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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Obama's Desperation

Recently, Dick Morris said that election attacks take one of three forms: strategic, tactical, or throw everything at the wall and hope something sticks. The third is a clear sign of desperation. About four weeks ago, Democrats started attacking John Boehner. Before and after that, they attacked the Tea Parties. Republicans have been accused of pushing tax cuts for billionaires. Then, Obama and his staff chided some of their frustrated and weary supporters.

Now, yesterday, President Obama again chose to attack another favorite whipping boy. Fox News

You had folks like Hearst who used their newspapers very intentionally to promote their viewpoints. I think Fox is part of that tradition – it is part of the tradition that has a very clear, undeniable point of view,

They are even attacking liberal bloggers

Greenwald disagrees with Daou’s argument that bloggers like him are the “crux of the problem for Obama.” If anything, he thinks the White House pays more attention to blogs like his, and the effect that they have on the “chattering class and media elites,” than it probably should.

It seems that every week there's a new line of attack by Obama and his allies.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Russ Carnahan: Social Security is Just Fine

As I said in the Joel Pollak  

interview, Social Security operates like a Ponzi Scheme. Current income earners fund today's retirees. As I also suggested, all Ponzi Schemes blow up the time immediately following a good period. The baby boomers now have their bill coming due and that's why Social Security is anything but all right.

Greenspan: Cut Debt over Taxes

Alan Greenspan has weighed in on the tax cut debate.

It’s more important for the U.S. to cut its budget deficit than to extend tax cuts currently set to expire at the end of this year, former Federal Reserve Governor Alan Greenspan said in an interview on PBS.

“The budget deficit problem, I believe, is far more dangerous than most of us contemplate on a day-to-day basis,” Greenspan said in an interview to air on PBS television’s “Newshour.” While low interest rates have made it easy for the government to sell bonds, “assuredly they’re not going to stay here.”

Like most that favor raising taxes on the wealthy to "cut the deficit", Greenspan fails to point out that keeping the middle class tax cut will cost an extra $4 trillion over the next ten years. Why then shouldn't we raise their taxes as well? 

I also don't remember Greenspan vocally objecting to stimulus, TARP and Obamacare, all cost us much more than keeping tax rates on the wealthy the same.

Manchin Wants Parts of Health Care Reform Repealed

The popular governor turned Senate candidate is facing a much tougher race than he expected. He's now only up 2% in the latest RCP average. This is happening despite having about 70% approval ratings statewide.This may explain Manchin's sudden twist on health care.

In Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin's quest to strike a bipartisan chord as he campaigns to fill the late Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd's seat, he's joining the GOP's call to repeal pieces of health care reform.
Manchin endorsed President Obama's efforts on landmark health care reform and voiced support for the bill before and after its passage in March. Now, just five weeks away from a tougher Senate race than he expected against Republican John Raese, the governor said in an interview with RealClearPolitics that he supports many basic components of the law but volunteered that some of it needs to be repealed.

The race will still be tough and we'll see if Manchin does follow through on this promise if elected.

Friday, September 24, 2010


Interview with Joel Pollak

Here's my interview with Joel Pollak who's running for US Congress in the 9th District in Illinois against Jan Schakowski.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Obama Trifecta

So, what is in the news today? Velma Hart, the now famous questioner of President Obama in the CNBC townhall, is she the new Joe the Plumber. Second, Bob Woodward's book has the astonishing admission that President Obama chose a withdrawal date because "I can't afford to lose all the Democrats". Third, President Obama continues to be linked to Jimmy Carter.

The wheels have come off his presidency and he doesn't appear capable of fixing things.

U.S. Can "Absorb" a Terror Attack

Bob Woodward wrote a book I really liked called Bush At War and now he's out with his first book about the Obama administration. This quote is sure to generate all sorts of attention.

President Obama, after being warned repeatedly by his advisers about the threat of another terror attack on U.S. soil, said in an interview two months ago that the United States could "absorb" another strike.

The comment was included in the new book by journalist Bob Woodward, "Obama's Wars," excerpts of which were reported by The Washington Post and The New York Times.

The book depicts the contentious debate the Obama administration endured to craft a new strategy in Afghanistan. According to the Post, Obama spent the bulk of the exhaustive sessions pressing for an exit strategy and resisting efforts to prolong and escalate the war.

The book also describes all sorts of infighting about the direction of the war. That said, there was all sorts of infighting in the Bush administration in Bush at War. This book is sure to create buzz and we'll see how it is received.

Diagnosis Mayor

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Who's the Extremist?

Let me see if I get this right. Democrats passed a 2000 page radical overhaul of health care, a 2000 page radical overhaul of our financial system, spent nearly $1 trillion to "stimulate" our economy, and almost passed a 2000 page radical overhaul of our energy policy. Yet, it's the Tea Parties that are extremists because they want to reign in government, cut spending, and lower taxes. Good luck with that strategy.

The Marxist or the Witch

That's how aptly Bill O'Reilly calls the race in Delaware. The problem for Christine O'Donnell is that all the attention is on her. If she makes the race about her opponent, Chris Coons, and his massive government spending, expansion, and entitlement policies, she might win. Right now, however, the race is all about her.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Chicago Photos

Dem Congressman Asks Pelosi To Step Down

Democratic Congressman Brett Carter, of Tennessee, asks House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to step down in this letter. Here's the story.

For the good of the country -- and his campaign -- a Democratic congressional candidate is calling on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to leave her post next year.

Imperiled candidate Brett Carter, who's running for Congress in a conservative district in Tennessee, sent a letter to the California Democrat Thursday urging her to publicly announce that she will not seek the speakership next year.

Of course, the only civil war is in the Republican Party, right? We'll see how many in the media take a look at this story.

Total Hypocrisy on Christine O'Donnell

Remember these quotes...

tax cheat Tim Geithner


turbo tax Tim Geithner

Those are two common things that Sean Hannity says about the Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner. Remember, Geithner didn't pay the social security tax on his income at the IMF. The same Sean Hannity is now a chief defender and cheerleader for Christine O'Donnell. Isn't this the same Christine O'Donnell that is behind on her taxes?

In March, the IRS initiated an audit and placed a lien against her for $11,744.59 in taxes and penalties from the 2005 tax year.

When Karl Rove famously attempted to bring this up, Sean Hannity fiercely defended O'Donnell and said she explained all her tax troubles to him (Hannity) and her answers were fine. Of course, Geithner also explained his own tax problems. That hasn't stopped Hannity from attacking him mercilessly on the issue.

Meanwhile, the same liberals that fiercely dismissed the tax issues of Geithner, Rangel and other Obama associates are now saying things like this,

how can someone who can't handle their own finances be able to handle the nation's finances?

That sounds an awful lot like a conservative argument.

The reality is that everyone is an opportunist on this issue. If you are O'Donnell's opponent, her personal financial problems are a serious issue even though similar issues are dismissed when done by political allies. If you are like Sean Hannity, the same problems that mean you attack Tim Geithner mercilessly mean you dismiss them with Christine O'Donnell.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dems in Big Trouble: A Microcosm

Last night, the Democrats of the 48th ward in Chicago held their regularly scheduled meeting and it was indicative of the kind of trouble they are all in. First, they fear the Tea Parties like no force going. According to a staffer from Congresswoman Jan Schakowski's office, the Tea Parties,

they enter communities and they are taking over. And they're changing the voting demographics everywhere.

She cited Democrat Phil Hare, who's district includes Rock Island (and who once said the Constitution doesn't matter) as an example. Hare's district is reliably conservative and he's in big trouble. The same person cited a 21% "enthusiasm gap" between Republicans and Democrats about voting this fall.

Second, no one was touting the Democrat's agenda. There was no mention of Obamacare, the stimulus, financial reform. There were certainly no mention of local, county or state accomplishments, since there are none. The only candidate with tangible accomplishments was the Attorney General, Lisa Madigan. Her representative spoke of several initiatives including one that targeted criminals that use nursing homes as their home base.

Third, the candidates attacked Republican Gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady on his belief in creationism, his stance on abortion, and his position against LGBT rights. Now, the 48th ward is especially progressive and it has a large LGBT community. Still, social issues will be non existent this fall. So, why is the focus on social issues?

The representative from Governor Quinn's office addressed a major controversy, increased salaries among his staff. The staffer said all those that received raises had added responsibilities. That may be true but the question is why did so many staffers receive extra responsibility. Quinn also touted initiatives to create jobs though his first initiative was to raise everyone's taxes, not exactly stimulative.

Pension reform was minimized, even though that's a massive hole in our budget. All Democrats tried to frame the election as a choice. Ultimately, there was little in the way of accomplishments. Most curious was Harry Osterman. He's currently the State Rep in the area. He's running for that office in November. He's announced that he's running for alderman next spring. Why would someone move from state government to city goverment? That's still not clear.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What's So Bad About a Political Civil War

All we're hearing today is how Christine O'Donnell's election is yet another example of the Tea Party eating its own and subverting electable candidates in favor of fringe candidates. By so doing, the movement is snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

This is curious. After, whether you're a Democrat, Republican, or Independent, one thing is certain. You are unhappy with D.C. politicians. You're unhappy with the status quo. You're unhappy with the establishment.

So, what does the Tea Party movement do? It challenges all that. More often than not it wins. Isn't that a good thing? Isn't the Republican Party doing exactly what the voters are demanding and purging itself of the political class that caused the cynicism. In the process, we've seen voter turnout boom, excitement increase, and fresh faces have shown up.

Furthermore, it's created a well needed debate over the future of the party. Meanwhile, facing an unprecedented electoral disaster, what has the Democratic party done? It's reelected, almost entirely, the exact same folks. Even the man facing a series of ethics violations, Charlie Rangel, got nominated.

So, the voters are disgusted with career politicians, the status quo, and the establishment. The Republicans have responded by a full out war over all this in the primaries and the Democrats have done nothing. Yet, if you read some so called smart people, it's the Republicans with the problems.

Republicans in Delaware faced a very simple choice in Tuesday's primary: Did they want to win Joe Biden's old Senate seat in November, or did they want to lose it?

They went with the latter option, and if that really surprises you, then you haven't been paying close enough attention to Republican Party politics in the age of Obama.

The 2008 election, the second straight election in which it suffered a crippling national defeat, left the Republican Party drained of its hangers-on -- less ideological voters who had, in the past, broadly agreed with the party's philosophy, even if they dissented on individual issues. What was left was an angry, restive base that resented (and even feared) Barack Obama and that believed the GOP had lost power because it hadn't been conservative enough. This base quickly found a catchy name -- the Tea Party movement -- and dedicated itself to cleansing from the GOP's ranks politicians who reminded them of the party's pre-2008 spirit.

So, Republicans use the primaries to respond to all the concerns of the voters and the Democrats do nothing, and it's the Republicans that have the problems.

O'Donnell Talks the Talk...

Last night's big winner Christine O'Donnell certainly says all the right to endear herself to most conservatives. The question will be would she really be the fiscal conservative that she claims if elected.

That's a question that remains murky. O'Donnell has several income tax issues, a student loan issue, and mortgage issue. It doesn't appear as though O'Donnell is fiscally conservative with her own money. So, how can she be trusted with other people's money.

That's a question most of her ardent supporters not only won't answer but likely don't ask of themselves. Her main supporters at Tea Party Express are fond of calling her a true conservative.

On Tuesday night, Conservative Republican Christine O'Donnell won the nomination for U.S. Senate fair and square in the Republican Primary.

How did the Tea Party Express determine that O'Donnell is the conservative? It's certainly not from her voting record? After all, she has none. It's certainly not from her deeds. After all, her personal financial issues raise those questions. So, the only determination that she's a conservative is what she's said.

In that case, she's been determined by some in the conservative movement to be a conservative because she says what they want to hear. That's a huge problem. If all it takes to be considered a conservative is saying the right thing then anyone can jump in. It also means the vetting process leaves a lot to be desired.

I'm not saying that O'Donnell is not a conservative. My problem is just how easily some will swallow her conservativism without asking any questions of her. Sean Hannity is a cheerleader and not much else. Her scandals are nothing more than background noise.

Telling someone what they want to hear is what sales people do. It can be done by anyone. The inability to think critically is what zombies and sycophants do. Dismissing all of O'Donnell's problems because she talks like a conservative creates a situation where anyone can con their way into the movement.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Pavlov and the Progressive Tax

The Green Party has as part of its platform the support of the progressive tax system. The logic behind it is that the progressive tax is based on need. In other words, you need all of the first $20,000 you make. You need a lot less of the last $1 million of the $5 million you make, if you're fortunate enough to make that much.

I am a big believer in the principles of Ivan Pavlov. Pavlov did experiments on mice and dogs that showed that you can influence behavior based on what you punish and reward. The progressive tax system punishes success. In fact, Ronald Reagan, when he first became an actor, got a first hand taste of its corrosive nature. When he was first an actor, many of his colleagues recommended that he only make two movies a year. That's because by making a third he'd wind up in a higher tax bracket and actually take home less.

The progressive tax system is an incentive to make less because the more you make the less of that you keep. We want to encourage everyone to maximize their income and the progressive tax system does the opposite.

Friday, September 10, 2010

We Can't Afford Tax Cuts for the Rich?

That's what the president says when asked why he won't extend tax cuts for the top two percent. Those tax cuts, according to his numbers, would cost the Treasury $700 billion over the next ten years.

So, the same person that spent $787 billion on a stimulus and a trillion over the next ten years on health care reform says we can't afford those tax cuts. Go figure.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Brewer's Bad Gaffe

Now the question is how much will this hurt her.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Feingold: "I'm A Career Politician"

This one is hard to believe.

Feingold said at a news conference that Republican Ron Johnson's frequent use of the description in a derogatory way is unoriginal and falsely implies that being dedicated to public service is "somehow an awful thing."

"This man's campaign so far appears to be the constant repetition of a phrase, 'career politician,'" Feingold said. "And it's not very original because it's basically being used in every campaign in the United States of America. What it amounts to is an attack on me and what I've chosen to do in my life."

Feingold is facing a tougher-than-anticipated challenge from Johnson, a political newcomer Republicans hope can knock off the three-term incumbent and help put the Senate back in GOP control. Polls show a tight race eight weeks from the election.

I'm not sure if this is the year to run as the "career politician". If that's Feingold's strategy, this race goes from toss up to safe Republican.

As for his assertion that there's nothing wrong with a "career politician", I suggest he look around at the motley crue of thieves, liars, and opportunists we like to call Congress and he should get his answer for what's wrong with a career politician.

The Green Economy of HIlda Solis

Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis knows the answer the our sluggish economy.

This Labor Day, many people throughout Indiana are struggling just to get by. Families that have played by the rules are being forced into incredibly difficult decisions. Do they pay for their children's college tuition or make that mortgage payment?

These people are on my mind every single day and, like President Obama, I am hard at work ensuring they have a real opportunity to succeed.The recession has caused a generational restructuring of America's labor market, and our future now depends on what we do to retrain and retool for the 21st-century work force.

The Department of Labor already has given $223 million to help meet the needs of workers in Indiana, including Recovery Act funds. Our investments are aimed at training for in-demand jobs in high-growth industries, like energy efficiency and renewable energy generation. Other grants have gone to YouthBuild and youth work- force activities, assistance for dislocated and trade-impacted workers, and career counseling.

Businesses are leaner and more selective about hiring these days. We recognize and are meeting this challenge in many Indiana communities -- and across America -- by helping workers upgrade their skills. People will have the skills they need to get good jobs, and businesses will have the trained employees they need to succeed. That's what I call win-win.

The president is all about protecting the environment and he has a cabinet full of like minded people. Don't get me wrong. We should all be stewards of the economy. Furthermore, if someone wants to make money providing green energy, green jobs, or anything else that's green more power to them.

If they're using their own money, I wish them luck. That's why I like T. Boone Pickens. He's not only championing the green economy but he's putting a significant portion of his seven billion dollars behind it.

The problem here is that the president has a vision of our society, and he's determined to see it transformed into that vision. That's one thing. The problem is that he's determined to use nearly unlimited government resources to accomplish the green economy. That's the government picking winners and losers.

Wind farms like this are popular in some parts of Indiana. That's because the level land makes the area perfect for wind energy. The reality is that most of the U.S. is not fertile for wind energy.

That's the problem with most alternative, or green, energy sources. They are simply not ready for any mass scale usage. Yet, the president and his team are determined to jam the green economy onto the economy no matter how ready it is for it.

Summertime in Chicago

Friday, September 3, 2010

Christine O'Donnell's Financial Problems

Christine O'Donnell has taken the mantle as the fiscal conservative in the Senate primary in Delaware. Her own personal finances don't fit the message it appears.

O'Donnell, a perennial conservative candidate in Delaware, is challenging moderate Rep. Mike Castle (R), the clear favorite of the GOP establishment. But she has come under fire recently for her personal financial problems. Reports have surfaced that she owed $10K in back taxes, defaulted on her mortgage and holds outstanding campaign debt.

I am in no position to criticize anyone else's finances. Still, it will be interesting to see if this becomes a story. She makes fiscal conservatisim a platform, and so if her own personal finances don't match that, this should be an issue.

A new poll shows that race with Mike Castle tightening.

Anita Moncrief on BTR

I did a series of features on Anita Moncrief last year. She has resurfaced as the target of this piece on Blog Talk Radio.

Listen to internet radio with One Black Man on Blog Talk Radio

Here's one of my features on her.

"Mixed Numbers on Employment"

The economy lost 54,000 in August including the reduction of 114,000 census jobs.

Nonfarm payrolls fell 54,000, the Labor Department said on Friday as temporary jobs to conduct the decennial dropped by 114,000.

Private employment, considered a better gauge of labor market health, increased 67,000 after a revised 107,000 gain in July. In addition, the government revised payrolls for June and July to show 123,000 fewer jobs lost than previously reported.

The decline in payrolls was about half as large as expected. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast overall employment falling 100,000 and private-sector hiring increasing 41,000.

Following an awful number from ADP on Wednesday, the predictions were downright awful. So, the numbers beat expectations and the Dow is up over one hundred points.

The hours worked weekly stayed the same at 34.2 hours and the unemployment rate inched up to 9.6%. Though, that maybe somewhat good news as that's because more people came back into the workforce. The unemployment rate including discouraged and underemployed is at about 18%. Watch for the president to proclaim that we've gained private sector jobs for the seventh straight month, and, in fact, the number for July was revised up over 100k.