Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Voting With Their Feet

See: Low-tax states will gain seats, high-tax states will lose them

The state and local tax burden is nearly a third lower in states with growing populations, ATR found. As a result, per capita government spending is also lower: $4,008 for states gaining congressional seats, $5,117 for states losing them.

And, as ATR notes, “in eight of ten losers, workers can be forced to join a union as a condition of employment. In 7 of the 8 gainers, workers are given a choice whether to join or contribute financially to a union.”

Imagine that.

Here in Washington State, William Gates Senior was one of the principle backers of an attempt to introduce an State Income Tax for Washingtonions. The measure was trounced. The Democrats lost on that one big-time.

See: Why Washington’s Tax on the Rich Failed

Passing I-1098 would have created the state’s first income tax. Polls and pundits said the main opposition to the tax was that voters feared the tax would start with the rich, and then quickly work its way down the income ladder.

“Citizens determined I-1098 was simply the first step toward establishing an income tax on all Washingtonians,” said Scott Stanzel, Defeat 1098 campaign manager, in a statement.

When I was asked about this by people that I know, I would in turn ask them if they really believed that the politicians would not extend the income tax to them. I told them that if they were in-favor of "taxing the rich", they also had to decide how much the trusted the politicians that they would be putting in charge of who was going to be taxed.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Lame-Ducking Obama Won't Work For The Democrats

The 2010 midterm elections were a referendum on Obama and the Democrat Party. They have been weighed and been found wanting.

Democrats, understandably, are concerned that their troubles are not yet over. If Obama runs for reelection in 2012, they worry, the losses that the Democrats may suffer could be as bad if not worse then what they have suffered in 2010.

To that end, the Democrats are begining an attempt to Lame-Duck Obama. (It won't work.)

See: Opinion | One and done: To be a great president, Obama should not seek reelection in 2012

We do not come to this conclusion lightly. But it is clear, we believe, that the president has largely lost the consent of the governed. The midterm elections were effectively a referendum on the Obama presidency. And even if it was not an endorsement of a Republican vision for America, the drubbing the Democrats took was certainly a vote of no confidence in Obama and his party. The president has almost no credibility left with Republicans and little with independents.

Obama may not be entirely opposed to the proposal, but not in the way that Douglas E. Schoen and Patrick H. Caddell would want. In fact, quite the opposite. Look closely at what Obama said in January of this year.

See: Exclusive: Obama Would 'Rather Be Really Good One-Term President'

"I'd rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president," he told ABC's "World News" anchor Diane Sawyer in an exclusive interview today.

Having Obama declare that he will not run for reelection in 2012 will effectively lame duck his Presidency. Obama will become completely irrelevant to the political debate. He would become the most ignorable politician in Washington D.C.

Obama may be a narcissistic prick, but he is not stupid. He won't declare himself a lame-duck. On the contrary, he will campaign hard for reelection by being an even more outrageously leftist extremist. He will not move to the center to meet Republicans half-way. He will flip the Republicans the political bird and demand that they move to him.

Obama is not a politician out of the pragmatist mold. Obama is a believer. He believes he is working for a better America. He believes in his vision.

When Obama says that he would rather be a really good one term President then a mediocre two term President, he is declaring his belief that it is better to fight for his beliefs to the bloody-bitter end rather then to compromise with the opposition.

Obama will fight it out.

Obama will run for reelection in 2012.

Obama and the Democrats will get their asses handed to them in what will be a historic political route, a defeat that will make their losses in 2010 look moderate.

Expect things to get very weird over the next two years.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Launched From Hawaii?

We may be able to relax a little about that Chinese Submarine Launched Intercontinental Missile seen off of the coast of California on Monday.

See: Blogger Believes Webcam Image Solves 'Missile' Mystery

Its a weird looking contrail all the same.

I find it easy to believe that the Chinese would have both the know-how and the balls to fire a submarine launched missile close off of the California coast.

I also find the Flight 808 illusion hypothesis to be believable as well.

Additionally, there is the significant problem of the dog that did not bark.

An ICBM is noisy contraption. At 35 miles from the coast, it would have been heard by somebody or at least by something. The waters there are full of boats. There are no silent ICBMs. At least, not yet.

I now think it was just an airliner contrail.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Shot Across Our Bow?

See: Mystery Missile Launch Seen off Calif. Coast

(CBS) A mysterious missile launch off the southern California coast was caught by CBS affiliate KCBS's cameras Monday night, and officials are staying tight-lipped over the nature of the projectile.

See: Mystery 'missile' launch near L.A. no threat to national security, government officials say

Officials with the Defense Department, the Navy and the Air Force said they did not have any details on the object or its launch site. Pentagon officials said that initial indications were that the military was not involved.

"We are aware of the unexplained contrail reported off the coast of Southern California yesterday evening," according to a statement Tuesday from the North American Aerospace Defense Command and the U.S. Northern Command, which operates the U.S. and Canadian missile warning system. "At this time, we are unable to provide specific details but we are working to determine the exact nature of this event.


Friday, November 5, 2010

About The Republican Redistricting Advantage

See: Will Redistricting Be a Bloodbath for Democrats?

Republicans took control of at least 19 Democratic-controlled state legislatures Tuesday and gained more than 650 seats, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The last time Republicans saw such victories was in 1994, when they captured control of 20 state legislatures.

Republicans haven't controlled as many state legislatures since 1928.

Across the country, the map for state legislatures has turned noticeably red as Republicans now control 55 chambers, with Democrats at 38 and the remaining yet to be decided. At the beginning of this week, Democrats controlled 60 of the country's state legislative chambers and Republicans 36.

Tuesday also was a historic day for many state legislatures. In Minnesota, Republicans won the Senate for the first time ever, while in Alabama, they took control for the first time since reconstruction.

The answer to the headline writer's question is yes! (Sort of.)

There will be a bloodbath, but if the Republicans forget about the future, they will just piss away the brief and ephemeral advantage that redistricting will give them.

Republicans will have a unique opportunity to shape the political landscape for the next decade. Redistricting in the States where Republicans now dominate will help adjust the balance of political power at both the state and the federal levels.

Red States will become more red. Blue states will become more blue.

The end result will be a deeper divide between the Constrained in the Red States and the Unconstrained in the Blue States.

Think San Francisco versus Boise.

Republicans should not get too full of themselves over their truly monumental and historic win. Republicans need to keep in mind that the opposition is still convinced that their Unconstrained world-view is the one that should dominate our nation politically and they still have a sizable following.

The main challenge for Republicans over the coming decade will be to seize this historic opportunity to reshape the political landscape by arguing forcefully and confidently for liberty as the best solution to our nations problems. On the other side, the left will argue for Statism as the solution to our nations problems. They will do so boldly and self-righteously. They will not just wither up and blow away.

Redistricting will help Republicans on the margin, but it is not a long term solution to our nation's problems. Our nations's problems are in our culture. Only by reshaping our culture will we be able to help our nation step away from the Statist precipice that the left has brought us.

With every issue that comes up in our nations future, we must argue for increasing individual Liberty as the best solution. Whenever our counterparts on the left offer Statism as a solution to a problem, we must aggressively challenge them and their assertions that surrendering our liberties to the state will solve our problems. Make them defend their assertions. They aren't used to being challenged on their core principles, so this can be fun too.

This is a long term generational project. Do not expect or even hope for quick results. Changing a culture takes time, patience and persistence.

Look to the future, not to just tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Deep and Wide Loss For The Democrats.

The Democrats received a historic shellacking at the hands of the voters on Tuesday. The Depth of the repudiation can be seen in the results at the State House level.

See: Republicans Won More Than 23 Legislative Chambers in Historic Wave Election

Last night, Republicans won more than 23 legislative chambers and counting, many in the large states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Indiana. Republicans also won majorities in both houses in the southern states of North Carolina and Alabama and in the New England states of New Hampshire and Maine. We also gained majorities in the West in the Colorado House and Oregon House

That is a big loss.

Note that Oregon is on that list. Oregon is about as deep blue as it is possible for a state to get. Just to the north of Oregon is blue Washington, the Republicans may take the state senate. (And the Race between Rossi (R) and Murray (D) is still too close to call.)

Most of the media coverage about the election will likely focus on the few races that the Democrats one and on a few of the ones that the Republicans one on the Federal level. Reid's win in Nevada looks crooked as all hell but will likely stand. (Something about those machines and the technician that "serviced" them.) Boxer's win in California was not that unexpected. It stinks, but California has some serious issues. Bloody hell, they elected Jerry Brown as Governor. That is seriously deranged.

On the Republican side, Marco Rubio will shake the foundations of the Democrat's race-card political strategies that have helped them divide the country and our politics along racial lines since the civil war. For the Democrats, that is a serious threat to their power at every level. They will probably try to make his life hell. Watch for the Democrats to pull the same kind of stunts against Marco Rubio that they pulled on Clarence Thomas.

For Republicans, there is a danger.

This election was a deep and wide repudiation of Democrats. It was not an affirmation of Republicans.

Republicans now have the best opportunity to make the case for liberty since The Republican Revolution or Revolution of '94. They also risk blowing again.

See: Washington the Biggest Loser as Wave Sweeps Through Congress

Newt Gingrich, the GOP firebrand who helped force Democrats from power in 1994, said Tuesday's results created "a dramatically weaker Democratic Party and a severely repudiated President Obama." He's right about that, of course. But does Gingrich really think Americans gave the GOP a full-throated mandate? He made that miscalculation a generation ago and overreached as the new House Speaker.

That mistake helped reelect Democrat Bill Clinton.

Obama is not on any ballot, but the votes cast are a reflection of how his first two years failed to meet the lofty expectations set in 2008. Liberals accuse him of accomplishing too little. Conservatives accuse him of turning too often to government as a solution.

The Republicans need to take this historic opportunity and make the case for liberty. If they assume they have a mandate, they will be the ones that will get shellacked in the next go-round.

[HT to FinallyFree at c2 - see post 144 for the link to Gateway Pundit]

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

More then ever, Your vote, Every vote, is important.

See: Republicans Appear Poised to Win Big on Tuesday

PRINCETON, NJ -- The final USA Today/Gallup measure of Americans' voting intentions for Congress shows Republicans continuing to hold a substantial lead over Democrats among likely voters, a lead large enough to suggest that regardless of turnout, the Republicans will win more than the 40 seats needed to give them the majority in the U.S. House.

The results are from Gallup's Oct. 28-31 survey of 1,539 likely voters. It finds 52% to 55% of likely voters preferring the Republican candidate and 40% to 42% for the Democratic candidate on the national generic ballot -- depending on turnout assumptions. Gallup's analysis of several indicators of voter turnout from the weekend poll suggests turnout will be slightly higher than in recent years, at 45%. This would give the Republicans a 55% to 40% lead on the generic ballot, with 5% undecided.

Every Republican vote is an essential vote.

This will be an election decided by turnout.

Even Democrats in the safest districts are now in close races.

Take Norm Dicks in Washington state.

See: Poll shows Cloud leads over Dicks

The most notable results in the poll came in the question that asked “If the election for the United States Congress were today and the candidates were Republican Doug Cloud and Democrat Norm Dicks, for whom would you vote?” The answer options were “definitely for Cloud, leaning for Cloud, definitely for Dicks, leaning for Dicks, and not sure”. Doug Cloud received a combined 609 votes for “definitely for” and “leaning for” while Dicks only received 558 for the 2 answers. 95 were still unsure.

Even Norm Dicks is in trouble.

Get every Republican that you know to the polls.

This time, it really matters.

This time, we could really win this.

[HT JCM at C2 - See post#218]

Monday, November 1, 2010

Time to grow out of the Microsoft "Subscription-Software" Trap

Open Office.

It is free. You can install it for free on a machine running a Microsoft OS. It also works on Linux and other non-Microsoft OS's. (Microsoft Office, not so much.) If your customers are still stuck with the Microsoft products, Open Office can save files to the Microsoft formats.

It takes a little getting used to, but I like it.

And the Gates' are pushing an income tax here in Washington State.


Whats that?

Need to upgrade your OS too?

Ubuntu is pretty good, and its free. Linux used to be a pain in the ass to use. It was geekware, built by geeks for geeks. Now it is easy enough for anyone to use.

Linux is now no more difficult and no more buggy then the Microsoft products. And you don't have to fight the malware and virus battles that are de rigueur with Micorsoft products. Overall, I have much fewer problems with my Linux machines then I do with my Microsoft machines.

Go Linux. Because it just works.

Did I mention that the Gates's are pushing an Income Tax proposal here in Washington State?

Screw'm and the horse (Microsoft) that they rode in on. Bastards.