Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Has The Supreme Court Solved The Immigration Problem?

America changed last Thursday. While everyone was dreaming of hotdogs and television marathons, the Supreme Court quietly issued a decision that may end up solving the illegal alien problem. In a 5-3 vote, the Supreme Court upheld an Arizona law from 2007 that penalizes businesses that hire workers who are in the United States illegally. Democrats and big business should be very afraid.

The law in question is the Legal Arizona Workers Act. This law provides that Arizona employers who knowingly or intentionally hire illegal aliens will have their business licenses suspended or revoked. The loss of a business license in most states means that a company cannot transact business, cannot bring lawsuits or defend itself in court, and cannot do things like participate in workers compensation schemes (i.e. have employees). It is essentially, a death sentence for a business. But, you ask, what keeps employers from just turning a blind eye to avoid the “knowingly” requirement? The law further requires that employers must use the federal “E-Verify” system to confirm the eligibility of workers for employment.

This law, signed by Gov. Janet “The Village Idiot” Napolitano in 2007, was challenged by the Chamber of Commerce (a theoretically conservative organization), with backing from the ACLU (a known America-hating outfit). They argued that the law was illegal because immigration law is exclusively within the power of the federal government. Thus, Arizona has no right to pass any laws involving immigration.

Writing for the majority, Justice John Roberts shot this down. He wrote that Arizona’s employer sanctions “fall well within the confines of the authority Congress chose to leave to the states.” In other words, Congress controls the nation’s immigration laws, but it has allowed the states some powers and the power to punish employers who hire illegals is one such power. Each of the leftist judges voted against this except Kagan, who recused herself because she had challenged the law on behalf of the Obama administration.

So why is this important?

Well, let us be honest about illegal immigration for a moment. To convince you that they are tough on illegal immigration, many conservative politicians pound the table and loudly proclaim that if only we (1) built a wall and (2) deported all the illegals, we could solve the immigration problem. This is pandering.

The truth is that a majority of illegal aliens do not cross illegally over the border. Most overstay visas. Thus, putting up a wall will do nothing to stop them. Moreover, as long as they can climb over the wall, dig under it, go around it by boat or plane, or get passes to visit the US even on day trips, no wall will ever be effective. It’s a fantasy to think otherwise.

Deporting them is an equally false solution. There are 12 million illegal aliens in this country with more coming every single day. Last year, we deported 380,000 people. That is 1/31 of those who are here. It took 21,000 officers to do that. Imagine how many officers it will take to get the other 30/31 and tell me if paying for those officers is politically sustainable? Moreover, finding these people is not easy and will breed massive resentment as it would require neighborhood sweeps and a police state that rivals East Germany. And even if we can ultimately find them all, there is nothing stopping them from simply turning around and coming back. You would if you were dumped in Mexico overnight, so why would anyone think they won't?

The only realistic solution to this problem is one that prevents illegal aliens from wanting to come to the United States. There is considerable evidence that they do not come when and will not stay here if there are no economic opportunities for them. Indeed, during the last recession, nearly two million went home.

In light of that, consider what the Supreme Court has done. It has given states the power to take away the economic opportunities that attract illegal aliens. As Republican states one by one make it dangerous for employers to hire illegals, employers will stop hiring them. Liberal states will need to follow suit or get flooded by illegal aliens. As the economic opportunities in the US dry up, illegal aliens will stop coming to the US and those that are here will start to leave. It won't get rid of all, but it will make this problem infinitely more manageable.

Thus, while the federal government pretends to act and offers placebos in the hope of distracting the public from its complicity in working to bring in substitute labor and votes, the states can now fix this problem all on their own.

Even better, as far as Republicans should be concerned, this avoids the political damage of being seen to be the party of mass deportations. Better yet, while everyone is focused on the flashy new law Arizona passed in 2010, this one will silently go about its job of fixing this issue with little fanfare.

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Weakly News Round Up

I know a lot of you aren’t paying attention to the news right now, as you’re starting to think about the weekend. So let’s do a quick and easy article tonight: let’s just sum up the news of the last few days.

1. Traveling Man: Obama is in Europe. Nothing of note happened there. Nothing at all. And if you heard that he tried to date his checks "2008" or that he botched his toast to Queen, then you are listening to evil right-wing news. And if you heard that he’s really there to hide so he doesn’t have to honor America’s soldiers. . . then you’re listening to accurate right-wing news. Oh and any suggestion that they went to Europe to get Michelle a plastic surgery technique called a "grinch tuck" is patently untrue.

2. Retiring to Obscurity: Oprah retired after decades of ruining America by endorsing “true stories” that turned out to be fake, handing out gifts that got people into tax trouble, endorsing Kenyans for the American Presidency, ruining Tom Cruise’s career and generally giving the hopelessly weepy a platform to annoy the rest of us. In a surprise move, Oprah revealed that she’s actually a middle-aged white man named Dale Nawtreal. Nawtreal’s been wearing a Hollywood fat suit that periodically deflates (accounting for her bouts with weight loss) and black face paint because he knew he needed a gimmick to compete against Phil Donahue and Jerry Springer, both of whom have been arrested for crimes against integrity.

3. New York Continues To Disappoint: Republicans suffered a “surprise” defeat in upstate New York in a three-way election the other night. Democrats are trying to blame this on opposition to Paul Ryan’s Medicare reforms. Republicans are blaming it on the fake Tea Party candidate. The real cause is either (1) New York is hopelessly leftist and even New York’s version of “right wing fanatics” would be considered bleeding heart morons in other states or (2) New York was built on an ancient Indian burial ground belonging to an extinct tribe called the “Gimmeestufs” and is cursed.

4. Peter “Snider Daddy” Fonda: This isn’t made up, though you may think it is. Peter Fonda of Easy Rider fame has said something that may surprise you. Here’s the quote:
“I’m training my grandchildren to use long-range rifles. For what purpose? Well, I’m not going to say the words ‘Barack Obama’, but . . . I prefer to not to use the words, ‘let’s stop something’. I prefer to say, ‘let’s start something, let’s start the world’.

It’s more of a thought process than an actuality, but we are heading for a major conflict between the haves and the have nots. I came here many years ago with a biker movie and we stopped a war. Now, it’s about starting the world.”
Hmmm. So Peter stopped Vietnam with a biker movie? And now Peter wants his grandkids to shoot someone called “Barack Obama” to “start the world.” Cuckoo.

Yah know, if Peter wasn’t a big leftist, I’m thinking leftists would be outraged over this, as in “MSNBC anchors encouraging street violence” outraged. But he is a leftist, so they’re not upset. Indeed, they’ll just add him to the list of murderers and rapists that they celebrate because they have the right politics. Maybe the left is even sicker than we suspected?

You may now return to your weekend planning.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Commentarama Dating Advice Goes Scientific

You laughed when we gave dating advice, but we knew what we were doing! Indeed, science has now proven what Commentarama already knew: successful dating is all about ideology.

The study in question took a look at married couples and tried to determine what factor or factors were most likely to predict a successful marriage. And what did these scientists find? Well, it turns out that political affiliation is by far the single most important factor. Yep. It’s more important than looks or personality or anything else. In other words, matching up with someone with the same political views is your best shot of finding someone to marry and staying married after you do the deed.

Said researcher John Alford:
"It turns out that people place more emphasis on finding a mate who is a kindred spirit with regard to politics, religion and social activity than they do on finding someone of like physique or personality. It suggests that, perhaps, if you're looking for a long-term romantic relationship, skip 'What's your sign?' and go straight to 'Obama or Palin?' And if you get the wrong answer, just walk away."
Yes, walk away. Don’t even waste your time trying to sway over that stupid liberal/conservative/libertarian/communist/fascist/socialist/anarchist/Ron Pauler/independent, it will only end in a messy divorce with shots fired and a heartbreaking division of the commemorative Elvis plates.

Now that you know this, you should feel happier. Do you know why? Because we’ve narrowed your choices and that makes you happier. . . I’ll bet you didn’t know that? It’s true though. Another recent study found that the more choices a person is given in terms of choosing partners for dates, the less happy the person was and the less successful they ultimately were at dating. They aren't really sure why this is true, but it seems to be.

Personally I would say it's "choice paralysis" caused by a combination of having too many inputs to make a rational decision combined with an increased fear that you made the wrong choice. . . like when you see more than 12 donuts you want.

In any event, this makes me wonder. People are marrying later and having fewer kids all over the globe. Many explanations are offered for this, but none of them actually work consistently across countries. In other words, if something like economic success were the cause, then we would be seeing a consistent fall in each country as they get richer. . . but we’re not, the falling rates are not consistent. The same problem is true with other explanations like availability of birth control, employment of women outside the home, culture, religion or lack of religion. I wonder if the problem isn’t staring us in the face in this study?

In the past, people tended to live in the towns they grew up in and they really only got to know a small circle of people, i.e. they had limited opportunities to marry. Thus, this study says they should have been more successful at finding mates and happier with their choices. Today, by comparison, people live in different cities at various points throughout their lives and careers. They're also more likely to run into possible mates at college or at their jobs than in the past, and then there is the internet. Perhaps all this extra choice is causing "choice paralysis" and ruining it for everybody?


Any way, don’t date outside your politics and start ruling out more of your choices before you even start looking. You’ll be a dating monster in no time!

You're welcome.

Thoughts on any of these theories?

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2012 Contender: Tim Pawlenty

Let’s continue our 2012 Contenders series with Tim Pawlenty. Pawlenty’s people want to sell him based on his blue collar background, but that’s rather irrelevant as we’re voting for a leader of our party and our country, not the next guest on Oprah. So let’s ignore that and look at his record, which is surprisingly conservative. . . though it’s not unblemished.

1. Social Conservatism: There is no doubt that Pawlenty, a recent convert from Catholicism to evangelical Christianity, is a social conservative:
Gays: Pawlenty opposes same-sex marriage and civil unions. He wants to reinstate “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” And he attacked Obama for failing to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in the courts.

Abortion: Pawlenty opposed abortion except in cases of rape, incest and to save the mother’s life. He wants Rove v. Wade overturned, and he appointed four judges to the Minnesota Supreme Court who openly disagreed with Roe. As governor, he signed a law in 2003 that required doctors to provide women with information about alternatives to abortion at least 24 hours before the procedure, as well as a detailed list of risks associated with the procedure. In 2005, Pawlenty signed a law requiring that women considering an abortion be given information about “fetal pain.” Sixteen states are now trying to pass similar laws.

Immigration: On immigration, Pawlenty was cracking down on illegals before cracking down was cool. In January 2008, he ordered state law enforcement to work with federal agents to enforce immigration laws. This is what Arizona did later. He also required the Department of Public Safety to review photos in the state’s driver’s license database to look for fraud. And he required new state employees and contractors to verify their citizenship.

Guns: Pawlenty supports the second amendment, though he favors statewide standardized training and background checks before law-abiding citizens can carry firearms.
2. Economics: As you would expect for any governor, Pawlenty’s economic credentials aren’t perfect, but he has achieved some surprisingly conservative things and he’s put up quite a fight to get them.
Deficits: Pawlenty closed a $4.5 billion deficit left behind by the former governor by cutting spending and without increasing taxes. During his second term, he faced a deficit of $2.7 billion, which he eliminated with further spending cuts, shifting payments and $2 billion in stimulus money. The state currently faces a $4.4 billion projected deficit for the next two years. To achieve these deficit cuts, Pawlenty vetoed dozens of Democratic tax hikes and he even forced a nine day shutdown to get his way on the budget.

Taxes: Pawlenty kept his promise not to raise taxes. In fact, he cut taxes by $800 million. The one exception was a hike in cigarette taxes that was part of the deal he reached to end the government shutdown.

Public Sector Unions: Pawlenty took on the unions before that was cool too. In 2005, he took on Minnesota’s mass-transit workers union to cut pension benefits. After a 44 day strike, he won.

Moreover, he seems to “get it.” For example, he notes that public sector unions “contribute mightily to the campaigns of liberal politicians ($91 million in the midterm elections alone) who vote to increase government pay and workers.” This is a good sign. His plan for federal employees is good too. He wants to bring compensation back in line with the private sector, reduce the overall civilian work force, start using private sector accounting practices for pension costs to stop hiding the real cost, and end defined-benefit plans. All excellent ideas.

TARP: Pawlenty spoke favorably of the TARP in 2008, but in 2010 he said that he was speaking as a surrogate for John McCain only at the time and he never actually supported the idea himself.
3. ObamaCare: Pawlenty wants ObamaCare replaced and he issued an executive order forbidding state agencies from applying for new grants under the plan:
“ObamaCare is an intrusion by the federal government into personal health care matters and it’s an explosion of federal spending that does nothing to make health care more affordable. To the fullest extent possible, we need to keep ObamaCare out of Minnesota. This executive order will stop Minnesota’s participation in projects that are laying the groundwork for a federally-controlled healthcare system.”
He also proposes the following healthcare reforms: (1) incentives for patients to be smart consumers by having patients pay less if they choose more cost-efficient health-care providers; (2) pay doctors for performance rather than number of procedures performed (reward quality rather than quantity); (3) liability reform; (4) allow insurance across state lines; (5) make insurance portable; (6) prohibit discrimination against pre-existing conditions; and (7) expand health savings accounts.

This is less than it seems, but these are better than other candidates have suggested and Pawlenty has put in place some test programs along some of these lines in Minnesota.

4. Global Warming: In 2007, Pawlenty declared global warming “one of the most important issues of our time.” He then signed bills to promote clean energy and to impose a cap and trade system. In 2008, he urged Congress to “cap greenhouse-gas pollution now.” In May of this year, Pawlenty said this “was a mistake, and I’m sorry.” His basis for changing his mind is that the human impact on climate change is unproven.

5. Ethanol: Pawlenty stated the other day that we should end ethanol subsidies. This was good. It’s about time conservatives stopped pandering to different interest groups, i.e. Iowa farmers, and instead stood on principle. But in 2005, Pawlenty signed a bill raising the mandated minimum mixture of ethanol in Minnesota gas from 10% to 20% by 2013 and he has lobbied for higher nationwide mandates.

6. Electability: Two issue arise on the issue of electability: dullness and past electoral performance.
Dullness: Pawlenty is not an inspiring speaker. He’s too polite and he lacks the gift for verbal sparring of the kind that has become increasingly necessary. Will this hurt him? That’s not clear. This election will be about Obama and his record, so a quiet candidate may be better able to keep the light on Obama. But, his lack of inspiring rhetoric may keep him from being able to land necessary punches or inspire voters. If Obama were not a disliked incumbent, this would be bad. As it is, this may not be a problem. As an interesting side note, several leftist publications have been concerned that Pawlenty “takes the snarl” out of the rhetoric and makes “extreme right wing policies sound acceptable.”

Electability: One of the issues that should be in Pawlenty’s favor is his ability to get elected in a blue state. Theoretically, that means he has cross-party appeal and can guarantee Minnesota’s 10 electoral votes, which would kill Obama’s re-election changes for sure. But Pawlenty never actually got 50% of the vote because he’s always faced multiple opponents. He was last re-elected by less than 1% (47% to 47%).
All in all, it sounds like Pawlenty is a social and fiscal conservative who is willing to put up a fight to implement conservative policies. More importantly, he seems to understand the issues better than the other candidates at this point. The knock on him is that he appears willing to shift in the political winds, particularly on global warming, and he comes across as extremely dull.


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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Angry Feminism Hits A Wall

By the time I went to college, feminism was entering a truly vile period. Gone was the talk about equality, respect and giving women “choices.” In its place was the hateful agenda of identity politics: affirmative action, squeals for equality of outcome, groupthink, suppression of opponents, and nasty misandry. At the time, this seemed to be the future of feminism. But three recent statistics tell me this version of feminism has played out.

I don’t think doctrinaire feminism was ever what it pretended to be. It claimed to want equality of opportunity and respect, but like many such 1960s movements, its leaders had a different agenda. Indeed, under the guise of equality of opportunity feminists soon began pushing for equality of result. This was particularly true in the economic sphere in the 1970s where they pushed things like the ERA, which sought not only to award equal pay within a profession, but identical pay across professions based on leftist notions of labor comparability.

Moreover, the harder-core adherents quickly devolved into man-hating. For example, feminist academics began writing papers claiming that our entire history was nothing more than a male plot to oppress women and that all sex is rape because women, lacking economic power, can never consent -- an identical argument made for why blacks "can't be racist." They also demanded the erection of gender studies departments in colleges, the appointment of women to positions for which they weren’t qualified, and the removal of gender references from the language.

By the late 1980s, this twisted view became feminist doctrine. Thus, sensible ideas like “no means no” were twisted into “no means no, even when it isn't said until after the fact.” Colleges started having rape awareness nights where everyone was supposed to walk around in the dark to protest a rape epidemic that didn’t exist -- we were told for every real rape, ten somehow go unreported and we heard ludicrous statistics like “one in four women will be raped.” College professorettes started doing things like demanding “Herstory” departments to counter “History” departments, they designed re-education programs, and they tried replacing the generic "he" with "she" in textbooks (which is a dead giveaway about their mindset because they claimed the use of "he" was oppressive; in other words, rather than looking for a gender neutral word, they simply wanted to become oppressors). They also took the stance that if there weren't enough women's sports teams, then schools had to eliminate men's sports teams. Meanwhile, extremely unkempt girls started showing up in literature and history classes talking about “male oppression,” claiming that all the female characters were lesbians, and whining that our very language keeps them down boo hoo hoo (fyi, "unkempt" because grooming standards were male attempts to oppress. . . seriously, there's feminist theory on this). And angry girls went to law school, where they would proudly (and unethically) proclaim that they would only represent “womyn.” This is what feminism became.

This version of feminism had three main planks that it pushed: (1) the forcing of women into “power professions,” (2) unchecked abortion, and (3) the destruction of marriage.

The power profession thing was easily the most interesting. Feminists kept talking about giving women “choices,” but that was a lie. What they really wanted was to force women into occupations that feminists believed would let them oppress others. This meant that any woman who chose to stay home and raise a family would be ridiculed by feminists -- even Hillary Clinton stumbled into this when she denigrated cookie making, which was common jargon among feminists at the time as a way to insult stay-at-home mothers. Moreover, women who chose “inferior careers,” i.e. traditional female occupations, were typically branded with the bimbo label. Basically, the only "allowable" choice for women was to go into politics, law or finance.

The abortion thing resulted from the realization by feminists that so long as women cared more about their children, they weren’t going to be as successful as men in the power professions. This meant women had to be kept childless so they could climb the career ladder, which meant breaking the motherhood bond. Thus, in the 1990s, you saw an assault of studies claiming that children actually benefited from being abandoned by their mothers, and you saw a strong push to ensure ideological rigidity on the abortion issue, with feminists uniformly portraying all women as being pro-abortion and portraying abortion opponents as creepy, male religious freaks intent on enslaving women. There was even a study claiming that having an abortion made women healthier.

Finally, the destruction of marriage was key because women who marry tend to drop out of the workforce. Thus, feminists pushed the idea of no-fault divorce, and single motherhood was glorified. But what really became a big issue for feminists in the 1990s was whether or not women should take their mate’s last names if they married. Indeed, if you read any feminist-infused magazine from the period, you will see that it was assumed that all women would (and did) keep their own names and the only question was whether or not to add the husband's name as a hyphenated name. Women who didn’t toe this line were dismissed as hopelessly old-fashioned and usually religious zealots.

Well, now things are falling apart for feminists. Every month I get bar journals from various states. Last month, I came across a very shrill article by one veteran feminist who was horrified that the number of women entering law school has been dropping for several years now. In the 1990s, when the number of women exceeded the number of men, feminists proclaimed that one day women would run the legal profession, and thereby the world. Apparently not. The number of women is now below the male number again and falling fast. The woman who wrote this article bemoaned the failure of young women to go to law school and openly feared that this will result in the oppression of women. . . no, I’m not kidding. The number of women in politics seems to have petered out too. And what’s worse, many are the “wrong kind” of woman, i.e. conservatives.

Then I came upon an article that talked about marriage rates and how marriage rates in the US are on the rise and people are no longer divorcing at nearly the rate they used to. Almost the next day came a study lamenting that the number of women keeping their own name in marriage (in any form) peaked in the 1990s at 23% (far less than the nearly 100% figure portrayed in the media) and has been falling steadily since. It is currently 18%.

Now, we hear from Gallup (which has a consistent left-ward bent) that only 27% of people believe abortion should be legal under “any circumstances,” i.e. the feminist position.

What this tells me is that "feminism" peaked in the 1990s and has been in steady decline ever since. What seems to have stopped it is the emergence of vocal conservative women who demanded that feminism actually be about choices as advertised. When this group of women demanded that feminists stop denigrating stay-at-home mothers, the end was near for modern feminism because that undercut the entire purpose of radical feminism.

Does this mean radical/angry feminism is dead? No. It lives on and it always will. But like Marxism or cults, its appeal is now limited to an ever shrinking fringe. The question now is: how do we use this lesson to take the radical out of other worthwhile movements that have gone astray, e.g. environmentalism?

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Monday, May 23, 2011

2012 Contenders: Recent Winners and Losers

With our Presidential hopefuls dropping like flies, it’s time to recalibrate the field. Who will get whose supporters? Who can step from whose shadow? Enquiring minds want to know. . . which means we should look at winners and losers of recent events. As usual, expect no prisoners to be taken in this contempt-riddled analysis.

1. Newt Implodes:
Loser: Newt Gingrich (candidate). Newt’s ill-advised and unfounded attack on Paul Ryan’s budget plan confirmed everything negative we feared about Newt. And his tar-baby-ish struggles to defend himself alienated the entire conservative base. This has basically sunk his candidacy.

Loser: Newt Gingrich (moronacle). Newt’s role as oracle may be endangered by this debacle. For nearly a decade now, Newt has used his flirtation with running for the Presidency to sell books and get people to come seek his opinion. His implosion has exposed the oracle as perhaps more of a moronacle, and this will likely lessen his influence on the party.

Winner: Sarah Palin (celebrity/moronacle). For every yin there is a yang, and Palin is Gingrich’s yang. She’s been trying very hard to become the female Newt, i.e. a moronacle who uses a flirtation with running to garner fame and fortune. In fact, she and Newt competed for this post throughout the 2010 election primaries by make rival endorsements. Newt’s implosion opens the door for Palin to take his place at Delphi.

Winner: Barack Obama. Obama is the big winner here because Newt’s description of Ryan’s plan as “right-wing social engineering” will be enough to allow Obama to gather leftist and squishy-moderate support to block the plan.

Loser: Medicare. Lack of reform = collapse.

2. The Huckster Drops Out:
Winner: Conservatives. Apparently, God doesn’t want the Huckster as President, which is good because conservatives shouldn't want that either. His version of conservatism, i.e. big government liberalism and leftist social theory masquerading as social conservatism, is a disastrous dead end for conservatism. Now we're spared that. And make no mistake, the Huckster stood an excellent chance of winning because of the evangelical-heavy early primaries.

Winner: Sarah Palin (candidate). Palin and the Huckster had been the prime competitors for evangelical voters. With the Huckster gone, these people will look for a new candidate. Should Palin choose to run, she should be able to pick up most of his support.

Winner: Tim Pawlenty Pawlenty apparently has been working hard to win the backing of the religious right. He’s rather bland and forgettable, but out of those who are left in the race, Pawlenty seems to be the best fit for these voters. So if Palin doesn’t jump into the race (and I think she won’t), then he could win them.

3. Mitch Bails:
Loser: The GOP Establishment. The GOP establishment settled on Daniels some time ago and they’ve been pimping him hard in the MSM as the best candidate. With him gone, they need another candidate. Sadly for them, their favored choice, Jeb Bush, refuses to run in 2012. So now they need to find someone else they can trust to not make any waves.

Winner: Jeb Bush. If Bush wants the nomination, the establishment is ready to give it to him now that Daniels is gone. He just has to say the word. But let me offer a word of caution, I (and many people I know) will NEVER. . . EVER vote for another Bush.

Winner: Chris Christie. Christie is a potential dark horse alternative to Jeb Bush. He sounds conservative and he sounds like he’s a disruptive reformer, but as Commentarama readers know, he’s a safe RINO, which is exactly what the establishment wants. If the misguided "draft Christie" campaigns succeed, expect Bush to stay out and establishment support to shift to Christie. Oh happy day.

Winner: Tim Pawlenty. Yeah, Tim’s bland enough for the establishment. If they can’t get Christie or Bush, expect the establishment to adopt Pawlenty and make him the eventual nominee.

4. Trump Fires Himself:
Winner: My Sanity. nuf said.

Winner: Barack Obama. Obama is the big winner here because Trump was causing Obama fits. Trump constantly raised issues the other Republican candidates were “too polite” to raise and he has a sufficiently large soapbox that people listened. With Trump gone, Obama can now focus on a weak Republican field.

Winner: Small Candidates. Guys like Herman Cain and other “second tier” candidates need to get noticed. The way to get noticed is to say what’s on your mind. . . the more outrageous the better. That was nearly impossible with Trump absorbing all of the media’s attention like some egotistical black hole. Trump’s departure opens the door for guys like Cain and Bolton to get some media attention.

Winner/Loser: Big Candidates. Despite the circus aftertaste found in the "Nutty Trump Bar," our bigger candidates look like duds by comparison. With Trump gone, they no longer need to face the daily comparison. This is technically a win, though it’s also an indictment as it highlights just how pathetic our current field is.
So what we have here is this. Movement conservatives lost with Newt. The religious right lost with the Huckster. The establishment lost with Daniels. And the lunatic fringe lost with Trump. That's got some perfect symmetry if you ask me.


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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

2012 Contender: Newt Gingrich

When a circus loses a clown, another steps up to take his place. Hence, Trump bows out and Gingrich butts in. Newt Gingrich has been playing the role of high oracle to the conservative movement for about a decade. But as you are about to see, his policy positions are poorly defined and there is a serious disconnect between his rhetoric and his actions, which more often than not are self-aggrandizing, liberal and highly disloyal.

Lack of Judgment: The biggest issue with Newt is also the hardest to put your finger on definitively: he lacks judgment. This has expressed itself in many ways. For example, he had an affair with a staffer at the same time he was attacking Clinton for the Monica Lewinsky scandal. He got himself into enough trouble that he paid a $300,000 penalty to end a House ethics investigation. In 2009, Gingrich endorsed obvious RINO Dede Scozzafava. And he doesn’t know when to shut up.

Just this week, in fact, he slammed Paul Ryan’s budget plan. Specifically, he attacked Ryan’s proposal to reform Medicare as “right-wing social engineer” and he said:
“I don’t think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering. I don’t think imposing radical change from the right or the left is a very good way for a free society to operate.”
Way to undercut the one guy making conservatism work, Newt! As is his pattern, once everyone from Rush Limbaugh to Laura Ingraham to every House Republican blasted him, Gingrich retreated entirely on his criticism, but not before he had given significant aid and comfort to the enemy.

This is actually entirely consistent with my memory of Gingrich’s time as Speaker. Whatever the issue, Gingrich ran to the camera and did his best to frame conservatism in the most extremist, thoughtless, and indefensible way possible. He seemed to revel in being outrageous. Then the inevitable liberal backlash came. Suddenly, without warning, Gingrich rushed back to the camera to cut the legs out from underneath his conservative allies who were still trying to explain his remarks. Then he would agree to leftist policies to try to win the approval of his enemies. His entire political career actually fits this pattern because this is a man who desperately wants to be loved.

Economics: Gingrich’s economic plans can best be described as “conservative sounding but vague”:
● Gingrich wants to cut corporate taxes to 12.5% and eliminate the inheritance tax. Ok, that’s clear, but just wait.
● He wants to “move toward” an “optional 15% flat tax,” whatever that means.
● He wants to “strengthen the dollar” somehow.
● Break up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into something.
● Modernize the FDA in some way.
● “Fundamental reform” of entitlements “with the advice and help of the American people,” i.e. he has no idea how to do this.
● Balance the budget by “controlling spending, implementing money saving reforms, and replacing destructive policies and regulatory agencies with new approaches,” whatever this means.
ObamaCare: Gingrich opposes ObamaCare and wants it repealed. But of course, that’s a mandatory position for candidates. What does he really believe? In 2003, Gingrich supported creating the prescription drug benefit entitlement in Medicare. He still supports it. In 2005, he and Hillary Clinton worked to spend federal money on information technology for health care. In 2007, he became an advocate for increasing spending on old-age care for baby boomers.

In his criticism of Ryan this weekend, Gingrich stated that Republicans should not seek to reform Medicare and he came out clearly in favor of individual health mandates. His spokesman has since tried to “clarify” both positions away. But he has also said before that the problem with our health care system is “freeloaders. . . who are uninsured,” i.e. he wants to force people to buy insurance.

Beyond this his positions on health care are conservative-sounding pabulum: make insurance cheaper, stop Medicare fraud, stop junk lawsuits and get the FDA to allow new treatments faster.

Global Warming: In 2007, Gingrich proclaimed his belief in global warming and he wrote a book called “A Contract With the Earth,” in which he proposes “accelerating the incentive to reduce carbon emissions,” i.e. cap and trade. In other interviews at the time, he favored “mandatory carbon caps combined with a trading system,” i.e. cap and trade. Then, in 2008, he snuggled up next to Nancy Pelosi to do an ad favoring global warming regulation: “we do agree our country must take action to address climate change.”

Now, Gingrich wants to deny his former self. In the past year, he told Human Events: “I don't think we're faced with a crisis of global warming. I think in fact that the scientific data is still very unclear.” But it was apparently clear enough for him to support Pelosi’s drive to regulate? He also now claims that he “never favored cap and trade”. . . despite the quotes above.

Gingrich also heavily favors ethanol subsidies because that wins votes in Iowa, subsidies for “clean energy,” and “flex-fuel mandates for US cars.” At least he claims to favor more drilling.

Abolishing the EPA: Gingrich claims he want to abolish the EPA. But this is pure pandering. For one thing, this is a nonstarter with the public, so picking this issue shows a lack of seriousness. Further, he has no effective plan, i.e. this is just hyper rhetoric. Moreover, before you get excited that he might actually do it, his fine print involves replacing the EPA with a new agency named the “Environmental Solutions Agency.” In other words, while he talks boldly about eliminating the EPA, his actual plan is to just rename it. . . as if that will solve the problems caused by the laws it is enforcing.

Islam: Gingrich is calling for a federal law to stop the “onslaught of Sharia on American jurisprudence,” which he calls a “mortal threat to the survival of freedom in the United States and the world as we know it.” Uh huh. Sharia law has not been recognized by US Courts and indeed recognizing it would violate the Establishment Clause of the Constitution. Gingrich knows this. So rather than address the more serious issues with Islam, Gingrich is pandering to a false fear because it sounds good and it doesn’t require him to do anything.

Gays: On gays, Gingrich says “I think there is a gay and secular fascism in this country that wants to impose its will on the rest of us, is prepared to use violence, to use harassment.” Sounds like a strong position against something, but he takes no stance on gay rights or gay marriage that I can find, including on his website.

Abortion: Gingrich is opposed to federal funding of abortion, but takes no other position that I can find, including on his website.

What he’ll believe next week is anybody’s guess.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Economy Must Be Broken?!

It’s becoming a common refrain on the left: what’s wrong with the American economy? Why won’t it produce any jobs? We have economic growth, so why aren’t there any jobs? Booo hooo hooo. There must be something wrong with America! Booo hooo hooo! It can’t possibly be that our leftist economic theory is completely wrong?! No, the fault must lie elsewhere.

For two years now, leftists have become increasingly frustrated that the economy isn’t producing any jobs. When Obama took power, they got to implement a Keynesian orgy of spending that their economic theories told them should have resulted in a vast flood of new jobs. It was only a matter of time. But somehow, it hasn’t happened. How can this be?

The answer is pretty obvious to anyone not blinded by ideology. Increased taxation and regulation combined with uncertainty have discouraged companies from hiring. Combine this with unfair trade practices by foreign governments that make it unnaturally cheap to send jobs overseas, and you’ve got a situation where companies just aren’t going to create a lot of new jobs in the US.

But the left can’t stand to hear this because it blows holes in two of their cherished beliefs:
(1) Every dollar spent, no matter what the source, results in five dollars being added to the economy as a whole. This in turn results in jobs being created because every percentage point of economic growth produces 800,000 new jobs a year.

(2) It doesn’t matter what you do to an economy, growth will continue like normal after the shock of your action and the rules of theory one above will be obeyed. So tax away comrade, tax away!
Every leftist economist from moronic oracle (“moronacle”) Paul Krugman to malignant dwarf Robert Rubin to the self-deluded Economist prays at the alter of these theories. In fact, they need to believe this or else they couldn't justify raising taxes on people they don’t like, i.e. companies and “the rich.” Thus, they are stuck struggling for ways to explain Obama's economic failure while carefully denying the obvious -- that higher taxes and more regulations destroy job growth.

The latest theory they've pulled out of their nether-regions is that the link between economic growth and job creation no longer works as it has for thousands of years. In other words, economic growth no longer creates jobs. Naturally, they twist this into a call to tax non-job creators, i.e. corporations and the rich, so that the government can use the tax dollars to somehow create jobs. Apparently, Atlas Shrugged wasn’t fiction after all.

What these leftists are missing, of course, is that their two pillars are laughably stupid. Consider this:

Stupid Theory No. 1: The “Keynesian multiplier” theory works on the assumption that if you add money to an economy, the economy must grow larger. But it forgets to ask where the money comes from. Government spending must be pulled from the economy in the form of taxes before it can be spent. And if the multiplier is true, then every dollar pulled from the economy reduces the economy by $5. Thus, at best you break even -- five dollars out, five dollars in. But the government is an inefficient spender. hence, what you actually get is something like $5 out and $1.4 in. That means every dollar of stimulus spending results in $3.6 lost to the economy.

And if you think about it, this makes sense. Otherwise, we could just spend ourselves to prosperity. Indeed, if this worked, why stop at a trillion dollar stimulus? Wouldn’t a hundred trillion dollars be more responsible? Interestingly, even Keynesians don’t think that works. . . though they can’t explain why the trillion is supposed to work and the hundred trillion would fail. So why can't "brilliant" leftist economists understand this?

Stupid Theory No. 2: The second theory completely misunderstands human nature. Reality is simple: people work because it benefits them. If you tax their earnings/profits, they will work less because it becomes less worthwhile to work, invest or take risks. The same is true of regulations. If you make something harder/more costly to produce, people will produce less of it. Thus, it makes no sense whatsoever to believe that people will continue as if nothing has changed when you increase taxes or regulations -- indeed, if I started punching you every time you went to work, why would this bother you the first couple times but not the 1,000 times after that? Therefore, pillar two is utter nonsense.

What’s more, the Democrats don’t understand the concept of uncertainty. Even where Obama has left taxes as they were or not imposed some regulation, he’s still run around flapping his gums about how he plans to raise taxes or impose regulations as soon as he feels he can. That makes future profits and costs uncertain and causes people to stop spending, investing or working until they get clarity.
The left refuses to accept the obvious because that would discredit their economic theories and interfere with their desire to punish those they don’t like. Indeed, their economic theory makes no sense logically nor has it ever worked in practice, but it gives them the excuse they need to exercise a little self-righteous spite. Thus, moronacles like Krugman and The Economist would rather disgrace themselves with ridiculous theories about the economy having mysteriously failed than admit that the fundamental tenets of their beliefs are completely and utterly wrong. That must suck.

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Can The GM Bailout Save Obama?

The Democrats change campaign strategies like most people change their socks. Obama is doing that too. His latest strategy calls for using the GM bailout to sway us all over to his side -- especially those of us living in rustbelt states. Good luck with that! Here's why this is one of his stupider ideas:

Point 1: Obama Didn’t Do It: Right out of the gates, this one is a bit of a laugher. The auto bailouts began under George W. Bush. Sure, Obama finished it, but this is a bit like crediting Truman for his decision to take on the Nazis. And how ironic is it that Obama, who loves to blame Bush for all of his own failures, should not be planning to steal Bush’s “achievements.”

Point 2: Americans Hate The Auto Bailout: Obama really thinks the public will respond to his claiming credit for the GM bailout. Yet, polls show the public hates the auto bailout. They have from the very beginning and they continue to do so today. Indeed, as recently as one month ago, Rasmussen found that 57% of Americans continue to say the bailout was a mistake and another 44% of Americans said they are less likely to buy a car from GM because of the bailout. But then, the percentage of Americans who oppose the bailout is down a full 7% in three years. . . maybe Obama thinks that’s a “trend”?

More importantly, this bailout was in place before the November 2010 elections and the Democrats got massacred in the rustbelt states. What’s changed since then to make Obama think this will be a better selling point now?

Point 3: The Bailout Didn’t Really Work: It’s hard to see how the bailout worked. Sure, GM is still there, but (1) 334,000 manufacturing jobs vanished despite the bailout, (2) 10,000 dealerships were closed, dealerships that employed 500,000 people, and (3) one quarter of US factory capacity to build automobiles was lost. . . i.e. rustbelt factories closed.

At least GM has been profitable for a year now. Of course, that happened because of dealer incentives -- the same tactic that ruined the big three in the first place. Also, the reason GM is profitable has nothing to do with the bailout, it has to do with GM filing bankruptcy and getting billions of dollars in debt discharged. In fact, GM could have gone straight into bankruptcy without the bailout funds and things would have turned out identically for GM. . . though the UAW wouldn’t have gotten taxpayer funds to cover their health and pension plans.

But what about the bailout money? When it was given to GM, we were told that it would all be paid back. . . every cent. Then we were told that GM had in fact paid it all back, only that wasn’t quite true because GM paid it back with TARP money. Basically, they borrowed taxpayer money to pay back debts to the taxpayers and then they acted like we should be happy.

In exchange for the TARP money, we got an ownership interest. And right before the election, Little Timmy Geithner and Joey "the liar" Biden announced to the world that we would indeed be making a profit on our “investment” in GM! Hurray! Vote Democratic! Of course, that wasn’t true either. GM stock has hovered near its IPO price since it went public again. GM’s stock price must get above $40 a share before we break even. It closed at $31 on Friday. . . 25% below the price we need. If the Treasury sells today, they would lose $17 billion to $20 billion of the $86 billion “invested”. . . and keep in mind that right now the market is likely at a multi-year high and will head south.

So what exactly can Obama trumpet here? What you’re going to hear are fantasy numbers. There are leftwing economists who have already speculated that the bailout saved millions of jobs and will make all of America’s kids 5% smarter and 2.4% more attractive. But this is bunk. These numbers, like the $3.5 million jobs "created, saved or made up," are just mindless applications of discredited Keynesian formulas that bear no relationship to what actually happened.

The real story of the bailout is the one above, and people get that. So good luck selling this one Mr. President.

BONUS ROUND: What do you think should be Obama's next sales pitch? He kept us out of war with Mexico? He didn't try to save the Yen? New York hasn't been blown up yet? Come on, let's give the guy a little help. . .

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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Teachable Moments On Black Racism

The biggest obstacle in race relations in America is black racism. Black professors lie about black achievements and claim they were stolen by inferior white civilizations. Black preachers preach race hate. And black leaders/opinion makers scream that racism "keeps them down" and warn of a return to slavery. This leads to open black hostility to every other racial/ethnic group and retards black economic progress. A conscientious black leader would work to defuse this garbage and get blacks out of the race hate and victimology business. Sadly, Obama is not such a leader, as demonstrated by his failure to address a single one of the recent teachable moments on black racism.

In the past few months we've been awash in teachable moments on black racism. It’s been exposed that Obama/Eric Holder believe the nation's civil rights laws should protect blacks but not whites. We’ve had a dozen black legislators caught committing crimes, and their excuse was to claim racism at being exposed. A couple weeks ago, the race industry starting whining that anyone who doubts Obama’s “certificate of live occupancy” is motivated by racism. . . as apparently are also all Republican challengers and the entire Tea Party. Whoopie Goldberg boldly announced that she intended to milk her race by playing the race card, while her idiot co-worker and producer scanned the crowds at the British royal wedding hoping to find racism in the penumbras of the guest list.

Black NFL players spent the last month claiming that the same criticism they themselves made of white quarterbacks in the draft becomes “motivated by racism” when made against black quarterbacks like charlatan Cam Newton. Black NFL players also whined that the NFL treats these pampered millionaires “like slaves.” Black boxer Bernard Hopkins just attacked black quarterback Donovan McNabb for not being black enough:
“Forget this [points at skin]. . . he’s got a suntan. That’s all. He goes on HBO and talks about being black. The only reason he spoke was because he felt betrayed. ‘I thought I was one of y’all’s guys. I thought I was the good one. Y’all told me this.’ Why do you think McNabb felt he was betrayed? Because McNabb is the guy in the house, while everybody else is on the field. He’s the one who got the extra coat. The extra servings. ‘You’re our boy.’”
In other words, McNabb is an Uncle Tom and a “house nigger” because he wasn’t ghetto-enough, and that's the only kind of black whites will allow to succeed. This same criticism is routinely made of black candidates who don't speak with the "negro dialect" that thrills Harry Reid so much.

So did Obama say, “it’s time we stop denigrating blacks who strive to become a success”? Nope. Did he say, "wait a minute, the law should be colorblind"? Did he tell Whoopie and friends, "racism is a serious charge, don't make it unless it's real"? Did he say, "hey, just because they criticize me doesn't make them racists"? Did he say, "come on, you people broke the law, there's no racism here"? Nope, not a peep.

That’s at least nine teachable moments Obama could have used to defuse black racism by speaking out against it, but he shamefully remained silent. Think about that. One cop in Boston correctly arrests a belligerent black professor and Obama rushes to a camera, but Obama remains mysteriously silent as high profile blacks make false racism allegations, slavery analogies, tell blacks they better get in line or they aren't black, and advocate an apartheid-like legal system of separate and unequal treatment under the law?

Now we have two new teachable moments from this poetry reading shindig the Missus is having at the White House. The problem involves two of the guests invited by Michelle “never felt proud of America before” Obama.

The first guest is Lonnie Rashid Lynn, known by his rapper name “Common.” Common is famous for writing lyrics about killing cops, for using racist and misogynist language, for rapping about other Black Panther murderers, and for singing about burning George Bush. For good measure, he named his daughter after a Black Panther who killed a cop in 1981. And it probably won’t surprise you that Common, like Obama, is a disciple of the hateful, racist Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and like Obama, Common apparently wasn’t paying attention during the hateful parts: “What I picked up from the pews. . . was messages of love.” Then you, sir, are an idiot with serious comprehension problems.

The White House is trying to defend including Common on the guest list on the ludicrous basis that everyone is blowing his lyrics out of proportion and because “he’s spoken very forcefully out against violent and misogynist lyrics.” Yeah, sure.

Common also has one other view that is relevant here. Like George Wallace before him, Common is opposed to miscegenation, i.e. the mixing of races. Indeed, he’s a very vocal opponent of mixed race relationships and believes that black men should not be dating white women. That's called racism when the KKK says it.

And Common won't be lonely at the party because Obama's guest list also includes Jill Scott, a black writer, who also hates miscegenation and “winces” whenever she sees a black man married to a white woman. She says she feels betrayed. Check out her article from Essence:
When our people were enslaved, "Massa" placed his Caucasian woman on a pedestal. She was spoiled, revered and angelic, while the Black slave woman was overworked, beaten, raped and farmed out like cattle to be mated. . . As slavery died for the greater good of America, and the movement for equality sputtered to life, the White woman was on the cover of every American magazine. . . She was unequivocally the standard of beauty for this country, firmly unattainable to anyone not of her race. We daughters of the dust were seen as ugly, nappy mammies, good for day work and unwanted children, while our men were thought to be thieving, sex-hungry animals with limited brain capacity. . . These harsh truths lead to what we really feel when we see a seemingly together brother with a Caucasian woman and their children. That feeling is betrayed.
That’s well beyond the definition of racism and well into the land of “race hate” and paranoia.

If just praising Strom Thurmond (who disavowed such views long before he became a respected Senator) was enough to get blacks outraged at the "racism" of Trent Lott, then there is no possible justification for allowing these two racists onto a White House guest list. They haven't even disavowed their racist views. . . they revel in them. Obama's failure to condemn these two is a pathetic failure of leadership by a man who has no desire to lead blacks from the wilderness in which their hate has taken them. His decision to invite these racists to his table is a disgrace.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Republicans Pushing Boldly Ahead

The November 2010 election was a major triumph for Republicans across the country. Capturing a net six governorships and net 680 state legislative seats (blowing away the post-Watergate record 628 seat swing), Republicans now control 29 governorships and 25 state legislatures (the Democrats control fifteen, ten more are divided or nonpartisan and the other seven are imaginary). So what have the Republicans done with this victory? You might be surprised.

No doubt, you’ve heard about the brouhaha in Wisconsin between Governor Walker and the unions. But that’s only the beginning. Indeed, Wisconsin Republicans are now pushing through their entire agenda before recall elections can rob them of control of their Senate. This includes (1) plans to legalize concealed weapons, (2) deregulation of the telephone industry, (3) expanding school vouchers, (4) undoing early release of prisoners, (5) requiring photo ID from voters before they can vote, (6) circumventing the court imposed stay and stripping public employee unions of their collective bargaining rights, (7) cutting one billion dollars from the budget, and (8) passing a redistricting plan to implement the 2010 census. The consequences of this could be enormous. And Wisconsin is not alone:

● Twenty states are currently taking up or completing measures designed to limit the power of public sector unions. These efforts should ultimately result in a neutering of public sector unions, who use their position to support Democrats, both financially and with volunteers. As an aside, even the Democrats in Massachusetts just took away the unions’ rights to bargain their health care . . . oddly, there were no protests or death threats when the Democrats acted.

● Eighteen states are trying to pass right-to-work laws to join the 22 states that already have them. New Hampshire passed such a law, but it doesn’t look like the Republicans can overcome a veto by the state’s Democratic governor. Right-to-work laws make closed shops illegal and prevent unions from forcing employees to pay union dues. This generally kills off unions once employees are given a genuine choice. Passage of more of these laws could spell the end for private sector unions, who are near death in most states already, and will further cripple the Democratic Party.

● Another thirty states are cracking down on illegal immigration. This has the potential of robbing the Democratic Party of its base of illegal voters.

● Another thirty states are trying to pass laws requiring voters to produce a drivers license or official picture identification before they can vote. Since Indiana’s law on this point was upheld by the United States Supreme Court 6-3 in 2008 (Crawford v. Marion County Election Board), seven other states have enacted similar laws: Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Michigan and South Dakota. Kansas just passed such a law. Ohio’s House has passed a similar law, which is expected to pass their Senate and be signed by the governor. Wisconsin will pass theirs as well. And 27 more are trying.

The Democrats are, of course, furious. They are making all kinds of false claims about the horrible consequences of passing these laws. For example, they are trying to claim this change could cost millions in training costs for poll watchers. Of course, that ignores the fact that poll watchers get training already and adding a line that says “check their drivers license” won’t add a penny. They are claiming this will intimidate minorities, which is also garbage. Any minority “brave enough” to appear at a voting booth should be brave enough to bring their drivers license. They are claiming this will keep people without drivers licenses from voting, which deliberately ignores the fact that each of these laws allows people without drivers licenses to provide alternative proof. . . which, to the horror of angry Democrats, does not include college IDs.

What’s really going on here is that this has the potential of eliminating a good deal of Democratic voter fraud, see e.g. ACORN and Wisconsin, where Democratic groups pretend to be other registered voters. This could eliminate the Democrats' ability to magically find an extra 1-2% during close elections.

● Wyoming and Missouri have barred their courts from applying Sharia law or foreign law.

● And there’s more. Gun rights are being solidified, conservative social policy issues are being passed, taxes are going down, spending is being cut and states are regaining their financial health. And redistricting is starting and it looks like a total disaster for the Democrats.

That's not a bad return on an election that only happened a few months ago.

Naturally, liberals are very upset. They are so upset that liberal mouthpieces like the New York Times are actually encouraging people to sue or protest or do anything else they can to stop these evil Republicans. Even funnier, their most recent talking point has them all whining that this “goes way beyond what Republicans campaigned on. . . they campaigned on jobs. . . not any of this!” Aw, poor babies. I guess elections do have consequences after all.

So, what else have you heard about and what else would you like to see (or not see)?

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Monday, May 9, 2011

2012 Contender: Jon Huntsman Jr.

Let’s continue our look at GOP contenders with a look at Jon Huntsman Jr. Huntsman is routinely described as a “moderate” by some and “not as moderate as he sounds” by others. Some of his views are indeed well within the conservative mainstream. But several of his more important views appear to be on the left end of the spectrum. Also, he's got all the wrong friends.

Huntsman is the former two-term governor of Utah. He is also a Mormon and comes from a wealthy family. His estimated worth is around $70 million. He was first elected in 2004 with 57% of the vote and was re-elected in 2008 with 77.7% of the vote. His approval ratings topped 90% at various points. So far so good. But in August 2009, he resigned to become Obama Ambassador to China. In and of itself, this should not be considered a problem, but in this case, combined with his repeated attempts to make himself out as the “moderate” candidate, this may evidence a man more comfortable with the system than political principle.

1. Economics. When it comes to economics, it’s hard to argue that Huntsman is not a conservative. As governor, he pursued a pro-business agenda of tax cuts and employment incentives. Following his term, Utah was named one of the top three states in the country in which to do business. His biggest achievements in this regard were streamlining state government, cutting the sales tax and simplifying the tax code. In 2008, the libertarian CATO Institute praised Huntsman’s tax policies, giving him the highest ranking of all 50 governors. However, CATO also pointed out that he “completely dropped the ball on spending, with per capita spending increasing at about 10% annually during his tenure.” This may be more consistent with a big business Republican than a conservative.

2. Global Warming. Huntsman believes in global warming and in 2007 signed a Western states pact with Arnold Schwarzenegger to regulate emissions in Utah. He has yet to backtrack on this stupidity.

3. Foreign Policy. It’s not clear what Huntsman’s position is on foreign policy, except that he’s known to believe in the power of diplomacy and he happily accepted the role of Obama’s ambassador to China, a job that essentially involved kowtowing to the Chinese. He praised Obama’s handling of the Osama bin Laden killing, but has yet to take a stand on other issues.

5. Social Issues.
A. Abortion. Huntsman is opposed to abortion and has signed and supported various laws to limit abortion or impose restrictions on abortion. One of these laws requires doctors to describe the pain the fetus is likely to feel to the mothers before they can get an abortion. He also helped establish a fund to defend Utah in court, should Utah ever ban abortion entirely.

B. Gays. Huntsman has riled many conservatives with his support of civil unions. He does not appear to support gay marriage per se.

C. Guns. Huntsman is opposed to gun control and actually supported unpopular bills in Utah to expand gun rights by allowing drivers to carry loaded weapons in their cars without a permit.

D. Immigration. Huntsman described himself as “moderate” on the issue of illegal immigration and has been careful to avoid getting specific. He talks vaguely of wanting “comprehensive reform,” which is generally code for amnesty. While governor, he helped introduce a “driving privilege card system,” which sounds suspiciously like drivers licenses for illegal aliens, he fought to protect in-state discounts for illegal immigrants at Utah colleges, and he worked with Janet Napolitano to expand the guest worker system.
6. The Fuzzy Stuff. Much of the “fuzzy stuff” is troubling with Huntsman. For example, he happily embraces the “moderate” label. That’s not a good sign. Also, he has sought out Bush and McCain advisors for his inner circle, people who have demonstrated they lack political instincts, an understanding of policy, and a set of principles. That’s a huge problem. He’s also the one candidate that many on the left claim is someone they could love. Jimmy Carter and Huffington Post both have high praise for him. That’s truly disturbing. Finally, most of the big players in Utah, even people like the current governor who was hand-picked by Huntsman, have all said they will support Romney over Huntsman. Again, that's not a good sign when the people who know you (and owe you) won't support you.

All told, this seems to add up to a man who favors big business and democratic policies, except in a few isolated instances like abortion and guns, and who is very comfortable within “the system” and would fit in well at the country club.

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

How Far Is Too Far With Anonymous Posting?

One of the greatest things about the internet is also one of the worst things about the internet: anonymity. Anonymity allows people the freedom to say their most truthful and deepest thoughts without fear of social sanction. But it also makes it too easy to express vicious and hateful thoughts and to try to manipulate others. To combat this, people have adopted various tactics -- everything from deleting anonymous comments to the creation of fake posters to refute the haters. But how far is too far?

The incident that raises this question involves Scott Adams. Adams, for those who don’t recognize the name, is the creator of the comic strip “Dilbert.” Adams, who describes himself as a “libertarian minus the crazy stuff,” found himself in trouble in March of 2011 when he wrote a blog post on the topic of men’s rights after his readers suggested that be his next topic.

In typical Adams style, Adams relied heavily on sarcasm as he suggested that men treat women differently for the same reason men treat children or the mentally handicapped differently, i.e. because it is an effective strategy. He then suggested that men should take the path of least resistance when dealing with women. This generated significant outrage both from men’s rights advocates and from feminists, neither of whom can take a joke.

Adams eventually deleted the post after pointing out that people had failed to grasp his use of sarcasm and satire, and he wrote that this furor showed that it was impossible to “have a rational discussion on any topic that has an emotional charge.” But that didn’t end the problem. Following this, Adams found himself subject to repeated nasty criticism on the internet by anonymous posters. Adams responded by creating a fake person (called a “sockpuppet” in internet parlance), who would visit sites like Reddit and Metafilter pretending to be a fan of Adams and would defend Adams. Eventually, he was caught, and in April 2011, he confessed. This unleashed ferocious criticism of his tactic. But was he unjustified?

This is an admittedly complex question and answers that appear clear at first glance turn cloudy very quickly. For example, in general, we shouldn’t condone fraud or deceit. Pretending to be someone else is classic fraud. But then, the entire internet is anonymous, and why should we condemn Adams when we don’t demand to know the identities of the equally anonymous attackers?

Also, if our concern is just his pretending to be someone else, then he could fix that by hiring someone to defend him -- like a public relations firm. But that’s the same thing we call fraudulent when a salesman does it by planting a shill in the audience to talk up their product. So isn’t that just swapping one problem for another? Or should we factor in the difference anonymity makes today? In the past, you had to make your claims in person, which toned them down and gave people a person to judge the allegations against. But not today. Today, people have the power and right to slander you without ever disclosing their real names, much less their motivations. Shouldn’t that grant some leeway in how people choose to fight this threat?

Of course, we should also point out that people should know not to trust what they read from anonymous sources. So caveat reader seems to be the order of the day. But do people really get this? I can tell you from experience that the perception of independence matters, even when it’s a false perception. For example, we’ve seen that a link posted by one of you at Big Hollywood will consistently drive many times the amount of traffic to our site that the same link posted by one of us would. Yet, those visitors have no way to know if any of you is real or if you are just Commentarama sockpuppets. So clearly, there is something to the idea of an independent recommendation that people find attractive, even when there is no way to confirm the independence.

But before we start advocating some new rules, we should also ask: does it matter? Sure, humans tend to believe far too much of what they read. But most of the criticism found on the net is just subjective opinions and falls into the “he said, she said” category which people tend to ignore. Moreover, if either side pushes too far into truly damaging statements, then readers start to suspect a motive. . . that’s how Adams got caught and how the Washington Redskins got caught when they did the same thing -- they pushed too hard in their own defense. Also, massive organizations like Media Matters regularly flood comment streams with pro-leftist posts today, but the public still has turned against Obama and the Progressives. So maybe this type of attack just isn’t very effective?

Ultimately, maybe this whole issue comes down to a bit of a contradiction. For example, I find that I cannot condemn Adams for wrongdoing. He has the right to defend himself. He did nothing more than use the same tools used by his critics to attack him. And he never left the realm of subjective opinion into making false claims about the physical properties of products, i.e. the kinds of things I would see as fraudulent. But at the same time, I can’t condone what he’s done either as it feels dirty. And I have to wonder if maybe the best policy when faced with this kind of attack isn’t simply to challenge the anonymous posters under your own name? People respect that and they tend to give instant credibility to the “known” entity over the unknown attacker. So maybe, the answer was there all along -- Adams should have just stood up for himself as “Scott Adams”?

What do you think?

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

They Should Sell The Naming Rights!

Why would it take 16 hours for Obama to make up his mind once the military brought him the option to take the red or the yellow pill . . . and how many times did people need to slap the yellow pill out of his hand? What could possibly have taken 16 hours to decide? Our sources say it was the operation name. And boy did they miss an opportunity!

According to our sources, the military initially wanted to call this "Operation: Weasel Kill," but Team Obama didn’t think that was respectful enough for a leader like Osama bin Laden. So they decided to name the operation themselves. Sadly, this proved harder than expected.

Hillary first suggested “Operation: Crusader Evader” to highlight that we weren’t at war with Islam. But Obama felt that was still too militant. Hillary then suggested “Operation: I ♥ Islam,” but that was considered inconsistent with certain PR issues currently facing the administration. This spurred the idea of calling it “Operation: This Proves I’m A Christian,” but that was deemed too provocative in that part of the world. . . plus, it wouldn’t fit on the mugs or tee shirts.

Biden then suggested “Operation: De-Toweler” or “Operation: Slurpee Jockey,” but his suggestions were ignored as always.

Then they considered using the operation name to denigrate Bush, but “Operation: Burning Bush” somehow struck them as provocative to Muslims. . . though no one could quite put their fingers on why.

Obama then suggested “Operation: Birther Diverter” but that was considered too obvious. “Operation: Trump Sucks” was rejected for the same reason. “Operation: PXR44378” was considered too impersonal.

Then they hit upon naming this operation after a famous American hero. But who? “Operation: Kennedy” sounded like an assassination, ditto on “Operation: MLK” or “Operation: Lincoln.” “Operation: Washington” wouldn’t play well in flyover country. “Operation: Jefferson” sounded like a sit-com. “Operation: Sacajawea” sounded like a failure.

Finally, it came down to “Operation: Geronimo” or “Operation: Oprah.” Geronimo won it on the coin toss, and it was considered a good choice because no one could possibly be upset by the US government naming an operation to hunt down and kill a terrorist after Geronimo? After all, wasn't he famous for running a casino?

But this was all a missed opportunity. They should have sold the naming rights to someone like Domino's Pizza. Sure, the tee shirts sales with “Obama killed Osama” should be good, but the real money is in selling naming rights! Think about it!
$25 million per minor assassination. . .
$50 million for an air campaign. . .
$100 million for a regional war. . .
$1.2 billion for a world war. . .
Oh yeah, think of the profitably possibilities!

So what would you have named this operation? What else would you sell the naming rights to? What would you have put on the commemorative tee shirts? And did you see they won't release the pictures now? We need an image for the commemorative coin dammit!

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Osama Bin Laden Round Up Post

Osama bin Laden continues to dominate the news cycle, though the enthusiasm for discussing the goat-molester seems to be fading quickly. Hence, we are now in the end game where political theater and side-issues dominate the discussion. So let’s round up all the remaining issues related to Osama and be done with him.

1. Obama the (In)Action Hero: The Democrats are trying VERY hard to turn this Osama death into the moment that saved Obama’s sinking presidency. In fact, they are calling it Obama’s “Defining Moment.” This is pretty funny since he’s already had “Defining Moments” (1) when he spoke in Denver, (2) when he signed the doomed stimulus, (3) when he passed the disastrous ObamaCare, (4) when he failed at Copenhagen, (5) when he made his decision in Afghanistan to announce that we would fight until we would quit, (6) when he finally got around to asking whose ass to kick in the BP incident, (8) when he passed financial (non)regulation, (9) when he wiped out don’t ask don’t tell, (9) when he gave his meandering and pointless State of the Union speech . . . the trains! the trains!, (9) when he signed the new START missile treaty (yawn), and (10) when he let the British and French invade Libya without even mentioning the fact to Congress. Are you seeing a pattern?

To make this one stick, the Democrats are hailing his bravery for giving an order that was suggested to him by the military (seriously, find the leader in the photo above). In fact, if you think about it, this is a pretty silly “defining moment” as all he did was step out of the way and let the professionals do their job.

In any event, this is a futile effort. Depending on the poll, the bounce he’s gotten from this event is around 0% because all the bounces have been within the margin of error. That’s pretty sad, but it’s not unexpected. How exactly does Obama deserve the credit for this? He did nothing more than say, "duh, ok." And in truth, what credit is there anyway? It’s nice that bin Laden is dead, but it really doesn’t change anything as he hasn’t been relevant to Islamic terrorism for a long time now. That's hardly an event to define a presidency.

2. Afghanistan Is Won? Really?: Several articles appeared yesterday where liberal journalists claimed that the death of Osama meant the end of the road in Afghanistan. Apparently, al Qaeda will now be demoralized and quit. Really? And what planet are you idiots from? The Taliban are not al Qaeda, and as anyone who has read the history of the region knows, the Taliban and al Qaeda barely even get along. Why should the death of the bankrupt Osama bin Laden, who had becoming nothing more than a figurehead, lead them to surrender their own country. . . a country they still largely control despite the best efforts of NATO over the past eleven years? Moreover, al Qaeda isn’t the problem in the rest of the Middle East either. Libya = Qaddafi. . . Egypt = the Muslim Brotherhood. . . Saudi Arabia = Wahhabism. . . Palestine = Hamas. . . Iraq = civil war. . . Syria = the Baathist. . . and everywhere equals Iran. The death of bin Laden is viscerally nice, but changes nothing.

3. Twitter For Dummies: Twitter is fast becoming the tool of choice for idiots to expose themselves. The latest is Pittsburgh Steeler Rashard Mendenhall, who exposed himself as a Truther and condemned the people who were celebrating Osama’s death. He specifically claimed that we are acting prematurely because we only know one side of the whole 9/11 story. . . he apparently forget that bin Laden claimed credit for it.

People are now calling for the Steelers to cut Mendenhall. Others are whining that this would violate both his rights of free speech and his (and Osama’s) right of the presumption of innocence. Sigh. Don’t they teach the basics of the constitution anymore? The right to free speech and right to a presumption of innocence are rights you possess vis-à-vis the government. . . not the public. We have every right to fire you, demand your termination, ridicule you and conclude that you are guilty as heck. So please stop complaining that the backlash against your stupidity is somehow a violation of your rights.

4. There’s No Moral Equivalence: Many leftists, like Slate magazine are whining about people celebrating bin Laden’s death and they are equating that with Arabs dancing through the streets when the Twin Towers went down. Give me a break. Anyone equating these two is an idiot, and there is no nicer way to say it. To equate a brief outpouring of joy at the death of a tyrant and murderer with a mass (violent) rally reveling in the murder of 3,000 innocent civilians shows that these commentators simply have no moral compass that lets them judge events with any level of reason. What makes this worse is that these idiots actually think they are morally superior, when the truth is they are morally vacant, bereft of the careful debate of thousands of years of human thinking on morality and ethics.

5. No, There’s Nothing Wrong With Killing Osama: Many leftists, especially pacifists like the Germans, are now worrying that the killing of Osama might not have been legal. On the one hand, I love this because the same monster the Democrats have been feeding for a generation is now eating them. On the other hand, I feel like flying to Germany and slapping these purse-carrying Eurotrash effeteists. Again, what makes this all the more annoying is that they think they’re the ones being morally superior. Yet, their sicko views result in tyranny because they argue against good men and women standing up to tyrants. And their views result in all out war because you can’t kill the handful of tyrants at the top who are calling the shots. So how moral is it to advocate policies that lead to the deaths of millions of people to avoid the shooting of a handful of monsters?

6. Stop Worrying About Inflaming Muslims: Finally, stop worrying about angering Muslims. Muslims respect one principle: might makes right. It’s everywhere in their culture. By kowtowing to their feelings, you are simply showing yourselves to be weak. Secondly, Islamic terror groups will lie no matter what you do, so this idea of being cautious to avoid inflaming the Arab street is pointless. This is like refusing to say anything nasty about Hitler for fear of angering other Nazis. It’s stupid. And finally, stop denying yourself the best weapons in the arsenal -- the ability to exploit their superstitions to terrify them if they choose to take up arms. So you'd rather kill them on the battlefield than scare them away from fighting. How does that make sense?

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Sunday, May 1, 2011

The View: Racist, Hateful and Stupid

The bigoted women of The View are at it again. A few days ago we had Whoopie Goldberg promising to play the race card as much as possible and calling Trump a racist because he dared to raise a legitimate question about Obama’s lack of qualifications. Now we have Sherri Shepherd demonstrating her utterly racist views during her criticism of the royal wedding.

Before we start, let me make this clear: I don’t care about the royals. Royalty means nothing to me except (1) inbreeding, (2) unearned celebrity, and (3) the need of many humans to believe that some people are superior by birth. I don't like any of those things, so you won't see me defending the royals. But I am one to point out the ugliness and racism inherent in liberalism, hence this discussion of The View.

The View is no stranger to racist/sexist controversy. Beside her race card comment, Goldberg cause quite a stir when she claimed that dogfighting was not a big deal because it was just “part of [Mike Vick’s] cultural upbringing.” She later insulted the Chinese using racist stereotypes. She declared that Roman Polanski’s raping a thirteen year old girl wasn’t really “rape-rape.” And she and Sherri Shepherd, the show’s alternative black, both attacked token “conservative” Elisabeth Hasselback when she criticized Jesse Jackson for using the word “nigger.”

On Friday, Sherri Shepherd added to this legacy with the following comment about the royal wedding in Britain: “where are the black people?” Shepherd continued:
“Our producer was looking for the black people in the wedding and we found our Rosa Parks moment, because we were like 'where are the black people'? It was like where's Waldo, where are the black people? We found one little black child in the choir but where's the black people at this wedding?”
This should strike most people as strange right out of the gates, unless you want to believe that most people are so obsessed with race that they sift through crowd photos counting the members of each race.

Moreover, Shepherd’s initial outburst was false. There were indeed blacks at the wedding, as Shepherd eventually mentions. Although, she tries to dismiss this disproof of her claim by saying they were just among “the guests.” And I doubt she would even have mentioned these except they were sitting in a group, which she angrily referred to as being “segregated.” She also leaves no doubt she thinks this was both intentional and nefarious: “I don't know why they put all the black people over here.” But then she smugly added “but they are at the front of the wedding so I ain't complaining, they got in the front.”

This is a fascinating display of abject racism. First, notice the obsession with race when it probably wouldn’t have occurred to most people to go counting the crowd. Secondly, note that in Shepherd’s racist worldview, there better be blacks among the major players, not just the crowd, or something is wrong. Of course, let me point out that there aren’t any Asians, Hispanics, Muslims, Buddhists or men on The View, but somehow that doesn’t bother Shepherd. Further, even if we accept her idea that blacks must be present in proportion to the total population of blacks, she clearly has no idea what that should be. She, like many American blacks, wrongly assumes that they are a large group that should be obvious all over the crowd -- a recent poll found that blacks believe they make up 30% of the population, when they really are only 11% and falling. But in Britain, they are only 2% of the population, which means 2 out of every 100, a number that would not stick out in a crowd and which can easily be found in this crowd. Moreover, this was not a general admission event. You had to know someone to get into this event. . . like your uncle the king. Thus, population percentages are irrelevant.

Further, notice that it bothers her that the blacks she found were “segregated” (even though they were actually mixed with whites). It never dawned on her that the reason the group she saw was “segregated” was they were a group of African royalty. Perhaps they should have forcibly spread these families apart to please the racist eyes of a black American television host? Finally, notice that despite her allegations of racism in the seating, she is placated by the blacks getting the better end of the deal. In other words, this isn’t about a principle like equality, this is about spoils and she's happy so long as she thinks blacks are getting a better deal that whites. That’s racism.

This is the problem with the race industry, they actually think like this. They believe in an apartheid system that requires a perfect distribution according to their views of the percentages of minorities within the population. . . without any regard for the accuracy of their views and they see the goal of this integration to be spoils, not equality. And that's how the Civil Rights Movement became the American Apartheid Spoils System.

Finally, having decided that the wedding was somehow racist, they now felt that they could be vile about the event with impunity. Thus, for example, Joy Behar (who has been accused of anti-Semitism by the Anti-Defamation League; Catholic-bashing by the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights; attacked John McCain; walked out on Bill O’Reilly after he claimed that Muslims were behind 9/11; and who said Republican Senate Nominee Sharron Angle’s campaign ad was “a Hitler youth commercial” before calling her a “bitch”), said this of the Queen (right):
“[She looks like] a bumble bee with a drinking problem. I’ve never seen a Queen wearing yellow, she looks like a taxi cab. Keep that meter running Queenie.”
So now it’s ok to disrespect an 85 year old woman because she shakes? Put another nail in the coffin of the lie that liberals care about people.

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