May 31, 2012

Eric Holder plays the panic card

I'm Alright Jack.

I guess it could be classified as a sub-category of the race card.  Eric Holder is busy ginning up fear among African American pastors in order to gin up fear among African American voters that their right to vote is under attack by conservative boogymen.

Via Politico;
Attorney General Eric Holder told a council of African American church leaders Wednesday that the "sacred" right to vote is under assault nationwide, with federal lawsuits and at least a dozen state laws that could hinder - or block – minorities’ access to the ballot box this fall.

"In my travels across this country, I’ve heard a consistent drumbeat of concern from citizens, who – often for the first time in their lives – now have reason to believe that we are failing to live up to one of our nation’s most noble ideals,” Holder said in a speech before the Council of Black Churches. The threats of legal assaults and lingering discrimination, he added, means that “some of the achievements that defined the civil rights movement now hang in the balance.”

As if to underscore the point, however, a voting rights group is worried that Holder and the Justice Department aren’t acting quickly enough to stop Florida’s Republican governor from continuing a purge of registered voters from the state’s rolls because they lack proof of U.S. citizenship.
Not only is that a spurious argument regarding voter disenfranchisement, both Holder and the Politico piece completely ignore the questionable tactic of getting churches to preach politics.  As Rush Limbaugh points out, they are doing an end run around IRS rules:
Representative Emanuel Cleaver (Democrat-Missouri), said, quote, "We will have representatives from nine denominations who actually pastor somewhere in the neighborhood of about 10 million people, and we’re going to first of all equip them with the information they need to know about what they can say and what they cannot say in the church that would violate their 501(c)(3) status with the IRS. In fact, we’re going to have the IRS administrator there, we’re going to have the Attorney General Eric Holder there, we’re going to have the lawyers’ organization from around the country, the ACLU -- all giving ministers guidance about what they can and cannot do."

They're gonna tell 'em just how close they can get to the line. They're probably gonna tell 'em how they can jump over the line a couple times. What's funny about this is Bill Clinton, Jesse Jackson. These guys fund-raise from the pulpit! They pass the plate for campaign donations from the pulpit. It's been reported, but nobody does anything about it because nobody's got the guts to. Who wants to criticize black churches for being engaged in politics?

Churches get involved in politics fairly regularly.  Some churches do at least - remember Jeremiah Wright?  There's certainly a line there somewhere that is not supposed to be crossed, but note that some leeway is intentionally allowed for whatever reason.  That's not the real issue.  The real issue is that the Attorney General of the United States is out there trying to smudge whatever that line already is by pressing it as much as he can, for purely partisan political reasons.  You don't think he's blurring it?  Forget for a second about how far away from this a responsible Attorney General would stay from this sort of activity.  Go instead back to the intention of Holder being there in the first place.

Representative Emanuel Cleaver, whose Congressional Black Caucus, says quite plainly what his little project is all about.
Cleaver said they would not tell pastors which candidate to support. They will let them know who to regard as the bad guys, though (hint: not Democrats).

“President Obama is going to get 95 percent of the [African American] vote,” and wants to keep that turnout high.
And using the Attorney General of the United States and the IRS to directly do that constitutes multiple violations of the Hatch Act. The most obvious one is this:
May not knowingly solicit or discourage the participation in any political activity of anyone who has business pending before their employing office.
Every one of these churches (and the churches not getting the special “advice,” for that matter), by virtue of their tax exempt status, perpetually has business pending before the IRS. That’s what makes this particular and blatant partisan encouragement of black churches to pontificate on policy so egregious.
Never heard of the Hatch Act? It would seem not only are those pastors at risk, under the Hatch Act, Holder himself may be crossing that line.  Don't worry though liberals, everyone seems to be afraid to raise concerns about it.  No complaint, no foul.  With it looking lately like Mitt Romney has some electoral momentum, conservatives may not care as much about this as they otherwise would, but they should.  Eric Holder has consistently displayed a preference for liberal agenda over legal scrutability in his decisions.  Either we stand on principle, or we just allow the notion of the rule of law to slowly evaporate bit by painful bit.  Personally, I prefer the former course of action.  That means Holder must be taken to task for these actions, as well as others like his role in the Fast and Furious scandal.  The same goes for those ministers who would simply do his bidding.

Artur Davis - from Obama to a Republican

This is the guy who seconded Obama's nomination in the Democratic party.  His conversion to the Republican party is perhaps not stunning when you listen to his evolution of his beliefs but certainly a moral and rhetorical victory, well-timed for the GOP with regard to the 2012 election.

May 29, 2012

Oh No: McCotter ballot trouble

Conservative Republican Thaddeus McCotter has ballot issues, putting the GOP's Michigan congressional seat at risk.
Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.) is at risk of losing his place on the Aug. 7 primary ballot because of problems with his petition signatures, wreaking havoc on the GOP’s once-secure hold on his seat.

In a Friday statement, McCotter announced the secretary of state had questioned whether he collected sufficient signatures to make the ballot.

“I have been apprised my campaign may have submitted insufficient petition signatures to appear on the August primary ballot as a candidate for the 11th Congressional District’s Republican nomination,” he said in the late-night statement.

If the five-term Congressman gets booted from the ballot, Republicans will be forced to nominate a perennial candidate or mount a challenging write-in campaign for McCotter or another candidate.

May 26, 2012

Saturday Learning Series - Perfect Equilibrium

More Game Theory learning this week, as Yale professor Ben Polak looks at a specific type of situation involving perfect equilibrium.  If you missed it, this is a continuation of a lengthy series on game theory.  This was the previous installment.

Disarray: Democrats In Trouble.

Take a look at some of the stories in the news today, and you'd be hard pressed to believe the media narrative about the well-oiledsolar-powered, Obama reelection machine not being afraid of Romney or current events.  You'd be hard pressed to think they are remaining calm in the face of a minor blip along the way to Obama's inevitable re-election.  The media narrative about their impeccable sense of co-ordination and their huge organizational advantage would not be the image that springs to your mind.

Consider some recent newsworthy events that contradict that notion.

May 24, 2012

Are Democrats Throwing In The Towel On Obama?

Never underestimate your opponent, that's Winning 101 stuff. Looking at the 2012 presidential election and a few recent trends it's tempting to wonder if Democrats, many Democrats, are throwing in the towel on Obama. But in the spirit of not underestimating them, you have to pause and ask yourself if it's an act of playing possum, or whether they really are trying to cast the president aside and focus on keeping the Senate and perhaps winning back Congress.

Conservatives shouldn't decide to coast based on these developments because the perceived advantage could disappear quickly.

May 22, 2012

Is it bitter partisanship to dislike Obama personally?

Maybe it’s because I’m not evolved, but I dislike the president personally. I think I have good reason for that, but maybe I’m wrong. I’m not racist. I’m not a birther or a kook. I’m not looking to see him out of office by any means other than through an Electoral College victory by his opponent (the less-than-adorable Mitt Romney). I don’t wish him any ill or harm. But I don’t like Barack Obama personally and I think I have some pretty good reasons for that.

May 20, 2012

Preakness as Metaphor

Yesterday anyone tuning in to NBC during the annual running of the Preakness Stakes horse race, was witness to one of the greatest duels down the home stretch in years.  The race won by I'll Have Another and jockey Mario Gutierrez, serves as a metaphor about personal responsibility and success.

May 19, 2012

Saturday Learning Series - Imperfect Information

Game theory is an economic discipline, here continuing to be taught by Yale professor Ben Polak at Yale.  In this lecture (a continuation of a series), the topic is about dealing with imperfect information and it's impact on the outcomes.

May 18, 2012

Tea Party Leadership Lesson from Dancing Guy

You may have seen this before.  There's a lesson it it whether you have or haven't seen it, that is worth considering.

Are you a Tea Party supporter at heart but afraid to take some specific action for fear of standing out (say among your neighbors or colleagues or friends)?  Here's something the Occupy Wall Street crowd probably understands better than mainstream America, and certainly more than many silent Tea Party supporters - stepping up matters.

This video on leadership clearly explains why. Please watch it and see what happens.

That's how you make a difference.  You don't even need to be the first one out there.  You just need to be willing to take the risk.

May 14, 2012

Obama's diversionary tactics

Let me preface this post by noting that social issues are fundamental to the fiber of the country.  Character matters in politicians, and in daily life.  The direction of the nation is directly related to the philosophical bent of its leaders, and that bent is tied to character, values and is often intertwined with social issues. But social issues necessarily should take a back seat this election cycle, much to the chagrin of social conservatives I'm sure.  The reason social issues are secondary is that the nation's economic well-being - the debt, the economy, unemployment - has to be the primary if not the only campaign issue.

May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

To all mothers, have a peaceful,joyous day.

Jerry Brown forced to announce CA broke

Unfortunately, common sense has not yet taken hold on the left coast. The speech is all about spin, blaming others and it avoids the true pain that California will have to face.  Oh well.

HINT: Jerry if you want people to invest in California's future, stop scaring the money away, with more liberal spending foolishness.

May 12, 2012

The peaceful co-existence of God and science

Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Human Genome Project, spoke in 2007 about his belief in God (which 'evolved' from a position of atheism), and how it does not have to exist in conflict with a belief in, and a pursuit of science.

Food for thought for those on both sides of the God versus science equation.

Saturday Learning Series - Bargaining and Ultimatums

Now that this lecture series on Game Theory from Yale's Ben Polak has started, it might seem like it is going on forever, but understanding game theory has a lot of real world applications to it.  There are a handful of more installments to come, I'd encourage you to stick with it.  This week, the topic is about bargaining and ultimatums - offering some insight on bargaining is not a bad thing.

This is a continuation from the previous installment on game theory.

May 11, 2012

Saving The Pony Express

You've no doubt heard or read the history of the Pony Express. Romantic, adventerous, but ultimately, short-lived.
The Pony Express was founded by William H. Russell, William B. Waddell, and Alexander Majors. Plans for the Pony Express were spurred by the threat of the Civil War and the need for faster communication with the West. The Pony Express consisted of relays of men riding horses carrying saddlebags of mail across a 2000-mile trail. The service opened officially on April 3, 1860, when riders left simultaneously from St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California. The first westbound trip was made in 9 days and 23 hours and the eastbound journey in 11 days and 12 hours. The pony riders covered 250 miles in a 24-hour day.

Eventually, the Pony Express had more than 100 stations, 80 riders, and between 400 and 500 horses. The express route was extremely hazardous, but only one mail delivery was ever lost. The service lasted only 19 months until October 24, 1861, when the completion of the Pacific Telegraph line ended the need for its existence. Although California relied upon news from the Pony Express during the early days of the Civil War, the horse line was never a financial success, leading its founders to bankruptcy. However, the romantic drama surrounding the Pony Express has made it a part of the legend of the American West.
What happened? The Pony Express was a response to a need, but the timing of the response was a bit late.  The Pacific Telegraph line was the future, not to mention 8 years later the Transcontinental Railroad.  The Pony Express went bankrupt because the rationale behind it was essentially obsolete within 19 months.

The Dog Days Are Over

Here I was ready to completely ignore the dog stories about both Romney and Obama as trivial distractions until I saw this video by Bill Whittle which takes a long but valuable route to explain a simple point that the dog stories, actually do matter.

So, while the dog days are over for the media now, let me add my two voice to Whittle's - you want to talk dogs liberal media - okay, let's talk dogs.

May 10, 2012


Great U.S. technology is not nothing new, but this is newsworthy..  Via The Telegraph:

Terrific new technology, but maybe not so well-timed with more spies in the U.S. than ever:

...orrrrrr in light of this little recent gem:

May 9, 2012

Where Mitt Romney will fail

There's plenty of reason to believe Mitt Romney will win the presidential election this fall. He may lose, but he certainly has a good shot at winning. Where Romney stands to fail though, is after he wins.

May 8, 2012

The Lugar Bell-weather

Buh bye.
So long Dick (Lugar).  After serving a long, long time and being a true RINO, Dick Lugar has lost his Indiana  GOP primary to Tea Party backed Richard Mourdock.  It's not that you're too old Dick, it's that you are not conservative.  Conservatives will be happy, as we should be - but so too may be Democrats.

May 7, 2012

Mature Subject Matter - Reader Discretion Advised

Go play, grown ups are talking.
If you are in France, you can't read this. You just voted in a socialist government because you couldn't handle the necessary austerity measures, in a country so socialist already, it shouldn't make much of a difference that the socialist won - there isn't much room to move left anyway:

France currently has a government that absorbs more than 50 percent of its economy. They have a cradle-to-grave employment system, where once you have a job it is virtually impossible to lose it no matter your level of performance.
The retirement system for many union and government employees allows a person to retire at age 55 at close to full pay. For a while they had in place a 35-hour work-week law, which is still followed by many businesses and government entities. 
With these types of policies, it would seem difficult to imagine what a socialist government would change. But there is still room for movement to the left, according to the folks who are running. 
One candidate, who was eliminated from Sunday’s runoff but whose ideas linger on, proposed that all income above $350,000 should go to the government. A cause célèbre of the campaign has been a $22 million euro bonus which reflected in large part accrued, deferred compensation paid to the head of one of France’s fastest growing and most profitable companies that has added hundreds of new jobs.

Dearth of posting update

Life sure has been kicking me in the teeth lately. Work has been very stressful, money and debt have continued to be real problems, and to top it all off, my fiancee's grandfather, who was chiefly responsible for raising her, suffered a near fatal heart attack and kidney failure last week.  He actually looks like he's recovering, which has even the doctors amazed.    To be fair, if anyone has been kicked in the teeth lately it's been him.  

He blogs as well, you can check out his main blog here.  After he recovers he'll have some things to say again I'm sure.

As for me, I fully intend to get back to blogging in earnest as soon as possible.  After all, this blog started in large part as a result of the 2008 election.  I was always conservative and always political, but the events leading up to the 2008 election galvanized my attention and the results of the election galvanized my urge to act (i.e. blog). Therefore it makes sense that I would be blogging quite extensively this year in order to help facilitate change - in the White House (and the Senate).  As soon as I can get back on schedule with this blog, I will be doing so. I look forward to it.

May 5, 2012

Saturday Learning Series - Game Theory and Reputation

Some more game theory for you, and there's still more to go after today.  This is a continuation of professor Ben Polak of Yale's talks about game theory, in this case as it relates to reputation.

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