December 31, 2014

Happy New Year

Best Wishes to everyone for a happy, healthy and productive 2015!

December 30, 2014

2015 Predictions

I don't relish predicting the upcoming year as I have a lousy record at predicting events.  Nevertheless, it makes for a funny review at year end.  That said there are a few things I think are probable.  To protect myself from future ridicule I will mix in what I think is probable with what I think is less probable (much less in some cases) in the predictions below.  Keep in m ind these represent predictions, not preferences.

(1) Announcing a run for president in 2015: Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, Ted Cruz

(2) Not announcing a run in 2015: Joe Biden, Mitt Romney, Scott Walker, Sarah Palin and Ben Carson

(3) New England will play Seattle in the Superbowl. The win I see as a toss up, so I'm going with New England.

(4)  Hillary Clinton will stumble and her status as heir apparent in the Democratic party will be shaken, perhaps for good.

(5) Oil prices will stay low for at least half of 2015, more likely through September and maybe even the whole year.

(6) Japan, Europe and China will feel economic weakness in 2015 and the recessionary pressures could spread to North America.

(7) President Obama will continue to work around Congress and his approval ratings will reach the into the 30's (37%?).  He will not recover above 41% for the remainder of his presidency.

(8) Joblessness will continue to decline slowly, but at the end of his presidency Obama will have a record-setting unemployment legacy that dates back to the Depression era numbers.

(9) Russia will slow it's economic decay but the slide will continue throughout the year.

(10) Terrorist activities will continue to plague the Western world, not just America, however, the success of ISIS will abate and the acts of terror will tend to be lone-wolf or small cell group  sorts of problems.

December 29, 2014

Still more 2014 in review from Reason TV

Another take on 2014 via Reason TV.

More 2014 year in review from PJTV


2014 Year in Review

Looking back at 2014 there was a lot in the news about race relations.  To my way of thinking, that means 2014 was in many ways an unproductive year.  The highlight for me had to be the mid-term elections.  The GOP picked up governorships, seats in Congress and most impressively 10 seats in the senate, slaying the Harry Reid dragon and unfortunately, enabling president Obama to feel free to bypass Congress at his whim,

The ebola outbreak, the North Korean hackers of Sony and the missing Malaysian airlines plane were all interesting stories but diversions from the real issues.  Russia's invasion of the Crimean peninsula, the stagnation that's been passed off as a recovery, the erosion of the middle class under this president, the continued push forward of Obamacare, the decay of American power, influence and respect around the globe are all urgent matters in need of immediate action.

2014 was a largely unsuccessful year for the United States.  But after a midterm election where it appears the American electorate finally woke up to the disaster that has been Democratic leadership, perhaps the country has turned the corner.  Let's hope 2015 turns out to be a much better year.

Top fails of 2014

2014 fail stuff for fun.

December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Christmas Musical Interlude - A 3 hour Christmas medley

A special musical interlude for Christmas, since I'm otherwise occupied today.  Merry Christmas

December 24, 2014

PJTV and the War on Christmas

Via PJTV, it sounds like Americans still believe in Christmas.

December 23, 2014

An early Christmas post

A Christmas message.

For my Jewish reader(s)

I used to have some Jewish readership, given my support for both Israel and the website "Funny and Jewish".  So I may have a reader or two left among my dozen of readers...

Yeah, so a belated but heartfelt Happy Hanukkah.

If I Were Sony... #IfIWereSony

I'd be capitalizing on the free publicity for the movie "The Interview" and put the movie out and I'd do it on Christmas Day.  Bold, newsworthy, and more free publicity.  In fact I'd amp up the advertising to include the hacker attack and the threats.

I bet you'd get people going to see the movie as a form of statement to North Korea, who might not even otherwise go to see it.

But that's just me.

Please, not another Bush

There's a myriad of reasons to not want another Bush in the White House.  They have a mixed record of conservatism at best.  I'd give the Bushes a combined rating of D- at best.  They did not embody conservatism, but rather establishment-ism. And if the GOP is not a conservative party, then why does it even exist?  We've already got a progressive liberal party, There's no need for a somewhat less progressive and less liberal party.  Furthermore, no name will stir the liberal base the way the name Bush will do.  

I doubt that conservative voters will rally around Jeb Bush the way the Republican establishment appears to be doing.  The problem with the counterweight on the actual conservative side is a split vote among many candidates.

In short, a successful Bush run, is yet another recipe for defeat.  Romney, McCain, Bush, Dole, Bush have been a list of elites with only 2 wins in 6 tries since 1992, and one win was without a popular vote win to boot.  In fact the other win was based on war time support.  The establishment appears to be running on fear of being losing and it proves to be the wrong strategy most every time.

Not only is an establishment, liberal Republican bad, another Bush is the worst possible name of the lot.  Truly, truly a bad idea.

Q3 GDP results are in and... least the New York Times is thrilled:
The American economy grew last quarter at its fastest rate in more than a decade, providing the strongest evidence to date that the recovery is finally gaining sustained power more than five years after it began.

Bolstered by robust spending among consumers and businesses alike, economic output rose at an annual rate of 5 percent during the summer months, the Commerce Department said Tuesday, a sharp revision from its earlier estimate of 3.9 percent. The advance followed a second quarter where growth reached a rate of 4.6 percent after a decline last winter that was exacerbated by particularly harsh weather.
5% growth following 4.6% growth is pretty solid to be sur. In the view of the New York Times it no doubt proves that progressive, Keynesian Obama policy has worked. A bit late for them probably but successful nonetheless.

Here's the problem. On the heels of a dismal non-recovery for 5 years, it's to be expected. It's the least the economy should be doing at this point. Suffice it to say, I'm not impressed.

The additional caveat is that perhaps these are not the final revisions. I wouldn't be surprised if there is another revision in the future. And with the Congress controlled by the GOP, legislation will not continue to stand in the way of recovery any longer. At least if the president doesn't veto everything that gets sent his way.

December 22, 2014

Stratfor: Russian financial crisis?

Via Stratfor: Russian economy, what's going on?

This is against a backdrop of a Russian military refurbishment that has been going on for a few years:

Tea Party Turns Five

Via the Heritage Foundation, is the Tea Party done, or is it a lasting movement?

If 20% of adults identify with the Tea Party, isn't it fair to now consider them a persecuted minority now? Just asking, tongue in cheek.

PJTV: Stories liberals tell

Stories liberals tell and and how conservatives can win back the culture. This is important because culture drives some of the electorate and often the direction of the conversation.

December 21, 2014

Sunday verse

Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
~Ephesians 6:13

December 20, 2014

Saturday Learning Series - 100% Planes

National Geographic covers the numbers on aircraft.

Lies, Damn Lies, and Obama (on Sony this time)

President Obama: Never talked to Sony about the hackers before they pulled The Interview from it's future showings in theaters across the country.

Truth: Um, hold on a minute.

Via Deadline:
UPDATED: Sony CEO Michael Lynton further contradicted President Obama’s criticism that Sony had “made a mistake” in handling the release of The Interview in his full sit-down with CNN on Friday. Obama said today that the studio did not come to him for help when cyberterrorists crippled the studio in a November hacking attack ordered by North Korea, but Lynton said the President was the mistaken one. “We definitely spoke to a senior advisor in the White House to talk about the situation,” he confirmed. “The White House was certainly aware of the situation.”

What’s more: Sony also consulted with the US State Department before the November hacking attack to assess any potential political heat the Seth Rogen/James Franco comedy might provoke.

Saturday Learning Series - Christianity, the second 1000 years

Continued from earlier, the first 1000 years, the documentary on the history of Christianity continues into the second millennium.

Saturday Learning Series - Christianity, the first 1000 years

An interesting documentary on the first 1000 years of the world's largest religion.

December 19, 2014

Friday Musical Interlude - Cattle Call

This Friday Musical Interlude hearkens back to 1944 or 1955.  The song Cattle Call was released twice by Eddy Arnold (though his version is not the original), the second time it reached #1.

December 18, 2014

Hackers defeat Sony

So the ridiculous (as in not a political documentary but rather farcical comedy) movie The Interview has lost all backing from Sony because hackers who broke into Sony's emails and put out numerous emails embarrassing executives have threatened theaters 

Sounds like the work of North Korean cyber warfare.  The whole country is starving and they're trying to build nuclear missiles.  The leader seems obsessed with Dennis Rodman and clearly takes Hollywood seriously.  So a movie that farcically talks about assassinating him would be most unwelcome.  

Do you seriously think Anonymous, would be intent on stopping a Seth Rogan, James Franco comedy?  The same pair that recently appeared on Naked and Afraid to spout poop humor are an affront to a group aligned with "the 99%"?  No.  

Sony, the comedy was not high brow stuff, but seriously, this was a gutless move.  America is about freedom of speech.  Sony is about CYA I guess. This is almost as distasteful as Obama on Cuba.

Cuba? Really?

The president has decided to start normalizing relations with Cuba.  A communist pariah nation (not it's people) with waning support from Russia and Venezuela which is in rough shape and subject to more concessions on democracy that could be extracted from it's Castro leadership right now than the president cares to try to get.


There's no strategic value in this.  There's little political value in this - Cubans in America are not likely to support the president on this and Hispanics in general are also unlikely to be moved more towards the president.  Is it perhaps a scorched earth policy towards Hillary Clinton and her presidential aspirations?  I doubt it.  It seems like a purely ideological move, proving the president is indeed progressive and algned with a very left leaning world view.

How does this serve America in any way?  Will Cuba suddenly become more democratic?  Renounce communism?  NO.

Did the president come before the American people and explain why this is happening and spell out the reasons for it? NO.

For those reasons this is without merit and just plain dumb.

December 16, 2014

Empathize This!

Recently Hillary Clinton was giving a speech in which she proclaimed that you had to  empathize with your enemies. Today a bunch of Taliban radicals targeted a school in Pakistan in order to kill children.

How do you empathize with that? While you are pondering the answer,  here's a hint: you don't.

December 14, 2014

Sunday Verse

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.
~Luke 2:15-16

December 12, 2014

Friday Musical Interlude - Dreams remix

Psychemagik remixes  Fleetwood Mac's Dreams, using Stevie Nicks' vocals as an instrument.  Brilliantly done and true to the ethereal feel of the original.

December 10, 2014

Some rants on Canadian stuff (Part 2)

Alright, I get it Tea Party. Being unhappy with the representatives from your own side can happen.  Here in Canada that hasn't been a really big issue.  Our Conservative Party government has for the most part acted as conservatively as they could, given our center-left population.  It's a tough job given the circumstances, I get that.  Nevertheless, there's a few things they've done that have not been...perfect.

This morning I sent an email to Prime Minister Harper paraphrasing the points below.  I've never bothered to do that before.

I'm as about as conservative as they come.  I've never once in my life voted for a liberal candidate. I've always supported the conservative party, and even more so since they joined forces with Canada's version of the Tea Party, the Reform Party, long ago.  I've always been a supporter of Stephen Harper's government.  In fact, I voted for the conservative party candidate in a special election to replace our Finance Minister who hails from my riding (district, in American-speak) just a few weeks ago.

So I've got to be more than just a little annoyed to say what I'm about to say right now.  I'm not sure I want to vote for the Conservative party in the next election, I'm considering abstaining.


The conservatives have rolled out a number of new initiatives knowing that 2015 will be an election year.  Most of them are worthwhile - keeping taxes low, or lowering them where possible, consumer protection against cable and wireless companies and banks (you know, populist type stuff).  But the one thing that really, really irks me, is the selective nature of the tax credits they are proposing.

They have promised to give additional tax credits to working families.  On the surface, that seems fine but to qualify you must have your children, under 18 only, living with you.

This comes on the heels of the discussion of income splitting for seniors to reduce their tax burden.

Not to sound greedy, but seriously; what's in it for me?  I'm not a senior, and my oldest son is over 18 and my youngest lives with my ex-wife.  I'm already paying a pretty hefty child support bill every month, and she's remarried and living in a bigger house than I am, and taking multiple vacations every year.  But she's going to get this tax credit, while I get nothing.

That may sound bitter, but I have struggled financially over the last couple of years and I'm not happy to be excluded from a tax break which would definitely be helpful to my entire household.

It seems to me the most egalitarian thing to do would be cut rates across the board by a smaller amount rather than to use the tax code as a method of social engineering (to promote families, sorry, I'm not in a position to hop on that train), or else to pander to a voting block.  Either way, that's no different from what the liberal and socialist parties have done for decades. That's something I thought conservatives stood against.  Apparently not.

Unless something else happens before election time, I'm not inclined to throw my, until now unwavering, support behind the conservative party.

Some rants on Canadian stuff (Part 1)

Canadians are not fond of getting ripped off, we're just too polite to complain about it.

I knew we were getting ripped off on gasoline prices since the price of oil has fallen so sharply. So I did a bit of quick research on the spot oil price per barrel vs. gasoline prices at the pump for consumers in Canada. The last time oil prices were at their current level was in January 2009. At that time Canadians were paying approximately 80 cents per liter of gasoline. Currently the average price (at least in my area) is about $1 per liter. The extra 20 cents per liter(or approximately 80 cents per gallon), is going where exactly?

Frankly I don't care. I know it's coming out of my pocket and going into the bottom line of the energy companies. My quick calculation on the effect on consumers' wallets doesn't even take into account the secondary effects that it has on things line airline ticket costs, grocery costs etc.

It's gouging, and why Canadians are so damn passive about that sort of thing is truly beyond my ability to comprehend.

Quote of the Week

Sen. Bob Kerrey, Democrat, on the partisan nature of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's report that kneecaps the CIA and does not serve America:
I do not need to read the report to know that the Democratic staff alone wrote it. The Republicans checked out early when they determined that their counterparts started out with the premise that the CIA was guilty and then worked to prove it....

The worse consequence of a partisan report can be seen in this disturbing fact: It contains no recommendations. This is perhaps the most significant missed opportunity, because no one would claim the program was perfect or without its problems. But equally, no one with real experience would claim it was the completely ineffective and superfluous effort this report alleges.
A few Democrats seem to have come down with a case of candor.

December 9, 2014

America and the self inflicted wound

The CIA is going to be releasing documents today dredging up the enhanced interrogation techniques and augmenting it with new details. I guess the American government feels that the United States  still has far too great of a competitive advantage over other nations and that the only way to remedy that is by giving itself some self inflicted wounds. There is no other reason to release the details.

If this is a political move by the administration it is their most egregious error yet. Lives could be lost over this.  Allies could be angered. Enemies will be enraged and energized. The upside? Transparency far beyond what is necessary?

The sheer stupidity of this is astounding. If this is meant to energize progressive voters and you happen to be one of them, let me ask you one question. If you are against enhanced interrogation techniques,  why are you not outraged over the techniques of ISIS which seem to always end in beheadings?

Addendum:  The report is being released by the Senate Intelligence Committee but it is clear that the administration wanted this. Any serious pushback from the president would have prevented the release.

December 7, 2014

Sunday Verse

He who brings trouble on his family will inherit only wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise.
~Proverbs 11:29

December 6, 2014

Saturday Learning Series - High Speed Flight

The series on the Ancient Greeks civilization from last week is complete. This weekend, a one off documentary on high speed flight.


December 2, 2014

Why abandon ship at this point?

What`s going on with GOP candidates abandoning bids for the presidency in 2016 at this point?  Two solid candidates just indicated they wouldn't run.  Rand Paul and Rob Portman both appear to have suddenly bowed out of the race.  I sort of get it - the next nominee should be a governor and no a senator.  I get trying to defend the Senate in 2016 too.

But come on.  This is the big prize. And these are not insignificant names.  And why now?  It makes me wonder. Is word out to clear a path for Jeb Bush?

Rush was wrong on Latinos

I hate to say it, but Rush Limbaugh was probably wrong on what Hispanic voters, in America legally, care about.  The entire conservative argument needs a re-think if the latest poll from Gallup is any indication.

Obama`s poll numbers have skyrocketed since he proposed unilateral amnesty for illegals.  Great.  That`s always going to be an uphill battle for Republicans it would seem.

My suggestion - make it about the children.  There has to be some way to differentiate between impacting children (here already) and dealing with the real transgressors.  I don`t know, that`s a knee-jerk reaction probably.  The poll could be an outlier.  The surge could be temporary.  It could mean a lot of things.  But the fact remains that the GOP has not done enough with many different constituencies and that needs to be addressed.

Good luck with that

President Obama is threatening a shutdown of government?  Really? Good luck with that.  I say the GOP should let him go ahead with it.  They've been on the wrong side of public opinion on shutdowns before.  They know the sting.  Not only would it further crater his popularity, it would poison the well for Hillary Clinton.  In effect, the only Democrat with the ability to get elected president in the foreseeable future would be an African American, or Hispanic. 

Maybe that`s his plan - to make the party beholden to racial politics.

Ever the party to put politics after national interest snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, the GOP has a plan to keep the government open for business and rescue Obama from his own folly.

That`s just great

November 30, 2014

Sunday verse

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
~2 Peter 3:9

Guilty until proven innocent

Why is it that those on the left who believe that the police and the military are not held accountable (e.g. Ferguson, Treyvon Martin) constantly act is if they believe every other branch of the government acts with pristine purity in every aspect of their jobs? If that were not the case they would not constantly clamor for more government involvement (both in terms of money and regulation) in every aspect of government?

More money for education. More money for climate change research. More regulation for health care. The list  of bigger government requirements goes on and on.

The right has in the past been somewhat guilty of this as well, but in reverse. The military and police can do no wrong, but every other part of government is flawed and requires downsizing as a cure. But the right has made strides in this area - the military is still important, but it is equally important that they be efficient and not waste taxpayers' money. The police are important but they cannot be intrusive of personal liberty.

The right has evolved, the left has not. In fact they've regressed. When it comes to the police in particular, there's all too often a presumption of guilt until proven innocence, and even then, they often still presume guilt.

There's no simple solution to this as it involves perception and world-view type stuff. But it is something that needs to be addressed.

November 29, 2014

Saturday Learning Series - Empire of the Mind

Continuing the series on the ancient Greek civilization, this episode looks at the downward spiral of Athens from democracy to mob rule.

I've given in on global warming

For the longest time I've tried to enlighten people about global warming.  I've tried to get people to think about the issue rather than just accept that what is claimed to be the conventional wisdom only got that way by people telling other people that the debate is over, that the only people who claim the debate is over are those who are afraid of the debate.

But I have finally realized that I'm on the wrong side of the argument.  There's so much benefit to just succumbing to the dominant, view. Beta was better than VHS but VHS won that battle.  The right way isn't always the way that wins.  And now I get that.  Life is much easier when you are on the side of the multitude.

More importantly, now I have a built in excuse for everything, and I like that.  Late for work?  Global warming.  Behind on my taxes?  Global warming.  I shot the sheriff? Global warming.  I need a grant to figure out how to fix it.  See how easy that is?  It's the life of the irresponsible.  It's the easy path.  How simple is that?

I've never done things the easy way before unless it comes to housework.  The easy way is frankly, a lot easier.  Then again  - maybe it isn't time to start now.

November 28, 2014

Friday Musical Interlude - Hurt Me Tomorrow

Knaan's  "Hurt Me Tomorrow" is fairly melodic. It's definitely catchy.  Here's the clean version from 2012.

November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving America.

In these trying times, it is important to remember to count our blessings and give thanks for what blessings we truly have.

That's what Thanksgiving is really for, is it not?

November 26, 2014

Wednesday Warren Warning - A triple decker day.


It's been about a month since I've updated some of the Elizabeth Warren news in the regular weekly feature as a result of the focus on the midterms. I thought I'd have some catch-up to do, but there's enough this week to actually bring three recent items to your attention. These three disparate items come together as a thread that is cause for concern, not because of Warren, but rather because of Hillary Clinton.

First item: Liz goes to Israel.
Elizabeth Warren’s trip to Israel and other Middle East countries is likely more an indication of the senator’s fast rise within the Democratic Party than a sign that she is rethinking her political future, longtime Democratic observers of the Massachusetts senator said Monday.

Warren is the lone lawmaker on the trip organized by the State Department and the Senate Banking Committee, of which she is a member.
This is a profile building trip pure and simple and it means at least some powerfully placed Democrats want her to be more visible either as the nominee or as the token opposition to Hillary Clinton.

Second item: Warren Wages War on Wall Street

Getting her grassroots bona fides in place she tears into the Federal Reserve's William Dudley. Libertarian viewers might support Warren on this one, but consider the source. Warren is a purveyor of class warfare pure and simple. If you don't like the Federal Reserve, you still don't need an ally like Warren. She sees a more effective Fed as a more powerful tool to control the big banks. For her, a more effective Fed is a more powerful instrument.

Look how far left she is on Obama's nominee for Treasury nominee. This is particularly revealing on her far left progressivism, and it may explain why she's being set up as the alternative to Hillary Clinton - she'll be really easy to tear down come the primaries. It will allow Hillary to consume vast swaths of the supposed center and give her gleaming coverage in juxtaposition to this:
Less than 48 hours after President Obama nominated Antonio F. Weiss, a longtime adviser on mergers at the investment bank Lazard and a Democratic supporter, to become the under secretary of Treasury for domestic finance, Senator Elizabeth Warren denounced the appointment and said that she would vote against his confirmation.

“Enough is enough,” Senator Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, declared.

She said she was furious that the president would nominate someone from Wall Street. “It’s time for the Obama administration to loosen the hold that Wall Street banks have over economic policy-making,” she wrote on The Huffington Post .

Specifically, she took Mr. Weiss to task for working as an adviser on Burger King’s merger with Tim Hortons, which will result in a combined company based in Canada, which she suggested should disqualify him....

let’s start with Mr. Weiss. He is hardly the prototypical banker...

He has been a staunch supporter — and campaign donation bundler — for President Obama and is considered relatively progressive, especially by Wall Street standards.

Oddly enough, Mr. Weiss is one of the few people within financial circles who might have been friends with Ms. Warren.
Warren's outrage on this issue is a disqualifier for president, even the NYT defend the Tim Horton's Burger King deal as not particularly a tax inversion deal. This is simply anti-business. Her anti-business stance makes her un-electable, and Hillary Clinton that much more electable by comparison. That's really the scary part.

There is nothing going on

If there's anything important going on in American politics right now, I'm not seeing it.

The situation in Ferguson is being treated as a political topic by many. But it's not. It's an investigation into a situation involving local law enforcement even to allow the discussion that this was a racially motivated crime is to make it political. Why? Because the officer followed protocol and his training. Even if it was the action of a racially hostile individual, that is an isolated situation not a reason to indict a system as endemically racist. Does the training need to change to account for different situations? Maybe. That is still not political.

Obama's amnesty power grab? That may be political but right now, nothing meaningful is happening on that front. Speculation? Sure. Angst? Definitely. But movement? Nope. That will happen eventually as both Republicans and Democrats decide how to react to the president's actions and then act on their own. Otherwise, it's just talk. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Discussion is important. Hashing out ideas is a good thing, but it's too early to comment on the direction that has yet to be taken or speculate on which direction ultimately will be taken. It's just too early.

Secretary of State John Kerry telling Russia to ignore Obama's tough talk on Russia? Yeah, they were already doing that.

Chuck Hagel's forced resignation? Nothing to see here. Hagel was a yes man for Obama, just not quite yes-y enough. It's more evidence that the White House has been so insular it can't stomach any opinion not precisely aligned with its own. But we didn't need that evidence and the left still doesn't want to acknowledge it.

I might be sounding disenchanted with politics. Perhaps, but it's not a reflection of how I feel about American politics. It's more about the lack of development. We're in a lull. That's not a bad thing - sometimes it's necessary. In an Obama era, with a lame duck Democratic senate, less is definitely more.

Meanwhile, wait for it. Lulls typically don't last very long.

It's not about facts, it's just about agitation

For these people at least, using the death of a teenager in Ferguson, MO under unfortunate circumstances (largely of his own doing) seems a perfectly reasonable reason to agitate for other political causes. This is sympathetic to neither the family nor the police, and should be seen as disgusting by everyone with an opinion on this situation.
...The protest had many elements of the Occupy Portland movement, which galvanized protesters in the city and formed a network of people who still communicate via mass text message.

As with Occupy, the vast majority of protesters preached peace, but a fringe group of people — some covering their faces with black bandannas — advocated violence and confrontations with police. And like Occupy, the original protest drew a disparate group of people together, not all of whom agreed with one another.

Military veterans called for peace, a communist group called for the overthrow of capitalism, and a group calling for a Palestinian state all held court during a series of speeches on the steps of the state Justice Center in Portland.
Military veterans calling for peace is vague - does it mean in response to this situation or are they complaining about growing U.S. involvement in Iraq? It's unclear, so I'll let that one slide. But communists advocating the overthrow of capitalism? That's an impossible walk from the Ferguson situation but one they are only too happy to pretend isn't. How will overthrowing capitalism do anything for the Ferguson situation? Capitalism is not at fault here. Either a belligerent hooligan is or a racist police officer is. Even if you believe the latter to be true, capitalism does not foster racism any more or less than any other system. Tell me there are no racists in Russia or China or Cuba and I'll laugh at your premise.

Go home communists, you're crazy.

Palestinians? Really? In a country fraught with nationalistic and religious violence you have no moral authority to claim anything about what's going on in one city in America. Secondly, and more importantly, there is ZERO connection between this and the issues related Palestinian statehood. Got that? Zero. Using this as an excuse to get media face time is morally bankrupt. This is not even about solidarity with supposed victims. Why would you require your community to march or protest as an identifiable group rather than as individuals? In order to throw a reminder out there that the Palestinian issue still exists.

Purposely bending an issue not related to your cause to bring attention to your cause is dishonest, and in many cases, like this one it's repugnant in it's disrespect for all parties concerned.

I told you so.

Way, way back in 2008 when I started this blog, one of things that has stuck with me was in speaking with some of my black (African-Canadian?) friends, I recall speaking with them about their views the importance of having an African-American president. They argued it's importance, and I argued what was more important was competence. An ineffectual, ideological president would make matters worse because he would make it that much harder for their to be a second African-American president. I argued supporting a presidential candidate because of is skin color was being blind to the person as an individual and being racist in your voting selection.  A good leader is a good leader regardless of skin color.  Supporting Obama's candidacy because of race, I argued, would set matters back, not move things forward, unless Obama followed up his election with positive results. My argument was that he did not possess the qualities needed to achieve success - namely, experience and a solid understanding of economic fundamentals. That sank in with one of my friends but not the other two.  There are a number of other things I'd add to that list today, such as personal humility as opposed to being a national apologist.

But, and keep in mind this is coming from a likely Repbublican candidate for president, looking back there's been some corroboration of my pre-Obama-era assessment.

Ben Carson says race relations have suffered under this president. It's hard to disagree.
"I actually believe that things were better before this president was elected. And I think that things have gotten worse because of his unusual emphasis [on race]" he stated.

Carson cited Obama's criticism of the police in the Henry Louis Gates incident and his remarks that his son would look like Trayvon Martin and accused the president and other progressives of trying to "manipulate, particularly minority communities to make them feel that they are victims." And that the president "absolutely" plays the race card, but he said the president was attempting not to do so in the aftermath of the grand jury decision regarding Officer Darren Wilson.
This is just one example where Obama has set things back rather than moved them forward when it comes to African American issues, but it's an important one.

November 24, 2014

Foreign policy quick notes

I was never a big fan of Chuck Hagel.  The man the president picked to be his Secretary of Defense, a Republican, has abandon ship Obama. But I don't think I should be surprised he lasted this long.  

And on a related topic, if you think there was no smoke or fire in the Benghazi scandal, you should read this.

If an Executive Action falls in the forest

So if the president does't have to listen to Congress, and can do whatever he wants, does that mean government agencies don't have to listen to the president?  Theoretically speaking

I DVR'd Biggest Loser for my wife last week.  We went to watch it and it was the president's speech on executive action on amnesty. True story.

I thought that the networks weren't supposed to be carrying his speech.  This may have been a local decision. I'm talking about the Executive Action, not the coverage.

Does anyone have any idea of what Congress is allowed to do without the president?  Tit for tat as opposed to quid pro quo,

November 23, 2014

Shout out to Left Coast Rebel

I haven't posted over at Left Coast Rebel in a while, something I hope to remedy in December once my vacation time starts.  But it's worth reading every day, I encourage you to check it out.

On Bill Cosby

It's odd that Bill Cosby has been vilified so quickly for allegations of rape and sexual assault decades ago, given his positive public image over the past several decades.  It's not clear at this point what really did or did not happen with respect to these allegations, and if they are true, that's terrible. But whatever happened to the notion of "innocent until proven guilty"?

Just asking.

Sunday Verse

For there is hope for a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots will not cease. Though its root grow old in the earth, and its stump die in the soil, yet at the scent of water it will bud and put out branches like a young plant.
~Job 14:7-9

November 22, 2014

Thursday Hillary Bash on Saturday

Still catching up from my internet access issues, I thought I'd share some Hillary Clinton news that might be relevant with respect to her bid for the presidency in 2016.  She's decided executive amnesty action as pushed by president Obama currently, is a great idea.

It seems like a good Democratic primary driven decision for Clinton but ultimately it figures to be a headlong rush into a swamp that she doesn't need to make,
NEW YORK (AP) - Hillary Rodham Clinton voiced support Friday for President Barack Obama's use of executive actions to protect about 5 million immigrants from deportation, setting up a sharp contrast with Republicans on an issue that could play a leading role in the next presidential campaign.

"I think the president took an historic step and I support it," Clinton said in an appearance at the New York Historical Society, embracing her fellow Democrat's moves to address immigration.
So controversial executive decisions on a divisive issue, in advance of potential bi-partisan efforts on the issue, and poisoning the well to pander to a voting bloc, is a good idea?  Her decision making abilities will be questioned over this as they should be.  It's about as well thought out as her 2007 primary debate indecision on licenses for illegal immigrants.

Friday Musical Interlude on Saturday

No access to the online universe the last few days has put me multiple posts behind, but catching up will be tough given all of the things going on in the political sphere.  For now, here's a Friday Musical Interlude from Sam Smith, I'm Not The Only One.

Expanding the conservative base

A couple of videos on how conservatism can spread it's message to a broader base, and start getting the discussion back on ground where we aren't pre-demonized for fictitious reasons made up by the left .

On going viral:

On the subject of women:

Saturday Learning Series - Golden Age

Last week I started sharing a series I found on the roots of Western culture and society as it was developed by the ancient Greeks.  This week I'm sharing that series' second episode about the Golden Age of ancient Greece.

November 19, 2014

Thinking of switching my pick for the Bills game

With Buffalo having been hit by the worst snowstorm EVER in North America, it's hard not to feel bad for the city.  They are in a snow belt, that being on the north side of the lake in Toronto, they are hit with a lot of snow that we never see.

Then again, the Wilson family sold the Buffalo Bills to a local investor.  Toronto needs an NFL team and Goodell is not in any rush to see that happen, so when the Bills went up for sale, terrible team and all, I have to admit, I got a little excited for the Toronto bid.  But it didn't happen.

So I'm torn on Buffalo.  But when it comes to picking winners in their NFL games I'm usually stumped.  They win when I don't pick them and vice versa.  This time, I may have Buffalo figured out, thanks to the terrible storm.

The Buffalo Bills couldn't go to work Wednesday. Stuck at their homes because of a monster snowstorm, the players got cozy with their iPads, studying the game plan and game tape of the New York Jets. There was no practice.

Meanwhile, it was a typical day at One Jets Drive. The Jets attended classroom sessions with their coaches, practiced outdoors, lifted weights, dined in their really cool cafeteria and watched tape before heading home.

Thursday could be a repeat, with Western New York bracing for another storm.

Advantage for the Jets? Absolutely.
It's probably famous last words but, Go Jets.

NOTE:  I heard on local Buffalo radio today that Governor Cuomo had said some insulting things towards Western New Yorkers in connection to the snow storm.  I missed the main part of the details so I'm trying to find it online.  A Cuomo scandal right now would be fun.  And, as a final aside - why don't the have DVRs for radio?

A Narc E!!

Anarchy. Chaos. Senator Coburn is claiming the president's unilateral Executive Action on amnesty for illegal immigrants will lead to anarchy or worse.  Let's hope not.  But if the GOP is unable to affect a change in the president's course, maybe it is time to start thinking about civil disobedience.

This is not a Tea Party issue.  This is not a racism issue.  This is not even a Democrats vs. Republicans or a conservative versus liberal issue.  This is about the American government succumbing to an autocrat.

No matter who you are, ask yourself - is this the type of government you want in the future?  Do you think your choice will always be the leader of the country?  Do you think you'll never be on the receiving end of a bad decision.  Think again.

November 18, 2014

Keystone short by one inch. The good and bad.

The Senate has rejected the Keystone pipeline.  There's good and bad in that.
Sen. Mary Landrieu’s bid to pass a Keystone XL pipeline bill fell short by the slimmest of margins Tuesday, leaving the $8 billion pipeline still on the table for the ascendant Republican Party to push the project to President Barack Obama’s desk in January.

The 59-41 Senate vote was just shy of the 60 votes needed to pass the bill, following a dramatic six days of whipping by the embattled Louisiana Democrat on an issue that almost all of Washington had expected to sit idle until next year.

The defeat deals a blow to Landrieu’s campaign ahead of her Dec. 6 runoff against GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy, whom polls show running comfortably ahead. Winning on Keystone would have helped her demonstrate her clout on the Hill as a champion of her state’s influential oil and gas industry.
The good - the passage would have aided a Democrat who sat idly by on the issue for years and is only pushing it now that she is in deep political peril. She deserves no credit on the pipeline, even if she got it to pass. So the bill's failure will allow Republicans to take credit for the passage when it finally does pass the 60 vote threshold after the new senate is sworn in. A Democrat controlled senate allowing this to come up for a vote now is clearly a political grant to Landrieu, but having done so and not passing it, indicates that even DEmocrats think she's toast.

The bad - there's still no pipeline. The timing for this would have been great because it would have put pressure on president Obama to appear to be willing to work with Republicans right before he poisons the well with amnesty for illegal immigrants. After the well gets poisoned, the president will claim no one can work with these Republicans and he will have no reason to sign a Keystone bill (or any others), so the Keystone pipeline will likely get a veto, and sit undone for two more years.

The interesting -  how exactly did the Democrats get to their calculus on this issue? It's not clear, but Joe Manchin, possible future REpublican was not impressed:
The bill’s failure left a bad taste in the mouth of centrist Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), who had urged his colleagues in a closed door meeting to support it.

“This was ridiculous for us to [get] 59, one short. It really was uncalled for,” he said.
Political soundbite or true distaste? TBD.

Toronto vs. Uber

Toronto City Council, freshly free of Mayor Rob Ford, has wasted no time going after anything and anyone who is not contributing to city coffers. In this case, they've decided Uber, the web-based taxi service, needs to be stopped.
“By its actions, it is the city’s opinion that Uber is jeopardizing public safety, including that of individuals they are recruiting as drivers,” said Tracey Cook, executive director of city licensing and standards division, at a city hall press conference. “They are continuing to operate in flagrant disregard of the laws of both the city and the province.”

The city is asking for a hearing for an injunction be held as soon as possible. The application for it to be heard has not yet been scheduled.

In an email, Uber spokesperson Lauren Altmin defended the company’s place in Toronto and called the court application “disappointing.”

“Torontonians have taken to Uber in droves because it offers something better than what bureaucrats and the taxi cartel have provided to date,” Altmin wrote. “With Uber, Torontonians have enjoyed real competition and greater choice. We offer safe, reliable, environmentally-friendly and affordable transportation options that are designed for what consumers want today.”
Indeed, the taxi cartel, as Uber put it, has had a monopoly on service.  They pay a significant set of licensing and fees to the city.  In addition, the city gets significant revenue from it's transit system.  And the city council is full of socialists who believe they have the right to force the public into public transit funnels and away from driving because it's greener and more egalitarian.  

But what is so egalitarian about artificially high prices and sustaining artificial demand by strong-arming any type of competition out of existence?  Absolutely nothing.

The federal Conservative party just yesterday won two by-elections (special elections) to replace members of parliament.  But grassroots politics, local politics, still matters and as is the case in so many municipalities, is still dominated by the left.  That's because the left pays attention and votes at the lower levels. The right has never done enough in that regard.  

Uber is rightly contesting this absurd, trumped-up, supposedly safety concern drive initiative by Toronto City Council. This is all about money, tax money, and most everyone sees it.

November 17, 2014

Bill Whittle - Give Back the Senate

My schedule has been a bit off of late, but not to worry, Bill Whittle is still on duty.

November 16, 2014

GruberGate was raised back in July

American Commitment published this video on Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber back in July.  The same Gruber who called American voters stupid.  But this was well before the election. So why is it showing up now?  Even conservative media missed the boat on this one.

Sunday Verse

An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.
2 Timothy 2:5

November 15, 2014

Saturday Learning Series - Greeks, The Crucible of Civilization

Episode 1 of Greeks, The Crucible of Civilization.

Electoral bliss is in the House!

The most important paragraph on who wins Congress in every election in the forseaable future comes from Jay Cost:
If “safe Democratic” states yield 204 electoral votes, they are only good for 32 senators. Meanwhile, “safe Republican” states are only good for 182 electoral votes, but provide 44 senators. That leaves 24 senators from 12 states that either side may win in presidential years. If both parties won all their safe seats, and they split the seats in contested states, we would see a GOP majority in the Senate of 56-44.

The advantage the GOP enjoys in the Senate is not as decisive as its edge in the House, as Democratic senators in red states have done a better job of holding on than their House counterparts.
That's a paragraph on the Senate plus a sentence to cover of the House of Congress. It speaks volumes. As Cost notes,
What accounts for the GOP’s success in the House and its potential in the Senate? The answers parallel the explanations for Democratic strength in the race for the presidency: It gets down to structure....

The problem for the Democrats is a combination of law and geography. The 1982 amendments to the Voting Rights Act require the creation of majority-minority districts whenever they can be drawn with reasonable lines. In effect, state legislatures are required to concentrate Democrats in a handful of districts, while dispersing GOP voters across the remainder.
That's a sign of continued electoral bliss for Republicans in the House and Senate. But it also represents a true challenge at the presidential level as the GOP is playing from behind. They'll need to bring other states the Democrats have into play more often and more effectively or they'll be perennial losers. Which means eventually the SCOTUS slips to Democratic control. And that in turn allows Democrats to erode the GOP strengths in the legislative branch of government.

November 14, 2014

November 13, 2014

re: Gruber on Obamacare. Deception is just how liberals work

Jonathan Gruber, one of the main architects of Obamacare, has created a firestorm in the media because a number of videos have come out where he has repeatedly made the point that the law was written in a deliberately arcane way so as to be able to decieve the Congressional Budget Office and the American people into allowing the bill to pass into law relatively uncontested. It was a deception pure and simple.

Surely this revelation is not a surprise to those of us on the right but as Noah Rothman points out on Hot Air, the media reaction, also not a surprise, shows just how important these revelations have been to the left. They're panicking and trying to avoid it, ore else circling the wagons around Gruber and Obamacare.

But their reaction is surely in part due to the echo chamber nature of the liberal news world. No one's talking about it so it's not news. That is by no means an excuse for their inaction on the story, it's just a fact that is part of the story on the lieberal mainstream media.

There is not much new under the sun with Gruber's revelations. The law was always flawed, but we now know it was done deliberately. Big deal. With all of the backroom dealing and arm twisting and parliamentary chicanery surrounding the law it was tainted from the beginning. Further evidence is not required for many Americans.

What this does is provide ammunition for those trying to convince the unconvincable that this law has always been full of lies. Except that they aren't likely to care. If you don't want to face the truth, you can't be made or persuaded to do so.

Romney 2016's silver lining

The only good thing about Mitt Romney considering another run in 2016 is it might serve to keep Jeb Bush from running. Or alternately maybe they can fight for the same slice of the Republican pie and cancel out each other's chances of winning.

Landrieu would have you believe her

The Senate battle isn't over. Louisiana is still headed for a runoff. Mary Landrieu is trying to distance herself from Democrats (and her true self). Maybe next she'll disavow Obamacare. I hope voters in the state don't fall for her tripe.

Pleading innocence after doing the deed is hollow and she deserves her own political shellacking.  

Catch a comet by the tail

The ESA has successfully landed a satellite on a comet. That's truly amazing and inspiring. The question I have, is what the hell is NASA up to these days? Has America also ceded leadership in  space exploration?

I get the idea of privatizing space flight. It's a good move. But where that will matter is in commercial applications, not in exploration. The risk is too high and the payoff too low to justify this sort of exploratory activity by say SpaceX.

NASA cancelled the Space Shuttle program with little else to take it's place. But can we really blame NASA? It was a cost cutting move in an Obama era where defense spending is also getting drastically cut all in the name of funding social programs. If it's not a social program Obama doesn't care, and neither have the Democrats. 

John Kennedy would be turning over in his grave.

Obama not even phoning it in on Ukraine

So Obama goes to a meeting in China where Vladimir Putin shows up as Russian tanks are once again rolling in the Ukraine and Obama says to him....nothing? Talk about a checked-out president. That was a truly disgusting abdication of his responsibility.

Thursday Hillary Bash is a Wednesday Warren Warning?

It looks like the Democratic party might be grooming an alternative to Hillary Clinton. Harry Reid is tapping her as a liaison to liberal groups for Senate Democrats.

It may sound like a token effort (in the absence of having president Obama, and any of his policies on any more ballots) to keep liberals engaged, but it sure helps Warren's political profile. It's visible and it also gives her a platform in the senate minority to proselytize and to monologue her way to liberal media darling status. She might be the next Obama.

To top it off, Warren seems to be getting in doors that Hillary Clinton is being excluded from getting in.

How does Hillary feel about that? She's probably not feeling a tingle up her leg. But she's likely to revert to her anti-media form. She may feel insulated from the threat.

David Axelrod warned her recently.
David Axelrod, the chief strategist who guided President Obama into the White House, offered a blunt assessment Thursday of Hillary Rodham Clinton's likely 2016 presidential campaign, saying she needs to "get out of the cocoon of inevitability."...

"Tactics have to follow strategy," Axelrod said. "I think the danger for Secretary Clinton is that, as was the case in 2007, her candidacy is out in front of the rationale for it."
From there he naturally goes of the rails and suggests she move to the same space as Warren (i.e. the Obama-leftosphere).

Well, good luck with that. But Hillary Clinton shouldn't be taking this lightly. Conservatives however might look upon it as her star fading a bit in Democratic eyes, and the vanishing of her air of inevitability and take heart from it.

November 11, 2014

Limbaugh lawsuit lessons

In case you missed it, Rush Limbaugh is threatening to sue the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for defamation. I don't blame him, but there's an interesting lesson Limbaugh is providing conservatives in the process, intended or otherwise.

Here's the crux of the case.
Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh threatened on Monday to sue the Democratic National Campaign Committee – a group of sitting members of Congress – over fundraising emails that claimed he advocated for rape on college campuses.

In a letter to the political organization, lawyers for America's most listened-to talker demanded a retraction and an apology.

Limbaugh, known for mercilessly needling elements of U.S. progressive culture, spent part of his September 15 show mocking a sexual consent program that The Ohio State University implemented this year...

'The modern era of feminism relies on a lot of accepted premises,' he said. 'The biggest one is that men are predators, that they're mean – in their natural state they are brutes, bullies – and that women are endangered at the slightest bit of temper or anger. This has been a tenet of feminism.'
The details of the case aside, Rush's potential lawsuit is a step in the right direction for the conservative cause because it's right out of the Alinsky playbook. It uses liberals' strengths and tactics against themselves. It's a matter of political jiu jitsu. The courts have long been a channel liberals have used for recourse, often to absurd lengths. Using their tools against them is a masterstroke of a move. Targeting their core, a powerful force for progressive political energy and money, is going after their strength and trying to weaken it.

It's also a matter of principle that if you are not playing offense then you are playing defense. For far too long conservatives have played with a defensive mindset. We are interested in defending the Constitution, tradition and the guiding principles that founded the nation and that have carried it to greatness. Those things have been under attack practically since their inception. But the defensive mindset only serves to allow conservatives to cede ground on those things at a slower pace than not defending them.

Instead, now the DCCC may have to muster resources to defend a lawsuit. It diverts their attention from their mandate of winning in Congressional elections. The best defense is a good offense. Limbaugh's timing, coming on the heels of an election in which Democrats suffered more setbacks is perect. It's a flawless action. Even if the DCCC successfully defends the lawsuit, the costs in political terms is there.

Conservatives should take note of Limbaugh's actions, they are instructional.

Veteran's Day

Wishing one and all, especially Veterans and their families, a thankful and thoughtful Veteran's Day.  In Canada it's called Remembrance Day, which is a good name for it.  Too often people forget the sacrifices that have been made on our behalf by those who have fought to protect our freedoms.  As the saying goes, some gave all.

It's important to show your appreciation to a Veteran and if you cannot find one to thank, at least take pause to remember the gift that so many have given to you and so many do so even today.

November 9, 2014

The Obama delusion continues

Team Obama is full on delusional at this point. You guys did stay up and watch the midterm election returns, right?  Right?

Yes, it WAS a wave.

2014 proved to be a wave election.  The president can decry the lack of voter participation but many of those who did not participate were his own voters, and no, they were not all Obama voters.  Trying to make like this loss doesn't matter and that he can proceed with his agenda as if he won, will only serve to marginalize the president further.  I'm not just talking from Republicans here, or even disaffected Democrats.  I'm speaking of the electorate.  I'm speaking of the gravitational center of the nation.  He has removed himself from that locus for the past six years and continuing on his present course will only hasten his lame duck status.  It will serve to cement his legacy as a tone deaf president who was ultimately out of touch with the American electorate, one who promised change in how Washington does business but who instead embodied the worst of the partisanship that preceded him.

Yes, that was a wave. A big one. In many respects, it was a wave that was larger and more damaging to Democrats than in 2010.

Republicans now have more House seats, more Senate seats and more governorships than they did after the humongous GOP wave of 2010. They now have the governors of Maryland and Massachusetts, a post-Great Depression record of House seats and, finally, control of the Senate.
Some advice for Democrats, call it what you want.  If you learn that America is still a center-right country it will be better for your party as you might try to reflect that in you candidate selection.  Drifting back from the left towards the center is not a bad thing.  If you don't it'll help Republicans win more elections.  Either way is okay with me. 

Sunday Verse

Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.
~Proverbs 19:17

November 8, 2014

Saturday Learning Series - American Industrial Revolution primer

Just some background stuff on the American Industrial Revolution, which I hope to look at more in the future through other sources.

November 7, 2014

Rules are rules

Harry Reid has sewn some terrible rules for the Senate minority.  The Republicans have had to live by them for the last several years.  Mitch McConnell has talked about rolling them back, and he should - as soon as it becomes apparent that the GOP might lose control of the senate.  That time is not today.  In fact the earliest that might be is late 2016.

Why not govern and force the senate Democrats, now the minority, to live under the same yoke that they forced Republicans to live under?  There is ZERO upside to being more pariamentarian than senator Reid.  Yes it's the right way to govern, but (1) they shoved a lot of garbage down the throat of Americans by bending these rules.  That needs to be corrected, and making it more difficult for yourself to do so is foolish. That makes ZERO sense. (2) The GOP will get ZERO media credit for fixing things.  That means there will be little to no public perception benefit for the GOP espousing fairness. It means no extra votes in 2016. ZERO. (3) The GOP may control the Congress and Senate, but they need as much muscle as they can muster to confront president Obama, who shows no signs of being willing to compromise on his progressive agenda.  Making it more difficult for yourself to contain a lame duck president who wants to instead govern as a king makes ZERO sense.

Mitch McConnell has benefitted from an unhappy conservative base, who have bit their lip and voted for the establishment Republicans in many cases.  The Tea Party have taken one for the team.  They've enabled the Republicans to be able to fight a radical progressive agenda.  They've done so not because they love the GOP, but because they realize that's the only way they'll have skin in the game.  Having taken a pass on Romney in 2012, there's not much else in terms of options.

But that does not give the GOP a pass to govern the senate as if they were still the go-along-to-get-along minority.  To do so will spell a truly bad split within the party base.  Conservative voters want action and the GOP in the senate had better be prepared to deliver or they will truly realize a backlash in 2016.  On the other hand, they are set up perfectly to take action.  Bold action.  There is a difference between bold and reckless and Mitch McConnell would do well to recognize that.  The choices facing the GOP are note solely recklessness and unilateral disarmament.

Use the tools yoe've been given to the fullest possible advantage.  That seems like a no-brainer.  Yes those tools dismantle the reasoning for the senate in the first place and they should be gone.  But the Republicans can now control when that happens. So get it right Mitch.

Friday Musical Interlude for Obama

Led Zeppelin's Nobody's Fault But Mine (performed live in 1979).  Take a hint Mr. President.

November 6, 2014

GOP ground zero is a good thing

Democrats on the far left love to demonize big business. They in fact legislatively undercut all businesses, and more acutely smaller businesses, with onerous requirements that have caused a lot of investment potential a lot of innovation opportunity to sit idle on the sidelines that could have had a positive impact on the country's economy. As Democrats have sewn this antagonistic view, so now have they reaped much of the consequence politically. The country however continues to feel the impacts of everything from Dodd Frank, to Obamacare, to loose monetary policy. It's crippling America at a faster rate than every before.

Meanwhile the Democrats claim to champion the underprivileged and laughably, the middle class. Minimum wage laws designed to keep people out of the lowest of the income brackets have been proven to drive unemployment. But beyond that, the psychological harm to business of these pro-people, anti-business measures are quite significant.

The message could not be clearer - the legislation Democrats have enacted has helped the poorest, marginally at best, and the wealthiest significantly. They are insulated from new competition by the sheer enormity of the administrative and taxation burden placed on smaller companies. Those companies cannot grow to competitive levels and right now they aren't even inclined to try. Therefore they are not adding more jobs, and importantly, they are not adding more middle class jobs.

The Democrats have been running a Zero-trickle-down legislative agenda, intentionally or not.

This is where the opportunity exists for the GOP from a messaging perspective. A positive message should show people that prosperity is not a zero-sum game. When the economy does well, everyone benefits. But a little more nuance than tha tis required. The message should say be something along the lines of "our policies are not designed to codify people, and make them think of the world as us and them, but rather to enable everyone the same opportunity to start their own journey to success."

Equality of opportunity extends from education right through to starting and growing your own business. A truly level playing field requires it. Republican policy should deliver it. It's not about creating jobs - it's about creating opportunities (of which jobs is a mere subset).

Every policy and piece of legislation should start from that basis. And every policy and piece of legislation must have crystal clarity on how it enables equality of opportunity at every stage of life. That is done not by layering more complexity upon existing complexity. Rather it is done by simplifying the rules. It is done by ensuring that rules do not discriminate against anyone or any business entity.

People can be made to see those truths if the messaging is clear. Investors certainly can be made to see them. That alone would spark a fire in the economy. Then ensuring that everyone has a shot at taking advantage of the prosperity to better their own lives becomes the main raison d'etre for government.

Thursday Hillary Bash - #Hillary'sLosers

Hillary and Bill Clinton endorsed a number of losing candidates in the midterm elections.  I mean it wasn't just bad, it was startlingly bad. Just ask Rand Paul, who wasn't wasting time not thinking ahead to 2016.  

Although I'd argue that the real losers were those left behind in Benghazi, her endorsement performance will not be without consequence.

November 5, 2014

Election Fallout Part 2 - GOP

The GOP has just bought themselves two years to prove themselves to voters.  In 2016 the next election cycle hits and they have to convince voters of three things (1) they deserve to keep Congress (2) they deserve to keep the senate and (3) they deserve to win the presidency.  Some of those orders are taller than others.  Keeping Congress should be easy, barring major unforeseen events. But the other two are another story.

Setting the presidency aside for a future discussion, let's focus on the second goal.  Winning the Senate means that legislation will actually get past Harry Reid and reach the president's desk.  Many of the items put forward by the GOP will get vetoed but not all of them.

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