May 31, 2011

User Input Required

I've entered another busy period in my day job with a very limited amount of time to spend on Nonsensible Shoes over the next few weeks.  I have no intention of mot posting at least on a daily basis, although some of the posts will be short observational level posts.  In fact most of them will probably be shorter.  But I do want to keep an occasional more detailed post - perhaps one or maybe even two a week.  But that's where I need your help.

May 30, 2011

U.S. Border and Customs "Efficiency"

I'm sure being a customs agent is no picnic, especially in light of what has happened with terrorism over the last decade. But just like the TSA agents groping people, border security agents along the Canadian border don't seem to understand that people going to shop in the United States are not your enemies.

Memorial Day

A simple moment of silence today, in memory.

May 29, 2011

Understanding a different mindset.

Evil bogeymen.
Why? It's the most powerful question a person can ask. Some of the greatest learning opportunities can arise by asking that question. This post wasn't premeditated - it was written this morning as a hypothesis in response to asking myself this question: Why do liberals act differently, and even deeper, perceive things differently, than conservatives do? Let's take a step back for a moment from the partisan combative political environment the United States finds itself currently in. What inspires a progressive liberal to think about government the way they do, and how is it different from what inspires a conservative to think the way they do about government? Conversely, are there any similarities? I believe the similarity is a fundamental human emotion - fear. The difference, is what it is that they fear.

May 28, 2011

Saturday Learning Series - Civilization (Property)

Part three of Niall Ferguson's series on Civilization: Can the West Survive, looks at property - another of the six unique factors that led to the preeminence of the West. A fascinating stroll through important history.

(Part 1Part 2)

May 27, 2011

Let's all pretend Obama is tough now.

Yes, I'm this great.
Let's assume for the sake of discussion that President Obama's new found toughness is real and not a re-election tactic designed to fool semi-aware voters. Even if he is suddenly a tough guy, it doesn't make his foreign policy and foreign relations effort any less inept.  But that won't stop the White House and a complicit press from trying to spin the yarn about a tough guy President - an image they feel he needs for re-election in 2012.

May 26, 2011

Yet more wild-eyed liberal hypocrisy

Debbie Wasserman Schulz, head of the democratic National Committee claimed that if it were up to the GOP, Americans would all be driving foreign cars.  Why?  Why on earth would she think Republicans want that?  Because they opposed the bailout?


Framers of the first impression

Would you trust this guy?

Let's face it, as great as we know the Constitution is, there are no new 'episodes'. This isn't Big Bang Theory. The Founding Fathers kicked of a Golden Age in political philosophy that dwarfs most (not all) achievements since. But it's old news to most Americans. There's never a breaking news alert on The Bill Of Rights. There is however, breaking news when Harry Reid speaks. Or Pelosi. Or even Paul Ryan.

May 25, 2011

Consistency on Attempted Murders

Jarod Loughner was declared schizophrenic and unfit to stand trial for the attempted murder of Representative Gabrielle Giffords.  Liberal Democrats might be seething over this, but we should expect consistency from them on liberal judicial processes. For my part, I'll be consistent; insanity is an overused defense, and the exceptions should be few and far between for the truly unfit to stand trial.  Lacking a preponderance of evidence beside the opinions of three psychiatrists, I would say that the trial should go forward at this point.  The insanity defense seems just a little too convenient.

HELLO???? Republicans are not ending Medicare.

Clinton-Ryan. C'est what?
For Heaven's sake, the Republicans ARE NOT TRYING TO END MEDICARE.  The Ryan budget proposes no such thing.  The plan simply tries to propose a way to deal with a cost that cannot be sustained and will bankrupt America.  Whether you agree with the Ryan plan or not (and I'm willing to bet those same vocal people who are against it haven't read it, just like the people who voted for Obamacare are never really read it), at least it poses an idea.  Something HAS to be done, one way or another.

Obama's Latest Cringe-worthy Moment

OOFAH!  Watching this train wreck,  I'm almost tempted to feel sorry for the President.  Almost.  Okay not at all.  This is a fun watch.

I love the guy who was staring daggers from behind Prince Phillip.  It's easier to see on the CBS youtube video, but the embedding has been disabled for that one.

Two Word (or less) Opinions Again

When I'm busy with my day job I'm relegated to quick posts.  Nothing is much quicker than two word opinions.  While that can be shallow, it can also distill ideas into black and white, good versus bad, yes or no simplicity.  If that's all that ever came about, two word opinions would be bad.  As a starting point for further discussions later on, they make a good headline on a position.

NY26: Corwin Concedes.

It's Over Johnny.

May 24, 2011

I think she's in.

RealClearPolitics has an article entitled "Palin's Secret Weapon: New Film to Premiere in June". I can't help but think she's going to run when I read it.  If she's not running, then this is going to be promotion that puts Donald Trump's efforts to shame.  Everything from her fire in the belly, to the recent speeches to the roll out sequencing of this film, seems to indicate Palin will run.

NY26 Special Election - GOP slidage.

Why is it always upstate NY where the conservatives in the GOP seem to lose touch with winnable races? Remember NY23? There's a self-proclaimed Tea Party candidate who isn't really. The Washington establishment, and Democrats are looking to a possible upset in this Republican-leaning district, and are going to frame it as an anti-Paul-Ryan Medicare statement by the American people. Silly. However, it's ammunition for Democrats nonetheless.

Who Is on the GOP B-Roll?

Not B-Roll
Rumor has it that Rudy Giuliani is considering a 2012 run (Fox News).  Other second tier candidates like George Pataki (Politico), Jeb Bush (Politico) and are seeing their names re-surface or being floated.  With some big and medium-level names like Huckabee, Trump, and Daniels opting out, there is some perceived room for others who might have previously been considered long shots for the 2012 nomination.  But how many of these names are serious, how many are trial balloons, and how many are wishful thinking or just plain crazy?

May 23, 2011

New Category of Republicans

What can Brown do for you? Not much. He's no UPS.
Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown has decided to not endorse Paul Ryan's budget plan.  Understandably, in the liberal state of Massachusetts it's hard to be a Republican and do anything.  Especially in the seat formerly known as "Ted Kennedy's seat" and find things to actually be Republican about.  Something.  Anything?

Obama Walking It Back On Israel

You give up land, see how you like it.
I'm not sure walking it back is enough here. The president should be in a full out sprint of his comments on Israel. As a historical equivalent, imagine of Great Britain demanded that America return to the borders with Mexico prior to the Mexican Cessation of 1848.  How would President Obama, or Americans react to that?  Land for peace - good idea right?  All the illegal migration would stop, the violence along the border would stop. Things would be all rainbows and unicorns.  Right?  Right?

As Expected, Pawlenty In

No surprise, Tim Pawlenty has entered the GOP race for president. The opening piece isn't bad at all. But this is not a sprint, it's a marathon and this is merely the first step. A single video isn't going to do much, but as a start goes, not bad.

I'm not a Pawlenty supporter, but as I've said before of other candidates - I'd support him over Obama any day.

Victoria Day

Here in Canada it's Victoria Day, one of two national celebrations with fireworks, of the birthday of Queen Victoria. Queen Victoria was Queen when monarchs still played an important role in the shaping of nations. While the parliament managed most of the British affairs, she did exert a lot of behind the scenes influence and clearly played a key role in the shaping of Great Britain. Her reign of over 63 years (the longest female monarch reign in the history of the world) saw a period of industrial growth, scientific progress, cultural greatness, military power and an incredible expansion of the British Empire.

But I'm Canadian, not British. Yes we're part of the Commonwealth but that really isn't very relevant today. Besides, I'm more of an American in my values and ideals.

I view history as an important prelude to the geo-politics of society and nations today. Queen Victoria certainly presided over a very significant growth of Western power, and a true emergence of British preeminence. Those are important achievements. However, her reign of industrial and empire expansion is more removed from me than the precepts held by America's founding fathers. It is every leader's responsibility to ensure the best economic conditions for the citizenry. She did that very well. But she cannot be viewed with the same sort of reverence reserved for Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Ben Franklin and the like.

May 22, 2011

Dictator Watch: Your Putin Me On!

From The Australian,
RUSSIAN Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has decided to run for the presidency next year, raising the possibility of a power struggle with his protege Dmitry Medvedev, the incumbent Kremlin leader, say highly placed sources.

The once-close relationship between Mr Putin, the tough-talking former KGB officer who has inspired a personality cult, and Mr Medvedev, a softly spoken Twitter enthusiast, has become increasingly fractious amid speculation in Moscow that the younger man wishes to stand again.

Insiders familiar with both leaders said Mr Putin, who served eight years as president before becoming Prime Minister three years ago, had begun to lose confidence in Mr Medvedev's loyalty.

Under the constitution, Mr Putin's move to reclaim the presidency could see him rule for two consecutive six-year terms until 2024, when he will be 72. If so, he would have served as prime minister or president for 24 years in all.
You knew the former KGB officer wasn't going away. But does anyone really think the world would be better off with him heading Russia than Medvedev? Will Putin win?  Chance are he'll find a way to win, legal or otherwise.

Cain in, Daniels Out. Now what?

To catch everyone up on what's going on, Herman Cain is running in the GOP primaries.  Mitch Daniels another suspected candidate, surprisingly, is not.  Add Daniels' name to Huckabee and Trump, as a candidate who was a pretty safe bet to run and has dropped out before the race has begun.  Add to that the fact that Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul have all said some pretty foolish things that make their nominations unlikely at best, as did Daniels' record for that matter. So far it seems like the GOP primary is starting off with a fizzle.  Romney has to be considered a clear front runner at this point.  Romney won't generate much enthusiasm in the primaries but with a disjointed field of relative unknowns, he has the easiest path to primary victory.  So far.

A Sunday Laugh At Biden's Expense

Yesterday I was looking for some information related to a post I was working on and I stumbled across this website put up by the White House.  They've decided to heavily involve Vice President Joe Biden in the Strong Middle Class farce.

The video is comical in it's dishonesty (or at a minimum political spin), but what truly surprised me and got me laughing was that this video is on the front page.  Why?  The ending is a literal show stopper. It's funny.

Half-baked indeed.  That's much like a lot of this administration's plans and ideas.

May 21, 2011

Hey, we're still uh, here...

Thank you Mr. Camping, for wasting our time.  You're 0 for 2 on Doomsday predictions.  That is unless...the world did end 23 minutes ago and we are all now in a new alternate reality that is exactly the same as the old one.

Saturday Learning Series: Is The West History? (Part 2)

In the first part of this series, Niall Ferguson looked at competition as the impetus for the rise of the West.  Not only competition among companies but also critically competition among nations.  European competition among neighbors made it an imperative to succeed or die - sink or swim.

May 20, 2011

On this date: May 20, 1969

Hamburger Hill.
United States and South Vietnamese forces captured Hamburger Hill. Among others, the 101st Airborne was involved. While the battle may not have been well considered, or planned casualties were actually not exceptionally high.  However, the impression back home was one of the early turning points in the support for the war.

DNC fear mongering; hey thanks Newt!

Seriously Newt, did you expect anything different?

Thanks for handing them 2012 fodder.  Really helpful.

Dictator Watch: Wait, Ahmedinejad Lies?

Charlie Rose interviewed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in September 2007. Ahmedinejad had some very clear things to say about nuclear weapons and Iran.  Some very positive things, enough to warm the heart of any naive or apologist liberal.

May 19, 2011

Separation of Economics and State

An Early Warning from Ayn Rand on what welfare ultimately would do to the United States.  While I'm not a complete laissez faire libertarian it is truly difficult to argue that only a little bit of welfare is okay.  Where does 'a little bit' become too much?  Everyone's definition would be different.  From the point of view of a need to avoid creeping socialism, only ZERO welfare would ensure it doesn't creep.  That's the only truly safe point.  And as I mentioned earlier and Ayn Rand points out, charity is a natural human inclination if afforded the opportunity.

Great Obama Picture

From President Obama's latest Middle East speech that undercuts Israel, Vanden Brink's Blog has a cool picture of the President.

Stick to the code!

"We stick to the code!"

Pirates of the Caribbean enthusiasts will remember the references to the pirate code. The specific part of the code I want to talk about is the mention of "anyone who falls behind, gets left behind".

Nonsensible Announcement

With a headline like that anyone other than regular visitors can be forgiven for assuming I was talking about an Obama announcement on aid to Egypt. I'm not really.  It's not about him.  It's about me.

May 18, 2011

Two Word Opinions

I'm trying to work on a couple of longer posts right now.  Between those and being busy in my day job, posting has been a little slower than I like.  There's a bunch of things to post on that would be great to discuss if I had the time.  However, with the limited time available let me instead rattle off a bunch of  dismissive two word opinions about some topics that may (or may not) deserve longer than I've allocated.  Two words typically don't do a topic justice and are obviously oversimplified.  But they can be fun.

Arnold Schwarzenegger marital issues - Doesn't matter.

Oil prices below $100 - Temporary Dip.

Michelle Bachmann - Go girl.

Ron Paul - Can''t win

Newt Gingrich - Jumped shark.

Socialist IMF head in rape scandal - Scum bag.

Medvedev cold war talk - bring it.

Debt Ceiling - Debt CEILING!

Pakistan - play hardball.

Potatoes banned in schools? - Soma instead?

NLRB dictating to Boeing - Back off!

May 17, 2011

Mitt Romney 2008 vs. Mitt Romney 1986

Here's a relatively recent Mitt Romney clip from his run in 2008.

And here is his Coke commercial from 1986...

Is that the same guy, or am I wrong?

I know, I know I'm violating Reagan's 11th here. But this is mild. And besides, he does look a little and jerk his head a little bit like Max Headroom.  And it's not like I said he was a radical right wing social engineer or anything (mainly because he isn't.  Right wing that is).

Okay here's some due for Mitt.  He seems to be a fiscal conservative.  He'd be better marginally than O.  That's just not enough to make him my first, or fourth, choice.  If it came down to him and O, I'd pull for him but I wouldn't be all that happy about it.  That's all the faint praise I can muster.

Inspirational Life

At about 9:30 Sunday night I got home from travelling on the weekend.  I was feeling a bit hungry so I went to a sub shop to get a sub.  The store was unsurprisingly empty late that late on Sunday, half an hour before the place closed.  The young man behind the counter I had spoken with before so we chatted while he made the sub.  His story is inspiring so I thought I'd share it.  I do however need to maintain his anonymity.

He is here from Afghanistan (I won't say exactly where).  His family is all back home, living under the threat of terrorism, and in fact have even been affected by it.  He came here alone, at the age 15 and has been attending a local high school and working late nights to support himself.  He has a scholarship to help make the payments.  His goal is to graduate high school and attend university.  Ultimately he wants to graduate university and get a job so he can bring his family here, out of the horror that is Afghanistan.  He's now 17 years old.  He's in what is a foreign country to him, without family support and trying to do everything he can to improve his life and his family's life.  That's courageous and commendable.

Even though it's not the norm for a take out sub shop, I gave him a tip.

Quick Post: GOP Clearing the decks?

I was thinking initially that Newt Gingrich might be intentionally sabotaging his own chances to allow conservative voters to coalesce around another candidate to combat Romney.  But why not him?  And why would he enter the race just prior to doing that?  Why did both Mike Huckabee  and Donald Trump drop out so close together?  Why did Ron Paul say that going after Bin Laden was wrong?  Why did John Huntsman just declare that he believed the science behind global warming because 90% of scientist were behind it (wrong.  And there was a time 90% of scientists were behind the earth being flat).  

That's a lot of drop outs and flubs that seemingly make candidates unelectable, in a relatively short time.  Maybe the GOP establishment, including other candidates, are clearing the decks for Mitt Romney to walk through the primaries.  The thinking might be that a quick and easy primary leaves more time to marshal resources (money and volunteers) and efforts around a single candidate in order to combat the expected money machine.  I hope not.  It's a slap against a democratic process.  It's short-sighted too.  The GOP would be bypassing an opportunity and also leave the last man standing as a long term target for the mainstream media.

This might provide a perfect opportunity for Palin or Bachmann to step in as the Romney alternative.  And who knows, maybe that is the real motivation here.

May 16, 2011

Read Meat Time: Abandoning Gingrich

Newt Gingrich has done a lot of good for the country in the past. Welfare reform and balanced budgets typically attributed erroneously to President Clinton should be credited in large part to Gingrich. But that was over 15 years ago. What has Newt done since? He's done things to alienate himself from the conservative base in what seems to be a misguided effort to own the center. It's a center that he doesn't seem to realize the left has been dragging ever-leftward for the better part of a century.

May 15, 2011

Obama head fake on offshore drilling

According to the New York Times, President Obama is planning on opening up oil drilling off of Alalska and the Gulf Coast.  Except, as Drudge points out, that was what the NYT said about the Obama plan over a year ago. Why is it being recycled?  2012. It's an election ploy.  Don't fall for it.  President Obama would rather see big oil in America go the way of Standard Oil.

There are other layers of consideration in this too - deep water drilling versus near shore drilling. There have been issues with existing licenses that Obama has glossed over.  And what about onshore drilling? Is that still off the table?  If so, why?

This is a transparent effort to come up with the next bump for Obama - don't let it fool anyone.

On This Date: May 15th, 1911

Add caption
On this date in 1911, the United States Supreme Court dissolved Standard Oil (under the Sherman Antitrust Act). Was that a yawn? It shouldn't be a yawner.  It was yet another victory for progressivism over American business. Check out some of the doings of this supposedly 'evil' big business, and the results it suffered from simply seeming to be too big.

May 14, 2011

Obama's Job Approval Bump Over - Gallup

According to Gaullup (via Drudge), Obama's Job Approval is back down to 48% approval versus 45% disapproval. That's worse for him than Mar 28 - March 30. Killing Bin Laden didn't do it for him. This President is still completely beatable by a solid GOP candidate.  The economy is to iffy, and killing Bin Laden isn't entirely owned by Obama, clearly.  The debt, Obamacare and big government in general are trumping the bump.

Speaking of trumping, the candidate won't be Trump. It definitely won't be Huckabee. But a decent candidate whomever it turns out to be, should be able to win in 2012.


Via Fox,
Mike Huckabee said Saturday there would be no sequel to his surprisingly strong 2008 White House bid, in which he won the Iowa Republican caucus and finished second in the primaries to Sen. John McCain. 
"All the factors say go, but my heart says no," Huckabee, who was considered the GOP frontrunner in several national polls, said on his Fox News Channel show.
I'm surprised. Really. I wasn't a Huckabee guy, despite thinking he is a good guy. Nevertheless, I'm surprised by this. My main concern is that it might be Mitt Romney who mosts benefits from this.

My conspiratorial side wonders if there's been a conversation between Huck and Sarah Palin - they both work at Fox - and one decided to stand aside for the other. Or even worse - what if that conversation took place between Mitt and Mike? Is it possible Huckabee was promised a VP slot?

This does shake up the race. The fallout has yet to be seen.

Geithner threatens a recession.

Guy in a Bigfoot suit: just as relevant
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner had the nerve to say that if the debt ceiling wasn't raised, there was a real danger of a double dip recession.  Those two things have next to nothing to do with each other.  A double dip is possible based on poor economic decisions of this administration and previous Congresses.   Nevertheless, Geithner says raise the debt ceiling or else...
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said if Congress fails to lift the debt ceiling and the U.S. defaults on its obligations “this abrupt contraction would likely push us into a double dip recession,” painting the most explicitly dire prediction to date of the consequences of inaction.
Don't worry, I have a solution for Mr. Geithner.  Just have the president issue everyone a waiver on the recession.  He should be used to it by now.

Obama toughness and voters

I have this nagging suspicion that President Obama has two reasons to go long on war.  He has to prove to a doubtful electorate that he's a tough guy, that's he's not squeamish when it comes to flexing American muscle.  That killing Bin Laden thing has been a bright spot on an otherwise disjointed abysmal record.  He needs a Second Act. He may also have that starve-the-beast mentality towards the military: stretch them so thin with entanglements that there's a collapse in effectiveness and perhaps support for that type of spending.  

Civilization: Is the West History? (Part 1)

Today's Saturday Learning Series entry is a must watch for political and economic history enthusiasts..

The West has dominated civilization for the last half millennium. Niall Ferguson boils down to six different ideas (or killer apps as he calls them) that were relatively unique to the West and explains over this 6 part series how it happened and what might be needed to sustain that leadership position for Western democracies. Part 1 looks at what got the ball rolling for the West - competition.

May 11, 2011

Romney setting himself up for failure?

Mitt Romney is setting himself up for failure in his upcoming speech today. Regardless of whatever else he discusses in his speech, including announcing his candidacy, the focus is going to be on how he positions himself on his Romneycare which he enacted back when he was governor of Massachusetts.

He has little wiggle room on that issue. It looks and smells like Obamacare. That's something conservative primary voters, at least those most attuned to politics, are not very happy with. But many liberals feel he should not repudiate his former effort. While liberals won't much impact his GOP nomination, he may feel he needs enough of them in the general election against President Obama. In that case he has a fine impossible line to tread. He has to keep everyone happy.  Didn't we see that act in 2008? I'm willing to bet voters, especially Republican primary voters, are going to be far more skeptical this time around.

GOP 12 Man Rotation

In baseball, a team carries about a dozen pitchers. On a roster of 25 that borders on 50% of the staff. Why so many? Pitchers' arms get tired and they can't pitch every day. They would throw too softly and serve up home run after home run. They would risk injuring their arms and ending their careers. There's a lesson in that which the GOP may have inadvertently stumbled upon.

May 10, 2011

Environmentalism comes full circle

Gotcha suckers!

In the fantastic 2007 BBC documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle, Martin Durkin makes a strong case against global warming propagandists about the robustness of the global warming arguments being made. In fact he tears them apart. But one sub-plot point worth noting was that in Great Britain, Margaret Thatcher pushed very hard for the idea that CO2 was causing global warming and that something needed to be done about it.

May 9, 2011

Boehner gives the money shot

Spoiler alert: He wants to cut trillions!!! For the money shot, go to about 3:30.

Lots of other good points in there too, but it's really, really, really good to hear him talking in the context of that magnitude.

Obama: Seriously, I'm tough.

He's milking it.  President Obama wants his Osama bounce to last and he's going to do everything he can to make it happen.  I don't blame him - politically it's a smart thing to do to keep the public image of himself as one capable of dealing with those international crises in a tough but pragmatic way.  After all, positioning it is merely words.  Rhetoric.  Just don't blame me for calling him on it.

May 7, 2011

Three Reasons 'Government Loan' = GM Bailout

Quite often I've heard liberals on talk shows defending the bailout of GM as a government loan and not a bailout.  Curiously they don't seem to apply the same vigor to the bank bailouts but oh well. The rationale seems to be that the money was lent to the company with the intention that it would be paid back.  But that doesn't really fit what actually happened and even if it was, it would take a certain leap of faith to believe that truly was what was going on.  Maybe I'm just arguing semantics at this point but I'm not prepared to cede ground on the language of the debate to liberals - conservatives had made that mistake for far too long.

Saturday Learning Series - Money, Banking and the Federal Reserve

Last week, I ended the Saturday Learning Series with a Murry N. Rothbard video as a palate cleanser.  It was a simple yet effective counter point worth following up on here with more from the Mises school of thought via Mises Media. This video explains Money, Banking and the Federal Reserve. A little less dry yet equally effective as Rothbard.

May 6, 2011

Thoughts on the Republican candidates debate

I'm a political junkie so you'd be pretty safe in assuming I'd be glued to Fox News' Republican candidates debate yesterday evening.  And I did watch it, for all of about 8 minutes.  But even I could not stay tuned.  It's not that I thought it was bad.  It's not that I thought the candidates were bad.  In fact these are some quality guys.  But for some reason it could not hold my attention.  By the time the local rerun of Big Bang Theory came on, I was long gone.  Perhaps it was too early in the election cycle, or maybe I just wasn't in the mood.  If I couldn't stick around to watch some good people who probably won't be the nominee debate each other, then I can't imagine there was a big audience for it.  So the debate was almost like an exhibition game where a number of the practice squad players and rookies were on display.

I have nothing major against any of those candidates, in fact at least one was someone I could see myself supporting.  But I just don't see it materializing for any of them, at least not yet.  In fact, the more I think about it the more it feels like the pre-season.

Unemployment up. That’s good news. Wait, what?

The numbers from BLS for April have come out and unemployment rose back up to 9% from 8.8% percent the previous month.  That’s good news apparently.  Wait what?  How on earth do you spin that one?  It sounds like the climate change arguments that a colder planet is a result of global warming (or rather, ‘climate change’).

May 5, 2011

Integrity in reporting: latest jobless claims news item doesn't show it.

The most recent weekly jobless claims 'unexpectedly' rose to an 8 month high, of 474,000 last month.  But not so unexpectedly, someone had a ready, but not entirely plausible explanation for it.

With data hinting at a slowdown, no surprise given the phony government spending bulge that made the last  quarters look a little more rosy, the latest jobless claims lend credence to the idea maybe this recovery isn't as massive as a Recovery Summer II advocate would have you believe.

May 4, 2011

URGENT Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion MUST READ

Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion: Senate To "Go To War" Today Over Jack McConnell Nomination.  There's a reason this nomination today is so important.  Please take a look at Professor Jacobson's post to find out why and then do what you can to affect the outcome.  Either help spread the word (like me) to people who live in the states that matter, or call your Senator to express your opinion if your senator is on the fence on this.  Professor Jacobson has even done some of the legwork for you by providing their phone numbers.

And yes, there is an urgency to this.

Make a difference.

Beinart: Obama IS a tough guy! No really. Not kidding. Honestly.

What did I tell you? I wrote yesterday that "Obama the tough" was nothing more than election mode Obama.  He's not a tough guy, but he plays one on TV, or rather, he's trying to do so.  Obama has been seen by many to be an American apologist - bowing to Saudi Kings and harboring the notion in other nations that America has done wrong.  But now it's getting closer to 2012 election time, and President Obama needs to fix his image at home if he wants to win.  I'm sure this is the first in a series of damage controls that will include some post-partisan shtick too.  But while the notion of Obama the tough is laughable to many of us, it's already getting some play.

May 3, 2011

Canadian Election Results 101 For Americans

I'd like to take the time to explain it myself in more detail, but BBC News does an excellent job of touching on all the high points of the election that saw a Canadian Conservative party majority government for the first time since the 1980's.

If you are interested in why Canada is slowly leaning more right, start here.  It's an excellent high level explanation. The only thing I would add is that Canada, under Prime Minister Harper has weathered the 2008 recession much better than other G20 economies.  The stimulus effort was muted compared to the U.S. and almost done as an obligatory "yeah, we're doing something" effort.  Now the conservatives can return to their conservative efforts less impeded my a minority status.  Those efforts include efforts  to lower corporate and personal taxes, continued oil product, and a commitment to stronger national defense - including a continued combat role in Afghanistan unlike many coalition partners.

Obama the tough?

Is Obama already in pre-election mode? Is Obama the apologist now Obama the tough? Or at least trying to be? Think about what has happened over the last month in foreign affairs. No peace brokering between Israel and Palestinians. It has swung 180 degrees from that type of talk from the White House to an invasion of Libya and the killing of Bin Laden.

Has someone in the White House looked at some polling data and decided to boost Obama's foreign policy credibility? Is the calculus that Obama seems too much like Alan Alda and not enough like Iron Man?  If this Obama the tough is meant to shore up some moderates (read - the not paying attention crowd) then it may have some small effect. And if that's the case then is there more to come?

May 2, 2011

Hope and Change in Canada?

At 10:17 p.m. Canada's parliament seats have the Conservative party at 150 seats, The socialist NDP at 91 seats, the Liberal party collapsing at 30 seats and the separatist Bloc Quebecois also collapsing at 4 seats.  The seat totals aren't all in yet but there are two major implications:

Some thoughts on Bin Laden's death

Just a few quick points on Bin Laden's death;
  • This is not a victory for Obama, this is a victory for the United States.  I suspect President Obama will try to take credit for this and will get a boost in the polls because of this, but the real heroes are the intelligence community and the team who successfully killed Bin Laden.
  • Why was Bin Laden buried at sea?  I know there's no point in a gruesome video and photo proof, and maybe there will be some evidence come out BUT this will have as many conspiracy theorists arise as both truthers and birthers.
  • What reaction will this cause in the Muslim world?
  • Why was Bin Laden hiding where he was? Apparently it is a town in Pakistan where a lot of high ranking former military officials living in the same town.  How does that happen?
  • The aggressive interrogation techniques used against Khalid Sheik Muhammad apparently helped play a part in the intel leading to the killing of Bin Laden
  • How will this be portrayed in Pakistan
  • This doesn't end anything.  Some Muslim portrayals of Bin Laden as a martyr will no doubt have repercussions down the road.

Been Laden!!

Finally, Osama Bin Laden is dead.  Via ABC;
Osama bin Laden, hunted as the mastermind behind the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil, has been killed, President Obama announced tonight. 
The president called the killing of bin Laden the "most significant achievement to date" in the effort to defeat al Qaeda.
"Justice has been done," Obama said.
Bin Laden was located at a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, which was monitored and when the time was determined to be right, the president said, he authorized a "targeted operation." 
"A small team of Americans carried out the operation," Obama said. "After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body."

May 1, 2011

Steven Crowder's Latest

Barack for Brazil.  Brilliant, Funny.  Worth watching.  Plus I'm too tired to post anything original tonight.  But seriously.  Watch this.  It's funny.  It's insightful.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Share This