Thursday, October 27, 2011

European Elfcation

By the Boiler Room Elves

Elves live to travel, especially Boiler Elves. From touring boiler plants in Brazil to fact-finding missions at plush resorts in the Caribbean to top secret visits to an ocketsleigh-ray actory-fay in ina-Chay, we just can’t get enough. In fact, we just returned from London, where we attended the Elf Professional International Cookie Accounting Conference (EPICAC.) The topics this year have been somewhat disheartening:

- Biscuits, Cookies & Shortbread: The Crumbling World of Multi-national Baking
- Emerging Markets and Sugar Quality
- Baked Goods at Tea Time - A Necessity? (an extremely heretical stance even to question, mind you, but not surprising in this day of cutbacks)
As we listened to lectures on chocolate chip depreciation recapture, our minds started to wander, and we found ourselves thinking - does it really matter if Europe collapses?

Europe teeters on the edge. Everything south of Germany is broke. No one wants to throw good Elf Marks after bad Euros. European banks are near collapse. Britain just had riots and now their government is fighting to keep Britons from voting to take back power from Brussels. Government after government seems ready to collapse, and the headlines scream about the end of Europe. Even Alan Greenspan said yesterday that the European Union is doomed to fail.

In our networking sessions at the conference, we met several elves whose lives have changed because of the crisis. One elf from Portugal, well into his maple years, told us he hoped to retire quietly to his kitchen, but was now forced to start anew in the UK. Carlo, an elf from Italy had been happily making a living as an actor until about a year ago. Now he works in England as a waiter. The cookie buyers guilds’ profit forecasts were way down. A consultant from Baker & McElfzie, said his firm had been driven to branch out into teacakes and muffins. (How the mighty have fallen...) Difficult times, my friends, difficult times.

But this is how capitalism works and what Europe doesn’t seem to understand. When people stop buying red and white candy canes, you innovate and give them red and white and green. If the candy cane market dries up altogether, you find something new to do for a living. You don’t wait for another handout from another government because your red-and-white candy cane union needs their 6 weeks of paid vacation and retirement at age 50. The USA never went as far as Europe down that path, and you can see the pain we’re having just trying to back away.

There’s no doubt a collapse of Europe would be bad for stock markets, big companies, European governments, and red-tape makers everywhere. It’s going to get uglier before it gets better, but in the long run, the whole world will be better off if every country just takes its medicine.

Of course, you know the old conventional wisdom -- “as goes Europe, so goes the North Pole.” The North Pole’s Santa-based economy is admittedly highly export oriented and its biggest market is Europe. Even America, the land of the soon to be free again and the home of the Boiler Room Elves does a lot of business with Europe. We elves would like to see Europe grow strong again. Will it take a complete collapse to do set them straight?

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hispanics Foil Democratic Race Dreams

You’ve all heard America is destined to become an Hispanic country, right? The Democrats are in fact counting on that to stay relevant. They’re hoping to get Hispanics to buy into racial identity politics and then vote exclusively for their race-hustling party. But there are three flaws with this plan.
Flaw One: Bad Demographics
The argument works like this: in 1980, there were 30 million Hispanics in the US. By 2000, there were 45 million. If you draw a straight line between those points and extend it to the future, there will be 104 million in 2040 and they will be the new majority. But as I first mentioned in May of last year (LINK), there are serious flaws with this.

First, this assumes Hispanics are having huge numbers of children. The truth is that most of the population growth in Hispanic ranks has been the result of illegal immigration, not from births. Indeed, 12 million of the 15 million growth in the last twenty years was pure illegal immigration. So it’s immigration that matters.

But illegal immigration can’t continue at this rate because Mexico is running out of Mexicans. Mexico accounts for most illegal immigrants. But Mexico’s birthrate is in free fall. In the past decade alone, it has fallen 20% (from 24 birth per 1,000 persons to 19), and it keeps right on falling. Mexico, like Europe, is starting to suffer from a birth shortage and, consequently, a worker shortage. That means there won’t be waves of millions of Mexicans sneaking across the border in each of the next 3-4 decades. So instead of having 104 million Hispanics in 2040 as expected, the US is more likely to have 60 million -- which won’t be anywhere near a majority in a country of 350 million people.
Flaw Two: The Race Baiting Ain’t Working
But even beyond the pending illegal-immigrant-supply shortage, something interesting just happened with the last Census. To the race industry’s horror, “whites” suddenly jumped by 12.1 million people (to 223.6 million or 72% of the population). What could account for this?

What happened is the number of Hispanics who identified themselves as Hispanic went down 5% and the number of Hispanics who identified themselves as “white” increased 5%. Overall, 53% of Hispanics now identify themselves as “white,” while 37% identify themselves as “some other race” (the choice on the form) with the rest selecting other races such as black.

What this means is that Hispanics are doing what the Irish, the Jews, the Polish, and everyone else who is now considered “white” did -- they are identifying with the larger group and trying to fit in. They are joining the melting pot. And American-born children of Hispanics are even more likely to identify themselves as “white.”

This is horrible news for the Democrats, because the whole idea behind racial identity politics is to make people think they are part of an oppressed group. If people see themselves as black, white, Hispanic, etc., then it’s easy to get them believing in group rights. But Hispanics aren’t buying it.
Flaw Three: Escape The Plantation
Finally, there have been a number of articles lately by shocked journalists who can’t understand where all these conservative blacks have come from? It turns out the racist Tea Party got them all elected. Oh my! In fact, these articles have pointed out that in each case where a black (or minority) candidate won a Republican primary, it was with Tea Party backing over an establishment Republican honkey.

In effect, genuine diversity has finally arrived on the right and it’s the Tea Party that caused it because. . . imagine this. . . Tea Party people vote for people whose ideas they like, not people whose color they like! The Democrats are shocked.

This is a huge step toward smashing the idea of racial identity politics in this country. As more and more conservative blacks, Asians, Indians and Hispanics get elected into office, the idea that you need to be a Democrat if you are one of these people will simply fall apart. And that will be the final nail in the coffin of the Democratic Hispanic-America strategy.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

2012 Campaign Weekly Round Up!

Lots of interesting news this week from the 2012 Campaign, one item in particular has me truly fascinated. . . a debate! Then there’s the other stuff. Bachmann continues to implode. Perry offers a plan to entrench liberalism. Santorum has indigestion. And George Will slapped Mitt Romney. Read on. . .

Item One: Lincoln Douglas II (electric boogaloo)! The big COOL news is this: Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain have agreed to engage in a “modified Lincoln-Douglas debate” in Texas on November 5.

Bill O’Sullivan, the treasurer of the Texas Tea Party Patriots explains that: “We initially wanted a forum with all of the candidates. But when we heard Gingrich say he wanted a more serious debate, like the Lincoln–Douglas debates, we wanted to do that, especially since watching the recent superficial debates has been frustrating.”

The debate will involve both men going back and forth, “in a respectful way,” with no moderator. Sadly, no network has agreed to broadcast this debate (HINT: INTERNET BILL!!!), but I would LOVE to see this.

Item Two: Flatsnake Oil Rick Perry. Last week Rick Perry told us he wants a flat tax. This week he finally released the rate. Who knows what next week's fortune cookie might bring?! His plan apparently calls for a 20% flat tax with a $12,500 deduction per individual OR household (plus all the usual deductions). This is a HORRIBLE idea:
○ 1) This makes the problem of 47% of Americans not paying any taxes much worse. This plan takes at least another 48 million people off the tax roles, which increases the number who pay no taxes to 62%. Way to entrench liberalism Rick!

○ 2) This doesn’t produce anywhere near the income needed. Hence, it is fantasy meant to dazzle you only. Do not take internally.

○ 3) This creates a massive marriage penalty, something Republicans worked for decades to fix.

○ 4) Perry's deductions only apply if you aren't rich, which he defines as making $500,000 a year. In other words, Perry plays right into the Democrats' class warfare strategy.

○ 5) Ricky also doesn't address what constitutes income or valid deductions, which is where people with lobbyist blood (like Perry) make sure their friends like GE pay no taxes.
Somebody drag Rick back to Texas before he hurts himself.

Item Three: Irritable Bowel. Ricky Santorum says a Ron Paul nomination would “give me indigestion.” Ironically, that’s how I feel about Santorum. . . only the pain would be lower and involves too many tacos. In fact, I would prefer the rollercoaster of a Paul presidency and his attempts to dismantle the government to the stifling idiocy of a Santorum presidency and his Jihad against the scary, essence-sapping homosexuals in our midsts.

Item : Mutiny On The Bachmann. For months now, Bachmann has been experiencing a steady flow of staffers quitting her campaign. Many have taken the highly-unusual step of calling her a liar on the way out. Indeed, I recall one of her senior Congressional staffers very politely explaining that he still supported her, but he just got sick of trying to explain away her constant lies and fictions to the press.

Now Bachmann’s entire New Hampshire staff has quit on her and badmouthed her in the process. She promptly went on the radio and denied this had happened and tried to blame other campaigns for smearing her, going so far as to say that she had “called the New Hampshire staff” and they “said that isn't true.” This was yet another lie. So yesterday, the ex-staff released a letter in which they describe the campaign as “rude, unprofessional, dishonest, and at times cruel.”

Item : Duller Than Dirt Squared. George F. Will has always struck me as the dullest man alive. In fact, I’m pretty sure the first question doctors ask about coma patients is “were they listening to Will?” So when the Willster tells you someone else is dull, you should listen. You’ve probably stumbled upon the essence of dull, or at least dull extract. Will just slammed Mitt Romney by describing him as the GOP’s own Michael Dukakis: “[Cain] is rising as more and more Republicans come to the conclusion that the Republican Party has found its Michael Dukakis -- a technocratic Massachusetts governor running on competence, not ideology.” Ouch! Careful George, Mitt might strongly disagree with your premise in a very stern letter.

Item : Rolling In The Mud. I can't tell you how little I respect Karl Rove. If he gives you an opinion, you can put money on it being wrong. He’s now after Herman Cain because that's how Rove stays relevant. To that end, he’s declaring Cain “finished” because of five “gaffes” Cain supposedly made. Three of these involve foreign policy minutia, which doesn’t resonate with people. And the other two are Rove’s interpretation of Cain’s statements and require you to assume Cain doesn’t know the difference between “pro-life” and “pro-choice” and doesn’t understand his own 9-9-9 plan. Obviously, this is bull.

However, Herm is making a mistake: he’s letting the establishment’s yammering heads get him frustrated and he’s shooting back. Cain needs to ignore them and stay positive -- counterattacking should be done by Cain's friends, not Cain. When the candidate gets dragged down into the mud, they cannot win no matter what they say. So let the pigs like Rove wallow . . . no one listens to them anyway.

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Should The Democrats Embrace OWS?

OccupyWallStreet (OWS) is the new Tea Party, right?! That’s what the Democratic Party wants to believe. But are the Democrats making a mistake embracing these idiot malingerers sleeping in their own feces. Yep. And now one Democratic pollster is alarmed.

The Democrats have been busy embracing the OWS “movement” because they think this represents a leftist Tea Party. They think OWS can be transformed into a broad national movement which will energize dispirited Democratic voters, just as the Tea Party breathed life into conservatives. Thus, Pelosi, Obama, Frank and the rest are out there praising these idiots and trying to reshape their confused message into standard Democratic talking points.

But things aren’t going so well. An AP poll the other day found that only 39% of the public supports the OWS protestors, and that poll's sample was skewed about 17% to the left. Moreover, almost all of that 39% comes from Democratic and Socialist ranks. So is it really a good idea for the Democrats to embrace OWS?

That’s what Democratic pollster Douglas Schoen wanted to find out. So he sent a researcher wading into the crowds (presumably in a biohazard suit) to conduct face to face interviews with 198 of them. What he found was not a new Tea Party of the left. Instead, he found an angry bunch of clueless leftists who hate you. And he thinks Obama/Pelosi are making a “critical error in embracing” these fools and it could cost them the election:
[T]he Occupy Wall Street movement reflects values that are dangerously out of touch with the broad mass of the American people. . . . What binds a large majority of the protesters together is a deep commitment to left-wing policies: opposition to free-market capitalism and support for radical redistribution of wealth, intense regulation of the private sector, and protectionist policies to keep American jobs from going overseas.
Specifically, he found they have a distinct hard-core leftist ideology:
● More than half of these protestors (52%) are professional protestors.

● 98% support civil disobedience to achieve their goals and 32% support violence.

● Schoen found no Republicans or conservatives. 50% are Democrats, socialists or anarchists. Most of the rest claimed no party. But 74% of them voted for Obama in 2008, and about the same are likely to vote for him again in 2012. The other quarter say they won’t vote at all in 2012.

● 77% want to raise taxes on “the rich” and 36% want to raise taxes on everyone.

● 73% oppose free trade and support protectionism.

● 65% think government has a “moral responsibility” to provide guaranteed healthcare and college education.
And check out these views as well:
● 40% blame corporations or capitalism for the nation’s problems. Another 6% blame “income inequality”, which is a proxy for “capitalism” on the left.

● 7% blame the nation’s problems on Bush.

● 2% blame military spending.

● 15% blame the American people, those fools.

● 2% blame the Tea Party.

● And strangely, 21% blame “partisanship”. . . said the highly partisan crowd. I actually interpret this either as a code word for imposing a single-party government or they think this is what the public wants to hear.
Their goals include:
● 4% Dissolution of our representative democracy/capitalist system

● 4% Radical redistribution of wealth

● 7% Direct Democracy

● 9% Mobilizing Progressives

● 4% Single payer health care

● 4% Pulling out of Afghanistan immediately
They're hypocrites too. They claim to speak for the unemployed but 85% are employed or students. They claim to oppose Wall Street, yet 49% supported TARP. They claim to hate capitalism, but 68% want more money.

Finally, we have this entertaining note. Apparently, the OWS drummers are upset. The fascists who run the leaderless protest “are becoming the government we’re trying to protest,” whined a 19-year old, feces-covered inbred. “They’re imposing a structure on the natural flow of music,” said another pothead, before he added this bit of racism: “They suppressed people’s opinions. I wanted to introduce a different proposal, but a big black organizer chick with an Afro said I couldn’t.”

What has upset them? Apparently, the OWS organizers have imposed a “tax” and are taking the money the drummers are “earning” fleecing passing idiots. This has upset the drummers, who feel they aren’t getting anything in return for the taxes being taken from them. . . no irony there, nope, none at all.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Our Overseas Military Presence

To give you a quick update on the 2012 election, Perry now claims he wants a flat tax at some unknown rate. Perry's supporters seem really blind to how poorly he’s coming across. Cain says he will go on the attack in the next debate because the other candidates “are getting on my last nerve.” Palin thinks Newt won the other night. And Politico wants to convince us that the race is between Perry and Romney. But the guy I want to talk about today is Paul.

In the last two debates, Paul has said the US has 900 military bases overseas in 130 countries. This struck me as likely true, but also highly misleading, as I will explain.

Looking this up, I found the US actually has military personnel in 148 different countries. That doesn’t surprise me. We also have 662 installations outside the country. That doesn’t surprise me either. And I’m not going to quibble about 900 versus 662: either number is huge and within the same order of magnitude.

So Paul is correct, right? Sort of. He is technically correct about the numbers. But I think he is implying something much bigger than the reality. When Paul says the military has bases in these countries, it sounds a lot like we have an active military presence sitting on self-contained “bases” in almost every country. In effect, it sounds like we have occupied every country in the world.

But that’s not really what is going on. The truth is that only 13 countries host more than 1,000 troops: Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Japan, Bahrain, Djibouti, South Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait. Most of the rest have only a handful of troops, typically in single digits.

So what are they doing? That’s impossible to determine for sure, but most likely they are guarding embassies. There are about 30 Marines at the embassy in Moscow, plus some other officers from the other services. So let’s exclude any country with fewer than 40 military personnel from this list on the assumption they are just embassy staff.

Suddenly we are only in 19 countries, 13 of which are in Europe. . . where we are part of NATO.

The 662 bases is misleading too. All but 32 of those bases are either small sites or owned on paper only. For example, some of these sites are apparently nothing more than unmanned radio towers. One site listed in Canada is only 144 square feet -- a 12x12 room, just like our “base” in North Korea is just a room with two guards assigned.

Thus, when Paul says we have 900 military bases overseas in 130 countries, he is technically correct (give or take). But what he’s really should be saying to not be misleading is: we have 32 military bases overseas in 19 countries. That doesn’t quite have the same punch.

I don’t subscribe to isolationism at all. Isolationism is a horrible policy because it eliminates your ability to control your destiny and it turns you into a victim of circumstance. And ignoring a bully never works.

But I do agree with Paul to this extent -- I would like to see a stronger analysis on why we are in each region. I get Asia, for example. If we pulled out of Asia, China would dominate the region, Japan would re-arm and go nuclear, and war would probably break out in the Koreas, between China and Taiwan, and between China and Vietnam. That would be very bad for the US. And I understand we’re in Europe mainly to keep bases needed to transport troops. But why are we in Africa, South America or throughout the Middle East?

I think those are valid questions.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Jokers To The Left of Me, Clowns To The Right

Last night’s debate was a disgrace. Newt tried to blame CNN at the end for using a back and forth format that encouraged bickering. He’s wrong. CNN had nothing to do with it. Several candidates (including Newt) made conscious decisions to act like jackasses. They acted disgracefully and honestly need to drop out.

Winner: Obama. The big winner last night was Obama as the Republicans as a group came across like liars, fools and angry children. Also, our biggest idiots (Santorum, Bachmann) both fell for Obama’s Iran-Mexico diversion even as everyone else on the planet has decided Holder made it up. Bravo.

Not Loser: Mitt Romney. If you look at Romney in isolation, he came across as knowledgeable and well-briefed, and defended himself well. On the minus side, I don’t recall anything he said and he never came across as conservative. But the real problem last night was the nastiness of the entire debate. This was a debate filled with cheap shots, lies, unprofessional conduct and childish behavior. Even though his performance was solid, Romney gets downgraded for guilt by association because no one looked good. I do, however, give Romney a slight win over Cain because Romney seemed more in control.

Not Loser: Herman Cain. Cain was smart, knowledgeable and relentlessly positive. He defended himself well and always remained a gentleman. He displayed his sense of humor about electrifying the fence to Mexico and during the unfair attacks on his 9-9-9 plan. He proposed a real healthcare solution (not just “repeal ObamaCare”), i.e. allowing insurance across state borders, loser pays laws, and allowing patients and doctors to make decisions. And he refused to apologize for telling the OccupyWallStreet kids that it’s their own fault they don’t have jobs -- he said they should blame Obama, not bankers.

But the mud was too thick last night. Each of the others used numbers from a leftist think tank and liberal arguments to attack his 9-9-9 plan. It was bizarre to hear conservative Ron Paul defend progressive tax rates. Bachmann and Santorum falsely claimed Cain’s sales tax is a VAT. Newt pretended it was hopelessly complex. And Romney and Perry tried to mix in state taxes to confuse the plan. Essentially, seven supposed conservatives either knowingly lied or used the liberal ideas they have themselves criticized to attack a solidly conservative plan. Even worse, these attacks were done in smarmy, condescending ways. It was shameful. I thought the pile-on effect hurt Cain, though CNN's Gloria Borger thought Cain defended himself extremely well.

A bigger problem came when he suggested he would negotiate with terrorists. He actually said he would consider a hostage trade for a captured American soldier depending on the circumstances -- and the truth is every leader negotiates with terrorists. But since this was hypocrite night, the others jumped on this even though they would do the exact same thing. Cain backpedaled. He should have stood his ground. The public can accept views with which they disagree, but they don’t like backpedaling. Cain also seemed to backpedal on the TARP issue. He says he supported the concept, but not the execution. Personally, I don’t think that plays well for a man who is known as a straight shooter.

Ron Paul: Not much new to report here. Paul wants to bring the troops home from Korea and Japan, causing an arms race in Asia. Other than that, he was mostly right all night, but still 10% insane. Last night’s secret word was “inflation.”

Loser: Newt. Newt reminded us why people don’t like or trust him. He claims to be an outsider, yet he attacked Cain’s 9-9-9 plan and then advocated “targeted” tinkering with the current code instead. Welcome back to K Street Newt, we missed you.

Then he got caught lying about supporting the individual mandate for health insurance when he attacked Romney for including such a mandate in RomneyCare. Romney shot back saying he got the idea from Newt. Newt acted outraged and called that “a lie.” Except it wasn’t. Newt danced for a while and then had to admit he did in fact support and advocate the idea. And he tried to explain his lie away by saying Romney had falsely said “Newt” came up with the idea when it was really “Newt AND the Heritage Foundation.” Only a corrupt politician would think that’s a valid distinction.

Newt also pandered to the Religious Right by saying he wouldn’t trust anyone who doesn’t pray. . . though he didn’t specify how many minutes of prayer are required. Finally, he tried to blame Anderson Cooper for his own misbehavior and that of the other children.

Total Loser: Rick Perry. Perry’s performance was pathetic. He interrupted and spoke over people. He took nasty cheap shots all night and even went back to the same ones after they were discredited. He got booed repeatedly. He kept talking about his “plan,” which he apparently released last week or might release next week, depending on which Perry you believe. The only economic idea he could mention was drilling for oil. He tried to attack Romney for hiring illegal aliens, which turned out to be a contracted lawn service and then tried to leverage this into making himself sound tough on illegal immigration -- until Romney pointed out that Perry wrote an editorial supporting amnesty. Perry also got caught lying about supporting TARP. He tried to blame all of Texas’ problems on the federal government, but offered no solutions. He smugly tried to redefine conservatism to fit him. And he tried to go toe to toe with Romney in verbal gotcha and got destroyed. The boy is stoopid. Rick needs to find an exit strategy pronto.

Total Loser: Michele Bachmann. Bachmann is proving to be a politician in the worst sense. She's a clueless hypocrite who doesn't understand the Constitution. She's incapable of answering direct questions. Her whole platform depends on emotional appeals based on irrelevancies. And worst of all, she speaks in disingenuous generalities and then attacks anyone who won’t ante up to her pandering. Here are some examples.

She attacked Cain’s 9-9-9 plan for being too extreme and then proposed eliminating the entire tax code. Huh? And as usual, she gave no hint what she would replace it with. Why? Two reasons. First, she doesn’t have a clue. Secondly, the only thing it could be replaced with is a sales tax. . . like the one she keeps slamming Herman Cain for proposing. Also, despite being a former attorney for the IRS (which actually means nothing -- she was just a debt collector), she doesn’t understand the difference between corporate income tax, a sales tax and a value added tax. And after attacking Cain's 9-9-9 plan for “raising taxes on millions of people,” she then said she wants 100% of Americans to pay taxes -- which would raise taxes on at least 145 million people. Also note that she hasn't proposed even a hint of a plan how she would do this.

Bachmann jumped on Cain for the supposed “negotiate with terrorists” thing even after he clarified his statement and denied that’s what he meant. Then she tried to one-up herself by stupidly claiming she’s so tough she wants to demand “reimbursement” from Iraq and Libya for what it cost us to invade both countries -- that's how World War II started.

She also dubiously claimed she will ban immigrants from getting “any government benefits” (which would violate the Constitution) and she equally dubiously claimed she could fix the “anchor baby” problem through legislation without changing the 14th Amendment.

Total Loser: Rick Santorum. Santorum is a disgrace. He's a whiny fake who tries to disrupt the other candidates by talking over them, by mischaracterizing their statements and plans, by hitting them with liberal talking points, and by making illogical, disingenuous, contradictory and hypocritical attacks. All he’s done is poison the debates. And for the record, while Rick claims he’s the only one ever to win in a swing state (cough cough Romney and Bachmann) and he claims he did better than Bush, let me remind you how his last election went: 2006 Bob Casey 59%, Rick Santorum 41%. Get bent Rick.
What really struck me last night was the difference between the professional politicians and the businessmen. The businessmen kept trying to promote their ideas and tried to stay positive, though Cain succeeded more than Romney at that. The professionals (excluding Paul) used gotcha questions, false logic, cynical emotional appeals, lies, distortions and distinctions so fine they were nonexistent. They were angry. They offered nothing but the same old, same old. And frankly, it made me sick watching them. Am I wrong?

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Analysis: Cain's 9-9-9 Plan

A couple of you have asked that we provide more detail on Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan. With another debate tonight (join us for another play by play), now is a good time to discuss the Hermanator’s plan.

Here’s how the plan works:
● Businesses would pay a flat 9.1% tax on gross income less purchases from other US located businesses, capital investment and net exports.

● Individuals would pay a flat 9.1% tax on income, less charitable deductions.

● A 9.1% national sales tax would be created to make up lost revenue.
Here are the reasons this is a good plan:
● The elimination of deductions ends the incestuous relationship between Big Business and government where Big Business buys politicians who insert deductions into the tax code to allow companies like GE to declare record profits and yet pay $0 in tax.

● This plan ends the economic misallocations caused by the current code because it eliminates the deductions which encourage people to hide their income. It does not give preferences to savings or consumption, capital or labor, or dividends verses income growth. In effect, the government gets out of the business of telling people how to structure their economic lives.

● It reduces the disincentive to work because it lowers payroll taxes. And it boosts the incentive to work, hire and buy new equipment because it lowers the overall tax rates for those activities.

● It encourages spending on American goods and services as only those can be deducted. And it encourages exports.

● This forces everyone to pay taxes, i.e. it broadens the tax base. Right now 47% of the public pays no tax, but gets government benefits. That needs to change to change the incentive these people have to keep demanding bigger government. Making them pay taxes goes a long way toward that.
Here are the arguments against:
This will create a hidden Value Added Tax! Europe uses the VAT because VATs can be raised without people knowing. But this isn’t a VAT. This is a sales tax and would only apply to the sale of new goods or services to end users. In other words, whereas a VAT gets added at each level, a sale tax only gets added once. Moreover, you would see this tax on your receipts -- something you don’t get with a VAT.

This weekend Cain admitted that some people will pay more under his plan. So what? Finding a plan under which no one pays more but revenues remain about the same is an impossibility.

Idiot liberal: “Poor people will pay more!!” Idiot progressive: “The evil rich will pay less!!” A lot of information is being produced to claim this plan shifts the tax burden from the rich to the poor, but that's all fake -- it's based on unreal assumptions about what the rich and poor pay now (like assuming GE actually pays taxes) and it assumes neither rich nor poor will change their behavior in response to the plan. The truth is the 47% of people who currently pay no taxes will pay more. The others (the productive 53%) will pay less. And frankly, that doesn't bother me in the least.

Grover Norquist: “This raises taxes!!” Grover is again equating the elimination of all those deductions with tax hikes. But if we accept Grover’s logic, then we are trapped in the current tax code forever. What a tool.

The plan doesn’t raise enough money! Opponents scored the plan and claim it will only raise $2 trillion, not $2.2 trillion as Cain claims. Frankly, that’s more accurate than anything else proposed by Congress. But more to the point, this is standard static scoring where they just take current spending/ income and apply the new rates. They did not determine whether people would work more once they can keep more of their income (they would) or whether people would spend more once they have more income to spend (they would). (They did the same thing to criticize Reaganomics.) No one knows what this plan would actually bring in, but if the critics are claiming $2 trillion, expect it to do much better in reality.
But there is one more problem with the plan. . . this plan ain’t happenin. Our government is specifically designed to prevent radical ideas from being implemented and this plan is deeply radical. This plan would require a complete change in the way Washington works, and that will upset too many vested interest. For example:
● K Street will lose most of its business with the end of the deductions in the tax code.

● The poverty lobby will lose its cherished progressive tax.

● Most tax attorneys and tax accountants would lose their jobs.

● All the people who currently use deductions (everything from home owners to GE) will try to save their own deductions.

● Businesses will whine about the sales tax hurting their sales.

● Foreign countries will complain about “predatory taxation” designed to steal businesses.
That’s too much opposition for Congress to do something this radical. The Democrats will cling like grim death to the old system, as will many Republicans. Still, this plan tells us a lot about Cain and his goals and it is a worthwhile goal.

P.S. Check out Herman Cain singing about pizza: Not, I'm not kidding

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Immigration: Reality Strikes Liberals Again

If you haven't seen it yet, my latest article is up at Big Hollywood (Click Me).

Sometimes it’s amazing how daft leftists can be. We spent more money than we could afford and now we’re broke? How did that happen?! We tax rich people and they send their money overseas. Nobody could have seen that coming!! We let criminals out of jail and somehow the crime rate soars?! How? Now liberals have discovered that massive immigration depresses wages. Ya think?

While Britain’s Labour Party was in power between 1997 and 2010, they threw open the immigration doors to let pretty much anyone who wanted into Britain into the country. Part of this had to do with new European Union rules which allowed free movement from Eastern Europe and part of it was leftist political correctness which sought to de-British Britain.

To give you a sense of how open the doors got, consider these figures:
● Between 1980-1991, the UK lost an average of 42,000 people each year.
● Between 1992-1995, the UK gained 9,200 immigrants per year.
● Between 1996 and 2010, under Labor, the UK gained 178,000 per year.
A couple weeks ago, a report was released, which had been commissioned by Labor when it was in power and then suppressed, because Labour didn’t like its conclusions. In fact, they ran around telling the public the exact opposite of what the report found. But now the truth has come out.

According to this report, this wave of immigrants flooding Britain depressed British wage and “undercut” British workers. You don’t say?! It was so bad in fact, the Labour Party has had to admit Labour “got it wrong” on immigration and concedes this “had a big effect on people in Britain.” Great. . . now explain why you kept lying about it?

But can they seriously claim they had no idea this would happen? Assume you make widgets and you need a new worker. In Room A, there are two potential employees. . . they look surly. In Room B, there are 500 potential employees. Do you think you will end up paying more if you hire from Room A or Room B? It’s pretty obvious isn’t it? Yet, somehow it was never obvious to liberals that flooding Britain with workers, i.e. turning Britain’s labor market from Room A into Room B, would have a negative effect on the workers already in the country? How stupid do you need to be not to see that coming? Oh, that’s right, liberals don’t think about the future, they assume there are no unintended consequences.

Britain has shown that the consequence of importing a ton of labor are very clear. It will increase the competition for jobs, which will result in wages being depressed because there are more people bidding for the same number of jobs.

Now let's look at America. We are letting people in at three times the rate the British were when they “got it wrong”. . . we are letting enough people into this country every year to populate Denver, Colorado. That’s unsustainable.

The Democrats support this because they think these immigrants will vote Democrat, which will overcome the white flight their party has experienced. But what do they think the effect will be on the wages of blacks, Hispanics and uneducated whites.... the very groups the Democrats claim to want to help? The fools currently squatting outside Wall Street want this too (check out Bev’s article on their list of demands). Those idiots want both (1) a hike in wages and (2) open borders. But of course, those are contradictory demands because once you open the borders, wages will crash. Not surprisingly, Big Business wants this too because it keeps their costs down.

Talk about an unholy alliance!

I'm all for immigration, but there need to be limits. Clearly, three times the British level is too much.

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Primer: Obama/Holder v. Iran

I figured you might like a primer on the new Iranian issue, as it’s all over the headlines and it’s an issue which could actually lead to war if mishandled -- although that’s extremely unlikely. Here’s what’s up:

What Happened: On Tuesday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the DEA and FBI had foiled a plot to murder the Saudi Arabian ambassador and blow up the Saudi and Israeli embassies. This plot was supposedly masterminded by Iran’s “elite” Quds military unit. The Quds are a special unit within Iran’s Revolutionary Guard whose job it is to “export” Iran’s Islamic revolution to other countries.

According to Holder, Manssor Arbabsiar (a Corpus Christi, Texas car salesman) was tasked by the Iranian government with finding someone to carry out the killing and the bombings. Arbabsiar turned to the nastiest of the Mexican drug cartels, Los Zetas, a group of former special forces soldiers who started their own cartel. I wrote about Los Zetas here: LINK. Arbabsiar wanted Los Zetas to do both the killing and the bombings and he wanted them to agree to funnel tons of opium from the Middle East into Mexico.

However, the person Arbabsiar contacted turned out to be a DEA informant. Whoops.

Team Obama’s Response: The administration accuses Iran and describes this as: “a dangerous escalation of Iran's long-scale use of violence.” The reason they claim Iran did this was “the Iranians watch the Saudis roll tanks in Bahrain, and they see a key ally in Syria going down, so they step up the Quds Force.”

Joe Biden has been sent forth from the Idiotorium to take the lead on this. He described this as “really over the top” and said it was “an outrage that violates one of the fundamental premises on which nations deal with one another.” He also said that “no options have been taken off the table” for dealing with this, though the administration has already ruled out military action. Instead, they are considering sanctions, the standard response by liberals when they don’t know what to do.

The Saudi Response: Saudi Arabia and Iran are bitter regional rivals largely because their versions of Islam consider the other to be heretics. The Saudi embassy said this was “a despicable violation of international norms, standards and conventions,” and their former head of intelligence said Iran will have to “pay the price.” They have not been more specific yet. However, Saudi Arabia does not have a military capable of defeating Iran.

The Iranian Response: For its part, Iran denies involvement. They told the UN they are “outraged” and “strongly and categorically reject these fabricated and baseless allegations, based on the suspicious claims by an individual.” Tehran claims Obama has fabricated this to “divert attention from the Wall Street uprising.” Ha ha! They also repeated claims the US has assassinated Iranian nuclear scientists in the past two years.

For the record, the only link so far to Iran is that the car dealer apparently is a cousin of someone in the Qud and he visited Iran right before $100,000 was wired into the informant’s account by the car dealer. The FBI claims this was wired from a Qud bank account.

The World Reaction: The world reaction has been skeptical. Iranian experts say that Arbabsiar does not fit the profile of the typical Iranian agent, who tend to be professionals. And they say it’s unlikely Iran would be behind such a plot. Similarly, an Iranian expert in Berlin said these claims would be viewed with skepticism as “everyone is extremely skeptical about US intelligence revelations” and added, “I don’t regard it as impossible but rather improbable, even if the details of the story presented by the attorney general are essentially true.”

One western diplomat said: “I don't believe Iran's regime was behind the plot. If we assume it was Iran's plot, it would seem like a group of professional gangsters hiring a careless agent for their most important project. It's impossible.”

Even a senior American law enforcement official said (on condition of anonymity) that the US isn’t quite sure what this was and it was likely a “rogue plan. . . so outside their normal track of activity.”

Some Questions: This all leaves us with some odd questions. If we assume Holder is correct, then what will Obama do about it? Even Clinton dropped a few cruise missiles on Sudan after the embassy bombings in Africa. So Obama can’t just pretend this didn’t happen.

But if Holder is wrong, then is he simply wrong or is there more to this?

I never like conspiracies as an answer, especially when there are more likely answers -- such as this guy just being a nut job. But it is extremely coincidental that the day after Darrell Issa starts talking about subpoenaing Holder to answer for what are likely criminal acts related to Fast and Furious, that Holder manages to unveil a huge distraction involving the very elements of Fast and Furious -- DEA, drugs, Mexican cartels and cross border crime. This is one of those coincidences you can’t put in films or people will lose their suspension of disbelief.

My normal response would be to trust professional law enforcement. BUT we’ve already seen how compromised they’ve been by Democratic Justice bosses, such as when Janet Reno ordered the Branch Davidian attack to show that she was tough or the Elian Gonzalez deportation to show Castro goodwill or Holder’s actions in Fast and Furious itself, where potentially hundreds of lives have been taken or destroyed by Holder’s attempt to use the ATF for political purposes. Trust is in short supply here.

So I think we should keep an open mind at this point and not assume anything unless and until strong, verifiable, independent proof is provided.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Yet Another Debate Wrap Up

Last night saw yet another fascinating Republican debate. Most of the attacks were on Cain or Romney. Perry attacked Romney as did Bachmann. Paul and Santorum attacked Cain. Huntsman focused on Perry. Gingrich focused on the Fed. Romney focused on Obama. Cain focused on his own plans. And the moderators attacked Romney, Cain and Perry. In the end, I think Cain was a huge winner, even though that may not be immediately apparent, and the race is now between Romney and Cain.

Cain: Cain needed to show he could take the pressure of being number two. He did. At no point did he fall flat on his face or lack for answers. His two worst moments came:
● When a moderator asked why he told the unemployed it was their own fault they didn't have jobs. This mischaracterized Cain’s comment, which was aimed at the idiots squatting on Wall Street, but it still sounded bad and his explanation wasn’t particularly strong.

● When Ron Paul attacked him for being on the Kansas City Fed, Cain gave an ok (not great) answer that the Fed didn’t act then like it does now. That won’t satisfy Fed-deniers.
Cain defended other attacks quite nicely, such as:
● When a moderator attacked Cain’s 9-9-9 plan for raising only $2 trillion in revenues instead of the $2.2 trillion claimed, Cain shot back with one of the best lines of the night: “The problem with that analysis is that it’s incorrect.”

● When a moderator attacked Cain’s 9-9-9 plan for being “regressive” and making “food and milk and beer” more expensive, Cain made the solid point that eliminating the payroll tax would more than offset that. I like that he didn't apologize for imposing a “regressive” tax.

● When Romney attacked Cain’s 9-9-9 plan for being too simple and claiming simple is not good, Cain turned this on Romney by asking him if he knows all 59 points in his own plan. Romney didn’t and instead came up with the “7 pillars” of his plan and thereby proved that simple is better.

● Several of the underlings jumped on the idea Cain’s 9-9-9 plan would give Congress a new source of revenue by creating a national sale tax, but this only emphasized how deeply entrenched in the system their mindsets are. Following their logic, we shouldn't try anything.
Cain had a brilliant line too: “The capital gains tax is a wall that stands between people with ideas and people with money.”

Cain didn’t blow anybody away, but he did show solid skills and he proved he won't trip himself up. He also did such a masterful job of selling his 9-9-9 plan that every other candidate talked about it constantly, as did the moderators, and it even came up in questions that didn’t involve him. He made his 9-9-9 plan THE take away from this debate and that will prove to be a huge win, even if it isn’t immediately obvious.

Romney: Romney just needed to be smooth and for the most part he succeeded. BUT the problem with Romney was on full display again last night. He would say something great and then he would keep talking until he backtracked out of it. He also imploded during the TARP question because he danced so long around whether he would do another Wall Street bailout that it became clear not only that he would do another bailout, but it was also clear he was trying to lie to us.

Newt also had a solid hit on Romney by pointing out that “on page 47” of his plan (a slap at Romney’s inability to describe his 59 point plan) Romney plays into Obama’s class warfare argument by promising capital gains tax cuts “to people who don’t have capital gains.” Romney missed Newt’s point and tried to defend this by saying he favors the middle class because the rich can take care of themselves. . . conceding Obama's case.

In the plus category, Perry took a shot at Romney over RomneyCare being like ObamaCare, but Romney’s defense was even better this time than last: (1) we didn’t raise taxes like Obama does, (2) we only insured poor people, we didn’t try to force everyone onto it, (3) this is a state issue, and (4) Massholes like the system 3-1. Whether those are true points or not, they remained un-refuted and made this a dead issue.

Romney also had a great shot at Perry, Bachmann and Huntsman when he said, “I would not be in this race if I had spent my whole life in government.” He then detailed some of the companies he founded.

Perry: Perry really needed to shine to stop his nosedive. He failed. He barely spoke last night and when he did it was all generic. In particular, he mishandled his pending economic plan. He didn’t seem to know what’s in it and he just kept promising that he would release it soon as if he didn’t want to spoil the surprise. When it was pointed out that he should be able to tell us what’s in it, he responded with a very bad answer, claiming he’d only had eight weeks to work on it, whereas Romney’s had six years. Frankly a candidate who understands what they believe can detail an economic plan off the top of their head.

The moderators also smacked Perry by saying that the way Texas develops business is similar to Solyndra. Perry’s response was basically “everybody’s doin’ it,” which will only add more fire to the cronyism charge.

Paul: Ron Paul had another bad debate. He had little to say as Newt stole his thunder. When he spoke, he made good points, but they weren’t memorable.

Gingrich: Newt was the most interesting last night. He repeatedly tried to win over Paul supporters with angry broadside attacks on Ben Bernanke and the Fed, and he tried to win over Palin supporters by defending her even though no one else had mentioned her. Neither group are traditionally Newt people, so he’s clearly trying to branch out. Paul seemed a little stunned by this.

Santorum: Santorum needs to go. He kept interrupting and he bizarrely continues to paint himself as an outsider. He also did things like blast everyone at the table as insiders and then (in the same sentence) attacked Cain for his lack of experience. Huh? Also, after blasting all the horrible insiders, he bragged how his years as an insider would let him pass his plan. . . whatever that plan actually is. Then he said he wanted to go to war with China, though I think he meant he wanted to fight a trade war, which isn’t much smarter. And his economic plan seems to be to make people get married.

Bachmann: Bachmann and Santorum came across as lifer politicians with bland platitudes and repeatedly using candidate speak, e.g. “I just spoke to a man who told me blah blah blah.” This is something annoying people do when they've been in politics too long. Bachmann also needs to stop telling us she has 5 biological kids and 24 foster kids and that she was an attorney for the I.R.S. It's become like Al Bundy talking about scoring 4 touchdowns in one game.

Bachmann's attack on Cain's plan also struck me as a negative. She said if you turn Cain’s 9-9-9 plan around, “the devil is in the details.” Ha ha ha. First, that's trite and she has no comedic timing. Secondly, how does that make sense? The beauty of Cain’s plan is the lack of hidden details, it’s the tinker-with-the-current-system advocates who are playing with details. Third, what does she know of details as her “plan” (a term I use loosely) has none -- it's pure platitude. She should join Santorum on the short bus back home.

Huntsman: Huntsman remains a sniveling jerk. He takes hypocritical cheap shots and radiates smugness, and he continues to adopt Democratic rhetoric to attack the candidates. Last night he said Cain’s 9-9-9 plan sounded like a pizza price, which is a standard attack you’ll find in the leftist blog world.

Speculation: Finally, there was more evidence for my theory that Cain and Romney have a deal. Cain inexplicable bailed Romney out on TARP and then while seemingly criticizing Romney in the direct question section actually gave Romney an open platform to discuss his economic plan. Romney then used his question against Bachmann, when tactically, he should have blasted Cain. My guess is Cain doesn’t think he’ll win, so he’s agreed he will eventually bow out and endorse Romney in exchange for becoming the VP.

Thanks to everyone who participated last night and thanks to T-Rav and his sockpuppets!

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tuesday Night At The Debates!!

In case you haven’t heard, there’s another Republican debate tonight -- 7:00 pm EST, on BloombergTV. So watch for periodic interruptions from Hugo Chavez Bloomberg himself as he tries to declare himself President. Tonight’s debate will be in New Hamster and could be fairly interesting. This will be Cain’s first test as the field’s punching bag. Perry needs to prove he’s not finished. Romney needs to find Waldo. And the rest need to find graceful exit strategies. Join us here for a play by play. . . join us.. In the meantime, here’s an update on recent events and some bad boxing nicknames:

● Mitt "the Rambler" Romney: Romney has been mocking Obama for creating a “Where’s Waldo economy” in which “finding a good paying job in this economy is harder than finding Waldo in one of his books.” This is of course a horrible analogy made about a book that hasn’t been culturally relevant in 15 years. Nice work Romney. . . way to show us groovy cats that you’re the bees knees.

At the Citadel, he gave a foreign policy speech in which said: “This century must be an American Century.”.... which is a mutual fund. After that it got a little confusing. He has four principles that he claims he will follow in foreign policy, but these were extremely generic. He will use American power with clarity and resolve to support our friends and promote capitalism. He intends to be a leader in multinational organizations, and he wants a strong military. You tell me what that means.

● The Herminator: Cain continues to surge in the polls. Most national polls have him in second place and climbing, though a couple had him in first place. Two separate polls released this week have him moving into second place in liberal New Hampshire: Romney 38%, Cain 20%, Paul 13%, Perry 4%. This will make Cain the candidate all the other conservative will shoot at, just as they attacked Perry before him. How he handles the heat could well determined his future. A failure tonight would likely stop his momentum dead and kill his candidacy.

Meanwhile, in establishment land, The Washington Post is trying to mock him as the “flavor of the month” and scoffs that “conservatives will tire of him at some point and once again search for the next big thing.” Thus proving that the Post is indeed clueless about conservatives. We are looking for a good candidate, we don't have ADD like liberals do.

It also scoffs that Cain can't fool the Post about his lack of foreign policy experience and it notes that candidates who don’t know foreign policy always fail. . . assuming you ignore Carter, Reagan, Clinton, Bush II and Obama, each of whom had squat in the way of foreign policy experience when they took over.

● Texas Trainwreck Rick Perry: Most pundits are saying Perry needs to win big tonight or he’s finished. For his part, Perry is taking this debate very seriously. He has reportedly been practicing against a stand-in for Romney. . . who did indeed dress like Waldo. He also apparently intends to follow Commentarama’s advice and issue a “significant economic plan” next week. Personally, I’d release it right now, before the debate, but what do I know?

Perry went through a bit of an embarrassment last week when Perry supporter Evangelical leader Robert Jeffress decided to tell the world that Mormonism is a cult and thus, we should not vote for Romney. Perry’s campaign quickly issued a statement disavowing this comment: “The governor does not believe Mormonism is a cult,” and urged us to vote for Romney. Jeffress is now being compared to Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

● St. Ron Paul: In a bit of a shocker, Ron Paul won an informal straw poll at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit. He won 37% of the vote. Cain came in second with 23%. Perry got fourth with 8% and Romney scored sixth with 4%. Paul isn’t exactly known for being a darling of the Religious Right, so how do we account for this? FRC leaders say Paul's support came from younger FRCVVS attendees. . . which doesn’t really answer the question, does it? Could Paul have more supporters than we think? Should we prepare for a Paul Presidency? Tune in November 2012 and find out!

● Jon Super-Butch Huntsman: Huntsman continues to pound his chest to prove to us that he’s not an effete liberal. He’s now promising to bomb Iran, and no, I’m not really kidding: “I cannot live with a nuclear-armed Iran. If you want an example of when I would use American force, it would be that.” To quote the late Al Davis, “just nuke ‘em baby!”

● Michelle Bachmann, Newt Gingrich and the other guys whose names I’ve forgotten, all continue to exist.

● The End Is Nigh: Finally, nothing you’ve just read matters. The Detroit Lions are 5-0, which means the world is ending. The Mayans were right. We’re screwed.

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Obama's Bad Week Enters 989th Day

Things just keep getting worse for our Kenyan overlord as he nears his 1,000th day in office. The economy hates him. The public hates him. And now the Democrats hate him. Indeed, his administration is suffering one embarrassment after another. What a crying shame. The latest is bad polling (as usual), a new vacation scandal, and a Democratic rebellion. Read on. . .
Polls: Look Out Below!
A new Washington Post/ABC News poll has found that Obama continues his free fall. But even worse for him, those who “strongly disapprove” of Obama have reached new highs at 40%. ABC is interpreting this as both an increase in opposition to Obama and evidence of “hardening opposition” to Obama, i.e. evidence he’s doomed. Said ABC: “He’s like Hitler, only not as well liked.”

In West Virginia, associating the Democratic candidate for governor with Obama closed a 30% gap down to 2%. . . in a state that almost doesn’t have a Republican Party.
Madame O Rides (Free) Again
Here we go again. In June, Lady Obama took another royal tour. This time she and her small staff of twenty-one (including a hairstylist and makeup artist) spent six days touring South Africa and Botswana. The stated purpose of the trip was to encourage young people living in those countries to “become involved in national affairs.” Huh? Who the hell is she to tell people in another country to get involved in their own national affairs?!

Anyway, as you might expect, this was just cover for another vacation. Her “staff” included her daughters, a niece, a nephew and her mother, who were actually listed as “senior staff.” Why? Probably so she could charge their room, board and airfare to the taxpayers. And where did she take her “staff”? They went to historical landmarks, museums, and a private safari at a South African game reserve, where Michelle brought down a Wildebeest with her bare hands. She also got to meet Nelson Mandela and no doubt somebody famous from Botswana. . . if there is such a person.

So what did this vacation cost us simple taxpaying folk? According to Judicial Watch, which had to sue the White House to get this information (which should have been freely released under the Freedom of Information Act), the Air Force plane alone cost us $424,142. No word on what it cost us for food, lodging, in-country ground transportation, and reparations to the family of the Wildebeest.

To put this in perspective, the plane alone absorbed all the taxes paid last year by 72 median-income families. Way to endear yourselves to the taxpayers!
We’re Mad As Hell and We’re Not Going to Take It Anymore!
House Democrats have filed for a divorce from Obama. The last straw came when they stood up to the Republicans on the stop-gap spending measure only to hear that Obama won’t veto it. Democrats also took to the floor of the House this week to whine about Obama’s plan to keep American troops in Iraq for another year. . . wait, I thought they were all home already. . . and to whine about his Afghanistan strategy. . . assuming he has one. Reid and Pelosi made sweet, sweet love while complaining about the free trade deals Obama just sent to Congress after months of complaining that no one had passed them. Reid also refused to schedule a vote on Obama’s “jobs bill” because he thinks it will wipe out the remaining Democrats in the Senate. House Democrats are rewriting the bill because they won’t pass Obama's bill.

And now we hear Ralph Nader will be running against Obama in the primary, with the support of 45 progressive leaders.
Anybody But Obama!
We also have a couple of notes of interest regarding the 2012 election. First, a Rasmussen poll released yesterday told us that any generic Republican now beats Obama 47% to 41%. Most of the named candidates do better.

Finally, for those who spent last night under a rock, Sarah Palin has now opted not to run. With her out and Christie bowing out on Monday, the GOP field is essentially set and conservatives should soon be gravitating toward their choice, which is also bad for Obama.

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Me So Hungry Me Could Eat A Muppet

I like the Muppets. Sesame Street, not so much. Something about Sesame Street always struck me as preachy and off-kilter. Why is there a monster living in a garbage can? What’s with evil Bert anyway? And why does the show spout liberal nonsense? Well, they’re at it again.

For those who don’t know, Sesame Street is a bastion of political correctness. It was created with the idea of brainwashing. . . er, “educating” poor kids. The stated goal was to teach these kids self-esteem and “feelings of competency,” as compared to actual competency. It pushed diversity and “nonagressive ways of resolving conflicts.” It pandered to Hispanic groups in the 1970s, feminists in the 1980s, environmentalists in the 1990s, Bush hate in the 2000s and gay groups in the 10s. And the show has been awash in controveries:
● In 1969, Grover took lessons in civil disobedience from a hippe. . . Bill Ayers.

● Bert and Ernie’s “ambiguous sexuality” has been an issue for years. . . with ambiguous being a code word for “clearly gay.”

● Kami the muppet caught AIDS in 2002. . . from a toilet seat.

● Big Bird told us what happened in the afterlife in 1983. . . you get 72 virgins.

● Mahboub the muppet, an Arab muppet, was inserted into the Israeli version to “bridge the cultural gap” in 2006. . . he's moderate, he only advocates enslaving Israel, not eradicating it.

● The claim in 2004 that Sesame Street triggers attention deficit diso

● Continuous liberal bias, like when it mocked Fox News in 2009 with Oscar the Grouch calling “Pox News” a “trashy news show”... unlike MSNBC which is just trash.
Now PBS/Sesame Street has discovered a new liberal mission. . . phantom hunger.

That’s right, Sesame Street is introducing “Lily, whose family has an ongoing struggle with hunger” because Sesame Street wants to “teach” your kids that America is a land of starving poor people. Why? Because liberalism has come crashing down in flames and they need to rebuild an army of idiots who are ready to do their bidding. What better way than to tell kids that other kids are starving because evil rich people steal the very food from their mouths. Kids are suckers for “I’m trying to stop hunger,” but not “I’m trying to protect a racial spoils system” or “I’m trying to protect the union’s ability to keep child molesters in the classroom.”

Here’s what they’re basing this garbage on: according to the corrupt Dept. of Agriculture, 17 million kids are starving in the United States. Where does that number come from? It’s estimated based on the number of people who are counted as “living below the poverty line.” In other words, it’s theoretical. In other words, it’s a fraud.

For one thing, they keep raising the dollar threshold for poverty. You can actually be quite well off and still be considered poor. Indeed, study after study has shown that “poor” people in America own cars, appliances and spend their money on cable television and cell phones. Also, this is only an income test, not an asset test. So people living on social security, lotto winners, students, small business owners who earn their income sporadically or who find a lot of great deductions, people who earn their money overseas, and rich people living on tax-free investments. . . are all considered "poor."

I dare the liberal establishment to find me anyone who is legitimately hungry.

And if they can find such a person, then I want to know why this person can’t get on food stamps like the other 43 million Americans who have found their way onto the program and into my wallet? Also, did you know that you can earn up to $39,220 and still qualify for free or discounted school lunches? How can anyone not feed themselves on $39k?

Hunger also ain’t what it used to be. Even aside from being a completely made up statistic, they’ve redefined hunger as “food insecure,” which means at some point during the year your food intake was reduced and your normal eating pattern was disrupted because you lacked money for food. So now you can be hungry if you spent your money on booze or you forgot your wallet or Obama taxed the crap out of your paycheck.

This is all theoretical wishful thinking by liberals which bares no relationship to what is going on in reality. It is shameful propaganda aimed at making liberals feel like they have a reason to exist. But in the spirit of things, let me offer this first line of dialog:
Lily: Why am I so hungry?

Lily's Dad: Because liberals made us dependent on the government and then spent all the money on Obama's friends. Obama is why you're hungry.

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Monday, October 3, 2011

Herman Cain Gets Noticed

Herman Cain is all over the news now. He was on Leno. Dennis Miller endorsed him. Leftist comic D.L. Hugley is making racist comments about him. Janeane Garofalo and Bill Maher are babbling that Republicans only like him because they’re racist. Now the establishment is noticing Cain.

Michael Barone is a smart guy. He’s an election geek with a solid grasp of politics and a deep understanding of voting patterns. But he’s also an establishment conservative. And that means he's blind to things that aren’t considered viable by the establishment. That’s why his article this weekend is so interesting.

Barone first notes that Cain has none of the traditional experience required of Presidential candidates. In the eyes of the establishment, that disqualifies him. Barone then notes that Cain has been largely ignored by the media. Even after his solid performance in the Fox cave debate and after crushing Perry in the Florida straw poll, he was still ignored. But now there’s evidence the public is responding to Cain, so the establishment is grudgingly taking notice.

Indeed, a Fox News poll last week shows Cain surged from 5% support to 17% support. A SurveyUSA poll shows Cain trailing Romney 27% to 25%. And Rasmussen reports that Cain trails Obama by only 5% in a head to head contest. Sunday he won the National Federation of Republican Women straw poll with 49% compared to 14% for the next highest vote getter.

This finally forced the establishment to take note. Indeed, Barone notes that Cain must now be considered a genuine contender. The Wall Street Journal has reached the same conclusion. On September 29, Journal columnist Daniel Henninger wrote that: “Unlike the incumbent, Herman Cain has at least twice identified the causes of a large failing enterprise, designed goals, achieved them and by all accounts inspired the people he was supposed to lead.” And that, according to Henniger, makes him a "plausible candidate."

Here is what Barone thinks is drawing conservatives to Cain. See if you agree:
● His 9-9-9 tax plan and his generally conservative stand on issues.

● His youtube clip debating Bill Clinton on health care in 1994.

● His likability compared to Romney’s awkwardness and Perry’s “charm [being] lost on most non-Texans.”

● He being black. “In this, white conservatives resemble white liberals. . . white conservatives like to hear black candidates who articulate their views.”

● Cain’s claim that he can get 1/3 of black voters.
I don't buy it. I think these are side issues. Conservatives like candidates who share their views. And right now, Cain's the one guy really doing that. I also think what Cain has going for him is something the establishment is lacking entirely -- the ability to speak with us common folk in ways we understand, like and remember. Cain is not speaking wonk-speak and he's not talking at us. This is a lesson the Republicans must learn.

Of further interest, Cain took Christie down pretty hard this weekend. He said what we've been saying, Christie is "too liberal." Cain said this on Fox:
I believe that a lot of conservatives once they know his position on those things that you delineated, they’re going to not be able to support him. Most of the conservatives believe that we should enforce our borders. They do not believe people should be here without documentation. They do not believe global warming is a “crisis” or a “threat” — yes it might be a little bit out there but they don’t see it as a “crisis” or a “threat” and as you go right down the line, he’s going to turn off a lot of conservatives with those positions.
Then on ABC, Cain said that Christie does not pay enough attention to the very real threat of Islamic influence:
Some people would infuse sharia law in our court system if we allow it. I honestly believe that. So even if he calls me crazy, I am going to make sure that they don’t infuse it little by little by little. I’m sticking to it — American laws in American courts, period.
I'm glad somebody's finally saying it! FYI, at the same time Cain was making these policy-bases points, the left was attacking Christie over his weight. How substantive.

Cain's new-found higher profile has brought the Paul crowd out of the woodwork. They spent the weekend crawling the net reminding people that, as we told you before, Cain joined the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City in 1992, and became its chairman in 1995-1996. Clearly, Cain is a Trojan Fed horse. Make of that what you will. . . you'll be seeing it everywhere.

In the meantime, expect the attacks to intensify on Cain. How he handles it will tell us a lot about his chances.

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