Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Fed, Bankers, & Thomas Jefferson

The Federal Reserve cut rates yesterday to practically zero, and committed to 'quantitative easing'. The markets applauded by rising, and the cycle of debt-and-credit goes on. Will that help us now by making us pay later? I suspect so. The previous central banker, Greenspan, created one mess, and the current one, Bernanke, is 'solving' this mess but doing the very thing that Greenspan did in 2002-2003 to fix the previous bubble that burst (internet bubble). This will get us back 'on track' - maybe - or it may end up giving us another 'lost decade' like Japan had in the 1990s. The previous post mentions the price tag on the bailouts - about $7 trillion. 2% return on 10-year treasuries is absurdly low and it makes for cheaper housing refinancing, but at the same time it inflates our currency and sows the seeds for a weak dollar and inflation down the road.

So it seems apropos to have a quote about the bankers. A tart suspicion of bankers has been an American tradition since ... Thomas Jefferson:

"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs. " - Thomas Jefferson in a Letter to the Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bailout Tally

Cost of the bailout is now twice the annual U.S. budget.

Michael Williams running for U.S.Senate

Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams has officially thrown his hat - and bow tie - into the ring: He is running for U.S. Senate. Some folks were touting him already as a great candidate, and I agree, as Michael Williams is a dynamic leader, engaging spokesman and a good conservative. From his press release:

AUSTIN – Michael Williams, Chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission, today announced that he is a candidate for the United States Senate.

Williams is running for the seat currently occupied by U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. He is a candidate for the seat when she resigns or retires

“This critical juncture in time provides an historic opportunity for Texans to rekindle our can-do spirit; to look to the future for solutions, not to the past,” said Williams.

A former prosecutor in the Reagan Justice Department and the Midland County District Attorney’s office, Williams has served two U.S. Presidents in three cabinet departments.

“I have taken a leading role on energy, education, criminal justice, economic and environmental issues as a Railroad Commissioner and a member of the U.S. Departments of Justice, Education and Treasury,” said Williams. “We can have economic prosperity and cleaner air and water. We can have financial security without our elected officials compromising their conservative principles. We can have government accountable to the people,” continued Williams.
Williams was appointed to the Texas Railroad Commission in 1998 by then-Governor George W. Bush. He has since won reelection to the statewide office three times.

Intimidation and secret ballots

Dr. Ronald Trowbridge's personal tale of crossing a picket line of an illegal faculty member strike:

"The nightmare that followed was the most stressful experience in my life, save for the cancer and death of my wife. ... On my first crossing, I was met and surrounded by my colleagues of 14 years. But they were now transformed into characters whose behavior I did not recognize. ... Donald said to me in the crowded faculty lunchroom, “There’s Trowbridge. No, he’s not a scab; he’s an oozing, running sore.” Laughter erupted. Sheila called me a “scab,” with a scowling, mean face. She really meant it. ... Shortly after the illegal strike ended (because of a student’s lawsuit), I was offered a vice presidency at Hillsdale College and took it. Though having been at this university for 14 years, there were no formal farewells, no goodbye parties, no nothing – not a single person came by my office to say goodbye.

The politics of intimidation is alive and it goes on today in many ways. Dr Trowbidge's lesson is that ending the secret ballot in union elections will be a triumph of political intimidation - and it will be. Yet that's not the only form of intimidation out there. A lot of what we call 'political correctness' is really a form of intimidation.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Quote of the Day: George Will on Conservative Candor

“Conservatives rightly think, or once did, that much, indeed most, government spreading of wealth is economically destructive and morally dubious — destructive because, by directing capital to suboptimum uses, it slows wealth creation; morally dubious because the wealth being spread belongs to those who created it, not government. But if conservatives call all such spreading by government “socialism,” that becomes a classification that no longer classifies: It includes almost everything… In America, socialism is un-American. Instead, Americans merely do rent-seeking — bending government for the benefit of private factions. The difference is in degree, including the degree of candor. The rehabilitation of conservatism cannot begin until conservatives are candid about their complicity in what government has become.” - George Will 11/16/08

Monday, December 8, 2008

Massive Republican Boycott Planned!

Gays want a 'day without a gay' protest:

"On this day, participating involves calling out of work as "gay"(or as a gay ally), and using the time off to volunteer. It also involves eliminating yourself from the economy by keeping your computers (and the like) off, not making any purchases, and shutting down your company if you run one."
The silliness of this is manifest, but I have to note that conservatives, Christians and Republicans have this kind of day too ... where we take off work for a day, turn off the computer and buy nothing ... EXCEPT WE CALL IT CHRISTMAS!


I am sharing the idea of 'Campaign-in-a-box' with the NextRight crowd. What is "campaign-in-a-box"?

So we came up with the concept of "Campaign-in-a-box" - that is to say, a manifest of all of the elements needed to support a basic local campaign (e.g., state representative, county commissioner, etc.) that would enable a candidate not to get lost in the 'nuts and bolts' concerns of how to set up all the technology and communications infrastructure to support the campaign, but provides all the basics to him or her.

We will see what they think.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Obama's administration picks

Criticizing those don't approve of Hillary becoming Secretary of State as "Clinton haters" (as a statesman letter writer does) is grossly misplaced.

I for one think Hillary Clinton might actually have made a better President than Obama, and one reason is Obama's curious and in some case poor personnel choices. Hillary Clinton was the obvious Vice Presidential pick that Obama curiously passed over for Biden, a pick I called "subaverage" and which was confirmed as such when the Obama campaign hid Biden in an undisclosed location during the campaign. By picking Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State, Obama pulled another bone-headed move.

So he picked a guy who had a different view on Iraq for his foreign policy expertise, and put him in the VP slot. Hillary showed grit and determination in the latter part of her primary run, but "diplomatic" is not a word you associate with her. Further, her foreign policy achievements, other than an imagined sniper-fire landing in Bosnia, amount to: Nothing. Her accomplishments overall are replete with failures and fiascos; she blew the health care policy in the Clinton administration, and she blew it in her own primary run. Last, surely there is irony in Obama running as the guy who didn't vote for the war in Iraq, yet now putting foreign policy team in the hands of people who did.

All in all, it adds up to an appointment that makes no sense, except as a political payoff to his primary opponents, a payoff that would probably have been better allocated by putting Hillary in the VP slot and finding a real foreign policy expert for SoS, e.g., wheel out George Mitchell if you need a Democrat. The leftwing progressives should be doubly-reeling from this, since Obama has kept on Bush appointee Gates in DoD and got non-liberals in his national security advisor slot, and the Hillary they sniffed as being not pure enough on foreign policy issues is the face of the Obama administration on such matters. It's so confusing.

Dick Morris makes some sense of it, by explaining Obama is trying the parliamentary approach - getting the factions and rivals in the Democrat party into the administration:

Obama has appointed a group of rivals. Nobody in the Clinton White House or cabinet was his equal or could have considered challenging his re-nomination for a second term. But by naming Joe Biden Vice President, Bill Richardson Commerce Secretary, and, especially, by appointing Hillary Clinton Secretary of State, Obama has filled his government with people who could run against him in the primaries of 2012 should he falter and his ratings sink.

There is both method and madness in this. The method is to keep the rivals under his control; the madness, as Morris, explained is that "Even if these erstwhile rivals do not bring disloyalty to such a level, the likelihood is that they will always seek to burnish their own images, even if doing so hurts the President."

There are other nominations forthcoming that are much more concerning. Obama has appointed an immigration expert who knows nothing about terrorism to head Homeland Security. He is pushing Eric Holder to head the Dept of Justice, who in the Clinton department of Justice pushed the pardons of the FALN terrorists and billionaire Marc Rich, and who is linked to the Fannie Mae failures. So Obama is picking people who are neither the best for the job, nor the best to serve the President or administration first. President Obama will come to regret some of these selections.

Republicans win key runoff races

Some good election news for the Republicans on the heels of the Chambliss runoff win this Tuesday in Georgia. Republicans won two upsets in Louisiana Congressional races. Results here:

LA-2 , Orleans, Jefferson Parish: In a huge upset win, little known Republican attorney Anh "Joseph" Cao beat nine term and criminally indicted William Jefferson(D). Jefferson had been expected to easily win. Cao becomes the first Vietnamese member of U.S. Congress. LA-4, Shreveport-Bossier City, Sabine Parish, et. al., Western LA, TX/AR border: Republican Dr. John Fleming wins. Fleming was trailing by about 3% early in the election results but came on strong in the end to beat Carmouche(D) by 356 votes.

This win gives huge impetus to the proposition that we should "run every race":
As I noted yesterday and reiterate tonight, there could be no more vivid example of why we need to run Republican candidates in every district than Louisiana's 2nd. Cao won his seat more solidly than Fleming did in an R+7 seat. Starting with Obama CoS Rahm Emanuel, Democrats started to understand that Congressional races can be very nonpartisan under the right circumstances and that poor performance or other personal shortcomings by the incumbent can render even a hefty party ID deficit meaningless.
Here in Texas, we have the state Senate district 17 runoff between Huffman (R) and Bell (D). I am going to go out on a limb and predict Huffman pulls out a victory next week. In these other runoffs, the large African American turnout that came out for Obama and helped downballot in November didn't return in the runoffs. Those are the voters Bell would need to win. Would they bother voting for a perennially-losing bland white shill for the plaintiff's lawyers?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Daschle's Gameplan on Govt-run healthcare bill

Daschle wants sob stories for the Socialized Medicine roadshow:

Tom Daschle, Obama's point man on health reform, discussed the early strategy for revamping the nation's $2 trillion health care system. Details of Obama's proposals won't be finalized for a while, but the political and public relations strategy is coming into place.

The strategy begins with giving people the chance to highlight their concerns and experiences. Daschle invited people around the nation to hold what amounts to house parties from Dec. 15-31. Obama's transition team will gather the information that's provided from those meetings and post the material on its Web site,

To put it in blunt terms, the Obama team is going to ramp up early in order to ram something through the Congress before it breaks down (like it did in 1993 and 1994). They are going to avoid a detailed plan from the administration side (which runs the risk of beign too vague, like Bush's plans on Social Security).

But ultimately the direction is all wrong. We don't need more Government healthcare mandates, we need less. . Now is NOT the time for massive government spending increases, nor is it a good time for increased mandates on businesses.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Dear Kooks: Obama is a Citizen

Malkin is part of the conspiracy:

I believe Trig was born to Sarah Palin. I believe Barack Obama was born in Hawaii. I believe fire can melt steel and that bin Laden’s jihadi crew — not Bush and Cheney — perpetrated mass murder on 9/11. What kind of kooky conspiracist does that make me?

Oh no ... the Trilateral Commission has gotten to her too? (That's sarcasm folks).

Seriously, Obama was indeed born in Hawaii and it's good to see the Responsible Right tamping down the flames of stupid conspiracy thinking.

UPDATE: Let me make the "Case Closed" argument clear to those who might not have delved into this. Here are the points to support the contention that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii and is a natural born citizen:

1) The CoLB that Obama released is shown on It states the registration was made Aug 8th, 4 days after birth, and the birthplace was Honolulu. The CoLB, if it is legit, is just a printout of what is in the database and the database is what was entered Aug 8th, 1961 and reflective of the birth certificate. Unless the records were tampered with or changed since then, and there is no evidence of that, and unless the whole CoLB is forged, which some believe but I consider a false and weak claim at this point ... you are left with the conclusion that on August 8th 1961, his birth was recorded with state of Hawaii, and his birthplace was Honolulu.

2) At the same time the local Honolulu paper had a birth announcement, probably using the same information.

3) Is the CoLB a forgery? Extremely unlikely:

While it is conceivable to forge such a document, to do so in order to state a non-fact is chock full of many holes, and the document looks real and genuine. This picture does not look like the picture of a forgery, and it is quite interesting that the “It’s a forgery” argument applied on earlier documented CoLB images gets completely shattered by this photo, as it is clear that three was and is a real paper CoLB.

4) Now lets review the statement of the Hawaii officials:

“There have been numerous requests for Sen. Barack Hussein Obama’s official birth certificate. State law (Hawai‘i Revised Statutes §338-18) prohibits the release of a certified birth certificate to persons who do not have a tangible interest in the vital record,” DOH Director Dr. Chiyome Fukino said. State officials said Saturday they have personally verified that the health department holds Obama’s original birth certificate. “Therefore, I as Director of Health for the State of Hawai‘i, along with the Registrar of Vital Statistics who has statutory authority to oversee and maintain these type of vital records, have personally seen and verified that the Hawai‘i State Department of Health has Sen. Obama’s original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures,” Fukino said.

So we have state of Hawaii vouching for existence of Obama’s records. This makes the ‘CoLB is a forgery’ claim even more dubious to irrelevent.

5) People insist on seeing the ‘real’ birth certificate, but that would just be a form that repeats the CoLB. They have it on file. If you think that what they have on file in ANY WAY CONTRADICTS the CoLB that came from the Hawaii records database, then Mr Fukino would be ‘in’ on a scam perpetrated on all of us. I’d rate it a 99.999% probability that the birth certificate on file has the exact same information as the already-released CoLB and 0.0001% chance of scam ... how/why would the CoLB be forged if the state of Hawaii *does* have a real birth record for Obama?

Were Obama to find some dog-eared paper that is the original birth cert, 99% would again be happy and 1% would find reasons to consider it suspect, since they are trying to prove something - facts be damned - rather than be open-minded about the preponderance of evidence.

5. Claims that Obama was NOT born in Honolulu are burdened with the fantastic extrapolation that a pregnant and not well-off 17-year-old college freshman went overseas and travelled thousands of miles. And for what purpose? To have Barack Obama overseas only to then engage in a bizarre subterfuge of hiding that fact from that day forward. Apparently the complete and utter lack of evidence of any of this doesnt deter the conspiracy minded.

Putting all this together, we have enough evidence that, were this decided in a court of law, it would be clear that preponderance of the evidence falls on the side of Obama being born in Honolulu. And if and when the original birth certificate is produced, you could take it to ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’.

Barack Hussein Obama II was born in Honolulu, August 4th, 1961.