Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Back To Reality...

We at CommentaramaPolitics and our many affiliates hope everyone had a festive and restful Labor Day weekend. Now, it's back to school and back to reality. We have 62 days left before the 2014 Midterm elections. As far as the daily poll numbers are going, it is possible that the Republicans can take over the Senate, but it is just too close to call. Is anything happening in your district that could be earth shattering? Let us know.
[+] Read More...

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Film Guide

I've decided to release the film guide. It's called "The Conservative Guide To Films" and it contains a ton of information that will absolutely surprise you, as well as some hopefully insightful discussions of liberal and conservative films. You can buy it at Amazon here: LINK! (Paperback to come.) Enjoy!


***
Hollywood defines modern American culture, and culture defines "normal." It is through our culture that we pass our values and our beliefs from one generation to the next. By shaping our culture, Hollywood influences the way people see the world, how they solve their problems and to whom they look for solutions. It tells people how they should live, how they should act, and what they should believe. It is the parent so many parents are not, and unless conservatives want Hollywood raising a generation of reflexive liberals with no sense of personal responsibility, conservatives need to depoliticize the film industry to re-establish a cultural balance. That's where this book comes in.

"The Conservative Guide To Films" will help you understand what makes a film conservative or liberal. It will help you understand how the two ideologies present themselves and how to spot them. It will debunk a great many liberal boogeymen and it exposes Hollywood liberal hypocrisies. This is a book for anyone with an interest in films, culture, and politics.

Chapter 1: Why Political Messages In Films Matter

Chapter 2: Defining Conservatism & Liberalism

Chapter 3: How To Spot A Film's Ideology

Chapter 4: Conservative Myths: It's Not As Political As You Think
Is The Evil Corporate Villain Really Anti-Capitalist?
Are Missing Parents Anti-Marriage/Anti-Family?
Why Are There No Islamic Terrorists?
Is Gun Violence Anti-Gun?
Is Anti-War Always Anti-Military or Unpatriotic?
Chapter 5: Debunking Liberal Boogeymen
The Bloodthirsty Military
The Evil Businessman
The Republican Lobbyist
The Unreality of Guns
The European/Christian/Military Terrorist
Fascist Capitalists
Japanese Internment
Domestic Violence Demographics
The Southern Death Penalty
Chapter 6: Discussing Liberal Films
In Time (2011)
John Q (2002)
Norma Rae (1979)
The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
The China Syndrome (1979)
Erin Brockovich (2000)
The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
Battle for Terra (2007)
Avatar (2009)
The Abyss (1989)
The Golden Compass (2007)
Do The Right Thing (1989)
Thelma & Louise (1991)
The Green Mile (1999)
12 Angry Men (1957)
Chapter 7: A Note On Liberal Sucker Punches
Paul (2011)
The Invention of Lying (2009)
Machete (2010)
The Men Who Stare At Goats (2009)
Happy Feet (2006) & Happy Feet Two (2011)
The Other Guys (2010)
Source Code (2011) & Flightplan (2005)
Punisher: War Zone (2008)
Chapter 8: A Note On Backfiring Messages
The Guns of Navarone (1961)
Wall Street (1987)
Chapter 9: Discussing Conservative Films
Brazil (1985)
WALL-E (2008)
Rollerball (1975)
The Incredibles (2004)
Gladiator (2000)
Dirty Harry (1971) & Magnum Force (1973)
Blade Runner (1982)
Drumline (2002)
The Blind Side (2009)
Battle: Los Angeles (2011)
Smokey And The Bandit (1977)
Adventures In Babysitting (1987)
Ghostbusters (1984)
Harry Potter (1997-2011)
Chapter 10: Compare And Contrast: Conservative vs. Liberal Films
Dirty Harry (1971) vs. The Star Chamber (1983)
High Noon (1952) vs. Outland (1981)
Platoon (1986) vs. We Were Soldiers (2002)
Apocalypse Now (1979) vs. Apocalypse Now (Redux) (1979/2001)
Star Trek (1966-1969) vs. Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994)
Chapter 11: Hollywood's Liberal Hypocrisy
Anti-Gun Hollywood Promotes Gun Violence
Feminist Hollywood Is Sexist
Hollywood Environmentalism Isn't So Green
Hollywood Racism
Political Correctness Goes Awry
Chapter 12: What Do We Do Now?
[+] Read More...

Labor Day...Why?

Monday is Labor Day! A day where we sit by the pool one last time, grill burgers one last time, and take advantage of one more holiday sale. But what is Labor Day all about? No, really what IS it all about?

How is it that no one has demanded that Labor Day be repealed as a national holiday? I mean, liberals should hate it because it makes the unemployed, poor people, and stay-at-home Moms feel bad about themselves. And conservatives should hate it because it is counterproductive to NOT labor and well, it's a Union/Socialist/Communist holiday brought to you by Union/Socialist/Communists in Europe mainly French...GET BACK TO WORK, YOU LAZY SLUGS!

Okay, maybe we can come to a compromise. Let's call it "End of Summer Day". That way we can all be equally sad, but still no Communists! Win-win - Yey!

All kidding aside, have a great Labor Day weekend! Please feel free to rant at will...
[+] Read More...

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

SNL: Obama Is Unparodyable

From the continuing category of how delusional liberals can be, we had a series of articles about Saturday Night Live last week in which they openly spoke about how they hoped to hurt Sarah Palin, how they hated the idea they helped George Bush, how they struggled with parodying Obama, and how they are just comics without bias.

The one that really got me, of all of this, was their discussion of Obama. In particular, check out this quote from SNL producer/writer James Downey:
“If I had to describe Obama as a comedy project, I would say, 'Degree of difficulty, 10-point-10. It's like being a rock climber looking up at a thousand-foot-high face of solid obsidian, polished and oiled. . . There's not a single thing to grab onto — certainly not a flaw or hook that you can caricature.
This is why Downey wrote his Obama “jokes” as being “about the effect he had on other people and the way he changed their behavior.”

Uh. No flaw to hook onto. Really?

Ok, how about this... even when Obama was still a phenomena, the joke about him (a MUCH repeated joke) was about him needing a teleprompter to sound erudite. That’s a HUGE treasure trove of caricature. In fact, when he spoke away from the teleprompter, his speech patterns became dangerously close to being a classic speech impediment. At the very least, he did things they poked fun at Bush and Palin and Clinton and Bush for.

Within weeks of taking office, you had Obama getting flipped the bird by tiny Honduras. How is that not ironic and funny? That’s the mouse that roared. In fact, it’s the mouse that told the Messiah to f-off.

Then suddenly you had Obama moving the Oval Office to local golf courses. He became so out of touch that he even found himself having to ask “whose ass to kick”... a classic “Read my lips” parodyable moment. At the least, his golfing deserved(s) a running skit where he would strip off his suit to reveal golf clothes beneath or hiding golfing gear around the office.

What else? You had him insulting the British by returning gifts and by not telling them he had dumped terrorists in their territory. He gave the queen an iPod with his own speeches on it... talk about arrogant and tacky. His wife went on insanely expensive vacations (I still remember them attacking Nancy Reagan for having expensive tastes). He got ignored at Copenhagen. He sent a ludicrous plastic-prop reset button to Russia. He told a nasty and inappropriate joke about Hillary drunk texting him.

And most importantly, none of this is political. None of this is aimed at his ideology or could be considered a political attack on him. In other words, all of this could be done safely without them having to poke fun at their own beliefs... not that a true “political satirist” as SNL often likes to consider itself would have a problem poking fun at their own beliefs. In fact, if you add that to the mix, you get these things too:
● His frosty relationship with Congressional and Senate Democrats, including his refusal to help them shape Obamacare.

● His failure to close Gitmo or stop torture or stop droning.

● The courts throwing out almost every executive decision he’s made.

● The surge in inequality and poverty.

● The lack of jobs and their attempt to pretend otherwise: “created or saved.”

● More debt than every other president combined.

● Cronyism, zero oversight over Wall Street, “too big to fail” becoming “too even bigger to fail.”
There is a wealth of material here, material that would have been easy fodder had the President been Bush or Bush or Reagan or Romney. Yet, somehow Downey and the others weren’t able to see any of this. Imagine that.

Not coincidentally, Jay Pharaoh, who does the Obama impression now for SNL stated in the article that he wanted to be sure that Obama wasn’t offended by his portrayal (they even dropped a skit that Obama felt was inappropriate). It’s funny how that was never a concern with Republicans. To the contrary, check out this pretty stunning quote from cast member Horatio Sanz...
I always kind of felt bad when Will Ferrell did his Bush impression because he was such a good old boy that you really didn't think, ‘Oh, this evil little rich prick whose dad and his friends got him in office.’ You thought, ‘Oh, he's just a good old guy I'd like to drink beer with.’ As funny as Will's impression was, the audience as a whole, the whole country, would probably see that as, ‘Oh, I like Bush. Because he's Will.’ You know, if Will hadn't done that impression, or at least made him likable, it may have tipped it the other way. I honestly think so. We made up for it. I think Tina's impression basically killed Sarah Palin.”
Bias much?
[+] Read More...

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Help Me Understand Something...

I just couldn't talk about Al Sharpton and NYC again. It's making me crazy, so please help me understand something. So one of my Facebook "friends" posted this graph from that great bastion of rational thought, Motherjones.com:


So being the curious person that I am, I went to the source thinking that I would find an article that would explain the context of this chart. Uh, no. What I found was just a series of out-of-context charts and graphs that prove pretty much nothing other than the top 1% of income earners are educated professionals (doctors, lawyer, MBA's etc) and earn a lot more than I do. And one category as "not working or deceased" that I really can't explain at all...what?

I digress. So the graph that he published on Facebook was the one above and this is our comment stream:

Me: "All it looks like to me is that by taking more from the top 20%, it just creates more in the bottom 20%..."

Friend's "Friend": "No thats not how that graph works. It's a distribution graph"

Me: Okay, so by distributing the wealth, as is indicated by the bottom graph, it pretty much visually represents that it would create a much larger bottom 20% (aka "poor people") How does that make it better?

Friend's "Friend": [no response]*

What am I missing? My mind is boggled. Frankly, this is a great example of taking something on political faith. We see what we want to see because there is no explanation or context.**

*I get that alot. Or in the alternative, I get "that was a stupid comment. You obviously watch Faux News" for which I respond "Uh, but you didn't tell me WHY it was stupid. Please elaborate." and their retort: [radio silence] - or something along those lines...

**I will be at the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament today watching tennis players hit tennis balls and stuff, so I will join in as I can. As always, please feel free to change the subject.
[+] Read More...

Monday, August 25, 2014

ISIL = Worse Than Hitler

It seems that things are about to blow up with regard to ISIS or ISIL or whatever they want to call themselves. So we should probably talk about them. Here are my thoughts.

Islam Is The Root Cause: It’s funny how liberals love talking about root causes when it comes to crime or domestic violence or poverty, but somehow it’s anathema and racist to talk about it when it comes to Islamic terrorism. ISIL like al Qaeda and the thousands of other Islamic terrorist groups have continued to show that Islam breeds terrorists. There is no denying this. Hundreds of thousands of Islamists have joined these groups with the intention of hurting, killing and maiming innocent and unsuspecting people all in the name of spreading Islam by fear and force.

Backing Into A Corner: Team Obama is really backing themselves into a corner on this ISIL issue. For years now, they have denied that al Qaeda or Iran or anything else really poses any threat to the United States or her people. Yet, this past week, various Obama team members, including Defense Secretary Hagel, played up ISIL as “something we’ve never seen before” and “more dangerous than al Qaeda.”

This is bizarre. Team Obama are literally backing themselves into a corner where they will have no choice but to start a ground war to eliminate ISIL. Indeed, it’s impossible for Obama to make ISIL out as an existential threat to the United States and the free world and then do nothing about them. And don’t forget, this isn’t a group he can sanction with any credibility.

Elitist Priorities: It’s funny to me that the left always attacked Bush and Bush and Reagan for not caring about “real” people but instead only acting when the interests of their friends were at stake. So what are we supposed to make of this? Until ISIL decided to kill a journalist, Team Obama completely downplayed the threat from ISIL. Sure, they had taken over 1/3 of Iraq and a good chunk of Syria, but they were nothing but a group of thugs who would soon fail once the Iraqis got their act together. This wasn’t our problem.

Then they killed a journalist... a sacred journalist... and suddenly Team Obama springs into action: “This is an outrage! This is unheard of! They’re worse than Hitler!” What kind of statement is that? “Gee, so sorry all you dead Iraqi Christians and you wrong kind of Muslims, sorry all you girls who lost your human rights, but all of you together do not add up to the worth of the life of a single journalist.” This is what caring about real people is supposed to look like?

Stop With The Money: One of the things Hagel said was that ISIL is better at fund raising than al Qaeda ever was. He links their funding to their threat level. As I’ve pointed out many times before, I find this to be intensely stupid thinking. It doesn’t take money to be a great terrorist. I can cause more chaos in this country than al Qaeda ever did with just a good set of tools. This idea that it takes money to rain destruction on a country is silly

Cover-Up: Finally, I don’t think ISIL is any worse than al Qaeda, but I think Team Obama is pushing this line because he doesn’t want to be the president who let Iraq become a failed terrorist state. Hence, he’s planning to send in the troops. And the only way he thinks he can justify that while still pretending that Bush’s invasion was inappropriate it to pretend that something bigger and more dangerous has invaded Iraq than what caused Bush to go to war in Iraq. Ergo, his decision was smart and justified whereas Bush was being stupid.

Thoughts?
[+] Read More...

Thursday, August 21, 2014

General Chaos Open Thread

Gloom, despair and chaos! Are things really as bad as they seem or is it just that we have more access to...well...every moment of every day from every corner of the world? Let's review - So there are riots in Missouri along with Al Sharpton, protests in New York along with Al Sharpton, earthquakes in Oklahoma, droughts in California, and our southern borders are hemorrhaging "migrants".

There is a growing Ebola epidemic/possible pandemic brewing out of West Africa, ISIS beheadings in Iraq or Syria (or Iraq AND Syria), a volcanic eruption in Iceland (maybe), Russian rebels in Ukraine, Russian military jets in US airspace daily, and China has invaded disputed area of India. Oh, and the Pope just announce that he might not be around in three years. But maybe it isn't all so bad because President Obama is still on vacation. Does anyone expect (or pray for) a full-on alien invasion from the Pleiades that will put us out of our misery?

Now, I happen to believe the world is like this all the time. We just have so much access to a constant stream of global news, it just seems like chaos. What do you think? Or if you don't buy my chaos theory, do you have more to add to the list?

I will be out for part of the day and will join in as soon as I can. Play nicely!
[+] Read More...

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Definition of Insanity Is...

Leftists can be so delusional. And they have such short memories. This time, it’s an article at Politico about their hope that Hillary can fix Obama’s foreign policy mess. This thing will make your head spin.

The article begins by telling us that Obama’s foreign policy is a mess. It’s a mess, says the author, because Obama’s foreign policy is basically “focused on fixing his predecessor’s mistakes.” The article then says that “‘Don’t Do Stupid Stuff’ may be sound advice for college-bound kids, but it’s not a foreign policy doctrine.” Wow. Of course, the article points out that this isn’t really Obama’s fault. See, since Obama was forced to spend so much time fixing “the economic mess he inherited. . . it’s understandable that Obama sought to limit America’s exposure to foreign conflicts.” Hence, it’s not his fault that even six years later he still has done nothing in the foreign policy arena.

Whoa! Hold the phone. That’s completely false.

Obama ran on the idea of closing Gitmo, fixing our foreign relations, and making the world love and respect us again. He promised to stop droning people, to end torture, to stop supporting dictators, to tell China to stop hurting our exports, and to refocus our foreign policy on do-gooderism. That was his promise, not “I’m going to ignore foreign policy while I fix the economy.”

And consistent with that, Obama tried to do precisely this when he first took office... sort of. Specifically, he did the bow and apologize tour and he expected that would fix the Middle East. He declared Bush evil and promised to never act that way again. He hit the reset button with Russia. At the same time, he tried to stand town tiny Honduras and bully tiny Israel into a settlement with the Palestinians. He sent people to dance for the Chinese and he promised to lead from behind at Copenhagen.

So the entire premise of this idea that Obama focused on the economy is wrong. The real problem is not that Obama did nothing, it’s that nothing Obama did worked. The bow and grovel tour didn’t change a thing. When nothing got better, Obama expanded droning and he continued to authorize torture until he’s out of office. Oh, and he expanded the droning into Pakistan and Yemen and Somalia. He also got us involved in Syria and Egypt and Libya, and he sent the navy to make sure any pirates near Somalia were OSHA compliant. Now he’s going back into Iraq. Iran is still going nuclear. He didn’t move the Israel-Palestinian thing even an inch, despite repeated attempts to beat the Israelis into submission. He’s also muddled his way through the Arab spring, ultimately siding with dictators in Egypt.

Standing up to Honduras didn’t work either. They ended up flipping us the bird and Obama walked away in a huff, leaving South American to Brazil, Argentina, and Cuba to carve up. Russia has been on a tear ever since the reset button, invading countries, arresting political opponents, extorting Europe, selling arms, and generally causing problems all around the world.

Obama did call out al Qaeda for racism in hiring, but they didn’t really change. He discovered he couldn’t close Gitmo because no one wanted these people back, so he tried to take away their rights and make them non-people. China laughed in his face and proceeded to cause problems in the region which are slowing building to armed conflict between China and Japan and some others.

Even at Copenhagen he discovered what happens when you let other people lead... they do things you don’t like, and he let them all but kill any international effort to fight climate change.

So let’s be honest. Obama did exactly what he swore he would in foreign policy and it blew up on him.

So what would Hillary fix? Well, this is where it gets interesting. See, the first premise was that Obama basically had no foreign policy. We just debunked that, but the author runs with it. He says Hillary must put human rights and democracy above our national interests and must stop dealing with evil dictators. She must support popular uprisings. And she must be willing to use the US military to back these things up.

But that’s exactly what Obama did!!

Moreover, at the same time the author says this, he attacks Bush for his “freedom agenda,” which he describes as “utopian.” The “freedom agenda” was an agenda to put human rights and democracy before our national interests and to stop dealing with dictators. Sound familiar?

Honestly, my head is spinning. So Obama did what Bush did, but it didn’t work, so the author pretends that Obama did nothing. He then tells Hillary to do what both Bush and Obama did, which didn’t work, but he criticizes Bush for advocating the very things he’s now telling Hillary to do! BANG! Arggg. My head!

Einstein's definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and to expect a different result. Think about that.

Thoughts?
[+] Read More...

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Texas Rumble - Gov. Rick Perry Versus Public Integrity Unit

As no doubt you have heard, on Friday a Travis County Grand Jury (that's Austin for you non-Texans) indicted sitting Governor Rick Perry with two counts of "abuse of power" over a line item budget veto. His alleged crime centers around Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, head of the Public Integrity Unit who Perry demanded resign after she was arrested, pled guilty, and served her time for DWI while serving as head of the "Public Integrity Unit".

On April 13/14, 2013, District Attorney Lemberg was minding her own business drifting back and forth over several lanes on a major thoroughfare in Austin, Texas. A concerned citizen who did not want to die, informed the cops who stopped her for suspicion of "driving while intoxicated".

Okay, because actions speak louder than words and because it is so darn entertaining, here are the videos of Lehmberg's field sobriety test and subsequent booking at the police station. Keep in mind this is a person who is charge of the "Public Integrity Unit". I have got to applaud the cop administering the test. He should win some kind of commendation for patience...



And her subsequent booking at the police station where she had to be physically restrained for being threatening and belligerent. [I mean, almost Hannibal Lector restrained...]



Yeah, my personal favorite is the insistence that she only had two glasses of wine so she couldn't possibly be drunk. Judging by her obvious stumbling, slurring, and other "tells", I am guessing that the wine glass must have looked something like this:


The blood test showed that her blood alcohol level was at .239, three times the legal limit.

There are ten things that you should know:

1. Governor Perry repeatedly demanded that Lehmberg resign because of her DWI and subsequent jail time.

2. When Lehmberg would not resign, he threatened to use his power of the line item veto to defund her department (Public Integrity Unit) and then made good on his threat.

3. The Governor of Texas (not just Perry) has the State Constitutional power of the line item veto.

4. Travis County District Attorney is an elected position.

5. Ms. Lehmberg is a very blue Democrat.

6. Austin/Travis County is the bluest county in the state.

7. If Lehmberg resigned, Perry had the authority to appoint someone to fill her position,

8. In a political attack ad by Wendy Davis, Dem candidate for Governor, it was alluded that the Public Integrity Unit was or should be investigating Perry and current Republican candidate for Governor candidate Greg Abbott for misuse of funds related to a grant to a cancer treatment center.

9. Wendy Davis is trailing Greg Abbott by double digits.

10. "Public Integrity Unit" is a wonderfully classic Orwellian name for a government investigative unit.

ADDENDUM
#11. I should add that Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg has not resigned...

Those are the basic facts. [Okay, #10 is just my opinion.] Now put all that together and come up with a reason that this is not purely political and why Perry should be sent to prison. I know you have thoughts. So let's hear them.
[+] Read More...

Monday, August 18, 2014

Democracy Is Not Broken

For several months now, everywhere I’ve looked, there have been articles attacking the idea of Democracy (e.g. “What’s gone wrong with democracy”). These have come largely from the leftist MSM trying to come to terms with why people aren’t satisfied with their policies. Their conclusion is that something is “wrong” with Democracy. Let’s talk about this.

Before we start, let’s understand why the MSM is waxing philosophical on this. Whenever leftist regimes fail, the MSM always ponders if the “real” problem isn’t that the world is broken. This is why at the end of the Carter years, you saw all these articles about the US being ungovernable and “too large to be run by one man.” This is a leftist self-defense mechanism to help them avoid the fact that they failed, and it’s no different this time.

This time, the left has concluded that there is something wrong with Democracy itself because supposedly (1) it can’t solve problems and (2) it doesn’t lead to content citizens. The left bases this on the struggles it has had fixing the world economy, getting credit for making our lives better with Obamacare, passing their agenda like getting the public to agree to tax hikes or sacrificing to stop global warming climate change, their inability to solve any of the wars they’ve started (see e.g. Syria), and the near collapse of Democracies in places like Argentina and Russia and the growing unrest and chaos in Brazil, etc. Moreover, despite their best efforts to “help us,” the public just keeps getting angrier and angrier with them. Hence, there must be something wrong with Democracy!

But is there really? Well, no.

The first thing to note is that Democracy isn’t an instant process. In other words, it is wrong to assume that Democracy works like a machine which spits out a solution when you turn it on. Democracy is a process that can take years to find a solution and can take many twists and turns getting there. In that regard, it’s like the stock market. The market doesn’t zero in on the right price and stay there, it gets there little by little, often overshooting in either direction, but generally getting it right over time. Democracy is the same thing... it can be very wrong in the short term, but generally finds the right solution over the long term.

So anyone expecting a simple, instantly correct solution from Democracy will always be disappointed. Yet, this is what the left premises these arguments upon. Even worse, the left has wrongly defined its own desires as right. Basically, its argument is that “we are offering the right things... the public is resisting... hence, the public is wrong... and since the public can stop us in a Democracy, Democracy doesn’t work.”

This kind of thinking is how you end up supporting Hitlers and the such. If you believe this chain of logic, then dictators offer the promise of cutting to the chase and imposing “the right” solutions immediately. By comparison to these kinds of thinkers, Democracy seems slow and offers a high risk of never getting to the right place. But this chain of logic is wrong. Just because you think something is good for everyone doesn’t mean that you are right. And that is the key difference between Democracy and every other system. In a Democracy, you need to convince the public that you are right, i.e. you need to win them over to get your way. The result is a forced intellectual rigor that is much more likely to make you (1) find a genuine solution to a real problem, (2) work out all the flaws and defects in your idea, (3) obtain broad public support, which will help implement the idea, and (4) consider the benefits and harms to a wide swath of the public, which means you are more like to keep making society better rather than cause negative distortions.

A centralized government is never forced to go through this. A centralized government simply does what the handful of leaders think is right. The result is that they don’t consider the effects on most people, they are never presented with a need to work through any of the problems their ideas raise, and they lack public support, which means they will face public resistance.

As a result of this, Democracies are more stable because they do require broad public support. They are more likely to work for the benefit of the majority of the public. They are more likely to implement effective ideas as well because there is a competition of ideas, and as we all know, there is no better way to find the best solution than competition because it focuses people on what matters, it makes them put forward their best ideas and best arguments, and it creates an adversarial system that gives the opponents a chance to point out all the flaws which can then be fixed. And they are more likely to have broad public support, which means they will face limited resistance.

You don’t get any of that in any non-Democratic system.

It is no surprise that the American public is most upset about four things: (1) Obamacare, because it was steamrolled over them without any public input, (2) financial reform (all the way back to TARP), because it was done in secret and forced on them, (3) the Federal Reserve’s QE programs, because they were done in secret, and (4) the lack of jobs, because no genuine solutions have been offered. It’s also no surprise that the biggest hot button issues of the past 40 years have been foisted on the public by the courts. Unless you let the public work the problem out amongst themselves, you will never reach a long-term solution.

Finally, the idea that people aren’t content is wrong thinking as well. The lack of contentment is not a sign that Democracy is a failure, it is a clear sign that the current course is the wrong one. It is a sign that the public is rejecting the current solutions being offered and feels that the current leadership isn’t capable of offering solutions they will like. Said differently, it is a repudiation of the leadership, not an indictment of the style of government.

Thoughts?
[+] Read More...

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Summer Mayhem Open Thread

Wars everywhere, famine, floods in the Northeast, riots in the Midwest, and general angst everywhere. Well, that was just this week. It just seems like the world is going the hell in a giant handbasket. But it can't be that bad since President Obama is playing golf in Martha's Vineyard and, oh joy, Vice President Biden is swimming in the Hamptons...naked. So, let's relax and put it all into perspective. The floor is open. What's on your mind?'

Oh, here's something to start with. The San Antonio Spurs have hired Becky Hammon as the first full-time female assistant coach in the NBA. I don't know about you, but should be pretty big news in the world of professional sports. I think that it's pretty cool especially since it's in Texas where they hate women. No reports of rioting so far.
[+] Read More...

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Odds Improve For Republicans In Senate

Things are looking up for the Republicans in the Senate at the moment. Indeed, the chances of the Republicans taking over the Senate now appear to be very high. Observe.

To win the Senate, the Republicans need to win a net six seats. This was never an easy task, but the Republicans have been helped by several factors. For one thing, many more Democrats are up for re-election than Republicans. Moreover, many of those Democrats are running in states where Republicans dominate and where Obama imploded. Not to mention that mid-term elections tend to favor the out-of-power party in any event.

Much more importantly, however, the Republicans are finally getting it right while the Democrats are imploding. Specifically, the Republicans have crushed their fringe in fight after fight and they don’t have a single crazy running in any of the key races. That’s a huge deal. Moreover, the Republicans who are running tend to be well-liked incumbents like Lamar Alexander in Tennessee or the well-liked Cory Gardener in Colorado, who managed to avoid an ugly primary fight for the first time in living Colorado Republican memory.

At the same time, the Democrats are imploding with candidates who are awash in scandals, with retirements, and now with a resignation in Montana which has shifted that seat from “most likely Republican” to “all but certainly Republican.” Even beyond that, the Democrats are in the horrible position of needing to defend the debacle that is Obamacare (something the public hates more and more every day), needing to defend the aloof and incompetent Obama, needing to defend the kiddie invasion of the border, needing to defend the jobless economy, needing to defend Obama’s assault on oil and coal (which are vital industries in many of the states at play), and in places like Colorado, needing to defend an ill-advised assault on gun rights. The result is a truly ugly playing field for these people.

So here is the score:
States Republicans Should Win
Montana, South Dakota, West Virginia
States Republicans Are Likely To Win
Arkansas, Louisiana
50/50 Chance of Republican Pick Up
Alaska, Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina, Georgia
Sucker States Where GOP Will Spend Money and Lose
Michigan, New Hampshire, Oregon
Possible Republican Losses
Georgia, Kentucky
That means the Republicans are likely to pick up five, with a good shot at four more. They only need six. Against this, the Republicans may lose Georgia and Kentucky, but I doubt it. In Georgia, the Republicans picked the best of a bunch of weirdoes as their candidate, and he’s not horrible. The problem is the Democrats are running the daughter of the very popular Sam Nunn. Still, Georgia leans strongly to the right. In Kentucky, the problem is that the talk-radio-right has decided to prove to the world that Mitch McConnell “can’t win” by throwing a major tantrum and trying to make him lose. Ultimately, though, Kentucky too leans strongly to the right.

I suspect that both states’ natural strong conservative leanings will lead to Republican victories despite the hurdles. But even if that isn’t the case, right now it appears the Republicans will win just enough other seats to take the Senate even if they lost both of those... especially if the focus remains on the Democrats and their stupidity. It’s hard to defend stupid.

And in that regard, we seem to have hit a lucky wave. For one thing, the Tea Party groups now appear to be turning on each other for “not supporting” each other, and there don’t seem to be any issues right now where the talk-radio-right has the chance to make things about themselves. Obama too seems to be in lash-out mode, which won’t help him or the Democrats. Plus, as we near the election, talk of Obamacare and re-enrollment (and fines) will grow. I also suspect that come November, the fringe-left will be in psychotic mode over Iraq, unless that somehow solves itself suddenly, which is unlikely. So that will dog the Democrats too. So all told, the stars may be aligning for this one.

[+] Read More...

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

He's Baaaack!

I knew this was going to happen. For 20 years, it was clear that he had lost access to City Hall. Former Mayor Giuliani told him directly in his first few months that he was no longer welcomed at City Hall. And former Mayor Bloomberg made a point to exclude him. When our new Mayor de Blasio's wife Chirlane McCray appointed his long time assistant at the National Action Network as her chief of staff at the cushy $170K salary, I knew he was back. If you haven't already guessed, "he" is Al Sharpton. And now Mayor de Blasio has made it clear that Al is back and has a seat at the table.

Let's take a trip to yesteryear...{{{{{wooooo...wooooooo....dissolve to...}}}} Oooh, the early '90's in New York. I remember this time! Cool! This was the time where you couldn't walk around Manhattan without fear of becoming a statistic! Cool! David Dinkins was Mayor and Al Sharpton was his best buddy! Protests, riots, general mayhem, and a peak of 2,224 murders in 1991! Good times.

It all came to a grand crescendo on August 19, 1991 in Crown Heights (Brooklyn) when a boy named Gavin Cato was accidentally struck and killed by a car driven by a Jewish man. Four days of riots ensued urged on by the Rev. Al Sharpton (and weakly discouraged by Mayor Dinkins) ending with the stabbing death of Yankel Rosenbaum, an innocent Australian rabbinical student innocently walking down a Crown Heights street.

Dinkins lost his reelection bid in 1994 to Rudy Giuliani claiming it was because of racist voters (a claim he still makes to this day, by the way). So Rudy came in as a former US District Attorney and with the help of Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and then by Ray Kelly, set about cleaning the city up. Block by block, they cleaned up the streets and crime went down.

But fearing that he had not done enough damage and probably because he thought Rudy would see the light, Rev. Al staged another protest in 1995. This time against a Jewish landlord who was trying to evict a black business owner to expand another business of Jewish tenant and owner of Freddie's Fashion Mart. Yeah, this was Rev. Al's rally cry -

"We will not stand by and allow them to move this brother so that some white interloper can expand his business."

Unfortunately, the protest turned violent (again), when one of the protesters entered Freddie's Fashion Mart and shot several people and then set the place on fire. Six employees died of smoke inhalation and the shooter killed himself. Al's only regret was using the term "white interloper".

Rudy didn't back down from his crusade of ridding the city of crime. He, Bratton and Kelly were so successful that the tourists started pouring in. Times Square morphed from some post-apocalyptic Mad Max movie into Disneyland. [Maybe they overshot the mark] Mayor Bloomberg continued with Ray Kelly and lowered violent crime to less than 300 murders in 2013.

{{{{woooo....wooooooo....dissolve to....}}}

Now Bill de Blasio is Mayor and Al Sharpton is his point man in all things racial. Oh, and violent crime is up 25% in just 8 months! Rev. Al is staging a protest on August 23 in Staten Island to protest the death of a long time petty criminal at the hands of the police. The good times are back.

Oh, there's still some good news! Bill Bratton is back as Police Commissioner. That's something, right?

CORRECTION: I have been spelling our new Mayor's last name incorrectly. It's "de Blasio", not "DiBlasio".
[+] Read More...

Monday, August 11, 2014

The "Legacy" of Watergate

It's that time of year when the thoughts of our journalistic friends turn to reliving WATERGATE... the single most world defining event EVER. As usual, article after article is being written to tell us about Watergate's legacy and how it change the world (and how it changed the life of the journalist writing the article). Problem is, Watergate is meaningless. It is nothing more than a nostalgia trip for boomer journalists who wrongly want to believe they finally achieved something in the slaying of the evil Richard Nixon.

Let's start with some obvious bits. First, the Boomer MSM (BMSM) is heavily invested in Watergate. Just as they ALL claim they went to Woodstock and changed the world while smoking dope in the mud, they all hold a personal claim to Watergate. This were their moment to expose deep-seated corruption in the US government and to bring down a president who needed to be stopped because of his abuse of power. To them, this was a personal mission and why they all claim victory in it personally. That's why they keep writing about it, why they see it as their achievement, and why they always have to include themselves in their articles.

Of course, little of that is true. First, almost none of them were involved in the least. To the extent journalists drove this, it was a tiny cabal of Washington and New York based journalists. Moreover, Nixon went down because Nixon mishandled the whole thing, not because journalists brought him down. As prior and subsequent scandals have shown, a plan of deflect, deny, and issue fake apologies works just fine to save political careers from almost anything, and it would have worked for Nixon except that Nixon was a paranoid on the verge of collapse the whole time anyway. Said differently: Nixon is the reason Nixon went down.

Not to mention, even if the BMSM did bring him down, that's not something to be proud of because it's deeply hypocritical. Indeed, unlike the wall to wall coverage of every scandal they could find about Nixon, Bush, Reagan and Bush, the BMSM turned a blind eye to vote stealing by Kennedy. Unlike the wall to wall coverage of Watergate, Iran Contra and other Republican scandals, the BMSM was already choosing to ignore all the Kennedy and Johnson scandals. Not a word was said about JFK's well-know drug use, his affairs, his connections to the Mafia. His near-criminal failure at the Bay of Pigs was written off as one of those things. His starting of Vietnam was greeted with enthusiasm rather than the usual ultra-skepticism and cynicism reserved for Republicans, as was Johnson's escalation. And his taking the world to the brink of destruction in Cuba was deified rather than excoriated. Imagine the response if that had been Reagan.

The BMSM also likes to claim that the country was innocent until Watergate. Of course, they make the same claim about the JFK assassination. So something doesn't add up there. And as we've discussed before, the cynicism seems to have started at the beginning of the 1950s, and reached a peak during the McCarthy hearings. So Watergate added little to that, if anything.

So what legacy did Watergate give us? Well, it gave us a special counsel, which the Democrats used against Republicans and then conveniently let die once it was used against them. It gave us more cynicism, but it's not like we didn't already have that -- we were already trending up. They claim Watergate made the media adversarial to the government, but any Republican can tell you that's just a matter of who's in the White House at that particular time. Some claim this changed journalism from being about hard-nosed reporting to being about smug opinion-journalism. But then, the Boomers were smug from day one, and they were never hard-nosed reporters. To the contrary, right out of the gates, they went into journalism to change the world with their opinions and their choice of coverage, not by being reporters. Not to mention that the MSM has changed a dozen times since then, so any changes Watergate caused have long since been changed again.

The more I think about it, the only real change Watergate caused was the use of the word "gate" on the end of political scandals.

Am I missing something?
[+] Read More...

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Stuff We Didn't Need To Know...

There is just some stuff we do not need to know. Like when that friend from high school who you haven't seen or spoken to in 30+ years posts keeps posting photos of what they eat every single meal. [And what is even more ridiculous are the "friends" who post comments about it!] Or maybe the endless "as it's happening" vacation photos. Yes, we get it, you are in Hawaii eating poi at luau! How do people have any time to have any fun if they are always posting how much fun they are having?

But this...this is something so horrifying that we just didn't need to know and shouldn't have to know! Please tell me why, why, why did we need to know that Vice President Joe Biden likes to swim in the nude a lot. I just never needed to know that and now I will never be able to forget it. When I read about his motorcade crashing into some poor innocent bystander I will now wonder "Did Joe have his pants on?" Or if he is hosting some foreign dignitary by the pool, will he remember Angela Merkel probably doesn't need to see that he really isn't wearing a wire? There isn't enough brain bleach or vodka in the world that can ever erase this image from my brain. And because misery loves company I am sharing this photo of Ol' Joe in his altogethers so that I am not alone...


Okay, it's photoshopped...I think, but...Hah...now it's in your head too!

As always feel free to change the subject...to just about anything so I can stop thinking about Joe Biden...
[+] Read More...

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Why Obamacare Will Never Be Popular

You may have heard that a fairly reliable recent poll found that people are liking Obamacare less and less the more they deal with it. This has Democrats freaking out and conservatives gloating. What interests me though is the question of why. Let’s discuss.

The poll in question was conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation... inventors of the Kaiser Roll and the German Kaiser. They’ve been tracking Obamacare since it was just a gleam in Obama’s eye, and they’ve found that right now Obamacare is less popular than it’s ever been. Specifically, only 37% of Americans have a favorable view of the law and 53% have an unfavorable view. The other 10% responded “Dave’s not here, man.”

So what is going on here? This has the Democrats panicked because they assumed that once the law was passed, opposition would fade as people accepted that the law could not be repealed and they decided to explore the benefits. But that didn’t happen. Why not? Well, because there aren't many benefits. In fact, the law seems designed to help only a truly small, narrow sliver of America at the expense of millions more. Consequently, Obamacare's popularity is falling among every group -- conservatives, liberals, Democrats, the poor, the rich, the middle class, etc.

Here is why I think this is true:
● Conservatives remain unhappy for ideological reasons. They see Obamacare as a massive waste of government funds which simultaneously restricts freedom of choice. They realize that over time, this will destroy our healthcare system rather than improve it.

● Liberals are upset because they don’t see how Obamacare got them what they wanted. Their vision of Obamacare was a plan, where you flashed your ID card and you could get treatment anywhere on the government’s dime, paid for by the draining of “the rich.” Said differently, they wanted to unload all the responsibility for their own healthcare on Uncle Sam. Instead, they found themselves told that they must now pay money to insurance companies to get inferior care that few can afford. What’s more, they need to jump through bureaucratic hoops to make it happen.

● Populists are upset for the same reason: they see Obamacare as a restriction of freedom done in the name of boosting the bottom line of Big Government contributors from the health industry.

● Middle Classers are upset because they see the massive rise in healthcare costs that they are bearing through their premium increases as being the direct result of Obamacare -- though interestingly, only 28% of respondents said the law hurt them personally... 56% said it has no effect (15% said it helped them). I think what bothers the Middle Class more is that they see Obamacare as a way to soak them to provide more benefits to undeserving voters.

● The poor are upset, even though they essentially get free Obamacare, because what they are getting isn’t worth a crap. Despite being free, there are still costs (like co-pays) they need to cover. Finding doctors has proven to be impossible. Not to mention, they don’t do paperwork, yet they are finding now that they need to.

● Doctors are unhappy because they are getting raped to make the system work.
Essentially, Obamacare includes something for everyone to hate, but nothing for anyone to love. Next will come the fines and the revelation of the unfairness of the fines, and people will be even more upset. Add increasing premiums and people aren’t ever going to like this law.

Thoughts?
[+] Read More...

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

If Only...

So an interesting audio tape has been uncovered of a speech that the newly former President Bill Clinton gave to a group of businessmen in Melbourne, Australia on September 10, 2001. This was one of those well-paid gigs that Bill is famous for now. The recording was released last week by Michael Kroger, the former head of the Liberal Party in Australia who recently rediscovered the long forgotten taping. So here is the gist of what Clinton said only 10 hours before the attacks on September 11, 2001 -
"I'm just saying, you know, if I were Osama bin Laden - he's a very smart guy, I've spent a lot of time thinking about him - and I nearly got him once. I nearly got him. And I could have killed him, but I would have to destroy a little town called Kandahar in Afghanistan and kill 300 innocent women and children, and then I would have been no better than him. And so I didn't do it."

If you listened to the audio, you will hear laughter in the background. The aborted hit on bin Laden was purportedly planned and aborted in 1998 and the "little town called Kandahar" was actually bin Laden's training camp outside of Kandahar. I wonder what would have happened if Clinton had not feared what his legacy would have been and how many American lives could have been saved. Oh, and just in case you have forgotten, this aborted attempt didn't come out of nowhere. The reason Clinton had been thinking about bid Laden was that bin Laden's Al Qaeda was responsible for the bombing our embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998 where 240 were killed and over 4000 were injured to be followed up in 2000 with the attack on the USS Cole in the port in Yemen where 17 sailors died and 39 were injured. Oh, yeah, and the World Trade Center bombing in 1993 too. Yeah, I know, it's the "what ifs" that get us every time, but I just hope that $150,000 speaking fee was worth it the next day.
[+] Read More...

Monday, August 4, 2014

Ain't No News

Imagine my surprise to look for something to write about and to find nothing. I suppose I could go full retard and write about Obama's secret plan to infect the US with ebola. That's making the rounds on the less stable blogs... courtesy of Alex Jones. But that requires a level of stupidity that I can't even fake. Impeachment talk is back, as if it ever left. This time it's based on Obama claiming he will do something about the trillion-plus diseased illegals sleeping under our beds. BOO! The NFL started, but it's preseason. Hillary is now more popular than Obama, but so is herpes. Kerry is finally backing Israel 100%, just as Obama has chosen to condemn them for blowing up some UN school. Perhaps they should instead have kidnapped the school's girls and murdered them in the name of Allah? Then the UN wouldn't care. Wow, I got nothing. You know, maybe we should just make up our own news? Anything interesting you've heard about?
[+] Read More...

Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Cross Atheists Must Bear

In the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, an excavator named Frank Silecchia uncovered a 4,000 pound broken I-beams that bore an striking resemblance to a cross. Soon after a Franciscan priest blessed the cross to be used as a "point of refuge" for those digging through the rubble. Dubbed the "Miracle Cross", it became an iconic symbol of resilience for the scared landscape of Ground Zero.

Shortly after, the cross was moved to the Old St. Patrick Church one block northeast of Ground Zero and then on to a temporary 9/11 Memorial section at Battery Park in Lower Manhattan along with another icon of the WTC, the smashed globe from the WTC Plaza.

Fast forwarding through the years of clean up, planning and rebuilding, it was decided that the "Miracle Cross" would find its finally resting place at the new National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the new, improve WTC complex. But, some took exception. In 2011, American Atheists Inc. filed a lawsuit against the Museum to bar the cross from the Museum on the grounds of "separation of church and state". Since the Museum was to be partly funded by the federal government they argued that the cross was a nefarious Christian plot to indoctrinate the masses and would be offensive to...oh, you know what their argument was. The idea that they might have to look upon a cross offended their weak little minds.

Late last year, a federal court judge did not buy their reasoning and ruled against American Atheist Inc. They appealed the judge's decision (not surprising) and this week they got their answer. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals issued their decision this week:
“[Given] the absence of any evidence of ulterior religious motives, and the undisputed historical significance of The Cross at Ground Zero, we conclude that, as a matter of law, the record compels the conclusion that the actual purpose of displaying the cross in the September 11 Museum is a genuine secular interest in recounting the history of extraordinary events,”


So the Miracle Cross gets to stay to continue its life as a point of refuge and resilience for all.
[+] Read More...

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

What War?

Just a thought tonight. Did you know that Israel has invaded Gaza? Yeah, apparently they have. Interestingly, I don't see it covered anywhere except for Fox News. It doesn't make the front page of Yahoo or the AP. It doesn't rate on CNBC except for an initial discussion of whether or not it would affect the stock market (HINT: it didn't). I don't see the bloggers screaming about it. The UN isn't awash in antisemitic dictators trying to get Israel condemned. There are no riots in Europe. There are no riots on the Arab street that I've seen. And this is despite a fairly high number of casualties.

Now, maybe, I've missed all of this. I guess that's possible. But I suspect the reality is that the world has changed. Here are my thoughts on why there is so little interest about this war:

(1) Obama defended Israel from the get-go, which shut down the American left, which is where the antisemites find a home. So the media, the peaceniks, the OWS crowd, and the Democrats all felt compelled to look the other way this time.

(2) The Europeans are feeling too shamed to address this. After helplessly watching Putin sodomize the Ukrainians and finding that they were incapable of making any realistic response because they choose their economies over their principles, the self-eunuched Europeans seem to have lost their will to cast stones on others.

(3) A lot of the usual dictators who came out and attacked Israel are dead or gone and have been replaced by the Arab Spring. The new leaders are too preoccupied trying to keep their own people happy and realize that attacking Israel won't help.

(4) The Palestinians have lost their victim status. For several years now, the Palestinians have been running their own country (effectively), and they've done a miserable job of it. This is despite billions of dollars in aid and support. So essentially, they have worn out all their excuses. Then you add the fact they keep picking on Israel when it's obvious they cannot gain anything by doing it, and suddenly people like the Saudis realize that they are more trouble than they are worth.

That doesn't leave a lot of people to care about what is happening. I think that's why this is possibly one of the least-covered Middle East events in recent history. And if I'm right, this could eventually be seen as the first step in the Middle East calming down if the Palestinians cease being a cause celebre.

Thoughts? Have I missed anything?

[+] Read More...