Saturday, April 30, 2011

Bloomberg Reports on Mourdock, Makes Stuff Up About Tea Party

Interesting article in Bloomberg this week on Richard Mourdock, who is attempting to unseat Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) in next year’s Republican primary for the Senate seat. There are some interesting quotes, such as:

At this point, Lugar “has to be regarded as the underdog,” and his decision to take time off during Congress’s April recess is surprising, said Stu Rothenberg, editor of the nonpartisan Rothenberg Political Report. “It seems to reflect what I see as a failure to understand the environment out there, and possibly his unwillingness to see the difficult political shape that he’s in.”

With all due respect to Mr. Rothenberg, Lugar has about a gazillion dollars in his war chest, and is owed political favors from practically every organization in the state. With 16 months to play, he’s not the underdog. Yes, Mourdock has momentum right now, and has been saying all the right things to all the right people, but it’s going to be an uphill battle, regardless.

I have a couple problems with some other points in the article as well.

In a new era that stresses confrontation over compromise, Lugar is a top target of a Tea Party movement that last year ousted three-term Utah Senator Robert Bennett and fielded a winning Republican primary opponent to Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski.

No, we do not stress confrontation over compromise. We stress winning over losing. There’s a big difference. Most of the “compromises” the right has made with the left over the last 50 years have turned out to be disasters for both the country and the GOP. We have to get away from the idea that it’s ok to compromise with people who want to take the country in a totally different direction than that envisioned by the Founding Fathers (yes, I still say that, not the PC “Founders”).  If you compromise with someone going the wrong direction, you still end up going the wrong direction, just slower.

And here we see an example of the media “just makin’ stuff up”:

The Pike County results provide a glimpse of the challenge that Lugar, 79, faces from the influence of anti-government, anti-tax Tea Party supporters.

The Tea Partiers are not anarchists. They are not anti-government. They are pro federal government and pro republic. Over the last two hundred years, we’ve forgotten what the words “federal government” mean and have re-defined them to mean this large monstrosity out of Washington, D.C.

Federal means that the states were to be a federation of independently self ruled entities. These entities gave up limited power to a central government in order to become “united states”.

Republic means that we don’t vote on everything, we vote on people to represent us. True democracy results in mob rule, something that liberals want, but something that every thinking person should fear.

So, Tea Partiers want rule that is close to home, and don’t believe “that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves”.

And Tea Partiers are not anti-tax either. TEA stands for “Taxed Enough Already”. Tea Partiers understand the need for taxation, but also understand when we’ve reached the point of excessive taxation. Tea Partiers face fiscal reality. They know that we can’t tax our way out of the mess we’ve gotten ourselves into. We can only grow our way out of it, and even then, only if we face the facts that our government growth is unsustainable.

Card Check-The Chicago Way

Well, President Barack Obama couldn’t get his anti-democracy card check bill passed through congress, so as is his wont lately, he’s going through executive fiat. This time he’s using his thugs at the NLRB to do his dirty work for him.

What’s card check? Card check is the union organizer’s dream. It allows unions to be formed without a secret ballot. The thugs want this so they know exactly who is for and who is against the unionization so they can target those against it.

Well, Obama needs to keep his union leadership friends happy so they’ll keep sending him money. So, using the heavy handed politics he learned in Chicago, he’s having NLRB sue states who have enacted anti-card check legislation.

According to the Times, the NLRB put Arizona and South Dakota on notice in a letter sent Friday, warning that it planned to sue the states because they passed amendments prohibiting unionization through "card check."

If he and the NLRB think they can get away with these kinds of heavy handed politics in his first term, just imagine the things they’ll attempt in his second term, when he won’t be worried about getting re-elected.

Peaceful Green Hippies Target Trump

Oh no. I said the word “target” in the title. Here come the thought police. Unfortunately, I’m not being figurative this time, but literal.

As I keep saying, this is the left. Not the fringe, but the mainstream left. This is what we’re fighting against.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Obligatory “Obama Releases Birth Certificate” Post

I said just last week, in my post on birtherism that:

I'm saying the answer isn't because he can't, but because it serves him better not to. Now he gets to use it as a distraction, to keep us from talking about the serious issues of the day, the ones that are going to make him a one term President.

Well, now that he has, what do I think?

I think he’s still following Alinsky, just a different part. Looking at the rules again:

5. Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.
7. A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.

You think the MSM wasn’t ridiculing birthers before? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

But, even better for Obama, he gets some more mileage out of the distraction. Every single left and right wing commenter out there is talking about this today. Even me. Sadly.

In case no one remembers…

We still have ridiculously high unemployment, crushing debt, inflation, high gas prices, three wars, and a government that wants us to be subjects, not citizens.

Can we focus on the issues?

Please?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Atlas Shrugged-Again

I mentioned in my Atlas Shrugged movie review that while I’d purchased the book some years ago, that I’d never gotten around to reading it.

Well, I’ve now finished Part I of the book, the part that matches the movie. And I can say now that the movie does a pretty good job of following the book. There’s a lot of backstory left out, but that’s hardly surprising. The most significant of these is the tangled history between Dagny and Francisco d'Anconia (a character I neglected to mention in my review). This is barely hinted at in the book.

One of the things I found interesting in both the book and the movie is how much the characters, both protagonist and antagonist, seem to be almost caricatures. They seem to be cardboard representations of the worst things that both sides say about them. Jim Traggart for example, is far more worried about social justice than his own company. While Dagny and Hank are described often as not caring about anything, something they freely admit and agree with.

However, the book gives all of these characters more depth as the story moves forward. In the movie, they still seem two dimensional, with the possible exception of our two heroes.

I have two minor criticisms of the book. One, the movie does a better job with the thriller/suspense side of things, making you wonder early on if there’s something sinister behind the disappearance of the real movers and shakers.  The second criticism I have deals with Rand’s verbosity. I know I can drone on and on and on at time. Read some of my old posts if you don’t believe me. But I swear she must have been paid by the word. There are whole pages that consist of just one or two paragraphs, that say absolutely nothing.

In spite of these two things, I am looking forward to moving on to Part II. I have enjoyed it immensely so far.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball For 2012

For those who don’t know who Larry Sabato is, he is the election forecaster that the pundits and political advisors turn to for analysis of the battlegrounds. Based on his words, the RNC and DNC will shift their monies, and CBS, NBC, et al. will shift their travel plans.

Here’s his first map for for the Presidency in 2012. There is good news and bad news for the GOP.

The bad news for the GOP is that counting leaners, the Dems lead 247 to 180. That means the GOP will have to be nearly perfect in the tossup states to take the Presidency.

The good news is that election outcomes aren’t always about offense, they’re also about defense. Consider the leaner states as places where the parties will have to play defense. The GOP only has one state, MO. The Dems have four, NM, MI, PA, and WI. That affects allocation of funds. The GOP will be able to concentrate a bit more on offense than the Dems. Not much, though. If this map doesn’t improve, it’s hard to see a Republican in the White House in 2013.

This blog will continue to watch Sabato as well as a couple others and will be updating more frequently as the date of doom approaches.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Think Atlas Shrugged Is Fantasy? Think Again

DISCLAIMER: Unlike most conservatives, I have no problem with requiring internet retailers to pay state sales taxes. But then, I am famously in favor of consumption taxes, anyway.

But this is the case of doing the right thing for all the wrong reasons.

Illinois has budget problems. It also has a job problem. So as blue-state governments are wont to do, Illinois’s political class took on the “how could we possibly make things worse?” challenge and… successfully made things worse, imposing an internet sales tax on online retailers that has not only cost the state jobs, but ultimately makes Illinois a less attractive place to live and do business.

[…]

Wilson says after today — Amazon will boycott business with BradsDeals — and roughly 9,000 other retailers in Illinois to skirt the tax. Illinois residents can still go online and get the latest best seller from Amazon, they just won’t be getting that book from any Amazon affiliate in Illinois.

[…]

“But Patrick,” you say, “surely Illinois would just lift the job-destroying taxes they’ve imposed.” But nay, friends, we must remember the challenge. Why would Illinois’s political class fix its state’s problem, when they can make its problem America’s problem.

Which is why, as the segment notes, Sen. Dick Durbin will imminently introduce legislation to do just that.

This is exactly the type of thing that happens in Atlas Shrugged. Rather than rewarding successful states, or better yet, letting the market handle things with a more laissez-faire approach, the government punishes the successful to bring them down to the level of failing states.

There’s no doubt that Illinois is a failure, and they’re doing everything they can to make the state inhospitable to business. That’s why Caterpillar flirted with the idea of leaving the state. It’s why many other business will. So, instead of fixing their problem, they want to make their problems, yours. This is the liberal idea of “fair”. Mine is different. My idea is that everyone should get an equal chance to succeed, not an equal chance to fail.

But that’s not all. Remember, I said earlier that this was a bad week for people that believe in the Constitution. In an effort to one up Illinois, the NLRB is attempting one of the most extreme power grabs I’ve ever heard of. As Ed Morrisey points out:

I’ve heard plenty of people dismiss Atlas Shrugged (the book as well as the movie) as overwrought, contrived paranoia about the regulatory state.  The government can’t run companies through its regulatory system, critics scoff, no matter what a Russian ex-patriate thought more than 50 years ago.  No one is marching into manufacturers in the US and telling the Hank Reardons of the world what they can build and where.

Of course not:

The NLRB obliged with its complaint yesterday asking an administrative law judge to stop Boeing’s South Carolina production because its executives had cited the risk of strikes as a reason for the move. Boeing acted out of “anti-union animus,” says the complaint by acting general counsel Lafe Solomon, and its decision to move had the effect of “discouraging membership in a labor organization” and thus violates federal law.

Ah, that must be the Anti Dog-Eat-Dog Law, or one of the Fairness Laws, or something, right?  The WSJ isn’t sure what law the NLRB is talking about, either.  Not only do businesses routinely relocate to find the most advantageous environment possible, states and cities compete for that business by calculating their business climate. If this has escaped the notice of the NLRB, perhaps they should get out more.

This is atrocious. The NLRB is part of the Executive branch, so this comes straight from the President Barack Obama’s (D-USA) White House. The White House is telling Boeing where they can and can not do business. Next they’ll be telling you where you can live and who you can do business with, and what you can buy. Oh wait. They already do the last two. It’s called ObamaCare.

The case goes before an administrative law judge in Seattle on June 14th. This won’t be the last post I make on this issue. It’s not worth mentioning that I have little faith in a judge from Seattle, of all places.

I don’t listen to Glenn Beck much anymore (yes, I know, I promised a blog post about that), but I remember he used to say with regularity:

“You’re going to wake up one morning and you’re not going to recognize your country anymore.”

Sadly, this is yet another thing that Beck is right about.

Over the last two years, I’ve been waffling between the belief that Obama is incompetent, or deliberately trying to destroy the country. Lately, I’m leaning more and more to the deliberate side. To say that I’ve lost faith in this President would be the understatement of the year. I now no longer believe that he believes that the America I grew up in should continue to exist.

He’s getting closer, too. I truly believe that if we give him four more years, he can accomplish his goal of destroying America. I have a friend who believes that if Obama is re-elected in 2012, that we won’t have elections in 2016. I’ve dismissed him as crazy up until now, but I’m starting to wonder. He clearly sees no limits to his power or to the power of the Executive.

The Fourth Amendment–Hanging By A Thread

This was a bad week for those that believe in the Constitution and Constitutional limits on power.

Have you seen one of these ever before?

You likely have, if you’ve ever brought your cell phone in for service, and they’ve downloaded your data to a new phone.

Well, it’s not just for cell phone companies. The police are using them now too. But not to help you download the information to a new phone.

No, the Michigan police are looking for incriminating evidence (of what?) on your phone. They pull you over for a traffic violation and ask to see your cell phone. Then they hook this up, grab the data and troll through it. The ACLU is on top of this, and for once I agree with them.

The Michigan State Police have a high-tech mobile forensics device that can be used to extract information from cell phones belonging to motorists stopped for minor traffic violations. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan last Wednesday demanded that state officials stop stonewalling freedom of information requests for information on the program.

ACLU learned that the police had acquired the cell phone scanning devices and in August 2008 filed an official request for records on the program, including logs of how the devices were used. The state police responded by saying they would provide the information only in return for a payment of $544,680. The ACLU found the charge outrageous.

"Law enforcement officers are known, on occasion, to encourage citizens to cooperate if they have nothing to hide," ACLU staff attorney Mark P. Fancher wrote. "No less should be expected of law enforcement, and the Michigan State Police should be willing to assuage concerns that these powerful extraction devices are being used illegally by honoring our requests for cooperation and disclosure."

Of course, this is a clear Fourth Amendment violation. Remember, the Fourth Amendment? I know President Barack Obama (D-USA) doesn’t. He didn’t score very well there. So, as a reminder:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Pretty crystal clear. The good news is that they can’t just reach in and grab your cell phone from you. They have to ask you. And the answer is “no”.

But asking to search a car is one thing.  The cop is looking for weed seeds, roaches in the ashtray, rolling papers, etc. – the typical stoner accoutrement.  No visual, no further discussion.  But what if he makes a back-up of your cell phone?  What could they be looking for, and how will they use it?  It seems like the purest of fishing expeditions and in blatant violation of your 4th Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure.

Ah, but it’s only against your S&S rights if you claim those rights.  If the cop asks nicely to make a back up of your cell phone and you agree, you have waived your rights.

The author of the previous article worries about wireless versions, that can grab data without your permission. That is a concern, but less of one, because you should be able to control what your phone broadcasts, unless phone manufacturers start enabling some back door access on this sort of thing.

Remember, though, that’s exactly what the government wants them to do.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

But just say no.

Earth Day

I could’ve posted this yesterday, but I refuse to give Earth Day any publicity that will help the watermelons in their efforts to destroy America. Now that it’s over, I can talk about it.

Please remember that the same liberals telling you to recycle are the ones that do stuff like this –>

Do as I say, not as I do.

hat tip: HoosierAccess

About That S&P Report

I was going to write a nice long post about it, but really I can point you to two articles that tell you everything you need to know.

Keith Hennessey breaks down the report, and explains exactly what S&P is trying to say to the United States.

For those of you that won’t click through, here’s a summary:

Let’s tease this apart.  S&P describes three distinct but related risks:

  1. The risk of no agreement on a medium-term fiscal strategy before the 2012 election;
  2. The risk that, if there is an agreement, it will be phased in too slowly;
  3. The risk that delay plus a slow phase-in allows enough time for future policymakers to partially undo an agreement.

I think all three are valid concerns, and I share their skepticism.

They describe other short-term fiscal risks that worry them as well:

  • the risk of further financial bailouts;
  • the potential cost of “relaunching” Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which they estimate at “as much as 3.5% of GDP (!!!);
  • the risk of losses on federal loans (they single out student loans).

The first bullet here is scary, and they emphasize it: “Most importantly, we believe the risks from the U.S. financial sector are higher than we considered them to be before 2008.”

And

There is a moderate chance (1 in 3) of an incremental, slightly bigger (maybe $300B – $500B over 10 years) deficit reduction deal before the 2012 election. The President would trumpet such a deal as a good first step, but it appears this would fall far short of what S&P says is needed.

Given the President’s apparent budget strategy, there is at the moment a vanishingly small chance of a big medium-term or long-term deal like that described by S&P as necessary to avoid a possible downgrade, ($3-4 trillion over 10 years, with even bigger long-term changes to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid).

Really, read the whole thing. This is the best article you’ll see about what the report actually means. It’s non-partisan and hard hitting.

The second article is by Megan McArdle of the Atlantic. You need to subscribe to both of these people’s posts. She’s also quite non-partisan and has often called for higher taxes.

This is why I am so steadfastly unconvinced by people who point to our low interest rates as evidence that the market thinks it's safe to borrow.  When higher real interest rates come, they will not be a timely signal of problems ahead unless we change course--they will be the problem

[…]

Of course, this warning applies equally to the people who think that demagoguing the debt ceiling is a fine way to force Congress to fix things (on their terms).  Shutting down the government, or mucking around with the debt ceiling, doesn't help avert a crisis: it is the crisis.  Or rather, it risks triggering precisely the crisis of confidence that we want to avoid. 

[…]

The US debt problems are large, and they will be painful to solve.  But they are not intractably large or painful.  It is our bitter, partisan politics--and our own willingness to compromise, or even face reality--that is putting us at the most risk.

As I said above about Hennessey, read the whole thing.

Uh Oh, Here comes P.T. Again

When we last left our erstwhile hero, the sucker hunter, he’d found out that ObamaCare is nothing but a thinly disguised way of rewarding political favors by the Obama administration.

What has P.T. found since then?

Well, remember that part of the bill entailed huge cuts to Medicare. That’s part of the budget math they did to enable them to claim it was cost effective.
But guess what? Turns out those lawmakers were fibbing to us. I know that you’re as shocked as I am to discover that.
Soon after Obamacare was passed into law, Medicare Chief Actuary Richard Foster wrote that seniors’ access to care would be threatened as a result of reductions in payment updates included in the new law. Foster wrote, “[P]roviders for whom Medicare constitutes a substantive portion of their business could find it difficult to remain profitable and, absent legislative intervention, might end their participation in the program.”
Now, lawmakers have already begun to squirm under the political pressure to prevent the planned cuts to seniors’ care. In a recent article, The Hill highlighted the fact that Senators on both sides of the aisle promised to fight proposed cuts to the home health care industry under the new law. According to Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), “Deep cuts in access to home healthcare takes us in completely the wrong direction at a time when we’re trying to control costs.” Collins, along with Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), plans to introduce legislation that would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to justify her reasons for cutting payments to home health care.
I might be tempted to believe this was an honest mistake, and that this was just missed in the overwhelming complexity of the enormous bill. Except for the fact that many people were bringing this up at the time.

Of course, even the argument that it was lost in the complexity is a failed one. The overwhelming complexity of ObamaCare is one of the biggest reasons that it should have never even made it to the floor of the House or the Senate. Every day we discover parts of it that need rewritten, or nullified, or ignored.

I think it’s reasonable to deduce that in this area, our legislators knew what they were doing, and never intended to take the money from Medicare. They smiled, knowing they’d fooled us again, and called us “suckers”, knowing that they’d fix it later, after the bill passed, when it was too late.
So, if you’re one of the vanishingly small number of people that still think this law is good for the country, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, then you’re the one P.T. is looking for.

Sucker.

Speechless

I am. He’s not. Watch. This guy needs a beer. Or a valium.

Atlas Shrugged

Yesterday I went to see the “Tea Party movie” Atlas Shrugged. One amazing thing about the movie is how much of what’s happening in the movie is happening right now in the United States. Well, of course, the movie was filmed in the last year, so it’s timely. But that’s not what I mean. I’m not talking about things in the movie that happened last year. I’m talking about things in the movie that are happening right now, like the NLRB telling Boeing where it can and can’t build 787s.

Freedomworks has put together a little mishmash of the trailer for the film mixed with current events.

DISCLAIMER: I bought the book years ago, but have never read it, so I can’t comment on how well it follows the book. Perhaps I’ll dig it out now and read it. The movie is just the first part of the book and I want to know how it ends.

The film was put together on a shoestring budget and is being shown on a very limited release. With luck, it will be this year’s My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and generate enough buzz to gain wider release.

The film is well done. Despite being essentially a political work, and with very little action, the pacing is good and it keeps you engaged and interested. At times the cinematography and dialogue make you feel like you’re watching a soap opera, Other times, it feels a little dated, like you’re watching a movie from the fifties, but neither of those really detract from the mood. I suspect the points where it feels like a fifties movie are where it’s closest to the book, but again, I don’t know.

The story is about the final stages of progressivism in the United States. All companies are supposed to be worried about “social justice” more than the bottom line, or even quality. There’s an intrusive heavy handed government that picks and chooses winners and losers based solely on political favoritism. Capitalists and capitalism are ridiculed and condemned.

In the midst of this, we meet our heroes, Hank Rearden and Dagny Taggart, unafraid capitalists, who are disinterested in social justice. They just want to build a railroad. They are described by others and even themselves as “unfeeling”. Rearden and Taggart have enough problems with the progressives, but hampering their efforts even further are the continuing disappearances of their best people.

“Who is John Galt?”

Unless you’ve been on another planet your entire life, you’ve heard this line. It is the essential line from the movie (and the book I assume). It’s asked over and over throughout the film by various characters. At times it appears that it’s a throwaway line, meaning “don’t ask questions which have no answer”. At other times, the question appears to have a deeper significance, and the disappearances seem to be related to either the question itself or the answer.

So, the film is part suspense thriller and part political theatre. Your liberal friends will probably not be impressed. At times even I felt that I was being treated to a sermon rather than a film, and if I felt that way, your typical left-winger will be squirming and furious. On the other hand, it might be worth dragging one or two to the film just to see the reactions.

It’s a very good movie and well worth the money spent. I doubt I will see it again in the theatre, but I am certain that I will purchase it when it’s available on DVD, and I look forward to Part II.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Birtherism

Mark this down. This will be the definitive post on President Barack Obama’s natural born citizenship status.

First, I want to state a couple things up front.

One, I think he was born in Hawaii. And two, discussion of this entire issue is a trap set for us by the Democrat Media Complex. Obama and his minions know that they can count on the MSM to trot out this issue whenever things look bad for The One. It’s a distraction. Why are we talking about birth certificates when we should be talking about jobs, inflation, and debt? Because they want us to do so.

Everyone keeps saying "why won't Obama produce the birth certificate?" and assuming the answer is "because he can't"

I'm saying the answer isn't because he can't, but because it serves him better not to. Now he gets to use it as a distraction, to keep us from talking about the serious issues of the day, the ones that are going to make him a one term President.

The way Alinsky followers win (and make no mistake, Obama worships Alinsky) is to get you to play in their arena by their rules.

Gonna quote Breitbart here:
Alinsky Rules:
1. Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have. Deception is useful, and giving the other side incomplete information is just as useful.
4. Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.
5. Ridicule is man's most potent weapon.
6. A good tactic is one that your people enjoy.
13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize, and polarize it. This is the most important and famous of Alinsky's rules. You have to pick a target, then freeze it and prevent it from shifting blame elsewhere, then personalize it by making sure that it is something specific and identifiable rather than general, and finally, polarize it by demonizing it.

Finally, Alinsky provides a simple reminder: the real action is in the enemy's reaction.

So, what's going on here is simple. Obama has many flaws, and he's definitely not the most brilliant man in just about any room, but he understands Alinsky.

By withholding the birth certificate, he does the following:
1) Gives us incomplete information that causes a reaction (rule #1 and reminder)
2) Forces people to get lost in the Constitutionality argument (he knows there are more than a few strict constructionists on our side) (rule #4)
3) Allows the MSM and people like Letterman to ridicule us, which they enjoy (rule #5 and rule #6)
4) This ridicule they can apply with a broad brush ("Rethuglicans really think he was born in Kenya") or a specific one, i.e. Trump, who is targeted, frozen, personalized, and polarized. And it works even with politicos who don't jump on the birther bandwagon. Every politician with an 'R' by their name gets asked about this in just about every interview. This is deliberate. It hits all the rules, and they're still targeting, freezing, personalizing and polarizing. If the politico comes out in support of the birther movement, s/he is polarized against the "intelligent" left, and if against the birther movement, s/he is polarized against their very base.

It's a brilliant tactic by Obama, and we're getting played.

Stop being played, unless you really want to see another 4 years of this clown.

Dump the issue. We need to play our game. This is how we win.

But forget Alinsky. Let’s actually look at whether he’s a natural born citizen or not.

First, you have to understand that while "natural born citizenship" is a Constitutional requirement to hold the office of President, nowhere in the Constitution does it state the requirements for "natural born citizenship". That's set by statute. That’s very important, because the statute is not constant. It has been changed many times and will likely be changed again.

According to current statute, he would be a natural born citizen regardless of where he was born. According to statutes in effect at the time of his birth, he would not be, but only because he was born about 5 months too soon (His mother needed to be older).

So, what does that mean?

Well, the statute could be changed to make current requirements valid back to the time of Obama's birth. Or a new statute could be passed making the terms even more or less restrictive. Of, Congress could just declare him a natural born citizen, as they did with John McCain. Or, if this or some other birthright citizenship case made it to the Supreme Court, SCOTUS could rule that even the current requirements are too restrictive. If they did so, then he would likely be a natural born citizen because his mother was, regardless of her age or where he was born.

So, there’s about a half dozen ways that he could legally become a natural born citizen retroactively, even if he’s not one now. To avoid a Constitutional crisis, it is an absolute certainty that at least one of these would happen.

In other words, this issue is a complete waste of time. The Constitution is not specific enough in this respect to have any sort of valid argument that he's a non-citizen, or non-natural born citizen.

Get over it. Move on to something that matters. Stop playing his game.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Down the Memory Hole Again

Well, as I predicted yesterday, the offensive post from Wonkette has disappeared.

You may recall me mentioning that I had screencaps of that too. I guess I’m self-elected as the screen grabber for Wonkette.

 

trig2.1

trig2.2

image

trig2.9

 

trig2.10

 

image

 

trig2.12

Wonkette, you can hide your past, but you can’t make it go away.

Courage

No, I’m not channeling Dan Rather.

Yesterday, President Barack Obama (D-USA) said of the GOP “Path to Prosperity”, “No, I don't think it's particularly courageous”.

Hmmm. Interesting choice of words.

Here I go with math again. Sorry.

The issue is fiscal responsibility.

Obama plan: $4 trillion debt reduction (over original plan) over 12 years.

Ryan plan:  $6 trillion deficit spending reduction over 10 years.

By any objective measure, and just about any subjective one, the Ryan plan is far more fiscally responsible.

So, if the Ryan plan is not “particularly courageous”, then a plan that does less would be, what? How about “abject cowardice”? I think I can go with that.

Thanks for clearing that up, Mr. President.

Richard Mourdock

I tend to stick to items of national interest, rather than local, but there are a few things on my mind locally. Perhaps they even are of national interest, I don’t know. I’m not the one to say.

Anyway, this is a very good video from Richard Mourdock, directly reaching out to the Tea Party and like minded conservatives. If you don’t know who Richard Mourdock is, you’re hardly alone. He’s formerly the State Treasurer for Indiana and is running to unseat Senator Dick Lugar (R-IN) in 2012. I’ve voted for Lugar three times. I’d prefer not to do it again.

Mourdock deserves at least your attention, if not your support. Watch the video.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Regarding Last Post

I should have mentioned that the advertiser bailout was due to many many people sending tweets to the various advertisers. I didn’t see them all, and there are too many to mention in any case.

Also, I should put this as an update to the post, but all the pics are screwing up my blog editor and my browser. So I’m afraid to edit it again at the moment.

Still, this is an astounding feat of new media and a big win in a small battle against the Democrat Media Complex. Mr. Breitbart should be proud.

We did this once. We can do it again.

And again.

And again.

People Still Don’t Understand The Internet

No, not just libs. Conservatives too. All walks of life.

But the latest to not understand it are the wonderful folks at Wonkette. You may recall that I blogged about the sick twisted freaks there earlier today. I also said that I blocked the site in my browser. Well recent events made me have to unblock it. Temporarily. It’s blocked again.

You see, a bit of a firestorm erupted today about the nice Trig Palin post there. And Stuef has been placed on double secret probation over the incident.

Also, several advertisers have apparently dropped their buys on the site. These include at the current time, Papa John’s, Huggies, and Vanguard Financial. By the time you’re reading this there will likely be more. Apparently The March of Dimes is an advertiser on the site. I can’t imagine they’ll be too happy to be associated with this.

But all that is prelude. The most delicious thing is that people that run websites still don’t understand the web. The wonderful folks at Wonkette have tried to memory hole all the comments from their sick twisted freak users. But, Google cache can be your friend.

I’ve grabbed all the comments and screen capped, so they won’t be lost forever.

Memory hole this, Wonkette.

trig1trig2trig3trig4trig5trig6trig7trig8trig9trig10trig11trig12trig13trig14trig15trig16trig17trig18trig19trig20trig21trig22trig23trig24trig25trig26trig27trig28trig29trig30trig31trig32trig33

After that, sane normal people arrived and started calling out these sick twisted freaks for what they are.

For now, the original post is still there, sans comments, but new ones have started arriving that are just as vile. I’m guessing that at some point the entire post will be memory holed. No worries. I’ve got screen caps of it too.

Memory hole this, you sick twisted freaks.

Righteous Indignation–A Conservative Primer

Andrew Breitbart’s new book, “Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World!” was released last Friday. If you’ve been following my Twitter feed, you know that I’ve been reading it. I didn’t get a chance to start until Sunday night, and I finished it last night.

This book does two things. It lays out the roadmap for how to finally take down the MSM, or Democrat Media Complex as Breitbart calls it. And it shows exactly what steps the DMC will take between now and November 6, 2012 to keep their power and to keep the Democrats in power.

Those two things alone make the book worth the cover price. If you plan on being actively engaged in next year’s election, even if just by blogging or tweeting, you need to read this book.

But there’s more to the book than just that. Breitbart lays out some of his history, including his own failings and mistakes. He discusses his change from liberal to conservative, and the metamorphosis is similar to that of Tammy Bruce. The left made a mistake allowing these two to escape. They understand the destructive tactics the left uses better than anyone. And they’re both willing and able not only to relate them to the rest of us, but also how to turn the tables and use these same tactics against the left.

Indeed, Breitbart makes the point over and over that we have to treat the left as the enemy and throw out our rules of engagement. We have to take the fight to them, not let them dictate the terms or the field of engagement. That’s exactly how we’ve lost to the left too many times.

I’ve tossed out several quotes on my twitter feed, but this might be my favorite.

That’s why it never crossed my mind whether I should play fair. Fair loses.

We have to stop worrying about being “the good guys”. We have to start worrying about winning. The Tea Party has been pretty good about that, but we can do better. 

Breitbart also lays out a bit of this history of the socialist/progressive movement in the United States. Note that if you pay attention to Glenn Beck, he’s been saying a lot of this same stuff for a couple years now. The difference is that Beck is so focused on minutiae that you have to watch him every day for a month to get anything like a complete picture, and you get one from Breitbart in a single chapter.

Finally, the behind the scenes information on his work with James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles to bring down ACORN is positively delicious. I remember when all of this was happening, and reading that when BigGovernment.com opened it was going to open with something huge, and I remember each day after the first video wondering what was coming next, but reading why and how it all came together as it did was incredibly fascinating.

Those are most of the things I enjoyed about the book. There’s a great chapter on the Tea Party as well. But I did have a couple minor quibbles, one of which he addresses in the Epilogue (not sure I’ve ever seen a non-fiction book with an Epilogue before, but I digress). The first is that he doesn’t discuss Shirley Sherrod. Ok, I can understand that as there are ongoing legal battles regarding that topic. So I’ll give him a pass on that one.

But he also doesn’t address Mary Landrieu. Now, you could argue that there’s no need to do so since the topic was only on the periphery of the Big sites, and that it was completely an issue with James O’Keefe. However, the left used Landrieu and Sherrod to tar Breitbart and O’Keefe together and to try to taint the ACORN videos. It seemed to me that it deserved at least a mention for that reason.

But that’s a minor quibble, and I certainly understand the reasoning for not including it. Overall, this is a great book, and I am sure that I will be referring to it often over the next 16 months or so.

Buy it! Read it! Use it!

Goodbye, You Sick Twisted Freaks

I don’t know if Glenn Beck still does this, because I haven’t really listened to him in a while (someday I’ll write a blog post about that), but he used to start out every show with “Hello, you sick twisted freaks.” In the past Beck was more into looking at the humorous side of things, and that was just his lighthearted way of starting things off.

But I’m calling some people out as sick twisted freaks today, and without the slightest trace of humor. These people represent everything that is wrong with our society.

Who am I talking about? The [censored by editor] morons over at that [censored by editor] website Wonkette. Jack Stuef is the origin of my anger, but his commenters are no better, and in fact the [censored by editor] [censored by editor] [censored by editor] might be worse. Feel free to drop Stuef a line on twitter (@stuef). I’m sure he’d love to hear from you.

What’s got me so [censored by editor] mad? I hate to even link it, but this.

Yesterday was Trig Palin’s birthday. You may remember Trig from the 2008 campaign. He’s Sarah Palin’s (R-AK) son, born with Down’s Syndrome. Well, yesterday, Stuef (no, I refuse to give him an honorific or address the [censored by editor] loser by his first name), posted a nice little video montage about Trig along with this snarky comment:

What’s he dreaming about? Nothing. He’s  retarded.

Here are a couple of excellent YouTube tributes to the magic intellectually disabled baby prop, presented by Glenn Beck:

“Why just celebrate tax day today, April 18th? It’s also Trig Paxson Van Palin’s 3rd birthday. His mom went to a lot of trouble to leak amniotic fluid over 8 states to make sure that he arrived in this world somewhat alive,” writes Wonkette operative “Barbara_i,” reminding us of the occasion. “Sarah went to a whole lot of trouble to name him ‘Van Palin,’ a ‘Van Halen’ reference he will never get.” Indeed.

Remember, these are the people who have been lecturing us on civility.

God, I would pay money to allow Stuef to make his comments directly to Todd and Sarah’s face. Actually, I’m pretty sure Bristol could take him on, and maybe even Willow.

Anyway, if the post itself isn’t bad enough for you, the comments on the post are absolutely vile.

As Lori Ziganto says, “Dear Wonkette: You Are Sewer Slime.

Dana Loesch rips him a new one as well.

These people are beyond slime. I wanted to post this under “peaceful green hippies”, but they aren’t actually being violent or promoting it (most of them). They’re merely the scum of the earth.

And I can’t repeat this often enough. This is what the MoveOn.Org/DailyKos/CodePink/PETA/Netroots left is like. These are the attitudes of the people who run your country.

Well, these people in particular will trouble me no more. Wonkette just got flagged on my WOT bar. My browser won’t let me go there anymore.

So, goodbye, you sick twisted freaks.

UPDATE: Papa John’s and Huggies have pulled advertising from the site, and StarKist seems to be poised to do the same. Liberals are upset. Yes, they’re the victims here. Order a Papa John’s pizza tonight. Personally, I prefer Domino’s, and we already made plans for spaghetti, but I think I will order from the Papa tomorrow.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Costs Of The Tax Code

Today’s Tax Day, so it’s only fitting we look at the cost of our tax code.

I apologize if I’ve posted this before. I’ve posted videos by the American Enterprise Institute narrated by Hiwa before, but I don’t believe I’ve done this one.

$338 billion in compliance costs. That’s money that’s sucked right out of our economy. It prevents companies from hiring, from making investments, and from paying dividends. The IRS is yet another bloated government agency that does nothing except put even more drain on our economy.

We need real tax reform. We need the FairTax.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

And You Thought Peaceful Green Hippies Were Only in Wisconsin

Some lefties show up at a Tea Party rally in Oregon to disrupt it. As I keep saying, the left is not interested in free speech. They are only interested in shutting up those that disagree with them.

Warning: NSFW.

What happened to all those calls for civility? Oh yes, I remember, it’s only the right that has to be civil.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

I Love The Smell of Peaceful Green Hippies In The Morning

Rebecca A Mansour retweeted this original tweet by John Nolte:

ramansour

This caused a poor disturbed individual @molinelobo to post the following:

moline1

And this:

moline2

And this:

moline3

And this:

moline4

And this:

moline5

This is what the peaceful left looks like. These people are not interested in dialogue. They are interested in shutting up anyone who disagrees with them. And they don’t care how they do it.

The Day Of Reckoning Is Coming

This post is primarily directed at more liberal readers, but whatever your stripe, hopefully there’s something here for you.

We are fast approaching the day of reckoning for our country. Everyone, Democrats and Republicans alike says that the growth of our debt is unsustainable. Every economist says so.

At some point then, our debt will become overwhelming. When that happens, our economy and our lifestyles will suffer catastrophic consequences. And the government won’t be able to help. There’ll be no food stamps, no unemployment checks, no Medicare, no Medicaid, no Social Security, no welfare of any kind.

A popular phrase in Washington, D.C. these days is “we can’t continue to kick the can down the road.” I’ve heard President Barack Obama (D-USA) say it. I’ve heard Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI-01) say it. That may not be completely true. We might be able to kick the can down the road another ten years or so. We might even be able to put off the crisis for a few years (not ten, though, less than that) while doing so.

So, what we do as a people, and what our government does, over the next ten years may well decide the future of this country as an independent nation. We are facing the largest obstacle to our future since the Civil War. Yes, it’s that big.

Look at this chart. It’s about a year old, but still accurate enough for our purposes.

This chart is pretty optimistic, actually. I’ve seen scarier ones, but it’s good enough.

The good news is that it probably won’t actually be that bad. We probably won’t ever hit 600% of GDP, because the country will self-destruct long before then. Somewhere between 2030 and 2050, our economy will completely melt down.

Here’s a look at projected tax revenue vs. entitlement spending. This is from the CBO.

There’s no doubt about it. President Lyndon B. Johnson’s “Great Society” is bankrupting this country.

But what about defense? We spend way too much there. Surely that’s a bigger problem, right?

Wrong.

Notice that dark blue area at the bottom. That’s defense. The green area and everything above it is entitlements and interest. Interest growth is even worse than entitlement growth. Of course, the interest growth is due to entitlement growth.

So, that’s where we’re going. And it’s ugly. As I’ve been saying a lot lately, this isn’t politics. It’s math. You can argue with politics all you want, but you’ll find it much harder to argue with math.

You don’t like the Ryan plan. I get it. Fine. Then what’s your alternative?

Not the President’s vague outline from the other day, I hope.

The President’s plan does exactly what I mentioned earlier. It kicks the can down the road for another ten years. And buys us maybe 5-8 years, if we’re lucky, on the impending crisis. It does nothing about the major cost factor in our spending growth, and assumes tax revenues at much higher levels than we’ve ever had.

Let’s chalk his plan down as “unserious” then, and move on.

I ask again, what’s your alternative?

Well, we could totally eliminate the military. Libs hate the military.  Well, there’s that graph again.

Looks like we could maybe save a decade or so by eliminating the military. That might be enough time, actually. After that, you won’t care about your entitlement programs because you’ll be too busy learning to speak Chinese.

Let’s mark that idea down as “unserious” and move on.

Let’s tax the heck out of the rich. That’s what Michael Moore says we should do.

But as Mary Katherine Ham points out:

The grand total of the combined net worth of every single one of America’s billionaires is roughly $1.3 trillion. It does indeed sound like a “ton of cash” until one considers that the 2011 deficit alone is $1.6 trillion. So, if the government were to simply confiscate the entire net worth of all of America’s billionaires, we’d still be $300 billion short of making up this year’s deficit.

But, that’s just billionaires, and it’s net worth. We’re talking about taxing income. Let’s look at everyone.

  1. Tax the profits of the entire Fortune 500 at 100%. $391B
  2. Tax 100% of all income over $250,000 for everyone in America. $1.412T

Not even $2T. You’ve covered the deficit for less than a year and a half, and in the process you’ve destroyed the economy.

Of course, you wouldn’t actually go to those extremes, would you? You’d just do part of that. Congratulations, you’ve just returned to the President’s plan which we already decided was “unserious”.

And even if it could work, there’s still a problem. When you increase taxes on big corporations, they tend to move elsewhere. Ask San Francisco about Twitter. Or ask Illinois about Caterpillar. Or New York about Rush Limbaugh. And it’s not just businesses that do that. Those billionaires you want to tax? They have enough money to move elsewhere. And they will.

And, as was mentioned in the link above, what happens then is the well runs dry. Higher taxation is a short term solution. We have a long term problem. All you’ve done is kicked the can down the road a bit.

Let’s mark that idea down as “unserious” too.

I realized that I forgot to compare “The People’s Budget”. So, let’s take a look at that, shall we?

The progressives create impossibly high tax rates, and while they claim to balance the budget in 2021 (it is very hard to confirm their numbers), they almost certainly won’t after that.

[…]

Mimicking President Obama, their plan would retain the Bush-era tax rates and some tax credits for those making less than $200,000 ($250,000 for joint filers). In addition, it would protect middle-income families from the Alternative Minimum Tax for another decade.

Beyond that, the tax increases in this plan are breathtaking. It would restore pre-2001 income tax rates for those making between $200,000 and $1 million and create five new brackets for higher earners, topping out at 49 percent for those making $1 billion or more. Capital gains and dividends would be taxed at ordinary income rates for those making $1 million or more (up to 49 percent). It would also cap the value of itemized deductions for high-income taxpayers at 28 percent (another Obama idea), raise Social Security payroll taxes for both workers and employers, and raise the gas tax by 25 percent. There’s more, but you get the drift.

Ah, so a pretend budget. I’d like to see some CBO scoring, but they create burdensome taxes and appear to make it look like they are doing something for the first ten years. They don’t address the growth of entitlements, so like the previous taxation based plans, all they do is kick the can down the road. They should call it “The Taxing the Heck Out of the People Budget”. It would be more accurate, because this budget is about as un-people friendly as you can get.

Unserious.

To review, we’ve discarded:

  • Paul Ryan’s Plan
  • The President’s Plan
  • The People’s Budget
  • Defunding the Military
  • Taxing the heck out of the rich

Hmm. I ask again, what’s your alternative?

There is none. There is no way out of this situation without entitlement reform.

Period. Anyone who says otherwise is lying. Yes, I’m talking to you, Mr. President, and you, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).

At the risk of repeating myself again, math trumps politics.

You may hate the Ryan plan. But at least it faces reality. If you don’t like it, come up with your own, but if it doesn’t include entitlement reform, all you’re doing is wasting your time and everyone else’s.

And we don’t have any more time to waste.

UPDATED: Included some information on “The People’s Budget”

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