Saturday, November 29, 2008

Back From Thanksgiving

Yes, I did notice the attacks in India this week. Mark Steyn has an excellent piece on the subject. I thought it was a bit surreal to watch reports on the crisis in Bombay juxtaposed with tips on cooking a turkey. And this pair caused only slightly more confused forehead-slapping than the shocking account of a guy getting trampled on Long Island sandwiched in between all the "no one will be shopping this holiday season" stories. These are just some of the many reasons I watch as little TV news as possible. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Minnesota Ballot Challenges

You'd think this would be an easy one, but . . .

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

FDR Experimentation on a Chart

Want to see the effect of bold, persistent experimentation after a financial crisis? Check out this graph with accompanying explanation. Obama is set to replicate the dismal results produced by FDR after the Depression. Free market solutions make things better quicker. Government tinkering makes a bad situation worse.

Obama Supporters on Video

This is some amazing stuff . . . okay, it's stuff we already knew. But it's still crazy!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

What Center?

In his short, but brilliant, piece on NRO, James Gimpel points out that the conventional (and outdated) model of political participation and affiliation might not really be true. You've heard this theory before: The is a vast continuum with conservatives on the right, liberals on the left and a big bulge of moderates in the middle. It is thought that one should adopt "centrist" policy positions to attract this great multitude of moderates and undecideds.

But who are these staunch centrists and what policies really excite them? It turns out that most of them don't really care much about politics one way or the other. They don't care what you stand for so long as you are energetic and entertaining (and so long as their friends like you). Personally, this explains a lot about the recent election and the state of political intelligence in our country.

Ordinary Americas have not suddenly lurched to the left (nor can we conclude that they have come home to the right, should we do well in 2010). Rather, it seems that most Americans, for whatever reason, just don't really care to think about it too much. In one respect, it is comforting to know that Americans aren't just dying to be socialists (for the most part). But it's shocking to recognize the state of most people's political acumen (specifically, the lack thereof). American politics is less about policy nowadays and more about your number of friends on Facebook.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Apply Now!

Here is the application for getting some bailout cash. I'm pretty sure it's only for companies that are too big to fail, but seriously, what is up with this?!? And how do I keep them from giving all my money away? By the way, do you remember all that fuss about buying junk mortgages from lenders? The week-long non-stop discussion and debate? And those big votes in Congress until it passed? And how if we didn't do it, the world would end?

Well . . . Paulson decided he'd just go another direction on that one. I'm not really sure what direction that might be (these guys seem to know), but I'm guessing it has something to do with printing up a big stinkin' pile of fresh money and handing it out. Now why didn't I think of that?!? Aaarrrggghhh . . .

Oh, and, the best part? All this will be solidly pinned to the Bush administration (which deserves only some blame) with no more mention of the Democrat policies and criminality that really got us here (Community Reinvestment Act and Acorn thugs). When things really start to get bad, about two or three months after Obama (may he live forever) takes office, his socialist schemes will never be blamed for taking us from bad to worse. FDR booted. Have a nice day.

Big Corporations or a Free Market?

I just stumbled across this very enlightening article from Cato Unbound. Roderick Long describes how liberals, conservatives and libertarians have all been guilty of confusing the fact that big corporations are not a result of a free market. Mind-bending, but true. Whip conflation now!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Mark Steyn: Death of the American Idea

Not the most cheerful reading, but right on the money. He even manages to work in a nice reference to Scrooge McDuck!

The Real Bailout: $2 Trillion!

Do you think the $700B bailout recently passed by Congress was over the top? Just too much money? Well, that's not the half of it. The real bailout is over $2 trillion and counting! And the best part? The Fed won't tell anyone where the money is going. No transparency, just lots of smoke and mirrors. Maybe all that money is necessary for the survival of the human race, but that's true then why do we have all this secrecy? At least we'll soon have Obama to drive our economy straight into the ground straighten this all out!

Friday, November 7, 2008

More Assessment

For anyone concerned that the Republican Party has just been too conservative, Mark Steyn has this to say:

. . . As I said on the post-2006 NR cruise, it requires a perverse genius on Bush's part to get damned as a lunatic right-wing cowboy when 90% of the time he's Tony Blair with a ranch. As we've seen these last few months, John McCain was so accustomed to running against his party the old dog was incapable of learning the entirely novel trick of running for it. What about the other star names in this year's primary season: Rudy Giuliani? Well, there's a pro-life gun-nut. Mitt Romney? Technocrat governor of a deep blue state. Mike Huckabee? Compassionate conservatism on steroids.

In other words, I don't think the problem these last few years has been "right-wing extremism".

Office of the President-Elect

Yeah, I hadn't heard of that office either, but apparently it exists now:

Let's see what's on the agenda, in no particular order:

  • Strengthen Civil Rights Enforcement

  • Combat Employment Discrimination

  • Expand Hate Crimes Statutes

  • End Racial Profiling

  • Enact a Windfall Profits Tax to Provide a $1,000 Emergency Energy Rebate to American Families

  • Crack Down on Excessive Energy Speculation

  • Increase Fuel Economy Standards

  • Establish a National Low Carbon Fuel Standard

  • Invest In A Clean Energy Economy And Create 5 Million New Green Jobs

  • Create a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank

  • Ensure Freedom to Unionize

  • Protect Striking Workers

  • Raise the Minimum Wage

  • Expand the Family and Medical Leave Act

  • Expand Paid Sick Days

  • Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit

  • Expand Early Head Start and Head Start

  • Create the American Opportunity Tax Credit
  • (This universal and fully refundable credit will ensure that the first $4,000 of a college education is completely free for most Americans, and will cover two-thirds the cost of tuition at the average public college or university and make community college tuition completely free for most students.)
  • Reverse Bush Tax Cuts

  • Provide Universal Health Care

  • Strengthen the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

  • Give Real Authority to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Board

  • Expand Corporation for National and Community Service

  • Expand the Peace Corps

  • Protect and Strengthen Medicare

  • Encourage Diversity in Media Ownership

  • Support a Woman's Right to Choose

  • Fight Gender Violence Abroad

  • Protect Title IX

  • Promote Women in Math and Science

  • Create a White House Office on Urban Policy

  • Fully Fund the Community Development Block Grant

  • Increase the Supply of Affordable Housing throughout Metropolitan Regions

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Free Financial Markets Course

If you're really motivated to learn more about financial markets, a good place to start may be ECON 252: Financial Markets with Dr. Robert Shiller at Yale University. Full video of all 26 75-minute lectures are available from Open Yale Courses.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

How We Got Here and Where To Go

Here is a symposium from some NRO people. It's time for Republicans to wake up to the new world of American politics.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Defeat Isn't the End

Well, it's over. We lost. Man, this stinks. I had almost forgotten what it felt like to have a Democrat win the race for the White House. As I recall (and can attest to this moment), it feels sort of like being punched in the stomach. We're going to need a little time to grieve about this. And to complain and commiserate. We're going to need to do some praying and some soul searching.

And then we need to pull ourselves together. We still live in the greatest country on the planet. It will take more than an election to change that. The sun still comes up in the east. Life goes on. God is still on His throne. For Christians, this world isn't really even our home. We're just pilgrims on our way to glory. We still have the same Great Commission we had yesterday.

Things may get tough in the coming days. Stay strong. We conservative Americans are not the type to just roll over and die. We will fight on. We only truly lose if we give up. So don't give up.

The Two-Party Monopoly

It's Election Day! While some have accused Democrats or Republicans of illegally manipulating the vote, a more troubling issue is the massive and unchecked power these two parties collectively wield in American politics. While the ruling parties primarily rely on the two-party psychology they have successfully engrained in the public mind, they have this year demonstrated a willingness even to violate election laws if necessary to supress political competition. An editorial by Radley Balko at Fox News illustrates this monopoly's power to control elections:

"Those of you voting in Louisiana or Connecticut this week won't have the option of voting for Libertarian Party candidate Bob Barr for president. In both states, Barr's campaign insists it had more than enough signatures to put his name on the ballot. But in Louisiana, the courts determined that Barr's campaign missed the filing deadline. That was in part because state offices were closed the week of the deadline, due to Hurricane Gustav. No matter. A federal court determined it would be too expensive to reprint the state ballots to include Barr's name.

In Connecticut, state officials initially said the Barr campaign came up about 500 names short of the 7,500 signatures required to put Barr's name on the ballot. They later acknowledged that they had made an addition error. Barr was only 321 names shy of the minimum. The state then admitted that state officials had actually lost 119 pages of signatures—almost certainly enough to put Barr over the top. Nevertheless, a U.S. District Court judge ruled that Barr would not be on the ballot, citing testimony from Connecticut officials that it would be "nearly impossible" to reprint the ballots to include him.

Meanwhile, in Texas, the tables were turned. Both the Republican and Democratic parties somehow missed that state's deadline to include Barack Obama and John McCain on the Texas ballot. Barr's campaign sued, noting the equal protection problems with allowing the two major parties to skirt campaign rules while holding third party candidates to the letter of the law. Barr was right — Obama and McCain should have been kept off the Texas ballot. But Barr's suit was dismissed by the Texas Supreme Court without comment. Apparently, the Democratic and Republican parties are, to borrow a now-tired phrase, "too big to fail." They're allowed to break the rules."

Monday, November 3, 2008

Obama Voters Vs. McCain Voters

This stunning Gallup poll reveals the reasons people support the candidates. As you might expect, it's mainly hope and change . . .

In other news: VOTE VOTE VOTE FOR MCCAIN! DO IT RIGHT NOW! Hey, if you've got the time, drive up to Pennsylvanian and vote there, too! :)

Why the "Lesser of Two Evils"

...isn't "evil". Dana's take from Principled Discovery.

To which I can only say, "What she said."

"Duty is Ours...

the results are God's."

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Helpful Insight From Obi-Wan Kenobi

This is actually from Jim Geraughty's mentor, nicknamed Obi-Wan Kenobi (where did he come up with such a clever name?). He has some very interesting tidbits and speculations on the forth-coming election.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

An Imperfect World

A few things have me thinking in these last few hours before election day. This spirited post & discussion over at The Common Room on voting, third party voting, and the like, for one.

And don't miss Dominion Family. Cindy has posted a video on why she won't vote third party, a common sense reminder on life after the election, and a great Mark Steyn quote, among other things, for another:

McCain vs Obama is not the choice many of us would have liked in an ideal world. But then it’s not an “ideal world”, and the belief that it can be made so is one of the things that separates those who think Obama will “heal the planet” and those of us who support McCain faute de mieux. - Mark Steyn

No, John McCain is not my first choice. And I protested that by voting for Fred in the primary even though he had already dropped out. But Obama is my ABSOLUTE LAST CHOICE. I'll take the 98% pro-life candidate over the 100% pro-death infanticide apologist any day. I'll take Sarah Palin over Joseph J-O-B-S is a Three Letter Word Biden any day, every day.

Maybe in an uncontested state (Texas?) you have the privilege of a "protest vote". Here in Ohio, where every vote counts, and illegal votes count more than others, I will not treat my vote so callously.

Maybe my point of view is different because I'm a woman. Because I'm a mother. I can just imagine my oldest one day asking me, "Mommy, why is it illegal for blogs to disagree with President Obama?" and having to answer, "Because, Sweetie, Mommy voted for Chuck Baldwin, Bob Barr, Ralph Nader, a third party candidate." Even worse, I can imagine all the strides forward we've made on life issues being swept away. (Parental consent laws, Partial-Birth ban, born alive protection, etc.)

There are no perfect candidates. No perfect turn-outs. No perfect situations. No perfect voters. The world isn't perfect. It won't be perfect until Jesus comes again and Obama isn't Him, no matter how many magazine covers give him a halo.

Each of us makes choices every day that aren't perfect. (Where to attend church, for example. I've yet to find a perfect one. Must be all those imperfect people inside or, at the very least, all those less than perfect pastors. I get to say that because both my dad and my husband are pastors. And they're this close to perfect, anyway.)

And, because I can, here's a scripture exhortation: "If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small." Proverbs 24:10.

Some of you are fainting. This is not the time to faint. This is fighting time. Maybe I'm fighting for my girls. Maybe I'm fighting for the good of my country. Maybe I'm fighting so that my testimony as a Christian is not mocked. All I know is I am not ready to roll over and let evil sweep over me. I'm not fainting. No matter who wins the election, our work is cut out for us. Don't rest. Don't faint.

No More Buying Gas Or Paying a Mortgage!

. . . according to this Obama supporter. Talk about high expectations!