Saturday, April 2, 2011

Thomas Sowell on Buyer's Remorse

Please stand for this month's reading from the Gospel According To Saint Thomas. 

Economist Thomas Sowell, the smartest man in the world now that Milton Friedman is dead, has written an epistle to those who are disappointed in Barack Obama:

Many people on various parts of the political spectrum are expressing a sense of disappointment with Obama. But I have not felt the least bit disappointed.

Once in office, President Obama has done exactly what his whole history would lead you to expect him to do....  Disappointing? No. Disgusting? Yes. The only disappointment is with voters who voted their hopes and ignored his realities.

When Dr. Sowell descends from the moutain to address us, we should measure his words carefully.  There isn't necessarily anything wrong with Barack Obama.  Obama is a human.  He is fallible. 
So is Ron Paul. 
So is Rand Paul. 
So is Gary Johnson, great governor from New Mexico. 
So is Senator Jim Webb, decent Democrat of Virginia. 
The candidate that I worked hardest to elect, the Libertarian Party's presidential candidate Bob Barr, is extremely human.  Way human. 

Ron Paul occasionally throws in some earmarks for his Texas district. 
Rand Paul is opposed to same-sex marriage. 
Gary Johnson has completed Iron Man Triathlons, and its all I can do to finish a 10K.  This irks me. 
Jim Webb had great ideas on gun rights and ending the Drug War.  But he was against free trade. 
Bob Barr was severely criticized for licking whipped cream off of strippers.  (Everyone knows that people of taste and refinment would have covered them with Jello Shots.)

These people shouldn't be our leaders, except in dismantling the machine that we've allowed to take over our lives.  Americans shouldn't need inspirational leaders providing their infrastructure, running the court system and defending our borders.  We need some dull, uninspiring functionaries who don't want to build empires, we need some lazy, drab, civil-service lifers who want to put in 6 hours a day for 40 years and then retire. 
Electing a president should be no more important to you than picking a new lawn service.  If the president really matters, then your government has gotten to big.   More Americans work for the government than work in construction, farming, fishing, forestry, manufacturing, mining and utilities combined.

Please stand again for a second reading from the scriptures: 

Many people on various parts of the political spectrum are expressing a sense of disappointment with Obama. But I have not felt the least bit disappointed.

Once in office, President Obama has done exactly what his whole history would lead you to expect him to do.... Disappointing? No. Disgusting? Yes. The only disappointment is with voters who voted their hopes and ignored his realities.

The man has spoken.

Thus endeth the reading from The Gospel According To Saint Thomas.
You may be seated.

Barack Obama's first campaign ad of the 2012 election

The Republican faction of Big Gubmint believe that they're due for another turn in the White House. Here's their first attack ad.

Given the same budget, I think I could've done a better job than this. But then, no network would run it because it would scare the children.
This thing needs some Cash For Clunkers references, some Gitmo photos, some warrantless surveillance quotes, video of a police raid on a medical marijuana dispensary, and maybe some footage of Tomahawk missiles being recyled over Libya. 

Legislative maneuver of the week

Y'know, Senator Rand Paul just might be for real. 

On Wednesday, Paul, with little notice, attached an amendment to the small-business re-authorization bill. The amendment, which chastises President Obama for his actions in Libya, urges members to adopt the president’s own words as “the sense of the Senate.”

To make his point, Paul quoted, in the legislative language, from Obama’s 2007 remarks on the subject: “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” According to Paul’s office, “the measure aims to put the Senate on record affirming Congress as the body with constitutional authority on matters of war.”

GOP sources tell National Review Online that Paul’s proposal flummoxed Reid, who does not want his members to have to weigh in on Obama’s dusty quote about congressional authority, even if the vote is only to table the measure.
From Hot Air:
If you’re Boehner or Cantor or Allen West or Mike Pence, how do you vote in order to simultaneously (a) support the Air Force and Navy while they’re executing a mission, (b) protect the GOP’s hawkish credentials, (c) express your doubts about the utility of the mission and how it’s being executed, and (d) challenge Obama on his absurd hypocrisy about the president’s military prerogatives, especially given the contempt he’s showed Congress thus far? Tough vote. So tough that I wonder if Reid’s tempted to vote on a resolution in the Senate just to force Boehner to take it up and choke on it.
I'm starting to like me some Rand Paul. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

My Favorite April Fool's Joke

I'm probably going to re-post this every April Fool's Day until I die. When I linked it on Facebook for the first time, my college roommate, Scott Moore, declared the entire prank to have been "brilliantly conceived and flawlessly executed".
I couldn't agree more. I've changed a name or two, in light of about 500 people having different memories of how they heard it first.

Somewhere around 1982, my mother played an April Fool's Day prank on me. We don't remember what it was, except that it was effective and complicated. I immediately vowed to have my revenge.
April Fool's Day in 1983, I was in my Delta State University dorm room with my roommate, Scott A. Moore. (Scott A. now busies himself playing trumpet in the Memphis Symphony. Hit the link.)

Scott and I waited until about 11:45 p.m., and then called my parents' house. My mother answered.

"Is this Elizabeth Patterson ?" Scott asked.
"Yes it is." (still coming out of a deep sleep)
"Are you the parent or guardian of Allen Patterson?"
"YES I AM !" (wide awake now)
"Mrs. Patterson, my name is John Jakes, and I'm with the Cleveland, Mississippi police department. Are you in a place where you can talk?"
"YES I AM !" (totally wide awake.)
"Mrs. Patterson, we have arrested your son Allen for possession of a controlled substance, and we're holding him in one of the cells at the Bolivar County Sheriff's department, and we need to know if either you or your husband can come down and post bond and.....
"You mean you've arrested ALLEN ??? MY SON ALLEN?" (Needing to be scraped off the bedroom ceiling.)
"Yes, Mrs. Patterson, as I said, we've arrested Allen for possession of a controlled substance and..."

At this point, my mother says the only thing she could think of was who she could get to ride to the jail with her.... Billy Joe Waldrup or Lonnie Herring. She wanted one of them (they're both really big men) to beat the hell out of me, because she didn't think my father would do it properly. To fully appreciate the situation, you also need to know that I was employed as the part-time choir director at a Baptist church. A nice drug bust at this time would've been....awkward.

Then Scott, still in character as Officer John Jakes, said "Mrs. Patterson, would you like to speak to Allen?"
I could hear her on the phone from halfway across the room. "YES I WOULD."
"Mama?" I said.
"Yes," I said. "I just want to tell you something."
"April Fools," I said.

That was 25 years ago. She's never done another April Fool's joke. Not on me, anyway.

Happy April Fool's Day - an appropriate cartoon for a nation that has been Punk'd

Found it on Don Surber's site:

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Are pilgrimages to Mecca a civil right?

Thomas Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, was 2010's Person Of The Year for this website. 
He achieved this by outlawing the Kindle ebook readers as a substitute for college textbooks.  (They discriminate against the blind.  Swear to God, that's the argument he used.)  

Well, Perez is back in action, going for back-to-back trophies. 

A middle-school math teacher who happens to be a Muslim asked for three weeks off work so she could make a pilgrimage to Mecca. 
As she had only worked for the district for nine months, and the time off would've disrupted the end of semester exam schedule.  The teacher, Safoorah Khan, was the school's only math teacher. 

Khan said to hell with it, I'm going to Mecca. 

Ok, a brief digression here....Is there any other group you would've suspected of this type behavior other than government employees?  Just wondering....
Justice Department lawyers examined the same set of facts and reached a different conclusion: that the school district’s decision amounted to outright discrimination against Khan. They filed an unusual lawsuit, accusing the district of violating her civil rights by forcing her to choose between her job and her faith.

Now I have to confess something.  I, too, have made people choose between their jobs and their superstitions.  For about a year and a half, I ran a chain of bookstore/coffee bars at D/FW airport.  One of them was a total mess.  I went in one morning and the line of customers was out the freakin' door.  There was only one employee working the register, making the cappuccinos, and ringing up books.  Customers were pissed. 
I asked the employee where (I'm making up names here) Raffi and Muhammad were.  She said they were in the back room.  I helped her work the line of customers down to a manageable level, and then stomped into the back room. 
Raffi and Muhammad were kneeling on rugs in the back room with their noses pointed toward Mecca and their asses pointed toward Lubbock, Texas. 
"WHAT IN THE HELL ARE YOU ****ING IDIOTS DOING?"  I said politely.  "We've had customers out the door." 
Raffi and Muhammad explained that it was prayer time.  I explained that they could talk to Allah during their lunch break.  They disagreed.  I explained that I was purchasing their time and effort, and that other people were willing to sell me their time and effort, people who might not need to shut down work to commune with The Prophet. 
I made them choose between their faith and their jobs. 
Was I wrong? 
Should I have made accomodations for them?  Brought other employees into the airport for 20-minute shifts to accomodate Raffi and Muhammad's spiritual requirements? 

Anyway, Thomas Perez has not yet made his entrance into this story.  Sorry for the digression.  Here he comes....
“It sounds like a very dubious judgment and a real legal reach,” said Michael B. Mukasey, who was attorney general in the George W. Bush administration. “The upper reaches of the Justice Department should be calling people to account for this.”

His successors in the Obama administration counter that they are upholding a sacred principle: the right of every American to be free of religious bias in the workplace. “This was a profoundly personal request by a person of faith,” said Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general for civil rights, who compared the case to protecting “the religious liberty that our forefathers came to this country for.”
You gotta love him. 
I believe that one of the other liberties that our forefathers came here for was the liberty to employ people who can work through a rush hour without stopping to plant their foreheads on D/FW Airport concrete for 20 minutes.  But I'm a minority opinion more and more these days. 

Perez denied any political motive in the Berkeley lawsuit, saying it was pursued in part to fight “a real head wind of intolerance against Muslim communities.” People in the rapidly growing Muslim community in Chicago’s western suburbs praised the Justice Department’s involvement.

He's lying.  See the next paragraph in the article. 
“It rings the bell of justice that they will fight for a Muslim wanting to perform a religious act,” said Shaykh Abdool Rahman Khan, resident scholar at the Islamic Foundation mosque near Berkeley. “That certainly can win the hearts of many people in the Muslim world.”
I didn't think that was what our justice department should be up to, but there you have it. 
Although the Justice Department, including during the Bush administration, and private plaintiffs have filed civil rights lawsuits on religious grounds, they have tended to be over issues such as whether employees can take off on the Sabbath or wear religious head coverings.

Cases involving the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, or hajj, are exceedingly rare, said Christina Abraham, civil rights director for the Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Sorry for the lack of top-quality posts for the last two weeks.  We're trying to open a new warehouse, and are violating the Muslim, Jewish, and Christian sabbaths while doing so.  Don't bother asking for a job unless you are willing to occasionally work on all of them. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

John Boehner isn't going to cut anything

Ok, we're 15 trillion dollars in debt. 
The yearly deficit is something like 1.4 trillion. 

Congress is yammering back and forth over whether to cut 30 billion or 60 billion from this year's budget. 

A 60 billion dollar cut, in that context, is nothing.  Nothing at all.  And the people who want to cut 60 billion are known as "extremists".  The Statists have more reason to fear Benito Mussolini than John Boehner. 

John Boehner couldn't cut the fat from the prime rib at a Shreveport, Louisiana casino buffet.
John Boehner couldn't cut wind at Chilifest. 
John Boehner couldn't succesfully cut the cards for a game of Crazy 8. 
John Boehner isn't going to cut anything. 

Relax.  Nothing is going to change because of Republicans.  Disaster hasn't hit us yet.   

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss

Stolen from Michael Shanklin's Facebook page. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Barack Obama's Environmentally Correct Easter Egg Hunt

( – The White House announced Monday that this year’s Easter Egg Roll will be “more environmentally friendly,” with eggs made ofwood certified by an environmental activist organization and packaging that will “minimize waste and environmental impact.”

Can someone please, please, please explain to me, using little bitty words that I can understand, why it is that eggs made of trees are "greener" than the eggs that are squeezed out of chickens? 

The press release issued by the White House states that the eggs will be produced in the United States from hardwood “certified” by the Forest Stewardship Council, a non-profit organization with a presence in 50 countries and a mission “to promote the responsible management of the world’s forests.”

Can someone please, please, please explain to me, using little bitty words that I can understand, why is it that involving globe-trotting bureaucrats and regulators (with a presence in 50 countries) makes something "greener"? 

The “greener” packaging for the eggs – available in purple, pink, green and yellow – is made from paperboard certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. The paperboard “uses no wood fibers from controversial sources” and the printed carton the egg comes in can be recycled. The packaging is also decorated with vegetable oil-based inks and water-based coatings.

If there's anything our President should guard against, its wood fibers from controversial sources. 
Think of the energy and resources wasted on this exercise in political correctness.  Manufacturing wooden eggs, Separating the controversial wood fiber from the more bland varieties.  Coming up with an ink made from vegetables.  Good God in heaven, the mind recoils. 

(Water-based coatings are a good thing, IMAO.  Fewer VOC's released into the atmosphere.  That part is semi-legit, but still nothing to brag about.) 

Steven Seagal and Sheriff Joe Arapaio use tanks to invade neighborhood in pursuit of a possible cockfighting operation

Have you noticed an uptick in the number of SWAT teams being sent in to search homes for marijuana?  Officers in anti-riot regalia going in for no-knock drug raids in the homes of people smoking funny cigarettes? 
Well, Arizona has taken it to the next level. 

PHOENIX -- Sheriff Joe Arpaio rolled out the tanks to take down a man suspected of cockfighting.

West Valley residents in the neighborhood are crying foul after armored vehicles, including a tank, rolled into their neighborhood to make the bust.
Neighbor Debra Ross was so worried she called 911 and went outside where a nearby home had its windows blown out, was crawling with dozens of SWAT members in full gear, armored vehicles and a bomb robot.

“When the tank came in and pushed the wall over and you see what's in there, and all it is, is a bunch of chickens,” Ross said.

In a massive show of force on Monday, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant and arrested the homeowner, Jesus Llovera, on charges of suspected cockfighting.

Llovera was alone in the house at the time of the arrest, and he was unarmed.

“I think taxpayers should be shocked,” said Robert Campus, Llovera’s attorney. Campus said he believes the operation costs tens of thousands of dollars.

Deputies had no probable cause to believe Llovera was armed or dangerous, according to Campus.

Ok, up until this point, the story has been interesting but typical Uncle Sam Overkill.  Now it gets weird. 

Campus said he believes the entire scene was basically a stage, to help actor Steven Seagal’s TV show, “Lawman.”

Seagal was riding in the tank.

The Sheriff’s Department has entered into a contract with Seagal and part of that contract gives Seagal carte blanche to go along with the sheriff as he arrests people.

Thousands of dollars in damages were made to the property and 115 birds were euthanized on the spot.

Llovera was convicted of a misdemeanor last year of attending a cockfight and has no history of owning weapons.

Yet the sheriff’s office said they had reasons to believe Llovera might be armed.

“We're going to err on the side of caution. We're going to make sure that we have the appropriate amount of force in case we do run into anything like that,” said Sgt. Jesse Spurgin.

Well, hell, that would do it. 
Why we are tolerating this without taking to the streets is one of life's great mysteries. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Bill Ayers wrote "Dreams From My Father"

I was once impressed with Barack Obama as a public speaker.  Then I figured out that he had memorized a few dozen stock paragraphs that he used over and over and over with different nouns in strategic places. 

I was once impressed with Barack Obama as a writer.  Then I figured out, after a few months of listening to his speeches, that he just of stringing coherent thoughts together. 

Exhibit A in this is "Dreams From My Father", his autobiography.  It really is a pretty good book.  But it doesn't sound like Barack Obama.  It doesn't even sound like Barack Obama talking to a ghostwriter.  I mean, if I were to secretly turn this blog over to some other typist for a couple of week's, my 15 regular readers would notice something different, right? 

Back in October of '09, I laboriously typed a couple of pages from "Barack And Michelle - Portrait Of An American Marriage" into this site and got a few jillion hits.  No one else had put it out there.  This section is about the writing of "Dreams From My Father", and Bill Ayers, the former terrorist that Obama claims he only knew from a couple of fundraisers:


"Desperate to finish the book, Barack and Michelle took a leave of absence from their jobs and decamped to the Indonesian island of Bali so that, as his sister Maya put it, he could “find a peaceful sanctuary, where there were no phones, to work on the book.” When he returned in early 1994, Barack burrowed even deeper into the Hole (the office behind the Obama kitchen) in a last-gasp effort to finish it.

Two months later, with a September 1994 deadline looming, Barack was still stymied. It was around this time that, at Michelle’s urging, he sought advice from his friend and Hyde Park neighbor, Bill Ayers. Michelle had known Ayers’s wife, Bernadine Dohrn, at Sidley Austin, where Dohrn worked as a paralegal between 1984 and 1988. Dohrn’s father-in-law, former Commonwealth Edison CEO Thomas Ayers, just happened to be one of the firm’s most important clients."

"Barack got to know Bill Ayers’s father and his brother, John, when all three served on the Leadership Council of the Chicago Public Education Fun. Ajnother mutual friend of Ayers and Barack was Jean Rudd, whose nonprofit Woods Fund had provided Jerry Kellman with the money he needed to hire Barack as an organizer back in 1985.

Neither Michelle nor Barack seemed particularly troubled to discover that William Ayers and Bernadine Dorhn had been two of the 1960s’ most infamous radicals – leaders of the Weather Underground terrorist group that set off thirty bombs in the 1960s and 1970s.

After an explosion in the Weathermen’s Greenwich Village bomb-making laboratory killed three of their fellow Weathermen (including Ayers’s girlfriend at the time, Diana Oughton) and virtually destroyed the neighboring town house owned by Dustin Hoffman, Ayers and Dohrn went underground. In 1973 charges against them were dismissed due to prosecutorial misconduct, but Dohrn remained a fugitive until she finally turned herself in to police in 1980.

Ayers made no apologies for his terrorist past, and in the 1990’s still described himself as “a radical, Leftist, small ‘c’ communist….The ethics of communism still appeal to me. I don’t like Lenin as much as the early Marx.”

I love that phrase. "The ethics of communism". Communism killed somewhere between 60 and 100 million people. They made the Nazis look like amateurs. But their intentions were so good and wholesome.

Ayers’s radical past didn’t seem to bother Chicago’s civic leaders, many of whom worked with him on education reform. He worked particularly closely with Mayor Richard M. Daley on reshaping the city’s school programs – an effort that also brought him into contact with one of Daley’s assistants at the time, Michelle Obama.

What did interest Barack were Ayers’s proven abilities as a writer. Unlike Barack, Ayers had written and cowritten scores of articles and treatises, as well as several nonfiction books beginning with Education: An American Problem in 1968. But it was the tone Ayers had set in his latest book – To Teach (1993) – that Barack hoped to emulate.

The tale of a maverick teacher who takes her students onto the streets of New York to teach them firsthand about history, culture, and survival, To Teach was written in a fluid, novelistic style. Barack asked for Ayers’s input, and Ayers, who like so many in his circle was greatly impressed by the charismatic young activist, obliged.

To flesh out his family history, Barack had also taped interviews with Toot, Gramps, Ann, Maya, and his Kenyan relatives. These oral histories, along with his partial manuscript and a trunkload of notes, were given to Ayers. “Everyone knew they were friends and that they worked on various projects together,” another Hyde Park neighbor pointed out. “It was no secret. Why would it be? People liked them both.”

In the end, Ayers’s contribution to Barack’s Dreams from My Father would be significant – so much so that the book’s language, oddly specific references, literary devices, and themes would bear a jarring similarity to Ayers’s own writings. Even the caveat at the beginning of Dreams, in which Barack points out that he uses invented dialogue, embellished facts, composite characters, inaccurate chronology, and pseudonyms to create an “approximation” of reality, resembles Ayers’s defense of the inaccuracies in his memoir Fugitive Days. In the foreward to his book, Ayers states that the book is merely a collection of his personal memories and “impressions.”

“There was a good deal of literary back-scratching going on in Hyde Park,” said writer Jack Cashill, who noted that a mutual friend of Barack and Ayers, Rashid Khalidi, thanked Ayers for helping him with his book Resurrecting Empire. Ayers, explained Cashill, “provided an informal editing service for like-minded friends in the neighborhood.”

Certainly none of these authors hesitated to acknowledge their admiration for one another at the time. In his 1997 book, A Kind And Just Parent, Ayers would cite the “writer” Barack Obama (along with Muhammad Ali and Louis Farrakhan) as one of the celebrities living in his neighborhood. In turn, Barack would write a glowing review of that same book for the Chicago Tribune, and Michelle would host a panel discussion on the book at the University of Chicago, with Ayers and her husband as the principal speakers.

Thanks to help from the veteran writer Ayers, Barack would be able to submit a manuscript to his editors at Times Books. With some minor cuts and polishing, the book would be on track for publication in the early summer of 1995. In the meantime, he began showing the rough draft to a chosen few relatives.


So what of it? 
Well, The Teleprompter Jesus was elected on the strength of his "writing".  He claimed that he didn't know Ayers that well, Ayers was just a guy in the neighborhood. 
And finally
Last Thursday evening at Montclair State University, with a video camera rolling, Bill Ayers volunteered that yes indeed he had written the acclaimed Barack Obama memoir, Dreams from My Father.
Unprompted, Ayers also noted that while Dreams deserves its praise, Obama's second opus, Audacity of Hope, is "more of a political hack book."

Not surprisingly, Ayers retreated into irony as he ended the session. "Yeah, yeah," he said after confirming again that he wrote Dreams, "And if you help me prove it, I'll split the royalties with you. Thank you very much."
With his final comment, the Ayers-friendly audience laughed in relief. The media will laugh nervously upon seeing the video as well. The White House will not.
Barack Obama knows what I know and what the people who have read my book, "Deconstructing Obama," know: Bill Ayers is the principal craftsman behind Dreams. The evidence is overwhelming.

Ayers also established, as I have contended from the beginning, that he is not the author of Audacity of Hope. Although Obama claims unique authorship of this book too, it was, as Ayers suggests, a disingenuous feint to the center written by committee.

Worse for Obama still, Ayers knows that the story he and Obama contrived in Dreams is false in many key details. The fact that Donald Trump has proved willing to challenge that story has got to make the White House even more apprehensive.

As was obvious in his speech at Montclair, Ayers does not like the application of force in Libya, and this may have been his own way of retaliating. Consider it a shot across Obama's bow. The White House will.
Here's yer video. 

And here's a video of our current Secretary Of State, trying to nail Obama on the lie:

The country is in the best of hands. 
I mean, if a bunch of radical Marxists really found a way to take over a country in order to destroy its economy, involve it worldwide conflicts, ruin its healthcare system, and plunge it into horrific debt so they could implement a system more to their liking afterwards, could they do better than this? 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A poodle and Harry Partch

Here's a video of a dog singing and playing a piano.  I found it on Radley Balko's site.  If you want to get the undivided attention of every dog in your house, turn your speakers up and hit "play". 

Here's a video/recording of noted "serious" 20th century composer Harry Partch, whose compositions I had to study in college, and whose works are still performed by musicians who can refrain from giggling. 

I have no idea what I'm getting at by posting these. But when I heard the poodle playing the piano, it reminded me of Harry Partch.

Why Big Business loves Big Government

Just in case you've ever doubted how much Big Business LOVES Big Government, go here. 

Big Business loves government regulation.  Loves it, loves it, loves it.  Regulation is a glorious "barrier to entry" that helps keep out competitors. 

And the dude in the linked article wants to have his industry regulated for YOUR own good....

How Fascism Works

From the Library Of Economics And Liberty:

Where socialism sought totalitarian control of a society’s economic processes through direct state operation of the means of production, fascism sought that control indirectly, through domination of nominally private owners. Where socialism nationalized property explicitly, fascism did so implicitly, by requiring owners to use their property in the “national interest”—that is, as the autocratic authority conceived it. (Nevertheless, a few industries were operated by the state.) Where socialism abolished all market relations outright, fascism left the appearance of market relations while planning all economic activities. Where socialism abolished money and prices, fascism controlled the monetary system and set all prices and wages politically. In doing all this, fascism denatured the marketplace. Entrepreneurship was abolished. State ministries, rather than consumers, determined what was produced and under what conditions.

From The New York Holy Times:

G.E.’s Strategies Let It Avoid Taxes Altogether

General Electric, the nation’s largest corporation, had a very good year in 2010.
In January, President Obama named Jeffrey R. Immelt, General Electric’s chief executive, to head the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. “He understands what it takes for America to compete in the global economy,” Mr. Obama said.

Its American tax bill? None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion.

That may be hard to fathom for the millions of American business owners and households now preparing their own returns, but low taxes are nothing new for G.E. The company has been cutting the percentage of its American profits paid to the Internal Revenue Service for years, resulting in a far lower rate than at most multinational companies.

Here's a pic of some of G.E.'s wind turbines, used primarily to blow smoke into the nether regions of taxpayers. 

Its extraordinary success is based on an aggressive strategy that mixes fierce lobbying for tax breaks and innovative accounting that enables it to concentrate its profits offshore. G.E.’s giant tax department, led by a bow-tied former Treasury official named John Samuels, is often referred to as the world’s best tax law firm. Indeed, the company’s slogan “Imagination at Work” fits this department well. The team includes former officials not just from the Treasury, but also from the I.R.S. and virtually all the tax-writing committees in Congress.

There's more. 

Over the last decade, G.E. has spent tens of millions of dollars to push for changes in tax law, from more generous depreciation schedules on jet engines to “green energy” credits for its wind turbines. 

There's lots more. 

The shelters are so crucial to G.E.’s bottom line that when Congress threatened to let the most lucrative one expire in 2008, the company came out in full force. G.E. officials worked with dozens of financial companies to send letters to Congress and hired a bevy of outside lobbyists.

The head of its tax team, Mr. Samuels, met with Representative Charles B. Rangel, then chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, which would decide the fate of the tax break. As he sat with the committee’s staff members outside Mr. Rangel’s office, Mr. Samuels dropped to his knee and pretended to beg for the provision to be extended — a flourish made in jest, he said through a spokeswoman.

That day, Mr. Rangel reversed his opposition to the tax break, according to other Democrats on the committee.

The following month, Mr. Rangel and Mr. Immelt stood together at St. Nicholas Park in Harlem as G.E. announced that its foundation had awarded $30 million to New York City schools, including $11 million to benefit various schools in Mr. Rangel’s district. Joel I. Klein, then the schools chancellor, and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who presided, said it was the largest gift ever to the city’s schools.

G.E. officials say the donation was granted solely on the merit of the project. “The foundation goes to great lengths to ensure grant decisions are not influenced by company government relations or lobbying priorities,” Ms. Eisele said.

The Jeffrey Immelt Demotivational Poster came from here.  The pics of G.E.'s useless windmills came from here.  The picture of Immelt and Obama preparing for their love-fest came from here.