Sunday, October 31, 2010

Washington D.C. Halloween Trick or Treating Guide

Halloween is upon us, and that means trick or treating. You might think Washington, D.C. would be a great place to trick or treat, right? Well, that depends on whether or not you know who's paying out and who will waste your time. So by way of a public service, here's a “voters” guide to places you should go and places you should avoid when trick or treating.

The Obamas: Avoid. The wife will be dressed like Marie Antoinette and the husband will be wearing different masks of famous Presidents all night. But don't be fooled by the great masks, he's an empty suit: he will pretend to hand out candy, but the wrappers are empty.

Nancy Pelosi: Avoid. She will be dressed like a witch, but it's no costume, it's just her bathrobe. She does not give candy, she takes it and will reach right into your bag for it. And whatever you do, don't go inside her house or try to take a bite out of her gingerbread-appearing shingles, and don't touch the private plane in the driveway.

John Boehner: Definitely. Boehner will dress as a donkey and will give you exactly one half of what he thinks Nancy Pelosi gave you. . . so lie to him about how much you scored from Pelosi.

Joe Biden: Probably Avoid. He will be dressed as Neil Kinnock or the most interesting man in the world. Biden hands out decent candy, but he will insult you in the process and then he'll lie about how much he gave you.

Eric Cantor: Avoid. He will not be wearing a costume as they confuse him. Gives out apples.

The Pentagon: Absolutely. Lots of candy and many doors, so they won’t know if you’ve already come. This place is a bonanza! (Important: Muslim costumes are a bad idea.)

Al Gore: Forget it. You’ll never make it past the huge electric fence and the stadium lights will blind you. And if you somehow make it to the door, the heat emanating from that huge, cavernous mansion will melt your costume. Plus, he only hands out candy from the company he owns: GummyGorebears Unlimited.

John McCain: Probably avoid. He will be dressed in a Republican costume, complete with elephant mask. He’ll waste an hour of your time telling you about the big treats he’s going to give you, but he has no follow through, expect a stick of unflavored gum.

Congress: Avoid. They expect you to pay them before they give you anything.

State Department: Avoid. They only give candy to corrupt foreign politicians.

Clinton, Bill: Depends. He will be dressed as a pimp or himself. If you are female (or dressed like one. . . or he hasn’t seen one in a while) expect to be groped. He hands out cigars.

Clinton, Hillary: N/A. She's hiding out the election overseas.

Secret Service HQ: Avoid. They will be wearing cheap suits and sunglasses, and they have no candy and no sense of humor.

The Schwarzeneggers: Depends. The wife will be dressed like a drunken zombie that looks a lot like Teddy Kennedy. Do not accept any rides over bridges from her. The husband is your better bet here. He will be dressed as a Barbarian, and he hands out stygian, the best. . . this is not haga.

Christine O’Donnell: Sure. Will not be dressed as a witch. Will hand out candy as long as campaign funds last.

The Palins: Avoid. Will be dressed as hunters and surrounded by camera crews. They hand out moose jerky.

Barney Frank: Avoid. Dressed as Glinda the Good Witch, but this is not a costume. Hands out candy to boys only, and you don’t want his candy.

Harry Reid: Maybe. You’ll find him at the Ritz, dressed like Hitler and surrounded by union thugs. He hands out LOTS of candy, but only if you promise to vote for him.

There you have it, a guide on where to go trick or treating in Washington D.C. Good luck and good hunting. Have a happy Halloween. . . for Tuesday is Christmas!

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Voter Fraud: Tally Me Banana Republic

The left is working hard to turn the United States into a banana republic, and this needs to stop. It’s time that law enforcement in every state, county and city, and even at the federal level (cough cough Eric Holder), started taking voter fraud seriously, and putting people in jail. Take a look at what’s been going on recently:

Let’s start with some oldies but goldies from 2008:

• Nationwide: ACORN ran around the country filing fake voter registrations for people like the Dallas Cowboys and cartoon characters. Why does this matter? Because without the requirement that voters show identification, ACORN could then vote these fake ballots. The Democrats not only objected to prosecuting ACORN, they fought the elimination of ACORN's federal funding.

• Ohio: Workers were caught filling out ballots for people in retirement homes in Ohio, often without their knowledge, and were caught voting Democratic when the voter wanted to vote Republican.

• Nationwide: Military ballots were either sent out too late to be counted, or were not returned on time by the Pentagon. The same is happening again this year.

• Nationwide: Voters were shown to have voted twice in Minnesota, Florida and New York.

• Minnesota: Boxes of supposed ballots remained in the trunk of a car belonging to a Democratic election official in Minnesota for several days, and were suddenly "discovered" when the Democrats needed more votes to support Al Franken.

• Philadelphia: Black Panthers turned out to intimidate voters in Philadelphia. This case was ultimately dropped by the Justice Department for black racist reasons. . . something multiple sources have now confirmed. Indeed, a recent investigation uncovered widespread bias against white plaintiffs in the Justice Department’s Civil Right Division and a prevailing attitude that Civil Rights law “were not meant to protect whites.”

Now let’s look at some of this cycle’s problems:

• Nationwide: The Democrats have been caught planting fake Tea Party candidates in several states, including Michigan, California, New Jersey and Nevada. In Michigan, many of the candidates did not even know they were candidates until the media contacted them. The Democratic official responsible resigned, but was not prosecuted. This is a tactic used by all dictators from Zimbabwe to Venezuela.

• Chicago: A Democratic group spent the summer getting people to fill out vote-by-mail requests. This resulted in more than 900,000 requests. Here’s the catch, they had people send the requests to a Democratic Party office, not the state. The Democrats were then supposed to forward those to the state. Why does this matter? For one thing, it let the Democrats collect information on the voters. But more importantly, this let the Democrats canvas the voters to learn their preferences before sending in the ballot requests. And now it looks like thousands of those requests “somehow” have not been filed on time.

• Philadelphia: Voters were sent letters from a non-existent Pennsylvania Voter Assistance Office suggesting that they would not be allowed to vote if they did not request an absentee ballot. They were told to mail these requests to a Democratic Party office -- not the County Board of Elections. The Democrats then gathered the information and supposedly forwarded the ballots. Yet, as in Chicago, many were not sent to the Board of Elections until it became too late to have them processed.

• Nevada: Electronic voting machines were pre-programmed to support Democrat Harry Reid. The voting machine technicians are members of the SEIU Local 1107 (who support Harry Reid). There have also been differences in the number of votes cast on the machines and the paper logs.

• Nevada: The SEIU has been caught giving out Starbucks cards to voters to encourage them to vote for Harry Reid, a violation of Nevada law.

• Daytona Beach, Fla.: Dayton Beach City Commissioner Derrick Henry and his campaign manager Genesis Robinson were arrested and charged with absentee ballot fraud when it was discovered that they obtained absentee ballots for people who never requested ballots. In some instances, the ballots would arrive at the voter’s home only to have campaign workers appear at the home and retrieve the ballot.

• California: Barbara Boxer has sent a letter to teachers asking them to solicit students to volunteer for her campaign, a violation of California law.

• North Carolina: Electronic voting machines are magically turning votes cast for Republicans into Democratic votes. . . funny how it never happens the other way around.

• New Jersey: Wayne Dibofsky, the associate director of the New Jersey Education Association, has been caught on tape describing how voting machines with votes already pre-cast were delivered to a nonexistent voting location in New Jersey in 1997, and how those machines helped carry a Republican district for the Democrat.

And this is just what's been uncovered so far.

This is the kind of fraud that would get the State Department swinging into action if it were happening in some other country. Jimmy Carter would be demanding international monitors. This is the sort of thing you expect in the Third World or some “worker’s paradise” like Cuba. That this is happening in the United States is a true indictment both of our election system, which needs serious reform, and of a Democratic Party that has abandoned democracy for a system where elections are stolen and spoils are awarded.

It is time this came to an end, and people like Harry Reid, Al Franken and dozens (if not hundreds) of other Democrats need to be sent to prison where they belong.

**** Don't forget to pass around the Election Guide to remind people why they need to vote the Democrats out!****

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pelosi: Betrayed By "Secret Money" (updated)

You know the game is lost when the coach starts making excuses before the end of the third quarter. The same holds true in politics. The election isn’t until next week, and yet, the Democrats are already whining about how "secret" special interest money “defeated” them. This is interesting not only because it shows just how demoralized they are, but also because the claim is false.

For a couple weeks now, the Democrats have claimed that special interests have bought this election for the Republicans. Obama said it, and implied that this money was secret foreign money (and odd claim for a boy from Kenya to make). Even the MSM called him on that one. Pelosi said it and proved just how delusional she is:
“Everything was going great and all of a sudden secret money from God knows where — because they won't disclose it — is pouring in.”
Of course, that’s true if you define “great” as “planning to lose 60 seats.” And think about how insulting this claim is: people are too stupid to think for themselves and only vote for whoever spends the most money. Biden said it, but got his numbers wrong, claiming these groups spent “$200 billion.” (Being off by a factor of 1000 is actually pretty good for Joe.)

And behind the scenes, the Democrats are positively shrill about this money:
• “They’re widening the field, it’s just a stunning thing,” said a senior White House official.

• “Special interests bought the Congress they wanted. Corporations bought the new Republicans,” said a House aide.

• “The reality is that were it not for outside money there would be a lot less uncertainty in House, gubernatorial and Senate races around the country,” said a senior House official.
But is there any truth to these allegations? Nope.
• First, there is the hypocrisy problem: the Democrats benefitted from a similar phenomenon in 2006, when George Soros and friends spent lavishly to help them.

• Secondly, in election after election, the evidence has shown that no matter how much money a candidates spends, a bad candidate simply cannot win. Indeed, in 2006 and 2008, when the tide turned against the Republicans, the Democrats won numerous races where they were massively outspent.

• Third, the claim of massive secret money is just not true. Campaign experts estimate that only 10% of the money being spent in this election cycle is from these sources, the rest comes from traditional sources like the parties themselves.

• Further, the Democrats have their own identical sources of funding in groups like Soros’s group and union slush funds. In fact, AFSCME, a public employee union, is spending the most of any outside group this election cycle -- $87.5 million. . . all to help Democrats. When you look at the parties themselves, the DNC and its related committees have outspent the GOP by significant amounts.

• And finally, don’t forget the millions of dollars in should-be-illegal campaign ads being run by government agencies touting ObamaCare. . . that’s right, you’re paying to have Andy Griffith lie to you. And don’t forget all that free press the Democrats get from their fellow travelers in the MSM and Hollywood.
Despite these facts, the Democrats are running with this claim to justify their loss. Of course, this shouldn’t surprise us as the Democrats now specialize in unreality. And let’s not forget that this is the same party that’s been waging such a dirty campaign that even the New York Times had to take note of the Democrats’ dirty tricks, e.g. planting and funding fake Tea Party candidates to siphon off votes from Republicans. Thus, blaming their pending loss on a lie is hardly beyond the pale for Democrats.

Ultimately, I doubt this issue has legs. It may excite the Democratic base, who are too stupid to grasp that they’re being lied to, but it doesn’t resonate with anyone else because the Democrats are equally guilty. And even among Democrats, there is no constituency to clean up campaign funding, their constituencies are solely worried about getting their own vendettas put into law. . . and they rely on dirty money.

Thus, in the end, I think this issue will merely give people like Pelosi a way to sleep at night without having to ask herself the hard questions.

Update: Here is an update from Politico tonight. Apparently, the Democrats have outspent the Republicans by $270 million during this election. Making this claim about being outspent not just a lie, but a ridiculous lie.

**** Don't forget to pass around the Election Guide to remind people why they need to vote the Democrats out!****

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Stuxnet: The Future of War Is Here

This may sound like science fiction, but it's not. It’s Monday morning. You’re sitting at work, in your firm’s cafeteria drinking coffee, when suddenly you spot a computer memory stick lying on the floor next to your table. You take it to the IT people, so they can return it to the rightful owner. They pop it into a USB port. . . it’s empty. A month later, your plant explodes. Think I’m exaggerating? I’m not.

With the rush to computerize everything, it was inevitable that the peculiar weaknesses of computers would be exploited for military purposes. For years now, the Chinese have been firing “cyber missiles” at American companies to steal their business secrets. In 2008, we saw Russia take down the internet across Estonia and Georgia with denial of service attacks from millions of infected Western computers; this disrupted government and military communications and spread panic. It is rumored that predator videofeeds can be (or have been) hacked. And we repeatedly hear of attempts to hack the Pentagon.

But those attacks were nothing.

Meet Stuxnet, an incredibly sophisticated computer worm that many are speculating was created by American or Israeli military cyber warriors. This is the future of war, and the first shot has already been fired.

Stuxnet was designed to get onto a computer system from a USB memory stick. . . the one you found in your cafeteria or next to your car or which was dropped into your coat pocket on the subway. Why use this method of transmission? Because most of the control systems that run industrial plants are intentionally isolated from the internet so they can’t be reached by hackers. The USB solution gets around that problem.

Once the memory stick is connected to a computer, Stuxnet exploits one of four separate, previously-unknown holes found in Microsoft Windows to load itself onto any computer into which the USB memory stick is placed (it is unheard of for ordinary hackers to reveal their knowledge of so many holes in one attempt). To achieve this, Stuxnet uses two compromised security certificates stolen from firms in Taiwan. Once it's on the computer, it first tries to find an internet connection. If it finds one, then it contacts a server in Denmark or Malaysia for instructions. If it can’t, then it spreads itself across the network looking for a backdoor to allow remote access.

This level of effort is highly unusual for a normal bit of malware. But what truly makes Stuxnet stand apart is that it was programmed with extensive knowledge of plant control systems manufactured by Siemens, as well as the blueprints of a particular target. What target? It’s not entirely clear (or if it is, no one is saying), but all indications are that Stuxnet was aimed at Iran (60% of the 45,000 infected computers are in Iran), with the Bushehr nuclear reactor and the Natanz enrichment facilities being the likely targets. Iran denies that any damage was done, though when this worm struck last year, the number of working centrifuges at Natanz mysteriously dropped.

So what can be done using such a worm?

Almost everything now runs on some sort of computer system, everything from the stock market to the electrical grid to air traffic control to traffic lights. Stuxnet reveals the potential for cyber attacks to be aimed at specific targets, like a particular electrical plant. Moreover, these attacks can be done without any trace or hint of where they came from. Thus, you could shut down the electrical grid in a country right before an invasion rather than bombing, or you could stop a pesky nuclear enrichment facility, or cut off a fuel supply. . . and it can all be done without anyone know who did it. There are few limits.

And how life-threatening can the damage be?

Well, for example, by tinkering at a nuclear power plant, you could recreate Chernobyl if you had the expertise. Or by shutting down the right valves, you could generate enough pressure to cause a natural gas pipeline to blow itself up. In fact, in 2004, it was claimed that a C.I.A. campaign of computer sabotage in Siberia in the 1980s caused a gas pipeline to explode when “the pipeline software that was to run the pumps, turbines and valves was programmed to go haywire, to reset pump speeds and valve settings to produce pressures far beyond those acceptable to the pipeline joints and welds.” This resulted in a three kiloton explosion, so large it could be seen from space.

Now consider this. So many of the computer chips, the processors, the routers and everything else that we use in every single home, business, and military application today are made in China, often by companies that are owned or controlled by the Chinese military. Who needs to plant a USB stick when your enemy will buy infected gear right out of your hand? Indeed, in a fascinating report some months ago, it was revealed that the Pentagon has turned to chip scroungers to save money when they need old chips, rather than paying to have new ones made. These scroungers typically get the chips from Chinese sources who take them out of old computer gear. In several instances, these chips have been linked to crashes of jet fighters and, in one instance, an aircraft carrier lost its radar system for several hours when some of these chips failed. That’s not very comforting, especially for a military and a country that rely so heavily on technology.

Fortunately, under a new policy, the Defense Department is quietly moving into the business of defending critical US infrastructure from cyber attacks. Specifically, DOD will provide cyber expertise to other government agencies, including Homeland Security, and to certain private companies.

Let’s hope that for once, the government is up to the task.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Stop Calling Me!!!!!

You may have noticed that it’s election season. How do we know this? Because we’re seeing a billion television ads telling us that someone who wants our vote will make the sun shine brighter and our food taste better. . . or will make the sun go dark and eat our children. And what’s worse, they have your phone number, and they aren’t afraid to abuse it.

Campaigns are expected to spend just over $4.2 billion in advertising in this election cycle. Most of that goes to television ads, but a good chunk now goes to robocalls. Not only are robocalls a waste of money, but I would suggest they actively hurt the candidate. Let’s start with television advertising because the difference between television ads and robocalls is what makes robocalls so toxic.

I honestly don’t care about television advertisements; I pretty much ignore them: “Oh look, my show is going on a three minute hiatus, where’s that remote?” Or else I mute them because the networks like messing with the noise level. . . apparently most people go deaf during the commercial breaks.

But even if they somehow continue to blare in the background, I use the ultimate self-defense weapon: indifference. Indeed, the only times I pay attention to ads are when something strikes me as odd about the ad, for example, when they go out of their way to avoid saying something (drug companies, finance companies, car dealers, etc.), or when they play race games (Vonage) or they try to sneak gay characters into ads (Digiorno, Progressive), or when they hire actors who are supposed to make you think of currently popular politicians.

But since they barely reach my consciousness, television ads don’t bother me. So go ahead and waste your money, you won’t hear me complaining. But robocalls are different because they can’t be ignored.

Robocalls are computerized calls where some politician or washed up celebrity records a message to you about one or more candidates that will be on your ballot. These things are so annoying, that they typically do more harm than good. Indeed, time and again politicians find themselves running to a microphone to apologize for something that was said in one of these messages or trying to pretend that they knew nothing about the call that suggested that Sen. Whatshisface is a cannibal or a crossdresser or a crossdressing cannibal. And did you know Sen. Whatshisface gets money from dwarves? His mother used to beat black orphans professionally! He even wants to put children into mines. . . which actually sounds like a better place to store them than your average high school.

Everyone hates these.

Oddly, politicians know these things backfire but they keep doing them. How do we know they understand this? Because they are constantly getting caught putting out fake robocalls “from” the other side, which are intentionally insulting or annoying. They wouldn’t do that if robocalls weren’t ticking people off. Yet, despite all the press conferences begging forgiveness and denying involvement, they continue to put these things out. Why? Because politicians are stupid; they operate on the principle of drooling moron see, drooling moron do.

So what makes a robocall so annoying? Well, for starters, I’m getting 3-5 a night. And unlike television ads, you can’t avoid them. What’s worse, they target times when no decent human being would try to get your attention, like when you’re eating dinner or Saturday morning when you’re trying to make up for all that lost sleep.

Moreover, talking to a machine is aggravating. At least when regular phone solicitors hire retarded chimpanzees or teenagers to call you, you can mess with them. For example, when they insist on calling you by your first name, tell them “that was Uncle John, who died last night when an alien burst out of his anus,” and then start sobbing. Or quiz them about their knowledge of America and throw in the occasional insult at India. Or when they try to fight with you after you tell them you aren’t interested, ask them what they’re wearing. That’s guaranteed to get them to hang up. But you can’t do any of this with a machine. No. Your best material goes to waste on these stupid machines as John McCain prattles on about the merits of someone he’s never met.

What makes candidates think that calling me 3-5 times a day at a time that is guaranteed to piss me off just so a machine can lecture me is going to make me feel favorably inclined toward said candidate? Do they not know that every time they call my house I consider not voting for them (or trying to find a way to vote against them more than once)?

Frankly, I hope the inventor of phone solicitation is rotting in a warm place with a pitchfork rammed up his posterior. . . and I feel much less charitable toward the inventor of the robocall. It’s time this practice stopped. It’s time candidates swore off this insidious advertising strategy, or maybe we should start striking back. Maybe we should start calling them at all hours, telling them why we’re better than the guy across the street? Maybe that will finally get the message across.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Halal No!

Do you know what “Halal” means? Halal is the method for preparing food required by Islamic law. This sounds pretty benign, right? After all, Islam is a religion and religions wouldn’t do anything that we would consider barbaric, right? And besides, it’s not like you or I need to participate in this. . . or do we? Believe it or not, you may be participating in this rather barbaric practice and not even know it. And there’s more.

In the past month, two things have come to light related to the issue of Halal dietary practice. The first involves the country of England. The second involves Campbell’s soup.

A recent Daily Mail investigation has revealed that schools, hospitals, pubs, restaurants, and famous sporting venues all over England (think Wembley) are now serving food that is prepared according to Sharia law. This includes schools that boast of a “strong Christian ethos” as well as schools that have done all the trendy liberal things from banning smoking to faking environmental data to refusing to invest in anti-liberal things like weapons makers and South Africa, etc. So now they’ve gone Halal. And we're not just talking about special requests like asking for a vegetarian platter. Indeed, England’s biggest restaurant chain has admitted that three-quarters of the poultry it serves is Halal chicken (usually procured from the country of Turkey).

Here’s the kicker: they’re doing this secretly. Yep. None of these institutions has alerted the public that the food they are being served was prepared according to Islamic law. When the big restaurant chain was asked why they didn’t disclose this information to customers, their spokesman gave the following bit of doublespeak:
“It is not mentioned on any of our menus because we don’t think there is customer demand for that information. But if people started asking, then we would definitely provide it.”
In other words, they justify hiding this fact because people haven’t asked them about it. That same reasoning could be applied to justify not telling customers about the health code violations, that the beef is actually human, that the chef has leprosy, or that the kitchen staff spent the night urinating in the soup pots. Oh, so sorry, you should have asked!

But, you ask, why would customers be upset about Halal foods? Here’s why: Sharia law expressly forbids knocking animals out before they are butchered. That’s right. A Halal butcher will slit the throat of the animal while it is alive and awake, allowing the blood to drip from the body as religious phrases are recited to praise Allah.

While Islamo-apologists claim the animals are dead within two seconds, research has shown that it can take up to two minutes for the animal to die because carotid arteries can contract after being cut, sealing the severed ends and maintaining blood pressure in the brain. (A grisly report on German slaughterhouses recently found similar issues where conscious animals were butchered or dropped into super-heated water to remove the skin while alive. But that was unintentional, Halal is not.)

Notably, animal rights groups are furious and they are demanding that Halal meat be clearly labeled, something typically required for the slightest possibility of unpleasant reaction in every other instance. . . but somehow not required in this instance.

And that brings us to Campbell. Campbell Soup of New Jersey is fighting a grass-roots boycott after its Canadian subsidiary rolled out a line of soups certified as Halal. Unlike the British problem, where the Halal sourcing remains a secret, Campbell at least is open about the Halal certification -- although I see no obvious markings on the packages, and it turns out that many things like tomato sauce or Romano cheese which you would think include only vegetables are made commercially using animal parts, which were procured using Halal methods.

But there’s an even bigger catch: the organization that certifies that these soups and other products are Halal compliant is called the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). ISNA was an unindicted co-conspirator in the prosecution of a “charitable organization” called Holy Land Foundation, which funneled money from the United States to Hamas, a group that even the State Department recognizes as a terrorist organization.

Think about that the next time you see a Campbell’s advertisement touting their patriotism or their place in your family’s pantry. Not only are they now offering products that include meats from animals that were, for lack of a better word, tortured in the name of Allah, but they have hired an organization with terrorist links to certify that the animals were properly tortured to please this bloodthirsty Allah.

Campbell, like all corporate bad guys, claims the boycott is not hurting their sales, and thus refuses to change to a non-terrorist-connected certifier. (They also claim these products will only be sold in Canada. . . at least until they change their minds.)

This is just the latest example of large corporations and their government counterparts not caring anymore about the public. They would change their entire way of doing business to avoid offending a small group like gays or environmental extremists, but forget about them being sensitive to the concerns of the public at large. In this case, these behemoth organizations have chosen to cater to the primitive practices of Muslims, even though Muslims make up only 1% of the population in the United States and 3.3% of the population in Britain. But what’s worse, they are foisting this on the rest of the public and they have chosen to deceive the other 99% of us to make that possible. Could you imagine them doing the same for a Christian group? Or could you see them standing up for some bit of traditional Americana? No. . . I can’t see that either.

Maybe it is time for a little anti-corporate populism after all.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The End Of Pelosi?

As we saw in the latest Commentarama poll, most of you (80% in fact) think Nancy Pelosi will be booted from the Democratic leadership after the November debacle. While I don’t dispute that the odds favor her ejection, let me point out why this might not be a foregone conclusion. Surprised?

The public has certainly soured on Pelosi. Indeed, the only public figures with higher negatives than Pelosi are Hitler and Satan, and Satan’s got stronger positives. But the public doesn’t get to vote on Pelosi. If they did, she would be tied to a stake right now blowing at the flames. In fact, it’s not even Democrats who get to make this decision. No. Only House Democrats get to vote on Pelosi, and they don’t think like you.

As far as the Democratic public is concerned, the argument for dumping Pelosi is simple. Beginning in 2006, the Democrats took over the House of Representatives and Pelosi became the media-anointed “most powerful Speaker in history.” But after four years of Democratic control over the House and two years of control over every nook and cranny of government, the Democrats have remarkably little to show for it. They passed a huge stimulus that went to waste. They passed a version of ObamaCare that was so watered-down the Kool-Aid flavor was barely recognizable. They did Wall Street’s bidding. They were corrupt. And now they’re about to hand power back to the Republicans in one of the worst tidal wave elections in history.

But here is the view from the Democrats in the House. Pelosi has been a great Speaker. She managed to pass a wildly progressive agenda that died in the Senate. . . a den of cowards who subverted everything the House did. Moreover, the Democrats’ current unpopularity isn’t Pelosi’s fault, it’s the fault of a combination of two factors that include (1) a mysteriously bad economy that seems to be the result of collusion by Republican business interests refusing to hire employees, and (2) an Obama administration that has never once defended their values, which hasn’t had the will to follow through on its own rhetoric, and which caved to even token Republican resistance.

Additionally, Pelosi raised tens of millions of dollars for individual Democratic candidates, something she is very good at, and many of them owe her. Further, Pelosi handpicked almost all of the committee chairmanships, and thus, more Democrats owe her.

Then there’s something else to consider: who would replace her? Generally speaking, there are two House Democrats who have tangled with Pelosi. But neither appears up to the task.

The first was California Rep. Jane Harman (mucho bad blood). Harman was Pelosi’s biggest rival when Pelosi assumed the Speaker job. What’s more, Harman’s husband recently bought Newsweek, which could easily become the headquarters of an anti-Pelosi media campaign. But Harman is (wrongly) considered a “moderate” Democrat. Indeed, she once belonged to the Democratic Leadership Council, a group determined to pull the Democrats back from the brink of socialism. That’s a problem.

A similar problem exists for the other possible candidate: Steny Hoyer. Hoyer is the number two Democrat in the House, and he and Pelosi have a very strained relationship. Their bad blood began when Pelosi defeated Hoyer for the job of Minority Whip in 2002. Then, in 2006, Hoyer ran against Pelosi’s hand-chosen candidate (John Murtha) for Majority Leader. Hoyer defeated the scandal plagued Murtha 149 to 86. Since that time, Hoyer has campaigned heavily for other Democratic House members and has on some occasions taken stands that wonks have interpreted as intended to embarrass Pelosi, such as demanding that she push through with the full agenda even when it became clear the Senate would never vote on these proposals.

But Hoyer is a bit of an emotionless bootlicker. He’s not the guy to inspire passion in a party that traffics in emotion rather than reason. Moreover, while Hoyer is not a moderate himself, to pull off the 149-86 upset, Hoyer relied on the support of moderates. . . the same group to which Harman would appeal (although her appeal has been diminished because of an espionage-related scandal, where she was twice caught trying to lobby the Justice Department on behalf of Israeli spies).

So is the problem that Hoyer and Harman will split the moderate vote? No. The problem is that there won’t be any moderates left in the House after the election. All those “bluedog” Democrats the media likes to talk about were hand-picked by Rahm Emmanuel with the idea of taking Republican-leaning seats from the Republicans. Those seats will all change hands in November, along with quite a few Democratic-leaning seats. What will be left will be the Democrats in the hard-left districts, districts that match Pelosi’s politics.

Thus, in a contest between Pelosi, who delivered on a far left agenda, who raised money for most House Democrats, who appointed every committee chair and party leader except Hoyer. . . . and Hoyer, who is bland but has done some campaigning, the far-left nutjobs who get to vote are not likely to favor the rhetorically more moderate Hoyer. That means they are likely to vote for Pelosi again.

Could Pelosi really survive? John Boehner survived the debacle of 2008 to remain Minority Leader. The last Speaker to be tossed out of the leadership by their party was Republican Joseph William Martin, Jr. after the Republicans lost the majority in 1958. Before Martin, I’ve found none who were ejected from leadership as far back as the Civil War and probably a lot longer than that -- though several resigned and a couple lost re-election to Congress.

So what are the odds Pelosi will survive? That’s a lot closer question than you would think, isn’t it?

**** By the way, don't forget to pass around the Election Guide to remind people why they need to vote the Democrats out!****

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Media Bias: Only The Left Can Offer Real Spending Cuts

Most people complain about media bias, but the media acts like it doesn’t know what they’re talking about. . . except when Fox News is being criticized. Bias takes many forms, from favoring one argument over another, to reporting one side uncritically while casting doubt on the other, to selectively reporting facts, to mischaracterizing one side, to demonizing one side while “humanizing” the other, to flat out lying, fabricating and/or distorting arguments or facts. Let's take a look at how the media has addressed the issue of deficit reduction for an example of a clear leftward bias.

Over the past year, the MSM has slowly walked through a series of attacks on Republican deficit reduction plans. Here is the how this attack went:

1. Republicans were first to demand spending cuts. The MSM immediately responded by attacking these cuts as endangering the economic recovery.

2. But the public wanted cuts, so eventually the Democrats came up with a competing plan. While this plan was less specific than the Republican plan -- suggesting only that someday they would cut wasteful spending and increase taxes on the rich -- the MSM immediately hailed the Democrats for putting together a “serious plan to reduce the deficit.” The MSM seemed to forget that until that very morning they were arguing that cutting the deficit would destroy the economy. At the same time, the MSM began criticizing Republicans for “not putting together any plan”. . . which begs the question of how they made the criticism in No. 1.

3. Once the Republicans began publishing their plan (to get around the media's attempts to ignore their plan), the MSM switched their attack to: “the Republican plan is vague and meaningless.” They never once said this about the Democrats, who offered even fewer specifics.

4. When this didn’t stop the Republicans’ popularity from surging, next came, “we agree with the need for cuts, but these are draconian.” So how does this fit with the prior argument that the Republican plan was vague and meaningless? Not coincidentally, the MSM never identified any cuts they would make.

5. Next the MSM touted the deficit cutting plans introduced by a handful of Democrats, which typically amounted to little more than a few pennies on every $10,000 of spending. No mention was made of the insignificance of these plans; to the contrary, they were hailed as “brave." The MSM then went back to criticizing the Republicans for not offering any alternative plan.

6. Then the MSM tried to turn the Republicans' refusal to propose tax increases as "giveaways" to large corporations and the well-connected. . . as if not stealing something is the same as showering the owner with their own property.

7. With the public still leaning to the right, the MSM next proclaimed that the Republicans weren’t actually serious about the cuts they proposed, and that they had no intention of following through. Of course, no proof was offered. They even had the nerve to ask why Republicans never submitted these before. . . even though they had, the Democrats just refused to vote on them.

8. When this argument didn’t work, they switched to the bizarre argument that the Republicans may be suggesting good cuts, but were offering them for the wrong reasons. . . seriously, they said this.

9. Then came “the Republicans won’t be able to deliver these kinds of cuts.” Yet, somehow the Democrats can? Actually, this has become a common argument in places like The Economist: only the left has the moral authority to make spending cuts or deal with unions or address Muslim countries, etc.

10. Next, they began attacking the specific people proposing the cuts, pointing out whatever scandal they could from the past. And when no scandal was available, they accused them of being too partisan and having angered a large part of the population, i.e. the hard left. They even attacked Paul Ryan for associating with. . . Republicans. Oh my!

11. Finally, when it became obvious the Republicans would win the election, the MSM returned to the idea that spending cuts would hurt the economy.

Notice that throughout this process, the MSM uncritically blessed any plan put forward by the Democrats as serious and likely to work, without ever addressing the plan's obvious flaws or asking why the Democrats couldn’t have done this during their prior years in power. Meanwhile, they repeatedly made arguments against the Republicans which were proven to be disingenuous once they moved on to the next argument, e.g. like when they suddenly argued a plan was "draconian" right after arguing that there was no plan.

Notice also that when they failed to win on the merits, they turned to impugning the motives of the Republicans -- as if it matters what your reason is for putting a good policy into place -- and then they finally attacked the individual messengers. With Ryan, they went for the ultimate tautology gotcha: we can find no fault with Ryan except that he is a Republican and therefore his plan is proof that Republicans are bad.

This is a classic example of bias. This is not analysis, this is advocacy. This is slowly walking through contradictory alternative arguments until you find one that strikes a chord. This is what lawyers do when arguing to an appellate court. Nor should it surprise anyone that the MSM outfits who made these argument were parroting Democratic talking points as they did. This is why people no longer trust the media.

So what examples of media bias have you seen lately?

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Truth Be Told...

“We’re not losing.” -- Nancy Pelosi

“Yes, you are.” -- The Public

Have you noticed the Democrats running around pretending they’re going to win in November? They know they won’t win, but they’ve decided to lie to keep their base from getting demoralized. But it that really a good strategy? I don’t think it is.

If there is one thing I know about the American public, it is that the public is very forgiving. Maybe this goes back to some Christian tradition, maybe it’s just human nature. . . maybe we’re just suckers. Whatever the reason, in this country, you can be “worse than Hitler” one week and find yourself cheered on as the quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles the next. Indeed, the American story is the story of redemption and renewal: it’s in our culture, it’s in our laws, and it’s in our very way of thinking.

But there’s a catch: people want to believe you’ve become genuinely contrite before they will forgive you. It’s really not that complicated. They want to believe that you’ve learned your lesson, and that you won’t ever do anything wrong ever again.

And that brings us to the Democrats.

They blew it. They were given control over the government and they ran wild with influence peddling, rampant corruption, abject stupidity, utter incompetence, and a power-high unlike anything seen since Russia, circa October 1917. Not only did they do nothing to benefit the public, but they actively endangered our country and our economy in the process, and they seemed to revel in antagonizing and taunting the public.

And now that the polls show they are in deep trouble, their answer is to lie about the polls in the hopes of tricking enough of their voters to turn out to prevent November from turning from a debacle into a rout. . . or is it the other way around?

Wouldn’t they be better off tapping into the redemption theme that weaves its way throughout our history? In other words, rather than lying about the polls, wouldn’t they be better off admitting the truth:
“We blew it. We did a lot of things wrong and we’re very sorry. We know you want to punish at the polls in November, but we are asking for a second chance. We understand why you’re upset, and we intend to fix that, and we hope that you’ll give us that chance.”
It may sound corny at first, but if you think about it, it really could prove to be a highly effective strategy. Right now the public has lost faith in the political parties and in individual politicians, and I don’t see how this relationship can be repaired by choosing a strategy of telling obvious lies in the hopes of tricking a handful of non-observant voters. That just highlights the problem, and by doing that, it becomes impossible to convince the rest of the public that they’ve changed and to ask for a second chance.

And it’s not just lies about the polls. The Democrats have been running around lying about. . . well, everything. They lie about their voting records, they lie about their "independence," they lie about things they’ve said, they lie about where they get their money, they lie about what their legislation will do, and they lie about what they want to do if reelected. I understand their reason for telling these lies (the public is angry), but this just seems like a bad idea -- they are trading all future trust for a long shot of short-term gain.

It’s not just the Democrats either. The same thing applies to the Republicans. The more I see them try to repackage the same old policies as something new or as evidence that they understand the public’s anger, the more it seems obvious that they have chosen to go the route of deceit and that we can’t believe that they've changed their ways either.

The public does forgive, but needs a reason to believe you’ve changed. Continuing to tell obvious lies only reinforces the public's distrust. Honestly really is the best policy. Both sides should try it.

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Time Gets It Right!

Every once in a while, someone on the left gets a clue. This time it was Mark Halperin of Time. What has Halperin discovered? That Obama is failing badly. And for once, he makes some good points as to why. Of course, Obama still doesn’t get it, but it's interesting that someone on his side finally does!

Check out these quotes from Halperin’s article in which he discusses the scope of Obama’s problem:
“With the exception of core Obama Administration loyalists, most politically engaged elites have reached the same conclusions: the White House is in over its head, isolated, insular, arrogant and clueless about how to get along with or persuade members of Congress, the media, the business community or working-class voters.”
This view, according to Halperin, is shared by “executives and anchors at the major old-media outlets, reporters who cover the White House, Democratic and Republican congressional leaders and governors, many Democratic business people and lawyers who raised big money for Obama in 2008, and even some members of the Administration just beyond the inner circle.”

Sounds like a total loss of support except for the most brainwashed, doesn’t it? But it gets worse:
“Moreover, there is a growing perception that Obama's decisions are causing harm — that businesses are being hurt by the Administration's legislation and that economic recovery is stalling because of the uncertainty surrounding energy policy, health care, deficits, housing, immigration and spending.”

Of course, Halperin concludes that Obama’s problems are largely the result of Republican obstructionism. But he doesn’t stop there. He also blames the media for allowing “the right’s activists and gabbers to run wild with criticism without furnishing legitimate alternative solutions.” No doubt he means something specific like “hope and change”?

But what’s even more interesting, he also blames Obama!

Indeed, he notes that Obama “exacerbated his political problems” not only “failing to enact policies that would have actually turned the economy around, but also by authorizing a series of tactical moves intended to demonize Republicans and distract from the problems at hand.” In other words, not only have his policies failed, but Obama was more interested in demonizing the Republicans than getting things done. . . so much for the lefty argument about “too much bipartisanship.”

And who did Obama demonize? “Through out the year, we have been treated to Obama-led attacks on George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, Congressman Joe Barton. . ., John Boehner, and Fox News.” He then notes that even in the past few days, “we have witnessed the spectacle of the President himself and his top advisers wading into allegations that Republicans are attempting to buy the election using foreign money laundered through the Chamber of Commerce”. . . an issue that even the MSM has rejected as utterly lacking proof. In fact, Bob Schieffer of CBS News took David Axelrod to task for making this allegation without any proof. And when he was confronted with a demand to produce any evidence he had, all the stunned Axelrod could say was “do you have any proof it’s not true.” That’s called getting caught red-handed.

Of course, the media can’t quite bring itself to point out that Obama set up his campaign to avoid knowing if his campaign contributions were from foreign sources or that the Clintons were notorious for taking Chinese money, but at least pointing out the Obama lie is a step in an unexpected direction. . . toward the truth.

Halperin is hopeful that Obama will recover in January once he and his fellows can get back to blaming the Republicans for everything, but I think that's just more false hopes. Obama doesn’t get it. He has never been challenged in the past or held to account for his failures, so he doesn’t know how to deal with those now. In fact, the evidence for that is overwhelming: Obama’s approach is to get snippy and then walk away from problems.

What’s more, Obama can’t stop polarizing the electorate. Indeed, Obama is currently on a tour of black voters at black colleges and black neighborhoods where he’s been equating opposition to himself with whites trying to re-impose slavery. So while Halperin might get it, it’s pretty obvious Obama isn’t. And while the politically correct and the media will forgive him this, the voters won’t.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Elves Are Back. . . And They're Disagreeing

By the Boiler Room Elves

The Boiler Room Elves are, naturally, avid readers of Commentarama. In fact, it somehow got written into our union contract that we each get two extra 15 minute breaks every day, just to read the wise words of our BossMen. In general, we agree with those guys, but now and then, they say something that just burns our brownies.

For example, BossMan Andrew's take on toll roads the other day. He argued that there are certain functions that the government should not be ceding, and that roads are one of them. He made an extreme example of a patchwork of privately maintained toll roads crisscrossing the country like so many drunken spiders.

We Elves do not deny that mass privatization of roads would lead to chaos, but Andrew ignores a middle way, which would leave a sane road system while returning power to the individual.

The solution? The government should continue to own and maintain roads, which are a public good for everyone. But rather than a "hidden" gas tax and / or registration fees, money for the upkeep should come directly from a use tax, based on how much each individual drives. If you drive more miles, you cause more wear and tear on the roads, and you should pay more for the upkeep.

This brings the choice back to the individual - maybe I'll choose to walk to the store today, or maybe I'll move closer to the cookie factory. Not because the government or some environmentalist or city planner tells me I must, but because it saves me money that I don't want to spend. What could be more freedom-loving than giving an individual some control over what they pay for roads because they don't use them as much.

By basing our road fees on licensing and registration fees that are either a flat fee or that depend on the value of a car instead of usage, there is a total disconnect between what we pay and what we use. Where else does that work in a free market?

Now, some Elves have argued that we already pay for usage through the taxes on gas - drive more and pay more. But is this really true anymore? In this day of Priuses and SUV hybrids and 35+ mpg Hondas, who uses the most gas? That would be the poor people who cannot afford new cars and are driving ancient gas-guzzlers. (Anyone remember the 1972 ThunderSleigh? It had a "gallons per mile" rating! Boy, you barely got off the North Pole before you had to refuel that sucker, but what a ride!) Liberals should LOVE this argument because it would help the poor... oh wait, it would hurt those driving those Priuses...

How would it be monitored? Well, a state could require that you have to bring your car in once a year, as many states already do for an inspection, and the mileage is noted and handed in. You would have to note the mileage when it is sold, and both parties would use that number as a base for their taxes that year.

Not that we Elves are holding our breath for this system to happen (any more than we are revving up our credit cards for a national sales tax to replace the income tax), but we can dream of a day when our taxes are much more closely related to the externalities we create.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Election Reminder

With the election coming up in a couple weeks and many people filing absentee ballots, I figured it was time to dig up the list of complaints against Obama and the Democrats. You may have already seen this, but it's been updated and it's worth repeating. Share this with your friends. Post the link on other websites you visit. E-mail this on whatever list servs you participate in. Let's not let people forget why they want to vote the Democrats out!

Here are some of the things the Democrats did over the past two years that you may not have liked:

Democratic Hate

• Demonizing the Tea Party as racists and Nazis, and lying to manufacture “evidence.”

• Demonizing a cop as racist for arresting a Grade A jackass who happened to be black.

• Demonizing insurance companies to pass ObamaCare.

• Demonizing drug companies to pass ObamaCare.

• Demonizing employers to pass ObamaCare.

• Demonizing doctors to pass ObamaCare.

• Demonizing Arizona on the immigration issue.

• Demonizing banks to pass Financial Reform.

• Demonizing oil companies to pass cap and trade.

• Demonizing Republicans because. . . well, because.

• Demonizing all Christians when a whacko shot an abortion doctor.

• Demonizing Mormons when California voted against gay marriage.

• Demonizing Israel to appease their antiSemitism wing.

• Demonizing “right wingers” and Christians when a whacko shot up the Holocaust museum.

• Demonizing Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, George Bush, etc. etc.

• Demonizing John Boehner because they ran out of other people to hate.

• Which relies on destroying Medicare for financing.

• Which forces people to buy insurance and will cause everyone to lose their current plan, despite Democratic lies to the contrary.

• Which will bankrupt the country.

• Which is a huge sop to insurers.

• Which does nothing to contain costs.

• Which does nothing to improve the quality of care.

• Which will lead to rationing.

• Excluding union plans and raising the limits on the Cadillac tax in union-friendly states.

• The abortion distortion in ObamaCare, which exposed “pro-life” Democrats as anything but. . . and now suing to stop their opponents from advertising this fact.

• Giving exemptions from ObamaCare to large, well-connected companies like McDonalds and 27 others.
Democratic Corruption

• It seems that every member of the Congressional Black Caucus is up on ethics charges, from taking dirty money (Charlie Goodtime Rangel) to sending stimulus money to relative’s banks (Maxine Waters) to awarding scholarships to ineligible family members (Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson and Rep. Sanford Bishop).

• Chris Dodd’s sweetheart deal with Countrywide.

• Stimulus money paid in non-existent districts for fake jobs.

• Stimulus money used to pay Hillary Clinton’s campaign debt.

• Stimulus money that went to dead people.

• Stimulus money that went to people in jail.

• No one in the Obama administration paying their taxes.

• Pelosi’s private plane.

• Pelosi’s drinks bill.

• Michelle Obama’s high class vacation-a-rama.

• The Louisiana Purchase.

• The Cornhusker Compromise.

• Medicare money for certain districts in Florida.

• A hospital for Chris Dodd’s vote on ObamaCare.

• Special treatment for Kaiser Permanente, the biggest provider in Pelosi’s district.

• Sestak Jobgate and a whiff of Clinton.

• Romanoff Jobgate.

• Climategate, and Obama’s affirmation of the falsified data.

• Algore Rapegate.

• Democrats Jim Moran (Va), Peter Visclosky (Ind.), and John Murtha (Hell) directing $137 million in defense contracts to clients of a lobbyist who funneled more than $380,000 in illegal campaign contributions to them.
Electoral Manipulation

• ACORN voter fraud.

• Manipulating Massachusetts electoral laws to keep Ted Kennedy’s seat Democratic and help pass ObamaCare.

• Running fake Tea Party candidates to hurt Republican chances in November. . . now proven in Michigan, New Jersey and Nevada (more to come).

• Trying to manipulate the electoral systems in several states to tilt the playing field toward Democrats.
Twisted Nominees

• Marxist and racist Van Jones.

• Maoist White House Communications Director Anita Dunn.

• Pedophile Safe Schools Czar Kevin Jennings.

• Unqualified Supreme Court nominee the Latina Red Sonia Sotomayor.

• Unqualified Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan.
Raping the Treasury

• The trillion dollar union/Democratic-interest-group giveaway known as the Stimulus bill and its dozen sequels.

• The trillion dollar Big Bank giveaway know as the TARP, the TALP and so on.

• Approving and then lying about $1.2 billion in bonuses to AIG.

• Authorizing massive salaries to the officers of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, both of which escaped regulation.

• The consumer and small bank screw job known as Financial Reform, a sop to huge banks and other Democratic donors.

• Effectively handing the Treasury to Goldman Sachs.

• “Saved or created” fake jobs.

• The attempt to tax “carbon,” i.e. everything on the planet.

• Not going a week without a taxpayer funded vacation or round of golf.
Economic Record

• Permanent 9% official unemployment, 17% real unemployment.

• Spending so much that our deficits have become a national security issue.

• Entertaining Stephen Colbert rather than voting to extend the Bush tax cuts, i.e. raising taxes on all of us.

• 269 bank failures so far, with 829 more on the worry list.

• Record foreclosures.
Weak on Terror

• “Man made disasters.”

• Refusal to recognize the "Islam" in Islamic terrorism.

• Losing the war in Afghanistan and sending troops for a fruitless last push before surrendering.

• Putting Navy SEALS on a show trial.

• Trying to move terrorism trials to New York City. . . so terrorists can be near their new mosque.

• Inexplicably (lol!) dropping slam dunk lawsuits against racist Black Panthers who tried to intimidate voters.

• Constant whining about racism. . . everything is racism.

• Apologizing to Arabs and blaming the United States for their hatred of us.

• Feigning ignorance of what could have motivated a Muslim to attack US soldiers at Fort Hood, and warning Americans not to hold this against Muslims.

• NASA’s new role as center for Muslim outreach.

• Democratic support of the Nazi memorial in the heart of Jerusalem. . . wait, I mean the triumphal mosque at Ground Zero.
Pro-Illegal Immigration

• Suing Arizona to stop it from enforcing a law the Federal Government is obligated to enforce.

• Trying to boycott Arizona.

• Reporting Arizona’s law to the United Nations as a human rights violation.

• Refusing to protect the border and instead putting up signs warning Americans to avoid nearby national parks.
Assaults on Freedom of Speech

• Joining Muslim countries to work toward a UN resolution proclaiming blasphemous speech a human rights crime.

• Remaining silent when South Park creators were threatened by Muslims.

• Attempting to take away free speech of corporations.

• Attempting to regulate talk radio through the Fairness Doctrine, dressed up as local content laws.

• Attempting to regulate the internet through Net Neutrality regulations.

• Pelosi’s McCarthy-esque calls for investigations of Democratic opponents.

• Telling Molly Norris she should go into hiding rather than going after the people threatening her.
Faux ”Environmentalism” Exposed

• Ridiculous Copenhagen non-agreement.

• Wiping out central California’s farmland.

• The total mishandling of the BP disaster.

• Suppressing BP data to hide what really happened.

• Proving that leftist groups care about electing Democrats, not the causes they are using as Trojan horses.
Embarrassing Us

• Regifting in Britain.

• Abandoning our foreign allies.

• Bowing to foreign leaders.

• Sending Geithner to beg the Chinese to keep buying our bonds.

• Teleprompter in Chief.

• Scaring the hell out of New Yorkers with Air Force One joy ride.

• The arrogance of accepting the Nobel Prize for anticipatory good deeds.

• Joe Biden
And just in case you like to pretend to be a liberal at the office and you want to discourage your kooky liberal friends from voting, here are some of the most popular (albeit stupid) complaints about the Democrats from the left:

• The Democrats were too interested in bipartisanship for the sake of bipartisanship than in passing the best possible legislation.

• ObamaCare didn’t go far enough because the Democrats sold out to the health insurance lobby and the Republicans.

• The Democrats didn’t do anything to help the environment. They didn’t pass cap and trade, and Copenhagen was a disaster because the U.S. refused to push for a world treaty against polluters like India, China and Brazil.

• Harry Reid used the threat of filibuster (a false threat when he had 60 votes) to stop or slow everything the Democrats should have done.

• Obama never gave benefits to gays in the Federal government, which he could have done by Executive Order, he failed to stand up for gay marriage, and the Democrats didn’t even try to end "don't ask, don't tell."

• The Democrats did nothing to reform the immigration system.

• The Democrats got into bed with Wall Street, taking their money and selling out consumers to banks.

• The Democrats did nothing to stop the mortgage crisis.

• The Democrats didn’t bail out states like Michigan and California with federal money.

• Obama’s reliance on teleprompters chafes at their delusions about his brilliance.

• He’s not cool, he’s an elitist.

• He didn’t save the economy.

• He did nothing to punish BP, all he did was go on vacation.

• He didn’t get us out of Afghanistan.
There you have it. Pass it along to your friends, and make sure everyone votes!!!

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Democrats To Blacks: Whites Want Slavery Back

If it’s election time, then it must be time to stoke up a little race hate. Indeed, every election cycle, the Democrats and their fellow travelers stir up black voters (and self-righteous liberal whites) with calls of racism. The election of Barack Obama was supposed to put an end to that, but it didn’t. In fact, it’s only gotten worse. And because of this, as Rasmussen just confirmed, race relationship have turned poisonous since Obama took office.

You would think the party of slavery, the party of Jim Crow, the party responsible for the collapse of the inner city and which provided the incentives that destroyed the black family, the party that controls the teachers unions which doom black kids to ignorance and poverty, and the party that protects corruption within the black political power structure, would not be too popular in the black community. But you’d be wrong. Why? Because the Democrats have gotten very good at brainwashing blacks to respond to claims of racism. . . a tactic they use before every election.

The latest offenders are Obama, Paul Krugman, and the Village Voice. Obama, “our first post racial” president, has been running around equating opposition to his policies with a return to slavery. And while this may just sound like intemperate rhetoric, it actually is no such thing. Indeed, this is carefully calibrated code to deliver a single message to blacks: “Republicans oppose me because they’re racists and they don’t want me setting you free.” If you doubt me, just wait.

Paul Krugman followed this up by making wild claims about the Tea Party (and indeed the entire conservative movement) being controlled by a secret cabal of billionaire financiers. At the introduction to his rant, he says the following:
“A note to Tea Party activists: This is not the movie you think it is. You probably imagine that you’re starring in ‘The Birth of a Nation,’ but you’re actually just extras in a remake of ‘Citizen Kane.’”
The mention of Birth of a Nation is no accident on Krugman’s part. For those who don’t know, Birth of a Nation is a pro-Ku Klux Klan propaganda film produced in 1915. Thus, translating what Krugman says here, you get: “you Tea Party people worship the KKK and see yourselves as creating a white supremacist state, but you’re just deluded pawns for rich white billionaires.” The message to blacks: “fear the Tea Party, they see themselves as the reincarnation of the KKK.”

And lest you think I’m reading too much into this, let me remind you that “talking in code” is a constant Democratic theme. Indeed, Democrats use this allegation to gin up claims of racism where they simply can’t find anything to point at. . . again, if you think I’m making that up, then read on. Just as interesting, Democrats speak openly about using certain themes, images and words to target different segments of their supporters without alarming the public at large. In other words, they admit to talking in code, they just don’t call it that unless they are smearing an opponent.

But the examples above are much less direct than other examples we can find. Let us consider, for example, an article in the Village Voice entitled “White America Has Lost It’s Mind.” This article claims that the sole reason whites don’t like Obama is racism. And this racist little article goes on in unusual candor about the kinds of things Democratic politicians typically only hint at in their codes. Observe the following direct quotes (sorry in advance about the language):
• About 12:01 on the afternoon of January 20, 2009, the white American mind began to unravel. . . for the first time, a non-white president accepted the oath of office—white America rapidly began to lose its grip.

• References to chicken, particularly of the fried variety, have long served as a kind of code when white folks referred to black people.

• Who didn't chuckle, after all, the first time they heard that white people had doubts that Barack Obama had even been born in the United States . . . But the more you shook your head at it, the more it seemed to have taken root deep in the lizard part of the white nervous system. Obama is not an American. He says he's Christian, but he has a Muslim-sounding name. He's not black, he's not white. . . . Is . . . is he even human?

• Had decades of sucking down so much high-fructose corn syrup not only made Americans incredibly obese, but also messed with white brain chemistry to the point that some sort of tipping point had occurred?

• For the first time in their lives, baby boomers are hard up against it economically, and white boy is becoming outnumbered and it's got his bowels chilled with fear. . . . That's a polite and understated way of saying that older white folks are losing their shit as they're being replaced by young brown and black kids.

• Now, some black folks can be forgiven for thinking, as they watched the political drama in Washington unfold over the past two years, that this was just another form of the same old thing they'd put up with in one way or another in this conflicted multiracial country. But there is another explanation. White people have simply gone sheer fucking insane.

• [Whites are upset at ACORN] because of who they organized, they became public enemy No. 1 in the eyes of certain people not so thrilled with black folks registering to vote in large numbers.

• We've had rat-fuckers like Breitbart and O'Keefe around forever . . . What's different this time, however, is just how easily the lies and distortions of the rat-fuckers are being soaked up by the damaged crania of this country's drooling white masses.

• Suddenly, it was open season on brown-skinned fruit pickers and seamstresses.

• Back East, meanwhile, we have our own brown-skinned devil: the Muslim.

• Other angry (and obviously very confused) white people began organizing their own "tea parties" and, from the start, had to defend themselves from charges that there was more than a little racial component to their movement.

• Can the white mind be cured? And what—other than a massive lobotomy—can salvage it? . . . If there is a cure, it likely won't come from Barack Obama. . . if Obama ever referred to being the "master" of anything, he'd scare white people more than he already does.

• The graying boomers will hate to pay for the education, health, and welfare of the coming browns. They'll be stingy about it. They'll scream about it. But they'll have no choice but to do it.
There you have it. Every single thing that happened during the last two years is because whites are racist and hate blacks. Is any of this fantasy legitimate? Hardly. And the professional left knows this. They are playing the racism card to stoke anger in the black community and excite self-righteous, liberal whites because they have been trained like Pavlov’s dogs to rush out to support the Democrats whenever they hear these claims.

It’s too bad that the left is willing to keep the black community strung out on hatred just to get their votes, but it ultimately won’t help them. The more they say these things, the more they turn off anyone who isn’t part of their zombie flock. Indeed, Obama’s popularity among blacks remains at 91%, but has fallen to 36% among whites. Thus, by continuing to stoke race hatred in the black community, all they’ve achieved is making themselves untenable to the rest of the public.

But then, the left can’t help themselves anymore. Exploiting blacks and stoking hatred has become second nature to them.

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Yelling Fire On A City Street

I generally lean toward libertarianism in the sense that I believe strongly in limited government and strong individual rights. However, I have real problems with doctrinaire libertarianism. Specifically, I don’t accept the view that many libertarians have that government is always bad and that private sector answers are always better. (I also object to the confusion of libertinism with libertarianism, but that’s a post for another day.) This view ignores the problems of free riders and opportunity costs, and I think it’s an intellectual dead end.

Doctrinaire libertarianism holds that there is no problem that the private sector cannot resolve better than the government. In most instances, I would agree with this. The private sector is better at delivering food and products, balancing the needs of producers and consumers, meeting needs and wants, and allocating resources to their best uses. But there are other considerations that continue to make government a necessary facet of our lives, and which libertarians often ignore. Specifically, I’m talking about free riders and opportunity costs.

A free rider is someone who realizes that they don’t need to spend money because others will do it for them. The best example might be someone who attends a church every week, but never contributes to the church. This person enjoys the services the church provides, but does not pay anything to make sure those services can still be provided because they know that others will make those payments for them. They are basically “free riding” on the greater desire of others to ensure that the services continue. The same is true in group projects, where one person learns that others will pick up the slack if they don’t do their part, or anywhere where a person discovers that others will do their work for them.

The free rider problem in doctrinaire libertarianism arises this way: services like fire protection, roads, emergency medical, and police protection are important to the community at large. But the free riders know this. So if we eliminate the government’s role in providing these services, and we leave it up to private persons to pay for these services if they want them, then the free riders will simply refuse to pay because they know that others will make up the difference. Thus, they get the benefits of the services without paying for them.

One solution to this is what happened in Tennessee the other day. In Obion County, residents are required to pay a $75 annual fee to get fire protection services. If they don’t pay, then the fire department will not put out any fire that hits their homes. This week saw an extreme example of this, where the fire department refused to put out a home fire because the owner had not paid the $75 fee, even though they had turned out to protect the home of a neighbor who had paid the fee.

On the one hand, this sounds fair and reasonable. The guy didn’t pay for the services, i.e. he tried to free ride, and he knew what would happen; thus it was right to not provide him with the services. But there is more to consider here. For example, fire is a tricky thing, and there is no guarantee that letting this home burn wouldn’t cause the whole neighborhood to burn down, thereby risking millions of dollars in damages and dozens of lives. Further, think of the economic waste of letting a $100,000 home burn down because of a $75 fee. You may say, “so what, it’s his problem,” but that $100,000 loss will now be spread among all the homeowners in higher insurance rates or in deflated property values if he can’t rebuild.

Consider other services as well. Suppose they don’t pay for police services. Would you really want a magnate for crime next door to your house? What keeps it from spilling over onto your property before the police can come protect you? And what about visitors who don't know that the homeowner didn't pay the fee and suddenly can't get the police to respond to their emergency?

Or think about roads. Many people now argue that roads should be turned over to the private sector. But is that wise? First, consider the free rider again. You may spend a fortune to build the perfect road so that the fire department can rush to your house. But what’s to keep a neighborhood on the route from refusing to build a road, and thereby keeping the fire engine from even being able to get to your perfect road? Secondly, consider the waste. If all roads were private, then nothing should keep the owners from putting up toll booths and denying access to people who don’t pay. Think about the economic waste of suddenly employing millions of tollbooth personnel around the country. Further, think about how difficult it would be to travel anywhere without knowing how many tolls you would run into, what the cost of those tolls would be, or whether the roads are even open. Image if going across town suddenly involved crossing 50 private roads, each with its own toll regime (charging whatever they felt they could get away with). Imagine trying to go across country. The chaos, inefficiency, and misallocation of resources this would cause would be devastating to our economy.

The truth is that some activities are simply better handled by a government, which can impose a tax on all persons and thereby eliminate the ability to free ride, and which can then allow all citizens to use those services/facilities without having to navigate the whims of dozens of private groups. Thus, this is an area where I diverge from the doctrinaire libertarian view, which places ideology above practicality. I certainly agree that the government has gone too far and gotten into too many things that should be within the exclusive domain of the private sector, but I do not agree that there is no role for government in providing services that are essential to making a town function.

So while conservatives seem to be lining up on both sides of the issue of whether or not the Tennessee fire department acted correctly by not putting the fire out (see National Review), I think the bigger point here should be whether it makes sense for conservatives to advocate a system that lets people opt-out of essential services like fire protection. I think that arguing in favor of the opt-out system misunderstands the effects on society as a whole and weakens our claims when we talk about privatization or elimination of nonessential services. In other words, if we’re arguing that the fire department should sit on their hands because you didn’t pay a fire service fee, then we have little credibility left when we argue that the government should not be providing dozens of non-essential services.

So what do you think?

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Proven: Obama Is “Not” AntiBusiness

Ladies and gentlemen, you will be relieved to hear that Barack Obama is not anti-business. Oh, thank goodness. I was getting worried. Who has proven this, you ask? Why, The Economist that’s who! Indeed, it looked at all of the whining allegations against Obama and it dismissed them all. Observe. . .

In the past several weeks, the business community has waged an unseemly campaign against Obama. For example, Ivan Seidenberg, the CEO of Verizon, “accused the president of creating ‘an increasingly hostile environment for investing and job creation’,” and the Chamber of Commerce complains that Obama “vilifies industries.”

But they probably never supported him.

Of course, GE CEO Jeff Immelt did. He’s a big-business socialist hack who pimped hard for Obama. He now says this administration “is not in sync with entrepreneurs.” The Business Roundtable, a crony capitalist group, loves ObamaCare, but they just published a 49-page list of Obama policies that inhibit economic growth. And let us not forget evil hedge fund crook Dan Loeb, an Obama donor and former classmate of Obama’s, who is circulating a letter accusing Obama of undermining free-market capitalism and the rule of law.

But do they have a case? Heck no, says The Economist. Here’s why:

First, Obama always said he favors a “mixed capitalist economy.” Thus, The Economist says, it’s not valid to argue that he’s anti-business when he has never hidden this fact before. Apparently, logic escapes The Economist.

Secondly, corporate America should really be upset at Bush. The incursion in the financial industry and the recession both began under Bush. Therefore, the blame rightly lies with Bush. Forget that Obama had two years to fix this (and the Democrats had six) and that he spent trillions of dollars. . . all of which clearly appears to have been wasted.

Third, corporate America deserves the blame itself! After all, it was evil “corporate America, in the shape of Wall Street banks, that was largely to blame for the depth of the recession.” Finger pointing. . . the answer of a loser bereft of ideas, e.g. The Economist. Of course, The Economist concedes, Obama didn’t have to vilify business so much, but “some shame was surely in order.” Wow, so demonizing is now good economic policy?

Fourth, it’s not like Obama ignores business. He did make some vague promises in his State of the Union. . . forget that he hasn’t kept them. He did pledge to return GM and Chrysler to private ownership “quickly” . . . forget that this won’t happen for decades. And he did create a committee “to propose ideas for promoting more innovation.” One single committee? Oh, and forget that one committee member says “the administration is doing more talking than listening, and several of us are already worried we’ve been suckered into a PR exercise.”

Fifth, business is upset about “uncertainty,” but it’s not Obama’s fault. For example, they asked him to “kill some of the more alarming reform proposals” in financial reform. He did that by “punting the proposals on to regulators.” So it’s not fair to blame him for creating uncertainty because business itself asked for it. Of course, this shows that The Economist doesn’t understand our government because Obama had no power to do this. Congress passed financial reform, which was always headed to the regulators. All Obama did was sign the reform and the rest happened automatically. Moreover, it’s illogical to say Obama can’t be blamed. They wanted parts of the bill killed. Obama didn’t do that. Instead, he left those parts in and just put the issue off by letting the regulators handle it. Thus, not only did he not kill the provisions, he injected uncertainty.

Continuing with uncertainty, The Economist claims he can’t be blamed for uncertainty in fuel prices because Republicans stopped cap and trade, which is a nonsensical argument. Cap and trade was not going to reduce fuel costs or make the commodities market less uncertain. Moreover, Obama can be blamed for uncertainty if he keeps saying that he’s going to keep trying to do bad things.

And The Economist claims business can’t blame him for the uncertainty about whether or not the Bush tax cuts will expire because they’re only returning to the levels they were at under Clinton, “which was hardly a terrible for business.” Which is another nonsensical argument that ignores that Obama’s dithering is causing the uncertainty. Do it or don’t, but don’t drag the decision out for two years.

Sixth, Obama can’t be blamed for the deficit because of the “nasty, mostly inherited fiscal problem.” And this requires taxes to fix, so business should just shut up. Of course, The Economist ignores that the deficit went from $200 billion to $400 billion under Bush to $1.3 trillion under Obama. That’s on Obama.

Seventh, business complains about ObamaCare, but they favored reform, so again just shut up you whiners. Think about this one. According to The Economist, if you’ve ever advocated fixing something, then you can’t complain about anyone else’s solution. Ridiculous.

Eighth, counterattack: the only reason business is really complaining about Obama is “their failure to create jobs in America coincides with earning huge profits and sitting on record amounts of cash.” Ah hah! Villains! Of course, this is ridiculous. They don’t owe anyone a job, and the fact that they could spend their profits creating jobs doesn’t mean they should or that it’s a good idea. Nor does it mean that their concerns are in any way invalid. Moreover, it’s asinine to attack the accusers when you’re supposed to be providing an analysis of Obama’s policies. This is called blaming the victim and it’s something liberals are very good at. . . and even better at whining about.

The Economist is a great source of amusement these days, but don’t take anything they say seriously: their analysis is biased, weak, illogical and ignorant of economic principles, and their facts are generally shaded and selectively incomplete. Sad.

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Monday, October 4, 2010

Michael Moore: Leftist Derangement Syndrome

Michael Moore is back. On Friday, our favorite leftist hate-monger told the Democrats how they could not only regain the initiative, but could actually pull off “the mother of all upsets” in November. What makes this post interesting, aside from the sheer idiocy of it, is that it shows us just how deranged the modern left has become. Everything Moore says is vile, hateful and stupid, and this is what has become standard thinking on their end of the spectrum. Let’s examine Moore’s five “ideas.”

1. Whine and Finger Point

Moore leads off with the thing leftists do best: whine that everything is someone else’s fault. Specifically, he wants the Democrats to run “wall-to-wall” advertising on all channels to blame Bush and the Republican. He wants them to tell the voters that Republicans “concocted and led the unnecessary invasion of two countries” and “caused the biggest collapse of our economy since the great Depression.”

Note the Trutherism in his assertion that the Afghan war was “concocted,” and note how easily he forgets that the Democrats were onboard with both wars until they became unpopular. And let’s not forget that Obama himself called Afghanistan a “good war,” or that Obama has expanded that war with 30,000 additional US troops and has expanded it into Pakistan. . . something Moore’s side called an “illegal war” and a “war crime” when Nixon did it in Cambodia. And don’t get me started on the economy garbage.

In any event, it’s funny that Moore’s first instinct is to blame the enemy. That’s a clear sign of a side bereft of ideas. Mooreover, why should this actually work? Would you accept mistreatment from your current boss or spouse just because they remind you that your prior boss/spouse was worse? Apparently, Moore would. And what does Moore think the Democrats have been doing for months now. . . they blame Bush like they talk about the weather?

As an interesting aside, Moore adds that: “I don’t know a single person in Hollywood who wouldn’t shoot and produce those spots for you for FREE.” So much for any claim that Hollywood isn’t a bastion of leftist groupthink.

2. Gestapo Tactics

Like all leftists, Moore next turns to the power of the state to punish his enemies. He wants the Democrats to announce that the Justice Department will seek indictments against “those who caused the economic collapse.” Think about this for a moment, Moore is actually suggesting that we criminalize economic failure. . . “you didn’t produce enough jobs, to the gulag with you!”

Of course, Moore doesn’t put it this way, he talks around it by pretending that such laws already exist. He says to use RICO and “basic laws that make fraud of any kind a crime.” But what fraud is he talking about? He never tells us, except to say that Democrats need to “get in the face of those who stole the billions, make them pay for it -- and the people will love you.” Right, because law is about gaining popularity and inciting the masses. So who stole the billions that caused the economy to crash? He doesn’t tell us, but he gives us a strong hint in the next section. . . observe:

3. Burn The Banks

Moore wants Obama to announce a moratorium on all home foreclosures, and by “moratorium” he really means something more permanent. Forget the rule of law, forget contract rights and property rights. And why are we justified in ignoring the rule of law? Because banks are criminals: “This week, two of the largest crime organizations who are throwing hundreds of thousands of people out of their homes (GMAC and JPMorganChase) have been forced to momentarily stop doing this.” He later adds that Bank of America has joined the “crime syndicate.”

Moore, like all leftists, sees anyone (apart from himself) with money as a criminal, and therefore not deserving of the protections of law. This is entirely consistent with how the communists treated the bourgeoisie and the Nazis treated the Jews. Hate is hate, and this is hate. This is also hypocrisy, imagine how much Moore would squeal like a pig boy if someone were to advocate letting victims take an eye for an eye in any case that doesn’t involve a rich criminal.

Mooreover, I wonder why Moore stops with homes? If we’re going to eat the rich, let’s not nibble. Why should anyone have to pay the rest of their car loans? Their student loans? Their credit card debts? Or any debt for that matter? Sure, this will wipe out credit for everyone, but it will be so satisfying to Michael’s hateful enlarged heart.

4. Hand Out Jobs

Moore next wants the Democrats to have the government hire enough people to get the unemployment rate down to 5%. That means hiring 17 million people (the government currently employs 3 million), at a likely salary cost of $1.2 trillion plus benefits plus whatever it costs to put these people in offices or get them equipment to do whatever it is Moore wants them to do. Using the old rule of thumb, that salary is 1/3 of total cost of employment, expect this to cost the taxpayer $3.6 trillion a year. . . a little more than the entire 2010 budget.

How will Moore pay for this? By taxing the top 1% of earners. Here’s the problem. These people earned $460 billion in 2008. So they are $3.2 billion short. To make Moore’s plan work, we would need to tax all income above $80,000 at 100%. Even the communists weren’t that stupid.

5. Fake Populism

Finally, Moore wants the Democrats to announce that they won’t take any more Wall Street money for the next election cycle. Instead, they will only accept donations of $2, $5 and $10. They will also pledge that they won’t take a job as a lobbyist or as a lawyer for any corporation for ten years after leaving Congress. Of course, he doesn’t want them to return the money they already collected from Wall Street, nor would he restrict anyone from spending money independently. What this really does is put the Democrats at the mercy of leftist activists like George Soros, who would need to bankroll their campaigns, and would weed out any candidate who isn’t already a millionaire. Nice Mike!


The Democrats should do this! Right now the public is mad as hell at the Democrats, and this would push the public to the point of actually dragging Democrats out of their cars and murdering them in the streets. That would be fun to watch, and Michael Moore could film it! It would be a win-win.

Seriously, this is an insane ramble. And what’s moore, it shows that the left has nothing to offer. Finger pointing, witch hunts, impossible and false promises do not make an ideology that anyone can get behind. Pathetic.

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