Days of Change

Day 1060 – Liberalism Died in a Drone Attack

September 30, 2011
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I’ve sometimes used the term “liberal” to describe the subset of President Obama supporters who put the most positive left-leaning spin on the administration. He gave us “health care” is used when what we really got is a series of waivers, mandatory insurance purchases and a bunch of exchanges which will eventually cost more and do less.

But there are liberals who support the centrist Clinton administration and find President Obama to be a Jackass. There is also that small group of liberals who once supported Obama but had to break ranks when he went against their vision of liberal ideology. Then there are the libertarian who find Obama to be the worst of all worlds.

I’m not very liberal on some issues, but I have a religious devotion to individual liberty. It’s the reason this system of government exists. Libertarians (like Ron Paul) and liberals both believe in the rights of people. The difference is in what to pay for and how to pay for it. That’s where President Obama is the opposite of the liberal / libertarian mindset. He wants to give everything and pay for nothing. When pressed, he wants to tax the rich and take away from the poor. He could care less what people should have the right to do.

Jackass decided some time ago that an American working for al-Qaeda did not have the right to live. Anwar al-Awlaki was not tried or convicted of a crime. He was not charged. He was not sentenced in absentia. He was putting terrorist recruitment videos on YouTube. It doesn’t matter how bad this person was or if he even killed anyone personally. The administration just decided that it would be easier to announce their goal was to make him dead because he made them look bad.

I understand that liberals may consider Obama “their guy,” (for some reason) but this is a step too far. You can’t be a liberal if you don’t believe in personal liberty. You can be a socialist or a communist or a fascist, but liberalism dies in an environment like this.

Otherwise, you’re a party hack who is literally willing to kill anyone to win.

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Day 1059 – How Gestalt and the Collective Uncouncious Makes Someone a Dumbass

September 29, 2011

Didn't vote for Obama

I was thinking today about the number of people who now consider President Obama to be a failure. Compare that with the increasing vociferousness of his strongest supporters. They are using arguments almost wholly tied up in racism because they are emotional arguments, don’t rely on proof and they tend to shut people up briefly.

I don’t believe in conspiracy theories. I believe that people act in predictable ways. Large groups of people act in very predictable ways. Because of that, you can fool some of the people all of the time. The marketing people behind the Obama campaign knew this as well. Create a narrative of your primary candidate as an underdog then make him inevitable during the general election. 76% of the public approved of him on Day 1. now, almost 70% don’t approve. The president hasn’t changed.

Presidential races aren’t mano-a-mano challenges where the better candidate wins. They are fights to make the public believe your story over someone else’s. John McCain was ready to challenge Hillary Clinton based on their records, their beliefs about government and their ability to make government better. The Obama campaign was ready to use public association of McCain with President Bush, covertly exploit his age and secretly attack his character.

Almost by accident, McCain stumbled upon the perfect weakness to such an orchestrated campaign. Sure, Sarah Palin was a woman and a conservative, but she has almost no sense of her own legacy. That’s a big deal, She doesn’t need to be liked. She either is or she isn’t. Being an unknown helped. It took days and weeks to push the weak “Sarah is dumb” meme. Palin responded by going after Onama’s soft underbelly, his domestic terrorist associations. If I did believe in conspiracies, I’d wonder why Nicolle Wallace and Steve Schmidt shut her down after that. Instead, I simply know they are morons.

For those of us in the minority who know how terrible President Obama would be, nothing has changed. For the majority of the dumbasses in the population, Obama is now weak because everyone thinks he’s weak. That perception makes him weak because he’s not strong enough to counter it. People thought Sarah Palin was unelectable. Now she’s within 5 points of the president without even running yet. How quickly can the public’s opinion of her change? Why are people so surprised when it does?

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Day 1058 – Do I Have To Vote for Mitt Romney?

September 28, 2011
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About a month ago, Jackass supporters were trying to stir the pot by putting up Mitt Romney as the only candidate Obama was afraid of. This was when Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry were contenders in the polls. Now that both have fallen in the polls and only “impossible” candidate Herman Cain is in the lead, the Republicans are now touting the idea that Romney is inevitable.

Governor Romney is a real establishment Republican. He’s also fairly conservative, especially on the Tea Party-friendly tax issues. The problem is that a lot of the base isn’t as interested in issues as they are in the kind of power structure that tends to take the power out of the hands of the voters. Plus, Romney is a flip-flopper and he thinks money is the sole determinant of electoral victory.

His organization goes back to the last decade, where Republican control of Congress created a lot of incumbents who took the Contract with America and rewrote it as a contract with big donors. The party lost big, but the organization of party insiders made sure they were okay. Romney is using a lot of those old hands, especially since Perry is the only other one with a lot of corporate connections.

Obama’s minions used a strategy toward Democrats in 2008 that told them to vote for him or  get the awful McCain-Palin ticket. They were evil because they were Republicans. Forget the fact that McCain and Palin were some of the most outspoken Republicans on party corruption. Obama never criticized the corrupt money in the Democratic Party, especially when he was taking millions from untraceable donors.

Romney has a strategy for winning the Republicans nomination. Now that much of the delegates will be distributed proportionally, he can gain about 1/3 of the primary vote in each state and slowly run out the funds of other candidates. Even if an opponent “wins” a state, Romney will be sure to get a significant piece of the delegation. If he gets the nomination, 2010 tends to show that the Tea Party is loyal enough to the Republican Party to pick the guy who’s not Obama. You can’t say the same for the establishment. Look at Mike Castle and Lisa Murkowski.

My opinion has been that Mitt Romney will have two major competitors. This is also Romney’s  best chance. His threshold in the polls is about 40% among Republicans. When it comes to a binary choice between him and Obama, he’s got just enough “support” to win. If he’s the nominee next November, a lot of people will vote for him, wishing they didn’t have to. Now’s the time to make sure that doesn’t have to happen.

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Day 1057 – Fat Chance

September 27, 2011

The irony of the Chris Christie for president movement is what’s driving it. Assuming Christie does not, in fact, commit suicide and still runs, it will be because he has poor reelection chances in New Jersey. New Jersey is a fickle state. They want the fiscal discipline, but they don’t want to lose any services to get it. Chances are that a Democrat might get the governor’s mansion in 2014.

Christie is not a bad candidate, he’s just not a standout. The Tea Party won’t like him when he gets the kind of scrutiny that soured them on Rick Perry. In that case, he’d have to take the not-Romney slot in the race, and the Tea Party mantle is still open. If Sarah Palin does not run, Herman Cain may have that place just because he’s the last man standing.

Ironically, the best candidate right now is Newt Gingrich. He has taken many opportunities to state that the Republicans need a unified front against Obama. The candidates with the least movement in the polls have been the ones who’ve talked the most trash about other candidates. It’s going to be a tough fight next year, we don’t need the GOP to write Jackass’ campaign ads for him.


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Day 1056 – Don’t Mace Me, Bro

September 26, 2011

YouTube has been abuzz with videos of Wall Street Occupation protesters being manhandled and even maced by NYC police. I’m sure I’m a fascist for thinking this, but maybe the place for justice isn’t the internet, but the legal system.

Some of these young protesters may not want, but probably think about being roughed up and detained by the police. From all the TV they’ve seen, it isn’t really a protest until the cops drag you away. At the very least, people are prepared.

I’m sure the people pushed to the ground and sprayed with mace were injured in the process. They also made sure to make their troubles known, loudly. The student screaming ‘Don’t taze me, bro!” at a different protest wasn’t keen on getting tazed, but he was keen on making sure anyone with a camera knew that he was being painfully electrocuted.

Police officers should not being pushing around peaceful protesters. They don’t even need to push around loud, angry protesters. However, I’m willing to cut the police some slack. At least they were doing something. I’ll be damned if I know why a bunch of people picketed a financial building on a Sunday that basrely gets used during the work week.

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Day 1055 – Bulworth

September 25, 2011
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I enjoy certain political movies. Bulworth is one of them. The movie stars Warren Beatty as Jay Billington Bulworth, a rank and file Democrat who is embarking on his last Senatorial campaign in California. The trailer shows some of the more confrontational aspects of the movie, like when Bulworth tells a black audience that they’ll never vote anything but Democrat and they don’t matter. He also tells a Jewish audience that he panders to them for money.

The movie ends up being about political pandering, insurance lobbyists and the statement that “socialism” in medicine is the only way to go. The cringe-worthy moments involve race relations. Beatty does a number of absolutely terrible raps. Plus, he suggests that America needs “a voluntary, free-spirited, open-ended program of procreative racial deconstruction.” I won’t even explain that one.

The funny thing is that this decade old movie may be more relevant today than in 1998. Our national health care system will now serve to funnel people into the for-profit insurance system. Jewish voters are becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the Democratic party. The black community is supporting a black president who has done less for African-Americans than many white presidents. Senator Bulworth tells it like it is, and it made him a sensation. I wonder what happens if other candidates did the same.

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Day 1054 – Make it Hurt

September 24, 2011
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Unlike the traditional Buffet line rule about tasting and putting food back, the Warren Buffet rule would encourage double dipping. Warren (and his poor secretary) certainly knows this, but yet he continues to argue that he’s taxed at an unfairly lower level. Apparently, his corporate taxes are too high for his liking, since Berkshire Hathaway likely paid too little in taxes for years.

This goes back to the fact that different money is taxed differently. Capital gains are considered one-time income adjustments and are taxed at the low rate of 15%. This is great if you sell a house. Would you really want to pay 35% income tax because a house you sold increased your income by 400% in one year? The problem comes in when capital gains are abused with annual disbursements that effectively become a salary. This is outrageous and must be stopped!

Well, hold on there. People like Warren Buffet are provided these gains by investments and investment firms. Since it represents the increased revenue of a corporation, that profit is taxed at the current corporate income tax rate of 35%. People like Buffet get what’s left after the taxes. Then he pays 15% taxes on that.

Look at it this way. If you make less than $100,000 per year, 12% of your income goes to Social Security taxes. Usually, your employer pays 6.2% before your salary. That means you don’t even see this on your paycheck. You pay the other 6% (or 4% while Obama de-funds Social Security). If you are a private contractor and fill out a 1099, then you get the privilege of paying 15% out of your income by yourself. So, the employee who makes $50,000 a year saves $3,000 compared to the independent contractor. The government gets the same amount, but the screw job is redistributed.

Some people like Bill Clinton have proposed lowering the tax on job creating corporations while increasing it on the less job creating billionaires. Billionaires could potentially pay the same amount if capital gains were 35% and corporate tax rates were 15%. It would be about the same amount going to the government, but it would hurt them more.

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Day 1053 – A Series of You Tubes

September 23, 2011

I first heard of the Key of Awesome from an interview on Fox News’ Red Eye program with site creator Mark Douglas. He was doing a parody of the kind of soulless soulful crooning of guitarist turned lead vocalist John Mayer. That was video #14. Now they have three times that number, mostly music and music video parodies.

Some time later, I found out about the contribution of that channel and the people behind it to the phenomenon of Obama Girl. Some people are really offended by the video, seeing it as a guerrilla marketing campaign for Barack Obama. I see it more as a parody of the breathless excitement people like Oprah Winfrey brought to the 2008 election season.

Those beliefs could be well-founded, however. Mark Douglas, for example, came back on Red Eye two weeks later. He mocked Sarah Palin and never darkened the studios of Fox News again. The entertainment industry of YouTube can be pretty pro-Jackass. The incredibly mediocre people of Funny or Die run hard to the left (and aren’t funny, either).

Still, the open nature of the site has allowed other points of view to flourish. Some media like talk radio is almost exclusively conservative. Fox News doesn’t just have all the conservatives, their ratings can equal the total of the other three cable “news” outlets combined. Rick Perry can make a YouTube ad and get it on every TV station as well by osmosis.

I try to be careful with my entertainment dollar. I still watch The Key of Awesome because they are pretty distinctly non-political. I’m just not going to take any crap (or political endorsements) from them. There are way worse media campaigns going on out there than a girl in a bikini lip synching an Obama-centered love song.

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Day 1052 – Fed On Arrival

September 22, 2011

Jackass gave another speech and the stock market fell 400 points. Now, the more likely cause was the decision to take the government money already spent on one treasury and spend it on another kind, instead of doing something crazy like using it to reduce the national debt.

This kind of ass-to-mouth hose strategy has run its course. The temporary impact of quantitative easing has already been calculated and there will be no more boost from it. Banks have figured out that borrowing at 0% interest makes it profitable to move around short-term funds. Why make loans to people when they might not be able to pay them off? Interest rates basically remove the penalty from hoarding money.

For me, it’s time to risk the unlikely possibility of inflation. The Fed needs to raise interest rates by 100 basis points immediately. Then they need to alert banks that the rate is going up another .25% the next time they meet. Then lending becomes time sensitive. If you want to get a good rate, you’d have to do it right now. There’s a word we use for flooding the economy with money in short order. I think it begins with S.


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Day 1051 – President Zero

September 21, 2011

The new Rick Perry ad was produced by the same people who made Tim Pawlenty’s cinematic ads. Sarah Palin should really consider hiring these guys when Perry crashes ans burns.

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