October 12, 2011

How Not to Run for President

Rick Perry entered the race for president with every advantage. Now, just a few days later, he has no shot. He has performed poorly in debates; he has skeletons in his closet to boot.

I'd say the ultimate killer is his statement regarding fatigue. Being president is a 24/7 job for at least 4 years. A crisis can pop up at any time. A president can't say something or do something stupid just because he's tired.

Part of Perry's problem, of course, is that he jumped in at the last minute. He had no plans of running for the job, then did. In contrast, Romney has been running for president for years. He has done it right. Ronald Reagan did it the same way. Romney is the guy. Right-wingers are going to have to get used to the idea and back him---unless they want four more years of Obama and his cronies.

Romney isn't perfect; I'm not his biggest fan. But I'll take him over Obama any day of the week and twice on Sundays. Sundays, I guess, are of particular interest at present. Romney is a Mormon. I happen to agree with the view of said religion being a cult. It's something silly some guy came up with years ago. Mormonism, in my mind, is much like Scientology---a "religion" concocted by a science fiction writer. Some people will fall for anything.

Still, we have religious freedom in this land. A guy can worship in any way he chooses. And being a Mormon doesn't necessarily mean a guy can't be a good president.

This nation needs to remove Obama from office. It's time Republicans quit clowning around and got down to the business of uniting behind a candidate that can get the job done.

October 6, 2011

Who is Next?

It seems the Republican field is set. Christie has bailed; Palin has finally bailed. Mitt Romney will be the choice.

Some months ago, I said he couldn't make the cut. I must now eat my words. Romney will be the choice. The two already mentioned are out. Rick Perry jumped in and immediately shot himself in the foot. The rest of the field isn't worth mentioning---and yes, that includes Herman Cain.

Cain seems to be the flavor of the day. He likes to tout the fact that he has never held public office. That's one of the things that takes him out of the running.

Remember a fellow named Ross Perot? He made a bit of a splash in 1992. I am almost ashamed to admit I voted for the guy. I suppose it was my little way of rebelling against the establishment. Some time later, Perot went on television to debate Algore. Algore chewed Perot up and spit him out. Perot got flustered. Algore just went about his business.

See, a CEO is more like a king. He or she says and it gets done. People that disagree get handed pink slips. Gubment don't work like that.

I believe Ronald Reagan used to say that 70 percent of something was worth more than 100 percent of nothing. I think it was John Kennedy that said he had no idea how little power a president had until he became one.

Lyndon Johnson---love him or hate him---got things done Kennedy couldn't. Why? Well, because Lyndon had spent years and years figuring out the system, making connections, and racking up favors owed.

I watched a PBS show done about what would have to be considered Oklahoma's most successful politician ever: Governor/U.S Senator Bob Kerr. Kerr wanted a zinc bill passed that would have benefited much of eastern Oklahoma. President Kennedy owed Bob Kerr. Still, he refused to sign Kerr's zinc bill into law. Kennedy called Kerr to explain that the bill was too expensive and that he wouldn't sign it. Kerr proceeded to explain to the prez that he had visited all those small towns in Oklahoma preaching about how the bill would benefit them. Now, Kerr said, he would have to return to all those small towns to explain that it wouldn't happen. That would take some time, Kerr told Kennedy.

Meanwhile, Kerr was a key member in the Senate Finance Committee. Kennedy had a tax bill on the table. Kerr explained that he would get around to Kennedy's tax bill, but it might take a year or two.

Such is politics. Sam Rayburn, famed Speaker of the House of Representatives, used to say, "To get along, you have to go along." (I hope I have that right and not backwards.)

We don't need a CEO in the White House. It just won't work.

September 19, 2011

McCarville on the Ill

Mike McCarville is a fellow Oklahoma political blogger. I've never met the man, but I have been bouncing off his blog from time to time for several years. He seems to me to be one of the good guys.

Mike went into the hospital for heart valve surgery in July. He has been struggling since. He has just been admitted to the hospital again---and has been diagnosed with MRSA. Mersa is serious business.

I've already said mine. If you happen to have a prayer to spare, my man Mikey could use a little help right now.

Obama's Looking Like Toast

Gallup poll numbers over the weekend put President Obama's approval rating at 40 percent. That's not a good thing for a guy that will be asking people for a second term about a year from now. But that's not the only negative indicator out there.

Word is, Hollywood liberals that were so excited about Obama in '08 aren't so excited anymore. They are potentially a large source of campaign funds---but not if they're disillusioned and pissed.

A poll came out about California in general, in fact, that shows a major problem for Obama. His approval rating in that state is 46 percent.

In New York, a House seat that was held by Democrats since the 1920s went Republican. The vote is largely seen as a referendum on Obama and his policies. The economy sucks, but Jews seem to be miffed at Obama for not being friendly enough to Israel.

Oy! Go figya!

Obama---or any Democrat running for the White House for that matter---has to have New York and California just to be in the game.

Obama has revealed his upcoming strategy. He plans to run against Congress. In '08 he ran against Bush---even though Bush wasn't running. This time around, he plans to run against Congress because while Obama's approval rating is low and sinking Congress has no approval rating at all.

I suppose that is the best Obama can do. He has nothing on which to hang his hat, so he must run against something. But there is a fatal flaw in the strategy: Democrats are in Congress, too. Democrats, in fact, hold the majority in the Senate. A lot of those seats are in play for the coming election cycle. It will be very difficult for Obama to travel the country giving speeches and running TV ads bashing Congress and still be able to get support from the very people he will be bashing. As the old saying goes: All politics is local.

September 12, 2011

Pass the Bill

Stimulus package II is at hand. Obama has thrown it out there---on national TV, in front of a joint session of Congress. He asks, nay, demands that it be passed. I say give him what he wants.

It's not that I think the plan has any merit at all. It doesn't.

To be sure, there are many infrastructure needs all across this land because politicians at all levels of government have blown them off for years. But I question the value of road and bridge building relative to employment. You aren't going to put 14 million people to work by spending a few billion on road and bridge projects.

As far spending on school buildings, the same thinking applies. Plus, spending on school buildings isn't a federal function---any more than keeping teachers employed is a federal function. If people in states and localities deem it necessary to route more money to schools, they have it within their power to do so. The federal government has no business in that business.

Uncle Sam gifting state and local governments skirts the law. In Oklahoma and Tulsa, as examples, budgets are required to balance. Borrowing to cover budget shortfalls is forbidden. So what's the difference between Oklahoma or Tulsa borrowing to balance their budgets and Uncle Sam borrowing to balance their budgets for them?

The tax portion of the plan is of no value.

The payroll tax holiday for employees has been in place all year. It has produced nothing. It hasn't the oompf to produce anything. Any money workers are getting from the break is going to pay for past spending (buying down credit card debt), going into the bank due to uncertainty or possibly getting burned up in the gas tank due to high fuel prices.

Extending the tax break to employers and adding tax credits for hiring won't help, either. No employer is going to add an employee at a cost of 40 or 50 grand per year in exchange for a few grand in tax savings. Businesses don't hire based on tax policy; businesses hire when they need employees. End of story.

Obama's proposal isn't about economics; it's about politics. Mr. Change is playing age-old politics: He's going to the pork barrel in an attempt to buy votes. At the same time, he's hoping the Republican House blocks his grand plan. If that happens, he will be able to run around next summer saying all would be well if those damned Republican obstructionists had just passed his bill.

If I were a Republican strategist, I would advise taking that weapon away. I would urge the passing of Obama's plan---exactly as it is written. Pass it and put it on his desk. Once he signs it he owns it. A year from now he will have nothing to show for it but another half a trillion dollars in federal debt. And so ends his stay at the White House.

September 1, 2011

Crazy Talk

It's time to put the crazy talk away. It's time to cut through the nonsense and get real. Unfortunately, politicians, in particular those running for president, haven't gotten the message.

Tim Pawlenty came out with his big economic plan. He promised 5 percent annual growth in the economy. Nobody paid attention because nobody saw any validity in his promise. Pawlenty is already out of the race.

Michele Bachmann gave a speech a few days ago promising gasoline priced below $2 a gallon should she be elected. Really? If a president could make that happen, don't you think Obama---a guy desperately seeking approval from anyone---would be all over it?

I can think of two ways gasoline prices could drop below two bucks a gallon. One would be a global collapse in demand---worldwide depression, in other words. I don't think anyone wants to see that. The other would be regulation. Gasoline priced at slightly below two bucks a gallon would equal the inflation-adjusted gasoline price from back in the day when the price of gasoline was regulated. Surely this tea party enthusiast, this free-market advocate, isn't calling for regulated gasoline prices.

Some folks might like the idea of going back to regulated gasoline prices. Bad idea. Gasoline might become more affordable if regulated. But, the problem would be, you wouldn't be able to find it. If it ain't profitable to produce, ain't nobody gonna produce it.

Obama is set to announce his latest economic "stimulus package," which basically means he's admitting the first one didn't work. Cash for clunkers II is at hand! Rejoice, America! It will work this time! So promises the Ivy League.

Part of the Obama plan is reportedly that of extending the payroll tax break for another year---at a borrowing cost of $175 billion. It hasn't worked yet. Why would it work now?

Obama adviser, David Poof, excuse me, Plouffe, went on national TV some days ago. He said not renewing the payroll tax break would raise the taxes of "every American" by a grand a year. That's a lie. That's a big lie.

For starters, the grand is an average. It's based on somebody making 50 grand a year. Someone making 30 grand a year gets a tax cut of $600---spread out over 52 weeks. That's not enough to alter anyone's spending habits. Second, terminating the temporary tax cut wouldn't up anyone's taxes. It would simply return their tax rate to where it was a year ago. Third, the last I saw, there are a little more than 150 million people employed in this country. People that aren't employed---about half the population---don't pay payroll taxes.

It's time to cut the crap, people. Let's get down to some serious business and knock off the bullshit.

August 29, 2011

Means Testing Elderly Entitlements

I recently saw a report on TV noting Bill Clinton had turned 65. The TV cat making the note quipped that Clinton is now eligible for Social Security. Unfortunately, that comment was less quip than fact. Clinton is also eligible for Medicare.

Think back about 3 years, when Hillary Clinton was seeking the presidency. It was reported at that time that the Clintons had pocketed over $100 million since leaving the White House. In spite of that, Bill is qualified to jump on the federal dole just because of his age.

There is one thing the federal politicians can do to shore up Washington's fiscal situation without doing harm to anyone: means test the elderly entitlements. That can be done now; it wouldn't have to be done "over 10 years."

Unless you can make a case that someone worth millions upon millions of dollars should be getting his health care subsidized by Uncle Sam and that he should be getting a gubment check every month, there should be no argument here. Cutting the welfare conduit to the rich should be a no-brainer.

I understand there would be an argument, one over where to set the bar. But I think everyone can agree that certain people are rich beyond question, and they should not be getting government benefits.

I think I would advocate a tiered system. Ninety percent of the country would be left alone relative to elderly benefits. Past a given point of wealth (that would include assets and income), benefits would still be there but diminished. Once a person passed the top line, there would be no benefits at all. I would include an emergency clause. If someone is rich then becomes not rich, he or she could petition for full benefits at that time.

We have to do something about elderly entitlements, folks. It makes perfect sense to go after people that can best afford to take the hit first.

August 27, 2011

Bush's Fault

I got one of those circulating emails. Some witty person put it together. It said the recent earthquake in the east, according to the Obama White House, happened along something called the Bush Fault. Ha. What a hoot!

Now there is Hurricane Irene, which is expected to make a mess out of Jew York City. Excuse me, I meant New York City.

Poor Obama. He just can't seem to make it through a day without adding to his "inheritance."

I don't know, an east-coast earthquake followed by a very rare hurricane? Maybe God is talking to some people. Maybe those super-fabulous Ivy Leaguers that think their poop don't stink had better consider changing their paradigm.

Or, I guess we could just blame it all on global warming.

August 15, 2011

Rant Time

How's about a rant? I might as well issue one. I ain't doin' much else.

Ya know, my mammy has a range in her home. It was purchased before I was born (I'm 53 years old). It looks like it just rolled off the showroom floor. Much of the credit for it looking so new goes to mom. She has always taken very good care of her stuff. Still, the thing works. It works just like it did in the '50s.

Somewhere in my archives, I have the electric razor my daddy used in the '50s. Mom gave it to me. I haven't seen my daddy since the early '60s. It's not likely that trend will reverse. He's been dead since the late '80s. I tried shaving with the razor in the '80s. It was a rough go. I wouldn't care to try again. But I bet I could plug it in right now and it would fire up.

Meanwhile, I just tried to fire up my DVD player---a Toshiba my sister gave me for Christmas, oh, maybe four years ago or so. I have rarely used it. In fact, it spent the first year or two in my possession in the box in which it came. I finally hooked it up and used it a time or two. When I tried to use it for the first time in a while, I found it no longer works. It gets no power. It's plugged into a surge protector with a few other things. They all work. The DVD player appears to be of no use to anyone.

I have a new TV, a digital TV. I run over the air. I have no cable or satellite. I find I can't get all of the available channels with a given rabbit-ear setting. I have to move the thing to one spot to get one channel, but then I lose another. It's like living in the '50s. To make matters worse, last fall I found that virtually all of the college football bowl games---a few of the things I actually like to watch on TV---were unavailable to over-the-air viewers.

I'm really getting tired of this world.

We have all these geeks that come up with new gadgets that take money from people while providing very short useful lifespans, either because they are designed to fail or because they will be outdated in the space of weeks. We have lawyers that claim to be guardians of the gate to justice but aren't there when people really need them because there is no money to be made. We have doctors that claim to know everything but really don't know their elbows from their assholes yet still figure they should get paid like gods for "treating" somebody until that somebody dies. We have a plethora of Ivy League MBAs running businesses that can't seem to do anything but fuck up. We have those politicians---elected or unelected---that don't seem to want to do anything but pass out money to selected individuals or entities so they can keep their jobs.

Perhaps I should consider taking all of my money out of any institutions, placing it in a hole somewhere, buying a rifle and a fishing pole, moving into the wilderness and living day by day, until these so-called "best and brightest" can figure out how to make something---anything---work.

How does that sit with you, geniuses?