Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Rutgers Student Who Died...

As I'm sure many of you have heard a recent tragedy took place at Rutgers, where a student committed suicide after acquaintances recorded a sexual encounter. I believe it was supposedly a consensual homosexual encounter, but either way they posted it online and the man killed himself as a result of it.

I went to Rutgers. I know that they have an extremely large internal file sharing system that allows students from all across the various campuses to share files. Its much like how any bit torrent site works only it runs off the school's networks. I bring that up because at the time I recall something similar happening to an acquaintance of mine, I say acquaintence because I like veryone else wasn't a fan of him but he and I just seemed to particularly not get along. I won't name him but this was a guy that was extremely abrasive to everyone around him and people made an embarrassing video of him and posted it on the schools network. I think within days pretty much the entire school had seen this thing. It was strangely popular and the poor kid immediately became a laughing stock. It really wasn't that funny then and in the case of this poor victim, its not funny now.

I understand that the two perpetrators were probably thinking it was a funny joke and they certainly didn't expect what happened to happen but they need to be punished for their actions. I support the school in taking this legally as far as they can go with it. It was essentially cyber-bullying. Heck I'll go even further and say that it was tantamount to rape. They raped this kids image and left him in an extremely stressful position of having everyone see something that was intended to only be private. I don't mean to disrespect all Rutgers students but there a disproportionate amount of ass-holes up there. Its Jersey and that Jersey Shore stereo-type exists. And I'm sure this kid got a lot of shit over this video before he ultimately decided to commit suicide. I'm not condoning what the victim did but when you're that age, struggling with sexual identity, it's not surprising he did what he did.

Fuck Fred Phelps

So I happened across this article today regarding the media's intense desire for the Supreme Court to come down on the side of Fred Phelps in the case of Snyder v. Phelps.

This is disgusting. First off the Westboro nutballs are just a group of opportunistic charlatans who are using soldier's funerals as a way to gin up press because its controversial place to protest. It's harassment, bottom line. If you recall, when this first went to trial Snyder won a huge (about $10 million) judgment against the Westboro's, which was then later over turned on appeal. The court considered the protests to be protected speech, but honestly when they are leveled at a single private citizen (as in the case of Snyder's deceased son) in a public forum, does that still hold true? Furthermore these asses usually protest outside away from the funeral typically at the gates of the graveyard but does the fact that those attending the funeral are forced to go past them in order to attend their private event factor in at all? Shouldn't people be allowed some privacy as they are on the way to a private event?

The WBC also released a poem (which is an insult to poets every where) that denigrates the deceased soldier. Sadly because of its use of hyperbole they get away with hate and vitriol. In fact everything they do is meant to dance on the line of free speech. While I can see where the various news outlets and political leaders who are pulling for the WBC side of the case are coming from it still is no less disturbing to see them do it.

How about we make a compromise? The original judge awarded Snyder a huge cash settlement in the case. Why doesn't the supreme court find in favor of the defendant but uphold the original jury's decision and award Snyder the money? Say it's pain and suffering. It will effectively shut down the WBC and for at least a little while hinder Fred Phelp's ability make disgusting remarks at inappropriate places.

No vote on taxes AND no vote on a budget??

It would seem that in all the talk yesterday about the Democrats running away from the vote on extending the Bush tax cuts, we all failed to notice that they forgot to pass a budget as well! Yes readers of the liberal slant will argue that there have been many a congress that has ended its final session and not pass a budget BUT were they under such extraordinary circumstances as the ones we face today? Did any previous congress face, such a missive deficit, high unemployment, unsettled taxes, AND two wars? (As long as we have soldiers in Iraq getting shot at I still count it) I think we're in new territory here. It's just another sign the the Democrats have lost their will to govern and aren't willing to fight for what they believe in. More importantly they are making it nearly impossible to convince the American people that they are worth keeping in office.

November is looking better for republicans as of now. They just need to keep their tea-party candidates to pipe down on the crazy speech and they should be OK. That's going to be pretty tough.

Best Korea finally has a new hero!

If you've been reading this blog for the past week you might recall my earlier post regarding Kim Jong Ill and the ascendancy of his son. Well it looks like it finally happened. Kim Jong Un is now a four-star general and grand pooh-bah of Best Korea. I'll be excited to read about the mental gymnastics they'll have to do in order to explain this to the people. Much like the father's exceptional golf skills I'm hoping they come up with some great lies to build up his cult of personality...that is assuming he has one. All in all I'm actually very curious to see what the son does now that he will be promenately in the public eye. That sushi chef of his says that Kim Jong Un can be just as ruthless as the dad but at the same time he does have some stories of acutally kindess. Time will tell how this kid plays out as a leader but my guess is that he will be the last of his family in charge of Best Korea.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Does anyone know the answer???

Obama today endorsed John Stewart's "Rally to restone Sanity" today. Has this ever happened before? I'm asking anyone if they know the anser to that. For the life of me I can't think of any president doing that. Not that its totally worng for him to do it, since it is the presidents right to his own free speech, but I'm curious to know if this is setting a precedent or at the very least a modern precedent.

Go to Hell? Sorry that's a line crosser.

Maine gubernatorial candidate Paul Lepage had an interesting comment today regarding what he would say tell President Obama to, "Go to Hell!".

Seriously? Have we given up on decency completely? If I lived in Maine I'd probably vote for him since I slant to the right but after that fun little comment I'm not sure I would. Look I'm very dissatisfied with the way Obama is handling things but there's no need to start cursing at someone. Especially from a distance. Its childish and indicates a personality trait that I don't like in a candidate. Again I don't really like what the president is doing but he's still the freaking president! It takes a lot to be in that position no matter how you handle it. He should have shown a little more respect.

I freaking knew it!!

So today the dems to end this session of congress with tails between their legs and decided not to do anything about taxes. If you have happened across this blog before you've may have seen my post earlier regarding the cowardice the dems are displaying by turning their collective backs on this issue. I'm still not to sure how I feel about John Beohner (his tan is really unsettling) but he did make a very poignant comment on the floor of house today, saying that those who voted to adjourn were, "putting their elections above the needs of [their] constituents".

If we needed any evidence of that the vote tells a lot; it was a very close call to adjourn. 39 democrats voted no on the matter, indicating that they are pretty nervous towards their constituents potential electoral wrath.

My analysis probably mirrors everyone else. That this was a bad move on the dems part and only up-holds the narrative that they don't really care that much about the people and are more concerned about saving their own hide than actually helping people. Days like this only point further to a big republican gain come November.

It's time Nancy hit that dusty trail...

The Wall street Journal has a new poll out today and the numbers don't look good for Nancy Pelosi (go to page seven to see what I'm talking about). This trend, however, really hasn't that been that much of a surprise to me

To start off I will say this: As the first female Speaker of the House, I think we should all be very proud of her achievement. But while holding that see I think she played her hand a little incorrectly. As politicians come she is ruthless, calculating, and knows when to use issues and crisis to her advantage... she's pretty much a perfect politician, which is why she's been able to rise to such a high rank in Congress. I don't think anyone should ever fault her for what she's accomplished for women. But since she's been in that position, she hasn't softened her image. She has always been ruthless in her ideology and just as unforgiving to Republicans and even members of her own party. This frankly is what's killing her. The way she mishandled the Health care votes and basically twisted arms until they were about to fall off have gone a long way I think in making her look bad to the American public and causing a lot of mistrust within her own ranks.

Also the fact that she used Republican scandals back in 2006 to claim that she was going to "drain the cesspool that is Washington politics" and then have multiple scandals from her own party arise have not sat well with people either. How many times have you heard someone sarcastically remark that this is the most ethical congress ever?

I think the writing is on the wall for her. Come November, whether Republicans take back the House or not, I think the dems will favor her ouster. If only to save themselves in the future.

Reason number 252 why dems are being cowards

The news this past week has been all about the Bush tax cuts and will the democrats allow them to expire. As I'm sure you've read, Pelosi in all her wisdom, has decided to skip the tax issue completely this session of congress and pick it back up after the November elections. What's scary is news articles like this one from the Poltico. That's just an example but all the articles seem to consider the lame duck session after the elections. That's when the dems will be able to get away with murder. Sure they can be called lame duck, but frankly that is when the democrats will actually be at their strongest. With no fear of reprisal, most democrats will have no reason not to vote in lock-step and raise taxes or at the very least allow the tax cuts to completely expire.

This is a cowardly way of playing politics but sadly I feel that it is very likely to happen. Given the past behavior of this congress.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Power of Christ Compels You!

Have you ever seen any of the Evil Dead movies?
Honestly though this was a pretty unfair picture of her. Two seconds later she decapitated an aide and sucked out his essence from the wound.

You created the Apathy, Mr. President.

Read the MSNBC article here. Obama's apparently has made a half-assed attempt at firing up the base.

It would seem that the President is scolding his base for not being very enthusiastic this election cycle. Honestly, what was he thinking? First off are decent portion of those who voted for him was the youth vote. While impressive at the time, that is clearly not a group to have any sort of faith in over the long term. Secondly, the middle-class independent that voted for him are leaving in droves because they haven't felt any impact on his "reforms" except in a negative sense. Yes he can say he cut pay-roll taxes for the majority of people but honestly how much was it? Most peoples pay check increased oh ten to twenty bucks a pay-check. While all together that's a nice chunk of change, on the day to day that is pretty much bupkiss.

The oil spill, while not his fault, was made to appear poorly managed by the press which has really hurt him over the long run, I think. With gay rights he has severely misstepped and not done anything to help them. While it's not a huge issue in the grand scheme of things, it is one that can kill confidence in his base. On top of all that he clearly handled the health care bill poorly, which has become fairly unpopular as time goes on, not to mention seriously eroded a lot of political capital.

So a little, Hey guys cheer up!" is not really going to fire anyone up. In fact, I think his comments are probably only going to piss more people off.

Dem touts that he voted with Bush?

If you've never gone to Hot Air and seen resident blogger Allahpundit insightful posts, I highly recommend it. I've been reading his stuff for years now (why I remember when he used to have his own blog!) and he just gets better with age. Today he posted a great article and video about North Dakota democrat Earl Pomeroy airing an ad explicitly linking himself and his voting habits to George Bush. I defy any democrat to argue about this. And don't say that it's because he's in North Dakota, OK? To liberals this is tantamount to declaring your love of kicking puppies in order to gain votes. No this is a guy who has taken stock of the political wind and is desperately trying to save his own ass. Sadly behavior like this only points to a more likely rout by the republicans in November.

Sarah Palin Booed?

If you're anything like me, then you loooooove Dancing with the Stars. I mean its possibly the greatest show since Seinfeld and arguably a thousand times more entertaining. My greatest wish is that they somehow make the show into a movie in order to give it the Oscar it so richly deserves.

That being said I nearly did a spit-take of my morning latte when I saw this video claiming that Sarah Palin was booed last night. Watch it yourself. For the life of me I can't seem to hear the booing.

Is it possible the media might be biased about this?

So I did a little research on Nexus Lexus today. Here's a fun fact I learned. When you cross-reference the words Harry Reid and Mormon in news articles you come up with a total of 788. Now what's interesting is if you cross-reference Mitt Romney and Mormon.

Guess what you get? Go on guess! Did you get 200?Well you'd be wrong! The correct answer would be an interrupted search because Nexus Lexus found over three thousand articles and decided to give up! That's 3-0-0-0. Almost four times as many articles.

But why? They both are (or were) high ranking politicians. Could it be that the media tends to slant more to the left and they find Mormonism to be a negative and therefore play it up more when it comes to Mitt Romney?

The only reason I bothered to search this in the first place is the fact that when my friend told me that Harry Reid is mormon I initially didn't believe them. I honestly have never heard it mentioned once in the press.

Just food for thought.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Kicking a dead dog

This is a great little post from the political wire. In case you don't want to click the link I'll paraphrase. Essentially when John Edwards wanted to get some support from Bill Clinton during his whole, "Oops I banged a different woman while my wife is slowly dying of cancer" thing, he got baiscily bitch slapped by a loyalist who shot down the idea remarking that Edwards was a cheap opportunist during the whole Lewinsky scandal.

Say what you will about the Clintons but I think Edwards has always been an obvious phony. At the very least I believe that Bill may acutally care about the general public where as Edwards just cared about himself.

Why is Hugo Chavez still presidente?

Oh that's right, he's a dictator.

First off lets throw some disappointment to the celebrities that have gone to see this guy and support him. Kevin Spacey, Danny Glover, Naomi Campbell, Oliver Stone, and various others have gone to visit this guy and prop up his socialist agenda without a bit of attention paid to the people that have been trampled on. Oh wait how could I forget Sean Penn! There seems to be some sort of bromance between those two. He's gone on multiple media outlets defending Chavez and in spite of all the news stories that point out Chavez's actions being extremely in line with any other dictator to ever exist, he's gone on to assert that it's the media that is spinning the story. Chavez has gone on to nationalize the farming industry, the oil industry and most importantly the telecommunications industry. Now you can make some arguments that the first to aren't so bad, but when you start cracking down on the public's means of communication..that's a dictator.

Frankly, the guys freaking insane on top of all this.

Have you ever tried to sit down and watch his talk show? Pure crazy. Charles Manson parole interviews are more put together. And on top of it the guy rants for like four hours at a time. While I can appreciate the stamina it takes to do that, no man should ever talk that much in a single shot. Not ever. This may sound misogynistic but women can't even do that. And it's been scientifically shown that women on average speak more words than men on a daily basis. (While that may still be up for debate I do remember studying this way back in psych classes in college so I'll assume it's fairly accurate).

And the sad part is that man's naked grabs for power have been almost gladly handed to him by the public, who on the whole are very uneducated and serve up a lot of promises, that as of right now have yet to come to fruition. It's why I'm very happy to read about the recent elections that took place and how they have the potential of shutting down his desire to be president for life. And while I'm on the subject, when has it ever been a good idea to hear a political leader talk about wanting to be in power for life? That should have been a HUGE red flag that this guy was a bad idea.

Anyway, the problem isn't just that Chavez is a loony dictator, its also the system that was in place to allow Chavez to exist and thrive. South American socialism is a different breed of socialism than we see in the European model. The Europeans have formed their version after thousands of years of oligarchies, various types of monarchies, failed democracies, and dictators of their own. They learned the hard way how to create a working socialist state. Now I will say that it is up for debate that the Europeans version of socialism is working but it is still pretty clear that it's a superior version compared to Chavez socialism. This guy has been dancing the line between tyranny and socialism and he's pretty much at the point of pop-in-lockin' over to full blown tyrant.

Honestly, why is this guy still in power and why haven't we really done anything to fix that?

The Colbert Nation v. Congress

Nightly funny-man Stephen Colbert made quite the scene on Capitol Hill last week when he gave testimony regarding day laborers working on farms. If you haven't seen the video click here. I've linked it to a great blog "Politics and World" which is worth taking a look at...though I personally may not agree with everything they say over there!

My two cents on the whole thing is that yes, Colbert did make a bit of a mockery out of the whole issue. And the press, in their constant state of stupidity, focused more on the spectacle of his presence rather than the substance of what Colbert was getting at. I'm a little torn on this. On one hand I did find what he had to say a bit muddled and lost in his attempt at making light of the whole issue and I don't necessarily agree with what he had to say. I do believe that there are plenty of Americans willing to take a job picking vegetables, and these are jobs that are being taken by illegals. At the same time I do agree that there is a huge pay disparity versus the physical difficulty of the work as well as a complete lack of any sort of help in case of injury.

I'm all for businesses doing what they can in order to achieve a higher profit, but not at the expense of the people that help you make that profit. Food pickers are an integral part of the farming process (until we can make a machine that does it better) and for the farming industry to treat them almost as non-people is wrong.

I will concede that there are several huge factors that keep the situation the way it is, first off is people unwilling to pay more for their products as well as the off-shoot products they provide. Corn for example is used in just about everything and to increase the cost on the front end would certainly trickle down to the average consumer. Secondly, these are illegal immigrants we are talking about. They came here out of desperation and are willing to do any job for next to nothing because it was more than what they had back home. That's tough to compete with. And for a company that's next to impossible to say no to.

This is an issue that I certainly hope will be come more prevalent in the national discourse. Hopefully, what Colbert did was to kick-start the conversation a little bit. We'll have to wait and see what happens.

Wow! Does anyone like you, Barbara?

The San Francisco Gate yesterday refused to endorse Senator Barbara Boxer, which I imagine came as some what of a surprise for her. Here's my favorite line:

The incumbent, Democrat Barbara Boxer, has failed to distinguish herself during
her 18 years in office. There is no reason to believe that another six-year term
would bring anything but more of the same uninspired representation.

Oh and this one:

It is extremely rare that this editorial page would offer no recommendation
on any race, particularly one of this importance. This is one necessary

Bottom line is that she has been a pretty bad Senator for the state. I used to work on capital hill years ago and I recall attending some sort of meeting on Katrina (if I remember correctly), she actually decided that this would be a good time, because a shit-load of camera's and reporters where there, to grand stand on the Oil and the environment. She was actually admonished by several other members of the committee for wasting people's time by going off topic. All in all I can't say that she has been a very helpful senator. She's been more of the type that the democratic leadership can count on when it comes to any liberal leaning vote.

Her challenger may not be the best candidate either but for the good of California and the rest of the country, she can't be that much worse.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Black Panther Voter Intimidation

Thomas Lifson over at the American Thinker has a small article regarding the recent developments in the Black Panther voter intimidation case. To be honest I never really paid much attention to it until this weekend's coverage of Christopher Coates testimony.

I think this is an issue that is going to gain some real traction this week. If what he said is to be believed it pretty much fingers the Justice Department as being a supporter of racism and intimidation. The video is pretty damning evidence of intimidation, I would say. Last time I checked it really isn't necessary to brandish a night stick when going to the polls. Now I do happen to live in the suburbs so perhaps city voting might be a little different but it seems strange that poll officials didn't ask them to leave...oh wait no it doesn't, they were brandishing a club!

The Justice Department really dropped the ball on this one and, frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if Eric Holder loses his job over this. The longer this goes unaddressed the more likely it will have a negative impact on Obama. Will this hurt his legacy in the long run? Probably not but it certainly won't help him in the short term, and if he doesn't come down on this quickly, it's only going to hurt him in the public opinion polls. Lifson thinks that this may hurt the democrats over-all. I doubt it. A racial issue such as this demands a more individualized scape-goat such as Holder and Obama, the democrats on the whole won't really be affected...assuming they don't try to defend and justify the Justice Departments original stance on the issue.

DADT and the Nurse

A judge recently order a gay Air Force nurse to be reinstated to her position in the Air Force. Frankly I'm not sure if there is a legal precedent to this but I hope that it if it becomes a fight that it will go all the way to the Supreme Court. I've yet to really comment on the whole Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy but I frankly find it to be bigoted and counter-productive. These are people who in spite of the prejudice they receive in this country, still love this land enough to be willing to put themselves in danger for it's defense. It boggles my mind to think that we would ever be so callous as to not allow someone the opportunity to serve their country. And why? Because it might make someone uncomfortable? Well boo-frickin-hoo! That was the same argument people made against desegregating the military back in the day. And last time I checked that really hasn't been much of a problem what-so-ever. When bullets are flying in the air all that matters is if they can do their job and last time I checked someones sexual orientation really has no effect on how they are able to protect themselves and their fellow soldiers.

I'll be following this issue rather closely, not because I have any sort of issue with gay rights, I think that for the most part a lot of the social issues that surround gay rights can only be resolved over time, but more because it is a travesty to bar someone who wants to serve this country.

Hostgator rebate

How strong is the Tea Party?

The Telegraph has a very fascinating article regarding the Tea Party's rising clout among US voters. I'm always one to take polls with a large grain of sand but when you are putting up numbers saying that over 50 percent of likely voters are more inclined to vote for a tea party backed candidate versus just 37% saying they would vote for an Obama backed candidate, it makes you sit up and pay attention. While yes there is still a lot of time left before November the trend has been favoring republicans and the tea party for a while now. But as some of these Tea party candidates start getting negative press, such as Christine O'Donnell, it may turn off voters in differently areas. Granted the flip side to that is if tea partiers and those sympathetic to their cause start to feel that a particular candidate is being treated unfairly, their may be a bigger anti-incumbent back lash because of it.

Sounds like the Pentagon is his number one fan

I hope you've seen this article about the Pentagon buying and destroying copies of Army Reserve Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer's memoir "Operation Dark Heart". You know what's sad about this is that the government has pretty strict rules when it comes to former military members publishing books. It has to go through a very rigorous editing by the pentagon as well as the army. It doesn't make sense that they would go through all of that then try and suppress it after the fact. What would be interesting is knowing what they Pentagon felt was suddenly not something the American people needed to know about.

File Under Scary

Fox News (yes cringe if you must) has an interesting article regarding voter fraud in Houston today. Typically I am not one to completely trust either Fox News or the tea party, even though I do tend to vote republican. But when it comes to voter fraud I think it is critical that we investigate any sort of allegation that may arise. This is the most critical part of democracy. It all starts with your vote and if it's being cheated in anyway, all parts of the democratic machinery are corrupt. I will probably post a lot more of these type of articles as time goes on, because frankly as someone who makes it a point to vote every chance I get, the last thing I want is my say in government to be cheated.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

For the life of me I can't figure out which is which!

Facts about Illegals

I stumbled on this site today, which has some pretty interesting statistics regarding illegal immigration.

Here's an interesting fact from the article:

For those who argue that current immigration is nothing more than a continuation
of our traditional admission of immigrants, the following will set the record
straight. At no time in our history has there been an influx of illegal
immigration like the country is experiencing today. The estimated 850,000 new
illegal immigrant arrivals each year is about as large as the highest level of
legal immigrant admissions in our history before the current mass immigration
was unleashed by the 1965 Immigration Act, i.e., an average of 880,000
admissions per year from 1901-10. When illegal admissions are added to current
legal admissions, today's immigration level jumps to about 1,750,000 peryear.

At no point has there ever been such a massive influx of people into this country. We like to fool ourselves into thinking that letting people in who want to be here is the right thing to do, but lets think about this for a minute. First off, yes we are always going to dislike whoever comes in new to the country, whether they be black, brown, red, white, green it doesn't matter, it's something I like to call, the "new guy effect". People don't like the new guy, when introduced to a previously existing group. Have you even been in that situation? I think we all have. You join a group and the older members dislike you for no real reason except the fact that that you are new and can potentially change the dynamic of the group. Well that's what happening here.

But how do you get over that? How do you effectively win over all the other members of the group? You join in! You become part of the group by taking similar attitudes and traits that the group holds in over-all high esteem. Previous influxes of immigrants did the same thing. Sure it takes time to assimilate, I think we all can accept that, but they still did it. Mainly because it was necessary in order to thrive in this country. Immigrants of mexican and south american descent aren't doing this. They are maintaining much of their cultural past, which in all reality is fine, but they are not assimilating to the majority language or culture.

And this I think is what people really have the most issue with. It is very frustrating for American's who have lived here their entire lives to have to accommodate people that are here illegally, in this way. How many times have you been on the phone and heard, "Press one for english or two for spanish"? Heck, sometimes it will tell you to press one for spanish! For those that have been here all their lives that's kind of insulting. And its a little thing like that which can build anger over time. Frankly I couldn't care less how someone got here, just as long as I can communicate with them. I believe that if we merely made english the main language of the country, illegal immigration would be far less of an issue. Part of the reason people can come here so easily is because there are thousands of places they can go where they can get away with not knowing a lick of english. If we were to close off that avenue I think we would do two things. 1) We would effectively force those that have no desire to assimilate to either stay and learn the language and culture or leave. If they can't communicate with anyone they won't be able to find work or basically do anything. 2) We will essentially weed out the dumb ones. One of the things that has been such an asset to us is this country's ability to attract exceptional people. Take Einstein, he could have gone anywhere but he chose the US.

I think part of the reason people don't assimilate is because it is extremely difficult. Have you ever tried to learn a new language or culture? It's damn hard! You have to be fairly intelligent to do it. The funny thing is that if you wanted to come here legally you HAVE to know english and even know more about the history and culture of America more than some of the natural-born citizens. It's not even up for debate. So why would we accommodate those that are here illegally. It just doesn't make sense.

You can make the argument that people are racist but I think its fairly flawed. Sure there are people that will hate someone simply because they are mexican or south american but honestly I think that's in reality a pretty small number. I think a lot of the issue has to do with the difficulties that exist when people can't communicate with each other. If we could solve that issue I think we would lay the whole immigration debate to rest.

If you want to come here, fine. But then I should be able to assume that you want to be apart of this country, not force us to be apart of the culture that you just left because it wasn't working out for you.

Wasn't he supposed to be smart?

Powerline has a great post this morning regarding a speech Obama made to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus the other day. I have to agree with the guys over there. There are so many flaws in that speech it's difficult to figure out where to start criticizing it. I do have to take issue with their final comment regarding Obama's "advocacy of the American idea". He's not advocating America first in that statement, especially since he ends with a "Si, se puede". He merely trying to get the CHC on board and gin up votes come November. He's telling them what they want to hear, nothing more.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

It's ronrey at the top

Did you hear the news yesterday? Best Korea is going to have a major announcement regarding the fate of favored son Kim Il Sung during their big Workers Party. Experts are saying that this will be biggest debutante coming out of all time. Although its far too early to say whether the new boss will be same as the old, if Kim Il Sung's old Japanese sushi chef is to be believed then we're looking at pretty much a cloned version of papa-bear. While I must admit that's terrible news for both the people of Best Korea, as well as everyone else in the vicinity of their nuclear weapons, it also means that we may have a chance at another Team America sequel. Seems like a fair trade.

Come on skull, get out of my face!

I love this picture, I honestly don't know why you don't see it more often in reference to her.
So I was thinking that it might be a fun idea to once or twice a week post bad pictures of politicians. Looking at this one I think that this could be a good running segment on here.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Lets Party

I was scanning around the interwebs earlier and I found an interesting poll from Gallup from last Wednesday. It seems the democrats have gained a slight edge in the party affiliation polls. What's interesting to me is not the fact that there appears to be more democrats than republicans, its the rapid loss of affiliation that has occurred since Obama's election. These are probably your youth voters becoming disillusioned as well as your regular independents that got roped into the whole cult of personality that Obama cultivated during the election but now with the failure of the administration to produce any noticeable results in the economy, the ham-fisted way they handled the healthcare bill, not to mention the democrats complete inability to break down the phalanx that is the republican minority I'm frankly surprised they are still leading.

The Recession is over...apparently

CNN is excitedly telling the world that the "Great Recession" has finally ended. For those unable to click the link let me summarize. The National Bureau of Economic Research has declared that the economy has taken an upturn this summer after studying "employment, industrial production, income and sales" figures for the past few quarters. The article goes on to say that the NBER believes that any double-dip recession would actually be a new recession, not a continuation of "The Great Recession".

That's bull.

The recession is more than likely still not over. Lets look at employment figures, the current unemployment rate for the country is a 9.6%, which means the summer of recovery was able to do effectively nothing since the is essentially where we stood when the summer began. But lets look at this a little closer. In case you've never heard of it the U-6 is a statistic politicians try very hard to never mention in public. The U-6 is the actual measurement of employment in the US. The normal unemployment rate simply factors in those looking for work, not those that have plain given up on finding work or have a crappy part-time job that doesn't even come close to what they were doing before they lost there job. Like a software engineer working at Arby's.

Click this if you want to stay awake at night. According to the US department of Labor real unemployment is at 16.7%. That's are scary number. And they are the real numbers we should be looking at. While anyone can argue that there will always be a percentage of people not working, for whatever reason, it should never be that high. Not to mention the fact that this is an increase from last month.

So are we really out of a recession? With numbers like that it would appear not to be the case. This is just one subset of data that NBER uses to make their "end of the recession" calculation, but what about the others? The Bureau of Economic Analysis shows that second quarter GDP was 1.6%, that's a terrible number. Again going back to Econ 101 a healthy number is more like 3.3%, we're not even at half that for the quarter. It will be interesting to see what the third quarter report is when that comes out at the end of the month. But most likely with real unemployment still very very high, it probably won't be good.

Looking at personal income, the BEA has also shown that average personal income growth has only increased an anemic 1.0% across the country. Now yes some states have done better than others but on the whole that is a very poor showing. It's hard to read but that chart on the side is concerning quarterly average personal income growth starting from the third quarter of 2007. We still haven't even surpassed the numbers from when the recession supposedly began!

Bottom line, I don't think this recession has ended just yet. We have an unemployment rate that is actually increasing with more and more people become discouraged from working, or under employed. This doesn't even factor in all other problems associated with being unemployed such as increased debt, decreased savings, increase in bankruptcy (which is also on the rise). These are issues that will take an extremely long time to over come and can't even be dealt with until people are back to work. It may be good politics for Obama and the democrats to try and use the NBER's declaration that the recession is over and spin it to their advantage but there are still some serious issues with this economy that haven't been addressed yet. My guess is that we may be heading for another downturn in the economy. While it may be a slight down turn, I certainly doubt that we are out of the woods just yet.


So this being the first post for this blog I think it would be important to hit the ground running and go over what I would like to convey with this blog. Politics is a complicated, nasty, dirty and sometimes cruel business. But while, we the people, tend to get bogged down in the overlaying drama of the political world there is still something extremely important going on; how America is being run and how the decisions our political leaders make affect us in our day-to-day lives. This is my humble attempt at looking at the political world, the good bad and ugly parts of it, and break down what is occurring and how it affects you, the reader/voter/taxpayer. If what you read makes you angry...great! That's a good sign that you care about this country. Although I hope its more from the content I post rather than my own personal editorializing...