Monday, December 20, 2010

Getting Old

As I approach my 55th Winter Solstice, I find that I am liking winter less and less.  In fact, I find myself dreaming of warm Summer afternoons in a baseball park, talking with friends, and waiting for the crack of a bat to direct our attention to a long fly out.
And I don't even like baseball.
Damn, where is Global Warming when you need it?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Disturbance In The Force

Watching NBC"s Meet The Press,  I see VP Joe Biden in his own unique way claim that the Democrat's electoral losses last month are because the American people want Republicans to work with Democrats.   WTF?? What is the color of the sky in Biden's world?  That kind of rejection of Republican obstructionism could result in their total control of both houses if they keep refusing  to cooperate. That'll teach them.
But Biden's self delusion is not his alone.  If you read Michael Barone's piece about the impact of the bad choices made by Reid and Pelosi, it explains better than Biden's wrong assertion what happened.Those who persist in their failed delusions will become as relevant as the blow up dinosaurs at my grandson's birthday party.  Amusing for a moment, and quickly forgotten.
This kind of delusion cannot exist in a vacuum.  I think the reason it has lasted as long as it has is that they don't see where the power really lies.  If you think that our Senators and Representatives are our "leaders," you are confused as to what the heck is going on.  Basically, you are confronted with the notion that the peasants are revolting in spite of all the wonderful things that you wanted to do..
Let me posit another view that they are not grasping - Those in Congress have the wherewithal to realize they are in deep shit.  Especially Republicans. who used to represent Utah as Senator or the hand picked choices of the so called elites in Deleware who lost to a witch.  Not to mention the choices in Nevada and Kentucky.  The folks sitting in office can see the picture that the partisans can't.  The true power is no longer on K Street, or J Street, or any of the usual places.  If you are going to be up for election in 2012, you have to consider that if you are a Democrat you are already in deep trouble.  And if you are a Republican, you had better pay attention to the Tea Party issues or you could be primaried successfully.
Lobbyists have less power in the present Congress than angry letter writers from back home.  In the past, a  politician could make enough off of campaign donations from special interests (like Big Pharma, BP, Labor Unions) to offset the disjointed anger of the electorate.They used the money to barrage the uncaring and uninformed with advertisements to overwhelm their opposition to the politician.  Plus the politician could bring home enough in earmarks to tout what a wonderful job they are doing.
No longer.
The rules have changed, and if politicians can't figure it out, they will quickly discover they are expendable.  Just consult with Congressmen Oberstar and Obey for an example.  And all of this is taking place with a disorganized and disjointed group of Tea Partiers who are only going to get stronger at the current rate.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The End of Sen. Tester's Run

Byron York has a piece about how our junior Senator has managed to alienate the very people who got him elected.  Markos Moulitas of the Daily Kos has just declared Tester an a-hole and is not going to support Tester for re-election.  So if you take the Daily Kos crew out of the picture, who does Tester have left as a base?
The problem that Tester has is that he was elected under a false assumption that Montana was becoming more Democratic in politics.  That is the result of entirely too much drinking, and Bush fatigue.  By 2012, we will have all sobered up, and be asking George who? and what does he have to do with this guy who claims to be a Montanan?
Karl Rove used to work under the theory that you get out your base and you win, since most people don't care.  That is way out of date now, as there are Tea Partys and an aroused Independent bloc who reject the Democrat excesses of the last two years.  Tester doesn't even have a base, and the Independents are associating him with Obama and Pelosi no matter what he does. 
He should have stayed with the ones who brought him.  The rest of us don't care.

Solving DUI Problems

Gregg at ECW has a piece about the defense of an accused drunk driver that he was able to rescue from the jaws of pre-trial conviction and return his client to normal citizen status.  DUI is the new crie de couer for the obsessively over controlling of our society.  In one way, it is way too easy.  Mothers Against Drunk Driving doesn't have a version on the other side.  No one is going to advocate for drunk driving but in our search for witches to burn (otherwise known as drivers) in our new crusade, we also catch up people who are innocent and force them to prove that innocence.  Usually we do this by binding them up and throwing them in a pond.  Because water is pure, if they are guilty the water will reject them, and if they are innocent they drown.  Okay, maybe it is slightly more technical, but that is only if you believe the government.
So, here are my solutions to reducing the drunk driving rates in Montana.  First, we lead the country in DUIs per mile traveled.  Let's take the third Saturday of every month and require everyone to drive to a police station where a breath test will be administered and if you are clean, you then have to drive 500 miles that day.  This has the advantage of increasing the numerator so that we won't be leading the country any longer.
Next, I propose that we cut DUIs in half by giving all the cops in the state Saturday off.  No cops means no arrests.  Ordinary citizens would be instructed not to drive on Saturday night because we surrendered the streets to drunks. But, just like in the '70s when we quit picking up hitchhikers because they all seemed to be serial killers, and people quit hitchhiking because the only people who picked them up were serial killers, eventually with only drunk drivers on the road on Saturday night they will only kill each other.  Win-win, and no costs for incarceration or treatment.
Lastly, you need to understand that drinking and driving is not necessarily such a bad thing.  For instance, Montana has found that one out of three highway fatalities has alcohol involved.  Not necessarily under the influence, as for example the driver who is texting, runs a red light and kills a driver of another car who had two drinks.  If you think about it, this means that you are twice as likely to die if you and the other driver are both stone cold sober, than if one of you has a drink.  Therefore, in the same spirit of you should always bring a bomb on board any plane you fly, because what are the chances that there are two bombs, we should all have a drink or two and go for a drive.
This solution to a vexing problem is offered gratis as a public service.

Friday, December 17, 2010

With Apologies to Pogie

Earlier, Pogie had accused me of Limbaugh economics, if I remember right.  Of course, since I work, I don't get to listen to Limbaugh, but the accusation is always thrown around as an attempt to preemptively discredit someone by guilty through association even if there is not association.  And while I am sure that Pogie is smarter than me, I just had to marvel at this fun exchange:

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Chickens Coming Home to Roost

I had written a piece about my objections to earmarks earlier, in response to Tester and Baucus' support of them. Now we have the ultimate earmark: $48 Billion to
funnel money into the inner cities to give money to the poor and thereby produce a much larger consumer class to buy the goods and services produced in this country.
Why try any of those anti-poverty programs that have been around for 45 years? They apparently take too long. Sure there aren't any specifics on how to do all this, but it's an earmark people. We do it all the time. Although why it took this long before some enterprising politician figured out the power of earmarks is the question of the day.
While we're at it, let's use the power of earmarks to eliminate Iran's nuclear capability for all time. Jon could get in on this and pump up his foreign relations cred points.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Budgetary Kabuki

Color me confused at the moment. After the House Democrats freaked out about allowing the top tax bracket to remain as it is, rather than jumping the tax on the so called wealthy, Democrats in the Senate decided that millionaires need unemployment insurance. The measure to eliminate millionaire benefits was brought as a small token to pay for the continuation of the tax cuts and the extension of unemployment benefits. And it was small, very small, saving an estimated $100 million over the next ten years. Was it purely theater, absolutely. But it is fun to see Democrats now standing up for millionaires.
Also note that Jon Tester voted with the Republicans against the measure. I am beginning to think that Jon needs to get a name change. After all, for the next two years he is going to be called "endangered Democrat" Tester. But after 2012 he can go back to just plain Jon.
Or "the former Senator."

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Lies and Lying Liars

I had posted about the absolute hatred the Left has for the so called "rich,"  and asked the question
Why is it that the extension of the middle class tax cuts is supposed to be stimulative, but they claim research shows that tax cuts for the wealthy is not? Is the money of the rich marked differently than that of the middle class? Does the size of the cut matter if you have enough to go to McDonalds one more night a month than before, versus somebody who buys a car and all the workers that helped manufacture the care?
to which Pogie offered
I think the only reason you haven't seen an answer about why tax cuts have more stimulative value for the middle class is because you haven't looked. Try Google. I hear it provides information with just some typing and a few clicks.

I also wonder how the Right can maintain that the Bush tax cuts stimulated the economy, given the evidence of the past 8 years. What did they do exactly?

My response to Pogie was perhaps unfair, in that I argued that he was relying on Democrat talking points, and that I wouldn't do that. So, lo and behold, we have Reason's Hit and Run by Nick Gillespie showing that the Bush tax cuts (although it was really the Bush tax rate cuts) actually provided more revenue to the treasury.
Well, how can that be, we have been told for the last ten years that only the "rich benefited from the tax cuts. Lie! If you look at the tables provided by Nick, you see that
In 2000, for instance, the top 1 percent of income earners paid 37.42 percent of all income taxes collected. In 2008, they paid 38.02 percent. That's down a bit from the peak of 2007 and reflects the recession hitting. The bottom 50 percent of filers saw their share of the income tax burden fall from 3.91 percent to 2.7 percent. Two groups in the upper half of the income distribution made out, it seems: Folks coming in between between 10 percent and 25 percent of income and those between 25 percent and 50 percent. Each saw their share of total tax collected decline a bit (like the share of taxes paid, this reflects the recession).
Now, the Left at this point will usually say that this is due to the accumulation of wealth by the top earners. Okay, so what? It is not a zero sum game. Everyone can get rich, and some can get richer than others. But that is not the same argument as the rich don't help the economy.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Recovery is Coming, The Recovery is Coming!!!

The only good thing about the Great Recession is that there has been a significant reduction in all of those junk mail credit card applications.  Apparently, that is about to end. 
It makes sense since companies have been hoarding cash in anticipation of a more favorable business climate once the Democrats were finally restrained.  With a Republican House, which is where all the spending bills originate, the hopes being that Republicans will stick to their promises about deficit reduction.  The Republicans should take note, because if they don't, the blood bath from last election will look like a burbling fountain in comparison.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Hatred is an Ugly Thing

House Democrats are throwing a hissy fit over the extension of the Bush tax cuts that they had excoriated for so long as only benefiting the wealthy.  But their rhetoric is running smack dab into reality with the coming expiration.  When that happens, the middle class is going to be creamed in a way that they will understand what the real effect is of those tax cuts.
But the Looney Left would rather see the rates rise on the Middle Class than to extend them to the so called "wealthy,"  Think about that for a minute.  The Democrats would deny an extension of unemployment benefits to people out of work in order to punish their nemesis "the rich."  Hatred of this sort is honestly refreshing, in that they are no longer even pretending to be on the side of the "little guy,"  Nope, this is all about social engineering..
But I do have one question that I just have not seen answered, and I really wish someone could explain it to me.  Why is it that the extension of the middle class tax cuts is supposed to be stimulative, but they claim research shows that tax cuts for the wealthy is not?  Is the money of the rich marked differently than that of the middle class?  Does the size of the cut matter if you have enough to go to McDonalds one more night a month than before, versus somebody who buys a car and all the workers that helped manufacture the care?
The absolute dishonesty of the Democrats is only matched by the Republicans who think that the agreement with the President is a good deal.  What in the world do wind subsidies or money for ethanol or Nascar have to do with tax cuts?  The fact that they couldn't keep those out show the Republicans are either not serious, or they are easily rolled.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Letter to the Editor

I sent this off to the Missoulian, and figured I might as well post it here as well since blogging has been slow.


The guest columns of Sen. Tester and Sen. Baucus explaining why earmarks are good have clarified what the problem is.  The problem is us.  We are the enablers of a dysfunctional set of elected officials.
Like any addict, they are quick and quite clever in validating their source of addiction while at the same time blaming the enabler for allowing the addict to keep using.   “If only you loved me more, I would quit using alcohol/meth/heroin/earmarks.  It’s all your fault that I haven’t been able to give them up.”  And don’t we love our addicts when they are happily using?  Isn’t it easier to deal with them when they are high, than when they are scrambling around trying to find a fix?
But eventually the money runs out, having been consumed by the addiction.  And boy has the money ran out in regards to earmarks.  The two Senators argue that if they don’t allocate the money via an earmark, some faceless bureaucrat will allocate the money inappropriately (might go to New York City or somewhere in California rather than here).  Well here is a novel thought – Don’t allocate money that is not specifically in the whole bill.  That is, if it isn’t important enough for the whole Senate to consider the allocation, then it isn’t important enough to be spent.  The net result will be less appropriations, and yes, less skate parks, or improved parking lots, but that isn’t such a bad thing when we are basically a hair’s breadth away from bankruptcy.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Rethinking Waterboarding

Yes, I know, all nice people are in agreement that waterboarding is bad. But this article has some interesting points:
This twitchiness has been made worse by the consequences of President Bush's claim in Decision Points that the waterboarding of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed prevented terrorist attacks on Canary Wharf and Heathrow Airport.

One of the reasons the left have been so taken aback by Bush's statement is because it gets to the heart of the use of waterboarding. For too long the left have been trying to squeeze waterboarding into their definition of torture. In part because of this, the debate over waterboarding has become dictionary-centered in that in order to debate whether waterboarding is acceptable in certain circumstances, you first need to define exactly what you mean by "torture." This has drowned the debate in tedious exchanges of definitions by bureaucrats, academics, and elected officials on both sides of the Atlantic.

Consequently, it has been simply assumed by a large section of the public (especially with Obama declaring it to be an illegal weapon of torture) that waterboarding equals torture, and therefore, if we allow "torture" on just one person, then we are legitimizing torture on everyone. As a result "that makes us just as bad as them." Every logical step in this argument is flawed, and yet it is still widely believed.

Therefore, waterboarding, along with softer techniques such as sleep deprivation, have been abolished on the basis that "we must stay true to our principles," as if America and Britain were somehow founded on the principle that no terrorist must be kept awake past his bedtime.

What President Bush's claim has done is cut through the theoretical niceties and the dictionary definitions in order to present a solid fact: waterboarding was practiced on three people, and it prevented attacks on Canary Wharf and Heathrow Airport. These attacks would have been devastating and would have almost certainly led to the deaths of thousands upon thousands of innocent British citizens.

In the face of this terrifying reality, the lefties flipping through their dictionaries for the correct definition of torture and debating the meaning of the words "necessary" and "force" look quite pathetic.

What President Bush is doing is presenting a choice. The title of his book is Decision Points, and this moment is a decision point for the citizens of both America and Great Britain. The first choice is about what we would prefer to have happened in the past -- thousands of British deaths in a terrorist attack that may have dwarfed 9/11, or Khalid Sheikh Mohammed experiencing a sensation of drowning.

Yet it also asks of us a more pressing question for the future.

The fact is that hardened criminals such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will not give up information just by having a light shone in their face (although not too bright -- we wouldn't want to permanently damage their eyesight!) These people are well-trained to resist interrogation and are ideologically motivated. They do not fear death, and they do not fear pain. In the future, there are going to be more cases where vital information can be attained only via waterboarding and similarly strong methods.
Read the whole thing.
When the next attack comes, and it will, I wish that it could confine its harm to those who want to prevent this interrogation tool. But it won't, and it will kill as many people who would have used it as those who would not. And the shame of it all, is that the victims never really had a chance to voice their opinions.
Of course, we could just subject them to a TSA search. That is too degrading though.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Why Obama Won in '08 and Why He Won't Win Again.

It is common to look top history as a template for evaluating current situations. While helpful, it is not exclusive, and sometimes, the wrong lesson can be learned from the exercise. For instance, supporters of President Obama often cite to either President Clinton after the 1994 elections, and how he was able to be re-elected or even Reagan after the 1982 election and the damage done to his chances of re-election because of the economy. But I believe that neither of these examples is a good road map for Obama's re-election.
But first, we should look and see how it was that Obama was elected in the first place. As a junior senator from Illinois, he had no significant accomplishments aside from a key note address at the 2004 Democrat convention. During the 2008 campaign, he must be given credit for manipulating the system that should have provided Hillary with the nomination in his favor. He was able to overcome the superdelegate problem by basically co-opting those who weren't for him to begin with. During the campaign, the motto was always "Hope" and "Change." But it was the non-specificity of those two words that were both their genius and his downfall. After all, can Obama really be blamed for what we understood Hope and Change to be? If you look at his speeches during the campaign, there were zero specifics. Everything that we imagined him to promote, he never did. We simply imposed it on him.
Now honestly, it is our fault that we elected him in spite of his lack of accomplishments. After all, during the campaign, he pointed to running a campaign as his most significant accomplishment to date. Otherwise, he was a "community organizer." Now just what the heck is that? And how is that qualifications to become President?
Again, it is our own darned fault that we elected him, but when it comes to 2012, will we fall for it again? Will the silver tongued orater be able to use his teleprompters to inspire us, or will we simply look at him and think "he doesn't mean a word of what he is saying." My thinking is that in 2008 there was a high degree of Republican in general, and Bush in particular fatigue. Whoever won the nomination for the Presidency from the Democratic Party was going to become President. But there won't be Bush fatigue in 2012. In fact, some surveys actually show GW Bush to be more popular than Obama at the moment. Additionally, Obama lacks the political acumen to do a self assessment that is honest. So far, the President seems to blame his failure to inspire with his policies on poor communication skills (irony alert) and that we are all scared, so we don't think clearly. Nowhere in that assessment is the idea that his ideas aren't popular. In fact, that is his Achilles heel. He can't believe that people wouldn't agree with his assessment of the situation. There has to be something that is obscuring the ability to explain his message. Fox is often used as the villain, but it cannot explain the vast majority who reject Obama's policies. The administration's inability to fathom that Americans are not another special interest group to be bought off with give aways is going to be the reason that Obama doesn't win re-election.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Will Your Lawyer Fit in the Overhead Compartment?

Next time you go to the airport and decide that you are not interested in increasing the amount of cumulative radiation so you opt out of the X Ray vision run by perverts, you will then have to go through a manual groping including your most private spaces. Don't feel like getting a hand job, even though it's free? Well buster, you will just have to sit there and like it, even if you do decide that rape is a pretty good reason to bail on your airline tickets.
Yes, you will be held against your will by armed agents of the federal government and questioned until they are satisfied. And if you don't, you will be subject to possible arrest and a fine of $11,000. Now never mind how bad the whole bargained for acceptance aspect of contracts with regards to flying is, you now have a completely new third player in the deal. And they won't take no for an answer. You will be either sexually assaulted, or wrongfully imprisoned without even the merest of proof to detain you.
We say we are doing this to prevent terrorism. Seems to me, they have already won.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Giving Them the Respect They Deserve

From Reason:


The most amazing thing about the TSA is how absolutely stupid they are. It's almost like America has been punked and we haven't woke up enough to say WTF? Every one of their areas of searching are for some previous attack. How long ago was it since the shoe bomber? And yet we still pull off our shoes for inspection. More than three ounces of a fluid? Can't have it, so four or five of you are going to have to get together to bring on enough for a bomb.
Everything that they are doing is purely reactive. They justify it by saying that they are just "following procedure." That is the excuse they give for not thinking. But watching this will have to make you think that we are not doing it right.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Relooking DADT

The administration is plowing ahead with the fierce moral urgency of now, to deal with gays in the military. Not. Instead they are waffling around, waiting on the 9th Circuit to try and figure out what they are going to do since the district court in California just ruled that Don't Ask, Don't Tell is unconstitutional. But is it unconstitutional?
There is no right to join the military. You can actually be denied for being too tall, or too short, too skinny or too fat, too young, too old it doesn't matter. Missing a limb? Highly unlikely that you will be able to serve. Have asthma? Good luck in some other endeavor. Of course my favorite is the criminal history one. Have you ever used a gun in the commission of a crime? Well just keep on moving junior. We only want moral killers here.
The point of all this is that the military selects its own replacements. And the biggest issue is that the new recruits can fit in and adapt, and yes they can. The military has over 200 years in figuring out how to get young men and now women to fit in. Now some may say that this is no different from when women were fully integrated into the military. But that is a rather poor example. For when women were first integrated they were held to the same standards as the men, and when they couldn't compete equally, there were new standards created that were less difficult. This just caused an increase in the resentment of men toward women and an increase in their harassment. It took close to 15 years for acceptance of women, and even then it was with a recognition that not all women were going to compete equally with men in feats of physical performance.
Sure, some of it was ridiculous, for example, a 175 pound male carrying a 120 pound rucksack and gear is going to be under tremendous stress. But a 120 pound woman carrying a 120 pound rucksack won't be able to move. And they don't make scaled down rucksacks, rifles, bullets, meals or anything else for that matter so that she can carry on the same as a man. This is not to say that there aren't women who could do it, but they are in the distinct minority. Overall, the idea of legislating equality through the military is not a good idea.
Besides, the one thing that no one takes into consideration is the young enlistee who realizes that the military life is just not for him or her. All they have to do is to tell their superiors that they have feelings for members of the same sex, but haven't acted on them yet, and they will have an Honorable Discharge in weeks.
Eventually, the military is going to have to let gays in who will serve openly. But that is a matter for those who are serving to deal with, not social engineers. Until that date, let's just keep the current system which requires everyone to mind their own damned business.
It's really not that hard to do.

Just Wait Until They Are Unionized.

A TSA worker pulled down a woman's shirt, exposing her breasts to everyone in the screening area. And the workers who missed the escapade could always review it on closed circuit security cameras.
None of them have been fired. Apparently, this is just fine for TSA behavior.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Killing Entrepreneurship

Cutting the Deficit

So many times, we are told that tax increases are the only responsible way to reduce the deficit, never cutting because it is too difficult. And to show how hard it is, the New York Times has included a handy calculator so that you can test your plan. I tried my hand at it and came up with this version.
But they didn't have a lot of choices that I wanted to do. First, end all subsidies. No business subsidies, sugar, peanut, ethanol, solar power, anything. The government should not be helping anything, because as soon as it does it distorts the market, and it's usually distorted in the direction that the lobbyists wanted, not in the direction that is good for everyone. I know a lot of people will be screaming that the "Green Revolution" can't happen without subsidies, and they are probably right. Which is just my point. If it makes sense economically, the government doesn't need to help. If it doesn't make sense, then we shouldn't be doing it.
I would also eliminate the Depts. of Energy and Education. So far, their track record from before their existence to now shows that they have failed in improving the situation. In the business world, these are defunct and defective organizations. Spin them off and sell them off to private investors. I would also direct the Dept. of Agriculture to look at selling public lands. It is true that Montana takes in more federal dollars than it pays out, but that is partly because the feds own so darned much of us. Take and sell it and you have the immediate effect of cash plus the long term benefit of not having to maintain the property. It would also open up land for private development which raises income which can be taxed.
Now for the fun part, the military. I know my friends in Great Falls might object, but we need to get rid of the land based missiles. Their cost versus their probability of use cannot be justified. The B-2 at least has a dual use capability, and if we kept about a third of the Trident class, we would still have enough to remain a credible deterrent without as much costs. We also need to address the major challenges to our interests are going to be terrorists and the Chinese. The terrorists are going to continue their low level of conflict, much like a bad infection, and it will require light and flexible forces that can go anywhere and fight anywhere. Probably 8 divisions of light or medium weight (Stryker units) divisions, and four heavy.
The Chinese on the other hand are a much more conventional force and would require higher levels of what we used to call "heavy" formations of armor and artillery. But we couldn't take China on right now in any event. Their Hundred Million Army is too much to engage directly, and luckily, they are a predominantly continental based force, so the greatest threats are going to be Viet Nam and Siberia.
There is the possibility of a sea borne invasion of Taiwan, or even possibly Japan. for that reason we should have four carrier groups. We only need to control the seas of one ocean at a time, not the current seven, and of that force you need one on station, one going to station and one returning, with one more as a backup.
The Air Force should be cut back to enough F-22 and F-35 wings to create air dominance in one theater, and sufficient heavy lift aircraft to move a light division in seven days. The need for future fighters has to be set aside until we get the budget under control.
Overseas bases should not be eliminated. Everyone of those was paid for in American blood, and it would be too expensive to have to reclaim them if we needed them again in the future. Their staffing should be reduced to enough for caretaker status only. But we cannot give up access to bases in Germany because they are a quarter of the world closer to anywhere East than the CONUS units are. Same with Okinawa.

Well, these are just a few ideas for cuts. I would also redo the tax code by making it a flat tax and exempt income under $30,000. The many loopholes and exemptions are just rife with the possibility of corruption. And I think I will put the rest of that idea in another post.

Things That Make You Go Hmmmmm.

This is the no kidding headline:
Castro: Far-Right Takes Over U.S. After Midterms
So, if Castro calls you Far Right, and the Democrats call you Far Right, does that mean they are at the same point on the continuum?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Barkus Justice?

Well, not really. As you may or may not be aware, Senator Barkus is going to plead guilty to one count of Criminal Endangerment and the dismissal of two counts of Felony Vehicular Assault.
This is one of the interesting examples where who you are matters when it comes to the administration of justice. Only not like you think. In this case we have a prominent Republican state Senator who was driving a boat that crashed into the rocks on the East shore of Flathead Lake, injuring our Rep. Denny Rehberg and others who were passengers. The fact that it is on the front page of the Daily Interlake is proof of the uniqueness of the prosecution at this level. Believe it or not, this was not the only boat accident resulting in injuries. In fact, it wasn't the only boat accident involving alcohol and injuries, but there it is, on the front page. And the worst thing is, that the Senator may actually receive a higher crime and punishment than if it had been Joe Montanan, normal citizen.
I am not going to pretend that I know better than his attorney who has a good reputation, but I think I would have challenged the original charge, since it seems to contemplate more the victims being innocent bystanders, and not passengers, but I am seeing this being used more and more nonetheless.
The charge that he is pleading to, Criminal Endangerment, is also known as the "Prosecutor's Best Friend." The relevant portions of the statute are as follows::
A person who knowingly engages in conduct that creates a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury to another commits the offense of criminal endangerment.
MCA 45-5-207.
But I have a problem with this charge. First, "knowingly engaging in conduct." The prosecutors like to say that by driving drunk, you knowingly engage in the conduct. But Criminal Endangerment is unique in the knowing element because you have to deliberately engage in the conduct.
As a clarification, I will use Justice Nelson's explanation of the law. Three men stand in a field, One aims north and fires a gun into an open field. The second fires into a grove of trees, but he doesn't know that there is a house there, and the third fires at a group of houses. All three men engaged in the same knowing conduct - Firing a gun, but only the third man engaged in conduct that he knowingly created a substantial risk of serious injury or death. The second shooter did not know there was a house, and that is more akin to Barkus' condition than the third shooter.
For if you want to believe that Barkus does meet the standard for Criminal Endangerment, you have to believe that Barkus was trying to kill himself as well. For how could he predict that anyone, least of all him have escaped harm if that was his intent. No, his better charge was the misdemeanor of Negligent Endangerment which only requires that you acted Negligently, not knowingly. But because he is a celebrity of sorts, and the Left is out for scalps, they will get his.
Which is too bad, and just another example of the wrongful application of justice.

It's Fun to be a Victim!

Don't you want to be a victim too? After all, if it's not your fault, why should you be held responsible for changing? And the legacy of the statists is to make sure that everyone can be a victim. Of course we have to have some oppressor, so we will use the evil bastards known simply as the "rich." This is so much fun, because probably only five people in this country would say that they are rich. But if you are making $20k a year, someone making $40k a year has to be rich. And if you are making $40k, then someone making $80k definitely is rich. Unless you are making that amount, in which case those making $125k are rich, and so it repeats itself ad nauseum. But each person at the level of being "rich" as considered by someone else does not consider themselves to be rich.
During Obama's campaign, we learned that the rich are those making $250k a year. A nice neat definition, but why are they the ones who have to be rich? Why not the ones making $125k or those making $500k? It is an arbitrary and capricious number designed to inflame the masses who make less than that, more than a statement of policy.
I bring this up because the site Left in the West is being restored at least as some level by Rob Kailey of Wulfgar fame, and a commenter JC said the following about the loss of the middle class,
Put that story together with a few others:

* the Chamber of Commerce's promotion of offshoring;
* the rise of China to soon become the world's leading economy, and growing military might to match;
* the Deficit Commission's proposal to raise the retirement age, which will result in middle and low income workers having to work longer, in essence paying for the retirement of healthier and richer persons (reports show that the richest americans live on average 5-7 years longer than the unrich once they reach 65);
* the widening disparity in income between the rich and middle/lower classes;
* the different treatment the rich and powerful politicos get (Bernie Madoff excepted) vs. the unrich and minorities get in our criminal justice system;
* the rise of corporate personhood to a level commensurate with the flesh and blooded citizens and their right to free speech;
* the rise of corporate personhood in the guise of "defense contractors" as our country turns to mercenary corporations to fight out wars and clean up our messes when (Halliburton/Xe et al.) the military is unwilling/unable/unready to do so--the forewarnings of the coming of the "military-industrial complex" have been realized;
* the triumphs of ideology and religion over science;
* and among all this gathering doom, defense spending is on a rocket course upwards, ever building more bases, and expanding our empire;
* ad nauseum...

It truly is twilight in america. And when the fireworks come out, I will be watching them from afar...

The dire warnings of this dark image are sure to make us leap to action and call for - More government! After all, the problem is always going to be solved by government. The Chamber of Commerce promoting "Off shoring"? Well, let's raise the corporate tax rates here at home, and tax their overseas earnings as well. That will certainly keep those corporations at home.
The Deficit Commissions proposal to raise the retirement age comment is concerning to me, because it looks like this person is advocating privatization of Social Security. After all, if it was privatized, the individual contributor would be able to pass on their accumulated savings to their offspring, instead of having them roll over to fund the wealthy who live longer. I am not sure why this comment is here except to make people feel more helpless than they already do.
The widening disparity between the rich and lower classes is going to be helped how? Apparently by government intervention which will only serve to lock in everyone at their station and keep them from advancing. Again, I am curious as to why JC is advocating this system. Could it be that she doesn't want to be bothered by anyone who may become noveau riche?
The rest of her diatribe also seems to be one giant non sequiter. Except for the underlying theme that all of this would just be fine if only the government took over our lives. My favorite is how she fails to capitalize "america" as she talks about the upcoming fireworks.
I feel sorry for someone so young who is so sad about her future. Maybe she needs to go join a Young Americans for Freedom convention and get some hope that by working hard and taking risks, you can avoid be confined to a set spot on the economic continuum.
On the other hand, I kind of get the feeling that she enjoys her misery.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

What is it With the Left and Free Speech?

I am noticing a disturbing pattern among the Left when it comes to Free Speech. What started this process was Ken Thornton at Electric City Weblog who said
My standard is the old fairness in broadcasting standard. All the mainstream media did fine and democracy did well under that. About 1988 was the death of that standard and the death of our democracy. Its death ushered in Right wing radio and Fox News and the false reality they create. The truth suffers and so does our democracy.
(Emphasis added)
The false reality is an interesting approach. Do those on the Left believe that anyone who watches Fox News thinks up is down and vice versa? Are the colors all reversed in their imagination of what those who watch would have?
Ahh, but Fox makes errors, there is no doubt of that. And if that were the standard there would not be a CBS News. Although to be fair, they did end up describing it as "Fake but accurate." And don't even get me started about the New York Times. The paper of record is becoming almost half the paper of corrections. And MSNBC? Their journalistic bona fides are best demonstrated here:
But it goes beyond just which news the Left is going to validate as being "accurate." Senator Bernie Sanders, (Insane, VT) wants to tell people who can own media outlets. This is a repeat of the canard that all news is philosophically conservative because it comes from corporations. This amusing logical fallacy has been refuted so many times, I won't waste your time here.
This is all part of the reaction of Citizens United decision and the removal of restrictions on corporate speech.Ironically, Democrats who keep tinkering with the corporate tax code, and as a result are driving business overseas, now don't want to hear from those same businesses when they are considering said legislation. The Left would be fine to allow unions free speech, but they demonstrate their ignorance when they think unions can exist without businesses.
The absolute lack of understanding that political speech cannot be regulated betrays the concerns that those of the Left are less likely to hold the Constitution in the honor it deserves. These are the same people who claim to protect constitutional rights. But it appears only those rights of abortion. All others are subject to suppression.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Leverage

Senator elect Manchin of West Virginia is being courted by the Republicans in the hopes that he will flip from Democrat to their side. The brilliant thing about this strategy is who is not playing.
While Manchin would probably fit in more with the Republican caucus than the Democrat one, it is still potentially viable. But if you are Manchin, think about what the message conveys - I am much more valuable than any other freshman senator. Harry Reid will be forced to offer some choice committees and support for Manchin's project for a plant that converts coal to diesel.
The Republicans in the meantime, can offer anything, because they won't have the necessary bodies to make a majority even with Manchin. Everynone wins, except for Harry Reid.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

What Does it Require to Give it a Rest?

The Left is always fascinated by a poll that shows some people thinking that Obama is a Muslim. They usually conflate the ones who think he is a Muslim with those who say they don't know, just to jack up the numbers. They also do it as a vehicle to declare that anyone who thinks so must be a racist. Now, let's just put that to rest. Anyone who thinks that believing Obama is a Mulsim must also automatically be a racist, are in fact racists themselves and aren't worth answering.
But the resurfacing of rumors would only further inflame the racists who are looking for any excuse to deflect the blame from the Obama administration for their failures. It serves no purpose but to distract.
Myself, I have been in Catholic churches for services, and that doesn't make me Catholic. I have been to a fundamentalist church that actually brought out snakes and started talking in tongues. I left before the service got carried away, but that doesn't mean that I believe in that variant of religion either. Can we give old Barry a rest on this subject?
Please?

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Because They Won

Shortly after he was inaugurated, President Obama told the minority Republicans that he wasn't really interested in their suggestions about tax policy because as he said "I won." Well guess what? Karma has a real sense of humor.
Because of the lack of interest by the last Congress, the first step for the new one is going to be to complete the authorization bills for the 2011 fiscal year. The easy thing would be to pass a sort of continuing resolution that covers the remaining 10 months. But what if the new Republican House decided instead to do an across the board 10% cut? Just say to all of the departments that you have the same budget as last year, just 10% less, and deal with it because we have to start work on the 2012 budget.
Of course there would be a hue and cry and reminders of the government shutdown of 1995, but this time it would be different. First, it's not the whole Congress against the White House, it's just the House. But the play of it is that the American people want government spending brought under control and they are going to do it. If the Senate fails to pass it (and because it is a budget bill filibusters don't apply) the Republicans can blame the Democrats in the Senate who didn't get the memo from last week's election. On the other hand, if the Senate passes it and Obama vetoes it, simply point out how the Republicans are busy doing the job of providing for appropriations for next year, and they will get to the President's veto when they can.
The Republicans House will also have to pass a repeal of ObamaCare, but I think it is better if they wait on doing that until February or March of 2012. They will reinvigorate the base, and set the Democrats the unenviable task of defending anew the crappy piece of legislation.
For those of us who are fans of chaos and gridlock when it comes to the encroachment of our individual liberties, these are really good times.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Fearing the Government

When we were children, and even now with our children, they learmn that the police are your friend. That if you are lost or scared and can't find your mommy or daddy, you should go to a police officer and they will help you. And I am sure that most of the time that they do. But sometimes, officers who are not as professional as the old guys become far too much the cowboy, and rather than relying on the force of personality, they prefer the gun to settle things down. And it works, to a point.
Except if you want to have a friendly poker game at your house. Then, you better be prepared for a battering ram followed by gunfire.
A relatively routine raid of a low-stakes poker game in Greenville, South Carolina turned bloody yesterday night — as police tried to gain entry to a poker house. The game host, now known to be Aaron Awtry, 72, shot through the front door, striking sheriff’s deputy Matthew May with a bullet that went through his arm.

A vice squad in SWAT gear returned fire, hitting Awtry with multiple rounds in his arm and thumb … which was followed by a 20-minute standoff between cops and players, according to a spokesman for the Greenville County Sheriff’s Department. Both shooting victims were taken to the hospital where they are in stable condition.

There were 12 people and Awtry in the house at 502 Pine Knoll Drive when police arrived at about 9:20 pm last night. According to frontline witnesses, they had just finished a small buy-in dinnertime tourney … and a 1/2 cash game was just getting underway when someone saw 5-0 approaching on a security monitor. Before he could clearly vocalize an alert, a battery [sic] ram begin slamming the front door and players froze. Awtry, who players say has notoriously bad hearing in his senior years and presumably believed the game was being robbed, began shooting at the door with his pistol, firing “at least once” according to a player, “multiple shots” according to police. At least four officers returned fire at the door with at least 20 bullets from their higher-powered assault weapons.

As Awtry fell back into the poker room entryway, he balked, “Why didn’t you tell me it was the cops?”
But that was South Carolina, and we know that they are all crazy there. It wouldn't happen in Montana.
Except. Now I am relating this from hearsay of people who were there, so I can't vouch for the accuracy of anyone other than the people who told me are very reliable. Apparently, one of the legal assistants of the Office of the Public Defender in Kalispell lived across the street from a house that a friend of hers owns but is letting her young son live there. The legal assistant got a call from the son, saying that the police were wanting to come into the house because they suspected an underage party. The kid told them that they had to get a warrant (smart kid), so they left. Apparently, they didn't have enough information for a warrant, because unknown til later, the officers came back to the house, crossed onto private property in order to look into the windows of the house where they saw a young girl asleep on the bed in a bedroom. Naturally, the officers thought that she must be drunk. Now they had the information they needed to get a warrant (not really but this is Kalispell, where the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures doesn't apply).
The legal assistant had gone over at the request of the mother to see what was going on, and yes, there was an underage party going on. The assistant called an attorney she works for and was on the phone when the cops started banging on the door again, saying that this time they had a warrant. The assistant was still talking to the attorney (who can run on at times) when the cops entered with guns drawn. Luckily none were so clumsy so as to trip and fire a warning shot through some drunk kid. A cop approached her and ordered her to hang up, which she was trying to do by ending the conversation. When she didn't hang up, the cop smacked it out of her hand, where it landed still transmitting to the lawyer the entire unjust entry and arrest. To make a long story short, the legal assistant was arrested and charged with obstructing justice.
She pled not guilty and had to go to trial, where the cops lied about hitting her, and the amateur hour judge allowed in so much extraneous bs it was a miracle that the jury reached the right conclusion and found her not guilty. Now, I am not saying that officers have to be placed in jeopardy when they are doing their jobs, but trespassing, lying to get a warrant, then lying in court are not going to be justified by "officer safety."
What it really does, is instill a distrust of law enforcement by the people who's rights they abuse, and their friends and family. And yes this is Kalispell, but I know that similar things have happened in Missoula and Hamilton. Don't think it hasn't happened in your town. Or maybe some night, someone could be smashing your door in and start shooting at you, and it will all be perfectly legal under "officer safety."

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Making Every Vote Count

I was talking with a woman who works at Boulder where we keep all those with mental deficiencies, and she told me something shocking. Apparently, the staff there take advantage of the residents by telling them who to vote for. This is disturbing enough, but apparently, Boulder isn't the only place that happens.
So, if you want your vote to really count, go work or volunteer at a facility for the mentally handicapped. You could make your vote count over a hundred times more than it would otherwise.

I am sure that the Commissioner of Political Practices will get right on it. Snark.

One More Good Reason to Vote

Defeat the dominant paradigm.

Monday, November 01, 2010

The Price of a Man's Soul

Everyone has a price is a constant refrain, and I used to say that mine was $250,000 until I was given a cashier's check for that amount to bid on a sale on behalf of a client. Then I figured out that I would need a lot more than that if I was going to abandon my family friends and country forever.
I bring this up because Cynthia Yockey has an excellent discussion of stuff you know, but just never put together so well as she has. The Reader's Digest version is that conservatives are inherently optimistic. They believe that anyone can become president, just like Obama did, only we won't point out that he did. But conservatives as a rule do not believe in stultifying stratification of your economic condition.
Liberals on the other hand (and I really mean Leftists, but they stole the good name of liberals) are pessimistic.
The first fundamental idea of Leftism is that particular identity/grievance groups are members of a permanent underclass, which entitles them to pity and unearned privileges and money. This idea has been particularly attractive to black Americans and led to the Great Society welfare state, the destruction of marriage and the black family, the rise of race hucksterism and racial protection rackets and a holocaust of ambition, talent and genius in the black community because welfare rules punish these traits ruthlessly.
and secondly,
is that there is a privileged overclass who owe their pity and earned privileges and money to an ever-expanding list of identity/grievance groups in the permanent underclass.
Ms Yockey points out that the primary purpose of these beliefs is not to remedy the ills but power. The power to control others through the allocation or confiscation of wealth. They need the poor and repressed minorities for without them, the Left have no moral authority.
But the real cost of the Left's perfidy is that we now know the price of a person as determined by the government wage. At the present time if you are disabled you will receive the princely sum of $674 per month providing that you are disabled and unable to do ANY WORK at any place in the country. Six hundred seventy four dollars a month, and if you have too much in assets, you have to "spend them down" before you can draw the benefit.
The truly sad part of this inhuman trade in humanity is the government bureaucracy that would try at every turn to deny them benefits, and those pathetic people who actively seek out such a small pittance as a way to avoid work even though they aren't really disabled. The fact that the government would make a truly disabled person's life miserable by the delay and denials of their claims is justified by those pathetic people who would seek this benefit as a source of income for the rest of their lives is a testament to the failure of government sponsored largesse.

The Religion of Peace is Being Peaceful Again

Check it out.

A Man of No Consequence

No, Not Mark T. Though he would certainly qualify. No kids, today's answer is Barak Obama! That's right, the Leader of the Free World is going to meet with the host of American Idol and do an interview. What a stroke of genius! Think of all the untapped voters who can't be reached any other way.

Makes me start to long for the quiet competency of GW Bush.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Campaign Ads

Just saw the ad questioning McDonald's judgment because his client was Jimmy "The Weasel" Frattiano. Associating McDonald with his client is intended to wrongly portray McDonald's interests as the same as Frattiano's. This is unfair and should be stopped. Instead, the Republicans should just show the picture of McDonald with President Obama. Don't even have to say anything.
Now that would be a scary Halloween commercial.

Fighting Election Fraud

Democrats are getting very nervous and are starting to cheat. The best way to cheat is to allege voter intimidation in having them prove they are who they say they are. Although the Help America Vote Act actually does require proof of who you are in order to vote. But many people who want to exploit the dead, the elderly or the invalid by using their votes are fighting the requirement to provide proof. They claim that it unfairly burdens the poor who do not have identification.
Okay, then let's do this - Instead of requiring photo ID for those who don't have it, let's take their picture at the polling place with their name prominently displayed. Afterwards, we can go back and verify that they are who they say they are, and if they are not, post their picture in every precinct in the state to show who has committed a felony. And if they are found, sentence them to a minimum of seven years in prison with no parole so that they have to miss a few more elections that they won't be able to defraud.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Astroturfing on Display

The Tea Party is often accused of being "Astroturf" in that their accusers don't accept that people can be upset with the way Democrats are trying to ruin the country.  As a response, the Daly show and Comedy Central have decided to hold a "Rally to Restore Sanity" as an antidote to Glenn Beck.  But because this is being manufactured by a commercial enterprise they are attempting to limit who can make a video recording.  It's true that you wouldn't be able to record the show with your own camera while sitting in the audience and then sell it outside, but this is being held on the National Mall.

Maybe there is something to this whole corporate profits over getting the message out.

Friday, October 29, 2010

"We were just people who didn't really know what we were doing."

The Wall Street Journal had donned its anthropology gear and rendered a report on the actual birth of the Tea Party.  It's an excellent read and very informative both for those of us who support their issues, and those who oppose it.  Mostly, it's an interesting tour through a spontaneous uprising that the elites couldn't predict, and still don't really understand.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Yeah, We Miss You



Apparently, after all the good that Obama has done for us over the last two years, more people think that GW Bush was a better president than Obama is now.  By a rate of 48-43% Bush is rated higher than the present incumbent. 

So much for the blame Bush strategy.  It will more likely result in people remembering that for them personally, times were better back then.

Predictions

At this late of a date, there is really not a lot of challenge in saying that the Republicans are going to take over the House, and will be within striking distance of the Senate. Watch for LIEberman (as his friends on the Left like to call him) and Ben Nelson to suddenly have tremendous influence if the Republicans are within two of 51 votes. Nelson in particular seems to be the best choice for a reverse Arlen Specter.
I will be sad to see Russ Feingold leave. Although I never really agreed with his positions, I have to give him credit for having integrity, and not just following the party line. Not so with Harry Reid, and I hope Barbara Boxer.
Locally, the only question on the ballot will be if McDonald actually breaks the 10% of the vote threshold. I am giving him a 50-50 chance.
I also think that the Tea Party candidates are going to do better than expected. Part of the problem with polling is guestimating who is going to turn out. For the most part, pollsters use historical analysis to predict who is going to show up and vote. Those analysis may not be valid this year. But even if Sharon Angle doesn't defeat Harry Reid or O'Donnel doesn't defeat Coons, the fact is that the Tea Party candidates are just version 1.0. Wait until 2012 and version 2.0 comes along. That version will completely rid the Republicans of the legacy failures like Murkowski, Bennett and Castle for example.
It won't be your Father's Republican Party after this election.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Dog Food Sucks

There is a story told of a dog food company that was spending millions on advertising but couldn't increase sales. They fired companies left and right after trying out new campaigns and still the results stayed the same: no increase in sales.
Finally the company figured out it had to start from the beginning and understand why their advertising campaigns were failing. After extensive research, a memo finally explained the ineffectiveness of their efforts: The dogs didn't like the dog food.
Such is the situation for President Obama, where he has decided that the reason we don't like Obamacare is because the marketing hasn't worked. Memo to the President: The dog food sucks.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Seditious Speech

The Left has always fashioned themselves as defenders of Free Speech. Whether Voltaire's "I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." or the defense of Lenny Bruce and Larry Flynt for speech that was deemed offensive to others. It is of course a noble cause to defend free speech. But claiming to defend free speech while stifling speech you don't like is evidence of hypocrisy most foul, especially when it is politically motivated.
Whether it's the dismissal of Juan Williams from NPR or the firing of a father of a sailor who serves on the GHW Bush the Left has now ascended (or is it descended) to the ranks of all of the other totalitarian powers that they used to disparage.
I am sure that the Mullahs in Iran and Hugo Chavez are only to willing to embrace them with open arms and say "Welcome to the club."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

There Won't be a Republican Party to Leave

Sen. Jim DeMint is threatening to leave the Republican Party if after the election they fail to follow through with their professed limited government agenda. If the Republicans do take over the House, they will have immense pressure from those members of the Tea Party who are less politically motivated than they are ideologically motivated.
I know that many on the Left think that the Tea Party is a Republican creation and tool, but they misunderestimate the anger of people with the direction of spending. And that anger is centered around people like me, older, established and fearful for our future generations.
Keep an eye out. If the Republicans fail to act, after 2012 there won't be a Republican Party.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

When Will the Left Apologize?

The Tea Party which is based on the Constitution and the principles of limited government is called a racist organization because their "leaders" won't apologize for supposedly unpleasant behavior by one or two of its supporters, even though the allegations are not documented. I just want to know, when will the leaders of America's Left apologize for this? And by leaders, I mean you President Obama, you Harry Reid and you Nancy Pelosi, and you Max Baucus and you, oh wait, never mind, Tester doesn't do anything.
Much less anything to have to apologize for.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Cracks in Groupthink

An amusing aspect of my friends who are Democrats, is that they first assume everyone is a Democrat and if you are not a Democrat, you can only be a Republican. My wife, the "Good Democrat" still doesn't really know what to think, but she puts up with me, at least until she says something overtly political and I challenge her. If that happens, she usually just tells me that she is right because her friends tell her what to think, and she knows they are right.
It's nice to know that I am not alone. The so called "tolerant" are among the first to condemn without thinking. The "open minded" blinded to anything other than their preconceived notions.
Overall, I am glad not to be a part of them.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Baucus Throws His Weight Around

Senator Baucus has suddenly discovered that some political groups are misusing the tax code, and he has written the IRS Commissioner asking him to investigate. Absolutely no word about the idea of not giving any tax exemptions for swaying partisan issues.
Notice how he only is concerned now that his own election is safeguarded. Last election cycle, because he had no serious opposition, Max was able to dump most of his re-election money into getting Democrats elected. Fine, that is his right to do so. But using the IRS for political purposes? Does the name Richard Nixon mean anything to him?
But his sudden concern betrays his cynical duplicity. Maybe now is the time to start a PAC for the sole purpose of recalling Max. After all, most of the Lefties here are pissed off at him for Obamacare and meeting with Republicans. And most of the rest of the State is pissed at him for saying that he doesn't read the bills he is voting for.
Maybe Max needs to go ahead and retire to the old homestead in McLean.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Eliding

The White House, through VP Biden are telling their supporters to "Buck Up." This is a more acceptable version than the original, which had an "F" standing in for the "B."

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Division of Labor - Stupid People Over There =>

You have to marvel at people who say this:
I have been fascinated by Christine O'Donnell's constitutional worldview since her debate with her opponent Chris Coons last week. O'Donnell explained that "when I go to Washington, D.C., the litmus test by which I cast my vote for every piece of legislation that comes across my desk will be whether or not it is constitutional." How weird is that, I thought. Isn't it a court's job to determine whether or not something is, in fact, constitutional? And isn't that sort of provided for in, well, the Constitution?
So, let's go ahead and pass a law that says that women can't have the vote. We can wait the four to six years that it takes to get to the Supreme Court before they get their vote back.

I'm sure that those who will be affected will be understanding about waiting for a decision on the question of "Constitutionality."

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Rejecting Racists and Haters

Much has been made of the NAACP calling for the removal of "racist elements" from the Tea Party.  I agree that racism is extremely abhorrent.  The men and women I served with in the Army who happened to be people of color who wore green are just a part of the reason that I am so proud of my country.

But then, we have Bill Mahar saying that Obama is only half assed effective because he is half white,



And the accusation by Nancy Pelosi that there were all of these "Hitler signs?"  I didn't know that she was right.


The protesters belong to the Democrat running for office against the Republican that they were protesting.

I am sure that there are people right now who are proud to be a Democrat.  Just like the people above.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Victory is Ours!!

A.B. Stoddard's piece reminded me of something that was at the back of the brain and now brought to fore:  No matter what happens in November, the Tea Party has already won.  I know that the Democrats feel like the election of O'Connel and Angle will guarantee the Democrats remain in control of the Senate, and they may be right.  What they don't understand is, it doesn't matter.
Think about what the dominant themes are this election.  Nothing about abortion, card check, healthcare, in fact, the Democrats are totally ignoring those issues.  Their traditional power bases for issues have failed them, and Democrats are now trying to portray themselves as fiscally responsible.  Just a personal observation, but they aren't going to get any traction from that this year after what they had done, nor will they in 2012 if they still retain the Senate.
If the Democrats retain the Senate, they are going to be constrained by the fact that spending bills have to originate in the House.  Assuming that the Republicans take the House, Ryan and Cantor are smart and agile enough that they going to be able to portray the Democrats as the obstructionists and those of the stale old ideas.
Not to say that the Republicans are immune if they fail to deliver.  While many on the Left pretend that the Tea Party is wholly owned by the Republicans and Fox news, they actually have it backwards.  Look at self identified Republicans.  They are shrinking at about the same rate as the Tea Party is growing.  And the Tea Partiers are energetic and enthused. The fact that the establishment members of the Republican party are throwing hissy fits over the loss of Murkowski, Bennet and whoever it was in Delaware, shows their impotence.  They will need to recognize that they have two choices:  Embrace and adapt the Tea Party, even if it means that social issues are not going to be pushed forward, or die.
The Democrats may have even less options.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

Classic Headline

Just by itself, this is hilarious without even reading the article:


Obamas take a break from vacationing to attend two major galas and big reception this week

Thursday, September 09, 2010

You Don't Know Me

But I know you.  From the discussion on ECW, we find this comment: 
The tea party isn’t a bunch of racists or homophobes, they just believe that Obama was born in Kenya, that Islam is an inherently violent religion, that Muslims shouldn’t have the same constitutional rights that we do, that illegal immigrants (all 11 million) should be shipped back across the border, that poor black people caused the housing crisis,and that gay people are gay by choice.
And they get angry on command. Jump, doggies, jump!
 Sniff, sniff.  Can you smell it?  It's their fear.  Their utter panic as they realize that they are going to lose power.  Maybe even for the rest of their lives.  That is what is causing this sort of nonsense.  They cannot stand toe to toe on ideas, because each and everyone of theirs has been discredited.
But let's take a look at what those who are about to fail think.  Looking at his comment, you see that we have the "Birthers" listed first,  Tea Partiers and Birthers are not necessarily the same, but the author of the comment needed to conflate them  As I have said before, Birthers are no different than the lunatics that claimed George Bush stole the election.  Both seek to deligitimize the President.  If more Republicans than Democrats believe Obama is foreign borm why does it matter?  Does it matter that more Democrats than Republicans believe Bush stole the election?  The writer is unable to reconcile the two because he lacks an open mind and cannot appreciate the nuance of the issue having had his opinions formed and handed to him by others. Let me help him.  The difference is that both groups dislike the President of the party they oppose. It has nothing to do with skin color and everything to do with policies.  Obama was well admired until he started implementing policies and laws that the people do not want.  Even aside from his policies, his arrogance earns him an honest enmity.
Next our commenter moves on to items of religious interest.saying that we believe that Islam is an inherently violent religion.  I would not categorize an entire religion as violent, but when that religion is used to justify violence, when people flying airplanes into buildings to kill innocent civilians, or cut off the head of some poor contractor, or a newspaper reporter and scream Allahu Akbar while they do it, well, I have a tough time understanding how their practice of that religion is peaceful.  No, the better understanding of this comment, is the desire to surrender, a sort of Sonderkommando who hope that they will be beheaded last.  And that's not counting stoning a woman for adultery, or requiring four male witnesses to prove a rape.  Or, let's all go out as a family and watch the beheadings and amputations in the public square in Riyadh.  Isn't that fun kids?
Yeah, I can see the attraction of non-violence toward that religion.
Next, our constitutional scholar commenter decides that the Tea Party wants to take away constitutional rights.  I am sure that it is just his anger and fear that makes him recognize that 6 out of 10 people don't want the Ground Zero Mosque built there, even though 7 out of 10 agree that it is their Constitutional right.  It's sort of like the commenter's right to burn an American flag, although I would advise him against doing it in front of a VFW meeting.  It may be legal, but it is still pointlessly provocative, just like the GZM Iman.
Next, our intrepid commenter thinks that the 11 million illegals should not be allowed to remain here.  Finally, he has hit on something close to the truth.  The very definition of a nation is the ability to control its borders and who you admit to your country.  If you don't do that, you are not a country, just a really big Wal Mart parking lot.. The 11 million are called illegal for the reason that what they have done is ILLEGAL.  I know that the Democrats are looking to get 11 million more votes, but voter dilution through non-citizen voting is an attack on your legal right to vote.  Oops, never mind, laws don't matter when it comes to staving off the impending destruction of the Democrat Party.
And he claims that the Tea Party blames poor black people?  Do I detect a latent racism here?  Has anyone else made this claim?  No, I think  our commenter is channeling his inner KKK.  Get help!  No, the people I blame for the housing crisis are Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, who used Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as a parking space for out of office Democrat politicians until they got back in the game, ala Rahm Emanuel.
Finally, he makes the comment that gays are that way by choice.  So, just for fun, let's take a look at what the principles of the Tea Party are as proposed by them, instead of their opponents: 

Mission Statement

The impetus for the Tea Party movement is excessive government spending and taxation. Our mission is to attract, educate, organize, and mobilize our fellow citizens to secure public policy consistent with our three core values of Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government and Free Markets.

Core Values

  • Fiscal Responsibility
  • Constitutionally Limited Government
  • Free Markets
No matter how many times I read this, I don't see any reference to Gays, minorities, Democrats or any other group that is being marginalized.
But their issues, My God:  Fiscal Responsibility?  Why aren't all the people who like to point out how Bill Clinton created a surplus also not Tea Partiers?  And Constitutionally Limited Government?  Okay, I could see where the statist Leftist nanny-staters who want to control my life could never belong.  Might just explain our friend the commenter. And lastly, Free Markets - What a dangerous thought, especially since command economies work so well. 
Maybe this explains our commenter's fears.  If you believe in control of the government, economy and individuals as he does, you cannot fathom why anyone would not want the warmth and safety of the Government's loving arms,  Initiative?  Ambition?  Hard work?  None of those are possible for him to understand.  But he doesn't need to fear, the Tea Party will not be able to completely remove the loving jail that supports him with their money.

Monday, September 06, 2010

How to get Obama to Visit the Southern Borders

Senator McCain is asking President Obama to come and observe first hand the problems with enforcing the borders. This follows on the heels of Obama refusing to give any time to Gov. Rick Perry on the same issue.  But I have a solution - Build golf courses on the border.

Will You Please Knock It Off

Seems a Florida pastor is threatening to burn the Koran in a public place.  This has inspired riots in Afghanistan, and could very well imperil our soldiers.  The fact that the pastor wants to do this is Constitutional doesn't make it right.
I do not understand why they want to antagonize the "Religion of Peace" more than they are already doing.

Happy Labor Day

Happy at least, if you have a job.  In spite of spending more money than the entirety of the Iraq war on the so called "stimulus" the actual rate of unemployment is probably closer to 16% than to the 9.6% that is the official rate.  Yes, yes, I know that the answer is that the Obama administration didn't appreciate how bad things were.  Well then, why in the hell were they allowed to tinker with something that they admit is too complicated for them to understand?
But today we celebrate American labor, and yes, I use the small l version of labor.  The large L version has done more to destroy jobs than anything else, and they have done it with the cooperation of the Democrats. As the mid term elections near, they are getting ready to spend their members dues on making sure that Democrats retain control in order to keep doing such a great job as they have been,  Three unions alone are planning on spending over $150 million for Democrats this year.
Think about it, union pensions are getting ready to implode from being underfunded, and the unions are going to spend $150 million on buying politicians.  It may not appear to make sense, but by buying those politicians, they can vote to have the tax payer pay for the busted union pensions.
Win - Win for everyone but the taxpayer!  And who really cares about them anyway?

Sunday, September 05, 2010

It's all Bush's Fault

Has been the standard mantra from Democrats since 2004.  It actually helped them when they took over the House and Senate in 2006 (then it was rejection of Bush to change governments, and now if you want to do the same it's all fear and anger).  In fact, Obama has made it the centerpiece of his plan to deal with the economy, energy, finance, hangnails, bad thoughts, and whatever else is out there.
And it had to happen.  There is now a new version of how to explain the inexplicable, especially in the political world.  "I think that they addressed this issue in the new healthcare bill."  This answer was given to explain the disappearance of the five and a half minutes that were lost during yesterday's game due to a lightning delay.
Maxine Walters, Charlie Rangel?  They were allowed to do it by the new healthcare bill.  Unemployment not coming down?  New healthcare bill.  Obama losing independents?
Definitely in the new healthcare bill.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Talk, Talk, Talk

President Obama gave his usual Saturday radio/Youtube speech, in which he promised to keep fighting for the middle class of this country.  What he doesn't seem to realize, is that the middle class is hoping that he will become a pacifist, since we can't seem to support all of the wars he has entered on our behalf.
But this brings to mind something I had read before, in that the Democrats are much better at communicating than they are at doing.  They managed brilliantly to portray the Republicans as corrupt in 2004 and 2006.  Of course at least two of those targets, Tom Delay and our own Conrad Burns, were exonerated, but that doesn't matter since the object is not the truth, but to run the Republicans out of office.  But the truth will not set them free, in fact, it is a mere obstacle to their eventual goal of being able to tell everyone how to live their lives.  They even admit their collusion with message shapers to present an image of the Republicans that they know isn't true.
I am becoming more and more sure that the general public is also aware that the Democrats talk a good game but they sure don't deliver.  Even the Left is disappointed in what the Democrats have managed to accomplish.  You sort of wonder what would have happened if the Republicans held filibuster proof majorities in the Senate and the House.
But the rest of us are not that happy with everything that the Left has done, except for Finance Regulation, which for some reason still remains popular.  My theory on that is the public doesn't know how their local banks are going to be forced to subsidize the mega banks that actually created the financial crisis.
The joke is always that the Democrats will promise you that if they are elected, you will be taller, better looking, and there won't be any crab grass in your lawn (Hope and Change).  And the Republicans promise that government doesn't work, and if elected prove that fact.
Whatever you think about Republicans and government, I think we all recognize we are better off with the Democrats on the outside of power and complaining, than if they have the power and we are complaining.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

AGW Revisited

Travis had posted on Global Warming a little while ago and it turned into the usual supporters of the liars, versus those who support the other liars argument.  I have a problem with the methodology and this whole issue of "consensus" as promoted by the charlatan Al Gore. But now there is a group of scientists who are organizing the complaints against the IPCC  The lead sentence says it all:
"If this keeps up, no one's going to trust any scientists."
 And if that happens, we are all in trouble.  For if science becomes nothing more than
" . . . a tight clique of like-minded scientists and bureaucrats who give each other jobs, publish each other's papers -- and conspire to shut out any point of view that threatens to derail their gravy train."
why believe anyone?
Addressing the Himalayan glacier disappearance, shows that the IPCC's claim of "peer reviewed" data is a total sham.  Normally, such an assault on someone's credibility would be grounds to discount anything that they ever said.  But because it is about Anthropogenic Global Warming, we have to believe it even if it's not true.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Presidential Speech Predictions

Wanted to get this out before he talks, but I am going to go out on a limb and make the following predictions about his speech:

1.  "We have ended the war."  i,e, He is unable to say that we won.

2.  "I was right years ago when I said that the surge was necessary."

3.  There will be no mention of GW Bush. He, who shall not be named, except for campaigning in safely Democrat districts.

4.  The troops will be praised for their endurance as "victims."

5.  Now that the war is over, we can finally afford Obamacare.  (No we can't).

He will fall back to his mantra "Let me be perfectly clear"  or in the alternative, "As I have always said" at least four times..  And no, he won't be perfectly clear.

Monday, August 30, 2010

It's an American Thing

And Chris Matthews and oh so many others, just wouldn't understand.  If you believe that America is a fundamentally racist, homophobic, sexist country, you cannot understand the rest of us.

Especially those of us who have been outside of this great country, and know it is their own arrogance that allows other Americans to believe such nonsense.  But as someone else said, "at some point you've done enough damage to the country."  .

Update:  Here is more, even better said.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hobson's Choice

It has been an article of faith that the Bush tax cuts only went to the richest. Sure, the facts disprove that argument, but through their control of the media, the notion that only the rich received any benefit of the tax cuts has endured and prospered.

That is about to come to an end.

The Democrats are stuck.  They can allow the tax cuts to expire, and pretend to be fiscally responsible, even though the lowest tax rate is going to increase by fifty percent, child credits are going to be halved, and a whole raft of other middle class tax cuts are going to be removed.  And if they do, the economy is going to tank even worse.  If they don't, they are not supporting their prior complaint that tax cuts only went to the rich.

It sure is a problem when you get caught up in your own lies, isn't it?