December 31, 2009

Why are you reading this?

It's New Year's Eve. Shouldn't you be at a party or watching a Bowl Game or something? Anything.

Well if you insist, here's some predictions for 2010.

Keep in mind my predictions for 2009 were only about 40%. But if you are still, still reading, here's some even worse guesses about 2010.

1) The GOP will take 40-50 seats in Congress in 2010, and 4-6 in the Senate.

2) President Obama's approval rating will be in the low 40's.

3) A health care bill will sadly, pass into law. NOTE: If this one holds true, I think you can bump another 8-15 Congressional seats and another 1 or 2 in the Senate into the GOP column. If the GOP vows to revoke the law if in power, then the numbers will be add the higher end of that bump.

4) The viloence in Iran will continue to escalate and will likely, sadly, be brutally suppressed. It will result in international condemnation and no other change.

5) Iran will get very close to having a nuclear weapon by the end of the year.

6) The U.S. unemployment rate will stay above 9%.

7) The inflation rate in the U.S. will show some troubling signs of rising. Interest rates will rise in the latter half of the year.

8) Either San Diego or Minnesota will win the Superbowl. It won't be New Orleans but could still be Indianapolis.

9) China will experience some financial trouble. Weird. I believe they're overextended in some respects.

10) No cap and trade will pass in the U.S.

11) President Obama will attempt another feint towards the center to help Democrats in 2010 elections.

12) Rush Limbaugh will be fine.

That's enough rope to hang my predictive self.

Best wishes for 2010 to one and all - even Democrats.

POLITICO: Wrong Bertha Lewis

More suspicious claims from the White House.

POLITICO: Wrong Bertha Lewis

Nobody going to the White House these days are who they claim to be. It makes that couple that were able to sneak into the State Dinner oddly, more plausible. Except that the White House really wants you to suspend your disbelief on this.

And if Bush had tried these tactics?

Government agents going after bloggers for their sources just seems a little, anti-First Amendment.

From an AP article on the Transportation Security Administration's efforts to investigate;

TSA special agents served subpoenas to travel bloggers Steve Frischling and Chris Elliott, demanding that they reveal who leaked the security directive to them. The government says the directive was not supposed to be disclosed to the public.

Frischling said he met with two TSA special agents Tuesday night at his Connecticut home for about three hours and again on Wednesday morning when he was forced to hand over his lap top computer. Frischling said the agents threatened to interfere with his contract to write a blog for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines if he didn't cooperate and provide the name of the person who leaked the memo.

"It literally showed up in my box," Frischling told The Associated Press. "I do not know who it came from." He said he provided the agents a signed statement to that effect.

Actually, in the U.S. there has never been a right to protect sources in a federal court. However, federal courts will refuse to force journalists to reveal sources, unless the information the court seeks is highly relevant to the case, and there's no other way to get it. Journalists, like all citizens, who refuse to testify even when ordered to can be found in contempt of court and fined or jailed.

It's explained well here;

In Branzburg v Hayes (1972), the Court considered the case of a reporter who, in two newspaper stories about drug use, had reported his observations of persons smoking marijuana at a party and of two men turning marijuana into hashish. Called before a grand jury to testify concerning the identities of drug users and drug synthesizers, Branzburg refused, claiming that the First Amendment provided reporters with a privilege against testifying in such circumstances. The Court disagreed, rejecting the notion that the First Amendment offered any absolute privilege. Four members of the Court went so far as to write that the First Amendment offered the press no protection against testifying that would not be available to any member of the general public. In a critical concurring opinion, however, Justice Powell indicated that the First Amendment requires that goverment at least demonstrate that its demands have a real bearing to a subject under investigation and that there exists "a legitimate law enforcement need" for the information sought from a reporter. Lower courts have found Powell's concurrence to be the basis for a "qualified privilege" that protects reporters from government "fishing expeditions," as well as from having to testify in many civil cases. The four dissenters in Branzburg would have required the government to show a compelling need for a reporter's testimony and that there existed no good alternative sources for the sought-after information.

Given that the government is investigating a leak in national security information that could compromise the citizens of the United States, this represents a reasonable action on the part of the investigators.


Three questions remain that are still worth asking remain:

(1) Is this really that urgent of an investigation? It's not about the bomber, it's about the leak of a ramping up of security that undoubtedly would be divulged to the press and public anyway in short order. My opinion is that a leak poses a danger if not in this instance, then as the risk of further leaks in more sensitive instances. That's why it's worth investigating.

(2) If Bush had tried these tactics, what would have been the hue and cry in the press? Don't answer, it's a rhetorical question that everybody knows the answer to already.

(3) Where's the ACLU on this? I know, it's a legitimate investigation, but stupid cases have never stopped the ACLU from getting on the wrong side of an issue before. Oh wait, it's Team Obama now, that explains it.

New Years' Eve Musical Interlude

Of course it's going to be Auld Lang Syne on New Year's Eve.

December 30, 2009

Peter Schiff versus Chris Dodd in 2010?

Rumors about Peter Sciff running for the Senate in Connecticut in 2010 against incumbent Chris Dodd continue. With good reason.

Schiff got the economic meltdown right and Dod, clearly got it wrong.

Schiff has the right ideas. But will he run? And can he win? The answers are YES! and yes.

The second yes, requires help. Donate to Schiff,  because as good as he is on economic matters, unseating Dodd would make it a double win, and a high profile one at that. But in liberal Connecticut it will be tough.

Consider donating. Consider volunteering.

Barack Obama gets an 'F' for protecting Americans

Over in England, the Telegraph gets it - Barack Obama is failing in his duty to protect the citizenry of the United States.

Barack Obama gets an 'F' for protecting Americans

The two most salient points for me:

4. In his studied desire to be the unBush by responding coolly to events like this, Obama is dangerously close to failing as a leader. Yes, it is good not to shoot from the hip and make broad assertions without the facts. But Obama took three days before speaking to the American people, emerging on Monday in between golf and tennis games in Hawaii to deliver a rather tepid address that significantly underplayed what happened. He described Abdulmutallab as an “isolated extremist” who “allegedly tried to ignite an explosive device on his body” – phrases that indicate a legalistic, downplaying approach that alarms rather than reassures. Today’s words showed a lot more fire and desire to get on top of things – we’ll see whether Obama follows through with action. In the meantime, he went snorkeling.

5. There has been a pattern developing with the Obama administration trying to minimise terrorist attacks. We saw it with Abdul Hakim Mujahid Muhammad, a Muslim convert who murdered a US Army recruit in Little Rock, Arkansas in June. We saw it with Major Nidal Malik Hassan, a Muslim with Palestinian roots who slaughtered 13 at Fort Hood, Texas last month. In both cases, there were Yemen connections. Obama began to take the same approach with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. We’ll see whether this incident shakes him out of that complacency. Whether it’s called the war on terror or not, it’s clear that the US is at war against al-Qaeda and radical Islamists.

More American journalists better start understanding the diabolical nature of these jihadists and the insidious nature of Islamic self-tolerance, along with the reticence of the President to do something about it sooner than too late, or the too much of the public will be fooled into disinterest while time runs out on freedom.

Coming Soon: Islamic Europe, Islamic America

This War on Terror thing isn't over just yet. Is a time of choosing multiculturalism or democracy coming to Europe? If so, how long before the same problem comes to the United States?

The problem with hiding your head in the sand and pretending the problem doesn't exist, doesn't make the problem go away. It's not an issue of denigrating or denying another religion - it's a matter of standing up for your own, and your own liberty.

Multiculturalism and it's inevitable offshoot of political correctness encourage further pushes towards extremes - not just with Islam but with any distinct group wanting to be recognized as a legitimate standalone culture. It's the same concept that applies to gay marriage, polygamy or any other distinct group that wants equal rights and equal protections.

That's a frightening video. But the issue is not an isolated group of growing radicals, the issue is a steady shift in the Muslim mainstream towards acceptance of radical ideas, or at least empathy towards them. Islam is becoming more tolerant of it's own radicals. It is not however becoming more tolerant of what it considers infidels - Christians, Jews, Buddhists or any other "non-believers".Put another way, if Islamic nations were as protective of Judeo-Christian rights in their own nations, then the argument could be made that we have not done enough in the West to accommodate Islamic people. Of course the truth is not exactly that.

In that context, listen again to this speech by President Obama to the Muslim world. He talks about the mistakes of the West, and of America. Many of the ears he's (excuse the pun) preaching to, are deaf to his "New Beginning". They see Islam as not only the dominant religion of the world, but as the only religion and the only rule of law. Jihad Watch posted about this issue back in 2004 in a post about the apparently no longer existent Faith Freedom International.

President Obama is playing right into their hands. We in the West are not the crusaders the Muslim extremists want to portray us as, if this notion of Islamic rule is true. If it's true the West, America in particular are in the familiar role of defenders of liberty and freedom.. I'm not advocating the same approach of many of those Islamic extremist who want to "nuke Denmark". What I'm saying is that there really is a War being waged by Terror and a war on Western ideas and beliefs. If you don't want to fight back or at least, the very least, stand up to it and defend your way of living and your beliefs, you will end up with what you deserve. Perhaps without even a shot fired:

December 29, 2009

Janet Napolitano, otherwise unemployable

Talk about jobs saved or created - certainly the White House's continued employment of Janet Napolitano counts as one job definitely, though inexplicably, saved.
Janet Napolitano, throwing the entire Obama administration under the proverbial bus by saying everything worked as it was supposed to work during this crisis - apparently explaining away the lack of response from the President himself.

The problem is that the country wasn't buying it and the administration had to come back with the "systemic failure" talking points to prove that they are serious about threats to Americans. even if the President is in Hawaii.

The President's CYA response - blame the system, the agencies and the people.  In other words, throw someone else under the bus.  After all, it's all about nursing the approval rating through 2012, isn't it?

The real systemic failure is the employment of bad personnel in senior positions who think the important part of the job is to re-name terrorist acts 'man-caused disasters' instead of calling them what they are.  The real systemic failure is the new system that ignores the reality of the world and tries to paint rainbows on the enemies of freedom and democracy.  The real systemic failure is that even now, no reasonable recall mechanism exists for those in charge of national security.


Well, why not? Hey, conservatives can be artists too!

It's not often you see conservative artists, let alone openly conservative ones. They deserve your support for openly espousing freedom in what has to be a hostile climate for them.

The Best of Liberal Worst for 2009

Some highlights of the worst liberal moments of 2009. Sometimes, despite the importance of the struggle to keep America intact, you just have to laugh at the sheer foolishness of some on the left.

10. Why did this question even get asked of Martha Stewart?

9. If this was the best Palin could do to slam McCain, then she's just lame and not worthy of all that liberal bashing she takes. Either that or she really is a threat to the left and they're desperate to try to find some wedge issue to tamp down her rising approval ratings;

8. Janeane Garafalo or Janeane GarAWFULo?

7. Is this guy supposed to be the left's version of Glenn Beck? Ed Schulz has a long way to go to get there. how about starting with some facts instead of liberal fear-mongering hyperbole?

6. Chris Matthews being Chris Matthews still feels the leg tingle, and wonders why the rest of the press doesn't continue to share his Obama enthusiasm enthrallment. Don't worry Chris, many media types still do.

5. Yet again, MSNBC. Strategic editing making Tea Party protesters look violent and deranged and racist. Here they get called out on it.

4. Katie Couric wins A Gracie Award and a Cronkite Award for nailing Sarah Palin in a biased, edited and damaging interview that achieved it's goal - to knock the McCain-Palin ticket out of contention for the Presidency. If the celebration of a biased act doesn't say it all about the media and their motivation, I don't know what does.

3. The war on Tea Party Protesters extended from calling them Teabaggers, to outright misrepresentation of the size of the protests on 9/12 being in the tens of thousands rather than the hundreds of thousands that clearly were in attendance. ABC reported the number at 71,000 at one point. According to the website Ihatethemedia,
MSNBC reported, “thousands have turned out, some have said tens of thousands.” The Washington Post estimated “tens of thousands.” ABC figured between 60–70,000 protestors. The New York Times initially described it as a “sea” of people before stating, “The demonstrators numbered well into the tens of thousands, though the police declined to estimate the size of the crowd.” According to, there were “as many as two million protestors.” CBS, CNN and FOX all reported on the Tea Party but declined to provide estimates.
But look at this schema from USA today on the Obama inauguration crowd.

And then look at this photo of the 912 event. You don't have to be a math wizard to see that it's more than 70,000.

Thankfully, someone, Mail Online in the U.K., has a more reasonable number, and a great article to boot.

2. CNN Reporter Susan Roesgen trying to lecture a protester instead of getting the story and listening to an opinion. You just know she wouldn't have done the same thing to a Bush protester. Reports report, they don't argue with the news subject. That's got to be part of "Journalism 101", no?

Then again - we should have known her orientation already;

So should have CNN.

1. Newsweek's Evan Thomas sees Obama as God. Simply beyond the pale.

December 28, 2009

Environmental Doom? Blame Canada.

Liberals can't direct their Copenhagen failure anger at Obama - that would be unthinkable. What's a good progressive to do? Blame Canada.

It's the South Park way.

Yes, I'm Canadian. Yes I want to some day be an American. But right now I have to say I'm proud of my conservative Prime Minister for having the guts to play the boogeyman in the global warming comic tragedy.
At last year's climate summit, Canada was voted the Fossil of the Year—an award handed out by Climate Action Network International to the conference's most obstructive country. So far, Canada is on track for a repeat victory—in the daily "fossil" awards at Copenhagen, it has landed in the top three six times. George Monbiot recently wrote that Canada is now to climate as Japan is to whaling. And on Monday, Canada took the second to last place on the Climate Protection Index, a project ranking major polluters on their efforts to curb emissions. Only Saudi Arabia scored lower on the list.

In case you American liberals haven't heard - man made global warming is proving a hoax. Canadians are pretty happy with our conservative government, and by the way, our less knee-jerk reaction to the horrifyingly really, really bad recession has left us with a lower unemployment rate than your President has left you with - and a quicker path back to budget surpluses.

I'm just saying.

KEEP Guantanamo OPEN!!!

Does anyone need yet more proof that keeping Guantanamo open, and erring on the side of caution with detainees would be advisable? Here's more.

This story speaks for itself. Northwest Flight 253: al Qaeda Leaders Behind Terror Plot Were Released by U.S. - ABC News.  While your at it, let's stop blaming the previous administration and take some responsibility for something, anything.

Why keep Guantanamo open? Because there are terrorists there.  They are enemies of the United States.  They do not merit the protections of the Constitution as would an American citizen.  There is no benefit to moving them to prisons inside America.  If you buy the argument that the prison at Guantanamo is a recruiting poster for al Qaida then explain to me what would be the benefit of having them imprisoned in Illinois.  Why would that help stamp out al Qaida propoganda?

Baucus drunk? He'd better be.

Was Max Baucus on the Senate floor drunk? The video, despite the slurring is not conclusive, but certainly indicative. Either that, or he's just really, really tired. Sure. 

Here's the irony if the drunken  Baucus story is true; Bacchus was the Greek god of wine (known as Dionysus in Roman mythology).

Remember, this is the guy who nominated his girlfriend Melodee Hanes for a U.S. attorney poisition, and was connected with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, so maybe he's just drunk with power.

Here's the video of Baucus after a brief exchange with Senator McCain.

Contrast that with this video:

Yes, he still stumbles a bit, perhaps that's just his speaking style. But there seems to be a difference between the two videos. He sure seems a bit off in the first video. Drunk? Possibly, yes.  Or maybe he was so frustrated by the answer McCain gave him (which refutes his initial claim) that he went off script.  Maybe he's not that good off script.  Already progressives are claiming he wasn't drunk.  Really?  How are you so sure?  Is he just a stumbling, angry partisan jerk?  You can't say for sure he was or wasn't drunk, but if he wasn't drunk, it was an embarrassing performance nevertheless.

December 27, 2009

Dictator Watch - Dec 27, 2009

A story from Breitbart today about new violent clashes in Iran. There have been more deaths and the violence has escalated since last summer. The outcome could be far more deadly than it was last summer.

Fresh Iran police, protester clashes: witnesses

And from the Telegraph,

Defying police orders to stay indoors, supporters of the country's pro-reformist movement used a text message campaign to urge hundreds of thousands of demonstrators to take to the streets.
They are capitalising on the fact that Sunday marks the final day of the ten-day festival of Ashura, which commemorates the murder of Imam Hossein, one of Shia Islam's most revered figures.
While the protests turn violent and tempers flare, the timing turns out to be advantageous to the West. A serious uprising that might result might serve to delay, sidetrack or possibly even stop (in the event of an overthrow) Iran's nuclear weapons program. It may turn out that the very same people that President Obama turned his back on last summer, may accomplish what he has stated he wanted but has been powerless to stop - a nuclear armed Iran. The irony is both uplifting and bitter.

Too busy reading to post

Yet another attempted terrorist attack man caused disaster, and plenty of fodder for posting, as a result.  But I've been enjoying the holidays, voraciously reading two of my gifts - Glenn Beck's Arguing With Idiots, and Sarah Palin's Going Rogue.  Both wonderful gifts.

Regularly scheduled posting will resume this week.  In the meantime, I hope everyone is enjoying their holidays as much as I am.

December 24, 2009

The 12 Months of Congress

On the 12th month of Congress, my Congress gave to me...

Twelve billion loaned to Chrysler,
One hundred forty bank closures,
Ten percent unemployment,
Nine thousand earmark omnibus,
Eight percent GOP ballot lead,
Seven hundred billion 'recovery' act,
Six years of Franken,
Five more Service Corps...
Four decades of Cap and Trade,
Thirty seven million on food stamps,
And Two thousand pages
Of a health care bill that nobody needs.

December 23, 2009

Harkin symbolic of the problem with Democrats

Harkin, without coming out in favor of corruption, manages to intimate he's all for it.

In the video below, Senator Harkin manages to shrug off bribery, changing his stance on the public option, and a possible stance change on abortion all as a means to "compromise" to get the health care deal done.

Watch CBS News Videos Online

It's a pass-it-at-all-costs mentality that does not preclude corrupt means if necessary.

The problems with the zealot wing of the Democrat party are numerous, but in just one short news segment Senator Harkin shows he has no problem with bribery or by-passing his principles. Not surprisingly, he also comes across as arrogant. How else could you espouse those points and not feel the least bit vulnerable?

There's no question Democrats will suffer at the polls next November. This attitude will not help them.

Today's articles.

No time to post original content today, but here are some good articles;

BREAKING: Senate to Vote Today on Earmark-Vote Trading from Robert Costa at National Review

McConnell’s takeaways for an earlier Christmas Eve vote from Ed Morrissey at Hot Air

Obama's latest health care lie from Matt Welch at Reason

Another Bad 2010 Omen For Democrats: "Repeal the Deal" Will Be A Rallying Cry in 2010 from Hugh Hewitt at Townhall

CBS reporting on ObamaCare special deals? from Arkady at Right Condition

Check them out.

December 22, 2009

RCP: Health Care Bill - Suicide, Yet Done Deal

Sean Trende's analyses are great reads. Last Saturday's The Health Care Bill Is Political Suicide and today's Don't Expect The House To Kill The Senate Bill are great examples of why he writes for them, RealClearPolitics, and I don't.

In the former, he makes a great case as to why the bill is political suicide despite what the Democrats are thinking it will do for them (either naively or delusionally). In the latter he explains while it is still likely to pass into law.

It's like watching a movie and knowing the outcome is going to be bad for those on screen. You can yell at the screen for the actors to change their path, but you know it won't help - they are doomed regardless of the turns of the story and whatever you manage to shout at them from the audience.

Rasmussen's Obama Daily Index. Wow.

Wow about covers this;


20 Things You Didn't Know About... Elections

I'm at a point in my life where learning has never been more important.  I love discovering new (to me) knowledge. I stumbled upon Discover Magazine's series 20 Things You Didn't Know About...

One that's quite relevant to this blog, 20 Things You Didn't Know About... Elections

My two favorites;

7. In 2007 neuroscientists examined the brain activity of undecided voters as they viewed the leading presidential candidates in the race.

8. The two candidates who elicited the least amount of activity? John McCain and Barack Obama.

Politics as usual, multiplied.

Barack Obama campaigned for the Presidency on post-partisanship and real change.  From poor vetting of tax cheats to grandiose deficit spending to the multiple apparent kick-backs related to pushing an unpopular health care bill in the Congress and Senate, it's been politics as usual, just bigger, more expensive and dirtier than usual.

It started with voter fraud. Even before the election there was the ACORN problem. And the SEIU problem. Dirty campaigning. Dirty politics. The President has been tarnished so many times with the guilt-by-association label that it's amazing the glimmer has taken so long to come off his angelic aura. Ayers and Wright apparently weren't enough last year to show the President for what he is - not an agent of change but an agent of dirty politics, as usual, but bigger.

Next in the politics-as-usual parade was the emergency stimulus bill that was so desperately needed to combat the unemployment rate from climbing over 8% (or to as high as 10%, where it is now).  The bill was laden with ridiculous pork projects.  It hasn't been reported properly, includes made up statistics and it certainly wasn't post-partisan. Beyond which, it plays on the usual Democrat parlor tricks of class warfare.
Obama is trying to destroy our free enterprise system and “change” America into a failed socialist nation with growth-killing tax increases, the take over of private businesses through bailouts and trillions of dollars in irresponsible deficit spending on wasteful social programs. Millions of jobs have been lost since the passage of Obama’s Stimulus Bill that includes over 8,000 wasteful pork projects. That pork-laden bill will stimulate only the Democratic Party – not the economy, nor black communities. Incredibly, Obama turned a $450 billion deficit into a $9 trillion deficit, and he is promising to spend even more, including $1.5 trillion on a disastrous government-controlled health care scheme. All of this uncontrolled, budget-busting deficit spending will send our nation careening over an economic Clift [sic] into oblivion.

The tens of thousands of Americans participating in Tea Parties across this country – peacefully protesting Obama’s socialist actions and policies – are being mocked by President Obama and derided as “racist” by his fellow Democrats and liberal media allies, all in an effort to silence average Americans. Complaints are not allowed about the fact that under Obama’s America, all Americans will be dependent on the government for their well-being, just as are poor blacks.

It continued with the omnibus bill, another $410 billion worth of garbage;
A stopgap measure was voted in last Thursday to keep the federal government up and running until the vote. In case you do not know about this bill, it is essentially the short term federal budget for the next six months. It is an astounding $410, 000, 000, 000 spending bill that is essentially a catch all for over 8,000 pork projects. Over $7.7 billion dollars of this bill is attributed earmarks (aka pork projects and pet projects.)
Let's not forget the agenda-driven Cap and Trade Tax bill, which the Heritage Foundation pointed out, prior to Obama's signing it, the drafted legislation would:
• Reduce aggregate gross domestic product (GDP) by $662billion in 2035;
• Destroy 1,105,000 jobs on average, with peak years seeing unemployment rise by over 2,479,000 jobs;
• Reduce an average household’s disposable income by $879 in 2030;
• Raise electricity rates 90 percent after adjusting for inflation;
• Raise inflation-adjusted gasoline prices by 58 percent;
• Raise residential natural gas prices by 55 percent;
• Raise an average family’s annual energy bill by $1,241;and
• Increase inflation-adjusted federal debt by $114,915 per family of four by 2035.
But was it at least free from pork and backroom dealings?  Apparently not.

And then there's health care. Kick backs galore.  Including some big players.

And some arm twistingOut in the open no less.

In a Nov. 16, 2008, Health Care Watch column, Emanuel explained how business should be done: "Every favor to a constituency should be linked to support for the health-care reform agenda. If the automakers want a bailout, then they and their suppliers have to agree to support and lobby for the administration's health-reform effort."
It's a recipe for old school politics of coorruption, with Obama and Emmanuel at the center of the storm.  No wonder the Tea Parties were a big thing this year.  No wonder the American people are sick of it.  And come to think of it, no wonder those who can benefit by it are doing so as fast as they can - they know the clock is ticking. Either it's an election shot clock, or it's the timer on a fiscal time bomb.

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin has two great summaries on the health care kickbacks, here and here.

December 21, 2009

Holiday Schedule, Death, Taxes, and now Health Care

My posting has been infrequent of late for a myriad of reasons - having computer problems at home, being extremely busy at work, having Christmas to prepare for, and then there's just being sullen over what I knew was inevitable in the Senate, that came to it's evil fruition last night - just like death and taxes.

Socialized health care is coming to America. You protested, you complained, you marched en masse and the Democrats, masters at protest themselves, hypocritically chose to ignore the American people. Democracy only seems to count if it's on their terms. It was a noble effort from the "mob", but it came up short. Did you honestly expect any different outcome? In reality as dumb as this legislation is, as dumb as the decisions were, this was representative democracy in action. Leaders are elected to lead. That involves making decisions, even if the decisions are unpopular. Unfortunately, that logic doesn't also apply to decisions that are stupid. It doesn't apply to decisions that are dishonest. It doesn't apply to decisions that are ultimately damaging to America.

Americans opposed to this have two possible courses of action remaining - armed insurrection (not a good idea), and the only tool they really can wield - voting. With this white elephant about to be foisted on a suspicious nation, 2010 now requires a Herculean effort because repealing this atrocious act will require a massive swing in Congressional and Senate representation. While Congress may be obtainable (though not a certainty by far), the Senate is not going to swing far enough to be able to make the change needed to reverse this.

A country that has allowed itself to be represented by Al Franken, Nancy Pelosi, Chris Dodd, Barney Frank and Roland Burris to name but a few, has foisted upon itself it's own eventual demise. Somewhere right now, Hugo Chavez is laughing himself to tears. You get what you vote for, America. Conservatives, furious over this no doubt, unfortunately share in the blame. Beaten into a sense of abandon because of the lefts unyielding and misrepresentative hatred of Bush, did not nearly enough to stop the 2008 elections from becoming the train wreck it did. There are no new worlds to move to at this time to start over. This was it, and you let it slip away. The point is that voting isn't really enough (though running gunfights in the streets clearly are a bit much). You need to do more. You. Personally.

Where are the petitions? Help me somebody. Where are the 10 million man marches? Where are the calls to news outlets demanding better coverage of politics? Where are the boycotts of anyone supporting these America-bankrupting ideas? Where are the work stoppages? Where are the sit-ins and the civil disobedience? If the left can do all this, why should conservatives sit at home and passively grumble? That's not the American spirit. Is it? Has it come to numbly laying down and letting yourself get steamrolled by a bunch of liberal bullies?

Merry Christmas

I've said it before, and I'll say it again - Merry Christmas.

That's right, I said it.  Politically incorrect though it is, Merry Christmas to one and all.

Oh Holy Night -Pavarotti

December 18, 2009

December 17, 2009

Reason: Obama's rhetorical tricks

Jacob Sullum at Reason has a great article on the deceptive rhetorical tricks of Obama-speak. It's quite worth a full read (here).

The excerpt below encapsulates makes some great points if you don't want to read the whole article.

Speaking of making sense, some of the “false choices” Obama has identified in the last year are more puzzling than misleading. “I reject the false choice between securing this nation and wasting billions of taxpayer dollars,” he declared in March. So according to Obama, we can secure the nation and waste billions of taxpayer dollars. Actually, that sounds about right.

Obama’s depiction of his critics is a bit further removed from reality. In the health care debate, he says, “there are those who simply don't believe Washington can bring about this change”; “there are those who will say that we do not go far enough”; “there are those who would have us try what has already failed, who would defend the status quo”; “there are those who will oppose reform no matter what”; and “there are those who want to seek political advantage.”

What about those who do not like the status quo but have a different vision of reform, not because they want to go farther than Obama does but because they want to go in a different direction, toward more choice, more competition, and less government involvement? In Obama’s world, they do not exist; instead we have his bold yet achievable plan, pitted against socialist utopianism and blind partisan intransigence. Let me be clear: This is a false choice.
Well put.

December 16, 2009

Health Care Debate: Protracted? Really? Really???

This is how you want to report on it? You biased, sensationalist bunch of...

fools. AP Manages to do it again, claiming the debate on healthcare has already gone on too long;
WASHINGTON – Senate Democrats' drive to pass the health care overhaul by Christmas sputtered Wednesday as a lone moderate holdout remained undecided and Republican delaying tactics stretched an already protracted debate even further.
2074 pages, in the Senate for about 30 days. That's 69 pages to debate per day. Not read, debate.

In other words, 21 minutes of debate per page. Among 100 Senators. That's 12.6 seconds of speaking time per Senator per page.



How do you sleep at night?

Sarah Palin to speak for Canadian hospital fundraiser

Sarah Palin will be in Canada, close to my home town for a cancer fundraiser for two hospitals. Ironically it's on April 15th, 2010 - tax day.  With the left all worked up over the fact that she will be speaking in support of hospitals that exist in a country of socialized medicine, and the eventual irony of her being out of the country on tax day, and given the left's hatred for her, it's no wonder it hasn't been a bigger derisive talking point - yet.
That's not the whole story though. No doubt Palin will pay her taxes unlike Daschle, several other Obama appointees, and the likes of Rangel, Democrats all. The tax issue should be a non-starter, although it's bound to get a little traction on the far left.

The bigger play for them is why she's talking in support of socialized hospitals. The fact is she isn't - she's talking in support of two cancer centers.
Palin will speak at a fundraiser for the Juravinski Cancer Centre and St. Peter's Hospital. Organizers hope to sell 1,000 tickets at $200 a plate, but raise more via photos with her.

No doubt there will be mad Canadian protesters, but on the other hand, the fundraiser will sell out far in advance.

[NOTE: I hate to openly ask for donations on my site, but there is a donation via PayPal section at the bottom of the main page on my blog. It might ensure someone's attendance at the event *hint, hint*. If I were to get a photo with Palin, I'd feel obligated to post it on my blog.]

Palin no doubt is getting a substantial fee for the engagement as well, but it's a win for the hospitals, and a win for those who want to see her as well. It's a three way win. But as an observation, if she's got a best selling book and she's engaging in speaking events and fundraisering for herself now, she should be able to compile quite a war chest by 2012. Don't expect her, whatever her intentions are by then, to follow the McCain financing model that put him at a huge disadvantage to President Obama by agreeing to federal matching funds.

I still say, despite how the condescending liberals paint her, she's quite shrewd. They're transfixed with the "okiedokie" style language, but they misunderestimate her, at their own peril. She's smarter than they want anyone to believe, she's smarter than they believe.

Time to call the Obamacrats' health care bluff

Democrats still have a lot of work to do to forge some sort of compromise bill on health care. Why is that? They own the White House right now, a massive majority in the Congress and are nearly filibuster-proof in the Senate.

So what gives? Why are they struggling to forge something they can get through, preferably quickly if (a) they have the votes (b) they have the public support and (c) they agree amongst themselves? Isn't the answer obvious?

They don't, on all three counts. They are playing with a weak hand - that's why they are rushing, struggling, arguing and fumbling. They are nowhere near ready, and yet they want something done by Christmas.

Is it time to call their bluff? Should the GOP agree to whatever procedural steps are necessary to get it to a floor vote? It's a risky strategy because it could result in passage of a bad bill. But it does have some merits.


-it neutralizes the GOP are obstructionist in the liberal media, that's good PR.
-it catches the Democrats off guard and forces them to vote on the current version of the bill, which will have as many moderate Democrats opposed/in favor as it does liberal Democrats in favor/opposed to it. In other words it doesn't pass the floor vote because in the end the disaffected side of the Democrats will vote with the GOP against the bill.
-it draws a line in the sand - while the Democrats dither like Obama did on Afghanistan, the GOP looks more decisive and action oriented. More good PR.
-it works very will with a commitment from the GOP to reverse the bill if elected.
-it may be making the most of a weak hand for the GOP. If there is no real way to stop this travesty at least it grabs the public's attention to tell them why you are doing it - you can control that message and for good measure one last time say why you think the bill is bad. In fact it may rouse the town hall/Tea Party protests into action again. They did make an impact.

Conversely it could blow up on the GOP. Most importantly it could turn off the base if either they don't understand it or if the ploy backfires and the bill passes. But when you are dealt a bad hand that you have to play out, you have to consider all options and calling the Democrats' bluff when they are in disarray themselves might not be a bad idea. Frankly, I'm not sold on the idea myself, but I'm not sure if it's even been considered by the GOP.

December 15, 2009

Al Gore Steps In It

Al Gore has apparently gone off the deep end claiming all of the Arctic ice stood a 75% chance of melting in 5 years. Except the scientist whose work he cited says he has never made such a claim and never would predict something so specific.
Way to go Al. Bad "science" however, makes great headlines though, doesn't it?

December 14, 2009

Google - Propoganda on Climate Change

I do not know how long the link has been on google's main page (Google Canada at least), but do not go to this link.  It's global warming propoganda at it's worst.  Now that I said that, I bet you'll go check it out.  If only there were some place to leave comments.  Oh, wait, there is - by contacting them directly.

I noticed the same link didn't exist in Google, Google UK, Google France or Google Germany. Apparently we Canadians are the test bed for global warming hysteria. Great - thanks a lot Google.

Google - I'd switch search engines if you didn't have a stranglehold on my blog, my ads, my web tracking, my gmail. Still, maybe it's time. It's not like you are going to banish my readership, since that I seem to have managed to do successfully on my own...

Open-ended commitment in Afghanistan?

Last night on 60 Minutes the President was asked why he even bothered to set a date for troop withdrawal if it's not truly a fixed date. President Obama's response was that it sends a message to Afghanistan to get it's act together because America's commitment is not open ended.

Disingenuous. It was a message for America's left to trust him that he still is an anti-war guy.

Why disingenuous? Because the reason he stated, while valid could have been delivered in private, with Afghan leadership, stating also it is being delivered in private because we don't want to tip our hand to the Taliban and Al Qaida.

The President is proving once again, that his lack of experience and partisanship-driven politics are a bad combination for America.

Global Warming Talks Collapse

As predicted (by quite a few) the Copenhagen Climate Summit, otherwise known as COP15, has been suspend as developing countries have walked out.

Apparently it was African nations who took issue with the conference agenda, which apparently had plans that would put developing nations at a serious developmental disadvantage.

Don't count on it derailing Cap and Trade legislation in the U.S. Expect to hear something along the lines of "they are expressing legitimate economic concerns, however we don't want the fact that a deal couldn't be achieved to stop us from doing what we can to prevent a global ecological disaster. "

Just remember two things - man made global warming (AGW) is either a host or at least suspect and Cap and Trade is a wealth transfer vehicle, not an anti-global warming solution.

December 13, 2009

Senate Arranging Deck Chairs as the Titanic Sinks in Debt

From AP News:

The Senate on Sunday passed a $1.1 trillion spending bill with increased budgets for vast areas of the federal government, including health, education, law enforcement and veterans' programs.

The more-than-1,000-page package, one of the last essential chores of Congress this year, passed 57-35 and now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature.

The weekend action underlined the legislative crush faced by Congress as it tries to wind up the year. After the vote, the Senate immediately returned to the debate on health care legislation that has consumed its time and energy for weeks. Senate Democrats hope to reach a consensus in the coming days on Obama's chief domestic priority.
The world is running out of superlatives to describe the spending addiction in Democrat Washington. It's getting to the point that some people might just be starting to think "well, whatever" and just becoming willing to let it go. Hopefully not though.

President's Rasmussen Numbers Officially Tank

President Obama's Rasmussen poll numbers released today bode very badly for the President. Very badly indeed.

The overall approval index is at the worst level yet for President Obama.

That's not the only bad news for him. Overall his approval rating is 46% and disapproval is at 53%.  His aproval index is into the negatives among even the under 30 criwd.  Forget about seniors - his index is at -29.

But that's still not the worst of it.  The worst of it is still to come.  There's a couple of almost throw away lines in the daily Rasmussen tracking poll summary, and what it means is that the President cannot win elections in 2010 and re-election for himself in 2012, if the economy stays in neutral or reverse.

Among those who consider the economy to be the most important issue, just 26% Strongly Approve of the President’s performance while 39% Strongly Disapprove.

Among those who consider fiscal policy issues the most important, just 1% Strongly Approve and 81% Strongly Disapprove.

Those are some pretty serious numbers.  What isn't clear is what percentage of polled voters those categories reflect, but if things don't change before next November, one thing is certain - those categories will reflect a larger percentage of the electorate.  If you are the President there aren't many ways this can end well, but for the GOP, there are a number of ways it can.  Then again for the GOP, it doesn't mean it will, again as Rasmussen points out.

December 12, 2009

Saturday Learning Series - Connections 3, Episode 1

History itself is a series of connections of events. Sometimes seemingly unconnected events are connected in surprising ways. James Burke provides yet another series of connections in the Connections 3 series that explores how the modern day society and technology we take for granted has come into being. This series, unlike his others, exist almost as distinct chapters of a book - the series itself is connected.

Learning from history is important and James Burke's work is an enlightening, important and entertaining analysis of history from a unique perspective. I highly recommend it.

For other works by James Burke (and others), search this site for "Saturday Learning Series".

December 11, 2009

Can I help too?

I'm a Canadian citizen.  I live in Canada.  True, I'm American in spirit, but there's no paperwork for that. I'm conservative. I admire the Tea Parties and have supported their efforts and tried to do my part to encourage American conservatives to stand up and be counted beyond just election day. But if I wanted to do more, could I?

Aside from becoming an American citizen someday, and marching and voting myself, can I do more more immediately? My blog used to generate more traffic than it does now. Lately it can't seem to draw flies, although the visitors I do have, have become more responsive and a few have even added comments regularly.

But that doesn't leave me much room to have a conservative impact in the US elections in 2010. Of course I'm a foreigner, should I even be able to do so? Well, if certain Chinese donors can do so, apparently without any fallout, then it's only fair that I should be able to donate to conservative candidates in Senate or Congressional elections.

I'm pretty familiar with American politics, but not campaign finance - as a Canadian, can I donate? I would only do so if it were legally allowed.

I'm just asking.

WaPo: They just can't let it go.

In a bid to appear to have something positive to say about the conservative movement in America, the Washington Post has some words about the grass roots conservative organization and it's potential political surge in 2010. Except that can't seem to resist slagging conservatives at the same time.

The Washington Post this morning had an article talking about conservative fund-raising potential and the fact that the 2010 election cycle could be greatly impacted by it.

Great, it sounds like some real coverage of a real issue. No doubt it was prompted by the recent Rasmussen poll that found a fictious Tea Party would outperform the GOP in a three way election contest. Perhaps also prompted by the idea of promoting a conservative support split and relegating conservatism to an etrnal back burner in American politics. Conservatives aren't that stupid. Maybe for a cycle or two a split would benefit liberals/Democrats, but after that it would necessarily sort itself out.

Regardless, the WaPo article can't resist doing two things - slagging conservatives and the Tea Parties, and continuing to lie about the strength of the movement.

Take for example this parapgraph;
Buoyed by their success in capsizing a moderate Republican candidate this fall in Upstate New York, tea party activists and affiliated groups are unveiling new political action committees and tactics aimed at capitalizing on conservative opposition to health-care reform, financial bailouts and other Obama administration policies. The goal is to harness the anger that led to hundreds of protests around the country from spring to fall, including a gathering of tens of thousands of protesters on the Mall in September.

Tens of thousands? Once again, REALLY?

As far as actually slagging conservatives, it's not really harsh criticism, but they do question the possible effectiveness of the movement in such a way that it makes you question whether they went after the Obama organization or MoveOn group in the same way. I'll give you the answer; no.
Can the movement unite?

But Kibbe and others acknowledge that they are not near that point yet, and political experts in both parties say it is unclear if the movement can become the kind of unified force that can win, and not just disrupt, elections.

The tea party movement is splintered into hundreds of local and state-level groups that have differing rules and goals and for the most part have not participated in big-money politics. Many of the groups have been torn apart by personal feuds in recent months; one major umbrella organization, the Tea Party Patriots, has filed a lawsuit against a founding board member who signed on with a rival, the Tea Party Express.
Let them deride all they like.  While the movement is bound to experience growing pains, and may not be at it's most effective yet, grass roots are grass roots, and it's still free to vote.  The WaPo's best hope for stifling conservatism in 2010 is to hope for a 3rd party - a Tea Party to take hold.  But in order to do that, you have to hold off on the slagging just a little Washington Poat.  Will that happen? I doubt it.  I also happen to doubt whether a 3rd party is realistic for 2010.  My guess is the Washington Post thinks the same way.

Friday Musical Interlude - December 11, 2009

Friday. Time for another musical interlude.

David Lindley from 1981 and Mercury Blues.

December 10, 2009

Health Care Numbers - The Polls

That the health care bills keep inching closer to fiscal nightmare reality is very telling when you look at what the polls say about the public's disdain for the reform.

Rasmussen on Saturday had the Oppose camp at 51% and the Favor camp at 41% for the latest health care reform bill. But we all know they are conservative hacks right (by that, meaning their polling numbers always come closest to reality on election day). So what did other pollsters find?

Quinnipiac University can't be so partisan can they? They reported yesterday that voters oppose it by 52% and favor it by only 38%. There's a little bit of congruence for you. Still not convinced? Public Policy Polling (A Democratic pollster)has it as of yesterday 52% opposed and 39% in favor. Seemingly, there is a common finding, no?

So why are the Democrats forging ahead? Because they either (a) don't care, they want this done (b)they don't read the polls (HA!) or (c) they do care but think that passing the legislation will magically save their electoral chances in 2010 and beyond. The answer is clearly not option B. But whether it is A or C, it doesn't matter. The fact is the numbers don't scare the Democrats, or the right Democrats (Pelosi, Reid, Obama) enough to stop this trainwreck from happening. And that's the scary part. If the numbers were 80% opposed 15% in favor, I think the result would still be the same.

The Democrats are going to trick, twist, spin, and ram their way through this, leaving carnage for the Democrats in Congress, carnage for the anti-abortion crowd whom they used without remorse, carnage for the health and health insurance industries and carnage for the American economy. Outcome be damned - they will get this done. $300 million here, false conscience votes there, whatever it takes - it will get done. Which in the end I suppose is a good thing because this whole fiasco is going to make a lot of people sick.

Mis-statement of the Century

Steny Hoyer has the Audacity of Dope.

According to Politico;
“We’ve incurred this debt. We have to pay our bills,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told POLITICO Wednesday. And the Maryland Democrat confirmed that the anticipated increase could be as high as $1.8 trillion — nearly twice what had been assumed in last spring’s budget resolution for the 2010 fiscal year.
Wow. I'm speechless, somebody help me here. How is raising the debt ceiling the same as paying your bills?

Supply Side 2.0

Attention Reagan Republicans: If you believe in the virtues of supply side economics prepare for a bit of a re-think. Don't worry, it won't kill you.

Supply side economics is generally understood to mean that in order to promote economic development and activity, the role of the government is to provide incentives for producers to produce. This is done through tax incentives including things like decreasing corporate tax rates and capital gains taxes. It is also understood to mean a regulatory environment that is as unobtrusive for business as is reasonable (meaning you still don't use lead paint in children's toys). The benefit to consumers is that by having all of this product available because of a producer friendly environment, consumers will have more choice, and because of the increased competition, cheaper prices. Other fallout would include the fact that increased competition means an implicit incentive to innovate - better quality or cheaper production. Again the consumer benefits in the end.

So far, so good. How could anybody be against supply side economics? Well there is a singular drawback that causes two distinct observable issues. The problem is in the application of innovation. Innovation in the above calculus is meant to focus on technical innovation (thereby decreasing production costs or increasing product quality). But there are other ways to accomplish the same outcome. Remember though, that for a business the goal is not to innovate, the goal (reasonably) is to maximize profit. If you can reduce production costs without innovation why spend the time and treasure to do so? Why not reap the savings more cheaply if you can? Again, an entirely reasonable thought.

One of the single biggest costs of doing business is labor. Therein lies a welcoming target for producers. And that leads to the problems. If it's beneficial to suppress wages then there some alternatives available to producers. They can pay existing employees less, or they can find cheaper employees. When you throw in Free Trade deals (or even without them), the choice becomes pretty clear for a manufacturer - cheaper labor, FAR cheaper labor, exists in an awful lot of other countries. So as a result, production goes off shore.

In the short term, consumers see a real boon in cost savings; shoes that used to cost $50 you can find for $8. But there's a problem that arises out of the new dynamic. If labor goes offshore, then so do wages, and so does buying power of the domestic consumers. Unless every person in America becomes a producer, domestic consumption will necessarily stagnate and then decline. In order to offset this problem, the only way domestic consumption can continue, and not indefinitely, is to increase consumer debt. That consumer can be in the form of the general public, or the government, but the debt is real regardless of how it is split - the government is of the people after all.

So now you have a situation where production has been offshored, manufacturing has declined, and debt has risen dramatically. In fact at this rate the next thing to see being offshored is the innovations themselves. And this is just the transition phase. What happens when there is no manufacturing base left in America? I contend that you can not have an economy that is entirely service based. People can add value (wealth) with service to each other within a country, but ultimately if there is a continued net outflow of capital (goods flow in and services flow out of the nation in smaller amounts), that wealth transfer can only go on for so long. Think of it as a Monopoly game where you have mortgaged all of your properties and have no income and you keep landing on the other players' properties and having to pay. What happens? You lose the game.

So is supply side economics doomed in a free trade world? Are the only ones safe the high flying uber-rich who can offshore their entire fortunes and move to the next economic paradise if needed? No. The situation is not the fault of supply side economics. It's not even the fault of Free Trade. It's the fault of supply side economics not being applied enough and equally importantly, not being applied intelligently enough.

The core concepts of supply side economics are sound. What needs to be tweaked is the application of said concepts. Clearly, the federal government has NOT made the country one where tax incentives favor investment. It has not made the country one where development and production are highly prized. It's easy enough to be protectionist without being protectionist IF you do it on the supply side. What I mean by that is the idea of having a two-tiered capital gains tax - one for domestically realized capital gains and a higher one for foreign capital gains, unless the gains are realized by ownership investment overseas. What I mean is having a two tiered corporate tax rate - one for companies selling domestically produced goods and services and one that sells foreign produced goods and services. There are no direct tariffs, no disincentives for consumers who want to buy Danish cheese or French wine, or Saudi oil. But there is a distinct, demonstrable and significant value to producers to produce domestically. It means a reduced regulatory footprint so that companies can compete on a level playing field with India and China (again, with things like public safety not forsaken). It means saying no to the burden of Cap and Trade, and the labyrinth of Sarbanes Oxley. The solution is in fact a supply side solution to a supply side problem.

What does Supply Side 2.0 look like? It's as hard to define as what does Supply Side economics look like in general. It certainly doesn't look Keynesian. In fact it's pretty much the same as the original Supply Side economics, with an additional layer of thought applied to stimulating production. Production needs to be stimulated domestically not stimulated regardless of national origin. Free Trade thinks of the world in an economic vacuum. Would anyone in America be happy if all the world's manufacturing production came from Russia, Venezuela and Iran? The world, clearly, is not a vacuum. If there is such a thing as national interest, then it must include domestic wealth production. That requires more than just a post-manufacturing economy. And that means that it behooves the United States to act in it's own economic interest just as if it were an individual or a corporation. And it's national interest means maintaining it's economic status, not becoming an economic also-ran, or just another nation, as President Obama seems to see it.

In order to recapture American economic and manufacturing might, all that is needed is a re-visiting of the environment in which businesses in America have been forced to operate. Granted, it would take some hard decisions and difficult changes to bring about the optimal environment for economic success. Granted also, that the changes would not come overnight. But the issue is bigger than an election cycle and some difficult changes, the issue is the economic future, indeed the very future of the United States.

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