Friday, December 30, 2011

Last night's outstanding movie quote

"You're in no position to disagree with me, boy.  I've got a loaded .45 here.  You've got pimples."

Fredo's Mad Money update

OK, we're nearing the finish line in Iowa. Based on the contracts we chose, here are the scenarios needed for each contributor to win: Dark Commenteer: Romney wins in Iowa. Can't win if he doesn't.

Fredo: Romney wins in South Carolina, and someone other than Romney wins in Iowa.

ManBeast: Gingrich wins in South Carolina, and someone other than Romney wins in Iowa.

SHK: Wouldn't know winning if hit him in the face.

Here's my odds, based on current polling and momentum: D.C. 60% chance at the win, Fredo 25%, Beast 15%.
Thursday, December 29, 2011

Krauthamer sums it up:

The race for the GOP nomination, and Obama's recent bounce in polling. From RCP:

Think of how this has gone. Trump, Bachmann, Perry, then Cain, then Newt, who is really in decline now, Ron Paul, who is on the ascent, but he's not electable, and now Santorum. Every single alternative is going to get a try or looks as if it's going to get a try because the field is unhappy with, or the electorate in large part is unhappy with Romney. He's stable, he's sober, but he's considered ideologically suspect.
Imagine if you'd had a race with a Mitch Daniels, with a Paul Ryan, Christie, Jindal and others, Sen. Thune. It would have had a completely different complexion. And I think with some of the sort of embarrassing candidates like Cain and others along the way, it has made the president who is by who he is, presidential, look better. And I think that explains the reason his numbers are up...
What I wouldn't give to have a Daniels, Ryan, Christie or Jindal in this race right now. I wish T-Paw hadn't dropped out so early. Thune, I'm not so sure.

Speaker Gingrich,


I recognized your foul stench when I was brought on board.

From the brilliant blog, Newt Gingrich Judges You:

Union Leader takes on Paul

As we approach the Hawkeye Cawkeye, it looks to be a big finish for Ron Paul in Iowa.  A result that once seemed impossible--Dr. No getting a ticket (top 3) out of Des Moines--now seems a real possibility.  

While I'm deeply impressed by many of Rep. Paul's core convictions, particularly his allegiance to a strict interpretation of the Constitution--one that constrains federal authority, and hence regulation, taxation, spending, nanny-statism, etc.--that same dogmatic approach will create some impossibly high hurdles for him, should he be elected President.  In actuality, he simply has too many fatal flaws to be considered a realistic player for the nomination.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Gingrich compares Virginia's signature requirements to Pearl Harbor

As they might ask on the Twit, "Srsly?"

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Nice Christmas Treat

brought to you by (surprise!) CNN. A nifty little essay that talks about the difference between a society with and without Christian virtue: the difference between Bedford Falls and Pottersville.
Friday, December 23, 2011

Newt for President!

Official campaign slogan: "We're not going to make it, are we?"

Trump Bolts GOP

The Donald has changed his official party affiliation to independent, and as a result, the speculation about an independent Presidential run is gearing up.

As ABC news is reporting with much hyperventilation,

Donald Trump is officially a man without a party.
The real estate mogul whose flirtation with the 2012 presidential race has never really ended despite announcing seven months ago he would not seek the Republican nomination has been signaling he wants to find other ways onto a presidential ticket.
Amazing.  After all of his red-faced pontification attacking Obama, I can't believe he'd splinter the center-right vote, almost assuring the President's re-election.  It's like he's been a trojan horse candidate working for the President all along.  Why couldn't someone have seen this coming before?

Oh, wait, someone did:

Trump is flat out dangerous to GOP prospects in '12. Hopefully he blows up early and vanishes... 
Trump is brash and forthright, which appeals to a certain demographic, but ultimately when denied the nomination he could utilize that support as a drag against the GOP nominee when he runs as an independent. And all the birther stuff will prevent him from drawing any moderate or Dem votes. The whole thing smells.
The really interesting question to me is this: What does the Donald want? I don't think the man has any real interest in being President. The 100 hr weeks for 4 straight years for a measly $300K or whatever the CIC earns these days. Chump change. Not enough parties. Not enough Eastern European models.

What he's really interested in doing, IMHO, is getting maximum exposure for his brand, and becoming a power broker in the process that he can leverage for chips later. A pass from DOJ on a proposed merger, or the DEC on some huge proposed casino in a protected wetlands.  Who knows. But it'll be fascinating to see how Trump pursues "the Art of the Deal", and what benefits he can plumb from playing Obama and the GOP nominee off of each other.

The Deal, of course, will come early.  The fruits won't come for years, in all probability.  I'll be watching and waiting--it for no other reason than my morbid curiosity of how a dynamic, free-market economy devolves into a stagnant, initiative-crushing, crony-capitalistic shitbox.
Thursday, December 22, 2011

A first, best gift

Haven't posted anything but figured It's best to start with beauty, no?
Monday, December 19, 2011

Researchers create virus capable of killing 4B people

Thank goodness for academic freedom. We might not have known exactly which genes needed to mutate to turn a relatively non-contagious form of deadly bird flu into a quick spreading pandemic nightmare. But now we know.

How could anyone be this careless? This crazy?

I really like this part:

The study was carried out by a Dutch team of scientists led by Ron Fouchier of the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, where the mutated virus is stored under lock and key, but without armed guards, in a basement building.

Good to know. Luckily there aren't any really bad people that would want to know where to find a virus that could kill 60% of those it infects. Luckily.
Thursday, December 15, 2011

National Review, otherwise known as

the "official publication" of the modern conservative movement, has not yet endorsed a candidate. But they have definitively stated, as of today, who they will NOT endorse: Gingrich, Bachmann, Paul, or Perry. That leaves three they consider to real contenders.
Here is the conclusion of their short, worthwhile piece:
Governor Huntsman has a solid record, notwithstanding his sometimes glib foreign-policy pronouncements; his main weakness is his apparent inability, so far, to forge a connection with conservative voters outside Utah. Governor Romney won our endorsement last time, in part because some of the other leading candidates were openly hostile to important elements of conservatism. He is highly intelligent and disciplined, and he takes conservative positions on all the key issues. We still think he would make a fine president, but time and ceaseless effort have not yet overcome conservative voters’ skepticism about the liberal aspects of his record and his managerial disposition. Senator Santorum was an effective legislator. He deserves credit for highlighting, more than any other candidate, the need for public policies that topple barriers to middle-class aspirations. Weighing against him is a lack of executive experience.

As Republican primary voters consider their choices, they should ask themselves several questions: Which candidate is most likely to make the race turn on the large questions before the country, and not his personal idiosyncrasies? Which candidate is most likely to defeat Obama? Who could, if elected, form an effective partnership with Republican leaders and governors to achieve the conservative agenda? We will render further judgments in the weeks to come as the candidates continue to make their cases and are, just perhaps, joined by new candidates. At the moment we think it important to urge Republicans to have the good sense to reject a hasty marriage to Gingrich, which would risk dissolving in acrimony.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Char-lie...

Where are all the people, Char-lie...
Sunday, December 11, 2011

Baldwin on SNL

This guy is, let's be charitable, an unmitigated douchebag.

But you can't say he's not funny...

Restoring trust

OK, so this isn't sexy. It doesn't talk about six-sigma or mining resources on the moon. It doesn't talk about the Next American Century full of global power projection and U.S. hegemony; or how American power is "good for the world."

What it is, IMHO, is an ambitious blue print for addressing the root causes of some serious problems that are undermining our economy, and breeding distrust of both private and public sector institutions.

Without further ado, Huntsman's 7-point plan:

1. Reform our 17,000 page tax code. He will eliminate every last loophole, subsidy and carve-out. He will use that revenue to lower rates across the board, for individuals and businesses. Governor Huntsman will create a tax code that is flatter and simpler; one that opens up economic opportunities for all our citizens, makes us more competitive, and ends corporate welfare and crony capitalism, once and for all.

2. Address our mounting debt by cutting spending in every corner of government, leaving no sacred cow untouched. Governor Huntsman will reform entitlement programs – based on the Ryan Plan – while holding true to our nation’s commitments to those in or near retirement.

3. Ensure that no financial entity is too-big-to-fail. Governor Huntsman will do this by breaking up the big banks on Wall Street, so that never again – never again – are taxpayers held hostage by a Sophie’s Choice: massive bailouts, or economic calamity.

4. Adopt a comprehensive energy strategy that frees us from foreign oil, that eliminates all energy subsidies, and that levels the playing field for competing fuels and technologies.

5. Streamline regulations in order to create a free, fair and competitive marketplace. All too often our regulatory framework becomes another tool for special interests seeking to use the state to protect privileges and insulate themselves from competition. Read More

6. Bring our troops home from Afghanistan, while leaving behind an appropriately-sized counterterrorist presence. And Governor Huntsman will set our military strategy and budgets based on long-term threats and vulnerabilities, not on spending patterns developed decades ago and reinforced today by armies of lobbyists.

7. Finally, in order to ensure that government responds to all its citizens with the same level of urgency and fairness, and to lessen the influence of special interests, Governor Huntsman will send to Congress a "Citizen Legislature Act," which includes term limits for Congress and lobbying restrictions.


Bold portions are my emphasis-- segments of this plan that I think are on point, and part of the same theme.

I'm pretty sure

the only thing that will be remembered about last night's debate, two months from now, is the $10K bet.

Mitt hurt himself with that one. Pretty badly.
Friday, December 09, 2011

Debate!

Tomorrow night's debate is the first one I'll watch in its entirety in a while. They dynamics are totally different now, w/ Mitt not the nominal frontrunner. I'm interested to see how he handles it. I don't think it serves him well to be an attack dog. He needs to continue with the same, above-the-fray persona that he's maintained through almost all of the debates to this point.

Newt has to avoid saying anything outrageous and looking petulant. Since he'll be the focus of most of the attacks, it could be more difficult than it sounds. Luckily for him, Newt knows how to debate and doesn't have to do much different than what he's been doing thus far, so I'm not too worried about him.

Huntsman is the only other candidate that I really take seriously at this point, despite his non-existent polling (other than in NH). He needs to be assertive, draw distinctions with Mitt on foreign policy, economic record, and consistency.

Santorum needs some kind of incredibly memorable line. Lightning in a bottle, if you will.

Bachmann should drop out now and will soon.

Perry should drop out now, but has the money to continue making a fool of himself for a long time.

Paul will be Paul. Huntsman has the most opportunity to point out similarities with Paul (particularly on foreign policy, and on their mutual animus towards crony capitalism) in order to make himself the second choice of Paul voters.

Mustang vs. the Competition

The money shot comes at around 1:25.

Perry doesn't let dignity get in the way of comedy

What. A. Joke.

From the AP:

On Friday, Perry criticized Obama for his two Supreme Court nominees. "When you see his appointment of two, from my perspective, inarguably activist judges, whether it was ." he said, trailing off.

He paused for six seconds. "Not Montemayor," he said.

"Sotomayor," a member of the editorial board said.

"Sotomayor, Sotomayor," Perry said.

He went on to denounce "eight unelected and, frankly, unaccountable judges" in a discussion of prayer in schools. But nine justices sit on the Supreme Court.

The hits keep on coming

David Brooks, another member of the GOP intelligentsia (whether many conservatives would like to admit it or not), has out today a column critical of Gingrich.

Here are his main points:

Of all the major Republicans, the one who comes closest to my worldview is Newt Gingrich... [H]e continually returns to this core political refrain: He talks about using government in energetic but limited ways to increase growth, dynamism and social mobility.

As he said in 2007, “It’s not a point of view libertarians would embrace, but I am more in the Alexander Hamilton-Teddy Roosevelt tradition of conservatism. I recognize that there are times when you need government to help spur private enterprise and economic development.”

So why am I not more excited by the Gingrich surge?

In the first place, Gingrich loves government more than I do...

Furthermore, he has an unconservative faith in his own innocence.

Then there is his rhetorical style... Most people just want somebody who can articulate their hatreds, and Gingrich is demagogically happy to play the role.

Most important, there is temperament and character. As Yuval Levin noted in a post for National Review, the two Republican front-runners, Gingrich and Mitt Romney are both “very wonky Rockefeller Republicans who moved to the right over time as their party moved right.”

But they have very different temperaments. Romney, Levin observes, has an executive temperament — organization, discipline, calm and restraint. Gingrich has a revolutionary temperament — intensity, energy, disorganization and a tendency to see everything as a cataclysmic clash requiring a radical response.

In the two main Republican contenders, we have one man, Romney, who seems to have walked straight out of the 1950s, and another, Gingrich, who seems to have walked straight out of the 1960s. He has every negative character trait that conservatives associate with ’60s excess: narcissism, self-righteousness, self-indulgence and intemperance. He just has those traits in Republican form.

As nearly everyone who has ever worked with him knows, he would severely damage conservatism and the Republican Party if nominated. He would severely damage the Hamilton-[T.] Theodore Roosevelt strain in American life.

The endorsements keep rolling in for Mitt; the criticism for Newt. Yet at this point, I guess the main question is--does it really matter? Based on the polling, it seems like Newt is getting a solid grip on the nomination.
Thursday, December 08, 2011

Nice Huntsman ad.

With some commentary from moi, originally posted at Race 4 2012:



I think the focus of this ad is dead on, and should be co-opted by whoever is the eventual GOP nominee. This lack of trust is at the root of what ails us.

Liberals believe the political fracturing of our society is because of economic “inequality.” But the honest truth (and the conservative viewpoint) is that the diversion of political factions has more to do with a lack of trust in our insitutions, than the fact that we can’t all be rich. Americans who believe they’re getting a fair shake are willing to work hard to be in the middle class. Selective bailouts, Obamacare exemptions, selective asset subsidies, and the general picking of winners and losers in the economy, creates a feel of corruption that dispirits and divides. It makes the deck seemed stacked against you.

Just finished repaying your student loan? Sucker! Should’ve let the interest accrue till the mob forced a government bailout for debtors.

Bought a house in the middle of bubble, without realizing that quasi-govermental agencies were allowing lenders to avoid the consequences of writing bad loans via securitization? Sucker! Should’ve held your cash and waited for the bust.

These (and many other) government machinations make it more difficult than it should be for the average citizen, who wants to play by the rules, from achieving success.

Less picking of winners and losers, please; a return to a sense of stability in the legal, regulatory and economic context within which we make our decisions. Get government’s heavy hand out of the way, and people might start to trust it again.

What comes next?

This should be a D.C. special...

Lets not hunt Illinois

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Concerns among Newt's colleagues

Race 4 2012 has a post up stating that McCain is preparing to make a Romney endorsement. The article quotes a source (in an article from The Hill) who, I think, sums up the fears among GOP insiders w/r/t a Newt candidacy. Even for those who respect his considerable talents:

There is growing concern among many of McCain’s Senate Republican colleagues on whether Gingrich is electable in a match-up against President Obama.

“Newt’s hand is always six inches from the self-destruct button,” one GOP lawmaker said last week.

My Favorite Newt Caption

Blatantly lifted from http://newtjudgesyou.tumblr.com/post/12853736401/i-understand-you-disagree-with-my-argument-on



“I understand you disagree with my argument on transubstantiation. I’ll grant you that. But this does not change the fact that you are completely wrong about whether Han shot first.”
Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Unshackled?

I have been having problems publishing posts (no issues with comments though, as I'm sure has been noticed).

This is only a test--IGNORE THIS POST!!!!

-------------------------

Admin Edit: If anyone else is having trouble posting on the blog, please let Fredo know offline. Thx.

Casting Call



Clockwise from center top:

Sleepy, Stalker, X-Man, Racer-X


Also, maybe you guys could help me with this one:

BenJarvus X Beasty X

I have your red velvet cupcake Ameritupperware.





Just saying.
Monday, December 05, 2011

Deep Thoughts, by George Will

Having read and re-read that Will article, I really believe this paragraph is the core of it. I've removed the references to Gingrich, because it makes a deeper philosophical point about the nature of conservatism:

[A] Marxist believes everything is related to everything else and only he understands how. Conservatism, in contrast, is both cause and effect of modesty about understanding society’s complexities, controlling its trajectory and improving upon its spontaneous order. Conservatism inoculates against th[is] hubristic volatility..."

Conservatism is not, historically speaking, a "movement" aimed at reform, revolution, or upending the nature of things. It is status-quo-ism. It is trimming the fat, restoring things to a state of equilibrium, moving beyond the hubris of trying to legislate fantasy in the face of reality. This is a conservatism that would appeal to Edmund Burke or Russell Kirk. Or possibly John Calhoun.

And therein lies the potential criticism of it: Calhoun was committed to preserving a status quo institution that needed to be destroyed. His brand of conservatism preserved, it did not overturn. Unlike Calhoun, today's movement conservatives no longer believe we can merely preserve the valuable institutions that form the core of our society. They believe that our most important institutions, which may vary depending on the type of conservative you are talking to (e.g., our Anglo cultural heritage, our common-law protections, religious institutions in the Judeo-Christian tradition, a town/locally-centric body politic), have already been trampled beyond recognition. They believe a restoration is needed, which would be transformative in nature, and destructive of the status quo built by liberals over the past 80 years. If this restoration is wrenching and full of conflict, so be it.

This is the opposite view of the traditionalist conservative, who sees more value in preserving stability, gradually steering society away from excess and harmful measures that may have accumulated over time, and working incrementally. One might also compare this to the difference between Clarence Thomas conservatism and Anthony Kennedy (or David Souter?) conservatism. Or to the difference between Reagan Republicanism and Rockefeller Republicanism, although both are imperfect analogies.

Note that this distinction does not apply perfectly to the candidates in this race. Gingrich espouses so many different views that he cannot be neatly defined as either an incrementalist (despite wanting a less audacious plan to entitlement reform than Ryan's "right-wing social engineering"), nor a restorationist (despite his views that he is leading a cavalry charge against the status quo).

Mitt seems to fit more clearly into the role of incrementalist. This obviously does not bother Will greatly, who seems more concerned with Romney's likeability, than with his preference for managing, rather than rolling back, the continued creep of liberal-statism.

Huntsman likewise can't be pigeon-holed, but is clearly more of an incrementalist and a valuer of stability. For example, look at how his approach to the debt ceiling crisis contrasted with the rest of the GOP candidates in the field: he voiced conservative priorities, but wanted to the brinkmanship that he felt had unknown consequences. Yet he also has some bold proposals (politically speaking), like the elimination of cap gains and dividend taxation. I presume that Will's main calculation is that Huntsman is more likeable than Romney, and thus a better candidate, while still hailing from a similar conservative tradition--one that Will is more comfortable with.

Will seems to ignore in this article, though I'm sure he's aware of it, that there are whole segments of the American right that are no longer incrementalists. Which is odd, because when Reagan and Thatcher were wresting of conservative political parties here and in England, I'm pretty sure Will sided with them over the status quo. I'd be interested to know if Will sees our current trajectory as closer to a "natural equilibirium" than was the case in the '60s and '70s.

In any event, these movement conservatives believe that societal institutions need to be upended, just as liberals have believed for centuries. They are focused on upending the institutions of the Great Society, the New Deal, and the Warren Court, whereas liberals have been focused on the Church (purveyor, in their view, of patriarchy and ethnic supremacism), strict property and contractual rights (resulting in wealth inequality), and the belief in homogenous cultural and moral values.

For these political warriors/movement conservatives, currently most associated with the Tea Party, Gingrich's personality, and elements of his ideology, seems to be a fit, even if his long record may not align with their goals when closely scrutinized.

George Will on the current front runners

Will cuts down the current frontrunners. It is a piece that is startling in its candor (read: willingness to attack the prevailing view that Gingrich is a conservative), and also written by a man who clearly know the ropes, and whose experience and knowledge command attention. First, his attack on Romney:

Romney’s main objection to contemporary Washington seems to be that he is not administering it. God has 10 commandments, Woodrow Wilson had 14 points, Heinz had 57 varieties, but Romney’s economic platform has 59 planks — 56 more than necessary if you have low taxes, free trade and fewer regulatory burdens...

Obama is running as Harry Truman did in 1948, against Congress, but Republicans need not supply the real key to Truman’s success — Tom Dewey. Confident that Truman was unelectable, Republicans nominated New York’s chilly governor, whose virtues of experience and steadiness were vitiated by one fact: Voters disliked him.

He saves his harshest critique for Gingrich:

Gingrich...embodies the vanity and rapacity that make modern Washington repulsive. And there is his anti-conservative confidence that he has a comprehensive explanation of, and plan to perfect, everything...

His temperament — intellectual hubris distilled — makes him blown about by gusts of enthusiasm for intellectual fads, from 1990s futurism to “Lean Six Sigma” today...

Gingrich, who would have made a marvelous Marxist, believes everything is related to everything else and only he understands how. Conservatism, in contrast, is both cause and effect of modesty about understanding society’s complexities, controlling its trajectory and improving upon its spontaneous order. Conservatism inoculates against the hubristic volatility that Gingrich exemplifies and Genesis deplores: “Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel.”

Will offers brief praise of Perry as a possible alternative (out of deference to his wife, I presume, who works for Perry), but then goes on to praise the man that I must presume is his preferred candidate:

Jon Huntsman inexplicably chose to debut as the Republican for people who rather dislike Republicans, but his program is the most conservative. He endorses Paul Ryan’s budget and entitlement reforms. (Gingrich denounced Ryan’s Medicare reform as “right-wing social engineering.”) Huntsman would privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (Gingrich’s benefactor). Huntsman would end double taxation on investment by eliminating taxes on capital gains and dividends. (Romney would eliminate them only for people earning less than $200,000, who currently pay just 9.3 percent of them.) Huntsman’s thorough opposition to corporate welfare includes farm subsidies. (Romney has justified them as national security measures — food security, somehow threatened. Gingrich says opponents of ethanol subsidies are “big-city” people hostile to farmers.) Huntsman considers No Child Left Behind, the semi-nationalization of primary and secondary education, “an unmitigated disaster.” (Romney and Gingrich support it. Gingrich has endorsed a national curriculum.) Between Ron Paul’s isolationism and the faintly variant bellicosities of the other six candidates stands Huntsman’s conservative foreign policy, skeptically nuanced about America’s need or ability to control many distant developments.


Mr. Will's summation:

Romney might not be a Dewey. Gingrich might stop being (as Churchill said of John Foster Dulles) a bull who carries his own china shop around with him. But both are too risky to anoint today.
Sunday, November 20, 2011

Ralfy on Gentleman Jack

Here's his review of the other Tennessee Whiskey:

Saturday, November 19, 2011

ICYMI: Wu Tang on the floor of the IL Legislature

Seeing as how our newest contributor is Raekwon, I figured I'd bring back an oldie (but goodie)

Friday, November 18, 2011

George Dickel No: 12

Had the opportunity to taste this fine spirit thanks to Beetz. A wonderful review from a website I'll be sure to visit again.

Are the Tories the last Europeans with a lick of common sense?

Just asking.

"The euro is burning, the EU is falling apart and yet here they are, highly paid, highly pensioned officials trying to deny us the right to say what is patently true."
-Conservative MEP Roger Helmer

European World Gov't Bureaucrats: Water Does Not Hydrate

I'm not even making this shit up.
Thursday, November 17, 2011

Russians rattling (nuclear) sabres

Good times.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Miraculous Honey Badger

I love learning about the amazing world of nature.

Warning: NSFW


From the Honey Badger Wiki entry:

Because of the toughness and looseness of their skin, honey badgers are very difficult to kill with dogs. Their skin is hard to penetrate, and its looseness allows them to twist and turn on their attackers when held. The only safe grip on a honey badger is on the back of the neck. The skin is also tough enough to resist several machete blows. The only sure way of killing them quickly is through a blow to the skull with a club or a shot to the head with a powerful rifle, as their skin is almost impervious to arrows and spears.[26]
Sunday, November 13, 2011

Love this email to blog setting.

Now I can give you up to the minute updates from my cell.  

Hoping the extra fiber will get things moving.

More to come...

Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone

Just arrived in AC

A wretched hive of scum and villainy.

"Tear off something for Putin"

Now this, my friends, is change you can believe in. Maybe W knew what he was talking about when he said he could see into Putin's soul: a world where hot Russian chicks are looking to get after it. Anywhere, anytime.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

When do the candidates drop out?

Any guesses?

Here are mine:

Scenario 1 (Newt wins FL):

Santorum/Bachmann: After Iowa (1/4)
Huntsman/Johnson: After NH (1/11)
Perry/Cain: Few days after SC (1/24)
Gingrich: Late April
Paul: Never drops out, takes it right to the convention to enjoy another 15 minutes.

The main question here is how solid is Cain's support? If he remains in double-digits through FL, Newt will have a hard time winning FL, and Mitt might sew it up early. If Cain drops out after SC, Newt might win FL, and that would sustain him through super Tuesday and beyond, only to bow out after the winner-take-all primaries on 4/24.


Scenario 2 (Mitt wins FL):

Santorum/Bachmann: After Iowa (1/4)
Huntsman/Johnson: After NH (1/11)
Perry: Few days after SC (1/24)
Gingrich: Mid-Feb (after CO)
Cain: Late April
Paul: Never drops out, takes it right to the convention to enjoy another 15 minutes.
Friday, November 11, 2011

Next stop?




Did Kubrick and Clarke see this coming way back when? Is this the true message behind 2001?

Someone just drew Romney blood

This is a message that will resonate with the base. It is a differentiator, and it has the added benefit of being provable based on track record. It separates Newt from both Cain and Mitt.

Don't look now, but MB's pushing for some intrade profit...

Strange things afoot

Anyone just feel like we're living in bizarro land? The last few weeks have been even weirder than the exceptionally weird last couple of months, with an emphasis on the dangerous.

-Global killing asteroid just misses Earth
-70 degree days in mid-November
-All-time weird storm hits Alaska
-Earthquake in Oklahoma
-Radioactivity of unknown origin in the air over Europe
-JoePa (JoePa!) turns a blind eye to sexual abuse of children, in a scandal that seems to grow bigger by the day
-#OWS protestors occupying cities across the fruited plain; in Atlanta they have a TB epidemic; in Denver they've elected a dog their leader; in Seattle they've incorporated; in New York they're pissed that the homeless are taking their food
-11/11/11 11:11:11
-Europe collapsing in on itself
-IAEA announces Iran near getting nukes
-Islamists taking control across MENA region ("Arab Spring")
-Gold surges, fiat currencies everywhere turn volatile
-China and Russia in bilateral talks, China military spending balloons, veiled threats against devaluing our currency with further QE
-Rick Perry can't count to three

More on the Gingrich surge

Once written off, Gingrich surges - Washington Times

David Axelrod's Pattern of Sexual Misbehavior - HUMAN EVENTS

David Axelrod's Pattern of Sexual Misbehavior - HUMAN EVENTS

Isn't it just coincidental that, despite the fact that Herman Cain has never lived there, all of his accusers come from... wait for it...

Chicago.
Thursday, November 10, 2011

Welcome to our new contributors

Many of you have met them both personally.

Raekwon the Chef is a co-worker of mine, and also a cigar-smoking, card playing, booze swilling degenerate. Additionally, as he pointed out, he is a "neoconservative" voice on this blog, which apparently means he is also an "investment banker" who "likes to charge interest." #OWS #KKK

Michaelangelo Merisi suffers from borderline personality disorder, and shares sexual appetites with Jerry Sandusky. OK, that's probably taking it too far. But he has played lacrosse, and also gone to Duke. You be the judge...

An Occasional "Welcome" (lukewarmth intended) to you both.
Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Rap song reveals Reyes' free-agent feelings... Hablo ingles?

http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/mets/that_rap_hiLkoTNe7WQBo73416Y02L

Watch the video... song is hot...

Now We're Paying for Other People's Intarwebs

Just take all of my money. Buy someone else a green car, organic food, and solar panels to heat their house I paid for.
Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Asteroids!

A rather large asteroid is apparently coming really close to the Earth later today. Like, inside of the moon's orbit close.

Scientists tell us there is NO CHANCE it will hit the planet.

Which is surprising because I kinda figured that scientists would be saying




"RUN YOU ARE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!!!!!!"
Saturday, November 05, 2011

Gingrich momentum building

As Byron York reports here, there is a Gingrich boomlet in Iowa, with an outright boom potentially around the corner.

Cain/Gingrich LD style debate.

Tonight at 8 on C Span
Friday, November 04, 2011

Go North, young man!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Peter Schiff vs. #ows

Peter Schiff Takes On Occupy Wall Street Protesters

My hero. Vintage quotes:

"I didn't sign a contract with society."

"Buffett is full of it."

"Wouldn't you like to get into the 1%?"

"Why should I work for free?"

"Do you think I should work for you, or for myself?"

"I'm employing 150 people. How many do you employ?"

"I'm doing my share, why aren't you doing yours."

"I'm probably paying more income taxes than everyone around me, combined, so I'm doing my fair share."
Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Currently residing in the "where are they now file"...

or more specifically, the "where did it go" file...

I'd like to give a big reminder to all those who have forgotten (or consigned to the past) an important component of American history, a component that rests on a belief in our founding principles and destiny to improve the lot of mankind. That component: manifest destiny.

For the first half of our nation's history, we were not shy about stating our goals to expand. From Florida, to Loozana, to Tejas, to Alta California, to 54'40 (Polk sold us out!), Hawaii, Alaska, Gadsen, Philippines, Cuba, etc., we've had many forays into territorial conquest or purchase. To be fair, there was never a consensus definition of what "manifest destiny" really called for, in terms of territorial limits. Whether it meant simply reaching the Pacific; or as John Quincy Adams had it, all of North America; or something even bigger--was undefined and an item for debate. What is not open for debate was that, for this period of time, we consistently sought to broaden the reach of the American experiment; and spread the freedom and prosperity it brought our people and the world.

It's interesting to me that we've abandoned this philosophy. We're quite willing to fight far-flung battles that are incredibly expensive in both blood and treasure, in defense of principles, with no tangible gain to our national wealth.

At the same time, we're willing to spend tons of effort to secure our huge land borders, and do it ineffectively. This is not surprising, given our current land borders are not naturally defined and defensible, and hence are extremely difficult to police.

But in a world where resources are becoming increasingly scarce, and that scarcity (expressed in prices) will likely increase in an exponential way, why do we no longer seek to expand opportunity for the American people and economy, by growing our territory? And as a result, grow our natural resources and human capital?

I'd like to know why this thought is off the table.

Scouting trip coming up...

Brisk air this week. And I see that when we hit the woods, at 7 AM on Friday, the temperature in Hawley is set to be 29F, with snow on the ground.

Love it.

SHK, ManBeast, Beetz and Caribou are WEAK

for not participating in the Mad Money Challenge this year. Boo to you guys.

Here comes the howling

The Club for Growth:

“The big problem many conservatives have with Mitt Romney is that he’s taken both sides of nearly every issue important to us. He’s against a flat tax, now he’s for it. He says he’s against ObamaCare, but was for the individual mandate and susbidies that are central to ObamaCare. He thinks that collective bargaining issues should be left for states to decide if he’s Ohio, but he took the opposite position when he was in New Hampshire. This is just another statement in a long line of statements that will raise more doubts about what kind of President Mitt Romney would be in the minds of many Republican primary voters.” [link]
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mitt on Kasich's Ohio reforms

I've been leaning more heavily towards supporting Mitt in '12 as the weeks have gone by. Largely, this is the result of my feeling that the gap between he and his opponents, when it comes to executive ability, is quite large. With each debate, that large gap comes into sharper focus. His command of the issues, both from a sound bite/elevator pitch standpoint, and from a more granular, under-the-hood standpoint, is robust. No one save Gingrich shows both the breadth and depth of knowledge.

But when it comes to ability to enact an agenda, I have more confidence in Mitt than Newt. Mitt's tenure in the private sector was legendary (see here for a well written explanation that is part critique but ultimately reinforces the strength of his bio). His record of enacting his political agenda in a hostile MA environment is underrated. And the effectiveness of his campaign, in terms of stability of personnel, fund raising, consistency of message, and lack of mistakes, has been a strong testament to his leadership.

Newt is a dynamo of policy ideas, but I honestly don't know what to expect from his as an executive. His tenure as the head of the House GOP was erratic. His campaign dissolved earlier this cycle, before being resurrected on the strength of his debating. I could readily support Newt as a candidate, but Mitt seems the safer play for the country (not for our platform, nor, necessarily, for the GOP's electoral chances). But for the day-to-day grind of running the country, and being up to the challenge of the never-ending media gauntlet, I'd cast my lot with Mitt.

All of that, however, is predicated on my notion that Mitt is conservative enough to make a meaningful difference in the direction of our country. And while I recognize he's not Marco Rubio, I've believed that he would meet the "conservative enough" standard for the following reasons:

-He's put himself on the record for the repeal of Obama care.
-He's clearly looking for lower taxes and a more business friendly regulatory environment.
-He wants to stem the tide of government growth, even if his cap on federal spending, and where the cuts will come from, haven't been defined in any real way (at least that I've seen).
-He's articulated a defense of marriage for the wellbeing of children, and a pro-life philosophy.
-His foreign policy pronouncements, both on paper and on the stump, show a well studied understanding of the issues and the players--even if his "American greatness" philosophy is a bit vague in practice. For instance, I'm glad he wants to reverse the tide of "mea culpa diplomacy", but I'm concerned he's overcommitting to an expensive ramping up of our long-distance military commitments.

But what if Mitt's campaigning is basically, how to put this...obfuscation? What if he's triangulating himself as just conservative enough for the right, and just moderate enough for the center, but he doesn't know where HE is? This, of course, has been the critics charge right along. I've always been somewhat dismissive of it. Just as W wasn't dumb because of his twang, Mitt's not a liar because he's a little stiff, well dressed, and sounds a bit practiced. To the contrary, Mitt's rigorously analytical nature (as evidenced with his tenure at Bain), his personal discipline and embrace of a received morality (as evidenced by his biography), and his traditionalist bent (stylistically, I'll admit) always led me to think he was probably more conservative than he lets on.

Every once in a while, though, some evidence comes along that makes you rethink your assumptions. This article, from the Washington Examiner, has given me a lot to ponder:

Campaigning in Ohio today, Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney stopped by a Republican Party phone-bank making calls in support of Gov. John Kasich's government union reform referendum, but refused to endorse the actual referendum. CNN's Peter Hamby called the scene an "incredible moment in politics."

Kasich already signed his government union reforms into law in March of this year, not long after Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker won his battle against government unions. But Democrats, with the help from the AFL-CIO, placed a referendum on next week's ballot Issue 2, that would repeal the new law. A vote for the referendum would keep the law, a vote against would repeal.

Kasich's new law: 1) bans government unions from bargaining over health insurance, 2) requires that all government union members pay at least 10% of their wages toward their pensions, 3) ends seniority rights as the sole factor in layoffs, 4) replaces seniority pay raises with merit pay raises, 5) bans government unions from striking, and 6) makes government union dues voluntary. But government unions would still be able to bargain about many other topics including pay and working conditions.

While entitlement reform is arguably a bigger issue for the long-term solvency of the nation, the public sector union issue is a crucial component of the battle over the size of government at all levels. If the influence of the "union dues->political contributions->union concessions->higher union dues" cycle can't be broken now, when our national credit rating has just been downgraded, and we are facing the clear prospect of a European path to insolvency; then the war over the size of government has been completely lost. The symbiosis between public sector unions and liberal elected officials provides an ever-present catalyst for more government spending. Scott Walker risked his career, and possibly his personal safety, because he understood the gravity of this political conflict. The House GOP leadership stood firm and carried the fight a long way (perhaps not as far as some would have liked, but still, a long way), because they did as well.

Mitt, apparently, wants to duck this battle, at least for the time being. I can only presume his reasons lie in his political calculation, and the good of his campaign.

I say this now, having only heard one side of the story. I anxiously await the Romney camp's retort to the howls of criticism that are surely coming his way. But I'm no longer as predisposed to brushing off the critics as I might have been yesterday.
Thursday, October 13, 2011

Moves Like Jabba | Break.com

Moves Like Jabba | Break.com

A great blog

Check it out.
Monday, October 10, 2011

Foreign Policy: Huntsman vs. Romney

An interesting contrast is developing. Read more about it here.

One key way in which their differing world views show up in policy:

Huntsman, unlike Romney, is open and eager to find cuts in the defense budget. The difference could create a powerful point of debate between the two given the economic focus of the election and the interest in cutting waste from government spending. When they were considering presidential runs, both Haley Barbour and Mitch Daniels unapologetically favored thorough reviews of the defense budget and wanted to see cuts. Without the pair of fiscally conservative governors in the race, the primary has lacked much discussion of the issue. But with Huntsman’s and Romney’s differing visions, it could crop up on Tuesday.
Friday, October 07, 2011

Ain't it fun

when a band goes on well after their date of expiration? Guns N Roses should have packed it in decades ago. Here's the proof:

Their last two lead guitarists were named Buckethead and Bumblefoot.

I shit you not.
Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Fredo's Mad Money Challenge '12, Part 1

For round 1, you get $20 to pick all the contracts you want in the first four primary/caucus states. You can pick as many or as few contracts as you want in any primary. You could bet all your money on one race. You could bet all four races. You could play multiple candidates in the same state. You could play the same candidate in every state. The choice is yours.

Remember, each contract pays off $10 if it ends "in the money" (i.e., if the candidate wins that primary), $0 otherwise.

Best of luck, gentlemen! I'll go first in the comments, but I think it's best if you make your picks looking at mine, so we don't end up gaming each other picks. That would give the person who goes last an advantage over the person who goes first. Try to make your picks ASAP so the later pickers don't get the advantage of more info.

I'll provide an example below:

Joe Schmo could buy:

NH Romney x 1 (@ $7.79) = $7.79
SC Cain x 2 (@ $0.98) = $1.96
SC Bachmann x 2 (@ $0.35) = $0.70
SC Romney x1 (@ $3.00) = $3.00
NV Romney x 1 (@ $6.55) = $6.55

$20.00 and he's tapped out.

At the end of the first four primaries, Joe could win as much as $40. If Romney wins NH and NV, Joe gets $10 for each of those. If Cain or Bachmann win SC, Joe would get an additional $20, since he bought two contracts for each of the candidates.

Round 1: The First Four

Here are the Intrade prices for the first four GOP contests:

Iowa

Rick Perry $3.09
Mitt Romney $2.00
Ron Paul $0.60
Michele Bachmann $1.45
Herman Cain $0.90
Rick Santorum $0.09
Newt Gingrich $0.08
Jon Huntsman $0.04
Field $0.24

New Hampshire

Mitt Romney $7.79
Rick Perry $0.60
Jon Huntsman $0.60
Ron Paul $0.40
Herman Cain $0.20
Newt Gingrich $0.10
Michele Bachmann $0.20
Rick Santorum $0.02
Field $0.30

South Carolina

Rick Perry $3.75
Mitt Romney $3.00
Ron Paul $0.60
Jon Huntsman $0.20
Rick Santorum $1.20
Herman Cain $0.98
Michele Bachmann $0.35
Newt Gingrich $0.13
Field $0.60

Nevada

Mitt Romney $6.55*
Rick Perry $4.00
Ron Paul $1.20
Michele Bachmann $0.45*
Jon Huntsman $0.45*
Herman Cain $0.30
Newt Gingrich $0.10
Rick Santorum $0.10
Field $0.01*

All contract prices are shown are "last executed price", except for those noted with "*", in which no contract has yet changed hands. In this case, the price above is the midpoint between the bid and ask price.

Round 2 will be the next batch of primaries (if the race is not settled), and Round 3 the Veepstakes.

First place in each rd gets 5 points
Second place 3 points
Third place 2 points
Fourth place 1 point

Highest point total after all 3 rounds wins Fredo's Mad Money Challenge!

Palin to supporters: "Nyet!"

(when she's on her front porch)

Anyhow, that didn't take long. Yesterday I thought we might have weeks. We had one day.

The only semi-serious candidate yet to announce definitively is Rudy, but I'm not buying that he's even considering it. I think he's just trying to drum up some donations from ignorant supporters to help retire some debt from last cycle.

So....

here's our list of candidates (sticking to those still in the race who've been in at least one debate):

Romney (Fmr Gov. - MA)
Perry (Gov. - TX)
Cain (GA)
Huntsman (Fmr Gov. - UT)
Gingrich (Fmr Rep./Spkr. - GA)
Paul (Rep - TX)
Santorum (Fmr Sen. - PA)
Bachmann (Rep - MN)
Johnson (Fmr Gov. - NM)
Tuesday, October 04, 2011

The field is almost set

We just haven't heard from Sarah yet.

That means we can start our GOP primary soon!

I'm thinking this year, we can rank candidates in the order they will finish in terms of total delegates amassed. As a tie break, we can guess the percentage of the delegates that will be amassed by the top 3.

Just need to a wait a couple of weeks to see if the pitbull with lipstick is in or out.

For the 3rd straight cycle

it seems like the GOP has a candidate who is perfect for the situation, and will not get the nomination. The GOP devotion to primogeniture seems to get the best of the party, time and again.

McCain would have been perfect in 2000.

Mitt would have been perfect in 2008.

Christie would have been perfect in 2012.

I think the reasons are obvious, and I can elaborate in the comments if need be. But the point is, I'm disappointed.

Christie to announce his intentions at 1 PM

Well, my dream may finally come true. Here's hoping he runs.

I know he is squishy on some social issues and on gun control. I can live with that, so long as he couches his previous positions as "the right policies for NJ," and takes a strong pro-Federalism approach to his national policies. If he commits to appointing conservative jurists I can easily give him a pass on the policies I disagree with.

Why?

Because the man is a gifted politician. Because his priorities (combating the voracious public sector beast) are perfectly matched to our current perdicament. And because he's the kind of person who can change the national conversation, not just for years, but for decades. Just like with Reagan, when rhetoric crosses over into results, people notice. Christie WILL get things done, and the distinction between the GOP as courageous financial stewards and Dems as sellouts will be etched into the memory of generations of voters.

EDIT: Alas, as I was composing this, news agencies are reporting that Christie will not run. Drat.

All aboard the Mitt train.
Friday, September 30, 2011

There's a lot of people around

Warning: NSFW
Wednesday, September 28, 2011

OK, I'll bite

Sounds like the zombie apocalypse may be coming. Here's the CDC's emergency preparedness plan.

And here's a link to some tools you may want for your arsenal.
Wednesday, September 07, 2011

You know things are bad

when the elk can't take it anymore. Elk to 'keep: "Line me up another, Shorty."



Link: Drunken Elk Rescued from Apple Tree.
Sunday, September 04, 2011

Important Zombie information

In case you haven't yet seen these, DC, I know you're always looking to absorb more information that could be pertinent to your zombie plan:

5 Scientific reasons a zombie outbreak could actually happen.

And, because we're always "fair & balanced" here at OccObs,

7 Scientific reasons a zombie outbreak would quickly fail.
Friday, August 19, 2011

Casting calls

For S and G, I was just looking over our old casting call posts (which are total classics and I, for one, would love to see the return of...) and came to the following conclusion:

We are all clearly drunk every time we post a comment on this blog.

It is the only logical assessment for the insanity and inane ramblings that are housed within the comment pages (never mind the original posts).
Thursday, August 18, 2011

do-bee, do-bee, do-bee, do-bee, do-bee, do-bah



PER-RY!

Is this the guy everyone is hanging their hopes on?

If so, count me in. A secret agent platypus is just what this country needs right now!

Perry on the Fed

On substance, I was cheering (and if you guys follow me on Twitter, arguing with the Perry-haters) at Perry's anti-Fed commentary. On tone, I agree he was too strident. The Wall Street Journal did a good job looking at both aspects of Perry's comments, and determining that, on balance, he gets it. In a way that Romney, Obama, and even W didn't.

It's worth reading the whole article here.

"The media trope of the week is that Mr. Perry is George W. Bush only more so, but he clearly isn't the same on monetary policy. Mr. Bush, who first appointed Mr. Bernanke, was an easy-money, weak-dollar President. He and his former economic advisers still don't understand how Alan Greenspan's policies at the Fed contributed to the credit and housing manias that led to the financial meltdown that caused the GOP's political undoing in 2008.

Mr. Perry seems to appreciate that the Federal Reserve can't conjure prosperity from the monetary printing presses. His articulation needs some work, but we hope the Texan doesn't let media and other criticism deter him from pursuing the argument...

Merely by raising the Fed as a subject, Mr. Perry has sent a political signal to the folks at the Eccles Building to tread carefully as they conduct monetary policy in the coming months..."


To put the bolded in other terms, terms I may or may not have tweeted the night Perry's supposed "gaffe" hit the wires, he delivered "a shot across the bow" of the Fed. Well done, Governor.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011

This is why I carry a gun in the woods,

and you should too.
Monday, August 15, 2011

A New Hope?



Perry's definitely got swagger.
Tuesday, August 09, 2011

So much for hope & change...

From Politico:

Obama plan: Destroy Romney
Barack Obama’s aides and advisers are preparing to center the president’s re-election campaign on a ferocious personal assault on Mitt Romney’s character and business background, a strategy grounded in the early stage expectation that the former Massachusetts governor is the likely GOP nominee.

The dramatic and unabashedly negative turn is the product of political reality. Obama remains personally popular, but pluralities in recent polling disapprove of his handling of his job and Americans fear the country is on the wrong track. His aides are increasingly resigned to running for re-election in a glum nation. And so the candidate who ran on “hope” in 2008 has little choice four years later but to run a slashing, personal campaign aimed at disqualifying his likeliest opponent.

In a move that will make some Democrats shudder, Obama’s high command has even studied President Bush’s 2004 takedown of Sen. John F. Kerry, a senior campaign adviser told POLITICO, for clues on how a president with middling approval ratings can defeat a challenger.

“Unless things change and Obama can run on accomplishments, he will have to kill Romney,” said a prominent Democratic strategist aligned with the White House.

The onslaught would have two aspects. The first is personal: Obama’s re-elect will portray the public Romney as inauthentic, unprincipled and, in a word used repeatedly by Obama’s advisers in about a dozen interviews, “weird.”

Romney officials shrug off the tough talk, arguing that there’s nothing Obama can do that will turn the campaign away from functioning as a referendum on his stewardship of the economy.

“There’s so many wonderful ironies here: Obama spent his whole political career perfecting the best argument against Bush 43 and now he’s going to run as 43?” said Romney strategist Stuart Stevens, who also worked for Bush. “They can try anything they want — but this race is going to be about the economy.”

They don’t have a choice. Even Obama’s top aides don’t expect unemployment to be below eight percent when next November rolls around.

Romney, currently the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, isn’t the candidate Democrats would most like to face. That honor goes to former Gov. Sarah Palin or Rep. Michele Bachmann, vocal conservatives who may not be able to reach swing voters. Romney’s moderate record as the one-term governor of a liberal state – the target of conservative rivals’ criticism – could also make him a strong general election candidate.

The attack on Romney is, to the Massachusetts Republican, nothing new. Senator Ted Kennedy used elements of it against him in the 1994 Senate race, and his former adviser Bob Shrum summarized the current case this way: “You don’t know what he really believes, he’s been on both sides of issues and, by the way, he didn’t create jobs he destroyed jobs while getting rich.”

ht: R 4 '12
Monday, August 01, 2011

Who could give this speech?

I don't know if you recall the speech that British MEP Daniel Hannan gave in March 2009, which excoriated then-PM Gordon Brown to his face. It was, frankly, one of the greatest rhetorical opposition take-downs I've ever seen. It was someone who gets the big picture, and used his words to cut through the obfuscation, triangulation, and quarter-truths (half- would be too generous) of the liberal political classes to lay truth bare.

Well, it's no different here in the U.S. The same type of nonsensical gibberish passes for normalcy in Washington, just as in Brussels and London. Think of Obama's "shovel ready jobs," deficit spending (er, "stimulus", "investment"), tax increases (oops, "revenue", "a balanced solution"), "summer of recovery" (?), use of "default" when even a failure to raise the debt ceiling would not have resulted in any missed payments to bond holders, etc.

Listen to the Hannan speech. Look at Brown, chuckling and embarrassed, towards the end of it. Who is the conservative leader in this country that would be capable of this type of raw honesty, with the insight to see the "big lie," and expose it in a way that is readily accessible to the average listener?



Who could you see delivering this speech on the Senate floor, or at a debate across the stage from Obama, and do it unflinchingly?

I can really only think of two possible GOP candidates, and neither are running at this time. Am I wrong? Is there a hidden gem in the GOP field that I'm missing?

As an aside, the reason I thought of the Hannan speech is that it popped up at Race 4 2012 because Hannan has just endorsed Gary Johnson. He believes Johsnon is the best choice for America if we want a leader who will shrink the government and free the private sector. I have a lot of confidence that Johnson would prioritize those principles, but I don't know that he meets the political leadership test that I'm talking about w/r/t the speech above. Of course, it's tough to vet Johnson's rhetorical chops, since the various debate committees haven't let the man on the stage...
Friday, July 22, 2011

Avo No. 9

I enjoy a nice cigar. Tonight, I was thoroughly engrossed in smoking one. The local beer & cigar store guy recommended Avo to me. He told me the store's owner says they're better than Cubans. I picked up a No. 9 and wasn't disappointed. I'm no expert on cigars, but this one was super smooth and flavorful. I almost went back to get more.

I told you guys about this before

But in case you didn't believe me, here it is.

This is how they roll in Motor City.
Saturday, July 16, 2011

Obama is Carter's second term

Laura Ingraham proves it (ht: R 4 '08)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

You Can't Fit More Awesomeness In This Picture

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Wassup Dragon



"You are in Kansas, and I wanna go to Colorado." Classic.
Monday, July 11, 2011

OK Mitt: WTF?

You might want to offer, you know, an opinion.

I'd love to see a GOP Presidential candidate take the reins, and speak out as a leader on this issue. Not just positioning themselves against other candidates: e.g, uber-hard-ass-I-will-vote-for-nothing (Bachmann); or more-conservative-than-Mitt-but-less-crazy-than-Bachmann (T-Paw). But actually talk about the facts of the situation directly to the American people. Talk about the fact that Obama even considering tax hikes at a time like this shows just how divorced from economic reality this White House is.

And just as importantly, the fact that the White House is cynically using this opportunity to push for higher taxes and more government interference in the economy, blindly adhering to leftist ideology, at a time when we can least afford it.

Boehner is right to take taxes off the table and talk about cuts exclusively. If we can't get bipartisan movement towards entitlement reform and spending cuts in this environmen--an enviornment in which Greece, Portugal, and now Italy are on the verge of a massive margin call--well, as the President is saying, "if not now, when?"

Tipping Point

I think this article is right on the money except for one important point. It says that Obama doesn't get that $250,000 isn't rich necessarily. I think he does get it. He knows it well. He's trying to push more people down. Right now it's a pretty even split between people paying federal income tax and people getting money/benefits from the federal government. Which group do you think will vote for Obama? How far can it go before the productive people just leave or revolt? 40% paying, 60% receiving? 30/70? We're near (or at) a point of no return where those receiving from the government will outnumber those paying so badly that it will take some sort of severe national crisis to ever start turning back the tides. The left says the Tea Party types are nuts. What they don't understand or won't publicly acknowledge is the driving desire for liberty from government.
Saturday, July 09, 2011

God Save the Queen

(to be's) derrierre! Nice thong!



Royalty being sexy is kinda weird and new.
Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Changes are a-coming

And this blog will never be the same.

See here.

The Case for Perry

Merrill Matthews at Human Events lays out why, in his opinion, Obama most fears Perry of all the potential GOP candidates.

He makes a lot of good points--the article is definitely worth a read.

Here is one plus for Perry I hadn't considered:

A full two and a half years after taking office, Team Obama still blames Bush—for everything except the fall of Adam. Well, there is one other elected chief executive who inherited a Bush economy: Rick Perry, as governor of Texas. And yet I have never once heard Perry whining that the state would be doing so much better if it hadn't been for the policies of his predecessor.

To use a football analogy—I mean, we're talking about Texas—it's not who hands you the football and it's not where the ball is handed to you, it's what you do with the ball after you have it.

Rick Perry took the ball from Bush and scored an economic touchdown for Texas. Obama took the ball from Bush and fumbled it—repeatedly—giving the other team a chance to score a touchdown.
Monday, July 04, 2011

Happy Independence Day, America!

First off, thanks to all those men and women who serve in the military protecting our freedoms, many of whom currently are in foreign lands standing in harms' way.

Secondly, well wishes go out to my fellow contributors. I hope you are all enjoying a happy and safe 4th with friends and family.

Meanwhile, in the political realm, over at Race42012.com, you can read the statements made by each of the GOP contenders regarding Independence Day. Most are brief and cookie-cutter.

Gary Johnson's, however, was longer and worth a read:

As I’ve traveled the country over the past many months, I have been known on occasion to ask crowds, given what’s going on in Washington, DC, if they want a Revolution. Now that I am a declared candidate for president, I’ve tried to cut down on the references to revolution – with the amount of travel I do, it would be really inconvenient to end up on a government watch list.

But as we celebrate Independence Day, it is entirely appropriate to consider the possibility that we need another Declaration of Independence. There’s nothing wrong with the old one. I just think we perhaps need another one.

While the list of grievances that prompted the original Declaration was quite long, and included much that doesn’t apply — yet — when it comes to our relationship with our own federal government, there are a couple that jump off the page when you look at them today.

Consider this: Much of the motivation behind the Declaration of Independence in 1776 stemmed from repressive taxation. The Tea Act, the Stamp Act…..we all remember the history lesson. What we sometimes forget, though, is what brought those taxes about: Britain was heavily in debt. Much of that debt was the consequence of having engaged in several costly wars in a short period of time – including the French and Indian War.

Lacking financing options, Britain turned to taxing the Colonies to erase the red ink – justifying it in part on the basis that the colonists were made more secure by that war. With a debt ceiling about to be breached and the government’s financing options becoming more limited, and some of the rhetoric we are hearing from the White House and others, does that scenario sound familiar or what?

Also chief among the grievances which prompted the Declaration was the chronic abuse by monarchy in Britain of its right to “Assent to Laws”. Laws passed by the colonies, before they could take effect or be enforced, had to be “assented” to by the Crown – and the Crown used that right to block the colonies from governing themselves and adapting their own laws to their own needs, innovations and best interests.

While the governance structure is a little different, is there any real dispute that our federal government has quite successfully created its own right of “Assent” in far too many areas of our lives and economy? Go to any state in the union, and you will find innovations, ideas and priorities that have the support of the legislature or governor, but which are blocked by the Feds. Health care, Medicaid, highway construction, gun rights, education, drug laws – the list goes on and on of issues in which the states are not even remotely free to act without the permission of an all-knowing federal government. Just this week, the Department of Justice once again reminded the states that implementing medicinal marijuana laws could bring the full weight of the federal government down on them. All across the country, states are having to submit health care and Medicaid plans to Washington for permission to innovate, save money, and fashion programs that might actually work without bankrupting us.

Let there be no mistake; our government in Washington has done a masterful job of reestablishing the right to Assent of Laws. We may not have to wait for the King’s blessing any more, but if you are a governor or state legislature, just try doing something innovative or important with the Assent of Washington.

And of course, there is whole notion of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Washington’s interference in those would require a book.

Yes, perhaps the time has come for a new Declaration of Independence – or at least a refresher course on the old one. The good news: As I travel the land and talk with Americans of all political persuasions and walks of life, it is clear that the same spirit of independence, the same desire for liberty, and the same willingness to push back against over-reaching government that created this great nation is alive and well today.

Americans are once again demanding Independence – and I am confident we will once again prevail.
Sunday, July 03, 2011

There Will Be Blood

From the AP:

(AP) CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico — A spray-painted sign threatening death for U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents was found Friday next to a school in a northern Mexico state capital, officials said.

Addressed with profanity to "Gringos (D.E.A.)," the unsigned graffiti warned: "We know where you are and we know who you are and where you go. We are going to chop off your (expletive) heads."
Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"Isolationist" GOP?

I've been aggravated with the media (shocking, I know) and even Sen. McCain, for referring to the GOP candidates' foreign policy statements in the NH debate as "isolationist." Apparently, any candidate calling for disengagement in Libya, or who indicates a greater reluctance to use military force than has been our recent practice, makes him or her, by definition, an "isolationist."

Tony Blankely effectively refutes that claim here:

I was one of the first GOP internationalist-oriented commentators or politicians to conclude that the Afghanistan War effort had served its initial purpose and that it was time to phase out the war. As a punitive raid against the regime that gave succor to Osama bin Laden, we had removed the Taliban government and killed as many al-Qaida and Taliban fighters as possible...

But as the purpose of that war turned into nation building, even GOP internationalists had a duty to reassess whether, given the resources and strategy being brought to the new purpose, such policy was likely to be effective.

Now many others in the GOP and in the non-isolationist wing of the Democratic Party are likewise judging failure in Afghanistan to be almost inevitable. That is not a judgment driven by isolationism. Neither are we isolationist in our judgment (along with the opinion of Defense Secretary Robert Gates and almost the entire uniformed chain of command) that we see no national interest in Libya.

This is not isolationism; it is a rational effort at judging how best to advance American values and interests in an ever-more witheringly dangerous world. The charge of isolationism should be reserved for the genuine article. Such name-calling advances neither rational debate nor national interest.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011

U boyz see me on TV?

I had to take down that weak *ss Coors Light bottle. Who does it think it is?

I'm leaning towards voting Mormon in 2012.

Not sure which one yet.

That is all.
Saturday, June 18, 2011

It's official

Whoever gets a deer this year is officially nicknamed "The Eagle."

Friday, June 17, 2011

Clever Bachmann

From the LAT:

“I talk to people. I care about people,” the Minnesota Republican told Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity Wednesday evening. “The president has no understanding of what is happening in real people's lives.”

A line of attack that will hurt the President. Both the economy over which this President presides, and the perception of his personality, will feed into giving this attack legs.

And it's a great message for Bachmann. More effective from a female (Slick Willie is the only male I know that could pull off "I feel your pain"), and it has the other benefit of softening her persona, which some see as rigidly ideological.

Well played.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Swing and a miss

An article from the BloGlo on the other night's debate, that pretty closely captures my feelings about the aftermath. Mitt's rivals basically whiffed on their chance to lend their campaigns some credibility, and Mitt's status was enhanced.

It basically says the other winner was Huntsman b/c T Paw's gone splat.

I would throw Perry into the mix as well, since he has instant fundraising, credbility (as a long-tenured governor of our most economically potent state), and an instant political base in Dixie.
Monday, June 13, 2011

NH GOP Debate

Rick Santorum
Like what he said, but he didn't stand out much except on right-to-life.

Michelle Bachman
I like what she's done. Did well in the debate as compared to prior performances. Not ready for prime-time.

Newt Gingrich
Smartest guy there. Already blew it.

Mitt Romney
Didn't come off as fake as 2008. Didn't decisively win, but didn't lose any ground.

Ron Paul
Great answers. I'd vote for him (* see explanation below before stoning me).

Tim Pawlenty
My current bet for nominee. Didn't stand out that much, but conservative across the board tonight.

Herman Cain
My favorite so far. Good, smart answers. Not a career politician. (The muslim in the admin exchange will hurt him)


* Why I'd vote for Ron Paul
Obviously he's a relatively extreme libertarian. He's also a conservative. On the issues that are affected by the federal government, especially the President, libertarian is almost alway aligned with the kind of conservatism we desperately need now (at least in my view). The issues where it diverges like legalizing drugs and gay marriage, are and should be handled at the state and local level.
Friday, June 10, 2011

I want to know which 2012 hopeful can do this.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Funny Palin cartoon

And to think I used to enjoy Chris Matthews. This is so true:
Monday, May 30, 2011

I'll have what he's having

So I'm at a wedding this weekend and it's getting near the end of the night. My friend comes back from the bar, obviously annoyed, and declares that the bartender is screwing him. He says he's watched the last few pours and the guy is putting in the bare minimum amount of alcohol and mostly filling with soda. (I of course don't have this issue since I'm drinking Dewar's rocks all night.)

So he says "Next time, I'm going to have to order my drink bin laden style." I say "What's that?" He says "Two shots and a splash."

Apparently this is what another bartender in NYC had suggested to him the previous week.

Classic!

Obama the Weak

Obama the Weak

Jack Kelly notes a key lesson from Bibi's visit stateside: the GOP needs a nominee that is more Christie and less Minn nice.

From the Midwest to the West Wing | The Weekly Standard

From the Midwest to the West Wing | The Weekly Standard

I hit this topic repeatedly in the 08 cycle, but it may be more true now...
Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Jeb 4 T Paw?

An interesting possibility.

Jeb certainly approved of T Paw's campaign announcement, as per CNN.

If a heavyweight like Jeb gets behind Pawlenty, and the Bush fundraising machine follows suit, that could bode very well for T Paw solidifying his position as the Mitt alternative in the field (a position that already seems pretty solid). Come to think of it, it would bode well for Pawlenty in Florida. Somehow it wouldn't surprise me to see Mitt take NH and T Paw take Iowa and have SC and FL decide the nomination.
Sunday, May 22, 2011

Daniels is out

I'm shocked by this one. Gov. Daniels has announced he is not running for President.

This leaves Mitt as the prohibitive front runner, T-Paw as the most likely Mitt-alternative, Huntsman as the only viable dark horse, and the door slightly more ajar for one of the fringe candidates (Bachmann, Cain, Santorum, etc.) to make some noise in Iowa and make the GOP look a little more fringe.

BTW, what a weak a statement from My Man Mitch:

What could have been a complicated decision was in the end very simple: on matters affecting us all, our family constitution gives a veto to the women’s caucus, and there is no override provision. Simply put, I find myself caught between two duties. I love my country; I love my family more.

If you're not running b/c your wife doesn't want you to, own the decision. Don't throw her under the bus in the national press. "I've decided not to run, largely because I know it will disrupt my family and they are my first priority." Not "she vetoed my choice to run." Weak.
Friday, May 20, 2011

Typical Liberal Thinking

I logged on to my computer this morning only to find about a dozen emails that didn't make much sense to me. They were posts to a pro-gay marriage Facebook group. Of course I was confused, so I looked through the emails to the least recent. It turn out an acquaintance from high school, who I liked well enough when I knew her then, is gay and living with another woman, added me to the group. This is despite the fact the my profile says conservative under politics. My experience is that liberals can't even conceive of a reasonable person who doesn't share all of their views. Needless to say, I immediately left the group. I wonder how she would have reacted had I made her a member of a group opposing gay marriage?
Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Did Newt undermine years of work on entitlement reform?

Democrats like Charles Schumer certainly think there's blood in the water:
He’s the Republican canary in a coal mine,” Schumer said in a conference call with reporters this morning. “When that canary speaks truth, he is snuffed out.”

He started off the call by saying, “Newt and I are considered political opposites, but I couldn’t agree with him more on what he said on Republicans plan to end Medicare. … It was refreshing to hear such candor from a top Republican, but it's equally startling to then see the hard right turn so quickly on him for his comments."
Monday, May 16, 2011

Newt Gingrich throws the Ryan plan under the bus

Newt says that the Ryan plan represents a "radical change" and "right-wing social engineering." He also agrees with Obama (and Mitt v 2.0, but not v 3.0) about the fact that individual mandate is a good thing.

Here's a story from the Washington Examiner about the GOP reax.

I can't figure out what Newt thinks he's gaining by this stunt. He's just executed his own nascent campaign, and not a minute too soon, if this is how he's going to conduct himself.

He's actually given countless Democrat candidates an easy ad spot. Imagine the voice over:

John Thune supports the Ryan plan to destroy Medicare as we know it, a plan that is so dangerous that even Newt Gingrich refers to it as "right-wing social engineering" and "radical."

Newt Gingrich is betraying the GOP on the crucial issue of the day (constraining entitlement costs) for some imagined political gain--one that I cannot even imagine what it might be. Gain a few senior voters in FL but lose the entire base?

Bye bye Newt. You were once a great conservative leader.

EDIT: Ross Kaminsky from the American Spectator agrees, saying that Newt disqualified himself from serious consideration as the GOP nominee based on his statements yesterday.
Saturday, May 14, 2011

Huck passes on '12

This leaves a top tier of candidates that currently consists of 4: Romney, Pawlenty, Daniels, and Huntsman. T-Paw's the only one who's officially started an exploratory committee.

Huckabee's exit should really helps Pawlenty. T-Paw is the only top-tier candidate who seems to be making a full out appeal to SoCons.

Daniels, with his "social truce", has clearly tried to move to the center on social issues (despite the fact that, if you look at his record and past statements, he's clearly a SoCon); yet he is a full-throated fiscal conservative. Social conservatives never really trusted Mitt, or he would've won the nomination in '08. Huntsman, IIRC, is actually pro-civil unions and is perceived as soft on illegal immigration, so he's a non-starter for many SoCons.

Unless one of these lower tier SoCons, like Bachmann, Santorum, or Gingrich can really gain traction, T-Paw may have one of the clearest paths to the nomination at this point, unless Daniels can really sneakily play to centrists and conservatives with a wink and a nod.

The inner circle supporters of Mitt, Huntsman, and even Daniels are probably hoping for a Palin entrance to split the SoCon support. For Daniels and Huntsman, an Autumn announcement for Palin would give their candidate time to unseat Mitt as the frontrunner. For Mitt, I'm sure he'd like to see Palin get in right now--the mere threat of a Palin candidacy could probably coalesce much of the GOP around one candidate as the anti-Palin, and right now that would probably be Mitt. In three or four months, after Mitch, Paw, and Huntsman have hammered away at Mitt's incongruous positions on Health Care--the situation may be very different.
Friday, May 13, 2011

Getting to Yes for Mitch and Cheri Daniels

Getting to Yes for Mitch and Cheri Daniels

He has obviously given some thought to the area beyond Indiana's borders, too.
Daniels accepted an invitation from those 55 students to meet at a spacious bar several blocks away after the event; he sipped Woodford Reserve bourbon as he asked them about their own lives and families. In return, they asked him who he might like to tap as his vice presidential nominee if he runs.

Hypothetically, he told them, he'd like to pick Condoleezza Rice.

Woodford, you say?
Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Mini Coup Needed to Pull Off UBL Killing

According to this article, Obama was out of the loop until near the end of the Bin Laden mission. If the conservative media folks are smart, they'll directly call him out on this. He'll certainly deny it, but if enough evidence comes out to the contrary, he'll be more done than he is already.
Monday, May 02, 2011

Did Someone Order the Dead @$$hole?

Thank you to all of our armed forces and law enforcement that have been working to make this happen for the last ten years.

And I'm sorry that you all have to carry the enormous weight of someone riding your coattails to try to take all the credit for your efforts...

But anyways, go SEAL Team 6 and U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A!
Saturday, April 30, 2011

One of the first candidate forums of the 2012 cycle

Sponsored by the AFP Foundation in NH earlier tonight.

Here's the link to the video.

Mitt, T-Paw, and Bachmann all spoke credibly. Long-shot candidates Santorum and Cain as well. If you'd like some real red meat that will make you smile, watch Herman Cain at around the 50 minute mark.

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Always sniffing for the truth

Always sniffing for the truth

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