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Feb 25, 2013

Sequester Cuts as Drug Ad Disclaimer

These cuts are not for everyone.  In some liberals, these cuts can cause blindness, nausea, anxiety and even rectal leakage.  Do not take these cuts if you have allergic reactions to tea.  Consult your Senators before taking these cuts.  They may have alternative cuts that might reduce undesirable side effects. 

Feb 24, 2013

Defense Cuts: Scope Creep or Horse Cavalry Charges



Any consideration of DOD procurement has to start with the way the development projects are managed.  First, the way initial program requirements are set is to state every aspiration that exists for "the next generation" of whatever weapon system without too much consideration of what's available off the shelf.  Once that's done, constant changes are allowed throughout the development process.  They almost have to be allowed because of the wish list way the initial requirements are set.  So then the way the requirements dance around becomes a text book case of what is known in the project management trade as scope creep.  Scope creep is also known to be absolutely fatal to any development process.  Just one example, it seems that the ejection seat for the F-35 is a developmental item.  Why did we have to move away from the existing family of ejection seats?  Anyway, moving to a new seat didn't work out so now we are moving back to the existing family of ejection seats after spending all kinds of money on developing the new ones.  http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopic-t-16239.html  Can't we just decide we're going to field a system based on what's available now?  That way we wouldn't have to be flying planes that average 26 years old. http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/aging-array-of-american-aircraft-attracting-attention-0901/   For example, we are still flying B-52 aircraft.  The B-52 design originally entered service in 1955.  The B-52 bombers currently in service were built in the early 1960's.  If we didn't gold plate every bomber system design we try to build, we might have been able to replace them with something a little easier to maintain.  The current pattern seems to be we have outrageously advanced designs which we develop, but can’t afford to build.  So we either cancel them and get nothing, or build very limited numbers. Either way we have to use obsolescent weapons to make up the difference.
               On the other hand, extreme cuts in defense can kill a lot of people. Just one example, the last US horse cavalry charge was by the 26th Cavalry Regiment (Philippine Scouts) against Japanese tanks in 1942. They had few anti-tank weapons and ran out of anti-tank ammunition. They attacked tanks on horseback with grenades and pop bottles full of gasoline. Needless to say, most of them were killed. See http://hnn.us/node/139372 for more details.
               There has to be a middle ground between gold plated weapons too expensive to buy and not enough of the right kind of weapons. 

Feb 12, 2013

Retaking the Senate



Republicans need to retake the Senate in 2014.  To do this, GOP strategy should be to force the Senate Democrats to vote for Obama’s unpopular agenda over and over again.  The first step is the sequester.  Boehner should promise to carefully consider any bill cutting spending that passes the Senate.  Boehner should not negotiate with anybody, especially Obama who is the definition of bad faith negotiation.  Obama negotiates like Chicago Democrats do with Republicans, with a "take it or don’t we’ve got the votes" attitude.  He will not truly compromise on anything, especially budget cuts.  He wants budget and tax increases since he is a tax and spend liberal.  However, the Senate has a lot of members who have to face reelection.  They don’t want to be on the record voting for tax and spend, since it will not be popular in their states.  Democratic Senators from states Romney carried also don’t want to vote on the record for assault weapon bans or easy amnesty for illegal aliens.  Republicans should encourage them to vote on the record on these issues.  It will help us pick up about 7 Senate seats if they vote with Obama.

Obama Delivers Unemployment for Blacks

Forget for a minute the current president’s skin color.  Consider his results as they apply to the minority community that the president got to vote for him in overwhelming numbers.  The spread between black and white unemployment rates has increased under the current administration, both for teenagers and generally.  Black unemployment for both sexes aged 16 to 19 is currently 37.8 percent (seasonally adjusted).  Black unemployment generally is currently 13.8 percent (seasonally adjusted).   The comparable figures for whites are 20.8 percent for teenagers and 7.0 percent generally.
http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t02.htm  In 2008 under George W. Bush, black unemployment for both sexes aged 16 to 19 was 31.2 percent.  Black unemployment generally was 10.1 percent.  The comparable figures for whites in 2008 were 16.8 percent for teenagers and 5.2 percent generally. http://www.bls.gov/cps/race_ethnicity_2008_unemployment.htm  The difference between black and white teenagers is now 17 percentage points.  In 2008, it was 14.4 percentage points.  The difference between blacks and whites generally now is 6.8 percentage points.  Back in 2008 it was 4.9 percentage points. 

If the president was a white Republican, this record would be highlighted and denounced on front pages as an example of Republican racism.   If the president was a white Democrat, it would be regretted as a lack of progress, despite good intentions.  Since the president is black, nobody mentions it.  He is judged by the color of his skin, rather than the results of his policies.


Feb 7, 2013

Keynsian Economics Has Failed




Unfortunately, liberal elites are still the slaves of a dead economist, John Maynard Keynes.  Economists have not recognized the failure of Keynsian economics.  I think the uniform failure of deficit spending to promote growth has to be recognized.  If the model worked, we would not be talking about Japan's lost decade, or more accurately lost generation.  Japan's debt is now over 200 percent of GDP.  Their growth rate in response to an ocean of deficits is uniformly poor.  The story is similar in Europe, particularly Southern Europe.   There is no way Uncle Sam can continue to borrow 40 cents of every dollar spent.  When governments get this far behind, they usually pay off the debt with hyper inflation.  This never ends well.  The usual outcome is social disintegration followed by dictatorship.  For example, the hyper inflation of Weimar Germany after WWI lead to Hitler.  The Federal Reserve's constant quantitative easing in search of economic growth is going to lead to increasing inflation and interest rates.  They are buying 70 percent of the debt Federal Governments incurs each month.  Once interest rates go up, the deficits will balloon, 160 billion dollars a year for each percentage point.  We have got to cut spending and stop the coming train wreck.

Gay Marriage and the 10th Ammendment



I support gay marriage as long as it's done by state legislatures and not the courts. I think it requires state legislation to make it less contentious. The Supremes should rule that marriage is a state matter and that the 10th Amendment precludes Federal intrusion, so the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. However, I don't see how the 14th Amendment would apply in this case, so the Supremes should say it requires action state by state to make it legal. The Federal and state governments should recognize any marriage performed in any other state. I'm a Republican with libertarian tendencies. I don't think the Federal Government belongs in anybody's bedroom.

     I think marriage is a civil contract upon which inheritance is based. This was the position of the Pilgrims in 1620 who landed on Plymouth Rock without a minister to do weddings. Marriage is a legal construct to allow individuals to accept a standard relationship agreement enforced by the state. I don't believe marriage has to involve procreation. Procreation happens very frequently without marriage, and marriage happens very frequently without procreation. I do believe marriage is a states' rights issue. Every state should have the right to make its own laws about who can marry in their state. However, a marriage performed in any one state should be recognized in all states. I do not think that gay marriage is required by the 14th Amendment. In practical terms, it would be a Roe v Wade scale disaster if the Supremes tried to make law by ruling gay marriage is required by the 14th Amendment. It seems obvious that the 14th Amendment is about slavery and race. I don't think gay marriage was ever discussed as a reason for adoption of the Amendment. Finding an abortion penumbra in the constitution as an excuse to legislate from the bench has made the abortion argument much more divisive and prolonged than it would have been if it was left to the state legislatures to work out.  Gay marriage belongs in state legislatures.
      The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was legislated as a result of public support, not the result of the ruling in Brown vs Board of Education. The Roe vs Wade decision has been divisive for years and still is, in my opinion because it was legislated in court and not in the state legislatures. That's why gay marriage should be the legislature's call. The end is usually tainted by the means. If abortion had been worked out state by state, we'd be at the same place we are now with a lot fewer angry people. In the meantime, people can see that the sky won't fall just because gays are married. We can try it out and get used to it gradually. That's the advantage of a federal system. Local decisions can pave the way for more general results.
      Without the Defense of Marriage Act, gay marriages performed in New York, for example, would have to be recognized by all other states and the Federal Government. My wife's cousin got married to his partner in New York. They live in Florida. If DOMA is ruled unconstitutional, then Florida would have to recognize it. Also, they could file joint income tax and get social security survivor benefits. Problem solved without anywhere near the fuss of a 14th Amendment ruling that gay marriage is Constitutionally guaranteed.
      A 10th Amendment ruling against DOMA should get a lot of conservative backing. We love the 10th Amendment.  We want the Feds out of the picture as much as possible.  Consistency requires that we should want DOMA out of the picture as well.

Borrowing 40 Cents on the Dollar



How can you liberals ignore that 40 cents of every dollar Uncle Sam spends is borrowed?  Do you liberals really believe that you can raise taxes that much on just "the rich?"  The fiscal cliff negotiations were all tax increases, combined with some small spending INCREASES.  That’s right, a balanced approach of all taxes and no cuts.  We conservatives are done with tax increases.  Pass a bill in the Senate with cuts equivalent to the sequester cuts and we’ll carefully consider it.    I'm not big on personal attacks, but liberals seem stubbornly math challenged.  When any government's debt gets too big to pay, the only way to pay it is hyper inflation.
       The Federal Reserve has been buying 70% of Uncle Sam's debt.  They just raised their official inflation target.  Congressional liberals and our liberal president object to ANY spending cuts.  Do you seriously think this can go on forever with no consequences?  How much money can the Fed create before there's a serious problem?  I guess liberals want to do the experiment.  With regard to the relationship of unemployment and inflation, google the Phillips Curve, and cure your ignorance.  Liberals are Debt Deniers.  Every percentage point that the interest rates do go up will cost us about 160 billion dollars per year. Governments that run up this kind of debt, generally use inflation to pay it off in cheaper dollars.  See for example, the Weimar Republic in post WW1 Germany, where it famously took a wheelbarrow full of money to buy a loaf of bread.  I am not sure how you think we can continue Social Security and Medicare when our economy is trashed by hyper inflation and financial disaster.  You seem to think there is no limit to how much money we can print.  Money has value only when it's scarce.  If you print unlimited quantities, it's not scarce.  If the money is worthless, all the compassion in the world is not going to help seniors, including me.
      For me, the optimal inflation rate is zero.  When I was a kid, in the 50’s and 60’s, gold was 35 dollars an ounce and a good sized candy bar was a nickel.  Now, with the Federal Reserve having pursued the “optimal inflation rate” all these years, gold is 1,678 dollars an ounce and a candy bar costs at least $1.25.  Both parties are to blame for that.  However, there is no need to continue looking for an optimal inflation rate.
As far as Republicans not letting Obama have everything he wants, I can only quote a much beloved president: "Elections have consequences."  This is true in Congress every bit as much as it is for the president.
   

Why No Help for Benghazi Conulate?



        Here are a couple of timelines published about the Benghazi attack:  http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/09/world/africa/libya-benghazi-timeline/index.html , http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-19587068  For sure, the drone saw most of the attack on the CIA Annex because it happened after the drone got there.  There also was footage from the consulate before the security cameras got knocked out, which the Embassy in Tripoli should have been monitoring.  Do you really believe that there was no communication between Clinton and Benghazi for 6 hours during an attack?  No satellite phones, no secure intranet connection, no communication of any kind?  If you do, why was the communication setup so poorly done, and who was responsible for that?  If you don't, Obama and Clinton did very little.  They sent an unarmed drone.  As far as the risks of using military force, I would have hoped that we learned enough from other terrorist attacks that we scramble whatever we've got to support our people.  We may not be able to use them, but at least we would have the option.  There should have been fighter bombers overhead, ready to give support within "hours" of the initial attack.  It wasn't like the date was picked at random.  It was September 11.  If the Administration did not order any military help, then why not?  If they didn’t have any ready, then why not?  BS about asking permission from the Libyan government as if they had any control over more than a small part of their country is a transparent dodge.  They certainly didn't control Benghazi then, and from published reports still don't.
        One final question:  Given the Algerian natural gas facility terror attack by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, and the significant 9/11 date of the Benghazi attack, can a rational person still maintain that it was just some guys who decided to kill some Americans on the spur of the moment?

Liberal Collective Action



Collective action, as defined by liberals, seems to mean government action.  Positive freedoms for some mean negative consequences for others, with the government deciding who gets assigned to which group.  Giving the government this kind of power subverts the limited government vision of the founders.  It replaces God given rights with government given rights.  Consent of the governed becomes compulsion by the government.  In Chicago, we used to have a saying, "If you don't vote right, you don't get your streets fixed."   Under Obamacare, we’ll get to test whether not voting right means you don’t get your health fixed. Remember, Chicago style is to reward your friends and punish your enemies.  Since the president’s style is pure Chicago, I expect to see my healthcare deteriorate.  I confess.  I didn’t vote right.

Feb 6, 2013

Liberal Racism



Have you noticed that liberals seem to have a racist and sexist view of Republicans who are not white men?  Here’s the latest example: http://blogs.houstonpress.com/hairballs/2013/02/ted_cruz_nelson_hagel.php
In this case Ted Cruz is a Republican Senator who happens to be a Tea Party Hispanic. This contradicts the liberal “narrative” that all Republicans, especially Tea Party Republicans, are racist.  So he has to be attacked immediately and as with as much distortion and incendiary rhetoric as possible.  In this article, the uppity Republican Hispanic was “schooled” by a liberal white man over his questioning of Chuck Hagel, the president’s nominee for Secretary of Defense.  According to the article, Senator Cruz was “channeling the ghost of (Joe) McCarthy” when he asked Hagel about his previous public statements with regard to sanctions against Iran.  The author of the article concludes that “whenever Cruz sullies his status in the future -- which he is all but guaranteed to do -- this clip will, and should, be repeated.”  Can any of you liberals out there explain why this isn’t the vile racism Republicans are usually accused of? 
My next example is Tim Scott, the only black Senator right now who also happens to be a Tea Party Republican.  Here’s the link to an article that says, “Many liberals are unimpressed with Scott's historic appointment.”  The article’s headline says he’s a “token.”
Just to complete the set, here’s a liberal article, “The Shame that is Bobby Jindal,” about the Republican Governor of Louisiana who happens to be the son of immigrants from India.  Since liberals can’t stand any Republican who’s not white, they attack based on the fact that he doesn’t understand what minorities really want, at least as it’s understood by the white liberals of the Democratic party.
The article’s subtitle says, “Posing as the man to remake the GOP, he’s just a Southern Paul Ryan, balancing budgets at the expense of the needy.”
            Liberal racism for Republicans of color isn’t a recent development.  The Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings were a circus because he was a black Republican.  What was interesting was that Thomas was confirmed with no problems for the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in 1990.  Once he was nominated for the Supreme Court in 1991 to fill Thurgood Marshal’s seat, Thomas was transformed into the devil incarnate.  Since this inconsistency was widely noted, liberals learned that they had to start vilification earlier in the process.  So when Miguel Estrada was nominated to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Democrats filibustered his nomination.
            Liberal sexism for Republican women is also rampant.  Who can forget Sarah Palin as “Caribou Barbie?”  Since liberals thought they had to work too hard to smear the Governor of Alaska, they accused Nikki Haley of infidelity before she was even elected Governor of South Carolina.