Days of Change

Day 1183 – Crushing

January 31, 2012

Florida is the gift that keeps on giving.

In 2008, the Florida legislature moved up their primary for a greater part in the process. instead, they were blocked from the Democratic primaries until their delegates were needed to shore up Obama’s lead in the delegate count. This time, the early primary is at the expense of half their delegates but the gain of millions of dollars in ad buys for local TV stations. After being bombarded with ads, a candidate with a slight national lead was soundly beaten by a candidate who outspent him 4 to 1.

Mitt Romney’s ability to go hard negative and not care what people think of him will serve him well in the general election. If he needs more than triple the money of the Obama campaign to get it done, we’re screwed. Barack Obama will have more money, a submissive media and the power of the federal government. His negative comments about Ronald Reagan aren’t going to take Obama down.

I agree with Sarah Palin. Even if Mitt Romney is the best choice, coddling him will not win an election. Newt is damaging Mitt? Mitt is savaging Newt. It just doesn’t matter to Romney supporters because the Tea Party and conservatives are just obstacles to winning independents. If Romney really believe sin the free market, he should welcome Newt staying in and challenging him all the way to the convention, He’ll need the time to win back the Gingrich supporters he shoved aside.

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Day 1182 – Losing our Religion

January 30, 2012

One thing about Rick Santorum is that he brings out the values voter in me. Many liberals out there desperately want to attach Santorum to some scandal and it just makes me sad. Today, Santorum was on Sean Hannity’s show talking about yet another aspect of Obamacare. Churches may soon be required to pay for insurance plans covering contraception and abortion. However one may personally feels about the requirement, it puts the churches in the position of either dropping health insurance or violating their beliefs. Ironically, many of those same churches supported Obamacare, believing the hype about it helping the poor.

My experience, by and large, with the non-religious is that religion is a bad thing. This is a group of people who are solid in their beliefs and yet find it a character flaw for people to have the conviction of faith. One of the few atheists I could stand is conservative S.E. Cupp. She wrote a book called “Losing our Religion” about the damaging effects of a country without religious values. Cupp is a non-believer. She hasn’t personally experienced God, but she sees the benefits of religious faith. It’s a real-life example of Pascal’s wager.

Freedom of religion should not include freedom from religion. People with no faith should not have the right to remove faith from others. It is wholly possible to have no religious beliefs without crushing those of others.

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Day 1181 – Who Will Save Your Soul?

January 29, 2012

For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Matthew 16:26, King James version

For the record, I believe Mitt Romney has a soul. Still, it’s not my concern. I’m thinking of the soul of the Republican Party. The Republican Party has gone from anti-slavery to anti-Communist to anti-government. Of course, anti-government takes different forms. People talk about corporations being people, but the government of the United States is so powerful and expensive it dwarfs the influence of all other countries put together. I think there’s somewhere in between no government and monster that is poised for a financial day of reckoning that will take down the globe.

Take a look at Romney supporters versus the few who are starting to come out of the woodwork for Gingrich. Romney has men like John McCain, George H.W. Bush, Mike Huckabee and Bob Dole. These are men who’ve all run for president and been in government for decades. They are what the establishment looks like. Newt is supported by people like Allen West, Fred Thompson and possibly Sarah Palin. The are relative neophytes who have embraced what is known as the Tea Party.

Mitt Romney has locked into the Barack Obama strategy. Push aside the ideological aspects of your party, focus on a centrist, general election message and rain hellfire upon those who try to stop you. The key is two-fold. You need your opponents to endorse you (Romney got his 2008 pals to do that) and get the base worked up enough to vote for you.

If Mitt Romney gets the nomination, his pattern of attack leaves him open to a lot of conservative backlash. Tea Party groups initially said they would support the nominee, even if it’s Romney, but most are campaigning for Newt. They are what the Republican Party looks like now and Mitt will need them.

The 2008 elections proved most of the Democratic base are sheeple. Will 2012 prove that for Republicans as well?

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Day 1180 – Doing My Bit for the Economy

January 28, 2012

I got my new (first) laptop today, so I may not blog much during the transition. Plus, it looks like the next couple of days will be pretty slow for Election 2012 news.

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Day 1179 – Secret Weapon

January 27, 2012

My soul has threatened to leave my body if I support Mitt Romney after his reprehensible actions this week. Instead, I will write about Democrats.

Barack Obama is in for a tough fight. He was aided in 2008 by an engaged Democratic Party, an unpopular president and  uniquely terrible campaign team on the other side. This year, he is the unpopular president and a lethargic Democratic Party is defeated and disinterested. Hope and change with a bipartisanship chaser won’t cut it this time. He’s going to need the base.

The sycophants will stay with him, of course. The Republican challenger will annoy some part of the population enough to drive them into Jackass’ arms. There are other Democrats out there who see Obama as an abject failure. He’ll need to tap into one resource he has, The Clintons.

Many Clinton Democrats hold on to the belief that Bill secretly hates Barack Obama and Hillary is only SOS to keep Obama from destroying the planet. It won’t matter. The Clintons have cast their lot with the Democratic Party. It may be unfair to ask for their glowing support, but Obama is about winning and not fairness.

This will be an important endorsement. Bill and Hillary were able to get around full-fledged cheerleading in 2008 because Hillary had just run against Obama. Supporting “the nominee” was sufficient. Not anymore. I imagine that the Clintons will be expected to sing the praises of Obama, defend his actions as wise and possibly admit that he is just as good of a president as Hillary would have been.

The Clintons will likely balk at these demands, but if Obama goes any lower in the polls, they may have no choice. It would be interesting if they refuse, but I doubt that will happen. I just hope rank and file Democrats, and especially PUMAs, will not be fooled.

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Day 1178 – Going to War

January 26, 2012

I don’t know if this was a Mitt Romney plan, something his surrogates came up with or the culmination of ideas among supporters, but the dumb bastards who thought of questioning Newt Gingrich’s Reagan era credentials are playing a dangerous game. Ronald Reagan is the most important figure in conservative politics. Everyone else is either beholden to him or some pundit who never got in the game. The Democrats have no modern equivalent. Carter was incompetent, LBJ was a mean SOB and Bill Clinton is still talking about his record. Reagan entered his long twilight after the presidential election of 1992. Reagan is only a memory to a generation of conservatives. No Republican before him could even be considered a successful conservative.

This is the death blow. If people believe Newt Gingrich was an enemy of Ronald Reagan, it’s over. If they instead get an idea of just how much Willard Mitt Romney denied the Reagan legacy in Massachusetts, he’s dead meat. From the last debate, it looks like he will try to use Reagan as a weapon. In this debate, Newt is ready to launch Star Wars on Romney’s ass.

Mitt Romney’s even temper is an asset in a general election. His drawback is the stupid shit he pulls during the primaries to beat his opponents. I find it frankly sad that the people Romney savaged in 2008 felt they had no choice but to support him for president in 2012. Gingrich is using their previous statements to show what kind of man Mitt Romney really is.

I support Mitt Romney for president, but I also think that his inability to have effective ideas will probably kill him before the convention. The smear campaign by Romney surrogates has produced an amazing response from conservative bloggers. Using Reagan is one thing. Lying about him is suicide.

I’m watching tonight’s debate. To quote Mr. T, “My prediction? Pain.”

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Day 1177 – A Bunch of Dumbasses

January 25, 2012

While I expect most of what Jackass has to say to be useless, I have to take issue with the shallow interpretation of something that is not well explained. You would think that capital gains tax is a special tax rate created just for millionaires so they can get out of paying taxes. In reality, it’s like many other taxes. The government robs Peter to pay Paul.

What is capital gains? It refers to the bulk accumulation of money from a disbursement. Most of the so-called 99% would experience this in the case of a home sale. It’s possible to sell a home for 10 times your annual salary and enough to put you in another tax bracket. Not only would you have to pay 10% more tax on that sale, your increased income would mean paying higher income tax as well.

So there’s the capital gains tax. You pay a lower rate for something that you receive money from. It presupposes that someone else along the way is paying some tax on this money before it gets to you. This is the case for investment income. Guys like Warren Buffet and Mitt Romney are paying the second tax when they pay capital gains tax (assuming Berkshire Hathaway actually pays their federal taxes this year).

So, let’s say Mitt Romney invests money in the Rainbow Corporation. This is a ridiculous example, of course, because Romney’s money is in a blind trust. He can’t personally invest. Still the Rainbow Corporation never donated to the Obama campaign and isn’t connected to the Democratic Party. As such, it has to pay the full 35% corporate tax rate.

If Mitt Romney has shares on Rainbow Corporation stock, he is entitled to a certain amount of return on each share. Let’s say his dividend is $10,000. But wait a second. That $10,000 is 35% lighter. The Rainbow Corporation paid 35% tax, or $5385 on what started out as $15,385. Mitt Romney pays another 15% or $1,500. In this case, rather than only paying $1,500 tax on $10,000, the feds gets $6,885 from $15,385. That’s 44.8% tax, more than the top rate under Bill Clinton.

Now, this could turn out differently. If Romney had stock in GE, which paid no corporate income tax, (thanks, Obama Administration) the only tax paid would be the capital gains tax. Even then, the money was subject to taxation twice. In one case, the corporation weaseled out of it. That’s on the company that took in the money, not the investor who gets a capital gain.

Let’s look at something a little different now. Let’s say you are the average Joe and you earn $40,000 in salary (or hourly pay) in a year. Of course you know that you pay about 6% in FICA or Social Security. This year you may pay 4%, but that’s not the point. Whichever rate is in your paycheck, that’s not what the government gets. Every employer (except for those who pay people as 1099) pays another 6% (even under the payroll tax “holiday”) of a worker’s salary as FICA taxes. What this means is that while you “make” $40,000, you cost the company $42,500 in pay costs.

If I were one of the dumbasses, I’d be more concerned about how I was being double taxed, rather than how Mitt Romney may or may not have income that is double taxed.

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Day 1176 – An Unfortunate Consideration

January 24, 2012

With the race being down to Mitt vs. Newt, there is one question to ask. When it comes to the general election, which voters are more likely to stay home because their nominee didn’t win? Some people have been behind Romney for president five years running. Others think Gingrich is the only thing close to a Tea Party Republican left in the race.

Even though Newt is a big baby, I think Romney supporters are even bigger babies. When Mitt ran as a conservative in 2008, he lost to a more moderate (to them) John McCain. I think that demonization of McCain by the establishment made virtual unknown Obama look palatable by comparison.

The best outcome for me is a Mitt Romney as presidential candidate with Newt Gingrich as VP. The more ideological candidate generally works better as a VP. McCain should have taken Romney as a running mate, but I’m pretty sure Romney was betting on McCain’s loss in 2008.

Romney’s support is strong in the GOP. Gingrich’s support is weak. That support has gone to different candidates from week to week. Romney’s ceiling of 25% is also his floor. Newt may get 40% in South Carolina, but he got around 10% in Iowa and New Hampshire. Why choose one over the other when you can get both?

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Day 1175 – The Prodigal Son

January 23, 2012

The Crawdad Hole had a post about forgiveness among Christians. Supporting someone like Newt Gingrich isn’t hypocrisy, it’s a sign of accepting his admission of bad behavior. This reminded me of an old Bible story. This was my comment.

The forgiveness thing is like the Biblical story of the prodigal son.

For those unfamiliar, here it is in a nutshell. A rich guy had two sons who were each going to get half of his property as an inheritance. One son decided he wanted his half now. So he left with a ton of money and blew it on booze and women and what not. After his fair weather friends ditched him, he ended up working at a farm where the pigs got better food than he did.

So, the son eventually decides to go groveling back to his father, who treats his employees a lot better and work for him. Well, the father is ecstatic that his son returned and prepares a great feast. He’s willing to welcome him back into the family and his share of what’s left. The other son is angry because he did everything right all along. The father says that his other son was lost and is now found and that’s the greatest thing that could happen.

That’s one of the interesting aspects of Christianity. It’s great to be a goody goody and do all the right things all your life. In fact, it eases some of the hardship by living right in the first place. Still, it’s even better to have done wrong and found your way back because you had to deal with a lot of crap on your way to repentance. Romney is the good son, Gingrich is the prodigal son. Romney’s good work is why he has a stable family. Newt has two divorces in his wake and strained family relations. Who’s had more crap to deal with on their way to being right with God?

The Democratic party has been more puritanical about personal morality for years, under the guise of pointing out immorality as hypocrisy. McCain was divorced. Reagan was divorced. Sarah Palin had a daughter who was pregnant and an unwed teenager. If they have “family values” it may be because they know what the alternative is like.

Contrary to popular leftism, people are not damaged goods when they sin. They can seek forgiveness and be forgiven. What some people at the fringes of society want is there to be no forgiveness because they want no sin. No forgiveness leads to no learning as well. I’d rather have a candidate capable of learning rather than a president incapable of understanding when he’s wrong.

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Day 1174 – It’s that Damn System Again

January 22, 2012
1 Comment

ABC, Another Barack Channel, featured The Nation’s Hurricane Katrina Vanden Heuvel on Sunday’s This Week. Her liberal focus had no social issues and almost nothing about jobs. Every time she spoke, it was about income inequality, entitlements and the “system” that makes Mitt Romney rich and keeps working people poor.

I have to wonder who the hell owns the system exactly? If Romney is going to perpetuate the system as president, that means that the POTUS has a lot of power over that system. Vanden Heuvel is excited about the populism Obama peddled last year, via his “we can’t wait” campaign. Of course, that implies we could wait for three years and then suddenly deal with the problem that was there since Day 1. That’s one hell of a system there.

The “system” that is currently derided by the political left is known as democracy. Slogans like “we can’t wait” spotlight the attitude of a spoiled child. We already saw the bullying from this administration when the still unpopular Obamacare was passed by the smallest margin possible. The rich don’t benefit from low taxes, they benefit from lobbying. No matter how high taxes are, some people know how to get the laws written so they are exempted.

No matter what happens, there are still elections and people can make a choice. If we lose that ability, complaining about the system won’t do any good any more. Sometimes people just make up an enemy when their idol becomes the enemy.

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