Thursday, March 3, 2011

Wrote About This Six Months Ago...

Back in August I wrote a post about the misguided housing policies of the past and called for some of the more egregious violations of common sense to be stopped. The Obama administration had front and center in most of these policies the typical knee jerk reaction of liberals to either tax, spend or regulate something to death in order to "fix" it. I noted HAMP which is really just a scheme using taxpayer money to prevent foreclosures. It is based on bribery pure and simple. Here is Kevin Williamson of National Review summing it up today in an article over at NRO:
...paying the banks to modify (or pretend to consider modifying) mortgages that they really had no business or interest in modifying. And administration of the program was entrusted to Financial Public Enemy No. 1: Fannie Mae, the government-sponsored enterprise that did so much to inflate the housing bubble in the first place while enriching its politically connected executives and committing a sustained campaign of outright financial fraud. An economically meretricious bank-bribery scheme run by a known criminal organization: That’s the foundation of the Obama administration’s housing strategy.

Enough already with this harebrained scheme that clearly doesn't work, and was actually set up to never truly work. Setting it up so the incentive to homeowners is to actively skip payments to maybe get one of these trial modifications that I noted in August were not converted to permanent modifications. So I am happy to report that the Republican congress is in the process of sending this ridiculousness to the trash heap of history. Elections do indeed have consequences.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Judge Vinson Decision on Individual Mandate

I really couldn't break it down any better than the good people over at Volokh. I can't stress enough, if you want good legal news that is the go-to blog. Here is Ilya Somin's piece:

Florida District Court Ruling

As he mentions the weaknesses in the Virginia decision he lays out why Vinson's opinion will hold more weight once this gets to the Appeals Court and then eventually to the Supremes (which we all believe this is where we are headed). Well it is good reading nonetheless and should arm you with some basic facts to debunk any ObamaCare® lovers.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

SOTU In Summary

Two words really come to mind: flat and mindnumbing. I know by now the conventional wisdom is solidifying and fossilizing before the morning news tomorrow. He has made some fantastic speeches in the past, this was not one of them my friends. It drifted quite a bit even if it did stay with the recurring "win the future" theme. Which coincidentally was the title of a Newt Gingrich book, well it's called Winning The Future....close enough.

In many ways this speech came off as the first of the 2012 campaign, and before the last person left Statuary Hall predictably the boys over at OFA had their fundraising gears cranked up. He spoke a lot of investment, basically alluding that much is accomplished ONLY with the help of government. The whole Sputnik moment thing that he brought up. He should know that the entire Apollo program cost only 1/7th of his ginormous craptastic stimulus bill that accomplished zero. Costs aside, effective limited government is what the people want, they ran to the mountaintops and screamed that down to everyone in November's elections. Spending willy-nilly until we reach a circumstance like all of western Europe and their painful austerity measures, is something that we agree cannot happen. The time to grab onto the third rail of politics (entitlements) is here. The problem is that you have a President and a party deathly afraid of addressing such things. A party that identifies success in terms of how big can we make this program, how much can we spend on it. No regards for how efficient or how many people will it help, the primary interest is the level of increase in size and scope of government.

So with that constant underlying theme of wanting more government "investment", how can that be reconciled with the results of the November elections? The elections told you to stop the profligate spending Mr. President. The elections asked you to take a step back and think of the ramifications of such government largesse. And what have you returned with? You have basically ignored the deficit commissions recommendations on entitlement reform. At the end of the day entitlement reform will only happen if the President proposes it first. If he is serious about deficit reduction, which is questionable, he will do something about it now. Republicans controlling one chamber of Congress can only get so much done on this front and it is something they have learned from the Gingrich years. It is near impossible to accomplish anything unless the President is a willing participant, and that was with both chambers under Republican control. Freezing spending is all well and good, but freezing it at the current levels that you have brought it up to (25% increase since 2009) will not accomplish much at reducing a damn thing. It's basic math.

I think Paul Ryan's response was pointed and hit on ALL of the themes that American voters took with them to the ballot box in November. When you get the unenviable task of responding to the SOTU regardless of party it is not always to get noticed. You don't have the applause lines or the great setting of a joint session so it's a tough gig. I have included the link here to check out the full ten minutes of the speech.

All that being said I was glad President Obama didn't resort to the cheap shots, like he did last year regarding the SCOTUS' Citizens United decision, or any rank partisan hackery that has been his calling card the last two years. I guess this is part of the new Obama with Daley running the message. Then again he does have an election to win in 22 months, now is the time to go back into the Hope and Change® well. I sure "hope" America doesn't fall for that shtick again.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Case For Repeal

As I continue the internal struggle of whether to keep writing this blog or not, an issue comes up that requires my attention. A lot of issues have come up in the last month that piqued my interest (or raised the level of bile in my gut), most notably the shrieks coming from the Left regarding the Giffords shooting. That has been dissected and talked about by a lot of people. At the end of the day we all knew the Left was going to react in such a way. They are incapable of restraining themselves when creating a fallacious meme attacking the Right or others who don't think like they do. The Daily Kos, Media Matters, and MSNBC types are a fairly disgusting bunch so I won't give them much more column space than that. Hypocrisy is a term that gets thrown around in politics often (ironically it is the Left and their Holden Caulfield worshipping asses that sees hypocrisy as some sort of crime against humanity), but the paranoid hysterics emanating from the aforementioned media outlets shows if the shoe fits they need to wear it.

What I really wanted to discuss was yesterday's vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act or whatever nonsense the Democrats named the monstrous health care law. The debate itself is actually showing the Republican party as one of cohesiveness and purposed principled messaging. While the Democrats are once again throwing out everything and anything hoping it sticks with the American public. Whining things such as 'repeal will increase the deficit' (um when did they ever give a crap about that? Not to mention the argument is specious on its face), the oldie but goodie 'Republicans want to steal your Medicare grandma' and then there is nugget from Sheila Jackson Lee....noted constitutional scholar:

Seriously this is her argument? This is the Democratic Party line? They can't seem to get the fact that the American people, most notably seniors, understand that ObamaCare® would actually strip Medicare benefits (as it has already done so as some provisions of the law go into effect this year). And as Cavuto notes in the video, the woman in the video would get care regardless.

Charles Krauthammer was on O'Reilly the other night illustrating the fact that Democrats have already lost the argument over ObamaCare®, it was called the November elections. I agree with the point that Republicans after failing to repeal the whole thing, need to go after the individual mandate. Now once again it is something that has no chance of passing the President's desk without a veto stamp BUT it would be a politically difficult corner to back out of for the President come 2012. The only way to get this thing fixed for good is to have a Republican president in 2013, new majority in the Senate (not far fetched, the Democrats must defend 23 seats and many are in red states) and take the whole thing down. What can happen for now is to repeal certain pieces of it with new legislation. Having the individual mandate fail without the rest of it coming down could cause more problems than outright 100% repeal if other portions are not fixed (pre-existing conditions, the companies that are exempt from complying, etc.) that skew the risk pool. The whole scheme relies on everyone paying into that same risk pool. I have pointed out before that the individual mandate's questionable validity should be the linchpin of the PR strategy to unravel this disaster. It is still highly unpopular as it is unprecedented to have the federal government force you to purchase any private product. We have 28 states that filed a lawsuit contesting the federal government's overreach into health care. A cost that is usually a state budget's biggest nut. This tinkering with individual states' economies is destructive, couple it with that constitutionally questionable mandate and it should make for a compelling case in the courts, and with public opinion over the next year.

Oh I can hear some of my friends on the left saying, "Well then what exactly do you want, the Republicans don't say what they would change it to" yeah they have said it and so have most of the conservative punditry, check some of the proposals outlined in these two sources here and here. "Why didn't you guys do something back in the 90's when you had majorities, man?"....ugh really? There was no mandate for either party to massively and comprehensively overhaul the system. Did you all forget Hillary's foray into comprehensive health care reform? Crash and burn...with Democrats controlling the House, Senate and White House. How soon we forget, huh? If not for the Hillarycare debacle and some other missteps in 1993 and 1994 we wouldn't have had the Republican majorities starting '94.

Civility, My Ass

In the spirit of the new civil tone President Obama called for in his excellent speech last week (no seriously it hit all the right marks and was very eloquently delivered....albeit in a gymnasium with a bunch of screaming Obamabots, not in good taste but I don't blame him entirely for that), I report to you the latest on how Democrats and those on the left are embracing the civility:

By the way, nice job by Anderson Cooper grilling this idiot. And then you have Chris Matthews calling Michele Bachmann a "nut case" again here. Yes I know I should not expect much from the lefties on MSNBC and if we have learned anything at all in the last 10 days it would be this: Civility as defined by the progressive left is quite simply you must agree with me or you are an idiot and have no right to add to discourse. I will deem you uncivil for daring to question me.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Thrown Under The (Omni)Bus

Last night was truly a big moment for the 112th Congress, even if we are still in the death throes of the 111th. It also left the White House exposed thanks to Harry Reid's cynical attempt to corner Republicans to vote for it (mostly the appropriators) and thereby stripping Republicans of the 'fiscally responsible' mantle in the next congress. Well it failed on an epic level, hurting the White House who said they approved of passage of this pork strapped disaster. In the end Harry Reid, Democrats and President Obama are the big losers in this risky gambit.

Jen Rubin over at the Washington Post put it this way:

"Think about it for a moment. Reid, for no good reason, forced the president out on a limb (recall that President Obama endorsed this mess of a bill) and helped the Republicans to cement their image as the more fiscally disciplined of the two parties."

So the title of this post is quite accurate, in a single move the Majority Leader may have thrown his whole party under the bus. At the same moment he did this, he illustrated the importance of the tea party activists since they were instrumental in defeating this bill. Looks like we may have a Merry Christmas after all.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Did I Miss Anything?

Being on hiatus recently, and not having the luxury of a co-blogger, I realized that if you turn your back for more than a day or two this administration can f*#k things up pretty quickly...handing you reams of bloggable material. This entry isn't to simply excoriate President Obama for the sake of calling him what he is, incompetent. Well OK maybe it is, in a slightly backhanded way. It's really a commentary on how the hard progressive left really controls whether this President is seen as a failure or success. The Republicans have had no legislative clout for the first two years. An almost 70 seat minority in the House, and a near filibuster proof minority in the Senate. Yet, with all of that "success", nothing but dissension in the Democrat ranks.

So I spent this morning catching up on the latest and culled some comments from various sources that offered up some cogent analysis on the possible tax cut compromise's failure, and the ramifications. First some political porn:

This is classic for two reasons, (1) it’s libs (or socialist in Larry O'Donnell's case) eating their own and (2) it is finally exposing the Democrat Party canard for the last 9 years that the Bush tax cuts only helped the wealthy. Some are now actually admitting after 9 years (because it is convenient for them to do so) that it helped ALL brackets. Disingenuous, every last one of them.

P.S. to this…ummm yeah wonder which party is going to enjoy having this argument in 2 years (when they expire once again). Insert my evil laugh here.

Also if this tax cut compromise (which a lot of us do not love but we’ll live with it) can’t get through because of Democrat opposition which is hot and heavy…this President can mail it in. He will be the lamest duck ever only two years in. He will have shown he has no pull within his own damn party. Pathetic.

Over at Red State:

"The obvious lesson, if the deal collapses, will be that Obama can't deliver anything -- he can be pushed into compromise with GOP priorities, as he wouldn't before the election, but he can't bring along his own caucus, which has suffered so many losses for following his lead. Liberals will learn that they are better off striking their own distance from an unpopular and increasingly impotent leader. And heavy liberal opposition to the deal will make it impossible to blame DeMint or Republicans for the collapse, and will encourage conservatives to push for even fewer compromises with Obama in 2011. That calculus of legislative forces will make it hard for Obama to plan for the other leg of the Clinton strategy, a budget battle in which the GOP blinks. Obama can try to use the whole mess to argue that 'Washington is broken' and all that, but it's a hard argument to make from the Rose Garden."

Robert Stacy McCain:

"Looking at the list of more than 50 House Democrats who signed the Welch letter, I see several names -- including Paul Kanjorski, Jim Oberstar and Alan Grayson -- of Democrats who got beat in the midterm election. Their careers are over and so they've got a political free-pass for these lame ducks to take a stand on 'principle,' possibly resulting in a no-deal meltdown that results in Americans paying higher taxes next year. And maybe, as Larry Summers warns, pushing the economy into a double-dip recession. Because of hate. Liberals hate rich people, and they don't care if the rest of us suffer, just so they get to inflict some pain on the rich."

David Letterman, last night: "So it's the Bush tax cuts for two more years, then, uh . . . it will be up to President Palin."

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Updated Top Ten List And Final Election Day Analysis

I wrote a column a week before the midterm showcasing the races where I most wanted defeat for the Democrats. Well not bad, I batted .500, which if I were playing baseball I would be in the hall of fame. Since I am not playing nor am I going into ANY hall of fame, I will hold back on the self congratulations. It worked out that my bottom three and top two got fired last week. Well at least them returning to the private sector will create or save a job in their districts, we should treat it as good news. Somehow Raul Grijalva held on in AZ-7 against political newcomer and rocket scientist Ruth McClung  by about three points, the others that survived on my list all got varying degrees of scare put into them. Rush Holt, Frank Pallone, Barney Frank, and John Dingell survived with much lower than usual victory margins. In districts were the Democrat usually wins these races with 65-70% of the vote (except's nominally Democrat), Dingell did the best of all with 57%.

Now to the guys who did make it in, congrats to Allen West (FL-22), Michael Grimm (NY-13), Bobby Schilling (IL-17), Mike Kelly (PA-3), and the dragonslayer Daniel Webster(FL-8). Alan Grayson is now available for any segment on The Ed Show come January, fantastic.

The hope is for this wave election to not be in vain, the American people must hold the new majority accountable for any straying from limited government principles. This is the girl that got you to the dance so now it's time to deliver. Continue fighting for those principles, continue to show that we as a nation have a clear alternative between two parties that see this country very differently. If you can consistently show that, the Democrats are the ones who become the regional party. They will hold the Northeast (and even that is slipping from them), West Coast and select cities and that's really it. If you look at the map I posted yesterday it is almost a carbon copy of how the voting went in 2004 for President Bush. Republicans must also start to make inroads with Latino voters as President Bush had in 2000 and 2004. This is where a smart Republican face on the issue of legal immigration like Marco Rubio can be a huge asset. His ability to talk to Latinos and his overall articulation of conservative principles makes him a powerful weapon to have. If the party and leadership plays their cards right, it will actually be quite easy to oust the sitting President in two years*.

With that being said I leave you with Marco's words on election night. He shows he understands that this is not an embrace of the brand of Republican but a second chance for them to get it right, to deliver on the right principles going forward:

*barring any domestic terror attack or extremely dramatic improvement in the economy