Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Politicized Justice

The United States is free and stable because we depoliticized the most dangerous parts of our government: the power to tax, the power to police and make war, and the legal system. The power to tax is the power to destroy. The power to police and make war is the power to kill. And the legal system controls every other aspect of our lives. If you control the legal system, then there are no rights, only privileges given at the whim of our masters. The Democrats are trying to undo this, as shown by the Gibson Guitar case.

It took our country a long time to depoliticize much of our government. Until the 1930s, both the army and the federal bureaucracy were considered spoils to be exploited by the political victors, and they would appoint their supporters to government jobs or give them military commissions. Changing this was a monumental achievement. Unfortunately, in the past 20 years, the Democrats have worked hard to re-politicize these government functions.

Clinton took the first big steps in this regard, when he sent the IRS after churches because they were seen as supporters of Republicans -- the Republicans never counter-attacked, despite the fact that so many leftist groups are hiding behind non-profit labels, which cannot by law be partisan. Clinton’s Justice Department's Civil Rights Division spent its time doing the bidding of feminists, while its Antitrust Division went after the competitors of campaign donors and ignored F.O.Bs (Friends of Bill) like the nation’s colleges, which conspire to fix prices. At the same time, Justice struggled mightily to blind itself to all of Clinton’s illegal Chinese donors, some of whom apparently had ties to Chinese Intelligence, e.g. John Huang, Charlie Trie, Johnny Chung and Maria Hsia.

Under Holder, the Civil Right Division has become an agent of black racism. This was shown by testimony from Justice Department employees, who confirmed that Justice only sees the nation’s civil rights laws as protecting blacks from whites and not the reverse. Of course, you could also have seen this from the way Justice subverted any investigation into voter intimidation by blacks, e.g. the Black Panther case. Justice couldn’t even be bothered to examine ACORN, which was caught red-handed, and it continues to attack any attempt to require minorities to show voter identification.

Holder also sued Arizona, on behalf of Obama’s illegal alien friends, to stop Arizona from enforcing the very laws the Justice Department is sworn to uphold. And we understand INS has all but stopped deporting illegal aliens.

Holder also stopped defending the Defense of Marriage Act, as a sop to Obama’s gay supporters.

In Operation Fast and Furious, we see the Justice Department’s ATF allowing the sale of guns to criminals in the hopes of generating political data to be used to support gun control advocates.

Meanwhile, Holder has been pursuing peaceful pro-lifers who march outside clinics, while refusing to investigate union thugs beating people up at townhall meetings or intimidating employers or acting like racketeers against private companies or making death threats to Republican legislators in Wisconsin.

And now we have the Gibson Guitar case.

To make its guitars, Gibson imports rosewood from India and Madagascar. The wood it imports is certified for export by both countries as being from sustainable sources. That makes it legal for import into the United States.

But the Justice Department just swooped in and seized over a million dollars in wood and equipment from Gibson. What was Justice’s reasoning? No one knows. They won’t tell Gibson. This is a complete violation of our Constitution, which requires that you be informed of the charges against you and that you be given an opportunity to defend yourself. It is also an obscenity because if Justice won’t tell Gibson why it has done this, then the only reasonable answer is intimidation. People need to be fired for this!

And it gets worse. It turns out that Gibson is a well-known Republican contributor. Its primary competitor, C.F. Martin & Company, is a well-known Democratic contributor. Martin gets its wood from the exact same sources as Gibson. Yet, Holder’s Justice Department has not raided Martin. . . it only hassles Gibson. It would be stupid to think this wasn’t politically motivated. The message is clear: this is an attempt to intimidate Republican business to keep them out of politics.

So what do we do about Obama/Holder deeply politicizing the Justice Department? The usual Republican response would be to swear that we will put a stop to this. Then we act scared as soon as the Democrats accuse us of interfering with Justice. Let me suggest a smarter way to handle this: fight fire with fire.

Appoint a seasoned political operative to lead the Justice Department. This person’s job will be to focus the Justice Department on unions, race lobbyists, and fake non-profits that are really hidden Democratic support organizations. Start investigating George Soros for any number of his crimes, real or suggested. Target groups like the New York Times, in retaliation for Holder’s political attacks on News Corp. Use the full resources of the United States to tie up and pursue these organizations.

This may make Republicans queasy, but this is the only way the Democrats will ever stop politicizing parts of the government. So long as they can keep doing this and the only Republican response is to promise not to do it themselves, they will keep doing this. Only by teaching the Democrats that there are consequences, i.e. that we can take the weapons they create and use them to much greater effect will the Democrats begin to respect the non-partisan nature of government. There must be consequences. And if some Democrats end up in jail in the meantime. . . that's just too bad for them.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

GOP Establishment Keeps On Disappointing

There are three problems with the GOP establishment class. First, they mistake K Street for the public and they mistake K Street’s crony-capitalism for genuine capitalism. Secondly, they are technocrats who don’t understand the fundamentals of politics. And third, they are cowards who would rather lose than upset anyone. In the past week, we’ve received some classic examples of this.

Example One: Peggy Noonan
The first example relates to Rick Perry and comes from Peggy Noonan. Noonan is a former Bush I speech writer who wrote the obnoxious, backhanded attack on Reaganism: “a kinder, gentler nation.” She also wrote the ultimately foolish “read my lips: no new taxes.” She spent the 2008 election attacking Sarah Palin. Now she’s after Rick Perry.

There are good reasons to be concerned about Rick Perry. He seems to be a champion of crony capitalism, and I am concerned he will wrap Big Business socialism in the mantle of conservatism, just as Bush and Obama have done. And I am hearing similar concerns from other conservatives and Tea Party people everywhere. But that’s not Noonan’s concern. Nope, she unquestioningly takes him as a “natural conservative.” What troubles her is his style:

His primary flaw appears to be a chesty, quick-draw machismo that might be right for an angry base but wrong for an antsy country. Americans want a president who feels their anger without himself walking around enraged.
Really? So she doesn’t even see or care about the danger that he might be a Big Business Trojan Horse, but she’s worried that mushy centrists might not like him speaking confidently about his beliefs? Indeed, she equates having strong beliefs with being angry. This is a clear example of what is wrong with the establishment: they don’t see any conflict between conservatism and cronyism, yet they worry when the crony doesn't appear meek enough. Pathetic.

Example Two: Jeb Bush
Jeb Bush’s supporters tell us that he’s not like the rest of his family. “He’s a genuine conservative,” they say. His record doesn’t reflect that, and sure, he supports teachers unions and open borders and RINO candidates and his son is now a Jon Huntsman supporter, but "trust us," they say. Well, I’m not buying it. The Bush family are RINOs to the core and I will not support another one. I will vote for Satan before I vote for Bush.

So what did Bush do now? On Fox Business News, Bush warned the 2012 GOP contenders that they should not attack Obama. According to Bush, they can talk about his policies, but they need to steer clear of attacking Obama himself and “ascribing bad motives to the guy." Why? Because "that’s wrong” and it "risks alienating voters."

This is so fundamentally wrong. Elections that involve incumbent Presidents are referendums on the President. They are not contests of equals. In other words, with a few exceptions, it doesn’t matter who we pick as a candidate, the public will be voting based on whether or not they want to retain Barack Obama. . . that's it. And the only way to win an election against an incumbent is to turn the public against the incumbent. That means pointing out their failures, their flaws, the things they’ve done and said that the public has not liked. It means pointing out why their motivations are bad, i.e. “ascribing bad motives to the guy.” And it means attacking them personally over all the little things the public doesn’t like about them. That is how you beat an incumbent.

What Bush is proposing is for losers. It is the rules for some country club debating society, not a political campaign to lead the country. And the fact he would try to disarm his own side, once again shows why no one should ever trust another Bush anywhere near the White House.

Example Three: Stop Praising The Bad Guys!
Finally, we come to a series of Republicans going out of their way to give aid and comfort to the Democrats:

● Chris Christie tells us that global warming is real.

● Jon Huntsman called Republicans who reject the false science behind global warming “anti-science.”

● Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist says that we shouldn’t repeal ObamaCare because 70% of it is good.

● Massive RINO Tom Davis, former Congressman from Virginia who supports DC statehood, can’t bring himself to point out the Obama Justice Department’s sudden investigation of S&P is retaliation for making Obama look bad. The best he can suggest is that “it almost looks retaliatory.” Right, and World War II was kinda, sorta a shooting thingy.

● John McCain and Lindsey Graham are giving the President aid and comfort on Libya, saying that the United States should be “proud of the role our country played.” McCain had previously stated that Obama made “a strong case” for the use of the military in Libya. . . even as everyone else was calling the war illegal.
This is exactly what angers average Republicans with the establishment. These are issues on which the Democrats blew it. Yet, this group of weak-kneed, "can't we all just get along" Republicans cannot stop themselves from offering aid and comfort to the struggling Democrats. This must stop. They need to learn from the Democrats that you never praise the other side and you never bail them out of their messes. And you certainly NEVER attack your own side. Until the establishment learns these lessons, they are no better than Democratic collaborators.

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Obama Vacation Abuse (re-re-re-re-redux)

As we've noted before, the Obamas have been vacation abusers, draining the Treasury dry with their desire to live like royalty. Now we have an interesting report that tells us exactly what Madame Obama’s expensive tastes have cost us simple taxpayers, and it ain’t pretty: $10 million of public money has been spent to let Madame O indulge her privileged tastes.

How in the world does one rack up this kind of bill, you ask? Well, let’s start with this. In the past year alone, Michelle has taken 42 days of vacation. That’s six full weeks of vacation for those of you playing along at home, who probably get two weeks a year if that.

And when she goes, she goes in style. For example, she loves celebrity-laden areas like Vail, Colorado and hobnobbing with elitists at Martha’s Vineyard while the Kennedys rape-rape the locals. And when she wants to get away from it all, she takes the kids to see Spanish royalty or the Queen of England, or an African safari, or she goes on a shopping binge in Paris or London.

The trip to Spain cost us taxpayers $375,000 just to house her security contingent -- her total entourage consisted of 40 friends and 68 security personnel. Louis XIV didn't have that many people in his whole court! Air Force Two cost us $149,000 round trip. The property in Martha’s Vineyard costs $50,000 per week to rent, and that doesn’t count the Coast Guard patrolling the waters or the helicopter they keep on standby. The hotel in Vail was $2,000 per night per room. . . clearly not the Motel 6. The rent on the Kailua property in Hawaii was $38,000, but that was a pittance compared to the total $1.5 million the Obamas' Christmas trip to Hawaii cost the taxpayers.

And this doesn’t even count all the days her lazy husband spends golfing or the nights they spend wining and dining Hollywood and Wall Street royalty at the White House.

Moreover, it’s not just the luxury suites and the MC Hammer-like entourages that are the problem. There is a real lack of judgment and a serious disdain for the taxpayers going on here. When they decided to go to Martha’s Vineyard to get away from the riff-raff for a few days, they ended up taking separate jets because they wanted to leave two hours apart!!! That cost the taxpayers $50,000 because Madame O couldn't wait two hours for Lord O to finish napping.

This is all despicable.

Using the median wage, her vacation expenses are the equivalent of taxing 100% of the salaries of 250 people!! At a 20% tax rate, that means she squandered all the taxes collected from 1250 people. . . a small city. Don't you think that money could have been better used by the taxpayers or even the rest of the government?

And yet liberals see no problem with this. In fact, liberals believe the Obamas, the rapey Kennedys, and the mega-rich Pelosis when they pretend to speak for the little guy. Is that the little guy whose benefits are being cut because the government is short of money or the little guy who is being crushed to pay taxes so the Obamas can party like it’s 1699 France?

How stupid do you need to be, to be a liberal and not see the rip off here? These are the same people who complain about the ultra-rich spending their money on lavish houses, yachts, private planes and vacations. But at least they are using their own money. How can you possibly justify the Obamas doing the same thing with taxpayer money?

Then you add in things like the two new tour buses we paid for. At one million dollars each, we got ripped off. What’s more, they were made in Canada -- not even the US of A. And get this. They don’t actually drive the dang things to events. What they are doing is flying the things to the airport nearest the event and then driving Obama to the event in them. When the event is over, they return to the airport and fly the bus to the next stop. Why even have the bus in the first place? What’s wrong with the limo?

I’m going to stop now before this raises my blood pressure too much. But any way you slice it, the Obamas are an obscenity. And the liberals who voted for them are suckers.

Maybe that’s why the unions are talking about abandoning the Democrats?

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

I'm Not Second Guessing Your Repugnance!

Slow Joe is at it again. Last time he was calling Tea Party supporters terrorists. Before that he was calling women lacrosse players “gazelles” and complaining that “the wrong people end up collecting the women” in the financial crisis. Now he's praising China’s “repugnant” forced abortion policy.

Starting in the 1970s, China introduced a policy that limits families to one child per couple. This includes criminal sentences and forced abortions for parents who violate the policy. Ostensibly, this was done because China was facing an over population problem -- although China’s population was actually declining at the time the policy was put into place.

As an interesting consequence of this policy, China is now facing two of the world’s most extreme demographic problems. First, the elimination of several generations of young has left China with the world’s worst retirement problem, as China’s elderly population far outweighs its productive population (4 retirees per worker) -- this is much worse than in the United States (3 workers per retiree). Secondly, because the Chinese prefer boys over girls, this meant that mostly girls were aborted or killed as infants. Thus, China is about to face the problem that there are 40 million more eligible bachelors than there are wives. To get a sense of how large this problem is, consider that this is the same number of marrying age males in Britain, France and Germany combined. It is also the entire population of California.

China’s single-child policy is largely responsible for both of these problems and there is serious pressure to end the policy. Even China’s official press is questioning the policy, which is highly unusual. Moreover, last month, one entire province demanded a waiver of the policy. It seems that the policy will soon end.

So what does this have to do with us?

American liberals were initially big fans of China’s one-child policy. Why? Well, the 1970s was the age of the next Global Ice Age, the Population Bomb, and fantasies of global famine. We were all going to starve by 1992. And let’s face it, liberals have always loved Eugenics.

But at some point, most liberals realized that forced abortion was not a very defensible thing. So they decided that China’s policy was not something they could publicly praise, even though many continue to support it in private. Indeed, even now, you will occasionally find liberals who openly defend the policy. For example, there was a laughable AP article last month that claimed that girls had it better under the one-child policy than they did before. Of course, that’s only the girls who aren’t killed as children or fetuses and aren’t imprisoned or forced to abort their own children. Moreover, the article failed to grasp that economically, the whole premise of its argument was crap. But hey, these are liberals, what do you expect?

Enter Slow Joe Biden.

Biden is in China for reasons unknown, possibly to get him out of town until the election or maybe as collateral for our bonds or maybe he just got lost on his way to see Santa? And let me tell you, the Chinese are not pleased. They have already had to cut off one of his speeches because it was too idiotic to be translated. Then they asked him what he thought about China’s one-child policy. Here is what Joe said:

“The Obama administration strongly opposes all aspects of China's coercive birth limitation policies, including forced abortion and sterilization. The vice president believes such practices are repugnant. He also pointed out, in China, that the policy is, as a practical matter, unsustainable. He was arguing against the one child policy to a Chinese audience.”
Oops, sorry, that’s what Biden’s spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff said (and no, I did not make that name up). Here’s what Biden actually said:

“Your policy has been one which I fully understand--I'm not second-guessing--of one child per family.”
Feel free to compare the quotes, you may find a slight discrepancy. Either Barkoff is lying or Biden is “not second-guessing” China’s “repugnant” policy. . . or both. Who keeps letting this idiot out of his rubber room? Seriously, if I were Obama, I would have Biden shot to the moon and then get Huntsman to run as my VP.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

2012 (non)Contender: Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan is not running for President, and I’m not happy about it. Not at all. Ryan is the kind of guy we need in the White House right now to set the agenda this country will follow for the next 20-50 years. But he’s not running. Still, T-Rav has requested that I profile him, so here goes.

1. Economics: Ryan is a fiscal conservative who generates a lot of respect among conservatives. He got his start as a speechwriter for Jack Kemp’s 1996 presidential bid and became an economic analyst for Empower America, a group set up by solid conservatives Kemp, Bill Bennett, Jeane Kirkpatrick and Vin Weber. He got elected to the House in 1998 and currently serves as the chairman of the House Budget Committee.

● He favors privatizing Social Security to let people invest their own retirement.

● He proposes a two-tiered flat tax, with a 10% tax on income up to $100,000 and 25% thereafter, with no deductions.

● He proposes eliminating the capital gains tax, abolishing corporate income taxes and replacing them with an 8.5% consumption tax, abolishing the alternative minimum tax and eliminating the estate tax.

● He proposes freezing spending now, not in the future. In April 2009, Ryan proposed a budget that would have (1) eliminated the Stimulus Bill, (2) imposed a five-year freeze on discretionary spending, and (3) changed Medicare so that it pays for private insurance rather than providing government insurance. The government’s Medicare actuary endorsed Ryan’s plan as the best way to save Medicare from bankruptcy.

● He voted against the first $825 billion stimulus (Jan 2009) and the third $60 billion stimulus (Sept. 2009), but voted for the second $192 billion stimulus (July 2009).

● He favors a Balanced Budget Amendment and the line item veto.

● He voted to require partial debt repayment in bankruptcy.

● He voted for the Bush tax cuts, voted to eliminate the marriage penalty and the estate tax.

● He voted to terminate federal mortgage programs.

● He favors free trade.

● Ryan did vote for TARP in 2008 and the GM bailout, but he actually has good explanations for this. He voted for the TARP to stop what he (probably correctly) believes would have been a depression. Here is his explanation:

TARP. I’ll take one at a time. I believe we were on the cusp of a deflationary spiral which would have created a Depression. I think that’s probably pretty likely. If we would have allowed that to happen, I think we would have had a big government agenda sweeping through this country so fast that we wouldn’t have recovered from it. So in order to prevent a Depression and a complete evisceration of the free market system we have, I think it was necessary. It wasn’t a fun vote. You don’t get to choose the kind of votes you want. But I just think as far as the long term objectives that I have — which are restoring the principles of this country — I think it was necessary to prevent those principles from being really kind of wiped out for a generation.

And he voted for the GM bailout so Congress could put restrictions on the bailout, because Obama stated he would otherwise hand GM a blank check from the TARP:

Auto. Really clear. The president’s chief of staff made it extremely clear to me before the vote, which is either the auto companies get the money that was put in the Energy Department for them already — a bill that I voted against because I didn’t want to give them that money, which was only within the $25 billion, money that was already expended but not obligated — or the president was going to give them TARP, with no limit. That’s what they told me. That’s what the president’s chief of staff explained to me. I said, ‘Well, I don’t want them to get TARP. We want to keep TARP on a [inaudible]. We don’t want to expand it. So give them that Energy Department money that at least puts them out of TARP, and is limited.’ Well, where are we now? What I feared would happen did happen. The bill failed, and now they’ve got $87 billion from TARP, money we’re not going to get back. And now TARP, as a precedent established by the Bush administration, whereby the Obama administration now has turned this thing into its latest slush fund. And so I voted for that to prevent precisely what has happened, which I feared would happen.
2. Social Conservative: Ryan, a Catholic with three children, is a social conservative.

Abortion: Ryan has a 100% pro-life record according to the National Right to Life Committee:

● He voted to ban federal health coverage that includes abortion.

● He voted to ban federal funds from being used for abortion overseas.

● He voted to defund Planned Parenthood.

● He voted to criminalize taking a minor across state lines to get an abortion.

● He voted to criminalize injuring a fetus during a crime.

● He voted to ban partial-birth abortion.

● He voted to extend the 14th Amendment to fetuses.

● He voted to forbid human cloning.

● He voted against embryonic stem cell research.
Gays: He gets a 0% rating by gay groups:

● He voted to prohibit job discrimination based on sexual orientation, but opposes hate crimes laws.

● He voted for a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. . . or a donkey and a walrus.

● He voted to prohibit gay adoptions in Washington, D.C.
Cultural Issues: Ryan voted to allow school prayer, to protect the Pledge of Allegiance, and he supports an anti-flag desecration amendment.
3. Environmentalism: I haven’t found a specific statement on global warming, but Ryan gets near zero marks from environmental groups:

● He wants to bar the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases.

● He favors offshore drilling, drilling in ANWR, and building new refineries.

● He opposes tax incentives and subsidies for alternative energy and conservation, but has supported subsidies for the oil and gas industry -- though he did oppose Bush’s national energy policy.

● He opposes CAFE standards.
4. Guns: An avid bow hunter, Ryan gets an A rating from the NRA.

5. Immigration: Ryan gets a 0% rating from pro-illegal groups:

● He voted to build the fence between the US and Mexico to prevent all unlawful U.S. entries, including entries by terrorists, unlawful aliens, narcotics, and contraband.

● Ryan favors worker verification systems for employers and deportation of illegal immigrants.

● He has stated an opposition to anchor babies, but has not specifically addressed the issue.

● He opposes giving illegal aliens in-state tuition and welfare, but has voted against requiring hospitals to report illegal aliens who receive treatment.
6. Other: He has voted to curtail frivolous lawsuits, to limit attorneys fees in class action suits, to stop lawsuits against gun makers and food providers. He favors whistleblower protection for employees. He voted to require voters to show identification. He tried to stop earmarks in 2005. He wants all laws to cite their Constitutional authorization. He favors reforming the UN by restricting its funding. He has a mixed record on campaign finance reform (voting for some restrictions and not others). He voted against Congressional oversight of CIA interrogations. He voted to deploy SDI. And he voted to allow commercial airline pilots to carry guns.

One of the early endorsers of Marco Rubio, he also challenged the Bush administration on their lack of fiscal conservatism (though he did vote for the Medicare prescription drug benefit). In 2009, he wrote an interesting essay in Forbes entitled “Down With Big Business” in which he attacks lobbyists and crony capitalism.

I don't agree with all his views, but all told, Ryan is the kind of solid, serious, smart conservative we need. He understands conservatism and knows how to explain it. He's got unmatched fiscal conservatism in the mold of Jack Kemp. Though he is a social conservative, he doesn't seem obsessed by those issues. He's got Pawlenty's nice, but without the meek. He has a wonk's attention to detail and yet he is surprisingly gripping as a speaker. He has made mistakes, but he's not a guy who will rely on others to tell him what to believe or how to implement it, nor is he half a package pretending to be the full serving. Too bad he's not running.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Liberal Hypocrisy On Libya

I find the liberal response to Libya rather fascinating and I can draw only one conclusion: liberals are the ultimate unprincipled hypocrites. There is no other way to put it. Observe:

Point One: Winning a war does not make an illegal war legal. Nor have liberals ever accepted such an argument. . . until now. When Obama started this war, liberals rushed out to declare it illegal. Not only did Obama not have a legitimate reason (using liberal principles) for attacking Libya, but he didn’t even bother to inform Congress, as required by the Constitution. Had this been Bush, the left would have screamed bloody murder and would be demanding Bush be tried for war crimes. As it is, they just grumbled about the illegality, but took no action against O Duce.

Apparently, liberals don’t believe war is illegal, they just say that when it wasn’t their guy who started the war.

Point Two: All their whining about the invasion of Iraq being “illegal” or “stupid” is total hypocrisy. Bush invaded Iraq because he believed Saddam was involved in terrorism and had weapons of mass destruction. This belief was based on (1) statements by Saddam that he had such weapons, (2) sales by German companies of the necessary materials, and (3) a history of using weapons of mass destruction (like gas) on his own population. Saddam also was linked to terrorist groups, just not al Qaeda, constantly killed his own civilians, and even was behind an assassination attempt on Bush Sr. during the Clinton years. Yet liberals whined that Bush had no justification for “waging an aggressive war against Iraq.”

So what justification did Obama give for attacking Libya? Qaddafi was killing civilians, i.e. rebels, who were trying to overthrow him. That’s it. Bush gave that as a justification for Iraq and was still called a criminal. So what makes this better?

What’s more, The Economist, which always reliably toes the Democratic line, explains that Obama’s war policy is justifiable because:
“The West does indeed have a dog in this fight: if Colonel Qaddafi can be replaced by a decent regime, the forces of modernity and reform across the Arab world will get a huge fillip, which in turn will benefit the West in a host of economic and political ways.”
The exact same thing could be said about Iraq. . . or Iran, or Syria, or Venezuela, or Russia, or virtually any other country on the planet. This is a doctrine of limitless war.

Point Three: Liberals love to whine that Republicans politicize wars. Yet, they were the first to complain that Republicans caused 9/11 and that Republicans ruined the global Kumbaya-spirit after 9/11. They were the first to politicize Iraq, trying to declare the war lost and illegal the moment the bullets started flying. They also couldn’t run to microphones fast enough to play up Obama’s killing Osama bin Laden. Heck, they even made a film about it they want to release right before the election.

And now Libya? Check out this quote: “The president will achieve a tremendous military and political victory with Qaddafi’s ouster.” Really? So liberals intend to exploit this politically? Who could have guessed? And since when has sending a few planes to support rebels as they take six months to beat a third rate dictator who hasn’t been able to buy military hardware since the 1980s been considered a “tremendous military victory”? What's next, is Obama going to take on the Wyoming Highway Patrol?

Point Four: And what’s this crap about Libya vindicating Obama’s “lead from behind” policy? The US provided almost all the supplies, did all the reconnaissance, provided the ammo, did the refueling, provided all the logistical support and the headquarters, and flew the largest portion of the combat missions. The only thing we didn’t do was send our generals to the press conferences. If this was “lead from behind,” then it involved a serious reach around.

I’m sorry my cowardly liberal friends, but you are idiots. It is impossible to win a war without fighting it. And using the locals as your cannon fodder while you drop bombs from 35,000 feet is neither new nor noble. It also only works in certain very narrow circumstances, which all happened to exist in Libya -- small population, unpopular government with limited resources, flat terrain with no trees. When you tried this in Vietnam and Yugoslavia and Pakistan, you lost. I also can’t help but notice that Obama isn’t trying this anywhere else.

And another thing, I seem to recall the same liberals who are currently dancing in the streets at this great political victory whining that Bush “lost” Iraq because the country didn’t immediately turn into a full-fledged modern democracy because Bush never sent enough American ground troops to control the situation on the ground. They made the same complaint in Afghanistan. Yet, in Libya, it’s suddenly ok send to no American ground troops whatsoever and to declare victory before anyone has any idea how this will turn out? "Mission accomplished" O Duce!

Point Five: Make up your minds on drones, jerks. Liberals whine that drones are evil. Some even call their use a war crime. Yet, when Obama uses them, the whining stops? Hypocrites. And what’s wrong with drones anyway? This more than anything proves what’s wrong with the left: they don’t care that people get killed, they just want American pilots to put themselves at risk to do the killing.

Point Six: Finally, how is this supposed to work exactly? One of the big liberal complaints about taking out Saddam or the Taliban or any other dictator was that it’s pointless “because someone worse will take their place.” Indeed, when Bush talked about installing a democracy in Iraq, liberals scoffed, claiming that Arabs weren’t prepared for democracy and Bush should not be nation-building. Yet, now we’re told these Arabs will create a perfect democracy and this was a worthwhile goal to start a war. Why is this exactly?

Considering all of this, I am left with one thought: liberals are hypocrites and nothing they say can ever be trusted or taken seriously.

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Monday, August 22, 2011

The Senate: Why Winning Isn't Enough

Senate Democrats have some serious problems in November. Not only will they be weighed down by a deeply unpopular Obama and their own vile actions over the past couple years, but they are facing a significant enthusiasm gap. Also, they are defending many more seats. What’s more, their people are choosing to retire rather than fight. So I think winning the Senate is all but assured. But we need more than just winning, and we aren't going to get it.

The key fight in this next election cycle will be the Senate. The Senate is important because it can block most reforms. President GenericRepublican (R) can do a lot of reforming from inside the Executive Branch, but anything like repealing laws, reforming entitlements, or amending the tax code will need to overcome a Senate filibuster. And filibusters aplenty you should expect. . . by the plethora. Indeed, expect the Democrats to filibuster everything because they have no incentive whatsoever to cooperate. So we need 60 seats.

Actually, we need 64 or 65 seats because the Republicans have a RINO problem. But what are the chances of that happening? Frankly, zero. So let's go with 60.

The Republicans currently hold 47 seats. The Democrats hold 53. In 2012, 23 Democratic seats and 10 Republican seats will be up for grabs. Most pollsters say it’s unlikely the Republicans will lose any seats, though I personally predict a surprise loss for Scott Brown in Massachusetts as most of his base in the last election will refuse to turn out. Hence, the Republicans need to win either 13 or 14 out of 23 seats to get to 60.

The problem is, there’s no “roadmap” to get them there, i.e. there just aren’t enough competitive seats. Consider:

Helping the Republicans, six Democrats have decided to quit rather than face re-election. This includes: Joe Lieberman (Conn.), Daniel Akaka (Hawaii), Jeff Bingaman (New Mexico), Kent Conrad (North Dakota), James Webb (Virginia), and Herb Kohl (Wisconsin). Unfortunately, Lieberman’s seat and Akaka’s seat are all but assured to remain Democratic. The other four are considered up for grabs.

Also, depending on who you ask, Democratic seats in Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Michigan, Florida, Ohio and West Virginia are all up for grabs.

So do the math. Eleven total seats are considered up for grabs. That is not enough. Even if we win each seat, we will still be two seats short of 60. What’s more, I don’t think each of these is legitimately up for grabs. Every election we hear about seats in liberal bastions (e.g. Washington state, California, New Jersey) being up for grabs, and every election cycle these turn out to be mirages. This election is no different. I know, for example, from personal experience in the state that Joe Manchin simply cannot be beaten in West Virginia. History tells me that Ben Nelson also will win Nebraska quite easily despite his role in ObamaCare. I also have my doubts about Wisconsin and New Mexico. So I’m thinking that only seven Democratic seats are actually up for grabs. That works out to 54 total seats if we win them all.

Unfortunately, winning only 54 seats would be a disaster. Not only does that mean we can’t stop filibusters, but it also means that our 3-5 seat RINO contingent will hold a lot of power should the Republicans try to achieve anything through reconciliation. That means most (if not all) reform will need to come from the White House. Unfortunately, that all but excludes entitlement and tax reform.

Now, there are some factors that may affect this. For example, Obama’s incredibly low poll numbers suggest a landslide against him, which could mean inverse coattails will drag down the Democratic candidates. There is also some evidence for this in a 6% enthusiasm gap found by the Democratic PPP pollsters. That too could be serious trouble for these Democratic candidates (the 2010 election showed an 8% enthusiasm gap). But I think it’s unlikely this will do anything more than improve our chances of winning the toss up seats.

That’s a little depressing, but it’s better to know the truth and adjust accordingly. Indeed, this tells me that we need to focus much more carefully on what our Presidential candidate has to say about reforming government. . . because the Congress isn’t going to be a lot of help.

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

For Whom The Poll Tolls

It never rains, it pours when reality intrudes into leftist fantasy worlds. And this week it’s pouring harsh public opinion upon the little world created by Team Obama and the Pelosicrats. Indeed, public opinion has decidedly rejected them forthwith. . .

Let’s do these in bullet point format:

● As you all know, Obama’s approval rating keeps hitting new lows. Gallup has him at 39% approval and 54% disapproval. He's even fading among Democrats, with only 85% of liberal Democrats approving and only 67% of “conservative” Democrats. Maybe he’s just unlucky?

● Not surprisingly, 54% of voters say Obama is more liberal than they are, with only 12% feeling he is more conservative. Another 26% share his ideology. Thus, 38% of the country is stupid. These numbers are virtually identical for Congressional Democrats as well, thereby confirming the stupidity of the 38%.

● And the “generic Republican candidate” continues to beat Obama in a head-to-head match up for the fifth week in a row. Fortunately, we have plenty of generic Republicans hanging around.

● The generic ballot too continues to strongly favor Republicans, 44% to 37%.

● Even worse for the Obamacrats, the public rejects all their plans to fix Obama’s “bad luck” with the economy:

● A vast majority of voters (62% to 20%) say that cutting taxes is better than government spending when it comes to creating jobs. Ironically, that’s the one thing the Democrats won’t consider unless it’s targeted taxes to help certain industries. . . BUT

● 66% of Americans oppose giving targeted tax breaks to help certain companies or industries. They want the government to treat all companies and industries equally. Yeah, the public's funny that way.
● Similarly, Americans now firmly oppose the K Street/Establishment plan of tax code carve outs. Indeed, 64% of Americans want lower tax rates with fewer deductions. Only 16% want higher tax rates with lots of deductions. Somewhere lobbyists are crying right now like that 1970s commercial with the Indian. This is not good news for the establishment and the Democrats who see the handing out of goodies as a means to enrich themselves, and this gives a boost to the Republicans who have been trying to change this (like Sen. Coburn).

● Most Americans also say they are overtaxed. A full 74% say Americans should pay no more than 20% of their income in taxes. Another 55% favor a flat tax where everyone pays the same percentage tax on their incomes. The one caveat on this is that 49% oppose eliminating the home mortgage deduction, although 47% favor limiting it to the “size of the average home mortgage.”

● The one good bit of news for the ObamaCrats appears to be that class warfare continues to work to a degree, with 64% of adults wrongly saying that the middle class pays a larger share of its income in taxes than the rich and 50% saying they are more likely to vote for a politician who promises to raise taxes only on the rich. But those results may not be as comforting for team Obama as they seem as they may be a reflection of the public’s anger at the K-Street manipulation of the tax code, with companies like GE managing record profits and yet paying $0 in taxes.
All in all, none of this is good news for the Democrats. The public sees themselves as overtaxed and unfairly taxed. Their solution is not more liberalism, but a flat tax stripped of K Street influence. They see tax cuts as the means to economic success for the country, not dependence on government spending. And they don’t seem to like the Democrats very much.

So much for the Democrat’s 2008 dream of a hard left turn for America.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Paul Ryan for President 2012?

We interrupt this regularly scheduled column for something possibly much more interesting. According to the Weekly Standard and the vastly-overrated Karl Rove, there MAY be exciting news afoot. Paul Ryan is considering jumping into the field of GOP contenders to replace Obama in 2012.

According to the report:

“Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan is strongly considering a run for president. Ryan, who has been quietly meeting with political strategists to discuss a bid over the past three months, is on vacation in Colorado discussing a prospective run with his family. Ryan’s concerns about the effects of a presidential campaign – and perhaps a presidency – on his family have been his primary focus as he thinks through his political future.”
Wow! Ryan originally said he wouldn’t run three months ago, but according to a source close to Ryan, “He’s coming around.” Apparently, Ryan chose not to run when it looked like Mitch Daniels would run. When Daniels opted not to run, Ryan began to change his mind. Also, apparently, he (correctly) believes that none of the current candidates are talking seriously about economics.

So what hurdles does he face?

Well, he already has strong name recognition within the party, that’s vital. Moreover, he has a strong following among fiscal conservatives. Indeed, no one else in the race can claim anything similar to the reputation he has among fiscal conservatives, who would likely flock to him. Whether this would include Tea Party supporters I cannot say as Ryan does not strike me as having openly courted the Tea Party. But he shares their principles better than any of the other candidates.

Ryan also has strong connections to religious conservatives, who have yet to pick a candidate. Bachmann, Perry, and Pawlenty all made appeals to those voters, but so far they seem to be a group without a home.

Ryan gets a lot of love from conservative talking heads as well.

That’s a pretty strong base for a Republican Primary contender. His immediate competitors would be Perry and Bachmann. But both of those have flaws he doesn’t. Perry seems to trouble people for reasons they can’t articulate and Bachmann has serious organizational problems and keeps putting her foot in her mouth. Ryan isn’t as inflammatory as Bachmann or as accomplished a glad-hander as Perry, but he brings with him an earnestness that seems to work.

The biggest hurdle he faces, according to conventional wisdom, is that this is late in the game to start raising money. But is that really a concern? Probably not. Most of the candidates have been bringing in around four to five million dollars per quarter, with Romney bringing in around three times that. Perry too is prepared to bring in Romney-like numbers. But the vast majority of large donors have so far refused to commit themselves. Thus, there are literally hundreds of millions of dollars sitting on the sidelines waiting. Ryan could tap into that fairly easily given his support among both fiscal conservatives and the conservative intelligentsia. That would make him a match for Romney/Perry.

What about waiting this long? Well, Perry just jumped into the race this weekend and probably became the presumptive frontrunner or runner-up in the process. There’s no reason to think another week or two would be fatal to Ryan, as support clearly hasn’t solidified around any candidate or candidates at this point.

Also, let us not forget that Bill Clinton didn’t jump in for the 1992 race until October against a similarly uninteresting field. Indeed, the media dubbed them the Seven Dwarves at the time.

Just as interestingly, most conservative heavyweights have been waiting to give their endorsements. For example, Iowa heavyweight Rep. Steve King was expected to endorse either Pawlenty or Bachmann (with whom he is a personal friend). With Pawlenty gone, it seemed obvious he would endorse Bachmann. . . but he hasn’t. This is pure speculation, but he could be waiting for Ryan to make up his mind. Or he could just be waiting to see how things go. Indeed, according to numerous recent reports, very few heavyweights have agreed to endorse anyone at this point.

So between (1) the lack of a true frontrunner or frontrunners, (2) the lack of commitment by the money men, and (3) the lack of commitment by the heavyweight endorsers, the field essentially remains open at this point. Thus, being late should not hurt Ryan.

Finally, the million dollar question is this: given that Republicans are telling pollsters they want a candidate who can win more than anything else, how would Ryan do against Obama? Ryan crushes Obama. On the one hand, I think almost any Republican can beat Obama. But even beyond the public’s desire just to see an end to Obama’s reign of error, Ryan has shown himself to be more than a match in verbal debates with Obama and he has shown himself to be a talented, honest speaker of great skill, as well as a great thinker on economic issues. TOTUS is simply outclassed by the Wisconsin kid.

And while the Democrats think they have spotted a weakness because he proposed privatizing part of Medicare (an issue they used in an upstate New York House race), that is unlikely to be a problem. Ryan largely kept his nose clean during the brutal debt ceiling debate and Obama himself tossed entitlement reform on the table since that time.

What do you think? Good? Bad? Who’s Ryan?

I’ll do a contender profile on him next week.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Democrats Convicted of Voter Fraud

Democrats have never shied away from voter fraud. It’s in their blood. Their communist intellectual ancestors routinely faked election results, first to grab power and then to hold it. In the US, Kennedy beat Nixon because of fraud in Texas and Chicago. In Chicago, the dead vote. ACORN registered Mickey Mouse and the Dallas Cowboys. And prior to the Hatch Act of 1939, the Democrats rewarded their voters with government contracts and jobs. Now we have more proof of the Democrats’ love of voter fraud.

In 2004, evidence was presented that military absentee ballots were fraudulently voted by people other than the voter, often against the wishes of the soldiers involved. No action was taken. Evidence was presented of people voting in New York and Florida on the same day. No action was taken. Evidence was presented of liberals filling out ballots at old folks homes without the knowledge (and even against the wishes in several cases) of the voters. No action was taken.

Then in 2008, ACORN was caught in multiple states filing fake voter registrations which would let them vote fake people. This was finally the bridge too far and action had to be taken. Fifty-four ACORN workers have since been convicted of voter fraud.

Now we have more evidence.

Last month, Lessadolla Sower, the head of the NAACP’s Tunica County, Mississippi Executive Committee was convicted of 10 counts of election fraud. This stems from Sower casting false absentee ballots in 2008. She was convicted of voting in the names of six live voters and four dead people. She was sentenced to 5 years on each count, but the sentences are running concurrently, so her actual sentence is 5 years.

Sowers, by the way, tried to play the race card during a prior run-in with the law, blaming her crime (forgery) on “an attempt by powerful whites to silence” her.

Of course, the NAACP is trying to counter attack. NAACP President Benjamin Jealous (a perfect name if ever there was one for an organization which thrives on jealousy and spite) is attacking a new Mississippi state law that requires voters to show a valid ID before voting, claiming this is an attempt to “disenfranchise minorities through some of the last existing legal pillars of Jim Crow.” He also claims that these laws are the result of “the worst and most racist elements in conservative Tea Party groups.”

Even if that were true Ben (and it's not and you know it), you’ve brought this on yourself because leftists have shown they can't be trusted. Indeed, this isn't even the NAACP's first problem with election fraud. The NAACP National Voter Fund registered a dead man to vote in Lake County, Ohio, in 2004. That same year, out of 325 voter registration cards filed by the NAACP in Cleveland, 48 were flagged as fraudulent. And you can be sure there are many more. This is simply part of the leftist game plan.

And there's more. From last week: three North Carolina Democrats (Kierra Fontae, Shelia Romona Hodges and Brandon Earl Mclean) admitted to voting twice in 2008, each time for Obama. Again, this was made possible by the Democrats setting out in the 1960s to make it impossible keep genuine track of who had and who had not voted. Specifically, they eliminated the requirement that voters show identification. This opened the door to all kinds of leftist chicanery.

No word yet on the sentence the three will receive.

In response to people like these three and other evidence, the legislature of North Carolina like Mississippi passed a law requiring voters to present an ID before voting. However, Democratic Governor Beverly Perdue vetoed it, claiming it presented an “obstacle to constitutional principle.” This is, of course, an idiotic lie as the Supreme Court has already said that such laws are perfectly legal.

Said North Carolina GOP chair Robin Hayes of this veto:

“The reason why Republicans have fought to promote proper voter-identification laws is to prevent fraud like this from happening. While Republicans are fighting to protect the integrity of our democracy, Governor Perdue’s veto fights to protect criminality in our election process. I know she embraces her ‘fighter’ image, but it’s clear that the only thing she fights for is fraud.”
Well said. Let’s hope the tide is finally turning against Democratic voter fraud. At least people are staring to change the laws and starting to prosecute the Democrats who partake.

* * * * * * * * *

Finally, as an unrelated aside, I had to mention this hilarious piece of news. Huffington Post apparently held a contest asking readers to submit suggestions for a new logo. My suggestion is on the left. The winner gets credit but no cash. Naturally, this has outraged various unions, including a group of graphic designers who are claiming Huffpo is trying to get "free labor." What a crying shame. . .

* * * * * * * * *

P.S.S. I've got another article up at BH. This one isn't the normal type, it's news related (the Corey Feldman molestation allegations). So here's the link. LINK. Hopefully, my other (more typical) article will post tomorrow.

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Democrats Use Supercommittee As Cash Machine

Surprise surprise, the Democrats are unethical and corrupt. . . just like we figured. Not only was it obscene that Harry “the turd” Reid appointed the Honorless Pat Murray to the new Supercommittee, but Nancy Pelosi’s selection, Xavier Becerra immediately set about trying to profit from being selected to the Supercommittee. Wow, Democrats are shameless.

The Supercommittee, as you may recall, will be charged with finding $1.5 trillion in spending cuts. This could include actual cuts or the elimination of special-interest-obtained tax deductions. That means thousands of lobbyists will want to get their paws on these Congresscritters and Senators to buy them off so their plundered spoils will continue to come pouring forth from the Treasury.

Apparently, the Democrats are happy to sell themselves to these lobbyists.

Indeed, when the committee names were first announced, Harry Reid’s selection of Washington State Senator Patty Murray seemed the most cynical. She is the head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. That means she is charged with raising money to help Democratic Senators get re-elected in 2012. Giving her a post that will cause lobbyists to fight each other to the death for a place in line to buy her off is so incredibly cynical you wouldn’t think a modern American politician would actually try to get away with doing such a thing -- indeed, this harkens back to the days of the scandals of the 1880s, when politicians were openly bought and sold. But you would be wrong. Reid did it. Nice work Harry, you sh~t. . . oh, and #$%& you Nevada.

But Murray has been a paragon of virtue compared to Pelosi appointee Xavier Becerra (which means “corrupt bastard” in Spanish). Literally within two hours of being appointed, Becerra sent out an invitation to Wall Street lobbyists inviting them to a $1,500 per-ticket event. On the invite, he highlighted his membership on the Supercommittee:

“[Becerra is] not only vice chairman of the Democratic Caucus, but who also has just been named to the new deficit reduction committee. This will be Mr. Becerra’s first event since being named to the commission and may be one of the first for any of the twelve members of the group. This event could give all attendees a glimpse into what will most assuredly be the primary topic of discussion between now and the end of the year.”
In other words, this is your first chance to give me money because I will be deciding the fate of your spoils. This is just shameless. Kenya isn’t this corrupt. Nigeria isn't this corrupt. Chicago isn't this corrupt.

Should we be surprised by this? Hardly. Pelosi is infamous for corruptly giving special treatment to her donors, see e.g. Kaiser Permanente. She is also infamous for trying to pass bills that benefit companies in which she has an ownership stake, like various natural gas bills that would directly help Clean Energy Fuels Corp (CLNE). And of course, she’s not alone in this. Indeed, using their legislative power to corruptly help their donors or enrich themselves is part of being a Democrat. The Congress Black Caucus, for example, has been particular good at illegally giving federal money to their friends and family, see e.g. Sanford Bishop and Eddie Bernice Johnson (scholarships to relatives), Charlie Rangel (tax breaks to donors) and Maxine Waters (money to relatives’ banks), and most Democrats are quite accomplished tools of big business. Chris Dodd was an infamous whore for Countrywide Financial. Obama too has been good at this (GE corruption, giving the treasury to Goldman Sachs, money for GM unions) as was Clinton and just about anyone with a "D" after their names. In fact, they should dump their Donkey mascot and replace it with a backscratcher or a cash machine.

So if you’re a Democrat, it’s time to face reality: your party is the corrupt tool of big business. You stupidly think your party stands for the little guy, but it really only stands on the little guy. You are supporting a party that steals from the poor to give to rich friends. You suck.

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Super Committee Not So Super

The debt ceiling agreement requires the formation of a “super committee” of twelve Senators and Congressmen, who will be charged with finding $1.2 trillion in additional deficit reduction. To approve anything, the committee needs 7 out of 12 votes. If it fails, or if Congress does not approve its recommendations, automatic cuts will kick in to make up the difference between what the committee approves and $1.2 trillion. So, how is the committee stacking up? It’s not horrible.

The Good

Tax Pledge: Every Republican member has signed Grover Norquist’s pledge not to raise taxes.

Leftist Anger: Leftist bloggers like the Daily Kos are furious at Harry Reid’s picks, which they consider unwilling to defend entitlements.

Defense Sec. Leon Panetta: Democrat Leon Panetta just undermined the Democratic plan by saying that the super committee should not cut anything else from the defense budget. This will make it hard for Democrats to sell further defense cuts.

Pat Toomey (R) (McConnell appointee): Toomey is the ultimate Tea Party guy. He’s the former head of the conservative Club for Growth and a Tea Party favorite. In fact, he tried to unseat Arlen Specter before there even was a Tea Party. He’s a solid conservative. Interestingly, he says he would be willing to eliminate deductions and subsidies in exchange for lower income tax rates, but will oppose any sort of “big tax increase.” That puts tax reform on the table.

Jeb Hensarling (R) (Boehner appointee): Hensarling is a former chair of the conservative Republican Study Committee. He is also a member of the Budget Committee and works closely with Paul Ryan, who asked not to be appointed to this commission. His views are fairly similar to the Tea Party Republicans.

Fred Upton (R) (Boehner appointee): You might recall Upton from the lightbulb debate. At the time, we weren’t sure if he would be willing to cast off his moderate environmentalism and do a good job of shifting the Energy and Commerce Committee to the right. He has. And he should be a good player here. He seems interested in ending energy subsidies, particularly for wind and solar: “Since I am sure that the industry will never give up its free money voluntarily, now is the time for us to slash it on our terms.” This has freaked out environmentalists.

John Kyl (R) (McConnell appointee): Kyle is retiring at the end of the year, and wants to be Vice President. He has been a reliable conservative during his time in the Senate. He has a long record of pushing tax cuts and he walked out of the Biden talks because he felt the Democrats only wanted “job-killing tax hikes and new spending.” He also has suggested cutting deductions in exchange for lower rates.
The Bad

Dave Camp (R) (Boehner appointee): Camp is the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. I know nothing about him (which is a bad thing) except that he is a member of both the moderate Republican Main Street Partnership and the conservative Republican Study Committee. Being a member of the RSC is a good thing and he describes himself as a conservative on fiscal policy, but he has favored extending unemployment benefits and the auto bailout.

Rob Portman (R) (McConnell appointee): Portman is a former Bush budget director, which is not a good thing. He’s a freshman Senator from Ohio and I know little about him, except that he’s considered the weak link on the Republican side. He too has signaled a willingness to reduce tax breaks, but says that those cuts should be used to lower rates.
The Ugly

Max Baucus (D) (Reid appointee): Finance Committee Chairman Baucus is a wild card. He has shown an ability to act in a bipartisan manner when he worked with Chuck Grassley on a jobs bill which the Democratic left flank hated because it included tax cuts. But he also came up with Obamacare. He is likely to fight to protect farm subsidies and Obamacare. Interestingly, former Republican Senate Alan Simpson, who chaired Obama’s deficit reduction committee of which Baucus was a member, call him an awful choice. He described Baucus as being lazy, unhelpful and out of touch.

John Kerry (D) (Reid appointee): Kerry is a troubling pick. First, he lobbied to get on the committee because he’s looking for a legacy. That’s always a bad sign. Secondly, he has proved to be a standard liberal ass. Third, he just accused the Tea Party of being the cause of the downgrade and he made the Orwellian suggestion that the media should ignore the Tea Party. That said, he was one of the first to attack Obama’s Afghanistan policy, claiming that we should not stick with a policy just because it exists. And Alan Simpson strangely suggests that: “Kerry will do good work, he really will. I know him well.” If he wants a genuine legacy, then he will need to move right, but we'll see.
The Ugliest

Patty Murray (D) (Reid appointee): Patty Murray is the most cynical choice. She is the chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. This means that her job is to protect the 22 Democratic senators who are up for re-election in 2012. Their current campaign strategy is to scare old people by slandering the GOP by claiming Republicans are trying to destroy Medicare. Of this pick, one Republican official said: “It is shocking that Harry Reid appointed his chief fundraiser to a committee that will be the central focus of every lobbyist in town.”

Pelosi: Pelosi has yet to appoint her three clowns, but you can pretty much guess they will be total losers.
At this point, Baucus and Kerry are where we will need to look to get a good deal. At the same time, we will need to watch Portman. My guess is that we end up with a little tax reform, the ending of some deductions and subsidies, a reduction in rates, a trimming of entitlement numbers without an actual plan to cause the cuts, and some minor discretionary cuts.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

More Proof That Liberals Are Insane

Liberalism truly is a mental condition. Time and again, liberal policies lead to disaster and yet liberals absolutely refuse to see that. If at first you don’t succeed, just keep doing the same thing over and over until you get a different result. . . and don’t you dare try to fix any problems that may arise. Consider these examples.

1. Food Stamps For Rich College Kids Liberals believe in food stamps as a way to help poor people who “don’t earn enough to survive.” So you would assume liberals would want to stop rich and middle class moochers from exploiting the food stamp program? Apparently not.

Unlike other states, Michigan allows college kids to get food stamps. Federal law forbids this, but Michigan liberals got around that by classifying college as an “employment training program.” They also check eligibility for food stamps on the basis of income only without regard to assets. Hence, someone with a ton of money but no actual income can qualify for food stamps. . . someone like Leroy Fick, who won the state lottery but remained on food stamps.

Michigan is now changing its rules. College kids can now only get food stamps if they are single mothers or if they work more than 20 hours per week and still fall within income restrictions (assets will be considered as well). This change will kick 30,000 college kids off the program and save the state $75 million per year in food stamps.

Liberals should be thrilled. These middle class to rich moochers living comfortably on parental support and federal student loans, most of whom have better job prospects upon graduation than 90% of taxpayers, were robbing taxpayers (including “the working poor”) and draining the system, which prevented the money from reaching people who really needed it. But liberals aren’t outraged at the moochers, they’re outraged at the conservative governor who has made the change. Their reasoning? A change in the law to prevent the rich from taking money meant for the poor “will be unfair to the poor.”

Stupidity or insanity?

2. Stimulus Failure (redux): The evidence is indisputable that government spending to boost an economy in the short term is a disaster. I do believe careful spending in certain types of infrastructure can lead to long term growth. For example, the creation of a highway or getting electricity to people can create a wealth of opportunities as consumers and businesses make use of those services to reach each other. But you can’t boost an economy just by hiring people to build something.

History has shown this over and over. In fact, the biggest ignored lesson of the Great Depression came from FDR’s own Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau, who wrote this in his diary about their efforts to stem the recession:

“We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. . . [A]fter eight years of this administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started. . . and an enormous debt to boot!”
Sound familiar? Now the Democrats want to go for another stimulus bill. . . a fifth under Obama. The others all failed, yet they think this one will work. That’s Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity: repeating the same action over and over, but expecting a different result. Hence, liberals are insane.

3. CAFE Standards Obama just introduced new fuel efficiency standards (CAFE) for trucks. Raising CAFE standards makes cars more expensive, driving down demand and keeping poor people in older, less-safe vehicles longer. What’s more, the one type of vehicle in which American car companies still dominate is the truck. This will hurt Detroit. I guess Obama’s slogan for 2012 will be, “The GM bailout was so successful, I want to repeat it in 2014!”

4. Obama Strong Warlord The last Democrat with any sense of how to win a war was Harry Truman, and he seemed to lose that by the time Korea came along. Since that time, the Democrats have become a party of pacifists, cowards and military incompetents. Obama looks to continue this ignoble tradition by tucking his tail in Afghanistan and Libya. But the Democrats want to portray him as a big tough killer. What to do? What to do?

Oh, I know. Let’s have Hollywood make a movie about Obama’s dithering over the killing of Osama bin Laden to prove his resolve of steal (hmm, is that spelled right?).

Here’s the catch. When Obama was thumping his chest after the military killed bin Laden, he got all of a three point bounce, which vanished again before the first shark took a bite out of bin Laden’s body. Obama got no bounce form running away in Iraq or cowering before Iran or Honduras. He got no bounce from the surge in Afghanistan. He got a negative bounce from bombing Libya. And Americans have stayed away in droves from every war film Hollywood has produced about the war on terror. Hmmm. So what makes liberals think this will help the man of steal? Insanity.

5. London Violence London police killed some gangbanger. According to liberals, it is outrageous that anyone should ever be killed and violence is unacceptable. So what do liberals do to protest? They start rioting in London, burning buses with people in them, beating people with baseball bats, etc. In other words, they have turned to massive, random violence to protest a single instance of probably justified violence. Nice.

As an "interesting" aside -- at least it will be interesting for most liberals (possibly even mind-boggling) -- the rioting stopped in London once the police threatened to use rubber bullets. The rioters moved on to other cities at that point. As a further aside, they don't riot in my neighborhood because we don't waste our time with rubber bullets.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Taxes: Main Street v. eStreet

Today’s topic involves an issue about which I am conflicted. Should states be allowed to “tax” internet merchants? I put “tax” in quotes because that's not actually what's going on. The real question is: should states be allowed to force internet merchants to collect sales taxes from customers? This is a much more complicated issue than it seems at first glance. Here is the problem as each side sees it:

1. The State View: Americans buy about $10 billion a year from the internet (and growing). But as a practical matter, states can’t tax this. Technically, they can and do tax it, but they can only collect the tax from the purchaser. Indeed, most states have laws requiring you to report what you purchase and pay tax on that. . . fat chance.

From the state perspective, this is lost revenue. To solve this problem, states keep trying to force internet retailers (e-tailers) to collect sales taxes just like bricks and mortar retailers do. Right now, e-tailers don’t do that, and states don’t have the power to force them.

The reason states can’t force this is the way jurisdiction works in the United States. To be able to regulate (and tax) a business, that business must have some “nexus” to the state. But the term “nexus” isn’t clearly defined. Operating a warehouse within a state clearly constitutes a nexus. Having a retail operation does too. But what if people buy from your catalog or off your webpage? So far, the courts have always said that is not enough to form a nexus. Thus, states can’t force e-tailers to collect sale tax for them. . . though they keep trying.

California is the latest state to try. What they’ve done is to declare that any e-tailer who deals with local sellers has a nexus to the state. Amazon falls into this category because it partners with small businesses all over the country including California. Because of this bill, Amazon has begun terminating its relationship with all of these people if they are located in California (10,000 were terminated in July). Amazon is also trying to get this bill repealed by referendum.

2. The Main Street Retailer View: Main Street retailers hate companies like Amazon. They have no choice but to collect the sales tax imposed by the state. Thus, they are at a disadvantage to the e-tailers, and the disadvantage can be serious. In liberal states like Illinois, for example, it can reach nearly 12% with local surcharges. That’s a significant handicap when the e-tailer doesn’t have to collect those taxes.

Extending this argument to its natural conclusion, retailers argue that if this situation is not remedied, then e-tailers will eventually wipe out retailers. But keep a couple things in mind. First, these are the same retailers who wiped out the mom and pop shops two decades ago. . . so their argument rings a little hypocritical. Secondly, there are other benefits the retailers get (like property tax breaks) that are not given to the e-tailer. Third, the retailer business model may be defective, and rather than trying to force a tax hike on e-tailers, maybe they should be looking for new services to lure customers back into their stores. Fourth, some products simply aren't amenable to the e-tailer model.

3. The eStreet Internet Retailer View: The e-tailer response is twofold. First, to allow states to force them to collect the tax would make them a special case that violates 200 years of jurisprudence. It’s the business equivalent of letting New York haul you into court just because you sent a letter to someone who lives in New York.

Secondly, e-tailers make a practicality argument. There are 8,000 different tax jurisdictions in the US, each with different rules, procedures and rates, which change at a moment’s notice. Moreover, these jurisdictions don’t align with zip codes. Thus, it would be a practical nightmare for a company like Amazon to assess and collect the right amount of tax. It would be impossible for smaller e-tailers. This change could effectively kill off all but the largest e-tailers.

4. My View: Politically, I am conflicted on this. As a firm believer in federalism and the 10th Amendment, I generally favor letting states handle their own affairs. . . even if they make a mess of it. So they should be allowed to tax whatever activity goes on inside their borders provided they don’t discriminate against out-of-state companies. But that argument really doesn’t apply here because they can tax these transactions, they just can’t get it collected the easy way. States have a right to regulate themselves, they don’t have a right to regulate outsiders just because it makes things easier for the state.

And practically speaking, I think it would be disastrous to allow 10,000 tax regimes to force themselves upon e-tailers. What’s more, how can we then be sure they are being treated fairly (i.e. that there is no discrimination against out-of-state companies)? Suppose a single sales tax is imposed on both retailers and e-tailers. That sounds fair, but what about the property tax breaks, utility discounts or other things the retailer gets that reek of local favoritism?

I don’t care for the idea that in the long run we are likely to end up with most retailers going out of business in favor of e-tailers (e.g. book and music stores). But on the other hand, these e-tailers have been very good for consumers even beyond the sale tax issue and the death of the retailer may be inevitable unless retailers find some way to improve their business model.

Right now Senate Democrats are trying to come up with a bill (the Main Street Fairness Act) to “solve” this problem. Amazon supports it, eBay opposes it. Frankly, this sounds like it will impose a fairly heavy regulatory burden on e-tailers. I suspect Amazon likes it because it will make it hard for smaller competitors to enter its market. eBay probably opposes it because eBay relies on thousands of small sellers, who would likely end up violating the new rules.

There may be no good answer, but when in doubt, I find myself coming down against any solution offered by Democrats with the support of the biggest company in the field and with the support of trade groups looking for a little protectionism for their members. So if I had to vote right now, I would vote to leave the system as it is.

What do you think? How would you solve this problem?

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Little Liberal(s) Who Cried Hostage

My next article is up at Big Hollywood! Go take a look: (Linky, Linky)! (It's at the film site too.)

What is it with Democrats and hostages? Apparently, Democrats aren't happy unless Americans are being held hostage. In fact, they've been using the word "hostage taker" like it's some kind of talking point. Imagine that. And these are the same people who whined about needing a new tone in politics after Gabrielle Giffords was shot. Observe.

When Giffords was shot in January of this year, Obama finally spoke somewhat eloquently (at least in part). Here is what he read from TOTUS:
“At a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized, at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do, it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds.”
I, for one, was glad to hear the Democrats planned to change their ways. Yep no more threats to kill Bush or Palin's family (LINK). So how did they do with this new tone? Not so well. Just look at the last couple days . . see if you can spot the pattern:

● August 3, 2011: Democrats attack the Republicans over the FAA partial shutdown using the words “hostage taking” repeatedly.
● Barbara Boxer: “This is a made-up crisis. This is government by hostage taking.”
● Steny Hoyer: “Unfortunately, Republicans continue to practice the politics of confrontation and hostage taking.”
● Chuck Schumer: “The issue is not essential air service, it’s not even a labor issue. It’s the issue of hostage taking.”
● Harry Reid: “I again say, Speaker Boehner, stop this nonsense.”

I guess Harry didn’t get the memo.
● August 1, 2011: Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Doyle referred to the Tea Party as “a small group of terrorists [who] have made it impossible to spend any money.” Slow Joe Biden agreed: “They have acted like terrorists.” Yes el Guapo. . . a plethora of terrorists.

● August 1, 2011: Unhinged Chris “The Tingler” Matthews said this about the debt ceiling negotiations:
“Why did Obama let this develop for six months. . . this drum roll of the Republicans saying, ‘We’ve got the baby. You don’t get the baby back unless you pay us?’ Why do you let the other side have the baby, to use kidnapping terms?”
So Republicans are child kidnappers? Earlier in the day, The Tingle said that Obama should have said: “[I will accept] no game playing, no hostage-taking, no terrorizing this country with the debt ceiling. I'm not going to negotiate with you guys.” Then he said: “We elected President Obama, the American people, but we're stuck with Bush's economic policies because they keep hostage-taking to keep Bush in power.”

I guess the Democrats were hostage taking for Bush when they had the filibuster proof Senate?

This, by the way, is only the latest instance where The Tingle has become unhinged. On July 5, 2011, The Tingle said that the GOP had become terrorists: “Well, the GOP has become the Wahhabis of American government, willing to risk bringing down the whole country in the service of their anti-tax ideology.”

And here I thought we had nothing to fear from Islam?

● July 29, 2011: The Democratic herd was at it before the budget deal:
● Steny Hoyer: “The Republicans are holding hostage the credit of the United States of America.”
● Debbie Schultz: “. . . our Republican colleagues to hold our economy hostage.”
● Harry Reid: “The Republican Party is holding our economy hostage.”
● Louise Slaughter: “. . . hold the debt ceiling hostage.”
● Chuck Schumer: “. . . hold America hostage.”
● Sheldon Whitehouse: “. . . one party is holding the country hostage.”
● John Olver: “. . . the debt limit has never before been held hostage.”
● Barbara Lee: “. . . Republicans are holding our economy hostage.”
● Earl Blumenauer: “. . . willing to take hostage the debt ceiling.”
● Jason Altmire: “Stop holding America’s credit rating hostage.”
● Rosa DeLauro: “The Republican majority continues to hold the American economy hostage.”
● Chris Van Hollen: “Let’s not hold the entire American economy hostage.”
● John Larson: “. . . ideological hostage situation.”
● Lloyd Doggett: “The only belt they’re really tightening is right around the neck of those hostages.”
● James Clyburn: “. . . holding the American economy hostage.”
● Jesse Jackass Jr.: “This president is being treated differently! No other president has been stuck up, shook down, or held hostage!” Right... it’s racist hostage taking! Wooo, that’s much worse.
I guess they swapped the Donkey for a Parrot. But seriously, who looks more like a hostage taker:

Ran Paul, who needs to stay somewhat civil lest he be accused of being a “hateful hostage taking” responded thusly: “With the president holding the American economy hostage, I would prefer to think of myself as a freedom fighter.”

Personally, I see the Democrats more as a gang of rapists. So a little hostage taking is probably justified to stop them.

Let us continue. . .

● July 31, 2011: The New York Times wrote (in crayon):
There is little to like about the tentative agreement between Congressional leaders and the White House except that it happened at all. The deal would avert a catastrophic government default . . The rest of it is a nearly complete capitulation to the hostage-taking demands of Republican extremists.
And none of this is new:

● Here is what Obama himself has read from TOTUS:
● December 12, 2010: “I’ve said before that I felt that the middle-class tax cuts were being held hostage to the high-end tax cuts. I think it's tempting not to negotiate with hostage takers, unless the hostage gets harmed.”

"Unless"? Don’t you usually want to negotiation before they harm the hostage? I can see Hostage Negotiator Obama now: “We won’t talk to you unless you harm some hostages. . . go ahead. . . wing a few.”

● September 8, 2010: “So let me be clear to Mr. Boehner and everyone else: we should not hold middle class tax cuts hostage any longer.”
There was also an article I can’t find anymore which included a ton of references by Obama to hostage taking. It seems that every time one of his policies isn’t agreed to immediately, the baby starts whining about hostage taking. It kind of makes you wonder where he went to Madras doesn’t it?

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Ashamed of Something Comrades?

Deception, thy name is liberal. By now, you may have seen these new ads for MSNBC. One has Ed “Sgt.” Schultz blabbing on about healthcare and the other has Rachel “Madcow” Maddow blabbering on about bridges. There are probably more ads in the series, like Chris Matthews tingling his leg, but I haven’t had to endure them yet. What’s interesting about these ads is how they carefully hide what these two liberal miscreants really believe.

One of the things I learned about liberals during the Reagan years is that they lie. They lie like their lives depend on it. If a Democrat tells you they believe something, you can put money on it that they intend to do the opposite.

The reason Democrats lie is because they have learned that the public not only doesn’t share their views, but finds them stupid and scary. Tell the public that you want to raise taxes, give more money to people who don’t work, socialize their healthcare, nationalize their companies, divide the spoils of the nation by race and gender, disarm the military, and send all dissenters to jail, and people are more likely to give you a pitchfork in the eye than their support. So the Democrats lie. They claim they don't believe any of this. . . in fact, they assure us, they believe the exact opposite! But then they get to Washington and they push the very agenda they just denied. Imagine that.

Well, MSNBC is putting a new spin on this tactic.

Let’s start with Sgt. Schultz. He’s talking about healthcare in the commercial. He begins by noting that healthcare reform was only “half done.” Then he acts as if he’s been asked whether a public option would be needed to complete the reform (you don't hear the question, just his paraphrase of it). Surprise. . . he avoids the question. Instead, he talks about healthcare being a necessity.

Notice what he’s doing. This is a man who was SCREAMING for months at the top of his lungs that he wanted a public option. Yet, here he acts as if he hasn’t really reached a decision on the issue. In fact, he basically dismisses the question as if he thought the public option was just a sideshow. And thereby, he gives the impression of a man who isn’t sold on the public option.

Why would he act this way since anyone who knows the Sgt. knows he desperately wants a public option? The answer is above: he’s misleading you. He knows that no one who isn’t a hardcore liberal will watch him if he speaks the truth about his views. Thus, he hides his views to make himself seem moderate. Is he actually lying? No. But he’s being misleading by creating a false impression.

And there’s more. Do you notice the word “necessity”? Ed and his friends on the left never call healthcare a necessity. . . they call it a “right.” So why isn’t Ed using the “right” word? Because he can’t tell you what he really thinks and still pull in anyone who isn’t already a hardcore believer. He has to mislead you about his beliefs.

The Madcow commercial isn’t a straight up distortion of Madcow’s views like the Schultz commercial, but it is misleading. Madcow is standing before some bridge and says (roughly) “we need government because no private contractor is going to build that (the bridge) on spec.”

First, let me say that I do prefer my infrastructure built at the direction of the government. But that said, she’s wrong. Private companies will happily build toll roads all over the place. Some of the first interstate roads were built by private companies as toll roads. And in places like Virginia and parts of the Midwest, they are itching to get back into the business. Roads, bridges, trains, airports. . . all have been built by private companies on spec.

Secondly, this is again deception. The implication of the commercial is that when Maddow thinks of things the government should do, she's thinking of things like this bridge. Things that most people would agree should be done by the government. Heck, even I agree with that -- I don’t like toll roads or toll bridges. But that’s not Maddow’s real view of what the government should be providing. She believe government should be delivering your healthcare, telling your boss what you should earn and who he can hire, taxing your income at 70%, telling you what lightbulbs you can buy, dramatically increasing social benefits, etc. etc. There is no end. Yet, the ad implies that her view of liberalism is summed up in bridges.

So why doesn’t Madcow mention any of the other stuff? Why does she only mention the bridge? Because, once again, that would scare people. Just like Schultz and the Democratic party, she knows she can’t tell the public her real views of they won’t tune in. So she lies and she presents an intellectual Potemkin village of her views.

It must be pretty horrible to realize that you have to lie to people about your true beliefs to get them to like you. In fact, that puts you in the company of cultists and perverts. But even more, doesn't this tell us that the "progressives" know that their views won't wash? If they aren't even willing to speak their views in public, should we ever trust them to implement their views?

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