Thursday, March 29, 2012

Supreme Court ObamaCare Wrap-up!

It seems the individual mandate in ObamaCare is doomed. The question now is whether or not all of ObamaCare will be struck down. I originally doubted that it would be, but now I’m thinking it might be. One thing is for sure though, losing will not help the Democrats as many of them are trying to suggest.

Thought One: Down she goes! The Supreme Court will strike down the individual mandate. Kennedy was considered the weak link for the conservative side but even he observed that ObamaCare “changes the relationship of the Federal government to the individual in a very fundamental way.” That’s lawyer speak for “unprecedented power grab.” This court will not sanction an unprecedented power grab. The mandate is toast.

Thought Two: Incompetence. The MSM’s legal analysts should be fired for incompetence. When this lawsuit was first filed, they claimed it was “frivolous.” In legal parlance that means the arguments are so ludicrously wrong that no rational attorney could possibly make those arguments in good faith. Even as late as two days ago, these same “experts” predicted ObamaCare would win on a 7-2 vote. Now they’re despondent that ObamaCare will be beaten. To give you a sense of how wrong this is, it’s like an “expert” in aviation claiming that airplanes are too heavy to fly. . . after having flown to the interview on a Boeing. Everyone who claimed this was frivolous should be fired for incompetence.

Thought Three: Incompetence (redux). Everyone now wants to blame the solicitor general for blowing this case. That’s wrong, and the “experts” know that. The Supreme Court does not base decisions of national significance on which side brought the better lawyer. All Verrilli’s incompetence means is that the court will do its own research into these issues. And don’t forget, “it’s own” in this case also means hundreds of legal briefs filed by friends of both sides (amicus curiae briefs). This case never hinged on the performance of either attorney. So don’t let liberals get away with pretending that the law should have been found valid if only Donald Verrilli weren’t such a moron. That is false and it’s meant to distract from the fact this law was an abuse of power.

Thought Four: Severability. The hardest part of guessing Supreme Court decisions is guessing how far they will go. Right now, we have no way to know if the Supreme Court will strike down the entire law or just the individual mandate. They essentially have three choices: (1) strike the whole thing, (2) strike the mandate but leave the rest, or (3) strike the mandate and send the case back to the lower court to gather more evidence on what other parts also should be struck. Logic tells me, they will pick number three, but this court has proven to be bold.

Politically and legally speaking, it makes sense for the Supremes to strike the mandate and send the rest back to the lower court to gather evidence on which parts of the law rely on the mandate. Why? Because the court doesn’t like to decide things it doesn’t need to, and with the Republicans likely to control the House, Senate and Presidency after the election, the Supremes have the luxury of waiting to see how things go, i.e. Congress may do their dirty work. BUT. . . should Romney NOT win, then the 5-4 Court could end up a 4-5 Court. That fear may give this court an incentive to firmly decide as many things as possible right now -- hence, they are unexpectedly taking an affirmative action case next year.

Right now, the comments of the justices indicate they are leaning toward striking the entire thing. Scalia took the lead here and said that when you “take the heart out of the statute, the statute is gone.” His reasoning is simple: it distorts the congressional process for the court to pick and choose what survives. He also said it would be unrealistic to comb through the 2,700-page law to decide which parts were independent of the individual mandate. Liberal Justice Breyer actually echoed this when he asked the government, “What do you suggest we do? I mean, should we appoint a special master [to go through the law]?” He then placed the blame on the government for not specifically pointing out each provision which should stand. That’s usually a sign of a justice washing their hands of the case. I don’t believe Breyer will vote to strike the entire law, but this tells me he thinks the conservatives will and he is at peace with it.

Kennedy, who is viewed as the swing vote, also appears inclined to throw out the entire law. When Ginsburg said that the court should perform a “salvage job” rather than “a wrecking operation,” Kennedy retorted that doing surgery on the law would be “a more extreme exercise of judicial power.” And he said that “by reason of the court, we would have a new regime that Congress did not provide for, did not consider.” In other words, this would be court-created legislation and that is unacceptable.

The justice who concerns me a bit is Roberts. When it was argued that leaving the rest of the law in place would leave “a hollowed-out shell,” Roberts responded by saying, “but Congress would have passed part of that hollowed-out shell.” That could indicate a desire to leave the repeal up to Congress or at least get more information about Congress’s intent (i.e. send it back to the lower court for more evidence). That was the thrust of Ginsburg’s argument, that Congress must decide this, so they should leave the rest in place and let Congress fix it. But the thing about Ginsburg’s argument is that you can flip it on its head and make an equally valid argument. In other words, you can just as validly say that if Congress must make the decision, then the court should strike the law to give Congress a clean slate. That makes her argument worthless and if that’s all she’s got, then her side is out of ammo.

So while I really can’t tell you what will happen, it looks like it’s 4-4 with Roberts at bat, and I suspect he will strike the entire law because I’m not hearing a good reason not to.

As an aside, let me clarify the severability clause issue. People are claiming the absence of the severability clause means the whole law should be automatically struck down. That’s not accurate. That was the law 200 years ago -- if any portion of the law is bad, the whole thing gets struck down. That’s why people invented the severability clause, because it told courts that the legislature’s intent was to leave the rest of the law in place. Over time, the law morphed to the point that courts no longer automatically strike down whole laws. And the severability clause now is interpreted like this: if the clause is present, then the court must automatically uphold the rest of the law. But if the clause is absent, then the court MAY strike the entire law, IF the court finds that the unconstitutional piece is so vital to the intent of the legislation that the rest of the law could not continue without it -- there is no automatic striking. And we know the Supreme Court has accepted this interpretation of this missing severability clause here, because the arguments outlined above are the court working its way through the legal test of how integral this mandate is to the rest.

Thought Five: Can’t win by losing. The Democrats are trying to put a brave face on this. They claim that losing would wipe the slate clean for the Democrats and would remove the toxic stain of ObamaCare which cost them the 2010 election. Wrong. Their ObamaCare abuse was so bad it spawned a new political party -- the Tea Party, and it led to an historic thrashing at the polls. Having the Supreme Court declare ObamaCare unconstitutional does NOT wipe away that stain anymore than being convicted of murder makes people forgive you for killing your wife. To the contrary, this will confirm to the public that the Democrats massively abused their power.

James Carville also claims a loss will help because once ObamaCare goes down, “health care costs are gonna escalate unbelievably.” Hardly. ObamaCare does nothing to restrain costs, so why would its death cause costs to rise? To the contrary, with the elimination of the taxes, requirements and restrictions imposed by ObamaCare, one would expect costs to go back down -- or more likely stay flat. Moreover, health rates are generally fixed for the year at the end of the year and won’t go up until after the election, so even if Carville is right, it won’t happen before the election. Nice try, idiot.

Thought Six: Who are the ideologues? Finally, it’s fascinating that the left can simultaneously call the conservative justices “ideologues” as they admit that they don’t know which way three of the five justices will vote. At the same time, they ignore the fact the liberals made up their mind before they arrived and all spouted lockstep opinions. Who are the real ideologues?

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Bad News Keeps On Coming. . . For Obama

Yesterday, we talked about some of the problems Obama faces getting re-elected. That made me happy. So let’s do it again. Today, let’s talk about the economic problems Obama faces.

The economy is a mess. We’ve technically been out of recession since May 2009, but growth has been anemic (slightly below the long-term average) and job growth has been nonexistent. This will hurt Obama come re-election time. But “top line” economic numbers don’t bother people. What bothers people are the things that hit them personally. And that is where Obama is really hurting:
Unemployment: The unemployment rate in February was 8.3%. That means 12.8 million people are unemployed. The actual rate is closer to 16%, which means 25 million people are unemployed. Talk all you want about growth, but as long as most people in the country know one or more of these 25 million people personally, they won’t believe things are getting better.

Inflation: The official inflation rate is 2.9% in the US. But unofficially, people are recording a 12% rate. That means everyone is taking a 12% pay cut each year right now, and that’s the worst it’s been since Jimmy Carter’s era.

Home Values: It may not be fair to blame Obama for the housing collapse, but he will still feel the heat because Americans have used their homes as a form of retirement savings. And that means people are hurting. According to Case-Shiller, which provides housing price data to the stock market, home values are at their lowest level since 2003 AND they now suspect that suburban home prices may not recover in our lifetimes. Shiller says the shift toward renting and city living could mean “that we will never in our lifetime see a rebound in these prices in the suburbs.” That’s disastrous for Obama because it means that until things change, people will feel insecure and will spend less, which depresses the economy.

Gas Price: The biggie is gas prices. Gas currently sits at a national average of $3.90 and is expected to hit $4.25 by mid-May. Some analysts think this will go as high as $4.50 to $4.70 during the summer. Indeed, everyone is now warning that gas will keep going up until the summer is over. And while the MSM has studiously avoided letting anyone blame Obama for this, a Reuters poll shows that 68% of Americans disapprove of Obama’s handling of the issue.

What “handling” could they be upset about? Well, people overwhelmingly favor the Keystone Pipeline, they overwhelmingly favor offshore drilling, and they overwhelmingly favor fracking for natural gas. Obama has stood in the way of each.

Utility Costs: Obama’s EPA just issued rules forcing power plants to cut their carbon emissions. This means energy costs are about to go up again, just in time for air conditioning season.
Beyond this, seniors are worried the pension system keeps getting closer and closer to bankruptcy and Medicare barely works anymore because it's broke, the budget is out of control which is crushing consumer purchasing power and causing massive inflation, and civil servants have transformed themselves into a permanent elite class of rich, protected jerks living high on the amounts stolen from poor and middle class taxpayers. . . who aren't happy about it.

All of this is disastrous for Obama. That’s the good news.

The better news is that all of this can be fixed. . . just not by Obama. Getting spending under control will solve the budget and inflation problems. Extending the retirement age and capping benefits or running them lower than the rate of inflation will fix the pensions and Medicare issue. Gas prices can be fixed by approving more drilling and switching to natural gas. Republican attempts to break public sector unions are changing the bureaucratic landscape, and Republicans are getting the credit for things like school reform -- an area that once belonged exclusively to Democrats in voter’s minds.

Moreover, one of the biggest imbalances in our economy, the “collapse” of manufacturing is starting to right itself. First, manufacturing never collapsed. The US is still the largest or second largest manufacturer in the world depending on how you count it. Secondly, with wage inflation in China, it is now more cost efficient to open a new plant in the United States than it is to open the plant in China. And with wage growth showing no signs of stopping in China, you will soon see manufacturing return to the US.

The moral here is simple. The Democrats are doing everything wrong and are causing people genuine pain. That will ruin their election chances. And the Republicans have a chance, after the election, to set all of this right and win over the American people probably permanently. Good times will be here again!

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Obama's Bad Week Continues. . .

Obama can’t catch a break. He keeps making wrong move after wrong move because he has bad instincts. Not to mention, he apparently doesn’t have a clue how to get himself re-elected. Ha ha. Let’s discuss his most recent bad moves. Consider this the feel good article for the week. :)

El Stupido One: Obama really screwed up this week. While speaking to Vladimir Putin’s mini-me, Dmitri Medvedev, in South Korea, Obama said into an open microphone that he needed more time to surrender our missile shield as Putin demanded because of the election. Said Obama, “after my election, I will have more flexibility.” Whoops.

It is a scandal that Obama plans to surrender our missile shield and thereby expose Poland to an aggressive Russia. But that’s not why this was a problem for Obama. The real problem for Obama is the broader implication of what he said. This statement reminds voters that the only thing keeping him in check is the need to get re-elected. Once he gets re-elected, he will act like “real Obama.” That prospect will frighten conservatives, who will wonder how much worse he can get, and it will turn-off moderates, who had hoped he would moderate his views with a Republican Congress. What this does is rally conservatives behind Romney (now that the primaries are effectively over), and it will cause moderates to see Romney “the moderate” as more likely to be moderate than Obama, who has been using moderate rhetoric in public but is privately promising to go full-retard after the election. This hurts Obama.

El Stupido Two: This Trayvon Martin thing will blow up on Obama. He should have kept his trap shut. Why? For one thing, because it reminds people that Obama is a racist and he only seems to care about the suffering of blacks. . . “what state was that flood in again?” Indeed, people are starting to ask why Obama commented on Trayvon, but didn’t comment on the shooting death of a white Mississippi State student by three black males this week, or why he hasn’t commented on the shooting of two unarmed British tourists by a black Sarasota, Florida teen. Americans do not like presidents who play racial favorites and this reminds people that Obama is such a president.

Further, the misconduct of Trayvon’s exploiters will turn off the segment of the electorate that took Obama at face value when he said he would be the first post-racial president. Indeed, since his election, his allies have smeared anyone who criticized him as racist. Blacks in the Congressional Black Caucus cried racism when they were caught breaking laws. They made up false claims of racism against the Tea Party. Eric Holder has pursued a truly racist “civil rights” agenda. And now, Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton, the Black Panthers and others are busy inciting racial hatred. This is the exact opposite message Obama needs to send to win over moderate whites. And as more evidence comes out that Team Race is trying to lynch a possibly innocent man, the blowback is building. This appears to be Duke Lacrosse all over again. Indeed, we’ve now learned that a 13 year old witnesses says Zimmerman was the one being attacked -- and his wounds were consistent with that, we’ve heard the 911 call which is not at all what it was portrayed, and we’ve learned that Trayvon was a thug. Add in a mother who has trademarked his name so she can profit from his death and you have a recipe for significant blowback.

El Stupido Three: Finally, let’s discuss Obama’s campaign video. Obama has produced a 17 minute video pimping his re-election. The video is narrated by Tom Hanks. And it is fascinating.

First, this was a stupid thing to release because only diehard supporters or opponents will watch a 17 minute video. So there was nothing to be gained here. Then it got worse because right after its release another video was released of Tom Hanks getting caught on stage with a hedge fund manager who is in blackface and who makes racist comments. Hanks now claims that he was blindsided by the appearance of this man, but he wasn’t. He doesn’t leave the stage or chastise the man. Nope. Instead, he launches into an attack on Bill O’Reilly. This has neutered the 17 minute video entirely and raised the question of the double-standard liberals use. And following Slutgate, where the left tried to defend people like Bill Maher, the timing couldn’t have been worse.

Moreover, when you look at the video’s contents, you quickly realize that Obama has no idea how to get re-elected.
● The video itself is dark, depressing and defensive. And it’s crawling with self-pity as it keeps whining about how much responsibility has been dumped on our oft-golfing president. You can’t win the White House being whiny or pessimistic.

● Most of the video blames Bush. That’s not going to work four years after Bush left office.

● He’s terrified of his record. He never says “the stimulus package,” though there is one mention of the “Recovery Act.” He doesn’t tout Dodd Frank. He does talk about the auto bailouts, but he’s defensive as he tries to claim they extracted significant concessions from the unions. He mentions ObamaCare a lot, but only the promised benefits, which is the same sale pitch which keeps ObamaCare at the 40% support level in the polls. There’s almost no foreign policy mentioned except the killing bin Laden, which got Obama a 3% bounce which faded immediately. What the video does contain is a laundry list of promises to his different constituent groups (blacks, gays, feminists, enviros, etc.). That won’t play well if someone puts them all together for a general election commercial. Also, the whole video has been torn apart for being packed with lies and distortions. Even the leftist mouthpiece The Washington Post awarded it 3 out of 4 Pinocchios. That’s bad.
So what does this mean? It means he’s planning to run a depressing campaign. That’s a loser. He’s planning to blame Bush. Good luck. It means he’s afraid of his record. But without a crazed Republican in the race, that’s what this race will be about. Hence, he’s doomed, especially since the only achievements he’s willing to discuss either can’t get above 50% support in the polls or got him no credit with the public.

Add in the above, and you also have the Democrats going out their way to alienate the electorate by stirring up racial tensions, and Obama’s Medvedev comment putting the lie to his plan to run as a moderate. Right now, Obama and friends are doing everything wrong. They are alienating moderates, alienating whites, and energizing the conservative base. This could be one of the least competent campaigns in human history.

Finally, before you say, “don’t underestimate him,” keep in mind that Obama has never won a competitive election. All of his opponents imploded on their own. What’s the one thing Romney has shown cannot happen with him? He won’t implode.

Don't forget, it's Star Trek Tuesday at the film site. Today we resume the Politics of Trek series!

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Conservatives ARE Smarter Than Liberals

Liberals love to think they’re smarter than conservatives, but they aren’t. Conservatives are smarter than liberals, and we know this to be true for a variety of reasons. Now, Pew has give us more proof to add to the pile. But before we talk about Pew, let’s consider the proof we already have that conservatives are indeed smarter than liberals.

Here are six reasons why we know liberals are simply not very smart:

1. They support liberalism. No, I’m not being facetious. Liberalism has been an unmitigated disaster everywhere it’s been tried. It has bankrupted countries, destroyed inner city families, and made a mockery of education. Indeed, any area of our culture or economy which is dominated by liberals is a mess. And the more liberal a country is, the more likely it is to be broke with massive unemployment and little idea how to turn itself around. Not to mention that liberalism runs contrary to human nature, and its cousin socialism has slaughtered hundreds of millions of people. Einstein defined insanity as repeating the same behaviors and expecting different results, yet that is exactly what liberals are doing. Hence, anyone who still believes liberalism can work is either stupid or insane.

2. They reject reality. Anyone who ignores facts they don’t like and insists on believing things that are provably false just isn’t very smart. Yet, that describes liberalism to a T. They will believe things which have been debunked and ignore all evidence that disproves their beliefs. And, not only do they ignore evidence they don’t like, they attack the messenger and try to force people to accept their fantasy version of reality over genuine reality through groupthink and political correctness.

3. They accept contradictions. Anyone who can accept a logical contradiction is an idiot because it shows they have no ability to reason and they are willing to believe that which cannot be true just to maintain their worldview. And liberalism is crawling with logical contradictions. My recent favorite is Keynesian thought, which says that spending money helps the economy because it adds to the economy but simultaneously claims that taxes don’t hurt an economy even though taxes pull money from the economy.

4. They lack a principled framework through which to see the world. The liberal decision-making process is emotive and reactionary, it lacks consistency and any sort of framework upon which to base decisions. It is essentially “reasoning through gut feeling.” Inconsistency and lack of problem-solving methodology are evidence of weak, useless minds.

5. They are incapable of seeing the long term. All decisions have short-term and long-term consequences, yet liberals simply cannot grasp the concept of long-term effects. Only being able to grasp half an answer is evidence of stupidity.

6. They “admit” it. Liberalism’s most obnoxious trait is that liberals project their own worst traits onto others. Thus, while they act like racists/sexists/homophobes/ageists/etc-ists, they deny being any of these things and instead project these flaws onto others. They whine about conservatives speaking in code because they themselves speak in code. They accuse people of being liars when they are the liars, they accuse others of being “haters” when they have the hate, and they accuse others of being “fascists” when they are the fascists. So what do we make of liberals accusing conservatives of being closed-minded (a distinctly liberal, but not conservative, trait) and stupid? Hmm. Sounds like an admission to me.

And now we have more from Pew. Every year, Pew asks people a variety of questions to gage the public’s knowledge of various topics. If liberals are indeed smarter as they claim, they should dominate these tests, but they don’t. To the contrary, conservative blow them out.

Here are the results from the 2010 quiz:
● Men did better than women (50% to 35% correct) and in fact beat women on every question.
● College grads did much better than high school grads (61% to 33%).
● Age-wise, those in the 30+ brackets did much better than the 18-20 bracket (50% to 32%).
And Republicans (50%) and Independents (47%) did better than Democrats (40%).
In fact, it was even worse than it appears for the Democrats. On the 2010 Pew survey, Republicans outperformed the Democrats on 10 of 12 questions, with one tie and the Democrats winning the other question. On this year’s survey it was even worse. This year, Pew asked 19 questions and Republicans outperformed the Democrats on ALL 19 questions. Imagine that.

So these condescendingly smug liberals who see themselves as vastly more knowledgeable than Republicans. . . after all, they watch Stephen Colbert while you hillbillies are watching NASCAR. . . got smoked on 19 out 19 questions. And this continues a trend of Republicans smoking Democrats.

Sadly, the Democrats are probably too stupid to understand what this means, but feel free to try to explain it to them the next time they claim they are smarter than conservatives. I suggest using puppets to make it easier for them to understand.

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Conservative Tantrum Continues

In the past couple months, conservatives have proven that they don’t know what conservatism means, that they are hopeless suckers for the MSM rope-a-dope, that they are incapable of understanding math, and that they’re whiny hypocrites. Good grief. The latest involves their disparate reaction to two recent “gaffes” by Romney and Santorum.

Yesterday, Romney’s campaign spokesman was asked whether or not Romney had moved too far to the right to win the general election. He said:
“Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It's almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again.”
Conservatives went insane. “This proves Romney’s a flip flopper” they whined. Meanwhile, last week, Santorum was asked how he plans to win over voters seeing as how he has no plan to create jobs. Said Ricky:
“I don't care what the unemployment rate is going to be. It doesn't matter to me. My campaign doesn't hinge on unemployment rates and growth rates.”
Conservatives stuck their fingers in their ears and pretended not to hear this one.

So which one is more important? Or said differently, if conservatives weren’t acting like retarded children, which one of these should have bothered them more?

First, note a critical difference between these two gaffes in terms of who said them. Santorum’s gaffe was said by Santorum himself. It thus provides an important insight into his mindset. The Romney “gaffe,” however, was made by a spokesman. It is therefore inappropriate to attribute this to Romney or to whine that he’s gaffe prone or to claim that this gives us an insight into his true mentality... as conservatives are doing. Instead, the proper response to such a comment is to seek clarification from Romney himself. Romney, by the way, immediately rejected this quote when asked about it -- though conservatives continue to whine about it. Santorum, by comparison, doubled-down on stupid and conservatives doubled-down on intentional blindness to keep ignoring it.

Secondly, the biggest test to determine whether criticism is valid or just hypocritical is to ask if the critic would still be upset if someone else had said it. If the Romney question had been asked of Santorum and he gave the same response, would conservatives get all whiny-outraged? Hardly. They would have said, “well, that’s true. That’s why it doesn’t matter that Santorum’s been whining about pornography and Satan because the general election is a whole new contest and everything said now pretty much disappears.” In other words, if Santorum had said this, conservatives would not have called it a gaffe. So calling it a gaffe because Romney’s spokesman said it is hypocritical.

Now compare the response to Ricky’s gaffe. There is no doubt that any candidate who claimed that the unemployment rate doesn’t matter and who says they don’t care about unemployment would be viewed as having committed an horrific gaffe. Yet, conservatives hypocritically ignored this one.

Third, lets look at what was really said. In the Romney case, the aid was responding to a specific question about whether or not Romney could compete in the general election. His answer was both truthful and essentially what any candidate would have said -- general elections are fought differently from primaries and they essentially begin with a clean slate. He never said Romney planned to abandon his values. In fact, Romney’s values weren't even under discussion. What was under discussion was simply the question of candidate packaging. To interpret this as evidence that Romney has no values requires a deliberate misinterpretation because it requires assuming that the answer addressed a different question than what was really asked.

Now lets look at what Santorum said, because unlike the “Romney” quote, this one is vitally important. Rick has claimed repeatedly to be a Tea Party candidate despite the utter lack of an economic plan and lack of any plan to cut spending or the size of government. Rick also has whined that he’s been unfairly maligned as being concerned only about social issues despite the fact he has no economic plan, and he’s spent the campaign slurring Romney’s religion, slurring Obama’s religion, declaring himself the arbiter of what constitutes Christianity, waging a war against contraception, promising to push gays back into the closet, promising to somehow make people marry, and promising to focus the powers of the federal government like a laser beam on pornography.

So when Rick says that he doesn’t care about unemployment, Rick is accidentally admitting both that he does not care about Tea Party values AND that his attack on the MSM for “mischaracterizing” him is a lie. Indeed, Rick entirely confirms everything his critics have been saying with this quote, i.e. that he does not care about economic concerns.

Further, Rick wasn’t done talking when he said the above. He went on to say this:
“We have one nominee who says he wants to run the economy. What kind of conservative says the president runs the economy? What kind of conservative says, 'I'm the guy because of my economic experience that can create jobs?' I don't know.”
Think about this. Rick is essentially saying that HE BELIEVES conservatives should not get involved in trying to make the economy run better -- an interpretation which is completely confirmed by Rick’s lack of any economic plan. This is a declaration of satisfaction with the government the way it is today. And yet, conservatives weren’t stunned by this?

Moreover, Ricky then laughably claimed that his candidacy is about “freedom” (unlike Romney who wants to “control” the economy). Only his definition of “freedom” includes leaving Big Government unchanged, pushing gays into the closet, stopping people from having sex unless they intend to procreate, letting the government decide what people can read, having the government control the internet, forcing taxpayers to pay billions so Ricky can have HHS "promote families" (that’s his economic plan), having the government forcibly unionize companies like FedEx, etc. etc. etc. Again, conservatives ignored this.

Let’s be honest. To attack Romney for something his staffer said, which Romney immediately refuted, and which was both truthful and accurate and wouldn’t have raised an eyebrow if some other candidate had said it, and which wasn’t even discussing the point over which it has been used to attack Romney, is hypocritical and ridiculous and reflects very poorly on conservatives. To simultaneously ignore Rick's quote, which confirms all the worst fears conservatives should have of Santorum -- that he cares about nothing more than forcing his hateful version of Christianity on the country and that he utterly disdains economic conservatism and Tea Party values -- is even worse.

Conservatism has gone off the rails. It is in the midst of a temper tantrum and is acting hypocritically and childishly. It is making itself a laughing stock. And it’s going to take a lot to prove again that conservatives aren’t the mindless, idiotic zombies the left claims. Ug.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Fighting Fire With Fire

ScottDS and I had an interesting discussion yesterday, related to the Andrew Breitbart’s Bigs. Later in the day, Rufus at Threedonia, posted some similar thoughts. So this is probably worth discussing. Right now, the Bigs are kind of annoying. . . BUT here’s why they are actually doing a good thing.

The reason the Bigs are annoying is because they are jumping on minutia and mercilessly pounding it into the ground. Game Change had some inaccuracies, but is it worth 500 articles calling Tom Hanks everything from a truth rapist to the last American communist? Tom Hanks also appears in a video with someone in blackface. Is that worth pounding away? Bill Maher says much worse things than Rush ever said, but do we need to hear about it 10,000 times? Etc. All of this seems petty and it’s somewhat hypocritical in the sense that the Bigs are judging these people under politically correct standards which conservatives don’t accept. And frankly, I don’t personally like it. I don’t find this interesting and I would rather they were more constructive.

So it’s bad, right? Well. . . no.

Here’s the thing. For at least two decades now, the left has worked to isolate conservatives from the culture and make them pariahs. Every time a conservative spoke their mind, the left attacked them using some faked-sleight invented by the left. They would feign offense at some non-offensive word or act and then smear the conservative as racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. It didn’t matter that leftists routinely said the same things, they still attacked. In fact, they would hound these conservatives until the conservatives either left the public sphere or surrendered to the mercy of their persecutors. In this way, they made it impossible for conservatives to have their voices heard because every time a conservative got noticed, they were destroyed personally and professionally. The idea literally was to make sure conservatives were afraid to speak.

And how did conservatives respond? Most cringed and did nothing. And when they saw leftists saying or doing the exact same things the left had attacked conservatives for doing, they remained silent. Why? Because they decided to take the high road. They reasoned that if it wasn’t fair to attack conservatives because of X, then it wouldn’t be fair to attack liberals for X either, so they refused to attack. This was stupid.

For twenty-plus years now, conservatives have let the left destroy conservative after conservative with hypocritical attacks without a peep of challenge except to whine about the hypocrisy. Public life became intolerable for conservatives (look at what they did to Palin for example), while liberals got to skate through saying and doing anything they wanted, secure in the knowledge that conservatives were unwilling to attack them.

No more. The Bigs have declared war. They have taken the same pathetic, petty attacks the left has used to smear conservatives for years and they are now applying those same attacks to leftists. They are fighting fire with fire, because that's the only way to stop what the left is doing. When someone has a weapon they can use with impunity, they will. But when they suddenly realize that others will use it against them, they will stop. Think of it as the cultural version of Mutually Assured Destruction: if you want to try to destroy a conservative as racist/sexist for using a particular word, then we will destroy every liberal who uses that word. This may not make for a pleasant world in the short term, but it is the only way to put an end to these attacks.

Indeed, fighting fire with fire is the only technique which works against the left because they win through incremental progress. In other words, they can win by getting a little bit at a time each time they come to power unless conservatives roll back their gains. For example, for decades, the left concentrated power in the executive branch and the courts. They used that power to force leftist ideas onto businesses, schools, state governments, charities, churches and individuals. When conservatives came to power, they would stupidly declare that they would take the high ground and not use the powers created by the left. The left laughed. And once the conservatives lost power again, the left picked right up where they were before and kept right on pushing -- secure in the knowledge that conservatives lacked the will to use these instruments of power against them.

All of that changed under Bush, particularly in education where Bush used the levers of power liberals created to push liberalism onto schools as a means to impose conservatism instead. Suddenly, the left started howling about state’s rights and attacks on personal freedom and they did their best to strip away the powers they had created. Ditto in the courts, where the left now squeals about legal principles like stare decisis, binding precedent and judicial restraint. . . things they ignored for fifty years while the courts were pushing the country to the left.

It’s the same thing here. Taking the high ground equals surrendering. Conservatives must learn to make the left pay for creating these weapons. This means using the government to bring lawsuits against liberal businesses that violate the laws, sending the IRS after liberal churches, unions and charities which engage in politics, going after race hustler groups and black racist organizations under the civil rights laws, targeting Obama-crony companies like GE with the environmental laws they demanded. . . and making life hell for liberal celebrities who step into the traps liberals have set for conservatives.

That’s what the Bigs are doing. And while I don’t personally enjoy it, I absolutely recognize the value of what they are doing. They are firing back the same nuclear weapons the left has been lobbing at us, and they’ve been rather successful at it. And when the left starts to realize that they are living under an unfair microscope of their own making, they will surrender. . . just as they have every other time conservatives have fought back.

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Monday, March 19, 2012

The “Dangers” Of Obamacare

Obama’s Obamacare debacle continues. Not only did Obamacare rescue conservatism from disgrace, but its backlash gave us a Republican Congress. And its after effects are still coming. Indeed, even reliably liberal sources are finally noting that Obamacare may have problems. Now, in two weeks, the Supreme Court will hear the case, and all the indications are the court will strike down part of it. Let’s discuss!

In the past couple weeks, there have been a series of articles BY LEFTISTS pointing out that Obamacare may not be all it’s cracked up to be. They identify four “dangers”:
Danger One: Obama made a big deal of promising that “if you like your current plan, you’ll be able to keep it.” Yet, according to a CBO report, under the best-case scenario, 3-5 million people will lose their current plans. Under the CBO’s worst-case scenario, this number could be 20 million people. That would be 12% of people who are currently insured.

Of course, the reality is that this will be much worse. For one thing, historically, government “worst-case scenarios” are almost always understated by a factor of five. That would mean 60% is a more likely number. And there are several reason to believe that’s the case here. The CBO scores these things using a static model, meaning they don’t take into account how people will change their behavior over time. Instead, the CBO just does the math based on how the world is today. Thus, they did not factor in the increasing costs of policies, nor did they factor in that once companies see their competitors gaining an advantage by dumping their healthcare plans, more companies will follow.

The left is trying to downplay this by saying that businesses can’t really dump their coverage without upsetting their employees -- an interesting argument for the left to make, as they regularly claim businesses don’t care about employees. But of course, this isn’t true. Employers do things for financial reasons, not sentimentality, and financially it will be stupid not to dump the healthcare plan onto the government.

Danger Two: The Democrats promised Obamacare would reduce healthcare costs. Of course, it actually contained nothing to bring costs down, and costs have continued to soar. Recent polls show that 49% of people blame Obamacare for the rising cost of premiums! The left is whining that it’s unfair to blame Obamacare for this because Obamacare “wasn’t intended to bring down costs,” but that’s how they sold it. I guess they shouldn’t have lied?

Danger Three: They are starting to realize the law will not pay for itself, and the cuts in Medicare which were supposed to finance it aren’t happening. Whoops. Bankruptcy, here we come.

Danger Four: The Democrats bet heavily on the idea that “the more the public knows, the more they’ll like it.” But that’s not happening. Obamacare’s favorability sits around 41%. And the reason for this is obvious -- it hasn’t helped anyone, but its negative effects are already being seen everywhere: higher premiums, lost insurance, doctors quitting the business, higher taxes, etc. That’s the way the Democrats set it up to hide the true cost so the law could be passed. Now they are paying the price for that deception. Moreover, according to polls, in just one year, the number of people who know what the supposed benefits of Obamacare are (subsidies, can’t be turned down, etc.) has fallen by half. Basically, it’s now seen as all pain and no gain.
This is what the Democrats get for massaging the law and lying about it to get it passed. And now the law goes to the Supreme Court. In two weeks, the Court will hear the oral arguments in the case. They’ve scheduled an incredible SIX hours for oral argument over three days. They have not give a case this much time in 45 years. The implication is they plan to make a major decision, which bodes poorly for the Democrats, who will in all likelihood now lose the very thing they risked so much to pass.

Nevertheless, the left is trying to put on a brave face. Indeed, they are making all kinds of bizarre and contradictory points to explain why the various conservative justices might vote to keep Obamacare.

For example, the Washington Post argues that “Roberts is protective of the court’s reputation and sensitive to the perception that its decisions are politicized.” Thus,
he won’t want five Republican-appointed judges throwing out a law written by Democrats. Hardly. For one thing, if the Court cares about its reputation being apolitical, then it will do what it believes is correct about the law -- not what the Washington Post thinks needs to be done to please Democrats.

Moreover, this court has proven fearless at both making big decisions and making unpopular decisions. The left likes to claim that this is an “activist court” and to a degree they are right. This is not a court which respects the assertions of government that it has cart blanche power. Between this, the prior gun case, Citizens Union striking down campaign finance, and next year’s unexpected affirmative action case, this is clearly a court determined to start taking away the government’s power to control the rights the Constitution leaves to the people.

The left also argues that some of the other conservative justices might join the liberals because they have supported the use of the Commerce Clause to invade personal privacy before. Yeah, but... those were criminal cases, where conservatives have less love for the Constitution. Those also didn’t force anyone to take any affirmative actions, those laws only forbade people from doing things the Federal government wanted to make illegal. That’s a HUGE distinction.

It is interesting to note that the same leftists who are now predicting that anywhere from 1-3 of the conservative justices will jump ship are the same people who claimed that the lawsuit brought by the states was frivolous in the first place. Clearly, they had no idea what they were talking about then, and I expect they have no idea now. It seems clear to me that the Court will strike down the individual mandate, but not the rest, on a 5-4 vote.

Now here comes the part you won’t like. This COULD actually be bad for us. Here’s why. Because of the way conservatives have played the entire Obamacare debate, the public is outraged at the individual mandate, but oblivious to the rest. If the Supremes strike down the individual mandate, then the desire of the public to repeal the rest might fade. Thus, conservatives will need to pound away at the idea that the rest needs to go because it won’t work without the mandate.

On the other hand, this might actually make it easier to repeal and replace Obamacare because the public will already view the law as having been struck down by the Supremes. Thus, it shouldn’t be particularly controversial if Republicans start repealing the law’s parts piece by piece.

It’s hard to tell which way this will play. But no matter what happens, it is clear that Obamacare will continue to hurt the Democrats in November and possibly even the November after that.

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Liberals Are Intolerant, Who Knew?

Is it just me or do liberals strike you as intolerant? They don’t engage with conservatives, they attack. Say something they don’t like and they will call you a liar, call you names, try to shout you down, or even try to get you fired. They won’t compete with talk radio, they demand prosecutions and FCC shutdowns. Bloggers? Forget about it, they want those shut down too. They want conservative political ads banned, actors blacklisted, companies boycotted, and churches hounded by the IRS. Not a very tolerant bunch. Here’s more proof.

Pew just did a fascinating poll about tolerance and the internet. And what they found will not shock you: liberals are intolerant of opposing views. Shocker, right?

According to Pew, 52% of liberals have discovered by going onto social networking sites (e.g. Facebook) that their friends have different beliefs than they thought. That’s right, more than half of all liberals were blind to the views of their friends. How did conservatives do? Only 34% of conservatives reported the same thing. And before you say those are roughly comparable, they aren’t. This means liberals are 150% more likely than conservatives to not grasp that their friends don’t share their views.

What would cause this? It’s a combination of two things. First, as anyone who has ever met a liberal knows, they live in bubbles. They believe that everyone thinks like they do, a view which gets confirmed by the MSM and Hollywood. Thus, they are essentially walking egoists without the power to empathize with anyone because they lack the ability to grasp that others are not like them. Hence it never occurs to them that their friends might disagree and they are incapable of seeing the signs that their blathering on about liberalism isn’t going over so well.

Secondly, they are intolerant. We know this because there is clearly something about these liberals which has stopped their friends from being honest with the liberals despite the fact they are apparently willing to otherwise share their views with the world on social networking sites. We also know this from something else Pew found. According to Pew, 28% of liberals have blocked people or unfriended people because they disagreed with something the user said. That's three in ten! Extrapolating that to the liberal population of the US means 34.7 million liberals have tried to silence people they know because they disagree with them. That’s the equivalent of TWICE the entire populations of New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Boston combined.

But wait, aren’t conservatives just as bad? Hardly. Only 16% of conservatives reported doing the same. That means liberals are 175% more likely to try to shut people out because of their views. Imagine that.

Of course, none of this should surprise anyone. We’ve all seen the examples in our own lives where liberals assume that everyone in the room must be liberal because they simply can’t conceive of anyone thinking differently. And we’ve seen how shocked, how angry, and how vile they get when they hear that people have different views. And we’ve seen how they ignore all evidence which conflicts with their beliefs and how they dismissing any source which shakes up their world. We’ve seen it where they are incapable of good faith disagreement. We’ve seen it where they think nothing of using government force to impose their beliefs on others. We’ve seen it where they try to make words and thoughts into crimes and where they apply double standards based on their guess about your motives rather than looking objectively at your actions.

These numbers confirm that liberals are indeed what they appear to be: an intolerant group who are so self-centered they don’t understand that their friends don’t share their views and who are so intolerant that their friends are afraid to tell them the truth.

Liberalism is a sad way to live.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

2012 Election: Predicting The Future

The primaries are over, even if Santorum and his media buddies don’t want you to believe that. Let me explain why. . . again. Then I’ll tell you why I know Obama will lose and why I’m ready to call the VP race! Read on!

The Race Is Over: For Santorum to win the nomination, he must win more than 65% of the remaining delegates throughout the race. But even if you combine all of Newt’s and Rick’s votes, Santoronewt has only hit this magic number in two states: Georgia (66%) and uncontested Kansas (66%). In most states they get 51%.

Further, the math is about to get uglier for Santoronewt because they have just about run out of southern states and small farming states where Santoronewt does well. Consider California. In California, Santoronewt gets only 38%. That means, Santoronewt needs to make up 55 additional delegates in the other states just because of California. That means the 65% average mentioned above goes to 69%, something Santoronewt has never hit. Illinois, New York, Maryland, New Jersey, Oregon, Utah, Rhode Island, Delaware, Connecticut, D.C., Puerto Rico and New Mexico all show similar polling numbers. Hence, it is impossible for Santoronewt to win.

And it gets worse yet because not all of Newt’s supporters will go to Santorum. If 10% of Newt’s supporters stay home, Santorum then needs to average 68% instead of 65%. If they vote for Romney, Santorum needs 71%. If 30% of these people jump to Romney, suddenly Santorum needs 83%. Any analyst who tells you this race can still be won is lying.

Santorum knows he’s finished too, as demonstrated by his new wishful thinking strategy. Indeed, his team said this weekend that they intend to stay in the race despite this math because they are hoping the convention delegates might decide to go against their own voters and choose him at the convention. Yeah, and Satan might fly out of his ass. In the meantime, Santorum continues thrashing about. Now he’s accusing Fox News of “shilling” for Romney (after slandering Drudge as a “cheerleader” for Romney), and he keeps whining about Romney’s money. When you start offering explanations for why you can’t win, then you know you’ve lost. Put a fork in him. . . a pitchfork.

Why Obama Will Lose: I know Obama will lose. No, I do not have access to a newspaper from the future. If I did, I would be out messing with the timeline! But I do know what motivates voters and I can tell you that Obama has lost. Here’s proof.
(1) I’ve said for some time now that voters have given up on Obama and no longer listen to him. This means he can’t win them back anymore. Here’s proof of that: Obama’s approval ratings are not keeping up with growing consumer confidence (LINK). This means the public is not giving him credit for economic growth. Translation: he’s doomed. Also, 80% of people polled say they are NOT better off than they were four years ago. Translation: he’s really doomed.

(2) According to Rasmussen, 59% of the public view Obama as more liberal than they are. You can be seen as more conservative and still win in this country, but you can’t be seen as more liberal and still win.

(3) Only 37% of voters say their views are more like Obama’s than the GOP contenders (who get a combined 53%). That’s the real approval gap right there, and the Republicans are ahead by 16%. And this is despite all the nastiness of the primary.

(4) In the Oklahoma primary, Obama only got 57% of the vote and he lost 15 counties. This suggests that the left remains upset and disillusioned with Obama. I wouldn’t draw too much from this, except polls also show that the Democrats are suffering an 8% voter enthusiasm gap (53%-46% compared to GOP enthusiasm). Even 2% can cost an election.
What’s This I Hear About A VP?: Any day now, the race will suddenly end and everyone will start talking about who Romney will pick as VP. I’m confident it will be Marco Rubio. For starters, Rubio is a Tea Party favorite and any candidate who picks him would instantly drive Tea Party enthusiasm through the roof. Romney needs that. He’s also smart, savvy, telegenic, and (most importantly) Hispanic. Romney needs that too.

But there’s more. Romney has shown no interest in many of the other possible VP candidates: Palin, Cain, West, etc. Indeed, he never mentions them and they’ve all attacked him. Rubio hasn’t. It’s also highly unlikely that Romney would pick one of the other jokers in the race. When the question came up about a picking a "conservative" VP, Romney said, “Well, that would preclude, of course, Rick Santorum.” Yes. . . yes it would.

So he could be looking at a Christie, a Nikki Haley or a Rubio. But Christie is a northeasterner and Romney won’t do that. Haley is not especially popular even at home. He might pull a surprise and pick Rick Snyder, the Tea Party governor of Michigan, or Rick Scott, the Tea Party governor of Florida, but they’re both white dudes and also not very popular. He might pick New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, who is also Hispanic, except she’s very raw and she doesn’t bring much cache. So Rubio is the best choice.

But that’s just guess work. If you really want to know what’s going on, follow the money. Rubio has assembled a team to prepare his image for the national stage. This team includes people who handled re-election campaigns for George W. Bush, Jeb Bush, John McCain and Arnold Schwarzenegger. He’s also racing to publish his memoirs this fall, and his publisher has been leaking details to boost his image. He’s even spent $40,000 to hire investigators to investigate his own background so he knows everything that will end up in the Democrat’s opposition research file. These aren’t things someone does unless they expect to be thrust onto the national stage immediately (as compared to 2016). I would bet Rubio is spending this money and rushing his book because he and Romney have already cut a deal and Rubio is vetting himself for a quick announcement once the primary race winds down.

Finally and unrelated: I don't normally pass on links, but I know many of you are history buffs and these are some incredible Civil War pictures -- high quality, amazing images, well worth the time. (The Atlantic)

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Slutgate: Saved By A Fluke

Politics is often a game of fools, with both sides vying to out-do the other in snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. That’s what’s happening with slutgate. Indeed, the ironies here are tremendous. Let’s discuss.

Round One: Rush should be condemned for two reasons. First, Rush was wrong to call this girl a slut, even if she is one. It’s poor manners and he knows better. “Slut” is just one of those words you don’t use in polite company. And Rush knows he was wrong. We know this because he apologized and he did it on a Saturday morning (the ultimate “Friday night drop”), which tells me he was embarrassed by the whole thing. Conservatives should not have defended his initial conduct.

Secondly, Rush also should be condemned for handing the Democrats a victory. Putting aside Santorum’s anti-woman jihad, the Democrats were in trouble on this whole sex issue. Not only had they just tried to force religious organizations to provide birth control in violation of their beliefs, but they doubled-down on stupid with this Fluke idiot whining how a Georgetown law student couldn’t afford all the birth control she needs for her vast travels through the male population. This also followed Obama’s humiliating retreat from his plan to make the morning after pill available without a prescription (meaning angry boyfriends, husbands or just plain sickos could buy it and slip it to women). Things were looking pretty grim for the Donks. But along came Rush and wiped all that out. He turned this issue from one of religious freedom and the Democrats demanding money so rich kids could have sex into an issue about Rush “unfairly attacking some defenseless girl.” If the Democrats had left it at that, this would have ended poorly for our side.

Round Two: It would have ended poorly for Rush too because his sponsors began pulling out. To understand why this was a real danger, you need to understand that the sponsors weren’t pulling out because they thought this was unforgivable. To the contrary, events like this are a good time to dump people you already want to dump. My guess is that several of his sponsors felt Rush was no longer providing the returns they’d hoped and they saw this as a great chance to break a costly long term relationship that was no longer worth the money. In other words, the danger to Rush wasn’t outrage, it was the excuse that would allow them to end their contracts with him. What’s worse, there were enough of these that their exodus was creating an appearance of momentum, which made it more likely that others would flee as well to avoid looking bad. Make no mistake, this kind of exodus could very well have ruined Rush and led to his being dropped all around the country.

Round Three: But, sensing blood in the water, the Democrats got greedy, and they lost everything. Observe. . .
One: First, Fluke blew any sympathy she won by refusing to accept Rush’s apology. Everybody accepts verbal apologies for verbal insults. That’s the way you have to play it. She didn’t. That made her petty as well as being a slut. Then she made it worse by pimping Media Matters’ website. Then it came out she’s got connections to various Democratic operatives. So she went from victim to opportunistic, deceptive petty slut who pimps for the left. Way to squander all your goodwill.

Two: Then we learned Obama’s administration has been coordinating the increasingly fake outrage. Whoops. The public will accept lies, but they won’t accept faked-outrage, and they won’t look kindly upon Obama interfering in a private dispute to exploit it for political purposes. . . did the ridiculous beer summit teach Obama nothing?

Three: Then the Democrats’ hypocrisy exploded in their faces because the new conservative media proved very good at using the same tactics the left has employed against them: they shifted the debate and made it about Bill Maher. Suddenly, everyone was demanding to know why the left didn’t condemn Bill Maher for all the vile things he’s called Sarah Palin (and every other Republican woman or black). Maher, who recently gave $1,000,000 to Obama is so vile he makes Andrew Dice Clay sound like the Pope.

The Democrats tried to talk their way out of this by claiming Bill Maher isn’t on the radio, he’s on a pay-channel, so he’s immune from criticism. Except, this is laughable. How can something be racist and sexist unless it’s said on pay television? And if that’s true, then why have the Democrats repeatedly attacked people for things they said on pay television like Fox. No one was buying this. So the Democrats came up with a new theory: Rush is the de facto voice of the Republican Party and Bill Maher is just some comedian. Nope, that doesn’t wash either. No one has ever appointed Rush as head of anything, and the Democrats have never accepted that distinction in the past in any event. No sale.

Now they’re trying the “but Fluke isn’t a public figure, Palin is!” argument. Only, when Fluke went before Congress with the intention of getting her idiotic views heard by Congress on the record, she made herself a public figure. When she pimped for Media Matters, she confirmed it. Keep trying.

With no real justification, the Democrats are slowly impaling themselves on their own hypocrisy. And if they keep this up, some conservative comedian needs to drop a few n-words on that big-assed b*tch Michelle Obama because she’s a public figure and none of us are on the radio or run the Republican Party. And when the Democrats get upset, we’ll just invoke the Maher Hypocrisy Doctrine.

Four: Just when things seemed like they couldn’t get worse for the Democrats, attention whore Gloria Allred arrived to wipe out any last vestiges of a Democratic victory by whining that Rush should be “prosecuted” for crimes against a liberal. She really suggested that in Rush’s case, the use of the word “slut” should be a criminal offense. This is Orwellian, where noncriminal conduct is considered criminal because you don’t like the person who did it. It also exposes the hate-filled, totalitarian mindset of the left. Anyone who has ever doubted just how vile, evil and abusive the left is need look no further. Don’t ever tell me again that any Democrat believes in free speech, because that’s a lie.
That’s how the Democrats squandered a tremendous victory. But even more ironically, in their zeal to destroy Rush, they actually saved him from himself. They turned him from villain to victim. And there’s a good lesson there -- when life hands you a victory, take it, don’t get greedy.

So who you got in the tournament?

Also, can someone please tell me why we need a Facebook page? Specifically, what would it do that the blog doesn’t already do? Seriously.

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Ridiculous “Anybody But Romney” Spin

The amount of spin on the right these days is stunning. And most of it is so obviously wrong that I can only assume our pundits know they are trying to mislead you. Let’s sort some of this out.

1. Romney underperformed. This is garbage. This is a trick pundits use to make you think someone is winning/losing when they aren’t. Once they know how a race is likely to go, they set fake expectations just beyond what the polling suggests and then declare the candidate a winner/loser for exceeding/failing to meet those arbitrary “expectations.” This lets them declare any winner to “really” be a loser and vice versa.

Michigan gave the perfect example of this. Michigan was ignored until the polls showed Romney losing Michigan. The pundits ran with this and said Romney would be finished if he couldn’t win Michigan. Then the vote came in and Romney began to pull ahead. Suddenly, they raised the expectations. Now Romney needed to win by 10,000 votes to be credible. When he passed that, they raised it to 20,000. Then they just gave up and talked about his failure to connect even though he had exceeded all the expectations they set for him. They did the same thing with Ohio.

They tried to claim Romney “underperformed” in Virginia because he only got 60% of the vote. Yet, they failed to mention that only 250,000 people voted (5% of the state) because they were told the race didn’t matter. That makes this an outlier which can’t be used to judge Romney’s performance.

They even tried to argue that Romney “underperformed” in Oklahoma. Huh? Oklahoma is evangelical country. Evangelicals have been backing Santorum 51% to 19% in other states, so Santorum should have won by 25% easily, but he won by only 5%. Yet the pundits claim Romney underperformed? How?

Further, to promote this under-performance meme, they’ve ignored all contrary facts. For example, after spending the week saying Massachusetts was not excited about Romney, Romney won with 72% of the vote. That’s a blowout. Yet it was quickly dismissed as “expected” even though the pundits laughingly suggested the opposite a few days before. Also, compare their dismissal of this with their initial glorification of Newt’s 47% in Georgia.

The truth is this:
● Romney won 216 delegates on Tuesday compared to 84 for Santorum.
● Romney won 6 of 10 states on Tuesday.
● Romney has blown the others out several times. Santorum’s wins have come in small states and he failed to crack 40% in any state last night.
● Romney has won both “key” states where Santorum needed to win -- Michigan and Ohio.
You tell me who’s winning? Also let me ask: if Santorum can’t win in Ohio or Michigan where will he win?

2. Primaries versus the general election: gaps. The pundits are trying to mix the apples of the primary with the oranges of the general election to attack Romney. Specifically, they claim Romney’s inability to win over evangelicals and hillbillies will hurt him against Obama. Huh? To suggest, that these people might flock to Obama because they don’t like Romney is ludicrous. They would rather vote for Hitler than Obama, who they see as a Muslim who is waging a way against Christianity.

But what if they decide to stay home? First, that won’t happen. These people will turn out to vote even if it’s raining fire to be rid of Obama. Moreover and more importantly, these people live in states like West Virginia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Georgia, Mississippi. . . where Obama will lose in a landslide. In other words, they are irrelevant to this election.

Hence, the pundits are fretting over something which simply cannot happen and which will not matter.

At the same time, they are openly ignoring the real gap in this race: Santorum’s problem with women. As with Michigan, Santorum lost women in Ohio by about 9%. That’s conservative women. In a general election he will probably do what he did in Pennsylvania, when he lost “women” (liberal and conservative combined) by 19%. Women make up about 53% of the electorate. That means Santorum needs to win 65% of men just to break even. That’s impossible. So why are the pundits ignoring this or dismissing it?

3. Primaries versus the general election: RomneyCare. The pundits also want you to believe that it will be hard for Romney to win in November because of RomneyCare. Their argument is that the public will be uneasy with Romney because the base has proven to be uneasy about RomneyCare. Give me a break.

The base is not the public. The November election will be fought in the middle and will likely be won or lost in New Hampshire. That means, whoever wins the moderates wins. Because Romney is not a doctrinaire, fire-brand conservative, it will be easy for him to appeal to moderates. Santorum, on the hand, scares moderates. They will not support him. As for RomneyCare, what better person to propose killing ObamaCare than someone who has done something similar and can look voters in they eye and say, “I know why this doesn’t work, because I’ve tried it.” Or do you think the guy who says, “Jesus told me to kill it” is going to be an easier sell to moderates?

4. Can’t buy me love. This has been a consistent pundit meme throughout the primaries: Romney only wins because he has money. Except. . .
● The other candidates also have millions of dollars they are spending.
● Unlike Romney, Newt and Santorum have vast amounts of free paid-in-kind cheerleading from talk radio. They don’t need ads when they have all of talk radio ripping into Romney every day.
● Advertising cannot sway people unless there is reason to be swayed. Or are conservatives zombies who do what Romney commands because they see his ads? If that’s the case, why don't they do what Obama commands or talk radio? Why does this only work for Romney? Magic?
● Finally, if we assume this is true, then doesn’t that mean we need Romney as our nominee because Obama has even more money than Romney, so Santorum will be even more outgunned?
5. Newt + Rick = Nothing. The latest meme is that if Newt would just drop out of the race, then Santorum would win. I doubt it. There is little reason to think Newt’s supporters will jump to Santorum. If that were the case, they would have abandoned Newt in places like Ohio and Michigan where Newt could not win and would have worked with Santorum to take down Romney. They didn’t. It is more likely these are people who aren’t thrilled with Romney but like Santorum/Newt even less. And when Newt drops out, they will switch to Romney or Paul rather than Santorum.

Indeed, if you want a sense of the actual strength of the Anybody But Romney crowd, look at Virginia. In Virginia, the only challenger was Paul. That made Virginia a free vote for the ABR crowd because they could all vote for Paul as a protest against Romney without hurting their own guy (Gingrich/Santorum) by helping the other guy (Santorum/Gingrich). And how did the ABR crowd do? They won 40% of the vote, that’s it. Moreover, only 5% of the electorate turned out even though they had a chance to smack Romney hard (i.e. only 2% turned out to oppose Romney). That’s hardly earth shattering opposition.

The idea that Santorum or Gingrich would win if the other would quit is just more spin. It’s designed to give their supporters hope that something will happen soon to change the race dynamic. But it’s mathematically impossible. Romney only needs to win 48% of the remaining delegates to win the nomination. Santorum needs to win 65% and Newt needs to win 70%. If Newt dropped out and Santorum somehow got 100% of his supporters (an impossible task), he still would only have gotten 51% in Ohio and 45% in Michigan. Even in their best state Georgia (an outlier because it’s Newt’s home state) they would have needed 100% of the vote just to get to 66%. It's just not enough. Romney wins. All Santorum is doing now is playing the spoiler.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

“Post-Birth Abortion”. . . Seriously

Let’s talk about a shocker from the British Medical Journal. In a recent BMJ edition, Oxford University’s Francesca Minerva, a medical ethicist, and Alberto Giubilini, a bioethicist from the U. of Milan, argue in favor of “post-birth abortion.” Specifically, they advocate a right to kill newborn babies if they are disabled, unwanted, or if they would be too expensive for the family. Yes, you read that right.

Here is their argument:
1. Like an unborn child, a newborn has yet “to develop hopes, goals and dreams.” Thus, while the newborn is human, it is not yet “a person – someone with a moral right to life.”

2. In the case of disabled children. . . while the child may be happy, it will not reach the full potential of a normal child: “To bring up such children might be an unbearable burden on the family and on society as a whole. . . On these grounds, the fact that a fetus has the potential to become a person who will have an (at least) acceptable life is no reason for prohibiting abortion.” In other words, if you aren’t perfect, your don’t have a right to live.

3. Parents, siblings and society have goals that could be affected by the arrival of the child, and those goals should take precedence over the child’s rights. Therefore, “post-birth abortion” is justified if the mother “no longer has the time, money or energy to care for” the child.
Wow, chilling.

The abortion movement has always hidden behind the idea that fetuses aren’t “alive.” Ergo, aborting a fetus is not like killing a child and abortion is no big deal. This argument has worked to the extent we have been unable to define when life begins. That’s why many people are indifferent to early-term abortions, but oppose late-term abortions because the more the fetus looks like a human the more likely it is to be alive. That’s also why partial-birth abortion was such a disaster for feminists because no one could help but grasp that this was a child being killed.

But now Minerva and Giubilini lay bare the real thinking behind the pro-abortion position. They don’t care if the child is alive or not. All that matters to them is the economic progress of the mother.

Moreover, the mental gymnastics Minerva goes through are stunning. First, she redefines life to have value only if a person has “hopes, goals and dreams.” But that’s not really her test because babies have hopes, goals and dreams, as does my dog. What she’s really saying is life only has value when people have “hopes, goals and dreams” which she considers worthwhile. That is a justification for mass murder of undesirables.

And while she limits this to newborns to make her theory seems less dangerous to readers, the fact is her logic does not account for an age limit. Indeed, what difference does it make using her test if someone is 6 weeks, 6 years, or 6 decades old? If they don’t have the right “dreams”/goals to be considered human, then logically there is no reason they couldn’t be exterminated using her same justification. The sick, the infirm, those on welfare or without useful skills, or even old people who are beyond trying to achieve their goals could all be exterminated using her logic.

She also really twists herself to dismiss adoption as an alternative. Indeed, if the mother doesn’t want the child, why not just give it up for adoption? Well, Minerva says we can’t do that because adoption could cause undue psychological distress to the mother. Think about that. There is no psychological distress with killing your child, but there would be psychological distress in letting someone else have it. How sick is that?!

What she’s really worried about is that unless the doctor exterminates the child, the mother might want to keep it, and that would expose the atrocity of her theory once the mothers realized that these newborn things actually turn into people that matter.

Not surprisingly, our Hitlerian genius Minerva was shocked at the negative reaction, which included death threats. Boo hoo. She claims that her argument has been “taken out of its academic and theoretical context” and that she’s not advocating this policy. But the fact is, she is advocating this by issuing a paper in which she claims this is an ethically/ philosophically correct position. Whether she likes the backlash or not, she has tried to justify infanticide and she even provided the euphemism: “post-birth abortion” (as if you could abort something that has already happened).

Remember this the next time some abortion advocate tells you they only support abortion because “it’s not alive.”

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Monday, March 5, 2012

Are We Too Stupid For Democracy?

Professor David Dunning, a psychologist at Cornell University, thinks humans are too stupid to make democracy work. Well, yeah. . . duh. But that doesn’t mean democracy is a bad idea. Observe.

Dunning claims democracy can't work because “incompetent people are inherently unable to judge the competence of other people.” Translation: when a person does not know how to do something (i.e. they are incompetent), they are also incapable of determining whether other people are competent or not. In other words, if you don’t know how to fix a car then you are also incapable of distinguishing between good mechanics and mechanics who don’t know what they are doing. Since politics requires problem solving in many fields in which few people are competent, the public is incapable of picking quality leaders. Ergo, we end up with “mediocre leaders and policies.”

Let’s blow this puppy away. . .

For starters, Dunning is no expert on logic. Indeed, he makes two fatal mistakes right out of the gate. First, his entire theory is a tautology (circular reasoning): he assumes people are incompetent at picking leaders and thus concludes they pick incompetently. That’s circular and it’s logical nonsense.

Moreover, he provides no support for his assertion that we pick incompetent leaders except his further assertion that we get mediocre leaders -- another tautology. Nor does he quantify how we should conclude that our leaders are mediocre. . . nor does he show that the alternatives offered were better. . . nor does he explain some of the primo talent of the past 30 years like Reagan, Thatcher, Clinton, Paul Ryan, Helmut Kohl, Tony Blair, etc.

Secondly, he assumes that people must be incompetent at picking a leader because they can’t possibly know everything there is to know about tax policy and economics and social issues and environmental law, etc. In other words, since no person can be an expert in everything, we must be incompetent at picking leaders to handle everything. But here’s the flaw in that. We aren’t picking leaders who handle everything. Instead, we are picking leaders who will find the right people to handle the various issues. Hence, the only competence we need in picking leaders is competence in picking someone whose judgment we trust to find the right experts.

So Dunning’s premise and argument is simply wrong.

But I’m going to run with it anyway because there’s a bigger point here. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that his assumptions are right. Should we then get rid of democracy? Well no, because the alternatives are worse.

If people are by definition unable to pick someone to lead in an area about which they know nothing, then how would socialism work better than democracy? Guys like Dunning pretend that “panels of experts” would make decisions, but how do we determine who is an expert? The only difference between democracy and socialism in that regard is that a smaller pool of people (not a smarter pool of people) pick the leader. So even if his argument is true, it does not argue against democracy. . . it argues against trusting the government.

Moreover, my experience with expert panels is very much what Ayn Rand predicted. You end up with a committee of blowhards with little actual knowledge or ability, who are appointed because they speak the nomenclature and they have insider contacts. These people then spend their time trying to stop the genuine experts from plying their craft because the genuine experts represent a threat to the panel: in effect, the experts become a cabal that seeks to keep out anyone with the skill to expose the panel’s defects.

Thus, whereas democracy MAY result in the wrong leaders being picked, any system other than democracy will INVARIABLY result in the wrong leaders being picked. So it’s 50/50 under democracy or guaranteed 0% under the other systems. That’s where you get all-stars like Hitler, Mao, Lenin, Stalin, Mubarak, the Ayatollah, Mugabe, Castro, Amin, Chavez, etc.

Further, politics suffers from an adverse selection problem. Adverse selection means the worst people will gravitate toward the positions where they can do the most harm. That’s why the unhealthy want insurance, but the healthy don’t. That’s why child molesters gravitate toward being priests or Scout Leaders. And that’s why the very people who should never be trusted with power go into politics -- because they crave power, and they end up satisfying their own desires to dominate rather than making decisions for the greater good.

Making this worse is the ego/arrogance aspect of this. In a democracy, politicians know their power is on loan. In other systems, where people are appointed because of connections or because they believe they are “experts,” the power is considered a divine right as a result of being superior to the public in some way, i.e. “I’m better than you because I’m an expert.” When you combine the adverse selection problem with a sense of divine right, you will end up with megalomania.

Finally, under democracy, politicians remain answerable to voters who can toss them out if they become abusive. No such check exists under the other systems.

So we may be too stupid for democracy, but we’re certainly too stupid for anything else.

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Importance of Andrew Breitbart

Rather than post what I had written for today, I’ve decided I would rather discuss what, in my opinion, Andrew Breitbart did that was so vital to conservatism. Specifically, Andrew showed conservatives that while they could win political battles, they would keep losing the war unless they came to realize the importance of Hollywood and television.

Why does it matter whether films and television shows are liberal, conservative or neither? The answer is simple: films influence America.

Culture defines normal. It is through our culture that we pass our values and our beliefs from one generation to the next. Hollywood defines modern American culture, there’s no escaping that. It influences the way people see the world, how they solve their problems and whom they look to for solutions. It tells them how they should live, how they should act, and what they should believe. It is the parent so many parents are not. And unless conservatives want Hollywood raising a generation of reflexive liberals with no sense of personal responsibility, we need to depoliticize the film industry.

Hollywood continuously smears conservatives and the conservative label while whitewashing liberals and liberalism. This infuses the culture with the idea that being a conservative is a bad thing and being a liberal is a good thing. Consequently, many people are uneasy about being considered conservatives even though their beliefs are by definition conservative. It also creates boogeymen which have turned normal occupations like being a soldier or a businessman into villains and undermined the very spirit of America. And unless conservatives want Hollywood defining the culture against them, this need to change and Hollywood needs to be depoliticized.

Andrew realized that and told conservatives that they needed to fight back from within Hollywood rather than just moaning about it as consumers. He created Big Hollywood for that and the message took off. Suddenly, rather than dismissing Hollywood as hopelessly leftist and seeing it as a fact of life, conservatives came to realize they needed to start working to seize back the culture.

And I am seeing the fruits of this everywhere. I’m seeing conservative filmmakers and actors come out of the closet. I’m seeing public backlashes that are changing the way Hollywood acts. This year’s Oscars were short on politics. . . Matt Damon and George Clooney both have begun trying to hide their politics. . . pro-Obama films have been withdrawn when they were called election propaganda. . . and networks like HBO have begun having to explain themselves.

This is all because of Andrew. Andrew is the one who woke everyone up to this.

Even on a more personal note, Andrew is directly responsible for all of us meeting each other. Big Hollywood is the first political site at which I participated and it’s where most of us met each other. And I thank him for that.

Bless you Andrew Breitbart. Rest in peace.

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