Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Scott's Links October 2012

Scott roams the internet far and wide to ply his trade as a link dealer. Fortunately, Scott provides links free to us. Check these out. . . share your thoughts! And away we go. . .

Click Here To Read Article/Comments at CommentaramaFilms
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Hurricane Politics

Hurricane Sandy has arrived, and putting aside the fact that Bev was reduced to chasing a man dressed like a taco down the street to avoid starvation, the MSM has been busy doing what they do best – spinning this storm for political gain. Here are three big examples.

The “Craven” Mitt Romney Exploits Your Pain: On Tuesday, Romney turned a campaign rally in Ohio into a hurricane relief rally. He asked people to bring food and supplies and to donate money to the Red Cross. Who could object to that? MSNBC.

MSNBC spun this story in the most despicable and deceitful way. First, they claimed that Romney “dressed up” a campaign rally as “a charity drive.” Then Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, said:
“I think that this is just another moment where you see the clear striking difference between a president who has a heart for the American people and someone who simply wants to be president of the United States.”
Huh?! This was seconded by MSNBC host Martin Bashir and other guests. Then they accused Romney of “politicizing” the storm and said “in this sort of disastrous moment [we] can really see in bold relief the differences between President Obama and former Governor Romney.” Really? All Obama has done is his job – he gave a speech asking for donations. . . the exact same thing Romney did. Yet, Romney is rotten and Obama is great? How does that work? Finally, they brought on GQ’s Ana Marie Cox, who said of Romney’s efforts: “I found that sort of fake, relief rally, whatever it is, to be pretty offensive, and also wrong-headed.” And then this hag called Romney “craven.”

Wow.

So what is this character assassination based on? They claimed that Romney was collecting goods and not asking people to donate money, which is what the Red Cross “really wants.” Ok, for starters, any sort of aid is helpful in these situations, that’s why aid organizations always ask for stuff, not just money. And who are these jerks to impugned anyone’s charity? I doubt they gave a penny. . . unlike Romney who has given millions. Moreover, Romney DID ask people to donate. The video of the event shows two huge screens with the Red Cross donation number on them. So their entire argument is not only vile character assassination, but it’s based on an intentional lie. Talk about politicizing a tragedy!

The Evil Mitt Romney HATES FEMA and you!!: Almost the moment Sandy hit radar screens across the country, the MSM started running with this question: “Does Mitt Romney want to shut down FEMA?” Uh, no. He’s never advocated that. Yet, reporter after reporter began asking this question. They were always told “no,” but that didn’t stop them from suggesting the answer was really “yes.”

Where did this idea come from? Last year, a group of leftist bloggers claimed that Romney called FEMA “immoral” and said disaster aid “makes no sense at all.” This was picked up by reporters who surprise, surprise, read leftist blogs (“Journolist II” anyone?), and was even brought into a New York Times editorial smearing Romney two days ago. The problem is, it’s a lie.

What Romney actually said was this. He was asked by CNN’s John King in June 2011, during the primaries, what Romney would do about FEMA which was about to run out of money. King asked, “[aren’t we] learning a lesson here that the states should take on more of this role?” Romney responded: “Absolutely. Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that’s the right direction.”

Notice that Romney does not say to shut down FEMA, nor was he asked about it.

He then went on to talk about the debt and the need to trim the federal budget. He said, “We cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids. It is simply immoral, in my view, for us to continue to rack up larger and larger debts and pass them on to our kids, knowing full well that we’ll all be dead and gone before it’s paid off. It makes no sense at all.” During this speech, King tried to speak over Romney and asked, “including disaster relief?”

These leftist bloggers are pretending that Romney’s entire speech became about disaster aid the moment King threw the question out there, even though Romney was already talking about something else and never acknowledges King’s addition. Romney never said disaster aid was “immoral” or “made no sense at all,” as they now claim he did. What he said was that disaster aid should be applied at the state level and he said continuing to raise our debt was “immoral.” But that doesn’t make Romney seem heartless.

By the way, no one in the MSM is mentioning that Obama proposed a $900 million cut of FEMA’s budget.

The Hurricane “Stole” The Election!: Finally, the MSM is trying to plant the idea that Hurricane Sandy “stole the election.” They are setting this up by claiming that the hurricane has unfairly taken Obama away from the campaign and will disrupt the very liberals Obama needs to win by disrupting the Northeast.

Of course, Obama will still win these states, so the hurricane doesn’t really change anything substantive. Also, it’s only taking him away for a few hours, and even then he’s getting tons of free media coverage out of it. But never let the facts stop a new “conventional wisdom.”

So why would they do this? They want to delegitimize Romney’s victory, just as they tried to delegitimize Bush by claiming he stole Florida (when even their extensive media-sponsored recount effort found that Bush did win), and just like they did with claims about electronic voting machine fraud in 2004 and the Swift Boat “smear,” as if harsh ads were somehow something new. Why do this? Because they think the only way the left can return to power will be to make Romney seem like an illegitimate president presiding over a chaotic and hopelessly gridlocked Congress. To do that, they need to fight everything he does. And to do that, they need to keep their mindless followers feeling victimized so they keep turning out for protests, keep supporting hateful propagandists like MSNBC, and keep sending death threats to prominent Republicans. They need chaos and anger. Hence, “Romney cheated.”

Trust me, 2013 is going to be an ugly year on the left.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pre-Election Race Baiting

With the election just a few days away, it’s time to wake up the Democratic base, so the MSM (aka the propaganda arm of the Democratic Party) is busy putting out articles intended to do just that. Hence, in the past few days we’ve seen an amazing number of articles warning blacks that a return to slavery is basically just around the corner. This is vile race baiting at its MSM worst.
You Are All Racists
The AP is touting a poll they created which claims to find that 51% of Americans “now express explicit anti-black attitudes.” Explicit means openly expressed. In other words, 51% of Americans are openly racist. This compares to the good times back in 2008 when only 48% of us went around calling blacks names.

Does this make any sense to anyone? No. I challenge anyone to take a camera, hidden or otherwise, and go find even a hundred people who will make “explicit anti-black” statements. You won’t find those people.

This is liberal garbage designed to create an agenda. The agenda is to keep blacks from realizing that they are being mistreated by the Democratic Party by scaring them into believing that whites secretly hate them. It is designed to make the world see the US as a racist country, when it is not, because that builds pressure for more identity-group solutions like affirmation action. It is designed to let liberals believe in things they “know” are true, even though they can find no proof to support their beliefs, by letting liberals believe that the rest of us just hide our true natures from them... our true natures which suddenly appear in these academic studies.

It is also meant to explain Obama’s pending loss. Indeed, notice that the 2008 number and the 2012 number both reflect the percentage that will vote against Obama. Hence, Obama lost because people got more racist, not because they disagree with his policies or because they think he’s a retard who failed miserably at his job.

Unfortunately, stupid people will believe this even though this is obvious nonsense.
Silencing Black People!
Another “study” just came out claims that blacks feel less free despite Obama’s election. According to the “study,” only 45% of blacks now believe that the government will let them make a public speech – this is down from when Obama was first elected. This compares to the 67% of whites who feel they can make a public speech.

Uh... what?

Folks, lay off the crack. Honestly, this is so intensely stupid that I can’t believe these results are serious. Yes, I get that the fringe are worried that the moment they start speaking the “truth” about whatever conspiracy they believe, the CIA will hear it through the transmitters in their teeth and the federal agents stationed under their beds will come out and get them. But those morons are only 1-2% of the population. So who the hell are the rest of these people? I can’t find the underlying data of the poll, but frankly, this sounds like a wild distortion of poorly worded and vague questions, which resulted in confused data that has been spun to reach the result the “researchers” wanted.

In any event, the “study” authors claim that blacks felt more free when Obama was first elected because of the “empowerment effect,” i.e. “the boost that happens when a member of your group gets elected to an important political position.” And they now feel less free because of partisan politics. This is bunk, but it’s clear what the purpose is here. The purpose is to tell blacks and liberals that they need to get out to vote because they will be powerless to even speak their minds if they don’t keep “their group” in the White House. It is essentially an appeal to racial solidarity.
Enslaving The Black Man
Finally, there was a stunning article in the UK Guardian which adds to this mix. This article was stunning mainly because it was pure slander, but as with the others above, it serves a purpose. According to this article, segregation in the workplace is higher than it’s been at any point since Jim Crow. Black voter turnout is lower than it was when Jimmy Carter lost to Reagan and the idea that blacks turned out in historic numbers in the last election was a myth, and black turnout was overestimated by 13%. The black middle class has seen their income crash by 11% compared to whites only losing 5.2%. Black unemployment is double white unemployment at 14%. And blacks are now incarcerated at double the rate they were in the 1930s. The article doesn’t say precisely why any of this is, but it reeks with implications of racism.

This is garbage.

The reality is this. Black turnout was historic in 2008 and there is no proof at all that it was overstated. Black voter turnout was 10% in 1980 and it was 13% in 2008.

Secondly, employment segregation is the result of choices made by individuals. Blacks, like women, overwhelming work in government. That is why they were immune from the recession when it first hit but were hurt later on. White males lost their jobs first because they were in the private sector (remember feminists crowing about the “mancession” in 2008?), but they got new jobs as the recovery began. Meanwhile, women and blacks were immune from job cuts in 2008, but got hit when government budgets fell in 2009 (remember feminists whining about women being unfairly hurt by the recession in 2009?). Government always lags the private sector on job loss. This is also a prime reason why the black unemployment rate is higher and why black incomes fell more than white incomes. What this “study” has done is cherry pick time periods and then pretended this is some long term trend. It’s not.

Also, while we’re at it, black net worth has fallen more than whites in the past five years because blacks invest their savings in their homes rather than the market, which whites prefer. Home prices have recovered much more slowly than stock prices.

The other reason black unemployment is higher is the influx of Hispanics, who have taken jobs traditionally held by blacks and poor whites.

In terms of incarceration rates, the incarceration rate for whites also is double the rate of the 1930s. In other words, there is no racial difference in the change as the study implies.

So why imply racism? Simple. The purpose behind this article is to deceive a British/European population that I’ve found to be intensely ignorant of America, despite their belief that they know a lot about us. They are quite ready to believe the worst and then some. It is also intended to float its way back over here as a warning to blacks to suggest some sort of “war on blacks” and to make them think that the bad things they have endured under Obama’s mismanagement of the economy is the result of widespread racism rather than Obama’s policies.

Each of these articles/studies is despicable. And until people begin behaving responsibly and stop putting out this kind of propaganda, race relations in this country will never heal. You simply can’t get people to live together happily when supposedly responsible journalists, politicians, and academics keep telling one group that another is trying to enslave them because they hate them. This needs to stop.

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Smoke Signals of Pending Disaster

The surest way to know how a Presidential campaign is trending is to look to see who’s acting desperately. Leading the league in desperation at the moment is Team Obama. Indeed, this past week/weekend really exposed a campaign that knows it’s in serious trouble.

Let’s start with the obvious. The debates didn’t help Obama. Romney started gaining momentum just before the debates and he kept right on going all the way through the end. Nothing has slowed him. Indeed, check out the polls. Gallup showed Romney creeping up little by little until he took a 5%-7% lead, where he’s stayed since the last debate. Team Obama tried to smear Gallup so people would dismiss this, but now Rasmussen is showing a similar lead. Even the networks, who notoriously poll several percent to the left of real events are showing Romney and Obama tied or Romney leading by a single point. So it looks like nationally, Romney is ahead by 5%.

This weekend also gave us polls showing Pennsylvania within 3% of Romney’s grasp and Obama’s lead in Minnesota. . . of all places. . . down to 3% (47% to 44%). Don’t forget that undecideds tend to break for the challenge 2-1. Rasmussen has Romney up by 2% in Ohio.

Obama has signaled he’s giving up on Florida, Colorado, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Virginia. Wisconsin is tied and so is Nevada. Obama is now desperately flooding the airwaves there and in Michigan. These are all states Obama was supposed to win handily. Heck, the Des Moines Register in Iowa just endorsed Romney -- the first Republican they've endorsed in 40 years!! Meanwhile, Romney and the RNC are moving into blue states. Time is precious, so don’t believe they would do this without good reason.

So how has Obama responded?
● First, he changed strategies. Just as I said he needed to do, Obama is now trying to go positive and to present voters with a reason to vote for him. To do that, he’s created a series of ads touting his five-point plan and asking you very nicely to compare it to “Governor Romney’s, to see which is better for you.” These are quite good ads and he comes across as very presidential. But I think they are too late and his plan is too uninspired because this is the same plan he touted in each of the debates and it attracted no one.

● Secondly, because his new plan isn’t working, and I think they know that, he’s floating the idea of a $400 per person payroll tax cut. Look for more to follow.

● Third, Obama is making a big show of finally acting like a President in the face of a natural disaster by letting it be known he’s going to monitor this hurricane closely rather than campaign (cough cough John McCain... "I'm going to suspend my campaign..." cough cough).

● Fourth, even though he’s trying to go positive, he’s also putting out some truly vile ads suddenly, like one in which a group of children sing how Romney wants to let sick people “just die.” He's also running a Mediscare ad which has been 100% debunked, even by the left.
All in all, this reeks of desperation for Obama. The fact Obama is pouring money into supposedly safe states tells us that he’s in serious trouble and he knows it. The fact he’s changed his message tells us that he knows his current message isn’t selling. Indeed, I think it’s too late to change minds, not to mention his “5-point plan” just isn’t inspiring. The tax cut proposal smells of a desperation bribe, but no one is going to take a $400 bribe on credit. His attempt to appear presidential in light of the hurricane also won’t work because we expect that from our Presidents and you don’t get extra-credit for doing what you’re supposed to do. Not to mention, he has a history of ignoring natural disasters.

Now compare this to Romney, who is displaying extreme confidence and only fine-tunes his strategy rather than trying to make wholesale changes. If you want to know who is really winning, there are your clues.

Thoughts?

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Impending Doom...

*Wind up/battery operated radio - Check
*Non-perishables - Check
*Hello, Kitty telephone plugged in - Check
*Water in the bathtub - Check (okay, I have water in big pots, but what-evs)
*Cellphone/Ipad/Laptop fully powered - Check
*Spare batteries - check
*Cash - Check

Did I miss anything?

As you may have heard, I am hunkering down for Stormaggedon. Yes, we are expecting the big one - It-icane Sandy ("hurricane" is so misogynist, isn't it?!)- to hit beginning sometime this morning. All Mass transit in New York City has been shut down for only the second time in 108 years. (Just in case you wanted to know, the only other time was last year for Hurricane Irene.) So, in the off-chance that I lose power and can't get online, just talk amongst yourselves.

If you need a topic, try one of these:

1. General Disaster Preparedness - What you do to prepare for disasters.

2. Election Disaster Preparedness - Where are you planning to move in case the worst happens and Obama wins!

3. Are there really more disasters, or do we just hear about them more?

Play nicely. I will check in when and if I can.
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Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Great (film) Debates vol. 59

There are good films, then there are great films, and then there are films that blow your mind. . . like Ernest Goes To Jail!

What film “blew your mind” and why?


Click Here To Read Article/Comments at CommentaramaFilms
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Saturday, October 27, 2012

No Voter Fraud, Really!

When will they ever learn? I mean, really, is it so hard to remember that when someone asks you how to commit fraud to say "That's illegal! Don't do it or I will turn you in!"?

Answer: Yes, yes, it is...

Well, it must be like fishing in a bathtub for James O'Keefe and Project Veritas. If you don't know what I am talking about, here's a sample of Mr. O'Keefe's handiwork.

Let me set the scene. Undercover reporter with a hidden camera makes contact with a prominent 11-term Virginia Congressman's campaign "Field Director" who just happens to also be the Congressman's son. Said reporter proceeds to inquire about how he can vote more than once to make sure that Obama wins...well, let's go to the tape:



And if you think that this is just an isolated case, here's another one. This time in at an Election Regional Field office in Houston, Texas:



Now, what is really interesting is that Patrick Moran, the subject of the first video is the son of 11-term Democrat Virginia Congressman James Moran who just sent a letter to AG Eric Holder demanding an investigation into Republican voter registration fraud. The Houston Field Director Stephanie Caballero was a paid staff member of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headed by Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, another voter fraud denier. For the record, both Field Directors have been forced to resign, but not before...well, nothing really. One would think that "voter fraud" issues would be high on the list of newsworthy stories. But then again, it probably on the same dusty and unused list where asking questions about murdered Ambassadors resides.

Ironically, these are the same Democrats who are increasingly and more loudly floating the trial balloon that if President Obama loses this election, it will because the Republicans stole the election through...yes...voter fraud.

So let's review, we do not need voter id laws because there is no voter fraud, but if Obama loses this election it will be because of voter fraud. Do you think that Democrats actually ever listen to themselves?

Any comments?
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Friday, October 26, 2012

Film Friday: The Village (2004)

I wanted to like The Village so much. After The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and even Signs, M. Night Shyamalan had won me over, even if his films weren’t as well received by the public as they should have been. But The Village never worked. It started well, but it fell apart quickly and it just kept getting worse.

Click Here To Read Article/Comments at CommentaramaFilms
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Your Election Day Preview: It's Coming

Okay folks, the debates are finally over and we're 11 days out from The Last Judgment. It's time to start making predictions. With my brilliant deductive abilities, I have been doing some forecasting and, while not as sanguine as Andrew, I do think we're going to pull this off. I think.

I'm going to break the presidential race down, thusly:
If you live in a red state, congratulations! If you live in a state that voted for McCain or almost voted for him in 2008, rest easy--no way no how will Obama take it, despite any talk you might have heard about Montana or Arizona or something else wavering. All the red states of '08 are going red again, and needless to say, not being able to win an additional state is not a good position for an incumbent, under any circumstances. Plus, Indiana and North Carolina, which just barely broke Obama's way back then, have decisively swung back in the GOP's favor--we may get a double-digit margin of victory from the ol' Hoosier State. 206 electoral votes in the bank for Romney, right there.

The battleground state of Florida? Not such a battleground this time. Everyone remembers the crowing among Dems when Paul Ryan was announced as Romney's VP pick. They could beat the Mediscare drum all they wanted, so they'd be golden in senior-heavy Florida. Right? Well, not so much. Hard to say whether it's disillusionment among suburban voters, swelling support for Romney among Cuban-Americans, or if playing the Medicare/Social Security card really has backfired that much, but the Republican ticket has been consistently ahead by 2 or 3 points in the Sunshine State for weeks now. I guarantee you no one in the Obama campaign or the media (but I repeat myself) will admit it's anything but a toss-up, but we will win Florida on Election Night. 206+29=235.

Good news for Andrew Price. Our founder's childhood state (Virginia) and current place of residence (Colorado), though close, are trending red. The former we could see coming a few weeks back, when Suffolk Polling, a fairly reputable firm, announced it was stopping surveys there and in NC and FL, as all three were GOP locks. The polls are now starting to reflect that, and the same is happening in Colorado. It'll be close, but look for wins in those two states. 235 plus 13 plus 9 gets us to 257 electoral votes.
So far, so good. Worst case scenario, we'll wind up within striking distance of the magic number 270. But we don't want to just be within striking distance, do we?
Plan A: Ohio. The Buckeye State is a doozy, no doubt, and I for one am sick and tired of Romney/Ryan having to try and coax it over. As if we haven't all heard the "No Republican has ever won the White House without Ohio" line 900 billion times, there's also the fact that the state's unemployment rate is lower than the national average, and it benefited from the auto bailout, so a lot of people there are going to think they're pretty well off under Obama. BUT, the same signs of a rightward drift are evident there as elsewhere, and the polls showing TOTUS up tend to be heavily oversampling Democrats. Plus, early voting so far, while favoring Obama, has done so by a far smaller margin than in '08. The margin of victory for either candidate won't be more than a point or two, but I think it's likely that the nationwide trends will pull Ohio towards Romney in the end.

Plan B: Wisconsin-New Hampshire-Iowa. The Romney campaign has been putting increasing attention into Wisconsin and Iowa of late. Ryan will obviously be doing a lot of stumping in his home state, Obama's Super PACs are dumping money back into the state (which they wouldn't do if they thought the state was secure), and Romney will be giving a major economic speech in Iowa today. Plus, New Hampshire, where Mitt has obvious roots, has been trending red in the polls lately. They haven't been showing that kind of movement in the other two states, but after the failed Walker recall this summer, I'm optimistic that the GOP's ground game will pull off the upset in Wisconsin, at least, and combine that with New Hampshire to put us over the top if Ohio fails. In fact, I personally would like nothing better than for us to win without Ohio and then stop treating that state as the Holy Grail of politics.

Longshots. There's Michigan and there's Pennsylvania, the Great White Whales of the Republican Party. Obama's up in both states, and has been for a while, but the margin has been narrowing lately. Realistically, there is probably no scenario in which either of these states is the one to put us over the top. But if we see a major shift nationwide before Election Day and Romney starts taking all the states I've mentioned, then we're talking landslide victory, in which one or both of these could be swept along.
So that's the score. What do I think the final number on November 6 will be? It depends on how optimistic you want to be. Personally, I can't bear the thought of Romney and Ryan not being in the White House after this is done, so I'm going to take the 257 number I mentioned above, add in 4 from New Hampshire, 10 from Wisconsin, and 18 from Ohio, and come up with (interlude for math)--289 electoral votes for the Republican ticket, and 249 for the current occupant at 1600 Pennsylvania. This is a completely arbitrary number, of course; 11 days is still an eternity in a presidential race, and there are a couple of wild cards, like Nevada and Iowa, which will likely be unreadable to the very end. But it's a defensible number. So take it for what it's worth, make up your own predictions if you must, and remember, on November 6, in the event I've gotten this all wrong--stock up on alcohol. Lots and lots of alcohol.

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Politics of Star Trek vol. 1

Rather than doing a typical Star Trek article this week, I'm instead going to announce the release of the first edition of The Politics of Star Trek volume one.

Click Here To Read Article/Comments at CommentaramaFilms
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The Tea Party Effect

I’m rarely interested in what Joe Scarborough says. He’s one of those RINOs who is always finding fault with conservatives and typically whines “why can’t we be more like the Democrats?!” Leave Barack alone! Boo hoo. Anyway, he’s finally written something interesting and it’s about the Tea Party.

Joe starts his article by pointing out that all of his liberal pundit friends, all his friends in the MSM, and all the Democrats he knows keep asking him why the Tea Party is destroying the Republican Party. This is the point where Joe usually throws his hands up in the air and whines about our side. Instead, he rightly calls bullspit on this. In fact, he goes so far as to list the Tea Party’s accomplishments:
● They brought the largest legislative landslide in US history in 2010. This created the largest Republican majority in Congress since 1946.
● They grabbed six seats in the Senate.
● They elected six governors.
● They helped win 700 seats in state legislatures.
● They took Ted Kennedy’s seat, which seemed impossible.
● They led the resistance against Obamacare.
● “The energized a conservative movement battered by eight years of bloated Republicanism.”
This last point deserves clarification because I agree with Joe. By 2008, the Republican brand had become toxic. It was associated first with the Republican Congress obsessively and hypocritically going after Clinton over an affair. Then Bush came along and added questionable wars, open cronyism, the creation of new entitlements and massive spending.

Indeed, before the Tea Party came along, the GOP followed Bush’s lead and spent $700 billion bailing out Wall Street, sent the debt ($10 trillion/69.6% of GDP) and deficit ($450/7.1% of GDP) to record levels, created an unfunded $7 trillion Medicare drug plan entitlement, and fought two wars and was eyeing more. Moreover, Big Business was all over the White House, raping the Treasury time and again through subsidies, protectionist regulations, and no-bid government contracts to cronies. He also created the Patriot Act which stripped Americans of their rights and signed anti-piracy legislation which turned the courts into a cash machine for the recording industry, Hollywood, and agri-business.

Obama made this even worse, sending the debt to $16 trillion (101% of GDP) and the deficit to $1.7 trillion (11.4% of GDP), adding a $787 billion “stimulus” (read: payment to cronies), adding the $2 trillion Obamacare entitlement, adding one war and putting two more on the agenda, and adding more than 100 new major regulations at a cost of more than $50 billion a year. Obama also kept the doors open to Big Business and he tried to allow Big Business to shutdown the internet to stifle competition.

The Tea Party brought all of that to a grinding halt. Since the Tea Party came along, the spending has stopped (though it hasn’t reversed yet). Obama’s regulations are being targeted for repeal. SOPA was killed. Net neutrality was killed. Cap and trade was killed. The Tea Party is leading the charge to repeal Obamacare. The bloated and overpaid federal bureaucracy was exposed. And the public has turned against further wars, even as liberals have developed a taste for using the military to make Obama’s “whine from behind and bend-over” foreign policy look muscular.

There is no doubt that ALL of this should be credited to the Tea Party.

The Tea Party has changed the culture of the Republican Party. They are the part of conservatism that has been abandoned by “the establishment.” They are the people who bring the “small government” to the party of small government. They are the completion of the Reagan Revolution. They are the people who have upset the natural order of things in Washington.

This election will be interesting for several things. First, I genuinely see Romney as the first Tea Party candidate, even though he refuses to adopt the label, because his views on smaller, limited government, less spending and a focus on small business over Big Business combined with his attacks on cronyism, align perfectly with the Tea Party philosophy. So does his focus on economic issues. Secondly, we will need to watch to see if the Tea Party can deliver a follow-up victory to 2010. If they do, they will become the dominant party in Washington. I think they will, but we’ll see. Tune in to find out.

Thoughts?

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Hollywood: The Political Weathervane

We’ve talked about this before in the comments, but I think it’s worth elevating this to article status. There have been a number of celebrities who have recently “come out” as Republicans by endorsing Romney or by flat-out saying they are Republicans. And many of these are minorities, like Stacy Dash and Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson. I think this is significant.

Click Here To Read Article/Comments at CommentaramaFilms
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In Humor There Is Truth

Two politicians walk into a bar. . . actually, it was the Al Smith Dinner and both Obama and Romney were together on stage trading jokes. Some of these were particularly funny and they definitely highlight the talking points of both campaigns. I figured you might enjoy some of the best one-liners. Enjoy!

Romney on the Deficit: “In the spirit of Sesame Street, the President’s remarks tonight are brought to you by the letter O and the number 16 trillion.”

Romney on the Economy: “This president already has a compelling new campaign slogan: ‘Are you better off now than you were four weeks ago?’”

Romney on Obama’s Socialism: “We’re now in the final months of the president’s term. As President Obama surveys the Waldorf banquet room with everyone in white tie and finery, you have to wonder what he’s thinking. So little time, so much to redistribute.”

Romney on the Catholic Church: “If you’ve got a church... you didn’t build that.”

Romney on the Media: “The media have a certain way of looking at things. When suddenly I pulled ahead in some of the major polls, what was the headline? ‘Polls show Obama leading from behind’.”

Romney on the Media: “I have seen early reports from tonight’s dinner – headline: ‘Obama embraced by Catholics, Romney dines with rich people’.”

Romney on Obama’s Campaign: “It’s good to have someone you can depend on at the end of the day. I have my wife, Ann. President Obama has Bill Clinton.”

Romney on his Mormonism: “Usually when I get invited to gatherings like this, it’s to be the designated driver.”


Obama on the Debates: “As some of you may have noticed, I had a lot more energy in our second debate. I felt really well-rested after the nice, long nap I had in the first debate.”

Obama on the Debates: “Four years ago, I gave Chris Matthews a thrill up his leg. At the first debate, I gave him a stroke.”

Obama on Romney Being Rich: “Earlier today, I went shopping at some stores in Midtown. I understand Governor Romney went shopping for some stores in Midtown.”

Obama on Romney Being Rich: Referring to everyone being dressed in white tie and tails, “or as Gov. Romney calls it, business casual.”

Obama on Romney’s Likeability: “After my foreign trip in 2008, I was attacked as a celebrity because I was so popular with our allies overseas, and I have to say I am impressed with how well Governor Romney has avoided that problem.”

Obama on Clint Eastwood: “Everyone please take your seats, or else Clint Eastwood will yell at them.”

Obama on Foreign Policy: “Monday’s debate is a little bit different because the topic is foreign policy. Spoiler Alert: We got bin Laden.”

Obama on Catholicism: “Gov. Romney, your father was born in Mexico and had five kids. Are you sure you’re not Catholic?”

Basically, Romney continues to talk about the economy, the deficit, and poke Obama for not running a good campaign. Obama continues to play class warfare by attacking Romney for being rich, and he’s struggling to put the debates behind him. Just looking at the two strategies in a vacuum, it’s clear why Romney is now pulling ahead in all the polls. I also think it’s interesting that Romney shows a strong sense of humor. He had the audience laughing a LOT. I am reminded more and more of Ronald Reagan every day.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Romney Wins By A Hair, Obama Loses By A Mile

Romney proved himself to be knowledgeable and thoughtful last night, and he showed himself to be quite Presidential. Obama also came across well, though not quite Romney’s equal – he was more political. Thus, Romney won the debate by a hair. But Obama made key mistakes that caused him to blow his last chance to win the election.

Bob Schieffer: Schieffer did an excellent job and should be commended. His questions were thoughtful, fair and he allowed a solid debate.

Romney Succeeds: Romney had one job last night and he did it. He needed to come across as someone you would trust as Commander in Chief. He did. He had much more knowledge than Obama on every single issue and clearly had thought through his solutions. He presented a solid vision, a plan to achieve that vision, and knowledge of the details of every single issue covered which helps you believe his plan will work. He passed the test.

Obama Strategy Fail I: Obama had two jobs last night and he failed at both. Obama’s first job, the one he really needed to achieve, was to give people a reason to vote for him. He didn’t. All he did was repeat his five point plan that hasn’t excited anyone yet and he attacked Romney as wanting to help the rich. These arguments failed in the first two debates and merely repeating them here won’t change anything. He needed something more and he didn’t give it. Indeed, his strategy last night was surprisingly stupid and I think he lost the election last night by default.

FYI, Obama plan: (1) he wants to help manufacturers invest here with tax code changes, (2) he wants to make our education system the best in the work and he wants to retrain workers, (3) he wants us to “control energy” by investing in clean energy, (4) he wants to tax the rich so he can “invest” the money in R&D, and (5) he wants to hire teachers (later he added hiring veterans to build roads).

Then he accused Romney of wanting to help the rich, of wanting to add $7 trillion in debt through military spending and tax cuts (all of which has been debunked), and said Romney wants social policies from the 1950, economic policies from the 1920s, and foreign policy from the 1980s. None of this helped in the prior two debates, and it won’t help now. To the contrary, all this did was open the door to Romney to repeat his devastating attack on Obama’s record which I’ve written out several times already. (see Romney’s Theme). Romney also repeated that he wants to champion small business, which will help him with the Tea Party, and he talked about education reform, which will help him with women. He also pointed out that he balanced budgets in private business for 25 years, at the Olympics, and four years as governor... Obama has yet to balance a budget.

Obama Strategy Fail II: Obama’s second job last night was to land a knockout blow on Romney. He never came close because the lines he used were horrible. They were petty and bully-like, and these detracted from an otherwise solid performance. Examples include:
● He condescended to Romney by trying to explain to him what an aircraft carrier is and what a submarine is.

● He described Romney’s foreign policy as Obama’s policies only “saying them louder.”

● He implied that the US jumped in on the side of the Arab Spring protestors right away, even though that’s false. But more importantly, he said this was his idea and he blurted out, “Me!” Kind of a Howard Dean moment there.

● He waved the bloody shirt of 9/11 by claiming that he brought “closure” to the son of someone who was killed on 9/11 – something the left (and Obama) savaged Bush for doing.

● Obama accused Romney of wanting to use military force as a first resort. This stupid attack, repeated throughout the night, let Romney demonstrate repeatedly that he is not reckless or bloodthirsty.
Obama lost the election on the above, the rest below is just details.
Obama Tactics Fail I: Obama’s biggest tactical mistake was using a shotgun approach on Romney. He attacked on too many issues and used too many details. Moreover, many of his attacks sounded like Obama was trying to pull quotes out of context, such as when he accused Romney of not seeing al Qaeda as a threat – no one will believe Romney said that. These fake attacks polluted all the rest of his attacks and made everything he said sound like a distortion.

Obama Tactics Fail II: Another tactical failure was accusing Romney of being a reckless warmonger, but then simultaneously accusing Romney of advocating the exact same policy Obama is following. That doesn’t work.

Key Moments: Here are the likely key moments:
● Romney neutered the bin Laden thing and bought himself serious credibility when he congratulated Obama on getting bin Laden and then said, “but we can’t kill our way out of this mess.” In echoes of my articles on the topic, he said we need a comprehensive strategy to get the Muslim world to reject extremism in their own ranks through promoting: (1) economic development, (2) better education, (3) rule of law, (4) gender equality, and (5) the creation of civil societies. This is brilliant because it stopped Obama from bragging and it highlighted that Obama has no plan – Obama later played “me too” and tried to claim this is what he’s already doing.

● Romney highlighted Obama’s failure to give a reason to vote FOR Obama by repeating, “Attacking me is not an agenda.”

● Obama said of Iran, “We cannot afford to have a nuclear arms race in the most volatile region in the world.” This is interesting because Paul Ryan said the same thing and Joe Biden called the claim ridiculous.

Israel: A lot was said about Israel, but Romney had the key moment and Obama may have blown a key moment. When Schieffer asked how they would respond if Israel called and said their planes were on the way to bomb Iran, Romney jumped in and said they shouldn’t answer a hypothetical like that. He also said that his relationship with Israel’s Prime Minister was such that this would never happen. This made Romney appear statesmanlike if he already has solid relationships with our allies. Obama ducked the question.

Then Schieffer asked if they would guarantee that an attack on Israel was the same thing as an attack on the US. Obama sort of said it was, but seemed to hedge. It will be interesting to see how that plays out. Romney then suggested that Obama was talking about helping Israel only diplomatically.
Obama Lies: At several points, Obama simply lied to hide his record. He claimed that he did support the Green Revolution in Iran, even though he remained silent for nine days. He claimed he did not propose $1 trillion in automatic spending cuts on the military, which is technically true but still a lie. Harry Reid proposed them and Obama demanded they be included in the budget deal. His claim to arm the Syrian rebels is a lie. He lied about not going to the UN on Syria. And he lied by claiming he had implemented non-existent policies to promote democracy overseas.

China: Obama made a huge mistake when he labeled China as our second biggest national security threat after terrorism (he forgot Iran) because China will not be amused. Our relationship with China is based on false facades of friendship, which both sides are careful never to violate. Obama did.

Romney then turned this against Obama by pointing out that China is an opportunity. He said (as I’ve suggested) that China could be made an ally because economic growth is vital to them as they need 20 million new jobs a year to maintain civil order. But we need to get our budget in order, we can’t cut our military, we must strengthen our commitment to our allies in the region (read: Taiwan), and we must go after China for unfair trade practices, currency manipulation, counterfeiting and stealing of intellectual property. Obama countered that Romney owned stock in Chinese companies. This was a mistake because whereas Romney gave a plan to fix the problem, Obama took a political cheap shot.

Romney also used China to talk about engaging Latin America in trade, which will help him with Hispanic business owners.

Syria: Obama did a lot of doublespeak on Syria. He talked about taking the lead in “mobilizing the world, providing humanitarian aid and organizing the opposition.” As with Biden, he implied that we armed the opposition and then turned around and accused Romney of being a warmonger for trying to arm the opposition. The arms actually came from the Saudis, not us. And Obama asked the UN to take the lead. Romney also denied wanting to send any American troops or planes to fight, proving he’s no warmonger, which caused Obama to flip his strategy on its head and accuse Romney of proposing to do exactly what Obama is doing, only being reckless somehow.

The Closings: The closings were interesting. Obama went negative. He blamed Bush for his problems and then accused Romney of wanting to help the rich before he repeated his five point plan. This was uninspired.

Romney’s closing was Reaganesque. First, he made two great points. He repeated Obama’s record and called it the President’s path. Obama said we shouldn’t go back to the policies of a decade ago, and Romney countered that we don’t want to relive the last four years. Then Romney made an appeal to bipartisanship, which will play well with independents. He noted that he worked with a legislature that was 87% Democratic in Massachusetts and he said he could work with good Democrats and good Republicans in Washington. Then he spoke about the greatest generation and how they have passed the torch and he described America as “the hope of the Earth.” Basically, he gave people a reason to support him. Obama didn’t. All of this is classic Reagan.

Good Night For Price: Romney tracked my foreign policy discussions on issue after issue. This is very encouraging because it sounds like he’s looking for real solutions and he’s no Bush neocon.

Conclusion: This was an odd debate in the sense that Obama didn’t really play to win. I’m wondering what he was thinking. Yes, he performed well, he was Romney’s equal most of the night, and he took some cheap shots that will thrill his ignorant base. . . but he played for the draw when he really needed a blow out. This makes me wonder if his campaign team just isn’t that bright or if he knows he’s lost and he’s look for future political opportunities. Whatever his plan, he failed to take the risks he needed to win the election.

I now expect the MSM to go into desperation mode to win the election for him. But the polls will show Romney climbing a couple percentage points more. At that point, the cracks will appear on the left and they will savage him for his bad campaign.

Thoughts?

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Final Debate Thread


Home stretch people, home stretch. Tonight is the last debate. . . thankfully. Tonight is about foreign policy, which probably means ratings of between 14-18 people. In that regard, we now have a CIA memo which blows a hole in the Obama Administration plan to blame the intelligence community. Obama seems to have decided that less than 4 deaths per embassy is optimal. And Joe Biden is looking for veterans of our recent wars with Iraq and Iran. . . idiot.

It looks like Obama wasn't able to gain any momentum from the last debate so tonight could be critical. Maybe he should talk about the 47% of Pakistanis Romney hates. . . or the 57 states he's visited since he became a professional golfer president.

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Thank Heaven for Little Girls

Now, I am an old school feminist, so the way Democrats are carrying on one would think that we were still living in some 1950’s alternate universe. I could tell you stories, my friends, about my experiences as a young woman starting out in the world but I won’t bore with my tales of the ‘60s and ‘70’s and the way women were treated “way back when”. As we fight our faux “War on Women” this election cycle, there are women fighting real wars for their lives. There are real wars on women going on in other parts of the world that should make every woman in America get down on her knees and thank God that she was born here and to feel ashamed at how whiny we have become.

No doubt you have heard about Malala Yousafzai. She is the bravest woman I know. Well, actually not quite a woman, but a 14 year-old child who had the unfortunate luck to be born a girl in an Islamic country, more specifically Pakistan. She has been very vocal about her desire to get an education. This is what she said in a CNN interview last year:
I have the right to an education. I have the right to play. I have the right to sing. I have the right to talk. I have the right to go to the market. I have the right to speak up. I shall raise my voice. If I didn’t, who would?”
She did speak out. She spoke out loudly and strongly. And because she fearlessly spoke out, this brave 14 year-old woman-child has become such a threat to the Taliban in Pakistan, that last week, Taliban assassin/thugs boarded her school bus and shot her in the head and neck along with two of her friend right in front of her classmates. Yes, they shot a 14 year old girl because she was a threat to the Taliban.

This is what the Taliban official had to say:
We targeted her because she would speak against the Taliban while sitting with shameless strangers and idealize the biggest enemy of Islam, Barack Obama."
They vow that, given another chance, they will kill her. Mercifully, she has been spirited to somewhere in England to be treated by 21st Century doctors, but there has already been one reported attempt to silence her even in England. Women in Pakistan are furious and have taken to the streets. Reaction around the world has been intense and loud. Reaction in the US has been...well...tepid and shockingly self-serving.

Disappointingly, President Obama has said very little. President Obama, whose own daughter is about Malala's age, says nothing. This would have been the perfect time to used a line like "She could be my own daughter", but not a peep.

In May, he made this statement to leaders in Pakistan and Afghanistan:
"We have made it clear that that they can be a part of this future if they break with Al Qaeda, renounce violence and abide by Afghan law."
I guess killing little girl means that this brave message got lost in the mail.

VP Joe Biden even had this to say last year:
"Look the Taliban, per se, is not our enemy. That's critical."
Okay, Joe, what's critical is that they are now assassinating 14 year-old girls and we do nothing.

Even entertainers who ALWAYS speak out about everything including our "War On Women" have been silent. Oh, Madonna took off her clothes off in solidarity, but then it is hard to tell whether it was in solidarity or just because she always takes her clothes off. Okay, she did have "Malala" tattoo'ed on her back, but I still think it was just an excuse to...take her clothes off.

But most egregiously, N.O.W. that organization that has been fighting for the rights of women since I was a child, took this time to just be self-serving and bizarrely stupid:
"One in every 30 girls and young women age 12-14 in the US is a victim of violent crime accornding to the US Department of Justice."
Yeah, okay, but here's the big difference which whoever runs N.O.W. failed to connect. Our girls and young women are not being targeted for assassination by the US Department of Justice! Their statement just makes me ashamed that I ever considered myself a feminist.

Thank Heaven for little girls like Malala Yousafzai. While pampered women in the US shamelessly use the phrase "War on Women" to fight over vague wage disparities, already-won abortion rights, and free birth control, there are girls in this world who are willing to die in a real war on women just for the right to learn to read and write or to walk outside alone. As Malala said, if she does not do it, who will? Sadly, Malala's injuries may be permanent and at this point she is unable to speak. Her doctors are hopeful, but until she can speak for herself again, we must speak for her. We must speak up for ALL the girls like her who just want to live their lives as they choose.

Update: I read a report this morning that Malala is doing better and her doctors are hopeful that she may make a a full recovery. She woke up Tuesday from an induce coma and has been able to walk with help and is still able to read and write.
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Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Great (film) Debates vol. 58

Surprise!

What film was your most pleasant surprise?

Click Here To Read Article/Comments at CommentaramaFilms
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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Gone Fishin'

I am traveling today, so I won't be around for any discussion today. However, don't let that stop you from commenting on anything.
If you are at a loss for something, here's a topic...

Read any new books lately? Read any old books lately?

I will check in later to see if you've been paying attention.

Oh, I am furiously updating the Commentarama-nary, so if you have any new words, phrases, or people we should add, let me know!
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Friday, October 19, 2012

Film Friday: Alien (1979)

Alien is one of my favorite horror movies. It’s also one of my favorite science fiction movies. This is a film which does everything right in both genres, and that’s really impressive. It’s also really rare. And what makes this film work is what Ridley Scott doesn’t show us. Let’s talk about this classic film.

Click Here To Read Article/Comments at CommentaramaFilms
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The Audacity of--eh, just The Audacity.

Trust me, I'm a President.
Thanks to their natural intelligence and perceptiveness, readers at Commentarama already know something basic about Obama: He's a liar. Not only that, he evades difficult questions whenever he has to. This was on full display in the debate, when he was asked about Libya. How did he do this? Let's find out.

On Tuesday night, an audience member asked POTUS a very simple question about the attack on our embassy. Who authorized reductions in its defense, and why? As we saw, Obama did everything but answer this question. He talked about how much he cared about our ambassadors, and how terrible Romney was for politicizing the attack in Benghazi, but the actual question asked went unanswered. And unfortunately, Romney didn't get into the issue either, becoming bogged down in who said what (more on that later).

Thanks to the wonder that is the Internet, however, getting to the bottom of this isn't too difficult. It's clear that the State Department stuck the late Chris Stevens with some below-average security in an area with above-average levels of danger. They outsourced embassy security to some private contractors (I thought Obama wasn't a fan of this), who in turn did a pretty lousy job of screening the local help. Two Libyan employees were arrested in April for tossing a bomb into the place. Then in June, an attempt was made on the life of Britain's ambassador, in response to which all the U.K.'s consular staff were withdrawn from Benghazi. All this time, even a week before the attack, according to British and Israeli newspapers, our staff was making repeated requests for reinforcement in security from State, which were not only ignored but actively declined. Do note that verbs like "ignored" and "declined" mean something different from "weren't aware of." And certainly no reflective person believes that Obama wasn't aware of the situation. Yes, Hillary may be "taking responsibility" for what eventually happened, but let's be serious--as the Commander-in-Chief admitted, the buck stops with him.

Romney didn't get into all this, though he probably will in Monday's debate. Instead, he focused on what Obama had said about the attack in its immediate aftermath. "It took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror," he said, at which point of course Crowley jumped to the Prez's defense and said that he'd identified it as an act of terror the day after it happened, which Obama confirmed. Only, that's not what really happened. Obama did say "acts of terror" on Sept. 12 in a Rose Garden address; however, he wasn't really referring to Benghazi as a terrorist attack, merely lumping it in with general "acts," mainly those of 9/11/01. He might have been including Benghazi in that as well, but remember his line: “We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence.” So, if it was an act of terror, it was a spontaneous, non-deliberate one. Except, we now know intelligence sources were ID'ing Al-Qaeda as the responsible agent within hours after it happened. Yet not until September 28th did anyone in the government admit that this was a premeditated assault. Obama said to Univision, the hosts of The View, and any one else putting a camera to his face that it was all over a YouTube video. It took his administration sixteen days to own up to something they'd found out within sixteen hours.

Even Candy Crowley herself admitted this, saying two days later,
"There's a back and forth now about why didn't this administration -- why did it take them until Friday {the 28th} after a September 11th attack in Libya to come to the conclusion that it was premeditated and that there was terrorists involved....didn't the administration shoot first? Didn't they come out and say, listen, as far as we can tell, this wasn't preplanned?"
Why the disinformation? It would be reckless to say Obama had malicious intent in leaving the embassy, as it were, stranded. He's a lot of things, but murderous is not one of them. But let's recall the line his campaign has been actively pushing most of the last year: "Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive!" The last part of that is debatable, but true enough, bin Laden is no longer with us. But if the insinuation is that Al-Qaeda (and the terrorist threat in general) is dead just because Obama ordered a military operation in Pakistan, well, that's demonstrably false. And the more he has to admit to serious terrorist acts since, the more demonstrable it becomes. Better to deny it as long as possible and let people think things are hunky-dory, rather than admit that the meme being pushed is full of holes. Which, I imagine most people would agree, is a bit more "offensive," to use President Foreign Policy's indignantly-uttered words, than Romney's suggesting Obama's not fully committed.

But what do I know? I'm just a hack blogger.
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Thursday, October 18, 2012

An Offer: The Conservative Guide To Films

Folks, The Conservative Guide To Films is almost done. It's a rather extensive book with a ton of information that you will find incredibly useful. And I have a deal to offer you. I need reviews of my current two books. (LINK) Anyone who reviews both of those books will get a free copy of the conservative film guide as soon as it's available. The reviews don't need to be long and you can give them any rating you want. No strings attached. I need your help on this!
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When Failure Is Acceptable

I saw this the other day and I’m still trying to wrap my head around it. The Florida State Board of Education has passed a plan to set education achievement goals based on race. Unbelievable. I think the logic of this is truly bizarre, even without the racial aspect.

The plan in question talks about the goals the FSBE wants to achieve by 2018 – five or six school years from now, depending on how you count it. Under this plan, they want 90% of Asian students and 88% of white students to be reading at or above grade level by 2018. They also want 92% of Asian students and 86% of whites to be proficient at math. The goal for Hispanics is 81% reading at level and 80% being proficient at math. The goal for blacks is 74% reading at level and 74% being proficient at math.

Ug.

This is truly wrong to me, and I’m not even talking about race. Why in the world can’t schools shoot for 100% across the board? This is basically setting out with the intent of failing. It’s ridiculous. The school system should be working hard to make sure that every single kid. . . 100%. . . meets the requirements set for them. And if they don’t, then they need remedial teaching, new study aids, whatever. It is simply unacceptable to me to start from the premise that the school system will be happy if two in ten kids fails. When you allow failure, you get failure.

Now, I understand why schools do this. They have decided that a lot of education is beyond their control because the parents are to blame. I don’t accept that. The schools have these kids typically six or seven hours a day, five days a week. That is more than the parents see them, and it’s more than enough time to educate them, no matter what is going on at home. The problem here is the methodology, not some outside influence which can’t be overcome. The problem is that the schools still stick with this one-size-fits all approach which says that all kids learn the same. They need to realize that different kids need different approaches. Every employer knows this. That’s why you motivate your people differently and why you set different rules for them. Teachers need to start seeing kids as customers, evaluating their needs, and tailoring plans to get them to their individual goals.

Now lets talk about race. I understand why the FSBE assigned different percentages based on race. This is because performance remains disparate at the moment. In other words, blacks currently do worse that whites, hence the assumption is that black kids start at some disadvantage which sets them back. Thus, they set different achievement levels in the hopes of presenting “a realistic goal.” But as I just discussed, this is setting out to fail and that’s unacceptable. If some kids start further behind, then you just need to work harder to get those kids up to speed. Mechanics can’t say, “well, that car’s brakes were worse than the other’s, so an 80% improvement is good enough for that car.” No, they need to fix everything to the same level.

Think about the business world. Assume you have several homebuilders who are using defective construction methods which result in homes with lots of defects. You are an inspector. Does it make sense to throw up your hands and say, “well, the builders have differing levels of skill, so I need to accept differing levels of defects?” Hardly. You still demand 100% defect-free homes. Yet, substitute “student” for “homebuilder” and suddenly it becomes acceptable to allow different levels of defects? Why?

Moreover, let’s get to the elephant in the room here. The school board is basically saying that black parents are no good. It is saying that black kids start out at a disadvantage because of their parents which makes them 30% harder to teach than white kids or Asian kids. So why is no one focusing on this? In other words, if black parents really are setting their kids up to fail, as seems to be implicit in the school board’s assumption, then why is no one talking about re-educating those parents?

Again, think about our homebuilders (parents). Assume you are a developer who needs to hire a builder. If you know that their construction methods result in defects that reduce the value of the homes around 20%-30%, does it make sense to hire these builders and just plan to keep fixing the defects, or does it make more sense to demand that they address their construction methods and stop the defects before they form? Of course you would try to fix the problem at its source, you’d be stupid not to! Yet, in the world of education, no one is talking about fixing the construction methods, i.e. the parents. If minority children are indeed starting school with a handicap as teachers suggest, then why is everyone utterly refusing to talk about the issue of improving the parenting skills of minorities?

There is no reason any school district should not be trying to get 100% of kids to level. And if minority kids are 20%-30% damaged by their parents, then we need to address that. Those parents need to be re-educated or their kids needs to be put into special programs where they can be trained to overcome the problems created by their parents. The last thing we should do is declare that it is fine for kids to fail.

Thoughts?

As an aside, I’m going to put together an education article soon because one thing few people realize is that by and large, despite all the nay saying, the American education system is one of the best in the world – and some parts are THE best.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Horror-tober!

October is all about Halloween and that means it's horror movie month. Everyone is doing horror festivals all month and I'm enjoying it all. I've already mentioned a couple of obscure favorites (LINK) which you should catch if they happen to come on -- led by Pontypool and Prince of Darkness in particular -- but why don't you tell us what to watch out for? What are some of your favorite horror films. . . bonus points for obscure horror films.

Click Here To Read Article/Comments at CommentaramaFilms

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Second Debate Wrapup

I suspect last night’s debate was a draw. Obama’s performance will play well with his base, but I don’t think he gave independents anything to latch onto. Romney’s performance came across as solid but uninspired. He did make some points that could blow the race open, but they got lost in the muck, and their effect will depend on how he exploits them in coming days. Let’s discuss.

The “Unbiased” Moderator: Candy Crowley was highly biased. She kept cutting off Romney and tried to talk over him, but never talked over Obama. She helped Obama out of jams several times, and the questions she chose were mostly left or far-left questions.

Obama’s Theme: Obama’s theme was that Romney is rich and wants to help the rich. I don’t think anyone buys this because Romney’s denials are emphatic. Moreover, as I’ve pointed out before, Obama needs to give a reason for people to vote for him, not just against Romney. He still hasn’t done that. Obama’s reason to vote for him was: (1) he wants to give unspecified tax breaks to manufacturers whereas Romney wanted to bankrupt Detroit, (2) he wants everyone to go to college and he wants community colleges to retrain workers, (3) he wants energy independence, and (4) he wants to reduce the Obama trillion dollar deficits by taxing the rich and stopping the wars and spending that money on college and building roads and bridges. That’s a mishmash of small ideas that won’t resonate outside his base.

Also, Obama’s “Detroit” argument blew up on him when Romney pointed out that he wanted Detroit to enter bankruptcy so they could come out stronger, AND he pointed out that Obama did send Detroit into bankruptcy. In other words, Obama is smearing Romney for suggesting something Obama actually did. This stumped Obama and he basically said (paraphrase) “that’s different.”

Obama did better when he was asked to defend his record. Obama said he (1) cut taxes $3,600 for middle class families, (2) cut taxes 18 times on small business, (3) ended the war in Iraq, (4) killed Osama bin Laden and pursued al Qaeda, (5) passed Obamacare to stop insurance companies from jerking you around, (6) reined in Wall Street, (7) created 5 million jobs, and (8) saved the auto industry. None of this is true, but it sounded good and most people won’t know the difference.

Romney’s Theme: Romney attacked Obama’s record over and over. This produced an extremely devastating moment right after Obama gave the defense of his record mentioned above. Romney suddenly hit him with this: (1) Obama’s jobs plan was supposed to create 9 million more jobs than he’s created, (2) he said he would put forward a plan to reform Medicare and Social Security to preserve them from collapse, he hasn’t proposed one, (3) he said he would put forward a plan for comprehensive immigration reform in his first year, but he never did, (4) he said he would cut the deficit in half, but he doubled it, (5) he said middle income families would see their healthcare premiums go down $2,500 a year, but they went up by $2,500, and Obamacare will add another $2,000 a year, (6) Obama claims he created 5 million jobs, but that’s after he lost 5 million jobs, for a net of zero jobs – also, 5 million jobs doesn’t even keep up with population growth, (7) there are 23 million Americans unemployed, (8) one in six Americans lives in poverty, (9) there are 47 million Americans on food stamps, compared to 37 million when Obama took office, (10) growth this year is slower than last, which was already slower than the prior year, (11) family income is down $4,300 under Obama. This was a powerful moment and completely wiped out Obama’s recitation of his own record. If Romney puts this in a commercial, Obama is in trouble.

Where Things Got Tricky For Obama: Obama ran into some problems with his base last night and needed to do a lot of dancing. For example:
Feminists: A question came up from a whiny feminist about women being paid less than men. I’ll debunk this at some point. Anyway, what the chicky wanted was for Obama to swear that he would support equal pay laws. Obama refuses to do that and he ducked. Instead, he danced around the idea of equality and he talked about “continuing to push on this issue” without saying what he was actually pushing on. He kept talking about the Lilly Ledbetter Act, which is not what feminists want, and he kept blurring this with enforcing laws against discrimination. This won’t satisfy the people who care about this issue.

Romney, by comparison, gave the better answer for non-feminist women voters. He gave a general answer about seeking out women for his cabinet and about improving the economy so that workers would have more power over employers and thus employers would need to make accommodations for women – he should have mentioned the pay disparity in the White House. He also talked about 3.5 million more women in poverty today than when Obama’s term began. He also gave a vague statement that he doesn’t want an employer or a bureaucrat making decisions about contraception. This will work for independents, but will upset both the feminist left and the religious right as they will both interpret this negatively.

Gun Control: Obama was asked if he would ban “assault weapons.” This is a problem for Obama because the left has learned they can’t support gun control and win elections, so Obama has smothered every attempt to raise gun control as an issue. But his base wants this desperately. So Obama danced. He claimed to support the Second Amendment (which lost him his base right there) before he mumbled about working on a comprehensive solution to violence through education and faith based groups. He kept saying code words like “mentally ill” and he kept talking about “automatic weapons,” which haven’t actually killed anyone in the US since the 1930s, but he refused to say anything concrete.

Then Romney spoke about enforcing existing gun laws, talked about the need for improving our values through encouraging marriage and then attacked Obama on Fast and Furious. His attack was a bit of a ramble, but will probably get people asking what Fast and Furious is. Candy Crowley needed to save Obama on this.

Then something funny happened. Obama suddenly attacked Romney for signing gun control legislation in Massachusetts (with another assist from Crowley). Obama must think this will unnerve gun owners about Romney, but what it really did was again paint Romney as “not a right wing extremist.” This probably bought Romney lots of moderate votes, without costing him any gun owner votes, and confused the heck out of Obama’s supporters.

Outsourcing: A pro-union question was asked about outsourcing, and Obama walked right into a trap he set himself. First, Romney gave a solid answer on why Obama’s outsourcing claims are hypocrisy: (1) 500,000 jobs have been lost to China during Obama’s term because Obama made the US less attractive to business, (2) Obama failed to fight China on currency manipulation and refuses to label them a manipulator so tariffs can be imposed, (3) our corporate tax rate is 20% higher than Canada, and (4) Obama failed to China pirating American intellectual property. He should have mentioned Obama’s job’s czar outsourcing tens of thousands of jobs, but he didn’t.

Obama countered that he too wants lower taxes, which means his plan is the same as Romney’s plan, which he’s criticizing. He then claimed he wants to stop loopholes that let companies take deductions for shipping jobs overseas (fyi, there are no such deductions), and he claimed he has been fighting China. Next, he claimed Romney wants to make more deductions to ship jobs overseas, which comes across as an obvious lie. Then he tried to smear Romney by claiming that Romney invested in companies that sent jobs to China. He even claimed that Romney has invested in a company that makes surveillance gear which China uses to oppress its people. Bad Romney.

That’s when things went wrong because Romney pointed out that he does not control his investments because they are in a blind trust AND that Obama’s pension fund makes the identical investments Obama just smeared Romney for making. Candy Crowley again needed to save Obama at this point by cutting Romney off and talking over him. But the point was made, Obama’s outsourcing attacks are hypocrisy.
Immigration: Romney talked about America being a nation of immigrants and that he wants to stop illegal immigration because they are preventing legal immigrants from coming. He also said he wants to give green cards to people with accredited degrees. This could mean a boost in overall immigration or it could mean a shift back to seeking educated immigrants rather than laborers. This isn’t clear. He said he wants employment verification and he wants a path to “permanent residency” for children of illegals. Then he attacked Obama for saying in 2008 that he would present a comprehensive immigration reform bill in his first year, but never actually presenting such a bill. He even noted that the Democrats had a supermajority at the time.

Obama tried to dance around this by blaming Romney for opposing Obama’s plan in 2008, which he says ended bipartisanship. But as Romney pointed out, he wasn’t the leader of the party in 2008, and with a supermajority, there is no reason Obama needed the Republicans if he really wanted to pass such a law. This won’t play well for Obama with Hispanics. Obama then made it worse by basically taking the identical position as Romney except that he wants to make all young illegals citizens.

Obama finished by claiming Romney wants to deport immigrants and with a race-baiting appeal by mischaracterizing Arizona’s law as letting police target anyone who looks Hispanic or black, which it definitely does not do. In any event, this gave Romney a chance to say that he would not try to deport 12 million people, which probably helped him a good deal with Hispanics.

The Libya Muddle: Obama was asked who is to blame for the failure to provide security to our ambassador in Libya. Obama dodged and claimed he took responsibility in a general sense. He then claimed that he would not rest until they figure out who did it and got them. . . kind of like OJ?

Romney pointed out that rather than address this situation, Obama went to Las Vegas for a fundraiser the following day. Obama denied this and claimed he went to the Rose Garden and called this a terrorist act. Romney said this wasn’t true and said it took Obama 14 days to call this terrorism. Obama called that a lie and Candy Crowley backed him up.

Obama/Crowley lied. For 13 days, Obama blamed the videotape. He did use the word terror, but in a general context: “no acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation.” Meanwhile, his administration kept blaming the videotape, calling this a spontaneous demonstration, and refusing to call this an act of terrorism. They said this on television, in press conferences and at the UN.

A Key Romney Point: It sounded to me like Romney proposed letting the top 15% of high school graduates go to college for free. If that’s true, then look for him to pick up a ton of young votes.

Another Key Romney Point: Finally, we come to a question that was meant to crush Romney, but may have provided him with a key moment. He was basically accused of being George W. Bush the Sequel. Romney countered that (1) he wants energy independence, Bush preferred dealing with Arabs, (2) he wants more free trade agreements in Latin America, Bush wasn’t into free trade, (3) he will balance the budget, whereas Bush had massive deficits (he used an Obama quote about Bush’s “outrageous $500 billion deficits” to slam Obama’s trillion dollar deficits), and (4) the biggie: “Our party has been too focused on Big Business for too long. I want to focus on Small Business.”

This last comment is an endorsement of the Ron Paul/Tea Party/Populist cause and this will align Romney with this vast group of people who see the government as a kleptocracy where Big Business rapes the Treasury with the consent of Democrats and Republicans alike. Do not underestimate the significance of that moment.

Obama countered with the usual of blaming Bush for his own failure and he tried to cast Romney as helping China. Then he did something really strange. He tried to paint the demonized, reviled George Bush as a moderate so he could claim that Romney was to the right of Bush. Not only will this not make sense to average voters, but it calls into question the legitimacy of all of Obama’s prior claims about Bush.
Conclusion
Based on the above, it sounds like Romney was a clear winner, but he wasn’t. Unless there is a devastating moment, debates are about impressions. And the impression last night was that they were evenly matched. That makes this a draw. . . at least for now.

By and large, the key points Romney made were lost in the muddle of the back and forth. But if Romney pushes those correctly, he stands a good chance of stealing young voters, Hispanics and independent women. He also will ignite the Tea Party and centrist populists. Obama, on the other hand, had no such moments, and he runs the risk of losing blacks and gays, who got nothing, and feminists, who found their demands rebuffed. It’s too early to tell any of this, so for right now, the debate feels like a draw.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Second Presidential Debate Thread!!


Round Two tonight! Will Obama come out swinging? I would think so. Does he know how? I kind of doubt it. Look for a nasty, nasty affair tonight. One of the theories about Biden's last performance was that he acted went full-jackass intentionally in the hopes of making Obama look better when Obama tries to go half-assed tonight. No, I'm not kidding.

So what do you think will happen tonight? Also, feel free to treat this like an open thread until the event itself.

OT: If anyone hasn't reviewed my books yet, I could really use the help! Even just a few words would help. Thanks! LINK.

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Monday, October 15, 2012

Fact Checking Biden? Really?

I can’t believe I’m doing this. I’m going to point out some of Slow Joe Biden’s lies. Good grief. Wasn’t it enough to point out that when the man’s lips are moving he’s lying? Apparently not. There are too many whoppers. Oh well, here goes.

Biden Voting Record Lies: Biden claimed to vote against both the Afghanistan War and the Iraq War and he claimed to vote against the Bush Tax Cuts. He then blamed the deficit on those. First of all, he voted FOR all three. So that is a blatant lie. Secondly, the deficit charge is false as the deficit can be traced to domestic spending wanted by Obama for his cronies, i.e. stimulus, TARP, jobs bills, and the increased baselines caused by that spending. In the government, once a baseline for spending is established, it grows automatically. That’s why the deficits remain about a trillion dollars and will continue.

Catholic Lies: Biden claimed, “no religious institution, Catholic or otherwise” will be forced to provide contraception or insurance for contraception. “That is a fact. That is a fact.” Actually, that’s a lie, and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops debunked this after the debate. Under Obamacare, the Obama administration is forcing Catholic and other religious groups to provide contraception and abortion drugs through their insurance policies. Obamacare contains a “narrow, four-part exemption for certain ‘religious employees’.” But that does not apply to the organizations themselves. Basically, it’s things like priests. And the very hospitals Biden mentioned as exempt have been declared not-exempt by Obama’s HHS. That is why the Catholics and several other religious groups have all sued alleging a First Amendment religious freedom violation.

AARP Lies: In the first debate, Obama claimed AARP supported his healthcare plans. AARP shot him down harshly, claiming they are non-partisan and saying that they don’t endorse. Despite this, Biden repeated the claim which AARP itself has debunked. Also, as an aside, it should be pointed out that AARP plans to make between $55 million and $166 million from selling private insurance when Obamacare kills Medicare Advantage, so they are hardly impartial as Biden claims.

Millionaire Tax Distortion: Joe kept saying that the Bush Tax Cuts Obama wants to let expire are on “millionaires and billionaires.” They are in fact on anyone earning $250,000 a year. That includes small businesses. It is also not an asset tax, it is an income tax, so it gets productive people not “the idle rich” as liberals often claim.

Medicare Lies: “What we did is we saved $716 billion and put it back – applied it to Medicare.” Wow. Totally false. Obama yanked $716 billion out of Medicare’s budget and called it savings. But no specific savings have been identified. This is simply a budget cut and Medicare has been told to find the savings. This is like saying “I’m going to spend $10,000 less on food next year” and then calling yourself frugal today for finding “food plan savings.” Also, the money was then used as an accounting gimmick to fund Obamacare by reducing the price of the government’s healthcare efforts overall. The money is gone. It is not a saving, it was not re-applied to Medicare as Biden claims. And when you cut $716 billion from a program that is already paying so little that doctors won’t take it anymore, you will destroy the program.

Palin Prognostication Fantasy: Joe claimed that he and Sarah Palin argued over “death panels” in their 2008 VP debate. The “death panels” weren’t first mentioned until 2009, a year later.

“Death Panel” Lies II: Joe categorically said that the 15 member “death panel” would in no way cut people’s care. He tried to call them a “best practices board.” However, their function is to impose cost controls, not raise practice standards. That means they will cut types and quantities of care.

Benghazi Lies: Biden claimed the administration wasn’t told that the Embassy in Libya wanted more security. This was debunked at Congressional hearings the day before the debate. The State Department repeatedly turned down requests for more security. When asked to “clarify” Biden’s comments, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said that Biden wasn’t speaking for the administration. So who was he speaking for?

Ryan Record Lies: Biden claimed that Ryan “cut embassy security in his budget by $300 million below what we asked for.” First, the Ryan budget never became law. Secondly, Ryan’s budget never addressed embassy spending, it called for a 19% cut in non-defense discretionary spending. To get the $300 million figure, Biden assumes an across-the-board cut even though the cuts would in reality be targeted on other programs, like stimulus and green loan programs.

Iranian Fantasies: Somehow, Biden claims that even though Iran is working on the fizzle material for a bomb (the most important part) they somehow “aren’t working on a bomb.” This is ridiculous. This is like saying you aren’t working on a car just because you haven’t started buying tires while you complete the engine. Secondly, there is no reliable intelligence to support this claim. Third, they can get the bomb itself from North Korea by AllahFedEx overnight. Fourth, they don’t even need a “bomb” if they make a dirty bomb. Biden is acting like you need an ICBM to deliver an atomic nightmare, he’s lying.

Syrian Fantasies: When it came to Syria, “foreign policy” expert Biden first wrongly claimed that Syria is five times larger than Libya (Syria is actually ten times smaller), that the US has not tried to work through the UN (which is a total lie – Turkey even blasted the UN yesterday for moving too slowly), and he bizarrely claimed that the Obama Administration has been training Syrian rebels, something which is not only emphatically not true, but also highly provocative. If Romney had made such a stupid statement, Team Obama would be screaming bloody murder.

Ryan’s Entitlement Reform Lies: Biden claimed that “not one Democrat” endorsed Ryan’s entitlement plan. The plan was create with Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Clinton budget director Alice Rivlin. Both now claim they don’t support it, but they did at the time.

Obama Record Lies: Biden scoffed at anything Ryan said about Obama’s record, from the unemployment rate to the size of the deficits. He never specifically called these lies, but he did so generally twice when he said that nothing Ryan had said was true. He also said “not a single thing he said is accurate” when Ryan pointed out that Obama failed to speak up for Iranian protestors in 2009 and that they called Syria’s Assad a “reformer,” both of which are true.

Military Cut Lies: In one of the more bizarre moments, Biden claimed the Republicans (Paul Ryan specifically) want to cut $1 trillion from the military, while simultaneously claiming they want to spend $2 trillion more. Neither claim is true. The automatic spending cuts were the idea of Harry Reid and were adopted by Obama – the Republicans opposed those. Obama has refused every attempt to change those and has now been forced to go into damage control, illegally claiming he will compensate defense contractors if they wait until after the election to lay people off.


Finally, it is interesting to note that Joe interrupted Ryan 85 times during the 90 minute debate (and that doesn’t count the smirks). If you factor out the time the moderator spoke and the roughly ten minutes for opening and closing statements, you are looking at more than one interruption a minute. It’s no wonder his bad manners became the takeaway... and that the MSM would rather focus on that than his lies. But what do you expect from a man who regularly uses racist and sexist quips, who regularly exploits his wife’s death for political sympathy, and who not only lied about his own personal background but who plagiarized it from another politician, see Bidenisms.

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