Wednesday, September 14, 2011

"A Very Difficult District for Democrats"

This just in. The Democrats lost a congressional seat (NY - 9) that they had previously held for almost 100 years - in a district where Democrats outnumber Republicans 3 to 1. It wasn't even that close (last I checked, Bob Turner beat David Weprin by a 53% to 47% margin). I laughed out loud when I read Debbie Wasserman Schultz's comment that "this is a very difficult district for Democrats". Say what? 100 years and 3:1? Where do these people come up with this stuff? If that is a difficult district, I shudder (in a good way, like Chris Matthews thinking of Barack Obama) to think of what is going to happen to the Democrats in 2012.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

You Call this Poverty?

I write this post from Manila, the Pearl of the Orient. Manila is not a bad place - I have seen worse, but let's face it, there is poverty all around me. Like Mexico City, Kathmandu, Bangkok, Buenos Aires or Paris (all cities that I know reasonably well), Manila has very wealthy enclaves (OK, maybe Kathmandu doesn't have one of those) that are a long baseball (Go
Giants, beat LA!) throw away from people living in abject poverty. And on this short trip I have seen a lot of the poverty and not much of the wealth.
So I was interested (I would say "surprised", but not much surprises me nowadays that comes from the MSM or a government agency like the Census Bureau) to see that there are record numbers of people living in "poverty" in the US (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/record-poverty-last-year-as-household-income-dips-2011-09-13). Of course how you define "poverty" is rather important, but that is not something the MSM wants to highlight for the most part. So check out the following article from two researchers from the Heritage Institute (http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2011/09/13/understanding_poverty_in_the_us.html) that puts American "poverty" in context. The "poor" for the most part have big-screen TVs (most likely bigger than the one we have), computers, cars, shelter with a/c and heat and sufficient food. Is that really poverty? No, of course it isn't. It may not be as much as other people have, but it is not poverty. But isn't that the point of the left nowadays? To "level the playing field" so those with "more" (whatever that means) will "pay their fair share" (like we don't pay enough already).
I have rarely asked the question in my travels, but my assumption is that a substantial majority of the world's population would be overjoyed to live in the "poor" America that is being presented. And my assumption is that the answer to the "poverty" problem for many is to take more from the $200,000/year "millionaires" and make them pay their "fair share" to those who have less - in large part because they probably did not work very hard and are content to live as they do with government assistance.
I leave Manila today for Los Angeles and can't wait to get home to my poverty-stricken country. I just wish the MSM would highlight how good the "poor" have it in the US (good luck with that) and I laugh at people that take these "statistics" as a call to arms to "do something", which usually involves taking from those with more in order to make life more "fair".

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I Love MSNBC

What can be more interesting than watching MSNBC's very own Keith Olberman (I used to like him when he was a sarcastic sports reporter for KTLA) and Chris (I feel a shiver down my leg) Matthews trying to explain why Martha Coakley is going to lose to Scott Brown in Massachusetts?
Nothing.
God forbid these people would actually admit that the people in the bluest of all blue states (but in retrospect, is it?) would elect a Republican because they are sick of the liberal nonsense of Barack Obama and his crew. So it must be because Martha Coakley is boring or ran a bad campaign or the people are confused, or my favorite...because Obama hasn't been liberal enough!
I can only hope the Democrats continue to delude themselves that our country wants the liberal nonsense and shenanigans that Obama-mania represents. We need a Republican* Congress and Senate in 2010 to get the country back on track and that will do it.
So keep it up Keith and Chris. I am sure your 785 viewers really appreciate your hard work and objectivity.

*By Republican, I mean the good Republican kind and not the big-spending, just-as-bad-as-the Democrat kind of Republican.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Revisionist History Lives

Today's Post had a piece by a fellow who is saying that the US is on the right side of the Honduras affair. I posted a comment to his piece (see below) and if you want to see the piece itself (with a link to my response), go to http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/26/AR2009112602086.html. Makes for interesting and informative reading.
Mr. Schumacher's piece failed to point out that the US has been on the wrong side of this issue since day 1 and makes it seem like we had it right all along. I imagine Mr. Schumacher works for the State Department in the Department of Covering Up Stupid Things We Have Done (DCUSTWHD). Maybe the US should do the right thing and admit we made a mistake and acknowledge how the Hondurans are on the right path - maybe that will cause others in the world to validate the free and fair elections to be held by Honduras. I thought our foreign policy under Bush was pretty bad in a lot of ways, but under Obama we are plumbing new depths of ineptitude and silliness.

tlamb1 wrote:
This was a very nice rewriting of history - my compliments to the author. It is true to say that the United States is now on the right side of this sordid affair, but extremely misleading not to mention that it was on the wrong side for the entire period of time leading up to elections. The author neglected to mention that the State Department did everything it could to reinstate Zelaya over the wishes of the Honduran Supreme Court and Congress (a majority of which was from Zelaya's own party) based on his defying of the Honduran Constitution. The US cut off aid, froze assets and suspended visas - all in an attempt to force the small, poor, democratic nation of Honduras to bow to the will of Morales, Chavez, Ortega, Kirchner and their ilk. It was clear to anyone that was paying attention (but not State or Hillary Clinton or President Obama) that Zelaya was lawfully removed from his Presidency. The method by which he was removed from the country in the middle of the night did not play well for the world cameras, but in hindsight was done for the right reasons (i.e. to stop Zelaya from fomenting the riots that eventually occurred).
So now the State Department recognizes the error of its ways and they get a free pass? God forbid the State Department (and Mrs. Clinton and President Obama) admit it was wrong in the first place - perhaps that would help to further legitimize the election.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Man Bites Dog! Washington Post Op-Ed Writer Questions Obama Plan's Ludicrous Claims

I do some of my best thinking while running (too bad I don't run much anymore) and this morning I was wondering 1) how it can be that President Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, their fellow Democrats and their journalistic enablers can talk with straight faces about how the Obama health plan will lower the deficit, and 2) more importantly, how anyone can possibly believe that nonsense. The Wall Street Journal points this out with great regularity, but in the other paper I read (the Washington Post), other than pieces by Charles Krauthammer, George Will and Robert Samuelson, there are only glowing words and fluff pieces trumpeting the fantastic claims of Obama, et al, by the rest of the Opinion writers (Ruth Marcus, David Broder, Eugene Robinson, Anne Applebaum, Richard Cohen, the Post's editorial board, etc., etc., etc.)
I just opened up today's Post and read (twice - I didn't believe what I was reading the first time) a piece by predictably liberal stalwart David Broder (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/20/AR2009112002618.html). And what was he writing about? Well, read it for yourself, but he talks about two things I rarely (I would say "never", but I am not that into hyperbole) see liberals mention: 1) a (vast) majority of Americans are against the Obama plan, and 2) any talk of cost savings or deficit reduction are just that - talk, preposterous talk at that.
The good news is that maybe some on the left really do see the flaws in the Obama plan, and I imagine the Obama administration really knows how unpopular this legislation is. The bad news is that I don't think this makes a whit of difference to Obama, Reid and Pelosi - they will do whatever it takes and tell as many lies as they can to get this legislative monstrosity passed. But then the good news (and I firmly believe this) is that the Democrats are going to suffer greatly in the polls in 2010 and again in 2012. To paraphrase the immortal words of Carl Spackler "so we've got that going for us...which is nice". Let's just hope the Republican president and Congress can roll back the abortion the Democrats are cooking up for us.

[Note: I am still working off and on (more off than on, as I have been busy on other things) on a piece called "Hooray for Honduras" which I will post soon. The news about Honduras will be a bit dated when I post it, but a large part of the piece reflects on my time in Latin America and how Americans are really perceived there.]

Friday, October 30, 2009

Ode to Joe

My friend and blogging mentor (let’s call him Jim A.) advised me to not be negative, nor to launch personal attacks in my writing, pointing out that we (conservatives) are in the right and should argue with facts, not vitriol. I wholeheartedly agree with him…most of the time…but there are exceptions to every rule…like here…so I am happy to say I loathe Joe Biden (and don't worry Jim, I have facts to argue the case).

Yes, I said it – I loathe Joe Biden. And as much as I have problems with Barack Obama, I find myself praying for the President's health, lest Fightin’ Joe take his place.

What makes Joe Biden worse than the collection of miscreants (Republican and Democrat) that populates Washington? Is it the sheer meanness and lack of morals/scruples he exhibits against his political foes? Is it the acts of plagiarism denoting dishonesty, untrustworthiness and lack of character? Or is it that he has been wrong on pretty much every foreign policy issue that he has ever weighed in on and now sits the proverbial one heartbeat away from the Presidency? If you answered “all of the above”, read on.

Joe Biden first made an impression on me during the summer of 1991, when I, then a young lawyer, was following the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court confirmation hearings. I was first drawn to the hearings because I was offended that Bush 41 would nominate a man to the Court solely based on his race – clearly there were more qualified candidates. But my displeasure with Thomas turned to admiration and it became clear that the person who lacked the qualifications, morals and intellect was not Thomas, but Biden, who could best be described in the immortal words of Michael Bolton (of Office Space fame, not the singer, although he might agree), as a “no talent ass clown”. Clearly Biden would stop at nothing to try to destroy an honorable man. And thank goodness his competence in the Thomas hatchet job was what you would expect, so he failed at that too.

My impression of Biden led me to do some investigation of him, which in 1991 was not as easy as it is today (what did we do without the Internet?) And what did I find out? Among other things, that he graduated from a 3rd tier law school where he finished at the bottom of his class (did I mention that he finished 506th in a class of 688 as an undergrad at the University of Delaware?) and failed a law school class for committing plagiarism. And that he had to drop out of the 1988 presidential Democratic nomination race because he plagiarized a Neil Kinnock (Neil Kinnock for God’s sake!) speech. He then practiced law for one year before going into politics. I could not believe his background qualified him to pass judgment on Clarence Thomas (don’t get me started on Robert Bork), let alone be the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee – or do much of anything for that matter.

Over the years I watched Biden become increasingly powerful in Washington (there is a good side to this, as I can now tell my children “if Joe Biden can be one of the most powerful men on earth, just think of what you can do”) and kept mental notes of just how much of a clown he really was. But for all of the character flaws and lack of talent he possessed, it was the area of foreign affairs that really caught my attention. How could a man be so wrong, so consistently and still have a job? Were the people of the fine state of Delaware paying attention to this embarrassment? And when Obama picked Biden to be his running mate to add foreign affairs gravitas, I was horrified. Was Obama paying attention? Now Biden (along with his gravitas) has the President’s ear on foreign affairs and for that reason, we may all be in trouble.

The following is a random (albeit linear) walk through the Joe Biden Foreign Affairs Hall of Fame – and while reading this, keep in mind that “military expert” Biden obtained five draft deferments during the Viet Nam war and later was disqualified from service because of an acute bout of asthma he had as a teenager (see “chickenhawk – definition of”):

1970s – Biden opposes giving South Viet Nam aid against North Viet Nam. The eventual cut-off of funds leads directly to the overrun of South Viet Nam and indirectly to the horrors of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge.

1980s – Biden opposes aid to the Nicaraguan Contras who are fighting Daniel Ortega and his merry band of Marxist thugs. He also opposes aid to El Salvador so they can fight the Marxist insurgency of the notoriously murderous FMLN. He consistently opposes the Strategic Defense Initiative and pretty much any attempt to upgrade our nuclear deterrent.

1990 – Biden votes against American action to push Saddam Hussein’s Iraq out of Kuwait; a military action that enjoyed the cooperation of a huge multinational coalition.

2003 – Biden votes for the American invasion of Iraq (something that I and many Conservatives were never really thrilled with); a military action that enjoyed a very limited amount of cooperation among other nations and something the Democrats blame for our alienation from the rest of the world (whatever that means).

2006 – Biden advocates a partitioning of Iraq into three states along ethnic lines; a “solution” that most likely would have led to vast bloodshed.

2007 – Biden strongly opposes the “Surge” of American troops into Iraq, an action that ultimately saved the war effort.

Let’s move to the present – 2009. Among the myriad issues that Joe is advising the President on is the increasingly tenuous situation in Afghanistan. Biden strongly advocates a limited footprint in Afghanistan, in contravention of the wishes of General McChrystal and his experienced military staff. This story is not yet over, but given the above history, my only question is “what’s the opposite of ‘limited?’”

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Leftist, Statist or anti-Realist?

I have been thinking a lot today about a post from my friend and, dare I say, blogging mentor, who can be found at http://objectiveeye.blogspot.com. He copied a great article by Steven Malanga (Manhattan Institute) called "Tax the Rich? How's that Working?" I won't get into the argument, as it makes sense to anyone that is considered "rich" who wonders a) where their tax dollars are going and b) whether they should move to a state that won't try to take away everything they have (friends in California, New Jersey and New York know what I am talking about). He also mentioned how various authors are now starting to describe the more pro-government folks as "statists" or "interventionists" rather than as the "left" or the "right". My friend then goes on to describe the dichotomy as "pro-reality" or "anti-reality". Very thoughtful and thought-provoking.