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    Thursday, December 30, 2010

    Health Care Timeline

    This link is to a great chart from the Kaiser Family Foundation on the implementation timeline of ObamaCare. It includes when certain provisions go into effect, and their impact.

    Non-partisan, and useful to you.

    Monday, December 27, 2010

    Post Christmas Car Trip - Ridin' with my homey...

    Because a couple of my nephews are in the USAF, and one has managed to get himself stationed in England flying KC-135's older than me, and the other is now moving cross country from New Jersey to Seattle (to still fly C-17's.  Go figure), I have come into possession of a car. It's a 1986 BMW 325e.

    It was bought by England Nephew to use during his training stateside.  Since he dabbled in Land Rovers, the BMW was an economical way to get back and forth at a time when gas prices were $4/gallon (remember those days? They're approaching again).  When he left for the old country, his brother took it over and it has spent the last couple of years in occasional use in Phiily/Trenton.  Now that he's getting moved to Seattle, the car isn't going with him, so, enter me.  I'll soon have a second licensed teen driver, so, this will give us the extra car we may need for a while to tide the two over.

    In this scenario, there's only one slight problem.  The car is in Trenton, we're in Atlanta.  As luck would have it, one of my sisters lives minutes from my nephew, and so, they have agreed to be caretakers for a couple of weeks, get the car in smooth order (as much as a 200k miles, 25 year old car can be) and hold on to it for me.

    Thus, the concept of a Road Trip is born.

    Since I had enough vacation left to take two weeks this Christmas, I thought this might be the ideal time to get the car.  If I pick it up the week after Christmas, it gives me 2 or 3 days to get it back South, and with family along the way conveniently located, free sleepovers, if needed.

    A couple of weeks ago, after finalizing this deal, I started looking for flights to get to Philadelphia, and this week is an excellent time for low fares.  So low, in fact, that my youngest, 15 y.o. daughter decided she'd like to come along for the trip.  In her mind, I must confess, she loves to fly, so she was lured by the prospect of 2 hours in an airplane, and perhaps by the TSA spectacle.  I dunno on that one.  In fact, she likes air travel so much that she isn't fazed by the prospect of 850 miles with Dad in a suspect car, in cold weather.  I should remind my dear readers that in May 2009, the two of us road tripped to Cedar Point on Lake Erie in Ohio to go to an amusement park, so we've spent 10 pleasant hours in a car together.  So, it's not as unbelievable as you may think.

    Anyway, the trip is scheduled to start tomorrow.  Given the blizzard that just hit Philly and points north, I'd say our timing was incredibly lucky.  Air travel should be busy, but at full speed tomorrow (in fact, we're already checked-in) and the roads should be cleared by Weds all the way south for us, when we plan to begin our journey.  So far, all our luck has been good, which seems ominous.  The car has needed little work to make it roadworthy, the most major repair that it requires (a timing belt replacement) was done not too many miles ago, and the weather seems to be opening up for us.  Honestly, it almost seems too good, so please pray and keep your fingers crossed.  Of course, in this day and age of cell phones and credit cards, you're never too far from a qualified mechanic, should you need one.

    Our trip will take us from Yardley, PA, to Gettysburg, PA. Being within a couple hours of Gettysburg, I want her to see one of the most important sites in American history.  As a Southerner, I hope it'll hold special significance for her, as it does for me, where so many gallant and brave men on both sides fought and died, and where our Union was saved.  From there, we are going to turn south head for I-81, and take off for the longest segment of our trip, to my parents' home in Greensboro, where we hope to arrive Wednesday evening.  Just in time for a heaping plate of North Carolina barbecue.  If you're reading, Mom & Dad - have it  ready.

    After that, it's the relatively simple 300 mile trip home to Atlanta down I-85.  I plan to do some documenting on twitter along the way.  You can follow me, or, if you're familiar with Twitter, look for the hashtag, #bmwtrip.

    See you along the way

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010

    The Tax Deal: What's a Tea Partier to do?

    This week, President Obama and those dastardly Republicans reached a deal in principle, at least, on tax policy.

    At its core, the deal extends the Bush Tax Cuts 2 years for all Americans, keeping income tax policy where it is. If passed, it will result in no income tax increases for everyone, while the economy continues to struggle in a very weak recovery, which has been completely jobless so far.  Many conservatives and economists have been arguing that the uncertainty around this policy has held back investment.  I agree with that assessment, but, is two years really enough certainty to cause the investor class (that would be "the rich" to you Libs out there) to change their current behavior?  I don't know, but I know that a longer extension would go a lot further to spurring investment.

    Just discussing this policy, let's all stipulate that these taxes add nothing to the budget deficit.  The meme of the Left that these cost us $70B/year for the highest rates (and $300B/year for the rest) is wrong and disingenuous.  The truth is that the Left can't wait to get their hands on the money that increasing taxes would bring them.  I suppose if there were some kind of promise that any increase in tax revenue from raising taxes would go towards deficit reduction, it would be an easier sell.  But that is not what is happening, nor is it what would happen in reality.

    This cycle, the American people voted, and they were serious that we need to see some serious efforts at cutting spending before we start making attempts to increase revenues.  History tells us that increased revenues will only result in more government spending.  The bottom line is - want less government - you have to starve the beast.  Paradoxically, if we actually lowered rates, we might see more economic activity, more GDP growth, and ultimately, higher tax revenues.  That's been the case historically.  We've only run up big deficits where we have overspent.

    Had this exercise only been limited to an extension of these tax cuts, I, and I believe most Tea Partiers, would have been happy.

    However, the President couldn't control himself.

    He decided that as part of this deal, he needed to add in yet another extension of unemployment benefits, adding another 52 weeks to the already long time that they have been available.  And, he sees fit to do this without any spending offsets.

    The deal also includes an INCREASE in the Estate Tax, from it's current rate of 0% to 35% on estates over a certain value.  While this should be considered in the same vein as the Bush cuts (i.e. not as a tax cut), Dems treat this as a deficit increasing event.  In reality, it will decrease the deficit, since it will raise revenue not being collected today.  Washington, however, is a mixed-up, crazy world.

    Amazingly, he also brought out a 2% reduction for 2011 in the social security tax on the employed.  Politically, this is to offset the loss of the "making work pay" tax credit that was applied as part of Stimulus.  That tax credit was worth $800 to married couples and if it was left out of this, it would result in a tax increase on working families.  If that happened, Obama loses his campaign talking point that he hasn't raised taxes "one dime" on those making less than $250k.  Faced with a failed Stimulus, he turns to tax policy to put another stimulus into the economy (and allow him to keep at least one campaign promise).  Hey,. personally, I am all for this.  It's worth a lot more than $800 to my family, and with us losing half the child tax credit (it's only for kids under 18), and that making work pay credit, it makes up for it.

    Obama has included in this an extension of the various tax credits that were part of Stimulus.  I haven't seen the details on those, but I assume we're talking the energy tax credits and the credits for purchases of hybrid/electric and high-mileage diesel vehicles.  There are probably others that are being extended, too.

    The net is all those, plus the 2% social security payroll tax reduction, plus the unemployment benefits extension will add to the deficit.

    These things we should all worry about, as I believe the total cost to the treasury will be about $500B.

    Were I in Congress, while I would have endorsed the S/S reduction 2 years ago (and would probably have argued for a greater reduction, perhaps of the entire employee portion), today, I think it may be too little, too late to save the Obama presidency, and I would probably vote against this package.  I would support, right now, an extension of the tax cuts, and that's all.

    If forced, here's what I'd like to do now:
    1. Extend the income tax rates permanently.  No deficit implications.  Government gets the same revenues.
    2. Reduce the SS tax rates by 6.2% (equally split between employer and employee contributions) for 2 years - this would be my sop to stimulative effects.
    3. Reduce cap gains tax to 0% for 1 year - get businesses to invest, and now!
    4. Reduce all non-defense, non-entitlement spending to 2006 levels (not 2008, as the GOP pledged)
    5. To facilitate 4, begin the elimination of the Department of Energy, the Department of Education, and defund various non-essential discretionary items - Public TV, NEA contributions, cut foreign aid (like to the UN) and other wasteful and stupid spending.
    6. Bring back all unspent Stimulus funds - apply back to the Treasury.
    7. Get rid of all the various tax breaks in the Stimulus
    8. No extension of unemployment benefits, unless done under Pay-go rules (meaning you cut somewhere to pay for it).

    Some number crunching:

    • If we can reduce spending to 2006 levels, we could probably balance the budget given revenues return to their pre-recession levels.
    • Discretionary spending is slightly more than 1/3 of the total budget.  Since 2006, however, it has increased twice as fast as non-discretionary spending (Social security, medicare, medicaid).  Non-discretionary spending increases about 10% every two years, but discretionary spending is outpacing it.
    • Defense spending is about half of that discretionary spending.  From 2006 to 2008, it accounted for nearly all the increase in discretionary spending.   From 2008 to 2010, however, it only accounted for one quarter of the increase.The big increase in that time frame was in a category labeled other (was this elements of Stimulus?).
    Anyway, take it for what it's worth.  Not much.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010

    Dec 7, 1941, A Day That Will Live in Infamy

    Today marks 69 years since we were viciously attacked by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor, costing over 2400 American lives, and plunging us into WW2.

    If you know any WW2 vets, take a moment to thank them, or say a prayer for them.  They put to death two horrible regimes in Tojo's Japan and Hitler's Germany.

    A year ago, I posted this about important places for Americans to visit.  It bears a re-read.

    Monday, December 6, 2010

    Muslim Brotherhood Front Group Trains Airport Screeners - HUMAN EVENTS

    Remember the initials MPAC (Muslim Public Affairs Council). MPAC is one of many Muslim Brotherhood front groups operating in the US as "outreach" organizations. Also among them are ISNA, and CAIR.

    When you see members from these organizations on TV, supposedly trotted out as "moderates," recall that their organizations were trained and usually founded by people dedicated to the spread of Sharia Law. By force, if necessary, by other means, if possible. The bottom line is - you WILL submit.

    Sunday, December 5, 2010

    You can't make this sh%t up department...(NSFW)

    This weekend, I had the pleasure of seeing the first of my nephews married.

    It was a fun experience, and a great getaway for the wife and I.  We traveled to Philadelphia, my nephew's most recent stop on his world tour courtesy of the United States Air Force (and home to one of my own sisters) and a place where I spent a few weeks as a youth.

    All in all, despite what W.C. Fields said, Philadelphia is a great city to visit, a wonderful Northeastern city with a vibrant urban life, lots of unique and good food, and history to rival few other cities.  It may be the most important city in Colonial America.

    I recommend Philly as a great place to visit.  Maybe you'd prefer it in warmer weather, but, hey, we don't schedule these things.

    In the you can't make this crap up department, the wedding was held at a South Philly establishment known as the Magic Gardens.  You can read all about the Magic Gardens and how it and the artists who were inspired by it and for it saved South Philly from becoming an expressway here.  The Magic Gardens is such a part of Philly lore and South Philly culture, that they were visited by First Lady Michelle Obama and the First Daughters back in August 2009.  The liked it so much, they penned this letter:

    The letter says:
    "Thank you so much for passing along the clay tiles and the terrific photos from our trip to Philadelphia's Magic Gardens.  It is such a special place, and it is exciting to hear that our tiles are now on display as part of your beautiful public art.  The girls and I had a wonderful time visiting Philadelphia and we won't soon forget your truly unique contribution to your community.  Thank you again for everything and I wish you all the best"
    Michelle Obama

    I'm going to say that, as a wedding location, despite being eclectic, perhaps it could best be described as an appropriate place due to its ability to promote fertility.  And by fertility, I mean the chief artist, Isiah Zagar and his followers clearly have an emphasis on the male and female sexual form - sometimes cleverly, and oftentimes not-so-cleverly embedded in the art at Magic Gardens. I also find it interesting that Michelle Obama and the Obamakids found this place so interesting, too.  Let me tell you, I won't soon forget my visit to the Magic Gardens either.

    Here are some NSFW examples of the art, again, IN PLAIN VIEW, and in not-so-plain view in this place (and, folks, it ain't that big of a place). Beware, penises ahead (oh, there are many more, I just got tired of taking pictures of penises, lest someone think I was a lecher):

    Sunday, November 14, 2010

    2012: Palin v. Hillary!

    A lot of speculation is going on over whether Sarah Palin will run for president in 2012, fueled by some of her recent statements (just Google it if you live in a barn).  I think it's the right time for her, but for it to be successful, history gives us some clues as to what needs to happen beforehand.

    With the repudiation of Obama's agenda on 11/2, it is clear (to everyone except senior level Democrats) that Americans are sick of the spending binge, and recognize it as a failure.  They expected the President to focus on restoring the economy, while instead he chose to ram through a rotten Pork package (Stimulus 1), followed it up with a second attempt (Omnibus), then focused on Health Care for 18 months. During this time he made over 30 speeches, each one making it less popular, ultimately ending in the election of Scott Brown and the passage of Obamacare over the objections of the American people.  As I sit here today, I am amazed that this administration, Pelosi, and Reid thought this was good politics, or even good policy.  Just amazed.  I am further amazed that they continue along the meme that their 11/2 defeat was all a "communication" problem.  PLEASE!  For 2 years, Obama was on our TV's constantly, usually with the undying love and adoration of the mainstream media, pushing some part of his agenda.

    What will Obama, et.al. do?

    Nancy Pelosi's choice to remain Minority Leader signals that the Dem's House leadership clearly didn't get the message of Nov 2.  For the GOP, her continued leadership is a God-send.  A wonderful gift that will keep her front and center in the minds of Americans for the next two years and a great tool for 2012 GOP Congressional candidates ("Will you vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker?").  Oh, and has anyone seen an actual budget for 2011 yet?  Dems are still working on it...

    At the White House, it seems all disarray.  Obama goes overseas, where he continues his incompetence tour. Failing to sign a South Korean Free Trade Treaty, and getting continually scolded for our attempts to devalue the Dollar, as China does the same with the Yuan, risking a global currency war.  Like previous efforts at the Chicago Olympics, and the Global Climate Change Conference, this President seems to believe that his mere presence actually can cause the oceans to recede and the planet to cool.  Memo to Obama - your presence can not even get a bunch of Euro-weenies to agree to things they are already inclined to, and certainly your "Asian" life experience has NO meaning to our real Asian partners (and actual practitioners of Capitalism).

    Back home, uber-campaign strategist David Axelrod (I guess he's looking forward to getting back to the campaign trail, since he likewise is an incompetent advisor on policy) signaled this week that the administration would likely agree on extending the Bush tax cuts (and preventing a huge tax increase) for ALL Americans for some time.  Once the Left challenged this, though, the president himself started backing away.

    Against this backdrop of incompetency, we have to consider whether Obama has the political survival instincts of Bill Clinton.  The answer: No.

    He will instead choose hand-to-hand combat against the GOP, clinging to his policies and far left ideology.  This will result in gridlock, a defunding of Obamacare, and numerous challenges to him.  Some Dems will recognize the potential for complete 2012 electoral disaster, and will start looking for a primary challenger.  They will hope to find it in Hillary Clinton.  Despite Hillary's statements that she will never run for president again, I can not believe that a desperate Democrat party, looking at even greater losses in the House and Senate in 2012, and faced with a strong case against Obama, will not look for Hillary first to save them.  So, condition number one to a Palin presidency is the Obama must face at lease a credible primary challenger in 2012  Hillary clearly would fill that bill, but others could, as well.  Already we hear talk of Evan Bayh (who retired rather than lose his Senate seat) and Jim Webb (who will probably lose his in 2012, so why not set the stage for even a 2016 presidential run with a 2012 dry run), and others being in the mix (Howard Dean is mentioned, though I think a credible run will come from Obama's right, not his left).

    In the recent past, sitting presidents have only lost re-election when they have faced significant primary challenges.  Eugene McCarthy and RFK forced LBJ to not even seek re-election in 1968.  Jimmy Carter faced a challenge from another Kennedy, Teddy, in 1996. Bush 1 faced Pat Buchanan in 1992.  All lost re-election.  This is the surest sign that Obama is doomed.

    Defeating an incumbent president is a challenge in any year.  Obama will be even tougher, regardless of how bad things get, because the Union money machine will crank away a get out the vote effort, and with Obama on the ticket again, blacks will vote in massive numbers again in 2012 for him.  The youth vote, so important in 2008, not so much (my prediction).

    For the GOP to maintain the momentum built up in 2009-2010, it is critically important that the energy behind the Tea Parties remains on their side.  The surest way to make this happen, is for Sarah Palin to stay engaged in the movement and politically active.  It's not really going to be enough for Palin to become kingmaker.  She must get in the arena, and, 2012 is the perfect time.  Quite honestly, her supporters will demand this, and without her on the ticket in 2012, will those Tea Party patriots be engaged enough to offset the advantages the Dems start with (with Obama)?  I don't think so.

    Palin's path forward provides the GOP with both opportunity and challenges.  The opportunity is really the reestablishment of the fiscal-social conservative block that was Reagan's.  Palin fuses both of these better than any current candidate.  Hey, I love Jim Demint, but he doesn't energize people like Palin.  Huckabee?  He's a populist, who would be bad for fiscal conservatives and would turn off tea partiers.  Romney - just a little too polished, and that Massachusetts health care is an albatross around his neck.  Goverrnors Jindal and Daniels - I just don't see it.  

    The challenge - well, let's say someone viewed as an establishment candidate wins the GOP nomination in 2012 against Palin and it's perceived that the GOP establishment was complicit in her defeat.  Without her on the ticket, I could see a scenario where Tea Partiers and social conservatives say they are done and push a 3rd party/Independent run for Palin.   I think some things may help this along in the next two years.  Chief among them will be how the GOP handles control of the House, and the de facto agenda setting they will enjoy on Capital Hill the next two years.  If Tea Partiers are happy with the GOP's leadership, then they will be less inclined to support that third party run by Palin.  But, if the GOP stumbles and makes these voters angry, I expect you'd see massive support for a Palin 3rd party run.  My thought is you'd also see certain recently elected GOP senators/representatives jumping on.  Would it be too hard to imagine a Palin/Demint ticket?

    Should that happen, we may finally see the end of the GOP.  I can't say that I would miss it, given the above scenario.

    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    Actual Sub News! USS Cincinnati Sail Headed Home?

    Could the USS Cincinnati's sail be headed home to its namesake city?

    Seems the Navy has decided yes, if the funds can be gathered to transport and care for it.

    It will join several other sail exhibits and memorials, which have really proliferated with the rapid decommissionings following the end of the Cold War.  Since I last listed museum ships in the United States, I really did not spend a lot of time on these kinds of memorials, focusing instead on ships you could actually tour.  I am surprised by the sheer numbers of these and the dedication it takes to bring these to fruition.  The list below is mainly of Cold War era memorials.  I am sure there are many, many more WW2 and just after memorials I am missing, and I apologize, but since I was a Cold Warrior, I have to draw the line somewhere, lest this post never get published!  For a list that I think does justice to all those older memorials, the USSVI site has it.
    • USS Triton (SSRN 586) - to be memorialized at Triton Memorial Park in Benton, WA.  Triton was the first submarine to circumnavigate the world, following Magellan's path, and commanded by submarine hero, Edward Beach.
    • USS Lewis and Clark (SSBN 644) is part of Patriots Point in Charleston, SC, the Cold War Submarine Memorial (and the sister to my beloved Floating Palace).
    • USS George Washington (SSBN 598) - the first SSBN is located in Groton, CT at the Sub Force Museum.
    • USS George Bancroft (SSBN 643) is located at the entrance to the submarine base at King's Bay, GA.
    • USS Nathanael Greene (SSBN 636) is located in Port Canaveral, Florida
    • USS Woodrow Wilson (SSBN 624) has her sail located at Deterrent Park, in the submarine base at Bangor, WA.
    • USS Parche (SSN 683) the most decorated naval vessel ever, is memorialized at Bremerton's Harborside Park.
    • USS Lapon (SSN 661) is memorialized in Springfield, Mo.  (Guess they didn't want to wait for USS Springfield - which was really named for different Springfields)
    • USS Hawkbill (SSN 666) is located at the Idaho Science Center, in Arco, ID, home of the first nuclear power plant.
    • USS Sturgeon (SSN 637) is found at the Naval Undersea Museum in Keyport, Washington.  
    • USS Sailfish (ex Squalus), SS 192, is located at Portsmouth, ME's Shipyard Mall.  Squalus, of course, sank in 1939 and was the subject of the terrific Peter Maas book, The Terrible Hours, which is as much about the great Swede Momsen, as it is also the story of those hours before the Squalus survivors were rescued.
    • USS Grayling (SSN 646) was the next to last ship built at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, and is memorialized at the NEW Shipyard Mall, conveniently located across from the old Shipyard Mall in Portsmouth.
    • USS James K. Polk (SSBN 645) has her sail displayed at the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History's Heritage Park near Albuquerque, NM.
    That's a couple of days of research, if you know of more, let me know and I'll add them.  

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010

    No voting until you pay for your own damn health insurance!

    Ann Coulter has an interesting column today on why the youth of America must be stopped....

    from VOTING!

    Ann contends that since youth's brains aren't fully developed until they are in their mid-20's, perhaps we need to rethink our conception of when someone reaches adulthood.  According to Dartmouth researcher Craig Bennett, "The brain of an 18-year-old college freshman is still far from resembling the brain of someone in their mid-twenties.  When do we reach adulthood? It might be much later than we traditionally think."

    Given that the majority of youths aged 18-29 vote for Democrats in massive majorities (35 points for Obama in 2008, 16 points for Dems last week), I'd say that about sums it up.  Game, set, match - this demographic is stupid.  Too stupid to be trusted with the vote.

    As Ann points out, we have already decided that they're too vulnerable to drink until they're 21, and they're too vulnerable to trust with their own health care until their 26, so, why do we allow a group who has only half a brain to vote?  Especially when they prove it every election year by voting for people who only put them further and further into debt, paying the bills now for what?  So their self-serving, boomer parents can enjoy their retirement in Florida?

    So, let's repeal the 26th Amendment (after carving out an exception for those who serve in the Armed Forces) and end this scourge on the informed and intelligent American voter!

    Monday, November 8, 2010

    Michael Steele: Keep Him at RNC

    The Daily Caller today pushes this story: Duncan being pushed to challenge Steele for RNC chair reporting on Republican insider attempts to unseat Michael Steele when his term as RNC Chair ends next year.

    I don't have a vote, but, if I did, Mike Duncan, who presided over the downfall of the GOP from 2007-2009, is NOT the guy I would choose to lead the RNC. Haley Barbour, who had a much more successful tenure as head of the RNC, is a pretty good governor in Mississippi, and can take some credit, as head of the Republican Governor's Association, for the great wins by GOP gubernatorial candidates, would be a fat, white, Southern guy I could get behind.

    But, personally, I think Steele should remain. Like him or not, he was part of the team that brought 63 seats to Congress and 6 new senators. So, he's the black guy who's currently brought the most change to Washington, and we owe him the chance to bring some more.

    Sunday, November 7, 2010

    Obama: You're not Reagan

    I haven't posted on the election results yet.

    Suffice to say, it was a good night for the GOP.  Over 60 House seats were gained, and 6 Senate seats.  Liberals like to (wrongly, but more on that later) compare this to 1982, before the Reagan economic recovery got going, when the GOP lost 26 seats in the House, and none in the Senate.  They like to make this comparison because we all know how Reagan's presidency worked out, and that he largely did not compromise his principles after that defeat.  They're using this comparison because in the next sentence these true liberal believers like to claim that's why Obama should just keep on as he's been doing.

    Of course, they miss some critical points:
    1. The GOP just rode a massive wave of anti-Obama and anti-Liberal sentiment to take the 2010 victory.  1982 was not a repudiation of Reagan's policies.  It was anger at rotten economic times, and though Reagan had been in office for only 2 years, he and his party got the brunt of that anger.  26 House seats was actually about average for the party in power in an off-year election, and the loss of no senate seats really was an indication that, while the electorate was frustrated at what was then 3 years of "malaise" they really were not angry enough to turn 1982 into an all-out rout, which leads to...
    2. The 1982 losses were quite small compared to 2010's losses.  While some want to lament the fact that the GOP did not reclaim the Senate (and blame, variously, Tea Partiers, Christine O'Donnell, Sarah Palin, Sharron Angle, and others), in what should have been a year with the GOP playing defense, they took 6 seats, and coming to Washington will be future stars Marco Rubio, Pat Toomey, Rob "Way Better than Voinovich" Portman, Rand Paul, Ron Johnson and some more establishment types.  This was a tsunami.  That it wasn't worse is only due to the stupidity of voters on the Left Coast, who seem to want to continue to live off the government dole in bankrupt states.  So, even in the sheer number comparison, there is no comparison.
    3. State races.  The GOP now holds a majority of governorships and took several state houses, winning 600+ seats in state elections, 50% more than in 1994.  The down ballot massacre was on a par with what happened at the US House.  8 of 10 swing states now have Republican governors.

      But the most important reason is...
    4. Obama and Reagan are not comparable.  Obama is a committed Statist who shares their desire to take total control of the US economy, and is doing everything possible (intentionally or not) to prevent an  actual sustainable recovery.  Reagan was a committed conservative, who understood that tax rates needed to remain low, spending needed to be brought into control (his one major failing was not getting Congress's cooperation on this) and that victory in the Cold War needed to be achieved through a demonstration of our willingness to go toe-to-toe with the Soviets in a battle of industrial might and resolve.

      The bottom line is that Reagan's policies were the right policies to restore our country, and Obama's are the result of clueless academic exercises and the pursuit of power at any cost.  Reagan was right, Obama is wrong.  The American people recognize and understand that at their core.                                                                                                                                                                                                    

    Friday, November 5, 2010

    Some Thoughts on Financial Reform...

    I've gotten into a discussion with a fraternity brother over on Facebook regarding Financial Reform (and politics in general, he's left-of-center, though not annoyingly so).

    So, thought I'd bring some of my discussion over here, largely so I could save some links.  But, you might find an education on the collapse of 2008 and the subsequent "reforms" of interest.

    I think this commenter over at Seeking Alpha makes some very valid points re the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform bill. I also think Dodd's a crook, so count me all in on that one.

    The Heritage Foundation has an analysis here. They also wrote an Op-Ed for USA Today.

    Cato has some more, here  and here,

    I hate to say this, but even Brookings (who tends to be center-left) is not enamored of this bill either.  But, this particular analyst thinks that something was better than what was in place, although even he concedes Congress punted the hard issues to regulators (let's see how THAT works out) and puts tremendous power in those regulators and the Treasury department's appointed officials.

    The bottom line is this financial reform is pretty short on reform, especially of the entities that needed it the most, Fannie, and Freddie. As for me, I'm actually a heck of a lot more comfortable with the people who run these industries (and have actual financial interests in their success) making hard decisions, than regulators.

    Cato's "How Did We Get Into This Mess."  It's a good read (12 pages).

    Sunday, October 31, 2010

    Final Gallup Polling: Uncharted Territory

    Dear Readers,

    The final generic Gallup polling before Tuesday's vote is complete, and it has an unprecedented 55-40 (likely voters) spread in favor of the GOP.  The GOP even leads among registered voters, 48-44.  This is unprecedented. As Gallup says:
    "It should be noted, however, that this year's 15-point gap in favor of the Republican candidates among likely voters is unprecedented in Gallup polling and could result in the largest Republican margin in House voting in several generations. This means that seat projections have moved into uncharted territory, in which past relationships between the national two-party vote and the number of seats won may not be maintained."
    Got that?  Uncharted territory.

    Back in April, I touted a Sean Trende article that suggested Dems could lose 100 seats and I said I would not be surprised to see an 80 seat swing.  At the time, I worried that the momentum of the Tea Partiers and those disgusted with the arrogance of Obama/Pelosi/Reid would last until November. It looks like I was wrong to worry.

    If you haven't voted (I have!), get out on Tuesday and drag a few conservative friends with you.

    Crazy Tea Party Quotes, deconstructed...

    In a Facebook exchange, some liberal friends, they passed this link along, of the "14 Craziest Things Tea Party Candidates Believe."

    The article was penned by the Dartmouth educated Gus Lubin.  If this article doesn't pretty much give up Gus's politics, his Ivy League education would be a clue, as would his following list on Twitter.  If you're following Frank Rich, Thomas Friedman, Paul Krugman, and your only people on the right are Sarah Palin, you're not looking for balance, you're looking for confirmation of your own left-wing ideology and for something interesting to be posted by Palin.

    Given that, this article is not surprising.  I don't read Gus's work.  I am sure it's fabulous, in it's self-absorbed, Liberal-self-love type of way (that's called foreshadowing), but, this is vapid.  That is not going to stop me from taking on each of these 14 statements, and try to prove why they're not batshit crazy, and demonstrate a nutty liberal statement in return for each of them.  I'll start with number one on their list, because it involves something all liberals enjoy - Sex with the one they love.
    • Christine O'Donnell "It is not enough to be abstinent with other people, YOU ALSO HAVE TO BE ABSTINENT ALONE. The Bible says that lust in your heart is committing adultery, so you can't masturbate without lust."
      O'Donnell said this in a 1996 MTV documentary, "Sex in the '90's" where she was pushing her abstinence agenda, and masturbation was a part of that.  Central to the issue is Matthew 5:28, "You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who has looked a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”  This was clearly the verse former president Jimmy Carter was referring to in his 1976 Playboy interview where he admitted to committing  "adultery in my heart many times."

      Thinking people would largely agree that O'Donnell's on pretty solid ground here in her statement in that most self-love (particularly among men) is focused  on some object of desire (and not usually a car).  And Carter hits the right note that it's really about what's in the heart.  For him, if he looked at a woman with lust in his heart, he felt he had committed adultery.  If I was rating this, I'd say the statement by O'Donnell is "Mostly True," because I think you could argue that if the object of your desire was your spouse, that's probably not adultery.  For info, in her video, Christine frowns on this, as she thinks it would detract from the relationship because it makes the other in the relationship less necessary.  Some men might find that attitude very endearing, some might find it annoying.  I shall stay agnostic.

      One thing O'Donnell doesn't hit in this quote is the issue of masturbation and sin.

      An argument can be made both for and against masturbation as a sin. A pretty good, fair take on the religious aspects of masturbation can be found at About.com's Christian Teens section. Regardless of the technicality of whether it's a sin or not, most people would agree that the objectification of women that is most commonly associated with males and masturbation is generally not a good thing, that the use of pornography and addiction that often results (in males) is destructive to relationships, and that for those with the willpower and ability to reject that which that detracts from their central relationships (with their spouse and their God above all) comes great personal satisfaction and rewards - and, I'd just guess (not copping to anything here) - an improved relationship with the significant other. I'm just sayin'.

      My bottom line on this is - if you're a Christian struggling with this issue - read your Bible, pray, and like so many things, this boils down to your personal relationship with God.  Like so many gray areas, there are places where we clearly cross a line into gray.  The O'Donnell's of the world (and many of your pastors) would suggest staying far off that line.  But, we're sinners and most of us will enter that area and cross it.  If we were perfect, there would be no need for a Savior.
    Liberal Stupidity:
    • I quoted the Carter Playboy interview above, but, I don't find Carter to be wrong, either, just as I don't find anything wrong with O'Donnell's statements.  Sure, the secular Left, who practices the religion of Government-love, finds this focus on a pure relationship among (married) loving couples old-fashioned and silly, but, no less a Leftist than Jimmy Carter shared pretty much the same view, so, this really isn't a Left-Right issue, it's a cultural one.
    So, I'll use this goody from Nancy Pelosi on unemployment benefits:
    "It creates jobs faster than almost any other initiative you can name."

    Rally for Stupid People (Who think they're hip and funny)

    Yesterday, Jim Colbert and John Stewart, who you may know as two sometimes funny, often smarmy, always Leftist comedians, held the "Rally for sanity and/or fear" in DC.

    As you would expect, at lot of mostly white, youngish men attended, and some older types who think they're really funny, but aren't really (to paraphrase, if they were half as funny as they think they are, they'd be twice as funny as they are) also came.

    This video pretty much sums up this huge suck-up fest:

    Friday, October 29, 2010

    Weekend Election 2010 Thoughts

    The Republican Governor's Association has done some pretty good ads this cycle. Here's another one:

    Remember November: The Final Act from Republican Governors Association on Vimeo.

    Tonight, as I watch the final polls coming in, it is clear where the last minute direction is, and it's all in the GOP's favor. My guess is we're still going to see more than 70 seats in the House and the Senate go to the Republicans.

    Monday, October 25, 2010

    Why do these words bother liberals so much?????

    The Tenth Amendment to the US Constitution reads:
    "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
    In essence, this was the Founders way of saying, "This government derives its rights from the consent of the governed and what they want it to do." 
    They meant that we had a Federal government, limited in its scope by what we the people granted it.  It is at the core of Federalism that the States, "or to the people" was included in this, the final act in the Bill of Rights. 
    The AFL-CIO, in their blog entry, "'Tenthers' Would Abolish Wage and Child Labor Laws, Social Security, Medicare, and More" accuse conservatives of just that.  Moreover, they equate conservatives who see the 10th amendment as an important check on Federal power to "cultists."
    Of course, their definition of "cultist" in this case is:
    "Most cults are based in some sort of skewed spiritual vision or the worship of a charismatic leader, but there is a re-emerging cult that bows down at the feet of the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution."
    I wonder who the "charismatic leader" is in this case?  In the grammatical sense, they are putting the US Constitution in the role of leader here.  That being the case, I plead guilty.  I am a cultist when it comes to the Constitution.  Hey, AFL-CIO, I served over 20 years in the Navy and I took an oath (and oft-repeated it) to defend that Constitution.  I don't think you could get much more cultist than I was (and still am).  So, if it's "cultist" to love, defend, honor, and protect that document, so be it. 
    What's that make you, leaders of the AFL-CIO?

    Sunday, October 24, 2010

    WSJ Investigation: Biggest spenders in 2010 election cycle - unions, NOT Karl Rove

    I've been following, with some interest, the Washington State senate race, featuring challenger Republican Dino Rossi, against the second dumbest person in Washington DC, incumbent Patty Murray.  I've mainly done this via Twitter, since the initial debate between them (which followed the Reid/Angle debate).

    That has led to some discussions about the funding of these candidates.  Rossi has raised quite a bit of money to make himself competitive in a very blue state, and having been the victim of a stolen gubernatorial race, you can understand he doesn't want to risk another close election, if possible.  A lot of Rossi's recent money has come from the Chamber of Commerce and American Crossroads (that scorned upon, by Dems, Karl Rove group).  In fact, Rossi has collected $4.5M from these types of groups.  If you've been awake this week, you know Campaign Finance law allows these groups to not reveal their donors.  This is the crux of the Obamanut argument that "foreign" money is flowing into these groups.  It's, of course, a red herring, since these laws have existed since the passage of CFR and the Democrats made these very useful to them over the last three cycles.  They continue to do so today, as a matter of fact.  In fact, Patty Murray has raised over $600k from one single group, CNN reported "An organization called The Citizens and Strength and Security Action Fund has spent north of $640,000 on Murray' behalf but, as a 501(c)4 organization like Crossroads GPS and American Action Network, is not required to disclose its funding sources."  She's not exactly lilly pure.

    From the administration's ridiculous attacks on right-leaning groups who take advantage of this part of law, the Wall Street Journal this week decided to actually do some reporting on who is donating, and how much.

    That led to this article, which brings some interesting reality-based facts to the discussion.  Turns out the biggest spenders are Unions, leading the way is the service employees union.  The Chamber and American Crossroads, thankfully, are 2 and 3, followed by 2 more unions (see below).  Bottom line, unions are outspending these groups by 30%.


    I don't have a HUGE problem with unions spending money on political campaigns.  I do, however, reject the notion that unions spending money on these campaigns represents the political opinions of their rank and file.  Typically, these groups are funded from union dues, which, in non-right-to-work states, are extorted from workers who work at companies covered under a collective bargaining agreement, with no opt-out provision.  I should point out that Republicans have tried repeatedly over the years, as part of CFR efforts, to insert provisions that would allow workers to opt out of having portions of their dues go towards political campaigns, or that would require unions to create PACS just as management employees have to, and make contributions to these voluntary.

    Obviously, union leaders do not want this to happen, and for good reason.  Once their members realized 1) the amount of money being extorted from them for political purposes, they'd want it back, and 2) they would disagree with a lot of the spending done by their leadership, and seek to change it.  Either way, the net effect would be more responsiveness of union leaders to their rank and file, and less overall money available to union leaders to spend.

    We couldn't have either of those now, could we?

    Campaign finance laws are often byzantine and hard to understand.  They are, by and large, incumbent protection plans, regardless of which side you reside.  One thing almost all of us regular citizens agree on is that more transparency would go a long way to alleviating the problem.

    On the Right, we want unions to play by the same rules as everyone else, and we would generally like to see monetary limits removed.  On the Left, they just seem ok with the right having to be transparent.

    Saturday, October 23, 2010

    Year of the Woman? It already is.

    Listening and reading the expected last ditch campaign tactics of the Left, that Republicans, and especially Tea Partiers are racist hatemongers got me thinking.

    My thoughts wandered over to something else I heard recently a Leftist lament (this NPR report confirms the Leftist bent) - that this year there was such a dearth of female and minority candidates, that all the gains these groups had made, particularly women, in the "Year of the Woman" of 1992 were going to be erased.

    2010 may prove to be a banner year for conservative women.  Already, Sarah Palin-backed candidates have won primaries in Alaska (Miller), Delaware (O'Donnell), Arizona (McCain), California (Fiorina), SC (Haley), Kentucky (Paul).  The Washington Post has a Palin Endorsement tracker, you can see how Palin's endorsements have gone.  Pretty good so far.  It's an easy case to make that the most powerful figure in the GOP today is Sarah Palin.  A woman.

    Even in the Democrat party, the second most powerful person is clearly still Hillary Clinton.  If Hillary really wanted to be the MOST powerful Democrat, she would resign from the Obama administration, and focus on building her support for the 2012 primary season and positioning herself as the savior of the party.  Rush Limbaugh has begun Operation Reverse Chaos to bring Hillary back to her rightful place at the top of the Democrat Party.

    The bottom line is arguably, the two most powerful politicians in this country are women.

    WaPo finally reports on Bam admin's refusal to pursue New Black Panther Party Voter Intimidation

    You may remember this from the 2008 elections. A couple of New Black Panther Party members intimidate voters at a Philadelphia polling place.


    The Bush administration's Justice Department initiated a case against these guys, which proceeded during the early part of the Obama administration, until it was dropped, mysteriously. Much prior reporting was done by Fox and Breitbart, but now the Washington Post has done some reporting on this, and the result - much of what the Obama DoJ told us about this case, and how it came to be dropped, was untrue.  As the WaPo article points out, the administration tried to make the decision to drop the case appear as though it was done at a low level, by career legal staffers, while the Post has found that at least the number 2 at Justice was involved in email exchanges about this case, and while they don't explicitly lay the dismissal at Attorney General Eric Holder's feet, he was clearly in the know.

    What is clear from the Post's reporting is that the Obama DoJ and Civil Rights Division is not interested in protecting the voting rights of white voters.
    "There are career people who feel strongly that it is not the voting section's job to protect white voters," a DOJ lawyer said. "The environment is that you better toe the line of traditional civil rights ideas or you better keep quiet about it, because you will not advance, you will not receive awards and you will be ostracized."
    I followed this story loosely as it unfolded, and just noticed this interesting tidbit about the men, one of whom, Jerry Jackson, who was a Democrat Party poll watcher:
    "Jackson, 54, and Heath, 39 (better known as King Samir Shabazz not his old “slave name” of Maruse Heath), have criminal histories that between them include convictions for drug possession, robbery and simple assault, according to court records. Their local New Black Panther Party is part of a small, radical black nationalist organization with members in a handful of cities. It is not connected to the Black Panther Party of the 1960s."
     I want to know how someone with a criminal record that includes assault and robbery can get certified as a poll watcher????

    Saturday, October 16, 2010

    Wishing we had more "hobbyist" politicians, less career politicians

    Listening to the podcast of the Tony Kornheiser shows this week, and I am forced to listen to MSNBC/NBC "reporter" Chuck Todd and Tony discuss the Rich Iott Nazi uniform to-do (previous post on this), the Carl Palladino dust-up, then some odd chatter about how Todd is upset that billionaires like Palladino take up politics after they've made money as some kind of "hobby."

    I listen to Tony Kornheiser because he's generally funny, it gives me a fix of Redskins sports talk and insight into a group of people (Tony and his cohorts) who are so out of touch with current culture and politics that hilarity ensues (e.g. Tony doesn't know who Hilary Duff is, and his sycophants think she's in her 30's. For the record, she's 23).

    Returning to the Todd discussion, let's put aside that Todd's a thinly veiled shill for the Democrat party (and a likely replacement for Baghdad Robert Gibbs) who fits right in at the rabidly Leftist MSNBC, and analyze the stupidity of their conversation just on the Iott issue then on their thoughts on "career" politicians.

    Regarding Iott, clearly TK had no idea the details of this.  Tony prides himself on doing little research, so I don't blame him for accepting at face value that Iott was some kind of secret Nazi.  But, Todd is supposed to be a reporter (I know).  He could have pointed out, when Tony asked, that Iott had, indeed, portrayed Americans in reenactments and wasn't exclusively a Nazi reenactor.  Since that was buried in The Atlantic's hit piece about 23 paragraphs in, either Todd didn't have the attention span to get that far, or he just felt compelled to ignore it.  Either way, he's a putz.

    Moron Todd and Tony lament the political climate where rich guys seem to think now that they've made their money, they need a new hobby and politics should be it (this is the argument Todd, mostly, tries to use to explain how Palladino got into the NY governor's race).  Of course, Todd goes off on Sarah Palin as an example of someone using her political notoriety to cash in.  While there may be some truth in that, they then decided to hold up as examples of billionaires who actually believe in public service, drumroll, please...Michael Bloomberg and John Corzine.  Bloomberg's an idiot who wants New York City to have a victory mosque 600 feet from Times Square and Corzine was a completely unaccomplished New Jersey Senator and so ruined NJ's economy as Governor that Chris Christie (a Republican) defeated him and is now being lauded for having the fortitude to clean up Corzine's mess.  Please, this is comical.

    Todd further goes on to wish that there were more people who made politics their career, completely exposing why the left-wing media does not get the Tea Party movement (hey, Chuckles, the people want FEWER career politicians, you idiot!).

    Let me list some families who have nothing but politics on their resume.  Most of these people are corrupt or incompetent, and I would like to seem them all retired:

    • The Kennedy's (corrupt, incompetent, drunk, and morally bankrupt)
    • The Dingell's (corrupt)
    • The Clinton's (corrupt)
    • The Reid's (incompetent AND corrupt)
    • The Biden's (incompetent)
    • The Rockefeller's (a waste of air)
    • The Murkowski's (corrupt)
    • The Bush's (ok, the ONE I would like to see seek national office, Jeb, has had his career ruined by his brother - but, most of the Bush's made some money elsewhere before entering politics, so they arent' really just politicians)
    • The Carnahan's (incompetent)
    I am sure there are more families where politics is the family business.  I am also sure they think it's their birthright, their entitlement, and they act like it.  They need to all be put out of business.

    Friday, October 15, 2010

    AARP Approved Beg Letter, modified to reflect reality

    The AARP gave me a neat little template to send to my Senator requesting he send seniors a check for $250, since they're not getting a COLA this year (full disclosure: My parents are seniors).

    I modified it as below and sent it to my Senator.  What do you think?

    I am writing to urge you to provide relief to the millions of Social Security recipients who will not receive their cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in 2011 by repealing the recently passed Health Care Reform Act.

    For over three decades, millions of older Americans have counted on annual Social Security benefit increases to help them afford their basic needs.  Unfortunately, the benefits they've earned will again be frozen next year, which will leave millions struggling to make ends meet.

    Over the past two years, older Americans have paid more for utilities and food, have experienced a decline in home values, have tried to recover from deep retirement account losses, have experienced rising health and prescription drug costs, and faced longer periods of unemployment.

    The AARP specifically focused on increasing prescription drug costs as a rationale for this needed increase.  Clearly, the passage of HCR has not done a thing to help seniors.  Indeed, it has increased their costs, as well as effectively eliminating the Medicare Advantage program, from which so many seniors benefit.

    I'm counting on you to provide seniors with the immediate relief they need by repealing this onerous and costly bill.

    Thank you in advance for your support on this important issue

    Sunday, October 10, 2010

    Nazi! All Republicans might as well wear the uniform...(or should they?)

    Apparently, Republican Congressional candidate Rich Iott, in the Ohio 9 race, is a Nazi sympathizer.

    And, that's not just standard-fare Leftist characterizations of Republicans in a last-minute effort to win.  No, this comes from "respected" Atlantic senior Editor Joshua Green (ok, that was sarcasm - the Atlantic is a Liberal, bought-and-paid-for-by-democrats rag).

    It seems that the Atlantic has actual photos of Iott in German SS uniforms.  This is their smoking gun.  Iott in German SS (Wiking Division) garb.  Therefore, he's a Nazi!

    If I'm writing this, you know there's a truth in here somewhere.

    The truth is that Iott is a WW2 re-enactor, and he sometimes plays the role of a member of the Waffen SS, Wiking Division.  He has also portrayed US infantrymen and other good-guy roles.  Hey, someone has to play the bad guys in these historical re-enactments, otherwise, I imagine they get kind of, well, boring?

    I know these kind of guys, and Iott is also a Colonel in the Guard, and some guys have a thing for accuracy in re-enactments, and there are more than a few guys who have some deep respect for the German army.  This group has a point, these units were well-trained and skilled warfighters who taught much to the us, Brits and Russians, even after WW2.

    The bottom line is this is a hit piece.  I started by saying it's not standard-fare name-calling, but, that's really all it is, with just a little more of prurient interest to move it along.

    Nancy Kaptur (the D incumbent) is not interested in defending her record, can't defend her record, and Iott was closing the gap against her.  The Atlantic has decided, as I suppose it should, as a mouthpiece of the Left, to try to gin this up.

    Here's hoping it backfires on these a-holes.  For more context, here's a good post from NRO's Battle 10.  Ann Althouse also has some great commentary.

    Friday, October 8, 2010

    Twitter Followers

    Apparently, many of you are NOT using Twitter.  That's too bad, because I think it's one of the best social networking apps created (superior to Facebook, yes).

    I don't pay a lot of attention to the emails I receive telling me who follows me, but tonight, I thought I'd take a look at my followers.  Many people will follow you after you follow them, so, I decided to check out who is following me without me having followed them first, just for fun.

    Not too much interesting, except why is the Mayor of Newark following me?  And The Hill magazine?  The Deputy Commissioner of the Georgia Dept of Agriculture?

    Of course, I followed a few famous people, and they followed me back (you can set Twitter up to automatically follow those who follow you).  John Boehner, Kelsey Grammar, Fred Barnes, The Heritage Foundation, Karl Rove, The Weekly Standard, Mary Katherine Ham.

    Just some random thoughts...

    Desperate Dems Despair

    As the final month of the 2010 election season rolls on, we knew Dems, poised to lose 60-80 House seats and the Senate, would get desperate and start with the usual attacks:

    - Republicans want to starve Granny by taking away her social security
    - Republicans want to kill Granny by cutting her Medicare
    - Republicans want to kill young pregnant womyn by making abortion no longer safe or legal
    - Republicans want to give their fat cat rich friends and big businesses tax breaks at the expense of the working man...

    We knew all those old, tired memes would come out, but, we didn't know that the Bam admin itself was going to get violent, to wit:

    - Joe Biden will strangle any Republican who talks to him about balancing the budget
    - Obama is going to engage in hand-to-hand combat with the Republican Congress

    Maybe Christine O'Donnell can turn them all into actual donkeys...

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010

    I Have Done a Terrific Job...

    New Republican Governor's Association Video.  Pretty nicely done:

    Sestak forgotten...

    In the wake of the disastrous socialist One Nation Rally this past week (attended by a few thousand paid union organizers), Joe Sestak held a rally in Philly, and...no one showed up.  Check out some of these shots - Sestak supporters are outnumbered by Toomey supporters.

    Sestak is, of course, a not too impressive Navy veteran, but Toomey is an authentic conservative, and better represents the Alabama portion of Pennsylvania.  So, it's been a great two years for Pennsylvanians - Arlen Specter showed his true colors, was bounced in a Democrat primary, and the Republican nominee is poised to return some sanity to PA.

    It's crazy, but Pennsylvania is about to have 2 pro-life Senators. What's up with that?

    They must hate womyn up there.

    Sunday, October 3, 2010

    Virginia's Still Shedding Skin

    Navy Times has this AP story on the loss of anechoic tiles on Virginia's: Navy scrambles after subs shed stealthy coating

    As Norman Polmar says, "“We’ve been using anechoic coatings for almost 50 years and in that time, you’d hope that we could get it right"

    In response to the Virginia's shedding ~5% of their tiles.

    Friday, October 1, 2010

    Norway to Israel: No testing here

    The Norwegians have decided that the Isareli's new, German-built submarine, can not be tested in Norwegian waters.

    Have the Norwegians always been anti-semites, or is this some larger ban on testing warships from the home of the Nobel Peace Prize?

    Thursday, September 30, 2010

    Alan Grayson - Eat this!

    If you follow politics (if you're reading this, you do), you know Florida Congressman Alan Grayson is as despicable as they come.  He's kind of the white Cynthia McKinney.

    Anyway, he ran a hit job on his opponent, Daniel Webster (give here), where he edited a speech Webster had given and called Webster an American Taliban (ok, he called him Taliban Dan).

    Anyway, watch this video, where our friend Alan, gets a little of the same treatment.  I wish it was on more than You Tube:

    Monday, September 27, 2010

    People do the craziest things...

    One of my siblings owns a handful of vacation rentals in the NC mountains.  She recently sent me a request she received from a potential customer.  Somehow, I don't think this brain surgeon is going to be renting one of her places, but you have to give her points for chutzpah:

    "We really do not need three bedrooms as my husband and I are bringing my parents for a vacation. The third bedroom and bathroom can be locked. What would your rate be?"

    Sunday, September 19, 2010

    College Football 2010

    (Update: Corrected SEC west to East for Tech/Clemson below.)

    I realize it's three weeks into the 2010 college football season, so I am joining this party late, but, given that so many of my loyal readers attended or have strong ties to the University of Cheating (oops, I mean North Carolina), I wanted to get this week behind me before I decided to say anything about the CFB season.

    With Georgia Tech's 30-24 dispatching of UNC yesterday (in Chapel Hill, with 12 cheaters still ineligible for UNC), Tech finally played a decent game, running up about 450 yards in offense and holding UNC to 1 TD in the second half. This makes Tech 2-1 with the embarrassing loss to Kansas (who has lost to North Dakota state and Southern Miss) standing out.

    Carolina, of course, hamstrung by their NCAA restrictions, is 0-2.  They still might be, at full strength, the best team in the Coastal Division.  We'll see.

    Out of conference, the ACC continues to embarrass.  Clemson played a great first half against Auburn, then sucked in the second half when Kyle Parker got hurt and their Freshman kicker missed a FG in overtime to give Auburn the come-from-behind victory.

    Wake Forest got their butts handed to them by Stanford, and Maryland looked like an FCS opponent against West Virginia, and Duke against Alabama...well, it's Duke.  Only NC State shellacking a reeling Cincinnati team, FSU's rout of a rotten BYU, and Virginia Tech taking out its revenge against EZU redeemed the ACC this weekend.

    Against significant competition, the ACC is 5-10 this season (5-11 if you count VT vs. James Madison).  Not good for a conference who wants to remain in the BCS.

    My solution to this is for the ACC to abandon football and turn its teams loose.

    I propose that Clemson, Georgia Tech and FSU join the SEC, along with one of Texas, TCU or Oklahoma.  Tech and Clemson join the SEC East and send FSU and one of those other teams to the SEC West, which really needs some competition.

    Maybe the ACC needs to give it up altogether, or combine with the Big East and become a mid-major football conference and a killer basketball conference.  Everyone knows that the Big Ten wants Maryland and Maryland wants to be in the Big Ten.  Would the Big 10 also take BC?  That would leave the Tobacco road schools - VT, Virginia, the Big Four and Miami.  Would that make a massively unwieldy Big East?  Probably.

    Just something has to be done about the pathetic state of ACC football..

    Wednesday, September 15, 2010

    Krauthammer busts on Angle/O'Donnell. Get with the program, Chuck!

    From our good friend Gateway Pundit, comes this video of Charles Krauthammer attacking Christine O'Donnell and Sharron Angle.

    Now, I happen to agree that Krauthammer is one of our great conservative minds, but, methinks he has demonstrated a tiny bit of elitism in some of his criticisms of first, the tea partiers themselves, and now of candidates, endorsed by tea party groups, who represent mainstream American values and conservative principles. Finally, in the clip, I would suggest he needs to not write off Angle/O'Donnell, but instead reiterate the anger that Americans feel that makes these compelling candidates.

    Mr. Krauthammer - I respect you immensely, but, please, you need to realize the GOP's fate rest on these people taking control of a party that was moribund just 18 months ago.

    Finally, I agree with Jim, "Would someone please tell these Beltway GOP elites to shut their yaps!

    Monday, September 13, 2010

    Delaware and the Left's Jihad against Conservative Women

    Rush Limbaugh weighs in on the Republican establishment against Christine O'Donnell, Sharron Angle, and Sarah Palin in Republicans Are Blowing Their Best Chance to Beat Liberalism.

    The gist of Rush's discussion today is that the GOP establishment wants establishment candidates, even where they are RINO's, because it's a status thing. I happen to think it's also because, in the case of O'Donnell and Angle, it's because more establishment-type candidates would have required less resources to win, but, that's the practical side of the thing.  Rush references this post by the Chicago Boyz which tries to explain the Left's paranoia over Sarah Palin.  I recommend their blog and Rush's analysis as well.

    Regarding conservative vs. establishment (i.e. RINO) candidates, Rush says, "a Senate full of Mike Castles is not gonna get us anywhere. It's gonna get a bunch of Republicans their chairmanships on the committee but it's not going to do anything to reverse Obamaism."

    Furthermore, Rush references one of my favorite blogs, Legal Insurrection, regarding conservative women and the Left's attacks on them specifically, Bill Jacobson says "The 'nuts and sluts' defense is a common employment law tactic whenever a female employee brings a claim. It doesn't matter what the claim is, the defense -- after the usual legal mumbo jumbo -- will be something like this: 'She's nuts. And by the way, pssst, she may be a slut.' That is the mode of attack Democrats use against conservative women.

    As for me, my thought is that this year is going to be special and a wave election (I've said it before). Personally, I'd rather see a marginal candidate, but a real conservative (O'Donnell), get a shot, than a known RINO (Castle).  It's a tough call, and I can see how The Weekly Standard, the National Review, and the GOP establishment want to be pragmatic and take the RINO bird-in-hand and concentrate resources elsewhere.

    But, if not this year, then when?  Some of the best replies and food for thought are on the Legal Insurrection post.  I recommend you read those in addition to Jacobson's excellent post.

    Sunday, September 12, 2010

    Obama Admin Successes - Successful at ruining the economy

    Hugh Hewitt provides analysis of the O Presidency in today's Washington Examiner. To wit:
    • In November 2008, unemployment was 6.7 percent. In January 2009 it was 7.6 percent. That January, Christine Romer, along with Vice President Biden's top economist, Jared Bernstein, argued in a report that the economic stimulus package would keep unemployment under 8 percent.  Without the stimulus, Team Obama predicted employment would rise to about 9 percent in 2010. The "stimulus" passed, of course, unemployment is 9.6 percent.
    • The country's debt at the end of 2008 was $5.8 trillion. It will be $9.8 trillion at the end of this year. The last annual deficit before the Democrats took over Congress in January 2007 was $160 billion.  As a percentage of the nation's GDP, the deficit in 2010 will be 10.64 percent. In 2008 it was 3.18 percent. [That's a 300% increase!]
    • The November 2008 average price of a home in top 20 metropolitan markets in the United States, using the Case-Shiller index, was $154,500. The June 2010 average price for the same index -- the most recent data available and published in late August -- is $148,000. That number is widely believed to have been buoyed by the now-disappeared new home tax credit, and it is believed to again be falling. [So, despite the Dem's repeated attempts to do something, the expanded homeownership policies of the Left which forced banks to make bad loans, and allowed Fannie and Freddie to guarantee them, are still having an impact on the markets.  Worse still, Fannie and Freddie are practicing pretty much the same policies they practiced before the meltdown].
    • The index of consumer confidence stands at 53.5 today. That number was 39 during the panic of October 2008. It dropped to 37 in January 2009. It hit 55.9 in January of this year -- before Obamacare passed and while hopes for the stimulus and the president's placebo economics persisted.
    • On Thursday last week the Wall Street Journal reported that the federal centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services had recalculated their projections on health care costs in light of Obamacare. Prior to Obamacare's passage, the annual increase in total health spending in the country over the next decade was supposed to be 6.1 percent. After Obamacare, the centers now calculate that annual growth in spending at 6.3 percent. [bending the cost curve down?]
    • On Wednesday, the Journal reported on a survey of major health insurance companies and found premium increases of between 1 percent and 9 percent for self-insured Americans and employees in small businesses in the next few months because of the mandate for new benefits under the law. [Did even Obama believe that adding requirements was going to decrease costs?]

    Religion of Peace Strikes Again

    What's more dangerous than being a Muslim in America where hate crimes and shrill voices make Muslims and the Left uncomfortable?

    Try being a Coptic Christian in Egypt, where Muslims burn Christians to death, then murder their parents if they offend Muslims.

    Jihad Watch has the details on a Coptic Christian who was burned to death after being accused of having a relationship with a Muslim woman, then his father was stabbed to death.

    No details on the woman, but, the typical punishment for her would be death by stoning.

    Religion of Peace, baby.

    Tuesday, September 7, 2010

    Charlie Cook and I agree. Dems to lose big in November.

    Back on April 14th, I posted this.

    Nice to see Charlie Cook coming around...

    Senate, too?

    Burning Koran's - Just say no.

    A Florida church wants to protest the spread of radical Islam by burning the Koran on September 11th.

    This is a bad idea and I'll tell you why.

    1. Burning books is the act of despots and tyrants. Anyone who reads this blog knows how I feel about Islamists and the plans of the Muslim Brotherhood. But, unless we're in this for the total elimination of Islam, the burning of their Holy Book is simply a disgraceful and disrespectful act to those who practice Islam who might actually be worthy of cultivating in a reformation of the religion. On this, I agree with Hillary Clinton (gratuitous photo of "Never miss a meal" Hillary below):

    2. Burning books is UnAmerican.
    3. If the Florida church wanted to truly highlight some of the more egregious aspects of Islam, they would instead of burning the Koran, choose some of the more, er, interesting parts of it to read.  Well, check out a few of these.  Of particular interest to Jihadists are:
    • "Believers, take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends." (Surah 5:51)
    • "Fight against such as those to whom the Scriptures were given [Jews and Christians]...until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued." (Surah 9:27-)
    • "Say: 'Praise be to God who has never begotten a son; who has no partner in His Kingdom..." (Surah 17:111)
    • "'How shall I bear a child,' she [Mary] answered, 'when I am a virgin...?' 'Such is the will of the Lord,' he replied. 'That is no difficult thing for Him...God forbid that He [God] Himself should beget a son!...Those who say: 'The Lord of Mercy has begotten a son,' preach a monstrous falsehood..." (Surah 19:12-, 29-, 88)
    • "Slay them wherever you find them...Idolatry is worse than carnage...Fight against them until idolatry is no more and God's religion reigns supreme." (Surah 2:190-)
    So, don't burn those Koran's.  I think these people planning this should on September 11th instead say, "we were going to burn these, but we decided to read these passages instead."  Maybe with the press coverage they would get, some of this stuff would finally get reported outside the one's seeking it out.

    Friday, September 3, 2010

    Anger and Temper Tantrums - the left is having a hissy fit

    I am making this a blog post on this subject, under the rubric of "Anger" based on a caller to Hannity's radio show yesterday.

    The Left uses terms like "angry" and "temper tantrum" to describe the right's (and the electorate's) mood, because they have no explanation for it in their world.  In the Left's worldview, thier omniscience is perfect, and their policies absolutely correct, and if the hoi polloi were only intelligent enough, or less "angry" over something (in this particular case, that's usually the ascension of a black man to the presidential throne), they would just see all the great, well-meaning, and academically correct policies, procedures, and strategies that the Left is enacting.

    You see, it's not the fundamental failure of their policies that has the electorate and the right frustrated, confused, and yes, righteously angry - in their minds, it can't be, because they are incapable of failure - it is our own anger and stupidity.

    In that vein, it's not their fault that Obama sucks, it's ours.

    Dear Jay,

    I was reading Charles Krauthammer's column in the Post this morning when my eyes happened to shift to the column next to his, Eugene Robinson's. I cannot believe it but his entire column is about the voters having a temper tantrum this fall. Clearly Peter Jennings' statement that the 1994 election results were a voter temper tantrum made no impression on Eugene Robinson and other inside the beltway liberals. I'm pretty sure Rush et al will be talking about it today.

    Well, it will be another decade before I bother looking at a Eugene Robinson column again.

    Thursday, August 19, 2010

    Former VP candidate says president isn't a good Christian due to his policies.

    A former Vice Presidential candidate said the President, "walks around calling himself a good Christian but I don't for one minute believe it, because the policies are so terribly unfair.”

    You probably think this statement was uttered by Sarah Palin about Obama, but, you'd be wrong. This was Geraldine Ferraro's take on Ronald Reagan.

    Monday, August 9, 2010

    More Subs Launched by Iranians?

    The Iranians "claim" that they launched 4 more Ghadir class mini-subs this week. This would bring the number to 11, and has the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Brig. Gen. Yadollah Javani, saying that Iran’s enemies have never dared to attack because of the vulnerability of the waterway.

    “If anything happens in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz is closed, the possibility of using this route will be lost for decades, and this will be a great tragedy for the global economy."

    Yeah, okay General.

    Great Product! Removes unwanted Obama Bumper Stickers

    Great Ad, Must-watch You Tube

    Saturday, August 7, 2010

    2 Sub Items in One Day!!! Hundley to be turned

    In a move sure to thrill submarine archeologists everywhere, the CSS Hundley is going to have the straps that were used to lift it 10 years ago removed so that the preservationists can begin to preserve her hull.  In so doing, the starboard side will  be seen for the first time since she departed on her successful and fatal voyage 146 years ago.

    Latest P8 arrives at Pax River for testing

    The third P8 to be used in the Navy and Boeing's test program has arrived at Pax River.  The Navy is finally on a path to replace aging P-3 aircraft, with the P8 expected to make it's initial availability in 2013.

    While the airframe is a significant size upgrade from the P3 and has much shorter transit to on station times, it does lack some of the P3's functionality.

    Hopefully, it will still make an effective ASW platform.

    Saturday, July 31, 2010

    Jay's Summer Reading List

    Since we're past mid-summer now, I thought I'd share my summer reading list and some recommendations of books.

    With the important 2010 election coming up, my focus has been on current events, as it often is.  Right now, I am reading Andrew McCarthy's "The Grand Jihad."  It is a highly important book which explains the goals, desires, and methodologies of Islamists, and the American Left's (un)witting alliance with them.  MUST reading for anyone who doubts the reality of the Global Jihad.

    I completed Dick Morris's "2010: Take Back America: A Battle Plan."  Ok, Dick Morris is the most shamelessly self-promoting pundit, author, political hack out there.  Still proud of his work with Bill Clinton, Morris has come back to his roots pushing conservative causes, and his book is full of facts, figures, and debating points.  If you care about what happens in this election, this would be a useful resource.

    Also recently completed, Zev Chavets' biography of Rush Limbaugh, "Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One."  It's a very fair (to a conservative) portrait of Limbaugh, and Chavets clearly "gets" Limbaugh, which most members of the media do not.  If you're a Limbaugh fan, you'll find it interesting.  If you are willing to to really learn what makes Limbaugh tick and effective, you'll likewise find it interesting.  If you're just a left-wing mouthpiece and fan of Keith Olbermann, well, save your money, and go back to watching those infomercials that run after Maddow and Olbermann and Matthews have regaled you and your 5 other pals on MSNBC.

    On CD, I am reading "Twelve Ordinary Men" by John MacArthur.  It's a walk through the seeming ordinariness of Jesus's 12 closest disciples, and how they were really just ordinary men, who later accomplished extraordinary things.  Not just a great walk through the New Testament, but also a treatise on leadership.

    So, that's what I have completed this summer.  Since we're talking books, what have these taken me from - well, my life goal is to complete the Aubrey-Maturin series by Patrick O'Brian.  Great books and two wonderful characters crafted by O'Brian.

    I admit, I haven't read or seen "The Blind Side" by Michael Lewis, but, I have read "Liar's Poker" and "Moneyball."  If you haven't read those seminal works by Lewis, you should.

    Finally, for this post, I have a trio of what I consider classic must reads for your consideration, JD Salinger's "The Catcher in the Rye" should be read by every male, preferably in the 16-20 year age group.  An American classic.  And, who wants to say they grew up and didn't read it.

    An eclectic offering would be "A Confederacy Of Dunces" by John Kennedy Toole.  This is a college age book, and again, one most college-age American males should make themselves familiar with.

    While I am no Objectivist, Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" is just as relevant now as it was when it was an anti-Communist manifesto.  Read it.  And then, re-read it.

    I write like - Arthur Clarke...

    Check out this web site to analyze your writing style.  I'm proud to say I enjoyed Arthur Clarke as a kid.

    I write like
    Arthur Clarke
    I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!
    Of course, I posted another blog post into this tool, and it came out David Foster Wallace.  Who?