25 December, 2010

Merry Christmas

And God Bless Us Everyone!

(and I’m not even going to apologize for not being PC)ChristmasTree1

22 December, 2010

About That Census


There’s the pic showing who gained and who lost. In short, the GOP. With such a map, Bush would have won 2004 without OH. Also, 2000 would not have appeared nearly as close in EVs, giving Bush a victory 285-253. However, he still would have needed FL.

As Jim Geraghty points out, if we’re looking at a battleground state type of Presidential election in 2012, the GOP is starting with a base of about 248 EVs. Obviously, that’s not going to be the case if Obama wins by 7 points or more again. In such an election, the GOP candidate will lose some of those 248. But in a close one, the GOP candidate would only need 22 votes from the battlegrounds:

Those 22 votes could be won in a variety of ways, but the most likely scenario would appear to be Ohio (18 electoral votes) and any other state (Iowa, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania).

Right now (things can change a lot in 2 years), OH looks like it should be pretty solidly red, so President Barack Obama (D-USA) will have to hold serve in all of IA, NM, CO, NV, NH, WI, and PA.

We will definitely look at this again, and look at which GOP candidates might fare best in those states.

Congratulations to UConn Lady Huskies

Yesterday they won their 89th straight game, defeating the 20th ranked Florida State Seminoles 93-62. The Division I record was 88, long held by UCLA, whose streak ended to Notre Dame in 1974.

The word “dominant” barely describes the Huskies during the last 89 games, winning only 2 games by less than 10. Their average margin of victory against teams ranked in the top 25 is over 20 points. They have annihilated the competition at every turn, and barely been challenged. And it’s not like they’ve been ducking the competition. Some victories of note:

12/21/2010 vs. #20 Florida State: 93-62
12/19/2010 vs. #10 Ohio State: 81-50
11/16/2010 vs. #2 Baylor: 65-64 (a close one, but keep reading)
4/6/2010 vs. #2 Stanford: 53-47 (their only other close game, for the national title)
4/4/2010 vs. #14 Baylor: 70-50
3/30/2010 vs. #11 Florida State: 90-50
3/28/2010 vs. #16 Iowa State: 74-36
3/9/2010 vs. #8 West Virginia: 60-32
3/8/2010 vs. #7 Notre Dame: 59-44
3/1/2010 @ #7 Notre Dame: 76-51
2/15/2010 @ #12 Oklahoma: 76-60
2/13/2010 vs. #24 St. John’s: 66-52
2/2/2010 @ #8 West Virginia: 80-47
1/18/2010 @ #7 Duke: 81-48
1/16/2010 vs. #3 Notre Dame: 70-46
1/9/2010 vs. #7 North Carolina: 88-47
12/28/2009 @ #11 Florida State: 78-59
12/23/2009 vs. #2 Stanford: 80-68
11/17/2009 @ #13 Texas: 83-58
4/7/2009 vs. #7 Louisville: 76-54 (national title)
4/5/2009 vs. #2 Stanford: 83-64
3/31/2009 vs. #19 Arizona State: 83-64
3/29/2009 vs. #13 California: 77-53
3/24/2009 vs. #22 Florida: 87-59
3/10/2009 vs. #7 Louisville: 75-36
2/22/2009 vs. #24 Notre Dame: 76-66
2/15/2009 vs. #23 Pittsburgh: 95-42
1/26/2009 vs. #10 Louisville: 93-65
1/19/2009 @ #2 North Carolina: 88-58
11/30/2009 vs. #4 Oklahoma: 106-78

These are scores that you usually see between the #1 seed and the #16 seed in the NCAA tourney, not in games between teams in the top 25. Of the 89 games, one third of them, 30, were against ranked teams. Average score for those games? 79-54.

For comparison, let’s look at this season’s #1 men’s team, the Duke Blue Devils. They are currently 11-0 and have won 7 games by 25 points. Here’s the list:

11/14/2010 vs. Princeton: 97-60
11/16/2010 vs. Miami OH: 79-45
11/19/2010 vs. Colgate: 110-58
11/22/2010 vs. Oregon: 98-71
12/8/2010 vs. Bradley: 83-48
12/11/2010 vs. St. Louis: 84-47
12/20/2010 vs. Elon: 98-72

Not exactly murderer’s row. Their two games against ranked competition?

11/23/2010 vs. #4 Kansas State: 82-68
12/1/2010 vs. #6 Michigan State: 84-79

You often hear sports commentators say things like “we’ll never see anything like this again.” In the Huskies case, that may actually be true. It’s hard to imagine any team being this dominant.

Thank God For The FCC

Yesterday, the FCC voted 3-2 to approve “new rules meant to prohibit broadband companies from interfering with Internet traffic flowing to their customers”. This despite a shot across the bow from the Senate GOP reminding the FCC that they have no such authority to enact such regulations.

You and the Commission’s general counsel have admitted in published statements that the legal justification for imposing these new regulations is questionable and “has a serious risk of failure in court.” It is very clear that Congress has not granted the Commission the specific statutory authority to do what you are proposing. Whether and how the Internet should be regulated is something that America’s elected representatives in Congress, not the Commission, should determine.

So, I say again, thank God for the FCC. We need more corrupt over-reaching executive agencies  to protect our country from freedom and free enterprise. Now if we can get the EPA to step in and turn us all into green, global warming fearing hippies, we’ll be be set for life.

In fairness, this decision was not as bad as it could have been. Chairman Genachowski backed down from some of his most unreasonable demands, such as not allowing tiered pricing for high speed access or pricing based upon data use.

But still, these regulations do require business to act against their own best self-interest, and that kind of thing is always good for consumers and free enterprise. Oh wait. I meant never good, not always good.

The good news? This likely isn’t going anywhere. The Senate GOP is correct that the FCC doesn’t have this authority, and the Roberts court will surely rule that way if given a chance. So, expect in the next few days or weeks for someone to file a court challenge against the new rules. The court challenge will lead to an injunction against the FCC until the case is ultimately decided. So, we’ll sit around for two years waiting for this case to make its way to the Supreme Court, where it will be shot down.

Might actually turn out to be a boon for the GOP, in that it may become a campaign issue for 2012, depending on what rumors we’re hearing then about impending Justice retirements.

21 December, 2010

Sarah Palin Hits One Out Of The Park

Actually, we’re still waiting for it to land.

Sarah penned an article for the Wall Street Journal last week (yes, I’m behind on my reading, but I’m catching up. It discusses the reports on the Presidential Commission on Fiscal Responsibility.

The publication of the findings of the president's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform was indeed, as the report was titled, "A Moment of Truth." The report shows we're much closer to the budgetary breaking point than previously assumed. The Medicare Trust Fund will be insolvent by 2017. As early as 2025, federal revenue will barely be enough to pay for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and interest on our national debt. With spending structurally outpacing revenue, something clearly needs to be done to avert national bankruptcy.

Of course, the commission, working under a Democratic administration, could not figure out what to do about this problem. It mentioned making cuts in defense, but neglected to even discuss costly new entitlement programs (e.g. ObamaCare) favored by the administration. In fact, its recommendations would lead to an expansion of ObamaCare, not a cut back (how that’s supposed to save money is a question left unanswered).

Palin brings up the plan presented by Paul Ryan (R-WI-01) last year which he calls the Roadmap for America’s Future. There are a few things in the Roadmap that I’m not in favor of, but on the whole, it’s something I can support. As Palin says:

On health care, it would replace ObamaCare with a new system in which people are given greater control over their own health-care spending. It achieves this partly through creating medical savings accounts and a new health-care tax credit—the only tax credit that would be left in a radically simplified new income tax system that people can opt into if they wish.

The Roadmap would also replace our high and anticompetitive corporate income tax with a business consumption tax of just 8.5%. The overall tax burden would be limited to 19% of GDP (compared to 21% under the deficit commission's proposals).

Obviously I’m happy about the removal of the corporate income tax. And I’ve said many times that I believe that some sort of consumption tax is not only inevitable, but necessary, for this country to succeed in the 21st century.

What does the CBO say about the Roadmap? Emphasis mine.

According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Roadmap would lead to lower deficits and a much lower federal debt. The CBO estimates that under current spending plans, our federal debt would rise to 87% of GDP by 2020, to 223% by 2040, and to 433% by 2060. Under Rep. Ryan's Roadmap, the CBO estimates that debt would rise much more slowly, peaking at 99% in 2040 and then dropping back to 77% by 2060.

Put simply: Our country is on the path toward bankruptcy. We must turn around before it's too late, and the Roadmap offers a clear plan for doing so. But it does more than just fend off disaster. CBO calculations show that the Roadmap would also help create a "much more favorable macroeconomic outlook" for the next half-century. The CBO estimates that under the Roadmap, by 2058 per-person GDP would be around 70% higher than the current trend.

And Mrs. Palin summarizes it perfectly.

Let's not settle for the big-government status quo, which is what the president's commission offers. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to make these tough decisions so that they might inherit a prosperous and strong America like the one we were given.

Sorry for quoting so much this time. It’s just that I agreed so closely with what she said. I also apologize for once again posting Palin’s words on this topic rather than Romney’s or Huckabee’s or one of the other 2012 Republican contenders.

When they write something meaningful, I’ll quote them. Until then, you and I are still waiting.

Today’s A Big Day For Congress

No, not because of expected votes.

And not because they’re going to adjourn.

And not because they’re holding a hearing or a press conference.

Today the Census results will be released.

Today we will know which states gain seats in the House, and which states lose. This also affects the Electoral College and the 2012 Presidential election.

From Jamie Dupree:

The biggest change is expected to be in Texas, which is forecast to get three or maybe four extra seats in the House.
"They're going to be the big winners," said Kimball Brace of Election Data Services, a company that specializes in how the Census will change the makeup of Congress.
The big losers could be Ohio and New York, which could both see a loss of two seats, more evidence of the American transition away from the Rust Belt and into the Sun Belt.

I haven’t made much note of it, but one of the lesser talked about issues of the 2010 election was the gains Republicans made in state legislatures all over the country. The state legislatures will re-draw the district lines and eliminate districts as necessary. You can be sure that the party in power will eliminate a district controlled by the other party.

Personally I’m against this sort of gerrymandering, and prefer rectangular districts based upon population density, but that’s a topic for another post.

Anyway, you play by the rules you have and with the cards you’re dealt. Right now the rules and the cards appear to favor the Republicans.

Stay tuned.

Islam: The Religion Of Peace And Tolerance

Do you recognize this girl?

No? How about another pic. Maybe you recognize her from this?

Ah. Well, that makes things a bit easier, doesn’t it?

The girl’s name is Afshan Azad, and she plays Padma Patil in the Harry Potter series.

Her father’s name is Abul Azad and her brother, Ashraf Azad. They are both practicing Muslim. The two peaceful men assaulted Afshan, branded her a prostitute, and threatened to kill her. In fact, an exact quote from the peaceful father was that he would kill her because he didn’t want his sons to “have her blood on their hands and he would do time for it.”

The reason these peaceful men were so outraged is because she dated a non-Muslim, a Hindu, in fact. The religion of peace and tolerance doesn’t allow for that sort of thing.

Unfortunately, as often happens in domestic violence cases, Afshan later equivocated, through fear or embarrassment, and refused to give evidence to convict the two men. Her brother yesterday pled guilty to assault and charges of threatening to kill her were dropped against both.

Read more in the Telegraph and the Post.

This is Islam. The religion of peace and tolerance.

20 December, 2010

We’re Number One!

Woohoo! We’re Number One! We’re Number One!

America now has the highest corporate tax rate of all developed nations.

Wow. Yay for us.

Japan had been #1, but they dropped their rate 5%. Why?

Japan will cut its corporate income tax rate by 5 percentage points in a bid to shore up its sluggish economy, Prime Minister Naoto Kan said here Monday evening.Companies have urged the government to lower the country’s effective corporate tax rate — which now stands at 40 percent, around the same rate as that in the United States — to stimulate investment in Japan and to encourage businesses to create more jobs. Lowering the corporate tax burden by 5 percentage points could increase Japan’s gross domestic product by 2.6 percentage points, or 14.4 trillion yen ($172 billion), over the next three years, according to estimates by Japan’s Trade Ministry.

Japan’s sluggish economy currently has an unemployment rate around 5%, in case you’re keeping score.

This blog has long been in favor of completely eliminating the corporate tax in America. Corporate taxes are merely an effort by the government to disguise the actual personal tax rate. All corporate taxes are passed on to the individual in one way or another. Eliminating corporate taxes would be a boost for transparency in government and would be like giving the economy about 12 double espressos.

From the CATO Institute:

It’s also worth noting that the average corporate tax rate in Europe has now dropped to less than 24 percent, so even welfare states have figured out that a high tax burden on business doesn’t make sense in a competitive global economy.

Sometimes you can fall farther behind if you stand still and everyone else moves forward. That’s a good description of what’s happening in the battle for a pro-growth corporate tax system. By doing nothing, America’s self-destructive corporate tax system is becoming, well, even more destructive.

Others in the world are starting to see the relationship between a growing economy and corporate tax rates. South Korea’s is 24%. Germany is 29%. Still too high, but headed in the right direction. Our government doesn’t care. President Barack Obama (D-USA) is anti-capitalist, anti-populace, and anti-transparency. He will do anything possible to continue to hide the ever increasing encroachment of the government over our personal lives.

I’m Starting to Agree With Ron Paul

Let’s get rid of the Federal Reserve.

The latest Obamanation from the Feds occurred in Oklahoma.

Federal Reserve examiners come every four years to make sure banks are complying with a long list of regulations. The examiners came to Perkins last week. And the team from Kansas City deemed a Bible verse of the day, crosses on the teller’s counter and buttons that say "Merry Christmas, God With Us." were inappropriate. The Bible verse of the day on the bank's Internet site also had to be taken down.


Specifically, the feds believed, the symbols violated the discouragement clause of Regulation B of the bank regulations. According to the clause, "...the use of words, symbols, models and other forms of communication ... express, imply or suggest a discriminatory preference or policy of exclusion."

The bank is a private enterprise. This is not about putting a nativity scene in front of the state capitol building. This is about the federal government using its authority to limit what private enterprises can say and do. This is a clear First Amendment issue as well as a personal liberty one in general.

This isn’t something government needs to be involved in. And shows once more that our current administration doesn’t understand capitalism and the free market at all. If people are offended by what the bank is doing, they are free to choose another bank or complain to the bank management about it. If enough people do so, the bank will realize that it’s losing money on the issue and change its practices. That’s how things work in a free society.

Each time that I think my disgust with Washington has reached its zenith, something like this happens and I realize that there’s still a long way to go before this government stops finding ways to sicken me.

The 2012 National Local Issue

One of the things Republicans have done well in this century is turn nationwide angst into local issues that help them at the ballot box. Ok, maybe it’s one thing they’ve been sleazy about, but it has been effective.

President George W. Bush (R-USA) benefited greatly in both 2000 and 2004 due to gay marriage initiatives appearing on several state ballots. This increased conservative turnout in those states which helped him win.

It appears that there’s a sleeping issue on the horizon for 2012, and that’s state enforcement regarding control of illegal aliens. The Arizona law, despite being challenged by the Barack Obama (D-USA) White House, remains immensely popular, not only in Arizona, but nationwide. Democrats predicted it would be the swan song for Governor Jan Brewer (R-AZ), when in fact she won re-election in a landslide and was never seriously challenged.

Now, Florida is following in Arizona’s footsteps. Governor-elect Rick Scott (R-FL) has made it a priority.

Scott, in particular, made the Arizona law a major piece of his race for governor, frequently mentioning it at campaign stops and urging Floridians to follow his lead and make a donation to Arizona's Border Security and Immigration Legal Defense Fund. Since his election in November, the incoming governor has been largely quiet on the subject and has not drawn up any specific proposals yet, but his spokesman said the governor maintains his position on the issue.

And they aren’t the only ones:

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, as of Nov. 10, six other states have already filed immigration bills similar to Arizona's and six other states have filed resolutions either supporting or condemning Arizona's law.

Two of these six states are Michigan and Pennsylvania. Combined with Florida, these three states control enough electoral votes to easily flip the Presidential 2012 election. And it’s hard to see how Obama can spin it to his advantage. He’s been extremely publicly critical of the Arizona law and has urged his Justice Department to pursue an attack on the law in a manner most closely resembling a Chicago-style vendetta. Even if he keeps quiet on the other cases, Republicans in those states will surely bring up Obama’s obvious views on the subject.

19 December, 2010

222 Companies Now Protected From ObamaCare

222 companies have now been granted waivers from the penalties created by ObamaCare.

As I keep saying, these waivers create additional cost for the law. This must be made up by a) increasing taxes, b) increasing debt) or c) increasing penalties upon those not granted waivers, or the average small business, in other words.

At this point you’d have to be a lunatic or a moron to believe this law is a success.

President Barack Obama (D-USA) is using this waiver process to decide who must face this burden and who can skip right on by. Think he’ll be nicer to companies that donate heavily to Democrats? Again, if you own a small business, you probably can’t donate enough to make his radar. Of course, if you’re the owner of The Home Depot, and you’ve been criticizing Obama publicly lately, you probably shouldn’t expect a waiver either.

If this sounds to you like the way capitalism is supposed to work, then I think you slept through that lecture in your civics class. If this sounds to you like economic freedom, then I think you slept through that lecture in your economics class. If this sounds to you like its going to improve health care or health care costs in America, then I think you slept through all your lectures in all your classes.

This law has to go and soon, before it single-handedly destroys America.

Keynesian Economics 101

The Center for Freedom and Prosperity has a good, but not great, video on what’s wrong with Keynesian Economics. Consider this video a first day lecture on Econ 101 or even Keynesian Econ 101. There’s much more to this class to come.

Still, the video is worth watching. Take a peek below.


Ed Morrissey at Hot Air nails it with his summary:

Think of it as a Cash for Clunkers economic plan on a larger scale.  The intention is to fool people into spending money in order to give the illusion of growth, and have that illusion somehow become reality through a process best known as FM; the M stands for “magic,” and you can guess what the F means.  The problem is that the interventions run out of steam quickly without addressing the actual issues of income and asset value that drives organic consumer spending.  Instead of increasing the size of the pie, we just cut it in different shapes.

The policies implemented in the early 1980s, in contrast, focused on generating growth in investment and income by reducing the government’s role in the economy and their bite out of it.  That approach succeeded in long-term growth and prosperity by increasing the size of the pie.  Critics scoff at this as “trickle-down economics,” but as the last two years showed, the Reagan approach worked while Keynesian Obamanomics has mainly generated nothing but short-term gimmicks and long-term stagnation.

In truth, Keynesian economics ONLY works if you have a surplus that you’re willing to spend to stimulate the economy. Keynes even basically said so, a fact that’s forgotten by his purported followers these days. Otherwise, as noted below, the only way to get a temporary stimulus is by borrowing. And the stimulus is indeed temporary so more borrowing is needed to keep it going. And more borrowing, and more borrowing.

This is essentially President Barack Obama’s (D-USA) plan. The problem is that the borrowing creates a burden on the economy, thus requiring the need for more stimulus.

And more borrowing.

If you can see the death spiral here, you’re smarter than the average Democrat in Washington, D.C. If you can’t, please run for office. You’ll fit right in.

This Has Been a Pretty Good Week

Senator Harry Reid’s (D-NV) NIGHTMARE act died a glorious and painful death. The New York Times calls its fate “uncertain”, but that’s putting so much spin on it that they should sell tickets for being a thrill ride. If a bill granting amnesty to illegal aliens couldn’t be passed in the first two years of President Barack Obama’s (D-USA) Presidency, it has no chance whatsoever of passing in the second two years, facing a Republican controlled House and a much slimmer Democratic majority in the Senate. The only things more certain than this bill’s demise are death and taxes.

Obama’s pork-laden omnibus spending bill died a glorious and painful death. And Republicans may be finally getting the message. Some of them, anyway. Others still need work.

But Republicans said one lesson they learned from last month's election that big spending bills - in this case, a 1,924-page measure Democrats produced just two days earlier - shouldn't be jammed through the chamber with short-circuited debate.

Bingo. That goes for START too, btw.

Most of the Obama tax increases were defeated.

The bill, which was largely worked out earlier this month between the White House and Congressional Republicans, extends the Bush-era tax cuts for all Americans for two years, extends unemployment benefits for 13 months and includes a one-year Social Security tax cut, among other measures.

Yes, I know that DADT repeal passed a cloture vote in the Senate, and therefore will likely head to the President’s desk for signing before the year is out. But…

First, I’m ambivalent on the entire topic. Yes, I think it will create some hardships on the American military. However, these are some of the best people we have, and I’m confident of their ability to handle the hardships. Will there be bumps and bruises along the way? Yes. But it’s clear that homosexuality is far more mainstream and acceptable to the average Joe than it was when Clinton put DADT into effect. And the military is a dinosaur in that respect.

Second, let’s face the truth here. DADT is going away, no matter what. The courts have made it clear that if the legislative and executive branches don’t act on this topic, then they will. And that’s very wrong. The way to handle this is through legislative deliberation and executive sign off. That’s what we’re going to get, and from that perspective this is a victory for the Constitution.

Third, DADT does amount to discrimination. Something that I am opposed to in any way shape or form. Anytime discrimination is eliminated, I’m going to be generally for it.

So, as I said, a pretty good week. Of course, this week least year, I thought ObamaCare was dying, so there’s obviously more weeks ahead that will not be as good.