October 31, 2011

Really Scary Halloween Costume

I'm not sure the source on this but I had to share.

Solyndra 2: Green Restated

Remember Solyndra?  Half a billion in loans before the solar panel company went belly up?  CBS is highlighting what looks like an early sequel to the stinkulus bonanza;
A company whose subsidiary received $118 million in stimulus grant money from the U.S. Department of Energy to build new electric car batteries has now been removed from trading on NASDAQ.
EnerDel got an Energy Department grant in early 2010 for battery manufacturing in Indiana but the stock of EnerDel's parent company, Ener1, fell from $4.04 in 2010 to just 9 cents on Thursday. By Friday NASDAQ had pulled the company from its listing leaving the stock at $0.00.
Wow. B-O-O-N-D-O-G-G-L-E.   Good thing the Obama administration is scandal-free.

Democrats Replay Old Script on Cain

Remember me?
It looks like the Democrats are getting a little worried about Herman Cain.  He's black, he's conservative, and he's winning.  That shoots a hole into their liberal narrative - a big hole.  So they have to do what they can to derail him as quickly as possible.  This is bigger than derailing Mitt Romney whom they view to be the likely nominee because the narrative on African Americans is that their only hope for a better future is to always vote Democrat.  The problem is we can spot an old playbook play when we see one and the proper defense is to counter this story with the truth as hard and as often as possible.

October 30, 2011

Clearly, it ain't easy in the Middle East

The president got it really wrong on Iran. He has it wrong on the pullout in Iraq and Afghanistan.  He messed up on Egypt and appeared pretty muddled and reactive on Libya.  He's managed to overlook Syria during some brutal repression.  Pressure might mount for him to do something.  The problem is, it probably won't be something very forward looking.  He's got no credibility on foreign affairs aside from some credit for getting Bin Laden and his computer files - which wasn't really him so much as it was the government apparatus that he doesn't like - the military, the CIA etc.  Foreign affairs isn't a matter of capturing terrorists anyway.

Obama scandal free since 2008. Are you kidding me?

Jonathon Alter is either as sharp as a tennis ball or as dishonest as the man he seeks to glorify.  Get this from his recent Bloomberg article;
Although it’s possible that the Solyndra LLC story will become a classic feeding frenzy, don’t bet on it. Providing $535 million in loan guarantees to a solar-panel maker that goes bankrupt was dumb, but so far not criminal or even unethical on the part of the administration. These kinds of stories are unlikely to derail Obama in 2012. If he loses, it will be because of the economy -- period.

Even so, the president’s Teflon is intriguing. How did we end up in such a scandal-less state? After investigating the question for a recent Washington Monthly article, I’ve been developing some theories.
Beyond Solyndra (which does have scandalous issues to be dealt with - improper vetting among them) there's Gunwalker, Van Jones, to name just a few.  If you are looking for a running total, there's a pretty good list here.  If you read Alter's article you'll either pull your hair out or laugh until your stomach muscles hurt.  You'd swear he was in 2008 happy unicorn magic mode. Alter is flat out wrong on this and it's so bad it's disgusting.

October 29, 2011

Saturday Learning Series - Enron: Business and Morality

In the continuing series from Yale professor Douglas W. Rae, behind the Enron story from an insider's point of view.  The focus is on business and morality.  As a conservative, business is critical in my view of American success, but that success needs to be real and solid.  Fictitious profits and success that isn't real isn't helpful, it's the moral equivalent of a ponzi scheme.

Obama's record: Taliban victory is a symptom

Fox News is reporting another attack on NATO forces in Afghanistan. Kabul is the location of the latest attack, which seems to be part of a Taliban ramping up of efforts on the heels of the Iraq pullout and ongoing Afghanistan troop draw down.
Afghanistan -- A U.S. official says all 13 NATO service members killed in a suicide bombing in the Afghan capital were American troops.
The Taliban is going to win the PR war.  Democrats constantly banged the drum that Bush failed to win the peace. Aside from being in the right place at the right time to kill Osama Bin Laden, president Obama has not done anything substantive to win the peace.  What's worse, is the fact that leading up to the eventual withdrawal  of U.S. and NATO forces, the Taliban is winning the PR war.  They'll eventually be able to claim (erroneously) that they drove the U.S. out.  It will create fear in the Afghan population.  They could bulldoze their way back into power.  They likely will.

It's symptomatic of a very large problem. Cluelessness.

Obama's transparency flip flop

Researching stuff for posts often reminds one of the promises The One made back in the early days of his candidacy and the shocking  terribleness of his actual record.  I'm more than happy to share some of the reminders.

Obama's lobbyist flip flop

I just posted on Mitt Romney flip flopping on climate change, and I don't want to contribute too much to the idea of the GOP eating their own - not when president Obama does his own flip flopping and is deserving of far more criticism.

The president's purity on lobbyists falls far short of his political rhetoric and what's worse, it appears that the White House is deliberately trying to skirt the president's promises.

Shocking, or just par for the course?

Say Anything Romney becomes a climate warming skeptic

Flip-flop alert!  Flip-flop alert!

People are entitled to change their minds.  People learn from experiences and learn from what goes on around them, so changing an opinion is not a bad thing.  But in the span of a few months, a change this dramatic is a change of convenience.  Mitt Romney has gone from climate change believer to climate change skeptic in short order.  This is politics of convenience.  It's say anything politics at its worst.

October 28, 2011

Oh My: Hillary out in front

It looks like people just don't like the Republicans more than they don't like Obama. You can take this with a grain of salt - liberal Time magazine finds that Hillary polls better better than Obama, better than the GOP, pretty much better than everyone. Via USA Today
People can't help but wonder what might happen if Hillary Rodham Clinton ran again for president.

A new Time magazine poll shows Clinton easily defeating the major Republican candidates, were she somehow to become the 2012 Democratic nominee for president.

Clinton leads Mitt Romney, 55% to 38%; Rick Perry, 58% to 32%; and Herman Cain, 56% to 34%, among likely voters in a general election.

(Time magazine notes, "The same poll found that President Obama would edge Romney by just 46% to 43%, Perry by 50% to 38% and Cain by 49% to 37% among likely voters." Clinton's leads are bigger.)
That may be worrisome for the GOP for 2012 but it shouldn't be.  This reflects probably more regret on the part of many liberals at what could have been rather than as a plan for 2012.
(1)  Time is a liberal  publication and poll results can be skewed based on how questions are asked. 
(2)  Hillary isn't running and if she were, there would be a lot of blood on the Democrat side of the ledger.  Either as a Democrat usurper or as a third party candidate, she does more damage to Obama than to the right.  Hillary is probably much more interested in 2016. 
(3)  The Time poll has a number of GOP candidates all being led by Obama. Significantly.   That is out of step with other polls that have the races closer and out of step with polls indicating Generic Republican beating Obama.  Once we know who generic is, the numbers for the specific candidate will exceed that of Obama.  That is, barring an economic miracle.

October 26, 2011

How soon after Obama loses...

No really - this will work.
I've got a question.  After Obama loses the next election (and he will), how long will it take the media or the far left, to turn on the American public for reverting to racism and fear?  Especially racism.  I say, the same night.

The drumbeat will be about how the country wasn't ready for a black president and they overlooked his intelligence and brilliance as a result. They will surmise that the country really wasn't as sophisticated as they thought back in 2008.  Perhaps Obama tapped into an underlying desire from voters but they would ultimately revert to clinging to their guns and bibles.  The country wasn't ready for a man ahead of his time.

It will be driven by a desire to cover their own exuberance at the 2008  Obama victory, and a desire to angrily explain away why the public departed from their core beliefs and their narrative.  But make no mistake, it will happen.  There will be a period of media soul searching afterwards, and then they'll come back hard against Republicans.

How government works

Read this sign carefully.  This explains how government works.  If you don't understand the problem after reading it, don't vote.  EVER.

Obama's Bush fires

President Obama even now talks about how terrible of an economy he inherited from President Bush (with nary a word about the influence of the Democrat controlled Congress). But he forgets to mention the wealth of positive effort he inherited when it comes to the War on Terror.

October 25, 2011

Hoping for confusion in the early states

That's not right.
Not too long ago I made a prediction about the early GOP primary winners. Of course I reserved the right to amend it as facts changed. We all knew they would and I of course need to tweak those predictions now. But that isn't my motivation for the headline. I'd rather the Republicans win in 2012 than be right about what happens along the way.

Nevertheless, I'm still hoping for a mish-mash of victors in the early primary states. Here's why.

The Cain Smoking Man Ad and Rush Limbaugh

Last night on Twitter there was a brief flurry over the latest Herman Cain Ad.  The controversy is over the "smoking man" at the end of the clip.  But I really don't think that's the problem.

October 24, 2011

Scott Brown is our man!


If you are a die hard conservative like myself, Scott Brown was a heartache.  I even volunteered to make calls on his behalf during his race to become the Senator from Massachusetts to take "Ted Kennedy's seat".  He promised to be the vote for the filibuster of Obamacare.  Of course once he pulled off that remarkable upset victory, the Democrats ran an end-around and his win did nothing to prevent Hillarycare Pelosicare Obamacare  from becoming law.

And since then, Scott Brown has taken a number of decidedly unconservative positions that have disappointed conservatives across the nation who had previously cheered him on.  The seat was going to be up for re-election in 2012 and Scott Brown has got to run again after only a couple of years in the seat.  He's up against a long time supposedly neutral but very liberal Democrat next year.  It's probably an uphill battle for him and one many conservatives don't mind if he loses.

The horrible, horrible "what if" of American decline

Let me start by saying that this is a "what if" scenario and I do not subscribe to it whatsoever. It is purely speculative and no inferences about my belief in its viability as a theory should be made.


Inadvertent Spin for Cain

Having accused many of spin in the past, I believe I may have done it myself for Herman Cain, albeit inadvertently.

Steve Forbes recently had some positive things to say about Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan. But at the same time he mentioned he prefers Rick Perry's idea for a flat tax (no mention of Gingrich's version of a plan published over a month ago).

Steve Forbes may be in the tank for Perry but I am not in the tank for Cain. I like his idea. Perry's may be good too, I haven't seen it yet. But to be clear, while Forbes may like Cain's plan, he has not endorsement and his preference seems to lie elsewhere.

Incidentally, I've moved closer to a preferred candidate among the many but I am not locked in. I have simply ruled out a few people. Meanwhile, I want to be fair to all of the candidates, hence the clarification for those who read my posts.

October 23, 2011

Add Steve Forbes to the 9-9-9 supporters. Maybe.

Herman Cain may not have fully disclosed a list of economists in favor of his 9-9-9 plan, but he is getting some high profile praise from Steve Forbes.  While it comes with a Perry caveat, it still provides Cain ammunition that his plan is not some half-baked cockamamie scheme;
The nightmare on Main Street -- the federal income tax code -- is ending, which is fantastic news for our beleaguered economy. Dramatically simplifying this monstrosity would unleash a powerful wave of prosperity and job creation.

Thankfully in 2012 we will get a mandate to make this happen. Presidential contender Herman Cain vaulted to the head of the Republican pack when he proposed his 9-9-9 plan -- a flat 9% income tax, corporate tax and national sales tax. Even better, Texas Gov. Rick Perry will, in a few days, unveil his version of a flat tax, a concept that I have long advocated...

The flat tax would stimulate risk taking and productivity. Combined with a stable dollar, it would usher in a great economic boom. The Cain plan would rid us of not only the federal income tax, but also the Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes. Both plans would end crony capitalism and reduce political corruption: Half of the lobbying in Washington revolves around the tax code as special interests vie for special tax breaks.

The challenge of the Cain plan is that national sales tax, a tough sell given that the average sales tax in the US on a state and local level is already at 9%. Moreover, there is a real danger in introducing a new nationwide tax. Politicians will always be finding a reason to raise it, which is what’s happened to Europe with its consumption tax, called the Value Added Tax. The flat income tax is the easier, better way to go.

A King Shamus post worth re-reading

Is this King Shamus?
King Shamus deftly tackles the Gaddafi capture and killing, discussing everything from liberal hypocrisy in chest thumping, to the post-Gaddafi geo-political impacts of his death.  Here's his take on the latter;
...according to President Obama’s logic, America simply had to help throw out Khadafi, even though our short and long term interests would’ve been better served by keeping him around. Meanwhile, Bashar al-Assad still hasn’t taken a laser-guided thermobaric curbstomp. The Iranian mullahs, who somehow managed to keep power even after the 2009 Persian uprising should’ve shown America just how brittle the Tehran theocracy really is, have yet to be shown the business end of a J-Dam. 

It would be a far better and much more stable world if our real enemies were punished for their actions. But then again, is stability really what Obama is seeking to create in the world? His actions in Libya suggest he has some other goal in mind.
I would add to King Shamus' list of reasons to be happy that a murderous dictator is gone just one thing. There is no longer any need to reconcile the myriad spellings of his name in the media to determine which one to use when talking about him, because we won't be.

A Mark Steyn column you can't miss

Joe students.
In refuting the Vice President's address to some fourth graders, Mark Steyn brings some startling facts to that table, along with his eloquent delivery.

The money quotes;
Back in March, my National Review colleague Kevin Williamson pointed out that, in order to balance the budget of the United States, you would have to increase the taxes of people earning more than $250,000 a year by $500,000 a year...
So how about people earning a million dollars a year? That’s “a lot of money” by anybody’s definition. As Kevin Williamson also pointed out, to balance the budget of the United States on the backs of millionaires you would have to increase the taxes of those earning more than 1 million a year by 6 million a year.
Click the link above to read it and read right through the second page as there are some other enlightening facts in there worth knowing, and sharing.

October 22, 2011

Herman Cain and debate prowess

Herman Cain  is a likable guy.  He has momentum on his side right now.  He's charismatic and he's thinking outside the box.  In fact he's running outside the box.

With a buildup like that, you know there's a BUT coming...

Bad News for Bachmann

Michele Bachmann is languishing in the polls since her early straw poll victory in Iowa.  Things just got a little worse for her.  Via Roll Call;
Rep. Michele Bachmann’s entire Granite State team has quit her presidential campaign, according to a report from ABC’s New Hampshire affiliate WMUR. 
The five-member team gave notice because the Minnesota Republican “had not paid sufficient attention to New Hampshire,” the station reported.
 The up side for Bchmann, she wasn't planning on contending in New Hampshire and aside from the bad optics, this probably represents some cost savings for her.

Quick Two Word Opinions

Here's a few more quick hit opinions on recent news items that I haven't had a chance to expound more thought on.

Gaddafi has been killed in Libya, ending his malfeasance forever - About time.

Greece is on the verge of collapse and the EU is at odds about bailing them out again - About time.

Joe Biden wants to run for president in 2016 - Great idea.

U.S. troops will be out of Iraq by year end - election bait.

#OWS Occupt Wall Street continues - Really? Yawn.

The Washington Post did a hit piece on Marco Rubio about his parents - no accountability.

Herman Cain leads the Nevada straw poll - Raising Cain.  (I had to say it somewhere).

Saturday Learning Series - Death of a Technology

Continuing with the Yale course from professor Douglas W. Rae, moves away from some of the economic discussion and moves towards a more real-world analysis of a corporate situation but looks at it in relation to capitalism in general.

October 21, 2011

Hey GOP: Step-by-Step guide on following Reagan's 11th Commandment

You recall Reagan's 11th commandment? In case you don't, here's a visual:

Apparently some of the GOP contenders for the 2012 nomination have sadly, forgotten it.  I won't name names but the term "two of the front runners" comes to mind.  But there's a way to debate each other that doesn't violate that commandment.  If you campaigners can't figure it out for yourselves, I have a suggestion.

October 20, 2011

GOP misdirection play

The Democrats seem to be convinced that Mitt Romney is going to be the GOP nominee. That is evidenced by the fact that David Axlerod and the DNC both have started targeting Mitt. If they are targeting him they must believe he's going to win.

That's a very plausible supposition on their part - Mitt Romney is a front runner in many states, he's well funded and he's well organized. He still fares best among GOP candidates in polls against President Obama. Further, his detractors have split their support among a few candidates. If the GOP primaries become a war of attrition, or simply longevity, he's got to be a favorite.

October 19, 2011

Canada - We've got some stones.

Damn America, we're showing you up!  Israel, are you paying attention to the country that was the first to walk out on Ahmedinejad at the U.N. during his hate speech against Israel?  Hint:  It wasn't the U.S.  It was Canada.  And we have little time for Palestinian hate speech too, even if it is in tweet form.

Oops. I didn't mean to retweet it.

Meanwhile at the White House (courtesy of FT);
Exactly a year ago this week, President Barack Obama stood at the podium at the UN General Assembly and declared his support for a Palestinian state. “Palestinians will never know the pride and dignity that comes with their own state,” Mr Obama told the general assembly, unless the two parties reached a peace agreement. 

So it will be some degree of awkwardness that Mr Obama returns to the UN this week and directs his representatives to vote against a plan that would lead to Palestinians achieving that exact destination, albeit by a different route. 

Indeed, the US president will be acutely aware how hypocritical he must appear: voicing support for democratic transitions across the Middle East at the same time as scuppering Palestinian aspirations for recognition. Mr Obama hardly wants to be seen as being on the wrong side of the change sweeping through the Arab world.
Wishy washy. 

Perry Nevada strategy misses on tactics

I thought that Rick Perry might try to make a stand in Nevada.  Articles are saying it's a Romney state.  But given the proximity to Texas, given that Perry needed to make a stand and win a pre-Florida state, I thought Nevada made sense for him.  Apparently so did Perry and the twin imperatives of winning a state and needing to go after Romney, meant he was going to go on the attack last night.  But it was ugly. You can see it here.

Bad.  While this wasn't exactly the Bay of Pigs, I think it's safe to say the tactics didn't match up to the strategy. It looked petty and desperate, I don't think he helped himself, but I don't think he helped Romney either.

Confirmed - Gingrich won.

I've been watching Fox News this evening and I watched the CNN post game analysis last night.  Who won the debate depended on who was speaking but the answers seemed to center around Perry, Romney and even Obama.  I called it for Gingrich.  It turns out Frank Luntz did a focus group and it was played on Hannity -  the focus group called winner: Newt Gingrich.  There's no link to the video yet but watch the Hannity replay tonight to see. But I feel confident in saying I spotted the winner and I expect to see the dial move for Gingrich a little bit.  That said...

October 18, 2011

GOP Nevada Debate Winner: Gingrich?

There were some interesting developments in the debate tonight. There were losers and winners and some twists and turns in the running battle between Romney and Perry, something CNN clearly still believes constitute the two front runners in this race.

October 17, 2011

Developing: Cain ahead of Obama

In Rasmussen's latest poll release, 2012 Presidential Matchups, Cain's bounce has him ahead of Obama in a shift of +5% for Cain in a matter of a week. That's a significant shift if the numbers hold up.

DeMint Losing It?

Um, what???
Jim DeMint is reportedly set to endorse...Mitt Romney, according to a Roll Call.article. Setting aside whether the article is true, would it benefit Romney, or would it harm DeMint?
Mitt Romney is the favorite to receive Sen. Jim DeMint's (R-S.C.) much-sought-after endorsement in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, according to knowledgeable GOP sources.
DeMint, who endorsed the former Massachusetts governor in 2008, made clear in an interview late last week that he has made no decisions on whom he will support in the 2012 primary. But Republican operatives familiar with the DeMint-Romney relationship and privy to the conservative Senator's private assessment of the GOP field believe Romney is the most likely candidate to receive the backing of the tea party favorite. 
"Jim is far more likely to endorse Mitt than anyone else currently in the race," a Republican with South Carolina ties said. "Jim is a business guy and that's his background. He's not really the good ol' boy conservative type. So Mitt in a lot of ways is a more comfortable fit for him."

Big news: CLASS is over

Calling it classy doesn't make it so.
In a news dump worth of singling out the Obama administration announced late Friday that the CLASS Act (a misnomer if ever there was one) was going to be dropped.  It's a big, big deal regarding Obamacare that will do nothing to derail the overall program from charging forward with reckless abandon.  

What to make of Jersey?

In a Quinnipiac poll released last week that headlined how voters felt about the TV show Jersey Shore, President Obama's approval numbers, underwater, went from bad to worse, but he'll probably still win the state if the deeper dive in the data holds true.

October 16, 2011

Hey OWS protesters, fight the real enemy.

Irony: without capitalism, no jobs.
The collective consciousness of the Occupy Wall Street protesters is lacking.  If Wall Street has corrupted the country, and that is arguable, take a look at how they are doing it.  They are working through the Democratic party.  The people you support are their tool.

October 15, 2011

Legal Insurrection: #OccupyMediaHype

Legal Insurrection captures the tweet that gives voice to the truth about the Occupy Wall Street movement - it's hype.

You can read it here: #OccupyMediaHype

Saturday Learning Series - The Rise of The Joint Stock Corporation

Yale's continuing course from professor Douglas W. Rae on Capitalism: Success, Crisis and Reform.

Professor Rae explains how the growing scale and complexity of railroads in the US were foundational to the development of modern capitalism. Operating the railroad system required professional managers and new management techniques, and the scale of railroad financing gave rise to the formation of the joint stock corporation. Professor Rae then discusses how different forms of company ownership differ along liability, liquidity, financial scalability, accountability, and role of ownership dimensions. Joint stock corporations are shown to be extremely efficient ways to raise large amounts of money, even if they suffer principal-agent problems.

Now, with improved play window size...

The Evils of Representation Without Taxation

James Joyner at Outside The Beltway has an interesting but ultimately I think misguided post about the supposedly 'heartless' response of conservative bloggers to the Occupy Wall Street effort.  Why misguided?  Firstly, it assumes that everyone behind the OWS effort is pure and there is no progressivist agenda behind the movement at some level.  Setting that aside, the blame for people not paying taxes is the conservatives' push for lower taxes.

Quoting Suzy Khimm, WaPo WonkBlog, he points out;
Part of the reason that over 40 percent of Americans don’t pay taxes is because of the continual push to lower them — a cause that conservatives have championed. For example, while the Bush-era tax cuts benefited the wealthy, they also lowered taxes at every income level, making it “relatively easy for families of four making $50,000 to eliminate their income tax liability,” as the Associated Press notes. Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts, similarly, took many lower-income Americans off of the tax rolls, an accomplishment about which the Gipper was quite proud.

Ironic Obama War on Terror Moment

The president has been criticized for an air strike that killed an American citizen who was classified as an enemy combatant.  Now you can add his son to the list.
A son of the U.S.-born Al Qaeda cleric Anwar Al Awlaki was among seven suspected jihadist militants killed in a trio of apparent U.S. air strikes in Yemen, a member of his tribe said Saturday. 
"Abderrahman Anwar Al Awlaki was killed in the raid," the tribal source said, adding that he received confirmation from the militant-controlled Yemeni hospital where the dead and wounded from Friday evening's strikes were taken.
The irony?  Look back to March 2009.
The Obama administration stopped calling Guantanamo inmates "enemy combatants" on Friday and incorporated international law as its basis for holding the prisoners while it works to close the facility...
The Obama administration has said some of the Guantanamo detainees, now numbering about 240, will be freed while others will be put on trial. A third category involves some prisoners deemed too dangerous to be released.
Go back two and half years and the enemy combatants were to be freed or given a non-military trial.  Now, the president is approving drone strikes on people without a trial of any sort.  It looks like there is a fourth category the president and Eric Holder failed to disclose back in 2009:

Too dangerous to live. 

Who is involved in the OWS movement?

Do these people speak for you?
The Occupy Wall street effort is garnering a lot of support from the usual suspects and a few who are a complete surprise.  But the movement is claiming it speaks for 99% of the country and there really isn't that sort of mass behind it in real numbers.  Regardless of who is behind it or who is involved, the real question goes deeper than the names and the message, it's the claims that they speak for all of us that need to be addressed.

But first - who supports this? George Soros of course is involved. He's heavily involved, though his spokespeople claim ignorance and he claims nothing.  And then there's the usual cadre of celebrities - everyone is familiar with Roseanne Barr's foolish comments.  No one would be surprised to hear that Susan Sarandon, Michael Moore, Kanye West and Alec Baldwin are involved and/or supportive.  That's not really news.

October 14, 2011

Bill Whittle's harsh response to Occupy Wall Street.

This is harsh, but it is 100% right.  I've worked hard for most of my life and I've been at times lazy too.  At least on the few occasions when I'm feeling lazy and inert I feel guilty about it.  These protesters clearly don't.  Bill Whittle has the solution and it is a really good solution that will never happen.  Nevertheless, hear him out.

October 13, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Outtakes

These aren't exactly outtakes, although if they were reported by NBC Nightly News they would be.  This is what you don't see on the news.  Warning - there's some occasional language in these clips.  They do however illustrate the level of sophistication in the protests.  I hate to use the word rabble but...wait, no I don't.

Breaking: Gingrich leaps Perry

After the debate I posited that Cain had won the debate, Romney did well enough but did not win simply by virtue of not losing.  I suggested that Perry lost and that Gingrich continued to perform well.  The latest two polls out seem to confirm my points, although they are up to the day before the poll, the trends seem to be directional.  In other words, the debate will probably solidify the direction of these candidates.

Granted, I didn't think Gingrich would benefit much from his performance but it's starting to look like his efforts may be paying off.

Pelosi will just have to get along without me

Blog closing - 75% off sale.  Not this blog, I'm shutting down my other, neglected blog, The Uncool Whip which focused on Uncoolness in Washington D.C.  Naturally it featured an awful lot of Nancy Pelosi.

I'd love to keep it open but I don't have the time.  I'd be more than happy to open it up to cross-posts that focus on beltway stupidity (with a slant towards Pelosi specifically).  So while I won't be posting there any longer, if you want to power wash the stupid off the former Speaker/Whip or other Democrats of infamy, let me know and I'll post it there and even mention it here.  

Wishing won't make it go away Nancy. But uncoolness fatigue will.

October 12, 2011

Obama: Don't split up my bill

Obama: Don't split up my bill. Wait, it's okay to split up my bill.

The Democrat controlled Senate did not pass the President's jobs bill.  Why?  It simply was a bad bill.  The president had insisted the bill be passed without changes.  He wanted to blame a do nothing Congress if it did fail to pass, for the problems the country faced.

But since the democrat controlled Senate didn't pass it, he's going to break it into pieces and try to pass as many pieces as possible, and hopefully for him (politically), most of them don't pass and he can still blame Congress for not caring about high unemployment.  That's how he plans to run his re-election campaign.  Color many people unimpressed.

Who won the latest GOP debate? Cain.

You just messed with the wrong guy, punk!
The conventional wisdom is that Mitt Romney did well and won by virtue of not doing poorly.  The conventional wisdom is that Herman Cain gets honorable mention and certainly helped his own case.  The conventional wisdom is that Rick Perry had not done enough to reverse his polling slide and therefore was the loser. 

Let me take another angle.  

October 11, 2011

Cain vs. Romney - which one is Mothra?

The debate tonight will feature Cain versus Romney.
In a radio interview just now, Herman Cain previewed his Tuesday night debate plan: “I’m going after Romney.”

"I’m not going after Perry. I don’t need to go after Perry," Cain said, per POLITICO's Juana Summers.
That appears to be correct.  Godzilla versus Mothra tonight.  It's likely not the final battle, but it should be good.

Christie endorses Romney - no biggie.

The not-running-for-GOP-nomination New Jersey governor Chris Christie has endorsed the not not-Romney candidate Mitt Romney for president.  I'm not sure that's a game changer.  Much of the support for Christie (and hence the weight of his endorsement - no pun intended) is a mile wide and an inch deep (certainly no pun intended).  The point is, Christie, perceived as a true conservative but not so much by those who know him more intimately, has endorsed the GOPs most likely RINO candidate.

October 9, 2011

The cult of American Marxism - Atlanta edition

Courtesy of ConservARTive.com (SecularStupiddd on Twitter), Atlanta's occupy Wall Street crowd is just cult-creepy.

Liberal words "regressive tax" are flawed

Did the game Monopoly get it right?
Liberals' circular thinking drives me nuts some times. They get stuck on a talking point and cannot see the inherent flaw in their argument.  CNN's State of the Union hostess Candy Crowley argued with Herman Cain this morning about his 9/9/9 tax plan being regressive.  Liberals love the words regressive tax to be applied to anything other than the most punitive 'progressive' tax that skews the country towards socialism.  Just what is a regressive tax, and why was Crowley 180 degrees wrong in comment?

This is key because it is so wrong, but it is so commonplace.

Romney has it sewn up (or not)

Establishment Romney sheep?  Click to see.
Kristin Powers writing in The Daily Beast argues that the domino effect caused by Florida moving its primary up to January helps Mitt Romney's chances of winning the GOP primary. She sees it as being all about money.  Florida is big, expensive and early and Romney has cash.  Advantage Romney.  I don't see it that way.  Too bad I didn't write about the various impacts of the moves before she did.  Oh wait, I did.  

By the way, Romney sheep are very real.  Luckily they aren't voting in the primaries.

Despite my difference with Powers on the effects of the Florida move, her argument makes some sense.  Although I don't think it's that cut and dried,  there is some merit to the cost argument.  But that's only one facet of the race.

October 8, 2011

Saturday Learning Series - Freedom is a common good

Yale professor Douglas W. Rae lectures on Hayek and others, about the common good derived from freedom.

This is a continuation of the previous lecture series by Rae from Saturday Learning Series posts.

October 7, 2011

Occupy Wall Street? Wait, what haven't you occupied?

Image: ABC.com
If the protesters who want to occupy Wall Street want think that be de-coupling power and wealth from Wall Street they will achieve a progressive nirvana, they are sorely mistaken.  I have one simple question for the protesters - over the past three years, what haven't you occupied?  

October 6, 2011

Canadian conservative trifecta has probably stalled

The Conservative government in Canada finally won a majority government this year after a couple of minority governments.  In Toronto, Canada's most populous city, a conservative won the mayor's race.  In Ontario, Canada's most populous province, there's a provincial election today.  The opposition Conservative party was 10 points ahead in polling a scant two months ago - now, they're likely going to end up second with yet a third term with a tax and spend Liberal government and a resurgent socialist NDP party creeping up in popularity as well.

Rocking the comb-over!

Um, which Republicans were in favor of this guy?

GOP moving parts almost stop moving. Let's predict.

Oh really now?
With Sarah Palin and Chris Christie bowing out of the race, the nominees are pretty much locked.  With states moving up their caucuses and primaries, the dates are locking in and coming soon.  The moving parts are stopping their moving and locking in for the GOP nomination process.  With things locking down predictions about what is likely to happen are somewhat easier, though by no means have they become a simple task.  The ubiquitous "a lot can happen between now and..." still applies.

Just ask the guy on the left.

Things change, and we can't wait for the next one.  The question is, who will it be to replace America's significant O?

October 5, 2011

Palin is NOT running. Now what?

Word is Palin's out.  It's not a big surprise, although going beyond her own deadline and then announcing on Mark Levin's show I find curious.  Going beyond her self-imposed deadline makes me think she was really considering it up to the last minute.  As for Mark Levin's show - why not Fox, why not on Rush Limbaugh's show.  Why not before the evening news cycle?  It's like a back door exit. Not running may not have helped her credibility but to minimize that, she could have gone out Christie style - being forthright, upfront and facing the music.

Steve Jobs passes

At 56 Steve Jobs, Apple genius and former CEO has died.  Condolences to his family.

UPDATE:  Link here.

October 4, 2011

More Durbin Olbiviousness

Dick Durbin encourages people to get out of Bank of America because he doesn't like their debit card fee - a fee he caused to happen.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Guess what Dick, a run is not happening on the bank, it's happening on your political party.

Keeping a watchful eye on the Occupy Wall Street efforts

Yep. The irony is palpable.
Earlier today I opined on the Occupy Wall Street effort in a dismissive sort of way. I don't want to give the impression that ignoring them is a good idea.  The Democrats ignored and tried to marginalize the Tea Party much to their own detriment.

I don't think the Occupy Wall Street effort will grow enough to pose a serious threat to anything conservatives want to achieve.  But that doesn't mean the movement should be ignored.  Marginalized - if necessary, counter demonstrated - if absolutely necessary, but observed - most definitely.

Counter demonstrations may become necessary, but that's so not yet.  These people soon have to get back to the schooling their parents are paying for and forget about protesting having to repay their student loans.  It's a loan - you have to repay it.  No one is owed an education, or a job, or food or a home by anyone other than themselves and maybe their family. I'm not paying for your education unless you pay for my mortgage.  Deal? I didn't think so.

Before I spend too much time on that tangent, let me stop myself there.

Christie NOT running

I've heard in a few places that Chris Christie will announce he's not going to run for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012.  Confirmation or refutation of that rumor coming at 1 pm EST.

He's also continue to be a NOT Romney candidate - for now.  I deliberately avoided the obvious liberal media joke of 'maybe he SHOULD take up running'.  Oops, now I didn't.

Whether Christie is a good future candidate or not, this decision is best for his own political future. Refuting his refuting of his desire to run this cycle would be a tough and diversionary to his focus.

Republican and Independent WV voters pay attention

Mountain men are always free.
Go vote for for Billy Maloney today in the special elections. If you know someone in West Virginia, remind them to vote for the Republican. The race is unexpectedly close. Each vote matters.

Go vote.

It's important for your state and it's yet one more signal for the national political debate if you can turn an unwinnable state into a win.

Occupy Wall Street - Duped by progressive elite, again

Van Jones wants you to march (it stirs the pot and keeps him in the headlines). President Obama wants you to march because it's free publicity for his re-election campaign.  It also gets you mobilized which will help turn you out for the next election.  Warren Buffett wants you to march because it helps him too - he gets to keep an ally in the White House who will allow him to say he wants to pay more taxes while paying less than he should.

You are a dupe.  You are being tricked, and you are being used.

October 3, 2011

Dick Durbin - oblivious to his own reality

I am the very model of a modern major general.
Democratic Senator Dick Durbin pushed hard for this, and now that it's happened, the obvious unintended consequence is his doing and he just doesn't see it.  He is oblivious.

Todd Zywicki at Law and Economics sums it up nicely.
This Saturday, government price controls on debit card interchange fees (which card issuers charge to merchants) go into effect. The controls are the result of the Durbin amendment to last year's Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation. They were enacted at the behest of big-box retailers such as Wal-Mart and Walgreen's, which stand to gain a multimillion-dollar windfall. But the controls are already transforming the retail banking landscape.

The Durbin amendment tasked the Federal Reserve with establishing the allowable maximum interchange fees. It originally intended to slash them by 70%-80%. In response to a firestorm of criticism, the Fed cut the fees about in half, to about 24 cents per transaction from an average of 44 cents per transaction, including a one-penny allowance for fraud prevention. The new fee limits apply to any bank with more than $10 billion in assets.
So they can't charge enough of an interchange fee to keep the debit cards viable.  So what has Bank of America done (and soon other banks will follow suit?  They've found someplace else to make up the fee - consumers.  There's a new $5 per month fee coming.  And Dick Durbin is hopping mad.
“Bank of America customers, vote with your feet,” the Senate majority whip said in a floor speech Monday. “Get the heck out of that bank. Find yourself a bank or credit union that won’t gouge you for $5 a month and still will give you a debit card that you can use every single day.

“What Bank of America has done is an outrage,” he added.

Bank of America announced last week that it will soon start charging most of its customers $5 per month for using their debit card — a move intended to recoup the revenue that the bank will lose under new federal regulations that went into effect Oct. 1. Those rules, authored by Durbin, capped the amount of swipe fees — what banks can charge retailers for processing debit cards.
What did you think was going to happen Dick?  Either the bank stops the debit card if the economics don't make sense or they make up the money elsewhere.  They've chosen the latter.  What is unconscionable Dick, is you thinking that this isn't your own fault.  Price controls are inherently destructive.  What is more of an outrage is your calling on people to boycott a bank that is trying to keep a product viable in the face of your silly regulation - something the free market could take care of itself via competition. And for good measure, your own party is busy trying to keep that very same bank afloat.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The official bailout of the financial system may be over, but the government is apparently far from finished propping up big banks, as evidenced by the news that Bank of America(BAC_) has struck a deal to dump a bunch of near-worthless home loans on U.S. taxpayers.
Oblivious Dick, yet again.

October 2, 2011

In honor of Chris Christie...

In honor of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, I've widened my blog page layout to 1180.  Adjust your screen resolution accordingly.  Feedback on how viewable the new layout actual is, is most welcome.

Note for the sarcasm-challenged - it had nothing to do with Chris Christie.  As I've mentioned before, his weight has nothing to do with his ability to govern.  Maybe if he added 400 lbs it would, but as of now - zero impact.

Two word opinions

What does it all mean?
I'm going to be busy today, so here's some more quick opinions on subjects that I'd mostly want to spend more time on, but for now, I'm just getting on record with something.  Call it a place holder.  In other cases, two words is more time than a subject needs and you can consider it a dismissal of the topic as irrelevant.  I'll leave it to you to decide which you believe is which.

He's Not My First Choice, But He's Not the Worst Choice

I've threatened to have a guest blogger before.  This isn't exactly that, but I've been speaking with Grant Davies and he's allowed me to cross post this article from his blog.  As he puts it on his own blog "Grant Davies is a retired securities trader and investment advisor who was a member of the Tea Party for decades before it existed."

Grant's recent post discusses Herman Cain, you can find the original here: What We Think and Why: He's Not My First Choice, But He's Not the Worst Choice.  Thanks to Grant for allowing me to cross post this article. 

Check out his blog for a libertarian perspective on things political. I'm not so much a libertarian myself as much as a conservative, but when you start talking tax structure you've got my attention.

Flashback Sunday - Obamacare can't work.

Why won't Obamacare work?

More people covered requires more health care. More demand means more supply is needed. But doctors don't come in a box. That means shortages, longer wait times, less coverage for all until more doctors are brought online. Except with price controls people will be less inclined to become doctors. So you are stuck in a shortage position.

And that doesn't begin to discuss cost to the government.

I took a good long look at this back in July 2009. It's worth a reminder before the 2012 election as to why Obamacare is so badly thought through.

October 1, 2011

Saturday Learning Series - Confirmation Bias and the Evolution of Reason

The video this week looks at a particular approach to understanding cognitive biases like confirmation bias. It's from Kevin. deLaplante of The Critical Thinking Academy.  He's provided some good videos on different types of invalid arguments that I've linked to in the previous Saturday Learning Series posts.

NEXT WEEK:  Back to the Yale course on economics.

Um, where's Palin?

Going somewhere?
No announcement was made by Palin on her decision to run/not run.  It was supposed to have happen in September.  That was her own deadline. Check your calendars, no announcement.  So what happened?  Is Sarah running or not.  Having firmly been in the camp of IS for the last several months, I'm about ready to flip to NOT.  Don't get me wrong, I think Palin would make a good candidate, I just think she's not going to run, and I think that's the case because events changed to make things seem less favorable for her.

NASA: We can't compete

Via DVICE, NASA confirms that SpaceX can do the job of NASA for half the price.:
In a report estimating the hypothetical cost of SpaceX's Falcon 9 launch vehicle for a government agency, NASA looked at it from two angles: the agency's traditional approach, and a "more commercial" one. Guess what won?

The government agency pegged the cost of building the heavy lifter at around $3.98 billion. We're used to hearing about space projects costing billions, but maybe this will put it in perspective: a "more commercial development culture approach" that cuts up all the red tape turned up a figure of $1.7 billion, well less than half.
 Go figure.  Now if only they could get that research done at the post office.

UPDATE: Link added.
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