Sunday, November 28, 2010

College Football Update 11/28/2010



Congratulations to Louisville, Western Michigan, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida International, and Troy, which all became bowl eligible this week. That brings the number of bowl eligible teams to 70. That is the magic number. And there is still one more week left in the season. Clearly we need more bowls.

Condolences to Colorado, Texas, Cincinnati, Louisiana-Monroe, Idaho, Rutgers, California, UCLA, Houston, and Florida Atlantic, which can no longer reach bowl eligibility this season. That brings the number of teams ineligible for bowls to 46.

Oregon State, Washington, Louisiana Tech, and Middle Tennessee State can still reach bowl eligibility in the final week of the regular season.

Ratings?

Computer top 5:

  1. Oregon
  2. Auburn
  3. Stanford
  4. Boise St
  5. TCU

The computer rating is a composite of a “Win”-based rating much like what’s used in the BCS, and a somewhat Margin-Of-Victory (MOV) based rating.

In case you’re interested in the breakdown, here’s Win:

  1. Auburn
  2. Oregon
  3. TCU
  4. Stanford
  5. Oklahoma

MLE:

  1. Oregon
  2. Boise St
  3. Stanford
  4. Alabama
  5. Ohio St

Monday, November 22, 2010

Watchmen



When I was in college, a man named Frank Miller virtually invented the graphic novel with his opus, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. It remains one of the most famous graphic novels, along with another which was released that same year, Watchmen, by Alan Moore. I read the former soon after it was released and enjoyed it immensely. I picked up Watchmen several times over the last 25 years, but never ended up buying it.

Recently, Watchmen became a motion picture, and I finally got around to catching it on TV. Regrettably, I’ve lost three hours of my life that I’ll never get back. Even more regrettably, the flaws in this story made me finally see some of the flaws in The Dark Knight Returns as well.

In both the Frank Miller work and the Alan Moore work, we see retired caped crusaders electing to come out of retirement. While one might tend to think of the lone vigilante fighting for the people as a conservative idea, these stories are both liberal fantasies. The evil faced in both The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen is a crazed and oppressive government hell bent on hurtling the world towards “mutually assured destruction”.  The face of this oppression in Frank Miller’s work is President Ronald Reagan (R-USA) and his cohort, Superman. In Moore’s work, it’s the even more evil, President Richard Nixon (R-USA).

Ok, I’m used to our liberal writers and directors and their definition of evil: conservatism, and their naïve view of world politics and the military. So, this is nothing new.

Watchmen takes things a step further into liberal lunacy, however, and has ultimate evil disguised as ultimate good. I’m going to talk about the end of the story here. You’ve been warned.

In Watchmen, the solution to this mutual assured destruction problem is genocide. One of the Watchmen, Ozymandias,  decides that by destroying all the major cities in the world, he can prevent humanity from destroying itself. After he does so, Nixon reaches out to Khrushchev and détente begins. Our heroes were attempting to stop this madman from his efforts, but failed. And seeing the results, peace breaking out all over the world, most relent and go along with this sociopath. Rorschach can’t stomach it and wants to tell the world exactly what has just happened, and Dr. Manhattan kills him for it, to save this artificial peace.

Our hero, Daniel, almost gets it, and attacks Ozymandias, telling him he hasn’t saved humanity, he’s only deformed it. But even he says at the end that the peace will continue “as long as they think [Dr. Manhattan] is watching” over them.

As I said, this is the ultimate liberal fantasy. The average Joe Schmoe isn’t capable of making intelligent decisions. It must be left to some supreme decider who knows much better than us what is right for all of us. We have to have that overlord protecting us from ourselves.

Ozymandias however is the ultimate evil, no matter how much he is painted as a hero by the film. His vision of destruction of some of the human race so that the rest of us may thrive has been shared by tyrants since the dawn of time. Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, and Mao, are just a few from the recent past who shared his vision of how to create a utopian society.

Everything about the conclusion of Watchmen is disgusting and revolting, and I wish I’d never wasted the time on it. The only thing useful is that it’s a revealing look into the liberal mind and their vision of utopia.

47 Years Ago Today



A little less than three years before I was born.

 

Requiescat in pace, Mr. President.

The Rising Cost of Debt



A picture paints a thousand words. I have nothing to add, except to point out that this is a best case scenario.

Read the original article here.

Sarah Palin Schools Ben Bernanke & The Wall Street Journal



This is a little dated. As I said in a previous post, I’ve been busy.

As you’ve no doubt heard by now, the Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is preparing for his second round of “quantitative easing” to improve the economy. Basically, the reason why he and President Barack Obama’s (D-USA) administration is behind this is simple. They refuse to recognize the failure of Keynesian economics, and thus don’t understand why the economy is not recovering. Given that, this is the only bullet left in their gun, so they have to try it.

Their exact plan is to buy from $600 billion to $1 trillion in government securities. Of course, we don’t have the money to do this, so we’re just printing it. As I said, almost a year ago today, this is an exceptionally bad idea. At the time, I was discussing our historic debt and what to do about it. Here’s what I said then (emphasis added):

So the problem is the debt-to-GDP ratio. There are exactly four ways to reduce it. I suspect that we’ll have to do at least two of them.

1) Grow the economy

2) Cut spending

3) Increase taxes

4) Print money

I’m no Nobel Laureate, but if there’s another way, I sure don’t know about it.

Let’s assume that we’re not going to buy our way out of this by printing obscene amounts of money. You get double and triple digit inflation that way and destroy the economy. Generally, that’s a last resort. And usually fails in any event.

Everything Obama has tried has failed at #1. He’s utterly opposed to #2, and the economic situation and the new Congress makes #3 out of the question. We’re now left with #4, the one that I assumed at the time we’d not be stupid enough to attempt.

In Isaac Asimov’s Foundation, Salvor Hardin makes the following famous quote, “Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.” I should write a whole series of posts about that and terrorism, but I digress. However, what Bernanke is planning here is a violent solution to our economic woes and demonstrates his incompetence and general unfitness for the position he now holds.

How does this relate to former Governor Sarah Palin (R-AK) and the WSJ? She lays it out in detail here.

We shouldn’t be playing around with inflation. It’s not for nothing Reagan called it “as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber, and as deadly as a hit man.” The Fed’s pump priming addiction has got our small businesses running scared, and our allies worried. The German finance minister called the Fed’s proposals “clueless.” When Germany, a country that knows a thing or two about the dangers of inflation, warns us to think again, maybe it’s time for Chairman Bernanke to cease and desist. We don’t want temporary, artificial economic growth bought at the expense of permanently higher inflation which will erode the value of our incomes and our savings. We want a stable dollar combined with real economic reform. It’s the only way we can get our economy back on the right track.

(read the whole thing)

China has also ridiculed the plan. Now, generally I’m not a globalist, and usually don’t care what other countries think of our policies. The reason is simply that countries act in their own best interest, and they ridicule our policies when they believe they impact their best interests. The problem is that generally it’s not worthwhile to assume that our best interest is the same as someone else’s, so listening to these whinings is self-defeating.

However, when we’re talking about a global recession, there are times that our interests converge. Germany, China, and everyone else who exports to us is interested in our economic growth. And they realize that this is not the best way to get there.

Unfortunately, the WSJ doesn’t get it either. And they don’t even read their own paper, hence the other part of my subject.

From the WSJ:

Unlike most U.S. economists and politicians, however, Palin tries to draw the concerns about quantitative easing to inflation today and falls short. She says, “everyone who ever goes out shopping for groceries knows that prices have risen significantly over the past year or so. Pump priming would push them even higher.”

Grocery prices haven’t risen all that significantly, in fact. The consumer price index’s measure of food and beverages for the first nine months of this year showed average annual inflation of less than 0.6%, the slowest pace on record (since the Labor Department started keeping this measure in 1968). Even if you pick a single snapshot — say, September’s year-over-year increase in prices — that was just 1.4%, far better than the 6% annual increase for food prices recorded in September 2008.

But also from the WSJ:

An inflationary tide is beginning to ripple through America's supermarkets and restaurants, threatening to end the tamest year of food pricing in nearly two decades.

Prices of staples including milk, beef, coffee, cocoa and sugar have risen sharply in recent months.

If you’re having problems reconciling the two articles, you’re not alone. You’re with Palin, as a matter of fact.

And, as Ed Morrissey notes:

The problem isn’t that this current inflation rate is somehow historically large.  It isn’t, as Reddy and the original WSJ article notes, although retailers are already having problems in getting consumers to purchase goods in normal quantities because of it.  The point Palin made was that taking a voyage on the QE2 would make a difficult issue for consumers and retailers much worse through the deliberate introduction of even higher inflation, an explicit motivation behind the Fed’s actions.

So Palin was right once again, and once again a reporter winds up with egg on face from starting out with an assumption that Palin couldn’t possibly know what she’s talking about.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

Many people are wondering whether Palin is going to run for President in 2012. Many people are wondering if she should, and think she’d be a bad choice for the GOP.

However, Palin continues to make her voice heard against the atrocities being planned and committed by this administration. It was through her efforts that the death panels (no, I’m not going to lessen that phrase by putting quotes around it) were removed from the disaster known as Obamacare. Time and time again she has forced the administration to respond to her and to the American public. And, as above, time and time again, they have underestimated her.

I would gladly post an article here about Romney or Huckabee statements, but they are startlingly quiet, only speaking out on shows like Face the Nation and Meet the Press when directly asked. It has been Palin who has consistently shown initiative and determination in fighting this administration. In short, Palin has shown real leadership, while Romney et al have shown the ability to go whichever way the wind blows.

Something to consider, just like Palin’s words on QE2.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

College Football Update 11/21/2010



Congratulations to Boston College, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Texas Tech, Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Illinois, SMU, Notre Dame, and BYU which all became bowl eligible this week. That brings the number of bowl eligible teams to 64. There are 35 bowls this season, so we only need 6 more teams.

Condolences to Purdue, Indiana, Kent State, Utah State, Marshall, Tulane, Arkansas State, Mississippi, and Iowa State, which can no longer reach bowl eligibility this season (unless the rules change). That brings the number of teams ineligible for bowls to 36.

There are 120 teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision (the division formerly known as D-1A) for those keeping score at home. So, if the number of ineligible teams reaches 51, we have a problem.

Ratings?

Computer top 5:

  1. Oregon
  2. Boise State
  3. Auburn
  4. TCU
  5. Stanford

The computer rating is a composite of a “Win”-based rating much like what’s used in the BCS, and a somewhat Margin-Of-Victory (MOV) based rating.

In case you’re interested in the breakdown, here’s Win:

  1. Auburn
  2. Oregon
  3. TCU
  4. Boise State
  5. Stanford
Here’s this week’s MLE top 5:
  1. Boise State
  2. Oregon
  3. Alabama
  4. Auburn
  5. Stanford

Friday, November 19, 2010

College Football Update



Yes, I know it’s been almost two weeks since I’ve updated anything here. Things have been busy at home. And I’ve been making lots of changes to my sports ratings application, some to improve, and some because the site that I retrieve my college basketball information from is no longer being updated. So, I had to find a new site, and write the code to handle it. In the process I found a couple bugs that needed to be fixed, so I had to spend some time on that as well.

Anyway, the long and the short is that I’ve been busy, but should be able to return to more regular updates starting this weekend.

Congratulations to South Florida, Syracuse, West Virginia, East Carolina, Army, Miami-Ohio, Air Force, and Kentucky which all became bowl eligible this week. That brings the number of bowl eligible teams to 55. There are 35 bowls this season, so we still need 15 teams. That’s quite a bit considering that most teams will end their season in the next two weeks.

Condolences to Alabama-Birmingham, Duke, Virginia, Kansas, and Arizona State, which can no longer reach bowl eligibility this season (unless the rules change). That brings the number of teams ineligible for bowls to 27.

There are 120 teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision (the division formerly known as D-1A) for those keeping score at home. So, if the number of ineligible teams reaches 51, we have a problem.

Ratings?

Computer top 5:

  1. Oregon
  2. Auburn
  3. Boise St
  4. TCU
  5. Missouri

The computer rating is a composite of a “Win”-based rating much like what’s used in the BCS, and a somewhat Margin-Of-Victory (MOV) based rating.

In case you’re interested in the breakdown, here’s Win:

  1. Auburn
  2. Oregon
  3. TCU
  4. LSU
  5. Stanford

I have really revamped MLE this week. It now handles “surprises” much better. Basically, if a team has played 5 games and been fairly consistent for four of them, but played at a radically different level for the 5th, then the computer now limits the impact of that fifth game. This is something I’ve been meaning to put in for quite a while, as I use MLE for projections, and this should make my projections better.

Here’s this week’s MLE top 5:

  1. Oregon
  2. Alabama
  3. Auburn
  4. Oklahoma
  5. Ohio State

As I predicted last update, Oregon’s MLE rating is no longer stratospheric. They’re actually at a fairly reasonable level for the #1 team this late in the season. 1945 Army can rest knowing that once again they are #1 all time, and likely to remain so.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

College Football Week 10



Congratulations to Miami (FL), North Carolina, Kansas State, Texas A&M, Michigan, Penn State, Southern Miss, Tulsa, UTEP, Navy, Air Force, Florida, and Fresno State, which all became bowl eligible this week. That brings the number of bowl eligible teams to 47. There are 35 bowls this season, so we still need 23 teams.

Condolences to North Texas, Rice, Colorado State, New Mexico State, Wake Forest, Buffalo, Vanderbilt, and Louisiana-Lafayette, which can no longer reach bowl eligibility this season (unless the rules change). That brings the number of teams ineligible for bowls to 22.

There are 120 teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision (the division formerly known as D-1A) for those keeping score at home. So, if the number of ineligible teams reaches 51, we have a problem.

Ratings?

Computer top 5:

  1. Oregon
  2. TCU
  3. Boise State
  4. Auburn
  5. Stanford

The computer rating is a composite of a “Win”-based rating much like what’s used in the BCS, and a somewhat Margin-Of-Victory (MOV) based rating.

In case you’re interested in the breakdown, here’s Win:

  1. Auburn
  2. TCU
  3. Oregon
  4. LSU
  5. Boise State

I said last week that Win puts too much emphasis on strength of schedule (SOS). I have modified it starting this week to take that into consideration. I still think I can do some more work here, but I’m happier with the results.

MLE (maximum likelihood estimate):

  1. Oregon
  2. TCU
  3. Boise State
  4. Stanford
  5. Alabama

Oregon has now passed 1945 Army in MLE and is now #1 all time. In addition, Boise State has surged to #4 all time. I still expect them to fall back to earth a bit before the end of the season, but I could be wrong. It’s near certain at this point that if Oregon and TCU were to play for the title, the winner would be #1 all time in MLE.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Headline Of The Day



Obama calls for compromise, won't budge on tax cuts

Brilliant.

“At a time when we are going to ask folks across the board to make such difficult sacrifices, I don’t see how we can afford to borrow an additional $700 billion from other countries to make all the Bush tax cuts permanent, even for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans," the president said. "We’d be digging ourselves into an even deeper fiscal hole and passing the burden on to our children."

Hey champ. If you hadn’t saddled us with a $10 trillion health care program, or a $1 trillion stimulus package that doesn’t stimulate anything, or had shown any inclination at all to reign in spending from any department, then maybe, just maybe, we could afford such a thing.

Anyway, the trickle-down economics theory still is justified. These are the people who create the most growth in the American economy. It’s foolish, criminally so, to raise their taxes in the middle of an economic downturn. If, after two years, you are still unable to grasp this simple fact, maybe it’s time for you to look for a new job. You’ve obviously failed at this one.

Until and unless you can make a rational argument in favor of raising these taxes, you don’t get to talk about the “cost” of not doing so.

Besides, as I’ve noted before, your math is faulty. Hardly surprising, since you keep listening to the likes of Dr. Paul Krugman, Idiot-At-Large.

Don’t call for compromise until you’re planning on doing some yourself. Until then, it’s just hot air.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Phase I–Complete. Phase II and III Start Now



Well, started Wednesday actually.

Yes, there are still two more phases in turning this country around.

Phase II – Hold the GOP’s feet to the fire. Remind people like Senator Lindsey Graham (RINO-SC) how we got here.

“Candidates matter,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). “It was a good night for Republicans but it could have been a better one. We left some on the table.”
[…]

“If you think what happened in Delaware is ‘a win’ for the Republican Party then we don’t have a snowball’s chance to win the White House,” he said. “If you think Delaware was a wake-up call for Republicans than we have shot at doing well for a long time.”

Let me be blunt, Senator. If you think that Mike Castle is an example of what’s right with the Republican party, then you’re an example of what’s wrong with the Republican party.

Did the Tea Party movement make some bad choices. Possibly. Does that happen every election cycle, no matter who we’re talking about? Absolutely. However, when the Tea Party movement’s candidate lost in a primary, they (generally) supported the winning Republican candidate. There’s a lesson to be learned there and it ain’t the grassroots that needs to learn it, Mr. Graham.

My advice to Senator Graham. Read this article from RedState. And this one by Sarah Palin. Then sit down, shut up, and get out of the way.

After getting clobbered over the NY-23 race and Dede Scozzafava, the NRCC took a hands off approach and let local voters choose their candidates. Not the NRSC. It doubled up around the country igniting a civil war with the grassroots — a civil war that would have never happened but their getting into Florida and doubling down.

The NRSC’s argument amounts to telling the world that voters exercising their right to pick their candidates are stupid and Jim DeMint is stupid for siding with the voters.

And:

But even more to the point, we saw in the last decade what happens when conservatives hold their noses and elect liberals who have an “R” after their names. Our party’s message of freedom and fiscal responsibility became diluted. In 2008, it was difficult to claim on the one hand that we were the party of fiscal responsibility and on the other hand that our fiscal policies work. It was clear to the electorate that the GOP had not adhered to fiscally conservative positions, and that the liberal positions they did adhere to didn’t work. If we go on in that direction again, we won’t have a base, let alone a majority. Certainly we can and should back sensible center-right candidates in bluer states, but I see no point in backing someone who supports cap-and-tax, Obamacare, bailouts, taxes, and more useless stimulus packages.

The Sarah Palin article is one of her best, and that’s saying quite a bit.

So, Phase II is to keep the pressure on the GOP, not only people like Lindsey Graham, but our new freshman class as well. Senator-elect Marco Rubio (R-FL) needs to put actions to his words. The next two years can set up the GOP for even bigger wins in 2012, or they can destroy the party. Following Graham’s path leads to that destruction. The Palin path can lead to success.

Phase III is the campaign for 2012. Actually this almost be divided into a Phase III-A and a Phase III-B.

We want to win the White House in 2012. But that’s useless without several more seats in the Senate, and big pickups in the House would be nice as well. In fact, if I have to choose between getting rid of Obama and getting to 53-55 seats in the Senate, I chose the Senate. Really, we want both. And we need to take that into consideration during the 2012 primaries.

I will have more to say about Phase III in the coming days. I probably won’t say much more about Phase II until Congress is back in session.

Here’s a little something to whet your appetite for Phase III, though.

 

P.S. It’s worth mentioning that our Senate gains were pretty big. The fact that anyone can actually argue about how we could have gotten to 10 seats is amazing considering what the GOP was looking at even 6 months ago. the GOP did better than average for an off year election, and with retirees, the Senate is going to be a far more conservative body than the last two years. Some people are saying that the GOP has “effective control” over the Senate which is probably a stretch, but this article sums up the situation very well.

Better Late Than Never–This Week’s College Football Update



Sorry so late this week. Been busy with election stuff and real life. Smile

Congratulations to Maryland, North Carolina State, Iowa, Northwestern, Central Florida, Ohio, Toledo, Arkansas, South Carolina, Hawaii, Nevada, and San Diego State, which all became bowl eligible this week. That brings the number of bowl eligible teams to 34. There are 35 bowls this season so we’re nearly half way there.

Condolences to Wyoming, Western Kentucky, Central Michigan, Ball State, Memphis, and UNLV, which can no longer reach bowl eligibility this season (unless the rules change). That brings the number of teams ineligible for bowls to 14.

There are 120 teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision (the division formerly known as D-1A) for those keeping score at home. So, if the number of ineligible teams reaches 51, we have a problem.

Ratings?

Computer top 5:

  1. TCU
  2. Oregon
  3. Missouri
  4. Auburn
  5. Boise State

The computer rating is a composite of a “Win”-based rating much like what’s used in the BCS, and a somewhat Margin-Of-Victory (MOV) based rating.

In case you’re interested in the breakdown, here’s Win:

  1. Auburn
  2. Missouri
  3. Oklahoma
  4. TCU
  5. LSU

In my opinion, my “Win” rating puts too much emphasis on strength of schedule (SOS), and therefore rates teams like Missouri and Oklahoma (with one loss each) too high. I’ve tinkered with it a little bit, but haven’t come up with a solution I like better. If I de-emphasize it too much I get undefeated teams from the Football Championship Subdivision (the division formerly known as D-1AA) ranked in the top 10, and I don’t believe that for a minute. So, I’m looking for a better balance, and I don’t think I’m quite there. I may have to change my algorithm completely, which might mean that this has to sit on the back burner for a while.

MLE (maximum likelihood estimate):

  1. Oregon
  2. TCU
  3. Boise State
  4. Alabama
  5. Stanford

MLE has Oregon and TCU as #2 and #3 all time, behind 1945 Army. I expect them to fall back to earth a bit before the end of the season, but we’ll see.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Where Are We And What Next?



My plan was to have this written for this morning, but I was too tired when I went to bed.

The wave came ashore and the House was hit hard by the flood. The GOP made historic gains in the House, and fared far less well in the Senate.

As I write this, it appears that Lisa Murkowski will return as Senator from AK. There has been some speculation that she might switch sides and caucus with the Democrats. That would be extremely surprising. The Murkowskis are one of the leading families in AK’s “Corrupt Bastards Club”. The rest of the Club is all Republican, and they’d never forgive her if she went over to the other side. This term would absolutely be her last, and she wouldn’t even be able to sell space heaters in AK afterwards.

Still, Murkowski doesn’t strike me as the brightest bulb in the box, so maybe she’ll switch after all.

The other big surprise is Nevada, where Sharron Angle appears to have lost rather decisively, despite never trailing in a single poll over the last several weeks. There are a couple reasons for this, I think, and one relates to general underperformance in the Senate races overall.

It went relatively unnoticed at the time, but several weeks ago, Michael Steele elected not to spend money on Get Out The Vote (GOTV) efforts, and leave that to the local organizations. Despite what you may have read/heard, the RNC was cash strapped for most of the year. Steele had to choose between funding an increasingly larger GOP field, or to spend money on GOTV. His decision will undoubtedly be second-guessed for years to come, but it’s pretty certain that the Democrats outplayed the Republicans in GOTV. The Dems overperformed the polls in every close Senate race.

However, even without the GOTV issues, Sharron Angle may have been doomed. I noticed another thing several weeks ago, and then later forgot it, and I wish I hadn’t. The Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) came out resoundingly in support of Harry Reid (D-NV). I’m not so sure this was a smart decision, because it seems to me that Reid has not delivered for Nevada gaming in the last 10 years at least, and definitely since he became Majority Leader. But, the NGC understands the way the game is played, and knows that the Senate Majority Leader is a stronger ally to have than a freshman Senator.

If you’ve spent any significant time dealing with politics in Nevada (and I have), there’s one thing you learn very quickly. Nothing, and I mean nothing that’s political happens in Nevada without the permission of the NGC. You can’t raise the rates on parking meters without NGC approval. Their strong endorsement turned Angle’s already steep uphill climb into climbing Mt. Everest.

So, that’s where we are. Frankly, a great place to be, and miles better than the GOP could’ve expected to be a year or even six months ago.

What next?

Already the media is clamoring that the GOP will have to work with the President and come to compromise with him. I’m trying to remember the last time I heard someone from the MSM say that a Democratic congress would have to work with a Republican President and come to compromise with him. I don’t think it’s ever happened.

Well, the answer to that is still “Hell, no”. The President didn’t want to work with us on the stimulus. He didn’t want to work with us on Obamacare. And he paid the price, and Democrats will pay the price for years for them. He has the country going in completely the wrong direction. Compromises aren’t going to fix that. We need to turn around. If he wants to help with that, then we can compromise. Otherwise, he needs to shut up and get out of the way.

Now, there is some bad news here. We’re not going to repeal Obamacare. Not while he’s in office. And we may never be able to get rid of it entirely. Even defunding it runs risks, as it will likely produce a government shutdown showdown with the President.  We’re also going to have to accept the fact that deficits are going to be extraordinarily high for a while, and that we may have to raise the debt ceiling again.

That’s the bad news. There’s much more good news, however. Cap and trade is now dead. At least until 2013. So is “comprehensive immigration reform”. So is any new huge government stimulus package. None of these have a chance at passage in either the House or the Senate. On the other hand, extension of the Bush tax cuts for all Americans is a near certainty. It will easily pass both Houses, and the President will have to sign it. In fact, there’s a good chance this is on his desk before the end of this month.

Now, just because we’re not going to be able to slash the budget wherever we want, doesn’t  mean we shouldn’t try.  We should try to set a spending freeze at the very minimum. Across the board. Including defense. The GOP needs to have their feet held to the fire on this one. Force President Obama (D-USA) to say no.

We should come up with our own stimulus plan. One that doesn’t require $700 billion of government faux shovel ready projects. One that promotes real and long term growth. We should pass it and dare the President to veto it. As I’m writing this, Obama is speaking. And he’s still petulant and condescending. That’s good. The more combative the next two years are, the better for the country.

The economy is already showing small signs of coming out of its doldrums. In the last few weeks there have been a few good economic reports. We should expect to see more over the next six months or so, as the private sector finally can stop worrying about uncertainty. However, due to the high number of “discouraged” job hunters out there, the unemployment rate may stay over 9% for quite some time. I’d be extremely surprised to see it below 8.5% a year from now.

I still have to finish my series on the Tea Party. I haven’t forgotten that. I’ve just been too busy with other things. Those posts will be coming in the next few days, I think, and now I’ll be able to add my thoughts on how the Tea Party successes and failures will impact our Congress over the next two years.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Independence Day

Today we can vote to remove ourselves from the bonds of tyranny that have shackled us these last two years. It seems only fitting that I post the following:
In Congress, July 4, 1776.
A Declaration
By the Representatives of the
United states of America,
In general Congress assembled.
When in the course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.
We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness—-That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security. Such has been the patient Sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the Necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The History of the Present King of Great-Britain is a History of repeated Injuries and Usurpations, all having in direct Object the Establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid World.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public Good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing Importance, unless suspended in their Operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the Accommodation of large Districts of People; unless those People would relinquish the Right of Representation in the Legislature, a Right inestimable to them, and formidable to Tyrants only.
He has called together Legislative Bodies at Places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the Depository of their public Records, for the sole Purpose of fatiguing them into Compliance with his Measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly Firmness his Invasions on the Rights of the People.
He has refused for a long Time, after such Dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the Dangers of Invasion from without, and Convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the Population of these States; for that Purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their Migrations hither, and raising the Conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the Tenure of their Offices, and Amount and Payment of their Salaries.
He has erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their Substance.
He has kept among us, in Times of Peace, Standing Armies, without the consent of our Legislature.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a Jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and unacknowledged by our Laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large Bodies of Armed Troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all Parts of the World:
For imposing taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us, in many Cases, of the Benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended Offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an arbitrary Government, and enlarging its Boundaries, so as to render it at once an Example and fit Instrument for introducing the same absolute Rule in these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with Powers to legislate for us in all Cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our Seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our Towns, and destroyed the Lives of our People.
He is, at this Time, transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the Works of Death, Desolation, and Tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and Perfidy, scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous Ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized Nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the Executioners of their Friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic Insurrections among us, and has endeavoured to bring on the Inhabitants of our Frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known Rule of Warfare, is an undistinguished Destruction, of all Ages, Sexes and Conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions we have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble Terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury. A Prince, whose Character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the Ruler of a free People.
Nor have we been wanting in Attentions to our British Brethren. We have warned them from Time to Time of Attempts by their Legislature to extend an unwarrantable Jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the Circumstances of our Emigration and Settlement here. We have appealed to their native Justice and Magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the Ties of our common Kindred to disavow these Usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our Connections and Correspondence. They too have been deaf to the Voice of Justice and of Consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the Necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of Mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace, Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly Publish and Declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be, Free and Independent States; that they are absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political Connection between them and the State of Great-Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of the divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
Signed by Order and in Behalf of the Congress,
John Hancock, President.
Attest.
Charles Thomson, Secretary.
The flood is here.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Morning or Mourning? You Decide

While running for re-election in 1984, the Reagan campaign released an add entitled “Morning in America”. The ad was terrific and it and the phrase “Morning in America” became defining elements of the Reagan Presidency.

You can watch the ad here:

The same company that produced the original ad has a new ad this year that’s very similar. It’s called “Mourning in America”, and I’ve presented it before. It’s very similar in its appearance, but the tone and the message are quite different.

Tomorrow, it’s time to choose. Tyranny or Freedom. Or, more simply, Morning or Mourning.

Tomorrow, the great flood.

New And Noteworthy

What’s Going On?

Well, I really have missed doing my September 11 timeline. My daughters have asked about that, and I want them to understand it a little bet...

All The Best