December 31, 2010

Friday Musical Interlude - Platinum Blonde

Platinum Blonde - 3 songs from one 80's album.

It Doesn't Really Matter.

Standing In The Dark.

Not In Love.

December 27, 2010

The NFL analogy

Imagine if you will that the NFL, instead of postponing the Minnesota Vikings vs. Philadelphia Eagles game this weekend until Tuesday (?), it had actually declared a winner and assigned scores.  The game instead of being played on field would have been decided by bureaucrats.  Why bother to play the game if the winners can be pre-determined by fiat.  It's a little more blatant than pressuring the referees to make calls that favor one team over the other, which would still be wrong.

Now imagine a commissioner that believes every game should result in a tie.  A commissioner that felt the teams should spread around the skilled players more evenly.  What's the incentive for players to play hard or at all in that case?  

That's progressivism and it exists in your government America.  It is antithetical to successful teams, successful players and successful plays in football.  Why would it be any different in the real world?

No need to draw that analogy out.  Just remember every vote for an expanded government is like a vote for a bigger commissioner's office and that means more power that can be abused now or in the future.  

Let's hope Mr. Hope and Change doesn't take credit for it.

On June 3rd, 2008, the evening he won the Democratic Party's nomination for president, Barack Obama identified the time of his nomination as the day that global warming started to end.

"This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal."

Yes, he did say that (at 27:04 here). Set aside the ego, and consider the possibility that President Obama is both lucky and opportunistic.  When he ran for President the turning point in defeating John McCain who had begun to close the polling gap was the economic meltdown and Obama's cool response to the crisis compared to McCain's odd response. Circumstances and an opportunistic response worked in his favor.  Similarly in defeating Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for President, he was very opportunistic and had a lot of breaks go his way as well.  Granted, he has not always been as opportunistic as he could be, like with the Gulf oil spill, but he is an opportunist.  But that isn't of great consequence when luck is on his side.  Indeed, either factor alone can be enough at times.  But both working together can be an unbeatable combination.

December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, and blessings in the new year.

I'll be back before the New Year.

December 21, 2010

Napolitano's "24-7-364" decoded!

For a little bit of context, Janet Napolitano had made the following 'faux pas' recently when talking about Homeland Security.

The public is security is protected every day of the year but one?

There's been a lot of speculation about which day those who protect the American public have been taking off. Christmas, New Years? But I've decoded it.  Here's a clue;

The day off? She has to be talking about Cinco de Mayo.  Turn your backs for a day so illegals can get in.  Then later on, we'll just grant them amnesty.

NOTE: Before you go calling me a racist, I'm just making a point. I'm not at all against immigration - it's a big part of what made America great.  What I am against, as are so many others, is the rewarding of those who skip the line, ignore the rule of law, and demand special consideration for whatever reason.  How is that fair to those who go through the effort to immigrate properly and legally?  Violating the law is not worthy of praise or reward.  Laws either apply or they don't.  Special exemptions and special rules create a tiered hierarchy.  American was not founded on a caste system.  It was founded on liberty AND JUSTICE for all.  Justice does not mean being nice to illegal immigrants because they've had it tough, that is unjust to both Americans and their taxes as well as those who in say Nicaragua or Kenya or anywhere else who do not have the opportunity to sneak in under the cover of darkness.

Census data to be released this morning

Good news for President Obama? HA! Texas will surely gain a few seats, along with Florida and Arizona.  Democrat states like New York, Minnesota and New Jersey will likely lose a seat (or two).  Perennial swing state Ohio will probably lose a seat.  If Texas alone picks up 4, and New York loses 2, and the other two states I mentioned lose 1 each, then President Obama's re-election chances just got 8 electoral votes harder.  

You can see some coverage on Fox News, or apparently try this;

News Conference
Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. EST

National Press Club, 13th floor
Washington, D.C. 
Live WEBCAST will be available on event day. 
Dial-in number: 888-603-8938
Passcode: 2010 CENSUS

December 20, 2010

Me versus Democrats on jobs

Americans Are Looking For Jobs.
I haven't been posting all that much this month for a couple of reasons. A while back I lost my job so I've been busy interviewing and looking for a new job.  Things have been looking pretty promising on that front which bodes well for getting back to more political posts, and of course for me as well.  Being out of work is not fun. Of course Congress, the lame duck Congress mind you, is happily extending unemployment benefits for another two years or some such nonsense. That just seems like a national paid vacation for a bunch of people.  Of course some people need help.  But as others have said, the social safety net isn't meant to be a hammock.

I digress.

The other reason I haven't been posting is that it's the holiday season and I've been busy getting ready for Christmas.  Merry Christmas by the way.  That's right, I said it.  Again.

I expect to be back to regular posting soon after the holidays.  That's because I expect to be back at work and back on my regular schedule.  Why do I expect to be back at work? I feel confident about my prospects.

In my post about losing my job, I made the following comment;
Being laid off gives me a chance to practice what I preach about the government backing off and letting the private sector, as much as possible, handle it's own affairs.
Am I worried? Of course, a little bit. But I'm also confident that I will outperform my severance coverage period in being re-hired. Contrast that feeling, which granted could be misguided optimism, with this;
...And many Democrats felt that they held the high moral ground on the issues -- reauthorization of unemployment benefits extensions (regardless of cost) and giving the lowest income earners more or their money to put back into a flagging economy, not to mention taking the extra income from the reapplied taxes to the wealthiest (which would begin in the new year) to pay for federal programs and forestall increasing the national debt (which extending all of the Bush tax cuts for two years increases by $458 billion).
"I don't think it's a fair deal," Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) said. "I think a ransom was paid, and it was a very high price."...
In the end, however, after all the posturing and rhetoric has been put on display, the measure will no doubt see passage. Both parties know that to not vote for the unemployment benefits extensions would be a very unpopular move. They also know that to allow the deadline for the Bush tax cuts for everyone would be another extremely unpopular move. And since every politician's basic instinct is to perpetuate his/her tenure in office, there will be compromise.
Perhaps. But, ironically, the possibility exists that Democrats, who have long lambasted Republicans for their unwillingness to compromise, could thwart the proposed efforts to find a little common ground, pushing the Bush tax cuts beyond the deadline and watching the long-term unemployed continue without assistance into the coldest months of the year.
Am I too confident or is Congress too cowardly?  Just asking. Like most people I don't want to be unemployed.  Like most people I can't imagine being out of work for two years.  That doesn't mean it won't happen.  But if government were to pay me to be out of work for two years, and pay me to buy a new car, and stop the bank from foreclosing because I'm getting behind in my mortgage payments, I'm not going to be too motivated.  There's no fire lit under my, er, feet. 

Safety nets are good. Paid unproductivity is not.

P.S. Thanks to Paul Mitchell at Mean Ol' Meany, who was very supportive and offered to take a resume. Very cool, and not very mean at all.

December 18, 2010

FAIL: DREAM Act cloture

The DREAM has died. Whew. The DREAM Act cloture has failed, 55-41. Since the Democrats are running out of time, and since they expected this, it should be their last kick at the can this session. Via Hot Air: (quoting Desert News):
Senate Republicans have blocked a bill to grant hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children a chance to gain legal status if they enroll in college or join the military.

Sponsors of what they call the Dream Act needed 60 Senate votes for it, but fell five short. The House passed the bill last week. It was a last-ditch effort to enact it before it Republicans take control of the House from Democrats in January.
That's good news. I'd explain why for the uninitiated, but I don't have time today.  Perhaps in another post.

December 17, 2010

Friday Musical Interlude - The Story of Light

Some mood music from William Orbit, The Story of Light. Today's Friday musical interlude is for chilling.

December 16, 2010

Obama to Dems: Don't Forget, It's All About Me

This sort of thing amazes me.  How do people not see these sorts of things as self-indulgent, narcissistic, opportunistic, everyone-else-be-damned it's all about me 'leadership'.  President Obama is nothing if not out for himself.  Asking Democrats to fall on their swords so he could get his health care was one example.  Now this. After brokering some compromise with Republicans, who incidentally didn't need to cut a deal, on extending the Bush Tax Rates (let's stop calling them cuts, because they are no longer cuts), President Obama apparently told lawmakers that his Presidency was on the hook if the deal didn't get passed.  He's probably right, but is that his closing argument?  The closing argument isn't that the country couldn't afford a double dip recession because of tax hikes imposed during a fragile recovery?  As The Hill points out, perhaps inadvertently, for Obama this is all about President Obama;
Obama is telling members of Congress that failure to pass the tax-cut legislation could result in the end of his presidency, Rep. Peter DeFazio (Ore.) said.

"The White House is putting on tremendous pressure, making phone calls, the president is making phone calls saying this is the end of his presidency if he doesn't get this bad deal," he told CNN's Eliot Spitzer...

During the end of the healthcare debate, Obama reportedly told Democrats upset that the bill did not contain a public healthcare option that not passing it could put his presidency on the line and stall the liberal agenda for decades.
As they say in Latin, 'res ipsa loquitur'. I'm not sure who is busy speaking Latin outside of the Roman Catholic Church, but if they were, somebody would be saying it.

December 14, 2010

I can't get behind Huckabee

Not the guy.
I like Mike Huckabee.  He says a lot of good things about national security, taxes and business,  He seems like a decent guy.  But sometimes he says things that make me shake my head. Enough so that while I think he's right on a lot of issues, he's not the right guy for the Republicans to nominate for President in 2012.

I just finished a post about Michelle Obama's fight against childhood obesity.  Certainly it's something that can be rallied around by everyone.  Unhealthy children - who can support that?  Nobody wants unhealthy children.  But it's not simply enough to say that it's a bad thing for children to be unhealthy.  How you go about solving the problem shows whether you have bona fide conservative values or you are just paying lip service to the ideals and still going to be (or are) governing as a big government liberal.  

Michelle Obama's secret political agenda on food

"What's your name, fat-body?"
Normally, it's an unwritten rule that keeping families out of politicians out of the spotlight is a fair thing to do.  Indeed it's noble to not cover them, particularly in the case of children.   While the mainstream media was good with Laura Bush in terms of her efforts as First Lady, one has to question whether it was out of that sense of nobility or simply that broadcasting anything that showed any Bush in a good light was not advancing the cause of liberal Democrats.  After all, Laura Bush focused her efforts as First Lady on education and literacy.  That it was done without much fanfare is not surprising. Yes, she did receive coverage, but not like Michelle Obama and her war on obesity.

Now consider the drubbing the Palins take in the media as if somehow that family deserves everything it gets. Does that mean the gloves are now off because it suits the media's bias?  All is fair now? I don't think so.  I have tried to not comment on Michelle Obama much.  But in light of the additional coverage she's getting, and the fact that her statements have impacted the national discourse, it seems fair that commenting on her comments that have become political is not out of bounds.

December 12, 2010

Sunday Reading Material

Here's some Sunday reading links for you.  Read right to the end and follow the links, there's a few important posts that are worth your time.

December 10, 2010

Friday Musical Interlude - Christmas Edition I

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings as sung by The Barenaked Ladies with the Boston Pops and Sarah McLachan.  Both Ed Robertson and Steve Page from the band went to my high school and in fact my brother knew them both - they were in a number of classes together and Ed and Steve frequently used to hang out at the little burger place where my brother worked .

December 9, 2010

Stupid Statement of the Year?

Yet another nominee for this year's stupidest statement, comes from a Democrat.  This time, after the House Democrats caucused on Obama's tax compromise with Republicans.  The compromise had plenty of things in it both Democrats and Republicans disliked.  For Republicans there was yet another extension of unfunded unemployment benefits.  And for Democrats, the extension of the Bush tax cuts for everyone including those in the highest tax bracket (in other words, the status quo) was not desired. It truly was a compromise, and while the President was on board with it, House Democrats roundly rejected it.

December 8, 2010

Michael Goodwin's Take On Obama's Tax Cut Deal

In a seemingly after thought addendum to his article on how Hillary Clinton blew it by signing on with Obama in 2008, Michael Goodwin offers great insight into Obama's anger as it relates to his tax cut compromise. Here it is - succinct, and bang on;
After watching President Obama give two speeches and a press conference in two days, I can now confidently summarize his logic on the tax deal.
Republicans are evil for making him do it. And Democrats are stupid for not understanding why he did it.
In other words, he's moral and wise, and you're not.
To call Obama's performance unpresidential doesn't do justice to his shotgun fury. After lashing out yesterday at his base -- The New York Times editorial page, "purists," liberals and "sanctimonious" Democrats -- he accused Republicans of holding tax cuts for the wealthy as "their Holy Grail." He also charged them with "hostage taking" because they insisted on blocking tax hikes for any Americans.
Read it here in the NY Post.  My take, although I didn't get into some of Goodwin's first points, was similar.

Politically, the fallout is interesting.  It seems like this could be the start of an Obama shift to the center, at least visually.  The criticism from the left reinforces that dynamic.  Still, I think the pettiness on display is going to alienate a lot of people and harm him rather than hurt him in the long run.

Moral relativism in journalism

Click the picture to check out the source.
In my last post I was ranting about CNN. King Shamus made an excellent comment about how CNN is made to look moderate by the outlandish liberalism from the likes of MSNBC. Rather than respond in the comments section, I thought the discussion deserved its own post because moral relativism does exist in journalism.

What is moral relativism?  Moral relativism claims  morality isn't based on any absolute standard. According to that line of thinking, ethical 'truths' depend on things like specific situations, culture, feelings, etc.  What's wrong with that?

December 7, 2010

They're ALL out to lunch!

Coming soon to a superpower near you.
I was reading a CNN article on the President's statement today about the tax compromise. I should learn to stay away from CNN all the time (I usually do) because it had me ready to blow a gasket. Go take a read, I'll wait. When you come back I'd like to point a few things that are wrong with the piece.

Okay, let's get a few things straight - allowing a tax cut to expire, is the same thing as raising taxes. Just like lowering the tax rates twice under Bush were tax cuts. And another thing - Obama basically stated today that the Republicans were anxious to do away with the middle class tax cuts in two years - as if he were the true champion of tax cuts. The man has no shame. The man is the champion of spread the wealth, not tax cuts.

Unconscionable: Obama calls Republicans hostage-takers

Obama announced the deal with Republicans in true Obama fashion, with invectives against his political opposition.  Saying the GOP held middle class tax cuts hostage to cuts for the rich, is simply wrong.  Republicans want the tax cuts for everyone.  Take a look at this quote from the President;
"It's tempting not to negotiate with hostage takers — unless the hostage gets harmed. Then, people will question the wisdom of that strategy. In this case, the hostage was the American people, and I was not willing to see them get harmed."
That is an unconscionable statement. It's not only insensitive to those who have had to deal with real hostage trauma, it's a ridiculous and misleading assertion.  Not only did he call the Republicans hostage takers in their approach to tax cuts, he actually stated that he expects Republicans to fight to end the middle class tax cuts in two years (i.e. leaving only the tax cuts for the wealthy).  Anyone who believes the GOP would do that is a fool.  The GOP certainly doesn't see things that way, and even if they did it would be political suicide to pursue that.  The President knows that and so his statement in the video below is a falsehood.  It's a deliberate lie.

For the first time in his presidency he has had to compromise (not pretend compromises like with the health care bill, but real ones). The sad fact is that he can't even compromise well.  He still has to get in his digs at the Republicans.  He could not be magnanimous in victory, he could not be magnanimous in defeat, and he cannot be magnanimous in compromise.

While compromise on tax cuts might actually help unemployment and could help him win re-election in 2012, his vindictive and acrimonious nature I think will ultimately be his undoing.

December 6, 2010

A Repeal Amendment? Not A Bad Idea, A Terrible One.

Amendments? Who does that?
The United States Constitution is an incredible document.  It even established protocols for its own future modification. A discussion has arisen, about adding an amendment that would allow a method for states to repeal  acts of Congress (HT: Ed Morrissey).  Ironically, the Virginia legislature idea got an endorsement from the libertarian think tank The Cato Institute.  They've both had and supported a lot of good ideas.  This isn't one of them.

There's a lot of appeal to the idea of having a method to put the brakes on a runaway government, bent on imposing its will on the people.  The idea also allows for a balance between states' rights and federal power.

Copenhagen Climate Accord - Because Obama's Different

Climate Police?
The U.K. publisher The Guardian has an interesting article on some of the events leading up to the Copenhagen Climate Accord.  One of the interesting outcroppings of the WikiLeaks scandal, is the apparent manipulation and behind the scenes arm twisting that went on to get other nations on board for the accord.

While I'm certainly not a fan of WikiLeaks' political agenda under the supposed guise of transparency, this is an interesting twist;

December 3, 2010

Unemployment at it's roots - Pelosi

So unemployment has climbed to 9.8%.  Are you still surprised at this point?  That is, assuming you are not one of the experts who keeps using the word unexpectedly to describe each and every rise.  Economists who expected the rate to remain flat at 9.6%, forgot to factor in the tweaking that undoubtedly was in place leading up to the mid-term elections.  It was probably closer to 9.8% for the last few months.  Of course that's just speculation on my part.

But I don't speak with the same level-headedness of say a Nancy Pelosi when it comes to unemployment.

With that 'unemployment creates jobs' and 'debt creates wealth' sort of mentality, I guess 'unexpectedly' really is the new normal.  This sort of mindset, typified by Pelosi, is at the root of all these problems.  It reminds me of that saying, 'the only job where you start at the top, is digging a hole'. The irony I'm sure, is lost on Pelosi.

Friday Musical Interlude - Hooverphonic

Hooverphonic - 2 Wicky. Think of Portishead or Morcheeba - this is a similar sound.

December 2, 2010

Bernie Sanders, socialist, asks an important question.

It appears the Federal Reserve aid to the ailing banking sector went in no small amount to European financial institutions. While not alone in questioning the logic of the move of a country facing it's own solvency issues bailing out foreign institutions, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, asks one of the right questions (via FT);
“We’re talking about huge sums of money going to bail out large foreign banks,” said Bernie Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont. “Has the Federal Reserve of the United States become the central bank of the world?”
Sanders is a socialist.  Yet even he gets it.  It doesn't matter whether European banks have a presence in the U.S. or not - the bailout money was to keep financial institutions afloat. But not all institutions were meant to be protected.  That money comes from American taxpayers (or more correctly, future taxpayers). It is simply not meant to bail out Barclay's. Let Britain do that if it's needed. Or more appropriately, let the banks who have made bad lending decisions fail and it will teach the survivors a lesson - namely, be smarter about your lending decisions. And as a side note, another lesson is to keep the government out of lending decisions.
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