Wednesday, October 31, 2012

What Did Hurricane Sandy Do In 1 Night That Obama Couldn't Do In 4 Yrs?

Create thousands of shovel ready jobs.

This Is Not Conservatism: Romney Will Move The Country Leftward

When liberals win, they make conservatives come in their direction. But so-called conservatives have never made liberals compromise to the right. This is why liberals detest them, because they are weak.

Ronald Reagan, former Democrat, didn't do it, and neither has anyone else since. The result has been a constant shift of politics in America to the left. It has never shifted to the right on any social, economic or foreign policy issue. Today's Republican Party is indistinguishable from the Democrat Party of 1960, except on paper, while the Democrat Party struggles mightily to remain American as more and more Democrats openly support self-consciously socialist and even communist ideas.

The country moves inexorably leftward, relaxing moral absolutes from divorce to abortion to homosexuality; growing government and government interference in our lives through mandates while defending old progressive achievements like the income tax, Social Security and Medicare; and ideologizing "democracy" and using it like a cudgel to nation-build abroad.

Mitt Romney will only contribute to this process if he is elected because he has stated explicitly, once again just two days ago in Ohio, that it will be his policy to compromise, to "get things done" as the feeble-minded everywhere like to say:

"We're going to have to do something that has been done in the past in this country and that is we're going to have to reach across the aisle we're going to have to find good Democrats, by the way Democrats love America too, we've got to reach across the aisle find ways to bring in people from the other party work together, collaborate, meet regularly and fight for the American people and we will!," Romney said.

Why conservatives will vote for this I can only answer with the example of Esau, who was so hungry that he sold his birthright for a bowl of stew.

It would be far better to elect the intransigent radical Obama and a principled Republican US House to maintain the status quo than to risk "progress", because that is what you are going to get with Mitt Romney, progress . . . to the left.

Conservatives don't have to vote for Obama to vote for gridlock. Virgil Goode will do. 

UK Finance Minister Speaks Up For More Fascism

the flag of the Blackshorts
Quoted here:

"I wanted Lord Heseltine to do what he does best: challenge received wisdom and give us ideas on how to bring government and industry together. He has done exactly that. This is a report bursting with ideas and we will study it very carefully," finance minister George Osborne said.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Creams Right Coast Liberals. Country Cheers!

a thing of beauty

Like Liberals, Libertarians Hate Homeowners

Like liberals, libertarians hate homeowners.

Liberals resent the competition and don't want them "moving on up" to the East Side or to their gated communities, ruining the neighborhood, and libertarians hate homeowners' bourgeois values, especially the fact that homeowners resist becoming interchangeable parts in their global corporate pursuit of economic efficiency, rather resent being treated like depreciating assets, and often think the most important gift they can give the country is future taxpayers and productive workers raised in stable, safe, socially well-adjusted environments.

But there is also a shared reason: because homeowners tend to be neither liberal nor libertarian, but conservative.

From libertarian Arnold Kling, in his own words:

'If there is a tendency for property owners to become libertarians, I find this difficult to observe. Clearly, most home owners are not libertarians. Some owners, in fact, become decidedly unlibertarian NIMBYs, where “not in my backyard” becomes their byword for infringing on the liberties of others.'

Damn right, Arnold, homeowners do tend to infringe on others' rights, just like the Decalogue infringes on my right to say everything that's on my mind, murder, steal, commit adultery, covet, practice idolatry and ignore filial responsibilities.

If you want to act like a reprobate, it's a free country, but not in my backyard.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Camille Paglia Blames Obama's Libya Mistake On Women, ObamaCare On Stalinism

Both of which we have said.

The material is transcribed by Ann Althouse, here.

Rasmussen Polling Shows Romney's Path To Victory

With a week and a day to go, Rasmussen's polling as of right now shows Romney's path to victory with 270 Electoral College votes.

With the map showing Romney likely owning 206 Electoral College votes as of today, polling in Florida (29), Virginia (13), New Hampshire (4) and Ohio (18) all show Romney marginally ahead by at least two points in a close race, but together they are sufficient to give him the presidency.

If you add Colorado (9) where Romney is also ahead by four points he will win with 279.

Blame Walmart For The Part-Timing Of America, And ObamaCare For Ramping It Up

From a very good story by the New York Times, reproduced here:

The rise of big-box retailers like Walmart . . . with their long operating hours and complex staffing needs, has contributed to the increase in part-timers.

Mr. Flickinger, the retail consultant, said when Walmart spread nationwide and opened hundreds of 24-hour stores in the 1990s, that created intense competitive pressures and prompted many retailers to copy the company’s cost-cutting practices, including its heavy reliance on part-timers.

Susan J. Lambert, an expert on part-time work and a professor of organizational theory at the University of Chicago, said the use of part-timers had also escalated because of the declining power of labor unions. “They set a standard for what a real job was — Monday through Friday with full-time hours,” she said. “We’ve moved away from that.”

ObamaCare will now put this part-timing trend into high gear as more and more employers seek to avoid ObamaCare's 30 hour rule, at which employers must provide a healthcare benefit. More and more employers are going to schedule people for up to 29 hours per week, and not one more.

If you read the full story excerpted above you'll wonder to yourself how $15,000 per year part-time earners are going to be able to afford to purchase healthcare at Obama's healthcare exchanges, especially since holding two part-time jobs is already impossible in the experience of most part-timers. The answer is they won't be able to afford to purchase insurance, and will be shuffled off to crappy care under Medicaid, which is going bust already.

The healthcare debacle in America is only just beginning, thanks to Obama and the Democrats.

Obama Believes Winning Will Be Mandate To Raise Taxes, "Reform" Immigration

Obama has stated explicitly his intent is, if he wins, to raise taxes and "reform" immigration, which is code for amnesty, as reported here:

"If we won, then I believe that's a mandate for doing it in a balanced way."

"We can do some more cuts, we could look at how we deal with the health care costs in particular under Medicaid and Medicare in a serious way, but we are also going to need some revenue."

"If we get [the debt and deficit] done, then immigration reform, I think, is there to get done."

"And I think [the Republican Party] is going to need to get it done because you can't continue to alienate the fastest-growing segment of the country. And it's the right thing to do."

Of course, there are mandates and there are mandates. Obama likes mandates. He likes telling people how things will be, which is why we have ObamaCare shoved down our throats.

In 2008 Obama interpreted his victory as a mandate when his margin of victory in the formerly Red States which went for Bush was merely 1.4 million votes. He lost that "mandate" such as it was in 2010, and if the Republicans keep the US House in 2012 that will still be the conclusion whether or not Romney wins the presidency.

Imported British "Conservative" Condescends To Instruct Us About Communism

John Derbyshire

"But Barack Obama was never about the downtrodden masses. If he associated with revolutionaries such as Bill Ayers, it was only to feed off them and advance himself. Once he’d advanced, they went under the proverbial bus, as did the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Barack Obama has always been about Barack Obama. ...

"To be a real communist is to make a serious commitment to a cause. Communism is a hard dogma, completely at odds with the soft-handed girlish narcissism of a late-20th-century American leftist such as Obama, who has never risked, fought, struggled, or suffered."

Well, by this standard most businessmen, and most people who work with and for them, aren't real Americans either because the only thing they're committed to is the advancement of number 1. Nor are they real capitalists, but fascists, ever seeking preferments in law to protect their fiefdoms. Nor are they real Christians, eschewing renunciation of the world and service to the poor.

Serious commitment to anything hardly exists anywhere at any time for very long. There are only degrees of commitment, the few outstanding examples of which momentarily intrude upon our attention, as when devotees of a 7th century bandit religion would just as soon blow them- and ourselves to smithereens as live another day.

Just because Obama is a hypocritical communist fellow-traveler doesn't invalidate classifying him as one. After all, Obama also claims to be a Christian but believes things about the unborn and human sexuality which many a Catholic bishop would say destine him for hell, but people still say he is a Christian. Obama's lavish expenditures on his own presidency, which mark him out as a tyrant according to Aristotle ("the good of one man only"), stand alongside his belief in redistribution of income, in spreading the wealth around, in the same way that his friendship with and fundraising among the rich coexists with his sustained inveighing against them because in his opinion they do not pay their fair share in taxes.

The real problem with calling Obama a communist isn't that it isn't true but that the term doesn't exhaust the possibilities. What is instructive about Obama is that he is a blend of enthusiasms and idealisms, a character Herbert Hoover would have recognized as in the mould of FDR who admired the strong men of Europe, who were at once fascist, Nazi and communist. Obama may be a dilettante communist, but you'll still get an alphabet soup of statist experiments at his dinner table. 

But, of course, communist purists would demur at this point, Stalin having been an "aberration". Yet we still call Stalin a communist dictator and his rule a communist dictatorship even though Stalin's partnership with capitalism and people like Henry Ford arguably aligned Stalinism more with fascism than with communism.

Over time the terms lose their adequacy, primarily because they are invented by human beings who will do nothing if not disappoint, eventually. There's a word for that, but like "communist" the word "sinner", to quote our British instructor, is just not "ironic enough for our very ironic age".

Sunday, October 28, 2012

It's Democrats Who Overwhelmingly Hate The Electoral College

The reason Democrats hate the Electoral College is that the Electoral College gives too much power to small population states, which sometimes vote in such a way as to prevent winners of the national popular vote in presidential contests from being elected.

Nevermind that that's how the founders intended it, in order to keep minorities from being dictated to by majorities. It is suitably hypocritical of the Democrats to want to oppress minorities, seeing how they have taken minorities for granted for decades, always promising them the moon but never delivering them so much as a sandwich let alone a sub so fast they'll freak. has a story here on the subject of the Electoral College, referencing the National Popular Vote (NPV) campaign which proposes to make an end-run around the Electoral College provision of the constitution. You know, kind of like seceding from the Union was an end run, because that's what the NPV amounts to. The normal process of amending election procedures involves a constitutional amendment, but the Democrats have hatched a plan, the NPV, which amounts to an affront and challenge to the existing system, agreed to only amongst the states participating without benefit of legitimacy conferred by constitutional amendment. The legitimacy consists entirely in the agreement of the states. As such the NPV represents an insurrection against the rest of the states who do not participate. 

Mostly Democrats favor doing away with the Electoral College, which is in keeping with what animates the Democrats, namely democracy, especially direct democracy. Despite all its problems and blemishes, it is the Republican Party which stands for constitutional arrangements as they exist, notably Sen. Mitch McConnell of the US Senate, the Republican minority leader in the Senate. His support for the Electoral College covers a multitude of sins, and I do mean a multitude.

The Republicans would sound more convincing in their support for the Electoral College, however, if they were to support also repeal of Amendment 17, ratified in 1913.

The reason is that it would show that the Republicans are serious about constitutional principles of representation.

The original constitution envisaged bodies of electors who were different in identity in order to separate the powers of government to prevent tyranny, it is true, but also to spread representation effectively not just to the individuals who make up the nation but also to the governmental institutions which the constitution created as creatures of the people.

The electors originally were three.

The people who elected their US Representatives. These number 435 but should today number 10,267. The process of representation growing with population was halted in the 1920s. Arguably this concentration of power in fewer hands was a response to arrogation of democratic power by the Senate in 1913.

The states originally elected their US Senators, "chosen by the Legislature[s] thereof". Elected as they are now, popularly because of the 17th Amendment, they do nothing but make a redundancy of the US House of Representatives. And not just a redundancy but a trump. The Senate possesses much more power because they are not answerable to the people but every sixth year instead of every second. If anyone is responsible for gridlock in our times, it is this new imperious US Senate since 1913, not the political parties who duke it out in the House. The US Senate literally lords it over the US House as a kind of Super House. They only occasionally answer to the same people as the US House when they should be answering to, and representing, the states. The latter now possess next to no voice at the federal level except through the court system, where they must sue to be heard. A fine kettle of fish, that.

The Electoral College is now the last bastion of representation left to the states as states, and Democrats seem bent on taking it. The Electoral College is composed of persons appointed by the states in number equal to the number of Representatives and Senators, and they elect the president. The electors cast their votes now more or less everywhere based on which candidate wins the popular vote in the presidential election in each state. It is a winner take all system which blends popular sovereignty with states' rights. But the NPV would nullify this, casting the votes of the electors not for whomever wins the state, but for whomever wins the country.

As sketched above, the history of these developments is a history of lost representation. A US House member should represent 30,000 people max, but today supposedly speaks for over 700,000 on average in each district. State legislatures no longer have a voice in the halls of Congress because Senators are popularly elected just like the House. And if the Democrats get their way, smaller states will also lose their voice in electing the president because no matter what the citizens of Wyoming, New Hampshire and Montana want, the citizens of California, Florida and New York who are more numerous will dictate otherwise.

And Democrats are about nothing if not dictation. 

Already Got A Free ObamaPhone? Now Get A Free ObamaCar!

Just put a "Romney" campaign sign in your yard and you, too, can get a free Obama Car just like this guy, whose car was vandalized with the word "Obama" keyed into his hood just for parking in front of the house where the sign was.

Just be advised: The Obama Car comes without the "e", available only in the "ObamaCare" model.

Story here.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Blame Utopianism On Christians Like Joshua D. Hawley

Blame utopianism on Christians like Joshua D. Hawley.

He's an example of a contemporary who understands full well the implications of the broad expanse of Christian teaching as understood from "Scripture", namely an ideological view of reality wholly in keeping with secularized ideologies like Marxism. The key similarity is the denial of reality and the assertion of an alternate one.

Christians of a prior age in America were not "enthusiasts" like this guy who, ominously, clerked for John Roberts (all italics are the author's own):

Isn’t immanentizing the eschaton precisely what Christians citizens should be doing? ... The New Testament teaches that this long-looked-for kingdom has dawned now, in the death and resurrection of Jesus and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Christ has become king and, as Scripture says, presently rules over the world and over earthly government. That last point is central. Scripture teaches that political government is mandated by God for his service and is one means by which the enthroned Christ carries out his rule.

Ongoing suffering, death and injustice mean nothing to such people. Those things are inconvenient truths incapable of penetrating the ideological mind. To call it the fanatical mind in a political age is to short-change it because so many no longer have such religious understanding. For religious ideologues unjust government must be endured or ignored, but always obeyed.

People who think such things would never oppose kings like George III, let alone totalitarian dictators, with force of arms. Europe would still be in the grip of Hitlers and Stalins, and so might we, had American Christians had such scruples in 1776 and 1941, or British Christians in 1939.

There is no such thing as immanentizing the eschaton, only instantiating the fall. If it were otherwise, there would be no such thing as a Christian cemetary.

We have met the enemy, and he is us.

Rasmussen Puts Florida Back Into Toss-Up As Race Narrows

Rasmussen's Electoral College map which recently had Florida leaning Romney makes it a toss-up once again as polling there narrows to a two-point contest but still favoring Romney.

Friday, October 26, 2012

CA Governor Jerry Brown Invokes Bible To Justify Higher Taxes On Rich

Quoted here:

To further promote Prop 30 and appeal to religious voters, Brown cited the bible. "Luke 12:48 says: 'For those of whom much has been given, much is required.' Those at the high end can brace themselves for seven years and lend school kids a helping hand. I appeal to their sense of loyalty and fairness," he told the FT.

Christian theology is convenient to liberals only when it plays the grandmother of Bolshevism. At that point suddenly the wall separating church and state disappears.

The problem for such interpretation is that it is completely one-sided and ahistorical. Luke's Gospel goes on to state that whether much or little is given to this one or that one, it is all required from each regardless:

"So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple." -- Luke 14:33

The liberals never tell the poor they want all of what little the poor have, too. That would be fine, perhaps, if the world were really coming to an end and the kingdom of God were about to appear, as Jesus once thought. It's the kind of thinking, injected into temporal affairs, which goes a long way to explain the alarums of liberalism, the latest of which has been that global warming will be the end of us all.

Yeah right.

If we could just agree that Christianity taught that the cost of discipleship is the same outrageous demand on everybody, we could dispense with the class warfare once and for all, and with such unseemly appeals to theocratic reasoning.

Gold To Oil Ratio Ends Week At 19.84

Oil gets even more "on sale" than a week ago.

Clearly gold is priced way too high, despite its recent decline. Hell, both gold and oil are priced way too high.

Romney would fix that.

Obamas Spend Millions On State Dinners, Put Millions On Food Stamps

The numbers reported in this story are truly appalling, three to five times more expensive than Clinton's most expensive state dinners:

A knowledgeable government official who made the documents available to The Examiner said the extravagant spending seemed unfair with so many Americans out of work.

"It just kind of takes your breath away to see the expenditure of money that has occurred since 2009," the official said.

Obama Keeps "Super Joe" A Heartbeat Away From Presidency

What's cheaper than a bullet-proof vest? More stupid than a frontal lobotomy? Able to tell tall tales faster than an astrologer?

It's Super Joe!

Fox News reports here.

Obama Sings His Version Of "If I Had A Hammer"

Well I've had a hammer
I've hammered in the morning
I've hammered in the evening
All over this land
I've hammered out class war
I've hammered out en-mi-ty
I've hammered out hate between the rich and the poor
All over this land

Well I've had a sickle
It's a lopper in the morning
It's a lopper in the evening
All over this land
I've lopped off full-time jobs
I've lopped off G-D-P
I've lopped off home-owners' e-qui-ty
All over this land

Well I've had a checkbook
I've used it in the morning
I've used it in the evening
All over this land
I've milked it for traveling
I've milked it for par-ty-ing
I've spent a wad on my brothers and my sisters
All over this land

Well I've got a hammer
And I've got a sickle
And I've got your checkbook
All over this land
I'll smash you middle class
I'll cut you down to size
I'm making you equal and equally poor
All over this land

h/t Tomas

Obama Racks Up Worst GDP Record In Post-War Period

President Obama has the dubious distinction for the very worst GDP record, measured November on November, of any president in the post-war period.

And that's saying a lot when you consider that George W. Bush had been the worst before Obama,  with his average report of GDP over 32 quarters of just 2.0%, which was worse than his dad who over four years posted a 2.2% average report. Hell, Jimmy Carter's record at 3.0% is to die for compared to the Bushes.

But Obama comes in with a pathetic, ridiculous average report of GDP over 16 quarters of just 0.86%, over twice as bad as Bush.

No wonder it seems like a depression. Considering Obama had complete control of the government in 2009 and 2010, his 1.9% average report for just 2011 and 2012 to date speaks for itself. We're not working. What Obama is doing isn't working. He may have a nice crease in his trousers, but the suit is as empty as the chair in The Oval. 

Here's the table from the pdf of today's report of GDP from the BEA:

First Estimate Of Q3 2012 GDP Comes In At 2%

The first estimate of Q3 2012 GDP growth comes in at 2.0%, with growth in Q2 remaining at 1.3%. The growth rate in Q3 is now back to the rate prevailing in Q1. Big whoop.

The BEA reports here:

Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States -- increased at an annual rate of 2.0 percent in the third quarter of 2012 (that is, from the second quarter to the third quarter), according to the "advance" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 1.3 percent.

The Bureau emphasized that the third-quarter advance estimate released today is based on source data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency . . .. The "second" estimate for the third quarter, based on more complete data, will be released on November 29, 2012.

The rate of growth at 2.0% remains a pathetic performance in a series of pathetic reports of an economy moving at near stall speed. And in a month the figure for Q3 could easily come in much lower in the first revision. At this late stage in a "recovery" GDP should be far more robust.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Real Clear Politics' Electoral College Map Gets More Ridiculous

More and more states are ending up as toss-ups in the Real Clear Politics' Electoral College Map as we get within days of the November presidential election. The map just took North Carolina out of Romney's total and put it back into toss-up, making the votes for Obama look, well, like more! Big deal.

That's what happens when all polls are equal, and you average them.

As time goes by this map is looking less and less important. How could it not when nearly more states are toss-ups than likely/leans one or the other candidate because you are just averaging the polls? Is polling that meaningless? Then why bother?

See it here.

Rasmussen Shows MN Shifting To Only "Leans Obama"


The liberal state of Minnesota was solid for Obama until just recently, joining Pennsylvania and Connecticut among the states where support for Obama has softened in Rasmussen's polling.

As of this morning 7 states remain toss-ups: Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, Virginia and New Hampshire.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Conservatives Have Become Wrong-Headed About Taxes

Conservatives have become wrong-headed about the tax code.

Steven Malanga provides an exasperating take on "tax reform", here, which was really a liberal Democrat conceit from the beginning but became a so-called conservative one under Ronald Reagan, who was, need we remind everyone, a "former" Democrat:

Most conservatives (though certainly not most Republicans) have come to see the range of incentives and exemptions in the tax code as wrongheaded, including those for businesses which smack of little more than corporate cronyism. This is in sharp contrast to 1986, when many Republicans in Congress resisted reform until a popular GOP president came along willing to take on the business community.

Sacre bleu. The liberal Democrats are nothing if they are not great simplifiers, and if conservatives join them in that enthusiasm, it doesn't mean they are right. Little ideologues all, regardless of party.

Prior to the income tax, a president had to be a pretty smart cookie to figure out all the ins and outs of the tariff system if he wanted his federal government to have enough revenue to continue operations. By 1909, however, the whole country seemed to have wound down so far intellectually that it was just too tired to carry on any longer with that rigorous enterprise and bowed instead to the simplicity of an income tax. Tax reformers today, take note. It doesn't speak well of you that you admit the code is too much for you.

Actually real conservatism opposed the income tax way back when not because it would grow too complex but because it was wrong. When amending the constitution is necessary in order to make something legal, conservatives' first instinct is always to question the advisability of the idea before they conclude there is a defect in the constitution requiring a remedy. The income tax was one such idea. It took four years to gain ratification in the states. As an invention of progressivism the income tax eventually worked a revolution in government by allowing government to grow to gargantuan size with a ready pool of available cash, stolen by force from the population's income. And it is no coincidence that the first major expenditure financed by the income tax was US entry into The Great War. Not long after which came The Great Depression. If progressive ideas were good ones, no one seems to have paid much heed to the early evidence to the contrary.

Every effort by the people since the introduction of the income tax to obtain deductions, exemptions, credits and other incentives in the tax code should be understood by conservatives as wholesome reactionary, counter-revolutionary, rear-guard opposition to what the income tax represents, but today you can hardly find a conservative who will even entertain the idea of overthrowing the income tax, let alone any other of the so-called "achievements" of the progressive era. In fact, some so-called conservatives have become veritable cheerleaders for the income tax. Rush Limbaugh, for one, can't seem even to imagine an America without one for the first 137 years of its existence. An originalist in name only is he.

The problem with so-called Reagan conservatism, then and now, is that it makes peace with the tax code, just as it does with the social welfare state, including Social Security and especially Medicare. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan actually campaign on just such a platform of preserving Medicare for future generations. As Reagan compromised in the direction of liberalism in the 1986 tax reform, so will they.

These people wouldn't know conservatism if it ran up and bit them in the ass.

Tax reform is a fool's errand. You can't "reform" something which is fundamentally wrong in the first place.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Corporate Cash For S&P500 Swells To $1.5 Trillion

Story here:

Amid a lackluster earning season that has featured many companies missing sales expectations, cash balances have swelled 14 percent and are on track toward $1.5 trillion for the Standard & Poor's 500, according to JPMorgan. Both levels would be historic highs.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Neither ObamaCare Nor Ben Bernanke Go Away If . . .

Neither ObamaCare nor Ben Bernanke go away if . . . you vote Democrat.

It is astonishing that Republicans are not saying this more loudly, which is a good and strong reason to doubt their sincerity about getting rid of either ObamaCare or Ben Bernanke. But it is what it is.

Politics is the art of the possible, not the art of the ideal.

There are no lost causes, because there are no won causes.

Obama had a complete grip on power for two years and squandered it, and the Tea Party stopped him cold in 2010.

You can do it again in 2012.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Obama Displayed His Servility To Foreigners Already In 2005 In Ukraine

I had forgotten this one, where Obama bows to Ukraine's then President Viktor Andriyovych Yushchenko in 2005.

Transformation After Four Years: Lost AAA Credit Rating, 8.97% Average Unemployment, Average Report of GDP 0.825%, Housing Values Down 13%

"After decades of broken politics in Washington, and eight years of failed policies from George W. Bush, and 21 months of a campaign that's taken us from the rocky coast of Maine to the sunshine of California, we are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America."

-- Sen. Barack Obama, October 2008, Columbia, Missouri

Fewer Jobs, And More Of Them Part-Time Because Of Obama

Population has increased 10.1 million from four years ago, from 304.5 million to 314.6 million.

Total civilian employment has decreased 2.1 million, from 145.1 million to 143.0 million.

Full-time jobs have fallen 4.5 million, from 119.7 million to 115.2 million.

Part-time jobs have increased 1.9 million, or 7.6%, from 25.1 million to 27.0 million today, and this number will continue to climb as employers turn full-timers into part-timers in order to avoid having to offer insurance to workers working 30 or more hours per week as required by ObamaCare.

'The question in this election is not "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" We know the answer to that. The real question is, "Will this country be better off four years from now?"'

-- Sen. Barack Obama, October 2008, Canton, Ohio

And the answer is No.

ObamaCare Raises Taxes On Middle Class By $200 Billion A Year By 2020

So say James Capretta and Tom Miller, here:

The president wants Americans to believe that ObamaCare is painless and without cost for the middle class, but most Americans, using their common sense, don’t believe him. They are right to be skeptical. It is certainly true that ObamaCare expands the entitlement rolls to some 30 million additional people, and thereby reduces — at least on paper — the numbers of uninsured Americans. But there is a massive cost to doing this, running more than $200 billion annually by the end of the decade. Who will pay for this? The middle class, of course. They will pay higher taxes and higher premiums for health insurance and get less back from the Medicare program in retirement. An honest debate would acknowledge these facts.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

I Got Your Legitimate Rape Right Here

It's called the income tax.

New Rasmussen Electoral College Map Moves FL And NC To Romney

The newest update to Rasmussen's Electoral College map has both Florida and North Carolina leaning Romney to bring the match-up with Obama to a two-point race with 7 states still toss-ups: Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, Virginia and New Hampshire.

As of this moment, Rasmussen is showing Obama ahead in 6 of those 7 states. Romney leads in Virginia. So the race is still Obama's to lose based on this arithmetic. 

The Original American Foreign Policy: Separate And Equal

The original American foreign policy was . . . "to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle" us.

Not American hegemony, not American greatness, not American leadership of the free world, just our own place in the world like everyone else.

It's right there in the opening paragraph of the Declaration of Independence.

It would be nice if there were someone left here who actually believed this.

It would mean two things: one, an end to endless war as in Afghanistan, and an end to numerous military occupations and deployments around the globe to protect people who long since have been able to afford to protect themselves; and two, a decent respect to the idea that since our country is our country and your country is your country, you should stay out of ours if we are to stay out of yours.

It's why Americans identify with people around the world who desire political independence of their own. We can help them get it, but in the end it's their job, not ours. It's also why it is intolerable that while we're fighting for who knows what in Afghanistan a Russian nuclear attack sub spent much of this last summer undetected in the Gulf of Mexico, threatening our sub-base in Georgia.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Heard On The Vienna, Austria, Metro: Is It Just Me Or Is It Hot In Here?

The HuffingtonPuffington Post reports:

Vienna's public transport system reacted laconically earlier this week to reports that a young woman on a downtown subway line was dressed in nothing but knee-high boots.

"We know that everyone has a different temperature comfort zone," the agency said in a statement. "But we do not think that our subways are so warm that one has to get undressed."

Some people just need more appreciation than others . . . and boy do they sometimes deserve it.

Top Tax Loss Expenditures Projected For 2011-2015

From the Joint Committee on Taxation's January 2012 projection, here are the top individual categories of lost tax revenue, commonly referred to as tax loss expenditures (the revenue value of tax deductions, tax exclusions, and tax credits), for the five year period from 2011, annualized:

1. Healthcare, healthcare insurance, long term care insurance = $ 145 billion
2. Mortgage interest = $ 93 billion
3. Dividends, long term capital gains = $ 91 billion
4. 401k plans = $ 75 billion
5. Earned income credit = $ 59 billion
6. Pension plans = $ 53 billion
7. State, local income, sales, personal property taxes = $ 46 billion
7. Capital gains at death = $ 46 billion
8. Cafeteria plan benefits = $ 40 billion
9. Untaxed Social Security and Railroad Retirement = $ 38 billion
10. Charitable giving = $ 37 billion
11. State and local government bonds = $ 36 billion
12. Medicare Part A = $ 35 billion
13. Child tax credit = $ 34 billion
14. Life insurance and annuities = $ 30 billion
15. Medicare Part B = $ 27 billion
16. Capital gains on sale of primary residence = $ 25 billion
17. Property taxes on real property = $ 23 billion

Red = housing related ($ 118 billion)
Green = health related ($ 247 billion)
Blue = investment related ($ 137 billion)
Yellow = retirement related ($ 196 billion)
Purple = social welfare related ($ 130 billion)
Black = state and local government related ($ 105 billion)                                    

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A State Run By A Tyrant Is Beset With Fear And Full Of Convulsions And Distractions

"[A]ll his life long he is beset with fear and is full of convulsions, and distractions, even as the State which he resembles."

-- Socrates

Rasmussen Poll Finds 'Tea Party' Label Most Negative, 'Liberal' Second Most

"[T]he latest national telephone survey finds that 44% regard Tea Party as a negative description for a candidate."

This is what happens to a movement which allows others to define it and co-opt it. With most of the Republican Party skeptical of the movement at best, threatened at worst, there was none to defend the Tea Party from the outrageous insinuations from the left and its allies in the media. It has died by a thousand paper cuts.

The Tea Party's present bad rap is in many ways its own fault. It assiduously refused to unify as a national movement around a platform of ideas and candidates. As a consequence, it was variously captured by elements of Ron Paul's libertarian movement here and individual Republicans and Republican front-groups there.

As a protest movement the Tea Party needed to change because the initial outrage and emotion which brought it to life is not a sustainable or proper vehicle for conservatism. If it is, then conservatism becomes indistinguishable from the demagogic enemy. Unfortunately for the Tea Party, it opted for the change it got not by choice but by default. Refusing to coalesce as a party around a platform of ending bailouts and cronyism, limiting government spending, and endorsing the candidates who supported that as a matter of the utmost importance all doomed it. Republican interlopers like Michael Steele (who failed), Rep. Bachmann (the Lone Rangerette of the US House), and Sarah Palin (who got the bailout religion very late) pounced early and effectively to steal the limelight.

Political originality is no easy invention, but Tea Partiers were ill-served by devotees of the two-party system when true originalism and enthusiasm for the constitution should have taught the Tea Party that proper political representation is the sine qua non of republican government. And in that struggle for representation it is the two parties as we know them who are most at fault for circumscribing it in a US House of 435 members which should by now consist in 10,267. The coin of the realm has Republican on one side, Democrat on the other, but in the middle is nothing but worthless metal. 

Democrats and liberals were entirely happy to jeer from the sidelines as the neophytes were neutered by their political betters in the Republican Party. As usual, it is the Republicans who do the dirty work of liberalism, not the least of which is collecting its taxes and advancing its social agenda incrementally. The reaction of the Tea Party to the radicalism of Obama was profound and deep, as was its dismay by the failure of Republicanism to step up to it.

May the Tea Partiers learn, lick their wounds, and begin planning for another day. Freedom needs them.

Conservatives Forget Romney's Family Was Long Opposed To Conservatism

So, here and here.

The liberal Republicans like Mitt Romney's father George Romney didn't support the conservative candidate, Barry Goldwater, in 1964, but they still expect us to support them in 2012.

That's what you'll read when you look up "chutzpah" in the dictionary.

h/t 'Nita

OK, So Just 3.4% Of Americans Are Freaks Of Nature

I'm glad we finally cleared that up. The part that worries me is the 4.4% who refused to answer . . . or don't know.

Gallup reports, here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tell Us, Governor, Why Don't You Care For 47% Of The Country?

Last question of the second presidential debate, picked by Candy Crowley, a hanging curve ball for the president:

CROWLEY: Governor Romney, I want to introduce you to Barry Green, because he's going to have the last question to you first.

ROMNEY: Barry? Where is Barry?

QUESTION: Hi, Governor. I think this is a tough question. To each of you. What do you believe is the biggest misperception that the American people have about you as a man and a candidate? Using specific examples, can you take this opportunity to debunk that misperception and set us straight? ...

CROWLEY: Mr. President, last two minutes belong to you.

OBAMA: ... 

I believe Governor Romney is a good man. Loves his family, cares about his faith. But I also believe that when he said behind closed doors that 47 percent of the country considered themselves victims who refuse personal responsibility, think about who he was talking about.

Folks on Social Security who've worked all their lives. Veterans who've sacrificed for this country. Students who are out there trying to hopefully advance their own dreams, but also this country's dreams. Soldiers who are overseas fighting for us right now. People who are working hard every day, paying payroll tax, gas taxes, but don't make enough income. ...

Kulaks For Romney

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Fix Was In On The Second Presidential Debate

Candy Crowley (pronounced, helpfully, like Crow) of CNN skillfully gave President Obama more time throughout the second presidential debate, and picked decidedly left-leaning questions submitted by lefties, and then sucker punched Governor Romney at the end by picking the important question to President Obama which allowed the president to attack Romney's remark in the spring about the 47%, but without fear of a response from Romney, so sorry. Getting the last word in these matters is paramount.

At least the nomenklatura will have that to console themselves with when they lose in November.

The choice is between more of such Democrat Stalinism, and Romney's Republican liberalism: more failed crony partnership with industry and suppression of the middle class by impoverishing them down to working class and continued aggravation of the class struggle through hatred of the rich on the one hand, or some vague status quo ante on the other. Since the last four year plan has been such a disaster, the next one can't be much better, so I'm guessing Americans will opt for the liberal instead.

Who wouldn't? When the choice is between the worst president in the post-war era and what passed for success under the second worst, only a masochist would choose the former.

The good bad old days may yet make another appearance. 

The Depression In Real GDP Per Capita: Still At 2004-2005 Level

Chart and data here. Last update was a year ago.

Peak observation was 1/1/07, from which we are roughly 3.5% down after having been down as much as 5.5%.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Capital Gains Income Averaged $497 Billion Annually 2000-2009

From a story in June by the Tax Foundation, here, on volatility in the sources of personal income.

Taxed at 15%, average capital gains income of $497 billion produces almost $75 billion in revenue annually, just shy of what the mortgage interest deduction "costs" the government. You could almost say the current capital gains tax pays for the mortgage interest deduction for everybody. Taxed at 20%, the same amount produces $99 billion annually. At 28% $139 billion annually. At 35% $174 billion annually.

Tax Foundation Finds Romney's $17K Deduction Cap Revenue Neutral

And says the plan maintains progressivity in the tax code. In other words, it keeps the rich paying far more than their fair share.

Read about it, here.

Milliman Study Ups Ante On Unfunded Public Pensions By $443 Billion

The Pew Center on the States study discussed by The Associated Press here in June put unfunded public pension liabilities for 2010 at $757 billion.

Now in October Reuters reports here that the sum is more like $1.2 trillion according to a different study by Milliman actuaries.

Both stories refer to unrealistic earnings expectations for public pension funds, which sometimes are in the vicinity of 8 percent when actual experience in the past five years has been more like 3 percent.

With long-term interest rates continuing to fall well below 2 percent and the Fed explicitly suppressing interest rates as a matter of long-term policy, such expectations seem more outrageously optimistic than ever. If taxpayers don't wake up they'll be left holding the bag for the shortfall.

Not mentioned in the Reuters story is the other problem, almost as big, mentioned by AP:

"Pensions aren't the only retirement problem. States also faced a $627 billion shortfall in health care services for retirees. Essentially, for every $1 they'll eventually have to pay out in health care, states had set aside only 5 cents."

Promises to public sector workers at all levels far exceed what private sector workers can expect for themselves, and promise only to bankrupt municipalities and states. 

It is high time we change the promises.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Depression In Real Disposable Income: We're Stuck At 2006 Level

The most recent observation of inflation-adjusted disposable personal income per capita shows that we're still at the level reached nearly six years ago.

The Depression In Charitable Giving Continued In 2011

As reported here:

For the second year in a row, charitable giving barely grew, rising just 0.9 percent after inflation in 2011, according to Tuesday's release of "Giving USA," the annual yearbook of American philanthropy, which found that donations to educational institutions also edged up by 0.9 percent.

The report estimated that the total donated was $298.4-billion. ...

"If we continue to grow at this rate, it will take more than a decade to get back to where we were in total giving in 2007," said Patrick Rooney, executive director of the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy, which compiles "Giving USA." ...

Total charitable giving last year was still 11 percent below what it was in 2007, before the effects of the recession were felt. Donations to charities dropped by a total of 13.4 percent in 2008 and 2009, "Giving USA" said as it released new estimates for contributions in those years.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Obama's Electoral College Map Gets Less Blue With Each Passing Day

VP Joe Biden Grossly Underestimated The Drop In Housing Equity

My jaw almost hit the floor when I heard Vice President Biden in debate with Paul Ryan say this:

BIDEN: I don't know how long it will take. We can and we will get it [unemployment] under 6 percent. Let's look at -- let's take a look at the facts. Let's look at where we were when we came to office. The economy was in free fall. We had -- the great recession hit; 9 million people lost their job; $1.7 -- $1.6 trillion in wealth lost in equity in your homes, in retirement accounts for the middle class. We knew we had to act for the middle class. We immediately went out and rescued General Motors. We went ahead and made sure that we cut taxes for the middle class. And in addition to that, when that -- when that occurred, what did Romney do? Romney said, "No, let Detroit go bankrupt." We moved in and helped people refinance their homes. Governor Romney said, "No, let foreclosures hit the bottom."

The vice president isn't even close to appreciating the devastation endured by home owners in this country.

Here's a chart I posted previously taken from the most up-to-date figures from the Federal Reserve showing peak to trough owners' equity dropping a whopping $6.9 trillion, not $1.7 trillion.

The vice president not only doesn't grasp the scope of the losses experienced by the middle class, the Obama administration hasn't done one thing to put housing on a proper footing going "forward", the slogan of their campaign.

Instead, Obama & Co. spent the first two years ramming health care reform which we didn't want down our throats at the same time we were losing our homes.

If ever anyone should be FIRED! for incompetence and malfeasance, it's these guys. Otherwise get ready to spend your retirement years living in the back seat of your rescued Government Motors automobile.

Friday, October 12, 2012

VP Joe Biden Voted For Both Wars He Accused Ryan Of Putting On The Credit Card

lying sack of shit
As seen here:

Sen. Biden voted for the Afghanistan resolution on Sept. 14, 2001 which authorized “the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States.”
And on Oct. 11, 2002, Biden voted for a resolution authorizing unilateral military action in Iraq, according to the Washington Post.

Rep. Paul Ryan Drank Way Too Much Water In Debate With Biden

Joe Biden: Old Yeller

How Do You Spell Incompetence?


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Uncertainty In NH, PA And WI Whittles Away At Obama At Real Clear Politics

See this map, here, where Obama's electoral college advantage now shrinks dramatically to 217 with New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin all becoming toss-ups instead of Obama wins.

As recently as October 2 this map showed Obama with 269 electoral college votes.

That means that in about one week Obama has lost 20 percent of his support.

Jim Cramer Is So Full Of It: Panic! No, Don't Panic!

Four years ago on a fateful Monday morning in early October Jim Cramer was telling us if we needed our money in five years we'd better get out NOW. The market tanked that day, even though TARP had been signed the Friday before. The market kept tanking for 3 more weeks, in part because of Cramer's own televised statement on October 6, 2008. The market stabilized after that for a while, and then the market tanked some more in March 2009, and then came roaring back because of Federal Reserve interventions to the present day. Long term investors who stayed all-in through all that until now aren't quite fully redeemed from five years ago, but from four years ago they are, and then some. I'd rather still own the same stocks at this level in excess of 1400 today than have listened to Jim Cramer after S&P 500 at 1100 on Friday October 3, 2008 when George W. Bush signed TARP into law and sold into a sea of frickin' fallin' knives! The market has rebounded 27 percent nominal since that time, and if you missed that Jim Cramer owns some of the blame. 

And now Jim's telling us to be patient in October, the month of "the willies", and start buying in earnest in January? Fear motivated Jim Cramer four years ago. Today? Not so much.

OK Jim. Whatever.

Steve Malanga Thinks Romney Flips To Tax Deduction Caps To Avoid A Bloody Fight

Here, for Real Clear Markets:

Pressed to explain last week how he would lower tax rates without sacrificing revenues, Mitt Romney suggested that he might cap tax deductions at $17,000 per return. This was entirely different from his earlier suggestion that he'd eliminate some of our dizzying array of tax deductions in pursuit of a simpler and more economically efficient tax system with lower rates but fewer write-offs.

In his latest proposal for reform that started out as a way to simplify our tax system, Romney would make it more complex. The political virtue of this new approach is that it lets him preach lower rates without identifying specific deductions he'd eliminate, and therefore without incurring political opposition from interest groups that fight to protect those deductions. But it's a stretch to call this tax reform as it's generally understood.

You will read the rest of the article in vain looking for any discussion of the fact that when the much vaunted lower tax rates which came in the 1986 tax reform disappeared under Clinton, the deductions which went away in 1986 were no longer present to protect taxpayers from the full force of the those rate increases.

The presence of many deductions in the tax code represents the political success of the American hatred for taxes. They constitute rear guard actions, reactionary impulses if you will, against an otherwise intractable imposition of unconstitutional coercion and immoral inequality before the law. It is unjust to charge some taxpayers more than others.

Tax reform as we know it is a fool's errand for conservatives. Reagan, Kemp, Bushes I and II and now Romney are all to one degree or another really liberals with respect to the tax code, dancing around the fact that the income tax itself was the innovation in American history. They play with the details, protraying their proposals as conservative now and again, without ever coming to the root of the matter that the introduction of the income tax was a revolutionary impulse and was itself just one in a series of many radical changes foisted on the American people during the Progressive era.

When conservatives in our time begin to roll back those assaults, then we may legitimately speak of "reform". Until then, Romney's waffling between eliminating deductions or capping them is significant only to people without a long view of the matter.