Archive for December, 2010

Some Final Thoughts…

I pondered doing a typical post on the winners and losers of 2010, but thought that it would be more interesting, and less pro forma, to simply pose a couple thoughts for general digestion.

We’ve learned this year that we as a nation are not as fickle and short sighted as politicians might hope for. It has long been assumed that we will forget a slight within a couple months and all will be forgiven. He who is incumbent has little to fear because the sheep will just pull the lever. Well, that line of thinking didn’t work out so well this year. We did remember, and we’re starting to hold folks accountable.

I think it is pretty clear that the greatest winner from 2010 was the Tea Party movement- and they’re here to stay. How do I know? When I walk into a bookstore now, at the front in the prime retail space of the store I see the Constitution, the Federalist Papers and the writings of our Founding Fathers. The political hyperbole aside partisans aside, there is a thirst and a hunger for a return to our beginnings, to understand who we are and where we came from.

But the Devil’s not left the building just yet. What can’t be done through legislation is and will be done through executive fiat. Don’t believe me? Look up Net Neutrality. The Court system  said don’t do it. The Congress said it wouldn’t pass it. So, like any good oligarchy, the Administration’s left wing radicals will do it anyway through executive powers. Remember, its about ends, not means.

2011 is a new year and a new chance. We can hope that this economic malaise we’ve been subjected through ends, but more importantly, it is the civil malaise we’ve been under that has to end. We are who we’ve been waiting for. Never has a more Orwellian phrase been uttered, but, as 2010 showed us, we are who we’ve been waiting for.

And we have arrived.

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A House of Cards…

Many laws as certainly make bad men, as bad men make many laws. ~Walter Savage Landor, Imaginary Conversations

And we all fall down…
A federal judge has ruled that the individual mandate in Obamacare is unconstitutional. Judge Henry Hudson, a federal district judge in Virginia, found in a 42 page ruling that the core premise of Obamacare, the individual mandate, exceeds the Constitutional authorities of Congress. This is one of some 20 plus pending cases against Obama’s signature political achievement.

This does not come as a great shock to most, however, the left- led by White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs- have trotted out the foolishness that of the three courts that have examined Obamacare thus far, two of the three have ruled in favor of the law.

Well Mr. Gibbs, it only takes one.

That said, it is important to understand the political ramifications of this ruling and the impact it will have on the political environment through this political cycle and into the next. This ruling sets into motion a series of dominoes that will eventually bring down the Obama Administration. This still has to go to the Supreme Court, but I predict that Obamacare, through the individual mandate, will be found unconstitutional by a 5-3 decision (Kagan will likely recuse herself from the case).

1st Order Effects…


The individual mandate was the critical component to Obamacare. Without it, the entire bill falls apart. It is the primary funding mechanism for the bill, and is the only way that the bill can possibly hope to pay for the coverage of 30 million plus, no pre-existing conditions or keeping young adults (yes, 26 makes you an adult) on older adult health plans.

By declaring that mechanism unconstitutional, from a technical perspective, the skeleton of the bill is removed. But there is a more important aspect that must be considered- severability. A standard part of any legislation is a severability clause, which allows that is any part of the bill is found to be unconstitutional, then the rest of the bill stands apart. In their back-room push to get this thing out, the Dems didn’t include a severability clause into the Obamacare. That means that any part found to be unconstitutional brings down the entire bill.

The left cried bloody foul long and hard because Obamacare did not allow for a public option, let alone mandate a single payer system altogether. This ruling is salt in the wound as a public option would have provided the funding mechanism and backbone to the bill that would have allowed for it to stand on its own. And with the collapse of the Dem party in the 2010 mid-term elections, there is no chance that a public option will see the light of day. This has to be a major disappointment for a political ideology that recognizes that it is in the national minority and following the political momentum of the 2008 political season, liberals were at the strongest they have probably ever been. That is all gone now with the 2010 mid-terms wiping out all of the gains made by Dems since 2006.

Obamacare, as we know it, is gone.

2nd Order Effects…

Ladies and Gentlemen, The SCOTUS…
Obama spent an enormous amount of political capital to get Obamacare passed. In fact, it was like a singular objective for the Administration, which some on the left finally recognize, in this economy, as a critical error made by the Administration. My friend Rutherford Lawson made this observation the day after the mid-term elections:

Liberals will burn me in effigy for saying this but if last night taught us anything it was that we wasted eighteen months on health care reform that most of the nation didn’t want when we should have had a full court press on job creation. Before you stick your pin in my voodoo doll, let me distill this for you. I walk up to you and say I am going to ensure that your employer can provide you with health care and that you cannot be rejected for pre-existing conditions. Your reply, “that’s fine and dandy but I don’t have an employer. I haven’t worked in two years. I’m about to lose my house.” And then I say “but I insist it’s your right to have good health care!” Then I wonder why you don’t vote for my ass in the next election.” – Rutherford Lawson

Rutherford has stuck with his assessment:

If you want to talk about messed up priorities, let’s talk HCR wrangling with almost 10% unemployment. THAT messed up priority is one I’ve finally come to accept and you’ll no longer get an argument from me there.

Dems in Congress have already paid a dear price for this miscalculation, a bill that will likely come due again in 2012. A reason for this constant pain is the constant unpopularity of the bill. Disapproval has surpassed approval since July… of 2009. A recent Gallup poll found that 45% of Americans think that Obamacare will make healthcare worse, not better.

So, Dems need to get past Obamacare as soon as possible, but Obama is not helping. Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and Virginia Attorney General Cuccinelli have asked Obama’s Department of Justice to bypass the Fourth Circuit of Appeals and bring the case before the Supreme Court, but Obama is unlikely to do this because the Administration wants to see the outcome of the remaining legal challenges to the bill. This ‘hope’ that some legal momentum can be ginned up prior to a Supreme Court challenge will keep the challenges to Obamacare in the forefront of the media. Likewise, DOJ’s appeal to Hudson’s ruling through the Fourth Circuit and- regardless of the ruling- places the inevitable appeal to the Supreme Court to early 2012, meaning that we could likely have a ruling by late summer, 2012- right in the heart of the 2012 Presidential election season. Dems who supported Obamacare, in the face of a Supreme Court ruling of unconstitutional, will likely be destroyed.

3rd Order Effects…

Hope and Change, Part Deuce…
This does not happen in a vacuum of course. Because of the way Obamacare was passed into law, because of the political bribes and wasteful spending of the bill, the GOP House will be in an extremely strong position in 2012, and a Supreme Court ruling striking down Obamacare will only strengthen the GOP’s position. The GOP claimed repeatedly during the legislative process that they were being shut out of the process and that the legislation was far exceeding the power of the Federal government. The Supreme Court will agree, thus making Dem rhetoric- especially that of a campaigning Obama- illegitimate. Whoever challenges Obama in 2012, whether in a Dem primary or in the general election, will be able to inflict significant political damage. More to the point, his challengers will be able to successfully take the issue of health care reform away from him, leaving him devoid of any real success to claim for his own.

And the Cards Come Tumbling Down…

This Administration, because of HOW it handled itself and because of HOW its party has managed legislation, is about to surpass Jimmy Carter as the worst President this nation has had in modern history. While Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid share large portions of the blame, the legacy of failure that this President has earned lies squarely on the shoulders of Barack Hussein Obama.

Is this the Pivot of the Fall

This is not what I expected…
On the evening of November 2nd and all through the 3rd, political pundit after political pundit called on the President to move, in Clinton-like fashion, to the center. The only exception to this was the professional left, who adamantly called on Obama to stick to his guns and ignore the shellacking that the Dems received. Stay the course, in classic decider-speak, was the best way to 2012.

Most on the right, myself included, opined that Obama would stay left and not move to the center. I stand by that assessment.

So what are we to make of the compromise between Obama and the GOP, much to the chagrin of Congressional Dems. So, before we can really appreciate the repercussions of the compromise, we need to know the substance of such.

There looks to be five key elements to the compromise:

1. All Bush era tax cuts will be extended for two years.
2. Worker payroll tax contributions (Social Security tax) will be reduced for one year by 2% (from 6% to 4%).
3. There will be favorable treatment for business investments (not really clarified what these favorable treatments will be).
4. The Estate Tax will remain at 35% vice returning to 55%.
5. Unemployment benefits would be extended 13 months.

The left- Obama included- seem to struggle in understanding how these things will affect the economy. Obama more or less admitted that he didn’t really have a choice in this because he, and the Dems, were politically outmatched. In an interestingly contorted comment during his 7 December news conference on the compromise, Obama responded to a question about the opportunistic nature of the compromise, he said, “This isn’t politics of the moment, this is what can we get done now.” Yogi Berra would be proud.

Needless to say, the left is en fuego. From the far-left blog DailyKos in an article titled Obama’s Chamberlain impersonation fuels new progressive uprising:

But now, progressives finally seem fired up. REALLY fired up. And it’s not because of the latest GOP outrage, but because Obama may have finally capitulated once too many times. They’re lighting up the phone lines.

Opposition to the cave-in, while not unanimous, runs deep among Obama’s strongest supporters — those who gave time or money to his campaign in 2008.

These numbers track closely our own unscientific web poll — in which 75 percent of Daily Kos readers opposed the deal, and 24 approved. This shouldn’t be worrisome to the White House because these people won’t vote for him in 2012. They probably will. But will they give money and knock on doors and make phone calls and drag their social circle to the polls? Nope. They didn’t in 2010. And at this rate, they sure as hell won’t in 2012.

Did I mention that Pelosi is the best Democrat in DC?

So, is this the pivot, or are we seeing the beginning of the fall for Obama?

A pivot implies that this was a calculated move on the part of Obama to move to the center to co-opt GOP issues and take credit for their passage. This is what Clinton did in 1995 following the Republican’s 1994 takeover of the House. He took issues that the GOP were going to push anyway and made them his so that when they got passed, who could claim them as his own.

Obama is not pivoting. He admitted as much in his December 6th announcement and his December 7th press conference. He is, at least thus far, conceding that he cannot expect a better position in Congress and so he is going to push for what he can get while the getting is good. He tried to put the best face on the compromise that he could at the press conference, even going so far as to say that he forced some issues on the GOP, but any honest observer sees this for what it is- capitulation.

To understand this, one must recognize that Obama was facing a serious, serious crisis- and he’s not out of the woods yet either because the Dems are threatening to stop this deal from going through. Imagine what popular opinion would/will be when that first paycheck for 2011 comes in and it is significantly lighter because of Uncle Sam’s taxes. The Dems can, and likely will, try to blame GOP obstructionism (which didn’t work for them in November, so why they might think it’ll work now is beyond me) but it is the Dems that control both chambers of Congress and the White House- and Obama is the face to all of that.

This makes the situation all that more serious for Obama, because the compromise now absolves the GOP of obstructionism. That leaves the Dems holding the bag for whatever may come if this deal fails to get passed by Congress. This doesn’t bode well for an Administration that has had Epic Fail after Epic Fail. With the November defeat so fresh in the minds of all, Obama needs to change the tenor of his Administration, which is why he needs some success from this Lame Duck session because the 112th Congress is going to be a very, very hard fight for him.

Which means this is the beginning of the end for Obama. November was the best indicator of what he could expect from the right and what the popular position is right now, but he has been able to rely on the left, his base, for support. Not anymore. Again, from the DailyKos exactly one year ago:

There is no question that organizing a 2012 primary challenge against Obama will be an difficult undertaking, but it is absolutely necessary, and will drastically increase the likelihood of either getting a decent progressive presidential candidate for our party in 2012, or else in pushing Obama back into the Democratic fold, which he has all but left at this point.

Dan Rather
Dan Rather, a closet liberal no more, said this following the President’s announcement of the compromise:

This is a political nightmare for Barack Obama as president. The more-left portion of his party hates this with a passion. And politically, within his own party, if this goes through, Barack Obama will be in a position to have his shirttail on fire, his back to the wall, and the bill collector at the door. Which is metaphorically a way of saying he’s almost guaranteed — if this goes through — to have a serious challenge in a Democratic primary for president in 2012.

That spells trouble for Obama since there is a poor track record for successful reelection bids for Presidents facing primary challenges. Consider that in 1976, Reagan challenged Ford- Ford lost. In 1980, Kennedy challenged Carter- Carter lost. In 1992, Buchanan challenged Bush Sr.- Bush Sr. lost.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) are hinting that they may look for a new candidate in 2012, considering they ran ads in Iowa- where the first 2012 nominating contest will be- criticizing Obama on taxes. I’d keep an eye on Howard Dean…

Obama was able to run in 2008 with almost zero scrutiny. He won’t have that luxury in 2012. The GOP candidate ran one the most inept and convoluted Presidential campaigns in history. Obama won’t have that luxury in 2012.

This is going to be like watching a train wreck, hopefully, the American people can stay off of the tracks…

Stop Lying to Me

The real cause of Global Warming
In early November, Al Gore made an interesting admission while in Greece: “First-generation ethanol, I think, was a mistake.” He went on to say, “One of the reasons I made that mistake is that I paid particular attention to the farmers in my home state of Tennessee and I had a certain fondness for the farmers in the state of Iowa because I was about to run for president.

In 1994 Gore was the deciding vote in a 50-50 split in the Senate on corn ethanol tax credit, which was $5 billion of last year’s deficit- and that number doesn’t take into account the increase in price for corn-based food and feed. This is incredibly important- ethanol, as an alternative fuel premised purely on the notion that it will improve the environment, has failed. It is less fuel efficient; it contributes more greenhouse gasses (read CO2) and is driving up the cost, while limiting the amount of food globally. There isn’t a win-win here; it is but yet another example of a government solution doing more harm than good.

Not satisfied with the level of damage he had inflicted on the U.S. while in office, Gore moved forward to line his private pockets with public funds in 2008 when he launched a $300 million ad campaign for the Alliance for Climate Protection, who had offices in 25 states. Well, Gore’s Alliance is now down to offices in just seven states. Per the Alliance’s spokesman, Sean Sarah, “We move to areas where it’s most effective. Of course the situation in Congress has changed. So our strategies and tactics have changed along with it.”

Did you catch that? Of course the situation in Congress has changed. So our strategies and tactics have changed along with it. Can you say Cap & Trade. Who do you think was going to benefit from that? You? Chuckle, chuckle, chuckle…

Greedy Bastard
It’s bad enough when our own government gives us the shaft, but it’s beyond the pale when the intellectually bankrupt Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), sponsored by the most corrupt, inept organization known to man- the United Nations- does it. From 14 November on the Neue Zurcher Zeitung Online:

Interview: Bernard Potter
NZZ am Sonntag: The new thing about your proposal for a Global Deal is the stress on the importance of development policy for climate policy. Until now, many think of aid when they hear development policies.

Ottmar Edenhofer: That will change immediately if global emission rights are distributed. If this happens, on a per capita basis, then Africa will be the big winner, and huge amounts of money will flow there. This will have enormous implications for development policy. And it will raise the question if these countries can deal responsibly with so much money at all.

That does not sound anymore like the climate policy that we know.

Basically it’s a big mistake to discuss climate policy separately from the major themes of globalization. The climate summit in Cancun at the end of the month is not a climate conference, but one of the largest economic conferences since the Second World War. Why? Because we have 11,000 gigatons of carbon in the coal reserves in the soil under our feet – and we must emit only 400 gigatons in the atmosphere if we want to keep the 2-degree target. 11 000 to 400 – there is no getting around the fact that most of the fossil reserves must remain in the soil.

De facto, this means an expropriation of the countries with natural resources. This leads to a very different development from that which has been triggered by development policy.

First of all, developed countries have basically expropriated the atmosphere of the world community. But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. Obviously, the owners of coal and oil will not be enthusiastic about this. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole.

Ottmar Edenhofer was appointed as joint chair of Working Group 3 at the Twenty-Ninth Session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in Geneva, Switzerland. The deputy director and chief economist of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and Professor of the Economics of Climate Change at the Berlin Institute of Technology will be co-chairing the Working Group “Mitigation of Climate Change” with Ramón Pichs Madruga from Cuba and Youba Sokona from Mali.

Copyright 2010, NZZ

One more time: “But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy.

Let’s put this in the proper perspective. The same organization focused on global redistribution of wealth- in the name of saving the planet from global warming of course, ahem- is doing so based on its own faulty reporting. The IPCC has been under a lot of pressure of late because its reports- reports used by governmental leaders to set state policy on climate change- are showing some glaring inaccuracies. In fact, inaccuracies may be too light a term, based on some statements from authors, it is outright deception. For instance…

In the 2007 IPCC report… a predicted melting of the Himalayan ice fields by 2035 — was a fraud. Not an accidental fraud, but a deliberately planted piece of science fiction. The IPCC author who planted that false Himalayan meltdown said the other day “we” did it because “we thought … it will impact policy makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action.

This also puts the Climategate email scandal in better perspective. Those scientists who intentionally destroyed communications to protect them from disclosure, they were not doing so out of embarrassment, they were doing so to disguise and hide their efforts to manipulate data towards a specific pre-desired outcome. Aside from the flagrant intellectual fraud, the economic fraud that this is inflicting on developed nations in the West makes Bernie Madoff look small time.

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=8023097&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=1&color=&fullscreen=1&autoplay=0&loop=0

Lord Monckton on Climategate at the 2nd International Climate Conference from CFACT on Vimeo.

Bottom line

At some point, there needs to be a serious re-examination of the entire global warming argument. I’m not saying that it is a myth or a hoax, but I am saying that those examining the issue are not doing so as honest, objective observers. The proponents refuse to engage in dialogue with the skeptics, so much so that they even refuse to share the data that they base their theories on. This is ludicrous! The entire point of the scientific method is for ANY scientist to be able to replicate findings using the same data and using the same methods. This is to prevent intellectual fraud, so when scientists treat their signature interest with an almost religious fever, they’re doing neither their issue, nor the scientific community, a service.

The politicization of the scientific community is nothing new, however, in the age of the 24 hour news cycle, one would hope that the constant light would disinfect the process, except when the light is being shone through their own rose colored lenses, but that’s a different story…