Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Eight Year Cost of Iraq War Less Than 2009 Stimulus Package

By: Les Carpenter III
Rational Nation USA

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released some very interesting numbers with respect to the cost of the Iraq war compared to the cost of the stimulus bill passed by the Democratic led Congress in 2009.

CBO numbers published this month in the Budget and Economic Outlook put the cost of Operation Iraqi Freedom at $709 billion. This cost includes military operations as well as the cost of training Iraqi forces and the cost of diplomatic operations.

Estimated (projected) costs for the stimulus package  passed in February 2009 was $862 billion. The expected "shelf" life of the stimulus package is two years. And there is serious consideration in some circles that more stimulus will be needed.

The United States deficit for 2010 is expected to come in at 1.3 trillion dollars according to the CBO. A huge increase over the 2007 deficit of $160.7 billion and a 2008 shortfall of $458.6 billion. 

As a percentage of GDP (gross domestic product) the 2007 and 2008 deficits where 1.2 percent and 3.2 percent respectively.

The 2010 deficit is expected to be the second largest shortfall of the last 65 years. When compared to the size of the economy the deficit as a percentage of GDP is projected at 9.1 percent. This number was exceeded only by the 2009 figure of 9.9%. Again, these number are as published by the CBO.

The most expensive year of the Iraq war was 2008, the year the surge advocated by General Petraeus and approved by President Bush was in full operation. The total cost of operations in 2008 was 140 billion. An increase of 16 billion over 2007.

What is interesting is this, Randal Hoven of the American Thinker puts the cost of the Iraq war from 2003 to 2008 at 20 billion less than the cost of education spending and less than 25%  the cost of Medicare spending over the same time.

As ill advised and costly as the Iraq war may have been, these comparisons point to the reality that not only do we need to reign the Military Industrial Complex, we also need to look at other spending. Perhaps most specifically entitlements.

In light of the cost of the stimulus package and the likelihood that entitlement costs will continue to skyrocket, the next Congress should put all spending measures on the table for close scrutiny.

Cross posted to Left Coast Rebel.

Via: Memeorandum

Monday, August 30, 2010

Reasoned Remarks From Senator Tom Coburn

By: Les Carpenter III
Rational Nation USA

Senator Tom Coburn, in recent remarks at a small gathering was critical of Democrats, Republicans, Newt Gingrich, and the military industrial complex as well as teacher unions. Reading the article in Tulsa World I found myself in agreement with his remarks.

They sound to me like Senator Coburn is what I call an independent conservative that is speaking truth to power and is deserving of being listened to. For the sake of clarity lets put labels aside and focus on what he said. Excerpts with editorial comment from the news source omitted.:

"The real problem is that America is asleep, America is not involved. I think this election they'll be more involved than they ever have been, and the reason is they're scared." 

"If the conservatives in Congress gain control and don't live up to expectations," he said, "the Republican Party will be dead." 

"I'm not capable of telling you, because I don't have the training, whether we have the forces we need, I can tell you that if you add our forces and compare them to the next 19 nations, ... we're stronger." 

"The problem is, we have allowed the military-industrial complex to make things unaffordable. There's no choke chain. We need a choke chain. When the cost of an F-35 triples during development, something's wrong." 

Gingrich "is a super-smart man, but he doesn't know anything about commitment to marriage, He's the last person I'd vote for for president of the United States. His life indicates he does not have a commitment to the character traits necessary to be a great president."

He said schools "are no longer about kids, they are about teachers' unions", claiming the academic achievement of students has declined since the advent of the Department of Education.

Coburn also said, "no one has ever been hired by a poor person" in his support for tax breaks for corporations who hire people.

One of the attendees at the gathering had this this to say, 'taxes should not be raised for the wealthy and corporations, because they ultimately will be paid by those further down the economic food chain.' 

Another attendee comment, 'success is punished and failure rewarded', by the federal government.

Senator Tom Coburn makes some very valid points. Points deserving of  thoughtful consideration by both sides of the political divide. Those attending obviously are in touch with the issues of today.

You can find the full text of the Tulsa World article here.

Cross posted to Left Coast Rebel.

Via: Memeorandum

Restoring Honor Rally: Faith, Hope & Charity

by: Pamela D. Hart

I attended Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor rally Saturday. My decision to attend wasn’t planned. As a matter of fact it was completely spur of the moment. My dad called me Friday afternoon, when I was at work, and asked if I would be interested in going with him and my mom, thus with my answer being affirmative, he told me to be ready at 3:30 a.m.

We arrived at the Lincoln Memorial at 11 a.m. with the rally already in full swing. The crowd was immense. People were sitting between the columns, on the steps and walking around it. They were packed full on both sides of the Reflection Pond and beyond. The aerial view photos are a bit distorting because you can’t see all the people who were beneath the Cherry Blossom trees. I know because I walked the cement pathway from the Lincoln Memorial to the WWII Memorial, which was tree-covered and it too was packed full with people sitting on chairs, blankets, the grass or just standing.

We found a nice shady spot on the Atlantic side of the WWII Memorial and were amazed at how the crowd extended onward up toward the Washington Monument. I told my parents and 13 year old son that this wasn’t a politician who brought, in my estimation, at least 500,000 people together, it was a mere television-radio personality. But united we were and for a message that could ring true for everyone, of every walk of life, old and young, black, white, red and yellow, a message that transcended political lines—Restoring honor and integrity…

Glenn said, “We have lost too many heroes in this nation.” “Heroes are just people who stand and do the right thing usually at their own peril. They’ll stand and do the right thing.”

Who are our next heroes? Do you have Faith, Hope and Charity in your life?

I have a hero in my life. It’s my dad. He raised us by example, living with nobility and good character. I learned from him to be honest regardless of how difficult it may be for me. I have sacrificed regardless of how uncomfortable it may feel. I am compassionate and benevolent because I learned that it feels good to have a purpose greater than myself. I have seen over the years that too many people today don’t have a purpose. They don’t honor themselves let alone others. They lie, steal and cheat because it’s easy. Let’s face it, doing the right thing takes fortitude. We need to practice that so the next generation will learn by example.

I will admit I’m not a religious person. I was baptized Lutheran and practiced that until the age of 10, then began practicing the Catholic religion. From age 25 until about 30 I practiced a non-denominational religion, but with much self-reflection and thought, changed to Atheism. I believe in doing the right thing because, well, it’s the right thing to do. I don’t need the fear of hell looming before me to know not to lie, steal, or cheat. I don’t commit adultery because I love my husband and it would hurt him deeply. I am kind to people because I want them to be kind to me. I never found a connection with God or a Higher Being therefore praying never gave me solace. I found over the years that I had more strength within myself. I have the utmost respect for those who practice a religion and believe that everyone has the right to practice what they believe is right for them.

So, what did I get out of this rally, considering it had such a religious undertone? What does Faith, Hope and Charity mean to me?

Faith, I think, means to believe in something unseen. I believe in a strength within myself. A strength I found years ago that permeated from within which sustained me through some of the roughest times of my life. I was able to walk through the darkness into the light and emerge without bitterness or hatred, therefore I have faith that I will remain a loving, compassionate, strong person and it will see me through my journey of life wherever it may lead, and I will continue to learn from the good and bad lessons along the way.

Hope, to me, is the belief that no matter what hardship you face; obstacle you must overcome; lesson you must learn--you trust that tomorrow will bring a better, brighter day. I believe that if we don’t have hope we will not be able to find our way out of the darkness into the light.

Our hearts will expand with Charity. When we put aside our own needs and give to others, whether it’s helping an elderly lady up a flight of stairs; serving food in a soup kitchen; or donating money to the poor--we are reaching out to mankind. There is no greater purpose in life than to give to others. When we meet a need in others, we are, in essence, fulfilling a need within ourselves. Charity is an extension of ourselves and there is nothing more benevolent...more powerful...than to help someone in need.

In closing, this rally was not political, it was inspirational, even for someone who is not religious. It was a day for people to unite in a common message...

Let us restore in ourselves what may be lying dormant. Honor, truth and dignity. Have Faith, if not in a God, ALWAYS in yourself. Never give up Hope, because on the horizon is a new day with the rising of a beautiful sun, and bestow someone with an act of Charity, give them the magnificence of YOU!

Never Trust Until You Verify

By: Bastiatarian

The other day WHO announced that the swine flu "pandemic" had ended. I was surprised, because based on all the hysteria stirred up by the federal government and the mainstream media, I had assumed that swine flu was going to significantly depopulate the world, change civilization as we know it, and make it hard to get a good burrito.

None of that happened, so I started wondering about it all.

First, H1N1 (swine flu) has resulted in just under 19,000 deaths worldwide. That's a lot of dead people, of course, but then I considered the fact that, according to WHO's own statement, normal seasonal influenza is responsible for about 250,000 to 500,000 deaths worldwide.

Swine flu's not so impressive in that context.

So why was this outbreak of H1N1, small from the start, declared to be a pandemic?

Because WHO changed the definition of a pandemic before declaring H1N1 a pandemic. When most people think of a pandemic, they think of a high rate of serious illness and death, lots and lots of people with the disease, and lots and lots of them dying from it.

WHO took that part out.

In other words, we had a pandemic in which there was neither a high rate of morbidity nor a high rate of mortality. A pandemic that wasn't a pandemic.

So much for the end of the world.

Why did we believe the hysteria? People have a tendency to believe individuals or organizations that they view as authority figures. In particular, people seem to be especially susceptible to statements made by government organizations and mass media outlets. Governments and the media are supposed to be trustworthy, and we often make the mistake of thinking that they actually are trustworthy, regardless of how consistently they have proven to be anything but trustworthy.

Many of us have learned, however, that what we are told by governmental organizations--of any country now on earth--is more likely to be spin at best, and outright falsehoods a significant part of the time. Mass media is often even worse than government, due to the nature of the members of that group as professional storytellers.

Some people adhere to the saying "Trust, but verify." That may work in many private relationships, but in our relationship with the government and the mainstream media, trusting without thorough verification first would be the height of foolishness.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

On Beck's Appearance on Fox News With Chris Wallace

By: Les Carpenter III
Rational Nation USA

I am sure a lot of you saw Glenn Beck on Fox News today with Chris Wallace. I admit to being a somewhat tepid supporter of Glenn Beck. This is not because he is wrong on everything, but rather that he is often too theatrical...  sometimes over the top.

Today I saw a different Glenn Beck. I saw a man whose beliefs I now believe are sincere and one who is dedicated to this nation and it's inherent goodness. I saw a man who has grown in his role as spoke person for the average American of conservative beliefs.

I saw a man who seems to be moving towards a more reasoned and perhaps conciliatory tone. And I believe he is sincerely not considering political office. At least not the Presidency. Something the progressives now doubt are thrilled over. They now that if Beck should ever decide to announce his candidacy for the office of President he may very well be elected. An event they would simply shudder over.

The leftist press is already exposing itself  for the biased group they are. Politico, an essentially progressive publication had some interesting takes on the Wallace interview. Following are some excerpts taken from today's Politico release.

In a far-ranging interview with Fox host Chris Wallace, the right-wing TV and radio personality distanced himself from his 2009 comments portraying President Barack Obama as a “racist” with an implacable hostility to white people — while attacking Obama for advocating a theology that favors the oppressed.

Beck shrugged when Wallace — who touted his “affection” for his fellow Fox star — asked Beck if the rally augured a 2012 political alliance with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who headlined the event along with him.

Beck’s rally was a tea party-fueled phenomenon, a hybrid Christian revival meeting and conservative political rally.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press” show, rejected Beck’s interpretation, saying that his “gospel” of private enterprise overlooked the central role federal government efforts have made in the revival of New Orleans.

That’s where Glenn Beck is wrong.

In blasting what he characterized as Liberation Theology, Beck also contradicted King – whom he invoked relentlessly over the week - and sought to marginalize a religious movement that inspired the civil rights movement and liberal theologians like King, Reinhold Niebuhr and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel.

Beck invoked a conservative theologian – Pope Benedict XVI – who blamed Liberation Theology for the rise of Marxist leaders in Latin America.

Wallace, while expressing his affection for Beck, expressed puzzlement over the meteoric rise."In my 40 years in the business, I've never seen anyone like you," he said.

Beck, for his part, basked in the attention.

Perhaps it is just me but I detect an extreme bias in the media coverage being given to ths important event.

Read the full biased Politico article here.

Cross posted to Left Coast Rebel.

Via: Memeorandum

The Comparison

By: Les Carpenter III
Rational Nation USA

Contrast the "Restoring Honor" rally in which Martin Luther King's niece so eloquently spoke to the Reverend Al  Sharpton's " Reclaim the Dream" rally. Aside from the fact Glenn Beck's rally drew a crowed numbering in the hundred of thousand compared to the Sharpton rally of just a few thousand the tone was significantly different.

Beck's "Restoring Honor" was noticeably inclusive while Sharpton's "Reclaim the Dream" was somewhat divisive. Is it any wonder why Alveda King chose to speak at Beck's rally. I am sure the liberal media and progressive politicians are wishing Alveda would fade into the shadows. They may have a long wait.

Here now is the video of Sharpton's address followed by Alveda's. You my readers be the judge.

And now Alveda...

Read the article here.

Cross posted to Left Coast Rebel.

Via: Memeorandum 

Aerial Photos of Glenn Beck's "Restoring America" Rally

by the Left Coast Rebel

I wanted to carry additional aerial photos of the August 28, 2010 Glenn Beck "Restoring Honor" rally so I put on my Google cap and started searching. First off is this aerial shot that has been circling the intertubes (h/t Newsbusters) and is one of the most awesome:

This photo will be famous: Crowd at the Glenn Beck "Restoring Honor" rally

Here's another awesome aerial shot of the Glenn Beck "Restoring Honor" rally per Right Scoop:
Again, here are the aerial shots taken by AirPhotosLIVE.com whereby CBS News estimated the Glenn Beck rally crowd at "87,000":

The area around the Lincoln Memorial in Washington during a rally organized by conservative commentator Glenn Beck is seen in this aerial picture taken Aug. 28, 2010.(Credit: AirPhotosLIVE.com)

The area around the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool in Washington during a rally organized by conservative commentator Glenn Beck is seen in this aerial picture taken Aug. 28, 2010.

(Credit: AirPhotosLIVE.com)

How many people do you think attended yesterday's event? I would venture to say it was between 100,000 to 200,000 but I could be wrong. Cross posted to LCR.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Blues From Jazz Great Charlie Parker

By: Les Carpenter III
Rational Nation USA

Ah yes, the end of yet another long and sometimes tedious week. But we all made it through and now it is time to relax. Yeah baby, relax with a glass of fine wine and that special person in your life.

Turn the lights low, get comfortable with that special person, and listen to some fine blues from jazz great Charlie Parker. I might even run a string of fine jazz for your listening pleasure.

Enjoy my fellow conservatives, and occasional progressives who dare into the Rational Nation Zone.

Dig it. Definitely doin the groove...

Yeah... Get down Buddy!

You go Junior, let it all hang out...!

Good night folks. Here's to a great upcoming week for all.

Was Beck's "Restoring Honor" Rally Too Political?...

By: Les Carpenter III
Rational Nation USA

The progressives are already turning Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally into a political issue. And it was in reality exactly that. The very fact the rally was a call to restore honor to our government made it political. What amazes me is that Beck was not forthright in discussing this obvious fact.

I applaud the efforts of Beck in calling for restoration of honor in our political and governmental activities. It is about time. And it took a conservative to do so. Unfortunately because Beck is an outspoken conservative, and lays open the progressive nerve, he will be vilified as a racist, a right wing demagogue, or worse. Such is the progressive way.

A short video taken off the Think Progress site is linked here and has select pictures in support of the sites obvious bias. Needless to say the sentiments expressed in the video are felt by millions of Americans.


I don't know about you but I little wrong with this. And by the way... did you catch the anti GWB remark?


Just a conservative girl attended the "Restoring Honor" rally Saturday. She found the rally to be more  apolitical than political. Her comment at LCR on my cross post over there:

"Maybe the overall theme was political, but the rally in and of itself was not. The only one who put her toe right on the line was Palin. She did say a few things that crossed over. 

One can make what they will of her statements, but the day wasn't political. I was there and while many were discussing politicals, most of us were talking about morality. We also spent a great deal of time talking about the insult that we felt when Obama said this isn't a Christian nation. 

Also, the audience had MANY vets. 

You can read my post on it if you like, but I don't think it was a politcal message. It is a message of unity and the realization that we can leave a country for our children that we will be proud of."

Some  select excerpts from her site:

The people were lined up as far as the eye could see.  The Lincoln Memorial, for those who don't know, is away from Constitution Avenue by a few blocks, we were lined up from the reflecting pool all the way out to Constitution.  Just a little directional stuff here, the National Mall runs from the Lincoln Memorial all the way down to the Capitol Building.  Starting at the Virginia line, the Lincoln Memorial is first, then comes the reflecting pool, which then opens up to the WWII Memorial.  There is a street in between the WWII and the Washington Monument.  I heard that the crowd from the Beck rally made all the way across that street.  That is also where Al Sharpton's rally "Recapture the Dream" is what I believe it was called.  My friends who took a taxi in went by there, and told me that it was a very small crowd.  But, I didn't see it for myself so I don't know.  

I met some amazing people, as I always do at these events.  The people behind me were from New York City of all places.  The young couple next to me was from Washington State, with I what I believe to be the youngest attendee, their one month old daughter, Mia.  A really cutie who was so well behaved.  The couple sitting next to me drove seven days from San Francisco.  The family in front of me was from Missouri.  I also met people from Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Iowa, Indiana, and saw a bus that had a sign from Alaska.  Obviously, Beck drew people from all over the country.  

I did do something a little naughty today.  I had to use the restroom and the porta potties were not really usable in very quick order.  I decided to walk up to the memorial itself to use that bathroom.  The media was interviewing some of the black people who were there and asking the same old boring questions about racism and The Tea Party.  I couldn't help myself; I went up and put my arm around the guy (whom I have never met) and gave him a peck on the cheek and told the reporter that I love this man's courage for standing by his convictions.  I looked at the reporter and said let the racism go, it is long since gotten old.  

For more, including pictures and video visit Just a conservative girl. You'll be glad you did.

Cross posted to Left Coast Rebel.

Via: Memeorandum

Will the Conservative Movement Survive?

By: Les Carpenter III
Rational Nation USA

President Ronald Reagan. A man with vision, honor, and an undying love for America and everything that made her great. His legacy of fostering one of the largest peacetime economic growth cycles is unquestioned. His role in the collapse of the Soviet Union is without doubt among the rational thinkers of our time.

So where did the Gipper go wrong. It's not  hard to see when one takes off the rose colored glasses of nostalgia. Where he let America down was his failure to reign in Keynesian economic deficit spending.

As a conservative, an independent one at that, I must admit that amongst the many great things President Ronald Wilson Reagan accomplished he failed to understand one critical point of basic economics. At some point the books must be balanced. Any successful businessman knows this simple fact. In business failing to do so ultimately results in failure of ones business. Long term deficit spending on the national level will ultimately result in the same for our nation. Eventually the laws of economics will catch up to even the most deft at avoiding reality.

The supply side economic theory upon which Reaganomics was based did work in the short term and America benefited. However, after the countries return to economic growth following the severe recession of the 1980's the nation failed to address the issue of fiscal restraint. In short rather than using the economic growth to balance our budget and begin paying down our federal obligations we continued the good times with increased deficit spending.

The progressives love to point the fingers at republicans, and in part they are right. However, the democrats, typically progressive, did little to build a rational consensus amongst the American people that lead to reigning in profligate spending. Although, giving the devil his due President Clinton did leave office with a balanced budget. Although the reason in large part for this rests with the Republican Congress.

There is much talk floating around, mostly among progressives, that the conservative movement is dying and soon for the graveyard. This is simply rhetoric with little basis in fact. Further evidence can be found  that America if anything is growing more conservative and distrustful of government. Whether it be republican lead or democrat lead. In George Washington 's words; "Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." George Washington 

So the real question is... Can conservatives regain the high ground of fiscal sanity, and limited government. Can the movement embrace sound fiscal policy leading to a balanced budget and paying down the national debt? Can conservatives act to insure the safeguards for individual liberties and embrace the reality of same sex relationships leading to the union of two men or women? Can conservatives stand for the backbone of America; the working men and women that make up the productive engine of this great country?  Can conservatives embrace the values that led this nation to becoming the freest and most prosperous nation on earth?

The founding fathers found a way to ensure the existence of our nation of laws and yet insure individual rights. Can the modern conservatives that hold up the values that founded our nation find the fortitude to insure that which our founders gave us survives another 234 years?

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting and right on take on this issue here.

Cross posted to Left Coast Rebel.

Via: Memeorandum

As Our Nation Drifts Can We Find Common Ground?

By: Les Carpenter III
Rational Nation USA

Rational Nation
 USA is a politically conservative site. For those who have visited and are familiar with my Randian and Jeffersonian leaning you know I am a strong proponent of fiscal responsibility and limited government. The principals of our Founding Fathers have not been lost on this modern day proponent of Randian and Jeffersonian principals.

Having said this I believe that in as much as we live in a diverse nation, with diverse political and economic views, it is prudent to make an honest attempt to find common ground within these opposing views. The healths, indeed the survival of our liberties as we have known them are dependent upon this.

As an independent conservative with strong Libertarian leaning I have come under fire from both my brethren conservatives and the progressive elements in America. This is fine and I accept the heat from both sides of the political spectrum. What makes it easy for me too do is that I recall the huge compromises our brilliant Founding Fathers had to make to give us the Nation they envisioned for all prosperity 

You may ask what the purpose of this post is. So I now give you the following. It was received at Rational Nation USA via e-mail on Thursday of this week. It was sent by a loyal conservative reader of my site and it was done so with all good intentions. It is an excerpt from an editorial in the Springfield Republican (MA) with following comments’ from my reader.  After many hours of reflection upon this e-mail I have decided to post it on my site.

Here for your consideration is a conservative perspective:

"To use a fancy word, there's a metacognition deficit. Very few in public
life habitually step back and think about the weakness in their own thinking
and what they should do to compensate. A few people I interview do this
regularly in fact, Larry Summary is one. But it is rare. The rigors of
combat discourage it.

"Of the problems that affect the country, this is the underlying one."

My reader’s addition to the above comments:

"I always and regularly took time, generally when I was in bed, to look down
on my department, plant or organization to see what was wrong. The key to
this was that when I looked down I always put myself into the picture. How
can anyone make a rational decision when his/her mind is so locked into
their own feeling of righteous genius that they cannot visualize there might
be another way."

I present this without further comment. Other than to say that without honest dialogue from both sides of the political continuum there is little hope that our current fiscal, cultural, and national identity crises stands a chance of resolution.

As a final I leave you with this:

A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned, this is the sum of good government.  Thomas Jefferson 

Government "help" to business is just as disastrous as government persecution... the only way a government can be of service to national prosperity is by keeping its hands off.  Ayn Rand

Cross posted to Left Coast Rebel.

Reference: Thomas Jefferson
Reference: Ayn Rand

Friday, August 27, 2010

Viva la Socialista Obamanomica - GDP 1.6, Krugman Blames Republicans, Obama Stimulus "Too Small"

Krugman lets the cat out of the bag - Critic of Obamanomics now?

by the Left Coast Rebel

More lousy economic news this morning. Viva la socialista Obamanomica! NYT:

Economic statistics released Friday offered the clearest sign yet that the recovery, already acknowledged to be sauntering, had slowed to a crawl.

The government lowered its estimate of economic growth in the second quarter to an annual rate of 1.6 percent, after originally reporting last month that growth in the three-month period was 2.4 percent.

The news came at the end of a week that showed the economic retrenchment that began in the second quarter has spilled over into the summer. Existing home sales in July were down to their lowest level in a decade, and sales of new homes that month were at their lowest level since the government began tracking such data in 1963. Orders for large factory goods, excluding the volatile transportation sector, dropped in July, indicating that recovery in the manufacturing sector is also stalling.

With such grim reports, economists are now concerned that the outlook for job creation, which has been spluttering all summer, could deteriorate further. Companies and consumers tend to be spooked by bad news, and market analysts and economists worry that faltering confidence could cause employers to hold back on hiring.

When will leftists, Obama, and the progressive-collectivists admit that their Keynsian spending experiment is an unmitigated failure?

- They won't - it will take a ballot-revolution, come November.

Case in point, I saw Paul Krugman's latest column trending at memeorandum, "This is not a Recovery." An interesting headline, I thought - but I bet Krugman will still find a way to blame George W. Bush and/or conservatives for the bad economic news.

Actually, he goes a bit further than that, writing:

What will Ben Bernanke, the Fed chairman, say in his big speech Friday in Jackson Hole, Wyo.? Will he hint at new steps to boost the economy? Stay tuned.

But we can safely predict what he and other officials will say about where we are right now: that the economy is continuing to recover, albeit more slowly than they would like. Unfortunately, that’s not true: this isn’t a recovery, in any sense that matters. And policy makers should be doing everything they can to change that fact.
In the case of the Obama administration, officials seem loath to admit that the original stimulus was too small. True, it was enough to limit the depth of the slump — a recent analysis by the Congressional Budget Office says unemployment would probably be well into double digits now without the stimulus — but it wasn’t big enough to bring unemployment down significantly.

Now, it’s arguable that even in early 2009, when President Obama was at the peak of his popularity, he couldn’t have gotten a bigger plan through the Senate. And he certainly couldn’t pass a supplemental stimulus now. So officials could, with considerable justification, place the onus for the non-recovery on Republican obstructionism. But they’ve chosen, instead, to draw smiley faces on a grim picture, convincing nobody. And the likely result in November — big gains for the obstructionists — will paralyze policy for years to come.

The White House has lost Krugman? Perhaps but his solution is a Keynsian bridge to nowhere.

According to Krugman's logic the stimulus should have been much, much more, say....2 trillion? Why not then, 3 or 4? Why stop there? And with 800 + billion (of which much still hasn't been spent) and that which has, has been mismanaged and hasn't helped the economy or recovery - why would an even higher dollar stimulus then 'save the economy.'

Krugman in all of his leftist-brilliance misses a simple point. Deficit spending creates massive uncertainty within private enterprise. They know (as I do) that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Not to Kruggie though, it's always the same old tired dogma.

Isn't it fascinating just what straight-jacket, Leninst-liberalism looks like?

It's a simple yet rigid narrative:

--- Government spending runs the economy , you are an idiot to challenge so, history tells us nothing (as in the Weimar Republic) and an isatiable appetite for your tax dollars, your liberty and the future of your nation by nanny state rulers shall never be satiated.

Via Memeorandum

Why Liberals aka Progressives Will Fail To Rise

By: Les Carpenter III
Rational Nation USA

Charles Krauthammer has a great piece in todays Washington Post. It is entitled "The last refuge of a liberal." He hits the nail squarely on the head as to why liberals, aka progressive, rather than enjoying the ascendancy predicted by James Carville will in fact become more irrelevant than they have been over the past thirty years.

Many progressives simply believe that the only way is the progressive way. They have used the press and academia for years to advance their agenda. America is now finally waking up to the bankruptcy of progressive ideology.

Yet when conservatives utilize the press to advance their agenda the progressives sink to the level of making outright fallacious statements. Progressives think... How dare the conservative question our agenda. How dare they think differently than we dictate. Well hello progressives, there are tens of millions in America that are not sheep and refuse to cow tow to your demands we refuse conform to your ideologies. We refuse to allow you to control us.

Charles Krauthammer points out some glaring examples of this:

-- Resistance to the vast expansion of government power, intrusiveness and debt, as represented by the Tea Party movement? Why, racist resentment toward a black president.

-- Disgust and alarm with the federal government's unwillingness to curb illegal immigration, as crystallized in the Arizona law? Nativism.

-- Opposition to the most radical redefinition of marriage in human history, as expressed in Proposition 8 in California? Homophobia.

-- Opposition to a 15-story Islamic center and mosque near Ground Zero? Islamophobia.

Now we know why the country has become "ungovernable," last year's excuse for the Democrats' failure of governance: Who can possibly govern a nation of racist, nativist, homophobic Islamophobes?

Note what connects these issues. In every one, liberals have lost the argument in the court of public opinion. Majorities -- often lopsided majorities -- oppose President Obama's social-democratic agenda (e.g., the stimulus, Obamacare), support the Arizona law, oppose gay marriage and reject a mosque near Ground Zero.

What's a liberal to do? Pull out the bigotry charge, the trump that preempts debate and gives no credit to the seriousness and substance of the contrary argument. The most venerable of these trumps is, of course, the race card...

If this continue to be the modus operandi of the progressive power structure in Washington, the progressive media, and progressive academia then American liberalism will ultimately be returned to the backstage to work its mischief. Only the America people are getting wiser to their tactics.

Read the full text of  "The last refuge of a liberal."

Cross posted to Left Coast Rebel.

Via: Memeorandum

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Choice Between Atheism And Christianity... ???

By: Les Carpenter III
Rational Nation USA

Inflammatory rhetoric and scare tactics ultimately will lose elections in America. Extreme statements with absolutely no foundation in rational reality always, in the end, prove themselves to be false. Such will be the case with Rep. John Flemming's (R-LA) fallacious and inflammatory rhetoric with respect to his recent comments on America's choice as being between atheism and Godlessness, or a Christian Nation.

Here is what this demagogue had to say;

"We have two competing world views here and there is no way that we can reach across the aisle -- one is going to have to win."

"We are either going to go down the socialist road and become like western Europe and create, I guess really a godless society, an atheist society. Or we're going to continue down the other pathway where we believe in freedom of speech, individual liberties and that we remain a Christian nation. So we're going to have to win that battle, we're going to have to solve that argument before we can once again reach across and work together on things."

This rhetoric serves no purpose other than to create fear and anxiety. It has no reference to factual reality. All it serves to do is distract from the principals on which our nation was founded. it draws attention away from the real issues conservatives (like myself and others) and Libertarians ought to be focusing on. Issues like fiscal responsibility, balanced budgets, a limited yet effective government, rethinking our foreign entanglements, eliminating regulations that indeed hurt our business sector as well as the private sector and thereby economy at large, and there is more.

However rhetoric such as that of Rep. John Flemming does nothing to focus on these issues. Rather they become empty rallying cries around which the candidate hopes will lead to victory for the candidates and their party. Both the left and the right engage in this useless demagoguery, and the nation is worse off for it.

I am as conservative and Libertarian as you can be. I find Rep. John Flemming's remarks earmarked for the circular file.

I also remind my readers that one of the staunchest supporters of true capitalism in the twentieth century was Ayn Rand. Her political and economic views with respect to capitalism -vs- socialism were as pure and reasoned as you can come by. Her stand for the rights of the individual and minorities (the individual is the smallest minority on earth to paraphrase her words) is well documented. Furthermore Rand held that The United States of America was the first nation on earth, through the establishment of her founding documents, to establish a proper government based on objective and reasoned principals.

Rand was an atheist. So Mr. John Flemming... your point is?

Cross posted to Left Coast Rebel

Via: Memeorandum    

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Miller Time! Alaska Primary Results 2010 - Another Tea Party Victory? Alaska's Joe Miller (will likely) Topple Murkowski

by the Left Coast Rebel

This one's not official yet but it looks like Tea Party fav., US Senate republican candidate Joe Miller may take out incumbent, establishment GOP senator Lisa Murkowski. Here are the results as of 8:00 AM, PST:

Joe Miller (R) 45,909 51.09% Lisa Murkowski (R) 43,949 48.91%
As you can see, this has come down to the wire and is still too close to call. Anchorage Daily News reports:

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski is battling for her political life this morning against Republican primary challenger Joe Miller, the tea party-backed candidate who has a slim lead as ballots continue to be counted.

Miller, a Fairbanks attorney, led from when the first returns came in Tuesday night and was on the verge of pulling off one of the biggest election upsets ever in Alaska.

With 429 of 438 precincts counted this morning,, Miller had 45,909 votes (51 percent) to 43,949 (49 percent) for Murkowski.

Miller credited the support of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for his lead.

"I'm absolutely certain that was pivotal," he said.

Murkowski on Tuesday night took a shot at Palin, saying that when Palin resigned as governor last summer she said she would use her new national role to help out Alaska.

"I think she's out for her own self-interest. I don't think she's out for Alaska's interest," Murkowski said as she waited at her campaign headquarters for results to come in.

Miller made a triumphant entrance to election central at the Egan Center in downtown Anchorage on Tuesday night, surrounded by loudly cheering supporters with red-white-and-blue balloons.

Right Klik introduced us to Joe Miller recently:

Who is this Joe Miller? Miller is a US Army veteran who served in the First Gulf War, receiving a Bronze Star for his leadership. He's a lawyer who served as State Magistrate, Superior Court Master for the Fourth Judicial District, Acting State District Court Judge, and as U.S. Magistrate Judge in Fairbanks. In many of these posts - he was the youngest to serve in history. In 2004, he ran for State Representative in a Democratic district and lost by the closest margin the incumbent ever faced. In 2010, he decided to challenge Lisa Murkowski for US Senate - Alaska and the nation will be better off with him in office.

On the issues, Miller is right where the conservative movement needs to be. He's pro-life (Alaska Right to Life endorsed). He supports complete repeal of Obamacare and instituting free market reforms to health care. He opposes cap and trade. He supports a limited government and said, "We have little time to restore constitutional limits on federal power. I will be a catalyst to move those in Congress to make the tough, principled decisions needed to bring Washington back to the limited role anticipated by our Founders. We must act now."
I can't wait to see candidates like Joe Miller in Washington, come November! Visit Joe Miller's site here.

Video: Meet Joe Miller:

Joe Miller for US Senate from Joe Miller on Vimeo.

Updated: Proving net interest in the candidate, Joe Miller is #1 on Google Trends.

Cross posted to Left Coast Rebel

Who Cares if The President is a Muslim?

Media-Crafted Controversy

This is traditionally a bad season for our sensationalistic, controversy driven 24/7 noise machine known as the "news" media. It's mid-August, and Americans are trying to enjoy what's left of summer.

We've unplugged for the summer, so media profits are sagging.  They respond by inventing stuff to get us back and basking in the glow of their corporate-sponsored cliffhangers.

So PEW conducts a poll and a news-hungry media is all over it like a pack of rabid jihadis on a cartoonist.

18% of Americans believe President Obama is a Muslim!

So what???
"If Bush ran the car in the ditch, Obama and the Democrats went on a drunken joy ride and drove it the wrong way down I-70, caused a two-thousand car pileup."

Besides drumming up business for "news" organizations, this poll also provides a convenient distraction from the ongoing economic catastrophe that has been made worse by Obama and the Pelosicrats.

It also ties in nicely with the Ground Zero Mosque Controversy

Random Question:  How would Michael Bloomberg and our lefty friends feel if the people building this mosque were rabid, unabashed America-haters who openly bragged about receiving Iranian money to build this victory monument?  What if they hated homosexuality and spoke in favor of wife-beating and honor killings?  Would it still be OK for them to build the mosque?  (The answer is yes, the First Amendment doesn't just protect noncontroversial happy talk.)

68% of Americans are opposed to the Ground Zero Mosque

So are 2/3 of us bigots?  Not according to freedom-for-all libertarian David Harsanyi:
There are those who continue to make the facile claim that any protest over Park51 is a display in un-American intolerance and contempt for the Constitution. This position treats criticism of faith—religious institutions and symbols included—as tantamount to "bigotry."
Even a newfound reverence for religious liberty on the left does not negate our right to protest and criticize the philosophical disposition of others. And applying public pressure in an effort to shut down a project is as American as protesting the arrival of a new Wal-Mart. Religious institutions, as far as I can tell, are not exempted from these disputes.

In 2008, thousands of gay-rights activists protested the Mormon temple in Westwood, Calif., for its role in passing Proposition 8—the ban on same-sex marriage. This grew into a national protest to undermine the influence of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—even though not every Mormon was involved.
I don't recall anti-Mormon protesters being referred to as bigots for targeting religion; it appeared to be just the opposite, in fact.
The left rediscovers religious liberty

So welcome!  Welcome, my lefty friends to the cause of religious freedom!  I assume you will now be crossing the battle lines and locking arms with beleaguered Mormons who have been targeted by leftwing bigots.