Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Sorry, Democrats. No Recession, Yet!

This morning, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was released and it came in better than was expected at six-tenths of one percent in positive growth for the last business quarter. Strictly speaking, this still reflects an overall (yet "minimally") expanding economy (See Full Story). While it may reflect an economy that is teetering close to recession, we are still not there. By historic definition, you need two consecutive quarters of "negative" GDP growth before you can actually say that we are in a recession.

This is important because two candidates, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, have said that we are "definitely" in a recession. For example, in his speech of March 27th of this year, Barack Obama said:

"Now, as most experts agree, our economy is in a recession. To renew our economy - and to ensure that we are not doomed to repeat a cycle of bubble and bust again and again – we need to address not only the immediate crisis in the housing market; we also need to create a 21st century regulatory framework, and pursue a bold opportunity agenda for the American people."

The problem with this statement is that many experts don't agree. If you had listened to the discussion (or arguments) on CNBC this morning that followed the release of the positive GDP numbers, you would have heard a lot of pros and cons at to whether or not our economy is actually in (or going into) a recession. This arguing, alone, is proof that we just don't know. But, never mind the "reality" of our current economic growth results. Obama and Clinton want you to believe that we are definitely in a recession. They also want you to believe that they, and only they, have the solutions that will help raise this country out of the current "economic disaster" that they been busily trying to convince you that we are in and have been in for months now.

This is politics as usual for the Democrats. They used this same technique when Bill Clinton ran against the then-current President, George H.W. Bush in 1992. All you have to do is think back to that famous Bill Clinton slogan of: "It's the Economy Stupid!" However, it wasn't the economy. We had only had a single-quarter dip that was effectively ended when the GDP numbers came out that October; a couple of weeks before the votes were cast in that year. We never entered a recession. But, it was too late and voters had already made up their minds. Bush lost. Following that, there was another full quarter of positive growth; reported in January. This gave us 6 consecutive months of growth before Clinton even got into office and became President. From that point on, our economy was literally roaring. Of course, Bill Clinton would have you believe that it was "all" due to his Presidency. However, when he took office, he did absolutely nothing that would have immediately stimulated the economy. In fact, his first priority was his "Gays in the Military" initiative. That liberal-voter-pay-back controversy actually consumed a couple of months of time before Clinton could get to work on any new economic proposals. This "flap" was ultimately resolved with the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy. A policy that still bothers the far left to this date.

In 2000, when Al Gore ran against George W. Bush, Bill Clinton's legacy to that election cycle "was" an actual recession; one that continued on and one that was exacerbated by the events of "9/11" in 2001. Like now, oil prices and gasoline prices were rising rapidly and hurting our economy. The then-current Energy Secretary, Bill Richardson, was flying all over the world and frantically meeting with the heads of OPEC to "jaw bone" prices down (Listen to a Charlie Rose interview with Bill Richardson). While Richardson falsely said that he had committments from Saudi Arabia to increase production and lower prices, it never really happened. So, left "without" the economy as an issue, the Democrats decided to used their old-standby of "fear mongering" during that election by saying that the Republicans would eliminate Social Security. Of course, we know now, that never happened.

In 2004, that economic"fear" technique was revived by the Democrats. This time they attempted to use the mantra that George Bush had lost more jobs as President than any other President since Herbert Hoover (See Full Story). This was important because it was Herbert Hoover that presided over the beginning of the "Great Depression." Unfortunately for the DEM's, the tax cuts (?for the rich?) that Bush implemented in 2003 actually turned the economy around and negated the "reality" of that "lost more jobs than Herbert Hoover" lie that was being promulgated by Dick Gephardt and many other Democrats.

The purpose of this blog entry is to highlight the fact that, over and over, the Democrats try to use "fear" about "jobs" and about "our economy" as a means to garner votes. This is the same kind of "fear" technique that the Democrats always blame the Republicans for using when "they" talk about terrorism and national security. But, the big problem with the Democrats using "economic fear" is that it "can" be a "self-fulfilling" prophecy. They can "scare consumers" into not spending and we can actually have a perception-driven recession. In fact, a recent poll said that 75% of the respondents believed we are now in recession (See Full Story). However, when asked, most people feel that their own personal economic situation was fine. To me, it "is" irresponsible for our elected and hope-to-be elected officials to "talk down our economy" for pure political gains. We don't need to "help" our economy into a recession by constantly telling the American people a political lie (See this video from "Fox News Sunday" that was recorded in March with comments by Democrats Dodd and Schumer). With the things that we have already done (like cutting interest rates, bailing out Bear Stearns, and issuing stimulus checks), the reality of an actual recession may already have been averted. Certainly, the indication of this is that the U.S. dollar seems to have stopped falling against the EURO Dollar (the European common currency) over the last week. In reality, we might only have one quarter of contraction as was the case in 2002. We just won't know, and we won't know until we actually see a downturn and the "two-quarter" recession-clock is started. And, with this morning's positive day, it will be another quarter before the clock even has a chance to get started. Sorry, Hillary! Sorry, Barack!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

McCain Running Against the Deomcrats and the New York Times

We all know that John McCain will be running against either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton in the Fall; and, whoever wins, expect their campaigns to hit John hard in speeches and in campaign advertising. You can also assume that the pro-Democratic "527" groups (special interest groups not directly affiliated with the Democratic Party) will be running ads to discredit McCain and benefit the Democrats and the Democratic Nominee. Not to be outdone, you can count on DNC (Democratic National Committee) to take their shots with negative ads against McCain and the Republicans. However, there is another pro-Democratic campaign nemesis that John McCain must contend with: The New York Times.

It appears that the New York Times is dead set on single-handedly defeating John McCain. Early on, they ran a piece about a possible affair with a female lobbyist; taking care to print the "hottest" picture of the woman that they could find. That story turned out to be both stale and without merit. As a result, the "Times" was publicly embarrassed by critics from all avenues of the news business. Even their own editor and their own ombudsman nailed them on this one (See Full Story). Undaunted, the Times has continued to pelt John McCain almost every week and sometimes twice a week on every questionable, two-bit topic and issue that they could "scrape" up.

Earlier this month, they wanted to make sure that you knew that John McCain had some prominent lobbyists as fund-raisers and implying (while never proving) that there "might" be an appearance of impropriety or, at the very least, an inconsistency with his hard stands on ethics (See Full Story). Back in February, they went after him on his age and stressed the importance of a younger running mate. Of course the true intent of that article was to "seed" a concern in the voter's minds about the fact that he would be, if elected, the oldest President ever. (See Full Story). In March, the Times thought it was important to remind you that John McCain had a bout with skin cancer. They seemed to be very concerned that people had forgotten this fact and weren't aware of the possibility that it could come back on him in the future (See Full Story). Again, in February, they went after him because he was born in the Panama Canal Zone and they attempted to imply he wasn't actually a United States citizen and, subsequently, not eligible to run for President. Of course, this was another bogus story because he was born to the family of a U.S. Naval Officer who was stationed on United States property in the Panama Canal Zone; thus, making him a U.S. citizen (See Full Story). In another story in April, they found an obscure connection to an Arizona land developer. This "developer", who received an introductory letter from John McCain, was able to gain access to the U.S. Army and was ultimately able to buy and develop some unused government land. In the tradition of the "Times" versus McCain, this story, as usual, was strong on implications and weak on facts! (See Full Story) In addition, they ran an article about John McCain's supposed temper by referencing year's old accounts. (See Full Story). And, the list goes on and on. I am sure that these "attack articles" won't stop until the polls are closed in November and, hopefully for the Times, a Democrat is elected President.

In the latest attack, they have hit John McCain on the use of his wife's company's corporate jet. By the current Federal Election Committee rules, McCain can fly on his wife's jet all day long as if it were his own. But, if you listen to the Times, the ability to do so was stopped in December when the Federal Election Committee received the "recommendation" to rule against that activity. Unfortunately for the Times and fortunately for McCain, this is still just a recommendation and has never yet been adopted as an actual rule. But the Times wants you to believe that McCain is violating an election law. A law that doesn't even exist, yet. Isn't that just "so" like the New York Times! (See Full Story).

Investigative journalism is a good thing when done fairly and accurately. However, you might ask yourself why none of the above articles by the Times have reached a point of being a "legitimate" national concern about the electability of John McCain. That's because all of these stories are either "old news" or "no news" or "petty news" or, obviously, "biased news". The New York Times is not being even-handed with John McCain. Besides going after him on a regular weekly basis, they typically do it on the front page. His competitors, by contrast, get their "licks" somewhere within the bowels of that paper. This to me clearly shows a bias towards one political party over the other. They are not just trying to report the news but they are actively trying to slant the news. I guess that's why they have lost so many readers and have been hit so hard financially (See Full Story). Maybe, just maybe, some day, the old "Grey Lady" will actually abide by the words "fit to print" that appears their motto: "All the news that is fit to print!"

Monday, April 28, 2008

Reverend Wright's Hypothesis on Black Education in America

I watched Reverend Jeremiah Wright's speech last night before the NAACP in Detroit.

What I heard last night might be quite different from what others heard who are simpatico with Reverend Wright and others who are protective of Barack Obama. What I heard was a speech that did a disservice to all Black youths in this country and did a disservice to all those Black adults who have been so successful in America. In that speech he went on about the differences in how Black children "learn" as compared to White children. His hypothesis, primarily based on the writings of an educator by the name of Jane Hale, assumes that Black children have a "learning difference" from White children; a difference based on African heritage versus that of Western European heritage. According to Wright, Whites use the left side of the brain in what he calls "object" oriented learning. Black children use the right side of their brains in "subject" oriented learning. Of course, neither Wright nor Hale are scientists and, at best, this a layman's observational hypothesis and not really based on true science.

If we put all "that" mumbo jumbo aside, he, in essence, is telling all the Black youth of America that they can't be educated in our White educational system because "the system" isn't structured in the way that would enable them to learn. This is his rationalization for the substandard school performance of "some" Blacks in America. So, I guess what Wright is really saying is that all the Black school children in America should just give up. They should go home because our educational system is not meant for them. It is just a waste of time. Once again, in the gospel according to Reverend Wright, the Blacks of America are just being "bleeped" (insert expletive) by White society and the White-controlled government in this country. (He actually didn't say that but, I'm sure he wanted to!)

Not actually spoken in Wright's "hypothesis" is the "implied" concept of "segregating" the races; at least, in our school system. Now, I may be wrong, but I think that Wright's opinion is "less" a hypothesis for the better education of Blacks in America and "more" a supporting theorem for Black racism in this country.

At the same time, given Wright's explained differences in Black and White brains and their ability to learn, you've got to wonder how the most successful and the most intelligent Blacks in this country ever made it. You know...those scientists; those educators; those professors; those business professionals; those artists; and, those poets. Just how did they manage to get through a White school system that was not meant for them? Were they freaks and were they somehow "born" with a white-oriented brain structure? If you listened to Wright, the only explanation that you could assume is that they must have inherited an "uncle tom" kind of brain that helped them get through our White-based school system. Yeah, that's it!

If I were a successful Black person and listened to Wright's speech, I think I would be upset! Barack Obama should be upset, too, because it appears that his success, in the words of Jeremiah Wright, is a result of him being less of a Black man. Maybe it is because of his "uncle tom" brain of having a Black father and a White mother that got him to and through Harvard University; that basti0n of upper class white-oriented education!

I listened to Wright and in that speech he managed to drum up all of the old racial problems of the past. If you listened to him, you could only feel that there was "no hope" for the Blacks of America; and, an implied distrust of all whites. His oratory on education was another example of that division. A division that he seems to be happy to promote. A division that has kept him popular for the last 30 years. To me, his Church and his sermons are just the Black equivalent of a radical Muslim Madrassa school in the Middle East that is designed to teach and foment hate. I don't think Barack Obama and his campaign are going to be real happy with the airing of that speech last night for all the world to hear; another hate-speech from Obama's so-called "former" (???) pastor and 20-year spiritual mentor/advisor. As my wife said to me, his was not a speech based on the "Audacity of Hope" but, rather, a speech based on the "Audacity of Hopelessness!"

Maybe now, Barack Obama will see how hurtful his association with Wright really is. Maybe now, Barack Obama will finally understand that "his" Reverend doesn't really want him to win the Presidency as I had said in this blog back in March (see my blog entry). Sadly for Barack Obama, he has made this bed and is pretty much stuck with sleeping in it. Any attempts, now, to further distance himself from this hateful person will only be seen as too little, too late, and too political!

Note: If a White person had given a speech that contained so much White versus Black "contrasts" as did Wright in his speech of last night, he would have been labeled a White racist by most Blacks and most Whites. Unfortunately, too many Blacks probably see Wright as a "visionary" and not the Black racist that he appears to be.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Are The Polls Wrong?

Just before the Pennsylvania Primary, the race was seen, by most pollsters, as "tightened". Generally, they showed around a 52% to 48% advantage; Clinton over Obama. On the day of the primary, the exit polls showed a near similar tightened spread. Then, when the votes were counted, the polls were clearly shown to be wrong. Instead, it is as if the margin of error was added to Hillary's advantage and equally subtracted from Obama poll numbers in order to get the right answer. That's how far off things were.

The pollsters have definitely got a problem. At best, they just think that Obama supporters are more enthusiastic and, therefore, want to express themselves more freely to the pollsters. Others say that there is a dark side, a more sinister problem, that involves whites not wanting to admit that they didn't or won't vote for Obama. The fact is, some whites might feel "subliminally" racist if they "say" they didn't vote for the black man. For that reason, they either avoid the pollsters or simply lie to them.

Whatever is happening, it is obvious that the polls aren't accurate. Right now, Obama is seen to be leading McCain in most of the head-to-head national polls. Can we really trust that? If it is anything like what was happening in Pennsylvania, Obama is probably "overstated" by the margin of error and McCain equally "understated". If so, those polls are probably really saying that McCain is ahead by a two to three percentage points.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Why Hillary Won't Be Obama's V.P.

There are a lot of political insiders that say there should be a Hillary-Obama or Obama-Hillary ticket in order to "patch up" the rift that may have been created within the Democratic Party as a result of this "bloody" and historically long nomination process. By having a combined ticket, it is felt that any possible defections or disaffection of Democratic voters would be softened, and those Hillary supporters would come over to an Obama-Hillary ticket or vice versa.

However, my guess is that Hillary, for sure, won't buy into the V.P. slot with Obama. To understand this, you must understand what drives the Clinton's; and, what drives them isn't being second. I believe that Hillary is so P.O.'d about having to contest this race when she "thought" that she was almost entitled to the Democratic nomination that she would never, again, accept Obama on a friendly basis. After all, I am sure she stayed with Bill all these years because of the very likelihood that his association would assist her in getting to be President (Little did she know how Bill could be such a problem; rather than an asset!). Also, in the back of her mind is the fact that she might have a chance to run again if Obama loses in the Fall; just like John McCain, this time around. If she did take the V.P. slot and Obama loses against McCain, she knows she would go the way of hundreds of also-ran V.P.'s who never got another chance at the Presidency; i.e. Dan Quayle, Joe Lieberman, and John Edwards. Also, if Obama becomes a one-term President because of a failed Presidency, she knows that she would be tarnished and never be able to run again. Lastly, if Hillary actually did take the V.P. slot and Mr. Obama became a two-term President, it would be eight years before she would have a shot. In eight years, she would 70 years old. While age really shouldn't matter, it might be McCain's undoing this year and it could be Hillary's in 2016. Also, a lot can happen between now and 2016. Another recession? A scandal of some kind? Some terror attack? Another situation like those could seriously affect the Veep from getting the next Presidency; just as it happened to Al Gore in 2000.

On the Obama side, I don't think he will actually have to consider the Veep slot. That's because I don't believe Hillary will win. Also, I don't think he would offer Hillary the slot because she has so much baggage; especially, her credibility as a result of all those bogus stories. Hillary's "likeability" numbers are just terrible! But, if he had to make that decision, I think he might think Hillary is unelectable and would decline the V.P. position; thinking he would be free to run again, untarnished, in 2012.

Now, for my prediction on the Democratic V.P. pick. I think Obama will win the nomination and Hillary, for all the reasons above, won't accept the second place slot on that ticket. Besides, if he adds Hillary, he'll probably have Bill Clinton and all his baggage as part of the deal; and, that would be a mistake! Instead, I believe that Obama will decide to pick another white woman for his running mate. He will do this to try and regain any disaffected Democratic voters that might either vote for McCain or that might decide to not vote at all. This decision will be based on the concept of a "historic first" for the Democratic Party that may be unstoppable in this election. My guess is that it might be Kathleen Sebelius, the Governor of Kansas and a shining/rising star in the Democratic Party. She is certainly less tainted and more likeable than Hillary Clinton. Further, someone like Sebelius, from the heartland of America, might help Obama overcome his "clinging to guns and God" debacle.

We'll see!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Movin' On Up

The mental midgets at once ran a full page ad in the New York Times (the official newspaper of the Democratic Party) which was captioned: "General Petraeus, Betray Us!" Cute. Isn't it? However, beyond the little girl skipping-rope mentality of that ad, General Petraeus is a "man" who was sent out to win in Iraq and, by all accounts, has nearly done so. As a result, the peace that he was able to bring to most of the provinces in that country has created a framework for positive political efforts to go forward. By last count, 12 of 16 of the political benchmarks that our Congress mandated in Iraq have been fulfilled and a majority of those remaining open items may be completed by the year's end. The only "betrayal" in that scenario is by who appears to be a consistent cheerleader for us losing in Iraq.

Now, it is only logical that United States "use" one of its best tacticians, General Petraeus, to manage the broader tensions in the Middle East (See Full Story). A smart move because we can now use his acute judgment and skills to solve some of the pressing problems in Afghanistan and, possibly, in Iran, Syria, and in Lebanon. At the same time, he will still be able to pursue more gains in Iraq.

Already, there is backlash from some Democrats. Instead of viewing this move as putting our "best" in a tough job, people like the Majority Leader in the Senate, Harry Reid, and Democratic Senator Russ Feingold are squawking and making sounds like they are going to block the Petraeus' promotion. Of course, not using Petraeus only makes sense if, and apparently, the Democrats would prefer a "weak leader" in that position; in the hopes that we'll lose everywhere in the Middle East. Helping this mentality along is the Associated Press (the "Pravda" equivalent for the Democratic Party's propaganda machine) who writes articles like "Petraeus promotion keeps nation on its war course" (See Full Story). I might be wrong but, doesn't "winning" (not whining) ultimately result in peace and bring about an end to a war? Of course, there is one other "choice" that is "preferred" by the Democratic Party and left-wing media: Put your tail between your legs and just quit in failure and defeat!

I guess I'm tired of all the revisionist history from the Democrats who were as equally complicit in sending us into Iraq. People seem to forget about all the ignored U.N. Resolutions. the intelligence data on WMD's, the expelled Weapons Inspectors, and our own Senate approval that was used to enter the war. They seem to forget about all the time that was given Saddam Hussein by the Bush Administration to comply with the U.N. resolutions and return the Weapons Inspector as a means of avoiding war. Was the intelligence data wrong? Yes! However, it was just as wrong before George W. Bush got into office.

The "reality" is that we got into Iraq and we are there and no amount of "denial of how we got there" is going to change that fact. Now that we are there, we should leave that country under the best possible conditions and not under the cloud of defeat; if at all possible. Right now, there is one person, General Petraeus, who holds the key to our success; both in Iraq and throughout the Middle East. We should come together and give him all our support!

Note: To get a better picture of the Centcom Map (pictured above) and (General Petraeus' complete area of proposed responsibility) just click on that map to get an expanded view.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A Possible Terrorist Smack-Down!

Sounding a little like our Presidential nomination activities, here, in the United States, Al Qaeda (a Sunni organization) is fighting for the hearts and minds of every Muslim terrorist in the world over their chief Shiite rival in the Middle East: Iran. Osama Bin Laden's number two henchman or cub-reporter, Ayman al-Zawahri, has issued a communique that claimed Iran was trying to discredit one of Al Qaeda's chief accomplishments: 9/11 and the destruction of the World Trade Center. (See Full Story)

There is no word if Bin Laden or al-Zawahri will challenge Iran's President, Ahmadinejad, to a series of debates so that all would-be terrorists in the world can make up their minds as to whether or not Al Qaeda or Iran is the better terrorist organization to belong too. We'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Just a Minor Point and Another Insight into Barack Obama

Normally, in politics, it is a tradition (a point of courtesy) for the loser of an election, a primary, a caucus, etc. to give their concession speech - FIRST. In doing so, it is a normal part of that speech to say something like: "I called...and congratulated them on their win." However, I don't think Barack Obama has done that in the case of his losses in Ohio, or in Texas, or, in any other State that Hillary has won. He certainly didn't do it tonight with Hillary's win in Pennsylvania. It just must be part of the "audacity" of Mr. Obama!

Being Green: Not a Poor Man's Sport

If you're a middle-to-upper class tree-hugging liberal-elite, you are probably pushing hard for immediate action on Global Warming. Sitting in your garage is, I am quite sure, a brand new or relatively new hybrid vehicle that cost you $5,000 or more than any pure-gasoline equivalent. You may have already taken yourself off the electrical grid because you were able to "pop" for the $27,000+ to install solar panels and batteries; and, your home is large enough to support them all. The fact that it may take 15 years or more in energy savings in order to offset their costs doesn't bother you in the least. Every light in your house is a compact fluorescent bulb; each costing more than, say, 7 to 8 times the cost of a conventional light bulb. Your food costs have gone up 25-50 percent in the last two years because of the increased usage of ethanol; but, you don't care because you're liberal, you're green, and you're saving the planet and you're frustrated and can't believe that the rest of the world isn't as caring. Finally, while gasoline prices are going through the roof, you can sleep at night thinking that you and the others of your ilk have fought and won the war to restrict any more drilling of oil wells in the world! Hallelujah!

The sad thing about all of this is that the poor, not just the poor in this country, but around the world as well, are literally dying because of all these so-called actions being taken to reverse Global Warming. The poor generally live the farthest from where they have to work. Therefore, high oil and gasoline prices are taking a disproportionate amount of money away from them for the food and clothing for their families. Similarly, the high feed prices that are a result of diverted feed stock (like corn) into ethanol production are costing them 25 percent or more for their family's food. On the world scene, rice, a main staple in many countries, is at record shortages as people hoard it against any future price increases and against any future shortage. Unfortunately, the hoarding is a self-fulfilling prophecy because it is actually causing shortages. And, the world's poor aren't the only ones being hurt. The lower and middle income classes, too, are feeling much of the pain.

For sure, being a "green, Global Warming warrior" is a rich man's sport. There is nothing cheap about it. It took nearly two centuries to get to a point where we can even recognize that there is Global Warming; assuming mankind is even at fault. Yet, we are now hell-bent to stop it by 2025; a mere 18 years from now. In the meantime, society as we know it, may just collapse; starting from the poor up. There are already outbreaks of violence in Haiti over food shortages (See Full Story). The shortage of food has always been a primary reason for wars and for crime in the world. We need to stop...think... and get out of this panic mode to fight something that may or may not be caused by mankind. Let's put Al Gore on the shelf (for at least a little while) before its too late! Think people!

Please Note: A recently convened International Forum on Energy has recommended that the world slow down on the use of biofuels (ie. corn in the United States) because of the impact on the world's food supplies (See Full Story).

Obama (sort of) Endorses McCain!

After weeks of saying that John McCain would be four more years of George W. Bush, Barack Obama now says McCain would be a better President than Bush (See Full Story). However, to be fair, he also included himself and Hillary in that same "better than Bush" category.

(Note: If you are a liberal and you are hearing this for the first time , please take a second and lift your chin back up off the floor)

Wow! This almost sounds like an endorsement of McCain. Believe me, the liberal bloggers are going nuts over this statement. They can't believe that Obama actually said it. Personally, I can't either. Hillary Clinton immediately jumped on it, too. She could hardly wait to use it against Obama in her stump speeches of yesterday and saw it as a perfect opportunity before today's Pennsylvania Primary. I listened to quite a few Democratic analysts and almost all agreed that you should never convey that kind of message about an opponent to the voters. Some said it shows Obama's lack of campaign experience.

Obama's comment never really hit the national press because the mainstream media is protecting Barack Obama. However, I can guarantee you that those words will haunt him until November. Some enterprising campaign ad manager, either directly for McCain or for some conservative interest group, will have Obama repeating that comment, over and over, in some slick TV and/or radio commercial in the Fall.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Jim Foolery

After nine days of what Jimmy Carter says "aren't" negotiations, the former President has declared that Hamas is willing to accept Israel as its "neighbor" if Israel would simply return to it's 1967 borders. (See Full Story).

Peace! Peace?

After nine days, Jimmy Carter has, once again, blessed us with the fruits of what he thinks are his adroit negotiation skills. Forget about the fact that there was no joint communique with Hamas to support his announcement. Also, forget about the fact that there were no "good faith" proposals from Hamas like stopping the minute-by-minute rocket attacks from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip into Israel (killing women and children); or, like the return of the Hamas-held Israeli soldier. No, there was none of that. Instead, there was just Jimmy, standing all alone, and giving his "Good neighbor, Hamas" speech.

Maybe somebody should tell Jimmy Carter that dealing with Hamas is a lot like dealing with a robber who has you at gunpoint and says: "Give me all your money... or... I'll shoot you!" Then, you give him all your money and he still shoots you! Poor Jimmy doesn't understand that this is the mindset of these people. These are the same people who, after gaining control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, saw it as a perfect opportunity to intensify their rocket attacks into Israel. Never mind the fact that Israel originally returned the Gaza Strip to the Palestinians in 2005 as a "good faith" effort and as a first-step to any possible negotiations for peace. That's what being a "good neighbor" means to Hamas!

Carter is a joke. His history of being a negotiator is as failed as was his Presidency. He should stick to building houses for "Habitat for Humanity" and leave the negotiations to the people who are a lot less gullible. His failed negotiation skills go all the way back to the tortured talks during the Iran Hostage Crisis in 1979-1980. Those went on for 444 days and continued until we completely gave into those Iranian thugs.

Now, let's fast forward to 1994. That's when Carter took his negotiation prowess to North Korea. He was sent there by President Bill Clinton to stop North Korea from developing nukes and building long range missiles. In that agreement, Carter managed to give North Korea all kinds of stuff. In return, the North Koreans went on their merry way and continued to develop newer and longer range intercontinental missiles and kept on advancing their nukes program. Jimmy apparently never thought that it was important to have on-site verification to make sure that the North Koreans weren't reneging on their promises. I guess he thought that they were honorable people. You know...a terrorist of their word!

So, now, he wants us and Israel to trust Hamas. Jimmy must want us think that Hamas, like North Korea, are honorable people, too!

Please Note: I commend Jimmy Carter for not admitting that these were "negotiations" with Hamas. Given his past record, I wouldn't admit to that either.

The Barbie Index

Now it is official. We are definitely in a recession. The toymaker, Mattel, has just reported that Barbie sales had declined 12% in the last quarter. This decline is partly responsible for Mattel's reported loss this morning. (See Full Story).

There is no indication if our Federal Reserve Bank and Ben Bernake are close watchers of this all-important Barbie Index. I am sure that we are all waiting for Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain to weigh in on this rather disastrous turn of events. One can only hope that they have an economic solution that would get Barbie and Ken back on their feet again. Congress should initiate immediate hearings. This is certainly more important that any sub-prime mortgage issue! Little girls all over this country are waiting for the answers.

Open Immigration? I Don't Think So!

While not as hot a topic as it had been just a few months ago, illegal immigration still gets plenty of media time. Usually, the general topic involves whether or not our Federal government should raid businesses with high levels of suspected illegals. Many of those arguing against this action believe that Hispanics from Mexico and Central and South America "should be" free to come and go. An open border system.

Instead of us arguing about all those "well worn" problems and costs associated with illegal immigration, I would propose that we look at this issue from a different angle. Let's say, hypothetically, that we abandon all of our immigration policies and controls. What then? What if we just opened up our borders without any restrictions? What would be the impact on our economy if another ten million immigrants came into this country? How about another twenty million or thirty million; or, even higher? And, let's not forget that we currently have about 15 million Americans who are out of work.

I think that the reality of doing so would be a total economic and social disaster. A disaster that this country could never recover from. We would be swamped with a flood of non-English speaking, uneducated, and untrained workers and their families. Our health care system would collapse from a tsunami of the uninsured. Our school systems, which can barely survive now, would implode. Unemployment would skyrocket to double or triple what it is now. The average American salary would suffer, too, as the immigrant population would be so hungry for work that they would be willing to undercut the pay for any job; not just those jobs that Americans aren't willing to take. And, our employers will be happy to oblige them if the criminal repercussions in doing so were all gone. Lastly, crime would be rampant as millions would be without any income.

For those who think that our borders should be wide open, just think about the true consequences of doing so. Let's not think that a flood of uncontrolled immigrants would be beneficial to this country; because, it just wouldn't. While it is true that we are a country of immigrants, we did so over time. Not overnight! Therefore, we need to come to a reasonable solution that would provide for "controlled" work entry into this country, with guaranteed jobs, and without destroying the economic and social strengths that have attracted so many to our borders.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

What a Great Country!

Most people don't realize what an economic powerhouse the United States is.

In the 1950's, our country could barely sustain a 6% unemployment rate. Jobs were scarce. More than 80% of the families in America had only a single wage earner. The typical American family unit was made up of a stay-at-home housewife and a working husband; the bread winner.

Today, we have a near 5 percent unemployment rate. Almost 50% of the family units in America are single parents; and, those single parents are almost always working parents. That has added a demand for more jobs in America that had been hardly seen in the 1950's. Additionally, of the remaining two-parent family units, many have two wage earners. Again, our economy has been able to absorb all these additional new workers into our system. Finally, we have somewhere between 10 and 20 million illegal aliens; depending on who you listen to. Most of those people have been absorbed into our economy with some form of job.

If we applied today's broader range of available wage earners to the 1950's, we would have easily exceed a 30% unemployment rate back then. There just wouldn't have been enough available jobs to support today's broader range of workers. What is truly amazing is that our economy, since then, has be able to adjust for the societal changes that have added so many new entries into our workforce; and, done so without batting an eye. I just don't think any other mature economy in the world could have claimed to have done the same.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

All the World's a Candid Camera

Years ago, too many years for those who are now under 40 , there was a prime time, network television show called Candid Camera. Allen Funt, the show's creator and host, would create a comical gag for people to get caught in, and then film their reactions Such a gag might be a box on the floor with a metal plate in it. Then an extremely strong electromagnet, concealed in the floor, could be turned on or off. When it was on, it would make the box impossible for any human to lift the box. Then, Funt would add a little old lady to the scene. She would try and get some burly guy, a passer-by, to help her lift the box and carry it over to another place within camera range. Of course, with the magnet on, no big burly man would be able to lift the box. Then, in frustration, the little old lady would, with the magnet now turned off, just pick up the box and move it herself; embarrassing the burly guy. The comedy was in the face and expression of the burly guy who, just moments before, couldn't move that box. Then the gag would end with the musical theme of the show: "Smile, You're on Candid Camera!"

Well, Candid Camera, as a show, is long gone. However, it lives on, today, in the form of YouTube. Almost everyone has a video camera in their hands in the form of cell phone. Through YouTube we can now see dumb criminals film their own crimes. We can see the most chilling moments of rescues and disasters that have ever been filmed. We see people doing silly things that are legitimately funny; and some that aren't. But, during this election cycle, we get videos of our would-be elected officials doing things that might never be aired on the nightly news.

One such case might be a YouTube video of a "gesture" made by Barack Obama, yesterday, while talking "about" Hillary Clinton. A screen-shot of that "gesture" is pictured above. The bloggers are going nuts with it. My picture is just a "freeze-frame" of that video and it certainly highlights what was done; or, maybe, "thought" to be done. When you run the video through, without a pause, it could easily be "taken" as just a simple "scratch" by Obama; albeit, using that particular finger. (Though. in a previous "scratch," he used his little finger and, after the gesture, he never scratches or touches his face, again) But, the thing that has got the bloggers going, is the crowd reaction to what he does it. Further, he says "she" (Hillary); then, he makes the gesture; and follows with "she" being said again; with her name as bookends to the gesture. Later, he makes he makes other gestures; like cleaning sh*t off his shoes. (Click here to see the video on another blog). I would have never though Obama to be such "the" mime. I always though he was a man of words! If he does make it to President, his discussions with other world leaders are going to be very, very interesting. Anyway, here's a typical blog that is talking about that video: Click here to get a popup link.

I am sure that the Obama team will just brush this one off; sort like Obama "brushing off his shoulders" in that video. If they do respond, I am sure it will be a reprise of his previous and as-usual "being taken out of context" kind of denial. My only point in bringing it up in this blog is the fact that everything and anything is being captured on video today. And, when it comes to the bloggers, they are slicing and dicing anything to get to the most minute details out of things that are said or done. You would think that Mr. Obama would have learned his lesson from his "cling" remark in San Francisco. But, he didn't! I suggest that Mr. Obama, and all the other candidates, watch out because: "Smile, you're on Candid Camera!"

Friday, April 18, 2008

The New Neville Chamberlain

It is too bad Jimmy Carter wasn't around, as an elder statesman, when Hitler and the Nazis ran Germany. If so, Carter would have probably replaced Neville Chamberlain in the history books as the "great appeaser" of the Third Reich. Sadly for Carter, the only "Jew threatening" group that he could find to appease today, is Hamas. Don't get me wrong, Hamas is probably everything that the Nazis were and maybe more, but they just haven't gotten to the level of killing Jews that the Nazis are world famous for. Carter must be hopeful!

So, for the first time in American history, an ex-President of the United States has decided to step into the role of "elevating" a world "thug" like Hamas as a recognized and legitimate political force. If you don't think that is true, just read this comment from the Hamas leader in Gaza, Mahmoud Zahar: "This meeting is a message to those who don't recognize Hamas' legitimacy as a movement." (See Full Story). That's right. Carter is legitimizing a rocket hurling, suicide bombing, killer of Jews, just as Neville legitimized the Nazis before World War II. For that, Jimmy Carter should lose his Nobel Peace Prize.

PS. Hey Jimmy.... I can have a "Have You Hugged Hamas" bumper sticker made for your car! Be the first (and only) on your block!

Not A Shining Moment

One last comment about the ABC Debate on Wednesday.

The left wing bloggers, the press, and extreme liberal commentators are all screaming foul over the debate. They feel that their guy, Barack Obama, was dealt a heavy hand and Hillary Clinton was given a pass. But, all the screaming is because Obama looked "really bad" and, so, his defenders are taking it out on ABC, George Stephanopoulos and Charles Gibson. Believe me, if Obama looked good in that debate, those same people would have lauded Obama for fielding such tough questions. But, Barack looked quite less than "smooth" while he danced around the "cling to guns and religion," the Reverend Wright, and the Ayers questions. In fact, he did a few 180's on what he had previously said on those topics. Further, his (and Hillary's) arguments for getting out of Iraq and raising taxes simply fell flat.

I guess the Barack fans thought that, instead of having a debate, their guy should have had the equivalent of a soft-ball, Larry King-like "don't attack or they won't come back," powder puff type of interview; sort of an audience with the king. But, Barack Obama has a lot of "character" related issues that he has dodged; every step of the way. This is no time for a "Mr. Obama, would you like a pillow" kind of moment as Saturday Night Live once parodied about the media and Barack Obama.

Don't expect those "character" issues about Mr. Obama to go away. His failure to address them, once again, will just fuel more intense curiosity by those in the news media that "aren't" in the bag for Barack Obama .

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Murtha Says McCain Too Old

Yesterday, Democrat John Murtha from Pennsylvania (pictured) said that John McCain was too old to be President (See Full Story). Maybe? Maybe, not? I don't know. But, there's an interesting clue that is "hidden" in our Constitution that just might say that McCain is at the perfect age to be our President and that Barack Obama might be too young to even qualify.

In an ABC News white paper on the "Global Action on Aging," the section on "Introduction to Healthy Aging" (See Full Story) noted the following:
The human life span has been growing dramatically. A person born in 1776 could expect to live 35 years. By the year 1900, the average life span was only 47 years. But a girl baby born today can expect to live 79 years, and a boy baby 72.
I find this interesting. At a time when our forefathers wrote the Constitution, they specified that the President of the United States must be at least 35 years of age. According to the above study on aging, the average lifespan at that time was only 35 years. If that "age" clause was adjusted each year to match the average lifespan of all Americans in this country, then that clause in the Constitution should, today, read that the minimum age to be President should be 72 years. If so, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton would not even be eligible to be President. John McCain would just make it.

Being facetious set aside, I believe that the founders of this country thought it was paramount that experience, as measured by a minimum age of 35, was the minimum criteria, along with citizenship, for being President. Similarly, they imposed no "age" restriction or upper age limit. They left that up to the electorate. The age of John McCain is a legitimate issue. But, it is only legitimate if he shows mental signs of aging. Then, as said earlier, it will be up to the electorate. Because of his age, I believe the electorate will focus more closely than ever before on his choice as V.P. Beyond that, a comment from a John Murtha, now 75 years of age, is way off base and is another example of an attempt by the Democrats to place unfounded doubt in the minds of the electorate.

If age was a real issue in politics, at least 10% of our Congress should be sent to some home for the aged. Perhaps, 50% should be sent to a mental institution! Starting with John Murtha! I think his picture (above) says it all! Does he have any teeth left?

The "Humpty Dumpty" Problem

In last night's ABC News Democratic Debate, Charlie Gibson floated a proposal to both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama that was intended to heal the Democratic Party following their rather self-destructive process in getting the nomination. Gibson referred to Gov. Mario Cuomo's proposal that they, each of them, continue to fight their hard fights for the nomination; right up until the convention. At the end, whoever wins the nomination, would they "now" agree to take the other as their Vice President? With more dancing than could be seen on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" and with Charlie Gibson looking more like the joking host, Tom Bergeron, neither would actually commit to such an idea.

Mario Cuomo's concern is a legitimate one. Right now, as many as 1/3 of the Obama and Clinton supporters are polling that they won't even vote in the Fall, or they will actually vote for McCain if their person doesn't get the nomination. This attitude is showing up in poll after poll. This really sucks the wind out of the Democrat's hopes of taking the Presidency. If you couple this with John McCain's appeal to Reagan Democrats and Independents, as Cuomo astutely senses, then the Democrats have a real problem on their hands. Additionally, let's not forget that Florida and Michigan Democrats may be completely left out of the process and their alienation may also seriously hurt the Democratic Party's hopes in the Fall election.

I am sure that you all remember this little nursery rhyme:
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses and all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again.
It may well be that the Democratic Party will be looking a lot like Humpty Dumpty and, like all the king's men in that rhyme, the Democratic National Committee boss, Howard Dean, and his men (and women) many not be able to put the Party back together again after this year's savage nomination process! It might just be that the Republicans and, specifically John McCain will be eating a big, fat, Democratic-served up omelet in November!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Are We Ready For the Mistakes Of J.F.K., Again

We've seen it all before. In 1960, the electorate got behind a young, dynamic, and good-looking candidate named John F. Kennedy. His speeches moved this country. At that time, he was destined to be the "first" Catholic President. But aside from all that fluff, he had little experience; and in the world of foreign affairs, it showed.

One of the things that JFK gets praise for was the Cuban Missile Crisis. But, that crisis, in my mind and the minds of some historians, was a crisis of his own making. It came about because the then-Premier of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev, saw weakness in John F. Kennedy. He saw weakness when Kennedy miserably failed to properly implement the Bay of Pigs invasion by not supporting that invasion with the proper military backup. The way Kennedy handled the post-Bay of Pigs Invasion negotiation for prisoners was also seen as being weak. Khrushchev saw even more weakness during the earliest meetings with Kennedy. And, that belief was never more evident when Nikita Khrushchev stated this now famous line: "We will bury you!" Khrushchev would never have put missiles in Cuba if he had thought Kennedy was strong. Much of the false memory of this event seems to imply that Kennedy, through his strength and determination, simply made Khrushchev back down and come to his knees. However, Khrushchev only conceded pulling the missiles out of Cuba after we agreed to remove our missiles from the borders of Turkey.

Like Kennedy, Barack Obama feels that we can "talk" to our enemies. Kennedy made this a centerpiece of his Administration when, in his Inaugural Address, he said: "Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate..." Barack Obama has quoted this famous line and made it clear that he, too, will talk to our enemies like Ahmadinejad of Iran. But, "talking" is seen by a dictatorial aggressor like Khrushchev and Ahmadinejad as a form of weakness. To an Ahmadinejad or a Khrushchev, "talks" with the mighty United States give them a sense of power; a sense of equality, or even, superiority. In their minds, the fact that the United States is "talking" to them must mean that the U.S. fears them. It's an adrenaline rush!

Just like Kennedy talking to Khrushchev while Khrushchev was preparing to put missiles into Cuba, you can expect the same kind of goings on from an Ahmadinejad or a Hugo Chavez or a Kim Jong Il, while Obama talks and talks his head off and tries to make nice with these, our enemies.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Well, it's Spring. And, as they say in France:"love is in the air!" So, it is no wonder that Jimmy Carter picked this time of the year to spend some quality time with the terrorist group, Hamas. His meeting with these "killers" was all smiles. And, God knows you can drive a 747 through Jimmy Carter's sh*t-eating grin! He even gave a big hug. (See Full Story)

Isn't love blind?

Shoot-Em-Up Hillary

Following the Barack Obama gaffe over "bitter" Pennsylvanians and their "clinging" to guns, Hillary Clinton just had to prove that she was as "gun toting" as the next gal.

She recounted her childhood when "Pa" Rodham took her out to shoot: "You know, my dad took me out behind the cottage that my grandfather built on a little lake called Lake Winola outside of Scranton and taught me how to shoot when I was a little girl..." There is no indication by Hillary as to what they were shooting back there but, I am assuming that "Pa" made it through the session, "all-rightee"!

One can only guess what a "packin" Hillary could have turned into if she hadn't made it to Yale Law School. Recently, her hubby, Bill, suggested that Hillary actually tried to "enlist" in the Army after graduation. Bill, then, went on to say that she was rejected because her eyesight was really bad. (Not a good thing when you want to shoot at things) Of course, Bill's story, in light of Hillary's Lake Winola experience, now makes a lot of sense. Once you've tasted the "gun" you can't get it out of your blood. Right, Hill? And, God knows, no one has more guns than our military! Really big ones, too! Maybe, that is why she wants to be the Commander-in-Chief. An unfulfilled desire for guns!

I find all too laughable that Hillary now claims she's pro-guns. As a U.S. Senator she's backed every gun control effort in Congress (Click to view Hillary Clinton's record on Gun rights). But, you know that a politician will do anything for the vote. I'll bet she'd publicly "shoot" Bill Clinton if she thought it would buy her some more votes in Pennsylvania. Bill should be careful though! With all that practice as a little girl, she just might shoot him if he keeps bringing up that embarrassing Bosnia airport story one more time "agin"!

Image by Cranky George

They Feel Your Pain but,,,Can They Really Help You?

Next time you hear a candidate for President speak, take a good note of what they are actually saying. More often than not, you will hear them list a litany of ills that exist in America. One thing is sure, most all politicians are good identifying problems. They can talk all day about "hot button" issues that affect "everyday" Americans. You know, those "kitchen table" issues that they know everyone is talking about. But, rarely do they really offer a solution (other than spending money).

Ask yourself. Have those politicians actually done all the things that they said they would do in the last and previous election cycle? The odds are that they might have done the easy ones; the ones everybody agrees on. That's it! Not much more than that. For example, the Democrats promised a number of items in their "A New Direction for America". (Click to Review those Promises from Nancy Pelosi's Webstie). Now, if you look at that list, you will that the only thing that they have really managed to do in the last 2 years is to raise the minimum wage. Beyond that, the tough issues are still open. We are still in Iraq. Oil and gasoline prices have nearly tripled since the Democrats took control of the Congress. College education has gone up nearly 16% in the last two years while real income and wages have gone up less than 5 percent. Like education, health care has gone up nearly 12 percent against real incomes. Certain food prices have double thanks to the Congressional action on increase ethanol usage. And, nothing has been done to improve Social Security or reduce the risk that it will "die" under its on weight in the future.

The best thing you can do when looking at a candidate is to see if they have really done things in there past to make America better. Don't just look at the last year since they started running. Usually, when someone decides to run for an office, they, all of a sudden, try to create a voting or activity record that they can run on. Prior to that, they, literally, may have done nothing! Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John McCain are all Senators. They all have a "history" of working in an elected office. Many sites on the internet can show you the way. For example, the Washington Post has a Voting Record Database on all of our friendly Washington Politicians (Click for a popup to that site). Wikipedia will give you a nice overview of each candidate. And, there are endless resources throughout the internet that can help "cutting through the fog" when it comes to our Presidential and Congressional candidates.

Note: The Democrats would argue that they haven't accomplished what they promised because President Bush and the Republicans haven't worked with them. They knew that President Bush would still be in office and that they would "not" have a "veto-proof" majority when they made all those promises. So, did they tell the truth when they made them? You be the judge.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Why Obama & Clinton Are More Like Herbert Hoover than Bush Will Ever Be

A couple of weeks ago, Senator Schumer (a Democrat from New York) likened President Bush to Herbert Hoover because of the current credit crisis in this country. This is not new from the Democrats. During the run up to the 2004 election cycle, they tried to convince the voters that Bush had lost more jobs than since Herbert Hoover. That "stretch" of a "political lie" never actually materialized. But, the Democrats like to use Herbert Hoover because he was a Republican and because he was in office during the Stock Market Crash of '29 and when the Great Depression started.

Unlike Bush, but not unlike Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama of today, Hebert Hoover was really a protectionist who was against free trade in a simplistic view that job protection was needed to improve the economy. But, his protectionism achieved just the opposite effect. In early 1930, just after the stock market crash of 1929, Hoover signed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act that imposed high importation taxes on over 20,000 products. The result was retaliation by those countries that were affected by this tariff. They blocked the import of U.S. goods into their countries and our exports fell by nearly 60%. This devastated much of the industrial production in America and exacerbated what might have been only a short-term recession. Right now, both Hillary and Barack are hyping the repeal of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and are for the blockage of additional free trade deals with Columbia, Panama, and South Korea. These are small-minded attempts to "give into" the special interests of the AFL-CIO and other labor unions. It plays into the erroneous assumption that jobs have been lost as a result of free trade. In actuality, the repeal of NAFTA and the blockage of other free trade deals could send a negative signal to our trading partners that we might not just stop at the blockage of free trade agreements and that we may be on the verge of reviving trade tariffs. This could ignite a massive round of trade wars. Because we desperately need to sell our products overseas, this could be disastrous to our economy and we could see the same massive unemployment that was ultimately created by the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act.

In 1930, the first half spending by the Federal Government was up by 10% for new government programs. This spending and the associated tax increases and the loss of jobs under Smoot-Hawley helped put America into an economic tail spin. Today, when we might be on the verge of another recession and any new and big government programs like Nationalized Health Care and "green collar" work programs should be avoided; just as in 1929-1930. Both Clinton and Obama have outlined, each, a near trillion dollars in new government spending. Because of the cost of these new programs, both have had to outline new taxes and the elimination of the Bush tax cuts. At best, they can expect to get about $250 billion by eliminating the so-called tax cuts for the rich and by eliminating the cost for the War in Iraq. Therefore, the reality is that taxes will have to be raised across the board to pay for all the new programs they have promised. Those new taxes along with the current high prices for gasoline and food will just take spending money out of the pockets of the average American. This will completely stifle spending on non-essential manufactured goods and services and it could bring our economy to a severe standstill. The ripple effect could be higher and higher unemployment; which was the hallmark of the Great Depression.

It is true that easy credit of the late 1920's was a significant reason for the Crash of 1929 and the subsequent Great Depression. In a way, the default of sub-prime mortgages, today, has it's parallels to the easy credit problems that spawned the Great Depression. Certainly, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama cannot be blamed for those problems. However, their push for new taxes, the blockage of free trade, and massive new spending programs could, in fact, make them the new Herbert Hoover's of our day and push us beyond what might be just a recession and into another full-blown economic depression.

Please note: Economists are not fully in agreement with regard to all the factors that actually contributed to the Great Depression. It is certainly more complex than I have outlined above. However, the things that I have noted were generally regarded as the most significant issues that pushed us into the Great Depression.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Another Insight into the Obama Belief System

One thing that Mr. Uniter, Barack Obama, loves to do is paint all White Americans with a broad stereotyping brush. He calls White Americans "typical whites" when he tries to justify the rants of his Pastor, Jeremiah Wright. Now, in the latest "typifying" and "stereotyping" of white, small-town America (primarily Pennsylvania), he said this:

"You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothings replaced them. And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

So, religion and guns are the result of job losses. Stupid small-town Americans cling to them as if they are fool hardy in doing so. We know that Barack believes in gun control. Maybe we should control religion, too. Is that what he is saying?

Maybe, small town America does have guns. They probably had them long before the steel mills were closed, Mr. Obama! They use them to hunt and as a form of recreation. They don't use them as some cowardly method for the drive-by killing of each other as you see in some other places in America. And, yes, they go to Church; but, they generally do it as a "complete" family unit. And, they believe in the good and in love of their neighbors. The church services are filled with messages of love and not hate for other races, religions, or our government. It is their faith that gets them through hard times. Religion is a belief system and a family thing. It isn't an activity that is reserved for the women and children of a busted family unit because the men are in jail, selling drugs, pimping, or just plain out of the picture because they don't want to be bothered with kids and a woman. How's that for stereotyping and typifying some Americans, Mr. Obama! I think it is flat wrong for me to do it; and, it is flat wrong for "you" to make those kind of broad-based comments, too!

It should be noted that Mr. Obama has had a chance to retract or clarify his comments. However, as of this morning, he has personally said that he stands by his inflamatory words.

UPDATE: In order to soften Mr. Obama's words, the Mr. Obama (himself), his campaign, and the left wing press are all focusing on the fact as to whether of not the voters of small town Pennsylvania are "bitter" about losing their jobs. In doing so, they are attempting to sidestep the comments by Barack Obama that were the most inflammatory; that is, that they "cling" to "religion" and "guns" as if they were the behaviors of disparate people. Further, this equation of "guns" and "religion" imply that both are bad things. This is a belief that "some" on the extreme left believe. It is an arrogance that we see with the likes of John Edwards, Al Gore, and John Kerry. While probably too late, Hillary Clinton has real leg up on this issue over Mr. Obama.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Misspoke Defense

Lately, the term "misspoke" is being used as an excuse for every calculated political lie and jab out on this year's campaign trail. When caught or embarrassed by what they said, the politician simply says "I misspoke" and, then, expects full and complete absolution. Hillary said she "misspoke" when she told that blatant lie about her situation when she visited Bosnia. Recently, Senator Jay Rockefeller said he "misspoke" when he claimed that John McCain "dropped bombs from 30,000 feet" onto people and, effectively, didn't care what happened after that.

So there is no confusion, the primary definition of the word "misspoke" is: To speak, utter, or pronounce incorrectly.

Typically, someone "misspoke" when they accidentally said a wrong word or the wrong name of something. Probably, the most common example of this is when someone says "good morning" when they really meant to say "good evening". Not until this year did politicians actually decide to redefine the word "misspoke" by including whole oratories in the form of lengthy commentaries or stories like Hillary's death defying trip into Bosnia.

Who are these people kidding? Hillary read from a teleprompter script when she told her Bosnia story. Jay Rockefeller gave a lengthy dissertation about McCain that he obviously thought about; long before he actually said it. It was a narrative and not just a flub of a word or two.

What next? A whole book? Then, when author gets sued or called on it, he or she can just say: "I am sorry. I misspoke!"

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Desensitizing the Jeremiah Wright Scandal

I don't know if you've made note of it but, there's some subtle changes in the way Barack Obama now presents himself since the Reverend Wright scandal broke:
  1. He is starting to use "God Bless America" as he signs off from various political rallies.
  2. Whenever possible, several United States flags will fill the space behind him.
  3. He always refers to Jeremiah Wright as his "former" Pastor or as the "retired" Pastor.
  4. He marginalizes the anti-American, Racists, and anti-Jewish remarks by referring to them as a few "snippets" from 30 years of Sermons and Speech given by Wright.
Believe me, this is all intentional and has been well thought out by Barack's handlers. The purpose is to minimize the Reverend Wright issue in the minds of the voting public. The intent is to make it all seem like such a "little thing" and something that was all in the past; even though Wright didn't actually retire until just a few weeks ago. The flags and the "God Bless America" sign-off are both intended to give a sense of patriotism and establish and reinforce the realism of his Christianity.

From the polls, it appears it is working with Democrats in the race for the nomination. Of course, Hillary has made that job easier will all her "lying" problems. However, I am not sure that it will work in the General Election battle. We'll see!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A Flame Out?

In more danger than Hillary Clinton when she visited Bosnia, the Olympic Torch and Flame was shepherded into San Francisco last night under the full cover of darkness. Like snipers, the protesters are scattered along the Torch's route in the City by the Bay; each with the intent of extinguishing the life out of it. Even the self-proclaimed Tibetan Buddhist, actor Richard Gere (actually born in Pennsylvania with lineage back to the Mayflower), is there in order to heighten the intensity of this show. (I guess a real Tibetan Buddhist wasn't available for today's events) And, the San Fransisco Police are on high alert. They will be providing protection for the Torch as if the city was being visited by the Queen of England.

Back in Washington, Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi are calling for President Bush to boycott the Opening Ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics. Bush has been defiant with the intent of attending the ceremonies but separately confronting China's President on the issue of Tibet. I guess Clinton and Pelosi, Democrats who are always yapping about the fact that Bush doesn't engage enough world leaders on issues, must think that engaging China on Tibet would be a waste of time. In their minds, the only thing that will bring China (that rising Super Power with nukes) to its knees is by boycotting the Opening Ceremonies. I suspect that Clinton's "real" plan, if Bush would only listen, is to have the President boycott the ceremonies and, if that doesn't work, invade China and free Tibet. (I'm sure she'll call for invasion of China, soon, if her poll numbers keep slipping in Pennsylvania)

The trouble with all these protests and Clinton/Pelosi strategies is that it won't make a difference on the issue over Tibet. Does anyone think that China will actually change it's stance on Tibet if some latte-sated twenty-something is actually able to extinguish the Torch in San Francisco? Not hardly! Will China crumble if Bush isn't warming a seat at the Opening Ceremonies? I don't think so!

The issue between China and Tibet goes all the way back to the 1700's and it has been a diplomatic issue for both the Clinton and Bush Administrations; with no avail. My guess is that it will probably be an issue for the next President and, probably, many Presidents after that. In order to bring this to a head, the world community has to band together through the United Nations. However, trying to get that peace-keeping body in agreement on anything is like trying to spread peanut butter on top of water with a knife.

A Senate Hearing. But, Are They Listening?

Today, General David Petraeus went before various Senate committees to give testimony as to the status of the War in Iraq. I guess the "supposed" purpose of his testimony is to provide "information" to the Senate so they could, in theory only, make up their minds about the war. Sadly, their minds are already made up. They aren't listening to anything General Petraeus might have to say. There is no amount of words and charts that General Petraeus could provide that would change that.

Each of the Senators opens their time for questioning with their "own" prepared statement before they ask even a single question of General Petraeus. If that Senator is a Democrat and, most certainly against the war, they will outline all the negatives about the war. Similarly, if the Senator is a Republican and believes that the War should proceed, then their prepared statement will indicate how well things are going. In either case, their eventual line of questioning will be such that it either attacks Petraeus (for those Democrats against the War) or seeks to get answer that support the effort (as in the case of most Republicans).

Make no mistake. These are not hearings. These are not fact finding sessions. These are political soap boxes where the game of "gotcha" is paramount. I guess that's why the American public has so much disrespect for our elected officials in this country.

Energy & Carbon Reductions on the Cheap

Now, don't get me wrong, I am not a tree-hugger by any stretch of the imagination. However, I do believe that we, as a country, waste tons of energy; and, consequently, tons of money. That's obvious from the fact that 25% of the entire world's oil production fuels our needs.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have proposed billions of dollars for green-collar jobs. But, these are massive pie-in-sky programs that may or may not pan out. Much of their "stump speech ideas" involve technologies like wind and solar that have an upward battle in terms of high cost and efficiency; and, in in terms of court battles with the environmentalists.

To me, a simpler solution is already at hand. It involves the lowly, incandescent light bulb. There are over 300 million people in this country of ours. And, every night, most of us have two or more incandescent lights bulbs turned on in our homes, our businesses, and in hotel/motel rooms to satisfy our needs. Often, we have lights on in rooms we aren't even occupying. And, more often than not, those light bulbs are the traditional, energy wasting incandescent light bulb.

An alternative is the Compact Fluorescent Light bulb or CFL. It uses one-fifth to one-sixth of the energy of a standard incandescent light bulb while putting out the same amount of light. However, the downside is the cost of a CFL. One CFL bulb will cost more than 5 times the cost of a standard light bulb. That is what prevents it from widespread use, especially for the low income families in America. Even the middle class avoid them because of the up-front cost; although the long term cost savings would be significant.

For less than a billion dollars a year, our Federal government could implement a coupon program whereby every family in the United States could obtain, free of charge, two CFL bulbs per year. Businesses could also be afforded these coupons. At the end of 10 years, such a program will have replaced most of the high usage incandescent bulbs in this country. In doing so, it would break down the cost barrier that has prevented the CFL's widespread use to date. The energy reduction would be significant and we would still have spent less than any of the programs proposed by the current Presidential candidates. Just my opinion.

Monday, April 7, 2008

He's Back! Will She Apologize?

This week, General Petraeus will return from Iraq to give Congress an update and the latest report on Iraq. The last time General Petraeus sat before the United States Senate in testimony about the improvements in Iraq, Hillary Clinton said this about him: "I think that the reports that you provide to us really require a willing suspension of disbelief."

I think it is interesting that Hillary, who now looks like the "queen of lying" (based on her recent and her past fictionalized stories), had the gall to call a decorated General of the United States military a liar to his face. Fortunately, Petraeus had the class to avoid any conflict from that venomous attack by Hillary Clinton.

We all knew then, as we all more so know now, that the surge was and is still working. So, Hillary Clinton was quite off base with her remarks. Don't expect this "Pinocchio of the Senate" to even attempt an apology for her last comments. That is a genetic impossibility for someone with the surname of "Clinton"; whether by birth or by marriage!

Presidential Nannying

One thing is clear in this election cycle, trying to reign in all outrageous comments by surrogates and affiliates is becoming a monumental effort on the part of all the Presidential wanna-be's.

In the most recent case, Ed Schultz, a liberal talk radio host, called John McCain a "warmonger" in a warm-up to an Obama event. Obama, as usual and in the tradition of his Jeremiah Wright problem, claimed he didn't hear the comment. (He was probably in the bathroom or something "convenient" like that) Anyway, it is unclear as to whether or not he would have done anything about it, even if he did hear it. Since that comment, John McCain asked for Obama to condemn it in an effort to keep things focused on the issues and to stop the personal attacks. Again, in the tradition of the Jeremiah Wright scandal, an Obama spokesperson didn't condemn Ed Schultz directly. Instead, as to not upset his left-wing base, the spokesperson said that McCain is not a warmonger; but nothing was said about Ed Schultz, directly. I guess Obama couldn't disavow Ed Schultz anymore than he could disavow his own Grandmother! You know, the all-occasion Grandma defense!

So far this year, all three of the candidates have had to act as a "nanny" more than once this year. Of particular note, each of the 3 candidates had these significant events:
  1. John McCain has had to answer for Bill Cunningham, a right wing talk show host who made several comments about Barack Obama's middle name of Hussein.
  2. Hillary had to apologize for a comment by Geraldine Ferraro that Obama wouldn't be doing as well if he wasn't Black.
  3. Finally, Obama has had to retreat on his adviser, Samantha Power, for her calling Hillary Clinton a "monster". And, the list goes on and is sure to get longer as these campaigns get more heated in the Fall.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Bill and Hill's 109 Mill

Well, after weeks of calls by the Obama team for Hillary Clinton to release her tax info, Bill and Hillary finally released their tax filings since 2000. For sure, life has been "very, very, good" to these two since leaving the White House. Book deals, presidential retirement pay, senatorial pay, speaking engagements and other "arrangements" with foreign governments and/or individuals have netted the Clinton's a cool $109 million in income over the period. (See Full Story).

Forgotten in this number is the fact that the Clinton's once "begged" for help in paying for their legal defense bills associated with Whitewater and the Monica Lewinsky scandal. (See Full Story). Feeling sorry for the Clinton's and worrying that they might be "destitute" upon leaving the Presidency, many Clinton loyalists anted up about $8.7 million to pay their legal fees. Boy, were those people wrong! I don't suppose Bill and Hillary would even entertain the idea of reimbursing all those who paid their legal fees; now that they have all this new found wealth. Would they?

Fact-Checking Hillary: A Full-Time Job

Well, the inevitable happened again! Hillary got caught in another whopper.

This time it had to do with a pregnant Black woman who was uninsured and she and her baby died because a hospital refused her care. To make it worse, as Hillary told it, if only she had $100, the hospital would have cared for her; and, her life and the life or her baby would have been saved. (See Full Story).

Certainly, Hillary jumped on this story because it was so perfect for her as a Democrat. It had all the elements that a Democrat looks for to paint a bad picture of America. It had a poor, Black, pregnant woman. She had no health insurance. And that mean ogre of a hospital, like all hospitals and health care providers in America, refused her care and she and her baby died. Of course, it was so "perfectly disgusting" as a story that Hillary couldn't wait to tell it before making sure it was accurate. And, so happy with this lie, she continued to tell it for 5 weeks on the campaign trail. After all, it sounded just like the America that Hillary was so familiar with.

Of course, Hillary Clinton, as a United States Senator who has made health care such a prominent issue of her campaign, should have "known" that something didn't smell right with this story. In fact, if it had actually happened as Hillary said it did, it would have been a violation of Federal Law. That's because the 1986 Federal Law, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), requires all hospitals and ambulance services to provide care to anyone needing emergency treatment or who is in labor; regardless of their citizenship, their legal status or their ability to pay. That's why so many illegal aliens come here to have their babies. Further, as specified by the law, all hospitals post a placard in their emergency rooms that clearly states the provisions of that law. This law and the guarantee of emergency care is one of the many reasons why we have 47 million Americans without health insurance in this country.

Instead of telling this phony story of "woe" in order to bolster her political agenda, she actually should have been calling for a criminal investigation against that hospital for violating a Federal law. Of course, that too, would have blown up in her face because that action would have been based on a false story. Oh well! Maybe, it would be better if Hillary tried something "original" like telling the truth for a change!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Obama's Dwindling Coalition

I think it is all but sure that Barack Obama will get the nomination of the Democratic Party. Paired against Hillary Clinton, he really didn't get a landslide of votes. Hillary actually did better in big states and in traditional primary type elections. Barack Obama got his number one position by mostly appealing to Blacks and White males. And, that may be a problem for Obama in this Fall's general election.

If you look at California as a micro-view of the general election, Barack Obama only got 29 percent of the Hispanic vote while Hillary Clinton got 69 percent. This is a problem for Obama. Unfortunately for Barack, the Black v. Hispanic race-based politics may play a bigger part in a possible loss in the Fall than any Black v. White issue. Over the years, Black and Hispanics have become at odds with each other. Blacks view Hispanics as "job takers" because Hispanics are willing to work for lower wages. To get a feeling of the animosity of these two races, you need only look at our schools and, surprisingly, our prisons. In both cases, you will find that Blacks tend to segregate themselves more strongly away from both Whites and Hispanics. Much of this has a lot to do with neighborhood gangs which tend to be mostly comprised of these two races. In the fall, Senator Obama might find that the traditionally strong Hispanic vote may go for McCain or just might stay home on election day.

Another problem that Obama may have is within the Jewish community. His affiliation with Reverend Wright may do him more harm with this typically strong Democratic voting group. Wright's anti-Jewish views and his support of the truly anti-Jewish Louis Farrakhan has not really been addressed by Obama. He also has some known pro-Palestinian/anti-Jewish members on his advisory team like the retired General Tony McPeak. Like the Hispanic votes, this voting block may not turn out at all or, worse yet, vote for McCain who is a strong Jewish ally.

In recent polls, about 28% of Hillary Democrats said they would "defect" if Hillary didn't get the nomination. Most of those were women. This is really a gray area. It is sort of like listening to Rush Limbaugh saying he won't vote Republican if McCain gets the nomination. But, the women's vote is even a bigger voting block for the Democrats than males. They tend to show up on election day while men might be a little more inclined to stay home. The real issue is whether or not women will be so turned off by not having their day in the sun over "another" male getting the Presidency and whether or not some will stay home on election day. Some might feel that this was going to be a major step for women and it was being snatched away by Barack Obama. Consequently, if even a third of those 28 percenter's don't vote that day or vote against Obama, it could be another significant voting block that could swing things to McCain's way.

Another problem facing Obama is the fact that polling is being skewed to his favor by "lying". Yes, that's right...lying! Pollster's like Pat Cadell, who helped Jimmy Carter get into office, have noted polling inconsistencies that might be reflecting an overstating of who will actually vote for Barack Obama. The way this shows up is in the details. Within the same poll results, you might see higher poll numbers for Hillary or McCain on specific issues and on favorability. Then, when the issue of "who will you vote for" comes up, you see higher numbers for Barack Obama. This indicates some lying to the pollsters. It may be that, on the phone and in front of your listening spouse or family, the polling respondent will say they are voting for Obama but have no intention of doing so on election day. The extent to which this is going on is hard to say.

Obama's problems may be in all these numbers. Recent history has shown that the winning popular vote is usually only within two percent of the votes for either candidate. In the case of Gore v. Bush, Gore actually won the popular vote but lost the election to the electoral vote count. For this reason, Obama can't afford to lose any of the typical coalition of Democratic voters. John McCain has demonstrated his appeal to Independents and the Reverend Wright issue may have limited Senator Obama's chances with that group. To have Democrats cross over to McCain or fail to show up at the polls could seriously hurt Obama's chances of winning.