Category Archives: Election

American Idol President

For President Obama dial: 1-866-BaddAss and for Mitt Romney dial: 1-866-DAWhimp. Cast your votes and vote as many times as you want!! Long distance charges may apply.

U.S. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney (L) and President Barack Obama debate in front of moderator Bob Schieffer during the final U.S. Presidential debate in Boca Raton, Florida

Big surprise. Despite record high unemployment, a desultory economy, sky-high gas prices, and scary levels of national debt Barack Obama was re-elected yesterday going away. Go figure. Not only that, a number of far left Senate candidates were returned to office and the Senate remains firmly in control of the Democrats.

Millions of words will be written about this election and I have not read a single one of them. Too discouraged. Let me spout off with a few thoughts and then I’m done with politics.

My first reaction is: What the Hell are the people who voted for Obama thinking?! Clearly, for the majority of voters performance had nothing to do with their vote. The first clue for me should have been the popularity of Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift. Neither can sing worth a pinch of coon shit yet they are the most popular singers out there. Likewise, the Kardashians. Why are they famous exactly?

During the election Obama did appearances on John Stewart’s show, Letterman and with other celebrities rather than interviews with serious news outlets. Famously, he had no time to meet with Netanyahu when they were both in NY for the UN meetings but he did find time to go on The View and smooze with the fawning blowhards that host that show. His handlers obviously knew which were the important appearances to garner the votes. This election reminded me of one giant playing of one of Jay Leno’s bits called “Street Walking” where he asks basic third grade level questions of people on the street. Natch, they probably pick the dumbest ones but you are left shaking your head at the end of the bit thinking, “My God, these people are eligible to vote!” Apparently they voted in large numbers last Tuesday.

While that may offer some amusement, the real issue is the changing demographics in the US. Blacks voted 95% for Obama and Hispanics were not far behind at 75%. Women (inexplicably) went 55% for BHO. (I guess free condoms are important after all.) Those groups are growing.

Romney’s candid comment that 47% of the people would never vote for him because they receive direct benefit from the government is, unfortunately, true. Many receive food stamps, welfare, Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. Additionally, government employees are not going to vote against the party promising bigger government. Nor are union workers, teachers, environmentalists, lobbyists and trial lawyers who believe that the Democrats will keep the money flowing and some of it will drift their way. A lot of people don’t want less government spending no matter how irresponsible.

So in a larger sense, Americans are voting themselves into the same hole enjoyed by a number of European social democracies…. Bankruptcy. Apparently the metastasizing national debt means nothing to the majority of voters. Let the next generation worry about it.

Gas prices and unemployment did not matter either apparently. The rogue EPA was of no concern to New York and New Jersey voters who overwhelmingly elected BHO and Democrats. Many of those voters have been out of power for a couple of weeks courtesy of Sandy. Given four more years of Obama’s EPA when they get done with outlawing fracking and shutting down all the coal fired electrical generating plants and the lights go out in the North East for lack of capacity, maybe they will think again.

The Obama guys knew they could get away with blaming Bush even as the election approached: “…Go back to the policies that got us into this mess…” That massive lie was never refuted or even attempted. Yes, it’s complicated but it had to be addressed. Think about it. The current recession is the fault of the unprecedented prosperity we’ve enjoyed since the Reagan era? Or something else? Clue to my liberal friends: It’s the policies of easy money by the Fed and lending money to people who could not pay it back.

This election proved once again that negative campaigning works. Massive numbers of negative commercials in key states early in the campaign painting Romney as a corporate raider and greedy capitalist and that proved effective. The first debate overcame some of the negative image but not enough.

The media played its usual role in cheering on the Democrats and ignoring stories harmful to Obama, particularly Benghazi. This is malpractice but a fact of life. The media and Hollywood wanted Obama and now they have him. Congrats.

After the euphoria of the Obama supporters subsides the hard reality will set in. This election insures that ObamaCare will survive and be implemented and the substantial tax increases and policies associated with it will kick in. The electorate will certainly not appreciate the result. Taxes are surely going up. The Republicans who still control the House will not be able to resist the Democrats in their desire to impose a tax increase on the “rich”. The only question is how far down the income scale they deem the wealthy to be. Clue: The Rich don’t have enough money to make a difference so the middle class will get hit eventually. Creating massive inflation is the only way to corral the runaway debt. I’m certain that’s the Democrat’s hope and plan. Gee, this is going to be a lot of fun.

Unemployment is probably going to limp along. The young people who voted for Obama better be prepared to live in their childhood bedrooms for a few more years. Or maybe for a long time.

==================================================

Leave a Comment

Filed under Election, Obama, Uncategorized

Major Ebb

After the tsunami sweeps ashore all that water has to eventually go back where it came from, taking with it all manner of flotsam and the carcasses of critters drowned in the flood. The election tsunami on Tuesday swept away a lot of Democrats with some 60 House seats swinging over to the GOP and with a half dozen or so races still counting chads. (Hennepin County where Minneapolis is located was trying to figure out how they had 880,000 votes to count and only 708,000 registered voters. I wonder if that’s how Al Franken made it to the Senate?) The Republicans also picked up five governorships and five Senate seats with Alaska and Washington as yet undecided.

The wave washed away three Democrat committee chairmen, seven Dems with more than 20 years of experience and most of the freshman representatives that came in two years ago on Obama’s coattails. James Oberstar, MN (18 terms), John Spratt, SC (14 terms) and Ike Skelton, MO (17 terms) were among the notables who now need to go find a real job. Actually, I suppose if you have spent 34 or 36 years in the House of Representatives you likely stole enough that working is no longer a necessity.

In one of the more satisfying purges, Alan Grayson of Florida, perhaps the most obnoxious politician in the US, got his ass handed to him. Good riddance.

Of course, this being US politics where incumbency means almost certain re-election, many Democrats more than worthy of being sent off to new careers, survived. Barney Frank, MA and 30 year veteran of the House prevailed over his first opponent even given a fleeting chance at beating him. Barney, who’s only real job was pumping gas at age 18 and the individual most responsible for the housing crisis, showed that in some liberal enclaves you can get away with almost anything and get re-elected. Pete Stark of CA is another example. He’s a very cranky 78 years old and 18 termer. Viral videos of him insulting his constituents at town hall meetings didn’t hurt him any. He got 72% of the vote. Yes, it is California.

Harry Reid survived. Although most polls showed him tied with Angle or slightly behind, he won easily. Pundits said he “had a good ground game” which means that the labor unions hired a fleet of buses, catered lunches and dragged people to the polls. Boxer thumped Forina and Brown showed Whitman what the California Democrat machine could do when threatened. McMahon in CT also got whacked.

To me the three highly successful businesswomen that entered politics for the first time in this election; Forina, Whitman and McMahon represent the biggest surprise.

All were enormously successful CEOs and rose to the top of male dominated industries. All three are smart, articulate and honest and all dumped millions of their own money into the effort. Yet they all got their asses handed to them. Why?

OK, they chose to run in notoriously liberal states but it’s got to be more than that. Is it possible that powerful women threaten men or is it that women are turned off by these assertive gals? Both? One would think that the feminist groups would be pounding the pavement for these accomplished women. But no, these are conservative, capitalist women not enthusiastic about abortion. The feminists wouldn’t go near them.

Whitman dumped $140 million of her own money in the campaign to try to get the job of Governor of California that, to me, is one of the least desirable jobs on the planet. Maybe she did want to save CA, but I can think of other things to do with $140 million. The “fruits and nuts” elected Jerry Brown. Good luck. If you’ve got any California bonds, this would be a good time to unload them.

So what can we learn from this and what can we expect for the next couple of years? A lot of the political wags say that Obama will now try to pull a Clinton and govern more from the center and find practical solutions with the new Republican majority in the House and new balance of power in the Senate. I’m not so sure about that. He is buggering off on an absurdly expensive trip to India and Indonesia tomorrow without meeting with the new leaders in the House. Not sure if that’s symbolic. Compromise and finding middle ground has never been his style and doesn’t fit his Chicago politics/ Saul Alinsky philosophy. He once said he didn’t mind if he’s a one-term president. Maybe he means it. If he and Harry Reid obstruct GOP efforts to preserve the Bush tax cuts and refuse to cut spending, then he will certainly get his wish. Maybe the Dems will even nominate someone else.

Another interesting thing to watch will be what happens to the Tea Party movement. Will the grass roots movement fade away? Will the enthusiasm die or will it persist? The Tea Party enjoyed some successes in this Tuesday with the election of Marco Rubio and Rand Paul. They also experienced some failures, most notably the selection of Christine O’Donnell and Sharon Angle. Both were elected in the primaries by the Tea Party folks based on their ideological purity and both got hammered in the general election. In both instances there were other Republicans in those states that would have had a better chance. Will the Tea Party folks be a little more pragmatic next time around?

Then there is the Sarah Palin question. What’s she gonna do for the next couple of years? Personally I think that her ego is going to get the best of her better judgment and she will run for President. Mistake. While I personally like her, I don’t think she’s right for the Oval Office. Most polls I’ve seen agree with me on that one.

Well, as the Chinese say, “May you live in interesting times.” No problem there.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Election, Obama, Politics, Tea Party

Paradigm Shifts and Flying Mud

Thomas Kuhn defined a paradigm shift in his 1962 book, “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” as “… when one conceptual world view is replaced by another.” Swiss Watch International Men's Limited Edition Automatic Chronograph Stainless SteelOne of the classic examples is the Swiss watch industry. Until the mid ‘70s the Swiss dominated the world market for watches. The Japanese approached the Swiss with a new concept in watches, digital vs. analog devices, in plastic cases and with few moving parts. They were extremely low cost, unrepairable and basically throw away watches. The Swiss demurred. The Japanese returned to Japan and introduced the “Swatch” and many follow on digital models. The Swiss watch industry was nearly wiped out.

Of course, there are countless examples that have occurred throughout history. Makers of buggy whips and manure shovels never thought much of the future of the new noisy, gasoline burning vehicles, much to their surprise and dismay. And, no one can deny that the PC and the Internet have changed the world forever.

With the elections in the US less than two weeks away we are left to ponder whether a paradigm shift in American politics is about to take place. For decades now the US has drifted toward a more socialist/statist government, culminating in the election of Obama and the dominance of the left wing of the Democrat Party in Congress. As the Democrats rushed forward with their agenda of pushing the US further toward a socialist economy with the pork laden stimulus bill, the take over of the auto industry, the unpopular health care law, take over of the student loan business and cap and trade legislation, voters reacted with alarm and anger.

Rick Santelli, CNBC business commentator, is widely given credit for striking the match that ignited the Tea Party Movement. As thousands of Tea Party groups sprang up around the country, many professional politicians of both parties ignored the movement and the liberal mainstream media sneered. Later, as the movement gained momentum, some Democrats, fearing disaster, retired and some complacent, “moderate” Republicans got booted by the Tea Party candidate in the primaries. Entrenched lifetime GOP politicians Lisa Murkowsk of Alaska and Charlie Crist of Florida refused to go quietly and are running against the Tea Party candidates that won the Republican primaries.

Many of these TP candidates are new to politics and come with military experience and business backgrounds and are, thankfully, not lawyers. Some are weak candidates and easy targets. In another surprise, boatloads of money flowed into these campaigns from motivated citizens around the country.

As the polls started to suggest a rout for the Republicans on November 2nd, the alarmed Democrats and their left wing allies have swung into action. Incumbent Democrats found themselves unable to tout their votes for wildly unpopular legislation and instead have resorted to personal mud slinging attacks on their GOP opponents. Of course, American politics has always been a brutal blood sport but I suspect, that this election will be remembered as one of the nastiest. That’s saying a mouthful.

Those of my vintage may remember the “Daisy” commercial run by Lyndon Johnson’s campaign against Goldwater. It featured a little girl in the foreground picking daisies while an atomic blast occurred behind her. The implication being that Goldwater was such a right wing nut job that he would use the bomb if elected. He was not. More recently, you might recall the James Bryd ad run by the NAACP against G. W. Bush suggesting that Bush condoned dragging blacks to death.

The list for this election cycle so far is long and if you are curious you can consult the blog site, The Daily Beast, and their “Hall of Shame”. Two stand out for me:

Meg Whitman California is an economic basket case with a $19 billion dollar deficit (probably more since they have pushed some debt into the next fiscal year) and some $50 to $100 billion in unfunded pension liabilities. The state is hemorrhaging jobs as businesses flee anti-business taxes and regulations. A company in a similar situation would call in a “turnaround CEO” to straighten things out. Enter Meg Whitman, the highly successful former CEO, who grew eBay from startup to mega company. She’s running against Democrat Jerry Brown, a 40-year career politician and former governor, who was dubbed “Governor Moonbeam” (for obvious reasons) by Mike Royko, Chicago’s famous columnist. (RIP)

Whitman, a Republican in a notoriously “blue” state, was doing pretty well against Brown so the Democrats trot out her former maid in the company of Gloria Allred, a publicity hound liberal lawyer. Allred’s claim? Whitman had knowingly hired an illegal alien and worse, mistreated her. It turns out the maid, Nicky Diaz, had been hired through an agency and Diaz had used a phony social security card and drivers license. The poor girl had “only” been paid $23/ hour for cleaning Whitman’s house… pretty good pay for menial labor. The whole thing was a sham to drum up sympathy in the large CA Hispanic community. Of course, there is much more in the way of negative ads against Whitman and now she looks like a long shot. California will likely get Brown II and continue its decline into the toilet.

Without question the prize for the most offensive and despicable ad came from Florida Democrat Congressman Allen Grayson. His ad against his opponent, Dan Webster, called him “Taliban Dan” and selectively edited his statements to make it look like he was saying something he never said. Should we be surprised? Not. Grayson is the same guy who stood up in front of the House and declared that the Republican plan for health care was to let old people die. If there is any justice in this world the liberal bomb thrower Grayson will be sent packing.

Once the voting starts and the counting begins the mud slinging will end and the corruption will begin. If history is any guide, we can expect lots of “irregularities” in this phase of the struggle. Remember the governor’s election in Washington State between Rossi and Gregoire? (The first one.) Rossi won on the original count and the recount but the King County (Seattle) election officials kept digging for votes, finding some in a closet and some in a car trunk and voila, Gregoire, the Democrat, finally won [in a hand-recount, no less]. Whew! The Democrat lawyers pulled the same stunt recently in Minnesota putting clown Al Franken in the Senate. And, let us not forget the vote counting fiasco in Florida in the Bush/Gore Presidential election of 2000. The Democrats have lawyers standing by to fly to any close election to contest every vote. They do. You could look this up. The dirty tricks have already started. In Illinois some counties failed to send out their military ballots on time as required by law. They say these votes may now not arrive on time to be counted. The military votes traditionally favor the Republicans. Coincidence? Hardly.

While I still have doubts that the GOP will win enough senate seats to take control there, it seems more than likely that the personal attacks will not sway enough voters to prevent the take over of the House by the Republicans. However, they will be on a short leash. If they betray the Tea Party they will incur their wrath in two years. A paradigm shift is coming and those that fail to recognize it are going to be swept away.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Election, Obama, Politics, Tea Party, Whitman

The Buffaloisation of America

Note: Sometime back I decided to stop writing this blog. I figured only a handful of people were reading it and I was unlikely to change any minds. I figured that I would be able to devote writing time to finishing my languishing novel and a couple of short stories that needed some work. Fact is I did not work on the novel or short stories. I did a lot of reading and little writing. Then I chanced to hear from friend I have not communicated with much in recent years. He reported that he enjoyed several of my blog pieces, a surprise because I did not think he even knew the blog existed. Long story short: I decided to give it a couple more tries. If you actually read this, let me know so I can be assured that I am not talking to myself.


The news out the other day: The US census reported that the poverty rate in the US hit the highest level in history. 3.7 million Americans joined the ranks of the poor in 2009. Unsurprisingly, single parents head 70% of poor families. Marriage, it turns out, is the number one weapon against poverty. If fathers married the mothers of their children, 2/3 would be lifted out of poverty. However, welfare discourages this solution by virtue of the welfare rules. In 1964 when LBJ launched his “War on Poverty” 6.8% of births were to single moms. Now it’s 40%. For Hispanics it’s 50% and for blacks it is now 70%. BTW, the US spends one trillion dollars annually fighting a losing battle against poverty.


Of course, with a nasty recession going on and some 15 million Americans out of work, you should expect poverty to be on the increase. But, this has been going on for a long, long time.


You may well ask what has this got to do with Buffalo. Patience. I’m getting there. I returned to my hometown of Buffalo after many years of absence and was amazed that it had not changed all that much. The biggest difference was that all the major factories were shuttered, stores boarded up and the place reminded me of Warsaw right after the Soviet Union fell apart… run down and desolate. I later learned that 50% of Buffalo’s population had fled since I left high school in 1959. I stayed downtown in the Hyatt situated in a four square block of renovated buildings filled with shops and restaurants. As I ventured out after dinner for a little cigar stroll, one of the several private security guys I ran into to warned me not to venture out past the “green zone”. On the same trip I drove by the waterfront where the once mighty Bethlehem Steel plant still stands, although now silent and empty, like a neutron bomb had gone off. All along the waterfront other industrial buildings all stood empty, silent monuments to failure.


I guess Detroit is worse but all across the “rust belt” of the NE and Midwest the story is pretty much the same. Industry has fled to more welcome climates, some to the south and many to overseas. “Greed” say my liberal friends. Really? I think not. Corporations have an obligation to their stockholders to make a profit and if high taxes, stifling regulations and intransigent unions prevent a business from making a profit, they will relocate and move to a more favorable environment. California is experiencing this outward migration of industry now as the granite headed Democrats that control things in Sacramento pile on taxes and regulations.


Now comes the Obama Administration with its collection of egghead academics with zero business experience and anti-business Marxists to finish the job on American industry. The policies already inflicted on business so far are breathtaking. From the auto bailout/takeover, financial regulation, increased taxes to the drilling moratorium and the new health care mess, businesses in the US are pulling in their horns and trying to ride out the storm. Obama and the Democrats seem determined to turn all of the US into Buffalo.


Americans are scared and rightly so. The rise of the Tea Party movement reflects this fear and represents a grass roots ground swell that has caught entrenched Democrats and complacent Republicans by surprise. Many are still in denial.


Reality for many will set in on November 2nd. Most pundits believe that the Republicans will take over the House and some believe the Senate too. I suspect that the Senate will wind up evenly divided insuring gridlock and an inability to overcome an Obama veto. It will be a long time before Obama is voted out of office and he replaces Carter as the most clueless president in history. He can still do a lot of damage even with a Republican Congress.


The US was once the industrial giant of the World. No more. Go into any store and look for something made in the US. Good luck. The good paying jobs for middle class Americans in factories across the US are gone as a result of decades of stifling government actions. And, they are not coming back unless some serious changes are made. Here are a few recommendations, made with the understanding that few, if any, will be adopted.

  • First, the brakes must be put on the trial lawyers and the rules that give hunting licenses to them. Every corporation has hundreds of frivolous lawsuits going at any one time costing them millions to fight.
  • Second, the US levies the highest corporate tax in the industrialized world. Capital gains taxes should be cut to zero.
  • Unions are way too powerful, especially under this administration that curries political favor from them.
  • Regulations need to be cut at all levels of government.
  • And, the death grip that the teacher’s unions have on education needs to be broken. For all the money that’s thrown at education the end product only gets worse. It’s time to try something different.

The above is just a partial list but you get the idea. The loss of good paying industrial middle class jobs falls hardest on the poor and poorly educated. From there many social problems arise from the poverty inflicted on the lower classes. When people see no way out of poverty, crime, drugs, unwanted births and chronic welfare dependency result. If we do not reindustrialize America the whole country will be like Buffalo… or Detroit. Heaven forbid.


Don’t forget to vote.

2 Comments

Filed under Buffaloisation, Election, Politics