Thursday, April 30, 2009

Political Doublespeak At Its Finest!

Doublespeak: language used to deceive usually through concealment or misrepresentation of truth ; also : gobbledygook

So on the one hand, the President is telling us that he has no interest in running private companies and wants to get out as soon as possible….

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama said he wants to get the government out of the private sector as fast as possible -- but that as long as his administration is acting as a major shareholder for large sectors of American commerce, from cars to finance, he won't hesitate to shape decisions at those firms.
---
"I don't want to run auto companies. I don't want to run banks. I've got two wars I've got to run already. I've got more than enough to do. So the sooner we can get out of that business, the better off we're going to be," he said. "I want to disabuse people of this notion that somehow we enjoy, you know, meddling in the private sector."


On the other hand, the actions of the Administration seem to look suspiciously like they want to “meddle” in the private sector….

The federal government currently controls insurance company American International Group Inc. and mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and is likely to soon have a large stake in General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC. The U.S. may also soon hold stocks in various banks.

Funny, it doesn’t SOUND like the government wants out, in fact it sounds like the government is getting more involved in the private sector every day. It is like someone buying a McDonalds franchise and then saying they don’t want to “meddle” in the fast food industry.

So we get the line that the Obama administration doesn’t want to “meddle” in the private sector. But then we see the government gobbling up more companies, using a backdoor method of buying stock by loaning money to private firms and then forgiving that loan (using your tax dollars) in return for stock in the company. We see the government refusing to allow banks to pay back TARP funds. We see the government negotiating backdoor bankruptcies outside of the court system. We see the government firing executives, setting limits on pay and negotiating deals that are outrageous. That sounds like a little more than “meddling” to me. If you think that President Obama is not exulting in flexing his muscle and exerting power over the private sector he clearly loathes, you are naïve.

Uncle Sam is now an owner or controlling interest in so many businesses that it sets Warren Buffet to shame. If Barack Obama was a private businessman with this much control over private sector companies, liberals on the Hill would be screaming for hearings and calling for a break up of the firm. But when the government is the one pulling the strings, when people with no private sector, no for-profit experience are running companies that are supposed to provide a return on equity and a return on investment (concepts foreign to the government), then liberals applaud and the media falls over itself to breathlessly describe how cool, competent and confident our hunky, swell new President is.

Hopefully this will warn other firms out there to avoid the government “help”. The government helping a company or an industry means the government taking it over.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Good Riddance!

Senator Arlen Specter, perhaps the epitome of the RINO politician (Republican In Name Only), has decided to switch parties and become in name what he has been in fact for a long time: a Democrat. Party switches happen with some regularity. A few northeastern Liberal Republicans switched as the GOP became politically more conservative. A number of Southern Democrats likewise switched as the Democrats became more and more beholden to the extreme Left. They are driven in large part of ideology that no longer fits with their party. That is not the case for Arlen Specter. From his statement…

Since then, I have traveled the State, talked to Republican leaders and office-holders and my supporters and I have carefully examined public opinion. It has become clear to me that the stimulus vote caused a schism which makes our differences irreconcilable. On this state of the record, I am unwilling to have my twenty-nine year Senate record judged by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate. I have not represented the Republican Party. I have represented the people of Pennsylvania.

Far be it for a politician to have to stand on his record and face a referendum from his party on his actions! The smarmy, pseudo-hurt of his statement belies the arrogant truth: how dare I, long serving (29 years!) and noble political warrior that I am, be called to account by the unwashed masses who voted me in!

The real reason behind Specter’s switch is the motivation that drives almost every politician: self-preservation. Nothing is more frightening to a career politician than the idea of losing their seat and therefore losing their power and influence. Senator Specter saw the handwriting on the wall: he was unlikely to win a primary and would lose his seat in an ignominious way, defeated as an incumbent in a party primary. Plus he no doubt got some sweets from the Senator Reid and company who are desperate to get that 60th vote in order to ram through massive government spending and expansion of government before popular support can gain more traction. This was, even in the world we live in today, an especially cynical and self-interested move by Senator Specter. I say good riddance. High time that backstabbing liberal “Republicans” move on to where they belong, the party of entitlement, class warfare and race baiting.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Obamanomics

How to claim you are saving money while simultaneously spending like a drunken sailor.

There was an interesting interview published in the Journal with Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire. One thing I found really rich was the chicanery in the budget process that leads to false claims of budget savings...

Well, except for one point: "the huge savings that they claimed on defense spending, which was a total fraud." Mr. Gregg refers to the fact that the administration's budget builds the full cost of the surge in Iraq into the budget baseline. Under that assumption, we would continue to appropriate money for the surge every year for the next 10 years. That allows the administration to "find" $1.6 trillion in savings, "all of which is spending we would never do," according to Mr. Gregg.

It is a fine example of budgetary shenanigans. Claim we are going to spend money that we really were never going to spend in the first place and then slash that imaginary spending and claim to have saved money. That is like me saying I was going to buy a Porsche this year even though that would never happen, and then announce that I saved $80,000 this year by not buying a car that I never would have bought in the first place! Or imagine a store marking the price of a gallon of milk up from $3 to $6, and then putting it “on sale” for $3.25. You haven’t saved anything, in fact you are spending more for it but the store spins it as a savings.

This is the thinking behind Obamanomics and that is the kind of neo-socialist thinking that is going to destroy this nation.

Nationalism gains speed

General Motors announced this morning that it was whacking tens of thousands of jobs, hundreds of dealerships and getting rid of the Pontiac brand of cars (which is too bad because I liked some of the cars Pontiac makes). I can’t see how they avoid bankruptcy. Their creditors for the most part don’t sound very interested in getting pennies on the dollar. It would be better for them, at least I think it would, to force a bankruptcy, liquidate assets and get paid from that. The banks and bondholders would probably get a better deal, and it would be in cash instead of essentially worthless General Motors stock.

There was more news in the article, news that was pretty ominous for taxpayers. Hidden in a single paragraph about halfway through the article is this little blurb that is perhaps more important than the jobs lost or the death of the Pontiac brand…

GM also said it is in talks with Treasury to exchange at least 50 percent of its outstanding U.S. Treasury Debt on June 1 for GM common stock, and could grant the government and a union-run health care trust fund up to 89 percent of its common shares.

Existing shareholders would own just 1 percent of GM under the plan.


So General Motors, recipient of $15 billion in government loans that we were told were necessary to save jobs and stave off bankruptcy, is talking about swapping at least 50% of that $15,000,000,000 in loans from the taxpayers for stock in a company on the verge of bankruptcy. So lets just call it an even $7.5 billion in common stock. Now look at this: General Motors has about 600 million shares trading this morning at about $2 per share. So the total outstanding value of stock in GM is about $1.3 billion. By adding out of thin air $7.5 billion in common stock to the government, that means that the value to the individual shareholders of GM just plummeted. 48% of GM shares are owned by institutions so that means that 52% of the shares, a little more than 600,000,000 shares, are owned by individuals and those shares are about to become virtually worthless. Market capitalization is the sum of the ownership of the company. So based on the current price, and this is WAY oversimplified, General Motors is worth $1.3 billion. If you take the current share prices of $2 and then dilute those with the new shares owned by the government, that $1.3 billion in market capitalization is split not by 600,000,000 shares but is split by 3,500,000,000 shares. That represents an 83% loss in equity for an owner of GM stock.

What also happens is that the government will own five times as much of General Motors as private investors. Add in the union trust funds and what once was the flagship of the American economy is 99% owned by the unions who work there and the Federal government. That means that General Motors will cease to be, by almost any definition, a private company.

What will be left is a shell of a company, amounting to a very expensive jobs creation program like the TVA but making cars instead of building dams. General Motors will become a permanent ward of the state. This will be spun as an unfortunate turn of events, but one necessary to save the economy. In reality I think it is a welcome development for the far left puppet-masters that pull President Obama’s strings. Guaranteed employment for tens of thousands of union workers, a huge company that can be used to achieve social engineering goals, a car company that can be forced to make “green” cars that no one wants and no one buys, but who cares if they are unprofitable because the government owns the car maker and has no incentive to be responsible with your tax dollars. It is so obvious and so brazen, yet no one seems to notice or care and the media certainly is doing what it can to hide the truth: nationalization is proceeding at breakneck speed in manufacturing, banking and health care.

Welcome to the United Soviet States of America!

Long live Chairman Obama!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

That will do pig, that will do

The pandemic potential posed by the swine flu is exposing once more how dangerous the porous nature of the United States southern border is. I don't think that it will, but if it does we are completely incapable of stopping a flow of people from Mexico carrying a lethal virus.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Proof of the Foolishness of Appeasement


The events in Pakistan this week serve as a stark demonstration of why the first administration’s apparent twin foreign policy pillars of appeasement and apology are so misguided and dangerous. The government in Pakistan tried to appease the Taliban of all people by allowing them to enforce Sharia law on remote parts of Pakistan. The results were predictable

The government agreed in February to impose Islamic law in Swat and surrounding areas of the northwest in return for a cease-fire that halted nearly two years of bloody fighting between militants and Pakistani security forces.

But hard-liners have seized on the concession to demand Islamic law, or Sharia, across the country, and the Swat Taliban have used it to justify a push into Buner, putting them within striking distance of the capital and key roads leading to the main northwestern city of Peshawar.


Show of hands from everyone shocked that the Taliban, known for their temperance and tolerance, decided that if one part of Pakistan was under sharia law, all of Pakistan should be? Terrorists and dictators don’t understand and don’t respect appeasement as anything but weakness. Appeasing someone who is bent on conquest is going to do nothing but encourage them. What makes this doubly dangerous is the reality of the Pakistani nuclear arsenal. While the world frets about Iranian and North Korean nuclear ambitions, and does nothing about it, the Taliban are growing in strength in a nation that already has nuclear weapons and likely also is providing refuge for Osama bin laden, if he is still alive or his successors if he is not. Osama and the Taliban in charge of Afghanistan was a human rights issue. The Taliban in charge of Pakistan is a threat to world peace not seen since the rise of Adolf Hitler.

Shockingly to no one outside of the State Department and the editorial board of the New York Times, the threat of military action caused the Taliban to back down. Let’s review dealing with thugs: Appeasement encourages them, strength discourages them. Any questions?

President Obama should take a careful look at the events in Pakistan and perhaps reevaluate his administration’s foreign policy of appeasement and apology.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Giving legitimacy to dictators


This is perhaps the best paragraph I have read on the last stop on the Barack Obama American Apology World Tour. Daniel Henninger of the Wall Street Journal makes the observation that these photo ops at the Summit of the Americas gave Chavez and other dictators around the world what they crave: the veneer of legitimacy.

Other than physically controlling their populations, the biggest problem for autocrats -- most of them narcissistic monomaniacs -- is maintaining the legitimacy of their authority, which by definition is always on thin ice. To Mr. Obama and his handlers perhaps it was just a photo-op. For Mr. Chávez it was priceless. Merely being seen or photographed in the presence of civilized society -- at summits, negotiations, in state visits -- empowers the autocrat and discourages his opposition.

As Henninger points out later in his editorial, the party line out of the People’s Republic of Obama is that this pandering to thugs is permissible because Ronald Reagan met with top leaders of authoritarian regimes. First, Barack Obama is not Ronald Reagan. A man who can deliver a decent speech from a teleprompter is not in the same league as Reagan, a great orator with strength of convictions and true courage. Second, Reagan approached these meetings from a position of strength. Everyone knew that the United States was strong and getting stronger and would not tolerate totalitarianism. With Obama we see a nation that is getting weaker, led by a weak man with no convictions.

President Obama is many things but he is no Ronald Reagan. His grinning photo op with Hugo Chavez gave encouragement to dictators around the world and discouragement to those who risk their lives to bring freedom to their people.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Credit where credit is due

Kudos to President Obama for boycotting the U.N. racism conference. While opposing racism is a noble and necessary task, this conference shows all the signs of turning into yet another chance for people like Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to pontificate about the horrors of Islamophobia while refusing to renounce his calls for the extermination of Israel. The goal of many of the nations participating is two-fold: denunciation of Israel and legal bans on free speech that criticizes Islam. True to form, Ahmadinejad went off on a screed denouncing Israel yesterday at the conference. Thankfully, 40 or so diplomats got up and walked out showing some unusual courage and spine rarely seen from U.N. diplomats.

The utter uselessness of the UN and the real danger to American liberty is on full display at these UN conferences where overtly racist regimes lecture democratic nations about equality and notorious human rights violators sit in judgment of free nations. Not all nations are equal, as un-PC as that notion sounds. The UN doesn’t call on Lichtenstein or Tanzania when there is an international crisis that requires military force. They call on us. Yet we let the UN pretend that there is a real egalitarianism among the nations of the world. The less developed nations, the nations living under dictators and despots should be encouraged to seek freedom and the free countries of the world should support them. In this effort to foster human rights and freedom in the world, the United States has and should continue to lead the way. Being politically correct is onerous enough in the make-believe world of academia, but in the real world being PC can cost lives and freedom.

The new Godfather: Don Geithner


As the mortician learned right at the beginning of The Godfather, once you take a favor from the Godfather, you are eternally in his debt. The same is apparently true of TARP money and former tax cheat, current Treasury Secretary Geithner. News is out this morning that the government is deciding whether or not to allow banks to pay back their TARP money.

WASHINGTON -- Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner indicated that the health of individual banks won't be the sole criterion for whether financial firms will be allowed to repay bailout funds, a position that might complicate their efforts to give back the cash.

Notice that it is not going to be depending on the financial health of the bank. That makes a ton of sense. So even if your bank is healthy, the government may not allow you to pay back your loans? They want to repay their loans and are not being permitted to do so! Makes you not so confident of the taxpayers ever seeing a nickel of the loan money that went to GM and Chrysler being repaid.

Here is the dirty secret of this whole mess: the government doesn’t want the banks to pay back the TARP money. It was sold to the citizens of this nation as a temporary fix, we would give the banks some liquidity and they would start lending again. We would get paid back with interest and everyone wins. As I suspected, that is not how it worked out. Obama got elected and a new regime took over and the TARP money went from kick starting the economy to giving the Feds control over the banking system. Having the banks indebted to the government gives the government control over them, which is the ultimate goal. As the healthy banks pay back the TARP funds they didn’t really want in the first place, the Federal government loses a big control mechanism they have in place. That control allows them to dictate lending terms, executive pay, board members, senior management (see: Wagoner, Rick). So to keep them under the thumb of the Feds, now we are not going to let these banks pay back their loans. Brilliant!

The news is also filtering out that the government is exploring trading the debt positions of these banks into equity positions. From the New York Times:

WASHINGTON — President Obama’s top economic advisers have determined that they can shore up the nation’s banking system without having to ask Congress for more money any time soon, according to administration officials.

In a significant shift, White House and Treasury Department officials now say they can stretch what is left of the $700 billion financial bailout fund further than they had expected a few months ago, simply by converting the government’s existing loans to the nation’s 19 biggest banks into common stock.


For most people that doesn’t mean much, but equity in a bank equals stock which equals ownership. It is a sneaky way to nationalize the banks without calling it nationalization. The banks never have to repay the “loans” they got through TARP and the government starts to have de facto ownership in a number of banks. Banks owned by the government will have no incentive to be competitive and like national health insurance, eventually the end result will be to drive out the private insurers and banks. Private companies cannot compete with government owned banks and insurers that never have to show a profit because they are funded by a never ending supply of tax revenue and national debt.

Meanwhile, we have the shadowy and confusing “toxic assets” bailout plan moving forward, fueled by your money:

Still, Inspector General Neil Barofksy, using blunt language, offered a series of recommendations to protect the public and took the Treasury to task for not implementing previous advice.

Overall, the report said the public-private partnership -- using Treasury, Federal Reserve and private investor money -- could total $2 trillion. "The sheer size of the program ... is so large and the leverage being provided to the private equity participants so beneficial, that the taxpayer risk is many times that of the private parties, thereby potentially skewing the economic incentives," the report stated.


Now that is a quote to warm your heart. We are taking enormous risks to the tune of $2,000,000,000,000 and the private investors get all of the reward. Now that is a partnership you can get behind! Even still, you find that few financial firms even qualify to invest in the program and even fewer are jumping on board with it, having seen the results from AIG and others who got too cozy with Uncle Sam.

It used to be that “toxic assets” were known as “bad loans”, and the banks would foreclose/default/repossess on them and eat the loss. It is part of doing business in lending and the risk of bad loans is supposed to keep banks from taking bad risks. But not in the Obamanation! Now you can write billions in bad loans and not have to worry about it, the tax payers will take care of it! If you take out a loan as an individual you can’t pay, don’t worry the government is here to help!

For all their talk about believing in the private sector, this administration seems to be pushing policies that will dismantle what is left of the free market. Think that might have been the plan all along?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Just one of the guys

An excellent editorial appeared in the Journal this morning by Latin America specialist Mary Anastasia O'Grady on the missed opportunity of the recent Summit of the Americas, which will be remembered for the embarrassing spectacle of a President of the United States being treated like a fool by the worst dictators in this hemisphere. The entire short article is worth a read but one of her comments deserves deeper thought…

In recent years, that repression has spread from Cuba to Venezuela, and today millions of Latin Americans live under tyranny. As the leader of the free world, Mr. Obama had the duty to speak out for these voiceless souls. In this he failed.

So here is the problem with that statement. It is absolutely correct that the President of the United States is supposed to be the leader of the free world and as such should take every opportunity to stand up for the repressed (and no one in America is repressed) and speak out for freedom. It is also true that President Obama failed miserably in that charge, instead trying to fit in like a new kid at school and be accepted as “one of the guys”. The problem with her statement is that Barack Obama doesn’t see America as the leader of the free world, he sees America as the problem. America as the nation that freed the world from tyranny in World War II, that defended the South Korean people from the totalitarian regime that still occupies the North, that defeated the Soviet Union in the Cold War and has kept the worst dictators in the world in check for the last 50 years doesn’t exist. America is a land that needs apologizing for, for faults real and more often imagined. President Obama is far too eager to blame his predecessor for every ill that bedevils the world and offering many a mea culpa for not being nice enough to dictators and terrorists in the past 8 years.

People are not lining up to emigrate to Venezuela or Cuba. People risk life and limb to sneak into this country because America is still, in spite of the efforts by liberals to undermine our nation, seen by most people in the rest of the world as the land of opportunity and the freest country in the world. Not the snobbish elites who live well in the rest of the world., but average working people who want to build a life for themselves. It is a shame that the President of this country doesn’t share their admiration.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them

September 1938
Munich, Germany

Nevil Chamberlain making nice with fascist Benito Mussolini at the Munich Conference where the "annexation" of the Sudetenland was agreed to by the world powers to placate Hitler. Six months later, Hitler invaded the rest of Czechoslovakia.



April 2009
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago


President Barack Obama "strengthens" America by kowtowing to dictator Hugo Chavez.

70 years and naive leaders are still in vogue

Naivete Defined

Our esteemed leader seems to think that sucking up to our enemies makes us stronger.

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad – Defending his brand of world politics, President Barack Obama said Sunday that he "strengthens our hand" by reaching out to enemies of the United States and making sure that the nation is a leader, not a lecturer, of democracy.

Obama's foreign doctrine emerged across his four-day trip to Latin America, his first extended venture to a region of the world where resentment of U.S. power still lingers. He got a smile, handshakes and even a gift from incendiary leftist leader Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, and embraced overtures of new relations from isolated Cuban President Raul Castro.

"The whole notion was that if we showed courtesy or opened up dialogue with governments that had previously been hostile to us, that that somehow would be a sign of weakness," Obama said, recalling his race for the White House and challenging his critics today.

"The American people didn't buy it," Obama said. "And there's a good reason the American people didn't buy it — because it doesn't make sense."

Unfortunately the thugs of the world don't see it that way (see, Hitler: Czechoslovakia subheading: appeasement) By grinning and playing footsie with the dictators of the Americas, Obama sends a clear message to them and the rest of the world: We will not lift a finger to stop you and we really just want you to like us. See I thought the Presidential oath of office was: "I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." In the new regime, it is the solemn duty of the President of the United States to make other countries like us and really, really hope dictators will give him books about what a terrible country he leads. Obama is fulfilling the obligation of his own perverse brand of the office of the President quite nicely. You can see the approval written all over the smug faces of the enemies of freedom.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Another quote from our "leader"

""We have at times been disengaged, and at times we sought to dictate our terms," Obama said to loud applause. "But I pledge to you that we seek an equal partnership. There is no senior partner and junior partner in our relations."

See, there was a time when Americans recognized and believed in American exceptionalism, that this was the freest, the greatest nation on earth. Those days are no more, now we are just another country on par with Panama and Ecuador and buddies with Hugo Chavez and Raul Castro.

A socialist love fest



As part of the "kinder, gentler" American foreign policy, we are apparently now going to cozy up to communists and dictators. Here are some quotes from the Yahoo! article

At summit, Obama gets friendly with Chavez

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad – President Barack Obama extended a hand of friendship to America's hemispheric neighbors on Saturday at a summit where he offered a new beginning for U.S.-Cuba relations and accepted a book about the exploitation of Latin America from Venezuela's fiery, anti-American leader.

At the Summit of the Americas, Obama signaled he was ready to accept Cuban President Raul Castro's proposal of talks on issues once off-limits for Cuba, including the scores of political prisoners held by the communist government. Some countries at the summit pushed the United States to go further and lift the 47-year-old U.S. trade embargo against the communist nation, which has complicated U.S. relations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

To Latin American nations reeling from a sudden plunge in exports, Obama promised a new hemispheric growth fund, an initiative to increase Caribbean security and a new regional partnership to develop alternative energy sources and fight global warming.

"I have a lot to learn and I very much look forward to listening and figuring out how we can work together more effectively," Obama said.

As the first full day of meetings began on the two-island nation of Trinidad and Tobago, Obama exchanged handshakes and pats on the back with Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, who once likened President George W. Bush to the devil. In front of photographers, Chavez gave Obama a copy of "The Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent," a book by Eduardo Galeano, which chronicles U.S. and European economic and political interference in the region.

....
He also extended a hand to a leader Ronald Reagan spent years trying to drive from power: Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega. The Sandinista president stepped up and introduced himself, U.S. officials reported.

Yet soon after, Ortega, who was ousted in 1990 elections that ended Nicaragua's civil war but who was returned to power by voters in 2006, delivered a blistering 50-minute speech that denounced capitalism and U.S. imperialism as the root of much hemispheric mischief. The address even recalled the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, though Ortega said the new U.S. president could not be held to account for that.

"I'm grateful that President Ortega did not blame me for things that happened when I was three months old," Obama said, to laughter and applause from the other leaders.

Ha ha, that is funny! A guy blasts the United States of America and Obama makes a joke of it. I hardly think that Ronald Reagan would have stood for a dictator mocking this nation. You don't lead the world by bowing to Saudi princes, apologizing for America, shaking hands with dictators like Hugo Chavez and cracking jokes after a man attacks America.

Really, I think Obama already has adequate disdain for America without a book from Hugo Chavez. Grinning like a fool while shaking the hand of a dictator, promising dialogue with a thug like Raul Castro, apologizing for the very existence of America all the way. This is what people wanted? Fawning to communist dictators? Good thing the Soviet Union collapsed, otherwise Obama might have already given them the rest of Europe in the name of global cooperation. Our president is apparently willing to suck up to anyone if it helps push the radical environmentalist agenda and the socialization of the world.

We see at this summit the new face of socialist totalitarianism: Chavez, Raul Castro and Barack Obama,

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Update on the Tea Party rallies

The Tax Day Tea Party in Lansing reportedly attracted almost 5000 people. That is huge for a smaller city like Lansing and it really speaks to how deep the resentment and anger over the government driving this nation even further into a state of perpetual indebtedness is.

What I find really funny is the way that liberals react to these rallies.

When liberals protest, it is portrayed as a noble expression of free speech, the pinnacle of American political freedoms, a reminder of the good old days of the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement. Forget the fact that half of the people at these leftist marches have no idea what or why they are protesting, they just see it as a chance to get together with other out of work wannabee hippies, call police officers “fascist pigs” (even though they have no idea what fascism is), cause property damage and smoke some dope afterwards in the afterglow of liberal self-righteous indignation.

When law abiding, tax paying, family raising, gainfully employed conservatives hold peaceful rallies, it is sneered at by liberals. It is a waste of time, misplaced, ineffective. It is mocked. It is anything but an expression of free speech because the only free speech that liberals think is protected under the First Amendment is subversive, socialist free speech. Lest you think that is hyperbole, look at the reaction to speakers on campus. Any leftist loon you can drag out of a closet is welcome, no matter how crazy or repugnant or discredited their views are. They must be allowed to speak! Bring a conservative to campus, no matter how qualified or credentialed, and you will get howls of protest, boycotts and even acts of violence. Free speech for liberals is a pretty selective concept.

Mockery aside, the undercurrent in America is turning angrier by the day. I would hate to be an incumbent up for reelection in 2010, especially if I was a Democrat in a conservative leaning state. With any luck Obama’s insane socialist policies will cause carnage among the ranks of Democrats in 2010 and they will be replaced by real conservatives who will stand up to Obama and really rein in spending.

Happy Tax Day!

Today millions of smiling Americans will file and pay their taxes, confident that their government will spend their hard earn dollars wisely and effectively. There is no greater joy than seeing your money being put to use by our best and brightest, folks who have your self-interest and the stability and security of our nation as their first priority.

Wait a second. What do you mean; most people are resentful about pouring their hard earned money down the sinkhole known as the Federal government?

Not everyone is content to let another April 15th go by without making their voices heard. The Tea Party protests that are occurring all over the country today have gotten a lot of press. Very loosely organized and driven mainly by the internet, Americans in some numbers are taking a stand and saying enough is enough. From sending tea bags to Congress to rallies in cities around the nation, the word is out that unrestrained government spending must stop. The government is supposed to govern with the consent of those being governed, and we who are being governed need to remind our paid public servants of that fact.

What I found interesting in an article in the Wall Street Journal is that many of these protests are not organized by political groups or by politicians. These are not Republican rallies, these are grassroots taxpayers who have had enough and are sick of watching their money wasted and their taxes going up year after year. This is not a Republican or Democrat issue, it is an American issue and people of all stripes have had it with

Unfortunately, unlike the liberal opposition which can round up unemployed rabble-rousers and paid professional protestors, conservatives typically have jobs and are at work during prime protesting hours. That tends to keep the numbers down. In addition, average Americans are more likely to just grin and bear it than the average liberal who is looking for an excuse to protest something instead of getting a job. Frankly, something needs to be done and these Tea Party rallies are a good place to start. The Obama administration is bent on bankrupting this country and seems to think that they have an unlimited pool of money to draw from. If we don’t start to make our voices heard, the voices of the tens of millions of working Americans who are funding Obama’s grand social experiment in wealth transference and neo-Marxist state control of the industrial, financial, energy and health industries, Obama and his puppet masters will transform this once great nation into a Third World sewer.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Ya gotta dance with the nutjobs that brung ya

Much as I dislike Joe Biden, I dislike animal rights kooks even more. The VP recently bought a very cute German Shepherd from a breeder and it made for a great photo op.

Unfortunately for Joe and this breeder, PETA caught wind of it. Hysteria followed.

Fifteen minutes of fame turned into four months of bitter remorse for the Chester County woman who sold the Bidens their adorable little German shepherd puppy.

Linda Brown's been investigated, scorned and had her life threatened.

"I thought when Joe Biden bought a puppy from me, what an honor," Brown told the Daily Local News. "Out of millions of breeders in the country, in the world, he picked me."

That was December.

When the story got out, Brown faced backlash from pet lovers who thought the Bidens should have opted for a shelter over a breeder to find their new puppy.

PETA seized the moment as an opportunity to blame the killing of shelter animals on people who buy from breeders. The organization's TV commercial, "Buy One, Get One Killed" ran in Delaware after the Biden puppy story made headlines.

Dog wardens from the state showed up at Brown's Wolf Den kennel, repeatedly, for inspections.

"I was cited for a piece of kibble on the floor and five strands of dog hair. They took a picture of that, they walked around, snapped pictures and don't tell you why," Brown told the newspaper.

She was found "not guilty" for each citation, but hiring a lawyer for the court hearings has cost her $4,000 so far in legal fees.

Brown says she and Biden both received death threats from animal activists.


When you align yourself with the fringe and with radicals, you can bet that they will expect you to hold to whatever extremist views they do. These are the sort of people who can rationalize making death threats to a human and harassing a person because they don't like dog breeders.

In the spirit of disclosure. We worked for some time volunteering with a rescue group, rescuing purebred and mixed breed dogs from shelters. We fostered dozens of dogs in our home and saw them placed in good permanent homes. We drove them all over Creation, on our dime, to facilitate transports of our fosters and dogs we had never seen before. We even arranged our vacation trips to coincide with transports. I think it is a great idea to adopt dogs from shelters. I think there are a lot of puppy mills that churn out low quality dogs for profit and people shouldn't patronize them. But death threats? Legal harassment?

Seriously people, get a clue. They are dogs. DOGS. In honor of PETA and animal rights nuts everywhere, I am grilling up some burgers as I type. Moo!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Words sure to enter the lexicon of American political history

In an expected move, the Vermont legislature overrode the veto of Governor Douglas and became the fourth state to legalize homosexual marriages. That an overwhelmingly liberal and secular state like Vermont took this step is not all that surprising. Disappointing, but not surprising.

What is really disturbing is the callous way that the decisive vote for overriding the veto was won (quoted from the Wall Street Journal):

The House had initially approved the bill last week with a 95-52 vote. Mr. Smith and his leadership team worked through the weekend to try to persuade some legislators to change their minds.

One who did was first-term Rep. Jeff Young, a Democrat. He said he continued to be philosophically opposed to gay marriage but decided that voting with his fellow Democrats would help him be an effective legislator in the future.

"You realize that, you know, it's a poker game in some ways," Mr. Young said. "Chips on the table. I'm a freshman. I have no chips. If I...had 20 years of chips, I probably could play any card I want. I don't have that option."

He added, "It's the way the political game is played."


Wow, those are words that you want to build a political legacy on. That is the way the game is played. Those are words sure to be enshrined alongside the Federalist Papers and the Declaration of Independence. Mr. Young, this is not a poker game, this is a serious legislative matter. This isn’t a bill to name a park after a famous Vermonter. This is a bill that gives legal legitimacy to a sexual preference. I guess that we can be glad that Mr. Young is so dense that he didn’t even bother pretending that he was making a rational, reasoned decision as a lawmaker and instead admits that he cast his vote to further his political career. Such admitted narcissistic self-interest is somewhat refreshing from a politician.

Meanwhile, yet another state has created a new right to gay marriage within a week of the Iowa Supreme Court arbitrarily creating a right out of thin air for homosexuals to claim the right to marriage.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Sprechen Sie "Austrian"?

Huh, see I thought that Austrians spoke "German", not "Austrian". I also thought that our President was so much smarter than his predecessor and you and I to boot.



I went to a MAC school for college but I know that Austrians speak German. Can you imagine the hoots of derision if President Bush had said that? Oh what an imbecile would have been the cry! But when it is Chairman Obama? Crickets chirping...

(Hat Tip: The American Thinker)

The problem with conservatism in 2009

Conservatism has always been the intellectually defensible position. When you set aside the rhetoric and the emotional appeals, conservatism just makes more sense than liberalism. Practically liberalism doesn’t work and logically it doesn’t make sense. So why is it that conservatism finds itself on the ropes in 2009? The problem is not with conservative principles. Small government, free markets, individual liberty and responsibility, strong national defense. Those are all as valid today as at any point in history. The problem is with the advocates and the audience.

- First, we live in a day and age when the loudest voice wins. The calm, cool rational arguments of a William Buckley don’t resonate with a crowd that thrives on text messages and Twitter. Arguments that take more than a minute or two to explain are unappealing, far too mentally taxing and ultimately unpersuasive in this day and age.

- Second, most Americans are unable to think critically and so are unable to make a coherent decision based on the facts. American’s short attention spans mean that the average American is more likely to believe what they are told in a sound byte by a celebrity than they are in a carefully crafted and thought out argument from a conservative they have never heard of and probably find boring.

- Third, the leaders of American conservatism in the political arena have lost their way. As I have remarked before, it comes across as disingenuous that Republican leaders who spent like drunken sailors on earmarks and pet projects over the last few years are now claiming the mantle of fiscal responsibility. What is needed is a new, young cadre of conservative leaders who are relatively unstained by the ugly legacy of the last Congress. I think those leaders are starting to emerge and be heard.

What we are left with is America in 2009. A ridiculous, indefensible set of policies that are dooming America to economic stagnation and the deterioration of the position of America in the world. The President has made clear that he rejects the idea of American exceptionalism. We are just one country among the many in the world, little different from Belgium or Bolivia. What does set us apart: free markets, a peerless military is being quickly dismantled with unilateral disarmament, spineless foreign policy and neo-socialist economic policies. President Obama seems bent on apologizing his way around the world, and frankly I am not interested in being apologized for by an unqualified winner of a popularity contest.

As our schools pump out worker drones suited for low level service industry jobs, the American ideals of hard work, liberty and pride in country are replaced by narcissism, disinterest and fear. The sound, proven tenets of conservatism fall on deaf ears in a society that has been conditioned to be unable to think. It is little wonder we have the government we do.

Obama's agenda

Charles Krauthammer has one of the best, one of the clearest editorials I have read in a long time dealing with the agenda behind the Obama agenda, Obama's Ultimate Agenda. Krauthammer looks beyond the surface level liberal interventionism and sees the greater, more insidious agenda that is behind it all. The Left has targeted a number of segments of the economy to seize control of, using the economic crisis as cover, and the triad of segments (health care, education, energy) will inextricably entangle the government with the private sector. This goes beyond running car companies…

Some find in this descent into large-scale industrial policy a whiff of 1930s-style fascist corporatism. I have my doubts. These interventions are rather targeted. They involve global financial institutions that even the Bush administration decided had to be nationalized, and auto companies that themselves came begging to the government for money.

Bizarre and constitutionally suspect as these interventions may be, the transformation of the American system will come from elsewhere. The credit crisis will pass and the auto overcapacity will sort itself out one way or the other. The reordering of the American system will come not from these temporary interventions, into which Obama has reluctantly waded. It will come from Obama's real agenda: his holy trinity of health care, education and energy. Out of these will come a radical extension of the welfare state, social and economic leveling in the name of fairness, and a massive increase in the size, scope and reach of government.

If Obama has his way, the change that is coming is a new America: "fair," leveled and social democratic. Obama didn't get elected to warranty your muffler. He's here to warranty your life.


The Obama agenda is far broader than even some of the most suspicious commentators recognize. It involves nothing less than a complete transformation of the American social compact. When he gets done, European socialists will be looking to America to see the future direction of socialism, instead of American socialists looking longingly at Europe. I am not sure how much of this is his doing and how much of it is the workings of the leftist puppet-masters who got him elected. Nothing I have seen of Obama, especially given how lost he is when he is off the teleprompter, would indicate to me that he has the vision and the audacity for this sort of cataclysmic change.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Groveler-In-Chief

For all of the sneering from the coastal classes about what an imbecile and an embarrassment President Bush was overseas, a bumbling cowboy, what we are finding now is that our current President seems to be a bit over his head when dealing with world leaders. The gift of DVDs that won’t play in Britain, the unseemly greeting of Queen Elizabeth, the gift of an iPod to her (an iPod?!). Now we have a video that is causing quite a stir, the President of the United States of America, the sole remaining super power, the beacon of freedom for the world BOWING to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Check about 55 seconds in...



There is also a good picture of just how deep he bowed here.

First, this is not a mere inclination of the head or even a slight bow at the waist. This is a full out, submissive bow.

Second, the President of the United States should never bow to anyone like that. This nation was founded after overthrowing the rule of a despotic monarch and it is a disgrace to kowtow to such a man.

Third, no one who loves freedom should bow to a man who runs a nation like Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is a noted violator of human rights and is one of the most repressive regimes in the world when it comes to religious liberty.

I am not sure what President Obama was thinking, bowing and scrapping before King Abdullah. Perhaps it is just a matter of him bowing deeper than he planned, or not being properly prepped by his protocol people. Or perhaps it is just indicative of our nation’s new foreign policy, bow first and ask how we can of service later. Maybe if we grovel and simper in front of the leaders of lesser countries, they will like us, really, really like us!

Senator Coburn on RealClearPolitics

I read an excellent letter by Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma on RealClearPolitics.com. As Peggy Noonan pointed out in referencing this letter, Senator Coburn is actually quite friendly with President Obama but he makes a number of salient points.

While recognizing the culpability of the prior administration and Congress, Senator Coburn also rightly points out that the Obama budget is a more than merely a reaction to tough economic times, it is a radical restructuring of the way this nation operates.

Here is an excerpt…

Yet, instead of having an honest conversation with the American people about the need for restraint we are continuing to indulge in the bad habits of the past. President Obama was elected on pledges to go through the budget line by line, eliminate failing programs and end the abuse of earmarks and no-bid contracts. Congress, however, has little interest in change, unless it comes from the taxpayer's pockets. In this Congress' first ten weeks it has spent more than $2 trillion and funded more than 8,000 earmarks. Congress continues to do the easy work - nothing unites politicians more than the pleasure of spending other people's money - and still refuses to do the hard work of setting priorities and living within our means. With this budget the perfect political moment for fiscal responsibility continues to be a mirage just beyond the horizon of the next election.

As a first step, Congress should drop its intellectually dishonest and hypocritical rhetoric. President Obama, is not merely part of some "clean-up crew," but, as President of the United States, has offered a sweeping and bold budget. I believe President Obama has proposed the most significant shift toward collectivism and away from capitalism in the history of our republic. I believe his budget aspires to not merely promote economic recovery but to lay the groundwork for sweeping expansions of government authority in areas like health care, energy and even daily commerce. If handled poorly, I'm concerned this budget could turn our government into the world's largest health care provider, mortgage bank or car dealership, among other things.

Brilliant!

So we have an energy policy that depends on so-called “green” energy technology that is largely unproven and what has been tested has been shown to be this far pretty inefficient. The administration apparently views energy the same way they view everything else, as a social engineering experiment, a way to enact their sense of justice and equity. The same holds true with Leon Panetta who is concerned that there are not enough minorities working at the CIA. See, I am a lot more concerned with not being killed by a terrorist than I am by hitting quotas at the Central Intelligence Agency. So we are buffeted by the need for an improved energy infrastructure on the one hand and the economic suicide being proposed in Washington in the name of “green energy” and saving the planet from global warming on the other.

Meanwhile, the United States in a venture started by the Bush administration and being further pushed by the Obama administration, is working to help the United Arab Emirates develop nuclear power plants.

ABU DHABI -- The mating of the words "nuclear" and "Persian Gulf" normally sets off alarm bells in Washington. Yet this oil-rich Arab state just across the gulf from Iran is on a crash course to develop nuclear power with U.S. backing.

Even as the U.S. remains determined to block Iran from developing nuclear weapons, President Barack Obama sees the U.A.E. program as a "model for the world," according to a senior White House official, and by mid-April could move to present a bilateral nuclear-cooperation treaty to Congress for approval. The ability to make electricity through nuclear power is a long way from the ability to build weapons -- and, proponents say, the agreement could make bomb-making harder.

The treaty, signed by former President George W. Bush during his last week in office, would allow American firms to engage in nuclear trade with the U.A.E. To build support, the U.A.E. is agreeing to buy approved nuclear fuel on the international market, rather than enriching uranium or reprocessing plutonium, both of which can be made into weapons-grade material. It will also open its facilities to random international inspections.

Dozens of American engineers, lawyers and businessmen have converged on Abu Dhabi in recent months to help the United Arab Emirates get the Arab world's first nuclear-power program running by 2017. "I don't know anyone else who has rolled out a nuclear program of this magnitude this fast," says Jeffrey Benjamin, an American engineer who in October was named project manager for Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp., which oversees Abu Dhabi's nuclear program.

I fault Bush for a lot of stuff and one of the things he failed at miserably was in not developing and implementing a comprehensive energy policy before leaving office. We still have an incoherent policy, we have taken no steps that I can see toward additional oil exploration, refinery capacity, renewed nuclear power, really not much of anything. As soon as oil prices plummeted, so did any interest in energy independence, oil exploration, etc. I have said before, new refineries, new oil drilling rigs, new nuclear power plants all would be far more worthwhile “stimulus” projects. If we are going to go into debt to try to stimulate the economy, better we use that money on projects that will provide jobs now for construction and good paying blue collar jobs in the future. Pouring billions more down the sinkhole of the public education bureaucracy isn’t going to get it done, building capacity for energy exploration and production would. Instead we are helping other nations, oil rich nations in the heart of the Middle East, develop nuclear power while our energy needs in our own nation go unresolved or made worse yet in a ill-conceived attempt to turn matters of national security and economic stability into social engineering experiments.

I don’t have a giant issue with the U.A.E. getting nuclear power, especially in a way that is hard to weaponize. What I do have an issue with is our willingness to help a foreign nation develop nuclear power while we fail to address the energy needs of our own nation outside of Gore-esque rhetoric about “clean energy” and “green jobs”.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Anti-capitalism anarchist capitalists?

I thought this was hilarious from a report on the anticapitalism/anti-globalism/anti-grow up and get a job protests in Britain during the G-20 summit:

"The protesters spanned a wide age range. Joe Reed, an unemployed 25-year-old, was busy selling "anti-capitalism whistles" to fellow protestors for one British pound."

Now there is an enterprising guy, selling merchandise that is cleverly packaged and labelled to a bunch of unemployed people protesting slick marketing. That guy is going to be a millionaire someday! Selling regular whistles to these nutjobs by calling them "anti-capitalism whistles". Genius!

Feeling nostalgic about commie rhetoric

Ah, I miss the days when we got this sort of commie rhetoric on a regular basis from the Soviets. In response to alleged spying on their operations, the North Korean military issued this dire threat…

"If the brigandish U.S. imperialists dare to infiltrate spy planes into our airspace to interfere with our peaceful satellite launch preparations, our revolutionary armed forces will mercilessly shoot them down," the ministry quoted the radio as saying.

Not just shoot down a plane that flies at an altitude of nearly ten miles. Mercilessly shoot them down! How does one mercifully shoot down a plane? Especially since the North Koreans hardly have anything even capable of shooting down a plane at that altitude on their best day.

What is not funny is that these loonies are developing the ability to launch nuclear strikes against the South and Japan. While the Soviets were moderately sane, the regime in Pyongyang is anything but. Add to that the fact that we have some who is obviously in over his head as commander in chief, someone who has no foreign policy other than making nice and trying to get along, and we are going to be in for a rough four years. I just hope we can avoid any major conflagrations until we can depose the Anointed One.