Friday, January 28, 2011

Obama-Reagan similar?

With Time Magazine (among others) making Obama-Reagan comparisons, the Editors at the Washington Times decided to perform and independent examination of the similarities and differences.  Here are some of the results:
Reagan: Fostered national pride in the military.
Obama: Fostered gay pride in the military.

Reagan: We begin bombing in five minutes.
Obama: We begin golfing in five minutes.

Reagan: Made big government a bad word.
Obama: Made big government a bad dream.

Reagan: A shining city on a hill.
Obama: A home mortgage under water.

Reagan: Just say no.
Obama: Yes we can!

Reagan: Stood up to the Soviets.
Obama: Bowed to the Saudis.

Reagan: “Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty.”
Obama: Concentrated power has always been the objective.

Reagan: National health care is socialism.
Obama: National health care is socialism.

Reagan: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.”
Obama: We are that generation.

Reagan: Morning in America.
Obama: Mourning for America.

Reagan: “Man is not free unless government is limited.”
Obama: Man is not limited unless government is free.

Reagan: “Government programs, once launched, never disappear.”
Obama: That’s the plan.

Reagan: “The best minds are not in government.”
Obama: The best mind is in the Oval Office.

Reagan: “I did not take the oath I have just taken with the intention of presiding over the dissolution of the world's strongest economy.”
Obama: It’s all Bush’s fault.

Reagan: Our adversaries “counted on America to be passive. They counted wrong.”
Obama: Who else can I apologize to?

Reagan: “Trust, but verify.”
Obama: Let’s do whatever Putin wants.

Reagan: “We have a rendezvous with destiny.”
Obama: I have a rendezvous with destiny.

Reagan: Thou shalt not speak ill of any Republican.
Obama: Thou shalt not speak to any Republican.

Reagan: Appointed the wise Justice Scalia
Obama: Appointed a wise Latina

Reagan: A citizen-politician
Obama: A citizen (?) politician

Reagan: Proposed a missile defense
Obama: Disposed of missile defense

Reagan: “Go ahead, make my day.”
Obama: Go ahead, tax and spend.

Reagan: The nine most terrifying words in the English language are:
Obama: I'm from the government and I'm here to help.

Reagan: Middle class values
Obama: Middle class tax hikes

Reagan: Supported the death penalty
Obama: Supports the death panels

Reagan: “I know that for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead.”
Obama: Let me get back to you on that one.


All three major networks described Pres. Obama's State of the Union address as "Reaganesque," as this MRC video shows (Hat tip: GatewayPundit):

There are two clear issues with this characterization:
  1. Obama babbled on about the importance of having big government decide which industries win (mostly "green" energy) and which will lose (oil, for example) in keeping with a command-and-control approach to the economy. This is the opposite of Reaganesque.
  2. These journalist who are now praising Obama as "Reaganesque" are the same journalists who, when he was president, hated Reagan with the same passion that they now hate Sarah Palin.
So why is the MSM suddenly and uniformly praising Obama as Reaganesque? Since it seems unlikely to have happened spontaneously, it seems that they must have found a replacement for the now defunct JournoList.

PREVIOUSLY on news reporters and their weak grip on reality:
ABC news: 14 years of liberalism reviewed
CNN's anti-semite
At Cox Newspapers, they took this story seriously
How reporters avoid reality
News reporters and the liberal echo chamber in action
Salon has a sexual fantasy about Palin as a dominatrix
If only hate could change false to true
Ignorance at McClatchy Newspapers
Faking the news
University study finds Fox more fair and balanced than ABC/CBS/NBC
News media credibility at lowest level since polling began
Living in a Fantasy World, II
17% of US voters claim news media unbiased

Monday, January 17, 2011

Quotes of the day

  • “We’ve had some incidents where TSA authorities think that congresspeople should be treated like everybody else.” —Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), as reported by The Hill (hat tip: Instapundit).
  • "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." —Animal Farm by Geo. Orwell

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Remember when "shredding the constitution" was a bad thing?

That was thenNow, with the incoming Republican majority in the House deciding to read the constitution aloud, things are different.  The editors of the New York Times condemned this reading as "unusual pomposity," "presumptuous," and a "self-righteous act."  The San Francisco Chronicle dismisses the reading a merely "a sop to Tea Party-supported members" done by Republicans who are "shrill, obstructionist and slightly deluded."  Writers at Slate and MSNBC and Salon all now deride concern for the constitution as a mere "fetish."   They seem to know, even if they won't admit it out loud, that the progressive agenda really is at odds with the constitution.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Our outdated criminal justice system

Civilization has benefited from amazing technological advances in the past century.  Any business that uses 19th century methods in a 21st century world is rapidly replaced by a more modern competitor.  The exception to this rapid progress has been government.  One example is elections where vote counting is still treated as an art not a science.  A second example is criminal justice.   One of the infamous features of the Duke rape case, for example, was the identification of alleged perpetrators by the 'victim' via a seriously flawed photo line-up.  While that case was one-of-a-kind, the use of flawed line-ups is widespread according to University of Virginia School of Law professor Brandon Garrett. The AFP reports:
"There have now been thousands of studies with incredibly consistent results all showing that suggestion has this outsized powerful effect on eyewitness memory," Garrett said.

"Even if police are trying their best not to signal anything, the eyewitness -- who may be a victim of a crime and hesitant about participating -- may be looking to the police officer for reassurance and for cues and may perceive things that weren't even intended."

Garrett estimated that hundreds of police departments have begun to change the way they conduct lineups, for instance by having an officer who is not involved in the case supervise, and by informing the witness that the suspect may not be in the lineup at all.

There are many other areas in "forensic science" that are not up to modern standards as Prof. Saks explains:
"I actually divide forensic science into two big camps," said Michael Saks, law professor at Arizona State University. "There is the camp that is using real science that is borrowed from basic science, such as chemistry and DNA.

"On the other hand you have got the kind of -- well, my kindest word for it is almost-science or wannabe science, and that includes handwriting, fingerprints, fire and arson investigation and forensic dentistry."
In the "wannabe science" category, he is referring to many techniques that purport to be science but in reality are little more than subjective guesses. (Take this bite-mark "analysis," for example.) I would like all criminals to be caught and imprisoned. To do that, we owe it to the innocent to bring criminal justice up to modern standards.

PREVIOUSLY on the justice system:
CSI Fail: bite mark analysis
Why is Islam popular in prison?
Obama DoJ: vote fraud helps "increase turnout"
An insider's guide to vote fraud
Holder defends civilian trials for war criminals
Janet Reno and justice by identity group
The Duke rape case: the liberal faculty vs. the conservative faculty
Reporter honor roll: those who didn't fall for the charges against the Duke Lacrosse players

California: a failed state

At the Wall Street Journal, Stephen Moore summarizes why jobs are fleeing the Democrat-run state of California:

Republican state legislatures and governors are adopting a new economic development strategy: Raid California for its jobs and businesses.

At least three Republican governors have said as much in interviews. The idea is to offer lower taxes, a more business-friendly atmosphere and the right to be left alone from overzealous regulators. ....

California has some of the highest tax rates in the country, the worst bond rating and a multitude of nettlesome regulations. Chief Executive magazine just ranked California as the most antibusiness state in the nation. A new study by Joseph Vranich, a California-based business consultant, found that 144 major companies relocated plants, research facilities, headquarters or their entire operations out of California in 2010. That was more than triple the pace of job-creating firms leaving in 2009. Mr. Vranich said that the outmigration could become "a stampede" in 2011. "Business owners tell me every day that this is just not a hospitable place to do business anymore," he said. [Emph. added]

PREVIOUSLY on California politics:
California Supreme Court rules: Illegals get in-state tuition
California 2nd worst state for business climate
Your CA tax dollars at work — at strip clubs
California pension funds face huge losses, money spent on luxury trips and gifts
San Francisco rally for Nancy Pelosi's opponent John Dennis (photos)
CA Pot growers oppose pot legalization in CA
Minutemen vs. May Day protesters in San Francisco (photos)
In Oakland, CA, civilization is collapsing

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Obama Administration capitalizing on oil prices?

The Financial Times reports that oil prices are high enough now to threaten the global economy:

Oil prices are entering a dangerous zone for the global economy,” said Fatih Birol, the IEA’s chief economist. “The oil import bills are becoming a threat to the economic recovery. This is a wake-up call to the oil consuming countries and to the oil producers.”

Oil prices have edged closer to $100 a barrel in recent weeks and Brent crude hit $95 a barrel for the first time in 27 months on Monday as the economic recovery has gathered pace. [Emph. added]

What has the Obama administration done about the oil shortage? It banned deep water oil exploration. Although the ban has nominally been lifted, the Financial Times reported Monday that no actual permits have been issued:
Since lifting its ban in October on drilling at depths more than 500ft, the department has yet to approve any new deepwater exploration drilling permits.
The Obama administration is considering changing that for some companies:
“We are taking into account the special circumstances of those companies whose operations were interrupted by the moratorium and ensuring that they are able to resume previously approved activities,” said Michael Bromwich, head of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
What do you bet that oil companies that get permits will be the ones that first discover a sudden need to donate to Democrats?

Playing politics with the debt limit?

From National Review:

While President Obama’s economic advisor Austin Goolsbee argued Sunday that a refusal by the Senate to increase the government’s debt ceiling (currently $14.3 trillion) would be “catastrophic” and a sign of “insanity,” that’s not the position the president has held in the past.

Here are Obama’s thoughts on the debt limit in 2006, when he voted against increasing the ceiling:

The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here. Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.

In March,2006, when Obama opposed the debt limit increase, he could feel free to do so because it was a Republican-controlled Congress that was voting for the increase.

Why there is a public pension crisis

Why are pensions for government workers so large that they threaten to bankrupt cities and states across the country? It is apparently because voters don't know about them. The Florida League of Cities commissioned a poll (PDF) (hat tip: Mish) about police and fireman pensions. From the executive summary of their findings:
When it comes to the pay and benefits of police and fire fighters, voters are generally unaware of the array of benefits currently afforded them. Initially and by a large margin most respondents felt these benefits are "about right" or "too low". Further, they have a general misperception as to how much police officers and fire fighters are paid, with nearly 70% believing the average salary is $60,000 per year or less and 90% believing it is $70,000 per year or less.

We asked an extended series of questions identifying the assortment of pay and benefits currently provided to most police and fire fighters. Almost without exception, voters feel that most of these benefits are too generous. For example, 63% felt retirement benefits should be consistent with other government employees, 66% opposed 20 years and out, and 73% felt that adding overtime to base calculations was unfair. Further, 70% oppose DROP, 71% felt $70,000 per year average salary was too high, and a whopping 84% felt they should not make the same when they retire as when they are working!
Also interesting is that most voters do not understand that they are paying for public employee pensions with their tax dollars:
Oddly, more than 60% stated that increasing benefits could bankrupt local government yet 77% do not equate these pension benefits to taxes and instead correlate higher taxes to "other spending and other government programs".

And while voters do not necessarily connect benefits to taxes, a strong majority (74%) of respondents still wanted lawmakers to look at ways to "rein in the growth of benefits for police and fire fighters" with 44% feeling very strongly about that.

We can conclude, based on these findings, that the public is largely ignorant or agnostic to benefit packages and salaries currently available to police and fire fighters. However, once they are informed about these benefits, they believe they are excessive and have problems with several of them specifically. And while they don't tie these benefits directly to higher taxes, they do want to see government leaders to take action to begin reigning in this type of spending and they want that by a strong margin [All emph. added]
This is yet another example of the MSM failing to inform the voters on the key issues of the day.
Clicky Web Analytics