Archive for September, 2010

The Pelosi-Reid Deficits

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Steve Moore writes in the Wall Street Journal:

During a recent press conference, President Obama blamed George W. Bush for the nation’s fiscal condition. “When I walked in,” he declared, “wrapped in a nice bow was a $1.3 trillion deficit sitting right there on my doorstep.” Earlier this year he asserted that “we came in with $8 trillion worth of debt over the next decade.”

Neither statement is correct, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). True enough, the outgoing Bush administration bequeathed big deficits to Mr. Obama. The expected 2009 deficit was $1.19 trillion, not $1.3 trillion, however—and the actual deficit for 2009 came in at $1.41 trillion, meaning that the new president added some $220 billion to the total.

Controlling the Purse StringsFar more significant, however, was the president’s misstatement that Mr. Bush and the Republicans left the country with $8 trillion of debt over the next 10 years. The CBO’s projected 10-year deficit when Mr. Obama took office was actually $4.09 trillion. Now, after 20 months of his presidency, the expected deficit has almost doubled, to $7.68 trillion.

A strong case can be made that the people most responsible for the gigantic deficits we face today are neither George W. Bush nor Barack Obama. The real culprits are Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Congress controls the purse strings. When Mrs. Pelosi and Mr. Reid rose to their present jobs in January 2007, the deficit was $161 billion. It had been on a downward trajectory from $413 billion in 2004. Three years later, the Pelosi-Reid Congress had added $1.2 trillion to the deficit.

Of course, Mr. Bush sponsored or signed into law many of these deficit-raising bills, such as the bank bailouts and effective tax rebates of 2008. But the Democratic Congress passed them.

Long forgotten is the promise Mrs. Pelosi made on the day she became speaker: “Our new America will provide unlimited opportunity for future generations, not burden them with mountains of debt.” I think future generations would like a do-over.

Budget deficits, public debt, unemployment, appeasement. It seems all four are connected.

And they’ve been on a sharp rise since, oh, January 2007 or thereabouts. If a problem starts three quarters of the way through George Bush’s presidency, and continues onward through today when he’s been out of office for nearly two years, do we really have cause to call it a Bush problem?

The Constitution mentions the legislative branch before it mentions the executive. Article I and Article II — look ‘em up.

Nancy and Harry are out there claiming to have done a fantastic job. And like any other politician, it seems they actually believe it.

The way the timelines match up, they should be absolutely mortified.

Blaming the Voters

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Wall Street Journal Review & Outlook:

Democrats seeking to boost voter turnout this fall are beginning to sound like the late comedian Chris Farley’s portrayal of a “motivational speaker” on Saturday Night Live. Farley’s character sought to inspire young people by announcing that they wouldn’t amount to “jack squat” and would someday be “living in a van down by the river.”

Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, who prefers sailing vessels to vans by the river, recently tried out the Farley method. Said Mr. Kerry, “We have an electorate that doesn’t always pay that much attention to what’s going on so people are influenced by a simple slogan rather than the facts or the truth or what’s happening.” Bay State voters are surely thrilled to be represented by a man so respectful of their concerns.

This week President Obama chimed in with another uplifting message about the American electorate. Mr. Obama told Rolling Stone that the tea party movement is financed and directed by “powerful, special-interest lobbies.” But this doesn’t mean that tea party groups are composed entirely of corporate puppets. Mr. Obama graciously implied that a small subset of the movement is simply motivated by bigotry.
:
Making the case for left-wing voters to show up in November, Mr. Obama told Rolling Stone that he is presiding over “the most successful administration in a generation in moving progressive agendas forward.”

We’d agree, but his problem is that most Americans don’t like that agenda and millions of voters in both parties wanted him to oversee an economic expansion instead. Blaming the voters is not unheard of among politicians, but usually they wait until after an election.

Yeah. Well, usually we don’t have such a palpable feeling in the air that the time for socially experimenting with their policies must be at an end, because usually there’s some doubt left as to whether we can afford more. So before the election, they get to brag about how they’re going to cream the other guy if their approval is anywhere north of fifty percent…or for that matter forty. If any one poll comes out saying they’ll net less than that, the left-wing politicians can just smear that one poll as an outlier.

This year, voters are directly confronting three things: The cost involved in said social experimentation; the consistent track record of complete failure with the history of such experimentation; and this nervous-tic “accuse the accuser” habit pervasive among anyone on the left, aroused any time they’re cornered.

If you have an academic idea that has never been tested in reality before — or, even worse: If it’s been tested over and over again, and failed each time — you should be the first one to want to gather data. You should be the first to want to do some “tweaking,” to put some quality thought into cause-and-effect situations.

To do your detective-work and figure out what it takes to fix the idea.

That would be rational. But liberal politicians are being prerational; the balance of the “thinking” they’re doing about their ideas, amounts to denigrating the character of anyone who isn’t putridly biased in favor of them. They continue to steer the discussion away from the ideas they want to implement, and toward that comfortable security-blanket bulls-eye of discourse, comparing the relative merits of individuals & figuring out who’s wonderful, and who should be sent down to the river to live in a van.

They keep going right back to that. Every time.

That’s a good way of telling whose idea sucks.

“They Have So Much Money, Why Do They Need More?”

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

From a blog post at Time by Joe Klein, hat tip to Boortz.

[Vintner Barry Sterling] said he was deeply worried about the country. “I was born on the day of the 1929 stock market crash, so I’ve lived from the Great Depression to the Great Recession,” he said, “and I must say I’m amazed by how little progress we’ve made. We stopped regulating. We dropped taxes to unsustainable levels. I spent a good part of my life in the 70% tax bracket. It didn’t discourage me from working,” he said, referring to the supply-side argument that lower tax rates spur enterprise. “It made me work harder. My father lived with 90% rates during World War II. I’m actually mystified by the greed now. I don’t understand families like Koch brothers,” he said referring to the Republican Tea Party bankrollers. “They have so much money. Why do they need more?”

First of all: Nobody gets to decide how much somebody else “needs.”

Second of all: Greed is not wanting to hang on to the money you earned. If it is anything meaningful, it is wanting to grab onto the money someone else has earned.

Third of all: You can drop half-truths all day long about how you were motivated to work harder by the tax man coming and taking away all or most of your profits…but at the end of the day, people don’t do more of something when it becomes less profitable to do it, especially when it involves risk.

I got a letter yesterday from the Vice President, who had something interesting to say. It was very surprising. I thought Vice President Biden was trying to save our economy, but look what he had to say to me:

Morgan –

I’ll tell you one thing that worries me about this election: There’s a small group of billionaires and corporate special interests that are trying to buy their way back into power. They’re spending their fortunes to defeat our folks and elect some of the most right-wing Republicans this country has ever seen.

We’ve launched the By the People Fund to fight back, with the goal of reaching 3 million grassroots donations to power the most ambitious on-the-ground effort ever waged in an election like this.

I jotted down a brief reply and hit Send:

Do my eyes deceive me?

You and Barack are supposed to be doing what you can to revive our economy…and instead, you’ve put together a “People Fund” to orchestrate a fight against the people who are trying to earn money and create jobs for others?

Say it ain’t so, Joe!

Liberal Smear Merchants Exposed

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

RTWT.

People who are politically motivated because they’re tired of something, aren’t so much as a fraction as dangerous as people who are politically motivated because they want to “Make The World More Better.” You get an opportunity to do something deceptive and ugly to make the world better, and hey, what the hell.

Hat tip: Linkiest.

Why Leftists Are Elitists

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Can’t remember where I found this, but the scrolling nature of the innerwebs was threatening to sink it forever so I thought I should snag the floating driftwood while I could.

Why Leftists Are Elitist
Posted by Shannon Love on September 23rd, 2010

Non-leftists spend a lot of time these days telling leftists that the leftists are “elitist.” Leftists usually respond with something like this:

But somehow these born-into-wealth aristocrats get away with calling people who advocate for, say a living wage, or universal health care, or decent public education “elites.”

Translation: We leftists are not elitist because we do things for the economically non-rich that we leftists believe to be in the best interest of the non-rich. Elitists only do things that leftists believe to be in the interest of the rich.

By the leftist definition of elitism, we could live in an absolutist, hereditary aristocracy and still not have an elitist government as long as the aristocrats made decisions that, in the opinion of leftists, benefited the poor.

The leftists are wrong. Elitism isn’t defined by who benefits, elitism is defined by who decides.

Best Sentence CI

Monday, September 27th, 2010

FrankJ takes the one hundred and first Best Sentence I’ve Heard Or Read Lately (BSIHORL) award.

With relative ease, I might add:

How hard would it be for a browser to say, “This webpage is about to play annoying music; do you want it to?”?

However — we do have to grant an honorable mention to another entry. This one, also, is from FrankJ. Same post.

Sadly, “Bush sucked” and “Bush was way better than Obama” are not mutually exclusive.

On “Network Neutrality”

Monday, September 27th, 2010

So I see we’re getting another one of those “Congress addresses a court decision in the wake of a smackdown” situations on Net Neutrality.

U.S. regulators would get authority over Internet-traffic practices of companies such as AT&T Inc. and Comcast Corp. for two years in a plan being weighed by congressional staff, two people involved with the talks said.

Legislation letting the Federal Communications Commission regulate Internet service providers was being discussed with industry representatives yesterday by aides to Representative Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, according to the people, who asked not to be identified discussing the private talks.

The two years would give the FCC and Congress time to permanently resolve a long-running fight over rules on net neutrality. Internet-service providers would be barred under such regulations from selectively blocking or slowing content going to subscribers while favoring their own offerings and those of business partners.

“I’m pleased that Chairman Waxman and the other members of Congress who are involved are making a real effort,” FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said today at a news conference in Washington. “I admire and I appreciate the effort and I hope it succeeds.”

The compromise would let the FCC claim authority over Web service delivered over wires, such as by cable and fiber-optic lines, while allowing the agency to write less-stringent rules for wireless services such as mobile phones, the people said.

The smackdown actually happened several months ago. You might have missed it — fellow Right Wing News contributor Melissa Clouthier captured the decision, linking to a Google cache from Wall Street Journal:

A U.S. appeals court ruled Tuesday that the Federal Communications Commission overstepped when it cited cable-giant Comcast Corp. for slowing some Internet traffic on its network, dealing a blow to big Web commerce companies and other proponents of “net neutrality.”

In a unanimous decision, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said the FCC exceeded its authority when it sanctioned Comcast in 2008 for deliberately preventing some subscribers from using peer-to-peer file-sharing services to download large files.

The push is on to somehow — any way it can possibly be done — put the Government in the driver’s seat. What is strange about this situation, what the public doesn’t really understand, is this: The situation has been made more urgent for those who support Net Neutrality, in the wake of a policy framework agreement between Google and Verizon. Which brings about some, although by no means all, of what they were wanting.

It lets some of the pressure out of their movement. It allows a portion of the crisis to go to waste.

ZDNet did a decent write-up on it a few days ago:

The proposal offered by the companies contains seven elements. They are:

* Make the FCC’s current wireline broadband openness principles fully enforceable at the FCC. Those principles ensure that consumers have access to all legal content on the Internet and can use any application, service or devices of their choosing. The Comcast court decision called the enforcement of those principles into question, the companies said.
* New enforceable prohibition against discriminatory practices would prohibit wireline broadband providers from discriminating against or prioritizing content, applications or services that cause harm to users or competition. The principle includes a presumption against prioritization of Internet traffic – including paid prioritization.
* Transparency rules. The proposal creates enforceable transparency rules for both wireline and wireless services which requires broadband providers to give consumers clear, understandable information about the services they offer and their capabilities and to provide app and content providers with the information they need about network management practices.
* The FCC’s role and authority. The proposal provides for a new enforcement mechanism for the FCC. Specifically, the FCC would enforce these openness policies on a case-by-case basis, using a complaint-driven process and could move swiftly to halt violators, including the authority to impose a penalty of up to $2 million.
* Allow broadband providers to offer additional, differentiated online services, in addition to the Internet access and video services offered today. The companies note that it’s too soon to predict how these new services will develop, but examples might include health care monitoring, the smart grid, advanced educational services, or new entertainment and gaming options. The proposal includes safeguards to ensure that such online services are distinguishable from traditional broadband Internet access services and are not designed to circumvent the rules.
* Different rules for wireless – for now. The still-nascent mobile landscape is changing rapidly. Under the proposal, most of the wireline principles would not apply to wireless, except for the transparency requirement. Also, the Government Accountability Office would be required to report to Congress annually on developments in the wireless broadband marketplace.
* Finally, the proposal supports the reform of the Federal Universal Service Fund, so that it is focused on deploying broadband in areas where it is not now available.

The Hard Left, which generally seems to move on things like this as a singular entity, is not cool with this. The unicellular organism, aptly represented by Susie Madrak and Josh Silver, is apoplectic.

The deal marks the beginning of the end of the Internet as you know it. Since its beginnings, the Net was a level playing field that allowed all content to move at the same speed, whether it’s ABC News or your uncle’s video blog. That’s all about to change, and the result couldn’t be more bleak for the future of the Internet, for television, radio and independent voices.

Which I find at once both amusing and sad. Silver’s argument is an ultimate absurdity: We’ve gots ta have some new rules, because the way things have worked up until now is just great.

What Google and Verizon have done, is cobble together a modern-day version of the Hays Code. Not so much in the content of their framework, as in its motive:

In the early 1920s, three major scandals rocked Hollywood: the manslaughter trials of comedy star Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, who was charged with being responsible for the death of actress Virginia Rappe at a wild party in San Francisco during Labor Day weekend of 1921; the murder of director William Desmond Taylor in February 1922 and the revelations regarding his bisexuality; and the drug-related death of popular actor Wallace Reid in January 1923.[citation needed]

Other allegedly drug-related deaths, of stars Olive Thomas, Barbara La Marr, Jeanne Eagels, and Alma Rubens, resulted in persistent calls for censorship and “cleaning up” of Hollywood through the 1920s. These stories were sensationalized in the press and grabbed headlines across the country. They appeared to confirm a widespread perception that many Americans had of Hollywood — that it was “Sin City”.

Public outcry over perceived immorality in Hollywood and the movies, as well as the growing number of city and state censorship boards, led to the creation in 1922 of the Motion Pictures Producers and Distributors Association (which became the Motion Picture Association of America in 1945), an industry trade and lobby organization. The association was headed by Will H. Hays, a well-connected Republican lawyer who had previously been United States Postmaster General and the 1920 campaign manager for President Warren G. Harding. Hays immediately banned Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle from the movies, in spite of Arbuckle’s innocence, and instituted a morality clause to apply to anyone working in films. He also derailed attempts to institute federal censorship over the movies.
:
An amendment to the Code, adopted on June 13, 1934, established the Production Code Administration (PCA) and required all films released on or after July 1, 1934, to obtain a certificate of approval before being released. The first film to receive an MPPDA seal of approval was The World Moves On. For more than thirty years following, virtually all motion pictures produced in the United States adhered to the code. The Production Code was not created or enforced by federal, state, or city government. In fact, the Hollywood studios adopted the code in large part in the hopes of avoiding government censorship, preferring self-regulation to government regulation. [emphasis mine]

So it is exactly the same principle being applied. The industry convinces Congress, and the American People, that it is to some degree self-regulating. The pressure behind the legislation is somewhat bled off.

The major difference being — the Hays Code did not voluntarily empower a government agency to enforce rules against it, as the Google/Verizon agreement has done.

We see, once again, there really isn’t any way to gratify the hard left. They don’t accept compromises, even after having walked into the negotiations with absolutely nothing. The decision by the three-judge panel from half a year ago was unequivocal. Comcast, an evil monolith of a money-grubbing corporation, had been engaged in precisely the shenanigans feared by those who support Net Neutrality: They had blocked BitTorrent, a peer-to-peer file sharing service, on their network. The FCC stepped in to say, shame-shame-everybody-knows-yer-name, we’re here to enforce a level playing field. Comcast took them to court, and they won.

So the rule of the law is clear. The decision that favored Comcast had nothing to do with “how do we get a level playing field,” it had everything to do with authority. The FCC simply didn’t, and does not, have it — game-set-match.

Now the industry, or at least two giants within the industry, is giving the FCC a sort of voluntary authority anyway. The left isn’t happy. The left is howling. It sees corporate skulduggery.

They aren’t representing the public will. The public is against this kind of regulation. Now why is that; don’t they want that level playing field? Do they want to have secrets kept from them?

Perhaps it would be good to explore my own opinion about it. On this issue, I don’t enjoy much potential for speaking for the majority; I’m a fringe kook. I’m really way out there. You probably don’t know anyone who sees this thing my way. But there is a likelihood that, once we explore my thoughts on it, we might come to understand what the average citizen thinks.

Think of a private meeting taking place within a private rental hall. If I act as the officer of an organization, and use those organization’s funds to rent the hall — or maybe we own the hall — can I, in the course of a meeting, interrupt someone in the audience, cut off his microphone, ask security to have him removed?

Yes, yes and yes. This would not be violating the First Amendment. It would be exercising the First Amendment. My hall.

Let’s go back and consult the rules again shall we:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances [emphasis mine]

You say: There it is in black and white, Freeberg! Everyone gets to say everything!

No, go back and read it again. Slowly. One word at a time:

Congress shall…

You can stop now.

It’s “Congress shall not,” not “Comcast shall not.” Comcast has a rental hall; it owns a network. It gets to shut people up there.

You see, we have been on a wrong path for a whole lot of years now. We took a wrong turn before the FCC even came into existence. Supposedly, because radio station frequencies constitute a “scarce resource” in the aggregate, the Federal Government gets to use the Commerce Clause from Article I of the U.S. Constitution, Section 8, to overrule the First Amendment. This is just wrong. Yes, I’m saying in the late 1920′s, we were wrong. The Commerce Clause does not amend the First Amendment; it’s the other way around.

You say “Freeberg, are you saying the FCC doesn’t have the authority to regulate radio stations and it should let them run all hog wild like that?” And I say — yes. That’s exactly what I’m saying.

If the Supreme Court itself says something contrary, it’s just wrong.

And SCOTUS did say something contrary…and it was wrong. The occasion was the Red Lion case from 1969. One of the last from the Earl Warren court, which by itself is a powerful reason to overturn it in my book.

The decision goes like this: Because radio stations are a scarce resource, the Government gets to restrict, abridge, censor, regulate, even though it isn’t supposed to restrict, abridge, censor or regulate.

So now my viewpoint, whether you agree with it or not, is perhaps becoming clear. I do not respect the prior decisions that put the Government in charge of anything related to communication; in my book, “regulate” is functionally synonymous with “abridge.” I don’t see a need for a centralized authority that assigns radio station numbers, no matter how technologically compelling is the argument in favor of having one, to possess any effect whatsoever in the endeavor to conjure up federal authority where it does not exist — in fact, has been out-and-out banned.

Yes, I do think those old dead white guys from the 1790′s, were thinking of the Internet. We have abused their design on a fundamental level.

But here we come to the part where a Dictator Freeberg would really run roughshod over our existing frameworks, statutes and protocols. Here is where I would rip the heart right out of the beast.

And the odd thing is, here is where, I think, the majority sides with me.

I do not respect the authority of the Federal Government to codify, or enforce, any rules anywhere that deal with “non-discrimination.” I do not acknowledge any intrinsic ability within the government to enforce the very concept of such rules — or even to comprehend such a concept.

The Government discriminates. Period.

It engages in double-talk. It passes a supposed “Equal Protection Clause” within a constitutional amendment, and a century or so later it engages in something called “affirmative action.”

You see, the truth of the matter is this: Public agencies have an unfortunate tendency to view the world in terms of good guys and bad guys. They are friendly to some demographic groups and hostile to others. And I hate to break it to people who are still in the process of learning this, but it’s always going to be that way.

Companies see the world in terms of good guys and bad guys too. But the difference is, when the “bad guy” starts helping to pay the bills he suddenly becomes a good guy. So a privately held company will discriminate, and then at a moment’s notice, flip-flop. Rather comical to watch, really.

Government isn’t going to flip-flop until one voting bloc starts to outnumber another, a process which can take generations. Until then, the good guy stays good and the bad guy stays bad. Government discriminates. It really comes down to this: Government wouldn’t know “non-discrimination” if non-discrimination ran up behind it and kicked it square in the ass.

And this gets down to the heart of the matter. Go back and read the articles put up by devoted lefties Silver and Madrak. In my worldview, their sanity is being subjected to serious question. The chief executive of the Government — our President — six years in every randomly-selected ten, he’s a Republican, someone who is evil in every conceivable way according to these two. And their argument boils down to what? They’re upset not so much about what will be decided later on, but more on the question of who gets to do the deciding. They want more power to be entrusted in this entity that they think is thoroughly corrupt sixty percent of the time.

I’d rather listen to the U.S. Constitution…and to history. This is a situation in which they both say the same thing: If you really want something you could somewhat sensibly call “fairness” — you keep the Government out of it.

And yes, to oppose the Government’s regulation of the assignment of radio station numbers, is often ranked right up there on the scale of libertarian lunacy with opposing sidewalks, fire halls and police stations. Well, maybe people associate it with those but that isn’t how I see it. I’ll favor the sidewalks and firemen and policemen.

But Government has no role in “leveling” a playing field on the Internet. It is specifically barred from restricting our speech, and that means they can’t regulate it. They can’t tell us how to say it, where to stand when we’re saying it, and they don’t even have a role in protecting us if someone is trying to shut us up. Not if that guy owns the forum.

Why am I arguing that it’s “free speech” to shut people up? Because when public-sector busybodies ensure “everyone gets to have a say,” all too often this translates to making sure someone else doesn’t have a say; someone who isn’t part of the “everyone.” Yes, you can use free speech to make sure someone else doesn’t have free speech. It’s been done. Our Government has done it over and over again.

It comes down to respect for the right to property. That has to be the foundation of our other rights — because if it isn’t, then we have that situation where our rights come from the Government. And if our rights come from the Government, then that Government gets to take those rights away any time it pleases, and there will be no recourse, no appeal.

“A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.”

Misattributed to Ronald Reagan, apocryphal quote by Thomas Jefferson

Giving Money to the Rich

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

The New York Times tells us what is wrong with what some of us are planning to do –

WANT to give affluent households a present worth $700 billion over the next decade? In a period of high unemployment and fiscal austerity, this idea may seem laughable. Amazingly, though, it is getting traction in Washington.

Stopped reading at this point. Why go on?

Out where people work for a living, this is not so laughable and not so amazing. Someone didn’t take the time to step outside the offices of the New York Times, where apparently it is considered wrong to make a profit at something, into the fresh air of the real world where people like to make money.

I saw a headline in the newspaper yesterday where democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown laid a charge down that opponent Meg Whitman has plans that would “help the rich.”

Another big-fat-DUH moment. We all want a better and stronger economy, right? What is an economy, but the opportunity to make money. And keep the money you make.

Jerry Brown is against this? Someone has some explaining to do, and I don’t think it’s Meg Whitman.

All in all, I think blogger friend Phil is right on track with that latest awesome quote he found from Ohio’s former Secretary of State Ken Blackwell:

We have become a culture where making money doesn’t entitle you to it, but wanting money does.

Reverse course on that, and I say the economy will do just fine. Make it okay to create business activity and realize a personal profit from it, and it’ll be good.

Make it possible for people to get rich, and people will do it.

Prove me wrong.

Man…there’s really no limit to how stupid the smartest-guy-in-the-room can be, is there?

Nick Says, If You Watch Fox News You Are…

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

He put together a nice list for everyone. Thought I would share it.

1: fool
2: gullible
3: ignorant
4: prone to hysteria
5: prone to conspiracy thinking
6: bad
7: immoral
8: silly
9: selling out your own economic self interests

Nick really doesn’t want anyone learning both sides of an issue; only the one side they can find, replicated over and over again, in the other news sources.

I found an example of what Nick must not want people to know. It concerns a private citizen’s group that has been finding rampant incidents of voter registration fraud.

“The first thing we started to do was look at houses with more than six voters in them” [Catherine] Engelbrecht said, because those houses were the most likely to have fraudulent registrations attached to them. “Most voting districts had 1,800 if they were Republican and 2,400 of these houses if they were Democratic…

“But we came across one with 24,000, and that was where we started looking.”

It was Houston’s poorest and predominantly black district, which has led some to accuse the group of targeting poor black areas. But Engelbrecht rejects that, saying, “It had nothing to do with politics. It was just the numbers.”

The task was overwhelming. With 1.9 million voters and 886 voting precincts, Houston’s Harris County is the second largest county in the country — and the key to Texas elections.

The group called for help and quickly got 30 donated computers and “tens of thousands of hours” of volunteer work. And then the questions started to arise.

“Vacant lots had several voters registered on them. An eight-bed halfway house had more than 40 voters registered at its address,” Engelbrecht said. “We then decided to look at who was registering the voters.”

Their work paid off. Two weeks ago the Harris County voter registrar took their work and the findings of his own investigation and handed them over to both the Texas secretary of state’s office and the Harris County district attorney.

Most of the findings focused on a group called Houston Votes, a voter registration group headed by Steve Caddle, who also works for the Service Employees International Union. Among the findings were that only 1,793 of the 25,000 registrations the group submitted appeared to be valid. The other registrations included one of a woman who registered six times in the same day; registrations of non-citizens; so many applications from one Houston Voters collector in one day that it was deemed to be beyond human capability; and 1,597 registrations that named the same person multiple times, often with different signatures.

Caddle told local newspapers that there “had been mistakes made,” and he said he had fired 30 workers for filing defective voter registration applications. He could not be reached for this article.

Is it possible to embarrass and stigmatize all of the American people into becoming, and staying, ignorant of one selected side of each issue that comes along?

Only time will tell. At least, thanks to Nick’s openness and candor, we know that effort is out there. And thanks to the shenanigans of “Houston Votes,” we know how advisable it is — or isn’t — to stop reading & listening where complete strangers tell you you shouldn’t be reading & listening.

Obama’s Getting Us Jobs

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

Hat tip: Instapundit.

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

…?

I’m a parent and I see right through this:

Big brother and little sister down in the rec room playing LC&TGoL together. You have a “Leap of Faith” which depends on one player leaping into oblivion and depending on the other player grappling him with her grappling hook and pulling him up. Which she starts to do…and looks like she’s going to do…then she drops him. Because it’s so funny. Big brother is sick to death of this level and if he has to look at it too much longer his head’s gonna explode, but little sister keeps dropping him because it’s the one time she can get back at him. And laughing about it.

What do you think happens?

My God…it really is true what I’ve been saying. VIDEO GAME DESIGNERS HATE PARENTS. Don’t know why. But after this it’s undeniable.

Five minutes…followed by shouting and yelling and screaming and crying…followed by “You two stop playing that game and go outside!” and “You’re banned from that game for a whole week now!”

Over and over and over again. It cannot play out any other way. Really think about it…how else could it go?

And they must know it too.

Wonder how I can get in on some of this fun? I’m getting down to the “If ya can’t lick ‘em join ‘em” stage with this thing. And heaven knows, I don’t feel a spirit of camaraderie with all the parents out there.

“…That Chance Favors the Connected Mind”

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

Where do good ideas come from?

There may be a better-thought-out explanation somewhere, but I’ve yet to come across one. Impressive insight displayed here.

Hat tip to RightNetwork.

A Good Joke From Blogger Friend Buck

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

Head up your assHe posted without comment, and I shall follow suit…

I met a fairy today that would grant me one wish.

“I want to live forever,” I said.

“Sorry” said the fairy, “I’m not allowed to grant wishes like that!”

“Fine,” I said, “I want to die after the Democrats get their heads out of their asses!”

“You crafty bastard,” said the fairy.

You’re Not a Libertarian, You’re a Socialist

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

Way to go Andrew. And I wonder how many other “libertarians” fit into exactly this mold. You know, just because you want everyone shooting up, sending entire neighborhoods at a time into blight, without any consequences or recourse available to anybody else whatsoever, doesn’t make you a “libertarian.”

From Newsbusters.

“The Last Best Hope”

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Hat tip to blogger friend Rick.

Rebuilding a Jeep in Under Four Minutes

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Hat tip to Kate.

If You Like Having a Congress That Passes Bills Without Reading Them, You Get to Keep Your Congress That Passes Bills Without Reading Them

Friday, September 24th, 2010

ObamaCare: Even worse than critics thought:

» Obamacare won’t decrease health care costs for the government. According to Medicare’s actuary, it will increase costs. The same is likely to happen for privately funded health care.

» As written, Obamacare covers elective abortions, contrary to Obama’s promise that it wouldn’t. This means that tax dollars will be used to pay for a procedure millions of Americans across the political spectrum view as immoral. Supposedly, the Department of Health and Human Services will bar abortion coverage with new regulations but these will likely be tied up for years in litigation, and in the end may not survive the court challenge.

» Obamacare won’t allow employees or most small businesses to keep the coverage they have and like. By Obama’s estimates, as many as 69 percent of employees, 80 percent of small businesses, and 64 percent of large businesses will be forced to change coverage, probably to more expensive plans.

» Obamacare will increase insurance premiums — in some places, it already has. Insurers, suddenly forced to cover clients’ children until age 26, have little choice but to raise premiums, and they attribute to Obamacare’s mandates a 1 to 9 percent increase. Obama’s only method of preventing massive rate increases so far has been to threaten insurers.

» Obamacare will force seasonal employers — especially the ski and amusement park industries — to pay huge fines, cut hours, or lay off employees.

When is the last time any “landmark” legislation brought down the cost of something?

Feminists Angry at Harry Reid

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Couldn’t happen to a nicer fella:

If the women at the feminist group The New Agenda do not hear an apology soon from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for his “sexist” comment, he will be facing more than just a few frowning fems.

At a New York fundraiser hosted by Mayor Michael Bloomberg earlier this week, Reid praised New York Democratic
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand for being the “hottest member” in the Senate.

When Politico asked Reid’s office for a clarification, spokesman Jim Manley said, “What can I say, she made The Hill’s ‘Most Beautiful’ list. Of course, he also went on to praise her skill and tenacity and described her as an effective member of the New York delegation as well.”

Amy Siskind, president and co-founder of The New Agenda, told The Daily Caller that if Reid does not promptly voice regret, she and her group will be building a coalition against the senator and demanding a mea culpa.

“We believe Senator Harry Reid needs to issue an apology,” Siskind said. “He had a chance to clarify his comments and instead of clarifying it his spokesperson just said, ‘yeah, that’s basically what he meant,’ and in this day and age if that is the way he is going to refer to one of the seventeen women in the Senate, then you know he should just get back on his dinosaur and go back to Nevada and stay there.”

Hat tip: Inst.

Wonder if Amy Siskind has a nice pair of legs. I’m a sucker for nice looking legs.

Can’t you envision a couple of dinosaurs reading about that quote, and going “Hey! Dang it, I find that offensive!” Also, it kind of looks like she’s trying to say something none to flattering about people who live in Nevada. Someone should ask Nevada people what they think of this. I’ve been to Nevada, there’s people living there…if you drive far enough you’ll eventually see some.

Dinosaurs I’m not too sure about.

Maturity Is…

Friday, September 24th, 2010

…being able to deal with making a choice, on some level more sophisticated than “which option do I like better.”

This is what the arguing is all about lately. Our country has just been wrenched through a sharp S-curve. We had a President who made a habit out of telling people the situation as he saw it, and to hell with whether they were ready to hear it or not; now we’ve got a President who’s spent His entire lifetime learning He can always win, as long as He acts confident and to hell with whether He’s telling people what’s true, as long as it’s what they want to hear.

That is why there is so much arguing lately and why it is so heated. When you lack maturity, you have the luxury of defining truth according to taste. This causes strong antisocial feeling because, necessarily, it must mean anyone who says anything contrary must be a liar.

There are still quite a few people walking around who think the previous President lied about everything. Of this, alone, I cannot begrudge them. President Bush was a politician; diagnosing politicians, especially politicians representing opposing parties and movements, is something we all do pretty much all the time.

The way they decided he was a liar, however, all too often was something like this: I don’t like what he’s saying. It makes me unhappy. That makes him a liar.

What was he saying? The world is always going to be dangerous and unstable, until such time as the Saddam Hussein problem is addressed, head-on, militarily.

If you lack maturity — maturity, the way I’m defining it here — of course that’s a lie. It isn’t soothing. Doesn’t fill you with happy thoughts head to toe.

If you’ve acquired this maturity and made it your business to deal with things the way they really are, it’s a big fat DUH.

The reason it seems lately we can put so much effort into problems that really aren’t that complicated, and continue to see success elude us, is that there are a lot of people who lack maturity. It just isn’t required of us that often. We’ve got fewer and fewer people working for a living, and those among us who are fortunate enough to work, all too often are simply following instructions. The “quality” of what we do is determined entirely by how well we’ve followed the steps. So engaging reality, in addition to being frightening, is becoming a dying art.

Lately, even people who’ve worked themselves into that ultimate level of independence, running their own business, are occasionally found to lack this maturity. Think, as a consumer, how many products and services you buy — and after they’re delivered, you have the final word on whether they’re adequate or not. This is a metric caught in a steep decline. Hamburgers are built the way they’re built; if you like them, oh that’s fine, but that’s because you happen to like the burger the way they build them here. Nobody had to approach you, find out what you want in a burger, and put some real thought into how to fulfill the requirements you had in mind.

The same is true of cars. Even houses. This house is built this way because that’s the way they build ‘em here, now do you like it or not?

So the result is a society filled with craftsmen, and their employees, who just follow steps.

Any given human ability that is difficult to maintain, will fade just so far and then bounce back if it is required. This one, sad to say, isn’t. And so I see parents trying to teach their children to make choices that will turn out to be the right ones…how to decide things. And they make the mistake of saying “do you like this one or do you like that one?” The child will learn to decide this as a matter of taste, because that is the path of least resistance. This failure will be corrected later on if there is a need for it to be corrected.

But there probably won’t be any such need.

And so we decide what to do based on what we like. And we decide who’s a liar based on who, within proximity, is detected saying anything contrary.

We want to exist with each other in harmony, and we want to be capable. I’m afraid we aren’t doing a good job asking for either one of those things, so we’re facing a future that is missing both. Unless something changes.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News and Washington Rebel.

Velma

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Sorry, I just can’t climb on this bandwagon.

I know the frustration with Obama is in the air and it’s palpable, like the electricity you can feel when a desert thunderstorm is near. We who were never fooled by Him, should be grateful for the materialization of she who was once fooled by Him and wised up.

Sorry, the only reaction I really want to see is a swift smack across the face. I’m just as upset with her as I am with any Obama voter, in fact more than the average. Velma Hart is not nineteen years old. She knows you don’t grow eggs in trees, and that you don’t have money in your checking account just because there are still checks left in the book, and that just because your laptop is “wireless” doesn’t mean you never have to plug it in.

I’d like to see her sent to a thousand hours of community service, telling kids in high school how not to pick a presidential candidate. Just like people who got busted for drunk driving.

Yes, I’m quite serious.

This country’s system of government depends on people recognizing their responsibilities when they vote. Just like a car is designed around the idea that its driver knows what he’s doing.

Now we’ve got a failed trillion-dollar stimulus plan, and we’re planning a second one. Every baby born is thirty large ones in debt, we’ve got one hell of an inflation hobgoblin getting ready to kick our asses. Don’t even get me started on ObamaCare.

None of this was necessary.

We owe it all to people like Velma.

++Smack++

Best Sentence C

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Glenn Reynolds snags the one hundredth BSIHORL (Best Sentence I’ve Heard Or Read Lately) award. Ding ding ding ding ding!

It’s more than one sentence, actually. But as is usually the case…that’s alright.

he government decides to try to increase the middle class by subsidizing things that middle class people have: If middle-class people go to college and own homes, then surely if more people go to college and own homes, we’ll have more middle-class people. But homeownership and college aren’t causes of middle-class status, they’re markers for possessing the kinds of traits — self-discipline, the ability to defer gratification, etc. — that let you enter, and stay, in the middle class. Subsidizing the markers doesn’t produce the traits; if anything, it undermines them.

Hammer. Nail. Bang!

With a grateful hat tip to Bob Belvedere.

Liberalism is a Holdover From Human Evolution

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Wordnik offers a singular definition for a most obscure word, which to the best I can tell, completely fits the meaning I had in mind. I might as well work this the way the children do, weaving it into conversations hither & yon waiting for the smackdown from someone who knows how to use it better than I do. Beats the heck out of making up yet another word.

Prerational (adj.): Antecedent to the maturation of intelligence.

It seems this word can be used to describe “antecedent” within the span of an individual’s lifetime, or within the natural “maturation” of human technological/social progress. It is the second of those that I have in mind.

Liberals like to describe conservatives as evolutionary holdovers; lately, I have been turning this around. But sincerely. I really do think liberals are leftover fragments from human evolution — or at least their ideas are. These people called “liberals” are merely articulating, and making the mistake of placing their beliefs in, ideas that used to make the world go ’round. They are ideas hard-wired into all of us. But they are static ideas, dead ideas, and sensible adults have shrugged them off and left them in the ground, where they belong, to rot.

Let me explain. For me to do that, we need to take a trip backward in time. There are no fragments of bone or pottery to directly substantiate what I’m saying, there is only human nature and the stuff we know about cultures, the periods of time in which they flourished, and how long they lasted. Human nature bears much more of the burden of support for my recollections, here, than the point or section within any timeline, so the classical science of archeology doesn’t help us out here too much. So let us take stock of what we know.

We know that this thing we call a technological society, is a relatively recent turn. At the founding of our nation, just the blink-of-an-eye ago in the grand scheme of things, if you made it your business to go to Philadelphia to argue with your buddies about whether the word is inalienable or unalienable, the right to keep and bear arms, and so forth, you did this after sowing a crop or reaping a harvest. We were an agrarian society just 240 years ago. Somewhere, maybe someone was figuring out how to burn a fuel to move a rotor arm to get the plowing done; but even that first nibble of “real” technology was mad-scientist stuff. Time was precious only because time was needed to work the land. Land was the real wealth.

Town MeetingNow, when you live in an agrarian society and land is the real wealth, your efforts in solitude are vital to your continuing existence but only for the purpose of doing what had been done before. Later on, when technology started to become a dynamic thing and partner itself with farming, you would have to keep “an ear to the ground” and figure out what new amazing bits of information might be available to pare a fifteen hour task down to a two hour task. But while that is only an occasional event, you just toil away. So it would seem natural that whatever is in motion, for the most part, is something “bigger than you.” You work your acres, the wife tends to the house, and far all other concerns there will have to be a town hall meeting of some kind. And why shouldn’t there be one? Land is the real wealth; land defines the nature of the issue; and the land upon which the issue is concerned, is off your spread. It’s a public road, or a public waterway, or something that will or might happen to the entire town. We need to go to a meeting to resolve it.

We also know that compassion is hard-wired into our human character. With or without a technologically advanced society, we are naturally concerned with the economic status of our peers. Or lack thereof. If someone is doing badly, we want to get involved and help them. The more closely we identify with them, the quicker we want to help. We recoil instinctively from whoever else in our ranks, for whatever reason, fails to share in this instinct.

We tend to be more vigilant in seeking out neighbors who might need our help, during the lean times. Liberals find that to be regrettable. They would like this to be a constant floodlight, and not a strobe.

If the person who needs our help, is in that situation through their own doing, we’re slow to factor that in. Even if it has long ago become a cyclical pattern. Conservatives find that regrettable. They think the widow should be given greater priority for our aid, than the town drunk.

But in solitude, attending to our own chores, or together down at the town meeting, we do the best we can and we offer help to whoever needs it. That’s what civilized humans do, without regard to the level of civilization in the community they call home.

It is an inextricable aspect of agricultural living, especially during the ancient times when technology moved more slowly, that innovation must take place almost entirely within these town hall meetings. Well, as anyone who’s ever been in a business meeting knows, group configurations are not amenable to innovative thinking. To engage in innovative thinking with just four or five people assembled, is hard. Really hard. It is several orders of magnitude harder, when the nose count moves up to seven or eight; at that point, you run into the situation where a short, crisp agenda must be put together, and used, and guarded, by a strong chairman. Otherwise, hours will disappear into the void with nothing resolved. By the time you’re up to a dozen people you might as well forget about innovative thinking. If it emerges that something needs to be poked & prodded & researched, or written up into a report, this will be delegated to an individual or a subcommittee. Because, how else could it be done.

The group comes up with ideas. That’s all it does, really. It isn’t fit for narrowing possibilities down, acquiring new information, or anything of the like. This is not where people renew or strengthen their grasp of reality. The only thing upon which they can renew or strengthen their grasp, in that environment, is their own social stature within the assembly. As individuals.

This is the great difficulty involved in chairing a meeting. You’re there to offer your comments on some matter, or to solicit the comments; but those assembled for the meeting, are offering the comments to buttress their own social standing within the community. Generally speaking, altering the outcome of the decision, toward an outcome more beneficial for all concerned, is a side benefit to the individual participant. The primary motive behind his contributions to the discourse, is to elevate or preserve his standing. This is the tragedy of the human condition: Inwardly, we know without anyone pointing it out, that innovation is best accomplished by the individual. But we have it hard-wired into our DNA, over time, by the slow, cruel forces of evolution — to expect all this innovation to take place in a meeting environment. We understand this is ineffective, in the extreme. But the spectacle of it gives us comfort.

Here’s where the trolley starts to come off the rails though. I mentioned the impulse of basic human compassion up above. The meeting environment does not focus this or enhance it; it rather diminishes it. Groupthink, born in an agricultural setting like so many others of the things we do, is accustomed to a farm livelihood. It is accustomed to the idea that manual labor is the only way to prosper, and therefore we should all have roughly the same amount of stuff. It is also accustomed, paradoxically, to the idea that you can only receive this basic, subsistence-level quantity of stuff, if you are “good.” That’s right, groupthink can shut off this basic impulse of human compassion just like a spigot. It is much better at this than any individual.

I’m speaking here of the Freeberg Village Theory, discussed here and here and here and here and here and here. The process by which, in a season a famine, one or several individuals are declared somehow unfit. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.

GTFOThe result is ostracism; and, unfortunately, archeology and the other human-history sciences are a help here. We have actual evidence of various cultures sitting down to have meetings of this kind.

And famine being a seasonal thing, it wouldn’t take long to become accustomed to this.

And so, in a relatively instantaneous window of time, the human genome would adapt. We would work for our harvest on our own pieces of land, and then we would move off them, congregating in a public place, to figure out all the stuff that requires figuring-out. All the off-routine stuff. New things. A new tribe has been set up a mile or two away; the hunting is bleak this season; new faces in the community. It works this way today, and it must have worked this way at the very beginning.

To some degree or another, the community adopts socialism. Perhaps we can keep all of our goods and our profits as individuals, but it will be brought to our attention that so-and-so needs some aid and those of us who are in a position to, will get together and provide it. Or perhaps there will be a common store; we will put some allocation into that store, and those who are in need will take some out. Or perhaps that is where all of the community’s wealth must be placed. From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

But in some situation or another, there will be a pariah. A cast-off. A runt of the litter. A new set of the ostracized will be defined, and then carved off, again and again, every time the provisions become too lean to feed everybody. The community becomes a pencil, and the lean times occasionally force upon us a sharpening. You can’t sharpen a pencil without tossing away some shavings.

Now consider what liberalism is. Think about what they believe. And think about how they do their arguing about what they believe.

We “all” have these “rights”; the rights are not actually codified into any one single document, or even body of documents. Quite to the contrary, the rights are manufactured in a casual way. It seems the test is, if I can think of the right and it sounds kinda cool, then a right it is. And it is non-negotiable.

“All” means the least among us enjoy these rights. It doesn’t seem to apply to a true concept of universality, by any stretch. No, the liberal extolling the virtues of this “right” has some community of people all picked out who are supposed to enjoy the right. In all of Creation, there are few creatures more bewildered than the liberal who has just been asked “can Rush Limbaugh receive new kidneys, if he really needs them, under ObamaCare?”

Also, you can be denied these rights in total if you are defined out of existence in some way. Unborn babies come to mind as the best example; there need not be others, for this illustrates the point. A veritable cornucopia of rights for you that are etched in stone, granted to “the least among you.” But only if you make it this far: To the magical vaginal finish-line. You have to count. You have to live in the commune to receive your sustenance-level package of foodstuffs. Once you count, you get everything, but if you don’t count you get nothing. You are shut out of the village gates, to starve…so the people residing within can receive their infinitely voluminous platters of magical ever-expanding “rights.”

It is not a mental illness or a sign of intellectual weakness. A lot of liberals are actually pretty bright. The thinking that is shut down in order to make liberal ideas look good, is more of a “won’t” than a “can’t.”

It is the natural consequence of doing too much thinking, particularly thinking about social experimentation, political science, and socio-economic realities, in groups. Accepting too casually and with insufficient skepticism, the idea that when we innovate we should do the innovating in a forum so poorly suited for it.

How many times have you argued with a liberal and noticed — it starts with the liberal demonstrating to you the fitness of the idea the liberal is trying to argue. The argument proceeds from that point, like a line being drawn upon a paper, and then it seems to spiral into a black hole…or clamber upon a merry-go-round where it starts spinning in circles. At that point, you’re demonstrating your idea to the liberal and the liberal is sitting in judgment of it. Ever notice they all seem to go that way? And overall, there is a lot of difficulty involved in persuading the liberal to even engage the idea directly, let alone accept it or some piece of it. No, when the liberal sits in judgment, he sits in judgment of you.

There are some things you can point out to try to get the argument back on track. One of my favorite things to point out is “you know, decent people sometimes have the wrong idea, and creepy jerks sometimes have the right one, so it really doesn’t matter if I have these personal deficiencies you’re pointing out…” Kinda gets out of the is-not-is-too stuff. But overall, that must not be a good way to handle it because they head right back to that. Maybe my character flaws are just too glaring.

I must say, though, it tends to have the appearance of a neurotic twitch. Like an inconsolable toddler clutching a security blanket, they continue to catalog the deficiencies of the opposition on a personal level. Very, very odd behavior indeed…for someone who’s supposed to be arguing that “rights” are to be upheld, at all times, in all situations, for “all” of us even “the least among us.”

Another constant in these things is that the liberal isn’t arguing the opposition is bad; what the liberal is arguing, to be absolutely accurate about it, is that the liberal is a better person than this opposition.

It is prerational thinking, thinking from the communal, agricultural eon of human existence. It is the thinking humans engaged before they were truly capable of, or had much need for, intelligent community discourse about complex issues. What the liberal is doing, is exercising an instinctive impulse left over from our evolutionary journey. He is anticipating a famine in the next winter to arrive, laying down the argument that when the time comes to ostracize people from the village, the ideological opponent should be selected for this elimination before the liberal is selected. He is demonstrating his relative worth as a person.

This gets right to the nut of what modern liberal thinking is. It is the polar opposite of what it pretends to be. It is an argument of “when the time comes there’s not enough milk and wheat to go around, everyone remember I’ve earned mine. He hasn’t. I get his.”

And every time a liberal attacks the character of his opposition, what we are seeing is yet another example of this. No, I can’t prove it. But the more we see of liberal behavior lately, the more it becomes rather silly to try to doubt it.

Yummy Yummy Time!

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Have Some Madeira My Dear

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

“Walk Like an Egyptian”

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Hat tip to Wheels Within Wheels.

“He’s the Man!”

Monday, September 20th, 2010

What the– ??? This is the opening that might’ve been?

I suppose that’s not too different from the way all the shows opened back in those days. There’s a lesson here, about thinking outside the box.

Instead of that…we got this. Arguably the small screen’s greatest intro ever:

“Christmas with a Capital C”

Monday, September 20th, 2010

From Time Magazine, via FARK, which has a lovely article explaining how Hollywood is looking for new villains and atheists might be them.

I just can’t believe it…

Barack Obama Speaks For…

Monday, September 20th, 2010

There’s Just Something About Him, and He Really Lays It On the Line

[Hedge fund manager Anthony] Scaramucci told Obama, “We have felt like a piñata,” complaining that “we certainly feel like we’ve been whacked with a stick.” Obama responded that Scaramucci needs to put things into perspective:

Now, you know, I have been amused over the last couple years, this sense of somehow me beating up on Wall Street. I think most folks on Main Street feel like they got beat up on…There’s — there’s a big chunk of the country that thinks that I have been too soft on Wall Street. That’s probably the majority, not the minority.

Kinda makes you go all weak in the knees, doesn’t it? Yes, socialists get mighty particular when it comes time to decide who’s going to get sympathy and who isn’t. They like to decide that stuff ALL by themselves.

Their ideas can’t be made to appear palatable any other way.

I’m pretty sure it never occurred to His slavish followers that the average evil hedge fund manager isn’t too keen on emotions & feeling…and this probably isn’t where Scaramucci was going with what he said. I’m going to just take a wild stab at it that Scaramucci was talking about risk versus profit, the very fabric of the good capitalist’s universe. Something like…well, if we’re going to just dangle like piñatas when all’s said & done, why bother to invest anything in the first place? And if we choose not to do that, your people on Main Street are the ones who suffer. They probably know it, too.

As for majority and minority, President Soetoro probably needs to sit down and read this, with smelling salts within arm’s reach.

With the exception of Fox News, nobody in the media will cite this poll because it’s Rasmussen. The Democrat Party and the media take a selective approach with Rasmussen. They’ll cite him when they like what he shows while ignoring him when they don’t like what he shows. They won’t cite this Rasmussen poll because they won’t like what it shows:

Fifty-two percent (52%) of Likely U.S. Voters say their own views are closer to Sarah Palin’s than they are to President Obama’s, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

Just 40% say their views are closer to the president’s than to those of the former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential candidate.

This is bad news for Barry from top to bottom, pretty much. But if you click through to Rasmussen’s piece, you see another nugget of something interesting:

The Political Class doesn’t like Palin. Seventy-eight percent (78%) of Political Class voters view her unfavorably, while 60% of Mainstream voters have a favorable opinion of the former governor. Eighty-one percent (81%) of voters in the Political Class say Palin is bad for the Republican Party, but 51% of those in the Mainstream say she’s good for the GOP.

A split between the upper-crusters and the hoi polloi! How exciting! Now then Your Holy Eminence, you were saying something about Main Street?

Recall George Will’s summary of the situation, and you can see why the typical “Main Street” voter agrees with Palin:

[T]he recession has reduced household wealth by $10 trillion and that only 25 percent of Americans expect their incomes to improve next year. So they are not spending, and companies, having given the economy a temporary boost last year by rebuilding inventories, are worried. Hence, rather than hiring, companies are sitting on cash reserves much larger than the size of last year’s $862 billion stimulus. [emphasis mine]

President Obama — the one with whom no “majority” agrees, unless it’s the majority within the Political Class — seems to be applying an “underwear gnomes” strategy to the economy.

1. Apply the Alinsky rule to the “hedge fund managers” and other evil capitalists; pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, isolate it from sympathy…make sure they become unpopular and stay that way.
2. ????
3. We all have jobs.

If someone could be good enough to expound on this thing, starting in the middle of the whiteboard with that big empty box. The one with the question marks. We could use just a little more detail there.

I Have NEVER Wondered Who the “Best Ex-President” Was

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Even though, for twenty years or more, I’ve had all sorts of Jimmy Carter fans getting in my face, raising & simultaneously answering that very question. To be filed under “Questions Nobody Was Asking.”

And now, O.B.E.P. (Our Best Ex-President) is leaping up to the podium and grabbing that trophy for himself.

What a stupid statement to make. What a stupid question. Who’s your favorite President — probably Lincoln or Washington, right? Washington doesn’t impress me as a good ex-President at all. Lincoln was even worse!

It’d be nice to have a President who served capably enough, that nobody gave a rat’s ass whether he was a good ex- or not. Carter’s successor, arguably, managed to achieve that. To bad Carter didn’t.

I’ll give Jimmy this much: The day he started being our ex-President, he became something a lot of people had been wanting to see him become.