Charlie Crist jumps the GOP ship in a bid for personal greatness. Way to be a team player Charlie. Again.
That is so not cool.
April 30, 2010
President Obama is buying time There's a debt commission. There's going to be a commission into what happened with the BP platform of the coast of Louisiana that caused the oil slick, before any more drilling is allowed. The drilling he's referring to is the drilling he recently 'allowed'. He backed off on immigration reform, saying that he had just worked Congress very hard on health care reform and there is no appetite to tackle another controversial issue right now. Punt, punt, punt. The President is buying time. He's stalling.
You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. I've always believed that idiom. Be nice and you will gain more respect, and more importantly a more receptive listener. A lot of people might wonder where that saying applies. My opinion is nearly everywhere and especially in politics. According to Using English, the meaning of the phrase is as follows;
This means that it is easier to persuade people if you use polite arguments and flattery than if you are confrontational.
April 28, 2010
Quickly on the oil spill off the coast of Louisiana, some observations. This will likely re-energize the anti-drilling crowd, however it should not mute the pro-drilling crowd. The fact of the matter remains that drilling is necessary and oil spills can come from foreign-owned drilling platforms just as easily as American based platforms. Cuba has granted both China and Russia permission to search for oil. And since there is no solar or electric grail on the 5 or 10 year horizon just yet, the United States is going to continue to need to use oil for the foreseeable future. Here's the reality for those of you in the Birkenstock crowd - You can hope all you want for another reality but it won't change things.
Yesterday the markets took a tumble on the Standard and Poors downgrading of Greece's credit rating to that of junk. It was a three tier drop and that's a big deal. Lost in the panic of the possible spread of the credit crisis to other Euro nations like Portugal and Spain were two very important points about the United States.
April 27, 2010
According to the Congressional Budget Office, President Obama's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has been an absolute boon for climate change research funding.
From 1998 through 2009, appropriations for agencies’ work related to climate change totaled about $99 billion (in 2009 dollars); more than a third of that sum—$35.7 billion by CBO’s estimation—was provided in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (see the figure below). During that period, the nation’s commitment to climate-related technology development increased significantly, as has the forgone revenue attributable to tax preferences. Funding for climate science and international assistance, by contrast, stayed roughly constant.
Here it is graphically;
Or if you prefer, here it is visually;
Conservatives might be a little worried about the latest Rasmussen numbers on the generic Congressional ballot, showing Republicans ahead by 6%, when as recently as April 18th, they were ahead by 10%. But take heart. These numbers are astounding. Republicans at +6% are still poised to pick up a number of Congressional and Senatorial seats. Besides, there's no guarantee that the Democrat bounce from health care will hold. Like any other polling numbers, Rassmussen's numbers fluctuation from week to week anyway. Some of this might just be noise.
April 26, 2010
Whether you think Wall Street is the villain in the economic crisis of 2008-2009 or not, you need to know this, from the NRSC.
Don't let them blame Bush, Greenspan or Wall Street. They are at fault and are trying to distract you from that fact.
Democrats are cozy with Wall Street. But as a reminder, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were at least complicit, far more to blame than Wall Street. Democrats don't want to get rid of Fannie and Freddie though - they control them after all. Even more so now. Don't let the Democrats distract you from the truth;
Don't let them blame Bush, Greenspan or Wall Street. They are at fault and are trying to distract you from that fact.
It looks like President Obama didn't get his uber-bounce that Bill Clinton predicted he would get as a result of his health care bill passage. Further, it looks like the jobs prospects won't save Democrats in the mid-term elections either. The energy stuff isn't a winning issue for the Democrats either - Cap and Trade is dead. Blame Bush sounds like it will be offered as a defence for economic issues, but it's not going to be the main strategy. The pickings are slim for Democrats for campaigning. The last play in the playbook? Race-baiting over the new law in Arizona. I really hope that's what they run with. It'll help nobody in the Democrat party, and especially not Harry Reid.
April 25, 2010
Wizbang has an intriguing post on a white supremacist who was stabbed to death by his neighbor. Michael Laprarie draws a reasonable conclusion on why this might have happened. Unfortunately the conclusion is buried near the bottom of the article. The following excerpt really belongs at the top as the opening paragraph.
April 24, 2010
The inimitable James Burke, eloquently meandering through history with acute insight into how we got to where we are today. Continuing the Saturday Learning Series, with James Burke's Connections 3, Life Is No Picnic.
Previously in the series - An Invisible Object
What he said.
This was a good summary of the housing bubble culprits from John Stossel when he was on 20/20. His conclusion - too much government, not too little.
April 23, 2010
You know there's a lot of competition for the stupidest thing said in a given year, and 2009 and 2010 have been especially ripe with dumb comments. But this has to be a contender for the 2010 competition and for now, it's the odds-on favorite.
Posting musical content on the website on Fridays has been an enjoyable diversion but there are two problems with it. Firstly, the content posted via links to Youtube is often copyrighted material that gets removed or has the audio overwritten. So the posts are sometimes temporal at best. Secondly, they are a diversion from the main purpose of this blog. I intend to replace the Friday Musical Interlude with something more relevant but still diversionary in nature. Tricky. Frankly I have no clue what yet, but by drawing a line in the sand, I will be forced to come up with something.
April 22, 2010
Goldman Sachs donated to Obama - big time. When the left is attacking the Obama camp on the financial front, you know you've got problems. These are definitely worth the watch. Robert Rubin IS at the hub of all of this. Watch the clips and read the links at the bottom, particularly the Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman link.
April 21, 2010
April 20, 2010
According to Human Events,
In an outrageous denial of free speech rights, Miami-Dade Transit last week forced the removal of a “Leaving Islam” ad campaign on Miami buses because the ads might be “offensive to Islam.”
The Freedom Defense Initiative, the new organization I have begun with bestselling author and Jihad Watch director Robert Spencer, and the group Stop Islamization of America started the ad campaign as a defense of religious freedom.
Our ad asked, “Fatwa on your head? Is your family or community threatening you? Leaving Islam? Got questions? Get answers! RefugefromIslam.com.”
It was the first time anyone offered public help to people threatened under Islam’s death penalty for apostasy.
The religion of peace through intimidation. It's hard not to come across as an Islamophobe while clearly pointing out a problem, but things like this need to be pointed out. If intolerance is tolerated only in certain quarters, as many liberals would have it, then society is guaranteed to fail. The continuation of this type of one-sided intolerance is a dangerous trajectory for America.
Gallup continues to see the Obama slide. The article at Gallup today, titled Obama Approval Slips Further in Fifth Quarter to 48.8% , indicates that Obama has ratings that rank among the lowest for elected Presidents since WWII.
Obama began his presidency with some of the higher approval ratings for a new president in recent history. But the battle over healthcare reform and the continuing economic slump have apparently taken a toll on his popularity, and his averages for his third, fourth, and fifth quarters have all ranked on the low end historically.
The difference for Democrats between 1994 and today, is that Democrats have Obama this time around. I'm sure they're comforted by that thought.
April 19, 2010
I just finished posting about how the Democrats are going to hold their collective noses and embrace the Tea Parties as much as they can for the next few months. Obviously the internal polls look abysmal. It doesn't mean they've found religion, liberty, fiscal sanity or anything of the sort. Though they'll gladly play that role on TV. They need your vote. Now they don't necessarily hate you, but they do more closely align with the likes of Huffington Post types who can not so slickly hide their hatred.
Take a look at the list of profiled Democrats and liberals saying 'Hey you know what, those Tea Party people aren't nuts, they are people with valid concerns.' It's the old if-you-can't beat-em-join-em idea. It's a case trying to catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. It's metaphor overload. What it really is, is Democrats looking at the polling and realizing that they are in big trouble this fall. If they don't start getting people onside soon, they will suffer a bloodbath. So they're holding their noses and pretending they like us. It's not all they're planning but it's a big part, and it's already started.
With the government going after first Toyota, and now Goldman Sachs, I'm surprised more people haven't started to see the theme. The government is displaying predatory behavior towards what can only be concluded that it sees as rivals to it's own power. The Democrats are forwarding the idea that nobody should be too big to fail. That's hard to argue against, although the hypocrisy of doing it one year after the biggest bailout in the history of the world is legitimate grounds for questioning their sincerity.
Bloomberg has a story today about the volcano in Iceland not having a significant impact on the earth's climate like the Mount Pinatubo eruption in the Philippines in 1991, which spewed a reported 20 million tons of sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere. I call it a story because, well, when you ask some people for facts, a story is what you get instead.
April 18, 2010
There hasn't been anything big on the political front over the last little while. Since the passage of the health care bill into law, it seems everyone is taking a bit of a breather. That's not to say nothing is going on. There are a lot of things in the news that deserve our attention. Something is always going on - politics never rests. But it seems quite - too quiet.
April 17, 2010
Earlier I posted some comments and observations on a real libs of genius video by Secular Stupidest. Not to give away the ending, but I focused on a minimum wage issue. But I missed another, probably more important point at 55 seconds into that video. The protester who is protesting the protest (i.e. the liberal guy) mentions that he wants the power in the hands of the people and not the corporations. The conversation he is having is polite (good for him, as well as those he is talking with) but it is misguided.
On Tax Day in the United states, Sarah Palin was in Hamilton Ontario Canada, doing a hospital fundraiser. She made a generally positive impression. That's not really surprising, she's a charming person and speaks well, if colloquially. But we're talking about Canada here. The same place Anne Coulter was threatened and prevented from speaking. Fortunately, Canada is not a monolithic, homogeneously liberal culture. The protesters at her speech were, well - one guy.
Have you ever wondered how the study of black holes in space is related to French fungal infections? Maybe you should. The Saturday Learning Series continues with episode 4 of "Connections 3", An Invisible Object, in which he explains that connection for us.
April 16, 2010
April 15, 2010
Entrenched? Is health care reform going to become entrenched? Is Social Security sacrosanct? What about Medicaid and Medicare? Is the nation doomed to grow more socialist with every liberal victory never to repeal anything, never to move right in any substantive way? I say no. But let's be honest - the victories for conservatives have been few and far between. What's a movement conservative to do? Think outside the box. Starting with health care repeal. That's a mountain of a challenge. But it is not insurmountable.
April 14, 2010
One of the greatest tricks the Democrats have in their arsenal, an offshoot of Alinsky Tactics, is to keep conservatives playing the political game defensively. Whether it's trying to malign conservative intentions via baseless attacks of racism, sexism etc., or trying to move the political center ever leftward, conservatism is always under attack. The left is always trying to push it backward, trying to keep conservatism playing defense. Why has America been transformed, over decades - not just on Obama's watch, from a powerhouse of liberty, and self-reliance into a country that is debt-riddled, apologist, and a growing nanny-state? While still wealthy in resources and talent, why is America seemingly in an accelerating decline in terms of prestige and power? It's because those values, those freedoms, that energy and desire and right to try to succeed as embodied in the Protestant Work Ethic, have been slowly leeched away as progressives kept piling on with just one more thing. Guess what - that list of one more things, will NEVER stop. What's the solution? Start playing offense.
As if you need something else to worry about as far as an ever more intrusive big government goes, I've got one for you. I'm not a paranoid alarmist conspiracy theorist, I'm simply pointing out that the possibility exists and we are now one step closer to that possibility than we were less than one year ago.
April 13, 2010
And it will be more complicated 5 years from now. "I'm from the government and I'm here to help" doesn't fully capture today's problems with big government. What conservatives need is a simple talking point that explains how big government has become. Perhaps some sort of historic comparative would be helpful. Perhaps some sort of metaphor about a monstrous beast.
April 12, 2010
Unemployment by President. A little comparison of how Presidents have fared with unemployment. While the issue belongs more in the purview of Congress, this metric does influence Presidential elections. the graphs below provide some interesting comparison points.
Take a look at the chart below - it compares Congressional Democrats from 1974-1994 against Congressional Republicans from 1994-2006 and against Congressional Democrats from 2007 to present day as a trend over the months those parties had control of Congress, and therefore control of the national budgets.
April 11, 2010
Senator Joseph Lieberman, formerly a Democrat and now an Independent, for one, isn't sold on the Obama nuclear treaty with Russia.
If only we could see some of those back room deals and prove organized, criminal and undue influence was part of those non-CSPAN-covered health care negotiations. What crazy types of deals and arm twisting went on? It would be an absolute howl if this were true. Sad and unfortunate, but still a laugh.
Cook Political Report had a new analysis out on Friday about the seat of Democrat Bart Stupak in Michigan. With the announced retirement of Rep. Stupak, Cook has moved the district from Safe Democrat to a Toss Up status. If that's the case there are only three possible scenarios that caused Stupak to move (i) he really wanted to retire (ii) Cook's previous rating of Safe Democrat was not up to date - the safety of the seat had already slipped or (iii) Stupak saw more or more specific data than Cook did and the numbers looked bad. The latter two points are somewhat inter-related, and the former point, while in line with the official Stupak story doesn't quite cover the whole story either.
April 10, 2010
The difference between 2008 and 2010 is stunning. The idealized Obama for many people on the left never materialized. By running as an image, rather than being honest about his agenda, people fit him to their own ideal version of the President. that's clearly a great strategy for getting elected. The flip side of that coin, is that it's not so good for keeping people happy. If everyone was expecting their own version of a perfect President, 99.9% of people would eventually end up disappointed in at least some regard. With sliding poll numbers the President is witnessing the effects of that right now. Now for many liberals, the President has become, as a result of that disappointment, yesterday's news.
History not exciting? History not relevant to today? Bzzzzz! Wrong! Conservatives should know better than that, what with the whole standing on shoulders of giants approach to progress. In that light, one of the greatest and interesting historical minds of modern times, James Burke provides a fascinating exploration of how progress occurs. As he winds his way through history, he demonstrates that progress occurs, almost exclusively, by accident. That accidental progress is achieved through various, often seemingly unrelated "connections" between ideas or individuals.
April 9, 2010
Rasmussen's latest numbers on Obama have stopped the stopping of the bleeding on Obama. Apparently. I don't think the enthusiasm gap for Obama is going to return quite so quickly to pre-health-care-passage levels. My guess is it will take about 2-3 months to re-approach the original trend line. Ultimately though, this is starting to look like a bump, which is good news for Republicans. If this bump didn't manage more, it's not going to help Democrats in November, as we've long suspected it wouldn't.
Supreme Court Justice Stevens, aged about 734 (almost 90 actually), announced his impending retirement from the Supreme Court. Born in Chicago and having possessed an initially somewhat conservative judicial record, he was appointed to the Supreme Court by Gerald Ford in 1975. However he clearly drifted leftward and a statistical analysis in 2003 ranked him as the most liberal member of the Supreme Court - even more liberal than Justice Ginsberg.
April 8, 2010
Many countries have a value added tax (VAT). It's a tax at each stage of the economic cycle which can be fairly easily explained (see below). In considering the option the United States could easily implement a VAT and it would certainly see some strong gains in government revenue. For many years until the recession Canada had been running budget surpluses and in large part it was attributable to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) which is a VAT. But is adding an additional tax, especially in a lingering recession, the right way to go? That's a lot harder to justify. Still there's ways it could be done, for example replacing some existing taxation rather than simply piling new taxation on. And there are reasons conservatives could get on board with that part of the idea.
April 7, 2010
This video sort of speaks for itself. Do I think he's delusional? Not really, but I think he hopes that the electorate is delusional enough to buy this...hogwash.
Hat tip to Sarah Palin for the catch phrase. And also for one more Harry Reid disconnect with voters. Attacking Palin is so last year Harry. Then again, so are you.
Hat tip to Sarah Palin for the catch phrase. And also for one more Harry Reid disconnect with voters. Attacking Palin is so last year Harry. Then again, so are you.
According to McClatchy, the health care overhaul has spawned mass confusion for public, to which I say, if you think it's confusing now, wait until the actual rules kick in.
"They're saying, 'Where do we get the free Obama care, and how do I sign up for that?' " said Carrie McLean, a licensed agent for eHealthInsurance.com. The California-based company sells coverage from 185 health insurance carriers in 50 states.
McLean said the call center had been inundated by uninsured consumers who were hoping that the overhaul would translate into instant, affordable coverage. That widespread misconception may have originated in part from distorted rhetoric about the legislation bubbling up from the hyper-partisan debate about it in Washington and some media outlets, such as when opponents denounced it as socialism.
"We tell them it's not free, that there are going to be things in place that help people who are low-income, but that ultimately most of that is not going to be taking place until 2014," McLean said.
Adults with pre-existing conditions are frustrated to learn that insurers won't have to cover them until 2014 (though those under 18 will be protected in late September); then they become both hopeful and confused upon learning that a federal high-risk pool for them will be established in the next few months. "Health insurance is so confusing. You add this on top of it and it makes it even more confusing," McLean said.
What can you say except, ROFL? I'm not laughing at those who need help but the general expectation that everything would be lollipops, rainbows and unicorns. After all, that's what they promised.
If you're black, and you dare to be conservative be prepared for a backlash of furious insults and unfounded allegations. Breitbart has the story about how black conservative tea party backers take heat. Welcome to the club. Being black doesn't single you out for ridicule or special treatment among conservatives (I'm looking at you Michael Steele), all it does from the liberal media and punditry is leave you open to a specific line of attack that differs from the attacks other conservatives endure.
The 2010 elections are the most important focus for conservatives this year. Anything else is a diversion from the main focus. Yet it is incumbent on the Senate Republicans to keep an eye out for more Democrat Trojan horses. They are sure to come along all the time. The latest is the newest 9th Circuit Court judicial nominee.
David Frum, a CINM (conservative in name mostly) had an interesting article in Canada's National Post yesterday discussing the implications of a shadow Republican National Committee that aims to raise comparable amounts to the RNC itself, and act as an independent 527 group (which it is, no subterfuge involved). The group has some big names on board. What is interesting, is Frum's assessment of the implications of this group. I hate to say it, but the fact is they mostly make sense.
April 6, 2010
That might sound obtuse with the economy still in the tank but it actually makes a lot of sense for Republicans. Why? Because there is something simpler and much more profound that are at the top of voters minds right now and will continue to be through the remainder of 2010. What could possibly be more urgent than the economy?
April 5, 2010
Over at Hot Air, Doctor Zero has a great post about the Parable of the Referee. (Not to toot my own horn, I posted something similar last year and this year. Okay, maybe it's a little bit to toot my own horn.) But I'd like to delve a little further into something he wrote near the end of his essay.
To be trusted with such power and resources, the State must practice strict adherence to a basic set of laws which constrain its behavior, and which it cannot easily disregard or change. The rulebook for the American game is her Constitution. Fidelity to those rules would produce a small State with less influence to satisfy the appetite of hyper-competitive players who wish to cheat at the game… or its own appetite for purchasing votes and imposing its ideas of “fairness.” Disdain for the Constitution has led us to the present spectacle of referees who outnumber the players, unemployed players sitting dejectedly on the sidelines, and a dwindling number of investors willing to bet on a rigged game that will be decided by the whims of the officials.
The idea of a large, and yet scrupulously honest State is fraudulent to its core. As the State expands in size, it inevitably develops interests that lead to corruption.
Doctor Zero rightly points out the Constitution is of paramount importance, it is, in essence, Patient Zero. The point to be made is this, the rulebook of the game, the Constitution, despite being the rulebook, is not being followed, and the reason is that the rulebook itself, has left a loophole.
Conservatives looking for momentum in the fight to unseat Democrats in November, might be facing some trouble. Rasmussen's daily Presidential index is out and the graphs don't look good. Previous bounces for the President have looked quite ephemeral. The State of the Union speech bounce lasted less time than it takes to finish a Starbucks Venti. But this bounce looks like it might have a bit more staying power. It's not time to panic just yet, but it might be time for some concern.
April 4, 2010
April 3, 2010
I've said it before, President Obama is not the great orator the media proclaim him. He's not a terrible orator - he's had to have some saving grace to keep his approvals out of the high twenties, right? And it certainly wouldn't be his health care plan. He's got to use the former to sell the latter. And he's apparently doing just a bang up job of that...
From a CNN report on some Democrats being involved in the Tea Party;
Roxanne Lewis expressed a similar point of view. A small business owner in Grand Junction, Lewis described herself as a lifelong Democrat and called the president a "phenomenal speaker." She voted for him because she "believed in what he was saying: change."
But, Lewis added, "I should've listened a lot closer when he talked about 'spreading the wealth.' "
For a punchline, I refer you back to the title of this post.
Asked how she feels about having voted for the president, Lewis said "I feel lied to, cheated and raped."
No punchline needed.
After a break last weekend, the Saturday Learning Series continues with more from professor James Burke in his Connections 3, which is ironically, the 4th work in his series looking at how science and society are inter-connected back through history. As an added bonus, he also explains the why.
April 2, 2010
Earlier this week it was reported on ABC some town in Iowa decided to rename Easter to 'Spring Holiday'. The de-Christianification of America continues. They cited separation of church and state as their reason. It's more like separation of city officials and brains. Despite the ever-receding influence of Christianity in American politics and culture, it is still the dominant religion on the planet and in the U.S. It has nevertheless been tarnished and sullied at every turn by various progressive zealots.
The latest example, today Google's main page.
April 1, 2010
Some gentleman on Twitter accused me of promulgating a hoax, by posting about the Arctic Ice Cap rebounding this month. As much as I'm tempted to hurl insult for insult in this case, I won't. Insults are the tools of the uninformed or desperate. I didn't make this stuff up. There's science behind it.
Global warming skeptics are not "morons" for believing science that disagrees with yours. Scientists who provide this information are not part of some vast conspiracy of misrepresentation as you might believe. They have not been proven to have mislead via there data as have those on the side of global warming believers. They have less to prove than promoters of AGW. Keep that in mind next time you start hurling insults and accusations. You want science - we've got it.
Arctic Ice is back to normal. Almost. Wait, what? You know what that means? Another round of illogical explanations meant to befuddle the layman. If extra snow means global warming, surely more Arctic ice is also the product of a superheated planet on a road to meltdown ruin. Or something like that. The pretzel logic on this one should be worthy of Cirque Du Soleil's best contortionists.
Note to Al Bore: The science is settled? That's amazing because the earth's climate isn't, nor will it ever be.