06 November, 2010

Headline Of The Day

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

05 November, 2010

Phase I–Complete. Phase II and III Start Now

Well, started Wednesday actually.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


Computer top 5:

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

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

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

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

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

MLE (maximum likelihood estimate):

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

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

03 November, 2010

Where Are We And What Next?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What next?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

02 November, 2010

Independence Day

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

01 November, 2010

Morning or Mourning? You Decide

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

You can watch the ad here:

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

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

Tomorrow, the great flood.

31 October, 2010

Faux News

Doing some quick research, I found lots of examples of Faux News today:
Two reporters caught on tape conspiring against Senate candidate.
Forged memos regarding armed forces service of Presidential candidate.
Doctored photos in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Staged photos regarding the aforementioned conflict.
Fake hate crimes reported at George Washington University.
Hiring actors to stage a sting operation for political correctness.
Hiring actors to show sports fans are racists.
Reporting on massacres that never happened.
A Journalistic Cabal created to collude in demonization of people with opposing views while advancing the agenda of the White House.
A page one story about an alleged affair by a candidate for the White House, that had no evidence whatsoever and was later retracted.
Firing someone  for expressing feelings that most of us have known, even though his point was that we need to get past that as a nation.
What do all of these events have in common? They all happened in journalistic organizations not called Fox News.
As Ronald Reagan said:
Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn’t so.
And with the help of organizations like Reuters, CBS, ABC, NBC, The Washington Post, and The New York Times that will continue to be true.
UPDATE: I added some more events and cleaned up the text a bit.

What Liberal Media?

Or, why you should always make sure your phone is off. I have a friend who has experienced something similar. We all have made this mistake, but not all quite so painfully.
Assume you’re a reporter covering the AK Senate race. You probably don’t want to leave the following as a voice mail to the Joe Miller spokesperson:
FEMALE REPORTER: That’s up to you because you're the expert, but that’s what I would do...I’d wait until you see who showed up because that indicates we already know something...
FEMALE REPORTER: Child molesters...
MALE REPORTER: Oh yeah... can you repeat Joe Miller’s...uh... list of people, campaign workers, which one's the molester?
FEMALE VOICE: We know that out of all the people that will show up tonight, at least one of them will be a registered sex offender.
MALE REPORTER: You have to find that one person...
FEMALE REPORTER: And the one thing we can do is ....we won’t know....we won’t know but if there is any sort of chaos whatsoever we can put out a twitter/facebook alert: saying what the... ‘Hey Joe Miller punched at rally.’
FEMALE REPORTER: Kinda like Rand Paul...I like that.
FEMALE REPORTER: That’s a good one.
Or listen to the tape:
The Murkowski family is very powerful in AK. Former Governor Sarah Palin (R-AK) tried to clean this up, but obviously strong remnants remain. Do yourself a favor and use your favorite search engine to look up “Corrupt Bastards Club” sometime.
I assume these two people will not have jobs by the end of the day.
Of course, these two people worked for CBS, so I guess it shouldn’t be surprising.
And liberals have the audacity to call Fox News “Faux News”? Day by day, more and more evidence piles up on the other side, folks. Of course, we’ve mentioned the liberal talent at projection before.
It still appears that Miller is going to come out on the correct side of the flood, but that’s by no means certain. This is what he’s up against. This is what every GOP candidate in the nation is up against.
2 more days.