Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Fiscal Cliff Clavin...

The "fiscal cliff" is a bunch of BS, in the sense that there is going to be a fiscal cliff whether it occurs with or without a "deal". The question is two-fold: (1) will it be a shear cliff crash, or a slower downhill roll crash (either way, it's gonna crash), and (2) where the blame will lay. 

If the Republicans don't make a deal now, and push the "fiscal cliff" over the edge, the Republicans will get the blame. ALL of the Republicans. The narrative has already been set by the Administration and the MSM for quite some time. 

I say they "make a deal" now [with this important caveat!!!] . The Democrats have the White House. The Democrats have the Senate. All they really need are a small handful of squishy-Republicans in the Senate (to prevent a filibuster, aka, Graham, McCain, Snowe, etc.), and approx. 25 squishy-Republicans in the House. 

Let the squishes make the deal, and let the true fiscal conservatives (200+ in House and 40+ in Senate) stand together and say en masse, "we are NOT a part of this, when the economy crashes due to either stagflation, hyperinflation, recession, or depression, the blame will/must be on those who voted for this monstrosity." 

When the proverbial sh*t hits the fan, fiscally/economically, all the Republican-squishes and all the Democrats that voted for "the deal" are prime targets for primary challenges in 2014.  So, let's recruit now for the next wave of Ted Cruz-like candidates for the mid-term elections IN EVERY ONE OF THOSE DISTRINCTS.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Union Ding Dongs...

When I was a teenager (in the early '80s) my first official job with my working papers was with a supermarket in Philadelphia.  This was my job to help pay me through college.  It was unionized with the Retail Clerks union.  Started at minimum wage as a CSA (Customer Service Agent… in other word, a bag and cart boy).

After a year I got my annual union-negotiated pittance of a raise.  Sometime after that, the minimum wage increased.  My wage increased to that new bottom level.  Next thing I know, new people were being hired, and getting paid at the same rate I was.  But, they had no experience.  I'd been there for well over a year and was already working my way up to full retail clerk.  Shouldn't I get paid more than the newly hired CSA's?  Nope.  Union didn't think it was worth fighting for people like me in that predicament.

Flash forward to four year on the job.  Union says we should strike because we weren't getting the same wages as other supermarkets in the area.  I was young and stupid.  I went along with the vote to strike.  Stood on the picket lines outside the store.

Strike ends.  How?  Supermarket closes down the location.  I'm out of a job after four years of working my way up with income and experience.  Can't find another job at other area supermarkets.  Not hiring.

Six months later, I get a call from my old supermarket company.  They remember me from the old store, loved my work ethic. Got an opening for me at a store in the suburbs.  Same union, too.  The catch?  I was to start as a CSA agent again.  At minimum wage, again.  I told them thanks but no thanks.

A few years later I worked for a retail music store.  No union.  One day, a union rep came to try to get us to "organize" to get better pay.  We all basically told him to go pound sand.  I eventually ended up getting to Assistant Manager on my own, thank you very much.

Today, I see the likes of unions acting like Ding Dongs (pun absolutely intended), and now 18,500 people are out of a job while Hostess Brands goes bankrupt.

I see SEIU picketing outside LAX on one of the busiest travel days of the year because one company's employees dared to vote to decertify, and ended up getting better deals with the company's management directly.

I see California public employees unions illegally influencing the vote on Nov 6 to pass Prop 30 (which  now raises sales taxes for "the children" aka, schools… problem being, the proposition was written so that none of the money will be sent directly to the school.  Instead, it'll most assuredly go towards two things: the ridiculously over-paid public employee unions' pensions, and the multi-multi-billion dollar boondoggle "bullet train" to nowhere).

So, here's my take on the modern day unions.

Imagine my longest digit on my right hand firmly, proudly and defiantly raised up in the air.

(effin' idiots)

Friday, November 09, 2012

AFTERMATH: The Whale, The Disinterested, and The 1%...

First, "The Whale"- More specifically, Project ORCA (Ace really let's 'em have it in that link), Team Romney's election-day GOTV (get out the vote) machine and the failure of a not-thoroughly-tested smartphone/tablet/computer app that basically harpooned the efforts of 37,000 GOTV operatives.  More about it here and here.  RedState's Ben Howe has a fascinating take on the whole mess here.  Ace of Spades takes the Romney camp to task for their weak response to the claims of the massive system failure.

But this only had a limited effect on the overall voter turnout because...

Secondly, "The Disinterested" - As of this moment (updated 12/3) in the almost finalized numbers, while Romney received three quarters of a million more votes that McCain got in 2008, Obama received 4.2 million fewer votes than he did four years ago.  Counting all candidates who received votes, in 2008 there were a total of 131.4 million votes cast.  This year, 128.3 million.

Basically, over 3 million people who voted in 2008 were so disgusted with either candidate that they decided to just stay home (in addition, a small percentage voted for a third party candidate in both elections; approx. 1.5%, or 2 million).  In 2008, 58.8% of voting-age people voted. In 2012, only 54.6% of voting-age citizens voted.

Given that with a US population of 315 million, and of those 235 million are of voting age, that means 45.4% of voting-eligible citizens never bothered to vote on Tuesday (many never even bothered to register to vote).  [All numbers updated 12/3.]

Third, "The 1%" - The left and the Occupy Wall Street fanatics ranted and raged against the evil 1% (the richest 1% of the country), so they went out and voted for Obama 50.8%-47.4% (because Romney was in the backpocket of those evil 1%'ers, donchaknow).

Fact:  The Top 10 richest counties in the country voted on Tuesday, and 8 of the 10 counties voted for Obama.  Those eight counties combined voted for Obama by a 60%-40% margin!!  All Top 10 combined voted for Obama 56%-44%!  Notice that it's by a much large margin than the general population.  Those who voted in those counties accounted for 1.1% of the voters on election day.  In other words, those evil 1%'ers.  So the lefties voted for the exact same candidate that the evil 1% wanted.

That is a dish called "Irony" prepared, cooked and served to utter perfection.

So, why did the 1% vote that way?  Obvious (to some, at least).  Obama will be raising taxes on the wealthiest, but they can use tax loopholes and shelters to avoid the proposed increases.  Which means that the shortfall will have to be made up on the backs of the middle class. (DUH!)  Romney wanted to keep or lower those tax rates, but close a bunch of those precious loopholes for the rich.  Can't have that now, can we.

Passing thoughts by Gateway Pundit:

November 6, 2012 is the day America changed.
8 to 9 percent unemployment is the new normal. It’s good enough. 46 million people on food stamps is OK. It shows we care. Debt spending is good. It will get paid off some day and if not, our kids can worry about it. Trillion dollar deficits make sense. 
Socialized medicine is good. It will cost more, but did you honestly believe it wouldn’t? It doesn’t matter what you were told. Catholics should pay for abortions. Sandra Fluke is a prophet. Abortions and birth control should be free. We should fund abortions overseas, too.
The First Lady should be allowed to blow millions on lavish vacations. The White House parties should cost millions, too. The president should play as much golf and basketball as he pleases. They deserve it. They work hard.  They’re Democrats.
Greedy Americans should pay more taxes and millions of Americans who pay no taxes should receive more free money. It’s only fair. Businesses can afford to pay more taxes too. That’s what they teach you in school, right? We all know the Bush tax cuts that brought the deficit from $450 billion to $175 billion in four years and created millions of jobs didn’t work. Obama said so. And did you know Obama created 5 million jobs? Who cares how he came up with that number. In September he even created 600,000 part-time jobs somewhere. And, don’t you dare question his math.
Benghazi was a protest, or a terrorist attack. Obama said so from the beginning. Who cares anyway. Things like that happen all the time. And the media never covered anything up to help the president either. Right, 60 Minutes?
Al-Qaeda is dead or on the run.
We pushed the restart button with Russia. Putin is a democrat. He can be trusted. What do you mean there are Russian subs in the Gulf and off the east coast?
It’s not racist that 97% of blacks vote Democrat. It’s racist if you are white and vote Republican.
The media is your friend. The mainstream media is not biased. They would never hide anything from you.
Katrina was a national embarrassment.  It was Bush’s fault.  Sandy was not so bad.  And Obama did a great job focusing on it from between campaign stops.  The people are not suffering so much or we would have heard about it in the news.
America was once the land of the free. Now we want to be told what to do. More government is good. We want stuff.
On Tuesday America changed.
But the fight is not over.
God help us in the days ahead.

Passing thoughts by PoliPundit:

The end of America

No, I’m not exaggerating.
I’m an immigrant. I felt like I was born in the wrong country – a country where free speech was optional, freedom needed to be justified against other considerations, the successful were hated and resented, government was the career of choice for smart people, and business was severely limited by burdensome regulations. In short, a country in inevitable decline.
I yearned for America, a land of limitless possibilities where the people loved freedom, and a two-hundred-year-old Constitution guaranteed it. I made my way here as soon as I could, thus correcting the mistake fate had made when I was born.
For many immigrants, America was their last best hope, the only country that matched their ambition and optimism. There was no othersanctuary for people like me.
And now there is no sanctuary left.
The choice in this election was stark, and Americans have made their choice. They have chosen liberal piety over America’s future, free condoms over freedom. They have voted for a government that, in our president’s words, believes that American exceptionalism is the same as British exceptionalism or Greek exceptionalism. Given the course Americans have chosen, he may be right.
  • Our national debt dwarfs our GDP in the same manner as, say Greece’s debt dwarfed its GDP and led to the troubles Greece faces today.
  • That will only get worse as we run trillion-dollar deficits for the foreseeable future.
  • Not to mention the massive cost of entitlements, including the new one called Obamacare.
  • Amid all this, government ties down business with endless regulation, and wants to punish success by raising taxes on “the rich.”
  • Half the American people no longer pay federal income taxes. They have an incentive to soak the rich.
  • Millions more get monthly payments from Social Security disability, unemployment “insurance” and the like. In fact, one in three Americans lives in a household that gets some kind of direct government assistance. They too will want to soak the rich.
  • Power-hungry politicians will continue to divide us by gender, race, ethnicity and income. Each party will vie harder than the other to win the favor of this or that group. Freedom of speech, religion, and property will suffer. The idea that we are all created equal will effectively be written out of our founding documents.
  • In fact, our freedoms are already gone. Government can mandate that we purchase products and, soon, “hate speech” will doubtless be criminalized, like in Europe. Don’t believe me? Look at the official assault on Chick-Fil-A. Do you think any company will dare to oppose gay marriage again? Or look at the federal persecution of anyone who dares to make movies disparaging Mohammed. How much longer before “anti-gay” or “anti-Muslim” speech immediately gets you fined or thrown in jail, like in the UK?
What exactly is the difference between America and Greece? I can’t tell anymore. Except that the scale of our problems dwarfs that of Greece, and has the potential to take down the entire world.
Hence the title of my post, “The end of America.” America is no longer exceptional, and no longer has much of a future. It is thus no different from doomed entities like Greece, Spain, or California. We are in a state of inexorable decline. The question is just how andwhen we’ll decline, not if.
Like Greece – and its apprentice on the Pacific, California – America will grow ever broker, ever more stifling, ever faster declining, ever more self-righteous, and ever more leftwing. The worse it will get, the more voters will vote for worseness. The decline will only accelerate. We may occasionally elect “Republicans” and “conservatives” to the odd office, but they will be compromised compromisers, powerless to stop the decline.
The decline may even be comfortable. What’s left of the American spirit, and our unimaginable wealth and resources, will ensure that. But, as in Europe, by the time the consequences are fully apparent, we will be unable to undo them.
Decades hence, America will take its place among the great civilizations whose success was their eventual undoing. Our descendants will marvel at the wonders we wrought, and they’ll wonder why they can’t come close to matching our achievements. Then they’ll go vote for faster decline. If they can still vote.
That’s not just me talking. It’s 53 percent of you.

Passing thoughts by Creative Minority Report.

Hitting Bottom
I can't help but think that America is now like your brother who can't keep a job, drinks too much, is constantly asking for money, and oh, has a crazy bad addiction that's destroying his life.
You tried just lending him money every time he promised to go straight but he just ain't gonna' do it. At some point you accept that he's going to have to hit bottom. You don't know what bottom looks like but you know that he's racing towards it. It might be jail, death, brain damage. Nobody knows. But at some point he'll hear the thud and wake up face first in a pool of his own vomit and he'll have to make the decision to turn over and get back up or just die.

And that's where America is heading. This country is going to have to go absolutely bankrupt and hit bottom before it starts getting better. This country is borrowing money from children that they're killing in the womb in record numbers. That, is not a recipe for success.
And of the children that we do have, many of them are being born into single parent homes where their chances of spending some time in jail are increased while their economic outlook is severely diminished.
For too many years we slept. Maybe we saw it coming, maybe we just suspected that everything was going to hell.

Leftists have taken over our education establishment, giving them firm control over what our children learn (unless you homeschool or have a great Catholic or private school). The left has long controlled the media and therefore control what people hear about current events. So think about it, they have control over the teaching of history and the present.
And why didn't we think we were going to be routed? And what did we do to prevent this? We talked about school choice but got weak kneed when the fight got bloody. We snarked about the media and congratulated ourselves on how many interesting and funny ways we tweeted that Chris Matthews was stupid. Here's the thing, pretty much everyone in the media agrees with him. It's an MSNBC media. Some just hide it a little better.
If you want to understand the true power of the media, this election is a prime example. The media propped up a corrupt and egotistical ideologue throughout this entire campaign. They ignored Solyndra. They ignored Benghazi. They covered up the economic ruin we were inviting on ourselves. Sure, FoxNews and the new media have hurt the media establishment but what the MSM showed in this election is that we can snark it up all we want, they've got one hand firmly on the levers of power and the other around our throats.
But here's the thing. I've gotten to the point now where I'm thinking about the fact that I have five kids, a wonderful wife, and a good parish. My life is good and full of love. We try to give to charity and work with a home for unwed mothers. We'll continue with these things. I'm focusing on what I can do in my life. I'll continue to write and work but I know where this country is heading.
I know where the country is going. I'm not going there and neither is my family. The Church will continue to exist whatever happens to this country. The country's barreling downwards and when it hits bottom it's going to explode like shrapnel. My job is to protect my family from the flying pieces. And then we'll start gathering the pieces.
The only good news in all this is that I think that we'll hit bottom awfully quick because we're heading there awfully fast.

You should read Erick Erickson's post-election post here.

Another important one by Erick here.

In the end, Romney was a poor candidate. Even though Obama was disliked and no longer trusted by a large portion of the public, Romney made those "not-Obama" potential voters go, "Meh."

Consider this.

Reagan won re-election in 1984 in a landslide with 59% of the popular vote, and all electoral votes except for Minnesota (which Mondale won by less than 0.2% of his home state's popular vote) and D.C.

Bush Sr. won election in 1988 by 53.3% (with the assumption that it would be Reagan 3.0) against Dukakis.  After breaking his "no new taxes" pledge, the country going into a recession, and voters realizing that he wasn't Reagan… here is a list of the "winners'" popular vote percentages of the following presidential elections:

Clinton in '92 (ugh) with 43.0% [against Bush Sr (ugh) and Ross Perot (ugh)]
Clinton in '96 (ugh) with 49.2% [against Dole (ugh) and Ross Perot (ugh)]
Bush W. (ugh) in '00 with 47.9% [against Gore (ugh)]
Bush W. (ugh) in '04 with 50.7% [against Kerry (ugh)]
Obama (ugh) in '08 with 52.8% [even with the hopey-changey rhetoric, against McCain (ugh)]
Obama (ugh) in '12 with 50.9% [against Romney (ugh)]

Notice that the first three didn't even get a majority of votes, and two of the remaining three barely got above 50%.  This is and has been a deeply divided and disillusioned country since approx. 1990, in desperate need of a true Reagan-like, common sense, constitutional conservative leader.  None of the candidates on either side since 1988 have measured up to that standard, and thus we are where we are.

Erick Erickson of RedState has one more must-read post here.

Michelle Malkin lists 21 things that went well on election day for conservatives.

Daniel Horowitz at RedState has 21 observations.

UPDATED with added text and links.

UPDATE #2:  Erick at RedState has much more to say about Romney, Conservatism and the Republican Party.  Please read not only his three posts (which I linked above here, here and here), but also his "No" and "I Told You So" posts.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012


With a well-formed conscience... VOTE!!!

Friday, November 02, 2012

Benghazi - The Investigation Continues...

News dates and the headlines:

9/13 - The Marines were not permitted to have live ammunition.

9/13 - After the June attack on the consulate, no extra security measures were taken.

9/13 - Total security at time of attack on Sept 11, 2012 = just locked doors and four Libyan guards.

9/13 - Administration was warned of impending attack 48 hours before it occurred.

9/19 - Killer of the Ambassador was leader of US-backed rebel force.

9/19 - Killer was also an ex-Gitmo detainee who was released by Obama Administration.

9/20 - Obama refused meetings with Israeli officials while instead meeting with  Egypt's leader (who's also now head of the Muslim Brotherhood)

9/20 - New Obama campaign "flag" very similar to fingered blood stains at recently attacked Libyan consulate:

10/12 - Biden claims that no one knew that more security was needed at the consulate.

10/12 - Gingrich says that Biden's comment will come back to haunt the Administration.

10/23 - Within two hours of the attack, White House & State Dept  received word that a jihadi group claimed responsibility.

10/26 - CIA gave order to stand down?

10/26 - General Petraeus states that no one in the CIA gave the order to stand down.

10/26 - Painting a target with a laser, and what it means.

10/29 - Flopping Aces has more on this crucial point about "painting targets".

10/26 - Father of fallen SEAL Tyrone Woods tells what Sec of State Hillary Clinton told him at his son's funeral.

NOTE to the clueless… that lame YouTube video had absolutely NOTHING to do with the attack, even though for two whole weeks that's what the Administration continued to lead everyone to believe.  There was NO "spontaneous" protest re: the video.  This was a well planned and orchestrated terrorist attack.

10/27 - VP Biden's crude and classless comment to Mr. Woods at his sons funeral.

10/29 - Mr. Woods "forgives" Obama and the administration, but wants answers…truth.

10/30 - Why the AC130's were not deployed.

10/30 - Audio tapes at the time of the attack!!!

10/31 - Do two networks have proof that orders came from someone in the Administration to "stand down"?

11/1 - Did the communications cable go straight to Sec. Clinton's office?

11/1 - Obama did NOT convene the Counter Terrorism Response Task Force during the attack.

11/1 - Documents found in consulate after the attack shows extreme concern about impending attacks.  State Dept never asked for military back-up.

11/2 - Three hours before attack, consulate warned of arms being gathered by the attackers.

11/2 - And the Obama Administration did NOTHING!

11/2 - And the finger pointing begins… State/CIA/WhiteHouse.

Meanwhile, the Obama Administration hired an Al Qaeda radical to run security at the Tripoli embassy.

The State No One Is Really Paying Attention To...

As a former 31-year resident of PA, three things will be key issues in Romney/Ryan’s favor (in addition to the economy/jobs) for the state of Pennsylvania:
1) Coal & fracking (PA is huge in the rustbelt thru to WVa & OH)
2) Heavy Catholic population, and how the ObamaCare mandate affects Catholic hospitals.
It also helps that Ryan (a Catholic) is on the ticket.
Also, they still remember the “they cling to their guns and religion” comment from four years ago, which links #2 above with #3 below…
3) Guns. PA has the highest NRA membership of any state in the USofA, and is not too keen on more and more gun ownership restrictions.
Add to those the fact that (R)’s hold majorities in both chambers of the state house legislature, and the Governor’s office, plus have (R) Toomey in one Senate seat, and (D) Casey Jr is currently tied in the polls with (R) Smith for the other seat.
Then toss in with all of this the economy and jobs fiasco of the last four years, and well… you know.
I expect Romney to do decent enough #s in the Philly suburbs (Bucks/Montgomery/Delaware/Chester counties) as well as the Pittsburgh suburbs in order to swing PA to the Romney/Ryan column.  That occurs?  It's all over.