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Showing posts from 2008
John Stossel wrote an insightful piece recently called The Road to Serfdom, a borrowing of the title of the book by F. A. Hayek. He talks about how everyone is waiting for Obama to come out with some action. He needs to be BOLD. Just do something. I guess that is the change that we are looking for.

Here is The-Asterisk's take on it:

The reason that we all look to Washington for solutions is that Washington is the place that owns the game and writes the rules. As long as they do that, we have to grovel at their feet. If we have a free market and we let things go laissez faire, we end up with very smart and very well connected crooks creating the mess that we are just now trying to fix.

What is the difference between Las Vegas and Wall Street? Vegas has pit bosses and cameras. They know when they are being gamed. There is no way that our government can be swift enough to keep regulations up with the latest scheme by money people. So we cry (like Bill O'Reilly) that no one was watch…

First 100 days

I think that the far left wing of the Democrat party is going to throw something extremely radical at Obama as soon as he is inaugurated and Congress is in session. It may be card-check, it may be some crazy gay marriage thing. It is really irrelevant what it is. I think he will bitch-slap the Dems with a veto and make a huge deal about him being the President of the whole country, not just the Democrats. This will give him huge street cred. The liberals will go on a rant and call him all sorts of names, especially in the blogosphere.

The 'asterisk' here is: will it be a ruse? Is Pelosi/Reid going to take one for the team to set him up as a centrist President for 'all Americans'? Will Obama allow his base to slap him around a bit to gain sympathy and support from the rest of us, setting up a huge sucker punch over the next three years?

My take on this is: Either Obama has been 'opportuning' himself for 20 years, being the ultimate shape-shifter... saying, doing a…

Transition

I wonder if the Bush people will pull all of the "O" keys off of the keyboards like the Clintonistas did with the "W" keys?

We will defeat you...

Obama said that if you harm the world, we will defeat you.

How? With what? Who gets to choose which war to fight? Or will we sit down and chat?

Would he treat harm to the world differently than harm to our country?

I hope that I am totally wrong about this man. That is the hope that I have.

MSNBC

Gushers of love. Mandate. Youth and no retreads to run the government. Bi-partisan. Orgasmic platitudes.

* Remember Jimmy Carter.

New Party

I think that now, more than at any time in the last 100 years, we are ready for a new third party. Not a spin off of disgruntled Republicans, but a coalition of moderate to right leaning, thinking people that are just sick of old school Democrats. The biggest problem with our existing political system is that if you have a (D) or a (R) behind your name, you automatically elevate whomever is the oldest, crustiest, partisan pol into a leadership position.

You could be the most moderate Democrat in the the Congress, but you will... you must caucus with your party and make Nancy Pelosi powerful. You will also cause the committees to be all Democrat controlled. It is actually kind of like the infamous card-check balloting for union elections. Woe be unto the Congressman or Senator who does not caucus with his or her party. Secret ballot? No way! When you vote for your representative, you are really voting for the party, regardless of what people say.

We really need some of the heavy hitters …

Let the healing begin

According to Howard Dean... "Now is when the healing begins."

Excuse me while I throw up...

Finally!

After almost two long, excrutiating years, the election is here. Long lines, disenfranchisement, promises, lies, smears, counter-lies, hope, change, hope, change, hope and change. I am sick of it. McCain has run such a terrible campaign that the whole thing is an embarassment. If he were to win, I could understand how the other side would think that it was rigged. However, if he does win, there is going to be massive rioting by those that claim that they aren't racist. In my book (and most dictionaries), racism is defined as making a decision based solely on race. If you are a black person and you are going to vote for Obama because he is black, then that is a blatently racist decision. There can be no argument. They may justify it for any number of reasons, but it is still a racist decision. If a white guy votes for McCain because he isn't black and that is racist, then voting (many for the first time) for a guy because he is black is just as racist, no matter what color you…

McCain Frustration

I just watched the Sean Hannity - McCain/Palin interview. Seems that every time Sarah said something that went to the heart of the matter in her plain-spoken, folksy manner that simply answered the questions, John said "Can I say something else?" and then commenced to tell how Obama voted 94 times for this or said That when he really did something else.

Totally wonked out.

I am a self-admitted political crack head and I am sick of this $h!+. I can't stand it anymore. One cannot believe any statistics, anytime, let alone in a political campaign... especially the same statistics or figures repeated AD NAUSEUM until I have to hold my hand over my mouth to stave off the retching reflex every time I hear them.

Say what you want about Gov. Palin, she gets to the heart of the matter. Especially when she isn't speaking in that kindergarten teacher, sing-songy voice that she (and Tina Fey) do so well.

Totally refreshing.

But does she know how DC works? Does she have foreign pol…

How a "Gap Lien" may fix the housing mess

I have listened over the past three months about all of the different solutions, fixes, schemes or inaction that have been proposed to solve the housing crisis. I think that I may have come up with something that can fix it.

First, let's be clear what the problem is. For the past several years we have had inflating housing prices, caused by a number of things previously discussed, and these houses have mortgages on them that the owners took out in order to purchase them. Some, if not most, of the mortgagees got mortgages based on their actual ability to repay the original loan amount. In other words, a conventional mortgage. However, as the prices were skyrocketing, lots of speculators and average citizens saw the ever expanding bubble as a way to make either a quick profit by flipping the house, or as a way to buy way more house than they could normally afford by entering into a risky mortgage with the hope of refinancing it in a few years, leveraging the increased equity created …

Wow!

Thoughts about last night's second Presidential Debate:

Shoulda, coulda, woulda.
Boring.
Opportunities squandered.
Town hall format? What town hall format?
Uncomfortable. Massively uncomfortable.
Blah, blah, blah.
Same old, same old.
Joe Lieberman?
Can I turn the channel to a rerun of Dancing with the Stars?
Oh my God! President Obama.

Sigh...........

Open Letter to the McCain Campaign

To the McCain Campaign (and handlers)

I know that your campaign is going on the attack and I like McCain's response that if you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth. Bill Clinton proved that fact. In fact it is the modus operandi of the Democrat Party.

However, I emplore the campaign to start telling Americans what you as President are going to do. Pretend Obama doesn't exist. Tell us how you will push for energy independence, how we will get off of foreign oil in 10 years, how you will nominate non-activist jurists, how you will get legislation past the Do-Nothings in Congress, etc. We need to hear positive examples of how these things are going to get done. Obama speaks in generalities and platitudes. Show us all that you have a plan (I assume you do.) I follow politics like some people follow baseball stats, and I don't really know what your plan is for any of these things.

When false accusations are made, respond swiftly and don't be nice about it. Hit them…

Vice President, the Senate and the Constitution

During the debate, "Fact Check" Biden stated "And the primary role of the vice president of the United States of America is to support the president of the United States of America, give that president his or her best judgment when sought, and as vice president, to preside over the Senate, only in a time when in fact there's a tie vote. The Constitution is explicit."

If anyone cares, here is a direct quote from the US Constitution "The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.The Senate shall choose their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States."

The only other mention of duties of the Vice President is to succeed the President in a variety of circumstances.

I know that the Constitution is supposed to be a "living, breathing document", but until…

VP Debate

Well, it was a good night for Sarah Palin. She held her own, and though at times she seemed scripted (what politician doesn't), I thought that her composure was confident and she didn't make a lot of obvious mistakes.

Right after the debate started, Joe Biden stated that Barack Obama "warned us two years ago on the Senate floor about the subprime mortgage mess". I was curious about this and I wondered why a junior senator would go before Congress to warn about something that he and his party had made a centerpiece of their housing policy. I pulled up Google and typed in "barack obama warned about subprime mortgages". The first hit was factcheck.barackobama.com. I swear that within 30 seconds of the words leaving Biden's mouth, these guys had literally 5 paragraphs written on this site about how Palin was wrong. I watched this during the debate and with every question, there was an instant (almost prescient) rebuttal of how Palin was wrong and Obama/Bide…

The results of greed

I follow a blog from a guy who is into technology, but also lets his political views be known. Vlad pulls no punches. He recently posted about the bailout mess on Wall Street and I commented. I have posted my comments here (slightly abridged), since a blog is where you should pronounce your own views and wait for comments from others.
If you and I sat down to discuss politics, I would venture to say that you swing (or veer) to the left and that I hang to the right, but on this point I totally agree with you. What is really sad with our political discourse these days is that in order to be a successful politician in a party apparatus, one must take a view opposing the other party on EVERY subject (or at least blame the other side for each and every ill that blows our way.)Having spent the last four days at the Summit, I see all of the hard work and brain thrashing it takes to keep our tiny, tiny slices of the business world moving in a positive direction. One speaker made the point that…

Alaska

Former Alaska Governor Knowles and current Lt. Governor Parnell were on Fox News Sunday this morning. Now I see why Sarah Palin has an 80% approval rating in Alaska. Gov. Knowles seems like a major tool and it almost looked like he was reading his talking points off of the TelePrompTer. Chris Wallace had to keep interrupting him as he non-answered all of his questions by going alphabetically off of his point list.

And they say that Palin looked bad on ABC????

That's Entertainment?!?

I just watched Saturday Night Live. I made a point of watching it to see Tina Fey play Sarah Palin. I thought she did a great job and her vocals were spot-on. The opening skit with "Hillary" was well written (most likely by Fey, who was once the head writer for the show), and was actually funny, which is quite a departure for most SNL fare.

But, that is not why I am posting this one. No, I just watched the musical guest, Lil Wayne, perform two songs. I was totally... what is the word??? totally... flabbergasted... yeah, flabbergasted that this music was played. Even more so when I found that the 'hit' Lollypop sold over a million copies in the first week of its release. And the album went double platinum in just 9 weeks! Actually the band wasn't so bad. It had the standard hip-hop beat... that same back-beat funky thing that would be right at home backing up just about any rapper. The problem was with Mr. Carter himself.

We, as Americans, are just brutal towards p…

Rich but not Rich

I have always been perplexed about how wealthy Democrats can be so condescending toward wealthy Republicans for having money.

It finally occurred to me what the deal is with being rich in America in the context of Left vs. Right. It is actually a very simple thing to figure out, but honestly I have never (to my knowledge) read this anywhere.

So here is The-Asterisk truthism:

Liberal rich is different from Conservative rich because most liberal wealth has been accumulated through voluntary transfer of money from some entity to the Liberal. Now, I am not counting inherited wealth, which could swing both ways on the ideological spectrum, but wealth that has been given to, not taken by, the Liberal. Let me explain.

I have always been puzzled why so many actors, athletes, creative types, artists, musicians, etc. seem to swing liberal, even if they have accumulated massive amounts of wealth (Dave Matthews???, Barbra Streisand???, Michael Moore???) and even if they do not feel compelled to give …

Red Meat

Sarah Palin, Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee.

The gauntlet has been thrown down.

Stand by for the blowback. The MSM is locked and loaded, but I think that Gov. Palin is ready for it. I hope so. I am impressed by what I saw tonight.

The Key to victory in November

As an unpaid (and unheard) advisor to the McCain campaign, I think I have the two issues that will be key to a McCain victory this November. Energy and Security. I am not going to belabor the security issue in this posting. I think that he has spoken, and he will continue to speak well about the security we need to face an uncertain world infested with radical extremism (religious, environmental and others.)

I would like to amend the record with my suggestion to him about how to use the energy issue to electrify (pardon the pun) the American public to support him at the ballot box. Let me make it clear that if he campaigns on these proposals, the MUST follow through with them in a manner by which the public can see that he is serious about energy and its lagging indicator, security.

After immediate consultations with the affected parties and countries, I would have him come out and announce that immediately after inauguration he will commence a Manhattan Project-style initiative to reli…

New slogan for McCain-Palin

McCain - Palin
A change we can live with

The Night of Obama

Random notes from the big night at Invesco Field:

-- Climate Crisis? What happened to Global Warming? I guess with the coolest August in many years, they had to 're-brand' the term.
-- End a woman's right to choose? Time for a change!
-- Younger voters ALWAYS vote liberal. Grownups vote conservative. Adult liberals just haven't grown up, yet.
-- 100 years ago, Al Gore would probably have taken the place of P.T. Barnum. The parallel is astounding. Step right up!
-- Hitler and Mussolini thought they were right, didn't they? Talk about moral authority!
-- When does John Edwards speak?
-- Take our county back? Take it back, or get it back? Back from what? Ever see a child have a visitor come over and the little visitor picks up a toy? Then the child whines and grabs the toy away from the visiting child, then puts it back down because she really didn't want it? She just didn't want the other kid to have it? That is what I think when I see the Dems go on and on about ta…

Hopelessness and Disgust

Whenever I chance to check out a YouTube video, listen to some music, or read an article on some website, there is usually a comment section. And if the subject is even remotely political, it won't take more than three comments before someone starts talking about the Bush-Cheney cabal, Bushco, oilmen in the White House, TriLaterals, blah, blah, blah. They will rattle off a littany of ills: Iraq, housing crisis, Guantanamo, illegal wiretaps, loss of privacy, Abu Ghraib, failing stock market, high oil prices, Osama Bin Laden still on the loose, blah, blah, blah.

My God! Has anybody actually taken personal inventory lately? How many people have had their privacy invaded (except for stolen credit card numbers and putting their life story on Facebook)? How many people have succumbed to torture (unless they have a family member in an Iranian prison)? How many have lost their home to forclosure (unless they over extended themselves when they bought that $450,000 home on a $50,000 annual i…

Joe Biden

Well, in a previous posting, I predicted that Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, aka Caroline Kennedy (her married surname is nowhere to be seen these days) would be selected to be Obama's VP running mate. I still think that she would have made a perfect running mate, because of name recognition, sex (being female, that is) and the mystique of Camelot I. But, pragmatism being what it is, Obama needed some gravitas, so he picked the loquacious Senator Joe Biden, a true Washington outsider because he takes a train back to Delaware each evening. Hmmmm, I wonder if he has the government pay for his train fare? It is against tax regulations for the employer to pay for transport between one's home and one's work.



(Asterisk note: since the House and the Senate have met so very seldom in the past two years, I don't think that this loco-commute is such a heroic thing. About the only time they are actually in town and in session is to conduct hearings on Iraq and the Bush Administrati…

Give peace a chance!

I just read a post on someone's blog quoting a Bob Dylan song about how the 'war machine' and the 'military industrial complex' causes us to go to war and how we feed weapons to everyone in the world which just causes more instability.

I had to respond because, like most youth, he is kind of disillusioned. (Hmmmmm, could that be why Obama is going after the college vote?)

Basic economics teaches us about supply and demand. If a lot of people need to be fed, we will have a vast 'farm industrial complex'. If we have a lot of sick people, we have a vast 'medical industrial complex'. If a lot of people want sports gear, we have a vast 'Nike industrial complex'. Same for oil and defense. When there is a need from millions and millions of people, there will be an industrial response. And typically, if there is competition, there will be technological gains. If this was not the case, we would still be producing chain mail, catapults and the flail in …

"Refundable" Tax Credit

Refundable tax credits. Sounds nice. The words tax and refund in one sentence. Kind of rolls off the tongue doesn't it? And, who wouldn't want a tax refund? What about a tax credit? We have always known, since Congress passed the 16th Amendment to the Constitution, that taking people's money away from them and then giving it back in dribbles and drabs if they do certain things is an extremely powerful method of behavior modification and is the reason that Congress will NEVER pass the Fair Tax.

How many of us installed new insulation in our homes back in the 80's when there was an "Energy Tax Credit" to do so? Yeah, we got to keep up to $800 as a credit. Never even sent it to the feds. And if we had already sent it to them (in the form of payroll deductions), we got it all back when we filed our tax return the next year. That is what a credit is... a credit against taxes that you owe.

Well, what if you don't owe any taxes? That is not hard to imagine anymor…

What is "The-Asterisk" reading?

First, I rarely 'read' a book anymore. I read tech journals and newspapers and web postings voraciously, but reading a book? Puleeeeese! I just don't have the time. Call it short attention span living (SAS 2.0). I subscribe to Audible and I have listened to many great books.

My latest conquest is "America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It" by Mark Steyn. It describes, with humor, witticism and a touch of alarmism, how most of the developed countries are in a demographic death spiral; on track to lose as much as half of their native population in the next 35 years. The 'good' news is that the Muslim population is breeding at almost 2x the replacement rate and immigrating into most of these countries, so that within the next 50 years, they will be the dominant demographic element in Europe and many other countries around the world.

Yes, nature abhors a vacuum and that giant sucking sound is Europe being replaced by Eurabia. Is it too late to change? …

Obama's VP choice

Today, Drudge shows that VA Governor Tim Kaine is on the short, short list of VP candidates for Barack Obama. That would not greatly surprise me, that a two year US Senator with virtually no experience short of exuding hope, voting 'present' in a short stint as a state representative, and being a community organizer, then a professional board member of foundations would pick a sitting Governor of a swing state that has been Gov for only two years and before that was Mayor of Richmond. Talk about balance!

If you ask my take on it (and I am glad you did...) I think Obama will pick Caroline Kennedy (notice how she is not referred to by her married name lately?) Ms. Kennedy is currently one of two people handling the vetting (no, no, not the Chevrolet kind) of potential VP picks.

Remember eight years ago, a guy named Cheney was doing the same job for W and look where it got him. In today's case however, it would not bring gravitas, but it would evoke a whole industry of gauzy n…

Hillary's RFK Gaffe

I never thought that I would come to Hillary Clinton's defense, but what is the MSM thinking when they say that her recent statement about RFK being assassinated in June had something to do with a deathwish for Barack Obama? I saw the video of her sentence before that now famous utterance and she was comparing how Bill Clinton was campaigning in June of 1992 and Bobby Kennedy was still campaigning when he was assassinated in June, as well. Context matters...

Where The-Asterisk comes in is this: you people HAVE to wake up and realize that whatever you read in a standard newspaper is usually biased and often bunk. How many of you have ever contributed to a story in the paper or on TV, or had first-hand knowledge of a story that was in the media? Remember your first reaction? Was it "Wow, they sure got that story right!" or was it "Wow, it is amazing how screwed up they managed to make this story!"

I bet it was the latter...

You MUST keep this in mind whenever you re…

Great time to be a cynic

I am back...

There is so much to talk about: oil prices, Obama, global warming (not), Iraq, Iran, political hypocracy, etc. It is actually hard for me to decide what to comment on and it takes me some time to flesh these comments out. Some people can make 10 blog posts per day and still (somehow) carry on a normal life... not me. But I started this thing and I am going to make something of it!

Let's talk about American Airlines who says that that they are going to start charging $15 for the first checked bag. My first suggestion is to not carry a checked bag, carry a polka-dotted bag. OK, OK, I am sorry. Had to do that...

I am not a jet-setter, but I have flown a quite bit this year. I usually fly Southwest, the Greyhound Bus of the Sky. (I actually like Southwest... no funny stuff with the fares, they post all of their prices on the internet and even their highest price fares are not a total rip-off. I am not crazy about their check-in procedure, but it is a lot better now than it w…

Where is the Balance?

When Barack Obama says that he did not vote to send troops into Iraq, he is correct. The asterisk is that he was not in a position to vote since he was serving in the Illinois State legislature in 2002. Given the nation's attitude at the time and the overwhelming evidence that Saddam had weapons of mass-destruction, it is hard to say what the non-Senator would have done. Of course, hindsight is 20-20, so he can boastfully say that he did not vote to attack Iraq. Well, he did not vote for the Civil Rights Act either!

How did he become a US Senator? Few remember that he was about to face Jack Ryan (R) in the race for the seat of retiring Republican Peter Fitzgerald. Jack Ryan was the divorced husband of actress Jeri Ryan who played the ex-Borg Seven of Nine on Star Trek: Voyager, among other roles. Their divorce proceedings were voluntarily made public, but their child custody proceedings were sealed by the court to protect the children. When several media outlets sued to open the do…