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Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Principle for Peter in the 21st Century

The world is lining up to not buy our debt so we are buying it ourselves in a move we call by the innocuous acronym QE2, which is short for Quantitative Easing two.  More traditional, or verbally honest, economists are calling this what it is: monetizing our debt.  This is a move which has our creditors heading for the doors and our enemies smiling as poor old Uncle Sugar stands with his pockets turned inside out, a bewildered look on his face as he wonders, “Where did all flowers go?”

Quantitative Easing is a type of monetary policy central banks use to pump money into their respective economic systems.  This policy is only used when the central bank has already reduced interest rates to or near to zero.  In other words, they have tried to encourage lending but they’ve failed.   What the central bank does next is create money with a printing press, using that money to purchase bonds from its parent government and from banks and corporations within the nation’s banking system.  The second and third tier banks then increase the money supply even further through another process known as deposit multiplication wherein they receive 100 dollars but are only required to keep $20 on hand, so they loan $80.  The person who borrowed the $80 deposits it in their bank, and then that bank keeps 20% and loans the rest, and so on and so on until the increased money primes the pump and the stalled economy sputters to life.  At least that’s the strategy.
No strategy survives contact with the enemy.  And in this case the enemy is a financial system still reeling from government produced or instigated shocks: the housing bubble, the credit crunch, the escalating costs associated with Obamacare, and now the threat of a foreclosure moratorium.  The dangers of the QE2 strategy lie in two directions.  One it could be too successful igniting inflation and maybe even hyperinflation or two it could fail to re-ignite the economy and then the uncertainty of future tax rates, what new regulations might cost and the prospect of irretrievable assets locked up in a foreclosure freeze causing banks to hold the additional cash as a hedge against the government caused uncertainty.   This would put us right back where we started: a frozen economy which opens the door for QE3, QE4, and eventually the dollar won’t be worth the paper it’s printed on.
If you rob Peter to pay Paul you can usually count on Paul’s vote in the next election cycle.  This has been going on since FDR’s political genius discovered the magic formula of spend, spend, spend, tax, tax, tax, elect, elect, elect.  Years of getting Paul addicted to lying in the hammock of government safety nets and swilling a brewsky as the game dulls his senses haven’t worked.   Likewise, years of socialist education teaches Paul he isn’t a parasite he’s a victim with an entitlement haven’t worked.   At the end of the day even Paul is starting to see that this can’t go on forever.
The free trade policies of both parties may have brought in cheap consumer goods to make Paul with his diminishing buying power think things are getting better all the time, but these same policies have also destroyed the manufacturing base that once provided Peter with enough income to carry Paul on his back and still live a good life.  Today the average Paul is obese and the average Peter hasn’t had a raise in years, has watched his friends get laid-off, and wonders how he’s going to send Paul’s kids to college on burger-flipping money.
This brings us back to the world not lining up to buy our debt and to the definition of monetizing our debt.  This is the government version of paying your MasterCard with your Visa.  It may relieve current stress, but it portends future catastrophe.  Debtors may appreciate moving their debt around, but creditors want to get paid.  At a minimum they want to know their investment is secure.  If we owe someone 100 dollars they want to know that the 100 dollars they receive in payment will have the same buying power as the 100 dollars they originally lent out.  If the money they receive in payment is only worth half as much, they have lost half their initial investment.  This is why China is reacting negatively to the Fed’s plan to pump more money into an economic system strangled by red tape and bleeding red ink. 
It’s just not that hard to recognize a ponzi scheme.  The smart bet is to walk away as soon as you see the shill starting to move the shells around on the table and this is just what the rest of the world is beginning to do.  But poor old Uncle Sugar still thinks he has magic in his hands and more than a smile to hide his motives.  What happens if you have a bond sale and nobody comes?  I guess you buy the bonds yourself.
Will the end of American preeminence come not with a Bang: not with a whimper but instead with a “cha-ching!”   If America, once the engine of the world’s economy and the seedbed of innovation crashes due to unsustainable debt will this validate the 20th Century concept of the Peter Principle? This principle states that within a bureaucracy people tend to get promoted due to their competence until they reach a level of incompetence remaining there until over time incompetence fills every level.   Or is it time for a Peter Principle for the 21st Century?
Now is the time for Peter to rise up and say enough is too much already!  In the coming Tea Party Congress the father and son Paul Team plan to offer twin bills in the House and the Senate to dissolve the Federal Reserve and reassert congressional control of America’s economic destiny.  The howls will be loud, the fight will be hard, but either those who want to see a second American Century will usher in a return to limited government and free enterprise or the national motto may soon be, “Help I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”  To avoid this I urge every Peter who’s tired of being taxed to support the Pauls, contact you congressional representatives asking them to support the Paul Team as they fulfill their promises and strike a blow for freedom.   If all the Peters follow these Pauls maybe we can put Humpty Dumpty back together again.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College and History for the American Public University System.  http://drrobertowens.com © 2010 Robert R. Owens dr.owens@comcast.net Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook.

Bloggers bloc.

To the readers of Pundit Press:

I have bloggers bloc.

I can't explain why, but over the past few days I have been absolutely unable to write anything for the blog. Perhaps it's a loss of focus.

Consider this an open thread, and discuss whatever you want.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Hammer on Quantitative Easing

Charles Krauthammer's opinion on the Fed decision to weaken the dollar.

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A Look at Obama's Approval Ratings

This is your roundup of the major polling of the President's approval ratings. In this edition we can see that Obama's numbers appear to be falling after the elections and his trip to Asia.
So let's take a look at some of the top pollsters:

Approve: 43%
Disapprove: 49%


Approve: 44%
Disapprove: 54%

Some of the polling was done before the election, so it would be interesting to see where they will swing after the gravity of the midterms are factored in. In the Real Clear Polling average:

Approve: 44.9%
Disapprove: 49.4%

Keep a sharp eye out for this week's polling. We see him falling so far in both Rasmussen and Gallup.

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Don't Ask Don't Tell Ruling

FoxNews has just reported that the Don't Ask Don't Tell regulation in the military will stay in place until further notice. The Supreme Court has ruled that the policy should stay in place despite actions to repeal the 1990s legislation.

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Interview with Dr. T.J. O'Hara, Author of The National Platform of Common Sense

Pundit Press is proud to present interview number 16 in our new interview series. Today we are interviewing  Dr. T.J. O'Hara, who has had books published, The Left Isn't Right/The Right is Wrong (a flip book), and The National Platform of Common Sense.  The books take a satirical, no-nonsense look at the modern political platforms and their parties' tactics and have been making quite the statement since there release just last month on Amazon.com, and recent distribution to book stores. You can view them here:  www.TheCommonSenseCzar.net. We would like to thank Dr. O'Hara for taking part in the interview.

1. Why did you write your book?

I received a lot of requests to create an anthology of my blogs.  That seemed to be too simple.  After all, I am the Common Sense Czar!  So, I began interviewing people with widely divergent political opinions.

I found there to be several “constants,” regardless of the individuals’ political persuasions:  (1) they all held strong beliefs about the “correctness” of their Party’s position; (2) they all held negative views about the “opposition;” and (3) when I asked if they had ever read either of the major Parties’ National Platform’s, the answer was uniformly, “No!”  That led to the inevitable conclusion that we had an electorate that was passionate about its beliefs on the one hand … and essentially without any facts to support those beliefs on the other.

This precipitated the idea of what I considered to be a worthy project:  to help create amore informed electorate.  I believed that I could use satire to seduce readers into doing what they otherwise wouldn’t be inclined to do (i.e., read the National Platforms of both of the major Parties).  So, I took the actual text of the Democratic and Republican National Platforms and incorporated the Common Sense Czar’s “interpretation” of what they were really thinking at the time … essentially paragraph-by-paragraph.

Conservatives are first attracted to reading the Common Sense Czar’s humorous evisceration of the Democratic National Platform in The Left isn’t Right.  Similarly, Liberals are first attracted to reading the skewering of the Republican National Platform in The Right is Wrong.  Then, there is a natural tendency to realize that the Common Sense Czar returned the favor with respect to their particular Party and … like a car wreck from which you simply cannot divert your eyes … they find themselves reading their own Party’s Platform.  At the end of the day, they will have read both Parties’ National Platforms and become a member of what the Parties fear the most: an informed voter! 

To make the experience easier, I integrated both Platforms into the same book in a “flip” book format:  two covers and two texts facing in opposing directions … just like the Parties!  Read one Party’s Platform in one direction, then flip the book over and read the other Party’s Platform.  You can start with either Platform.  This is America! You still have the right to choose which direction you read … at least until some new Federal regulatory agency determines that it should decide for you.

Then, to solve all of the problems the two real Platforms cause, the Common Sense Czar created The National Platform of Common Sense.  It provides a unique blend of history and humor designed to stimulate intellectual thought.  While many of the Platform’s planks are offered with “tongue firmly implanted in cheek,” their satirical nature has enough of a grain of truth to make one occasionally ponder whether the suggestions are actually superior to the offerings of the Democratic and Republican National Committees.  In fact, they should be because the Common Sense Czar isn’t trying to get elected.  The National Platform of Common Sense was constructed to comply with the teachings of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights … along with a little common sense; three documents and an intellectual approach that appear to be “missing-in-action” in the major Parties’ National Platforms.

2. Why do you call yourself the Common Sense czar?

It’s the only “Czar” the current Administration didn’t have … and really needed.  The books’ common introduction provides:  “Being a Czar is really cool.  Unlike politicians, you don’t have to raise money to run; you generally don’t have to be vetted in a rigorous way; and you have reasonably unbridled authority … plus, you get to be called ‘Czar!’”  Need I say more?

The first thing I did was to fire the rest of the Czars with the exception of the Faith-Based Czar.  I kept the latter because I thought I should hedge my bets in that regard. The rest of the Czars became “unnecessary” since common sense could solve the problems associated with their positions.  The Common Sense Czar describes the basis for each other Czar’s “dismissal” in the introduction, which sets the tone for the rest of the books.

3. If both sides are wrong who should be leading the country?

Well, the Common Sense Czar of course!  Seriously though, the Czar has too muchcommon sense to aspire to that role.

I think true leaders will ultimately rise up from the American population; people who recognize that the Framers were right.  You see, the Framers never suspected that clinical narcissism would overtake patriotism with respect to serving one’s country. The Framers never anticipated the day there would be “career” politicians.  Their writings are clear:  they expected people to perform political duties as civil servants and then return home to their families and life’s work.  I think the frustration we are currently experiencing with what has evolved into a “privileged ruling class” will give rise to a new breed of leaders that are more in alignment with what the Framers had in mind.

4. What is the most surprising thing that you've written about?

“Surprising” probably isn’t the right term.  “Disappointing” would be more accurate.  I was most disappointed with the Democratic and Republican National Platforms.  As I previously alluded, the unadulterated language of both National Platforms had more to do with trying to get elected (or reelected) than with proposing a plan that would advance our country in a positive direction.  Both were filled with unwarranted platitudes to their own respective greatness as well as equally unwarranted denigrations of the opposing Party.  When you read them without the benefit of the Common Sense Czar’s satirical renderings, they are almost devoid of credible substance.  You almost feel the need to scold both Parties for their puerile behavior.

5. Where do you see the country in 20 years?

From a longitude and latitude perspective … in about the same place.  That is, unless Al Gore is right about this Global Warming thing.  If he is, then we might have slid down somewhere below the Equator in that time frame.

If you mean from a political perspective, I harbor great hope for our country.  I think the seeds are being sowed for a new generation of thinking; a generation that will be more in alignment with what the Framers had hope to create.  I think “I, the politician” will be supplanted once again by “We, the People.”  As Abraham Lincoln once said, “You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”

I hope that fear-based politics gives way to freedom-based politics.  It may take a generation or two to get there, but I believe that we can bury the class-warfare approach that our current politicians generally embrace in favor of a society that guarantees “Life and Liberty” at the individual level as well as the “pursuit of Happiness.”  Note that it is the pursuit of “Happiness” that is guaranteed rather than the actual attainmentof it.  In today’s “politically correct” world, we have been deluded to believe that weowe everyone “Happiness.”  Simply put:  we don’t!  We only owe them an equal opportunity to pursue it.  Some will achieve it; some won’t.  Welcome to the real world … and in 20 years, I think more people will recognize the elegance of allowing individuals to succeed or fail based upon their own abilities, efforts and merit.  Not all of us will become Nobel Prize winners … no matter how much “promise” we may show … and we should accept that fact.  Maybe then, the greed and envy that mark the human frailties that politicians have used to manipulate our votes will finally give way to more thoughtful considerations.

6. Anything else you'd like to add?

All three of my books make wonderful holiday gifts.  Please buy them for your family members, friends, enemies … and even complete strangers.  It’s the least you can do to help stimulate the economy.  Consider it to be your patriotic duty!  I could even support a “book burning” event if they offend you in any way.  In fact, I encourage you to conduct one weekly … if not daily … until the entire Brazilian Rainforest is threatened.  Of course, if you’re burning the eBook versions, you may want to spin them off onto a CD or thumb drive before incinerating them … but remember:  only burn licensed copies.

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Video: O'Donnell Blames Castle for Loss

On Jay Leno, no less:

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Thank A Veteran Today

We at Pundit Press would be remiss if we did not mention Veterans Day today.  It is thanks to our brave men and women, both now and for the last 234 years, that Americans have the freedom to do what they want, when they want and the ability to achieve almost anything that they strive for.  So try to thank a Veteran today if you have the chance.

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$150 Million to Be Given to Palestinians-- By Our Government

Unfortunately, the Obama Administration has decided to donate approximately $150 million to the Palestinian Authority after donating $1 billion last year. The deficit alone should preclude this from happening, not to mention all of the terrorism and anti-Semitism out of Palestine. But apparently Secretary of State Clinton has announced a new aid package.

"It is important that we do everything we can at a particularly sensitive time in the region to try to redouble our efforts to achieve a two-state solution [to Israeli-Palestinian tensions], to help stabilize the situation in Sudan, and to work to ensure that the people of Lebanon can have accountability in the search for justice," said Hillary Clinton.

Clinton said that the issue at the top of the agenda was the need for Israeli-Palestinian peace talks toward a two-state solution.

The U.S. Secretary of State has echoed President Barack Obama's criticism of Israel's announcement this week that it is moving ahead with plans to build 1,300 new housing units in East Jerusalem.

What are they thinking (if anything)?

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Dem. Congressman to Pelosi: You Must Go

Following the drubbing Democrats took last week, it took many by surprise that the out-going House Majority Leader, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, would declare that she wanted to become the Minority Leader.  While many Democrats towed the line in the aftermath of their defeat, several have spoken out against her.

The newest on the list: nine-time Congressman Sanford Bishop from Albany, Georgia, who just barely won reelection this season.  According to Bishop, a change is needed in the Democratic structure of power and Pelosi simply is not the one to provide it:
“I have nothing against Speaker Pelosi; she has worked tirelessly to bring Democrats together. But given the fact that we suffered substantial losses in the election, I think a new face is needed for leadership of the Democratic Caucus. I am part of a group looking for an alternative."
By "new face" Bishop did not mean a new, botoxed-filled face, but a new person in charge of the Democrats in Congress.  Showing that Mr. Bishop might have been one of the few Democrats who actually learned from last week's defeat, he went on to say:
“I’ve had a number of my constituents and supporters ask me to help change the face of the party, and I am listening to my constituents.”
Mr. Bishop joins the growing number of Democrats who want a new leader in the House.

In North Carolina, Democrat Larry Kissell stated that he hopes Pelosi "will change her mind and step aside."  Representative Joe Donnelly of Indiana has stated that he is "disappointed that Speaker Pelosi is going to seek the position of Minority Leader."  Representative Dan Boren of Oklahoma stated that Pelosi's bid is "very disappointing."  Representative Heath Shuler said he may even challenge Pelosi's bid.

With many against Pelosi, it is hard to understand why she is pushing on.  Yet even these Representatives do not comprise the entirety of Democrats against Pelosi in the House.  Even hardened supporters of Pelosi, ones who voted with her near or at 100%, want her out of power.
Democrat Albio Sires of New Jersey admonished Pelosi, saying she didn't "know when to move on."  "I voted for everything she asked me to vote for.  You know, sometimes in this business it's difficult to know when to move on," he stated.

As the numbers grow against Pelosi, it will certainly be interesting to see how this all plays out.  Is Pelosi that desperate to hold on to power?  Only time will tell.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

VIDEO: Grayson Asked if He's Medicated

Soon to be former Congressman asked on the Fox Business Network. Hat tip Real Clear Politics.

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A Look at Obama's Approval Ratings

This is your roundup of the major polling of the President's approval ratings. We can see a small decline since Tuesday's elections, although it's not sure if this trend will continue. Gallup' approval has fallen by 3% since the last time we took a look and his disapproval has gained three as well.

So let's take a look at some of the top pollsters:

Approve: 44%
Disapprove: 48%


Approve: 45%
Disapprove: 54%

The Associated Press' poll after the election has the split at 47/51%. All of the rest of the polling was done before the election, so it would be interesting to see where they will swing after the gravity of the midterms are factored in. In the Real Clear Polling average:

Approve: 45.5%
Disapprove: 50.0%

Keep a sharp eye out for this week's polling. It could drop Obama below 40%.

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Do you miss George W. Bush as President?

It has almost been two years since President George W. Bush left office and Barack Obama assumed the office of President.  In his eight years as Commander in Chief, Bush saw many crises and had to deal with many difficult problems: within his first year in office, the nation saw the worst terrorist attack in history on our soul on September 11, 2001; the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq continued through the majority of his Presidency;  Hurricane Katrina severely damaged New Orleans and our economy began to decline at the end of his second term.

But now, after two years of President Obama, and a massive Republican voting-wave last Tuesday, the question that many are starting to ask is: do you miss George W. Bush as President?  Well, do you?  Vote below:

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Reid: "I Welcome Every Opportunity to Work with our Republican Colleagues"

After narrowly beating Republican challenger Sharron Angle and waking up to see a landslide of anti-Democratic voting last Tuesday, Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid has declared, "I welcome every opportunity to work with our Republican colleagues."  The statement comes as a 180 to the formerly anti-Republican Senator, who famously compared the GOP to those who supported slavery.

In a statement on his campaign website, Senator Reid explained how important it was to work together with Republicans, even though most of the legislation that the Senate has passed in the last two years have been down party lines:

"The message that voters throughout Nevada and all across the nation sent to Washington is that they want Democrats, Republicans and Independents to work together to find the common ground needed for real solutions and real progress...And I also welcome every opportunity to work with our Republican colleagues as we know the challenges that lie ahead of us know no political affiliation."
"Work together" from the man who said this last December:
"Instead of joining us on the right side of history, all the Republicans can come up with is, 'slow down, stop everything, let's start over.' If you think you've heard these same excuses before, you're right.  When this country belatedly recognized the wrongs of slavery, there were those who dug in their heels and said 'slow down, it's too early, things aren't bad enough.'"
Apparently Reid does not mind that he is being an utter hypocrite, so long as he thinks it will net him support.
Reid with Nancy Pelosi (right)
At the end, after saying that he wants to work with Republicans, Reid feels the need to throw a talking point into his statement:
"The time for politics is now over.  And now that Republicans have more members in both houses of Congress, they must take their responsibility to present bipartisan solutions more seriously.  Simply saying 'no' will do nothing to create more jobs, support our middle-class and strengthen our economy.
Obviously, Senator Reid has not learned the very lesson that he said that he did.  Also, the American people did not vote for Republicans and Democrats to work together, Mr. Reid, they voted for things to get done.  Good things that will put our economy on track.

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pelosi: I'm Open to Republican Ideas, 'I Restored Fiscal Discipline to the Congress'

After the Democratic party was trounced on Tuesday, the once stubbornly anti-Republican Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi now states that she is willing to hear Republican ideas.  In an Op-Ed published by USA Today, Pelosi downplayed her vehemently anti-Republican and anti-conservative past and declared that Republican ideas are now "welcomed."

Writing after she gave herself a pat on the back for all of the "accomplishments" she achieved in Congress, Pelosi wrote of her new-found willingness to listen to GOP ideas:
"Democrats will continue to put forward innovative ideas, engage in entrepreneurial thinking and work to create the jobs for middle class prosperity. Republicans and Democrats must work together, with President Obama, to prepare for our nation for the 21st century while creating clean energy and infrastructure jobs. As we go forward, we welcome Republican ideas about job creation.

Though they elected a new majority in Congress, Americans did not vote for the special interests. They voted for jobs. Democrats remain committed to fighting for the people's interests, not the special interests.

While the election is over, the urgent needs of the American people remain. Over the past several days, I have spoken with my Democratic colleagues about where we go from here. I have heard from Americans across our country who are relying on us to continue our fight to create jobs, hopefully in a bipartisan way, and move our nation forward."
Pelosi's writing is clearly trite and full of derision.  Obviously, she never wanted to be in the position of having to listen to Republicans' (and the American people's) wishes.  This fact becomes all the more stark after reading just a one of her opening paragraphs (emphasis added):
"Democrats passed Wall Street reform to ensure that never again will the recklessness of some on Wall Street cause joblessness on Main Street. Our small business bill is now extending credit to small business owners so they can grow and hire. And we are committed to strengthening America's manufacturers — helping them with our "Make It in America" strategy, so our workers can make it in America. We made the largest investment in student aid in our nation's history, reducing the cost of loans to families and reducing the deficit. We achieved more progress over the last four years for our veterans and military families than any time since the passage of the original GI Bill in 1944. And we did all of this while restoring fiscal discipline to the Congress by making the pay-as-you-go rules the law of the land."
Democrats this, Pelosi that.  Obviously Ms. Pelosi hasn't learned to be the least humble, even after her party was crushed last week.
Only time will tell if Pelosi is serious about listening to Republicans, but if her record is any indication, she is not.

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Christie's Approval at 51%

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's approval ratings are not stratospheric but they're certainly healthy. A recent poll showed that the Governor, known for his attempts to balance the budget and to reform the state education system has a positive rating. The Quinnipiac polling service shows:

Positive: 51%
Negative: 38%
Other/und: 11%

According to the Quinnipiac polls the voters have differing opinions on his job performance:

  • 17 percent of New Jersey voters give Christie an A;
  • 31 percent give him a B;
  • 20 percent give him a C;
  • 16 percent give him a D;
  • 15 percent give him an F.
But voters, even Republicans do not want him to run for President just yet, believing that he's not experienced enough. The good news continues in the fact that he is more popular than the President.

Obama Ratings:

Approval: 46%
Disapproval: 50%
Other/und: 4%

So Christie's off to a good start-- and Obama appears to have fallen significantly.

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The positives of George W. Bush

Conservative columnist Michelle Malkin decided to celebrate the release of President George W. Bush's memoir with an column highlighting the negatives of his administration. Well, I would like to highlight the positives of George W. Bush, a man of high class, of great dignity, and of longstanding principles.
  1. President Bush's tax cutting policies increased government revenues, established the conditions that led to the creation of eight million jobs across the Nation, and reduced the unemployment rate to 4.4%.
  2. President Bush's leadership in the War on Terror cannot be forgotten: the Taliban are no longer in control of Afghanistan, Saddam Hussein is dead, and the Iraqi people are free at last to govern themselves.
  3. President Bush's Christianity led to the prohibition of all partial birth abortions, the defense of marriage, and the expenditure of almost $15 billion to fight the dreaded AIDS virus in poor African nations.
  4. President Bush's Conservatism led to the Judicial Nominations of Justice Samuel Alito, and Chief Justice John Roberts, both of whom are stalwarts of Constructionist realities on the bench.
President Bush was also a fierce defender of America's second amendment, of Israel's unquestionable right to exist, and of America's definite right to defend herself against all threats, regardless of consequence. Best of all, he believed in American exceptionalism, unlike our current President.

Huffington Post Libels Palin, Refuses to Change Story

Does this really surprise anyone?  Currently, the liberal psuedo-news site the Huffington Post has a gigantic picture of former VP candidate and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and a 99 font size (and all capital letters) "GOTCHA" on the front of their website:
I would show the original size, but it would be too big for this website.

The picture, which intentionally tries to mock Palin, links to an article by the Huffington Post that states that Palin "misquoted" a story in the Wall Street Journal.  However, if you wade through the article and past the liberal slant, you would realize that Mrs. Palin is telling the truth.

If you read the article, Palin stated that food prices increased over the last year.  They did.  The HuffPo cries foul, saying that the prices didn't rise that much, but obviously their lies cannot hid the fact that Palin was correct.

Later in the story, it reports that Palin wrote this on her Facebook page:
"That's odd, because just last Thursday, November 4, I read an article in Mr. Reddy's own Wall Street Journal titled 'Food Sellers Grit Teeth, Raise Prices: Packagers and Supermarkets Pressured to Pass Along Rising Costs, Even as Consumers Pinch Pennies.'"
The HuffPo jumps on Palin, saying that she misread the article.  The problem is that this is the exact headline from the WSJ article:
Food Sellers Grit Teeth, Raise Prices
Packagers and Supermarkets Pressured to Pass Along Rising Costs, Even as Consumers Pinch Pennies
You know, that's odd... That's exactly what Mrs. Palin said.  It's almost like the Huffington Post is lying because they want to libel Mrs. Palin.  How odd.

And let's not forget what the point of the story in the WSJ was: that food prices have indeed risen and will most likely rise a great deal in the near future for consumers.  Not only that, but it includes this picture:
Chicken up 13%.  Milk up 10%.  Sugar up 9% and eggs up 7%.  Once again, Mrs. Palin is proved right beyond a shadow of a doubt, but the Huffington Post will have none of it.

Don't expect the Huffington Post to come clean or even change their story anytime soon.

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Daily Kos Founder Predicts GOP Will Play into Obama's Hands

I know that at this moment most people don't want to hear from Markos Moulitsas. However, it's always important to see where the next attack is coming from from the left and it appears that the Daily Kos founder is hoping that the Democrats will be able to co-opt the Republican Congress.

Of course, in his opinion piece in the Christian Science Monitor, he states that the election did not accept the GOP into Congress and whatever other excuses you've been hearing for the last week. He goes into the mushy rationale that the electorate was smaller and that things could change in 2012.

However, he also believes that the Democrats will be able to play the Republican Party in the Congress to make themselves look better:

Now, this new GOP-led House will make sure that nothing of note passes, and will try to gum up the works further with investigations into President Obama’s birth certificate and other such insanities. There’s nothing Democrats can do about that, but with power comes responsibility, and presumptive Speaker John Boehner will be under pressure to walk the line between the ideological purity his tea party base demands, and the pragmatism of governing. When he fails (and he will), Democrats need to be ready to pounce.

He's willfully ignoring Republican proposals to cut the deficit and make sure that there are not the large tax hikes planned for the end of the year. He's also assuming that the President can deflect all of the potential investigations, rather than actually cooperate in cutting the budget. It's wishful thinking, I know, but this will be the Left's plan of attack for at least the next year.

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Charles Krauthammer: GOP Civil War Exaggerated

He's the Hammer again explaining why the Democrats were wrong to bank on a Republican fratricidal fight.

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Monday, November 8, 2010

Conan O'Brien Premieres Tonight on TBS

Sure this is a political site, but sometimes you have to take time to acknowledge the world outside of a newspaper.  Specifically, late-night funnyman and all-around nice guy Conan O'Brien is premiering his new show tonight at 11pm.  After being booted from NBC, O'Brien is looking to dominate the ratings late at night.

As a long-time fan of O'Brien, I was disappointed in hearing that Max Weinberg would not be returning with him, but at least Andy Richter is coming back.
All-in-all, funny is coming back to late night.

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Left in Britain in Deep Denial

 The new Conservative government of Great Britain has been making hefty cuts into operating costs of the national government. While these Christie-style cuts are also coupled with tax increases, they appear to be shrinking the government's deficit and cutting off funds to recipients of welfare who don't work. But still, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, writing in the Independent, isn't too happy.

Our country is in the hands of dogmatist free-marketers who had the good fortune to come into power at a time of financial crisis and vulnerability when Britons feel lost. The mission is ideological – to demolish the principles and structures of the welfare state, including the humane idea of a shared and caring nation, where those who can support those who can't and even the minority who won't. I have paid taxes since 1975. Some of the money has gone to the "undeserving" indigent – so what? I know about privation. During desperate times, my mum lied to get loans and sometimes "forgot" to pay back neighbours. When the classes are divided by serious inequality, you do what you have to. The poor are castigated if they envy the rich, but the rich, it seems, can now freely express and enact the politics of resentment. 

This seems to sum up a lot of American politics, too.

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My Name’s America and I’m a Debt-a-holic

Anyone who’s walked down the twelve-step path or knows someone who has, which is almost everyone in America, has heard the saying, “Until you admit you have a problem there’s no hope for a cure.”

We, as America have a problem: we’re addicted to debt.  Now is not the time to point fingers.  This isn’t the time to figure out whose fault it is or when was the fatal binge that sent us over the line from recreational user to addict.  Now is the time to man-up, to admit we have a problem, and take the first steps toward recovery.  And I’m not talking about some over-priced, jazzed-up, Betty Ford type recovery “Program.” I mean real recovery.  This won’t happen overnight.  It won’t happen without fears and tears and soul-searching honesty as we look in the mirror and admit to ourselves, “We aren’t controlling the debt.  The debt is controlling us.”

Like many survivors of the Summer of Love, and the other social scams of the 1960s, when so many of we Boomers danced in lock-step like lemmings at mass festivals loudly proclaiming our induhvidualism while wearing identical tie-dyed shirts and patched-up jean uniforms, I found myself one day admitting I was addicted to something.  No longer could I pretend I was taking the formerly magical something for fun. I was ingesting something that was bad for my body, because if I didn’t I’d get sick.  My body, my mind, my soul had become addicted, and if I didn’t keep flying I was going to crash.  I had that realization.  Step-by-step I learned to walk on my own again.  Maybe you’ve never had that experience personally.  Hold on to your treasured memories of missing that degrading rite of passage, because we as a nation are about to hit the wall.

If we don’t sober up and take the cure ourselves one day soon our friendly local debt dealers are all going to get together and pull an intervention on us, and that will not be pretty.  The austerity you place upon yourself is easier to bear than the austerity placed on you by someone else.  If we don’t seize these last few moments of independence to stand up and say, “My name’s America and I’m a debt-a-holic” before we can print enough funny money to pay off our massive debts the countries holding that debt will cut us off and we’ll have to go through withdrawals cold-turkey.  Or worse yet, we may be so strung out on living beyond our means that we’ll agree to anything the debt dealers demand if only they’ll extend our credit for a few more days.  The borrower is slave to the lender and he who pays the piper calls the tune.

It’s easy to pick out all the pet projects of the opposition and say those are what caused us to go over the line.  If we’re truthful we will see that it wasn’t just entitlements it was providing garrison troops to maintain the peace around the world.  It wasn’t just tax cuts it was also spending.  Truthfulness is a required ingredient for this cure.  It won’t work if we just stop drinking, because dry drunks just find something else to fill the hole in their souls.  It won’t be good enough to kick the heroin of debt just to become strung out on the methadone of printing money.  We can’t just click our heels three times and say “I wish I was home” as Bernanke pumps out billions of increasingly worthless paper dollars.  We can’t start using our Discover Card after the shop keeper cuts up our MasterCard and our Visa.  

Some fear the cure will be worse than the disease.  Some are afraid to admit there’s a problem fearing there will be a stigma.  We’re past time to worry what the other countries down the block are going to say.  We cannot hesitate because we’re ashamed all the other countries will point at us on the UN playground and say behind phony smiles, “America couldn’t handle their budget and now they have to live within their means.”

We can’t let divisions divide us.  We must remember we are the UNITED States.  We have to realize we cannot remain anonymous buying our debilitating debt on the corner from dealers who’re laughing at us behind our backs.  We cannot continue spending like drunken sailors at the first port-of-call in six months and expect that there will be anything left for the kids.  We’re sacrificing our children at the altar of our own desires.  It’s time to admit that being generous with other people’s money isn’t generosity, its theft.  It’s also time to realize that if everyone demands what they want no one will get what they need.

Yes, this will mean hard choices.  Yes, this will mean that we all must roll-up our sleeves, tighten our belts, and go to work for the long haul.  But we’re America.  We can do this.  Instead of expecting our representatives to bring home the bacon let’s ask them to balance the budget no matter how that may gore our sacred cow.  Perhaps it’s time we remember to ask not what our country can do for us, but ask instead what we can do for our country.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College and History for the American Public University System.  http://drrobertowens.com © 2010 Robert R. Owens dr.owens@comcast.net Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook.

Marriage to be restored in New Hampshire

Traditional Marriage took a blow in 2009. Now it's time to fight back.

When the Legislature and Governor of New Hampshire legalized homosexual marriage in June of 2009, most expected a serious political backlash against the Democrats who rammed it down the collective throats of New Hampshire's Live Free or Die citizenry. However, few expected Republicans to gain both houses of the legislature in NH back, with almost four-to-one margins.

Republicans now control New Hampshire's lower house with 298 seats (out of 400), upper house with 19 seats (out of 24), and the supposedly pro-traditional marriage Democrat Governor John Lynch will sign whatever the legislature sends to him on marriage because he is without longstanding principle on the important topic.

I agree with the Conservative New Hampshire Union Leader that Republicans should deal with the financial crisis first: "Bringing those budgets into balance must be the most pressing and important goal of the new Legislature". But the sanctity of marriage must not be forgotten by the Republicans either.
New Hampshire State Flag
On January 1, 2008, same-sex civil unions were legalized in New Hampshire.  The following year, on June 3, 2009, same-sex marriages were legalized in the state, outraging those in favor of Traditional Marriage throughout the Untied States.

Homosexual marriage was also legalized in Maine during the 2009 Legislative session, but 53% of Maine citizens voted to repeal the law last November, and the citizens of Iowa voted out all three of the judges who legalized homosexual marriage in their State. Officials who bow to the altar of socialistic-secularism should be wary, regardless of what state they are from.

Granite State Republicans: balance the budget and restore marriage this year. Both are vital to this Nation in their own important functions.

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