Tuesday, December 25, 2012

I'm not dead...just reading a lot

With the presidential election over with, behind us, & done...I've tried to lay off of politics for a while. (Not that Obama-caused disasters aren't still happening, I'm just tired of reading and discussing them.)  So I've taken advantage of my Kindle Fire and have been reading a lot. Books by Bob Newhart (ghostwritten, ahem,) Asmiov, Lawrence Block, Doyle, and several more have provided me with a lot of mental fodder.

The latest book I read was by Trent Zelazny, son of Roger Zelazny.  Zelazny the Younger is from Santa Fe, and writes fiction in the genre(s) which I happen to delve into with my own fiction writing.  The book, Too Late to Call Texas, really hits home as it's set in southern New Mexico, and the city of Seminole, Texas plays prominently in the plot.  (He also mentions, in passing, Andrews, Lubbock, Abilene and San Antonio.)

Not to give too much away, but the protagonist, a white trash* cowboy type, happens upon a pile of drugs and drug money, goes back to his trailer house and his white trash wife, then runs when the owners of said drugs and money chase after him.

If that sounds familiar, it's because the main plot is very similar to No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy, which I read (and very briefly reviewed) back in 2006. If you watched the movie (or even - gasp!- read the book,) you already know how that story plays out.

The main difference in the two stories is that Zelazny gives it the more genre fiction treatment.  Lots more cussing and sex, and even, if you can believe it, more action.  Without trying to ruin the book for any of his potential readers -- stop reading now if you are afraid of inadvertent spoilers -- I finished Zelazny's book to see how far he was going to follow NCfOM's storyline.

I'll be danged if he didn't follow it all the way to the bitter end.  A bit of a disappointment, but it makes me feel better about those times when my own stories seem too derivative.

* I can call people "white trash" because I are one.  Substitute redneck if that soothes your hurt sensibilities.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Today's the day

I don't like political polls. Pollsters ask uninformed people that don't vote who they think will be elected, and the results dominate the national discussion.  Ask them about soap or soda, and the results will be remarkably accurate. The only poll that matters is the one on Election Day.

Nonetheless, polls are everywhere, both in their findings and in the media.  Nobody ever seems to remember which polls were accurate last time, so for posterity's sake I created a table with the most up-to-date poll results I could find.  For kicks I also created one showing various pundits' predictions of the final electoral vote.

Oh, and go vote Republican, early and often.

Monday, October 08, 2012

More about polls

Most of the mainstream polls have had Obama in the lead for the last several weeks. However, one significant poll is one in which Romney leads -- the enthusiasm measurement.

The Battleground Tracking poll shows that Romney has a 13-point lead among voters who are "extremely likely" to vote.  What's more, Romney's leads are significant among elderly and white voters, who have traditionally been high turnout groups.  Meanwhile, Obama leads among young voters, blacks and latinos, who -- except for 2008 -- are not traditionally energized to vote, and their enthusiasm is down significantly from their 2008 highs. 

So, although polls which ask random Americans or even registered voters may show Obama with a big lead, those likely to vote favor Romney.  However, as I've said before, the only poll that really matters is the one on November 6.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

About those unemployment numbers

The government's official unemployment numbers came out Friday, and they showed an unemployment rate of 7.8%, falling below 8% for the first time in 44 months. This obviously gave Obama a boost and a chance to discuss something other than his no-show at the debate.

The unemployment numbers caught everyone by surprise. Thursday's reports had predicted a rise to 8.2%, due to several economic factors. Obama's Labor Secretary was forced to come out and defend the numbers, falling back on the "we're all professionals" defense. Convincing, except for a few anomalies.

A summary which accompanies the announcement of unemployment figures is the "Summary of Recent Trends." It's not as boring as it sounds, because of charts like this one:

A bit of explanation is in order.  The official unemployment numbers are based on the "Household Survey," based on census figures. Using that figure, the economy apparently added 873,000 jobs in September. Another metric surveyed is the "Payroll Survey" of businesses, which literally speaks to businesses to see how many jobs they've added. 

Over the entire last year, the difference between the number of jobs reported between the two is 850,000 jobs. (Nothing sinister there, they use different measurements.) However, 759,000 jobs of that difference occurred in the single month of September. 

September was quite a month. October's "revisions" should be interesting.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

It's worse than Democrats think

Mitt Romney has been hounded by Democrats for most of 2012 because he had not released enough of his previous years' tax returns. Romney fulfilled the promise he'd made to release his 2011 return. Predictably, Democrats jumped on the fact that although Romney contributed over $4 million to charity in 2011, he only claimed about $2 million of it as deductions. Democrats howled that Romney did this so that his tax rate would match what he's said it was in the past. (Yes, that claim is as ridiculous as it seems. A politician's actions matched his words, and Democrats criticized it.)

However, this serious violation of all things good goes deeper.  There are stories that Romney has tried to keep from the public. Lurid tales of Romney helping charities and individuals out financially -- then asking them to keep it to themselves. Not only that, but he has also physically helped people with his time and his efforts.  John Hawkins has discovered the truth about Romney, and exposes Romney in his column "7 Incredible Personal Stories About Mitt Romney That You May Not Know."

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Other people say smart stuff, too - Part XXXVI

Derek Hunter wrote a powerful new column titled "The Media's Rape of Reality." In it he articulates the points (and more) that I've made about how much the in-the-bag media covers for Obama. After one of the worst weeks in his term of office -- and there have been many -- this week we saw:
  • the storming of American embassies,
  • the killing of an American ambassador and some of his staff,
  • more killings of American soldiers by supposed Afghan allies,
  • another downgrade of America's credit rating,
  • the snub of the Israeli Prime Minister while Iran threatens to nuke his country,
  • gas prices nearing the $4 mark again,

and what does the media cover? Mitt Romney’s statement about the embassy attacks and Obama’s foreign policy.  Read Hunter's column.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Spinning, Spinning

In what must be the bravest attempt ever by the media  to spin a story that I've ever read, the AP and Yahoo News headlined a story "Foreign policy at forefront is a Romney hurdle."

The disasters in foreign policy of the last week, and it's Romney's hurdle?? Not only the actual events themselves, which highlight the failure of Obama's softness toward Islamic extremism, but then the administration's response(s), which included a veiled condemnation of free speech. Add in the purposeful snub of Israel's Prime Minister at a time when Iran is on the verge of developing and deploying nukes toward that country. (These two aspects go together; if America were still perceived as a strong Israel ally, Iran's bravado might not be as blatant.)   

If anything, this past week should destroy anything that could possibly be perceived as Obama's foreign policy "expertise."  Consequences of his policies and actions ought to matter. Yet AP and Yahoo News spin it 180° so that -- once again -- Obama's blunders are invisible. 

Which is a more apt description, a comparison to "The Emperor's New Clothes" or "Don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining"?

Friday, September 07, 2012

Obama's unemployment

The U.S. Labor Department announced today that the unemployment for August was 8.1%, down from 8.3% in July. However, that number is lower only because more people have given up looking for work, and only those looking for work are considered "unemployed." 

"The truth is, it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over the decades," Obama said in his speech at the Democrat National Convention last night. However, the increasing number of people not looking for work (and not counted as "unemployed,") is not a decades-old problem. 

Labor Force Participation Rate
As you can see, under Obama the "labor force participation rate" -- the percentage of the working-age population who are either working or looking for work -- started its sharp decline when Obama took office. The latest number is 63.5%, down from 63.7% in July and 65.7% in January 2009.  It is not a longtime problem that every President has had to deal with, nor a common occurrence. 

However, this horrible participation rate has occurred before, in our lifetimes.  The last time the participation rate was this low was in September 1981, as Reagan brought America out of the Carter recession.  At that time the participation rate was on its way up. Today, it's on its way down.  Four years of Barack Obama's policies have moved more and more people out of the workforce. 

Monday, September 03, 2012

We've heard it all before


The media, esp. NPR, are the Liars

The media have piled on Paul Ryan for his speech at last week's Republican National Convention.  While analyses of such a speech are to be expected, a large number of journalists have done everything but use the word liar to describe Ryan.  This fact was rammed home as I was driving last Saturday.  I happened to tune in to an NPR talk show/roundtable featuring Washington journalists. The host made the statement (paraphrased): "Never has a vice presidential candidate made a speech with so many things that are factually untrue."

I already addressed the Janesville GM plant. The rest of their points centered around nothing that was "factually untrue." Not a single thing. Not one. This is how their arguments went:

RYAN:  "You see, even with all the hidden taxes to pay for the health care takeover, even with new taxes on nearly a million small businesses, the planners in Washington still didn't have enough money. They needed more. They needed hundreds of billions more. So, they just took it all away from Medicare. Seven hundred and sixteen billion dollars, funneled out of Medicare by President Obama."
NPR:  "So does Ryan's plan."  (Note: They never disputed the fact that Ryan stated. They merely equated it with Ryan's Medicare proposal.)

RYAN: "He created a new bipartisan debt commission. They came back with an urgent report. He thanked them, sent them on their way and then did exactly nothing."
NPR: "Paul Ryan was a member of the Simpson-Bowles Commission and he voted no on that report." (Note: They once again don't dispute the fact that Ryan states, but instead mention how he, one member, voted. And his vote would have made no difference.)

RYAN: "The first troubling sign came with the stimulus. It was President Obama's first and best shot at fixing the economy, at a time when he got everything he wanted under one-party rule. It cost $831 billion – the largest one-time expenditure ever by our federal government...What did the taxpayers get out of the Obama stimulus? More debt. That money wasn't just spent and wasted – it was borrowed, spent, and wasted."
NPR: "Ryan himself asked for stimulus funds shortly after Congress approved the $800 billion plan." Ryan did write letters requesting stimulus funds for Wisconsin entities. Here's his explanation: "After having these letters called to my attention I checked into them, and they were treated as constituent service requests in the same way matters involving Social Security or Veterans Affairs are handled.”  One of his aides said it better: “If Congressman Ryan is asked to help a Wisconsin entity applying for existing Federal grant funds, he does not believe flawed policy should get in the way of doing his job and providing a legitimate constituent service to his employers.” (Final note: Once again, NPR indicates no point of Ryan's statement which can be called "factually incorrect.")

The stance of NPR and the rest of the media -- "Well, we can't actually show anywhere that Ryan actually lied, but nonetheless he lied." 

Friday, August 31, 2012

Ryan's Right

The media wasted no time essentially calling Paul Ryan a liar after his recent speech at the Republican National Convention.  Salon and Yahoo both ran "fact checks" -- Salon even had the gall to call theirs the "definitive fact-check" -- that highlighted points where they (and their masters the Democrat Party) disagreed with Ryan. 

I'm focusing on one example of the egregious malpractice of the Liberal media.  They, along with Democrat carnies such as Al Sharpton, claim that Ryan's comment on Obama and the Janesville, Wisconsin GM plant is either "a lie" or "factually incorrect." 

Here's Ryan's comment: "My home state voted for President Obama. When he talked about change, many people liked the sound of it, especially in Janesville, where we were about to lose a major factor.  A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: "I believe that if our government is there to support you. this plant will be here for another hundred years." That's what he said in 2008.

Well, as it turned out, that plant didn't last another year." 

The various media and Democrat outlets claim that the GM plant shut down in December of 2008, before Obama took office, so he couldn't be blamed for its closing. Even without any defense at all, this point is light years away from showing where Ryan's comment was incorrect.

Here's the bigger problem.  From the Janesville Gazette, dated April 21, 2009:

The plant shut down three months after Obama took office.  He could have taken some action if that was what he wanted to do.  Ryan was correct, the people who disputed his point were wrong, they owe him an apology, and they should swear never again to use the words fact or lie.  

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Newsweek: WOW!!!

Niall Ferguson has written a piece that absolutely, in great and painful detail, eviscerates Obama's presidency, pointing out Obama's failures in every aspect of the office.  

And it's the cover story.  

Is this the same Newsweek that said "Obama is God"?? (Or at least Newsweek editor Evan Thomas said it back in 2009.)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Vice President Paul Ryan

Well, not yet. Keep your fingers crossed. Mitt Romney announced his selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate.  For anyone who has any doubts about this guy, take a look at this video that I wrote about in January of 2011.

Edit:  Turns out I wrote about Ryan again in July of last year.  This guy's as sharp as anyone you've ever met.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Other People Say Smart Stuff, Too - Part XXXV

Pat Buchanan, in a column excoriating the Obama White House for endorsing, “through its cynical silence,” the “moral atrocity” of the ad by an Obama Super PAC which implies that Mitt Romney was complicit in the death of an Obama supporter’s wife:

“Obama has steadily diminished both himself and the office he holds.”

Friday, August 03, 2012

Unemployment news

Today the government came out with its statistics on (un)employment in America. Here are the highlights from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Unemployment rate
July, 2011 - 9.1%
June, 2012 - 8.2%
July, 2012 - 8.3%

So that's improvement, right? Well, not so fast.

Labor force participation rate
July, 2011 - 64.0%
July, 2012 - 63.7%

This figure measures the percentage of Americans (civilian and noninstutitional) over age 16 who are either employed or seeking employment. Those "not in the labor force" are unemployed, but are not counted as unemployed in the government's official report. So how many more people are in that group in July 2012 compared to July 2011?

Over two million people, "unemployed but not counted as unemployed."

Added in one year.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Obama notes

  • It seems Barack Obama, the first black President, is descended from the first black African slave, John Punch -- on his white mother's side.
  • Despite being selected as editor, then president, of the Harvard Law Review, Barack Obama never had an article published in that journal under his own name.
  • The sister of conservative talk radio host Neil Boortz was a teacher at Barack Obama's school in Hawaii while he was there, and may have had Obama as a student.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Say it ain't so, O

Remember the 2008 case of the two Black Panthers in pseudomilitary garb and brandishing billy clubs outside a Philadelphia polling place? Remember how the Bush administration had started prosecution of the case and the Obama administration dismissed it after O took office?

Well, now it seems that a federal court has determined that Obama appointees did in fact influence the Justice Department's decision to drop those charges. In other words, Obama's Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez lied during his testimony, when he denied such political involvement.


Friday, July 27, 2012

Tales of Donkeys in Zugzwang

A Fable

     The moon station was more successful than anyone expected.  Atomic generators provided lights, energy and gravity.  Grown with seeds brought from the home planet, hydroponic plants flourished within the dome, furnishing the growing population with plenty of food.  
     Water, the only concern of the original settlers, turned out to be plentiful under the moon’s surface.  Franchisees of the companies that had sponsored the station braved the cold oxygenless atmosphere daily in their company-designed vehicles, trekking the long miles to the water mines with empty tankers and returning with full ones. 
     Once back in the dome, the water was turned over to the Moon Water Central Authority, which distributed it to the people.  Families were given a generous allotment, enough for all their household needs and more.  Businesses run by the companies received more, so they could produce and manufacture and serve their customers.
     All was well until Brick Ohama attained control of the Central Authority.  He began to stir up resentment against the companies for the profits they made. “They use our water,” said Ohama.  “Why should they profit from what they produce, manufacture and serve? They wouldn’t be successful if it weren’t for the water that the Central Authority provides.” His criticism went on for a long time, making the people hate the companies.
     Eventually the companies tired of being called evil and selfish, and one by one they abandoned the moon station.  The populace became hungry and thirsty, for there was no one left to go outside and get the water for them. They discovered that the Central Authority actually provided nothing for them. Nothing at all.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Tell Grandma to make your birthday check out to Barack Obama

The Obama campaign posted a message on his website urging those who are having birthdays, anniversaries and weddings coming up to encourage others to donate to his re-election campaign rather than give gifts.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Obama admits violating the Constitution

Obama has once again done an end-around on Congress by using his office to enact a portion of the DREAM Act that was not passed by that legislative body. Obama is in effect creating laws, the power given solely to Congress in the Constitution. The level of his aggressive use of the Executive Branch's power is unprecedented, but his supporters compare it to Bush's use of "signing statements" to do much the same thing.  Obama ran against that practice when campaigning for President the first time. In 2008 he said, "We've got a government designed by the founders so there would be checks and balances...Part of the theory of Bush is that he can make laws as he's going along. I disagree with that.

Obama justifies his opinion by citing the fact that he taught the Constitution. If his supposed legal expertise has any credibility at all, then he is precedently admitting that his actions since taking office violate the Constitution.  

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Obama's Professor: "He must be defeated"

Wow. A story from the Huffington Post quotes Barack Obama's law professor, who says Obama "must be defeated."  Roberto Unger, a longtime Harvard law professor who taught Obama, cites some of Obama's failures:
"His policy is financial confidence and food stamps."
"He has reduced justice to charity."

Unger approaches this from a "progressive" point of view, but his opinions match many Conservative claims. Oh, there's more. Much more:

Friday, June 08, 2012

On, Wisconsin

Last Tuesday Wisconsin governor Scott Walker handily won in the recall election forced by Democrats.  Although defeated and demoralized Democrats attribute that loss to being outspent by Republicans, a large voter turnout shows that Wisconsinites were involved in making the decision.  Walker actually beat his opponent by a larger margin than he had in the 2010 election.

The entire scenario came up because of Walker's actions toward cutting some of the Public Employees unions' extravagant perks and getting his state back on budgetary track. In the size of his win -- mandate is not too strong a word -- Walker and Wisconsin voters told the public unions what they thought of them. And it wasn't only non-union citizens.

One of the laws that Walker had initiated which panicked Democrats so much was ending of the automatic collection of union dues by the government. Union members still had the option of voluntarily paying their dues.  Well, money talks, and it also walks, and it walked away from the public sector unions. As Peggy Noonan wrote:  "...the single most interesting number in the whole race was 28,785. That is how many dues-paying members of the American Federation of State, County and Municiple Employees were left in Wisconsin after Mr. Walker allowed them to choose whether union dues would be taken from their paychecks each week. Before that, Afscme had 62,218 dues-paying members in Wisconsin. There is a degree to which public union involvement is, simply, coerced."

When given a choice, even many union members reject unions.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Obama's glass house

The Obama campaign, and Barack Obama himself, have made Mitt Romney's time at Bain Capital a target of their attacks.  In a recent Washington Post column, Marc Thiessen has shown that Obama might want to reconsider throwing rocks in his extremely vulnerable crystalline palace.  From the story: 

 "...if Romney’s record in private equity is fair game, then so is Obama’s record in public equity — and that record is not pretty.  Since taking office, Obama has invested billions of taxpayer dollars in private businesses, including as part of his stimulus spending bill. Many of those investments have turned out to be unmitigated disasters — leaving in their wake bankruptcies, layoffs, criminal investigations and taxpayers on the hook for billions."

Monday, May 21, 2012

The steps to every Liberal argument

A North Carolina teacher got caught on video telling a student that he could go to jail for insulting Barack Obama.  From the story:  "The kerfuffle started after one student asked a question about the teacher’s  “fact of the day” that said Romney was a bully back in high school. A student asked: “Didn’t Obama bully somebody, though?”

And then the trouble started. 

The video actually only catches the audio of the conversation, but here it is:

From the recording, it's clear that the Liberal teacher followed the typical Liberal steps of argument almost perfectly, leaving out only the last step.

Step #1: State a lie, rumor, innuendo or misrepresentation as a "fact."
Step #2: When challenged, immediately become angry.
Step #3: As soon as possible, start screaming and do everything possible to silence those who disagree with you.
Step #4: During the discussion, tell more lies, rumors, innuendo or misrepresentations to support your point.
Step #5: Call the other person a racist, sexist, homophobe or nazi. (This is the step the teacher omitted.)

Give credit to the student, who had to know what was going to happen. He spoke reasonably and truthfully. Best of all, he recorded it so the teacher couldn't deny what happened.  

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Obama in trouble...with Democrats

In my previous post, I noted James Carville's observation that Democrats can lose big in November.  Then I read this story on HuffPo.  A convict in a Texas prison got 40% of the vote running against Obama in the West Virginia Democrat primary.  That's forty percent of Democrat voters who want someone other than Obama.  

Other Obama opponents in Democrat primaries also have done well.  Randall Terry got 18% of Democrat votes in Oklahoma.  John Wolfe received 18,000 votes in Louisiana.  And in Alabama, 18% of Democratic voters chose "uncommitted" in the primary rather than vote for Obama.

Most of the voters didn't know Obama's opponent was in prison. Emily Brown planned to vote for him until she found out his address was at Beaumont Federal Correctional Institution. "I'm not voting for somebody who's in prison," she said.  She was certain about one thing: "I just want to vote against Barack Obama."

Democrats and The Big Lie

If you want to know the depths to which Democrats will go to deceive themselves and others about the real world, check out a recent column ("Wake Up, Democrats") by James Carville.  The column's main point is valid -- Democrats can easily lose in the November elections, and lose big -- but his supporting points are absurd.  A couple of quotes:

"...the Republicans are raising not millions, not tens of millions, but potentially hundreds of millions of dollars from the pollution industry as result of Citizens United v. FEC."  

The pollution industry?? Is there a Pollutions-R-Us store in your town? Maybe Pollution~Mart?  No?

But the supernova of crazy lies, presented as a Democrat's version of the truth, is this one:

"There is a full-fledged legislative agenda in many states to keep Democrats from even voting."

I assume that he's talking about voter ID legislation.  I haven't read or heard anything about having to pass an IQ test in order to vote. If you had to prove a minimum level of intelligence to vote, I can see where Democrats might think such a test was aimed at preventing them from voting. Carville doesn't explain what he means, he simply presents his nutty assertion as true.  

You don't expect a well-known (and well-respected by Democrats) political strategist writing on a national media website to act like a troll commenting in a regional blog, but there it is. You can bet that such silliness is already making the rounds as a "fact." One thing that you always have to look out for with Liberals is their use of The Big Lie.  And that one's already out there.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Obama's "same tired rhetoric"

The Republican National Committee has produced a video showing Barack Obama giving speeches about financial issues...a year apart. The odd thing?  The speeches are virtually identical.  Watch:

Where's that vaunted Obama "articulateness" and "eloquence" his supporters bragged about? (In fairness, I guess they never said anything about "originality.")

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

My goal when arguing with a Liberal

"Conan!  What is best in life?"

To crush your enemies,
See them driven before you,
And to hear the lamentation of their women.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Obama: Republicans will make weather forecasts less accurate

...And voting for Obama lowers the sea level and heals the planet.  I'm not sure why we even have elections any more, if what Obama says is true.


Friday, March 30, 2012

Operation Hot Mic

Finally someone on the Right produces a parody that's actually humorous.

Noonan on Obama

Peggy Noonan has a column in the Wall Street Journal that articulates the devastation that Obama has caused himself.  Some quotes:

"...the president is coming across more and more as a trimmer, as an operator who's not operating in good faith. This is hardening positions and leading to increased political bitterness. And it's his fault, too. As an increase in polarization is a bad thing, it's a big fault."

She itemizes the blunders Obama has made in recent months. In January the mandate that the Catholic Church's agencies would be forced to provide birth control, a concept that goes against the Church's teachings, caused an immediate negative reaction. "Faced with the blowback, the president offered a so-called accommodation that even its supporters recognized as devious. Not ill-advised, devious. Then his operatives flooded the airwaves with dishonest—not wrongheaded, dishonest—charges that those who defend the church's religious liberties are trying to take away your contraceptives."

Then came the open-mic incident with Russian president Medvedev. "When he knew he'd been caught, the president tried to laugh it off by comically covering a mic in a following meeting. It was all so...creepy."

Then there was the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Obama's statement, "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon" came across as political grandstanding during a tragedy. Noonan: "At the end of the day, the public reaction seemed to be: "Hey buddy, we don't need you to personalize what is already too dramatic, it's not about you."

"Now this week the Supreme Court arguments on ObamaCare, which have made that law look so hollow, so careless, that it amounts to a characterological indictment of the administration. The constitutional law professor from the University of Chicago didn't notice the centerpiece of his agenda was not constitutional? How did that happen?"

Noonan, always a great writer, outdoes herself with this column.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Only a heartbeat away from the Presidency

Joe Biden, longtime sufferer of foot-in-mouth disease, thanks a soft drink.

An open mic reveals Obama's intentions

Terry Jeffrey has a great column regarding Obama's recent open-mic gaffe where he's overheard telling Russian President Medvedev, "On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him [incoming Russian president Vladimir Putin] to give me space….This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.”

Jeffrey's lead paragraph: "President Barack Obama would like to do some things for Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and President-elect Vladimir Putin that he does not want American voters to know about before they decide whether to re-elect him in November."

Something to think about.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The copy key got stuck

...on the presidential speechwriter's keyboard. So says a Danish TV host.  Here's why:

Gosh, I wonder what would have happened in the media if George Bush had got caught doing that?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

How could anyone (besides everyone) have known?

The Congressional Budget Office came out with new estimates on the cost of Obamacare, and it turns out that it will cost almost twice as much as Obama said when Democrats forced through passed their “healthcare” legislation

From the Washington Examiner report: "President Obama's national health care law will cost $1.76 trillion over a decade, according to a new projection released today by the Congressional Budget Office, rather than the $940 billion forecast when it was signed into law."

Edit: The CBO also estimates two million fewer people will be insured than were first claimed. Revenues from penalties paid by individuals and employers will also be greater than claimed. And despite claims that Obamacare was not a takeover of the insurance industry, by 2022 three million fewer people will have insurance through their employers, 17 million more Americans will be on Medicaid, and 22 million more will get coverage through the government's "insurance exchanges."   

Friday, March 09, 2012

Unemployment and the LFPR*

*Labor Force Participation Rate is the percentage of the civilian workforce that is actually employed or looking for work. On the chart below, notice the absolute crash in this rate since Barack Obama took office.  Although unemployment under Barack Obama has been high, it's actually gotten much worse since he took office, and that fact is not reported in the media.

This measurement is important, because a low participation rate hides a high unemployment rate. Here's an example of how that happens:

Under Bush
Out of 1000 people, 670 are in the workforce. 35 of those are unemployed. Unemployment rate = 5.2%.

Under Obama
Out of 1000 people, 637 are in the workforce (33 fewer than under Bush.) 53 of those are unemployed. Unemployment rate = 8.3%.

The 33 people no longer in the workforce? Although unemployed and able to work, they are no longer looking for jobs. They are no longer "in the workforce." They are simply ignored. They are not counted as part of the "official" unemployment figure. Add them back into the equation, and Obama's real unemployment rate is 15.2%, using the exact same calculation as used under Bush.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

LL Battles #5


"As flawed as the Republican field is, I would consider any one of them a vast improvement over Obama. My favorite would be the one who would work hardest to reverse the damage Democrats have done.

* Obamacare was forced through by a Democrat majority, based on lies (the "ten year budget," double counting Medicare funds,) already resulting in higher insurance costs, and the promise that "you can keep your own insurance" when the Obama administration is doing all it can to drive insurers out of the market.

* The Obama administration seized control of General Motors and violated existing bankruptcy laws to award Chrysler to its union allies. 

* The Obama administration "loaned" half a billion dollars to a favored company owned in large part by an Obama fundraiser; when the company was clearly about to go bankrupt, the Obama administration renegotiated the contract so that said fundraiser got paid before taxpayers.

* You want consistent? Obama is the epitome of inconsistency. He campaigned against government spending under Bush, and then led Democrats as they doubled the spending. They correctly observed a problem, then did all in their power to make the problem worse. Obama railed against Gitmo; it remains open. He threatened to prosecute CIA operatives; the CIA program is essentially what it was under Bush.

* Obama refuses to take responsibility or consequences for his own actions. He's been in office three years, yet still blames Bush. He did everything to cut Republicans out of all legislation his first two years in office, yet now insists that the Republican House cooperate with him.

* Obama has denigrated, condemned, apologized for, demeaned and diminished the United States. It seems to me the President ought at least to like the country he wants to lead.

There's more, but maybe you get a hint of why I support an imperfect Republican against the rotten-to-the-core pretender that currently holds the position."

LL Battles #4


"Obama was favored to be re-elected before he was elected the first time. His supporters voted for him because of who and what he was, not for what he had ever accomplished. 2012 will be the same way. The Republican candidates beat each other up. The media subject every GOP "frontrunner" to a colonoscopy to expose past trivia (e.g., Rick Perry's college grades). Meanwhile, on the Democrat side, Obama is untouchable and untouched. Don't believe me? Try to find Obama's college grades. The game's been stacked for decades. Republicans realize they have to beat both the Democrats and the media. If Obama is voted out of office, it will mean that even his worshippers finally took a look around at what he's done to the country."

Saturday, March 03, 2012

My reading is on Fire

Since my wife gave me a Kindle Fire for Christmas, I've become a reading machine again. I'm not reading as much as when I was a kid, but more than I have in many years. I resisted the e-book phenomenon because I couldn't rationalize the cost of the machine, and because as a "book person," I love actually possessing books. Kathy took the first objection out of my hands, and I've come to acknowledge the idea that a book's worth is the ideas it contains, not the paper it's made of. (Still, I know that I'm only a drained battery or an EMP away from not having anything on my Kindle.)

Here's a list -- eclectic would be accurate, although crime fiction and political nonfiction seem to dominate -- of what I've read so far:

A Study in Scarlet, A. Conan Doyle
The List, J.A. Konrath
Demonic, Ann Coulter
The Lincoln Lawyer, Michael Connelly
The Sign of the Four, A. Conan Doyle
Critical Confrontations, Patterson et al
No Higher Honor, Condoleeza Rice
Decision Points, George W. Bush
Outlining Your Novel, K.M. Weiland
Deathworld, Harry Harrison
Afraid, Jack Kilborn
Killing Floor, Lee Child
Deathworld 2, Harry Harrison
Crime Stories, J.A. Konrath
Planet of the Damned, Harry Harrison
Afterthoughts, Lawrence Block
Die Trying, Lee Child
Write Your Blook in 30 Days, Dee Burks & Liz Ragland
Who Really Cares, Arthur Brooks
The Right Fights Back, Evan Thomas, Mike Allen & Politico
The Secret Knowledge, David Mamet

Friday, March 02, 2012

LL Battles #3

"Take a look at the past three years of Obama's reign if you believe it doesn't make a difference who you vote for. His Justice Department sues Arizona for trying to enforce federal law, while dropping an already-won case against Black Panthers in camo posted outside a polling place with billy clubs. The Obama administration defied a judge's order to lift the ban on oil drilling in the Gulf; gave waivers to Obamacare to Harry Reid's entire state, deluxe hotels and restaurants in Nancy Pelosi's district, and over half a million union members; it sold weapons to Mexican gangsters that were used to kill at least one American citizen (and which Obama's AG lied about;) gave half a billion dollars to a company partially owned by an Obama fundraiser knowing it was about to go bankrupt; urged a general to lie to Congress about a company owned by another Obama fundraiser --

Well, you get the idea. There's a difference."

LL Battles #2


"It's the Democrat Party that instantly comes to mind when someone mentions family values, sex within the marriage, and two-parent households. (Sarcasm alert.) As Reagan said, "The Federal Government declared war on poverty, and poverty won." The Democrats today rail about poverty and racial injustice, yet that's what the Democrat programs implemented in the 1960s, and championed ever since, were designed to eliminate. Instead they created a class of government-dependent Americans and foster racial divisiveness and resentment. The experiment has failed."

LL Battles #1

In another forum I frequently take on Liberals who post various political comments. Usually their comments are anonymous, filled with inaccuracies, mistakes and outright lies. I first started posting to correct their misinformation, and this has led to some battles that put the Battle of Helm's Deep to shame. I express my opinions -- infuriating those on the Left who want to silence opposition -- and usually support my points with facts and data, providing links to document the validity of my information. 

I don't comment with any hope of convincing the Left's True Believers -- they're relentless in their zeal to be stupid. But there are readers who won't get the other side of the story, stripped of misinformation, without my posts.  We all contribute what we can, so I put in my two cents' worth.

I hope you enjoy the new series of "reposts" of my comments as they cover a variety of different subjects. I'll edit them a bit so they make sense, but my points will be intact. Some of them are a bit dated, so read them in context of the date.


"The Tea Party has more strong opposition than strong support (barely.) Given the pounding the Tea Party has taken in the media, that's to be expected. (How many people still believe Tea Partiers spit on black congressmen and called them the n-word?) So in that sense, you're right.

However, more Americans identify with Conservative political ideology than any other. That means that more Americans agree with the Tea Party stance on issues -- their agenda, if you will. 

Moreover, which group is it that's energized and enthusiastic about next year's election? It ain't Democrats, that's for sure. Here's what Politico wroteabout what Democrats have to look forward to in 2012: "Now, resigned to the likelihood that the president will be a down-ballot drag in many races and absent signs of an electoral wave on the horizon, Democrats are scaling back their expectations." Ol' Professor Hopenchange ain't lookin' so good."