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    Wednesday, May 25, 2016

    Bill Clinton & The Lolita Express

    In chatting with a co-worker the other day, I realized that the people who get their news from Facebook and the mainstream, state-controlled media, have no idea of the indiscretions of Bill Clinton, don't remember (or weren't born) when the Clinton's started enriching themselves at taxpayer expense, and believe that Hillary's DoS tenure was a "success."

    This is one of the great things about the Trump campaign.  He's going to rehash all this stuff and run the campaign that many people have wanted Republicans to run for years.

    Check out his latest ad, which draws the line directly to Bill Clinton the rapist.

    But he's so much more than that.  And Hillary is relevant to this, because she has covered for him for all these years.  She participated in the silencing of Juanita Broadrick.  Rather than being a champion of women in the #waronwomen, she is, as Kathleen Willey (another woman Bill Clinton sexually assaulted) described, "The war on women."

    Bill Clinton was impeached because of his lies during the Paula Jones sexual harassment case.  This while he was playing hide-the-cigar with Monica Lewinski.  Most of these things are well know to anyone over 40.  But a large chunk of the electorate have never known that Hillary Clinton was the fixer to Bill's sexual peccadilloes over his career.  To be so close to power required great sacrifice from Hillary and it still does.

    Even now, Bill Clinton is a frequent visitor to something those on the right have been calling "Pedophile Island."  This is the private island owned by convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

    Read all about Epstein here.  Suffice to say, Epstein likes 'em young, and enjoyed peddling his wares to his rich and famous friends, who also included...

    Former US President Bill Clinton.  Flight logs for Epstein's private Boeing 727 show that Clinton traveled on it over 26 times.  At least 5 times the Secret Service was not on board.

    This will not be reported in the media that most people read.  You won't see this in the left-wing Facebook news feed. and certainly not in the mainstream media.  They don't want anyone to know this is going on.

    Now you know.

    Tuesday, May 24, 2016

    Erick Erickson on Trump and Faith

    Read Erick Erickson's post today if you want to get a feel for Trump, the "Christian."

    I think Erickson dwells on past indiscretions, which I know God will forgive (if Trump sought forgiveness, which, by his own admission, he has not), so I would forgive willingly, but otherwise, his points are valid and worth considering.

    As for me, Trump thinks he can play the part of a Jesus follower, because he knows the words (the best words), and someone is whispering in his ear, "This is what The Evangelicals want to hear."  Unlike George W. Bush, who I knew was sincere when he said "It will change your life" with respect to accepting God's Grace, Trump has no conception (or intention?) of this.  Maybe he never listened in Church, maybe no one ever shared the Good News with him, maybe he's just too arrogant to accept that there is a God who holds dominion over him.  Who knows.  I hope someone can lead him to the Lord, and he'll accept willingly, but for now, folks, his words are not the words of a man who follows or has accepted Christ as his savior.  They are just not the right words.

    Still, that is not a requirement to be president of the United States.

    What is important is, just as Trump is playing the caricature of a conservative, he is also playing that of a Christian.  In so doing, he defiles both.

    I'd prefer honesty from Trump.  Don't read to me from "Two Corinthians" or tell me how beautiful your Easter Church is and expect me to buy your con. Especially when you can't even complete the con and say you've asked God for forgiveness for even one thing, much less for your sinful soul.   This is how egotistical this man is.  He sees the trappings of Christianity and tries to play into them, but on the core of the religion, his ego prevents him from even completing his own con game.  Sad.

    This isn't advice to Trump, as I know he's immune to it.  But for others, try honesty.  I don't care if you're irreligious or atheist or agnostic, if you respect the Constitution's protections for religious freedom and are prepared to support and defend them, that's all I care about.  I think religious people who care about their freedoms would also understand.

    Honest atheists/agnostics like Penn Teller and Charles C.W. Cooke are examples of people who I would be perfectly happy defending religious freedom.

    Con man Donald Trump, does not inspire confidence. 

    But YOU, Dear Reader, you go right ahead and vote for him.

    Monday, May 23, 2016

    Vote for Trump if You Must. Just Don't Expect Me To

    I can give one good, concrete reason to vote for Donald Trump: He's not Hillary Clinton.

    If you are of the mind, like Peter Robinson, that Hillary is evil, and that this is a binary election where you only have two choices, I can respect the decision to take what you think is the lesser evil, and go with Trump.

    Just do it with eyes wide open.  You don't know what you're getting, and you may (indeed, I think you absolutely will) get something much different than you bargained for.

    If that's all you want out of this post, to get my rationalization for why it's ok for YOU to vote for Trump, stop reading.  That part of the post is over.

    The next are some of the reasons I find Trumo unpalatable, and why I am unlikely to pull the lever for him.  I'll caveat that as a Georgia voter, Trump will either not need my vote, because he's going to win Georgia handily, or, a vote for him will be a futile gesture, because he's losing so badly.  Yes, that makes sticking to principle easier for me.  The joys of geography.

    What makes Trump so awful?

    1. He's not a conservative.  I am a conservatarian.  I grew up in a conservative family.  We read National Review.  Witness was a book displayed in my home.  Ronald Reagan was the greatest president we ever saw.  As I got older, I leaned a little more libertarian, but in the classical sense, not in the pot-smoking Gary Johnson sense.

      Trump is not conservative.  He's alien to conservatism.  He does not speak of Freedom, or the Constitution.  He seems not to understand what makes America great, only that it should be great.  Donald Trump will not "make America great again," because he doesn't understand what makes us great to begin with.

      Being anti-immigration, anti-trade, and parroting the caricature of conservatism doesn't make you one.  Trump's not, and I am.  Period
    2. He's intellectually lazy.   The guy could have studied the issues and brought a knowledge of the issues to the GOP primary and still have been outspoken and outrageous.  He chose instead to be a boob.   He doesn't even understand the nuclear triad, which has been the cornerstone of deterrence for almost 60 years now.  He seems to think he can just say something is going to happen, like wipe out gun free zones and 20 minutes later it'll be so.  He thinks he can get things done by executive fiat not because he wishes to flaunt the Constitution, but because he seems ignorant of its protections against such thing.
    3. The alt-right.  In case you don't know, the alt-right is those group of anti-semitic, racists, xenophobes who you often associate with Nazis.  These people are the scum of the earth and they see in Trump a sort of saviour for their White Nationalism.  His refusal to disavow these people is troubling, and their behavior online is that of people I do not wish to be associated with.  I wonder if these people know his daughter is a convert to Judaism?
    4. Shifting positions.  Don't like one of Trump's positions?  Doesn't matter, in his transformation from businessman donating to Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, to faux conservative, he's taken pretty much every position on every issue.  Of course, he's been steadfast in his love of Planned Parenthood and that they do great things.
    5. Fake Christianity.  Come on, this is the guy who's grandmother like to read from Two Corinthians and who's Easter Message, instead of being about the Grace of God and the Miracle of the Resurrection, was about how beautiful the Church was he was attending on Easter Sunday.  And this is a man wooing evangelicals while claiming he's never asked God for forgiveness.
    6. The Childish Behavior.  I like the idea of giving his opponents nicknames to define them, but lets agree that he's wiffed on Bernie and Elizabeth Warren.  Bernie should be "Bat Shit Crazy Bernie" and if he had half an ear attumed to conservatives, he'd drill in Fauxcahontas for the fake Indian.  These aren't bothersome so much as his fixation with his own hand size, and really, did we need a Presidential candidate lecturing us at a debate about the size of his manhood?  Really?
    7. Do you need more?  Ok, this was the coup de grace for me was when he suggested that he'd order the military to murder the wives and children of terrorists, and that "Yes, they'll do it."  Because, well, Trump.
    These are just in my memory.  If I did any actual research (see the masthead), I could probably get 20 reasons why this clown is not my pick and unlikely to get my vote.  Feel free to call me names, or whatever, I really don't care.  Trumpkins created this monster you own him.

    Sunday, May 22, 2016

    Libya v. Iran - Hillary as Failure

    Hillary is going to make her foreign policy "experience" a centerpiece of the Fall campaign.

    You'll see all manner of commercials about how she's "ready to lead" and "has been there" and all sorts of things like that.

    One of the signal "accomplishments" of the Hillary term at the State Department is the Libyan exercise.  We are told it was largely Hillary who pushed the Obama administration into the large role we took in Libya.

    Based largely on her instincts, we took out a dictator for sure (Gaddafi) who had previously been unfriendly to us, but in the aftermath of the Iraq war, had dismantled nuclear programs and decided to ameliorate his stance towards terrorism.  In other words, Gaddafi had looked around at what happened in Iraq and Afghanistan, and decided he didn't want to be next.

    Contrast that to another country run by autocrats, Iran.

    When the Green Revolution broke out in 2009, the Obama administration stood by the Mullahs, rather than support the rebels in this cause.  Many believe they did this because Obama sought a nuclear arrangement with them, and didn't want the chaos.

    Sometimes you have to pick the bully you want to side with because it's in your country's best interest, and sometimes you have to let "your" guy go, gambling on your long term interest.  It's hard at the time to know, but, results are in, and we chose wrong on both these occasions.

    These are not Hillary Clinton "accomplishments."

    Judged by results, these are failures.  And we're not even into the Russian "Reset", Benghazi, or how Egypt was handled.

    Tuesday, May 3, 2016

    Trump: Please say no (or Nyet?)

    Ok folks, Donald Trump has now become a Kennedy assassination conspiracist, linking Ted Cruz's father to it:

    "Donald Trump on Tuesday alleged that Ted Cruz’s father was with John F. Kennedy’s assassin shortly before he murdered the president, parroting a National Enquirer story claiming that Rafael Cruz was pictured with Lee Harvey Oswald handing out pro-Fidel Castro pamphlets in New Orleans in 1963.

    A Cruz campaign spokesperson told the Miami Herald, which pointed out numerous flaws in the Enquirer story, that it was “another garbage story in a tabloid full of garbage.”

    “His father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald’s being -- you know, shot. I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous,” Trump said Tuesday during a phone interview with Fox News. “What is this, right prior to his being shot, and nobody even brings it up. They don’t even talk about that. That was reported, and nobody talks about it.”

    "I mean, what was he doing — what was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death? Before the shooting?” Trump continued. “It’s horrible.”

    Seriously people, this man has been a Birther, a 9/11 Truther and now this.

    What's next, UFO's are real and aliens are being harbor end by the government?

    Donald Trump is a batshit crazy man, and those of you who support him deserve the shellacking he's going to get, and good.

    The GOP may survive and return in full force in 2018, after 2 years of Democrat rule and the disastrous Hillary administration.  I guess I'll just have to hold my nose until then, unless the GOP voters wake up and start taking corrective action tonight in Indiana.

    Like many, I agree if Trump wins Indiana, it's basically over, barring a miracle.  

    Sunday, May 1, 2016

    The Top 1% Strike Back

    Recently, a Facebook meme was running around of a dog riding a turtle's back.  I likened it to Bernie Sanders' America, where the freeloaders ride the working man.

    Of course, someone decided the freeloaders were the top 1%.

    I asked, at what percentage do people stop being freeloaders to the Sanders supporters.  Is it acceptable to be in the top 10% of American earners?  The top 20%?  Seriously, where is the line so the Sanders proletariat will not come and trash your home and demand your earnings be redistributed to them (ostensibly)?

    (In case you're wondering, CNN has a handy chart here so you can place yourself on the graph).

    This got me thinking.  I know we're not in the top 1%, but, where is my family on the continuum (answer, between 10 and 20%) and how did we get there, and how do I feel about it.

    So, here's our story.  I am not ashamed that we're not in the 1%, nor do I have any aspirations to be, and maybe that explains better than anything else ever could why we are not.

    We are, however, in the top 20% and that's not a bad place to be.  It allows my famuly, and most American families to live comfortably, put kids through college, and have lots of other fine choices.  You never go hungry, you can afford premium cable AND Netflix, and you can send your kids to private schools if you wish.  That may take some sacrifice (back to basic cable!) for some families, but, the choice is there.  The top 20%, yes, is a good place to be.

    It's not without its drawbacks.  I am sure many families, like mine, worry abotu what happens if the primary breadwinner has something happen.  A layoff, an injury, an illness that precludes working anymore.  I expect many in this category don't have a great deal of non-retirement savings, or if they do, that it would stretch the one to two years that most financial advisors recommend.  In that way, even people in the top 20% are somewhat at risk of financial calamity.

    Still, I'd rather be here, financially, then the bottom 20%.  Those in the top 20% are making about 5x what those in the bottom are.  Whether it buys happiness, I don't think so.  Just some security.

    For those Sanderites who might think I got here on the backs of the "working man," let me explain that my family did this by having 2 breadwinners for most of the time, and for myself, I have worked 2 jobs for 30 years.  Sadly, one of those is forcing me to retire next year.  So, we'll be losing that income source, which is sad.  Still, in my full time job, I have worked 9, 10, 11 hour days for 25 years, with some shift work in there early on.  I've always enjoyed what I do, but in my industry, it's a somewhat tumultuous time, so, security has been a little wanting for the last 10 years or so.  Still, we've thrived.

    What would it take to get into that top 1%.  Well, if there are willing working men for me to climb over, I have yet to spot them.  Maybe the Sanders crowd can point me to those people.  They make it seem like it's so easy to get into the top 1%, you just need some wiling dupes to hand you their money...or something.

    I've worked in Corporate America for 25 years now,  and I know some of the executives are in that top 1% (>$430k/year).  I'll agree that these people don't always seem like the greatest leaders to me, but they have done things and been willing to do things, that I have not, and even though I'm pretty arrogant, I am willing to admit they are probably smarter than me.  But, I'll tell you one thing I know they are more than me - willing to take risks. When we talk about the super rich in this group, the Bill Gates', the Zuckerbergs, Elon Musk, Warran Buffet, etc, what they all share is a willingness to bet everything on an idea, on their faith in their own ability.  It is a rare quality and it is something that sets the 1% apart from the rest of us.  Many of us down here in the top 10-20% possess all the same intellect, much the same schooling, and even the same hopes and dreams, but what we aren't willing to do is risk it all.

    Many of these people fail, and spectacularly, but they try again, and in their success, they don't step on working people, they lend them a hand, by creating successful businesses that enable the working guy to earn enough money, to go to school, to learn, to put themselves in a position to risk it all, and join them.

    So, I'm sick and tired of hearing about the top 1% and income inequality.

    Instead of being envious of people willing to take risks, why don't you try joining them, or benefitting directly from them, instead of stealing from them,

    Just about #nevertrump

    I have come very close to being in the #nevertrump camp, and my hope is that Trump does not get to 1237 delegates before he convention and that his high water mark is on the first ballot, when he fails to garner a majority.

    After that, I pray the delegates wise up and consider nominees who are:
    1. Not Trump and
    2. Not Kasich and 
    3. Electable
    I like Ted Cruz, I love that he's tabbed Carly Fiorina, one of my early choices, to be his running mate, should he get the nomination, but, Ted's negative numbers in the general electorate, while not in the Trump stratosphere, are bad.

    So, unbound, I am hopeful the GOP convention delegates will look for a compromise candidate, someone like a governor with some decent name recognition who wasn't pummeled by Donald Trump as low energy.  So, I will be just fine with Scott Walker, who was my absolute FIRST choice, or Rick Perry.  

    Either of these guys will do, and I might even say - let Trump pick the VP candidate as a consolation prize.

    Sure, this shuts out Cruz from the ticket, but he's going to replace Scalia anyway.

    Your thoughts?

    Tuesday, April 5, 2016

    The Rantings of a Mad Man

    Why does the LGBTQ lobby insist in bashing the religious whenever they trot out their "equal rights" memes?

    The Constitution guarantees equal rights under the law for all Americans. Then, the SCOTUS added a right of "dignity" to justify same-sex marriage across the land. It would have happened anyway, state-by-state, but ok, they cut to the chase. 

    We were told by this lobby that was all they wanted - the right to marry and most of us were just fine with that and really saw this as a great opportunity to remove the state's monopoly on the marriage business. After all, why should some county clerk be the person who approves of my marriage?

    But, as so often happens with the Left, they lied. 

    They're interested in marriage equality, to be sure, but a good number of this lobby seem interested in retribution.

    Even the mildest of attempts to provide legal protections to the religious - in Indiana, NC, Georgia were either  watered down to useless or defeated altogether because just making it illegal for states to deny marriage to same sex couples isn't enough. Church's must allow their clergy to officiate, they must allow their property to be used in these ceremonies, or risk fines, jail time, or greater monetary damages at the hands of the police power of the state.

    I unfriended someone yesterday because a post on her timeline equated the religious to nazi's. This is the nature of debate with doctrinaire liberals. You'd think after 25 years of engaging them, I'd just laugh when the Nazi comparisons start. Want to see modern day Nazi's? Just travel to the Middle East and see what they do with women and gays.  Oh wait, the unfollowed one did this and came back impressed at how much the Saudi's respect women! By cracky, they keep them separated from men and veiled to protect them. Listen, honey, I didn't comment then, but that is serious Kool-Aid right there. The person who believes this is a huge gay rights person here, in the safety of her Constitutionally protected free speech zone. Call me when you or your brother are defending gay rights in Iran, ok? That's when I'll remove my block. 

    But, I digress. 

    I am sick and tired of this crap from this group. You will not win over the hearts and minds of the majority of people with these hateful tactics. 

    Like Trumpkins, I am convinced you can't be reasoned with. Your hatred of religion and/or those who don't share your pieties is palpable . It disgusts me. Therefore YOU disgust me and I have no need of disgusting people. 

    Except to bash them as the Freedom hating fascists they are, or hope to be. Call it cathartic. 

    YOU need to consider that the desire for vengeance that these groups have is unhealthy for you and for this country. 

    It will be the end of us and Trump is only the first giant symptom screaming "we want our country back." He may be beaten back, because many of his natural supporters (like me) find him so unacceptable.  Unlike you liberal fascists, we don't think the answer to Fascism is our own Fascist leader. It would be ideal to return the nation to First Principles. And soon. 

    But keep down this path, and there will come a leader who is acceptable to this mass of people who are also, like me, sick and tired, and that leader may be able to seduce enough of us to win.

    Either that is going to happen or this country is simply going to divide. And the American experiment will have died with it. 

    I take no pleasure in that statement.  It saddens me that for many reasons we are seeing the end of the country.  We were the indispensable country and I am proud to have been part of it that defeated communism and freed so many across the globe from the tyranny of despots. It should be no surprise that the freest today are the former Eastern European countries, as they know best the iron fist of totalarianism.

    Sunday, April 3, 2016

    Where did some prominent journalists go to school

    Journos and schools
    Lester holt - California state university

    Scott Pelley - Texas Tech

    David Muir - Ithaca college

    Bret Baier - Depauw

    Brit Hume - Virginia

    Woodward- Yale

    Gene Roberts - classmate of my father at UNC

    Ben Bradlee - Harvard

    Carl Bernstein - Maryland

    Steve Kroft -Syracuse and Columbia 

    Lara Logan - University of Natal (S Africa)

    Morley Safer - U of Western Ontario

    Leslie Stahl - Wheaton

    Bill Whitaker - Hobart College

    Anderson Cooper - Yale

    Sanjay Gupta - Michigan

    Norah o'Donnell - Georgetown

    Charlie Rose - Duke

    Sharon Alfonsi - Mississippi

    Howard Kurtz - University of Buffalo/Columbia

    Wolf Blitzer - Buffalo/JHU

    Chuck Todd - GW

    Snuffuloppulus - Columbia

    Raddatz - drop out Utah

    Brian Williams - GW (better check that)

    Fineman - Colgate (Columbia)

    O'Reilly - Marist/Boston U/Harvard

    Maddow - Stanford 

    Megyn Kelly - Syracuse

    Friedman - Minnesota

    Maureen Dowd - Catholic U

    George Will - Trinity College (Princeton)

    Sunday, December 13, 2015

    Scalia: A Big Fat Giant Racist

    Oh, I meant Michael Moore.
    Seems the Internet is abuzz a little about statements Antonin Scalia made during a recent Supreme Court hearing on the University of Texas' use of race as a factor in admissions. 
    From the LA Times:
    Scalia was addressing Gregory Garre, a lawyer for the University of Texas, who was defending the university’s policy of counting race as one factor in a “holistic” review of applicants (which also includes factors such as extracurricular activities, socioeconomic background and “hardships overcome”).
    “There are those who contend that it does not benefit African Americans to -- to get them into the University of Texas where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school, a less -- a slower-track school where they do well.”
    You can read that entire editorial, here, as it attempts to explain to the terminally lazy, what was actually being discussed here.

    Those (a lot of them black kids who have done quite well at very hard schools) have taken on Scalia’s questioning (in an annoying hashtag campaign, ugh!) in an effort to point out (correctly) 1)that many black and disadvantaged kids do quite well at tough schools, while being an (incorrect) participant in the Progressive meme that 2)Scalia is a racist and 3)that affirmative action is the only remedy keeping blacks from beign relegated to awful, predominantly black universities.

    The first part of that is laudably correct and I applaud these smart, successful children of color for going to bat for their race and for also being role models for others in their community.  Those voices are needed and if they inspire anyone to stick it to “the man” (represented by Scalia, if that’s what they want to do), then I applaud them.  Trotting out the exceptions to the rule, however, forgets that WE.ARE.NOT.TALKING.ABOUT.THEM. 

    We’re talking about the average and below average kids.  More later.

    The second part (racist Scalia!) is truly unknowable.  Unless you KNOW Antonin Scalia, you really can’t judge his heart and whether he’s racist.  This line of questioning, being as it is, a lawyerly effort to seek out answers to the questions that will be debated in this case, is not evidence of racism.  SO sorry, Progs, but it isn’t.  I know how much you hate Scalia and Thomas, but, just STOP.
    Item 3 is really what we should be discussing. 
    There is a school of thought, the “Mismatch Theory” and you can read more about this elsewhere, but friend-of-the-court briefs have been filed in this case in support of the Mismatch Theory.  In a nutshell, it contends that generally, African-American kids admitted to schools under race-based quotas and admission requirements, tend to have less successful outcomes than those not admitted under those circumstances and that kids with similar academic backgrounds who attend lower-tier schools have better outcomes.

    Without getting too much into what the Progressive Left considers a wildly controversial subject, let’s consider for a moment that if a kid admitted this way enters Georgia Tech and wants to be an Aeronautical Engineer, but because Tech does a highly effective job in weeding out the week from its Engineering programs (mainly through Freshman Calculus and Physics as I recall), and that kid decides after a year of stress and bad grades, to transfer over to UGA and become a Sociology major, that certainly doesn’t serve the cause of having a minority pursue a career in STEM, does it?  As sciency as sociology is, the world needs more Physics majors, not more social workers.  Mismatch Theory would suggest that if that kid had gone to say, Southern Poly (or Auburn or Clemson) and studied AE there, he would do just fine at those lower tier schools and exit with an AE degree and not just pursue his actual dream, but be given the full chance of success at it.  And, also do it in a reasonable amount of time, saving himself, or the taxpayers, or granters, or whoever is paying the bills.

    So, if you Progs want to debate that theory, and the implications of it, then let’s have that debate.  But leave the personal attacks out of it.  IK know that’ll be hard for you, since personal attacks are part of the Alinsky (and thus, your) playbook, but I’ll stop you when you devolve to that.

    Sunday, November 29, 2015

    Michael Moore - Poster Boy of Progressivism

    My bride showed me a Facebook link that one of the women I dared to unfriend me on Facebook posted from fat load Michael Moore over Thanksgiving.  

    If you asked me to create a caricature of the modern day Progressive, I suppose it'd be a toss up between Michael Moore and Al Gore, 2 fat cats who made their fortunes pushing their failure of an ideology on the gullible. Both got rich, and apparently, obese, at the expense of others.  In his defense, Moore came by his incredible wealth and position in the top half of one percent somewhat honestly.  He's a gifted documentarian, willing to bend the truth to suit his agenda, and he's made millions of dollars.  Good for him, I don't begrudge him one cent of it.

    Al Gore, a little less so.  As Ann Richards (God bless her soul) might say, Al was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and has parlayed his incoherent environmental advocacy into a cottage industry that is making him rich - and will make him richer if the climate mullahs win.

    I choose Moore as the progressive caricature.  First, there's the fat thing.  I love that this big giant, obese, lardass is lecturing Americans in the bottom 99.5% about their excesses.  Seriously.

    Then, there's the several homes that he owns.  How many of you guys have 7 homes, and a primary residence worth over $2M?  I think it's great that he's a homeowner, but come on, is this the height of liberal hypocrisy?

    No, because Moore is also a huge gun control guy.  Except, of course, when it comes to him.

    He's entitled to armed security and to even carry himself.  He's an American citizen and a target.  I recommend to him that he take appropriate measures to protect himself.  But, Mikey, STFU telling an inner city single mom, who might be threatened by her ex boyfriend that she can't carry a gun to protect herself because you don't like guns.

    These are just a few, I could go on.  He's created completely dishonest documentaries on the Iraq War, Cuba, even Roger and Me, that started it all, is patently dishonest.  His methods, fine. But let's stipulate that much of what Moore "documents" is fiction.

    I do have some caution for any of you who listened to his thanksgiving message.  If you believe Progressivism is winning because there's a black president, gay marriage is legal, and marijuana is legal, and according to Moore 81% of the electorate will be women, minorities or people 18-34 (which are incorrect figures, but whatever) you need to look at some more objective data.

    How about this:
    In the age of Obama, Republicans hold 30 governorships, the majority of statehouses, and have won literally hundreds more down ballot races.
    The US house is in a period what will remain dominant republican control for years (sorry, Rachel Maddown fans, it's not gerrymandering, it's the country), and Obama's awesomeness led to an historic wipe out for Dem senators in 2014.

    Gay marriage was won because you convinced a single robed idiot that there's some new right of "dignity."

    Marijuana legalization has been a libertarian item for longer than Moore has been fat.  That bulwark of modern liberalism, National Review was calling for legalization before Bill Buckley could be grossed out by Michael Moore and back when Al Gore's dad was voting against the Civil Rights Act.

    You climate change agenda is laughed at. Abortions are actually in decline, and your coalition of interest groups is eating themselves.

    Your presumed presidential nominee is a brain damaged, old geezer, drunkard crony capitalist who's husband takes in $500k per speech from whatever Middle Eastern potentate will fork it over for influence peddling.

    We may not have beaten Obama in 2008/2012, but our party is the one with a black man, a white woman, two Latino candidates in our presidential pool, and 2 Indian-American Governors, one Latina governor, the single black senator, and we didn't have to buy these people with cash from the federal teat.

    Some of my more strident friends may find me a little too establishment, but, I like where the GOP sits. At least there are some principled politicians within it unwilling to sell out their souls to keep their hands in the levers of power.

    That, my friends, is what progressives do.

    Sunday, September 20, 2015

    Ben Carson: No Muslims in WH

    Ben Carson says:

    "I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that."
    And the AP adds, "He did not specify in what way Islam ran counter to constitutional principles."

    This is what we used to describe in nuclear power school as "intuitively obvious to even the most casual observer."

    The problem with Bernie...

    Kirsten Powers says Bernie Sanders is going to have problems expanding his appeal once the Democratic primaries move from the predominantly "white, liberal" areas to the South.

    And that, folks, is the problem with Socialism, the only people who can afford it are white liberals.

    Carly on FNS today

    Just watched Chris Wallace's short segment with Carly Fiorina on FNS.

    I make no secret, she and Rubio are my current two choices for the GOP nomination (with the fading Walker as my 3rd choice), but today I wasn't thrilled with 2 of her answers to Wallace.

    On the question about the "fact checking" of the CMP planned parenthood videos, I think her answer is fine for a low information voter, but I don't think she's harmed by saying:

    "I stand it.  The video is clear in what is described and what is shown, and I challenge anyone, especially Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, to watch the actual video to defend these practices. Period."

    When confronted with the "PP does all these other wonderful things, do you NOT want women to get these essential services?" or some-such gibberish, I'd just like this simple answer:

    "There are thousands of women health services across this country who can, and do, perform these services.  What I would like to see is the $500 million of taxpayer money that goes to Planned Parenthood, and, make no mistake, allows them to remain the nation's largest abortion mill, instead go to those other women's health services who provide only services that serve the woman's health and doesn't murder an unborn son or daughter."

    Much more difficult for her is going to be the defense of her record at HP.  Everyone wants to point to Romney and say that even acknowledged outstanding business leaders (and there can be no doubt that Romney was this) can't be elected because the Dems will use their tenure as a cudgel against them.  This line of thinking would eliminate every businessperson who has ever made any tough decisions from pursuing public office, and is wrong headed and should be resisted.  I actually think this is the entire political class (not just Dems) likes this lien of reasoning, for obvious reasons.

    I think Romney was so dumbfounded by it that he let the attacks against him stand.  The Romney campaign did many things to lose the election, but his business experience had less to do with it than the 47% remark and trying to coast after he cleaned Obama's clock in debate #1.

    That aside, Carly has to make a more spirited defense of her record as CEO of HP.  The core charge seems to be that HP's stock lost value, and she responds, correctly, that most tech companies stock lost value in the tech bust that wasn't recovered for 15 years.  Then they point to the firing, and she needs to turn this into a positive.

    One thing the business world does that the public world does not, is hold people accountable when they don't live up to expectations.  I'd like to see Carly just flat out say tat she fought the board at HP and the board won and showed her the door.  That's the way it works in the business world.  Even if you do great things, where she can weave in her standard awesome growth things she did for HP,  if you don't satisfy your management, you get fired.

    That's incredibly different from the  government, where incompetence seems to get you promoted, or at least protected, in the case of say...Hillary Clinton.

    Say that having experienced this, she would bring that worldview to a Fiorina Administration.  Unlike President Obama, if you fail to deliver services to Veterans, if 4 Americans, including an Ambassador, are murdered on your watch, if you're using the tax power of the United States to harass opposition in a Fiorina administration, you are going to be called to answer for that by President Fiorina and you are going to be fired, just like she was.

    Now, get me my bumper sticker before I switch to Rubio.

    Saturday, August 29, 2015

    Grover Norquist's Influence on Department of Education Spending

    Someone mentioned in a Fecesbook thread I was on that Grover Norquist once famously declared he'd like to cut the federal budget in half and cut it again, so that it could be strangled in a bathtub.

    This was said in relaton to a discussion about education, implying that conservatives want to cut education spending via this method, and somehow deny everyone in the country a chance at a K-12 education.

    In that context, there are many things wrong with equating anything Grover Norquist says to education spending, with just a couple of them being:

    1. He was talking Federal spending, not at the state and local level where the vast. vast. vast majority of spending on education occurs.
    2. The statement, as inviting as it may be as red meat to conservatives, just doesn't pass the historical reality test.

    Let's use just one, relevant to the discussion, test.  That will be federal outlays to the Department of Education.  Since that's the only Federal spending that Norquist could realistically hope to cut in the education realm, how have conservatives been doing on the quest to cut this spending by half, then by half again?

    I mean, to listen to liberals, we must be gutting the Department, since teacher pay is so low and student outcomes are so bad. That's the only explanation, isn't it? Dastardly Republicans, cutting education spending on the backs of teachers and well meaning administrators country wide?  That's got to be it, right????


    So, just for fun, the US Department of Education publishes every year a history of their budgets, conveniently (for me) in Excel and PDF format!

    In 1980 (this would have been Carter's last year), the DOE appropriated budget was $14.01B.  The next 8 budgets would have been that bastard Reagan, who we all knew hated poor people, was a dunce (and felt education was unnecessary) and gave all those Rich People tax cuts.  What did DOE's budget look like in say, 1989, Reagan's last budget year?

    It was $22.9B. What?  That's more than a 50% increase from when he entered office.  What happened, was Reagan possessed by some crazy Liberal demon?  What would Gorver Norquist say?  Was Reagan an apostate to Norquist for this increase?  I don't know, we can actually say that in 2 of Reagan's budget years the DOE budget decreased, but...there is an explanation for these.

    The 1982 budget saw a very tiny decrease, and that was at the height of the 1979-1982 recession.  1986 saw a slight reduction, and that was a result of the Gramm-Hollings-Rudman budget control act, which instituted mandatory cuts.  The bottom line is in 1989, federal spending at DOE had increased over 50% in Reagan's time.

    If you're a conservative who was this sell-out?

    What happened in Bush 1's term?

    By 1993, Bush 1 had increased DOE to $32.5B.  Holy shit, in just 4 years, Bush 1 had increased DOE's budget another 50%.  I guess viewed in this light, Reagan really was a budget cutter!

    Clinton, 94-01 budget years.  What happened?  In 1994, Clinton's first full budget year, and a year before the Gingrich congressional takeover, DOE spending decreased!  Yes, down to $27B.  An almost 20% reduction, under Clinton.  Amazingly, after that (and I think it's with the GOP Congress to help with this) during the next few years, DOE's budget grew, but at a much slower pace than the Reagan/Bush years  In 2000, if was $38.5B, which was only about a 20% growth rate in the next 6 years.  However, in his final budget, and with a chastened GOP, the 2001 budget was $42.1B, so Clinton increased it by only 30%.  So, compared to Reagan and Bush 1, Clinton was a draconian education cutter.

    Now, Bush 2.  What did the guy who came in as the Education President, who gave us "no Child Left behind" with Tedy Kennedy, do?

    Take a guess the increase just from Clinton's last budget of 2001 of $42.1B to 2002, Bush 2's first.

    Go ahead, guess, just guess.

    Ok, you ready for this, in ONE YEAR, DOE's spend went up to $56.2B.  Got that?  The horrible Repiglican, education-hating W, INCREASED DOE's budget by 34% IN ONE YEAR.

    He wasn't done yet.  By FY2008, his next to last year, it was up to $64.9B.  So, in W's tenure, we saw DOE's budget increase 54%.

    From here, it's a little complicated.

    Reality hit and with the 2009 recession, we got a Congressional appropriation for the DOE of just $40M, so a significant cut.  In fact, a cut down to the 2002 level.  However, the 2009 Recovery Act came to the rescue, and we saw an additional appropriation of $98.2B to the DOE.  Ok, so get that - in a recession year, Obama and the Dems in Congress allocated a total of $138B to DOE, a more than 100% increase from the year before, which represented an historic spend itself.

    Interestingly, in this time the states were actually reducing their education budgets, since in the recession they were forced to meet state constituional reaquirements for balanced budgets, and they couldn't deficit spend to keep their bloated education budgets aflot.

    But, at the federal level, it was an education spendfest.

    Where is Grover Norquist at this time?  The guy probably was contemplating suicide.

    Anyway, in 2010, we returned to just normal excess and the 2010 budget went to $63B, which was slightly less than the last real Bush budget in 2008.

    After 2010, though, we elected a Republican Congress, and you may recall the Tea Party was focused on fiscal concerns, and we had Harry Reid governing us by continuing resolution, so, now, we got some fiscal reality handed to DOE.  In nearly every year prior to this, the DOE had received from Congress an amount close to what the president had requested, but in 2011, Congress cut DOE significantly, from the 2010 level (Pelosi's last year as Speaker) to $44B.  That's an unheard of cut, and you can thank the GOP Congress for that, it's nearly 30%. And that level of cutting continued, through 2013, when DOE got just $40B.

    Grover Norquist would be proud.  He had gotten, finally, the first half of that strangling, at least at DOE.

    All good things, though, must end, and in 2014, the profligacy continued, as the appropriation went back to $55.3B.  And in 2015, our current budget year, the DOE is getting...$87.4B.  And guess what, even with a Reublican controlled Congress, that's more than Obama even asked for ($82.3B)!

    In the 2016 budget, Obama has "only" requested $73.8B, so, we'll see what the new GOP congress does with that.  If they give Obama every penny he wants, it will be about a 12% reduction.  I doubt it, though, with these clowns, I expect we'll see a $100B DOE budget for FY2016.

    So, in the 35 years of the department of education, it's budget has grown from $14B to $87.4B, a 625% growth.  To put it into perspective, that's double the inflation rate.

    So, are the Republicans gutting the DOE to cut the size of government?

    Demonstrably, with the exception of a couple of years during DEMOCRAT presidencies, they have been woefully, horribly, terribly unsuccesful at such a thing.

    It makes one think Grover Norquist's ability as a shaper of Repulican party politics is the thing of myth, and Liberal talking points, not of reality.

    Thursday, July 23, 2015

    "Managing" is not "Leading:" a small case study from everyday business

    Here's a little story that illustrates to me the difference between leading and managing.  I will say up front it is told from my perspective, so I may not have some of the information that was available to the decision maker in this, but I can say unequivically, that this leader did not seek out additional information I possessed, so that is a strike against him.

    The story...

    I lead an effort across our company to replace users' PCs.  We have about 6000 to be replaced over a 3-4 year period and the replaced machines are very old.  We struggle financially, so this was delayed and the machines have become quite aged.  But, everyone is in the same boat, and when we did get some money in 2015 to start large scale updates, we started from oldest to newest.  It's fair, and given the age, the old ones had to go first.

    We also have over 100 locations throughout the US, so those replacements are scattered, so that entire offices do not get replaced en masse.  Therefore, you could get a new PC and be working next to a guy with a 3 year old machine.  I am sure this is common across companies with 5000+ employees.

    In all companies, you have people with PC envy.  Ours is no different, and we have a particular pair of managers, who shall remain nameless, who at the very beginning of this effort made every effort to get included at the beginning, despite their machines being among the newest of the old.  Their machines were not slated for replacement until 2016 and to move them ahead of about 2500 people was patently unfair, not to mention pulling 2016 budget into 2015, a technical no-no, though something that would be no big deal for a couple of people. My manager and I resisted and these manager's VP even agreed and helped provide cover for us and this ceased after a while as they accepted their lot in life.

    Note that in this, never did these guys express much concern for their 20 or so direct reports, suffering along with similarly aged equipment.  No, it was always about them personally.  So, I won't say what I think of these two as leaders in this case.

    Fast forward now a few months.

    Our team has moved into a new organization, with a new VP and C level ourselves and lo and behold if these guys haven't found the correct pressure point. Within a week of this occurring, we're told to provide these 2 and 4 other managers new PCs.  When we resist, the rationale is that they're ahead of quota and this can be looked at as a reward and not special treatment of these people.

    Ok, whatever.  This is where my problem with my VP/C level begins.

    You were handed a leadership opportunity here, and you managed instead.

    You could have contacted the two people with the years (yes, years) of experience with this group and talked to us, gotten some deeper understanding and developed a course of action that would represent leading, instead of just managing to close a problem.

    We could have asked the questions, if the team is doing so well, why just reward the 6 managers in this team?  The other 24 people are in the same boat, and arguably, they have more to do with the results than these 6 managers.  Why is it fair for these people to walk in with brand new PCs and the others to be told they're continung to wait until 2016?  Perhaps you could have challenged these managers and proposed replacing the other 24 first, that it would be a great leadership example to say, "You did a great job, lool what we're doing with our IT partners, getting YOU the new hardware you deserve, and when you're done, then we managers will take our turn."

    You could have done that, or even lobbied for the entire group.

    Instead you bowed to the pressure provided and caved,  Instantly.

    Then justified it based on the reasoning they provided.

    In any organization, not just the military, leaders have to be responsive and accepting of forceful backup, willingly provided.  But first, they have to seek it and consider it.

    That was not done in this case, and I find it's really rarely done at all.

    It's sad.

    This was a lost opportunity at leadership, and albeit a relatively small one, but, it speaks volumes to me.

    Tuesday, June 23, 2015

    Pope Francis Deserves a Revisit

    I'm not Catholic, and I have been a little harsh with Pope Francis and his latest encyclical.

    I think unfairly.

    Spend a little time at the Ace of Spades HQ group blog, and you'll discover all kinds of right of center thought, I highly recommend the site to be on your list of go-to places for your libertarian/conservative thought leadership.

    Today, I was reading Sean Bannion's open post on the Pope's Encyclical and it is well worth the read.  My eyes have been opened.   Kathryn Lopez over at NR has been a big Francis fan, and I understand what he's trying to do (I think) is draw many more into the Catholic Church's fold.  But, like Bannion, I would prefer the Pope have stayed away from this one.  Anyone who has read my Facebook rants on this or even here knows I am of the mind that regardless of the causes of climate change, the proscriptions being suggested will result in the continued impoverishment of billions who need electricity and clean water and safe eating supplies more than we need to prevent a few inches in sea level rise or a couple degress F temperature rise...even if we could stop those things from happening.

    Which we can't.

    So, I find it dangerous that a Pope who is making the cause of The Poor the center of his Papacy would take or endorse a position that will have the net impact of damning so many of them to continued poverty.

    Anyway, Bannion points out there is really much more in this encyclical that the Left would never get behind (well, like everything else in it).  If you're looking for a great place to start on this, with lots of links and reasoned thought, this article is a great one.

    On those lines, while you should check some of the links in the post, 11 Things You Probably Won't Hear About Pope Francis' Encyclical should be among them.  After you read them, you'll understand why the left's own media won't report them, instead focusing on the Pope's newfound status as a climate expert.  These alone may inspire you to give some thought to readng the entire thing (or seeking some trusted experts to interpret it for you), and help you explain to your friends why Caitlyn Jenner is so....icky (and wrong), but you can still ask me why I am not terribly bothered by what Jenner is up to, even though I accept it as an affront to God, and really more about what it says about Bruce Jenner.

    But, I digress.

    Wednesday, June 17, 2015

    Global Warming and the Military - Just Say No

    It was suggested in a post on The Stupid Shall Be Punished​ group that former RADML Titley was an honorable scientific mind who buys into the AGW story and we should bow to his will.  Since I had no knowledge of the admiral, I found this TedTalk he gave while still in uniform (he's now a Professor in the Met department at Penn State - more thoughts on that later)

    The tease on this Ted Talk was that he had been a AGW skeptic and had some massive epiphany and this was going to explain it.  So, since I am a skeptic, and I tend to give great deference to submariner's opinions, I decided to give the Admiral 22 minutes of my time and see what compelling evidence led him to convert.

    I must admit, I was underwhelmed.

    Titley goes through a litany of items that he claims don't explain the warming of the 20th Century.  He notes that we took on particulate emissions as part of the revision of the clean air act, and jokingly explains that an unintended consequence of this is that it actually contributes to global warming.  If he intends it to be ironic that this great accomplishment leads to more global warming AND it was unintended, in a speech where he's trying to convice you the science is immutable, he doesn't seem to be bothered by it.

    He even has the chutzpah to suggest that the models are part of what convinced him to change his stripes.  At the same time he admits ocean acidification is not really significant, he is touting the unproven, and unlikely party line that all the heat has gone into the oceans.  Huh?  If there's one thing the Global Warmists should stop doing, it is making predictions. These are not helping their case.

    Anyway, I don't find his reasoning that interesting, ground breaking, or compelling.  Like many in the Warmist camp, he exaggerates things and relies on the extreme case scenarios when discussing possible outcomes (things like a 21st Century prediction of a 6 foot rise in Global Sea Levels).  I'd refer him back to the models, that don't seem too great now after a 20 year pause.

    I also find his allegiance to Penn State an issue.  This is the group of scientists implicated in the ClimateGate emails as willing to fudge data and smear their opponents.  I am sure that were it me, and I wanted to be seen as a purely objective scientist on this issue, I might stay away from PSU.  I don't begrudge the guy his job there, but, I wonder how much a former skeptic, looking at retirement from the Navy after 32 years, and seeking to join academia, would be willing to reconsider his beliefs if he felt they might affect future employment opportunities.

    On this point, let's be clear.  Spending on Climate Change by the Warmists dwarfs that done by skeptics.  The biggest spender on AGW research is not Exxon/Mobil/Shell/BP/Etc.but the US Government.  The AGW crowd is involved in an industry that must have these research dollars to survive.  Like Claude Raines in Casablanca, they are happy to blow with the wind, and the prevailing wind is with the Warmists right now.

    Finally, let me address a couple of areas that concern me about the Navy in the last 25 years.  Back in 1992, the Navy decided to conduct a witch hunt in the turbulence of the Tailhook scandal.  Navy leadership has since then determined that being the most PC of the services was an effective means of securing and currying favor with Congress and Democratic administrations.  I can't say that, looking at the prevailing winds in 1991/1992 that this wouldn't have been a prudent, post-Cold War move for a service about to lose its primary reason for existence, the Soviet Navy.

    So, the Navy decided it would push hard on integrating women into the service.  This came at the expense of much of the male-centered culture that so dominated the service.  After 25 years of continual sexual assualt/harassment training and pushes to get more female sailors, I think it's largely a success in its broad goals - addressing manning issues and responding to the pressures brought by lawmakers on the Hill and 2 liberal democratic administrations.  That has come at a cost.  I'd just like people to acknowledge that the Navy really hasn't embraced this out of some actual desire to forge societal change, but really out of political self-presevation motives.

    The other area that not just the Navy, but all the services have decided to bow to political whim is the Global Climate Change cause.  If any Navy leader can look me  in the eye and say with all seriousness that Global Warming is the greatest challenge facing mankind, I would have to laugh at them (inwardly, if they outrank me).  I think this one is an even more cynical self-preservation tactic. I think it's particularly cynical for the Navy.

    Let's face it, what could be better for the Navy than 6 more feet of water on the planet and more choke-points and oceans to protect.  Hell, we may get our 600 ship Navy this way.  We'll need more submarines to prowl the Arctic and track the Russians operating there, as well as conduct GW research missions.  We'll need more ships and aircraft to patrol the world's new chokepoints, and we'll (ostensibly) need to retoool our bases that Titley reminds us will (I guess?) be submerged in more water.

    Of course, when the models that have failed today don't track on 2030 either, we'll need to re-evaluate this whole climate change thing, but, having gotten out front in 2015, the services, especially the Navy, will be well on the way to nirvana.

    Sunday, February 22, 2015

    Easy Household Repairs

    If you're struggling with a repair for an appliance in your home, there's a great company I have used, Repair Clinic, who mainly provides parts for these jobs, but also shows you how to do the work.

    The main thing that seems to break in our house are washing machines, and this is an incredibly simple device, so there is NO reason you should pay someone to come into your home and repair a washing machine.

    Between Repair Clinic's troubleshooting guides, videos, pictures, and YouTube, you should be able to repair pretty much any household appliance.  I mention this now, because our washing machine stopped moving from one part of the cycle to the next, and the obvious first conclusion is that the timer is bad.  That would be wrong.

    Had I not had two things:
    1. The wherewithal to use their troubleshooting guide and 
    2. A multimeter (get one - you can find them at Wal-mart, Lowes, Ace, etc, for less than $40)
    I would have spent a ton more money on this than I needed to.

    Anyway, to make a long story short, it was the door switch, which was #1 on the list of things to check and about $100 less than a new timer. 

    Tuesday, February 17, 2015

    ISIS and Marie Harf

    from Facebook:

    These guys don't kill because they need good jobs, only Liberals could convince themselves of that.

    As Mark Steyn puts it: "Like thousands of other Islamic State volunteers from the western world, like the Copenhagen killer (a graduate of a fast-track high school) and the Ottawa killer (the son of a super-senior Canadian bureaucrat), these guys had all the "job opportunities" they could dream of in the most advanced economies on earth - and they gave it all up to go head-chopping. Because they found jihad - whoops, sorry, "religion" - more appealing than being the sort of fey western metrosexual eunuch who hung around Marie Harf in college."

    via IFTTT

    Sunday, January 18, 2015

    Stopping Obama's Illegality on Immigration

    The House sent to the Senate a bill funding DHS, except for the parts that fund Obama's amnesty plan for 5-11 million illegals.

    Mitch McConnell does not believe the bill can be sent to the president's desk due to inability to get cloture on a Dem filibuster.  Even if he were to invoke some senate reconciliation rules or get past this, it will be vetoed by Obama.

    Most think at this point, the GOP caves, funds Obamamnesty because they must fund DHS.  They fear Obama will paint them as opposing funding for antiterrorism measures at a time when attacks like Charlie Hebdo are fresh in people's minds.

    We didn't elect a GOP Congress for this.

    When Obama invariably says he can't sign a bill that doesn't fund DHS "fully," he's counting on the stupidity of the American people to understand he's talking about funding the unconstitutional parts.  

    So, the GOP needs to send the hill up there, with the same amount of funding, just reallocate it so that the money that would have funded amnesty goes instead to more critical anti-terror measures.  Then they can say that DHS is "fully-funded" we've just reallocated the unconstitutional parts to more critical, legal priorities.

    But that's just me.

    Sunday, November 9, 2014

    14 Facts, Part 3: The Stock Market Run-Up Myth

    In the "14 Facts" series today, I'll take on another.

    4. The stock market continues to set new records since President Obama has been in office.

    This is indeed true, and it's a good thing for investors that stocks are performing well.  As an investor myself, there is actually an historical trend of the stock market performing pretty well during Dem administrations. If there was one single thing I agree that Dems should have done during this cycle that they didn't do, it's trumpet the stock market.

    Why didn't they? 

    Well, when a large part of your commercial appeal is income inequality and class envy, do you really want to run on the fact that you are the party bought and paid for by Wall Street and investment bankers?

    But, the stock market does not exist in a vacuum, and the president's policies are not the only thing that impacts it.  Since the crash, the Fed has pursued an easy money policy that has investors (a lot of them institutional) looking for places to spend that easy money, and in an era where corporations are not spending capital dollars, that money is finding it's way into stocks.

    So, yes, the stock market has done very well, but, to say it's all due to Obama and his policies ignores the more important impact from the Fed.  

    Time Magazine, no right wing mouthpiece, explains the Fed's role in this very recent article, and cautions that sell-offs have occurred the last 2 times the Fed has eased off on the accelerator.  so, maybe it's time to sell? 


    Saturday, November 8, 2014

    14 Facts, Part 2

    Part 2 of the 14 "Facts" will actually cover several of the points.

    Point 2 is: "We are currently enjoying the longest period of private sector job creation in American history."

    You only have to follow the link to the Washington Post article to see that this is technically true, but as I pointed out in Part 1, job creation during the Obama recovery has been woeful compared to Reagan, and, as the post notes, compared to Bill Clinton as well:

    "The average number of jobs created in this period is significantly lower than in either the Clinton or Reagan period, as shown in this Tableau interactive chart created by Wall Street Journal reporter Matt Stiles. As he noted, the average monthly gain during this period is in the bottom half of the 17 jobs recoveries lasting 12 months or more in the past 75 years..."

    Furthermore, as the Post points out, except for a single month, Bill Clinton had 84 months of private sector job growth and Reagan  71.  Add to that the much higher numbers of jobs for each, and you can now see why Americans are not idiots for knowing that this recovery is subpar.

    Point 3 is: "Unemployment has dropped from 10.1% in October of 2009 to 5.9% and projected to reach 5.4% by summer of 2015."

    This was discussed in my Part 1 article.  The rate drop is largely due to drops in the labor participation rate.  It's good that it has dropped, but as noted by me in Part 1, and WaPo fact checkers in Part 2, the actual job creation has been anemic under Obama.

    14 Facts About The Obama Presidency - Debunked - PART 1

    I saw this posted to my Facebook timeline, and decided that it needed to be debunked. This is part 1 of a 14 part series on it.

    But, I want to thank the Left for finally acknowledging that Reagan's economic record is the benchmark against which all others should be judged.  After arguing with them for 30 years about it, it's nice to see them coming aboard.

    On to the analysis:

    "1. We've now had 63 straight months of economic expansion."

    This would cover the period June 2009 - September 2014, when this article was written, and is in fact, wrong.  Contraction and Growth in the economy is measured by GDP, which is reported quarterly.  In the 63 months preceding September 2014, Q2 of 2010 and Q12014 both experienced negative growth.  Thus, by a technical definition of expansion/contraction, the statement is false.  Perhaps the author is conflating economic expansion to a not being in a recession.  Economists consider a recession to be when there are at least 2 consecutive quarters of negative growth, and that, indeed, has not happened since this recovery began.  However, the statement does not say we've had a 63 month recovery, which would be true.  It says, instead, we've had 63 months of economic expansion, which is a falsehood. Later in the article, Hartung uses another measure to claim the 63 month expansion, but, it's really not the classical definition, and represents cherry picking.

    "That’s right, for 63 consecutive months the US economy has gotten progressively better. That includes 54 consecutive months of private sector job growth. Forbes magazine, no fan of President Obama, crunched the numbers and demonstrated how the economic recovery under President Obama has been better in just about every measurable way than the recovery under President Reagan."

    The author is not a Forbes writer.  It is penned by Adam Hartung, a Forbes online contributor.  Forbes caveats: "Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own."  Thus, Forbes magazine does not give Mr. Hartung's analysis their imprimatur, therefore, it is also false to claim that Forbes magazine says this.  Adam Hartung, a Forbes Contributor, is making this case, not Forbes.  It's kind of like saying if I get my letter to the editor published in the Greensboro News & Record, it reflects their views, or, because my Dad worked there for 30 years, anythign I say reflects the editorial view of the paper.  That would be lying.  No different than this group passing this off as Forbes' work.

    But, even though I have demonstrated that the statement in the posting is false, let's still give the analysis a look and see what it says.

    The headline is "Obama Outperforms Reagan On Jobs, Growth And Investing" but the article really focuses on jobs.  I am going to stipulate that taken from the incredible shellacking the stock market took in the wake of the financial crisis, DJIA/S&P500 growth has been extremely good in this recovery, as it also was in the Reagan recovery.  I'll concede the point that stocks performed very well in both, and that $1 invested at the beginning of this recovery has returned a (slightly) better return than $1 at the beginning of the Reagan recovery.

    But, not everyone is an investor, and while I appreciate Hartung's argument for privatizing social security, the reason the Dems just got killed is the jobs situation, and here, his analysis is off base.

    Let's look at it.

    On the surface, we have a similar, and typical unemployment curve in both cases, and, indeed, measured solely by the unemployment rate, which is that top line number we all see, the Obama graph looks pretty good, even outpacing Reagan's recovery.

    But that's not the entire story.  And Hartung knows this. Unfortunately, his explanation lays the entire decrease in labor force participation at the hands of demographics.  However, many economists peg that number as explaining about 25% of it.  The rest is due to people in school, people on disability (in fact, today there are a record number of Americans receiving Social Security disability benefits), and people who have simply dropped out of the workforce.

    This article is a detailed discussion on the factors driving decreases in labor participation and is worth a read.

    The point here is that there really is no doubt that a focus on the larger labor participation decline may actually help explain why, despite these good top line numbers, people don't feel good about this recovery, and it may explain why they voted as they did Tuesday last.  While the numbers look good, a deeper analysis reveals flaws with them, and people actually feel that.

    Let's look at jobs from another angle, because Hartung is all aflutter over the awesome 200k/month increases averaged during the Obama recovery.  Some number of new jobs are required just to keep the unemployment rate steady  due to population growth and new people entering the workforce.

    These numbers vary widely based on the actual population and economic conditions, but somewhere between 100k-180k/month.

    I will make two points from here:

    1. There are about 7M more people working today than June 2009, the last month of the recession.  That's an average, per month increase of 110k.  
    2. During the Reagan Recovery (Nov 1982 - Jan 1989), the economy added 15M jobs, for an average of 214k/month.  Keep in mind the workforce population was about 50M (about 20% less people) than today.  

    Obama has quite a bit of work to do in the next 2 years to approach this job creating record.

    Wednesday, July 2, 2014

    Get Your Birth Control Here

    The Progressives want to argue that the Hobby Lobby case is somehow about "access" to birth control.

    As most reasonable observers have pointed out, this case was about abortion, not birth control.  The Hobby Lobby owners are not Catholic, and have no religious objections to birth control.  They object to abortion, and in the requirements as drafted by HHS (not Congress, mind you), were four "birth control" methods which are either abortion inducing (such as Plan B) or that prevented implantation of a fertilized egg.  16 other methods of birth control would remain in the HL provided insurance plan.  

    So, there is absolutely NO attempt to deny women access to birth control by HL, nor the SCOTUS in their decision.  That is an outright lie promulgated by the Left.

    Plus, I don't know if you spend any time at the pharmacy in your local Walgreens, but right there is usually, sold over the counter, Plan B and others of these methods.  To act as though the SCOTUS, HL, or any other of the conservative patriarchy is using this decision to deny easy access in a broader sense to even these methods of birth control is fatuous and another lie.

    These are easily available.  

    But I'll go so far as to say, even if HL's owners were devout Catholics and wanted to keep all methods of birth control out of their plan, they'd still have a winning case under RFRA. The hysterical Left would be out of control, but you'd still have the same answers as above - no one being denied their access to any of these means of preventing/ending pregnancy.

    UPDATE: SCOTUS included this in their decision:;_ylt=A0LEV0_Jw7JTfGsAwEJXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTB0aTRxYjk3BHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2JmMQR2dGlkA1ZJUDQ2NF8x

    Why, because you can still buy the stuff, and you always will be able to.

    So, what's the final argument that has any merit whatsoever come to?

    Who pays for it.  And that's what is even more subversive about Obamacare and the government takeover of the medical system.  As Justice Alito pointed out the conservatives want your employer and our government OUT of your vagina.  We want your decisions about birth control to be between you and your doctor, and we'd love it if you paid for it yourself.

    What does the Progressive want?  They want to tell you every little thing you can do to and with your body, down to what BCP you use.

    Quite honestly, Progressives will not be satisfied until every woman in America is using the birth control method they prescribe and has had at least one abortion.

    Maybe you like that world.  If so, you're one of them.  


    Monday, June 30, 2014

    Hobby Lobby Wins. Is it pyrrhic?

    The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby today in their case against the government to protect the owner's relgious freedom.  I am saddened that the ruling was won on a 5-4 count.  I find it amazing none of the 4 liberal judges could see their way to protect religious freedom and the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.  A law passed with vast bipartisan majorities in both Houses of Congress and signed into law by the notorious #warrioronwomyn, Bill Clinton. Apparently, the liberal judges feel it's more important to play politics with religion than it is to protect it.

    So, Democrats will try to make hay of this decision by claiming it's furthering a Republican #waronwomyn by denying the women who work for Hobby Lobby contraception, and they'll go on to claim that this decision denies all women the right to birth control, BECAUSE WE ALL KNOW THE GOP IS AGAINST BIRTH CONTROL AND JUST WANTS WOMEN TO HAVE BABIES AND STAY HOME AND COOK FOR THE PATRIARCHS.

    You do know that, right?

    What, you say, the decision doesn't actually do that?  That doesn't matter to the Liberals.  They were unable to read the Arizona RFRA changes that did nothing to promote discrimination against gays, and lied about that law until Jan Brewer vetoed it, and they won't speak the truth of this decision, either.  I can't blame them, because if people knew the truth, they'd really wonder why we were here in the first place.

    The truth is this law permits Hobby Lobby to not include 4 abortifacients in their health plan, while still providing a benefit for birth control methods more commonly (much more commonly) used by women.  It is the abortifacients that the religious nuts at Hobby Lobby object to, and that's all.

    But, as Mark Steyn points out today, the Left really pushes these things (like the Arizona law) because they are opposed to religious liberty.  Steyn correctly describes the administration's (and most Liberal's) view on this:

    "In Obama's view, "religion" is fine for a once-a-week hymn-sing with a couple of scripture readings but it cannot inform your life. Leave it in the umbrella stand by the front door as you head off to work on Monday morning. There is literally no point to "religion" under this shrunken definition, as the Europeans have begun to figure out. Eventually, even that Sunday-morning private members' club gets opened up to the Bureau of Compliance. Breaking news from our friends across the pond:
    Denmark Forces Churches To Conduct Gay Marriages
    It would be interesting to read the headline "Denmark Forces Mosques To Conduct Gay Marriages", but that's probably what it's going to take to bring a halt to the shriveling space for religion in the public sphere."

    Monday, June 23, 2014

    IRS Hearings Today: Their Email Sucks

    The IRS Comissioner, John Koskinen is up on the Hill tonight, testifying as to why they lost some thousands of Lois Lerner's emails.

    Tonight I have learned that the government has some pretty screwed up information retention requirements, and that the IRS in general is about where the rest of America is in IT maturity.  Democrats want to make it clear that the IRS's email problems are not anything a few hundred million bucks couldn't fix.

    I can empathize with the IRS's data retention problems.  They have massive volumes of email and like most businesses and organizations they have to manage that volume.  Server capacity and storage capacity is always a limited resource, so, they force their end users to save email locally (on their hard drives), which, apparently, in Lois Lerner's case, is what she did.

    This, of course, coupled with users who do not back up their hard drives regularly, leads to crashes and loss of data.  That's what conviently happened to Lois Lerner.  Of course, the IRS is attempting to find all her emails by going through the email of those she may have sent them to, or been included on, and, with luck, they'll find most of them.

    I have some questions:
    1. Did Lois Lerner routinely back up her hard drive, which would have included the impacted emails?
    2. What was IRS policy regarding the back-up of hard drives at the IRS?
    3. If Lois Lerner's hard drive was backed up, what has become of that back-up, and why hasn't it been restored? What are the retention requirements for these back-ups? Are back up tapes re-used (as is common), or are they archived?
    4. What exact efforts were made to retrieve the data off Ms. Lerner's hard drive, including forensic activity after it was not restored using traditional means?
    While Dems mostly preened (although some pointed out the IRS largely followed their rules here), there were some other good points brought up:

    1. Why did Mr. Koskinen not inform Congress immediately when emails under subpoena were learned to be lost?
    2. Who informed Mr. Koskinen that the hard drive was dead and the emails lost? How was this communicated? It is completely unbelievable to me, and obviously to Republican members of the panel, that he could possibly not know the answer to this question.  He seems to have lost his memory on this and on the next question:
    3. When did you learn the emails were lost? He claims it was "April"

    It's not unreasonable to believe that Lois Lerner's hard drive failed and that it took email with it.  It's convenient timing, but it happens.  The response to it is a typical IT response and a typical user wanting all their crap back from a drive they know they shouldn't have been relying on.  I really see no fault there on the IRS's part,  except this is a particular agency we'd expect to be a little more careful in their data management.