Saturday, July 31, 2010

Michael Barone Suspects Bias at WaPost

For treating recent stories of impropriety among Republican and Democratic donors differently.  I report, you decide.


T-Paw's Got a Video

Serious, straightforward, uninspiring.  Is this a winning formula?

A Fun Little Video

I think this vid focuses too much on President Obama's role in the Gulf oil spill cleanup--but that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it.

H/T Jonah at the Corner

Friday, July 30, 2010

When Presidential Bowing Is Perfectly Acceptable

Klein v Ryan On The Economy

Lefty blogger Ezra Klein probes up-and-coming Republican star Rep. Paul Ryan on the economy. A good, civil exchange between two policy wonks at completely different ends of the political spectrum.

Here's the link. Go for the interview, stay for the always-entertaining comments at the end.

If the Republicans take the House in 2010, I think Paul Ryan may find himself on the top of several VP short lists in 2012.

Big Fat Friday Free For All

I'm so fat this Big Fat Friday that I can't even see the scale.  Something's got to be done, and soon.

But enough self-loathing--what's on YOUR mind?  Anything you need to unload on your fellow readers?  Be sure to read Mudge's takedown on EJ Dionne from yesterday's blog--it is a piece of art.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

EJ Dionne: "Irrational Fiscal Policies" of the "Stupid Politicians"

Even though I cannot stomach EJ Dionne's shrill swill, his column today, "Stupid politics, irrational fiscal policy drag the nation down" actually caught my attention enough to want to read it. I mean, could EJ have finally come to his senses and realized that the fiscal policies of the Obama Administration and this unchecked Congress are killing the economic future of our nation?

What was I thinking?

Of course not. The irrational fiscal policies of the stupid politicians were, as I learned a few lines into the column, conservatives' desire NOT to raise taxes. I actually stopped reading when he pulled out the tired (and wrong) liberal argument that raising taxes on the wealthiest of our citizens is not only proper, but necessary. Here's a spoonful of his drivel:

"The simple truth is that the wealthy in the United States — the people who have made almost all the income gains in recent years — are undertaxed compared with everyone else."

Really? Since when is the highest tax bracket NOT for the wealthiest Americans? How do you come to such a conclusion? Read on...

"Consider two reports from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. One, issued last month, highlighted findings from the Congressional Budget Office showing that "the gaps in after-tax income between the richest 1 percent of Americans and the middle and poorest fifths of the country more than tripled between 1979 and 2007," the period for which figures are available."

I am sick of hearing about gaps in this country. There are also gaps in work ethics, gaps in lawful behavior and gaps in how much one person seeks help from the rest of the citizenry through a strong-armed government and how much another seeks resolution of his own problems through his own hard work and sacrifices. Why don't liberals whine about the "gap" that exists between professional athletes, Hollywood coke addicts and the elite Democratic ruling class and your average Tea Party participant? Why doesn't that gap cause you to wring your hands and weep about the horror, the humanity, the injustice? But before I get too riled, there's more EJ to share:

"The other, from February, used Internal Revenue Service data to show that the effective federal income tax rate for the 400 taxpayers with the very highest incomes declined by nearly half in just over a decade, even as their pretax incomes have grown five times larger."

So notwithstanding the statistical irrelevance of 400 taxpayers, let's do some math using your numbers EJ. Let's just round off your "nearly half" to exactly 1/2. Let "R" be the tax rate of "just over a decade" ago and PTI be the pre-tax income of that same year. That means that just over a decade ago, each of these 400 heartless bastards paid R% of their pretax incomes or, R X PTI. So, just over a decade later (today) those same, even more heartless bastards with 5 times the PTI of just over a decade ago, but with 1/2 the tax rate only paid, let's see, 1/2 R X 5PTI = 2.5 PTI. And don't forget, EJ, by your own admission, that PTI number is an obscenely large number. Undertaxed my ass.

So over the last decade, because they drove themselves as free men and women to become more wealthy, these 400 wealthiest Americans paid increasingly larger amounts of tax dollars to the government such that they now pay more than twice what they paid 10 years ago. And since I doubt these people got rich winning the lottery, they probably have some seriously large business(es) that, if they are making so much money, probably are providing seriously large numbers of jobs. They are also probably people who use virtually zero social services, do not occupy the local law enforcers' time to keep them from harming their neighbors and who probably spend most of their time working and thinking of new ways to increase their wealth and make more jobs and provide yet again more taxes of which they use little. How dare these people call themselves "Americans."

Well EJ, if we stop pursuing your so-called "irrational fiscal policies" through "stupid politics", my guess is those 400 might not call themselves Americans anymore. Just like Skipper John Kerry, who no longer considered himself of the People's Republic of Mass when it came to paying luxury tax, they'll sail their yachts to their own private island or maybe build a canal to Galt's Gulch.

Jealous zealots--"jealots"

One In Five Californians Say They Need Mental Health Care

Only one in five?

File Under 'We Have To Pass The Bill So You Can Find Out What's In It'

Presumably, the Grand Dame of the House was referring to nuggets like this:

"Under a little-noticed provision of the recently passed financial reform legislation, the Securities and Exchange Commission no longer has to comply with virtually all requests for information releases from the public, including those filed under the Freedom of Information Act. The law, signed by President Obama, exempts the SEC from disclosing records or information derived from 'surveillance, risk assessments, or other regulatory and oversight activities."

That's a pretty broad exemption.

Now, if I was of the conspiratorial type - I'd ask what is the SEC hiding; or worse, what are they preparing to hide?

Five Day A Week Mail Delivery

We've talked about limiting mail delivery to five days a week before, and it seems that the Postal Service is ready to approach Congress with the idea.  News here indicates that key Senators on the panel overseeing the Postal Service will oppose the change because of the "...hardship on people living in rural areas."

Is there any hope for reforming the rampant entitlement mentality of our nation when waiting until Monday to receive one's allotment from the direct mail industry is considered a "hardship"?

The Postal Service needs to control costs--cutting one day a week from the Service would save money.  This is a no-brainer.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Oh that Barney

Barney Fwank drew a reaction from the crowd recently while boarding a ferry to a popular gay haunt on Fire Island. Seems there's a ONE DOLLAR discount for seniors. One dollar, people. As the esteemed Mr. Frank didn't have a Suffolk County senior I.D., he was turned down...and great drama ensued. A witness to the affair considered giving him the dollar in an effort to defuse the situation.

If only he were this prudent with our money....

Agenda For Tonight's Radio Show

Tune in to the Conservative Wahoo Live!  Tonight to discuss the following topics:

**Wikileaks/Afghanistan—damaging, non-story, or controlled leak?
**Shirley Sherrod, continued….
**The great tax hike of 2011
**Charlie Rangel Schadenfreude
**Senate GOP deals DISCLOSE a blow
**John Kerry’s Yacht
**TO, Ochocinco on the same team? (Bengals)

UPDATE:  Will lead off with my views of the Tim Pawlenty fundraiser I attended Monday night.

The call in number is 347.637.2203

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Radio Show Bleg

Ok folks, what do you want to talk about tomorrow night? 

Monday, July 26, 2010

My Work Elsewhere

A short Op-Ed I have published in today's edition of Defense News.  It is about strategy and Seapower, so don't click it if you don't want to read that stuff.

I can hear the probing questions now

'We think you're the best President EVER. Do you?'

As if you needed another reason to miss The View, our leader will be the show's guest on

Does this seem a little silly to anyone else? Four flaming liberals (though to her credit Barbara Walters tries to be serious), one mildly screechy (though quite pretty) conservative, and our Commander in Chief. What could we possibly learn from this appearance?

Oh Dear Lord, Please Bring Football Back, Soon.....

I read the WaPost Sports page virtually every day.  I looked at it this morning and saw not a single article about a single sport about which I give a hoot.  September can't get here fast enough.....

A Break in the Weather

It's been a hot summer here on the Eastern Shore, like much of the Eastern US.  Even the Kitten has come to rely on the hastily installed window AC units we've got strategically placed in the house.  But this morning dawned bright and cool, and the forecast high for today is a downright chilly 88.

The renovation (fingers crossed) starts in two weeks, including the installation of AC--as a matter of fact, I think the Kitten has settled on a whole "green" geothermal installation. 

Tim Pawlenty Event

I've signed up for a fundraiser tonight for Tim Pawlenty's "Freedom First" PAC at a private home in Northern Virginia.  Looking forward to meeting the Governor and hearing what he has to say.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Maureen Dowd Throws Fuel on the Race Fire

As we all know, Maureen Dowd is a vapid, shrill, talentless, Pulitzer Prize winner.  Read this Op-Ed, and try not to shake your head in disgust.  Is there any point to reading her writing anymore, except to note its pointlessness? 


No, this is not about Keith Olbermann's show. There are 100 days until the mid-term elections. While conservatives are rightly feeling buoyant about their prospects, there's still plenty of time for them to blow it.

So we need to ask ourselves...what are WE doing? Are we contributing to candidates that advance the conservative cause, whether they're in our district or even our state? If we live in a competitive district, are we volunteering our time to help the candidate, or visited his or her website to see what help is needed? Have we picked up a yard sign, a bumper sticker, or written a letter to the editor of our local paper? If you live in a hopeless district like mine (VA-03), can you drive 10 miles to help out at a neighboring, competitive district?

You don't have to don a three-point hat and hit a Tea Party rally to get involved. (I advise against this unless you're fond of being called a racist). I'm informed by my beloved that this post sounds preachy, but citizen organization-a word I like better than activism-matters...particularly in a mid-term election that REALLY matters.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The (non)Diversity of the Journobamalist guessed it. 

H/t Instapundit

Ok Sally, for the Moms....

Not as funny, but kinda touching.   On a different note--Queen hit a home run with this one.

Run, don't walk the bookstore and pick up Laura Ingraham's The Obama Diaries. I occasionally recommend books in this space and it's possible-even probable-no one ever takes those recommendations. But for this one, you need to.

The book starts with the revelation that someone left an envelope on Ingraham's car while she was getting a pedicure. Curious, she opens the envelope and realizes it's copies of the diaries of the Obamas, Joe Biden, Rahm, Axelrod et al. The diary entries are entirely plausible, funny without being vicious, and a brilliant takedown on various subjects from Obama's narcissism to Michelle's vegetable garden to the careful packaging of the Obama family for the media. In between the diary entries is Ingraham's commentary; smart, mildly sarcastic, and insightful.

This is different than the other anti-Obama books. It's not harsh and screechy, it's devoid of birtherism and other unsavory attacks. And it dares to go to the personal, even including 'diary pages' of Michelle's mother, without being catty. Put this book on your summer reading list-you will NOT be disappointed.

Yeah, they'll probably support the Republican

Interesting story on Politico this morning that outlines the perceived lack of support the President is showing for the Democratic Senate candidate in Florida, the weak and badly trailing Kendrick Meek. And the Congressional Black Caucus is not happy. Complicating their concerns is the fear that ignoring Meek sends a message to Dems that it's okay to support Charlie Crist.

Florida's black Democrats assert that if the President doesn't start enthusiastically supporting Meek, they won't campaign for him in 2012.

What amazes me about it is with Rubio and Crist splitting up GOP votes, why Meek isn't running away with it. He remains in the teens in virtually all polling. This is a fascinating race-and one I fear will not end well for our team.

It's The Dad Life

I can't resist stuff like this.

HT:  Jonah at The Corner

Senator Kerry Berths Yacht in RI; Saves $500K in Taxes

That would be Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, of the Bay State, you know, the one where the Pilgrims landed, the one with the whole history of whaling and maritime stuff and all.  That Massachusetts.  Surely there is ONE slip available for the Senior Senator's $7M yacht.  Surely?

Rhee and The Teachers Union, Round 63....

Oh how I love this woman.  Michelle Rhee has fired 241 of the lowest-performing teachers in the District of Columbia (just under 4%) and the union is going to the mattresses.  The Rhee/Fenty team has decided that the District's schools can no longer be the nation's laughingstock--and they've done something about it. 

If Rhee were the CEO of a company, the measures she's taken to produce performance would be lauded universally.  But since public education is treated as a sinecure for the ineffective and inefficient, her actions invariably raise a ruckus.  I can't wait for the WaPost series on the honorable, hard-working teachers let go.

Note:  some 76 of the fired teachers were let go due to a lack of proper licensing required under No Child Left Behind.  This statistic is the most troubling one of the lot--I know this because I know a DC teacher who was let go as a result of a license issue in the early days of the Rhee administration.  Here's the deal--NCLB did in fact, create standards for teacher licensing; however, the District's IMPLEMENTATION of those rules defies common sense.  My friend was given an ultimatum in which she had to go and complete some three additional classes in order to be certified to teach in the District--when she could have taken the Metro to Virginia and qualified from day one.  You see, her MA in Teaching English as a Second Language was PAID FOR by NCLB, and the curriculum was developed specifically to address the provisions of NCLB for teacher certification.   Yet for some reason, DC added to the requirements, and the rest is history. 

Paul Ryan Wonders Where The Republicans Are....

Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin released a sweeping plan to reform much of the way government raises and spends money--two years ago.  It has received a great deal of notice, and it has cemented his position as the most thoughtful policy guy in the Republican caucus.  But in a speech at Brookings yesterday, Ryan wondered aloud where the other Republicans were--why had there been so little movement on his proposals?

The story (and Ryan) give us the answers.  While I really, really like Ryan's plan--it is just far too sweeping for any one Congress to pass.  He needs to do a better job of thinking through the linkages of the pieces of the plan, and then come forward with a phased approach, one that appreciates the difficulty in doing that many big things all at once.  Ryan's the real deal, and his plan is a serious one.  We all need to become more familiar with its ideas, as they will likely have a big place in the domestic policy debates in the 2012 primary.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Senator Webb On Race In America

Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) has an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today that contains a lot of sense--and also probably really, really pisses off his Dem friends (that's ok, he pissed Repubs off when he was one of us).  Key sentence here:

"Beyond our continuing obligation to assist those African-Americans still in need, government-directed diversity programs should end."

Go the distance Senator--end the programs---period.

Big Fat Friday Free For All

Good morning all!  Working from the farm today so I may pop up and blog in between setting our nation's national security posture on a more sound footing.  Or in between my updates on Ms. Lohan's incarceration.

What's on your mind, people?  Hammer tells us this morning we'll look back at today next summer and think it was "the good old days".  I disagree. 

What's going on in your world this weekend?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Unemployment Insurance Break Even Point Discussion

Started my morning off catching up on last night's The Conservative Wahoo Live. The discussion about extension of unemployment benefits reminded me of this recent post by Keith Hennessey on the subject that makes a lot sense to me. As CW knows, I have a pretty dim view of people in general. Nevertheless, I can't bring myself to believe that the extension of this benefit is going to compel that many people to slough off finding a job to spend it trying to look like Dr. Jeff Life or otherwise. Mr. Hennessey suggests that at the current level of unemployment, while there are surely people snowbirding it, there are still enough people who truly need it to make the extension warranted. He does go on to say that below a certain percentage - in his mind 8% - the tradeoff probably no longer makes sense.

There are negative supply-side effects from providing unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. The best estimates I have seen suggest the current 9.5% unemployment rate is 0.5 – 1.0 percentage points higher than it would otherwise be because of previously-enacted expanded and extended UI benefits. I will start by using the bottom end of that range (0.5).

I use 5.0% to represent full employment. We are 4.5 percentage points above that. If we did not have expanded UI we would be 4.0 percentage points above full employment. That means for every 9 people out of work, one is being discouraged from taking a new job because of the expanded benefits (0.5 / 4.5). Said another way, eight people who would like a job but cannot find one are getting more generous UI benefits for each person who is getting those same benefits and choosing not to take a new job. We have to make a tradeoff between our desire to help those who want a job but cannot find one and those who would choose to stay unemployed while they have extra benefits.

The judgment call for policymakers: does an 8:1 ratio make a UI extension good policy? I say yes. If, however, the supply-side disincentive is a full percentage point, then we have a 3.5:1 ratio. That is a tougher call, but I would still say yes. Given the range of possible supply-side disincentives, I would recommend extending UI benefits when the unemployment rate is 9.5%.

I assume that most everyone would agree that at full employment it is foolish to provide more generous UI benefits. So somewhere between 5.0% and 9.5% there is a breakpoint at which the supply-side disincentive is not worth the compassion benefit of providing aid to others who want a job but cannot find one.

At a 7% rate our ratio is between 1:1 and 3:1. At an 8% rate it’s between 2:1 and 5:1. My breakpoint is around 8%. I would support a (paid for) UI extension as long as the rate is 8% or above. There is nothing magical about this judgment, and yours may differ.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Well, It's No 'Tippecanoe And Tyler Too'...

Election officials in Milwaukee, WI have rejected Assembly candidate Ieshuh Griffin's request to run her slogan "NOT the whiteman's bitch" under her name on the ballot.

Griffin contends the slogan is not racist per se, but rather a declaratory statement as to what she is not.

I think the White House needs to install a kegerator, because we're gonna need a whole lotta beer summits...

Good Work, If You Can Get It

The City Manager in Bell, California (pop. 38,000) makes nearly $800K a year.  The Chief of Police?  Over $450K.

Be angry, America.  Very angry. 

Agenda For Tonight's Radio Show

Here's the working agenda for tonight's show--use the comments section to suggest other topics.

**Healthcare individual mandate is a tax after all
**Top Secret America; WaPost Series
**Extension of Unemployment Benefits
**New “Journolist” Revelations—Burying Jeremiah Wright
**Kagan makes it out of committee; Lindsey Graham’s vote
**Mel Gibson, Nutjob
**Oil Leak Stopped—Thad Allen For President?

Tune in tonight at 8PM for all the fun at The Conservative Wahoo Live! online, call in at 347.637.2203

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Taxpayer Funded Penis Pumps - This Sort Of Thing Is My Bag Baby

Fox News Radio - the town of Shakopee, MN is investigating how tens of thousands of dollars in medical assistance funds were used for an inflatable penis pump for an illegal alien.

Oh behave.

Radio Show Bleg

It's almost that time of week again, friends, when we sit by our radios (or in this case, our computers acting like radios) to listen to The Conservative Wahoo Live!  Yes, that's right---tomorrow night at 8PM we'll do it again.

So what would you like covered?  Any hot topics you think are particularly worthy of mention?

Monday, July 19, 2010

An Old Boss Dies...

I just received word of the passing of VADM Mike Kalleres in Jacksonville.  This is a very sad day for me and for all who called him a friend and mentor.  I served as Mike Kalleres' aide for a year, from September of 1992 to September of 1993, and it was a memorable year for a very young man.

Mike Kalleres came to the Military Sealift Command from commanding the Navy's Second Fleet in Norfolk, VA.  He had then, a senior LCDR as his aide (now RADM Dave Thomas--with whom I commiserated about our days with Mike just last Thursday), and I really expected to be moved into some other job when he showed up.  After all, at that time, VADM's in DC ALL had LCDR's as their Flag LT's, and I was just a 27 year old post Divo--nowhere near promotion to O4.  The man Mike replaced (and who had picked me) was VADM Frank Donovan--and Donovan gave Kalleres an upcheck on me--so Kalleres kept me.

What a wonderful year it was.  I got to watch a true master communicator at work every single day.  I watched a man driven by a desire to succeed balance it with a never-ending devotion to his wife Cookie, daughter Deme and son Pete.  I spent a few days once with Kalleres and ADM Boorda, when the latter was CINCUSNAVEUR.  Here they were, two old salts at the top of their games--and all they argued about was who the better Destroyer Captain was.  It was a message ten years before I took command of a destroyer that I never forgot.

I would get to work at about 0615 each morning, and Mike would get there about an hour or so later.  In that hour, I received no less than five phone calls each day with exactly one thought processed in each.  Most times he'd be on an exercise bike while he talked.  By the time he got to work, I'd already accomplished a great deal.

We traveled the world looking in on the Military Sealift Command's far flung interests.  At the time, the office in the UK only wore uniforms once a week or so--maybe not even that much.    Kalleres told me he wanted to meet with them in their uniforms, a desire I duly passed along to the CO.  When we got there, we were ushered into a meeting room with the with the CO, and the command's Operations Officer--where OPS sat with her uniform rigged with all the stuff on the wrong side, a mirror image of what would have been correct.  Kalleres said nothing, but he handed me a note during the conversation that said "Nice rig, huh?  Be gentle".   I loved that moment.

Like many flag officers, Mike had an inbox that his staff would re-arrange, putting the hot things on top.  This makes sense, but it invariably means that there was a lot of stuff on the bottom of the box that languished.  He and I did a lot of travel to NY during that tour, and I suggested once that we take the train--much more civilized way to travel.  He agreed--and it became the time where we dove to the bottom of the inbox, or "mowing grass" as he used to call it.  The COS and I sometimes sought out meetings in NY just so we could get to the bottom of the box.

Mike took great care of his aides, and he made us feel important--like we were much more than bag carriers and travel agents.  In addition to RADM Dave Thomas, other Kalleres aides (we kept track of each other) include RADM Tony Kurta and CAPT Bill Parker (2009 Stockdale Award Winner). I was clearly the underachiever of the bunch.   Mike and Cookie took each of us into their family and their hearts, and his loss diminishes us all.   RIP, Lead Huskey.

A Fantastic Overview of the Financial Crisis

A bit long, but wonderfully done

Hayek In His Own Words

There has been a bit of a renaissance of interest in the work of F.A. Hayek, author of the seminal "The Road to Serfdom".   I'm reading it now and enjoying it moderately (a bit repetitive).

Here however, are 15 hours of interviews with the man himself.  I haven't tackled them yet, but I look forward to doing so over time.


Is Romneycare Obamacare?

Professor Samuelson has an editorial in the Post this morning in which he 1) compares the Massachusetts healtcare rubric to that created by Mr. Obama and the Congress and 2) lays out some of the problems with the Massachusetts plan--the primary one of course being that it did nothing to control costs (sound familiar, America?).

All this is interesting as a matter of policy; but it is also interesting as a matter of politics.  On the radio show last week, caller "Laura" wondered aloud whether Mitt Romney's association with the Massachusetts healthcare imbroglio would be an albatross around his would-be presidential neck in the Republican primaries--I agreed it would be an issue, but one I thought he could overcome.

The more I think about this, the more I think Laura might be right....

Yucca Mountain Hop--WaPost Gets It Right

Here's a good editorial on the vapidity of the Obama Administration's stance (a.k.a--Harry Reid Job Protection Program) on Yucca Mountain. 

Creeping Socialism Update

Small automobile repair shops in Massachusetts have banded together to have the Bay State legislature create a bill that would force large automobile makers to provide all the repair diagnostic tools and software they provide their own dealers.  This so-called "right to repair" law represents another lurch to the left, and it is unsurprising that it comes from the People's Democratic Republic of Massachusetts.

The diagnostics and repair tools furnished to dealer repair shops are proprietary and as such, should be protected by the law.  Engineers and designers put their intellectual capital to work on those systems--funded by the automobile manufacturers seeking competitive advantages.  This shouldn't surprise anyone--this is capitalism. 

Forcing the large auto manufacturers to "share" their proprietary information with Mom and Pop's garage may play well in the utopia that is the Modern Planned State--but in the real world, it is yet another instance of "spreading the wealth around" by handing to these garages advantages they invested nothing in. 

Next WaPost Pulitzer Nominee in This Morning's Paper

Dana Priest and William Arkin of the Washington Post have produced this year's Pulitizer nominee in investigative reporting---a multi-part, multi-media, investigation of the extent of classified spending, research and activity in the US.

I heard about this effort a few months ago, and then again last week once the folks in DC began to get nervous.  There was talk of an interactive map on their website that would allow folks to pinpoint the location of facilities where classified work was performed (Top-Secret; Secret was just too hard to track). 

I had some concerns about such a map, as I figured the bad guys would know how to read the WaPost website too; when I clicked the map this morning, it is indeed an impressive thing, with the broad reach of these facilities evident.  But to their credit, the WaPost put a "governor" on the google map, only allowing one to zoom in to a level at which it appears impossible to gain any real targeting information.  I surely hope that means that the computer geeks working for the bad guys won't be able to jimmy the works and zoom in farther (further?), but for now, I'll guess they can't.

This story is kind of a double dip for Priest, as she's already written a book about the rise of the military "CINCS" (Commanders in Chief--a term Mr. Rumsfeld got rid of--they now call themselves COCOMS--Combatant Commanders) and their broad influence in the across military and political matters worldwide.

Ms. Priest is a good reporter, and it is obvious she has an interest in the growing size and reach of government, military and intelligence agency power and influence.  Would that the WaPost had a reporter this dogged on the waste in government social programs beat....

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Summer's Drive

Drove down to Clayton, NC and back this weekend to be present for my sainted Mother's 75th Birthday.  As the ONLY out of state brother in attendance, my "Favorite Son" title remains out of reach (GG, TDP, SS take note). 

I got underway from Clayton this morning at 0730.  The vast majority of the NC portion of the trip is roughly 70 miles on US95 North--where the speed limit is a pleasant 70.  Between my onramp to 95 and the VA/NC border, I saw no police cars--nada, zero, zilch, null.  Between the Virginia border and my crossing the Potomac into Maryland on 495 I saw 15 cop cars!  The heat was out in the Old Dominion with a vengeance today--so I kept with the flow of traffic.

I do have another issue though--it's probably not enough to get on the "pet peeve" list, but when a cop has someone pulled over and is walking to or from the unlucky lawbreaker--THERE IS NO REASON TO SLOW DOWN.  The Cop is not in a position to operate his gear.  There were several times today where nervous nellies slowed to 55 as they passed--with really no reason.

I have an observation, or a question, really. At driving school, or in driver's ed class--do they tell women drivers that they are not allowed to look over at the car passing them?  I'm amazed at the road discipline of your average female driver--whilst my own head is apparently on some kins of weird swivel.  But that's just me.

If This Was My Kid...

I might find it tough to reprimand him. The bear does present a bit of an obstacle.

Dr. Doom's Dog Days

How about a little Nouriel Roubini to go with that Double-Dip?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

For My Second Amendment Readers....

Here's a fabulous send-up of the left and its aversion to gun rights.  Very well argued, wonderfully written. 

Even The Left Knows Obama Is Anti-Business

Interesting post here from The Daily Beast, not known (at least in the circles in which I run) as part of the "vast right wing conspiracy" to undercut the effectiveness of the President.  In it--Professor Joel Kotkin--who seems to be a pretty middle of the road guy from a quick perusal of his internet profile--lays out some thoughts on the growing gulf between the business community--in this case, small business--and the Obama vision. 

As in many posts like this--criticism of Obama on a site generally friendly to the One--the comments section devolves into a schoolyard taunt at times.  But there are a few gems in there worth diving into.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Forbes Does Not Love Financial Reform

I'm going to read this and other things over the weekend about financial reform.  My working assumption is that there are some interesting and good things in the bill, and there is a lot of crap.  Forbes seems to agree. 


The Leak Is Stopped

For the first time since April 20th, the leak in the Gulf has stopped. Thanks be to God, BP and Thad Allen.  This accident (because that's what it was) represents an incalculable wound to the Gulf region--its inhabitants, its wildlife, and its ecosystem writ large.  It is also a huge blow to BP--the company may never come back, as the liability associated with this accident could easily bankrupt the company (but--I'd be long BP if I had a few extra dollars, for damn sure).

What I hope eventually comes out of this is a book that describes the Herculean efforts of BP Engineers and others to figure out a way to cap a well a mile below the surface of the ocean--an engineering feat worthy of great praise and accomplished under unbelievable pressure.

I also remain a huge fan of retired Admiral Thad Allen--the man who helped bring order to the chaos of Katrina and who provided the steady hand for the past three months. 

We should all be proud of what humans accomplished in order to right the accident humans likely caused. 

Dr. K Warns Not To Underestimate President Obama

And he's right. 

Big Fat Friday Free For All

Good day one and all!  It's time once again for everyone to spout off and share--what's on your mind?  Lots going on in our world ladies and gentlemen, the times they are a-changin.

And for your curmudgeonly viewing pleasure, i give you this.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sit, Arlen, Sit....Good Boy!

From ABCNews: Outgoing Senator Arlen Spector has informed the White House that he would like to consider remaining in public service after his senate term ends.

In a completely unrelated development, Spector also announced his support for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagen earlier this week.

Now go lay down, you old fart.

Don't Talk of Washintgon DC

A national treasure, Reuel Marc Gerecht, on the lack of any real discussion of Islam--real discussion--in the Age of Obama.

Key line:  "Although it’s deeply politically incorrect to say so, intellectually, things were better under the Bush administration."

H/T Instapundit

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Even the deceased dislike Harry Reid

Eighty-four year old Charlotte McCourt recently passed away in Pahrump, Nevada. There's really no reason for you to care about this. But there's great reason for you to enjoy-if one can enjoy such things-her obituary. Seems Mrs. McCourt was once a proud and vigorous supporter of Harry Reid. Her loyalty apparently turned, as indicated by her obituary in yesterday's Las Vegas Review-Journal:

'We believe that Mom would say she was mortified to have taken a large role in the election of Harry Reid to the U.S. Congress. Let the record show Charlotte was displeased with his work. Please, in lieu of flowers, vote for another more worthy candidate.'

I think it's only right that Nevadans honor Mrs. McCourt's wishes.

Agenda For Tonight's Radio Show

Here's the working agenda for tonight's Conservative Wahoo Live! internet radio show at 8PM:
 Call in at (347) 637-2203 to join the fun!

  • Will Hillary Clinton mount a primary battle in 2012?
  • Spy News
         --    Russian swap
         --    Iranian nuclear scientist
  • Conservative approaches to debt
         --    Eliminate the home mortgage deduction
         --    Means test social security/medicare
  • Why this recession is not as bad as people think
  • Jesse Jackson and Lebron James
         --    James as “runaway slave”
  •  Racism in the African American community

More Spy v. Spy

The story of Iranian nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri is an odd one growing more strange each day.  It seems that Amiri disappeared during a trip to Saudi Arabia last year, and then turned up under the protection of the CIA in Arizona. 

Reading the story, it is hard to come away not thinking that this guy is a wing-nut, and that however the CIA got him to leave Iran, they were so desperate to have SOMEONE on the inside that they leaped at the chance to have even a tin-hat guy like this. 

In the category of "bad decisions", Amiri has decided he'd like to go home to Iran. 

Why Don't We Have Something Like This?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Iconic inflation book When Money Dies by Adam Fergusson Republished

Apparently Mr. Buffett has had this book in mind when warning about governments' over-reliance on stimulus packages. When Money Dies charts how the German economy was ruined by hyperinflation after the Weimar government allowed public spending to run out of control. By the way, used copies can be gotten from for $800 minimum.

Hat tip

Bush Tax Cuts and the Deficit

Brian Riedl of The Heritage Foundation lands a few punches on John Kerry's (and the rest of the Dems for that matter) jaw.

Ross Douthat Talks Some Sense

Some very sensible, conservative ideas on a responsible budget.  You already know how I feel about the home mortgage deduction; means testing social security is another one I'm all for. 

Radio Show Bleg

It's almost here--tomorrow night's Conservative Wahoo Live! Radio program.  What would you like to talk about?  Anything in the news really got your interest?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Jesse Jackson Scales New Heights of Ridiculous

Unless you were living under a rock last week, it was pretty difficult to avoid the LeBron James story, and part of that was the angry reaction by Cavaliers owner Dan Gardner following LeBron's announcement. Gardner described the spectacle last week as a 'several day, narcissistic, self-promotional buildup' and further suggested that LeBron was 'disloyal' and 'cowardly' and didn't exactly play at full strength during this year's playoff series with Boston.

Reverend Jackson rides to the rescue for us to tell us what Gardner REALLY meant: that the Cavs' owner really views LeBron as a runaway slave and THAT's why he's angry. Of course! The Rev helpfully explains that the owner's feelings of betrayal personify a slave-master mentality, and his comments are really an attack on all NBA players. He urges the players association to challenge Gardner.

For the salary LeBron James was paid, I'd really like to know where I can sign up to be a slave.

This Recession is Not So Great

I'm ordinarily a huge Robert Samuelson fan, but this morning I've got to demur.  In this discussion of the current recession (known for some reason as The Great Recession), Mr. Samuelson spends a few paragraphs talking about the recession, and then toward the end, he says this:

  "Another theory -- more powerful, I think -- is that the Great Recession, though jarring to almost everyone, has been most disruptive and disillusioning to those who were previously the most protected. It punctured their cocoons so unexpectedly that they became more cautious and fearful, whereas those who even in good times faced job loss and income shifts (many blacks, the young and the poor) were less surprised. One legacy of the Great Recession is that insecurity and uncertainty have gone upscale. People feel more exposed. They tend to plan for the worst rather than hope for the best. Their reluctance to make major purchase commitments (a new car or home) validates their pessimism by retarding recovery." 

Reading the article, I come away with the sense that Samuelson has bought into "the Great Recession" hype in a big way.  I'm here to dispute that hype. Front and center for me is what Samuelson brings up in the paragraph above without really meaning to do--and that is, Americans are convinced this recession is "Great" because of how it makes us "feel" and how it makes us "plan", rather than what it does to us on an individual, everyday basis.  Looking through THAT lens, this recession doesn't stack up. 

Ninety six percent of mortgage holders are making their payments.  Ninety percent of those who wish to work (represented by those actually working or seeking work) are working.  One hundred percent of those who wish to buy a house or borrow money for any other reason will do so at historically low mortgage rates.  One hundred percent of those who purchase goods are doing so in historically low inflation.  The point here is that the while the "Great Recession" has been a terrible thing, its impact has been far less pervasive than the recession of the early 80's.  I've talked about this before, remember--the one with double digit unemployment, double digit interest rates and double digit inflation--ALL AT THE SAME TIME?

Put another way--anyone who had investments in equities--for retirement or otherwise--has gotten crushed in the past two years.  But if you weren't planning on turning to that money for living expenses, the loss--like the gains that preceded it--was on paper.  Psychologically damaging, but not financially debilitating.  Turning to the housing market--I think it is important once again to stress that the overwhelming majority of people who own houses are making their payments.  Something on the order of four percent aren't.  Again--even if you are "upside down"--you are STILL gaining the primary benefit of homeownership--shelter--as you ponder the paper value of your home.

This recession--unlike the one in the 80's--is remarkable not for how it ACTUALLY impacted the economy, but for how it makes Americans FEEL about the economy.  Confidence in the banking system was devastated.  A foreboding sense of the dread at mounting federal debt is pervasive.  While the recession of the 80's WAS actually worse than this by any rational measure of everyday impact, it did not raise the specter of systemic failure to the extent that this one does.  This recession is only "Great" in its capacity to make us THINK about subjects we previously did not have to consider. 

So my beef with Samuelson is one of degree.  Referring to this as "The Great Recession" does injustice to a clearly more devastating time in our history.  Consistent with our tendency to believe the times in which we live are "unique" and "exceptional", we call our recession "Great" as a way of explaining to future generations why it was that we were forced to save more and live within our means.  After all, doing so for any other reason just wouldn't be heroic enough. 

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Clinton To Perform Weiner Wedding

When I saw this headline the other day, my first reaction was that Bubba must now be officiating gay marriages in New York. When I dug a little deeper into the story, I had no idea how close to the mark I might be. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

The New York Times must think so as well, because they changed their headline from "Clinton to Perform Weiner Wedding" on Saturday to "Bill Clinton to Officiate at Congressman's Wedding" this morning.

Oh well, I just wish those two crazy kids well.

Uncertainty Holds Up Hiring

More on the increasingly deafening drumbeat that businesses aren't hiring because they just don't know what the next shoe to drop in their operating environment will be.  Some of my lib friends seem to think this is all much ado about nothing, and some seem to think that business "had it coming to them".  Others think there's nothing even remotely anti-business about Mr. Obama's policies. 

Of course, none of these people actually work in business--but that's another story.

Democratic Racism?

According to this nifty little story, black Americans support Barack Obama at a rate of 90%, even as the President's numbers nationwide have dipped to 46%.  Additionally, while the President's numbers remain stratospheric within the black community, the Democratic Party is having a very difficult time convincing black Democrats (but I repeat myself) to get excited about candidates who are not black Barack Obama. 

How is this not evidence of racism in the black community?  Why is this not ever asked of black voters in stories like this?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Sounding the Alarm on Dangers of a Lame Duck Congress

Wall Street Journal's John Fund spells out here the potential strategy of a lame duck Congress, should the anticipated blood bath come to fruition in November. Card check leads the pack, as well as a last hurrah for some of Congress' top porkers. And a climate bill is not out of the question, either.

There will be a desperation among some of the members who survive the November election to push through some of their priorities. Then there will be the members who are toast so they can legislate and vote with abandon. One would think that a smart Congressperson would proceed cautiously...but this particular body has shown very little interest in heeding the will of the people thus far. While it's kind of putting the cart before the horse, this may be something interesting to watch.

Gay Marriage Cases Put Conservatives In A Bind

In a craftily reasoned decision, US District Judge Joseph L. Tauro ruled recently that the federal Defense of Marriage Act--passed in the Clinton Administration--was unconstitutional for two reasons--the first, he finds that DOMA is a violation of the 10th Amendment, that darling amendment of the Tea Party Movement that "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people" (which the Tea Partiers are using in their objections to healthcare legislation).  In the second sense, Tauro found that DOMA was a violation of the Constitution's equal protection clause.

In the first case, this puts a large swath of the conservative movement in a bit of a bind.  The constitution is silent on marriage--seemingly then sending the question to the states for legislating--at least according to the 10th Amendment.  Tauro's ruling basically says that regulating marriage is a state issue and that Congress overstepped its bounds.  I tend to agree with Tauro on this one. 

The equal protection portion of the ruling is also a bit problematic, and will likely be legislated elsewhere (as in the case before the California Supreme Court on whether that state's ballot measure defining marriage violates the federal equal protection clause).  This will DEFINITELY get to the supreme court at some point, and the ruling is likely to anger lots of people.

So here's how I see it.  The federal government has no say in marriage, which is a state issue.  States have decided to have a patchwork of laws dealing with marriage which are different from each other.  The federal Constitution however, contains two provisions--the Equal Protection Clause and the Full Faith and Credit Clause--which seem to bind states to honor not only their own law on marriage--but every other state law on marriage too.  See why this is getting confusing?....

What to do about this?  Remove any and all government role from marriage--state, local or federal.  Make marriage into a cultural and religious institution.  Remove any and all legal benefit or exclusion that flows from marriage.  Amend standard contract law to cover most of what's lost, and then enact laws at the appropriate level to deal with the rest. 

US Lawsuit Against Arizona

I've been thinking about the lawsuit that President Obama's Justice Department filed against the State of Arizona in seeking to rule Arizona's latest controversial immigration law unconstitutional.  After all the hullabaloo, all the kvetching, all the cries of fascism and police state from the left and those who see illegal immigration as a new human right--the lawsuit is not a civil rights case.  It is a straight down the line case of whether or not the Federal government's legislative primacy on immigration matters supersedes the action that Arizona has taken. 

As I am not a constitutional scholar or a federal judge, I do not have an informed opinion on the suit's merits.  I cannot however, dismiss it summarily.  It seems to me that Holder and Justice have a reasonable case, EVEN if Arizona is really just enforcing federal law.

That said--the fact that Justice went with the jurisdictional argument and not the civil rights argument shows what a bag of wind the whole civil rights screed was.  There was an almost reflexive institutional bias against the State of Arizona, one  that presupposed that their law was put together by a bunch of desert rubes with no sense of how to craft law in the age of civil rights.  There never was a civil rights case here--there was just bloviating by a bunch of people who would gut whatever exists of current immigration law.

Friday, July 9, 2010

King James

I am not a fan of pro basketball, and I don't think I've watched more than two or three minutes worth of footage of Lebron James in all his seven seasons of play.  That said, I am aware that he is generally considered a fine basketball player (or "cager" as our old high school yearbook used to call them).

Mr. James apparently decided last night that he would sell his services to another team, and so he left Ohio for sunny Florida, joining the team in Miami and its already star-studded lineup.  Many people believe this choice was driven by Mr. James' desire to win an NBA Championship.  But maybe there is another reason....

I was listening to Hannity on the radio this afternoon (yes Dad, I do sometimes tune in), and he made a straightforward economic argument--that had James gone to the NY Knickerbockers or the New Jersey Nets--the additional taxes he would have paid during the life of his contract would have amounted to $12M.  Hannity didn't say this was definitely why James went to the "no income tax" state of Florida--but I gottta believe it didn't hurt. 

Recess Appointments

Beltway Republicans are all aflutter at the President's (Constitutionally permitted) recess appointment of Dr. Donald Berwick as the chief of the nation's Medicare and Medicaid programs.  Let's get the easy part out of the way first--Berwick is a serious lefty, a huge fan of single-payer socialized medicine and an unabashed believer in the re-distribution of wealth. 

That the President chose to make a recess appointment is not notable; George Bush did plenty of it, and Democrats whined too.  A pox upon both parties in this case--the Senate rules permit all sorts of chicanery when it comes to nominations and keeping them from coming up for votes.  Until the Senate reforms itself, we'll have recess appointments, we'll have whining folks on the other side, and we'll have Presidents who say that they needed their person in place.

But the interesting thing in this case--brought to my attention by the redoubtable Goldwater's Ghost--is that there never was a hearing scheduled for Dr. Berwick--at any point.  Seems Dems didn't want to bring the good doctor before Senate inquisitors so that he could be roundly torn apart by some Republicans looking to make health care into a mega issue for the 2010 Congressional election.  So the Obama Administration's blaming of the recess appointment on recalcitrant Republicans rings hollow in the face of there having been no real evidence that Republicans were behind any delay in his confirmation.

The most transparent administration ever?  Yes.  They are transparent.  One can see right through them. 

Gone baby gone

Great front page of the Cleveland Plain Dealer today.
You have to feel for that city.

Friday Fun

That Don't Make You a Model.

H/t  Instapundit.

Separated At Birth - US v. AZ Edition

She's no dummy AZ Governor Jan Brewer; and...

Real-life dummy Mortimer Snerd.

Rachel Maddow In A Whole New Light

Putting aside my political differences with Ms. Maddow for the moment, this high school picture of her, courtesy of The Daily Caller
Fire away.

Vanity, Thy Name Is Barry

Speaking with Israeli media following his meeting earlier in the week with PM Benjamin Netanyahu, President Obama attempted to explain the anxiety felt by some Israelis toward his administration:

"Some of it may be just the fact that my middle name is Hussein, and it creates suspicion."

For one who was supposed to transcend race and religion, he sure is quick-on-the-draw with the race and religion cards.

Putting aside President Obama's 'it's all about me' complex for a moment, maybe the anxiety felt by some Israelis has to do with Obama's reversal of his position on Israel's claim to Jerusalem, or his Kennedyesque Muslim outreach speech in Cairo (Ich bin ein Muslim!) where he sought to parallel the 'suffering' of the Palestinians with the Holocaust of the Jews, or the administration's very public rebuke of Netanyahu earlier in the year for Israel's decision to build settlements in East Jerusalem. Or perhaps some of it can be traced to NASA's recent mission change to prop up the Muslim world's eggshell-fragile self esteem.

Ugh, just what we need - giving Hezbollah and Hamas access to bigger and better rockets.

Big Fat Friday Free For All

Hello all--sorry to have been so quiet but July has been and will be a brutal month for me in my day job.  I'll be back with a little blogging this afternoon and this weekend, so please check back.

In the meantime, what's on your mind?  Anything worth sharing with the crowd? 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Special Announcement: CW Live Guest Tonight--Dr. Chris Preble of The Cato Institute

In a late-breaking addition to the program, we'll spend about the first half of tonight's show talking to Dr. Chris Preble, Director of Foreign Policy Studies at The Cato Institute.  Dr. Preble recently served as a member of The Sustainable Defense Task Force, the report of which both Representatives Ron Paul and Barney Frank have recently been enthusiastically advocating.  The report advocates dramatic cuts in defense spending, and Dr. Preble will bring his considerable expertise and his strong libertarian credentials to what is likely to be a fascinating discussion of grand strategy and the military requirements to carry it out. 

Agenda For Tonight's Radio Show

Here's a working agenda for tonight's radio program--add stuff in the comments section that you might want covered.

 --Michael Steele Must Go
--Job 1 for NASA Administrator—Relations with the Muslim World!
--World Cup Update
--Cut the Defense Budget/Barney Frank
--Obama and Bibi Netanyahu make nice

Join in the fun at 8PM!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Radio Show Bleg

Ok folks, Wednesday night at 8PM we'll do what we do on the interwebs--what would you like to talk about?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fareed Zakaria on Obama's CEO Problem

Fareed Zakaria is the Darling of Davos, the Mensch of Manhattan, the Zeitgeist of Zurich (yes, I know, you get it), everyone's favorite sufficiently unidentifiably ethnic (is he American? Euro? Pak?) observer on the international scene has gathered his friends from the world of business in his tony salon and concluded that they are not happy.  Why aren't they happy?  Well, it appears the Obama Administration has acquired the reputation of being a wee-bit anti-business.  Say it ain't so!

I watch CNBC quite a bit in the afternoons as the markets wind down, some days a couple of hours of it.  I remember during the primaries in 2008 and then in the general, there was this glib, hip, "he's one of us" vibe coming from many of the traders and CEO's interviewed.  Barack Obama was seen as un-threatening, he was going to save the economy and get America back to work.  His internationalist view was going to make doing business around the world easier. 

Now we're 18 months into it--the Obamanation--and the interviews are increasingly more negative.  There is dismay in the American business community--on Wall Street and every other street where business is done.  Here's one of Fareed's buddies:  "One CEO told me, "Almost every agency we deal with has announced some expansion of its authority, which naturally makes me concerned about what's in store for us for the future." Another pointed out that between the health-care bill, financial reform and possibly cap-and-trade, his company had lawyers working day and night to figure out the implications of all these new regulations." 

This Administration is the most anti-business and anti-capital group of my lifetime.  They have succeeded in driving trillions of dollars in cash to the sidelines because there is no confidence in the markets.  Everyone's waiting for the next shoe to drop.  Does anyone know what their personal income taxes are going to look like in 2011?  The Bush tax cuts --across the board tax cuts mind you--are set to expire next year.  If they do, every single taxpayer in America is liable to pay more, and some who did not pay taxes this year will.  I call that a tax increase--I'm sure the Dems won't.  What about the capital gains rate?  Will it increase?  This is just the environment for individuals.  What about corporate taxes?  What about cap and trade?  What about the impact of the healthcare bill? 

The bottom line is that there is a bunker mentality in the business community and Barack Obama is the dive bomber keeping their heads down.  There is no mystery here--this is what most of us predicted from the Obama Administration.  That so many on Wall Street were suckered by his smooth talk and his crypto-socialist ways still drives me nuts.  Simple truth here friends--the US economy will not resume growing at anything like an acceptable rate until Mr. Obama is replaced in the White House. 

Steele Must Go (yes, again)

RNC Chairman Michael Steele is a buffoon, and he has no place running the Republican Party.  His latest remarks on the War in Afghanistan reveal an ill-informed man who just doesn't know when to shut up.  It is time for the adults in the Party to come together and remove this man. 

As an aside--I've been working on a little defense and security insurgent effort, and I've been talking with Republicans in DC about the best place to site the effort.  Something like what I'm trying to do was stood up in the RNC in the late 70's, and served as a springboard for much of the defense policy that was passed in the Reagan Administration.  When I asked one guy in the know about such an effort under the RNC today--he said "not while Steele is there.  The man is radioactive". 

The Republican Party can no longer afford to have a man like this in charge. 

Obama Polling

Some fascinating numbers in some polling data in today's WaPost, including this little nugget--among white men, Barack Obama has a 37% approval rating--the exact same rating George W. Bush had among white men in June of 2008. 

This man is becoming increasingly beatable. 

Walter Russell Mead Looks At America, From London

Walter Russell Mead is one of my favorite modern historians and public intellectuals.  He's got a clear head on his shoulders, and he's a darn good writer.

Here's a little piece he's written on The American Interest website, with some thoughts on the US, Great Britain and the ties that bind.

In the following short paragraph, Mead manages to 1) analyze the Tea Party with insight 2) point to a bit of a drawback with the Tea Party and 3) skewer the modern liberal image of "progressive" thinkers of the 20th Century.  A solid three-fer:

The Tea Party movement’s choice of revolutionary imagery makes a lot of sense from this perspective.  Tea Partiers see themselves as resisting liberal efforts to centralize power and impose a single moral vision on the United States — very much in the tradition of those who threw the tea into Boston Harbor.  As always, an upsurge in American populism brings out the fruit bats and the conspiracy nuts — during the Revolution there were people who identified George III as the Antichrist.  The Anti-Masons and the Know Nothings surged until the rise of the Republican Party refocused these energies in a more positive and effective way.  There was much more anti-Semitism, racism and all around crackpot thinking among American Populists than progressive historians generally like to remember.


"For the Ladies" Part II

I loved the part in the article CW referenced below that said "Men are simple-minded." Yep.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Wahoos Leading The Way

Here's an interesting story about a new course being offered at UVA this Fall, "Conservatism 101".  I wish the students associated with bringing this course forward much success, but it is hard to imagine that it will be able to sustain its lofty goals against what will almost certainly be a lefty onslaught.  We'll see.  Well played though, Wahoos.  Well played.

A Truly Great American

Dan Wallrath goes the extra mile.  Here's how you can help:  Donate

For The Ladies....

Some simple, straightforward advice, see especially #4 and #5.  

...our Lives, our Fortunes....our sacred Honor.

Happy Independence Day!

In Congress, July 4, 1776

The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America

When, in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislature.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by mock Trial, from Punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offenses:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighboring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule in these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments.

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with Power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun

with circumstances of Cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free People.

Nor have We been wanting in attention to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

John Hancock

Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
Geo. Walton

North Carolina
Wm. Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn

South Carolina
Edward Rutledge
Thos. Heyward, Junr.
Thomas Lynch, Junr.
Arthur Middleton

Samuel Chase
Wm. Paca
Thos. Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton

George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Th. Jefferson
Benja. Harrison
Ths. Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton

Robt. Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benja. Franklin
John Morton
Geo. Clymer
Jas. Smith
Geo. Taylor
James Wilson
Geo. Ross

Caesar Rodney
Geo. Read
Tho. M'Kean

New York
Wm. Floyd
Phil. Livingston
Frans. Lewis
Lewis Morris

New Jersey
Richd. Stockton
Jno. Witherspoon
Fras. Hopkinson
John Hart
Abra. Clark

New Hampshire
Josiah Bartlett
Wm. Whipple
Matthew Thornton

Saml. Adams
John Adams
Robt. Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island
Step. Hopkins
William Ellery

Roger Sherman
Sam'el Huntington
Wm. Williams
Oliver Wolcott
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