Category Archive '2008 Election'
15 Sep 2015
There is a decades-old custom followed by most candidates for the presidency of wearing American flag pins on their left coat lapel. Of course, wearing an American flag lapel pin doesn’t mean very much. It doesn’t really prove that you are genuinely patriotic or genuinely love America.
But failure to follow that trivial practice tends to be noticed and to provoke comment. Barack Obama ran into questions from reporters about not wearing one back in 2007. Obama initially characteristically sneered at the custom, but pressure mounted and by the next Spring of the election year, Candidate Obama fell into line and began wearing the flag pin.
In the run-up to this election, we have another representative of the radical left-wing of the democrat party who is obviously more comfortable denouncing America for institutionalized injustice than participating in conventional displays of patriotic symbols. Vermont’s Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (as you can see in the above photo) has been substituting a gold lapel pin in the place of that conventional US flag.
Naturally, one wondered: Is it a small gold hammer-and-sickle? Is he wearing (sentimentally) the symbol of the IWW (Wobblies)? Looking into it, I found that I was not the first to inquire. And the correct answer may be given here.
Bernie Sanders is deliberately side-stepping the flag lapel pin issue, by wearing instead the gold badge which identifies him in the Capitol building to security as a US Senator.
After all, how could we expect Senator Sanders to wear the flag of a country like ours. Senator Sanders denounced America as unjust in a speech he delivered just yesterday evening.
[I]n my view, it would be hard for anyone in this room today to make the case that the United States of America, our great country, a country which all of us love, it would be hard to make the case that we are a just society, or anything resembling a just society today.
In the United States of America today, there is massive injustice in terms of income and wealth inequality. Injustice is rampant. ..
[T]here is no justice when so few have so much and so many have so little.
What would Sanders do if he were present for the playing on the national anthem?
07 May 2015
Scott Grannis calculates just how much economic growth we’ve lost, for some unknown reason, over the course of the last six years.
Real GDP growth in the first quarter was weaker than expected (0.2% vs. 1.0%), but it wasn’t much of a surprise. It’s now been almost six years that the economy has managed only meager growthâ€”about 2 Â¼% per year on average. As a result, by my calculations, real GDP is a little over 10% below its long-term trend potential. That’s more than $2 trillion in lost income every year, and it’s getting worse. …
The chart above compares the level of real GDP to a long-term trend growth rate of 3.1%. This confirms once again that we are stuck in the slowest recovery ever. It’s my belief that the persistence of slow growth is largely the result of bad policies, though demographics likely plays a part too. Corporate profits have been very strong, but business investment has been very weak. Without new investment and risk-taking, we are not going to see a pickup in productivity which is, at the end of the day, what drives stronger growth and higher living standards. Investment has been weak probably because marginal tax rates and regulatory burdens have increased significantly in the past six years. In a sense, and expansion of government has suffocated the private sector.
Things are not going to change much for the better until policies become more pro-growth.
Whether the persistence of relatively weak growth is a reason for the Fed to continue to keep short-term interest rates extraordinarily low is one of the key questions of our time. I don’t see how low interest rates stimulate investment or enhance productivity. Only private initiatives can do that.
On the bright side, if policies do become more favorable, there is tremendous upside potential to look forward to. Closing the GDP gap would be nothing short of exhilarating.
13 Mar 2015
Sean Davis explains what happened after God created cancer, bureaucracy, and black flies.
And on the 8th day, God looked down on his creation and said, â€œItâ€™s way too honest and forthright.â€ So God made a Clinton.
God said, â€œI need somebody willing to do anything, believe anything, say anything, no matter how false, in order to attain power.â€ So God made a Clinton.
â€œI need somebody with a finger strong enough to wag at the cameras, but gentle enough to hit the power button on an industrial strength paper shredder. Somebody to bark at Congress, threaten cantankerous committee chairs, ignore subpoenas, and hide long sought after document troves deep in the bowels of the White House residence.â€ So God made a Clinton.
God said, â€œI need somebody willing to spend decades nursing naked ambition. And then watch it die when some upstart nobody from Chicago decides he doesnâ€™t want to wait his turn. Then dry her eyes and say, â€˜Maybe in 2016.â€™ I need somebody who can shiv a political enemy with nothing more than a nail file and an iPhone case she swore was way too inconvenient to carry around in addition to a Blackberry. And who, in primary and general campaign season, will doggedly complete the Sunday show sweep, and then pop up on TV again later that evening to tell you, â€˜The server will remain private.â€™â€ So God made a Clinton.
Read the whole thing.
Hat tip to Vanderleun.
06 Dec 2013
Jeff Goldstein also read Peggy Noonan’s latest, her devastating critique of Obama’s leadership, and he’s a lot less forgiving of her behavior in 2008 than I am.
We learn that Peggy Noonan is at her heartfelt best, noting as she does â€” clearly, and not for the first time (though probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 4 or 5 times by now) â€” that this Obama fellow, despite his manufactured polish, his practiced speech, and his inflated credentials, may just prove ill-equipped to really lead effectively and handle the challenges facing the nation.
â€“ Many of which wouldnâ€™t be facing the nation in the first place had not ostentatiously cosmopolitan and â€œpragmaticâ€ GOP pundits like the ubiquitous Peggy Noonan so disturbingly creamed over candidate Obama and his academic bona fides â€” which amounted to studies of critical race theory, race and law, the promotion of Marxism using the language of liberty as its camouflage, and mau-mauing the flak catchers, all of which requires nothing more than a willingness to parrot back leftist talking points to leftist professors looking to turn you into activist leftist foot soldiers and then, if you happen to have the right pedigree, perhaps even greater things.
Or, to put it another way, one of the women who helped guilt the American people into electing a transformative Marxist with a dubious background and no governing experience, a man who, after his drug-addled youth hung out with domestic terrorists, academic (and activist) anti-Semites, and got his religious counsel from a man steeped in hatred of Whites and Jews, as head of the free world â€” while simultaneously turning down her nose at figures like Sarah Palin, who has proven over the course of time to be every bit as prescient as Ms Noonan was bamboozed, hoodwinked, and gloriously conned â€” is now writing to tell us the President is not who he promised heâ€™d be.
Read the whole thing. It’s a good one.
17 Aug 2013
Hat tip to Policy Gal.
15 Nov 2012
Liberal Californian Conor Friedersdorf takes the occasion of Barack Obama’s totally unexpected reelection to throw a spitball of a column at conservatives, wondering aloud: What Has Movement Conservatism Accomplished in the Last 15 Years?
Perhaps we’ll see future triumphs from the conservative movement despite its present troubles. But have we seen any evidence of success since 1997 or so? George W. Bush created a new bureaucracy, expanded the federal role in education, approved a massive new entitlement, exploded the deficit, abandoned any pretense of a “humble foreign policy” that eschewed nation building, and left office having approved a massive government bailout of the financial sector. Then President Obama took office, presided over more bailouts and growing deficits, passed a health care reform bill that conservatives hate, and got reelected. Over this same period, the country has gotten more socially liberal. Gays can serve openly in the military and marry.
A majority now supports legalizing marijuana.
Circa 1997, if you’d told the average conservative that all those things would happen in the next 15 years, would they have declared the conservative movement finished? I suspect as much.
In the first place, noting George W. Bush’s sometimes failure to govern as a conservative (more government agencies, another entitlement, bailouts) is a fundamentally dishonest argument.
The Conservative Movement has never pretended to enjoy a national majority, nor does it claim to possess unchallenged dominion over the Republican Party. In the election of 2000, as in the elections of 2008 and 2012, the Conservative Movement contended against, and wound up compromising with, the professional politicians and Republican pragmatists. That is how American politics operates. The Conservative Movement had a lot of influence and, by an interesting kind of non-coincidence, was in every presidential election from 2000 to 2012 conceded the second place on the ticket, but it did not name the nominee.
Electing George W. Bush was certainly no unalloyed triumph for Conservatism. George W. Bush ran on a commitment to compromise with liberals and democrats and promised to govern as a “compassionate” (i.e. moderate Welfare State) Republican. There was never any reason to believe that George W. Bush was a sophisticated opponent of statism.
The Bush Presidency was radically transformed in the directions of domestic statism and foreign military operations by 9/11, which event, by any fair reading, must be looked upon as a legacy of Clintonian left-wing policy passivity.
Conservatives like myself are far from uncritical of Bush’s Wilsonianism. Some of us actively deplore the creation of the Department of Heimat Sekuritat and would abolish it and the TSA in a New York minute if we could work our will. We nonetheless wound up forced to defend George W. Bush, his Administration, and his foreign policy from essentially treasonous, dishonest, and opportunistic attack by the democrat party left. One wound up feeling like a Union conscript in the Civil War obliged to defend the leadership of General George McClellan.
We, in the Conservative Movement, can at least congratulate ourselves that our movement was able to elect George W. Bush, who was, however wrong and limited, nonetheless an honest and a decent man, over the despicable charlatan and junk science demigod Albert Gore and that we were able to spare the United States the dishonor of seeing the Vietnam War traitor John Kerry promoted to commander-in-chief.
8 years of George W. Bush, alas! failed, due to determined democrat resistance, to reform the American welfare state and put Social Security on a sound and reliable footing. Bush also failed to fully foresee and avert the real estate crisis, whose roots lay as far back as the New Deal. He did try to reform Fannie Mae, but Barney Frank and Chris Dodd successfully stood, like Horatius at the Bridge, in the way.
Bush, at least, did overthrow one of the principal outlaw regimes and sponsors of international terrorism, and he successfully averted al Qaida’s intended Second Wave attack. He built up the US military, put terrorism on the run, and delivered to Barry Soetero an ongoing intelligence operation and information obtained from captured illegal combatants which made possible his administration’s greatest triumph, the killing of Osama bin Laden.
In the same period, Conservatism’s intellectual domination of legal debates continued, and we won a decisive landmark Supreme Court decision affirming the Second Amendment and essentially recalling a cornerstone provision of the Bill of Rights from exile. We also won another crucial Supreme Court decision reversing liberal efforts to control political campaign speech. Not bad.
Mr. Fiedersdorf is a very young man lacking adequate experience of life to enable him to take the long view.
It’s easy to derogate the influence and achievements of the Conservative Movement a little over a week after it experienced a disastrous defeat. One can imagine the Friedersdorf column assessing US Naval Strength published on December 16, 1941.
It is sad, and not yet even entirely understandable yet why, that we lost this one, but frankly, Conor, old boy, I think you have a lot more to fear from the political future than we do. You put the radical Obama back into power, while the economy continues to sink, Obamacare increasingly comes into actual force and applies its terrible negative effects, and the federal budget approaches a fiscal cliff created deliberately by your party. You bozos own the disastrous US economy, and the chances that your demented ideology, your corrupt politics, and your basic bovine stupidity will do it still greater harm asymptotically approach 100%.
You are, I will grant you freely, the professionals at political manipulation, voter turnout, agitprop, and spin. You got all the weak-minded females in suburbia across the country in a tizzy over their supposed rights and they voted for Caliban out of fear that Romney would somehow personally confiscate their contraceptives and slap around their hairdressers.
What you overlook are the key considerations that your economics are fallacious, your policies are inevitably disastrous, your president is a narcissistic incompetent, and you are still, in the long-run, losing the war of ideas. Let me offer you a reciprocal challenge. Write this same column again nine days after the election of 2016, and let’s see how it reads then.
08 Nov 2012
A line of blue counties stretches across the usually red-voting South which parallels curiously enough an ancient sea coast from 100 million years ago. Why?
Dr. M. explains:
Hale County in west central Alabama and Bamberg County in southern South Carolina are 450 miles apart. Both counties have a population of 16,000 of which around 60% are African American. The median households and per capita incomes are well below their respective stateâ€™s median, in Hale nearly $10,000 less. Both were named after confederate officersâ€“Stephen Fowler Hale and Francis Marion Bamberg. And although Haleâ€™s county seat is the self-proclaimed Catfish Capitol, pulling catfish out of the Edisto River in Bamberg County is a favorite past time. These two counties share another unique feature. Amidst a blanket of Republican red both Hale and Bamberg voted primarily Democratic in the 2000, 2004, and again in the 2008 presidential elections. Indeed, Hale and Bamberg belong to a belt of counties cutting through the deep southâ€“Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolinaâ€“that have voted over 50% Democratic in recent presidential elections. Why? A 100 million year old coastline.
During the Cretaceous, 139-65 million years ago, shallow seas covered much of the southern United States. These tropical waters were productiveâ€“giving rise to tiny marine plankton with carbonate skeletons which overtime accumulated into massive chalk formations. The chalk, both alkaline and porous, lead to fertile and well-drained soils in a band, mirroring that ancient coastline and stretching across the now much drier South. This arc of rich and dark soils in Alabama has long been known as the Black Belt. But many, including Booker T. Washington, coopted the term to refer to the entire Southern band. Washington wrote in his 1901 autobiography, Up from Slavery, â€œThe term was first used to designate a part of the country which was distinguished by the color of the soil. The part of the country possessing this thick, dark, and naturally rich soilâ€¦â€
Cretaceous rock units (139-65 million years old) are shown in shades of green. Older rock units are in gray, younger ones in yellow. From Geology and Election 2000.
Over time this rich soil produced an amazingly productive agricultural region, especially for cotton. In 1859 alone a harvest of over 4,000 cotton bales was not uncommon within the belt. And yet, just tens of miles north or south this harvest was rare. Of course this level of cotton production required extensive labor.
As Washington notes further in his autobiography, â€œThe part of the country possessing this thick, dark, and naturally rich soil was, of course, the part of the South where the slaves were most profitable, and consequently they were taken there in the largest numbers. Later and especially since the war, the term seems to be used wholly in a political senseâ€”that is, to designate the counties where the black people outnumber the white.â€
Readers can compare 2012 results using individual state maps at Politico.
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