Thursday, July 29, 2010

Vacation. . . All Obama Ever Wanted

Prepare to be outraged. Sometimes I wonder why Obama got himself elected President. He doesn’t seem to like our allies, our country, or even his job. But then something comes along to remind me exactly why he and the missus took the job. . . taxpayer-funded vacations.

Like some 14th Century despot, our Kenyan Overlord and his Klingon wife seem to view the Treasury as their own personal piggy bank. Be it divebombing New York City on Air Force One for date night, overnighting in Chicago just to see the old digs, or taxpayer-funded parties at all hours of the night at the White House, the Obamas do love a free vacation. Indeed, you may have noticed a plethora of taxpayer-funded trips:
• January-February 2009: No major vacations. . . Obama wants to make a good first impression on the job.

• March/April 2009: Obama and Lady Obama visit Britain where Lady Obama pats the Queen on the royal tush before going shopping, as Obama hands out i-pods with his own speeches on them.

Coppin' a Queen size feel. . . we are not amused.

• June 2009: Obama and Lady Obama visit France, where Obama does a few D-day-ish-y things while Lady Obama and the kids go a shoppin' in Paris and take in the touristy sights. Later they do a little swinging with Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife.

• July 2009: Obama brings the missus to Russia so she can shop while he gives away our nuclear deterrent to a group of smirking former KGB types. He also brings batteries for the defective reset button Hillary brought a few weeks before.

Shop til the taxpayer drops. . . oh, and wear Muppet fur, it's more humane.

• August 2009: Obama takes the family for a much needed vacation to the Grand Canyon in hateful Arizona.

• August 2009: Obama takes the family for an even much more needed vacation to Martha’s Vineyard, where all effete anti-Americans eventually end up.

• September 2009: Obama, Lady Obama and Oprah Winfrey fly to Copenhagen so they can pimp for Chicago to win the Olympics. . . and do a little shopping.

• December 2009: Obama and the missus go to Oslo so he can pick up a Nobel Prize he won from Publisher’s Clearing House, and she can do a little shopping. Apparently, the Obamas were so deeply into their opulent vacation that they snubbed King Harald of Norway by blowing off a dinner invite. . . he cried.

• December 2009/January 2010: Obama takes Christmas off in Hawaii, where it takes him a couple days to realize there was an attempted man-made disasterist bombing of a Northwest Airlines flight. But then, explosions in Detroit aren’t really news.

• April 2010: With BP oil flowing freely in the Gulf and Obama’s golf game suffering from media attention, Obama decided to duck out for a quick family vacation in Asheville, North Carolina, home of the “You’re-Paying-For-This-Taxpayer” Corn Dog.

• May 2010: Obama takes his second vacation since the BP oil spill began. This time he went to Chicago, far away from that pesky Memorial Day ceremony taking place at Arlington Cemetery. Who cares about the dead anyways, what did they ever do for us? Besides, they don’t vote. . . except in Chicago.

What's your most expensive room?

• July 2010: Obama took the family to Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park in Maine to relax as a reward for skillfully avoiding even the appearance of competence in the BP disaster.

• August 2010: Lady O and the kids are heading to Spain for a “private mother-daughter” trip, where they will do touristy things like meet the King and Queen of Spain. You haven't lived until you've done the running of the Queens.

• August 2010: Before heading back to the Vineyards for a much needed third vacation this August, Obama and the family are headed to Florida to show tourists that they should visit Florida despite the BP oil spill. . . in Louisiana.

• August 19, 2010: Obama will take the family to Martha’s Vineyard, for a much needed vacation.
And this doesn’t even count things like the May 2009 trip to New York, where Lady Obama gorged herself on lobster and Klingon Gahch while Obama partied hardy with Wanda Sykes in the other room. Or July 21, when a whole heap ‘o country folks done come to the White House to sing to our hard-vacationing President. Or the more than 40 times Obama has played golf since becoming President.

Baby got back. . . swing.

How many vacation days did you get last year? And did the taxpayers pay for them?

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Electoral Manipulation. . . Again

If there is one thing Democrats love doing, it’s trying to rig the electoral system. They’ll try anything, from banning opponents from raising money, to forcing their views to be heard on the air, to trying to change the system to let two Democrats run against each other in the general election. Now they are working on a new plan: the national popular vote initiative.

The national popular vote imitative is a pact between states that are seeking to circumvent the Electoral College and replace it with a national popular vote. Since changing the Electoral College system would require a change in the Constitution, which would be highly unlikely, these states have come up with a way to do this without the consent of the majorities needed to change the Constitution.

Under the pact, once enough states sign on that the pact members have 270 electoral votes -- the majority -- they would all agree to vote their electoral votes for the winner of the national vote, no matter how the residents of their own states actually voted. Since they represent the majority of electoral votes, the remaining states would be irrelevant at that point. Thus, the President would no longer be the candidate with the most electoral votes, they would be the candidate with the most votes, as a majority of electoral votes would automatically reflect the popular vote.

Right now, the pact has five states: Illinois, New Jersey, Hawaii, Maryland and Washington. Massachusetts is looking to become the sixth, with both their House and Senate having approved the National Popular Vote Bill.

Naturally, this idea comes from liberals. Liberals have discovered to their horror that because they all clump together in communes, like San Francisco, they have reduced their political power. Take California as an example. Californians normally favor the liberal by about 8%. But once you get one vote beyond 50%, the rest of those liberal votes -- the full 8% minus 1 vote -- are wasted. But if the country could be tricked into switching to a national vote plan, then those 8% suddenly matter again.

What’s worse, it won’t even take the whole country to switch to make this plan work for liberals; it will take only one consistently conservative state to join this cabal. Indeed, if Georgia or North Dakota or Kentucky had this law in place in 2000, then Al Gore would have become President. That said, however, the danger of this happening again is actually not as high as it seems. Indeed, so far, only four Presidents would have lost if this system had been in place: Adams to Jackson in 1824, Hayes to Tilden in 1876, Harrison to Cleveland in 1884, and Bush to Gore in 2000.

Nevertheless, this is a dangerous idea. This pact is designed to reduce the influence of small states in favor of the big states. Indeed, once this pact is in place, why would candidates ever waste their time in places like Wyoming or Connecticut when 50% of the population can be gotten in nine states, 70% in seventeen states, and 90% in 32 states. Why bother with the rest? It should thus come as no surprise that the states that have joined this pact are all large, liberal states with populations that rank in the top 15 (except for Hawaii).

Moreover, I don’t see the “fairness” or even the constitutionality of letting a state hold a popular vote and then changing the result after the fact. There is something intensely un-democratic about that. And if this is constitutional, then would it not also be constitutional for states to simply decide that their votes should be cast for the most conservative or most liberal candidate? Or maybe the tallest candidate? So much for democracy.

In the end, I don’t think this will gain any traction because it will be too harmful to the 35 states that aren’t in the top 15. Also, if this does ever happen, I suspect it won’t survive the first Republican victory. Because when the pro-Democratic votes in places like Massachusetts and California are suddenly switched to the Republican column. . . causing the biggest Republican landslide since Ronald Reagan, you will hear screams of unfairness from liberals who will be aghast that their votes for the Democrats will be counted as votes for the Republican. Indeed, they will squeal that this is positively a human rights violation and the most fundamental injustice imaginable in a democracy.

Liberals never can accept that their own weapons can be used against them.

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

JournoList Exposes Journalists As Propagandists

For those who haven’t kept up with the recent “JournoList” scandal, you need to know about this one. What is JournoList? It’s a Google Group for journalists. And what is the scandal? The scandal is that leaked e-mails from this group are showing that these journalists have been conspiring to spread left wing propaganda. And that's not hyperbole.

JournoList was a members-only Google Group to which 400 journalists and academics belonged. Created by Erza Klein, a Washington Post / Newsweek columnist, the group was open only to “left-leaning bloggers, political reporters, magazine writers, policy wonks and academics.” Klein kept out conservatives because he claimed he didn't want a flame war. But you be the judge if that was his real intent.

This scandal began when several posts from this group were leaked to Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller. The first of these to be released were from David Weigel, the supposedly not-liberal Washington Post blogger (he described himself as having "libertarian" sympathies). Weigel, who covered conservatives for the Post, was caught expressing a rather vile level of hatred for various conservatives, such as suggesting that Matt Drudge should set himself on fire and Rush Limbaugh should die. But Weigel was just the beginning. Here is a sampling of some of what has been said:
• Jonathan Zasloff, a UCLA “law” professor, wrote like a good little Nazi that he wanted to see the government shut down FOX News.

• Sarah Spitz of National Public Radio, a hateful troll, wrote that she would laugh if she saw Rush Limbaugh have a heart attack in front of her.

• Ryan Donmoyer of Bloomberg News compared the Tea Party to the Nazis. And he would know because all his friends think like Nazis. . . friends like Spencer Ackerman!

• Spencer "Adolf" Ackerman of The Washington Impendent apparently wishes to re-enact Kristallnacht. He wrote that they should “find a right winger’s [sic] and smash it through a plate-glass window. Take a snapshot of the bleeding mess and send it out in a Christmas card to let the right know that it needs to live in a state of constant fear.”
But this is just invective and hate speech from people with small minds and defective genitalia. The real scandal goes deeper than their hate. The real scandal is that these e-mails are revealing that these leftist “journalists” have been conspiring together to shape the news, and they don’t consider truth an obstacle.

For example, when the Jeremiah Wright story came out, the group debated how to bury the story. Michael Tomasky, a writer for The Guardian suggested they kill the Wright story: “Listen folks -- in my opinion, we all have to do what we can to kill ABC and this idiocy in whatever venues we have.” But don’t worry, this wasn’t to defend Obama or anything like that, it was to stop the evil MSM from killing “discourse.” Uh huh.

Our old friend “Adolf” Ackerman goes further. He suggested that the group distract the public by coordinating an attack against a prominent conservative using the age-old leftist whine of “racism”:
“If the right forces us all to either defend Wright or tear him down, no matter what we choose, we lose the game they’ve put upon us. Instead, take one of them -- Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares -- and call them racists.”
These guys couldn't be more of a caricature of budding Nazis if they were caught taking goose-stepping classes. And in case you're wondering, no, they did not try to kick anyone like Ackerman or Weigel or Spitz off the list, nor is there any evidence that anyone even chastised them for their hate.

Tucker Carlson, who apparently possesses a large number of these e-mails, notes that this coordination was common behavior on the JournoList:
“Again and again, we discovered members of JournoList working to coordinate talking points on behalf of Democratic politicians, principally Barack Obama. That is not journalism, and those who engage in it are not journalists. They should stop pretending to be. The news organizations they work for should stop pretending, too. I’ve been in journalism my entire adult life, and have often defended it against fellow conservatives who claim the news business is fundamentally corrupt. It’s harder to make that defense now.”
So how are these leftists responding? Well, after Weigel got fired, they immediately shut down the JournoList and destroyed the evidence. . . er, deleted the group. Then they attacked Carlson for only releasing part of the e-mails. . . as if they couldn't release the rest themselves. Then they set about whining about privacy, something journalists have never respected. According to Time’s Joe Klein, maintaining confidentiality was necessary because “candor is essential” because it ensures “that folks feel safe giving off-the-cuff analysis and instant reactions.” Funny, I don’t recall any of these “journalists” buying that argument when the Bush administration made it. . . or BP. . . or anyone else really.

The rest have moved on and formed JournoList 2.0 -- it’s actually called “Cabalist.” This one was created by Jonathan Cohn of The New Republic and has 173 members already. And on July 21, it was revealed that one of their first orders of business was to debate how to suppress the story about JournoList by making collective decisions about what to write.

So what is the issue here? The issue is that this little cabal of leftists has conspired to coordinate their stories to support leftist causes and attack right-leaning persons and ideas. They've shown a blinding hate for anyone they disagree with and they’ve made it clear that neither truth nor accuracy will stand in their way -- in fact, they routinely propose flat out lies and venomous personal attacks. That makes these people propagandists, not journalists. . . 400 pathetic little Himmlers.

What's worse these propagandists do not identify themselves as leftist operatives; they pretend to be "journalists." And that's the real problem here. Everyone knows that the leftist bloggers at Huffpo are lying to you to make their points. But when these people pretend to be "journalists" and they work for supposed news-organizations, then what you have is a disgrace for the journalistic “profession.”

Indeed, the fact that they still have jobs is troubling. I can only conclude that the organizations they work for have decided that they like being willing instruments of their propaganda. Unless these organizations purge their ranks of these people (something they should like as leftists always love a good purge), then it’s time that we stopped treating these organizations as journalistic organizations. . . because they’re not.

And if you haven't heard about this, I'll give you one guess why not.

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Monday, July 26, 2010

How Obama Could Have Avoided Failure

When Obama came to office, he had everything going for him: willing supermajorities in both houses of Congress, an excited public that was willing to try something new, and a fresh start for the Democratic Party with the American people. But he fell flat on his face, and I don’t think his failure was ideological so much as it was his poor leadership and poor political strategy. Here’s how I think Obama could have gotten away with his agenda without losing the majority of the American public. . . yep, it's alternate universe time.

Let’s start with a couple pieces of general guidance. First, speed is crucial. Political capital is fleeting, especially once interest groups start picking away at legislation. Thus, Obama needed to pass his agenda quickly; I would aim to get the big pieces passed within the first 50 days of the Congress -- this makes the best use of his political capital, lets him act when he is strongest, and denies the opposition the time it needs to put together a counterattack strategy. Also, doing so much so fast makes opposition more difficult because there is just too much to attack.

Secondly, it is a mistake to trust Congress to put together legislation. The process involves too many egos and too many interest groups. Obama should have come prepared with completed legislation. To make this more palatable to Congress, I would have called in the committee heads in November 2008 and given them a month to mark up the legislation. That would give Congress a stake by letting them feel like they are being consulted (which rectifies the real "Clinton mistake"). I’d also ask them to include a couple things they would find unpalatable, so that we could eliminate those in a pretend negotiation, which would allow the Congressmen/Senators to claim that they supported the bill, but also gives them something to tell their interest groups -- “it could have been worse if not for me.”

Third, the key is to make each proposal sound harmless or even like a good thing, no matter what it really does. It is also important that each proposal create a constituency that will protect it once it is in place, and Obama must carefully avoid coming across as a Pelosi-type Lunacrat.

STEP ONE: The Stimulus

The stimulus was the first big mistake. It created no jobs, stimulated nothing, and bankrupted the government. It was a sop to unions that became an albatross around the Democrats’ necks. What Obama should have done is to put ideology aside and spent at least half the money in a way that would actually stimulate the economy, rather than blowing it on state budgets, unions and pet projects. In fact, what he should have done is to eliminate the payroll tax entirely for most workers because those who pay no taxes are less concerned about government growth.

Secondly, any money he did spend should have been spent directly on hiring people to work for the government, rather than passing it out to contractors. Countries that accept socialist thinking have large numbers of people who depend on the government. More than 50% of Britons and Spaniards work for the government directly or indirectly, but only a couple percent of Americans do. Thus, he should have used the stimulus to swell government ranks.

Third, he should have taken a cue from Machiavelli, and slowly showered the rest of the money upon his friends over a five year period. Thus, if they want their money, they need to stay loyal. This also has the benefit of making the stimulus look a lot less expensive, as you highlight only the price for the first year.

STEP TWO: Volunteer Corps

Obama should have pushed right away to create the (paid) “volunteer” corps he kept talking about. I would have sent these people (mainly college kids) to work in hospitals, schools and retirement homes. Not only would this reduce the costs of those institutions, each of which are largely paid for by the government, but this also reduces teen unemployment, teaches kids and the people in the institutions receiving the volunteers that government is good, and is exactly the kind of idealism that inspired the dippy youth of America to vote for him -- they have since abandoned him.


Obama went about ObamaCare all wrong. He should have proposed the key parts as three small bills. The first would require private insurers to cover the uninsurable. The second would sever the link between employer and health insurance by cutting the tax break for providing insurance. The third would have created a public option, where “the government will use its expertise to get insurers to competitively bid for insurance, which will then be made available to the public at the government’s cost.” Subsidies and restrictions could all be added a couple years later once these items are in place.

The beauty of this is that it costs almost nothing to create (and the end of the deductions would actually bring in a lot of money in taxes), so there would be little reason for people to fight this, except that it would eventually put insurers out of business -- something that would be a hard sell for opponents given the public’s populist mood. It also doesn’t look like a public option because the government isn’t providing the insurance itself. Moreover, this plan could begin providing benefits immediately, unlike ObamaCare which doesn’t really kick in until 2014, and the bad guys would appear to be the insurers and employers. . . not the government.

STEP FOUR: Immigration

Immigration will always be a big sticking point, but there is a solution. First, Obama should have doubled the number of legal immigrants allowed into the country. The public doesn’t know how many are allowed in right now and this number could be increased with little publicity. In the meantime, Obama should have invested heavily and publicly in sealing the border. In particular, I would have looked to hire white males as a civilian security force to patrol the border. This would reduce unemployment among a key demographic and would go a long way to convincing this group that Obama is a different kind of Democrat.

Then, in the second year, once I could claim the border was sealed, I would argue that we need an amnesty program for those who are already here -- subject to a huge fine to placate the public. . . which could be waived administratively (and thus out of the public's sight) depending on the income of the applicant (to placate Hispanic groups). Now here’s the kicker: to appease the public further, I would propose that we not increase the overall level of immigration. Thus, we would “re-allocate 1/2 the number of slots currently given to legal immigrants to clearing up this illegal situation." Since Obama doubled the number of legal immigrants the year before, this is entirely misleading, but few people would put this together.

STEP FIVE: Populist Fever

The one other thing Obama needed to do was to break up the banks that were “too big to fail,” re-impose regulations that Bush and Clinton removed, and boost the powers of banking regulators. With the populist rhetoric flowing on both right and left, this would have made him very popular and would have bought him tremendous cover for the rest of his agenda.
This is pretty insidious stuff, but I think it would have worked. The key to getting the American public to accept something is to put it in place in small increments and to build a constituency that wants to protect what you’ve done. All of this does that. The stimulus looks cheaper and it would have generated jobs. ObamaCare looks a lot less threatening, but is actually more threatening than what Obama ultimately created. Even immigration could probably be seen as a “win” for the public, when it actually would be a total loss. And each program would create new constituencies that depend on the government for a living. The right would have screamed bloody murder the whole time, but I honestly don’t think the rest of the public would have listened because nothing here sounds horrible on its face and, with all of this being done so quickly, there is simply too much for the public to pay attention to.

In the end, I think we should thank our lucky stars that Team Obama didn’t know what they were doing and that their compadres in the House and Senate were radical fools. If they had been more rational and more willing to act incrementally, I think our future could have been very different.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Four Profiles In Democratic “Courage”

Sometimes the courage and the vision of Democrats can be astounding. Take for example the case of Reps. Peter Welch, Jim Himes, John Adler, and Gary Peters (“WHAP” for short), visionary Democrats indeed. WHAP want to fix this here thing called the deficit, and they have a plan that will truly amaze and shock you. . .

Here’s the background. WHAP are concerned about the deficit. They are doubly upset that the Democratic leadership and those evil Republicans don’t have the courage to address this issue. Said WHAP: “We have been growing increasingly frustrated with the lack of action and talking about specifics and putting those on the table. We’ve been frustrated with both Democratic leadership and Republicans.”

Well, WHAP is through waiting. They're mad as heck and they're not going to take it much longer. So they’ve decided to form a working group to propose “major cuts” to spending in areas like defense, energy, housing and agriculture! Wow, a “working group.” Sounds like the battle cry of a visionary, doesn’t it?

So what “major cuts” are these deficit hawks talking about? Why, they’re proposing cuts that could be as high as $70 billion over ten years!

What? No applause? Come on people, that ain't small change! That's $7 billion every year! Wait a minute. . . that's less than 0.4% of the $1.7 trillion deficit. Hmmm. Technically, that's not even change then, much less small change. In fact, you'd need three times as many cuts before you could even get a whole penny's change back on your dollar. What a joke!

Yet, these jackasses seriously think this is meaningful: “Our leadership hasn’t put any serious budget cuts on the table so we had to take matters into our own hands. We’re upset.”


I can’t even find the words to express how laughable this is. And it’s all the worse that they seem to think this is somehow courageous: “We’re lying to ourselves and our children if we say we can maintain our current levels of entitlement spending, defense spending, and taxation without bankrupting our country.” Yes, and you’re lying to yourself if you think this makes the slightest difference. What WHAP is proposing is less than a rounding error in government accounting. This is trying to empty the ocean by removing one bucket of water. And the fact that they can’t tell the difference between this and a real cut is truly telling. Are they so stupid or have they become so corrupted that they genuinely think a 0.4% cut is meaningful?

Actually, I don't think so. I think this is a political ploy. These guys represent Republican-leaning districts, and this is an attempt to let them go home and claim that they are standing up to the Democratic leadership with "real" spending cuts. Once re-elected, they will propose tax increases to actually cut the deficit, and will claim that their cuts just weren't enough alone. Basically, this an attempt at deception. And the media is supporting their plan by reporting this with a straight face.

So it probably won't surprise you that they're talking tough about their leadership (and the Republicans) who are standing in the way of this fly turd that they're throwing at the Obama-Debt: “We have no support from our leadership, and to this point neither they nor the Republicans have put their money where their mouth is on spending cuts.”

You courageous dears! How brave to stand up to your party on this vital issue. Why, you're almost as brave as those dudes who stopped those red-coated guys when they did that thing way back when. You know the ones, they were on Showtime. And I'll bet you four would have stood up to Hitler too, right? Maybe with a strongly worded letter. . . or two? Your courage astounds!

In any event, if you want to know what’s wrong with the Democrats (and a lot of Republicans), this is it. These jerks think they’re being courageous by offering spending cuts that are so laughably timid that words fail me in how to describe how trivial they really are. Yet, they think this is a huge step. And their leadership won't even support this level of cuts.

Sad. . . pathetic. . . liberals.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Racist Resigns At USDA (Maybe)

Racism is an ugly thing. Sadly, it's also a fairly common human trait, as anyone who has ever spent time on earth can tell you. But one of the great things about human beings is our ability to overcome our instincts and to act rationally. And in that regard, white America has made tremendous strides in eliminating racism within its ranks. Black America has not, as evidenced (again) by the recent flap surrounding Shirley Sherrod.

Shirley Sherrod resigned from the Department of Agriculture the other day after comments she made surfaced because of the work of Andrew Breitbart. Sherrod was caught on video explaining how she chose not to really help a white farmer because of his race when she worked for the Georgia field office of the Federation of Southern Cooperative/Land Assistance Fund. Said Sherrod:
“I was struggling with the fact that so many black people had lost their farm land. And here I was faced with having to help a white person save their land. So, I didn’t give him the full force of what I could do. I did enough.”
Note the “get even” attitude, in which she justifies her misconduct to the white farmer on the basis that black farmers were suffering. There is no more pure expression of racism than to harm an innocent person because of their race. And it gets worse. When the problem moved beyond her ability to handle, she decided to send him to a “white lawyer” for help. Here’s what she said about that:
“So I took him to a white lawyer. . . So I figured if I would take him to one of them, his own kind would take care of him.”
Note the assumptions here. First, the white lawyer is not a person, he’s a “them,” a thing. Secondly, she clearly sees herself apart from “them,” as noted both in her description of the white lawyer as a “them” and as “his own kind.” In other words, in her world, we aren’t all human, we are divided by race and this lawyer isn’t one of her kind. Finally, note the assumption that somehow a white lawyer would take care of a white farmer, because of his race.

NAACP president and CEO Benjamin Todd was “quick” to condemn her:
"Racism is about the abuse of power. Sherrod had it in her position at USDA. According to her remarks, she mistreated a white farmer in need of assistance because of his race. We are appalled by her actions, just as we are with abuses of power against farmers of color and female farmers.

Her actions were shameful. While she went on to explain in the story that she ultimately realized her mistake, as well as the common predicament of working people of all races, she gave no indication she had attempted to right the wrong she had done to this man.”
Which is nice of him to say, but this is not enough. Indeed, Sherrod’s comments took place at the NAACP’s 20th Annual Freedom Fund Banquet. So why didn’t anyone from the NAACP call her on this before Brietbart made a big deal of it? And she claims to have said this to dozens of other groups, why did none of them ever speak up?

At least Todd acknowledged that the audience’s reaction was disturbing: “the reaction from many in the audience is disturbing. We will be looking into the behavior of NAACP representatives at this local event and take any appropriate action.” We'll see if that means anything, probably not.

Sherrod is now trying to defend herself, and her justifications only show how deeply her racism really goes. Here are her defenses:
1. “This was 24 years ago, and I'm telling a story to try to unite people with that now.” This is an excuse that is not accepted when it is made by whites, particularly white conservatives. Moreover, she’s given no indication of repentance.

2. “I did say that, but they, for some reason, the stuff that Fox and the Tea Party does is scaring the administration.” In other words, yeah I did it, but it wouldn’t be a big deal if the evil right wingers weren’t making a big deal of it or if Obama covered for me. This defense more than anything puts the lie to the idea that she is repentant: repentant people don't blame those who uncovered their sins.

3. “I went on to work with many more white farmers.” This is the “I have white friends” defense that the race industry won’t accept.

4. “I wasn’t working for USDA at the time.” Funny how this distinction doesn’t seem to matter to the race industry who always demand that current employers fire alleged racists, no matter when the alleged racism happened. Also, this was still a federal grant she was administering and that makes her actions a crime.

5. About the lawyer: “What I meant was, I didn’t know anyone else, but it thought taking — I didn’t know another lawyer at that time who was local, who knew something about chapter 12. But I thought if I took him to a white lawyer, he would definitely do all that he could to help save his farm.” Thus, in trying to defend her actions by asserting how she really did think she was helping him (directly contradicting her incriminating statement), she again repeats the racist idea that she believes that each race looks after their own.

6. The family of the farmer to whom she was racist likes her and doesn't think she should have lost her job. This one never works either. In fact, we're told that it's irrelevant how the "victim of the racism" feels because racism is a bigger crime against us all. Not to mention that this is the only incidence she's admitted to, who knows how many other white farmers she discriminated against? But this claim is apparently enough to get the White House to reconsider her employment today. Pathetic.
This is what the NAACP should have condemned: that she mistreated a person because of his race, that she did so in retaliation for blacks, and that she viewed and continues to view race as the driving factor that motivates people to help each other. They also should have apologized for not uncovering this themselves, and they should have condemned (and hopefully still will) all the people who sat through that banquet and many others without ever realizing that they were listening to the rantings of a black racist.

It sounds like they need a refresher on what actually constitutes racism.

If we are ever to move beyond race as a people, then it’s time for groups like the NAACP to stop looking for racism under every rock they don’t like but turning a blind eye to the racism in the black community.

*** Addendum: As an interesting aside, the day before Shirley Sherrod was appointed to her position by Tom Vilsack, who heads the Department of Agriculture, she was awarded $13 million in her lawsuit against the Department of Agriculture for racial discrimination. Interestingly, her award includes $300,000 in “pain and suffering.” By comparison, the average result of all other plaintiffs was only $72,000 (“Track A” plaintiffs are receiving $50,000 each plus debt forgiveness). The cost to the taxpayer from this class action suit has been over $1.15 billion. I'm not sure what this means, if anything, but at the very least is makes her own racism all the more hypocritical.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Democratic Paradise Lost

I suspect the last election was something more than it seemed. I suspect the last election was the Democrats’ last chance to win back the American people. . . an all or nothing offer, like a cheating spouse being given one last chance. They blew it. And now I suspect a permanent change in their relationship with the American people has begun.

As strange as it may sound, I believe the “natural” party for America is (or was) the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party traces its history all the way back to Thomas Jefferson, whose views came to dominate American thinking. Indeed, he believed in the rights of the individual over the state, he believed in state’s rights and he did not subscribe to large national interests or an interventionist foreign policy. These are all themes that remain at the core of American thinking today, even when we observe them only in their violation.

Later came Andrew Jackson. Jackson added a strand of populism to Jefferson’s beliefs. He stood for breaking up the corrupt elite that was taking hold in Washington and replacing it with a system that was more open to competition from small business.

Skipping ahead, came Roosevelt. FDR introduced the idea that the working man should be protected. But unlike the Europeans who flirted with socialism, the American version remained rooted in an ethos of self-reliance. Social security was billed as self-savings with the help of the government, not as a government granted pension like the European versions. FDR’s “New Deal” was billed as a way to put rural Americans and poor Americans to work, not on the dole. And FDR (because of the Supreme Court) avoided government sponsorship of industrial champions, something which became the basis for fascism in Europe. Thus, like him or not, you have to admit that FDR’s programs satisfied the American belief in self-reliance. And they were highly popular.

Moreover, until the 1960s, the Democratic Party was also highly patriotic and subscribed to a policy of strength, beliefs which fit perfectly with those of average Americans.

Thus, the values of the Democratic Party were the values of middle America, which consisted mainly of factory workers and small businessmen, all striving to be middle class. These people were practical, patriotic, favored a strong military (and felt American values were worth exporting), favored a small “safety net” for workers, but also wanted that safety net to be sustained by the contributions of the people who would eventually use it, and they despised privilege.

But in the 1960s, everything changed. Suddenly, the Democratic Party tore itself apart. On the one hand, you had traditional Democrats who lived in places like the deep South or western farmlands, and who still saw the Democratic Party as the party of Jefferson/Jackson/FDR. On the other hand, you suddenly had whiny, effete anti-American intellectuals and radical socialists. The bad guys won. Indeed, along came Johnson and he destroyed the Democratic Party’s reputation as fiscally responsible, as pro-worker and pro-small business. Instead, they became the party of the poor, the lazy and the vengeful; they became the party that thought America owed them something. Moreover, the opposition to Johnson’s war in Vietnam destroyed their reputation as patriotic, pro-military, and pro-American.

For the next thirty years, the Democrats sank further and further into their new form as race baiters, tax and spenders, destroyers of responsibility, and America-haters. As they sank, the public turned away from the Democrats. First came the South, then the West, and then any area outside of big cities turned against them. Finally, in 1994, the public tossed out the Democrats.

Yet, I honestly think that the whole time, the public wanted to continue to be Democrats because of their memory of what the Democrats had been. Their parents had been Democrats, everyone they knew was a Democrat, and they could point to FDR, Jefferson, and JFK as heroes. That’s why so many people remain Democrats today even though they don’t subscribe to a single belief espoused by the modern party.

So when Obama came along, I think the public saw an opportunity to give the Democrats one last chance to return to the party of old:
“You Barack hold the promise of a return to the old style Democrats. You talk about fiscal responsibility. You promise a break from the corrupt incestuousness that has beset our government. You say you favor strong military action. You want to put the race wars of the 1960s-1990s behind us. And you say you want to bring back responsibility. If you do this, then we will happily return to being Democrats; we will make you the permanent majority party again and we will even accept a little liberalism at the edges.”
Said differently, I think the last election was a test for the Democrats. The public gave them an absolute majority to see how they would react, i.e. they couldn’t hide behind the Republicans anymore. The public wanted to see if the party could shed itself of its crazies and return to Jeffersonian/Jacksonian/FDRian beliefs. If they could, I believe the public would have shifted back to the Democrats on a permanent basis.

But the Democrats blew it. They saw the election as a mandate to push hard along the same lines they’ve been travelling since the 1960s: anti-Americanism, tribalism (race, gender and union spoils), and transferring responsibility from the individual to the government -- the very things that pushed the public away. Because of this, I think the public is done with them. And I don’t just mean in one election cycle or two. I suspect they have now permanently lost their status as the “natural” party for America.

I base this on a variety of things -- the unchanging poll numbers which indicate a public that is no longer listening to the pleas of the Democratic Party; the public’s sudden dislike for each group that makes up the Democratic tribal system; and the loss of male voters, white voters, and the elderly, all of whom are needed to be a majority party. And there’s one more thing, something I’ve begun to notice a lot suddenly: moderates are no longer describing themselves as “moderate Democrats” or even “independent Democrats.” Instead, they are calling themselves “libertarians.” I don’t think this will make libertarians very happy, because they really aren’t philosophically compatible, but it is significant that so many moderate Democrats think they have found a new home.

In the end, I think the Democrats had a chance to regain their half-century of dominance, but they squandered it through the horrible leadership of Obama and Pelosi. Can the Republicans seal the deal and become the new natural party? I don’t know yet. But I do suspect that the Democrats are finished.

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Monday, July 19, 2010

The Democratic Civil War

The Democratic uncivil war has begun. Pelosi’s minions are hypocritically blasting Obama off-the-record for leading them off a cliff, progressives are whining and pointing fingers, moderates are abandoning Obama’s agenda, and in Iowa the Democrats are even running ads attacking the Republican’s health care plan for being too much like ObamaCare. Oh my. Over the past few weeks, I’ve written various articles explaining why the left is falling out of love with Obama. Today it’s time to speculate what will happen next.

Falling out of love is never a smooth process. So expect the uncivil war to take place in fits and spurts.

The first thing you’re going to notice is that over the next couple months, you will read a lot of off-the-record finger pointing. Fall guys will be vetted, and a list of people will be compiled to be purged after the election, including White House people, political directors, party leaders, pollsters, and consultants.

As the election nears, one of two things will happen. If the polls get closer, look for everyone except the extreme left to close ranks until the election. The extreme left will continue to attack moderates (and now Obama) because they have come to realize that this crew will not deliver the socialist utopia they crave, but the rest will talk about a “Democratic resurgence” and how much they love each other. If the polls don’t get closer, look for a true blood bath, with moderates literally running against Obama/Pelosi and leftists openly threatening to purge their party. This will be so bad that even the MSM will need to take note.

Once the election happens, behaviors will depend on how badly things turn out for the Democrats. Obama has been trying to lower expectations. His spokespeople have gone from “we always knew we were going to lose a few seats, but we’ll maintain our majorities” to “people are angry and I can’t blame them (Republicans and weak Democrats betrayed us)” to “we might lose the House.” And in truth, this has been somewhat effective. At this point, expectations are so low that anything less than losing the House could conceivably be considered a victory within Democratic ranks, which is why Obama is stupid to let Biden try to raise expectations as he is doing now.

Yet, "win" or lose, the Democrats face a huge problem. The Democrats’ loss will be the result of their leftist talk and leftist actions. But the people most likely to lose their seats will be the moderates, because the leftists represent socialist ghettos and are immune from the American people. With the moderates gone, the remaining crew will be made up of the most lunatic and most angry members of the party. They will not accept any interpretation of the election other than: “we need to go as far left as possible.” And the words “lost opportunity” will be their battle cry.

That presents a recipe for chaos. The Senate is likely to be even more moderate than before (especially with the loss of reconciliation -- something I think was done intentionally to give Democrats an excuse to moderate (see below)), and Obama is one of the most indecisive Presidents we’ve ever had. So this could turn into a battle royale between the desperate and the crazy, with Bozo the Clown mediating.

If the election does turn out as badly as expected, then look for open warfare, with both on and off-the-record sniping, challenges to committee chairman and party leaders, sponsoring of primary opponents, typical leftist tactics like protests and disrupting speaking engagement, attack ads, withholding of money, and calls for purges based on purity, rather than just looking for a few fall guys.

The war (open or guerrilla) is likely to continue right up until the early part of 2012, when the presidential election season really begins. If a prominent leftist chooses to challenge Obama, which will happen if their losses are big enough, e.g. they lose the Senate and 100 seats in the House, then look for a truly bloody war of leftist versus Obama, with all the recriminations including “sell out” and “failure” being thrown at him. A weakened Obama still would win the primary and then go on to a landslide defeat in the general election, unless we choose an unelectable Republican, which is always possible.

If the losses are not big enough to bring out a challenger, then look for behind the scenes sniping at Obama, but few public attacks. Although, the wild card will be how Obama handles the House-Senate war. His best bet would actually be that the Republicans win both houses of Congress. That would let him talk big to the left, but simultaneously would keep him from having to enact anything leftist because the Republicans would never send him anything like that. But it looks unlikely that we will win the Senate, so expect that Obama will need to mediate between the two wings of his party, and look for that to lead to disaster.

After November 2012, which I can’t see Obama winning -- to win, he would need to move far to the right to meet the American people, but his instinct and his party will demand a strong move to the left -- look for the floodgates to open. That’s when they will abandon Obama and treat him like they treated Jimmy Carter in the 1980s, as an incompetent pariah. (We might even hear, as some on the left incredibly claimed about Carter during the later part of the 1980s, that he was really a right-wing President.)

Of course, by then, they will have their new Messiah, so odds are that the savaging of Obama will be short and nasty and that they’ll quickly move on to worshiping their new hero.

That’s how I see things over the next two years.

*** The reconciliation thing: By not passing an omnibus budget this year, the Democrats have lost the power to use reconciliation next year. This means they can't get around the filibuster with a 51-49 vote. Some have suggested this was a mistake by Harry Reid, but I think it was intentional. I think that Reid did this either (1) to prevent a possible Republican majority ramming things through -- which means Reid sees things as much worse for Democrats in November than others are saying, or (2) it means that Reid wants to ensure that the filibuster is there to allow them to argue that a far-left approach (the one that will be advocated in the House) is not possible in the Senate. Thus, he could protect moderate Democratic Senators from an out-of-control House minority or, even worse, a very small ideological-lockstep majority.

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Why Does Everyone Think Obama Is Smart?

With the Democrats blaming Obama for their pending beat-down, the handwringing journalists keep asking: “how could someone so brilliant as Obama be failing?” But a better question is, what made anyone think Obama was brilliant to begin with?

It seems to be “a given” that Obama is a brilliant man, but I honestly don’t know why. I’ve heard him speak in public, and when he’s not on a teleprompter, he stumbles over words, his thoughts are disorganized and simplistic, and he speaks more in slogans and clichés than coherent ideas. That’s a sign of a weak, poorly informed mind. Moreover, he’s shown he can’t debate. He's indecisive. And what’s worse, his performance on health care shows that he’s either unwilling or unable to grasp policy details. That means he’s either so lacking in intellectual curiosity as to be professionally negligent, or he lacks the raw intellect needed to understand what he’s been told. In either event, we’re not talking about a very bright man.

So why do people think he’s smart? Let’s look at the evidence. The first thing they always mention is he went to Harvard. Ok. Harvard admits some of the smartest kids on the planet, and it’s one of the most competitive schools to get into. But we don't know if he got in on merit. In fact, his background would make an admissions officer drool, no matter what his grades and test scores looked like. Moreover, beyond admissions, Harvard is notorious for massive grade inflation and a not-very rigorous education (and always has been). Compounding this, Obama won't release his grades, so we have no way to know if he just bounced along at the bottom of the class until they graduated him. Thus, we can’t use this as a basis for calling him intelligent, much less brilliant.

But he was on Harvard Law Review! Yeah, well, there was a time when law review was only for the very top students, but those days are long gone. Now many schools have multiple law reviews just to make sure that a huge percentage of the class can put it on their resumes, and it's often no longer grade dependent. What’s worse, there’s no proof Obama even wrote an article, which is usually a requirement to get onto law review. So again, this tells us nothing.

What about Obama the “community organizer?” Being a community organizer is a job that any high school drop-out ex-con can do. So how does this prove anything? Further, what exactly did he accomplish in this job? Seriously, if we're supposed to believe he's brilliant because he was a brilliant organizer, then what exactly did he organize? He's never pointed to a single accomplishment. There is no Selma March that he organized, no Million Man March. . . not even a Three Guys And Dog Day Trip.

But he was a law school professor! Actually, no. He was a lecturer. Lecturers are like part-time help at law schools. Some are brought in for particular expertise, others are brought in for public relations. My law school had dozens of these people: politicians, local attorneys, former court clerks. Basically, all you needed was a resume that sounded more impressive than the other applicants. Obama was a Harvard grad and a state legislator/U.S. Senator at the time he was a lecturer. That makes him a public relations ploy, that’s it. Indeed, the real tip off here is that Obama never published anything. Real professors, i.e. the "learned" kind, are expected to publish constantly. He went eight years without publishing. That’s a sign he was just hired help.

Beyond that, Obama has no other professional accomplishments to show. He never held a job or ran a company. He never practiced law, appeared in court, served as a judge, or did anything else that would tell us that (1) he was competent and (2) other people trusted him. He was a state legislator/U.S. Senator at one point, but that means nothing. You can be a total moron and get that job. A better measure is what he did when he was a legislator. In that regard, he is remarkably accomplishment free. Indeed, the only thing he really did was run for President and miss a lot of votes.

But he wrote two books you say? Actually, there is very strong evidence that Bill Ayers ghostwrote “Dreams of My Father.” This actually isn’t unusual, as most politicians let others write their books: Ted Sorenson wrote John Kennedy’s “Profiles in Courage,” Barbara Feinman wrote Hillary Clinton’s “It Takes A Village,” and Lynn Vincent wrote Sarah Palin’s “Going Rogue,” and so on. But it means we can’t count this book as evidence of intelligence. Conversely, he may have written “The Audacity of Hope,” but that book was pedantic and cliché ridden. At best, it shows an un-thoughtful hack writer with little to say and even less ability to say it with.

Thus, we have no academic achievements to inform us, no professional achievements to inform us, and no other accomplishments to inform us. So what exactly tells us he's brilliant? Nothing. So why do people simply accept his brilliance as a fact? Because they were impressed with his speeches. But he didn’t write those speeches, Jon Favreau did. Obama was just the empty suit who read them.

Obama highlights the dangers of getting excited about charisma. Just because someone delivers a good read doesn't make them intelligent or capable or someone you should support. Always look behind the image and ask what this person has really achieved in their lives that shows the kinds of traits they will need. If the left had looked closer at Obama, it's doubtful they would be in this kind of trouble today.

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Friday, July 16, 2010


A lot of people talk about the blurring between news and entertainment. That’s certainly a problem because it’s led to the dumbing down of the news to a point where you need attention deficit disorder just to watch it. But I’m more concerned about the blurring of news and advertising. I see this as a very serious problem.

I first noticed this phenomenon when a free subscription to Entertainment Weekly appeared in my mailbox. Not only was this turd of a “magazine” written at the first grade level, but it didn’t take long to realize that this “magazine” was nothing more than one giant ad for the movie industry. Page after page were “stories” whose sole purpose was to get me to go see various films. Even when they panned a film, they still somehow managed to suggest that I see it. . . just not in the first week.

Soon I realized that the entertainment “news” presented on the nightly news was no different. The days of a reviewer cautioning you to avoid a lousy film were gone. In their place were pretty boys and ditzy girls who showed you promotional clips and gushed about every film; they even developed ways to sell the bad ones. . . “so bad it’s good.” And when they weren’t selling the movie directly, they did stories hyping these films as “events,” and encouraging you to take part in the “excitement” leading up the film. Basically, they ceased being reporters and became salespeople.

Then they added “gossip.” But there’s something you need to know about this gossip: most of it is manufactured to promote a film. It’s no coincidence that you will see a “random” story about Actor X’s new house or some “funny moment” Actor X had at a night club, the week before Actor X’s new film hits the screen. This is all intended to create a buzz. . . which will, of course, lead to stories about the buzz. That's called marketing, not reporting.

Then Hollywood hit upon a brilliant stroke. You know those interviews where some reporter sits down with Actor X to "discuss" their new film? Do you know how those are done? It's not actually a one on one experience. Instead, a slew of reporters show up to a pre-set location. Actor X sits in front of a blue screen as each reporter is cycled through. Each reporter is usually allowed only a couple questions, so they know to stay on script. And what's really key is that the actor will pretend to know the reporter. Thus, each reporter gets to look like they are “players” in Hollywood because their viewers think they managed to finagle an interview with a busy actor that they know personally. In exchange, the studio gets a couple hundred free ads on the local and national news. This is a quid pro quo, and reporters aren’t supposed to do that.

And it’s not just Hollywood. Sports “news” also has entered the pimping world. For generations, sports news meant providing a box score, a quick description of the key moments in the game, and a few quotes from one side or the other. No longer. First, they added highlights, which is understandable as television is a visual medium. But then they started adding “top ten hits of the week” and other segments that look an awful lot like advertisements for the league.

Then the NFL hit upon a great idea: use the promise of access to control the media. In exchange for locker room access and press access to Super Bowl week, the NFL began telling the media what they could or could not report. This included, for example, removing the journalistic “credentials” of people who criticized the NFL, and it included limits on what kinds of videos the media could use and for how long they could use them (nothing longer than 45 seconds and must be removed from websites in 24 hours). The media caved without even a whimper. Soon, the NFL was providing canned “news” stories to the media, which the media dutifully reported without change. Suddenly stories about brain damage resulting from concussions, drug use, arrests and labor unrest disappeared or became dismissive. In their place were NFL-approved stories about “the NFL experience,” the importance of new stadiums to cities, and NFL efforts to make sure that merchandise was high quality. . . usually accompanied with a mention of where you could buy said merchandise.

And lest you think, “well sports and entertainment people really aren’t journalists,” it’s hit the business news as well. CNBC doesn’t send reporters out to uncover news and report upon it. No, they let the "news" come to them. Thus, their programming days are packed with fund managers who come to say something generic about the market as they pimp their funds. They bring in CEOs to talk about new products or their latest books. And they’ve become a vehicle for damage control. Whenever a company gets caught doing something it shouldn’t, you can bet the CEO will appear on CNBC within a couple days to provide a whitewash version of what happened and to tell us about all the great things the company is doing. And don't think the reporters use this moment for a couple of hard-hitting questions. No, they put on well-practiced stern looks and then pitch a few softball questions before concluding: “I’m glad to hear you’re fixing this.” Then they trot out an analyst to tell you that now (or maybe in a week) is the time to buy the company’s stock, right before they cut to commercial, which (purely by “coincidence”) will be a paid ad for the company. Finally, they take the segment highlights and replay them ad nauseum.

Even the “regular” news is slowly giving way to product tie-ins and segments that look like sponsored ads. That story about how hard it is to find certain toys? That was suggested and assisted by the marketing department at ToyCo. That story about which national chain has the best fries or “will Company X’s new product sell”? Ditto. The story about the new healthy menu at Restaurant Z, or the new innovations at Tech Company A? Same thing. The story about the “latest trend” that just happens to tell you what brand you need to buy and where to buy it. . .

In each instance, what you have is a symbiotic relationship between the media and business. Business has learned that it can use the news to advertise its products. It offers ready-made stories and incentives to the media to report these “stories,” and the reporters accept them because it makes their jobs easier. . . just sit back and a script will come to you.

So why does this bother me? Two reasons. First, I want news that I can trust, and that requires an impartial media that seeks out the truth, rather than just passing along marketing-department-created propaganda.

Secondly, I hate sounding like the left, but I am concerned about the effects of this on society. Science has shown that humans are very susceptible to the cumulative effects of advertising; and the effects are much stronger when the advertising comes from a trusted source. I suspect that advertising is largely responsible for driving consumers to the point of bankruptcy, increasing patient demands for drugs, increasing obesity, and a host of other bad behaviors. But as bad as this is, at least with advertisements, people know that Madison Avenue is attempting to brainwash them. That’s no longer true when “the news” starts telling you what to buy and where to buy it. And that is truly insidious.

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Obama Finally Upset At Al Qaeda, Over "Racism"

Look out al Qaeda, now you’ve done it. You’ve finally given Obama a justification to wipe you out with extreme prejudice. . . no pun intended. What is it that al Qaeda did? Did they kill Americans? No. Did they kill Christians so they could spread Islam with murderous force? Nope. Did they kill young girls trying to get an education? No. They’re RACISTS!!!

For those who don’t know what happened recently, al Qaeda set off a series of bombs in Uganda, killing 74 people. Did Obama suggest careful restraint on the part of the Ugandans? "Don't jump to conclusions?" "Give peace a chance?" No. Instead, Obama finally realized that al Qaeda is evil:
“It was so tragic and ironic to see an explosion like this take place when people in Africa were celebrating and watching the World Cup take place in South Africa. On the one hand, you have a vision of an Africa on the move, an Africa that is unified, an Africa that is modernizing and creating opportunities; and on the other hand, you've got a vision of al Qaeda and Al Shabaab that is about destruction and death.”
Yes, Mr. President, al Qaeda wants to destroy and kill. What could possibly have finally taught Obama this basic lesson that the other six billion of us already knew? Hmmm. What could it be? If only Obama had said more. . . wait, he did:
"What you've seen in some of the statements that have been made by these terrorist organizations is that they do not regard African life as valuable in and of itself. They see it as a potential place where you can carry out ideological battles that kill innocents without regard to long-term consequences for their short-term tactical gains."
Ah, now I see. Wanting to blow up honkus maximus in New York City? That’s understandable. Wipe out those dirty Jews? Totally justified. Teach old Europe a bloody lesson? Heck, that’s nothing. But seeing African life as not valuable!! What an outrage!!!

And in case you think I might be overstating this, try this on for size. Explaining Obama’s comments, an administration official said the following:
“[Mr. Obama] references the fact that both U.S. Intelligence and past al Qaeda actions make clear that al Qaeda -- and the groups like al Shabaab that they inspire -- do not value African life. The actions of al Qaeda and the groups that it has inspired show a willingness to sacrifice innocent African life to reach their targets.

Al Qaeda recruits have said that al Qaeda is racist against black members from West Africa because they are only used in lower level operations. In short, al Qaeda is a racist organization that treats black Africans like cannon fodder and does not value human life.”
So it’s not the tens of thousands of murders that bother Obama. It’s not the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, or the murder of American soldiers. It’s not the killing, the destruction, the attempt to impose a religion by force, the enslaving of women, or the attempts to wipe out Israel. It’s that al Qaeda has a glass ceiling for Terrorists Of African Descent (TOADS)?


Presumably, an NAACP boycott will now follow. And if they don’t start treating TOADS right, then Jesse Jackass will show up at Osama bin Laden’s cave and stage a protest. Maybe Obama will even hold a Falafel summit? Or Eric Holder can bring suit against al Qaeda in federal court to enforce equal rights for TOADS?

Let me explain something to our Dipsh*t in Chief. Sir, al Qaeda hates us all. They don’t care if you are black or white or yellow or purple: if you are an infidel, then you are marked for death. They do not respect you, they do not want an accommodation or to live in peace. They want to kill, that is all they want. The outrage is that they want to kill anyone, not that they want to kill "black Africans." Only a black racist would see that as THE problem.

Obama whines: “They see [Africa] as a potential place where you can carry out ideological battles that kill innocents without regard to long-term consequences for their short-term tactical gains."

Wrong, jackass. They see THE PLANET EARTH as a place where they can carry on an ideological battle. And it’s not “ideological,” it’s religious. And they aren’t engaged in a battle "that kills innocents," they kill innocents -- there is no collateral damage here, it's all intentional. If you don’t understand this, then you are stupider than Joe Biden.

Our readers know that I am not prone to hyperbole. So when I say that this bothers me deeply, I mean it. When I see a President who tells us not to get worked up when Islamic terrorists kill Americans, who tells the Arab world that we are at fault for terrorism, and who can only get himself worked up when Africans are killed, I find that truly despicable.

Moreover, this is not just a single off-the-cuff mistake, it's part of a disturbing pattern: from Michelle's comments about finally being proud of America, to Obama's bizarre repeated insults to Britain (and France and Germany), to his instantaneous accusation of racism in the arrest of a belligerent black professor, to his claims that the Tea Party is racist, to his Justice Department turning a blind eye to the racist Black Panthers who engaged in voter intimidation, to his hiring of open race-haters like Van Jones, to his appointment of a "wise Latina," to his attempts to stoke race-hate in response to the Arizona immigration bill.

Racism is ugly, no matter what race practices it.

You, Mr. Obama, are a disgrace.

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

It's A Progressive Condition, It Won't Get Better...

For some time now, I’ve been pointing out that the left is not happy with Obama. This weekend gave us another huge bit of proof. What proof you ask? An article in the Politico full of the illogical whiny ramblings of various “progressives” who are dismayed at how paradise turned out.

The article starts by summing up the problem the left is facing: “For many liberals, this is the summer of their discontent. Already disappointed with Obama’s ability to deliver on campaign promises, they now contemplate a slowing economic recovery and a good chance of Republican gains in November.”

Of course, I would argue that it was Obama’s attempts to deliver on campaign promises that was the real problem, both for the economy and for the new found popularity of the Republicans, but let’s not let facts get in the way of a good whine.

According to the article, this last week saw a sort of dueling banjos thing going on in progressive ranks, with a 17,000 word piece published in The Nation by Eric Alterman and a counterpiece published by Michael Tomasky in Democracy: A Journal of [Lousy] Ideas.

Said wordy Eric, Obama’s presidency is “a big disappointment” for progressives. He blames the system. . . and the boogeyman: “Face it, the system is rigged, and it’s rigged against us.” He even titles this little missive, “Why a progressive presidency is impossible for now.” Aw, poor dear. Apparently, young Eric has realized part of the truth, he just can’t bring himself to understand the real reasons. The system is rigged against them because Americans aren't stupid enough to believe what he believes.

Tomasky takes a different approach than young Eric. He says that it’s too early for progressive to quit: “The changes we want to see won’t happen in 18 months, or in two years, or four, or probably even eight,” and he suggests that the progressive community is still throwing a bit of a tantrum, and nothing will change until they stop.

Katrina vanden Heuvel, the editor of The Nation, tries to blame the existential: “It’s not just really about Obama; it’s about the state of our country. Every day, you have a sense that people are wondering where this country is headed.” And no doubt they crave socialism, right? Delusion is a powerful drug, isn’t it Comradina?

Some blame the stimulus bill which contained “too many compromises in a futile attempt to garner Republican support.” Yep. Of course, those of us who haven’t been snorting liberal pixy dust will remember that the Democrats controlled the House and a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, so this “evil Republicans stabbed us in the back” thing won’t wash.

Comrade Les Leopold of Firedoglake provides us with the most interesting quote. Let’s take it apart piece by piece:
• “It’s open season on Obama, whom so many hoped would lead us out of the neoliberal wilderness.” Yeah, I’ve been there, that place sucks, the WhinyCommieBears are really annoying!

• “He once was a community organizer and ought to know how working people have suffered through a generation of tax breaks for the rich.” Huh? How does a tax break for someone else cause me to suffer? Oh that’s right, you live on spite. Sorry, my bad. Please continue. . .

• “When the economy crashed, he was in the perfect position to limit the unjustified pay levels on Wall Street.” So a moron blogger knows what is justified in pay? Dare I suggest that if Comrade Les gets a penny, then his pay is unjustified.

• “Instead, we got a multitrillion-dollar bailout for Wall Street, no health care reform, no serious financial reforms whatsoever, record unemployment and political gridlock that will be with us for years to come.” Hello! You're talking about Democrats! What else did you expect?
E.J. Dionne Jr., who is named after a mustard, whines that ObamaCare should have been a victory but turned into a failure. Why? Because it took too long! “It simply took too long to pass health care.” Which I guess tells us that E.J., which stands for Extreme Jerk, has a short, short, short attention span. Because there is no other way to make sense of that quote.

But enough about the preliminaries. These are progressives after all, which means they will eventually get around to blaming a cartoon villain. . .

“Whatever the motivation, it has become easier and easier for a determined minority to throw sand in the gears of the legislative process,” says our friend Eric. “It is therefore no coincidence that the 40 Republican senators with the ability to bottle up almost anything in the Senate represent barely a third of the U.S. population.”

Oh Eric, you wrote this just for me didn’t you? For it has not become easier and easier to throw sand in the legislative gears; the rules haven’t changed in decades. Nor, my idiotic young friend, did the Republicans have 40 Senators during Obama’s first year of total failure. And I hate to tell you this, but the 40 Republicans represent about half the population of the country. Nice try though. Finally, that word "coincidence," it doesn't mean what you think it means. Look it up sometime.

So what have progressives learned? Says Michael Kazin a “history professor” from Georgetown University: “It was always naive to expect a president to start a movement. It’s a little bit like expecting a chief executive to start a union.” Huh? What a horrible analogy. Also, I thought progressives were already a movement? And I thought Obama was one of you, not some random corporate type who you hoped would form a progressive movement? Sounds like Michael could use him some skoolin?

In any event, Bob Borosage of some liberal institute says that progressives need to form a movement like the Tea Party people to “challenge conservative Democrats and Republicans and challenge the White House.” Only then might you see a “bolder agenda.” Why does this sound like sour grapes: “we never really tried yet,” and “Obama wasn’t really a progressive.”

So what do progressives do now to recapture the initiative they never had because they never tried and because Obama was never a true progressive who had to face all those Republicans from little states with so much damn power? According to our friend Eric, they just need to wait for the public to turn against Republicans just in time for Obama’s second term:
“This would be consistent with FDR’s strategy during his second term and makes a kind of sense when one considers the nature of the opposition he faces today and the likelihood that it will discredit itself following a takeover of one or both houses in 2010.”
Yes, let’s wait for the public to hate the other guys and then they’ll love us! Now that’s solid advice, because we all know that hating one person translates into loving another. Heck, Eric should write a dating column!

Of course, there is one minor problem with this. If those evil small states can be bought, then how do we “uncorrupt” those states in 2012? And, even worse, if Obama is nothing but a non-progressive CEO, why would he suddenly become one in 2012?

Oh the agony. . .

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Americans Want Bipartisanship!!!!!!!!!!!!

I told you the other day that if you want to know what’s really going on, don’t listen to what people tell, but look at their actions. In that regard, I saw the biggest harbinger of a massive Democratic defeat yet: the first article in a very long time warning us that Americans truly desire “bipartisanship.” Uh huh, sure.

If you believe the media, than the American public seems strangely schizophrenic. At times, all “the public” wants is bipartisanship and “an end to partisan rancor.” But then at other times, the media tells us “the public” wants the majority party to steamroll the objections of the minority party to put into place the very partisan goals the public apparently wants. How do we reconcile these conflicting opinions? Well, without more facts, this would be virtually impossible. But we have more facts.

Indeed, the key missing fact seems to be which party is in power at the time. When the Republicans control the levers of power, the media pimps the idea that the public wants bipartisanship. . . that the public wants both sides to work together to make sure that the concerns of the minority are heard and that the majority doesn’t put in place a partisan agenda. In fact, if you believe the media, the public is so concerned about “bipartisanship” that they don’t want the Republicans doing anything the Democrats don’t also want. But when the Democrats are in charge, the media suddenly abandons any ideas of bipartisanship and instead sees any efforts by the Republicans to have their voices heard as “obstructionism.” In fact, you see outraged articles that the Democrats aren’t being tough enough with the obstructionist Republicans. Thus, it doesn’t take a genius to see that what is really going on is that the media runs whichever theme is most likely to result in Democratic policies being put into place.

Hence, during the past two years, all the media talked about was obstruction and whether or not it was right for highly partisan Republicans to try to oppose the agenda “the public” wanted. . . polls to the contrary be damned. There were even a series of handwringing articles calling for an end to the evil power of “filibuster” by which a small group of corrupt Senators “representing as little as 1/3 of the population can stand in the way of the public’s desires.” Forget that this theoretical result is practically impossible because places like Rhode Island and Hawaii will never vote the same way as Wyoming. Forget that there were no similar complaints when the Democrats were using it. Forget that this is a check on the power of a majority forcing itself upon the minority. Forget that this doesn’t mean that "nothing can be done," it just means that the majority needs to address the concerns of the minority. Yeah. . . forget all that.

So what does it mean that we now have our first article about the public’s love for bipartisanship since Bush was in office? It means that the writing is on the wall: the Democrats are in serious, serious trouble. It means that the liberal media is laying the groundwork for the switch from anti-obstructionism to pro-obstructionism. Indeed, if I were in the predicting game, I would say that it’s only a matter of time before we start getting articles justifying the noble filibuster, which protects the majority from the overreach of a small, corrupt minority party that somehow temporarily got control over the Congress because of trickery, racism, witchcraft, and evil states like Texas.

But I don’t want to appear cynical. So maybe we should take the media at face value this time? Maybe the public really has suddenly rediscovered a love for bipartisanship? Maybe the public does want drastic bipartisan spending cuts, a bipartisan un-effeteing of our foreign policy, a bipartisan repeal of ObamaCare, a bipartisan financial regulation that actually does something beside pay lip service to progressives yet pander to Wall Street insiders, a bipartisan energy bill that opens more land to drilling, and a bipartisan anti-corruption bill that purges the Obama Administration and the Congress of racists, liars, crooks, sex offenders, nepotism, and perks?

Sure, why not? So in the spirit of bipartisanship, I ask the media to abandon its partisan rancor, and to get onboard. . . stop trying to oppose what the public wants! Seriously, “can’t we all just get along?”

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Monday, July 12, 2010

The Republican Agenda 2010 (AndrewPrice Version)

For some time now, I’ve said the Republicans need to come up with an agenda. History has shown that a party that wins an election without an agenda usually achieves nothing except being tossed out of office again. The reasons for this are simple. Without an agenda, there are no common goals to hold your party together and there is nothing to set the public’s expectation of what you will do. The latter is particularly dangerous because silence allows the creation of conflicting expectations, which guarantees disappointment. So what should the Republican agenda be?

An announced agenda should be short and easy to understand, and it should consist of concrete policy ideas. It should include only things that will generate both broad public support and intense public interest. It should not be all inclusive, nor should it be littered with esoteric concepts or ideas that appeal only to the base. Those are best dealt with in a larger platform or direct contact.

Here is my take on the best agenda for November 2010:

1. The Fiscal Responsibility Act: As I explained before, and as Admiral Mullen of the Joint Chiefs recently agreed, our deficit has become a national security threat. We must get this under control immediately. To that end, I propose the following spending cuts:
• Cancel The TARP: We should not be using tax money to enrich banks, nor should we allow this pool of money to become a slush fund as the Democrats are trying to use it. At last count, $364 billion remains outstanding.

• Cancel The “Stimulus”: The “stimulus” was classic throwing good money after bad. Much of this can still be avoided.

• Cut Federal Employment & Salaries: During the last decade federal pay far outstripped private pay. We need to force the government to do what the private sector does in recessions: cut 10% of the civilian workforce and cut pay 10% across the board. For political reasons, I would limit the pay cuts to anyone making more than $25,000 a year.

• Non-Defense Discretionary Spending Cut: A 10% cut in spending across the board would be significant yet would not even reduce the budget to the levels it was at under free-spending George Bush -- making this something the government can do with little problem.
There are other cuts I would add, but these should be the “highlight points.” We should be able to reduce Obama’s $1.6 trillion deficit to $500 billion in the first year without even touching entitlements or defense spending, though I would touch both. . . just not in the agenda. For example, to save Social Security, we need to raise the retirement age to 70 and I would offer people a reduced “buy-in” if they want to get Social Security earlier (something like a 10% permanent reduction for every year earlier they want to start receiving it). Click here for additional details on the spending cuts above.

2. The Economic Recovery and Revitalization Act: America needs a genuine, long-term stimulus. Years of creeping regulation and taxes have hurt our economy, and now government spending is threatening to wipe it out. And everything both parties have offered for “stimulus” is an economic joke. I propose the following instead:
• Cut Payroll Taxes Across the Board by 2%: As I explained before, such a cut makes working more valuable for workers and it makes employees cheaper for employers, all of which leads to an increased desire to work and an increased demand for workers. By expanding the desire to produce more “work,” we actually stimulate the economy to achieve more, as compared to stimulus spending which merely shifts demand from the future.

• Eliminate Payroll Taxes on the Elderly and Teens: The idea here is to encourage older workers to work longer, to encourage younger workers to start working (and develop beneficial habits), and to encourage employers to bring these people into the workforce. Making non-productive “assets” (e.g. the retired and the young) productive is another way to permanently stimulate the economy. In fact, this is the basis of the various “Asian miracles” -- non-productive peasants and women being brought into the labor force.

• Cut The Capital Gains Tax On Asset Sales: As explained previously, cutting the capital gains tax encourages companies to buy new equipment quicker. This increases demand and makes companies more productive. It also gets older equipment into the used market quicker, helping smaller companies. To counter the idea that this is about stock sales, I would propose limiting this capital gains tax cut to the sale of capital equipment (or eliminating the capital gains on the recapture of depreciation). This would allow the Republicans to paint the Democrats as opposed to workers if they opposed it.

• Reduce the Top Income Bracket: It’s time to flatten the tax bracket. First, I would cut the top bracket by 2% and schedule it for further 2% cuts every two years until it hits 20%. Secondly, I would raise the lowest bracket at the same time until it reaches 20% as well. The idea is to flatten the tax code and to make sure that most Americans pay some tax, I’ve explained the reason for this before. To prevent the charge that this is anti-poor, I would include a $2,500 a year credit, which would NOT be indexed to inflation, meaning its value would fall over the next 10-15 years.

• Energy Independence: Last year, the United States bought $470 billion in imported oil -- about half came from countries that don’t like us. If we opened more land for drilling and invested in the conversion from an oil-based economy to a natural gas-based economy, about half that $470 billion would be spent in places like Arkansas, California and the Dakotas instead of Saudi Arabia. At a minimum, this would add $235 billion flowing through the American economy each year. Additionally, the new supply and competition from gas would drive down the price of oil, which would make food, goods and everything cheaper. Finally, switching to natural gas would dramatically reduce the amount of carbon put into the air. . . if you believe in global warming.

3. The Genuine Health Care Reform Act: The United States health care system is broken. It costs too much and achieves too little, its costs are out of control, not enough people have access to regular care, and it suffers from poor quality control. ObamaCare only makes this worse. Republicans should be pushing CommentaramaCare. But they won’t. So at the very least, they should be promising:
• Repealing and replacing ObamaCare.

• Fully funding Medicare.

• Granting federal licenses to doctors to allow them to work anywhere in the country.

• Opening the insurance market to interstate competition.

• Encouraging a switch to out-of-pocket payment, supplemented by catastrophic care insurance.

• Opening the medical market to new forms of competition by allowing providers to organize freely, just as any other company can, and by allowing them to introduce new pricing models.

• Requiring medical providers to make pricing available prior to treatment.

• Malpractice reform, and improving doctor training and supervision.

4. The Clean and Accountable Government Act: Corruption and abuse of power have become endemic. It’s time to change that:
• TARP/Stimulus Audits: It’s time to bring in independent auditors to examine the TARP, the TALP, and the Stimulus, to determine exactly where the money went, how it was spent, and whether we have been paid back in full.

• Require independent audits of Congress with full release of the results.

• A Perk-Free Congress: It’s time to end the perks that Congress gives itself. No more private planes, no taxpayer-funded alcohol, junkets, parties, vacations, office decorations, etc. There should also be an anti-nepotism act to prevent Congress members from hiring their own family members.

• Tighten the rules on lobbyists to stop the revolving door between big business and government.

• Campaign Finance Reform: It violates the First Amendment to tell people how they can spend their money to support campaigns, but we can (and should) require full disclosure of donations. In particular, we should require corporations to disclose their donations to their shareholders, and unions to disclose their donations to their members. We should also require unions to allow their members to “opt-out” of contributing to the union’s political funds, with a private right of action to enforce this, i.e. civil suits by members.

• Eliminate All Federal Czars: These are unconstitutional, unaccountable positions that are making informal laws that apply only to certain people. This is unacceptable in a democracy.

5. Immigration Reform: Finally, we have immigration reform. This requires its own separate post, but generally the Republicans should stick with the following principles:
• Protecting the border.

• Creating a system that lets employers verify if a prospective employee is legally in the country, and punishing employers who hire illegal aliens.

• Ensuring that guest workers can still be brought in where labor shortages exist.

• Refusing to create “a path to citizenship” for people who are here illegally.

• Taking the burden off of states.
As I said before, there are many other things I would want the Republicans to do, but they should not be included in a published agenda. For example, I would look at regulating Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and I would redo the Dodd-Frank financial regulation. But trying to sell this to the public would put people to sleep.

You may also notice an absence of social policy and foreign policy. The reasons for this are simple. Right now, the public is focused almost entirely on issues of economic policy, corruption and abuse of power. Highlighting social issues at this point would not be wise. Similarly, foreign policy is omitted because it doesn’t excite the public and because it remains the zone of control of the President. This is not to say that these issues shouldn’t be addressed, but I would not include them in a public agenda.

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