Morning in America, Again

Reporting from the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington:

Anticipation of Saturday's late afternoon appearance by Rush Limbaugh to close out CPAC 2009 began this morning and, midday, attendees were essentially faced with a choice -- keep your seat in the Shoreham Hotel's Regeny Ballroom for the duration, or risk viewing El Rushbo's remarks on a monitor from spillover seating down the hall.

This is the what you might the call the perfect Conservative storm. Rush blowing in from the south, converging with nearly 9,000 registered CPACers in a ballroom at near-maximum capacity, in a moment when nothing short of a religious experience is adequate to calm the apprehensions of Conservatives young and less young.

Author Ann Coulter also drew a full house around the lunch hour. It was telling that her humorous verbal arrows, while well received, did not have the audience actually rolling in the aisles in side splitting ecstasy. The material was not the problem. It just seems all too apparent that most fervently patriotic Americans are shell shocked by the rapid deployment of B. Hussien Obama's destructive economic and social marching orders, and terrified to think too far beyond tomorrow.

(Among Coulter's best lines: "The media tell us Obama is the Second Coming, but his policies seem to ensure there won't be a second term coming.")

That's why my vote for the day's top speaker amid the Countdown to Rush goes to former Reagan cabinet member Bill Bennett, radio talk host, former Secretary of Education and recent author of a comprehensive history tome, "America: The Last Best Hope".

Bennett brought a no-frills, raspy voiced, rumpled sensibility to Day 3, and his
message is one to embrace tomorrow, next week and throughout the year to come:

"Things looked dire, looked worse, in 1974," said Bennett, referencing the year of
Nixon's demise, stock market stagnancy and the debut of CPAC. "And in 1978, '79, at the end of Jimmy Carter's presidency, things looked dire, too."

Then, Bennett issued his rules for the road ahead. I'd clip and save these.

1. Understand reality. Obama is an appealing politician. And he is not likely to make the stupid mistakes associated with the Clinton years.

2. Obama will not wreck the country. As Conservatives, we gain nothing by predicting that these are the "end of days". No one individual can wreck the country. We have feared this in our past, and it has proven to be misguided.

3. Watch our rhetoric. We are NOT seeing the rise of Socialism. (Bennett was the
only speaker of the three days who rejected this charge). We're seeing the resurgence of a Democrat Left Wing Catechism. In other words, unsettling but not unexpected.

4. Conservatives have talent. "I can't remember a time when we've had a better
bench." He named Jindal, Pawlenty, Sanford, et al. "We had no bench like this in 1979 (when Reagan stepped up)."

5. Never underestimate the American capacity for self-renewal. "It is not dark, or dusk in America," Bennett said. "It is MORNING in America."

Optimism. Realism. Conservatism. Morning.

Any questions?


Thought For The Day

Ronald Reagan generated many great quotes in his day, but I never saw this one until today:

"How do you tell a communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin."

Why Pick on John Kerry?

Today's Rocky Mountain News is the last. Because Rightsideproject's overhead on a per reader basis is substantially lower than the Rocky Mountain News', we continue while RMN doesn't. Simple equation, doesn't take much effort to calculate or understand.

Unless of course you're a Senator from Massachusetts who chairs the Senate Finance Subcommittee on the Blindingly Obvious and "predicted 'this won't be the last in this unfortunate trend in the newspaper business' and pledged to 'take a hard and close look' in his capacity as chairman of a committee on communication, technology and the Internet."

What are you going to look at, Sen.? Craigslist gives away for free what newspapers have to sell. Google News aggregates stories for free. Technology has destroyed the newspaper business model, video killed the radio star, call it what you want. Go do something else.

On second thought, given the Obama budget maybe it's better if Sen. Kerry spends time taking a hard, close look at stopping the inevitable instead of working the budget.

Why pick on John Kerry?

Because it's easy and fun.


The Awakening

Reporting from the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington:

The "leader board" after Day 1 of CPAC 2009 on Thursday is populated by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), a young patriot the nation will embrace in years to come, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), who is a riveting speaker, the wry and authoritative John Bolton, and former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, an advocate of fair election practices stemming from the fury in Ohio on Election Night 2000, and beyond.

There is a sense of urgency and a tug of destiny among these patriotic conservatives. In these horrific times, optimism is bubbling. The Obama opportunists underestimate these tremors of unrest at their peril.

To open CPAC, American Conservative Union president David Keene noted record attendance, now north of 8,500. The attendees I've met personally are here from Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Utah, to name a few. At the first CPAC in 1973, 125 registrants, mostly from "inside the Beltway", gathered to hear the keynote speaker -- a former Governor named Ronald Reagan.

This week's swarm of enthusiastic attendees is half comprised of engaging, optimistic college students. Very encouraging, to say the least. Today's CPAC also attracts 90 co-sponsoring organizations.

Highlights on Day 1 from the historic Omni Shoreham Hotel:

Paul Ryan, 38, is a gifted and forceful speaker, both eloquent and entertaining. His home run line today was that "without enduring (Conservative) principals, we get change but no direction."

Ryan urged Conservatives not to "erect roadblocks" merely to deter the Obama administration but to "create roadmaps" that can lead our nation away from the Marxist threat we face in 2009.

Learn more about Ryan's vision at AmericanRoadmap.org.

No one was on top of his game more than the former U.S. representative to the United Nations, John Bolton, who used his dry one-liners and searing criticism -- both of Presidents Bush and Obama -- to inspire repeated applause and cheers from audience of more than 8,000 attendees.

"The (global) challenges we face may be more than this (Obama) administration can handle," Bolton said. "But the good news is, if (Conservatives) get our acts together, he is a one-termer!"

Bolton wasn't through. "On foreign policy, I don't think President Obama thinks it's a priority. ... (But) a threat to the safety of any American is a threat to our nation. A President who doesn't understand that has a lot to learn."

Turning to Iran, Bolton acknowledged that there are unfortunate parallels between Bush and Obama on the refusal of the United States to confront Iran's military and nuclear ambitions.

Iran's determination to develop weapons of mass destruction is not motivated "by an abstract interest in astrophysics," he said. Bolton fears future military responses to Iran will be left to Israel because "you can count on (the Obama administration) NOT to use force against Iran."

Ohio's Blackwell appeared on a panel entitled, "Al Franken and ACORN: How Liberals are Destroying the American Election System". If the public tuned into even half of what has been done and is on tap to hijack the integrity of free elections, there would be revolt that would cross party lines.

Putting aside spending he proposes, President B. Hussein Obama is leading "the greatest realignment of political power ... ever witnessed," pointing to liberal agendas on six fronts: "card check" intrusions on union workers; censorship of talk radio and other mediums; blanket amnesty proposals for 12 million+ illegal immigrants; universal same-day voter registration; the packing of federal courts with liberal activist judges at the appellate level; and the hijacking of the U.S. Census.

"Taken collectively, you can begin to see the game plan," Blackwell said. "It is a battle of the nature of the relationship to our government as individuals, and the nature of our culture. This is a battle cry."

Indiana's charismatic Congressman Pence crystallized the undeterred resolve of the thousands who converged on the largest CPAC in history.

"We are on the brink of a great American awakening," Pence said. "And it will be Conservatives who will lead it. Beginning right here (in 2009)."

The 2% Illusion

This Op-Ed in today's Wall Street Journal is a good discussion of the folly of trying to pay for big government by taxing only the richest Americans. This strategy will never work, for two main reasons:

1. There isn't enough revenue potential in just raising taxes on the rich. As the editorial states, using an extreme example, even if the government had confiscated 100% of the income of those making over $500,000/yr in 2006, they would only have gained an extra $1.3 trillion in tax revenue. Assuming that raising rates by 65% (from 35% to 100%) would have raised $1.3 trillion, raising rates by the 6.6% Obama proposes (a combination of the expiration of the Bush tax cuts and the backdoor tax rate increase caused by the proposed disallowance of itemized deductions) would have raised about $130 billion. Add in the extra revenue from raising rates on those making over $250,000, which is where Obama has said the higher rates will be assessed, and you might have a total of $200 to $250 billion in extra tax revenue, a drop in the bucket compared to the proposed new spending in excess of $1 trillion annually. But here is the kicker. That is using a static revenue model, which leads to Point #2.

2. Raising marginal tax rates never yields as much revenue as the Congressional Budget Office estimates, because the CBO uses a static estimation method, i.e. it assumes no change in economic behavior due to the change in tax rates. This assumption has been proven invalid time and time again, and yet the CBO continues to use static analyis when estimating the tax revenue effects of increases or decreases in marginal rates.

The static method is especially egregious in the case of capital gains tax rates, where experience has shown that lowering the capital gains rate has actually increased tax revenue. It is also inaccurate for marginal rates on earned income. One need look no further than 2004-2006, when tax revenue actually increased by about 15% per year.

The storyline that the Bush tax cuts caused the deficit to explode was a fallacy. The deficit increased in the first couple of years of the Bush Presidency for three reasons:

1. The popping of the tech equity bubble and the subsequent recession in 2001-2002, which caused a major reduction in tax revenues.

2. An explosion of domestic spending, one of the big mistakes of the Bush Presidency.

3. The fact that when the first Bush tax cuts were enacted in 2001, the lower rates were phased in over a number of years, causing economic activity to be delayed until the lower rates were in effect.

The second round of tax cuts in 2003 corrected the phase-in problem by making the lower rates effective immediately, which led to growth in tax revenue and a reduction in the budget deficit in 2004-2006 as the economy expanded.

Unfortunately, the sunset provision ending the tax cuts after 2010 was not eliminated by the 2003 Tax Act. If the economy begins to recover in 2010 (a big if), rest assured it will run into a brick wall in 2011 when the Bush tax cuts expire and Obama's additional proposed tax hikes presumably take effect. But at least we'll have government-run health care!

Obama and the Slobbering Media, Exhibit #5,281 and Counting

What would the dominant headlines (Newsweek, NYT, MSNBC etc.) be about this 18-hour old story if McCain won in Nov. and made the same decision as Obama about closing Gitmo? Certainly not today's deafening silence.

Fact Finding?!?! WTF?!?!?!

As free enterprise collapses (and is killed) all around us, stories of GM pop up. See this story about GM's remarkable loss for 2008. While GM seeks to become a larger and more durable ward of the state it:
  • Lost money across its various operating units
  • Burned through $6B of cash
  • Underfunded its pension obligations by $12B
  • Courts auditor claims of inviability
Are you as amused as I am by this quote from GM's CFO Ray Young about the goal of a meeting between the company's senior executives and the administration's automobile task force?

"They are in fact-gathering mode right now, and so we are here in order to respond to their questions. This is not a negotiation session by any means, they are going to continue to gather facts and continue to ask for clarifications in terms of our submissions."

Summers and Geithner are obliged to compile a massive restatement of the incredibly obvious for political consumption. Me, I get to draw conclusions quickly because I don't answer to anyone. But what's left to understand? GM was massively dominant while America was massively dominant, conditions which no longer exist. Massive domination bred a culture where management and labor joined hands to run the company for their benefit, not owners' and certainly not customers'. Owners let them and so did customers, until of course the latter had better alternatives. If far more of GM's prodigious cash flow in the flush years had gone into research and innovation, not fat retirement benefits like 30 and out the company would have a better fighting chance. Dependency is hopelessly embedded in the culture and the principal constituencies (labor and management) are too vested in the status quo to turn the company into an innovator.

How do I know?

By looking at the results.

If anyone in Washington is listening, you'll do taxpayers a great service by not bathing the company in cash it will never be able to repay and use the money on one time assistance to those communities ravaged by its downfall.

Live from the Conservative Political Action Conference

Here at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, portfolio manager Eric Singer is offering attendees an opportunity to recoup some of their investment losses.

Singer founded Congressional Effect Management, a fund that seeks to "minimize the market's political risk by only investing in equities when Congress is on vacation."

He's also publishing an e-letter, the Congressional Wealth Destruction Monitor.

Since launching his strategy in May 2008, Singer claims a 0.22% return that has significantly outperformed the S&P 500 (down 38.5% in the same period).

This got my attention: Singer says that, in the past 44 years, the vast majority of the stock market's returns have been gained on days when Congress is on recess.



So now, even the number 2 Democrat in the Senate is calling for Sen. Roland Burris to resign. Yesterday, Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) told Mr. Burris that he should step down. This is a surprisingly bold move from a man who has spent his entire political life lacking any courage. Sen. Durbin knows that Illinois' Democratic governor, Pat Quinn, has also told Sen. Burris to step and that Gov. Quinn now favors a special election to fill that seat. Should Mr. Burris resign his seat and a special election be held, there is an excellent chance for the Republicans to win the election, most likely in the form of Rep. Mark Kirk (R-10th Dist. IL).

Evidently, Mr. Burris' behavior is so bad that the Democratic leadership in the Senate can no longer support him, even if it means losing a seat. It really makes you wonder what the junior Senator from Illinois is saying on those tapes that the US Attorney is keeping under lock and key.

By refusing to resign, Mr. Burris is showing to all residents of Illinois that he is just like every other politician in that state, he's just there for personal gain and not for the people. By digging his heals in and refusing to step aside, Roland Burris is proving what a selfish, small and petty man he really is!


A Distinction Without a Difference

We now have conclusive proof that there was no torture at the terrorists detention camp at Guantanamo Bay. A new Defense Department review of detainee operations at Camp Delta, that was prepared especially for President Obama, was released on Monday. The report concludes that the operations at Guantanamo Bay do not include torture, but rather treat the detainees humanely and in accordance with Geneva Conventions. Therefore, everything that President Bush said about the goings on at Guantanamo Bay were true.

While I certainly would not expect apologies to President Bush from our friends in the mainstream media, those on the left or President Obama, I do hope that the mainstream media and the anti-war left at least ask Mr. Obama why the 600 or so detainees in US custody at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan should not be entitled rights under our constitution. In a court filing on Friday, the Obama Justice Department sided with the Bush Administration in arguing that the Bagram detainees cannot use US civilian courts to challenge their detention.

In what lawyers call a distinction without a difference, the Obama Administration officials argued that Bagram is different from Guantanamo Bay because it is in an overseas war zone and the prisoners there are being held as part of a military action. The government continued to argue that releasing enemy combatants into the Afghan war zone, or even diverting US personnel there to consider their legal cases, could threaten security.

This is, so far, the only point on the War on Terror in which the Obama Administration is correct. Their mistake is that they do not apply this simple logic to those being held at Guantanamo Bay. As of January of this year, at least 61 former Guantanamo detainees have been recaptured or killed on the battlefield fighting against US forces or our allies. Why then is the Obama Administration not concerned about the release of the detainees at Gitmo? Could it be that in their rush to deliver on a campaign promise, they have decided to not consider the impact of their actions? That would be my guess. Political payoffs are easier than a true analysis of a major national security concern.

The review of Guantanamo Bay did not say that everything was perfect. It recommended that high value and violent detainees be allowed to pray and have recreation time in groups. I don’t think that it’s a good idea to put the most dangerous prisoners in such close quarters so that they can continue to plot their evil, but I will admit that I’m not an expert on prison socialization. But at some point, you’d think that common sense would set in. I wonder if the Bagram detainees will get to enjoy group prayer and soccer games or does that only apply if you have constitutional rights?

In a sane world, none of this would be discussed. Unlawful enemy combatants would be held indefinitely until the hostilities had ceased. We would not worry about their group prayers and their recreation. We would be concerned with such things as their returning to their old jobs upon release – you know, killing Americans, Jews and other infidels. I have no doubt that Danny Pearl still would have been beheaded even if Khalid Sheikh Mohammed had known that he would be playing soccer with his friends and would be receiving three religiously appropriate meals a day.


The Hussein Hilton

Dear Sen. McCain:

I stepped into a voting booth in suburban Chicago on Nov. 4, 2008, and cast my vote for John McCain to be President of the United States. I did so proudly, as a conservative Republican, and without trepidation.

Before casting that vote, I donated thousands of dollars to your Presidential campaign. I encouraged friends and neighbors to do the same. And I distributed McCain/Palin yard signs in my community, proudly wearing a McCain cap as well.

I did this because I believed you were qualified and deserving to be President. I supported you because I embrace the powerful message of "Country First". And when you admonished audiences on the campaign trail to "stand up, stand up, stand up and fight", I stood up.

Today, you stood up once again -- at President B. Hussein Obama's ridiculous Fiscal Responsibility Summit, an event staged only days after Obama signed a Fiscally Reprehensible $787 billion spending bill. I appreciated your searing, dry humor, engaged in a hostile setting to criticize the federal government's audacity in planning to spend obscene amounts of money on a new fleet of Marine One helicopters for the White House.

(The price tag for one new chopper, $400 million, exceeds the cost of the pair of Air Force One Boeing 747s, $363 million, that went into service in 1990. And, it should be added, 28 of these $400 million mega-choppers are on order).

You stood up, Senator, but I fear you ultimately surrendered. If you truly believe in "Country First" you would not have been anywhere near the White House today. You would have remained far removed from this bogus public relations stunt, this orchestrated "Summit".

Obama is making a mockery of the White House. He uses it as a large, elegant television studio for his endless parade of announcements and task forces. You would put your country first by rejecting the dangerous spending bills and bailouts Obama is shoving down the throats of the American people.

The campaign for the Presidency is over. But the the battle to keep our union strong never ends. The war to preserve the Constitution can not afford a truce.

In another lifetime, you endured the humiliation of the Hanoi Hilton in Vietnam. Today, I urge you to stand up and fight. Reject Obama's White House. We have entered a tenuous age when 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is the address of the Barack Hussein Hilton. Enter with extreme caution.

A Nation of Cowards, Pt. 2

I had a great idea for a post today about the NY Post cartoon controversy, about protesters availing themselves of their 1st Amendment rights in order to pressure others to surrender theirs while tolerating no divergence from their view, but then I remembered Al Sharpton is leading the protest and he's a publicity machine first, second and last and then I got as bored with the topic as I am with Al Sharpton and didn't have anything else to post so I just went back to work.


Have We Surrendered Already?

Now that he has served his first month in office, it is time to examine President Obama’s effectiveness on the single most important issue of our time – the Global War on Terror. In the one short month, the President has:

o Announced the closure of the terrorist detainment facility at Guantanamo Bay;

o Halted the prosecution of the mastermind of the USS Cole bombing, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri;

o Closed all foreign “secret” CIA prisons;

o Halted “enhanced” interrogation techniques against terrorists;

o Refused to use the term “War on Terror”;

o Privately backed the deal allowing the imposition of Sharia Law in the Swat Valley region of Pakistan; and

o Allocated $20,300,000 in post-conflict aid to the conflict victims in Gaza.

Almost every conservative commentator, including myself, has said that the first four points above endanger US national security and show that Mr. Obama in not serious about fighting the War on Terror. And, as I’ve stated on this blog, the President’s failure to use the term War on Terror shows that he has a pre-9/11, law enforcement approach, to this scourge - an approach that left 3,000 dead American’s in the streets of New York and suburban DC.

Let’s not rehash those points. Let’s analyze the final two. By privately backing the Pakistani government’s deal with the Islamist radicals in the Swat Valley, the President’s envoy to that region, Richard Holbrook, says that the Pakistani’s are trying to engage the "moderate" Taliban. That statement on its face is so absurd that it almost needs no analysis. What a great idea, reach out to the moderate Islamic radicals. Maybe these are the members of the Taliban that only want to execute a woman by firing squad for being raped, as opposed to those who want to stone her to death.

The Pakistani government was forced into this so called peace treaty because of its military defeat in that area. Had the Pakistani Army been successful, there would be no need for the imposition of Sharia Law and there would be no more fear of these “moderate” Taliban blowing up more girls’ schools. See, under Sharia Law, it’s illegal for women to be educated.

Instead of assisting the Pakistani Army, the Obama Administration would rather see the government cut a deal with Islamist extremists and run. Could our government be taking the same approach that the House of Saud took for so many years – if we pay them off, maybe they’ll leave us alone. Of course the answer to this is they won’t. The goal of the Taliban, like all Islamist extremists, is to restore the global Caliphate. There is not much room in that for non-believers (nor for educated women, for that matter).

But, I guess if you’re Barack Obama, you think that all you need to do is to sit down with someone (because you evidently don’t believe that there is such a thing as an enemy) and talk. Your oratory and skills of persuasion are so good that you can convince someone whose lifetime has been devoted to trying to kill you and every other infidel that, to paraphrase the immortal words of Rodney King, we can all just get along. Good luck Mr. President.

As to the $20,300,000 in aid to the Palestinians in Gaza, everyone knows that Gaza is completely controlled by Hamas. Hamas is renowned for grabbing any and all aid that arrives in Gaza. The situation with Hamas stealing aid is so bad that on February 7, the UN Relief and Works Agency (the UN agency that will be distributing the new US aid) announced that it was suspending its actions in Gaza because Hamas’ actions. The UN spokesman told Al Jazeera that UN aid would not resume until they have received the stolen aid back and have received credible assurances from Hamas that this theft will not happen again. Can Hamas give credible assurances? I think not.

It is unconscionable that the United States government would ship over $20,000,000 to a terrorist government like the one in Gaza. This is especially true in light of what the UN has witnessed. What is the point of US taxpayers’ money being looted by an organization that has in its charter the vow to kill all Jews?

The Obama Administration is so weak in its positions in the fight against terrorists, that on February 8, the government of Yemen felt emboldened enough to release 170 Al Qaeda prisoners. This was evidently part of a “truce” between Yemen and Al Qaeda. So, fearing no repercussions from Mr. Obama, Yemen just went ahead and released these terrorists. And, this was just two weeks after Al Qaeda announced that Yemen had become the base of its activities for the entire Arabian Peninsula. Hopefully, none of the remaining Guantanamo detainees will be release to Yemeni custody. If the do, it is only a matter of time before they will be back on the battlefield trying to kill the infidels.

After only one month in office, apparently, the Obama Administration has called a unilateral cease fire in the War on Terror. I hope it does not take another 9/11-type attack for this administration to see the threat. The fact that the homeland has been quite for the past 7 ½ years has made most of us forget the extent of the danger. We need to remind those in charge.


Gov. Pat Quinn Takes The High Road

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has asked Sen. Wallpaper to step down. The former is right for doing it, the latter will, rest assured, under no circumstances voluntarily step down. Honor, integrity, confidence and intellect are trivialities to Illinois politicians and will continue that way for as long as voters reward them with reelection.

Forty nine states consider today a sad reminder of the vomitorium that is Illinois politics. In Springfield, it's just another Friday.

The Awakening Has Begun

Remember when Americans wishing to ignore the necessity of defending the United States would slither off to Canada and stay? President Barack Hussein Obama, the Great Emancipator of Gitmo and Great Antagonist of Counterterrorism, looked to be dodging another day of ridicule toward the UnStimulus Wealth Distribution Package when he flew north of the border Thursday to visit Ottawa.

But, alas, he came back. And, Friday, he assembled the nation's mayors to repeat his baseless assertions that the $787 billion spend-a-thon will result in jobs and economic growth. As he spoke in Washington, Wall Street traders continued to sell.

When will the smitten mainstream media notice that Wall Street, and by extension investors of all stripes (aka, American citizens), have awakened? When will the Kool-Aid buzz wear off?

In this post-Watergate America, the left wing media will continue to fixate on the Presidency because it either wants to destroy the President (Nixon, Reagan, Bush) or deify him (Clinton, Obama). But the fact is our nation was not created to revolve around the Oval Office exclusively. The conduct of elected officials at all levels matters greatly (did someone say Gov. Blagojevich, or Sen. Roland Burris?), and, as citizens, we have the power -- stimulative power -- to control who those elected individuals are and what decisions they make.

(When we fail at this, politicians move up through the ranks unchallenged and untested and become ... B. Hussein Obama).

Responsible citizens need to turn our ears from the drumbeat of doom, which is the crack cocaine of the Obama generation, and focus on what we can do to effect actual change, reverse the tide of despair and restore the economic strength that the United States is fully capable of possessing again in the near future and for generations to come.

The tide of resistance is swelling. On the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade on Thursday, the baggy eyed traders, in their ill-fitting poly-cotton jackets, cheered as CNBC's floor correspondent Rick Santelli assailed the audacity of foreclosure bailouts for unqualified homeowners.

Bill Clinton, whose bloated 1990s "stimulus package" (Monica) got him into trouble repeatedly, became virtually irrelevant during his second term as President. Obama is just another politician who won the Oval Office lottery due to the perfect alignment of a tanking economy and the success of George W. Bush's efforts to quell the threat of terrorism (which, sadly and dangerously, leaves many doubting that the threat remains real).

Socialism is about wearing people down. The calculated risk Obama takes by declaring calamity at every turn -- and ignoring federal debt -- is that Americans eventually will get tired of being tired. Democracy and Capitalism is about rising up and lifting up. The power of America is not the Presidency. It is you and me.


The Daily Pander Teaches Econ At Harvard?

Remember the formula posted here on 2/14 for determining if Obama's stimulus plan creates or saves 4,000,000 jobs: (T+n)-((T+n)-n)= K? Check out Harvard Economics Professor Greg Mankiw's views on the subject here.

I await my crimson tie.

Who's The Coward Now, Eric?

Here's a website actually and unambiguously comparing a then-sitting president to a monkey. Number of resulting protests and threats?


Above is a cartoon not actually or unambiguously comparing a sitting president to a monkey. Such a comparison is strictly a matter of interpretation, unreasonable people can disagree. Number of resulting protests and threats?

Many (jail time for Murdoch? Really?).

Note to Rev. Al: I see your mouth moving, but all I hear is Charlie Brown's teacher talking.

Crazies on Campus

This past fall former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Peter Pace, was named the Indiana University Kelley School of Business’ Poling Chair, a two-year appointment during which the General will give lectures to business students on leadership. Having never had the honor of serving in the military, but knowing a few Marines in my day, I cannot think of a better person to lecture about leadership than a retired four star Marine Corp general who also happened to be the nations top ranking military officer.

Unfortunately, the faculty at Indiana University seems to disagree. According to the Bloomington Harold Times, members of Indiana University’s Bloomington Faculty Council approved a resolution on February 17 that expresses “regret” over the appointment granted to Gen. Pace. The resolution, drafted by IU’s Diversity and Affirmative Action Committee, passed with a vote of 19-15, with not all present faculty voting.

Here we have just another case of crazies on campus. As a graduate of the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, I was upset, but unfortunately, not surprised. American college campuses are now dominated by far left professors and administrators who seem more concerned with political indoctrination than with educating their students. Former radical turned conservative commentator, David Horowitz, documented this in his book, Indoctrination U:The Left's War Against Academic Freedom.

During my time at IU, the faculty was generally considered to be the most conservative of the major universities in the Mid-West. Of course, that was on a relative scale. This appears to no longer be the case. According to those in the know, the IU School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Education are now dominated by far left radicals. This includes a professor who actively sought an appointment to the ROTC oversight board for the express purpose of having ROTC removed from the Bloomington campus. Fortunately, he was unsuccessful in ending the ROTC program and eventually left that board.

Every parent of a college student must be aware of the curriculum in which his or her child is enrolled. The purpose of college is to educate for living, not to breed a generation of Marxists. The consumers of higher education in this country must demand a return to solid academics where life skills and critical thinking are once again taught to the students. Since diversity is the Holy Grail of the left, college students and their parents must demand diversity of political opinions so that the conservative voice is heard and not shunned.

As the Democratic Senator for Georgia Zell Miller pointed out, it is not the college professors who have established and maintained our freedom. It is the members of our armed forces who voluntarily put themselves in harms way who protect all that we hold dear.

Evidently, it is lost on the Indiana University faculty that Gen. Pace spent 40 years risking his life so that they could waste their time debating and voting on useless resolutions that further their leftist agendas. What a shame.


The Edwards Test

Today's WaPo and ChiTri each have cute, quaint editorials seeking the resignation of Sen. Roland "Drywall in a Suit" Burris (D-IL) given his repeated lies, misstatements and obfuscations about the germaine events preceding his appointment to the U.S. Senate by Gov. Milorad Blagojevich (yeah, that's his real name. Snaps to SLB).

A short note to my editorial friends: Burris could fail Edwin Edwards' dead girl/live boy test and he still wouldn't resign. Burris could be found with a live boy, pay for the kid's sex change operation, have her killed and he still wouldn't resign. Being either qualified or capable are irrelevant considerations for elected office in Illinois and Illinois politicians know it. Burris is far more interested in being a Senator than he is in being a useful one.

I Hate To Say I Told You So, But...

On 11/10/08, the following was posted on this blog:
As our new administration contemplates a "loan" to GM to keep it afloat (let's face it folks, it's really a gift, not a loan, because it isn't getting paid back. Ever.) may I offer a small bit of advice? The government is almost certainly going to give GM $25 billion and then not: fire management, or remove the Board, dislodge the UAW, rewrite obligations to retirees, or change any of the controllable forces that contributed to the mess.
On 11/12/08, the following was posted on this blog:
A bailout of some kind will happen. Acknowledge that it will have politically pleasing constraints on executive pay and shareholder disbursements. Acknowledge that it won't target the real cause: a cost structure designed for when the industry did make your father's Oldsmobile.
On 11/14/08 the following was posted on this blog:
I, for one, buy the argument that letting these companies collapse is a bad idea, but in the absence of fundamental restructuring for the customer's benefit (instead of staying on life support for stakeholders) it's a giant waste of money and we should just let them implode.
GM and Chrysler are now seeking another $22B in federal lifelines. Naturally, the request for new gifts from Congress lacks a serious effort to confront the industry's fundamental problems.

I hate to say I told you so, but...


An Academic Study of Bush Derangement Syndrome

C-Span has recently release a poll of 66 presidential historians ranking the first 42 men who have acted as our Commander-in-Chief. In that poll President George W. Bush ranked 36th and President Jimmy Carter ranked 25. This is solid evidence of the liberal bias on our college campuses today.

By any objective measure, the Bush Presidency was far more successful than the Carter Presidency. Let's start by reviewing some of the objective facts. The average inflation rate during the Carter years was 10.7%. The average inflation rate during the Bush years was 2.7%. Interest rates hit 22%. Interest rates during the Bush Administration were historically low. And, on the date that Ronald Reagan took office, one-third of our military aircraft could not fly due to disrepair.

Now let's get to the intangibles. 444 days of Americans being held hostage in Iran was quite a finish to a single four year term. In comparison, George W. Bush acted boldly and decisively in responding to the tragedy of 9/11.

Thanks to the inaction of President Carter in 1979, the Shah of Iran fell and the Iranian Islamic Revolution was born. This emboldened the Islamist world and allowed for 30 years of Islamist terror, including the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. By contrast, Mr. Bush vowed to protect the homeland and did everything in his power to prevent another attack. While Al-Qaeda remains a major threat to the security of the West, it is no longer as potent as it was on September 10, 2001.

As if President Carter did not do enough to try to ruin this country during his time in office, in retirement he has actively attempted to subvert the foreign policies of his successors. Prior to the first Gulf War, Mr. Carter attempted to dissuade Arab countries from joining the coalition that ejected Saddam Hussein from Kuwait. He injected himself into the talks with North Korea during the Clinton Administration against the express wishes of President Clinton and claimed that he had reached a "deal" with the North Koreans to halt their nuclear program. We saw how well that deal worked. And, most recently, he attempted to have our European allies withdraw their support for the War in Iraq. This doesn't even begin to get into his anti-Semitism and support of Palestinian terrorists. Upon reflection, as hard as it is to believe, Mr. Carter has had a worse post-presidency than he had as his presidency.

There is no measure by which President Carter can be viewed as a better President than President George W. Bush. The only explanation is Bush Derangement Syndrome among these academics. What a surprise!


How A Politician Does Math

For the mathematically inclined, here's the Obama administration's secret formula for determining whether the stimulus plan passed last night saves or creates 4,000,000 jobs.

T = total jobs at starting point (i.e. whatever starting point is 4,000,000 less than T+n)
n = whatever ending point is 4,000,000 more than: (T+n)-n
K= constant: 4,000,000

(T+n)-((T+n)-n)= K

Since no algebraic formula can be solved in which all variables are unknown, idiosyncratically adjust "T" and "n" as necessary to maintain constant "K" at 4,000,000.

Bipartisanship Means Doing Things My Way (Pt. 2)

Bipartisanship is in the eye of the beholder. In a divided government, where one party controls either the legislative (appropriators) or executive (distributors) branch but not both, bipartisanship generally means either:
  • Bundle your best idea with my best idea and try them both.
  • Some kind of blend of our two worst ideas.
Of course in Washington (and Springfield and Albany and Baton Rouge and Tallahassee) if one party controls both the appropriating branch and the distributing branch bipartisanship really means: agree with me. My view of government's appropriate role is to ensure equality before the law and protect against force and fraud.  Of course there are other roles for government but those two are paramount.  "Fixing" problems, in which politicians get to define both the problem and the solution inevitably leads to, well you know where it inevitably leads.

I believe Obama's won't publicly flaunt his overwhelming partisan muscle but privately will flex it relentlessly to green light all the pent-up redistributionist ideas his congressional allies can conjure. Whatever his public persona, his history and ideological predisposition suggests to me he wants to move the political center leftward and be the political godfather of the dawning era of gargantuan government.

The political tailwinds Democrats enjoyed over at least the last three years would be practically impossible for even the strongest competitors to overcome. Moreover, Democrats utterly out-organized Republicans, and Republicans have become caricatures of their former selves, spending like mad and obsessing about abortion and gay marriage. The press loathes the dominant Republican view on the latter two issues. Moreover, the press has bought the bipartisan line from the administration, as though rank partisanship hasn't been a constant in the nation's 232 year history. But if Obama faced genuine political competition, the stimulus bill would either have had more input from the opposition or more debate. Maybe that's good, maybe that's bad.  My own take is that's a purely political document, one that could have been far more creative.  But if there was a compromise to be had, it's only because there's no alternative.



On this, the 200th birthday of our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, it's time to once again call out the mainstream media for, as former CBS newsman, Bernie Goldberg, says, its slobbering love affair with our 44th President. This morning, on a network TV morning news program, the reporter said, "The parallels between Lincoln and Obama are staggering."
That got me thinking. What, exactly, are those parallels? I've come up with two. First, they both have lived their adult lives in Illinois. (Since I've lived my entire adult life in Illinois, does that mean that I have almost staggering parallels to Honest Abe?) Next, they both were elected President of the United States. Beyond these two things, I see nothing in common. And, by this metric, the parallels between President Obama and President Grant are staggering as well. I wonder why that is never mentioned? Maybe if President Obama grew a beard (like C. Everett Koop), I'd see it then.
Clearly, at the time of his accession to the Presidency, Lincoln faced the most significant crisis since the founding of our nation. I would venture to say that the crisis that President Lincoln faced as the most significant in our history, period. Through his personal courage, he was able to preserve the union. His leadership as the Commander-in-Chief during war time was unmatched. Including making such difficult decisions as suspending habeas corpus.
President Lincoln's actions allowed our nation to develop into not only the greatest super power in the history of mankind, but also the single greatest force for good that the world has ever known. Had Lincoln's armies not succeeded and had his malice toward none and charity toward all approach to reconstruction not been followed, we, as a nation, never would have prospered.
In contrast, President Obama won't even recognize that we are engaged in a war. His refusal to even recognize the phrase "War on Terror" is conclusive evidence of this. His numerous statements regarding return to a law enforcement approach to the problem of terrorism shows that he has not moral courage on the Principal national security matter of our time.
Of course, our country faces challenges at home today, but nothing like in Lincoln's day. However, here as well, Mr. Obama has abdicated his responsibility to Nancy Pelosi and her band of leftists in the House of Representatives. Had President Obama really wanted to take charge of the so called stimulus bill, as I've said before, he would have had it authored in the White House and not by a Speaker of the House from San Francisco.
It will never cease to amaze me that after only three weeks in office, and no achievements or convictions, President Obama is almost universally compared to one of our greatest Presidents. Maybe our friends in the mainstream media will, at some point, start to act honestly in their coverage of Mr. Obama. But, if they don't, we all know that President Lincoln fought and died for our constitution, including the rights of a free press. I just wish that with that freedom, came some sense of responsibility.


If It's Good for One, It's Good for All!

As the Daily Pander and I have often discussed, there is almost nothing in politics that we hate more than using one small example of hardship or success and extrapolating that out to the same thing for a country of 300,000,000 people. Well, President Obama has done it again. Since Caterpillar is going to rehire "some" laid-off workers, then every company will, right? What will the Cat executives say in a few years when the national debt is more than double what it is today and inflation and interest rates are back in the Jimmy Carter range? Who will they be rehiring then?

Arlen Specter Makes No Sense

In case you think we're overly harsh on President Obama, his cabinet and Democrats generally, here's a little equal opportunity bashing, this time on Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA). Asked by CNN to defend his vote on Obama's stimulus plan he said (emphasis mine):
"I understand the peril, but I didn't run for the United States Senate to further my own political interests," Sen. Arlen Specter said on CNN's American Morning. "I think when you have a decision like the one that we're facing now, there's only one way to respond, and that's to respond with action."
Doesn't running for office by definition mean Specter is furthering his political interests?

These are the people in charge? Yikes.

A Little Blackmail With Your Coffee, Sir?

Pardon me for a little rank speculation, but if W. had used this bit of news to promote a stimulus policy he would have been mocked in the press incessantly for trading on fear, or thinking small, or for using not-so-subtle political blackmail.

No way to prove it of course, but does anyone agree?


When Geithner Speaks, People Listen

There are three uniquely unfalsifiable and inflammatory techniques of political debate that give me a five alarm headache whenever I hear them:

1) When one potential beneficiary of a policy is plucked from a population of 300,000,000 as evidence the proposal is a good one. No kidding, this or that idea will benefit this or that person? Amazing. Big whoop. Show me why the idea is good for 200,000,000 people.

2) "Do it for the children." Somehow children survived and thrived for decades without politicians falling all over themselves to show just how much they care about "the children." I have kids, I know lots of kids, and as a society we've helped them so much they can barely tie their shoes without a liability release form.

3) Pointing to the daily moves of the Dow as either affirmation or refutation of a policy's success. Daily market movements are, with rare exception, totally random. No one knows enough to outguess the market daily, let alone comment on it cogently. If someone did, there would be no reason to hold a job.

All that said, I sure feel bad for Treasury Secretary Geithner. As he spoke today, Mr. Market took a giant leap off a cliff. His boss couldn't possibly be Hoping for that kind of Change.


The Truth Hurts, Senator

We now have Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) calling a "Truth and Reconciliation Commission" to investigate decisions of the Bush Administration. If the Senator were not serious, we would all be doubled over with a good belly laugh. Due to his own history, Mr. Leahy would be best to take the advise of his far left colleagues and "Move On."

Since Sen. Leahy doesn't care to move on, maybe we should have a commission review his misdeeds. Better yet, we should have the US Attorney investigate them. It is ironic that Sen. Leahy would be the one Senator calling for a commission to investigate so called misdeeds by the prior administration since, as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, he leaked information that made have led to the death of a covert American intelligence agent in Egypt. According to a 1987 San Diego Union-Tribune report, in a 1985 television appearance, Mr. Leahy disclosed classified information that one of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's telephone conversations had been intercepted. The information that Leahy revealed had been used in the operation to capture the Arab terrorists who had hijacked the Achille Lauro cruise ship and killed American citizens. The Union-Tribune claimed that Leahy's indiscretion may have cost the life of at least one of the Egyptian operatives involved in that operation.

There is no question that the leaking of classified intelligence information is a felony. Therefore, if one of the operatives involved in the capture of the Achille Lauro terrorist was murdered as a result of Sen. Leahy's leak, the Senator is guilty of felony murder. This is the perfect topic for a commission, or at least a grand jury.

But wait, there is more. Senator Leahy evidently thought that he was solely empowered to declassify any information that he wanted. In 1987, the Washington Times reported that Leahy had also leaked secret information about a 1986 covert operation planned by the Reagan administration to overthrow Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Leahy allegedly had said, "I thought the operation was probably the most ridiculous thing I had seen, and also the most irresponsible." Leahy had threatened to expose the operation to then CIA Director William Casey. A few weeks later, details of the plan appeared in The Washington Post, and the operation was canceled. It is nice to see that the judgment of one Senator can override that of the entire national security apparatus.

And, just when you think it's over, Senator Leahy reappears for an encore. Just before the Iran-Contra hearings were to begin, Leahy allowed an NBC reporter to look through the Senate Intelligence Committee's confidential draft report on the burgeoning scandal. After NBC used the information in a January 1987 report, Leahy came under increasing fire, and after a six-month internal investigation he was finally forced to step down from the Intelligence Committee. This leak was considered to be one of the most serious breaches of secrecy in the Intelligence Committee's then-10-year history.

If Senator Leahy's Senate colleagues had a moral compass, they would have expelled him from the Senate. Next, they would have demanded that he be prosecuted and sent to jail. Then, not only would Sen. Leahy have received the punishment that he deserved, the prosecution would have acted as a deterrent to future leakers of classified information. Maybe the New York Times would never have known about the the terrorist surveillance program or our efforts to stop the international financing of Islamic terrorists. Instead, Senators and bureaucrats leak with impunity and repeatedly compromise our security.

Sen. Leahy is a far left zealot who is not worthy of the office that he holds. The people of Vermont should have realized this a long time ago. The true lesson for Mr. Leahy is that people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones!

We Agree!

Simply being politically or economically conservative does not make one the caricatured version, the one who cares little, if any, for the financial well-being of the less advantaged or those on the receiving end of terrible randomness. Some of us actually believe a country as wealthy as ours should provide food, shelter, health care, housing etc. to the genuinely screwed. Where we differ with our friends on the left is the extent to which recipients should expect the kindness of strangers enforced at gunpoint.

Public spending comes at a cost (i.e. taxation or borrowing). Sometimes that cost is overcome unambiguously (county builds a bridge, hotel gets built on other side of bridge, which generates jobs and taxes). Sometimes the reward isn't quantifiable but self-evident (think polio vaccinations). But disagreement will never end on what constitutes national priorities, the usefulness of funding to address them and subsequent questions of how, when, amounts and by whom.

Experience painfully teaches spending eventually becomes an expectation, nearly impossible to reverse even when the original problem no longer exists. There's nothing automatically bad about about resisting claims on the national purse, just as there's nothing automatically good about making claims on the purse. Personally, I agree with with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner: "Public assistance is a privilege, not a right."
Sec. Geithner said that in the context of conditions on the compensation of senior executives at Treasury-assisted banks. But change the subject just a little to, say, middle class housing. Would Geithner's boss agree?


Rewriting Reality

Alan Reynolds has a great column on National Review Online today taking Paul Krugman to task for his constant efforts to distort the economic benefits that resulted from Ronald Reagan's policies. Reynolds describes typical "Krugmanian" tactics such as defining the "Reagan era" as the period between 1977 and 1991. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure Jimmy Carter was inaugurated in 1977, not Ronald Reagan. And from 1989-1991 George H.W. Bush was busy undoing some of Reagan's economic accomplishments (raising individual marginal tax rates in 1990 for example).

Krugman also uses a typical liberal economist's tactic of focusing on hard to define metrics such as wealth distribution and poverty rates to refute overwhelming evidence of economic progress. From January 20, 1981 to January 20, 1989, the S&P 500 increased by 120%. Real annual GDP growth averaged 3%, while inflation and interest rates were reduced dramatically, during Reagan's term. Yet, in Krugman's world, the 80's were a failure because the bulk of income gains went to the top 1% of income earners, while the rest of Americans were left behind. Leaving aside the fact that this was not true, as Reynolds proves, the bigger point is that the idea that policies can be implemented to target what income group gains the most is pure hubris. Politicians are most effective when they get out of the way and let the private market innovate and create growth. Efforts to micromanage and pick favorite groups to benefit from growth continually cause more problems than they solve.

Ronald Reagan's accomplishments are many, but chief among them is lowering the top marginal tax rate for individuals from 70% (yes, 70%!) to 28%, thus increasing incentives to work and innovate and unleashing the entrepreneurial spirits of Americans. Paul Krugman seems to be offended by policies that allow Americans to decide how to spend and invest their money, as opposed to the government. Thus he has been engaged in a twenty year quest to discredit Reagan's policies and accomplishments. As Alan Reynolds says at the end of his column, can we please recall Krugman's ill-deserved Nobel Prize?


The Obama Doctrine

In announcing limitations on executive compensation for employees of financial institutions that receive government assistance, President Obama said, "But what gets people upset - and rightfully so - are executives being rewarded for failure. Especially when those rewards are subsidized by U.S. taxpayers." It is very upsetting when people are rewarded for failure at taxpayers' expense. As a matter of fact, I think that this is such a great policy, that from here on, it should be know as the "Obama Doctrine"! Finally, the President and I agree on something and we'll name it after him.

However, if Mr. Obama was serious about ending rewards for failure at taxpayers' expense and enforcing the Obama Doctrine, he would announce many new policies to end such abusive rewards. First, he'd issue an executive order ending all government handouts for failure enter the country legally. Border states in particular have come under increased financial stress due to a massive influx of illegal immigration in the 1990s and early 2000s. The states are required to provide heath care, welfare and education to illegal aliens. If this isn't taxpayers rewarding failure, nothing is.

Next, the President would remove all cabinet members who failed to comply with federal tax laws. These tax cheats, after all, are being subsidized by taxpayers' on two fronts. First, they have shifted the burden of taxation to those of us who comply with the tax law. Next, they have been rewarded with a federal salary. This type of failure is not worthy of taxpayers' subsidy.

Of course, the Obama administration will immediately issue regulations ending the SCHIP program. Under the Obama Doctrine, it makes no sense for taxpayers to subsidize parents who have children that they fail to afford.

I guess GM, Ford and Chrysler better not be looking for anymore TARP money. The Obama Doctrine cannot allow the failed business model of the Big 3 to continue at the expense of the American taxpayers. Who would have thought that the car makers would have better luck getting money out of the Bush Administration - not me.

I hope that the President isn't going to extend unemployment compensation for those who lost their jobs and have failed to find new ones. As we know, employers pay unemployment insurance premiums for each employee. When someone loses his job, he is entitled to that insurance. But, if that worker fails to find new work within the proscribed time and that time is extended by the federal government, it's just another example of taxpayers subsidizing failure.

I'm glad that in only two weeks in office, the President has acted boldly enough to actually have a doctrine named after him. Think about it. It took George W. Bush at least one year and a major event that changed the world as we know it in order to have Charles Krauthammer coin the Bush Doctrine.

Satellites Equal Danger

Yesterday, we may have reached a precipice for the security of the Free World. Apparently, Iran successfully launched its first satellite into orbit. Such a successful launch means that if Iran does not currently possess ballistic missile technology sufficient to deliver a weapons payload anywhere in the world, it will very soon. The technology used in "peaceful" space programs is the same as that in ballistic missile technology. Now, in addition to worrying about Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon, we also have to worry about them having the ability to deliver it anywhere in the world, including the United States. (As an aside, this is, of course, an argument for the continued deployment of our missile defense shield!)

We now know for certain that the President's open letter to the Iranian people which is currently in the drafting process, back channel (all be it low level) diplomatic contacts and television interview on Al Arabiya have made him look weak in the eyes of the Iranian leadership. Iranian government spokesman, Gholam Hossein Elham, was quoted as saying that the request to talk "...means Western ideology has become passive, that capitalist thought and the system of domination have failed. Negotiation is secondary, the main issue is that there is no way but for the United States to change." Unfortunately, because of Mr. Obama's ascension to the Presidency, and after only two weeks in office, the world's largest sponsor of state terror is newly emboldened by his perceived weakness at a time when the consequences are more dire than ever.

President Obama must act immediately to end the Iranian nuclear program forever. He must show that the Iranians' initial perception of him is incorrect. Bold action is required now before the final touches are put on the next Islamic bomb and the ballistic missiles necessary to deliver it to our shores. At minimum, there must be a complete naval blockade of Iran in the Persian Gulf. Although it is one of the world's largest oil producing nations, Iran has very little in the way of refining capacity. Therefore, almost Iranian gasoline is imported. A complete naval blockade of Iran would have a devastating affect on the already depressed Iranian economy. This may even lead to a popular uprising against the ruling Mullahs.

In addition to the blockade, the President needs to seriously consider air strikes against the Iranian nuclear sites. While the sites are scattered and believed to be super-hardened, our newest bunker buster technology should be able to severely disable, if not eliminate, the nuclear weapons program. The Bush administration denied an Israeli request for this technology. Maybe President Obama will reconsider this request as the Israelis appear to be ready to elect a new hawkish prime minister.

Also, strong action against Iran would also stand as a warning to our other enemies that the new administration will act decisively to defends its citizens, our homeland and our allies. Al Qaeda and its enablers will then be on notice that the United States remains strong and willing to defend her interests. Remember, the detonation of a nuclear weapon in an American city will not lead to 3,000 causalities, but rather tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of casualties. We can no longer wait to see if making happy talk with our enemies will work. The stakes are too high. The Obama Administration must do what the Bush Administration didn't - rid the world of a nuclear armed terrorist state that has the ability to strike any time and anywhere.
Remember back to the late 1970s when the occupant of the Oval Office was perceived as weak by Islamic extremists. I do not think that any American wants to see that again. To avoid this, the President must act boldly and soon. If not, I'm afraid, that history will repeat itself, only on a far more deadly scale.


The Biden Patriot-o-meter Claims its First Victim

Tom Daschle has asked President Obama to withdraw his nomination. When people talk about the revolving door between Congress and lobbyists, Tom Daschle is a poster boy. I'm confident he went into public service without malintent, but 30 years of dealmaking with the public purse inevitably corrupts. Kudos to Obama, and his Sicilian messenger boy Johnny Ola...er Rahm Emanuel, for taking action.

Secretary of Commerce

In a stroke of political genius, President Obama has selected New Hampshire Republican Senator Judd Gregg to be his Secretary of Commerce. New Hampshire has a Democratic governor, which, under normal circumstances, would mean that a Democrat would be selected to fill the vacant Senate seat. However, Sen. Gregg has assured his Republican Senate colleagues that he would only accept the appointment if he were assured that a Republican would be selected to fill his seat. That's great in the short term, but New Hampshire has been trending Democratic in recent years and it puts a safe Republican seat up for grabs in 2010.

Also, Sen. Gregg was a key member of the Senate on budget and fiscal matters. With Gregg's departure from the Senate, the Republicans have lost a valuable asset for their negotiations with the White House and Democratic members of Congress.

It's not a good day for Mitch McConnell and his crew. The President seems one step ahead of them, at least politically.

Ring the Biden Patriot-o-meter!

Why is the Obama administration recruiting so many unpatriotic people?

First, the "to be fair" part of this post:
  1. A taxpayer can easily make an honest mistake when filing taxes
  2. An honest mistake shouldn't automatically disqualify someone for appointed office
  3. People with a highly specialized skill should be afforded a little slack, given the personal sacrifices demanded of them when serving in a big time public position.
  4. Republicans should tread carefully on this issue. It will, Democrats' efforts to the contrary notwithstanding, bite them one day again as well.
Now, the "tough s**t" part of this post:
  1. Hypocrisy is coin of the realm in Washington. Our friends on the left are bathed in it just like they, justifiably, claim Republicans are.
  2. Anyone reading this blog would be subject to prosecution for Tom Daschle's tax evasion, not toasted by his slobbering former clubmates.
  3. Only reckless disregard explains why Tom Daschle, a former member of the Senate Finance Committee, neither filed nor paid legally owed taxes. His choices demonstrate he's too flawed to serve.
I wonder why voters are so cynical?