Monday, February 27, 2012

I'm Calling Out Rush

Today, I’m calling out Rush. Rush has used innuendo to suggest that Ron Paul and Mitt Romney have cut some sort of dirty deal. That’s shameful. But my complaint goes even beyond that.

After last Wednesday’s debate, Team Santorum immediately suggested that Romney and Paul had cut a dirty deal to work together in the debates. Hence, we should ignore Santorum’s belly flop because the others cheated. Of course, Santorum has ZERO proof of this.

The following morning, Rush, who feigns neutrality in this race, ran with Santorum’s talking point. Only, Rush didn’t present it as a Santorum talking point, he claimed it as his own “epiphany.” Here’s what he said:
What I had detected, like an epiphany, all these debates I had never seen Ron Paul attack Romney, nor had I seen Romney attack Ron Paul. I saw Ron Paul attacking everybody else. . . .

The point is that there is an alliance between Ron Paul and Mitt Romney. This is what I have been remiss in not mentioning. So last night after the debate, I start doing show prep and I see all this stuff in the British press about Romney may be offering Rand Paul the vice presidency and I'm saying to myself, "I know I mentioned this in an e-mail to some of my friends.". . .

I'm not being critical here. I'm just pointing out something that is obvious. Romney is never criticized by Paul but Paul has criticized everybody else that has become the most popular not-Mitt of the moment. . . And, by the way, if you are a Romney guy and a supporter, you're thinking, "This is brilliant, a brilliant campaign tactic."

Whether it's true or not that there has been an actual meeting of the minds in conversations and strategy developed between the two guys, it is clear that there's a hands-off policy between Paul to Romney and vice-versa. Paul does not attack Romney. Ron Paul attacks every one of Romney's opponents; Romney doesn't attack Paul.

And so last night, we start seeing these stories in the British press. One of them, Toby Harnden, was that Ron Paul would be offered the veep slot. Then another one followed that and said maybe Rand Paul, and then Rand Paul put out a statement saying he would be honored to be Romney's VP. And that's when I said, "Damn it! Damn it, I wrote that e-mail on the 13th of January. I saw this, I knew what was happening, and I didn't say anything about it."
Let’s break this down.

First, it’s not true. Ron Paul has attacked all the other candidates when he has attacked. By and large, however, he has not attacked anyone. Paul is an issues candidate who is there to talk about his issues. He mostly ignores the others. And when he has attacked, he has attacked each of the others as having a fundamentally flawed view of government. He has not omitted Romney from that. And his attacks on Santorum have been in response to Santorum attacking him as not a conservative.

Secondly, what Rush is doing is a standard smear tactic:

1. He argues in the conspiratorial. Indeed, the crux of his argument is this statement: “Whether it's true or not that there has been an actual meeting of the minds. . . it is clear that there's a hands-off policy between Paul to Romney.” Translate this logically: “whether it is true or not that there is a deal, there is a deal.” This is meant to mislead you by making it sound like Rush is only floating the possibility of a deal, when he is actually telling you the deal is a fact.

2. Then he suggests that this is more than mere speculation by telling you how it is being reported by others (i.e. the British Press). Except, the British Press were repeating what Santorum’s strategist said right after the debate. Basically, just like the MSM did with the Herman Cain smear, Rush is using the fact that an allegation has been reported as evidence of its being true. Then he doubles down by saying Rand Paul hasn’t rejected a VP slot, thereby implying Paul has affirmatively confirmed the deal.

Then he tries to confirm it himself by claiming that he told his brother about this back on January 13. This is the Herman Cain smear to the letter: (1) multiple people are repeating the same allegation so it must be true, and (2) I told my family before it hit the press, so it must be true. This is shameful reasoning.

3. Rush then misleads you further by suggesting that he’s not actually criticizing Paul or Romney for this deal, even though that’s exactly what he’s doing. Again this is meant to make Rush sound disinterested. But Rush isn’t disinterested. He supports Santorum, which is why he said this (which is now being used in Santorum mailers before a key primary): “Rick Santorum is ‘the last conservative standing’.”

And why he would say this about Romney:
“Something else I’m confident about saying: As hard-hitting and go-for-the-throat and take-no-prisoners as Romney’s going after Newt, he will not do this going after Obama. If you like Romney’s toughness in the way he’s taken out Newt, I’ve got a thing for you: He isn’t going to do that against Obama.”
Even though Romney is the only candidate primarily targeting Obama, and even though Rush said this in 2008 about the man he now treats as a RINO:
“There probably is a candidate on our side who does embody all three legs of the conservative stool, and that’s Romney. The three legs of the stool are national security/foreign policy, the social conservatives and the fiscal conservatives.”
What changed?

4. Third, note that nowhere does Rush mention that this is the same talking point Santorum’s people are spreading that very morning. Yet, this is the same man who often attacks the MSM for repeating Democratic talking points without pointing that out.

5. Nor does he mention that Romney and Paul both denied this. Nor does he give the more likely reasons for his (wrong) observations. Ganging up on the frontrunner has been the pattern throughout. Moreover, Paul strongly opposes Santorum’s brand of “conservatism,” (i.e. big government economic liberalism + neocon foreign adventuring + federal government intrusion in the bedroom). Also, it has been widely reported that Santorum has been entirely disrespectful of Paul. Those are all the likely reasons he attacked Santorum, not some dirty deal. But those don’t let Santorum claim he’s a victim of cheating.

But this issue goes beyond Romney/Santorum for me. For years, Rush excelled at rising above the smoke and mirrors and explaining genuine conservatism in a way that won people over. He did it with good will and good faith. But all that changed during the Bush administration when Rush began vehemently knee-jerk attacking anyone who dared to point out that Bush was not a conservative.

Since that time he’s been nothing but knee-jerk. He, like most of talk radio, jumped on every bandwagon he could find. He refused to vet people like Christine O’Donnell in Delaware, whose loss may be THE loss that keeps us from getting a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. He’s attacked everything the Republicans have tried to do, squandering every single long term opportunity just so he could scream loudest that he’s more conservative than those RINOs in Washington. Now he’s about to repeat the same mistake with the candidates because he won’t examine them with his mind rather than his ratings detector.

Conservatism needs better.

We are in the current problem precisely because people like Rush failed to vet candidates before the primary began. They went into this thing blind and without a plan, and have gone wherever the soundbites have taken them. They are stirring up the mob for no reason except ratings and he's no longer willing to take correct but unpopular stands. And that has brought us to this point, which should be the crowning moment of a new conservative age and instead has turned into a cluster-fudge of epic proportions.

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Debate Wrapup: Some Did Worse Than Others

Rick Santorum (right) didn’t fare so well last night. Commentarama opinion seemed pretty unanimous that Romney de-pantsed him. All of the CNN analysts agreed, though a couple tried to claim Newt actually won the debate. But will it change anything? Ann Coulter’s article yesterday suggests it might not. Here’s what you “missed.”

Romney: Romney gave a solid performance all around. There were no slip-ups. He was solid on economics and foreign policy. He threw some social conservative punches at Obama. He had a great answer to the question of education reform. And he used Rick Santorum like a punching bag. Rather than recapping his performance, however, let me summarize an article Ann Coulter wrote. Here is her truly insightful conclusion:
“Meanwhile, Romney cheerfully campaigns on, the biggest outsider and most conservative candidate we've run for president since Reagan, while being denounced by the Establishment as ‘too Establishment.’”
Here’s her reasoning. First, why Romney is a conservative:
1. He balanced the budget without raising taxes, something even Reagan never managed in California.

2. He became a “deeply pro-life” governor of a liberal state.

3. His approach to illegal immigration in Massachusetts is the same approach Arizona is using.

4. RomneyCare was the conservative alternative to HillaryCare.
She then points out that many of the people attacking Romney (Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Sean Hannity, Rick Santorum, Laura Ingraham, Michael Savage, etc.) not only enthusiastically endorsed Romney as the conservative in 2008, but they are part of the establishment against which they rail. She also points out that these same people refuse to examine the issues because Romney comes up more conservative than the candidates they are pimping. She seems to suggest that their behavior is the result of a desire to have the Republicans lose to Obama. She doesn’t directly say why, but others have suggested that a second Obama term would help each of these people in the ratings department or in intra-party fights.

Essentially, she is saying that for self-interest reasons or tantrum reasons, conservatives have closed their minds and have proven themselves “morons.” If she’s right, then nothing will change conservative minds. Here’s the full article (LINK). I recommend reading it.

Santorum: Rick got taken apart last night, largely by himself. Rick’s record is that of an unprincipled big government liberal. Yet, throughout this campaign, he has freely lied about his record and then attacked others for things he actually did himself. That behavior caught up to him last night as Romney and Paul took turns tearing him apart.
(1) Here’s Rick trying to explain away his votes to fund Planned Parenthood: Rick opposed the funding, even though he voted for it, and he only voted for it because it was in bigger funding bills which included other stuff he wanted. Hence, we should ignore his lack of principles because that’s how Washington works. But don’t worry. Even though he didn’t have the courage of his convictions to vote against these bills, he would veto them as President because he’s courageous when it comes to standing on principle.

(2) Here’s Rick explaining his stance on women in combat. Part One: It’s misleading to say he opposes women in combat because all these “noncombat” military jobs are just as dangerous as combat jobs. Ergo there really is no such thing as a “noncombat” job. And since Rick won’t force women back out of those jobs, it’s wrong to say he opposes women in combat. However, he won’t open “combat jobs” to women just ’cause. Part Two: Rick has made up his mind, but he would let the generals weigh in on the issue if they want to. Although, Rick won’t accept any “social engineering” because this decision needs to be based on what the military says.

(3) On Romney’s foreign policy positions: Romney is right, so vote for Rick because he’s the only one who knows what needs to be done.

(4) On voting for No Child Left Behind: Rick voted for NCLB even though he never supported it because he was told to do that by the Republican Establishment, the same Republican Establishment he “courageously” stood up to repeatedly. Why did he go against his principles? Because that’s what you do when the “team” tells you to do it. But vote for Rick because he won’t do things just because the team wants him to.

(5) On supporting Arlen Specter: Rick supported turncoat Specter over conservative favorite Pat Toomey because Rick got a promise from Specter that he would support every Bush judicial nominee if Rick supported him, and in fact Specter kept his promise (Rick then named judicial nominees from ten years prior to the endorsement, like Reagan appointee Robert Bork). Then he tried to talk over Romney as Romney asked, “are you saying you think Pat Toomey couldn’t be trusted to support George W. Bush’s judicial nominees?” Rick kept talking over Romney until CNN cut them off. CNN also stopped Romney from asking why Santorum endorsed Specter for President.

(6) On earmarks: Rick opposes earmarks, but did them himself because everybody else did them and that’s how government works. And it’s hypocritical for Ron Paul to attack Rick on this issue. In fact, earmarks are a great thing because they let you help people you want to help, but Ron Paul is evil for using earmarks.
Basically, it was a supernova of hypocrisy, circular logic, and contradictions all wrapped up in a nice, smug package. The bleeding only stopped in the second half of the debate when Rick just starting saying, “I agree with the others.”

There was one particularly galling moment when Rick tried to claim he worked to reform entitlements, “unlike Paul Ryan’s budget.” Not only is it false that Ryan’s budget didn’t reform entitlements, but don’t forget that Rick created a $550 billion medicare drug entitlement.

By the way, here’s an interesting quote which surfaced yesterday by Santorum about the Tea Party he now claims to represent: “I’ve got some real concerns about this movement within the Republican Party and the tea party movement to sort of refashion conservatism, and I will vocally and publicly oppose it.”

Newt: Good Newt showed up and he stank. He was dull and forgettable, and he’s making South Carolina look like a total fluke. A couple of the pro-Newt analysts (notably Eric Erickson) tried to declare him the winner, but no one’s going to buy that.

Oddly, this may ultimately work for him.

On the one hand, Newt should have torn into Santorum to show that he’s the only legitimate Anybody-But-Romney candidate. But on the other hand, Newt’s popularity in polls has crashed since South Carolina, i.e. ever since he went negative. So I think he was banking on Paul and Romney taking Santorum out, and then having Good Newt win people back. I guess we’ll see if that works. The problem is that Good Newt just isn’t very interesting. Also, his grand ideas are starting to sound very confused and jumbled.

Paul: Paul ripped Santorum apart with wit and facts. In particular, he kept on attacking Santorum about his Washington ways, and Santorum had no idea how to handle it. Beyond that, Paul had a foreign policy problem last night in that every single answer eventually went back to surrendering in the Middle East. Even his answer on illegal immigration came down to Pakistan.

What does this mean for the next round of primaries? You tell me.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Kris Kardashian's Butt: Capitalism In Motion

In honor of the pending death of capitalism, thanks to American conservatives deciding that Rick Santorum somehow should represent conservatism, I figured I would explain why capitalism served us well. . . before we kill it. To aid me in this, I’m going to use the Kardashians, the NFL and the reasoning techniques of the famed Greek philosopher Rambloniclese. Onward!

There is nothing redeeming about the Kardashians as far as I can tell. They’re like a combination of the Manson Family, the Addams Family, and a porno. But I do like one thing about them. See, I never would have made them famous, but somebody else did. And that’s what makes capitalism great. Stick with me here.

The Addams Family Porno
Capitalism works because it allows 310 million Americans to look around themselves every single day and make their own decisions. If they see something they think the rest of us would like, they have the right to try to sell it to us. And we have the right to buy it or not. And nothing proves the value in this system more clearly than the fact that I never would have looked at Kim Kardashian’s butt as a money-maker, but somebody else did.

Ditto with the NFL. The NFL combine begins on Thursday as a large group of male sportswriters and NFL types get together to take nice long looks at a bunch of male athletes and judge them on how they look in their underwear. And no, I’m not kidding. Sounds kind of gay, doesn’t it? But more importantly, it sounds kind of dull. But get this, people watch it. Not only that, they talk about it, they write about it, and somebody even included it in a videogame. Just like Kris Kardashian’s butt, somebody guessed right.

The point is simple: if it were up to me to run the world, there would be no Kardashians and I never would have thought to put the NFL draft on television. It’s only because our system doesn’t rely on me that we have these things. Now imagine what else the world wouldn’t have if it were up to me to decide what people could watch, read, buy or believe?

Now let’s consider a man named Gary Lineker. He’s an a-hole from Britain who announces soccer games. I’m told soccer is some sort of sport. Old Gary, who hosts a program on the BBC, says that soccer players earn too much. Indeed, he thinks they shouldn’t be paid more than nurses or teachers. Gary’s a flaming hypocrite because he gets paid £2m a year for basically flapping his lips. But let’s not worry about that because hypocrisy is the new black in fall fashions. Instead, let me ask a series of questions to see if I can enunciate the problem with Gary’s line of “reasoning.”

What happens to the rest of the money soccer earns if it doesn’t go to salaries? It would go to club owners. So really Gary has decided that some people shouldn’t be made millionaires because that’s unfair to billionaires. But how can all these billionaires be so stupid as to pay this amount of money to the players if they aren’t worth it? And what gives Gary the right to decide that he knows better than the billionaires how much to pay the millionaires?

In truth, Gary doesn’t care about the billionaires. He’s just a spiteful little turd who doesn’t like some people earning more than others. But why pick teachers? Why not convenience store clerks? Why even pay soccer players at all? They should be like government employees should be and they should play for room and board. . . and live on a plantation. In fact, now that I think about it, why do teachers earn so much? Teachers should earn $1 an hour. And my opinion is as valid as Gary’s so why don’t we go with my opinion?

Also, while we’re readjusting the world to our own prejudices, I don’t like really soccer and people shouldn’t be allowed to watch it because I don’t like it. And before you try to tell me that people want it, let me just cut you off and say that I don’t care what people want, because I know what’s best.

Get the point?

Here’s the thing. Capitalism works because it lets millions of people try to sell their ideas to millions of other people in the form of products and services. When a want or need appears, somebody fills it, they don’t have to wait for me to decide if it should be filled. And through the trillions of decisions made each day by every single one of us, the human race goes about making each other happy.

It’s only when the *ssholes get involved and decide they want to control what people get paid or what products can get made or what ideas can be brought to life or which companies should be winners and which losers that things fail. That’s when there are no Kardashians or NFL draft or new cars or butter or health care. . . just lots of lousy GM cars nobody wants. And every dollar the government sucks away from us and every regulation they impose to help some crony is a decision the government deprives us from making. Government is the enemy of freedom.

So let’s all raise a toast to Kris Kardashian’s butt, to rap music, to overpaid athletes and a million other things we don’t like but which somebody else does, and let us thank God that for a brief moment our country was bright enough to adopt capitalism. It shall be missed.

P.S. There’s a Politics of Trek article up today at the film site.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Economist Believes In Magic

As I’ve said before, The Economist is a wonderful magazine if you want to see the insanity of liberalism presented in pure form. This time, they go all out to demonstrate how insanely stupid liberal foreign policy is in an article ludicrously titled “How To Set Syria Free.” Watch as they demand that we enter an unjustified war, and then they come up with a plan of action which relies on magic.

The Economist starts by trying to overwhelm your logic with emotion by talking about victims, butchery, dead being buried under cover of darkness, mourners, makeshift clinics, and floors slick with blood. They are trying to paint a picture so emotionally horrible that you put aside your reasoning and just accept that something must be done. Then they say the Syrian people have the “fire of conviction” that they will win, but “the outside world, to its shame, has shown no such resolve.” In other words, victory is inevitable and you are shameful to oppose intervention. These are peer pressure arguments.

Having set you up emotionally, they now give the “logical” case for intervening:
Argument No. 1: Almost 7,000 people have died and “the people of Syria deserve better. . . the world has a responsibility to act.” Uh. For starters, the number is actually half that. And if world-intervention is justified just because people are being killed, then why not invade Brazil? Don’t the 55,000 people killed there each year “deserve better” too? Why isn’t The Economist demanding the world invade Mexico where 30,000 people have been killed in the past few years in a drug war?

Argument No. 2: “[The world] also has an interest. Syria occupies a vital position in the Middle East, jammed between Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, Israel and Lebanon.” Holy cow! That’s the argument? The mere fact that Syria has neighbors is now considered an interest which justifies an attack? What country doesn’t have neighbors? Using this logic, there is literally nowhere on Earth that doesn’t have some vital world interest. And yet these people said we had no interest in Iraq and have no interest in Iran?
That’s it for the justification, by the way. Clearly, the case for intervention is unassailable, so let’s talk about what the world should do.

Right out of the gates, The Economist shows that it has no stomach to do anything real: “shifting Mr. Assad from power as fast as possible is essential.” Talk about a mealy euphemism. We’ve gone from defeating and killing to eliminating to regime change to shifting from power. That sounds like retirement. And it’s ominously passive, like they want Assad to agree to quit. In fact, they do. Observe.

First, they claim that it’s too late for Assad to “negotiate an accommodation” to oversee “an increase in democracy.” In other words, they’re sick of talking and he needs to be taken out -- notice how this flies in the face of their positions on Iraq and Iran where they demand never-ending talk. And why must he go? Because he’s lost the will of the people and if he gave them democracy, they would only use it against him violently. Translation: we can’t not-kill him because if we don’t kill him, the people would kill him, and we can’t have them killing him, so we are forced to kill him. Try figuring that one out.

But don’t worry about an actual attempt to kill or dethrone him, because The Economist doesn’t have the cojones for that. Indeed, watch them crumble.

See, Assad’s military is loyal and is willing to kill civilians. That’s a big advantage which we must overcome. So how do we stop them? “The most direct answer is. . . bombing Mr. Assad’s troops.” This would satisfy “outsiders’ urge to do something to show their outrage.” BUT, The Economist notes, Russia and China will stop the UN from doing that. Also, Syria’s terrain isn’t like Libya and there are no front lines, so The Economist says bombing won’t work. Ergo, take bombing off the list.

What about arming the rebels? That might work, EXCEPT the rebels are disorganized and lack unity and “such a policy would not suddenly turn the opposition into a fighting force.” Also, The Economist warns us that “a country awash with weapons would be plagued by the very violence the world was seeking to avoid.” It then argues that giving the rebels guns would create another situation like Afghanistan, where the flood of guns “helped create the chaos that spawned the Taliban.” This is, of course, ludicrous. First, it was a civil war which spawned the Taliban, not the presence of guns. Secondly, the Syrian regime has more than enough guns to cause this to happen if they fall.

So what do we do? Well, The Economist has the answer. It would be “far better to attack Mr. Assad’s regime where it is vulnerable – by peeling away his support.” Specifically, we need to SOMEHOW convince Russia to stop defending Assad in the UN because that would let us do a bombing campaign (which The Economist already said won’t work). We also need to convince all of the minorities in Syria to rise up as one. Yep. There it is: the Kumbaya Plan.

How stupid can you get?! When faced with a dictator killing his own people, the liberal response is to wish that people would stand up to them. Doesn’t The Economist realize that’s what’s happening in Syria right now and it’s not working? And how in the world can they think this will work when they just said the following a couple paragraphs before about Assad’s advantages:
“One is his willingness to do whatever it takes to put down the rebellion. . . Syrian soldiers are steeped in blood [and] Assad commands crack units and a relatively loyal officer corps.”
In other words, Assad doesn’t care how many people stand up to him, he’ll kill them all. Yet, The Economist’s plan is to hope enough people stand up that Assad gives up? Insane.

And The Economist isn’t done yet. See, to make this happen, “Syria’s fractious opposition must unite. . . with a single voice and credible leader.” In other words, they need a Magic Syrian they can all trust. Then this leader can talk to “the Kurds and Christians who back Mr. Assad.” Oh oh. Wait. The Kumbaya Plan relies on everyone rising up and “isolating” Assad, but now we’re hearing that chunks of the population support Assad? Doesn’t that doom the Kumbaya Plan? Oh, that’s right, the Magic Syrian can heal the sick and bring everyone together.

Then The Economist goes into all-out fantasy mode. Once this Magic Syrian appears, “the Russians would also begin to shift ground.” Why? Because Russia would then know that defeat for Assad would be inevitable, and unless Russia wants to lose a naval base it has in Syria and its arms export business to the country, then it would clearly shift sides. As this happened, naturally, the Syrian military will change sides too because the Magic Syrian is just unstoppable. . . somehow.

So let’s put this together. We need to enter a civil war without provocation because people are dying. And to defeat a military that is willing to kill as many of its own people as needed, we need only hope that a Magic Syrian arises who can unite all the people, including those who have a vested economic and social interest in backing Assad, and can convince the Syrian military and Russians to abandon Assad. And like that, the world will have solved the Syria problem.

Nice work Economist, you’ve solved everything.

Finally, for good measure, while we wait for the Magic Syrian, The Economist suggests that we kind of, sort of ask someone to create a safe haven somewhere near Turkey where Syrians can flee. Why? Because “a free patch of Syria would be powerful evidence that Mr. Assad’s brutal days are numbered.” Yes, refuge camps always defeat dictators.


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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Rick Santorum’s Abortion Hypocrisy

I’m sick of talking about Santorum. He’s a sleazy socialist hiding behind religion. But if Republicans want to ensure that Obama gets a second term by picking him, then there’s not much I can do about it. Nevertheless, one of our readers has sent me two articles worth discussing. Why? Because they show just how hypocritical Santorum’s being on the pro-life issue.

The two big attacks on Romney by conservatives are his support for RomneyCare and that he’s supposedly soft on abortion.

As you all know, the beef with RomneyCare is that it included the same individual mandate as ObamaCare, which violates conservative principles. However, the attacks on Romney for RomneyCare are highly hypocritical because (1) he’s stated he will repeal ObamaCare, i.e. he’s not proposing to bring RomneyCare to the rest of the country, and (2) all of the conservative contenders who claim his support for RomneyCare makes him suspect (i.e. Gingrich and Santorum) not only supported the same individual mandate as a “conservative” idea until 2009, but they also supported massive expansions of the government’s role in the healthcare system including the creation of new medical coverage entitlements. In other words, they did the same and worse.

But today’s issue is the second issue, Santorum on abortion.

Romney claims to be pro-life. He wasn’t always. He says he became pro-life as a matter of conscience. Specifically, he states that after he got into office as governor, he was faced with an embryonic stem cell bill and decided, “I simply could not sign on to take human life.” He vetoed the bill, which would have authorized embryonic cloning, would have defined human life as beginning at implantation rather than fertilization, and would have made the morning-after pill available without a prescription. He thereafter promoted abstinence education and vetoed a bill which would have required Catholic hospitals to offer abortion-inducing drugs to rape victims.

But that’s not enough for Rick Santorum. Rick argues that Romney can’t really be pro-life because he wasn’t always pro-life. . . forget that Reagan and George W. Bush both claimed similar conversions on abortion. Think about the illogic of this: unless you are pro-life your entirely life, then Rick would forever tar you as pro-choice and therefore untouchable to Republican voters. That’s wrong and self-defeating on a great many levels. Indeed, how in the world can such an approach win anyone over when you’re telling people you will always view them with suspicion?

More importantly, let’s take a look at Rick’s own history on this issue.

On October 28, 1990, the Pittsburgh Press put out an article about young Rick Santorum, who was running for the House of Representatives. Rick was about to be elected in a huge anti-incumbent wave which wiped out people who supported the Bush/Darman budget ("no new taxes"). To fuel his campaign, Rick relied on religious conservatives to whom he promised he would outlaw abortion. So he was always pro-life, right? Actually, no.

Prior to the campaign, Rick put out a campaign manual in which he described himself as a “progressive conservative” who took no position on the issue of abortion. And a few months before that, Rick put out a paper in which he said that his opposition to abortion was limited only to the final three months of pregnancy, when the fetus was considered viable. That paper was quietly withdrawn when Santorum changed his mind. Said Rick: “For me, it was just a lot of education, a lot of soul-searching.”

In other words, he had a Romney moment. So why should we trust Rick any more than Romney? And how in the world can he argue that Romney’s conversion isn’t genuine?

There’s more.

In 1998, Bill Clinton tried to appoint a pro-abortion liberal activist to the Second Circuit. This appointment was considered important because conservatives believed it would put this person on the fast track to the Supreme Court. Indeed, Rush Limbaugh noted that Clinton was “putting her on a rocket ship to the Supreme Court.” Consequently, conservative Trent Lott delayed this person’s confirmation vote for more than a year, hoping to get the votes needed to block her. That ultimately failed when only 29 Republicans voted to oppose the nomination. These 29 include all the usual conservatives, including people the Tea Party now hates like Mitch McConnell and John McCain.

Ricky. . . staunchly anti-abortion Ricky. . . supported the Democrats and voted to confirm this person. That’s right. He went against the conservatives in the Senate to support a pro-abortion liberal activist, knowing she would likely end up on the Supreme Court. Who was Ricky’s friend? Sonia Sotomayor, who now sits on the Supreme Court as a reliable leftist -- just as conservatives predicted. Call me crazy, but I think Ricky would be beside himself with (self)righteous indignation if Romney had been the one supporting Sotomayor.

And Rick’s pro-abortion credentials aren’t finished there. In 1995, Rick endorsed pro-abortion “Republican” Arlen Specter in his run for President. Significantly, Specter made being pro-abortion a centerpiece of his campaign. Indeed, he referred to pro-life activists as a “fringe” group who had hijacked the Republican Party. Yet, Rick endorsed him in the primaries.

Rick then endorsed Arlen Specter again in 2000 against Tea Party conservative Pat Toomey. Ricky even did television ads for the pro-abortion, pro-big government, soon-to-switch parties Specter.

The point here is simple. Rick is a hypocrite. He’s denigrating Romney’s beliefs on a basis which applies equally to Rick himself, and he’s doing it so he can keep people from seeing the real sleazy, insider, influence-peddling, Big Government progressive that is Rick.

Support him if you want to, I won’t.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Why The Nanny State Destroys All It Touches

Britain has just provided us with a fascinating example of why conservatism works and liberalism fails in the real world, and we should be paying attention. What they’re doing is removing street signs and other devices meant to keep people safe on the roads. Why they’re doing it, is because these signs were having the opposite effect. Get this!

Our story comes to us from the DailyMail Online (LINK), perhaps the greatest source of actual information left on the planet. This particular story deals with changes that have been made to Exhibition Road in the heart of London’s museum quarter.

For years now, liberal safety advocates have been installing ever more safety measures to protect drivers and pedestrians. This has ranged from restrictive rules for drivers to signs warning drivers about dangers to curbs meant to separate the road from the sidewalk to railings meant to pen in pedestrians to designated crosswalks, etc. The idea was that the government would find all the potential dangers and then warn drivers and pedestrians about them or they would find ways to eliminate those dangers.

Of course, that’s not how it worked out. Why? Because once the government took over warning people about what to watch for, they stopped taking precautions themselves and they relied on the government’s warnings. So now the conservative government is yanking these things out again and lo and behold, it’s actually getting safer. Here’s a picture of the road today with all the gates and curbs and signs removed:

Why is it getting safer? Because people are paying more attention. Said Sir Jeremy Dixon, the lead architect on the new project:
“When the rules by which traffic normally operates are removed - signs, barriers and curb markings - drivers become more observant. They make more eye-contact with pedestrians which produces greater watchfulness. They use the road more like pedestrians. They take more responsibility for their actions. [S]tudies have shown that when traffic lights are removed from crossings, traffic flows more freely and efficiently because drivers take more care.”
Imagine that. When the government takes responsibility for something, people take less personal responsibility for their own actions. When the government stops playing nanny, people take more responsibility for their actions. Who could have guessed?

And there’s more. Daniel Moylan, the Deputy Chairman of Transport for London said this:
“The psychology of this scheme is fascinating. Experience seems to show that when you dedicate space to traffic and control it with signs and green traffic lights, motorists develop a claim on it. It becomes ‘my space.’ Drivers become annoyed if people move into it.”
In other words, they develop a sense of entitlement.

Folks, this is exactly what conservatives warn about with government. When the government gives something to people, they develop feelings of entitlement and they become belligerent to anyone who violates “their rights.” What’s more, they stop taking personal responsibility for their own actions in those areas, i.e. they become dependent on the government.

This issue right here is the human condition in a nutshell and proves the conservative belief that the nanny state is destructive, not constructive. It destroys those it seeks to help. This is exactly why generations of government welfare have destroyed the families who accepted the government’s intervention in their lives. This is why big businesses who have come to rely on the government need bailouts to keep them afloat. This is why we are facing a crushing amount of regulation today, because once the government begins taking care of you, it keeps moving into more and more aspects of your life as you become increasingly helpless. These are not coincidences.

This is why government stinks on a human level and it applies to everything the government touches. There is an incredible lesson here, will anybody learn it? Seeing as how Los Angeles just banned footballs and frisbies from being thrown on the beach. . . I’m thinking the answer is no.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

News Roundup: Anger, Insanity and Nakedness

Let’s do another news roundup. Why? Because I said so! Just kidding. Actually, because there are several little stories we can’t cover in separate articles so here they are all lumped together in a big old steaming pile of news! Get ready for dogs, sex, and Hawaiian Stalinists!

Item One: Dog Show Gone Wrong. In case you missed it, the Westminster Kennel Club dog show started last night and finishes tonight. I never miss this as I think dogs are great. And much like the Super Bowl, part of the attraction each year is when Pedigree puts out new ads. The last few years have featured David Duchovny talking about dogs with the tag line, “dogs rule.” Here are some samples: We’re for Dogs / Shelter Dogs / Doggie Dentures / Rub My Belly.

Imagine my surprise when these commercials did NOT appear last night. Instead, we got some lame generic commercial for Purina using some nondescript song. Totally forgettable pabulum. Hmm.

So I promptly turned to the internet to discover what had gone wrong. It turns out that Westminster decided to drop Pedigree as a sponsor because they didn’t like Pedigree focusing on shelter dogs. Seriously. Said Westminster’s spokesidiot David Frei:
“Show me an ad with a dog with a smile. Don’t try to shame me. We told Pedigree that and they ignored us. Our show is a celebration of dogs. We’re not promoting purebreds at the expense of non-purebreds. We celebrate all dogs. When we’re seeing puppies behind bars, it takes away from that. Not just because it’s sad, but it’s not our message.”
To quote Bufford T. Justice, “you aaaaasshole.” Over the past few years, Westminster has gotten a bad reputation because of many of the breeding practices associated with purebreds. Specifically, their standards are creating dogs with breathing problems, back problems, bad joints and mental issues. They’ve been protested and some people have even considered legislation against the things they promote.

Pedigree, by comparison, is for all dogs, not just purebreds, and they’ve matched seven million dollars in donations in the last couple years to help the dogs who need it most. Westminster has not.

Westminster is not only stupid, they are shameful. I suggest they fix this by next year or I won’t be back. In the meantime, up yours Westminster, and your little sponsor Purina too.

Item Two: Accidentally Naked? A high school football coach had to resign the other day when he “accidentally” posted naked pictures of himself on Facebook. How does that happen “accidentally”? Between this and Sandusky and the guy in Syracuse and the various women’s coaches who keep getting fired for inappropriate behavior with their players and the NFL assistant coach who got arrested driving naked through a fast-food drive-thru, something has really gone wrong in coaching.

Item Three: Bringing Sexy Back. Russian dictator Vladimir Putin wants Russians to have more sex to halt Russia’s population decline. Maybe they need more coaches? Interestingly, the land of mail-order brides and alcoholism actually has finally stabilized population-wise. In the 1990s, there was speculation Russia’s population would fall by a third by 2050, but that didn’t happen and now they’ve even begun to grow by a few thousand over the past few years. Still, it’s a good political strategy for Putin: how can you go wrong telling people to have more sex?

Item Four: Machete. Liberal Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer just learned a little something about the joys of law and order when he was robbed at machete-point in his Caribbean vacation home by a masked intruder. Being a liberal, he will no doubt draw the wrong lesson and endorse a seven-day waiting period for machetes. . . or vacation homes.

Item Five: Big Brother Is Watching, Aloha. Finally this item. I’ve said before that Republicans get stupid when you mention terrorists or criminals. Too many “conservatives” will happily throw away all their rights in the name of safety based on false promises and vague assurances that we can trust government not to abuse absolute power. Combine this with the Democratic instinct to monitor and control you and you have the makings for an American police state. Here’s proof.

Hawaii’s legislature is debating a bill which will require Internet providers to keep track of every website their customers visit. Basically, your provider will need to keep a continuing file showing every website you visited in the past two years. In—flipping—sane!

Why would Hawaii do this? Because Republican Representative Kymberly Marcos Pine is being “harassed” by a web designer named Eric Ryan, who claims Pine owes him money. He launched a website called where he makes the claim that she stiffed him (but not in a Russian way). She also contends that Ryan hacked her e-mail account. Hence, Hawaii needs “tougher cyber laws.” Of course, the Democrats jumped on this and are pushing this insane bill.

Ok, let’s cut through this.. First, if he’s lying about the money, sue him for slander. Clearly he’s not lying because she’s taken no action in that regard. Secondly, if he has hacked her e-mail, then he’s already committed a crime under the Patriot Act. So no additional laws are needed. Third, even if a law was needed, it is to punish someone for hacking an e-mail account, not a law that requires private companies to spy on all citizens so some messed up Hawaiian legislator can get her Stalin on.

Think about this. One man is harassing her, so she wants the government to keep Stasi-like files on everyone in Hawaii?? How does that make sense? What possible purpose could this serve except to let her see who visited his website. And then what? “Re-education” camps? This is pure totalitarianism, make no mistake. And for those inclined to trust the government’s motives, this should wake you up. This is why government really acts -- because some intolerant a-hole with a grudge and a debt problem decides to use the government to help them in a personal fight.

Government is evil and those who would use the government to control others are evil.

Also, don't forget that it's Star Trek Tuesday at the film site (LINK), and in honor of Valentine's Day, might I recommend revisiting the Top 25 Romance Films article (LINK).

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Obfuscating CPAC

With CPAC finishing Saturday, many people are trying to pick winners and loser. Actually, I should put that differently, many people are trying to spin winners and losers, Politico included. And boy are they wrong!

Santorum the Winner? Politico declared Santorum the big “winner,” even though he came in second to Romney, because last year he had only 2% support and now he has 31%. This is ludicrous.

Let’s start with the obvious fact Politico skipped: Romney won. That makes him THE winner. Indeed, the real story here is that in the “anybody but Romney” world of conservatism, Romney should not have won this straw poll at all. He should have come in dead last. Instead, he won by 7% (38% to 31%) topping last year’s score of 22%. That makes him THE BIG winner.

If you don’t think that’s true, then ask yourself why Ricky went out Sunday and whined that the vote was rigged? He wouldn’t do that if this loss hadn’t hurt him. (As an aside, note that once again a “conservative” is playing into liberal smears by attacking other conservatives as vote riggers.)

And why did this hurt Ricky? Because with his huge margins of victory in Minnesota and Missouri, anything less than a 50% total among a gathering of 10,000 of the country’s most highly conservative activists must be seen as a declaration of a lack of faith in Santorum. That makes this a HUGE loss, and it means the real winners are Romney (as stated above) and Newt. Why Newt? Because this result tells us that Santorum can’t seal the deal and become the “anybody but Romney” guy. To the contrary, this vote shows a tremendous amount of unease among conservatives with Santorum.

That unease, by the way, was encapsulated by Christine O’Donnell who accidentally said into an open mic, “Santorum’s fiscal record is more liberal than Romney’s social record.” That plus some conservatives fear the whole Torquemada thing won’t sell.

Obama the Loser? Politico also declared Obama a CPAC loser. They claim his contraception policy controversy couldn’t have happened at a worse time because it “galvanized conservatives at the conference.” Give me a break.

Let’s play Devil’s Advocate. Isn’t the timing a win for Obama? With one well-timed policy, he’s got all the CPAC lemmings worked up into a tizzy over abortion. They will now go home, full of rage, and tell all their friends that abortion needs to be THE issue for this race. That means supporting Reverend Ricky, the weakest candidate in the field. It means spouting a LOT of rhetoric that will freak out the straights. And it means taking their eyes off the real issue -- economics. Indeed, on Tuesday, Obama will unveil a new budget with a $1.3 trillion dollar deficit which lavishes money on his crony friends and raises taxes on everyone. . . but these CPACers will be busy foaming at the mouth over abortion.

Call me crazy, but it sounds like a brilliant bit of timing by Obama.

The real problem for Obama on the contraception issue is that the Catholic Church has declared war against him, and they have a lot of power in states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, where CPAC has less influence than a jelly donut.

Politico also ignored something else that was significant vis-à-vis Obama and CPAC, even after mentioning it in their article. To stop Ron Paul from winning their straw poll, CPAC made it much easier for everyone to vote. And guess what? They still got 300 fewer votes than last year. And that’s despite this being an election year with a highly contested primary. That’s a sign of trouble for conservatives. Win for Obama.

Palin the Winner? Politico declared Palin a winner because she drew a large crowd. From this, they concluded she would be “a major figure on the right for decades to come.” Ok, but keep this in mind. Despite claiming to be neutral, she unofficially endorsed Newt right about the time polls showed that he would win South Carolina. He did win, which was no surprise. Then he got his butt handed to him in Florida by Romney and then by Santorum in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri. Which is more telling of Palin’s power, that a group of activists crowded around her celebrity-style at a conference or that conservative voters in four states ignored her endorsement?

Ron Paul Loser? Politico says Paul lost because he did much worse in this straw poll than the last one, which “shows the limits of his support among conservatives.” Wrong. This completely misjudges Ron Paul’s goals.

There are many forms of winning. Paul knows he will never win the White House. That’s not his goal. His goal is to get the Republican Party to adopt his views. And with guys like Jim DeMint saying the Republican Party better listen to his views, Paul is riding a heck of a winning streak. Judging him on a straw poll he did not contest (at a convention he did not attend) is as stupid as judging Palin’s political reach on her ability to draw a crowd at CPAC. This is insta-nalysis and it’s crap. This is analysis designed to create a trend rather than expose a trend.

Anybody But Romney Tantruming. Finally, Politico along with several conservatives are attacking Romney over his statement that: “I was a severely conservative Republican governor.”

See, it turns out that no conservative would say this, just as no British secret agent would order red wine with fish. Said a shocked Rush: “I have never heard anybody say, ‘I’m severely conservative.’” Added the always-perfect Newt, “Some things are too funny to comment on.” Several others called for an “explanation.”

The meme behind this is that conservatives shouldn’t trust Romney because he “doesn’t speak the language” of conservatism. This is ridiculous. Splitting hairs over a poor choice of words is not reasoned analysis, it’s a prejudice desperately searching for validation.

But I guess they’re right. How can we trust a man who would say “I’m severely conservative” in an off-the-cuff comment. We should instead put our faith in genuine conservatives like Newt who says conservative things like calling deportation of illegals “heartless” and “inhuman,” who pimped global warming as “settled science,” who attacks “bad capitalism,” and who supported RomneyCare and TARP because everybody was doing it. Or we should support genuine conservatives like Ricky Santorum who supported the creation of new entitlements, gun control, higher taxes, higher spending, a healthcare mandate (i.e. RomneyCare), and illegal immigration, and who also disapproves of “bad capitalism.” Why? Because Rick’s a real conservative, and he would never misspeak, like he did about women in combat this weekend.

My point is this. Conservatives need to stop playing these games. Disagreeing over the importance of particular aspects of the candidate’s records is fine, trying to invent things to dislike is not. Stop parsing words and crowd size. Stop trying to turn mirages of molehills into mountains. Let’s use our brains, not our knee-jerks, and demand that conservative talkers start using theirs as well. . . assuming they have them.

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Government Dependence Is Killing America

America is in trouble, that’s clear. Our economy is creaking along and has produced no jobs in a decade. Unemployment is soaring. The middle class is shrinking. Inflation is crushing wages and people on fixed incomes. Our national debt is stifling and our deficit tells us the powers that be are running full speed ahead with the same old dysfunction. Now we have some interesting data from the Heritage Foundation which highlights the greatest threat this country faces. In a word: dependence.

According to the Heritage Foundation, dependence on the federal government rose 23% in the first two years under Obama. That’s the biggest rise since Jimmy Carter. What's worse, almost every year sees a rise, and the cumulative effects are staggering. In the last two years, the number of people dependent on the federal government has risen 7.5% to 67 million people. That means 22% of the population, one in five people, is a ward of the state. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg because more than 49% of all Americans, 152 million people, live in a household that gets a check from the government.

Think about that.

Half of all Americans look to the federal government as a source of income, and one in five look to it as their primary source of income. Do you think those people will support cutting government spending? Unlikely. At this point, these people eat up 70% of the federal budget -- they claimed 25% in 1962 and 48% in 1990.

Further, 49.5% of all Americans pay NO income taxes (it was 12% in 1960). Do you think those people have any incentive to stop the growth of government?

America has become a country where the many mooch off the labors of the few. This is a disaster because it gives millions of people a strong incentive to vote to keep taking from the rest. And that is highly destructive to the fabric of the country. Why? Because a culture of dependence is forming where a majority of Americans see the government as provider. They have essentially become useless. . . a drain on society. But they have political power because of their sheer numbers and they have no shame in using the government to steal from everyone else. Essentially, the unproductive are using the force of government to make the productive into their slaves.

This must end and it must end fast because dependence makes people unable and unwilling to change. So long as this continues, these people will entrench themselves further and they will ultimately destroy the country in an orgy of debt.

After I started this article, I ran across an article about Jim DeMint. DeMint is the real intellectual Godfather of the Tea Party and must be credited with shaking Senate Republicans from their slumber. DeMint has put out a new book in which he says what I am saying above:
“Dependent voters will naturally elect even big-government progressives who will continue to smother economic growth and spend America deeper into debt. The 2012 election may be the last opportunity for Republicans to win enough votes to win the presidency and a majority in Congress, and enact policies that might turn our nation around from the imminent threat of fiscal calamity.”
This is a significant point. So long as the GOP lets the Democrats (and fellow Republicans) keep adding people to the government dole, we are making it harder and harder to win future elections. It’s a vicious circle, and it needs to be broken.

Interestingly, when DeMint was asked about the presidential candidates, he deferred, but he made two points very clearly: (1) winning the election trumps everything else because of the need to stop this culture of dependence, and (2) the winner of the primary must adopt/focus on Ron Paul’s ideas of individual liberty, cutting the power of the Federal Reserve, and limited government. Said DeMint:
“If our nominee doesn’t pick up a lot of Ron Paul’s ideas, we’re missing the boat and we’re missing a lot of people who could help us build our party. These are not wild ideas.”
I have to agree. I think that a sane Ron Paul without a surrenderist foreign policy would be an unbeatable Republican candidate in almost any election, and especially in this election. The question is, who is this person? Jim DeMint is about the only name that comes to mind at the moment.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Caucus Suckers and Chrysler

I spent last night at the Republican Caucus in Colorado where my attempt to nominate Pancho Villa fell a few votes short of success. I thought I’d share a couple observations with you. Afterwards, let’s talk about this Chrysler advert everyone seems to be talking about. . . endlessly.

Caucusing: Procedures. The caucus process is an awful process and needs to be replaced. The process goes like this. First, you had to register in advance. Several people were turned away for not being registered. The 36 who remained crammed into a room. The floor was thrown open for speeches and five people demonstrated their ignorance. A vote was held, confirming their ignorance. Then delegates were elected. Those delegates will now go to a county convention, where they hope to be elected to go the state convention. Seriously. Could you design a less efficient and representative system? Sure, by adding a meaningless primary, which Colorado will also have for no reason whatsoever.

Caucus: Voters. If you ever want to lose your faith in democracy, go to one of these shindigs. The level of idiocy was intense. Five people spoke, all for Santorum. The first woman said, “I’ve never been to a caucus before and I don’t know much about the candidates, but Mr. Santorum seems very moral to me.” The next idiot said, “we tried voting for economics in the past and look where that go us. It’s time we voted for a guy who’s moral and Mr. Santorum, he’s moral. And he’s an economic conservative. He’s got a history of being the only economic conservative.” Idiot number three said, “I just wanted to say a word about Mr. Santorum. He’s pro-life. He opposed partial birth abortion when nobody else would. We need to stop abortion in America and Mr. Santorum is the only one who will do that.” Idiot number four said, “Obama is the most immoral leader we ever had. We need a man who is moral and that’s Mr. Santorum.” Finally, idiot number five said, “Abortion is the biggest issue this country faces and Mr. Santorum is the only one who will stop abortion.”

Then a vote was held: Pastor Rick 25, Romney 10, Paul 1, Newt 0.

Caucusing: Results. This is the part where you think I’m going to lose my mind. I’ll bet you expect me to rail against the idiots who don’t realize (or care) that Santorum is a socialist, who think tilting at the abortion windmill is more important than political freedom and jobs in this country, who don’t get that Rick can’t be elected because he’s toxic, and who don’t realize that he will never deliver a ban on abortion even if he gets elected. Well, forget about it. I’m over it. All I’ll say is congratulations President Obama on your re-election. You have chosen your opponents wisely.

The Chrysler Ad: Until yesterday, I saw no reason to comment on the Clint Eastwood Super Bowl ad. There are already 5.2 million screeds written about it and I saw no reason to add another. But as the number of articles just keep piling up, I realized there is something worth saying: Stop!

For those who don’t know, this ad showed Clint Eastwood pimping the turnaround of Chrysler and Detroit. The ad isn’t overtly political, but it sure feels that way and it was enough to get conservative spidey-senses tingling. Indeed, the ad seems to imply that the auto bailout, something Obama considers his number one selling point, has saved Detroit, Chrysler and America, and now everything is great again. In many ways, this felt like the first Obama re-election commercial. Obama even added to this sense by praising the ad and basically thanking Chrysler for the plug.

But then things went wrong. Conservatives screamed foul. This immediately brought out Clint Eastwood to make sure that people knew he was not associated with Obama nor was he endorsing Obama. Then people started mentioning: (1) how the taxpayers lost almost three billion dollars in the Chrysler part of the bailout, (2) how Chrysler is owned by Fiat, an Italian company and not Americans, and makes their cars in Canada and Mexico, not Detroit, and (3) how Detroit is a hopeless basketcase akin to what is shown in Robocop. Suddenly, the whole “Obama is great” gloss began to look like a bitter joke.

Now there’s word that this pro-Detroit ad was actually filmed in New Orleans! How ridiculous is that? Not only did they need to pick another city to highlight Detroit, but this is the second time Fiat has made this mistake in the past few months (Fiat = Chrysler). Indeed, you may recall Fiat being embarrassed when it was revealed that their Jennifer Lopez ads where Lopez talks about New York being her home while seeming to drive through New York were actually shot in L.A. How in the world could the same company make this same huge mistake twice? Does that make you trust their cars?

In the end, this became an incredible embarrassment for Fiat/Chrysler, Detroit and Obama.

BUT conservatives won’t stop whining about it. Indeed, as article after article continues to be written about this, often wrongly accusing Clint Eastwood of selling out, conservatives are coming across like petty, obsessed children.... little Santorums. When you pile on, there comes a point where people feel the attacks have become ridiculous and the sympathies shift. We have reached that point. Take your victory and move on before you snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.... like always.

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Monday, February 6, 2012

Iran: Sanctioning Stupity

I always enjoy it when The Economist presents insanely stupid liberal arguments with a straight face. That’s high entertainment, like exquisite parody. The latest example involves an attempt to explain why Obama is doing just fine in his efforts to stop Iran from getting a nuclear bomb. This argument is so awful that a child could see the problems with it. But apparently, The Economist can’t.

The Economist’s argument runs like this. First, they claim that Obama is on the verge of solving the Iranian problem because he just signed a measure into law which imposes “sanctions of unprecedented severity.” Yep. Specifically, these sanction will “ban” sales of Iranian oil to Europe, Japan and South Korea, who currently account for 40% of Iran’s sales. It will also “punish any foreign financial institution transacting business with Iran’s central bank.” This is meant to pressure Iran into stopping its development of nuclear weapons and “to show a jumpy Israel that there is an alternative to a military attack.” This is important because a military attack would raise tensions and might not actually work.

Makes sense, right?

Well, that depends on whether or not you keep reading the article. For in the very next breath, The Economist admits that skeptics “are entitled to ask” if sanctions will really work, “given that a variety of sanctions over the past 30 years has failed to change Iran’s behavior.”

Ok, let’s stop right there. This 30-years-of-failure fact tells us that the skeptics have been 100% right for 30 years now and what The Economist proposes has a miserable track record of absolute failure. Hence, the skeptics are more than just “are entitled to ask.” To the contrary, they are entitled to laugh uproariously at this idiotic suggestion. Indeed, what The Economist is doing fits Einstein’s definition of insanity -- doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Also, let’s be clear, this is the same Economist which claims that sanctions against Cuba can’t work but which now says they will work in Iran.

So why does The Economist think these will work? Because these sanctions are different. These are “sanctions of unprecedented severity” (sounds like “rodents of unusual size”). Indeed, according to The Economist, these sanctions will finally hurt the regime because they will stop Iran from selling its oil! Ah ha! Take that you Iranians! And take that too you dirty “Republican candidates” who are cynically trying to “depict Mr. Obama as weak.”

Yep, Obama is great. The end.

Oh wait, there are more words in this article. Words like this: “China, which is Iran’s biggest trading partner and has little truck with sanctions, will probably take up much of the slack created by Europe and America’s Asian allies.” Hmm. So Iran will shift its sales from Europe to China and Iranian sales will decrease by exactly 0%. Interesting. And no one at The Economist thought this might make their description of these as “sanctions of unprecedented severity” suddenly seem rather ridiculous? No one thought that Iran suffering NO economic consequences at all from these sanctions meant their estimate that “the latest sanctions will cause [Iran] more pain,” could perhaps be completely and utterly wrong?

It gets worse.

See, it turns out that this could be bad for Europe and the US: “the fragile economies of Europe and America would suffer if Iran’s oil exports disappeared from the world market.” Now think about this. This means these powerful sanctions will result in ZERO harm to Iran, but could tip the West into recession, thereby weakening Iran’s enemies. Yet The Economist, with a straight face, says this is “nevertheless worthwhile.”

Soooooo, let me see how this logic works. Doing something that hurts you but not the person you want to hurt is worthwhile because it will somehow force them to change their behavior. Hmm. Well, in that light, I think we should shoot pineapples up the rear ends of everyone who works for The Economist. That might just be what’s needed to stop Iran. Sure, I can guarantee you that it won’t actually do anything to Iran and it will certainly hurt the staff at The Economist, but it’s “nevertheless worthwhile” because. . . well, because it is. Problem solved, crack the bubbly!


Anyways, the pineapple sitters at The Economist aren’t done supporting their argument. They say, it’s clear that Iran’s threat to close the Strait of Hormuz is proof that the mere threat of these sanctions has put the regime under strain.

Of course, it’s more likely the Hormuz threat is a direct response to Israel fueling up its jets. But let’s not confuse The Economist with facts or logics as they clearly are not equipped the handle either. Also, for the record, this is the same threat Iran makes whenever something displeases it. They made it during the Iran-Iraq war, in response to the 30-years of ineffective sanctions, in response to UN reports, in response to Gulf Wars I & II, Saudi saber rattling, movies they didn’t liked, etc. In other words, thinking this threat shows a regime under pressure is purely wishful thinking.

The Economist also thinks Iran is worried about the Arab Spring. Of course, it conveniently ignores the fact that Iran already had its spring and the springers lost.

Finally, it suggests offering Iran “a carrot” by telling it everything it stands to gain if it just starts playing nice. This is idiocy. Can they really believe that Iran doesn’t know what it could gain or lose either way and hasn’t made a rational decision that it has more to gain going this route? “Wait Ahmed, you mean the Americans will open a McDonalds in Tehran if we stop trying to kill them? Why has no one told me this before?!”

The Economist also suggests we could promise to enrich their uranium for them. Yay! Never mind that this was only ever a temporary suggestion to slow Iran’s own enrichment and it’s been offered twice, by France the first time and then Brazil and South Africa the second, and Iran laughed it off because they want to build a bomb.

Liberalism is a mental condition and articles like this prove it. No human being with even a hint of intelligence could think that a plan which would do no harm except to the person proposing the plan will cause a bad guy to become a good guy. Yet here it is. I am honestly at a loss for words to describe how stupid this is.

I swear I’ve been punked.

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Polls: Doom Hangs Over Obama Campaign

It won’t surprise you to hear that Obama faces a difficult challenge in getting re-elected. It might surprise you, however, just how difficult that challenge may be. I’ve been saying for some times that Obama is looking at a potential landslide loss. Now Gallup agrees with me.

Gallup is not exactly conservative friendly when it comes to polling. In fact, they can always be counted on to skew things 3-5% to the left. So when they predict doom for a Democrat, it bears noticing. And right now they’re predicting doom for Obama. Consider these findings:
● Obama’s approval rating averaged 44% in 2011. This is down from 47% in 2010, which resulted in historic carnage for his party in the November 2010 elections.

● At the start of 2011, Obama’s approval ratings topped 50% in only 16 states.

● By the third quarter of 2011, this had fallen to 10 states.

● Obama’s approval ratings rose only in Wyoming, Connecticut and Maine.
This spells doom for Obama. For one thing, Obama has horrible poll numbers: 44% just isn’t enough to get re-elected. Moreover, they have been consistently low throughout his administration -- confirming the trend. What’s worse, even as his national numbers have largely stabilized (or at least their descent has slowed), his state by state numbers continue to sink. And it is the state by state numbers that really matter because of our electoral college system. In other words, Obama may win California by 17%, but every vote after 50% +1 is wasted. Hence, all that matters is the number of states he can win, and not the margin of victory in any state.

And when Gallup looked at the state by state numbers, it found that if Obama wins only the states where his popularity exceeds his unpopularity (i.e. his approval > his disapproval), he will lose the 2012 election to GenericRepublican in an electoral landslide of 323 electoral votes to 215 electoral votes. Here’s their map showing how the election would look:

Moreover, it turns out that Obama doesn’t actually have the money advantage that people assumed. Remember talk of the “billion dollar war chest”? It may be a lot smaller than that. Indeed, various people who analyze the pace of fundraising say that Obama is actually running behind Bush’s pace from 2004, and that Obama is likely to end up with only $250 million. . . one quarter of the one billion dollars people expected.

But he still has more money than Romney, right? Not really.

Obama has $81.8 million cash on hand. The DNC has $12.6 million. Outside PACs favoring Obama have only about $4 million. It comes to around $98.3 million.

Romney, by comparison, has only $19.9 million in cash. But his super PAC has another $23.6 million. The RNC has $20 million. Along with other groups, this comes to around $94 million.

Further, Obama’s ability to use the bully pulpit of the White House is fading fast. His SOTU speech drew his worst ratings yet and was down 20% from the year before, which was down 20% from the year before, etc. All told, Obama is drawing about half the number of viewers he drew originally and an amazing 27% of those who tuned in left his SOTU within five minutes of starting. This is just more evidence that the people have stopped listening.

Between low ratings and steady poll numbers, I think the public has simply tuned him out. And if that’s the case, then no amount of money will help him. Good luck, President One-Term.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Despicable Newt

Romney’s win last night likely decided the Republican nomination. What I want to talk about today, however, is the damage being done to conservatism by the desperate and despicable creature that is Newt Gingrich. Specifically, he’s been smearing Romney and anyone he thinks supports Romney in ways which are causing long term harm to the cause of conservatism, and it’s time for conservatives to turn their backs on this troll.

Let’s start with Romney. Newt has been slandering Romney in ways that will make it very hard for Romney to beat Obama. Indeed, he’s engaged in a scorched earth policy premised on the idea that we better pick Newt or Newt will make sure Obama wins:
1. Newt has repeatedly called Romney a liar, dishonest and pathetic, when Newt’s actually the one who’s been lying. A reputation for dishonesty is nearly impossible for a politician to live down and harms everything they do because much in politics relies on trust.

2. Newt has made misleading attacks on Romney for investments made by the blind trust Romney is required to use to hold investments. These attacks are anti-capitalist, class warfare attacks and further suggest fraud or tax evasion on Romney’s part.

3. Newt promoted a ridiculous conspiracy theory involving Romney trying to unseat Allen West, suggesting that Romney seeks to destroy the Tea Party.

4. Newt has recycled Rick Perry’s vile “heartless” attack for Romney’s stance on deporting illegal immigrants, a stance shared by all conservatives.

5. And vilest of them all, Newt has tried to inflame religious bigotry while smearing Romney as anti-religion. Observe. Newt began this smear by suggesting that Romney hate religious freedom:
“I think Governor Romney is extraordinarily insensitive to religious freedom in America and the Obama administration is clearly engaged in a war on religion.”
He then told Fox News that Romney made a decision to cut Medicaid funding for health services which would benefit Jewish and Catholic facilities. This was an attempt to both claim Romney didn’t care about religion and to imply that Mormons could not be trusted to protect other religions. And if you think I’m overstating that, look at how he repeated this on CNN:
“You want a war on the Catholic Church by Obama? Guess what: Romney refused to allow Catholic hospitals to have conscience in their dealing with certain circumstances. . . . Romney cut off kosher food to elderly Jews on Medicare. Both of them [Romney and Obama] have the same lack of concern for religious liberty. . . I’m a little bit tired of being lectured about respecting every religion on the planet, I would like [Romney] to respect our religion.”
Note that Newt singles out a war on Catholics and Jews and then finishes with the suggestion that Romney is not a Christian and that he would protect other religions, but not Christianity. What Newt is doing here is playing on the religious bigotry of fundamentalists like Robert Jeffress who still view Mormonism as a non-Christian cult.

Gingrich then issued a truly despicable robocall claiming that Romney forced Holocaust survivors to eat non-kosher foods:
“As governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney vetoed a bill paying for kosher food for our seniors in nursing homes. Holocaust survivors, who for the first time, were forced to eat non-kosher, because Romney thought $5 was too much to pay for our grandparents to eat kosher. Where is Mitt Romney’s compassion for our seniors? Tuesday you can end Mitt Romney’s hypocrisy on religious freedom, with a vote for Newt Gingrich. Paid for by Newt 2012.”
When confronted about this robocall, Newt denied having any knowledge of it and incredibly then said, “You might check and see whether the accusation is true.” Note the lack of condemnation of the call and, more interestingly, his adoption of the message.
This is all despicable and will not only dampen conservative support for Romney, but will hang around his neck in the general election and throughout his Presidency. These aren’t policy disputes, they are bigoted smears and slanders.

And it’s not just smears against Romney which are the problem. Indeed, Gingrich has been busy reinforcing generations of leftist attacks on the foundations of conservatism:
● His attacks on Romney’s wealth and investments and Wall Street bankers have been anti-capitalist.

● His attacks on Romney’s immigration policy play right into leftist claims that conservatives hate immigrants and are “heartless” on the issue.

● His attacks on Mormonism feed fundamentalists who oppose all but their own sects.

● His attacks on the Republican establishment, particularly his false description of them and the conspiratorial nature of his attempt to claim victimhood, widen the gap between Tea Partiers and the Republican party, again splitting natural allies.

● He undercut conservative attempts to reform Medicare and Social Security (the Chilean model), and on the flat tax.
Moreover, Newt’s surrogates are smearing anyone who disagrees. Ann Coulter, Jonah Goldberg, and George Will, all solid conservatives, have been labeled RINOs. Elliot Abrams, who pointed out that Newt is lying about supporting Reagan in the 1980s and produced copies of Newt’s attacks on Reagan from the Congressional Record, where Newt did things like call the Reagan Administration “a failed presidency,” was smeared by a Newt surrogate who suggested with no proof that Abrams was lying because he had been offered a job in the Romney administration. Another Newt surrogate smeared Matt Drudge, who does more to help conservatives than a million Newts combined, for “bias” and “being in the tank for Romney.” Etc.

In a world where liberals already smear conservatives in this manner, and thereby try to rob them of their credibility, conservatives should never give aid and comfort to liberal smears. Yet that is what Newt is doing. He is systematically burning key conservatives and conservative principles to the ground and insanely destroying the foundations of conservatism all in the name of his own aggrandizement.

Further, Newt told us last night exactly what kind of administration he would run if elected. He demanded that the Republicans in Congress give him things that cannot be delivered, i.e. a repeal of ObamaCare on the first day, and he made it clear he would lump Republicans and Democrats into the same group and fight them all if he didn’t get his way.

This troll must be stopped.

Finally, let me say a word about Herman Cain. Cain endorse Newt this week. I find this extremely disappointing. When Cain left the race, it was clear he would endorse Newt because he and Newt are friends. But Cain didn’t do that. Instead, he created this rather corny, but oddly genuine political theater of endorsing the people. This rekindled the Tea Party’s love for him and was enough that they picked him to give the Tea Party response to the State of the Union.

Implicit in all of this was that he would represent the views of the Tea Party. As such, he should have worked to make sure each of the candidates acknowledged the Tea Party and agreed to address its concerns. Endorsing Newt (or anyone) was a violation of trust. This was like being appointed commissioner of a sports league and then cheering for one team. Cain should not have done it and should apologize for it now. You’re better than that Herm.

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