Liberal Politicians Exposed Portland To Danger Of Recent Terror Attack

A few days ago, the FBI arrested Islamist terrorist Mohamed Osman Mohamud for trying to bomb a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland, Oregon.  The guy was quite serious about trying to blow up as many innocents as possible:

In months of preparation with men he thought were co-conspirators but were in fact undercover agents, Mohamud backed up his talk with action. After initially making email contact with Islamist radicals in Pakistan, he took part in constructing what he hoped would be an extraordinarily powerful bomb, scouted the best location for the attack, parked the van containing the bomb near the Christmas tree crowd, and, finally, dialed the cell phone number he believed would detonate the explosives. “I want whoever is attending that event to leave either dead or injured,” Mohamud said of the 25,000 people expected to take part in the event.

Portland’s elected officials, however, were quite a bit less serious about protecting their citizens than Mohamud was about blowing them up.  In 2005, the Portland city council withdrew Portland police officers from the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force after Mayor Tom Potter complained that the FBI wouldn’t give him security clearance “so he could make sure the officers weren’t violating state anti-discrimination laws that bar law enforcement from targeting suspects on the basis of their religious or political beliefs.”  Nice to know where his priorities lie. 

Law enforcement certainly should not target people in general due to their “religious or political beliefs.”  For example, I concur with those who were appalled at the Obama Administration’s focus on the “religious or political beliefs” of returning veterans and groups that reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority in a terrorism threat assessment back in April of 2009.  (Current Portland Mayor is apparently not bothered about targeting such folks, since he told a local paper that he might ask the city council to rejoin the Joint Terrorism Task Force because “he has much more faith in the Obama administration” than in the Bush Administration.)

But there are some whose  “religious or political beliefs” lead them to focus on killing Americans.   They can be described as Islamic extremists.  Michelle Malkin has a gallery of this broad strata of society here.  We should be hunting down those people using all available resources — such as cooperation among state and federal law enforcement — instead of hand-wringing about offending their sensibilities.  Those who would ignore the very real and widespread threat of Islamic extremists put all of us in danger.

Published in: on November 29, 2010 at 12:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

Wikileaks Discloses Thousands Of Confidential Diplomatic Communications; Media Enablers Publish Them

In a follow-up to its previous leaks of sensitive information, Wikileaks has now disclosed 250,000 or so cables from U.S. embassies, with some sent as recently as February of this year. 

These disclosures are likely to be far more damaging than the disclosure of military communications from earlier this year, since they involve confidential discussions with and about our allies and adversaries around the world.  There is likely to be particular discomfort among many of our friends as their true feelings about, for example, the Iranian nuclear weapons program are revealed.  Time will tell just how damaging these disclosures are.

My first thought is that it is time to get very serious about prosecuting those involved, in this order of priority — (1) the leaker, (2) Wikileaks and its officers, and (3) media enablers who publish the materials.  On the news this morning, John Bolton called for prosecution of the leakers for treason, which would seem to be applicable here. 

My second thought is one articulated by Scott Johnson at Power Line this morning:

Surely readers will recall Times reporter Andrew Revkin’s inspiring statement of principle: “The documents appear to have been acquired illegally and contain all manner of private information and statements that were never intended for the public eye, so they won’t be posted here.”

No, silly, he didn’t say this about leaks that are harmful to national security.  Of course not.  Instead, the NYT took this brave stand against publishing stolen private information and statements not intended for publication when it really mattered — in defense of  the climate “scientists” whose leaked Climategate emails revealed to be acting rather unscientifically.

Published in: on November 29, 2010 at 11:53 am  Leave a Comment  

The Mile High Cab Saga Continues

I have written a few times about Mile High Cab’s attempt to enter the taxi market in the Denver metro area.  Today, the excellent news aggregator site Complete Colorado led me once again to the story.  The Denver Daily News reports that the Colorado Public Utilities Commission is considering “several motions, including whether to force existing cab companies to provide financial records indicating that they can’t absorb additional competition, according to Tom Russell, an attorney representing the group of drivers.”

Smart move, Tom.   Discovery can be a very powerful force in our system, which generally favors lots of disclosure.  Chances are, the opponents of Mile High’s application don’t want to have their junk groped in public for a reason.  They are probably doing just fine financially, and their protests about “harm to the market” are really about protection from market forces so they can achieve supra-competitive returns on their investment.

Once again, how about just letting Mile High enter into the market and see what happens?  As a frequent user of taxi services, I am perfectly happy to take the risk that something bad happens. 

But nothing bad will happen, at least for consumers.  More competition will only lead to good things for consumers. 

And if Mile High fails, or if it succeeds and drives Metro or Union out of the market, so be it.  Let the faster, better, or cheaper service provider win, and consumers will be better off.  That’s what capitalism is all about.

Why is that so hard for politicians and bureaucrats to understand?

Published in: on November 24, 2010 at 12:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

TSA Chief Disregarded Advice Telling Him To Socialize New Security Screening With Airline Passengers Before Implementation

I respect this

Transportation Security Administration chief John Pistole said Monday that he disregarded internal advice and decided not tell the public in advance about aggressive new screening and pat-down procedures for airline passengers, fearing terrorists could try to exploit the information.

In retrospect, the decision was probably a mistake.  The whole thing has been a TSA public relations nightmare.  

But we don’t know whether terrorists could have taken advantage of an advance warning.  I want the head of the TSA to be making tough decisions aimed at avoiding exploding airliners instead of making CYA calculations to avoid “a firestorm of criticism from lawmakers and passengers who claim the technology and aggressive searches are unnecessary, intrusive and a violation of their privacy rights.”

As a fairly frequent flier (lowest level United Premier) the new screening will impact me more than most, and I don’t understand what the ruckus is.  Look, I agree that the whole airport security thing is extraordinarily annoying and undignified, and I would rather not have some TSA guy grabbing my junk as the price for flying to wherever my job takes me.  I also think it is fairly ridiculous that frequent fliers such as me get about the same level of screening as an 18 year old first time flier from Yemen. 

But I would rather deal with the annoyance and intrusion of aggressive airport security than watch the nose cone of an airliner come through my 41st floor office window.

Published in: on November 23, 2010 at 4:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

Al Gore Reveals His Superior Morality And Intellect

Now he tells us:

Former U.S. vice-president Al Gore said support for corn-based ethanol in the United States was “not a good policy”, weeks before tax credits are up for renewal.

U.S. blending tax breaks for ethanol make it profitable for refiners to use the fuel even when it is more expensive than gasoline. The credits are up for renewal on Dec. 31.

Total U.S. ethanol subsidies reached $7.7 billion last year according to the International Energy Industry, which said biofuels worldwide received more subsidies than any other form of renewable energy.

“It is not a good policy to have these massive subsidies for (U.S.) first generation ethanol,” said Gore, speaking at a green energy business conference in Athens sponsored by Marfin Popular Bank.

“First generation ethanol I think was a mistake. The energy conversion ratios are at best very small.

“It’s hard once such a programme is put in place to deal with the lobbies that keep it going.”

He explained his own support for the original programme on his presidential ambitions.

“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.”

So Captain Science was just pandering for votes when he supported billions of dollars in subsidies for a fledgling industry that diverts massive amounts of food into fuel.  By the way, ethanol production results in a net loss of energy:

The two scientists calculated all the fuel inputs for ethanol production—from the diesel fuel for the tractor planting the corn, to the fertilizer put in the field, to the energy needed at the processing plant—and found that ethanol is a net energy-loser. According to their calculations, ethanol contains about 76,000 BTUs per gallon, but producing that ethanol from corn takes about 98,000 BTUs. For comparison, a gallon of gasoline contains about 116,000 BTUs per gallon. But making that gallon of gas—from drilling the well, to transportation, through refining—requires around 22,000 BTUs.

So we are borrowing billions that we then give away to support an industry that uses 98,000 BTUs to create 76,000 BTUs of energy, in part because Al Gore wanted to be president.  And as a bonus, we are increasing the price of corn — a basic foodstuff for poor folks around the world, primarily in Latin America — worldwide.

As Glenn Reynolds says, I’ll believe there is a crisis when the people telling me there’s a crisis start acting like there’s a crisis. 

Via Hot Air

Published in: on November 22, 2010 at 10:06 am  Comments (1)  

Howdy And A Smattering Of Good Stuff From The Blogospere

Sorry for the sporadic blogging.  I am back in Boise once again for the day job.  I am hoping to catch up on things and post a few comments here and there, but it may be tough for a few days. 

Meanwhile, a few links that made me smile and/or grimace after a hard days’ billin’ to protect The Man.*

Dave in Texas, writing from his usual perch at Ace’s place, responds to the Democrats’ new “it was just the messaging” offensive in his characteristic pithy style: “The message we heard from Democrats was ‘fuck you’, and the response from the voters was ‘Oh, were you finished? Well, allow us to retort.”‘  And retort they did.

Jonathan Tobin at Commentary Contentions reminds us that the Palestinian authorities are dictatorial theocratic assholes and local “human rights” groups are hypocritical anti-Israeli assholes by noting that the former have imprisoned, and the latter are ignoring, a Palestinian blogger who is being held incommunicado for “creat[ing] Facebook pages skewering Islam and promoting atheism.”  Where are all the Western lefties?  Right, too busy filing lawsuits over manger scenes in town squares in Iowa. 

Glenn Reynolds Instalanches the smackdown of an idiot blogger.  No, not me.  Note to self — don’t fuck with The Instapundit.

Via Hot Air, we receive a timely reminder that the face-for-radio members of the new Republican majority may imperil their newly won majority by pulling a Clinton.

 Via Real Clear Politics, we read that Michael Graham wants Janet Napolitano to try out the new airport scanners.  For the love of God, classify the video Top Secret.

Back at home in Colorado, the state key is revealed.  Seriously:

The key is made of three ounces of of 14-karat yellow gold, one ounce of 18-karat yellow gold, 1.5 ounces of sterling silver, 2.6 carats of yellow sapphires, 2.7 carats of blue sapphires, 4.75 and carats of round brilliant diamonds.

An expensive trinket that doesn’t accomplish anything?  Let’s name it “high speed rail.”

Published in: on November 16, 2010 at 10:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Narcissist-In-Chief

A very telling comment once again from President Obama, when asked at a November 12 press conference in Seoul, “What was the number-one complaint, concern, or piece of advice that you got from foreign leaders about the U.S. economy and your stewardship of the economy?”  His response — “What about compliments?” he asked. “You didn’t put that in the list.”

I understand that Obama is used to getting the Monica Lewinsky treatment from Chris Matthews (for the love of God, don’t  let that visual into your head) and the rest of the media, but seriously, can he possibly believe that anyone is interested in hearing him blather about faux (or imagined) compliments bandied about at a diplomatic gathering?  That is beyond delusional.

Obama was scary when riding high.  This is likely to be far worse.

Published in: on November 14, 2010 at 10:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

Market Owners Fail To Understand Market Forces, Comedy Ensues

Six months ago, and with no prior cooking or retail food experience, Michael Otto bought a neighborhood market ib Boston’s South End.  He re-named it Don Otto’s Market and gave it the mission of shifting “people’s thinking about what food should cost, especially non-manufactured, non-processed foods.”  In other words, he wanted to convince people that they should buy his really expensive locally-sourced specialty items instead of the cheaper stuff they can get everywhere else.

Six months later, the Boston Herald headline tells us how that worked out: “Owner of closed South End food market blames customers.”  According to a message posted by the manager (who is engaged to Mr. Otto), “People don’t understand their purchases make a difference, and that by buying something that wasn’t exactly what you want, it gets you closer to what you want. It’s an investment.”  Not a very good one, it appears.

It aseems that the rubes of Boston’s South End were too busy bitterly clinging to their cheap jars of Cheez Whiz to understand what great things Don Otto’s had to offer them:

“In some parts of the world people are accustomed to spending a higher percentage of their income on food, but in America we suffer from sticker shock because of Wal-Mart and other discount vendors,” reads Don Otto’s online farewell. “The reality is we pay for what we eat. Some are informed enough to know what that statement means. For those that don’t, I am not going to elaborate.”

We don’t need further elaboration, dear.  You are fortunate to no longer have to serve the great unwashed who don’t understand how much you wanted to elevate their consciousness.  And cheese prices.

Via Hot Air.

Published in: on November 12, 2010 at 1:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Pressing Need For An Honest Broker

Ace has a loooong post about the death penalty, DNA, and a guy named Claude Jones, about whom MSNBC says “[a] DNA test on a strand of hair has cast doubt on the guilt of a Texas man who was executed 10 years ago during George W. Bush’s final months as governor for a liquor-store robbery and murder.”  It is an interesting post and worth reading on all of those issues.

But I was most struck by the ending, which segues into a different topic to make a point about the original one:

The other day I was thinking about bluefin tuna. Instapundit linked an article indicating they were overfished and in danger.

It occurred to me that what we really need is a conservative-run environmental group. Why? Because I just don’t believe environmentalists. I think they have agendas and etc. I think they make stuff up to advance those agendas.

On the other hand– I don’t want the bluefin tuna to be overfished. Not because I love the fish (it’s just a fish) but because, well, we want these guys to remain on earth in good numbers.

In other words, I support environmental goals — I just have no faith in the people pushing this crap on me. I want an honest broker who can tell me things, after expert analysis, stuff like, “The snail darter isn’t in danger but the bluefin tuna is, so yes, take that latter report seriously. Ignore the claims about the former.”

I just saw a petition calling for the end of commercial whaling, because one type of whale is about to go extinct. Is that true? If it’s true, I care. If it’s not true — well, honestly, I still care, because I’m not a fan of whale-hunting even if they have nice healthy numbers, but it wouldn’t be something I would think should be addressed by a major push to get Iceland and Japan to stop whaling.

Again, I need an honest broker. Someone watching out for this stuff who isn’t going to give me a big snowjob.

My thoughts exactly. 

I don’t trust environmentalists, warm-mongering scientists, green industry lobbyists, and the like.  They have as much of an agenda as any other industry — and billions of dollars in grants or tax incentives are a nice motive to shade the truth — but they are treated in the media as if they are pristinely innocent, selfless, and trustworthy. 

This motive is coupled by fraud committed by environmentalists.  DDT is a good example.  It is nasty stuff, but it appears that it is mostly bad news for mosquitos.  I don’t think it is worth sacrificing millions of African children to malaria based on the weak evidence of possible environmental problems it may cause along with the deaths of billions of mosquitos.  But that is what we have done, based on over-hyped, under-challenged hysteria by environmental crusaders, who often have a much bigger agenda.

Climate change is the latest and greatest example.  So far, alarmists appear to be wrong about almost everything.  Their models don’t work, their predictions are not coming true, and yet they continue to call for ever-greater funding, taxation of industry and energy, and systemic changes to the global economy, while calling for the jailing of dissenters who have the audacity to suggest that maybe we should wait to spend untold trillions until the science really is settled.

It would be nice to have a skeptical honest broker to rely on.  Fortunately, the new media, see the post below, are providing what the old media refuse to give us.  Thank you, skeptics.

Published in: on November 12, 2010 at 12:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

Climate Alarmists Are Having A Rough Week

Anthony Watts catalogs several climate change stories that are further damaging the alarmist brand

Among them, a story published in the Guardian, of all places, discussing a recent study published in Science indicating that tropical forests do just fine during a spell of warm climate. 

According to a study of ancient rainforests, trees may be hardier than previously thought. Carlos Jaramillo, a scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), examined pollen from ancient plants trapped in rocks in Colombia and Venezuela. “There are many climactic models today suggesting that … if the temperature increases in the tropics by a couple of degrees, most of the forest is going to be extinct,” he said. “What we found was the opposite to what we were expecting: we didn’t find any extinction event [in plants] associated with the increase in temperature, we didn’t find that the precipitation decreased.”

In a study published todayin Science, Jaramillo and his team studied pollen grains and other biological indicators of plant life embedded in rocks formed around 56m years ago, during an abrupt period of warming called the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. CO2 levels had doubled in 10,000 years and the world was warmer by 3C-5C for 200,000 years.

Contrary to expectations, he found that forests bloomed with diversity. New species of plants, including those from the passionflower and chocolate families, evolved quicker as others became extinct. The study also shows moisture levels did not decrease significantly during the warm period. “It was totally unexpected,” Jaramillo said of the findings.

Being the Guardian, the article about the study nevertheless starts with this lede: “It is generally acknowledged that a warming world will harm the world’s forests.”  Maybe they need to start questioning that general acknowledgment a bit.

We also learn this week that the IPCC’s “spectre of imminent thirst and/or starvation for billions by 2035 from melting glaciers would appear to have been confirmed as the worst kind of alarmist scaremongering“:

Famously the IPCC, the world body coordinating the human race’s response to climate change, chose in 2007 to state that major glaciers in the Himalayas would disappear by the year 2035. This would lead to mighty river systems such as the Ganges, Indus, Changjiang etc becoming “seasonal” – so spelling doom for many inhabitants of the densely populated North Indian plains and other areas.

This was, however, completely without basis. It had originated as an off-the-cuff remark by an Indian scientist who later disowned the estimate, reported by well-known warmo journo Fred Pearce of New Scientist and then retailed to the IPCC in a pamphlet from hard-green campaigning organisation WWF, which wields an almost unbelievable amount of influence over the IPCC.

Kaser and his colleagues have now done a proper academic study on just how glacier melt contributes to the water supplies of different populations around the world, and what the impacts might actually be in the coming decades. . . . In essence, the Innsbruck boffins’ study says that the only people who need worry about glacier effects on their water supply are small populations who live high up in the mountains. The teeming billions of the Asian river basins will not be affected.

It is amazing to me that anyone thinks the IPCC has even a shred of credibility at this point. 

And there’s more.  Watts also excerpts two green industry poster child failures of epic proportions — one in California and another in Australia.  Click to read about them.

Published in: on November 12, 2010 at 12:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Deficit Commission Co-Chairs’ Draft Proposal

After a quick read and not much time for reflection, my random thoughts.

The Good:

Bring spending down to 21% of GDP; cap revenue at 21% of GDP.  I would like to see if we can go lower, but 22% is not too not bad.

General theme of trying to simplify the tax code, broaden the tax base, and lower rates.

Change to biennial budgeting.  I think that would add some additional stability and accountability for spending.

Eliminate all earmarks.

Eliminate 10% of the federal workforce.

Individual income tax rates of 8%, 14%, 23%; corporate  rate of 26% (subject to adjustment to account for “tax expenditures)

Eliminate all “tax expenditures” (deductions and credits), then add back any desired ones and change tax rates to achieve net zero effect.  This would at least make people think about and review all the various programs that try to move money around and encourage/discourage behavior through credits and deductions.

Dedicate gas tax to transportation needs.

Fix the consumer price index so it no longer overstates inflation.

Calls for tort reform.

Reduce farm subsidies.

Reform federal and military pensions.

Reduce Universal Service Fund.  The USF is a telecommunications slush fund.

Index retirement age to increases in longevity (with a hardship exemption).

The Bad:

Start spending cuts gradually and in 2012.  No need to wait.  We should at least roll back immediately to 2008 or earlier spending levels.

Federal pay freezes, not cuts.  Federal pay and benefits are far higher than in the private sector and need to be brought down.

Federal workforce reductions are very gradual.  The headcount needs to go to pre-Obama levels quickly.

Raise the standard deduction to $30,000.  Everyone with an income should pay some amount, even if a very small amount, to support the federal government.

Raise the gas tax $0.15 and allow it to be used for boondoggles like high speed rail.

Treat dividends and capital gains as ordinary income.  We need to keep investment flowing, so capital gains rates should be cut, not increased.

Would federalize tort reform.  This is not a federal issue and it should be done by the states.  If they refuse and it costs their citizens more, so be it.

Other:

“Lead by example: Responsibility begins at the top.”  Then we will have to wait until at least January 20, 2013.

I am sure that as I read through it again and hear from other commenters that some things I have labeled as bad could change to good and vice-versa.  There are also a lot of single-sentence suggestions (“Direct SSA to design a way to provide for the early retirement needs of workers in physical labor jobs”) that are sure to be undone by the details.  But I have to say that it is an honest attempt at a difficult issue.

UPDATE:  The Really Bad.  The report embraces Obamacare.  I kind of missed that.

Published in: on November 10, 2010 at 3:15 pm  Comments (1)  

Bennet Is Now In Favor Of Extending Current Tax Rates, Sort Of

According to the Coloradoan, Sen. Bennet is now in favor of a brief extension of current federal income tax rates:

 “What I have said on that is my priority is an extension of the middle-class tax cuts, that I would be willing to support a compromise that extended all the tax cuts for a year,” Bennet said in an interview with the Coloradoan Tuesday after meeting with campaign supporters in Fort Collins.

“One of the reasons that I’ve said that is that I think it’s very important for us to have a conversation about how we’re going to pay for these tax cuts. And that is a conversation you may have noticed that really isn’t being had right now,” he said. “They’re having a debate about which tax cuts to let go forward, but they’re not actually discussing with the American people what they’re prepared to cut to pay for it.”

Better than we might have hoped, I guess.  But it shows that Bennet remains clueless and a spineless.

First, there is nothing to “pay for.”  There is no tax cut involved.  None.  Nada. Zero.  The current tax rates have been the tax rates for nearly a decade.  They are the status quo.  You do not have to “pay for” a maintenance of current tax rates. 

If the current rates are allowed to expire, the status quo will be changed and tax rates will increase.  That’s right, we are talking about whether Democrats will force a massive tax increase. 

And Bennett’s proposal doesn’t solve the essential problem.  Small businesses and others who are the targets in the Democrats’ class warfare argument would certainly prefer a one-year reprieve rather than an increases in their taxes right now.  But it will not change their behavior and encourage more work, more reinvestment in their businesses, expansion, or hiring. 

That is because they will have no certainty for another year.  An uncertain tax picture in a year is not much better than a certain increase now from a business planning standpoint.

Finally, we have a spending problem, not a taxing problem.  With the help of Senator Bennet, we have increased spending over less than two short years faster than any other period in U.S. history.  And you, Senator Bennet, never stopped to ask how we were going to pay for all these nifty programs few of us wanted but you helped force on the citizenry when it mattered.

It is not your money, Senator Bennet.  Sadly, your close call this election cycle did not teach you that basic fact.

Published in: on November 9, 2010 at 4:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

“Gives A Whole New Meaning To Status Update.”

British officials are working on an app that will allow users to pee on their mobile phone and find out if they have an STD.  Seriously

Um, you might want to try it on one of those cheap disposable phones.  Just a thought.

Published in: on November 9, 2010 at 9:36 am  Leave a Comment  

You’re Doing A Heckofajob, Gibbsy

Robert Gibbs started shouting at Indian security officials over whether 8 members of the White House press pool would be allowed in to a photo op instead of 5.

The Washington Post’s Scott Wilson—who was on White House pool duty Monday and filed the report for the White House Press corps — wrote that “Gibbs announced loudly and persistently on steps of Hyderabad House that he would pull” President Obama out of the meeting “unless ‘the White House 8,’ as we’ve come to be known, were all allowed in.”

As the discussion continued, Gibbs grew more animated.

“At one point, Gibbs literally had his foot lodged in the closing front door, asking if the Indian security officials pushing hard to shut it were going to break his foot,” Wilson continued. “More angry words ensued, and after Gibbs convinced them, through high volume and repetition, that he was serious” about pulling Obama, the press secretary had the security retinue’s full attention.

What does it say about who’s in charge when the Press Secretary thinks he has the power to “pull President Obama” out of a meeting with the Indian Prime Minister, fer chrissakes, or would even think of doing such a thing over the question of whether three additional reporters could attend?  It says amateur hour coupled with a lack of respect for what should be one of our closest allies and biggest trading partners.  “Smart Power” on display.

You know, Mr. President, if you really want to change the tone in Washington after the well-deserved “shellacking” your party got last week, firing your smarmy self-important clown of a Press Secretary would be a good start.  High volume and repetition seem to be just about all Gibbs is capable of.

Via Hot Air.

Published in: on November 9, 2010 at 9:29 am  Leave a Comment  

Post-Election Reflections

Just a few thoughts now that we are two days after the tidal wave of 2010.

1.  President Obama doesn’t get it.  His speech on Wednesday proves that.  While he tried to play chastened President for the TV cameras, the effort failed.  My favorite bits:

“Over the last few months I’ve had the opportunity to travel around the country and meet people where they live and where they work, from backyards to factory floors.  I did some talking, but mostly I did a lot of listening. ”  Seriously? 

“Now, I ran for this office to tackle these challenges and give voice to the concerns of everyday people.  Over the last two years, we’ve made progress.  But, clearly, too many Americans haven’t felt that progress yet, and they told us that yesterday. And as President, I take responsibility for that.”  Yeah, the problem is your notion of “progress” has been too slow.  That’s the ticket.

“None of the challenges we face lend themselves to simple solutions or bumper-sticker slogans.  Nor are the answers found in any one particular philosophy or ideology.  As I’ve said before, no person, no party, has a monopoly on wisdom.  And that’s why I’m eager to hear good ideas wherever they come from, whoever proposes them.”  The problem is, Obama simply dismisses those ideas that don’t fit neatly within his preordained ideology as “bumper-sticker slogans” and refuses to consider them.  Recall the one real meeting he had with congressional Republicans, where he simply declared their positions to be “talking points” not worthy of discussion.

“I’m not so naïve as to think that everybody will put politics aside until then, but I do hope to make progress on the very serious problems facing us right now. And that’s going to require all of us, including me, to work harder at building consensus.”  How noble and generous to include himself, as an aside, as one who needs to try harder to build consensus.   Yet President “I Won” didn’t exactly lead the charge on consensus for the past 22 months.  He led the charge against it.

“[Made up story about a Regular Joe].  He told me how hard he works and how busy he was; how he doesn’t have time to pay attention to all the back-and-forth in Washington.  And he asked, is there hope for us returning to civility in our discourse, to a healthy legislative process. . . .  I do believe there is hope for civility.”   This from the guy who told an Hispanic audience to punish their “enemies”  —  you know, Americans who happen to have different views on important issues — less than a week ago.

And so on.  Expect Obama to be even more petulant, petty, partisan, and political, if possible, than when he had hefty majorities.  Notwithstanding all the evidence to the contrary, Obama seems to truly believe that he is the one right-thinking person in the room. 

2.  The Republicans are potentially in great shape for the next two years.  Since they control the House, Republicans can block the odious Obama Agenda, they can do some investigating, and they can send common-sense bills to the Senate.  If they are smart, they will send targeted, short, readable bills to the Senate on issues such as border security, preventing tax increases, cutting spending, constraining the Obama Administration’s ability to legislate by regulation (I’m looking at you, EPA), undermining the health care take-over, and so on.  The Senate will either have to vote them down — which puts Red state Senators in  a bind — or pass them and let the President decide whether to veto.

3.  The Republicans are fully capable of screwing it up.

4.  On election night, FoxNews shined with a nicely balanced panel; MSNBC beclowned itself yet again; CNN was interesting if too chaotic.

5.  Liberal commentators and academics should be fun to watch for the next few weeks.  My predictions — 1. It was all angry white men. 2. It was all that spending by shady groups.  3. The great communicator needs to communicate his greatness more.

6.  Barney Frank is the most unlikable person on the public stage.  And claiming that spot from Harry Reid, during Frank’s election night victory speech, was quite a feat.

Published in: on November 4, 2010 at 10:23 am  Leave a Comment