Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Obama needs to Channel Jefferson

The irony, seeped within President Obama’s recent announcement that he will not wield the power of the Commander in Chief in Syria without the consent of Congress, is rich.  Congress, that bastion of do-nothings (or so the President has said time and time again)…the target of his “We can’t wait” campaign to usurp powers not delineated to the Executive by the Constitution….now, the President seems calcified to act urgently without the blessing of the branch he has so publicly vilified.  Rich.

Could it be, perhaps, that the President will go-around Congress, with his constitutionally questionable executive orders, only if he thinks there are votes to be had by doing so?  But now… now that 2/3 of Americans are opposed to military intervention in Syria, now that Great Britain has voted “no”, now that there are no votes to be had, Obama shrinks.  The winner of the Nobel Peace prize now contemplates truly unilateral military action with no clear objective but a plate of metaphors (“Send a signal”, “put a shot across the bow”…) with a consensus nowhere on the globe to be found.  I can only imagine how the press would howl if anyone but President Obama were in the Oval office.

Obama’s theory of leadership has three elements: 1) “lead” after someone else leads (e.g. Libya)  2) “lead” only when convinced that there are votes to be had and the mob supports his decision and 3) appoint a blue ribbon committee to ponder a tough decision and make recommendations (e.g. Bowles – Simpson). “Leadership approaches”, all of which allow for the glory to stick and the mess to slip away.

Our Founders entrusted the chief executive with awesome powers because they knew the life of the Republic might hinge someday on the vigorous and timely decision making only possible by a single, accountable executive.  As has been his record, President Obama punts the tough executive decisions to unaccountable committees.  If that’s what the Founders thought would best defend the Republic, the Constitution would have been so written.   President Obama seems to like the perks of the office but not the lonely accountability.  Playing cards during the raid on bin Laden?  Really?

Unlike GW Bush in Iraq, who had a coalition of 42 nations supporting military intervention, President Obama is alone. Alone with the bravado of a punk who never thought his bluff would be called; alone, without the fiber to face the tyranny of circumstances faced by every President since Washington; armed only with his teleprompter and staff notes and poll numbers; alone without the conviction and duty to support and defend the constitution of the United States.

Jefferson faced challenges to his ideology in his second term, similar to what President Obama now faces, and grew into the job of President to earn a spot on the face of Rushmore.  We sometimes forget that Jefferson was a more strident ideologue than even Obama.  But what will separate the two in history is one rose to the occasion – to the unexpected challenges of the office – and stayed true to his primary responsibility to support and defend the Constitution. 

Candidate Jefferson never would have considered buying the Louisiana Purchase from France – an act that effectively doubled the size of the nation and diminished the relative importance of each state.  President Jefferson, after much sole searching put nation first and ideology second and secured the Louisiana Purchase for a song.

Candidate Jefferson advocated a navy capable of only coastal defense.  President Jefferson dispatched Preble and Rogers to defeat the Barbary pirates in the Mediterranean and forever ended the payment of tribute.

President Obama seems to view the tyranny of foreign policy to be such an annoyance… it interferes with so many of his other policy initiatives.  But , perhaps not so much of an annoyance as to interfere with his weekend golf….

We all wish the President the grace and vision and courage to act without contradiction … to support and defend the Constitution of the United States… that’s it.  That’s all I ask of our President.   You don’t need to reduce unemployment or save the environment or re-distribute wealth or tell our kids what to eat at school.  Don’t worry about that stuff.  Really… Just focus on supporting and defending the Constitution, consistent with the courage to set aside your ideology and your ego and perhaps a few votes and lead with the courage of Jefferson.

C Powers

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Young Americans - Read This!

OK… I get it… it’s crazy out there and who’s got the time to understand the tens of thousands of pages of new regulations associated with the “Affordable Care Act”, also known as Obamacare? 

Besides, from what we all heard in the press, wasn’t Obamacare going to provide cheaper healthcare and make sure that everyone had inexpensive healthcare?  Who could be against that? Right?

If you’re young and healthy (and there are a lot of you out there), you should be.  Listen up.  We’ll keep this brief.

Obamacare for young (18-34) Americans (not living in their parent’s basement or otherwise on the dole), is like being forced (at gunpoint) to go out to dinner with everyone in the neighborhood, every night of the week. 

You are forced to go to one of only a couple of restaurants in town, even if you think the food in those restaurants is not to your liking and / or is overpriced.

At this group dinner, young healthy Americans, being frugal and health conscious, order the low-cost Thai chicken lettuce wraps and water while at the other end of the table they watch in horror at the life style choices of their neighbors slamming down lobster, ribs, filet mignon and fries washed down with Jack.

To add insult to injury, the young healthy Americans are told the total food and bar bill will be divided evenly among everyone in the dinner party, regardless of what each person ordered. Everyone pays the same.

You are being told that this arrangement is ‘fair” because, well, it would be unfair for someone to have to pay more than someone else.  (Remember this every time you hear the word ‘fair’ from a politician.)

By the way, if you think this dinner plan is unfair, based on YOUR morality, and you decide you don’t want to participate, then you will be forced to pay a fine.  If you don’t pay the fine, guys with three letters on the back of their windbreakers, will show up on your doorstep and shake you down (if they’re not too busy slow-rolling 501c4 applications from Tea Party groups or otherwise wasting tax payer money).

This is all young, healthy Americans need to know about Obamacare.  The only way to keep health insurance premiums low for older persons, in this Obamacare train wreck, is to shake down young, healthy Americans.

Next time you sit down to have your PB and J sandwich, looking to save a few bucks so you can start building your future, remember that unless you get off your ass and do something, you’ll be paying for someone else’s filet mignon now and forever. 

Call your Congressman.  Tell him / her that you’re young and healthy and you’re not going to subsidize this grotesque freedom-snatch with your silence. Tell your Congressman that the erosion of freedom in this country is going to stop now.

"Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act."

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The January Employment Situation - Why Gridlock is Good!

Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis gets the “Whopper of the Day” award for the statement she posted on the DOL Website: 

“The national unemployment rate has fallen by 0.8 percent in the last five months. The drop in unemployment has been driven by employment gains, not workers leaving the labor force.”

In the month of January, the number of Americans (according to the government numbers) who are no longer in the workforce increased from the Dec 2011 level of 86.7 million by 1.2 million.  In the previous 10 years, the average monthly increase in the number of Americans not in the workforce was 122,000.  In January the number leaving the workforce was 6 X the 10 year month average.  That’s a lot of babies and retirees in one month.

Five months ago, 86.2 million people were out of the workforce and 13.9 million were unemployed.  In January 87.8 million people were out of the workforce (an increase of 1.6 million) and 12.7 million were unemployed (a decrease of only 1.2 million).  The drop in unemployment rate in January was driven by the exodus of Americans from the workforce, despite the spin feebly attempted by Secretary Solis.

In other words, in the five-month period that Secretary Solis mentions, the Civilian Non-Institutional Population grew by 1.0% but the Civilian Labor Force grew by only 0.47% while the Not-in-Labor Force grew by 1.95%.   It’s great that the number of Americans employed grew by 1.35% in this five-month window, but it’s the devaluation of the denominator that drove the drop in unemployment rate to 8.3%.

Viewed through another lens, during the eight-years of the Bush administration for every 100 person increase in the Civilian Non-Institutional Population (CNIP), the number of people in the Civilian Labor Force (CLF) increased by 55.  Under President Clinton, the CLF increased by 93.  Under the first three years of the Obama administration, for every 100 person increase in the CNIP, the number of people in the Civilian Labor Force decreased by 11… where have these people gone?

The number of Americans in the Civilian Labor force in Jan ’12 (154.3 million) is essentially unchanged from when President Obama was sworn in in Jan ’09 (154.8 million).  But the number of employed Americans on President Obama’s watch decreased 5.5 million from 145.3 million in 2008 to 139.8 million in 2011.  The January data would suggest that we’re now up to 141.6 million… only 3.7 million more jobs to go to break even. 

I don’t hold the president accountable for employment numbers if he does no harm and simply protects and defends the Constitution and allows the free market to operate as unfettered as possible.  I will hold the President to account if the proximate result of his use of the power We the People have temporarily shared with him is damage to the freedom of Americans.  President Obama’s policies have adversely impacted the freedom of Americans.  One can’t be truly free if government policies and regulations gut the job market.  The data speaks for itself.

I guess paying someone to dig a hole in the morning, someone to fill the same hole in the afternoon, someone to supervise the work and three union leaders to organize the workers wasn’t such a good recipe for growth. Chuck Schumer famously said on the floor of the Senate that it simply didn’t matter where the money was spent so long as “aggregate demand” (the Holy Grail of Keynesians) was increased. 

The January employment situation looks more than a little fishy.

Since President Obama began his assault on the American way of life in January 2009, at no time has there been more than 141 million Americans employed until January 2012, according to the BLS data released on Friday.  The month before Obama was sworn in, 140.4 million Americans were working.  In July 2007, 147.3 million Americans were employed.

The January data raises an eyebrow on many levels.  Over the past 10 years the Civilian Non-Institutional Population (CNIP) increased at an average annual rate of 2.45 million – or, about 200,000 per month.  In January, this value increased by 1,685,000 after monthly increases in 2011 15% below the 10 year average.  So, with this adjustment in January, the CNIP was pegged at 242.3 million.

Interestingly, while the total CNIP increased by 1,865,000 in January, the number of Americans reported in the Civilian Labor Force (CLF) only grew by 508,000 – in other words, less than one-in-three people who was added to our population was counted in the CLF. 

But I guess this isn’t as bad as it might appear.  In 2011, when the full-power of the Keynesian spending spree was unleashed, while the CNIP increased by 1.8 million, the CLP decreased by 272,000; in 2010, while the CNIP increased by 2.0 million, the CLP decreased by 253,000; in 2009, while the CNIP increased by 2.0 million, the CLP decreased by 145,000.

In other words, since 2008 when Obama took over the White House, the Civilian Non-Institutional Population (CNIP) has grown by 5.8 million and the number of people in the Civilian Labor Force (CLF) decreased by 670,000… which is why the January data is so startling…. we are being asked to believe that after three years of decreases in the CLF, in January it increased by 508,000.

So, if we stipulate that the numbers haven’t been cooked in January, then we’re faced with the question, “Why was the data so good in January?”

Easy question – one word answer.  “Gridlock”.   Americans needs to get it through their heads that government gridlock is a good thing.  Given that we are born with inalienable rights, among them life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, when government “does something” it usually results in an erosion of individual freedom.  The House is doing EXACTLY what the Founders had hoped they would do when faced with a President who shows no regard for the Constitution and its limitations.  The Founders never envisioned a president trying to "spread the wealth", "level the playing field", extort the rich to "pay their fair share" or other such abuses of power.  Nope.  The Founders asked the President to support and defend the Constitution - that miraculous document whose function is to protect our freedoms.  This President has the audacity to use “We Can’t Wait” as the theme of his campaign, utterly in defiance of the limitations placed upon his power by the Constitution.  The House Republicans are doing noble work by blocking this usurper.

Markets are gaining a sense that this gridlock will continue and have started hiring.  Business owners sense that Obama’s ability to inflict more harm upon business is being checked and will be checked from this point forward and they are taking the first steps to start growing again.

Next time one of your friends bemoans the gridlock in Washington, remind him / her that gridlock is good…

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Latest Ride of the White Knight

Having helped create the bubble in college education cost, President Obama rides in to save the day by targeting colleges with a vague, capricious threat if they don't behave as he would have them.

The “We Can’t Wait” President has targeted another enemy of Obamaland – colleges.  During a speech at the University of Michigan, President Obama, threatened colleges that the USG would withhold federal aid if they failed to achieve some undefined standard of fairness and cost containment. 

His comments yesterday were consistent with Obama's  fundamentally dark vision of America, one characterized by systemic, chronic income redistribution, class warfare and "shared" sacrifice.  Specifically, to realize this vision, worthy of Sauron of Mordor, is the the need to make more and more American’s dependent on the government.  After all, it is impossible to control free men.  So, if people would otherwise be free, then change the environment and find a way to make them dependent on the government.  As reported in Investors.com 49% of Americans now live in homes where at least one person receives a federal benefit.

Admittedly, much of the anger during the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) was somewhat incoherent, but one message came through loud and clear.  Many students, burdened with crushing student loan debt, recognized that they were sold a bill of goods by the USG pushing higher education as shamelessly as the USG pushed homeownership on people patently unable to afford a house.  I know, I know, “Cowboy up”, get up and work, but the fact remains, the USG was more than an innocent bystander in the bubble formation at our colleges.

Apparently, among his many talents to set prices for healthcare, student-loan rates, the value of the minimum wage, President Obama also knows how much a college education should cost and is willing to use the coercive power of the government in order to impose his will.  After all, he can’t wait.

"We're putting colleges on notice: you can't assume that you'll just jack up tuition every single year. If you can't stop tuition from going up, then the funding you get from taxpayers each year will go down." 

Here’s the five-step model Obama is using (not just in the college cost space):

Step 1:  Convince very American he / she has a right to a college education even if they can’t afford it.

In a speech on the campaign trail in Sept 2008, Senator Obama declared:

“My plan calls for giving every child a world-class education from the day they're born until the day they graduate from college.” …

“…It's also a plan that will finally put a college degree within reach for anyone who wants one … We have to make sure that every young person can afford to go to a public college or a university if they've got the will, if they've got the grades.”

"What matters, then, isn't what you do or where you live, but what you know. When two-thirds of all new jobs require a higher education or advanced training, knowledge is the most valuable skill you can sell. It's not only a pathway to opportunity, but it's a prerequisite for opportunity.”

Step 2:  Convince students and their parents that they must go to college if they are to succeed. Use words like “investment” to make the decision to go to college a well-calculated  business decision.

“Today, the unemployment rate for Americans with a college degree or more is about half the national average.  Their incomes are twice as high as those who don’t have a high school diploma.  College is the single most important investment you can make in your future.”

Step 3:  Corner the market on student loans and use the threat of higher loan rates as a way to pose as the White Knight protecting poor, defenseless students.

“Thanks to the hard work of Secretary Duncan, my administration is increasing federal student aid so more students can afford college.”  [Paid for by whom?]

Step 4:  Ignore the link between subsidizing college and the increase in college costs. Blame the colleges.

At yesterday’s Ann Arbor speech : “If tuition is going up faster than inflation, faster than even health care is going up, no matter how much we subsidize it, sooner or later, we’re going to run out of money.  And that means that others have to do their part.  Colleges and universities need to do their part to keep costs down as well.”

“.. no matter how much we subsidize it…”  The USG pumps money into colleges and is surprised when costs go up in a market over which it enjoys a monopoly, where the disbursement of student loans has now been nationalized….

Step 5:  Having created the problem, ride to the rescue and appear to be the White Knight.

Divide and conquer.   Use the coercive power of the government to create cripples out of strong men and then convince them that their survival depends on the good graces of the White Knight.

Read more: 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A House Divided - Tax Rates vs Tax Revenues - The Stupor Committee

The Congressional "Stupor" committee is about to deliver that which any rational person figured they would deliver - nothing.  Remarkably, many folks seem surprised.

Three years I wrote an Op-Ed for the local paper which is more germane to the current situation than ever.  Our country is fairly split - "divided" as Lincoln might have said.  There are many - led by President Obama - who believe that the American Dream is found by taking the income and wealth (not the same thing) from those who have earned it and re-distribute that loot to those who have not earned it but who "need" it according to some perverted sense of morality.

Progressives actually believe that the way to generate more loot is to raise the rate at which the loot can be extorted by the coercive force of law from those who have earned it.  Fortunately, most progressives "feel" and don't "think".  For if they thought - and examined the data - they would learn that the best way to "soak the rich" is to lower tax rates...

While he was speaking of the intractable problem of slavery - a problem not to be "solved" without the death of a generation of young Americans, North and South,  Lincoln's "House Divided speech", given less than three years before the first shots were fired, is appropriate for the crossroads at which we find ourselves today as we argue the very role of government - essentially the same question that faced the nation in the late 1850's.

"A house divided against itself cannot stand.  I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free.  I do not expect the Union to be disolved - I do not expect the house to fall - but I do expect it will cease to be divided.  It will become all one thing or all the other."  [Read the whole speech]

Half of the country believes in self-reliance, upward mobility, personal responsibility and hard work.  The other half of the country believes in dependence upon the government, income re-distribution, "collective" responsibility and wealth without work (or risk).

Here is the article I wrote two weeks before Obama was sworn in in January 2009..

Don't confuse tax revenues, tax rates

There is much talk in the media about the promise President-elect Obama made repeatedly on the campaign trail that he would raise taxes on those making over $250,000 (later dropped to $200,000) in order to fund a tax-break for middle class Americans. The assumption within Obama's promise is that we will grow federal tax receipts (in order to fund his agenda and to fund the bailouts) and the percentage of the new (higher) total tax bill paid for by "rich" Americans (those reporting over $200,000 in adjusted gross income) will increase. 
The funny thing is, this solution to this problem has already been found and validated. It's called "the Bush tax cuts," although you will never see the facts below reported in the media. 
What follows is an analysis of IRS tax receipt data available to anyone for the years 2003 (when the Bush tax cuts first took effect) and 2006 (the last year of data available). 
Between 2003 and 2006, tax receipts from individual income taxes rose 45 percent from $577 billion to $837 billion. As part of a rational, pro-growth strategy, President Bush lowered tax rates and, by so doing, increased tax revenue. 
The "slice" of the "GDP pie" taken by the federal income tax shrank as a percentage of the overall pie, but because of the pro-growth effect that lower tax rates had on the economy, the dollar value of tax receipts increased substantially - because the "pie" got bigger. 
Consider that 88.2 percent of the additional tax revenue in 2006, relative to 2003, was paid by people with income of $200,000 or greater in 2006 (the target of the looming Obama tax increases). The percentage of all returns filed with an income of over $200,000 grew from 51 percent in 2003 to 62 percent in 2006. 
This isn't about the "rich getting richer" - it's about middle class Americans becoming richer. From this data one has to conclude that the "rich" paid a substantially higher percentage of the total tax bill after the Bush tax cuts. Isn't this what President-elect Obama is trying to do? 
The number of individual returns with income of $200,000 or greater grew from 2.4 million in 2003 to 3.8 million in 2006. Where did these returns come from? These were middle class folks in 2003 who benefited from the Bush tax cuts as evidenced by the increase in their income (and who are now classified by the left as "rich"!) 
For that matter the number of returns filed with reported income of $100,000 or greater grew a phenomenal 39 percent, from 10.3 million in 2003 to 14.5 million in 2006. Again, further evidence of the opportunity for upward mobility for all Americans as a result of creating a pro-growth environment in Washington. 
Yes, IRS data isn't very sexy, but within it we see the hope of the American dream. Does President-elect Obama wish to raise tax revenues or tax rates? One action serves to fund a fiscal imperative and the other serves to pander to a liberal base. 
If President-elect Obama is going to have any chance of funding his agenda, he needs to keep tax revenues high by keeping tax rates low, thereby encouraging the unprecedented move - as shown in the IRS data - begun with the Bush tax cuts, up the economic ladder of our fellow Americans. 
Prosperity can be accelerated through the adoption of long-term, stable, pro-growth policies from our public servants in Washington.  
Craig Powers 
Hudson, NH

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Employment with Federal Government Booming!

The Department of Labor released the February unemployment numbers on Friday 3/5 reporting the loss of 36,000 jobs. 
Buried in Table B-1 is the fact that the number of persons employed by the Federal Government (excluding the Post Office, which appears to be in a performance free-fall) increased in the last 28 days from 2,174,800 in Jan '10 to 2,190,900  in Feb '10 - an increase of 16,100 more Federal employees while the number of people of people PAYING their salaries decreased by 18,000.

Local governments cut back by 24,100 jobs in Feb; but state governments added 6,000 more government jobs.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid stuck his foot in his mouth (practice makes permanent) regarding the terrible jobs report:
Today is a big day in America.  Only, only 36,000 people lost their jobs today, which is really good.

Reid tried to pull his foot out of his mouth on Twitter:
Going from 750K job losses to 36K is a step in the right direction but I don't pretend for a minute that it's enough. Much work still to do.
Other Highlights from the February Jobs Report:
* The number of Americans in the Civilian Work Force (CWF) grew by 342,000 in January to 153,512,000.  The number of employed Americans grew by only 308,000...a difference of (34,000).
* The number of people employed from the CWF in January 2009 (when BHO was inaugurated) was 142,271,000.  In Feb 2009, that number is 138,621,000 - a decrease of 3,650,000.
* 2.5 million people were not considered "unemployed" by the DoL data because "they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey"
* The number of people identified as being in the Civilian Work Force is 889,000 lower than it was 12 months ago.  For the past 8 months, the number of persons recognized by the DoL in the Civilian Work Force was lower than it was 12 months earlier.  
* Before BHO was inaugurated, the percentage of months that saw a reported Civilian Work Force lower than what it was 12 months earlier was 3.3% since 1948 (24 times in 721 periods). Under BHO? 61%.  Is the country not growing in population under Obama?  Or, is Obama's DoL continuing to cook the books?
* To break this string of 12-month reductions in the Civilian Work Force, we would need to see a reported CWF of 154,164,000 in March - a surge of 652,000 persons.  Assuming this implausible scenario, and assuming no jobs added or lost (being kind), we will see an unemployment rate of 10.1%.  To keep the number under 10%, DoL will need to reduce the denominator by reporting a number that reflects in this growing country, the number of people in the Civilian Work Force is, again, smaller than what it was 12 months ago.
* The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) remained around 6.1 million... 4/10 unemployed persons have been unemployed over 27 weeks.
* The number of involuntary part time workers increased from 8.3 million to 8.8 million in February.
* Construction employment fell 64,000 in February; Information industry down 18,000; manufacturing unchanged; retail trade employment unchanged.

References / Related News

Harry Reid: Only 36,000 Lost Their Jobs today

What was the MSM saying a year ago about jobs?

February's Jobs Report: What You Need to Know About the Big Jump in Unemployment, US News & World Report, March 6, 2009 

Is it all bad news? Possibly not. This morning's report suggests employers may have done their most aggressive payroll cutting at the end of last year. After losing 681,000 jobs in December, the losses were smaller in January and again in February. The differences were marginal, but they could signify that the worst is behind us.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Former Governor John Sununu speaks at New Hampshire Young Republicans Breakfast

Former NH Governor John Sununu (1983 - 1989) gave an impassioned speech to a breakfast gathering hosted by the Manchester Republican Committee and the New Hampshire Young Republicans.

"These are Very Important Times"

Watch the speech here:

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) speaks to New Hampshire Young Republicans at St Anselms College, Manchester NH

Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI), coming off a stellar performance on Thursday 2/25 at the Blair House Health Care Summit, spoke to a group of approximately 125 Republicans today at St Anselms College, in Manchester, NH.  Making his first visit to the Granite State since skiing Tuckerman Ravine when he was 18, Congressman Ryan described the critical "tipping point" we face in our nation and urged Granite Staters to action.

A special thanks to Kerry Marsh, Chairman of New Hampshire Young Republicans and Saint Anselms College for hosting this terrific gathering and speech.

Below, in three parts, are the remarks of Paul Ryan.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Cooking the Books at the Department of Labor

The chart at the left, courtesy of Data 360 reveals an amazing phenomenon that occurred in the first year of Obama's presidency.  For the first time since 1948 (the start date for this analysis) the number of people in the Civilian Labor Force, as reported by the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, saw 7 of the 12 months report a decrease in the number of people in the Civilian Labor Force relative to the figure 12 months earlier.  Through all of the boom and bust times since 1948, one thing that remained inexorably constant was that the number of people in the US Civilian Labor Force always moved up, year after year.  Through wars, recessions, the dot-com bubble and burst...through 9/11.  Always, more people were added to the Civilian work force.  Our population grew, as did our projected life spans so it is reasonable that we would see an ever-upward march of this data.

Until 2009...

In the 20 years leading up to the Obama inauguration (Dec '88 - Dec '08) the number of people recorded by the US Department of Labor in the Civilian Labor Force grew from 122,612K to 154,587K - an average annual growth of 0.26%.  During the 8 years of the Bush presidency, the overall annual growth rate in the Civilian Labor Force was 7.19% with specific yearly growths of: 0.06%, 1.43%, 0.60%, 0.78%, 1.46%, 1.93%, 0.68%, 0.06%.

But in 2009, the number of people in the US Civilian Labor Force dropped from 154,587K to 153,059K.  Just as a reminder, these numbers define the size of the total civilian work force - not who is actually employed (that comes later). 1,528,000 people vanished from the Civilian Labor Force in 2009, according to the DoL numbers. 

Going back to 1948, there have only been 31 time within the 734 rolling-12-month periods in which the number of people documented by the DoL in the Civilian Labor Force was lower than it was 12 months earlier (once in 1949;  eight times in 1951; five times in 1952; once in 1954; once in 1955; once in 1957; and seven times in '61-'62 before the Kennedy tax cuts kicked in). 

There has not been a month since July 1962 in which the number of persons employed in the Civilian Work Force was lower than  it was 12-months earlier. That is, until Obama's DoL started reporting the numbers.

The numbers reported by Mr. Obama's DoL have had seven such "anomalies" out of 12.  Since June 2009, when the number of persons listed in the Civilian Work Force peaked at 154,351K (and at which time it became clear that the "stimulus" would serve only to retard private sector job growth), the DoL numbers for the Civilian Work Force have trended down every month since. The January jobs report was the first time since June '09 where the DoL reported a growth in the Civilian Work Force relative to the month before (In this case, 153,170K in Jan '10 - the same number it was in July '07.)

Whereas the nation as a whole could be counted on to report a growth in the Civilian Work Force over the preceding 12 months 95.8% of the time since 1948, in Mr. Obama's DoL, we see a reported growth in the Civilian Work Force only 41.7% of the time.

So, enough of this inside baseball stuff. What does this mean?

If, instead of accepting the numbers presented by DoL for 2009, we extrapolated the Dec '08 figure by the actual growth rate from '88 - '08, we would have seen a reported Civilian Work Force in Dec '09 of 154, 988K instead of the reported 153, 059K.  With only 137, 753K people actually working, we would have seen the reported unemployment rate jump to 11.12% (as opposed to the 10.0% reported by the DoL).  An 11.12% unemployment rate would have been politically poisonous for the Keynsian economic team surrounding Obama.

So instead, it appears that they have "changed the denominator" instead.  Go against the inexorable march of data and see if anyone is really paying attention. This just smells of cooking the books. 

What we do know, is in  Jan '09, when BHO began cramming down our throats, what would become the $787B  'stimulus" spending on pet liberal projects and, worse, on bribes to states into making Faustian bargains, there were 142,271K Americans employed.  One year later, and $3T deeper in debt, we have only 138,313K Americans working - a loss of 3.958 million jobs.  When you consider the number of government jobs created in that time frame (145,800 new Federal government jobs in 2009 - not including the Post Office), the impact to the private sector is even worse.

Radical Keynsian policy is the reason for this collapse in the private jobs market.  More government spending, like pouring gasoline on a fire, will only make matters worse - as history records in the 1934 - 1937 period shows.  

Cooking the books at DoL will only hide the lie so long.

1. Data360 http://www.data360.org/dsg.aspx?Data_Set_Group_Id=264&count=all
2. Department of Labor Burea of Labor Statistics Economic Releases Table A-1. Employment Status of the Civilian Population by sex and age http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t01.htm
3.  Department of Labor Burea of Labor Statistics Economic Releases Table B.1 Employees on nonfarm payrolls by industry sector and selected industry detail http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t17.htm
4.  Families would take hit under HHS plan http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/news/statenewengland/597344-227/families-would-take-hit-under-hhs-plan.html
The stimulus law gave Toumpas’ agency (NH HHS) more than a $200 million windfall this year, but it came with strings attached. The law doesn’t permit states to cut benefits for those who had been receiving them or to change standards of eligibility. The only viable option in most cases is for Toumpas to try to get most of the savings by cutting payments to providers.

Main Stream Media and #P2ville Have Knickers in a Knot over Governor Palin's Speech at Tea Party Convention

The main stream media and the left wing bloggosphere didn't waste much time attempting to marginalize Sarah Palin's speech last night to a large gathering of Tea Party activists from around the world. (To see and hear the full speech carried on CSPAN, click here)

Sarah Palin assails Obama at 'tea party' gathering by Liz Sidoti, one of AP's National Political Writer

First of all, she leads with a marginalization of the Tea Party movement by putting the name in lower case letters inside quotes, as if to imply it doesn't exist?  By this standard should we see other stories similarly noted by AP that include 'job creation' or 'stimulus' or 'transparency' or, well... you get the idea...

Sidotu leads with:
Sarah Palin, in a speech that was short on ideas but big on enthusiam...
Let's see, I heard her speak about across the board tax cuts to create an environment in which sustainable private-sector jobs could be created...she talked about a vision of what a successfully prosecuted war on terror would look like ("we win, they lose")... she drew the clear distinction between the morality of the left (government serves to re-distribute wealth according to some model which promotes the 'greater good' (see, I'm catching on with these quoty thingies)) and that of the right (government serves to protect the rights of all Americans). Nope...no ideas there.

But then again, I'm sure were she around in 1776, Miss Sidoti would have said that The Declaration of Independence was 'short on ideas'.

I simply can't believe that Sidotu finished her hatchet job with the following quote:
Her fee was $100,000 for the appearance at the for-profit event.
What she failed to mention and what millions of Americans heard as she finished her Q&A session  on CSPAN last night, was that she was returning the speaking fee to the Tea Party movement. #P2 is on fire with Liberals in their echo chamber failing to acknowledge her commitment to return the speaking fee.

Can you believe that a grass-roots conservative movement would actually run a campaign "for profit".  OMG.  In the land of #p2 they are howling at the thought of an enterprise making a profit.  Afterall, in #P2ville money flows from the government whenever it's "needed".  Profits are bad and people who make profits are evil... except for those industrious people out there (who shall remain nameless in #P2ville) who, by their consent, allow themeselves to be fleeced to prop-up a corrupt government (that would be us, the minority who pay Federal Income Tax). 

Lastly, check out the photo that AP chose to run with its hatchet job story.  Could the liberals find a more perfect photo that aligns with their narrative of Palin as an angry hater? Personally, I would rather have seen a picture with those amazing shoes she had on!  Haa haa

And before we leave the AP story, for those of you who are morally confused about the virtue of profits, I highly encourage diners at Hugh Akston's Diner re-read the fabulous "Money" speech given by Rand's character from Atlas Shrugged, Francisco d'Antonia. 

As reported on NewsBusters and then picked-up by Breitbart, Democratic operative Bob Shrum had the following to say about Governor Palin's speech:
The difference with Ronald Reagan was that he always had an alternative vision of where America should go. And what we heard tonight was more a masterful exercise – masterful – in paranoid politics. I mean, she came across to me as a merchant of hate with an oh gosh smile...

The Liberal Blog 'Think Progress' (do the progressives also have blogs called 'Think Stimulus' and 'Think Jobs' or 'Think Reality'?)  posted a blog suggesting that Sarah Palin had answers to questions written on the palm of her hand!  #P2 is ablaze with Tweeters claiming she had crib notes in her palm during the Q&A.  YGTBSM...  that's the sum total of the Left's counter argument?  Really?

The newser site carried a brief story including:
President Obama and Democrats provided much fodder for Palin's $100,000, 40-minute speech... She concluded with a 15-minute Q&A session of pre-selected questions.

Joan Walsh wrote the following from a piece posted on Salon.Com:
This was the Palin we saw at the 2008 Republican convention, the snarling pitbull in shimmery lipstick.  I know journalists aren't supposed to use words like mean and dumb, but I can't help it. Palin is one of the meanest people on the public stage today. She wallows in it. She loves it! Also? Possibly one of the dumbest. But mean works, and so does dumb. And so do lies, and there were many mean, dumb lies in her speech.
The Left is applying some tastelessly pejorative labels to Governor Palin in its Twitter rantings last night and this morning ('Bimbostein', 'Carabou Barbie'). These are the same people who claim to want a fact-based, reasoned dialogue about issues but are thwarted in this noble effort by the knuckle-dragging name-calling morons on the right who are either too stupid or too nasty to engage in meaningful discourse.

 Out in #P2ville we find the following contributions toward a reasoned discourse:
So the pathological liar was back feeding raw meat to a crowd of 500 dumb schmucks who were so easily separated from their money tonight. What else is new?
I doubt she wrote any crib notes. How many brain cells does it take to memorize: “Blah blah blah”?
If she spoke more intelligently she would lose all her nascar fans.
Palin is a moron. Anyone with a lick of sense knows this. Obama WROTE his famous acceptance speech. Using a teleprompter is the way politicians have given speeches for a very long time. Only morons like YOU brainwashed by what Rush has TOLD you to think are trying to make hay out of the fact Obama like most everyone else uses a teleprompter. You are stupid and pathetic. Try to stop embarassing yourself so piteously 
Sarah Palin this Sunday! What do you want to ask her? // The square root of 4? Her answer: All of 'em!
How is #Palin allowed to criticize Obama on anything, let alone national security issues? Why does @nprnews think this is news? ARGH! (Akston's note:  It's called 'Free Speech', a natural right further guarded in our pesky Constitution's Bill of Rights)
Sarah Palin showed up at the national Tea Party convention in Nashville. Sarah thought she was invited for a Tupperware party.

Is no one else vaguely uneasy about her call for a revolution? Sure, it's the same old #Palin BS, but that should still be out of bounds. (Akston's note:  Getting a little nervous out there on the lonely Left?)
You guys, conservatives, in the US must be nuts to support Sarah Palin. That woman is to politics what impotence is to marriage.
"What's the difference between Sarah Palin and Al Sharpton? Lipstick."
I hope Sarah Palin does run for President so that she can get her ass handed to her.
C-Span's attention to Sarah Palin is a celebration of ignorance.
Watching airport CNN in Miami. Sarah Palin is George W Bush with hot flashes. What are you thinking America??? 
So, the fact-based reasoned dialogue has begun.  Well done, Governor Palin. Fight's On! 

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Odds 'N Ends From Hugh Akston's Diner Today

It's an odd time for liberals to feel smug. But even with Democratic fortunes on the wane, leading liberals insist that they have almost nothing to learn from conservatives. Many Democrats describe their troubles simply as a PR challenge, a combination of conservative misinformation -- as when Obama charges that critics of health-care reform are peddling fake fears of a "Bolshevik plot" -- and the country's failure to grasp great liberal accomplishments. "We were so busy just getting stuff done . . . that I think we lost some of that sense of speaking directly to the American people about what their core values are," the president told ABC's George Stephanopoulos in a recent interview. The benighted public is either uncomprehending or deliberately misinformed (by conservatives).
  • Add @suziplasse to the folks you follow on Twitter...  a relentless female John Galt who, ironically, DOES live under the sign of the $. (Vegas)
  • I sent the following letter on 2/5 to Jennifer Horn, one of the Republican challengers for the New Hampshire 2nd Congressional District seat:
I enjoyed participating in the rally on Tuesday with Stephen Moore at the Marriott Courtyard in Nashua.  The speeches were great and there was a terrific buzz in the crowd.
Terrific "stump speech" by you as well!  I took a couple extra copies of the Constitution and gave them to a few friends.  (I sent your campaign a donation this morning of $25 to help defray those costs.)
As a concerned citizen, whose interest in your campaign extends only to my unshakeable commitment to see a true conservative assume the seat of the NH 2nd Congressional District in November, I highly, highly recommend that you get connected to the exploding Twitter community.
I know what you're thinking, because before this past weekend I harbored the same skepticism you might have (your last tweet on NHJennifer was on 11/3/09).  Is Twitter just a way for people to say they're taking the dog out, or "OMG didja see Lost?"  Quite the contrary. When the history of the 2010 conservative landslide is written, the impact of Twitter will be showcased as the lubricant of the machine that proved to be unstoppable.  The first chapter in that history was written on 1/19 in Massachusetts.
This past weekend I attended, with about 500 other concerned conservative grass-roots organizers in NH, a forum at SNHU sponsored by Fred Tausch's Steward for Prosperity focused on the use of social media in organizing grass roots movements. 
So, I took the plunge, opened a Twitter account and started "tweeting".  As I saw how the information flowed my jawed dropped in awe at the power that Twitter enables. 
Everyday, the movers and shakers of government, conservatism, liberalism and everything in between are using Twitter to shape the messaging of the events of day - effectively emasculating the distorting and destructive power the main stream media has enjoyed and, by which, the liberal monster that we face today sits, nervously, upon Capital Hill.
I highly recommend that you get out there on Twitter.  The reach that you will have in a very, very short period of time will be far greater and cheaper than traditional Twitter-less campaigning.  Also, your ability to attract the attention of national-level support, as Scott Brown enjoyed (primarily through Twitter) will be exponentially enhanced.  Every day - every hour  - you will be able to imprint your position on the incredible events of the day and the folks following you will grow every day.  We will know Jennifer intimately because she will have been with us on Twitter every step of the way.
I would love the opportunity to speak with you or your staff about this. 
Best Regards,
Craig Powers
  • Early Morning Thread: How to Destabilize and Destroy a Country, Michael Walsh, Big Journalism.com.   A chilling interview from 1985 with a former KGB agent who details with clinical precision. the four step process for destabilizing and destroying a country:  1.  Demoralize (15 - 20 years); 2. Destabilize (2-5 years:  Focus on economic destabilization, foreign affairs and defense); 3.  Crisis (6 weeks); 4.  "Normalization".  25 years ago, this guy was foreshadowing what we now suffer in 2010.
  • Don't Blame It on Our Coca-Cola Bottles Academy Award winning screenwriter, Paddy Chayefsky on European contempt for Americans from the WWII era movie The Americanization of Emily  Courtesy of @suziplasse

Monday, February 1, 2010

Porker of the Month

Citizens Against Government Waste has announced the winner of its dubious "Porker of the Month" Award for January 2010 - none other than the Cornhusker kickbacker himself, Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska.  (Your constituents must be soooo proud of you.)

Call Senator Nelson (D-Neb) at (202) 224-6551 and let him know what you think!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Principles are the Missing Ingredient in the Health Care Debate

In a Guest Commentary in Sunday's Telegraph, Dr. James W. Squires lamented the failure of the 2009 Health Care “reform” effort due to a failure to engage in a meaningful dialogue free from language that he complained stifled discussion and debate.  He complained that a focus on the principles underlying the policy served only to end the policy discussion.

I would argue that the reason that the current Health Care bills passed by the House and Senate will never be reconciled is because we did not reach agreement on the principles upon which that policy would be built.

Imagine the discussion between two honest, principled people about what the Giants needed to do to reach the playoffs next year.  Without taking the time to agree upon the framework of that discussion what follows would be an incoherent, frustrated cross-talk which fails to find agreement.  One argues that the Giants need to work on their pitching and infield play and the other argues that they need to improve their secondary and pass rush.  Without an understanding of whether they were talking about the baseball Giants from San Francisco or the football Giants from New York, any attempts at collaboration and agreement of ideas would be frustratingly fruitless.

So it has been with the 2009 Health Care discussion.  We couldn’t have a meaningful, fruitful discussion about heath care reform without first agreeing on the core principles and morality upon which any policy would be built.

Every honest poll – and the recent Senatorial election in Massachusetts - shows that most Americans disapprove of the policy contained in the House and Senate health care bills.  For the sake of argument, even if we stipulate that the Democrat leadership is motivated only by the noble objectives that they share with the public, let’s agree that resistance to the current bills is not because of any disagreement with their noble goals. Let’s simply stipulate that we disagree with the means by which the bills would attempt (and ultimately fail) to achieve those noble goals because of the violation of the core principles held by most Americans.

One step that “reform” advocates could take to reduce the cross-talk would be to refrain from conflating the premise that most Americans are opposed to the current policy being negotiated with the conclusion that most Americans are against true health care reform.

The reason most Americans reject the current bills in the House and Senate is an unacceptable infringement upon our personal freedom.  “Freedom” is not an “incantation” designed to stifle discussion as Dr. Squires mentions in his commentary.  Quite the contrary.  Reasoned Americans seek to understand how any policy will impact their freedom. The problem the Democrat leadership has created with its 2009 Health Care “reform” is that it has not paid sufficient regard to the concern that most Americans feel regarding the risk to their freedom inherent in these bills.

Most Americans understand that the only power in the world that can strip Americans of their freedom is government.  For a people to enjoy hundreds of years of freedom as we have in America is a historical anomaly – an aberration in the normal march of human history.  Generations of Americans have willingly risked their lives and livelihoods to secure their freedom and the freedom of the next generation.  Most Americans view the policy contained in the two health care bills to be an unacceptable risk to that precious freedom.  Voters of all political leanings sent this message last Tuesday in Massachusetts.  They felt their cherished principle of freedom was under attack by the current health care bills.

We have seen the enormous capacity of Americans to solve any problem when we work together.  Health Care reform should be no different.  President Obama and the Democrat leadership can find their place in the annals of history by making a substantive, sustainable improvement to our Health Care system, but they must first spell-out the principles upon which this policy would be built such as:

•    The government has no moral authority to compel any American to buy an insurance policy involuntarily and with costly provisions he does not want.  The current bills would mandate all Americans to buy insurance or face a fine.

•    The government has no moral authority to intercede in a private, voluntary exchange of values between a patient and a doctor by limiting the amount the doctor may receive for providing a service to a patient.  The current bills would limit the amount that doctors and hospitals could receive for a given service.

•    The government has no moral authority to coerce young people to pay a higher insurance premium based on their lower-risk profile in order to subsidize the insurance cost of older people who are higher users of health care.  In order to gain the buy-in from insurance companies to provide insurance to people who have pre-existing conditions, the government promised to coerce every American to buy health insurance.

•    The government has no moral authority to tell any business, such as a health insurance company, with whom it must do business.  The current bills would require health insurance companies to issue policies to risks that would reasonably guarantee that the health insurance companies would lose money.

•    The free market, if unfettered by destructive government mandates, mis-incentives and other distortions, is better able to provide health care better than a government-run system.  The free market has shown that it is the best vehicle for increasing the availability and quality of products and services while reducing the cost to the consumer.  The fact that it hasn’t (yet) been used in the health care industry is due solely to government barriers.

•    Providing health care insurance is not the same as providing health care service.  Health care service is a product that must first be produced before it can be delivered.  A government-issued “coupon” for “universal foot protection”, for example,  does not, by itself, produce a single pair of shoes. Similarly, a government-sponsored “coupon” for health insurance does not produce health care service. 

•    If you pay doctors and hospitals less than it costs them to provide the service, you will have fewer doctors and hospitals providing that service. Setting a price-cap that each person who has a “universal foot protection” coupon must pay for a pair of shoes will not increase the number of shoes manufactured. Quite the contrary.  Price-controls will, theoretically and in historical practice, reduce the amount of a good or service whose price is artificially controlled.

•    If you have fewer doctors and hospitals producing health care service and we provide “free health care coupons” to every American, either costs will go up or delivery delays will be experienced and / or both.

If the Democrat leadership or any health care “reform” advocate could please address these reasoned and reasonable concerns, then we promise not to mention the corrupt methods (Louisiana Purchase, Cornhusker kickback, $60 billion union buy-off, no CSPAN, etc) by which these unprincipled bills have been crammed down our throats.

We are concerned by the over-reach of Democrats in this health care debate because of the violation to our principles this policy represents.  We are concerned that the Democratic leadership is indifferent to the core principles of Americans and that “might makes right”.  In Oct 2008, Hillary Clinton sent an email to her supporters that said, “Sixty is the magic number.  If we reach 60 Democrats in the Senate, then the days of Republican obstruction are over…there’s nothing we can’t accomplish.” Chilling.

Ayn Rand wrote, “Reason is not automatic.  Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it.  Do not count on them.  Leave them alone.”  Principled, independent Americans wish to have a reasoned discussion about health care policy with the leadership in Washington.  We are asking for a discussion based on objective reason.  We ask that they respect our principles and do not dismiss our concerns as those of unhelpful obstructionists.  A reasoned, principled policy will stand on its own merits and its virtues will be easy to discern and discuss.  A reasoned, principled policy will “sell-itself” when presented in the disinfecting light of day to reasonable Americans.  Expensive buy-offs of critical votes, as we have witnessed, would not be required if the bills aligned with the principles of Americans.  Americans will support any policy that they think will benefit them.  Let’s have that dialogue.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Diner Discussions – Week Ended 1/22/10

We at Hugh Akston’s Diner witnessed historic events this week that bode well for individual freedom.

Scott Brown elected to the US Senate in Massachusetts

The biggest news was the against-all-odds election, in the bluest-of-blue states Massachusetts, of Scott Brown to the US Senate.  With his election, Scott Brown has turned the political world on its head and stopped our Big Government enemies in their tracks.

The funniest explanation provided for the 31 point swing of independent voters in Massachusetts from the Democrat in 2008 (BHO) to the non-Democrat in 2010 was by Howard Dean, who appeared in the must-see 1/20 episode of “Hard Ball” with the distraught Chris Matthews.  Howard Dean said that the vote for Scott Brown was a “message” vote from independents that the Democrat platform in Massachusetts and in Washington was not liberal enough – that they want “real change”.  Even Chris Matthews had to ask Governor Dean what he was talking about.  This was a marvelously hilarious explanation for the election loss providing the lucky viewer an unambiguous view into the chaos and contradiction that is the liberal mind.

It came as no surprise to patrons here at Hugh Akston’s Diner that the Democrat Machine underestimated the moral strength of Americans in general and the capability of Scott Brown, in particular, to serve as a lightning rod for that moral strength.  234 years ago, we put the king of England on written notice that we, Americans, would not suffer the evils of the British Crown any further.

For the nation to understand what the election of Scott Brown meant, they need go no further than the Declaration of Independence, for this historic election result was no less significant than that first shot fired at Lexington.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Americans aren’t simply angry, as BHO and his spinmeisters believe. Instead, Americans are expressing the principles penned so eloquently in 1776.

Americans are not throwing an emotional temper tantrum.  Quite the opposite, actually.  Americans are making a reasoned assessment and action plan given the evils that have been forced upon them by their current government. Americans of all parties are removing their consent to the brand of Big Government being peddled by the current administration and Congress.  Americans believe that this form of government is destructive to their rights of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

On Tuesday, Massachusetts voters, supported by freedom-loving Americans from all over the country, used the most powerful weapon in the world – a vote in a free election – to take the first step toward abolishing the policies of this destructive government.  Tuesday’s results were nothing more and nothing less than the expression of the most solemn principle of the proper role or government and its necessary subservience to the People.

Some links to some stories  / videos about the historic election of Scott Brown:

Scott Brown pulls off historic upset

Democrats seek back footing after epic Mass. loss

Democrats play blame game for Senate loss

President Obama’s priority in danger Vote a ‘protest’ on health-care reform

Keith Olbermann apologies for not attacking Brown harder

Chris Matthews Can't remember Scott Brown's name

The fallout: Democrats rethinking health care bill

Exclusive: President Obama: We Lost Touch with American People Last Year

Obama gets voters' message: It's jobs, jobs, jobs

Americans will not be Ruled

We Americans will suffer the offenses of government…we always have and likely always will…but there is a limit to the evils we will suffer.  As stated in our Declaration of Independence:
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

On Tuesday (1/19/10), we saw the limits to the evils we Americans will suffer at the hands of our elected servants.  Massachusetts’s voters weren’t angry.  Their votes for Scott Brown weren’t protest votes against anything.  Their votes meant one thing that Big Government should hear (and fear):  “Americans will not be ruled.”

The principle embodied in our Declaration of Independence and in our Constitution that all men are created equal is at the core of being an American.  You will not rule me because you claim to be a divine monarch.  You will not rule me because your father ruled my father.  You will not rule me because you are wealthier than me.  You will not rule me because my skin is a different color than yours.  You will not rule me because of my religious beliefs.  You will not rule me because you believe you are smarter than me.  You will not rule me because I elected you to serve me.  You will not rule me…because I will not be ruled. I am an American.

For the past year, every day witnessed the break-neck pace of the liberal administration and Congress in its efforts to rule each of us:  to increase our taxes, thereby extending the number of weeks we work solely to pay the mandatory taxes confiscated from us; to coerce us buy a healthcare policy, whether we want to or not; to coerce us to buy a health care policy that has provisions that we don’t want; to pay a made-up tax on a made-up commodity (CO2 emissions) in a made-up market that will further reduce the amount of money that I am able to keep; to force the most productive among us to pay for the least productive and most corrupt; to enslave our children with a mountain of debt to pay for the corrupt spending spree unleashed on Americans. To attempt to shame me with your hollow, populist rhetoric that if I do not sacrifice more, then I am somehow not worry or am un-American.  Be off with such drivel!

Our servants in Washington would be wise to view any policy to which they attach their name in 2010 through the prism of the post-Kennedy world in which we find ourselves.  Sign-onto a bill that reduces our freedom and you will be gone in November.  The dynamic is no more complicated than that.

Scott Brown's Acceptance Speech (Transcript)

The Re-emergence of the Populist Obama

BHO, reckoning, apparently, along the same lines as the chaotic Governor Dean, that America is angry at George W. Bush and his "failed policies" went back on the populist trail.  BHO had his own, "let them eat cake" moment on 1/17 after Air Force One made an emergency landing at Logan to help with the rescue efforts of the anemic Coakley campaign that had had its hamstrings cut by the Louisiana Purchase, the Cornhusker kick-back and the union-exemption from "Cadillac Health Care plan" taxes.  During a stump speech in a partially filled auditorium at Northeastern University, with tie removed and the shuck and jive tone and "ya knows" and "yawlls" in full voice, BHO flippantly derided Scott Brown's brilliant use of his beat-up old truck with this Maria Antoinette-ism:

What's ironically amusing is that BHO has chosen the populist-approach to counter the momentum lost by Democrats with the Brown victory, under the mistaken assumption that Americans are motivated by anger and not by the reason of their minds.  A populist strategy attempts to appeal to the emotional motivations of voters as opposed to their reasoned conclusions. Charles Blow writes in an Op-Ed in today's New York Times:
 "Welcome to the mob: an angry, wounded electorate, riled by recession, careening across the political spectrum, still craving change, nursing a bloodlust."
Democrat Governor Deval Patrick, further articulating the view held by Liberals of rational, energetic Americans arguing who argue against Progressive policy, patronized clear-thinking voters with the following statement made this week: 
"Be angry - but channel it in a positive direction. It's easy to be against something. It takes tough-mindedness and political courage to be for something."
I sense that BHO feels the same way.  Americans are nothing more than a mob.  If only the mob can be channeled...if only we can focus that anger. With that, BHO picked up his teleprompter, took off his tie, dusted off his hip-hop syntax and got back on the populist stump and overnight created an enemy toward which he would channel the mobs anger - Wall Street.

Just as it became clear at the end of last week that Massachusetts was a lost cause for the Democrats, BHO began the assault on Wall Street, just as FDR had on the utilities.  It's a simple strategy from Chapter 1 of the Populist Progressive Playbook:  Step 1: Find an enemy of the people and create the appearance you are "fighting" for the People against this Enemy.  Step 2:  If there is no such enemy of the People (except those in government who are always the enemy of the People) then create an enemy. Step 3:  Assign the reason for every conceivable evil in the world onto this enemy.  Step 4:  Step and repeat.

So, on Thursday 1/14, the story was reported that BHO plans to announce a new fee on banks because "we want our money back."  BHO went on to say, with perfect populist progressive pitch:
"If these companies are in good enough shape to afford massive bonuses, they are surely in good enough shape to afford paying back every penny to taxpayers,"
Yea!  Thank you Mr. Progressive President.  And who, pray tell, do you think is really going to pay for those fees and taxes that you would slather all over the big bad banks?  Of course, all Americans will.  We will see higher ATM fees, check fees, overdraft fees, and so on.  The Progressive mind is congenitally incapable of understanding this simple fact of economics:  THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A TAX ON BUSINESS.  All taxes levied on businesses result in higher cost to their customers and reduced capital to fuel innovation,  growth and job creation.  A tax on business is about the stupidist thing any government can do if it is committed to creating an environment in which the private sector can create jobs faster.  Jobs are created by businesses so why in the world would anyone wish to retard the ability of a business to create jobs?

Then Obama raised the ante, by taking another swing at banks using his new-found Populist Progressive voice:
"We have to get this done.  If these folks want a fight, it's a fight I'm ready to have."
Investors responding by dropping the DJIA by 5% this week.  I wonder how many hard-working Americans (you know, the kind that BHO will always "fight for") saw their 401K's whacked this week because of the reckless populist blather of our President.   Or has BHO forgotten that the capital that is harnessed through our free markets is created through the hard-work and innovative spirit of that portion of Americans who actually produce?

It's Still the Fault of George W. Bush

The "It's Not My Fault" tour by the Administration was alive and well this week, as we start the second year of BHO's administration.

In his first interview of 2010 given to George Stephanopolous on ABC, BHO blamed GWB for Martha Coakley's humiliating defeat in Massachusetts:  “The same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office” 

Paul Krugman wrote in a piece on 1/17 entitled What Didn't Happen,
The Obama administration’s troubles are the result not of excessive ambition, but of policy and political misjudgments. The stimulus was too small; policy toward the banks wasn’t tough enough; and Mr. Obama didn’t do what Ronald Reagan, who also faced a poor economy early in his administration, did — namely, shelter himself from criticism with a narrative that placed the blame on previous administrations...He could have pointed out, repeatedly, that the continuing troubles of America’s economy are the result of a financial crisis that developed under the Bush administration, and was at least in part the result of the Bush administration’s refusal to regulate the banks. But he didn’t...Whatever the reason, Mr. Obama has allowed the public to forget, with remarkable speed, that the economy’s troubles didn’t start on his watch.
Are you kidding?  BHO is physically unable to utter more than three words on ANY subject without blaming GWB for something.  As we read above, he blamed GWB for the Coakley loss.  But don't take my word for it...

After Obama Rally, Dems pin blame on Bush (Hotline on Call, 1/17/10)
Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), speaking with a gaggle of reporters after the event, said that while state Sen. Scott Brown (R) offers voters a quick fix, in reality, the problems created by "George Bush and his cronies" are not so easily solved.

Obama Blames Bush for Brown's Win in Massachusetts (Human Events.com 1/21/10)
 BHO : “Here's my assessment of not just the vote in Massachusetts but the mood around the country: The same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office. People are angry and they are frustrated. Not just because of what's happened in the last year or two years but what's happened over the last eight years.”

Obama's New Tack: Blaming Bush President Points to Inherited Economy (The Washington Post, 3/14/09)  Over the past month, Obama has reminded the public at every turn that he is facing problems "inherited" from the Bush administration, using increasingly bracing language to describe the challenges his administration is up against. The "deepening economic crisis" that the president described six days after taking office became "a big mess" in remarks this month to graduating police cadets in Columbus, Ohio. "By any measure," he said during a March 4 event calling for government-contracting reform, "my administration has inherited a fiscal disaster." 

Obama Administration Blames Bush for Airport Secuity Failures (Examiner.com 12/28/09)
First she said "the system worked".  Now, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano admits the system failed miserably, but repeatedly points out it was a system put in place while George W. Bush was President.  White House spokesman Robert Gibbs made similar statements. The "Blame Bush" mantra helped get Obama elected and has been used as an excuse for his entire first 11 months as President.  Now they are using it as an excuse for allowing a Nigerian terrorist to almost blow up a U.S. bound plane on Christmas Day.

 Associated Press Analysis:  Obama's Buck-Stopping goes only so far (Associated Press 1/9/10) WASHINGTON – He says "the buck stops with me," but nearly a year into office, President Barack Obama is still blaming a lot of the nation's troubles — the economy, terrorism, health care — on George W. Bush... "I don't need to remind any of you about the situation we found ourselves in at the beginning of this year," Obama told people at a Home Depot stop last month.

 Yea, maybe BHO should be less subtle in his blame of Bush for everything.  :-)

Diners, remember.  When a house is on fire, regardless of the reason for the blaze in the first place, a fireman can do one of two things.  He can pick up a hose with water or he can pick up a hose with gasoline.  Yea, the house was on fire when BHO was sworn in a year ago, but since then he has done nothing but pour gasoline onto the fire with his recklessly Progressive policies.  We can argue in perpetuity as to the cause of the fire, but BHO's gasoline-like policies have only caused the inferno to burn hotter and to do more damage.  We may put this house fire out yet without sliding into a Depression, but that job has been all the more difficult by the BHO policies.

Some good readings for you below...enjoy.  See you soon under the sign of the $.

The New Political Rumbling  Massachusetts may signal an end to old ways of fighting  Peggy Noonan in The Wall Street Journal 1/23/10

Air America Radio closing, filing for bankruptcy... certainly a harbinger of things to come for the Progressive movement.  Air America, the heavily subsidized radio program spewing liberal blather, finally reached a level of financial bankruptcy to match the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the Progressive movement.

Obama's First Year:  By the Numbers... In his first year as president, BHO:
Speeches, comments, remarks: 411
Addresses or remarks dealing with the subject of health care: 52 ("The problem is we're not getting our message out on health care..."  Yea, right.  Your problem is that you ARE getting your message out!)
Trips to the Telepromter: 178
News Conferences:  42
Interviews: 158
Town Hall Meetings (including the two held with his constituents from France and China): 23
Domestic Trips: 46 out-of-town trips to 58 cities in 30 states
Foreign Travel: 10 foreign trips to 21 nations (a new record for the President in his first year)
Flights on Air Force 1:  160
Flights on Marine 1:  193
Political Fund Raisers:  28 (Bush did 6 his first year)
Campaign Rallies:  7 in NJ, VA and MA.  In each case, the Democrat lost.
Meetings with Foreign Leaders: 74 (GWB, ya know, the Cowboy who never worked to build consensus among world leaders, had only 115 such meetings in his first year.) 
National Debt:  Was $10.6 trillion when BHO was sworn in...one year later it has grown by $1.69 trillion to $12.32 trillion.

Some great YouTubes...

Scott Brown Acceptance Speech in Massachusetts (part I)

Scott Brown Acceptance Speech in Massachusetts (part II)

Ayla Brown sings "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Boston's Fourth of July celebration accompanied by the Boston Pops (originally aired 07/04/06).