Tag: Politics of the United States

On Thanksgiving day, a reminder to all

Happy Thanksgiving to you all. Mine is going to be a rotten one. I will spare you the details of why and instead focus on one of the biggest problems I see us facing in America: the people that shape and spread the narrative are doing it to protect the ideological agenda, and it is only going to get worse until we admit that what they believe in, no matter how noble they pretend it is, is destructive.

Let’s start with some perspective of how what would become the exceptional American experiment was started. No, it wasn’t the pioneering, hard working, freedom & fortune seeking, and rugged individualist spirit that our early settlers and those that followed them used to first throw off the yoke of a government that treated the colonists exactly like our modern collectivist class warriors treats the productive – an unending source of income to pay for their insane ideas – and then forged the most exceptional experiment of progress and success in man’s history, but a failed experiment. Our first settlers embraced collectivism with gusto, and with near fatal consequences.

That hippy commune the early settlers embraced, out of a sense of moral superiority, turned hard working people into lazy slouches, and then followed disastrous consequences. In fact, our Thanksgiving Holiday would not exist but for the fact that these early settlers learned their lesson and abandoned the idiotic collectivist beliefs that almost cost them their lives. Today’s sanitized and heavily PCed version of how Thanksgiving is about how the natives and the first colonists all turned into a Kumbaya singing hippy commune tells exactly the wrong story about what saved the colonists and made America great.

And that problem of a hijacked and fabricated narrative to serve the left’s agenda persists and has reached epic proportions, culminating in the fiasco that let what is arguably, based on the facts and reality, not the bullshit the left spouts that lays blame everywhere but with them, the worst American president in our history, be reelected. Collectivists managed to convince way too many people that the economic downturn we still find ourselves in was not the fault of their social engineering agenda, but of the perpetual boogie man: George W. Bush. Too many Americans believe the economic downturn really was because of some deregulation during the Bush administration, and have no clue that the real problem was caused by well intentioned social engineering decades before.

During the late and now unlamented campaign of Mitt Romney, the candidate was urged by other Republicans to affect a “separation” from the policies of George W. Bush. They were said by Democrats to have brought on the financial crisis and the “mess” inherited by Barack Obama, which he has been unable thus far to clean up.

They might have done better had they moved years earlier to detach the Bush policies from the cause of the meltdown, since there was little relation between the two. The crash of late 2008 was caused not by Republican dogma, but by efforts going back many years on the part of both parties to facilitate homeownership on behalf of poor people. It seemed like the right thing to do. It pleased both liberals, who wanted to help the downtrodden, and conservatives, who took to heart the old Jack Kemp adage that rental cars rarely get washed.

In 1995, President Clinton launched his “National Homeownership Strategy” (Bush continued it as part of his “ownership society”), designed to increase mortgage lending to low-income Americans by requiring bankers to make loans to people with poor or nonexistent credit ratings. This drew in people who were unable to pay off their debts, and speculators, who were betting housing prices would keep rising forever. In retrospect, we can see it was bound to implode, and it did.

Actually, blaming Clinton, or the politicians of the Clinton years, is also not totally correct, because the whole “Community Reinvestment Act” social engineering fiasco that created the fundamental underlying problem that led to the economic collapse – a problem that still persists despite a 2000 page monster of a bill, ironically produced by the two people most responsible for the economic implosion in 2007, Chris Dodd and Barney Franks, passed to supposedly prevent this from happening again – was started as far back as the Carter administration. If one was to believe in the concept of Karma, the irony that something stupid done during what was considered one of the worst presidents of the 20th century, played itself out during that of another democrat president that is hell bent on stealing Carter’s claim to fame for himself.

The author of this article makes some interesting revelations when she points out that:

Twice, Bush tried to rein in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and twice Democrats (Obama included) moved in to stop him. Especially culpable were Barney Frank and Chris Dodd. Dodd claimed that the institutions were “fundamentally strong,” and Frank said he wanted to “roll the dice a little bit more in his situation” rather than impose stricter regulation on Fannie and Freddie. He did roll those dice, and they came up snake eyes at the end of the Bush years. The same could have just as easily happened in the Gore or Kerry administrations, had they existed, and it would not have been due to their policies, either. It was due to bad sense, bad judgment, greed and a lot of misguided good will.

Bush didn’t create the conditions that led to the crash; he inherited them from Bill Clinton, and a large cast of thousands all played their own parts. Republican policies had no role in the crash; and the Democrats’ policies would have had no role, either.

Where the author fails IMO, is the part where what democrats did or didn’t do wouldn’t matter. Fist off, it was the drive to social engineer our society, to create that giant commune run by government, that allowed people to think lending money to people that couldn’t afford it or where unreliable, would result in anything but disaster. We wouldn’t have needed all the bullshit that allowed Freddie and Fannie to become loan laundering operators, encouraged insane repackaging of bad loans, to then sell them as valuable assets, and created the whole credit default swapping business, if this attempt to ignore the laws of economics could actually work to change human behavior. While the republican party, especially during the GWB administration seemed quite content with the whole nanny state and its social engineering agenda, I do have to point out that this is a fundamental underlying principal and policy of everything that the democrats do: the drive to force society to produce equality of outcome for everyone.

And then there is the problem with how Frank and Dodd used the accusations of racism to shut down any attempt to turn this monster around. While the democrats would consider it insulting if you point out the fact that accusing anyone that tries to point out their collectivist policies are failures of racism, is itself another policy of the democrats. That doesn’t make it otherwise. If Bush is guilty of anything it is of folding when Frank and Dodd cried racism.

Finally, I need to point out that all the conditions that led to this economic implosion, the social engineering bullshit, was left untouched by the monstrosity of a bill architected by Dodd and Frank. Freddie and Fannie are still around, and doing more of the same, with the tax payer forced to bail them out still, while everyone pretends that regulation will change the laws of human behavior or economics. That bill is part and parcel of the democrat party’s policy agenda. And what they did is all but guarantee us we will sooner than later have to face this Hydra again. From the article about our original colony:

But the Pilgrims learned and prospered. And what they learned, we have forgotten and we fade. Now, new waves of ignorant masses flood into parks and public squares. New Platonists demand control of other people’s property. New True Levelers legally occupy the prestige pulpits of our nation, secular and sacred. And now, as then, the productive class of our now gigantic, colony-turned-superpower, learn and teach again, the painful lessons of history. Collectivism violates the iron laws of human nature. It has always failed. It is always failing, and it will always fail. I thank God that it is failing now. Providence is teaching us once again.

Let us hope we can learn and change so we can prosper yet again. My fear is we can not because the pendulum has simply swung too far. Ponder that as you celebrate Thanksgiving. I will be spending mine doing a lot of that and watching football considering where I find myself today, but that is a story for another time.

Turkeys and Drumsticks 2012

For five years running, I have taken advantage of the Thanksgiving Holiday to give out my awards for Turkey of the Year and Golden Drumsticks. The latter are for those who exemplify the best traits in our public sphere. The former are for those who exemplify silliness and stupidity. I rarely give them out to someone who is evil; they are reserved for those who regularly makes me shake my head and wonder what they’re thinking. It’s a sort of “thank you” for making blogging easier.

We’ll start with the Turkeys of the Year. For reference, the past winners are:

2007: Alberto Gonzalez, Nancy Pelosi, Hugo Chavez

2008: Sarah Palin, Sarah Palin’s critics, Hillary Clinton, Congress, Joe Biden

2009: MIke Steele, Glen Beck, the State Department, Sarah Palin, Andrew Sullivan.

2010: Janet Napolitano and TSA, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, MSNBC, Lower Merion Schools, California Voters.

2011: Nancy Pelosi, Republican Presidential Field, Occupy Wall Street, Anthony Weiner, the Eurozone. Note my prediction: “I suspect Santorum will be the next flavor of the month. This will last until people remember that he’s Rick Santorum.”

For this year, I’m going with:

The Culture Warriors: Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock lost imminently winnable seats because of dumb things they said about rape. At the precise time the GOP was pulling away from the “War on Women” baloney, they made half the nation facepalm. There were others, notably unopposed Paul Broun, whose comments about creationism so angered the voters that some wrote in votes for “burning bag of dogshit”. Suburban Republicans shifted on gay marriage, likely costing the GOP votes. Mitt Romney may have lost the election; but he outpolled the GOP in many regions because of turkeys like Akin and Mourdock poisoning the brand.

Unions: They poured immense resources into Wisconsin and, even with the media and the President on their side, the year will end with the Republicans in control of both the legislature and the governor’s office. Their effort to hijack the Michigan constitution failed. Their strike in Chicago, intended to rally people to their cause, instead enraged the American electorate. The Hostess situation may yet be resolved. But even Democrats are reading the writing on the wall with future pension obligations. This may be the year the country realized how bad the situation has gotten. And every windy pronouncement from the like of Richard Trumka gets progressively less threatening and more humorous.

The Poll Unskewers: Nothing represented the denial of reality in certain circles more than the poll unskewing. Obama took a big lead in the polls after the conventions, Romney closed the gap during the debates and then Obama pulled away in the last two weeks. But there were certain factions of the commentariat that refused to accept this; that insisted that Romney was winning the whole time.

The ringleader, when he wasn’t hurling gay slurs at Nate Silver, was predicting a Romney landslide. Bloggers routinely quoted whatever outlier favored Romney while ignoring every other poll (and many liberals quoted whatever poll was best for Obama). Peggy Noonan said Romney would win because she felt it in the force. This opened with the quote: “nobody knows anything”. But people did know things. Nate Silver wasn’t the only one who could read the polls. Even RCP predicted an Obama win.

This reached an apotheosis with 18 of the most extraordinary minutes of television I’ve ever seen when first Megyn Kelly, then the Fox analysis team and eventually Michael Barone staged an intervention for Karl Rove as he kept insisting that Ohio couldn’t be called. This was especially strange because, as this drama was unfolding, Nevada and Colorado were called meaning Obama could win without Ohio, Virginia or Florida.

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz: Ms. Verbal Diarrhea, as I’ve come to call her, can always be relied on to say something dumb, ignorant, false or all three. From feigning ignorance about Obama’s kill list to falling off the balance beam on the Wisconsin recall to getting eviscerated by Anderson Cooper. Not a week goes by without her being a source of entertainment.

Oh shit, she’s an actual elected official? She’s the chair of the DNC? Damn. How’d they win again?

MSNBC: Even Pew noticed how ridiculously biased they are. SNL burned them well after the first debate but nothing was as hilarious as the reality of the first debate aftermath, when the MSNBC staff looked they might go Jonestown on us.

Dishonorable Mention: David Petraeus, John McCain, Nancy Pelosi, the Miami Marlins, Lance Armstrong, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, Brian Ross (for IDing the wrong guy in Aurora), Sandra Fluke, Rush Limbaugh, Facebook’s IPO, Obamacare, Joe Biden, Francois Hollande, Eric Holder.

Now the Golden Drumsticks, awarded to those who best exemplified what is right with this country. Here are the past awards, the first round from WVR.

2007: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ron Paul, Barack Obama, David Petraeus, Juan Carlos, Burma’s monks

2008: US Military, Jeff Flake, Ron Paul, Republican Governors, Barack Obama

2009: The American Fighting Man, Kimberly Munley and Mark Todd, George W. Bush

2010: The Tea Party, Chris Christie, Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, the Next Wave of Republicans, David Cameron and Nick Clegg, The American Soldiers

2011: Seal Team Six, Mark Kelly, The Arab Spring (ugh), the Technicians at Fukushima

For 2012:

Down Ballots: Marijuana won in Massachusetts, Washington and Colorado and came close in Arkansas. Gay marriage won in Minnesota, Maine, Washington and Maryland. Unions were turned away in Michigan. Eminent domain reform triumphed in Virginia. Former drumstick winner Jeff Flake won in Arizona. And Republicans kept the House. If you ignored the White House race — and really, who among us didn’t want to — it was not a bad year for a conservative-libertarian.

The Sandy Responders: Hurricane Sandy was a Katrina-level event but we have not seen the chaos and destruction we saw then. The response seems to be lagging only when you fail to consider the incredible scale of the disaster. Let me put it this way: the response to Sandy has been so good I pulled Mike “16 Oz” Bloomberg off the list of turkeys.

The real heroes, of course, have been the people of New York and New Jersey who have pulled together, looked out for each other behaved admirably.

Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods: The CIA read the Benghazi situation badly, failing to call for military help. But Woods and Doherty read the situation correctly, ignored the stand down order and eventually lost their lives in the sudden second attack on the CIA annex. Whatever you think of the Benghazi situation, I don’t think anyone can question the bravery of these two men.

Mathew Inman (aka the Oatmeal): Ordinarily, I’d be content with him being the best web comic out there (XKCD being a close second). But when he responded to douchebag censorious threats by raising $200,000 for charity, he showed how people should respond to legal thuggery and generalized jackassery.

Honorable Mention: the American military, Ron and Rand Paul, Chris Christie, Scott Walker, Gary Johnson, the new wave of Republican governors and conservative writers, Paul Ryan, the US Olympic team.

Candidate For a Day

It’s been a couple of days since the second debate. It seems to me that the compelling theme was the lack of vision from either candidate. Mitt Romney seemed pretty clear he thought he could do a better job than that Obama guy but wasn’t really clear on what he’d do differently other than cut taxes. And Barack Obama seemed pretty clear he thought he could do a better job than that Obama guy, whoever he is, but was not clear on what he’d do differently either.

But rather than dive back into arguments over various trivia — what Candy Crowley said, whether “acts of terror” and “terrorist acts” mean the same thing, binders full of women — I thought I’d indulge in a bit of a writer’s conceit: detailing how I wish the questions had been answered. Feel free to take one of the question and throw out your own answer. I’m sure you’ll do a better job than either of the candidates did.

Question: Mr. President, Governor Romney, as a 20-year-old college student, all I hear from professors, neighbors and others is that when I graduate, I will have little chance to get employment. Can — what can you say to reassure me, but more importantly my parents, that I will be able to sufficiently support myself after I graduate?

(Aside: “more importantly, my parents?” Are you sure you’re 20 and not 12?)

They can’t assure you of anything. Our economy has picked up a bit — job creation is low but steady, housing starts are rebounding, exports are way up. But we are working our way out from a huge pile of bad debt. And there are other storms on the horizon — the Euro Zone, China’s bubble economy and so on. No one can assure you of a job; certainly not government.

That being said, overhauling the tax and regulatory system would, over the long haul, produce more consistent job growth. Allowing more high-skill immigrants into this country would create start-ups and expand businesses. Free trade would lower prices and open up markets for our goods. But, I repeat, there is no such thing as a silver bullet that will guarantee jobs to anyone. There is no secret box of good jobs in either candidate’s closet.

Question: Your energy secretary, Steven Chu, has now been on record three times stating it’s not policy of his department to help lower gas prices. Do you agree with Secretary Chu that this is not the job of the Energy Department?:


Look, we can set gas prices low. And you’ll have shortages like we did in the 1970’s. Oil is a world market and, unless the world is in a recession, gasoline prices are only going to go up. There is little that I or any other President can do about it.

On the broader concept of energy, the government needs to streamline regulation and taxes to make innovation easier. Congress needs to shift funds from specific technology like Tesla luxury cars to broader basic innovation. And we need to keep fossil fuels flowing while we are still dependent on them. Long term, that will address our energy needs and also make progress on Global Warming.

Question: Governor Romney, you have stated that if you’re elected president, you would plan to reduce the tax rates for all the tax brackets and that you would work with the Congress to eliminate some deductions in order to make up for the loss in revenue. Concerning the — these various deductions — the mortgage deduction, the charitable deductions, the child tax credit and also the — education credits, which are important to me because I have children in college. What would be your position on those things, which are important for the middle class?

The government should not be using the tax code for social engineering. This has directly contributed to bubbles in real estate and education. You should also realize that many of these deductions are actually subsidies for the wealthy: for many middle-class people, they do not add up to much more than the standard deduction. [Note: Romney is now saying he will cap deductions at some level; it’s not clear what. That’s … better, I guess. But it will not come anywhere close to covering the revenue from his proposed rate cuts.]

That having been said, would you give up your favorite tax deduction for a lower overall rate and be able to keep your money in the first place rather than have it grudgingly remitted back on April 15? I think most Americans would.

Question: In what new ways do you intend to rectify the inequalities in the workplace, specifically regarding females making only 72 percent of what their male counterparts earn?

Governments’ actions in this domain have frequently made things worse. We can ban discrimination in government workplaces and refuse to do business with those who discriminate. But the only women who have really benefitted federal efforts for equal pay in the private sector are those who happen to be lawyers.

You say “72 percent” but that figure is actually misleading since it does not account for women taking time off work for family or taking more flexible jobs. Nor does it account for the social factor that men are more likely to demand higher pay. I note this not to quibble but to illustrate that the issue is a little more subtle and complex than the Democratic Party likes to pretend. In general, government is not good at dealing with issues that are subtle and complex.

Over time, social pressure will do more than government mandates. Name and shame businesses that discriminate and refuse to do business with them. Refuse to work for them. Demand higher pay. In the end, you will get it. Because you are much more capable of solving difficult problems than blundering government. And I do not see that it empowers women for their government to treat them like weaklings who are incapable of rectifying pay inequality with paternal government on their side.

Question: Governor Romney, I am an undecided voter because I’m disappointed with the lack of progress I’ve seen in the last four years. However, I do attribute much of America’s economic and international problems to the failings and missteps of the Bush administration. Since both you and President Bush are Republicans, I fear a return to the policies of those years should you win this election. What is the biggest difference between you and George W. Bush, and how do you differentiate yourself from George W. Bush?

The next President should basically do the opposite of everything George W. Bush (and Barack Obama) have done. They cut taxes and raised spending, ignoring PAYGO. They empowered government, engaged in dumb foreign adventures, regulated like mad, fought the War on Drugs zealously and ran roughshod over your civil liberties. All of that needs to stop.

Question: Mr. President, I voted for you in 2008. What have you done or accomplished to earn my vote in 2012? I’m not that optimistic as I was in 2012. Most things I need for everyday living are very expensive.

Your optimism should never be linked to a politician. They are not gods. The best Presidents — men like Coolidge and Eisenhower and Reagan — mainly stayed out of the way, enforced the law and kept the peace. That created the conditions for prosperity and for the only real optimism anyone should have — a belief in themselves and their fellow Americans.

You actually should be more optimistic than you were in 2008. In 2008, we were bleeding almost a million jobs a month and on the verge of a financial meltdown. Whether the policies of Obama prevented that or not is a matter for historians. The fact is that much of the private debt has been unravelled, a few more free trade agreements are in place and taxes are low. The stage is set for a recovery … if we can get the government out of the way.

Question: President — Romney, what do you plan on doing with immigrants without their green cards that are currently living here as productive members of society?:

[Aside: nice euphemism there.]

Our immigration system has been broken for decades and no one has stepped forward to fix it. We all know what needs to be done: make it easier for people to come her legally to work and more difficult for them to work here illegally. Over time, that will shift productive members of society to legal status.

Question: This question actually comes from a brain trust of my friends at Global Telecom Supply in Mineola yesterday. We were sitting around talking about Libya, and we were reading and became aware of reports that the State Department refused extra security for our embassy in Benghazi, Libya, prior to the attacks that killed four Americans. Who was it that denied enhanced security and why?

[Note: Neither Obama nor Romney answered his actual question about security.]

An independent investigation needs to determine how the security was made so lax and hold everyone accountable. Security arrangements at all embassies and consulates need to be reviewed immediately. Over the last few decades, we have typically had an attack on one of our embassies and consulates every year. Protecting our assets — especially in a nation as dangerous as Libya — has to be a top priority. Ending our foreign engagements so that we have more troops and more money to make sure we protect our critical assets abroad would help.

Question: President Obama, during the Democratic National Convention in 2008, you stated you wanted to keep AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. What has your administration done or plan to do to limit the availability of assault weapons?:

Crime is down; way down, to levels not seen since the 1960’s. The problem is a violent society, not access to weapons. You could have bazookas in a peaceful society without problems; you could ban all weapons from a violent society and have chaos.

The biggest thing government could do to decrease violence is to end our destructive War on Drugs. All this does is empower gangs, give life-damaging criminal records to non-violent people and burn up money.

The outsourcing of American jobs overseas has taken a toll on our economy. What plans do you have to put back and keep jobs here in the United States?:

The biggest change we need is an end to the double taxation on overseas earnings. We are the only country that punishes companies for earning money in foreign countries. That must stop.

But this is one of the few thing Barack Obama got right: some of those jobs are not coming back. We live in a global market and that’s a good thing. Were it not for the global market, our economic collapse would have been far worse than it was. The unfortunate side effect of that is that jobs that used to be life-long occupations are no longer; that we live in a society where ten years at the same job is a lot.

We can do some things to ease the pain of this. But in the end, the only real alternative is a static moribund economy.

Question: Hi, Governor. I think this is a tough question. Each of you: What do you believe is the biggest misperception that the American people have about you as a man and a candidate? Using specific examples, can you take this opportunity to debunk that misperception and set us straight?

It’s not a tough question, son. It’s a bullshit question. The biggest misperception of any Presidential candidate is that he will either doom or save the nation. I repeat what I said above: politicians are not gods. All they can do is obey the Constitution and pursue policies that create the opportunity for American greatness. Anyone who claims he will save the world should not get your vote.

Election 2012: IV. Why We Should Vote Against Barack Obama

(This is the fourth of five posts I will put up over the weeks of and after the conventions, exploring my thoughts on the Presidential election. Parts one and two were reasons to vote for and against Mitt Romney; Parts three and four will be reasons to vote for and against Barack Obama. Part five will wrap up. Keep in mind, this is my thinking as we went through the conventions. It’s likely that things will change between now and Election Day.)

OK, now that’s all out of the way, here’s the fun part.

Obama’s first term has been littered with disappointments and broken promises, too many to really get into in one post. He has plenty of defenders and I’ll get into their arguments below. But again, this is not about the last four years; it’s about the next four. So why would we not want this guy to have four more years in the White House?

The Economy

You know what? Just for the sake of argument, I’m going to give Barack Obama as much credit as I possibly can for the last three and a half years. And I’m not entirely sure it’s undeserved. When December 2008 rolled around, I thought we were headed for Great Depression II. We were losing 800,000 jobs a month and the economy was declining at an annual rate of 8%. Think about that for a moment. It was the most catastrophic contraction since the Great Depression. I will give him (and Bush) all the credit in the world that we didn’t end up hitting rock bottom. I’ll even punt on the Stimulus and claim that the only reason we didn’t have a depression was because of Obama’s enlightened stewardship. I don’t believe this, mind you. But I’ll posit it for now. All hail Obama, Preventer of Depression II!

But here’s the thing: it’s one thing to prevent a depression, it’s another to get things moving again. The private sector has been recovering, but slowly and it’s not clear that its very sustainable.

Here’s a plot of job growth under this President and his predecessor. And just in case you think I’m being unfair, I got this from ThinkProgress.

You can now see what the Obamaites are on about. Public sector employment has fallen. Private sector employment, after plunging the first year, has slowly recovered basically back to where we were when he took over (although unemployment is still up because of population growth). This contrasts sharply against the Bush’s “recovery” which saw sharp growth in public sector employment and slower growth in the private sector. And that after a much milder bubble bursting.

But … as I keep saying … when you’re comparing yourself to Bush, you are setting the bar awfully low. The point of the Bush era, as the Left never tires of reminding us, was that it was not a great recovery. You compare this to recoveries under Reagan or Clinton and the picture is very different. Obama has had much much slower job growth. And the faster job growth under Clinton and Reagan happened without trillion dollar deficits.

Obama likes to say he’s created 4.5 million new jobs. That’s … not a lot for 42 months. Let’s be generous and only count things from January 2010, six months after the recovery began (a year after the stimulus). That’s still only 155,000 jobs per month. Let’s be even more generous and throw in 600,000 jobs that the public sector lost. Now we’re up to 175,000 a month.

The only way you get up to really robust growth is to toss in another million jobs to represent how the bloated public sector grew under Bush. Now we’re up over 200,000, into good territory. But we had to twist ourselves into a pretzel shape and assume unsustainable Bush-era spending increases to get there. Does that sound like a sound economy to you?

And let me point out: giving Obama every break — starting our counting in January 2010, accounting for public sector shrinkage — we’re still barely at recovery level. Take some time to play with the numbers here and contrast this recovery against those of Reagan and Clinton. With both of them, we were averaging 300,000 jobs per month at this stage. In 1984, we added 300,000 jobs or more in eight months. In 1994, we added 300,000 or more jobs in seven months. You know how many months we’ve added 300,000 jobs under Obama?

One. And that was Census hiring.

Let’s flash up the key figure of the stimulus, which shows how jobs were supposed to recover:

Now I have been as critical as anyone about the use of this figure. The projections Team Obama made were before they knew just how bad the economy was (although they haven’t produced a new figure with accurate economic figures … hmmmm).

But even with that caveat, this is still damning. For one, it tells me that they way underestimated the problem; hardly a vote of confidence in their supposed superstar economic team. For another, underestimating the economy’s freefall might be the reason unemployment peaked much higher than expect. But how do they explain the failure of the red line to drop down? Austerity? Without real spending cuts or tax hikes?

That’s leaving out the elephant in the room: the sharp decline in labor force participation. Labor force participation has been falling for a while as people retire. But that’s not what’s causing the current problem. In fact, young people are leaving the labor force in record numbers while seniors are staying in the labor force. The sharpest decline in labor force participation is among 16-19 year-olds. And less than half of college graduates are finding jobs.

So, OK, I’ll give you the decline in public sector payrolls. But you have to give me the sharp decline in labor force participation. We’ll call it even: unemployment is still over 8%.

Look, I appreciate that the 2008 crisis was unprecedented (although Reagan inherited a bad situation too). I agree that this is not like other recoveries. But I still don’t think the Democrats understand the nature of the problem: massive debt and over-investment in certain sectors. The fact is that the people who authored the crash — the bankers and their cronies in Washington — have never really been held accountable. The fact is that Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank have made our economy less dynamic without decreasing our vulnerability to bank runs. The fact is that we’ve been spending money on green boondoggles and specialized tax breaks and bailouts instead of cutting or eliminating corporate taxes for everyone. The fact is that despite the high hopes when Cass Sunstein was brought on board, Obama has done nothing to streamline regulation and make it easier to do business. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Hell, even when it came to the payroll tax cut, they messed it up. They could have made that cut on the employer side, which would have made it easier to hire people and made it easier for Congress to eventually curtail the cut. Instead, they made it on the employee side, which did precisely dick for hiring and made the cut easy to demagogue. Now we’re stuck with a multi-billion dollar hole in revenues that isn’t helping the economy.

Maybe you could argue that being clueless is a good thing. I certainly think it would help a lot if our government just stopped helping us. We’re in debt and, unless we accept some inflation, that debt is going to keep our economy down for a long time. I said four years ago we might have a lost decade and the only cure for our ills was time and hard work.

But Obama can’t sit around and do nothing. He always has to cock around and try to get things moving. All that’s doing is dragging things out. A Rich pointed out, the Global Competitiveness Index has seen us slip from the #1 economy in 2006-2008 to #7, due to regulation and fiscal uncertainty. Is none of that the President’s fault?

So … again … I appreciate that Obama inherited a gigantic clusterfuck. I appreciate that we have never had a situation like this before. But the policies he has pursued and is promising to continue to pursue are not the policies I think will eventually bring us out of the doldrums.

There is a certain amount of glee in some quarters when bad job numbers come out. It’s a glee I do not share. The continued slow pace of recovery is frustrating and maddening. Millions of good, hard-working people can not find work. That’s far more important than which team of dickheads occupies the Oval Office. If I thought re-electing Barack Obama would turn around the employment picture, I’d vote for him in a heartbeat, Bill Ayers and all. I don’t.

The Budget Deficit

I cited the deficit as a reason to vote for Obama, given that he and Congress have combined to keep spending growth at 1% over the last two years. But constraining the rate of growth is not nearly enough to fix things long term. A major overhaul of Medicare and Social Security are needed.

But I’m not convinced Obama is the guy who can achieve that. Bob Woodward is publishing excerpts from his new book detailing the budget debate of 2011. Now I take Woodward with a heap of salt, generally. But the image he portrays is of a man who simply can not work Congress the way Clinton or Reagan did; who can not be the driving force behind the Grand Bargain needed for long-term fiscal stability. Re-electing Obama is likely to just the kick the can down the road another four years. We’re rapidly running out of road.

Civil Liberties and the War on Drugs

Barack Obama’s record on civil liberties is simply terrible and he has reversed the progress made under Bush in reining in the War on Drugs. There is absolutely no reason to believe this will change in a second Obama term. If anything, it may get worse. Here is that famous Right-Wing rag Mother Jones on how the Democrats dumped almost all civil liberties references from their 2012 platform. MJ is mainly focused on the War on Terror and some of the policies — torture, detention, etc. — are supported by the Right. But … once again … that does not make it right or even neutral. The Democrats are supposed to be the party of civil liberties. Now they seem determined to show just how “tough” they are.

I’ve documented many times how Obama has ramped up the War on Drugs, raiding legal medical marijuana centers, threatening asset forfeiture and tax audits and jailing people for the hideous crime of selling medicine in compliance with state law. It may get even worse. He is now extending civil forfeiture authority to the ATF.

Foreign Policy

In general, I’ve been OK with our foreign policy under Obama. But there have been a number of annoying little mistakes: bumbling around with missile defense, attempting to refer to the “Malvinas”, failing to check the growth of South American socialism, surging in Afghanistan. Almost all of our foreign policy successes, in my opinion, are attributable to Hillary Clinton. She may not be Secretary of State for the entire eight years. And watch out for whoever she is replaced with.

(I never thought I’d praise Hillary in a blog post. Like ever. But I have to give the woman credit for a decent job done.)

Healthcare Reform

If Obama is re-elected, it’s going to be nigh impossible to overhaul or repeal-and-replace Obamacare before it starts really embedding itself in 2014. This is another can we are rapidly running out road to kick down.

Reasons not to not vote for Obama:

Bill Ayers, Obama’s Sr.’s socialism, his college years, his associations, Jeremiah Wright — the whole Obama is crypto-Marxist America-hating Megillah — is irrelevant. Maybe these things were relevant in 2008, when Obama had a scant public record. But we have had four years with him in the White House; we should judge him based on that.

It’s an old cliched joke, but it’s worth repeating: four years ago, they told us that if we voted for McCain, we’d have a sluggish economy, big debts, foreign policy gaffes, useless healthcare reform and even more curtailing of civil liberties. Well, I voted for Barr, actually. But we still have a sluggish economy, big debts, foreign policy gaffes, useless healthcare reform and even more curtailing of civil liberties.

Do we want four more years of this?

Lose-Lose-Win at the NAACP

So, let me get this straight. If Mitt Romney refused to address the NAACP, it would be because he is a racist who doesn’t care about black people. And, apparently, if he does address the NAACP, he’s still a racist who doesn’t care about black people.

Look, I thought Mitt’s speech was a bit clumsy and not well-tailored to his audience (although his reception was a lot more cordial than the video clips let on). But I have been saying for years that the GOP should be making more of an effort effort to get black votes. It will not pay off now; it may not pay off for a couple of decades. But you have to try. And you don’t try by changing your message and pandering. You try by explaining to black people why a conservative agenda is in their interests. There’s no law of nature that say that black people have to vote Democrat.

So good on Mitt for going. I don’t think, contra everyone in the punditsphere, that he went there to get booed so he could rally the racist troops. As I have said about seven million times, this is going to come down to the economy. No one is going to vote for or against Mitt Romney because he was booed by the NAACP. I think his was an honest attempt to break some ice.


The first official vote of the 2012 race is today in Iowa. It looks like the result will be a near tie between Paul, Romney and … I can’t believe I’m typing this .. Santorum. Perry and Gingrich are likely to finish a ways back. Bachmann and Santorum are likely to be way back.

This thing has already dragged out over a year and I think I’ve made my opinions of the candidates clear. I haven’t blogged much on Rick Santorum but I should have. It was utterly predictable that after Palin, Trump, Bachmann, Perry, Cain, Gingrich and Paul he would be the next out of the clown car to surge in the polls (hold out, Mr. Huntsman, your turn is coming!). But, to be clear, this man is not a limited government conservative. He supported every big government program of George W. Bush. He supports an aggressive foreign policy. He was a world-class porker for Pennsylvania while simultaneously opposing the freedom of people to pork who they want and use birth control while porking. With Santorum, you don’t have to infer that he’s a religious radical. He has openly stated it.

Pretty soon, that will be remembered. And we’ll be back to Plan B, which is Mitt Romney.

For the record, I think Obama is going to win re-election this year no matter who the nominee is. There’s always a chance if some major scandal erupts or the economy tanks again, which is why we should find a sensible candidate. But Americans hate unelecting Presidents and the GOP still has a foul taste for too many voters. And the early returns on the economy are hopeful. However, I think it is likely that the GOP will make big gains in the Senate and retain control of the House. In the end, that’s the more important fight. George Will has a good column out expounding on this topic.

Although they have become prone to apocalyptic forebodings about the fragility of the nation’s institutions and traditions under the current President, conservatives should stride confidently into 2012. This is not because they are certain, or even likely, to defeat Barack Obama this year. Rather, it is because, if they emancipate themselves from their unconservative fixation on the presidency, they will see events unfolding in their favour. And when Congress is controlled by one party, as it might be a year from now, it can stymie an overreaching executive.

I’m not yet convinced that the GOP is sane or reliable enough to have the entire government in their hands. I can live with divided government … if the GOP can force some fiscal discipline.

They admit they wanted it to fail!

And that’s because they think they profit from that failure. Barney Frank, he who with another crook, Chris Dodd, was instrumental in the last housing market collapse, and, whom i remind you all demanded to “fix it”, and thus, have set us up for an even bigger one in the near future, admits that the super committee, that many like me have pointed out was set up from the start to fail by the left, failing, was good for democrats.

Video, with green lefty propaganda advertisement when I watched it, follows.

The question begs to be asked: “Why does it always feel like every time democrats “win” anything, that the country loses big?” This committee was set up to fail from the start because the left wants both to destroy the military and, at a minimum, keep the current spending levels. After all, it has allowed them to steer trillions of dollars to their base, lobbying community, friends, chosen businesses, and of course, campaign coffers, and they know that without all that money they would end up dead.

Occupy Continues To Lose Sympathy

You know, I heard a lot of criticism of the Tea Party back in the day. But I don’t recall them do anything like this:

Police have arrested an Occupy Fort Collins protester in connection with a $10 million arson fire that damaged dozens of condominiums and businesses in Fort Collins.

Benjamin David Gilmore, 29, was arrested on Thursday night on suspicion of arson, burglary and criminal mischief.

On Oct. 24, a fire started at 3:30 a.m. in a four-story apartment complex under construction. The fire spread to the occupied Penny Flats condominium and retail building next door.

I’m sure the OWS folks will say this is just a rogue element. But these elements are becoming more and more common and, fairly or unfairly, becoming the face of the movement. The “rogue elements” are becoming a rogue movement.

The problem with the Occupy movement is the occupy part. The Tea Parties had the right idea: everyone protest then go back to work. By not creating a permanent presence, they kept things under control. But with Occupy, you have tons of people just sitting around day after day, becoming a magnet from criminals, anarchists and rapists. This has not been helped by the encouragements of certain dim-bulb mayors.

Early on, I said that I was encouraged by the Tea Party but wanted to see a coherent agenda emerge. It sorta did. But for OWS, the need is even more urgent because they have a much more intrinsically volatile situation. Occasional agendas emerge but they are lost in the howl of protest for the sake of protest and increasingly anti-social destructive behavior.

It’s time to back off, drain the dangerous energy and coalesce behind an agenda, even if it’s a liberal one. If OWS doesn’t shift to protesting FOR something, rather than against everything, this is only going to get worse.

Update: Crap like this isn’t helping either. Memo to Occupy DC — both parties are to blame.

Like Herpes…

It looks like one of the DNC tax payer subsidized propaganda arms, even after being defunded, simply will not go away. Who am I talking about? Well the organization previously know as ACORN. Seems they are in the news again and not surprisingly, they are part & parcel of the OWS protests.

Officials with the revamped ACORN office in New York — operating as New York Communities for Change — have fired staff, shredded reams of documents and told workers to blame disgruntled ex-employees for leaking information in an effort to explain away a FoxNews.com report last week on the group’s involvement in Occupy Wall Street protests, according to sources.

NYCC also is installing surveillance cameras and recording devices at its Brooklyn offices, removing or packing away supplies bearing the name ACORN and handing out photos of Fox News staff with a stern warning not to talk to the media, the sources said.

“They’re doing serious damage control right now,” said an NYCC source.

NYCC Executive Director Jon Kest has been calling a series of emergency meetings to discuss last week’s report—and taking extreme measures to identify the sources in their office and to prevent further damage, a source within NYCC told FoxNews.com.

Two staffers were fired after NYCC officials suspected them as the source of the leaks, a source told FoxNews.com. “One was fired the day the story came out, the other was fired on Friday. (NYCC senior staff) told everyone that they were fired because they talked to you,” a source said.

NYCC spokesman Scott Levenson denied that anyone was fired for talking to the press.

FoxNews.com’s report identified NYCC as a key organizing force behind the Occupy Wall Street protests. Sources within the group also told FoxNews.com NYCC was hiring people to carry signs and join the protests. NYCC — a nonprofit organization run almost entirely by former ACORN officials and employees –did not reply for comment prior to the publication of the initial article, but later posted a statement on its website dismissing the article and denying that it pays protesters.

What? We find out that whatever ACORN now calls itself it is again shilling for the left, with tax payer money involved again, directly or indirectly, I am certain, and that they retaliate against the people that blew the whistle on them? Chicago style, baby! Don’t be too harsh on “The organization formerly called ACRON”, though isn’t alone here. It seems like another DNC financial/propaganda machine is at it too. OWS is about as grassroots and about the people as Johnson’s Gulf of Tonkin incident was legit.

And it’s not a coincidence that the only people reporting on this – that’s why both links come from there – are those that are NOT members of the usual LSM, which I should add is another branch of the democrat party propaganda machine, and the blogosphere. An unholy trinity right there – the LSM, unions, and community organizations – if you will allow the comparison. In the mean time the leftosphere is giving air time to more lies. 15%? Fuck Nancy, what are you smoking and is it medicinal and not illegal? Even the CBO, which I remind you is played by these crooks in the democrat party like a fucking fiddle, at best says, at best I repeat, that it would have been 10%. And I disagree vehemently with their assertion and actually believe that it would have been less than that, and more importantly, that we would have seen an economic recovery by now if these crooks hadn’t wasted trillions larding the pockets of their friends and their campaign coffers.

On another note, watch the LSM make a huge deal about nothing. Remember back when they used to tell us 4% unemployment was a disaster? Heh! Yeah, bullshit from the left is like Herpes. it never goes away.

This is one of the guy that “knows” how to fix the economy?

Talking about the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, whom yesterday dropped another shit bomb. Lets remember that our nation is faced with an unprecedented crisis and economic downturn that has left us with a historically high and long lasting unemployment rate of 9.1%, with the LSM for months now telling us things are going to get better followed by “unexpected” job loss numbers of 400K+ every month. Lets not forget that Reid & company fooled Americans into letting them flush what will cost us far more than a trillion dollars on stimuluspatronage bill that did nothing but lard the pockets of democrat, friends, lobbyists, donors, campaign coffers, special interests, corporate entities like Solyndra, and primarily spent funds to protect federal & state public jobs & interests – that means it grew the public sector at both the state and he federal level for those that are big government supporters – at tax payer expense. And those jobs they claim to have saved or created came at a steep price per job, with an even steeper cost borne by the private sector. Hence the stunner when
Reid made the incredulous statement that the private sector was doing fine and that government had to do stimulus part deux to save the hurting public sector.

If us rubes needed any more proof that these retards do not have a clue about what the economic engine in this country is, or worse, do have a clue, but actually believe it is their function to change that, so that public sector jobs somehow, not just magically replace the private sector jobs, but also start generating wealth instead of just destroying it as they spread the wealth around, this is it. From The Hill:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Wednesday indicated Congress needs to worry about government jobs more than private-sector jobs, and that this is why Senate Democrats are pushing a bill aimed at shoring up teachers and first-responders. “It’s very clear that private-sector jobs have been doing just fine; it’s the public-sector jobs where we’ve lost huge numbers, and that’s what this legislation is all about,” Reid said on the Senate floor.

Reid was responding to recent comments from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who accused Democrats of purposefully pursuing higher taxes as part of the teacher/first-responder bill, S. 1723, so that Republicans would oppose it.

McConnell said the bill was meant to fail in order to give Democrats an issue to run on in the 2012 election, but Reid said the Republicans are simply trying to defeat President Obama any way they can. The legislation Reid is defending is part of Obama’s jobs package. Vice President Biden was in Pennsylvania, an important election state, on Tuesday to push for the administration’s plan on increasing the number of teachers.

If this is not an illustration Reid and others on Team Obama are basically using the private sector – that’s us wealth producers and tax cattle – to expand and reward their voter base, and I do not believe I need to provide proof that the public sector is beholden to the left, since only a hack would question or even try to negate that obvious fact, while pretending they care about the little guy, then I think nothing ever will suffice to convince you that it is not coincidental that the democrats talk about the need for government to spend lots of money to address [fill in the blank] right before election time.

Obama’s new job plan is more of the same: lard for the base. It will have the exact same result as the previous one, no matter how much money it indebts the country by: it will serve to help steer huge sums of money to special interest and democrats, grow the private sector, do nothing of significance to address the job market or steer thee economy in a direction that would jump start growth in the private sector – more likely it will cost the private sector lots of jobs – all at the expense of American tax payers.

At least the left is candid about what their priorities are when we listen, but don’t expect the LSM to do anything but ignore this horrendous revelation. If you care about jobs, Reid and his gang certainly are not your horse unless you are a public sector empoloyee. If you are not, then as Reid said: you are already doing just fine by him.