Monday, March 23, 2009

The Banana Republic

Kudos to former Obama pick for Commerce Secretary, Senator Judd Gregg who came out strongly against the budget and injected some much needed economic reality into the budget debate. Citing the Congressional Budget Office predictions that the national debt would reach %82 of GDP by 2019, Gregg argued that the debt level was unsustainable and "basically is the type of debt ratio you see in banana republics."

In a banana republic like refusal to accept economic reality, White House spokesman, Robert Gibbs, said that:
The new projections won't stop Obama from achieving his goals or keeping his promise to cut the country's red ink in half within four years. [Because] the administration is a bit more optimistic about the nation's economic growth over the long term than congressional analysts.

Yeah that doesn't sound like anything like what the press secretary of a banana republic would say does it? Gibbs is about as grounded in reality as Baghdad Bob.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Interesting Illusion

Just to undermine your confidence in the certainty of your perception here is a neat optical illusion that I found on

Supposedly if you see the dancer spinning counterclockwise, then you are left brained (logical). If you see her spinning clockwise then you are right brained (creative). If you see her spinning both directions I can only assume it means that you are either nuts are quickly heading in that direction.

Note: As a law student, I fittingly saw it spinning counterclockwise at first and then examined it from every possible angle, abusing my brain until I was able to see it spin clockwise as well. After much effort, I can say it really is possible to see it both ways, but find it disconcerting for some reason. I have to look away for it to change directions though, my mind can't handle the change looking directly at it. I'm a little skeptical that the image isn't really just changing directions though.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Special Olympic Bolwing Champion Challenges Obama

In a fitting turn of events, the reigning Special Olympics bowling champion, 35 year old Kolan McConiughey, challenged Obama to a bowling match. The challenge came in response to the President's disparaging remarks about the Special Olympics made on the Leno show. Seemingly unfazed by the President's celebrity, McConiughey told the Associated Press, "[h]e bowled a 129. I bowl a 300. I could beat that score easily."

Coach K Tells Obama Off

Iconic Duke basketball coach, Mike Krzyzewski, told Obama what we are all thinking these days. Annoyed that the President went on ESPN's SportCenter and picked against Duke in the NCAA Championship tournament, Coach K vented:

Somebody said that we're not in President Obama's Final Four, and as much as I respect what he's doing, really, the economy is something that he should focus on, probably more than the brackets.
Although I completely agree with Coach K that its annoying to see the President more worried about going on Leno and ESPN than leading the nation, I'm a little hesitant to encourage him too turn his attention back to the economy, considering the damage he has already done in that arena.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Obama Just Doesn't Get It.

President Obama became the first sitting President to ever go on The Tonight Show. What the President doesn't seem to understand is that he is no longer on the campaign trail running for office. He won already. The Tonight Show is pushing it for a Presidential Candidate, but for a sitting President in the midst of an economic crisis, two wars, and a budget disaster threatening the nation with insolvency, it is just plain tacky. Although, we shouldn't be surprised that a man who has never actually ran anything other than his own campaigns, would have any clue what to do as leader of the free world. Obama has essentially spent his entire political career running for office rather than actually accomplishing anything for his constituents.

It is still shocking; however, that the President doesn't feel the need to at least try to respect the hallowed office that he holds. From using his inaugural address for rank political attacks on his predecessor, to disrespecting a visiting head of state, to making an appearances on a late night comedy show, Obama clearly has no respect for the historical prestige of his position, or is simply incapable of filling the role. Wake Up Mr. President! The American People are sick of seeing their leader denigrate the office of the President. Nixon, Carter, and Clinton were enough embarrassment for us in one century. (Carter for his post presidential antics).

So there is no mistake, it's not just the Tonight Show appearance that I'm upset about, (I like Jay Leno) its the way that the President has abandoned the dignity of the office, by waging an unrelenting political campaign from the oval office, rather than embracing his role as the leader of America.

Note: Also, can anyone imagine the self-righteous outrage that would have erupted from the media, if Bush had disparaged the Special Olympics on national television?

More Dem Wall St. Corruption

Follow the money. No matter how often you hear the phrase it still rings true. Consequently, I am not surprised that a top aide of Sen. Chuck Schumer, Hank Morris, has been indicted for being bpaid to use political connections to guide New York State Pension funds in to specific hedge funds. One of the main culprits is The Carlyle Group, a big Democrat donor. Cornell Law School professor William Jacobson describes the tangled web of corruption in his excellent blog Legal Insurrection.

One thing is for sure, its not a coincidence that Wall St. has contributed heavily to Democrats over the last several years, including the usual culprits of Dodd, Frank, Clinton, Schumer, and Obama. In fact Wall St. has abandoned the republican party to lavish large amounts of campaign money on the Dems in the last election. The Senators Schumer and Clinton have undoubtedly played a large role in this changing of the tide. It is interesting that when Wall St. is behaving most corruptly and irresponsibly is also when it is most closely entwined with the Dems. All I know is that this investigation should move beyond Schumer, and hedge funds, to address the corrupt relationships between Obama, Clinton, Schumer, Dodd, Frank, and the banks, investments firms, and insurance companies that have benefited from bailouts and other legislation, while donating obscene amounts of money to political campaigns in exchange for legislative favors.

In a related note, the media has largely ignored the fact that histories second greatest swindler, Bernie Madoff is a huge Dem donor. (I say second biggest because Madoff's ponzi scheme pales in comparison to the government run ponzi scheme called Social Security.) A list of Madoff contributions by Jerome R. Corsi at World Net Daily:

  • Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.: $2,000 in 2002, $6,000 in 2004 and another $2,000 in 1998;

  • Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y.: $1,000 in 2000

  • House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt, D-Mo, presidential campaign: $2,000 in 2003;

  • Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y.: $1,000 in 2001; $1,000 in 1998;

  • Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J.: $10,200 in 2007; $1,000 in 2004;

  • Gov. Jon Corzine, D-N.J.: $1,000 in 1999.

Madoff appears to have gotten around rules limiting campaign contributions. For instance, he contributed not only to Schumer's campaign but also to a group called "The Friends of Schumer."

Madoff also contributed to Lautenberg's campaign and to the senator's NJ Victory Committee.

Madoff appears to have contributed more than $100,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee while Schumer was chairman, including a $25,000 contribution in 2005. at the Center for Responsive Politics reports that Madoff and other individuals at his company, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, gave $372,100 in campaign contributions beginning in 1991, with 89 percent going to Democrats.

To Big to Fail or a Big Failure?

In a galling display of dishonesty, President Obama is feigning outrage this week of executive bonuses at AIG, being paid with taxpayer bailout money. The fact that Sen. Dodd has now admitted slipping in a provision protecting bonuses at the specific request of the administration aside, the idea of a government being outraged at a moral hazard it created is appalling.

When a government uses taxpayer money to bailout out a failing corporation, why is it a surprise that the corporation continue fiscal irresponsibility, especially when the money is given hastily, without debate or any strings attached? When bad management is subsidized by taxpayers, why should we expect anything but more bad management?

If AIG had been allowed to fail, there would not have been lavish corporate retreats, and there would not have been undeserved executive compensation. When a company fails it is able to rewrite its otherwise legally binding contracts under protection of Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The overpaid and underperforming executives could have been forced to rewrite their contracts or get in line like all the other creditors, instead the Government bailed them out and took away any leverage for forcing the executives to restructure their deals.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dem's beginning to Turn on Each Other

With the massive failure of the bailout and stimulus bills becoming harder and harder to deny and polls beginning to suggest waining faith in the President and his fiscally irresponsible agenda, Obama went into campaign mode again this week, trying to distract attention from the disaster that is his so-called economic policy. Obama is executing what is known as a misdirection play in football, getting eveyone to look in one direction so they don't see what is really going on in the other direction. He's feigning mock outrage at 165 million in bonuses being handed out at AIG, to distract from the fact that his administration has used AIG to funnel billions to prop up foreign banks including banks in Germany, Scotland, and France. The Federal Reserve has refused to give details about the huge transfers of taxpayer money to foreign corporations.

As the Democrat Congressional leaders responsible for destroying our economy, (Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, etc . . .) are coming under increasing pressure for their handling of the bailouts, at least one congressman is appearing to turn on the President. Today, Sen. Dodd, (chair of the banking committee that failed to regulate AIG) admitted that his team added a bonus provision to the stimulus package at the request of the Obama administration, to specifically ensure that AIG bonuses would not be impeded. This new revelation flies in the face of the ridiculous posturing and mock outrage by the President, who has been pretending for the last few days that he had no idea that AIG executives could still receive bonuses under the bailout plan. It is now clear, however, that not only was his administration aware of it, they were the ones who demanded it.

The big joke in all of this is that this problem was obvious from the beginning. Both Congress and the administration were well aware of this inevitablility. Critics of the bailout have been warning about this for months, including before the bill was passed. When Democrats are allowed to write legislation in secret and Obama and the Democrati leadership refused to give anyone time to read the bill, it is no surprise that atrocities like this will turn up.

The interesting thing will be to see how self-destructive the Democrats will become throwing blame at each other in an attempt to pass the hot potato before they get burned. It all seems like a effort in futility to me seeing as Obama, Dodd, Frank, Reid, and Pelosi have the fingerprints all over this, and will have a very difficult timing hiding it.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Why the Left Doesn't Care about Human Rights

Yukio Ngaby, author of the blog Critical Narrative, recently discussed the article "Liberals Turning Blind Eye to Human Rights" at by Michael Barone. Naby correctly disagreed with Barone that the left abandoned human rights because they are upset that Bush stole the issue from them. Furthermore, he astutely points out that the left's infatuation with human rights has long been disengenuous at best. Ngaby writes:

I believe that the left's interest in human rights has eroded because of a shift toward socialism. . . .

When one talks of the current "rape camps" in the Congo, you get the usual and bored clucking of the tongues... "tsk... tsk... so horrible," but little in actual interest or protest. Yet, when Muboto was in charge and the Congo part of now defunct Zaire, then they cared. They care little for Castro and Che's "long ago" vicious repression and "reeducation" but still call for the blood of the deceased Pinochet (himself a terrible tyrant). They continue to rehash the legacy of American slavery (toppled almost a century-and-a-half ago), but seem to care very little for the African and Southeast Asian slave trade that is happening at this very moment.

. . . .[T]he socialist left's interest in human rights is not benevolent, but has been made a part of their philosophy, part of their politics.

The Left's disregard for human rights is not surprising. Stephen R.C. Hicks, professor of philosophy at Rockford College, explains how socialists became postmodernists in his book Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault:
Postmodernism is born of the marriage of Left politics and skeptical epistemology. . . . The failure of socialism, both empirically and theoretically, brought about a crisis of faith among socialists, and postmodernism is their response. Its epistemology justifies the leap of faith necessary to continue believing in socialism, and the same epistemology justifies using language not as a vehicle for seeking truth but as a rhetorical weapon in the continuing battle against capitalism.

With the advance of postmodernism and the resulting moral relativism, the left has become obsessed with power. Questions of right and wrong have been supplanted by questions of power. Without morality all that mattters is who is in control. Those with power are automatically responsible for all that is wrong in the world, and are consequently the only ones The Left feel comfortable condemning. The powerless are mere victims, not responsible for their actions or own atrocities. Therefore, The Left won't condemn Palestinian terrorists because they are the powerless, but will condemn the Israelis because they are more powerful. They don't mind Saddam Hussein's bloody Iraq or Iran and North Korea's brutal oppression of their own people, but rant and rave about American mistreatment of terrorist prisoners.

The only people in power who escape criticism are those dedicated to the same socialist agenda, because ideology trumps postmodernist philosophy for the Socialist. Consequently, Castro, Communist China, Hugo Chavez and now Obama will escape human rights criticism no matter how powerful they are. The Left's concern with human rights violations has never been about morality, but about condemning their enemies.

"Never let a serious crisis go to waste."

Obama's appointment of Rahm Emanuel to Chief of Staff should have been a clear sign that Obama had no intention of bridging partisan divides. Appointing a political knee-capper like "Rahmbo" while pretending to be concerned with bipartisanship is as ludicrous as an NFL team signing Terrell Owens in order to improve team chemistry.

There is little question why Obama chose "Rahmbo" as his closest political aide. They both adhere to the "Chicago Way," a media euphemism used to sugarcoat the notoriously corrupt Chicago political culture (think Al Capone, both Mayor Daleys, former Governor Blagojevich, Sen. Roland Burris etc...). Not wasting any time demonstrating his ethical shortcomings , Emanuel brazenly admitted what has become the administration's primary political strategy, "Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it's an opportunity to do things you couldn't do before."

Emanuel had the cajones to say this after democrats have spent the last eight years calling Bush a fascist for "manufacturing crisis" in order to "restrict civil liberties" (translation: Bush responded to 9/11 by investigating terrorists and putting them in jail). In fact, Hillary Clinton went so far as to write an Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal titled: No Crisis is Immune from exploitation under Bush. Talk about projection . . .

The Democratic Congress followed the lead of the Obama administration by promptly passing a obscenely expensive and unaffordable trillion dollar plus spending orgy he called a "stimulus bill," which was nothing more than a massive expansion of government, and payoff to Democrat special interest groups. In fact, Obama used his first prime time speech to threaten the Amercian people with economic doom, warning that if Congress rejected the bill it would “turn a crisis into a catastrophe.”

Finding great success in such fascist political tactics, the Obama team is back at it. This week, Obama made the audacious claim that rising health care costs are the greatest threat to the economy. [Wait I thought we had to pass the bank bailouts because they failure of the banks was the greatest threat to the economy? And then didn't we have to bailout out the car industry because that was the biggest threat to the economy?] The President backed this claim by fraudulently asserting that “the cost of health care now causes a bankruptcy in America every thirty seconds." This unrealistic claim was based on a study that has been debunked for several years. However, a little thing like truth and accuracy will not get in the way of Obama's march towards socialism.

Obama is now working on step one of the plan: make American think that the economic crisis is some how tied to health care. He has also began on Step two, which is making America believe that he is listening to and considering ideas from across the political spectrum. Step three will be convincing people believe that the only solution is government intervention. Lastly, Obama will distort the true nature of his plan, which will inevitably involve socializing the industry. However, he will call it something else such as "universal health care" or "single payer health care."

Although I don't doubt that rising health care costs is a huge issue that needs addressing, I have trouble seeing it as a significant part of the current crisis. Even if it were an issue, the last thing that would help the industry would be turning it over to the people who run the DMV, or the VA hospitals. The only way conservatives are going to defeat this catastrophic agenda is by loudly and clearly exposing the administration for this deceptive and fascist political strategy. Furthermore, we need to articulate an affirmative conservative agenda that will provide people with hopethey can latch on to, other than more big government. America will surely embrace common sense over the folly being pushed by the clowns in Washington, as long as they have the option.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Educational Assault on the 1st and 2nd Amendments

It's no secret that many educational institutions across America have exhibited a disheartening disdain for political and ideological diversity. It's bad enough to watch educational institutions offer their students a pathetically limited exposure to differing political viewpoints. Mark Finklestein provides a glaring example in an article in the Cornell Daily Sun, No Myth: Conservatives in Academia Suffer Discrimination:

The imbalance is worst in the very departments where political diversity matters most. Cornell's government department has only one registered Republican. At Ithaca College, faced with the evidence that there was not a single Republican in the politics department she chaired, Prof. Asma Barlas boasted "we have a range of progressive views in our department (emphasis added)." -

Whats even more disturbing is the willingness of educational institutions (especially public ones) to affirmatively discourage expression of disfavored conservative ideas through censorship, disciplinary action, intimidation and discrimination. For many examples please browse the website for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

The most recent example is detailed by Maxim Lott on Three students at Central Connecticut State University gave a presentation in communications class advocating for concealed handgun carrying on College campuses. The Professor, Paula Anderson, responded by calling the police and reporting the students as safety risks. The campus police in turn hauled one of the students, John Wahlberg, down to the police station for questioning! So much for the first amendment at Central Connecticut State University. Minorities joke about the crime of "Driving While Black," well apparently there is a new crime developing at liberal educational institutions, "Speaking While Conservative." Although, when a United States Senator seriously and unashemedly compares conservate ideas to pornography, maybe this liberal movement should not be such a surprise. Just a few months ago, Sen. Chuck Schumer said that conservative opinions need to be censored by the FCC on tv and radio, because they just like pornography should be. What a scary world this becoming, for those who value the freedom of speech.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Another Example of Socialist Ignorance

University of Connecticut Men's Basketball Coach, Jim Calhoun, got into a heated exchange with a socialist activist at the press conference following Coach Calhoun's 799th career win. What should have been a celebratory occasion turned noticeably sour when a Connecticut activist (who I won't dignify by mentioning his name) questioned the fact that Calhoun is earning a salary of about $1.5 million. The Socialist (who inexplicably got a press pass) commandeered the occasion to interrogate Calhoun about how much he was paid and whether it was appropriate given the states current budget shortfall.

Calhoun responded to the inquisition joking at first that he would "Not [give] a dime back," When The Socialist would persisted Calhoun became upset angrily explaining that his basketball program brought in over 12 million in revenue to the university. Since the exchange the media has characteristically focused on criticizing Calhoun's angry response, rather than the ignorance displayed by the young socialist product of Connecticut's educational institutions.

Lets do the math on this equation to see if Calhoun or the young socialist has the better point:

Calhoun's Salary: 1.5 million a yr
Calhoun's contribution to the state of Connecticut: over 12 million directly (who knows how much more in indirect earnings)

So 12 million -1.5 million makes Calhouns net contribution 10.5 million.

If you ask me, this probably makes Coach Calhoun Connecticut's most productive employee. I highly doubt anyone else brings in anything close, especially in this economy. Now compare him to all the politicians on the state payroll, who do nothing but sqaunder billions of the state dollars. Hmmm . . . as Dick Vitale said, Coach Calhoun is underpaid if anything.

The most recent development came when the Governor of Connecticut, Jodi Rell had the nerve to call Calhoun's response "embarrasing." No Governor, your state spending is embarrassing, your budget deficit is embarrassing, and your job performance is embarrassing. (Rell is a Republican whose fiscal conservatism led to a budget surplus early in her tenure, which has since been squandered by abandoning her fiscal principles.) I have reached the end of my rope. I will no longer sit back and watch the earners and producers of our society be demonized for their success. I will not refrain from calling out the politicians and public figures who capitulate to socialist rhetoric and distort reality for the sake of personal ambition.

Calhoun's basketball program turned a huge profit last year, how many other people had similar success with their organizations? I think Calhoun deserves a huge bonus as the lone bright spot in Connecticut, rather than shameless self-promoting criticisms and confrontations.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Horrifying Catastrophe that is Socialized Medicine (read universal health care)

What we have to look forward to with Obama's plan for socialized medicine, according to the Associated Press:

A 69-year-old Japanese man injured in a traffic accident died after paramedics spent more than an hour negotiating with 14 hospitals before finding one to admit him . . .

. . . . because the hospitals said they could not accept him, citing a lack of specialists, equipment, beds and staff

It was the latest in a string of recent cases in Japan in which patients were denied treatment, underscoring the country's health care wo
es that include a shortage of doctors.

. . . .

More than 14,000 emergency patients were rejected at least three times by Japanese hospitals before getting treatment in 2007, according to the latest government survey. In the worst case, a woman in her 70s with a breathing problem was rejected 49 times in Tokyo.

So, if you believe "free"*, health insurance is more important than available and quality health care, press on towards a socialist paradise. No matter how Obama tries to frame his plan for socialized health care, he can't skirt the basic laws of economics. Socialism has failed every time and way it has been tried.

*Nothing in life is free. Especially when other people have to work to provide it for you.