Friday, August 27, 2010

Obama Stimulus is the Economic Equivalent of Red Bull

On some of the news commentary shows I've seen, partisan Democrats are trying to put a positive spin on the Commerce Department's downward revision of the country's 2nd quarter GDP rate. What these party hacks are basically saying is that despite the fact that the economy isn't growing as fast as they'd like, there's still growth. As such, Obama's economic policies, e.g., the $800 billion so-called "Stimulus" bill, are working.

This is utter and complete hogwash. The truth of the matter is the big recovery Team Obama assured us would occur if the "Stimulus" bill was passed has not been close to being realized. For instance, Obama's economic advisors claimed that if the "Stimulus" didn't get put into effect, the unemployment rate would surpass an unacceptable 8%. As you're no doubt aware, unemployment has been well over 9% for a while now. At best, the economy as measured by unemployment is just about where Team Obama said it would be without the "Stimulus" bill.

What economic growth that has occurred and can be attributed to Obama's "Stimulus" policies is entirely unsustainable. They are basically like Red Bull. You may get a noticeable energy boost, but it doesn't last for very long. A recent illustration of this point is the home buying tax credit which expired this past spring. Although this credit did spur some demand for homes, once it was gone so too were the home buyers. We know this by the news that previously owned home sales plummeted almost 30% from June to July.

Because of its high caffeine and sugar content, Red Bull has a negative impact on one's health when used. So too with the "Stimulus" on the financial health of the nation with respect to increased debt and the burden placed on future generations to pay it back.

The bottom line here is that when you hear or see Obama and the Dems try to put a happy face on what they have done with the economy, don't buy it. Their policies are nothing more than a short fix that have failed to account for long term consequences.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Killing Fields in Afghanistan

The inestimably insightful John Hinderaker at Powerline has posted some thoughts on our impending departure from Afghanistan, and the picture he paints isn't very bright. It's bad enough that Obama foolishly announced to the whole world when U.S. troops were going to be pulled out of Afghanistan, because he basically signaled to the Taliban, our enemy, how long they needed to try and stay low and in hiding. Obama, in other words, gave the Taliban a reason to try and survive.

What's even worse, however, is that once the Taliban does come back in full force without anything or anybody there to really stop them, the horrors they will likely inflict on most Afghan women and any man who is perceived to have cooperated with the U.S. military will be countless. To say that Afghanistan might become what Cambodia was under the Khmer Rouge when the U.S. pulled out of Vietnam in 1975 does not take a very big stretch of the imagination. In fact, it's more than likely going to happen. That we are basically going to allow this is truly disturbing.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Tale of Two Endorsements: Why Sarah Palin is Starting to Piss Me Off

This past May, I posted my thoughts about why it was a mistake for Sarah Palin to endorse Carly Fiorina in the U.S. Senate Republican Party primary race here in California. Despite the fact that a proven conservative like Chuck DeVore was actually polling better than Fiorina in a head to head battle against Senate incumbent Barbara Boxer, Palin went ahead and threw her heavy influence behind someone whose conservative credentials are, at best, questionable (e.g., Fiorina backed TARP and has refused to say whether she is against abortion rights ).

Fiorina handily won the Republican nomination, and I believe Palin's well publicized endorsement played a big part in that. Chuck DeVore ended up finishing in third, only a couple of percentage points behind Tom Campbell, a liberal Republican and fairly well known former congressman from the Silicon Valley who several years ago had run for Senate against Dianne Feinstein. All things considered, DeVore did pretty well for someone who didn't have Fiorina's personal wealth or Campbell's built in name recognition.

With all this in mind, I got a little irritated when I saw this post on the Conservatives4Palin blog today which basically crows about the impact Sarah Palin had on the U.S. Senate Republican primary race in Washington State. The winner of that contest was Dino Rossi who, like Fiorina, isn't too forthcoming about his views on specific controversial issues, like abortion rights. Although, according to this local liberal rag in Seattle, Rossi does have a pro-life voting record in the Washington State legislature.

Sarah Palin, however, did not endorse Rossi. She endorsed Clint Didier, a political novice and former professional football player with the Washington Redskins. As noted by Conservatives4Palin, prior to receiving Palin's endorsement, Didier was running in fourth place in the Republican primary and polling in the low single digits - 4 percent. The final results of the primary show Didier winning three counties and over three times the amount of support he had been getting before being endorsed by Palin.

Didier clearly had a very slim chance of winning the GOP primary, even with Sarah Palin's endorsement. But her endorsement did make things a kind of interesting in terms of the final election numbers. Given the apparent impact she had in Washington, I don't think it's far fetched to believe that if Sarah Palin had endorsed proven conservative Chuck DeVore over highly questionable conservative Carly Fiorina in the California Republican primary, DeVore quite possibly could have won the GOP nomination. What makes Palin's endorsement decision even more infuriating to me is that DeVore had a better shot than Fiorina at beating Barbara Boxer. In a general election match up against long time Senate incumbent Patty Murray, I'm pretty certain Clint Didier never had as good a chance of winning than Dino Rossi. WTF with your endorsements Sarah Palin?!