Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Debate - The FiscCon Side

I have expended a large number of bytes defending social conservatives here, at the Badger Blog Alliance, and various other forums. I am going to jump the divide tonight and talk about the group we normally call fiscal conservatives.

Fiscal conservatives are typically those whose main concern is that government at all levels manage its money wisely and strive to limit expenditures, regulation, promote economic opportunity, and government activity. Do all fiscally conservative voters shy away from socially conservative causes? No they do not. However, the group that claim to have libertarian leanings are often gung-ho for fiscal conservatism and opposed to social conservatism.

Ramesh Ponnuru and Andrew Stuttaford are kicking this about at the Corner and point out this post:
Oh, and it happens that Huckabee does, in fact, take issue with what we believe. In May of 2008, Huckabee called blamed election losses on Republicans being too "libertarian" (this is obviously some strange usage of the word "libertarian" that I was previously unaware of), accused us of being un-American (my response to that is unprintable, but I would be glad to say it to his face if he wanted to repeat his comment to my face) and then proceeded to make the standard, cartoonish Democratic argument against libertarianism.
Source: Mike Huckabee and libertarians — The Next Right (Jon Henke)
So no doubt, the debate is going both ways here.

The conservative movement also needs the fiscally conservative voter. In this debate though, I would say the fiscal conservatives are a lot more anxious to rid themselves of their critical partners — the social conservative movement.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I have had access to XM radio now for the better part of a year. I am loving the merger with Sirius Radio and I will tell you why.

XM has a channel dedicated to Led Zeppelin. Not bad, I like Led Zeppelin, but their concert performances are nothing great, not at all common, and the studio stuff probably turns over a couple of times each week. I have yet to hear live Led Zeppelin on that channel. However, with the merger finally hitting our tuners there is one band channel I am absolutely loving and that The Grateful Dead channel. I am hearing a whole lot of interesting music on that. Tonight for instance, I heard a really neat version of Brown Eyed Woman and a rocking rendition of Big Railroad Blues.

The Grateful Dead were a band much longer than Led Zeppelin so even if we are limited to studio albums there is more music, however, most likely every concert they played is recorded and in my opinion worth listening to. The songs vary from performance to performance, the jams differ, and so on. They would play songs within song within song, and then unwind just as unpredictably. One song they may up-tempo or down tempo (e.g. Friend of the Devil - the version you know is a fairly up-tempo edition, but they often played it down tempo) a song, they may invent new (or more likely forget or mangle) lyrics, songs magically morph from one to the other, one of my greatest thrills is to guess what song is coming up after a jam — listening to the clues.

Plus now I have NFL, before I had Big-Ten and Major League Baseball. Very cool!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Lieberman Retains his Post

I was wrong in my previous prediction. Joe Lieberman retains his post, but I am guessing there was some costly promises extracted from Lieberman.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Lieberman and the Democrats

Joseph Liebermann's leadership of a senatorial committee is going to be put to a secret vote by the Democrats in caucus. The National Review blog points up the irony of the Democrats taking a secret vote when they are pushing to remove secret voting for unions in the workplace, but that is not my focus here.

I am sure we will hear griping by Republicans and conservatives about how unfair and how unbecoming this is to a group of people pretending to promise bipartisanship; they can not be bipartisan even when it comes to a former Demo Vice Presidential candidate who supports nearly every Democratic position. Of course, Joseph Liberman did not support Barak, but instead John McCain and Joe Liberman dissents on many foreign policy issues. Yes, Joe Lieberman is independent, but we know to which party his loyalties belong.

However, anyone who knows how party politics works knows this vote is well warranted. Politics is a team sport and politicians or party officials who take the ball and go home are likely to be ostracized by their teammates.

I have been among the leadership of the local GOP. We had a prominent member (ex-chair) who endorsed and prominently supported a Democrat for Congress. No one on the executive committee was at all happy with that situation and we voted to keep him off the executive committee for one year. I voted for the measure.

So, I expect Joe Lieberman to be stripped of his committee leadership positions, I expect he will continue to caucus and support the Democrats (for the most part), I expect many on my side of the debate will condemn the move, and I expect to tell everyone how shocked I am.

Yes, I guessed wrong on this.

Friday, November 14, 2008

In All Fairness

There is a general (and in my opinion realistic) fear among the right-wing talk radio circuit, bloggers, and supporters the government our nation is set to seat this coming January is going to reinstate the fairness doctrine and perhaps go farther in the regulation of speech than it has in the past. I too am concerned about it.

I have long held such action would be in clear and direct contradiction to the First Amendment of the Constitution. Many on the left may say they are at such a disadvantage when it comes to talk radio we need government interference (a bailout?) to restore fair balance. Hey, guess what, that imbalance did not seem to hurt the left in the last two election cycles, huh? Similarly, I believe the reverse applies to what we on the right refer to the mainstream media - TV and print journalism what most people consider the objective media (which I do not consider objective) the media channels most people get their news and information from. There is no clamor on the right for the government to step in and muzzle the MSM, why should there be such a movement on the left?

That is, the mainstream media has not in the past kept the right-wing out of power.

That is, to blame losing on the media whether it is in the tank or not is a cop-out, reasons for winning and losing are deeper than just that.

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Friendly Saudia Arabia?

One of our favorite whipping boys is the Kingdom of Saudia Arabia.

There is no doubt about it, Saudia Arabia is probably not the best friend a nation could have, but the KSA is not the worst enemy either, and I would say far from it.

No doubt, its population is deeply conflicted between its deeply (and yes hardcore) held Islamic nature and the ideals that allow them to drive around in the Mercedes Benz automobiles, Nissan Patrols, and Land Rovers I would guess they do not want to give up their air conditioned flats & fancy automobiles.

Yes, those same citizens of the KSA then may take some of their wealth and send to those who would destroy the ideals that brought them air conditioning and fancy automobiles. However, think about this.

Intestingly enough here is a story about another oil/energy power player:

Russia's economy is overwhelmingly dependent on oil and natural gas and the country's prosperity depends on international commodity prices. At present, global oil prices are pushing upwards towards $100 a barrel and Russia's national coffers are overflowing.

Hence Mr Putin has the resources to rebuild his threadbare armed forces. Less than 10 years ago, Russian finances were so parlous that the Kremlin was forced to default on its debts in 1998. Today, Mr Putin has amassed some of the biggest foreign exchange reserves in the world. Moreover, Mr Putin knows that a dose of assertive nationalism goes down well with the electorate - and presidential and parliamentary polls are due in March next year.
Russia will soon cease to be a world power – Telegraph
The Telegraph published the article a little more than one year ago. How much has changed since then, oil went on a major bull rush and increased in price by 50% from what it was then, and is now – 50% off from where it was then.

While, I don't have a source, I do recall hearing V. Putin saying Russia would use oil as a weapon. Looks like Russia is not the only nation using oil as a weapon. Does that sound conspiratorial? Yeah it does, do I normally poo-poo such conspiracies, yes I do.

Certainly, KSA for a long time was the only single nation able to affect oil prices on its own over the years (that ability is questionable right now). The article above notes how low oil prices were a major part of the USSR collapsing. I have to believe KSA was complicit in keeping oil prices low (while making token cuts from time to time).

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Simple Soup

One of my favorite soups is lentil-ham soup. It is easy to make, inexpensive, and surprisingly tasty.

Go to the store (or check your cupboards & refrigerator for) one bag of lentils, about five carrots, about four or five stalks of celery, one medium to large sized onion, and probably about three cups of cubed ham. I typically get a ham that is cut & packaged it is about 1/4" to 1/2" thick and usually has a bone in it (small & round). Wash off the lentils and place into a ducth oven (big pot) with about eight cups of water and turn the heat on medium. Cut the ham into cubes or pieces per your desire (make them small enough so there are a lot of pieces but large enough to notice), peel, cut, and chunk up the carrots, celery and onion. Put the meat & vegetables into the pot, put in two or three bay leaves, one tablespoon of peppercorns, maybe a tablespoon of salt and heat over a slow to medium heat. In about 1-1/2 to two hours you are ready to eat the soup.

Season the soup to your liking in your bowl before eating, eat with some buttered bread. When reheating, do not microwave a bowl at a time, gently reheat the whole pot.

Good stuff!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

One Benefit of an Obama Presidency

We will not have to listen to Helen Thomas nag and whine to the President in press conferences.

The Great Divide

One of the narratives being pushed in the aftermath of this election is it was the social conservatives that cost us this election.

An event from 2006 extends itself to this cycle in 2008 making it a trend. That trend is the passage of socially conservative measures with support that cuts across the partisan divides, that is the measures pass with a lot of support from those voting for Democrats as well as support of Republican voters.

A lot of this discussions focus on the idea that we have to expel the socially conservative activist from the conservative movement and retain only the fiscal conservative. First off, this violates in a big way the big-tent ideal. Secondly, the problem is the myth of a divide between social and fiscal values. This is a false divide, there is no opposition between social values and fiscal values.

The idea should be how to merge the two concepts in people's minds and bury that divide.

Monday, November 10, 2008


A lot of discussion is going on in the right side of the blogosphere & other communications channels on opposing the Democrats, and President-Elect Obama.

One of the guiding principles is that if you don't like act X being perpetrated on you, then do not perpetrate it on others. Yes, this the Golden Rule and most everyone says they believe in it, but in action I see a lot of people do pay a whole lot of attention to it. Yes, we are all human and failing is our lot - that is we can not expect all of us to live up to our ideals & principles all of the time. This is not an out to forgo holding principles & ideals.

While President Bush ruled many of us on the right, expressed disgust at the left in much of their unhingedness. The talk of President Bush and "he is not my president", their fantasizing of violence being perpetrated against President Bush, and all of that. We nodded in agreement with the joke about the New York Times reporting that President Bush's walking on water as Bush is unable to swim.

On January 20, 2009 Barak Obama will be my president and if you are a citizen or resident of the USA then he is your president as well. You see, it is a simple matter of definition, very much to akin to how we are not yet in a recession.

Inevitably those of us on the right will probably be in disagreement with President Obama on a majority of issues and concerns, however, will that be universal? I hardly think so, do not be afraid to give him credit when he does correct by your views. The relentlessly disagreeing are considered cranks no one pays attention too, just the same as no one gives any weight to the opinion of those who sheepishly agree 100% of the time.

Friday, November 07, 2008


I just did a Google search on "Texas Hold 'Em Blogger" and while find quite a bit, did not find a whole lot on his comments. Perhaps people are discussing the situation using his name rather than his blog name.

The Texas Hold 'Em Blogger was the fellow who made the threat on Boots & Sabers.

I am a co-blogger at the BBA and this may put my privileges in danger there, so be it. Jib, the owner of the BBA informed us he is putting Peter on indefinite suspension. I urged a public statement informing the readership of the suspension, naming Peter by his first name, and stating quite clearly we do not support such rhetoric. Jib, acted and put out his own statement, and in my considered opinion it was vague and weak. First off, Jib says Peter's statement appeared to be threatening in nature to the President-Elect.. I am sorry, Peter's statement was a clear threat and even though it is qualified people who want to do something badly enough can often find a way to come up with the cash, or do it themselves.

I can understand being concerned for Peter I am too. However, the threat was clear and public and those of us who associate with Peter need to be just as clear we do not support the sentiment.

Let it be perfectly clear, I condemn the comment and pray for Peter.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Don't Be An Odious Jerk!

Ah our first open flare ups of Obama Derangement Syndrome are flaring up.

Visit This Boots and Sabers Comment thread and search on "Peter". I just finished up with that and yes, folks he said something that can be construed as a threat against (I hesitate to say it) one of the few people you should not make threats against. I am being quite tangential here, because while I am okay with my past dealings with the Secret Service (I dealt mostly with the PR guys and only briefly with the business guys) I do not want a visit from the Secret Service business guys.

I know, inevitable, but still we must condemn it. Many will protest, the left has done it for eight years and called it art. However, if you disliked that, why do it to others?

I am not going to apologize for Peter, Peter needs to calm down and man up and apologize. I do not like President-elect Obama or his policies. I don't think he is going to even come close to presiding in a centrist fashion, still, the public elected him and we must abide by that and work within the system.

Now, can we return to our sojourn into the desert and do what we have to do?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Russian Threat in The Corner Pocket

Over at the Corner KJL points up a news item I have seen elsewhere today. It involves what some are characterizing what is going to be future President Barak Hussein Obama's first foreign policy challenge. However, it is no such thing.

Here is a snippet from the story KJL exerpts:
MOSCOW — In a wide-ranging attack on the United States as it elected a new president, the Russian leader Dmitri A. Medvedev warned on Wednesday that Moscow might deploy short-range missiles in the Baltic region to counter a perceived threat from a proposed American missile defense shield [emphasis added] in Eastern Europe.

Source: Russia Flexes Its Muscles — That Didn't Take Long by Kathryn Jean Lopez on The Corner
Quite simply, there is no threat here. My recollection is President-Elect Obama has promised to put an end to SDI so Russia's talking tough is cheap – they are going to get what they want in this matter. Now, why do they do this?

To put up a threat and when President-Elect Barak Hussein Obama follows through with this promise Russia can claim a foreign policy victory – Russia can claim they backed down the US and its new president.

This is not the sort of thing Gaffeomatic Biden referred to. I suspect the sort of testing Gaffeomatic Biden refers to is going to occur in the Middle East most likely in the Persian Gulf region.

Discussions at The Belmont Club do not support any sort of concrete position taken regarding SDI by President-Elect Obama, still I believe he will shelve the project and attribute the withdrawal to his nuanced position. Russia still gets its victory and Obama gets credit for a miracle.

No Tax Increases for Businesses Employing Local People!

One line the Dems have used and used effectively is the line "no tax breaks for corporations shipping jobs overseas". I think it silly and misleading but it works.

I wonder if anyone however believes raising taxes on companies employing people here will do anything to staunch the loss of local jobs? It will not, but that is exactly what I believe the Dems have in store for us. They are looking to put the screws to us.

Reuniting Social & Fiscal Conservatism

This is the second consecutive drubbing the GOP candidates have taken at the polls. I am not happy for this, but I see it as voters preferring Miller over Miller Lite, they want the real thing not a watered down version. In many respects the GOP has become a watered down version of the Democratic party. McCain frequently beat down the profit motive and bemoaned corporate greed. Sarah Palin was not even above doing that from time to time, characterizing oil companies in language that was way too close to Democratic talking points.

As people point out President Bush presided over a huge increase in government's spending and interference in our lives. I believe people decided if we are going to be going in that direction we should probably put the real deal in charge.

One thing I am sure we are going to hear. The hoi-palloi, the country club Republicans, the mainstream mastadons are going to pin the GOP loss on the only winners of the night, the socially conservative movement, those rubes those dupes the evangelical voter.

Similar to 2006 socially conservative measures passed and did so in fashion far outperforming any candidate. The lesson is simple conservatives must relearn how to unite social values to fiscal values, it can be done.

A Story

A Story from the Twilight Zone

Sue & Jeff are sitting at home one afternoon and there is a knock at the door. They open the door and a smartly dressed man greets them and presents to them a box. Sue asks the man what is in the box and the man says nothing. Jeff laughing asks the man, "Well, why then are you bothering to come here and give us this empty box?". The man explains, they can have the box for one week, if they open the box they will receive $100,000.00, but the act of opening the box will cause someone to die. Sue asks, "Who?" the man says "Someone totally disconnected from you, you do not know them, you have never have even come close to meeting them. So, I will be back in one week either to give you the $100,000 or to collect the unopened box."

Sue and Jeff spend their free time arguing about the box. Of course, the $100,000 is tempting, they can pay off a bunch of bills and have money to take a nice vacation. The day before the man is to return for the box, Sue and Jeff decide to open the box. They open the box, the next day the man comes and delivers the $100,000 to them. On his way out, Sue asks what is to become of the box? The man says "I am going to deliver the box to someone totally disconnected from you, you do not know them, you have never have even come close to meeting them.".

A very interesting and, yes, extreme story. However, I fear we have just opened the box with this election. We have been promised or lead to believe we have been promised benefit at the expense of others, that is never a good or just thing. After all, there is the YouTube video of the Obama supporter raving how Obama is going to pay for her to live w/o cost (to her).

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


The sun will rise, the new brake pads & rotors in the back of my truck will still be there,
many of us will awake and work to provide for us, our families, and those around us, and
Barak Obama will be my president-elect.

I did not work for him, I do not support his ideas, and policies, but it is over. I submit to the results. I do not whine, I do not p&m about fraud or cheating at the polls.

It is my hope Barak Obama leads our nation in a worthy fashion, but I do not believe he will.

I supported John McCain but not enthusiastically, I found his most inspiring moment to be when he nominated Sarah Palin to be his running mate, and at times I thought her rhetoric was Democratish.

Can we now say good bye to public financing of campaigns?