Economic Solutions: The Light Bulb for Congress

2 comments
CT

Okay, the boobs in Congress have let another 24 hours pass without any resolution or given any hint that anyone has a bright idea. So, Opie and I are going to take a shot at it. I think that beyond a shadow of a doubt, this is the fault of three entities; 1) Government, this means anyone with the Fed, not just Republican and not just Democrat. 2) Wall Street and their greed. 3) The Americans who had their hands out. Now under our present solution who is going to pay for it? The same people who pay for everything else, the folks who take care of their bills. Opie is going to take on the first part of the necessary solutions.




Pundit,

Unfortunately laissez faire capitalism has run amok, free market anarchy. The Wall Street dumb asses got real rich off our backs and stupidity. Now you have every screaming socialist Nancy Pelosi wannabe yelping about the need to regulate, regulate, regulate. They are partially correct, but common sense should tell you that trying to correct one extreme with another extreme doesn't work. To bad common sense isn't so common. Here is what we propose.

Regulation, Oversight, and Transparency:

Okay stupid, meaning Congress, why are you going to create new regulation when you already have regulatory bodies in place? This is like the idea of immigration reform, we already have the laws in place, no one was enforcing them. So, what is everyone's answer? Let's make new laws and not enforce them, yeah that is really smart.

The two regulatory bodies that need to step up are the SEC and the FTC. Or, combine them into one regulatory agency with the necessary authority to protect the American tax payer's interests. But there are a few areas that could use some regualtion, not much, just a little.

Most companies have a luiqidation problem, meaning they do not have enough physical capital to absorb loses if they require being luiqidated. Basically, they don't have enough money to pay their debts. Regulation in this area may not be bad. You could set up limits for major companies to have to keep a certain amount of capital on hand at all times, just for times like this.

Loan practices also need to be re-thought, this is one area where government intervention is great. Giving out loans like a drunken sailor so you can get a commission is criminal. Set up better qualifications for loans and make these banks adhere to them strictly. Also, keep them in flux so their lawyers cannot come up with game plans to get around them. Alter them every year or two to keep the banks on their toes and honest. This is more of a preventative measure for the future than anything.

But, the biggest problem with all of this is has been the lack of transparency in the market. Oh you mean this just slipped by the bean counters? Yup, there was a gap in the amount of transparency needed to make sound judgements plus the bean counters were asleep at the wheel as they drove us off the cliff. The regulation we really need is shining the light on these Wall Street rats when they are screwing up. If they are, these agencies need the authority to correct it at the lowest levels possible and make it as painful as possible.

But before you go to far with prosecution, let the peasants have a crack at them. With all this transparency there needs to be a way to let the peasants, such as myself, know what is going on with the market. Work it out with the MSM or create a highly publicized website and put this information out there in layman's terms for the everyday working stiff. Citizens Against Government Waste have proven this can be an effective tool, so let's try it out where Wall Street is concerned. Not bad for a peasant, eh? On to CT.


CT

Buy outs by the government and private sectors:

Since the tax payers were complicit in some of this garbage going on there is a need to fork up some of the money for the bailout. But the government needs to be approaching this in an investment frame of mind. A solid shot liquidity into the market is unfortunately needed, but I am doubtful it is the amount necessary that Sec. Paulson has suggested. I would cap it at $250 billion, yup, that's a lot of money, but better than $700 billion. Just consider it an investment if the government is able to turn around and make a profit. And if they do give a dividend check to the American taxpayer when that profit is achieved. I guarantee the public would be more receptive to that idea than just giving up their money.

Now on to the private sectors. Allow the gap to be filled by the private sector. When Merrill-Lynch vaporized BOA was there to pick up the wreckage. Now, we have Wachovia being taken over by CitiGroup. Are you starting to see the pattern? These companies have the capital to absorb these bad loans and possibly make a profit with them at a later date. By allowing the government to absorb some of these "toxic loans" and letting the private sector correct what is left you have struck a balance. Not to mention the new investment potentials.

Tax cuts and spending:

Raising taxes is not even an option right now. Anyone who even suggests it should be removed from the gene pool immediately. Taxes need to be lowered even further as well as government spending. Lowering corporate taxes, personal income taxes, elimination of wind fall profit taxes, etc. will spur savings and eventually investment and spending by consumers. This is absolutely necessary for recovery.

Government spending needs to be curtailed with a serious degree of urgency. Especially if the government is going to be absorbing so much debt. We will cripple the economy beyond repair if we keep going in this direction and it is even more pressing than it was before the bubble burst. If you get the government back into the black and fiscally responsible it will assist in increasing the value of the dollar which can potentially drop the value of our overall debt.

Balance is the key to success through out this whole situation, not anger and partisan bull. We don't need overt government regulation, stimulus packages, or a blame game. We need to work through this with common sense and temperance. I understand that Opie and I are not economists but at least we can see the forest despite the trees.

-CT

-OmegaPundit

"The last words on everything."

Update:

WASHINGTON - In a bold bid to revive President Bush's multibillion-dollar financial rescue plan, Senate leaders scheduled a vote for Wednesday night on a version of the bill that adds substantial tax cuts meant to appeal to Republicans when it reaches the House. [1]
Maybe they are hacking my computer, lol. But don't get to excited they are only thinking half way smurt.
The gambit is certain to anger some conservative House Democrats, who object to tax cuts that are not offset with spending cuts. [1]
[1] Senate to vote on rescue plan with added tax cut
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Get Over It America: Inept Leadership and Myopic Voters

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CT

I am starting to understand why Rick Moran is getting disgusted with the world of politics. I have a simple question, though. What is wrong with everyone? Are we this apathetic and cynical that we cannot realize we are on the brink of financial collapse? People, this time the sky really is falling and it is falling fast. You would think times like these would bring out our real leaders, people of great character, ideas, and brilliance. I am looking around and I am not seeing any of that. What I am seeing is Nancy Pelosi shooting her mouth off about whose fault it is, Harry Reid looking like a frightened chihuahua, Barney Frank making stupid jokes, Obama not saying a word so it won't hurt his campaign, McCain claiming we have a bill when we don't have a bill, and the American people wanting blood for a quick fix, do I need to go on? Hell, the only ones trying to offer solutions and acting somewhat non-partisan is the Bush administration.

This is what we are getting from Botox Nancy, or the "Madame Speaker." This is about all this squeaking harpy is capable of.


And now eight years later, the foundation of that fiscal irresponsibility, combined with an anything goes economic policy, has taken us to where we are today. They claim to be free market advocates, when it’s really an anything goes mentality. No regulation, no supervision, no discipline. And if you fail, you will have a golden parachute, and the taxpayer will bail you out.

Those days are over. The party is over in that respect. Democrats believe in a free market. We know that it can create jobs, it can create wealth, it can create many good things in our economy. But in this case, in its unbridled form, as encouraged, supported, by the Republicans — some in the Republican Party, not all — it has created not jobs, not capital, it has created chaos.
[1]
This is her plan.


That jobs are lacking, and therefore we need a stimulus package. [1]
The voters in her District should have their voting privileges revoked until the next generation for bringing this moron to power an making the rest of us suffer through her inept stupidity and never knowing when to keep her trap shut.

Good ole Harry Reid, Mr. Senate Majority Leader himself. The epitome of what a leader should not be, a nervous chihuahua pissing on itself. Don't worry he is all about the bipartisan approach, though. Senator Chihuahua on the 24th.


McCain holds the key to such a bipartisan vote, according to Reid, because Republicans are likely to defer to his position on a bill that holds political peril. [2]
On the 27th.

"The insertion of presidential politics has not been helpful, it has been harmful. All McCain has done is stand in front of the cameras." [3]
What did we get from Obamination? This,

Obama said "if you need me call me" regarding huge bailout debate.... [4]
McCain playing political volleyball with the Libturds,

"Our leaders are expected to leave partisanship at the door and come to the table to solve our problems. Senator Obama and his allies in Congress infused unnecessary partisanship into the process," McCain said during a campaign stop in Iowa." [5]
Look at them and look at them well. These are your myopic votes in action, your time wasted not giving an inkling of study to their character or records except what the television has told you. You and I brought this on and now we are suffering through these twits because of ourselves. They reflect our laziness and our apathy. This America, is now your best and brightest in a time of crisis, enjoy them you deserve them and all their great ideas. I'm out.

CT

[1] Transcript of Speaker Pelosi’s Speech
[2] Reid Seeks McCain Pledge
[3] In Other Words for Sept. 27, 2008
[4] Obama likely to keep debate "if you need me call me"
[5] McCain attacks Obama over bailout failure
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Dumbowit Failure on Thursday. Could They Be This Stupid?

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Pundit,




I gave CT the day off, he has been reading so much his eyes are buggin' out of his head and it was making him come up with all sorts of wild ideas. Well, I was more than obliged to pick up this post for Palin, the VPILF. I liked CT's little conspiracy theory about Schmidt, chief McCain campaign strategist, being a diabolical madman. Schmidt, according to CT, has Palin locked up in a cage and feedin' her raw meat and gunpowder, getting her mean for the debate.

Little off the wall CT, I must say. But here is a clown from the LA Times, Andrew Malcolm, that might agree with CT, just a little.
The upcoming downside for the Obama-Biden campaign is that its supporters became so flustered over Palin's surprisingly explosive popularity coming out of the GOP convention. They have so successfully mocked, derided and lowered expectations for Palin in Thursday night's VP debate that if she doesn't drool or speak in tongues, many millions still open to persuasion will be impressed. [1]

Well, Obamination definitely has a rep for thinking he can walk on water, especially when he is winning. Which according to the last Gallup as Ras. he is doing quite handily. But, the Dumbowits have made the exact mistake CT was talking about before, courtesy of Rove, the evil genius bent on world domination.
Al Gore's campaign made the exact same mistake going into the 2000 debates. So all Texas Gov. George W. Bush had to do was not lose. [1]

Looking at what this clown is saying, maybe my little brain child was close to right. Of course I am just an ignorant peasant so I agree with anything that sounds good. Malcom finsihed off his theory about Palin with this then went on about her parents.
In that sense, Democrats may have played right into a PR cul-de-sac. Biden, for instance, described Palin as merely better-looking than him. A far better communications strategy would have been to insincerely portray Palin with superlatives as a superwoman, making it harder, not easier, for her to impress. Too late now. [1]

I don't think CT got it all right about Schmidt having this great plan. I think that the McCain camp screwed up by being over protective of Palin and now realizes it. The lady is talented, not to mention hot, and to keep her leashed up is a sin. He also got it right about Obambi and his mindless minions being over confident. They might have played into McCain's hands with Palin, but I don't think it was by design, as CT thinks. One other thing that is more important, even if CT and Malcolm are correct, is that the Left has to be wrong about Palin and she has to deliver. No amount of over confidence or Biden making an ass out of himself with help her with that. Guess we will know the truth in a few days, can't wait!


-OmegaPundit

"The last word on everything."


[1] How Democrats set Sarah Palin up to 'win' Thursday's VP debate
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Sun Tsu Cain and the Art of VP Debating

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CT

At first I was not going to write this post, because quite frankly what I was thinking made no sense to me. Then thumbing through some old reading material I came across the Art of War, by mythical general, Sun Tsu. A particular quote jumped out at me, Sun Tsu speaking about strategic assessments, "A military operation involves deception. Even though you are competent, appear to be incompetent. Though effective, appear to be ineffective."

I have been puzzled by the shielding that Governor Palin has been receiving from the media by the McCain camp. After Dick Cheney was annouced as the Republican Vice President candidate he did five interviews in his first week. Palin has done three in about three weeks. Why? Was the Left correct about her being a boob and incompetent? Maybe they were right about her experience and intelligence level, this didn't make sense either.

This woman successfully ran against a very corrupt and somewhat powerful Republican establishment in Alaska and won. She managed a budget of some $11.7 billion and negotiated a very lucrative deal for a natural gas pipeline when no one else could. Bill Clinton has stated that he sees in her a great deal of "political intuition." Or maybe he just thinks she is hot, I dunno, it is Bubba we are talking about. Jokes aside, the evidence of her talent as well as her pragmatism and intelligence is there, she seemingly has it. Not to mention she scares the hell out of the Left.

I am only able to draw two conclusions, because of the media onslaught against her, maybe the McCain camp is purposefully protecting her and her family. Keeping her on message, with talking points and not allowing her to get into her feelings on matters and if this is what they are doing it is a grave mistake. Or, they are a little smarter than I am giving them credit for.

There is one other possibility and it is a very enormous stretch and maybe even hard to believe. Taking into account what Sun Tsu wrote on strategic assessment, could this be what the McCain camp is trying to accomplish? They are notorious risk takers, but those risks are always calculated, not rash. Sometimes they work out better than others, but they are usually successful. McCain's camp has twice been on the ropes and twice has comeback. So, why not?

By sequestering Palin and having her appear as naive and inexperienced in an interview is risky for perceptions sake. But it gives her distinct advantages she will need going against a masterdebator, yes that is a joke, like Joe Biden. First, interviews that are given prior to debates are used to gain insight into tactics and strategy, like a football team or a boxer uses. They can gain you and idea of how your opponent might play in a certain situation. Secondly, Steve Schmidt is a student of Karl Rove and Rove is notorious for using deception and feints in his political strategies. Thirdly, it would possibly make the Obama camp become over confident before the debate.

With that in mind, the Obama camp is known for dropping their guard when they think they have victory in their hands and whining when losing. Right now, advantage Obama, the stage is set for his victory. If they form a certain strategy for Palin and she comes out with something totally different I do not think Biden could handle it and would certainly be prone to losing his temper and gaffing up a storm. That would ensure a Palin victory which would definitely reignite McCain in the final stretch as well as keep Obama off base in the upcoming debates.

I realize there are alot of "ifs" with this hypothesis and it may be way off base. But, just in case I am right, I wanted to be able to put my name in the, "I told you so category." If I am wrong then I get the, "You are a moron category." One, I am sure that Opie would love to see me in.

CT
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Debating the Debate

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CT

Well the debate is over, the dust has settled, and the results from both sides are in. We will look at two websites from each corner of the ring and then try to and make an assesment on how this will effect the election.

First the Libs, from my favorite bunch of socialist loonies, the KosKids.
A lot of pundits and commenters and some Diarists are abuzz over why John McCain didn't look at Barack Obama even once during the debate Friday night.

Rude, say some. Arrogant, say some. Condescending and contemptuous, say others. Passive-aggressive outrage, say still others, a lack of eye contact meant as an insult to Obama - not a planned insult, but because McCain is just that kind of person who can't bear to think of others as equals, who was pissed off that this other person was even allowed on the same stage as him - a king, having to mingle with the commoners.

Probably, to some extent, all true. But none of those counts as the real reason.
The real reason is that every time Barack Obama says "...when I am President," John McCain knows in his heart that this will soon be true
[1]

Arrogant, ccondescending, and contemptuous? Uuuuh, guys there was a debate on tonight. Maybe in between reciting mantras from the Communist Manifesto they could have realized their attention was required so they could have given some good socialist interpretation of events as they unfolded. Highly disappointing guys, you are getting fat and overbloated.

Fire Dog Lake did much better. They, unlike the National Enquirer..oops...I mean the Kos, at least tried to give some analysis.
McCain controlled the debate tonight. He came off as a brittle, grumpy, mean-spirited old coot, but on the economy -- which should have been Obama's strong suit -- McCain managed to divert the conversation to tax cuts and kept Obama off the kitchen table issues where he excels [2]

The good news? Well, McCain sounded bitter and looked hunched over and mean. He wasn't likeable, and most of the Monday morning quarterbacks on my teevee seemed to agree. Obama can definitely recover in the next debate -- he didn't have any kind of a major falter. [2]

Second article,
McCain might have arguably done a better technical job of debating and the transcript may look like a victory for him, but he came across horribly: brittle, old, condescending and downright mean. You wouldn't want to have beer with this guy, that's for sure. [2]

Now, on to their Conservative counterparts. First up, Michelled Malkin,
I’m giving it to McCain — and you know I’m a tough grader on him.

He was slow out of the gate — a broken record on earmarks and spending — but Obama failed to turn the bailout debacle against him. McCain hit his stride in the second half, schooling Obama on counterinsurgency, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, and Russia.

McCain made no major soundbite-able gaffes. It was more a matter of a few missed opportunities for McCain than the commission of any major errors. Major omission of the night from McCain: Did he say a single word in defense of conservative principles and free-market economics?
[3]

From Powerline,
Both campaigns have furiously spun last night's debate, and "who won" polls tell us nothing, so far, except about the readership of the web site or publication sponsoring the poll. Clearly neither candidate made a major blunder that has become a news story in itself, so the issue comes down to one of impression: which candidate made more sense and looked more Presidential to the majority of undecided voters. My guess is that by holding his own, Obama helped himself with a lot of fence-sitters. [4]

The reactions gauged are mostly typical of what you would expect from the supporters of each candidate, except for Powerline. That is the one I tend to agree with, for the most part.

John McCain won, no doubt about it, but it was not a "slam dunk." Stunningly, he almost did better on the economy than foreign policy, not that his display of international affairs was weak. But, McCain being the grizzled veteran in this arena was expected to hand Obama his ass. Mac did not deliver in that category.

McCain had more to lose than his weaker opponent, all Obama had to do was dance around the issues and in lawyerly fashion that is exactly what he did. There were minor moments when one candidate got the better of the other. But there were no definitive moments of substance that actually defined them positively or negatively.

So, the final analysis coming out of this is; McCain won but advantage Obama.

CT

[1] Daily Kos
[2] FireDogLake
[3] Michelle Malkin
[4] Powerline
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Krauthammer, Critical Thinking, and Sub-Lame Lamenting

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Pundit,



Alright, as much as I don't like to, I have to give some cred to CT, he might have gotten a part of the Sub-Lame crisis causes right. His political writing idol, Charles Krauthammer, and him seem to agree at least on the start of the Bubble going pop! I am just glad I got to the Townhall rag before he did, I would have never heard the end of it.
For decades, starting with Jimmy Carter's Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, there has been bipartisan agreement to use government power to expand homeownership to people who had been shut out for economic reasons or, sometimes, because of racial and ethnic discrimination. What could be a more worthy cause? But it led to tremendous pressure on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- who in turn pressured banks and other lenders -- to extend mortgages to people who were borrowing over their heads. That's called subprime lending. It lies at the root of our current calamity. [1]


My little resident brain child (sacrcasm)wrote this in An Obama Fact Check, Sub Prime Finger Pointing ,

Let's backtrack to the Community Reinvestment Act and its amendment n 1995, under then President, Bill Clinton. As passed by the Carter administration, the CRA was supposed to provide credit, including home ownership opportunities to undeserved populations and commercial loans to small businesses. [2]

This might be the technical reason, but, what the Hamster and CT forgot is the personal reason. Greed and forgetting about you and me, the working guys and girls. Changing outdated regulatory laws, make a quick buck with some creative financing, and let's giveaway money to people who cannot repay it. Nothing in there for the middle class average working stiff from either party. Repubs driven by helping the corporate rats and the Demos driven by helping people with their damn hands out. Where is our representation?

Now the Chuckster does go on to lament, yup anudder big wurd, about "hanging" corporate execs.


Capping executive pay is piffle. What we need are a few exemplary hangings. [1]

I might not be the smurtest guy in da' world, but I know sarcasm when I hear it. My opinion is break them, make them donate their fortunes to the American taxpayer. If you make enough money to pay into to taxes, you get a small check courtesy of Wall Street execs and their companies. It won't be much but it sure as hell will send a message. You screw the law abiding, bill paying, decent citizens of this country over, you will pay them back one way or another.

As I see it, CT got most of the technical aspects of the causes correct. But overlooked the need for reparations to the American people, as well as did Krauthammer. Repub morons and Demowitted tards, you better listen and listen well. Your time and chances are running thin. You better get with the program cause the peasants are sharpening up their pitch forks and getting the torches ready to burn. You butt monkeys are gonnna get your collective asses voted out of office sooner or later and then you can sit in your coffee shops pointing fingers at each other while someone else runs the country!

[1] The Economic Crisis: Clearing the Fog
[2] An Obama Fact Check, Sub Prime Finger Pointing

-OmegaPundit

"The last word on everything."
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Biden has Definitely Fired Up the Ole' Gaffe-O-Mattic

0 comments
CT

With all this seriousness going on around Opie and I have come up with two or three topics, on the lighter side, to keep things humorous and in perspective. Besides there is nothing newsworthy going on, somebody said something about some $700 billion Wall Street bail out and John McCain suspending his candidacy for the Presidency. Right now these are just rumors(being sarcastic), so we are going to bring you something really news worthy courtesy of Joe Biden.




I don't dislike Joey, he is a devoted family man and devoted Senator, can't stand his politics though. What I love most about him is the constant foot-in-mouth disease he suffers from. God, how could you ask for any better, here is a list of the most recent and growing list.

Biden on an ad the Obama campaign was running concerning John McCain.

-"I thought that was terrible, by the way. I didn't know we did it and if I had anything to do with it, we'd have never done it," he told the CBS “Evening News” in reference to this Obama-Biden ad. [1]

On his Congressional trip to Afghanistan.

-"If you want to know where Al Qaeda lives, you want to know where Bin Laden is, come back to Afghanistan with me. ... Come back to the area where my helicopter was forced down, with a three-star general and three senators at 10,500 feet in the middle of those mountains. I can tell you where they are," he said to the National Guard Association. (According to ABC News, Biden's helicopter was forced down by a snowstorm). [1]

Speaking about the economic meltdown.

-“When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the princes of greed,” Biden told Couric. “He said, ‘Look, here’s what happened." [2]

Problem is Hoover was President when the stock market crashed and there was no television.

Joe on rich folks paying more taxes to help get the country out of the rut, lol.

-Biden said: "It's time to be patriotic ... time to jump in, time to be part of the deal, time to help get America out of the rut." [3]

Biden on coal usage.

-"We're not supporting 'clean coal.' [4]

Now keep in mind two things: 1) Biden is from Pennsylvania, where coal mining is big business. 2) Obama supports clean coal initiatives.

Biden on diplomatic initiatives with Iran.

-After seven years, in which our senior diplomatic personnel were not allowed to make a single contact with Iranians, the Bush administration realized the absurdity of its own policy and sent our leading diplomat to Iran,” he said. “The Assistant Secretary of State as he went to Tehran, sat down at the instruction of the President of the United States. [5]

Keep in mind that the Democrats, Obama included, have long stated and criticized the President for using "cowboy diplomacy" especially with Iran. When he opens the door, they slam it in his face.

Gaffe cred to 30yrdem-not any more.

I am sure there will be more and if there are any I overlooked please make note in the comments box and I will add them to the list. This was just to funny to pass up.

[1] Biden Gaffe-o-meter
[2] Biden on FDR’s management of the 1929 crash
[3] Biden calls paying higher taxes a patriotic act
[4] Biden: 'No coal plants here in America'
[5] Biden Fact Check: No US Diplomats In Tehran

Gaffe-o-meter credit to Stokley Baksh at the Plank

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Newsflash: Al Gore to travel to sun to address issue of Helio Cooling with Sun's inhabitants!

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Pundit,


I am afraid I have some really bad news for the earthbound peasant class. Al Gore and the IEA have just announced in a press release that the sun is cooling and it is becuse of the usage of SUV's on Earth, just the idea of drilling offhsore, and the Sun's inahbitants continual usage of ice cubes in their beverages. (I didn't know anyone could live on the Sun.)
The intensity of the sun's million-mile-per-hour solar wind has dropped to its lowest levels since accurate records began half a century ago, scientists say. [1]

Gore has stated that the same technology that he used to create the interent and give Joe Biden the ability to time travel, which he used to bring television back to FDR and Hoover, will be used to create a space ship with faster than light capabilites. He will use it to travel to the Sun and tediously scold the population about the dangers of Helio Cooling and show them how it is their fault, as well as ours.

We wish Gore and his crew, the best a brightest humanity has to offer pictured here: 30 Dumbest People in Hollywood, the best of luck on their trip to the Sun. This should be interesting.

-OmegaPundit

"The last word on everything."

[1] Solar wind weakest since beginning of space age


The above article is pretty cool, if you are into the science end of things.
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Rabid Intellectualism and Sarah Palin

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CT

In a scathing review of Sarah Palin and elitism,presented in his piece When Atheists Attack, Sam Harris has exemplified all of the flaws of the intellectual movement from contradictions, short sightedness, to a platitudinal attitude towards most “ordinary” people.

Starting his diatribe off, Harris says, “The point is that she (Palin) comes to us, seeking the second most important job in the world, without any intellectual training relevant to the challenges and responsibilities that await her.” What are the exact intellectual requirements for the job of Vice President, or for that matter, President? I would like the criteria. Realistically, there is no amount of education, training, or experience that can get you ready for the enormity of these jobs. What you can judge is the experience of the life that person has had and what potential do they bring to the table.

Interestingly enough, by his argument, Harris automatically disqualified Obama from seeking the Presidency. Obama is a lawyer, by trade, a legislator; he does not fit the intellectual mold for being President. He does, however, fit the intellectual requirement for a Senator. Palin, on the other hand, is an executive officer by trade, a decision maker. The only difference between the two is that Obama is running for the office that requires the greatest need for experience as a decision maker, experience he does not have, and Palin is running for 2nd in command.

Another point that is quizzical is Harris’s angst, in existentialist terms, towards the electorates’ support of Palin. Harris states, “The problem, as far as our political process is concerned, is that half the electorate revels in Palin's lack of intellectual qualifications. When it comes to politics, there is a mad love of mediocrity in this country.” As noted above, if Palin is an exercise in mediocrity I would not even venture to think what the Obama candidacy is.

Ironically, while trying to make a point about Palin’s supposed dogmatic beliefs, Harris contradicts himself on his accusation of her mediocrity and half of America’s love affair with it. “It is easy to see what many people, women especially, admire about Sarah Palin. Here is a mother of five who can see the bright side of having a child with Down syndrome and still find the time and energy to govern the state of Alaska.” So, on one hand, it is wrong to admire and support her but, on the other, you can see why people admire and support, her. Which is it? The other point of contention is that this is a direct contributor to her intellectual capacity to govern, she is a multi-tasker and generalist, able to shift gears at a moments notice. As, Vice President, or maybe even President one day, she will be required to take on different responsibilities at the drop of a hat, she has already proven her capacity to do this successfully.

Harris also seems obsessed with presenting evidence that paints Palin as some sort of religious zealot and nut, teetering on the brink of insanity. Harris states, “I care even more about the many things Palin thinks she knows but doesn't: like her conviction that the Biblical God consciously directs world events.” He draws this ridiculous conclusion based on this particular statement, “that our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God; that's what we have to make sure we are praying for, that there is a plan, and that plan is God's plan.” One of the greatest men in US history made a similar quote as Sarah Palin, “.Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair; the rest is in the hands of God.” That man was George Washington.

Closing out Harris asks this very poignant question, “Ask yourself: how has "elitism" become a bad word in American politics? There is simply no other walk of life in which extraordinary talent and rigorous training are denigrated. We want elite pilots to fly our planes, elite troops to undertake our most critical missions, elite athletes to represent us in competition and elite scientists to devote the most productive years of their lives to curing our diseases. And yet, when it comes time to vest people with even greater responsibilities, we consider it a virtue to shun any and all standards of excellence.”

Every example that Harris has made is one which requires a specific area of talent or study. The office of POTUS deals with a myriad of issues ranging from economics, national security, infrastructure, cultural issues, science, technology, and everything in between. I do not want an intelligent specific elitist running this country, I want a pragmatic generalist, which Palin actually might be. I want someone who is familiar with all the issues but has enough common sense to know when they might need the opinion of a particular expert in that field. In other words, I want a leader.

CT

[1] When Atheists Attack
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Obama's Witch Hunt Against the First Amendment May be Over!

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CT

Awhile back I posted Obama Thuggery, Trying to Shut Down the AIP's Ad. Essentially it was about an Obama campaign attempt to use the Department of Justice, as their 1st Amendment suppressing tool, to silence AIP (American Issues Project) from running an ad that tied him to William Ayers. But, Michelle Malkin reports that the DOJ will not bend to One’s will. Unfortunately, this is not confirmed officially. Although, I do trust Michelle Malkin’s sources, this falls under, “Trust, but verify.” This is what Malkin posted on her website.

The Justice Department does not pursue criminal investigations of contributors to independent political groups, even when they give $1 million or more and even when their money is solicited based on an appeal to support or oppose a candidate, according to DOJ’s top election crimes official.

“You don’t see a whole lot of cases” where DOJ is looking at independent groups, said Craig Donsanto, the veteran director of the Election Crimes Branch in DOJ’s Public Integrity Section.
[1]

So, trusting but verifying to the best of my abilities and the internet’s too. I went to the DOJ website, but could not find anything. So after doing a quick search on Craig Donsanto, Director of the Public Integrity Section within in the DOJ, brings you to BNA Money and Politics, via the AIP website. Since this is a pay site and I am a cheap skate all you get is the headline title, which seems to indicate what Malkin’s source is confirming. Admittedly, this is a very weak confirmation without the rest of the article.
September 16th, 2008

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ENFORCEMENT
Donsanto Says DOJ Does Not Pursue Criminal Probes of Independent Groups [2]

September 19th, 2008

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ENFORCEMENT
Wertheimer Blasts Donsanto Comments Indicating No DOJ Action on 527 Groups
[3]

This is sketchy, but I am willing to bet there is no legal recourse that the Obamiden campaign can take to silence AIP. Which is great news for Freedom of Speech!

CT

[1] Exclusive: DOJ will not conduct witch hunts for Obama
[2] BNA Money and Politics Headline September 19th, 2008
[3] Headline Archives - September 2008
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Congress: How Stupid are They?

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CT

Really, stupid. This latest bout is brought to you by the Botox Queen herself, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and the rest of the tribe.
WASHINGTON -- House Democrats are moving to include a narrowed list of economic-stimulus proposals in a stopgap spending bill, Democratic aides said. The move could reduce chances they will push a more ambitious $50 billion stimulus package this month. [1]

Now I realize this probably won't get pushed through, but, this is all they can come up with? The government has just spent hundreds of billions in bailouts with more to come. Hey, let's add more debt to the American tax payer, they will never notice another $50 billion slipped in. Who do you think is paying for these stimulus packages? If you said the government, go change your party affiliation to stupid. We are paying for it, these stimulus packages are nothing more than loans that us, our children, and grandchildren will be paying for in the years to come. There is no such thing as free money. As is stands, minus some real creative financial wizardry, all of this will be floated by the American taxpayer, so let's add another $50 billion to the pie.
If it clears that hurdle, it faces an uncertain path in the House, where Democrats' allegiance to pay-as-you-go rules is much stronger. The rules require tax breaks and new spending programs to be offset with other tax increases or spending cuts. [1]

You want 30-40% taxation on middle class incomes? Well here you go, this plus all of the other BS, is the prime excuse that will be used to tax the living hell out of us. The Liberals in Congress, even the one's with an (R) attached to their names, would never dream of cutting spending. So, the only alternative is raise, raise, raise, taxes. Here is something new; try cutting taxes across the board, not just certain areas, cut spending across the board, spur investment, and use government oversight, not insane regulatory bodies.
Some Democrats have called for spending billions on infrastructure projects and increasing funds for the Medicaid health program for the poor, arguing the government shouldn't rescue floundering Wall Street firms but slam the door on individuals who've been battered by the housing slump or lost jobs. [1]

Oh how quaint, they want infrastructure projects and more spending on Medicaid another over bloated mismanaged government program on the brink of collapse, so let's throw more money at it. On the comical side, the Dems jump all over Palin for getting earmarks to fund infrastructure projects in Alaska and here they are. Wow!What can I say?

Our little technocrats are all befuddled and where is America's best and brightest? Is spending money and looking to antiquated solutions for modern day problems the best they can up with? My recommendation to Congress; quit worrying about the election, start worry about the electorate. Maybe try doing your jobs with a certain degree of fervor and interest.

CT

[1] Democrats Narrow Priorities
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Rangel, Stupid is as Stupid Does

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Pundit,

Hello, world. I want to be honest I have no credentials for this. I am an average guy in a not so average world. What I do know is I am pissed off with the snotty, latte swilling, sewage that tries to tell us what to think because they view us as drones. This goes for both parties. If you are a party wonk, of either flavor, then stop reading, I am going to raise your blood pressure. The only control any of us have is voting and bitchin' on blogs and that is good enough for me.

This first hit piece is against village idiot, Charlie "I don't need to pay my taxes" Rangel. Over the last few days Rangel was quoted as calling the Republican VP pick and national hottie, Governor Sarah Palin, disabled. If you are to dense to figure it out it means he was calling her retarded.

Ole' Chuck has a long list of what I consider to disabled behavior. Wait a minute, you have to have a brain in order for it to be disabled. Here is a list of Chuck's great contribution to the Wide World of the Witless.

In 2003, immediately before the United States invasion of Iraq, Rangel called on Congress to reinstate a military draft, the last of which had been discontinued at the end of the Vietnam War. His bill would have created a draft of people aged 18-26.
In 2006, he introduced a similar bill mandating service for those between the ages of 18 and 42.
Rangel has repeatedly shown his willingness to risk arrest for participating in political protests.Most recently, on July 13, 2004, he was the first of three sitting US House members to be arrested on trespassing charges, for protesting alleged human rights abuses in Sudan in front of the Sudanese Embassy in Washington.
In 2005 he had a feud with Dick Cheney. This is just stupid cause we all know Cheney is one helluva shot.

On April 16, 2004, roughly one month after Sun Moon had hosted an awards ceremony in a Senate office building at which he had declared himself the messiah, Rangel signed a proclamation written on official congressional stationary declaring the controversial Rev. Moon and his wife "True Parents" and the "King of Peace.

The jury is in, Chuck Rangel is stupid enough to drown in a desert.

-OmegaPundit

"The last word on everything."

Thanks, CT for the opportunity to vent. I think I can step away from the rifles now.
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Sub Prime Sludge and Solutions (Revisited)

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CT

Following up on the last post, An Obama Fact Check, Sub Prime Finger Pointing, there is even more interesting information out. In an attempt to modernize the financial sector, Phil Gramm brought us the Financial Services Modernization Act . In a nut shell, it gave commercial banks the ability to get back into financial investments. So, we are possibly revisiting the cause of the Bank Collapse of 1933. But, things are much more complex nowadays, there are more people, much larger sums of money, and the economy is much more globally intertwined.

In the article The Blame Game from the Current, on Atlantic.com, Megan Mcardle had some interesting thoughts.

But both candidates are right about one thing: America's financial regulatory structure is badly outdated, and in need of a massive overhaul.


America's entire approach to regulation is a relic of the New Deal, when optimistic Keynesians still believed that they might tame the economy by getting bright technocrats to run it. [1]
For better or worse, advised or ill-advised, an update to our economic system is what Gramm seemed to be trying to accomplish. Problem seems to be that the regulatory agencies either were not allowed to keep up with the changes or could not. Either way, there was no warning from the SEC, Securities Exchange Commission, the Department of Commerce, or the Treasury Department. I am not saying they did not see it coming, I do not think they knew what to do. The book they were operating by did not have the answers. So, we are left with them shrugging their shoulders and the American taxpayer floating almost $900 billion in government bail outs.

A better approach would be to focus less on eliminating risk, and more on managing it. This means not only greater transparency, but encouraging alternate ratings systems to help make investors aware of risk. [1]

The Heritage Institute seems to agree with Ms. Mcardle.

Improved Credit Ratings

The report calls for credit rating agencies to improve the way in which they "grade" securities. Currently, both traditional securities and structured credit products are graded the same way. Structured credit products are sophisticated and often highly complex packages that include such ingredients as tranches (pieces) of mortgages representing a specific level of repayment risk. They are designed to meet specific investor needs. [2]

There are many other solutions that need to be enacted as well, requirements for capital standards, more stringent credit standards, as well as better risk management by financial institutions. My main fear is that these regulations and oversights will not be enacted with temperance, but out of anger. I think we are going to see a regulatory body overseeing the financial industries like we have never seen before. I would even venture to predict a new Department of (fill in the blank) strictly for financial regulation. Larger government and harsh regulation are not the answer, common sense and temperance are.

CT

[1] The Blame Game
[2] Sub Prime Sludge and Solutions
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An Obama Fact Check, Sub Prime Finger Pointing

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CT

This post has developed very interestingly, while researching the sub prime mortgage crisis some months back I came upon some dates that tied the Housing Bubble to legislation as far back as 1994. Now, with Obama, blaming a Republican Congress and George Bush, those dates started popping back in my head. So, I started looking and found some interesting information. Well, the news is not all great for me though, it is making me rethink the conclusion I drew on my post Market Correcting Itself.

Now there is no denying the Republican Congress and George Bush are complicit in the Sub Prime Crisis, through the American Dream Downpayment Act and the Zero Down Payment Act. But the waters here run much deeper than that; enter Phil Gramm, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act, and Glass-Steagall Act of 1933.

If you notice, sub prime mortgages running flat until 1997. Then from 1997-98 there was a very noticeable spike that continued until 2000. Then it runs flat from 2001-02, possibly because of the economic implications of 9-11. After 2004, with the passing of the above mentioned Acts, there is a huge increase in the number of sub prime mortgages being acquired.

Let's backtrack to the Community Reinvestment Act and its amendment n 1995, under then President, Bill Clinton. As passed by the Carter administration, the CRA was supposed to provide credit, including home ownership opportunities to undeserved populations and commercial loans to small businesses. Under Bubba, there was an increase in the number and aggregate amount of loans to small businesses and to low- and moderate-income borrowers for home loans. CRA Moving forward a bit to 1996-97, with Glass-Steagall, a law which prohibited a bank from offering investment, commercial banking, and insurance services. Glass-Steagall was passed by the FDR administration, after a Congressional study revealed that the banking collapse of 1933 was directly attributed to the mixing of commercial and investment banking as well as the stock market crash of 1929. Glass-Steagall Act
In December 1996, with the support of Chairman Alan Greenspan, the Federal Reserve Board issues a precedent-shattering decision permitting bank holding companies to own investment bank affiliates with up to 25 percent of their business in securities underwriting (up from 10 percent). This expansion of the loophole created by the Fed's 1987 reinterpretation of Section 20 of Glass-Steagall effectively renders Glass-Steagall obsolete. [1]

If you noticed on the graph above there was a spike in sub prime mortgage loans from 1997-99. This is rather fascinating to me, because this truly highlights the very beginning of the Sub Prime Bubble.
By 1997, good loans were bundled with poor ones and sold as prime packages to institutions here and abroad. That shifted risk from the loan originators, freeing banks to begin pyramiding and make more of these profitable subprime products. [2]

This next little piece taken from a 1997 Wachovia press release provides some very interesting hindsight also, notice some of the names of these institutions involved.

The affordable mortgages were originated or acquired by First Union Corporation and subsidiaries. Customers will experience no impact - they will continue to make payments to and be serviced by First Union Mortgage Corp. CRA loans are loans targeted to low and moderate income borrowers and neighborhoods under the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977."The securitization of these affordable mortgages allows us to redeploy capital back into our communities and to expand our ability to provide credit to low and moderate income individuals," said Jane Henderson, managing director of First Union's Community Reinvestment and Fair Lending Programs. "First Union is committed to promoting home ownership in traditionally underserved markets through a comprehensive line of competitive and flexible affordable mortgage products. This transaction enables us to continue to aggressively serve those markets."The $384.6 million in senior certificates are guaranteed by Freddie Mac and have an implied "AAA" rating. First Union Capital Markets Corp. is the investment banking subsidiary of First Union Corporation. [3]

Now, jump to Oct-Nov. 1999, Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX) successfully passes legislation that eliminates Glass-Steagall through passing of the Financial Services Modernization Act. Thus giving simple lending banks the ability to underwrite huge securities, as noted above (This is exactly what Bank of America has done with Merill-Lynch, hence my apprehension). This gave way to the evolution of Citicorp and Travelers merging into the mega-colossus, Citigroup. Unfortunately the elimination of Glass-Steagall did not come with out a price, enter Bill Clinton, once again, and the Community Reinvestment Act.

At first Gramm could not get the legislation to eliminate Glass-Steagull pushed through. He had to make a compromise with the Democrats concerning the Community Reinvestment Act.

Crucial to the passing of this Act was an amendment made to the GLBA, stating that no merger may go ahead if any of the financial holding institutions, or affiliates there of, received a "less than satisfactory [sic] rating at its most recent CRA exam", essentially meaning that any merger may only go ahead with the strict approval of the regulatory bodies responsible for the CRA. [4]

There were a few other equally important provisions added, one of note was Gramm's insistence on transparency concerning coercion of banks by community groups such as ACORN. But this, although, related is an entirely different article.

Gramm had maintained that he did not want anything in the bill that would expand the application of the Community Reinvestment Act because it was, he said, unnecessarily burdensome to banks.He had sought a provision that would exempt thousands of smaller banks from the law. He also wanted a provision that would expose what he has described as the "extortion" committed by community groups against banks by requiring the groups to disclose any special financial deals the groups extract from the banks. [5]

Summarizing this information, Clinton seeks to strengthen opportunity for home ownership in the States and amends the CRA, a few years later Phil Gramm seeks to overturn a Depression era piece of legislation, he cannot because of the Clinton administration concerns about lending practices concerning poorer people in the community. Gramm makes the compromise to get the Financial Services Modernization Act passed. You have coupled the farthest reaching free market thinking with a massive liberal community giveaway program. The regulations forced on these institutions, along with their greed, gave rise to the Sub Prime Bubble. Then a few years later, you have a Republican Congress and President who forgot they were Conservatives, passing liberalized legislation under the guise of free market thinking and I give you the Sub Prime Mortgage Crisis. Obambi might want to go back and check his facts, because it looks like most of the players in this were wrong, not just the Republicans. The last thought I have is what a wonderful idea it is to regulate an attempt at deregulation.

CT

[1] The Long Demise of Glass-Steagall
[2] Age And Experience: Carter's Catastrophes
[3] Wachovia Press Release
[4] Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act
[5] Agreement Reached on Overhaul of U.S. Financial System

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Another Case of the Pandemic, PDS

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CT

More Holly-weird coming out of the woodwork. The latest to be diagnosed with PDS is washed up comedian, Chevy Chase. Of course spewing vile rhetoric and stupidity, yawn, it is getting tiresome.

Flecth, betcha he doesn't wanted to be reminded of those movies, was at a charity fund raiser for environmental awareness in schools. Assisting in funding Al Bore's indoctrination process into the Church of the GoreBull Warming. It was here he took an opportunity to fire one at Sarah Palin.

WILLIE GEIST: You were there, Saturday night, your old stomping ground. What did you make of Tina Fey?

CHEVY CHASE: Well, I thought, I mean, it's extraordinary how well she played her and how much she looked like her. I'd just like her to be—personally I felt we didn't need the Hillary stuff. I'd like her to go even harder. I want her to decimate this woman. This is a, this woman is, I mean I can't believe isn't more about her. All the media have and the press have been going "oh, she's a wonderful, oh God, her speech was great." Just unbelievable to me that this woman is running for vice-president.
[1]

Wow, I love how we didn't need any of the Hillary stuff. Oh no that is offensive, but, Sarah? Aaaah, go ahead she is just trailer park trash. Chase, longtime idiot and moron, may have forgotten that it is now a little bit of a snarky but playful tradition on SNL to make fun of the candidates and politicians.

Now let's keep this mental midget's resume in mind while he criticizes Governor Palin. Left SNL after a year and a half citing that he was "hated on the set," who would have figured that, turned down the role of Otter in Animal House, thank God because Time Matheson pulled that one off, starred in the Fletch movies, said Three Amigos was his best film ever, turned down the lead role in the Academy award winning American Beauty, not to mention the several flops he has appeared in over the years. Chase has been trying to gain the notoriety and the celebrity he once attained for about five years in the early eighties. To date he has never been able to shake the has been status and now is known for brief moments of stupidity such as this. Great contribution to humanity, Chevy!

CT

[1] 'I Want Her to Decimate This Woman'
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Market Correcting Itself

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CT

In the world of economics and finance these days saying a hurricane has hit is a lackluster description of what is going on. In the past 6 months we have had the Bear Stearn's bailout by JP Morgan-Chase brokered by the Fed, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae being nationalized (Just saying that makes my skin crawl.), and now Merrill-Lynch and Lehman Brothers disappearing.

But in the case of Merril-Lynch you have Bank of America stepping up to buy them out, creating a huge financial colossus. This is an expansion of commercial banking into the world of financial investment, a rather bold move by Bank of America and JPMorgan-Chase. Although, intuitive, this move was done out of neccessity, but, it is a great example of a potential market correction.

As much as I hate to, I have to give a certain credit to the Fed for brokering the deal between Bear-Stearns and JP Morgan-Chase. If they had not their failure could have caused an economic tailspin that would have caused major problems for the world economy. This also opened the door, I feel, for BOA to expand its horizons into the world of finance banking. Now, the outcome of these bold moves still remain to be seen. But the financial and investment communities may have come up with an interesting way to survive the recent pitfalls of their greed. Although, we are far from being out of the woods, hopefully these institutions have learned their lessons.

CT
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Governor Sarah Palin is No Reformer...What is She Then?

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CT

What we have been hearing from the MSM and the Left is that John McCain and Sarah Palin are liars, especially when it comes to Sarah Palin's record on fiscal reform. Most notably the infamous, "Bridge to Nowhere" and earmarks. Do they have a point or is this a partisan attack? The problem is neither side is offering anything more than surface evidence to back up their claims, that is just annoying. Well here is some sound evidence you decide. First, "The Bridge to Nowhere."

Palin had this to say while running for governor in September 2006, Palin assured the Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce she was all for the bridge. “The money that’s been appropriated for the project, it should remain available for a link, an access process as we continue to evaluate the scope and just how best to just get this done,” Palin said then, according to a story in the Ketchikan Daily News. “This link is a commitment to help Ketchikan expand its access, to help this community prosper.” PoliFacts.com

October of 2006, Palin was asked directly, “Would you continue state funding for the proposed Knik Arm and Gravina Island bridges?” Her answer: “Yes. I would like to see Alaska’s infrastructure projects built sooner rather than later. The window is now — while our congressional delegation is in a strong position to assist.” PoliFacts.com

Palin took over as governor in December 2006. "In February 2007 her proposed state budget didn't include state funding for the Ketchikan bridge. A spokesman noted that Palin's proposed capital budget focused on projects that could draw federal money, too. At that point, according to the Ketchikan Daily News, the cost of the bridge had risen $67-million and former Gov. Frank Murkowski had recommended putting $195-million in the state budget for Ketchikan's bridge." PoliFacts.com

This was from a September 2007 article which appeared in the Anchorage Daily News "Ketchikan desires a better way to reach the airport, but the $398 million bridge is not the answer," Gov. Sarah Palin said in a prepared statement. "

This was taken from Anchorage Daily News concerning confusion about her stance, "One year later, Ketchikan's Republican leaders said they were blindsided by Palin's decision to pull the plug. "

Here is something that is very interesting. "Congress eventually removed the earmark language but the money still went to Alaska, leaving it up to the administration of then-Gov. Frank Murkowski to decide whether to go ahead with the bridges or spend the money on something else." Anchorage Daily News

This brings up two points of contention for me. Congress still gave the money to Alaska even after the upheaval the bridge caused, essentially they left it up to the state of Alaska to decide what to so with the money. Congress fulfills the role of Pontius Pilate in this one. They give the money to Alaska but the earmark language is removed, Alaska still gets the money for the bridge, and if they build it Congress can claim no responsibility in the matter.

Secondly, if this statement is true it would explain why Palin blindsided them by not going through with the bridge project. The money was allocated, Alaska had the choice, and Congress was protected. But, inevitably she did not. Reason, the bridge was getting over bloated to about $400,000,000. Now, here is something else that I came across.

This is also from the Anchorage Daily News, "Local leaders shouldn't have been surprised when Palin announced she was turning to less-costly alternatives, Leighow said. Indeed, Leighow produced a report quoting Palin, late in the governor's race, indicating she would also consider alternatives to a bridge." Funny, you aren't hearing about this.

Now onto her record on earmarks and fiscal responsibility. It is common knowledge that Alaska is first in the Federal dollars spent in the state versus federal dollars it returns in the form of taxes. per captia. Although, Alaska is only 44th in the nation for the amount of federal expenditures it receives as of FY 2005. AAAS Palin has claimed to be against earmarks and wasteful government spending.

Earmarks: "For the 2007 federal budget year, the administration of former Gov. Frank Murkowski submitted 63 earmark requests totaling $350 million, Palin's staff said. That slid to 52 earmarks valued at $256 million in Palin's first year. This year, the governor's office asked the delegation to help them land 31 earmarks valued at $197 million." Anchorage Daily News

But the Citizens Against Government Waste tells a little bit different tale. (2005) Alaska again led the nation with $985 per capita ($646 million), or 30 times the national pork average of $33. 2005 Pig Book Summary (2008) Alaska led the nation with $556 per capita ($380 million). 2008 Pig Book Summary

Now, this is not just earmarks, this is total federal expenditures including grants etc. The total savings to Alaska, since Plain entered office, is a difference of $266,000,000 totally, with a $197,000,000 savings just in earmarks alone. Still a ways to go, but some remarkable improvement.

Budget: This was taken from the Anchorage Daily News concerning the FY 2008 Capital budget. "Gov. Sarah Palin cut $268 million from the capital budget on Friday. That's a lot of money, but still less than 10 percent of the entire $3 billion capital budget."

In my opinion Palin is no reformer. She is, as Fred Barnes put in his Weekly Standard article, a pragmatist. Again, this is my take on her. She did quite a bit of good in her 20 months a Governor of Alaska and has displayed a willingness to go against the system and try to improve it, despite the controversy. From her time as mayor of Wasilla to Governor of Alaska there has been an interesting development of pragmatism and growth, both politically and personally.

CT


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Fred Kaplan; News Comedian and Splitter of Hairs (Analysis of Palin Interview)

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CT

Fred Kaplan's painful attempt at splitting hairs and mindless ramblings about the Palin interview only proves its success. The shear weakness of his arguments is astounding and the fact that Slate let him run this piece is puzzling if not comical. I hate writing so much about PDS, Palin Derangement Syndrome, but it seems to be all consuming, especially when facts and truth get so distorted.

Fred's first ass-umption.

Gov. Palin was obviously briefed by Sen. John McCain's advisers, and briefed fairly well. [1]

I see Fred is now a psychic, can read tea leaves, and has a crystal ball. How does he know what she has knowledge of. I think what Kaplan is getting at is she hasn't gotten her information from Left news rags therefore she doesn't qualify as "knowledgeable." I saw evidence of discipline in her answers and poise. Was it the best response to a line of questioning I have ever seen? No, but it was far, far, far, from the worst. It was a really good first start and I commend her on it.

Fortunately, the whole issue is a nonstarter because, under NATO's charter, a nation must have firm and recognized borders in order for membership to be so much as considered. Georgia does not have such borders. (The status of South Ossetia and Abkhazia has long been in dispute.) [1]


Oh really? Understand, Georgia's borders are recognized by the US, the UN, the EU and NATO. These two regions, although under dispute, have nothing to do with the still remaining Russian forces in Poti, as well as other locations inside of Georgia proper. So, Kaplan is not only incorrect about Georgia having "fluid borders," that is not the issue regarding Georgia's admission into NATO.

This was an eyebrow-raiser. Almost everyone, even Russia's harshest critics, acknowledges that Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili did, in fact, provoke Putin—even if Putin might have been hoping for a provocation—by attacking South Ossetia first. [1]

This is news to me. He did not provoke Putin, that is insinuating that Saakashvili was thumbing his nose at the Russians and just went in with no reason. Actually, there have been attacks into Georgia proper for days, if not weeks, before the actual Georgian invasion of South Ossetia. Also, these attacks were mainly from areas that were under Russian "peacekeeping" control. Kaplan like most Leftist writers either have no grasp of the events which led up to this or they are omitting them because it is convenient. Palin was absolutely correct in her response, coached or otherwise.

Kaplan was somewhat fair to Governor Palin in this portion, although his analysis of why he is fair to her is wrong.
Then there was the moment that has caused many jaws to gape—when Gibson asked what she thought of "the Bush Doctrine" and she clearly didn't know what he was talking about. I must confess, this didn't bother me much. Her initial response—"In what respect, Charlie?"—was a fair point. So many Bush doctrines have been promulgated, proved wrong, and abandoned without comment. [1]

Kaplan is substantially wrong on why her response to Charlie Gibson was the correct one. The Bush Doctrine has 4 premises to it: 1) Preemption 2) Military Primacy 3) A New Multilateralism 4) The Spread of Democracy. This is according to the Bush NSS, or National Security Strategy published on September 22, 2002. This is what Palin was referring to, not the convoluted mutation the Press has "morphed" it into. Pailin actually demonstrated her ability to grasp this concept and gave a fair assessment of it. But, here is where ole Fred gets the axe out and starts splitting hairs.

What did bother me was that, after Gibson outlined the doctrine's meaning (the right to attack a nation in anticipation of a threat), she didn't answer the question. She said, "If there is legitimate and enough intelligence that tells us that a strike is imminent against American people, we have every right to defend the country." This is true to the point of banality; no one would dispute it. The question is whether it's proper to take armed action not if a strike seems imminent but if preparations seem to be in the works for a possible strike sometime in the future. [1]

This was the most comical portion of his whole analysis. In the original article Kaplan has the words "anticipate" and "imminent" italicized. Now, Palin just showed she is not a devotee of the Bush Doctrine in Leftist terminology. The Left assumes it means, in anticipation of. Palin said there has to be an imminent threat. I can anticipate Canada is going to invade all day long and then attack them or I can wait until Canada gives a clear cut indication, like putting massive amounts of troops on our border, that they are going to attack. That is the difference between anticipate and imminent. Jesus, Fred, get a dictionary why don't you? This means she is not going to jump at every shadow that is perceived as a threat. If we have the the intelligence, motive, and there are clear indicators, let's go.

I am not going to get into the other two points that Kaplan raises about her religion, faith, and instinct because they are written by a guy chained to desk. He would never have any clue about leadership or following your gut in chaotic situations. Most of his audience wants to hear that garbage anyways, so there is no point.

CT

[1] The Sorrow and the Pity
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Obamania, Palinmania, it's all still mania.

0 comments
CT

One of the worries I have about the election, as of late, is the flip flopping going on. I don't mean on positions, either. It is the flip flopping on perception by the American public concerning Palin. This is not an admonishment of her or me saying I have found something in her past that I just cannot get over, it is a critique of all of us, the voters.

First most people were so wrapped up in the Obamania, frothing at the mouth for the center piece of "Change," most acted like 2nd rate wrestling fans. Then everyone started getting glib, save his most ardent supporters, about Obama when the "winds of change" started to subside and the truth started coming out.

Now, enter Sarah Palin. People have put her on a pedestal so far they are dooming her for failure if she doesn't come through on these lofty expectations. They are making her out to be a Conservative icon,which she may become one day, before she has had the chance to serve as VP. Let's look at Ronald Reagan for a moment, history and his actions painted him as the modern day cornerstone of the Conservative movement. Although he was loved and respected by many Americans, while President, I do not think the average person figured he would rise to the levels that he has ascended to. He was given a chance to succeed or fail and he succeeded. This is how we should approach Governor Palin, if we are realistic about her, she just may surprise everyone, even those on the Left.

With this in mind, I simply do not understand why it is so hard for the American public, news junkies included, to get off of the American Idol trip with our candidates. They are not gods, they are not celebrities, they are not movie stars, they are politicians and hopefully leaders. They are not to be revered and have faults, that is okay, I like knowing that they are still human. It keeps me grounded in my perceptions of them and their actions.


CT
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McCain's Shadow Weapon and It Isn't Sarahcuda.

0 comments
CT

All to often we give credit, bad or good, to what we see on the surface and never investigate into the backroom dealings and power brokers who live in the shadows. Yup, this sounds ominous and foreboding, but, it is the truth. Who are the real players behind the scenes that never get credit for their contributions. Obama has David Axelrod, who takes every opportunity to run his suck on national tele. Who does McCain have?

This is a CNN article from July 11, 2007 after the McCain campaign shakeup.


Campaign manager Terry Nelson and chief strategist John Weaver announced their departures in joint statements released by the campaign.

Several sources tell CNN that McCain met with Nelson and Weaver on Monday to discuss the campaign's direction.
[1]

It was on July 2, 2008 that Steve Schmidt was appointed Chief Strategist and controlling interest of the McCain campaign. Here is a little background on the "evil genius in training." Look for a particular name in his mini-bio and you will understand the evil genius reference.



Steve Schmidt is an American campaign strategist and public relations expert for the U.S. Republican Party. He specializes in political "message development and strategy".[1] A protege of Republican strategist Karl Rove, Schmidt is currently the senior campaign strategist and advisor to the 2008 Presidential campaign of Senator John McCain. [2]
Schmidt, IMHO, is the reason there has been so much of a change in the campaigning tactics and the slow erosion of the Democratic anointment to the Presidency. Schmidt, brings some big guns to the table as well as a decent resume.




On July 2, 2008, Schmidt was appointed to head up day to day operations of the McCain campaign in response to concerns that the McCain campaign was losing ground to Barack Obama. Schmidt's career highlights to date include a stint in 1998 as Communications Director for the Senate campaign of Matt Fong, chief White House strategist in charge of the U.S. Supreme Court nominations of Samuel A. Alito[3] and Chief Justice John Roberts, and Counselor and spokesman for Vice President Dick Cheney. He worked on the re-election campaign for California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.[3] Schmidt was a member of the exclusive "breakfast club" led by top White House adviser Karl Rove that ran President Bush's re-election campaign in 2004. [2]

This man knows how to campaign and take calculated risks. That is painfully evident by the chancy pick of Sarah Palin, which is proving to be wildly successful. Schmidt may have come in the game very late, but, he is making up for lost ground with the speed of an gold medal winning sprinter. He has changed McCain's campaign message 180 degrees, has revitalized McCain's maverick image, and most of all brought Sarah Palin on board. He is truly a genius of Rovian proportions. Axelrod, who?


CT

PS Just a little something for Karl. If the Republicans win and after the dust settles, the Left might figure it out that Karl Rove, via Steve Schmidt, got the better of them one more time. I am sure they will cry foul.

[1] McCain's Top Political Strategists Forced Out
[2] Steve Schmidt

Edit: Not sure why I missed putting July 11, 2008 instead of 2007 for the article date from CNN, but I overlooked it in the edit. I apologize and would like to thank Barbara Schmidt, do not know if she is related to Steve, for pointing out my error. But it has been corrected.
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Palin/Jindal in 12'?

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CT

As we have learned with this election cycle, college football last season, and NFL football, nothing is set in stone. You can pontificate and predict about the outcome of a situation all you want, but there is always that "wildcard" effect. Palin was that wildcard this election cycle. Without her intervention, or so it would seem, McCain probably would have put a respectable fight against Obama but inevitably lost the election. In the last stretch he introduces Palin and all of sudden not only is he a viable contender, but winning to some degree.

Bit, let's take a look past this and into one possible future. Let's just say McCain/Palin win and John McCain decides not to run for a second term. Where does that leave Sarah? Obviously running for the Prez, but who would she run with? More than likely Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana.

Even if Hillary ran with a decent VP pick, I do not think she could stand up to the onslaught of these two. It would be the dynamic duo. I am not sure in history if you have ever had two governors running for the offices of President and Vice President on the same ticket. Forget about the fact that Palin would have had been Veep for 4 years.

Now this assumption is based on a lot of "ifs." First, McCain wold have to decide that he was to old to run for the office again, which McCain has a reputation for being a very vigorous man, even for his age. Secondly, they have to win this election. Thirdly, Bobby Jindal has to feel his work for Louisiana is done. Fourthly, McCain/Palin would have to have a successful Presidency, which I feel they will.

If any of this happens and that is the ticket in 12' it would cement the Conservative movement in this country for the 20-30 years. Wow could you imagine almost a half century of lower taxes, individual rights, free market, environmental conservation, a decent military, and just some decent values. Not a bad possibility.

CT
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Whooooppppiiii Goldberg, Palin Wants to "Succeed" From US

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C.T.

I don't even know why I am writing about this. I guess it was to damn funny to pass up. This latest attempt at Liberal brain drain is brought to you by that intellectual giant of a woman, Whoopi Golberg, via News Busters.

Whoopi sez:
"Sarah Palin Is a Very Dangerous Woman," she lobs a wild pitch about the Alaskan Independence Party kerfuffle: "I also thought that this idea of America first coming from her was kind of strange because she was one of the people who wanted to succeed from the United States. She was part of a campaign to succeed Alaska from the United States of America." [1]

Do I really need to say anything? Oh, don't worry though, it gets better.

Whoopi goes on to say:
"This girl is dangerous to me. This is a very dangerous woman, because I believe for her intents and purposes, she’s OK if everybody lives a certain way, that is to say, the way God ordained men and women to be. Well, already she’s breaking that because she’s the daddy. She’s going to run the country and the husband is going to take care of the kids. I just found the whole thing sad and very musty and very much like a Bund rally, but maybe that was just me." [1]
Huh? Does this Football Bat have any clue what she is blithering about? I think this intellectual train wreck wrote this in-between bong hits. Although, there is more, it is actually getting sad that this woman is that stupid. I'm out.

C.T.

[1] Whoopi Goldberg: Palin Sounds Pro-Nazi, Wants to 'Succeed' From U.S.
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Oprah and Sarah: Is Oprah Snubbing Her?

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C.T.

Is Oprah snubbing Sarah Palin? First off, let me state this; As Conservatives we have to remember that our philosophies are not just inclusive to people who are Conservatives or vote GOP. Echoing Senator McCain's, "Country First." At the end of the day we are all Americans and our Conservative views about liberty and individual freedoms apply to everyone, not just a select few.

Now, my opinion will probably be a lightening rod but you have to be objective about this. First off, Oprah is a hard core capitalist, I like that about her. I despise her political views and opinions, but that is a non-issue. Secondly, it is her right as a business owner to have whomever she wants to have on her show. Thirdly, trying to force her to have Sarah Palin on is a violation of my beliefs. Remember, the show is hers and is fueled by her viewers, if they want Sarah Palin on then I would suggest to Oprah, have her on. If she doesn't it would be an idiotic business move driven by political ideology, but, that is Oprah's financial choice and right as the controlling interest of Harpo Productions, not ours. If she wants the perception of fairness, one week have Senator Obama on then the next week have Governor Palin on. In the end, it is her right not to have her on, but, it is your right not to watch.

C.T.
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Palin, Polls, & Popularity

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C.T.

Polls, polls, and more polls. Everyone has poll from who you are going to vote for President to how many times a day do your children pick their noses. It gets utterly ridiculous sometimes. Then you have the umpteen thousand of pollsters and their companies. It never seems to end.

But, polling does serve a purpose, at least for gauging the political pulse of the country. If it is done properly and honestly it can give a clearer picture of what the outcomes might be. Presently, Senator McCain and Governor Palin are trailing Senators Obama and Biden, but the gap seems to be closing. With the RNC just closing out, the jump or lack of will not be seen till this Monday or Tuesday.

This is not the point though, are we payng attention to the correct polls? Rasmussen just posted the results of a poll that I actually found very fascinating.


A week ago, most Americans had never heard of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Now, following a Vice Presidential acceptance speech viewed live by more than 40 million people, Palin is viewed favorably by 58% of American voters. The latest
Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 37% hold an unfavorable
view of the self-described hockey mom.
[1]

This is what is even more interesting about this situation.


Perhaps most stunning is the fact that Palin’s favorable ratings are now a point higher than either man at the top of the Presidential tickets this year. As of Friday morning, Obama and McCain are each viewed favorably by 57% of voters. Biden is viewed favorably by 48%. [1]


Now, keep in mind this is a perception poll, meaning do you like this person, not who are you going to vote for. How this plays into the election remains to be seen. But, there is another interesting fact among persons that are not affiliated with either party. Since McCain's pick, non-affiliated voters perception of the Senator has risen dramatically.


Among unaffiliated voters, favorable opinions of McCain have increased by eleven percentage points in a week—from 54% before the Palin announcement to 65% today. [1]


If this translates into votes, which I am not saying it will, it is this block that could actually throw the election to the Republicans. I think the Hillary supporters will be a factor, but not as much as the Independent vote.

The country is still getting to know Sarah Palin but she has definitely taken everyone by storm. My prediction is this, the Obama camp has failed to generate any type of successful response by using personal attacks on Palin. I think they will now switch to unearthing anything that they can find about her political past and exacerbating or twisting it. That is if they find anything at all. How McCain and Palin face this new onslaught coming will be another test for Sarah.

C.T.

[1] Palin Power: Fresh Face Now More Popular Than Obama, McCain
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