Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Rubio for V.P.

Paul Gigot has a little something in the Wall Street Journal this morning about Marco Rubio as a potential VP contender.  Whoever wins the nomination would be a fool not to consider him.  In fact, I'll go that one better.

I think Mitt Romney should offer him the job now, and tell him that it won't be offered again.  Tell him that he wants to campaign differently; that he doesn't want to wait until the convention to announce his choice--he wants to spend the next 8 months using Rubio's star power to build the power of the ticket, that he wants Rubio's sharp mind and great public image out there on the stump day in and day out reminding people who it is they should vote for.

After all, why wait until late August?  Why should Republican voters be deprived of the knowledge of just how smart a team builder Mitt Romney is?  Romney's got a tall order in defeating President Obama, and he'll need to be innovative. 

This fits that bill. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Romney Takes Two

Well folks, Mitt's got the Big Mo heading into Super Tuesday.  Yes, yes, I can hear the wags now, you know, the ones for whom nothing Mitt does is ever enough.  "He only won by 3 in his home state".  "Turnout is low--the base will stay home".  "He did worse than he did four years ago".  Whatever.  A week and a half ago, he was down by double digits in Michigan and Santorum was nipping at his heels in Arizona.  Tonight, he won Michigan and drilled Santorum in Arizona.

Super Tuesday is in a week, and Newt is lying in wait in Georgia and Tennessee.  Newt's far from dead, and he'll take a few delegates.  But I have a feeling that one week from tonight--when the Super Tuesday votes are counted--Mitt Romney's path to the nomination will be clear, and neither Newt nor Rick will have a path forward. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Obama Crushes Romney.... this poll.

But they are tied in this poll...

and Romney is ahead in this poll....

All appear reputable. 

Message: polls are meaningless right now. 

A Shill is a Shill

I was watching "Morning Joe" this AM as I do occasionally. Of course it's about as entertaining as Barney & Friends and Joe Scarborough is a sellout dirtbag turncoat, but they have a good representation of the establishment left and I like to keeps tabs on what they're up to. Mika Brzezinski is without a doubt the strangest woman on television. She puts off this I'm a hot dominatrix vibe, but hot she ain't. We've all seen people like her, even when she laughs her eyes are dead. She just scowls and skulks around and well, she just gives me the creeps.

Anyway, so I'm watching and gro├če Frau Brzezinski quotes a Maureen Dowd hit piece on how the GOP is past it with old ideas blah blah blah (typical Dowd drivel) and then she says "for balance" she'll read a Kathleen Parker column from today's Washington Post. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but Parker may describe herself as slightly right of center but I can only assume she's referring to her driving habits because if this woman is a conservative (slight or otherwise) then I'm an F-15 pilot. In her column she hits every leftist talking point in the playbook, including that pre-abortion ultrasound thing (aka RAPE in leftspeak) floated in Virginia. And she plays up the Democrat contraception cunard talking about how the Republicans want a ban. Give me a break! This is such a blatantly obvious political ploy designed to gin up outrage among a must have constituency (stupid promiscuous women) that there is no way in hell Parker is not a leftist shill. The proof is in the pudding.

This is all a "subvert behind enemy lines" strategy. You're either conservative or not. You believe in the Constitution or you don't. Calling yourself conservative doesn't make you one and if Kathleen Parker is a counter-balance to Maureen Dowd, then I'm off to Seymour Johnson for a little flight-time.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sorry Folks, Mitt Romney is Not "Just Like Us"

I'm having a hard time this morning deciding which makes me more angry:  the extent to which we in America want our Presidential aspirants to be "just like us" and "to feel our pain", or the extent to which the guy I am supporting seems unable to grasp this.  I don't want a heart surgeon who is "just like me".  I don't want a financial manager who is "just like me".  And I don't want a President who is "just like me".  I want a President who is demonstrably BETTER than I am.  And while I understand the impulse to want to have a President one would like to have a beer with, I maintain that this quality should pale in comparison to many other more important qualities.

Here are a few ways in which Mitt Romney is "not like me".

1.  He has been married to the same woman for over forty years.
2.  He does not smoke or drink (well, I guess we're tied here, though I do like a cigar now and again)
3.  He has law and business degrees from Harvard
4.  He is a millionaire many times over, through a combination of his birth, his education, and his talent
5.  He ran a successful Olympic Games
6.  He won as a Republican in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
7.  He is able day in and day out, to perform at the highest level in what must be one of the most pressure-filled positions in American life--Republican Candidate for President.

So do I cringe when I hear that Romney talked about his wife's Caddys yesterday?  Of course--not because there is anything wrong with his wife having cars prepositioned at their various houses--but because I realize that we in this country are to some extent protective of our right to earn great wealth and then envious of those who do.  I cringed because I knew that there would be wags on both sides of the aisle pointing to how "out of touch" Romney is with "people like me".  Guess what folks?  People like us are behind on the mortgages on our houses that we bought knowing full well we couldn't afford.  People like us are running up  debt like nobody's business in order to fund our children's Xbox habits, their meaningless undergraduate degrees and our own second childhoods--all with the expectation that Uncle Sugar will take care of us and make it all better.

No folks--we are where we are because we vote for people who are "just like us".  I'll take my chance on a guy who might just be a little better than I am.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Un Cappuccino, Per Favore

It seems some Italian women are unhappy with the service in this coffee bar. (NSFW)

Everything is Expensive...Except Money

Good article in the WSJ (click on header) that outlines the problem with energy prices and why they aren't likely to come down anytime soon. So why are prices so high, not just for energy but for just about everything?

Well for one thing, inflation. All that "quantitative easing" nonsense just increases the money supply, and the absolute definition of inflation is too much money chasing too few goods. Of course you won't be told this fact because Bill Clinton changed the way inflation is calculated, so the gov't. doesn't report a useful number (oh if Jimmy Carter had been so lucky), and a compliant media has no interest in reporting a real number from private sources. So we're left to gauge inflation on our own. How has your inflation meter been doing lately?

"But Hammer, things are getting better, just look at the stock market?" you say. Not so I say. Stocks prices are susceptible to inflation too. All things being equal, if a stock trades for 10 bucks a share and inflation is at 10%, then the stock price will rise 10% accordingly. Another reason stocks have risen is cheap money. The administration wants to re-inflate the real estate bubble and control interest expense for all that deficit spending, so the Fed (packed with Obama lackeys) have kept interest rates near zero. Well, as a consequence speculators borrow for almost nothing and bid up commodities and stocks. For example Apple has gone from less than $200 a share to over $500 simoleons in less than two years (no idea what real apples are doing). So now we have bubbles bubbles everywhere, and as always, a day of reckoning is coming.

Obama's immediate problem is keeping all birds in the air until after the election. He can't reduce borrowing and run the chance of upsetting the apple cart (it would), so until then it's spend spend spend. Then, if he wins, he'll deal with it (or not), and if he loses the Republicans will be blamed mercilessly. But as always, you and I dear friends, the folks in the middle, will be hurt the most.

Krugman Is Wrong....Again

The other day on the stump, Mitt Romney said the following words:  "“If you just cut, if all you’re thinking about doing is cutting spending, (CW emphasis) as you cut spending you’ll slow down the economy.” In response, a giddy Paul Krugman writes the following:  "So he believes that cutting government spending hurts growth, other things equal... Almost surely, he is, in fact, a closet Keynesian."  This is ridiculous, but then again, we're talking Paul Krugman.

Here's why:

1.  A Keynesian would not only argue against CUTTING spending, he'd argue for increasing it.  That isn't what Romney said, and it isn't what he means.  It is however, what Krugman wants.
2.  NO Republican candidate is putting forward a program in which ALL THEY DO is cut spending.  Romney is putting forward proposals to broaden the tax base and limit deductions--which he would do at the same time he cuts spending. 

Tuesday's a Big Day--Have You Made Out Your Check to Mitt Yet?

You heard it here first, folks.  Mitt will take both primaries Tuesday night, and the Big Mo will be on his side going into Super Tuesday.  I know some of you have been sitting back thinking, "why send money when Rick or Newt might be the candidate."  There's some logic to that in these hard times, but we're at the point where resources are what feed the victory.  Click this link, donate, and don't forget to check the block that says you know your referrer.

Big Fat Friday Free For All

Here we are again folks, the time of the week to get your whine on.  What's bothering you, chum?  Share your burdens.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Debate: Quick Thoughts

1.  Newt won.  He does great when he's not relevant.  As a Romney supporter, I'm hoping he takes some votes from Rick.
2.  Mitt came in second.  Did great all the way until the last question.
3.  Ron Paul--third.  Very entertaining.
4.  Rick Santorum.  Tough night.  He needed to do well, and he didn't.

The momentum has swung back to Romney.  He'll win both primaries next Tuesday night.  

Liveblogging the Debate Tonight

We'll be live-blogging the GOP debate tonight using the Conservative Wahoo Chat feature on the right side of the blog page.  Join in the fun tonight at 8PM Eastern.

Just a Few Establishment Republicans...

Thought I was taller than McDonnell.....wrong again. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Debate Prep for Mitt Romney

In the spirit of making sure that my candidate is well-prepared for tomorrow night's debate, I offer the following in order to ensure he knocks the ball out of the park when inevitably, he is called upon to comment on Rick Santorum's positions on social issues. 

"Senator Santorum and I agree with President Obama, that marriage should be limited to unions of men and women.  And, Senator Santorum and I are both ardently pro-life.  But I want to make no mistake about it--while I believe marriage should be reserved for heterosexual unions, I do not believe that loving,  gay relationships should be respected in our society any less than loving, heterosexual relationships.  And while both the Senator and I disagree with the the Administration's current attempt to force religious groups in this country to violate their constitutionally protected beliefs, the fact and practice of contraception--it seems to me--is unobjectionable.  I respect Senator Santorum's deeply held beliefs, but I do not agree that contraception "harms" women." 

Then, move back to the economy and the failure of the Obama Administration.

Eugene Robinson is Right

Do you realize how much it hurt to type the title of this post?  Eugene Robinson is a reliable lefty and race victimization merchant, with whom I have nearly weekly disagreements.  Today?  I read his article and asked myself if I couldn't have written much of it. 

Santorum--if the GOP nominee--will lose, and he will take down others with him.  In the end, I'm sure a certain slice of the Republican Party will be smug and content in their newly ideologically pure (and perpetually minority) party. 

However, every issue that matters to them for decades to come, will go the other way.  You want to see the "muddled middle" become un-muddled?  Nominate Santorum.

Families Should be Left out of Politics, Unless...

...they can provide a warm and gauzy image of the man, if they're more popular than the politician himself and they can be used to shore up support despite past claims that their privacy is paramount. The Obama campaign intends to use them often during the year as the Washington Post tells us here.

What exactly are the Obama children going to do for 'working Americans'?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Where Is All The Skilled Labor?

This is a truly great bit of reporting, the kind of thing that we see too little of from the Bought and Paid For Media.  That is, an attempt to dive deeply into untold stories--in this case, how we currently coexist with the paradox of high unemployment whilst high-paying jobs go wanting. 

How did we get here?  A few things come to mind, though there may be others.  First, unionization of the American labor force led to a higher standard of living--of this there is little doubt.  It also, however, created the incentive for businesses to move their manufacturing to where labor was cheaper when wages exceeded market value, a process begun in the late 70's and which accelerated in the 80's.  The decline of manufacturing created the growing sense that the US was no longer a  "manufacturing nation" (though we remain I believe, the largest manufacturing nation in the world), which obviously diminished interest among those entering the workforce to hitch their wagons to decline.

Secondly, we see the impact of the "everyone must go to college" philosophy and the pernicious effects of a system awash in cheap money to subsidize listless post-adolescents for four years of Diversity Studies and Early Childhood Education (Daycare) Degrees.  There was a time when young people left high school and 1) went to college 2) joined the military or entered a trade.  Now it appears that option 1 is the only socially acceptable path--reinforced by the heavy hand of government subsidy--and our university education system is showing all the signs of bloat that such a distribution would likely cause. 

Clearly, there is a job/job skills mismatch.  Instead of funneling millions into college educations for those who are unsuited to intellectual inquiry, why not cut off much of that money--and tie the remaining funds to "academic promise" and need.  For those left behind (without the comfort of Uncle Sugar underwriting bong-hits and beer pong), perhaps there's a position at Mach Mold in Benton Harbor, Michigan waiting for them.

Let Them Eat Cake!

The First Lady on her 16th vacation in three years.....

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Help Bielat Snuff Out Kennedy Flame

Further to Sally's story below, the man who gave Barney Frank a run for his money in the last election, Sean Bielat, is running again for the seat.  I sat with Sean at a dinner last year, and I can affirm that this guy is the real deal.  Patriot, scholar, warrior.

Let's get out those checkbooks, folks.

Two Basketball Legends Get Ejected

During yesterday's FSU vs. NC State basketball game at the RBC Center in Raleigh, two former Wolfpack players were ejected by referee Karl Hess for (I guess) riding the official a little too hard. Now the guys were with their families, including two teenaged daughters and they insist no profanity was used. So accepting them at their word, just what the hell is going on?

As you might imagine the league issued a statement quoting the rules, which basically state that a referee can eject any damned body he likes any damned time he likes. Now I'm sure this rule is close to the heart of Herr Hess, but as the lawyers say, when your client is guilty your argue the law, when innocent you argue justice.

Need I remind the league of some of the more outrageous behavior of some fans, Duke fans for instance. Can you imagine James Worthy or Sam Perkins being ejected from the Dean Dome or Wally Walker being asked to leave a UVA game? No, I can't either. The league should issue a statement saying what everybody knows, Hess overreacted. As long as a fan is not profane, or otherwise interferes with the game, he or she can go as mad as they like. And what's wrong with that?

What Does "Going Negative" Mean?

I would like to argue for the adoption of a new definition of "going negative" in a political contest, as the one under which we currently operate is insufficient.  My definition would go something like this:  "Going negative, or negative advertising, is the act of lying about an opponent's record, history, or accomplishments."  That's all.  The key component of the definition is that it has to be a lie. 

Why is a new definition needed?  Because the one we have--which in my opinion boils down to "that which is not positive"--conditions us to the false choice.  That is, if a candidate isn't talking about his own record, his own long marriage and wonderful family, his own gauzy vision of America--everything else is negative.  Pointing out votes that an opponent has cast, positions he has held, choices he has made in his personal life--this is not negative.  This is the act of ensuring that voters are familiar with a candidate in a holistic way, not just the wonderful stuff that a campaign spin machine can churn out. 

I am amused by the charges of negative advertising going on in the current Republican race.  Mitt Romney's conduct while at Bain was a legitimate question, as is his record as Massachusetts Governor and the health care system he helped midwife (midhusband?).  Newt Gingrich's temperament, leadership and policy ADD were also fair game.  As is Rick Santorum's less than flinty approach to government spending and his tendency to (as all legislators do--see Newt G.) take personal credit for legislation that emanated from a body in which he happened to be a member.  There is a reality about each of these men's past that there is nothing wrong with raising.  In fact--doing so is required and essential to a thorough vetting of their fitness for office.

What then, do I believe constitutes going negative? 
  • Lying about an opponent.  I resort here to the "reasonable man" theory of lying, which states that if a Mark I Mod 0 average guy would think the statement is a lie, then it is.  This does not include what one candidate infers about another based on stances/votes/positions that are truthfully reported.
  • The public or private fanning of elicit, unproven, or unsubstantiated rumor.
  • Any "non-positive" statement about a spouse, child, or other family member of the candidate--unless that statement reflects in some way upon the judgment and character of the candidate.  For example--raising the issue of a candidate's spouse's alcoholism--off limits.  Raising the issue of a candidate's spouse's un-repudiated ties to 1960's radical terror groups?  In play.  Again, the reasonable man theory applies.
Why do I raise this issue? Because the issue of "going negative" provides the media with exactly what it needs to tear down actual and honest policy differences and turn them into naked fight promotion and spectacle.  Let's not feed it anymore.  Let's begin to socialize our candidates in a manner that would suggest to them that we will be less likely to support them if they "whine" about opponents going negative. 

The Angst over Michigan

Much ado is being made over Mitt Romney's potential troubles in Michigan, his home state where he has not lived for 47 years. This should give him some built-in advantages, obviously, and I'm not suggesting that a Romney (shudder) loss in Michigan would be meaningless.

But does anyone really think Santorum is going to cruise to victory in HIS home state, the same one that rejected him so soundly in 2006? The Pennsylvania primary is not until April, but will we see the same angst on display then? Or is this just an opportunity for the press to gleefully highlight the troublesome road Mitt suddenly finds himself on?

Conan O'Brien Keeps the Kennedy Flame Burning

Well, not O'Brien himself, but his lookalike Joseph Kennedy III, running for the seat vacated by Barney Frank. Eleanor Clift delivers a belated Valentine to young Kennedy here-she clearly finds it tragic that the string of Kennedys in Congress, originating in 1947, was broken when Patrick Kennedy stepped down in 2010. She further finds it tragic that the state's Congressional delegation is no longer all Democrat, after (her words) Scott Brown won 'Ted Kennedy's seat' earlier in 2010.

Wasn't David Gergen referring to 'Ted Kennedy's seat' in a debate one of the reasons Brown was able to win in the first place?

Silver lining of this tale: Barney Frank will be gone.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Romney's Strength

The last post laments the ridiculous hand-wringing over Romney's struggle to 'connect.' Romney and his team should have been doing more from the beginning highlighting his strengths rather than trying to convince us how conservative he is, his greatest strength being his problem-solving ability. Some of you may be familiar with the story you're about to hear, but bear with me anyway.

It happened in July of 1996, when the 14-year old daughter of a Bain Capital partner disappeared in New York City for 3 days. The parents had no clue where she was. So Romney stepped in. He closed down the entire firm and asked all 30 partners and employees to fly to New York to help find Gay’s daughter. Romney set up a command center at the LaGuardia Marriott and hired a private detective firm to assist with the search. He established a toll-free number for tips, coordinating the effort with the NYPD, and went through his Rolodex and called everyone Bain did business with in New York, asking them to help find his friend’s missing daughter. Romney’s accountants at Price Waterhouse Cooper put up posters on street poles, while cashiers at a pharmacy owned by Bain put fliers in the bag of every shopper. Romney and the other Bain employees scoured every part of New York and talked with everyone they could – prostitutes, drug addicts – anyone. Eventually a teenage boy, responding to a flier, asked if there was a reward, and then hung up abruptly. The NYPD traced the call to a home in New Jersey, where they found the girl in the basement, shivering and experiencing withdrawal symptoms from a massive ecstasy dose. Doctors later said the girl might not have survived another day. Romney’s former partner credits Mitt Romney with saving his daughter’s life, saying, ‘It was the most amazing thing, and I’ll never forget this to the day I die.’
Which brings us back to his strength, as quoted by Robert Gay, the father of this girl:

"Mitt Romney simply can’t help himself. He sees a problem, and his mind immediately sets to work solving it, sometimes consciously, and sometimes not-so-consciously. He doesn’t do it for self-aggrandizement or for personal gain. He does it because that’s just how he’s wired."

This is the Mitt Romney we should be hearing about. I'll take this guy any day over one who 'connects' with me and 'feels my pain.'

Connecting with GOP Voters: Romney's Challenge

The Washington Post has a story this morning about Mitt Romney's limited success in "connecting" with voters in the GOP primary.   I admit, it isn't one of his strengths, and it ultimately may prove to be fatal.  But my goodness, I wish it weren't so.

No folks, I'm not wishing that Mitt were better at connecting.  I wish that voters were less concerned with it.  After all, we've got the King of Connection in office right now, and he's killing us.

Here's a little thought experiment for you, ok?  You're going to have emergency surgery to remove a brain tumor.  The chief of surgery at the hospital sends two surgeons by to talk with you.  He tells you in advance that the first surgeon has a 96% success rate, and the second has an 84% success rate.  Then he leaves the room.

A few minutes later, surgeon 1 enters the room.  He approaches you and shakes your hand, sorta limply.  He's got a bit of a vacuous look on his face.  He speaks with a bit of a stutter, and really doesn't make solid eye contact with you. He's a nice enough guy, but a little unimpressive.

He leaves, and the second surgeon walks in.  He's got a winning smile.  He's tall and handsome, he grips your hand warmly.  In conversation, it turns out he grew up one town over from you, and his father ran the bike shop that your family bought all its bikes from. 

Which guy do you let operate on your brain?  The guy who put you at ease, or the guy who is four times less likely to botch your surgery (I think my math is right on this)? 

I look at the election in these terms.  We are in real, serious trouble--we need "surgery" and we need a skilled surgeon. Rick Santorum may be "connecting" with voters, but he's done exactly two things in his working life that didn't involve a direct payment from the public treasury--he was an associate in a law firm for four years, and for the past five years, he has traded on his Rolodex as a lobbyist/consultant in Washington.  Put another way, he's never solved any really hard problems, in business or in government.  Period.

Solving problems has been what Mitt Romney does, and he has done it well--in private industry, as a government Executive, and in running the Olympic Games. 

So he isn't connecting.  So what. He's competent.  He's smart.  He's able. 

There are serious views put forward by serious people as to why Mitt Romney is a flawed candidate, and those give me pause.  But "connection"?  Please.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Rick Santorum and the Deafening Silence of the Left....and the Media

Rick Santorum is running a phenomenal race right now.  He's saying all the right things, he has hit on a couple of big issues (predominately the plight of lunch-pail American), and he is surging in the polls.  Why is this?  Has "the Conservative base" finally settled on their "not-Mitt" candidate?  Has the character of the race finally jelled to a two man Conservative vs. Moderately Conservative contest?  Maybe.  But I believe something more sinister is at work.

I believe we are watching a coordinated conspiracy of silence underway, one in which the political class on the left and their sycophants in the Bought and Paid For Media have decided that Rick Santorum is far more beatable than Mitt Romney in November, and that they will--through their coordinated actions (and inactions) do everything they can to see to it that Santorum wins the nomination.  What's my proof?

1.  Rick Santorum is one of the the most reviled members of the Conservative political class among  pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage Democrats, and he has been FOR YEARS.  The mere mention of his name was enough to cause Andrew Sullivan to wince and NARAL (or whatever they are currently named) to take to the ramparts.  Where have these voices been as Rick Santorum rises in the polls?  Where has the coordinated action of the left taken place in which they collective express their incredible dread and fear of the possibility that this man might become President?  Nowhere...that's where.  Because across the country, teleconferences and closed email groups of liberals are sitting back and smiling.  They are licking their chops at the possibility that the Republican Party could nominate a man for whom an election based on cultural issues (and not the economy--which they can't defend) would be a certainty. 

2. In the past two weeks, Senator Santorum has made two statements that anyone familiar with his political stance would recognize.  He has indicated a sense that contraception "hurts" women, and he has indicated an uneasiness with opening up additional combat roles for women.  Putting aside for a moment whether you agree with these stances or not, are there any among you who believe that if Rick Santorum and Barack Obama were facing each other in a general election that these two statements would be the pilloried by a synchronized, Media Matters coordinated symphony of BAPM voices?  Do any among you not feel that they entire collective rage of the left would be focused on this man on the basis of these two statements? 

The plain truth of the matter is that Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney generally believe the same things on most social issues--but only one of them is centrally identified with them--Rick Santorum.  The left obviously knows this, and they are executing a brilliant strategy--one in which the media downplays Santorum's social stances while activists encourage Democrats and Independents to vote for Santorum in open primaries and caucuses. Meanwhile, the only media really talking seriously about Santorum's social views is on the right

Wake up, Republicans.  There are good reasons to vote for Rick Santorum, there's no doubt about it.  But if you do, you should consider who is in the next booth over doing exactly the same thing.

Big Fat Friday Free For All

It's that time again, friends, where the blog is given over to your concerns.  What's on your mind?  Got a new point guard who might not work with your superstar? Your failed underwear bomb land you in Supermax for the distance?  Kvetch, people.  Let it out.

Have You Contributed to Romney for President Yet?

Things are looking tough.  Senator Santorum is surging in the midwest and the Democrats and liberal media (dare I repeat myself) are doing everything they can to support his candidacy.  Why?  Because they would rather face him than Mitt.

Dig deep folks, now's the time.  Click this link to donate online, and don't forget to check the block which states that you know your referrer. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Invisible Hand of Liberalism

Many of us are familiar with Adam Smith's concept of the "invisible hand", which Wikipedia describes as "the self-regulating nature of the marketplace."  The more I watch the Obama Presidency in action, I am convinced that there is a "Bizarro World" version of the Invisible Hand, this time wielded by government in the pursuit of liberal socio-economic objectives.  This could wind up being a rambling and poorly thought through post, and if so, I want to apologize in advance.

Here's the gist of it.  When a conservative runs for high office, he or she generally hews to a line of public oration that stresses individual freedom, limited government, freer markets, distributed agency.  It is a pretty predictable set of ideas, and that's one of the things we conservatives like about our politicians.  The fact is though, when they are in private....when they are strategizing....when they are discussing matters of great import with like-minded politicians....they talk about exactly the same things.  There is no real difference between what they espouse in public and what they espouse in private.  What the actually DO is sometimes different, as the explosion of spending while Republicans were in power under GWB amply demonstrates.  But there is very little daylight between their public and private pronouncements.

It is not the same in with liberals.  Put very bluntly, what they say in private is not what they say in public.  I don't want to go to far with the following comparison, because directly equating Soviet style communism and modern American liberalism is ungenerous.  But there is something to be discussed here, and that is while Soviet style-communism was the system that depended on a million lies to survive, modern American liberalism depends on one, big lie; and that is, "you can have it all."

Conservatives don't say this.  Conservatives make the case that we cannot have a strong defense, universal healthcare, early childhood education, great schools, cheap university educations, subsidized job training programs, green energy investment, transportation infrastructure renewal, healthcare for the elderly and a robust old-age pension system (assuming all of these things were desirable)--at the same time we have a robust and growing economy that manages to control public debt.  Liberals on the other hands--they do suggest all of these are possible.  They tell us that all of these conditions can be attained if only the rich paid more in taxes.  But more taxes from the rich are insufficient to bring about the conditions liberals tell us are possible.  Two other conditions must be met, and these are the ones that liberals talk about in private, but cannot and will not discuss in public.

The first is that modern concepts of individual freedom must evolve; actually, the concepts aren't modern, they go back to our founding.  But how they are clung to in the modern world is incredibly inconvenient to the second condition which must exist, and that is the extension of the power of government over more areas of everyday life.  You see, in order for the benefits of more government to be shared among a greater number of people, each of those people must exchange some portion of their individual liberty for the maternal benefits which accrue from a more active and pervasive organized government (do you see why I contrast this with Smith's "invisible hand"?  This is the opposite of a "self-regulating" world--it is a world of central regulation).

But liberals cannot possibly talk about what they hope to bring about in these terms.  They cannot say "you must give over some portion of your individual freedom and agency in order to bring about these benefits.  We are advocating a less free, but more content society, one in which all of your basic human needs are addressed by government that will invariably grow more powerful, intrusive and involved.".  They can't do that.  They simply can't tell the truth about what it is they want to do.  So they lie.  They lie and tell us we can have it all if only the rich paid their fair share, if only we hacked a half-trillion out of the defense budget.  That's all--give us enough resources and we can achieve Valhalla. They never talk about the costs to freedom.

But in private, they do.  Every now and then, we get a glimpse of  what liberals really thing about the rest of us, about how we feel about freedom, government, and society.  We are accused of "clinging to our guns and bibles"--you know, those things so inconveniently protected by that most inconvenient of documents.....the Constitution.  If only we were less free--the things they could do!  The great social aims they could achieve!  Equality!  Re-distribution! "Free" contraception and abortafacients!

So the President and his team, his ideological soul-mates, his "fellow-travelers", they tell us we can have it all, while in private they know this is not true--there are great costs to what they suggest, both in fiscal terms and in terms of freedom.  But these are things that do not interest them. The goods they seek are more important than the relics of our founding. 

There is a new invisible hand at work, one competing directly with the one of which Adam Smith wrote.  This hand is slowly closing around our wrists, leading us into the great national gated community, where like in Lake Wobegon, "all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average."  It is a future of statism and socialism, models of which we see exploding before our very eyes in Europe, in California and in Illinois.  

We must turn these people out of the White House and expose them for the charlatans they are.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Because Nothing Says Love Like Raw Sewage

This Valentine's Day, every kiss will not necessarily begin with Kay. In perhaps the strangest marketing idea ever, the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in New York is offering a special Valentine's Day tour. A Hershey's Kiss will be distributed to every guest!

The plant superintendent will walk guests through the sewage plant’s egg-shaped digesters, which act like a human stomach and break down the noxious waste into harmless sludge and gas. This wildly enthusiastic superintendent promises a date she'll never forget (this is most likely true).

Haven't picked up anything for your beloved yet? Get yourself to Newtown Creek!

Realizing Dr. King's Dream

Let's say someone, a white person, said 'I don't care about the issues. I didn't vote for Obama because he's black.' This person would be excused from polite society, correct?

Well, actor Samuel L. Jackson is claiming he didn't much care about the issues in 2008...he voted for Obama because he's black. As this is a generally understood reality that few are willing to admit, it seems a bit unsavory to express it so starkly. Or maybe his honesty is refreshing.

Judging someone by the content of their character, indeed.

The New Face of Republicanism?

This is Ray LaHood, Obama's Secretary of Transportation. He is a Republican, and was a protege of Bob Michel the House Minority Leader from '81- '95. He is a moderate, trained and mentored by the weakest most compromising limp-dicked moderate in modern history. You might call him a loser's loser.

Quoth Mr. LaHood: "I was chief of staff for Bob Michel who served during the time that Ronald Reagan was president, and Tip O'Neill was the Speaker of the House. During the time that Tom Foley was Speaker, Bob Michel was also the Republican leader; and during the time that President Clinton was president, Bob Michel was Republican leader. That whole period of time was a very rich history and legacy of compromise. This is a time that I think most of us that have watched politics have never seen before. This is about continuing to have a strong economy and continuing to compromise and take maybe a couple of chapters out of Tip O'Neill, Bob Michel, Ronald Reagan, President Clinton, people that have served in this town with distinction and gotten big things done through compromise."

Well I know a little something about that period of time having lived through it, and the first thing that jumps out is Michel wasn't a leader of anything during the Clinton years, Gingrich was Speaker starting in 1993. And during the Reagan years Bob Michel was invisible. Reagan scared the Holy crap out of the guy and he did what he was told, and that is the only reason he was allowed to keep his position. Throughout his miserable career he was the Democrat's favorite butt-boy. Hell, Tip O'Neill often times wouldn't even let Republicans sit in on Committee meetings. And Reagan knew who the guy was, he himself negotiated with the Speaker and wouldn't let Bob Michel near O'Neill because he knew the punk would give away the store.

Are we becoming the Party of guys like Bob Michel and Ray Lahood? Are we going to compromise and moderate and take the attitude that what's yours is yours and what's mine is negotiable? Do we just want to get along and avoid criticism and take whatever crumbs fall from the table? Democrats are forever telling us to go moderate, go to the middle, that's where the votes are. Bullshit, if that were true they wouldn't be telling us. Voters buy what you're selling or they don't. With the average voter it's more about conviction and character and a million other intangibles that defy description. But they can smell a loser a mile away, and they never vote for one.

The Only Good Republican is One Who Looks like a Democrat

Take a look at this bit of doggerel.  In it, two lefty professors (I repeat myself) take to the pages of the Washington Post to yearn for the days of Romney---George that is--as the exemplar of Republicanism.  This is of course, a retread of the standard "if only Republicans acted more like us, the world would be a better place" meme.  They write with such breezy familiarity, as if everyone reading would evaluate what they say as being so completely sensible, so thoroughly adoptable.  There isn't the slightest hint that there may be important policy differences and ideological barriers to the kind of world they yearn for--there is simply the correct way (the way of bigger government) and the way Republicans do it today. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Obama, Catholics,Contraception and Abortafacients

This one is almost too good to be true.  The Catholic intelligentsia in the US tends to swing liberal, and Catholics in general supported President Obama in 2008.  And while they almost reflexively ignore church teachings on contraception, deep down, they don't want the Mother Church messed with.  Now that the the misery of Obamacare--which many Catholic organizations supported--would (if the President had his way) force the Church to provide healthcare that included FREE contraception and abortafacients, there is insurrection among the faithful.  I'm sure most of you have read about the President's "compromise" yesterday, in which He decreed that the Church/Church Hospitals and Schools would not have to pay, but that the insurance companies they retain would.  On its face, this is ridiculous, as the costs of contraception and abortafacients would certainly not be borne by the insurance companies, but by the individual plan owners AND the employer (with whom they share costs.....The Mother Church.  Cato has a great takedown of the reasoning behind the President's move here--and one can only hope that the Catholic church sticks to its guns on this one. 

Rick Santorum: Mitt Romney is a "...true consevative"

So, four years ago, Mitt Romney was running for President, and the recently trounced defeated Senator from Pennsylvania Rick Santorum spent over six minutes talking with Laura Ingraham about his support for Mitt Romney, and his assessment that after watching Romney for nine or ten months, that he was a "...true conservative."  

You were right then, Rick, and you're wrong now.  In some quarters, shifts of position like that are called "flip-flops".    Listen here....

Black, Female and Conservative--Mia Love Gets Some of My Money

Running for Congress in Utah
Read a story about Mia Love today and her splash at CPAC.  Went to her website and watched her video.  She get's $100 out of me without a second thought....

Is the USS Conservative Wahoo Next?

The Navy's newest Littoral Combat Ship will be the USS Gabrielle Giffords.

We're all supporting her, and cheering for her recovery, but this is getting a little silly.

Wouldn't the Meyer (as in Dakota) or Giunta (as in Sal) be a bit more appropriate?

Friday, February 10, 2012

A Dad Reaches His Limit With His Teen Daughter

This video has gone viral, and it generally has met with a series of very supportive comments.  I watched it this morning, and while I can understand a great deal of this man's frustration, I have a sense that there is a whole lot more wrong with this family than just a rebellious daughter.  While Dad may indeed be rising to the level of folk hero, he may have a few issues to iron out of his own.  Watch and see if you agree.

Romney's Jeremiah Wright Moment

I realize it is a cliche to say it, but today's CPAC speech is Romney's "Jeremiah Wright" moment.  Today's speech is a critical one for his candidacy, one in which he MUST baseline conservative voters' perceptions of him as sufficiently conservative for their tastes.  They are never going to completely embrace him as one of their own, and outright pandering will be both unwelcome and insincere.  But Romney has some truly conservative accomplishments and he's led an exemplary life reflecting conservative values.  He needs to remind them of this.

It's Friday Folks--Have You Donated to the Romney Campaign Lately?

It's a long campaign folks, and Mitt's opponents are stout of heart.  It's time to dig deep and make that donation.  Don't forget to indicate that you "know your referrer" by checking that block.

Big Fat Friday Free For All

What's the matter, pal?  Lose three caucuses this week?  Got some problems with the Catholic Church?  Your inherited regime crumbling under the weight of its own decay?  Share.  Get it off your chest.  We're here for you.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Wall Street Will Get Suckered Again

News here that the Obama Campaign is going to somehow target Mitt Romney without targeting Wall Street.  We know this, becasue Obama's Campaign manager explained this to "nervous" Wall Street types who previously supported the President (only to see him turn on them in a New York minute). 

Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice....well, you know the rest of the story.  As I've said in the past, the Wall Streeters who voted for Obama are of such wealthy status that everyday pocketbook issues (price of gas, taxes, tuition) don't matter to them.  Freed of the concerns of we mortals, they can pursue such noble goals as "social justice" and "green energy".   

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My Maryland Voter ID Card

I thought I would share it with all of you, as it is unlikely anyone in the State of Maryland will ever ask to see it.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Happy Birthday Ronald Reagan!

Feb. 6th. 1911, June 5th. 2004

NRO Asks: Why Not Santorum? Because He Can't Win

The search for The Conservative Messiah, Ronald Reagan as Lazarus, continues unabated in this piece pulled from National Review Online this morning. Why not Santorum?  Simply put, because his unabashed embrace of polarizing views of divisive social issues renders him radioactive to the great mass of moderates who determine the outcomes of Presidential elections.  He cannot win.  The magnitude of his defeat at President Obama's hands would be immense.  The media would hammer him MERCILESSLY on these issues, and it would drown out whatever else he has to say. 

Moving the Goalposts on Romney

As the nomination of Mitt Romney continues to look more and more like a reality, those "dead-enders" waiting for The Conservative Messiah are playing a quaint game of "move the goalposts" in attempting to minimize the magnitude of Romney's growing momentum.  First it was "he can't even get 40% of the vote"--then he stomped to victory in Florida with 46%.  Then it was "he can't even get 50%"--and now we have Nevada with a 50% plus whipping of Mr. Speaker.  Now it is "turnout is down--see, Conservatives are staying home like they will in November."  Again, balderdash.  There remain at least two "conservative" (by their own estimation) candidates, so presumably, these "sitter outers" are doing so with legitimate choices left.  No friends, if turnout is down, it is because Republican voters are sensing what the rest of us sense--the curtain is falling on this race Mitt will be our man.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

President Deserves Second Term

In the forty-nine hour long Superbowl Pregame Show, O sat down for an interview with Matt Lauer and declared that he deserved a second term.
We'll be the judge of that, Mr. President.

Newt Barely Hangs On

After getting decisively whipped (again) last night in the Nevada caucus, Speaker Gingrich scheduled a press conference to stress that he is staying in the race.  Putting aside the need for such a statement in a healthy campaign, the Speaker attempted to convince us he was now going to run a positive campaign, which he reinforced by being thoroughly negative about the front-runner.  Face it folks, Newt is flailing, and we're watching him fall apart in real time.  Over the course of the next month, his money will begin to dry up, he will lose convincingly on Super Tuesday, and there will be little left of his candidacy but his own capacity to scare up publicity.
Newt, in happier days....

Newt's diatribe against Mitt last night was instructive; he complains about being outspent in Florida, yet fails to understand the true meaning of that fact--the other guy has a lot more money.  How does he have it?  He is more broadly popular, he has a far better organization, and he sorta, kinda knows how to do this running for President thing.  Newt's entire campaign springs from the mind of Newt, and that is its major fault.  He seems to think that his vaunted debating skills are all that are needed to put him over the top, and he has turned his broken record of debate challenges toward Mitt and away from President Obama.  Super, Newt.  If you were running for Prime Minister of Great Britain and had to do Prime Minister's Questions once a week, maybe that would matter.  But since you're running for the Chief Executive position in the US, perhaps your ability to lead/manage and organize the effort needed to actually pull off being elected for that office should weigh, oh, maybe a little bit with voters.  You're an amateur, Mr. Speaker, and your "People Power" candidacy isn't going anywhere.  Oh, you'll hang on and eventually "suspend" your candidacy (rather than just honorably throwing in the towel and supporting Romney fully), but your days are numbered and they are numbered because you simply aren't ready for prime time.


John King, who probably has already distinguished himself enough during this primary season with the debate question heard 'round the world, goofed on Saturday evening as well. While discussing Nevada caucus results, Mr. King referred to Mitt as 'Governor Mormon.'

Read & watch here.

Friday, February 3, 2012

It's Friday Folks--Have You Donated to the Romney Campaign Lately?

Step right up and let's run up the blog's total, now over $4,000!  Click this link to donate and be sure to check the box saying that you know your referrer. 

Big Fat Friday Free For All

Sorry folks--forgot all about this today....but please, share.  Get it off your chests.  Emote.  Kvetch.  Bitch.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mitt Goes On Record: "I Don't Care About the Poor"

Neither do I Mitt. The poor can kiss my everloving ass, for all time. I'm not referring to the World's poor. More often than not they have been born into horrible circumstances with little or no opportunity to ever escape. But the American poor? They are bums, plain and simple.

Since Lyndon Johnson's "Great Society" programs of 1965 we Americans have spent nearly 16 trillion dollars on "the poor". We currently spend 800 billion per year in transfer payments to "the poor". What do we have to show for it? Niente, nada, zilch! Poverty has not been abated one little bit, as a matter of fact it has increased.

The thing about the very poor is this, they are always changing. Most of the poor five years ago are not the same poor today, except for the "core" poor; and they are the problem. For them being poor is a lifestyle, a vocation, a calling. They will happily live in squalor, eating orange jelly slices watching Jerry Springer on their Wal-Mart widescreens till the end of time... if we let them. They are disproportionately obese, diabetic and addicted. They have more children than the rest of us which are almost always illegitimate (a word fallen out of favor but appropriate nonetheless) which perpetuates dependency.

Don't get me wrong, I am not opposed to a safety net. Unforeseen events can and do happen and I don't want people starving in the streets. But this cradle to grave welfare behemoth we have created is bad for the taxpayer and bad for the recipient. In America we spend incredible amounts of money in an attempt to provide equal opportunity for all. It's not a perfect system but everybody has a chance at prosperity, more or less. You don't have to be the most talented or the smartest or the hardest working. But if you try, if you make the effort, you will be ok. You may not get rich, but then again you just might. But welfare bums don't try in part because the system discourages them from trying. The politicians and bureaucrats who benefit from their poverty are the real villains here.

So, I share Mitt's sentiment, I don't care about the poor either. They can go to hell.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Florida Goes to Romney

Mitt Romney scored a convincing victory in the most populous, most diverse, most nationally important (electorally) state yet contested in the Republican Primary.  A double-digit win, the victory gives Romney all 50 of Florida's delegates due to its "winner take all" format.  A couple of key take-aways:

1.  This was a resounding victory, broad-based and convincing--yet not without concerns.  Gingrich did well in that part of Florida that looks most like "the South" (Florabama), and Romney needs to pick up his game in the South if he is to shake Gingrich and Santorum.

2.  The next month is a relatively quiet one in the race--with contests (both primaries and caucuses) in  Nevada, Maine, Colorado, Missouri, Minnesota, Arizona, Michigan, and Washington---all of which precede "Super Tuesday" on 6 March.  Ron Paul is likely to do well in the caucus states, and his support will hurt Gingrich more than Romney.  I expect Romney to win most--if not all--of the contests between now and Super Tuesday.  Missouri's primary concerns me most right now--though it will not award any delegates (I know--dumb. There is a caucus a month later to do that).  Gingrich isn't on the ballot there (whoops), and Santorum could make a serious stand. 

3.  Super Tuesday isn't going to be as Super as Gingrich's folks probably hope.  The states contested then are AL, GA, ID, MA, ND, OH, OK, TN, VT and VA.  Gingrich will win GA, and maybe AL--but that's it.  This is the day the matter could get settled, and if Romney does well in Alabama, it will be settled.

4.  Romney's victory speech last night made the same point about the primary battles that I've been making all along--whoever wins the nomination will be a better candidate for having gone through the process.  Even the most ardent Mitt-hater MUST acknowledge that he and his organization responded effectively to Newt's surge in SC. 

5.  Stand by today for the sorry postmortems from the Gingrich campaign about how Romney "carpet bombed" him with negative ads leveraging his massive financial war chest.  Guess what?  Romney did the same thing in SC and got his ass kicked.  That wasn't what made the difference in Florida--Gingrich's sorry performance in the debates and Romney's improvements as a candidate were the difference. 

I hear from my more piqued Conservative friends the tired refrain that if Romney is the candidate, they'll just stay home in November. This the silly talk of children.  Rather than vote for the candidate that BETTER represents their interests, they'll stay home and contribute to the candidate they desperately want out of office out of spite.   They point to losses by Dole, Bush (the Elder), and Ford as evidence that when the Party nominates "the establishment" candidate, we lose, while hanging their entire argument on the victories of the era's most transcendent politician--Ronald Reagan--as evidence of their case.  Putting aside for the moment the fact that two of those "establishment candidates" happened to be a sitting Presidents, they conveniently forget the landslide loss the Party suffered in 1964 when it nominated the conservative icon Barry Goldwater.  They also conveniently forget that George Bush the Younger was HARDLY the most conservative candidate in the field in 2000, and by 2004 had to a large extent disappointed many conservatives with his performance in office. 

We have an opportunity here folks, to knock Barack Obama out of office.  It's time to stop the silly talk and let our process work until we have a candidate who best represents the electoral interests of the largest part of our party.  There is serious work to do, and wishing for a conservative messiah to come along isn't going to get that work done. 
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