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Friday, July 30, 2010

More election news

Since I was writing about polls, I thought I would discuss another shocker: the Wisconsin Senate race where Russ Feingold is losing by 2% in the latest poll. For most of the last year, Wisconsin has been listed in the column of sure wins by Democrats in the Senate. Feingold has been relatively popular in Wisconsin. The state of country is such, however, that Feingold may well be on the way out. A loss by Feingold would be a sign that the GOP actually could take control of the Senate.

One thing is certain, however. Even if the Republicans only come close to taking control this time, they will be in position to get control in 2012. In 2012 and 2014, two thirds of the senators up for election will be Democrats. While this does not mean that the GOP will pick up seats, it does mean that the Dems will mostly be playing defense. In normal years, this would mean a pick up for the GOP.

Can't Buy Me Love -- or a Senate Seat

In the last two days there have been two new polls out in Nevada: Rasmussen shows Reid over Angle by 2% and mason Dixon shows Reid over Angle by 1%. Even though he is ahead, this is very bad news for Harry Reid. After Sharron Angle won the GOP primary, Reid began a relentless TV campaign to paint Angle as a far right nut job, way too far out of the mainstream for Nevada. Although the figures are not public, I have seen estimates that Reid spent about 3 million dollars so far on this TV campaign. The strategy of Reid's camp was to make Angle such a crazy in the minds on the public that they would just tune her out in the days up to the election.

The poll results show that Reid's money dump has not worked. Sure, Reid has moved slightly ahead on the basis of a massive, essentially unanswered campaign. Angle, who was caught flat footed after the primary, has begun her response, but she has nothing like the resources that Reid has gathered over the years. Nor does Angle have the clout for money raising that comes with being not only the incumbent but also the Senate Majority leader. She has been getting help from conservatives across the country, however, and has at least raised enough to get her message out. Despite the barrage, Reid is only the choice of less than 45% of Nevadans. When there is a candidate like Reid, who everyone in the state already knows, and he cannot get over 50% of the vote, that candidate is in deep trouble. Even with his barrage, Reid cannot even come close to 50%.

The race is now Angle's to lose. If she can present a professional, intelligent face to the voters, they clearly want to choose her over Reid. If she can avoid falling into a trap that labels her an extremist, she will win by at least 53-47 in November. If she turns out to be a really good candidate, she could win in a landslide. Barring a major mistake by Angle, however, Reid is toast.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Is this real?

There is a link on Drudge tonight to an article from the NY Observer which says that congressman McMahon, a Democrat from Staten Island, is circulating a list of Jewish donors to his GOP opponent, Mike Grimm. According to the article, McMahon says his point is that Grimm has a lot of support from outside the district. Nevertheless, the article points out that many on the list live in the Staten Island district.

So why would this congressman compile and distribute a list of contributions by Jews to his GOP opponent? The stated excuse is obviously a phony. So what is it? Unfortunately, the combination of the list itself and McMahon's clearly false explanation for it leads to the inevitable conclusion that he thinks he can gain support if he labels his opponent as a candidate of the Jews. For this to be happening in New York City is not only absurd, it is almost unbelieveable.

I would like to see some proof that this story is actually true. If it is true, then the Democrat party should dump McMahon. Imagine the outcry if a Republican put out a list that showed that his opponent was being financed by African Americans and then he gave a phony excuse as to why that list was compiled. Keith Olbermann would have cardiac arrest!

This issue cannot be allowed to sink into the shadows. It is way too important.

Rangel's deal

It appears that Charlie Rangel has cut a deal with the staff of the ethics committee. Details of the deal are not yet available. The deal came too late to prevent a list of charges from being made public. Apparently, these charges include, among others, "forgetting" to pay taxes on large amounts of income from property in the Dominican Republic.

What is it about Democrats that they think they can get away with cheating on taxes and financial disclosure forms? Rangel is only the latest on the list. Previously, we had the congressman from Louisiana who was found with $90,000 in his freezer; John Murtha who avoided an ethics hearing when he passed away earlier this year; tim Geithner who overlooked paying taxes for three years (only to now lead the IRS); Tom Dachle (whose tax problems kept him out of the Obama administration; among others. Republicans tend to have sex scandals rather than financial ones. These included people like Tom Foley who lusted after pages; the senator from Idaho who got caught in the mens room at the airport; etc. while there are a few Dems who get stuck in sex scandals, they do not seem to come close to the GOP. In my opinion, this is not because the Dems are any more faithful to their spouses or less kinky than the GOP. No, it is just that Republican voters careabout such stuff while the Democrats give out free passes on all sex related actions. Just think of Bill Clinton or Al Gore for that matter).

Anyway, back to Rangel. I hope that this deal is not approved. I would like to see the charges adjudicated and appropriate punishment or exoneration result. why should a political deal coverup potential wrongdoing? The American people deserve to know the truth.

Sherrod is suing -- 2

After my earlier post, I received an e-mail from one of my readers who happens to be an attorney. He stated that he thought that Sherrod could have a claim against Breitbart if it could be shown that Breitbart knew that the video tape would make Sherrod look racist.

This is clearly wrong. If Breitbart had written an article rather than posting the tape and had said that "USDA official Shirley Sherrod told the NAACP in a speech that she had on occasion not help a white farmer as much as she could have because of his race, but instead sent him to one of his own, a white lawyer", this would have been true. It certainly would have made Sherrod look like a racist. but it would not be actionable under the law. Putting the same thing on tape changes nothing.

Sherrod is suing

Drudge reports today that Shirley Sherrod plans to sue in connection with her firing. The article, of course, does not say who she is suing. Will it be the government that forced her to resign? I doubt it. I would think that Sherrod probably cannot sue after she resigned, particularly since she has been offered a new job by the government.

Will she sue Breitbart? He is the most likely target, but I cannot imagine her having any success in the suit. Breitbart posted video that he did not edit. Since Sherrod was giving a public speech at a big meeting at the NAACP, she could hardly claim that the material was private. By speaking in public like that, she became a public figure. That means that in order to prevail in a lawsuit, Sherrod would have to show that Breitbart published false information that harmed her reputation and that he did so knowingly. Good luck with that. Sherrod might prove that Breitbart did not see the full tape before he posted it online, but that is not sufficient sinced she qualifies as a public figure.

Will she sue Fox? FNC is the favorite target of left wingers in the Sherrod mess. It is a logical defendant in any suit. Of course, the problem is that Fox did not air the tape until after the president had already gotten Sherrod fired. That clearly makes it news and her a public figure. No way in the world can FNC be held liable. Indeed, when Fox posted this on its website, it was merely picking up the tape posted by Breitbart. That is sufficient to insulate FNC from any liability. the same is true of CNN and any other network that aired the tape.

Will she sue the NAACP? The head of that organization called for the ouster of Sherrod after the tape was posted by Breitbart. Of all those involved, the NAACP is the only group that should have had knowledge of the full story about Sherrod. After all, the speech was given at an NAACP meeting. Since the NAACP is not part of the press, it can be held to higher standards with regard to statements as well.

In short, if Sherrod sues, her best target is the NAACP. In fact, from a legal perspective, her only target is the NAACP. Don't hold your breath waiting for her to sue the NAACP. Sherrod is not going into this suit for legal reasons; rather, she is trying for political points.

The anwer is NO!

Earlier today, I wondered if Obama would sing on the View. Now we have the answer, and it is NO!

Strangely, Obama trotted out the excuse that the "media" created a phony controversy with the Sherrod case. I would have though that he might back away from that one since the White House ordered her to be fired before the tape ever aired on TV. It was posted on a few web sites, but the White House was trying to get out in front of the story and fire her before the story made it to TV. So, the fault is not that the media created a phony story, but that Obama and his staff got it wrong. Indeed, sherrod herself was told that she was being fired because Glen Beck was going to do a story on her. Beck, however, did not attack Sherrod but supported her.

Why does Obama still think that he can say whatever he wants, whether or not it is true, and do himself any good. Sure, there are folks out there who do not know the truth and are still taken in. There are, however, growing numbers of Americans who see Obama's habit of lying and have stopped believing what he says. This is a terrible blow both to Obama and the presidency.

Obama also said on the View that blacks area "mongrel" people and that whites are too, but they know less about it. I give the president a pass on this one since he clearly did not mean this in a derrogatory sense. Still, the use of the word "mongrel" shows just why Obama always uses a teleprompter. He can read a speech as well as anyonoe in the world. When he has to be the one who decides what to say, however, watch out!

Will he sing?

Although Obama’s appearance on the view was taped yesterday so that the president would have ample time for his many scheduled political fund raisers in New York, it will only be on the air today. While I have to admit that I have never watched a full show of the View, I have seen enough pieces of segments to know that it is far from a serious discussion of issues. Obama may have the opportunity to exchange recipes for peanut butter, to tell stories of lost love (let’s hope Michelle is not watching), or to get his chance to sing on nationwide tv. Personally, I hope he bursts into song. Anything, even that, would be better than having to listen to Joy Behar shout out bad jokes and insane views on the world.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Arizona Decision

I just read the court's decision in the suit by the US against the State of Arizona in connection with the state's immigration law. Much of the law has been uphelp but a major portion has been temporarily enjoined. The basis for the key portions of the ruling seems quite wrong to me.

First, the court finds that by Arizona notifying the federal government of illegals who Arizona has apprehended, the state will place an undue burden on the federal government and that this is unconstitutional. This is utter nonsense. The feds are required by current law to find illegal aliens and remove them from the country. If the state finds these people on its own and gives that information to the feds, it can only assist the feds in carrying out their legal responsibilities. It is an aid not an undue burden.

Second, the court finds that by the state asking possible aliens for identification, there will be an undue burden placed upon the few aliens who are here legally but who will not have proof of that status. The aliens who have applied for asylum but have not yet been given a response fall into this category. While this sounds like a good argument, it fails once one considers that the federal government currently has the authority to ask these same people for identification and could take them into custody until their status was determined. It cannot be an undue burden on these folks rights if the federal government has already received the authority to do the same thing both by statute and by the decision of the Supreme Court. Government impinging on individual rights does not change if it is a state or federal government.

The decision seems to me to be one that bends over backwards to find in the favor of the US on as much as possible. Even so, most of the law survives. This decision will surely be appealed to the Ninth Circuit court of appeals. Given the makeup of that court, the decision will most likely be affirmed, and then it will head to the Supreme Court.

Alternatively, Arizona may just change its statute so that it provides that upon the lawful stopping of a person, the police may check the immigration status of that person if there is reason to believe that he or she is not here legally. Making it optional would take away most of the basis for the court's ruling. In addition, Arizona could require anyone seeking state benefits of any sort to produce identification, and it could limit those benefits to legal residents. The state could also require anyone who does business with the state or any subdivision of the state to produce identification for all employees; the penalty for non-compliance could be forfeiture of the contract with no further payments owing or some other serious penalty that would force the contractors to only use legal residents for labor.

It is interesting to note that the court left standing the provision that makes it illegal for anyone or any subdivision of the state to take any act that would prevent the enforcement of the immigration laws. Sanctuary cities cannot exist in Arizona. Indeed, a police department that chooses not to check the identification of suspicious people may actually be violating the law that remains in effect.

It is sad that Obama decided to use this law for race-baiting purposes rather than as a wake up call to start enforcing the immigration laws. Still, the battle is far from over.

Stock of the Month for August

Jack in the Box is the stock of the month for August. This company consists essentially of two restaurant chains, Jack in the Box and Qdoba. Although sales and profits have been stagnant in the last two years, the company still produces large profits and sells for a low Price/earnings multiple of 10.7 times expected 2010 earnings and only 9 times expected 2011 earnings. The Qdoba Mexican chain is growing rapidly but it is much smaller than the Jack in the Box chain.

The main reason for this selection, howeever, is the news today that Blue Harbor Investments has recently purchased over 5% of the stock of the company. The 13D was filed with the SEC this morning and the announcement of the filing sent the stock up about half a dollar when it was released. Blue Harbor is an activist investment group that is always pushing management to do things to maximize shareholder value. Blue Harbor may very likely push JACK to spin off the Qdoba chain in the near future. That would be a win-win for shareholders and the company. Right now, the nmarket is not rewarding JACK for the rapid growth of the Qdoba chain. If it is spun off, Qdoba will receive a proper valuation and should make the combined package of JACK and Qdoba stock worth substantially more than the current stock price.

I think that the long range prospects for JACK are good and, accordingly, it is the stock of the month for August.

Your tax Dollars at Waste

It never fails to amaze me how wasteful the government can be. This morning, I drove over the newly reconstructed bridge on Indian Field Raod at exit 4 on the Connecticut Turnpike. The bridge has been under construction since late 2008. The original contract cost is listed as $6,976,685.50 on the website of the Connecticut Department of Transportation. The new bridge is really something. It has what appears to be five lanes for traffic and a pedestrian walkway. There are also traffic lights installed at each end of the bridge.

While all that sounds great, here is the problem. Indian Field Road has two lanes -- one in each direction. That means that the road goes from two lanes to five on the bridge and then back to two. Also, immediately after leaving the north side of the bridge, the road goes over a particularly narrow bridge across the Metro North railroad tracks. The bridge over the railroad also has serious weight restrictions which keeps most large trucks from using it. So, instead of the State bulding a bridge that had two lanes like the road or three lanes to allow for a turning lane at each new light, it paid for the construction of a five lane raod that is completely unnecessary. One has to wonder how much of the seven million dollar cost could have been saved if a more appropriate bridge had been built.

I will never understand why so many people trust the government to do anything right when it always seems to get things wrong.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Another Adult heard from

Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania is one of those who I would categorize as an adult in politics. I do not agree with his views for the most part, but he is responsible and not given to hyperbole. He also is a savvy politician.

Rendell made news this week when he criticized prsident Obama for going on "the View". According to Rendell, The view is not sufficiently serious to be the appropriate forum for the president.

I have to say I agree with Rendell. The president of the United States has a gravitas that needs to be preserved. he should be though of as The President and not just some celebrity who happens to be in politics. Obama likes to play the role of a common man even though he clearly thinks that his is not common in the least. Appearing on The View, however, has Obama giving up some of his moral position and moving more towards a being a pop celebrity.

Paul Ryan

I just finished watching a video of the appearance by Congressman Paul Ryan on Hardball. Since no one watches that show on MSNBC, I should tell you that it is hosted by Chris Matthews, a former staffer for a Democrat senator, who has one of the loudest mouths on TV. Matthews is like a Democrat talking point come to life. Ryan, on the other hand, is the congressman from the first district of Wisconsin and he is one of the brightest lights in Congress (admittedly that is not saying much). Ryan is on the budget committee, the ways and means committee and also the debt reduction commission set up by Obama. He has come forward with a detailed plan to cut spending, modify entitlements, and end deficit spending. The video can be reached by clicking on the title to this post.

It was fun watching Ryan make a fool out of Matthews. Matthews was doing his usual blathering generalizations; he claimed that Republicans said they were for cutting spending but never make detailed proposals. Ryan responded that the details were on a website whose address he gave and then rattled off 1.3 trillion dollars worth of immediate cuts that he supported. Matthews said that was less than one percent of the deficit (revealing that he is certainly not a numbers guy). Since the deficit this year is about 1.6 tillion, ryan's cuts would close over 80% of the budget deficit.

I have watched Ryan for some time now. He is imaginative and intelligent. he is well spoken and good looking. He does not get constrained by old structures of political thought; instead he comes up with solutions that look like they would work.

I hope Ryan runs for President. I would like to vote for him. Ryan has already said that he will not run. Nevertheless, I hope that whoever the GOP nominates in 2012, ryan is the candidate for vice president. the country needs people like him in power.

Oliver Stone -- 2

Wow, that did not take long. Oliver Stone is out with an apology for his comments that Jews control US media, that Jews have "fucked up US foreign policy for years", that Jews did not suffer as much as Russians during world war 2, that Hitler was misunderstood, etc.

The truth is that I do not care whether or not Stone apologizes. What Stone said in the first place tells us more about him than any apology could. The man lives in a vile fantasy world that has produced more death and destruction in the past that one can imagine. His career deserves to be over, finished, kaput!

Oliver Stone -- Now he defends Hitler

In an article on the Newsbusters site, an interview with director Oliver Stone is quoted in which Stone says that Hitler is misunderstood because of the "Jewish dominated media" in the US. He also says that American industrialists were as bad as Hitler. He further says that there is no censorship in Venezuela (which is of course a lie) and that Jews were not hurt as bad as others during world war two.

Hopefully, this will be the end of Stone's career. He has been pushing fantasy history for many years in his films. maybe now, his delusional statements will finally have gone far enough that he will be thrown on the ash heap of Hollywood history. I certainly hope so.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tax hike is job Killer

In recent days, the administration has made it clear that it wants the top income tax rates to rise next year as scheduled. This is a very serious blow to job creation.

About three quarters of the new jobs created in the US come from small businesses. They are the real engine for reducing unemployment. Most small businesses are taxes either as sole proprietorships or as Subchapter S corporations. Ryan Ellis reports on the Americans for Tax Reform site that according to the IRS in 2008 these small businesses reported a total of $981 billion in profits. Of that total, fully $488 billion would face a tax increase if the rates rise as Obama wants. So fully half of the profits of small business would get hit with higher taxes if the rate rise goes ahead.

it is hard to imagine a better way to damage the economic outlook than to raise taxes on small businesses. Every dollar paid in additional taxes means less investment, fewer new employees and slower growth. Obama claims to be focused like a laser on jobs. The truth is that his administration only focuses like a laser on jobs if the laser is a death ray.

What he really needs is more vacation

I was just lookin ogn Drudge and saw the plans for Obama's upcoming extended vacations. Even though July seemed full of vacations for the president and his family, there were apparently too few days off. Many more are soon to arrive.

I do not envy the president his days off. Indeed, I think that each day he takes off is one day less he can use to mess things up.

How the world has changed

This morning there is an article on Politics Daily examining the claims of Democrats that they could keep control of the House. The conclusion is that Democrats do have a chance to keep control. All I can say is "Wow!" Just two years ago, the question in the media was whether the GOP was now a permanent minority party. Here we are, two years later and the media is now deciding if the Democrats have a realistic chance to keep control in the House. The answer to that question is not really important in this analysis. What is important, however, is that the media which just wrote off the GOP two years ago was so wrong at the time. They will be just as wrong now and in the future. The only thing that will determine control of the house is not some anaysis by a "knowing" journalist, but rather the vote of the people.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I hope this is not true

On Drudge today, there is a link to and article in The Australian reporting that the Obama administration went along with the release of the Lickerbie bomber last year. there is supposedly a letter from the US embassy in London to the Scottish authorities stating that the US preferred compssionate release of the bomber to his continuing imprisonment in Libya. As the article points out, this letter puts the lie to Obama's claims that he was surprised by the move to release the bomber -- unless we are going to hear how the embassy in London acted on its own.

That Barack obama is caught in yet another lie is no big news. The number of lies just keeps on rising. What troubles me is that Obama would go along with the release of a man who was resonsible for killing over 200 Americans. Where is the justice for those families who lost loved ones? Release was not compassionate; it was idiotic. That is especially true since the point of the release was aparently to secure drilling rights for British oil companies in Libya.

The Modo dragon loses it

Today Mareen Dowd write a column in which she argues that the Obam white House is "too white". I usually do not read Modo since she is excessively nasty and generally without incite. Occasionally, though, she is funny, so I read what I expected to be a bit of typical Modo satire. Instead, Ilearned that Modo was serious. She thinks that Obama needs to hire Shirley Sherrod as White House Director of Black Outreach.

Modo makes a good point when she says that Obama rushed to judgment and was not familiar with the Sherrod family and their history in the South. That is the fault of a White House that is too politicized and not competent enough to do things properly. Modo blames the error, however, on the absence of people in the presidents inner circle who were part of the southern black experience. Even for Modo, this is nonsense. The NAACP, which is the quintessential organization for those from the Southern Black experience, also rushed to demand that Sherrod be fired. The NAACP made the same mistake even though it had plenty of folks from Modo's favored group. This completely disproves her contention.

Of course, this still leaves the question as to whether or not Sherrod is an appropriate choice for a national position. I do not think so. there is no dearth of class warriors (or warriors without class) in the obama White House. We do not need another one.

Even the NY Times has to back off

In today's NY Times, there is a correction that is the first step towards the Times admitting that there were no racial epithets shouted at the members of the Congressional Black Caucus outside the Capitol on the day that the healthcare bill passed. As you may recall, there was a large rally outside the Capitol with folks angry that their voices were being ignored and the bill was being approved. In a very unusual excursion, members of the Congressional Black Caucus decided to walk through the crowd rather than coming into the Capitol through the entrance from their office building. Even more unusual, the Congressment were followed by a retinue of camaramen who were recording their walk through the crowd. it was as if they were hoping to get some slur hurled at them which they could catch on tape and use in future fights to discredit the opposition. Of course, no slurs were yelled, but that did not stop these congressment from claiming that they had been the subject of repeated racist taunts. They were stuck, however, when the various video and audio recordings of the walk did not show even a single one of these supposed taunts. Now, four months later, these congressment will not even agree to answer questions about the event since they realize that they have been shown to be liars.

The NY times, however, never retracted its stories that the Congressmen had been verbally assaulted. It was all those racist Tea Partiers according to the Times. Well today, that story has started to crumble even in the Times. here is the correction in full:

"The Political Times column last Sunday, about a generational divide over racial attitudes, erroneously linked one example of a racially charged statement to the Tea Party movement. While Tea Party supporters have been connected to a number of such statements, there is no evidence that epithets reportedly directed in March at Representative John Lewis, Democrat of Georgia, outside the Capitol, came from Tea Party members."

It is not much of a correction, but my guess is that it killed the Times editors to have to publish it. There is no proof that the Tea Party directed epithets at the Congressmen. In English, that means that there is no proof that any epithets were directed at the Congressmen. That means that all we have is the word of the Congressment against the hours of video and audio tapes that were recorded.

The Times felt compelled to tell the reader that there are a "number" of "racially charged" statements linked to the Tea party, the Times has yet to identify even one of those supposed statements. Maybe someday, the truth will break out and appear in the pages of the Times.

Howard Dean is a fool

On Fox News Sunday this morning, Howard Dean accused Fox News of racism for showing the Shirley Sherrod clip that had been posted by Breitbart. According to Dean, Fox had a duty to find out that the video was incomplete before airing it. Dean blamed the whole Sherrod mess on Fox and its appeal to its racist viewers.

To call Dean an idiot is to be too kind. Fox News did not air the clip until after the White House had Sherrod fired based upon that very clip. In other words, the White House saw the clip on Breitbart and did not bother to find out if it was complete. Instead, the White House fired Sherrod without doing any further investigation. So it is hard to call FNC racist when they were reporting on what the White House had already done. If Dean were unaware of this fact, he would fairly be called an idiot. Dean, however, knew all about this and was reminded of this fact on Fox News sunday by host Chris Wallace. Of course, that did not stop Dean. He held to his guns and said that Glenn Beck was about to air the clip and make a big deal of it.

At this point, it is only fair to call Dean a race - baiting liar. Beck actually defended Sherrod on his show. Apparently the facts do not matter to Dean. All that matters is that he be given the opportunity to make up facts, to call people racists and to try to excite the Democrat base of blacks and far leftists who either love his slamming Fox or who fear any claim that a media institution is racist.

Why not ask all the questions

Treasury Secretary Geithner said today on meet the Press that congress absolutely would deal with tax rates before the election and that it would be the responsible thing to do if tax rates for the highest earners were raised. he also favored raising the capital gains rates. Lastly he said that it was important for the USA to show the world that it was able to act responsibly to address the huge federal deficit.

Why didn't they ask him about places where spending could be cut? That would also be a responsible way to address the deficit. Indeed, since spending has climbed at an astounding rate since Obama (and Geithner) took office, it would seem that reduced spending levels are the most fruitful place to look for savings. Since the
Democrats narrative, however, is that tax cuts only help the wealthy, they believe that they need to undo them no matter what havoc it causes. "Believe" is the operative word in that sentence. Nearly every economist who is not just ideologically driven will tell you that raising taxes -- especially capital gains rates -- will slow economic growth. Obviously, this makes sense. Raising capital gains rates by about 50%, will make the potential benefits from an investment less lucrative. That means a higher expected return is necessary in order to justify an investment. From that it follows that fewer investments will meet the necessary profit criteria. So there will be less investment. Less investment means less growth, fewer jobs, lower tax revenues, and -- in Geithner's world -- a need to raise taxes further so that we can show that we are responsible.

Why can't Geithner go on a news show where someone actually asks him about this. Are the reporters just too uneducated to come up with this. It is not rocket science, just basic economics. Or are the reporters so in the can for the obamacrats that we hae no hope of ever seeing an intelligent discussion of this issue?

What is really going on

David Paul Kuhn has a piece on Real Clear Politics in which he discusses how last week's racial upsets prevented the Democrats from having a good week politically. I just do not buy that and sent him the following e-mail:

"I read your piece on RCP and I suggest that you might want to look at things somewhat differently. You start by positing that the passage of the financial “reform” bill and the extension of unemployment benefits should have made this a good week for the Democrats. I disagree. Other than hyper partisans, not many people in America care much about the so-called reform of Wall Street. First, essentially no one understands what Congress passed. Sadly, that includes many of the congressmen and senators who voted on the bill. We have all heard enough hype about this bill or that bill for it to just bounce off our armor. Indeed, there was enough out in the media suggesting that the final bill was a win for the big banks that even someone paying attention could not be sure what was actually being done. As far as unemployment benefits are concerned, there was here again not that big a concern as you might think. People are interested in having the unemployed find jobs, not get paltry benefits. Everyone paying attention knew that all that was happening was political theater – the Republicans showing their commitment to deficit reduction and the Democrats showing their commitment to helping the poor unemployed (although when they went on vacation in the middle of this “crisis” it did tend to undermine that position.

Simply put, the only way this could be a good week for the Democrats would be to hear economic statistics (not campaign rhetoric) that showed the economy was actually improving. A good development overseas in Afghanistan or Iraq or even with Iran might also be good—but not nearly as important. A flash of competence in cleaning up the oil spill would also help, although I think it is just too late for Obama and the Democrats to get any benefit from that one. They are already branded as incompetent for all of the delay and dithering regarding the cleanup.

I realize that every little thing in Washington gets magnified into a big thing in the minds of the political junkies. You need to keep a broad overview here, however. The wave of which you speak is not unexpected. In the stormy waters that resulted from the recession and financial problems, the wave is simply the wake created when the Democrats turned the ship hard to the left and pull the throttle to the highest speed away from prosperity. Maybe their circuitous course could get us to a full recovery eventually (although I doubt that), but the American people are mainly interested in seeing prosperity getting closer, not moving off into the distance.

Sorry about the extended metaphor, but it seemed to work."

What was Zandi smoking?

This morning there is a piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer by Mark Zandi under the headline "Mistake to believe the stimulus Failed". In the column, however, Zandi points out that the biggest part of the federal government's response to the economic crisis was the TARP. Of course, TARP was the emergency plan to shore up the banks and the banking system that was passed in 2008 when Bush was president. It was not part of the stimulus bill at all. Zandi points out that it looks like the federal government will get back all of the funds expended on the original TARP investments. In other words, the banks were saved at no final cost to the taxpayers.

Next Zandi points out how extensions of unemployment benefits and some tax cuts put funds into consumers' pockets and that this help greatly as well. Again, most of this was not in the stimulus bill. So here too, the headline is wrong.

Zandi also says that the infrastructure projects funded by the stimulus are just now getting into high gear. In other words, a year and a half later, the stimulus is finally moving ahead with the so-called shovel ready projects. Zandi, however, points to the economic performance of the last year as justification for the stimulus. If the shovel ready projects are just really starting, it is safe to say that they had nothing to do with the last year's economic performance.

Finally, Zandi says that the money shoveled by the feds to the states and localities prevented layoffs which would have come at the wrong time. That is true. What Zandi fails to mention, however, is that the money also led to expansions of state and local expenses that were entirely unnecessary. Imagine the response from the states and localities if Congress had passed a bill that sent funds to state governments on the condition that the states changed their pension systems to defined contribution systems. In other words, state employees would have the equivalent of the ubiquitous 401K plans of the private sector. That change alone over time would save state governments trillions of dollars. The change would have required the agreement in most states of the employees, but it would have given them a choice between layoffs and a different sort of pension in the future. Many would have chosen the pension modifications.

In summary, Zandi wants us to believe that the stimulus bill worked. In support he points to items that for the most part were not part of the stimulus. Nothing that Zandi says indicates that the stimulus itself actually worked sufficiently well to justify the cost.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The coming tax increase -- 2

The number 2 Democrat in the House, Steny Hoyer, is being quoted by The Hill as saying that the lower tax rates currently enjoyed by the middle class may have to rise. So there you have it. Obama campaigned on there being no tax increases of any kind on people making less than $250,000 per year. He broke that promise when he raised taxes in the Obamacare bill (among other places), but he lied and claimed that his promise only applied to income taxes. the vidoetapes of his statements show him to be a liar, but the media did not bother to point that out for the most part. Now, however, we are seeing the first wave of Obamacrats floating the idea that maybe income taxes on the middle class also must rise. After all, someone has to pay for all that money that got sent to public employee unions for raises and better benefits during a recession.

The article in the Hill also quotes Hoyer as saying that the House would not act unless the Senate did so first. The House does not want a repeat of cap and trade where the Obamacrats passed a bill that would destroy millions of American jobs and drive the cost of living higher for everyone, only to see the Senate back away and refuse even to vote on the bill. This time, the senate has to go first. My guess is that the Senate will do nothing and there will be a monumental tax increase for all Americans in 2011. Obama will proclaim that when he said no tax increases for the middle class of any type he really meant no INCOME tax increases for the middle class other than the massive increase that was already scheduled to take effect in 2011. In other words: more and more lies.

The chairman of the president's council of economic advisors recently published an article in which she pointed out the tax increases are "highly contractive" in effect. In plain English she is saying that the impending tax increase will slow economic growth and maybe tip us back into recession. They will stop job growth and maybe lead to more job losses. They will make the lives of everyday Americans harder and will lead to more people losing their homes and their livelihoods. but Obama is still prepared to go ahead with this all to be able to send goodies to his supporters. Shame on him for doing that. Shame on us for electing him.

Way to go Nancy

According to the NY Post, Nancy Pelosi is backing away from her unqualified support for Charlie Rangel. No surprise there, of course. Despite her previous vociferous support for the ethically challenged NY congressman, Pelosi has no problem flipping her position now that Rangel has been charged with wrongdoing after a review by the House ethics committee.

I am waiting for Pelosi to come out and ask Rangel to resign from Congress. My guess is that Pelosi will not say anything unless Rangel gets convicted or resigns. Then we will hear how she was infavor of his resignation from the start.

Nuclear Threats from North Korea

According to the latest news reports, North Korea has threatened nuclear retaliation for the joint naval exercises being conducted by the US and South Korea in the waters off the Korean peninsula. Is this a tantrum from the crazy leader of the NK's or is it a true threat? Who knows? But, of course, that is the point. Right now, Washington is trying to evaluate whether or not to give any weight to this threat. Should the exercises be scaled back or cancelled? After all, we do not want to see Seoul destroyed. I do not believe that the NK's are crazy enough to go to war and be destroyed just because they do not want the US to conduct training exercises with the South Koreans.

The point here, however, is not really abou the crazies in Pyongyang. Rather, it is about the even crazier crazies in Teheran. While it is unlikely that the NK's would commit suicide by nuclear war, it is not hard to imagine the mullahs waiting for the thirteenth Imam to decide to hasten his return with a nuclear exchange. If Iran had nukes, it would be much easier to imagine an escalation to war. And that, of course, would enter into the calculation of every nation with interests in the Middle East. It is also why it is imperative that the world not allow Iran to go nuclear. Would any country decide that the proper policy is to release its mental patients and then arm them with weapons of mass destruction? Allowing Iran to get the bomb is the same thing.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Rangel in the swamp

The House ethics committee today decided that charges should be brought against Charlie Rangel. It only took two years to come to that conclusion. The next step is that another committee will look at the facts and see if a further trial is appropriate. If that takes another long time, we may soon have a race to see if Rangel can outlive the laborious process set up in the House to "investigate" such charges. The truth is that the process is designed to bury the charges not to investigate them. by the time this whole thing is over, Rangel will probably be long gone.

'I have a detailed plan"

I have now seen ads for various candidates this year who have said 'i have a detailed plan for bringing back jobs." Why don't most of the politicians tell us at least a bit about their plans? Somehow, I do no think that the plans are the same for all candidates. It may be true that 30 seconds is not long enough for explaining a plan. But how about a series of commercials that identify 5 different actions that can be taken to "bring back jobs". Each one could get its own commercial. It would be so different to actually treat the voters with respect, that I think the ads would work.

Linda does well

In the last five polls taken in the connecticut Senate race between Linda mcMahon and Richard Blumenthal, democrat Blumenthal has led by 25%, 23%, 20%, 17%, and 13%. these polls have spanned the period from late may until this week. What this means is that Republican McMahon has been making major inroads into Blumenthal's hold on the electorate. Remember, Blumenthal is known to nearly all in Connecticut. he has been Attorney General for many years and has run many statewide races. McMahon, on the other hand, is in her first race.

McMahon has been particularly effective in introducing herself to the public. she has played up her connection to the WWE, making a joke of her participation, but emphasizing the number of jobs that WWE brings to Connecticut. She has also focused on plans to bring job growth back to the state. Her commercials resonate well with a populace fed up with the usual political nonsense. Blumenthal is in a fight for his life. He has held back so far from going on the air with much of a campaign. he will not be able to wait much longer. If he waits, it will be too late to define McMahon. Indeed, if she succeeds in becoming the "jobs" candidate, the election will be over. A blumenthal defeat would be even more amzing than the Scott Brown victory in Massachusetts. For the first time, however, I see it as a possibility.

cap and trade is now cap and fade

Senate Democrats announced today that they would not attempt to bring the cap and trade bill to the floor this year. Their reason? They had no Republican support. Of course, they also did not have much in the way of Democrat support. As of today, there seems to be a majority of all senators who oppose the cap and trade bill. Still, Harry Reid never misses an opportunity to blame republicans for obstruction even if the facts do not support him. Come to think of it, Reid never cares about the facts. He makes Obama look honest.

The Coming Tax increase

News is out today of a poll asking Americans if they favor making all of the Bush tax cuts permanent. By a margin of 51% to 28%, the answer is yes. Even among Democrats, the question is answered no only by a margin of 40 to 38%. In other words, after all the palaver about tax cuts for the rich, the majority of americans recognize that what actually happened here was an enormous boost for the economy. they further recognize that raising taxes now will send our fragile economy back into recession. They do not want this to happen, even if it spoils the Democrats class warfare template.

So far, three senate Democrats have come out in favor of extending the tax cuts. the Republicans are already on board. Absent a major shift by the Democrats, however, we are unlikely to see Congress follow the will of the people and keep rates where they are now. The Democrats will let the big increases go into effect.

I hope that on election day, voters remember who it is who wants to keep taxes lower and keep the economy growing.

The non-scandal scandal

Remember the endless discussions in the liberal media about how Bush fired several US attorneys for (gasp) political reasons. Democrats went crazy screaming about those firings even though the US attorneys serve at the pleasure of the president and can be fired at any time for any reason. When Obama got into office, the Justice Department under so-called Attorney General Holder began a detailed investigation into the matter. Well that investigation has now been concluded according to the AP. Click on the title to this post for the link to the article.

Guess what? The Justice Department has concluded that there were no violations of law and there will be no further action taken with regard to this non-scandal scandal. In other words, after miling this nonsense for all the advantage they could get in 2008, the Democrats are actually following the law which makes clear that nothing wrong was done.

Avoiding tax increses

Three Democrats in the Senate: Bayh, Conrad and Nelson have come out in favor of extending the current tax levels and postponing the huge tax increases scheduled for 2011. The Republicans are already on record as supporting such a move. This means that fully 44 senators would support an extension of the rates.

The resoning behind such an extension is clear; the economy is in precarious position and cannot afford the blow that the scheduled tax increases would inflict upon it. It is heartening to see Democrats come to support a move which is clearly required to keep us out of a double dip recession. Still, I do not think it likely that the Democrats will do anything about taxes prior to the end of this year. Any tax changes will likely have to wait for 2011 and the new congress.

Armanino -- 2

Last night iwrote about The earnings report from Armanino foods of Distinction. Here is an update: so far today, the company's stock hit a new 52 week high on very heavy volume. The stock has already traded close to four times the 90 day average volume.

Bad News

With all the weak economic statistics that have been reported in the last month, we now have a very bad employment report. new unemployment claims rose by 8% last week. there whould have been some jump just due to July 4th having caused a backlog in the earlier period. Still, an 8% jump is much higher than expected.

Usually, my view is that these weekly figures are too variable to mean much of anything. In the context of the recent reports, however, this is bad news in my opinion.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Some months ago, I posted about investing in Armanino Foods of Distinction (symbol AMNF.PK). The company just announced its earning for the last quarter, and it had its highest revenue and earning ever. This company provides steady growth of profits and revenues. It pays a healthy dividend (over 6% at the current time without considering the frequent bonus dividends paid by Armanino.) It is at the end of a long arc of selling products to new customers. Assuming that this goes as well as expected, the growth in both sales and profits should continue over the next year. Meanwhile, some day there will be a large company that decides to buy this gem at a substantial mark up over where it is now. I have a substantial position in the stock already, but I am considering buying more.

More gore

According to the national enquirer, police are investigating two other complaints by massage therapists that Al Gore tried to force them to have sex with him. since it is the enquirer, there is no way to know for sure if this is true, but, if it turns out to be accurate, it is truly amazing. Al Gore????

The Journolist

In a story that is as astounding as it is upsetting, it has been revealed that a large group of liberal journalists and academics exchanged and coordinated strategies during the presidential elections to aid in the election of Barack Obama. This was not a clearinghouse for ideas; rather, it was a secret coordination of campaign strategies to steer public opinion towards Obama. My favorite example of this mess was the suggestiong from a rather well known liberal journalist that came during the commotion surrounding the revelation of the jeremiah Wright videos. Wright was Obama's long-time pastor and mentor. He was always controversial but when the video surfaced of him saying "God Damn America" and laying the blame for 9-11 on the US, among other things, all hell broke loose. After all, how could Barack and Michelle Obama have sat in church for 20 years listening to this?

The suggestion as to how to deal with the problem was this: let's accuse those who raise the issue of racism. That's right -- Obama's supporters were using the race card to deflect attention from Obama's problem with Wright. As we all know, because of the videos, the mainstream media was forced to give the story air time. That blunted the charges of racism since the media did not want to call itself racist. Still, the idea that prominent liberals were coordinating an attack on the truth with charges of racism speaks volumes about the tactics of the left. Indeed, it is important to see the current "attack" by the NAACP on the Tea Parties in light of these prior tactics.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Why Harry Reid will lose

With all the blather about the attack by Harry Reid on Sharron Angle in the senate race in Nevada, too many people lose site of one overarching truth: in June, unemployment in Nevada was 14.2% up 0.2% from May. Reid has done nothing to bring those numbers down. Indeed, Reid is currently pushing cap and trade legislation. Imagine how well higher energy prices will play in Las Vegas and Reno (where nearly everyone in Nevada lives). Energy usage per capita is higher there than any other city in the country. If he cannot win on his record, Harry certainly cannot win on his charm. So what is left? Fear of Sharron Angle? I do not believe it will be enough.

The Audacity of Hope

Here is a short excerpt from Powerline Blog that is self explanatory:

"Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University, reportedly has signed an appeal for funds to outfit a ship--to be named The Audacity of Hope--that will challenge the Israeli blockade of Gaza in September or October. Khalidi and his wife (who also signed the appeal) became friends and occasional dinner companions of Barack Obama when Khalidi was on the faculty of the University of Chicago. Khalidi also contributed to the education of Obama on issues relating to the Middle East. Just before Khalidi moved to Columbia, at a dinner honoring Khalidi, Obama saluted the rabidly anti-Israel professor for 'offer[ing] constant reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases.'"

There is more to this story

In the last few hours, Shirley Sherrod resigned her post at the Department of Agriculture. The resignation comes after a video surface in which Sherrod, who is black, tells about being asked to help a white farmer avoid foreclosure. She says she was torn over how much to help him because so many black farmers were also struggling, and decided to do just enough to be able to say she'd tried. she sent him to a white lawyer so that he could be helped by "one of his own kind". After the video was posted by Breitbart, both the secretary of Agriculture and the head of the NAACP condemned Sherrod's actions. Sherrod now claims that she was telling a story of something that happened 24 years ago -- before she worked for the Department of Agriculture. She says that she is upset at both the administration and the NAACP for condemning her before learning the facts of what had happened.

I do not believe Sherrod's story. If this really was a story of something that happened in 1986, then Sherrod would not have resigned. First she would have told her side of the story and then waited for a response. She did not wait. She just quit.

My guess is that Sherrod is telling a cover story now. Probably by resigning, she secures her full pension and other benefits. Were she fired for cause, she might lose those benefits.

Iron dome -- a harbinger of what?

The Israelis conducted a successful test yesterday of their new Iron Dome system. This is an anti missile shield that acts extremely quickly in order to shoot down even short range missiles. It would be effectve, once deployed, against missiles from Hezbollah aimed at Tel Aviv or Haifa and it would also be able to shoot down the shorter range missiles aimed at border areas.

Iron shield is to be deployed by the Israelis in November. Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal muses that this deployment may be the reason that the Israelis have not yet attacked the Iranian nuclear sites. After all, why suffer retaliatory missile strikes when you could have a defense that would shoot down most of them in just a few months.

I think this analysis may be too simplistic. Israel will attack iran only when the Israelis feel they have no alternative and only if they feel they have a chance for success. The news a few weeks ago that the Saudis may have given the Israeli air force landing rights in Saudi Arabia from which to launch an attack on Iran may well indicate that the day of that attack is closer than we think.

It would be nice if the USA did something to end the Iranian threat. After all, the threat is just as much against the USA as it is against Israel. President Obama, however, seems to believe that he will be able to stop it with a speech. His delusions may get millions killed.

Monday, July 19, 2010

An attempt to remove fault from the Obama administration

John Harwood, writing in the New York Times today, explains at great length that the current high unemployment is a mystery that has "flummoxed" economists of both parties. He claims that no one could blame Obama since unemployment went higher than anyone would have predicted when Obama took office. How desperate is that? It is the rough equivalent of saying that the doctor who gave the patient the wrong medicine has no responsibilitty when the patient gets very sick since the doctor did not understand what was wrong with the patient. That argument would not fly in a malpractice lawsuit, and it will not fly in the court of public opinion. Indeed, the very fact that Harwood feels compelled to try to come up with such a lame excuse for Obama shows how damaging Obama's economic incompetence has proven.

One thing is certain: the stimulus bill which was sold as a way to lower unemployment has been a titanic failure -- no jobs created but at enormous cost. Had Obama actually tailored the spending to items likely to increase economic growth, there could have been job creation. Instead, Obama funneled the money to Democratic interest groups who got payoffs for supporting him in the election. the media, however, virtually ignored this aspect of the stimulus, instead portraying it as money spent to create jobs. Now that there are no new jobs it is a "mystery" as to what happened.

I have a degree in economics. It is just a BA, I did not study economics in graduate school. It was clear to me, however, that the stimulus spending chosen by the administration would never create huge numbers of jobs. It is no mystery. It is just simple economics. Maybe someone should explain this to the New York Times.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

An update on state legislatures

This November, there will be elections for over 80% of all seats in state legislatures across the country. Right now, Democrats control 60 legislative houses, Republicans 36, two are tied and one (in Nebraska) is non-partisan. Based upon preliminary polling, however, NPR is predicting that Republicans have a chance of picking up 20 legislative houses. That would give the GOP 56 houses to the Democrats 40. Such a change is critical, not just to state matters. In the next two years, state legislatures have to approve redistricting plans based upon the 2010 census. If Republicans pick up these legislative seats, they will have sole control with regard to shaping about 100 more seats than the Democrats. The resulting maps could help determine the balance of power in Congress for the next ten years. Since NPR is clearly no friend of the Republicans, the figures being offered are probably slanted towards the Democrats if anything. Obama and his minions are facing a bleak November in the state legislatures.

Is the United States exceptional?

The concept of American Exceptionalism is often misunderstood. Just this afternoon, I heard a radio commentator explaning how NASA was part of American Exceptionalism since it was an agency showing how advanced the USA is in science. Obviously, the commentator had no idea what "American Exceptionalism" truly is.

The Declaration of Independence proclaims that each individual is endowed by his creator with certain inalienable rights, among which are life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This is perhaps the most succinct summary of the basis for American Exceptionalism. In the USA, unlike anywhere else in the world of the 18th century, individuals were acknowledged to have received rights directly from God. There was no king annointed by the Almighty to rule. The rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness were the possessions of individuals, not governments or groups. These individuals, then, joined together to empower the government -- not the reverse. This idea was what made America exceptional. Then the same ideas were used to form the basis for the United States Constitution. This was strengthened with the Bill of Rights which acknowledged these rights. Just look at the text of the first amendment as an example: "Congress shall make no law ...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." The amendment does not establish the freedom of speech. Rather, it prohibits Congress from abridging the existing right of free speech that the individuals already have.

This idea of individuals with individual right made the USA different from all other countries in the 18th Century. Even to date, this different viewpoint has helped shape American culture and civilization to be different from all others.

One of the more important points relevant to American Exceptionalism is that individuals have the right to pursue happiness. They do not have the right to happiness. Our founding documents make clear that this society is to give each person the opportunity to achieve happiness. No results are guaranteed. This is part of the unique nature of the USA, the national DNA as it were.

It is this equal opportunity society that is currently under attack from Obama and the Obamacrats. Obama is not interested in equal opportunity. He wants equal results. He wants to "share the wealth", which means to take from those who have been successful and give to those who have not. Surely, this is not a bad idea in moderation, but in taking it to the extreme for which Obama has pushed, it is an undertaking that would destroy the very philosophical underpinnings of the USA.

Indeed, Obama clearly does not even understand American Exceptionalism. In April 2009, President Obama told a reporter, "I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism." To make that statement is to make clear that one does not have a clue what is meant by American Exceptionalism.

So the issue that Obama lays before the American people is whether or not we want to change the philosophical basis for our republic. Do we wish to throw off the theories of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution as outdated 18th century constructs, or do we wish to keep those philosophies which allowed our country to achieve greatness?

My vote is to keep the philosophy of the USA and get rid of Obama. Obama has got to go.

America's highest ranking babbler

I have not seen any poll numbers to back this up, but I believe that there is a consensus in the public that the highest ranking fool in the country is Vice President Joe Biden. Biden right now has the unfortunate task of being the cheerleader in chief for the Obamacrats. Just this morning he said that Democrats would "surprise the heck" out of the country in November. Biden is predicting a big victory for the obamacrats in the 2010 elections. He is also contributing to the "tea party is racist" slander that the obamacrats think is proper campaigning rather than race baiting. Biden also announced today that he does not think the tea party is racist although many of its member have made racist statements. What utter BS. Too bad that no one in the complicit media bothered to ask Biden to tell us what those racist statements were. Maybe it was when one of them called Obama a "smart, clean Negro." Oh wait, that was Biden himself who said that. Well, I do not think that the Democrats are all racists; rather, it is just that some members of the Democrats have made racist statements.

My hope is that the white House decides that using Biden to push its agenda in the 2010 election is the best strategy to follow. It would be hard to write a better outcome for the Republicans. Since much of the annoyance at the Obamacrats stems from the administrations lack of competence, nothing could drive that point home better than a healthy does of Joe B.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

When their acts bite them in the ass, it is our fault

Yesterday, there was a terrorist bombing in Iran that killed over 50 people. the blast is the work of a Sunni group that is striking back at the Iranian government for the murder of their leader. Many of those killed were members of the Iranian revolutionary guards.

Of course, it did not take long for Iran to blame the attack on the US. Gen. Hossein Salami, deputy head of the Revolutionary Guard, told worshippers at the main weekly prayers in Teheran that the victims "were martyred by hands of mercenaries of the US and UK." (I am not making this up -- his name really is general salami).

Isn't it interesting to see the difference between the way the Iranians handle attacks on their servicement with the way US forces do the samething. Iranians have been responsible for arming terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan and have killed or wounded hundreds of Americans. What has the US done? "Nothing" would be thte most accurate answer. We have not even condemned Iran for its acts. Now the Iranians get attacked by sunni muslims and the US is a s fault.

The whole thing is utter BS, but still it is interesting yo see how the Iranians react when they get attacked.

Congrats to the Obamacrats

There is a news item today out on the AP wires about how a man with neo nazi ties is leading a small group which is patroling the border in Arizona. This is great news for the Obamacrats. After all, if there is a racist, anti-semitic nut job out at the border, then all those who support border enforcement must necessarily be racist and anti-semitic. At least that is what the media and the obamacrats will say. I bet that we see a lot more of this Nazi idiot in the next week or two. Who cares if he and his group have nothing to do with enforcement of the immigration laws by the state of Arizona? Certainly not the Obamacrats. Who cares that this bozo and his compatriots are just out for publicity?

The truth is that Obama and his supporters started all of this when they began race-baiting in connection with the Arizona law. According to obama and his folks, the law is a racist exercise in racial profiling. This phony charge was designed to incite racial upset and get voters to the polls for the Democrats in November. Now, the race baiting has successfully brought out the crazies in the world of racial politics, the Nazis. Who is next to appear in Arizona? Al Sharpton? Obama and the Obamacrats have managed to take a bad situation for the country and make it so much worse (and they did it to hold on to power.) Obama is not the first post racial president. Not even close. Obama has to go!

Magaret Thatcher

There is a news item today about the upcoming film called Iron Lady which purposrts to show the life of Baroness Thatcher, the former Prime Minister of the UK. According to the article, Meryl Streep is playing the Baroness as a dementia suffering old woman looking back on the past with sadness. Given the enormous success of Thatcher and her policies in the UK, it still does not surprise me that Hollywood would show her as demented and suffering. It fits with the leftist narrative. Hopefully, if the film really shows Thatcher is such light, it will be a major flop.

In any event, the item reminded me of a story that Margaret Thatcher's daughter Carol told when I saw her recently. She was talking about her father Denis and his desire to be off by himself sometimes. He was taking a train to meet his wife in Scotland and was sitting in a compartment by himself when he was joined by a group that was travelling together from a local mental hospital. Shortly thereafter the conductor came through to gather tickets. When he got to Mr. Thatcher, the conductor asked for the ticket and Mr. Thatcher said that it was in his jacket pocket in the overhead rack. Being somewhat suspicious, the conductor asked Mr. Thatcher, "And who are you?" Thatcher replied that he was the husband of the Prime Minister. At that point the conductor smiled knowingly and said that it was not necessary to find the ticket as he already had the tickets for the group.

NBC Universal should know better

I just saw the excerpt from Kathy Griffin's "show" in which she calls Scott Brown's two daughters prostitutes. Neither the comment nor the show was funny. In fact, the show is never funny. Griffin has also never seemed funny to me, but I guess that someone must like her (although it is hard to see why). Her gratuitous slander of Brown's two young daughters, however, goes way over the line. One daughter is a college student and the other (who was on American Idol) is a correspondent of some sort for CBS. They are not prostitutes; nor did they deserve such treatment.

NBC Universal owns Bravo. Since the Griffin show was taped, the executives at NBC Universal obviously knew in advance of Griffin's slander. They should have stopped it.

Right now, I suggest that everyone write to NBC Universal and demand either an apology from Griffin (a real one, not a contrived one) or else that the show be dumped off Bravo.

Oh those obstructionists

In his weekly radio address, Obama took a shot at Republicans for obstructing his plans for economic growth and recovery. What nonsense. There are enormous majorities of Democrats in both the House and the Senate. Obstruction is not something that even makes sense. And what is the basis for the charge? Only this, Republicans in the Senate are insisting that the paygo rules passed by Congress and signed by Obama just a few months ago actually be enforced. Those rules said that any new spending has to be paid for by tax increases or cuts in other spending. Obama made a big show of his opposition to further increases in the deficit at the time. Now Republicans are just asking him to be true to his word. Good luck on that one.

The truth is that Obama is dishonest even by presidential standards. With Obama there is no parsing of the meaning of "is" in order to lie. He just flat out lies all the time. He began during the campaign (no new taxes for anyone making under $250,000 -- well there are over 300 billion in such new taxes already). He continued once in office (If you like your doctor and current plan nothing in the bill will make you change -- although we now find out that over half of all plans do not meet the new standards and will have to be changed). Why would anyone be surprised that he is lying now.

I give the American people enough credit to expect that all but the most partisan Democrats will see Obama for what he truly is: a pathological liar who has no talent for running the country. There is always someone else to blame for every problem. Nothing is his responsibility. Even the failure to clean up the oil spill was Bush's fault. Obama has to go!

Friday, July 16, 2010

They ought to have intelligence or at least history tests for congressional candidates

Congressman Sheila Jackson Lee has surfaced in a video in which she address the House with regard to the war in Vietnam. To call Lee an idiot is not sufficient -- she is an illiterate when it comes to history. In her short statement she laments the fact that the USA did not recognize the victory it won in Vietnam thereby harming the soldiers who fought there and leading to further casualties. Lee goes on to say that today we have two Vietnams living side by side in peace. North Vietnam and South Vietnam are no longer fighting.

If Lee were a high school sophomore, it might be funny that she has no knowledge of what actually happened in Vietnam. When she says things like this on the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, however, it is a national embarrassment. Obviously, the US did not win in Vietnam. In 1975, Americans were evacuated from the roof of the US embassy in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) as the South Vietnamese capital fell to the invading North Vietnamese forces. Hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese died or fled the country in the next years. Many ended up in the US. After Saigon fell, the war ended in a total victory for the North Vietnamese and a total defeat for the USA. North Vietnam annexed South Vietnam and the resulting country is now just called Vietnam. There are not two countries living side by side in peace. There is only one country still controlled by the communists from the North who won the war.

I doubt that many will care that Lee does not know the history that took place 35 years ago. The important thing to know here, however, is that Lee is 60 years old. She was bornin January of 1950. That means that during most of the Vietnam War, Lee was either in college or already graduated from college. She does not have the excuse that she was just a child when all of this happened. She lived through it and now either has no knowledge of it or else she is prepared to just lie about it all to make a point. Having seen Lee in action for years, I find either explanation plausible.

Amazing and more Amazing

President Obama this morning told NBC that the upcoming election could come down to "a choice between the policies that got us into this mess and my policies that got us out of this mess."

To call this Chutzpah does not do it justice. Obama has the nerve to speak of his policies that got us out of the mess. Which ones are those? The ones that brought unemployment over 10% when he promised that 8% would be the maximum if his plans were adopted? could it be the policies that put about a quarter of the residents of the gulf coast out of work on top of the already high unemployment as a result of the incompetent clean up destroying tourism and the drilling freeze destroying the Oil and gas industries? Maybe he means the policies of bailing out GM and Chrysler in a way that required about half of their dealers to close with the resulting hundreds of thousands of folks forced out of work. Maybe he means his policies that so spooked the business community that investment has dried up while busnessmen wait to see what rules will be in place for the future.

Obama has killed more jobs than even he claims to have created or saved. He has the worst record with regard to employment since Herbert Hoover. Even so, it does not stop him from lying about getting us out of the mess. Obama is a gifted orator. He needs, however, to have someone write something believable for him to deliver. Telling the country that he has gotten us out of the mess only makes Obama look like an idiot or a blatant liar. And we all know he is not an idiot.

Financial Reform

with the passage of the so-called Financial Reform bill yesterday, there are now hundreds of new rules for american banks and other financial institutions. The genesis of the bill is of course, the financial meltdown which led to bailouts and a major recession. The Democrats sold this bill as a way to prevent any of that from happening again.

the strange thing is that the bill does not prevent bailouts. Rather, it institutionalizes them. In the future, financial bailouts can be decreed by the President and secretary of the Treasury. Approval from Congress will no longer be needed. So, according to the Obamacrats, in order to prevent bailouts, we have to make them easier to pull off. This is another of those things that only government and con men can say with a straight face.

I do not know if the bill will help or hurt the economy. Indeed, no one knows that. Nor could they since the ever shifting contents have not been public long enough for a careful analysis of the more than 2000 pages of statutes. I do know, however, that the Obamacrats are lying about the reason for the bill. That, more than anything else, makes me believe that this is not a good development.

I hope that whoever takes the reins in Congress after the election will insist on some measure of transparency. Even if the people cannot get all the facts, it would be nice if at least the Congressmen get the facts and know in the future for what they are voting. Truthfully, it may be time to change the Obamacrat name to something with more of an American historical ring: the "Know Nothings".

Thursday, July 15, 2010

What a bargain

According to Christine Romer, the chairwoman of the president's council of economic advisors, because of the stimulus bill, 2.5 million jobs have been saved or created as of the second quarter of 2010. That is truly a bargain.

Many in the country believe that the claim for jobs saved or created is nonsense. Obviously, millions of jobs have been lost and no one can identify jobs that were created. To make matters worse, it is impossible to point out jobs saved.

If one assumes, however, that the Obamacrats are correct and 2.5million jobs were saved or created, then one needs to look at the effectiveness of the bill. The stimulus involved spending about 800 billion dollars to save or create these jobs. That means that the Obamacrats have spent about $320,000 for each job they claim was saved or created. Indeed, the Obamacrats claim that there will be another million jobs also saved or created. That will bring the cost per job down to $230,000 per job.

My view is that we would have done much better had we simply picked out 15 million of the unemployed and given each of them $50,000. The cost of unemployment insurance would have fallen quickly, thereby saving enormous sums for the government. The spending by these folks would have given the whole economy a shot in the arm and created still further jobs, more tax revenues and thereby further cut the deficit. Millions of people would have been made happier with the receipt of enough to live for a year.

If there is any issue about how to choose those who were to get the money, we could either have used a lottery or we could have cut the amount to $30,000 and upped the number of folks getting checks to cover all of the unemployed (with money left over).

The truth is that the stimulus was nonsense. Obama and the Obamacrats should be ashamed of it, but they do not have it in them to know shame. Too bad for us all.

Good News

After the latest delay forced by the government, the cap on the oil well in the gulf has finally been closed. No oil is leaking into the gulf as of this momment.

Of course, there are still multiple tests to be performed, and the leaks could begin again at any time. Hopefully, this cap will work and the relief well will also be successful to close the leak permanently.

It is truly sad that it took three months for the leak to be stopped and that the environmental damage will probably last three decades before it is all gone. Nice work Obama! It was good that you were there from day one and stayed on top of it non-stop.

Obama once said that the oil spill is the last thing he thought of at night and the first thing he though of when he awoke. Too bad he never gave it a thought any other time.

Newt Gingrich

Yesterday, I attended a meeting at which former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich spoke at length. He was extremely impressive. He spoke for over and hour and took questions for about another 20 minutes. He had no notes (and no teleprompter) and yet he spoke clearly, in paragraphs and with great logic. It was easy to see where Newt got his reputation as an idea man. Here is an example: Gingrich discussed unemployment compensation and the issue as to whether or not long term benefits discourage people from seeking work. Gingrich says that studies have shown that most people do not look for work until about 4 weeks remain on their benefits. In the interim, they are happy to collect the benefits and not work. gingrich says he was struck by a recent decision in Georgia to close state parks since there was no funding to pay for park employees. His suggestion: those who are unemployed get benefits for 4 weeks while they look for work. After that, benefits continue but only on the condition that the recipient either works or studies for three days each week. Such people could easily man the parks and allow them to stay open. Many other jos could also be accomplished. In many respects, this idea mirrors the very successful welfare reform passed by the Republicans in the 1990's and signed by Clinton into law.

Gingrich also discussed the need for a philosophy in Washington that was both pro-growth and anti spending. Job creation would not only increase government revenues, but it would also cut government spending. The combination would go a long way towards balancing the budget.

The speech was simulcast on the internet. My understanding is that it can be seen at

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Blatant Disregard of the Law

In legal terms, there are different levels of fault with regard to those who ignore their duties. Carelessness is called "negligence" while those who act with knowing disregard of their obligations are guilty of "gross negligence". For gross negligence the law will award punitive damages in many circumstances; it will also ignore certain defenses that would apply to regular negligence.

The Department of Justice is today essentially admitting that it is intentionally ignoring its duties to enforce the law. The spokeman for DOJ announced that it will not file any suit against so called sanctualry cities that refuse to enforce federal immigration laws. According to the spokesman, these sanctualry cities are just not enforcing the law and that does not interfere with the overall enforcement of the immigration statutes. The spokesman went on to say that Arizona was actively enforcing the immigration law, so that interfered with overall enforcement of the immigration law.

I am not making this up. DOJ has announced that those who intentionally do not enforce the law do not interfere with enforcement while those who do enforce the law are interfering. What is coming next? Will DOJ give enforcement awards to Oakland for announcing that it will no longer make arrests for minor crimes (misdemeanors)? Will DOJ sue the Secret service for actively protecting the president and interfering with his protection? Will those who fail to file tax returns now be given a pass and those who obey the law and file get harassed?

This announcement is an admission of the crass politicization of DOJ under Eric Holder. We are now told that there will be no enforcement of federal immigration law despite the clear duty by DOJ to enforce these statutes. Coming in the same week as the disclosure that DOJ will no longer enforce the civil rights laws if the victim is white, it has become abundantly clear that DOJ ought to be changed to DOSE, the department of selective enforcement.

Holder is a disgrace and has to go. Obama should follow him out the door. In my opinion, these are impeachable offenses. I doubt anything will come of them given the makeup of Congress, but people had better wake up to what is actually going on here. It truly stinks!

The need for decisive action

In this morning's news, there is a piece about how the Republican on the Senate appropriations committee want to cut about 20 billion dollars from Obama's proposed budget. While the Republicans obviously do not have the votes to cut anything, the idea that a $20 billion cut will matter is pure nonsense. some will say that $20 billion is a step in the right direction, but that misses the point. In a year and a half, the Democrats have upped the "normal" budget spending by more than half a trillion dollars. It is these spending increases that have to be rolled back. If the GOP takes control of congress and just tinkers around the edges, they are guaranteeing that there will be a bigger and more intrusive government for the next 50 years. The move has to be rolled back, not trimmed. The model is New Jersey's budget under Chis Christie. Just imagine what would happen we the GOP to actually opt for smaller government and to then enforce that decision over the screams of the Dems and the media. Would the American people back the GOP? I think so.

Obama Loses another one

President Obama has lost another battle for the support of the public. This time the issue is the Arizona immigration law. According to a new CBS poll of voters nationwide, 23% think the law goes too far, 57% think it is about right and 17% think it does not go far enough. That means that fully 74% of those polled think the law is either just fine or does not do enough. Obama's campaign of villification of Arizona and its law has simply not worked. Indeed, the number of those who accept the law or want it to do more has risen substantially since the issue was last polled by the same group in May.

It seems that even with the news slant of the Main Stream media and the never ending barrage from the administration, the American people are still getting the truth. No amount of lies from Washington will change that.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

some people get it

Writing in IBD, Nicole Gelinas discussed the problem with the stimulus bill and its funding of states and localities. Here's the key sentence:

"The problem with most of last year's $229 billion in stimulus aid to the states is that it allowed them to maintain an unsustainable decades-old imbalance for an extra year: ever-rising labor costs, at the expense of infrastructure investment."

It is nice to see this point get made. Obama's so called stimulus was actually counter productive. It encouraged wrong headed wasteful spending rather than investment for future growth which would lead to job creation.

France: burka be gone

The French Assembly has passed a law banning women from wearing the burka in public. The vote was 336 to 1 with most of the Socialists abstaining. Burkas are the head to to veils favored by a few Muslim women.

France is pushing towards the integration of its immigrant population into French culture. In the US, of course, we are now into celebrating "diversity" and forgetting the idea of the melting pot in which all get transformed into Americans.

Given the high regard that the Democrats seem to have for everything European, one can only wonder when it will be that we will move back towards the assimilationist goals that always prevailed here as well. After all, if it is good enough for France, the Dems will have to want it.

I just realized

With the White House press secretary now denying that Obama told NASA to focus on Muslim outreach and claiming that the head of NASA misspoke the various times that he said this, I was wondering how it is possible for there to be such a misunderstanding. And then it came to me! Obama told NASA to focus on Martian outreach not Muslim outreach. Or as they used to say on SNL, "Yeah, that's the ticket!"

Will it just be another yawn?

General Ray Odierno, commander of US forces in Iraq, said today that Iran is training people to attack US bases inside Iraq. Odierno identified the group that is being trained and (in general) the intelligence basis for his statement. Will anyone care? Will we hear any statement from Obama that Iran's conduct is unacceptable? Will the US take any action at all or will we just stand around and try to defend our troops from the forthcoming attack?

I do not understand why the administration does nothing to stop the Iranians from taking actions designed to kill American troops. We know that for years the Iranians armed the terrorists in both Iraq and Afghanistan. We know that the Iranians directed the militant Shia militias that were active in Iraq. We know that many Americans are now dead (not to mention hundreds or thousands of Iraqis) due to the activities of the Iranians. Why do we stand by and let this happen?

Why can't we have a leader who actually tells the public what is happening and then takes steps to protect our men and women in uniform. Why does Congress do nothing? Where is the media and why is it silent?

This is a national disgrace in my opinion!

Some people who should know better just do not get it.

Barry Ritholtz writes a blog which is mainly about Wall Street and the economy. he has very interesting insights into the economy and the markets. Strangely, however, he sometimes seems almost delusional when he speaks about politics.

Today, Ritholtz goes on at length about how the current upset at deficit spending is nothing more than a good way to take a political shot at Obama and the Democrats. ritholtz does not believe that the deficit "chickenhawks" (as he calls them) really are concerned about the spending at all. He points to all the spending during the Bush years and also to Reagan's deficit spending to support his argument.

I have to say that Ritholtz should know better. There have been people worried about deficit spending for as long as I can remember, but it was not a dominant issue until now. The reason, of course, is that in the last 50 years, the size of the deficit was never anything like it is now. Bush took heat for running deficits of over $300 billion. Still, that was less than 3% of GDP. Obama has managed in one year to raise the deficit to about 1.5 trillion dollars or more than 10% of GDP. To make matters worse, Obama has pushed thorugh Obamacare and other spending measures which will increase the size of the deficit moving forward. On top of that, obama is pushing for new regulatory schemes like the Wall Street "Reform" and the oil drilling ban that will reduce growth, cut tax revenues and generally hurt the economy. As a result, it will not be possible to grow our way out of the deficits.

So, are there any people who are just opposing the deficit for political reasons? Sure! But is there a serious reason and a lot of reasoned opposition to the deficits? You bet there is!

Monday, July 12, 2010

To the Moon Ali

I received e-mail today asking me to comment on the latest episode with regard to the new mission given to NASA by Obama: outreach to the Muslim world. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs now says that the head of NASA was in error in claiming that NASA had been given this new principal task. Of course, that leads to a series of questions.

First, who believes anything that Gibbs says anyway?
Second, is it possible that the head of NASA does not know his agency's main mission?
Third, since Obama has cancelled most of the space missions for NASA, does it seem logical that Obama would give the agency a bizarre political assignment in place of the cancelled missions?
Fourth, if you read this stuff in a novel, would you ever think that it bore any resemblance to reality?

The truth is that Obama is destroying NASA. But since he is doing the same to much of the country, it is no surprise.

Another job destroying move

The Department of the Interior issued another ban on deep water drilling today. The last ban was overturned in court recently. While that decision was on appeal, the government had no right to stop any drilling. This new ban takes care of that. What this all means is that the tens of thousands who are employed in off shore drilling will not get their jobs back any time soon. Neither will the additional tens of thousands who are employed to furnish goods and services needed by the drillers. Finally, the further delay will guarantee that the drill rigs themselves will leave the US and go to other countries where there is no ban. Even when the ban is lifted, there will not be much of a recovery in drilling since the rigs will all be in use elsewhere. Obama has truly destroyed a whole industry. I bet he is truly proud of himself. Just think he put at least 100,000 Americans out of work right away and has about another 250,000 who will lose their jobs in the near future.

Fraud and Waste

In January of this year, I posted the following:
"Well another month has gone by and ... I am waiting to hear the president [say]... that he was moving ahead with the effort to cut fraud and waste in the medicare and medicaid system. After all, there is supposed to be a half trillion dollars of waste and fraud in that system -- enough to pay for over half of his proposed health care reform package. Surely there is no constituency for waste and fraud -- or at least there is no large constituency for such things.

The truth is that Obama has no intention of ever going after the purported waste and fraud. His actions make that clear. "

It is six months later and there is still no hint that there will be any effort against the supposed waste and fraud. It was all a big lie. why does anyone believe Obama about anything?

More race baiting -- this time from the NAACP

Drudge picked up an ABC news story about how the NAACP is going to condemn the Tea Parties tomorrow for "racism". Truly amazing! The Tea Parties have now had thousands of rallies across the country. At nearly every one there were reporters present. In all those rallies, no one has reported any racist speeches or appeals. Indeed, the only supposedly racist comments from Tea party members are the phony ones dreamed up by the Congressional Black Caucus members on the day the House passed Obamacare. Those charges that some in the crowd called members of the Black Caucus the N word are the subject of a challenge from Breitbart. Anyone with evidence that the words were actually spoken will receive $100,000 when he or she presents the evidence. So far there have been no takers since the event never took place.

So why is the NAACP condemning non-existant racism? Clearly, the goal is to motivate black voters to go out and support the Obamacrats. There is a marked decline in enthusiasm among all factions of the Obamacrats this year. it is certainly not surprising that supporters are not too pleased with an administration that has presided over enormous increases in unemployment, a failed foreign policy and huge increases in debt and taxes. The Obamacrats need something to motivate their supporters, so they have fallen back on the old standby of the Democrats -- racism and charges of racism. In the old days, Southern Democrats got their vote out by claiming that the Republicans would not support the segregationist structures that the Democrats had erected across the South. The target audience changed but the tactic did not as Democrats moved on to label Republicans as racists, homophobes, antisemitic and the like. Since the Democrats cannot win in a contest of ideas, they have always fought their battles by trying to use race to bring out their voters.

President Obama has been using race-baiting in his efforts to gain Hispanic support; hence the baseless suit against the Arizona immigration law and today's announcement that the feds may also sue to stop racial profiling that has not ever taken place. the NAACP is just following Obama's lead.

Let's hope that the American people are too smart to fall for these despicable tactics.

Another success for government healthcare

A report out today announces that the number of doctors in Texas who will accept Medicaid patients will decline substantially as the Texas program ponders a cut of 1% in reimbursement for such patients. At the moment, only one third of Texas physicians will see Medicaid patients. If there is much of a cut, it may become extremely difficult for Medicaid patients to receive care across that state.

The important point here is that one of the principal methods of Obamacare to expand coverage is the mandate that states extend the scope of Medicaid to millions more people. Imagine, millions more on the rolls, but many fewer doctors to treat them due to declining reimbursements. It does not take much to imagine that the Obamacrats will soon mandate higher reimbursement for doctors from the state medicaid programs. Such a move, while clearly unconstitutional, will work to further undermine the solvency of the state governments.

So, Obamacare is a flawed methodology with a likely poor outcome. Indeed, it is the greatest achievement of the Obamacrats in decades (and it sucks).

Medvedev announces that Iran is close to bomb

Russian President Medvedev announced in Moscow on Monday that Iran was very close to the point where it could make a nuclear bomb. After years when the Russians prevented meaningful sanctions from being imposed against the Iranians, this statement needs to be understood in the proper context. The Russians are positioning themselves to be able to say how upset they are once the Iranians get the bomb even though Russian help got it for Iran. My guess is that the obamacrats will falll for this ruse. Obama has done everything else that the Russkies wanted so far in his presidency. Why not forgive them for setting Iran up to get nukes?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Another Holder Howler

Well he is at it again. Eric Holder today said that the Arizona immigration law is inconsistent with federal immigration law. Of course, he could not identify any instance where there is a conflict between the two laws. Rather, in true Holder fashion, he emulated his boss the president and just made an unsupported statement. these guys really believe that if they say something, it becomes the truth. Unfortunately, a big chunk of the media goes along with such nonsense. Most of the public, however, does not. It seems that outside the DC/Manhattan bubble, the people recognize reality.

Is it mass hypnosis?

In the Politico today, there is a piece discussing the "liberal despair" regarding Obama and his administration. The debate in the Progressive community according to Politico is whether the fault lies with Republicans who have blocked so much of the Obama agenda or whether it is simply a matter that true change takes time.

I have no doubt that this is the debate in the so-called Progressive community. I also think that they must be suffering from mass hypnosis or some other form of delusion. Republicans are blocking Obama? Don't make me laugh. Politico quotes progressives who say that the stimulus failed because of compromises with Republicans that watered down the bill. Now there is someone who is completely delusional. The stimulus passed with essentially no Republican votes. it was drafted behind closed doors with no Republican involvement, indeed with no Republican knowledge of it. It was passed on an emergency basis with most of Congress not even knowing its contents. The stimulus is a product of the Obmacrats, by the Obamacrats and for the Obamacrats (in the sense that it paid off Obama's supporters rather than stimulated the economy).

For the first year of the Obama presidency, the Obamacrats had a fillibuster proof majority in the senate; yet they were unable to pass many of the bills that Obama wanted. That was not Republican opposition. No, it was opposition from the American people. That opposition was not sufficient to dissuade the Obamacrats from passing Obamacare despite huge majorities against the bill.

Maybe the Progressive community ought to ponder the polls in which 40% of Americans call themselves Conservatives while only 20% call themselves Liberals. Maybe they should ponder why it is that in the face of the supposed Republican obstructionism, support for Obama and his party is at the lowest ebb in recent memory. Maybe they should ponder why it is that Liberal orthodoxy has not rescued the economy nor settled any foreign policy problems. Maybe they can determine why race-baiting has become the standard method of operation for the liberals.

The truth is that the failure of the Progressive agenda is not the result of anything other than the Progressive agenda itself. The American people do not want this. The portions of the agenda that were put into effect have not worked.

Maybe we need to get someone on TV to count backwards from 5 and tell the Progressives to wake up. Things could not get any worse for them if they were actually able to discern reality.

Face the Nation?? -- How about Face the Truth

Today on Face the Nation on CBS, Attorney General Eric Holder said that the reason for trying the 9-11 leader Khalid Sheik Muhammed in a civilian court is that he might not be able to face the death penalty if tried before a military panel. Isn't it amazing that nine years after 9-11 and over a year after Holder's decision to try KSM in a civilian court in New York City, Holder suddenly comes up with this gem. for nine years no one thought that there was a question about using the death penalty in connection with a military panel. Holder now says, however, that the issue only arises if KSM pleads guilty rather than not guilty. '

This is a lame excuse even for Holder. No law could provide a penalty for someone who was tried and found guilty but not for someone whose plea was guilty. Is it conceivable that a law would penalize someone who used his constitutional right to a trial? No way!

Holder then went on to make one of the funniest comments I have ever seen come from a government official. According to Holder, "the politicization of this issue, when we're dealing with ultimate national security issues, is something that disturbs me a great deal."

The issue was not political until Holder and his boss Obama made it a political issue. Apparently, Holder thinks that for the Democrats to make this a political issue was OK, but if it remains a political issue once they are in power, that is bad. What's next? Will Bill Gates come out against anyone making money from computers? Will Lebron James come out against high salaries in sports? Will Hilary Clinton denounce those who say Obama lacks the experience to be president?

Holder is truly an embarrassment to the Obama administration (and that truly is saying something!)