Tuesday, September 30, 2008

You Want to Fix the Economy?

There's been a lot of talk about the economy lately, mainly because we're seeing the economy riding the world's biggest and most expensive roller coaster. Everybody seems to have an opinion on how to make the economy hum again, but it's the usual Band-Aids on a gushing chest wound. After the big bailout attempt yesterday, it became clear to me that government doesn't have the answers, so let me try my hand at it.

1) Go back on the gold standard, at least temporarily. Yeah, this is something conservatives always seem to trot out, but this time it may actually work. Right now, our paper money is backed by two things: what we say it's worth, and what others are willing to say it's worth. Now that our word isn't as good as gold anymore, it's time to consider backing our money with gold like we used to do. There will be a period of adjustment to get used to the idea, but it will be temporary and it will lead to a far stronger economy.

2) Repeal the Community Reinvestment Act. This may have been a good idea at one time, but the way it's been expanded and twisted makes it completely unworkable in today's economy. Repeal it and let banks and mortgage companies go back to doing business the way it should be done. And, yes, that means there might be low-income people who can't afford housing. Here's a news flash for you. If they are low-income, there might be a reason, like making bad choices that made them low-income in the first place. Throwing money they can't repay at them so they can get into a house they'll never afford is counterproductive, like Affirmative Action or letting Democrats write housing laws.

3) Arrest, prosecute, heavily fine, and incarcerate those responsible for the subprime mortgage situation. A draconian move? Probably, but given what we know already, it's clear that the longer people like Franklin Raines and Jamie Gorelick are out in public, the closer they get to escaping the fate they truly deserve. And don't think Congress-critters are exempt from this. Any Representative or Senator that had a hand in the passage and defense of the Community Reinvestment Act gets the same treatment. As far as fines go, I'm going to be lenient. Let's say the guilty parties pay back...oh, double what they got from perpetrating one of the biggest con game in American history. And that's if I'm being nice. Get me torqued off like I was yesterday...let's just say the words "worse than an IRS audit" come to mind.

4) Make the Bush tax cuts permanent...and make them deeper. This is the first part of a two-part solution that Congress can enact tomorrow. No matter what some might tell you, the real driving force in our economy is the people. Without people buying and selling products and services, there is no economy. To improve the economy, give people more of their money back that gets stolen via taxes. That requires the Bush tax cuts to be made permanent, and then increase them. That means government will have to do with less, which means...

5) Make real cuts in government spending. When we overextend our budgets, we can't print more money or demand more in taxes from our neighbors. When Congress overextends its budgets, they can. That stops under my plan. Every bit of spending on anything from paper clips to figher planes will be scrutinized and anything unnecessary gets cut. And if Congress doesn't like it, guess what? I'm cutting Congressional salaries, too.

6) Work on alternate fuel sources while opening up more drilling. No, I'm not becoming Al Gore. My idea will actually work and work well. Cutting our dependence in foreign oil will keep less of our money going overseas to people who hate us, but love our money and desire for oil. The short term answer is more drilling and keeping the oil in country. While that's going on, give incentives for companies to develop alternate fuel sources. Fire up the industrial powerhouse that is the United States and we will find ourselves stronger and wealthier than ever before.

7) Recreate manufacturing in America. This is vital to sustaining any economic momentum we create by enacting any if not all of my suggestions. We've been doing far too much importing in the past few decades, and this has created trade imbalances because foreign countries love to stick us with tariffs. What's the best way to avoid that? Start making stuff ourselves again! Sure, we'll have to put up with a learning curve for a while, but the results if we stick with it will be well worth it.

Seven common sense ways to fire up the economic engine and fix our economy.

Which means nobody in Washington will be willing to enact any of them.

The Bailout: A Real Step in the Right Direction

For the past week, I've been trying to give the proposed $700 billion bailout the benefit of the doubt. I've listened to both sides make their case and even speculated that the bailout might be necessary because of what could have happened if we didn't. But now...not so much. I'm now like Howard Beale from "Network": I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore.

The more I dig into this bailout, the more I realize it's not about saving the country from the impact of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae being fiscally risky. It's about saving Democrats from the consequences of their horrific attempts at socioeconomic engineering via government largesse. I won't go through the details because I'm sure you've seen/read/heard how Democrats have blocked meaningful oversight of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Instead, it's time we stop playing games with the Democrats. Weak sauce rhetoric from Republicans isn't going to cut it. I'm going with something a bit more appropriate.

That's right. I'm talking prosecution.

I'm not just talking about arresting the particulars who made millions through questionable accounting practices. I'm talking about arresting the members of Congress who have allowed these practices to go unpunished. Having people like Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, and Nancy Pelosi lecture us about how bad things are because of Republicans is the straw that broke this pundit's back. There has to be some sort of legal recourse, and it's time we push for it the Democrats responsible for this mess to be punished to the fullest extent of the law. These folks shouldnt be allowed to hold onto the cash box at a garage sale, let alone make decisions that impact our economy.

Leading these Democrat scumbags out of the Capitol Building in handcuffs would be a step in the right direction for this bailout. Then, we could figure out how to do it without putting taxpayers on the hook and taking Democrats off.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Impressions of Last Night's Debate

The first Presidential debate between Barack Obama and John McCain is history, so let's talk about it a bit.

- Is it just me, or did Obama seem mad? I listened to part of the debate on the radio and there seemed to be an edge to his voice. Then, when I got a chance to see the debate, he gave off a vibe like "Why am I even here? Aren't I already President?" He seemed mad that he had to go on TV and make his case to the country. And if that was evident to me, it's bound to be evident to many more people.

- McCain was McCain for the most part. From what I saw and heard, he wasn't joking around or smiling as much, but he was in his element. His delivery was smooth, and he seemed to know just what to say to make his point without sounding like he was attacking Obama directly. He came off as both knowledgeable and friendly to me. That will help him a lot in the short term.

- A lot has been made of the two candidates not looking at each other, but I will have to defend both candidates on this. They weren't trying to ignore the other person, nor is it an indication they were lying. The stage set up was such that the only one the candidates could most likely see was Jim Leher, so they had a point of focus to the guy asking the questions. No controversy there, folks. Move along.

- Whomever chose Jim Leher to be a moderator should be fired. Seriously. He lost control quite a few times during the debate, which allowed Obama a chance to filibuster and continue talking about an issue that Leher wanted to move from into a different issue. This wasn't the best thing for Obama. The more he butted in and tried talking over McCain and Leher, the more perturbed he sounded.

- The McCain campaign put together an ad during the debate and released it on YouTube. Although I don't think it was as effective as it could have been, it accomplished its goal: torquing off the Obama camp. I have heard a LOT of negative comments from Obama supporters about how McCain could have approved an ad during the debate. Look, it's called editing. He's recorded that line long before now, so it's no big deal to drop in the audio on a picture and run the ad. To me, the Obama folks are mad that their guy got caught looking and sounding like he's following McCain's lead. Want some cheese with that whine?

- You know when CNN is saying McCain won (which they did), Obama's in BIG trouble. Now, he's going to have to rely on Joe Biden to make the case for him at the Vice Presidential debate with Sarah Palin. As much as some would lead you to believe this is going to be a slam dunk for Obama, it's not. Say what you will about Palin's alleged lack of preparation, she is at least consistent in her support for McCain. Biden has recently and publicly broken with the Obama campaign strategists on a few issues. Although this has been spun to look like Obama picked Biden because of his independent streak, it doesn't help the ticket as much as some would lead us to believe. It will be interesting to see what transpires.

- When asked about a question about foreign policy, Obama said he was proud of his Vice Presidential choice? BIG mistake for Obama there, as it made him look completely unprepared to lead. What happens if Obama is elected and Upper Lower Craptackistan gets embroiled in a civil war? Ask Joe Biden? Having seen Biden's "three state solution" in Iraq, you'd be better off consulting a Magic 8 Ball.

Judging from what I saw and heard, I have to give the first debate to McCain. He seemed more comfortable with what he was saying and he didn't make too many mistakes. Obama needed to set the tone for future debates while setting himself up as the candidate best suited to lead. He failed. He may have won the first half hour of the debate (which seems to be the consensus), he lost the other hour.

Next, the Vice Presidential debates! Get your popcorn and your comfy chair. This one's gonna be goooooooood.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

With One Move...

Sometimes I get frustrated with how conservative talk radio hosts miss the small stories with a big impact on the election. One of those happened today when John McCain announced he was suspending his campaign and asked to postpone the first debate to head to Washington, DC, to help with the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac bailout. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told McCain not to bother, and Barack Obama said he still wanted to hold the debate. Democrats crowed that this proved McCain wasn't fit to be President because he couldn't juggle more than one thing at a time.

But the Left is in for a surprise if they think they think McCain blundered here. It was a brilliant political move made for the right reasons. Take a look at what this one move does for McCain.

- By suspending his campaign, McCain looks like a leader at a time when many Americans are looking to government to come up with a solution. Even if he's rebuffed, the fact he was willing to put his campaign on to do his job shows he's focused on working for the American people. Compared to Obama's refusal to break off the campaign, this makes McCain look Presidential.

- Suspending his campaign also means McCain won't be spending campaign funds. With a race being as close as it is, saving money can mean the difference between sipping champagne at a victory party and drinking beer after a concession speech. Without spending money on ads or campaign travels, that gives McCain more bang for the buck later on. Obama may have more money, but he's going to have to spend it if he wants to keep the heat on McCain. Meanwhile, all McCain has to do is head to DC to put the heat on Obama.

- With Harry Reid telling McCain not to show up in DC and with his comments about how he felt McCain's announcement was a PR stunt, he's given McCain a way to expose America to just how out of touch the Democrats in Congress are. McCain was willing to help at a time when people are looking for leaders, and Reid slaps away McCain's hand? Considering McCain saw this whole bailout situation coming back in 2005, Reid might want to reconsider to save face and, oh, his job. This snub by Reid can come back to haunt the Congressional Democrats just when both houses of Congress are back in play. Bad timing and judgment on his part.

- This suspension, even if the debate isn't going to be postponed, can give McCain more time for debate preparation. With the first debate being about foreign policy, every statement McCain makes will be scrutinized by the American press (who is in Obama's back pocket) to the world press (who will jump on any statement that makes it seem as though McCain will continue with the foreign policy George W. Bush has put into place). McCain has to appear to be strong on foreign policy without looking like he's depending on Bush's foreign policy to rule his decisions. The difference between McCain's debate prep and Obama's is that the latter needs to cram to appear to be intelligent on foreign policy.

- Although much of the attention is on Barack Obama's response, McCain's actions also hurt Joe Biden. Biden's already starving for media attention, and what he's said this week alone has to make Obama's supporters a little skittish about him. While Obama might need to brush up on his foreign policy, Biden isn't the one debating McCain. He's free to head back to DC to act as Obama's surrogate, but yet he's not. Maybe he's helping Obama cram for the first debate (although from what I've seen of his foreign policy experience, Biden's experience with foreign policy could be tapped in 5, 10 minutes tops). But the fact that neither Obama nor Biden is in DC right now tells me that they're in hiding, hoping the issue doesn't entangle them too much.

- By pushing for the debate now, Obama is hoping to erase the memory of his past. A few months ago, Obama said he would debate McCain any time, any place, anywhere. Then, when McCain took him up on the offer, Obama demurred. By saying now that the debate should continue as planned, not only does he look like he's afraid to do his job, it makes him look like a jerk and as someone who makes empty promises. If McCain's campaign is smart, this whole situation and Obama's previous statements will be used in an ad, and Obama will have no one to blame but himself.

- Some segments of the news have already reported that Obama has received quite a bit of money in campaign contributions from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Also, Franklin Raines, the controversial former head of Fannie Mae, is one of Obama's economic advisors. Since Fannie Mae is one of the particulars in the bailout, this whole situation almost requires Obama to at least show up for some of the bailout discussion. His failure to do so makes it look like he's running from the situation, which makes him look guilty. As long as there's even a little doubt in people's minds that Obama is playing straight with us on this issue, it becomes a drag on his poll numbers as long as people connect the scandal with him.

There may be more ways that McCain's actions hurt Obama and the Democrats, and I'm sure they'll come out in the days to come. But one thing is certain.

With one move, McCain has moved Obama into checkmate yet again.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

An Unintended Consequence of the Federal Bailout

I know what you're thinking: "Not another story about the federal bailout of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae." Well, either that or "Why is Willam Dafoe so creepy?" That second part I can't answer, but the first one I can. Yes, I will be writing about the bailout, but not from the perspective you think.

While we sort through the financial mess left in the wake of the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac failures, there's one group of people who have said a lot, but aren't really speaking up too much about their role in the mess. In fact, amid their talk of how things are worse now than the 1929 stock market crash and how there needs to be more government oversight, they're not really going into how the situation began. And if you've been paying attention to the news stories that have linked high-ranking Democrats to the scandals, you can see why.

Here's where the unintended consequence comes into play. Because the Democrats so screwed up Freddie and Fannie and were in bed with them for a long time, they have a lot riding on the bailout. Regardless of what they say or do, they need President Bush's help to make sure they don't get caught. And Bush, being a bit smarter than his critics give him credit for being, understands the implications of two big mortgage companies going under, so he's taking actions that are greatly unpopular, but could wind up being necessary. We can debate the rationale behind the bailout until the cows (or Congress, for that matter) come home, but that's not the point here.

By bailing out Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, Bush may be bailing out the Democrats.

Today's news gave us a ray of hope, though. The FBI is investigating those responsible for the Freddie/Fannie situation. If they do their jobs (or are allowed to), we could see some of the Democrats trying to push the blame for the situation onto Bush being brought before Congress (or possibly a court of law) to explain their actions. If not, the Democrats will get away with their financial irresponsibility and we'll get to pay for it.

And we're supposed to believe these nozzleheads are better for the economy?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

McCain Was Right

Democrats have had a field day with John McCain's statement earlier this week that the "fundamentals of our economy are sound." They say with all the financial turmoil going on right now that McCain's statements prove that he's out of touch.

But here's the funny thing. McCain's right on the economy.

I know writing about economics is as exciting as watching paint dry with commentary from Al Gore, so I'll try to keep it as lively and as simple as possible.

There are two fundamentals in every economy: supply and demand. Supply is the product or service you bring to the table, and demand is how many people want the product or service. The difference in economic systems comes in how much government gets involved in supply and demand.

When McCain said the fundamentals of our economy were sound, he was talking about how supply and demand are still working here. People haven't stopped spending money, even though many have taken a look at what they're spending their money on. And companies are still selling their products and services. In short, McCain was right.

But what Leftists fail to understand is that the current situation isn't because the economy is bad. What happened was that companies made bad decisions, which happens in every economic system. With the current situation, the fundamentals are sound, but the application of those fundamentals wasn't. And as we've seen with the subprime mortgage situation and the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae situations, even Democrats can screw up economically.

By the same token, McCain was right about the government not getting involved in bailing out big companies. Whenever a government gets involved in an economy on any level, it impacts supply and demand. One of the ways the market regulates itself is through failure. If a company puts out defective products and people find out about it, the demand will plummet. However, if a government props up that company, it artificially keeps them in business, thus reducing the possibility of failure in the short term while removing a way for the market to regulate itself.

With the government getting involved in high-price tag bailouts, we're making a mistake that will cost us all money and undercut our economy by creating the precedent that companies that are "too big to fail" can fail and get bailed out. And, true to their nature, Democrats have jumped on that bandwagon without really thinking about the implications. Once people really start digging into the root causes, they'll find that Democrats have their fingerprints over the situations we're seeing today.

They won't admit that, just like they won't admit John McCain was right about the fundamentals of our economy being sound.

What Obama REALLY Said in His Acceptance Speech

This week saw the Obama campaign release an ad in Spanish that used segments from Rush Limbaugh's radio show where he allegedly uses racist language against Hispanics. As it turns out, the statements quoted were taken out of context, as ABC News has already pointed out.

Well, since the Obama folks did it, I guess they won't mind me...creatively reworking...Obama's acceptance speech from a few weeks ago. And, yes, he said each and every one of these words.

Thank…me…so much....let me express my thanks to…me…and especially the one who traveled the farthest, a champion for working Americans and an inspiration to my daughters and to yours… me....

Four years ago, I stood before you and told you my story, of the brief union between a young man from Kenya and a young woman from Kansas who weren't well-off or well-known, but shared a belief that in America their son could achieve whatever he put his mind to.It is that promise that's always set this country apart, that through hard work and sacrifice each of us can pursue our individual dreams, but still come together as one American family, to ensure that … I stand here tonight…as…a…. failure…a…disaster…I…like…failure....

I…likes to talk about judgment, but, really, what does it say about your judgment when you think…I…have…been right? The truth is, on issue after issue that would make a difference in your lives -- on health care, and education, and the economy -- Senator McCain has been…independent.... Now, I don't … think…or… get it…

You're on your own. Well, it's time for…you…to own…my failure…why I'm running for president of the United States.You see, you see, we Democrats have a very different measure of what constitutes progress in this country.We measure…failure. We measure the strength of our economy… by the number of billionaires we…Democrats… have…not by…work.

What -- what is that American promise? It's a promise that says each of us has…no…freedom to make of our own lives what we will, but that we also have…no… obligations to treat each other with dignity and respect.It's a promise that says the market should reward…me…but that…I…should…not… live up to…my…responsibilities to…play by the rules of the road. Ours -- ours is a promise that says government can…solve all our problems…which we cannot do for ourselves….

Our government should work…against us. It should…hurt us. It should ensure opportunity…just for…me…., but…not…for every American who's willing to work.

That's the promise of…me…, the idea that we are…not…responsible for ourselves, but that…I am… God.

So -- so let me -- let me spell out exactly what that change would mean if I am president. Change means a tax code that does…reward the lobbyists who wrote it, …not the American workers and small businesses who deserve it.You know, unlike John McCain, I will stop giving tax breaks to… American workers and small businesses who deserve it…and I will start giving them to…me. I'll eliminate…small businesses and start-ups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow.I will…tax…95 percent of all working families, because, in an economy like this, the…thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle class.

As president, as president, I will…be…a… tool…right here in America. You know, Michelle and I are only here tonight because we...settle for an America where...you...don't have...a...chance. And we will keep our promise to every young American: If you commit to serving your community or our country, we will make sure you can...bless...me. Now is the time to help families...choose between keeping their job and caring for...me.

But I will also go through the federal budget line by line, eliminating programs that…work and making the ones we do…not…need work...less…and cost…millions, because we cannot…be…eliminating…20th-century bureaucracy…in…the…21st-century. And, Democrats, Democrats, we must also admit that…Democrats…will…cost…more…money. It will require a renewed sense of responsibility from each of…you…to…bless…me. Yes, …you...must…do…your…part to make…you…reject…independence.

If John McCain wants to have a debate…that's a debate I'm ready to…leave. For -- for while -- while Senator McCain was turning his sights to Iraq just days after 9/11, I stood up, …knowing that…I…would distract us from the real threats that we face. When John McCain said we could just muddle through in Afghanistan, I argued for more…of…Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants….You know, John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the gates of Hell, but…I…won't even follow him to the cave where he lives.And today, today, as my call for a timeframe to remove our troops from Iraq has been echoed by the…Democrats…John McCain stands alone in his stubborn refusal to…follow…my… bad strategy. We are the party…that…won't defend this country…. As commander-in-chief, I will never…defend this nation, but I will…send our troops into harm's way….I will end this war…against Al Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan. I will rebuild…Osama Bin Laden and his lieutenants…to meet future conflicts, but I will also….prevent…America…from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression. I will build new partnerships to defeat the…United States of America

I know there are those who dismiss such beliefs as happy talk. They claim that our insistence on something larger, something firmer, and more honest in our public life is just a Trojan horse for higher taxes and the abandonment of traditional values.And that's to be expected, because…I…don't have any fresh ideas, …and… use stale tactics to scare voters.I…don't have a record to run on,…so…I paint…my…opponent as…Republicans…people should run from.And you know what? It's worked before, because it feeds into the…discrimination I…have about…Republicans.

When Washington doesn't work, …Americans…do…better. If your hopes have been dashed again and again, then it's best to stop hoping and settle for…me.

Thank you. …bless…me. And…I…bless…me.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Building a (Fake) Mystery

Have you noticed a new trend in the anti-Sarah Palin rhetoric? They've continued with the usual crap about her, but they've added in a new reason why they just can't vote for her: they don't know enough about her, and there's not enough time to know her.

If you get a chance (and if you can stomach it), watch the Matt Damon video where he talks about Sarah Palin. He repeats the mantra perfectly. Yet, you will also notice that he has no problem repeating discredited information that's already out there. Gee, Matt, sounds like you "know" some things about Palin, in spite of your claims to the contrary.

Maybe it's me, but I think the people who are claiming they don't know enough about Palin to vote for her are throwing it up as a smokescreen to hide their real reasons. Seriously, we live in the Internet age where you can find out quite a bit about just about anyone. All you need is an Internet connector and a web browser. And unless you're working with a REALLY old dial-up modem, it won't take you weeks to find information. The only thing stopping these people from learning more about Sarah Palin is themselves.

But there's another bit of hypocrisy to consider here. Many of the same people who take swipes at Sarah Palin's alleged air of mystery are supporting Barack Obama, someone who hasn't exactly been forward with his own information. There are a lot of real and unanswered questions surrounding Obama, ranging from what he truly feels about whites or how close he was to domestic terrorist William Ayers. But, it doesn't seem to matter to the Obama supporters bashing Palin.

So, to any Obama supporters reading this or people who don't think you don't know enough about Sarah Palin, stop reading and get on Google, for the love of Pete!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Quick Hits

I had a lot on my mind the past couple of days, so I might as well do another edition of Quick Hits.

- I think I've figured out the reasons why the media are so anti-Palin. First, their pals in the Democratic Party had no clue that Palin was even in the running, so they had to play catch-up from the announcement she was on the ticket. Second, she's one of them. She's seen the inside of a TV studio and knows all the little tricks they pull to try to trap people into making bad statements. And from what I saw during her inquisit...I mean interview with Charlie Gibson, she's smart and feisty enough to avoid the traps.

- Have you noticed the number of Leftists in the media and elsewhere saying Palin was a bad choice and will cost McCain the election? Sounds more like wishful thinking to me.

- I've often said abortion has become a back-burner issue except for the diehards on both sides. With this election, it is back, but not in the way Democrats wanted it to be. The way the Left has always framed the debate made them look like champions of freedom, but this election cycle, the focus has been shifted from the freedom to how Obama has put politics before life. In that framework, Obama loses and loses badly.

- There's chatter out there that Joe Biden may step aside and let Hillary Clinton jump in as Obama's running mate. Don't be suckered into this notion, folks, because I don't think it will happen. First and foremost, Hillary has no reason to join the Obama ticket. He stopped her from being the first female President in history, and he did it in ways that don't bode well for a Obama/Clinton team. Furthermore, putting Hillary on the ticket would make Obama look like he was copying John McCain. Not only would that make him look like a follower, it would undercut their "McCain's pandering to get votes" argument with Palin. Plus, how would the Hillary and Obama camps react? Let me put it this way: the Hatfields and McCoys were more civil.

- It's official. According to New York's Governor, "community organizer" is code for "black." Well, I guess that means the Black Eyed Peas are going to have to call themselves the Community Organizer Eyed Peas.

- I have to say I love how the Leftists are blaming the current financial situation on Wall Street on George W. Bush, Phil Gramm, and Republicans in general. They point to alleged deregulation as the culprit, but they're missing an important piece to the puzzle: the truth. Take their claim about Gramm's legislation, for example. If it was that bad, how come it took ten years for that legislation to negatively impact the economy? I'm not Milton Friedman (because he's dead and stuff), but I am a thinker, and what I know about economics is that it shouldn't take 10 years for bad legislation/regulation to impact the market as a whole. The Clinton anti-trust suit against Microsoft only took a matter of months before it caused the dotcom bubble to burst. So, you'll excuse me if I'm dubious that a 10 year old piece of legislation caused the current economic conditions on Wall Street.

- I heard on Sean Hannity tonight that there is no one from the press following Joe Biden around as he campaigns. He said it was because he was too boring and egotistical, but I think it's for another reason: Sarah Palin is freakin' hot. I'm just sayin'...

- Barbra Streisand sang for Obama at a $28,500 a plate fundraiser not too long ago. No word on if Obama's brother living on $1 a month was able to attend.

- Is it just me, or has Michelle Obama pretty much gone off the media grid? At this rate, she'll be doing campaign ads on the sides of milk cartons. Or, considering who her husband is, would it be Half & Half?

And finally...

- How is Michael Savage still on the air? Last night I caught a bit of his show and he was talking about how yoga was primarily being practiced by nymphomaniacs looking to get control of their sexual urges. If that were true, I'd be signing up for yoga classes tomorrow, but I'm pretty sure he's wrong. And considering his topics are as unpredictable as Charlie Manson with an Etch-A-Sketch, I'm surprised he's still on the air with as many listeners as he has. And it's not like he's anything great. Listening to him makes me long for Al Franken's show on Air America. Michael, if you're reading this, get out now while you're behind. Oh, and take some yoga classes, okay?

Sunday, September 14, 2008


I've been wanting to do one of these posts for a while, and now I have an opportunity. For those of you who haven't had the pleasure of reading one of these before or who have forgotten the premise, there are people who have the right to speak, but abuse it by saying some really stupid stuff. Thus, in the interest of keeping our heads from exploding, I have to tell these people to SHADDUP!

And now without further ado...

Barack Obama, SHADDUP! You said you wanted to run a different kind of campaign and that you wanted to get away from the "silly season in politics." Yet, what have you done? You've resorted to the same kind of negative campaigning you were against! Don't worry about being "swift boated" by the Republicans. You're doing a fine job of doing that yourself with your lame, backfiring ads.

Barack Obama, SHADDUP! No, this isn't a mistake. After he pulled out of last night's season premiere of "Saturday Night Live", he earned this double SHADDUP. What was his excuse? Hurricane Ike. Yet, where was he? Nowhere near Ike. Instead, rumor has it that he was off...to campaign. To shamelessly use a hurricane as an excuse to campaign and try to salvage a positive image? Congratulations. You've earned the first double SHADDUP in the same post in my history.

Matt Damon, SHADDUP! After seeing the video where you say you don't know about Sarah Palin, but you know she's not fit to be Vice President, you've cemented your position as a Hollywood moron. Not only did you repeat discredited lies, like Palin tried to ban books, but you completely misread her actual positions, like her desire to teach Creationism alongside of evolution when the students ask for it. And you said you wouldn't be able to learn about Palin in the weeks before Election Day. Sounds to me like you've already made up your mind without knowing the facts.

Sean Hannity, SHADDUP! I've heard you talking about how you have "the most complete, the most comprehensive campaign coverage." Yet, it seems you talk to the same people week after week about the same subjects. The only thing that change regularly are the news stories that get used to lead into talking about Jeremiah Wright or William Ayers or whatever talking point you want to push that day. Meanwhile, there are people beyond your studio who actually are covering issues that you miss or gloss over in your rush to try to link a current story to the stories you've covered ad nauseum.

The women on "The View", SHADDUP! As you might have guessed, I'm not a fan of "The View" but not because of its clear political bent. It's because the hosts on the show make women look incredibly bad. Whether it's Joy Behar's idiocy as it pertains to Sarah Palin's wolf hunting or Whoopie Goldberg asking John McCain whether slavery would come back if he would appoint Constitutionalist judges to the Supreme Court, "The View" makes women (and Leftists in general) look shallow and uninformed. And the rest of the hosts, including Elisabeth Hasselbeck, don't help matters any by sitting in silent consent or raising unintelligent objections to issues they discuss. These women are more insulting to their gender than anything Barack Obama and Joe Biden could be.

Daily Kos and Democratic Underground, SHADDUP! It's asshats like you guys that make bloggers look bad. With your constant anti-Bush dementia, your lame McSame/McLame/McBush/McLoser namecalling, and your blatant lies about Sarah Palin, you're laughingstocks. Seriously, the best you can do against Palin is to suggest Trig Palin isn't Sarah's son? If that's the best you can do, George Soros is wasting his money yet again.

Bill O'Reilly, SHADDUP! You had a chance to interview Barack Obama, and from what I've heard, you gave him a lot of leeway. You built your reputation on being tough, and you didn't deliver with someone who has yet to answer the tough questions. Is landing a fluff interview with a controversial political figure more important than getting to the bottom of his positions? Sir, you've lost whatever credibility you had being "no spin." You got spun by Obama.

And finally...

Charlie Gibson, SHADDUP! I was unimpressed with your interview with Sarah Palin. You asked tough, and at times contentious, questions, which is your job. But I have to wonder if you'd ask the same tough and contentious questions of Barack Obama or Joe Biden. Neither one of them has exactly shown that they can lead the country and their resumes aren't exactly full of leadership experience. Instead, your interview left you look like a smug, disapproving jerk, and Palin looked like she had to school you about what she's done. The sign of a good reporter and interviewer is to have done the legwork about the subject before the interview. Sorry, Charlie, but you came off as amateurish and partisan.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

You Read It Here First

Actor Matt Damon said it was a "really terrifying possibility" that Sarah Palin could become President. There's only one thing left to say about that.

Matt Damon is gay.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Noise Chamber

Someone I was talking to about Sarah Palin said it was a good idea that she's doing interviews with the media because we really don't know that much about her. On the surface, it's a good thought, but the more I thought about it, I'm wondering whether we will get to know the real Sarah Palin with these interviews.

It's not that I think Palin's been dishonest to date. Rather, I think no matter what Palin says, there has been enough of a noise chamber created by the anti-Palin folks that it won't matter. They've already salted a lot of the ground in an attempt to prevent Palin from being seen in a positive light, and Palin hasn't done much to beat back the accusations levied against her. (Granted, she has been a little busy, what with campaigning for herself and John McCain, and the sheer multitude of accusations would keep a team of lawyers and spin doctors busy for a month.)

There are two schools of thought on dealing with scandals, real or invented. One is to ignore the situation in an attempt to appear as though it doesn't rattle you or that you're above the fray. The drawback to this approach is that you cede the battleground to those who are perpetuating the scandal, which often spurs them to keep pushing. The other approach is to attack the scandal and the scandalmongers head on. In politics, this can be problematic because it can take you away from the tasks that need to be completed. In either case, a politician has a no-win situation on his or her hands.

With all the media noise about Sarah Palin, it may take more than a few interviews to cut through it all and give the American people a real view of who she is. However, there may be a way to cut through it in the meantime, and it seems to be working so far. In spite of all the crap being said about her, Palin seems genuine and likable. That can go a long way towards creating a defense against the slings and arrows of outrageous media folk. If Palin continues to succeed in going straight to the American people and bypassing the media, people will also bypass the media, which blunts their effectiveness.

Then, the noise chamber will come crashing down.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Ya Think?

In my efforts to keep this blog fresh, exciting, and entertaining, I've come up with a new feature that I'll try to bring out every so often. This one is called "Ya Think?"

The premise behind it is simple. Sometimes people come to the most obvious conclusion, but a little late in the game. That leaves people like the good readers of my blog to point out how stupid the Johnny-Come-Lately is by saying, "Ya Think?"

For example, MSNBC has dumped Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann from moderating the upcoming debates between Barack Obama and John McCain because of fears they were too partisan to be objective. YA THINK?

Or how about this one? British comedian Russell Brand is surprised that some people were offended at his MTV Music Awards rant saying President George W. Bush was "a retarded cowboy." YA THINK?

And one more for the road. Prosecutors in Russia are seeking to ban "South Park" citing that it "bore signs of extremist activity." YA THINK?

Send me suggestions and I'll post them for you!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Just Another Example of Being in Front of the Cutting Edge

I'm not one to toot my own horn, but I felt I should share a little something of note. (No, it's not the fact that my blog was featured on MSNBC as a "right wing blog.") Instead, my weird tendency to find the little things that the "big boys and girls" overlook has paid off big time.

Flashback time, kids. I posted the following on August 25, 2008, in my post "First Impressions from the First Night of the DNC":

2) Is it just me, or are the Democrats trying a little too hard to portray themselves as patriotic, Christian, and working class folks? The first hour of the convention, I saw Pelosi harping on how Obama is a patriot, Jimmy Carter proclaiming that Obama is a Christian, and Jesse Jackson Jr. screaming that Democrats are for the working man. The problem is that if you have to keep telling people what you are, most likely you're not what you say you are. Add this to the number of American flags being waved by convention goers, and it just looks and smells like the Dems are trying to convince people (and themselves) that they're just as patriotic as the GOP. [Emphasis mine]

Now, flash forward to yesterday. McCain supporters claimed that a vendor at Invesco Field found 12,000 miniature American flags in the trash and garbage bags after Barack Obama's acceptance speech. The vendor turned over the flags to the McCain campaign, and the campaign had veterans hand them out at a rally in Colorado Springs. The DNC fired back, saying the flags were stolen from the venue. Yeah, and I'm a big fan of Karl Marx.

I don't buy the DNC's line, given the length of time from Obama's speech (August 28) to the time of the charge that the flags were stolen (September 6). That's 9 days. And given the fact that the flags were apparently found in garbage bags and near an area where trash is collected, I'm thinking they weren't really all that concerned about those flags they were waving at Obama's speech.

Of course, the "big boys and girls" will talk about this story after the fact, but some of us saw the story coming a long time ago.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Last Impressions of the Last Night of the RNC

Okay, time for the wrap-up blog.

1) Cindy McCain looked great, but her delivery was off-putting to me. It almost sounded like she was on a tape loop of speaking to touch the heart. Same kind of delivery of similar lines. Having said that, there was little doubt that she was sincere with each line. A bit of work on the delivery and it would have been a nice lead-in for John McCain's speech.

2) Two different perspectives on the cheering during the end of McCain's speech. The crowd was boisterous...and McCain just kept going like he was on the clock. And the closer he got to the end, the louder the crowd got. As a public speaker, you never want to give the impression that you don't appreciate the audience's reaction, and it just seemed like he didn't give them the love that he received from them.

3) Comparisons will be made between Sarah Palin's speech Wednesday night and McCain's speech last night, but you really can't compare the two, except in the area of theme. They both talked at great length about change across the board, and both have records reflecting their commitment to making it happen. With two speeches, McCain/Palin have stolen the mantle of "change you can believe in" from Obama/Biden.

4) To the people doing the balloon drop at the RNC, you almost gave me a case of deja vu! In 2004, the DNC's balloon drop was delayed quite a bit due to technical difficulties, and for a couple of moments it looked like the 2008 RNC had the same problem. But, the balloon drop did happen, and not too long after McCain's speech so it looked like more of a timing issue than a technical issue.

5) I've seen Leftist commentators, both professional and amateur, say McCain's speech was long on rhetoric, but short on specifics. Of course, they didn't have a problem with it when it was Obama and Biden doing it...

6) I heard about how the stage would be set for McCain's speech and was concerned. The way it was described to me was that McCain would be on a runway with a long red carpet. Let me tell ya, it made me wince a bit, given how McCain has hit Obama about being a celebrity with no substance. But watching it live, I didn't notice the red carpet at all, which quelled my concerns.

7) You can knock McCain's speech all you want, but one thing came through last night. While Obama's acceptance speech was focused on himself and what he would deliver to the country, McCain's speech wasn't focused so much on him but on his love of the country. Obama's speech talked about how down America has been under George W. Bush, but how a bright future was within reach. McCain's speech was about what America meant to him and how he loved it, warts and all.

8) One other comparison I can make between the DNC and the RNC this year is about patriotism. As I noted during my DNC blogging, it seemed to me that the Democrats went out of their way to show how patriotic they were (provided you could overlook the upside-down American flag on the tickets to get into the Obama acceptance speech and the Democrats' years of mocking and deriding the country, of course). The RNC, on the other hand, didn't have to say how patriotic the GOP was because you could just sense it. The way they acknowledged the veterans in the audience (and the sheer number of them, for that matter), the images shown on the screen behind the speakers, the kind of rhetoric used by the speakers. No, the GOP didn't have to keep reminding the audience at home how patriotic they were; it was abundantly clear.

9) Heart is objecting to the McCain/Palin campaign's use of the song "Barracuda." That's fine, as it's their song, but I have to wonder if it's the smartest move, career-wise. Sarah Palin has energized a lot of people, people who might not have ever heard "Barracuda" before and would go out to buy the song or a CD of the song. And considering Heart hasn't been musically relevant since the late 80s... Ann, Nancy, if you're reading this, you might want to think this through. Yeah, the Left might think you're siding with McCain/Palin, but at least you'd get paid! Money is our friend!

And like with the DNC, I'm going to give my Olympic judging of the RNC.

Compulsary: They got McCain and Palin nominated, which was the purpose. Unlike the DNC, where they made a big deal out of a minor point of parliamentary procedure (mainly because the cameras were there), the RNC didn't. They let it be limited to the convention floor, which is where it should stay. Aside from some of the speeches Thursday night, it was well done. Out of a possible 5 points, I give the RNC 4.0 points.

Artistic: The technical and artistic advisors of the RNC pulled off what I can only call a modern political masterpiece. They truly had an idea of what would play on TV and what wouldn't. Up and down the list, most of the speakers were dynamic and knew how to speak to the crowd, not at the crowd like I saw at the DNC. I could have done without some of the speakers (Sam Brownback, Lindsey Graham), but overall it was a fine slate. Out of a possible 5 points, I give the RNC 4.5 points.

Total score for the RNC: 8.5.

And just for the Ron Paul folks, here's my analysis of their "convention" at the Target Center.


There. I feel better now. We return you to your regularly scheduled blogging already in progress.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

First Impressions of the Fourth Night of the RNC

Time for more RNC talk!

1) Last night was a one-two punch. Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin Would Palin's speech have been stronger without Rudy firing up the crowd with his red meat speech? I don't think so. Without one the other wouldn't have been as strong, in my opinion. Rudy set the bar very high, and Palin skyrocketed over it.

2) Many of my conservative friends saw John McCain appearing on stage with Palin and wished he wouldn't say anything. At the time, I thought it wasn't too bad of an idea, but I've changed my mind somewhat. It was important for McCain to be seen with Palin, but he might have been better served if he would have shown up, had the photo op, and gotten offstage. There was a moment there when McCain and Palin looked confused about who was doing what. After a rousing speech from Palin, not exactly the image you want to have on camera.

3) Reading the Drudge Report today, I saw a headline about all the Palin-connected merchandise that's available for purchase, from t-shirts to thongs. There are even calls being made to eyeglass manufacturers requesting the same style and shape of frames that Palin has. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say Palin might have won over a few hearts last night.

4) I had a chance to listen to ABC Radio's coverage of the RNC. It was interesting to hear how the ABC reporters filled time by talking in lieu of letting the people who were actually speaking at the time speak. I know it's called "talk radio" but that doesn't mean you have to talk constantly!

5) At the onset of tonight's festivities, I have a simple request. Can you get better speakers? Listening to Sam Brownback was more painful than sitting through a "Gigli" triple feature! You may be trying to lower expectations so McCain can hit one out of the park, but shouldn't you be trying to do your best instead of sucking so McCain will look better by default?

6) Ah, the wonderful world of PBS. Talking about how wonderful Democrats and Obama are on the war on terrorism during the RNC. Here's a clue for you, kids. Democrats hate Republicans more than they hate terrorists. Why else would they demonize George W. Bush and lionize President Imadinnerjacket of Iran for being "smart and articulate"?

7) If I never see Lindsey Graham on TV again, I won't cry a bit. He's responsible for a lot of the Republican headaches on Capitol Hill, and he would be one Republican I would love to see lose to a Democrat any day of the week. The sooner this fake SOB is out of the Senate, the better. Not that I have any strong opinions on the man, mind you...

8) You know the Leftists are digging for reasons to hate Sarah Palin when they're attacking her hairstyle. And, yes, this actually happened.

9) I don't care what anybody says, McCain/Palin is winning the battle over which ticket represents change. The more they talk, the more genuine they sound. The more Obama/Biden talk, the more they sound like they're just hawking a slogan.

10) You know who Tom Ridge reminds me of? Jim Ross of WWE broadcasts. Watch to see if he uses the word "slobberknocker."

11) I do think the references to 9/11 tonight are over the top. There's remembering the event, and then there's using it for political purposes. I think the RNC crossed that line.

And finally...


And tomorrow...the wrap-up!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

First Thoughts on the Third Night of the RNC

RNC, take two.

1) One change I've noticed from the DNC to the RNC: not as much shouting. Maybe Republicans are naturally better public speakers. I'm not saying that, but I'm not not saying that either.

2) Sarah Palin's speech tonight has been built up quite a bit in the media. After the past few days of Leftists dragging her and her family through the mud, she needs a great speech to wipe it all away. My gut tells me she will, but I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't bring up the possibility of failure. If Palin stumbles, it validates every negative statement made about her. If she does a mediocre job, it will be seen as a loss. At the risk of sounding melodramatic, this speech could make or break the campaign. So, if you're reading this Governor Palin, no pressure.

3) The RNC has something else over the DNC. They're actually using technology for something other than to put up single images. The slideshows and videos being shown are appropriate, and the technical advisors need to be given a big pat on the back.

4) PBS has it in their heads that the Palin controversies have taken the RNC off message. I'm sure the Leftists in the media would love the RNC to become all about circling the wagons in defense of Palin because it makes the Republicans look defensive about it. But anybody who thinks they would have been off-message for long are either fools or Leftists. But I repeat myself...

5) PBS spent little time discussing the former eBay CEO's speech...and more about what eBay is. Yeah, that magical online site that everybody and their grandmother knows about, and PBS is just now discussing it? Way to be ahead of the curve, PBS crew!

6) Okay, it's official. PBS is so far in Obama's back pocket that they're getting stitch marks on their bodies. I haven't seen this much Kool Aid drinking since Jonestown. They had a guy from the Pew Research Center on talking about how much people trust the Democrats to run the economy over the Republicans. And who was interviewing him? Judy Woodruff. They should just come out and say, "We're in the tank for Obama, and our reporting is going to be slanted to make McCain/Palin look like a Hitler/Carrot Top ticket."

7) Time for another completely sexist point, but have you seen the hot women speaking at the RNC? Compare that to the DNC where the hottest woman there was Nancy Pelosi. Sorry, Nanc, but the hotness points go to the RNC.

8) Something else of note. The DNC seemed to focus more on the individual egos of the speakers with maybe a reference to the Obama/Biden ticket. The RNC did have some of the same elements, but the speakers went a little further by using the "I" references to launch into a larger point about John McCain and Sarah Palin. From selfish to selfless in a week.

And finally...

9) A lot has been made about candidates who ran against John McCain getting speaking gigs at the RNC. Wait, didn't Hillary Clinton get a major prime time speaking spot at the DNC?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

First Thoughts on the First and Second Nights of the RNC

Just as I promised (or threatened, depending on how you view it), I'm going to do what I did with the DNC to the RNC

1) Watching PBS's coverage of the RNC is interesting. On their first night of coverage, they talked over the opening statements of the first prime-time speaker. Even Jim Leher had to point it out...and then talked over her even more! I'll take Signs PBS Is A Leftist Network for $200, Alex.

2) Seeing First Lady Laura Bush and hopefully soon-to-be First Lady Cindy McCain yesterday issuing a plea to help people impacted by Hurricane Gustaf showed me why the two of them are seen as class acts. And seeing Senator Norm Coleman do the same thing within the first minute of his speech and the applause that came afterward shows me that the GOP is the true party of compassion.

3) Coleman comes out swinging at Obama and landing a haymaker? This is not a mild-mannered RNC!

4) A quick note about the Leftist Assholes (and I'm sorry for using vulgarity, but it's the only term strong and accurate enough to describe them) going after Sarah Palin's 17 year old daughter and using it to bash Palin herself. This is going to backfire on you in a BIG way. If she addresses the controversy tomorrow night and holds her own, you jerks are going to realize you torqued off the wrong lady.

5) MSNBC's Joe Scarborough said the RNC is being held in a smaller venue to make it appear as though there are more people attending. Now, knowing what I know about political conventions, the venues are usually picked well in advance of the actual convention. Making such a claim and having it be accurate would mean the GOP would have had to have known that the turnout would be small possibly even years before the convention.

6) For all the criticisms of the RNC being a "whites only club" in past years, I'm seeing a lot more colorful faces in the crowd and on stage than at the DNC. I guess when your ticket is 3/4 white as Obama/Biden is, you have to keep the white people placated by keeping them amongst their own...

7) Barack Obama's comments about the Leftist attacks against Sarah Palin and her daughter was rather...weak. Of course, when you have George Soros's hand up your butt like a Muppet, you probably won't criticize the other Soros Muppets for doing what he's paying them to do.

8) I've seen more scrutiny in the media over whether Sarah Palin is fit to be VP than I've seen them give to Barack Obama, candidate for President. Maybe they missed the memo on this, but Palin won't become President unless McCain gets elected and then cannot fulfill the duties of the office. I'd be more concerned about someone running for the big chair who hasn't been completely honest about his past and his present because, if he wins, he will get to be President.

9) PBS is taking an opportunity to malign McCain's pick of Palin. Mark Shields said that the Republicans he talked to outside of the RNC aren't thrilled with Palin as McCain's running mate. I didn't know the Xcel Energy Center had sensory deprivation tanks on site.

10) David Brooks of the New York Times gave an interesting perspective on Palin. He mentioned that Palin went off script to pay homage to Hillary Clinton and Geraldine Ferraro for helping pave the way for her ascent. Now, compare this to Barack Obama, who can't get through a simple statement, it seems, without stumbling and using more uhs than an orgy. In that head-to-head match-up, I give it to Palin.

And finally...

11) PBS's coverage of the RNC is interesting when compared to their coverage of the DNC. With the latter, they were almost reverent, as though saying the slightest thing that could be seen as negative would bring down the wrath of the Obamessiah. In just the hour or so I watched of their coverage of the RNC, they brought up a lot of negativity about McCain/Palin. I'll take Signs PBS Is A Leftist Network for $300, Alex.

Monday, September 1, 2008

THIS Is the Ticket of Change?

Barack Obama and Joe Biden are running on the premise that they represent real change. But do they?

Not if you look at recent history.

In 1988, Democrat Michael Dukakis chose Lloyd Bentsen, a Senator from Texas.

In 1992, Democrat Bill Clinton chose Al Gore, a Senator from Tennessee.

In 1996, Democrat Bill Clinton stayed with Al Gore, a Senator from Tennessee.

In 2000, Democrat Al Gore chose Joe Lieberman, a Senator from Connecticut.

In 2004, Democrat John Kerry chose John Edwards, a Senator from North Carolina.

And in 2008, Democrat Barack Obama chose Joe Biden, a Senator from Delaware.

Twenty years of Vice Presidents, and every one of them a Senator at one point or another. And the last 3 Presidential elections, including this one, a Senator or someone with Senate experience has headed up the ticket.

And this is "change you can believe in"?