Election 2012

August 20, 2011

My friends and I recently shared our thoughts on the outcome of the 2012 elections. Some thought Republicans would capture the Presidency but lose the House. I don’t see that happening, but the reasoning is sound. Democrats would successfully scare enough people Republicans are going to scuttle Medicare and Social Security that they’ll take the House back.

It’s not that I don’t think Democrats will try that. I just figure that by November of 2012 a sufficient number of people will believe they aren’t going to see any money from these programs anyway. It’s hard to scare people they’re going to lose something when they don’t really think they have it in the first place.

We have a test case of sorts. On September 12 there’s going to be a special election for Anthony Weiner’s seat (snicker snicker). I don’t know the specifics of the race, but I do know the Republican is running six points behind the Democrat in a district where Democrats outnumber Republicans three to one. At least according to this article, he is.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/brooklyn/panicked_dems_in_turner_mail_strom_4ptdwmhilxMmZpA0PfhN3N

As for Obama if he could manage to run for President without actually doing any campaigning he would have a better chance. With his recent trip to “The Vineyard” he’s a walking, talking PR disaster.

 

Advertisements

$2 Gas? She’s Done.

August 17, 2011

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/274897/bachmann-pledges-gas-will-be-less-2-gallon-katrina-trinko

Sometimes I have trouble believing what I’m reading is saying what I think it does. So’s the case of this sordid tale about a pregnant fifteen-year-old. Okay, these things happen, but they don’t need to be incented by the State. Here’s the part I’m having a hard time believing:

Quoted from her mother:

“Our three-bedroom place was already overcrowded with her sisters Coco and Ritzy, her brother Tarot, Soya’s boyfriend Jake and one of her sister’s babies. Once the new baby comes the council will have to find us a place with four or five bedrooms.”

I don’t know what “the council” refers to, but I’m guessing this is a pretty clear indication of how people respond to incentives.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3753913/Sexy-pics-at-12-pregnant-at-15-and-her-proud-mums-delighted.html

In a related note, Thomas Sowell recently wrote how Americans are having less difficulty speaking the truth these days.

http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell081611.php3

 

In the recent Wisconsin recall elections, the Democrats picked their best six opportunities. They only got 47% of the vote. Conservatives are stating part of the reason for their poor showing is the reforms enacted by Walker are already working.

My favorite example:

“In Appleton, the collective-bargaining reforms allowed the school district there to save $3 million by bidding for health care on the open market. Previously, the district had been required to purchase health insurance from WEA Trust, which is affiliated with the state’s largest teachers’ union. When the Appleton School District put their health-insurance contract up for bid, WEA Trust magically lowered their rates, saying they would match any competitor’s price — a sign they had been fleecing local taxpayers for years.”

I could not have imagined this sort of thing would result from the ending of this institutionalized corruption. No wonder the Unions are fighting tooth and nail. They are stealing money from us in ways we can scarcely imagine. They’re the only ones who have a firm grasp on how much they have to lose.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/274360/wisconsins-reforms-are-already-working-christian-schneider

I didn’t watch the Republican debates. Candidly I rarely watch any political debates. They generally make me cringe; like watching a movie where the main character is going through some sort of hideous embarrassment.

But, based on reports, Pawlenty doesn’t seem like he stands much of a chance. As you know, I generally like governors as Presidential candidates. Representatives don’t have administrative experience, which oddly enough, seems to be a key qualification for being an effective administrator.

Two months ago, my sister-in-law predicted a Perry/Rubio Republican ticket. She could very well be right. I had thought Christie was going to run. He may judge he hasn’t been in office long enough and this may not be his moment or his last chance.

Everyone says they’re concerned there aren’t enough “leaders” out there. But consider this, with talent like Walker, Christie, and (reportedly) Bobby Jindal (I don’t really know much about him), the Republicans are grooming the next generation of leaders.

These potential leaders are in a better position than Reagan because Liberalism has had another twenty years or so to further discredit itself. So, they start with a stronger political base. A base, not just based on economics, but based on the deterioration of the nation’s, and, indeed, the Western World’s values.

This latter issue plays strongly to Conservatism’s strength.

 

http://www.newser.com/article/d9p2306g0/obama-says-nothing-wrong-with-america-but-there-is-something-wrong-with-american-politics.html

The President tells us America is fine. It’s its politics that are at fault for our problems. His denial of personal responsibility for anything negative continues unabated. And who could blame him? What problem solving skills! Here’s his comprehensive approach to deficit reduction:

“Repeating his call for a comprehensive approach to deficit reduction, Obama said the country needs to continue investing in education, clean energy and other vital areas while also ensuring that entitlement benefits for senior citizens are protected. That means a balanced approach to deficit reduction in which wealthy corporations and individuals are paying their fair share toward a solution, he said to applause.”

http://www.cnn.com/2011/POLITICS/08/11/obama.economy/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

In summary, his balanced approach is to spend more and solve the existing and resulting deficit problems with higher levels of taxation from a select group of wealthy individuals and corporations. This is like asking a homeowner to up his monthly payment while telling him, no matter what happens, you’re going to foreclose in 20 years. Anyone who would voluntarily pay more taxes in these circumstances is a sap.

The new definition of greed is someone who wants less money taken from him. The motives of a person to whom that money ultimately goes are apparently beyond reproach. The recent riots in the UK are just the latest factoid weighing against the latter notion.

Reactions from Democrats to Ryan’s plan for entitlement reform have been uniform. Generally, they don’t discuss the merits of the plan. They simply say it’s bad politics, rubbing their hands in glee at all the attack ads they’ll run in 2012. It doesn’t at all matter to them they have no substitute plan, other than let the next generation of Congressmen deal with it.

Ultimately, there’s going to be a painful reckoning. It’s just hard to know when. My nephew recently sent me an article on Greek debt. I’m fascinated by this subject because it is so plainly obvious the Greeks are never going to repay it. It’s a matter of wonder that supposedly smart people (i.e. Germans) who are sending the money their way can be so blind to that one particular fact.

http://www.vanityfair.com/business/features/2011/09/europe-201109

Of course, we shouldn’t be too critical of the Germans. As Michael Lewis puts it they’re the only first-world nation which would not crash and burn tomorrow should other countries stop lending to it today.

Finally, here’s another in the series of articles contradicting the claim our President is a super genius.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/morning-jay-president-has-no-idea-what-do-himself_588228.html

I like his conclusion:

“This has to be one of the worst political strategies I have ever encountered. How can the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue credibly campaign as a Washington outsider? Surely he must understand the obvious problem with this approach: By complaining that the political system is broken, the president is admitting that he cannot fix it! This is no way for Obama to climb back to political relevance. After all, if the president admits that he has failed to fix Washington, then why should voters keep him around for another four years?

Clearly, the president has no idea what to do with himself. Yesterday’s campaign-style address was a pathetic spectacle indeed.”

 

The Unapologist

August 10, 2011

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2024284/UK-riots-2011-Liberal-dogma-spawned-generation-brutalised-youths.html

It used to be hard to find people to write and the paper to print this sort of editorial. Brazenly blaming rioters for the damage they cause, rather than society at large.

It’s an interesting, and in my view, positive development.

 

The mechanism for money creation in the United States is controlled the Federal Reserve Bank. When it wants to increase the money supply it buys securities (generally treasury bills) from banks. The Fed has the power to just credit the bank with cash. It didn’t have to print the money, but it’s the same thing. The banks now having cash can lend it out. This also generally lowers interest rates. So, more people will want to borrow money.

This form of money creation was unhelpful in the debt crisis. The Fed could create all the money it wanted, but unless some of it reached the Federal government in the form of tax receipts or some other mechanism, it couldn’t solve the immediate problem.

Now let’s put out a hypothetical question. Can the Department of the Treasury print a bunch of $100 bills and send them to bond holders in payment of interest?

The simple answer is no.

The Treasury prints the money at the behest of the Federal Reserve. So, the Treasury can’t print money without the Fed asking it to do so. Even if they do, there is no direct mechanism for the Fed to credit these funds to the Treasury for payment of our Nation’s obligations. The Federal Reserve is only authorized to send currency to Federal Reserve and private banks.

So, even though we can “print” all the money we want, there isn’t a way to use that printing press for making interest payments. But Fed policy is indirectly helping the US make its interest payments by keeping interest rates low.

Life Imitates the Onion

August 7, 2011

It being really hot outside I decided to postpone yard work in favor of catching up on the news, Other than Gallup noting Obama’s net approval is negative eight, the news was equally depressing. So, it offered me some comic relief that in switching back and forth between Gallup and The Onion (satirical magazine) I lost track of which site I was reading. So, I thought the following article was a joke when in reality it was an actual poll.

Smokers’ Own Concern About Smoking Ties Record High;
http://www.gallup.com/poll/148865/Smokers-Own-Concern-Smoking-Ties-Record-High.aspx

A friend asked my contention that Liberals have been coopting Reagan’s legacy for years. I didn’t have a lot of back up, but I promised to send him some. This is a common theme in the Conservative press. As we all know Liberals tried to stop Reagan at every pass and called him every name in the book. Now, they say they wish current Conservatives could be more like Reagan in the ‘good ol’ days’ when we all got along.

I’m biased, but I believe Liberals are more prone to this sort of rationalizing backward than Conservatives. When I was growing up the Liberal line about the Soviets is we didn’t need to wage the Cold War because the Soviets just weren’t that bad. And all their malice was only a reflection of our aggressiveness. They are now trotting out this same nonsense about our conflict with Muslim population’s continued tolerance and support of the Islamists among them.

When the Soviet archives were opened, and it turns out, by gosh, Alger Hiss really was a spy, among many other worse things, the Liberals new line became the Soviets were always destined to crumble, so why bother engaging in the conflict? My father experienced the same sort of thing with Communists during the 30’s at the City College of New York.

The day before the signing of the nonaggression pact between the Soviets and the Germans, Hitler was bad. The day after he was good. It’s not like they changed their mind. They behaved as if they had never believed anything differently. I could go on, but that’s not really the point of this email.

This is the same sort of thing Liberals are doing to Reagan. A quick Google search of “Ronald Reagan coopt” yields the following links:

http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2011/02/co-opting_reagans_legacy.html

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2011/02/02/reagans_true_legacy_108736.html

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2610066/posts

http://www.glennbeck.com/2011/02/07/left-attempting-to-hijack-reagans-legacy/

In support of one of my other controversial contentions, here is the link to Obama’s discussion with George Stephanopoulos

I just can’t understand why all those right-wing nut jobs would question the President’s veracity on the matter.

We have met the enemy and he is us. It’s not our Representatives. It’s the People and their expectations.

We have put a Socialist in the Oval Office, a fiscally conservative group in the House and a mixed bag in the Senate, mostly reflecting the Senate’s staggered six-year terms.

If these Representatives were craven hacks who were just going to do whatever an opinion poll suggested, then they could have come to a conclusion months ago. Actually, these are people with very different points of view, and to expect them to essentially betray the people who elected them to come to an agreement without a fight challenges the very concept of the Republic.

The Founders designed this process to be inefficient, and they purposely designed the House to reflect nearer-term public opinion than the Presidency and the Senate. That the People expect big issues like this to be resolved like an episode of Fantasy Island represents an infantilization of the electorate that is a great danger. People like that could elect to the White House an ideologue with no administrative experience who pretends to be one thing while actually desiring to do something completely different. That would be disastrous, indeed.

If the People want quick action without any debate, then they can elect one side or the other to dominate the House, the Senate, and to occupy the White House. They did that in 2008, and they got union payoffs, a “stimulus” program, health care “reform,” and $4 trillion (and counting) of additional debt. Now, opinion polls say the People didn’t want any of those things.

Now, then, really, whose fault is that?