"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


The Regular Guy is in trial this week, so we'll be light on blogging. Keep the folks on the Gulf Coast in your prayers. Otherwise, go Romney-Ryan!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Fulling Mill, Hampshire, England

Latest and greatest from the Regular Son.   See below re the uniqueness of children.   The miraculous surprises of parenthood continue apace.

You Don't Have to Be a Birther To Know Which Way the Wind Blows

Jim Treacher makes this good point today:

At some point over the next few days, until the next Election 2012 outrage crops up, a lefty may start shrieking “BIRTHER!!!” at you because Romney made an attempt at humor. If that happens, all you have to do is show the shrieking lefty this:

Treacher goes on to make this important point:  "Obama used this bio for over 15 years, and it was revised a number of times. But he only changed it to indicate his true place of birth, Hawaii, once he decided to run for president. He has yet to explain why he lied in the first place, but he doesn’t have to. He lied because he’s Barack Obama, and that’s what Barack Obama does."

Girlies of the Day - Progeny Version!

Why not?  If you've got them, flaunt them!

Still More on Akin and "Rareness"

Jonah Goldberg, writing on NRO yesterday:

What’s Akin’s point then? We already knew that abortions stemming from rape are statistically rare. People have been talking about pro-life exceptions for the “rare instances of rape and incest” since Roe v. Wade was decided. But the rareness of such instances doesn’t change the moral questions one iota.

To bring up frequency makes it sound like it’s all a numbers game, which is wholly contrary to the principled pro-life argument. If the argument is that a fetus is an independent being deserving of life, rareness is a red herring. Conversely, if it’s cruel to force a woman to carry a rapist’s child to term, rareness is a red herring.

Agreed.   But let me put this point on "rareness" even more plainly, and perhaps from a different angle.   The reason why abortion is always wrong is precisely because of the quality of rareness.   But I'm not talking about statistical rareness.... that is a red herring, as Goldberg says.   I'm talking about the rareness of the individual person.   The child conceived is absolutely "rare" -- a unique individual human being.   It doesn't matter how that unique individual human being is conceived, whether in a marriage, or out of a marriage, or even in rape.   The innocent child himself or herself is absolutely, perfectly "rare."   And this is not a matter of religion, although this is certainly what my religion teaches.   If you like, it is a matter of science.   We know from the Human Genome Project and genetic science more generally that each person has an utterly specific code of genes that has never happened before and will never happen again.   That specific personhood is encoded in those genes and that personhood, to me anyway, has inherent dignity that must be respected.  If you have more than one child, ask yourself... which of those children could I live without, could I wish had never been born, could I wish read out of the universe?   None.   Frankly, I wish I had more of the little devils, precisely because they are each so rare and unique.

Not sure about this post.   It's either a minor point, or it's the only point that's worth making on this issue.

Child Fiscal Abuse

Mark Steyn's Saturday morning columns on NRO are a must-read.   Today he hits the nail on the head so hard he drives it through the board and into the flooring below.   It's hard to even figure out what to highlight, it's all good:

Obamacare is going to be expensive on a scale unknown to European health systems. Look around you. Americans are not Swedes. Obesity rate in the United States: 36 percent; Sweden: 9.7 percent; Japan: 3.2 percent; China: 2.9 percent; India: 0.7 percent. Ours is a country where 78 million people (or about the entire population of Germany) are classified by the Centers for Disease Control as “obese” — including over 40 million women. If 40 million women have it, isn’t that a “women’s health” issue? Perhaps even a bigger “women’s health” issue than the right of thirtysomething students to free contraception? It’s the first thing the average American of, say, 1950 would notice if you catapulted him forward from his mid-century Main Street to today: not how amazing all these computer gizmos are, but how large and sick today’s Americans look.

As George Will pointed out this week, nanny-state solutions (such as Michelle Obama’s current campaign to get us all nibbling organic endives) don’t work: Overweight kids in schools with high-calorie junk food, 35.5 percent; overweight kids in schools that banned all the bad stuff, 34.8 percent. Indeed, the bloating of government, of entitlements, of debt, and the increase in obesity track each other pretty closely over the last four decades. If all those debt graphs showing how we’ve looted our future to bribe the present are too complicated for you, look out the window: We are our own walking (or waddling) metaphor for consumption unmoored from production. And, to the Chinese and many others around the world pondering whether America has the self-discipline to get its house in order, a trip to the mall provides its own answer.

So we can’t fight a war in Afghanistan, but we can fight a “war on women” that only exists in upscale liberal feminists’ heads. We can’t do anything about exploding rates of childhood obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, but, if you define “health care” as forcing a Catholic institution to buy $8 contraception for the scions of wealth and privilege, we’re right on top of it. And above all, we’re doing it for the children, if by “doing it” you mean leaving them with a transgenerational bill unknown to human history — or engaging in what Boston University’s Larry Kotlikoff, speaking at the International Institute of Public Finance in Dresden last week, called “child fiscal abuse.”

If that sounds a trifle overheated, how about . . . hmm, “legitimate fiscal rape”? No? Then let’s call it a “war on children.” Unlike the “war on women,” it’s real.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Girl of the Day - I Dream of Jeannie! (Barbara Eden)

The sub-text was everything in the 1960s show I Dream of Jeannie.   A hot blond basically in a bikini who just happens to be magical and live in the house of an astronaut.   Hard to imagine tomfoolery wasn't happening, and I mean all.   the.   time.   

Barbara Eden turns 78 today.   Tempus fugit.  

Disqualifying Contempt

There was an article recently about Barack Obama's campaign in Politico that included the following frankly astonishing passage:

[Obama's] campaign [is] being animated by one thing above all. It is not exclusively about hope and change anymore, words that seem like distant echoes even to Obama’s original loyalists — and to the president himself. It is not the solidarity of a hard-fought cause, often absent in this mostly joyless campaign. It is Obama’s own burning competitiveness, with his remorseless focus on beating Mitt Romney — an opponent he genuinely views with contempt and fears will be unfit to run the country.

I've been thinking about this description of Obama's attitude toward Romney for a few days.   It sticks with me.   It passed without much comment from the Politico writers, but to me it literally jumps off the page.  

Contempt.   It's an amazing word.   From Webster's, it means "the state of mind of one who despises."   From Webster's again, "despises" means "to look down on with contempt or aversion" or "to regard as negligible, worthless, or distasteful."   In short, what Obama apparently feels toward Romney, as reported by the liberal reporters at Politico (hardly a right-wing outfit), is that he hates Romney.

Here's my problem with that.   First, it is unseemly and undemocratic for a leader in a free country, a democratic country, in what we hope is a civil society, to hate his political opponents.   We disagree.   We debate.   We make arguments and we present evidence.   We seek to persuade the country that we are correct and our opponent is wrong.   But we do not and should not "hate" our political opponents.   It's a dangerous attitude.

More importantly, however... what does it say about Barack Obama that he could hate a man like Mitt Romney?   A fellow American who has never committed a crime, who has never been divorced, who has raised five children to successful adulthood, who is a beloved grandfather to eighteen grandchildren, who has had what President Bill Clinton called a "sterling" business career, who gave up untold tens or hundreds of millions of future wealth to retire from Bain to run the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, who served honorably as the governor of Massachusetts, who has given tens of millions of dollars to charity and paid tens or hundreds of millions in taxes, etc., etc.   To despise him, to vilify him, to hate him is to provide extraordinary evidence of an almost pathological separation from reality.

Such hatred is, in short, disqualifying.  

Not that I needed other reasons to vote against Obama.   But, seriously... "contempt"? 

Pretty Much Sums It Up.

POTUS = TOTUS.   But, then again, we already new that.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Girl of the Day - Pussy Galore!

It's Honor Blackman's birthday today.   She's turning 87, bless her heart.   I'll be she still looks good, although not this good:

Oh, and if you somehow don't get the reference, that was her character's name as the greatest-ever Bond Girl in Goldfinger.

More re Akin

Consider the possibilities:

1. If Akin is a true believer in the pro-Life cause, he will conclude, perhaps after more prayerful reflection, that he needs to get out, because winning the Senate (and ensuring that we don't get more Elena Kagans on the Supreme Court) is so important.

2. If, on the other hand, Akin is a cynical pol, he will also get out, but is waiting to see how much leverage he can muster to get the powers that be in the GOP to find him some sweet-tasting lobbying job that he can start after a well-earned vacation... say, on November 7th.

3. The worst case scenario is that Akin is a true believer... in Akin! Then, like so many narcissitic pols, he will keep believing his own bullshit as he rides his barrel of it over the Falls.

Unfortunately, #3 is looking pretty likely right about now.

Monday, August 20, 2012


Lots of work lately, so not much blogging, but I thought I'd better weigh in on the idiocy of the Republican candidate for Senator in Missouri, Todd Akin.   Put bluntly, his comments were nonsensical on many levels.   From a pro-Life perspective, it matters not at all that abortions ending pregnancies caused by rape comprise a relatively small percentage of the total number of abortions.   That word relatively is itself nonsensical when you are talking about something as big as abortion in America.  For instance, statistics I've seen suggest that there are roughly 16,000 such abortions after rapes a year in America.   Yes, from one perspective that's relatively "rare," as Akin says, perhaps only slighly more than 1 percent of all abortions per year; on the other hand, if you think of, oh, about 100 full passenger airlines filled with infants going down with all aboard... well, that doesn't seem so relatively small then, does it?   The immorality of abortion is what it is, regardless of whether it's 10 babies, or 10 millions.   Pope Benedict, like Pope John Paul II before him, like the Catholic Catechism from time immemorial, calls it "intrinsically evil."  

And his comment on "legitimate rape"... well, let's just say that, at best, that's extremely poorly phrased, at worst a very, very bizarre concept.

But the real problem is that we're in 2012.   Republicans have been being lambasted for their views on abortion for nearly my entire adult life.   Where has Akin been to think he can blithely wander into this thicket, saying whatever comes to mind, IN THE MIDDLE OF A SENATE RACE WHERE THE BALANCE OF POWER IN THE COUNTRY LIKELY IS AT STAKE?  WHERE THE 51ST VOTE IN THE SENATE MIGHT MEAN EITHER THE REPEAL OF OBAMACARE OR NOT?   WHERE THE 51ST VOTE IN THE SENATE MIGHT MEAN EITHER 2 OR 3 LIBERAL SUPREME COURT JUSTICES OR NOT?

Sheesh!  He's got to go.   We've got to get someone into this race who can win, and not make a fool of himself, and not drag Romney down in Missouri, a state we have to win.

Sheesh, again!   Why do we snatch defeat from the jaws of victory all the time?

Girl of the Day - Joan Allen

Joan Allen, a great actress who's perhaps best known of late for her role as Pamela Landy in the Bourne movies, turns 56 today.   She wears her age remarkably well, as tall, skinny girls tend to do.  :)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Boutique Decadence of Moral Preening

Mark Steyn, killing it on Saturday morning, as always:

I’m not blaming Floyd Corkins’s actions on the bullying twerps at the Southern Poverty Law Center or those thug Democrat mayors who tried to run Chick-fil-A out of Boston and Chicago. But I do think he’s the apotheosis of narcissistic leftist myopia. He symbolizes that exhaustion of the other possibilities — the dwindling down of latter-day liberalism to ever more self-indulgent distractions from the hard truths of a broke and ruined landscape. Our elites have sunk into a boutique decadence of moral preening entirely disconnected from reality: A non-homophobic chicken in every pot, an abortifacient dispenser in every Catholic university, a high-speed-rail corridor between every two bankrupt California municipalities . . .

Steyn is right.   Where the Aurora killer was simply and apolitically sick, this young man apparently thought he was doing good for the Left and, in particular, for gay rights, by shooting up the lobby of the Family Research Council.   But that's what the Left stands for now:  the right to marry your gay lover or to free condoms or to low-interest student loans to get a Transgender Studies degree, while the nation hurtles off a fiscal cliff.   It's not the socialist Left, it's the insipid Left.   And it's getting worse.  

Friday, August 17, 2012

Raging Rage Against the Machine

A well-known nice guy, Paul Ryan, mentions in passing that he enjoys the music of a band called Rage Against the Machine.   So one of the band members, Tom Morello, thinks that it's only the decent thing to publish a diatribe against Ryan in Rolling Stone (which in turn thinks publishing this kind of thing is good for business).   I'll intersperse my comments:

Paul Ryan's love of Rage Against the Machine is amusing, because he is the embodiment of the machine that our music has been raging against for two decades.  What exactly does he mean here?   Ryan is a duly elected Congressman from a relativley working-class district.   Is the "machine" Morello rages against democracy itself?   Charles Manson loved the Beatles but didn't understand them.  Nice.  Let's equate people we disagree with politically with mass murderers.   Cute.  

...Ryan claims that he likes Rage's sound, but not the lyrics. Well, I don't care for Paul Ryan's sound or his lyrics. He can like whatever bands he wants, but his guiding vision of shifting revenue more radically to the one percent is antithetical to the message of Rage.   What is this "revenue" of which you speak?   It's earned income.   The fact that some people earn more than others -- like, for instance, rock stars -- is just a function of freedom and free markets.  Besides, only the most cliched leftist could say that Ryan's "guiding vision" is enriching the 1%.   His guiding vision has been trying to get our federal budget under control.  

I wonder what Ryan's favorite Rage song is? Is it the one where we condemn the genocide of Native Americans? Ryan as pro-genocide?   Come on!   The one lambasting American imperialism? Ryan as pro-imperialism?   Really?   Our cover of "Fuck the Police"?  Is there a Democrat who would stand up and say "Fuck the Police" is a good philosophy for political action?   Or is it the one where we call on the people to seize the means of production?  OK, I'll grant you that Paul Ryan probably doesn't think communism is a great thing.   Does Rolling Stone magazine support communism?   Does the Democratic Party?   Does Barack Obama?   (Well, maybe.)   So many excellent choices to jam out to at Young Republican meetings!

Don't mistake me, I clearly see that Ryan has a whole lotta "rage" in him: A rage against women, a rage against immigrants, a rage against workers, a rage against gays, a rage against the poor, a rage against the environment. Basically the only thing he's not raging against is the privileged elite he's groveling in front of for campaign contributions.   This is what psychiatrists call "projection."   Not very many people who have ever heard Ryan speak would say he's motivated by "rage."   Sounds like Morello is the angry one.  

You see, the super rich must rationalize having more than they could ever spend while millions of children in the U.S. go to bed hungry every night.  Look, you can have your own opinion, but you can't have your own facts.   Either we have a childhood obesity epidemic (Michelle Obama), or we have millions of kids going to bed hungry.   You can't have both.   So, when they look themselves in the mirror, they convince themselves that "Those people are undeserving. They're . . . lesser."  Yeah, that's why Mitt Romney gives $3 million dollars a year to charity... because he hates the poor.   Some of these guys on the extreme right are more cynical than Paul Ryan, but he seems to really believe in this stuff. This unbridled rage against those who have the least is a cornerstone of the Romney-Ryan ticket.  More rage... you'd think that's his favorite word or something.

... My hope is that maybe Paul Ryan is a mole. Maybe Rage did plant some sensible ideas in this extreme fringe right wing nut job.  Maybe if elected, he'll pardon Leonard Peltier.  Convicted of murdering two FBI agents.    Maybe he'll throw U.S. military support behind the Zapatistas.  A Marxist-anarchist revolutionary group in Mexico... yeah, that's the ticket, just what Central America needs is more communists!   Maybe he'll fill Guantanamo Bay with the corporate criminals that are funding his campaign – and then torture them with Rage music 24/7.  Apparently torture is OK if you're a leftist torturing "corporate criminals."   Average donation to Romney campaign since Ryan's selection is $81.   Clearly corporate fat-cats.   That's one possibility. But I'm not betting on it.

Didn't anybody at Rolling Stone have the editorial judgment that maybe, just maybe, publishing a hateful screed that equates political opposition in a democracy with mass murderers, genocide, and criminals, and demonizing them as people motivated by hatred, greed, rage, and a desire for more hungry children.... maybe that's not good for business?    After all, conservatives buy records too.

Ah, well.   Morello will probably give all the money he makes from people who buy his records because Paul Ryan mentioned them away to charity.

But I'm not betting on it.

The Entire Campaign in a Nutshell Redux

This graphic just keeps humming along, unlike the American economy!

Girl of the Day - Maureen O'Hara

Maureen O'Hara turns 92 today, God bless her.   What a great beauty and classy lady!   I can't believe she hasn't made GotD till now... that's a big oversight for the Regular Guy, since I grew up on O'Hara as the love interest in some of my favorite John Wayne movies like Rio Grande, The Quiet Man, McClintock!, and Big Jake.

Oh, heck, she's so great, why not another?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I Sense a Gestalt Switch Around the Corner

For decades the default assumption of the American people is that Democrats want to protect Medicare and Republicans want to cut it.   Such ingrained assumptions are hard to change, even when they aren't true and never were.   But educational moments like this from Romney could cause a "gestalt switch"/a Paul on the Road to Damascus moment for American seniors:

Great, great stuff.   What is the Obama campaign's possible retort?

Girl of the Day - Madonna

Madonna turns 54 today.   A great American story, if you put aside the weirdness, the cliched desire to shock the bourgeois (which ca. 2012 is well-nigh unshockable), the exhibitionism.   Stand back and what you see is a wildly successful self-made woman who went from nothing to tens of millions of dollars, perhaps hundreds, solely on the basis of her personality.   But, still:   time to act her age, methinks.   She's not this girl anymore.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

This. Says. It. All.

Hey, Girl!

Hey, Girl!

I commented to someone over the weekend that, as un-PC as it may be, young single women voters are relatively low-information voters who may (and do) vote based on "feelings" or "what's cool" or even what a candidate looks like.   Young male voters do the same thing (in part to look cool in front of young females by voting for the preferred candidate).   Anybody who thinks this didn't happen in 2008 with the cool Obama running against a geriatric McCain doesn't have their eyes open to human nature.

Anyway, I concluded that the fact that Paul Ryan is young, in-shape, and handsome probably won't hurt the Republican ticket with young women voters:

So much for the "War on Women"!

Y'All in Chains

Vice President "Slow Joe" Biden was up to his attack-dog tricks again yesterday, telling blacks in his audience at a Virginia speech that Republicans want to "put y'all back in chains":

Put aside the nastiness of this attack, the sheer demogoguery, the sheer idiocy -- of course the party that loves Allen West, loves Clarence Thomas, loves Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, Condoleeza Rice, of course they want to put black people in chains.   Just put that nonsense aside for the moment.  

Let's play the game:  Who's really putting black people in chains?

As I've said before, if I were a black person in America under Obama, I'd be interested in the following facts:

When Obama took office in January 2009, the unemployment rate for white men who were 25-54 years old, i.e., in their prime earning years (the Regular Guy is 53... better get moving!), was 8.1% at the trough of the recession.   In June 2012 it is back down to 5.9%.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate for blacks, which was 12.7% when Obama took office, has actually gone up to 14.4% in June 2012.   The unemployment rate for Hispanics, which was 10.0% when Obama took office, was up to 11.0% in June 2012.   And the unemployment rate for young people, ages 16-24, which was 14.9% in January 2009, is now up to 16.5% as of last month's jobs report.   All of this can easily be found at the
Bureau of Labor Statistics web page.

Why do these groups -- blacks, Hispanics, young people -- continue to support Obama, when his regime has so obviously been bad for them?

The real Obama record reflects government that is at the service of the professional elites, the business elites, the governmental elites, the union elites, the politically-connected.   In other words, middle-aged white dudes.

But let's go deeper.   Think of policies that are considered the core of liberalism:

1. The minimum wage.   It is not an accident that increases in the minimum wage driven by liberal demogoguery have resulted in higher and higher unemployment rates for black teenagers.   Has liberalism served the black community well by making black teenagers nearly unhirable?   Thank the Dems for all those boys on the street corner.

2. Environmentalism.  The aggressive environmental lobby to which the Democratic Party is in thrall has caused there to be both fewer and fewer good manufacturing jobs in America, and more and more costly energy, which in turn raises food costs.   If you are black in America, do you like those empty factories in your neighborhoods where there used to be jobs?   Do you like paying more and more for food?   Thank the Dems.

3. Welfare, the "Great Society," the "War on Poverty," and the Destruction of the Black Family.
In 1960 roughly 20% of black children lived with a single mother.   By 2006 it was over 50% and climbing.   Has liberalism served the black family?   Thank the Dems.

4. Public schools.

Nuff said.   Have the teachers' unions, the core constituency of the modern liberal Democratic Party, served your children well?   Thank the Dems when your child can't read.

5. Hollywood and the "entertainment" industry (including the music industry).

Do you think the filth and violence emanating from Hollywood and pouring into your homes to be consumed by your children has been a good thing?   Thank the liberals for undermining your values.

6. Abortion and disparate impact on black babies.

Do you like the fact that the abortion industry, founded by the eugenicist Margaret Sanger, targets inner city neighbors and disparately aborts black babies?   Again, thank the liberals for what has essentially been a genocide against your children.  

Republicans don't want to put you in chains.   We want to free you.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Girl of the Day - Middlemarch!

The Regular Family will likely finish watching The Forsyte Saga tonight, so beginning tomorrow it's on to Middlemarch!   One of the greatest characters in literature, the all-too-human but saintly Dorothea Brooke, is played by Juliet Aubrey.

Looks a little like the Regular Wife, come to think about it.  :)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Wow. Just... wow!

Erskine Bowles on the contrast between Paul Ryan's budget and Barack Obama's budget:

Oh, by the way, he was President Clinton's Chief of Staff, and the Democrat appointed by Obama to lead his deficit budget commission (the Bowles of "Simpson-Bowles").   So it's hard to discredit his opinion.

Two Jobs. Two Visions. Two Outcomes. Your Choice.

Mitt Romney got out of college and wanted to go into business.   He started Bain Capital for the purpose of making money for his investors and himself.   He ended up financing prominent start-ups like Staples and Sports Authority, and he ended up making himself very very rich.   It's hard to say that Romney wasn't successful at what he set out to do.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama got out of college and wanted to be a "community organizer" in Chicago.   Here's what Chicago looks like after decades of this kind of "community organizing":

There are 228 dead: That's the number of murders this year in Chicago. It's nearly twice as many as the number of Americans lost on the battlefields of Afghanistan over these last six months. And the number of deaths is up 35 percent over the same period last year.

There was a time it was called "gangland" Chicago and maybe that time has returned.

Chicago teen on living amid violence: "I don't expect to have a future here"

The cops tell us it's the gang members who have turned some neighborhoods into free-fire zones. More people were cut down today.

That was two months ago.   The figures are undoubtedly much worse after a hot summer in the city. 

Put bluntly, it's absurd to say that Barack Obama "succeeded" at what he set out to do in Chicago.   The community he wanted to "organize" is arguably the most dysfunctional community in America.

This election is a contrast in a lot of ways.   One of the ways is the simple contrast between people who do things, and people who just talk about doing things; the doers and the dreamers; or, to put it less charitably, the grown-ups and the childish.

Girl of the Day - Susan Hampshire

Another star from the great miniseries, The Forsyte Saga, and another great British actress you see once in a Masterpiece Theater presentation, then never see again.   Susan Hampshire played Fleur Forsyte Mont, the daughter of the central figure, Soames Forsyte, who is spoiled, self-centered, passionate, wild, snobby (she ends up in a libel suit because someone called her a "snob" at a party), beautiful in a 1920s flapper-thin way, and thoroughly British.   It's a great role, one that could have been played to make her hate-able, and instead makes Fleur into a pained, desirable and desiring creature, who tortures her benevolent husband, Michael Mont, and yet whom we just can't help liking.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Paul Ryan Says "Hey, Girl!"

Paul Ryan

I met Paul Ryan a few years ago.   I had a case in Washington and was flying home from depositions at the end of the week, and there he was, across the aisle from me, flying coach.   We had a brief, but very nice conversation about the book he was reading, Mark Steyn's America Alone.   But mostly we talked about how hard it was to be away from our kids on work too much of the time.   My takeaway:  a very smart guy who actually cares about getting the policies right, not about his own political success; and a good guy who has his priorities straight.

I couldn't be happier that Romney has picked Ryan as his running mate.   It's the bold choice, but it's also the type of choice I hope and expect Romney to make when filling out his administration -- I think Romney, unlike Obama, is secure enough that he will pick very competent, very smart men and women to surround himself with, not cronies (Valerie Jarrett) or cyphers (Joe Biden).

Friday, August 10, 2012

Military Need Not Apply... But Has Anybody Noticed?

In looking back at previous presidential tickets and races, it's significant to notice the number of candidates with military experience.   Some were heroes, some pretended to be heroes, others did their service honorably if not heroically.   But there were a lot of men with military experience.   George H.W. Bush.   Bob Dole.   John Kerry.   John McCain.    Al Gore served.   Dan Quayle and George W. Bush were in the National Guard.   It was news that Bill Clinton had actively avoided the draft during Vietnam.  

But look at who we know will be on the parties' tickets in 2012.   Barack Obama.    No military experience.   Joe Biden.   No military experience (five draft deferments for school in the 1960s, followed by 4-F status due to his asthma... which doesn't seem to have kept him from being a complete blowhard).   Mitt Romney.   No military experience (and, in fairness, he also got draft deferments).

So the only spot left is the Republican VP slot.   But consider who's up for that position:

  • Paul Ryan.   No military experience.
  • Tim Pawlenty.   No military experience.
  • Rob Portman.   No military experience.
  • Bobby Jindal.   No military experience.
  • Marco Rubio.   No military experience.

I'm not saying that it's an absolute requirement that men (or women) who run for national office have military experience.   I'm just noticing that none of these men have it, and I doubt whether we've ever had an election where none of the major party candidates had any military experience at all.  

If I were waxing large on the subject, I might argue that a civil society in which those who would govern are so disconnected from the experiences of those who would serve the country in the military is, or could become, dangerous.  

Girl of the Day - Hope Solo

More props for the U.S. Women's Soccer Team.   Hope Solo apparently had a fantastic game in goal against Japan for the gold medal.   And, well....

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Girl of the Day - Carli Lloyd

I'd say two goals in a 2-1 gold medal game for the US over Japan makes you GoD-worthy.   Amazingly, she also scored the winner in the gold medal game four years ago, when the US beat Brazil.  

If the Government Has No Place in Our Bedrooms, How Come the Government Should Pay for Your Birth Control?

Hilarious.  And sad.   I've often thought that the best way to fight liberalism is simply to ask them very simple questions very slowly, like:

  • Why do you think you should have to pay for your neighbor's contraception?
  • Do you think people who have cell phones and flat-screen TVs should qualify for food stamps?
  • Is it a good thing that more black babies are aborted as a percentage of the population than white babies?
  • Would you want your children to go to an inner city public school?
  • Is it OK for the federal government to force your children and grandchildren to pay for your consumption today by borrowing money that will have to be paid off decades from now?
  • Is it OK that our borrowing for entitlement programs is financing China's military buildup?
  • Do you think people who work harder should make more money than people who work less hard
Things like that.

A Nation of Takers

Tipping point yet?

There aren't 100 million people in America who don't have a cell phone, or Internet access, or a flat-screen TV, or cable/satellite TV service, or a car.   And these figures, as the chart notes, don't include the legions who absorb Medicare and Social Security dollars.  

We have become a nation of takers.   But, as the saying goes, the problem with socialism is that you inevitably run out of other people's money.   If we are all takers, who will be the givers?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


The Romney campaign should be doing almost nothing other than referring the public to charts like this one:

And with that, the case should be closed.

Girl of the Day - Connie Stevens

Connie Stevens was somewhat ubiquitous when I was very little in the early 60s as a singer of teen novelty tunes, TV star ("Cricket" in Hawaiian Eye), and teeny-bopper movies like Palm Beach Vacation with Troy Donahue.   She turns 74 today.   Here's her biggest hit single, with Edd Byrnes, which is almost unlistenable:

Another Day, Another MSM Push Poll

The mainstream media is carrying heavy water for the Obama administration, both through what it chooses to cover and how it chooses to poll.   It's almost as if they want the storyline to be that Romney isn't gaining traction against Obama, or that Obama continues to lead. 

By way of example, here is a Reuters poll today, which shows Obama with a seven point lead over Romney, 49-42.   But dig deeper... it's not a poll of likely voters, or even a  poll of registered voters (which skews Democratic), but a poll of all adults (which historically has always had an even bigger Democratic skew).   And it's sampling is D+5, with 47 percent Democrats and 42 percent Republicans, i.e., almost as much of a Democratic turnout weight as in the 2008 "hope and change" election.   I don't buy it, and no one else should, but there will be people out there, low-information voters, who will read the headline and figure that Obama is "winning."   People like to be on the winning team, so poll like this "push" voters to move to the winning side.   Hence, it's a push poll.

Again, always look for polls of likely voters that have a relatively even split between Democrats and Republicans -- that's the gold standard for polls.   Those polls (like Rasmussen) have consistently shown an even race, or a slight Romney lead.  

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Latest Pew Poll, Obama 51, Romney 41... in Cloud Cuckoo-Land

Here's the latest Pew Poll on the Presidential race, which has Obama up 10 over Romney.   The first inkling that something is very very skewed with this poll is on the second line, where it shows Romney only +1 among men.   No way.   No f-in way.   Men are overwhelmingly against Obama.   Every poll I've seen, every election over the past thirty years, and every gut instinct tells me that men overwhelmingly hate President You-Didn't-Build-That.

So how can this poll say the opposite?   Well, page down to the line where it says the party identification.   Notably, they don't break it out by percentages... you have to actually do the math.   But what you find out is that, in a poll of roughly 2,000 respondents, they are using splits of  D/R/I of 43%-24%-32%.   A NINETEEN POINT DEMOCRATIC ADVANTAGE!

In other words, if you used a split that looks more like the even split in 2010, or even like the D+6 split of 2008, Romney would likely be winning.  

Just another reason not to even look at polls unless you know the splits and whether they are polling likely voters or registered voters (more Dems, but more people who won't show up to vote), or adults (even more Dems, and even more who won't show up to vote).   The gold standard should be an even split or a very small advantage to Dems in a poll of at least 1,000 likely voters.

Oh, and it's also worth noting that the liberal media will report this poll uncritically, as here, on Politico.   If a guy like me sitting in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin can figure this out, you know that professional political analysts ought to be able to.    Which is why more and more smart people are tuning out the professional political pundit class, and realizing that they are simply propagandists for the Left.

Olympic Update

It's hard to imagine why NBC spends so much time covering peripheral sports like women's beach volleyball.

Girl of the Day - Suzanne Neve

Another blast from the past, or rather from The Forsyte Saga.   Here's Suzanne Neve, who plays Jo's daughter Holly, who falls for the decent (so far) son of the scoundrel Monty Dartie:

This is Miss Neve starring in the 1968 BBC adaptation of Henry James' The Portrait of a Lady.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Mitt Romney's Tax Returns and Why Everyone Should Shut Up About Them

If you're interested, you can find Mitt Romney's 2010 and draft 2011 tax returns here.

And here's why you are an envious jerk if you care about them:

1. In 2010 Romney paid total federal, state and real estate taxes of a little over $3.9 million.   In other words, he paid more taxes in one year than the average person makes in a lifetime.   He pays his fair share, and then some.

2. In 2010 Romney gave nearly $3 million to charity.   Again, more than the average person makes in a lifetime.   And something on the order of ten thousand times what Joe Biden was managing to give as a U.S. Senator.  

3. In 2011 Romney estimates that he will pay roughly $4.675 million in federal, state and real estate taxes.   So in two years he will have paid in taxes roughly $8.5 million.   That's more than people Obama calls "the rich" (people who make more than $200,000 a year) will make in a lifetime.   Again, what could possibly be the rationale for saying he doesn't pay his fair share?

And, of course, the bulk of his current income is investment income (capital gains, interest and dividends) on money he invested only after he had already paid income taxes on it in the first place!

4. Meanwhile, in 2011 Romney estimates that he will give more than $4 million to charity.

If I were Romney, I might go back through my records for the past 30 years or so, white out everything except the bottom lines where it shows how much tax he paid and how much he gave in charity, and then I'd produce them with a graphic comparing my tax payments and charitable giving to the median American today.   What it would likely show is that he's paid something like $100 million in taxes and given something like $50-100 million to charity in his lifetime.   And then I'd just say in a more-in-sadness-than-in-anger tone, something like:  "This is what the modern liberal Democratic Party has come to... they really believe that I haven't given my fair share to my country."   And then I'd shake my head and say:   "That sounds like socialism to me."