Sunday, November 30, 2008
This is a shot through our big bedroom window of the back yard this AM. Not a lot of melting happened today other than on the roads, so it looks like this will be staying for awhile. From my 40+ years of decent memory of falls and winters in MN and NW Wisconsin, I'd say this is pretty normal. Milder early, then pretty average out to now with snow trying to show up here about when it usually does -- "first of December". Looks like 36 degrees forecast for Tuesday is the highest we will see on the 10-day extended, nothing else above freezing at all, which seems about right.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Just read it, it is short. Increase the envy, misdirect the scapegoat and shear the sheep. So is the new "centrist BO" the REAL BO, or is he just playing with the sheep? I'm not sure how one would ever know. I suspect a lot of business will just sit on the sidelines until his actions make some committment that means he has made up his mind. Sure, he has appointed some folks that OUGHT to be reasonable, and has SAID that he is holding off on raising taxes for now, BUT, his rhetoric still says this is going to be a "new way".
Like, what does that mean? Really, nobody knows yet.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Some perspective on the current situation, something the MSM isn't very excited to do. I like the idea that Harry Truman and George Bush have similar popularity ratings as they leave office. Harry doesn't seem so bad these days, does he?
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
As I've been watching the MN Senate recount, I harken back to FL and Katherine Harris. Somehow the Dems and the media seemed to be VERY concerned that the head of the canvassing board was a Republican. Here in MN, the head of the board is a Democrat, Mark Ritchie, but it seems that nobody in the MSM, nor thankfully from the Republican party is making much of a stink about that fact.
Now have Harry Reid entering the fray providing a not too veiled threat that if the answer isn't the one that the Democrats like, maybe they will just have to throw it into the Senate. Golly, if the situation was reversed -- 58 seat Republican majority, Republican in charge of the canvassing board and this came out, might one suspect that the MSM would go a just a BIT bonkers???
Not now, hard to find anything on the situation at all on the MSM, and only these rather muted strains on the right wing blogs.
Good article, everything in there has been covered in this Blog, and to anyone that understands even the basics of economics, the conclusions are on the order of "the sky is blue", "many people like chocolate" -- however, we seem to live in a country where something over 50% don't quite get these basics, so I guess this kind of article is needed.
First, when the stock market goes down, then there aren't any capital gains to get $100 Billion a year or so in taxes from. True, the rich folks are less wealthy, but so are all the rest of us. You take 7.5 Trillion out of the economy and folks tend to feel less wealthy for some reason. I'm thinking at some point Democrats may understand that "losing $7.5 Trillion is bad", but I guess I might be wrong:
Unfortunately, the mine has less gold. All the financial turmoil hasSecond big point. If you like to redistribute wealth, it is kind of important to have something to redistribute. If it is gone, you can't redistribute it. I guess this is tough to fathom for the left, but I remain nearly certain that they are going to "get it" here at some point in the next few years.
left the wealthy -- however defined -- much less wealthy. Stock
ownership is highly concentrated. In 2001, the richest 1 percent owned
34 percent of stocks and mutual funds, estimates economist Edward N.
Wolff of New York University. Let's see. Since the market's high in
October 2007, stocks are down (through Oct. 31) 38 percent, or $7.5
trillion, reports Wilshire Associates
But the redistributionist argument is at best a half-truth. The
larger truth is that much of the income of the rich and well-to-do
comes from what they do. If they stop doing it, then the income and
wealth vanish. No one gets it. It can't be redistributed because it
doesn't exist. Everyone's poorer.
Ever helpful to those leftys that may be reading here, Samuelson points out that if your cookie jar is empty, you can be really really generous, but there will be no cookies to redistribute! Now I know that BO will be printing a lot of imaginary cookies (debt/inflation), but I really think that the leftys will realize that an imaginary cookies are a whole lot less satisfying after awhile.
Conclusion, the sky is still blue, up is up and down is down. Perhaps BO believes he will repeal all that is factual, but I'm one of those nasty doubters.
This isn't just theory. Last week, Gov. David Paterson of New York
pleaded with Congress to provide emergency aid to states. Heavily
dependent on Wall Street for taxes, he testified, New York faces a
$12.5 billion budget deficit next year and expects joblessness to rise
by 160,000. Wall Street bonuses will drop by 43 percent and capital
gains income by 35 percent, he estimated. People in New York would be
better off if the securities industry were still booming, even if there
were more economic inequality.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Man, this BO guy is really something. Larry Summers was secretary of the treasury under Slick Willie, and then went off to be president of Harvard, but had to resign in "lefty disgrace" because he made politically incorrect remarks. So when BO the savior appoints a person to something, apparently even all past lefty sins are forgiven!
Tim Geithner started his career at Kissinger and associates and has recently been on the Federal Open Market Committee which is chaired by the Fed Reserve Chair, Ben Bernanke. He certainly worked as part of the BUSH administration on bailing out AIG and Bear Stearns, and not bailing outLehmann Brothers (and I suppose now bailing out Citi). How can a smart guy like that we working with the worst president ever, BUSH??? One would think that leftys would see him as having horrible judgement, but again, one he is appointed to treasury by BO, he is "redeemed".
The GREATEST slight of hand is here:
Not only is there a team, but there's also a plan.
stimulus package with a price tag that could total as much as $700
billion over the next two years. It's as much as Congress allowed for
the Wall Street bailout, and more than we've spent in Iraq. The
incoming administration is also sending clear signals that it could
delay its promise to repeal President Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy.
WOW, now "delaying the repeal of tax cuts" is something that is a "good sign" to a lefty? How can that be? If it is bad to raise taxes when the economy is bad, how can it be good to raise them when it is good? Isn't a delay and admission that taxes remove funds from the economy that can be better allocated by market forces to allow the economy to grow and that doing it when the economy is growing just reduces growth by some value related to the size of the tax increase? If there was such a thing as "consistency", one would think that all the people that have gone beserk over the past 7 years on those HORRIBLE "Bush tax give-aways for the wealthy" would be simply apocoleptic and the idea that their knight in shining armor would delay their repeal due to a poor economy!
Again, if one thought there ever were any consistency on the left, they are probably so fart out to lunch that this whole thing is simply invisible.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Easy to see why the mood of the country is so bright an cheery now that BO has been elected. Talk about leadership! When is the last time we have had a President-elect with such comforting and insightful leadership as "Doing What is Necessary", and on a specific topic! Thankfully, he had an aide provide the information so BO himself has some plausible denyability in case going out on the limb with such a bold and insightful statement needs to be softened. Sources close to the administration claim to be working on something less restrictive, such as: "Obama is studying what may be hopeful ways to change the economy". Some hard line aides are pushing for "earnestly studying", but feel that would fail to connect with the rural red state voters.
CNN reporters were gratified to see BO return to "his roots" of "hope and change" rather than the stark and slightly wonkish pronouncement made by Axlerod.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
The Dow closed on election day at 9,625, today it closed at 7,552, 2,073 points or 22% lower. One thing very nice is that in listening to NPR, they are a lot less concerned now. Market drops prior to the election were all due to Bush, and the 300 point rise on election day was due to BO, but now I guess it is "unimportant". I suppose it is just another sign that evil market economy is a thing of the past and in the age of BO, who needs markets? BO will just wave the magic government wand and we will see jobs created, incomes rise and tax dollars stream in with nary a deficit in sight.
Ah yes, happy days are here again!
It would be really nice if I was joking here, but I'm not. How many times have you heard Demcrats talk about "all they want to do is make sure that every vote is counted" ... which usually means a bunch of ballots of questionable lineage, dating, etc that "the found" that simply MUST be counted.
However, in reality, here is the sort of vote that they feel SHOULD NOT be counted!
Now here is a really newsworthy piece! Let's see, since he has been elected, the Dow is down 1,600 points, so maybe the "brand" will be more something in a "Wal-Mart to Dollar Store" kind of brand? I wonder why the US reputation has been in decline the last few years? Certainly it can't have anything to do with the MSM and the kind of wonderful reporting they have done. Naturally, at this point, someone that has a few doubts about if it is really Lincoln and FDR that BO will be compared with is seen as "negative". I was alive 8 years ago. The President hadn't been officially named yet and all the media had to talk about was extremely dire predictions. Of course we didn't know about 9-11 yet then, and after that the predictions became apololyptic. Considering where we were then, things were going pretty darned good until the sub-prime blew up.
Should Bush have dealt with that? Absolutely, however in politics (unless you are BO) you usually don't get to play with a Fillibuster proof Senate and huge house majorities. The Democrats successfully protected their lobbyist cash cow and low income vote buyer right into 2008. Since 2006, when they promised "change", they had the actual control of the "go lever", all Bush had was the brake (veto).
So the Dems promised "change" in 2006, and in those two years has anyone noticed any? I'd say they have been pretty darned succssfull -- way more than politicians usually are. We certainly do have change, and now we have BO promising "more change" and the markets seem to be in agreement.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Sowell does his usual great job here with the "right" of the "losers" in an election to throw a fit. In this case, his primary targets are the gay activists that are protesting against churches and even blacks, since they didn't agree with them on Gay Marriage.
Reading the whole thing is very worth it (it isn't long), but here are a couple of good teasers:
With all the various groups who act as if they have a right to win,we got to the present situation over the years, going back to the 1960s, where the idea started gaining acceptance that people who felt aggrieved don't have to follow the rules or even the law.
"No justice, no peace!" was a slogan that found resonance.
Like so many slogans, it sounds good if you don't stop and think-- and awful if you do.
Long time readers of this blog will know that I love his closing here ... my current view is that when asked, something between 80-90% of Americans say Baaaah ! Some Baaah to the right, some to the left, and some to the "mainstream", but the bleat goes on.
When the majority of the people become like sheep, who will tolerate
intolerance rather than make a fuss, then there is no limit to how far
any group will go.
How far do you think the BO bandwagon will rumble before the sheep start to get wise?
Ah yes, things were just peachy at this time in 2000 and BUSH just messed it all up! For those whose memory of 8 years ago is fuzzy:
- On September 1, 2000, the NASDAQ traded at 4234.33. From September 2000 to January 2, 2001, the NASDAQ dropped 45.9%. In October 2002, the NASDAQ dropped to as low as 1,108.49 - a 78.4% decline from its all-time high of 5,132.52, the level it had established in March 2000.
- On Sept 11, 2001 I think we ALL know what happened. Also, the USS Cole was bombed in October of 2000. Since we have not had an attack similar to the Cole yet in 2008, we will know for sure by Sept 12, 2009 if the Demorats and MSM are correct that "The Bush policies have made us less secure". Since they were SO quick NOT to blame Slick Willie for 9-11, I'm SURE they would NEVER blame Bush for an attack post 9-12-2009!
- Uh, equality deficit? The rich got richer (and so did the poor) under Slick as well as under Bush. Zero was still zero then as now. The top moves more than the bottom -- 10% more income if you make $10K is $1k, it is $10K if you make $100k. It works the other way as well ... -10% of the guy with $100K is $10K, but it is only $1K for the guy making $10K ... BUT, what probably happens is that the guy making $10K loses his job.
- Want to read back to me what wonderful things Slick / Al did for the environment? Other than make more noise? Uh, like nothing -- if they had pushed Kyoto through (which they never tried), then they wouldn't been able to complain about Bush not doing it either.
Monday, November 17, 2008
I think Kristol hits the nail directly on the head. The masses of people operate with a VERY simple story in their head. Something of the nature of "Government Good / Business Bad", "Republicans are for the Rich / Democrats are for the common man", "Republicans bring opportunity / Democrats bring more taxes", "Republicans support values / Democrats are anti-values" ... and on and on it goes.
While there are nuggets of truth in all those "stories", there is also a whole lot of falsehood. The onset of the depression of the '30s is now usually linked to a simple story that goes like "stock market bubble, Smoot Hawley, FDT got us out". Part of the magic of being the dominant majority (which the Democrats have been since that time) is that they get to write the schoolbooks. Oddly, people remember people better than they remember facts, dates, and certainly complex economic theorums. "Hoover bad / FDR saint" is a lot of the core of what they remember ... and they tend to to judge the parties and policies on the basis of that casting.
Note another element -- it is MUCH easier to create a single person scapegoat than it is to explain a complex phenomenon in a story that is simple enough to that the common man can grasp it. Conservatives are also hampered by this horrible problem that they really want their stories to not only be true, but it is important that they actually work for the benefit of the country. Since the Democrats are after raw political power, it doesn't matter to them one whit if the story is even remotely true, nor even if the policies it engenders fail miserably. If it keeps Democrats in power, it is "a success".
Thus we have FDR the hero and Hoover the goat, although FDRs poliices never did work to get the country back on track, that was WWII. As Krisol points out though it did by and large keep Democrats in power for 50 years, so for them it was "successful". The task Republicans face is indeed huge -- we require a "story" that faces facts about what happened, proposes real policies that work to move us forward, AND is something that the common man can understand. A tall order indeed.
Here is something you rarely see in the MSM, pulled from the depths of a CNN story. One of the things a NONpropaganda news source will regularly provide is CONTEXT. In order to have rational, as opposed to emotional meaning, humans require context. One of the keys to propaganda is emotion--"crisis", "meltdown","debacle" etc don't really tell you anything rational, they only tell you how you ought to feel about it.
In the chart above you see that the "Financial Crisis" in the US is FAR from the worst among all those countries. Note Germany, China, Japan -- consider how large their economies are in comparison to ours and it becomes clear that there is more to what is going on than JUST "poor regulation in the US".
Is our MSM interested in understanding that? Not in the least -- they want to make sure to tar and feather Bush and the whole market based US economy before they even consider looking around for some context. They are interested in providing a "simple story", even if that story has no actual relation to facts, and that acting on it may well be horrible case of mistaken identity. Shooting the Golden Goose as a prowler.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
I spent last weekend, Friday evening the 7th-Sunday evening the 9th at deer camp not too far from Preston MN. It was a fairly blustery and chilly weekend with lows in the 20's and highs in the 30's. The pictures in the blog are from last year, this year it wasn't quite as green and I kept my camera in my backpack too long and the cold sapped the batteries. I also managed to leverage the flex time from work to shoot down for an evening hunt on Wed the 12th plus Thursday AM. The bottom line this year for me ... no shots at deer.
Opening weekend however I did get to see 5-10 deer each day and was a little too selective. I had deer in range that I certainly would have shot at had they come by Wed-Thur. We would like to get bigger does and at least "decent" bucks on my friends deer land, so we need to be selective -- no "shoot and release" in the deer hunting game!
The fun of deer camp and the hunt is undiminished for me by not shooting however -- I can punch holes in paper all I want, and while having been raised on a farm with a detailed understanding of "where meat comes from" (including my "pet" calf "Jingles" when I was like 9), there isn't a lot in the killing part that I particularly crave. I'd like to get a big buck someday, and I'd sooner get deer than not get deer, but getting "skunked" on deer is way more palatable than getting skunked on walleye!
A lot of the fun is enjoying the hunt from "The Stump" stand that makes the cold wind not much of a problem. I do think though that post season this year I need to sneak over to Gander and pick myself up some sort of a "2nd stand", harness, etc. The Stump is maybe a bit TOO "genteel" for days other than the really nasty ones. Nice to have the option of being a little closer to the deer. However, I DID get to be very close to watch "the chase" of a year old buck after a year old doe.
About 4 in the PM on Saturday they showed up coming up the draw below me toward the pond that is right below the stand (right to left in the picture that shows the stand and the pond). For the next 20-30 min she led that buck on a merry chase that included SIX extended swims in that freezing cold pond! I don't mean splashes either -- the pond is mostly 10'+ deep and she swam round and round like 3-4 "center laps" on most of the dips. Mr Buck never lost interest and stayed pretty close. Most of the time she would get out of the pond right below the stand, so like '15 yards", shake like a dog, then take off on land -- they were both very tired, but instinct isn't a very forgiving master. Round and round they went and eventually they headed off. It was nice that other hunters in the party were able to see the show from a greater distance and hear the splashes as they went in, so I didn't have to defend my sanity or accusations of falling asleep in the stand and dreaming.
Another good year of hunting, hopefully there will be many more. While the general outlook for '09 politically and economically from our deer camp could be summarized as "dismal", things like deer hunting are comforting along with religion, family and friends to "cling to bitterly" in these times. Now, I don't really see myself as being "bitter" about those things at all, but the nation has spoken, I must be. It is time for me to get my head right, BO just can't be wrong!
The Democrat view of the world tends to be somewhat like endless childhood--the individual has a lot of rights and someone else has the responsibility to pay the freight to make them operable.
The following is FDR enumerating some in his 2nd inaugural:
In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all--regardless of station, race, or creed.
Among these are:
The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;
The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
The right of every family to a decent home;
The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;
The right to a good education.
Good old FDR listed a lot of rights there, but whose responsibility is it to fund all those rights? Even worse, actual "responsibility" means that one would take the action voluntarily -- a coerced action is not really something for which you are "responsible", it is something that you are compelled to do. It isn't a choice of your free will.
So in a nutshell, Democrats believe that "someone else" (corporations, the rich, etc) ought to be FORCED to provide for all the of the "rights" that they believe are meant to be theirs. Free people could choose if they wanted to contribute to the list above, how much they wanted to contribute, and in what conditions. That is what is known as "chairity". If these are truly "rights" however, then everyone is entitled to them, so someone will need to be coerced to pay for them. To date they have largely restricted themselves to confiscation of income or a percentage of assets on sale or death. There are rumblings about going after assets like 401Ks under the theory that people with money there had "too preferential of a tax status" to save that money.
What of the right to private property, honoring contracts and other aspects of the rule of law? It seems that Democrats are always willing to see the real Constitutional rights suffer in order to create some new rights that they feel will get them more votes. What will the BO "Bill of Rights" be? Somehow, I don't think it will motivate a lot of economic growth.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
One nice thing about Al is that he uses the "F word" constantly, and I suppose in his mind "well". He showed some 2004 election day gloating based on the exit polls ... how one of the stories of the election was "Air America", how he would abuse Bush the next day with "You blew it just like your Daddy", or makeing fun of Karl Rove being a "genius", when of course Al thought that the election would be won by Kerry.
Then we get to see the disbelief when Bush wins. He's close to tears when Kerry concedes and he stares in shocked disbelief as Bush accepts the victory. Then he starts talking about running against Norm Coleman.
I suppose what a lot of lefties would like about this is that he "gets his digs in" on Coulter, Limbaugh, O'Reily, Bush, Cheney, Hannity, etc, but it would seem to me that it puts just a wee bit of a dent in their supposed "less partisan view". It also seems that the neither Coulter, Limbaugh, or Hannity ran for Senator in a state with an excellent chance of stealing the election.
So much for MN nice!
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Cooper Ousts CEO for Obama Support
One of the members of the Board Of Directors of Cooper Firearms happened to be at the same Deer Camp that I was at this past weekend, so I learned of the Cooper situation. I shared the fact that a Cooper Board Member happened to be at camp and immediately heard of the "horror" of the "infringement on free speech" that the Cooper story entails from a Democrat.
To make a slightly longer story simple, the Founder and President of Cooper Firearms decided to donate $3K+ to BO and did an interview indicating that he was going to vote for him. Cooper employees, customers and stores that carry their products started to indicate their displeasure, up to and including canceling orders and not wanting to do business with Cooper. The Board of Directors asked for and received the Presidents resignation. Democrats and Media types were immediately apocolyptic about "McCarthyism" and "infringement on free speech". Here is an example from the USA Today Article, they make sure to "tell us how to think" about the Cooper incident -- nobody is quoted as explaining why one may want to remove a gun company executive that is poking his customers in the eye.
"It's a really McCarthyism at its worst," said Bob Ricker, executiveNow, in the top article, a young woman at Augsburg is assaulted by 4 other women, receives a concussion, and we get relatively straight up reporting until close to the end we get:
director of the American Hunters and Shooters Association, which has
endorsed Obama. "That's really why our organization was formed, was to
deal with this craziness. If you're a gun owner, but you have a
contrary view to some of these wackos, they will go out and try to
"She was surprised by how politically active the campus was," Annie's mother said. "She got a lesson right off the bat."
In October, a 20-year-old McCain campaign volunteer in Pennsylvania
made up a story of being robbed and having the backwards letter "B"
scratched on her face in a politically inspired attack.
Police and Augsburg University say they have no reason to suspect Grossmann was not assaulted.Seems VERY important to point out that a month ago a McCain campaign volunteer made up an attack, right? I mean, Tawana Brawly famously made up a rape charge, so I'm sure that every article about a young black woman claiming rape properly includes a reference to that famous hoax. Right?
Not a lot of concern about the young woman beat up for wearing a McCain button, but lots of crocodile tears for a CEO whose constituency disagrees with his politics. Let's take a look at this a bit closer.
First of all, remember the important quote from Ronald Reagan; "A Liberal will defend your right to agree with them to their dying breath"! The "liberal" idea of "free speech" is that people can say anything that they want that is agreement with the standard liberal position, and NOBODY ought be able to respond in any negative way.
Conversely, if anyone is making speech that is out of step with the liberal opinion, their speech ought to be muzzled (EG "Fairness doctrine") or with either actual or implied violence (Union Card Check). Liberals are unconcerned with someone being beat up for showing support for McCain. It is something that they can at least "understand"--how could a "decent person" be a supporter of McCain?
Think about Joe Lieberman. How much do Democrats enjoy HIS "right to free speech"? Not so very much I think. How well do Democrats tolerate Clarence Thomas as a black man not holding the views that "blacks ought to have"? Is their animosity for him even stronger than say a Scalia or a Roberts? I think it is pretty clear. How do you think Democrats and abortion supporters would react to an official of Planned Parenthood sending money to and saying they were going to vote for a Pro-Life Republican??? I think we don't need to think very long on that one.
"Free Speech" means that EVERYONE is free to respond LEGALLY to your speech!!! If a gun CEO decides to support Obama and enough of his "constituency" wants him removed, then that is a LEGAL result of his "speech decision". We don't have freedom at all if those hearing your speech aren't allowed to respond LEGALLY to your speech. But note the difference -- there is little concern, and even the suggestion of "untruth" to a young woman being beaten for her rather paltry wearing of a button as speech. Democrats LOVE to boo down Republican speakers (they were doing it at the convention), for some reason Republicans rarely boo or protest even though those actions can be legal. They are often "tacky" and in many cases downright boorish.
Republicans tend to do things like write letters to the board or company, indicate that they would rather not do business with someone that they see as likely aiding and abbedding the destruction of their constitutional rights. This however is seen by the MSM and the left as "McCarthyism". We seem to be entering a new phase of Democrat dominance where their natural tendency to suppress the speech of those they disagree with as "hate speech", "racist", "religious" (to get it removed from the public square) or simply "biased" (as in "fairness doctrine"). Bias is of course a view that isn't "liberal".
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
No real answers in this column, but a decent job of laying out the problems. Bush never was a "Reagan Conservative" and in many ways, neither was Reagan--the legend took on conservative luster over time. Reagan had his share of tax increases (FICA in '82, Income in '86), he certainly didn't have a balanced budget and Sandra Day O'Conner certainly wasn't a very conservative Judge. All that said, Reagan is my favorite conservative figure--he just happened to be human.
Bush did "No Child" with Teddy Kennedy (getting the feds in education), perscription drug, signed campaign finance, Sarbanes/Oxley and worked on immigration reform that was awful close to amnesty. Throw in the stimulus packages and a few other things and Bush did an awful lot of "triangulation" just like Slick Willie. The difference is that the MSM and the Democrats aren't going to give a Republican any "points" just because he does what one would think they would like -- Democrats HATE Republicans and it IS personal! "Policy" is great, but Democrats are driven by POWER, a policy that kills people or destroys their lives is FINE if it gets Democrats in POWER!!
Apparently, such was not so with at least some Texas Democrats, and Bush got the false impression that he could work reasonably with Democrats. VERY bad idea in Washington! I don't know if Bush learned that lesson, but the rest of us sure ought to have! It appears however that such is not the case:
In one corner, there are a large number of bright, mostly younger, self-styled reformers with a diverse -- and often contradictory -- set of proposals to win back middle-class voters and restore the GOP's status as "the party of ideas" (as the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan put it).
In another corner are self-proclaimed traditional conservatives and Reaganites, led most notably by Rush Limbaugh, who believe that the party desperately needs to get back to the basics: limited government,low taxes and strong defense.
What is fascinating is that both camps seem implicitly to agree that the real challenge lurks in how to account for the Bush years. For the young Turks and their older allies -- my National Review colleagues Ramesh Ponnuru, Yuval Levin and David Frum, the Atlantic's Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam, New York Times columnist David Brooks et al -- the problem is that Bush botched the GOP's shot at real reform. For the Limbaugh crowd, the issue seems to be that we've already tried this reform stuff -- from both Bush and McCain -- and look where it's gotten us.
So how would one "reform" and deal with Democrats when all they want is you out of Washington, and don't really care what it costs them, their consituency or the world in general in blood and treasure as long as they end up in power? What part of what has happened to Bush and McCain is it that the "reformers" still haven't understood? They want to give the Democrats guns rather than knives and THEN see if they make nice with Republicans?
Unfortunately, someone still needs to come up with a set of ideas that some CURRENT leader and CURRENT set of voters will rally around. Demanding that we get Reagan and Reagan's ideas back has at least one very clear hole (unless we are going to clone him or something), and likely two, since without the USSR/Cold War and likely more than a few other problems (like Reagan's deficits in todays dollars would make even the biggest pro-deficit Republicans blanch), that strategy is all about "wishful thinking". Yup, the "old days" of Reagan may have been grand, but today is today, not 1980!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
I've been noticing that all the "new votes" in the MN election seem to be for Al Franken. Nothing unusual, dead and imaginary voters are something like 97% Democrat. What is just a bit unusual is that the local press here seems to have no interest in what is happening "somehow" the Coleman spread just seems to keep shrinking and the recount hasn't even started.
I'm predicting a Coleman loss by at least a thousand votes. There tends to be very little limit on either the dead or fictional voter, and given the preponderance of Democrats in the camp, they seem guaranteed to prevail. Can you imagine there being much curiosity in the press about a Franken victory? Some sort of an investigation by the BO justice department? How about a call for an investigation by the MSM?
Me neither -- little fairness doctrine to get Fox on the run and even this kind of "nuisance reporting" ought to be history. "Unity" -- the kind of America where everyone can vote -- but only the "good people win!
One doesn't have to do much as a Democrat President to start the comparisons with Lincoln and FDR. This comparison is on the basis of "challenges" -- oh, let's see, I think the "divisions" in the country are REALLY close to those before the civil war. Don't you?? The MSM figures we are in a DEPRESSION after all--so, that would be the comparison with FDR. Do you suppose that we can have "WWIII" to "help" the BO comparison there? Seems like a really good idea!
I guess it is unsurprising, most of the MSM would figure BO compares favorably with Jesus, a comparison with a couple of Presidents that the media sees as "decent" would seem like a letdown. I wonder if they remember that Lincoln was a REPUBLICAN. What's up with that? Interesting to note that the Democrats had declared the Civil War as "unwinnable" by the end of his first term, and it was widely thought he would fail to be re-elected.
Have Democrats ever met any other kind of war than an "unwinnable one"?
I found this to be an excellent column, and I agree with it strongly. I'd add that "being a conservative means that there are more important things than politics". I believe that is the fundamental reason that the left is always so angry that they have any political opposition at all. They feel strongly that all their positions are "intelligent, just, progressive and well reasoned" -- they have a hard time understanding why there would be any legitimate opposition, other than out of "evil". To a lefty, there is "no higher power" -- or ideas, so the ones they have are by definition "ultimate".
It is important for conservatives to do as this article says. While we may worry about the worst happening, we need to always hope and pray for the best. We need to accept our human weakness and practice what we preach. We may have heard and said in church 1K times to "not store up treasure where moth and rust corrupt", but when some of the "treasure" that we have stored up on what we ought know is the illusion of security is lost or corrupted, the fact of our faith is often less real than the stating of it.
I'm happy I've not seen any conservatives talking about "leaving the country", or crying in their beer over "how stupid Americans are" as we saw endlessly from the left in '04. We ought also take note on where the Democrats were wrong again:
- They asserted that "if this country didn't vote for Obama, it would be racist". So, since it DID vote for Obama, it ISN'T racist, nor would it have been had it NOT voted for him. It is the same country stupid!
- During the Bush adminstration there was A LOT of pointless whining about how "dissent was being tamped down", and supposedly all the elections that had been won had been won due to "diebold and dirty tricks". Either Diebold just goes to the higher bidder and BO had more money, or this charge was malarky all along.
Friday, November 07, 2008
I know of nothing that Bush has done to warrant the hatred that has been heaped upon him from the left, the right, and the MSM. One would hope that a president can have some individual control over a decision to have oral sex with an intern in the oval office. It seems less understandable how one would control all the intelligence of the whole world on WMDs turning out to be wrong and the plans and results for initial action in Iraq turned out to be ineffective. Every leader has suffered because those relied upon to do their job failed to do so. Having never led, Obama awaits the learning of this most basic lesson of leadership.
Certainly a left that cares little as to the cost of gaining power is to be expected to react with glee at any situation that can be turned against a Republican. At one time, parts of the MSM would have had the honor to show some sort of even handedness in order to maintain some semblance of being "unbiased", but a major event of the last 8 years is that the days of the MSM having any connection with the truth are likely gone forever.
The right is a little harder to understand, but I believe that when the going got tough (as it inevitably does when one is doing something real), the right wing decided "we would rather have Reagan". The realization that the loonies of the right could in their own way be every bit as looney as those on the left was one of my "major life lessons" of the last 8 years. Unsurprisingly, neither Reagan or his ghost returned, and now we have Obama. May the right wing be ever happy, the "lesson" is being taught!
Here are a couple good quotes from here, it is all worth reading. I find that I am ever the iconoclast--the more Bush is reviled, the greater my respect for him. My highlight below is perhaps one of the finest testaments to his deep Christian faith. My guess is that "deeper decency" is something we will see very little of the next four years.
For years, critics of the Iraq war asked the mocking question: "What
would victory look like?" If progress continues, it might look
something like what we've seen.
But that humanity is precisely what I will remember. I have seen
President Bush show more loyalty than he has been given, more
generosity than he has received. I have seen his buoyancy under the
weight of malice and his forgiveness of faithless friends. Again and
again, I have seen the natural tug of his pride swiftly overcome by a
deeper decency -- a decency that is privately engaging and publicly
Before the Group of Eight summit in 2005, the White House
senior staff overwhelmingly opposed a new initiative to fight malaria
in Africa for reasons of cost and ideology -- a measure designed to
save hundreds of thousands of lives, mainly of children under 5. In the
crucial policy meeting, one person supported it: the president of the
United States, shutting off debate with a moral certitude that others
have criticized. I saw how this moral framework led him to an immediate
identification with the dying African child, the Chinese dissident, the
Sudanese former slave, the Burmese women's advocate. It is one reason I
will never be cynical about government -- or about President Bush.
For some, this image of Bush is so detached from their own
conception that it must be rejected. That is, perhaps, understandable.
But it means little to me. Because I have seen the decency of George W.
The MSM tends to hide "the real story", but sometimes they let the truth leak. I suspect that 90%+ of the lower income wards of the lefty sheep pen would think that "Doctors, Lawyers and other evil professionals" are all "a bunch of nasty Republicans". Yes, during the 50's, that was the truth. No longer -- I've seen the numbers, while not as Democrat as blacks (93%), the numbers for proffessionals are in the mid 70's% Democrat. Here is a truthful quote from this fine article:
Six years ago, John Judis and Ruy Teixeira argued in their book "The Emerging Democratic Majority" that the political transformation of professionals -- among the most Republican of voting blocs during the Eisenhower era, and today among the most Democratic -- was a decisive factor in pushing the nation toward the Democratic Party, as was the steady Democratic drift of female voters.
As Meyerson crows here, the little people are on the run--and soon to be confined to America's "rural backwaters". Ah yes, a confident Democrat telling the truth of what they believe, a lot like BO and his "bitterly clinging" comments. The sheep rarely get exposed to such things though, and it seems that these days they are so lost that they don't even know their enemies from their friends.
Indeed, eight years after Karl Rove stormed into Washington proclaiming that he would create a 21st-century version of the Republican realignment that emerged from William McKinley's victory over William Jennings Bryan in 1896, today's emerging Republican minority looks confined to Bryan's base in America's rural backwaters. The future in American politics belongs to the party that can win a more racially diverse, better
educated, more metropolitan electorate. It belongs to Barack Obama's Democrats.
See, the Democrats actually ARE a party of elites looking at those "rural backwater voters" that are "bitterly clinging to guns and religion". That is what they REALLY think ... but of course since that might not get them elected, the MSM does all it can to minimize their real views.
Hey, "I'm A Dinner Jacket" (Ahmadinejad) has offered congrats to BO! First time since '79 that one of our new Presidents has received such an honor from the great state of Iran! Change!
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday
congratulated Barack Obama on his election win — the first time an
Iranian leader has offered such wishes to a U.S. president-elect since
the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
How many times have you heard Democrats and the MSM decry "partisanship" and "ideology" in Republicans? Basically all the time. Is John McCain my favorite Republican? Certainly not -- I absolutely decry his supposed "bi-partisan" campaign finance reform, and it actually serves him right to have Obama be the first candidate since Watergate to opt out of public election financing in the general election and thus have completely unrestrained money raised and spent. McCain was outspent 5 to 1 or worse, and NOBODY knows where all the BO money came from or went -- nor will they ever. There isn't such a thing as a "principled Democrat" -- if there were, they would be a Republican. No principled person that talked about "excess money in politics" or "the need for campaign finance support" could stand by while BO made a mockery of every attempt to control excesses of campaign money from all sources that has been made in the last 30 years!! If anyone ever needed any more proof that "principled Democrat" was an oxymoron, this election provided it.
The picture of Lieberman and McCain embracing tells a story however. There are no more moderate Democrats (only LEFT Democrats) and very few actual Conservative Republicans. Bush Sr and Jr were both moderate Republicans, and McCain is even more moderate. Lieberman WAS a moderate Democrat before they drummed him out of their party.
Here is a telling quote from the supposedly "new kind of cross the isle politician" BO camp:
During the speech in St. Paul, Minnesota, Lieberman
said, "Sen. Barack Obama is a gifted and eloquent young man who I think
can do great things for our country in the years ahead, but, my
friends, eloquence is no substitute for a record, not in these tough
times for America."
After his speech, Obama adviser Robert Gibbs
said that "Joe Lieberman ought to be ashamed of himself for some of the
things he said tonight, not as a Democrat but as an American."
Let me get this straight. Democrats who have uttered any slur that comes to their mind about a Republican President or Vice President during war are OUTRAGED if anyone questions them in any way, but the Democrat nominee for VP in 2000 should be ashamed AS AN AMERICAN for claiming that a candidate for President ought to have some leadership experience?
"Liberal" used to mean someone with the intellectual capacity to at least hold a couple opposing ideas in their head at the same time and still function without exploding. The left in this country is the farthest thing there is from intellectually "liberal". They can't stomach someone that believes that the highest job in the land might require some leadership experience. The other meaning of "liberal" is allowing INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM ... of thought, finance, speech, association and property. The current Democrat party wants to regulate political speech with the "Fairness Doctrine" and remove the indidual right to a secret ballot with union "card check". Those bills are FASCIST, and the farthest thing in the world from "liberal".
So BO picks Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff, a man "affectionately" referred to as "RahmBo". Extremely partisan, extremely profane. I love the description by Paul Begala (a Slick Willie hatchet man) of his style as "a cross between a hemorrhoid and a toothache".
Much like the Powerline guys, this isn't a surprise since I never bought the "new kind of politician" rhetoric anyway. BO plays old fashioned politics--"Just Win Baby"!!! The MSM of course is just very happy when his kind of politics wins, so it seems fine to them.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
The reality of a 400+ point Dow sell-off the day after the election was little reported. Perhaps investors didn't get the memo of how good BO is going to be for the economy?
I was glad to not hear of any conservatives thinking they would leave the country because he was elected, nor really very little in the way of ill will at all. A far cry from the attitude of a Paul Wellstone that refused to shake VP Dan Quayle's hand at a Washington function. I hope all conservatives are civil, and I expect them to generally be.
In the unlikely event that my little blog ever got famous, I'd give up the BO schtick over the President. The main reason I do it is a lot like Rush Limbaugh poking fun at how the MSM treats Republicans every day. "Dubya", "Ronnie Raygun", "Shrub", "F*** Bush", etc. BO would not want to be "BHO" since it is considered an "affront" to use his middle name. I wonder if Chief Justice Roberts will be able to say "Hussein" when he swears him in? Potentially he will have to change back to his real name "Barry Sottero" which he had for most of his childhood. Then he would be "BS", which may end up being more appropriate.
Why do conservatives tend to wish the new president well even though we suspect he will declare war on all that makes America exceptional? Simply because we are usually Christians first, Family people 2nd and Americans 3rd ... with a close 4th being some sort of profession or career that serves both our country and provides the finances so we can be responsible for ourselves and contributing members of society. Our fervent hope is that Obama and the Democrats will be successful in getting the economy growing again, even though every piece of evidence we see says that they will not be.
It is fun to watch the media. They are positively giddy. I remember so well '92 when they were beside themselves with the pure joy of a Clinton election and a Democrat majority in both houses of congress, but this is even better. I suspect it harkens back to '64 when LBJ whacked Goldwater.
How different from when I turned on NPR the morning after the '94 election and they were playing Johnny Cash ... I didn't really need to hear the results to know what happened! They were on the verge of tears -- and there was positive fear that the evil Newt Gingrich was to be Speaker of the House!
Gee, I wonder if the "sanctity of the fillibuster" might kind of change now? Remember how HORRIBLE it was that Republicans were talking about "the nuclear option" for appointments? I 'm sure the "unbiased" MSM will be 100% supportive of a Republican fillibuster now! Kind of like how big an issue campaign finance was this year. NOT!
Oh well, being in the opposition is kind of fun. Now Saint BO will need to actually deliver on some of his brilliance--that is often a bit harder than reading a teleprompter smoothly!
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
So, 30 years later on a nice warm evening with a stiff breeze from the south I sat and looked back at city lights of which a large majority would not have existed in '78. The two years that followed '78 proved that Carter was a REALLY bad choice. Reagan was elected in '80, the direction of the country changed and we went through the longest and largest piece of growth in American history. It was a great time to have a career, get married and raise a family. I'm very thankful to Ronald Reagan.
In '33 the Dems took over big, the market tanked shortly and it never got back to it's '29 highs until '53. They similarly took over in '65, the last market peak in '66 was not exceeded until '83. So does anybody expect the Democrats to do better this time around? My guess is that most of the voters either don't know the history or don't care. I think a lot of folks have simply bought the MSM view that "Bush has been a disaster and we need change"--they weren't in any mood to look any deeper than that. I also suspect that a significant number of folks at least think that they are now "anti-business" or "anti-market". They apparently believe that America can somehow have "prosperity without productivity", or that we can somehow have productivity wihtout business, markets and profits. I believe they are horribly wrong, but we will get a chance to see if I learn something .
Nice article, I suspect that in two years we will wish we had another shot at this vote. I loved his #1 reason, but the whole list is well thought.
1) John McCain is white, the son and grandson of admirals, married
to a wealthy heiress – and yet he has experienced degrees of suffering,
despair, and defeat that not one in a million of us can imagine. Barack
Obama wears a black skin and carries an exotic name. In the United
States, people of darker color have faced oppression and discrimination
for centuries. But in Barack Obama's own life, he has known nothing but
an easy and welcoming path to success since he was 18 years old.
Privileged John McCain has known more absolute degradation than any man
ever to contest the presidency. Obama was born in adversity, but he has
smoothly risen to a place where he is most comfortable with those for
whom things are most easy.
Andy Brietbart gets my vote as the most courageous words for election day. Like Andy, I too still like Bush. I think Bush has honestly done what he thought was right to the best of his ability at every step, and I believe his ability is far superior to what the vast majority think it is. I have long argued that if Al Gore had been elected and by some miracle had done exactly what Bush has done, he would be viewed as a heroic and excellent President by the MSM. For one thing, they would have HAILED the perscription drug legislation as a hugely wonderful thing!
Monday, November 03, 2008
Golly, they completed the investigation the night BEFORE the election! How timely! I have to give them credit for not doing the day after the election. Now, we must remember, Democrats never do "dirty politics" -- Bush's DWI showed up the Friday before the 2K election, and just last week there was a lawsuit against Norm Coleman's wife in MN. Both were COMPLETELY UNRELATED to "Democrats or politics"! Now I'm not sure who "proved this" or how they did it, but it must be a fact since the MSM has never indicated that either had anything to do with politics or the Democrats, so I'm sure they didn't!!
Sunday, November 02, 2008
It really needs to be read to be appreciated, but it does the heart of someone who listens to a lot of NPR good. I suspect that we will be able to listen to this kind of "insight" in ALL media in the next couple of years -- heck, they have a really good start already!
Our relations with the Muslim world have rarely, if ever, been better.
The current $320 per barrel price of oil allows long-oppressed states
to develop themselves without the yoke of neo-colonialism or invasive
efforts to force democracy upon their populations. As UN Ambassador
Ayers noted, "We can state with pride that the US not only respects,
but embraces cultural differences."
One doesn't need to read this with much care to see how non-serious the journalist and reviewers see a noted vampire author turning Christian. The idea of "redemption" so goes against the popular culture; "You are what you are", the best you can do is "be authentic". How the random universe managed to somehow give each person this "are" is not explained, but randomness is very witty in in the popular view.
Christianity is not popular with the elite -- believers are fools, they don't "get it", and the secular intelligentsia in every age KNOW that THEY have "got it". The "it" of that age is always "the latest it"--so therefore it must be "best". Even though evolution for example says NOTHING at all about "perpetual improvement", and we well know that natural systems in which something that at least WE currently "explain" as "randomness" is at work are just as happy to kill as to cure. To the random system as a whole, even "survival" would only be "it happens to work as long as it works" kind of thing--a random universe has no "desire" or "bias" for there to be life at all, let alone our assumed individual "random self to be true to".
The idea that there are no guarantees whatsoever that "the latest knowledge is best" doesn't fit very well-the fact that we are "here now" seems like it OUGHT to mean that this is the best time we could have been here! The idea of any "discoverable transcendence" or even worse, the idea that lives could be changed by this "thing that doesn't exist" is especially scary to the vast secular world. I still argue that one of the core hatreds of Bush is that a late bloomer with a drinking problem could find Jesus, change, and become President. Right off, it hits most secular folks as "phony and simple minded". If such redemption is possible, wouldn't we have a better secular pill or procedure to pull it off without resorting to the messiness of God?
Maybe Ann Rice sought out Jesus because she "had hard times"--her husband died and she got diabetes. Well, maybe so--I suspect that even the most secular of reporters will note that all humans face the "hard times" of death. Some of us need something to make us realize that and some of us don't. Life is very short and death is very long, whatever the circumstances that help one realize that fact, it seems that it is worth giving some thought. You will be dead much longer than your career, marriage or how long you live in your current home. Probably you spent some time thinking about those decisions, some people never own a home, get married, or have a job, but I gaurantee you that death will not be avoided.
Thomas Sowell on what we are getting into.
Anyone who has actually had to take responsibility for consequences by running any kind of enterprise-- whether economic or academic, or even just managing a sports team-- is likely at some point to be chastened by either the setbacks brought on by his own mistakes or by seeing his successes followed by negative consequences that he never anticipateThe kind of self-righteous self-confidence that has become Obama's trademark is usually found in sophomores in Ivy League colleges-- very bright and articulate students, utterly untempered by experience in real world.
The signs of Barack Obama's self-centered immaturity are painfully obvious, though ignored by true believers who have poured their hopes into him, and by the media who just want the symbolism and the ideology that Obama represents.