September 30, 2011

Van Jones' Progressive October Offensive

A lot of people think this is not meaningful.  Never underestimate your opponent - that's all I'm saying.  True Van Jones is not as powerful as this video portrays.  True progressives have lost an awful awful lot of credibility since 2008 and it showed in the 2010 midterm elections and is showing in president Obama's underwater approval ratings.

Gingrich: Contract with America 2.0

Sure, Newt may be unelectable, he won't be the next president.  But since the first Contract With America was such a success, the sequel deserves a listen.  The video below is a full hour about the 21st Century Contract With America.  Give it a chance, because whether Newt is a serious contender or not, the ideas here are worth consideration.

The other big takeaway from this - when exactly did C-SPAN start allowing their videos to be embedded? That's a win for the blogosphere, particularly us on the right.

President Elect's first map for 2012 looks promising

The website President Elect is now engaged for 2012.  The site is a treasure trove of information about historical presidential elections and does a terrific job forecasting the next election from an electoral college perspective.

So far 2012 is looking good.  You have to see this.

September 29, 2011

Bizarro World America

I've always said I wanted to become an American citizen.  The country is truly great.  Other than the Democratic party and it's destructive progressivist influence, what's not to love about the country? I've said that someday I will try to become an American citizen, and even joked that given the left's push for amnesty I might go illegally and end up voting against them once they grant me a path to citizenship.  I'd never do that.  But it seems like Canada is receiving the brunt of the U.S. government's border protection policy.  Mexican gangs are killing people along the U.S. border (apparently with weapons provided to them by the Department of Justice - no kidding), millions of Mexicans have streamed across the border to take jobs provided for illegal aliens, to draw welfare or to commit felonious crimes. Don't try to say they are streaming across the border illegally to engage in legal activities.  They by definition, can't.  Drugs pour across the southern U.S. border with a volume akin to Niagara Falls.  Iran is supposedly sending ships to patrol the Gulf of Mexico.  Clearly the Canadian border needs protection.

In which I cut Obama some slack

It's not race-related, it's a family allegory.
Obama is guilty of a lot of things - mismanaging or ignoring the economy, eroding freedom, forcing an unpopular health care mandate, running up debt, numerous scandals that were buried by the media,  the oceans stopping their rise (what? I thought more oceans would be a good thing), the list goes on and on.  That would be a good place to end this post, but alas, I found something on which I have to cut the president some slack.

Better democracy equals less democracy???

You can go with this or you can go with that.
You know the liberals are in touch with reality when they realize they are losing and start proposing some insane ideas.  I don't like using superlatives and I don't like using derogatory comments instead of fact-based arguments, but this is really serious when you read it.  It would also be less worrisome if it were only one person.  But when two prominent figures make the same argument then it's already approaching meme status.

By the way, what happened to all the liberals who were steadfastly sure, George Bush was going to suspend the 2008 elections and impose martial law?  Are they standing behind this foolishness?

September 28, 2011

Iraq paying U.S. for F16s

What did the U.S. get out of the Iraq war? No Saddam, and now it's receiving payment for 18 F16 fighter jets that help secure Iraq against an Iran full of bluster and other regional threats.  It wasn't a ar for oil, which progressives would conveniently have you forget (since they were wrong).  But at least the U.S. is getting some modest financial return from the effort.

It's Over: Obama loses Europe.

TKO.  Explained below.
This past weekend Tim Geithner made some unsolicited remarks about European debt. President Obama has followed suit. Both remarks have not been well received.  In fact, they've been harsh. Admittedly, that is deservedly so.  The president's White House is casting about for a villain, any villain, that it can use as a shield against criticism on it's woefully bad attempts at economic recovery.  If the Republican's won't do, blame Europe, if that doesn't catch on, maybe it reverts back to blame Bush.

Ford Bailout Commercial Pulled, Buyer Stands Firm

You may have heard that Ford has pulled it's bailout commercial. It must have been too political for them, but they've gotten their mileage out of it.  Meanwhile the man in the commercial who spoke his mind did it again.  He spoke out about his beliefs and stood behind his convictions.  I applaud him, slow clap style.

September 27, 2011

Wonderful, under-appreciated linkage.

Check out these great links:

Opinipundit on the North Carolina governor's suspension of democracy. Oh, it's real.

Fredd says Fair Schmair, Obama's class warfare.

Robbing America discusses the dangers of the Republican debates.  I hope this is wrong.

JoeTote has an example for everyone to follow.

Gonzalo Lira - copper's price spells really bad news.

Super-Economy - there's a heated (?) battle discussion underway on ethnic diversity and the size of government.

What We Think and Why - Is Cain Able?

Bread Upon the Waters talks shoes.  I wonder if they are nonsensible.

A Conservative Teacher defends Perry on the Florida debate.

Western Hero laments Obama's scorched earth campaign.

Bonsai from the Right - "Hey Obama, hook us up."

Adam Smith Institute to Paul Krugman - Ireland's got 99 problems but austerity ain't one.

And finally, A Cop's Watch provides a moron update.

The blame Bush visuals

They can't all be gems...

September 26, 2011

Improbable Political Thriller

If I were writing a political drama something I'd consider writing about a political primary to keep it interesting would be to have a continuing series of headline grabbers one after the other that were worth a chapter and then fizzled out one by one.
Chapter 1: Mike Huckabee declines to run.
Chapter 2: Romney becomes the de facto poll leader of the GOP field. 
Chapter 3: Donald Trump decides he's a Republican, surges in the polls and runs doesn't run. 
Chapter 4: Michele Bachmann wins the Iowa straw poll.
Chapter 5: Rick Perry enters and Bachmann fades away.
Chapter 6: Perry falters in a few debates and looks like he's fading.
Chapter 7: Herman Cain surges.
Chapter 8: Chris Christie thinks about jumping in after flatly stating he's not running.
Chapter 9: Chris Christie surges and fades like Perry.
Chapter 10: Sarah Palin makes her decision to run. 
Chapter 11: Here's where I get stuck - I can't think of a logical ending.
Now that seems like a pretty improbable political thriller.  Implausible even.  Except that's what seems to have happened up to about Chapter 8.  It's been an improbably season but even the prologue is absurd.  Obama started with massive approval and blew it horrifically, even with a fawning press.

Politics is stranger than fiction.

A Jew and A Janitor Walk Into a Presidential Speech

No less than the Los Angeles Times is noticing the Obamagaffes now.  This is nothing more than a slip of the tongue but the interesting thing is that it's happening more often and it's getting noticed;
Here is what the president actually said, catching himself almost in time but not quite:

If asking a billionaire to pay the same tax rate as a Jew, uh, as a janitor makes me a warrior for the working class, I wear that with a badge of honor. I have no problem with that.

The president has been muffing lines all over the place recently. Last week, also peddling his jobs plan at a bridge that won't qualify, he hailed America's building of "the Intercontinental Railroad." You don't seem to hear much about these gaffes in the media for some reason.
For some reason?  We all know what that reason is - partisanship hyper-partisanship.  Nevertheless seeing it in a major publication is not a small deal.  Perhaps it's also not a coincidence.  The left is growing impatient with 'their guy'.  Given that he's gone into campaign mode, I can see things like this happening more often for him.  He'll be busy with trying to govern while trying to run and he'll get tired.  He'll make more mistakes and they'll get noticed more often.

Obama's African American Problem.

President Obama is in full re-election mode and it's completely transparent to everyone except maybe the Congressional Black Caucus (Democrats only need apply).  They're just angry that he's not doing enough.  But their issue has become President Obama's problem.

September 25, 2011

Hugo Chavez lookalike?

Is it just me or do you see it too?

One made "The Birds", one's for the birds.
One made Psycho, the other...

One was a master of mystery, the other....

“In feature films the director is God; in documentary films God is the director” ~Alfred Hitchcock.

Hugo Chavez is dictator for life. He believes he's God.

Perry Opens Door: Who's Going To Going Through?

Could be anyone.
Texas Governor Rick Perry did not perform well in the Florida debate and it showed.  That's not to say he performed poorly but he was certainly not polished and not as well prepared as he should have been.  That no doubt will have an impact on his status as front runner.  A somewhat weak debate alone isn't enough to topple him but it's indicative of a problematic situation and trend for Perry.  Someone is going to take advantage of it.

September 24, 2011

Ed Morrissey on Obama's Jobs Speech

I'm a big fan of Ed Morrissey at Hot Air, and I haven't pointed it out enough when he does good work (which is quite often). Here Ed talks about Obama's jobs speech on the Scott Hennen Show.

Saturday Learning Series - Marxism and Equilibrium

Don't worry, I haven't suddenly been converted to Marxism.  If you are familiar with the expression 'know your enemy' and you don't really understand the drivers behind Marxism, the Yale course on economics that I've been featuring is worth a watch.  This lecture continues with a look at what the impetus was behind Karl Marx and his conclusions about capitalism.

The lecture also points out some of the flaws inherent with Marxism.

Uh oh. Rick Perry defending poor debate performance.

Fans of Rick Perry can't be happy with this.  The top story on Fox News website today is about Perry struggling to defend his position as GOP front runner.  There was a story on Fox & Friends this morning too that he's been quoted as saying that the country doesn't need the most polished debater.  That's an important comment that comes in reaction to reactions like these;

September 23, 2011

Morgan Freeman loses his grassroots cache.

Morgan Freeman goes off on the Tea Party patriots. Perhaps he doesn't understand the real story.

Remember when he said this? He earned some respect with that. Now he's blown that grassroots cache. Back when President Obama won, I told two of my black friends who supported Obama that it wouldn't stop racism. I said it would make it worse if Obama did a terrible job. He'd make it harder for a qualified African American to be the next African American president.
What if he turns out to be terrible because he wasn't really well vetted? How much harder does that make it for the next black candidate, even if they are exceptionally qualified? There will be an inherent scepticism before he/she has a chance. What does that do for equality of opportunity?
Looking back I said a lot of stuff that made sense. Imagine that.

Christie gets itchy?

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is reconsidering his decision not to enter the 2012 presidential race — and he says he will let top Republican donors know within days about his plans, Newsmax has learned.

During the past few weeks, several leading Republican donors and fundraisers have been urging the popular Republican governor to reconsider his decision not to run and to enter the GOP primary.

Read more on Chris Christie Reconsidering 2012 Run, Will Decide in Days Important: Do You Support Pres. Obama's Re-Election? Vote Here Now!
Update: Denied.

Where Perry falls down on immigration

Illegal means not legal.
Jim Geraghty has a point about Perry's worst moment during the debate last night when he talked about allowing children of illegal immigrants to receive state paid tuition.
Hey, Governor, if we wanted to hear suggestions that folks on the Right are heartless, we would have tuned in to watch a bunch of Democrats.

If you want to alienate Americans concerned about illegal immigration, the quickest and surest way is to suggest that they have cruel, draconian, xenophobic, or racist motives for their focus on border security
True.  But the real point where Perry falls down is basic logic. 

Recapping Obama

For those of you or for your friends who do not follow politics on a regular basis and get your political impressions and decisioning courtesy of the mainstream media, complete with it's inherent bias, allow me to recap the Obama presidency for you in something that suits your passing fancy and/or short attention span.

Tick Tock Sarah Palin, Tick Tock

In?  Out?  Late?
Sarah Palin's window, realistic chance of winning the GOP nomination or not, is rapidly closing.  Her self-imposed deadline of September on a decision has a week left.  Beyond her self imposed deadline, she actually does have a bit more time - technically speaking.  But in reality, time is ticking by and with each passing day the prospect of a Palin candidacy is dimming ever more quickly.

Romney-Perry main event fizzles

The gloves are off. Almost.
It's not exactly an exploding fireball of death for Rick Perry, but last night he did himself no favors.  Then again neither did Mitt Romney in a night that seemed just a little bit disjointed.  Instead of one debate I saw two distinct scenarios.  It was a like a boxing match with an under card.

September 22, 2011

Live-tweeting the GOP debate tonight

I will be live tweeting thoughts and observations on the debate Google-Fox GOP candidates debate tonight in Florida.  So will 2.4 million other people.  The likely hashtag will be #GOPdebate.

If you are interested you can follow me on Twitter here.  If you were brought to this post from Twitter, this could be the start of an endless loop.

September 21, 2011

American spirit witnessed

I'm back home after a business trip to North Carolina.  It's a beautiful state.  I was in Cary (outside of Raleigh) and it's almost as if the city is set down in the middle of a National Park.  I've really missed posting.  I had trouble connecting to the hotel's WiFi and even if I could the two days I was there were so busy that by the time I got back to the hotel room, I didn't have the energy to write or even check the news.  But I'm back now after a busy day at the office trying to catch up.

One thing that struck me while I was in Cary was that certain businesses seem to be resistant to recessions, and apparently I'm in one of them.  The business climate there seemed vibrant and energetic.  There was no sense of America's best days being in the past.  There was no sense that the economy was never going to recover.  What I saw was American spirit and ability.  That's something that transcends politics and it was quite refreshing to see that spirit on display.  It provides hope in a far more tangible way that a mere slogan.

Seeing what I witnessed in Cary, I know that America is not a lost nation or a lost cause.  There's too much human capital, too much intellectual capital, and too much spirit for that to be the case.  There will be a comeback, of that I'm certain.

September 19, 2011

Don't read this unless your name is Michelle

Wishing you a Happy Birthday Michelle.

September 18, 2011

An outsider's view of America.

Tomorrow morning I'll be travelling to beautiful North Carolina.  I'll be in Cary for two days on a business trip.  I've been to Cary once before and I found it quite enjoyable.  Being in the United States is a great feeling.  Sometimes I get the feeling that a lot of Americans (not all, but many) take their nation, their freedom and their opportunity for granted.  Every time I visit anywhere in the United States I'm struck by the greatness of the country.

Millionaires, Attack Politics and Economics

It looks like I'm otherwise engaged today for at least a big portion of the day.  So here are some quick impressions of some recent news events that I don't want to just let slip by without commenting on.

September 17, 2011

Saturday Learning Series - Reasoning with Probabilities

It's interesting that something on probabilities would come from a philosophy tangent. Kevin deLaplante of The Critical Thinking Academy has a great mini-series on reasoning with probabilities. It might seem a bit dry to some but there are some pearls of wisdom in here. This one hits home for me big time, since I do a lot of work with statistics in my day job. I'm no statistics guru, having only taken it in university and then getting to use it again only within the last 10 years or so (after a decade out of school). But I've worked with it enough to understand the importance of statistics and the implications of what it can tell us (and a little more, but that's not relevant here).

The stimulus is over

The unemployment rate seemingly peaked at over 10% under President Obama and has since slid back to 9.1%.  Was that the recovery?  No, it wasn't.  That was the net effect of combined actual and psychological impact created by the nearly $1 trillion stimulus clunker knows as ARRA.  That stimulus effect has run out and now we are starting to see the possibility of a double dip recession.  Except it's not really a double dip.

Saturday Learning Series Bonus - Innovation

This might be for me as much as anyone else. A bonus Saturday Learning Series from Jeremy Gutsche - innovation expert, trends expert, and founder of

September 15, 2011

Is Perry just a flavor of the week?

Remember that time when Donald Trump jumped into the GOP race as a slick promo for his TV show?  Remember how he was instantly catapulted into the top tier by his mere entry into the race.  This despite the fact that he seemed to have studied an executive summary on conservative positions written by someone at the DailyKos?  He remained at the top for a while until it became apparent that he understood the nuances and underpinnings of conservatism with the same precision as a rubber mallet being used to thread a needle.  Donald Trump was a flash in the pan, a flavor of the week (or perhaps month).  Ultimately he flamed out.  But he did seem like an appealing alternative to Romney there for a while.

Attack Watch on life support

This election cycle's version of Fight the Smears is the Obama site Attack Watch.  It is in a word, ridiculous.  In two words, creepy ridiculous.  In a video, it's this;

Great parody.  Watch for Attack Watch to go on death watch - it's already on life support.

September 14, 2011

Funny, and Jewish is both funny and Jewish

There's a site that has graciously linked to me that I'd like to point out, in fact, I've linked to them as well.  The site is called Funny and Jewish.  That they would link to me - a not-funny Christian is in a way funny.  Then again in a way it's not.  I've always been very pro-Israel, and a firm believer in the common interests between the two religions and the two cultures.  Maybe it's the fact that I find them funny.

This is not me.
In any case I'm happy to refer anyone interested in some lighthearted looks at the news.  It is indeed funny.  If I had a shtick it would go right here in this post.  Instead let me kvetch about not having anything funny to say right now. Bupkes.  All that's coming to mind is the Beastie Boys.  

But that doesn't matter - if you want humor, I just gave you the link. Follow it.  Try the bit about the Gibson guitar raid for starters.  It's quite good.

Shalom out.

It got weird, didn't it?

Mexico has been at war with its various drug cartels for some time.  Perhaps as a consequence of that fight, or perhaps simply in parallel, Mexico has been making it harder and harder to obtain guns there.  Not surprisingly guns have been walking south from the U.S. to Mexico.  Clearly Mexican demand, not entirely legally has been fulfilled by American supply.  That's the free market, albeit grey in this case.  The sellers are legally selling guns to buyers who are misrepresenting themselves as being able to legally purchase them.  None of this should surprise anyone.  You don't need to believe in the laws of supply and demand to see them in effect.  Regardless of government style in effect, supply and demand  are real, tangible things.  You need food, you buy it from where it is being sold.  That's irrespective of where you have to go to get it, and of what the commodity is - it works for guns as well as food.

That the guns are being used by a criminal element - buying the guns illegally and using them to violent, illegal effect - is also to be expected.  There is a drug war between rival drug gangs and also the Mexican authorities who are in the dubious position of being almost no more than just another faction.  It makes sense that they would ban guns in Mexico - it gives them a competitive advantage in the violence that plagues that nation.   The government doesn't have a brake on it's authority so it's natural that it would just go ahead and do that.  The drug cartels response - go get guns where they are readily available.  So far, no surprise.  But wait, it gets weird.

September 13, 2011

Al Qaida on the run? Maybe Not.

Via AP:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- America's top two intelligence officials said Tuesday that al-Qaida is weaker and U.S. intelligence agencies are smarter since the Sept. 11 attacks - but the terrorists are nowhere near giving up.

In his first week on the job, CIA director David Petraeus told members of Congress that al-Qaida's recent losses of Osama bin Laden and others have opened "an important window of vulnerability."

Petraeus predicted that al-Qaida leaders may even flee to Afghanistan or leave South Asia altogether to escape the CIA, which has quadrupled covert drone strikes against al-Qaida under the Obama administration. He testified at a joint congressional intelligence committee hearing.

Petraeus and the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, both said that al-Qaida's Yemeni offshoots and others are growing more daring and dangerous - a sentiment shared by lawmakers.

The chairman of the House intelligence committee, Mike Rogers, R-Mich., warned against dismissing new al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri as "feckless" and dismissed suggestions that "the threat of terrorism has significantly waned." He said he feared Americans becoming complacent.
Does America have the stomach to continue the war on terror? Does it require a continued presence in Afghanistan or are drone strikes, better intel and more groping at airports enough? To be honest those are not easy questions, nor am I trying to be more than a little facetious. The important thing is to not let our guards down.

September 12, 2011

CNN - Tea Party Express GOP Debate thoughts

The discussion around Social Security being a ponzi scheme is a healthy one but you can see in the CNN coverage that smart Republicans have to ensure that whenever they talk about it nothing can be taken out of context.  Every sentence has to include the points that it is future based reform (no one in the system will be displaced), that it is only about saving the concept of social security from ruinous failure and Social Security for no one.  Once you figure out how to distill all that down to 11 words, let me know.


At 10:17 EST, CNN in it's truth-o-meter claimed Rick Perry was false in his assertion that the first stimulus under Obama created zero jobs.  CNN reverted to  the CBO's estimate that 1.4 million to 3 million jobs were "created or saved".  The fact that they would even consider scoring jobs saved is a ridiculous and disqualifying assertion.  That meme disappeared in 2010.  That it was presented as being more factual than Perry's assertion is in itself misleading.  While it's not surprising, it is still disappointing.


It will be interesting to see if Bachmann's attack of Perry on vaccination and the implications a of government mandate gains traction.  I think it will require more repetition to move the needle on Perry.  I also think it's an important question that requires a better answer than Perry gave.


Speaking of which, I'm completely unsold on Governor Perry.  In 1988, he apparently endorsed Al Gore, and of course he used to be a Democrat.  That in itself is no crime but I think I'm justified in feeling squishy on him, or at least unsold.  On immigration he needs to better explain himself than he has as well as the Bachmann question on vaccination and then there's the next point.


While Perry did better than the previous debate, and he held his own, he is not the debater that Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich are.  The latter two came off as the most polished and while neither one has my endorsement, both are best positioned to run circles around President Obama in a head to head debate.  Gingrich will not be the nominee, and Romney isn't very soft on conservatism despite his concerted effort to run to the right in the primaries.  Perry has a lot of work to do to get more prepared for some tougher debates, especially when there are far fewer people on the stage.


The best take on Perry's taxes came from Ron Paul.  It was both funny and poignant.  I don't think Paul is electable either but despite pundits' expectations, I think he will become much more polished as the debates go on.


Michele Bachmann did better than the previous debate, but I don't know if she did well enough.

The no-due-diligence presidency

Here are a couple of quick anecdotal examples of why this is the no-due-diligence presidency.

  1. Obamacare and as Nancy Pelosi pointed out - we have to pass it to see what's in it.
  2. During the BP oil spill the President claimed to be on top of the situation but blamed the disaster entirely on BP. This despite the fact that his slow response and clearly not knowing all the facts indicated that there wasn't much due diligence coming out of the White House and it seemed entirely befuddled.  Angry, but befuddled.
  3. His last address to the joint session of Congress demanding they pass the bill - that he still hasn't fully released (see item #1 for a historical comparison).
  4. The $0.5 billion loan to Solyndra to make solar panels a year before the company declared bankruptcy, when the GAO had concerns about this sort of lending;
Plenty of venture capitalists made foolish bets on Solyndra, but the federal government was the most reckless. The Obama administration wanted to throw money at the likes of Solyndra without due diligence, or much diligence at all. In 2008, the Government Accountability Office warned that the Energy Department loan program — created in a 2005 energy bill — had inadequate safeguards.

Why Fox is bad for Palin

It probably doesn't take a PhD to figure out where this line of thinking is going.  Fox News has provided an outlet for Sarah Palin, but the incremental value with regards to getting her message out there  has limitations, and it's probably been reached.

September 10, 2011

Posting note.

Recently I posted a schedule for evaluating the candidates over a number of different metrics.  I started the first assessment yesterday.  It turns out that they are taking longer than I originally planned, and while I will continue posting on them daily, they need to be broken into smaller chunks and the individual posts will be staggered over a longer period of time than I originally intended.

Stay tuned for more.

Saturday Learning Series - The Invisible Hand

Back to economics this week, the philosophy thread will continue again next week. Two weeks ago I came across this lecture series by Yale professor Douglas W. Rae who talks about the brilliant concept of The Invisible Hand by Adam Smith. The lecture is part of a course on capitalism. It's a terrific lecture if you give it a chance to soak in and watch more than the first few minutes.

Seven Steps To A Closed Society

Conspiracy theorists both left and right always think of a closed society in terms of government control. I'm not sure exactly how many steps it takes to close a society but I do know that it's not only the government that can close a society from liberty.  Liberty requires free speech, free thought, an informed public and an engaged public. A society can be closed by an atrophy of those pillars.  It can be closed by a deliberate removal of those pillars.  In America the former course is not only more likely than the latter, it's more evident.  Taken together, seven somewhat inter-related factors (rather than 'steps' because they aren't really sequential as much as they are parallel developments) present a toxic mix for a free nation.

Watch out.

Rating the GOP candidates - Experience (Part 1 of 2)

In order to assess the contenders for the GOP 2012 presidential nomination a number of factors need to be consider that go well beyond, "I like the guy". Quite often that gut feel approach is right, but not always. It does no harm to look at the distinct factors and how each candidate stacks up compared to the others before making a decision. We might like the economic policies of one candidate slightly better than those of the others but find another candidate with a much higher factor in how electable they are. That construct will help inform each of our decisions.

We all get this now, right?

The decisions will vary from person to person, but at least they will be made with a little more clarity. The following few days I will be sifting through the research and information available to find some of the relevant details for each candidate to provide a side by side comparison. I will provide a personal assessment as well but I will keep it separate from the factual delivery of the pertinent details.

September 9, 2011

Obama's jobs plan: We'll have to pass it to see what's in it.

Can't you just hear Nancy Pelosi's familiar Health Care refrain when you think about Obama's latest jobs plan? We'll have to pass it to see what's in it.  She was talking about a 2000 page piece of...legislation. But this is not even a plan -  at least so far.  It was just a speech. How do you pass a speech?  And it was a dull, redundant and no the least bit innovative speech at that.  

What, you were expecting something better?  I'll admit it was a possibility but had to be a long shot at best.  From what has happened so far the Obama speech was a re-hash and a small re-run of the ARRA stimulus scenario of 2009. You have to wonder if Rahm Emmanuel didn't call the White House with a stern lecture for the president.

September 8, 2011

Does Right To Work Work?

This by no means is an exhaustive depiction of this issue, but it does provide some insights into the debate around right to work states.  For those not familiar, there are 22 states in the union who allow workers the right to work without forced membership in an organized labor union the 28 other states do not afford their citizens such protections.  That of course begs the question if unions are so great, why would citizens be required to join them.  And if unions were so great, why would unions care if the state was a right to work state - people would join the unions anyway and the right to work laws would be a quaint formality.

Obama Jobs Plan - What If Scenario #4 - the scary one

No guts, no glory?
What's on the news horizon for today? Well, it's the start of the NFL season, and Peyton Manning might miss it.  Oh, and there's some sort of jobs speech going on tonight as well.  For what it's worth, there's one scenario left to consider with respect to President Obama's speech.  As previously mentioned the president could go with big conservative ideas, or big with liberal ideas or go small and hope it comes off as big.  He could also go with big liberal and big conservative ideas.  He could go all in.

September 7, 2011

First thoughts on the GOP candidates' debate

Some quick thoughts on the GOP presidential primary debate tonight.

Obama Jobs Plan - What If Scenario #3

There's a few possibilities that come to mind with President Obama's impending joint session job's speech on Thursday.  He could go conservative in a big way.  He could set low expectations and meet them by delivering very little.  There are other possibilities.  He could also go big on liberal agenda items.  He's done it before.  He is certainly ideologically predisposed.

September 6, 2011

Coming Soon - Candidate Viability

I was planning on providing some thoughts on a number of different elements regarding the GOP candidate field.  A long time ago I provided a candidate review on the top GOP candidates post 2008 (early 2009 actually).  The landscape has certainly changed, but the factors in assessing a candidate really haven't.  They come down to foreign policy, economic policy, social policy, experience and whether the candidate is electable. This time I'm going to do the comparisons issue by issue rather than assessing each candidate on all the issues as a candidate-standalone.  The comparisons will be head-to-head by issue.

September 5, 2011

Not so poor - Bill Whittle's best work?

Bill Whittle's Afterburner takes a look at The Heritage Foundation's study on how it's not so bad for the poor.  At least, it's not as bad as the professional left would have you believe.  This is 8 minutes well spent.  It's not an attack on the poor it's an attack on manipulated perception.

September 4, 2011

Cheney: Clinton would've been slightly less bad

Dick Cheney thinks Hillary Clinton would have been easier to work with than Obama.  In fact he actually went so far as to say she's competent;
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Hillary Rodham Clinton isn't president, but Dick Cheney says that if she were in the White House rather than Barack Obama, then things might be different today in the country.

Cheney isn't getting into specifics, but he does think that "perhaps she might have been easier for some of us who are critics of the president to work with."

The former vice president tells "Fox News Sunday" that it's his sense that the secretary of state is "one of the more competent members" of the Obama administration and it would be "interesting to speculate" about how she would have performed as president.
Um...that's not helpful Dick.

Slow news day at AP - Unions Not Happy

You know it's a slow news day when the AP has a headline pointing out that unions are not happy with President Obama anymore.  The real news flash is the one for the unions - waking up to the reality that Obama's a best friend of...Obama.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- In the early days of the Obama administration, organized labor had grand visions of pushing through a sweeping agenda that would help boost sagging membership and help revive union strength.

Now labor faces this reality: Public employee unions are in a drawn-out fight for their very survival in Wisconsin, Ohio and other states where GOP lawmakers have curbed collective bargaining rights.

Also, many union leaders are grousing that the president they worked so hard to elect has not focused enough on job creation and other bold plans to get their members back to work.

"Obama campaigned big, but he's governing small," said Larry Hanley, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union.
Too bad, so sad.  Not for the unions, for AP.  That just shows how little is going on at this moment.

September 3, 2011

BLS - do you need the 'L'?

The Unemployment Rate remained unchanged in August at 9.1%.  I've been critical of the numbers reporting in the past, given that the retroactive adjustments always seemed to work to the convenience of the Obama administration.  The number after being widely reported would be later adjusted upwards with little or no fanfare.  Or, the other adjustment would often seem like it was retroactively bumping up the previous month to make the current month's bad news seem less worrisome by comparison.  In other words, the numbers might be pure, but only if you look back far enough.  Sure, maybe it's unintentional, but the adjustments never seem to be of equal distribution between good news and bad news for President Obama.  Color me suspicious. Take out the L from BLS, and you have my view at a minimum, on the way the numbers get reported.

Sarah Palin Announces...

Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Arg. Via ABC Sarah Palin Talks About Her ‘Plan’ but Does Not Announce in Iowa;
ABC News’ Sheila Marikar reports: Sarah Palin’s Iowa speech sounded a lot like a stump speech. She made frequent references to “my plan” — “My plan is a bona-fide pro-working man’s plan and it deals in reality … My plan is about empowerment...
I'm guessing an announcement is indeed coming, but it's starting to take too long. 

Saturday Learning Series: Debate - A good argument

Two weeks ago I posted a Saturday Learning Series post about different types of false arguments. I promised last week I would get back to it but that there was a Yale lecture series on capitalism I really wanted to start posting on as well. It looks like we'll be alternating topics for a while.

Getting back to the philosophical side of debate, rather than looking at poorly formed or misleading argument styles, Kevin deLaplante of The Critical Thinking Academy doesn't just look at what to look for in a bad argument or debate style, he also talks about how to construct a good argument.  From negative to positive.

September 2, 2011

Obama Jobs Plan - What If Scenario #2

Yesterday I went through the exercise of what would happen if the president in his upcoming jobs speech went big on conservative principles. Not likely but theoretically possible as a scenario, it pales compared to some of the other possibilities. In the next scenario, let's look at what would happen with a "go small approach". In other words, if the president's big plan that he worked on at Martha's Vineyard turned out to be entirely underwhelming, what would happen?  Hang on, there's a twist.

September 1, 2011

Obama Jobs Plan - What If Scenario #1

Waxing poetic on jobs?
Now that President Obama is done playing footsie with Congress and the address to the joint session of Congress is a go on Thursday, not Wednesday, before the NFL season opener not during, we can turn our attention to the super awesome wonderfulness that will be his august address.  After all, an address to a joint session is usually a big deal, so this jobs address must be a doozie of a plan.  It must be spectacular to merit such a rare non-State of the Union joint session.

So what's the plan?  I can think of four different scenarios that could materialize and each has a different set of implications for the country and for how the GOP should react.
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