Sunday, August 22, 2010

NY Times Offers Herring For Dinner

NY Times caught my eye with a article headline about Marco Rubio
"...a Candidate who Veers from the Tea Party Script."
Curious, I had to take a look to see what the NY Times found
A wiser course for Republicans, he said, is offering an alternative, not simply being the angry opposition. “The solution isn’t just to paralyze government,”

Um, Tea Partiers are angry and in opposition, but our solution was never to "just paralyze government." Is that Marco's read or the Times?

"(He is) increasingly trying to turn his contest into one built more on ideas than outrage." Yep, it's the Times. The Times thinks Tea Partiers are just angry, no idea why or what they want done about it.

"Mr. Rubio has defied the Democratic-driven caricature of a Tea Party phenomenon."
The same caricature you're communicating?

"...he did not agree with flashpoints Republican candidates elsewhere have seized on. Does he support changing the 14th Amendment, ... Mr. Rubio said. “I don’t think that’s where the problem is.”

Mr. Rubio is being entirely consistent with Tea Partiers on this issue. It is not a Tea Party issue. Frankly, Republicans who see it as an issue should be put in the "don't get it, still pandering" category.

"Is the Arizona immigration law a good idea...“I don’t want Arizona to serve as a model for other states,” said Mr. Rubio..."

Again, Mr. Rubio's position is wholly consistent with Tea Partier's. Immigration is a secondary issue to us.

If the Times intends to write a story about a popular GOP candidate breaking with Tea Pary, they really should figure out what the Tea Party is about in the first place. A good place to start might be the Contract from America. Take a look - no immigration position, no 14th amendment position, no gay marriage position, no ground zero mosque position. Those are red herrings. Not Tea Partiers. Get a clue.
The Cologne Tank Battle

There is a must see post on Castle Argghhh!

Battle For Koln

Here is some partial video below, but go to the link above for the good stuff.

A German researcher has put together the footage of the famous tank battle into a coherent blow-by-blow story. If you've ever seen a WWII documentary on the battle for Germany you'll recognize it. After the video, I went to the researcher's site where he has posted still shots, information on the photographers, the names and fates of the tank crews, even a walking tour in modern Cologne where many of the buildings still stand.

"Read the whole thing."

I agree with the Donovan, I've been to Koln several times, the next time I go, it will feel different.
Всё по плану (According to plan)

It has just occurred to me that some of the things that seem to characterize this administration remind me of the nomenklatura that ruled the old Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

They had a belief in the "center." Now, we see the conviction Washington knows best how to manage the economy.

The nomenklatura developed detailed economic plans for government investment, industry, social services, and full employment. We have the unprecedented dollars amounts involved in the stimulus, the GM and Chrysler bailouts, TARP, and the Health care law.

When things didn't work out, they either ignored it and made happy talk about how everything was going according to plan (vse po planu), or blamed it on others, the saboteurs and wreckers.

So, while I'm not saying that the President is a socialist, his administration just reminded me of what life was like under socialism.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Diversity Bullies Will Tarnish Your Achievement

The Navy Captain posted a quote from a CNO speech, "We now have 30 minority flag officers and 32 female flag officers, or admirals, for a 49% increase since 2006...For those of you who are in the information world, this year it’s been my great personal pleasure for me as I welcomed into the ranks of our Navy admirals, a former shipmate, a great African American officer by the name of [Rear Admiral] Will Metts."

What is the purpose of mentioning RADM Metts' race? Why is it important?
Compare how this sounds, He's a great naval officer. He's a great African-American officer.

Now add the CNO's metric. A 49% increase in minority and female flags in the last four years. Why have the numbers gone up so rapidly so recently? Does this reflect a huge year group bubble of minority officers hitting the flag boards? Or maybe Captains who can check the special group box have just been outperforming their peers recently. Either explanation is acceptable, but it is doubtful that that's what is really going on.

Sadly, that doubt about why they were selected diminishes the achievement of true performers.
Great officers are great performers. Sailors will work for great officers. We can slice down to cryptologists, surface warfare, avaitors, etc. But don't slice it by how people look. It's demeaning.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

This is Funny

Last week I wrote a post on how the Republicans can lose in November if they pursue distractions like changing the 14th Amendment, Gay Marriage, and the Ground Zero Mosque. I argued that lower taxes and less of the federal government are what really motivate me this year.

I was pleased to see Gene Healy write something similar about the GOP mosque discussion over at the Washington Examiner today. He called it a red herring, where I had assumed mere cluelessness.

So I went back to my post, and had a surprise in the Google ad box on my page. I write a post that mentions gay marriage, now I get Key West ads on my site. Wow. Google has that word search thing down don't they?

Miss Me Yet?

Today we see CNN article on President Obama's "incoherence",
"There is no question they are having messaging problems at the White House," Morey said. "They've lost control of the dialogue, and they've gotten pulled down by the extremes on the left and right. They've just not had a coherent set of themes."
And we find this gem,
While many poked fun at former President George W. Bush for mispronouncing words and stumbling through sentences, observers note that he rarely had to backtrack on his answers because he employed a simple and direct messaging approach.
CNN making a positive reference to President Bush's communications approach. Wow. Just wow.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

In the NY Times this morning, in an article on the President's backing off of his support for the ground Zero mosque, we find this line:
But his “new beginning” has aroused nervousness in some, especially those who disagree with his counterterrorism policies, or those more comfortable with a vision of America as a white and largely Christian nation, and not the pluralistic melting pot Mr. Obama represents.

What? Who are they talking about? Who disagrees with the President's counterterror policies? According to the Times in a lengthy article today, there is no disagreement from "Republican lawmakers (who) have been unwilling to take Mr. Obama to task for aggressively hunting terrorists."

There is some disagreement from the President Saleh of Yemen, who is privately furious at our policies. There is some apparent disagreement from Abdul Ghani al-Eryani, a Yemeni political analyst, who says "I think the strikes over all have been counterproductive.” And there is clearly disagreement from "Qaeda members (who) seized on video of dead children and joined a protest rally a few days later" Yes, I know they don't share a vision of America as a pluralistic melting pot.

Citing "those who disagree" with the president is a throwaway line. Serious people know the President has greatly expanded counter terror operations. Serious people also have reasonable disagreement on this administration's policy of targeting American citizens. So maybe the writer is referring to the lawsuit against the counterterror policies filed jointly by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights. Somehow I doubt it.

It's clear that the Times writers don't read the Times.

What is even more disturbing thought is "...those more comfortable with a vision of America as a white and largely Christian nation, and not the pluralistic melting pot Mr. Obama represents."

This is a serious charge that should be backed up by some detailed reporting. But that is not the argument that any of the President's critics, whom she quoted in a single paragragh, appear to have been making. (If they were making it, she should have given us the quotes.)
Mr. Gingrich accused the president of “pandering to radical Islam.” Mr. Boehner said the decision to build a mosque so close to ground zero was “deeply troubling, as is the president’s decision to endorse it.” And Mr. King flatly said the president “is wrong,” adding that Mr. Obama had “caved in to political correctness.”
Does this writer really believe that opposition to the Cordoba mosque is based on a vision of white or Christian America? Really? It has nothing to do with the 2,700 murdered men and women, not nearly all of whom were white or Christian. It has nothing to do with not wanting to give Islamists cause for another victory dance at the expense of New Yorkers?

No, none of that matters. What matters to the NY Times, and Sheryl Gay Stolberg, is that if you disagree with the President, you are a racist. Such a view is either dishonest or simply ignorant. Neither of which are desirable qualities for a serious newspaper.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

How Can Republicans Lose in November?

Like millions of other Americans, I've been to the Tea Party rallies. I want what they want - a smaller federal government, less federal regulation of our lives. Along with less government intrusion, should come fewer services, "entitlements," and lower taxes. We want a federal government that is limited by the words of the US Constitution. The Tenth Amendment means something. The people we send to Washington should understand what it means.

For many, we see the Republican Party as having the principles closest to those ideals. But we also clearly remember how the Republicans betrayed those ideals when they were last in power. They bellied up to the trough like the rest. Nonetheless, I, like many Americans I assume, plan to hold my nose and in November, give them a crack at getting this country on track...

That is, if they can show that they "get it." They get it if they can show a way to balance the budget, not just reduce deficits. They get it if they can show a way to reduce federal regulations, not impose Washington's standards. They get it if they can stop the bailouts, and return risk to the markets. They get it if they can keep Washington's hands off the money we work hard to earn.

Unfortunately, the Republicans don't get it yet. And they are dampening my enthusiasm by talking about things that I really either disagree with or don't care about. If people like me don't show up to vote, they can lose. How do they make me a no show?

This is one way...
House Minority Leader John Boehner on Sunday said he's open to talks on changing the U.S. Constitution -- or at least the way it's interpreted -- so that U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants are not automatically U.S. citizens.
Really? You want to open up a conversation about changing the Constitution? About giving Congress more power? Do you know the history of the 14th Amendment? And you want to talk about that now? GMAFB. How about get on the Executive Branch to secure the border, and let's try doing what's written in the Constitution now before we go changing it.

This is another...
We join our voices with the clear decisions rendered by large margins in the vast majority of the states, and in every state where a popular vote has been held over the past two decades. It is time for the American people to stand up in support of their right to protect marriage. Judicial tyranny on the question of marriage must not be allowed to succeed.
I believe that marriage is a holy sacrament. It is a bond between a man and a woman, sanctified by God. That is my religion. Others believe other things. I disagree, but in matters of faith, defer to the faithful. We should NOT have government enforcing one religious standard over others. As I said here in 2008 when they passed it, and Ed Morrisey said just this week, the state should have no say in what is marriage and what is not.

This is another...
"There should be no mosque near Ground Zero in New York so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia. The time for double standards that allow Islamists to behave aggressively toward us while they demand our weakness and submission is over," Gingrich, a potential 2012 presidential candidate writes in a post on his web site Thursday.
Yes, I think it's outrageous too. But again, I don't think religion is a federal issue. Let New Yorkers fix this. If it actually goes to construction, it's going to be built by union workers. Patriotic bunch those union construction workers. Also imaginative.

Sooo... if Republicans can remember that we want less federal intrusion, confiscation, and redistribution, they can win. If they forget that, they can lose in November. If they lose in November - they are finished. We will find another party.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Stimulus Fail

Today the good Ed Morrisey fell into the trap of equating the stimulus to only the highly visible infrastructure projects, "Well, building bridges and roads hasn’t exactly started a boom economy more than 16 months after passing Porkulus."

That's true, but we should remember that roads and bridges was $27.5 billion, that is 3.5% of the $787 billion dollars.  The whole transportation and infrastructure package was "$64.1 billion of infrastructure investment to enhance the safety, security, and efficiency of our highway, transit, rail, aviation, environmental, flood control, inland waterways, public buildings, and maritime transportation infrastructure."

Last week in Washington, James Oberstar, (D-Minn), Chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure committee spoke at the National Fraud Conference on on Transportation Infrastructure Programs  During his speech, he gave what I thought was a powerful statistic on the Stimulus,

"Transportation and Infrastructure was 8% of the funding, but accounted for 50% of the jobs."

Wait a second!  If that's true, why didn't we just let Transportation spend 16% of the money? Then we could have gotten 100% of the jobs, and saved $661 billion.

When the money went to roads and bridges, we could see that. What we should be asking is where did the rest of the money go?