I have to admit that a lot of petty things have torn me away from politics. Red Eye 1.0 is ending, Spock died, it’s been colder where I live than any time in recorded history and I had a minor job crisis. Needless to say, February is kicking my ass. Frankly, I was expecting March for that.
CPAC this week was a sad reminder that the Republicans in Congress were supposed to come in like lions and instead ended up like lambs. DHS funding was always a minor inconvenience for the White House, since they have violated much stronger restrictions in the past. In a remarkably similar attitude to extremists like ISIS, this administration wants a battle. They either expect their opponent to eventually surrender or know they can win in the end.
Like war itself, any fight with this group will require a messy, painful standoff. The enemy’s supply lines must be cut off and that requires both a debt ceiling block and a budget showdown. Anything less will get the GOP slaughtered.
Yesterday, the story got out that Greg Gutfeld will leave Red Eye to host a weekend show on Fox, presumably taking Huckabee’s place for good. He came to Fox 8 years ago to host a different kind of show in a new kind of time slot. On February 5, 2007 at 2 am Eastern Time, Gutfeld sat at a table in front of a fake brick background and discussed the events of the day with a group of regulars and guests for an hour. The show was entertaining, often hilarious, and combined just the right amount of news and bizarre human interest stories.
Greg Gutfeld became a sort of go-to guy for Fox News. He guest hosted the O’Reilly Factor, Fox and Friends and other shows. Reruns of The Glenn Beck show pushed Red Eye back to 3 am, but the end of Beck’s show led to Greg’s second gig as a co-host of The Five, a show that bore some similarity to Red Eye itself.
Red Eye is also a good performer. Even at 3 am, its ratings are higher than those of evening shows on CNN and the morning show on MSNBC. Fox tried to air reruns of Red Eye on Saturday evening or new episodes on Saturday nights for most of 2013. That show may not translate, but Greg Gutfeld apparently has.
This is sad news for me because while I think Gutfeld is an amazing personality and writer and spokesman for the cause, (I’ve written about him a dozen times) I only really like Red Eye. I don’t watch The Five or O’Reilly. I hope Red Eye continues with a new permanent host. Many fans, however, think this is the end for the show.
The picture of FCC Chair Tom Wheeler grabbing the hands of the other two Democrats on the panel who voted 3-2 for a set of new Internet regulations told me all I needed to know about their new plans. It was another Obamacare moment, like when Nancy Pelosi and the soon to be fired Democrats paraded with a gigantic novelty gavel.
Net Neutrality is a concept that will most heavily apply to one company’s benefit. Netflix streams movies, something that the Internet was not really designed for, but is accomplished using a lot of bandwidth. It comprises something like 80% of all evening internet traffic. The content is actually pretty sparse, consisting of second run movies and old TV shows. It’s the equivalent of leaving the TV on for some people, except that instead of broadcasting to everyone, it is showing one thing at a time to every single person using it.
For the most part, Netflix has been able to do this with a little bit of increased fees to service providers, usually cable internet. What they really want, however, is net neutrality. That would mean they could use up to 100% of a customer’s bandwidth at any time, for any length of time. Even though ISPs offer plans by the connection speed, they have to pay by the total data. If they are required to allow full data traffic at a certain speed, they may respond by charging for every bit that is used. The FCC could not actually stop that.
To be honest, I don’t care about how businesses are hurt by these regulations. Wall Street threw their support behind Obama and they got what they deserve. However, I doubt that this regulation will stand or that it will save money. Remember when energy providers were required to allow other companies to sell electricity other than the provider? Did electricity bills go down? Remember the Cable Bill of 1992? Did cable bills go down?
The last thing any government will ever do is save you money.
It’s not that I think the Republicans can only do one thing to stop the runaway White House. They have a number of options at their disposal. There are political options, procedural options and limited negotiation. The real problem is that the Republicans in Congress are consistently bad at being consistent about anything.
For example, the Republicans have been rhetorically forced into the idea of a “clean” DHS funding bill that would fund the rest of DHS but not amnesty. The problem is that the amnesty plan from the president is paid for by fees collected outside of a government budget. Funding DHS makes it so that all money for everything is available. Should they fight it if it doesn’t matter? I don’t have a definitive answer, except that they should have decided this weeks ago. Now, they are probably going to try to stop funding, cave, and prove that in any standoff, Obama es mas macho.
For me, this all boils down to the art of the possible. The Republican establishment kind of accepted that they wouldn’t get Congress back after decades in the minority. It took Newt Gingrich to prove them wrong. It took Reagan to show that we didn’t have to just put up with the Soviet Union. When will someone have enough faith to know that fighting the president and taking away his entire checkbook is the solution for the country’s problems and the party’s problems?
There’s still rangling over the DHS budget. This department would handle the de facto amnesty plan the Chief Executive Ordered into existence. It is a miniature version of the upcoming budget fight. The House has to pass a budget for money to be allocated. In the case of DHS, they won’t fund it if the executive order is followed. Congress can override these orders, but most Democrats still do what they’re told at the price of their elected offices.
Republicans tend to be the only party that even tries to cut funding. Democrats find ways around it, usually by throwing a bone to Republicans, like with the Stimulus that wasn’t. When confronted with a budget shutdown, they get meaner than a junkyard dog. Clinton and Obama responded to budget shortfalls from Congress by closing national parks, stopping Social Security checks and laying off workers. They never stopped funding studies about the viscosity of ketchup or the EPA saving some slug.
What this proves is that if you like something you “get” from the government, they can decide to take it way for political gain. If you get less stuff and keep your own money, the government would have to dissolve into a dictatorship to take what belongs to you. People have learned over the years that even money they pay into the system only sort of belongs to you. Social Security payments and deductions have changed multiple times, along with programs like Medicare.
Government freebies aren’t free.
In my neck of the woods of New York, we are about to reach a record tomorrow. Not only will February 2015 be the coldest February on record, it will be the coldest month in recorded history for this area. The average temperature has been less than 10 degrees F and has not gotten above freezing for an hour all month. The temperature will likely not reach the melting point until the first days of March, if the forecasts hold (they usually don’t).
Now, the first thing global warming apostles say is that global climate change has to do with erratic, and not ever warming weather. If that were the case, however, why is it that every year seems to be the warmest on record, including January of this year. The problem with these mysterious satellite based temperature measurements is that they are so new, they have little baseline. Even in the United States, recorded weather only goes back a couple of centuries. Still, we are hitting new levels of cold and Co2 is somehow to blame.
The next time someone (I’m looking at you, Bill Nye) tells you global
warming climate change is about science, tell them they are full of crap. Global warming activism is based on data collection and analysis. Those are valuable tools, but there is little thought involved. Science comes from the Latin word for knowing. In order for this to be science, there must be an actual theory as to how atmospheric elements interact. Hockey stick graphs could be caused by anything from increased solar radiation, to released carbon, to sunspot activity to God putting a lighter under the planet. The proof of theory is the important part of science, something that “scientists” and their mouthpieces often fail to tell the normal people.
I’ll remain a global warming skeptic as I sit in my cold bedroom drinking tea and waiting to see one of these icicles melt again.
The Oscars are tonight. I won’t be watching because dragging out the announcement of the winners is pointless in the age of the internet. If something interesting happens it will make it onto YouTube or some other site. Chances are one or more annoying Obamas will show up, movies with the right politics will win and movies with the wrong politics will move. Birdman will do well, which I would actually like to see.
Tomorrow it will be over and a new year of movies will go into the grinder. You won’t see the ones worthy of an Oscar until around November. The next 8 months are all about making some money. That’s Hollywood for you, you get it award-worthy or audience-worthy, but not both.
One of the things that was said about Rush Limbaugh was that he got popular during the Clinton administration by pointing out the faults of that president. Naturally, his ratings would go down when Bush came into office. That was not the case and Limbaugh continued to do well. Of course, under Obama, he got free publicity from the fact that supporters as well as Obama himself, could not stand letting go of things a man with no political office said on the radio.
In the mid 2000’s MSNBC tried to actualize the liberal theory about Limbaugh. Keith Olbermann, who seemed to always be demand for sports color commentary, had been hired back from Fox Sports for his old job at MSNBC. He went from a “Special Comment” trashing Bush to shows that were wall to wall with Republican bashing and occasional gushing praise for the Obama administration. For his part, network president Phil Griffin let the Olbermann version of journalism guide the network.
Now that the popularity of Obama has waned and he keeps using presidential powers to bypass Republicans, presidential ass-kissing isn’t bringing in the viewers that it used to. Instead of re-branding or trying to be, you know, journalists, MSNBC has brought in more younger, less credentialed, liberals to Maddow the news. That has now failed. MSNBC is firmly behind CNN and possibly Headline News.
Even liberals find MSNBC to be a joke. Obama gives his face time to explanatory sites like Vox instead of MSNBC. Microsoft bailed years ago and msnbc.com tries to separate itself, using NBC News instead. In fact, I think it’s better for conservatives that the self-parody channel exists.
Ever since “I hope he fails” was uttered by Rush Limbaugh in 2009, Obama supporters (the ones who are left) have taken negative statements, interpreted them in the least meaningful way, and reacted with excessive outrage. In America, we have the right to free speech and the redress of grievances. I guess Obama supporters just don’t love America and the foundations of the Bill of Rights.
Rudolph Giuliani said the other day that he does not believe that Obama loves America, its people, or even understands America the way a lifelong resident does. First of all, Rudy did not say that Obama hates America. Second, he did not say that Obama is a traitor or working against America’s interests, which some people do believe. It’s more like Obama has acted indifferent to America as a unique place. He has said that there is no American exceptionalism and has taken an excessive number of opportunities to take America down a peg.
Unfortunately, Obama has succeeded against Limbaugh’s hopes. People are paying more for insurance, let alone actual health care. The job market and the economy are sluggish at best. Our foreign policy is so bad that we are now becoming a weapons depot for countries who know how to fight terror. Love of America is not the problem. If the CEO of Pepsi doesn’t like soda pop, he could still find ways to make the company more profitable. If Obama loves America, he still sucks at running it. If he really loved America, he should have stepped down by now for a better CEO.
The White House is fully engaged in the War on Terror. Unfortunately, they are only at war with the term “terror” especially when “Muslim” or “Islam” precedes it in a sentence. Flunkies are trying to frame Muslim hate as ennui over not having a good paying job or the ability to buy the new iPhone. Barack Obama has lived in Muslim countries before, but like his time in America, it was the privileged part. He brought the attitude of “the slaves look happy from my plantation window” to the rest of the administration. I can tell you right now, the people under ISIS are not worried about getting the new smart phone, they are worried about being dismembered for owning a smart phone.
The logic of terrorism with respect to Islam is untenable. It boils down to the belief that if the Western World doesn’t approve of it, it’s not “real” Islam. If a Muslim does something the Western World accepts, they are the true meaning of Islam. This is straight out of 1984. Big Brother doesn’t do anything bad because anything Big Brother does is no longer deemed bad. This is why moral relativism is immorality. You can’t make your core beliefs a moving target.
We see now that, like the Nazis, ISIS and smaller Islamic terrorists are turning up the heat. They are not just taking territory and killing people, they are using humans for a profit as slaves and attempting to sell their victims’ organs on the Black Market. Do they want a fight? Ideally, they want their enemies to lay down their arms in fear while they overwhelm them. They’re willing to test how far they can go before there is a significant response. Even then, they are prepared for The Fight, the one that is inevitable when they’ve made it impossible for their enemies not to respond. They think they can win that fight. We think we could win that fight, and we’re choosing not to fight it as long as possible.