July 31, 2011

Recapping the Ryan plan

In a great piece entitled "Don't Blame the House", at The American Spectator, Peter Ferrara succinctly explains in the first three paragraphs, the Ryan plan, why it's worth it, and why Democrats so vigorously oppose it.
The indisputable facts show that Congressional Republicans have done their job. Months ago, the House Republican majority passed the budget proposed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI). Ryan's budget provided for $6.2 trillion in spending cuts for its first 10 years alone. Over the long run, it drives federal spending to 15% of GDP, well below the postwar historical average of 20%.

Ryan's budget included tax reform to get the economy booming again, with a 25% top income-tax rate for incomes over $100,000 a year, and a 10% rate for incomes below that. The internationally uncompetitive federal corporate tax rate of 35% would be reduced to 25%, which would return federal taxes to their long term, postwar, historical average of 18% of GDP. Because that figure is higher than our spending, the Ryan budget eventually pays off the national debt entirely.

Yes, that takes decades. $14 trillion is a big debt to pay. It takes that long because the careful reforms are designed so that no one is actually hurt by the changes -- senseless Democratic rhetoric to the contrary notwithstanding. The Democrats just don't like it because by reducing government dependency it threatens their political machine.
Read the whole article. The Ryan plan - 2013 should see its resurrection.

Wheelin' and Dealin'

Are we seeing this?
The President is apparently dealing directly with McConnell and Boehner bypassing Reid and Pelosi to reach an agreement.  That's how you know his wheeling and dealing are strictly about re-election.  He has something he wants and he can't be bothered to have those demands filtered through intermediaries any longer.  Compromise is not always a bad thing, if there's a benefit to both sides.  The question conservatives have to ask themselves about the debt ceiling deal - if indeed one gets done today - is what exactly did they gain from the deal that's on the table.  

July 30, 2011

Milton Friedman: pure genius

Milton Friedman in 1980 explained why pretty much everything President Obama is doing today, is wrong.  His genius was profound.  While there are scores of great economic thinkers today, sadly, the ones who get noticed, are the likes of uber-liberal Paul Krugman.  It makes Friedman's accomplishments all the more impressive in an era prior to the Internet, Drudge and Fox News that he could have risen to notoriety reserved today for only left-leaning economic thinkers.

July 29, 2011

WSJ: Reconciling Tea Party vs. GOP

This op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal is mostly right about these points on Tea Party versus the GOP;
The Republican establishment reasserted itself this week, and good thing, too, because the establishment was right. It said Republicans in the House should back and pass the Boehner bill on the debt ceiling because it goes in the right directions, contains spending cuts but not taxes, and is viable. So accept victory, avert crisis, and get it to the Senate.

The establishment was being conservative in the Burkean sense: acknowledges reality, respect it, and make the most progress possible within it. This has not always been true of them. They spent the first decade of this century backing things a truly conservative party would not have dreamed of—careless wars, huge spending and, most scandalously, a dreamy and unconservative assumption that it would all work out because life is sweet and the best thing always happens. They were mostly led by men and women who had never been foreclosed on and who assumed good luck, especially unearned good luck, would continue. They were fools, and they lost control of their party when the tea party rose up, rebuking and embarrassing them. Then the tea party saved them by not going third party in 2009-10. And now the establishment has come forward to save the tea party, by inching it away from the cliff and reminding it the true battles are in 2012, and after. Let's hope the tea party takes the opportunity.
The 'victory' is small, and voting for the Boehner plan doesn't guarantee success in the Senate or with the President. But the points are right about the unfettered Bush adventurism. Something needed to be done about 9/11. Something was done, but not necessarily all of it was right. But there's a larger point in their for conservatives. Begrudgingly we followed Bush on a number of things we didn't agree with. If we could do that, reconciling ourselves to a Boenher plan, should be a lot easier. It doesn't mean following the establishment blindly either. Our often begrudging loyalty to Bush displayed our loyalty. That's a good quality, but blind loyalty is not.

The GOP has been given the Tea Party loyalty in 2010. But it's not been repaid yet. They owe us. They claim they are playing the long game. Swallowing a weaker bill and waiting to see what happens in 2012 is not a big price to pay, it's a small wait. The GOP has the opportunity to provide the Tea Party with a big payoff. It's worth the wait. It's not going to be possible to get Cut Cap and Balance this time around. That's frustrating but it doesn't mean this is over.

As much as I'm in the Tea Party camp, I believe that we need to work through the GOP as our best chance to affect real change for the country. It's not ideal because it will take time, but bringing the GOP into line with conservative thinking is not an impossible task and better than any other alternative out there.

Obama's about to speak

No doubt he'll be trying for a last push to support the Reid bill.  Harry Reid is moving ahead with his bill.  Here's an idea for Congress, once the Senate bill comes to Congress, actually before it comes to Congress, say "it's dead on arrival."  Tit for tat - Reid's ignored a number of Congressional bills and even called them dead before he's seen them.  

The GOP may have to compromise, but there is no reason they have to be bullied.  If they allow themselves to be bullied, they might as well not be a party because ideas don't matter if they aren't backed up.

Bad GDP: Beware, the onslaught is coming

Invading with false ideas.
Uh oh.  Are you ready for the new onslaught?  The economy is sluggish. The latest quarterly GDP number is at an anemic 1.3% growth.  That's not really a recovery, it's not really much more than stagnation, and in this case, stagnation means at a very high unemployment rate.  That's a problem.  The onslaught will be something else.  The onslaught will be about blame.

July 28, 2011

Sowell's thoughts on the debt battle

Thomas Sowell, brilliant man, has this to say on the Tea Party vs. GOP sub-fight;
The most basic fact of life is that we can make our choices only among the alternatives actually available. It is not idealism to ignore the limits of one's power. Nor is it selling out one's principles to recognize those limits at a given time and place, and get the best deal possible under those conditions.

That still leaves the option of working toward getting a better deal later, when the odds are more in your favor.

There would not be a United States of America today if George Washington's army had not retreated and retreated and retreated, in the face of an overwhelmingly more powerful British military force bent on annihilating Washington's troops.
The long view may not be every conservative's first choice - it's not mine - but sometimes you have to make lemonade when you've been given lemons.

More importantly, we have to remember we are on the same side as far as objectives go.  The GOP and Tea Party may have different ideas on how to get there but the same destination is on the map.

COM-PRO-MISE: Republican vs. Democrat versions

Dictionary.com defines compromise as;
a settlement of differences by mutual concessions; an agreement reached by adjustment of conflicting or opposing claims, principles, etc., by reciprocal modification of demands.
What do Democrats want?

-a debt ceiling raised unconditionally
   -failing that a deal that gets as few conditions and restrictions on more spending as possible
-a deal that goes to 2013 to remove uncertainty for the nation (aka gets Obama past the election).
   -failing that deal - a presidential veto
-tax increases (naturally)
   -failing tax increases, a death to any bill in the Senate and a threat of presidential veto
-tax reform (where on earth did this suddenly come from)
   -failing tax reform a deal that meets all the other conditions because they really weren't all that interested in tax reform anyway (check the record pre-June for any mention of this by Democrats)
-a grand bargain big deal (again, that wasn't the case in April)
   -failing that the opportunity to unchecked call the right extremist radicals (they already have that one).

What do Republicans want?

-no debt ceiling increase
   -failing no debt ceiling increase, an increase that is accompanied by meaningful and real spending cuts
   -failing meaningful spending cuts a smaller debt ceiling increase and smaller cuts
-no revenue increases
   -failing no revenue increase an increase that removes subsidies but does not increase tax rates for anyone in an anemic recovery period.

You tell me where the compromise has been coming from.

Tea Party, Boehner - who's right?

From Jim Geraghty's Morning Jolt,
I can hear the gears turning in readers’ minds now, right? “So Jim quoted two righties backing the Boehner plan, he must be on board with it, huh?” Eh, heck if I know the right strategy here.

Maybe the hold-the-line crowd is right; maybe within the White House, Obama’s advisors are popping prescription-strength stress relievers, on the verge of panic, and when the calendar flips from July to August, they’ll send a message to Boehner and McConnell they’ll sign anything. But at this point, are we even sure if Obama could tell if he has a losing hand?

So who is right? Let's start with obvious - not John McCain.

Nader looks for Obama 2012 challengers

Oddly, we want this.
This is the very definition of Useful. I'm deliberately leaving the second word out because I want them to remain useful.

President Obama hasn't had to face the specter of an internal party challenge to his re-election. Nader's possible gambit is the next best thing (for now). Siphoning votes off the left end of the spectrum, with a tough fight for Obama to gain the center back from any Republican challenger only helps our conservative cause in 2012.

Now that I've said it, shhhhh!

Succumbing to Rule 5

Ugh. Just gimme the site hits.  Even if this works, it's my first and last Rule 5 post.

Surfer girls and California Sun.

July 27, 2011

Congress and Senate Contact Info

Want to contact all your state reps about the budget ceiling, or anything else? The latest contact info for all Congressmen and Senators is included in the spreadsheet below.

CBO: Recovery stinks

...the recovery from the recent recession has been anemic, and the economy remains in a severe slump. CBO and many private forecasters expect that the unemployment rate will remain high, and that output will remain well below the economy's potential, for a number of years.
Obama's "Summer of Recovery II" has been delayed indefinitely.

July 26, 2011

Pop Sci's 10 fixes for the energy crisis

It's kinda common sense, but Popular Science's list of 10 fixes for the newest energy crisis would be a good read for the President.

Worth a read.

Reid Don't Want It, Obama Won't Sign It

Boehner's latest plan has ZERO chance.  The GOP are in revolt and won't vote for it either.  Harry Reid won't pass it in the Senate and the President has said he won't sign it.  Democrats say it caters to the Tea Party.  Republicans say it doesn't go far enough.

What now?  Who knows.  One thing I do know - these guys are NOT anywhere close to a deal.

Obama says flood the phones, so flood 'em

President Obama took to the airwaves yesterday to demand that people demand Congress act.  It's his first good idea in his presidency because the conservative wing of the Republican voting public is capable of doing just that.  Since they've learned to march and protest, calling should be easy.

If you are a member of a Tea Party group, call your Congressional representative and tell them you want Cut, Cap and Balance.  If you are a conservative or a libertarian, call 'em.  Flood 'em.  let them know anything less than common sense will not do.

Flood the phones.  Don't let the progressives, liberals, socialists, and Democrats overpower your voice.  Keep the pressure on every Republican, Democrat or Independent in Congress and in the Senate.

Debt Ceiling: McCotter's opinion

Via his campaign website,
Amidst this debt ceiling debate, this president and his Democratic minions’ arguments have descended from “straw men” to “bogeymen” in their attempts to scare Americans.

Our seniors were told their hard-earned Social Security checks would be stopped. Our brave veterans were told the services our grateful nation provides them (never mind that there is much more we could do) could be stopped.

Our entire citizenry was told America could face an economic Armageddon.

But we Americans are more courageous than the president and Democrats credit us. Thus, we must tell President Obama and his minions to stop; join with Republicans to seize this moment to cut, cap and balance the federal budget; and start restructuring Washington Big Government into Main Street self-government.

That this President and his fear mongers would willfully inflict doubt and fear in his citizenry is deplorable, but par for the course. They will do all they can to distract from the fact that they have not once provided a single concrete plan or for serious debt reduction; and that their failed, fiscally irresponsible, economy killing policies have teed up this debt mess and holed out our economy.

Debt Ceiling: Ron Paul's ideas

Via his op-ed in Bloomberg;
Proponents of raising the debt ceiling claim that a default on Aug. 2 is unprecedented and will result in calamity (never mind that this is simply an arbitrary date, easily changed, marking a congressional recess). My expectations of such a scenario are more sanguine.

The U.S. government defaulted at least three times on its obligations during the 20th century...

It isn’t too late to return to fiscal sanity. We could start by canceling out the debt held by the Federal Reserve, which would clear $1.6 trillion under the debt ceiling. Or we could cut trillions of dollars in spending by bringing our troops home from overseas, making gradual reforms to Social Security and Medicare, and bringing the federal government back within the limits envisioned by the Constitution.

Default will be painful, but it is all but inevitable for a country as heavily indebted as the U.S. Just as pumping money into the system to combat a recession only ensures an unsustainable economic boom and a future recession worse than the first, so too does continuously raising the debt ceiling only forestall the day of reckoning and ensure that, when it comes, it will be cataclysmic.

We have a choice: default now and take our medicine, or put it off as long as possible, when the effects will be much worse.

Debt Ceiling: Rick's words

Rick Perry's thoughts in brief, via Americans for Perry.
Known for being a staunch fiscal conservative, it’s no surprise that Gov. Rick Perry has signed the “Cut, Cap and Balance Pledge.” Perry writes, “It calls for the kinds of budget cuts Washington needs now and for a hard cap on all future spending. And it finally moves us to a mandatory balanced budget that will end the era of national debt, raging deficits and failed ‘stimulus’ programs that have negatively affected so many aspects of American life.”

Debt Ceiling: Tim Pawlenty Says

The Des Moines Register on Tim Pawlenty's take on things;
“This is one of those line-in-the-sand moments” for Republicans, Pawlenty said. “Now it’s time for our team to walk the walk. We need to get something, some real meaningful structural reform.”

Pawlenty said that Obama offered a “false premise” by saying the government had no choice but to raise the debt ceiling or default on its payments. He said the government has the cash flow “for a while” to pay its bills in priority order, which would buy time to make actual spending cuts.

“Eventually you run out of money, but what you do is you buy yourself a bunch of time to have the debate about real reform,” he said....

Like many GOP presidential candidates, Pawlenty has said he supports the “cut, cap and balance” pledge, which calls for cutting federal spending, placing enforceable spending caps on the federal government and adopting a constitutional amendment that would require the government to balance its budget each year...

“I’ve been in favor of this approach,” Pawlenty said. “I no longer believe in the people we send to Washington, D.C., to balance the budget.”

Debt Ceiling: (Herman) Cain Says

Via Newsmax, here's what Herman Cain says;
Presidential hopeful Herman Cain insists the debt ceiling can be held where it is and all the hand-wringing over the issue “is a charade,” Politico says.

“They can hold the debt ceiling where it is,” Cain said on “Fox News Sunday.” “The problem is it’s all political posturing. They do not need to raise the debt ceiling."

Cain claimed that if the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling isn’t raised, the Obama administration could make priorities to pay down interest on the debt, pay military families, and issue Social Security checks.

Debt Ceiling: Michele's thoughts

Michele Bachmann on the debt ceiling, via the Wall Street Journal;
On Tuesday night, Ms. Bachmann was one of nine House Republicans to vote against a debt-ceiling package pushed by conservative Republicans. The measure, which passed the GOP-controlled House, would slash federal expenditures by more than $100 billion in fiscal 2012, limit federal spending to a percentage of GDP and start the process of passing a balanced budget amendment.

The congresswoman’s take on the House bill: It’s not enough.

“The motion does not go far enough in fundamentally restructuring the way Washington spends taxpayer dollars,” she said in a written statement Tuesday night. “Along with cutting spending, putting in place enforceable spending caps that put us on a path to balance and passing a balanced budget amendment, we must also repeal and defund ObamaCare.”

Debt Ceiling: Mitt Says

Via The State Column, Mitt Romney's comments on Obama on the debt ceiling;
Tweeting Monday, Mr. Romney said the president’s prime-time address to the nation represented a lack of leadership that would lead to increased taxes.

“An historic failure of leadership from @BarackObama, not even @SenatorReid is still talking about tax increases,” Mr. Romney tweeted.

Mr. Romney’s latest comment on raising the debt ceiling comes just weeks after the Republican presidential candidate side-stepped a question regarding whether he supports a proposed debt plan put forth by House Republicans.

“I believe we will not raise the debt ceiling unless the president is finally, finally willing to be a leader on the issue the American people care about,” Mr. Romney said.

Understated. Political.

Debt Ceiling Debate: Sarah Says

From Sarah Palin's Facebook page;
This is the same president who proposed an absurdly irresponsible budget that would increase our debt by trillions of dollars, and whose party failed to even put forward a budget in over 800 days! This is the same president who is pushing our country to the brink because of his reckless spending on things like the nearly trillion dollar “stimulus” boondoggle. This is the same president who ignored his own debt commission’s recommendations and demonized the voices of fiscal sanity who proposed responsible plans to reform our entitlement programs and rein in our dangerous debt trajectory. This is the same president who wanted to push through an increase in the debt ceiling that didn’t include any cuts in government spending! This is the same president who wants to slam Americans with tax hikes to cover his reckless spending, but has threatened to veto a bill proposing a balanced budget amendment. This is the same president who hasn’t put forward a responsible plan himself, but has rejected reasonable proposals that would tackle our debt. This is the same president who still refuses to understand that the American electorate rejected his big government agenda last November. As I said in Madison, Wisconsin, at the Tax Day Tea Party rally, “We don’t want it. We can’t afford it. And we are unwilling to pay for it.”

Now the President is outraged because the GOP House leadership called his bluff and ended discussions with him because they deemed him an obstruction to any real solution to the debt crisis.

He has been deemed a lame duck president. And he is angry now because he is being treated as such.

Regrets, I've had a few: Gingrich on climate ad with Pelosi

Newt Gingrich, wallowing in the shallows of voter disinterest, has decided to come clean. Well, not really.

July 25, 2011

Hey Democrats, how about 'no'?

They didn't like the budget, they didn't like the Cut Cap and Balance legislation and they don't like the latest Boehner proposal.  Now they finally have their own proposal and if it doesn't pass, they're going to blame Republicans.  They've already today (both Reid and Schumer) once again tried to paint the GOP as beholden to Tea Party extremists.  So what's the incentive for the GOP to cave?  There isn't any.  And with the GOP having been shot down numerous times, for the Democrats to come forward with a single proposal and expect the GOP to cave is unfair, and likely (hopefully) unrealistic.

So GOP, when Democrats in the Senate come calling with their own plan that is no doubt going to be full of holes, schemes and tax increases, there's only one answer that will work:

Hey Democrats, how about 'no'?

July 24, 2011

Obama budget deficit in one picture

Take this picture and show it to everyone you know who still believes Obama is being truthful about his desire to get the deficit under control.  

You can't argue with the facts.  This is a whole new scale - uncharted territory.  And while Bush wasn't all that debt conscious, outside of 2008 his deficits were headed in the right direction. Those who railed against his out of control spending continue to try to lay the blame for the current crisis on him and his tax cuts.  No.  Tax cuts did not do what's in the graph above.

Ask your unconvinced listener, if the Obama spending isn't being presented to them in an honest way, what makes them think Obamacare, or their head-in-the-sand views on Medicare and Social Security are being presented any more honestly.  Ask them to take a look from another viewpoint and listen to the other side.

You aren't evil for thinking that Medicare needs fixing.  Evil is convincing people everything is fine when it really isn't.  Wanting to figure out a way to make it work isn't evil.

Saying someone who wants to fix it is evil, selfish and an idiot is not only counter-productive to finding a solution, it's mean-spirited and superficial.  That's much closer to evil.

Markets spooked tomorrow?

Already the Hang Seng is down 0.9% and the Nikkei is down 0.6% in early hours trading.  There was an earthquake of magnitude 6.2 off the coast of Honshu today, but some of it has to do with the potential for the absence of a deal on the U.S. debt ceiling.

How it looks in the U.S. tomorrow on the Dow Jones, NASDAQ and AMEX exchanges, likely will be the same.

Mayor Tommy Shanks on Guns

Because guns don't kill people, baseball cards do. This has all the logic of a anti-Second Amendment liberal Democrat, only it's funny instead of annoying.

July 23, 2011

Saturday Learning Series - Basic Economics (continued)

Last week, I started with some background by Professor Engelhardt on basic economics.  This week continues with the bonus of some special topics - Keynes, debt and a look at this week's debt crisis from a rational perspective.

Elvis sings about civility

Elvis remembers the good old days (in this rare recording) when people cared about their neighbors. It's a good reminder about civility and also a good opportunity to point out that part of what social conservatives strive for goes beyond Roe v. Wade, it goes to things like the Golden Rule.  Elvis, sings about a time when the Golden Rule was followed far more regularly then in his day, and certainly than today.

That's not to say the Golden Rule isn't alive and somewhat well.  That's a good thing too, it makes reclaiming that sort of notion as a defining principle of the nation more achievable.

Responsible Disagreement

Penn Jillette talked in 2008 about why he wouldn't jump on hammering Sarah Palin. He mentions that he disagrees with her on everything, but he had two reasons for not trashing her. It was a combination of an unspoken sympathy and more importantly, civility. He chastises the left elite for not handling disagreement with her responsibly.


It's the first day of my vacation (my second week-long vacation this summer) and I'm going to be busy all weekend working on a project for work.  Why? I'm the person in the best position from a knowledge and design perspective to keep the project moving forward and if I don't keep the momentum up, it very likely could falter.  While I could pick it up when I got back, there are deadlines and a week of slowdown is something we can't afford.  Taking ownership, accountability and taking responsibility, that's a good thing, right?  Anyway....

Announcing a new blog tax

My mother was watching Fox News coverage of the budget fight between President Obama and Speaker Boehner this morning and made a point that I'm sure has been made a million times before by people across the United States, or in fact around the world:

"Why is it that only the government can decide when it needs more money, it can take it from other people?"

The obvious implication of her comment was why can't everyone do it?  Why can't I just tax everyone who reads my blog (arguably I do, if you bother to read my posts I'm sure it can be taxing to your patience)?  Obviously I'm not going to really tax my readers (it would kill my limited readership), because I don't want to, but more importantly - I can't.  I don't have the right to do so.  Nor should I.  Should the government?

July 22, 2011

Harry Reid: 66% of Voters Don't Matter

Courtesy RCP:
"We just completed a very important vote. We've now demonstrated that the House Republicans' Cut, Cap, and Balance is over, done, it's dead," Sen. Reid said on the Senate floor.
That makes other suggested GOP options all the more real, palatable and necessary.  Harry, you truly stink.

The Obama plan IS 'no plan'

There is no plan.
There's one obvious point that I think is being largely missed in the right blogoshpere with regards to the debt ceiling and the budget cuts debate. If not being missed, perhaps it is being skimmed over but it is an important point that should be a Republican talking point at every interview they get - be it on Fox, CNN or MSNBC.
The point is that we can say with virtual certainty that the President is playing politics with the debt ceiling. The reason for that certitude is that while he is trashing the GOP plan he has put no plan on the table whatsoever. That is clearly deliberate.

July 21, 2011

Great News: Buddy Roemer's in the GOP race

Is this Donald Trump 2.0, a planted Democratic version of Operation Chaos?  Who the heck is Buddy Roemer?  He's got the populist talk on a few items but he's just not a true conservative.  In fact, he's governed as a Democrat not too long ago.

July 20, 2011

This is rich

Just try to watch this with a straight face.

UPDATE: out 6 days and only 399 view on youtube.

The Balanced Budget Counter Argument Farce

The Balanced Budget Amendment according to the ever-liberal Washington Post,
A balanced-budget amendment would deprive policymakers of the flexibility they need to address national security and economic emergencies.
To that I say, if governing requires the flexibility to deficit spend at any time, with no restriction, then government is broken.  And soon, it will be broke.

To argue it's anti-Democratic because it's restrictive is insane. It sets boundaries - something Congress won't do for itself.

July 19, 2011

Vacuum drawing in GOP potential?

It's been said natures abhors a vacuum.  Apparently, despite the surge by Michele Bachmann, there's still a vacuum at the top of the GOP primary contenders list.  The vacuum exists in all the space that belongs to Not Romney.  With that in mind, Texas Governor Rick Perry is looking seriously at running, and Sarah Palin knows whether she's running and will announce late in the summer.  And now, the one everyone seems to be pining for, Chris Christie looks like he's headed to Iowa.

Obama's shot in the dark election offering

President Obama has to come up with something better than 1 to 2 percent of GDP growth in 2012 and better than 8.75% or higher expected unemployment in order to win re-election next year.  Expect his team to come up with something that will not be painful to taxpayers, not painful to the debt, but offers a lot of free money to a supposedly disadvantaged group that may represent a very significant, and very worried portion of the electorate, and to do so about a year from now.  This may be his best chance at re-election, but it won't be without risking significant harm to the nation.

Jonah Goldberg: Brilliance in 3 paragraphs

Jonah Goldberg at NRO (or in this case the L.A. Times) faces down the Obama election positioning with great aplomb, in a terrific op-ed, that if distilled to these three paragraphs, encapsulates the absurdity that is the White House.

Proof that Proof Doesn't Work With Liberals

If ever proof didn't matter, these quotes, compiled unintentionally by Ezra Klein in the Washington Post, indicates how dug in liberals are on Keynesianism.  For some,it's surely core belief as much as for others, it's simply a way to justify greater and greater government interventionism and ownership of the economy.

July 17, 2011

Obama risks American energy security (again)

With the world's third largest proven oil reserves, Canada is already the United States' largest supplier of oil.  Oil in Canada is safe, accessible by private enterprise, unlike most oil around the world, and Canada is more than friendly with the United States.  Ramping up oil production dramatically over the next 15 years, Canada is doing what the Obama administration is refusing to do, and is on it's way to becoming an energy superpower.  But along with that extra supply, new demand is needed, and Canada is increasingly looking east for another buyer, as the Obama administration drags its feet on purchasing more oil from its neighbor, instead looking to Brazil, and in the process risking increased reliance on an unstable Middle East.

Sunday Not Funnies: United States of Obamastan

This might have been funnier to the select few not in Obama's thrall back in 2009, but I was on Big Government yesterday morning being disturbed by this image, while simultaneously enjoying the wit of both Jason Bradley and Stephen Marche concerning Obama-worship. There are still those it turns out, who deify The One.

While I'm sure they are loath to elevate Captain O to a religious level (they aren't religious after all), I can still envision their O-topian future in the United States of Obamastan (en route to the new name of the Democratic People's Republic of Obama).

July 16, 2011

Saturday Learning Series - Basic Economics

Why know all this stuff? Because not knowing it leads to creeping Marxism. How's that for a reason? Professor Lucas M. Engelhardt is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Kent State University. His easy-to-understand explanation is worth the watch and it's broken into small, digestible pieces making it easier to follow along if you are not a student of economics or a fellow at the Mises Institute.

What Republicans' 3 favorite words should be

"President's own commission."

Simpson-Bowles debt commission
Since the Republicans came out yesterday with another plan to move forward, seemingly in defensive mode yet again, this post may be a day late.  But it's not going to be a dollar short.  I was thinking of a plan yesterday morning to out maneuver the president and still get something done on the debt ceiling and government spending. My idea - go long. Offer Obama something even bigger than what he asked for because he doesn't really want something big.  He wants something that makes him look big.  So make him look small and petty because after all, he's putting politics ahead of the nation's interests.  He's all about re-election.  And his drive to include tax increases as part of a package is all about pleasing the left base, about stoking class warfare and the cuts are about appealing to the middle.  He's rounding up voter groups.  Never mind all of his lack of substance, he's in it for the optics.  So destroy the optics.

July 15, 2011

Obama's new found debt resolve is pure politics

He can sense it. Despite his tone deafness to moderates and anyone concerned about fiscal sanity the last two plus years, the president realizes that the tides are pushing in the direction of tackling the debt. Why else would he be on board with what he surely considers a ridiculous notion of fiscal restraint other than one word: re-election.

Obama's latest meaningless deadline

Today is President Obama's deadline day for a deal on the raising of the debt ceiling via getting a deal struck on cost cutting (and as he sees it, tax increases). Uh, no.

July 13, 2011

White House offers the addict's defense

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney has offered up the addict's defense on the balanced budget amendment. It's not even stage 1 defense: we're okay, we don't have a problem. When an addict can no longer deny they have a problem to others, they can still be in denial to themselves. Stage 2: We can fix ourselves, we don't need help. The translation is we don't want help. It might be hard to determine if the subject really does feel like they need help or still think there is no problem.

July 12, 2011

Debt Deal Catfight

It looks like talks are breaking down on the deal to reduce spending and manage the debt ceiling.  Everyone has drawn their lines in the sand and they are nowhere close any more.  It's a catfight.  It's High Noon.  It's blood sport.  It's all rolled into one mega-spectacle.  No matter how it turns out, you might as well enjoy the show.

From The Hill;
Obama said Republicans were refusing to allow any tax hikes in the deal, including provisions aimed at the wealthiest taxpayers, while Republicans said the White House’s insistence on tax increases and resistance to meaningful Social Security and Medicare reforms was the problem.
Obama said during a late morning press conference that he had “bent over backwards” to meet the GOP halfway. “I do not see a path to a deal if they do not budge. Period,” Obama said.

Less than two hours later, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) retorted: “It takes two to tango.

“I understand that this is going to take sacrifice, and is going to take political capital on both sides,” Boehner said. “I’m certainly willing to take my fair share of it, but if we’re going to take political capital, then let’s stand up and do the big thing, the right thing for the country.”
And from USA Today;
Just hours before another White House meeting, the top two Republicans in Congress blasted President Obama today for a debt reduction proposal they say is more specific about taxes than actual budget cuts.

"In my view the president has presented us with three choices," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., referring to efforts to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling. "Smoke and mirrors, tax hikes, or default."

"Republicans choose none of the above," McConnell said. "I had hoped to do good; but I refuse to do harm."

Meanwhile, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, demanded more specifics from Obama, saying, "Where's the president's plan? When's he going to lay his cards on the table?"
President Obama, thinking his scare tactics are playing to the electorate, threatened to not pay Social Security on August 3rd if the ceiling is reached on August 2nd.
President Obama on Tuesday said he cannot guarantee that retirees will receive their Social Security checks August 3 if Democrats and Republicans in Washington do not reach an agreement on reducing the deficit in the coming weeks.

"I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3rd if we haven't resolved this issue. Because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it," Mr. Obama said in an interview with CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley, according to excerpts released by CBS News.

The Obama administration and many economists have warned of economic catastrophe if the United States does not raise the amount it is legally allowed to borrow by August 2.
Really now. The catastrophe they claim will hit, hits seniors first? Not unionized government workers? Come on - how transparently manipulative and cynical evil is that? Manipulating the elderly as a scare tactic? Causing them duress to make political gain?  That's pretty evil.

Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Giethner has proclaimed when when High Noon hits;
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Tuesday said that time is running out for a deal to raise the debt limit, and wants a broad agreement with Congress in place by the end of next week at the latest.
Get the popcorn, sit back and observe the catfight. It will be very telling. Under duress, some unexpected and unintended words are sure to come out. I'm sure it will be very revealing. While the economy isn't spectator sport, the politics in this mess sure are. Lest you think I'm being too cavalier, I believe a deal will get done. Right now everyone is waiting for the other side to blink.  The brinksmanship is also showmanship, with everyone playing to the electorate.  A deal, good or bad, will get done.

July 11, 2011

Quick thought on debt

I was supposed to be in Cary, North Carolina today on business , but it got delayed until August.  Meanwhile, coming back from camping for a week, I was absolutely swamped with work and didn't get much of a any chance to post today. But I do have a quick thought to share regarding the budget, debt and debt ceiling talks.

July 10, 2011

Palin's on fire.

You think she's not running?  Palin's Facebook broadsides President Obama.  It starts out with no holds barred, and gets stronger as it goes along;
Barack Obama’s big government policies continue to fail. He should put a link to the national debt clock on his BlackBerry. The gears on that clock have nearly exploded during his administration. Yesterday’s terrible job numbers should not be a surprise because it all goes back to our debt. Our dangerously unsustainable debt is wiping out our jobs, crippling our economic growth, and jeopardizing our position in the global economy as the leader of the free world.
No experience is not required:
As we approach 2012, there are important lessons we can learn from all of this. First, we should never entrust the White House to a far-left ideologue who has no appreciation or even understanding of the free market and limited government principles that made this country economically strong. Second, the office of the presidency is too important for on-the-job training. It requires a strong chief executive who has been entrusted with real authority in the past and has achieved a proven track record of positive measurable accomplishments. Leaders are expected to give good speeches, but leadership is so much more than oratory. Real leadership requires deeds even more than words. It means taking on the problems no one else wants to tackle. It means providing vision and guidance, inspiring people to action, bringing everyone to the table, and with a servant's heart dedicating oneself to striking agreements that keep faith with our Constitution and with the ordinary citizens who entrusted you with power. It means bucking the status quo, fighting the corrupt powers that be, serving the common good, and leaving the country better than you found it. Most of us don’t see a lot of that real leadership in D.C., and it’s profoundly disappointing.
Palin's on fire. And I still think she's in.

No BIG budget deal for Obama

Poor President Obama, he wanted the big budget deal that included tax hikes but he didn't get it.  To his credit, Boehner refused and fell back to the smaller deal that had no tax hikes associated with it.  Why is that good? Three reasons.

It's Obama's Debt.

President Obama's debt is substantially larger than...pretty much everything.

July 9, 2011

Liberal Gotcha Politics

[And I'm back from camping...tanned, with a significant number of mosquito bites and a smell of campfire about me].

The New York Times has a story today about the future Sarah Palin emails of every potential GOP candidate and the planned spin on the gaffes. Sickening, but it's their only hope.  President Obama's gaffes will be well documented (though not reported).  They are planning on fighting gaffes with gaffes.

Great Video: Obama's Legacy

Everyone should be making or sharing videos like this.  America Crossroads should be buying airtime for videos like this one too. Kudos to "Ant" for making this.

P.S. I'm back from camping, and live-posting once again..

Saturday Learning Series - Steve Forbes on The Great Society

Steve Forbes speaking at Hillsdale College, talking about the Great Society, Keynes and current economic controversies in January 2011.

Vote or Die

Macho Sauce Productions last year produced this articulate, well researched video last year explaining why black voters consistently, and erroneously, vote Democrat.

Check out Alfonzo's site.

Saturday Sites To Check Out

I'm just getting back from camping this week and I'm surely well behind on my posts, not to mention Twitter.  Here's some great  places to visit, check out, or fall in love with while I catch up.

Greg W Howard - Politics and Finances from a Conservative World View, and a very professionally laid out site. (I'm jealous).

Blog de KingShamus - pithy, to-the-point conservative

SecularStupidest - conservative art, music, videos and writings.

Jim Geraghty's Campaign Spot at National Review - a fantastic source insight into politicaqal campaigns across the nation, and of course from a conservative perspective.

Mean Ol' Meany - provides an ecclectic mix of politics, sarcasm, technical stuff and pretty much anything else that comes to his mind. The URL includes 'liberalsmash' - enough said.

The always great Legal Insurrection needs no additional hype from me. And now, with 100% less blogspot.

Diogenes' Middle Finger, aka suckers on Parade.  A great collection of conservative thoughts.

Teresamerica. A great conservative site except for all the dude pictures...

Are you a MindNumbedRobot?

Bonsai From The Right (pretty self-explanatory).

What better place to learn conservatism than from A Conservative Teacher?

What better place to get a conservative perspective, than Conservative Perspective?

And don't forget to check out the Conservative Hideout (2.0) while you are looking for red meat conservatism.

July 8, 2011

Unintended Consequences Primer

A good video on unintended consequences:

Friday Musical Interlude - It's too late, it's too soon, or is it?

I'm still otherwise occupied but here's some adrenaline pumping stuff from The Hives that sort of mirrors the whole debt ceiling debate.

Check out my music blog, Song Versus Song that looks at most every type of music imaginable - it's been in low gear due to lack of followers but I'm still posting every day.  If it ever gets some traction, I'll start adding some more meaningful posts and return to the song versus song contests.

July 7, 2011

Trailer: The Undefeated

In case you haven't seen it everywhere else, the trailer for the Sarah Palin bio-pic, The Undefeated:

I'm still camping but I decided to sneak a peak of the latest news on my blackberry while picking up ice from the store in the town about 8 miles from our camp site.  The mosquitoes and black flies are killer this year.  I saw the clip and had to add a post.  It's ironic that I'm camping and a documentary about someone from Alaska comes out: I'm busy appreciating nature right now and I can really identify with the outdoorsy nature of the Palin family. 

Thomas Paine on government vs. society

The difference between society and government, in one paragraph:
Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.

Hayek - How Unions Cause Unemployment

Freidrich Hayek (The Road to Serfdom) on unions:

July 6, 2011

A quick thought on Thomas Paine.

In his introduction to the book Common Sense, Thomas Paine wrote "Time makes more converts than reason." in defense of his ideas that had not yet taken absolute hold in the colonies. The sentence in itself explains the evolution of ideas like socialism. Once an idea is put out there, I've said before that genie can never go back in the bottle. Thomas Paine's line means it's worse, much worse, than that when it comes to socialism. What it means is that socialism has had a long time to get a foothold in people's thoughts. It will continue to get converts just as will the idea of 'liberty and justice for all'.

It's not a matter of hoping that the latter idea (liberty) gains a foothold faster than the former (socialism). It's a more universally appealing idea, isn't it? Even if it is however, it's the duty of everyone who values freedom to proclaim it's virtue and it's importance. Freedom neglected, is freedom foregone.

If you're reading this...

...it means I'm still camping, or I've been eaten by black bears.

Rest assured, short of being eaten alive by black bears (or mosquitoes) I'll be back blogging soon. I'm scheduled to return home on Friday, all things being equal.  

I'm sure I'm missing out on some interesting news, and I'll have a lot of catching up to do when I return.  But I'm likely having a lot of fun camping with the family.

Milton Friedman - The Social Security Myth

In my absence, a step up: Milton Friedman exploding the myth of Social Security. In his own words:

July 5, 2011

"Memoir on Pauperism" by Alexis de Tocqueville

I'm off camping this week. Here's a great couple of videos of (parts 1 and 2) excerpts from "Memoir on Pauperism" by Alexis de Tocqueville, who wrote Democracy in America. The treatise on the welfare state in 1835 hold warnings for America today that have seemingly gone unheeded.

Treasury Department's Recovery Plan A Bit Weak

According to The Hill, the Treasury Department would have to cut spending by 44% overnight if the debt ceiling isn't raised.  A tough job no doubt, but the result apparently would be chaos;
The report released Tuesday concludes that Treasury would not be able to pay all its bills between Aug. 2 and “probably” not later than Aug. 9 if the debt ceiling is not increased.

Handling all payments for important and popular programs including entitlements and military pay will quickly become impossible, it says.

The day-by-day picture of default shows a 44 percent cut in federal spending. It concludes that the daily inflows of revenue and outflows of obligations are “lumpy” and that it would be difficult for Treasury to prioritize 80 million different payments. For the month of August, the deficit from Aug. 3 to Aug. 31 would be $134 billion.

If you are going to be cutting 44 percent of the budget overnight, you are going to be cutting many popular programs, there is no way to avoid it, Powell told reporters Tuesday.

The result would be chaotic, he said, noting the current inability of Treasury computers to handle the payments.
This isn't September 11th, 2001 though. It's not like hitting the debt ceiling limit is coming as a surprise and it's not as if the ceiling hasn't been in sight before. So why no disaster planning? I'm putting it down to government planning - in other words do the minimum required and don't consider scenarios that aren't in your job description. Way to go guys.

July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day America!

July 4th. Independence Day. Don't dare celebrate it without some somber reflection, because the day represents something truly important and something from which you should be tirelessly inspired. As a 'foreigner' I can only look on with admiration and optimism.

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. ~Thomas Paine

Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it. ~George Bernard Shaw

Liberty is always dangerous, but it is the safest thing we have. ~Harry Emerson Fosdick

July 3, 2011

What is Liberty?

I'm in radio silence this week, or at least out of WiFi range.

While I'm away, learn liberty.  Then deal with it.

Liberty versus Virtue:

Liberty versus Security:

Liberty versus Community:

Liberty versus Equality:

Programming Announcement

As of today, I will be on vacation.  Camping,  For the week.  Posts will be of the pre-programmed variety.  Regular up-to-the-minute posting and daily responses to comments will resume upon my return.

And a future note - I'll be in North Carolina on July 11th and 12th on business.  Posting may or may not be possible on those two days, depending on my schedule.

July 2, 2011

Obama needs a challenger from the left.

Um yeah. Let's work with these useful idiots.
Want to play pure politics?  Perhaps it's a bit unsavory.  It's not in our nature to engineer results or to tweak the contest in our favor, even if it's something that's perfectly legal, and something that has been done before.  Remember Rush Limbaugh's Operation Chaos in 2008?  Well, there's something as conservatives we should be doing in preparation for the next election in 2012.  In order to get Obama to lose, we need to help the left.  The far left.  Here's why.

Saturday Learning Series - The Ascent of Money

Niall Ferguson traces how money came to be such an important part of the modern world via the role it played through history.

1 of 2 (episodes 1 to 5):

2 of 2 (episode 6):

July 1, 2011

Dictator Watch - Chavez cancer edition

Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez is recovering in a Cuban hospital after cancer surgery.  In perhaps the most   ironic comments in Venezuelan history, the military told the people of Venezuela not to worry:
Venezuela's army chief said on Friday there is no threat to the nation's constitutional order as President Hugo Chavez's revelation of cancer surgery shakes the political system he has dominated since 1999.
No threat to the constitutional order is truly ironic in regards to the dictator who tried repeatedly to shred it before finally succeeding so that he could remain in power for life.  Venezuela's constitution has been in crisis since Chavez took power with the intention of keeping it forever.

Bill Clinton and the fine art of Status Quo

Bill Clinton has some advice for regarding fixing the deficit: DON'T.
Former President Bill Clinton said U.S. policymakers shouldn't slash spending or boost taxes until the economy has more time to mend.

“I don’t like the deficit,” Clinton told Bloomberg Television’s Al Hunt in an interview today in Chicago. “But you can’t balance the budget in a busted economy.”

Clinton said he would suggest waiting two years before implementing the kind of deficit-reduction proposals envisioned by President Barack Obama’s fiscal commission.

“I think it’s crazy for us to be talking about doing this right now,” he said. “I don’t think it’s healthy to have big tax cuts or big tax increases or big spending cuts right now. We need to put America back to work first.”
Pure head-in-the-sand liberalism. Not only does he not think it's important enough to fix, he doesn't see the connections. For the economy to roar back, business has to engage. For business to engage, it has to be less burdened by regulation and by taxation. To be less burdened they have to be taxed less. For them to be taxed less the government needs to give up revenue. In order to give up revenue they have to reduce spending.  Now is the perfect time to cut government costs.  If you follow that chain backwards, that's exactly where it has to start.
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