Friday, February 27, 2004

WSJ.com - Ahead of the Tape

Poor guy. His column is supposed to be a daily commentary but it has been available on line for fewer than 9 hours and it's already wrong. GDP revised upwards to 4.1%

Economists. Should I begin to think of them as metereologists?

Thursday, February 26, 2004

For Ex-Senator, Kerry Race Is Chance to Rejoin the Battle

So Max Cleland has no comments to refute Ann Coulter's assertions (as venomously stated as they were).

In typical liberal fashion, the article states he lost his legs and an arm in the Veitnam War. The reader is then left to conclude that an injury during war is an injury in combat.

After bringing up, the fact he was not injured in combat but by an ordnance accident, a right wing polemicist is cited followed by politicans decrying her.

Yet Max Cleland never comments on the facts around Coulters accusation.

Then is typical bleeding heart fashion, the undisputed facts are drowned in Max Cleland's subsequent depression after losing his Senate seat.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Looks like the Dumocrats are going to come after the top 1%'s wealth. John Edwars is calling it "unearned wealth".

This will be interesting to watch play out.

Greenspan Urges Cuts to Social Security to Rein In Deficit

"unearned wealth". What is that? Please define "unearned" and "wealth". Does "unearned" mean not yet realized as in my $1,000,000 a year contract for 2005 is not yet earned? Or does it mean I did nothing and will receive the $1,000,000 in 2005 regardless?

"Wealth". Does this mean income on which income is paid, and raised if the Dumocrats had their way, or does it mean accummulated assets like property and securities.

Is this the best John Podesta's think tank can come up with? A new way of saying "estate tax"?

John Edwards is for a "new tax on the weath of the top 1%". Is he going after their assets and not only their income?

Monday, February 23, 2004

Due to their overwhelming support of the Democratic Party in Presidential elections, New Yorkers play an important role. Because the state’s Electoral College votes can reliably be counted in the Democrats’ win column, the party is freed-up to devote resources to other states in which the outcome is not in the bag.

Unfortunately, this reliance provides the breeding ground for the polarization that is purported to afflict our nation. When one party controls the political levers of a particular state (New York, California, Texas), it also controls the news cycle. Its politicians and policy-shaping interest groups put forth their policy interpretations without any dissent.

In time, the residents of these single party states can only see one point-of-view. (Can anyone in lower New York understand the opposition to gay marriage?) As we hold high opinions of our own ability to be “fair and balanced”, we defend to the end our beliefs with little recognition that these points-of-view are informed only by one group of politicians and special interests.

It is this very human attribute that polarizes us politically, and, unfortunately, socially. When will there arise a person, party and/or movement that recognizes that New Yorkers, Californians, and Texans are better served by two-sided debate?

Bush is a liar. I hear it so much. When I turn on the television or open a newspaper, I am shocked to see his pants aren’t on fire.
Did Bush lie about Saddam Hussein’s WMD? No. Using intelligence provided by the CIA and the U.N. (where do you think those estimates of WMD came from?) to make a decision does not make the President a liar. Citing sources within the intelligence community, unnamed of course, that says the intelligence was more caveated does not provide proof of a lie. (BTW, where are those unnamed U.N. sources?). Because the WMD reported by these sources has not been located (yet!) does not mean the POTUS lied.

Sorry, Democrats. I know you want to be in POWER again, but the biggest lie being told is the one that the President of the Untied States, George W. Bush, lied. And that makes you the liars.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Bush is a liar. I hear it so much. When I turn on the television or open a newspaper, I am shocked to see his pants aren’t on fire.

Did Bush lie about Saddam Hussein’s WMD? No. Using intelligence provided by the CIA and the U.N. (where do you think those estimates of WMD came from?) to make a decision does not make the President a liar. Citing sources within the intelligence community, unnamed of course, that says the intelligence was more caveated does not provide proof of a lie. (BTW, where are those unnamed U.N. sources?)

Because the WMD reported by these sources has not been located does not mean the POTUS lied. Sorry, Democrats. I know you want to be in POWER again, but the biggest lie being told is the one that the President of the Untied States, George W. Bush, lied.

Gay marriage (remember civil unions?), affirmative action, gun restrictions, abortion rights.

All are within the pantheon (if they are god-like, shouldn't I have capitalized all of them?) of the poliitcal Left.

The current god of the day is gay marriage. Thanks to the newly elected mayor of San Francisco (is anything gay ever not current in SF?), gay marriage is being forced upon this news cycle. The mayor has dediced, under his interpretation of the California constitution, that gay marriage must be allowed despite legislation stating marriage is between a man and a woman.

Not withstanding the intrepretative powers of the judiciary or my own personal believes about civil unions or whether Mayor Newsom will be forgiven his disregarding of the law he swore to uphold, what I find most titillating is the Pandora's box that could be opened if the ideologues supporting the ends continue to argue that the interpretation, usurped from the judiciary, of constitutional law can be used by mayors.

Take gun restriction. The 2nd amendment of the US Contstitution grants the right to bear arms. Should we all go out and get guns?

Take campaign finance reform. The 1st amendment grants the freedom of speech. Should this CFR law be ignored, despite Solicitor General Olsen's defense of it? (Maybe some ideologues should note the Bush Administration's defense of the CFR despite personal beliefs of its unconstitutionalism.)

How about affirmative action? Should these laws be ignored because they discriminate against one class of people in favor of another?

How about abortion rights? If someone decides life begins at conception, isn't it OK to kill abortion doctors and use the Hitler defense to justify it? (I know it has already been done.)

Taken together, maybe this explains why the Left cannot put forth a coherent ideology. It is not because the other side is stupid, an appellation of the Right used by the Left because it cannot put forth a consistent ideology.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004


Kerry would appear to have an insurmountable lead if this poll is to be taken as reliably predictive of the November election. (568 "most likely" voters. No breakdown of Democrats and Republicans of these 568 although there were 426 Democrats or leaning Dems within the larger sample.)

While there are plenty of reasons to explain why Kerry is doing well (Roscharch to your heart's content), I'm more interested in poll results that differ in terms of the undecided (operational defintion of "undecided" is other/do not know.)

The above linked USAToday/CNNNn/Gallup poll has a 2% undecided. A Rasmussen poll has 9% undecided (with Bush up 48/43 among 1500 "likely" voters).

A University of Connecticut (Go Huskies!) has 9% undecided but it only queried registered voters. (Kerry 46/45, 1012 registered voters))

The question is what does the USAToday/CNNNn/Gallup poll do to get their "likely" voters to choose. How much cajoling, if any? (An example of "likely" voter would be a pollee who is registered to vote and has voted in the last election. This is only an example not the actual criteria used by any poll.)

While all three polls could be wrong (and the statistics used by any of them says that 1 out of every 20 polls done by each pollster will be outside the margin of error, the magnitude of this error could be very great or very narrow,), I'm going on the assumption they are not (although the Gallup one differs greatly from the other two and from the one it conducted the prior week which agrees with the Rasmussen/UCONN results. Enough parentheticals for you?)

The fact that Rassmussen and UCONN have an undecided rates 450% higher than the Gallup rate would lead me to believe somebody is pushing the pollee too much or too little. (Sufficiently ambiguous, I hope.)

And I know that many of you may have been asleep after the first parathetical. Stats can do that.

I'm still holding out hope that John Edwards will be the Democratic nominee for POTUS this fall. Not because I want to vote for him, but because I predicted he'd get the nomination, and I'd prefer being right than winning some short term ideological battle (of which I cannot directly influence regardless).

What Edwards needs to to have HoDo get out. As long as he is there the War-Criminals-Turned-Band-of-Brothers John Kerry will be able to win each primary due to "electability" and a splitting of the not-Kerry vote. The AB form (Anyone But) is not really appropriate when designating preferneces amongst the choir.

"Electibility may turn its attention to Edwards now that a poll (Rassmussen) shows Bush ahead again. Nothing turns the mindless herd like a POLL! And if HoDo drops, then the next Democratic debate may be more informative than the prior debates of undifferentiation.

We can see which one wants to raise taxes more and how they intend to create jobs (Since the POTUS does not actually create jobs other than by expanding their own staffs, it would be interesting to see what fiscal policies would be put forth to set the stage for future job creation.). What we won't find out is why both Senators voted for the War in Iraq and then voted to cut off the funding of it.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

OpinionJournal - Best of the Web Today

Mr. Taranto's first point on "The Note" seems to good to be true. I wonder if someone didn't just post it as a joke.

It has made it's way into two well-known conservative blogs (NRO's the Corner and Best of the Web) (Defintion "well-known": I visit them daily.)

If it were a joke to be disseminated throughout Conservative circles, then Ha! Ha! the joke's on conservatives.

Seems too perfect.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

As a resident in a state that is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Democratic Party, I often think about voting for a minor party candidate.

I know my vote for Bush wouldn't mean anything in the election given the Electoral College. (I learned the lesson. Did the Democrats?)

But then the thought of hearing the Democrats talk about the popular vote draws me back to voting Republican.

While the public rhetoric of the Dems annoys me, I am not foolish enough to believe bad rhetoric equals stupidity. Avaricious thrist for power, yes, but not stupidity.

So I wonder why the Dem braintrust doesn't try to displace some of their excess votes from NY and CA to so of the redder states? What makes those states magnets for ecessive Democratic votes?

Op-Ed Columnist: Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Krugman is an intellectual sham. His column is based solely around the BLS employment figure that fits his ideology.

He mentioned the household survey and the employer survey differ. He also says the household numbers are better "but not particulary good." Any chance he'd define "good" or mention that the household survey show 500,000 jobs created?

He parenthetically questions this discrepency and summarily dismisses it with "We don't know".

Sorry, Professor. Your position turns entirely upon this discrepency. If the statistics measure the same activity then they should be roughly the same. The fact that both differ in great magnitude should be the question we seek to answer. The inconvenient fact that the government chooses the household survey to calculate the U rate didn't change with the Bush Administration. (Why the household survey? We don't know.)

The fact that you elect to ignore one statistic in favor of the one from which your column flows either demonstrates the lack of this particular insight or flat out deception.

Given your professional standing in a "science" whose validity is steeped in statistical measures, I'd opt for the latter explanation.

Dean Now Says Wisconsin Loss Wouldn?t End His Campaign

"Win" and "out" mean different things to different people.

Doesn't this make Dean a liar?

Monday, February 09, 2004

What scares me most about Blue Dress Fugue is the idea that Democrats would still believe ML was a stalker if the irrefutable proof of the blue dress was not found.

This would mean that our gov't successfully misled the country and used all the levers of the highest office in the land to do so.

I.......feel.......the.....bubbling....of.....impeach- Stop! I buried that in November 2000 after the Queen Bureau-istocrat won in New York.

I've read the transcript of yesterday's MTP. My first impressions were that the transcript itself was very short (Probably the most original take on the interview.) Generally, I read the transcripts because 10:30 AM on Sunday's is occupied by one of two things - church or kids. As an added benefit, I can cut out those whose impressiveness comes from a glibness of tongue or those whose impressiveness would be dimished by a lack of one.

What remains is the Q&A. (And for what it is worth, Tim Russert does make multiple attempts to get an answer to a question he has asked. It is not Bill O'Reilly who somehow invented the tactic.)

And what there is of the interview does not move my opinion or understanding of the current debate over Iraq.

What might do so would be a more intelligent framing of the issue.

Let's call it The Blue Dress Fugue. Back in the late '90s, a certain POTUS was in the midst of making a young woman into a crazy. He had his wife and staff out front making the case that this young woman was a loonie (see 60 Minutes and the famous Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.) Whilst the Democrats led that partisan argument, many supporters believed it to be true until.....The Blue Dress!

At this point, none of the supporters could recall (see "fugue state") ever espousing that the young woman was unbelievable. Now it became a discussion over blow jobs being "sex" or not. (Tell that one to your spouse!)

I see the Iraq situation very similarly. Prior to the war, world and political opinion was overwhelming. (I know, world opinion used to hold that the world was flat.) Saddam had WMD, wanted more, and will bide his time and go to any means necessary to obtain them.

Only now, the anti-Bushies (who by the way would oppose puppies and candy if Bush was for them), anti-Americans (think they'll love a President Kerry anymore if he didn't succumb to their national interests and peculiar secularism?) and the anti-capitalists (Tell those disaffected ungrateful Whiteys that opposing capiltalism will not make right the fact that their mommies and daddies didn't buy them the Beamer for their 16th birthday.) have now been afflicted with Blue Dress Fugue.

They have become so psychologically traumatized that they actually believe anyone who remembers world opinion pre-March 19, 2003, is lying.

Only people afflicted with Blue Dress Fugue could so easily forget the basis on which the GWII was argued.

When this is addressed (and those pseudo-intellectuals should be giddy with this angle), I'll become more easily influenced by any future discussions on WMD.

Or when they are found. (The only cure for Blue Dress Fugue.)

Healing a Bad Back Is Often an Effort in Painful Futility

Looks like it's not only the recipients of gov't largess that fight like Hell to keep their interests protected for practicality.

U.S. Says Files Seek Qaeda Aid in Iraq Conflict:

"The document is written with a rhetorical flourish. It calls the Americans 'the biggest cowards that God has created,' but at the same time sees little chance that they will be forced from Iraq."

Go Democrats! Aid and abet (unkowingly?) those who gleefully kill Americans. Who says history won't repeat itself? Cambodia anyone?

Sunday, February 08, 2004

From 2003 to 2020. the Census Bureau projects the number of people over 65 to increase 50%

If you take the amount of current entitlement spending (SS and Medicare) and increase it 50%, you can get an acceptable amount of spending needed in 2020.

My question is whether the demographic nightmare stops there or whether the projectors then project GDP then use a percentage of it to predict gov't revenues (read taxes).

Match that to the figure derived for SS and MEd. Then make taxes match expenses.

Or does the discretionary portion also grow based on another assumption. And then the taxes and expenses are matched to calculate the amount taxes must increase.

Seems like a lot of assumptions.

Saturday, February 07, 2004

What could happen is productivity would go down as more workers are employed to do the same work. Would this be short-lived or would those additional workers produce enough more in an even more productive way?

Would these workers have to be private sector employees?

A large cohort leaves the workforce. The jobs of those retirees open-up. Assuming the retirees made more the the hirees, then the difference must go somewhere. Could it be used to hire more people? If the retiree was making 100K and paid only 6K in payroll taxes, two earners making 50K each would pay 7.5K. This situation would increase entitlement revenues.

IF we are not going to have enough workers to fill those jobs, then wouldn't we need to allow more immigrants?

I am going to contiune to explore reasons that the Boomer retirement could have an opposite result of the demographic catastrophe being parroting throughout this country.

So AFSCME made a judgment error by endorsing HoDO? If they wer a special interest group, I'd expect it to change to whichever Dem is the nominee. Which it has done.

What would the Dems do if tax revenue were not used to help elect other Dems who promise to use more tax revenue to expand AFSCME which in turn will use tax revenue to help elect more Dems....

Is it possible that the Boomer's effect on entitlement spending is overblown? Is is possible that once they leave to workforce unemployment will drop as a result of the opening of all the jobs they will have left? And isn't it likely that those newly available jobs will come in below the social security thresholds?

The demographic question should whether their will be enough workers to fill the jobs.

Friday, February 06, 2004

Lying liars and the lies they tell

No surpirse hear. Tony Blair said it best, and I paraphrase:
The biggest lie is the lie that I was lying.

Bush Names Panel to Examine Intelligence on Iraq Weapons

Is independence possible? A politician appoint politicians who are attacked as biased by politicians who want the power to appoint other politicans who would by attacked by politicans who want to power back in order to appoint politicans....

If "independence is defines as "an equal number of politicans from each political party" then the answer is "Yes".

This seems to be the political defintion, but make no mistake, it is not independent. The levers of power are too corrupting.

Op-Ed Columnist: Tuning Out the G.O.P.?s Siren Song

Here's the link for Bob Herberts column

This the third time I did this. Hopefully one of the other drafts finds it way from web Hell and shows up here.

Divisiveness. If there are two parties which each believing something different and trying to get people to vote for it, isn't it part and parcel that each party would try to divide people into one of the two parties?

Republicans appeal to the basest instinct? I doubt that. How about covetousness? As in, I covet your income and want to use it to provide for my needs? No matter if it is morally right for me to do so.

If I can get the masses to vote for me because I promise to give them other people's income aren't I trying to divide people?

Apparently not to Bob Herbert.

How about claiming that affirmative action is a civil right? Only when you define civil right as such. At least, those downtrodden benefit at the expense of those privileged. Oh wait, that doesn't happened. The realit is AA says that the poor minority takes the position of the poor majority. (This is the point HoDO has missed with his Confederate flag statement).

Maybe the Dems know this but are constrained by the rich/poor glasses they use to view the world.

Mr. Herbert seems to think the exit polls of the SC Democratic primary are representative of all voters. Not very intelligent but when your ideologically driven (and a poor communicator at that), what could you expect but behavior that attends only to that which reinforces your POV.

Also see his use of the WSJ article on the rich spending lavishly as a result of the economic recovery and Bush tax cuts. Weird. I don't recall the rich not spending lavishly, but that is what Mr. Herbert implies by citing the tax cuts. I'm sure he has reams of data to show that the rich don't spend lavishly when taxes are raised? See Clinton tax hike? Wait, if the rich are spending (consuming) wouldn't the tax cuts have helped the economic recovery? But I thought we needed tax credits directed at the poor to spur consumption?

"Possibly" a crippling blow has been dealt to government support by Bush's budget (definitely worthy of criticism)? Possibly? Mr Herbert doesn't know? Or maybe he knows that transferring resposnsibility to the State from the individual leads to a worse off individual? If he does, does he intentionally lie?

Of course, no Lefty column is complete without WMD. Unequivocally, Bob Herbert states there are not any. Hmmm. Let's assume the new McCain, David Kay can accurately assess a percent-of-completion in Iraq (a country we have been endlessly reminded is the size of Ca lee for nee ah) at 85%, how much do we need to find? A liter of anthrax? Ricin? Oh wait, already did do that. But when your party's strategy is one of moral hazard, there is no harm in saying anything. You never know if the sky finally falls. For dangers of this see Saddam Hussein.

Noble causes. Bringing freedom of expression to 23 MM people? Not for the ideologically driven. Mr. Herbert should be ashamed of his Statist addled brain. This is more noble than finding WMD and history will show this. Just as it has shown that freedom spreads like a computer virus amongst the masses.

Businesses dropping retiree insurance subsidies dismays Mr. Herbert, but it shouldn't. He should see this as a natural step towards his utopian universal healthcare. Just think. As the government provides more and more health coverage, business will stop providing that which someone else will provide and thus strengthen Mr. Herberts dream of government paternalism.

What he doesn't want to acknowledge is that 240 million people's standard of living will be worsened. Making everybody equally miserable is the end result of socialism. But of course, as long as their is a man-on-the-street, Mr. Herbert and his employer can always use his story to justify the call for more State intervention (of course predicated on dividing us into the rich and poor). (Nor does he mention that those whose premiums are no longer being subsidized only fall into that group of early retirees who do not yet qualify for Medicare.)

While I believe Bob Herbert is a poor writer and not capable of Podesta-esque think tanking, I must admit he has acted as my Thulsa Doom. For without him, I would not have had anything to write. (Or is that Darth Vader?)

Unusual Sparring Between Court Majority and Dissenters

The Massachusetts SC certainly has legislated from the bench. As long as one operationally defines "legislating from the bench" as changing laws already enacted or "enacting" laws that do not yet exist. Certainly, the court did the second one.

But aren't the courts there to check the legislature? In many cases I believe the courts are used by idealogues to impose upon the country their own unresolved psychic conflicts (see Pledge of Allegiance), but in this case, I believe the court did the correct thing.

Ask yourself whether you'd accept a wedding invitation from a gay friend or relative. Or what you would do if you learned of a relative, friend or mentor who was gay. These are clear sources of cognitive dissonance which can not be resolved easily.

Now to tactics. A common pro-gay marriage argument is that the legality should be left up to the individual states to decide whether or not in a states' rights Trojan Horse. I say Trojan Horse because anyone with a basic understanding of how to make it a federal, and thus USSC, issue knows that all a gay married couple from Massachusetts needs to do is go across the Connecticut (or New York or Rhode Island or NEw Hampshire or Maine) border and go to a hospital.

With a family health policy, the covered spouse enters the hospital. Once the insurance company denies coverage because gay marriage is not legally recognized, the issue becomes an issue of the Interstate Commerce clause.

This will send it to up the federal court system ladder, and Bingo!, it's a USSC issue.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

If you operationally define fiscal irresponsibly as spending more than you take in, then you can become fiscally responsible by increasing the amount you take in until it meets the amount you spend.

That was awkward. I am much more comfortable saying that you become more fiscally responsible by spending only what you take in.

The second paragraph is something everyone has inculcated into them from a young age (someone just disregard it obviously), but not politicians.

And in 2004, those politicians are Democrats. By reducing the gap between "revenues" and expenses via higher taxes (and don't believe increasing taxes on the rich will not trickle down to higher prices for the poor who buy goods and services from the rich), the Dems can say they are more fiscally responsible.

Nevermind whether or not raising taxes is fiscally responsible or not.

Is there any connection between the bombers in Iraq and the bombers in Isreal? Seems blowing-up innocents, and I'll cede that blowing-up military is different, is a common thread?

Where does this thread lead? is it possible that those committing these killings in Iraq and in Israel are part of the same pan-Arab association?

If it is, then maybe info on WMD is still being concealed by Iraqi who fear being killed not by Americans, but by other Arabs.

How could a nation come to believe government propaganda? It is not as hard as one may believe.

HoDo just announced he's out if he doesn't win Wisconsin on the 17th, he's out. ((Two months from front runner to out of the race? Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh! I wonder what "win" means and "out". I don't want to assume they mean "come in first" and "no longer running")) (Double parenthetical rule!)

I believe I am being fair when I state that most politicos thought HoDo would be the nominee. Now everyone believes the Senator from Massachusetts who is not a besotted sop of the Left (he can still be a sop for the Left though) is the likely nominee.

And here is where I make like a pencil and come to a point (George Constanza-esque?). The recent spat of polls has Kerry leading 43 in all of them even one in which 99% the pollees have chosen (only 1% DNK? Sounds like grounds for poor polling technique, but that is for another day.)

I can see 43 as well-known, but Kerry? Only 1% fall into a DNK category? The plausible explanation is those polled only know Kerry, and have made their decision, based upon the flooding the zone coverage of the Democratic preaching-to-the-choir primaries.

I hope I've led the horse close enough to the water that the horse will know to drink.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

While the Senator from Massachusetts who is not a besotted sop of the Left has won 5 of 7 primary contests, he has still only won the small unimportant states (at least unimportant if they are won in the general election by 43).

But you'd never know from the media coverage and recent polls. I guess that's what media saturation gets a candidate.

I still can't forget that only a month or so ago, the media was in love with HoDo, and I for one, hope Edwards or Clark or HoDo return to prominence in order to get the media to look stupidly herdish once again.

WSJ has run another No Child Left Behind (NCLB) article. In this one, gifted students scores manipulation is the theme. Apparently, poorer performing (poor) schools are finagling the numbers to make sure "gifted" (only 80% passed) student scores were being included for schools they did not attend.

Seems the educrats care as much about self-preservation as the children, but at least, they understand how averages work.

Since NCLB is a policy bogeyman for the Dems, I wonder why they don't just repeal it? Could it be the additional $25BB is gives the school systems?

When will the Democrats realize that all they have to do to win in November is to state they will not ignore the lessons of Vietnam abandonment and remain in Iraq until the job is done? (Operational definition "done": whenever it is politically expedient to say something is over)

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