September 27, 2014

FedEx boycott?

So now it appears there's some actual offended native Indians, who want to see the Washington Redskins name changed. I hadn't seen any instances of it prior to this, so I was skeptical about the need for the name change. The question I kept asking myself was "Why now?"  In fact I'd read somewhere that there were native Indians who claimed they had no problem with the name. I'm sure for many native Indians, this isn't high on their priority list, compared to issues like education, standard of living issues etc. But it's always been possible that some view the name as insulting and certainly if that is the case, there's a case to be made that the underlying issue with respect to everything else that affects native Indians (like education and living standards) has been impacted by negative societal attitudes.

Fair enough. But let's see how the free market reacts to the notion that FedEx be boycotted unless the team name gets changed. Will it spread across all tribal employees as the chief had requested? Will it spread beyond that? If so, the Washington Redskins might react, since FedEx is a major sponsor of the organization (the Redskins play at FedEx Field).

This is how real pressure gets applied - not by media complaining. This is an attempt at creating a real economic impact. If it works, the Redskins will have to change their name. Even if enough native Indians react as suggested, a strong statement can be made. On the other hand, perhaps this is just a squeaky wheel making some noise. Time will tell whether this is the free market in action or just more rules for radicals in action, or perhaps just more political correctness in hyper-drive.

Saturday Learning Series - Federalists in the 1790's

A continuation of Tom Woods' series on Constitutional History, Part 13 deals with federalists in the 1790's and the Chisholm vs. Georgia.

September 26, 2014

Friday Musical Interlude - Cover Version

My favorite band of all time, Fleetwood Mac, re-imagined by one of my favorite recent bands, The Lumineers. It'd be hard for me not to like this one.

Go Your Own Way:

Holder's leaving. So what?

I meant to hop on this yesterday as the story broke, but I didn't have time. Better late than never.

Is the Eric Holder departure a cabinet shake-up move designed to move the needle on voters prior to the midterm elections? Maybe so:

But how it is supposed to help Democrats before the midterms is not exactly clear. The Tea Party crowd is roughly zero percent more likely to support Democrats based on a new Attorney General in the administration.

African Americans are not likely to care much, although some might be annoyed if the replacement is not another African American who sees racism in everything. But again, it won't make much electoral difference with them either way.

Hispanic voters are not likely to change their impression of the administration either way as a result of this. Those annoyed by the president over his stall on naturalization of illegal immigrants aren't likely to be any happier, even with a Hispanic replacement if that is in the cards. Holder isn't the primary dial-mover for them, Obama is.

Democratic voters in general certainly aren't focused on Holder vs. a potential replacement. So is it voters on the fence who the administration is focused on impacting? Even for them, with ISIS, the economy, healthcare, Russia and a myriad of other issues on the table, while Holder's departure is worth noting, it's not a game changer - it's far down the list in terms of importance with voters.

UNLESS, Holder's departure is part of a bigger picture and more resignations and changes are to come. But even then, how meaningful is that in a midterm election when it's the executive branch changes in an election about the Congress and Senate?

It's like someone opened the playbook and said, "Hey, a cabinet shuffle before an election can make a difference, let's try that!"

It smacks of desperation, and makes me think that a wave is still certainly possible. Perhaps the Democratic pollsters, the ones who far outdid Republican pollsters in 2012, are seeing things that haven't bubbled to the surface yet.

September 24, 2014

Wednesday Warren Warning - It's TOO quiet

Not a lot of exciting noise out of the Warren for president 2016 folder of late.  But there is this from the Boston Herald:
Local Democratic party boosters of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren told a frenzied group of progressives to ditch their bid to draft her as a 2016 presidential nominee, saying the push undercuts her vow to stay put as a Massachusetts lawmaker...

The email thread — which ordered members not to share its contents with the press — makes it clear that Warren’s emergence was a happy accident and that the collaborators were searching for a progressive to run against the presumed front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton...

Johnston said while the progressives are a distraction for Warren, he believes they are doing a good job keeping Clinton on her toes and potentially influencing her campaign policies.

Distance again

With the frightening scenario of someone once again trying to enter the White House with seemingly ill-intent and in this case, an alarmingly close-to-successful result, a solution is needed.  The solution is unfortunately, to further distance the public from powers that be.  While security for leadership is of great importance, the unintended consequence of the proposed solution is to further distance leadership from the public.  This is a significant part of the problem with America.  

"Have you seen the price of arugula?" the president once complained, about food prices, intending to connect with those who are eating bread or rice as a mainstay of their diet.  Man of the people, or so he would have you believe.  The distance is between leaders and citizens is not only physical but as it has become more evident, the physical distance is a symptom of the times.  And by the times, I do not mean people - I mean the self-imposed distancing that results from the thinking of government leaders.  Pope John Paul was shot, Reagan was shot, Lincoln was shot.  The danger to leadership has not changed, the attitude of leadership has changed.  The secret service mentality is likewise a symptom of the distancing not the cause of it.

The crazy guy breaking into the White House was not there to tell the president what a fantastic job he has been doing.  The real solution to reducing the likelihood of these sorts of events is not distance, but rather a successful economy, prosperity that affects all levels of the population.  Good jobs, and perhaps a return to a moral compass that actually matters, will solve a lot.  Granted, not everything and security is necessary, but the solution that looks to be put in place here, will do greater long-term harm than good.  To borrow a progressive phrase, there's got to be a better way. 

Airstrikes in Syria a yawner

The NYT did its level best for the president and fellow Democrats in describing the attack against ISIS in Syria as a "fierce" opening blow:
The intensity of the attacks struck a fierce opening blow against the jihadists of the Islamic State, scattering its forces and damaging the network of facilities it has built in Syria that helped fuel its seizure of a large part of Iraq this year.
Firstly, this is not the opening blow in the war on terror, or even ISIS. The U.S. has already bombed ISIS positions in Iraq.  And of course the opening blow versus ISIS actually came from ISIS in the form of beheading Americans.  But that's just arguing semantics.  The real problem is that the word fierce doesn't accurately capture the nonchalance or the irrelevance of the latest Obama move.  Once again, the NYT is cheer leading for the Obama administration.

True, the president has ramped up his war on terror game (but let's not call it that, shall we?) by bombing inside Syria, much to the glee of Iranian hardliners who want to keep their Syrian puppet in place.  But that really doesn't solve the problem of ISIS, which will require boots on the ground. Not that I'm suggesting America putting boots on the ground, I'm just pointing out the reality of the situation.  

True, the president is taking out ISIS strongholds and fighters, but that will only be successful in the short term.  ISIS can easily adapt Hamas' tactics of hiding behind civilians and the American public (and certainly this president) does not have the stomach for ignoring human shields.

True the president has 5, count 'em 5!, Arabic allies in the latest campaign.  Remember when the press screamed about the lack of a coalition when it only involved a mere 40 or so countries?  And no one has yet stepped up in the boots-on-the-ground mandate the president tried to impose on "anyone but the U.S.". The clock is ticking.

So yeah, it's a yawner.  The president is doing the minimum he thinks is necessary to get past the midterm elections, period.  He should not be given credit for that.  There was a pretty low bar in fighting ISIS, even lower than in combating Russia in its Ukrainian ambition, and the president once again, managed to not clear the bar. 


Priorities people

While people are 'busy' misguidedly protesting man's impact on the planet (you know, while they are busy impacting the planet), there's a much bigger problem on the horizon.  Ebola.

I'm not an alarmist about the disease.  I don't think Ebola is a plague about to sweep the planet, but it does seem to be a much bigger problem than health authorities have been letting on.  With an expected 21,000 cases by November,  the WHO sees much bigger numbers on the near horizon:
CDC scientists conclude there may be as many as 21,000 reported and unreported cases in just those two countries as soon as the end of this month, according to a draft version of the report obtained by The Associated Press. They also predict that the two countries could have a staggering 550,000 to 1.4 million cases by late January.
That's right, 1.4 million cases.  At that rate of progression, Africa could be an empty continent in two years, and ebola would undoubtedly spread beyond the continent.  Like I said, it's not a world-killer. And I don't think it's a crisis level problem that rises to the Ukraine, ISIS or national debt at this point  but certainly it's a greater concern than our not-really-warming climate.

Climate change of desperation

They are really, really trying to resurrect climate change as an issue aren't they?

There's this story and this one, And this one too.  All in the news this week.  Ignore the man with the evidence behind the curtain.  The problem is as severe as ever, and the fierce urgency of now demands we all do something like setting our cars on fire or something.

Skeptics have good reason to believe it's a case of do as I say, not as I do.  There's plenty of examples like this or this or this to prove their point. Our point.

September 22, 2014

Occupy zombies moved to global warming cause

The Occupy Wall Street movement has morphed into a suspiciously timely anti-global -warming movement right before the U.N.'s latest climate conference and startlingly close to the midterm elections. 
The timing is nothing short of suspect  not only because of the U.N. or the elections where liberals are.desperate to get some sort of issue to stick with liberal voters enough to get them to the ballot box this November but also because it just so happens that belief in the global warming cause is flagging and the summer was kinda cold. 
The effort to re-establish the validity of the global warming cause conjoined with the effort to turn out the liberal base for the midterms dovetails quite well.  Too well to be a coincidence.
If I were one of the useful idiots out there marching against Wall Street I would be more than a little curious as to whom it might be behind the scenes organizing the march.

September 20, 2014

Saturday Learning Series - At Sword's Point

Constitutional history lessons continue via Tom Woods' series.  This time the series looks at Jefferson versus Hamilton in the cabinet.

September 19, 2014

September 17, 2014

Wednesday Warren Warning - Torched by Levin on Israel

Not everything progressive darling Elizabeth Warren goes unchallenged.  Via The Right Scoop, Mark Levin challenged her on her statements on Israel. Go take a listen.  As The Right Scoop points out, it's short and it's fantastic.

Meanwhile Bill Maher who somehow fashions himself as a Libertarian rather than just an obnoxious know-it-all snot, wants Warren to run against Hillary Clinton.  News flash for Maher - anyone who thinks Warren should run is a progressive, not a Libertarian.

Obama needs a plan B on ISIS

President Obama was emphatic today that there were going to be no U.S. boots on the ground in Iraq to combat ISIS.  This after all of the allies he'd assume would step up to put boots on the ground...just didn't.  But there are going to be U.S. troops in Iraq and mission creep is inevitable, as is the possibility of unexpected fighting.

It's very possible U.S. troops will see combat.  Let's hope air support is not as distant as it was in Benghazi.  But the president still seems to be reactionary, on his heels and digging in to a rhetorical position that he's leaving himself open to have to abandon.

So what is Plan B?  My guess is they don't have one yet, just like they didn't with plan A.

Evolving on the NFL

We knew nothing!
When news of the Ray Rice domestic-violence-in-an-elevator story broke, my initial inclination was to defend the NFL as a separate entity from Ray Rice.  The NFL was not in that elevator.  The NFL did not knock out Ray Rice's fiancee.  The rush to judgement about a cover-up was to my mind a distraction from the main issue - domestic violence.

The attack on the Washington Redskins because of their choice of name was in my mind a waste of time.  It still is.  Until I see native Indians out in throngs protesting, I'm attributing the need or desire to change the name to liberal guilt.  It's not a guilt I share.  I wish to wrong no one, or insult anyone but this does not appear to be an insult as far as native Indians are concerned.  Or at least to most of them.  So it's a non-issue.  And there should be no domino effect with the Cleveland Indians, Atlanta Braves, Edmonton Eskimos or any other North American sports team.

The issue with concussions was something that would work itself out.  The NFL doesn't need it's stars or former stars all suffering brain damage because of the game.  Fixing that is a self-interest necessity.

But with Adrian Peterson intentionally or not putting his son in jeopardy, there has become a critical mass of problems and the NFL cannot ignore it.  The problem so far has been that the problems were largely ignored or downplayed.  The problem with the reactions of the NFL commissioner are that they are so knee-jerky as to be a de-stabilizing force.

I don't want to see the NFL disappear, and I don't believe that it's a game for Neanderthals and those who like Neanderthals.  But it's players have started to seem to be pampered, out-of-control thugs.  In a way, they reflect the coarsening of the broader culture (guns, drugs, disinterest in the welfare of others etc.) with respect to the youth of today.  Except of course, on steroids (dual-meaning not intended).

The NFL if it wants to maintain its level of prominence in American culture will have to change for the better.  How that happens is not clear - a commissioner change is simply too cosmetic to make a real difference.  And a real difference is whats needed, not just enough to avoid the glare of a negative spotlight for a while.

This is the NFL's chance to lead, in a positive, visible and meaningful way to be a force for good.  That may be putting too much on the NFL.  Indeed, it's not something the NFL has to do.  But it is an opportunity, not just a challenge.  And it is an opportunity the NFL should seize. 

At least that's where I have evolved to on the current image of the NFL.  That, and the fact that I really don't want to see a Seattle Seahawks repeat in the Superbowl this year.

September 15, 2014

Ebb and flow of politics vs. daily posting

I set a goal for myself a couple of years ago to try to get 500 posts in every year.  The last two years I barely made it.  The years before that, it was no problem.  This year, I'm going to be hard pressed to make it.

But 500 posts, while probably good for search engine optimization and visibility, may not be so great for consistently quality content compared to a few quality posts per week.  Then again, I'm not even on track for that lately.  I've had some good posts this year but no more so than in previous years. So that may be just a feeble attempt at justifying a lower output.  The real reason is that I have been busy with work, personal stuff and also experiencing internet availability issues.

But I noticed something this weekend.  By not being out there posting every day, my posts slants may become more even-keeled.  Last Friday I read a couple of items about the potential for an impending Republican wave in the senate this term.  Today, I read that a few of the races look like they have the potential to slip away from the GOP.  Maybe it won't be a wave, but just a small scale win.

Now if I were posting every day, with the ebb and flow of political change, my thoughts, and posts, would quite possible be all ovr the place, appearing disjointed to readers.

Taking time to see the bigger trends is preferable and probably a lot more productive than daily posting.  On the other hand, you do miss out on being able to comment on some things.  And taken to it's logical conclusion, I could have posted in 2008 that Obama's stellar popularity would not last, and then not posted again until now, with a "See, I told ya so" post.  But that doesn't make for compelling reading and isn't thought provoking for writer or reader.

Politics, like sports, like weather, like anything changes regularly.  Being out of the game more than I like ultimately, has been frustrating.  As soon as I can manage, I'll be back to my 1.5 posts per day.

September 10, 2014

The cynical view of Obama's impending ISIS speech today

In light of the previous post, I'd expect president Obama's speech on ISIS today to sound fierce at first blush.  But it will actually be a hollow speech, as toothless as sanctions against a few guys in Russia. The speech though, is meant for domestic consumption.   It will be aimed at the casual political observer, delivered  with the intention of strengthening Obama's crashing foreign-affairs approval numbers. Keep in mind, this is a political president, and a political speech.  Don't expect the speech to have much in it that will deter ISIS or even give them pause for thought.

The thought process Obama will be trying to interrupt is not that of ISIS but rather the ever-increasing notion that he is a failure as a foreign policy president.  He's trying to stem the tide of a potential Republican wave in the Senate, in November. He's not really going to do much stem the tide of ISIS.  They aren't voters or even potential future voters, so their tide only matters insofar as it affects the opinions of voters at home.

September 9, 2014

Has Obama really checked out? I mean REALLY checked out?

The story from the right, and now increasingly from the left as well, has been that president Obama has checked out  - he's busy golfing, not caring about the job, reinforcing his lame duck status - and he no longer cares about the job.  But is that really true?  Consider the evidence.

September 5, 2014

September 4, 2014

The cultural-centric thinking of progressive liberalism

Can you smell my awesomeness from Syria?
This morning I was reading an Allahpundit post on Hot Air about the left's belief that his election to the presidency would be the death blow to radical jihadism.

The pertinent piece is where Ahhahpundit quotes Andrew Sullivan;
"Consider this hypothetical. It’s November 2008. A young Pakistani Muslim is watching television and sees that this man—Barack Hussein Obama—is the new face of America. In one simple image, America’s soft power has been ratcheted up not a notch, but a logarithm. A brown-skinned man whose father was an African, who grew up in Indonesia and Hawaii, who attended a majority-Muslim school as a boy, is now the alleged enemy. If you wanted the crudest but most effective weapon against the demonization of America that fuels Islamist ideology, Obama’s face gets close. It proves them wrong about what America is in ways no words can."
Therein lies the liberal mindset, which has been stated before - America is the root of the problems in the world. Or, at the very least, America is at the root of all hatred of America. It's our own fault, the reasoning goes.

Thursday Hillary Bash - She's Not O.

Why fear that Hillary Clinton could still take it all in 2016? Here's one reason. Her biggest strength is that she's not Obama.

This about sums it up:
Hillary’s greatest strength as a would-be nominee isn’t her name recognition or her trailblazing appeal as the first woman president or her many, many, many Washington contacts. It’s the fact that, uniquely among Democrats, she can run on the record of a more successful Democratic president than Obama. No matter how bad things get for O over the next two years, Hillary has Bill’s economic record available to distance her from all of it. In fact, within limits, the worse things get for Obama, the better it is for Hillary since it’ll make the Clinton years look that much rosier by comparison.
But neither will the Republican nominee be Obama. If she wins the Democrat nomination, or if Warren does for that matter (or even Biden), the GOP's primary goal in defining their opponent must be that the nominee is a clone of Obama and will continue the same malaise inducing policies. They must paint their nominee in contrast to that portrayal as a ray of hope, as knowing what will work to fix the once great nation of America that finds itself wanting today.

September 3, 2014

Wednesday Warren Warning - Hypocrisy

Elizabeth Warren, hypocritically playing to her base today, criticized the former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor for accepting a multi-million dollar investment bank job.  While she was at it, she threw Hillary Clinton under the bus.
"This is wrong," Warren said in regard to Cantor's new role as vice chairman and managing director at Moelis & Co. "People work in Washington and, man, they hit that revolving door with a speed that would blind you." She went on to claim that banks hire politicians like Cantor "not because they bring great expertise and insight, but because they’re selling access back into their former colleagues who are still writing policy."

Asked whether Hillary Clinton is also too cozy with Wall Street, Warren didn't exactly give the 2016 Democratic presidential front-runner a pass. "I worry a lot about the relationship between all of our regulators, government, Wall Street," she said. "I worry across the board."
Let's get one thing straight, it's not wrong. It's the free market. In a backhanded way she intimates that Cantor has no value to add aside from his political connections. But aside from the tackiness of speaking ill of someone departing, how about the hypocrisy involved?

Elizabeth Warren has accepted jobs based on a phony heritage. Elizabeth Warren is worth millions (but only about a dozen or so). And make no mistake, she played it softer with Hillary Clinton, but there was still a jab. Warren is going to run for president or perhaps hopes to be a VP on a Clinton ticket.
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