August 31, 2012

Bill Whittle coming to Toronto UPDATE: Link added

I'm really hoping to be able to attend.  In the spirit of supporting Bill, since I'm a fan of his work, here's his latest video, on the subject of the home stretch of the 2012 election cycle:

UPDATE: Here's the link for Bill's appearance.

Closing out the GOP convention

After quick reviews of the first and second days of the GOP convention in Tampa, I wanted to do the same for the last night, but I thought it might deserve a little bit more detail.  Nevertheless, in the spirit of quickness, here's my quick version to tide my thoughts over for now.

Clint Eastwood - Funny, but a bit slow in its delivery. In the end, it was pretty much a conservative red meat speech which will drive liberals crazy and therefore invite a lot of derision "He's too old", "He rambled", "What was that? It was creepy."  Did it help or hurt Romney and/or the conservative cause?  Likely only a little.  C+

Marco Rubio - The speech was great.  I can't find any fault with his speech.  It was touching, inspiring, and smart. A

Mitt Romney - After a number of speeches talking up Romney's tender side, he delivered a couple of tender touches himself.  If the 'experts' are correct that Romney needed to be humanized in advance of the Democratic convention and more Bain attacks, then mission accomplished.  But Romney also touched on some important plan points.  He didn't get into details but opened up the opportunity to talk about them on stump speeches.  He made the case, successfully, that he would be a good president.  He may have inoculated himself to some extent against future character attacks.  The speech wasn't rousing, but it was the speech of a competent candidate.  That's better than the competition. B+

Found on Facebook

I saw this on Facebook although I don't recall where - I thought it was worth sharing here.

August 29, 2012

Quick Grading GOP Convention Speeches - Day 2

Speech of the night.
A close second.
For comparison, here are my quick assessments from Day 1

Unfortunately I missed Rand Paul, so I'll have to update that here after watching a replay.

The speeches tonight were good and certainly from a generally higher profile group than the first night (Christie being the obvious exception yesterday as the keynote speaker, and Abbe Romney also).

John McCain - the speech was okay, but he seemed tired and quite uninspiring.  D

Rob Portman - some great parts and some dull parts, but overall - pretty good. B-

Tim Pawlenty - A lot of good one liners kept the crowd engaged but not on their feet. B

Mike Huckabee - His prior speaking experience showed.  On point, well spoken, and engaging.  B+

Condoleeza Rice - Resolute, stirring and focused on national security which has only been casually mentioned heretofore.  Included the topics of trade and energy and economy and tied it all back to conservative philosophy. Inspired the crowd, and me. Rousing. A+

Susana Martinez - I wouldn't have wanted to follow Condi Rice. But her family success story was inspiring and important.  I wonder if MSNBC showed her. B

Paul Ryan - He hit all the right notes but it was not moving the way Rice's speech was. If it had started a bit more energetically the way it was when it had built up, his would have been the speech of the night. Still, a forward moving speech that was very strong over the latter half.    A

Liberal tolerance explained in one photo

Here you go.

Republican? Must be racist.

The Democrats would have you believe anyone in the Republican party, anyone questioning the president, must be a racist - even this message of hope from the GOP convention opening day yesterday by Mayor Mia Love of Saratoga Springs, Utah.

Great speech, inspiring story. Yeah, must be racist.

Yahoo's new Bureau Chief should be Kanye West

Liberals like to recycle everything, including their news memes.  Here's some other examples.  Now, there's this.  Liberals are looking for the same anti-Bush hatred any way they can manufacture it since they've lost all that unicorn magic Obama brought to the table in 2008.  So the Katrina smear is back on the table - at least for Yahoo's now former, Bureau Chief:

This is highly derivative of the infamous Kanye West diatribe:

Instead of reusing and recycling liberals, how about just reducing -- your bile?

Conservatism is big tent politics

The liberal media meme is, as it has always been, that the Republican party - the GOP - is racist, sexist and everybody-phobic.  That's nonsense. But the meme persists, even though by not-so-subtle but not well publicized methods.  They are manufacturing their own slant on the news like never before (evidence below). The problem with the perception they are trying to maintain, is that it does not fit with the reality of the GOP, let alone conservatism, which is definitely big tent politics if you stop to think about it.

August 28, 2012

Quick follow up on convention speech analyses

It seems like both Fox and CNN are saying that the Anne Romney speech was the home run for the first night of the convention.  I stand by my quick analysis.  Her speech was a B - it will ultimately be graded on whether it moved or started moving the needle for women voters on Romney.  I thought Chris Christie's speech was far more powerful.  Of course the bar is higher for him, given that he's a politician and she's not.  But his speech really carried weight (no pun intended). It was moving and focused and it spoke to the issues.  It set the tone, the theme for the Republican convention.

I'd even say Artur Davis hit a better note than Anne Romney.  Her speech was good, but it wasn't the best of the night.

One parting thought:  CNN's Wolf Blitzer noticed Romney didn't smile enough.  Can you say NITPICKING?

Quick-Grading the Convention Speeches

Winning speech.                                       Photo: Via ABC
Scott Walker's speech seemed to wake up the convention. B+

Rick Santorum's speech was dry and unexciting. C-

John Kasich's speech was energetic and insightful but not highly inspiring. B-

Artur Davis' speech was quite good, focused on the right target but unfortunately under-received by the crowd. A-

Nikki Haley's speech was good and had some excellent of examples of Obama as a roadblock. B

Anne Romney's speech started weak but grew in strength as it went along.  It was well received. But did it make a dent in women's opinions of Romney?  Maybe a little.  B

Chris Christie. The keynote speech, was funny, passionate, forthright and well-spoken. A

GOP Convention Day 1 (or 1b)

I'm atypical.  For me the Republican convention is an event, like the SuperBowl.  I love politics - at least as a spectator and sideline commentator.   But to be honest, I'd love to be in the fray.  But as I said, I'm atypical. The level of interest I have is not representative of the average American voter.  They will vote (or not) this year, having not seen Kelly Ayotte's speech.  Wait who?  Ayotte's speech was not especially remarkable, but it wasn't bad.  The point though, is to look for the contrast with the coverage with the coverage of the Obama convention in 2008 or what it will be for 2012.  

As I'm writing this, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell is currently speaking.  The GOP convention so far has not been all that exciting.  In fact, it's been downright low key.  The energy level in Tampa Bay has been muted.  And for that reason, the low level of media coverage has not hurt.  The convention has been overshadowed by Hurricane Isaac.  It started a day late, and the opening has been truly underwhelming.  Sure, this is not the prime time portion of the line-up, and the high profile speakers like Chris Christie and Scott Walker have yet to speak.

Right now, I'm at the benefit-of-the-doubt stage.  I'm sure things will pick up.  They sure better, because so far I have one word - bland.  Bland will not start the momentum.  Coming out of this convention the GOP and Mitt Romney need momentum and a gripping narrative to move the needle on voters. That won't happen if the convention stays this bland.

August 27, 2012

Save our balls? From Obama???

Sadly, this ad campaign is no joke, it's real.

According to CBS News;
The company behind the strong "rare-earth" magnets, Buckyballs, is fighing back at Washington regulators with a new advertising campaign.

The company, Maxfield & Oberton Holdings, is responding to what they call overzealous regulators who have moved to take Buckyballs off the market because children keep swallowing them, putting themselves at risk for internal organ damage.

Buckyballs are marketed to adults and are covered with warning labels, however last month, the Consumer Product Safety Commision (CPSC) filed an administrative complaint against the company, alerting the public about the risks and offering customers a refund.

Craig Zucker, CEO of Maxfield & Oberton, launched a sharp-witted ad campaign using the slogan, "Save Our Balls." The ads, in newspapers and on the web, are directed at lawmakers and President Obama, claiming that the Obama administration has pushed regulation too far.
This is amazing and it's a great way of reaching the youth vote and getting them to realize that voting for Obama is maybe not so smart.  It should be injected into the campaign - to the right audience who might be busy laughing at the use of the word injected right now - because it's a stunning example of Obama's over reach and working around Congress as he's indicated recently he'd do more in a second term.

"We don't comment on production schedules"

Chevy Volt production appears to be headed for it's second temporary shutdown of the year.  According to a GM spokesman;
"We don't comment on production schedules," the spokesman said. "We continue to match supply and demand."
Insert your own joke or statement of the obvious here.

If it wasn't for people's jobs in the balance, it would be comical.  If it wasn't for the the fact that GM could be fixed properly if it was subject to real market forces and it was facing a sink or swim scenario.  It could have swam. True, it could have sank too, but at this point we may never know.

August 26, 2012

2008 hurricane redux

2008, Democrats attacked the VP nomination and reveled in the hurricane that disrupted the GOP convention:

Not exactly good taste. Flash forward to this year.

Let's hope the election outcome isn't as redundant as the hurricanes' timing and the even more predictable liberal response.

Charlie Crist's Continued Cream-Puffery

Sorry Charlie.
Charlie Crist has sunk the GOP's chance at the presidency, by endorsing Obama for a second term.  Or more likely, not.  If you've just eaten, you may want to skip this sop:
As America prepares to pick our president for the next four years — and as Florida prepares once again to play a decisive role — I'm confident that President Barack Obama is the right leader for our state and the nation. I applaud and share his vision of a future built by a strong and confident middle class in an economy that gives us the opportunity to reap prosperity through hard work and personal responsibility. It is a vision of the future proven right by our history.

We often remind ourselves to learn the lessons of the past, lest we risk repeating its mistakes. Yet nearly as often, our short-term memory fails us. Many have already forgotten how deep and daunting our shared crisis was in the winter of 2009, as President Obama was inaugurated. It was no ordinary challenge, and the president served as the nation's calm through a historically turbulent storm.

The president's response was swift, smart and farsighted. He kept his compass pointed due north and relentlessly focused on saving jobs, creating more and helping the many who felt trapped beneath the house of cards that had collapsed upon them.
It goes on, but I think you get the picture.  Stirring words - if you happened to be in a coma for the past four years and (1) didn't see the results of the president's economy heading south (not north like Crist's compass anaiolgy) and (2) you still remember and give a flying burrito about one Charlie Crist.

August 25, 2012

Saturday Learning Series Bonus - The Jet Age Race

The United States was earlier to the jet age than people realize, and some of their early design work, is still impacting flight design today.

Neil Armstrong, American Great, Dead at 82

Sad news today, Neil Armstrong has died at the age of 82.  He was of course, the first man to walk on the moon.  The Apollo program was a symbol of what the American government can do right - there's less and less of that these days.  Armstrong was part of something great, and his courage (along with that of Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins) as well as the achievement of  the moon landing serve as an inspiration to millions, and should be an inspiration to all people around the world to set lofty goals and work to achieve them.

Saturday Learning Series - Capital and Interest

The Austrian School of economics, as described by Hans-Hermann Hoppe and Jörg Guido Hülsmann, is explained in an 11 part lecture series. The previous lecture can be found here.

 This particular lecture focuses on the capital and interest.

August 23, 2012

2012, 2008 is calling.

Below is a video of Obama voters from 2008.  It helps explain how a slogan as ambiguous as "hope and change" could have won that election.  The sort of craziness shown from 2008 can happen any election cycle. Even this one in 2012.  Don't let it happen again; if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. I'm talking about the people in this video, I'm talking about anyone who sits idly by and let's this happen again.  Don't be a part of the problem; act now.

August 22, 2012

Top 10 Biden: understated in an over the top kind of way

Joe Biden may be off the mark on 90% of what he says, but he has to be the foremost authority today of saying something over the top and getting tons of press over his foolishness.  Yet in general, he stands out about as much as an accountant. He's understated in an over the top kind of way.

August 21, 2012

Did Akin just adjust his tweets?

Earlier I was on Rep. Todd Akin's twitter account and I saw some notes about the liberal media and an announcement pending on him staying in the race.  Now it appears to be gone.  The latest post showing right now is from Aug 14th.

Click to enlarge.

Is that a sign he's withdrawn from the race?  It's not clear yet, but he seems to be digging in, despite all the calls from the right to step aside for the cause.

Oops! Akin's gotta go.

Alright, there's standing beside your ally, and then there's the suicidal headlong charge into the wall of reality. The GOP has had a good shot at defeating Senator Claire McCaskill in Missouri this election cycle.  In fact Todd Akin, the GOP nominee, had opened up a lead over her in that race.

Then he went and said this...

Uuuhhhhhhh......moving on.

This will tank him in the election.  McCaskill's the one who has got to go.  Therefore, Akin's gotta go too.  The GOP needs to pressure Akin to step down today, before changing the nominee becomes too complex a task (as of tomorrow).  Whether Akin's right on every other issue, this makes his candidacy a non-winner.This Senate seat should be a win for the Republicans, if perhaps not an easy win.  Akin has just flipped that possibility on its head.  For the GOP to continue to have a shot at this Senate seat, Akin cannot continue to be the nominee.

Phyllis Diller, dead at 95.

Comedienne Phyllis Diller, died in her sleep yesterday. Rest in peace Phyllis.

Here she was roasting then California Governor Ronald Reagan.

Knee-jerk liberal emulator

I'm working on a knee-jerk liberal emulator.  I figure if I get it right I can practice my debate skills without having to find a liberal to debate with.  The idea is simple, program in a bunch of disparate liberal arguments that won't seem to have any relationship to the debate at hand, but that nevertheless, liberals have pulled out as their main counterpoints during a heated debate.

August 19, 2012

Obama's creative new media spin

Watch for this.  The president is looking like a fool with the media right now, but I'm telling you, it just might be his trick play.  As Ed Morrissey at Hot Air points out today, the president has seemingly alienated his entire right flank - the press corps - with the insulting notion that People Magazine is every bit as important as they are.
So what will the White House press corps think of Stephanie Cutter’s observation that the RPatz and Aniston beats are “equally important” to their work of covering the leader of the free world? Think that will assuage their concern over getting ignored for the last few months? Er …
But really, is it all that foolish?  What does the president gain by alienating them (assuming it isn't a faux alienation to begin with)?  The president ran quite successfully as an outsider in 2008.  With no such "us against the machine" argument to make to the angry masses this time, he's got to find another argument.  Or, he's got to make himself an outsider once again.  I've mentioned this in the past somewhere, but I don't recall the specific post.

He's been in power - he is the machine.  How do you change that?  Blame Republican obstructionism.  But the president has been trying that for two years and it hasn't done much other than keeping him treading water, roughly speaking.  So Plan B may have become Plan C.  The establishment against Obama meme can only be carried forward if he throws the liberal media establishment under the bus and has them turn on him.  You want to see an underdog?  Imagine Obama facing off against both the GOP and the Inside the Beltway media.  There's an underdog narrative that is easy to manufacture, and if you are trying to win back disillusioned youth voters, and Occupy Wall Street protesters with a high level of enthusiasm, then you have to be a true outsider. "Forget about Guantanamo still being open - clearly I'm a good guy because all of Washington hates me.  You really need to help me make all that change I promised in 2008 happen before 2016."

And if the meme doesn't stick, what has he lost, other than a couple of weeks?  Do you really think the media will stay angry at him?  They are also well positioned to disagree with the president up to the point of that crucial endorsement day when they will 'begrudgingly' endorse him because despite all of his flaws, he's still great.  Faux alienation. 

It's not a great plan, but have they ever had a great plan?

You didn't win that

Where's my cut?
Taking a page out of the Elizabeth Warren-President Obama handbook on success, it's time we apply their logic to a broader spectrum.  For those of you who missed it, the president took Massachusetts senatorial candidate Elizabeth Warren's argument about business owners not being responsible for their own success, and he ran with it.

Now maybe it makes sense to the president who seems to have a predilection for lifting speeches or ideas, this one included.  So maybe he should be forgiven because clearly, he didn't build that argument.  So his worldview truly conforms with what he is saying.  He really believes it.

But let's take that success measure he espouses and apply it to the rest of the country, not just business owners.

Michael Phelps - those gold medals, you didn't win them, someone else did that.

Sean Penn - those Academy Awards, you didn't win them, someone else did that.

Kanye West - that Grammy Award - you didn't earn that, someone else did.

Oprah Winfrey - that media empire - you didn't make it, someone else did that.

Fareed Zakaria - you didn't write that, someone else did. (Oh, wait...)

Chris Matthews - you didn't build that 6 person audience, someone else did.

John Stewart - you're not funny, someone else is.

Paul Krugman - you didn't invent tinfoil, you only wear the hat.

New York Yankees - you didn't win all those World Series, someone else did.

Socrates - You didn't teach those students, someone else did that.

Shakespeare - you didn't write all those great plays, someone else did that.  Ditto for you Francis Bacon.

Albert Einstein - you didn't come up with a theory of relativity, someone else did that.

Muhammad Ali - you didn't win all those fights, some guy named Cassius Clay did...

Thomas Edison - you didn't invent and patent a gazillion things, someone else did that.

America - you didn't win the Revolutionary War, someone else did that.

This list could go on forever, but there's a point.  Those people are regarded as successes for their own accomplishments and so should those who create thriving, successful businesses.  I don't recall Sean Penn thanking the fire department in any of his Academy Award acceptance speeches.  There should be no double standard but it seems like maybe they only want to apply that shared accomplishment caveat to businesses.

But if everyone is responsible for every success, then no one is really successful.  There are no heroes because there are no successes.  A success is defined as the achievement of an aim or purpose.  The purpose of building a road or having a fire department is not to make sure a bakery succeeds.  The purpose is to enable movement or prevent fires.  The establishment of those things have their own definitions of success.  They do not share in the success of the baker or the shoe store.

For those of us who live in the real world - Michael Jordan is indeed his own success and he deserves all the credit. Sure, his coach was an enabler, but if the success belongs to his coach then why wasn't he on those highlight reels making those amazing dunks.  I only remember seeing Jordan doing that.

August 18, 2012

Great news on gas prices - Obama to tap America's oil supply!

Strategic Petroleum Reserves
Okay that's a little misleading. 

There will be no ANWR reserve drilling, no Keystone pipeline delivery, and no increased near onshore or deep water drilling. There will be no new push for clean coal or natural gas reserves either. There has been no White House Epiphany. Sadly.

But the president is seriously considering tapping America's oil supply - the Straegic National Reserve, to be used as a backstop for national emergencies or for the military should be unleashed on the market to keep oil prices and gas prices overheating before the election. It's all about the election, which means should prices continue to remain high, the president will try to neutralize the issue going into the election, strategic reserves be damned.

That's just great.

Obtuse Americans

Costco is a great American success story.  America itself is a free enterprise, capitalist success story that has been struggling to overcome, among other things, it's balance of trade problems. In light of that, why would anyone want to discourage people from other countries spending their money on American goods, particularly in an enthusiastic and persistent way?  Obtuse Americans, that's who.

These people are the same people who don't get that if you have a successful business, you created it.  Why do I say that?  Because they clearly do not understand that customers come first.  This isn't about Costco, it's about the money being pumped into the local economy, the extra hiring and jobs created because of the demand.  The free market is creating a boom for these people and they don't seem to appreciate it.  I can only surmise they they haven't done the cost-benefit analysis of economy versus personal convenience.  They haven't realized that a problem of too many customers isn't a bad problem to have  - for Costco or for the town.

Thankfully, some people there clearly get it, and Costco itself understands the need to expand.  As far as Canadians parking poorly - I have no comment.

Scientists surprised at roundest object ever measured

Chains about this big, y'all.
Scientists indeed are surprised at their discovery.  I'm surprised too, but for an entirely different reason and of course, it's political in nature.

The roundest thing ever discovered?  No, it's not Joe Biden's head.  It's something a lot brighter;
However, a team of four astronomers from the U.S. and Brazil has used the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager on the Solar Dynamics Observatory to take incredibly accurate measurements of the shape of the Sun, and they found that it is almost the roundest object ever measured.

Normally, with a rotating object that has fluid properties, like the molten mantle under the Earth's surface or the liquid hydrogen inside a gas-giant planet like Jupiter, there will be a bulging at the equator. The Earth bulges so much that it's 42 kilometers wider at the equator than it is from pole to pole. This is called an object's "flattening", for which Earth has a value of 0.0033528.

By comparison, the Sun's flattening value is 9×10−6 or 0.000009. That means that if you shrunk the Sun to the size of a beach ball, the difference between the diameter at its equator and the diameter between its poles would be less than the width of a human hair.
And here I was thinking that the roundest thing ever was the liberal understanding of tolerance. If not roundest, then perhaps most circular. To whit;

-Liberals require that society be tolerant of everyone, regardless of the diversity that entails.

-But while we must be tolerant, they are quite frequently not tolerant, and angrily so, of conservative opinion.

-To justify this discrepancy they claim that they do not espouse tolerance of intolerance.

In essence they have defined tolerance as conforming to their liberal ideas, thus circumventing their own tenet of tolerance in order to suit their own viewpoint over their stated belief. Convenient, and circular.

Hmmm....I wonder what the radical Saul Alinsky would say about making your opposition live up to their own rules? I bet if he had a list of rules for radicals, it would be rule number 4.

Saturday Learning Series - The Theory of Banking

The Austrian School of economics, as described by Hans-Hermann Hoppe and Jörg Guido Hülsmann, is explained in an 11 part lecture series.  The previous lecture can be found here.  This particular lecture focuses on the theory of banking.

August 17, 2012

Friday humor

Just for fun, what if these two guys...

Were these guys instead?

My guess is this,

...would have been off of a fiscal cliff, and the jumpers far less charismatic. The other joke I'll leave off the table.

August 15, 2012

Chain of fools - Biden version

How is this guy allowed out of doors?

That's Clinton-enabling stuff. Is he trying to get himself off the ticket? Is Hillary the October September surprise? It's not all that far fetched a possibility, although I'm not sure why there's this.

Just what is leadership anyway?

What is a good leader? A leader isn't someone who does the work. A leader is someone who inspires people, or a team, to do it themselves. A leader inspires people to put forth their best efforts. He (or she) brings out their best. A leader also leads by example. A leader has a vision that drives a team in a direction, it does not drag people towards that vision kicking and screaming.

What a leader isn't, is someone who convinces people that they have peaked. An Olympic athlete's coach doesn't tell the athlete to shoot for 5th, or that they can't possibly get any better. He pushes the athlete to go for the gold. The coach, the leader, understands that in every person there is the potential for greatness that is there to be tapped.

August 14, 2012

Recent Media Bias - A compilation

There's a lot of media bias going on that's getting isolated attention, I thought I'd bring a few of them together to highlight the ridiculous nature of the media bias stacked against the GOP candidate, whomever that may be and whenever there is any sort of election.

Exhibit 1: Soledad

While substituting for Anderson Cooper on Monday, CNN's Soledad O'Brien was spotted using what appears to be an email blast of opposition research that included material from the liberal blog Talking Points Memo.

O'Brien was seen using the material in a fierce debate with Virginia House of Delegates member Barbara Comstock over Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan, Twitchy reported.

Exhibit 2: Chris Matthews (again)

This needs no introduction.  Mr. Leg Tingle on a tear of vitriol and liberal rage.

Exhibit 3: Piers Morgan, parrot.

That's terrific.

Is Palin a good idea or bad news?

It's seemingly clear that Sarah Palin is not(?) going to be speaking at the GOP convention this year.  That if true, is a mistake.

Via GretaWire:
“…Everything I said at the 2008 convention about then-candidate Obama still stands today, and in fact the predictions made about the very unqualified and inexperienced Community Organizer’s plans to “fundamentally transform” our country are unfortunately coming true. This year is a good opportunity for other voices to speak at the convention and I’m excited to hear them. As I’ve repeatedly said, I support Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan in their efforts to replace President Obama at the ballot box, and I intend to focus on grassroots efforts to rally Independents and the GOP base to elect Senate and House members so a wise Congress is ready to work with our new President to get our country back on the right path. This is imperative. As President Clinton said in 2008 while candidate Obama and lapdogs in the media were thrashing his wife’s record and reputation, this is “…the biggest fairy tale.” For the sake of America’s solvency and sovereignty we must close this nonsensical book in November…”
(emphasis added)

The irony that everything she said at the 2008 convention still holds true, is all the more reason to have her speak at the 2012 convention. In fact, it'd make a great headline-grabbing stunt. Have her words from 2008 played back on the video screen while she stands at the podium in front of it.

When those comments are done, have her speak and remind people that those words were so right. Maybe a simple "Ditto." or "What she said." followed by a pause as if there were nothing to add would be poignant enough to make the point crystal clear.

It would certainly get media attention. And I guarantee you it would be negative attention. But that would reinforce the idea that the media got it wrong last time, and they are still getting it wrong now. What an opening.

Further, Palin is not toxic.  She is still a charismatic messenger, and now she's unencumbered by the shackles of being number 2 on the ticket.  If the media skewers her and gets away with it, so what?  It doesn't damage the ticket, and that truly frees her up to be a powerful, highly visible attack dog (pardon the term).

Palin at the convention?  It should be a no-brainer.

August 12, 2012

Ask a liberal.

Here's an interesting thought experiment.

Find a liberal and engage them in a political discussion.  Explain that you are a conservative, and that you are in favor of a balanced budget, the same tax rate for everybody and no loopholes for anyone, including the rich.  Ask them their position on government spending.

Then, ask them what they think of your opinion.  If they are open-minded and have listened, you may have made a breakthrough with them.  You won't agree on everything certainly, and you shouldn't.  But you may have someone with whom you can engage in both debate and discussion and find common ground with.  If they see you as a social Darwinist or just clam up and stop engaging you, you have gained some insight into how you are perceived.  Does it help?  Not really, but it does clarify things for you.

In the case where they start to perceive you as slime, the obvious follow up question, is why they think of you that way.  You can cite family, friends, your community involvement and explain that you are a good person with a different view on how to do the greatest good for the most people.  Watch and see if their head explodes.

Did the Obama attack ads have an impact on the race?

In a word, yes.  Then again, one word is often too simple to explain what is going on.  You can clearly see a distinct change in the RealClearPolitics polling trending directions.

After trending slowly closer over the last 6 months, Romney and Obama have started moving in clearly opposite directions over the last little while. The Bain attack ads and the Romney taxes attacks are making a difference. BUT...

If you look at most of the polls they are focused on registered voters and not likely voters. Likely voter numbers have the contenders much closer together than the registered voter polls. Likely voter models are typically a much better indicator of the likely outcome. The problem is, very few polls are currently using likely voter models as for most pollsters, it is too early in the campaign for them to consider doing it. Thus tracking likely voter polls offers too infrequent snapshots for tracking purposes.

The second challenge with looking at the polls at face value is the partisan weighting used for polls. Every poll is conducted weighting the number of responders between Republican, Democrat and Independent voters. If one poll sets the ratio as D/R/I 37/25/28 for example while another weights it with a D/R/I of 33/29/27 the two polls will undoubtedly show different results. This is a critical factor in the outcome of the poll and often pollsters will not publish their voter index with their poll results. Those who do publish have often used the voter index splits from 2008 (very heavily Obama-indexed) instead of more recent splits. The 2010 midterm election results were not so Democrat heavy and that index may be closer to the right split. Using 2010 though may overly favor Republicans. Suddenly the science of polling seems a little more pseudo-science, doesn't it.

And all that is without going into the scientific parts around confidence level and margin of error.

The fact of the matter is despite all of those caveats, the directional indicator is that those attack ads are indeed having an impact. But if the trend is halted, really the gap has moved in favor of Obama by about 4%.  With Romney soon being allowed to unleash a flood of money into the campaign, his ad spending may be able to swamp the president and reverse that trend altogether.  For Republicans, the overall poll direction should be worrisome but not invoke a state of panic at this point.  What should invoke a state of panic?  If Romney fails to respond to it.

August 11, 2012

One problem with the plan to destroy Paul Ryan

Liberals have rubbed their hands and started fanning out to spread the meme that Mitt Romney's running mate Paul Ryan is a radical extremist and will destroy Medicare.  They are confident it seems, that Ryan is so radical, that Mitt Romney has just forfeited the election to Obama.

But if Paul Ryan's attempts to save Medicare are so off base and radical, why did this happen?

Leaked cell phone footage of Bill Clinton cozying up to Paul Ryan

The day after the stunning upset in the special congressional election in upstate New York, Rep. Paul Ryan is a man under fire.

ABC News was behind the scenes with the Wisconsin Congressman and GOP Budget Committee Chairman when he got some words of encouragement none other than former President Bill Clinton.

"So anyway, I told them before you got here, I said I'm glad we won this race in New York," Clinton told Ryan, when the two met backstage at a forum on the national debt held by the Pete Peterson Foundation. But he added, "I hope Democrats don't use this as an excuse to do nothing."

Ryan told Clinton he fears that now nothing will get done in Washington.

"My guess is it's going to sink into paralysis is what's going to happen. And you know the math. It's just, I mean, we knew we were putting ourselves out there. You gotta start this. You gotta get out there. You gotta get this thing moving," Ryan said.

Clinton told Ryan that if he ever wanted to talk about it, he should "give me a call." Ryan said he would.
So Clinton can work with Ryan.  I guess they see Clinton as a radical now too.

Saturday Learning Series - Mises & Division of Labor & Money (3)

If you want to understand the Austrian School of Economics, and Mises, this lecture series will help explain it   for you.  In this continuation of the Saturday Learning Series, Hans-Hermann Hoppe and Jörg Guido Hülsmann focus the discussion on the division of labor and money. Watch and learn.

Now that it's official, is Ryan the sensible pick?

Mitt Romney has chosen a running mate - Paul Ryan. Was it the right choice? In a lot of ways yes, and in some ways, no.  Here's some quick, top-line thoughts, after the video from the Washington Post:

August 10, 2012

Slur. Then slur some more.

The best defense is a good offence, so goes the old saying. That seems to be the strategic imperative for the Obama campaign. They really can't mount any sort of credible defense on the economy, so they have to slur their opponent, Mitt Romney as long and as hard as possible until the election.

The slur becomes the truth if left unchallenged.
Team Obama has tried a stunning array of defenses on the economy - blame Bush, recovery summer is really this year (again), blame Bush, blame earthquakes, blame Bush, blame the Republican Congress, blame Bush, we've got more to do still, blame Bush... Clearly, none of those has gained any staying power as a credible excuse, let alone a defense  If anything had taken hold, the polling would not look like a horse race because with a general perception that the economy is okay and headed in the right direction, Obama should cruise to victory.

August 7, 2012

White House website has a To Do list - for Congress

The White House website has the audacity to post a To Do List for Congress.  

There's nothing about the president's To Do List (reduce the deficit, create jobs, be post-partisan, etc.) or one for the Democratic controlled Senate who have a record setting No Budget passed duration.

Those who live in glass houses Mr. President...

Global warming appointees as a news dump

This news dump today isn't remarkable on the surface of it, in fact it's pretty much a yawner.
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts
  • Charles J. Vörösmarty – Member, Arctic Research Commission 
  • Warren M. Zapol – Member, Arctic Research Commission
President Obama said, ”I am grateful that these impressive individuals have chosen to dedicate their talents to serving the American people at this important time for our country. I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.”
But there's always more than what's on the surface, just ask the iceberg that sank the Titanic. Yes, that is a deliberate Obama metaphor.

DHS prepares for the election, er deferred deportation


Here's another great idea, America! You'll love this one.

The following press release this last Friday from Department of Homeland Security, translated by Google from the original Spanish:
WASHINGTON, DC - The Department of Homeland Security today outlined the process of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrived during a conference call with national media in preparation for the implementation date of August 15.

On June 15 the Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, announced that some people who came to the U.S. as children and who meet other specific criteria may be eligible for deferred action on a case by case basis. The Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS, for its acronym in English) is finalizing a process by which eligible individuals can apply to be considered in the Deferred Action for Children Arrived on.

USCIS expects to have available August 15, 2012 all the forms, instructions and additional information relevant to the process of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrived. USCIS will begin immediately after accepting requests for consideration.
August 15th:  Far enough before the election to make a difference.  It's close enough to the election to sway Hispanic voters that the Obama administration thinks about Hispanic issues.  Yet it's too close to the election to have any negative or unintended consequences / backlash effects before election day.

The release, in Spanish, doesn't offer a lot of details, but the release does offer a link to an earlier release back in June that did put specific conditions on applications, and further mentions that these will be addressed on a case by case basis rather than a by the book approach.  That means leeway for bureaucrats.  You know, the same sort who keep running up convention spending on the taxpayers' dime.

There are too many flaws with this dark of night press release and original idea to count, so I'm just sharing what I noticed, and hopefully someone else will have the energy to run with this one.

We can't wait says Obama. But you know we will.

I don't know if the White House has figured out that we've figured out the cynical process of a late Friday news dump so that unappetizing news items get the weekend to cool down and hopefully will be forgotten before Monday.  But either they've caught on and started dumping stupid news items in other time slots, or else they've been doing that all along and we haven't caught on that every single thing out of this white House is bad.

August 6, 2012

Gun violence solution cart before the discussion horse

On the left side of the page: totalitarian brotherhood.
The United States is unique in it's Constitutional protection of the right to bear arms. It is also the one country  in the world that, despite claims both the left and the right raise when the other side is in charge, is least likely to devolve into a dictatorship.  

The two points are highly correlated - a well-armed, and well-informed populace cannot be cajoled or bullied into submission to a dictatorial power.  While the left has seen to it for decades that the people of the United States have not been well-informed (or indeed, have been deliberately misinformed), the holy grail has remained a non-armed society.  An unarmed society is or can be made, a compliant society.  Take away people's information and take away their arms, and they are easy prey to a dictatorial regime.  If the left realizes this they are deliberately seeking to undermine the primary notion of the nation - liberty.  Just as bad, if they don't realize it, they are paving the path for a future dictator wherein it will be too late for them to realize the folly of their ways.

August 4, 2012

Saturday Learning Series - Value, Utility and Price (2)

This is the second in a series of lectures on Mises and Austrian economics. No, it's not riveting, but it is an important lecture series if you are interested in how economics is supposed to work, rather than blindly accepting more failed Keynesian solutions.

August 3, 2012

Well here's some spin I didn't expect

Redefining relevance.
Unexpected. I mentioned earlier today that the White House doesn't have a lot of room to spin the jobless numbers out today. It turns out, they amount of room they had was exactly 0.046%.

Longest stretch of unemployment above 8%, EVER.

The U6 president, unlike his Nobel Peace Prize, now has an accomplishment he has truly earned.  He has presided over the longest stretch of unemployment above 8% in the history of unemployment in the United States (reported by HuffPo - emphasis added);
Stronger job creation could help President Barack Obama's re-election hopes. Still, the unemployment rate has been above 8 percent since his first month in office – the longest stretch on record. No president since World War II has faced re-election with unemployment over 8 percent.
This will be hard for the presidential apologists to spin.  About the only out they have, given that U3 - the common measure of unemployment actually ticked up 1/10th of a percent instead of down, they really only have two plays they can run for political gain at this point.

August 2, 2012

The U6 President and His Zombie Armada

Next week the July unemployment rate will be released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There is likely to be a very significant seasonal adjustment - enough of one that there might even be a modest improvement in the U3 unemployment rate - the commonly reported rate.  Expect the administration to trot out the "right direction" meme and claim things are still picking up.  Expect too, a compliant ultra-liberal press to carry the president's water once again, on that argument.  Expect the message to go out to the president's zombie armada, that everything is great, and expect the zombie armada to eat it up.  But this president is not the employment president, he's the U6 president, and U6 is downright bad.

August 1, 2012

Because Nancy knows how to dance.

Around the truth that is.  Here, she took those dancing skills and applied them to actual dancing at Barney Frank's wedding, where they weren't serving Chick-fil-A.

It has a Marie Antoinette feel to it, doesn't it?

Cross-posted at my nearly-defunct other site.

Chick-fil-A Canada? Come On Chick-fil-Eh!

Being Canadian, and traveling to the United States far less frequently than I'd like, I miss out on a lot of cool things American.  We get access to American television (so we no longer say a-boot instead of about.  By the way most Canadians never did say a-boot).  We have access to American clothes, styles, music, and food.  But there are exceptions that bother me - typically they relate to fast food.  For example, I've never been to a Hardee's and they have some seemingly amazing menu items.   We finally got Krispy Kreme donuts about a year before the company had financial problems and now we can only get them less than fresh at Wal Mart.  Oh, yay.

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