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    Wednesday, December 21, 2011

    They Want Your Head (if you don't provide your money)

    In this case, I am not talking about Democrats, but I am referring to the Islamists (who dominate Muslim thinking), who have, once again, informed us of their plans, this time it's the mufti of the Palestine Liberation Army, Jordanian Sheik Nader Tamimi, who wants you to know that your choices will be clear:
    "To the rulers of the West, this is the religion of Allah. Either you pay the jizya poll tax, or else you will bring the sword to your necks."
    Thanks to the indispensable Robert Spencer at Jihad Watch and Pamela Geller at Atlas Shrugs.  If you don't read those blogs, you will pay the jizya with glee, I suppose.

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

    SUBFOR on Facebook, Blogger

    Big doings in cyber space for the submarine force.

    In case you missed it, COMSUBFOR has a blog.  Check them out for up-to-date UNCLAS info.

    The Submarine Force Reserve Component now also has a Facebook site.

    Saturday, November 19, 2011

    Why Newt or Romney. I don't know.

    I posted this week the case that Ann Coulter and others make for Mitt Romney.

    I like Ann Coulter a lot.  I think she's hilarious, I have read all her books, and she sticks it to the Left like no one else.  She needs no one to stick up for her and her conservative bona fides.  She was prescient in noting that WWE mogul Linda McMahon could not win the CT senate race, and feverishly supported Chris Christie's run for the White House.  So, Ann has a bit of Northeastern Republican in her, but, if she trusts Romney to govern as a conservative, so do I.

    Which was really why I posted the column.  I think it's imperative that Obama be defeated.  I think that is Job #1 for the GOP in 2012.  Today, I think Romney provides the best path to that defeat.  Like Coulter, I have no doubt that Romney would do as he says he will - issue waivers for Obamacare to all 50 states, and sign a bill repealing it, if a Republican Congress sends it to him.  A lot of people on the Right want to portray Romney as some kind of left of center Republican who makes John McCain look like Rush Limbaugh.  That's just patently unfair and is the kind of approach Leftists take to debating.  I agree that some of Romney's positions as he trudged through the Massachusetts Senatorial race in 1994 and later his Gubernatorial victory, were more akin to those of a Northeastern Republican (think Scott Walker), but, hello, he was running as a Republican in the most Liberal of those Northeastern states (leave Vermont alone).  I think you do have to apply some nuance to your views to appeal to voters where you are, and in Massachusetts that means easing your opposition to abortion by recognizing Roe, and distancing yourself from the rightmost elements of the GOP.  It's also why you get Romneycare, because the liberals who populate Massachusetts want it.

    Finally, I think he stands the best chance of winning.  He's already demonstrated that he can appeal to moderate to left voters, and he polls best with them.  This election will be about the economy, and he may be the best Republican to appeal to voters who are looking for 1)competence, and 2)non-statist solutions.  

    I didn't really want to make this post about Romney again, but I am tired of the Romney bashing from the Right.  It's idiotic, and it should should stop.

    I actually think the race has gotten to the point it should be, where we have two candidates who I think can both win a national election.  I would really like to see the rest of the campaign be between these two guys, and start having substantive debates with these two only, because I think we would see that drive the GOP to positions that would be more creative and likely to work, and actually change government.

    Today, warts and all, I intend to stick with Newt Gingrich. He has been consistently conservative his entire career (easy to do in his district, though), and he's undoubtedly the guy with the most ideas in this race, and he's the one I'd most like to see debate Obama, again and again.  I wouldn't fear a Romney-Obama debate either, but, I think a Newt-Obama debate would put the lie to Obama's supposed intellect, as Newt would have him on the floor begging for mercy and his teleprompter.

    But, that won't be the campaign in 2012 for Obama.  He'll shirk debates, and instead spend a goodly portion of his $1B war chest in a character defamation campaign that will make the dirtiest operator ever (Satan). proud.

    I doubt too many of my loyal readers (you know who you are, Mom) actually ever had the chance to vote for Newt, but, since he represented my district here in Georgia, I am one of the few who has ever actually voted for Newt before, and, I intend to again.  He's got flaws, and I fear what we may find out on the Fannie/Freddie consulting gig.  On the marriages and the Tiffany's things, he can say, been there, done that, I am sorry.

    So, I say we ride the Newt wave, put Bachmann, Cain, and Perry behind us, and let Newt and Romney battle it out, then get strongly behind the nominee (and the Romney/Rubio ticket) and beat the crap out of Obama and the dems.


    Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    Romney. Because Ann Coulter Says So.

    Ok, since Ann Coulter has weighed in, and she is no shrinking violet when it comes to conservatism, I have decided that my choice for the GOP nomination is going to be Mitt Romney.

    At one point, I was hoping Rick Perry would make a real positive splash, but now that Perry has demonstrated that he's not capable of making a salient point in a debate, I, like many others, have soured on him.

    I like Herman Cain, but I never saw him as a serious candidate.  Sure, he's articulate and he has some sort of vision for the country, but, his total refusal to address certain foreign policy questions ("I would study them and heed the advice of the commanders" or something like that), and his ignorance on things like "right of return" for Palestinians and Chinese nukes (I think that was a misstatement, but still) and his latest gaffes, coupled with the sexual harassment baggage (sure, trumped up, but poorly addressed),  and the inanity of the 999 plan, have convinced me he's not the one.

    Newt Gingrich has always been a favorite of mine from a policy perspective, and I'd love to see Newt get his wish of seven three hour debates with Obama.  But, let's be honest, that's not going to happen, and I feel quite comfortable with Romney on stage with Obama.

    It is nice to see Newt in the top tier now, and I hope he stays there a while.  I think it will improve Romney and force him to better articulate his conservative side as we move to Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, then he can sew up the nomination and start the hard work of tearing Obama to shreds.  Shouldn't be tooooooo terribly hard, what with the work Obama has done destroying the economy and ruining our standing in the world.

    Today Ann makes some valid points, a couple of these that I totally agree with vis a vis Newt:
    1. Newt's Fannie/Freddie consulting problem - I wouldn't care if Newt answered that yes, he lobbied for them in an effort to increase home ownership.  That would have seemed a defensible position in, uh, 2007, but now, in hindsight, being a shill for the principals in destroying the housing market, doesn't seem so great, does it.  Trying to hide it doesn't help.  Strike one.
    2. Sitting on a couch with Nancy Pelosi hyping global warming.  I hate the "climate change" crowd.  They are the 70's population bomb crowd, the Ice Age crowd.  They are leftists and former communists and their goal is the destruction of Western Civilization by any means necessary.  Today, that takes the form of man-made global warming.  They're wrong on the science, and wrong to want to bring down the West, just as they have been for 40+ years.  Sitting with them is a problem.  Romney was a believer, too, at one time, and I have a problem with that. But, he didn't do a PSA with Pelosi.  Strike two.
    3. The personal issues - Ditching your wife while she's being treated for cancer, having an affair during the Clinton impeachment, the $500,000 account at Tiffany's. It all just smells bad, and it's out there, and will be used repeatedly by Democrats in the general to kill him.  I don't think this stuff disqualifies him as a president, and I don't think it's material, but, it'll play in ads.  Strike three.
    While Romney has his issues, I find I can live with them, just as Ann can.
    1. Romneycare - Be honest, he's not going to keep Obamacare.  If this election turns on any single issue, it is going to be the repeal of Obamacare.  People hate this legislation.  They hate the way it was rammed down our throats, and they will really hate what it is going to cost.  The only way it gets squashed forever, is with a Republican president and Congress in January 2013.  Romney has explained that what might work in Liberal Massachusetts is not a prescription for the nation.  Obama can say all he wants, "Mitt, we used your state as an example," to which the proper reply is "That shows how stupid you are, using Massachusetts as the example for this entire nation.  Just stupid."  
    2. Flip flops on abortion and some other issues - we've mentioned the global warming scam, on which Romney has come around, and abortion, where in Massachusetts he was a tepidly anti-life.  If you want to win a statewide race in liberal Massachusetts, you have to acknowledge Roe as the law of the land and look for other ways to limit abortions.  Was Romney's conversion to choice convenient?  I don't think so, if you read his reasons for it, you can understand why he might have taken that position.  Now, I would have respected more a politician saying Roe is the law of the land, and that a sitting governor has no choice but to uphold the law.  Of course, he went slightly further and had valid personal reasons for supporting Roe.  His conversion back to life was more politically convenient, running, as he is, for the GOP presidential nomination.  I think he's more in line with his church now, and with mainstream GOP voters (and Americans in general).  He has the right answer now, which is that Roe was poorly decided, and that it ought to be overturned, and we ought to let states decide.  I am hoping that at some point, the long national genocide known as abortion will end, and while some states may choose to keep it legal, that will make it more rare.
    3. Global Warming - I find Romney's statements to be troubling, and indicative of not much study of the issue.  His even recent statements tend to place him with the majority of people who think that global warming is occurring and that man is a large contributor to it.  To his credit, he has always seemed to couch his belief in some doubt over man's impact.  Surely, in 2011, Romney is aware of research that includes that done by warmists, that the warming largely stopped in 1999, and temperatures have been steady or declining somewhat since then.  I think he could have staked out a position that man may contribute a tiny portion to the increase in CO2, but, we really have no evidence that CO2 is even a contributor to temperature increases (and even if it is, that it matters very much), and that regulating CO2 as a pollutant is wrong, and probably just stupid.
    Anyway, I can forgive him these biggest of sins, because he has renounced them, and I think he's largely a conservative we can count on.

    You can disagree, but, I think he stands a chance to take Obama down hard, and I'd really love to see 60+ GOP senators in the next Congress, and I fear that any other candidate will struggle to beat Obama, and drag the rest of the party down.

    Sub Cheating Garners IG Investigation

    The Navy Times today reports (via AP) that the sub force's Inspector General is now looking into cheating on submarines.

    This is an outgrowth of the Memphis cheating scandal, and IG Pat Urello says:
    "We have powers to take corrective action if corrective action is warranted”
    I have little doubt that there is what could be considered cheating going on quite often, and the solution is to decide whether exams are intended to actually test people's knowledge, or are they used for some competitive purposes. 

    My two cents is if the submarine force wants to remove this problem, we must remove examinations from ORSE.  Let the ORSE board examine records, and seek OQE that the ship is administering exams and that knowledge is being tested, but we are going to need to move from the days of self-administered exams to something more centralized,and less prone to corruption.

    I don't know what that looks like, but this has always been too tempting an area to fool around with, and this is a systemic problem, not an individual one, despite what the force's preconceived, or wishful notions are.

    Friday, November 11, 2011

    Dems on Supercommittee Spending War Savings Already

    The president has rightly received a lot of grief for claiming in his deficit plans savings from the end of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, to the tune of $1T.

    But, at least he is recognizing that money won't be spent and is drawing a line somewhere.

    Now, Democrats on the deficit reduction supercommittee want to take that $1T in phantom savings and spend it!  According to The Hill, "savings from the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan be used to pay for a new stimulus package."  As if the previous 2, unpaid-for Stimuli have done anything stimulating.

    If we insist on looking for "jobs" created by government, this week the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed a two year transportation bill unanimously that might actually provide jobs for needed transportation projects.  It's an example of actual work being done in Washington, which apparently, can happen when you reject President Obama's partisan and economically illiterate proposals. This bill contains NO earmarks, and has a real chance of making it through the House.

    But, even this demonstrates the difficulty adults have in negotiating with Democrats. In a time of massive deficits, "A key stumbling block was the transportation enhancements program, which mandates that states spend a portion their federal transportation funding on bike trails, pedestrian projects, landscaping and other things."

    For Senator Barbara Boxer, (D-California, also very stupid), "This was a huge problem for us. There were moments where we almost threw up our hands. This was one of the toughest, toughest areas of negotiation."  Seriously?  Bike paths?

    Just crazy, and typical of the way Democrats think.

    Chavez claims they chased off a submarine during exercises....

    Yeah, right.

    Hugo Chavez claims the Venezuelan Navy detected a submarine during training exercises and chased it way.  It only was able to slink off due to it's superior speed, Hugo's subs being slow diesels and all.

    Let's look at this critically:
    1. Hugo's 209's are not ASW platforms (for God's sake, they are almost 40 years old), so they weren't detecting and chasing anyone
    2. If he had any ASW platforms (MPA, capable surface ships), which he does not - they would have the legs and speed to attempt to track a detected submarine.
    So, there was no submarine here, and no reason to slink away, given the lack of capability.

    Know what there was, a piece of flotsam and a self-promoting government.

    Tuesday, November 8, 2011

    End IA's for Submariners

    The November 7th edition of Navy Times has an editorial calling for an end to individual augmentee assignments for Navy personnel (subscription required).  They point out that with the drawdown in Iraq (to zero), this means the total number of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan will have declined by 102,000 from its peak.  With the proposed removal of another 23,000 surge troops from Afghanistan by September 2012, that will leave only 70,000 troops on the ground, and a reduction of 125,000 Army troops from the two countries in 4 years.

    With that kind of drawdown, why is the Navy still sending soldiers on IA's that cut into their career, disrupt families, and hurt retention?  As Navy Times points out, the Navy's personnel rolls are expected to decrease by 2015, and the condition of ships is deteriorating, requiring all available manpower to keep them operational, not serve Army missions for which there are 100,000 people available to fill.

    For the Submarine Force, as anyone who is on active duty will tell you, the single most pressing problem for the force is manning.  We can not train and retain enough sailors to man sufficient watch bills, to develop future deckplate leaders, nor to keep submarines operational in an increasingly busy force with the rise of China's Navy and North Korean intransigence.

    We compound this problem by telling sailors they may need to spend a year to eighteen months in an IA assignment, normally coming at a time when they would instead be on a shore, or near shore tour.  This does little to help retention, and impacts recruitment and decisions to stay Navy after the first tour.  For most guys, they joined the Navy, particularly submariners, and they don't expect, nor should they be asked anymore, to go pound sand with the Army.

    In the reserve component, it is nearly impossible to bring LT's and junior enlisted into the ranks, because though they can get up to two years reprieve from being called for an IA, the near certainty of it at that point means they transfer to the Inactive Reserve, rather than disrupt their family life or a relatively new job. 

    When the Army was pressed, it made sense to have the Navy and Air Force pick up missions that could be done by any professional sailor or officer.  Now that the Army has nearly 100,000 troops no longer deployed, does that need still exist?  I say no, and I call on the Submarine Force leadership to say - we have problems of our own on our submarines, many of them attributed to manning issues, and we will no longer provide troops for IA's.

    Monday, November 7, 2011

    First Female Sub School Graduates

    Last week, the first class including female submariners graduated from Sub School.

    I can not believe in all the submarine blogs I follow, not one person mentioned it, and we have no commentary?


    Thursday, September 29, 2011

    Monday, September 26, 2011

    President Wants Janitors to Pay "Jew" Tax: Fact Checked and Debunked, Again. Simple Math.

    The President of the United States, perhaps because he's in front of a comfortable crowd in the Congressional Black Caucus, says he doesn't mind being called a class warrior if that means asking a billionaire to pay the same tax rates as a "Jew."

    The prepared script said "janitor" and the president's mis-speaking (mis-reading?) doesn't mean there's any hidden anti-semitism here, but, I guarantee you that in that room, there were a few anti-semites.

    Let's take the president at his written word and do a little fact-checking here on our own.

    The average annual salary for a janitor is $24,403.

    It does not appear that anyone has done the research for billionaires, but, the Associated Press (that right-wing news outlet) has done the research for millionaires, and has found, "This year, households making more than $1 million will pay an average of 29.1 percent of their income in federal taxes, including income taxes, payroll taxes and other taxes, according to the Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank."

    On the other hand, that Janitor, making about $25,000: "Households making between $20,000 and $30,000 will pay 5.7 percent.

    I don't know about you, Mr. President, but 29.1% is > 5.7%.  That's what I call "simple math."

    The next time a liberal says the rich need to pay their "fair share," ask them exactly what percentage of their income that is, and when they respond that so many rich want to pay more, and are willing to pay more, ask them why then they don't promote the pay.gov web site, where these generous people can fork over money beyond their required taxes.  If the liberal persists, ask him why he doesn't fork over a few more bucks, seeing as he's so altruistic with other people's money, maybe he could set an example by shedding some of his own.

    I'd just love to see the answers to that.

    Friday, September 23, 2011

    The GOP Field - Where I Stand Today

    Dick Morris thinks last night's debate "was the end of Rick Perry's front runner status."
    I admit, I only saw the last 45 minutes last night, and parts of the previous debate with Perry, and, while I like him on many of the issues, and I think he has a great story to tell about Texas vs. Obama, this year I want someone who can sell the American people on Conservatism and the rightness of it.
    To me, those people in this field who can do that are Romney, Cain, Gingrich, Santorum, and (grudgingly) Huntsman.
    The people who can't make the sell of Conservatism are Bachmann, Paul, Perry and that dope Johnson.  Add to that list, Sarah Palin.
    The difference between the former and the latter is the former are serious, thoughtful, intellectual conservatives who understand conservatism and can articulate it in a manner that makes sense to people and that advances the cause.  The latter group are cult-of-personality politicians, for whom the message is more about them, than it is about the ideology.  As Herman Cain would say, we just tried that approach, and how's it working it out for us?
    You might argue that we need a retail campaigner with electric appeal to defeat Obama and solidify the House and get to 60 seats in the Senate.  I reject that argument.  Obama is a deeply flawed president. His ideology is a failed ideology.  Anyone with half an ounce of understanding of History or economics knew his policies would fail.  I will admit that I didn't think his policies would so effectively stymie a nascent recovery, but....if you set out to do everything possible to screw up a recovery, you couldn't have mapped it any better than Obama has. 
    Obama's going to lose in 2012.  He's probably going to lose by a lot.  The Bush red states will return to the GOP, and I think it's highly likely we could see purple states in the Midwest return to the GOP (Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan), and Pennsylvania's Republican legislature and governor are considering awarding electors on a congressional district basis, so this could give the GOP 10 of PA's electoral votes.  With redistricting, the Dems are losing 7 electoral votes from Blue to Red states as well.  I expect Colorado to return to the GOP and Maine will give at least 1 of it's EV's to the GOP candidate.
    2012 is shaping up to be a bloodbath for the Dems, and it really doesn't matter who the GOP candidate is, but it should be one who will run as a conservative and govern as a conservative, not as an everyman.
    This country is in serious trouble, and even leftwingers like the Washington Post's Richard Cohen are lamenting the end of America as we know it, brought to you by Barack Obama, even as they whine about Republicans not looking toward Washington to solve the problems. BWAHHHH.

    Thursday, September 15, 2011

    Monday, September 12, 2011

    @USAToday: A Ponzi scheme? A failure? A lie? Really? Yes, really.

    I respond:
    As a fire breathing, right-wing tea-party sympathizer, I will agree that Social Security is a popular program, perhaps the most popular program in American history, even if its existence is constitutionally troubling, it is here and has served millions and millions of seniors.  In all likelihood, some other means of forced savings could have served seniors better (let's put it this way, I'm 46, and looking forward to the payout from my 401k more than my social security check), but social security has a valid use as part of the social safety net, which was its intent. 
    So, there.  A right wing nut job has stipulated that much.  And, to the left-wing editors at USA Today, you are intelligent enough to stipulate the salient point in this debate:
    "Yes, Social Security has major funding problems. It pays out more in benefits than it takes in, and the gap will grow steadily worse as Baby Boomers retire."
    From here, you proceed to go off the rails defending social security from Gov. Rick Perry's charge that it more resembles a Ponzi Scheme than retirement program.  I have to give you credit for the effort, but, it's weak, let's look:
    • "Ponzi schemes have two salient features. First, they are criminal enterprises, which Social Security is not." - I think this is certainly the entire point of the comparison, isn't it?  We can operate something just like a crminal exercise, but, because it has the blessing of Congress, the imprimateur of a President, and the wide support of the American people, and extremely wide support of the beneficiaries, it is acceptable.  This defense falls to the level of technicality.  You say potato, I say potato.
    • "They work only until people get wind of what is going on, at which point they inevitably collapse." - At least until the 2000 election, we had a candidate running on a major party ticket trying to convince people that their social security savings were all in a "lockbox."  I bet you if I looked at that 2000 election I can find a USA Today editorial telling me Al Gore was right.  People are catching wind now to what is going on with Social Security.  Does that mean an inevitable collapse?  Perhaps.
    • "Social Security's finances are plainly visible for all to see. The imbalances emerging now are a surprise to no one"
      This really is the major difference between Social Security and Ponzi schemes.  In the Ponzi Scheme potential investors aren't forced to invest.  They at least have to believe that the risks of the pyramid are not so great as to topple it before they recoup and expand on their investment. At least in a Ponzi Scheme, there's some element of choice.  As a criminal exercise, when the cops put the bad guys away, the investment stops and boom, everyone's out their money, except the few at the top.  In social security, however, we can "adjust tax rates, benefit formulas, and the retirement age."  Why can we do that?  Because the government, and legislators hold the power to tax that money from young workers to pay retirees. And if the younger workers refuse to pay their new, higher taxes, well, we can just haul them off to jail.  In the REVERSE of the Ponzi Scheme puinishment, it's the investors who are guilty, not the perpetrators of the crime.
    Finally, to the Editors at USA Today, and Leftists everywhere, us lunatic tea partiers are not against social security.  We believe in the safety net.  What we are against is the LIE that is the program.  End the lie, be honest to the American people that this is, indeed, another transfer program, and let's go from there.  But, as Governor Perry says in his editorial, we can't have this debate without being honest about this program, and USA Today's editors, rather then being honest, have chosen to regurgitate left-wing talking points rather than face true issues.

    Wednesday, September 7, 2011

    Good story about the work being done at Newport News Shipyard, with submarines (Minnesota, North Dakota)  and aircraft carriers being overhauled (Roosevelt) and built (Ford). The 784+ block III boats will have the Ohio-like large tubes, 2 of them, in lieu of the 12 Tomahawk tubes. 

    So, they're busy at NNSY, if you're looking for work, there are worse things in the world to do than build nuclear ships.

    Tuesday, September 6, 2011

    @moronwatch on AGW. Moronic indeed.

    Oh Lord, again MW demonstrates that he is incapable of buying anything except what the AGW Alarmists tell him.

    Let's stipulate that the planet is warming.  It's been warming since the end of the Little Ice Age, although the last 10 or so years, the warming has decreased to near 0.

    In paragraph 1, MW claims "nevermind that all warming predictions have come true."  Would you mind citing a couple, because I'd love to hear what this crowd has gotten correct. 

    But, don't believe me, how about from some of those hacked emails from your pals at East Anglia University's Hadley Climate Research Unit (you know, the most vociferous warming alarmists):
    "where the heck is global warming?... The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't."
    So, there's one prediction that hasn't come true, and since the prediction was for warming, it's a central one to this debate.  I could stop right there, and let your own team declare me the winner, but, I like to really rub it in, so here are some more falsehoods you're passing off as fact. 

    MW repeats the standard mantra, "glaciers and ice caps are visibly receding, or that extreme weather conditions have increased (as predicted) or that computer models based on different methods all predict warming."

    1. Computer Models predict warming - see the quote above from the ClimateGate emails.  Precisely because the models predicted warming, and it wasn't occurring, we got the quoted consternation.  So, that fact is wrong.  Besides, even if the "models" predicted warming, what would that prove?  That a model predicts warming.  A model can be manipulated.  What matters is what actually happened, and the models that predicted warming were proved wrong after 1998, when the warming significantly slowed.  Most of these models used assumptions that gave the maximum positive feedback to factors that would increase temperatures.  Unfortunately for the modelers, most of those predictions have failed to pass.  So, bad model = bad assumptions = bad policy = stupid people.
    2. Glaciers visibly receding.  Duh.  Even the AGW crowd agrees that we are in a long-term recovery from the Little Ice Age, which ended in the early 1800's.  Glaciers have been receding since then. 
    3. Polar ice caps melting.  The careful alarmist usually uses the phrase "Arctic" Ice Caps are melting so we can not accuse him of lying.  MW is not that careful, thus, we can safely call him a liar.  Yes, Arctic ice has melted, but, Antarctic ice is at historically high levels.  Of course, we have a problem since our history of measuring the extent of the polar ice is not long.  Anything more than 30 years ago, before widespread satellite coverage, is anecdotal.  So, we really don't know what normal is.  However, for those who care about these things, sea levels won't change too much unless that Antarctic ice really starts melting, since 90% of the ice on land is there, with another 8% in Greenland.  Most (nearly all) of the Arctic ice is floating.
    4. Extreme weather conditions are increasing.  Really?  For the US, where we have the best weather data over 100 years, we have not seen more drought days during the latter half of the 20th century, when most of the CO2 increase has occurred.  The worst droughts were in the '30's and '50's.   The number of most dangerous tornados also have not increased.  The number of reported tornados has increased, but we can logically attribute this to better detection systems, and heightened awareness.  Hurricanes?  Again, they get more press these days because of the detection capability, but, violence, is really unchanged in the 100 years we've been actively tracking them.  Rain?  Again, remarkably steady over the last 100 years. 

    MW then resorts to the favorite argument of the AGW Alarmist - the "you can't trust him because he's funded by the evil oil industry" argument.  My favorite person who stands to gain from a universal adoption of anti-warming policies - Al Gore.  How interesting is it that  the guy who stands to become a multi-billionaire if countries adopt tricks like cap and trade is also the largest (and I mean that literally) proponent of AGW. 

    I'm not going to convince anyone who just believes what they are told, has no or little scientific training, and isn't open or able to interpret data themselves.  The problem here is these alarmists have hitched their wagons to a theory that CO2 is causing temperature increases, and CO2 is primarily created by human activity, therefore changes in our lifestyles are required to stave off the predicted horrible results.  The problem we have seen, though, is that the feedback mechanisms tend to be negative, not positive, thus, ameliorating the impact of CO2 on global temperatures.  And, history actually shows that CO2 concentrations are a result of warming, not a cause of it.  This actually has a physical reason, as warming causes the oceans to release CO2.  You can see the problem here is that we aren't even sure what's contributing to the CO2 increases. 

    Of course, we have more things the AGW crowd ignores.  Solar activity is ignored.  Land use changes are ignored.  Ocean cycles are ignored.  If you ask an AGW alarmist, they want to hide the Little Ice Age and Midieval Warm Periods. 

    The thing is, MW and your readers, AGW is a very flawed theory, and everyone does not agree with it.  It's not settled science.

    The only thing settled is that CO2 concentrations have increased, and that temperatures have increased until about 1999, but that continued an increase that actually began in the early 1800's after the end of the Little Ice Age. 

    I encourage all to actually study the issue and decide for yourselves.

    This will help.

    Sunday, August 28, 2011

    Car Shows Rated

    If you know me, you know that I have always loved the automobile.  Years ago, I used to get all the great car magazines, Car and Driver, Road & Track, Automobile, Autoweek. Pretty much all except the hated Motor Trend, which was looked down upon by the CD and R&T writers, rightly so.

    These days, I have cut my subscriptions just to Car and Driver, though I would still recommend any of these to the auto enthusiast.  But, I am happy that we now have three television shows dedicated to the car.

    If you're a motor head, you know that the British Top Gear is the sine qua non of automobile related TV shows.  The hosts, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May are funny, interesting, love cars, and all have those British accents that make anything sound more erudite than it actually is.  If you're not watching it, it is shown here in the states on BBC America, Monday at 9pm.  You should watch.

    Top Gear has spawned versions in countries all over the world.  Many times, the hosts have competed against their counterparts in other countries.  Famously, the UK trio has competed against their Australian and German counterparts.  While Top Gear has been around for years, it was 2010 before the show had an American version. 

    Airing on the History Channel (Sundays at 10pm), Top Gear US is hosted by Rutledge Wood (an automotive writer), Tanner Foust (a champion drifter), and Adam Ferrara (who I believe was probably an out-of-work actor).  Season one was, honestly, painful to watch.  I found the show derivative of its British counterpart (well, in fact, often a downright copy), and the hosts had little chemistry, usually reading straight from the teleprompter, and it showed.  Mercifully, season 1 was a 6 episode run.

    In the interim between the end of season 1 of Top Gear US and season 2, the Speed Channel introduced The Car Show, hosted by Adam Carolla.  If you're about my age, you'll remember Adam Carolla from Loveline, which aired on MTV in the '90's and featured the now famous for Celebrity Rehab, Dr. Drew Pinsky.  Carolla and Pinksy hsoted a radio version of Loveline before MTV took it up, and Carolla was a stand-up comedian who eventually made his way into radio.  Besides The Car Show, Carolla hosts a popular podcast, The Adam Carolla show (which you can get at the link, or via iTunes).  If you're looking for essentially an R-rated radio show for your commute, it's usually 1.5-2 hours of pretty decent comedy, and it also features Alison Rosen, who you may know from her frequent Red Eye appearances, or her own webcast, "Alison Rosen is Your New Best Friend."

    But, I digress.

    Suddenly, since watching DVR'd programs has replaced reading as my hobby, I am thrilled to now have three car shows to watch every week.  But, how do they stack up?

    1. Top Gear UK is clearly number one, as I mentioned already.  It's the gold standard by which the others are measured.  Plus, Clarkson can't help but make his hatred for the Prius obvious, and, sharing that desire to bash them all off the road, I feel a kinship to him.  Plus, last week's ode to the Jaguar E-type was magnificent.  Truly is the greatest supercar ever.  Check this slideshow out.
    2. The Car Show - I have to give this show the number two slot.  Carolla is joined by John Salley, who was the center on some pretty good Georgia Tech basketball teams, and had a decent NBA career (winning 4 championships with 3 teams, though Salley was usually a bit player); Matt Farah, who is a writer for the webzine, thesmokingtire.com, and Dan Neill, who's allegedly a Pulitzer Prize winning automotive reporter for The Wall Street Journal (I'm sure you need a subscription to read all Dan's work).  Adam is actually funny, because the show's on Speed (perhaps literally), there's a certain je ne sais quoi quality about it, and the challenges and segments are original.  
    3. Top Gear US - ok, if I had to evaluate this show based on season 1, I would have said "can it."  However, even with the same hosts back, the show is vastly improved in its second iteration.  The hosts have developed some chemistry, and it seems much less a rip-off of it's cousin.  You'll know this show has some legs, though, when stars you've actually heard of are driving their "reasonably priced car" around the track for times.
    So, watch them all, if you love cars, you can't go wrong.

    Wednesday, August 17, 2011

    The GOP Field. More crowded?

    The GOP presidential primary is really starting to heat up.  Below, you'll see Dick Morris, my favorite toe-sucker, give his lunchtime take on the state of the primaries.

    I agree with Dick that it's too early to be calling this a three-way race, between Perry/Romney/Bachmann.  As other Republicans start to realize that Obama is digging an insurmountable hole for himself, we heard today rumblings that Chris Christie and Paul Ryan may be doing some exploration into a possible run.  I think both these guys, and Sarah Palin, had set their sites on 2016, on the assumption that Obama would be formidable and they'd have little to gain by losing in a GOP primary, and that the iron would be especially hot for someone to clean things up in 2016.  In Ryan's and Christie's case, they could make the argument that they have much work to do from where they sit.  Christie has argued for a while that he wants to fix New Jersey first, while some postulate that Ryan wants greater leadership in the House (Speaker Ryan?).  As for Palin, I think she rightly has decided she needs the time to restore her national reputation.  However, for each of them, there may be no better time than now. 

    I will admit that I think Ryan and Christie may be the two best people to sell Republicanism in 2012.  Christie's take no prisoners approach to cleaning up the fiscal mess really meshes with Tea Party concerns, and Ryan is truly one of the few Republicans who can sell the GOP's plan to reduce government and fix our entitlement programs.

    Palin.  I have posted again and again about Palin.  If I had to pick a candidate who said everything i would say myself, I would look no further than Sarah Palin.  But, I still have that nagging feeling that she's just doesn't give the sense that she knows what she's talking about.  Not deeply, viscerally, like Reagan did.  I find her a tremendous retail politician, and she had an impressive record bucking the establishment in Alaska, but, I just can't get excited about a Palin candidacy (a Palin presidency, now, that's another thing).

    I lose even more enthusiasm about Palin when I juxtapose her with Michelle Bachmann.  The Left has tried for years to paint Bachmann as another idiot, but, she just doesn't project as one.  It's clear she's intelligent, and has thought out her views, and will stick to them.  Of the two GOP frontrunning women, I can't see supporting Palin over Bachmann.  I'm curious what my readers (both of you) think, especially my female ones.

    Let's talk the current crop of candidates.  I have at various times liked all of them to some degree or another (ok, Ron Paul, not so much).  Herman Cain brings the enthusiasm and positive outlook that someone who has pulled himself to great heights can.  I'm with Cain on just about everything, but, his squishiness and unwillingness to take positions on national security matters, and his pushing the anti-Islamist meme a little too far have put me off.  Not that I terribly disagree (well, we can't have religion tests for service now, can we?), but I think he just keeps on too much on some of these statements.  Still, it's early and no one's watching but the political junkies.

    Rick Santorum I think has some gravitas and fits the social conservative mold quite well.  Can this guy, who was creamed in his last run for PA senate, break through?  I just don't see it happening.

    Newt Gingrich would be my guy, except when Newt makes gaffes, he makes big giant ones.  Even if you're willing to give him a pass on his personal affairs (I am), I still can't remove the image of him sitting with Nancy Pelosi in that Global Warming PSA.  It's damn near unforgivable.  Still, to see a bunch of debates between Newt and the smartest-guy-in-the-room Obama, would be worth the price of admission.

    Which brings us to the current front runners.  Romney.  Blah.  I will not vote for Romney in the primaries.  Anyone who has ever bought into the man-made global warming crap, either can't be very intelligent, or had another agenda.  As a nominee, I'm in 100%.  He'd probably be a worthy adversary to Obama, but, there's a glibness about him that seems staged.  I am afraid that might be everyone's impression.  At the same time, there's an aura (and actual) competence about him that would put Boy Blunder to shame.

    Perry.  Ok, I like Perry alot.  I like that he showed Kay Bailey Hutchison the door in the Texas governor's race.  I like that he has made the 10th amendment an issue.  I even like that he "joked" about Texas secession.  I like that he's from Texas.  I like that he can string two sentences together.  I also have heard that he's an incredibly effective retail politician, too.  In contrast with the cold Obama, I believe people would see that and like him.  There's something to be said for that, and for the fact that people would see him as a straight shooter.  After 4 years of equivocating, and outright lying from Obama, the country's ready for that (Palin has this quality, too, as does Bachmann).

    I hope it's too early to declare this a 3 way race.  I want to see some more debates with Newt and Cain and these other 3.  I wouldn't mind seeing Chris Christie in there either.  I am just undecided right now.  My personal thought is that any of these candidates could beat Obama (even Palin).  I do believe the country is sick of politics as usual, and despite Obama's protestations, you can't come to Washington as the guy who's going to cause the oceans to recede and the temperatures to cool, have total control for 2 years, then rail about how you can't get anything done.

    The American voter is stupid, but, only the really, really, really stupid voters on the Left are going to believe what Obama's selling.

    So, enjoy Dick's video today and tell me what you think of the crowd.

    Saturday, July 30, 2011

    Jeff Sessions, en fuego! Tea Party Sounded the Alarm!

    Alabama senator Jeff Sessions - "The Tea Party didn't start this fire, they sounded the alarm."


    I love @moronwatch. He's an inspiration. Or, why the debt battle is Dem's fault

    My twitter pal, @moronwatch, is prone to cutting and pasting from Liberal sources. In Britain (moronwatch's home), The Guardian serves as a print version of The Daily Kos, and MW has chosen to link this article which claims that the debt crisis is due to Tea Party Intransigence.

    Yea, right.

    As Marco Rubio so clearly explains, the Debt Crisis is not new.  This has been brewing for some time, beginning with TARP and the recession, and compounded by Stimulus and Obamacare, the massive debt crisis was something that an idiot with a calculator could have seen coming, oh, say two years ago.

    Coincidentally, it's been that long since a budget has even been proposed in the Senate.  Two years, that I and Senator Rubio may remind you, in which that body was controlled by (drumroll, please), Democrats.  And, as the Senator reminds, in ONE of those years, a filibuster-proof majority of Democrats.  So, why, if we could have seen this crisis coming, did the Dems not present a budget at all in two years?  Watch Rubio's floor speech (done sans Teleprompter, by the way), to see his theory on that.  Ok, I'll give it away, it's a plan - the Dems don't want to present a budget, because that would mean actually having to address these problems, and to address these problems, there's not enough cash in rich people's pockets to tax them for it, so, they would HAVE to cut spending, or make significant changes in Medicare/Medicaid (twin programs going broke) and even Social Security, and, we all know Dems won't touch those.

    So, the premise that this debt crisis is the Tea Party's doing is just downright either an attempt to carry water for Obama and Liberals, or a sign of extreme stupidity.  I don't doubt that Moronwatch may fall into the stupid category, but I'm pretty sure the writers at The Guardian are not stupid. 

    The Guardian wants to make this particular debt ceiling battle all about the Tea Party, and it's sway on Republican legislators (mostly new ones).  But, that's not what it's all about.

    While many on the Left enjoy caricaturing Tea Party members (and their sympathizers, like me) as racist rubes who just hate the black man in the White House, and take special glee in referring to them by the gay slur "teabaggers" (although, I have said many times, I'd rather be the "teabagger" than the "teabaggee"), they either fail to see what Tea Partiers are really concerned about, or they don't want their readers to know.

    This began with TARP, which many people saw as government taking too much of the people's money to prop up a system which could have been saved by the market itself.  I don't think that's necessarily true, and I hoped the resolution to the banking crisis would play out differently than TARP, but, that program (Bush's, by the way) largely succeeded in preventing a collapse, and hasn't ultimately cost taxpayers too much.  But, there remains the lagging suspicion that government's involvement (and subsequent ignoring of the problems at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) was too much, picking who's "too big to fail" and owning large chunks of banks (subsequently liquidated those assets).  Then, we had bailouts for GM in which the government ushered GM through bankruptcy, and the Obama administration flaunted bankruptcy laws to make sure unsecured UAW creditors got preferential treatment in bankruptcy court; and Chrysler, where a costly deal was made to transfer the company to Fiat, ensuring that we'll have shit cars to drive again in America.  Then,we had the continuing crap fest in housing prices, which have hit most Americans hard, with the government working their damndest to keep people in their homes, at a cost to who?  Taxpayers.

    This was the genesis of the Tea Party movement, when BO and friends decided to further bail out these bad loans, Rick Santelli, CNBC reporter suggested a new Tea Party, and, the frustration over the extent of government intervention (most of which would prove fruitless, cf Stimulus) finally bubbled over.  Add to that a year long push for Obamacare (instead of any focus on these looming debt issues), and Americans who throughout this crisis had worked and continued to pay their bills and mortgages finally woke up to the fact that if government wasn't Leviathan during the Bush administration, it had certainly become that in the Obama administration, with no sign of slowing.

    From there, we had an historic 2010 election, which ushered any many new politicians.  This is what irks me about the Guardian post the most.  The Tea Partiers recognized that business as usual in Washington wasn't working.  Most conservatives recognize that the Dems version of "compromise" means we do what they want, and have had enough of it.  We also recognize that is part of business as usual in Washington, and we're honestly, sick of it.

    The Guardian seems to think (and I don't expect the Leftist paper to think otherwise) that we need a return to the old way of doing things.  They don't like it any more than Harry Reid does that the balance has shifted, that the old ways are no longer acceptable.  As Herman Cain likes to say, "How's that working out for you?"

    I'll tell you how it's working out.  Like crap.  W was one of the most fiscally irresponsible presidents in history.  As if his debt wasn't enough, though (aided as it was by two wars, in his defense), Obama decided we needed to not double down on it, but quadruple the debt during his first two years, while he should have been enjoying cost savings from the draw-down in Iraq, he instead accelerated our involvement in Afghanistan, and started a 3rd "kinetic military operation" (i.e. "war") in Libya.  He massively increased the size and scope of government with Obamacare, and intrusive regulations like Dodd-Frank, did nothing to reign in Freddie/Fannie, and fortunately, failed to enact Cap and Tax.  But, he unleashed his EPA to do what he couldn't pass legislatively, and he still refuses to open the Gulf of Mexico, or any other significant oil producing section of the country to development.  This week, his increase in CAFE standards will put another fork in the auto industry in the country.  So, do Tea Partiers have reason to hate this administration beyond his color.  You bet.  If Joe Biden were doing this, it would suck as much.

    Back to the Guardian and the "old way."  They quote Larry Sabato saying people will not compromise in Congress.  As if that's what America is all about.  I hate to tell some of you dolts out there, but compromise is what gave us slavery and proportional representation.  Many of the things that were wrong about this country at it's founding and for years were the result of "compromise."  Compromise isn't all that.  Please.

    It's not just Tea Partiers who won't compromise.  It's Democrats, too.  Sabato's quote doesn't say that it's the Tea Party, but the Guardian implies that.  I say, where's the spirit of compromise when Harry Reid deigns the Boehner debt plan as "DOA" in the Senate and votes it down within an hour of it coming over.  This when Boehner's plan and Reid's own aren't that far off, once you remove Reid's gimmick cuts.

    Look, it's correct to say that the real sticking point now is the timing on the plans.  The Dems want this to take them through the 2012 elections, and the GOP wants to debate this anew in 2012.  Now, if this was such a winning issue for Liberals, would they want to avoid another debate?  No, they'd relish it, which is what the GOP wants.  It's good politics, and it also provides a check against Dems that these cuts occur, and be serious.  Otherwise, it gives them an incentive to do nothing, and in 2013, we'll be here again, only in even worse shape.

    As for the "default," let's all agree that a technical default is not the issue here.  It never has been.  The US will not default (we can't Constitutionally, anyway).  There is plenty of money to pay creditors, social security, medicare and medicaid, and military operations.  I've posted on that ad nauseum.  The threat of a "default" is a lie.

    What's at stake here is the United States' credit rating, and it's actually a sign that those Tea Partiers are winning the battle in that most of the state run media and even Liberals are now focused on that.  BUT, to save that, we need to demonstrate that we're serious about reducing the debt.  Raising the debt limit does nothing for that.  That's why there must be serious cuts.  This scares libs, trust me, because for them, everything government does is sacrosanct.  Except for the military (one of those Constitutionally-mandated items), which is fair game for cuts.  They can't cut anything, and they fear any meaningful attempt to force them to do so (like a balanced budget amendment, for example).

    There's no doubt that Tea Partiers want a smaller, less obtrusive government.  Yet, even in the Boehner plan, there's no reduction in the size of government, only in the growth of it.  So, you could understand how some new members on the Hill could look at all these shenanigans and declare, "Enough!"

    For anyone to say that Tea Partiers "seem intent on risking destroying what American political leaders have constructed in more than two centuries of hard, often painful work," is completely disingenuous and a lie. If we fail to raise the debt limit we are not going to lose the United States.  But, if we fail to get our government's spending in line with what we can actually afford, we will.  It's precisely because we continue to raise the debt limit that we find ourselves here.  Tea Partiers recognize that simple fact.  Our government has grown because we've allowed it to.  We borrow 43 cents on each dollar because we've created such a monster.  Tea Partiers have decided it's time to stop feeding the monster, and either we do it in a serious manner, or we have it done for us.

    Actually, after reading this drivel from The Guardian, I'm considering whether I should drop my tepid support of the Boehner plan (which doesn't cut enough, and not soon enough) and say, either we get serious, or we take our chances.  At least in the latter case, we'll all be in it together, and maybe then the Left will recognize what a serious situation this is, because, my friend moronwatch, it's the Left who has failed to recognize the debt as an issue for 2 years of the Obama presidency, while since January 2009, the Tea Party has.

    This man will be president someday, and the Democrats should know it

    Marco Rubio

    Has added benefit of schooling John F'ing Kerry

    Tuesday, July 26, 2011

    Obama Lies, so Granny doesn't die after all. Or, there will be no default! Obama says so (@moronwatch)

    If you follow me on twitter, you know I have been saying to anyone who will listen, that despite Obama's rhetoric, there will be no default.

    I explained this here, here and I even brought in Dick Morris explain it, here.

    Today, we learned that even the Obama administration agrees there is no default possibility.  As my twitter nemesis, Moronwatch, might say, Obama is beholden to his supporters on Wall Street and at the too big to fail investment banks (like Goldman-Sachs) - so, he won't let a default occur.

    Know how we know this (besides it would be criminal of Obama to allow it to happen when he could avoid it)?  Because this is what the Obama administration is telling their crony-capitalists at these banks.
    "In a series of phone calls, administration officials have told bankers that the administration will not allow a default to happen even if the debt cap isn't raised by the August 2 deadline."
    This doesn't mean it's a good idea to stop paying things like the EPA, but, as I've said before, social security gets paid, Medicare/Medicaid gets paid, debt service is completed, and there's some left over for Michelle Obama to go to Spain or Tahiti, or wherever she needs to go.
    Win/Win for all us, n'est ce pas?

    Kerry's pal stripped of Silver Star. Kerry still a French-looking loser.

    CAPT Wade Sanders introduced the French-looking John "F'ing" Kerry at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, where the Swift Boat driving Kerry was nominated as the party's candidate for President.

    Many people like to believe that Kerry's campaign was derailed because a small group of veterans, the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth," mounted a campaign to discredit Kerry's Vietnam War accomplishments.  Their evidence was pretty compelling, and, coupled with Kerry's subsequent dovishness, his crazy wife, his propensity for wind surfing, and his overall Liberalism, he was defeated by W, with no second count required.

    Still, this guy came perilously close to becoming President and placing adulterer, ambulance-chaser,  and campaign cheat John Edwards a heartbeat away from the Presidency (and you thought a vote for John McCain was dangerous).  The left whined that those former comrades of Kerry had a big role in his defeat, and coined the phrase "Swift Boating" to mean shedding the light on prior actions of a Democrat candidate that the American people might not find so swift.  You know, like hanging out with bigoted preachers and guys who bomb police stations.

    This week we learned that CAPT Sanders, who was a chief attack dog against the Swift Boat veterans, was involved in some, ummm, less than savory acts, like enjoying child pornography, an act for which he is serving 37 months in federal prison.  Since he's been in prison, Navy Secretary Ray Malbus has stripped CAPT Sanders of his Silver Star (published in the 7/11 print Navy Times, but text here).

    CAPT Pamela Kunze of the Board of Medals said:
    "Had the subsequently determined facts and evidence surrounding both the incident for which the award was made and the processing of the award itself been known to the Secretary of the Navy in 1992, those facts would have prevented the award of the Silver Star."
    Of course, this doesn't confirm Kerry was  a coward and an opportunist (remember, he got himself 3 Purple Hearts so he could get out of Vietnam), but, it doesn't help his case that his chief defender is a convicted kiddie porn user and a liar.

    Wednesday, July 20, 2011

    @jpodhoretz, 7/20/11 10:30 PM

    John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz)
    7/20/11 10:30 PM
    Astounding post b @KeithHennessey on Gang of Six proposal. He doesn't say it, so I will: It's bullshit. http://t.co/eODTENB

    Sent from my iPhone

    Dick Morris Explains the path forward for GOP

    Dick Morris explains what the GOP really needs to do on this debt ceiling issue, and calls Obama out for lying about what lack of an agreement means with respect to default (i.e., nothing).

    Jay to @DailyCaller: Put up or shut up on Bachmann Health

    I expected better from the Daily Caller than a ridiculous hit piece on Michelle Bachmann and her migraine headaches.  I am embarrassed for them for their use of anonymous sources, and because if it is true that they "put her out of commission for a day or more at a time" that should be easily verifiable.  A sitting member of Congress has a pretty well publicized public schedule, and the instances the DC cites in their article barely describe "days at a time" of being incapacitated.

    Furthermore, the article headline alleges "heavy pill use," yet in the body, we learn that pill use is because “The migraines are so bad and so intense, she carries and takes all sorts of pills. Prevention pills. Pills during the migraine. Pills after the migraine, to keep them under control. She has to take these pills wherever she goes.”

    Well, that's true, you could end up with a bunch of pills.  Those who suffer very bad migraines need these pills, and would be a fool not to "take these pills wherever she goes."

    They describe an incident in May 2010, when Bachmann "flew to Los Angeles for a series of political and fundraising events. In part because of complications with her flight schedule, Bachmann’s mood plunged. During the entire six-hour flight, she was desperately sick from headaches."

    Hey, people, I don't know if you've ever had a regular headache on a plane, but it ain't fun, and to have a migraine on a plane!  Argh, I would make them land it.  But, that's why you take your medicine, but, with some migraines, you have to take your medication before the migraine reaches a certain point for it to be most effective, otherwise, you're where it appeared Bachmann was, in a doctor's office, getting a shot in your behind.  After that, you're good, though.  

    Tucker Carlson should be ashamed of this article, since it barely rises TO the journalistic standards of the National Enquirer, and has no place in an online magazine trying to be a serious source of political news.  Maybe the DC wants to prove it's not just a right-wing outfit (I don't know why they'd want to abandon that market), or maybe they have a closet woodie for Romney or Perry.  I don't know, but this article is a disgusting hit piece.

    As someone who has suffered/suffers from migraines, I can attest to the fact that they can be extremely debilitating, but, there are plenty of medications and strategies that can prevent them, and lessen their intensity.  In nearly all cases, a doctor's office visit for treatment can eliminate them very, very quickly.  Migraine sufferers pretty much lead a normal life, with attention to diet and use of proper medications.  This article is stupid and the DC should prove that these incidents are more than what they've shown, or they need to print a retraction and issue an apology to Bachmann and migraine sufferers everywhere.

    Update: Read Ed Morrisey's take at HotAir, pretty much mirrors mine.

    @moronwatch takes it on the chin from a teabagging moron. Or, how I learned to stop worrying and love the debt limit.

    Update: Added links and corrected spelling

    The lead moron over at moronwatch is at it again, this time trying to explain to his followers why the GOP is leading the US to default.  As with most of moronwatch's posts, this is pretty much a cut and paste from liberal news media, and devoid of any original thinking.  I'll supply my rebuttal here, and allow my (one) reader to enjoy it.  It's THAT good.

    This post is typical moronic twaddle.

    You say, "Food stamps generate activity in the economy - $1.73 for each $1 spent."  Although that's nonsensical on its face, it's not even the right contention.  Liberals tried to tout when we were extending unemployment benefits to 99 weeks here that "unemployment benefits" were a net positive to the economy, on the order of $1.73 to $1.

    Either way, by that logic, we should just have the government give everyone food stamps (or cash), since it's a net positive to the economy.  We really should just print money and hand it to people, we'd immediately grow the economy.  (Actually, we would, but it would be a false growth). Do you people even THINK about what you're saying?

    On one hand, Liberal economists (like those at The Economist) argue that deep spending cuts may have some negative growth effects (and there is an element of truth to that), but then argue that tax increases have a positive effect.  So, let's see this logic - we have government priming the economy with spending to increase growth, and removing money from the economy to also increase growth.  Huh?  Only morons like moronwatch and liberals believe this crap.

    Surely, if spending was such a boost to the economy, the $1T spent in stimulus in the last 2 years would have the US economy going gangbusters now and coupled with all the extensions in unemployment benefits, we'd be at unprecedented growth rates, and Obama would have made good on his promise of <8% unemployment.  I don't know if you've noticed, but the US economy is slowing and unemployment is increasing.  This is the pattern with Keynesian stimuli, they don't work.  Not now, not ever.

    There is no doubt that the debt ceiling will ultimately be raised.  There just is no combination of spending cuts and tax increases that can raise enough revenue right away to solve the immediate problem.  So, the debt ceiling must be raised.  There is no other choice ultimately.

    Because, unfortunately, we've fiddled for too long.  The president's laughable budget was voted down 97-0 in the Senate, and those same Senators have failed to present a budget (a Constitutional requirement, by the way) for over 2 years.  The budget presented and passed in the House addresses these structural deficits, but, it is going nowhere in a Harry Reid, Democrat controlled Senate, and the President, of course, opposes it.  You tell ME who is intransigent here????

    What is being debated, MW, is the future size of government, and your post either displays your ignorance or
    disingenuousness (sort of like our President).

    Let's get some things straight here, for your actually thinking readers:
    1. Even without a debt ceiling increase, there does not need to be any default.  The US govt takes in enough money each month to service the debt and pay social security obligations and medicare and medicaid obligations.  Not much else, though.  So, clearly, govt services will slow to a crawl, and not even us crazy tea party sympathizers want that.
    2. The argument that is being made is that the debt ceiling increase needs to be balanced by spending cuts of the same amount over some period of time.  Even the GOP is talking 10-12 years.  Not in the same year, ok, can we get that straight? 
    3. The same is true of the tax increases that Obama is seeking.  Even he isn't stupid enough in this economy to suggest that we raise taxes in 2011 by $2T.  He's suggesting the same thing, raise taxes by $2T over ten years, and cut spending by a similar amount (this is his $4T "grand bargain").  This amounts to repealing the Bush tax rates on the highest earners.  Those are those millionaire families who make over $250k/year (or single filers making over $200k/year).  Funny, you call us morons, but in this world a millionaire makes $200k/year.  I guess in the world of 5 year plans, it makes some sense, though.
    4. This is Obama's game.  He so pissed off his base by extending the Bush tax cuts in December, this is his way of getting them back.  Oh well, at least us morons recognize political posturing when we see it.
    5. I realize you're British and maybe you don't know this, but no one can be denied medical care in the United States.  It's a question of who PAYS for it.  In the present system, we all pay for it via increased insurance premiums for the insured.  In Obamacare, we all pay for it with increased insurance premiums for the insured (plus increased taxes on everyone).  The selling point for government control is that this is just intended to be spread amongst more of us, so each of us will pay less.  I don't know, but 30 million more people being insured means someone is paying more.  But, that's an argument for another day.
    If Obama was worth his weight in dog crap as a leader, he would come out and guarantee that in the event of no debt ceiling deal, our creditors would get paid, thus calming the financial markets.  Of course, that would give away his biggest bargaining chip, which is that we'll have no money to pay anyone, our creditors, or granny's social security check (in other words, fomenting fear).  It's truly despicable, and not leadership.  But, it's good politics for him.

    Finally, Obama knows that his pals in the leftist, Obama-slurping media (which includes the former communists at The Economist) will tout his line and serve his mission.  And, that's ok.  We ALL know this, and accept it as a cost of politics in the United States.

    As for me, I like this plan: http://bit.ly/ps847u

    Monday, July 18, 2011

    Debt Ceiling: Don't Call His Bluff, or Grandma Eats Dogfood!

    If you live under a rock, we're a couple of weeks away from supposedly hitting the limit on the nation's credit cards.  Once you get past the stupidity of the debtors debating with each other over how much to raise their own credit limit, we have to face the reality that the limit will probably be increased.

    When you're facing a deficit of $2T, it's going to be pretty hard to cut all that out immediately, and we already know that the Dems have promised that if the limit isn't raised, they don't intend to pay anyone and just let the country go into default.  That's what Obama meant when he said Granny wouldn't get her social security check.  Why would admit he could service the debt and pay social security obligations?  That would be truthful, and we already know the truth and Obama are alien.  Plus, it would demonstrate real leadership and responsibility.  It is what YOU would do, since YOU are responsible.  But, that's not in the Dems DNA.  No, like any other crisis, why let this one go to waste. There are political points to be made!

    Obama famously dared Eric Cantor and the GOP "Don't call my bluff," and it's unlikely that they will.  But, is there another way to protect the nation's credit rating, and still force the administration to accept cuts in the budget?  Is there a way to "call his bluff" and retain the nation's good credit?

    The GOP is going to vote this week on a plan they label as "Cut, Cap, and Balance, " or CCB.  The plan cuts spending, places a cap on spending as a percentage of GDP, and takes a vote on a balanced budget amendment (BBA).

    The cut part is intended to at least offer a dollar for dollar cut in spending for a corresponding increase in the debt limit.  That would address the immediate need to keep the US out of default and run the country as usual (or, at least as Obama and the Dems define usual).

    The cap part limits spending, as proposed, to 18% of GDP.  This is below the historical norm (around 20%) and takes us back many years, so it really does represent a return to a more fiscally sane time.  But, except for now, and WW2, we've never spent much more than 21% of GDP (today, it's 24%), so this is close to historical levels.

    The balance part is a balanced budget amendment, which does not require the president's signature to send to the states.  It is the hardest part of the thing, requiring a 2/3's vote in both chambers.

    Dems being huge spenders, none of these, sadly, has a chance of passing the Senate, with it's 51 Dem majority (and Independents Bernie Sanders and Joe Lieberman).  So, yes, CCB is largely political posturing, but, it lays out the GOP's goals and what is acceptable to the GOP, and, I might add, to the people who sent historic numbers of them to Congress in the 2010 election.  Taking Obama at his word that elections have consequences, I'd like to point out to the Liberals that the most recent election, and the one that most closely tells you where the country is on this, was in 2010, and "We won."

    The GOP leadership seems torn by what to do.  Of course, the old GOP guard of RINO's like Mitch McConnell and John McCain remember 1995 and that shutdown, and they know how they got outmaneuvered by Bill Clinton and a "pliant, supine media." They cringe at what this means to them, if Obama and his pals in the mainslurp media succeed in framing a failure to reach an agreement as the GOP's fault.  To them, I warn that this is NOT 1995.  There was no Fox News and no Internet to speak of in 1995. The state-controlled media was much stronger then, and Barack Obama is no Bill Clinton, although they share being first black presidents.

    I further warn the GOP Old Guard that the Tea Partiers and their sympathizers (me), will not take kindly to more Republican capitulation to those determined to ruin the United States of America.  If you're not aware of the McConnell plan, while it seems politically palatable, it is NOT what we sent this crop of people to Washington to do.  We sent these people to Washington to save us from the left-wing ideologue in the White House, and we intend for them to do that.  At least we want them to hold the line until help arrives.  This battle is crucial in framing the debate for 2012, and Barack Obama and the do-nothing, Dem-controlled Senate must be made to pay for their intransigence in this one.

    Understanding that the Senate will not pass CCB, and that even if it miraculously passed, BO would veto it, what is the GOP to do?  Keep in mind that even if August 2nd comes and there is no debt limit increase, the Feds are still collecting revenue, something like $200B/month.  So, there's money coming in.

    Dick Morris, a veteran of that 1995 battle (on the winning side), has some advice for Republicans.  Dick says, pass CCB, to get your policy goals out there and put it on record, but that's only 1/2 the battle.  Knowing that won't pass, pass legislation that gives the administration Congress's priorities in the event there is no debt limit increase.  Tell the president what you expect him to do with that $200B.  And it should be:

    1. Service the debt to avoid default.  This must be priority one.  Codify it so that the rating agencies and creditors know we intend to make good on our debts.
    2. Direct the president to pay active duty military salaries and fund contingency operations (those are called wars in another administration).
    3. Direct the president to make social security payments and Medicare and Medicaid payments.
    4. Authorize the Treasury Secretary to borrow money as necessary beyond the debt limit to make good on any of the above bills, should revenue be insufficient.  
    5. Require Treasury to provide a full accounting of where all revenues are spent.
    From most estimates, the money coming in should be enough to cover these obligations.  But, even if not, the conditional approval to borrow will ensure they are met.

    It shouldn't take legislation to make these things happen.  A true leader of the free world would already have assured people that even though the Congress is a bunch of louts and can't increase the debt limit (or, in the case of the Senate, pass a budget), he would ensure all these things would happen, because, you know, he's a leader.  Instead, this president decided to be a demagogue and use granny to score political points. Hey, we already knew that about him, though.

    Parts of the government will go in to hiatus.  Unlike 1995, though, this time, no one will care, especially since the President and his pals have made Social Security and the military the issue already, now they'd have to back off and say, well, we got that covered, but aren't you mad the EPA isn't enforcing environmental regulations, or that Joe Biden can't take the Acela home to Delaware this weekend?  

    I'll take that argument.

    Look, if not now, when?  If conservatives lose this debate, then, I agree with Sean Hannity, who today said that means the country has decided we want to be Greece.  If that's what the majority of Americans want, then I'll stick around to pick up the pieces.  We'll all find out who John Galt is.

    Thursday, June 30, 2011

    St Louis Today Editorialists Paint Caricature of GOP. Are they right? You read, I decide.

    The people who identify themselves as the "Editorial Board" of St. Louis Today, herein perpetuate myths about conservatives, and Republicans. I guess a caricatured version of the opposition makes it easier for these idiots, but, let me help them out here.

    Editorial: Eight myths to chill an old-school Republican soul
    By the Editorial Board

    In their op-ed, they say the GOP has become a "spectacle of smart, patriotic men and women putting their brains and integrity on ice to please a party dominated by anti-intellectual social Darwinists and the plutocrats who finance and mislead them."

    Heh? Social Darwinists? What does that even mean? Plutocrats? Isn't it the Democrat party who have given nprecedented amounts of money to the Obama campaign? Wasn't the Clinton administration and the Obama administration filled with refugees from Goldman Sachs? Seriously, this stuff is just laughable.

    "Consider the mythology that makes up GOP orthodoxy today. Imagine the contortions that cramp the brains and souls of men and women of intelligence and compassion who seek state and national office under the Republican banner."

    They go on to list these things you must believe, in their opinion:

    "• They must believe, despite the evidence of the 2008 financial collapse, that unregulated — or at most, lightly regulated — financial markets are good for America and the world."

    Liberal orthodoxy is that everything in the world can be tamed, if only our omniscient, all-knowing, Liberal Masters were allowed to make those decisions for us. What Liberals fail to point out is that these experiments have all been tried, with no success. The Soviet Union, and China are filled with 5 years plans, most of them dramatic failures. Even the vaunted New Deal was largely a failure of government planning. Conservatives don't believe that less regulation in free markets is correct for any other reason than that is what works best.

    "They must believe in the brilliantly cast conceit known as the "pro-growth agenda," in which economic growth can be attained only by reducing corporate and individual tax rates, especially among the investor class, and by freeing business from environmental rules that have cleaned up America's air and water and labor regulations that helped create America's middle class."

    This is a two part stupidity. Part one is that economic growth is attained by maintaining low individual and corporate tax rates. To that, again, I don't know how Liberals avoid history. I give you the Bush, Reagan, and Kennedy tax cuts, all of which were followed by sustained years of economic growth. Let me posit the alternative - which is that we increase rates. Is there anyone, other than former Soviet planners, who think THAT creates econiomic growth. Come on, not even Obama believes that.

    Part two is the gratuitous swipe at the GOP as against clean air and water. Conservatives recognize the need to craft and maintain regulations to ensure the safety of our drinking water and air. What we don't see is the need and the cost effectiveness of many more regulations that do little to further clean the air and water, and do more to stifle economic activity. Capitalism is the best way to ensure clean air and water. JUst look at the cesspools in Eastern Europer and China, if you want to see the results of unfettered State planning. This is just ridiculous. Again, it gets to the heart of Liberal conceit, which is that the hoi polloi can't see what's good for them (clean air and water) and need their Liberal betters to pass laws to make sure they are protected. Finally, it's a popular liberal myth that without the union movement of the early 20th century, we'd have no middle class. That's an untruth. The union and workers' rights movements of that time may have accelerated the formation of a broad middle class, but it would have happened eventually anyway as the economy and technologies matured.

    " Though rising health care costs are pillaging the economy, and even though health care in America is now a matter of what you can afford, Republican candidates for office must deny that health care is a basic right and resist a real attempt to change and improve the system."

    They deny it as a "basic right" because it is not a "basic right" as defined in our Constitution. Since Liberals pretty much interpret the Constitution however they want, I can understand their confusion.

    "GOP candidates must scoff at scientific consensus about global warming. Blame it on human activity? Bad. Cite Noah's Ark as evidence? Good. They must express at least some doubt about the science of evolution."

    The only scientific consensus in the "climate change" debate is that temperatures rose for a 20 year period in the late 20th century. After that, the rest is debatable, and most certainly isn't consensus. COuld the rise in temps be due to human activity? Could it be due to solar activity? COuld it be due to normal variations in the Earth's cooling and warming cycle? It could be a combination of them all. What is true, though, is that no models created by the global warming alarmists fit the actual trends, and none of them fit going backwards. What is also true is that AGW proponents have willfully manipulated data and lied, probably either for political reasons, or to keep the research bucks flowing.

    I see that the theory of evolution is now science. Nice trick.

    "They must insist, statistics and evidence to the contrary, that most of the nation's energy needs can be met safely with more domestic oil drilling, "clean-coal" technology and greater reliance on perfectly safe nuclear power plants."

    Anyone who says they want the US to be entirely energy independent is denying reality. Fossil fuels are traded in an international market.  We compete with China, Japan, France, etc for resources. 

    But, we can improve supplies of oil here at home, and use more coal and natural gas, sources found in great abundance in this country. That would lessen our dependence on foreign sources of oil, serve to reduce prices for energy, and improve our safety from blackmail from middle eastern dictatorships. Adding more nuclear plants would provide a greeenhouse-gasless way to produce energy and make all those plug-in hybrids actual non-polluters.  Adding to the worldwide supply will not only make us richer by becoming a net supplier (perhaps), but it will provide good, high-paying (and likely lots of unionized) jobs, and reduce enegery prices worldwide.

    I realize people may mistakenly believe we get a large percentage of oil from the Middle East, and I understand that's not true - our greatest suppliers are Canada and Mexico, and no, they're not poised to attack us. But, since so much of the world's current oil reserves are in Middle Eastern countries, they coutrol the price of oil to a large extent, and that's how they have us (and the rest of the West) over a barrel, so to speak. Want to mnimize that risk, encourage more production here, as well as in friendly countries (like Brazil, so Barry O has that part right).

    "They must believe that all 11.2 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States can be rounded up, detained, tried, repatriated and kept from returning at a reasonable cost."

    This one really kills me. I mean, if you said this to one of your conservative friends, you either wouldn't be able to get up after the punch, or the laughter at your stupidity would drown you out for a while.

    Typically, these caricatures include some veiled statement that Conservatives are racists. Kudos to St Louis Today for avoiding that. I am amazed that St. Louis today has such an exact number. Perhaps they have been doing the documentation.

    My argument on immigration is that we should control our borders and that we should know who is in our country, where they are, why they are here, and that they have some valid reason for being here. We'd also love to debate what skill sets we need from immigarnts, how many we need, and we'd like to make sure we can assimilate them into the American experience so that they continue to be productive, valuable citizens. We used to actually have those debates, and we were able to assimilate immigrants into our society.  At some point, we just became an open borders country, and it's costing too much money to provide services to immigrants and it's a security issue (it's mostly a security issue). 

    If we need 2M immigrants/year, and they all come from Mexico, by all means, let's get it done, and let's put them on a path to citiizenship, and perhaps we need to make changes in that process to make it quicker and fairer. But, we need control of the borders for national security. Let's have the immigration debate, but let's have it honestly. This statement is just so dishonest that it means we can't have the debate with people who believe this.

    "Even though there are more than four unemployed persons for every available job, GOP candidates should at least hint that unemployment benefits keep people from seeking jobs."

    There's plenty of evidence that long-term unemployment benefits discourage job seeking. Like immigration, there's a balance somewhere between how long and how much we should provide in unemployment benefits before the beneficiary begins to adapt to that as a way of life. I don't think the conservative argument is that unemployment benefits prevent people from seeking employment, but there's a rational argument to be made for just how long should we provide them before we decide the beneficiary is, perhaps, unemployable, or isn't willing to look hard enough for a job.

    I could share anecdotal evidence of my own about people whom I consider are abusing the system, but, in deference to them, the system exists as it is, and they are doing nothing more than pkaying the game the way the rules are written, and, in my opinion, these folks are emblematic of a broken system.

    I look forward to the editors reply.  Not holding my breath.

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011

    Sunday, June 12, 2011

    2012 GOP Field

    The 2012 GOP field is shaping up, and while I have no clear favorite, I have some favorites. Since CNN is hosting a debate in New Hampshire tomorrow, now is a good time to review the candidates.

    I'll go through the declared and potential candidates here in short form.  As the field gets more certain, I may devote a longer post to each of them, and their pros and cons, so my minions can form their own opinions, from mine.

    In no particular order are the near certain or declared candidates (Links are to their official campaign sites):
    • Herman Cain - Cain is an Atlanta native and former Godfather's Pizza CEO and Pillsbury executive who was also a Federal Reserve Board Chairman (Kansas City).  He hosted a local radio show here and was often a guest host on semi-Libertarian Neal Boortz's show.  You may remember Cain as the executive who in 1994 asked Bill Clinton who he should lay off as a result of HillaryCare.  He's a Tea Party favorite, a staunch fiscal conservative, and a social conservative, who happens to be black and devoid of elected experience.  If you saw Cain on Fox News Sunday recently, you may have noticed foreign policy is not his forte'.  I don't know what we can expect from him here, except that he's likely to stick with conservative principles - continue global war on terror, support for Israel, etc.

      My opinion - I like Cain. A lot.  He's a smart man, who thinks quickly, and has a homespun, folksy manner that really brings people in.  On domestic issues, he is going to run rings around Obama and the democrats.  Of course, that's pretty much true of all the candidates here, given they are not Keynesian fools, like Liberals.  He is going to be a solid social conservative, and I think he'll surround himself with pros at Defense, and, I sense he might actually recognize the State Department is a mess and correct that.

      What's not to like?  Not too much.  Some knock him for his lack of elected experience.  He plays that into a plus, which I think it is, too.  He demonstrated some "deer-in-the-headlights" looks in that first FNS interview when probed about Israel and "right of return" for the Palestinians.   And, he wants to get in office, review the intelligence before proclaiming anything on Afghanistan.  I don't think in this long election cycle, that he can continue that answer.  He's also 65 years old.  He doesn't look or act it, but, that's a little aged, especially for a cancer survivor.  The pundits don't think he can draw much more of a crowd or money.

      My prediction - Cain is going to do very well in Iowa, and be this year's Huckabee. It won't be enough to win the nomination, though.
    • Mitt Romney - the current front runner is the consensus choice.  I am hoping the consensus is wrong.  I like Romney, I think he'd make a fine president, and a far, far, far better one than Obama.  He'd bring competence and conservatism back to the White House.  Let's take his biggest albatross first, RomneyCare.  I don't think Romney has explained the Massachusetts law that he championed and signed well enough.  I am ok with what he did there.  He doesn't have to deal with the thorny Constitutional issues as a Governor, and, Massachusetts is about as Liberal as they come.  The way I look at, that state got what it deserved.  He says he'll repeal Obamacare, and replace it, and he may be actually,the best positioned Republican to actually get Independent voters to agree with him on that one.  He can make the argument that he's worked with both sides on this issue, understands it, and knows that what may work in Massachusetts won't work nationally. Anyway, I think there's plenty of room for him to maneuver on this.  RomneyCare hurts him with conservative GOP primary voters, but not with the rest of the country.

      The bad?   As one of those GOP primary voters, I will NOT vote in a GOP primary for someone who believes the climate change/global warming alarmists and their falsehoods.  Romney has said he believes this crap, so, he will not be getting my vote in the primary.  That's disqualifying for me.

      My prediction - Skipping Iowa will keep expectations low there.  Must win New Hampshire (and fairly handily).  I predict he will not win, or will win weakly, and that will effectively end his campaign.
    • Tim Pawlenty - the Minnesota governor has been running now almost as long as Romney, yet can't seem to get over 5% of GOP voters to admit he exists. Like Romney, he has solid executive experience in a Liberal state.  Unlike Romney, he mostly governed as a conservative, and had success in Minnesota, winning re-election.  He has outlined an ambitious and decidely supply-side economic plan that mixes tax rate changes and spending cuts to spur economic growth.  While some of the assumptions may be rosy, they are not unattainable, and are a cure for our flailing economy.  On foreign policy, I haven't seen a lot of him, but his positions are pretty much standard-fare mainstream conservative, and he's a strong social conservative.

      The bad?  Tim Who?  Unfortunately, that's the question a lot of people are asking.  Pawlenty is just invisible in this crowd. He needs a break-out in Iowa to get his name up, but, even though he was a popular governor in a neighboring state, he's not seeing much traction.  It's a long way, but, he needs to get some visibility and do well there.

      My prediction - I just don't know.  I want T-Paw in the race for the duration.  I think he'd be a great candidate, but, I just don't know if he can make it happen.  I predict a decent Iowa showing, but will it be enough to keep his campaign afloat?
    • Newt Gingrich - Ah, Newt, what have you done?  Not a good sign when all your top advisers leave, or are shown the door.  I realize Newt wants to wage a 'different' kind of campaign, and I know Newt has a lot of ideas.  I'd like to see Newt stay in for a while to elevate the debate, and force the other candidates to elevate their game, too.  Sadly, I don't know if he's even going to make it to Iowa.  He seems to be self-destructing, and he's a very undisciplined candidate.  He's with me on nearly every issue, but, in this crowd, so are a bunch of others.

      The bad?  A lot of bad with Newt.  I think Newt's time passed a long time ago.  I can't really forgive him for that PSA with Nancy Pelosi.  It's like sitting with the devil.  Also unforgivable, his statements on the Ryan budget plan.  It's ok to not like elements of it, but, it's not right-wing social engineering.  He has no real executive experience, and he is not a disciplined campaigner.  He's too old, and 3 wives and his treatment of numbers 1 and 2, not great.

      My prediction - Flameout and out of the race before 2011 is over.
    • Ron Paul - Look, Paul is a nut.  He's right on many issues and his Libertarian bent is great to have in the race.  I don't know how he stays in these things, but, I hope he does.

      The bad?  His supporters are really nuts.  He's about 100 years old.  His son would be a better choice.

      My prediction - will never get into double digits, yet somehow will persevere to the end.
    • Gary Johnson - the former New Mexico governor is, like Paul, a Libertarian.  Except, Johnson does it without drawing any support.  He wants us out of Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq.  He wants us to stop using enhanced interrogation techniques, Gitmo shut down, and the Patriot Act repealed.  He's pro-choice, and pro-gay marriage and pro-legalization.  If you're a Libertarian, and I mean a true one, this is your guy.  You'd think those views would be more at home in the Democrat party, but, Libertarians also believe in individual choice and personal freedom, and the Liberal Fascist's view of government doesn't include either of those concepts.  Fortunately, most Libertarians know that.

      The bad?  Did I mention Libertarians live in a fantasy world?  I think I'd like their world, but it's a parallel universe to mine.  Also bad, he can't get the 2% support to get on the stage in tomorrow's debate.  Ouch!

      My prediction - May hang in til his money runs out.  Could be any day now.
    • Rick Santorum - I like Rick Santorum, and he's from an important blue state, Pennsylvania.  But, it's a blue state that rejected him wildly in 2006 (not a good year for Republicans anywhere, mind you), but has routinely elected Republican senators and governors (as it did in 2010).  Santorum is wildly right on the issues.  He's solidly conservative, and would be an interesting candidate.  But, there's a reason we don't routinely elect senators to the presidency.  They usually suck, just witness Barack Obama.

      The bad? To the rest of the country, he's Rick Who?  I just don't think he has the backing and support it's going to take to last long in this race.

      My prediction - Out after Iowa.
    That is the list of announced candidates.  Now, here are those yet to announce, with my predictions centered around whether they enter the race or not:. Links are to PACs or their personal sites associated with their current positions.
    • Sarah Palin - You can search this blog to see all my many posts about just Sarah Palin.  I just go back and forth on her.  She holds all the right positions, she strangely articulates them, and she's got a following and star appeal that approaches what Barack Obama had in 2008.  I do not think Palin is stupid, but in a recent post, I think I put my finger on my issue with her.  And my issue isn't with her, it's with some of her followers, and the Republican party in general.  We've been looking for the heir to Reagan for almost 25 years now.  We need to stop looking.  Palin is not Reagan, and no one is, and the GOP should stop looking for that person.  Palin could, I believe, stand on her own, and bring tremendous energy and excitement to the race.  She has a lot of negative perceptions that the state-run media has been more than happy to create and perpetuate.  Could she overcome them?  I think she could, because she commands the airtime.  Will she?

      The bad?  No one in the GOP outside a return of George W Bush drives the media mad like Palin does.  They will go into full blown Obama love again if she opposes him.  Not all bad, but she needs to be prepared for this.  Also bad, people think she's stupid.  That's a hard barrier to break through once it's set.  She's similar to W, who's grades were at least as good as Al Gore's (and who had a Harvard MBA and had not written an unreadable,, crappy book), in this respect.

      My prediction - I think 2012 is her time.  Obama is very beatable.  The Left doesn't realize it, but people HATE Democrats these days.  She needs to enter soon, but once she's in, it's her nomination to lose.
    • Michelle Bachmann - The MN Congresswoman is another Tea Party favorite and a strident defender of Truth, Justice, and the American Way (now that Superman has passed on all that stuff).  Again, she holds all the right positions, but, if you think Sarah Palin gets killed by the media, just wait to see what they can do to Bachmann.

      The bad? She has a tendency to say crazy stuff, you know, like the US has 57 states.  Oh wait...

      Prediction - I think what she does depends on Palin. If Palin doesn't enter the race, Bachmann is almost certain to get in.  I could see her doing well in Iowa.  Could be a dark horse, but will be an uphill battle.
    • Rick Perry - The TX governor has the benefit of leading the only state that has done reasonably well during our excursion into Obamanomics.  That Texas has a truly part-time legislature and is the least regulated state in the nation has something to do with it.  Perry's been a strong 10th Amendment advocate since Obama started destroying it, and he's opposed every last piece of crap legislation that has come out of Washington since, oh, January 21, 2009.  He also dispatched RINO Kay Bailey Hutchison when she tried to run for governor.  Perry's got a record, is a tough as nails conservative, and, if he gets into this race, he could become the front runner in moments.  If he gets into the race, it's going to be because Sarah Palin is not, and it's expected that his entry could include a strong endorsement from Palin.

      The bad?  What will Americans think of another Texan running for president? He isn't terribly well known outside Tea Party, GOP, and conservative circles.

      Prediction - getting in, and with Palin's backing, will quickly consolidate this race to a 2 way between Romney and Perry.  Look for Perry/Palin 2012.
    • Jon Huntsman - Former Utah governor and Barack Obama's ambassador to China is considering a run.  Look, he may be a nice guy, and a solid conservative, but, really, I don't even know the guy.

      The bad? See above.  Need any more than that?

      Prediction - going to get in, but will be out by the end of Iowa.
    Others are waiting, perhaps to see what happens, and others are just fantasies:
    • John Bolton - former UN Ambassador under Bush.  Would be a great president on foreign policy.I think he'll make a great Secretary of State in the Perry White House.
    • Chris Christie - the tough talking, results-delivering NJ governator has said repeatedly he's not running. I believe him.  Should the GOP falter in 2012, Christie is waiting to save us in 2016.  Sorry, Ann Coulter.
    • Jeb Bush - the Bush who SHOULD have been president in 2000 is not running, has expressed no desire to run, and probably had his hopes dashed ion November 2000 when his brother won.  But, how sweet would it be to replace the Fascist Obama with another Bush?  Seriously, how sweet would that be?
    • Trump - please.
    Ok, so I have some favorites and some not-so favorites.  

    Right now, my choice among the declared candidates is Cain, followed by Pawlenty.  Among the potential candidates, if Rick Perry gets in, I would seriously consider him, and, I am reconsidering my position on Palin.  Bachmann is a wait and see type.  Romney is a no way.

    I plan to watch the CNN debate tomorrow, maybe on DVR.  Hopefully you will, too.  I won't live blog it, but if I watch in real time, find me on twitter, twitter.com/sleepywhiner.