Sunday, November 30, 2008
Let's unleash Bevo. Let him run wild in the BCS offices. Let Bevo communicate to the BCS how we feel about their latest rankings.
Whatever happened to head to head competition?
Texas beat Oklahoma here in Dallas a few weeks ago. It was a decisive victory.
How in the world can the BCS break a tie and put Oklahoma ahead of Texas?
It goes like this:
1. Alabama .971
2. Oklahoma .935
3. Texas .922
Don't get me wrong. It's almost impossible to do this without a playoff system.
Also, Oklahoma is a great team. So is USC, Florida and everybody else on the top 10.
Here is the good news: Only one team can win the Big 12.
Here is the bad news: The BCS had to pick between Texas, Oklahoma and Texas Tech.
Again, this is not simple. There is no pretty way to arrange these finalists without a playoff system.
We did have sort of a playoff. It was a head to head game between Texas and Oklahoma.
The Longhorns won that game!
With all due respect to the BCS, I think that they've screwed the Longhorns big time.
I trust that The Big 12 leaders will review the tie breaker rules. Let head to head competition break ties rather than the BCS rankings.
P.S. By the way, the Bevo legend goes back to 1920 according to Mike Cox. My guess is that Bevo, and everyone of his ancestors, is pretty angry tonight!
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Another Thanksgiving! The malls are full this weekend but the poor Lions are still losing!
There were sold out games in Detroit, Dallas (Go Cowboys) and down in Austin where the Longhorns whipped our Aggies really bad.
The NFL has some great games in store this entire weekend, such as New York-Washington.
The country is really caught up in what they call "rivalry weekend" in college football. Catch the Oklahoma vs Oklahoma State game tonight. It has national implications for the Texas Longhorns.
The NBA and NHL arenas are full of fans. Have you checked out how much it costs to get into one of those games? The Stars are really going to miss Morrow. The Mavs are playing a lot better.
Where in the world is the Great Depression?
Back in the 1930s, professional baseball almost went out of business because franchises couldn't draw unemployed fans! It was common for baseball teams to draw a couple of thousand fans per game. It was also common for single men to buy a ticket and eat their only meal of the day at the ballpark.
Again, where is this Great Depression?
I see a lot of very healthy people spending money.
Doom and gloom? I don't see it!
Of course, I usually balk at all of this talk of "doom and gloom" anyway.
How in the world can anything feel "doom and gloom" when you are living in the US?
Peggy Noonan has some good observations:
"We are told every day and in every news venue that we are in Great Depression II, that we are in a crisis, a cataclysm, a meltdown, the credit crunch from hell, that we will lose millions of jobs, and that the great abundance is over and may never return.
Three great investment banks have fallen while a fourth totters, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen 31% in six months.
And yet when you free yourself from media and go outside for a walk, everything looks . . . the same.
Everyone is dressed the same.
Everyone looks as comfortable as they did three years ago, at the height of prosperity.
The mall is still there, and people are still walking into the stores and daydreaming with half-full carts in aisle 3.
Everyone's still overweight. (An evolutionary biologist will someday write a paper positing that the reason for the obesity epidemic of the past decade is that we were storing up food like squirrels and bears, driven by an unconscious anthropomorphic knowledge that a time of great want was coming. Yes, I know it will be idiotic.)
But the point is: Nothing looks different.
In the Depression people sold apples on the street.
They sold pencils.
Angels with dirty faces wore coats too thin and short and shivered in line at the government surplus warehouse.
There was the Dust Bowl, and the want of the cities.
Captains of industry are said to have jumped from the skyscrapers of Wall Street. (Yes, those were the good old days. Just kidding!)
People didn't have enough food.
They looked like a catastrophe was happening.
We do not.
It's as if the news is full of floods but we haven't seen it rain."
Shut off the TV, specially MSNBC, and smell the air.
You may be shocked to see how optimistic people are.
Unemployment is 5% in Texas! The South is still hiring. We don't have the economic problems of PA, NJ, NY and Ohio.
Auto plants are booming everywhere except in unionized Michigan.
Our national 6.5% unemployment rate is still great relative to most of the industrialized world.
We are not trying to say that everything is beautiful, like that Ray Stevens' tune from our college days. Again, things are not as bad as we've been told by the "media in the tank" for Obama.
As I have written before, Pres BO's problem won't be the US economy, unless he decides to "tax the rich" and implement all of the socialist nonsense that had the "yes we can" screamers jumping up and down at the college rallies.
BO's presidency will be defined by foreign policy. Why? Because the world is a lot more complicated than we appreciate.
We just had a presidential election and no conversation about foreign policy. We will regret that.
Did I just hear that Russian warships are in Venezuela?
Friday, November 28, 2008
We learned that Barbara Bush, former First Lady and mom of #43, was hospitalized:
"Former first lady Barbara Bush was expected to remain in a Houston hospital for the next week as she recovers from laparoscopic surgery for a perforated ulcer, her surgeon said Wednesday.
"She did well through the surgery and she continues to do very well," said Dr. Pat Reardon, who operated on the 83-year-old former first lady at The Methodist Hospital."
We love Barbara Bush. She is a wonderful lady and we wish her a full recovery.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
We warned the "yes we can" screamers often. We told them to listen to Obama rather than just look into his eyes. We told them to treat him like a presidential candidate not the lead singer for some "soul" group.
So Obama won. Today, many in the left are wandering who they voted for!
William Greider is the latest liberal to notice how "Bush" the Pres-elect's cabinet is.
In fact, BO is about to keep Sec. of Defense Gates!
This is what Greider wrote today:
"A year ago, when Barack Obama said it was time to turn the page, his campaign declaration seemed to promise a fresh start for Washington.
I, for one, failed to foresee Obama would turn the page backward.
The president-elect's lineup for key governing positions has opted for continuity, not change.
Virtually all of his leading appointments are restoring the Clinton presidency, only without Mr. Bill.
In some important ways, Obama's selections seem designed to sustain the failing policies of George W. Bush."
What's going on? Why is BO throwing all of his supporters under the bus?
First, let's talk about the economy. Despite all of the anti-Bush rhetoric and "everything is Bush's fault", there is no difference between the current and incoming administrations on the economy.
In other words, the new Sec of Treasury Tim Gaithner s a disciple of the current one! They voted for change and they got Paulson Vol 2.
Second, Iraq is no longer a big deal. We won! The surge worked. Obama was dead wrong and McCain was right.
Obama is keeping Sec of Defense Gates. Why? Because Obama can not afford to lose Iraq. This is Obama's war now and he can't afford to lose it!
Isn't it amazing? He was the anti-war candidate. He got millions of people to jump and down over Iraq.
Today, he and Bush are on the same page on Iraq.
Who is going to tell the "yes we can" screamers that Obama will carry out Bush's economic and foreign policy?
Once again, we see that the Democrats use the liberals to get elected and then throw them under the bus to govern! Didn't we see the same thing when Clinton locked up the liberals, moved to the center and ran as a centrist for reelection in 1996?
Will the liberals learn their lesson? No. They will jump up and down the next time someone tells them what they want to hear!
Please correct me if I'm wrong. However, I don't recall a former president turning into a money making machine like Bill Clinton.
Today, we learned that Clinton made millions from banks:
"Four major banks, including one that collapsed, two that received federal bailout money and one that filed for bankruptcy this past September, paid former President Clinton $2.1 million for 13 speeches he delivered on their behalf between 2004-2007, according to Senate financial disclosure statements filed by Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.).
Citigroup paid Bill Clinton $700,000;
Goldman Sachs paid $950,000;
Lehman Brothers paid $300,000
and Merrill Lynch paid $175,000
to the former president for speeches during that time period.
Sen. Clinton’s 2008 financial disclosure reports are not yet available."
OK, it's legal. However, do we want our former presidents charging for their time?
Worse than that, do we want former presidents running around the world and acting like commissioned salesmen for countries trying to do business with the US?
Like the other former presidents, Clinton should write books, speak at the party convention, build a library to project his legacy, do a few charities and stay out of partisan politics.
Clinton has gone beyond that. He is now a potential conflict of interest to his wife, who may be sitting in the Obama cabinet when these banks are discussed.
Sorry. I don't like it!
We pay our ex-presidents a handsome pension, provide them with an office and staff, security and a few other perks.
Sorry. I don't like the idea of a former president doing this!
Hugo Chavez has been very busy doing everything except governing Venezuela. Chavez is at the UN, Iran, Bolivia and elsewhere.
Some would say that he has been busy mismanaging Venezuela, too. The country's economy is a mess and security is a huge problem.
The people of Venezuela gave Chavez a big lesson over the weekend. As the late Tip O'Neill used to say, all politics is local!
The election results were surprising:
"From the hardened slums of this city to some of Venezuela’s most populous and economically important states, many of President Hugo Chávez’s supporters deserted him in regional elections, showing it is possible to challenge him in areas where he was once thought invincible." (Romero)
"FOR YEARS, opponents of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez embraced extreme and counterproductive tactics, ranging from election boycotts to a national strike and an attempted military coup.
Yet in the past year -- as Mr. Chávez has accelerated his drive to install a Cuban-style socialist regime -- the opposition has finally found a winning answer: democracy.
Last December voters rejected a new constitution that would have greatly increased presidential powers and allowed Mr. Chávez unlimited presidential terms.
On Sunday Venezuelans turned out in record numbers for local elections -- and chose opposition candidates for five of the six most important elected posts in the country after the presidency."
Why do elections matter?
Because people don't like water shortages, inflation and long lines to buy food.
In fact, they hate it so much that they will take it out against those in power if they have a chance to do so!
We congratulate the good people of Venezuela for standing up for democracy and freedom. Chavez is still in power but he is not as powerful as he used to be!
Larry Kudlow of CNBC has a thought on the Dems' stimulus plan:
"Now here's the rub: all this talk about a $700 billion stimulus package.
I hate to be the one to pull the plug, but government cannot spend our way into prosperity.
The wish list of Democratic spending initiatives includes short-term tax rebates, massive new transportation bills, even more education money, exotic green-technology spending, a big-government embrace of health care, and heaps of cash for UAW-Detroit carmakers.
None of that will stimulate economic growth.
Economist Paul Hoffmeister has it right: We need to invigorate incentives to produce and invest. Let me take it even further.
We need to revive the dormant animal spirits, which have been beaten down by a brutal bear market in stocks, the ongoing housing slump, and all the myriad blockages to credit availability.
A bunch of new spending won't do the trick. Lower tax rates will."
Pres. FDR tried this back in the 1930s. By 1938, unemployment was still too high and FDR lost 71 seats in the midterms.
FDR's New Deal was not very popular in 1938! (The New Deal Comes to a Screeching Halt in 1938)
Again, there is a limit to what public works, and so called public investments, can do.
Kudlow is right. Forget the stimulus and try incentives.
Cut corporate taxes and make the US the most attractive place in the world to invest.
Cut the capital gains tax.
Here is the blunt truth: There is no quick fix to a recession.
You have to sit back and let the US economy hit bottom.
We also need a president who is tough enough to be very unpopular and say "no" over and over again. I just hope that the Obama supporters understand how different governing will be from campaigning!
As I wrote a couple of days ago, the business and political cycle do not dance to the same beat. The business cycle will have the last word no matter how much political maneuvering we do.
Cheer up. The US economy will bounce back. Let's hope that all of this stimulation does not drive up federal budget deficits and create a lot of unintended consequences, such as inflation.
POLITICO has an interesting post today:
"Forget the Republican filibuster and the race to 60.
The real fight in the next Congress is Democrats vs. themselves.
With nearly complete control of Washington for the first time in three decades, Democrats are entering a treacherous power zone in which many of their priorities could easily be undone by the geographic, demographic and ideological factions that compete for supremacy within the party."
Welcome to the real world. Wasn't life a lot easier on the bleachers? They didn't have to govern in the bleachers. All they had to do was to blame Bush for everything.
It's the Dems' turn now.
In 5 Myths About an Election of Mythic Proportions, Chris Cillizza delivers a little reality for those suddenly talking about the new Dem majorities:
"In fact, according to tabulations by National Journal's Richard E. Cohen, 81 House Democrats in the 111th Congress will represent districts that Bush carried in 2004.
The fact that roughly a third of the Democratic House majority sits in seats with Republican underpinnings (at least at the presidential level) is almost certain to keep a liberal dream agenda from moving through Congress.
The first rule of politics is survival, and if these new arrivals to Washington want to stick around, they are likely to build centrist voting records between now and 2010."
Like Carter and Clinton, Obama will learn that Democrats come from different counties and areas. There are not necessarily liberal even there is a "D" next to their names.
Just watched the Pres-elect's news conference.
The good news is that he has surrounded himself with centrists, the kinds of people that the "yes we can" screamers would have booed during the primaries.
We call them DLC Dems, i.e. the centrist, pro-business, pro-free trade wing of the party. The DLC was formed in the 1980s by Dems who thought that the party had gone too far to the left.
I like those kind of Democrats. We have a lot of them in Texas.
My question is this: Do the Obama voters like these Dems? The liberal blogs didn't! See Robert Kuttner's Team of Rubins!
Even liberals are now wondering who Obama is. See Mike Madden:
"One of the first things Barack Obama did after winning the election two weeks ago was put an old-school political brawler in charge of his White House.
Next, he saved Joe Lieberman.
Then, he met with John McCain, and asked Hillary Clinton to run his State Department.
For good measure, he's also apparently weighing whether to keep George W. Bush's Defense secretary, Robert Gates, on at the Pentagon.
This is the guy Republicans called a socialist, maybe a Marxist, and National Journal said was the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate?
McCain aides were saying on Election Night that their own polling showed 60 percent of the country thought Obama was a liberal (and many voted for him anyway).
Barely two weeks into the transition, that number might already be dropping fast."
We've learned a lot about Obama since he won the election. My guess is that our side is going to be a lot more comfortable with Obama than the people who voted for him.
Where is Ralph Nader? He must be thinking about running against another Dem in 2012!
Monday, November 24, 2008
Based on news reports, Pres elect BO wants to keep Sec of Defense Gates.
Frankly, it's a good move to keep Sec Gates. It's a recognition that Obama finally understands the national security implications of an Iraq collapse.
Over the weekend, we learned that Pres elect BO may reconsider letting those Bush tax cuts expire. Check out Mr. Axelrod from the Obama team talking to Chris Wallace of FOX News Sunday:
"Well, as you know, Chris, the aggregate effect of his plan would be a net tax cut.
He's committed to getting middle-class tax relief in the pipeline quickly, and there's no doubt that we're going to have to make some hard decisions in order to pay for the things we need.
And whether it is through repeal of those tax cuts for the very wealthiest or whether we simply allow it to -- allow those cuts to expire in 2010, we're going to accomplish that because we have to.
We have to make some hard choices." (Obama to Delay Tax Increase?)
I am glad that the Obama people finally understand that they are some "hard choices" ahead. I am also happy to see that Obama understands that Bush did not cut taxes for the rich. Bush cut taxes for the people who pay taxes!
Welcome to the real world. (THAT'S RICH! TOP EARNERS COULD KEEP BUSH TAX CUT UNDER OBAMA)
Welcome to cynicism. Why didn't Obama say any of this during the campaign?
Why didn't he say:
If elected, I will keep Bush's Iraq policy and tax cuts intact.
Dear BO voters: You voted for change and you are about to get Bush's 3rd term!
Reality is such a harsh thing, specially for all of the "yes we can" screamers who bought into all of this Obama nonsense!
We wrote during the campaign that the media was in the tank for Obama. We are happy to see that Mark Halperin agrees:
""It was extreme bias, extreme pro-Obama coverage." Halperin, who maintains Time's political site "The Page," cited two New York Times articles as examples of the divergent coverage of the two candidates.
"The example that I use, at the end of the campaign, was the two profiles that The New York Times ran of the potential first ladies," Halperin said.
"The story about Cindy McCain was vicious. It looked for every negative thing they could find about her and it case her in an extraordinarily negative light. It didn't talk about her work, for instance, as a mother for her children, and they cherry-picked every negative thing that's ever been written about her."
The story about Michelle Obama, by contrast, was "like a front-page endorsement of what a great person Michelle Obama is," according to Halperin." (Halperin at Politico/USC conf.: 'extreme pro-Obama' press bias)
So true. Where was Halperin before the election?
We are not going to sit here and dwell on media bias. It won't change the election.
Hopefully, it will change the media.
Perhaps, we will get some honest coverage of the Obama presidency.
No one has followed the Iraq War like Michael Yon. His dispatches and website are great. His book and pictures are worth buying!
Yon's latest is IRAQ'S NEW DAWN:
"Through time, trust and bonds have been built between the US and Iraqi soldiers, police and citizens.
The United States has a new ally in Iraq.
And if both sides continue to nurture this bond, it will create a permanent partnership of mutual benefit."
That's right. We have a new ally in Iraq. Success in Iraq is the most under reported story in years.
As a Rangers' fan, I've seen a long line of pitching coaches. Even Orel Hershiser, a 200 game winner and post season star, tried his luck as pitching coach here!
Unfortunately, even Hershiser couldn't stop all of those earned runs!
Like his predecessors, Pres. elect Obama is going to put together a pretty good team. Most presidents do. They go out and recruit some of the best people in the public and private sector.
What's the problem with a pitching coach? He can't pitch! He can only go as far as the arms in the organization take him.
What's the problem with the economic team? They can't stop the business cycle!
Over the next 24 months, the business cycle will determine BO's fate.
BO could get lucky like Reagan. In 1981-82, Reagan faced a tough recession with unemployment of over 10%.
As a consequence, Reagan took a beating in the 1982 midterms.
His approval rating was in the high 30s.
By 1984, the economy was pretty good and Reagan was reelected big. (Reagan also benefited from the perception that he was a strong leader on the international scene!)
BO could get unlucky like Carter, the last guy who ran on a "hope and change" platform.
It was one problem after another. Worse than problems, Carter couldn't work with the Dem Congress!
First, it was the energy crisis and gasoline lines. Do you remember something called stagflation, i.e. a combination of inflation and stagnation!
Second, Carter's "domestic presidency" was consumed by one foreign policy challenge after another, such as the Iranian hostage crisis and the Soviets invading Afghanistan.
To be fair, BO has picked some good people for his economic team.
The bottom line will be the business cycle. What we've learned is that the business cycle doesn't care at all about political timetables.
P.S. The Obama team, and some in the media, should stop talking about this being the worst crisis since The Great Depression. We had 25% unemployment in 1933. Our current rate is 6.5%, which is still the lowest rate among large industrial nations.
Check out Don't Get Depressed, It's Not 1929 (Why all those Great Depression analogies are wrong) By Daniel Gross:
""By the afternoon of March 3, scarcely a bank in the country was open to do business," FDR said in his March 12, 1933, fireside chat (now available on a very cool podcast at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s Web site).
In 1933, some 4,000 commercial banks failed, causing depositors to take huge losses. (There was no FDIC back then.)
The recession that started in August 1929 lasted for a grinding 43 months, during which unemployment soared to 25 percent and national income was cut in half.
By contrast, through mid-November 2008, only 19 banks had failed.
The Federal Reserve last week said it expects unemployment to top out at 7.6 percent in 2009."
My guess is that this will be the worst recession since the aforementioned recession from the early 1980's! On the other hand, I could be wrong and we may see something benign like 1991 or 2002!
Great Depression? Just ask anyone man or woman who grew up in the 1930's. I've heard stories of people going hungry and homeless in the 1930s. I don't think that we will see anything close to that in 2009!
Our friend Ed has an interesting post about California:
"To no one’s great surprise, California joblessness has increased to 8.2%, and most economists figure it will get even worse in the months to come."
I am not surprised. Maybe people in California should get angrier with their lousy business climate and let up on same sex marriage.
Only Rhode Island and Michigan, a couple of very Democrat states, are doing any worse.
How do you reverse California's mess?
First, cut taxes and cut them again and cut them again until they get down to a level that a reasonable person can pay.
Second, make the state more business friendly. Who in their right mind wants to open a business in California?
It's a shame to see our largest state starting to look like France and Germany. Let's hope that there is a Sarkozy in California who can shake up things in the Golden State.
California is the "ghost of Christmas future". This is what the US will look like if Obama gets his wish and raises taxes on the rich.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
The Cowboys wore their "alternate" uniforms today. Frankly, I don't like them because the Cowboys' regular white home uniform is a classic.
Anyway, they won. Dallas Cowboys 35, SF 49ers 22!
Romo to Owens worked today:
"T.O. had the second-most yards of his career, behind only the 283 he had for San Francisco when he caught an NFL-record 20 passes in 2000.
It was the fourth-most in Cowboys history, the best in the NFL since Philadelphia's Kevin Curtis had 221 in September 2007 and tops by a Dallas player since Tony Hill had 213 against the Eagles in 1979.
"He's still got it," quarterback Tony Romo said. "He's a fantastic player."
Looking ahead, the 7-4 Cowboys play Seattle on Thanksgiving Day.
I'm concerned about this game because the Cowboys may be looking ahead to Pittsburgh. Seattle has a losing record but they are a better team than their record indicates.
What do the Cowboys do on Thanksgiving? Pass it to TO and hand it to Barber.
ABC won the lottery yesterday. Somebody up there must love the TV network.
At noon, they had Ohio State playing Michigan. (I love the Wolverines' fight song!)
After that, it was Penn State clinching a Rose Bowl berth. (I like Coach Paterno. He reminds me of Coach Lombardi)
At 7pm, Oklahoma vs. Texas Tech, the game of the week.
My wife and I had a couple of parties on Saturday night. Every guy in the room had one eye on the food and the other on the TV.
What a shock! What are they thinking over at Texas Tech and Oklahoma this morning?
Final score: Oklahoma 65, Texas Tech 21!
What happens now? Who plays in the national title game? Oklahoma? Texas? Texas Tech?
My guess is that the Texas Longhorns were the big winners last night. They started the evening at # 3 behind # 2 Texas Tech.
Oklahoma will probably jump from # 5 to # 3. Texas should consolidate its # 2 position.
Of course, all of this could change next weekend.
The Texas A&M Aggies, our favorite team but out of contention this season, will play Texas in Austin on the Friday after Thanksgiving. This is always a tough game and one of the best rivalries in sports. The Aggies won the last two years.
If the Longhorns win, and they should this year, then Texas should be OK. If the Aggies upset the Longhorns, then Oklahoma goes up.
Last, but not least, Texas Tech plays Baylor down in Waco. The Red Raiders should win but the Bears can surprise you.
It should be a lot of fun over the next two weeks. Stay tuned because no one really knows how this come out.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
We don't believe in miracles. We don't think that our economic problems will change overnight. Why? Because we are dealing with structural problems that didn't happen overnight.
Nevertheless, we are happy that President-elect Barack Obama picked New York Federal Reserve Banker Timothy Geithner for Treasury.
I like it because Geithner is a centrist. He is not the kind of Treasury Sec. that Obama would have announced a year ago.
Geithner is also a "free trader" and we like that a lot. Free trade, not mindless protectionism, is what we need in a global slowdown.
Again, there is no "quick fix" for Medicare, Social Security, the energy crisis, Fannie Mae, China trade, Detroit, the European recession, etc.
We did not like Eric Holder for AG. We were, and continue to be, very confused with Hillary Clinton for Sec. of State.
We do like Geithner. It should be well received by a stock market still very worried about Obama's campaign rhetoric.
Let's hope that Friday's good day in the markets will be repeated again and again.
Cheney Derangement Syndrome is like Bush Derangement Syndrome. It is crazy, insane and the product of an angry left that has been out of power too long.
What do you do when you don't have the guts to cut the funding for the Iraq War? How do you keep the anti-war movement entertained? How do you keep them quiet rather than banging on Speaker Pelosi's door demanding an end to the war?
You unleash idiots, and I mean idiots, like Juan Angel Guerra.
I'm sure that everyone heard that VP Cheney was indicted in South Texas. He was indicted by Willacy County District Attorney Juan Angel Guerra.
To be sure, VP Cheney is not changing any of his holiday plans. He won't be coming down because the indictment will be quickly dismissed.
Who is Juan Angel Guerra? He is a Democrat who will be leaving office at the end of the year. He lost in the primaries. JA Guerra has himself been involved in a few legal problems.
Again, VP Cheney has nothing to worry about. He will keep his focus on killing Al Qaeda.
What's next for JA Guerra? Maybe he can indict Pres. Obama for telling the anti-war Dems what they wanted to hear about Iraq!
We believe that the Pres-elect should pick his own team. He certainly should not listen to those who voted for Sen. McCain.
However, he may want to think twice about Eric Holder, the man of the "Marc Rich" pardon travesty and the "Gun in Elian's face" scene.
The Rich pardon was Pres. Clinton's lowest point. It happened in the last minutes of his presidency. How do you issue a pardon for a tax cheat of mammoth proportions? Later, there was a huge controversy regarding Rich's wife and contributions to the Clinton Library in Arkansas.
As for Elian, how do you order special forces to grab a kid? What did this kid do? We are talking about a kid rescued in open waters because his mom tried to escape from Cuba!
It's true that Elian's father had called for his return to Cuba. What about his mother's wishes? She died leaving Cuba with little Elian!
Last, but not least, there is the issue of those pardoned terrorists in New York.
Holder is a bad choice. It will be a very controversial choice because Holder has a little too much baggage to be the next AG.
I agree with NRO:
"To be blunt, Holder is a terrible selection.
If there’s any Obama cabinet nomination that Republicans feel moved to oppose, this should be it."
This is about the Dems and public education. I hope that we can agree that education is the ladder out of poverty for inner city kids!
To his credit, Pres. Carter sent little Amy to the public grade school down the street from the White House. It worked out well. Little Amy grew up just fine.
What about Pres. Clinton? Private school!
What about Pres-elect Obama? We don't know yet but they attended private schools in Chicago.
Which party takes millions from the teachers' unions?
The Democrats, the same ones who send their kids to private schools!
Pres. BO will now live in the nation's capital. We trust that he will stand with those trying to reform the DC public school system.
I like this post by Terence P. Jeffrey:
"Barack and Michelle Obama are poised to commit a classic act of limousine-liberal hypocrisy—in this case, turning their backs on tens of thousands of inner-city kids in Washington, D.C.
Public schools, it seems, are good enough for poor and middle-class families, but not for rich families like the Obamas.
In July, when he addressed the NAACP’s annual convention, Sen. Barack Obama expressed his devotion to American public schools, vowing he would not “walk away from them” by supporting school-choice programs like Sen. John McCain did."
At the moment, many kids, primarily black kids, are stuck in one the most expensive and worst public schools in the country.
At least, support the reforms underway at the DC schools.
Linda Chavez makes a good point:
"D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee could use the Obamas' help -- especially in taking on the teachers union.
Rhee has proposed a dramatic reform package aimed at removing incompetent teachers and rewarding excellence.
She wants to get rid of tenure -- a job protection that is no benefit to students and helps keep some of the worst performing teachers in the classroom.
And she is willing to pay top dollar to teachers whose students make real progress.
What's more, she will use private dollars to fund the increases.
The extra money for Rhee's proposal would come from private foundations, which have already pledged an additional $75 million a year for five years, much of which would go to raise teacher pay."
It sounds like a good plan to me.
Wouldn't it be nice if the First Family would join Dr. Rhee and all of the black kids in the DC district?
"We won't be weighing in because we would never presume to tell any parents where to send their children to school.
Yet, as President-elect Barack Obama and his wife decide what's right for Malia and Sasha, Mr. Obama might want to think about the families that he would deny this precious freedom of choice."
Friday, November 21, 2008
Jim Manzi is chairman of an applied artificial-intelligence software company and a National Review contributing editor. He posted this today about the proposed bailout:
"In the event of a bankruptcy, the factories, computers, office space, intellectual property and so forth that are now owned by GM wouldn't vanish.
What would happen is a change in ownership and a renegotiation of contracts.
In other words, the folks who'd benefit from a bailout are GM's current employees and creditors.
Washington would force taxpayers to pay money to the corporate entity named General Motors - which would then pass the funds along to those employees and creditors.
But most Americans on the whole would be worse off."
Let's put them in Chapter 11. Let the free market, rather than a bunch of "congressional mechanics" determine the future.
Frankly, I have more faith in the free market!
Let me spoil a few Thanksgiving dinners and break lots of "yes we can" screamers' hearts.
Here it goes: Obama will be Bush's 3rd term on Iraq. Obama will carry out Bush's Iraq War policy.
I won't mind. I always understood the overall national security implications of removing Saddam Hussein from the heart of the Middle East.
This is why I supported Pres. Bill Clinton when he went around the UN Security Council and bombed Iraq in 1998.
Who remembers that speech and Pres. Clinton's words? Here they go:
"Saddam Hussein must not be allowed to threaten his neighbors or the world with nuclear arms, poison gas or biological weapons."
Very shortly, the "yes we can" screamers are about to get a lesson in maturity and disenchantment. Frankly, they deserve it!
Check out this story. There is already a little disillusionment brewing over at the anti-war office:
Antiwar groups fear Barack Obama may create hawkish Cabinet: Activists note that most of the candidates for top security posts voted for the 2002 resolution authorizing President Bush to invade Iraq or otherwise supported launching the war
Of course, there is The Guantanamo Dilemma! What are we going to do with 250 hard core terrorists that nobody wants? Are we going to bring them to a US courtroom and treat them like bank robbers? Are we going to release them so that they can kill more US soldiers in Iraq or Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan?
Change for the sake of change is not a good approach, specially when the agent of change has never changed anything.
In the meantime, keep an eye on the anti-war movement. I think that they are about to unload on Obama.
It will be fun to watch the anti-war president throw the anti-war movement under the bus.
Here is the good news: They won't be lonely under the bus.
They will join Rev. Wright, the other Chicago wackos and all of those other policy reversals.
P.S. Watch out for "God D--- America"! The Rev can't control himself, specially now that his disciple dumped him for another church!
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