November 30, 2010
. . . can we assassinate terrorists in Pakistan, seek to release terrorists in our custody, take down web sites that allegedly (no due process) provide copywritten material for free, and allow Julian Assange to roam the earth?
November 28, 2010
Barnes notes a changing of the guard in the GOP, meaning the excitement isn’t being generated by any of the likely-to-declare candidates. It makes interesting reading as one point-of-view as to how 2012 might look.
He references a six-minute speech given by Paul Ryan to Obama (and I do mean addressed directly to The President) at the health care summit in February.
I had never seen it, but I was struck by how much Ryan directly went at the bill (and, hence, Obama). I suspect this exchange will make Ryan look like Nostradamus, greatly enhancing his credibility at so clearly calling his shot.
It’s worth a look if you haven’t already seen it. It’s just one thing, but it’s an important thing.
November 23, 2010
Email Exchange; Read from Bottom
I am astonished by your negative outlook on outcomes I believe you would view as favorable. The GOP won’t have to make its picture of Obama the dominant one. Obama is going to do it for them. Just as Kerry did.
Like Obama Kerry succeeded in having his identity stick with the public. He is an elitist jerk (EJ) who thinks he’s always the smartest guy in the room. Democrats like to nominate these kind of guys. The only serious Democratic candidate over the past twenty years who didn’t portray himself as the smartest guy in the room is probably the only one of them who actually was: Bill Clinton.
After him the only one who gives him serious contention with him is Hillary. She’s not a good at not displaying it as Bill is. I have yet to find any evidence that Obama is all that smart. There isn’t evidence that he is dumb, but no one is calling him dumb. There are all sorts of people telling us he’s an intellectual giant. Yeah, then how come he needs teleprompters to address and sixth grade class?
Now, having said, that if I were a Democratic strategist I would have (and I thought of this at the time) played George Bush’s “Bring ’em On” line over and over and over and over again. With that strategy you could have put a border collie painted blue in the Oval Office.
The press was able to hide the fact Obama is an EJ during the campaign. Now everyone wonders why Obama can’t relate to the people. He never could relate to the people. No one figured that out because people were equating lines like “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for” with the freakin’ Gettysburg Address.
Obama beat Hillary because he wasn’t Hillary (and also, don’t forget) that her “seasoned” team didn’t really take the campaign seriously. Had she campaigned in the caucus states, then Hillary would have been the nominee, and, probably, President.
Not only was Obama not Hillary he wasn’t Obama. He wasn’t anything other than not Bush. He was the empty vessel in which voters could feel free upon which voters could project their hopes and dreams. He ain’t that anymore.
You can fool a conservative right nation to vote for Obama once, but you won’t be able to do it again. Perhaps, even if he’s running against a red border collie.
The thing about the “these guys” arguments I don’t take seriously is that both sides have the same kind of “these guys.” That way, no matter who wins, it’s always “these guys” who made the difference.
If “these guys” couldn’t figure out how to put a Democrat into Obama’s seat in Illinois, then they need to find some different guys. So, maybe those guys will make the difference in 2012.
If that’s not enough in a country where foreign policy doesn’t normally make a difference in two years Obama is going to have made us look so weak on the International stage Americans will be ashamed to look in the mirror. People don’t like that. So, any candidate who can even pretend to want to advance American interests will look good by comparison.
I just did a Google search to see what a border collie looks like. They’re kind of cute. I might vote for one in 2012.
I’ll concede that the Republicans should have an advantage in being able to define the President. He won’t be able to run away from his record. However, He doesn’t have to run on his record either. I have no confidence that the GOP will make its picture of Obama the dominant one.
I still scratch my head that GWB beat John Kerry — a complete failure on Kerry’s part to make his identity stick with the public. Looking at any reasonable parallels, I have to believe that GWB should have been toast. Incumbency is only a disadvantage if you don’t know how to work it.
Then Obama, who had served less than two years in the US Senate, introduced himself as the embodiment of hope. Knocking off Biden, Kucinich, et al was no great feat, but beating Her Royal Clintonness was actually something. McCain was past his prime and made dumb moves, but it still should have been closer. These guys know how to work the right constituencies, and they have no scruples about using the state’s coffers to buy support.
All of which takes me to the electorate. The anger, I suspect, is going to be tough to maintain. With Republican control of the House, it will be harder to foist all blame on the Democrats. I suspect the mud-slinging and partisanship will be as bad as ever. Individual voters will believe the narratives they prefer — and I fear that the next Obama narrative will be the People’s Champion and Eternal Outsider, thwarted by those greedy, corrupt Congressional Republicans. If a few more Blue Dogs lose their seats in the anti-Congressional fervor whipped by the President’s campaign, nobody at 1600 will lose any sleep.
I’m not understanding the more skeptical part. Isn’t it harder to run against Congress when you control half of it? It’s Obama that’s proposing the Medicare cuts. That may or may not be good fiscal policy, but the politics of it will make it difficult to portray Republicans as the ones who are taking things away from the Public.
As Europe continues its financial self-destruction the public will be reminded that at some point debts need to be repaid. Obama can simultaneously be looked at as taking things away (Medicare) while he’s spending your great grandchildren’s inheritance. Not a politically enviable position.
The President can run against Congress, and the Congress can run against the President. If the President has a popular agenda, then the former is more likely. Our President can’t even conceive, no less propose, an agenda that would be popular with the American people.
***MORE*** skeptical ??!!!
I was just reading Krugman (no doubt part of my problem) and realized, “Hey, we don’t control the Senate.” Apparently I got caught up in the Red Wave that swept over Maine and forgot that the House and Senate are divided. I’m a little more skeptical now than I was fifteen minutes ago.
I’ve read a lot of articles about Obama’s direction over the next two years. There are no indications he’s going to do a Clintonian triangulation. Everything he’s said since indicates his belief he wasn’t effective in communicating all the good he’s done for us.
Pelosi’s desire/success in hanging on to be the new minority leader tells the same story. She simply can not believe the policies she advocated are unpopular. Clearly, they didn’t go far enough. That’s why moderate Democrats lost in great numbers. There’s a certain delusional logic to it.
The Left is building up its morale with articles like this, likening Obama to Harry Truman.
They are also telling themselves it was those Republicans selling their votes to evil lobbyists. Why don’t Liberals subject themselves to the same warped scrutiny in regards to labor unions?
The fact that Pelosi and Reid are still in place will only help the Republicans hold onto the House and take the Senate in 2012. I don’t see Obama standing much of a chance, unless Palin gets the nomination.
November 20, 2010
A Friend Writes:
Who would have thought that greater government control and regulation would have stifled competition?
HEALTH | November 21, 2010
Consumer Risks Feared as Health Law Spurs Mergers
By ROBERT PEAR
Consumer advocates fear that the new health care law could worsen some of the problems it was meant to solve – by reducing competition, driving up costs and creating incentives to stint on care.
Apparently not readers of the New York Times.
November 19, 2010
. . .whether an author is being intentionally ironic or he just doesn’t know what he’s talking about
In this piece the author laments the state of Ireland in terms of its debt. It contains this priceless quote;
“Pundits in those early days [when the magnitude of the problem was first being realized] used to urge us to think of the country as being at war and to fire ourselves up with the same plucky spirit that saved civilization when it was threatened by German and Japanese warmongers.”
Does the author or anyone in Ireland know the country was neutral during the entirety of World War II? In fact they were so neutral the Prime Minister expressed condolences on the death of Hitler.
Hopefully, they’ll have some plucky spirit to draw upon from some other era.
Apologizes for past American provocations. Reparations discussions not off-the-table. Initates multi-front effort to boost self-esteem of those with whom we’ve recently been engaged in overseas operations.
Churchill to begin immediate withdrawal from North Africa. Fleet to be recalled, scrapped.
America’s favorability rating in Germany and Japan up by over 20 percent. President cites as evidence new strategy is working.
Government control of key industries, rationing to continue indefinitely.
(Link above expired; As I recall it had something to do with Obama’s need to apologize endlessly for the United States, while believing the world will all be sunshine and daisies should the US pull back it’s military)
I mean really. Why should anyone take us seriously?
It’s kind of sad that the surest route to regain respect internationally will be to put a nut job in the White House, just to remind world the United States is a force to be reckoned with.
November 18, 2010
It’s amazing how good a Company can look after a $50 billion cash infusion and it’s relieved of its debt obligations. If there was any doubt that Obama’s intervention on behalf of labor unions at the expense of bond holders would not have a material impact, then this should end any reservation.
Thus, the President used the force of his office to steal money from one party to give it to another. That the “another” is a firm supporter of the President in ideology and funding only adds to the corruption.
Conservatives had been throwing around the term “Gangsta Government” for awhile. That’s died down, but, perhaps, it should be revived.
November 4, 2010
“The more he [Obama] denounced Republicans as the party of “no,” the better Republicans did. His denunciations enabled people to support Republicans without embracing them as anything other than impediments to him.
He had defined himself as a world-class whiner even before Rahm Emanuel, a world-class flatterer, declared that Obama had dealt masterfully with “the toughest times any president has ever faced” – quite a claim, considering that before the first president from Illinois was even inaugurated, seven of the then-34 states had seceded. Today’s president from Illinois, a chronic campaigner and incontinent complainer who is uninhibited by considerations of presidential dignity, has blamed his difficulties on: . . . ”
November 3, 2010
. . .but I do so only to compare him to Barrack Obama, or more truthfully to forward Dorothy Rabinowitz’s comparison.
It’s fairly well-known Obama has been running down the electorate as being too scared and stupid to realize the good things he’s done for them. In this he displays the temperament of a despot who rationalizes taking control so that He may better care of the people better than they could themselves. As Charles Krauthammer has pointed out one would have had to be “illused” in the first place to be disillusioned by this revelation.
Rabinowitz contrasts this whining with Roosevelt’s expressed confidence in the American people.
‘Your government has unmistakable confidence in your ability to hear the worst without flinching and losing heart.”
He said this in a radio address on February 23, 1942. Just a couple months after the attack on Pearl Harbor and with Japan and Germany still on a roll, some may have been excused for losing heart.
I asked each of my parents how they dealt with the fear of losing during WWII. My mother worked at Bell Labs. My father served in the China-Burma-India Theater of the war.
Each of them replied similarly. It hadn’t really occurred to them that America might lose.
My father said something like ‘We knew it was going to be hard, but we never really doubted we’d win.”
I give Roosevelt a lot of credit for instilling this sense of confidence in the American people through his calm, considered leadership and his expressed faith in the American people.
What we have today isn’t even a cheap imitation.
November 3, 2010
Of course, the first one I should make is that I was wrong about the Senate [Democrats held]. Separately I predicted there would be 241 Republicans in the House when the dust settles. We’ll see if that prediction is any better.
Some other observations:
Tonight I heard Christine O’Donnel speak for the first time. She’s even dumber than has been reported. Not only that, but she wins the competition for least graceful concession phone call to an opponent. She bragged to her supporters about lecturing Coons on the call. God, I really hope Fox News doesn’t give her a contract.
Fox News called the Senate election for Barbara Boxer approximately two minutes (no exaggeration) after the polls closed in California. As I write this CNN (web) is reporting Fiorina with 20,000 more votes than Boxer with 30% of precincts reporting (whatever that means). Copied text below
(Incumbent) 1,414,936 47%
Fiorina 1,434,410 48%
30% reported (estimate
It’s probably based on some exit polls, but can you really call an election two minutes after the polls close when the vote is this close two hours later?
Networks report very different poll results at the same time. Sometimes off by 100,000 votes. I noticed this with the Colorado Race. Also, for whatever reason the C-Span couldn’t find half the votes that other network were reporting in Nevada. How do news organizations get these results? Do they each have to piece it together or are they all getting it from the same source?