Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Top Down Politics

In my last blog, I touched on Dianne Feinstein walking back her succinct comments about leaks coming from the White House.In short, she was taken to the presidential wood shed. It was not too long ago that no president would dare try something like that with a sitting member of the Senate. A Representative maybe but never a Senator.

Senators had and still have the power of "advise and consent".  Judgeships, cabinet posts, ambassadorships were all in thrall of the Senate. To insult one Senator was to insult them all. Party didn't matter as much as being a United States Senator. The Senate was the worlds most exclusive club and worlds greatest deliberative body. Presidents came and went but the Senate was forever. That was then. This is now.

Four things have happened  that has changed everything. First and worst is a president that does not recognize three co-equal branches of government. He is the imperial president and all is subservient to him. Now this would not work with an organized congress with strong leadership that would stand up to an over-reaching president. They would have to understand that their position in government is more important than party politics. That class of leadership does not exist today.

Secondly, the president appoints Czars that rule for him with need for confirmation. They operate in secret, regulate, penalize, and generate either no paper trail or one so hidden it cannot be found. And many of them operate with a very heavy hand. As far as the cabinet goes, they are pretty much ignored by the president. Communication with the president is pretty much non-existent. Most of them are virtually unknown outside of Washington, D.C.

The courts mean nothing to the president. If you remember, he insulted the Supreme Court during a State of the Union address, on TV, in front of the world. Rather than rely on the courts, he relies on his Attorney General. The AG will take any state, city, or organization that stands in the way of their agenda to court. Tie them up in legalistics. And have them drain their coffers until they submit.

Last but far from least, is the power of the purse and the power of favors. In the good old days the Speaker of the House and the Majority Leader of the Senate made committee assignments and office assignments. Those are two powerful clubs. There was a time when the National Committees collected money and doled it out to running congressmen. Those that were secure helped those that were in tough races. Those with no chance got little, because money is a terrible thing to waste if your running for office. All of this is now under control of the president and his minions. It goes to those with unquestioning support. Anything less goes without.

It's ugly out there. That's why I'm cranky. I write my little blog trying to help in whatever way I can. Realistically, I know it is like trying to stem the tide with a teaspoon. But at least I am still trying. Preserve America!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Random Thoughts the Sixth

It strikes me as very wrong when a long time Senator like Dianne Feinstein can't speak openly and frankly when her own party's president or people in his direct control do something wrong. A politician of her stature and senority should not have to endure the embarrassment of the presidential wood shed for speaking her honest opinion.

I was born as the country was coming out of the great depression and heading into WWII. I can honestly say, despite of any political spin that one might hear, that this is the worst and longest recession I have seen. It needn't have been.

Happiness is never seeing another commercial starring Peyton Manning.

When did success become evil?

Thinking back, FDR was rich. JFK was rich. LBJ was rich. Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan were pretty rich. Both Bushes were rich. Why should people dispise Romney because he's rich. At least he earned it.

So here we are with the country heading for a precipice at flank speed and congress is going on vacation for five weeks. Then they'll all be out campaigning. The election. Then it's lame duck time. Anybody get my drift here?

Is there anything better than home made banana cream pie made with French vanilla pudding and real whipped cream?

Why is Geitner still around?

If you do not know about the proposed UN Arms Treaty find out about it. It must be rejected in the Senate if it gets there. If they ignore it it could become law by custom. If you believe in the second ammendment and American sovreignity, this is important.

Did the "Curse of the Bambino" come back to the Fenway Park?

If you're the president, how many mulligans do you get on a speech?

If I had known blogging was this much fun, I'd have started a long time ago.

Preserve America!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Economics Not For Dummies part 4

The government prints money, but it does not create wealth. Way back in ancient history when dollars were first printed they were backed by gold. When that era faded into history the government backed dollars by silver. Of course there were the actual silver dollars that are so collectible today. But they were heavy and tended to wear out pockets. So the mint printed paper "silver certificates". These are collectible too. As the price of silver rose "silver certificates" were discontinued. Now-a-days dollars are backed by the promise of the US government. But the government doesn't actually promise anything.

So how is wealth created? You can create wealth with something new. New ideas have created enormous wealth. Look at Microsoft and Apple. Those two companies alone made thousands of people rich just based on new ideas. Those computer games that my grand kids so love to play are making people rich every day. Invent something new or better or faster and you can get rich just by selling the idea. Then the people that buy your idea can get even richer by implementing your idea. That's creating wealth.

So you can't come up with a good idea. Then you can make something but make it better than anyone else or you can make something that has a big demand. A lot of companies make razor blades but I doubt any company sells more than Gillette. They make a consistently superior product that customers demand. VW, Boeing, Prada the names are endless of companies that create wealth for their owners, for their employees, and for the people that take their products to market. Farming brings to market necessities but it can also bring to market quality products. Kobe beef and Cristal Champagne come to mind. That's creating wealth.

OK, you haven't an idea in your head and the only thing you can make is a lap when you sit down. Whats your next option? Simple. Do something so well that people will pay you enormous sums of money for you efforts. Sing, dance, act, play basketball, golf, tennis. People even get paid to go fishing on TV now. Even acting stupid in a "reality show" is a commodity today. Just in case you haven't figured it out, reality shows aren't real. Yeah, I knew that you had that figured out but I had to say it anyway. But your still creating wealth.

One last shot. No ideas, can't make anything, no talent, is there any other way to create wealth? You bet there is. You can dig for it. Almost anybody can use a shovel. Digging for gold or panning for gold is a huge weekend hobby practiced by people from New  Hampshire to California. Many people do well seeking out little things of great value. Gemstones are another favorite in many parts of the country. The first time I drove through Pennsylvania and saw little oil well pumps in yards at peoples private homes I was amazed. These people are all creating wealth.

There are probably other ways. But I think that most methods are just going to be variations on these four themes. But there is one strong uniting factor. These tasks are all performed by private citizens. There is not one thing there that is a function of government. There is not one thing there that a government is capable of doing. So when some major ego tells you that you need government to succeed. Well, you know what to tell him.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Assault Rifle Defined

What happened in Aurora, Colorado is a true tragedy. All our thoughts and prayers go out to those that are suffering in it's wake. I listened to some of the discussion on TV over the weekend and heard a lot of misinformation, particularly regarding assault rifles. I thought I might offer some clarification for those that may be interested.

I have been a shooter since I was ten years old and have both experience with and knowledge of firearms. I do not tout myself as the ultimate expert but I know enough to be helpful. An assault rifle is a military weapon that is made to be light, durable, flexible and accurate. What separates from other rifles is that it has multiple modes of fire. In the first mode it is an auto-loader that fires one shot for each time the trigger is pulled. When the action cycles a new cartridge is loaded and it is ready to fire with the next trigger pull.

The second mode that is available in many assault rifles is a three shot mode. One pull of the trigger allows three very quick shots. This is the preferred mode for many military actions. Finally, there is the full automatic load where the rifle continues to fire as long as the trigger is held down until all of the ammunition is expended. You cannot go to your local gun shop and buy one of these weapons. They are illegal except to military, police, and those that have a federal license to own them. Those licenses are very hard to come by. (A reader picked up on two errors that I made and wish to correct. The final buyer of a fully automatic weapon does not need a special license. He must purchase a $200.00 tax stamp and have a clean record.)

What a civilian can buy is a look-a-like rifle that give the appearance of an assault rifle but is simply an auto-loader just like many standard hunting rifles. There is no three shot or full auto option. The one thing other than appearance that they do have in common is the ability to accept large capacity magazines.

Many people have the idea that assault rifles use exceptionally powerful ammunition. The two calibers that are commonly used in American made assault rifles, the 5.65 NATO and the 7.62 NATO, were originally hunting cartridges that were adapted for military use. They would be considered to be of medium  power suitable for small game up to the size of deer. In fact, the balistics of the 7.62 NATO are very similar to the old .30-06 caliber. The most ubiquitous assault round is the 7.62x35 Soviet which is used in the AK47 and the newer AK74. (A reader just corrected two errors that I made. The AK74 fires a 5.45x39 cartridge.)These are even less powerful than the American cartridges.

Ultimately the gun is a tool. Like a knife or an axe or a baseball bat, it can be used to inflict harm. But if someone is evil enough, and yes I believe in evil, they will find a way. They will make a bomb or a Molotov cocktail. They will find away because the are compelled to. The problem is that when the crazies come out of their holes to do that harm and they are the only ones armed, who will stop them?

I apologize for the errors and thank the reader that set me straight.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Economics Not For Dummies part 3

Businesses cannot flourish in an unstable economic environment. When taxes, interest rates, and prices of raw materials fluctuate a business owner can't put together an operating budget and a business plan for his coming year. With the coming of the new year the tax rates that were introduced in the Bush administration are due to run out. The wise thing to do, even under Keynesian, theory would be to extend these tax levels for at least five years. Tax levels as they stand are sufficient to run a reasonable government structure. And as the general economy improves, money flowing into the government coffers would increase.

That would be the wise thing to do. Unfortunately, the president, to continue invigorating his tactic of class warfare, insists that he must allow the taxes on those making over $200,000.00 for an individual or $250,000.00 for a couple to increase. This is mere symbolism because it would raise insufficient taxes to make any difference to the enormous outflow of our dollars that Obama has perpetrated on taxpayers.

In many small businesses the profits from the business show up as income to the owner. So by taxing these people more heavily the government is taking the business owners operating capital. The money the an owner might spend on new equipment, additional hiring, or increased inventory will be taken away by the government to spend as they see fit.

That is, certainly, bad enough. But leave it to the Democrats to double down on a bad situation. They have announced that if the Republicans don't agree to let them pillage small business owners, the will let the entire Bush plan expire giving an un-needed tax increase to everyone. That will push the economy right over a cliff. At that point they plan to be all over TV telling long and loud how the Republicans ruined the economy because they wouldn't do what the Democrats told them to do. Which is the Democrat definition of bipartisanship.

It has been widely reported that the economy is stable and starting to make a slow turnaround. Do not believe it. The old saying that "figures don't lie. But liars can figure" applies here. Unemployment is not 8.3 percent. It is actually someplace north of 14 percent. The GNP just hit a thirty year low. I suspect that you may have noticed but I'll tell you anyway. The economy stinks. Pile more taxes on top of today's economic situation and we could be into another depression.

Of course, that is not all.  We also have the possibility of the Obamacare tax. This is both insidious and complicated. The cost of health insurance will of necessity go up. The requirements of Obamacare will force this increase. Many employers will cease to provide health insurance because it will be much cheaper to pay the government fine (tax). Families will have to find their own health insurance or they will have to pay a fine (tax). Meanwhile there are thousand of taxes and fees hidden in the 2600 page bill and the thousands of regulations, most of which haven't even been written yet.

This is a mess. This is not hope and change. This is hopeless change. If we as a country do not stop this in November the next two generations will not have the lives that we had. All this to satisfy one mans over sized ego. Stop it now. Preserve America!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Economics Not For Dummies part 2

The demi-god of liberal economics is John Maynard Keynes. He is a most interesting character. And character is an accurate description. He was born in England in 1883 into an upper class family. He had a superior education in British public schools (which are actually private schools) before going to  Eton. From there he went on to Kings College, Cambridge. Ultimately he became Baron Keynes.

Keynes was an elitist. He believed it was the obligation of the upper classes to control the country almost as an Oligarchy. Since they had a royal family he could not push the issue quite that far. He certainly felt that the under classes were not capable of understanding the intricacies of business and government. They were there to do the menial labor allowing the elite the freedom to do those things that they deemed important to continuing the "British Way of Life".

As his father was an economist before him, he was steeped in economic philosophy throughout his early years. So ultimately his theories became known as Keynesian Economics. To explain Keynesian theory briefly it is that governments are the controlling factor in economics. In the face of an economic downturn it is the obligation of the government to spend large sum and even go into deficit spending to turn the economic picture around.

That may even make some sense under certain situations and with certain restraints. It has stopped making sense for America two years or more ago. There are two main points why Keynesian theory does more harm than good in this country today. The first is that at the juncture of the Bush administration and the Obama administration the country was already enormously in debt. This was not because anyone was trying to prevent a recession. It was because we elect politicians that cannot restrain themselves from spending other peoples money.

Of course there are three ways that the government gets money. They can print it. They can borrow it. Or they can impose taxes on people and businesses. If they print it, every dollar in the world is worth a little less on world money markets for every dollar printed. You may have noticed the price of food has gone up. Why does this happen in a recession. Because they have been printing dollars they are worth less against foreign currencies so it takes more of them to buy products. Especially imported products.

If they borrow it, it has to get paid back with interest. That indebtedness will cripple future generations and harm the necessary functions of government, such as the military. It is this borrowed money that the government is shoveling out in large amounts to speculative businesses that will possibly lose it altogether such as with Solyndra. But the money and the interest still must be paid by American taxpayer in future generations yet unborn. Today's politicians are wrecking the financial future of your grandchildren and your children's grandchildren unless they are stopped.

Now we're back to taxes. Governments favorite way to steal from the producers of the country. This again is a stupid tactic. Smart people, good business people sometimes get rich. But they get rich by producing. Bill Gates got very rich with Microsoft. But he and his company also made a lot of other people very rich. And it also opened enormous opportunity to  those that were merely very successful. George Clooney got very rich acting, but not too many others shared in that success. Entertainment stars and sports stars, as much as we love them, are not producers. Producers start companies and make products. Taxes on producers stifle progress and prosperity.

So shun Mr. Keynes, who, by the way, didn't believe in raising taxes in a downturn.  Get out of the way of the producers of this country and stand back to see how fast we can recover from this very ugly mess that we are in right now. Preserve America!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Economics Not For Dummies part 1

Economics is a tough subject to study for a number of reasons. For one thing, it's kind of boring. When I had trouble sleeping while in college, I would start to read my economics text. Problem solved. Hey, the don't call it the dismal science for nothing. But, truth be told, if you wish to understand many things that go on in politics and business a reasonable understanding of economics is a necessity.

Just before he took ill, Jesse Jackson Jr. proposed an increase in the minimum wage. A lot of people jumped on board and cheered this idea. The results of such an increase today would only make a bad situation worse. Because it would be more expensive to hire help, employers would stay with the staffing that they have. In some cases where the business is already operating in the margins, they would lay off their least skilled employees. This would devastate the summer job market for young people especially in the minority community.

So what is a minimum wage job. It is actually not a job, yet. Someone that is hired at minimum wage is told to show up ready to work at a date and time. Since they have no skills, knowledge, or training, showing up at the right time is a step ahead. They are the assigned a job. Something basic to see if they can follow orders and take an assignment to completion.

If they fail at the basics a couple of times they continue to mop floors and clean rest rooms until they quit. If they succeed, their next assignment is at a higher level. Ninety days of success usually brings about a raise in wages. Along with this, continued responsibility.

Minimum wage is not and never was a living wage. It is and always has been a starting wage for those that have little or nothing to offer an employer other than a desire to do better. It is for kids starting out in the workplace to earn money for college or to pay car insurance or to contribute to the family.

If you are thirty years old, healthy, and have a child and you are dependant on minimum wage, you have made some serious mistakes. You probably have a problem with your work ethic or need job training. If you don't have family support, you really need some help. That help is there for you as it should be. Increasing the minimum wage is never going to correct your situation. Nor should it.

In a recession, or even when business is slowing threatening to go into a recession, businessmen need flexibility. An increase in minimum wage takes that flexibility away from them. It drives the economy down. The marketplace will set wage levels. If you are a good worker and have skills, your services will be in demand. And the worker will have the pride of knowing they are needed in the workplace.

Friday, July 13, 2012

An Open Letter to Barack Obama

Dear Mr. President;

You are now near the end of your fourth year of campaigning for another four years. During this time the two biggest problems that the citizens that elected you have faced have not changed one little bit for the better. I have heard your speeches filled with  self praise and first person pronouns and have been singularly unimpressed.

You claim that you have created jobs by the thousands. Yet a smaller portion of the American work force is employed today than at any time in the last three decades. You have said that you have turned the corner with the economy. Yet the GNP is at an all time low. Durable goods orders are down. Construction is down. More and more cities are declaring bankruptcy. Food stamps are up. Food prices are up. Mr. President, if this is how you measure success, I fear your definition of failure.

Now I know with all of the campaigning, fund raising, vacations, golf, and trips to apologize to various heads of state for the bedeviled country you have been forced to lead, you haven't had much time to actually govern. I understand. You had to prioritize and you most certainly did. Of course, it was made easier knowing that you had Mrs. Obama and Valarie Jarret back at the west wing taking care of business for you. You really didn't need to be there. And for most of the time you weren't.

Of course there is always your crowning (pun intended) achievement to discuss. While you were off doing all those important things. Hundreds of aides and lobbyists were putting together that maximum opus called Obamacare. I loved the way you assured all those panicky worrywarts that it was going to save money and medical care would improve. There would be none of those silly death panels. The people could keep the insurance that they loved and continue to go to that favorite family doctor. Cradle to grave medical care for all. Regardless of station or means, you will be covered. OK, so none of that is true. I'm sure it's not your fault. After all you didn't do it. You just told other people to do it. Their lack of competence is no fault of yours. If it should not get overturned the country can just spend the next fifty or sixty years straightening it out.

Then, of course, there is the matter of all those other little promises that you made to actually get people to vote for you. You know. Closing Gitmo. Transparency in governance. Honesty. No revolving door in the White House. Keeping lobbyist out of the process. I honor you for your consistency. You have pretty much missed the target across the board. It's good to see that you don't let that affect your self esteem.

Before I close, I must comment on the crescendo end to your four year campaign. It is a stroke of genius the way you have separated the country into groups and pitted them all against each other. If you don't have a record that you can run on, stir the pot, turn up the heat and see what happens. The country will heal eventually. And of course there always that good old Chicago technique of character assassination. I doesn't have to be true. Just get out there and shout it long and loud. There are always those that will believe.

Well, I must close now. I am afraid that I cannot wish you well in your campaign. But since I try not to be rude, let me wish you an early and enjoyable retirement.

The Cranky Conservative

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Random Thoughts the Fifth

Back on June 13 I published a blog titled "Pray For the Sphinx". Unfortunately I may have nailed it. Last night I read where prominent Muslim clerics including Sheikh Abd al-Latif al-Mahmoud of Bahrain called for the Islamists in Egypt to destroy the pyramids. It would be a crime against mankind that should never be forgiven if this atrocity takes place.

If there's no Republican that knows how to run a presidential campaign, can't they just hire a Democrat. Hey, money talks.

I kind of like "Silent" Cal Coolidge. At least he wasn't out there twice a day every stinkin' day lecturing the American as if he was the only smart one like a current president I could name. OK, it's Obama.

Let me get this straight. 85 percent of Americans owned health care and were happy with it. Usually it was employer supplied. So we trash all that so that almost nobody will have employer supplied health care. The government is going to run everything. And the government is going to make up the infra-structure for this as we go along. This is just a new name for suicide.   The same massive out-of-control body that gets virtually nothing right is going to get this right. Not going to happen.

The Martha's Vineyard vacation got cancelled but don't worry Michelle's taking the kids to the Olympics as head of the US delegation. I wonder how big this entourage will be. You can bet it won't be just the three of them. And you can bet the accommodations won't be Motel Six.

Joe Biden in 2016? Really?

Does Mitt really want to win? I've seen city council candidates with more "win or die trying" attitude

You know that the economy is in trouble when you can buy live lobsters cheaper than deli-meat.

The unofficial unemployment rate is now 14.8 percent.

Not to crow but for the past few years southern New England has had the best year around weather in the country. I hope I'm not putting a hex on us.

Obama is running a genius campaign. While his surrogates rip Romney for anything and everything. Even if there is nothing there. Obama is out running against straw men that he constructs to his own convenience. Then he destroys them at will. Straw men don't fight back.

I think Romney has got to go with Christie. He is in desperate need of a street fighter.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Bush vs. Clinton

There is so much happening in the present it is difficult to think of anything except what is going on around you right now. But I am a little bit ahead in my efforts so I have some small amount of time to think about past presidents. Frankly, I'm a little tired of thinking about our present one.

The other day someone wrote about me that I never said anything good about a Democrat. That is patently untrue. All presidents make mistakes. Some greater than others. Unfortunately, most of those mistakes are driven by ideology. I admire the way FDR took on WWII without flinching. It must have been like trying to juggle 6 balls in the dark. It was an arduous task and he was not a well man. I remember quite a bit about WWII even though I was very young then. For my age I pretty well understood what was going on. This was probably due to listening to my father and grandfather argue politics.

I admire Harry Truman more than any other Democrat. He was hard nosed and honest. He was a  scrapper who took no bull from anybody. He made some hard decisions and said "the buck stops here". Best of all he meant it. He never whined, never apologized, and never even tried to throw someone else under the bus. That is except for one music critic that didn't say good things about Truman's daughter's piano playing. His one major fault was burying his head in the sand over the start of the cold war and we ended up in Korea.

But my main topic is the last president of the 20th century and the first president of the 21st. Those sixteen years were some of the best years this country has seen since the fifties. Bill Clinton was fortunate that he came in on an expanding economy and was able to have a peaceful term on the world stage. In fact at one point he complained that he wished something would come along to make his presidency more memorable. It did. But I don't think it was what he wanted or expected. Hey, nothing is ever perfect.

George W. Bush is a good man who in many cases got a bum rap. He made some serious mistakes but believed he was doing right. His biggest mistake, in my opinion, was bringing back so many of his fathers old associates rather than building an administration from his own contemporaries. He should never gone into Iraq. But he did the wrong thing for the right reasons. By the way he didn't lie. At least three different intelligence groups from three different countries said there were WMDs in Iraq. I know that people think he mishandled Katrina but the people that should have been calling for federal help didn't do so until it was too late. He tended to misspeak in public ("good job Brownie", "mission accomplished"). Those didn't go over well. But we still had another good seven years. If he had the grit to control spending in the last two years, it might have been eight good years.

I'd go back to the Clinton years or the George W. years, minus 9-11, in a second. If you think I'm wrong, stretch your memory a little, and go back and relive those days in your mind. They were better times. Which was the better president? Neither. Which was worse? Neither. Tie game. But both men loved this country. Both recognized American exceptionalism. I wish today's president were on the same page. Or even reading from the same book.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

An Open Letter To Mitt

Dear Governor Romney;

I have been observing your campaign. I have to say that I am less than impressed. Now I am not a political professional but I have been a political junkie since 1944. As I am 73 years old now, you can see that I got hooked when I was five.  FDR had just passed and Harry Truman was president. At that tender age I sat by the radio listening to the conventions. Now all these years later I run a little conservative blog. Some place in the middle I ran unsuccessfully for office a couple of times. This is to say, I pay attention.

You really need someone who knows how to run a successful presidential campaign. I do not see any signs of such a person in your corner. Talk to people that know people, like Carl Rove, Michael Reagan, or Mike Huckebee. Find someone soon. You really need it.

Stop letting Obama control the narrative. It should be about the economy, jobs, fuel, and dumping our international friends. Those are his massively weak areas. He has you talking about Obamacare. Is it a tax or penalty? Was Bain Capital evil? Romney was Obamacare in Massachusetts before Obama picked up the idea.

Don't play defence. Play offence. Play like you really want to win. Send surrogates out to do your defence. Keep them separate from your main campaign. Like they are doing this on their own. Get a couple of business people like Steve Forbes out to explain to people how a company like Bain operates and how they save companies like a surgeon amputating a leg to save a life. A lot of people don't understand how big businesses operate.

Pick three or four points. Make that your campaign. Hammer at them. Forget 59 points to create new jobs. You will put people to sleep. One point. New jobs. Then just talk about it. Do not let anyone get you off on tangents. They will try. You don't have many friends in the media. They will hurt you given the chance. Watch some tapes of Reagan's campaign. Adapt your style to his style as best you can. Hire a drama coach. Politicians are not businessmen they are actors. You have to be an actor too.

When you speak, you speak like you are speaking to the board of directors of some company. Make yourself likable. Just talk to people ala Reagan. Then when you have that "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall" moment it will be doubly effective. Just relax and talk and project your conversational voice so that no one will miss the wisdom of your words.

I send you this little missive in all humility. I think I see things as the average person sees them. And to be honest, even more than I want you to win, I want Obama to lose before we lose our country.

Sincerely, The Cranky-Conservative

Friday, July 6, 2012

Quick Change the Subject

Democrats are smart campaigners. They are way smarter than Republicans. Democrats know instinctively that the object is to win however you have to do it. They will take the worst negative and spin it and exaggerate and outright lie about it. They will do it long and loud and in unison. They will send their corps of minions out to every talk show, local or national with unified talking points. If said minions are asked a question not covered in the talking points, they will do a non sequiter right back onto the talking points and never miss a beat. At the same time their press hacks that stand in thrall will flood the print press with supporting ink. Standards, who has standards.

Republicans at the same time seem to think it unseemly to wallow in the dirt of a campaign. "Clean hands and a pure heart appears" to be the face they want to show to the voting public. In many cases neither hands nor heart are as clean and pure as they would like the public to think. The two places where illusion is everything is magic and politics. So here is what it comes down to, Republicans have won major office in two situations. One is where there is a candidate like Reagan who could pull off the illusion. The second is when a strong but questionable candidate runs against an inept opponent such as when Nixon ran against McGovern. Republicans don't show, many times, that they understand that the "kill or be killed" instinct that is needed in national politics.

A really good start in running a campaign is to control the narrative. There is a great narrative for Republicans in this years election. An inexperienced president has mis-focused his efforts and allowed the economy to get progressively worse (pun intended). Fewer people are working. More people are on food stamps. Construction starts and durable goods are down. Hiring is not improving. The country is heading toward a financial precipice and the mid-east is in turmoil. These are all things that Obama promised that he and only he knew how to deal with in his 2008 campaign. He has proven himself gloriously wrong. But what has he got the campaign talking about? Obamacare. Is it a tax or a penalty? Was the Supreme Court wrong? Maybe too political? The so-called war on women? The Republicans are letting the Democrats control the narrative. There are Republicans out there that know how to run a presidential campaign. Romney seems not to know their names.

The sorry part of this is that while Democrats are great campaigners they do not do so well as administrators. They do politics well but seem to be clueless about running a business. And, believe me, the USA is one huge business. We need no more showboating and lectures. We need someone capable of solid business decisions. Obama equals four more years of showboating and serious damage to our country. Romney is the only choice and if he wants to win he needs to change the subject and speak with a loud clear voice.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Business is Business

Calvin Coolidge once said, "the business of the American people is business". Mr. Coolidge got it right. The great success of this country always has been and always will be business. It has never been and never will be political institutions. Political institutions suck life out of the economy by taking money from free working people and spending it carelessly and spending on programs that most taxpayers would reject.

A perfect example of this is Linden Johnson's "War On Poverty". That is a war that was lost before it even started. Billions of dollars were dumped into welfare programs. All that happened is the number of people living in poverty expanded. Today there are proportionally as many people living in poverty in the US as there ever has been. War lost. Some say that the student loan program just made more money available to colleges so that they could expand their staffs and charge more to students who would be saddled with loan payment at the time of life where they can least afford it.

But the one thing that government shouldn't do is to obstruct business. That is exactly what is happening under the Obama administration. I truly believe that the amateurs running the country today hate business and hate those that are successful in business. And the politicians have the big guns. OSHA alone can walk in the front door of any business at any time and walk out leaving that business devastated and ready to file for bankruptcy. Add to this the seemingly limitless restrictions that are devised by the EPA and businesses are helpless. If you don't fight they will shut you down. If you do fight you will drown in legal fees. Now throw into the mix FDA and the USDA and on and on. They never run out of acronyms.

Now Obama keeps repeating endlessly that all things bad are Bush's fault. As I remember it, for the first six years of the Bush administration the economy was pretty good. That, despite 9-11, Katrina, and a war. The last two years when things started into a downturn the House and Senate both were controlled by Democrats. True, Bush should have  been more constructive with the veto. But the fact is that for the past 6 years with the Democrats in control the economy has tanked. There has not been one step that they have taken that stands a chance to improve things at all.

It comes down to this, people. Keep destroying business and you will destroy the country. I think they are cognizant of that fact. Start getting business back on the right track and America will flourish. If you don't know which direction to go in, just turn around one hundred and eighty degrees and start undoing all that has been done. Wind up this government and give business a chance.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

A Rose Is A Rose

Gertrude Stein said, "a rose is a rose is a rose".
Justice Roberts said, " a tax is a tax is a tax".
All in all, I prefer roses.

When SCOTUS published their decision, I listened to the experts, formed a quick opinion, and wrote a blog. I think that the blog that I wrote represented the situation accurately. Especially for a snapshot opinion. Friday I sunk into a deep malaise. Obama has brought the country I love to the edge of the precipice that makes us no different from France or Denmark or any of those milk fed socialist countries. I grieved.

Now I've had a chance to think and listen to some people that are much smarter than I am and I'm stll confused. Originally the plan was a mandate under Article 1 section 8 of the Constitution. Then SCOTUS said no to that, it's a tax. But is it still a mandate under a tax or is it just a program with mandatory requirements. Is there a difference. But then, how can it be a tax? The plan was started in the Senate. Tax programs must start in the House. But SCOTUS said it is a tax. With all of their power, they do not have the power of taxation. So the Supreme Court created a tax that they had no right to create. Jay Carney, the White House spinmeister, is calling it a penalty. Is he overruling the Supreme Court?

So we have a new tax the was "born fully formed from the head of Zeus", or some other magical means. Does anybody out there think that this, along with the proposed ending of the "Bush Tax Cuts" is going to help the miserable economy we are suffering under.Obama and the Obamites (sounds like a singing group, news, they're way off key) have tried to Eurosize this country for four years now. I do not have to tell anyone, it is not getting better under their ministrations. It amazes me that they have any support left at all.

It's an unwieldy mess. It cannot stand. We need jobs and a stable economy. Make that happen and this economy will soar. There is money out there in the world. Lots of it. And people want to invest it. The only place in the world today to do that is into a stable American economy. If we build it they will come.