Monthly Archives: October 2012

Romney is rolling, Superstorm wrap-up and Crony Capitalism

Still working in Chicago for a couple more days, so this will be brief. Just enough time for a couple of story links and a video which is both informative….yet very funny.

  • First is a post from Cosmoscon on the upcoming election which is short, but very enlightening: “Romney Rolls On“.

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Wait a sec: Obama’s Voters don’t like…Obama’s policies??

I’m still in Chicago on business, but this post says it all. Make SURE you watch the video to the end, too. Very, very revealing…

T.B Rickert's Call

Since I’m contending with Hurricane Sandy, I don’t have much time for posting.

Fear not! I have something to wet your appetites. This video has been floating out there for a few days.

Like how I use the word floating?

Get it?

Floating? Hurricane?  Floods?

HA!

 I crack myself up!

I know. I know

I’ll shut up.

Here is the intro to the video:

Luke Rudkowski hits the streets of NYC to find out where Obama supporters really stand on his policies. Now he did this in an underhanded way where the policies were presented to be Romney’s, but this was only done to get an honest opinion. The reactions when the truth was uncovered varied but they were very telling to say the least.

All I have to say about the video is:

THESE PEOPLE CANCEL OUT MY VOTE!

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Obama and the W.A.R.N. Act – “Crime Pays”

There has been almost NO coverage on the following topic. I’d say that I could explain it, short (well, short by MY standards) and sweet…but, there’s simply too much to it, and we all deserve to know the FULL story.

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Usually, when you commit a crime and get caught, …there are consequences. This is straight out of ‘Social Contract 101’: YOU break the law; YOU pay the fine; YOU serve the time.

Except….if you’re the current Administration.

President Obama’s team has given the defense industry permission to not only break the law, but is telling them that even if they get fined for doing so, YOU, the American Taxpayer, will pick up the tab.

Only, in addition to this king-sized “freebie” for employers, there’s a much more sinister side to the issue.

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Have you ever heard of the WARN Act?  Probably not, based on the absolute dearth of news reports on it. It is the “Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act“, which requires employers with at least 100 employees to provide written notification to affected employees 60 days before ordering certain plant closings, or mass layoffs if they are reasonably foreseeable.  Makes sense, right?

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When did Honesty Become Hypocrisy?

My brother (JTR) and I both have some favorite political writers.  One of mine happens to be an editorial writer for my city’s local conservative daily paper, The News-Sentinel.  Kevin Leininger makes no bones about where he stands on a variety of issues.  A conservative Lutheran, he weighs in on a number of Church-State topics, as well as human interest and property rights stories, among others.  He writes longer news articles as well as his opinion pieces, and I enjoy his style regardless of the genre.

Tonight he wrote a piece on the now infamous remarks made by the Republican candidate for Senate from our own state, Indiana:  Richard Mourdock.  I’m going to assume that most of you have heard at least the fallout from that remark, made toward the end of a debate with his Democratic opponent recently.  In a nutshell, Mourdock–when asked about exceptions to anti-abortion legislation for victims of rape–said that he had wrestled with the issue, and he believed that even this form of conception must be considered “something God intended.”

Shock. Outrage.  Accusations of misogyny and hypocrisy.  Here is an excerpt from Leininger’s take (added emphasis is mine):

“…apart from presuming to speak for God (which is something politicians should avoid, even though Scripture does indeed say God forms life in the womb), why did Mourdock’s words cause so many Democrats to attack him and so many Republicans to shun him?

…It’s understandable that someone could genuinely believe Mourdock implied that something good could result from what he described as a “horrible” act. But his position – like it or not – is far more morally, medically and intellectually consistent and honest than that of many of his supposedly more enlightened critics.

Politically, it would have been safer for Mourdock to make an exception for rape in his pro-life stance – a circumstance that represents less than 1 percent of all abortions. But during the waning minutes of the debate Tuesday in New Albany, he essentially said this: If you believe human life begins at conception and is in fact ultimately God’s creation, children created as the result of rape should not face the death penalty for something their father did, however evil.

Again, it’s understandable that someone pregnant with a rapist’s child might see things differently. But that hardly makes what Mourdock said “demeaning to women.” Polls regularly show that the majority of Americans are pro-life, with 20 percent (according to a Gallup Poll) – including some women, presumably – wanting to outlaw abortion in all cases.

Mourdock’s problem is not really his beliefs, but the fact that he is a moral absolutist in an increasingly relativistic world.

If you’d like to read the entire article, you can find it here.

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I confess that my initial reaction to Mourdock’s statement was that it was clumsy and bound to be misinterpreted.  I did NOT go to the extreme Ann Coulter did and insist that every conservative, pro-life candidate is obligated to make the disclaimer, “..except in the cases of rape, incest or the life of the mother.”  Obviously, Mourdock does not believe that.  It may not have been politically wise for him to say so in the way he did.  But it was honest.  He wasn’t playing politics at that moment, and he wasn’t being hateful.  He was being consistent.

He believes, as I and millions of others do, that life begins at conception, and that to deliberately take that life is murder, regardless of when or for what reason.  In the case of rape, why should an innocent third party suffer death?  That is the ultimate example of trying to force two wrongs to equal a right.  Those who say that to carry that baby to term is a “life sentence” for the mother are forgetting one of her most obvious options:  She can give that baby up for adoption to one of the countless couples who are on waiting lists because there are not enough babies to fill all their empty arms.

As for the notion that Mourdock implied something good could come from a horrible act…of course it could!  That’s a completely Biblical idea:  Joseph,  speaking to his brothers, who had sold him into slavery and lied to his father about his death, said, “You meant it for evil, but God intended it for good.”  (See Genesis 50:19-21)

Is there any more horrific way to kill someone than crucifixion?  Especially an innocent person?  And yet the death by crucifixion of Jesus Christ, so many years ago, has brought forgiveness, freedom, healing, hope and eternal life to millions of people.

Would we wish that act to be undone?  God forbid.

Ann Coulter, Dennis Miller AND Romney/Ryan: Together At Last!

What do these folks have in common, you ask? Read and find out….

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I’m up in Chicago on business this week, and I’ve been having conversations with people from all over the political map. The majority of them expressed some level of dissatisfaction with the direction our country is headed, even the ones whose political leanings differed from mine. There were a couple of folks who thought everything was just swell, but they were a little clueless in other areas of their life, as well.

And remember: I’m in Chicago.

Overall there seemed to be a belief that we’re losing/lost our values, and I’m actually not talking about religion or morality per se. People ranging from cabbies to managers to waiters/waitresses all agreed that many of the ideals which made our nation great are gone, or are going fast.

Ideals such as when:

  • We were proud of our work ethic.
  • We didn’t suffer fools gladly and, maybe more importantly, everyone agreed on who the fools were, too. 
  • We believed that charity was our responsibility, not the government’s.
  • We always tried to have a laugh or three along the way, despite the fact that life was never “fair”.
  • And we got a little goose-pimply at the thought of our country being the best.

The following three videos are not overtly patriotic; well, at least the first two aren’t. However, in their own way, they are (to me, at least) decent illustrations of how our country used to feel, to behave, to think.

I hope you agree.

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At a downtown Chicago eatery last night, I was able to catch just a few minutes of Ann Coulter beating the British out of Piers Morgan on his CNN show. Morgan was his usual snide, supercilious self when speaking with a Conservative (see his interview with Jonah Goldberg if you want an example of what I mean), but Ann reminded me again just why I own all of her books:

she is the single least politically correct public figure in the country, she’s funny, and she’s unabashedly Conservative.

Below is tonight’s interview which thankfully showed up on YouTube almost immediately. Morgan tries time and time again to box her in, and Coulter just refuses to go there. Heck, she throws his attempts back at him, with the distinction being that she uses common sense, logic & facts in her rebuttals, instead of tired, Progressive talking points.

It’s roughly 20 minutes long, but it feels like it’s about 4.


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This video is from Jay Leno’s interview with Dennis Miller back in August. It’s philosophical rather than current event related, with Dennis expressing what the majority of tax-paying citizens feel: that he has no problem helping the truly helpless. Heck, that’s what charity is for. Miller only bristles at being made to feel guilty about not wanting to help those who could help themselves, but won’t.

And for the record, yeah, I feel that way exactly.

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The last clip is, in my humble opinion, one of the best ads that the Romney/Ryan team has made. It’s not topic specific, but more an overall outreach to anyone who is on the fence as to how to vote. They pack a lot into only three minutes, and dress it up with some solid production value to make  it feel like 50% campaign ad, and 50% the “Homerun” scene in The Natural.

Hope you enjoy it, and have a great weekend.

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“Save us, CHUCK WOOLERY. You’re our only hope!” (…ok, just kidding, but Chuck most certainly IS trying to help…)

It’s entirely possible that when you heard the name “Chuck Woolery”, you may have thought primarily of game-shows like Wheel of Fortune (he was the original host, after all), Love Connection, or even the phrase “we’ll be back in two-and-two“.

…and that’s it.

But ol’ Chuck has got waaaay more goin’ on than that nowadays. He’s an avid fisherman, going so far as to endorse a line of motorized fishing lures.

And there’s more. If you are a Twitter user (and at least half of our regular readers aren’t),  you’ve no doubt seen his Tweets pop up everywhere: he had 40+ just yesterday. Since he’s been an entertainer for so many years, it won’t surprise you that he’s funny.

No, No. What could be a shock is his content:

Whoa!! Chuck Woolery is a ……Conservative???!? Who knew?

Well, lots of folks, actually. Consider, for at least the past year he’s had his own YouTube channel containing brief video op-eds on whatever topic has caught his attention. Like his Tweets, it’s also topical, entertaining & funny:


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His website is humorously called ‘Save us, Chuck Woolery‘, and always contains not only his most recent vids, but also radio spots and various articles. I recommend bookmarking it, since it’s easily worth a consistent visit.

Oh, one more thing: he’s  also a sponsor for Generation America, a Conservative alternative to the loathsome and despicable AARP. He gets bonus points from me for opposing those traitorous sons-o-guns…

With that I’ll leave you with a video he made about a year ago which is by far my favorite one. See you tomorrow, gang…

“Too Big to Fail”…..Has Failed

Remember the Dodd-Frank Act? No? Kinda? Maybe a little? For such an important bill, doncha’ think it’s odd that our President doesn’t talk about it, hardly at all? Hmmm?

The reason Obama doesn’t bring it up more is because it’s a lousy and destructive law, and the more folks know about it, the worse he looks to them. So with that in mind, …let’s make sure more people know about it today, shall we?

When the Dodd-Frank Act was passed in 2010, the behemoth 2,300 page bill, with its 400 new “rules”, we were told that it would:

  • Strengthen the economy.
  • Stabilize the housing market.
  • End the threat of insolvency for those institutions that were “Too BIG to Fail”.
  • Streamline the regulatory process.

One year later, it got its first report card:  A resounding “F” in all areas …but one.  In that area, it was given the highest mark possible.  That area?  The only one that didn’t get a failing grade?

“Growing the SIZE and COST of GOVERNMENT.” 

You’re stunned, I can tell.

Spencer Bachus was quoted at the time:

“The Dodd-Frank Act is a failure and a massive roadblock to our economic recovery.  Its 400 regulatory mandates create an atmosphere of uncertainty in which innovators and job creators can’t put their ideas and capital to work.”

Anyone SEEN the REAL unemployment numbers lately?  TWENTY THREE MILLION (that’s 23,000,000) of our fellow Americans UNABLE to find work, or have simply GIVEN UP.

At the time, the report on Dodd-Frank found that:

  • The overall budget cost though fiscal year 2012:  $1,251,578,000. (That’s over a BILLION, with a “B”….)
  • Total number of GOVERNMENT positions created:  2,849
  • Annual labor hours required to comply with just a fraction of the bill?  2,260,631.

Combine this with Secretary Geithner’s acknowledgement that Dodd-Frank does NOTHING to end “too big to fail”, and the fact that the problems at Fannie and Freddie FAILED to be addressed by the bill, and you have one great, big, fat, stupid, “Loser” piece of legislation.

Thanks, Obama.

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All of that was the assessment of Dodd-Frank at the one year mark.  A little over 2 years past the enactment of the “Federal Reserve Empowerment Law”, the report card looks the same as it did a year ago.  Its only successes:  Increased bureaucracy, increased costs to the taxpayer.

At its fulfillment, Dodd-Frank will create AT LEAST 17 new bureaucracies with the power to regulate small businesses, including perhaps the scariest one of all:  the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The biggest failure of Dodd-Frank is that it does NOTHING to set the proper incentives for institutions to make prudent decisions with regard to lending.  In a free-market environment, those who may profit from a venture are ALSO the ones who will pay the price for their failures.  Under Dodd-Frank, this is turned upside down, and the moral hazard of banks being rewarded for successes, but covered by the TAXPAYERS for their failures, is created.

Anyone want to venture a guess at the role Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac played in the financial crisis leading up to Dodd-Frank and its “miraculous cures”?  Even its staunchest supporters would tell you it was a major contributor.  Yet, Dodd-Frank did little or nothing to put an end to these classic examples of crony capitalism.  Economics Professor William Anderson stated:

“In a free market, there would be nothing like these entities (GSE’s, or Government Sponsored Enterprise), or if something like them existed, there would be no guarantee that losses would be covered by taxpayers.”

Still, instead of ending taxpayer support (and taxpayer RISK) with these GSE’s, Dodd-Frank allows them to continue to function without consequences.  Naturally, a serious-minded individual would ask:  “Why wouldn’t Dodd-Frank address the Fannie and Freddie issue seeing that it was a HUGE part of the financial meltdown?”  PERHAPS, it’s because BOTH Chris Dodd AND Barney Frank have SERIOUS conflicts of interest with regard to both institutions!

The “Boston Globe” actually ran a headline:  “Frank’s Fingerprints are All Over the Financial Fiasco”.

Ever heard of Herb Moses?  Well…..you’ll be DELIGHTED to know that all through the 1990’s, Mr. Frank (who was on the House Banking Committee at the time, and THAT committee had jurisdiction and oversight of Fannie Mae) was having a ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIP (mental picture…..nausea…..just fainted…) with Herb Moses.  Mr. Moses?  You mean the “Mr. Moses” that was an executive at Fannie Mae?  Uh huh…same dude.
Blogger Charles Rowley summed it up here.

Fox News reported:  “In 1991, the year Moses was hired by Fannie, the ‘Boston Globe’ reported that Frank pushed the agency to loosen regulations on mortgages for two and three family homes, even though they were defaulting at twice and five times the rate of single homes, respectively.”

Mr. Frank later claimed that his “close relationship” with Mr. Moses was “not a conflict of interest.”

Ummmmmm…..okay.

Dodd?  Well, he just received massive contributions, including $780,000 in loans below market rate of interest.  Do some research, and look into the meltdown of Countrywide Financial.  The Wall Street Journal summed their involvement up in a VERY interesting article.

In a mid-October 2012, meeting at the Securities Industry and Financial Market Association annual event in New York City, former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan had the following comments regarding “too big to fail”, Dodd – Frank:

*  He would like to see ALL institutions go through Chapter 11 if they get into trouble.

*  Dodd-Frank is essentially there to restrain competition.  It would be physically impossible to enact all of its provisions.

By every stated intention of Dodd-Frank and its 2,300 pages of regulations, it is a massive failure, and should be overturned, A – S – A – P.

Obama, Horses, Delusions, and other debate-related items

Gonna do a column/post/article/op-ed round-up today, ’cause there’s several good ones out there and it’s highly unlikely too many of you will have a chance to get to ALL of them.

I mean, let’s face it: that’s why you have us.

First up is Newt Gingrich writing on the debate performances for Obama and Romney. From Human Events:

After a disastrous performance in the first debate — the worst by an incumbent president in the 62 year history of presidential debates — Obama shifted to a much more aggressive and energetic style for the second and third debates.

Americans have been trained by American Idol, Dancing with the Stars and other TV shows to judge performances. They have also learned to distinguish important nuances.

In both the second and third debate Americans said Obama was a better ‘performer’. Yet in both debates people said they were more likely to vote for Romney as a result of the debate.

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Next is Allahpundit over at HotAir.com, who fired off this post late Tuesday night. It follows the most recent news on Benghazi and begins to tighten the snare around this Administration, as well as the consistent inconsistencies with which they’re trying to distract us:

If I understand the White House’s Benghazi narrative in its current form, it boils down to this. There was no protest, but the attack was still kinda sorta spontaneous insofar as it was inspired by what was happening at the embassy in Cairo. And it wasn’t an official Al Qaeda or Ansar al-Sharia operationeven though members of AQIM and Ansar al-Sharia — including the founder of the latter group — were on the scene and/or participating.

Essentially, the White House wants you to believe that members of two prominent jihadist paramilitary groups were kicking around on September 11 when one of them turned on the TV, heard about the Mohammed movie from coverage of the Egyptian embassy assault, and decided to quickly pull together a complex, heavily-armed attack on the local U.S. consulate involving 20 or so people. Never mind that there had been harassment of, and attacks on, western interests in the city for months; these guys apparently had no serious designs on Chris Stevens or his compatriots until they heard about the YouTube video and hulked-out in the form of an organized armed raid.

The only thing that makes this story plausible is that security for Stevens at the compound was so disgracefully poor that hardened jihadis probably could have drawn up a play in the dirt outside the building and gotten to the ambassador.

That’s Obama’s defense here, essentially — that the consulate was so easily breached thanks to threadbare protection for Stevens that it’s quite possible the whole thing was put together by amateurs, without planning.

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Bob Gorrell, a political cartoonist, had this over at Townhall.com. I, along with quite a few others, was happily sending it around the Twittersphere last night, since it is such an accurate portrayal:

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There was an excellent blog post on Obama’s “Horses and Bayonets” debate wisecrack that pretty much destroys any-and-all credence to which he was clinging. Written by retired US Naval intelligence officer J. E. Dyer, on her theoptimisticconservative blog:

The key question implied in all this is what kind of operation you envision, as you consider which military forces to develop and buy. (In August 2001, no one envisioned the US military needing horses for special operations in Afghanistan.)

The president’s statements about our inventory of naval combat ships imply much the same question.  Obama’s statement suggests that aircraft carriers and submarines (“ships that go underwater”) have made the surface combatant – the cruiser, destroyer, and frigate – less necessary.  If we have only as many of them as we had in 1916, that’s not a problem, in Obama’s formulation, because technology changes.

If you want to control the seas, you still need surface combatants.  And since the seas are the pathway to most of what we do outside our borders, there is no such situation as one in which we will only need to do what aircraft carriers do, or only what submarines do, or only what minesweepers or oilers or merchant ships do.  If we do not control the seas, we do not control our security conditions or our strategic options.

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Our fourth and final post concerns perhaps the most important choice we’re making this year: the choice between the ever-growing State and the individual. We’ve covered much of the same ground last week here, but leave it to John Hayward (aka ‘Doctor Zero’) to bring his inimitable flair to the topic:

But none of that “free market” stuff for America!  On the really important issues – health care, energy production, televising billion-dollar puppet shows – only the judgment of the State can be trusted

Obama sees the marketplace as a barren tundra prowled by predators, and equates freedom with abandonment.  The public can only be allowed to frolic within carefully controlled spaces, where failure is not an option, and excessive success will be punished.  Obama’s faith in the wisdom and intelligence of free people to increase the general wealth of the nation, by discovering and exploring opportunity on their own, is virtually undetectable. 

To him, ensuring “access” to something means forcing other people to pay for it.

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Be sure to check out the entire posts with these, if you can. There’s obviously a lot more there than just what we included.