blocked Biden’s Build Back Better spending plan and wants to see Washington focused on closing the budget gap and fighting high inflation.

Biden’s rhetoric on eliminating red ink has drawn flak from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan watchdog organization.

“While President Biden’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 budget calls for $1.05 trillion of welcomed deficit reduction, the administration has largely been focused on taking credit for the expected $1.3 trillion fall in the deficit between FY 2021 and 2022,” the organization said in a blog post last month.

“The administration touting this victory is highly misleading; deficits are falling mainly because COVID relief is ending, and deficits will remain high even after this decline.”

Biden on Thursday said his administration revealed this week that it’s on track to cut the federal deficit by $1.5 trillion by the end of the current fiscal year, adding that it’s “the biggest decline in a single year ever in American history.”

The president’s remarks come after his Treasury Department on Monday surprised observers by announcing that it plans to pay down $26 billion in debt in the second quarter.

“For the first time since 2016, the Treasury Department is planning to pay down the national debt issued to the public this quarter,” he said on Wednesday. “For all the talk Republicans make about deficits, it didn’t happen a single quarter under my predecessor, not once.”

Biden’s speech initially had been planned for 2 p.m. Eastern, but the White House moved up the scheduled time for his remarks by three hours.

The Federal Reserve at 2 p.m. Eastern is expected to announce its biggest hike in interest rates in 20 years — a half-percentage-point rise — as the American central bank aims to combat the highest U.S. inflation in 40 years. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is due to speak at a news conference at 2:30 p.m.

March 31, 2021

President Biden  c/o The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

Please explain to me if you ever do plan to balance the budget while you are President? I have written these things below about you and I really do think that you don’t want to cut spending in order to balance the budget. It seems you ever are daring the Congress to stop you from spending more.

President Barack Obama speaks about the debt limit in the East Room of the White House in Washington. | AP Photo

“The credit of the United States ‘is not a bargaining chip,’ Obama said on 1-14-13. However, President Obama keeps getting our country’s credit rating downgraded as he raises the debt ceiling higher and higher!!!!

Washington Could Learn a Lot from a Drug Addict

Just spend more, don’t know how to cut!!! Really!!! That is not living in the real world is it?

Making more dependent on government is not the way to go!!

Why is our government in over 16 trillion dollars in debt? There are many reasons for this but the biggest reason is people say “Let’s spend someone else’s money to solve our problems.” Liberals like Max Brantley have talked this way for years. Brantley will say that conservatives are being harsh when they don’t want the government out encouraging people to be dependent on the government. The Obama adminstration has even promoted a plan for young people to follow like Julia the Moocher.  

David Ramsey demonstrates in his Arkansas Times Blog post of 1-14-13 that very point:

Arkansas Politics / Health Care Arkansas’s share of Medicaid expansion and the national debt

Posted by on Mon, Jan 14, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Baby carrot Arkansas Medicaid expansion image

Imagine standing a baby carrot up next to the 25-story Stephens building in Little Rock. That gives you a picture of the impact on the national debt that federal spending in Arkansas on Medicaid expansion would have, while here at home expansion would give coverage to more than 200,000 of our neediest citizens, create jobs, and save money for the state.

Here’s the thing: while more than a billion dollars a year in federal spending would represent a big-time stimulus for Arkansas, it’s not even a drop in the bucket when it comes to the national debt.

Currently, the national debt is around $16.4 trillion. In fiscal year 2015, the federal government would spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.2 billion to fund Medicaid expansion in Arkansas if we say yes. That’s about 1/13,700th of the debt.

It’s hard to get a handle on numbers that big, so to put that in perspective, let’s get back to the baby carrot. Imagine that the height of the Stephens building (365 feet) is the $16 trillion national debt. That $1.2 billion would be the length of a ladybug. Of course, we’re not just talking about one year if we expand. Between now and 2021, the federal government projects to contribute around $10 billion. The federal debt is projected to be around $25 trillion by then, so we’re talking about 1/2,500th of the debt. Compared to the Stephens building? That’s a baby carrot.

______________

Here is how it will all end if everyone feels they should be allowed to have their “baby carrot.”

How sad it is that liberals just don’t get this reality.

Here is what the Founding Fathers had to say about welfare. David Weinberger noted:

While living in Europe in the 1760s, Franklin observed: “in different countries … the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.”

Alexander Fraser Tytler, Lord Woodhouselee (15 October 1747 – 5 January 1813) was a Scottish lawyer, writer, and professor. Tytler was also a historian, and he noted, “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy.”

Thomas Jefferson to Joseph Milligan

April 6, 1816

[Jefferson affirms that the main purpose of society is to enable human beings to keep the fruits of their labor. — TGW]

To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, “the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, and the fruits acquired by it.” If the overgrown wealth of an individual be deemed dangerous to the State, the best corrective is the law of equal inheritance to all in equal degree; and the better, as this enforces a law of nature, while extra taxation violates it.

[From Writings of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Albert E. Bergh (Washington: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), 14:466.]

_______

Jefferson pointed out that to take from the rich and give to the poor through government is just wrong. Franklin knew the poor would have a better path upward without government welfare coming their way. Milton Friedman’s negative income tax is the best method for doing that and by taking away all welfare programs and letting them go to the churches for charity.

_____________

_________

Thank you so much for your time. I know how valuable it is. I also appreciate the fine family that you have and your commitment as a father and a husband.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733

Williams with Sowell – Minimum Wage

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell – Reducing Black Unemployment

By WALTER WILLIAMS

—-

Ronald Reagan with Milton Friedman
Milton Friedman The Power of the Market 2-5

Related posts:

Welfare Spending Shattering All-Time Highs

  We got to act fast and get off this path of socialism. Morning Bell: Welfare Spending Shattering All-Time Highs Robert Rector and Amy Payne October 18, 2012 at 9:03 am It’s been a pretty big year for welfare—and a new report shows welfare is bigger than ever. The Obama Administration turned a giant spotlight […]

We need more brave souls that will vote against Washington welfare programs

We need to cut Food Stamp program and not extend it. However, it seems that people tell the taxpayers back home they are going to Washington and cut government spending but once they get up there they just fall in line with  everyone else that keeps spending our money. I am glad that at least […]

Welfare programs are not the answer for the poor

Government Must Cut Spending Uploaded by HeritageFoundation on Dec 2, 2010 The government can cut roughly $343 billion from the federal budget and they can do so immediately. __________ Liberals argue that the poor need more welfare programs, but I have always argued that these programs enslave the poor to the government. Food Stamps Growth […]

Private charities are best solution and not government welfare

Milton Friedman – The Negative Income Tax Published on May 11, 2012 by LibertyPen In this 1968 interview, Milton Friedman explained the negative income tax, a proposal that at minimum would save taxpayers the 72 percent of our current welfare budget spent on administration. http://www.LibertyPen.com Source: Firing Line with William F Buckley Jr. ________________ Milton […]

The book “After the Welfare State”

Dan Mitchell Commenting on Obama’s Failure to Propose a Fiscal Plan Published on Aug 16, 2012 by danmitchellcato No description available. ___________ After the Welfare State Posted by David Boaz Cato senior fellow Tom G. Palmer, who is lecturing about freedom in Slovenia and Tbilisi this week, asked me to post this announcement of his […]

President Obama responds to Heritage Foundation critics on welfare reform waivers

Is President Obama gutting the welfare reform that Bill Clinton signed into law? Morning Bell: Obama Denies Gutting Welfare Reform Amy Payne August 8, 2012 at 9:15 am The Obama Administration came out swinging against its critics on welfare reform yesterday, with Press Secretary Jay Carney saying the charge that the Administration gutted the successful […]

Welfare reform part 3

Thomas Sowell – Welfare Welfare reform was working so good. Why did we have to abandon it? Look at this article from 2003. The Continuing Good News About Welfare Reform By Robert Rector and Patrick Fagan, Ph.D. February 6, 2003 Six years ago, President Bill Clinton signed legislation overhauling part of the nation’s welfare system. […]

Welfare reform part 2

Uploaded by ForaTv on May 29, 2009 Complete video at: http://fora.tv/2009/05/18/James_Bartholomew_The_Welfare_State_Were_In Author James Bartholomew argues that welfare benefits actually increase government handouts by ‘ruining’ ambition. He compares welfare to a humane mousetrap. —– Welfare reform was working so good. Why did we have to abandon it? Look at this article from 2003. In the controversial […]

Why did Obama stop the Welfare Reform that Clinton put in?

Thomas Sowell If the welfare reform law was successful then why change it? Wasn’t Bill Clinton the president that signed into law? Obama Guts Welfare Reform Robert Rector and Kiki Bradley July 12, 2012 at 4:10 pm Today, the Obama Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released an official policy directive rewriting the welfare […]

“Feedback Friday” Letter to White House generated form letter response July 10,2012 on welfare, etc (part 14)

I have been writing President Obama letters and have not received a personal response yet.  (He reads 10 letters a day personally and responds to each of them.) However, I did receive a form letter in the form of an email on July 10, 2012. I don’t know which letter of mine generated this response so I have […]

Biden talks up deficit reduction, as watchdog says it’s ‘highly misleading’

A.F. Branco for Oct 21, 2021

Biden talks up deficit reduction, as watchdog says it’s ‘highly misleading’

Last Updated: May 4, 2022 at 11:50 a.m. ETFirst Published: May 4, 2022 at 10:22 a.m. ET

President: ‘Bringing down the deficit is one way to ease inflationary pressures’

President Joe Biden speaks Wednesday about the economy at the White House. Also pictured (L-R) are Shalanda Young, director of the Office of Management and Budget; Cecilia Rouse, chair of the Council of Economic Advisers; and Brian Deese, director of the National Economic Council.

AFP/GETTY IMAGES

President Joe Biden on Wednesday delivered an economic speech that highlighted cuts to the federal deficit, even as some watchdogs have criticized his rhetoric around reducing red ink.

“The bottom line is the deficit went up every year under my predecessor, before the pandemic and during the pandemic, and it’s gone down both years since I’ve been here. Period. They’re the facts,” Biden said at the White House.

“Why is it important? Because bringing down the deficit is one way to ease inflationary pressures.”

The president has been talking up fiscal deficit reduction as a way to win over a key Democratic senator — West Virginia’s Joe Manchin — who has blocked Biden’s Build Back Better spending plan and wants to see Washington focused on closing the budget gap and fighting high inflation.

Biden’s rhetoric on eliminating red ink has drawn flak from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan watchdog organization.

“While President Biden’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 budget calls for $1.05 trillion of welcomed deficit reduction, the administration has largely been focused on taking credit for the expected $1.3 trillion fall in the deficit between FY 2021 and 2022,” the organization said in a blog post last month.

“The administration touting this victory is highly misleading; deficits are falling mainly because COVID relief is ending, and deficits will remain high even after this decline.”

Biden on Thursday said his administration revealed this week that it’s on track to cut the federal deficit by $1.5 trillion by the end of the current fiscal year, adding that it’s “the biggest decline in a single year ever in American history.”

The president’s remarks come after his Treasury Department on Monday surprised observers by announcing that it plans to pay down $26 billion in debt in the second quarter.

“For the first time since 2016, the Treasury Department is planning to pay down the national debt issued to the public this quarter,” he said on Wednesday. “For all the talk Republicans make about deficits, it didn’t happen a single quarter under my predecessor, not once.”

Biden’s speech initially had been planned for 2 p.m. Eastern, but the White House moved up the scheduled time for his remarks by three hours.

The Federal Reserve at 2 p.m. Eastern is expected to announce its biggest hike in interest rates in 20 years — a half-percentage-point rise — as the American central bank aims to combat the highest U.S. inflation in 40 years. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is due to speak at a news conference at 2:30 p.m.

March 31, 2021

President Biden  c/o The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

Please explain to me if you ever do plan to balance the budget while you are President? I have written these things below about you and I really do think that you don’t want to cut spending in order to balance the budget. It seems you ever are daring the Congress to stop you from spending more.

President Barack Obama speaks about the debt limit in the East Room of the White House in Washington. | AP Photo

“The credit of the United States ‘is not a bargaining chip,’ Obama said on 1-14-13. However, President Obama keeps getting our country’s credit rating downgraded as he raises the debt ceiling higher and higher!!!!

Washington Could Learn a Lot from a Drug Addict

Just spend more, don’t know how to cut!!! Really!!! That is not living in the real world is it?

Making more dependent on government is not the way to go!!

Why is our government in over 16 trillion dollars in debt? There are many reasons for this but the biggest reason is people say “Let’s spend someone else’s money to solve our problems.” Liberals like Max Brantley have talked this way for years. Brantley will say that conservatives are being harsh when they don’t want the government out encouraging people to be dependent on the government. The Obama adminstration has even promoted a plan for young people to follow like Julia the Moocher.  

David Ramsey demonstrates in his Arkansas Times Blog post of 1-14-13 that very point:

Arkansas Politics / Health Care Arkansas’s share of Medicaid expansion and the national debt

Posted by on Mon, Jan 14, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Baby carrot Arkansas Medicaid expansion image

Imagine standing a baby carrot up next to the 25-story Stephens building in Little Rock. That gives you a picture of the impact on the national debt that federal spending in Arkansas on Medicaid expansion would have, while here at home expansion would give coverage to more than 200,000 of our neediest citizens, create jobs, and save money for the state.

Here’s the thing: while more than a billion dollars a year in federal spending would represent a big-time stimulus for Arkansas, it’s not even a drop in the bucket when it comes to the national debt.

Currently, the national debt is around $16.4 trillion. In fiscal year 2015, the federal government would spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.2 billion to fund Medicaid expansion in Arkansas if we say yes. That’s about 1/13,700th of the debt.

It’s hard to get a handle on numbers that big, so to put that in perspective, let’s get back to the baby carrot. Imagine that the height of the Stephens building (365 feet) is the $16 trillion national debt. That $1.2 billion would be the length of a ladybug. Of course, we’re not just talking about one year if we expand. Between now and 2021, the federal government projects to contribute around $10 billion. The federal debt is projected to be around $25 trillion by then, so we’re talking about 1/2,500th of the debt. Compared to the Stephens building? That’s a baby carrot.

______________

Here is how it will all end if everyone feels they should be allowed to have their “baby carrot.”

How sad it is that liberals just don’t get this reality.

Here is what the Founding Fathers had to say about welfare. David Weinberger noted:

While living in Europe in the 1760s, Franklin observed: “in different countries … the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.”

Alexander Fraser Tytler, Lord Woodhouselee (15 October 1747 – 5 January 1813) was a Scottish lawyer, writer, and professor. Tytler was also a historian, and he noted, “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy.”

Thomas Jefferson to Joseph Milligan

April 6, 1816

[Jefferson affirms that the main purpose of society is to enable human beings to keep the fruits of their labor. — TGW]

To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, “the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, and the fruits acquired by it.” If the overgrown wealth of an individual be deemed dangerous to the State, the best corrective is the law of equal inheritance to all in equal degree; and the better, as this enforces a law of nature, while extra taxation violates it.

[From Writings of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Albert E. Bergh (Washington: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), 14:466.]

_______

Jefferson pointed out that to take from the rich and give to the poor through government is just wrong. Franklin knew the poor would have a better path upward without government welfare coming their way. Milton Friedman’s negative income tax is the best method for doing that and by taking away all welfare programs and letting them go to the churches for charity.

_____________

_________

Thank you so much for your time. I know how valuable it is. I also appreciate the fine family that you have and your commitment as a father and a husband.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733

Williams with Sowell – Minimum Wage

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell – Reducing Black Unemployment

By WALTER WILLIAMS

—-

Ronald Reagan with Milton Friedman
Milton Friedman The Power of the Market 2-5

Related posts:

Welfare Spending Shattering All-Time Highs

  We got to act fast and get off this path of socialism. Morning Bell: Welfare Spending Shattering All-Time Highs Robert Rector and Amy Payne October 18, 2012 at 9:03 am It’s been a pretty big year for welfare—and a new report shows welfare is bigger than ever. The Obama Administration turned a giant spotlight […]

We need more brave souls that will vote against Washington welfare programs

We need to cut Food Stamp program and not extend it. However, it seems that people tell the taxpayers back home they are going to Washington and cut government spending but once they get up there they just fall in line with  everyone else that keeps spending our money. I am glad that at least […]

Welfare programs are not the answer for the poor

Government Must Cut Spending Uploaded by HeritageFoundation on Dec 2, 2010 The government can cut roughly $343 billion from the federal budget and they can do so immediately. __________ Liberals argue that the poor need more welfare programs, but I have always argued that these programs enslave the poor to the government. Food Stamps Growth […]

Private charities are best solution and not government welfare

Milton Friedman – The Negative Income Tax Published on May 11, 2012 by LibertyPen In this 1968 interview, Milton Friedman explained the negative income tax, a proposal that at minimum would save taxpayers the 72 percent of our current welfare budget spent on administration. http://www.LibertyPen.com Source: Firing Line with William F Buckley Jr. ________________ Milton […]

The book “After the Welfare State”

Dan Mitchell Commenting on Obama’s Failure to Propose a Fiscal Plan Published on Aug 16, 2012 by danmitchellcato No description available. ___________ After the Welfare State Posted by David Boaz Cato senior fellow Tom G. Palmer, who is lecturing about freedom in Slovenia and Tbilisi this week, asked me to post this announcement of his […]

President Obama responds to Heritage Foundation critics on welfare reform waivers

Is President Obama gutting the welfare reform that Bill Clinton signed into law? Morning Bell: Obama Denies Gutting Welfare Reform Amy Payne August 8, 2012 at 9:15 am The Obama Administration came out swinging against its critics on welfare reform yesterday, with Press Secretary Jay Carney saying the charge that the Administration gutted the successful […]

Welfare reform part 3

Thomas Sowell – Welfare Welfare reform was working so good. Why did we have to abandon it? Look at this article from 2003. The Continuing Good News About Welfare Reform By Robert Rector and Patrick Fagan, Ph.D. February 6, 2003 Six years ago, President Bill Clinton signed legislation overhauling part of the nation’s welfare system. […]

Welfare reform part 2

Uploaded by ForaTv on May 29, 2009 Complete video at: http://fora.tv/2009/05/18/James_Bartholomew_The_Welfare_State_Were_In Author James Bartholomew argues that welfare benefits actually increase government handouts by ‘ruining’ ambition. He compares welfare to a humane mousetrap. —– Welfare reform was working so good. Why did we have to abandon it? Look at this article from 2003. In the controversial […]

Why did Obama stop the Welfare Reform that Clinton put in?

Thomas Sowell If the welfare reform law was successful then why change it? Wasn’t Bill Clinton the president that signed into law? Obama Guts Welfare Reform Robert Rector and Kiki Bradley July 12, 2012 at 4:10 pm Today, the Obama Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released an official policy directive rewriting the welfare […]

“Feedback Friday” Letter to White House generated form letter response July 10,2012 on welfare, etc (part 14)

I have been writing President Obama letters and have not received a personal response yet.  (He reads 10 letters a day personally and responds to each of them.) However, I did receive a form letter in the form of an email on July 10, 2012. I don’t know which letter of mine generated this response so I have […]

MUSIC MONDAY Every James Bond Theme Song, Ranked Worst to Best Part 3 (#18-22)

________

I really enjoyed the latest James Bond film NO TIME TO DIE and for my thoughts on it you can go to this link

We have all the time in the world… to debate the relative merits of 50 years of James Bond music, as we do each time a new entry, like Billie Eilish’s “No Time to Die,” is added to the canon. And in the case of the film of that name, a long-distant Bond song has also been revived for the new soundtrack — Louis Armstrong’s “We Have All the Time in the World” — the impact of which may cause everyone to completely rethink where that love theme from “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” ranks, now that it puts us in mind of sad Daniel Craig instead of sad George Lazenby.

What follows is an unassailable list of 26 Bond songs rated from worst to best. A caveat: I have at least a twinge of respect or affection for every tune in the catalog — even the Jack White and Madonna tracks, which kind of deserve the black eyes they get from the vast majority of Bond buffs, but which deserve at least a little credit… okay, a very little credit… for fearlessness in shaking up what can lean toward a rather algebraic formula. The fact is, we love our post-Shirley Bassey Bond music most when it adheres to tradition in some ways while upending it in others. That could be Paul McCartney juxtaposing a sinister strings break with a goofy reggae bridge in “Live and Let Die,” or it could be Eilish and Finneas working a subtle sliver of Monty Norman’s “James Bond Theme” into their otherwise somber entry before bringing it home with the “spy chord”… the E minor Major 9 that will mean “Bond, James Bond” for the rest of time.

The other nearly universally despised Bond song is certainly a product of its era — the great techno scare of the late ‘90s and early 2000s. I find myself not loathing it as much as I probably should, maybe because the hook works — even if there’s not a lot else to the song but that herky-jerky hook — and because combining proto-EDM with orchestral string-section stings was a kind of intriguing combo that few followed up on. But Madonna seemed just a bit too resistant to throwing in bits of the Bond-song conventions that would have made the number a bit more palatable, and compositionally it remains the thinnest tune in the canon. Also: What’s Freud got to do with it?

You may intuit in these rankings a preference for the early stuff, but we’ll make an exception for this seminal entry, whose modest attributes tend to be overrated for reasons that have to come down mostly to nostalgia. As the first true pop song written for a Bond film, it merits credit for loosely establishing a tone that would follow in many of the tunes, setting out the spy as more of an inner romantic than his cavalier ways on screen might suggest. But really, it’s pretty colorless, pro forma pop — just the kind of tune that you’d expect to find favor a secret agent who mocked the Beatles in the following film. Monro’s vocal version was embedded within the film, while the opening credits featured an instrumental version made into a medley with two other themes. That was just as well — if this entire recording had introduced the film at the start, we might have a harder time remembering the movie as the classic it is.

Big Garbage fan here, so it’s hard to pin down exactly why this doesn’t click the way it should, especially with such a promising hook. Maybe it’s because the song is not enough to contain everything that the overly busy and compressed arrangement throws at it. Orchestration and tremolo guitar, yes — but the programmed-sounding percussion, a boon to many other Garbage songs, just sounds loud, clangy and exhausting in a milieu that demands a subtler touch. Still, you’ve got to give Shirley Manson props for being one of the few lyricists to write a song from the point of view of a Bond villain.

 

It’s easy to hear this song as a sort of successor to “Nobody Does It Better” and “For Your Eyes Only” in the completion of a romantic easy-listening trilogy. But this time it’s Bond mainstay John Barry saying “I can do that, too” after Marvin Hamlisch and Bill Conti stepped in to take his place on writing the melodies for those earlier hits in his absence. He succeeded, if not quite as wildly, as Coolidge’s song was a multi-week No. 1 hit at adult contemporary radio that didn’t fly quite as high on the pop chart. Each of these songs imagines Bond as a lady-pleaser, not a lady-killer. But because it’s Barry, there’s an intriguing hint of melancholy embedded in the sweet nothings that you didn’t get with the Carly Simon or Sheena Easton songs.

 

NO TIME TO DIE | Final US Trailer

007 : James Bond : Theme

 

Casino Royale – Chris Cornell – You Know My Name

 

Alicia Keys & Jack White – Another Way To Die [Official Video]

 

Goldfinger Theme Song – James Bond

Diamonds Are Forever Theme Song – James Bond

Moonraker Theme Song – James Bond

Adele – Skyfall (Lyric Video)

—-

Billie Eilish – No Time To Die

 

——

Sam Smith – Writing’s On The Wall (from Spectre) (Official Video)

 

—-

Thunderball Theme Song – James Bond

 

Nancy Sinatra – You Only Live Twice (HQ)

__

The Man with the Golden Gun Opening Title Sequence

 

—-

The spy who loved me (1977) INTRO HD

Sheena Easton • For Your Eyes Only – James Bond/007

—-

James Bond – Octopussy – Theme Song

A View to a Kill Opening Title Sequence

 –

A-ha • The Living Daylights – James Bond 007

 

LICENCE TO KILL HIGH DEFINITION

 

-—

James Bond – Goldeneye Opening Theme (HQ)

Sheryl Crow – Tomorrow Never Dies

 

Barry, Beatles, Billie: 60 years of Bond tunes

<img class=”i-amphtml-intrinsic-sizer” role=”presentation” src=”data:;base64,” alt=”” aria-hidden=”true” />Barry, Beatles, Billie: 60 years of Bond tunes

 

British actor Daniel Craig poses during a photocall to promote the 24th James Bond film ‘Spectre’ on February 18, 2015 at Rome’s city hall. AFP PHOTO / TIZIANA FABI (Photo by VINCENZO PINTO and TIZIANA FABI / AFP)

Paris, France — Ever since the twanging guitar of John Barry’s theme song first appeared in “Dr No” in 1962, music has been crucial to the James Bond phenomenon.

The songs written for each title sequence have become a way of marking out the evolution of pop music through the past 60 years, from the classics of Shirley Bassey and Paul McCartney to Adele and Billie Eilish.

Nobody remembers Monty

Many assume the original theme was written by John Barry, in part because he became so closely associated with the Bond franchise, composing the soundtrack for 11 of the films.

 

In fact, Barry only arranged and performed the theme tune.

The famous dung-digger-dung-dung line was actually written by theater composer Monty Norman, developed from an unused Indian-themed score he had written for an adaptation of VS Naipaul’s “A House for Mr Biswas.”

It was Barry’s job to jazz it up, adding the blaring horns that made it so dramatic.

While Norman was given a one-off payment of just £250, Barry built a Hollywood career that has included five Oscars and classic soundtracks to “Midnight Cowboy,” “Out of Africa,” and many more.

Golden girl Shirley Bassey

Bassey became almost as closely linked to Bond as Barry — the only singer to deliver three title tracks: “Goldfinger” (1964), “Diamonds are Forever” (1971), and “Moonraker” (1979).

The first two are considered the most memorable in Bond history, the latter less so — Bassey later admitted she hated the “Moonraker” song and only did it as a favor to Barry.

“Goldfinger” made her a star, but the recording sessions were grueling, with Barry insisting that Bassey, then 27, hold the last belting note for seven full seconds.

“I was holding it and holding it — I was looking at John Barry and I was going blue in the face and he’s going — hold it just one more second. When it finished, I nearly passed out,” she later recalled.

 A new Beatles beginning

The first Bond film without Barry on the baton was “Live and Let Die” in 1973.

For this, the producers turned to another famous “B” The Beatles.

The group’s producer George Martin took over composing duties and brought in Paul McCartney and his band Wings for the theme song.

It became another classic and spawned a famous cover by Guns’N’Roses in later years.

From this point on, the Bond title song became its own mini-industry, without the involvement of the composer.

Big pop tie-ins followed, ranging from the not-so-successful (Lulu’s “The Man with the Golden Gun”) to classics like Carly Simon’s “Nobody Does it Better” and Duran Duran’s “A View to a Kill.”

<img class=”i-amphtml-intrinsic-sizer” role=”presentation” src=”data:;base64,” alt=”” aria-hidden=”true” />Barry, Beatles, Billie: 60 years of Bond tunes

FILE PHOTO: Auctioneer specialists hold a rare intact James Bond ‘Thunderball’ (1965) film poster (estimate £8,000-£12,000), featuring two panels of poster illustrations on the left by Frank McCarthy and two on the right by Robert McGinnis, at Ewbank’s Auctioneers, ahead of an upcoming sale, in Woking, Britain, April 7, 2021. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

 

The next generation

After a few desultory outings during the Pierce Brosnan years, the Bond genre got a shot of adrenaline with Adele’s “Skyfall” in 2012, which was the first to win an Oscar for best song.

<img class=”i-amphtml-intrinsic-sizer” role=”presentation” src=”data:;base64,” alt=”” aria-hidden=”true” />Barry, Beatles, Billie: 60 years of Bond tunes

 

Image: Twitter/@007

The following year’s “Writing’s on the Wall” by Sam Smith also won an Oscar, though it got a more mixed critical reception.

The latest incarnation is pop princess Billie Eilish with “No Time to Die,” which she co-wrote with her brother Finneas.

It already has a thumbs-up from the doyenne of the Bond theme world, with Bassey telling The Big Issue: “She did a good job.”

Golden girl Shirley Bassey Bassey became almost as closely linked to Bond as Barry -- the only singer to deliver three title tracks: "Goldfinger" (1964), "Diamonds are Forever" (1971), and "Moonraker" (1979).  The first two are considered the most memorable in Bond history, the latter less so -- Bassey later admitted she hated the "Moonraker" song and only did it as a favor to Barry.

The latest James Bond movie “Skyfall” stars Daniel Craig. 007 boozed so much that in all reality he would have had the tremulous hands of a chronic alcoholic, according to an offbeat study published by the British Medical Journal. PHOTO FROM FACEBOOK.COM/JAMESBONDOO7

Live And Let Die Theme Song – James Bond

 

 

Paul McCartney Uncle Albert Rare Studio Demo

Paul McCartney; Uncle AlbertAdmiral Halsey. (RAM 1971)

Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 
“Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey”
Single by Paul and Linda McCartney
from the album Ram
B-side Too Many People
Released 2 August 1971 (US only)
Format 7″
Recorded 6 November 1970
Genre
Length 4:49
Label Apple
Writer(s) Paul and Linda McCartney
Producer(s) Paul and Linda McCartney
Paul and Linda McCartney singles chronology
Another Day
(1971)
Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey
(1971)
The Back Seat of My Car
(1971)
Ram track listing
 

Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” is a song by Paul and Linda McCartney from the album Ram. Released in the United States as a single on 2 August 1971,[1] but premiering on WLS the previous week (as a “Hit Parade Bound” (HPB)),[2] it reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on 4 September 1971,[3][4] making it the first of a string of post-Beatles, McCartney-penned singles to top the US pop chart during the 1970s and 1980s. Billboard ranked it number 22 on its Top Pop Singles of 1971 year-end chart.[5]

Elements and interpretation[edit]

https://youtu.be/XI6C7L66zq8
“Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” is composed of several unfinished song fragments that McCartney stitched together similar to the medleys from the Beatles‘ album Abbey Road.[6] The song is noted for its sound effects, including the sounds of a thunderstorm, with rain, heard between the first and second stanza, the sound of a telephone ringing, and a message machine, heard after the second stanza, and a sound of chirping sea birds and wind by the seashore. Linda’s voice is heard in the harmonies as well as the bridge section of the “Admiral Halsey” portion of the song.

McCartney said “Uncle Albert” was based on his uncle. “He’s someone I recall fondly, and when the song was coming it was like a nostalgia thing.”[7] McCartney also said, “As for Admiral Halsey, he’s one of yours, an American admiral”, referring to Fleet Admiral William “Bull” Halsey (1882–1959).[7] McCartney has described the “Uncle Albert” section of the song as an apology from his generation to the older generation, and Admiral Halsey as an authoritarian figure who ought to be ignored.[8]

Despite the disparate elements that make up the song, author Andrew Grant Jackson discerns a coherent narrative to the lyrics, related to McCartney’s emotions in the aftermath of the Beatles’ breakup.[9] In this interpretation, the song begins with McCartney apologizing to his uncle for getting nothing done, and being easily distracted and perhaps depressed in the lethargic “Uncle Albert” section.[9] Then, after some sound effects reminiscent of “Yellow Submarine,” Admiral Halsey appears to him calling him to action, although McCartney remains more interested in “tea and butter pie.” McCartney stated that he put the butter in the pie so that it would not melt at all.[9] Jackson sees a possible sinister allusion in the use of Admiral Halsey as a character in the song, since Halsey was famous for fighting the Japanese in World War II and claiming that “after the war, the Japanese language will be spoken only in hell,” and McCartney’s ex-Beatle partner John Lennon had recently married a Japanese woman, Yoko Ono.[9] The “hands across the water” section which follows could be taken as evocative of the command “All hands on deck!”, rousing McCartney to action, perhaps to compete with Lennon.[9] The song then ends with the “gypsy” section, in which McCartney resolves to get back on the road and perform his music, now that he was on his own without his former bandmates who no longer wanted to tour.[9]

Reception[edit]

Paul McCartney won the Grammy Award for Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists in 1971 for the song.[10][11] The single was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for sales of over one million copies.[12]

According to Allmusic critic Stewart Mason, fans of Paul McCartney’s music are divided in their opinions of this song.[13] Although some fans praise it as “one of his most playful and inventive songs” others criticize it for being “exactly the kind of cute self-indulgence that they find so annoying about his post-Beatles career.”[13] Mason himself considers it “churlish” to be annoyed by the song, given that song isn’t intended to be completely serious, and praises the “Hands across the water” section as being “lovably giddy.”[13]

On the US charts, the song set a songwriting milestone as the all-time songwriting record (at the time) for the most consecutive calendar years to write a #1 song. This gave McCartney eight consecutive years (starting with “I Want to Hold Your Hand“), leaving behind Lennon with only seven years.

Later release[edit]

“Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” also appears on Wings Greatest from 1978, even though Ram was not a Wings album, and again on the US version of McCartney’s 1987 compilation, All the Best!, as well as the 2001 compilation Wingspan: Hits and History.

Personnel[edit]

Song uses[edit]

Charts[edit]

Peak positions[edit]

Chart (1971) Position
Australian Kent Music Report[14] 5
Canadian RPM Top 100 Singles[15] 1
Mexican Singles Chart[16] 3
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[4] 1
West German Media Control Singles Chart[17] 30

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1971) Position
Canadian RPM Singles Chart[18] 14
U.S. Billboard Top Pop Singles[16] 22

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification
United States (RIAA)[19] Gold

Notes[edit]

  1. Jump up^ McGee 2003, p. 195.
  2. Jump up^ “89WLS Hit Parade”. 1971-08-02. Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  3. Jump up^ Billboard.
  4. ^ Jump up to:a b “Allmusic: Paul McCartney: Charts & Awards”. allmusic.com. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  5. Jump up^ “Top Pop 100 Singles” Billboard December 25, 1971: TA-36
  6. Jump up^ Blaney, J. (2007). Lennon and McCartney: together alone: a critical discography of their solo work. Jawbone Press. pp. 46, 50. ISBN 978-1-906002-02-2.
  7. ^ Jump up to:a b McGee 2003, p. 196.
  8. Jump up^ Benitez, V.P. (2010). The Words and Music of Paul McCartney: The Solo Years. Praeger. pp. 30–31. ISBN 978-0-313-34969-0.
  9. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f Jackson, A.G. (2012). Still the Greatest: The Essential Songs of The Beatles’ Solo Careers. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0810882225.
  10. Jump up^ “Past Winners Search”. National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  11. Jump up^ “1971 Grammy Awards”.
  12. Jump up^ riaa.com
  13. ^ Jump up to:a b c Mason, S. “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey”. Allmusic. Retrieved 2013-12-25.
  14. Jump up^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  15. Jump up^ “Top Singles – Volume 16, No. 5”. RPM. 18 September 1971. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  16. ^ Jump up to:a b Nielsen Business Media, Inc (25 December 1971). Billboard – Talent in Action 1971. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  17. Jump up^ “Single Search: Paul and Linda McCartney – “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey”” (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
  18. Jump up^ “RPM 100 Top Singles of 1971”. RPM. 8 January 1972. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  19. Jump up^ “American single certifications – Paul Mc Cartney – Uncle Albert”. Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH

References[edit]

Preceded by
How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” by Bee Gees
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
4 September 1971 (one week)
Succeeded by
Go Away Little Girl” by Donny Osmond
Preceded by
Sweet Hitch-Hiker” by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Canadian “RPM” Singles Chart number-one single
18 September 1971 – 2 October 1971 (three weeks)
Succeeded by
Maggie May” by Rod Stewart

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The Hatcher Razorback Curse

— (written in 2012)

My sons and I have been huge Razorback fans for many years, and  we have tried to go to the Annual Saline County Razorback Club Fish Fry every year since 1992 to hear the Razorback head coaches speak. Many times we have had the opportunity to visit with the coaches personally and on three occasions  we have had our pictures taken with them.On Thursday June 25, 2009 John Pelphrey had his picture taken with my son Wilson at the Saline County Razorback Club Fish Fry. Ever since Wilson had this picture up as his profile picture on face book. I know that this occurred over two and a half years ago, but I have wondered if Pelphrey’s association with the Hatcher boys is another episode in what I call “The Razorback Hatcher Curse.”

After meeting Pelphrey in June of 2009, things started to look up for Razorback basketball. Pelphrey got commitments from some of the finest high school players. In fact, many of them signed early in November of 2010 and Arkansas earned a #3 ranked recruiting class. However, Pelphrey will never get a chance to coach those players after being fired a few days ago.

Likewise, when my son Wilson got his picture taken with Houston Nutt, Mitch Mustain had committed to play for the Razorbacks in football. Later the Razorbacks actually got 4 of the highly recruited Springdale 5.  Everyone thought that would turn out to be a good thing, but instead it sewed the seeds of Nutt’s destruction at Arkansas. Only Ben Cleveland would stay and play all four years for the Razorbacks.

What got me started thinking about all this bad luck with our association with the Razorbacks? It all started in July 1992 when my sons went with me to the Saline County Razorback Club Fish Fry and got their picture taken with then Razorback Head Coach Jack Crowe. This was the first time my sons had the great opportunity to have their pictures taken with a Razorback head coach. A few weeks later  Jack Crowe was fired after the first game when Arkansas lost to the lower division Citadel.

I am just having fun with this topic, and I really don’t think there is a “Razorback Hatcher Curse.” We love the Razorbacks and would do nothing to hurt their program. Furthermore, we had the opportunity on January 2, 2010 while in Memphis when the Liberty Bowl events were being held to see the Razorback Mascot “Tusk II.” Wilson took a picture of Tusk II who had served the Razorbacks for 5 years as our faithful mascot. Two days later Tusk II was no longer the top hog, and Tusk III started his new duties as the new Razorback mascot.

__________________

My son Hunter got to go to the Texas football game at Fayetteville on September 11, 2004. He and his friend Blake Hand got to the stadium early that day, and Hunter got to give starting quarterback Matt Jones a high five when he got off the team bus.Matt Jones had a good game in front of the record crowd of 75,671, and it looked like victory over the #7 ranked Longhorns was possible even though Arkansas trailed in the fourth quarter 22 to 20.

The Razorbacks got the ball on their own 48 with 6:11 left and converted on third-and-1 before Jones hit Cedric Washington for a 27-yard gain to the Texas 15. (At this point I told my son Wilson that we have the game won now because we are in field goal range. All Jones had to do was play it safe.) But three plays later, Jones was forced from the pocket and fumbled when the ball was punched out of his grasp from behind by Larry Dibbles. Texas’ Brian Robison recovered at the 8.

Everette Hatcher is a regular contributor to the Saline Courier, and his political blog is http://www.HaltingArkansasLiberalswithTruth.com. Everette and his wife, Jill, live in Alexander and  have four children and two grandchildren

MUSIC MONDAY Every James Bond Theme Song, Ranked Worst to Best Part 2 (#23-24)

________

I really enjoyed the latest James Bond film NO TIME TO DIE and for my thoughts on it you can go to this link

 

We have all the time in the world… to debate the relative merits of 50 years of James Bond music, as we do each time a new entry, like Billie Eilish’s “No Time to Die,” is added to the canon. And in the case of the film of that name, a long-distant Bond song has also been revived for the new soundtrack — Louis Armstrong’s “We Have All the Time in the World” — the impact of which may cause everyone to completely rethink where that love theme from “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” ranks, now that it puts us in mind of sad Daniel Craig instead of sad George Lazenby.

What follows is an unassailable list of 26 Bond songs rated from worst to best. A caveat: I have at least a twinge of respect or affection for every tune in the catalog — even the Jack White and Madonna tracks, which kind of deserve the black eyes they get from the vast majority of Bond buffs, but which deserve at least a little credit… okay, a very little credit… for fearlessness in shaking up what can lean toward a rather algebraic formula. The fact is, we love our post-Shirley Bassey Bond music most when it adheres to tradition in some ways while upending it in others. That could be Paul McCartney juxtaposing a sinister strings break with a goofy reggae bridge in “Live and Let Die,” or it could be Eilish and Finneas working a subtle sliver of Monty Norman’s “James Bond Theme” into their otherwise somber entry before bringing it home with the “spy chord”… the E minor Major 9 that will mean “Bond, James Bond” for the rest of time.

NO TIME TO DIE | Final US Trailer

007 : James Bond : Theme

 

Casino Royale – Chris Cornell – You Know My Name

 

Alicia Keys & Jack White – Another Way To Die [Official Video]

 

Goldfinger Theme Song – James Bond

Diamonds Are Forever Theme Song – James Bond

Moonraker Theme Song – James Bond

Adele – Skyfall (Lyric Video)

—-

Billie Eilish – No Time To Die

 

——

Sam Smith – Writing’s On The Wall (from Spectre) (Official Video)

 

—-

Thunderball Theme Song – James Bond

 

Nancy Sinatra – You Only Live Twice (HQ)

__

The Man with the Golden Gun Opening Title Sequence

 

—-

The spy who loved me (1977) INTRO HD

Sheena Easton • For Your Eyes Only – James Bond/007

—-

James Bond – Octopussy – Theme Song

A View to a Kill Opening Title Sequence

 –

A-ha • The Living Daylights – James Bond 007

 

LICENCE TO KILL HIGH DEFINITION

 

-—

James Bond – Goldeneye Opening Theme (HQ)

Sheryl Crow – Tomorrow Never Dies

 

Barry, Beatles, Billie: 60 years of Bond tunes

<img class=”i-amphtml-intrinsic-sizer” role=”presentation” src=”data:;base64,” alt=”” aria-hidden=”true” />Barry, Beatles, Billie: 60 years of Bond tunes

 

British actor Daniel Craig poses during a photocall to promote the 24th James Bond film ‘Spectre’ on February 18, 2015 at Rome’s city hall. AFP PHOTO / TIZIANA FABI (Photo by VINCENZO PINTO and TIZIANA FABI / AFP)

Paris, France — Ever since the twanging guitar of John Barry’s theme song first appeared in “Dr No” in 1962, music has been crucial to the James Bond phenomenon.

The songs written for each title sequence have become a way of marking out the evolution of pop music through the past 60 years, from the classics of Shirley Bassey and Paul McCartney to Adele and Billie Eilish.

Nobody remembers Monty

Many assume the original theme was written by John Barry, in part because he became so closely associated with the Bond franchise, composing the soundtrack for 11 of the films.

 

In fact, Barry only arranged and performed the theme tune.

The famous dung-digger-dung-dung line was actually written by theater composer Monty Norman, developed from an unused Indian-themed score he had written for an adaptation of VS Naipaul’s “A House for Mr Biswas.”

It was Barry’s job to jazz it up, adding the blaring horns that made it so dramatic.

While Norman was given a one-off payment of just £250, Barry built a Hollywood career that has included five Oscars and classic soundtracks to “Midnight Cowboy,” “Out of Africa,” and many more.

Golden girl Shirley Bassey

Bassey became almost as closely linked to Bond as Barry — the only singer to deliver three title tracks: “Goldfinger” (1964), “Diamonds are Forever” (1971), and “Moonraker” (1979).

The first two are considered the most memorable in Bond history, the latter less so — Bassey later admitted she hated the “Moonraker” song and only did it as a favor to Barry.

“Goldfinger” made her a star, but the recording sessions were grueling, with Barry insisting that Bassey, then 27, hold the last belting note for seven full seconds.

“I was holding it and holding it — I was looking at John Barry and I was going blue in the face and he’s going — hold it just one more second. When it finished, I nearly passed out,” she later recalled.

 A new Beatles beginning

The first Bond film without Barry on the baton was “Live and Let Die” in 1973.

For this, the producers turned to another famous “B” The Beatles.

The group’s producer George Martin took over composing duties and brought in Paul McCartney and his band Wings for the theme song.

It became another classic and spawned a famous cover by Guns’N’Roses in later years.

From this point on, the Bond title song became its own mini-industry, without the involvement of the composer.

Big pop tie-ins followed, ranging from the not-so-successful (Lulu’s “The Man with the Golden Gun”) to classics like Carly Simon’s “Nobody Does it Better” and Duran Duran’s “A View to a Kill.”

<img class=”i-amphtml-intrinsic-sizer” role=”presentation” src=”data:;base64,” alt=”” aria-hidden=”true” />Barry, Beatles, Billie: 60 years of Bond tunes

FILE PHOTO: Auctioneer specialists hold a rare intact James Bond ‘Thunderball’ (1965) film poster (estimate £8,000-£12,000), featuring two panels of poster illustrations on the left by Frank McCarthy and two on the right by Robert McGinnis, at Ewbank’s Auctioneers, ahead of an upcoming sale, in Woking, Britain, April 7, 2021. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

 

The next generation

After a few desultory outings during the Pierce Brosnan years, the Bond genre got a shot of adrenaline with Adele’s “Skyfall” in 2012, which was the first to win an Oscar for best song.

<img class=”i-amphtml-intrinsic-sizer” role=”presentation” src=”data:;base64,” alt=”” aria-hidden=”true” />Barry, Beatles, Billie: 60 years of Bond tunes

 

Image: Twitter/@007

The following year’s “Writing’s on the Wall” by Sam Smith also won an Oscar, though it got a more mixed critical reception.

The latest incarnation is pop princess Billie Eilish with “No Time to Die,” which she co-wrote with her brother Finneas.

It already has a thumbs-up from the doyenne of the Bond theme world, with Bassey telling The Big Issue: “She did a good job.”

Golden girl Shirley Bassey Bassey became almost as closely linked to Bond as Barry -- the only singer to deliver three title tracks: "Goldfinger" (1964), "Diamonds are Forever" (1971), and "Moonraker" (1979).  The first two are considered the most memorable in Bond history, the latter less so -- Bassey later admitted she hated the "Moonraker" song and only did it as a favor to Barry.

The latest James Bond movie “Skyfall” stars Daniel Craig. 007 boozed so much that in all reality he would have had the tremulous hands of a chronic alcoholic, according to an offbeat study published by the British Medical Journal. PHOTO FROM FACEBOOK.COM/JAMESBONDOO7

Live And Let Die Theme Song – James Bond

 

 

Paul McCartney Uncle Albert Rare Studio Demo

Paul McCartney; Uncle AlbertAdmiral Halsey. (RAM 1971)

Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 
“Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey”
Single by Paul and Linda McCartney
from the album Ram
B-side Too Many People
Released 2 August 1971 (US only)
Format 7″
Recorded 6 November 1970
Genre
Length 4:49
Label Apple
Writer(s) Paul and Linda McCartney
Producer(s) Paul and Linda McCartney
Paul and Linda McCartney singles chronology
Another Day
(1971)
Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey
(1971)
The Back Seat of My Car
(1971)
Ram track listing
 

Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” is a song by Paul and Linda McCartney from the album Ram. Released in the United States as a single on 2 August 1971,[1] but premiering on WLS the previous week (as a “Hit Parade Bound” (HPB)),[2] it reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on 4 September 1971,[3][4] making it the first of a string of post-Beatles, McCartney-penned singles to top the US pop chart during the 1970s and 1980s. Billboard ranked it number 22 on its Top Pop Singles of 1971 year-end chart.[5]

Elements and interpretation[edit]

https://youtu.be/XI6C7L66zq8
“Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” is composed of several unfinished song fragments that McCartney stitched together similar to the medleys from the Beatles‘ album Abbey Road.[6] The song is noted for its sound effects, including the sounds of a thunderstorm, with rain, heard between the first and second stanza, the sound of a telephone ringing, and a message machine, heard after the second stanza, and a sound of chirping sea birds and wind by the seashore. Linda’s voice is heard in the harmonies as well as the bridge section of the “Admiral Halsey” portion of the song.

McCartney said “Uncle Albert” was based on his uncle. “He’s someone I recall fondly, and when the song was coming it was like a nostalgia thing.”[7] McCartney also said, “As for Admiral Halsey, he’s one of yours, an American admiral”, referring to Fleet Admiral William “Bull” Halsey (1882–1959).[7] McCartney has described the “Uncle Albert” section of the song as an apology from his generation to the older generation, and Admiral Halsey as an authoritarian figure who ought to be ignored.[8]

Despite the disparate elements that make up the song, author Andrew Grant Jackson discerns a coherent narrative to the lyrics, related to McCartney’s emotions in the aftermath of the Beatles’ breakup.[9] In this interpretation, the song begins with McCartney apologizing to his uncle for getting nothing done, and being easily distracted and perhaps depressed in the lethargic “Uncle Albert” section.[9] Then, after some sound effects reminiscent of “Yellow Submarine,” Admiral Halsey appears to him calling him to action, although McCartney remains more interested in “tea and butter pie.” McCartney stated that he put the butter in the pie so that it would not melt at all.[9] Jackson sees a possible sinister allusion in the use of Admiral Halsey as a character in the song, since Halsey was famous for fighting the Japanese in World War II and claiming that “after the war, the Japanese language will be spoken only in hell,” and McCartney’s ex-Beatle partner John Lennon had recently married a Japanese woman, Yoko Ono.[9] The “hands across the water” section which follows could be taken as evocative of the command “All hands on deck!”, rousing McCartney to action, perhaps to compete with Lennon.[9] The song then ends with the “gypsy” section, in which McCartney resolves to get back on the road and perform his music, now that he was on his own without his former bandmates who no longer wanted to tour.[9]

Reception[edit]

Paul McCartney won the Grammy Award for Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists in 1971 for the song.[10][11] The single was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for sales of over one million copies.[12]

According to Allmusic critic Stewart Mason, fans of Paul McCartney’s music are divided in their opinions of this song.[13] Although some fans praise it as “one of his most playful and inventive songs” others criticize it for being “exactly the kind of cute self-indulgence that they find so annoying about his post-Beatles career.”[13] Mason himself considers it “churlish” to be annoyed by the song, given that song isn’t intended to be completely serious, and praises the “Hands across the water” section as being “lovably giddy.”[13]

On the US charts, the song set a songwriting milestone as the all-time songwriting record (at the time) for the most consecutive calendar years to write a #1 song. This gave McCartney eight consecutive years (starting with “I Want to Hold Your Hand“), leaving behind Lennon with only seven years.

Later release[edit]

“Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” also appears on Wings Greatest from 1978, even though Ram was not a Wings album, and again on the US version of McCartney’s 1987 compilation, All the Best!, as well as the 2001 compilation Wingspan: Hits and History.

Personnel[edit]

Song uses[edit]

Charts[edit]

Peak positions[edit]

Chart (1971) Position
Australian Kent Music Report[14] 5
Canadian RPM Top 100 Singles[15] 1
Mexican Singles Chart[16] 3
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[4] 1
West German Media Control Singles Chart[17] 30

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1971) Position
Canadian RPM Singles Chart[18] 14
U.S. Billboard Top Pop Singles[16] 22

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification
United States (RIAA)[19] Gold

Notes[edit]

  1. Jump up^ McGee 2003, p. 195.
  2. Jump up^ “89WLS Hit Parade”. 1971-08-02. Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  3. Jump up^ Billboard.
  4. ^ Jump up to:a b “Allmusic: Paul McCartney: Charts & Awards”. allmusic.com. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  5. Jump up^ “Top Pop 100 Singles” Billboard December 25, 1971: TA-36
  6. Jump up^ Blaney, J. (2007). Lennon and McCartney: together alone: a critical discography of their solo work. Jawbone Press. pp. 46, 50. ISBN 978-1-906002-02-2.
  7. ^ Jump up to:a b McGee 2003, p. 196.
  8. Jump up^ Benitez, V.P. (2010). The Words and Music of Paul McCartney: The Solo Years. Praeger. pp. 30–31. ISBN 978-0-313-34969-0.
  9. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f Jackson, A.G. (2012). Still the Greatest: The Essential Songs of The Beatles’ Solo Careers. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0810882225.
  10. Jump up^ “Past Winners Search”. National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  11. Jump up^ “1971 Grammy Awards”.
  12. Jump up^ riaa.com
  13. ^ Jump up to:a b c Mason, S. “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey”. Allmusic. Retrieved 2013-12-25.
  14. Jump up^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  15. Jump up^ “Top Singles – Volume 16, No. 5”. RPM. 18 September 1971. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  16. ^ Jump up to:a b Nielsen Business Media, Inc (25 December 1971). Billboard – Talent in Action 1971. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  17. Jump up^ “Single Search: Paul and Linda McCartney – “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey”” (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
  18. Jump up^ “RPM 100 Top Singles of 1971”. RPM. 8 January 1972. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  19. Jump up^ “American single certifications – Paul Mc Cartney – Uncle Albert”. Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH

References[edit]

Preceded by
How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” by Bee Gees
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
4 September 1971 (one week)
Succeeded by
Go Away Little Girl” by Donny Osmond
Preceded by
Sweet Hitch-Hiker” by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Canadian “RPM” Singles Chart number-one single
18 September 1971 – 2 October 1971 (three weeks)
Succeeded by
Maggie May” by Rod Stewart

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Dan Mitchell: “In reality, the borrow-and-spend approach is akin to thinking you are richer after taking money out of the left pocket and putting it in the right pocket!”

______

Anti-Economics from the Economist

Since I just landed in London, it appropriate that today’s column will be based on an article in the U.K.-based Economist.

A recent issue of the magazine included an article lauding the Internal Revenue Service.

Why?

What could the bureaucrats have done to earn praise?

You’ll be amazed to learn that the Economistbelieves the IRS helped the economy by becoming a vehicle for income redistribution.

I’m not joking. Here are some excerpts from the article.

Despite its awful backlog, the irs has, from another perspective, had a very good pandemic. It has played a critical role in delivering support to Americans. And it has been surprisingly efficient at it. For each of the three rounds of stimulus payments, the irs was the conduit.Within two weeks of Mr Biden’s signing of the stimulus bill in March 2021, for instance, it sent out $325bn via 127m separate payments, mainly by direct bank deposit. Some people fell through the cracks and cheques took longer. But most got the money quickly. The irs operated at even greater frequency in making child-tax-credit payments every month. …It also expanded the earned-income tax credit, a subsidy given to low earners, one of America’s biggest anti-poverty programmes. Putting it together, a poor family with two young children could expect $20,000 from the irs last year, double what they would normally receive.

The Economist seems to think it’s wonderful that the IRS now plays a big role in distributing goodies.

In all, the agency paid out more than $600bn in pandemic-related support in 2021, equivalent to about two-thirds of Social Security spending in the federal government’s budget. “We have seen a substantial share of what used to be the social safety-net migrate from the public-expenditure side of the federal ledger to being run through the tax code,” points out Gordon Gray of the American Action Forum, a think-tank. …the irs…stands as one of the few federal agencies that would generate a large and nearly immediate return on investment were the government to spend more on it. The hope for the harried tax agents is that…irs performance during the pandemic will have earned it grudging support in Washington, demonstrating that it is both overstretched and indispensable.

Needless to say, “delivering support to Americans” should not be an “indispensable” function of the a bureaucracy that was created to collect tax revenue.

Even more problematic, giving out record amounts of money is not what “has kept the economy going.” This is a Keynesian view of the world.

In reality, the borrow-and-spend approach is akin to thinking you are richer after taking money out of the right pocket and putting it in the left pocket.

Sort of the economic version of a perpetual motion machine, all based on the broken-window theory of economics.

P.S. The article also cites the bogus estimate of a $1 trillion tax gap. If the Economist now is in the business of uncritically regurgitating make-believe numbers, I’m also willing to play that game. I encourage that magazine’s reporters to call me and I’ll blindly claim that all tax cuts pay for themselves and that we can have entitlement reform without transition costs.

Actually, I have ethics, so I won’t make those over-the-top claims.

P.P.S. Amazingly (but predictably), the Economistnever mentioned past or present IRS scandals.

P.P.P.S. This isn’t the first time the Economist has engaged in anti-economics journalism. The magazine also has been guilty of dishonest journalism.

April 15 is usually the worst day of the year, giving Americans ample reasons to both laugh and cry.*

Because of a holiday in Washington, D.C., however, tax returns this year are due on April 18.

So let’s celebrate (or commiserate) this awful day by wading into the debate about whether the Internal Revenue Service should have a bigger budget.

Proponents usually claim the IRS is under-funded by comparing today’s budget to how much the bureaucracy received in 2011.

But that was a one-year spike because of all the money in Obama’s failed stimulus package. If you review long-run data, you can see that the IRS’s budget has increased significantly.

And these numbers are adjusted for inflation.

But perhaps proponents are right, even if they use deceptive numbers.

The Washington Post has a new editorial on this topic, arguing that the bureaucracy needs more money.

The IRS is currently limping along without enough staff or funding. Congress, especially Republicans, needs to face up to reality. …It’s not a mystery how the IRS deteriorated. …the core problem is that Republicans slashed the IRS budget about 18 percent in the past decade. That’s not belt-tightening, it’s gutting an agency. …The Biden administration is rightly asking for a big increase for 2023 (a request of $14.1 billion). This isn’t some Democratic wish list item; it’s about restoring the basic functions of America’s tax collection agency.

When this topic was being debated last year, Ryan Ellis explained that the IRS will target small businesses if it gets a bigger budget.

Here are some excerpts from his piece in National Review.

…the idea is that if taxpayers fund the IRS to the tune of $40 billion over the next decade, the IRS will step up audits and collect an additional $100 billion in tax revenue, penalties, and interest. This is lauded as a good because of the supposed “tax gap,”… Apparently, it doesn’t occur to anyone that the IRS, which is seeking this extra $40 billion in taxpayer funding, has every incentive in the world to exaggerate this “tax gap” and to make wild promises about the new money that additional enforcement will yield for the Treasury. …Giving money to IRS bureaucrats to conduct fishing expedition audits on millions of honest self-employed people? The same IRS behind the Lois Lerner scandal a decade ago, when the IRS inappropriately targeted conservative political groups during the 2012 election season, when Obama was running for reelection?

Ryan is right to point out that the IRS is undeserving because of bad behavior.

He mentions the Lois Lerner/Tea Party scandal. I think the recent leak of taxpayer data is equally reprehensible.

Advocates of more funding will argue that the bureaucracy’s malfeasance is a separate issue and that more employees and more audits are needed regardless of whether criminals at the IRS are caught and punished.

But this brings us to another important topic, which is whether it would be best to fix the underlying tax laws instead of throwing more money at the IRS.

In a column for the Louisville Courier-Times, we get this point of view from Richard Williams of George Mason University’s Mercatus Center.

…money won’t fix this problem. …Another approach would be drastically reducing the complexity of federal taxes. …The Tax Foundation estimates that we give up 3.24 billion hours and $37 billion to comply with federal taxes each year. Given the headaches and anxiety that come with this, Americans don’t need more IRS workers. We need a leaner agency…individual filers and small businesses represent a huge proportion of the public who would gain from simplification. …There is no need to hire more people to oversee a reformed system. What’s not to like?

Amen.

When proponents say the IRS needs more money, they implicitly are arguing for the current, convoluted tax system.

They want the IRS to be in the business of collecting revenue. But that’s just one role.

And that’s just a brief list of the things that the IRS now does in addition to generating revenue.

Get rid of these added roles, ideally as part of a total replacement of the tax code with a flat tax, and the discussion would be about how much money could be saved by reducing the IRS’s budget.

But that means less power for politicians, so don’t hold your breath waiting for genuine tax reform.

That being said, supporters of good policy should feel no obligation to help prop up the current system by shoveling more money to the IRS.

An underfunded corrupt IRS administering a bad tax code is better than a well-funded corrupt IRS administering a bad tax code.

*April 15 may be the worst day of the year, but there’s an argument to be made that October 3 is the worst day in history.

P.S. From my archives, here are some examples of the bureaucrats who will benefit from a bigger IRS budget.

P.P.P.S. And since we’re recycling some oldies but goodies, here’s my collection of IRS humor, including a new Obama 1040 form, a death tax cartoon, a list of tax day tips from David Letterman, a cartoon of how GPS would work if operated by the IRS, an IRS-designed pencil sharpener, two Obamacare/IRS cartoons (here and here), a sale on 1040-form toilet paper (a real product), a song about the tax agency, the IRS’s version of the quadratic formula, and (my favorite) a joke about a Rabbi and an IRS agent.

IRS not only hated Tea Party but also the Constitution!!!

SEPTEMBER 23, 2014 11:57AM

Targeting the Constitution

[Cross-posted from The Volokh Conspiracy]

It is now well known that the IRS targeted tea party organizations. What is less well known, but perhaps even more scandalous, is that the IRS also targeted those who would educate their fellow citizens about the United States Constitution.

According to the inspector general’s report (pp. 30 & 38), this particular IRS targeting commenced on Jan. 25, 2012 — the beginning of the election year for President Obama’s second campaign. On that date: “the BOLO [‘be on the lookout’] criteria were again updated.” The revised criteria included “political action type organizations involved in … educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights.”

Grass-roots organizations around the country, such as the Linchpins of Liberty (Tennessee), the Spirit of Freedom Institute (Wyoming), and the Constitutional Organization of Liberty (Pennsylvania), allege that they were singled out for special scrutiny at least in part for their work in constitutional education. There may have been many more.

The tea party is viewed with general suspicion in some quarters, and it is not difficult, alas, to imagine the mindset of the officials who decided to target tea party organizations for special scrutiny. But federal officers swear an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” It is chilling to think that these same officials who are suspicious of the tea party are equally suspicious of the Constitution itself.

What is most corrosive about this IRS tripwire is that it is triggered by a particular point of view; it is not, as First Amendment scholars say, viewpoint-neutral. It does not includeobfuscating or denigrating the Constitution; only those “involved in … educating on the Constitution” are captured by this criterion. This viewpoint targeting potentially skews every national debate about politics or government. And the skew in not strictly liberal; indeed, it should trouble liberals as much as conservatives. The ultimate checks on executive power are to be found in the United States Constitution. Insidiously, then, suppressing those “involved in … educating on the Constitution” actually skews national debate in favor of unchecked executive power.

For example, this IRS tripwire would not be triggered by arguing that the NSA should collect the phone records of every American citizen. But it would be triggered by teaching that the Fourth Amendment forbids “unreasonable searches and seizures.” This tripwire would not be triggered by arguing that the president should unilaterally suspend politically inconvenient provisions of federal law, like ObamaCare. But it would be triggered by teaching that, under Article II, section 3, the president “shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” This tripwire would not be triggered by arguing that the president should appoint NLRB members unilaterally. But it would be triggered by teaching that, under Article II, section 2, such appointments require “the Advice and Consent of the Senate.” This tripwire would not be triggered by arguing that the president should target and kill U.S. citizens abroad. But it would be triggered by teaching that, per the Fifth Amendment, no person shall “be deprived of life … without due process of law.” This tripwire would not be triggered by arguing that the president should declare war unilaterally. But it would be triggered by teaching that, under Article I, section 8, “Congress shall have Power … To declare War.” In short, the IRS was “on the lookout,” not for those who preach unlimited executive power, but for those who would teach about constitutional constraints.

Even more to the point, perhaps, this IRS tripwire would not be triggered by arguing that the IRS should discriminate against the tea party. But it would be triggered by teaching that such discrimination constitutes unfaithful execution of the tax laws. And thus, alas, there is a perverse logic to targeting constitutional educators alongside tea party organizations. Political discrimination in the administration of the tax laws is not merely “outrageous,” as President Obama has said; it is an assault on our constitutional structure itself. For an official who has chosen to go down this road and target the tea party, there is an Orwellian logic to targeting constitutional educators as well. After all, they are the ones who might shed light on this very point.

This is a new low for American government — targeting those who would teach others about its founding document. Forty years ago, President Richard Nixon went to great lengths to try to conceal the facts of his constitutional violations, but it never occurred to him to conceal the meaning of the Constitution itself, by targeting its teachers. Politicians have always been tempted to try to censor their political adversaries; but none has been so bold as to try to suppress constitutional education directly. Presidents have always sought to push against the constitutional limits of their power; but never have they targeted those who merely teach about such limits. In short, never before has the federal government singled out for special scrutiny those who would teach their fellow citizens about our magnificent Constitution. This is the new innovation of Obama’s IRS.

“We the People” do not yet know who first decided to target “political action type organizations involved in … educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights.” But there is at least one person who does know. Ironically, though, Lois Lerner, former director of the Exempt Organizations Division of the IRS, is making full use of her own constitutional education: “I have been advised by my counsel to assert my constitutional right not to testify …. One of the basic functions of the Fifth Amendment is to protect innocent individuals, and that is the protection I’m invoking today.”

Five years ago, President Obama, our constitutional law professor-in-chief, presented his first, ringing Constitution Day proclamation: “To succeed, the democracy established in our Constitution requires the active participation of its citizenry. Each of us has a responsibility to learn about our Constitution and teach younger generations about its contents and history.” Quite so. Perhaps this year, Obama could explain why his IRS would target those who answered this call.

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Dan Mitchell: Ryan is right to point out that the IRS is undeserving because of bad behavior. He mentions the Lois Lerner/Tea Party scandal. I think the recent leak of taxpayer data is equally reprehensible!

______

April 15 is usually the worst day of the year, giving Americans ample reasons to both laugh and cry.*

Because of a holiday in Washington, D.C., however, tax returns this year are due on April 18.

So let’s celebrate (or commiserate) this awful day by wading into the debate about whether the Internal Revenue Service should have a bigger budget.

Proponents usually claim the IRS is under-funded by comparing today’s budget to how much the bureaucracy received in 2011.

But that was a one-year spike because of all the money in Obama’s failed stimulus package. If you review long-run data, you can see that the IRS’s budget has increased significantly.

And these numbers are adjusted for inflation.

But perhaps proponents are right, even if they use deceptive numbers.

The Washington Post has a new editorial on this topic, arguing that the bureaucracy needs more money.

The IRS is currently limping along without enough staff or funding. Congress, especially Republicans, needs to face up to reality. …It’s not a mystery how the IRS deteriorated. …the core problem is that Republicans slashed the IRS budget about 18 percent in the past decade. That’s not belt-tightening, it’s gutting an agency. …The Biden administration is rightly asking for a big increase for 2023 (a request of $14.1 billion). This isn’t some Democratic wish list item; it’s about restoring the basic functions of America’s tax collection agency.

When this topic was being debated last year, Ryan Ellis explained that the IRS will target small businesses if it gets a bigger budget.

Here are some excerpts from his piece in National Review.

…the idea is that if taxpayers fund the IRS to the tune of $40 billion over the next decade, the IRS will step up audits and collect an additional $100 billion in tax revenue, penalties, and interest. This is lauded as a good because of the supposed “tax gap,”… Apparently, it doesn’t occur to anyone that the IRS, which is seeking this extra $40 billion in taxpayer funding, has every incentive in the world to exaggerate this “tax gap” and to make wild promises about the new money that additional enforcement will yield for the Treasury. …Giving money to IRS bureaucrats to conduct fishing expedition audits on millions of honest self-employed people? The same IRS behind the Lois Lerner scandal a decade ago, when the IRS inappropriately targeted conservative political groups during the 2012 election season, when Obama was running for reelection?

Ryan is right to point out that the IRS is undeserving because of bad behavior.

He mentions the Lois Lerner/Tea Party scandal. I think the recent leak of taxpayer data is equally reprehensible.

Advocates of more funding will argue that the bureaucracy’s malfeasance is a separate issue and that more employees and more audits are needed regardless of whether criminals at the IRS are caught and punished.

But this brings us to another important topic, which is whether it would be best to fix the underlying tax laws instead of throwing more money at the IRS.

In a column for the Louisville Courier-Times, we get this point of view from Richard Williams of George Mason University’s Mercatus Center.

…money won’t fix this problem. …Another approach would be drastically reducing the complexity of federal taxes. …The Tax Foundation estimates that we give up 3.24 billion hours and $37 billion to comply with federal taxes each year. Given the headaches and anxiety that come with this, Americans don’t need more IRS workers. We need a leaner agency…individual filers and small businesses represent a huge proportion of the public who would gain from simplification. …There is no need to hire more people to oversee a reformed system. What’s not to like?

Amen.

When proponents say the IRS needs more money, they implicitly are arguing for the current, convoluted tax system.

They want the IRS to be in the business of collecting revenue. But that’s just one role.

And that’s just a brief list of the things that the IRS now does in addition to generating revenue.

Get rid of these added roles, ideally as part of a total replacement of the tax code with a flat tax, and the discussion would be about how much money could be saved by reducing the IRS’s budget.

But that means less power for politicians, so don’t hold your breath waiting for genuine tax reform.

That being said, supporters of good policy should feel no obligation to help prop up the current system by shoveling more money to the IRS.

An underfunded corrupt IRS administering a bad tax code is better than a well-funded corrupt IRS administering a bad tax code.

*April 15 may be the worst day of the year, but there’s an argument to be made that October 3 is the worst day in history.

P.S. From my archives, here are some examples of the bureaucrats who will benefit from a bigger IRS budget.

P.P.P.S. And since we’re recycling some oldies but goodies, here’s my collection of IRS humor, including a new Obama 1040 form, a death tax cartoon, a list of tax day tips from David Letterman, a cartoon of how GPS would work if operated by the IRS, an IRS-designed pencil sharpener, two Obamacare/IRS cartoons (here and here), a sale on 1040-form toilet paper (a real product), a song about the tax agency, the IRS’s version of the quadratic formula, and (my favorite) a joke about a Rabbi and an IRS agent.

IRS not only hated Tea Party but also the Constitution!!!

SEPTEMBER 23, 2014 11:57AM

Targeting the Constitution

[Cross-posted from The Volokh Conspiracy]

It is now well known that the IRS targeted tea party organizations. What is less well known, but perhaps even more scandalous, is that the IRS also targeted those who would educate their fellow citizens about the United States Constitution.

According to the inspector general’s report (pp. 30 & 38), this particular IRS targeting commenced on Jan. 25, 2012 — the beginning of the election year for President Obama’s second campaign. On that date: “the BOLO [‘be on the lookout’] criteria were again updated.” The revised criteria included “political action type organizations involved in … educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights.”

Grass-roots organizations around the country, such as the Linchpins of Liberty (Tennessee), the Spirit of Freedom Institute (Wyoming), and the Constitutional Organization of Liberty (Pennsylvania), allege that they were singled out for special scrutiny at least in part for their work in constitutional education. There may have been many more.

The tea party is viewed with general suspicion in some quarters, and it is not difficult, alas, to imagine the mindset of the officials who decided to target tea party organizations for special scrutiny. But federal officers swear an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” It is chilling to think that these same officials who are suspicious of the tea party are equally suspicious of the Constitution itself.

What is most corrosive about this IRS tripwire is that it is triggered by a particular point of view; it is not, as First Amendment scholars say, viewpoint-neutral. It does not includeobfuscating or denigrating the Constitution; only those “involved in … educating on the Constitution” are captured by this criterion. This viewpoint targeting potentially skews every national debate about politics or government. And the skew in not strictly liberal; indeed, it should trouble liberals as much as conservatives. The ultimate checks on executive power are to be found in the United States Constitution. Insidiously, then, suppressing those “involved in … educating on the Constitution” actually skews national debate in favor of unchecked executive power.

For example, this IRS tripwire would not be triggered by arguing that the NSA should collect the phone records of every American citizen. But it would be triggered by teaching that the Fourth Amendment forbids “unreasonable searches and seizures.” This tripwire would not be triggered by arguing that the president should unilaterally suspend politically inconvenient provisions of federal law, like ObamaCare. But it would be triggered by teaching that, under Article II, section 3, the president “shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” This tripwire would not be triggered by arguing that the president should appoint NLRB members unilaterally. But it would be triggered by teaching that, under Article II, section 2, such appointments require “the Advice and Consent of the Senate.” This tripwire would not be triggered by arguing that the president should target and kill U.S. citizens abroad. But it would be triggered by teaching that, per the Fifth Amendment, no person shall “be deprived of life … without due process of law.” This tripwire would not be triggered by arguing that the president should declare war unilaterally. But it would be triggered by teaching that, under Article I, section 8, “Congress shall have Power … To declare War.” In short, the IRS was “on the lookout,” not for those who preach unlimited executive power, but for those who would teach about constitutional constraints.

Even more to the point, perhaps, this IRS tripwire would not be triggered by arguing that the IRS should discriminate against the tea party. But it would be triggered by teaching that such discrimination constitutes unfaithful execution of the tax laws. And thus, alas, there is a perverse logic to targeting constitutional educators alongside tea party organizations. Political discrimination in the administration of the tax laws is not merely “outrageous,” as President Obama has said; it is an assault on our constitutional structure itself. For an official who has chosen to go down this road and target the tea party, there is an Orwellian logic to targeting constitutional educators as well. After all, they are the ones who might shed light on this very point.

This is a new low for American government — targeting those who would teach others about its founding document. Forty years ago, President Richard Nixon went to great lengths to try to conceal the facts of his constitutional violations, but it never occurred to him to conceal the meaning of the Constitution itself, by targeting its teachers. Politicians have always been tempted to try to censor their political adversaries; but none has been so bold as to try to suppress constitutional education directly. Presidents have always sought to push against the constitutional limits of their power; but never have they targeted those who merely teach about such limits. In short, never before has the federal government singled out for special scrutiny those who would teach their fellow citizens about our magnificent Constitution. This is the new innovation of Obama’s IRS.

“We the People” do not yet know who first decided to target “political action type organizations involved in … educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights.” But there is at least one person who does know. Ironically, though, Lois Lerner, former director of the Exempt Organizations Division of the IRS, is making full use of her own constitutional education: “I have been advised by my counsel to assert my constitutional right not to testify …. One of the basic functions of the Fifth Amendment is to protect innocent individuals, and that is the protection I’m invoking today.”

Five years ago, President Obama, our constitutional law professor-in-chief, presented his first, ringing Constitution Day proclamation: “To succeed, the democracy established in our Constitution requires the active participation of its citizenry. Each of us has a responsibility to learn about our Constitution and teach younger generations about its contents and history.” Quite so. Perhaps this year, Obama could explain why his IRS would target those who answered this call.

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