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    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: http://news.yahoo.com/justices-act-other-health-law-mandate-cases-133633160--politics.html;_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.  

    Enjoy!


    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.  

    Saturday, June 21, 2014

    Al Gore - Dumber than Facebook Posters (you know who you are)

    I admit, many years ago, I was enamored of Al Gore.  He seemed cool yet nerdy, and scientifically literate, and as a young, nascent engineer, it was refreshing to have a Senator of national prominence who could speak the language of science.

    (He was also married to the music hating Tipper, and was pro-life, but that was before he had to appeal to national Democrats).

    But, that was before I attempted to read Gore's "Earth in the Balance."

    My first impression of Gore's pseudo-scientific tome was that it was unfootnoted, and my second impression was that it was unreadable drivel, filled with nonsensical science and conclusions.

    It didn't help that Al rode a submarine to the Arctic with B-1 Bob Dornan and one of my best froends at the time, and the report was "Gore is the stupidest man alive, and B1 Bob was on him relentlessly."

    Anyway, Al's out doing his usual schtick, blaming everything, including the Syrian civil war, on global warming.  

    I kid you not:   See: http://nation.foxnews.com/2014/06/19/gore-blames-syria-civil-war-global-warming

    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

    The Goreacle, Full of Contradictions

    In Al Gore's essay in Rolling Stone (no link, you can work for it), he says:

    "Enough raw energy reaches the Earth from the sun in one hour to equal all of the energy used by the entire world in a full year."

    Yet, this big, glowing energy ball has less impact on the climate than Mann's carbon burning.

    Right.

    But wait, there's more. Touting the awesomeness of solar power and how the costs have come down:

    "Germany, Europe's industrial powerhouse, where renewable subsidies have been especially high, now generates 37 percent of its daily electricity from wind and solar."

    So, he admits that solar is only competitive where subsidies are "especially high" as some sort of victory for solar?

    Remarking on the closing of coal plants, he understates:

    "To be sure, some of these closings have been due to the substitution of gas for coal."

    Sure, Al, that would be most, or nearly all.  That, and the prohibitive cost to run coal plants due to government meddling.

    These are just in the first few paragraphs of an essay as tedious to read as "Earth in the Balance."  Irony of ironies is Rolling Stone dared to link to an article about the "10 Dumbest Things Said Abiut Climate Change" in the midst of this stupidity and obfuscation.

    It would be awesome if solar, wind, and nuclear (all carbon free energy sources) could safely replace fossil fuels in the electric grid.  Maybe they can,  I'd just like to see the government stop subsidizing the first two and lessen the restrictions on the latter (and more promising).

    Meanwhile, it'd be great if Al Gore would just exit the stage.  

    Please.

    Friday, June 13, 2014

    The Obama Crack-Up

    Is the Obama administration less competent than even Jimmy Carter's?  

    At least Carter negotiated the Camp David peace accord, which brought a semi-lasting peace to the Middle East, while the primary foreign policy accomplishment of the Obama admin would seem to be plunging areas of the world formerly secure into bloody civil wars (Ukraine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Australia). 

    I guess we can always hope that Obama will see a crazed rabbit on the golf course.

    Monday, February 17, 2014

    Coldest January Ever? Not in California...

    So where does Obama go to push his bogus "climate change" agenda?

    Certainly not to any of the states east of the Mississippi who are suffering through some of the coldest January's in the last 120 years (http://sunshinehours.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/noaa-usa-january-67-januarys-were-warmer/).   

    That wouldn't serve the purpose of "climate change."

    Instead, he scurries off to California to decry the cyclical drought (see http://sunshinehours.wordpress.com/2014/01/19/drought-in-california-cool-pdo-and-warm-amo/) as caused by climate change (that means you and your dastardly SUV).  This despite the fact that California's water problems are also brought on by land use policies and water use policies designed to protect a tiny fish, the Delta Smelt, see http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/61219.  Obama himself vetoed legislation that could have spared California's Central Valley this problem.

    Nothing like using climate change as a bogeyman for problems liberals created.

    When these people tell you they are just trying to save the planet, tell them to stop.

    Climate Change Fascism Redux. Or how i learned Bill Nye is a fake scientist.

    I am so sick of the "climate change" religionists.  Their latest tactic is rolling out the decaying carcass of Bill Nye (the "Science Guy"), as though having a cartoonish buffoon who's legacy is explaining science to toddlers, is going to win the day for them.

    See Nye taken down on the links here.

    I have posted all over this blog, and there are links galore to articles debunking both the correlations and the strength of the correlations between man and "climate change."

    A lot bothers me about those who hold this religious (and I mean that in the most derogatory sense possible) view that Man is responsible for all climate activity on this planet, but, in no particular order here are some:

    1. Their claim that the science is "settled."  That, my friends, depends on what you mean by the "science."  If you mean is CO2 increasing, and is Man a contributor to that, then yes, that is settled.  If you mean, is CO2 a greenhouse gas, then, yes, the science is settled.  But, that's science on the order of "water is chemically H2O" level stuff.  This argument from the CC Religionists attempts to paint you as a bumpkin who believes the Earth is 5000 years old and Man roamed it with the dinosaurs.  In other words, they want you to think you're stupid, (and they're smart and enlightened).  

    For most CC'ers, their knowledge of the "science" ends here.  That's because that's all they hear from AlGore or MSNBC or the MSM, and it's about all they can comprehend.  They don't understand that the Church of Climate Change typically ignores important things that also impact the science, like other greenhouse gases (um, water vapor, for example), natural events (volcanic eruptions, for example), natural climate variability, or that big ball of heat in the sky we call the Sun.

    They don't understand (or willingly ignore) that the Church of Climate Change is built on models developed by "scientists" who often have a vested financial interest in the Church's future.

    2. The "consensus" of scientists means you "deniers" need to shut up.  Judith Curry, Richard Lindzen, Joe Bastardi and the thousands of others who don't ascribe to the man-caused fear mongering theories of the religionists don't count, as they're not in the consensus.  Well, the consensus is not as great as they want you to believe, and I would encourage you to root around the Internet, and you find a lot of people who find the science problematic, and not so settled at all.  If you have an engineering, science, or math background, some of the crap the religionists are passing off as science should seriously concern you.

    3.  Even if you cite experts in the field who produce research that contradicts the party line, and even if it's peer reviewed and well documented and truthful, well, they'll attempt to smear it was "funded by big oil."  This is where Bill Nye devolved to on MTP today.  

    4. Extreme weather events are caused by "climate change" and are proof of "climate change."  This is the absolute most maddening claim.  No responsible climate scientist, and not even the most rabid in the "consensus" category will even touch an attempt to tie a specific weather event to "climate change."  The fact is these links can not be proven, not least of all because there is no link.  All you'll really get from them is that extreme weather is a possible result of climate change.  

    This is clearly an attempt to influence public opinion,  but when everything is caused by climate change, nothing is.  The new religion's name, "climate change," is even used to be as expansive as possible.  Is there someone alive who thinks the climate hasn't always changed?  The Earth has survived through numerous periods of warming and cooling.  The climate has ALWAYS changed.  This is the very nature of things.  Don't fall for this tactic.  This is entirely meant to distract from the incontrovertible fact that global temperatures have remained the same/fallen slightly since 1998, and their models can not explain "The Pause."  This occurring despite global CO2 emissions continuing to increase.  

    Us skeptics say this is because something else is going in here.  These people built their careers (I don't blame anyone for wanting a steady job, but in academia, it's important to be right) on this religion.  Their models were designed to make the most of Man's activities.  Why? Because if you can't say the sky is falling, why should any policy maker fork over the nation's treasury to you to study it more?

    That's one group of the believers.  Those are the cash hounds, who need this charade to continue to keep the money flowing.  The harder group are those who know this is a charade, but see it as an opportunity to bring down Western Civilization,  something they've been trying to do for generations.  These were the communist fellow-travelers and the same people who 40 years ago were whining about a new ice and the population explosion.  

    Regardless of the cause of the man-caused catastrophe, their proscriptions are all the same - it's the West's fault, stop development, and you people in the 3rd world who'd like to be rich - get back to your caves.

    Opposing these people is both a Pro-Science and Moral obligation for me.  That's why I am so passionate about it and find this group to be so dangerous to not just what the West has accomplished but to mankind and what our friends in Brazil and India, and other developing nations may accomplish.  

    Plug-in Hybrids Are Not Rotten

    If you drive around Atlanta, you see a lot of Nissan Leafs (Leaves?) around this place.

    The Leaf is really the first truly usable purely electric car.  Unlike the Chevy Volt, which uses a gas engine as a range extended to keep its electric powertrain running, and the Toyota Prius, which uses the battery really to take over tasks from the gas engine and extend range (i.e. mileage), the Leaf relies solely on it batteries for locomotion.

    Unlike the Volt, it has roughly an 80 mile range before requiring a recharge (the Volt is good for 37).

    They're kind of 2 sides of the same coin.  The Volt can be taken on a trip of some length, because it's gas engine will power an electric motor to continue to run the car.  You get about 400 miles before it's time to refill.  GM says this makes it the equivalent of a 37MPG car in this type of driving.

    I will point out that nearly all turbo diesels sold by VW and Audi beat this easily, pushing 45-50MPG in highway driving.  So, if you're interested in highway efficiency, with the Prius hybrid (which pushes 50MPG) or a TDI is a more efficient choice.

    If all you're doing is local driving, and you can suffer the 4-8 hour recharges required on these things using normal household current, then most people estimate you're looking at about $2 worth of electricity to restore to full charge.  Until gas/diesel is back at $2/gallon prices, that makes the plug-ins more efficient, but, you need to understand the other trade-offs with these, which include the dwell time while they charge, the loss of efficiency in the summer months, and the ultimate super charge when you replace your batteries at $8000 after 6-8 years.

    Top that off with the still real risk from fire with Lithium Ion batteries (google Chevy Volt fires and check out the 787 Dreamliner's problems with this same technology), and I still think people are buying these for vanity reasons, and not because they're either better cars, or even more fuel efficient over the long haul.

    As for me, I did choose a TDI, and I got a car I know will give me 38-50 MPG consistently, and will not require an engine replacement at the 100-150k mile mark.

    Tuesday, December 31, 2013

    Talking Points are not bad, I conclude.

    Because I have taken a take-no-prisoners approach to political debate on Facebook, it has been suggested that all I post is right-wing talking points, and, as such, these are not worthy of debate.

    Which brings me to this question.
    What's wrong with talking points?

    I mean, politicos like them so much there is a left wing website named after them (the liberal Talking Points Memo, or tpm.com).

    They are so useful that when Susan Rice was going around lying about Benghazi, she proudly declared that her talking points had been prepared by the State Department, and she really didn't know anything about them (note to future Dem voters, this is why Susan got this task, because Hillary wouldn't be able to claim the same thing).

    We all know they clutter vthe fax machines of liberals and conservatives alike.

    Heck, I'll admit it, I get about 10 email "newsletters" from various conservative organizations and writers, and more than a handful from military-friendly organizations, plus, I check Drudge multiple times a day for news.  It's basically his "talking points."

    So, what's wrong with talking points?  They're basically the PowerPoint view of the world, and all those newsletters I get include links to much more background information about the subject than you are getting in your standard, MSM-fed 90 second news report.

    So, I say talking points! Bring them on!

    Besides, if all I am is a TP spewer, wouldn't debating such an ill-prepared and stupid man be easy? 

    Because I knew you'd ask, here are some good places for your daily talking points:

    - Jim Gerety's daily newsletter from National Review Online - always topical, always funny, always filled with links to fun stuff.
    - Jonah Goldberg's weekly G-File.  Ok, it's not daily, but it is always funny. And in a world of humorless lefties who can't laughter at themselves (and think I'm always serious, too), it's a necessity.
    - Defense News' Early Bird - a necessity for those who work in, or care about, national defense.  Military Times does one, too (may be same content).
    - The Daily Caller has a daily blast which is sometimes useful, and also pithy.  

    I also get some private mailings (these are defense related) that are very specific, but if you're on the right, you might sign up for Erik Erickson's daily RedState briefing.  I find I disagree with the Tea party faction on tactics, but we're together in philosophy, so, good to know what your brethren are thinking.

    From the MSM, there's nothing I want to know, although I get a NYTimes daily email.  It's boring, though, as it's not all politics.

    Oh, and I have google alerts for things work related. That's something you should consider.

    Ok.  The end.

    Climate Change Fascists!!

    I am so sick of the "climate change" religionists.  Their latest tactic is rolling out the decaying carcass of Bill Nye (the "Science Guy"), as though having a cartoonish buffoon who's legacy is explaining science to toddlers, is going to win the day for them.

    He's soundly mocked. See links, here: http://www.climatedepot.com/2014/02/16/nye-goofs-holds-up-pic-of-arctic-while-talking-about-antarctic-watch-bill-nye-debate-gop-rep-marsha-blackburn-nye-hold-up-pic-of-arctic-and-then-asks-if-antarctic-has-less-ice-climate-depot-answ/

    I have posted all over this blog, and there are links galore to articles debunking both the correlations and the strength of the correlations between man and "climate change."

    A lot bothers me about those who hold this religious (and I mean that in the most derogatory sense possible) view that Man is responsible for all climate activity on this planet, but, in no particular order here are some:

    1. Their claim that the science is "settled."  That, my friends, depends on what you mean by the "science."  If you mean is CO2 increasing, and is Man a contributor to that, then yes, that is settled.  If you mean, is CO2 a greenhouse gas, then, yes, the science is settled.  But, that's science on the order of "water is chemically H2O" level stuff.  This argument from the CC Religionists attempts to paint you as a bumpkin who believes the Earth is 5000 years old and Man roamed it with the dinosaurs.  In other words, they want you to think you're stupid, (and they're smart and enlightened).  

    For most CC'ers, their knowledge of the "science" ends here.  That's because that's all they hear from AlGore or MSNBC or the MSM, and it's about all they can comprehend.  They don't understand that the Church of Climate Change typically ignores important things that also impact the science, like other greenhouse gases (um, water vapor, for example), natural events (volcanic eruptions, for example), natural climate variability, or that big ball of heat in the sky we call the Sun.

    They don't understand (or willingly ignore) that the Church of Climate Change is built on models developed by "scientists" who often have a vested financial interest in the Church's future.

    2. The "consensus" of scientists means you "deniers" need to shut up.  Judith Curry, Richard Lindzen, Joe Bastardi and the thousands of others who don't ascribe to the man-caused fear mongering theories of the religionists don't count, as they're not in the consensus.  Well, the consensus is not as great as they want you to believe, and I would encourage you to root around the Internet, and you find a lot of people who find the science problematic, and not so settled at all.  If you have an engineering, science, or math background, some of the crap the religionists are passing off as science should seriously concern you.

    3.  Even if you cite experts in the field who produce research that contradicts the party line, and even if it's peer reviewed and well documented and truthful, well, they'll attempt to smear it was "funded by big oil."  This is where Bill Nye devolved to on MTP today.  

    4. Extreme weather events are caused by "climate change" and are proof of "climate change."  This is the absolute most maddening claim.  No responsible climate scientist, and not even the most rabid in the "consensus" category will even touch an attempt to tie a specific weather event to "climate change."  The fact is these links can not be proven, not least of all because there is no link.  All you'll really get from them is that extreme weather is a possible result of climate change.  

    This is clearly an attempt to influence public opinion,  but when everything is caused by climate change, nothing is.  The new religion's name, "climate change," is even used to be as expansive as possible.  Is there someone alive who thinks the climate hasn't always changed?  The Earth has survived through numerous periods of warming and cooling.  The climate has ALWAYS changed.  This is the very nature of things.  Don't fall for this tactic.  This is entirely meant to distract from the incontrovertible fact that global temperatures have remained the same/fallen slightly since 1998, and their models can not explain "The Pause."  This occurring despite global CO2 emissions continuing to increase.  

    Us skeptics say this is because something else is going in here.  These people built their careers (I don't blame anyone for wanting a steady job, but in academia, it's important to be right) on this religion.  Their models were designed to make the most of Man's activities.  Why? Because if you can't say the sky is falling, why should any policy maker fork over the nation's treasury to you to study it more?

    That's one group of the believers.  Those are the cash hounds, who need this charade to continue to keep the money flowing.  The harder group are those who know this is a charade, but see it as an opportunity to bring down Western Civilization,  something they've been trying to do for generations.  These were the communist fellow-travelers and the same people who 40 years ago were whining about a new ice and the population explosion.  

    Regardless of the cause of the man-caused catastrophe, their proscriptions are all the same - it's the West's fault, stop development, and you people in the 3rd world who'd like to be rich - get back to your caves.

    Opposing these people is both a Pro-Science and Moral obligation for me.  That's why I am so passionate about it and find this group to be so dangerous to not just what the West has accomplished but to mankind and what our friends in Brazil and India, and other developing nations may accomplish.  

    Monday, December 30, 2013

    Obamacare to kill small biz next

    Just returned from my eye doctor and he's one of these small businesses who extended their plans discussed in this NBC report (
    Workers at auto dealership come face to face with Obamacare trade-offs).

    They won't be impacted until 2014, like many of us in the employer provided market.

    As many of us on the Right told you,  Obamacare would result in increased costs for most, and worse coverage for nearly everyone already covered.

    That is exactly what is happening to those in the individual market and those in the small group market.  Yes, there will be "winners" amongst the previously uninsured and underinsured, at the low end of the spectrum, due to subsidies.  The problem is that people who had health insurance, the vast majority of whom liked their plans and doctors, are being displaced.

    We told you so.

    Thursday, December 26, 2013

    American Hustle

    We don't do many movies in the theaters any more, so, our Christmas Day was spent at Golden Corral (yech) and a movie.

    American Hustle is already being pushed for Oscars, and has garnered something like a 94% favorable score on Rotten Tomatoes.

    It's got a 2013 all-star cast with Christian Bale, Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams (mostly her B cups), Bradley Cooper, and a short appearance (taking a break from his bad movies) from Robert DeNiro.

    If you're old enough to remember The Sting, that's what this movie is, updated to the '70's with today's cast.  In fact, since none of these kids have seen that, I'm trying to find it online.  Any help?

    American Hustle is a little slow at first, sort of heavy with the love triangles, but satisfying in the end.

    If you're going to invest 2 hours in an outing, you'd do well with this one.

    Sunday, December 22, 2013

    Jonah Goldberg on Reality TV

    I think Jonah Goldberg sums up the Phil Robertson mess the best: 

    "Maybe the best way to avoid such problems in the future is to demand that all reality-show casts be made up of professional actors. That way, reality will never disappoint us."


    Read the whole thing: 

    http://nationalreview.com/article/366799/real-rednecks-jonah-goldberg 

    Gayest Obamacare Video Ever?

    There is barely 24 hours left for people to sign up for Obamacare and be covered by January 1.

    I hate to share this, but, your tax dollars and this administration is hard at work pushing Obamacare by trolling gay bars and via gay videos.

    If you have young kids around, or you're at work, hide the screen and turn the volume down, but, this is how the O Admin thinks they're hoping to get gays to "get covered."

    Friday, December 20, 2013

    Piers Morgan Will Decide What's Right & Wrong











    This is Piers Morgan's entry into the Phil Robertson kerfuffle.

    I like it, because it gets so much wrong about our Constitution, describes Liberalism to a tee, and even brings some clarity to those who may wonder why 2nd Amendment defenders are so serious about that one.

    What Morgan and Liberals in general fail to understand is that the First Amendment exists specifically to protect vile speech, and the "bigots" (with "bigot" being a term wholly defined by the user) who utter it. Yes, the Founders were primarily concerned with political speech, but, this protection extended to anyone, saying essentially anything.

    You can see the problem for the mythical Everyman here - if we don't have such protections, then WHO will be the arbiter of speech?  WHO will define what's vile?  WHO will point to the bigots?

    Leftists are none to happy to stand up and say, gleefully, "We will!!!!!"

    And that's the problem, and that's why we have a First Amendment, and that's also why the Founders gave us the Second Amendment.  Because they had lived through a world where their weapons were threatened, and they lived at a time when the only thing standing between them and an oppressive government were their rifles.  So, the Second Amendment should, and does, protect assault rifle devotees.  The Left has had far more success in limiting that Amendment, but those who defend it are doing God's work just as much as those who defend the First.

    To my left-leaning friends - if you don't like the Constitution, the Founders gave us a process to change it.  Instead of judge shopping, or electing presidents willing to ignore it, try to change it.  If your ideas are so damn great, can't you convince people on the merits?

    BTW - this is my first post using ifttt.com to simultaneously post to Facebook an Twitter.  Let's see how it works...

    Thursday, December 19, 2013

    I Stand With Phil

    Do I?

    Unless you live unepder a rock, you already know Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson was "suspended" today by his employer, A&E for statements he made in a GQ interview echoing traditional Christian beliefs about homosexuals (and plenty of other sinners, but the prostitute, beastiality, slanderer, and swindler lobbies are thus far silent).

    This is a free country and Phil was only expressing his views, which are based in his religion (and mine, by the way).  A&E can do whatever they want, they owe him no platform, and he wasn't using the show directly as that platform.

    But, let's face it, to express traditional Christian views these days about homosexuality in particular puts you in the cross-hairs of the biggest grievance lobby extant.  Emboldened by their success in turning traditional marriage into something new, this lobby has decided that anyone who finds their behavior abhorrent and anti-God must be squelched.  You shall not know that a major religion considers homosexuality a sin, punishable by death!

    OOOOOOOPS!  Wrong religion there!  That's Islam which considers homosexuality a sin, punishable by death.  Christianity considers it a sin, but offers the sinner a path to redemption via God's amazing Grace.  That's Mr. Robertson's religion.  

    Were he a Muslim, would A&E had been so quick to suspend him?

    I'm guessing not.

    Monday, November 25, 2013

    JFK, blah, blah, blah

    Last week marked the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination.

    Yes, it was a big deal that an American president was murdered.

    But, 50 years out, do we still have to persist in the mythology that surrounds this event?

    The Left (who might have a hard time accepting JFK as a Democrat these days) has even tried to re-write history to claim that the right wing element in Dallas was responsible for JFK's death (although an avowed Communist killed him), but, of more annoyance to me are the people who try to say ridiculous stuff like:

    • "America lost its 'innocence' that day."   We were only 18 years removed from the end of WW2, and 10 from Korea.  Had the brushes with Hitler and the action in Korea not erased our innocence by 1963?
    • "It changed the course of events."  Exactly how?  I wish the people who say this (who usually want to act like JFK's death led directly to the Civil Rights movement) would explain.  Seems the three biggest things to happen in the 60's were the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War, and the Moon Landing.  I'd posit that ALL of these had their die cast before November 1963, and LBJ was being forced by politics (not JFK's death) to carry through on all of them.
    • "He was such a great president."  His legacy is helped by his death, since he never had to actually fight for anything, or serve as a lame duck.  In all honesty, his term was just too short.  You really need to judge him and LBJ together, and when we go there, I thing we find it's a little more average.
    That's all.

    Saturday, November 23, 2013

    Debating Abortion

    One of my co-workers (a Mormon, no less) just discovered the existence of Peter Singer.

    You may remember Mr Singer.  He's the Princeton "Bioethicist" who argues that abortion should be legal due to sentience and thus, infanticide should also be legal.  You have to appreciate the chutzpah of people like Singer. At least they're honest that they think certain people have no right to live, and they're perfectly happy to choose which of us fall into that category. 

    I'll return to that later.

    This article is about how you argue with those who want to ensure that abortion remains "safe, legal, and rare." And by that, they mean, "available at any time, for any reason."

    Get them to agree with a central premise, that life begins at conception.  Leftists like to think of themselves as "science" followers, so throw a little science at them.  Ask them, in the last 40 years, in which direction has science been moving with respect to "life." I've got news for them, it's all towards conception, not the other way.  Eventually, these crazy scientists are going to be able to completely shepherd a baby from conception to "birth" outside the womb.  What are you going to argue as the beginning of that process then?  Get them to agree to that and all you're arguing about is timing. You'll ultimately win that argument.

    Most abortionists, even if they agree with the conception arguments are going to dismiss it as immaterial to the debate.  We call these people Godless, but, for fun, how do you debate those who have already crossed this Rubicon? 

    Leftists like to think they're superior to us because they're for Affirmative Action and standing up for minorities.  So, appeal to their better instincts.  Remind them that the initial proponents of abortion were eugenicists like Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, who saw abortion as a way to cleanse society of the less desirable among us.  People Sanger felt were inferior, like Blacks and other ethnic minorities.  It's people like Sanger who eventually morphed into Nazi's.  Ask your Leftist protagonist how it feels to run in that company?

    Are they still standing?

    Liberals hate evil corporations, right? Their entire lives are devoted to protecting the little guy from the ravages of capitalism. Give them a little education in the abortion industry.  This is a multi-billion dollar industry, protected by lobbyists and industry groups just like any other big business.  Furthermore, this industry is pushing to retain a system that promotes a completely unnatural act, all to line the pockets of big corporations and evil rich doctors who participate in this industry.  Do these people really care about that patient or do they only care about the paycheck? Ask your. Liberal friend.  Should our tax dollars be subsidizing this industry? Isn't this just more Corporate Welfare dressed up as something else?

    The next time you see some Planned Parenthood talking head wailing about protecting a woman's "right" to choose, remember that this person is a lobbyist for a big business who stands to lose millions of dollars each year if this industry fades away.

    My favorite argument with these nitwits is the "control" of a woman's body issue.  The caricature of the conservative is of some madman standing in your bedroom telling you what you can and can't do in there.  That's exactly what it is, a caricature.  They like to paint us as interested in preventing women from making this life changing choice because of male patriarchy or some crazy religious devotion.  Guilty on the latter.  Own it.

    Remind these people that their side is all about control of your body.  They want to tell you how much soda you can drink, how many trans fats you can eat, how much nicotine you can smoke, what additives go into your food, what radiation makes your food tastier and safer, what preservatives make your food last longer, what temperature your steak can be cooked to at your favorite steakhouse (for those who would allow you to consume red meat at all), and which drugs you are allowed to get high on.  They've taken control of the health care system now, I can't wait to see what else they're going to say we can and can't do to ourselves. The ONLY thing they don't want to regulate and control is a woman's womb.  Pretty much every other body part is in play for them.  But, DONT TOUCH MY VAGINA!

    Let's face it, you're largely debating idiots here.  Few of them will have the cojones to take the Singer position and admit that they believe certain people (as Randy Newman reminds us in "Short People") "got no reason to live." 

    At least with those, you can simply say they have a different moral compass, and while they'll rot in Hell for it, you can respect them on Earth.

    Climate Change God

    I am weary of Leftists who blame every single weather event on "climate change." 

    While some in the climate change industry clearly have something ($) to gain from attempts to link severe weather to long term climate trends, the typical Lefty instead has a cultish devotion to the Church of Climate Change.

    In that regard, are they really any different from the Religious, who find the Hand of God in every natural disaster? They're each looking for some order in the sea of randomness that is weather, and both have about the same chance of being able to prove their religion is correct while they live.

    At least the Religious person will be rewarded with an answer to their question upon their death, while the Lefty Cult member will have to trudge through his life dealing with being wrong with no reward at then end.

    Saturday, November 9, 2013

    Keith Law: hypocrite lefty

    If you're a hard core baseball stat head, you know Keith Law.  He's a former front office guy for Toronto, who now writes and does analysis on prospects (mostly) for ESPN.  He's entertaining, hosts a weekly podcast, and contributes to ESPN's baseball coverage.  I recommend his stuff to you, but you'll largely need an Insider account to access it.

    Law's also a lefty, which he revealed to me in his tweets during the 2012 election cycle.  For a brilliant guy, he made one tweet making fun of Romney using the MSNBC intelligence level comment about "women full of binders" to disparage Romney.  

    I unfollowed him at that time, because, quite honestly, I don't follow Keith Law to hear his political opinions.  A guy who has 400,000 followers on twitter, largely due to his baseball background, should probably stay away from politics, lest it instantly go to 200,000.

    But, I like Keith's baseball analysis and when the formerly great "Baseball Today" podcast went away, I switched to his weekly, "Behind the Dish" podcast, which I still commend to you.

    On a recent podcast, Law said he wanted to stay away from politics but wanted to get this one thing out there that he found offensive.  

    He related that after St. Louis beat LA in the NLCS, some people (Cardinal fans?) were enjoying the fact that St Louis won because they play "the right way," and hey tweeted that and, apparently disparaging things about Dodger players and Los Angeles.

    Now, I might point out to any idiot who attributed LA's loss to not playing "the right way" that you don't make it to the final 4 in any sport if you're playing the "wrong" way and that person should re-evaluate what they understand "right" and "wrong" to be and to shut up until they understand.

    But, instead of telling these idiots to buzz off, Law decided to ascribe motives to them which he couldn't possibly know, but which we typically see in liberals when they want to engage in some simple stereotyping of the right and reinforce their own inflated self-worth. Law decided they meant "The White Way" and let's face it, since they're from that Red enclave in Missouri which opposes gay marriage (unlike his former domicile of Massachusetts) they must be.......(you guessed it) RACISTS, who are just angry at the influx of Latin players into the American pastime. 

    Leftist Law thus neatly claims to be apolitical, gets in some trashing of an entire part of the country, while engaging in the same simple generalizations that he tells us he finds so distasteful. 
     



    Sunday, November 3, 2013

    WaPo: How OCare Website Failed

    Having been involved in large IT projects, this is a classic case of doing pretty much everything wrong. 

    In addition to a horrid policy and a premise that is doomed, it is being led by people incapable of managing it.

    Let's see, they can't lead this or the country,  sounds about right.

    Wednesday, October 23, 2013

    Obamacare horror stories (via Matt Walsh's blog)

    I encourage you all to read Matt Walsh's excerpts from people when he
    asked how is Obamacare hurting them personally.

    Link at bottom, but first, my rant:

    I realize the Left loves to deal in these personal tragedy, anecdotal
    vignettes to sell their latest attempt at expanding the modern welfare
    state, but, read these (and this is a
    loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong post) and talk to your
    self-employed friends, or your friends who work for small businesses,
    and discover for yourself what is happening beyond the faux government
    shutdown and the disastrous, incompetence-laden Obamacare rollout.

    It'd be nice if reporters who cover, perhaps, the insurance industry,
    would explain how it's the lower and middle, middle-class who are
    going to get hosed the most from this piece of crap legislation.

    Those of us who work for Fortune 500 companies, I expect we'll get to
    keep the health insurance we like (though I lost the insurance I
    "liked" last season, so we'll see what Obama has in store for me Nov 1
    when we have open enrollment for 2014).

    Since the Obama administration is nothing if not Fascist (in the
    traditional sense of the word, not the modern, incorrect pejorative
    sense), so if you work in Corporate America, consider yourself amongst
    the privileged few.

    Those who choose security over freedom shall have neither.

    Read these:
    http://themattwalshblog.com/2013/10/21/the-definitive-guide-to-how-obamacare-is-destroying-american-lives/

    Sunday, October 20, 2013

    Practical (and MSM proof) defunding strategie



    Andrew C. McCarthy tweets today an article from Mike Cannon:

    Terrific @mfcannon piece says stop squabbling & get busy on these practical #DefundObamacare strategies tinyurl.com/lr5n5or




    Sent from my iPad

    Friday, October 18, 2013

    The GOP: A Fricking Disaster

    The national GOP is a disaster.  

    I am a conservative, and I have posted before that today, the home for Conservatism is the GOP.   I do appreciate the energy of the Tea Parth caucus and those who became active in politics because of it. Opposition to debt and Obamacare were the primary drivers for the tea party, so to go to the wall over these two things seemed a logical course of action for them.

    I get that.

    I also get that in order for there to be real, meaningful action on those two fronts, we will need a vast Senate majority and a Republican president.  It would behoove the Tea Partiers to understand this as well.  It would also be useful if they'd give their strategy some thought.  

    The kind of intellectual purity I get from these people reminds me of libertarians! and how many of them are there in any national office. Exactly zero.

    I appreciate the principles. I share them.

    Know what else I appreciate?  Winning elections.  Because when you win elections, you get to put your principles into practice.  I would like to remind my tea party friends of this.  Get smart, develop a strategy that enables us to chip away at the Left's horrible plans, and that puts us back on a path to electoral victory.  

    I wish the country were composed of 51% Tea Party advocates, but it isn't. Fortunately, most of the country shares many of the principles that birthed the Tea Party, but, they also want good government and competence in leadership.  This latest fiasco demonstrated none of that. Fortunately for us, both sides lived down to the occasion.

    I don't think the damage to the GOP will be lasting, but I do think the whole exercise was pointless and it cost us a week of actual news stories about the failure of the Obamacare rollout.  And for that, I am extremely disappointed in the way this was handled.

    NAPOLITANO: A rising torrent of debt and destruction - Washington Times

    Andrew Napolitano opines about the debt limit deal.

    SPOILER: It's bad.

    NAPOLITANO: A rising torrent of debt and destruction - Washington Times

    Thursday, October 17, 2013

    Shutdown, through MSNBC's eyes

    I get about 5 minutes per week of MSNBC told through Tony Kornheiser's radio show, where Tony spouts off something he heard on Morning Joe that fits in his worldview, and David Aldridge and Jeanne McManus parrot what they heard Rachel Maddow say or they read in the Post, the New York Times, or The New Yorker.

    Anyway, according to them, the open air memorials and parks around Washington (and the rest of the country) were barricaded because of Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin.  Yes, that's right, in the MSNBC world, these two (one not even an elected representative) have somehow gotten the National Park Service to erect barricades and put up orange cones to keep these places closed.  Because the optics of Republicans shutting down memorials and keeping WW2 vets out is so good for the party.

    At the same time, they call us stupid.

    You can not make this crap up.

    Sunday, October 13, 2013

    Bring out your dead...

    CBS is trolling for your "Shutdown Stories" on twitter (see https://twitter.com/CBSNews/status/389362517031792642).

    Today's is a group who wanted to raft the Colorado, but can't because it's shut down.  The park entrance, not the actual river, which at last report was still flowing despite Barack Obama's promise to roll back the tides and lower the ocean levels.  You recall, he didn't actually promise to stop rivers from flowing, so, that's one campaign promise kept (are you scoring, fact checkers everywhere?).

    If anything, these stories should tell us the depth and breadth of the government has become so vast that we can't seem to do anything in our life, especially if it's risky, without the government there to guide us.

    Yesterday, Alyssa Milano tweeted the always scary link to a story about food inspections being shut down due to the FDA not having funding,

    To the Liberal mind, it makes perfect sense that these two events are a tragedy.  By God, do we all want to die, either in a horrible rafting accident, sans the briefings given by the Park Service, or via poisoned food? Surely only the Feds can save us from these horrible events?

    Apparently, all they really need the NPS to do is open the gates to the park, so this group seems to have considered the safety issues and taken them on themselves.  I wonder, can they put in at another spot, and when they cross Federal park land, will the NPS try to stop them?

    Anyway, on the FDA front, I know you're all thinking about the horrible things that happen to our food supply and that the only thing between us and a violent botchelism death is a bureaucrat inspecting a chicken plant in Alabama. 

    I would suggest that it is in food producers best interest to avoid making their customers sick or dead, and that the safety of our food supply could be reliably assured without an army of 2000 food inspectors.  After all, we did that for about 150 of the country's first years in existence, and, despite what you were taught in middle school, most of our ancestors survived long, fruitful lives without the scourge of bad food over their head.  Not to mention that food would be easier to produce, more plentiful, and, I am sure tastier.  


    Obamacare: Here to Stay (a while)

    In light of the recent "opening" of Obamacare's exchanges, I have much to say.

    Our personal experience with this law is one I think many across the nation will be feeling, and it's emblematic of the lies told personally by this president to get this POS law passed.  Of course, many people are discovering that "You can keep your doctor (or plan), if you like them," was an outright lie, and "The average American will see their premiums reduced by $2500" was an outright lie, and "Birth control will be free" is an outright lie (it's free under certain conditions),  

    Now that the law is written and the regulations are in place, and the exchanges (nominally) operating, the opposition's best strategy is to let this thing impact Americans.  While I appreciated Ted Cruz's attempts to force repeal of the law, it should have ended as an education effort with some CR to fund the government in place.  We are not going to repeal this law without a Republican president and Senate, and those who think we can are imbeciles.  During a week when we should have been issuing press releases solely about the horrible nature of the rollout and the negative consequences on Americans, we instead were subjected to the shutdown.  

    The Dems have done their own calculus on this one,  it should be obvious to anyone with a pulse that they have decided that while they are being hurt, the GOP is getting hurt worse, and the added benefit is that there is an internecine struggle between Tea Partiers and mainstream Republicans that threatens to impact Senate control in 2014.  I realize that the Tea Party created tremendous momentum in 2010 and returned the House to the GOP! but it also cost the GOP Senate control that year with choices like Sharon Angle, Cnristine O'Donnell, and Linda McMahon.  

    With that history in mind, let's accept that until at least the legislative branch is firmly in our control, no effort to repeal Obamacare will succeed.  It took anti-abortion foes 20 years to realize what the Left has always known - that you chip away at institutions, one stone at a time.  That strategy is leading to the gradual elimination of the abortion-on-demand industry and it will also need to be followed with Obamacare.  

    Making the chipping easier will be the law itself.  People are going to hate this law.  The rate increases, the bureaucratic bungling, the taxes, will all lead to widespread dissatisfaction.  The people will demand fixes, and when we're fixing it, vice killing it (usually portrayed as killing it with no alternative) the Left will have little choice but to go along.

    Which leads me to the awful performance of the exchanges.  I know a thing or two about the rollout of large IT projects.  This one has truly been awful.  No self-repecting company would have gone to market with this garbage.  However, the government has near unlimited financial resources to bear, so if Obamacare opponents think this will be the death knell for the program, they are wrong.  Eventually, the exchanges will work.  Yes,  their performance is emblematice of the scope of this thing and the administration's generall incompetence, and they make great objects of ridicule, but they will eventually work.

    What won't work is Obamacare if sufficient numbers of young people do not sign up and pay inflated premiums.  And, recall, anything will seem inflated when you had been paying $0.  This will be the true test, and it's the one I think will fail. 

    You can read older posts on my thoughts on what will work, but in general it involves decoupling insurance and employment.

    Saturday, October 12, 2013

    Debt limit

    Haven't posted in ages, so I hope you have missed me.

    Blogger finally has a decent iPad app, so it's easier now.  

    This week we will hit the limit on the nation's credit card.  Conservatives want some concessions from Obama in exchange for giving him more credit.  

    Whether you agree on what those concessions should be, let's talk about the big lie that is default.

    Liberals want you all to believe that failure to allow the country to take on more debt means we would default on our obligations to our debtors.  It would not necessarily happen that way because the Obama admin would still be receiving tax revenues and would have the power to choose how to spend tho see revenues.  Since we all agree default is not an option, those revenues would go towards paying our debtors.  At the same time, the government would have no other option than to stop incurring new debt.  What this would mean is a partial government shutdown, one severe enough where the tax revenues coming in could fund the debt payments and continuing operations.

    There is no dispute amongst anyone that tax revenues can fund the debt payments.  Apparently, the Obama admin wants us to believe they wouldn't pay them.  That must be their plan, because otherwise, they wouldn't be threatening these dire consequences.  

    The truth is more likely that the O admin doesn't want people to learn that they are lying, and that the partial shutdown wouldn't be that bad anyway.

    That's part of the reason that now, during the current budget impasse, they are intentionally shutting down parks and roads and overlooks - to make you all believe that this is really something awful.

    It's not.

    Saturday, December 22, 2012

    Gun Control

    I am not going to get into a big shouting match over the shootings in Newtown last week. It's horrible. The most awful thing I have had to contemplate since 9/11.

    I am lucky I don't have young kids anymore, because I can only imagine the angst I would feel at that.

    Let's get to the issues here.

    First, there are crazy people. I don't recall exactly when, but my recollection is that in the early '80s or late '70's civil libertarians succeeded in their quest to prevent society locking people who are demonstrably nuts away. It contributed then to the large growth in the homeless population, but it has made it ever harder to put people in asylums where they can hurt no one. All the revenge shooters fit a profile - they are young, male, white, and disassociated from society. Could we have identified the latest shooter and put him away? I think so.

    Second, there are guns.

    Yes, the easy availability of guns makes this a bit if a turkey shoot for the determined mass murderer. But, this murderer did not buy his own weapons, in fact, was unable to purchase his own guns, so, instead he stole his mother's legally purchased weapons.

    Sadly, he had enough training to be proficient with them, and he used that, with his crazed psyched to do what happened last Friday.

    I know many (including our president) are itching to start putting restrictions in place on ammunition and "assault weapons." While limiting magazine size may have helped reduce the death toll in Newtown, these were not "assault weapons" by CT state law, and probably not in the defunct federal assault weapons bill that lapsed years ago. Again, that is only a proposal that would have mitigated he death toll here.

    NRA Executive VP Wayne LaPierre was roundly lampooned for suggesting that we stick an armed officer in every school in the country. I heard no one lambast it for the efficacy of such a solution, but for the cost, both in money, and in (I guess) the loss of innocence it portends.

    There are, to me , 2 workable solutions to the gun violence problem, and LaPierre's prescription is not that far off from mine. But first, the liberal proscription must be the repeal of the 2nd Amendment and the total banning of guns, with confiscation of 100% of them. Nothing short of that makes much sense to me.

    My solution is that we do away with stupid things like "gun free zones" where we don't have the capability to enforce them (like in courthouses or airports equipped with metal detectors). All those do is tell the gunman that he's protected until the cops arrive.

    We need to make guns MORE prevalent in our citizenry. Just posit if in Newtown a teacher, a janitor, or a coach had a gun close by. In their car, even. At hand, they may have been able to stop this thing. We rely today on first responders, yet, who are the real first responders? Yes, those are the people who are there, as evens unfold. Law abiding, honest, citizens. And we hamstring them by preventing them from defending themselves and other innocents.

    If you tried to develop a situation where it was a certainty the max damage could be inflicted, you could do no better than what modern Liberalism has wrought.

    Sunday, November 4, 2012

    Nate Silver (@fivethirtyeight) Needs a New Day Job. I predict the winner.

    Many of you may read Nate Silver's poll analysis over at the New York Times, where he made a name for himself as fivethirtyeight politics.

    Silver's a veteran of the Baseball Prospectus crew and a former baseball sabremetrician.

    You may know him as an Obama partisan and hack who correctly predicted 49 of the 50 states (he missed Indiana) that went for Obama in 2008 and all the Senate races that year.  Of course, we later learned he was privy to internal polling of the Obama campaign, so, well, whatever.

    His predictions in the 2010 races were ok, too, but, my problem with Silver isn't really in his expertise as a prognosticator.  I find that to be of really little use to me.  Any idiot can read polls, apply some weighting to them and extrapolate the results to election day.  This is problematic because polls are not elections.  Polls do not reflect what would happen exactly if the vote was today.  They are an estimation of that.  Unlike baseball, where we have real data every day to work with (the actual results), a poll is an estimate.   It's as though we asked everyone going to a Yankees series and asked, "What will Jeter do this series?" and then we based his season stats on the fact that 1000 people told us he'd go 4 for 11 with 2 walks, 2 RBI's and a double and a homer.  More on this later. 

    My problem with Silver is that he grew up as a sabremetrician, yet he has evolved and become famous for really just being an accountant.  There are literally tens of thousands of smart people working in Finance departments all over Corporate America who can whip up Excel spreadsheets and manipulate numbers to predict the future.  They do it every day to predict corporate profit, loss, revenue projections, etc.

    What Silver does in election prognostication is nothing special, and it really is completely dependent on the quality of the data input.  If Silver does hold some special idiot savant skill, it is in accurately recognizing the correct weighting of the input data.  However, like works of Shakespeare, a room full of monkeys could achieve the same results given enough time, or,we could outsource it to a computer.  Polls are subject to two major biases. First, they are taken at a given time.  As they age, they become stale, and less reflective of the mood of the public on the actual election day.  Second, they are subject to selection bias.  This is the pool of people that pollsters use to take the actual poll.  You can see these biases in every decent poll released.  If you don't see them, someone has suggested you are looking at an op-ed.  Selection bias is something we rarely see reported in the top-line, horse race number, but it is a key way pollsters can skew their polls.  Sometimes you have to dig in to the polls to find this.  Pollsters will tell you they try to use pools of people that reflect the expected election day electorate.  They would, ostensibly, be hurting their reputation to do otherwise.  But, in this day and age of budget cuts at universities and media outlets who pay these pollsters, maybe they can't refine their pools as well as they'd like, and they go with a group that is D+9 (9 percent more Dems than Reps), in a state that has never voted that way in its history.  I can't give you the reason this cycle the samples seem to overly skew to Dems.  You'll have to figure that one out for yourself, but look for it in any poll.  There are websites and analysts who try to remove this bias, but, Silver does not. 

    So, personally, I think predicting the 2008 election, once you admitted to yourself it was a wave, would have been pretty damn easy.  I think this came easier for Silver, since he was already predisposed to favor Obama politically, and he was getting data from their campaign.  In other words, I am not that enamored of the guy's skills.

    What would I like Silver to do? 

    I'd like Silver to apply his sabremetric skills to his analysis, as I think that would be useful, and interesting.

    As I said, anybody with some excel skills can do what he's doing.  It ain't rocket science, as we say.

    What makes sabremetrics so compelling in baseball is that it takes all those old traditional ways we have of measuring people's performance, and says that they are not enough, and that, in fact, we largely measure by accounting, rather than using measures that help us predict future performance.

    In old baseball world, we used statistics to validate what we saw on the field, but we didn't use statistics to tell us what we would see on the field.  Sabremetricians stood this on its head, and wanted to answer 2 questions - Why do we see what we do, and, if we can answer why, we can also predict what will happen (future performance).

    When I look at the internals of polls, I see all sorts of data that is largely unbiased data.  Sure, it still suffers from the selection bias, but, because that data is in depth, there is much more that it tells us about future performance than just the horse race number.  I'd like to see people of Silver's ilk look at that data, and there's a lot of it historically, and let's see if we can use it to predict what will happen, rather than the way we're doing this.

    Why do I say this, because when we look at things like independent voter splits, and the horse race numbers for D's or R's, we are starting to unskew the top line results.  These have meaning precisely because they are unskewed, and unbiased.  Right Track/Wrong Track and other questions that get routinely asked suffer less from this bias.

    When I look at these numbers in pretty much every poll I see this cycle, I say to myself, how does Obama win?  The country hates him.  It's not just my friends, it's evident in the internals of these polls.  And clearly his campaign saw this, too, as they have run a campaign based on these internals.  Do everything you can to NOT speak about the record, and demonize the opponent.  The fact that the needle has moved so little says something to me.

    But, I could be wrong.  I will admit that.  But, I am heartened and validated that on Face the Nation today, David Gergen and the entire panel there basically agreed with me.

    Now, they tend to think it will be a close Obama win, but they all agree the Republican enthusiasm gap is real and palpable.  Either the Obama ground game really is that great, and they'll pull our Ohio, and win, or it's not and Romney wins.

    I happen to think if Romney does win, and the enthusiasm gap is something that is being missed by the polling and the MSM (they're ignoring it), that Romney will win every battleground state but Nevada (taking FL, VA, NC, OH, NH, IA), and he'll add new BG's MI, WI, PA and may take Oregon as well.

    If Obama wins give OH and IA to him and the new BG's.  It'll be a small victory, just like his campaign, and Pyrrhic.

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

    Debate 2: Libya Matters (here's why @ctuckerprof)

    Presidential debate 2 was last night. To my eyes, it was largely a draw, but, a draw is a Romney win. Most of the post-debate polls indicate it was largely a draw, with Romney winning in large numbers on specific issues (like the economy).

    Today on Twitter, I noticed that many liberals were trying to minimize the Obama lie on Libya.

    We're talking about Libya a lot more than we talked about Mitt Romney's taxes, and I know this is driving liberals absolutely nuts.

    I agree with many on the right who feel that Romney failed to drive a stake through Obama with this. I think the blatant lying of Obama, and the moderator's save of him, really threw him off.

    However, to Liberals chagrin, the mere fact that we are still discussing it is kryptonite to the Obama campaign. The additional fact that we got to see a biased moderator remove Obama from the fire by helping him perpetuate his own lie helps mitigate Romney's surprise that Obama could so easily lie about his own words.

    Even the offending Candy Crowley had to admit later that Romney was right on the facts and Obama was lying about his 9/12 comments on the Benghazi attack. The fact check of the faux fact check will keep this alive for another week, and trust me, that is bad, bad,bad news for Obama.

    Here's why this is important to the campaign and in helping Americans choose their next leader. Obama is running ads accusing Romney of lying about various things and ending it by saying " if we can't trust him here, how can we trust him here [in the Oval Office]."

    The fact, and that's what it is, that Obama lied about what he said on 9/12, goes to the credibility of our current president. On a matter of national security, life and death, Obama was willing to lie to deflect attention from his administration's foreign policy failings. He was willing to develop a false narrative about a "video" to make it appear as though there was nothing the administration could do, this was all a random event, caused by some crazy American, no less.

    So, he was willing to throw an American citizen and the 1st Amendment under the bus for political gain. The Left doesn't want that to be something we continue to talk about. They want this discussion ended. The "I killed OBL" meme was Obama's final trump card in the foreign policy arena, one of the last refuges of his approval rating. The Libya attack breaks all that down, and exposes Obama for what he is, a weak, feckless man who knows little of the realities of the world, and whose first instinct has always been, and remains, to blame America first. He is a man who believes America is just one of many countries in the world, no better than France, Mexico, or Trinidad.

    Our ambassador and 3 others were killed in Benghazi.

    To Obama, that MUST be our fault, and because he believes that, he crafted a narrative around it, despite all the evidence to the contrary. The disgusting thing is that they persisted in this lie. They sent the UN Ambassador to make rare TV appearances to perpetuate it, then had Obama himself peddle the story at the UN, all while Hillary Clinton was apologizing for a video no one had seen on Pakistani TV.

    We know now that this was no reaction to a video. These Americans were killed in a pre-planned, well orchestrated terror attack on the 9/11 anniversary. There was no demonstration, there was no outrage at a video, there was no spontaneous outbreak of violence. There was a terror attack, and this administration knew that very soon after. What did our president do? He went to bed during the attack, then decided he needed to proceed to Las Vegas to do what he does best, raise money for himself.

    Liberals want to act like this is a non-story. It is a story. It will remain a story, and Obama and Crowley have unwittingly made sure it will continue to be a stir until next week's foreign policy debate, when trust me, Romney will be much better prepared to stop Obama's bullshit, and a moderator will not be able to assist in the lie.

    I am absolutely outraged by the administration's response to this. Barack Obama can make this a joke and act like he's all lily pure that he used the phrase "acts of terror." Note that he didn't actually call this attack a terror attack in that Rose Garden speech. In fact, he alluded to the video in his speech saying "we reject efforts to denigrate the religious faith of others." Later in the speech, he said, 'No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this nation.”  Now, you can attempt some Sunday morning quarterbacking and say that means he thought this particular act was an "act of terror," but, more likely, that was intended as a standard line tossed into the speech.  Certainly on September 12th, the administration could have said clearly, "This was an act of terror, committed by terrorists, that will not stand, and our resolve will not be shaken."  THAT would have been absolutely clear.

    But they didn't do that. Hillary Clinton starred in a video that went to Pakistani TV apologizing for the video, and Susan Rice was hustled out to blame it on the video, and the president himself was appearing on Univision, and at the UN, and on the View refusing to call it terrorism.  

    If you can't see the lies here, you are an absolute Obamabot, and not a thinker.  If you're still defending Obama, wise up, since you're obviously too stupid to recognize reality.

    Friday, October 12, 2012

    Election Update

    Last nights VP debate is over and while I felt Biden was effective and dominated the debate, the way he did it was so annoying, with the smirking and talking over and inappropriate smiling, I think it was pretty annoying to anyone who watched.

    The TV ratings are in, and it turns out that no one watched. They were down 20% from 2008. Clearly, there was no desire to see Biden again and I guess people aren't that curious about Paul Ryan.

    After Romney wiped the floor with Obama last week, in a hugely watched event, we saw the polls move significantly in his favor.

    I have some theories and since many of you follow me on the right, and I don't post much (follow me on twitter, @sleepywhiner) anymore, read close.

    Polls in September are notoriously bad. Plus, we had the media attempting to drag support for Romney down. If you followed the September polls, you saw a massive skewing of them to large Dem turnout models, akin to 2008.

    Clearly, turnout is going to be something more like 2004 or 2010. All you have to do is talk to people. Those white guilt voters are over it. They've seen Obama govern, and, like me, they have reached the conclusion that his administration is incompetent. I used to think there was a grand plan to Obama, but I have finally decided this administration really is a bunch of incompetent Chicago thugs.

    So, what happened? Were the Sep polls really wrong or did something change. Yes, and yes.

    If you read the internals in those polls, they all had massive warning signs for Obama. Right track/wrong track broke very badly for him. Independents broke very badly for him. His inability to ever crack 50% in favorability and in the horse race were out there for all to see.

    Yet, the media persisted in the summer to skew the variable part of these polls, the turnout model, to give the appearance of a close race. Why? You really don't need an answer, but Obama is their guy. They love him, they need him to win. He's them.

    Ultimately, though, these organizations have to protect their credibility. To continue with these models into October means they would be laughed at when the election doesn't break their way. Plus, like me, they know that most of the undecided voters aren't really paying attention until that first presidential debate. So, the media can continue their poll charade right up to that, in the hopes that Obama will knock one out of the park, then the fiction they have been portraying the last few months may actually come true, if he re-impresses those fence sitters.

    However, in one of the most watched presidential debates ever, Obama wildly let them down. Coming on the heels of his uninspiring and lame convention speech, should we have been surprised that his butt was handed to him by Romney?

    What the media was forced to admit after last week's debate was what most of us knew all along. Obama is simply not that good of an extemporaneous speaker. Sure, he can read a TelePrompTer, but, when faced with an actual opponent, unfiltered by the Obama spin machine or the lens of the press, he falters.

    Either way, the media is presented with a face saving opportunity. With the overwhelming Romney victory in the debate, the undecideds, who really just want to be assured that Romney is up to the job, can safely break for him. This enables the media to adjust their turnout models to much more realistic ones, and when that happens we see a much better picture of where the nation stands.

    We're sick of Obama. He sucks and his administration is incompetent, if not downright criminal (see Fast and Furious, Libya, and the green energy payoffs).

    Many Americans sense this and they just want at this point to know the other guys is not a monster. Does it help that Romney seems a sincere and capable man? You bet. He's the anti-Obama. All competence and optimism and adult.

    Look, we still have 2 debates. The next, in Town Hall format, will not really allow for much interaction between the two men. I hope Obama will get some tough questions and be forced to answer on Libya, which is a national disgrace and should result in some firings.

    Romney could still blow it, but he needs to continue looking presidential, something Obama never has.

    Anything can happen and the race is not over. But it's coming down to the end, and it doesn't look good for Obama.

    Saturday, September 22, 2012

    2016: Obama's America, Available via YouTube

    2016: Obama's America, the documentary by Dinesh D'Souza is available via private link on YouTube.  If you have not seen the film, you really should.  For those who dared to research Barack Obama in 2008, and since, this is going to be a lot of ground you've already covered.  For those who know little about Obama, it will be eye-opening, and done in an entertaining, 100 minute format.

    D'Souza's theme is to help us understand what motivates Obama, and what it means for the United States if he is re-elected. D'Souza, an Indian immigrant, sees in Obama some of the things he sees in himself, and he asks, why did we come to such completely different worldviews about the role of America in the world.

    Like D'Souza, Obama was raised a foreign land - Indonesia mostly in Obama's case, India in D'Souza's.  They both studied at Ivy League colleges, yet Obama became a far left ideologue and D'Souza became a Reagan conservative.

    Why?

    That is what the movie explores.  D'Souza believes behind Obama's motivation lies his Kenyan father, a man Obama saw only a short time in his life, yet seemed to have a profound influence on him.  In fact, D'Souza borrows liberally from Obama's own words in "Dreams from my Father," a book that spends 1/3 of its pages on a Kenyan experience that lasted a very short time in Obama's life.  Like D'Souza, Obama's early life experiences were spent amidst great change in old colonial empires.  In Indonesia, Suharto was wresting the country from remains of the Dutch then WW2 Japanese occupiers.  Half a world away, Obama's father was working to seal Kenya's independence from the British.  The point is, Colonialism shaped Obama father in a profound way, as it did our current president.  D'Souza's central theme is that Obama is carrying out the Dreams from his father by righting the wrongs done to 3rd world nations by colonial powers, and he sees the diminution of American power as something he (Obama) owes the world.  You may or may not buy that, but, a solid case can be made for it, now that we know something of Obama.

    Watch the film.  Better yet, get a few of your undecided friends to watch it.  If their primary news source is the broadcast networks, they may have never heard many of these things. If their primary news source is CNN or MSDNC, odds are good they have been lied to about many of these things. 

    D'Souza clearly wants to paint a dangerous picture of the American of 2012-2016 under Obama.  Like me, he finds Obama dangerous, and he wants the American people to understand this as well.  So, the film has a legitimate current purpose - the prevention of a 2nd Obama term, and all that it would entail when he has "the flexibility he needs" after the 2012 election.

    I find the question of motivation more of one for History.  We knew much of this about Obama in 2008.  It really was there for those who cared to look.  The relationship with terrorist Weather Underground leaders Bill Ayers and Bernadette Dohrn, the 20 year relationship with Black Liberation Theologist Jeremiah Wright, the history with ACORN, a legislative history in Illinois (when he wasn't voting present) that identified him as a card-carrying leftist, near Marxist.  If you dared, it was there to be found. 

    For 2012, we know much more about Obama the executive.  I don't care his motivations, and really, neither should you.  Much like athletics, the presidency is a results-oriented business.  The facts are the results of this administration are awful, and whether it's because he's trying to right past Colonial wrongs, is a Marxist, a standard-fare Liberal, or just plain incompetent, is really immaterial.  The results are mostly awful.

    Let's review a few low points:
    • Passed a $1T "stimulus" bill so laden with pork that even Obama later admitted that those shovel-ready projects we were promised "weren't so shovel-ready after all."
    • The same stimulus was passed with the promise that unemployment, then running at 7.5% and rising, would never hit 8% if we just passed the crap sandwich.  Well, the bill was passed, and unemployment peaked over 10% and hasn't worked it's way back to 8% yet.  43months and counting over 8%
    • This contributed to the new baseline budget, in which we have run $1T/year deficits ever since.  Despite Obama's lack of knowledge of how much he has added to the debt, we can report it's over $6T in just 3.5 years.  
    • His leadership has not succesfully forced Harry Reid and Senate Democrats to pass a budget.  During the entire Obama Administration, there has not been a single budget passed by Congress.  In case you've forgotten, the Dems held the House and had a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate in Obama's first 2 years.  They could have done anything, including their Constitutional duty to pass a budget, but instead, Obama spent 2 years passing...
    • ObamaCare - the single largest entitlement program since Medicare.  Without a single Republican vote, and using bribes and kickbacks to senators to get their votes, and using a reconciliation technique to pass it that would make Kim Jung Un proud.  Full of accouting gimmicks, and chock full of stuff we couldn't possibly know about until "We pass the bill, so that you can see what's in it," this monstrosity gives control of 1/7th of the economy to the government, unelected bureaucrats, and will bust the budget eventually, if the growth of Medicare and Social Security don't beat it.
    • A feckless foreign policy that saw Iranian freedom fighters ignored, yet the Muslim Brotherhood  was embraced as a replacement for yes, the tyrannical Mubarak in Egpyt, but, he was our guy.  Obama will not prevent the Iranians from aquiring a nuclear weapon, and he won't assist Israel to eliminate the threat.  Instead, he seems openly hostile to them.
    • His bowing to foreign leaders and 'lead from  behind' approach has led to the death of our Libyan ambassadors and three others, in one of the few foreign policy approaches that seemed capable of bearing fruit, despite the extra Constitutional manner in which he carried it out.
    These are just a few.  Vote for this guy if you must.  But, don't say you weren't warned.

    And, if you watched any Michael Moore documentaries or Al Gore's, you owe it to yourself to watch one that yes, speculates, but also lays out facts for you to see for yourself.  You also owe it to me to prove that you're not just an Obamabot.