Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Up Your’s, Honkeys!

The Democrats are the party of the “working man.” They represent that core of America that builds things, which makes things, which toils in the dirt, which keeps America running. These are the hardworking people of this great land who looked to FDR to save them. Yep. That’s the Democrats. . . right? Well, no. Those people vote Republican now, and the Democrats are about to concede that.

The biggest myth in politics is that the Democrats are the party of the working man and the Republicans are the party of the rich. In reality, the Democratic party consists of welfare cases who live off the state and white millionaires who inherited their wealth or live off trading political favors. They have no middle. And lest you doubt they are the party of the corrupt rich, check out these statistics:
● According to the Center for Responsive Politics, in 2007, the fifty biggest companies in the country gave 60% of their political donations to Democrats.

● According to, in 2008, Obama raised $145.7 million from corporate America. Of this, $42 million was from Wall Street and $46 million was from lawyers and lobbyists (K Street).

● The Democratic Party took in another $166.7 million from corporate America, of which $44.4 million came directly from Wall Street banks and $35 million came from K-Street lobbyists.
And this is direct contributions only, it does not count independent spending or PACs, where the real money gets spent. Moreover, the Democrats are awash in influence peddling scandals and they regularly move between government, K Street and Wall Street. Yet, we’re supposed to believe the Democrats are the party of middle-class America. . . of workers? Hardly.

Anyway, things are about to change.

According to Democratic analysts Stanley Greenberg and Ruy Teixeira, for decades now, the Democratic Party has been bleeding white, working class voters. This trend started in the 1960s, accelerated in the 1980s and continues today despite the Democrats’ best efforts to woo these voters. How bad has it gotten? In 2004, John Kerry lost the white working vote by 58% to 41%. Obama improved slightly to 55% to 43%, but in 2010 this gap reached an all time high of 63% to 33%.

So how do the Democrats plan to respond. Apparently, the Democrats have decided they can’t win white working voters, so they’re giving up on trying! Verily. In 2012, they intend to treat these honkus-escapuses as “unobtainable.” Instead, they plan to cobble together a coalition of over-educated whites (professors, lawyers, artists, social workers, teachers, therapists, human resources manager, journalists and librarians), single women, blacks, Jews, Hispanics and Millennials.

Now let me make a few observations about this:
● First, this strategy relies on groups who historically don’t turn out for elections. Good luck with that. Moreover, this strategy depends on Hispanics out-breeding whites. As I’ve mentioned before, that’s not going to happen.

● Secondly, this strategy depends on the gap in the white vote not growing worse -- anything above 17% is fatal for Democrats. But it will grow worse. Once the Democrats embrace being the party of snooty-whites and minorities, they will lose all the rest of the working class whites. That’s how it’s always worked. This is how the South became Republican and this is how places like Ohio and Michigan will follow.

Also, the idea of a race-based party of rich and poor simply will not play well with most Americans. Americans ALL like to think of themselves as non-racial, middle-class, working types. . . exactly the opposite of what the Democrats will be. This should lead to middle-class flight to the Republican Party, leaving only the angry left for the Democrats.

● Third, this is going to kill them with their union friends, who are the source of their ground game and a good portion of their financial strength. And ironically, they have chosen to do this now just as manufacturing is about to rebound in this country because the comparative advantage Asia has is ending. Whoops.

● Fourth, the biggest flaw in this plan is the idea that Hispanics will mimic blacks. If the Republicans can win even 40-45% of the Hispanic vote, the Democrats will be doomed. And here the Democrats have given the Republicans the perfect way to do that -- Hispanics, like everyone else, want to become middle class Americans. It’s time for the Republicans to offer them that chance.
The Democrats are about to hand the Republicans an historical opportunity here to rebrand the party and truly become the party of middle class America. The Republicans need to seize this moment and expose the Democrats for the frauds they are.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The “Right” Tax Hikes

Before Turkey Day, Pat Toomey and Jeb Hensarling were taking a lot of heat for a tax proposal they made as part of their supercommittee work. Let’s talk about why their proposal actually is something conservatives should adopt. The proposal in question involves either capping or eliminating both the state tax deduction and the home interest deduction. Here’s why you should support this.

The arguments against this are that it would constitute a broad-based tax increase. In other words, most taxpayers would see their taxes go up as a result of this. And if you phase this out above a certain income, then you are playing into the Democrats’ class warfare arguments. Also, eliminating the home mortgage deduction would hurt the home industry by eliminating the incentive for people to buy homes, which conservatives see as promoting personal financial responsibility.

The MSM argument for this is that eliminating these deductions would result in a pretty massive increase in tax revenues, and something on this scale will be needed to reduce the deficit or pay off the debt.

Sounds like a loser, right? Well, not so fast. Consider these points.
● As a conservative, the idea of helping a particular industry through the tax code should be anathema to us. We should not be picking winners and losers no matter how much we like particular industries. And we should not look favorably upon social engineering.

● The complaint that this would broadly raise taxes can be offset by lowering rates as part of the agreement. Some people would end up paying more and some would pay less, but overall lower, flatter rates without distorting deductions should always be the conservative goal.

● The class warfare point doesn’t really support the idea of leaving the current system in place either. Instead, it argues against phasing out the deduction for the rich. But if we eliminate these deductions entirely or simply cap them at some amount, then everyone is treated equally and there is no support for class warfare.

● And in favor of capping these deductions, if not eliminating them entirely, consider this. The purpose of the home mortgage deduction is to encourage home ownership because that’s fiscally responsible, but does this argument still make sense when we are talking about people who are buying million dollar homes? Presumably, they don’t need the government trying to tell them where it’s best to put their money.
Those are the preliminaries. Now it gets interesting. See, it turns out that both the state tax deduction and the home mortgage deduction disproportionately benefit liberals and support liberalism.

By allowing state taxes to be deducted, lower tax states are essentially subsidizing higher tax states and making higher taxes more palatable. In other words, through the state tax deduction, the federal government will effectively pick up about a third of the tax burden imposed by the states. Thus, if State A taxes income at 6% and State B taxes income at 12%, the federal government gives State A a hidden 2% subsidy and State B a hidden 4% subsidy by reducing the federal taxes it demands from the taxpayers of those states. Because federal spending is a zero sum game, meaning it is finite, that extra 2% is basically money transferred from other states to State B, i.e. lower tax states are subsidizing higher tax states.

Why should a responsible state like Texas be forced to subsidize an irresponsible state like New York or California? If New Yorkers want to pay 12%, let them pay 12%, don’t let them pay only 8% with tax money from Texas going to make up the other 4%. Make these liberal states experience the full consequences of their stupid policies!

And make no mistake, liberal states are the ones benefiting from this.

Moreover, “the rich” who benefit the most from this deduction and the home mortgage deduction are disproportionately supporters of liberals. In fact, according to Michael Barone, voters in high-tax, high-income states overwhelmingly voted for Obama. Nationally, those with incomes over $200,000 voted for Obama by 6% more than voters below $200,000. And in the high-income-tax states, Obama blew McCain away: Connecticut (55%), New York (56%), New Jersey (52%), Maryland (55%), Illinois (54%), California (57%).

Why should a middle class worker in Kentucky be forced to send tax dollars to Washington so that Washington can support the spending habits of rich liberals and rich liberal states?

It’s time to eliminate these deductions or cap them at a low level which doesn’t subsidize liberal states.

Toomey and Hensarling are right in this. Eliminating these deductions is solid conservative economics and philosophy and it’s solid conservative politics.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Debate Wrap: Of Icebergs And Dissemblers

Last night’s debate was interesting. It may have changed the race too, though we won’t know for a week or two. First impressions are that Newt probably shot himself in the head Rick Perry-style. Paul lost a few friends. Cain stopped the bleeding. And I never want to work at the Heritage Foundation.

Imploder of the Week: Newt. Last night, Newt reminded us exactly why he makes us nervous. When Rick Perry got called onto the carpet in his second debate for subsidizing the education of illegal immigrants, he pointed a cow-pokey finger at the rest of us and told us we ain’t got no hearts. That was the moment Ricky hit the iceberg. Newt was fully aware of Ricky’s tale of woe. Yet, when he was called onto the carpet for supporting the DREAM Act and amnesty, he proceeded to dissemble, telling us that he hates the DREAM Act and amnesty but would happily support both by any other name if they could be set up so he wouldn't be blamed for implementing them. Then he pointed a lobbyist-pocket stained finger at the rest of us and told us we ain’t got no hearts. If arrogance, stupidity and gall had a child, it would have been that moment.

Moreover, Newt was rising in the polls because he seemed to be smart, conservative and firm in his opinions. Last night, shifty Newt was back. To borrow a word from tryanmax, Newt came across as a chameleon, shifting positions to please the crowd without ever saying anything substantive or pinning himself down. And while he was definitely emphatic to the point of arrogance about everything he said, the only good and firm answers he gave were the ones he cribbed from Herman Cain – handling Iran, handling social security, the biggest threat to the nation, etc.

This will probably stop Newt’s momentum cold and may even throw him into a Rick Perry nosedive. Who will benefit? Odds are 46% Cain, 44% Romney, 10% other.

Winner: Cain. Cain is most likely to benefit from Newt’s implosion because he did two important things last night. First, he stopped the bleeding by stopping the narrative that he’s an idiot. There were no gaffes. His answers were solid and thoughtful and showed remarkable judgment. Indeed, everyone else was stealing his answers, which tells you something. And when it came to explaining his judgment, he proved why we should be looking to business rather than politics for leaders. He accepted no sacred cows and said he would make decisions by looking at everything we do and asking if we are getting the benefits we want from our efforts. Clear, concise, correct.

Secondly, he re-energized his supporters with a strong showing that highlighted why people liked him before the scandals, and by showing broad knowledge on a range of topics. This probably earned him a second look when Newt collapses.

Winner: Romney. If Cain doesn’t benefit from Newt’s collapse, Romney will. Here’s why. Romney said nothing. . . diddly over squat. He didn’t even sound like he was saying anything. In fact, I honestly cannot tell you anything he said except that every single sentence staked out firm positions on both sides of the issue. But what Romney has going for him is a stamp of approval and just enough fibbing to make you think he’s to the right of Gingrich on illegal immigration. That stamp of approval has generated the “electability” canard and the “maybe it’s time for conservatives to give up and support Romney” meme. This makes him well-placed to benefit from Newt’s implosion if Cain can’t capture Newt’s supporters.

Loser: Ron Paul. I’ve debated where to put Paul. As usual, he was brilliant at times, but also said things which simply disqualify him with the Republican Party base and the public at large. So I call him a loser because while he made good points, I doubt he reached anyone who didn’t already support him.

Loser: The Heritage Foundation. What a bunch of stiffs.

Loser: Perry. Old Rick spent the last two weeks trying to get noticed by challenging Pelosi to a debate, declaring he would make Congress part time, pulling the ears off a gundark, and promising to set up a no-fly zone over Denver Broncos football games and Syria. He didn’t Tebow during the debate, but it might have helped. Instead, the other candidates took turns gut punching the hapless Texan. Bachmann in particular made him look like a fool, as did Paul, when they slapped down and dismissed every one of his ideas. And Perry didn’t help himself with disjointed and nonsensical answers, e.g. at one point, he suggested that Iran is trying to conquer Mexico and his solution to stopping this was another Monroe Doctrine, which he defined as building a fence between the US and Mexico. Monroe was not amused.

Winner: CNN. Wolf Blitzer did an excellent job keeping the debate moving and being unobtrusive. He had a couple minor gotcha questions, but rarely felt like he was manipulating the discussion.

Whatever: Bachmann seemed more knowledgeable, but still just floods you with trivia. I’m not sure I heard her enunciate a single principle except repeatedly saying, “we’ve got to do something,” which sounds like the woman in The Simpsons who always yells: “what about the children!” Santorum wasn’t a jerk and almost made sense a couple times, though he remains about as relevant as the furniture. Huntsman continues to say smart things and smug things. His slappy fight with Romney made them both look effete.

Security: Finally, let’s highlight a particularly interesting area last night. Ron Paul made the smart point that we should not trade our freedoms for false promises of security. He’s 100% right. The cry of “crisis” and “I’ll protect you” have been the bait tyrants have used for generations to get power handed to them willingly.

When Paul said this, the other candidates (except Cain), stumbled all over this issue. Each recognized the danger of openly saying “screw the Constitution,” so they proclaimed a love for the Constitution before they said the Constitution shouldn’t stand in the government’s way when the government screams “security.” This is dangerous thinking. Rights exist for a reason and if the government can simply declare an emergency and terminate those rights, then we have no rights, we have privileges at the whim of the federal beast.

Paul again countered, this time by asking if this meant these candidates supported the government groping old people at airports. Each tried to evade this by attacking Obama for letting those workers unionize. Several suggested privatizing this “function” was the answer. But this is ridiculous. When someone shoves a flashlight up your rear under government authority, it doesn’t really matter who they work for, it’s the government authority that’s the problem.

Newt and Romney tried to slide around this by mixing the issue of foreign invaders and criminals. Both basically said that foreign invaders, i.e. enemy agents, have no rights. Correct. Then they said we need to keep criminal and “security” issues separate. Ok. Then they wiped out these distinctions by claiming that whenever a terrorist act could be stopped, the Constitution should not stop the government from using any tool to uncover that terrorism. In other words, when the government says security, there is no Constitution.

Paul is the only one to remain true to the Constitution on this. The others (excluding Cain) were hypocrites and showed a total disregard for the rights of citizens. Cain is the only one who split this baby by stating that he was willing to look at each power given to the government, demand proof of its effectiveness, and tweak the system to reduce the government’s powers. You can decide where you come down on this issue, but it is highly instructive of the mindset of the candidates when it comes to the issue of respecting the limitations of government power.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Liberals to Obama: “Quit!”

There have been rumbles for some time about Obama dragging down the left. . . as if they need help. But nobody reputable has said anything publicly, until now. In an editorial in The Wall Street Journal two Democratic pollsters, Patrick Caddell and Douglas Schoen, have openly asked his Messiahness to step down and let someone competent replace him in 2012. Specifically, they want Hillary. Ha! While I LOVE the sentiment, the argument is actually pretty ridiculous.

Caddell and Schoen first state that they think Obama can win re-election, “but the kind of campaign required for the president’s political survival would make it almost impossible for him to govern.” Then they invoke both Truman and Johnson as Presidents who “accepted the reality that they could not effectively govern the nation if they sought re-election.” Both took what Caddell and Schoen call “the moral high ground” of not running for re-election. Thus, since Obama cannot campaign in a way that will let him govern, they call for him to step aside and let Hillary run in his place.

Good times.

Entertaining though it may be, this argument is completely flawed. For one thing, Obama can’t win re-election. Not only is he historically low in the polls, but he’s been there so consistently no matter what’s happened that it’s clear the public has stopped listening. In other words, he’s run out of second chances. And running the negative campaign they think is necessary for him to win won’t help either. This election will be a referendum on Obama and Obama only -- attacking the other guy can’t help him. Not to mention, going negative will only fire up the Tea Party who want to ship his lazy *ss back to whence it came.

Secondly, they are sadly mistaken if they think narcissist Obama will EVER step down. Buddhist monks could literally be setting themselves on fire on the White House lawn and his majesty would still believe the people love him.

Moreover, there’s a huge flaw in their assumption that Obama resigning would somehow change the calculation. Indeed, this concept highlights several of the problems with liberal thinking. For example, they don’t grasp that it’s his policies that have been the problem, not the man. Sure, Obama is a turd as a human being, but people don’t hate him because he’s a turd, they hate everything he’s done. Hillary wouldn’t do a thing differently and we know that. So why should anyone think changing the figurehead for a hateful, pathetic bowel movement like liberalism will somehow make liberalism acceptable? That is frankly stupid.

Further, they argue that Obama resigning “would put great pressure” on Republicans to compromise. <<== That right there is why liberals lose wars, folks. These bozos actually think Obama’s complete surrender will suddenly get Republicans to compromise?! That’s not how reality works. The consistent human instinct for thousands of generations has been to crush an enemy when they are down. . . not cater to their desires.

They also argue this would be constructive because it would “change the dynamic from who is more to blame – George W. Bush or Barack Obama – to a more constructive dialog.” Uh. . . no. Only hardcore leftists think this is still the dynamic. Obama has been the leader for three years. He shoved the federal government up our collective rumps over and over, he tried to unionize private companies, spent the country to death, crushed our medical system, gave aid and comfort to our enemies, abandoned our friends, and otherwise soiled and ruined everything for which the United States stands. The only question people will ask now is: “do you want this to continue or not?” And the dynamic will be those who work for a living versus those who leech for living. That’s it.

Finally, they contend Hillary could reach “an historic agreement” with Republicans just like her husband did, but Obama can’t. And they claim this is important because it’s the best way to “preserve Obama’s achievements.” Hardly. The public wants Obama rousted and the country fumigated. The Republicans get this and they will not cut deals with Hillary or anyone else to preserve Obama’s “achievements.” This goes back to the surrender fantasy.

Obama stepping aside is fun to talk about and I love the demoralizing aspect of this on the left, just like I LOVE how Chris Matthews’s tingle has turned into the burn of an STD, but forget Obama stepping aside to save the Democrats. . . that will never happen. And definitely forget the idea the public would forgive the Democrats if Obama does step aside. The Democrats spent the last few years raping the American dream and the American public is in no mood to forgive them.

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Newt: “I’ve Changed.” Reality: “No, You Haven't.”

It’s easy to believe someone has fundamentally changed their thinking on a particular issue. People change, they learn new things or gain new perspectives all the time. It’s harder to believe someone who claims they’ve fundamentally changed their thinking on a lot of issues. It’s harder yet when those issues are the issues that stand in the way of them getting something they want. And it’s pretty much impossible to believe when their claims are buried in verbal trickery. By the way, Newt wants you to know he’s changed.

Hoping to defuse the many problems with his candidacy, Newt Gingrich has put a question and answers section on his website where he tries to explain his biggest mistakes. In this section he points out that the media will try to smear him. He mentions he’s cast over 7,000 votes, given over 1,500 speeches, written thousands of articles and 24 books, and made thousands of television appearances, each of which will be scoured for dirt. He then tries to defend 15 areas where he previously molested the canine:
● Paul Ryan Plan: Newt undercut Paul Ryan’s budget/Medicare plan by calling it “right wing social engineering.” He says he agrees with Ryan now, BUT he wants to undercut Ryan by letting seniors stay in the present plan if they want. Why? Because he’s “opposed to any political party imposing dramatic change against the consent of the governed.” Translation: Being loved is more important than achieving results.

● Health Insurance Mandate: Newt now believes imposing a mandate to buy health insurance is an unconstitutional infringement of individual liberty. In the 1990s, he favored such a mandate. His excuse is other conservatives advocated it too! Nah nah! He also says he wants to find a better way to achieve “the goal of healthcare for all.” Translation: The only part of ObamaCare Newt opposes is the individual mandate.

● Ethanol: Newt remains pro-ethanol as part of an “all of the above” approach because he loves Iowa and South Dakota more than Saudi Arabia. This is a false dichotomy. Translation: Pandering trumps principle.

● Fairness Doctrine: Newt thinks the Fairness Doctrine is “prohibited government censorship.” But he supported it in the past because back then the media was dominated with liberals. Translation: Principles are malleable depending on who benefits.

● Global Warming: “Newt does not believe there is a settled scientific conclusion about whether industrial development has dramatically contributed to warming of the atmosphere.” (Hedge words in italics). He does oppose cap and trade but doesn’t want “conservatives to be absent” from offering solutions. Newt then says: “this unsettled scientific question has nothing to do with the best approach to protecting our environment, which is always markets, incentives and entrepreneurs creating better... products.” Translation: Newt doesn’t care about the science, he will stop climate change through less obvious ways than a carbon tax.

● Immigration/DREAM Act: Newt opposes the DREAM Act, BUT supports what the DREAM Act does. He opposes amnesty, but thinks local communities should be given the power to make illegal immigrants legal. . . they just can’t call them citizens. Translation: Newt believes in stealth amnesty.

● Farm Subsidies: Newt supports subsidies for farmers. Translation: Business as usual.

● TARP: Newt didn’t really support TARP when he supported the TARP, he supported some version of it you would have liked, except Paulson lied about how TARP would work. . . don’t ask him to explain the difference between good and bad TARP. Translation: Newt thinks you’re stupid.

● Foreign Aid: NEWT BELIEVES IN ZERO FOREIGN AID (as a baseline from which we will then decide how much foreign aid to give). Translation: No change in foreign aid.

● Dept. of Education: When Newt voted for the creation of the Department of Education, he thought it would only collect data. Imagine his surprise. Now he will “dramatically shrink the agency to a research and reporting overview agency.” Translation: Newt wasn’t wrong, the world lied to him. How was he supposed to know a bureaucracy would grow?

● Dede Scozzafava: Newt made a “mistake” endorsing Scozzafava, BUT he will always endorse the Republican against an independent, i.e. he made no mistake. Newt blames the locals for putting him in a bad situation. Translation: Newt is very sorry you are mistakenly upset.

● Government Shutdown: Newt thinks the media was unfair about the government shutdown because he improved the government and economy. Translation: Newt doesn’t grasp what it was about his handling of the shutdown that bothered people.

● Ethics Problems: Newt never “violated any tax laws.” Translation: Newt was technically right about a small portion of one of the corruption claims against him, please ignore the rest.

● Freddie Mac: Newt is not a lobbyist! He just gets paid to provide advice to government agencies about programs that will help his other clients, who just happen to earn a living off the government. Translation: Newt thinks technicalities are wonderful things.

● “Personal Life”: Newt had an affair, but it wasn’t as bad as Clinton’s. His daughter has debunked the claim he ignored his sick wife while she was in the hospital. No mention is made of recent spending scandals involving jewelry and his wife and the overuse of private jets. Translation: Newt thinks that by comparison, his corruption ain’t so bad. . . and that one thing was a lie so he’s completely vindicated on all points.
This article did not turn out at all like I expected. When I first read about this, I figured Newt would list how he was wrong in the past on various topics and explain his new mindset. I could maybe, possibly accept that. Instead, I found a series of smokescreens, stunning evasions and huge red flags about Newt’s integrity, his understanding of the problems people have with him, and his intentions once he gets into office.

I have been trying very hard to get over my concerns about Newt but this just brings them back with a vengeance. Newt is proving to be Romney without the integrity.

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Tea Party Is THE Middle

So many self-described moderates or independents whine about the disappearance of the center. They want people to put “ideology aside,” to reject both the leftwing and rightwing view of the world and to come together “to get something done.” The Economist laments the absence of these people a lot. But the truth is, they’re already here. . . they’re called the Tea Party.

Whenever groups like The Economist lament the left-right divide, here is how they describe the two sides: On the right, you have an intolerant group beholden to social conservatives. They worry about gays and abortion and little else. They won’t touch a penny in military spending and they will never accept a tax hike of any sort. The ideological left is described as beholden to unions, in particular teachers unions, and won’t accept a penny in cuts or any change in labor laws to make the labor market more efficient.

Let’s accept this dichotomy as true, despite some obvious errors. Now let’s see how the Tea Party fits into this structure:
1. The Tea Party is clearly not beholden to unions.

2. The Tea Party is willing to eliminate the types of regulations that protect teachers and government workers from competition.

3. The Tea Party has consciously ignored social conservatism. They have in fact repeatedly made the point that now is the time to deal purely with economic issues.

4. The Tea Party is willing to slash military spending, provided the cuts are sensible.

5. The Tea Party is willing to accept higher taxes on some in exchange for a more efficient, cleaner, less corrupt tax code for all, i.e. an elimination of deductions in exchange for a flat tax or Cain’s 9-9-9 plan.
Thus, the Tea Party specifically rejects everything The Economist uses to describe the left AND the right. In other words, the Tea Party does not fit into the stereotype The Economist has of the right, nor does it fit into their soft-pedaled version of the left. They are, in effect, the very people The Economist keeps calling upon to bring a new “non-ideological” focus to politics.

So why won’t The Economist recognize this?

The answer simple: this isn’t “the middle” they were hoping for. The Economist and their ilk wanted to believe the middle looked exactly like RINOs. They thought the middle would be people who trust the government, who don’t mind regulation but maybe want to tinker a bit here and there to make the regulations run smoother, and who don’t mind tax hikes to balance the budget. They figured the middle would be people who were willing to accept higher taxes and fewer services but otherwise wanted business as usual. . . people without strong views about anything who simply want to make the left and the right split every baby.

But the reality is the middle has very definite opinions and they aren’t at all what The Economist was hoping. The middle wants a government they don’t have to worry about. They want a government that leaves them alone except where absolutely necessary. They want a government that taxes less, spends less and does less. They want a government that stays within the boundaries set by the deal we’ve all struck called the Constitution, and they want a government that rejects everything about the current state of business as usual.

This is not the middle The Economist or anyone else really expected to find. But this is what you get when you bring together all the non-ideological people in the country. And thus, another leftist fantasy comes crashing down.

Interestingly, this also tells us why the Tea Party people and the Republicans haven’t meshed so well. The Republican Party is based on several interest groups. Social conservatives care about gays and abortion. Neocons want big government and foreign adventuring. Big Business Republicans and K-Street want the government handing out goodies to corporate America. Libertarians have spent the past few decades trying to legalize drugs. And the grumpy Republicans simply want whatever the liberals don’t want.

The Tea Party people reject all of this. They don’t care about the desires of these factions and they want no part of business as usual.

Will the Tea Party people eventually win or lose? It’s too early to tell. But the Presidential primary has been interesting. Romney is the choice of Neocons and big business, and he’s stuck at 20% support. Bachmann and Santorum are Religious Right darlings and they’ve collapsed. Perry was your standard K-Street Trojan Armadillo and he’s collapsed. Ron Paul isn’t doing as well as he has in the past either. Right now the guys with the momentum seem to be the two guys who don’t fit into any of the traditional Republican interest groups.

Fascinating, isn’t it?

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Libya Gaffe: This Was No Boating Accident!

I owe Herman Cain an apology. This “Libya gaffe” thing is just another smear, and sadly, I bought into it. Mea culpa. Here’s what really happened, along with my thinking on what really matters with the candidates.
Issue One: The Libya “Gaffe”
When Cain’s candidacy started taking off, the media smeared him with bogus sexual harassment allegations. Brought as anonymous and non-specific allegations, the MSM obsessively savaged Cain for failing to satisfy some undisclosed moving-target standard to acquit himself. Yet, within only a week, it became clear there was no substance to these allegations. The accusers aren’t credible: a serial complainer and a money-desperate liar. They have ties to David Axelrod, who has a history of this type of smear. The media witch hunt was overplayed. And polls continue to show Cain at or near the top. The scandal is D.O.A.

But just as Cain appeared to be recovering, a new allegation appeared: that he’s stupid. This allegation was based on his supposed “Libya gaffe,” and has again been pushed by the MSM and useful idiots like Byron York at National Review. But this is a smear too.

According to people like York, the Libya gaffe is this: A reporter asked Cain if he agreed with Obama’s policy on Libya. Cain had no idea what that policy was. He eventually mumbles something about Obama opposing Gaddafi, and then has to ask the reporter if what he’s just said is true.

IF this is true, then Cain really isn’t all that bright. Only. . . it’s not true.

Commentarama reader tryanmax sent me a link with the full interview. Here’s the link to the interview (LINK) and here’s a link to tryanmax’s thoughts on the subject (LINK). The interview is a lengthy discussion of many topics. About 20 minutes into the interview, they turn to the question of whether or not Cain would support democracy movements abroad. Cain tells the reporter he would support democracy movements, but he wouldn’t try to create one. Up to this point, Cain has come across as knowledgeable and relaxed.

The reporter then asks whether Cain thought Bush’s foreign policy was effective in this regard or if Cain has “a major critique” of how Bush handled the balance between American interests and democracy movements. Cain thinks about this and says he believes Bush ultimately struck the right balance. Cain repeats that where a democracy movement exists, he would support it, but he “won’t try to talk people into democracy.”

The reporter then says: “so you agreed with President Obama then on Libya or not?” Note first, that this is a strange question and it assumes much that has not been said by Cain or the reporter up to this point. They were talking about Bush’s foreign policy and suddenly the reporter asks this statement-question which assumes what Obama’s policy was and assumes that Cain has just provided an answer consistent with it. I am not saying this is a “gotcha” question, but it is a vague and ambiguous question with an uncertain subject. It is the kind of question a lawyer would object to and make the reporter rephrase.

Cain again thinks for a moment. Then he says:
“President Obama supported the uprising, correct? President Obama called for the removal of Gaddafi. Just want to make sure we’re talking about the same thing before I say ‘yes, I agree’ or ‘no, I don’t’.”
There’s the supposed gaffe. This is what is being portrayed as Cain asking the reporter to help him with the facts. The MSM is saying Cain’s use of the word “correct” means Cain needs the reporter to assure him he guessed right what Obama did in Libya. BUT that’s a blatantly false interpretation. Watch the video and it immediately becomes clear that Cain is neither confused nor is he asking the reporter to confirm the facts. Instead, Cain is asking the reporter to confirm that this was the topic the reporter meant with his odd question. Cain is using the word “correct” as a rhetorical device to make sure they were talking about the same thing. The fact both Cain and the reporter remain calm and continue the interview without any sense a gaffe has occurred confirms this.

There is NO reasonable way you can interpret this video as Cain being unsure what Obama did in Libya or asking the reporter to help him get the facts right. To assert that, as supposedly-reputable conservatives like National Review have done, is to adopt yet another smear, just as they did with the sexual harassment allegations. It is to intentionally pretend there is confusion, where there is none – just as they continue to wrongly claim Cain was confused about the difference between pro-life and pro-choice or as they tried to turn his verbal slip about China’s nuclear capability into evidence of ignorance.

I have also heard claims Cain must be stupid because he took time to consider his answer before responding. That is simply ridiculous. To expect someone to provide rapid-fire soundbites throughout an informal, 20+ minute conversation style interview on a variety of topics, rather than gather their thoughts, is disingenuous at best.
Issue Two: Dissecting Candidate Brains
Finally, I want to explain why I don’t care if Cain makes gaffes or Perry freezes up occasionally or Romney sounds prissy. Those things don’t matter. They are style over substance. What matters is understanding how the candidates think because what is truly critical is understanding how each candidate will approach whatever problems they face on the job. In other words, whether or not they know the capital of Mexico doesn’t matter, but knowing how they would analyze an invasion of Mexico by Venezuela does. Here is what I’ve seen so far (you may see things differently):
Cain: Cain thinks like an executive. He’s hands off when it comes to details and he expects “his people” to carry out his orders. This is similar in style to Ronald Reagan. However, Cain lacks Reagan’s strong knowledge base and fundamental theoretical understanding of conservatism, and he has yet to show solid political instincts. His biggest flaw appears to be an assumption that those around him will work toward the goals he sets.

Gingrich: Gingrich is the smartest man on stage. He is also politically savvy. BUT his history tells me he will often base his decisions on the wrong motives, such as ego or a desire to be loved. This overrides his intelligence and makes him unpredictable.

Paul: Paul is a smart man with deep knowledge and a generally solid decision making process. However, he is prone to erroneous conspiracy theories and is fundamentally wrong on certain issues.

Romney: Romney is afraid of decisions. He avoids them at all cost and immediately backtracks at the first sign of disagreement.

Perry: Perry wants to let others make decisions for him. This means we don’t know who will actually be making decisions.

Bachmann: Bachmann has failed to demonstrate any independent thinking. She follows bandwagons and believes knowledge of trivia is a substitute for analysis.

Santorum: Santorum is a disaster. He only wants to hear people who agree with him and he simply does not understand the issues or people.
Some of these problems I can overlook, others I can’t. But one thing is clear: most of the things the MSM focuses on are irrelevant to understanding these people.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

60 Minutes Outs Pelosi

The Democrats are masters of corruption. They talk about hating evil corporations and helping the poor, but it’s all for show: the Democrats use government to enrich themselves. The reason they’ve gotten away with this for so long is the media covers up for them. So why did 60 Minutes just “out” Pelosi?

Here’s the story. In 2008, Nancy Pelosi “somehow” got the chance to buy into (subscribe to) the Visa initial public offering (IPO). For those who don’t know, this is something only insiders get to do. IPOs are almost always limited to company employees, their families, and large companies connected to making the public offering happen, i.e. the investment bank, a few institutional clients, company creditors and lawyers. Pelosi was none of these, yet she got in.

Indeed, Pelosi bought between $1 million and $5 million worth of stock. She paid $44 per share to buy in. Two days later, the IPO was issued to the public and the stock price soared to $65 per share. Two month later, it was $85 per share. She had almost doubled her money in two months.

So how did Pelosi get into this IPO? Well, it turns out that companies looking to build good will in Congress will sometimes let selected members of Congress in on their IPOs. And why would Visa care about Nancy Pelosi? Because two weeks after Pelosi bought into this IPO, the Credit Card Fair Fee Act was introduced in the House. This bill would have prevented credit card companies like Visa from charging certain fees. How much in fees? The credit card companies took in $48 billion in these fees in 2008 alone.

This bill passed the Judiciary Committee and apparently had broad public support as high as 77% in one poll. Yet, for some strange reason, Pelosi never let this bill get to the House floor for a vote. Imagine that.

And Pelosi wasn’t done there. Another bill, called the Credit Card Interchange Fee Act of 2008, which would have required credit card companies to disclose rates, met the same fate: Pelosi killed it. Instead, she brought to the floor a vote on a similarly named bill which only provided for further study. That's not a bad return on investment for Visa since it cost Visa nothing to let Pelosi ride along on their IPO.

Other IPOs in which Pelosi made money include Gupta (88% profit in two days), Netscape and UUNet (100% profit in one day), Remedy Corp., Opal, Legato Systems, Act Networks, etc. In 2007, Pelosi put $100,000 in an IPO with natural gas company Clean Energy Fuels and $500,000 in an IPO for natural gas company Quest Energy Partners. Then she started pushing natural gas bills in Congress. Tom Brokaw actually asked her if she had made significant personal investments in natural gas companies and if this represented a conflict of interest and she dodged the question.

But this is nothing new for Democrats. In just the last couple years:
● Pelosi got special treatment for donor Kaiser Permanente under ObamaCare.

● Democrat Max Baucus, who made his girlfriend the US Attorney for Montana, apparently made the same kinds of insider trades Pelosi did.

● Democrats Jim Moran, Peter Visclosky, and John Murtha directed $137 million in defense contracts to clients of a lobbyist who funneled more than $380,000 in illegal campaign contributions to them.

● Democrat Chris Dodd, who wrote banking regulation legislation, got sweetheart loans from the banks that would have been effected.

● Pelosi budget supercommittee appointee Xavier Becerra, sent out a fundraising letter to the companies whose programs he could now cut.

● The Congress Black Caucus has been particular good at illegally giving federal money to their friends and family, see e.g. Democrats Sanford Bishop and Eddie Bernice Johnson (scholarships to relatives), Charlie Rangel (tax breaks to donors) and Maxine Waters (money to relatives’ banks).

● As a Senator, Democrat Joe Biden, who was basically owned by MBNA worked to make credit card debt harder to discharge in bankruptcy.

● Democrat Obama gave the Treasury to Goldman Sachs and GM to his union friends. His donors at GE had record profits yet paid no taxes. GE also gets waivers from Obama for laws they’ve lobbied for. Of course, Obama also gave thousands of Obamacare waivers to donors.

● It’s getting increasingly obvious Obama steered $535 million in taxpayer dollars to big-time Obama donor ($100k) and “green-jobs” showpiece Solyndra as it was failing.

● Democrat Jon Corzine managed to “lose” $700 million in client money when his new company, MF Global went belly up. . . after donating $500,000 to Obama’s reelection.
Of course, the MSM has long ignored all of this. So why report the Pelosi story now? Could the MSM be about to become honest about exposing Democratic corruption? Or did Pelosi just cross some secret line?

How about this: this information was first uncovered by the Heritage Foundation. They were, in fact, writing a book about it. I suspect 60 Minutes realized this information would reach the public, no matter how hard the MSM tried to ignore it because Pelosi has such a high profile. Rather than let this blow up during the election and hurt all Democrats, 60 Minutes chose to cover this now, during the silly season where little is happening in Washington and the public is preparing for the coming holidays, i.e. 60 Minutes wants to defuse this now.

If I’m wrong, then 60 Minutes will follow up on this and attempt to get Pelosi to disgorge the profits and/or resign from Congress. But I wouldn’t hold my breath.

What do you think is going on?

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Debate Wrap Up: 89 Seconds And Counting

The current debate system is a joke, as highlighted by Saturday’s foreign policy debate. There isn’t enough time to get anything useful from the candidates, the format encourages speaking in soundbites, the division of time is incredibly biased, and the questions asked are awful. Here is your debate wrap up and a few complaints.

Unequal Time: If you’ve watched the debates, then you noticed there are too many people on stage to get any useful flow of discussion or meaningful answers. In fact, the candidates are being asked to speak in soundbites. But before we get to that, have you noticed that the distribution of time is highly skewed toward Romney and Perry? Here’s some proof.

A University of Minnesota study has determined how much time was given to each candidate in the last three debates before this week. Here are the results:
41 min. Romney
34 min. Perry
24 min. Bachmann
22 min. Huntsman
21 min. Cain
21 min. Gingrich
21 min. Santorum
18 min. Paul
Fascinating, isn’t it? Romney gets twice as much time as anyone except Perry. In last Tuesday’s debate, Romney actually got 25% of the total time, leaving the other seven to divide the rest. In Saturday’s debate, Ron Paul was given a grand total of 89 seconds to speak. . . less than one second for every minute of the debate.

After the debate, Bachmann’s campaign produced an email proving that CBS intentionally minimized candidates. In an email inadvertently copied to Bachmann’s staff, CBS News political analyst John Dickerson was lukewarm about a post-debate interview with Bachmann hoping he could get a higher-tiered candidate. Interestingly, he mentions in this internal e-mail that Bachmann would not be getting many questions during the debate: “let’s keep it loose though since she’s not going to get many questions and she’s nearly off the charts in the hopes that we can get someone else.”

Why invite her at all?

Inadequate Time: Even beyond the issue of the time being divided unfairly, the real issue is the completely inadequate time in these debates. How in the world can you explain how you would reform health care in 30 seconds? How can you explain what’s gone wrong with Obama’s foreign policy and what you would do different to solve both Afghanistan and Pakistan in 30 seconds?

Unfortunately, this leads to speaking in soundbites, which tell us nothing. Newt in particular has mastered this art, and that’s one thing that keeps me nervous about him. Indeed, Newt’s answers all follow this pattern: Attack the moderator for asking the question and complain about being unable to answer in the short time given. Huff. “Reluctantly” agree to answer and spit out a rapid succession of key words and phrases to give the impression Newt has significant knowledge about the issue and that he was prepared to give a lengthy response before he “shockingly” learned he would only be given 30 seconds to respond. Finish with soundbite. The next time he does this, ask yourself if he actually told you anything? The answer is no, he didn’t.

Romney, by comparison, goes straight to soundbite speak. He spits out lots of words and generic thoughts that mean nothing: “I’ll be tough with people that deserve it and rebuild our relationship with our friends while maintaining America’s interests.” Does that actually mean anything? No. Being tough could be anything from nuking them to sending a harsh letter, and how do you rebuild a relationship with a friend, whoever that is, and rebuild it into what? And what are America’s interests? This is placebo-speak. Newt finishes his responses the same way.

Moreover, the questions are horrible: How do you make decisions? Do you believe in torture? Should we ever go to war? How do we “fix” Pakistan? These are softball, meaningless questions that are so vague they cannot lead to genuinely useful answers.

Saturday’s Performances: Finally, you want to know how the debate went, so here's a summary.
Gingrich: Gingrich won. He had excellent soundbites and sounded the most knowledgeable. He also had an excellent answer, which he and Cain seemed to share, about how to handle Iran -- covert action to disrupt their nuclear program including killing scientists and supporting Iranian opposition groups. He also said when an American joins a terrorist group and goes to war against the United States, they have no civil rights and our military can kill them just like any enemy combatant -- it's sad this even had to be explained to the MSM. Newt also has adopted Cain’s happy outlook and has nothing but love for everyone else on stage. That plays well.

Cain: Cain had a great night because he had solid answers (though the neocons continue to mock him). In particular he led off on Iran and his answer was a home run (see Newt's answer above). He also gave a solid answer about how he would make decisions, which is listening to knowledgeable people with a variety of opinions and choosing among them. He gave a good answer on torture too, which is he wouldn’t allow torture, but he doesn’t think waterboarding is torture.

Romney: Romney offered many platitudes. He believes in sanctions against Iran. . . and war, though he won’t call it that and he won’t say when it would become an option.

Perry: Perry wasn’t drunk or drugged, but he made it clear he still doesn’t understand the difference between Texas and Washington -- his answer to how he would make decisions was that he knows good people in Texas. He had a great applause line about zeroing out foreign aid, BUT he actually backtracked immediately and said each country could then explain why they needed aid. . . so “zero” is actually “no change.”

Bachmann: Bachmann tried to bury us with minutia by listing lots of troop numbers. Yawn. She also said the US has nowhere to put people it captures in the field, which is laughably stupid.

Santorum: Santorum exposed yet another serious flaw in his thinking when he said he would only hire people who think like he does. Those are called “yes men,” and Santorum sounds increasingly like someone who should never be trusted with power. He also continues to whine that if all those evil Republicans in Washington hadn’t opposed him over and over, the world would be nearly perfect today.

Paul: Paul didn’t promise to disarm. To the contrary he said that if we need to go to war, then he would go to Congress, get the authority and win it and get it over with.

Huntsman: I’m going to say something nice about Huntsman, though it pains me. Huntsman was more honest than the others. On instances like how to handle China to the elimination of foreign aid, the other candidates said things to rile up the pitchfork crowd, but always quietly reversed that in the small print. Huntsman was the only one to be honest about these issues and went straight to the small print. For that, he deserves credit. Unfortunately, his foreign policy sounds a lot like Obama’s.

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Debate Wrap: The Education of CNBC

Another debate is in the books. We learned little. CNBC made fools of themselves. One candidate imploded spectacularly. A couple impressed. And the rest were there too!

Epic Loser: Rick Perry. Do you remember the “agony of defeat” guy from Wide World of Sports? Rick Perry just topped him. For the first half of the night, Perry proved he doesn’t realize that being President won’t be like being Governor of Texas where even the Democrats are solid conservatives. Then it happened. Perry proudly claimed he would eliminate three departments if elected. He named two. . . and then he froze. For about a minute, he was unable to tell us which agency he passionately wanted to eliminate, and he couldn’t think of a way to end his sentence either. He just stood there stunned like Wiley Coyote with his arm pointed at Ron Paul and two fingers stuck up in the air. Finally, he said, “Oops.” Then someone suggested “the EPA” and he heartily agreed, only to admit a moment later that wasn’t the agency and he still couldn’t think of the name of his nemesis. Rick. . . quit.

Winner: Newt Gingrich. Newt was the big winner, just edging out Cain. Newt was on fire. He was calm and brilliant. He showed both the breadth and depth of his knowledge and he took down the CNBC hacks with devastating wit:
● He took down Maria Bartiromo and Jim Cramer with: “it’s sad the media doesn’t report accurately on how the economy works.” Both Cramer and Bartiromo had shown a lot of economic ignorance, like when Cramer demanded from each candidate: “do you really believe a company can make a profit and create jobs at the same time!!!” Uh. You pretty much have to Jim or you fail and all the jobs go away.

● Or when he blasted Maria’s ridiculous question asking the candidates to tell her in 30 seconds how they would fix health care (18% of the economy): “My colleagues have done a terrific job of answering an absurd question!!” Maria didn’t like that.

● Or when he crushed a sleazy question by John King on what Gingrich told Fannie and Freddie (King wrongly implied Gingrich was paid $300,000 by Fannie and Freddie to act as their lobbyist): “I gave them advice which they absolutely didn’t follow.”
Ultimately, Gingrich won because he gave the strongest performance. This will continue to solidify him as the alternative to Cain for conservatives, which will keep him in the race and may let him overtake Cain when Perry/Bachman/Paul and Santorum start quitting. Don’t be surprised if he draws neck and neck with Cain soon.

Winner: Herman Cain. Everyone wanted to know how Cain would handle THE question. He was brilliant. He tossed it away by pointing out the public wants to hear about important matters and said America deserves better than character assassination. An upset Maria Bartiromo immediately tried to assassinate his character with the sleazy tactic of asking Romney if he would hire Cain given Cain’s answer. The audience booed her. This is significant because it tells us Republican primary voters despise the gotcha game the media is playing with Cain and want to move on.

Beyond that, Cain explained why his 9-9-9 plan works: (1) it eliminates $430 billion Americans waste manipulating the tax code each year, (2) it eliminates hidden taxes, and (3) it gets Washington out of the game of picking winners and losers. He argued it would make America more competitive against China: “the tax code is what sends jobs overseas.” He also shot down the argument it would result in higher rates by first questioning the stupidity of the idea that this was a unique problem to his plan (this argument can be used against any plan) and then by saying the transparency of his plan would make it harder for politicians to get away with raising rates -- an argument against the tax code tinkerers.

Cain was jovial and knowledgeable -- something which tells us he’s not affected by the harassment issue. My one criticism is he needs to speak more broadly than just his 9-9-9 plan or it will start to sound like snake oil... it can’t cure everything.

Winner: Ron Paul. Ron Paul was excellent. He made the great point that the areas where we have problems (housing bubble, student loans, stock market bubbles, health care) are all the direct result of government intervention and government money. And when the government helps one group it often hurts another, such as when the government keeps interest rates low to help banks, it cheats the elderly who rely on interest for income. The CNBC crew were oddly stunned to hear this. Call it a teachable moment.

Draw: Romney. On one hand, Romney’s a clear winner because he continues to come across as acceptable. But I suspect he’s actually a loser. His current strategy is like a prevent defense in football: rather than trying to win the nomination, he’s just trying to survive while the others all lose the nomination. The problem with this strategy is he’s letting others decide his fate for him. Right now, that works because people haven’t made up their minds -- so 25% support keeps him tied for the lead. But once the other 75% begin to settle on one or two candidates, 25% won’t be enough and he will have blown his chances to win people over.

This strategy also confirms the fear conservatives have that Romney has no leadership skills. You see this whenever he gets criticized because he starts to dance because he’s afraid to defend his beliefs. He had no response when CNBC pointed out that his tax plan accepts the Democratic premise that progressive taxes are good and the implicit class warfare arguments. At one point, he firmly agreed with Ron Paul about health care, only to turn to Jello moments later when he was asked if that means he no longer believes there’s a role for government to provide insurance to the uninsured.

His answer to the Cain question also demonstrates the problem. Bartiromo sleazily asked him to attack Cain (“would you hire Cain as a CEO given his answers”). A leader would have seized the moment: “I don’t know what Herm did or not, BUT I think it’s obscene the way the media.....” Romney didn’t do that. Instead, he said it wasn’t his place to comment. If he doesn’t think it’s his place to comment when an American citizen is being slandered by the media, then why would we want him as a our leader?

Last night, it struck me for the first time that this prevent defense wasn’t working anymore. Romney seemed a lot less relevant than before. So I suspect he may eventually look back on last night as the moment his candidacy started to slip away.

Loser: Maria Bartiromo/CNBC. CNBC sells itself as a no-nonsense pro-business channel. Their claim is based on having more knowledgeable reporters and deeper analysis than others. Last night was full of nonsense “gotcha” questions, cheap shots, and whiny, abusive and shrill comments. Maria and Jim Cramer were particularly rude and proved they don’t actually understand economics.

Loser: Michele Bachmann. Bachmann continues to talk about her tax plan, which doesn’t exist. If you ask her any question, she whines her way through all of her talking points, always in the same order, and she’s never seemed less relevant than last night.

Loser: Rick Santorum. Rick can’t win the nomination. So presumably, he’s playing to raise his profile for fundraising purposes. But Rick is not helping himself. In the last couple debates he was simply obnoxious, talking over people and making unfair attacks. Last night, he smugly fell in love with himself. Then he declared himself an advocate of the poor by throwing the Republican Party under the bus. He didn’t understand what “picking winners and losers” means or why it’s bad. He also chastised the others for wanting to cause problems with China, after saying last time he wanted to start a trade war with them. He also promises subsidies to his favored industries while saying his plan (which also doesn’t exist) would eliminate subsidies. And yet, Mr. Inconsistent attacks the others for not being consistent in unspecified ways.

Loser: CNBC. Finally, CNBC gets a thumbs down for not streaming this over the net.

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Occupy Animal Farm

Meanwhile, in fantasy land, the OWS (bowel) movement continues its inexorable march toward Animal Farm. We’ve got oppressive government, crime waves, deaths, and ironies galore! Come one come all, unless you’re homeless or a Jew. . . or you don't want to be raped.
Occupy Rape
Zuccotti Park, the Mecca of OWS, has turned into a gathering of predators. Apparently, the west end of the park has become so dangerous that people are warned not to go there anymore. This has included assault, drug dealing, drug use, and rape. Naturally, the idiot protesters are claiming this is all the doing of the police. Said one protester:
“We are convinced the rise in crime is being partly manufactured by the authorities. A lot of people who have ended up in the park have said that the police told them: ‘Take it to Zuccotti.’”
Snicker snicker. I wish that were true, but I’m not on drugs, so I know better.

Rape, by the way, is becoming an epidemic. In the past few weeks, there have been a series of rapes and attempted rapes at OWS camps all over the country. In Zuccotti park, it’s gotten so bad that OWS females have banded together and created female-only sleeping tents under the theory that there’s “safety in numbers.” Interestingly, the OWS gangs have discouraged the victims from calling the police and are actually threatening protesters who do contact the police. Check out this odd quote from an OWS woman: “We don’t tell anyone. We handle it internally. I said too much already.

And how have they handled it? So far, they’ve formed a police force that shines flashlights in the faces of rapists and then yells at them to leave with the chant (and no, I’m not kidding): “Pervert! Pervert! Get the f–k out!”

Call me crazy, but I don’t think the drummers are getting value for their taxes.

So let’s think about this for a moment. First, they are allowing OWS females to become rape victims because they're doing nothing to stop the rapists or keep them from repeating. Secondly, they've done nothing to reform the rapists, which is something leftists always claim is society's responsibility. Apparently not. Third, since when has it been acceptable in liberal circles to accuse someone of being a “pervert?” And since when has it been acceptable to just chase criminals away to another jurisdiction? Try chasing ours to Mexico and see what liberals say. Finally, the rape industry, which tells us there are ten rapes for every reported rape, chastises society for discouraging the reporting of rape. Yet these same people are telling these women not to report their rapes because they fear the publicity will make OWS look bad.

But at least they’re sympathetic to these young women, right? Uh, no. Scoffed one male OWS protester: “Sexual harassment gets called rape, and it’s not.” Interesting. So women make false rape allegations and sexual harassment isn’t a big deal then?

Anyhoo, Zuccotti Park isn’t the only free-fire zone when it comes to sexual predators. Rapes have been reported at: OWS Cleveland, Baltimore, Boston, Glasgow, Lawrence Kansas, and Ottawa. In Dallas, an OWS protester sexually assaulted a child. In Seattle, an OWS protester exposed himself to children. In Portland, a sex offender has registered OWS as his home. In Denver, a protester groped a TV journalist. In Kansas, they sexually assaulted a reporter. In Manchester New Hampshire, a woman pimped out her teen.

Other incidents of note, excluding the thousands of arrests, property damage, and using children as human shields, include two overdose deaths in Vancouver, a murder at OWS Oklahoma City, a knife fight at OWS Austin, Neo-Nazis in OWS Phoenix, etc. And of course, there is massive anti-Semitism throughout the movement.
Some Are More Equal Than Others
Finally, there is yet another irony that just has to be pointed out. You may recall, this “leaderless” group of anti-fascists has formed a General Assembly, right? (Plus the police force, the taxes, the rules, etc.). Well, the brown-shirts have taken over.

First, a small group of them formed a new politburo, called the Spokes Council. This group, apparently numbering around six, is locate at Zuccotti Park and have seized control of all the money the OWS movement has gathered. . . and they don’t want to share with the others or the other OWS sites. When other OWS dissenters objected or tried to find out details about this Council or what they were doing with the $500k, they found themselves silenced. Not only has the council ordered that they be ignored, but they’ve been drown out by the zombie crowds.

This Council also imposed rules on the General Assembly which allow 1.27% of the protesters to overrule the other 98%. They have made it impossible for anyone who isn’t in Zuccotti Park to have a voice in their “government” and they apparently meet in secret.

I guess Kumbaya has been replaced with Zuccotti ┼░ber Alles.

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Austerity?! You're Kidding, Right?

It drives me nuts that everyone keeps claiming we’ve entered an “austerity” period in government. You can’t read an article in The Economist without them whining about this supposed austerity “endangering the recovery.” Seriously, every. . . single. . . article. And they aren’t alone. Most journalists now whine that “austerity” has “sapped growth” and hurt the economy. Noted liar Paul Krugman recently claimed “the turn toward austerity is a major factor in our growth slowdown.” This is demonstrably false.

In April, the White House and Congress agreed to a “draconian” $38 billion cut in the 2011 budget -- a whopping 1% of the $3.82 trillion leviathan. Oh my! Then in August they agreed to cut $2.4 trillion over the next decade. . . which would be 6% assuming the budget doesn’t increase for ten years (RFLMAO).

So there is austerity, right? It’s slight, but it is there, right?

Well, no.

Data from the Treasury shows that federal spending in 2011 is actually $120 billion higher than it was in 2010. In other words, spending is 5% higher than it was in 2010 and the supposed $38 billion in cuts has somehow morphed into $120 billion in additional spending.

That doesn’t sound like austerity to me.

Ok, so maybe we’re looking in the wrong place? Maybe the problem is really at the state level? After all, we keep hearing about belt-tightening and layoffs at the state level. Could that be where this supposed austerity is happening?

Well, no.

State budgets in 2010 were 8% higher than they were in 2008. And in 2011, they are 5% higher than they were in 2010. And in 2012, they’re estimated to be 2.6% higher again.

So where is this austerity? It’s made up. Liberals have spent like drunken sailors for the past decade. Federal spending is up 93% in 10 years and state spending is up 72% in 10 years, and there are no signs this growth is slowing any time soon. But they don’t want you knowing that, so they whine about austerity. And supposedly reputable magazines like The Economist prove they are too incompetent to even look up the truth. It’s a sad world.

Finally, let me point something out vis-a-vis the Democratic belief in stimulus spending. Federal spending increased 93% in ten years, yet the economy produced ZERO new jobs this decade. What gives? Maybe federal spending doesn't create jobs after all. . .

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

More Leftist Stupidity And Scandals

This has been an interesting week full to the brim with leftist/Democratic stupidity. Of course, the MSM hasn’t noticed because. . . well, they refuse to notice. Plus, they found something else to entertain themselves, lynching Herman Cain. Let’s discuss!

Item One: Cain Non-Fallout. Despite the MSM’s best efforts, this whole Cain scandal doesn’t appear to be hurting him. To the contrary, it seems to be making his support more entrenched and it brought out the support of people like Ann Coulter and Rush. Also, the day after the scandal, Cain had his biggest fundraising day ever online. That means average people are voting with their dollars and they want to show their support. That’s what happens when you slander someone. . . you make them more popular.

Item Two: StupidStudent Loans. Obama suddenly wants to rescue college kids. Now let me say up front, there is a huge problem in this country with the cost of education. It is ridiculous what college students are being charged and it is hurting our economy by making people less mobile. Something needs to be done.

What I am not in favor of doing, however, is increasing the amount of student loan money available. That is exactly the wrong thing to do. Colleges have been able to jack up their costs precisely because Uncle Sam handed out student loans to cover the costs. That was a subsidy to fat, rich schools paid on the backs of young professionals.

So what does Obama want to do to fix this problem? Increase the availability of student loans. Jerk.

To trick students into thinking they aren’t getting the shaft, Obama is promising to reduce the minimum monthly payment from 15% to 10%. . . so you pay longer. He also promises to let you consolidate your loans. . . so you pay longer. And as anyone who has ever taken out a loan knows, this will dramatically increase the amount the students repay. I guess being a community organizer didn’t include lessons on credit management.

But never fear, Obama wants to reduce the time before loan forgiveness kicks in from 25 years to 20. So if you graduate from college at the age of 25, your college loan slavery will now end at 45 instead of 50, and you can then start saving for your retirement. . . 20 years behind the curve. Bravo President AAAhole, bravo.

Item Three: Where’s Waldo’s Money. With Solyndra waiting in the wings, a new scandal has emerged. This time the company is called MF Global. MF Global is a commodities trading company that just went belly up. The man who ran MF Global is none other than Jon Corzine, former New Jersey Senator/Governor (lost to Christie), former chief of Goldman Sachs and MAJOR Barack Obama fundraiser. Since April 2011, for example, Corzine has raised more than $500,000 for Obama’s re-election.

But it’s not the fact the company went bankrupt that is the problem. What’s interesting is that $700 million of client money is “missing.” Right now, it’s believe that as the firm began suffering losses, it used its customers’ money to cover its own trades, which of course violates trading regulations which require brokers to keep their own funds separate from their customers’ funds. If any of this proves true, look for jail time to come out of this one. I wonder how much of the $500,000 Corzine raised for Obama came from MF Global customers?

Item: Celebrity Weirdoes. Hollywood is stumbling back into Obama’s arms as we knew they would. Scarlett Johansson, who is famous primarily for keeping naked pictures of herself on her cell phone, plans to support Obama: “My heart belongs to Barack.” Yeah, and your brain belongs to Low-Grade Brain Rental. Others are lining up as well to offer their best Lewinskies.

Meanwhile, unfunny adult-bed-wetter (yes, that’s true) Sarah Silverman is attacking Rick Perry. She’s upset the “N*ggerhead Scandal” had no effect, so she’s determined to try to keep it alive until someone cares. Personally, I think like many liberals she just likes using the N-word while pretending she’s actually outraged. . . ditto with her prior use of “chink.”

And from the land of the absurd, Michael Moore is trying to fit in with the OWS Movement. Sadly for Michael, who has net worth of $50 million (but value of only $1.25), he’s more of a 0.99%er than a 99%er. On the plus side, he’s got the right level of stupid and hypocrite to fit right in!

Item: OWS Irony of the Week. Finally, there is a rumor making the rounds that OWS is now trying to copyright their name. Capitalist pigs.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Judge A Man By His Friends

I’ve been trying to put together a voting guide to give you the “pro” case for each major candidate. Unfortunately, every time I start gathering “pro” information, certain candidates come out with more “con” reasons, candidates like Mitt Romney. The latest example is that Romney keeps hiring former Bush people. Ugh.

Hiring Bushies is bad in and of itself. Whether you liked Bush the person or not, the fact is he was not a conservative. From needlessly raising CAFE standards, to the Ted Kennedy No Child Left Behind Act, to expanding bankrupt Medicare to cover prescription drugs, to failing entirely to prepare for post-war Iraq, to opening the doors of the Treasury to Goldman Sachs, to doing nothing to lower the nation’s regulatory burden, to his tinkering tax cuts which did nothing to increase the national incentive to work, to TARP. . . Bush was no conservative.

His staff was worse, as they’ve continued to prove over and over again now that they are out of the White House. They bleed RINO blue and spend their days attacking conservatives and pimping for lobbyists. The advice they give is “surrender” and “stop being so partisan.” They never have unkind words for liberals, but somehow can’t find anything good to say about conservatives. So who in their right mind would bring these people onto their team? Romney.

And it gets worse.

The latest former Bush staffer in question is Alex Mistri. Beside being a Bushie, Mistri was a registered lobbyist for Solyndra. Yes, that Solyndra. This is one of the bigger Obama scandals and should become one of the bigger clubs with which the Republican nominee will beat Obama during the election. Hiring Solyndra’s lobbyist all but prohibits Romney from making that attack -- in fact, it basically says there was nothing criminal involving Solyndra. This is beyond stupid. Hiring this man at this time tells us something is very wrong with Romney’s judgment.

The next Bushie is Jim Connaughton, a big firm attorney and energy company lobbyist. Connaughton was the architect of Bush’s climate plan when he was Chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. This is the same White House that mandated the use of renewable fuels in 2005 and raised fuel economy standards at the urging of the Democrats when he was a lame duck. Near the end of Bush’s term, Connaughton even embraced a national goal for controlling “greenhouse gases,” i.e. regulation to stop global warming.

The other Bushie is Greg Mankiw, the former chairman of Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers. Mankiw was an “outspoken advocate” for a carbon tax. His current job is to help craft Romney’s jobs agenda.... presumably destroying jobs, not making jobs. In September 2007, Mankiw wrote this in the New York Times:
“There is a broad consensus. The scientists tell us that world temperatures are rising because humans are emitting carbon into the atmosphere. Basic economics tells us that when you tax something, you normally get less of it. So if we want to reduce global emissions of carbon, we need a global carbon tax.”
Maybe we should tax stupidity.

Since Romney is noted for his flip-flops on global warming, these last two choices are downright foolish. What should we trust? Should we believe Romney’s recent conversion to global warming skepticism? Or should it concern us that he’s filling his team with global warming enthusiasts?

Finally, as we mentioned yesterday, Cain is being smeared with unidentified sexual harassment allegations. It is worth mentioning again, that Bushie Karl Rove, who has been acting as an unofficial Romney cheerleader on Fox, has jumped on this along with the MSM and is trying to smear Cain. Way to go Karl.

Whether we believe these people will influence Romney the wrong way or not, their hiring demonstrates a lack of judgment by Romney. In hiring them, Romney defuses two strong issues which should be used against Obama and instantly raises skepticism in conservative ranks that he is who we fear he is -- an establishment, dead-center technocrat. Yet, he gets NO benefit from hiring them because whatever wisdom they may bring is readily available in less offensive personages all over the country. So doing this was stupid. Romney gave himself a self-inflicted wound and got no benefit for it in return. That’s not the kind of judgment we want in a Republican President.

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