Friday, October 30, 2009

The Importance of Manufacturing

There is an excellent analysis over at New Geography titled "Yes, manufacturing matters." This echoes an argument that I have made for some time that you can't give away all your manufacturing capacity and maintain a vibrant economy. We cannot be a nation of burger flippers and software programmers if we wish to continue leadership, or participation in, a global economy. Despite the duress that American manufacturers have been under from environmental kooks to cheap labor abroad, our productivity has soared. According to the article, manufacturing output has risen 81% since 1987, but the jobs involved in manufacturing have fallen below 9% of the workforce.

Some see this as the inevitable evolution of a developing economy - we start out on the farms, we move to the cities and become manufacturers, then we all become accountants and consultants. The reality is different though. Productivity has its limits and we may be approaching them, with frightening consequences:
Offshoring of production means that the United States is not generating enough wealth to pay its mounting and massive debts. The mindset among America’s economic elite – that the country does not need an industrial base – has put the country and the world economy in a ditch.
This is a far more serious problem facing the very structure of the American (and global) economy than climate change or health insurance; it just hasn't been trumpeted as a CRISIS yet. Oh but it will...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Obama's impact on race relations

A year ago, as McCain's Presidential campaign withered in its own incompetence, a good number of good hearted, well meaning moderates of the caucasian persuasion, convinced themselves - no doubt with the help of a fawning press - that voting for Obama, a black man, would lead to some great catharsis on the matter of race relations in this country. You can see that in the numbers above. We had this enormous split in the tracking poll to the question: "Do you think relations between blacks and whites will always be a problem?" There was a sharp drop down from the mid-40% range to 30% who felt the problem was incurable, while a massive 67% said we were on our way to being healed.

Once year in and the numbers have reversed course and returned to 1964 levels. Like everything else, in this matter, Obama and his administration is a colossal failure. You don't have to be white or black to know this is wrong:


But Obama's Attorney General Eric Holder sees no problem and it is this type of "turn a blind eye" behavior that IS the problem. Martin Luther King exhorted us to judge on the basis of our character and not the color of our skin...this nation has taken tremendous strides, but it never seems to be enough. Race baiters like Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton have free reign, while any dissent against Obama's policies are immediately labeled "RACIST!"

Those same "independent" and "moderate" folks that voted for a cathartic Obama? That "hopey change" thing isn't working out so well. The bottle rocket is returning to earth.

Is the GDP growing?



Well, the financial headlines point to a robust 3rd quarter, with GDP growth of 3.5%. Any port in a storm! However, you have to remember what makes up "Gross Domestic Product," and when you dig below the surface, it's not so good and may only be a blip. GDP is a rough measure of economic activity made up of consumer spending, investment by businesses and government spending. The seemingly good news is that a BIG chunk of the growth was consumer spending: 2.36%. But, what drove that? Well, there was the "Cash for Clunkers" fiasco - that was 1.7% of the total - per the Wall Street Journal this morning:
Economists said the massive stimulus injected by the U.S. government, such as the cash for clunkers program that lifted car sales, helped boost consumer spending. Since the federal stimulus reached its maximum effect in the third quarter and the unemployment rate remains high, there's uncertainty over the sustainability of the recovery.

And so where does the money that counts for almost half of the so-called "growth" come from? Well...you: from CNN Money: "Cash for Clunkers cost taxpayers $24,000 per car." Wait, $24K per car? That's damn near the price of a pretty well loaded Toyota Camry!

So, is the economy improving? Let's ask the folks - here are the results of an online survey over at CNN moments ago:



That's right - 64% of CNN - not those evil FOX people - think there is no recovery in their area. Folks, we are going to have to pay the piper with all this Federal lard being slathered over this economy and I suspect the American people know it.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Stossel on the realities of Obamacare

This aired back in August, but it's good to remind ourselves what we could be facing if the statists succeed:

Somalia: Hunting Christians

Well, the fact that the headline begins with "Somalia" tells you a lot already. What never ceases to amaze me is that while we are bullied by the Statists in this country to be more "accepting" and "diverse," and to not offend anyone - even if they are Muslim extremists bent on killing you and everything you believe in - in Muslim countries, all non-Muslims are considered "targets."

This piece from the Economist highlights what is happening to Christians in Somalia, and it ain't pretty:

Christian men attend mosques on Fridays, so as not to arouse suspicion. Bibles are kept hidden. There are no public meetings, let alone a church. Catholic churches and cemeteries have been destroyed. The last nuns in the smashed capital, Mogadishu, were chased out in 2007. The year before, an elderly nun working in a hospital there was murdered. The only Christian believers left are local Somalis.

Depression Era Cartoons

Here are a couple of cartoons from the Great Depression that ought to send chills down your spine:





Hat tip: Bearish News

Peter Schiff: Get out of the Dollar now!

This is the guy that was eerily accurate about the housing boom/bust. It's about 10 minutes long, but worth a listen. Certainly on a logical basis he is spot on.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dismantling our Nation

Thomas Sowell has another brilliant column over at Townhall this morning, titled "Dismantling America." As sobering a read as it is, I feel better...I look at the landscape in Washington DC and keep wondering if it's just me that's on crazy pills. No, plenty of others are seeing the same thing and Sowell is always out in front:

Jeremiah Wright said it with words: "God damn America!" Bill Ayers said it with bombs that he planted. Community activist goons have said it with their contempt for the rights of other people.

Among the people appointed as czars by President Obama have been people who have praised enemy dictators like Mao, who have seen the public schools as places to promote sexual practices contrary to the values of most Americans, to a captive audience of children.

Those who say that the Obama administration should have investigated those people more thoroughly before appointing them are missing the point completely. Why should we assume that Barack Obama didn't know what such people were like, when he has been associating with precisely these kinds of people for decades before he reached the White House?

Nothing is more consistent with his lifelong patterns than putting such people in government-- people who reject American values, resent Americans in general and successful Americans in particular, as well as resenting America's influence in the world.


If you have been in a cave these past ten months, read this article, it is a great summary of where we have come to. It takes a while to turn an aircraft carrier around, but they turn quicker at full speed. We are heading at flank speed to the left - let's hope after this set of elections coming up next week that we at least get the rudder to amidships...after 2010, let us hope we can steer this ship of state back to the Constitution.

Don't Eat Meat!!!!!!!!

More panic and scare from the kooks over at the Gorean Temple of Global Disaster:

Exhibit 1: Climate Chief Lord Stern: Give up meat to save the planet! When I first saw this headline, I thought the boys at Monty Python had gotten loose again:

But then you read the article and find these jewels:
Lord Stern, the author of the influential 2006 Stern Review on the cost of tackling global warming, said that a successful deal at the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December would lead to soaring costs for meat and other foods that generate large quantities of greenhouse gases.

Now you are not supposed to let on the part about "soaring costs..." bad Lord Stern, Algore will have to spank you for that.


From the emerald sheep methane emitting shores of New Zealand comes that wonderful headline. And no, you didn't just pay extra for 5 more minutes of arguing...here's a money line from this one:

The eco-pawprint of a pet dog is twice that of a 4.6-litre Land Cruiser driven 10,000 kilometres a year, researchers have found.

Victoria University professors Brenda and Robert Vale, architects who specialise in sustainable living, say pet owners should swap cats and dogs for creatures they can eat, such as chickens or rabbits, in their provocative new book Time to Eat the Dog: The real guide to sustainable living.



Now before you put Fido on the grill, you might want to pick up a copy of the new book "Superfreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance."

In an excellent review of this fine book, Bret Stephens, over at the Wall Street Journal points out several key points:

Why is the "science" so bad behind the "climate change" crowd?

More subversively, they suggest that climatologists, like everyone else, respond to incentives in a way that shapes their conclusions. "The economic reality of research funding, rather than a disinterested and uncoordinated scientific consensus, leads the [climate] models to approximately match one another." In other words, the herd-of-independent-minds phenomenon happens to scientists too and isn't the sole province of painters, politicians and news anchors.

Why not wait till we have some consensus on a reasonable course to solve the problem...IF there is a "problem?"

Hence, too, it may well be that global warming is best tackled with a variety of cheap fixes, if not by pumping SO2 into the stratosphere then perhaps by seeding more clouds over the ocean. Alternatively, as "SuperFreakonomics" suggests, we might be better off doing nothing until the state of technology can catch up to the scope of the problem.

All these suggestions are, of course, horrifying to global warmists, who'd much prefer to spend in excess of a trillion dollars annually for the sake of reconceiving civilization as we know it, including not just what we drive or eat but how many children we have. And little wonder: As Newsweek's Stefan Theil points out, "climate change is the greatest new public-spending project in decades." Who, being a professional climatologist or EPA regulator, wouldn't want a piece of that action?



It all depends on which little piggy you want to have feeding at the trough. Bret concludes the article, echoing Lord Monckton:
Part of the genius of Marxism, and a reason for its enduring appeal, is that it fed man's neurotic fear of social catastrophe while providing an avenue for moral transcendence. It's just the same with global warming,

Exactly - Marxists, statists, progressives, call them what you will. When the Berlin Wall came crashing down, the new home of these elite "intellectuals" became the environmental movement. It's the same medicine in a different package: we are smarter than you, we will run your life for you, just surrender your freedom and all shall be well.

When the local weatherman can start getting his forecast right more than 50% of the time, I'll start to believe some of the global warming claims. Until then, I am content in the knowledge that the earth experiences cycles of cooling and warming and the best thing we can do is to be good stewards of the land and keep out of the way.


Friday, October 23, 2009

CNN goes after Obama?

Holy Cow! Anderson Cooper no less...gotta love the Ragin' Cajun's response: "11 people in the Nixon administration went to jail..." How many in Obama's should go to jail for tax evasion alone?

Look, these guys are thugs with a glass jaw. They can't stand a public that isn't fawning over this empty suit.

Another warning from Mother England

In a column in the Telegraph this morning titled "It's time to slay the bureaucratic monster that's ruining the NHS," (NHS = National Health Service - Britain's version of Obamacare) there are some dire warnings for us across the pond that are contemplating nationalizing our health care system. The author Michael Fallon describes a system of "trusts" that operate across the system that are another layer of bureaucracy between the patient and the doctor.

There are regional trusts by geography and overlapping trusts by area of specialization - mental health and ambulance, for example. In all, "there is simply too much management right across the NHS, most of it duplicating, interfering or counter-productive, and all of it diverting resources from the hard-pressed units and nurses who treat real people."

What fairy tale book do Obama and Congress read that makes them believe this experience won't be repeated here? Once the SEIU gets their mitts on the control levers through a public option and gratuitous treatment, our system will be doomed. Fallon concludes his piece with a call out to the British Conservative Party:
Exactly half of the entire 1.3 million NHS workforce isn't treating patients. The real questions are for the Conservative shadow health secretary: Andrew Lansley, are you listening?

No, America...are you listening?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

No love for O in Mother Russia

Wow - talk about being unpopular!


Good thing our stature overseas has been so wonderfully improved! So how is that "reset" button gig working for you now?

More hopey change we can believe in!

Pledging to the Debt II


From the mouths of babes!
Hat tip DN.

Pledging to the Debt

Powerful ad, I saw last night:



Here's the reality we are facing:



As Investor's Business Daily is reporting, there are two separate GAO reports stating that this level of debt is "unsustainable." By 2016, Social Security (remember Al Gore's "lock box) goes to a negative cash position - all those funds that have been propping up other government giveaways go away. In other words, if you are under 60 today, you have a better chance of flying in one of these:


Than ever receiving one of these:

And that's BEFORE they socialize medicine! Check out the website for Defeat the Debt. They have some suggestions we can act upon before its too late.

How Long, Mr. President?




We are witnessing a very real tragedy. General McChristol issued a report to Secretary of Defense Gates on August 30 regarding the situation in Afghanistan. In this report, he concluded:
"Failure to gain the initiative and reverse insurgent momentum in the near-term (next 12 months) -- while Afghan security capacity matures -- risks an outcome where defeating the insurgency is no longer possible."


That's polite military speak for - "unless we act, we are going to lose." The report concluded that he needed more troops to accomplish the mission. This is the mission that he was originally sent to accomplish after the "new strategy" was selected this past March by Obama (March 27: "Today, I am announcing a comprehensive new strategy for Afghanistan...")

I guess this is Obama's way of voting "present." Announce a strategy, send someone to execute it, you don't like what he tells you...announce a strategy review and stall.

The problem is this:

Those men are someone's boyfriend, husband, son. One of the big reasons Obama supposedly got elected for was because he was going to end the "bad" war, Iraq, and "really fight" the "good war," Afghanistan. The decision is very straightforward, without room for the beloved nuance of the the left, we either fight to win - and commit the resources to do it, or we withdraw and deal with the consequences.

The last time a democrat president didn't listen to his field commanders, was when Bill Clinton's people decided to refuse the request for armor on the ground in Mogadishu...this is what happened:


Can we not learn from this Mr. President?

Whole Foods Health Care

Gotta love Union thugs - Obama's street operators - harassing the employees and clients of Whole Foods. This is the crux of the debate: do you want the freedom to choose how to spend your healthcare dollars, or do you want some bureaucratic thug (like Mr. Yellow T-Shirt Big Gut) telling you what you can or cannot do?


If you haven't read the piece in the Wall Street Journal by their CEO, John Mackey, click here.

Dangit, I'm hungry, guess I'll head over to Whole Foods for an early lunch panini at the grill.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

America the Socialist Dream


Our recently "reset" friends, the Russians, are pleased that the United States is moving towards socialism. Writing in that classic Russian style that omits an article now and then, Pravda observes:

If everyone had these values, the “dog-eat-dog” principal would be the major principal in the world history. But America failed to do it. There are plenty of “underdeveloped” people in the world who continue to cherish spiritual values. There are not that many chances left to force them into worshiping money since these “underdeveloped” people adopt western technology and become stronger. The appeal to adopt American values doesn’t work either. Why would we adopt the system if the system is in crisis?

The problem isn't that you have cut-ups like Pravda gloating over the perception of our demise. The problem is that you have our friends, and even some countries on the fence that see this kind of behavior coming out of this administration and they are afraid. They are afraid that the only power they will be able to turn to will be rogue countries like Russia. Our allies are losing faith with every additional day that Obama dithers on Afghanistan. We have seen this progression once before - during the Carter years when a good chunk of Africa was lost to fall under the shadow of the Russian bear.

The piece, through some twisted logic, ties in our decision to not deploy the missile shield over Eastern Europe to our supposed recognition that we need to be everyone's friend. No, we withdrew the shield because this President has a hard time recognizing our allies and a propensity to go four-paws-up in the face of what he perceives to be a bigger dog - you know, the Russians, the Saudi king, Hugo Chavez etc.

This is a sad and dangerous time.

ACORN oopsie!

ACORN has been saying that the Philly office threw our young filmmaker and hooker out...umm, not really:

One point four trillion dollars

$1,400,000,000,000

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Lefties lose all humor

Here's a lame attempt at humor by one of the WaPo's cartoonists:

The attempt to link Republicans to the LaRouche kooks that showed up at the town hall meetings continues. In the attempt to ridicule the Right, they unknowingly speak truth to their plans: health care "reform" is every bit of the hoax that the whole "Balloon boy" scam was! Now that's funny. Of course, they probably got the idea from the good folks over at Investor's Business Daily:



Biden tells the truth: Depression



Way to go Joe!
Telling the truth again...back to the dungeon you go!

Obama continues poll slide


Rasmussen's got the strong like versus strong dislike up to -12...so much for the Nobel bump. I've chatted with some Obama voters recently who really feel duped...in no particular order, these are some of their concerns:

1. They don't like his policy towards Israel - they feel he is compromising their security. (well, duh!)
2. They don't like the people he's surrounded himself with -quoth one: "a lot of those czars are thugs and creeps." (No, they are Maoist ideologues.)
3. They don't like the hard left stance on health care - they favor a lot of the policies that are being chatted about in the reform discussion, but feel that this is something that should go slower with bi-partisan support.
4. They are scared S*#%LESS about the deficit - "are we going to be the next Weimar?"

These are good hearted liberals, who meant well, including one who felt she was expunging her white guilt by voting for a "black man," but who are genuinely frightened about the direction BHO is trying to tow the country.

Obama Achmadinijad Duet





Hat tip Blogprof.

More Mao in the Obama Administration

We posted yesterday about Anne Dunn's nitwittery with regard to having Mao Tse Tung as one of her "favorite political philosophers," now Naked Emperor News surfaces this delight from Ron Bloom, Obama's "manufacturing czar:"



Geez, "political power comes from the point of a gun?" The "free market is a joke?" Where is Obama finding these people to surround himself with so we can judge him?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monckton: US ceding sovereignty

This is the guy that Gore refuses to debate - you can see why:


Here's some of the evidence that shreds Gore's ludicrous screed:



And here's the rest:


Facts are real downer for statists intent on remodeling the world economy on their own model.


Anita Dunn channels Mao Tse Tung

OK folks, this is the White House Communications Director...



Gosh, Mao just wanted to make some "changes" in China. Let's take a quick look at the death toll wrought by such "change (source Museum of Communism FAQ) :"

1. Deaths in Gulag style prison camps: 10-12 million
2. Deaths by famine caused by agricultural collectivization: 30 million
3. Executions are estimated at 10-15 million.

That gives us a range of 50-57 million - not bad change in a day's work, and certainly worthy of becoming one's "favorite political philosophers."

During the campaign last year, Obama remarked several times to "judge me by the people I surround myself with..." OK, if we take you at your word Mr. President, you surround yourself with kooks and communists - what does that make you?

Bo Snerdley and the NFL

For those of you unfamiliar with Rush Limbaugh, his call screener, Bo Snerdley, has been the "Official Obama Criticizer." He has, per his own description, "100% organic slave blood," and is therefore qualified (by the official racist Democratic party rules) to speak about African-Americans. In this case, he weighs in on the disgrace of the railroading that Rush suffered last week by being pushed out of the opportunity to join the fraternity of NFL Owners:

Friday, October 16, 2009

Pre-emptive Strike

Here's an interesting juxtaposition of headlines:



Here's another neat pairing:

Door # 1: "US scraps missile defense shield plans." September 17, 2009


Or, how about this doozy:



This is the weird world we live in now - the world of the United States stripping itself naked and streaking through all the bad places on the globe yelling "we're sorry!" This is the world of the naif, the beta wolf, a man who has never led anything but who possesses a visceral hatred of American power is our Commander in Chief. God help us - that may be all we have left when this bunch is finished.

Stealing from the Troops

Congress love to chant sayings like "We're for the troops." In the "put your money where your mouth is, we have systemic failure on their part: "U.S. troop funds diverted to pet projects." With the subtitle - "$2.6 billion taken from guns and ammunition." Both parties are guilty, although perusing the list, no surprise, the Democrats take the prize:

Among the 778 such projects, known as earmarks, packed into the bill: $25 million for a new World War II museum at the University of New Orleans and $20 million to launch an educational institute named after the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat.

I'm all in favor of a World War II museum - not sure why it needs to be at the University of New Orleans - but stealing money from the troops for a Kennedy Educational Institute??
This is emblematic of the problems we face with an entrenched power class in Washington - they are completely deaf to the real world where bad guys try to kill our guys.


Double Digit Disapproval Again


Hadn't posted Rasmussen's poll in a couple of weeks - we check it daily and he's been riding in the -6 to -8 range. Odd, that after winning the Nobel Peace Price, the Heismann and the CMA Entertainer of the Year Award that he would be slipping again. What's that little word? "Trust?"

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Gays 1 - Muslims 0

In the ever widening world of political correctosilliness, a French Muslim soccer team has been banned from the league for refusing to play the Gay soccer team in the league. You can't make this stuff up! Read about it here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Chinese Textbooks vs. Obama Kids

The Economist is reporting that Chinese teachers are beginning to challenge some of the myths of Chinese history in an effort to improve the understanding of Chinese history. In a short piece titled: "The Fragility of Truth," we learn, for example that:

In Chinese schools, however, the dividing line between historical fiction and history can easily be confused. Children are often not taught to make a distinction. As a result, students lose the ability to look for and identify mistakes, says Leng Yubin, one of the teachers campaigning for a textbook purge. The press has quoted comparisons of these errors to the adulteration of milk with toxic melamine, which poisoned tens of thousands of infants last year.

Funny - they are trying to correct the errors in their educational system while we are doing this and wringing our hands about the poor quality of our educational system:


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Obama and SEIU

And which union will profit the most from health care "reform?" Ummm, surely it wouldn't be the Service Employees International Union would it? This just might take the cake for corrupt elections:


Global cooling crisis

Well, since everything is a "crisis" these days, why not create a new one. We are going to need it to justify passing this ridiculous cap and trade bill. The ice wall of disinformation is starting to spring leaks all over:


Investors Business Daily: "Three Decades of Global Cooling."

Scientists challenging EPA on Carbon Dioxide ruling: a letter to EPA Director Lisa Jackson

From the letter:
And yet, without thoughtful, fully-informed judgments on all of the questions by the scientists who are expert in the particular issue area, the EPA should not feel comfortable issuing an Endangerment Finding in support of CO2 regulation.

But, God forbid you challenge orthodoxy:


The American Thinker had an excellent column this morning that connects the dots between liberalism, global warming and Obama:
The global warming fraud is a lesson in the self-censorship of liberals, their fear of finding out the truth. It's even worse when you see that same self-inflicted blindness over and over again. Millions of liberals didn't want to know about Obama before the election. They sleepwalked into that voting booth, like an old Disney cartoon with Donald Duck holding his arms out in front and with his eyes firmly shut. But they do that a lot, just shutting out sizable parts of the world and not exercising basic adult intelligence in the minefield of politics.

Eyes wide shut - liberalism at its best. Sticking your fingers in your ears and chanting slogans like "yes we can," over and over is infantile enough. But now those same blutheros have the power to destroy the American economy and are hard at work passing legislation that will do just that:

It is also worth noting that, of the 24 years analyzed by The Heritage Foundation's Center for Data Analysis (CDA), 2020 had the second lowest GDP loss. Furthermore, the CDA found that for all years the average GDP loss was $393 billion, or over double the 2020 hit. In 2035 (the last year analyzed by Heritage) the inflation adjusted GDP loss works out to $6,790 per family of four--and that is before they pay their $4,600 share of the carbon taxes.[5] The negative economic impacts accumulate, and the national debt is no exception. The increase in family-of-four debt, solely because of Waxman-Markey, hits an astounding $114,915 by 2035.[6]
How does that hopey-change thing feel now? Now, to my centrist friends that still have some wiggles on your EEG...you know who you are - the ones that just thought we needed something different - do I have your attention now? Liberalism is founded on the hope that the masses are not thinking...how do you feel grouped in with that lumpetariat? How about some real change in 2010 before it is too late.

Wait, thats MY car company...

"Analysts express doubts about GM" - how can this be so in our post-capitalist, shoe-polish powered mini-car world?

GM has announced plans to build 2.8 million vehicles next year, about 1 million more than it expects to make in 2009.

"When an automaker builds more cars and trucks than consumers want -- as GM has done in the past -- it is forced to discount the vehicles, which cuts into profits. Some experts wonder if GM is doing that again," wrote Tim Higgins, a Free Press business reporter.

Hmm...supply and demand. Boy am I confused. Weren't we told that in our land of rainbow colored unicorns, where Presidents get Nobels for doing nothing, that the laws of economics - if not the laws of physics - were no more? Odd.

Throw the bums out...

Bill Whittle of ejectejecteject.com fame lights the afterburners in this great video that is a must see.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Obama's Thinking...

I thought we had a new strategy back in March...yup, here it is: "Obama lays out goals, strategies, in Afghanistan, Pakistan." So you send your military to implement the "goals and strategies" and they tell you, Mr. Community Organizer what they need to succeed. Then you "think about it some more?" Frighteningly, this is the exact same scenario we lived with in Somalia under Clinton and the end result there was "Blackhawk Down." The Commander on the ground asked for armor...the White House said "you don't need it," and brave young soldiers died needlessly. Please, Mr. President, let's not repeat this.

Passing it on to the States

I haven't heard this reported much, but our Governor, a Democrat, is begging Congress not to pass health care "reform" in its current form:


Bredesen's comments came in a letter to U.S. Sen. Bob Corker and U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon, voicing concerns that national health care reform will mandate increased state spending.

"Bob and Bart, the problem that we're facing is simple: By 2013, we expect to have returned to 2008 levels of revenue and will have already cut programs dramatically - over a billion dollars," Bredesen wrote.

Is anyone paying attention? This is another un-funded state mandate on the way and it will be used to disguise the Federal bill as "revenue neutral," while the states get crucified. Bredesen is a very smart guy - self-made millionaire in the health care business, so he knows of what he speaks. Plus, he had the courage to dismantle the disaster we had here, known as "TennCare." Guess what Congress is working on? TennCare for all 57 states - it damned near bankrupted us, get a clue folks, it ain't worth going down this path.

Obama Accepts the Nobel!

If Obama can receive the Nobel for what he hasn't done yet (and let's pray he doesn't do what they want him to do...) we can post his yet-to-be-delivered acceptance speech!

Hat tip: American Digest

Friday, October 9, 2009

Obama the Christ?

Nobel? For What?

Drudge's headline this morning about sums it up: for what? But let me first say: "Congratulations, Mr. President - that's $1.4 million added to your coffers that I'm sure you will spend wisely."

OK, let me get my tongue out of my cheek now. Unlike some of my contemporaries on the right, I am not angered by this. I find it funny and refreshing on several layers. First, if you had any doubt that the Nobel committee was a bunch of far left, America and Israel hating morons, that reaches inane decisions, look no further than this most recent decision. This isn't a bad decision on their part, it's comical, but tremendously revealing. Personally, I thought the committee went off the rails when they awarded it to Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho in 1973. Anyone with a brain knew that Tho was lying through his teeth and that the North Vietnamese were preparing to invade. Then they awarded it to Al Gore for perpetrating the hoax of global warming...why not give it to someone who has done absolutely nothing.

Second, my guess is this was a sympathy vote after Obama and his team got skunked in Stockholm last week. Frankly, this ranks right up there with giving the 0-10 kids soccer team trophies at the end of the season because they "tried hard."

Third, this is one Obama can legitimately blame Bush for. This is an anti-Bush award - the Nobel committee is signaling to the world the way they want the United States to behave. We don't want a strong United States that stands up for its values...we want a nice beta wolf United States - one that comes in with its tail flat and rolls over showing you its throat and asks to have its belly rubbed.

Finally, the committee has shown the road map for getting a Nobel Peace Prize: publicly denounce the United States, publicly denounce Israel, talk lamely about ridding the world of nuclear weapons and shazam - you da' man!

Rumbler guess? This will prove to be one of the most shameful decisions ever made by the Nobel Committee, one that they will regret. Even Obama supporters know this is wrong, I think it will backfire on him and only add to the growing chorus of comedians that are finally starting to openly mock this empty suit. "Here's your trophy Barack, you played really hard and I know you wanted to score a goal but didnt'...let's prop up your self esteem!"

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Why do Liberals hate "Choice?"



Liberal paradox: "We support choice! Uhh, but not for you or your kids!! Uhhm, unless your kid needs an abortion..."

Our public school system in this nation is, for the most part, a disgrace. Charter schools and voucher systems have started to break the logjam with some successful pilot programs. Standing firmly in the way? The liberals and the teachers' unions.

Hat tip - Investors Business Daily

Bury Vietnam


In an excellent write-up over at the Daily Beast, Peter Beinart, their Senior Political Writer, dismantles the "Afghanistan is another Vietnam" analogy: "Bury the Vietnam Analogy." The three key points he makes are:

1. He asserts that Afghanistan is a nation whereas South Vietnam was created by the French in 1954. He notes that Afghanistan dates back to 1747 and that the "vast majority of Afghans say their national identity trumps their loyalty to the tribe." I would argue that this is the weakest of the three points he makes: a poll of Afghans? Seems to me the only people that would know enough or could be contacted are going to be the urban residents in Kabul and Kandahar who are one step removed from their tribe - the rest of the country is definitely tribal. But, the older nation argument stands.

2. Beinart then states that the enemy is different. When the U.S. entered the war, we largely took up the part that the French had abandoned...and "Ho Chi Minh was Vietnam's George Washington." The Taliban are not viewed as some kind of unifying nationalist force - they are murderous thugs and often when villages are liberated, they are grateful for U.S. and NATO forces.

3. His final point of difference is that in Vietnam, "we tried." We only recently got above 20,000 troops in Afghanistan versus the half a million we poured into Vietnam. Now warfare has changed dramatically since 1968 and man for man, our military is far more lethal than back then. But point well taken. Our initial arrival in Afghanistan was to take out the regime that had harbored the terrorists that attacked us on 9/11. That mission was accomplished with a very small footprint in the country. Since then, our mission has become befuddled - and now it is especially befuddled with troop morale starting to plummet.

Beinart's conclusion? "Afghanistan isn't Vietnam; it's worse."

Sadly, I tend to agree. Rumbler has never been a fan of nation building on the part of our military. As I have scribbled on these pages in the past, the U.S. military is exceptionally good at "killing people and breaking things." The military that fought the first Gulf War was basically one designed to fight the Soviet Union - big tanks, lots of bombs and missiles, air superiority. The military that fought the second Gulf War and swiftly defeated the Iraqi Army was the same. The military that fought in Afghanistan and defeated the Taliban was far more lethal and cunning. We learned from the Soviets that tanks don't work so well in the Afghan terrain...special forces and working with different tribal factions to achieve our aim does.

But once our initial mission was finished, what then? Eight years on, we are still asking that question. We continue to operate under the cultural ignorance that somehow, we can make democracy happen in a rabidly Islamic and tribal nation. Islam is profoundly anti-democratic. The notions of equality and a rule of law not based in 12th Century jurisprudence are anathema to them.

I do not believe that the "surge" strategy that worked so well in Iraq will work here either. Iraq had a very high literacy rate and an infrastructure in place for success. Further, most of the "bad guys" in Iraq were "out of towners" that the Iraqis didn't like either. In Afghanistan, the Taliban bad guys are native. Most of the Al Queda bad guys are out of towners, but there are precious few of those guys left and most of them are believed to be on the Pakistani side of the border.

I believe that the best option is to get a thug in place that will prevent the country from descending into an Islamic nutjob failed state such that Al Queda and all the other factions of world hatred will have a breeding ground. To accomplish this, we need a commitment of additional forces to buy the time to get the Afghan Army and police force to a point that they can take care of themselves. Once that's done, exit stage right as fast as we can.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

CNN Kids!



Brainwashing is really sad to see...

What were we thinking?

Hat tip 4-Block World.

ACORN, SEIU - connect the dots

Great piece over at BigGovernment that only adds to the dot-connection process going on between ACORN and SEIU. This thing is starting to look a lot like the Nixon Era "CREEP," or (Committee to Re-elect the President) only they have Union thugs out in front en masse. At some point, there will be another "Deep Throat" then all the rats will start to abandon ship:


"In a conspiracy like this you have to start at the bottom and go step by step..."

It's the Jobs, Stupid! It's the Jobs, Stupid!

While Obama prances off to Copenhagen or dresses up a bunch of doctors in lab coats, the economy continues to suffer and unemployment continues to rise. Even left wingers can no longer hide the obvious - from the Americans for Democratic Action: Real Unemployment Rate at 17%. Click here for a fun graphic way to look at the "real unemployment rate," it's from January, but the methodology is the same.

Now comes news from Bloomberg this morning: the U.S. Recession May Erase Prior Expansion's Job Gains. Lovely:

Oct. 7 (Bloomberg) -- For the first time in three decades, a U.S. recession may wipe out all the jobs created during the previous expansion, according to Ed McKelvey, a senior economist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in New York.

Pending payroll revisions and the likelihood that employment will keep dropping in coming months mean the 8.3 million jobs created from 2003 through 2007 will be lost, McKelvey wrote in an Oct. 6 note to clients.

So, what does the Anointed One want to do? Build wind farms, tax productivity and socialize medicine. Great job programs all. At some point, the D's in Congress have got to start thinking about re-election. Based on the current trend, they are headed for a blood bath. How many more cliffs will this guy make them jump off of before they say "enough."




The New Ice Age

Saw this headline in Pravda this morning: "How Ice Age Begins." Short, Slavic...can almost hear Svetlana rolling it off her tongue...but it is an intriguing little piece without much credit to scientific findings and the like. BUT, a quick search on Google yielded a plethora ("do you know what a plethora ees, chefe?") of links including this short piece by Gerald Marsh, a physicist at the University of Chicago: "The Coming of the New Ice Age." Hmmm...here's some of the good news:

The last “little” Ice Age started as early as the 14th century when the Baltic Sea froze over followed by unseasonable cold, storms, and a rise in the level of the Caspian Sea. That was followed by the extinction of the Norse settlements in Greenland and the loss of grain cultivation in Iceland. Harvests were even severely reduced in Scandinavia And this was a mere foreshadowing of the miseries to come.

By the mid-17th century, glaciers in the Swiss Alps advanced, wiping out farms and entire villages. In England, the River Thames froze during the winter, and in 1780, New York Harbor froze. Had this continued, history would have been very different. Luckily, the decrease in solar activity that caused the Little Ice Age ended and the result was the continued flowering of modern civilization.

There were very few Ice Ages until about 2.75 million years ago when Earth’s climate entered an unusual period of instability. Starting about a million years ago cycles of ice ages lasting about 100,000 years, separated by relatively short interglacial perioods, like the one we are now living in became the rule. Before the onset of the Ice Ages, and for most of the Earth’s history, it was far warmer than it is today.

Indeed, the Sun has been getting brighter over the whole history of the Earth and large land plants have flourished. Both of these had the effect of dropping carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere to the lowest level in Earth’s long history.

Five hundred million years ago, carbon dioxide concentrations were over 13 times current levels; and not until about 20 million years ago did carbon dioxide levels dropped to a little less than twice what they are today.

It is possible that moderately increased carbon dioxide concentrations could extend the current interglacial period. But we have not reached the level required yet, nor do we know the optimum level to reach.

So, rather than call for arbitrary limits on carbon dioxide emissions, perhaps the best thing the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the climatology community in general could do is spend their efforts on determining the optimal range of carbon dioxide needed to extend the current interglacial period indefinitely.

So just exactly what are the busy-bodies in Congress doing? Oh, don't get me started. Bottom line is this: it is complete hubris on our part to think we can control nature - we can't. This is the type of thinking that develops when we depart from faith in a divinity to faith in ourselves. The evidence for global warming is increasingly suspect, so perhaps, before we add more brakes to our staggering economy, we ought to consider the unintended consequences?

But, hey, look at the bright side - more places to do this:

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The 3AM Phone Call

Stratfor is reporting a chilling leak that has enormous ramifications for any hope of avoiding another dimension to war in the Middle East:

the purpose of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s highly publicized secret visit to Moscow on Sept. 7 was to provide the Russians with a list of Russian scientists and engineers working on Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

Think about this with me for a moment, because there are a lot of layers to this onion. First, Mossad is rarely wrong, so this list was probably very complete, down to the color of the sweater the "scientists and engineers" were wearing last Saturday - it's not a bluff. So, the Russians, not some rogue North Korean or Pakistani scientists are helping Iran with it's nuclear weapons program. To which, you can only ask "why?"

One big reason is that the Russians, like their Soviet brethren before, live by the philosophy that the "enemy of my enemy is my friend." They are putting down a marker that says Obama is not going to make any headway with the mullahs and the latter will continue to be a thorn in the side of the Americans. Secondly, they need the cash. Russia is dying demographically and economically. Their economy is totally dependent upon oil exports and that's not such a good bet right now...so, peddling nuclear weapon technology and other "tools and implements of destruction" is good business for them.

Second point of concern - the Iranians are probably a lot closer to getting the bomb than even the hapless IAEA knows. Building a nuclear "device" is not that hard once you have the fissible material. Weaponizing that device so that you can accurately deliver it is a whole 'nother problem. You gotta shrink the device, steer the rockets etc. etc. The Soviets, er, Russians, have a pretty lengthy track record of doing this.

The real "why" of it though is that the Russians don't mind seeing our ability to bring a carrier battle group up into the Persian Gulf sharply diminished with a nuclear power all along one side. Further, look at the business opportunity! If you think that the Saudis and Egyptians will sit idly by once Iran gets a nuke, think again. They may all go out and do the "death to Israel" dance, but those two wouldn't mind seeing a wing of Israeli F-16's alpha strike the mullahs nukular plants.

If the report of Bibi going to Moscow is true, it probably means that their planning is a lot further down the line for an attack. My guess is after the attack, they would identify the Russians as one of the reasons they had to move.

Now for the big question - the one that is on all our bracelets these days - "W.W.O.D?" What will Obama do? Stratfor's analysis is poignant:

It is not clear to us that the Russians or Iranians are getting the message yet. They have convinced themselves that Obama is unlikely to act because he is weak at home and already has too many issues to juggle. This is a case where a reputation for being conciliatory actually increases the chances for war. But the leaks this weekend have strikingly limited the options and timelines of the United States and Israel. They also have put the spotlight on Obama at a time when he already is struggling with health care and Afghanistan. History is rarely considerate of presidential plans, and in this case, the leaks have started to force Obama’s hand.

There really are only two options left - war or serious economic sanctions. Continued blathering at Achmadinijad and praying that your dynamic personality are going to save the day are not options. What will it be Mr. President? It's 3AM and the phone is ringing.