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Dude, With Keyboard » 2009 » October

Archive for October, 2009

Is Newt playing a long game?

So, I think Michelle Malkin is a bit too harsh on Newt Gingrich here, but he clearly made a mistake in endorsing the Dede Scozzafava in the NY-23 race. She has now dropped out and it’ll be an all out battle between the Democrat and Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party candidate. Hoffman has been backed by conservatives across the country, particularly conservatives like Sarah Palin who are spoiling for a fight witht he GOP establishment. Rich Lowry at NRO notes that this isn’t a real intra-party civil war but simply a unique race in the political landscape (then, why all the sword drawing over it?). Where I think Lowry is wrong is that Gingrich, Steele and Boener are establishment Republicans. I don’t think its entirely clear that any of them have the humility to take defeat very well. THAT is why this could get ugly.

There is going to be a battle over whether or not moderate Republicans should be backed in contested races because they want the majority back and I’m willing to believe that there is good intentions in the idea of the big tent. But there needs to be some principles over who is accepted into the tent. The national media often says that it is the religious right that is marginalizing the GOP over issues like abortion and gay rights. Maybe there is something to that, I don’t know. But, here is what I do know. Conservative principles have not been well served by the likes of John McCain (moderate, but stallwart pro-lifer), Arlen Spector and Olympia Snowe (squishy not really pro-choicers yet not really pro-lifers either). There beliefs over abortion or whatever social issue you want to pick have not been the problem. The problem with them is that they don’t particularly have a problem with the expansion of government, particularly into the economic arena. And it is THOSE types of moderates the GOP do not need, for the sake of this seat or that. I guarantee you a small govenrment message will sell in “purple” districts. We need people who will focus on the tea party message of limited government and they can win, no matter what their position is on other GOP hot button issues.

Gingrich and Steele need to realize this. And those of us who are flabergasted over their endorsement in this one odd congressional election shouldn’t write them off as turn coats or Spector clones. Gingrich is a lot of things but he is not a Spector clone. But, he is very smart and very politically astute.

What if he’s got a method to his madness? What if he’s trying to be the McCain in the next election? What if he thinks he’ll get that “strange new respect” if he’s having battles with the conservative base? That same conservative base turns the stomach of so many inside the beltway. Is he setting up his own Sister Soulja moment? I don’t know, but it could be a very long game he’s playing here and it might not be a dumb one. But, unlike McCain, I still trust Gingrich to come down on the traditional conservative side when its all said and done. That’s why I think Malkin is way too quick to write him off.

UPDATE: Dede endorsed the Democrat. Well, Newt, Steele et al will HAVE to be humble because they were so clearly, inescapably wrong to back this (liberal) horse.

Glass is half full with regards to one pocket of Hollywood

This week’s Heroes episode took a couple of the characters to Georgia to help a teenager with an ability where he could kill with a touch (and save lives the same way). Is it bad, that when the inevitable southern stereotype of redneck vigilante justice occured, I had the thought “well, at least he wasn’t gay or black.”

(Editor’s note: but, they did sort of pay hommage to Mathew Sheppard. Still kind of a metaphor, no? Shhhh….let me focus on the positive here.)


I hope that Hoffman wins the race for NY-23, but I also hope that Newt Gingrich licks his wounds from endorsing the wrong candidate and doesn’t get on his high horse about a big tent. I sympathize with the big tent, but not to the point where we elect “moderates” that are actually liberals.

File under: I wish this was a parody

Cull the herd! And by “herd”, we mean all you rich white folk with your high standard of living:

The worst thing that you or I can do for the planet is to have children. If they behave as the average person in the rich world does now, they will emit some 11 tonnes of CO² every year of their lives. In their turn, they are likely to have more carbon-emitting children who will make an even bigger mess. If Britain is to meet the government’s target of an 80% reduction in our emissions by 2050, we need to start reversing our rising rate of population growth immediately.

And if that makes sense, why not start cutting population everywhere? Are condoms not the greenest technology of all?

I do appreciate this person’s honesty, however. (Via Mark Steyn)

File Under: No, actually this story of environmentalist navel gazing is not a parody

From Lord Stern of Brentford (must be spoken as if your name was Jeeves):

In an interview with The Times, Lord Stern of Brentford said: “Meat is a wasteful use of water and creates a lot of greenhouse gases. It puts enormous pressure on the world’s resources. A vegetarian diet is better.”

Direct emissions of methane from cows and pigs is a significant source of greenhouse gases. Methane is 23 times more powerful than carbon dioxide as a global warming gas.

Lord Stern, the author of the influential 2006 Stern Review on the cost of tackling global warming, said that a successful deal at the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December would lead to soaring costs for meat and other foods that generate large quantities of greenhouse gases.

I think the environment would be better served by more steak and less people with “Lord” on their business card. But maybe that’s just me.

Screw the Insurers, Kumbaya

In the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel they detail out how wonderful life will be under the government run plan, well, unless you are a consumer or insurance company. Of course, the latter is supposed to get screwed in the whole affair since we apparently have agreed that they are evil incarnate.

Suppose that, besides being the Enemies of All Mankind, health insurers are actually right.

Some companies noted last week that Congress’ plans to mandate that everyone buy health insurance include only weak penalties. The plans also make insurers take on customers who are already sick. If you’re young and daring, you pay the low penalty and go insurance-free until your doctor says you’ve got cancer. You then apply and pay $800-a-month premiums for $10,000-a-month care. Sweet, until the industry inevitably collapses, say insurers.

Recently, the industry interest group for health insurers noted that premiums would go up under the Baucus plan, which appears to be the settled on engine for health care reform. The administration then responded to this by saying they were lying. Yeah, I mean, who would think companies that will be charging for the premiums would have any idea what they will do with those premiums when the rules change. Washington based bureaucrats know much better about how the law of supply and demand will work.

The author implies that the health insurance companies will eventually get bailed out and they’ll just pass the costs on to the consumer, usually the young and healthy consumer. While I think some well connected companies will have their desires heard, I’m pretty sure the main drivers of this (Obama, Pelosi, et al) have no desire to save insurance companies. That’s why the public option is so vital to them. True the government wants to have a public option to “compete” with private insurance plans (and what right winger wouldn’t like competition, right?) But the public option is only meant to compete as long as the deck is stacked to make it win the competition. Insurance companies going out of business is a feature, not a bug in the eyes of our soon to be health care overlords. Its time we stop letting them pretend otherwise.

The “unexplained” drop in people who believe in global warming

I’m a huge fan of Megan McArdle but I think she’s a bit guilty of wanting not to sound too crazy among her beltway colleagues. And sense those colleagues take it as a given that man-made global warming is a fact and now its just up to the details of what to do about it, she takes great pains to report on the skeptics without seeming to agree with them. Here’s one such post that strikes me as a bit off is her surprise at how the plebes are growing more skeptical by the minute:

Also in the WTF category, Pew says there was a fourteen point drop in the number of Americans who believe there is solid evidence that anthropogenic global warming is real.  I mean, maybe 45 million Americans spent the last year reviewing the scientific evidence on Global Warming and changed their minds.  Certainly, a lot of laid-off workers have soem time on their hands.  But this doesn’t really seem a spectacularly likely explanation of the phenomenon. 

I can only come up with two explanations for this phenomenon:  one, that many Americans are happy to embrace a symbolic belief in global warming as long as there is no danger that anyone will do anything about it.  The other is that Americans don’t know what they want, and also, enjoy messing with pollster’s minds.

She makes it clear that she doesn’t expect the people polled to be all that up on the science. Well, maybe there is something to that I guess. The height of people believing in man made global warming very likely was a by-product of the universal coverage of exactly that phenomenon. How many times have we heard the science is settled? How many CNN pieces have been done on it where a sceptic is nowhere to be found?

But, the common man is not ignorant. They do observe. And what they observe is that we have had two very cold winters. We basically skipped spring this year and had one of the mildest summers in awhile. In the southeast, we’ve had more rain than one can remember. We had an NFL game played in a blizzard last weekend. The earliest such non-Denver blizzard game in a good long while. We’ve already wondered if we were going to skip straight to winter this year. It just seems colder than its been the last few years. I don’t think the drop in those poll numbers are a mystery at all. People are thinking the earth sure doesn’t feel like its getting warmer, or at least not anymore.

Observed temperatures have been cooling. People just feel colder day in and day out. True, that is a small sample and does not necessarily prove anything. I just know that not a single computer model predicted the flatlining of the temperatures. And its those computer models we are supposed to base policy on.

Backfill: Government run health care is not new, not even in the U.S.

Came across this awhile back. State health care plans contained many of  the ideas contained in “Obamacare” or “PelosiCare”, whatever one wants to call it. And someone actually bothered to find out how those plans worked out. The answer might surprise you: not so good.

Obama tries to get Republican swing votes by insulting them

I don’t know for sure, but I’m guessing Karl Rove told me to post this:

Barack Obama is pretty interesting when he gets in front of his money-givers — his biggest fans, I guess. In New York, he said, “Democrats are an opinionated bunch. You know, the other side, they just kinda sometimes do what they’re told. Democrats, y’all thinkin’ for yourselves.” Last year, in San Francisco, he said of Middle Americans, “It’s not surprising . . . they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them . . .”

He speaks a lot differently — a lot more respectfully — when he has one of his big national addresses: Then, we’re not red states or blue states but the United States, blah, blah, blah. Well, which is the real O? The nice, inclusive guy or the sneering, contemptuous partisan? I vote the latter: I think it’s the real O, unfortunately: the one who speaks to Democrats in New York and San Francisco. But I am not much of a psychiatrist.

Now if only Obama can get the Republicans to do as they’re told and let the government take over their health care.

Backfill: Media Matters and Center for American Progress, arms of the Democratic Party

White House staffer Anita Dunn accuses Fox News of being an arm of the GOP and basically goes full bore with the White House strategy to warn liberals to simply avoid the network altogether. The White House even says that Fox isn’t a real news organization.

Well, Fox News did highlight the ACORN scandals (go over to BigGovernment.com and read all about them) while the other news organizations tried to ignore the story as long as they could. ACORN, you see, is a very important part of the Democratic Party’s activism ecosystem. As a response, ACORN launches an internal investigation to be led by John Podesta. Who is that? Well, he also heads up Center for American Progress which is the parent of Media Matters, a “media watch dog” even though the only media they watch is the conservative media. That’s the only bias they care about. People from the Center for American Progress and Media Matters are regular talking heads on news shows. And now Media Matters is sending out a memo recommending people to avoid dealing with Fox. They hope to starve the beast of any balanced reporting. Remove the liberals who DO appear on the channel and your claims that Fox are in the tank of the GOP will be that much more plausible. Of course, there would be high hell to pay if conservatives started boycotting CNN and such. They’d be labeled as “scared of a little criticism” or “cowards” or “obsessively controlling how their message gets out” or something. But, if liberals do it, they are fighting for truth, justice and quality journalism. To be liberal is to be free of criticism.  Its the unspoken secular version of those Christian bumper stickers that say “I’m not perfect, just forgiven.”

So, to review. President Obama and Democratic party has a history of ties to ACORN, an outfit that gets federal funding and was to be part of the Census work in 2010 WHILE being investigated for voter fraud in multiple states. Fox News highlights a scandal that should have been front page news everywhere, but was ignored. This makes Fox partisan. The news organizations that ignored it were not partisan at all. Nope. So, ACORN launches an “internal investigation” and puts John Podesta in charge. Podesta’s outfit, Media Matters sends out a memo to avoid Fox News. I’m going out on a limb here and guessing that this ACORN investigation is not aimed at finding our why multiple offices willingly gave tax advice to a pimp and prostitute planning to import foreign teenage girls to a brothel. Its aimed at investigating the investigators: the guys at BigGovernment and Fox News who aired it. There must be some price to pay for bringing down a vital activist organ of the Democratic Party.

Editors Note: I”m marking as back fill as my early posts on this blog may be playing catch up with things I saw last week. Also, since posting will likely be more dense on weekends, some of my topics will be a few days old if I’m finally getting around to “my 2 cents.”

Why do I bother?

So, I’m starting this little blog with the hopes that I get readers. That’s a surprise, I know.

I also need to have a place to store my thoughts and my opinions.

I want to be in the mix of the discussion.

Most importantly, I want to be able to post a thought or twelve without being restricted to the character limit on Facebook. Yes, I am on that demented site. And yes, I’m the guy who spams my friends with comments about Obama and links to articles that say what I wish I would have said if I had more than the Facebook character limit. Speaking of, I’m really surprised this CNN article on the 12 most annoying Facebookers didn’t include a “Dennis Miller Wannabe” category. I would have totally nailed that one. But I digress.

Basically, I want to fight against the Democratic Media and Academic Establishment that controls the narrative; a narrative that does not match present reality or history.

Most of the good weblogs I’ve been following over the years have acted as a check against this establishment, particularly in what news is covered and how. They’ve had some success but it seems to have only emboldened those in power. Whether it’s the Fairness Doctrine, new FCC rules, or FTC rules, or McCarthyte “wars” on a cable network that doesn’t toe the Chicago line, the establishment, the politicians and their media allies, don’t seem particularly worried about embracing their bias that we all knew they had anyway, and playing there zero sum game in the hopes of creating that permanent majority. They are doubling down and they wish to marginalize anyone who would get in their way. Being a conservative or a right winger is being treated as a mental disease, one that is rotten with racism among other sinister motives.

Well, I’ll see if I can at least give my own circle of friends and acquaintances a peak into the alternate reality where arguing for small government, low taxes, low regulation, property and individual rights isn’t some lunatic fringe, but one that sort of has a history in this country that goes back beyond 1776.

I hope the experience is fruitful.

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