Monthly Archives: June 2010

Obama Gives "Talking Tough" His Best Shot

Liberals have been goading Obama into a fight.   They have been begging the President to get mad at the oil situation and let BP have it.  I thought he already had his loafer on their neck or something.. Anyway, it looks like liberals did it.. We’ve seen the most powerful man in the world angry … and just like the hulk, we really didn’t want to see him when he got angry.  While discussing his trip to the Gulf Obama told us how he shows his war face.

I don’t sit around just talking to experts because this is a college seminar, we talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers, so I know whose ass to kick.

Wow.  Those people with “the best answers” better watch out.  If they aren’t careful, he might just have a drink at a beer summit and tell those folks at BP that their actions were “misguided” or that they “acted stupidly”.

As it has become obvious that Obama neither knows who’s ass to kick or how to accomplish it, twitter has come alive with all sorts of suggestions.  #AssesBarryKicked is alive and kicking this evening.

Lefties Just Don't Understand

While perusing my usual circle of blogness, I tripped across a sentiment that I had seen spreading within the liberal community for some time.  In the “Open Mid-day Thread” from Laurence Lewis over at Daily Kos, was this thread starter on how the right is starting to appreciate big government:

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer wants more federal help with immigration. Texas wants federal funds to fix a congested rail intersection. Washington Senate candidate Clint Didier has received more than a quarter million federal dollars, in farm subsidies. It’s always good to see Republicans appreciating a strong federal government.

Now what Mr. Lewis doesn’t get is that Conservatives do actually appreciate a strong government, but only in the areas where the constitution has said it should be.  Fixing the congested rail intersection comes from Article I, clause 7 establishing Congress’ powers over “post roads”.   Several Supreme Court cases have tangled with this, but in the end, the established power stands.

It saddens me that I even have to keep saying this, but yes, Governor Brewer has every right to demand assistance from the federal government on illegal immigration – it’s a federal law that’s being broken.  It would seem that the left complains that Arizona went and created a state law to control illegal border activity, and now that a Republican is asking the feds to enforce federal law – libs are throwing that fact in the faces of supporters.  Which is it?  Should the federal or state government be dealing with this?  Oh wait, they don’t want this enforced at all.  We’re just supposed to focus on the state issue and forget all about the amnesty initiatives being floated in Congress.  “Not gonna’ do it”.

The farm subsidies, are questionable, but pointing at one Senate candidate in a left-leaning state as somehow indicating that Conservatives believe the government should be subsidizing the growing of crops is ludicrous.  The enviro-left has recently been pushing legislators to throw all kinds of government incentives to farmers to grow corn for ethanol production.  Subsidizing the price of corn does two things: increases the price of corn and entices farmers to plant fewer acres of the less-profitable crops.  While people around the world are struggling to pay these subsidized prices for corn and inflated prices for other crop-foods, saying that right-leaning Americans are appreciative of such government action, isn’t really correct.  Than again, I’m sure that’s Bush’s fault too.

Conservatives do like a strong America.  We like a good central government (not necessarily over-bearingly large).  The federal government should handle roads, regulation of inter-state/international trade and treaties, the defense of the nation, and the collection of taxes.  These are places that Conservatives find that our government can operate (albeit inefficient).  Health care, retirement, education.. the government has neither been effective nor efficient.

Liberals, really now, get over it.  Conservatives are not looking for anarchy any more than you are looking for fascism (well most of you).

Gain some perspective, if you can.  There’s no need to argue, lefties just don’t understand.

Unintended Consequences: Outline of a Presidency

President Obama is clearly a victim of his own lack of experience.  Experience breeds wisdom, which can help leaders and thinkers understand what the consequences of their actions or inactions will be.  This President has education, a gift for eloquence, but his lack of experience is leaving Americans to deal with the end results.

After the BP disaster, his first task was to get a Duke basketball jersey.  His second, was to shut down drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.  This populist idea is of course a reaction that any normal person, not responsible for an entire nation, might rush headlong into.  Unfortunately, it may well shut down the economy in the entire Southeast of the United States.

..with Gulf lawmakers decrying the moratorium as an overreaction to the BP oil spill that  will compound the economic damage the disaster is inflicting on their states.  Lawmakers and industry groups warn that the moratorium could cost thousands of jobs and drain hundreds of millions of dollars out of the local economy. ..the deepwater drilling ban, which is estimated to affect 33 rigs in the Gulf, could eliminate up to 4,000 Louisiana jobs in the short-term and “possibly 20,000 jobs throughout the course of the year.” (link to full article)

While the disaster itself is not Obama’s fault, his inability to handle it is a direct reflection on his lack of leadership abilities and dearth of experience.  Of course Obama wasn’t thinking about the thousands of additional families that would now have their lives destroyed.  The BP accident is putting fishermen and tourism-based businesses at-risk, what’s one more private sector business?  We’re building government jobs at a rate of 10 government jobs for every one private sector worker.  Will your paycheck support ten government workers that are currently paid higher than their private sector counter-parts?  Maybe we need those roughnecks, roustabouts, engineers, seismologists and logistics providers after all.

Now certainly a Keynesian could get financial reform right – right?  Not hardly.  It’s already been made official that financial reform won’t put an end to financial institutions that are “too big to fail”.  That intended consequence just won’t happen.  Now, it’s becoming evident that the unforeseen will be more unpleasant surprises.  Timothy Ryan, the CEO of a financial markets association said that the financial reform will, “..limit banks’ ability to hedge their risks, Ryan said, and deplete institutions of capital. This also would raise mortgage and credit costs, he said.  That means mortgages will be less available to those with limited resources.  This will hurt main street as much as Wall street, perhaps more.

Health care reform is fraught with unintended consequences.  These are already being felt.  Primary care physicians are dropping Medicare patients or refusing to accept new Medicare patients in huge numbers,pharmacies are walking away from Medicaid drug coverage, and emergency rooms are staffing up for the increase in visits for non-emergent cases that will be generated instead of the reduction promised by the President.

One could point to how cash for clunkers actually delayed the recovery of the automobile industry by 4+ months, employers ceasing to hire due to Obamacare, employers choosing to stop providing health insurance, or wealthy Americans ditching their citizenship due to unfair taxation, etc, etc, but the list is ridiculously long.

Obama has no clue what he’s doing and even worse, no clue what his actions are going to do.  His successor will have plenty of reasons to talk about the mess that is being left to them – Obama, “Karma’s a Bitch”.

Obama's Policies Not Going the Distance

Other than Jimmy Carter, I am not sure we’ve had a President in recent history with so many policies that failed so dramatically so fast.  President Obama promised that he would do health care reform, wall street reform, and then he had his Keynesian stimulus policies tested.  So far, the mighty Obama.. has struck out.

Cash for Clunkers
Cash for clunkers: clearly the best medicine for ailing Detroit (which we Citizens had invested heavily in 2/3 of.  Certainly, the pouring of tons of federal dollars (a.k.a. your money) would help float the unions .. I mean manufacturers.. so that they help the economy recover.  Well, not really.  In fact, it shows that $3 Billion of tax payer money, does not buy happiness – or economic recovery as the case may be.  In fact, it may have delayed the recovery by 4-6 months as the industry was already seeing an upward slope in sales until the program caused them to see a quarter-over-quarter sales rate loss during the program.  One whole month showed a spike, after which a devastating drop in sales showed up, well below where the manufacturer’s numbers were before the program began.

If that wasn’t the medicine of truth, how about the truth about medicine?  Health care reform has now been cast into daylight – burns a little doesn’t it?  The government’s own Congressional Budget Office is saying that the program does not cut costs or the deficit now that the facts are known, doctors are dropping Medicare patients at unprecedented rates, pharmacies are running away from the program and even Canada, Oh Canada, is re-factoring it’s overly-expensive, government-run system (I know, not Obama’s fault, but he did try to  model this mess after them).  Then again, Speaker Pelosi did honestly say that Americans would find out what was in the bill once it got passed – we’re learning.

Then we have the President’s wall street reform (aka Financial Reform).  Even the liberal media admits that the financial reform bill doesn’t end “too big to fail”.

So cash for clunkers turned into your cash in the toilet, health care reform has given your cash to the reformers, and the financial reform doesn’t do anything to prevent your cash from disappearing into the bowels of  Wall street.  The President is claiming success on all of these things, and is thrilled about the Duke jersey he scored.  The rest of us.. not sure what we’re getting for well over $3,5 trillion dollars in reforms and stimulus.

So what’s an all talk, no action President supposed to do?  Well, ours is talking more – this time about cap-and-trade, alternate energy, and cap-and-trade policy, more new policy.  So far.. he’s Oh-for-three.  Can he take batting .000 after four at-bats?  .000 with the bases loaded even?  Sure he can – his contract isn’t up until 2012.  Let’s not renew it.

Mexico Opens Illegal Alien Processing Center on U.S. Soil

The Washington Examiner is reporting that Mexico has the audacity to actually help Mexican nationals commit crimes within U.S. borders.

The Mexican government is opening a satellite consular office on Catalina Island — a small resort off the California coast with a history of drug smuggling and human trafficking — to provide the island’s illegal Mexican immigrants with identification cards

There are things more troubling that just the fact that Mexico has the gall to do this.  California..  is letting them and the federal government isn’t showing any interest in stopping it.  This is obvious and intentional subversion of federal law by a foreign government.  Not only is the government not effectively enforcing our immigration policy, they are complicit in the breaking of those laws.

To be fair, the IDs being handed out are Matricular cards or Matricula Consular.  These cards are not passports, or other internationally acceptable travel documents.  But, in the U.S. they are being accepted as legal forms of identification.  The major use for these I.D.s – to send money back to Mexico.  This is obviously the motivation for Mexico to take this international risk.  More than $18 Billion is wired back to Mexico annually according to the FDIC.  Imagine what that money could do in the U.S. economy.

Due to the lobbying efforts by the Mexican government’s foreign Consular agents since March 2002, several U.S. states, municipalities, and businesses have been accepting the Matricula Consular as an official form of identification.

A Republican representative in the district that includes Catalina island, Rep. Rohrabacher, said, “handing out matricular cards will exacerbate an already dangerous situation.. If there were a large number of Americans illegally in Mexico and the U.S. consulate was making it easier for them to stay, Mexico would never permit it.”

The FBI has even stated that the Mexican government does not manage the I.D.s well which leads to forgery and duplication.  I wonder if any foreign terrorists might also like a Matricular ID so that they can get money to/from their organizations with no track back to their true identity.

Many might argue that this is just the normal course of business for a foreign consulate.  Well then, why did they move it into a church so that they could invoke international law protections?

Mexican government officials have moved their satellite consular office from the Catalina Island Country Club to a Catholic Church – citing protection under the Geneva Convention.

A foreign government is helping those in the country illegally so that they can continue to funnel money out of the U.S. and our government isn’t doing anything to stop it.

Dangerous Precursors to Censorship: Government Stepping In

During President Obama’s election bid, the fairness doctrine garnered some of the spotlight.  Conservatives warned that the doctrine would censor the media and filter it of any messages the administration did not agree with.  The liberals.. well, that’s what they were hoping would happen.

Liberal media is facing the end of an era.  The three-network liberal oligopoly that owned nightly news broadcasts for decades is serving fewer and fewer news consumers, the left-biased newspaper industry is losing papers one-after-another, liberal radio shows such as Air America have been falling off the dial due to lack of interest and MSNBC’s heavily left-leaning messaging is falling on deaf ears.  The most-obvious liberal mass-media outlet, MSNBC, is facing ratings shortfalls and they are not improving.  MSNBC’s viewership is one third of Fox News and losing ground constantly.  From Mediabsitro.com:

All MSNBC programming was down double digits compared to Q1 of ’09. Monday to Sunday, MSNBC’s primetime for the quarter was down -15% in Total Viewers compared to Q1 of ’09 (-22% demo). “Countdown” was down -26% in Total Viewers (-42% demo), and “Rachel Maddow” was down -25% (-38% demo).

America is a right-of-center country and it should be no surprise that they prefer messaging that is in-line with their core beliefs.  Unions, community organizations, and other liberal groups would prefer the old days of liberal networks and print media being the only mass-media available.  To push for a return, those groups are asking the FCC to censor what we see and hear.  It’s clear that these groups believe that people are too stupid to discern good news from hate speech and that the government will need to do that for them:

A coalition of more than 30 organizations argue in a letter to the FCC that the Internet has made it harder for the public to separate the facts from bigotry masquerading as news. .. The groups argue the Internet has made it harder for the public to separate the facts from bigotry masquerading as news..

Although MSNBC is an obvious underdog to other less-liberal TV news outlets, it’s still an outlet and has opinion shows to balance those of more Conservative programming.  NPR isn’t dead by any stretch of the imagination and offers some left-of-center programming in that medium – the far left find that NPR isn’t near left enough, ya’ can’t please everyone).  Why the need to label anything they disagree with as hate speech?  Because, that’s what Alinskey told them to do.

If one government assault on new media wasn’t enough, the Federal Trade Commission is chiming in.  Now why would so many in the government, led by those chosen by President Obama, all be working towards the same end?  Mull it over.

The FTC published a discussion memo which it hopes to lead discussions on how government policy could save the print media industry.  Even though the introduction tries to say that all forms of media are equal, the entire memo documents the plight of newspapers.

The memo has some strange motives.  In one section, the letter actually discounts the tactic of taking newspapers to an online only model:

..many newspapers still receive approximately 90% of their advertising revenues from print advertising, with somewhat less than 10% coming from online advertising. Print advertising revenues still account for more than half of newspapers’ revenues. Thus, even though, in theory, newspapers could move to online-only and save approximately 50% of their costs (due to printing and distribution), such a move would not make economic sense.

What a catastrophically misguided assessment that is.  If a newspaper went online only, their print advertising revenues should convert at better than a 0% rate.  Does this socialistic, self-preoccupied gang of over-thinkers really believe that a newspaper that goes online couldn’t get at least a small percentage of their local, online ad customers to pay for online exposure?  Secondly, that comment dictates that they would only gain savings from print and distribution.  What about a modern, non-office workforce?  Think of all the office space not necessary as journalists, editors, formatters, ad salespersons, etc all don’t need a desk.  Think how small the office would be, how furniture costs, computer, phone, electricity… one could go on.   This comment is meant to provide protection for the dearest of liberal special interests .. unions.  If newspapers go all online, newspapers will have little use for union labor, and a work-at-home workforce will be nearly impossible to organize.

Another questionable entry states that newspapers are struggling do to manpower issues:

Staff downsizing has caused significant losses of news coverage. For example, coverage of state houses and state perspectives on news from Washington, D.C. has declined, as has coverage of local government issues, foreign affairs, and specialty beats such as science and the arts.

Imagine how many journalists they could add if they didn’t have to afford those expensive unionized print and distribution employees.

Ultimately, liberal media realize that they need a government bail-out.  The free-market system isn’t working for them (the demand part).  If they need to abuse federal hate speech laws to get a hand-out, they have no problem with that at all.

Next the memo seeks to demonstrate how news media that has gone online has not been able to create a sustainable business model.

Although dozens of newly created online news sites have found sufficient funds to keep going through the early years of their existence, virtually no sites have yet found a sustainable business model that would allow them to survive without some form of funding from non-profit sources.

Well this article demonstrates that not only did a formerly print newspaper go online, it’s online arm is much more profitable:

The Wall Street Journal Online has 731,000 paid subscribers, up 5.2% from the previous quarter, at $84/year. Yes, that’s a $61.4 million annual revenue stream.

Of course, liberals aren’t even going to discuss the success of the Wall Street Journal, they don’t believe it matches their messaging.  Then again, that may be why it’s also successful.  Well, what about The Guardian in the U.K.?  It turned a profit in … 2006!  It is not impossible to create profitable online news content, it just requires that there is a market for your style of content.

Now that the memo has worked so hard to put it’s ill-conceived justifications, here come the brain-trust that is the FTC’s recommendations.

Thus, this speaker suggests amending the copyright laws to create a content license fee (perhaps $5.00 to $7.00) to be paid by every Internet Service Provider on eaaccount it provides. He suggests creating a new division of the Copyright Office, would operate under streamlined procedures and would collect and distribute these fees. Copyright owners who elect to participate would agree to periodically submit records of their digitized download records to the Copyright Office.

Sure, at first, the submission of digitized download records is only those who “elect to participate”.  What happens when the government sees the benefit in having everyone do this?  Not everyone wants big brother watching everything they do online.  Highly-critical Conservative media could well be silenced by fears that submitted critiques of the government may bring down the wrath of the U.S. Government.  It could limit the “fair-use” of copyright material as fears of accidentally stepping over some subjective line could bring lawsuits or worse if the content isn’t favorable to the government.

Another recommendation should be no real surprise, give more direct federal dollars (read: your money) to *drum roll* NPR:

Public radio and television should be substantially reoriented to provide significant local news reporting in every community served by public stations and their Web sites. This requires urgent action by and reform of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, increased congressional funding and support for public media news reporting, and changes in mission and leadership for many public stations across the country

In the same FTC memo, the point had just been made that these subsidies get too expensive and are unsustainable:

Since that time, the amount of subsidies for newspapers and periodicals has substantially decreased. According to some, if the federal government in 2008 had “devoted the same percentage of the Gross Domestic Product to press subsidies as it did in the early 1840s, it would have spent some $30 billion to spawn journalism.

Several of the remaining proposals are just ways for the greedy government elitists to get their hands on more money:

  • Tax credits for hiring journalists
  • Citizen news vouchers only payable to non-profit media sources
  • Journalism grants to universities
  • Increase the postal subsidies for newspapers – remember that $30 Billion umber a few paragraphs ago?  This was the subsidy that would have caused it.
  • Tax on airwaves – had to know this would come
  • Additional taxes on consumer electronics – not sure what my PS3 has to do with journalism..
  • Spectrum tax – a tax on the way they sell the airwaves they are already planning to tax – these guys have no limits
  • Advertising taxes
  • ISP-cell tax – I think this is a tax on mobile phone data plans

Giant surprise, they have proposed more taxes than good ideas.  Give the money to the government so they can fix private entities.  That’s been working.  These taxes are intended to allow the government to funnel more money into the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (e.g. NPR).  In fact, this whole memo is a brainstorming document for how the government can get left-leaning, union-fed news media to be popular again.

People are going to watch what they want to watch, read what they want to read, and as they become more informed, the majority are turning away from the.  This tactic is just another attempt to force-feed the public their viewpoint.  If readers, listeners and viewers believed their commentary, they wouldn’t be in trouble.

Do Liberals Have America's Best Interest At Heart?

Liberals are pulling together an agenda that raises more questions than answers.  The left presents themselves as compassionate, protectors of the little-guy.  Upon examining their positions, it would appear that the left is interested in protecting anyone but Americans.

The left voices staunch support for illegal immigration.  Are they actually giving permission for foreign nationals to commit a federal crime in our country?  Yes, they can!  In a right-of-center country, the only way to get more liberal votes is to buy them.  Legal immigration is a great thing and America needs many hard-working individuals to go through that process, but having Mexican President Calderone come to our country, dismiss our laws, scold our law enforcement efforts and get a standing ovation from the liberals in Congress for disparaging our great nation .. is a disgrace and the utmost in hypocrisy.  Who are those Democrats in Congress representing?  The illegals.. or Americans?  Rhetorical question…

Certainly, the Gulf oil spill is a terrible disaster, but the solutions coming from the left don’t even make sense.  On Monday, the liberal media was crying for the nationalization of BP.

If the government can take over giant global insurer AIG and the auto giant General Motors and replace their CEOs, in order to keep them financially solvent, it should be able to put BP’s north American operations into temporary receivership

Over the weekend the government had already admitted that they do not posses the technology or know-how to “plug the damn hole.”  Why would you hand the experts over to an American bureaucratic mess?  Our government can’t do anything efficiently or effectively – heck, now health care reform is apparently not going to be as awesome as we were promised, Katrina wasn’t all that well done, and even the post office is being evaluated as unsustainable.   The left seems ready to ditch the constitution in order to destroy corporations.. how exactly will Americans have jobs without businesses?  We can’t all work for the government – we will run out of other people’s money at some point (check Greece).  Then again, maybe we wouldn’t have to be doing this expensive and risky type of exploration if the environmentalists would allow exploration on land, building of windmill farms in the Northwest, more solar fields in the deserts.. but they won’t.  The government buys all the mineral-rich land, the lefty enviro-nuts fight windmills(although I hate them too, they aren’t cost-effective at all)

Columbia Energy Partners wants to build 200 wind turbines (small ones at only 25 stories tall) along the edge of the Steens Mountain Wilderness. What could be better? No one lives there – so the incessant hum from the turbines will not affect people.. Who would not want this free, renewable, clean, energy coming from this desolate corner of the state?  The environmentalists, that’s who.

Unions are also preventing the building of solar farms in… the desert.

Tessera Solar plans to plant 34,000 solar dishes — each one 40 feet high and 38 feet wide — on 8,230 acres of the Mojave Desert in Southern California.. The labor group, called California Unions for Reliable Energy, sent an attorney and biologist to testify at the hearing. The group has come under fire for inundating developers who decline to sign labor agreements with demands that they conduct scores of costly environmental studies on their solar projects.

The joke about the definition of a liberal being someone laying on the floor with no electricity… is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.

In a confusing flurry of support, the left has been sparing no effort to get a Muslim Mosque built at the site of the 9-11 terror attack – ground zero.  Why is it so important to build a mosque there?  Wouldn’t the Muslim followers of New York be just as served by a Mosque a few blocks the other way?  Shouldn’t the Muslim leadership realize the strife this will cause and offer to build at a site further away?  Why is it that the families of the the 2,976(yeah, I subtracted the 19 dead terrorists from the death toll) that died in the towers should be distressed?  Liberal compassion – an oxymoron.

Immediate support for the armed thugs on the Palestine “flotilla” before any investigation took place is, at best, questionable.  Not one mention of the IDF position, the videos of the Israeli soldiers being beaten, or the fact that the Israeli defense force members that dropped onto the ship had .. paintball guns as their primary weapons and that they had to ask for approval to use their sidearms once the “peaceful” flotilla members started shooting at them, trying to stab them and swinging bats at them.  Of course, the left is required to omit the fact that a known terrorist organization funded the flotilla.  Imagine if Americans were being attacked on their home soil by citizens from a nearby, poverty-stricken, ill-governed country… oh wait, already happening.  Moving on, wouldn’t the American Coast Guard stop and board ships to make sure they aren’t doing something illegal? .. hmm, yup that’s also happening.  Then again, if some small nearby country were trying to build-up the capability to attack the U.S. would we put a blockade up?  No.. er.. well, except that Democrat Kennedy and that little Caribbean island , but …

Many of the progressive purists see socialism as the answer to all the woes of capitalism.  Posts are rampant on twitter of how welfare is the cure for the ills of capitalism, how corporations are the entire cause of hardship of the average citizen.  Look around, without those corporations, that capitalism, unions wouldn’t have anyone to bankrupt.

Capitalism is suffering at the hands of the entitlement-happy left.  More for me, me, and me.  Liberalism should be spelled with more than two I’s, because it’s based on that sole principle – what’s in it for me.  Lofty entitlement programs are failing all over Europe.  Europe has spent a generation reigning in corporations, pushing progressive taxation and giving generous national entitlements – now they’re broke.  California is feeling the pain of trying hard to emulate the failed socialistic European model – it doesn’t work – it has never worked – not once.  Capitalism may fail, but only because it is being burdened by the weight of socialistic big-government.

So basically, liberals want to shut down big oil (and any other job-producing company), windmills, solar farms, allow felons to vote, protect terrorists that wish to do harm to an ally, nationalize a foreign corporation (that will be harder than the takeover of GM and AIG – they were U.S. corporations), protect all religions other than the two that are at American Judeo-Christian roots, and allow the building of a religious facility of which the murderers of 2900+ Americans invoked.  These are highly-selfish motives that serve no greater purpose and prove little forethought.  Who or what are they supporting?

I often remember the quote mis-attributed to W. Churchill and G.B. Shaw, “If you’re not a liberal when you’re 25, you have no heart. If you’re not a conservative by the time you’re 35, you have no brainand wonder if perhaps the left is just still stuck in the childish, “where’s mine” mentality or if it’s something more well thought-out.  Other than the fundamental transformation of America into another failed socialist enclave, what could be the purpose?   Perhaps there aren’t any.