Category Archives: Paul Ryan

News From An Alternate Universe (one not filled with idiots):

[January 20th 2014 (From an Alternate Universe)]:

His first year in office has been a hectic but rewarding one…depending on who you ask. According to Republicans Romney has presided over the greatest economic recovery in the nation’s history while reestablishing America’s place in the world as the shinning city on the hill. According to Democrats he is taking credit for gains made by former president Obama, targeting his political adversaries, making the world unsafe while hurting the average American.

The battle between narratives began even before Romney began his term of office. Shortly after Romney squeezed a close victory over Obama.  Aided by several close calls in Senate races Romney had apparently not only won the White House but also a GOP controlled House and Senate. However this victory was not one that would give Romney much pleasure. Within hours of the election Democrats filed numerous lawsuits claiming voter irregularities (which eventually led to Justice Scalia asking White House counsel exactly which Obama voters were turned away by the Black Panthers). Screams of the Republicans stealing the election continued throughout the month (and never fully stopping through the first year of Romney’s presidency with news outlets like the New York Times running at least

If you listened to some in the Libertarian party, these two are to the left of FDR...sane people know there is a difference between these guys and their opposition.

one story, on inconsistencies of the election every month).

But December turned to brighter news when 230 companies in The Fortune 500 announced that they would be putting in place major expansions in the US and around the world, similar moves by smaller companies were seen in every industry. At this point, Obama, in what critics have described as the pettiest speech in presidential history, took to his last televised speech to state that these massive expansions were proof that his policies worked and that all of America would come to regret their choice and Romney’s policies would erase all the gains that they were now beginning to see.  Republicans and several CEO’s responded that the sudden economic growth was in response to Obama leaving and the hope that came with a new president–but that hasn’t stopped Democrats from calling the past year’s growth the Obama Renaissance. Those economic gains in average increase of take home pay of $3,000, unemployment dropping to 6.3% despite record high workforce participation numbers, a slowing of inflation (believed partly due to the ending of quantized easing they immediately followed President Romney’s signing of a  bill to audit the Federal Reserve). Part of this economic growth is being attributed to the lower regulatory burden due to Romney revoking 95% of all Obama and Bush era executive orders regulations within the first 3 months.  But also being attributed to this is the complete hiring freeze for all non-military positions put in place by the Romney administration in an attempt to lower federal work force due to attrition, and through the mass exodus in many government offices after Romney put in place internal reviews in all department in the wake of the IRS scandal.

A main point of the early days of the Romney administration was seeing the immediate repeal of Obamacare.  Pushed through with only minimal support from Democrats (although insiders on the Hill admit the bill was not stopped in the Senate as no one wanted to be blamed for the disaster they believed would come from more provisions being put in place).  Republicans have charged that their putting in special funds for preexisting conditions, repealing the bans on insurance crossing state lines, and reform of patent laws and FDA regulations regarding drugs have already helped to lower insurance prices and increase overall coverage.  Democrats have charged that this has still left millions uninsured, even though more companies are now offering medical insurance plans as group plans that can cross state borders have dropped rapidly in price.  Vice President Paul Ryan spoke specifically on this point saying that if Obamacare had been allowed to stay in place then millions would have had their insurance canceled and the Republican plans have saved Americans from this outcome.  In rebuttal the always erudite former Vice President Joe Biden called Ryan’s statement “Not just malarkey but fucking bullshit.  There is no proof that anyone would have lost coverage.  That’s just a Republican lie. No one would have lost their coverage.  No one would have lost their doctor.”

As the Republican takeover of the Senate has allowed Romney to pass over 42 points of his 59 point plan already, the
planreduced spending and regulations are being claimed by business to be responsible for most of the economic recovery being seen across the country as well as helping economic recovery in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Republicans specifically point to the fact that fuel prices have dropped by nearly a dollar on average with the advent of higher levels of fracking, shale oil production and the construction of the Keystone pipeline.

President Romney has not been as lucky abroad in all foreign matters.  With the support of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, and Qatar (and the rumored support of the Egyptian military and Jordan) the U.S. and Israel conducted heavy tactical strikes on all Iranian nuclear bases and Revolutionary Guard bases.  While publically condemning the actions of Israel and US, Middle Eastern governments have made no move against Israel.  Democrats in the US have claimed that Romney is a warmonger like Bush before him.  The Romney administration and Secretary of State John Bolton have been quick to point out that Hezbollah has made no attacks on Israel since the strike on Iran and has begun to disintegrate as the brewing civil war in Iran has dried up all funding for the terrorist network.  However this has not saved the President from critiques from his own party.  Senator John McCain has pointed out that without Iran to funnel Russian resources to former Syrian dictator Assad, Assad regime quickly fell.  McCain has called Romney a butcher for letting Syria fall to al-Qaida linked terrorists, stating that “only a fool would have backed butchers like the rebels in Syria.”  Some have claimed hypocrisy on McCain’s part for early support of the rebels and that he is merely continuing in a pattern of always attacking his own party when it will get him good press, but the McCain spokespeople have dismissed this.

Secretary Bolton has also pointed out that American strength has caused China to relinquish its saber rattling efforts in the South Seas and put more pressure on North Korea, where a military coup has resulted in placing the military in power and Kim Jong-Un in front of a firing squad.   While there are claims that there was CIA help in the coup, which has resulted in record numbers of relief workers being allowed into North Korea and claims that the work camps are being disbanded, liberals like former Senate Leader Harry Reid state that the US foreign policy had nothing to do with this and Kim’s regime would have toppled even under Obama’s leadership.

As President Romney has encouraged increased trade in Eastern Europe with three new trade treaties, Easter Europe is also feeling an economic boom.  This has placed Russia on an odd footing as Poland, and Hungary have put orders with American defense contractors for large shipments to reinforce their militaries.  This has been signaled as a sign of strength against President Putin’s attempt to flex his muscles over Eastern Europe. Putin has been attempting to make new in-roads around the world since the fall of his allies in Syria and the Iranian attack, but has been thwarted repeatedly by economic prosperity being brought by American investment across the globe.

President Romney pointed to his policies having helped make Iraq and Afghanistan more stable in a long term process to fully get out of Afghanistan and to remove even advisors from Iraq earlier this month from a speech in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, once the site of a major battle during the early days of the Iraq War.  Romney was heavily criticized for responding to Iraqi requests for more advisors, weapons, and Special Forces units near the beginning of the year.  “We have made great strides to bringing peace to both Iraq and Afghanistan,” Romney said in his Fallujah speech, “but as much as we might want to just leave these two battle fronts, that is merely a short term vision.  We have to make it so that we not only can leave, but that we don’t have to come back.”

Romney has also taken heavy criticism from the right. Commentators like Mark Levin and other pundits associated with the Tea Party have repeatedly said that while his economic plans are doing wonders he has not pushed hard enough on social issues.  “Yeah sure, stopping all funding from going to Planned Parenthood is a start, but this RINO has made no effort to push to outlaw gay marriage or abortion.”  Romney has responded to some of these critiques often with his repeated line, “Just as I said I found it odd when the Massachusetts Supreme Court found the right to gay marriage in the Massachusetts Constitution John Adams wrote, I also find it odd that some people seem to find powers over state business in the Constitution Madison wrote.  I am personally opposed to some of these things, but I don’t see anything in the Constitution that gives me the right to do anything about this.”

Attorney General Rudy Giuliani has also been a sticking point for the Romney administration’s first year.  Hitting the ground running with investigations in the Fast and Furious, Benghazi and IRS scandals (among others) has drawn nothing but calls of partisanship from Democrats.  While IRS official Lois Learner and former UN Ambassador Susan Rice have been indicted on numerous charges the actual targets of the investigation, former Secretaries Holder and Clinton are still unindicted—but rumors continue to swirl about their eventual trials. Also a contention point with civil libertarians is the prosecution of former NSA contractor who after leaking sensitive information to reporter Glen Greenwald about the inner workings of the NSA was captured and extradited from China.  He currently has no access to the press and is under indictment for espionage and treason. Both Secretaries Bolton and Giuliani assure the press that Snowden will stand trial and that they will seek the death penalty.  While the full extent of what information he stole from the NSA is still unclear, sources within the intelligence agency suggest he stole more than enough information to ruin US intelligence.

While there have been some critiques from the Tea Party that Romney has not put in long term reforms on the budget, Vice President has pointed out, “Look, we spent most this year cleaning up the mess left by the last presidency.  We have bills on the table to reform Medicaid, Medicare, other long term debt issues, and immigration coming up this year.  We couldn’t get everything done in one year if we wanted to do it right.  We are actually in the black for this coming year, if only by a small amount, and with any luck we will place major reforms that will allow us to start paying deep into the principle of our debt next year.”  Ryan added, “You have to deal in reality, while we have control of the Senate we still have to make sure we have enough support to get past filibuster rules.  I know some pundits want us to revoke those rules but that would degrade everything the Senate stands for in being a deliberative body and we have no desire to ruin the nature of the republic just to get a few more bills passed.”

Overall, despite the booming economy, President Romney’s first has been met by attacks from many sides, with both the left and the right unhappy with him. Still the White House seems confident that they will be able to put in all of their desired reforms within the next three years and keep the economy growing and American stable.  “My hope is that I don’t have to run ever again.”  With the State of the Union just a couple days away it is believe the the President’s theme of the speech will be a continuation of his campaign theme taking the form of line which has been leaked by White House insiders “If you believe in America and get out of its way, which we have, you will see a force of innovation, creation and hope that can never be rivaled.”

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Filed under American Exceptionalism, Conservative, Election 2012, GOP, Government is corrupt, Mitt Romney, Obama, Paul Ryan, People Are Stupid, politics

10 Suggestions to Improve Healthcare After Obamacare is Killed

Rep. Paul Ryan budget proposal

The Path to Prosperity is still the first step we need to take to getting back to sanity. It may not have everything conservatives and libertarians want, but it is the first real step in right direction in a long time.

So this week started out with Paul Ryan stating that he is still planning on the complete repeal of Obamacare. And from what he said before his keynote speech at CPAC…I’m laying even odds that he starts a chorus of “Do You Hear the People Sing” and leads a march to build a barricade around the White House.

But it’s good to know that the crusade to end what is perhaps the worst bill in memory (it’s hard to say it’s the worst bill of all time when you have to compare it to the terrible socialist bills of FDR and LBJ’s presidencies)…still this bill is pretty close to being the straw that broke the camel’s back for this country and it must go before we can fix all the other monstrosities.

But liberals, being the whiny brainless sort that they are will whine “but medical costs are too high. But people have a right to insurance. But people have a right to  healthcare!”
Ignoring the simple fact that healthcare isn’t a right by any stretch of the imagination and that if you need healthcare, get a job and earn it, let’s deal with their claim that medical costs are too high.

I would agree medical costs are too high. But, like a bad doctor, liberals want to treat the symptom not the disease. Healthcare costs too much, throw money at it; that should cut the costs.

Conservatives however, like to determine the causes of high costs, which is the disease and treat that. So what are the causes of high costs (hint, it’s not the private sector)?

(Everything that will follow will assume that Obamacare has been justly killed because there is nothing in the bill that should be saved).

So what are the three main costs to medical care: Insurance, doctor’s/hospital bills, and drug costs?

So how do we cut insurance costs?

Suggestion #1
Tort Reform. Tort Reform. Tort Reform.
Every state that has instituted tort reform has seen medical costs drop, the number of doctors increase, the number of unnecessary procedures drop like a rock and even the number of deaths drop. If the federal government and every state were to institute real and sweeping tort reform you would see every single thing you buy drop in price, but you would probably see the biggest increase in the quality of medicine.

Suggestion #2

We allow insurance companies to cross state lines. Right now all insurance companies are banned from selling insurance across state lines. Look at any insurance card you have. Farmer’s Insurance of California. Blue Cross of Arizona. There may be a national corporation, but it owns 50 separate corporations in 50 different states. That’s a lot of overhead. It also stifles competition. A smaller company can’t expand beyond its own state because it can’t afford to set up a whole infrastructure to have a multi-state operation. This limits competition, and as anyone knows the less competition the higher the prices. If we remove the federal block against insurance crossing state lines you will see drops in every form of insurance you have: medical, car, house.

Just those two things would easily drop the cost of health insurance to probably 90% of its pre-Obamacare costs, perhaps more.

But why stop there? Doctor’s bills themselves also contribute to a large portion of the costs. So what can we do there?

Well a lot of the initial costs come from the fact that when doctors start their career they are laden with college and med school debt. Obscene levels of debt. So let’s fix that.

Suggestion #3
The reason why college costs are so high is because the federal government subsidizes them at outrageous prices. Subsidies always increase costs. Always! So cut all tuition subsidies and grants. Within a year you will see college costs drop. Now this won’t have an immediate effect as the doctors without massive debt will be years away from entering the market, but long term this will not only solve part of our medical problem but our massive college debt problem.

But part of the reason why doctors charge so much is because they know that Medicare and Medicaid aren’t going to pay them their full billing price, so to stay in business this has a threefold fix.

Suggestion #4
Adopt the Ryan Plan which will allow more competition in Medicare and Medicaid, which will both ensure doctors get better payment AND lower the cost to the taxpayer for these costs.

Suggestion #5
In a second step we need to move as much of Medicare and Medicaid costs to the states as possible. While the private sector does better when done on large scale, government and bureaucracy work in the exact opposite manner. The closer any government program is to the people the more efficient and the lower the cost. Lower costs means that Medicaid and Medicare will be able to get closer to pay 100% of doctors’ asking prices for their services (not to mention more doctors taking Medicare and Medicaid patients) which means they will be able to drop their prices for the rest of us and still make a tidy profit for their practice.

Suggestion #6
Increase the penalties for Medicaid and Medicare fraud. We’re talking about nearly $500 Billion in fraud every year. $500,000,000,000.00! I’ll let that number wash over you for a second. That’s one of the main reasons why Medicaid and Medicare can’t afford to pay full price to doctors. Now while I generally don’t believe the government should criminalize more things or come up with even stronger punishments, fraud is something even the most libertarian government must prosecute and fraud against the government doubly so. Penalties and enforcement need to be much stronger. If there’s $500 Billion in fraud it means the risk is much, much lower than the reward. Much lower. If we have to get a little Draconian, so be it, we need to make it very clear that the risk is now worth the reward.

Now the cost of drugs is also an issue. So how do we lower the costs of drugs (and liberals throwing money all willy-nilly at research never works).

However there are things we can do.

Suggestion #7
Allow drug patents to start when the FDA approves the drug. Right now a drug patent (20 years) begins when the drug is patented. So when a drug takes 10-15 years to get FDA approval. This means that the company only has 5-10 years to recoup all of the cost of not only research for that drug, but of all the other drugs that failed. So they have to recoup all of their investment for all R&D in only 5 years. And you wonder why the cost is so high. If we started the 20 year clock when the FDA grants approval they would have more time to recoup costs and thus would not need to charge as much.

Suggestion #8
Reform the FDA. Right now the FDA prevents human testing of experimental drugs on willing patients with terminal diseases….because the drug might kill them. You know if I have a terminal disease the last thing I care about is if a drug will kill me, because I know for a fact the disease will. A lot of medical costs are in cancer treatment; to allow willing patients to try experimental drugs could not only rapidly speed up research (thus cutting costs to a fraction of their current levels) but actually find some cures and real treatments to one of the biggest costs in the medical industry.

And then there are some other things we could do that could help medical care. Nanny’s in the government like to talk to us a lot about eating healthier which is odd since government programs are designed to make sure we don’t eat healthier.

Suggestion #9
End all government subsidies, tariffs, and controls for agriculture. We pay people to grow tobacco, we pay them to grow sugar, we pay them to leave ground fallow. We even pay people to grow corn only to be turned into fuel (ironically it takes over a gallon of fuel to produce a gallon of corn ethanol…that’s efficient.) When you subsidize something you get more of it. And you wonder why it’s hard to get healthy food. Yes, ending subsidies and tariffs on sugar would initially drop the price of sugar, but it would also result in less being produced which would again raise the price. It would also leave more ground for producing the fruits and vegetables we’re not getting right now because fresh food is so overpriced.

Suggestion # 10
And while we’re at it, if we want people to eat healthier maybe we could stop regulations on food. Stop sending SWAT teams at raw milk distributors, stop fining people for having their own gardens of fresh food, stop preventing the Amish from taking fresh food across state lines. You know little things like that.

Special Idea #11 Fluoridation
Now I usually hate talking about fluoridation. Why? Because so many wacko conspiracy theorist nuts think it’s some grand government conspiracy to control people. It’s not. It was, as with most government actions, a well meaning but idiotic plan. Let’s put fluoride in the water to strengthen their teeth (we can’t trust people with their own hygiene). Yeah let’s put a substance in the water that causes lower IQ’s, higher cancer rates and drastically lowers the thyroid gland (which might have something to do with obesity). What could possibly go wrong? You know between the expansion of the dental industry, better access to toothpaste, and personal responsibility I think our teeth are fine. Let’s stop fluoridating water.

Special Idea #12 

Walmart and other such stores apparently want to get into the healthcare business.  I say let them.  They want to open small clinics.  Honestly what they’re proposing will basically act as a triage center.  They will tell all the people with just a cough to just get Sudafed, treat the small wounds, and thus clean up the real traffic at urgent care and the ER.  This will almost certainly cut down costs from needless tests.

Notice something about this. With the exception of #6, involving the prosecution of criminals (a proper function of government), each and every one of these calls for less government not more. Why? Because government and regulation are what is causing so many problems.

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Filed under Budget, Capitalism, Congress, Conservative, Economics, Evils of Liberalism, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, Health Care, Long Term Thinking, Obama, Paul Ryan, politics

A sincere and honest question…Judeo-Christian Values? What are they?

The term “Judeo-Christian Values” is bandied about a lot in public discourse.   Yes it dropped off a little after Rick “I want to use the government to institute a theocracy” Santorum dropped out* last year but it seems to be making a comeback.

So I have to ask, again, what are Judeo-Christian values?  How are they important to politics?  And how do they differ from other religions?

Now maybe it’s just as a non-Christian I’m not getting something that you understand as someone who practices this religion.

Now it’s not that I don’t understand the obvious differences between Christianity or Judaism and other religions.  But I don’t see how the differences I do know about have any effect on government. The truth and virtue of capitalism and democratic-Republics are just as true whether you believe in the Trinity/Yaweh, or Braham and Shiva.  The saving power of grace in most of Christianity has little to do with politics, as far as I can see it.  And just because one tribe of people has a very particular contract with God, it doesn’t negate the importance of the rule of law for everyone else.   The differences I can think of don’t have any effect on politics.  And I see the hand of Providence in the creation of this nation, but the hand of Providence can be seen in event that aren’t specifically Judeo-Christian in nature, so that doesn’t necessarily give precedence to only that belief system.  What am I missing?

And the values that do have an effect on politics—the value of the human soul, which leads to the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of Happiness; the condemnation of violence, hatred, envy, hypocrisy; the praising of personal charity, honesty, compassion, hard work and a connection with something greater than yourself—are not the specific territory of Judeo-Christianity.  You find them Hinduism, in Zoroasterism, in Taoism, in Buddhism, in ancient Pagan beliefs, in Baha’i and Sikh beliefs, and in modern day New Age beliefs.  The values, which then become the backbone of our legal systems are in all religions. So why just Judeo-Christianity?  I understand that each of these belief systems place a different ordering on the priority of these virtues and values, but there are so many variations just within the scheme of Judeo-Christianity itself to make that an issue.
Heck even when Paul Ryan refers to Judeo-Christianity he does something very interesting:

A lot of the basis for this government is in this picture...not a lot of these people are from the Judeo-Christian background.

A lot of the basis for this government is in this picture…not a lot of these people are from the Judeo-Christian background.

It’s a dangerous path, it’s a path that grows government, restricts freedom and liberty, and compromises those values, those Judeo-Christian, Western-civilization values that made us such a great and exceptional nation in the first place.

He pairs Judeo-Christianity with Western-civilization, with the idea that is unique to the west of the democratic-Republic (a pagan creation by the pagan populations of Athens and Rome) that demands:

Our rights come from nature and God, not government.

(And while these ideas first thrived under predominantly Christian nations of the West, Ryan seems to be acknowledging the pagan Athenian/Roman importance by pairing the two.)

“The Bible is a book. It’s a good book, but it is not the only book. ” …at least in terms of government.

And it seems a little sweeping since while all the Founding Fathers would admit that the Bible contained what they saw as the best expression of ethics they could find, Adams, Jefferson and Franklin denied the divinity of Christ, and Freemason Washington’s beliefs on religion are probably a little more complex than just saying “Judeo-Christian values.”

Now I get that using this phrase may be to separate themselves it’s not the Religion of Peace (which very clearly endorses theocratic fascism) or atheism (both of which deny the divinity of human life)…oh sure atheists say they value human life under their philosophy of secular humanism, but atheism denies any metaphysical reason for human life to have value…so basically it’s them telling me I should just take it on “faith” that human life has value…which rings a little hollow.   But as I pointed out before the phrase also separates you from a lot of religions that do share these ethical values.

So which values am I missing that has an effect on our political structures, rules, and laws that separate Judeo-Christianity from the values of most the other religions on Earth?  I’m not denying the importance of the relationship  a person has with God, or that spiritual beliefs were important in the founding of this nation and is continuance today.  I just want to know if there is a value you think exists in the Judeo-Christian tradition that is necessary for the continuance of this nation that is specific only to the the Judeo-Christian tradition.

And I ask all of this, not because I just want to insult people, but because I have a second argument about this term and how it may be hurting us politically, but I first need to know if there is something about this term that I don’t understand coming from an outsider’s perspective.

*And don’t you dare to try and defend that man as a conservative.  If you look at his record he never met a tax, a regulation, or bribe he didn’t like.

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Filed under Aristotle, Capitalism, Conservative, Faith, God, Natural Rights, Patriotism, Paul Ryan, philosophy, politics, Religion, Spirituality

Reflections on the Election: Why I was wrong, Why Obama Won, and what the GOP needs to do. Part II

So as I explained in the last part there are reasons that we can’t beat Obama at his game right now.  His data mine is geared to categorizing people by demographics of gender and race, things that can’t be changed, and then he plays to these groups based on promising them things (the fact that his gifts really hurt most of these groups in the long run is only secondary).

So how do we win?

Well first let’s take a look at a few things.

When you compare the 2008 numbers to the 2012* numbers you find that Romney beat McCain’s total numbers and he did much better than McCain in 32 states (possibly more as some states still haven’t certified).  The three states that saw the biggest loss in GOP numbers were New Jersey, New York (and Sandy might be partially to blame for those two) and California—all three liberal bastions where conservatives may have seen no reason to come out.

Obama did worse in all but 4 states.  (Again, maybe a couple more when the counting is done, but it’s still pathetic).

The next thing to look at is that Romney did better with almost every group (except Latinos) than McCain, including young African Americans (which offers hope that this voting block is beginning to realize they’re being used and exploited).

So we’re making headway anyway.

But we can’t rest on that for obvious reasons.

So what I see are the larger things that we, as individuals, may not have a lot of control over…and the smaller things we can do.

Let’s start with the larger stuff.

Now as the great Dirty Sex & Politics points out we do need to rebrand ourselves. 

And as many of the right have pointed out we need conservative media and conservative politicians to confront the liberal propaganda and spin even more.

And we also need to learn to not fall into all these stupid traps liberals set.

Now this last one is probably the easiest.  Most of the liberal traps deal with social issues (The libertarians did 600,000 voters better in 2012 than 2008, now, granted that’s a lot of anti-war liberal cowards, but it’s still something we can try and poach).  So everyone needs to remember this line and pass it on when it comes to any social policy at the federal level:

“I do not support that personally, but I am a conservative which means I support limited federal government and the Tenth Amendment.   While I don’t support that issue personally, it is not the place of the federal government to pick a side one way or the other, that is for individual states to decide and I will stop any attempt by the federal government to intrude on this issue.

And on issues where this can’t help but involve federal issues, the federal government must follow what the majority of the states are doing at the time. “

There you can be against drugs, gay marriage, abortion…but since we believe in the 10th Amendment we don’t think it’s the role of the federal government and will not do anything where the states chose in a way that contradicts our beliefs.  Social conservatives, this still allows you to not betray any of your values, but it also upholds your values of state’s rights…oh and it will allow us to win more elections.

You might want to tell me I’m wrong on this, but look at these exit poll numbers.

Blanket opposition to abortion isn’t going to win.  Ever again.  Now making it a state’s rights issue can win and you can prevent your tax dollars from funding anything…but just a blanket opposition is stupid.  The majority support abortion, the exit polls numbers and Gallup confirm this.

We need Voter ID laws in every state.  Better checks to make sure we don’t have false registrations (and Draconian punishments for turning in false registrations or “losing” the registrations of people aren’t for the party you like).  We need laws to clear the voter rolls every 2 to 4 years.  We need to dump these voting machines which seem to be a little too prone to leftist cheating and go back to paper ballots.  And we need laws ensuring that military will be counted no matter what.

Now really long term I would love it if we could get a lot of blue states to split their electoral votes, but that’s a pipe dream.  And really long term I think we need to look into overturning the 26th Amendment.  Yes, it seemed all nice and fuzzy and right to give 18 year olds the vote when we had the draft…but honestly, have you met most 18 year olds?  I mean we don’t trust these idiots with alcohol or rental cars…but we trust them with the future of the nation?  Yeah there are exceptions, and I’m more than willing to say anyone who has served or is serving their nation has the right to vote…but honestly, I think we need to move the age up to 30.  I mean just look at these numbers.  People under 30 are statistically idiots.

And of course we need the GOP to put some money into voter turn out at all levels, not just relying on the Presidential candidate to do it…which seemed to be their really dumb move this year.

Finally, the conservatives in power need to hold the line.

That means that the debt ceiling does not get raised (unless maybe we adopt the Ryan budget and overturn Obamacare).

That means we don’t make compromises unless we get something we really want or it gets us halfway to our goals….

…oh so you want to raise taxes on the rich.  And we want to get rid of loopholes and lower those taxes. We’ll meet you halfway and get rid of all loopholes for those making over $250K. (That way we just have to worry about lowering the rate when we get in).

…oh you want big public work programs and amnesty for all the illegal immigrants (oh I’m sorry we can’t use that term anymore, migrant felons)…okay then we want real immigration reform in exchange for amnesty and we’ll let you have a big public works project building a big damn wall on the southern border.

You know compromises like that.

As for the sequestration…I’m not that concerned about it honestly.  Yes it will cut military spending, and in the short run this is problematic.  But honestly the smaller military that this dimwit has at his disposal, that’s probably for the best.

These simple things will help us stay true to our values but make us more likely to win, reduce the liberal chance to cheat, and get us what we actually want.

This needs to be the plan the GOP holds to because it is the plan that will work.

But what can we do as individuals?  I’ll deal with that in the third part.

*I’m going to spare you the chart with all the state by state numbers unless anyone asks for it.

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Filed under Budget, Capitalism, character, Congress, Conservative, Economics, Election 2012, Evils of Liberalism, GOP, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, Long Term Thinking, Natural Rights, NeoConservative, Obama, Patriotism, Paul Ryan, People Are Stupid, politics, Problems with the GOP, Taxes, Tyranny, Unions, Welfare

Reflections on the Election: Why I was wrong, Why Obama Won, and what the GOP needs to do. Part I

Okay so I needed to reflect on the election for some time before I wrote anything meaningful on this.  Quick statements just to fill air time have over the past couple of weeks mainly been ignorant, self-serving or just stupid.

Why I was wrong

I was wrong because I made the incorrect assumption to trust that polls like Rasmussen would continue to be the most accurate.
I was wrong because I made the incorrect assumption to trust equally respected polls that showed huge Republican enthusiasm which would usually mean that the Rasmussen polls were off in favor of Republicans.

I was wrong because I simply assumed PPP polls would continue to hack partisan polls that were never all that close.

I was wrong because I assumed Democratic cheating wouldn’t be as effective as it was.
I was wrong because I, even I who have a very low opinion of people, couldn’t possibly conceive of people being so fucking dumb that they would reelect this idiotic wanna-be-despot.  I really couldn’t believe America could be that dumb.

Why We Lost

First off, between counties that had over 100% turnout, military ballots being sent out at wrong times and then going missing, programmers saying every electronic machine was rigged, and buses of immigrants showing up to vote out of the blue, the fact is that there appears to be a heavy amount of cheating going on by the Democratic party.  I’d say I’m shocked but I’m not.  This is what democrats do.  Now is every accusation of cheating real, doubt it, and fewer still are provable, but you’re living in la-la land if you think elections have been on the up and up when it comes to Democratic votes…it’s how they’ve won elections ever since Joe Kennedy bought the election back in 1960.

But I was expecting cheating and fraud…which means either the Democrats have gotten even better at it, or, as I’m more afraid is the truth, people were kind of dumb on November 6th.  The fact that cheating was enough to sway the election means that we have problems because this shouldn’t have even been close, this should have been a landslide against Obama and yet it wasn’t.  So that can’t be the only problem.  What else went wrong?

We can also blame the media.  Almost every reporter on the Romney trail and most of the major outlets were trying to find gaffes and slip ups.  They were actively trying to portray him in the worst possible light.  And they were conveniently ignoring everything about Obama and his record, including, low and behold that Obama let 4 Americans die through his depraved indifference because he thought going in might be bad for his reelection.  But we can’t lay full blame on the media, because as annoying and biased as they are, there’s Drudge, there’s FOXNews, there’s Breitbart and the Blaze and Twitter and NewsBusted and the Washington Times and the Heritage Foundation and a 101 other sources.  The information was there if people just listened.

Well apparently the ground game was abysmal from the GOP and great from Obama’s side.  Now part of this is that Obama used his obscene huge data mine to play his usual game of divisive politics (more on this later) Part of the problem is also that Romney’s system  which was supposed to help make sure all GOP voters got to the polls, ORCA, failed on election day—hmmm, an online system to help conservatives failed…I’m going to offer 50/50 odds that the terrorists known as Anonymous might have had something to with this.  But whether they did or not, I have to ask where was the ground game for the GOP House, for the GOP Senate, from local state parties?  As usual the entire party disappoints me.  We had a terrible ground game and did not do enough to get people to the polls.

Now many idiots (Santorum, Gingrich, Levin, etc) want to blame Romney.  This is beyond wrong because Romney didn’t do anything wrong.  As Ann Coulter points out Romney wasn’t the problem.  Romney was a conservative’s conservative.  Now I think Romney was not as much of a fighter as he could have been…but I don’t think that would have made a difference because every time he tried to hit the worthless jackass hard the media spun it as Romney was a terrible person…so is it Romney wasn’t a fighter or is it that Romney just knew to avoid a fight he couldn’t win?

But even with all of that why did we lose?  Well because Romney was right.  There is a portion of this country that thinks they’re entitled to shit and Obama targeted specific groups and pandering to them by giving them gifts.

Oh before you dare complain about that statement, let’s look at a few facts.

According to the exit polls here are the groups Obama did really well with (I’m defining really as over 10%) Women, those under 30, non-white voters, those with a high school diploma or less (he was +29 with those with no diploma), the LGBT crowd, those people who never get out of academia known as the post graduate crowd, those making under 50K, people who do not go to church very often.

Hmmm let’s look at those groups again.

Women…pandered to with the fake war on women and Fluke’s endlessly whining.

Under 30…pandered to with promises of more college money (by the way you do know he’s cutting Pell grants right?)

Those without education and making less than 50K pandered to food stamps and welfare and a whole lot of other entitlements.  As Dennis Miller points out you can make close to 45K just by living off the dole these days.

And those with Post Graduate degrees (already being fairly clueless of how the real world works) he pandered to with promises of more teaching jobs.

The LGBT crowd with promises of gay marriage (then turned around and said it wouldn’t be a priority for him).

And the largest group with the non Caucasian crowd, Latinos, he gave that Dream Act amnesty with the implication more was on the way.

Of course the difference between Obama and Santa is that, worst case, Santa will give you a piece of coal, whereas Barry is not only not going to give anyone what they promised, but he’s going to outlaw coal as well.

Yes how terrible of Romney to point out that that Obama’s giving out things and making promises to specific groups was giving out things and making promises to specific groups.  How dare he pay attention to the man behind the curtain and not just fall in line with the typical intentional ignorance of what is going on?

Obama divided people into groups, played on the most base impulses and fears of any individual and treated them as he sees them, only as groups.  And this worked for him because education, media and the government have treated people only as groups for years.  And we lost because of that.
Now the knee jerk reaction might be to start playing their game of identify politics, as some have suggested.  But this is a losing strategy.  The only way to win identify politics, to say that this group values things that other group don’t, is Obama’s way to give out gifts.  We are conservatives, we believe in ideas, in values and in individuals, and to treat people as only members of groups is to betray our values and forget everything that makes America, America.  Now there are things we need to do, and I’m going to go into more detail on that soon, but we must realize we lost because for years they have been playing this game of divisiveness and hatred and that we haven’t confronted it head on is the reason we lost.

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Electoral College Predictions: A look from Mid October

Okay so let’s remember some basics.

Rule 1: The Morris rule—Undecided voters in a Presidential election (where one of the candidates is an incumbent) will always break for the challenger 2 to 1.

Rule 2: Some of these polls are skewed.  We need to look at the data to see if this is going on and correct for that.  I’m not going to rip into numbers of these polls but keep in mind that you should move a point or two on these polls.

Rule 3: Libertarians are pulling from Obama more than they’re pulling from Romney, so any time we consider the 3rd party candidates it’s going to hurt Barry.  Also with the winds of change blowing in Romney’s favor Dems will be more willing to split the party at the last minute for a third party than Republicans (who are picking up libertarian votes)

Rule 4: Discount any poll from before the first presidential debate and admit that it takes at least 3 days before you see any real change in the numbers.

So let’s start with the base numbers from Real Clear Politics as of 10/14

Now Suffolk Polling has said that they’re no longer going to poll in Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia because those are obviously going to Romney…but let’s take a look at the numbers just in case.

Yep, the only thing keeping Barry afloat in those states are old polls numbers (in Virginia old poll numbers from some really questionable polls)…Romney is winning Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia…and their collective 57 electoral votes.  New count Obama 201-Romney 248

Now with New Hampshire, the post debate polls are sparse but very much in Romney’s favor. (Especially when you factor in the undecideds splitting for Romney)  So another 4 votes to Romney.  Obama 201-Romney 252

Same with Colorado.  Even CBS can’t BS their numbers enough to show Obama in the lead here.  So another 9 to Romney. Obama 201-Romney 261

Now let’s flip over to Nevada and Iowa because right now they have the same problem with numbers.

Both these states show Obama up.  Also both polls include crappy PPP numbers–correcting for that Nevada averages only +1 Obama, 6% undecided, and Iowa averages +2.25 Obama with 6.25% undecided. When you factor in the undecided split that puts Nevada in the Romney column and Iowa dead even.  But when you adjust for the oversampling of Democrats, Iowa is also in the Romney column.  It will be close but that’s another 12 votes.  Obama 201-Romney 273….oh wait did Romney just cross 270 without even worrying about Ohio.  Yes, yes he did.  Romney wins.   But let me rub some salt in the wounds of Democrats and go through the rest of the states.

Now the only poll we have post-debate (when you account for the need for a few days before you actually see a change in polls) for Wisconsin is the day after the debate (which I’m sorry but I don’t think it fully set in how badly Obama had done yet).  Also what’s odd about this poll is that there is literally no third party vote.  That’s never going to happen, there are always going to be third party voters (and like I said, they’re going to pull more from Obama than from Romney).  It’s also telling with how close the polls are from the two most biased polling firms.  I know I’m going out on a limb on this one, but I think Wisconsin is going red.  Obama 201-Romney 283.

Okay let me be gracious to Obama here for a minute.

I have heard that the tide is turning in Michigan and Pennsylvania, and I hope they are, I hope they do go red—but the limited polling I have doesn’t show that to me yet.  Let’s give them to Obama.  Obama 237-Romney 283.

And finally we get to the all annoying state, Ohio.  The state we have heard endlessly about.

Okay, first let’s take out the PPP numbers since we all know they’re bunk.  That takes the average to Obama +1.4.  Factor in the 6% undecideds and it’s almost a dead heat.  Factor in the time it takes to see a bounce in the numbers post-debate, it’s leaning toward Romney.  Factor in Biden saying he wanted to close down plants in Ohio during the debate (remember he said we didn’t need any more tanks, tanks made in Ohio) that’s also going to shift the needle just a little.  The winds of change are blowing in Romney’s favor and Ohio will be red this year.  Obama-237—Romney 301.

Is that the final count?
Nope.

Why?  Because Romney is ahead in one of Maine’s Congressional districts…and because Maine splits its electoral votes that means Romney will probably pick up yet another vote.

Final Count

Obama 236 Romney 302

(In case you’re wondering right now I’m predicting a 50-52 seat GOP majority in the Senate, with Independent from Maine King caucusing with the GOP, so 51-53 seats…which means we only ever need to find 7 blue dog Dems. To get cloture.)

Now what could change this?  Not much in Obama’s favor.  Biden may have stemmed the bleeding among the base, but his bizarre behavior turned off undecided voters, energized the GOP base to vote him out and opened up a whole new can of worms with him saying they had no idea about the situation in Libya.  Yeah, Ryan could have been more relaxed or more aggressive…but Joe, Joe was f’ing psychotic.

And the other two debates are going to be in Romney’s favor.  Yeah Obama theoretically does better in town hall performances…but not really.  Without his teleprompter he’s still going to be clueless (he left the stage at the first debate thinking he had won, even Chris Matthews wasn’t that deluded).   This is actually going to be bad for Obama.  I’ve seen Romney work a crowd, he may not be personable behind a teleprompter, but he’s charismatic in person…and in a town hall debate you’ll see how people react positively to him, and that’s bad for Obama.  Besides it has been revealed from several sources that Obama plans to be more aggressive in the town hall debate…aggressive from a class act like Romney comes off well…aggressive from a arrogant ass like Obama is not going to come off well.

And even if Obama manages to pull off a tie in the second debate, the fact is that the third debate is on foreign policy.  Tell me Mr. President.  How’s Greece going?  Oh they’re about to go belly up.  Europe? The same.  Syria?  You haven’t done much, oh that’s a shame.  Please, Mr. President explain what flexibility are you looking for with tyrant and human rights abuser Putin?  Oh and what did you know and when did you know it when it comes to Libya?  Oh and you said because Bin Laden is dead Al-Qaeda is on the run…could you please explain that to me and your Ambassador to Libya how that statement in any way, shape, or form has anything to do with reality?  No?  Okay, let’s move onto arming the Mexican cartels.  The third debate is going to be a slaughter.  Even more so than the following interpretation of the first debate:

There is no win for Obama.  He’s already used every insult he can against Romney, none have worked.  And the Republicans have yet to go full force in the attack on Obama.  We have yet to see commercials from the families of the dead US soldiers whose death prompted Obama to apologize for American actions?  Anyone seen commercials from Brian Terry’s family?  Anyone seen a commercial with pictures of the dead Ambassador?  Not saying we have to go there, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg for failures of Obama that the GOP still has left in its arsenal.  Obama can only, at best hold his ground, which isn’t enough to, Romney can still pick up more votes and he will.  There is no way for Obama to win this.

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An Open Letter to Libertarians: Something you should consider

Libertarians.  Look, we’re not going to get along on everything.  Let’s just admit this.  Now we can sling insults and hold a grudge match that will get neither of us what we want…or we work together.

Now before we get into my proposal, I would like to go over three basic points.

The first is that it is better to get half of what you want than to get none of what you want.  Yes moral superiority might feel good for a few seconds but when it’s dealing with pragmatic issues, actually getting half of what you want is always better psychologically and tangibly.

The second is that politics is a game of trying to convince people who might be open to you.  Romney’s 47% comment, despite the Democratic spin, was a pragmatic comment of “there is a percentage of the country that does not agree with me and pandering to them won’t work.”  Thus any group that makes it clear that they will never vote for someone because of this or that issue makes themselves politically irrelevant.

The third is that Romney’s going to win.  Wednesday’s debate shows that we are going to have 4 debates of Obama and Biden getting their asses handed to them.  Add to that the fact that when you consider what we all know, that all the polls (even before the debate) were being cooked and are still being cooked (they’ve now moved from over sampling Democrats to under sampling independents where Romney has a 7  to 8 point lead BEFORE the debates).  Then take that fact that the polls are skewed and add the fact that the remaining undecided voters invariably vote 2 to 1 for the challenger, even a conservative estimate makes it clear that Romney already has the electoral votes and 3 more debates like that plus Obama clearly just phoning it in at this point means, that without question, Romney’s going to win.

Now, Libertarians, as much as I have been frustrated with you and your party this year, I say with all honesty, I want you to have a larger influence in all levels of government.  I may not agree with you 100% on all things, but trust me there are a lot of issues I stand about halfway between you and the Republican establishment.  On a lot of things you are the intellectual foundation of the Tea Party, and I want to see that foundation strengthened, not weakened.  I loathe the social conservative branch of the Republican Party, and I was beyond giddy when their nearly Satanic candidate Rick Santorum went down in flames.  But guess what?  You’re not making it easy to get the Republican Party to embrace it’s Coolidge/Goldwater/Reagan roots of libertarianism and kill this monster called social conservatism that is really just intrusive government under a different branding.

Why are you making it hard? Because you aren’t accepting point one that it’s better to get half than none.  The Republican Party does admit that.  You tell the Republican Party composed of Milton Friedman monetarists that unless they embrace the most radical branches of Austrian economics you won’t vote for them.  And knowing you’re this intractable, if they want capitalists in the GOP to have any chance of halting full on Keynsian socialism, they have to make a deal with the mixed economy people.  The GOP is willing to make compromises and go to or three steps to the right or left to keep it centered around their beliefs…but since you demand they go five steps to the right (two or three further than their morals will go) the two steps to left, while repugnant, prevents ten steps to the left.  (Of course if you compromised and made the three steps we did you would get more of what you want and we wouldn’t have to constantly compromise with the left).  Same goes with social issues.  I saw a Reason ad this week hitting Romney/Ryan for being terrible social conservatives who are opposed to medical marijuana.  Is this true? Not really.  Paul Ryan came out and said that he and Romney wouldn’t personally vote for it if they had a choice, but they consider it a state’s rights issue and will not get the federal government involved.  But apparently the libertarians over at Reason are so rigid that unless you embrace both absolute states rights AND complete social liberalism you’re just another big government hack.  A pragmatic person would say, if the federal government isn’t getting involved, what does it matter if the people in that government hold a different opinion.  But no, unless libertarians get to eat their cake, have it, keep it and eat it again over and over again, nothing is good enough for them.

Libertarians make it quite clear, that unless you march 100% lockstep with them, they will not vote for you.  And then they bitch about the fact that the coalition that is the GOP doesn’t listen to them.  We may not have a parliamentary government like most of Europe, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have coalitions.  We just form them when we form the party not when we form the parliament.  And, I’m sorry, if you want to be in the coalition you have to work with the coalition.

And I want you in this coalition.  And I want more voice calling for less government in the economy and in my personal life.  I want government out of religion and business.  I want that to be a legitimate voice that holds sway.

But you have to work with us.

So how do we make the Libertarian vote a legitimate voice again?

Well this election provides a great opportunity.

The first thing I’m going to say that in any state that is clearly 10 point to the Romney or Obama side, if you want to vote for Gary Johnson, vote for Gary Johnson and get your libertarian friends to come out.  In these states where, let’s be honest here, your vote isn’t going to make a difference let’s at least make it count by showing that there is a huge number of libertarians out there.

However if you live in a state where theoretically your vote could swing things (remember how close some of these states have been in the last few years) you need to vote for Romney.  (In the second half of this blog I’ll show you Romney will give you half of what you want, where Obama will give you nothing, but let me finish this line of thought first).  By voting for the Libertarian in large numbers in non-swing states but voting for Romney (and I would hope the GOP Senate and House candidates in close contests if you can stomach it) in swing states you are showing that the Libertarian Party has grown up and is willing to work with the Republican Party.  That you are the swing voters the GOP needs to get* and that you are open to working with the GOP.

In addition to this, you need to get every liberal you know to not vote Obama but vote for Johnson.  This will give a better clue as to which voters do really care about economic conservatism and social freedom.  Let’s be honest you may not agree with Romney on a lot of issues…but is there one you agree with Obama on?

Again this will show the Republican Party you’re open to compromise, that we can drop the social conservatives sometimes, and it will increase the power of the Tea Party and the Libertarian view in federal government.  The GOP is probably going to take Congress and the White House, but a move like this will temper any social conservative urge for fear it might alienate the segment they picked up, and embolden them on the economic conservative front as they will believe there will be no backlash.  It’s a win for the Libertarians.  It’s a win for the Republicans.  And it’s a loss for big government.

But I understand you might have reservations.  You’ve heard for months that Romney is big government, that Romney is just like Obama.  I get it, I was once there myself.  But when I looked at facts, I found that just wasn’t the case. 

 

Let me put out a few common complaints by Libertarians and show you how these complaints are not the case.

If you listened to some in the Libertarian party, these two are to the left of FDR…sane people know there is a difference between these guys and their opposition.

As I pointed out above, the Romney and Ryan ticket believe in states rights…and unlike Obama they’re not going to waste federal dollars prosecuting medical marijuana cases.  It may not be full legalization, but the end result is the same.

Another claim is that he’s going to outlaw abortion.  No he’s not, he’s going to try to get rid of all funding for Planned Parenthood.  You’re libertarians, like me, even if you’re pro-choice you should support getting rid of government funding of abortion.  Now he has said he’s supporting an Amendment to the Constitution–1.  The president has absolutely no power and no role in the process of adding amendments and 2. There is no way you will ever see 38 states agree to banning abortion…thus him saying that he’ll support an Amendment is like saying “I’d support cold fusion if someone actually created it”, it doesn’t matter because it’s not going to happen.  But yes he can appoint judges to the Supreme Court who might do something conservative judges hardly ever do, overturn previous major decisions…which would make abortion a states rights issue again (the court has the power to make something legal, but it has no authority to make something illegal…all overturning Roe would do is make it a states rights issue)…hey aren’t you libertarians in favor of states rights issues?

Same with gay marriage.  The amendment won’t go anywhere and he’ll keep it as a state’s rights issue. However, if the libertarians follow my suggestion they might be able to get enough power to propose disentangling the state from religion as it currently is in its treatment of marriage. But Libertarians would have to have some power for that to happen.

Romney has said he supports auditing the Fed and will sign the bill if it gets to him.  You give Romney a Republican Senate and you will get the audit of the Federal Reserve you’ve always wanted. Will you get that with Obama?

On spending Libertarians keep going off on Romney’s budgets in Massachusetts and the Ryan plan.  Did you miss that both cases were budgets designed to pass legislatures controlled by liberal Democrats?  Yes those things didn’t solve all the problems.  But they were as close as these two conservatives felt they could reasonably get past liberal legislatures.  (Romney’s did…and if Harry Reid wasn’t illegally stopping the bills from coming up, the Ryan plan would have passed as well.).  The actual outline of the budget (and it’s only an outline because Romney understands it is the House that is the only body with the Constitutional authority to draft the specifics of a budget). There is nothing in the Romney plan, or the 59 points of that plan that will not lead to cuts in government spending.

Yeah, after these 59 major things, I have no idea what Romney will do…

Screw the first 100 days, the first 100 hours is going to be productive under Romney.

On taxes this is the most bizarre one of all.  Romney didn’t raise a single tax as Governor of Massachusetts.  Taxachusetts.  That’s impressive.  That shows commitment to keeping taxes down.  Libertarians scream that he did raise taxes.  This is either a lie or insanity.  What Romney did do was raise fees for government services.  Why libertarians are upset with this, I’m not entirely sure…for decades I have heard and read capitalists from the more moderate Sowell, Freidman and Hayek to the extreme of Rand in the later years (after she had completely gone off the deep end) and every shade of capitalist and libertarian in between say that it would be better if the government raised revenue through fees rather than taxes.  Then someone does that…and libertarians scream he’s a bleeding heart liberal…for doing what they suggested.  WTF?  Are there some in the libertarian party (those with the pulpit) suffering from Romney-derangement syndrome?  I think so.  Yeah it would be better if he lowered taxes (you know like he wants to at the federal level) but let’s see how many taxes you could get lowered with a legislature that’s 87% Democrat?

Gun rights…the NRA endorsed Romney-Ryan…they don’t always endorse candidates, lots of elections go without an NRA endorsement…go on tell me Romney’s anti-gun.

RomneyCare is 70 pages and protect the private sector.  Obamacare is 300o pages and destroys the private sector.  A mandate is constitutional under the Massachusetts Constitution…it is not Constitutional under the U.S. Constitution (shame John Roberts has never read it).  Romneycare looks like what the Heritage Foundation proposed…Obamacare looks nothing like that. But please tell me how they’re the same.

The Patriot Act and NDAA…look we’re not going to agree on this one.  And you’re not going to get what you want out of either Romney or Obama.  What you will get is that Romney won’t sue courts to put back indefinite detention of captured foreigners (the bill that passed didn’t include indefinite detention of U.S. citizens who have not already committed an act of treason (which technically you could already hold them even without NDAA) (Libertarians are now going to throw a hissy fit and tell me I’m wrong….here’s the link to the bill    find for me the text that says otherwise…I’ll save you some time, it’s not there).  And yeah, Romney will use what parts of the Patriot Act haven’t been overturned by courts to go after terrorism (and most of you do realize that the majority of the Patriot Act was just extending the powers the federal government had against organized crime to terrorism, getting rid of the Patriot Act won’t get rid of the powers if you have someone like Obama who is willing to abuse every law for personal gain.)  I can say that, unlike Obama, Romney will keep to the letter and spirit of the law.  You don’t like it, and we won’t agree…but you have to admit one is better than the other.

Defense.  Again you’re not going to get what you want here. But would you prefer someone like Goldwater and Reagan who understand peace through strength and keep conflicts to a minimum….or someone like LBJ, Carter, and Obama who through gross incompetence spark conflicts that eventually draw us in whether we want them or not.  Further, I know you want the defense budget cut…Romney’s not going to cut troops or arms or the size of the Navy…but this is the genius of Bain.  Do you really think he’s not going to have some very good people go through every department and go line by line looking at all the worthless bullshit and eliminate that? Romney, will give you cuts in every department’s budget.  Big ones.  If you let him.

Look, like I said at the beginning it’s better to get half of what you want than nothing.  Romney will give you that half.  Obama won’t.  Romney believes in smaller government, Obama doesn’t.

I said that to be relevant you have to show that you’re willing to work with us.

And Romney’s going to win.

It’s up to you.  You can do what I suggested, vote for Romney in the swing states, vote for Johnson in the non-swing states and get every libertarian leaning liberal to vote for him too.  This will show the Libertarians have numbers but are also willing to work with the GOP, thus they can and should be courted as a voting block.

Or you can hold to your rigid stance that Romney and Obama are the same.  Attack both of them. And keep your ideas marginalized, keep the GOP beholden to social conservatives, and make it that much harder to get big government off our backs.

I hope you chose the win-win-win plan I’m suggesting, and not the lose-lose-lose plan of just holding rigidly to anti-Romney.

(Oh if there is some issue you truly feel Obama and Romney are the same on, let me know and give me a chance to dissuade you…but first please ask yourself if they really are the same…or it is just that Romney will only give you part of what you want and Obama will give you none.)

*Some might say that alienating the social conservative base will cause Republicans to lose.  But if you actually look at polls endlessly like I do, you’ll see that what turns a lot of moderate Democratic voters off of the GOP is not the economics but the social issues.  It’s a gamble I know, but if the GOP moved a little away from social conservatives I think they’ll win 3 blue dog Democrats for every social conservative radical (Santorum) who leaves the party.  But there has to actually be more than just Ron and Rand Paul advocating for this in the party.

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Romney is going to Win–Another look at the Electoral College: A look from mid-September

I wanted to hold off on this, it’s the same look at statistics that utterly bore me, but Republicans are proving to be the biggest worriers in the world.

But I can’t entirely blame them.

You have half brained radio talk show hosts spouting doom and gloom for Romney and the Republican party without anything to back it up (Levin, Ingram, Limbaugh, Bruce…yeah I mean you guys, I know your mentally challenged boys Santorum and Newt didn’t win, but shut up, you clearly are not the voice of the future of this party, just admit it and leave).

You have CNN oversampling Democrats to give Obama a 6 point lead…of course when you correct for the skewing Romney has an 8 point lead. 

In that same poll Romney had a 14 point lead with independents. 

You have an ABC/Washington Post Poll that only gave Obama a 10 point lead with Democrats over Republicans (look at the last question on the poll).  And even with oversampling Democrats they could only come up with Obama leading Romney by 1 point.  Worse yet, Obama only has a 5 point lead among women (I’m sure if we hadn’t over sampled that lead would drop into the margin of error).

You have simple facts, like the fact that Obama couldn’t fill an entire stadium so they had to move it inside.  Which tells me that enthusiasm is down, way down.

Or the economics model that’s been right every time since 1980 predicts a Romney win. 

You have steadily worsening economic numbers.  Least of which is that Moody’s is about to downgrade us again.  Obama may try to blame the Republicans for that, but the fact is that Americans, for better or worse, believe that the buck stops in the Oval Office (and this time they would be right in blaming a president for economic disaster).

Now here are some things to consider right now.  The polls for this week will show a slight bounce, but it’s called a bounce for a reason, it will come down.  All of Obama’s bases are pissed at him for one reason or another and they are not likely to come out for him in the numbers they did in 2008.  Further you must keep in mind, as Dick Morris keeps pointing out, the undecided voters always, always, always break two-thirds for the challenger.

Now according to Rasmussen (the most accurate polling firm in 2008 ) at the height of the bounce Obama is up only by 2 points in swing states. wo points.  Two measly points is his bounce in swing states.  Here’s Rasmussen’s Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.  I hate to say this but Romney is probably not winning Pennsylvania or Colorado.  If you took those two out of the swing state category, it’s probably a tie.  At best for Obama, tie…and that’s before the undecideds break for Mitt.

Not to mention the fact that Romney has already destroyed 9 points of Obama’s lead in swing states from 2008. 

Oh and have I forgotten to mention that Obama has managed to keep this only tied when he’s been burning through cash all summer, and Romney hasn’t started to dip into that huge war chest.  Now not every undecided voter is dumb, but those who are effected by ads more than research, well they’re also an ADD kind of bunch, and they’ll be more swayed by the ads in September and October (the months Romney will have lots of cash and Obama is broke) than the ads Barry ran back in the middle of summer.

Okay so let’s go state by state.  (I’m going to skip the charts, I find them boring….I will put them in if someone has a request for them*…but I think my previous looks will tell you that I am not going off the reservation for the sake of it).

Okay according to Real Clear Politics today (9/11) the count is 221 Electoral College votes for Obama, 191 for Romney and 128 up for grabs.  The undecided states are Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.

So let’s get the easiest ones out of the way.  Romney is up 10 points in a Civitas poll in North Carolina and up 5 points in Rasmussen (hey, even in the ultra biased PPP Obama is up only up 1 point).  North Carolina and its 15 electoral votes will go Romney.

Obama 221-Romney 206

Virginia also has Romney up in the RCP average with a 6 point undecided, which will split Romney.  So Virginia and its 13 votes goes Romney.

Obama 221-Romney 219

If you can either just run the data pulling the undecideds to Romney or you can just ignored the skewed polls, but either way the fact is that Florida is going red.  Romney plus 29 votes

Romney 248-Obama 221

Now unless I see new data that says otherwise, I don’t think Colorado is going to the Republicans.  Same with New Hampshire and Nevada.  (Now Romney I think could win these, but I want to be somewhat conservative here).

Romney 248-Obama 240

So we’re down to Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio.

Now RCP has Obama slightly ahead in Iowa, but that’s because of two very biased polls.  The Rasmussen numbers have Romney ahead.  I trust Rasmussen more than the hacks at PPP.  Iowa goes Romney.

Romney 254-Obama 240

Now the polls, taken at the height of Obama’s bounce show Obama up in Wisconsin and Ohio. However, if you look at both the long term nature of those polls, plus biased nature of the polls that are coming in I believe both are going to Romney by a slight margin.  You can disagree but I think its Romney’s to lose.  At the moment Michigan still seems out of Romney’s reach.

Final number

Romney 282-256

Now in 2 weeks there will be a lot more polls and the bounce will be over.  I believe once that happens I’ll probably move 2-3 states into Romney’s side.

Also I’m going to predict right now a 52-53 seat majority in the Senate for the Republicans in 2013.  (Again if you really want me to break that down I will).

The fact is that this election is going to the GOP.  Pomp and circumstance won’t give people jobs…”hope and change” won’t get them off food stamp…and rank arrogance will not pay off the debt.  America can only be fooled for so long before we give up charlatans for substance.

If you are one of those Republicans who still is unsure about my analysis, then get out there and do something!  Make sure you’ve donated money and time to the campaigns you support (in fact do that even if you’re sure he’s going to win do that…I think we would all like the biggest majorities we can in the House and Senate). Talk to people you know, if you know fence sitters talk to them, take them to see 2016, reason with them and try to get them to vote Romney.  If you know die hard liberals talk to them too…I would suggest either the “the Obama faction is going to destroy your party, you need him to lose big if you’re going to ever have a comeback” approach…or if they’re in the anti-war crowd talk them into voting for Gary Johnson or do a write in for Paul.

We’re going to win.  That much I am certain of…but if you’re not you need to do everything you can to help.

* who is not a troll

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Highlights from Day 3 of the Republican National Convention

There were some low points…why dwell…

The High Points:
Ladies and Gentlemen the Next President of the United States, a man everyone is calling Reaganesque

The Outlaw J….Dirty H…Clint Eastwood…and a stand in for Obama (which was actually more intelligent than the real thing)

And forgetting that little flub at the end a great speech from Rubio

“We chose more freedom instead of more government.”

Even liberal Democrats love this man

A look at Mitt’s Life

More about Mitt

Discussion of Mitt’s Character


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Highlights from Day 2 of the Republican National Convention

More high points and low.

The low…why does anyone let Rick Santorum speak, ever, for any reason?…given the depth of his intellect it constantly surprises me that he manages to not drool on himself (but then again brain dead Biden manages not to soil himself on a daily basis an this too is an amazing accomplishment when you consider how dumb he really is). The media response to the convention is pathetic and disgusting…but what can you expect.

The high points:

The Vice President Paul Ryan

the great Condi Rice

the wonderful Nikki Haley


The sane one in the family, Rand Paul

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Highlights from Day 1 at the Republican National Convention

High points and low.

The low: That we had to start a day late.  That Paulbot threw yet another childish hissy fit (who cares they’re all liberals anyway). That a lot of our elected officials (McDonnell and Walker come to mind) are about as exciting as watching grass grow (even if they’re making sense in what they say).

The High:

Our next first lady

Gov. Christie tells it like it is

The great Mia Love

Sen Ayotte (she’s a little dull, but she’s clearly fighting off a cold)

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The Conservative New Ager and The Snark Who Hunts Back Review The Dark Knight Rises: A Tale of Heroes, Politics and Death

This last week we (The Snark Who Hunts Back and The Conservative New Ager) went to go see The Dark Knight Rises together for the second time (the first being a trilogy marathon on opening night). We delayed writing a blog then because it became obvious there was so much we would have to see it again to fully appreciate the depth…and even on a second viewing we realized there is more than a single blog here.

But let’s get the overture out of the way. The final piece of this spectacular trilogy, like almost all of director Christopher Nolan’s recent work is thematically based off a work of literature…A Tale of Two Cities, in the case of The Dark Knight Rises. And while it might be hard to find the undercurrents of Othello in The Dark Knight, Faust in The Prestige, or Zorro in Batman Begins (which for symmetry should be renamed The Dark Knight Begins).

But it’s not just literary, it’s political…or at least it appears to be. The Dark Knight seemed pretty obviously a defense of the War on Terror, and The Dark Knight Rises seems a pretty striking assault on the morals of leftist economics. Now Nolan claims that his works aren’t political (a common defense by those who want to survive in a hostile political environment) and Occupy Wall Street thugs think they’re really smart in pointing out that the movie was written before OWS so it can’t be about them (this poor argument ignores that their rhetoric of evil has been spouted by the left quite vehemently in the last few years and also they clearly are so ignorant of the history of their own ideas that they don’t know their filth was spouted by demagogues in ancient Athens, and shown to be stupid then…so just because Nolan didn’t know about OWS doesn’t mean he wasn’t responding to the evil)…and even if Nolan is telling the truth that he didn’t intend it to a political statement (which I doubt) it works too well as one not to make some comments about the philosophy of the work.

Now ignoring the message of the trilogy taken as a whole (that’s another blog for another time) we think there are three main philosophical statements to this film: The nature of heroism, the politics of progressivism, envy and “social justice”, and the fear of death.

The Nature of the Hero

“A hero can be anyone. Even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat over a little boy’s shoulder to let him know the world hadn’t ended.”

One of the more unbelievable complaints I’ve heard about The Dark Knight Rises was that it made it look like the common man can’t do anything for themselves, that they need the rich to save them. Never mind the fact that, by the end, Bruce Wayne barely had a cent to his name or that his money certainly didn’t help him climb out of the pit. We would just want to know if the person who made the complaint was even watching the same movie that we saw with our friends.

Not long after Bruce Wayne loses all his money, due to Bane’s attack on the stock exchange, he has a conversation with John Blake, a police officer who knows Wayne’s identity as Batman. Wayne tells Blake that the whole point of Batman was that he could be anyone, Batman was meant to be an inspiration to the people of Gotham, something that is repeated in both of the previous movies.

In Batman Begins Bruce Wayne tell Alfred:

“People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy. And I can’t do that as Bruce Wayne. As a man I’m just flesh and blood, I can be ignored, destroyed. But a symbol….as a symbol I can be incorruptible, everlasting…..”

In The Dark Knight, the Joker asks the fake Batman, Brian what batman means to him. Brian answers “He’s a symbol … that we don’t have to be afraid of scum like you”. And the whole point of Batman, as we see come to fruition at the beginning of The Dark Knight Rises, was not to create a legion of caped crusaders, but an army of men like Harvey Dent (before his psychotic break) and Jim Gordon—a group of people willing to stand up for what is right.

But we digress. The point is what made the average person a hero in The Dark Knight Rises.

At no point did John Blake, Commissioner Gordon, or the other members of the resistance, sit down and go ‘well, I’m just a common person, I’m just going to wait for the government or Batman to come save us’ (except for the character of Foley, who was rightly called out for being a coward). They worked tirelessly to find a way out on their own, they realized they were on their own the moment Bane took over the city and began to look for ways to free the city’s police force from the sewers.

When Batman did come back, in an a miraculous 11th hour miracle, they didn’t wait for him to clean up the mess. The police banded together and marched on Bane’s army, many of them dying in the fighting to save their city.

Selina Kyle, despite telling Batman that she was leaving the city as soon as she destroyed the debris blocking the tunnel, turned around and risked her life to fight for the city and to save Batman’s life.

Lucius Fox risked death and drowning , trying to find a way to stop the nuclear bomb from detonating.

Even Ra’s al Ghul (don’t you hate it when you agree with the words, if not the actions, of a villain?) says, during Bruce’s training, “The training is nothing! The will is everything! The will to act.”

The heroes who kept Gotham alive while Batman fought his way out of the pit

Every one of these people, training or no, had the will to act. They were all willing to give everything for their city, for their freedom. What could possibly be more heroic than that?

Fancy toys, nice cars, and a cool suit will only get you so far if you don’t have the will to do what is necessary, even when what is necessary may end your life.

Heroism isn’t about money, toys, or good looks; it’s a state of mind and living life, not with no fear of death, but with a willingness to die to defend others and defend your beliefs.

You may not be a superhero, but anyone can be a hero. That’s what The Dark Knight Rises shows us about heroism.

Politics, Socialism and evils of envy

“Repression is the only lasting philosophy. The dark deference of fear and slavery, my friend, will keep the dogs obedient to the whip, as long as this roof shuts out the sky.'”—A Tale of Two Cities*

You would have to have been pretty dense not to get that this movie was thematically inspired by A Tale of Two Cities. Even Dickens, for all of his sickeningly naïve progressive rhetoric, had an inkling of the evil of the French Revolution. A quick review of history if it’s been too long since that high school history class. Louis XVI in response to economic woes and civil unrest had given the public everything they wanted: an assembly, power of due process of law, and abdicated much of the absolute power of the monarchy. And while many where happy with these changes, the ignorant rabble who were open to the rhetoric of the most extreme thought it wasn’t enough. They stormed the Bastille, arrested Louis and his wife (who if you actually study history was not the vapid slut a layman’s understand of history tries to depict her as), and placed power in the hands of radicals like Robespierre and Marat. The Terror, Madam Guillotine, rivers of blood, atrocities on a scale that wouldn’t be seen again in France until the Nazi’s allowed the French to revel in their anti-Semitism. (A similar pattern would be seen when the Russians replaced the Tsar with a democratic government…but soon got rid of that in favor of a psychotically evil government).

She learned to hate her “ideal” world quickly enough.

This history lesson is important because this is the same pattern Nolan shows in Gotham. For all of it’s corruption in the first two films, Gotham at the beginning of The Dark Knight Rises was a city that had everything it wanted: Clean streets, an efficient police force (a city of 12 million with only 3,000 uniformed officers means an obscenely low crime rate), a healthy economy (the city could afford multiple simultaneous construction projects by Dagget, that means an incredibly good tax base, ergo strong economy…and football stadiums aren’t packed to the brim with every last seat filled during hard times), a mayor who has survived for over 8 years in office (usually a sign of prosperity) Even Selina Kyle’s words of decrying inequality ring hollow, he “old town” (suggestive of the gutter) apartment is hardly a shabby SRO or the slum heap of “the narrows” from the first film—and while in Batman Begins criminals could carry on with their nefarious dealings out in the open, or hide them in the vast slums, this is a Gotham where there are so few places to hide your activities you literally have skulk in the sewers (everywhere else is too bright and too well off to hide such activities)…Like the French they had everything they had asked for. And, like France, it took only a little fear and few mad men to stir the lowest rungs of society and bring about anarchy.
There are of course differences between A Tale of Two Cities and the Revolution it describes and the events of The Dark Knight Rises. The Bastille was stormed not to free prisoners (there were hardly any left in the Bastille by the time of the Revolution) but to gain weapons to take over the city. And even if you buy the myth of the Storming of the Bastille, the prisoners released from the Bastille were primarily political prisoners…not hardened thugs of organized crime. The fact that the Dent Law in The Dark Knight Rises was passed because there was a martyr to push through the law, does not change the fact that it, like all three-strikes laws and mandatory sentencing laws, are a particular point of hatred for the progressive who think it’s unfair that people who do evil and horrific things should, heaven forbid, be locked up where they can’t do any harm. But be it the Bastille and the release of a mere seven political prisoners or the opening of Blackgate Prison and letting a host of violent criminals go free, the result was ironically the same: The Terror.

The terror: a system where justice and trials are a mockery and the innocent are held as guilty for crimes they never committed…and where there is only one punishment: death. The terror, a system that provides so much that it makes everyone so equal that they are all starving and tearing at each other for daily sustenance (or like the Soviet Union or Gotham you could have food imported from the capitalistic society because you can’t produce any on your own). The terror: the utopia every half brained progressive idealist praises, only to lead to their own downfall.

In the real French Revolution the villain was Robespierre who used high rhetoric to justify rank thugery as a progressive march to fraternity and equality. In A Tale of Two Cities the villain was Madame De Farge, a woman so hell bent on avenging her family’s murders that she will see the whole world burn to get her pound of flesh. Nolan gives us both villains in the form of Bane and Talia al Ghul. Which of course leads us into the villainy of their perverse understanding of economics.

Let me spout the politics of envy and class warfare knowing it will only lead to your eventual destruction!

Before we get into showing how Nolan destroys the ideals of progressivism by showing what it brings, let’s dismiss one semi-intelligent objection: Bane and Talia don’t believe in progressivism, they’re trying to show how it is a failed system and how people must reject it. That’s not entirely an incorrect point…but what you need to also realize is that just because the villains may be a tool they don’t really believe in doesn’t mean that it isn’t showing the flaws of progressivism…and that just because they don’t believe in progressivism doesn’t mean they’re capitalist. Point in fact, the entire League of Shadows from Ra’s Al Ghul’s first words to Talia’s last is a world view based on feudalism and cronyism. The League believes it should be the one who decides who shall be successful and who shall fail. Bane says as much when he tells Wayne, “I learned here that there can be no true despair without hope. So, as I terrorize Gotham, I will feed its people hope to poison their souls. I will let them believe they can survive so that you can watch them clamoring over each other to “stay in the sun.” You can watch me torture an entire city and when you have truly understood the depth of your failure, we will fulfill Ra’s al Ghul’s destiny… We will destroy Gotham and then, when it is done and Gotham is ashes, then you have my permission to die.” As we stated above they rule through terror, not reason, not ethics, not law, justice—they dress their words up in the clothes of these higher ideals but their actions show them to be as hollow and lacking in substance on the inside as any scarecrow (especially if said Scarecrow sets himself up as the instrument of justice).

Politically speaking, there is much that is applicable to our current political situation in our country. Now, to be fair, I don’t believe that Christopher Nolan’s intent was to create a modern political allegory. This movie was written and being filmed long before the Occupy Wall Street movement, which shares many of the villains sentiments, began.

During the first few weeks of the Occupy movement we both remember having many conversations about the similarities between that movement and the early days of the French Revolution. Which is why the connection between The Dark Knight Rises and OWS comes so easily.

The views of Occupy Wall Street were shown almost perfectly in Bane’s and Catwoman’s words, as well as the actions of the people who jump at the chance to drag the rich out and punish them for their success.

Bane’s entire speech outside of Black Gate Prison is so reminiscent of something from a ‘mic check’ at Occupy Wall Street

“We take power from the corrupt, who, for generations, have kept you down with myths of…opportunity and we give it back to you, the people. Gotham is yours, none shall interfere, do as you please. We’ll start by storming Black Gate and freeing the oppressed…an army will be raised, the powerful will be ripped from their decadence and cast out into the cold where we all have endured, courts will be convened, spoils will be enjoyed…”

-Bane (apologies for mistakes, I was working from a VERY scratchy audio clip)

and for those of you who remember the scenes that accompanied the final lines of that speech, the violence is so similar to the rioting at Occupy Oakland that is was almost frightening, especially when you realize that this movie was written months before any of that every happened.

Selina Kyle (Catwoman) starts out with the same exact rhetoric as many an Occupy Wall Street supporter. In a conversation with Bruce Wayne she says “You think this is gonna last? There’s a storm coming Mr. Wayne. You and your friends better batten down the hatches. ‘Cause when it hits, you’re all gonna wonder how you ever thought you could live so large, and leave so little for the rest of us.”

Though after her betrayal of Batman she appears to change her tone in a way that OWS never did. Upon entering a home that had been ransacked after Bane’s Black Gate speech she comments on the fact that ‘this used to be someone’s home’ when she looks at a smashed family photo. Her friend says ‘now it’s everyone’s home.’ Kyle, unlike just about everyone in OWS who only has to look to the failure of the Soviet Union, the collapse of Greece or the repression of China and North Korea to know what a failed system socialism, when she saw what her ideals brought about very quickly had no problem seeing their evil and abandoning them.

The Dark Knight Rises shows what happens when give us capitalisms for anarchy or socialism. You have perversion of justice. You have to survive on the handouts and scraps provided to you. There is no growth. No prosperity. No civilization. Only blood and the terror.

Now on to a slightly more hilarious turn of events.

Shortly before the movie came out the Obama campaign (and liberals in general) noticed something they thought they could use as a brilliant attack against Romney.

Did you know that Romney had a business named Bain Capital?

Bain/Bane…get it?**

One of these guys is someone rich who could easily leave others to fend for themselves but doesn’t…the other is named Bane. Which one reminds you the most of the presidential challengert?

“It has been observed that movies can reflect the national mood,” said Democratic advisor and former Clinton aide Christopher Lehane. “Whether it is spelled Bain and being put out by the Obama campaign or Bane and being out by Hollywood, the narratives are similar: a highly intelligent villain with offshore interests and a past both are seeking to cover up who had a powerful father and is set on pillaging society,” he added.

As the Friday release date has neared, liberal blogs were the first to connect Batman’s toughest foe with Romney’s firm.

– Christopher Lehane (via Washington Examiner)

Yeah, they actually did that.

Hilariously, when Rush Limbaugh dared to point out the name similarities, liberal bloggers thought he was being insane and completely ignored that their side was the one who made the comparison first.

Luckily conservatives had a fellow conservative Chuck Dixon, comic book creator, and coincidentally, the co-creator of the villain Bane, to smack some sense into liberals.

In an interview with ComicBook.com Dixon had this to say.

“The idea that there’s some kind of liberal agenda behind the use of Bane in the new movie is silly…I refuted this within hours of the article in the Washington Examiner suggesting that Bane would be tied to Bain Capital and Mitt Romney appearing. Bane was created by me and Graham Nolan and we are lifelong conservatives and as far from left-wing mouthpieces as you are likely to find in comics…As for his appearance in The Dark Knight Rises, Bane is a force for evil and the destruction of the status quo. He’s far more akin to an Occupy Wall Street type if you’re looking to cast him politically. And if there ever was a Bruce Wayne running for the White House it would have to be Romney.”

-Chuck Dixon (Via ComicBook.com)

Romney is Bruce Wayne? That’s the best pseudo-endorsement I’ve heard all year. If I wasn’t voting for Romney before, I sure am now.

The Fear of Death

Blind Prisoner: You do not fear death. You think this makes you strong. It makes you weak.
Bruce Wayne: Why?
Blind Prisoner: How can you move faster than possible, fight longer than possible without the most powerful impulse of the spirit: the fear of death.
Bruce Wayne: I do fear death. I fear dying in here, while my city burns, and there’s no one there to save it.
Blind Prisoner: Then make the climb.
Bruce Wayne: How?
Blind Prisoner: As the child did. Without the rope. Then fear will find you again.

Now on the Conservative New Ager we have a fairly low opinion of the fear of death. In numerous blogs it has been ridiculed as the foolish, childish, ignorant paralytic it is. However, it must be admitted, that in the rush of these blogs to point out that “Wise men at their end know [death] is right” and that it is nothing to be feared but merely a natural part of life, that the wise also “do not go gentle into that good night.”

Bruce Wayne doesn’t fear death for the first half of the movie, that is true. He is not hindered by the fears that he once was. The problem is that in this attempt to rid himself of fear he went too far and rid himself of the desire for life as well. While the movie only uses the phrase “fear death” it might seem that it is encouraging people to embrace fear. But from context the movie is not telling people to embrace the paralyzing fear of death because it is this fear that encourages the federal government and the people of Gotham to stand ideally by, and the fear that causes Modine’s Foley to hide, while a terrorist takes over the city. Rather, the movie is encouraging a balance—that the proper way is to rid one’s self of the paralyzing fear of death of Wayne did in the first film, but to maintain the love of live, and the appreciation of death and knowledge that each moment could be your last and must be fought for, that comes with this love of life. It is only this appreciation of death, that pushes Wayne to make a jump that he could not otherwise make, because he knows that if he is to live he must push himself—and he cannot push himself without both the knowledge that there is no turning back or without the desire to do something other than seek his own end.

And then of course, as a final thought we can’t forget how wonderfully patriotic this film is. Okay maybe not so much in it showing the President to be a sniveling coward who gives into terrorist demands (patriotic or not that might be an accurate assessment)…or in how cowardly the bureaucracy is when they blow the bridge condemning many to die (again might be an accurate conservative message). But you will notice that the people of Gotham (not the scum the who follow Bain mind you, but the people who are terrorized by them) stand for “The Star Spangled Banner” and the only person shown to not have his hand over his heart is the scummy mayor (who apparently is close to an even scummier Congressmen…again perhaps an accurate assessment of current events). And along with the police it is these people who fight against Bain. And you’ll notice that on the day of the battle even a British director like Nolan knows to show the tattered remains of the flag still flying, still offering hope, and as a symbol that on that day evil will fall. Finally the last words about Gotham, which they say is America’s greatest city, is that it will rise from the ashes of this act of terrorism…you would have to be pretty dense not to see this as a reference to New York, and a testament to how quickly America did pick itself up.

You don’t owe these people anymore. You’ve given them everything.

Not everything. Not Yet.

And the sad fact is that we’ve only scratched the surface of this film…

*On a side note, it should be said that, for all of Dickens’ flaws, A Tale of Two Cities is Dickens’ best work…too bad he stole half the plot from Victor Hugo’s Ninety-Three.

** Oh and if you want to to play the silly let’s compare political figures to fictional ones…I see your Bane/Bain…and raise you…
(Romney Ryan photos thanks to Heather Parsons)
 

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Liberal Desperation & Paul Ryan

The left has no facts to hit Ryan with…so they’re just going to smear him. SOP for Obama.

Liberals are going just crazy about Paul Ryan.  For the last couple of years the left has been trying destroy Paul Ryan.  They haven’t succeeded too well.
So now they’re getting desperate and hacks like Robert Reich (over-pompous Berkley Professor and terrible Secretary of Labor under Clinton…here’s just one of his disasters) are calling Ryan’s Plan social Darwinism.

“Paul Ryan exemplifies the social Darwinism at the core of today’s Republican Party: Reward the rich, penalize the poor, let everyone else fend for themselves. Dog eat dog.”

Now this brings up two points.  The first is that Reich (and many other liberals who have also developed an affinity for the term) is misusing the phrase “Social Darwinism”.  The second is that he’s lying about Ryan’s plan.

Let’s deal with the social Darwinism thing first.

Merriam-Webster defines Social Darwinism as:

 

an extension of Darwinism to social phenomena; specifically: a sociological theory that socio-cultural advance is the product of intergroup conflict and competition and the socially elite classes (as those possessing wealth and power) possess biological superiority in the struggle for existence

And the Oxford Dictionary defines it as

the theory that individuals, groups, and peoples are subject to the same Darwinian laws of natural selection as plants and animals. Now largely discredited, social Darwinism was advocated by Herbert Spencer and others in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and was used to justify political conservatism, imperialism, and racism and to discourage intervention and reform.

I also checked a few history textbooks and they all agree with these two definitions.  And every legitimate source ties the term to a theory that justified racism. And I don’t mean liberals modern definition of racism where liberals call you a racist if you say Israel’s culture of Classical Liberalism, hard work and innovation is what makes it more successful than Palestine’s culture of vicious irrational hatred, idiocy, and the glorification of butchers…no, the racism of Social Darwinism is that people of ethnic groups are biologically superior or inferior to others.

Further Reich’s argument that Social Darwinism is “let everyone else fend for themselves. Dog eat dog” ignores that Social Darwinism was always in practice more along the lines of Jim Crow laws (where people were not allowed to fend for themselves but rather had artificial burdens placed on them…thank the Democratic party for that invention), nor was it “dog eat dog” as “dog eat dog” would have allowed the oppressed groups be it in South Africa, British controlled India, or post-Civil War South to defend themselves with the same rights as anyone else.  Now Social Darwinism might include “Reward the rich, penalize the poor” if you change rich to privileged and poor to oppressed…but otherwise the whole sentence is just riddled with contradictory terms.

And this ignores that none of this is applicable to Ryan’s plan in the least.  But even ignoring that for the moment, the clear point here is that if Reich actually does know what the term Social Darwinism means (and it is a technical term that can’t just change with the changing fashion) then he is implying that there is something racist about Ryan’s plan.  I’d dare Reich to show me something racist in the plan but as there isn’t I’ll not force the dunce to back up his own statement.

So Reich is either an idiot and doesn’t know the meaning of words (certainly a possibility) or he is trying the tried and true DNC tactic of race-baiting by implying your opponent is a racist.  Your call, either is possible, both are despicable.

However one other fact that makes race-baiting a possibility is how other liberal leaning groups are treating Ryan. For an example I go to The Onion (which used to have some funny stuff on Bush…but now is so completely slanted to the left instead of doing what a comic should, attack everyone, has just become dull).

In The Onion’s article Focus: Who Is Paul Ryan?”there is this fun piece:

“Vice Presidential Vetting Process: Was asked if he was gay about 47 different ways”

Which is a not subtle way to both imply that he’s gay and Romney’s a homophobe (which gets them to get the undercurrent of homophobia in the culture against Ryan and the surface hatred of homophobia from the left against Romney…let’s ignore it was mainly the left who were the chief members of hounding Romney’s foreign policy aide who happened to be gay out of his position by making it impossible to do his job as every question was about his orientation).  So liberals will have all the fun in the world trying to hurt someone else by calling them gay, but if you eat at Chick-fil-a you’re a Neanderthal who wants to burn gays at the stake and must be imprisoned.  Hypocrisy and double standards much?*

Okay now let’s deal with Ryan’s plan.  You may want to familiarize yourself with it again.  (I’ve also included some videos at the end.)

I’m going to deal in broad strokes because there are differences between the 2011 and 2012 version of his budget bills (the latter watered down to try and get it past the Senate so Obama would have to veto it…good thing for Obama, Harry Reid illegally refuses to have a vote on it) and because there will definitely be differences between those two bills and what President Romney will send to Congress in 2013…and getting bogged down in details that I can’t guarantee will exist is just silly.

The first is does Paul Ryan’s plan destroy Medicare?  Liberals kept saying it did, hell they’re still saying.  And left-of-center Polifact called that “THE LIE OF YEAR FOR 2011!”

Does he lower taxes on the rich?  Yes.  He lowers taxes on everyone!  How is that a bad thing?

Now a consistent complaint by Democrats is that Ryan’s plan didn’t give details on deductions he would eliminate and exactly where the lines would be in the tax bracket changes.  This just goes to show how stupid Democrats are. Paul Ryan is on the Budget committee…the Ways and Means committee deals with loopholes and deductions.  Now I know liberals are used to a dictator in training who rules by fiat and thinks he’s all three branches and all three parts of the Trinity rolled into one, but we Republicans like doing things legally.  And legally Ryan’s committee can’t make those calls.   Now he has said that if it were up to him he just get rid of deductions for high earners (which is what both liberals and conservatives want…although conservatives want tax cuts accompanying that).

Is it “reward the rich and punish the poor” as Reich claims?  No.  It’s reward everyone both through tax cuts and then through the economic boom that will come from the extra money being put into the system.

Is it “let everyone else fend for themselves? Dog eat dog”?  No, it is save Medicare…and if you let him have at it he and Romney would reform and save Medicaid, Social Security, and Welfare so that they do their job rather than waste our money.

Does it strip money from education? No it just doesn’t grow those programs.

Is it an irrational plan?  Not in the least.  In fact someone called it “entirely legitimate proposal”…oh that would be Barry who said that.

The fact of the matter is that there are no legitimate, economic based complaints against the Ryan plan.







*Just in case you’re wondering doesn’t this make my making fun of Rick Santorum in numerous cases implying he is a self-hating closet case make me a hypocrite?  Nope.  I in my heart of hearts believe Rick Santorum is a self-hating closet case and I believe this is an important point because it explains why social issues are the only thing he cares about to the exclusion of any and all relevant issues.  It’s his self-hating behavior that makes him irrational and unfit to lead.  You’d (A) have a hard time convincing me of the same about Paul Ryan and (B) Ryan’s focus is economics, economics, and economics…he’s a social conservative, but his passion is economics so even if you believe it were true (I’m still not sure what you would be basing that on) it wouldn’t be relevant to his actions, unlike sweater-vest boy.

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Filed under Capitalism, Civil Liberties, Congress, Conservative, Constitution, Corporate Welfare, Debt, Economics, Election 2012, Evils of Liberalism, GOP, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, Individualism, Long Term Thinking, Mitt Romney, Natural Rights, Obama, Paul Ryan, politics, Taxes, Welfare

Romney, the man of character

It will be refreshing to have intelligent adults who have character in the White House…we haven’t had that since 1988.

Ryan may be the “Man with the Plan” but Romney is and will always be first and foremost the man of character, tact, and human decency.

Today at a rally in Wisconsin Romney was again shouted by hecklers and once again he dealt with it with grace and character, calmly responding with:

“You see, young man, this group is respectful of other people’s right to be heard. And you ought to find yourself a different place to be disruptive because here we believe in listening to people with dignity and respect.”

The fact that Romney can deal with a heckler so calmly speaks volumes of his character and self confidence.

Now it’s hard to say how Obama would react under similar circumstances given that he vets all his audiences and comes at times other than the announced time so only the most faithful are there. (You might try to blame Secret Service security for this, but the Secret Service is also in charge of Romney and Ryan security so that’s just silly).  However we can see how petty, how arrogant and how vicious Obama gets if you just ask him a question.  His true colors as a tyrannical despot wanna come out in full force


(And who knows maybe I’m missing some events where Obama was heckled…not entirely my fault as the press never seems to cover these events, but they love to cover every time Romney is heckled to give the impression that the average people are with Obama and against Romney…or it could just be that they don’t dare show how petty Obama is when he is heckled in public).
But hey, if you want the petty and characterless jerk to a man who responds to criticism calmly, confidently and with class and humor, as Romney says, vote for the other guy.

Oh and just to show you that Romney dealing with hecklers well isn’t just a one time occurrence…

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Filed under Conservative, Election 2012, Mitt Romney, Obama, Paul Ryan, politics, virtue