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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Finding Out What's In It: Part XV



Do you remember the fierce criticism that Sarah Palin took over her eloquent plea against the Obamacare Law, in which she warned about the, "Death Panels," a term which came into vogue in England as a response to their Nationalized Health Care Service. She was accused of hyperbole, outright deception, and kicking puppy dogs. Well guess what! As it turns out, those Death Panels are very real, and have already been put into practice. "Death Panels," are now the law of the land, and every liberal in the country owes Sarah Palin a personal apology.



When voting this fall, and for the rest of your lives, remember that this was not a bipartisan screwing of us. This was the singular action of the Democrats in Washington. Remember that AARP held indoctrination rallies disguised as town hall meetings to put its membership on board. Remember that it was the SEIU, ACLU, AFLCIO, and all of those splinter ACORN groups still in existence that did this to us. It was every single Congress Critter with a D after their name that did this to us. It was every single Hollywood actor who got behind this that have in fact ruined the finest health care system in the history of the world, and seen to it personally, that you and I will have to convince a bureaucrat that we deserve treatment should we ever need it. (I may have watched my last movie or Television program, knowing that Will Ferrell has no problem with the cavalier way in which Americans will now be treated as, "units," as is now demanded by Federal Law.) The only way to get this repealed is to replace every single Democrat in the Senate and the House, and to also remove Barack Obama from the Presidency.

Not only did the Democrats in the House and Senate fail to read the Bill before signing it, they purposefully refused to do so, once the issue was raised. They took to the banks of microphones and cameras during the entire debate and told us all that we were idiots for actually expecting them to read the poisonous Bills that they legislated into law. Looking back on it now, I wonder if a single one of them has had the thought, "hey maybe, I should have shown the slightest diligence in performing my Constitutional Duty."

Nancy Pelosi famously called the passage of this Bill in December of 2009 the Democrat's Christmas Gift to America. Excuse me for not saying thank you Nancy. I would hope that you be amongst the first victims of your Law, but then again, you've taken the precaution of exempting yourself from its ravages, haven't you.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Ubiquitous Electability Argument.

As a youth, I saw a movie on television telling the tale of the Alamo. How Davy Crockett, Sam Houston, and William Travis had bravely fought, and sacrificed their lives in the Texas Revolution. Years later, I saw a second version of the Movie, with none other than John Wayne playing the role of Davy Crockett. The story though, ended the same way. A few years ago, Billy Bob Thornton reprized the role of Crockett, a must see by the way, and in the end, succumbed to an overwhelming force led by Santa Anna. That's exactly where we are with this year's Republican Primary. We've seen this movie before, and keep hoping that this time it won't end the same way. We all know it will. That fact, and not the petty bickering is what is making the base so mad.

Once again, we are getting the moderate candidate shoved down our throats. Once again, we are told that only the moderate has the ability to actually win an election. While the vast majority of the Republican base is peopled by Conservatives, the party establishment is made up of people lacking any real core beliefs. It is not just the Republicans, but the Democrats also who are guilty of this.  For those fine folks, politics is about gaining the power and keeping the power.  For those of us who vote, it is about matching our votes with what we believe in.  They don't trust us to vote them more power, and we don't trust them to govern according to their rhetoric.  In this ridiculous play which we see every four years, we are all of us duped entirely anew. Later it seems will be the time for us to get behind a candidate who actually reflects our values and beliefs. This year however, we need to get behind some who can appeal to the 20% of the voting populace with no discernible belief system, other than which candidate has promised them the most free goodies from the public largess.

The question must one day be raised, what does the Republican Party actually stand for. Those of us in the base believe that it stands for a smaller and more accountable government, a return to the free market principles complete with private property rights, a separation of powers belonging to a government constrained in its ability to wield those powers by an electorate who must constantly give its consent to be governed. Somehow, in every election of late, we have a choice between a big government Democrat, and a big government Republican. Oh sure, the big government Republican is very adept at telling us that they in fact oppose big government, but let's face facts, they invariably let us down, and give us lofty speeches about how we want them to come together to find common ground with their political adversaries.

So, what kind of track record do the Party apparatchiks actually have? Barry Goldwater is the reason why the Party bosses have turned on the conservatives of the party. So, we'll start with 1968. Richard Nixon won in 68, in what was a much closer election than it should have ever have been. The economics of Johnson's full term were terrible. How could they have been anything else? They are much of the same things being employed today, and the great society wreaked havoc upon American urban areas that we had not before seen in our country. Even with that, Richard Nixon lost the popular vote but won in the electoral system that we employ. 4 years later of course, he won reelection, but he defeated a man who was even further to the left of where Barack Obama is today. In 1976, we tossed the conservative Reagan aside, and we instead went with Gerald Ford. Ford lost, but that may very well have been more to the stench of Watergate than Ford's politics. In 1980, we were all assured by the establishment that Ronald Reagan could not win against an incumbent President. He would in no way be accepted by the middle 20%. Jon Anderson even sought the nomination as the liberal Republican, and when he lost the nomination battle, left and ran as a third party candidate. Even with someone siphoning votes off from our side, Reagan won in the greatest landslide to that date in history. In 1984, the supposedly unelectable conservative won in another landslide, even greater than his last. Reagan's Vice President, Bush 41 won election as a liberal Republican in 1988, but I believe that he rode in mostly on the Reagan coat tails. 4 years later, he was fired from his office. Dole was next, and this version of the moderate Republican was defeated. He blamed his defeat on Newt Gingrich, and did so even though Gingrich's name did not appear on the Presidential ballot. Bush 43, won both of his elections, scoring two victories for the liberal wing of the party, but his legacy was anything but solid. There are many who believe that it was his unwillingness to stand up for conservatism and to defend our values which led to an Obama victory in 2008. In any case, the argument that only a moderate can win elections is a specious argument at best. There is no actual evidence to support that.

I believe that our positions that we hold dear, if stated with passion and clarity, will win elections. There is evidence to support that. The victories of Reagan in 1980 and 1984, coupled with the midterms of 1994 and 2010 have shown that a clear concise vision of conservatism will win and win handily when ever it is tried. Much has been said recently about the slap fighting taking place in the Republican primary. What I would like to see is more speechifying like this.




compare that message to the one being delivered by Mitt Romney. He is promising the same socialized healthcare scheme as the one we all want repealed, with the only difference being that he wants to see 50 individual state laws mandated by a federal big brother, rather than just the one.  In the end of course, it would be the same result for us, tethered to a health care law that is the opposite of everything we as a nation believe in.  So, I ask this question, how exactly would a President Romney be any different than a President Obama?  Why should I, as a base Republican voter get behind a guy who is willing to preside over America's decay, simply because he would manage that decay better?  Newt Gingrich can win in November, and in fact I would even argue that he stands a much better chance of doing so.

The message delivered above is an optimistic view of the greatness of this nation, and what we are capable of when governments get out of our way and indeed follow our lead.  That conservative view is what wins elections in this country.  It did so in 1980, and in 1984.  It will do so in 2012.  See below for the Romney message.  It is more of the same, with a, "no really, I'm a conservative," thrown in as an afterthought.  Exit question:  Has Mitt Romney even bothered to address a Tea Party group anywhere in the United States yet?




Hat tip to eaglesoars

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday At The Movies! Fact Checking The SOTU Edition.

The Cato Institute does some simple fact checking on President Obama's latest State of the Union Address. Shockingly, they found some flat out lies. The President should really consider hiring a cheap drummer to travel around with him to play rim shots any time the President makes a statement.



I read at the end of this week that Warren Buffett is somewhat angry about the fact checking that went on concerning his Assistant's effective tax rate and her associated salary. What Warren has failed to notice of course is the simple fact that if he had not spent the previous 8 years pimping his secretary out as the example supporting his destructive agenda, nobody would ever have cared about what she made in income nor what she paid in taxes. If you would like to know who is responsible for this outrage Warren, look in a mirror.



Thomas Sowell on the economics of Discrimination. Sowell's conclusions are almost never what the general population would expect. He is worth listening to.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Saturday At The Movies! Money Bags Edition.

Much has been said about the President's attempt to put together a $1 Billion campaign war chest in order to fund his reelection campaign. Never mind the hypocrisy of doing this while decrying the system as being unfair that any Republicans would be able to accept any campaign contributions at all. The true hypocrisy lies in the fact that the Democrats have built themselves a nice little machine where they actually utilize $2.2 Trillion of Federal Spending as their campaign finance each and every year. Bill Whittle explains on the, "Firewall."



Trifecta's analysis of the State of the Union Speech. As you may have guessed, they found dishonesty, contradiction to current facts, and more of the same kind of promises upon which we have already ridden into fiscal destruction.



A passionate description of Quantitative Easing. By the way, this wonderful devaluation of our currency has robbed you of 13.4% of your future purchasing power over the last two years.

Friday, January 27, 2012

The True Obama Doctrine, And Its Chilling Result

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

If only the above cartoon were true. An empty suit who might have been content to just sit in the Oval Office and accomplish nothing at all really looks quite appealing as an alternative to our last 3 years together. Instead, our President has been up to some mischief. What is remarkable to me, are the absolute dolts who look at the free market principles which have created the single most successful nation in history in terms of productivity, wealth creation, removing social strata, eliminating hunger, poverty, disease, homelessness, aggression, and what ever other social ills liberals claim to care about, and then claim that this is the very system which created the economic failure of the past decade. Any economist besides Paul Krugman, and the nonsensical fools who claim to be economic experts on MSNBC realize that had we left the markets to their own devices, the recession of 2009 would have been long over by now, and further, it was the government's failed policies of intervention dating back to the Jimmy Carter Administration which caused the upheaval, and not capitalism itself. The community reinvestment act, coupled with an unregulated Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. All three of these things by the way were not only left untouched by Dodd Frank, but the geniuses who wrote and then passed this sink hole of a law actually sought to strengthen these entities. But hey, why should we stop fiddling while Rome burns anyhow. At least they gave the Dodd Frank law some cool sounding name that would make people believe that it's purpose was to actually reign in big bank malfeasance, and creating the illusion is what is truly important anyhow.

During the primary kids urinating in a sand box type of campaigning that has been playing out recently though, something has been missed by a lot of us. As bad as the Obama domestic agenda has been, his foreign policy has been worse. President Obama's foreign agenda has been so bad, it in fact will rival that of Jimmy Carter when all is said and done. Much like we are today, faced with the legacy of Carter's 4 years of idiocy some 32 years after the fact, so too will we be discussing the effects of Obama's idiocy 32 years from now.

Dry Bones cartoon: Africa,  Islamism, Christians, jihad, Sharia Law, Nigerian,  Sudan

The reference to Jimmy Carter seems, at least on the surface, to be apropos. Obama's however, is far more sinister in nature. jimmy Carter's foreign policy doctrine was based on the lofty premise of, "Human Rights." The major problem with the Carter Doctrine of course was that there was no objective way to determine, "Human Rights," much less any objective determination of how those rights would be effectively applied. The result saw nothing but failure in every single instance in which his doctrine was put into practice. Once we adopted his kumbayah school of thought coupled with his bizarre belief that good and evil no longer existed and any belief that they did represented an out of date bigotry, the result was immediately that the most thuggish and oppressive regimes known to man had become the true defenders of, "Human Rights," while the western style republics became the oppressors. So, the Shah of Iran became an enemy overnight. This long time ally, who had supported us in every post WWII endeavor was put on notice in 1977 that he no longer had a friend in the U.S. While the Shah did treat those who sought to oust him and the republic brutally, there was also a second side to that story. As it turns out, those who opposed him were Islamists, who sought to inflict their horrifying brand of Sharia law upon Iran's society. If you want to see the effects of Jimmy Carter's Doctrine, look at video's and pictures of Iran in 1974, and compare them to today. This foreign policy also gave us the version of North Korea we see today, Hamas, Hezbollah, Venezuela, FARC, Somalia, and let's not forget the resurgence of the PLO. It was after all, President Jimmy Carter who took Yassir Arafat aside and told him to start wearing Western Style Suits, to smile more, and to seek to join the United Nations. What do all of those countries have in common? They are pretty much the places and things which we cite as our trouble spots today.

Then we have the Obama Doctrine. It stands as a doctrine that is as vacuous as it was eloquently stated by the Teleprompter in Chief. In a nut shell, it stands almost identical to that of his Marxist predecessor with one minor twist in words, but huge impact in consequence. It is a subjective, "Human Rights," application with the stipulation that an Islamist agenda be used as a starting point towards determining who would be considered pure, rather than the Socialist prism from which to view things. So, the secular regime in Egypt was allowed to fail, while those in Syria will find no such relief from the U.S. The Assad regime you see, while it is brutal, is also a Sharia compliant friend to Tehran. The uprising in Bahrain, hard cheese for them as well, they gave refuge to the exiled members of the Muslim Brotherhood and are good little Islamists. Libya, sorry Qaddafi Duck, you ran a secular shop there, so you have to go. We can easily blame that on suffering, and the same thing for Tunisia. The result of course is that the crazy dangerous animals that had been given Iran some 32 years ago now find that Barack Obama has just handed them the keys to all of North Africa as well. To add insult to injury, they now have the oil revenue to fund their state sponsored terrorism, which is even more pertinent than their huge new shiny base of operation.

When the, "Arab Spring," began to happen, I actually wrote a piece likening it to Iran of 1978. I was blasted by young libertarians far and wide. What was perplexing to me was this, not a single one of them refuted the past events, nor my interpretation of those events. There was no criticism of the parallels I had drawn between the two events to that date. The only thing which drew criticism of course was the conclusion that the events which were playing out in 2010 would indeed continue to mirror those of 1978 through to the same exact outcome. The argument was this, that because of the internet, and the fact that today's young students were smarter somehow than their counterparts of yesteryear, the end result would be different, and the young Democrats would bring peace, freedom, and prosperity to their people. In 1978 of course, the young Democrats were among the first to be rounded up and executed. The Mullahs of Iran are far more brutal and oppressive than the Shah ever was. What we have seen in Egypt so far does nothing to suggest that this will play out any differently. In fact, the new group of Mullahs in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia are even worse. Those young Democrats, well many of them have already failed to survive long enough to enjoy their hard won coup. The Muslim Brotherhood recently won on a massive scale the elections in Egypt. Part of how they did this is chilling indeed. They of course realized that the Coptic Christian population there would rather see a more secular form of governance. So, as a preemptive strike, they just decided to start killing the Christians prior to the elections. We saw this as well in Lebanon. Lebanon at one time had a mostly Christian Populace. Tough for an Islamist to win an election there. They began expanding their percentage of the population there, mostly by killing off through acts of terrorism, or forcing conversions to their numbers by threat of terrorism, the Christian population that did exist.

The Muslim Brotherhood represents a grave threat to Israel, this is certainly true. It represents an even greater threat to the existence of the non Muslim population of Northern Africa immediately. I guess that's the cost of, "Human Rights." Sorry to those of you in the world who have been victimized by the Obama Presidency. My voice was not convincing enough to prevent this from happening, and hence, your nation is decidedly more dangerous to live in today.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Hey Warren, How About Paying Your Back Taxes?




If you played the SOTU drinking game by the rules provided here on Tuesday evening, welcome back to coherency. That game saw you drink 29 shots of whiskey, throw up into a bucket, whack yourself on the head with a piece of plywood, cry, and burn whatever pocket change you may have been carrying at the time. For those of you who can not remember the speech, no problem, it was the same exact speech that he delivered last year. I'm sure we've all seen the youtube clip by now of the two speeches being delivered side by side, with only the slightest differences in wording or phraseology. Doing a full blown analysis of his Kabuki Theater campaign stump speech is pointless, just read the one I wrote last year. Nothing has changed really since then, except of course my tolerance for alcohol, as I find I am no longer able to contemplate the Obama Presidency without doing something to dull the pain.

I wish instead to focus solely on the class warfare portion of the evening's events. While discussing the concept of fairness as an economic principle, (somewhere, Milton Friedman's spirit is looking down at us and turning beet red,) he pointed to the poor secretary of Warren Buffett and told us of the inequity with the comparative taxation rate of her versus her boss. The truly horrifying fact, that Warren's Administrative Assistant, (that's what they like to be called nowadays I guess,) pays an effective rate greater than Warren's effective rate of 17.4% As a follow up to the previous night, Warren and his poor Administrative Assistant made the rounds of all the morning talk shows to promote their vision of, "economic justice," a phrase coined by Vladimir Lennon himself. Ironic isn't it, that someone who has garnered such great reward from the very opportunity a free market offers would now seek to destroy that system and replace it with the vision of Vladimir Lennon, a vision which would never allow for those opportunities to exist.

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I don't want to get to wonkish here. It is tough to explain and keep it from getting real boring just exactly what the difference is between marginal rates, and effective rates of taxation. It is also not a straight forward proposition when discussing ordinary income versus passive income, and even the difference between dividends, qualified dividends, interest, and capital gains. I'll just leave you with this, they are all treated differently in the very exciting world of our current 72,536 page tax code. It should also be noted that some forms of income are actually taxed twice. So, for instance, when a wealthy CEO of Berkshire Hathaway claims that his effective rate is 17.4%, what he might neglect to mention is that represents what he pays on his earnings after the corporation that he owns has paid 35% on its profit, making the real tax rate 42.5% on qualified dividends.

All of that is a secondary point however.  As it turns out part of that famed low ball estimate of Warren's paltry 17.4% in effective tax rate may just be due to the fact that Warren has not been paying his full tax bill.

So, how exactly does the generous with other people's money Buffett feel about his own tax bill, in practice?

What we learn from the Blaze article is that Warren owes over $1 Billion in back taxes.  Perhaps Mr. Buffett should start with what he owes, before claiming that he wants to pay more.  Even that is too easy.  Warren has even more hypocrisy to explain to the rest of us.  ( I realize that Warren owes us no such explanation for exercising his First Amendment Rights, but he decided to put himself into the public view with all of this, and further made the decision to lend his gravitas to a debate of Marxism versus Free Market economics.  So, if he wants me to take him seriously, I want an explanation.)

According to Berkshire’s 2010 annual report, the company has been in a near decade-long struggle with the IRS over its own taxes. Using public documents, a certified public accountant detailed Berkshire’s tax problems to Americans for Limited Government researcher Richard McCarty, revealing the damage could be close to $1 billion. Netright Daily adds:
According to page 56 of the company report, “At December 31, 2010… net unrecognized tax benefits were $1,005 million”, or about $1 billion. McCarty explained, “Unrecognized tax benefits represent the company’s potential future obligation to the IRS and other taxing authorities.  They have to be recorded in the company’s financial statements.”
He added, “The notation means that Berkshire Hathaway’s own auditors have probably said that $1 billion is more likely than not owed to the government.”

So, just to put it into even further perspective for you, at the same time that Warren went on television yesterday to insist that he be taxed heavier, in order to pay his fair share, his accountants, (plural,) were locked in a struggle with the IRS to fight his current bill, which has not been paid in full for some time, and is over $1 Billion short. On top of that, his accountants have basically admitted that they know that Warren is wrong in what he is trying to avoid paying, but is fighting it anyhow. Just in case you were wondering about whether or not this is just some recent snafu, this was a case that was resolved in 2005, which makes it 7 years ago. So, once again, the man who is jetting around the country advocating that the rest of us pay more in taxes because he is rich and apparently doesn't feel as though he is paying his fair share, has in fact instructed his team of accountants to fight the IRS for his tax bill, which is over a Billion bones. After losing that battle with the IRS 7 years ago, he has continued to fight it, knowing that he is actually wrong, and delayed paying for the past 7 years after being ordered to do so. Is that about all Warren? Would you like to clarify this to me, a proud member of the great unwashed masses?

Not quite an exit question: Why is Warren Buffett not in jail, like the rest of us would be?

Now, let's have an honest discussion about the effective rate of his Secretary, the poor woman who pays a staggering rate greater than 17.4% To put this in perspective, an average effective rate for someone making $100,000 could very conceivably be between 9% and 11%, placing their total tax burden in the $9,000 to $11,000 range. For the Buffett assistant, a rate greater than 17.4% would place her salary at a range that begins around $250,000 per year. That boys and girls, is the cut off the Democrats are using for their definition of, "Millionaires and Billionaires," who need to pay an increased burden to reach their fair share.

Read this piece from Forbes on a likely salary for anyone paying an effective rate of 17.4%.

In any case, Debbie Bosanek is hardly the poster child for the blue collar working stiff that was presented to us during the slickly produced Obama marketing piece we referred to as the State of The Union Address.  The gaffe was so easy to figure out, one wonders if anyone at the Obama White House has the responsibility of vetting these preposterous statements that Obama makes.  All of this raises another point entirely, and that is this.  We in fact are nearing a very real and dangerous tipping point in this country.  We have a country where 47% of us pay no federal income tax at all, and 53% of us do.  (This is a far cry from not paying any taxes at all, like some have posited.  We have excise taxes on almost every product sold, anything shipped, as well as any service provided.  We also have the various local and state taxes, special fees for regulatory agencies etc.)  When we have more people in the wagon being pulled than there are people pulling it, that is when terrible things happen to societies, just like in Greece.  We are whistling past the graveyard.

Our tax system is very complex, and Barack Obama is demagogically using this mother of all anecdotal stories to push his agenda of imposing his sense of Marxist justice upon a free market system that has served us well for 226 years.  His presentation of the facts was dishonest.  His application of those shakey facts was dishonest.  His conclusions of fairness are dishonest.  Exit question:  Is there any limit as to how low Barack Obama is willing to sink?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

About Those Ethics Charges

We've heard it over and over during every primary debate since Iowa, and we were also treated to a very nebulous sounding warning from Nancy Pelosi of all people, about how everyone is prepared to spoil the Gingrich Candidacy if he doesn't stop winning. Newt Gingrich resigned in disgrace seems to be the only words Mitt Romney is capable of saying with clarity. Just for the purposes of putting things in their proper perspective, I'm going to give you the spoiler first here. Following is the video of CNN's final report on the Gingrich ethics investigation, so pay close attention.



As it turns out, this entire episode may have done something positive for American Politics after all. It has highlighted what is wrong with American main stream media, it has highlighted what is wrong with the Republican Party, and what is wrong with the Democrat Party. It has served as a character builder for the man that I hope will be the next President of the United States. It has shown us, who live here in the reality of the political right, the true cost of not fighting back.

As it turns out, even with the clarifying lens of history, very few seem to be able to get it right.

From the beginning of the assault upon Speaker Gingrich, it was painfully evident that the facts, or actual evidence were of no importance to anybody.  Even when those of us on the right asked for some supporting evidence of actual wrong doing, we were told that Speaker Gingrich had to go because, "the seriousness of the charges were too ominous by themselves to ignore, even if untrue."  The entire concept of innocent until proven guilty was thrown out the window in favor of the more expedient ends justifies the means for the purposes of reclaiming political power for the Democrat Party.


At the center of the controversy was a course Gingrich taught from 1993 to 1995 at two small Georgia colleges. The wide-ranging class, called "Renewing American Civilization," was conceived by Gingrich and financed by a tax-exempt organization called the Progress and Freedom Foundation. Gingrich maintained that the course was a legitimate educational enterprise; his critics contended that it had little to do with learning and was in fact a political exercise in which Gingrich abused a tax-exempt foundation to spread his own partisan message.
The Gingrich case was driven in significant part by a man named Ben Jones.  An actor and recovered alcoholic who became famous for playing the dim-witted Cooter in the popular 1980s TV show The Dukes of Hazzard, Jones ran for Congress as a Democrat from Georgia in 1988.  He won and served two terms.  He lost his bid for re-election after re-districting in 1992, and tried again with a run against Gingrich in 1994.  Jones lost decisively, and after that, it is fair to say he became obsessed with bringing Gingrich down.
Two days before Election Day 1994, with defeat in sight, Jones hand-delivered a complaint to the House ethics committee (the complaint was printed on "Ben Jones for Congress" stationery). Jones asked the committee to investigate the college course, alleging that Gingrich "fabricated a 'college course' intended, in fact, to meet certain political, not educational, objectives." Three weeks later, Jones sent the committee 450 pages of supporting documents obtained through the Georgia Open Records Act.

Emphasis mine.

So, what we had, in actuality, was a complaint entirely fabricated by a person who had been ousted from congress by redistricting and denied his return through electoral defeat at the hands of the subject of his complaint.  Is it just me, or is there some ulterior motive which seems possible here?  The complaint was taken up by one of the most partisan hacks to ever embarrass our House simply by his presence there, David Bonior (D) Michigan.  Nancy Pelosi, the new minority leader of the Democrats in the House, who by the way had noticed that she stood to be Speaker should the Republicans lose control of the House was also on the ethics committee at the time.  I'm sure that there was no conflict of interest there.



It didn't take long for the media to jump at the chance to take down a leader of the Republican Party. Undaunted by their complete lack of factual detail about the story on which they were reporting, they simply fabricated their own material to fit the template that they wished to report. Remember that Speaker Gingrich copped to having failed to seek adequate tax advice before teaching his college course, and for not providing adequate detail about the subject matter of that course. (The fact is that Speaker Gingrich had in fact hired two tax attorneys and provided the ethics committee with a complete video recording of each class session spanning the entire time period of the courses taught plus all appropriate course text and outlines.) His guilt plea was simply a man tired of the nonsense wishing to get back to the job his Congressional District had hired him to do.

Back in January 1997, the day after Cole presented his damning report to the Ethics Committee, the Washington Post's front-page banner headline was "Gingrich Actions 'Intentional' or 'Reckless'; Counsel Concludes That Speaker's Course Funding Was 'Clear Violation' of Tax Laws." That same day, the New York Times ran eleven stories on the Gingrich matter, four of them on the front page (one inside story was headlined, "Report Describes How Gingrich Used Taxpayers' Money for Partisan Politics"). On television, Dan Rather began the CBS Evening News by telling viewers that "only now is the evidence of Newt Gingrich's ethics violations and tax problems being disclosed in detail."

Contrast that treatment in the press with the reports that followed the Speaker's exoneration.

The story was much different when Gingrich was exonerated. The Washington Post ran a brief story on page five. The Times ran an equally brief story on page 23. And the evening newscasts of CBS, NBC, and ABC -- which together had devoted hours of coverage to the question of Gingrich's ethics -- did not report the story at all. Not a word.


This is another point, the bias of the Press, it has reached the point of being sickening. I hear from my liberal friends, "you need to stop listening to Faux News," as if that mantra makes their idiotic claim true, that only liberal sources of news coverage will espouse the truth. It's not just the tone of coverage that is maddening, nor is it that plus the selective amplification of certain facts to create the story to fit a predetermined template, but it also includes the despicable practice of choosing sides and actively using their cloak of being objective to aid one side of our political discourse over the other.

Examples you ask? Here is one. Cast your memory back to the ancient date of 2008. John Edwards was one of the contenders for the Democrat Nomination for his Party's Presidential bid. As it turns out, he was not the faithful husband which every news report had been portraying him to be. He had a mistress tagging along with him, who was dubiously employed by his campaign. Not only was the media wrong about Edwards, as it turns out, members of that media were actively aiding in his covering up the affair. When the story did break, well after he had been shown the door electorally speaking, we were assured that such revelations were in fact salacious in nature, and had no business in Presidential Politics. Comparisons to the coverage of Newt Gingrich's second former wife's revelations would be too cheap and easy. Instead, remember the meme attempted during the 2008 General Election. The major news media began reporting on a story that someone thought it was possible that Senator McCain had at one time had an affair with a female aid, because their smiles to each other in crowded rooms appeared too affectionate for people who were just coworkers. Those stories appeared on all of the Sunday talk shows, (except of course for Fox,) and were blasted on the front pages of the NYT, Time, Newsweek, etc.

People are shocked that Speaker Gingrich would have the temerity to blast the media in the manner that he does. My question is this. After experiencing first hand the full brunt of the dishonest way in which news reporters go about their business, how could any conservative politician roll over and play dead for them? Newt Gingrich's approach is the absolute correct course of action to take. He is not going out of his way to be overtly mean, but he is not simply accepting their biased starting points either. He is fighting back, and is doing so in a manner that is at the same time both respectful, and sets the record straight.



Which of course brings us to this second point, and perhaps the most damning of all. The complete lack of fight in the establishment of the Republican Party. I have read pundits both endorse and blast Newt Gingrich. I have seen a lot of folks on both sides completely miss the true points of their arguments with maddening imprecision. My support for Newt Gingrich is due entirely to the fact that I agree with most of his positions. The entire argument of electability may be one of the silliest arguments made in the history of discourse. Even with that though, I have to say that anyone who states the principles of conservatism, and does so with passion and without apology is electable. When Republicans feel the need to stop fighting back and start pandering and capitulating on their ideals, that is when they suffer electoral defeat. If you don't believe me, just ask John McCain. You know, the Maverick, who lost that title for 3 months in 2008, and was suddenly treated in the press which had adored him for so long as just another Republican, in other words brutally. He refused to take Barack Obama on, and he refused to call out the media for its baloney. The result of course was this, John McCain remains today, Senator McCain. If we are going to lose fine, let's at least have our say and have this fight which we have been avoiding for so long.

With the charges against Gingrich megaphoned in the press, Gingrich and Republicans were under intense pressure to end the ordeal. In January, 1997, Gingrich agreed to make a limited confession of wrongdoing in which he pleaded guilty to the previously unknown offense of failing to seek sufficiently detailed advice from a tax lawyer before proceeding with the course. (Gingrich had in fact sought advice from two such lawyers in relation to the course.) Gingrich also admitted that he had provided "inaccurate, incomplete, and unreliable" information to Ethics Committee investigators. That "inaccurate" information was Gingrich's contention that the course was not political -- a claim Cole and the committee did not accept, but the IRS later would.

In return for those admissions, the House reprimanded Gingrich and levied an unprecedented $300,000 fine. The size of the penalty was not so much about the misdeed itself but the fact that the Speaker was involved in it.

Why did Gingrich admit wrongdoing? "The atmosphere at the time was so rancorous, partisan, and personal that everyone, including Newt, was desperately seeking a way to end the whole thing," Gingrich attorney Jan Baran told me in 1999. "He was admitting to whatever he could to get the case over with."

What this highlights is the willingness to cave in order to avoid confrontation. Backing down is not a sign of strong leadership. Sarah Palin also backed down from trumped up ethics charges to avoid a prolonged and expensive fight for the benefit of her state. While I applaud the sentiment that it was better for the citizens of Alaska, it also puts an unjust cloud over the head of someone from our side. It has reached the point that we must start fighting these battles, and every last one of them where ever they pop up. That is a lesson that Speaker Gingrich learned the hard way, but he at least learned it.

Last night, Mitch Daniels gave the Republican Response to the President's State of the Union Address. it appears as though the leaders of the Republican Party are finally beginning to get this.  Last night we got the first message from the Republican leadership that was not a watered down version of the message delivered by the Democrats only moments earlier.  We want the march towards Socialism not merely slowed down, but stopped and reversed.  Speaker Gingrich gets this, and that is why he has gained in momentum.  At the very least, Newt Gingrich has served to change the discourse within the Republican Party to begin reflecting the views held by the Republican voters.  Free markets, freedom to determine our own destinies, constitutional principles, these are values worth having a battle over.

Here lies a great illustration of what is wrong with the Democrat Party, besides of course their insane agenda.

Cole developed a theory of the case in which Gingrich, looking for a way to spread his political views, came up with the idea of creating a college course and then devised a way to use a tax-exempt foundation to pay the bills. "The idea to develop the message and disseminate it for partisan political use came first," Cole told the Ethics Committee. "The use of the [the Progress and Freedom Foundation] came second as a source of funding." Thus, Cole concluded, the course was "motivated, at least in part, by political goals." Cole argued that even a hint of a political motive, was enough to taint the tax-exempt project, "regardless of the number or importance of truly exempt purposes that are present."

Cole did not argue that the case was not educational. It plainly was. But Cole suggested that the standard for determining wrongdoing was whether any unclean intent lurked in the heart of the creator of the course, even if it was unquestionably educational.

In his paper bringing charges against Newt Gingrich, Cole had admitted that the facts did not support any violations of ethics. In his own words, it was not whether or not Newt Gingrich was actually guilty that mattered, but whether or not it would help the cause of switching power back to the Democrats that mattered.

The Democrats can not win an open debate, they must cheat and lie in order to get their agenda pushed forward. Of the two sides, my anger is mostly with ours. We allow them to get away with it, believing that we are better off not risking a voter backlash by defending ourselves. I am tired of it, and thank goodness Newt Gingrich is also.

The conclusion of the ethics complaints? Well I tipped them earlier, but here they are anyhow.

It was a huge victory for Democrats. They had deeply wounded the Speaker. But they hadn't brought him down. So, as Bonior suggested, they sought to push law enforcement to begin a criminal investigation of Gingrich.

Nothing happened with the Justice Department and the FBI, but the IRS began an investigation that would stretch over three years. Unlike many in Congress -- and journalists, too -- IRS investigators obtained tapes and transcripts of each session during the two years the course was taught at Kennesaw State College in Georgia, as well as videotapes of the third year of the course, taught at nearby Reinhardt College. IRS officials examined every word Gingrich spoke in every class; before investigating the financing and administration of the course, they first sought to determine whether it was in fact educational and whether it served to the political benefit of Gingrich, his political organization, GOPAC, or the Republican Party as a whole. They then carefully examined the role of the Progress and Freedom Foundation and how it related to Gingrich's political network.

In the end, in 1999, the IRS released a densely written, highly detailed 74-page report. The course was, in fact, educational, the IRS said. "The overwhelming number of positions advocated in the course were very broad in nature and often more applicable to individual behavior or behavioral changes in society as a whole than to any 'political' action," investigators wrote. "For example, the lecture on quality was much more directly applicable to individual behavior than political action and would be difficult to attempt to categorize in political terms. Another example is the lecture on personal strength where again the focus was on individual behavior. In fact, this lecture placed some focus on the personal strength of individual Democrats who likely would not agree with Mr. Gingrich on his political views expressed in forums outside his Renewing American Civilization course teaching. Even in the lectures that had a partial focus on broadly defined changes in political activity, such as less government and government regulation, there was also a strong emphasis on changes in personal behavior and non-political changes in society as a whole."

The IRS also checked out the evaluations written by students who completed the course. The overwhelming majority of students, according to the report, believed that Gingrich knew his material, was an interesting speaker, and was open to alternate points of view. None seemed to perceive a particular political message. "Most students," the IRS noted, "said that they would apply the course material to improve their own lives in such areas as family, friendships, career, and citizenship."

The IRS concluded the course simply was not political. "The central problem in arguing that the Progress and Freedom Foundation provided more than incidental private benefit to Mr. Gingrich, GOPAC, and other Republican entities," the IRS wrote, "was that the content of the 'Renewing American Civilization' course was educational...and not biased toward any of those who were supposed to be benefited."

The bottom line: Gingrich acted properly and violated no laws. There was no tax fraud scheme. Of course, by that time, Gingrich was out of office, widely presumed to be guilty of something, and his career in politics was (seemingly) over.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

State Of The Union Drinking Game!

Yes, the object is to get you drunk enough to forget the crappy condition of our great nation, and the horrendous direction we are heading. If I do this right, your should be sufficiently numb within about five minutes of the campaign speech's beginning. Make sure you ain't driving tonight, or at the very least, choose someone to be your designated Democrat to handle those duties.

So, sit back and enjoy your evening at the Obama Kabuki Theater production of, "Our Nation in Flames." May you be passed out, long before the scheduled two hours, yes I find that hard to believe also, is over.

Rules:

Phrases)

If the President uses the phrase, "their fair share," take one drink.
The term, "Millionaires and Billionaires," will net you two drinks.
If you hear, "We can't wait," Bottoms up for one drink.
A, "do nothing congress," gets you closer to your goal of being numb by one drink.
If you hear the President refer to the, "middle class," enjoy a snort.
If the President says, "the green economy represents our future," smack yourself on the head with a piece of plywood, and have a drink to ease the pain.
If you hear, "creating robust job growth," drink two, and then throw up if needed. (keep a bucket handy)

Baloney)

all outright lies of intent based on these specifics will cost you two drinks each.

Claiming to want to lessen the regulatory burden for independent or small business owners.
Claiming to start the process to increase domestic oil and/or natural gas production.
Claiming to want to make capital more available for housing and small business entrepreneurs.
If he claims to be a friend to Israel.
If he claims in any way to want to strengthen our military, through efficiency, streamlining, or any other means.

Stupidity)

Any mention of the, "Arab Spring," drink three, and have a good cry.
Quantitative Easing, drink three and light whatever pocket money you have on fire, as it will be worthless anyway.

RULES UPDATE: It has been pointed out to me that any playing this game are likely to die of alcohol poisoning relatively early on in the speech. As a result, treat it like bingo, that is, once a particular drink has been consumed, that trigger is officially off of the table. That leaves you with 25 potential drinks, and one allowed upchuck to purge excess alcohol from your tummy.

Monday, January 23, 2012

What The Newt Gingrich Victory In South Carolina Really Means!

After being told ad nauseam how Mitt Romney was inevitable as our nominee, we saw in the first 2 of 3 Primaries, that the voters who make up the base of the Republican voting block, are clearly not happy with having that choice thrust upon us. We were told after New Hampshire, the only state won by Romney, and a state by the way that sits in his back yard, that it was now time for the Republican voters to give up this silly dream of having this be the year that the Party actually gave us a Conservative and just get behind Mitt already. We silly voters after all have no business actually thinking for ourselves, the establishment will tell us what to do, and who to vote for. A funny thing happened though on the way to the polls in South Carolina.

I have read a plethora of analyses on this very occurrence since Saturday evening. There was so much spin being put out there, I even changed my subject for today's essay from the crazy that is Ron Paul to address this latest silliness. The theme of the spin, it boils down to this: Newt can't win in the General Election, he's too mean, he's two volatile, he's not really a conservative, it'll cost us the House and the Senate, women won't vote for him, he really represents the establishment after all, his attacks on the media are ultimately self destructive, his appeal is only temporary, we conservative voters are actually dumb and do not know what's good for us. If I missed one or two sorry, but the spin has been so heavy, and by the way full of it, that honestly it's tough to remember it all.

So, as a public service, here is what the vote in South Carolina really meant. The Republican Voters in that state would rather see a President Gingrich than a President Romney, or a President Paul, or a President Santorum. That was the message. Part of the problem with listening to these professional spin doctors who masquerade as thoughtful analysts, is that we all of us lose IQ points by just laying eyes upon them. We do not need someone wearing a magicians hat wielding a wand to tell us what the meaning of a vote truly is. There was no nuanced message sent by the voters of South Carolina. There was only this message delivered very clearly, they do not want Mitt Romney, they want Newt Gingrich to represent their ideals in the General Election in November. According to all of the latest polls, Floridians who happen to be Republican Voters feel the same way.

Here is a little clip from the Sunday talk shows which will illustrate why.



It is not the fact that Newt is taking it to the media that we find so appealing, it is the fact that he is not allowing the asinine premise being put to him as the starting point for any discussion. In a nut shell, we want someone to run who will actually fight for those principles that we believe in. Newt is that person. When the GOP swept to a victory in 2010 that ranks in historical terms, we were told that it meant the the voters wished to see congress work in more harmonious concert with the President. We were told this despite the fact that it was his own party which had been summarily thrown out, and replaced by a grass roots movement known as the Tea Party. We were told this despite the fact that each of us possesses an adult memory, and knew precisely why we voted the way we did. We did not want harmony, we wanted the Obama Agenda stopped, and stopped dead in its tracks.

We still want liberalism stopped. That is the key. We don't want it slowed down to a more palatable pace. We don't want our freedoms taken from us more slowly, as is the promise of the Republican establishment. We want the Constitution of this country to become relevant once again. There in lies another problem for the Republican Party. The folks running the party are not in agreement with the people who make up its voting base. We can say what we want about the Democrats, but the leadership of Marxists at least somewhat represents the base of Socialists. Since 1964, and the Goldwater landslide at the disastrous hands of the Great Society, the Republican Establishment has been telling us that we need to nominate the moderates, and the liberal Republicans. While some of these folks have managed to win elections here and there, only one Republican President has distinguished himself as great, and he was no liberal. Newt Gingrich is the only guy running from the Reagan wing of the party this year, and the reason why he has done better in the polls of late is that he is delivering the conservative message, and is doing so in an unapologetic manner. He is not beating up on the poor news reporters, he is simply refusing to tolerate their template of a racist, bigoted, homophobic, knuckle dragging, Conservative. That is a template we are all sick and tired of.

In the aftermath of the South Carolina ass whopping Speaker Gingrich administered to Mitt Romney, One such pundit, and one I read regularly, Ann Coulter, posited the belief that Newt Gingrich is the least conservative person running in the GOP Primary. So, let's set the record straight on Newt. Speaker Gingrich formed the Conservative Opportunity Society in the House of Representatives in 1979. At that time, the Conservative Opportunity Society consisted of Newt Gingrich alone, delivering speeches in the well of the House, after Tip O'Neill had dismissed the other members for the day. Other members from the Republican Party, began to join him in 1983, and Cspan began to cover the speeches and then televise them. Speaker Gingrich began to recruit and help raise funds for conservatives to run for the House. In 1994, he engineered the Republican takeover of the House, and led a congress which forced a socialist President to adopt the Contract with America. By the end of those first two years, the Socialist President was using for his campaign the fact the he signed legislation which shrunk entitlements, and for the first time since the Teddy Roosevelt Administration, balanced our federal budget. He forced Washington to reform, and even the Marxist in charge declared that the era of Big Government was now over. Those are Newt Gingrich's Conservative credentials, and I would stack them up against anybody alive today.

The GOP got mad at Newt Gingrich over the forced government shutdown of 1995 and 1996. The fact remains that if they had followed Speaker Gingrich's lead at that time, the United States would be in much better shape today than it is. The Rockefeller wing of the Republican Party had had enough of fighting, and decided to cave in. Such is their nature, even today. For his sins of insisting that the fight be fought, and that the march towards Socialism and diminished freedom not be merely slowed down, but actually reversed and constitutional principles restored, Newt Gingrich was run out of town. What perplexes me most, is the establishment types spending a fortune to convince us that the man that they ran out of town on a rail is somehow the true representative of that establishment.

Newt was right in 1995, and he is right today. Hate him if you want, call him a meanie, an unfaithful husband, and what ever else, but recognize that his path is the one which will be the best direction for our nation.  This is the reason why I am supporting Speaker Gingrich, and the reason that I will vote for him is no more nuanced than this.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Saturday At The Movies! And Then There Were Four.

Front Page's review of the state of the Republican Primary to date. So much for the inevitability of Mitt, Gingrich is currently breaking his back in South Carolina. As I am putting this post together, Rick Santorum has just given his signal that Florida will be his last stand. His support will no doubt depend on who gives him the best deal, including incorporating some of his ideas.



Peter Robinson's interview with Daniel Hannan. Ignore the gratuitous scary musing at the beginning and the gratuitous scary title. Robinson's interviews are usually top notch, and funded by the Hoover Institution. Hannan is brilliant.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Even Worse Than His Poll Numbers, The Obama DoJ Invokes The Fifth.

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

What does it mean when our Law Enforcement Executives start invoking their Fifth Amendment Rights?  One thing it means is that this is really, really bad news for Barack Obama and his team of Marxists.  Until now, the investigation into Fast and Furious had been, from a legal stand point anyhow, about the rampant incompetence in the Obama Justice Department.  What Patrick J. Cunningham has just done, was to move the main focus of what was an investigation into incompetence, to the more serious and nebulous world of criminal investigation.  There is going to be a much stronger pressure now for Daryl Issa to follow this as high up as it goes, while looking for actual prosecution of felonious activity involving some very real prison sentences.

Let's all of us be honest.  We all knew that this was the case prior to Cunningham's latest dodge, but now, he make's that knowledge both official, and something which will hurt the current occupier of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue far worse than his terrible approval ratings.  It is hard enough to keep this on the back burner, even with a compliant media, but it will be impossible to do so when during the campaign, members of his Administration are being led from their homes in handcuffs.


The chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona is refusing to testify before Congress regarding Operation Fast and Furious, the federal gun-running scandal that sent U.S. weapons to Mexico.
Patrick J. Cunningham informed the House Oversight Committee late Thursday through his attorney that he will use the Fifth Amendment protection.
Cunningham was ordered Wednesday to appear before Chairman Darrell Issa and the House Oversight Committee regarding his role in the operation that sent more than 2,000 guns to the Sinaloa Cartel. Guns from the failed operation were found at the murder scene of Border Agent Brian Terry.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/01/20/federal-official-in-arizona-to-plead-fifth-and-not-answer-questions-on-furious/#ixzz1k1UqqkHt

Emphasis mine.

Issa has two choices before him.  One, he can demand that Cunningham be let go because of his inability to perform his job without compromising  his ability to serve as a law enforcement official without involving himself in felonious activity.  At which point he will offer an out of work Cunningham a plea deal should he roll over on his buddies, who obviously set him up to be the fall guy for their own wicked plan.  Two, he could offer Cunningham immunity for his testimony, which is enforceable by a contempt order.  This would place Cunningham in prison until such time as he testifies or the Republicans are replaced as the majority party in the House.

More importantly than that, what Cunningham's move has done, was to completely illustrate every dodge put forward by Eric Holder to date as a dodge.  The original, "There's nothing to see here," defense has just been officially deflated.  The, "We were just continuing the Bush Program," defense has just been illuminated as ridiculous.  The, "They're only pursuing this because they are racists," defense has just been shot in the back by an admission of felonious activity.  The, "I didn't really know what was going on," defense hangs by a thread, contingent on Cunningham never singing, which he most certainly will.  All of this of course, will be playing out during the backdrop of the General Election.  It will be hard to deflect, when people are led from Obama's Podium by their shackled wrists and taken straight to the big house.

Even for those of you who missed this, because the MSM did not think it worthy of coverage, it will be front and center this Autumn, and the details of this are worse than any public scandal in history.  Nobody died as a result of Tea Pot Dome or Watergate, but many have as a result of Fast and Furious.  What's worse, the President weighed the value of the lives he placed at risk for this ill fated exercise, and he decided his political agenda was worth more the the lives of simple men.  There is your champion for the middle class and the poor.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Newt Bashing Again! Anything New? Same Old Dirty Laundry.



Well, Newt Gingrich, true to his form finds himself surging once again to the top of the polls, after many declared him dead. Make no mistake about it, the establishment of both major political parties hate the thought of a Newt Gingrich Administration. For all of the talk about which Republican Candidate is actually a conservative, and which one's are not really conservative enough, I will remind everyone of this actual fact. Newt Gingrich, for all of his warts, and yes he has plenty, remains the only one running currently that has actually succeeded in balancing a federal budget. He remains the only political figure in modern American History who engineered and succeeded at reducing the size and scope of our federal government. He did so as Speaker of the House. As those who wield power are never fond of having it taken away from them, a get Newt movement was born, and for his sins, Speaker Gingrich was run out of Washington, on what have been proven to be trumped up and false ethics complaints.

The thought that Mitt Romney is the true conservative in this race is laughable on its face. Yes, it is true that the conservatives were pulling for Mitt in 2008, but that is only because the race at that point was down to Mitt Romney and John McCain. So, comparatively speaking, Mitt Romney when looked at through the prism of some, can be made to look like a conservative. That does not mean that he will restore our limited, accountable, government to us, and allow the free markets to be free once again, only that he will slow the growth of the behemoth. Newt on the other hand will roll back a good portion of the damage, including repeal of Obamacare, Sarbanes Oxley, Dodd Frank, Department of Education, Energy, EPA, Labor, and will reign in the ridiculous NLRB, and hopefully end that as well. He'll rebuild our military.

Notice how, even at their worst, none of the attacks upon Speaker Gingrich are about any of his positions. There is a good reason why we need to dredge up Newt's Sexual Proclivities from his ex-wife, and not what his Presidency would mean for our nation. That reason is that the direction that Newt wishes to take us is the direction most of us want to go. In speech after speech, and pundit after pundit, I keep hearing how Mitt would be a better nominee based on his electability, and not on anything he would actually do. I am sure Mitt has some ideas that are his own, but I'll be damned if I know what any of them are. Sure, he has adopted some talking points from others, but no real pledges to the American People.

Electability is a joke issue anyhow. How can Romney make Obamacare a seminal campaign issue when Obama used his blueprint for the thing? Newt at his core is a conservative who is guilty of pandering to liberals on their core issues for political reasons. Mitt is a liberal at his core who panders to conservatives on their core issues for political reasons. In a perfect world, I would rather have Reagan, but he isn't running. In fact, he isn't even here. I am uncomfortable with Newt's statements that he supports ethanol subsidies, as I feel all subsidies should be a thing of the past, but Newt says far fewer of those foolish things than our man Mitt. The trouble is also, Mitt Romney really means them, while Newt is only saying them.

It has been since mid December when I asked the world to attack a single Gingrich Position, and that has yet to happen. Keep the national debate in the gutter, that's the only place where Democrats can win. I say we nominate Newt Gingrich and take our chances on substance. That is what we need right now, as a nation.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Quantitative Easing, The Hidden Tax.

Think back to the ancient date of 2008, if you will. Candidate Barack Obama, during the general election pledged that 95% of all Americans would see a decrease in their total tax burden. He went on to list the complete guide to all of the taxes he would not raise, and included almost everything. Putting aside for the moment that the Health Care Law known as Obamacare represents 13 new taxes and is indeed the single largest tax increase on any population during the entirety of human history, we can give President Obama a pass on that one entirely, and he still flunks the keeping of his promise test, at least on this point.

You will notice the word almost in the paragraph above. The one tax not listed is something that not everyone recognizes as a tax, but it is a tax none the less. It is more egregious in nature, since it is hidden from you, and you sometimes do not realize that you have paid it. You will notice its effects certainly, but you will doubtless blame something else, and most probably someone else. The tax Barack Obama has raised is the purposeful devaluation of our currency. You pay it every time you spend your hard earned money. It shows up in the form of increased prices for commodities, like gasoline, orange juice, milk or eggs, and in the prices of clothing, toilet paper, or even in your cable bill.

With normal inflation, the $100 you spend on groceries will only purchase $97 worth of stuff next year. The cost of inflation is the $3 worth of purchasing power your money loses, compounded on an annual basis. Earlier this week, I read that the Administration and the Fed are teaming up for another round of something called quantitative easing. QE3 is the benign sounding moniker of this tactic utilized by tinpot dictators hailing from banana republics stretching back for centuries. It is a tax, and it is going to be felt far more by America's Poor than by the well to do. That makes it a regressive tax, and all the worse, since the people who are paying the tab, while they will most definitely feel it, will not recognize its root. It will also not be felt solely in the prices that you pay for goods and services, but also in your retirement savings.

If you have $250,000 in your 401k, you will feel great next year when you wake one morning and see the balance sitting at $350,000. When you go to spend it however, if it only purchases what $100,000 bought last year. Will you still feel like you are ahead? You will have paid a tax on your purchasing power equal to $150,000, with out ever having written a check to Uncle Sam. Following is a short video, explaining in pictures, how quantitative easing works.



There were a couple of mistakes in the economics of our young movie producers to be sure. Taking us off of the Gold standard was never the root cause of inflation. Inflation was present during the days of the gold standard, and in fact even felt during the medieval period in Europe. Gold was in fact such an impractical currency standard, that even when we employed it, paper currency was substituted in the form of Gold Certificates. Putting all of that aside for the time being, and indeed until sufficient time on just the Gold Standard alone can be spent, what caused the inflation of the 70's was a three fold problem, all of them being the monetary policies of three different Presidents. Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter all of them partook of the quantitative easing myth. Johnson and Nixon utilized the program to pay for things they wished to spend money on, and they wanted to hide that cost from the American People. Jimmy Carter utilized that program because of a disastrously wrong notion that there was a trade off between unemployment and inflation.

One of the side effects of course for quantitative easing is the artificially inflated price of the assets that the Fed purchases. Any asset purchased is going to be priced on a bubble. When the Fed decides to sell, in order to cool inflation, those bubbles will burst, and we all know what happens when bubbles burst. Since most of the government's malfeasance is in purchasing the very bonds that they are issuing, and paying less interest for them that what the market says they are worth, that bubble will be the worst pop, when it bursts.

I guess the most perplexing thing for me is this, Quantitative easing has not ever worked to solve the problems it was intended to solve. Never in history, has any leader looked back upon the results of this fiscal policy and said to themselves, gee, I am glad that I did that. What it has always done though is fool politicians into thinking, hey it's O.K. to spend irresponsibly. It has also caused significant problems, like societal collapse, revolution, poverty, etc. The only reason why those things will take a much longer time to happen here is that we have built in this country considerable wealth as a base to pay for this stupidity. The problem of course is that even the wealth of the United States is not infinite.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

In His Own Words: Barack Obama, The Marxist.



Much has been made by the political left extolling President Obama's credentials as a Constitutional Scholar. A concept which I find jaw droppingly amusing. If Barack Obama has spent his entire life time, studying the Constitution, as such a term would indicate, then it was for the sole purpose of dismantling it as our societal basis. As the little boy President was all of 47 when he was sworn in as President, and he had spent the previous 7 years perpetually campaigning for his next office, that would have made him around the age of 41 to achieve his bona fides as a Scholar. His entire adult life, post law school was spent in the dubious field of professional thuggery, known as community organizing. The one law class he taught in Chicago, was a part time gig. When exactly did he have time to earn the title of Constitutional Scholar, or does that term have a different meaning for the political left than it does for those of us here, residing on Earth? Never mind the fact that in every speech delivered, in every question answered, he manages to completely blow the historical and Constitutional perspective to the point of embarrassment, no matter how eloquently done. All we really need to dispel this myth is simple math. The time necessary to actually earn that title is simply not available, but then, such is the true story of our current President. He is an empty suit, with no actual accomplishment.

The racist label has been taken out and used extensively to smear any detractors of the Obama Agenda. By using the term Socialist, all of us on the right have been told that we were using some sort of code for the n word. Well, then in honor of all who used that line of reasoning, here is Barack Hussein Obama, in his own words laying out for all to see, his Marxist ideology. It is from a radio interview in 2001 on NPR.



Our Community Organizer in Chief very clearly stated that he believes the Constitution to be something which needs to be tossed aside. He very clearly stated that he does not agree with personal property rights, or the separation of powers. These are both, concepts which made our republic so successful and vastly different from any form of governance ever seen in the world to date. A Constitutional Scholar would have actually known that. These were not flaws in the Constitution, but the purpose of it. President Obama laments that the Warren Court, "did not break free from the essential constraints that were put into place by the founding fathers in the Constitution."

Think about that last sentence for just one moment. Those essential constraints, as our Constitutional Scholar puts it, are those guarantees of our basic freedoms endowed by our creator. They form the basic pact we have with each other not to create an out of control class of elites who would seek to claim dominion over us. What Barack Obama clearly seeks by breaking free from those aforementioned constraints is a benevolent class of royalty who would seek to rule us, and not be bothered any longer by a government of, by, and for the people. His casual usage of the redistributionist justice language is the text book definition of Socialist. Take your racist tag and shove it. The man is a Marxist, pure and simple.

Hat tip NT2U, for showing me the artwork.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Did Space Aliens Cause Global Warming? A Speech Delivered By Michael Crichton To The Students Of Cal-Tech.

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

Just a few notes before I send you on the the entirety of the Crichton speech. First and foremost, I am a supporter of Seti and its noble mission. I do not agree with Crighton that Seti is a religion in and of itself. While I do agree that the Drake Equation is nonsense, causing more harm than good to the scientific community, Seti is a different entity than the nonsensical equation which stood at its beginning. Seti is doing precisely what science was meant to do, which is to explore the unknown and discover the truth behind it. As long as the good people of Seti do not get involved in telling tales out of school in an effort to increase their funding, they should remain on solid ground.

Crichton makes an important point explaining the terrifying track record of scientific consensus in humanity's past. Scientific consensus has resulted in the needless death of many in every century prior to our current one, and yet here we are, embracing once again, political change based on, "scientific consensus." It should also be noted, that in every instance prior to global warming, scientific consensus has only been invoked during debates when the science was at best, not on a solid footing.

Also, please note that this speech was delivered well in advance of the stolen emails from East Anglia which highlights the entire climate change community engaging in mass deception about how to sell an untrue global warming myth to the rest of us, and also highlights the methodology by which temperatures would be manipulated, outright created, and further falsified in order to produce the results both economically and politically desired.  It was before the Svensmark experiment at Cern, which by the way has been reported upon in every corner of the world outside of the United States, proving again that we sleep purposefully.

In my many arguments with the global warming crowd, there remains one question which they have never successfully answered, and that is the concept of positive feedback required to make their contrived computer models work.  Until anyone, anywhere is able to address this successfully, please shut the heck up about global climate chaos, (a term now used since the temperatures have been shown to be in steady decline since 1994.)  Positive feedback is the acceleration of reactions within a system caused by the reaction itself.  Positive feedback only occurs in one place so far, and that is in nuclear fission.  Even in nuclear fission, it only occurs when critical mass is achieved.  Even with that stumbling block, a positive feedback is assumed for carbon dioxide and U.V. light that dwarfs even the highest such observances for the most violent such reactions noted in the testing of nuclear bombs.  Values for positive feedback 300% of those for atomic bombs are routinely assumed.

Please follow the link to read the whole speech, as it is definitely worth your while. I will also take some of the points which made the greatest impact on me, and place them below.

Click here to read the entire speech.

In 1960, Drake organizes the first SETI conference, and came up with the now-famous Drake equation: N=N*fp ne fl fi fc fL
[where N is the number of stars in the Milky Way galaxy; fp is the fraction with planets; ne is the number of planets per star capable of supporting life; fl is the fraction of planets where life evolves; fi is the fraction where intelligent life evolves; and fc is the fraction that communicates; and fL is the fraction of the planet's life during which the communicating civilizations live.]

This serious-looking equation gave SETI a serious footing as a legitimate intellectual inquiry. The problem, of course, is that none of the terms can be known, and most cannot even be estimated. The only way to work the equation is to fill in with guesses. And guesses-just so we're clear-are merely expressions of prejudice.

Nor can there be "informed guesses." If you need to state how many planets with life choose to communicate, there is simply no way to make an informed guess. It's simply prejudice.

As a result, the Drake equation can have any value from "billions and billions" to zero. An expression that can mean anything means nothing. Speaking precisely, the Drake equation is literally meaningless, and has nothing to do with science. I take the hard view that science involves the creation of testable hypotheses. The Drake equation cannot be tested and therefore SETI is not science. SETI is unquestionably a religion.

Faith is defined as the firm belief in something for which there is no proof. The belief that the Koran is the word of God is a matter of faith. The belief that God created the universe in seven days is a matter of faith. The belief that there are other life forms in the universe is a matter of faith. There is not a single shred of evidence for any other life forms, and in forty years of searching, none has been discovered.There is absolutely no evidentiary reason to maintain this belief. SETI is a religion.

snip.

And of course, it is true that untestable theories may have heuristic value. Of course, extraterrestrials are a good way to teach science to kids. But that does not relieve us of the obligation to see the Drake equation clearly for what it is-pure speculation in quasi-scientific trappings.

The fact that the Drake equation was not greeted with screams of outrage-similar to the screams of outrage that greet each Creationist new claim, for example-meant that now there was a crack in the door, a loosening of the definition of what constituted legitimate scientific procedure. And soon enough, pernicious garbage began to squeeze through the cracks.

snip.

The following year, five scientists including Richard Turco and Carl Sagan published a paper in Science called "Nuclear Winter: Global Consequences of Multiple Nuclear Explosions." This was the so-called TTAPS report, which attempted to quantify more rigorously the atmospheric effects, with the added credibility to be gained from an actual computer model of climate.

At the heart of the TTAPS undertaking was another equation, never specifically expressed, but one that could be paraphrased as follows:

Ds = Wn Ws Wh Tf Tb Pt Pr Pe etc
(The amount of tropospheric dust = # warheads x size warheads x warhead detonation height x flammability of targets x Target burn duration x Particles entering the Troposphere x Particle reflectivity x Particle endurance, and so on.)

The similarity to the Drake equation is striking. As with the Drake equation, none of the variables can be determined. None at all. The TTAPS study addressed this problem in part by mapping out different wartime scenarios and assigning numbers to some of the variables, but even so, the remaining variables were-and are-simply unknowable. Nobody knows how much smoke will be generated when cities burn, creating particles of what kind, and for how long. No one knows the effect of local weather conditions on the amount of particles that will be injected into the troposphere. No one knows how long the particles will remain in the troposphere. And so on.

And remember, this is only four years after the OTA study concluded that the underlying scientific processes were so poorly known that no estimates could be reliably made.

Nevertheless, the TTAPS study not only made those estimates, but concluded they were catastrophic. According to Sagan and his coworkers, even a limited 5,000 megaton nuclear exchange would cause a global temperature drop of more than 35 degrees Centigrade, and this change would last for three months.

The greatest volcanic eruptions that we know of changed world temperatures somewhere between .5 and 2 degrees Centigrade. Ice ages changed global temperatures by 10 degrees. Here we have an estimated change three times greater than any ice age.

One might expect it to be the subject of some dispute. But Sagan and his coworkers were prepared, for nuclear winter was from the outset the subject of a well-orchestrated media campaign. The first announcement of nuclear winter appeared in an article by Sagan in the Sunday supplement, Parade. The very next day, a highly-publicized, high-profile conference on the long-term consequences of nuclear war was held in Washington, chaired by Carl Sagan and Paul Ehrlich, the most famous and media-savvy scientists of their generation.

Sagan appeared on the Johnny Carson show 40 times. Ehrlich was on 25 times. Following the conference, there were press conferences, meetings with congressmen, and so on. The formal papers in Science came months later.

This is not the way science is done, it is the way products are sold.

snip.

I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had.

Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world.

In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. There is no such thing as consensus science. If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus. Period.

In addition, let me remind you that the track record of the consensus is nothing to be proud of. Let's review a few cases.

In past centuries, the greatest killer of women was fever following childbirth. One woman in six died of this fever.

In 1795, Alexander Gordon of Aberdeen suggested that the fevers were infectious processes, and he was able to cure them. The consensus said no.

In 1843, Oliver Wendell Holmes claimed puerperal fever was contagious, and presented compelling evidence. The consensus said no.

In 1849, Semmelweiss demonstrated that sanitary techniques virtually eliminated puerperal fever in hospitals under his management. The consensus said he was a Jew, ignored him, and dismissed him from his post. There was in fact no agreement on puerperal fever until the start of the twentieth century. Thus the consensus took one hundred and twenty five years to arrive at the right conclusion despite the efforts of the prominent "skeptics" around the world, skeptics who were demeaned and ignored. And despite the constant ongoing deaths of women.

There is no shortage of other examples. In the 1920s in America, tens of thousands of people, mostly poor, were dying of a disease called pellagra. The consensus of scientists said it was infectious, and what was necessary was to find the "pellagra germ." The US government asked a brilliant young investigator, Dr. Joseph Goldberger, to find the cause. Goldberger concluded that diet was the crucial factor. The consensus remained wedded to the germ theory.

Goldberger demonstrated that he could induce the disease through diet. He demonstrated that the disease was not infectious by injecting the blood of a pellagra patient into himself, and his assistant. They and other volunteers swabbed their noses with swabs from pellagra patients, and swallowed capsules containing scabs from pellagra rashes in what were called "Goldberger's filth parties." Nobody contracted pellagra.

The consensus continued to disagree with him. There was, in addition, a social factor-southern States disliked the idea of poor diet as the cause, because it meant that social reform was required. They continued to deny it until the 1920s. Result-despite a twentieth century epidemic, the consensus took years to see the light.

Probably every schoolchild notices that South America and Africa seem to fit together rather snugly, and Alfred Wegener proposed, in 1912, that the continents had in fact drifted apart. The consensus sneered at continental drift for fifty years. The theory was most vigorously denied by the great names of geology-until 1961, when it began to seem as if the sea floors were spreading. The result: it took the consensus fifty years to acknowledge what any schoolchild sees.

And shall we go on? The examples can be multiplied endlessly. Jenner and smallpox, Pasteur and germ theory. Saccharine, margarine, repressed memory, fiber and colon cancer, hormone replacement therapy. The list of consensus errors goes on and on.

Finally, I would remind you to notice where the claim of consensus is invoked. Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough.

snip.

That is why it is so important for the future of science that the line between what science can say with certainty, and what it cannot, be drawn clearly-and defended.

What happened to Nuclear Winter? As the media glare faded, its robust scenario appeared less persuasive; John Maddox, editor of Nature, repeatedly criticized its claims; within a year, Stephen Schneider, one of the leading figures in the climate model, began to speak of "nuclear autumn." It just didn't have the same ring.

A final media embarrassment came in 1991, when Carl Sagan predicted on Nightline that Kuwaiti oil fires would produce a nuclear winter effect, causing a "year without a summer," and endangering crops around the world. Sagan stressed this outcome was so likely that "it should affect the war plans." None of it happened.

What, then, can we say were the lessons of Nuclear Winter? I believe the lesson was that with a catchy name, a strong policy position and an aggressive media campaign, nobody will dare to criticize the science, and in short order, a terminally weak thesis will be established as fact.

After that, any criticism becomes beside the point. The war is already over without a shot being fired. That was the lesson, and we had a textbook application soon afterward, with second hand smoke.

In 1993, the EPA announced that second-hand smoke was "responsible for approximately 3,000 lung cancer deaths each year in nonsmoking adults," and that it " impairs the respiratory health of hundreds of thousands of people." In a 1994 pamphlet the EPA said that the eleven studies it based its decision on were not by themselves conclusive, and that they collectively assigned second-hand smoke a risk factor of 1.19. (For reference, a risk factor below 3.0 is too small for action by the EPA. or for publication in the New England Journal of Medicine, for example.)

Furthermore, since there was no statistical association at the 95% confidence limits, the EPA lowered the limit to 90%. They then classified second-hand smoke as a Group-A Carcinogen.

This was openly fraudulent science, but it formed the basis for bans on smoking in restaurants, offices, and airports. California banned public smoking in 1995. Soon, no claim was too extreme. By 1998, the Christian Science Monitor was saying that "Second-hand smoke is the nation's third-leading preventable cause of death." The American Cancer Society announced that 53,000 people died each year of second-hand smoke. The evidence for this claim is nonexistent.

In 1998, a Federal judge held that the EPA had acted improperly, had "committed to a conclusion before research had begun", and had "disregarded information and made findings on selective information."

The reaction of Carol Browner, head of the EPA was: "We stand by our science; there's wide agreement. The American people certainly recognize that exposure to second hand smoke brings a whole host of health problems."

Again, note how the claim of consensus trumps science. In this case, it isn't even a consensus of scientists that Browner evokes! It's the consensus of the American people.

Meanwhile, ever-larger studies failed to confirm any association. A large, seven-country WHO study in 1998 found no association. Nor have well-controlled subsequent studies, to my knowledge. Yet we now read, for example, that second-hand smoke is a cause of breast cancer. At this point you can say pretty much anything you want about second-hand smoke.

As with nuclear winter, bad science is used to promote what most people would consider good policy. I certainly think it is. I don't want people smoking around me. So who will speak out against banning second-hand smoke? Nobody, and if you do, you'll be branded a shill of RJ Reynolds. A big tobacco flunky. But the truth is that we now have a social policy supported by the grossest of superstitions.

And we've given the EPA a bad lesson in how to behave in the future. We've told them that cheating is the way to succeed.

As the twentieth century drew to a close, the connection between hard scientific fact and public policy became increasingly elastic. In part this was possible because of the complacency of the scientific profession; in part because of the lack of good science education among the public; in part, because of the rise of specialized advocacy groups which have been enormously effective in getting publicity and shaping policy; and in great part because of the decline of the media as an independent assessor of fact.

snip.

In recent years, much has been said about the post-modernist claims about science to the effect that science is just another form of raw power, tricked out in special claims for truth-seeking and objectivity that really have no basis in fact. Science, we are told, is no better than any other undertaking. These ideas anger many scientists, and they anger me. But recent events have made me wonder if they are correct.

We can take as an example the scientific reception accorded a Danish statistician, Bjorn Lomborg, who wrote a book called The Skeptical Environmentalist.

The scientific community responded in a way that can only be described as disgraceful. In professional literature, it was complained he had no standing because he was not an earth scientist. His publisher, Cambridge University Press, was attacked with cries that the editor should be fired, and that all right-thinking scientists should shun the press. The past president of the AAAS wondered aloud how Cambridge could have ever "published a book that so clearly could never have passed peer review." (But of course, the manuscript did pass peer review by three earth scientists on both sides of the Atlantic, and all recommended publication.)

But what are scientists doing attacking a press? Is this the new McCarthyism-coming from scientists? Worst of all was the behavior of the Scientific American, which seemed intent on proving the post-modernist point that it was all about power, not facts.

The Scientific American attacked Lomborg for eleven pages, yet only came up with nine factual errors despite their assertion that the book was "rife with careless mistakes."

It was a poor display, featuring vicious ad hominem attacks, including comparing him to a Holocaust denier. The issue was captioned: "Science defends itself against the Skeptical Environmentalist."

Really. Science has to defend itself? Is this what we have come to? When Lomborg asked for space to rebut his critics, he was given only a page and a half. When he said it wasn't enough, he put the critics' essays on his web page and answered them in detail.

Scientific American threatened copyright infringement and made him take the pages down. Further attacks since, have made it clear what is going on. Lomborg is charged with heresy. That's why none of his critics needs to substantiate their attacks in any detail. That's why the facts don't matter.

That's why they can attack him in the most vicious personal terms. He's a heretic. Of course, any scientist can be charged as Galileo was charged. I just never thought I'd see the Scientific American in the role of Mother Church.

Two hat tips for this one, the first being the great Michael Crichton.  The other belongs to Coldwarrior, who's reference to the Drake Equation sparked a fun little debate only two days ago.