Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pet Peeve: The herd/group-think effect on major national addresses

Barack Obama's address before Congress last night? A masterful, positive, Reagan-esqe soliloquy, right? Barack Obama? This generation's premier orator, right?

Bobby Jindal's GOP response? Dry, boring and wonkish, right? It was unfortunate for him he had to follow Obama, right? Poor guy just didn't have a chance, but he has plenty of time recover to resurrect his political future, right?

If you caught any of the coverage last night that was your opinion. It was your opinion because it was the opinion of everyone else -- Republican or Democrat; right or left; elephant, donkey, rino or blue dog. If you don't have the same opinion, obviously there is something wrong with you.

I didn't watch either speech -- on purpose. It took some discipline, because coverage was everywhere. I found myself switching between college basketball and Family Feud reruns. It's not that I wasn't interested. I just wanted to form my own opinion instead of being neatly herded into the corrals set up well before the speeches had been delivered.

This is how it works. The person giving the speech (in this case President Obama) withholds the speech from the public until perhaps 1 hour before it is delivered. In the mean time, Obama's press crew lay the subliminal message foundation of what they want you to hear by leaking abstract observations to the press. The press then hits the airwaves with their "insider information." This creates the group-think of what you will take from the speech. All that's left is finding and quoting verbatim lines that backup your predetermined opinion of the speech.

Yesterday, how many times did you hear this speech was going to be positive and Reagan-esque? How many times did you hear that Obama was a wonderful orator? How did the pundits find the speech after delivery? I'm sure they received it as a positive, Reagan-esque speech delivered wonderfully.

I have become a fan of reading transcripts. I recommend you do the same in order to remove the media pundit filter and personally evaluate the emperor's clothing.


President Obama:

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Obama to sign death warrant for Democratic majority

Today, President Obama will burn 20,000 gallons of tax-payer funded jet fuel in order to created a spectacle in signing the mile-high pork bill. Where the nearly $800 billion "stimulus" plan was stocked full of liberal pet projects and payoffs (a high-speed rail system between LA and Vegas, a couple billion dollars set aside for community activism with ACORN), it lacked in debate and transparency.

As we move forward on this Democratic over-reach of historic proportions, it makes me wonder whether those who voted in favor of it will still think it worthwhile when they run for re-election. Will $13 per week in tax savings be enough to save their seat? Some lawmakers who voted in favor are already backpedaling. Indiana's Evan Bayh is already trying to soften the backlash by saying he was not in favor of earmarks, like those set aside for "the arts", but the package was needed and needed to be put in place quickly.

The economy will recover. The American economy always does, despite the muck the government makes us trudge through in order to do so. When it does, the Democrats will claim it was the stimulus, with its ATV parks, condoms and livestock insurance, that caused it. What will not save those who voted in favor of it is the overwhelming price tag and the scant tax relief Americans will see on their pay stubs.

Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter doesn't have a ghost of a chance to survive what will surely be a strong primary challenge. That is assuming he even chooses to run for reelection. Will he attempt a Joe Lieberman independent run? Possibly, but he doesn't have the reputation as a statesman that Lieberman has earned.

In 1994, Bill Clinton blamed his retroactive tax hike for the bloodbath Democrats took when Republicans gained majority control of Congress. He called the defeated Dems "courageous" for putting tax hikes ahead of their popularity. Look for President Obama to make the same statements after the 2010 elections, when he finds a much less friendly Congress moving to Washington.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Obama's stimulus package and socialized medicine: Here comes the camel's nose!

"If the camel once gets his nose in the tent, his body will soon follow."
You have heard the President tout his effort to create an electronic clearing house for medical records. Just last night in his press conference he mentioned this initiative as a way to eliminate paperwork and "help nurses to read doctor's handwriting on prescriptions." Well, some are finding an insidious byproduct of this and they see it as the entry point of Big Brother socialized medicine.
This from World Net Daily:
The former lieutenant governor of New York is warning that the $50 billion that President Obama expects to spend in the next few years on a nationwide digital health records system for every individual easily could, and probably will, result in rationed medical care.
Privacy advocates said patients might be startled to discover personal information could be shared electronically with, perhaps, millions of people, including
documentation on abortions, mental health problems, patient non-compliance, lawsuits against doctors and sexual problems.

Sue A. Blevins, president of the Institute for Health Freedom, said unless people have the right to decide "if and when" their health information is shared, there is no real privacy.

Indiana Republican Congressman Mike Pence is currently leading the charge to bring this to light.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Alleged comedian and attempted election thief, Al Franken, admits to owing $50,000 in back taxes

Add another to the Democratic tax-cheating epidemic. It was an honest mistake. He didn't know you still have to pay income tax on comedy appearances when no one laughs at the jokes.

Welcome to Proptown U.S.A.

Elkhart, Indiana is the "white-hot center of the meltdown of the American economy" according to an October 12, 2008 Jennifer Steinhauer New York Times article. The piece painted Elkhart as a crime-ridden, desolate wasteland of hopelessness and desperation. Reading Steinhauer's article, you envision the bread and soup lines common during the food rationing times of the Soviet Union. Elkhart was the perfect prop for the Times to demonstrate to the country why "change we can believe in" was necessary.

What was Elkhart really like on October 12, 2008? It was bad. Not chaos and Marshall Law bad, but it was bad. It became bad because of 25 years of aggressive expansion in the RV industry which turned into overproduction and market saturation. This created a slowdown that began in late spring of 2008 and turned into complete stoppage by late October 2008, when bank financing dried up across the country.

Today, Elkhart has slipped even further. One person out of six is unemployed. Of those working, many have taken pay cuts to help their employer weather the storm. Manufacturing plants are experiencing cash crises as no sales in December meant no cash collected in January. The refusal of banks to loosen the credit reigns has contributed to increase bankruptcies and layoffs. Once again, Elkhart has become the perfect prop.
This time, Elkhart is putting a face to the need for government action the way that an emaciated child puts a face to the African charities advertised on late-night television.

But unlike the late-night charities that feed a family of four annually with 87 cents per day, the President is selling a plan to help the families of Elkhart with “a proposed $20 million minor league baseball museum in Durham, North Carolina; $6.1 million for corporate jet hangars at the Fayetteville, Arkansas airport; $20 million for renovations at the Philadelphia Zoo; and a $1.5 million program to reduce prostitution in Dayton, Ohio.” (taken from a recent CNN article)

A CBS News poll showed public support for the $1 trillion (when adding accrued interest and fees) stimulus has waned to 51%, down 12 points from January 11-15. The longer debate continues, the more details begin coming to light. President Obama knows this. When he says if we don't act quickly, irreversible damage could be done, he is more accurately speaking about the earmarks and pork contained in his initiative, not the American economy.

If you have heard the man-on-the-street interviews, you know those who speak out in favor of the bill are actually saying, "We need to do something." None of them are saying, "We need to spend $4.8 million for a polar bear exhibit at the Providence, RI zoo and $1.5 million for a water ride in Miami, FL."
Those things, along with the millions earmarked for STD's and ATV parks, may have merit, but they need to be debated in stand-alone legislation, not hidden in this emergency economic bill.

There are things the Federal Government can do to rev up the economy. The good people of Elkhart, Indiana do need help. It's shameless to use them as a prop to gain support for political payoffs and welfare handouts. Unfortunately, there is very little in this stimulus plan that will actually bring them back to work.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Is President Obama left-wing like a fox?

Ok, things are becoming much more clear to me now. This Obama guy really is a genius. Wow, how could I have missed it all this time? Much like the righteous man who goes to the strip bars in order to minister to the young lady providing the lap dance or the thief who steals in order to save his victims from the evils of materialism, President Obama is truly improving this country.

First, he is attacking budget deficits. Just look at how much more full the federal coffers are in just the past few weeks. By appointing tax cheats to his administration and making them pay their back taxes, he has successfully raked in many thousands in delinquent tax dollars. Man, this guy is good.

Government corruption? He's on it. He obviously had a major role in bringing justice to the people of Illinois through Governor Blago's impeachment. Just look at the number of his close advisers who are being compelled to testify under oath in Blago's corruption case: David Axelrod, Valerie Jarrett, Rahm Emanuel, and of course his real inside man, Tony Rezko.

Out of control government spending? He is doing the classic oratory tactic of illustrating the absurd by being outrageously absurd. That now $900 billion behemoth stimulus package -- brilliant! Do you really think he wants millions upon millions of our children's future income to go to ATV tracks, Frisbee parks, condoms, smoking cessation activities, office furniture for bureaucrats, and tax breaks for Hollywood movie producers? Do you think he really believes all those things will jump start the economy? Ha! He is just making a point. Look at the nosedive American support for this legislation is taking since the specifics have come to light. Pure genius.

I'm afraid I had this guy all wrong. I thought his election to office would be a bad thing for conservatives. If things keep going the way they are, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid will be picking out drapes for the minority leader offices in no time. Now THAT is change I can believe in.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Obama on lobbyists, ethics and pork: promises made, staus quo kept

Remember the days when Barack Obama had us all filled with hope and change? Stadiums were filling, children were singing and supporters were fainting. A new presidency was on the horizon.

Remember when an Obama presidency meant:

-No lobbyist would be appointed to the Obama Administration.
Ahhh, but not so fast, my friend. ABC News reports yet another lobbyist to his administration:

-Bills would contain no pork.
Enter $825 Billion of the other white meat, according to the Wall Street Journal:

-Political appointees would undergo the most far-reaching and extensive vetting process in the history of the civilized world.
Now we know there is yet another cabinet appointee who needs to apologize for untoward "carelessness":

This "presidency, the likes of which we have never seen" is starting to look all too familiar.