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    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).