Tuesday, December 01, 2009

One problem with knowing history when most people do not is you can see when it is repeating itself and many people do not listen. VDH goes over recent and more ancient history and points to parallels that more people should be aware of. And of course his indictment of Obama's governing is one I would love to see an O-bot respond to but I am not holding my breath!!!

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

2010 Could Easily Be Disastrous For Democrats

This was originally supposed to be posted in early October but I was unable to finish it until now. Nonetheless, Sean Trende has a good article here on the Kilgore election prediction absurdities. I did not have a chance to write an analysis on Kilgore's article but Trende now makes any effort on my part in that area superfluous. I will accompany this with my own reasons for espousing this for what is going on{1} but here it is in a nutshell: I have been saying since June in various and sundry places{2} that I was predicting a 40/6 seat pickup for the Republicans in 2010.

My 40 seat prediction{3} is a number incidentally that Michael Barone has since come around to viewing as "dark horse possibility" as of late compared to "not a snowballs chance" which was his view only six weeks earlier. Charlie Cook is now saying the odds of 40 in the House picked up is in the "33-50% range" compared to earlier when he was not so bold.{4} Here were my thoughts on this matter as of five weeks ago as expressed elsewhere:

[T]he entire House is up for re-election and there are about 50 seats in districts that went for McCain that are Democratic. Add to that the fact that there are Democratic incumbents in weak districts who have voted for crap and tax and also for this health care boondoggle and also that more seniors vote in off-elections than any other constituency and the seniors are PISSED at Obama and the Dems. The Senate for the demographic alignment issues cannot be taken in this cycle (though 6 seats as I said would be a nice dent into their advantage and solidify a filibuster: out of 34 odd seats up in this cycle that is about as good as it could get) and Obama is not up for re-election for three years at that point. So the anger at these arrogant Democratic majorities running roughshod over the public will have to come out somewhere and my guess is the body of congress where everyone is up for re-election and which is chaired by the highly unpopular Nancy Pelosi (who herself will win with about 73% of the vote in her district and therefore does not have the same fear as many of her colleagues will). I remind you in 1994 there was a 54 seat pickup and the environment now is a lot worse than it was then because the bills people were pissed about back then (assault weapons ban and Clinton's 1993 budget raising taxes) are nothing compared to the ones now (crap and tax passing the House with all but 8 votes from Democrats, the government run- health care that the public does not want and which they have been trying to ram through without anyone being able to read). Despite it all, a 40 seat gain would not match the 54 seat gain from 1994 but it would be enough for them to lose the House. And it may even be worse than that.

People like Kilgore can keep telling themselves it will be nothing because the guys in Jaws did not need a bigger boat either!!!


{1} I am not sure if I covered any of this on the weblog offhand and do not have time to look for it if I did.

{2} As far as this weblog goes, see footnote one.

{3} Which since Owens won in NY 23 I have subsequently revised to a 41/6 prediction.

{4} Instead, saying the odds were "less than 25%".

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Friday, November 20, 2009

when will it begin?
well, depends on what "it" is
Clinton flashback mode
[Written on 11/20/08]

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Its All a Death Panel! (Dick Morris and Eileen McGann)

Whatever criticisms may be legitimately launched at how Sarah Palin explained this issue (read: with the "death panel" comments), the bottom line is, technically she was right. Former Clinton adviser Dick Morris along with Eileen McGann explains in this article precisely that. For readers who accuse Morris of now"being in bed with the right", read the post I put up the other day from Nat Hentoff. This is NOT just a "right wing issue" folks!!!

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Wanted: A Fighting Party

Pat Buchanan as I have often said is a streaky shooter -when he is off he misses by a lot but when he is on, it is usually from downtown and nothing but net. This article belongs to the latter classification.

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Saturday, April 04, 2009

On Irenic Dialogue, When It Will Not Be Undertaken, and When We Will Get Nasty To Certain Emailers of a Disgustingly Unethical Nature:
(Musings of your humble servant at Rerum Novarum)

This posting was occasioned by the following thread from Andrew Breitbart circa March 30, 2009:

Online Activists On the Right, Unite! (Andrew Breitbart)

I want to interact with a few samples of his content before I comment in expository fashion...

A digital war has broken out, and the conservative movement is losing. Read the comment sections of right-leaning blogs, news sites and social forums, and the evidence is there in ugly abundance. Internet hooligans are spewing their talking points to thwart the dissent of the newly-out-of-power. We must not let that go unanswered.

Oh I have never intended to.

Uninvited Democratic activists are on a mission to demoralize the enemy - us. They want to ensure that President Obama is not subject to the same coordinated, facts-be-damned, multimedia takedown they employed over eight long years to destroy the presidency - and the humanity - of George W. Bush.

And as far as I am concerned at least, they will not succeed.

During the Clinton impeachment scandal, a new group out of California called MoveOn.org employed a plan to get its members to dial into right-leaning talk radio shows with scripted talking points falsely claiming that they were Republicans.

It is funny that Andrew Breitbart mentions this because while not exactly the same thing, I have been party over the years to various emailers who have sought to take issue with me on what they perceive (rightly or wrongly) to be my views on persons and issues. Of course since I am not beholden to any political party and as my views do not fit neatly into any given category, there is inevitably as much missing as hitting the mark in what they send me. But I have noticed a pattern at times where I am sent tract like arguments supported with various references -as for whether or not I respond to them depends on the time I have and the extent to which a given subject matter interests me or not.

In an example of one of these received last week, I wrote a detailed response to it and posted the text to this blog{1} and in other mediums and sent a version of the text to the emailer only to get a bounced email reply with the mailer daemon claiming that the account "does not exist." This intrigued me a bit so I did some word searchs at my gmail account to find similar emails from months past and sent testing emails to two of them.

As the end result was bounced emails and claims from the mailer daemon that said accounts "do not exist", this makes it clear to me that some of these are the sorts of liberals from the Moveon.Org school. They sent me their stuff but did not have a return address indicating that they were not interested in a dialogue on issues but instead wanted to send me stuff opposing what they believe are my views from fake email accounts. This means they want to try and spout off whatever lies, mistruths, libels, and the like against others without feeling morally and ethically responsible for the content thereof. So while this brands such people as obviously a bunch of chickenshit cowards, I address the rest of this posting to them and their ilk right now.

Insofar as the emails you sorts send have the same patterns to them, I can now after a brief scanning of the text know if I am dealing with someone of goodwill or a spammer. Such emailers will have a "test email" sent to their account to see if it bounces and if it does not, I will if inclined respond amicably. But if it does bounce, I will from this point forward not only rationally refute what you sorts send but I will rip it to shreds and not be even the slightest bit irenic in doing so.

For I am not about to let the "weaker brethren" amongst my conservative positional allies be taken in by such things, those refutations will be circulated to people on my mailing list and in other mediums so that your efforts insofar as I have any say in the matter will fail and fail badly. This will be the policy of Rerum Novarum from this day forward in perpetuity insofar as I have time to deal with these matters and (when I do not) I may very well farm out for "target practice" to friends of mine pieces I personally do not have time to deal with as they see fit and will publish their responses with their concurrence and all rights reserved to them on this humble weblog.

All things to the contrary notwithstanding.


{1} I refer to this posting from March 26, 2009 where I responded to an emailer with regards to criticisms raised against Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal.

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Friday, April 03, 2009

On Political "Front Runners" Historically, Sarah Palin's Prospects in 2012, Etc.
(Musings of your humble servant at Rerum Novarum)

To start with, talking heads in the msm are already (so soon after the last presidential election) opining about various political persons and their perceived viability or lack thereof in the 2012 contest. I however do not play the game of political prognosticating this far out for the simple fact that a year is an ice age in politics and four years might as well be like the Jurassic period metaphorically speaking. A lot can happen between now and then and I have traditionally been very accurate in my political prognosticating{1} to a good extent because I do not play this game that far out. However, there are certain trends politically that one can use to forecast with a greater degree of accuracy what will likely happen and I will at this time do that without currently making any definite predictions one way or the other.

To start with, politics as a vocation tends to be dynastic to a certain extent even though there have only been two presidential "dynasties" properly speaking thus far.{2} But to a certain extent, there are patterns one can refer to from the past to better help them forecast future probabilities. For one thing, though it is not by any means a universal, it is nonetheless true that presidents who are successful more often than not had previous experience as an executive in some capacity. This experience could come in a variety of ways from business owner to field commander in the military to mayor of a town or governor of a state but as a rule the best presidents have had this kind of experience and those who were not as good did not.

By contrast to those with executive experience, senators and representatives in Congress who later on become president are traditionally not as good though again this is not an absolute principle but instead more of a general rule. And having noted those things, we get to the issue of dynastic political elements which I will now touch on so the reader knows what I am talking about if they do not already.

Since the presidency of the businessman and general George Washington, those who were subsequently elected president have always had experience in government in some form or another. In Washington's cabinet was John Adams the vice president and Thomas Jefferson the secretary of state -both of whom had high profile government positions before serving in Washington's cabinet. Adams would succeed Washington as our second president and Jefferson was our second vice president and third president. Jefferson's secretary of state was James Madison who would succeed him as president and Madison's secretary of state was James Monroe who succeeded him. James Monroe's secretary of state was the heavily credentialed John Quincy Adams who had served in various government posts{3} prior to being Monroe's secretary of state.{4} Quincy Adams won the controversial 1824 election after not getting the popular vote against General Andrew Jackson who despite his popular image as the first "commoner" to be president{5} as well as the first of the Democratic party presidents{6} had previous experience as a senator from Tennessee, house member from Tennessee, judge on the Tennessee supreme court, general of the military, and military governor of Florida.

We could similarly trace this pattern throughout all of American political history but pointing to the patterns that we have seen since 1952 suffices to make this point. Let us begin the more modern era therefore starting with Richard M. Nixon who was the vice president for two terms under former army general and president Dwight D. Eisenhower. Nixon was the nominee for president in 1960 and we need not go over how the Democratic party machine in Chicago and other places cheated him out of victory in that election.{7} He later on was defeated in the California gubernatorial election of 1962. After losing that election (and claiming he was finished), Nixon came back in 1968 to capture the nomination and win the presidency and won re-election in 1972. Senator John F. Kennedy who narrowly failed to secure the vice presidential position at the 1956 Democratic party convention of course was the party nominee and "victor" in 1960.{8} His vice president Lyndon B. Johnson (Senate majority leader, former House member, and a candidate in the 1960 election) became president in 1963 when Kennedy was assassinated and won in his own right the following year.

Having already covered the Nixon election wins, it bears pointing out that when his successor Gerald Ford{9} ran unsuccessfully for president in 1976, he was very nearly upset by former California governor Ronald Reagan -winning the nomination by a mere hundred odd delegates out of a couple of thousand cast. Reagan of course went on to win the next two presidential elections by monumental victory margins. One of his adversaries in the 1980 election was George H. W. Bush who was then added as his vice presidential candidate when Reagan locked up the 1980 the nomination for president. (He was to succeed Reagan by winning in his own right in 1988.) One of the Democratic party failed presidential candidates of 1988 was Albert Gore Jr. who was added as Bill Clinton's vice presidential candidate in 1992. After eight years of serving as vice president, Gore was nominated as his party's candidate and ultimately lost the 2000 election by failing to win the electoral college. Gore was opposed by former President Bush's son George W. Bush who won the general election after fending off a tough challenge from Sen. John McCain in the Republican primaries. McCain as we all know was the Republican party nominee in the 2008 election.

I have traced this historical sketch out to provide a glimpse of sorts into how history has gone to better enable readers to better gauge how future election history will go. For one thing, those touting a possible future candidacy for Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal are already behind the curve in that my good friend Kevin M. Tierney in one of the frequent political conversations we have had was calling Jindal a possible "dark horse candidate" back in 2008 and already predicted he would run in 2012 and be the favourite for the nomination that year. I am not sure if he has changed his prediction or not in the aftermath of the political ascent of Alaska governor Sarah Palin but I have him on record picking Jindal as far back as at least eight months ago if not more.{10} In the meantime, I know of some people who are currently picking Palin as the front runner in 2012.

Speaking of Governor Sarah Palin, insofar as she goes as a front runner in the 2012 presidential election for the Republicans, a bit of history of former vice presidential candidates who later ran as presidential candidates seems in order. (I should note that when I say "ran" I mean was actually successfully nominated to run as representative of their respective political parties.) The first of the major parties to cover is the Federalist party and the only vice presidential candidate they had who later ran for president was President Washington's vice president John Adams but this example as well as the one from the elections of 1796 and 1800 cannot be used.{11} The opposition Democratic-Republican party{12} never had a vice presidential candidate who became president so we can rule them out as well. In the divisions of 1824 from which today's Democratic party takes its true origin to the present day, there have been several vice presidential candidates who have become president but in all but one case they succeeded to the presidency upon the death of the president.{13} The exception to the rule was the only vice presidential candidate who ever ran successfully as president later on and that was President Franklin D. Roosevelt.{14} There have been a number of former vice presidents from the Democratic party side who subsequently secured their parties nomination for president{15} but only FDR successfully won in his bid after securing the vice presidential nomination in a losing party effort.

On the side of the Whigs -a party that became the main opposition to the Democratic party in 1833 and eventually was replaced by the Republicans in 1854, two of their vice presidential candidates on winning presidential tickets became president but in both cases (Tyler in 1841 and Fillmore in 1850) it was because the president they ran under died in office.{16} On the Republican party side of things, seven successfully nominated vice presidential candidates ran for president later on. Of the seven, three succeeded to the presidency upon the death of the president before they made their runs{17} and two of them won election as president in their own right.{18} Of the others{19}, none of them successfully was elected president in their own right after failing to win the vice presidency earlier.

The history of political dynastic voting patterns points to Governor Sarah Palin being the logical front runner in 2012. However, only once in US history has a candidate from any major party successfully been elected president in their own right after failing to win the vice presidency on someone else's ticket. Does this mean that Governor Palin is certain to fail in this endeavour? Not necessarily. Senator Bob Dole after being nominated as President Ford's running mate failed to be elected vice president in 1976 and later on failed to win the presidency in 1996. There is no record of this sort to go on from the Democratic side of things other than the example of FDR. But before people read too heavily into these things as spelling certain death for Governor Palin's chances, they need to consider the circumstances behind the failed vp and successful bid of FDR and the failed bids both times of Senator Dole.

To start with, FDR did not have any executive experience when he ran in 1920 as James Cox's vice president and they ran on the tail end of President Woodrow Wilson from their own party who for a variety of reasons{20} was unpopular. No Democratic candidate was going to win that year basically under the climate of the times. Subsequent to that point, Roosevelt was successfully elected governor of New York in 1928 and thus by 1932 he had executive experience to make his presidential bid more credible than it otherwise would have been. He also in his presidential run had the benefit of opposing the boneheaded governance of the incumbent President Herbert Hoover who was no laissez-faire president by any means.{21} Senator Bob Dole ran as vice president on the ticket of a non-elected president who had previously been appointed as vice president himself two years after the previous vice president of his party (and later the president he replaced) resigned in disgrace.

The Ford/Dole ticket faced a particularly stiff challenge from former California governor Ronald Reagan which while it galvanized the party contributed in the short term to narrow presidential defeat.{22} Twenty years later, Senator Bob Dole ran for president and in a situation where his party had moved to prevent the possibility of potential upsets akin to what Reagan nearly pulled off in 1976, the deck was stacked in the primaries to favour party insiders and make a repeat of the 1976 nomination scenario next to impossible.{23} As a result, the candidate who was the strongest party nominee by force of party connections (Dole) was probably not their best candidate for winning the general election against an incumbent president like William J. Clinton who had recently achieved some significant real and perceived victories against the opposition Republican congress.{24} Plus, Senator Dole though he ran for president in 1988 and also 1996 had not bothered in the time since he was Ford's vp candidate to acquire any executive experience.

So of the two examples we have of successfully nominated vice presidential candidates, we have one that succeeded (FDR) and one that failed (Dole). We can also point to circumstances of the times of the various elections that contributed in no small way to the success of FDR and the failure of Dole in their presidential aspirations. What this tells us ultimately is the general rule I spelled out at the beginning of this posting applied here and the successful example (FDR) had executive experience that the unsuccessful example (Dole) did not.

So readers need to take that into account ultimately when they attempt to write off the chances of Governor Sarah Palin to successfully get her party's nomination in 2012 and potentially win the general election. Like FDR and unlike Dole, she has executive experience having been both a mayor as well as a state governor. As for predicting a front runner for 2012, all I will say is if Palin and Jindal do not win their re-elections in 2010, they will not be the party nominee in 2012 and while I believe they will both be re-elected (particularly Jindal), I will not dare to make a political prediction of the overall viability for presidential candidacy of either of them until they do.

As far as Senator Hillary Clinton goes, her chances of running again depend on how she sees herself in 2012. If President Obama has a successful or average presidency, he will not have any opposition in his party to re-election. If however he is a trainwreck, then he may well receive the sort of stiff party challenge that Ted Kennedy gave President Carter in 1980. Senator Clinton came closer to a come-from-behind victory for the nomination than any presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan in 1976. If Obama really messes things up, she may well run again in 2012 for far from being "too old" she would know that she would be no older then (65) than Reagan was in 1976 when he challenged Ford (he was 65) and four years younger than Reagan was when he won the presidency in 1980 at 69 years of age.

If President Obama is a disaster as president, can anyone think of other Democratic party candidates besides former Senator and now Secretary of State Clinton to give him a political fight? Only two come to my mind offhand that could be similarly viable. One is former Indiana governor and current Indiana senator Evan Bayh and the other is Virginia governor Tim Kaine. Bayh is from a politically dynastic family and Kaine as of January 21, 2009 holds not only his position as Virginia governor (he is up for re-election in 2010) but also is chairman of the Democratic National Committee. It would seem far more probable to me that Kaine would be more the king (or queen) maker than the king himself in light of his new position as DNC chair so that would leave Bayh as the only candidate I can think of who could rival Secretary of State Clinton as a party challenger to President Obama if his presidency is floundering when 2012 approaches.

Furthermore, Secretary of State Clinton's current cabinet position as a political precursor to the presidency was touched on earlier in this note. While it is true that her cabinet position has not been as influential in the past hundred and fifty years as it was previously, it still bears noting that four of the first seven and six of the first fifteen presidents were secretaries of state for a previous president{25} before becoming president in their own right.


{1} Though in 2008 I was less accurate than the norm because a lot of things went against type in that election year -the msm shedding the last vestiges of their pretenses of "objectivity" to whore for Barack Obama in a way that was both shocking as well as frightening.

{2} The first of these was John Adams and John Quincy Adams while the second was George Herbert Walker Bush and George Walker Bush.

{3} Including Ambassador to the Netherlands under President Washington, Ambassador to Prussia under his father President Adams, Member of the Massachussets state Senate from 1802-1803, Senator of Massachussets from 1803-1809, Ambassador to Russia under President Madison until 1814, negotiator at Ghent for an end to the War of 1812 (and subsequently Ambassador to England) under President Madison. He also served in the Massachussets House of Representatives after losing his bid for re-election in 1828 until his death twenty years later: the only former president to serve in "the people's chamber" after serving as president.

{4} See footnote three. Quincy Adams was also the mind behind the famous Monroe Doctrine as promulgated in 1823 by President James Monroe and one the more fervent early slavery abolitionists. To say that he got by far more on his own natural talents than riding his famous father's coattails than President George W. Bush did is well established and beyond any debate by rational people.

{5} Which to a certain extent is accurate in that he was the first president who was not from the aristocratic class of American society.

{6} The Democratic party does not date from the time of Thomas Jefferson however much modern Democrats may wish it did.

{7} Nixon wisely chose not to go the "Al Gore route" and accepted the election results.

{8} See footnote seven. I would like to add here that I do not think Kennedy personally had a hand in any of this though that his influential father did is pretty close to being beyond debate really.

{9} Who became president after he was appointed to succeed Spiro Agnew in 1973 as vice president and then sworn in when President Nixon resigned the presidency in August of 1974.

{10} I would have to check my archives to know for sure but I have to give Kevin his due for being ahead of the popular curve on Jindal.

{11} The reason is the current law of parties running specifically as designated presidential and vice president was not put into effect by constitutional amendment until after the election of 1800 when Jefferson and Burr tied in electoral votes despite Burr being intended initially to be the vice presidential not presidential candidate. Starting with the election of 1804, the practice as we know it today has been in force.

{12} Originally called the "Republican" party by its advocates who wanted to claim that they favoured republicanism and the opposing federalists were closet monarchists. The Federalists countered by calling them "Democrats" to associate them with the French Jacoban democrats who were the architects of the French Revolution and its anarchial aftermath. Today, they are referred to as the "Democratic-Republican" party to separate them from the later Democratic party formed by the Jacksonians and the later Republican party which originated from 1854 as a coalition of old Federalists and a good section of the then-dying Whig political party.

{13} These include Harry Truman in 1944 and Lyndon Johnson in 1963 -both of whom subsequently won elections to retain their hold on the presidency in the following presidential elections.

{14} Who was the vice presidential candidate on the losing ticket of 1920 to Ohio governor James Cox.

{15} These include John C. Breckenridge who was nominated vice president on the winning ticket in 1856 who ran in a split party election in 1860 (representing the south) and Hubert H. Humphrey who was nominated vice president on the winning 1964 ticket who ran as the party's nominee in 1968. There was also Walter F. Mondale who was nominated vice president on the winning ticket in 1976 and was the incumbent vice president on the losing 1980 ticket, and Al Gore who failed to be nominated in his own right in 1988 and was President Clinton's vice president for eight years. (And as we know, he failed to win in 2000.)

{16} Neither Tyler nor Fillmore despite running as incumbents were able to win the presidency in their own right later on.

{17} Chester A. Arthur (succeeded the assassinated President James Garfield in 1881), Theodore Roosevelt (succeeded the assassinated President William McKinley in 1901), and Calvin Coolidge (succeeded President Warren Harding who died in office in 1923).

{18} Roosevelt in 1904 and Coolidge in 1924.

{19} See footnote fifteen.

{20} Too numerous to go into here.

{21} Contrary to the revisionist historical nonsense paraded about today as "history" supposedly "teaches."

{22} President Ford made some pretty bad gaffes in debate against Georgia governor Jimmy Carter which also did not help him.

{23} This ultimately is why I told the Republicans to go to hell after the 1996 general election and have been an unaffiliated Independent voter ever since.

{24} See footnote twenty.

{25} Jefferson for Washington, Madison for Jefferson, Monroe for Madison, Quincy Adams for Monroe, Van Buren under Jackson, and Buchanan under Polk.

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Points to Ponder:
(On Presidential Hypocrisy and Its Relationship To Double Standards)

The issue of presidents and who really spends the country's money aside for a moment...

I can understand some who want things more irenic but I ask them this:

How did you approach things when GWB was president???

Did you play the "he was not elected" BS??? If so you cannot criticize those who question BHO's eligibility to even be president based on presumably failing to verify that he fits citizenship criteria. (The case against BHO here is significantly more credible than the one against GWB in 2000.)

Did you complain about "violations of free speech" when GWB was president??? If so then if you stand quietly while the party in power moves to silence dissent to a degree that GWB never even came close to doing (with this so-called "Fairness Doctrine") you are being a hypocrite.

Did you criticize deficits when GWB was president??? (I sure as heck did!!!) If you did and try to excuse them with Obama you are being a hypocrite since one year of Obama is more than eight years of Reagan, more than four years of GWB's dad, and more than five of eight years we ran a deficit under Clinton. Etc. [Circa February 27, 2009 @ 9:37am]

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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Michael Steele Gives His First Interview as RNC Chairman

My comments made offhand in various forums on this matter will clarify my own view on this event so I post them here for your consideration from an interactive chat thread with various friends:

[I]n light of the election of Steele to RNC chair [I am] going to strongly consider reaffiliating with the Republicans after years in political exile...[circa January 30, 2009 @ 3:30pm]

I said consider it JJJ...after twelve years of exile I am finally optimistic that things are as they were after Goldwater's defeat where the base is rising again. (We have not had that for over twenty years.) [circa January 30, 2009 @ 3:37pm]

I hope so CCCCC...I saw the mess that the GOP is in now coming over a decade ago and wanted nothing to do with it. I felt about the Republicans like Reagan did the Democrats: he did not leave them they left him. At least he had a party to move to and I did not so it is what it is now and not in the same sense of "is" President Clinton used ;-) It is at least on the table now and has not been for ages. As far as gun toting goes, as long as we do not go hunting with Cheney consider that a rain check if I am out in that area... [circa January 30, 2009 @ 3:46pm]

There are sadly those who think that anyone who does not agree with them either 100% or at least 100% on their pet issues is somehow not a "real conservative." Those people despite having good intentions nonetheless end up doing nearly as much damage as the RINOS do. [circa January 31, 2009 @ 10:32am]

Without the election of a conservative to party chair, I would not be feeling this optimistic Aaaaaa. But I am now sensing that 2008 could be 1964 all over again except the sacrificial lamb for the cause was not Goldwater but Palin. (Johnny Mac went down too but he was not the one who in a classic Goldwater-like way fired up the base.) [circa January 31, 2009 @ 10:36am]

I have been tired of the old boys for nearly twenty years Ccccc so believe me, I know. But Steele has me seriously thinking about re-upping again...if they are actually gonna fight for a change I would be glad to help them. But I will not carry water for RINOS -my view is the same as Reagan's in that if there is 80% agreement then join common cause. The remaining differences can always be hashed out later on but this "political perfection" crap that so many idealists seek never translates into victory in the political arena. [circa January 31, 2009 @ 10:42am]

I agree Ttttt but for the first time in eons I am actually optimistic that the GOP may be starting to get it again. [circa January 31, 2009 @ 6:56am]

With that in mind, I have decided that the often-mentioned and long-completed thread on the necessary third way in politics{1} will be posted on February 6, 2009.

So that is where I am at now folks, strongly considering something I have not given even a second's thought to for over twelve years after the results of a few days ago.


{1} To my knowledge (and I may be mistaken), this was the last time I mentioned the piece on this humble weblog:

But that point aside, the originally planned posting will be done soon -though I may lead off tomorrow's new blogging cycle with the oft-mentioned posting on the needed third way in politics.

I am not sure right now how I plan to do that and will basically decide on a whim tomorrow depending on if I am motivated to finish the aforementioned material into a bloggable piece or not at that time or thereabouts. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa October 21, 2008)]

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

With President Barack Obama repealing by executive order last Friday the Mexico City policy of President Ronald Reagan{1} allowing for foreign organizations that performed abortions to receive federal aid, it seems appropriate to restate without ambiguity the position of this writer on the subject of abortion; ergo we remind readers of what we wrote two years ago on the matter as being our most detailed exposition thus far on the fundamental rights of man, common law principles, and how abortion relates to them. Here is the link from the archives for those who are interested:

On Fundamental Rights, Common Law Principles, and Abortion (circa February 1, 2007)

And here are a few tidbits to provide a taste to whet the reader's appetite a bit on the approach taken to the subject in that posting:

In the usual round of calls for "celebration" of a legal case that directly violates one of the three fundamental rights of man, the predictable "stare decisis" canard was brought out in some circles to justify the decision of the Supreme Court in 1992's Planned Parenthood vs. Casey decision upholding Roe vs. Wade. This is in essence an indirect appeal to common law to justify this stance as that is where stare decisis has its legal foundation. A problem with this premise is that it ignores certain key factors which went into proper common law interpretation...

[I]f stare decisis is a core principle of the common law, than one has to look to how that principle was understood in common law and not merely say it applies without providing any evidences...

[C]onsider the theory[...] of fundamental rights which I have reiterated at this weblog not to mention developed further[...] in light of contemporary realities and applied to a whole plethora of issues in years past. The premise is that there is a gift from God given to us which encompasses the physical (life), intellectual (faculties), and moral (production) spheres of existence. This gift precedes all human laws and was the basis on which all human laws were constructed to begin with -whether those who constructed them realized it or not. From there a need to know what law actually is comes into play since to argue anything on the basis of stare decisis requires knowing what the function of law is...

If we take seriously (i) Claude Frederic Bastiat's theory on the fundamental rights of man as well as (ii) the words of the Declaration of Independence on which the American Republic was founded on, not to mention (iii) the proper understanding of common law as a check against encroaching upon other persons or their property, then the idea of applying stare decisis to the Roe vs. Wade court interpolation of a presumed "right" to abortion is too ludicrous to be taken seriously...

There is plenty more in the above link but these samplings provide a small glimpse into my mind on this matter and why I would find President Obama's executive order repealing the Mexico City Policy so unspeakably a perversion of law not to mention a violation of the fundamental rights of man as well as (for those reasons) unambiguously evil. And that is the bottom line really.


{1} President Reagan instituted the policy which was repealed by President Clinton and reinstituted by the second President Bush.

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Points to Ponder:
(For Preserving the Historical Record on Iraq)

I don't normally include action items in posts, but in this case I'm going to. Here's the thing--the persistent lie that Bush lied about Iraq's WMDs in order to get the American people to support the war has reached the status of Established Truth. It is, however, a lie. And there is a simple and effective way to counter it.

So, in order to counter it, I'm going to ask you to do two things, neither of which will take up much time. The first assignment is to bring up a Google search window and type in three words: Clinton Iraq 1998. Once you run that search, you will find a treasure trove of quotes from the ancien regime regarding Iraq and the reasons Saddam should be pushed off a cliff.

Poke around in the stories you will find, and you will find yourself illuminated on the subject of Iraq's WMD programs like never before. You will read Madeline Albright arguing that the United States should attack Iraq, and you will read Sandy Berger and William Cohen--Clinton administration figures all--agreeing with her.

You will read a tantalizing quote from Berger arguing that pre-emption is a proper doctrine in a world in which stateless terrorism has become the number one national security threat.

I want you to remember that search string--Clinton Iraq 1998. For good measure, you can add Ohio State to it and you'll zero in on an episode you've probably forgotten. [Bryan Preston as quoted in a Rerum Novarum posting (circa June 17, 2004)]

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

RNC draft rips Bush's bailouts

Just a taste before we comment...

Republican Party officials say they will try next month to pass a resolution accusing President Bush and congressional Republican leaders of embracing "socialism," underscoring deep dissension within the party at the end of Mr. Bush's administration...

"We can't be a party of small government, free markets and low taxes while supporting bailouts and nationalizing industries, which lead to big government, socialism and high taxes at the expense of individual liberty and freedoms," said Solomon Yue, an Oregon member and co-sponsor of a resolution that criticizes the U.S. government bailouts of the financial and auto industries.

But you can be a small party government by running up the largest deficits in US history under a Republican president and congress??? Sorry guys but I am not convinced since you talk this way when not in power and then act like the Democrats with no concern for Constitutional principles when you are in power with a Republican president. As long as the president is a Democrat you do decently{1} but put a Republican in there and it is disgraceful. Tell me why you can be trusted this time to do things right if you get power back other than because Obama will be president. What happens if he fails to win re-election, then what??? Tell me and others what we can go on to trust you to do the right thing with Republican control of the government when you have no recent history of even decent performance in this area.

Talk is cheap.


{1} Not great but at least decently: that is my verdict on the 1/1995-1/2001 congresses under President Clinton. The congresses under President Bush from 1/2001-1/2007 were absolutely disgraceful and it makes all this talk about being the party of "small government" as hard to swallow as five star Chinese hot sauce.

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

On How To Approach the Presidential Election Results of 2008 and Analyzing the Political Trends for 2008 and Beyond:
(Musings of your humble servant at Rerum Novarum)

We announced in a previous posting, certain exceptions notwithstanding and at our discretion{1}, that this was the only posting we intend to make on election related issues prior to inauguration day. And while we were planning on a shorter yet comprehensive coverage of this subject in the following posting, frankly we are simply not in the mood to do it. So we have decided to touch briefly on a variety of points which we believe point towards general trends of the electorate. From there we will restate in a very brief fashion{2} our own philosophy on these matters, and also point out some steps we believe need to be undertaken if genuine progress is to be made without the sacrificing of core principles as we move into the next administration of government this coming January 20th. It seems appropriate to touch on these in the order listed so without further ado, let us get to it.

To start with the same sex pseudo "marriage"{3} initiatives failed in every state that ran them including those states which went heavily for the soon-to-be President Barack H. Obama. Similarly in states where affirmative action was on the ballot it was voted down. The Republicans despite this being the worst election season to be a Republican since the 1974 midterm election{4} held down some pretty important seats which many of the talking punditry were proclaiming would be likely lost causes. This factor points towards not some sort of "mandate" for the incoming president{5} and congress but more of a referendum on the present administration.

As far as a supposed "landslide" goes, this was no landslide by objective criteria folks. A "landslide" requires a much larger electoral vote margin than the one that Senator Obama got.{6} And those who denied presidential mandates were in order for Presidents Reagan and Bush Sr. (whose electoral college majorities were much larger than that of the soon-to-be-President Obama) cannot be allowed to engage in double standards on this matter. No, they must be held to ethical consistency even if it means dragging them there kicking and screaming in the process. Having noted those matters at the outset, how should conservatives handle this upcoming paradigm shift of sorts??? In our mind there are a variety of ways that this needs to be approached and we will go over the more pertinent ones right now underlining them for easier text differentiation.

Any attempts to pretend that President Brack H. Obama is not "our president" need to be avoided.

It was both stupid as well as embarrassing to see the deranged antics of the moonbat fringe who played this game with President George W. Bush because they did not like how the election of 2000 turned out. Many of these same sorts will make "holy pilgrimages" to pray at Mecca worship at the next inaugural. Meanwhile, conservatives who are bitter over how the msm handled the election coverage{7} or how badly in spots Senator John McCain ran his campaign or other factors{8} need to set all that aside now. More on this in a moment.

Opposition if it is made at all must be differentiated between that of the president and the country

Far too often we witnessed since 2000 a tactic taken by those who were opposed to the president that resulted in a blurring of distinctions. Meaning, they took opposition to the president so far and to such an extreme that it inexorably became opposition to the country. This is something conservatives need to avoid at all costs. They must oppose President Obama personally where warranted, support him where warranted, and never in any fashion come across as opposing their country in the process.

Avoid taking a "chickenhawk" approach

One thing that really bothered us was the attitudes of those who despised our last two presidents whereby they took issue with the principle of their utilizing the military as opposed to having issues with the use of the military in a particular situation based on how the presidents themselves never served in the military. Conservatives criticized this with President Clinton before he was elected which was of course just fine much as they raised the superior military credentials of President Bush Sr. in 1992 they did the same with Senator Dole in 1996. In an election season this is one thing but arguing this way on the basis of any president using the military is out of line. Your host never took the latter approach when Clinton was president then{9} and he will not with Obama as president now.

Questioning the verdict of the election

There is voter fraud in all elections including both this last one and the one preceding it -though you would not know that to hear the silence from the msm on the last two elections because they got "their guys" in as opposed to the three elections previous to 2006.

Chronicling specific examples of voter fraud is fine, outlining various connections of unsavoury persons and circumstances with the Obama campaign is also fine. Going over how absolutely disgracefully the msm conducted themselves is also fine as well as problems with fundraising that the Obama campaign had with various donations of a controversial nature. But using any of this as a pre-text for rejecting the verdict of the voters is unacceptable.

Part of being not only a good soldier but also a mature human being is knowing not only which battles have been lost but also which battles are worth fighting. I will not go into the physiological realities behind the inverse natures of intensity and duration at this time but battles will need to be fought with the coming administration but ones based on principles. And acting like the spoiled child who throws a temper tantrum after losing a game -as many of the most rabid supporters of the incoming president did for the past eight years- will not help in any fashion.{10}

Blaming the voters

Your host has at times voiced an opinion of the electorate prior to an election that was by no means flattering. But he has never in recent memory{11} blamed the voters afterward. It serves no constructive purpose as what is done is done. There are reasons for this and the GOP needs to do some serious soul searching first and foremost because they gave the public reasons for doing what they did. That is where they can focus and should they do that, they can expect support from independent voters such as your host. If not...well...lets move onto the next subject.

Refocus for the next election

Building on what was just covered, the focus needs to be the next election and we are not talking about 2012 here. No, we are talking about the 2010 midterms which are less than two years away now. We at Rerum Novarum certainly are going to do our part to assist on these matters at various levels of government as we noted recently in our ultra-brief post election comments.{12} We advise all who are not pleased with how this election went to do likewise.

Strategery, Strategery, Strategery

With an incoming Democratic president and a Democratic majority in both houses of the Congress, a lot of issues are going to be pushed -many of them ones that we who did not vote for President Obama and the Democrats do not agree with. The problem is, if we run all over the map and oppose simply to be opposing, that will achieve nothing constructive. And furthermore, it is naive to think that everything they attempt to do we will be able to stop so that also needs to be taken into account.

Basically, we need to decide in how we go about this first of all, what we will fight tooth and nail for: what are the issues which we absolutely must stand up and hold the line on without an iota of compromise. From there, the rest can be categorized into basically (i) things we want to try and force the Democrats on record supporting so we can make election issues on them in 2010, (ii) things of a less significant nature we actually think can be accomplished despite the Democrats having control of the government, (iii) things we need to put out there for the future which we know will not succeed in the soon-to-be present but nonetheless are points of reference for the future of a positive nature.

In other words, we need to strategerize here and not play the same bullshit of those who opposed the outgoing Bush administration on everything and anything simply because they hated President Bush, thought he was Hitler, or whatever.

It is a tall order and those who are presuming that the incoming president is some kind of messianic figure are going to be profoundly disappointed before long. Keep that in mind and do not let their smugness get to you. And remember, politics is the art of the possible not of the perfect. As far as that goes, it is just about time for a final grade on the Bush presidency and as we do with every administration, President Barack Obama will start off with an A grade by us on the day of his inauguration. What he does after that is up to him.


{1} I do not intend prior to the publishing of that commentary to say anything about the election unless it is a response to reader email.[...] Furthermore, even after that commentary is published through at least the final months of President Bush's term that is how I intend to approach this matter. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa November 5, 2008)]

{2} It is probably a certainty that our view as touched on in this posting will be misunderstood with the brevity to be undertaken -and we would gladly after the inauguration clarify the position as the need is perceived to do so of course. But our intention here is to give a general overview for the reader so they have some points of reference in navigating this and other statements we have made over the years on these matters.

{3} We say "pseudo 'marriage'" because your host refuses to concede to the proponents of such absurdity any pretext of legitimacy for their position. We have explained the extremely important principle being used here in years gone by and felt prior to the posting of this commentary that the subject needed to be revisited in a more complete fashion than could be done in this posting; ergo it was pre-emptively done with the results viewable here:

Revisiting the Subject of the Underlying Weltanschauung of "Language Control" (circa November 25, 2008)

{4} The elections held in the immediate aftermath of the resignation in disgrace of President Richard M. Nxon.

{5} Setting aside the issue of 2000 for a moment here, if there was no "mandate" for President George W. Bush with his 52% popular vote gain in 2004 than there is no "mandate" for President Barack H. Obama who only got 53% of the vote in this election. Those who affirmed the former must out of consistency affirm the latter if they want anyone with a normal intact functioning brain to take them seriously.

{6} We define a "landslide" as far more than a major majority vote but instead an election where the winner received 70% or more of the electoral vote. Here are some examples of presidential electoral landslides to illustrate our point -more than one set of numbers indicates an election with three or more candidates getting electoral votes:

1789: Washington won 69-0 - 1792: Washington won 132-0 - 1804; Jefferson won 163-14 - 1816: Monroe won 116-34 - 1820: Monroe won 231-1 - 1832: Jackson won 219-49 - 1840: Harrison won 234-60 - 1852: Pierce won 254-42 - 1864: Lincoln won 212-21 - 1868: Grant won 214-80 - 1872: Grant won 286-42-18-3-2 - 1904: T. Roosevelt won 336-140 - 1920: Harding won 404-120 - 1924: Coolidge won 382-136-13 - 1928: Hoover won 444-87 - 1932: F. Roosevelt won 472-59 - 1936: FDR won 523-8 - 1940: FDR won 449-82 - 1944: FDR won 432-99 - 1952: Eisenhower won 442-89 - 1956: Eisenhower won 457-83 - 1964: Johnson won 486-52 - 1972: Nixon won 520-17 - 1980: Reagan won 489-49 - 1984: Reagan won 525-13 - 1988: Bush Sr. won 426-111

There has not been a "landslide" since 1988 going by the manner in which we have defined the term and the last time a Democrat won by a landside was LBJ over Senator Goldwater in 1964.

{7} And yes, it was so biased to be ridiculous and has perhaps destroyed if not forever than at least for a long time any remaining credibility the msm had left after the past six years of ever-increasing journalistic ethical malpractice. This was touched on a bit in a dialogue with freelance writer Joseph D'Hippolito which can be read here for those who are interested in the context of a dialogue on the state of journalism in general. (Mr. D'Hippolito was responding to a commentary your host did on journalism back in June of 2005 and while it had been in the can for a while, the increasing irresponsibility of the msm in covering this election is what prompted its posting in the final weeks before the election.)

{8} Including the whole question of who the best Republican candidate would have been, whether Bush was better than McCain would have been as president, and all the other kinds of questions that were thrashed about before the election was concluded.

{9} We opposed President Clinton on many things but never on either the manner in which he was elected or the principle that he as commander in chief of the armed forces was not eligible to utilize them on the basis of who he was personally.

{10} Your host is aware of the court challenges to the legitimacy of President Obama to even run constitutionally due to questions of the circumstances and place of birth, etc. But even if such challenges are in various courts at the present time, prior to any ruling on these matters, the reality of Obama as president needs to be recognized even by those who are filing such cases. We cannot say we have put much thought into this particular approach though we will say this: if those filing the lawsuits do not win, they should show themselves to be of a higher species of humanity than those who spent eight years inaccurately regurgitating what happened in 2000 as their excuse to act like spoiled children who refused to grow up.

{11} Well, not since 1992 anyway: a year we voted for H. Ross Perot incidentally enough.

{12} I may however in that interim [prior to the inauguration] and as time allows for it sketch out a rough draft of the second of two initiative ideas I want to get on the ballot for Washington State in the 2010 election. (The first idea of which was sketched out nearly five years ago on this humble weblog and may be revisited again in the interim prior to the election as well.) [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa November 5, 2008)]

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Friday, October 17, 2008

A Dialogue On the State of Journalism:
(Aka "Tales of the Gold Monkey Mailbag" Dept.)

The following is some feedback from a few months back on to this weblog posting from three years ago:

On the Subject of "Deep Throat", the Correlative Ramifications Thereof, Etc. (circa June 1, 2005)

In light of (i) the msm's deplorable treatment of Gov. Palin since her announcement as Sen. McCain's vp running mate as well as (ii) the msm's orgasmic adoration of Sen. Obama (among other things), this seems a timely subject to revisit at this time -particularly as they election season is in the final month now. The words of the emailer will be in a shale coloured font.

Hi Shawn,

Just finished reading your commentary on Watergate, Felt and the declining state of journalism.

Considering the way the msm has acted towards Gov. Palin since her announcement, posting this unpublished dialogue from some time ago seems particularly apropo.

Several points:

1. You make great points regarding Felt's heroism. If you take Colson's arguments to their logical conclusion, they point to the possibility of somebody sabotaging any Presidential administration for any reason whatsover. Obviously, Felt knew this; that's why he worked in secret (as far as Buchanan's arguments go, let me just say that a man who acts as a willing shill for the enemies of this country has no business accusing anybody of treason. In [my New] World Order, Buchanan would be among the first to be hanged, but I digress). In addition, Felt's heroism would have been more genuine if he actually had to sacrifice his position for his conscience.

I trust you saw the part where I said "[m]uch as it pains Us to do so, We must agree on this matter in substance with Patrick J. Buchanan" -my occasional predilection for using royal third person phrasings at that time aside for the moment.{1} Your point about Buchanan in his current incarnation is well noted but just because Buchanan is a hypocrite in what he does hardly means that there is not truth in what he says -at least on this issue. As for the point of sacrificing his position for conscience, I did note that in my posting as I am sure you noticed{2} so on that we are in agreement.

2. Nevertheless, I think you go too far in the other direction when dismissing Watergate. The fact that Pres. Nixon ordered a cover-up means that he should have been impeached and tried by the Senate.

He would have been impeached if not for resigning when he did -of that there is no doubt whatsoever. My point was that what Nixon did was minor compared to Filegate and Chinagate. For the former, Hillary Clinton should have jailed and for the latter President Clinton should have stood trial for treason. Or as I noted in a thread of rather dyspeptic mutterings quite some time ago:

Where were these nitwits during Filegate when Clinton and his wife pilfered over 1,000 FBI files on political opponents??? Chuck Colson went to jail for a while in the 1970's for possessing just ONE of these kinds of files. But Clinton??? Nope, he and Moloch Hillary got off scott free because there is a clear and unmistakable double-standard here.

What about Chinagate where the safety of our nuclear secrets were sacrificed for re-election funds??? Anyone who thinks THIS can possibly be less problematical than any war mismanagement by the current president is in need of a SERIOUS reality transplant.

What about all the lies about reducing rates of budget increases being "cuts"??? Examples like THIS are legion. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa July 11, 2003)]

Now there are scandals to every administration that I am aware of but those two probably top anything in the last half century at least. Yet notice that the msm did everything possible to not bring them to light while they have kvetched about absurdities like the Bush Administration firing eight federal prosecutors{3} the absurd Valerie Plame incident{4}, and a host of other sad attempts to manufacture "scandals" where none exist.

A book could be written on this pattern which is one reason why I have such a disgust for the msm. Well that and I believe news should be fairly reported meaning give me the news and that is it. As that is not what they do, I immediately presume that msm accounts are inaccurate apriori in a kind of "guilty until proven innocent" approach due to a phenomenon I have long held and a few years ago defined as the Media Dictum which bears my name.{5} But that is neither here nor there, I mention it only to remind readers who have not seen a reference to that concept in a while.

Yes, Pres. Clinton should have been tried, as well. Yes, his wife and Sandy Berger should have been prosecuted for their crimes (perhaps more so than Pres. Clinton, since his wife and Berger were accused of far more serious crimes). Unfortunately, institutional justice is often unjust (the fact that nobody brought up Mrs. Clinton's sequestering of FBI files during her campaign or that Berger got away with what most governments would consider sabotage is mind-boggling).

It is part of [t]he depravity to which the journalistic profession has fallen since the days of Watergate that I mentioned in that posting.

3. In my own experience, I find the decline of journalism to be less related to the kind of forces that you say Woodward and Bernstein unleashed and more to a general decline of intellectual standards, the acceptance of mediocrity and, most importantly, the isolation of reporters from the people they serve.

Well, the forces I noted in the article is not the whole story of course -another is the whole notion of so-called "gonzo journalism" that was popularized by Hunter S. Thompson: the notion of the journalist not only putting style and creativity -even to the point of outright falsification of events{6}- over and above the facts but attempting to tell readers what they are to think about the story being covered.{7}

It is probably not possible to filter out all elements of gonzoism from one's work but the idea of falsifying facts and events is not ethical as far as I am concerned. Unfortunately, such things are common among journalists these days. Another annoyance is the common approach these days of before asking a question prefacing it with a mini-editorial of sorts which is presented as if it is the truth when in reality it is often just a showcase of the journalist's own biases. You know something like this:

Mr. President, knowing that you are basically Hitler and how your administration has been more oppressive to human rights than any Soviet Gulag in eras past, how do you respond to critics who claim you should be tried for war crimes for what happened at Abu Girab???

Ok, I embellished that one a bit but that is the sort of "question" which is common to the journalism of the post-Watergate era.

Granted, I've spent the vast majority of my professional time with sportswriters as opposed to political reporters, so the dynamics might be quite different. But let me tell you an anecdote from my college days. The instructor in my beginning journalism class told us that reporters have the responsibility to set agendas.

Oh brother!!!

Now, that can be taken two ways. It can mean that newspaper reporters have a responsibility to serve their readers by presenting facts and opinions as fairly as possible so that the readers can make their own decisions.

We know it does not mean that...if it did then I would not respect prostitutes more than I do most journalists.{8}

OTOH, it can also mean that reporters can (and should) present facts and opinions that reflect the reporters' own biases regarding what best serves the common good. It's the difference between professional humility and egotism.

Indeed and that is the problem right there.

Given my Catholic upbringing, I felt morally obliged to take the former course (writing commentaries is different from covering news, of course, but you can't [act misanthropic] and expect to have any credibility when you make your points).


I've long believed that it's not the reporters' biases that matter as much how reporters confront their own biases, how honest they are about them and how well they discipline themselves professionally. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people (let alone journalists) don't understand themselves and refuse to be honest with themselves.

The bottom line is, we all have our biases. One reason I have focused so much on foundational presuppositions in my expositions on issues is all too often they go unrecognized.{9} The value of journalists like Tim Russert and Tony Snow was they did not pretend to be without biases but they also did not let those biases colour their reporting of the facts.

Besides, most journalists think alike politically and aren't challenged by outside opinions within their own domains. That leads quickly to lethargy and arrogance.

But if they were concerned with factual accuracy, then what their political views are would not matter.

One significant reason why the newspaper industry is falling through the floor right now, I believe, is the idea that newspapers cannot be trusted to provide competent coverage.

That is one reason I celebrate often the alternative media though it is as prone to incompetence as the msm is. It depends on who or where you get your information from but at least there is a balance that overall is not present in the msm today and particularly was absent before the advent of alternative media sources like talk radio and the internet.

Even newspaper Web sites are suffering. That lack of trust and respect has more to do with the decline of the MSM than with technological developments. Remember, the lack of an Internet (or any electronic communication) never stopped the Protestant Reformers. Their basic advantage was the lack of trust that the institutionalized Church engendered. Besides, people could disseminate countervailing views in previous eras using the existing technology.

Well, one major factor you did not account for in your analogy to the sixteenth century was the invention of printing in the fifteenth century. It allowed for its time as revolutionary a dispersal of information as other mediums of subsequent times (such as telegraph, radio, television, and the internet). And as with the internet today, there was then a variegation of quality to the information being disseminated. At bottom it gets to the issues of the integrity of the source and the willingness of the reader to read critically.

Anyway, would love to know your thoughts.

By interacting with your words here, I hope my views are adequately manifested. Feel free to respond with whatever comments and/or criticisms you like.


{1} The problem with this was that there were some who tried to find ways of not interacting with my arguments who would seize on this feature and make more out of it than was actually intended -much as was done with the "quote" in the side margin from Glenn Reynolds about me being a "renaissance man."

{2} Things could have been different of course. For example, Felt could have quit his job in protest at the time and from that standpoint become an informant for Woodward and Bernstein. There would have been no moral ties binding him to secrecy in that situation and he would have actually been rightfully seen as a hero in that scenario. But he was no hero for what he decided to do because heroism requires sacrifices. And quitting the FBI when he was the number two man there -and in the aftermath of J. Edgar Hoover's death in May of 1972 which provided a possibility for career advancement- would have been quite the sacrifice to make. But Mr. Felt did not do this and instead chose the route of dishonour. And those who celebrate him today celebrate that dishonour.[Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa June 1, 2005)]

{3} To start with, lets call this media hubbub over the 8 US Attorneys fired by the Bush Administration what it is: a crock of horse pucky. I remember well the Clinton Administration firing all the US Attorneys two months into the first term of President Bill Clinton and the msm's response was to say nothing. Only the conservatives on talk radio made a big stink about it but that is neither here nor there. Logically, if firing 8 is a "crisis situation" than what does that make firing 93??? And if firing 8 for supposed "political reasons" is so damned evil than what about firing all the US Attorneys as Clinton did??? Where was the msm when that heinous evil was performed by the Clinton's??? As usual, they were AWOL because Clinton was "their guy" and Bush is not.

The truth is, the whole handling of attorneys in the US Department of Justice (USDOJ) is an executive function and the executive can hire or fire whomever they want. That is true with Bush as it was with Clinton....

What this boils down to folks is yet another obvious and blatant msm double standard against the present Administration in particular and Republicans in general. What more needs to be said than that really??? [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa March 15, 2007)]

{4} Briefly on the Karl Rove Situation (circa July 14, 2005)

{5} Defining the McElhinney Media Dictum --A Rerum Novarum Miscellaneous BLOG Thread (circa August 2, 2004)

{6} The idea behind this kind of "journalism" is to create riveting copy and if that means fudging on the actual facts to convey the story, that is seen as okay. To wit:

Gonzo journalism is a style of journalism which is written subjectively, often including the reporter as part of the story via a first person narrative. The style tends to blend factual and fictional elements to emphasize an underlying message and engage the reader...

The use of Gonzo journalism portends that journalism can be truthful without striving for objectivity and is loosely equivalent to an editorial. [Excerpts from the Wikipedia Entry on Gonzo Journalism (All Article Formatting Omitted)]

{7} I remember years ago that Rush Limbaugh used to joke about telling his listeners not only that he would tell them the news but also what to think about it: something that members of the msm used to squawk about but all he was doing was parodying the approach the msm takes with the news.

{8} To quote that great western philosopher James Hetfield "sad but true."

{9} We all have certain elements of our views that we accept uncritically most of the time. Generally this is not a problem but at regular intervals we need to try and step back to reassess what our views are and even if they are potentially erroneous. Sometimes doing this could strengthen our presumed "sureness" of what we believe, sometimes it could weaken the aforementioned "sureness", and sometimes there could even result in a change of views. Or as I noted once when pondering this phenomenon:

Remember, a change in one's viewpoint is not an instant situation but generally takes a good period of time. There are also a variety of factors involved and not all of them are intellectual ones. Indeed, some of them are of a more personal nature[...] and this is seldom recognized. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa May 7, 2007)]

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Friday, October 03, 2008

More Brief Bits on the Once-Proposed "Bailout":

This is a continuation of the thread located here and consists of a follow up to the first thread which was also written on September 24th in another medium and before the "bailout" became official as it did today.{1} Nonetheless...

Kevin is a friend of mine and in reviewing his comments I added a few of my own. (Blame him for it lol.) As far as the idea of supporting "tax cuts and bailouts for the wealthy" I do support tax cuts but not the bailout: those who made this bed as far as I am concerned deserve jail time. But I am used to liberals misrepresenting my view in the name of some caricatured "conservative position" so you need not worry about me taking offense :)

The myth of liberals that FDR's "New Deal" took us out of the Depression continues I see.{2} The truth is, the "New Deal" prolonged the depression as a result of FDR not having a coherent economic plan but instead trying a hodgepodge of things which were often contradictory -this is not difficult to demonstrate if not for wanting to avoid writing a tome on the matter and getting a laugh out of Kevin in the process. (Due to a reputation I have for expository cogitations that he is aware of.){3}

I noticed also that you did not touch what I noted about the polices of the Clinton administration's justice department under Deval Patrick of threatening with lawsuits banks that refused to loan to high credit risks: that is the gist of the problems with housing that we are seeing in a nutshell. Interesting omission by you there I must say!

Kevin touched already on your welfare misunderstandings but that is not all that could be noted. Indeed, the idea that the federal government was required to make the infrastructure improvements you talk about is an example of how you do not understand the strain that the private sector was under in the 1930's because of the economically obtuse federal approach to these matters. (Much more could be noted but there are space limits here so that is all I will say at this time.){4}

As far as being a "kid" goes, I cannot recall the last time someone likely younger than me called me a "kid." I do try to maintain a youthful look to mask my actual chronological age but that is another subject altogether ;-)


{1} Though we of course reserve to ourselves the right to weigh in on this matter at a later date, there is (i) no intention at the present time to do so and (ii) what we have noted in brief thus far should give some hints as to how we would approach this in a future musing be it of a more expository or briefer form.

{2} I have rarely written much on this subject but the following multi part thread comes to mind so I will post it here for those who are interested:

On Historical Revisionism Surrounding the New Deal --Parts I-III (circa October 28, 2006)

{3} I am sure at least some of those who are familiar with your host's overall written output over the years (on this blog and elsewhere) view that statement as one of the understatements of the year.

{4} I may develop this point further in the future if in the mood to and as time allows for it.

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Briefly on the Proposed "Bailout":

This is a text written a few days ago in response to a discussion thread from September 24, 2008 pertaining to the subject in question.

XXXX and Kevin [Tierney] are both correct on this in part. They forgot about the Justice Department under Clinton threatening banks with federal lawsuits for "redlining" if the banks did not make a certain percentage of loans available for those who were very high credit risks. The program was put in place by the Carter administration in 1977 but it was not until 1994 that the Clinton administration started really giving it teeth via that scumbag Deval Patrick at the helm of the Justice Department.{1}

The problem with the Bush administration is that they basically went along with what was in place already when they should not have. Both Bush and the post 2001 Republican congresses are equally at blame for this as far as I am concerned -the 2007-present Democratic congresses for recessing and leaving the mess as it is for political advantage should be taken outside and shot every last one of them for wasting time on stupid "impeachment" crap and other attempts to obstruct the Bush administration instead of focusing on this problem which they knew very well was coming.

I am no congressperson but this problem was one I knew would happen at some point and indeed some such as Sen. McCain warned of it back in 2005 and 2006 when Sen. Obama was supping at the trough of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as one of their three most financed lobbyists.{2}

The solution is not federalizing things as that always has historically made things worse. (Such as the New Deal prolonging the Depression which we only went out of by going to war and ramping up military production.) The solution is letting the market work and not trying to coerce it -including not trying to force banks to lend to people who are high credit risks at the risk of federal lawsuits. That is after all how we got into this mess to begin with.


{1} Briefly on the Current Real Estate Situation (circa July 26, 2008)

{2} I meant to say "contributed to politicians" but wrote that text in a hurry without giving it the customary final review before sending it.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Dialogue on Sen. Obama, Sen. McCain, Basic Economics, and the Upcoming Election:
(With Kevin Tierney)

Kevin's words will be in burgundy font with his sources italicized.

Well, it's finally happened. The One has demonstrated that he isn't really "change we can believe in." On second thought, maybe he is. He's worse than the most petty and vile of politicians. Deceitful as Bill Clinton may have been, Clinton never sacrificed his own family to advance his career. (As Obama did when he shamefully threw his infirm grandmother under the bus during the Reverend Wright scandal.) The Clintons certainly never demonstrated their prowess by insulting people with disabilities or those with debilitating injuries, as Obama has just done.

Obama stated this week "the gloves are finally coming off" for the 4th time since securing the Democratic nomination. In a recent ad, Mr. Obama mocks GOP presidential candidate John McCain for apparently being computer illiterate. The ad says the following:

"He admits he still doesn't know how to use a computer, can't send an e-mail, still doesn't understand the economy, and favors two hundred billion in new tax cuts for corporations, but almost nothing for the middle class,"

There is also the whole "still doesn't understand the economy" schtick. McCain is no economist but he understands the concept of lower taxes stimulating the economy and higher taxes stifling it. He understands the sort of dynamics that are involved in people's economic behaviour and does not naively presume as Obama and company do that raising taxes will increase revenue. It never does past a very low threshold point because people do not respond to these things statically.

Obama on the other hand when it was pointed out to him that every time the capital gains tax is raised it brings in less revenue still favours doing it on principle because the income disparities "are not right." That is the view of an ideologue and I will take McCain's frank admission that the economics are not his strong suit coupled with his familiarity with the dynamics of how an economy runs over a know-it-all like Obama who presumes to talk out of his ass a lot on a subject to which he is either ignorant or disingenuous about. And considering the Gestapo-like tactics he and his goons are involving themselves in, I do not believe I am obligated to give them the benefit of the doubt on these matters.

Obama is also claiming that McCain's campaign is the "dirtiest in history" which shows how ignorant he is. What about the 1800 election??? The 1828 election??? The 1876 election??? The 1884 election??? The 1912 election??? The 1960 election??? The 1964 election??? The 1980 election??? The 2000 election??? Every one of them an argument can be made was worse than this election and they are not the only ones. But objectively I would say the ones from 1800, 1828, 1840, 1876, 1884, 1912, 1964, and 1980 were worse than this one.

If part of dirtiness is the attempt to steal an election on the part of Democrats then we could throw 2000 and 2004 in there as well particularly the last one. I say particularly the last one cause the same people who bitched about winning the popular vote last time when the total was less than a half million nationwide difference tried to steal Ohio in 2004 despite GWB winning the nationwide popular vote by about three million. Not to mention the silence like whores in church from the Dems viz. what happened in the Washington governors race which was as I called it then "Grand Theft Election."

Heck, I just when writing this response took a minute and made a tab on my weblog on those posts and the others I could find on a quick archive search that discussed the subject of stolen elections. But that is neither here nor there as their hypocrisy knows no bounds obviously -and not just in that area.

Where do we begin? First off, Obama better hope he gets those young liberal voters. He has certainly now conceded just about every senior citizen. (Not to mention those working class individuals like my father who have never used a computer in their lives, and went on to become region directors of unions.) This in itself makes it a stupid ad. However, as Jonah Goldberg points out, this ad is not only stupid, its downright insulting:

"Well, I guess it depends on what you mean by "extraordinary." The reason he doesn't send email is that he can't use a keyboard because of the relentless beatings he received from the Viet Cong in service to our country. From the Boston Globe (March 4, 2000):

McCain gets emotional at the mention of military families needing food stamps or veterans lacking health care. The outrage comes from inside: McCain's severe war injuries prevent him from combing his hair, typing on a keyboard, or tying his shoes. Friends marvel at McCain's encyclopedic knowledge of sports. He's an avid fan - Ted Williams is his hero - but he can't raise his arm above his shoulder to throw a baseball.

Bob Klaus{1} is right that Obama has most of the under 30 voters but McCain was not going to win that demographic anyway. Though if he can take about 40% instead of the more probable 30% that would basically along with the older contingent and the blue collar worker sorts like my late father who identified himself as a Democrat most of his life{2} despite almost never voting for them.{3} The younger crowd go for the charisma and the rhetorical bs. They also do not vote in large percentages whereas the largest demographic in the country is senior citizens. And if my late father (God rest his soul) was alive, he would be screaming to listen to them insult McCain in that way.

McCain is a war hero. PERIOD. That war wounds prevent him due to injuries from doing some things all that well is a given but to mock that is disgusting. I have to say though that his love of Ted Williams tells me something because 'ol Ted was a pretty interesting personality and I can see shades of the Williams persona in McCain. (Both the good and the bad.) I recommend you all read Leigh Montville's fascinating biography of Ted Williams if you really want to see the complexities of the man and get an insight into one of McCain's self-admitted influences.{4}

As Goldberg points out in his Corner post, perhaps we should condemn the governor of New York since he doesn't know how to drive, since transportation is important to the economy. Oh wait, Governor Patterson is blind. Perhaps we should have condemned FDR because the man couldn't walk beyond a few steps, because being mobile is certainly required to be a president. Oh wait, FDR was paralyzed.

Indeed. And when it comes to "dirty campaigning" how about condemning Grover Cleveland for having an affair which resulted in a child? That was a major media sensation back in 1884 when he ran for the first of his two non-consecutive terms.{5} The illegitimate child issue was huge in 1884 as was the 1828 election where the issue of President Jackson's wife was huge. More could be noted but just those two alone trump anything we are seeing this year. Oh and for what it is worth, I do not recall McCain or Obama's campaign basically saying that their opponent deserved to be in the lowest pit of hell as this famous 1840 campaign ditty opposing President Van Buren did:

Who never did a noble deed?
Who of the people took no heed?
Who is the worst of tyrant's breed?
Van Buren!

Who like the wily serpent clings,
Who like the poisonous adder stings,
Who is more base than basest Kings?
Van Buren!

Who would his friend, his country sell,
do other deeds too base to tell,
deserves the lowest place in Hell?
Van Buren!

But then again, Obama has gotten a lot of easier to verify facts wrong so why should we expect him to get the harder stuff correct???

There are two explanations for this fact. The first is that he legitimately did not know that McCain, due to his injuries in service of his country, was prevented from these things. A little while ago Obama claimed that the fact he ran such a great campaign proves he has more experience than VP nominee Sarah Palin, and was proof he is ready for President. You don't hear much about that argument in the past week, and this is more evidence why you don't. It's obvious his campaign is not as strong as he thinks it is. As Mark Hemmingway so eloquently put it, Obama can send an email, but apparently can't do a quick search on Google.

And when the msm is emphasizing how "even" this race is, that is another clue that the Dems are behind because if the situation was reversed and Obama led by 3-5 points among all voters (and 10-12 points among likely voters), they would present it as if he was "pulling away from Sen. McCain in this race" or some equivalent.

Second, Obama knew about this, but just didn't care. Then he becomes worse than even the most vile of politicians. John McCain's injuries in the service of his country are something to be praised, just as are the injuries of all veterans. Not mocked! I'll refrain from saying it is this option. If this is the case, then it says something very troubling about the kind of person Obama is, and suggests something that is beyond despicable about his nature.


So we are left with just being flat out stupid. That's a harsh statement, but its true. Would he like to condemn my good friend John who just came back from Iraq? John can't lift that much because of injuries he sustained fighting for this country. Would Obama like to call him less a man because he cannot lift heavy objects?

Well said Kev.


{1} One of those on the thread. (Last name omitted barring permission from him to note it here.)

{2} His father was a Republican who only voted for one Democrat that I am aware of (Adlai Stevenson in 1952 and 1956 over Pres. Eisenhower). My father identified with President John F. Kennedy and was looking forward to voting for him in 1964 (his first presidential voting election) which never happened.

{3} His first presidential election was 1964 (for Goldwater) When I asked him about it, he only remembered voting against Johnson due to what he learned about the man when doing long haul trucking through Texas in the early sixties. In fact, except for the Nixon elections and 1992, my union man father voted for Republican candidates for president.

{4} Montville later authored a similarly solid biography on Babe Ruth which is also well worth reading but I digress.

{5} He lost in a re-election bid in the electoral college despite winning the popular vote in 1888 and then defeated President Benjamin Harrison in the 1892 contest four years after that.

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