Friday, November 28, 2008

Some Random Politically-incorrect Reasons to Be Optimistic on Thanksgiving Day

Now that Osama is co opting Bush policies wholesale (Iraq; Tax cuts; Afghanistan; Gitmo; FISA; Patriot Act; Financial bailouts etc...), one wonders if our fair and balanced news media will continue to say we ( and Osama) are racist, fascist, torturing, police state-loving murderers of our own citizens who had the Twin Towers blown up for oil?


Oh, and by the way, any possibility they will give Bush credit for keeping us safe for 8 years now, liberating Afghanistan and having the courage and wisdom to turn Iraq into a spectacular success, and a stable democracy at the very heart of the middle east?

...NO WAY. The drive-by's are forever corrupted and discredited, as phony as CO2 driven climate change - great article linked here!

For the record - they won't see us acting like they did the last eight years: crying, whining, and fantasizing about massive conspiracies. No, because we love our country, and want her to succeed. We wish President-Elect Osama well (OK, a little fun is allowed!), and hope for his success.

Take time to follow the link to the full post - It really is VDH at his very best...T

Turning on a dime.

There is such a thing as divine Nemesis, even though the god seems to sleep for long periods. The media violated all the classical cannons of fairness and objectivity in this presidential campaign. Now they are in a dilemma, since most of their long-voiced objections about Bush won’t be operative any more—on matters of taxes, Guantánamo, the bail-outs, FISA, the Patriot Act, Iraq, guns, abortion, capital punishment—inasmuch as Obama suddenly won’t be hoping and changing much of anything, but often leaving things on these issues as they are, while turning management over to the tentacles of the Clinton octopus. The media, in Animal Farm fashion, will have to do a ‘that was then, this is now’ turnabout, as they dream of reasons why Gitmo is not that bad, or why keeping the Bush tax cuts for a bit will stimulate the economy, or why wiretapping on suspected terrorists, on reflection, isn’t really that subversive. And as they reinvent the once evil administration policies, and the formerly Hillary hacks into inspired Obama ideas and experienced and professional Obama appointments, few will believe them. Done, over with—the media has lost credibility and will have to start over from square one. And all that was a much needed development. (PS—after the India nightmare, note the Obama reaction to dismantling the FISA accords, Patriot Act, Guantánamo, and withdrawing from Iraq, as the campaign rhetoric of Bush shredding the Constitution morphs into something like ‘the public will turn on a dime and blame us for criminal laxity if anything like 9/11 happens on our watch.’)

What happened to Iraq?

Lost? Quagmire? Out by March 2008 which was the promise Obama gave when he announced his run in February 2007? General Betray Us? Somehow between Gen. Petraeus’s 2007 congressional testimony (Cf. Hillary’s “suspension of disbelief” slur) and the present calm, the US military essentially won the war. All the front-page stories in our papers that Americans in Iraq were incompetent, barbaric, mercenary, and Hitlerian suddenly ceased, and in their absence there was—nothing? About five times as many Chicagoans died violently in October than did US soldiers in combat in Iraq. Just as the hysteria peaked as gas was supposedly fated to hit $5 a gallon, but silence followed when it descended below $2, and just as we were warned that spiraling home prices had ensured an entire new generation of Americans were shut out of the American dream, and then even greater furor followed when prices fell suddenly and Americans were robbed of their equity, so too with Iraq, which we were to assume, would always be lost, but apparently never won. Like it or not, Gen. Petraeus will compare favorably with generals like Sherman, LeMay, and Ridgway who likewise somehow found victory when failure seemed certain. For all the tragedy and mayhem, the thought that Saddam Hussein is gone and just five years later there is a stable and successful constitutional government in the heart of the ancient caliphate seems as surreal as it is encouraging.
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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Minnesota Senate Recount, Update

Whew, let's hope this trend holds up! A Senator Franken is a truly ridiculous prospect, like say, having Michael Moore as Secretary of State...looks like it won't happen now though, and thank God!

With Norm Coleman, And Chambliss likely winning in Georgia's runoff next month, we will at least hold the leftist hordes 2 votes shy of 60, thereby preserving at least the possibility of stopping the worst of the leftist excess to come, like Hillary Care parte deux, card check, and fairness doctrine. The hours from noon till three may still be there to comfort us after all...T

A correspondent writes:

Just returned [from Crystal]. We counted the last three precincts without incident.

Then the City Clerk made the announcement that she had found some absentee ballots that had not been processed yet from another previously closed precinct, Ward 4 Precinct 2.

Apparently Friday afternoon she was given the order by SOS [the Secretary of State] to release the names of voters who had their ballots rejected. While canvassing the absentee ballots she found 8 ballots bound together that had not been processed on election night. She claimed they were valid ballots that had been filled out by registered voters.

So she opened them in front of the crowd.
7 Franken
1 Coleman

Coleman campaign is challenging. When I asked if these ballots had been checked against the Election Day roster to make sure these people had not voted on Nov 4th she said she had not (roster has been sent to the County). Nor had she talked to the election judges who had signed these 8 ballots and for some reason bound them together. Yet she was willing to put them in the official count.

One more thing: I was asked by [a local official] to show photo ID before I could observe the recount. I told him I wished he would be so thorough on voting day when no picture ID is required.

He replied "this is still America." Not sure what that means.

Meanwhile, in St. Paul a ballot box contained seven fewer ballots than were counted on Election Day. One official suggested that "judges in the precinct ... might have inadvertently run some ballots through twice." Franken's campaign lodged a protest.

Currently, the Minneapolis Star Tribune shows Norm Coleman with a 195-vote lead. Something like 75% of the ballots have been recounted, but a significant percentage of those remaining are from Minneapolis. Still, given the small changes that have occurred so far, it's hard to see Franken catching up, short of litigation.

UPDATE: The Star Tribune tally, which I've had a hard time correlating to the results posted on the Secretary of State's web site, now shows Coleman ahead by 202 votes.
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Friday, November 14, 2008

Can Democrats Get to 60 by Winning Senate Races in Alaska, Minnesota, and Georgia?

Whoa - I spoke too soon. They are blatantly stealing Minnesota; the Alaska numbers strongly suggest massive, unprecedented fraud; and even Georgia could fall if the leftists can focus all their resources on it (most states STILL have overwhelmingly democrookic local organizations, even after all these decades). Oregon fell the day after the election, so the socialists currently stand at 57, not 56.

IF they get 60 votes - the America you and I have known our entire lives will be gone for a generation, at the very least. Say hello to Union thugocracy, and goodbye to Rush Limbaugh. Say hello to socialist medicine, and goodbye to our role in the world as guarantor of world peace.

Thank God Ronald Reagan didn't live to see this day. Pray for one small victory that could save our nation. Pray for Saxby Chambliss in Georgia...T

In my column written the day after the election, I wrote that the Democrats had fallen short of the 60 seats they need to stop a filibuster in the Senate. I may have spoken too soon. In Alaska, Democrat Mark Begich has taken the lead over Republican incumbent Ted Stevens in the early counting of absentee, early, and challenged votes. At last count, Begich was 814 votes ahead. Begich had a big lead in those tallies—evidence of the effectiveness of the Obama campaign, which was targeting Alaska until John McCain named Sarah Palin as his running mate. But the counting may not entirely favor Democrats. Not until next week will ballots from Anchorage be counted, and Anchorage typically is more Republican than the rest of the state.

Meanwhile, we await the final count from Minnesota, where Republican incumbent Norm Coleman is only 206 votes ahead of Democrat Al Franken. A good place to keep up with that is the Powerline blog. And here are some other links, from Marc Ambinder of the Atlantic. And on December 2, Georgia will have a runoff election because Republican incumbent Saxby Chambliss got 49.8 percent of the vote on November 4, just short of the 50 percent required to win without a runoff. The Obama campaign has kept its offices busy working on this project, although it's not clear whether Obama, who didn't campaign much for other Democrats this year, will personally campaign. The Obama campaign did a terrific job of increasing black turnout in Georgia, and so a victory for Democrat Jim Martin is a lively possibility.

The results in these three races could make an enormous difference in public policy. With 60 votes in the Senate, Democrats will probably pass the card check bill designed to abolish secret ballots in unionization elections. The likely result: a sharp rise in the 8 percent of private-sector employees represented by unions. We can see the difference this can make by looking at another issue that's being debated: the Detroit Three auto bailout backed by Barack Obama and Democratic congressional leaders (the subject of my forthcoming Creators Syndicate column). Why are the Detroit Three in such trouble? Well, the lavish healthcare benefits negotiated by the companies and the United Auto Workers mean that total compensation paid workers by the Detroit Three is 52 percent higher than Toyota's and 132 percent above the U.S. manufacturing average. Is this what we want for large swaths of the private-sector economy?
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Sunday, November 09, 2008

How to Block the Liberal Agenda

The important number to take away from this election was not Osama's electoral total. No, it is the number 56. That is the maximum number of senate seats the democrooks can achieve after recounts and runoffs, realistically. They have no chance at 60 at all.

This effectively means we can block card check, fairness doctrine (hush Rush), and the most radical leftist "reforms" these thieves have planned for us. A warning though - watch to see if Osama tries to impose "hush Rush" through administrative action.

Things aren't yet as bad as they seem...T

Washington, meet Barack Obama. Barack Obama, remeet the Republican senators who are now going to help define your presidency.

Democrats won big on Tuesday but not big enough. The voters' rebuke of the GOP was brutal, though not so cruel as to hand Mr. Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid the 60 votes they needed to grease a sweeping agenda. The GOP still owns a filibuster, and that is as big a factor in this new "era" as is our president-elect.

Democrats, who now officially own 55 seats, are still salivating over that distant 60. But Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens is holding on, and Georgia's Saxby Chambliss is positioned to win a run-off. Norm Coleman in Minnesota is in for an ugly recount, but he starts with a lead. If Mr. Reid goes postal on the McCain-supporting Joe Lieberman, Republicans could also find themselves with occasional help from the liberated Connecticuter.

These numbers aren't an accident, but instead say something about America's interest in a check on the Democratic majority. Mr. Obama won Oregon by 15 percentage points, yet thousands of his own supporters pulled the lever for Republican Gordon Smith, who lost narrowly. In Minnesota Mr. Obama won by 10, yet Mr. Coleman leads. Alaskans appear to have voted for a felon in part to deny the left a supermajority.

The biggest Republican victory this week was in fact that of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, whose considerable tactical skills will now be in even greater demand. Democrats have a healthy fear of Mr. McConnell's abilities, one reason Chuck Schumer chose to divert $6 million into the long-shot Kentucky race, rather than keep it in say, Minnesota, where his boy Al Franken is now losing.

Mr. McConnell's strength has been putting up a principled opposition, without earning the reputation for Tom Daschle-like obstruction. And from the sounds of his opening statement this week, his game plan is the same, only with higher stakes. Mr. McConnell "stands ready" to hear Mr. Obama's "ideas for implementing his campaign promises of cutting taxes, increasing energy security, reducing spending and easing the burden of an immense and growing national debt." Note he is not standing ready to negotiate on eliminating union secret ballots, nationalizing health care, enacting a climate program, or over-regulating the financial industry.

Nevertheless, Mr. Reid is closer to 60 votes than he was before, and he is already strategizing about which Republicans to pick off on specific issues. At the top of every list is Maine's Olympia Snowe. Pennsylvania's Arlen Specter is up for re-election in 2010. Susan Collins and Mr. Coleman (should he return) will also be targets. And Mr. McConnell will have already lost those battles for which he was dependent on a veto, such as more funding for the State Children's Health Insurance Program.

Then again, the minority leader has several things going for him. Congressional Democrats will overreach, as they are already doing. (House liberal Henry Waxman is moving to unseat fellow House liberal John Dingell -- who he doesn't find liberal enough -- from the Energy and Commerce committee.) This means tension with a President Obama, who may not be so eager to throw out his "bipartisan" image on Day One. Republicans can sit back to watch that fight.

Democrats also can't depend on President Bush to save them from themselves. All but one of Mr. Reid's 51 caucus members voted last year to proceed with legislation eliminating union secret ballots, and all 50 knew it would never become law. Mr. McConnell has his own list of vulnerable Democrats who he -- with the help of the business community -- will remind of the electoral consequences of enacting a measure hated by 80% of the country, according to polls. Maybe Nebraska's Ben Nelson, who hails from a right-to-work state, will vote to allow his constituents to be bullied by union thugs. Or, when it comes down to it, maybe not.

Mr. Obama and his party are meanwhile now the sole political proprietors of a major financial crisis. Revenues will contract, even as Mr. Obama promises tax cuts. That alone may temper ambitions on issues like health care, which Democrats may now have to approach piecemeal. But also expect to see the GOP rediscover a devotion to fiscal responsibility. Any Democratic proposal, for anything, will elicit howls of "deficit spending." Some Republicans are actually looking forward to January.

And let's not forget that the left has spent eight years helpfully showing Republicans how they might make life difficult. Democrats have insisted a filibuster for judicial and cabinet positions is "essential" and that a president "must" consult with the opposition. Mr. Obama himself voted to filibuster Bush picks. They don't call these things "precedents" for nothing. Democrats have also highlighted procedural tools that the right could now use to slow Senate business to a slug's pace.

So yes, it is a new day in Washington. Just don't go thinking it will be an easy one.
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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Treatment of Bush Has Been a Disgrace

So it's time to congratulate President-Elect Osama. The democrats, the media, and the left all did the same after Bush was elected in 2000 and 2004, so....oh wait a minute - no they didn't! I seem to recall that he was called a murderer, a thief, a brain dead moron, and a Machiavellian evil genius among other vile and hateful names (how exactly is one both a moron AND a Machiavellian at the same time?).

Why they even rooted openly for our country to lose a war, purely for partisan political benefit, as well as claiming that Bush was responsible for the attacks of 9/11 themselves as a means to confiscate Mideast oil for his rich cronies.

No, we don't wish Osama ill, or root for his failure. But if he and this congress have difficulty governing, it will be due in large part to the bitter harvest they have sown these last 8 years...T

Earlier this year, 12,000 people in San Francisco signed a petition in support of a proposition on a local ballot to rename an Oceanside sewage plant after George W. Bush. The proposition is only one example of the classless disrespect many Americans have shown the president.

According to recent Gallup polls, the president's average approval rating is below 30% -- down from his 90% approval in the wake of 9/11. Mr. Bush has endured relentless attacks from the left while facing abandonment from the right.

This is the price Mr. Bush is paying for trying to work with both Democrats and Republicans. During his 2004 victory speech, the president reached out to voters who supported his opponent, John Kerry, and said, "Today, I want to speak to every person who voted for my opponent. To make this nation stronger and better, I will need your support, and I will work to earn it. I will do all I can do to deserve your trust."

Those bipartisan efforts have been met with crushing resistance from both political parties.
The president's original Supreme Court choice of Harriet Miers alarmed Republicans, while his final nomination of Samuel Alito angered Democrats. His solutions to reform the immigration system alienated traditional conservatives, while his refusal to retreat in Iraq has enraged liberals who have unrealistic expectations about the challenges we face there.

It seems that no matter what Mr. Bush does, he is blamed for everything. He remains despised by the left while continuously disappointing the right.

Yet it should seem obvious that many of our country's current problems either existed long before Mr. Bush ever came to office, or are beyond his control. Perhaps if Americans stopped being so divisive, and congressional leaders came together to work with the president on some of these problems, he would actually have had a fighting chance of solving them.

Like the president said in his 2004 victory speech, "We have one country, one Constitution and one future that binds us. And when we come together and work together, there is no limit to the greatness of America."

To be sure, Mr. Bush is not completely alone. His low approval ratings put him in the good company of former Democratic President Harry S. Truman, whose own approval rating sank to 22% shortly before he left office. Despite Mr. Truman's low numbers, a 2005 Wall Street Journal poll found that he was ranked the seventh most popular president in history.

Just as Americans have gained perspective on how challenging Truman's presidency was in the wake of World War II, our country will recognize the hardship President Bush faced these past eight years -- and how extraordinary it was that he accomplished what he did in the wake of the September 11 attacks.

The treatment President Bush has received from this country is nothing less than a disgrace. The attacks launched against him have been cruel and slanderous, proving to the world what little character and resolve we have. The president is not to blame for all these problems. He never lost faith in America or her people, and has tried his hardest to continue leading our nation during a very difficult time.

Our failure to stand by the one person who continued to stand by us has not gone unnoticed by our enemies. It has shown to the world how disloyal we can be when our president needed loyalty -- a shameful display of arrogance and weakness that will haunt this nation long after Mr. Bush has left the White House.

Mr. Shapiro is an investigative reporter and lawyer who previously interned with John F. Kerry's legal team during the presidential election in 2004.
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Monday, November 03, 2008

McCain for President

A travesty for America is in the making. One would think that the 70's, and the success of the Reagan years would have put the lie to LBJ style quasi-socialism. But this guy, Osama Bin Lyin, makes LBJ look like RWR! Anyone who wants to use me as a tax shelter when the communist thugs come to their door, are most welcome ;)...humor is what we will have to rely on, as even Rush may be silenced by these brown shirts...T

Last week I made the open-and-shut case for John McCain: In a dangerous world entering an era of uncontrolled nuclear proliferation, the choice between the most prepared foreign policy candidate in memory vs. a novice with zero experience and the wobbliest one-world instincts is not a close call.

But it's all about economics and kitchen-table issues, we are told. Okay. Start with economics.

Neither candidate has particularly deep economic knowledge or finely honed economic instincts. Neither has any clear idea exactly what to do in the current financial meltdown. Hell, neither does anyone else, including the best economic minds in the world, from Henry Paulson to the head of the European Central Bank. Yet they have muddled through with some success.

Both McCain and Barack Obama have assembled fine economic teams that may differ on the details of their plans but have reasonable approaches to managing the crisis. So forget the hype. Neither candidate has an advantage on this issue.

On other domestic issues, McCain is just the kind of moderate conservative that the Washington/media establishment once loved -- the champion of myriad conservative heresies that made him a burr in the side of congressional Republicans and George W. Bush. But now that he is standing in the way of an audacity-of-hope Democratic restoration, erstwhile friends recoil from McCain on the pretense that he has suddenly become right wing.

Self-serving rubbish. McCain is who he always was. Generally speaking, he sees government as a Rooseveltian counterweight (Teddy with a touch of Franklin) to the various malefactors of wealth and power. He wants government to tackle large looming liabilities such as Social Security and Medicare. He wants to free up health insurance by beginning to sever its debilitating connection to employment -- a ruinous accident of history (arising from World War II wage and price controls) that increases the terror of job loss, inhibits labor mobility and saddles American industry with costs that are driving it (see: Detroit) into insolvency. And he supports lower corporate and marginal tax rates to encourage entrepreneurship and job creation.

An eclectic, moderate, generally centrist agenda in a guy almost congenitally given to bipartisanship.

Obama, on the other hand, talks less and less about bipartisanship, his calling card during his earlier messianic stage. He does not need to. If he wins, he will have large Democratic majorities in both houses. And unlike Clinton in 1992, Obama is no centrist.

What will you get?

(1) Card check, meaning the abolition of the secret ballot in the certification of unions in the workplace. Large men will come to your house at night and ask you to sign a card supporting a union. You will sign.

(2) The so-called Fairness Doctrine -- a project of Nancy Pelosi and leading Democratic senators -- a Hugo Chávez-style travesty designed to abolish conservative talk radio.

(3) Judges who go beyond even the constitutional creativity we expect from Democratic appointees. Judges chosen according to Obama's publicly declared criterion: "empathy" for the "poor or African American or gay or disabled or old" -- in a legal system historically predicated on the idea of justice entirely blind to one's station in life.

(4) An unprecedented expansion of government power. Yes, I know. It has already happened. A conservative government has already partially nationalized the mortgage industry, the insurance industry and nine of the largest U.S. banks.

This is all generally swallowed because everyone understands that the current crisis demands extraordinary measures. The difference is that conservatives are instinctively inclined to make such measures temporary. Whereas an Obama-Pelosi-Reid-Barney Frank administration will find irresistible the temptation to use the tools inherited -- $700 billion of largely uncontrolled spending -- as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to radically remake the American economy and social compact.

This is not socialism. This is not the end of the world. It would, however, be a decidedly leftward move on the order of Lyndon Johnson's Great Society. The alternative is a McCain administration with a moderate conservative presiding over a divided government and generally inclined to resist a European social-democratic model of economic and social regulation featuring, for example, wealth-redistributing growth-killing marginal tax rates.

The national security choice in this election is no contest. The domestic policy choice is more equivocal because it is ideological. McCain is the quintessential center-right candidate. Yet the quintessential center-right country is poised to reject him. The hunger for anti-Republican catharsis and the blinding promise of Obamian hope are simply too strong. The reckoning comes in the morning.
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