Monday, September 29, 2008

Monday Afternoon Cigar

For the record, a Camacho SLR Maduro doesn't taste as good as usual after you're retirement savings drops over 10% in one day. It appears the Speaker of the House, that San Francisco Democrat progressive Commie, chose to play politics with the bailout socialist, industry-nationalization plan.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Bracelet - A Story of Inspiration

Obama forgot the name on his KIA bracelet during the debate. For the record, the 20 year old soldier that died and whose name is on Obama's prop bracelet is Sgt. Ryan David Jopek.

We have a story about bracelets - an experience that stays with us as we wear a KIA bracelet. Our bracelet, with Cpl William M. Amundson Jr's name, will stay on our wrist until the war is over. It has come off once in two years, for an MRI.

Our story:

Like Amundson, Karl was a corporal in the Army once. (The comparison ends there. Amundson was a Ranger, and deployed to war for his country.)

We were assigned to an MP unit tasked with prisoner of war processing. In one training exercise, we were tasked to process some soldiers from another unit. We had to split the 'prisoners' in different holding areas, surrounded with concertina wire, depending on their status - POW, civilian detainee, etc.

When we bring the 'prisoners' into the processing center, we take and inventory their possessions. Wallets, watches, and other personal items. In other words, we had such a tight operation, troops trusted us with their money! This was my job that day, along with fingerprinting.

There I am at my station and this guy shows up wearing a POW bracelet. I turn to my sergeant, and he says to add it to the inventory, to have the guy take it off. The soldier says "No, this bracelet stays on". A little chat with the sergeant and lieutenant, and we decide not to push it.

This guy gets a designation that puts him alone in a holding area.

My 12+ hour shift ends and I join my team in the bivouac area, within site of the holding areas. And there is that guy walking, very slowly, in a circle in his holding area. Weird. Maybe he's getting into the spirit. All other prisoners are sleeping or joking around. Volunteering as a prisoner of war in a training exercise sure beats other options!

The next day, we're getting ready for our next shift, and there is the guy, still walking a circle! He wore a path about 2-3 inches deep in the ground. Same slow pace - in the zone!

That was in the late 80's, when many soldiers wore the POW bracelet. We considered wearing one ourselves, but decided, from this experience above, that we had not yet earned the right to such an honor.

The bracelet is not a prop. It is not a political statement. It is not a means to an end. It is a private tribute to America's best.

Stay tuned. We have another bracelet story.

Go to Ranger Joes, our favorite store outside Fort Benning, to order a bracelet.

Bill Dyer, at Hugh Hewitt, has more on the Obama bracelet if you aren't disgusted enough.

UPDATE 9.28: Newsbusters reports the family asked Obama not to wear the bracelet.

Post-Debate Thoughts

A collection of thoughts from the world's best bloggers:

Robert, at BabaluBlog:

Charles Krauthammer said last night on FOX that the outcome of the debate reminded him of a newspaper article following a Harvard/Yale football game which proclaimed that "Harvard Beat Yale 29-29".

Unfortunately, I agree with Krauthammer. McCain needed to clearly indicate to the American public that Obama's economic plan is as dangerous as his foreign policy views. He didn't...

HotAir's Allahpundit comments on the Obama contradiction: in the debate he says troops can't die in vain if following their Commander in Chief's orders, and his 2002 statement, "[we should not] allow those who would march off and pay the ultimate sacrifice, who would prove the full measure of devotion with their blood, to make such an awful sacrifice in vain."

The One occasionally confuses the two, telling a crowd in Iowa early last year that we “have seen over 3,000 lives of the bravest young Americans wasted” before backing off afterwards and scolding himself for using constituent-inappropriate rhetoric. The joke here, of course, as it was when Diane Sawyer made Pelosi squirm on this same subject, is that the whole point of the left’s moral (as opposed to political) opposition to the war is that they think soldiers are dying needlessly.

Hugh Hewitt sums it up nicely:

As expected, McCain shines and Obama is on the defensive throughout. The good news for Obama is that more than 30 minutes were not on the specifics of foreign policy. But Obama stumbled badly on Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan. McCain simply knows this stuff, and Obama again and again betrays that he does not.

"I honestly don't believe that Senator Obama has the understanding or the experience," and hitting Obama on his stubbornness was a very strong close for McCain. "I don't need any on the job training."

The McCain campaign came out quick with another great ad:

If McCain is right on the issues, why not cancel the remaining debates?

Saturday Night Cigar

A relaxing night with a Camacho SLR Maduro, browsing through our Blogroll blogs for post-debate nuggets and relaxing after posting our latest video - link.

Our first blog stop is always American Thinker. Here is their latest cartoon:

Friday, September 26, 2008

Karl's Weekend Reading

Stanley Kurtz exposes the long questioned relationship between Obama and Pentagon-Bombing William Ayers in Tuesday's WSJ, Obama and Ayers Pushed Radicalism on Schools. In short, these guys are ideological twins. See Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC).

One unsettled question is how Mr. Obama, a former community organizer fresh out of law school, could vault to the top of a new foundation? In response to my questions, the Obama campaign issued a statement saying that Mr. Ayers had nothing to do with Obama's "recruitment" to the board. The statement says Deborah Leff and Patricia Albjerg Graham (presidents of other foundations) recruited him. Yet the archives show that, along with Ms. Leff and Ms. Graham, Mr. Ayers was one of a working group of five who assembled the initial board in 1994. Mr. Ayers founded CAC and was its guiding spirit. No one would have been appointed the CAC chairman without his approval.

The CAC's agenda flowed from Mr. Ayers's educational philosophy, which called for infusing students and their parents with a radical political commitment, and which downplayed achievement tests in favor of activism.

The WSJ's Mary Anastasia O'Grady reports in Monday's paper - Castro looks for a US Lifeline.

Fidel Castro and his brother Raúl, who took over as head of state in February, for years have been calling for an end to the U.S. embargo, which they say is starving Cuba. But Cuba can already buy from U.S. producers all the food and medicine it can pay cash for. What the totalitarian tag-team really wants is an end to the ban on private-sector credit to the Cuban government.

Their demand has gone nowhere in Washington, both because of moral objections to doing business with tyrants, and because the Castro brothers are world-class deadbeats. They have defaulted on billions of dollars in debt to the rest of the world, and want credit from the "empire" (i.e., the U.S.) only because their options for borrowing elsewhere have narrowed significantly.

Pre-Debate Thoughts

Stalin never had to work under this much stress! Except maybe when the Germans were outside Stalingrad.

Obama planned on three days in sunny Florida to learn prep for a debate on foreign policy. Instead, McCain suggested they go together to Washington to join their fellow senators in addressing what some have called the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Why not? It's what they're both paid to do.

Obama declined, and offered to be on call if needed. From Florida.

Then the President goes and invites them both. Obama has to put his foreign policy work aside, and has to learn prep for the meeting in the White House.

We think he must have been overwhelmed in that meeting, much like we would be if we were standing over an open heart surgery and the doctor tells us to take over so he can go to Florida for three days...

There were people there who were ready to work. Serious people. And they shouted at each other too! Add to that, no campaign staff to kiss his a*s and hang on his every, uh, word. It would have been interesting to ask him at that moment if he would rather be visiting our wounded troops.

We will be watching the debate tonight to gauge Obama's confidence and energy levels. Since it is Friday night, we may invent a new drinking game: One shot for every "uh".

Obama & Communism?

Senator McCain, it is not fair to link Senator Obama with communist dictators!

You're lowering the level of political discourse!

To be fair, please wait until AFTER Obama takes our property away before linking him to communism.

UT: BabaluBlog

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Bailout

Found this today at Townhall

Oh, Now They Notice

Tony Blankley at the Washington Times writes in an op-ed today, Media Covering for Obama. He won't be invited to any parties anytime soon.

The mainstream media have gone over the line and are now straight out propagandists for the Obama campaign.
They have consciously ignored whole years in his life, and showed a lack of curiosity about such gaps that bespeaks a lack of journalistic instinct.
The public image of Mr. Obama as an idealistic, post-race, post-partisan, well-spoken and honest young man with the wisdom and courage befitting a great national leader is a confection spun by a willing conspiracy of Mr. Obama, his publicist David Axelrod and most of the senior editors, producers and reporters of the national media.

One down, thousands to go.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bailout Thoughts (UPDATED x2)

While we have many anti-communist impulses on this week's $700 billion bailout chatter, we've purposely hesitated to comment with the hope facts would emerge with which we could trust and form and convey sensible opinions.

We agree - if the market is in a free-fall and this is the only option, then do it with a firm plan to re-sell the assets as soon as their value returns. But is it the only option?

We agree - with fellow conservatives that this is a form of communism - government owning industry. It isn't that far from Russia's takeover of Yukos. One is a "rescue", the other overt theft, but both are government takeovers.

But we're puzzed by the following:
1) The more it is discussed, the more Secretary Paulson is isolated as one of the few pushing for immediate bailout. Why? Because it mostly helps his former co-workers on Wall Street?

2) The two biggest groups screaming for more time are the conservative members of congress, and the Communist Party USA! How did that happen?!

So, we're staying on the fence with the plan to chime in later as we know more.

In the meantime, a great article in today's WSJ about William O. Perkins III, a trader that made $1.25 million last week on Goldman Sacks. He plans to spend this profit on a campaign exposing the bailout crowd as "communists". That got our attention! And he's an Obama supporter. Where's the Advil?

He has spent some of his profit on the cartoon above, and will spend the rest on nationwide ads.

"I see it as trickle-down communism," Mr. Perkins said. "We have a communist action where everybody is paying for the benefit of the few and hoping the benefits will trickle down to everyone else.
What Mr. Perkins got back was a cartoon showing Messrs. Bush, Paulson and Bernanke planting a flag in the graveyard of capitalism, Iwo Jima-style, with a hammer and sickle where the field of stars would normally go. Mr. Perkins said he plans to run a series of antibailout ads nationwide until he has spent all of his Goldman gains. "I've gotta give that money back," he said."

Comments are on. Tell us what we're missing!

UPDATE 7PM: Newt Gingrich spoke on Hannity & Colmes on the bailout subject. We liked what we heard. Here are the highlights:

1) He calls it "an appalling bad plan", and says it will be "an engine of corruption". Says it will be a "nightmare to implement". Calls it "socialism at its worst".
2) He says the bailout will buy assets at above the market value, not less than the market value.
3) Suggestions: Use rolling 3-year average mark-to-market, zero capital gains, adopt a US-centric energy plan, and loan money at treasury+2% to let entities fix their bad-debt problems themselves - a "workout" rather than a "bailout".

UPDATE 9.25 11AM:

More links and quotes on the subject:

Rush hits the analogy perfect in his Wednesday show:

Barack Obama is nothing different than a high-risk loan. He has no history of accomplishment. He has nothing besides a nice smile and a firm handshake as evidence that he can deliver what he promises. The White House should not be available to high-risk people, such as a 144-day junior senator who has a myriad of highly-questionable, high-risk associates. And when he fails? We will be asked to bail out the United States for the damage that he caused. I'd like a little more collateral on a presidential candidate than just having Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright and Tony Resko as co-signers on his application.

Larry Elder adds perspective on the significance of bank failures on our economy in his Townhall column today, Is Capitalism on the Ropes?

According to the FDIC, in the almost two-year period of 2007 and 2008, 15 banks failed. Similarly, during Clinton's last two years in office, 1999 and 2000, 15 banks also failed. In the recession-free years of 1988 and 1989, there were 1,004 bank failures. And since the Great Depression, the average number of yearly bank failures has been 94.

The WSJ editorial, The Candidates Vote 'Present', says "the behavior of both candidates has an air of running for political cover":

...count us as mystified by Senator John McCain's decision yesterday to suspend his campaign and call for a postponement in Friday's first Presidential debate so that he and Barack Obama can work out a consensus bill to stabilize the financial system. This is supposed to be evidence of leadership?

Mr. McCain's decision follows an equally odd suggestion from Mr. Obama yesterday morning that the two candidates issue a joint statement of principles and conditions for the financial rescue package. As a purely political matter, we understand why Mr. Obama would just as soon say "present" on a tricky Senate vote. He probably figures the current economic mess plays into his argument for "change," so why not minimize any differences with Mr. McCain on the Paulson plan as he heads to Election Day?

We also understand Mr. McCain's desire to further dress his campaign in "Country First" gilding, as if patriotism and consensus are one and the same, or that getting something done is more important than getting it right.
As candidates, however, they are not serving the public by hiding behind a fog of faux bipartisanship that obscures their core economic principles and their approach to governance in times of crisis. Far from being an issue that is above electoral politics, the financial panic is too serious not to have a serious discussion about.

And another from Hugh Hewitt, Hugh himself this time:

Obama’s halting response to yesterday’s dramatic announcement`by John McCain followed by his about-face and agreement to attend the meeting convened by President Bush even as he insists that tomorrow’s debate go forward reveals much more than standard operating bumbling by Obama when the script he's been reading from unexpectedly changes.

Obama appears to genuinely not grasp the stakes here. He is not acting like a leader who understands the risks the country faces. And this is not surprising giving his experience gap when it comes to money, work, and savings much less finance.

Wednesday Afternoon Cigar

Our second mild cigar in as many days. This time a Santa Damiana.

Campaign Time-Out

The blogs are full of comments about who called who first. Who organized with who. Who's leading and who's waffling. If not this Friday, when?

From the Conservative Corner, Duane R. Patterson at the Hugh Hewitt blog has the best comments:

Whatever bailout plan gets implemented, if there is one, either Senator McCain or Senator Obama is going to have to deal with the results of it. Both are sitting U.S. Senators, and have the ability to help craft and negotiate the language of the bill. Obama would have you believe that it's important , but not enough so of a crisis for him to have to go to Washington and actually serve in his current role as Senator. John McCain recognizes the magnitude of the crisis, and wants to actually do what he can to improve the language.

The freaks at DailyKos produced the image below, along with these comments:

Clearly McCain is afraid to appear at the debate without Palin.
All McCain's got are these cheap stunts. See "Sarah Palin."
He wants to cancel the debate now that issues have become, well... issues!
He preferred it when it was all about swine and cosmetics.
I think that Obama and the Dem's best move is to immediately attack McCain for trying to inject Presidential politics into the economic crisis and into the proceedings trying to work out a solution.
I think it's essential that Dems follow the lead set by Reid in his statement and aggresively work to grab the initiaive on this issue, shape public opinion on it right away, and point out that this is a shameless political stunt by McCain.
The McCain campaign must have seen something really, really bad in their debate prep to pull this stunt.
It's time to move in for the political 'kill'.

Our $0.02: A debate is a couple hours long. It is the debate prep that is the burden on both candidates. But why prep? Shouldn't they have their positions firmly expressed by now, after all these speeches, ads and commercials? We have two suggestions: 1) Have the debate moved to Washington where they will both be. They can break away for a couple hours. 2) Second, change the debate topic from foreign policy to the bailout topic, and demand specific answers as to what each of them will do to solve it. Without the benefit of hindsight. One of these guys will be our leader. This debate scenario will expose the best leader.

I didn't make anybody happy with this post, did I?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Hat at Politico

James Kotecki gets into the act!

Tuesday Afternoon Cigar

Went with a mild Romeo Y Julieta this afternoon.

Drilling? Here?

The breaking news: The Democrats will allow the ban on offshore drilling to expire at the end of this month. AP Story:

Democrats have decided to allow a quarter-century ban on drilling for oil off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to expire next week, conceding defeat in an months-long battle with the White House and Republicans set off by $4 a gallon gasoline prices this summer.
"If true, this capitulation by Democrats following months of Republican pressure is a big victory for Americans struggling with record gasoline prices," said House GOP leader John Boehner of Ohio.

Even Congressman Boehner doesn't believe it!

Let's see where this goes next. Without some limits on litigation from the wanna-be-relevant-hippies, this could lead nowhere. In other words, the leadership on this issue will continue to come from the Democrats.

Ushanka Tip: Rusty Shackleford!

Rusty Shackleford at The Jawa Report set a new standard this week with his "Hope, Change * Lies" post. Link.

Sometimes rumors and lies get spread organically with no need from direction. But sometimes what may seem to be an organic bottom up grassroots movement, may actually be led from the top and may be professionally organized.

Rusty connected the dots in a Palin smear campaign, and those dots appear to point to the Obama campaign.

Using techniques that we've used in the past to find the identity of online terrorist supporters, the Jawa team went to work trying to figure out who was behind what appeared, in our opinion, to be a professionally orchestrated smear campaign aimed at Sarah Palin with the ultimate goal of electing Barack Obama.

Here is the smear video that is the subject of Rusty's report. Rusty was suspicious at how quickly the video had gone viral. He also recognized the voice as a professional used by Axelrod in the past. The quality of the supposed amateur video was another flag.

Daily Kos is the blog that really launched Obama's successful campaign. DailyKos diarist "geekesque" tells his audience of a plan to get this and other smear videos to go viral. And I mean just that: he admits that the video and others like it make false claims, but that the ends justify the means.

Rusty has added to his initial post with updates, such as the DailyKos link above, and the disappearance of the original YouTube account, a Facebook account, etc.

Great job, Rusty! Stay on your toes - we suspect to see more of this in the coming weeks!

UPDATE - 3:30pm: The Weekly Standard has picked up the story.

Our Liberal [Public] Schools

Three examples of what is wrong with our schools.  Our solution is always the same: vouchers.

1) "It's the public school system.  Let's be honest, it's full of liberal loons" says Dann Dalton in Aurora Colorado after his son was suspended for wearing a t-shirt to school that said "Obama - A Terrorists Best Friend".  Story at My Fox Colorado.  U/T JammieWearingFool

2) As part of the Dos Palos high school hippie dress-up day, Jake Shelly wore a red, white and blue tie-dyed shirt last Tuesday. The shirt was confiscated by the assistant principle, and Jake was forced to wear a yellow "Dress Code Violator" t-shirt the rest o the day. Two days later Jake wore his shirt after the publicity shamed the liberal administrators. He was joined by numerous classmates dress in red, white and blue. Story at Merced Sun Star. U/T DougM at SondraK, who says "Fire. Them. Now."

3) Our own Zhukov conducted an experiment at his high school a week ago. He wore a McCain-Palin button. No response from the school staff, but he was called "racist" five times by classmates, and received two thumbs up. U/T: Zhukov!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Mac vs. PC: The Roe Effect

Mac and PC discuss the mysterious drop in Democratic voter turnout.

Our video is based on James Taranto's opinion pieces, The Roe Effect, and later, Quantifying The Roe Effect.

His Roe Effect is based on two assumptions:
1) Liberal/Democratic women are more likely to have abortions, and
2) Children's political views are often in line with their parents'.

These assumptions lead to the conclusion we present in our video - Democrats are aborting themselves out of the majority.

Taranto's analysis goes deeper than what we present in our video.  Of his many sound conclusions, these stand out: Roe v. Wade gives Republicans an artificial advantage both in the abortion debate and in election turnout.

Here are the calculations we used for this video (click for larger view):

Our calculations do not include estimates for the number of offspring of the would-be aborted, some of who would be in their mid-thirties now.  

Supporting articles, sources and video:

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Investing in Antiques - A Case Study

Andrew Osborn of the WSJ reports in today's paper, Moscow Will Boost Defense Spending to $50 Billion.  His research includes analysis of performance of Russia's military in the recent Georgia invasion and the obvious: "...the boost highlights a gap between President Dmitry Medvedev's sometimes-conciliatory rhetoric and actual Kremlin policies".  The graph below is from his article. 

Last month's war against Georgia highlighted the weaknesses of Russian procurement policies, according to reports from Russian military officials that have since trickled out in the local media.

Though victorious, the Russian army discovered it had almost no spy drones, substandard satellite navigation and an aging arsenal of imprecise conventional weapons. When Russian commanders wanted to communicate with each other, they had to use cellphones because their own battlefield communications equipment was so poor. When the army wanted to observe Georgian troop movements, it sent a Tu-22 strategic bomber to do the job of a drone. It was shot down. Russian officers discovered that captured Georgian hardware -- of the same Soviet-era vintage as their own -- was actually better, since it had been modernized. Georgian tanks, unlike their Russian counterparts, had night-vision and fire-correction mechanisms.

Sunday Evening Cigar

We smoked another Camacho SLR Maduro as we admired the new Front Placard for our Commie Obama Rally Cap. One side says "Obama Biden", the other "DNC 2010" in preparation for the next Capitalism vs. Communism debate.

Karl's Weekend Reading

WSJ's Mary Anastasia O'Grady, in her op-ed Hugo Chavez's Russian Dalliance, expands the recent Russia-Venezuela cooperation to include Bolivia and all of Latin America. She adds perspective to Russia's motivations, Bolivia's struggling communist president Evo Morales, and Chavez's vision for Latin America.

Mr. Chávez is only too happy to be used. He thinks he's getting something in return. His Bolivarian Revolution -- a full-court press designed to impose communism throughout Latin America -- is in trouble, and as its popularity has waned, so too have his options for restoring confidence in his leadership. Yet there is still the fail-safe practice of Yankee-baiting. In the spirit of Fidel Castro, Mr. Chávez seems to believe that if the foreign devil can be painted as an imminent threat to sovereignty, the nation might rally behind him. This idea, shared by Bolivian President Evo Morales, explains not only Russian military tourism in the Caribbean but also last week's expulsion of the U.S. ambassadors to Caracas and La Paz.
It is true that Bolivia is witnessing a battle between regions for control of the nation's resources. But we are also watching a life-or-death struggle against the communist ideology that Mr. Morales -- also an admirer of Fidel -- wants to impose. He has admitted that Castro coached him on how to use the guise of democracy as a way of reaching his goal. Yet he hasn't been prepped to face resistance. His hard line has unified and emboldened his critics. Now he can no longer reach out to the governors without appearing weak.

Watch for finger-pointing, a new enemies list and show trials in Russia! Not a big news story in light of Lehman and AIG this week, but the Russian stock market has been closed for two days, having lost 55% in the past 4 months. The WSJ editorial, A Run on Russia, highlights the real reasons - putting the blame squarely on Comrade Putin, with well-deserved hits on the US State Department and those European 'powers'.

...the dive in Moscow began before the wider world cared about AIG's balance sheet, and its chief causes are home-grown. To wit, the bill for eight years of Putinism is coming due. And a Kremlin leadership that only weeks ago brimmed with menacing self-confidence is struggling to slow this financial free fall.

The first sign of trouble came in late July when Prime Minister Vladimir Putin lashed out at a Russian coal and steel company, Mechel, for alleged price gouging and appeared to threaten personally its chief executive. Mechel shares fell by a third, and the incident sent a chill through the market as a whole. Investors woke up to the systemic risk to property rights and the lack of any rule of law in Russia. They did so belatedly, we'd add, considering the attempted or successful expropriation of Yukos, BP and Shell assets and the blatant use of state resources to menace private business.

Another trigger was last month's war in the Caucasus.
As it has turned out, much faster than anyone realized or hoped during the Georgian war in August, Western governments haven't had to do anything to have Russia pay a price for its aggressive behavior. Which is fortunate, considering the weak stomachs in Europe and at the State Department for any serious response to the war. Investors did it for them.

The war has also exposed the fiction that Russia is the next China -- an authoritarian political regime that's stable, predictable and on a path toward becoming a free-market economy.

Garry Kasparov explains in his Friday WSJ article, Putin is Ruining Russia's Economy, the history that has led to the unfavorable business climate in Russia.

The market's collapse, down 57% since May, is linked to the dysfunctional nature of the Russian state and economy. Nearly every aspect of commerce in Russia is deeply entangled with state power, if not with Mr. Putin personally. This, for obvious reasons, does not comfort most investors.

Maybe the US State Department lacks any will to fight, but don't count on Mike Adams to surrender in his latest battle! The North Carolina professor has been invited to mandatory sexual harassment training. Having attended these in the corporate world, I can share his frustration and thank him for some great ideas for my next class. From his Townhall article, F.A.S.H.I.S.T!:

a new campus group called “Faculty Against Sexual Harassment Initiatives and Sensitivity Training” - or FASHIST. I’m the founder of the new group.
Those who join UNCW FASHIST will not attend the sexual harassment training sessions biannually as has been proposed. We will attend every single one of them. And we will interrupt the meetings – just like the radical protestors of the 1960s – with a lot of tough questions for the administration. Some examples follow:

Remember, Prof. Adams, "harass" is one word, not two!

Friday, September 19, 2008

New Survey

The survey below was created during the Obama v. Clinton primaries, and has since lost its intent after McCain stole Obama's "Change" thunder.

See our home page for the new survey!

Biden: Paying Higher Taxes = Patriotic

Does Biden's comment require a retort?

Not from us. But we'll pass on Senator McCain's response:

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Another flip flop?

Obama told his supporters yesterday:

I need you to go out and talk to your friends and talk to your neighbors. I want you to talk to them whether they are independent or whether they are Republican. I want you to argue with them and get in their face.

This from Mr. Hope and Change.

We, and others, wore the Commie Obama hat in Denver with the sole purpose to have Obama supporters 'get in our face'. These were the 'politically active' of democrats, and they outnumbered us by several hundred to one. And STILL, no takers.

Is Obama asking them to argue because he doesn't know the facts himself?

Is Obama asking them to argue because he knows his commie inspirations are based on failed policies and doomed to lose in a debate?

Speaking of debates, if there is so much to be said, why did The One turn down ten townhall debates offered by Sen. McCain?

This is the kind of unity that tells Michigan and Florida their primary votes don't count. This is the kind of unity that chooses a nobody as a running mate over a primary challenger with 18 million votes. This is the kind of unity that will give tax increases to 5% of the citizens in order to give tax cuts to the other 95%. This is the kind of unity Lenin's reputation was built on.

Gov. Palin - Irresistible

YouTube has disabled the embedding on our favorite video. CLICK HERE to watch it at YouTube's site.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Don't Question His Patriotism

Remember, political correctness trumps all. Including treason.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Breaking: Fed to Bail Out AIG

We enjoyed, and participated in, the 4 days of praise for the government's courageous position to stop rescuing American businesses (Lehman Brothers, GM, AIG, etc.). I guess Treasury Secretary Paulson enjoyed it too, so much so he felt he had to show his 'soft' side.

From the International Herald Tribune:

Acting to avert a possible financial crisis worldwide, the U.S. Federal Reserve Board reversed course Tuesday and agreed to an $85 billion bailout that would give the U.S. government an ownership stake in the troubled insurance giant American International Group.

AIG was in a freefall not because of their insurance business or the risk of not being able to cover insurance claims. They were in decline because their financial division was drunk off of risky mortgages - just like all the other companies that are failing. The "mortgage crisis" started over 13 months ago. Companies that find themselves in trouble today are those that have a poor decision-making streak equal to 13 months plus the months prior when they were buying risky mortgage backed securities.

Secretary Paulson, there is a hat maker that will suffer a decline in sales after November 4th. How about a bail out??

What You'll Pay

Savage Politics blog, one of our great blogrolled blogs, has a good post on Obama's tax plan. The numbers are the same everywhere, but Savage gets the Ushanka Tip as they do the best at number-presentation. Click here to see his post.

MCCAIN: (no changes)

Single making 30K - tax $4,500
Single making 50K - tax $12,500
Single making 75K - tax $18,750
Married making 60K- tax $9,000
Married making 75K - tax $18,750
Married making 125K - tax $31,250

OBAMA: (reverse all tax cuts)

Single making 30K - tax $8,400
Single making 50K - tax $14,000
Single making 75K - tax $23,250
Married making 60K - tax $16,800
Married making 75K - tax $21,000
Married making 125K - tax $38,750

God help the people making $50k or less!

Tuesday Afternoon Cigar

Smoked the second of 20 from our new box of Camacho SLR Maduros.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sarah on SNL

Well, not exactly. This has been such a popular skit on the blogs and networks, we just had to hop on the bandwagon. The quote below is from Hugh Hewitt.

McCain-Palin should be sending roses to Saturday Night Live. Mocking Palin as a God-crazed, empty-headed mom from hicksville America is just what the Army of Sarahs expected and exactly what they find so distasteful about Manhattan-Hollywood media elites. They can laugh at the skit but also note its entirely predictable script. Of course women who don't live in the big cities on the coasts knew that their elitist sisters looked down on them and their choices, but the contempt that is manifesting itself among the entertainment and news media hierarchy in a thousand different ways is fueling the pro-Palin forces.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Lipstick on a Socialist

The lipstick chatter continues, but finally in the most critical aspect of this election - the Democrats' socialist inspirations.

Doug Giles at Townhall writes today, You Can Put Lipstick on a Socialist - But He's Still a Socialist.

In a list of places the Obama campaign has aplied lipstick, he finishes with these:

They’ve lipsticked his proposed “universal voluntary public service.” Sounds strangely involuntary to me. Sounds like if you take cash from the government then the government officially becomes your pimp. Pass the lipstick. Also, pastors, you might want to think twice about taking cash from the government if Obama becomes president. Achtung, baby.

They’ve lipsticked Obama’s supporters by downplaying endorsements from the Black Panthers, Hamas, Fidel Castro, the Chicago Young Communist League, The Communist Party USA (they can’t officially endorse anyone, but they sure think he’s yummy!). The dudes from The Committee of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism likey the Jobama ticket, and the race baiter Jeremiah Wright still digs him. Across the pond the Party of European Socialists, Libyan leader Mu’ammar al-Qaddafi, and of course MTV’s British splooged hair VMA host Russell Brand thinks he’s just cricket, baby! I have two words for this obfuscation: lip stick.

U/T's to Doug for article, and Ronny Gordon for cartoon (@ American Thinker)

Heads Up, Ohio

Found this while wading through the hate at DailyKos:

It seems that a wonderful opportunity for voter registration has presented itself in Ohio. If we don't take advantage, I'm sure the Republicans will. Beginning September 30, 2008, Ohioans can vote early by absentee ballot without providing a justification. Voter registration for the 2008 election ends on October 6, 2008, thirty days prior to Election Day. The early voting period and the registration period overlap by seven days. This means that unregistered voters can register to vote, then ask for an absentee ballot and vote on the same day. 9/30 is a Tuesday, 10/6 is a Monday. That gives us five working days to drag as many unregistered voters down to the courthouse.

These procedures are being challenged by the GOP, but if they hold up in court, a well organized crew in each county could really make a difference!

Karl's Weekend Reading

We were in the mood for some red meat this week. Here are our favorites!

James Taranto asks a simple question in his analysis of Obama's experiences as a Community Organizer:

Reader, when your toilet breaks, do you wait around for some Ivy League hotshot to show up and organize a meeting so that you can use your collective strength to wring concessions from the powers that be?

Or do you call a plumber?

A WSJ editorial, Obama Tax 3.0, outlines the changing Obama tax plans. From the primary's tax-em-all approach (1.0), to the general election shift to the center (2.0) to the 'oh my God, I'm going to lose' 3.0 plan.

At the bloodless level of simply wishing to win, the Obama camp may have concluded that in the sprint to November it is a losing strategy to be the election's only doctrinaire tax raiser. A tight race tends to focus political minds, and none forget Walter Mondale's catastrophic promise in his 1984 acceptance speech: "Mr. Reagan will raise taxes, and so will I. He won't tell you. I just did."

James Taranto led a Community Organizer joke contest. Here are some of the jokes submitted:

Nelles Hamilton: What's the difference between a "community organizer" and a pit bull? Teeth.

Dagny Billings: What's the difference between a "community organizer" and a seeing-eye dog? Even a blind man can see the dog is actually helping someone.

Michael Roberson: What's the difference between a "community organizer" and a Chihuahua? The Chuhuahua will eventually shut up.

Bob Vorick: What's the difference between a "community organizer" and a puppy? One will grow up to become a loyal servant of mankind.

O. Nara: What's the difference between a "community organizer" and a shih tzu? Zu.

Taranto: What's the difference between a "community organizer" and a pit bull? It's a black thing, you wouldn't understand.

The WSJ editorial, Obama's Lost Years, talks about Obama's undergraduate years at Columbia. Specifically, the fact that we have zero information on those four years. The editorial lists the many things unknown, and the few things known:

What can be said with some certainty is that Mr. Obama lived off campus while at Columbia in 1981-83 and made few friends. Fox News contacted some 400 of his classmates and found no one who remembered him. He had transferred from Occidental College in California after his sophomore year because, he told the Boston Globe in 1990, "I was concerned with urban issues and I wanted to be around more black folks in big cities."

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Russians go to Venezuela

President Medvedev gave the CIA some hard intelligence this week when he sent two Tupolev Tu-160 bombers to Venezuela yesterday.

Between the recent flights towards Norway, we now know how many bombers Russia has that are airworthy.

The strategic bombers will be used to fly patrols in the Pacific and Caribbean, and may be used to escort commie Chavez into the Caribbean. They are expected to return in mid-September.

NATO planes accompanied the bombers to Venezuela on their 13-hour flight.

We suspect the recent Russian bomber activity is a secret intelligence effort to get close-up shots of the F-16.

Media: CNN International, and Russia's loyal Novosti.

UPDATE 9.14: IBD has a good editorial on this topic, including the fact that 64% of US oil imports come through the Caribbean. Also:

He's [Chavez} also succeeded in getting the Russian navy to conduct exercises with Venezuela rather than just make a port visit.
The Russians have little respect for Chavez, but their anger over the U.S. missile shield treaty with Poland and the U.S. Navy's relief mission to Georgia coincide their interests with his.
This threat to sea lanes will increase the burden on U.S. forces who must monitor the new activity. It also underscores how important it is for Congress to permit new drilling for reasons of national security. If Russia can gain control of 25% of Europe's oil just by menacing Georgia, it could get an even more impressive return in the Caribbean.

Seven Years Later

We watched MSNBC's re-run of their 9-11 broadcast this morning. The events that day shocked our family as it did the nation. The events may have transformed my then 9-year old son's direction and purpose in life, as we hope it did for others his age.

We honor today, as we honor everyday, those brave people of 9-11: passengers on flight 93, NY's first responders, and the many others that put everything on the line for their fellow Americans. Their courage on that tragic day was inhuman. President Bush's courage every day since 9-11 has been the single most impressive thing we have witnessed. Period.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The MSM Decline

Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds comments on the latest bad news from the gods of bad news:

A GLOOMY LOOK AT THE NEWSPAPER INDUSTRY: "The resulting dynamic is a value-destroying feedback loop: Declining ad revenue and readership necessitates cost-cutting. Cost-cutting inevitably affects content. Diminished content, whether real or perceived, alienates readers, who become more likely to cancel their subscriptions and seek out alternative news sources. This accelerates the migration of readers to online sources and the decline in ad revenue, which will necessitate even more cost-cutting. We think the cycle will feed on itself."

Stop the cycle of bias!!

We just have an MBA and 15 years of business experience, so the MSM executives can ignore our naive opinions here, but... why not replace your editors with business people (yes, people with no media experience) with compensation based on results instead of intentions, remove your editorials from your front pages and news broadcasts (that means stop the endless "polls"), and fill the other 23 hours a day with stories about productive Americans (not government employees, trial lawyers, "activists", etc.), and see what happens.

In other MSM news today, US Weekly is offering to extend subscriptions for outraged subscribers. Michelle Malkin has the scoop.
Here is a link to our post on the subject.

Our Dear Leader Dead?

Was Kim Jong Il just rude not to show up to the 60th anniversary of North Korea?

Rumors say he may have died from Diabetes. That is a stretch - N. Korea has universal health care. Of course, the word "diabetes" may be North Korean for "a starving peasant shot him in the head".

Some rumors say he died in 2003! Other excuses could include hiding in a bunker as he did at the start of Shock and Awe in Iraq. Or maybe he was busying watching the movie Team America - a movie we turn to when parades are the only thing on TV. That movie ROCKS!

The only good commie is a dead commie, so here is hoping the rumors are true.

U/T: Jawa Report

UPDATE 9.11: More info from AP. S. Korean press reported Kim collapsed two weeks ago, and rumors say he has received medical attention from Chinese doctors in some previously unknown universal health care bilateral arrangement.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Throw Joe Under the Bus?

Ed Rollins writes for CNN today outlining what we all agree to be true - Obama should have picked Hillary.

If Obama had done the smart thing, he would have picked Sen. Hillary Clinton for vice president. If he had, he would have united his party for sure and energized his base.
The one thing we know for sure -- the selection of Biden did the least to enhance any ticket since George H.W. Bush picked Dan Quayle back in 1988. This is turning out to be another election the Democrats were convinced they couldn't lose. So far, the selection of Palin has been a game-changer and has energized my party like no one since Ronald Reagan did four decades ago.

So would Obama dismiss Biden and go with Hillary at this stage?

They're not called the Do-Over Democrats for nothing. Recall Robert Torricelli dropping out of the New Jersey Governor's race on August 1, 2000 - well into the campaign. Torricelli claimed he was pressured to drop out after news of private stock deals and a looming federal investigation, but his standing in the polls was the real motivator. You see, he belongs to a political party that lusts for power. They will bend, or outright break, any rule in order to achieve it.

We put a .2 probability on an Obama-Hillary ticket. You?

David Axelrod To-Do List:

1) Call Biden, explain the campaign's "new" direction.
2) Call printers - new posters, buttons, bumper stickers ASAP
3) Call friends in MSM - Get full hour on all Sunday shows.
4) Monday - act like it was Obama-Clinton all along, and tell Republicans to "get over it".

UPDATE: 9.11 -

Even Biden thinks Hillary was the better pick!
And a review of the Democratic Party rules for a Biden-Hillary switch. U/T: Instapundit

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Media Bias Backfire

The West could always count on the Commie Soviets to act logically when pushed into a corner. The Commies in the Main Stream Media are proving to behave in the same way.

Today, MSNBC Commie-Libs Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews have been pulled from election coverage, replaced with David Gregory.

MSNBC tried a bold experiment this year by putting two politically incendiary hosts, Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews, in the anchor chair to lead the cable news channel’s coverage of the election.

That experiment appears to be over.

After months of accusations of political bias and simmering animosity between MSNBC and its parent network NBC, the channel decided over the weekend that the NBC News correspondent and MSNBC host David Gregory would anchor news coverage of the coming debates and election night. Mr. Olbermann and Mr. Matthews will remain as analysts during the coverage.

The change — which comes in the home stretch of the long election cycle — is a direct result of tensions associated with the channel’s perceived shift to the political left.

Recently, MSNBC has been brazen in its liberal bias, with blatantly negative coverage of Gov. Palin. We heard Rush Limbaugh and other conservatives say this bias would come back to bite the MSM.

And if that isn't fun enough, the MSM outlet to first report it is the New York Times!

Personal Message for Obama

Two minutes that explains everything.

Wrong on the war. Wrong on the surge. Wrong for America.

Palin, and Media Bias (UPDATED x 3 & Bumped)

The news today: Sarah Palin, Alaska's Govenor, is McCain's VP pick. WOW! We expected fireworks in Denver, and subdued enthusiasm in Minneapolis for our trip. The opposite will be true, and we can't wait!

We clicked to the first AP story by Liz Sidoti. Liz has been a regular "winner" here at on our home page of biased MSM headlines. Her headline isn't what caught our attention, it was her content:

Palin is a self-styled hockey mom and political reformer who has been governor of her state less than two years.

We haven't seen Liz speak of Obama's 140 days in the US Senate.

In making his pick, Mccain passed over several more prominent prospects who had figured in speculation for months — Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge among them.

"More Prominent"? Was Biden "prominent"?

More recently, she has come under the scrutiny of an investigation by the Republican-controlled legislature into the possibility that she ordered the dismissal of Alaska's public safety commissioner because he would not fire her former brother-in-law as a state trooper.

Is this the best AP can do? We'll watch as the MSM tries to make this issue an equal to Rezko, Grove Parc, or Infanticide.

What Liz has done is show there will be no favorable MSM coverage of the GOP. Not even hours after the VP pick.

We'll keep track of this MSM bias on our home page. Your votes and comments on our headlines are appreciated.

UPDATE 8.30:

Our normal rate of biased headlines posted to our home page ranges from 1-3 per day. Last night we posted 8, most about Palin. Here are the "winners":

Newsweek: Alter: Why Sarah Palin Is Likely to Belly-Flop
CNN: Begala on Palin: Is McCain out of his mind?
MSNBC: Palin is McCain's Boldest Gamble
AP: Analysis: Palin's age, inexperience rival Obama's

That last headline might backfire...

Remember, these are the FIRST headlines about Palin from these media companies. Not one of the MSM outlets we track had a headline similar to "McCain picks Sarah Palin as his VP". Not one.


The biased headlines keep coming in. Here are some more "winners":

NYT: News Analysis: Choice of Palin is Bold Move by McCain, With Risks
LA Times: McCain's choice of Palin is a risk
LA Times: Palin had risen quickly from PTA to VP pick
AP: Analysis: Palin could complicate energy debate

We're still waiting for news on America's newspapers, rather than opinion. You too?


The headlines keep on coming! Here are some headlines we posted today to our home page:

CNN: Are women ready to back Palin?
AP: Analysis: GOP contradicts self on Palin family
AP: Pentecostalism obscured in Palin biography
Reuters: Sarah Palin controversy stokes Mommy War
AP: Analysis: McCain camp plays sexism card for Palin
NYT: Palin Disclosures Raise Questions on Vetting
Reuters: Palin "bridge to nowhere" line angers many Alaskans

Our headline suggestion for the MSM: Despite Layoffs and Reduced Circulation, MSM Outlets Working Harder Than Ever.

Another Hammer & Sickle

Found at American Thinker:

Thursday, September 04, 2008

We Better Win

That was our thoughts during the great speeches tonight at the Republican Convention.  Gov. Romney, Mayor Giuliani, Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle and Gov. Palin were on fire.

We better win.

Pic from SondraK

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Palin, and Media Bias Part II (UPDATED 9.7)

The criticisms of the media's biased coverage of Palin have reached critical mass, and are expected to be the punch lines in many of the speeches at the convention tonight in St. Paul.  Here is more, in image form:

Link to Part I.

UPDATE 9.7: Doug Ross has a related post.

Join the US Weekly Boycott - here!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Brunch With Senator T

Fred Thompson visited with about 30 bloggers this morning in St. Paul to discuss current events. He too is excited about Gov. Palin as the VP pick. Nearly half of his comments revolved around the media frenzy and the liberal, even slanderous, slant in the VP story.

We are still tracking the MSM's early Palin coverage 2 posts below - here.


Two more Hammer & Sickle cartoons. 

Found at