"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt


One of Salem Oregon's Unofficial Top 1000 Conservative Political Bloggers!!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Household Incomes Fall Again in August, Down 8.2% Under Obama




American households incomes are down and prices for goods and health insurance are rising. This is not a promising course.

From the Investors Business Daily article by John Merline:

"In another sign that the economic recovery under President Obama is not producing gains for average Americans, median household incomes fell 1.1% in August to $50,678, according to a report released Tuesday by Sentier Research.

"Since the economic recovery started in June 2009, household incomes are down 5.7%, the Sentier data show, and they are down more than 8% since Obama took office.

"'Even though we are technically in an economic recovery, real median annual household income is having a difficult time maintaining its present level, much less recovering,' said Sentier co-founder and former Census Bureau official Gordon Green.

"Earlier this month, the Census Bureau released its annual report showing that the number of people in poverty was nearly 3 million higher in 2011 than in 2009, an increase of 6%.

"That report also found that average incomes for middle- and lower-income households fell in 2011 after adjusting for inflation. They rose only for the wealthiest 20% of households [emphasis mine]."

Average incomes rising for the wealthiest 20%? Number of people in poverty increases? Middle class incomes dropping? But... but... but... wasn't Obama going to make us all rich or something? Is this the new idea of "fairness" and all that? How unexpected.

Merline continues:

"The average inflation-adjusted income for households in the middle 20% is now lower than it's been since 1995, the census report found.

"Meanwhile, another report released Tuesday finds that per-capita health costs jumped 4.6% last year, marking a turnaround from previous years, which had seen annual cost increases moderating. The Health Care Cost Institute report found that rising prices are a 'major driver' of the cost increases.

"And a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released this month found that the number of uninsured climbed 1 million in the first three months of 2012 compared with last year."

I really can't understand how anybody expected an academic Leftist-- with zero experience in managing or running anything-- to handle this position. Obama's gone the typical academic route, which is to quibble about reality, and, when that can no longer be maintained, you then lay down unfounded accusations and lay the blame on others' shoulders. This is not surprising behavior from Obama. It's very typical. And in the meantime, we pay the price.

Obama Promised to Cut Health Premiums by $2500-- Premiums have Risen by $3000 Instead



Another broken promise... whether due to incompetence or just a lie to begin with is debatable, I suppose. It doesn't really make any difference to us though.

From the Investors.com article by John Merline (chart from the same article):

"During his first run for president, Barack Obama made one very specific promise to voters: He would cut health insurance premiums for families by $2,500, and do so in his first term.

"But it turns out that family premiums have increased by more than $3,000 since Obama's vow, according to the latest annual Kaiser Family Foundation employee health benefits survey.

"Premiums for employer-provided family coverage rose $3,065 — 24% — from 2008 to 2012, the Kaiser survey found. Even if you start counting in 2009, premiums have climbed $2,370.

"What's more, premiums climbed faster in Obama's four years than they did in the previous four under President Bush, the survey data show.

"There's no question about what Obama was promising the country, since he repeated it constantly during his 2008 campaign.

"In a debate with Sen. John McCain, for example, Obama said 'the only thing we're going to try to do is lower costs so that those cost savings are passed onto you. And we estimate we can cut the average family's premium by about $2,500 per year.'

"At a campaign stop in Columbus, Ohio, in February 2008, Obama promised that 'We are going to work with you to lower your premiums by $2,500. We will not wait 20 years from now to do it, or 10 years from now to do it. We will do it by the end of my first term as president.'"

Taking Obama at his word? Heh.

Merline continues:

"And ObamaCare will continue to fuel health premium inflation.

"First, the law piles on new coverage mandates. It requires insurance companies to provide 100% coverage for various types of preventive care, bans lifetime coverage limits, extends parents' coverage to offspring up to 26 years old, and requires plans to meet certain 'medical loss ratios.' Coming up are rules on 'essential standard benefits,' limits on deductibles, bans on annual spending caps, and much more.

"The experience with state mandates show that they only tend to grow over time, and get more expensive. The Council for Affordable Health Insurance found more than 2,200 state benefit mandates, which add from 10% to 50% to the cost of coverage."

What's this? You mean federal rules on essential standard benefits won't keep the price of insurance down? That's a real shocker.

But as the cost of living increases and the median household income decreases, I'm sure people will be just fine with the increases of health insurance and the drop in the quality of health care. Sacrifices have to be made. And we're all just bumps in the road anyway...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Chinese Official Orders Man Crushed by Steamroller


So, do you think Joe Biden, The New York Times and Thomas Friedman are still smitten with China. I mean, they sure get things done over there. Right?

From the Inforwars.com article by Paul Joseph Watson (warning extremely graphic pictures at the link):

"A villager in northern China attempting to resist a forced government relocation by remaining on his land was brutally crushed to death by a road flattening truck on the orders of a Chinese government official.

"The story, which was censored in China’s state controlled media, has caused outrage amongst users of Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, given it’s horrifying similarity to what happened to student protesters who were crushed to death by tanks during the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989.
 
"The victim, He Zhi Hua, refused to accept a paltry payment from the government which has forcefully evicted Changsha Village locals in order to re-appropriate their land for commercial use.
 
"When Hua began a protest by lying down on the spot through which construction vehicles had to pass, the local Vice Mayor ordered workers for the state-owned company to murder Hua by driving over his body with a huge road-flattening truck.
 
"Shocking images show Hua’s pulverized brains and his mangled body in the aftermath of the state-sponsored execution.
 
"Fearing unrest if the story got out to a wider audience, the government sent in 200 men to keep angry locals at bay and hide the remains of the body. The man’s family was offered a sum of money in order to keep quiet about the incident."
 
A man protests the government's usurpation of his land (a terribly common occurrence in China) and is then callously murdered. That'll teach him, and others, to stand in the way of progress.
 
Does anyone remember when Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was waxing praise on China's ability to build infrastructure?
 

"Echoing the laments of pundits like Thomas Friedman of the New York Times, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood argued Saturday that China outpaces the United States in building major transportation infrastructure like high-speed rail because of its authoritarian system and because the Chinese don't have the Republican Party holding up progress.

"'The Chinese are more successful [in building infrastructure] because in their country, only three people make the decision. In our country, 3,000 people do, 3 million,' LaHood said in a short interview with The Cable on the sidelines of the 2012 Aspen Ideas Festival on June 30. 'In a country where only three people make the decision, they can decide where to put their rail line, get the money, and do it. We don't do it that way in America.'

"LaHood said that despite this, democracy is still preferable. 'We have the best system of government anywhere on the planet. It is the best. Because the people have their say,' he said."

Of course, LaHood then went on to blame people having their say for spoiling high speed rail.

LaHood's --and the rest of the Left's-- naivete on how China "gets things done" and the results of their heavy-handed brutality borders on the stupid. The Chinese government is a totalitarian regime that routinely robs its citizens of their property, their basic freedoms, their rights to have children, and their citizens' dignity-- as well as indulging in many more unacceptable practices.

And we're to admire or envy them? Hmm. Weren't certain naive Americans admiring Hitler back in the '30s?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

GM Losing Up to $30,000+ per Car on Chevy Volt




The Chevy Volt appeared to be a loser from the beginning. After bailing out GM, though mostly the UAW, the Obama Administration and the feds put some pressure on to promote the "enviro-friendly" car-- possibly as part of their windmills and unicorns green initiative. Of course the fact that the car isn't economically viable is of little consequence to people who spent more than $5 trillion dollars over the course of four years.

From the AP via Breitbart:

"General Motors rolled out the Chevrolet Volt two years ago with lofty sales goals and the promise of a new technology that someday would help end America's dependence on oil.

"So it seemed like a good thing in August when sales of the $40,000 car set a monthly record of 2,800. But a closer look shows that things aren't what they seem for the cutting-edge car.
"
Sales rose mostly because of discounts of almost $10,000, or 25 percent of the Volt's sticker price, according to figures from TrueCar.com, an auto pricing website. Other pricing services gave similar numbers, and dealers confirmed that steeply discounted Volts are selling better than a few months ago.

"GM's discounts on the Volt are more than four times the industry's per-vehicle average, according to TrueCar estimates. Edmunds.com and J.D. Power and Associates say they're about three times the average. Discounts include low-interest financing, cash discounts to buyers, sales bonuses to dealers, and subsidized leases.

"Americans have been slow to embrace electric cars. But the Volt's August sales show they're willing to buy if prices are low enough. Even so, electrics have a long way to go before they enter the mainstream and make money for car companies. Electrics and gas-electric hybrids account for just 3.5 percent of U.S. auto sales this year. GM is losing thousands of dollars on every Volt, raising the question of how long it can keep eating the steep losses.

"For the foreseeable future, carmakers will have to cut prices to move electric vehicles off dealer lots. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says the cost of electric cars must drop to be competitive with gasoline-powered ones."
Does it really require the CBO to point out that people won't pay more for a substandard car? The CBO is probably wrong though. I would suggest that the cost of an electric must become less than the gasoline equivalent before people begin to buy them. Fair or not, the electric car has a reputation for safety issues that must be overcome. Americans are generally willing to pay a little more for a greater sense of safety. Let's see some crash tests of the Prius compared to a comparable gas-powered car, please.

The article continues:

"GM executives have conceded from the start that they were losing money on the Volt, and that was before the big discounts.

"Now the losses could be even higher. It costs $60,000 to $75,000 to build a Volt, including development, manufacturing and raw materials, estimates Sandy Munro, president of Munro & Associates, a Troy, Mich., a company that analyzes vehicle production expenses for automakers. Much of the cost comes from an expensive combination of two power systems _ electric and gasoline. With a sticker price of $40,000, minus the $10,000 the company pays in incentives, GM gets roughly $30,000 for every Volt. So it could be losing at least $30,000 per car.

"'It certainly wasn't a rousing success,' Carter Driscoll, senior analyst for CapStone Investments who follows electric cars, says of the Volt.

"GM confirmed there are incentives on the Volt and that the company loses money on the car. But the automaker declined to give figures for the discounts or the losses. The figures exclude a federal tax credit that goes to buyers.

"The automaker says Munro's estimate is high because it doesn't spread the Volt's costs far enough into the future, when more Volts will be sold. Automakers typically spend $1 billion or more to develop a car, and sometimes don't recoup the investment and start making money until late in its life. Also, Volt technology will be used in future cars and trucks, eventually leading to profits, the company says.

"GM spokesman Jim Cain says most of the Volt discounts come in the form of lease deals, which account for about two-thirds of sales. In some markets, Volts can be leased for $249 per month with $2,400 down."

Oh, come on... You're going to lose $30,000 (om the low end) for every car that you sell, and then you try to make up your "$1 billion or more to develop a car" in volume and technology development? How many more models of hybrids are you going to lose tens of thousands of dollars on per unit? Get real.

But hey, don't worry. Maybe the American taxpayer can subsidize it. Oh, wait....

"The pricey car hit showrooms when many buyers were reeling from the bad economy and turned off by the government's $50 billion bailout of GM.

"'Let's face it, over $40,000 is asking a lot for a compact car,' says Bob Lutz, a retired GM vice chairman who led the development of the Volt.

"Even a $7,500 federal tax credit, which dropped the Volt's sticker price to $33,500, did little to promote sales. The car cost $7,000 more than the Leaf, and $13,000 above a well-equipped compact with a gas engine.

"As it reached more dealers in 2011, the Volt had to overcome more than a high price and recession-weary Americans. The government found that the battery could catch fire after crash tests."

So GM is alive, is it? When is the next bailout scheduled? Oh right, after the election on a Friday evening. Or on Christmas Eve.

From the Washington Examiner:

"Despite having billions in crushing debts wiped off its books, and being given billions more in special future tax breaks, New GM has lost about one-third of its value in under two years. It continues to lose market share in auto sales, down two points to 18.1 percent of the U.S. market year-to-date, as Toyota and Honda gain. The Obama administration's failure to extract serious concessions from the United Auto Workers union, and its new regulations that slant the playing field toward a "greener" market that foreign automakers dominate, are precipitating another Detroit catastrophe. Even worse, the U.S. Treasury still owns more than a quarter of GM stock. Unless the share price doubles, taxpayers cannot unload their shares without enormous losses.

"Based on Reuters' calculations, GM has lost over $600 million on the Volt alone. It could lose more than $1 billion on its European Opel division in 2012. Forbes has speculated that GM will need another bailout in the next few years."

Don't worry. GM will make it up in volume.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Obama Lies About Fast and Furious Program


Obama indulged in his two favorite activities during his Univision forum-- lying to cover himself and lying/blaming Bush for making the problem in the first place.

Does Obama take responsibility for anything? Is anything not Bush's fault?

From Jack Tapper at ABC News:

"Asked about the Fast and Furious program at the Univision forum on Thursday, President Obama falsely claimed that the program began under President George W. Bush.

"'I think it’s important for us to understand that the Fast and Furious program was a field-initiated program begun under the previous administration,” the president said. “When Eric Holder found out about it, he discontinued it. We assigned a inspector general to do a thorough report that was just issued, confirming that in fact Eric Holder did not know about this, that he took prompt action and the people who did initiate this were held accountable.'"

Good Lord, that's brazen.

"In actuality, the Fast and Furious program was started in October 2009, nine months into the Obama presidency.

"Previous programs involving ATF agents allowing guns to 'walk' across the border so as to trace them were run during the Bush presidency, but not this particular 'field-initiated program.'

"Asked for comment, White House Spokesman Eric Schultz said, 'The President was referring to the flawed tactic of gun-walking, which despite Republicans efforts to politicize this issue, began under the previous Administration and it was our Attorney General who ended it. In fact, this week’s IG report affirms this and if Republicans still have any legitimate questions about Fast and Furious, the 450-page report answers them. In light of this thorough report and Congress’s 16 month-long investigation, Republicans have no excuse to keep wasting time and taxpayer resources on politically-motivated, election-year attacks.'"

But that's not what Obama said Mr. Schutlz. Obama said that the Fast and the Furious program was started by Bush, which is an utter lie. The gun walking programs under Bush were conducted with the the full knowledge and cooperation of Mexican law enforcement and resulted in no loss of GPS marked weapons nor deaths.

I find Schultz's comments particularly cloying since the Obama Administration declined interviews with the Inspector General and refused to provide any internal White House communications. But nothing to see here... Holder ended the program begun under his watch... after it resulted in the death of an American (and hundreds of Mexicans) and it's all politically motivated any way. And probably racist. Move on. Move on.

The Obama Economy's Bleak Employment Numbers



Mort Zuckerman paints a rather bleak picture of the US economy as does this cartoon from the article.

From Zuckerman's piece in US News:

"How do you recover from a recovery? Just how bust the nation's 'recovery' has been is painfully documented in the latest news, just two months before the election. The Census Bureau validated what middle-class Americans know all too well from their week to week, month to month struggle to make ends meet. The typical family is back to where it was in 1995. The analysis of annual data collected by the bureau indicates that median income in 2011 had fallen to $50,054, the fourth straight year of decline in well-being, and that's adjusted for inflation.

[...]

"Nobody is entitled to blow a trumpet because the unemployment rate for August can be headlined at 8.1 percent, down two digits from July's 8.3 percent. That's a drop brought about not by more jobs but because 360,000 people left the workforce. It muffles the fact that 5 million people have now been out of work for 27 weeks or more. That's roughly 40 percent of the unemployed. Another 2.6 million people were marginally attached to the labor force, and over eight million people have given up looking for a job, so they are not counted because they had not searched for work in the prior month.

[...]

"Fewer Americans are at work today than in April 2000, even though the population has grown by 30 million people since then. Think about that.

"A reality check is offered by the unemployment numbers the government calls U-6. It measures people who have applied for a job in the last six months and also includes people who are involuntary part-time workers—government-speak for people whose jobs have been cut back to two or three days a week or who are working part-time because they have been unable to find a full-time job. That number is almost 15 percent. Include the eight million people who have simply given up looking for a job and the real unemployment rate is closer to 18 or 19 percent. [emphasis mine]."

Not a rosy picture. Democrat Zuckerman sums it up with this:

"The economy is slowing to a growth rate that will be close to zero in the second half of this year, according to a recent AEI report, which also notes that 2012 is the third year of stalled recoveries. No incumbent president has ever won re-election with unemployment rates as high as they are likely to be in November. A job is the most important family program, the most important social program, and the most important economic program in America. The unemployment and income statistics are intolerable for a compassionate and wealthy nation."

But mostly these statistics are intolerable to the voters of this nation. Obama's policies have been complete failures. Real unemployment at 19%?! Gasoline above $4 a gallon? But Obama's biggest failure (which was the GOP's fault anyway) was not being able to pass comprehensive immigration reform? Really?

Can the US actually take four more years of this?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

And the Polls Still have a Dead Heat? Really?




After all this in the mid-east and Gallup is still showing Obama and Romney in dead 47-47 split? I know that some other polls are being cooked, with as much as a Dem +13, yet still Obama's in a dead heat with Romney? Really?

By the way, the Obama print flag/poster is called "Our Stripes." Rather fitting, I suppose.

(h/t to Gateway Pundit for the pic concept)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Obama's Dismal Economy in Charts


 
 
So, let's see here... Terrible startup jobs rate, historic and record shattering long-term unemployment. Huh. And all of it topped off by a $787+ billion political payoff stimulus that absolutely failed to perform as advertised.
 
And yet the MSM would still have us believe that Obama is ahead in the polls by 8 points? Yeah. Right...
 
(First two charts via BizzyBlog. Middle chart originally from James Pethokoukis.)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Freedom of Speech Still Strong Among Americans



While our representatives wobble and avoid the issue, Americans overwhelmingly put freedom of speech ahead of not offending other cultures.

From the Rasmussen Reports:

"A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 72% of Likely U.S. Voters believe it is more important for the United States to guarantee freedom of speech. Only 15% consider it more important for the United States to make sure that nothing is done to offend other nations and cultures. Thirteen percent (13%) are undecided."

Something to remember in this election an beyond.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Under Obama Median Household Income Down 7.3%

"You will bow down before me, child! You, and one day, your heirs!!"


I'll be leaving on a trip for a few days (no, not to anywhere near North Carolina), but I thought I'd leave this sobering article from Forbes up for the time that I'm gone. And this picture of the glowering Sand Obama looking like it's about to spring to life and devour that child.

From the Forbes article by Peter Ferrara (read the whole piece at the link):

"New income data from the Census Bureau reveal what a great job Barack Obama has done for the middle class as President. During his entire tenure in the oval office, median household income has declined by 7.3%.

"In January, 2009, the month he entered office, median household income was $54,983. By June, 2012, it had spiraled down to $50,964. That’s a loss of $4,019 per family, the equivalent of losing a little less than one month’s income a year, every year. And on our current course that is only going to get worse not better.

"Obama never tires of telling us that the economy was in one of the worst recessions since the Great Depression when he entered office, as if he was the only President to have suffered a recession early in his term. But nobody expected that he would use the vast powers of the most powerful office in the world to make it worse. But that is what he has done.

"Even if you start from when the recession ended in June, 2009, the decline since then has been greater than it was during the recession. Three years into the Obama recovery, median family income had declined nearly 5% by June, 2012 as compared to June, 2009. That is nearly twice the decline of 2.6% that occurred during the recession from December, 2007 until June, 2009. As the Wall Street Journal summarized in its August 25-26 weekend edition, 'For household income, in other words, the Obama recovery has been worse than the Bush recession.'

[...]

"The problem is that Obama has only greatly accelerated everything Bush did wrong, and reversed everything Bush did right. So Obama’s spending has skyrocketed the federal budget by nearly one-fourth as a percent of GDP in just one term. Moreover, the Obama Fed has abandoned any semblance of control over monetary policy, buying most of the soaring federal debt issued to finance Obama’s record smashing federal deficits with newly printed money (actually created by computer record, a sort of cyberprinting). Of course, the whole point of Obama’s tax policy has been to more than reverse the Bush tax rate cuts, which is now already slated under current law to go into effect on January 1.

"That is why it will all only get worse in a second Obama term, as the economy slides back into a double-dip recession in 2013 unless these Obama policies are swiftly reversed. I first began ringing alarm bells about that a year ago with the publication of my Encounter Books Broadside No. 25, Obama and the Crash of 2013. But now even the Washington establishment CBO is pealing the air raid siren as well.

"Renewed, double-dip recession would mean unemployment rocketing back into double digits once again, the deficit exploding to over $2 trillion, the highest in world history by far, real wages and incomes declining even more, and poverty soaring further.

[...]

"Yes, the recession technically ended more than 3 years ago. But the point is that what we are suffering today is the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression. And no Obama apologists cannot say that the recovery is so bad because the recession was so bad, because the American historical record is the worse the recession the stronger the recovery, as the American economy has always before snapped back to its world leading economic growth trend line. That even happened after the Great Depression (once Roosevelt was gone). Check out for yourself the historical record of American recessions and recoveries at www.nber.org.

"Based on this historical record, America should be enjoying its third year of a raging recovery economic boom right now. And it will, after Obama is gone, and his policies are reversed."

I think Ferrara has a given us a quite accurate assessment. I highly recommend you read his whole article at the link above, as he goes into historical details about the recent economies that most people tend to overlook.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Oogieloves? Box Office Disaster; Worst Opening Weekend Ever


Have you ever heard of this film called The Oogieloves in the BIG Balloon Adventure? Well, apparently it opened in over 2100 theaters this weekend-- and man did it ever tank.

From Entertainment Weekly.com:

"After its inauspicious opening Wednesday, when the bizarre kiddie flick The Oogieloves in the BIG Balloon Adventure earned a shockingly low $47 average at each theater, it looked like it could be headed for the worst opening weekend of all time for a film playing in over 2,000 theaters.
Well, it happened.

"According to studio estimates, the colorful toddler-targeting entry, which is being distributed by Kenn Viselman Presents (Viselman formerly found massive success as producer of The Teletubbies), earned a truly awful $448,131 from 2,160 theaters in its debut three-day weekend.

"That gross yielded a per theater average of $207. Yes, you’re reading that correctly: $207!

"Just how low is that? Let’s pretend that the average ticket price for each customer was about $7 this weekend. That would mean that only 30 people saw Oogieloves at each theater — across all its showings — over the past three days."

This film's box office is worse than 2003's Marci X's had been (ultimately earning a $1,675,706 worldwide after a 4 week release)... a film that one Yahoo reviewer described back in the day thusly: "This film was so bad that it killed my friend."

In fact, going all the way back to 1986, the legendary Solarbabies-- the post-apocalyptic rollerskating film--  averaged a $1018 per screen take during an initial release of just 692 theaters. It dwarfed Oogielove's earnings. Ow ow ow!

After watching the preview available at EW.com, it's hard to understand why the Oogielove film flopped. I guess Toni Braxton and Jamie Pressly just aren't the box office gold that they used to be.

Well, there's always next weekend...

"Hug a Union Thug" Booths Set Up Day Before DNC




Hug-a-thug... Real catchy. Just don't try to sell Gadsden flags around them-- especially if you're black.

From The Hill article by Kevin Bogardus (h/t Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit):

"This Labor Day, unions are trying a mix of celebrity, social media and humor to polish up the labor movement’s image in the eyes of everyday people.

"In Charlotte, people will be asked to 'hug a union thug' at a CarolinaFest booth sponsored by the North Carolina State AFL-CIO the day before the Democratic National Convention officially begins. Also in honor of Monday, videos are being posted online thanking workers while actors and athletes will use Twitter to express support for union rights.

"The effort comes as labor has seen increased attacks from Republican-controlled state legislatures and governors since the 2010 elections. Unions were unsuccessful in their attempt earlier this summer to oust Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) after he pushed through legislation that curbed some public workers’ collective bargaining rights"

[...]

"The soft sell also comes as Democrats head into Charlotte for their convention. The choice of Charlotte angered several in labor due to North Carolina’s status as a right-to-work state and having the lowest union density in the country."

sigh...

Sunday, September 2, 2012

This Election: A Battle for the Defining Political Problem of the Early 21st Century



An excellent piece from Janet Daley at The Telegraph (h/t Anne Leary at Backyard Conservative)

From Daley:

"Last week’s Republican national convention sharpened what had been until then only a vague, inchoate theme: this campaign is going to consist of the debate that all Western democratic countries should be engaging in, but which only the United States has the nerve to undertake. The question that will demand an answer lies at the heart of the economic crisis from which the West seems unable to recover. It is so profoundly threatening to the governing consensus of Britain and Europe as to be virtually unutterable here, so we shall have to rely on the robustness of the US political class to make the running.

"What is being challenged is nothing less than the most basic premise of the politics of the centre ground: that you can have free market economics and a democratic socialist welfare system at the same time. The magic formula in which the wealth produced by the market economy is redistributed by the state – from those who produce it to those whom the government believes deserve it – has gone bust. The crash of 2008 exposed a devastating truth that went much deeper than the discovery of a generation of delinquent bankers, or a transitory property bubble. It has become apparent to anyone with a grip on economic reality that free markets simply cannot produce enough wealth to support the sort of universal entitlement programmes which the populations of democratic countries have been led to expect. The fantasy may be sustained for a while by the relentless production of phoney money to fund benefits and job-creation projects, until the economy is turned into a meaningless internal recycling mechanism in the style of the old Soviet Union.

"Or else democratically elected governments can be replaced by puppet austerity regimes which are free to ignore the protests of the populace when they are deprived of their promised entitlements. You can, in other words, decide to debauch the currency which underwrites the market economy, or you can dispense with democracy. Both of these possible solutions are currently being tried in the European Union, whose leaders are reduced to talking sinister gibberish in order to evade the obvious conclusion: the myth of a democratic socialist society funded by capitalism is finished. This is the defining political problem of the early 21st century."

It has astonished me that American people can look to the economic events in Europe and, in any seriousness, suggest that we follow their lead. Although I know that the Left and academia suffer from an acute case of European envy, I have still never understood why we would possibly want to follow their example of socialist-democracies that cannot sustain themselves. This unsustainability was reasonably obvious prior to the economic crisis of recent years.

A real representative democracy must have liberty, and liberty is difficult if not impossible to maintain when the majority of the populace is bribed with ridiculous goodies (the police and fire departments, reasonable amounts of social safety nets, etc. not counting as goodies). To be dependent upon those goodies, is to be controlled by them. Votes become guaranteed when peoples livelihoods are controlled by State distributed funds. When votes are guaranteed by controls over peoples incomes, then the democracy is, in many senses, an illusion.

I have never been worried about Obama's policies working and "fundamentally transforming America" simply because his policies can never work. Democratic socialist societies cannot last, and the meager lifespans they have can only work by either outside monies (foreign markets, tourism, etc.) or with some form of patronage (the USSR supporting North Korea, Cuba, Romania, etc.). What large population, liquid money market could America export its goods to? What country could give money to support its population?

It's sort of funny that Obama talked about the GOP agenda being outdated, even as Obama doubles down on the historically proven wrong side of "the defining political problems of the 21st century."

Mt. Obama Washed Away in Charlotte


Heh. I'm sorry, but that sand sculpture looks like a Mad Magazine caricature of Obama. If it wasn't at the DNC, MSNBC would be calling it racist-- especially since that thing is in the South.

Anyhow, Mt. Obama took some damage from the rainstorms.

From The Washington Times article by Stephen Dinan (via Drudge):

"A torrential downpour that struck Charlotte on Saturday afternoon damaged the Mount Rushmore-style sand sculpture bust of President Obama — an ominous beginning to what many fear is a plagued convention.

"Workers were trying Saturday afternoon to reform the base of the sculpture, built from sand brought in from Myrtle Beach, S.C., pounding and smoothing out the sand that had washed off the facade of the waist-up rendering of the chief executive.

"The sand sculpture was protected from above, and Mr. Obama's face didn't see too much damage. But the storm was so strong that its heavy winds blew the rain sideways, pelting the president's right side and leaving the sand pockmarked and completely erasing his right elbow."

That's some unfair shit. I wonder if Samuel L. Jackson is wondering why it wasn't spared...

Saturday, September 1, 2012

University of Colorado's Model Predicts Big Win for Romney



I hope it's right.

From The Daily Caller article by Geoffrey Malloy:

"A presidential election prediction model developed by two University of Colorado professors points to a big win for GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney in November.

"The model, the only of its kind to use more than one state-level economic indicator, has correctly predicted the winner of every presidential election since 1980.

"It predicts Romney winning the electoral college by a 320-218 margin and winning 52.9 percent of the popular vote when only the two major parties’ candidates are considered, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

"Romney, it concluded, will win every state currently considered by pollsters to be a swing state, including Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida, Virginia, Colorado, New Hampshire and North Carolina.

"The model even predicts Romney will win Minnesota and Maine’s Second Congressional District, the electoral votes of which most pollsters consider to be 'safe' for President Obama. Nevada and Iowa are the only swing states it assigns to Obama.

[...]

"Bickers and Berry cautioned, however, that their model used economic data from June, 2012. They intend to update their calculations when new data become available in September.

"And many swing states showed close enough to a 50-50 split that factors other than the economy could tilt them in the opposite direction. Bicker and Berry also did not factor in third party candidates, such as Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson, who Public Policy Polling, a Democratic-affiliated polling firm, has noted could significantly diminish Obama’s chances of winning New Mexico."

Actual "hope" I guess.

We'll see.