Friday, January 21, 2011

A little experience goes a long way

So now we are told that Obama is easily frustrated. Who knew?

Baker opens with an anecdote from just before Christmas. Obama is sitting with his economic advisers to go over ideas for the State of the Union. He wanted a bold idea to bring down unemployment. But he didn't like anything his advisers were offering up. “You know, guys,” he said, according to someone in the room, “I’ve told you before, I want you to come to me with ideas that excite me.”

But it's not until a few paragraph later that we learn what Obama actually meant: He wanted "ways to juice the economy that are exciting, effective and politically viable." According to one adviser in the meetings, “The president wanted to lower unemployment but didn’t see a way to get more money out of Congress. He grew frustrated because the economic team didn’t have that magic combination.” Another said that Obama “was really frustrated that there weren’t solutions on the cheap.”

So, President Obama, how’s that OJT working out for you? All over America businesses deal with the challenge of finding solutions on the cheap. Contrary to liberal dogma, “throw money at it” is rarely a viable solution in the real world. However, in Obama’s defense, that little factoid was probably omitted from the Community Organizer’s Handbook.

Most people are aware that learning on the fly is rarely satisfying and nearly always frustrating. But then most people don’t get to play “trial and error” with the US economy. If the president is frustrated by the rigors of holding a real job and all that it entails he should try to imagine how we feel.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Bridging the language barrier

I admit it, oft times I have no idea what the British are saying. Yes, we do speak the same language but it is the colloquialisms that throw me for a loop. Apparently one of American sayings has thrown Jessica Valenti of the Guardian right over the rails (emphasis added):

After all, the phrase – and sentiment – "man up" was one of the most popular in the 2010 elections. In the Colorado Senate primary, Republican Jane Norton accused her opponent of not being "man enough"; in the Delaware Senate primary, Republican Christine O'Donnell said that her opponent was "unmanly"; Angle told Harry Reid to "man up"; and Palin praised Republican Arizona Governor Jan Brewer as having "the cojones that our president does not have" to enforce immigration laws.

In a country that sees masculinity – especially violent masculinity – as the ideal, it's no wonder that this type of language resonates. But it's a sad state of affairs when women in politics have to resort to using the same gendered stereotypes that kept all women out of public service for so long.

Valenti is writing this in the context of the Arizona shootings. Apparently, Ms. Valenti is unaware that the term “man up” means “take responsibility”. Lest I confuse Ms. Valenti further, “take responsibility” does not mean shoot twenty people. In fact, settling one’s grievances at the point of a gun is the opposite of manning up.

I’m not sure I know where Valenti got the idea that violent masculinity is idealized in this country-perhaps she has listened to too much rap music, but I can assure her that we do not equate masculinity with violence. I’ve been blessed to have mainly avoided violent men in my life but those that I have known struck me more wussy little weasel than VA VA Voom manly.

In any case it is not unusual for things to get “lost in translation”. I hope this little language lesson helps.

The day Jeb Bush lost me

I have been a Jeb Bush supporter since 1994 when he ran unsuccessfully for governor of Florida. I voted for him in that election and in his successful campaigns in 1998 and 2002. Whenever someone says “NO MORE BUSHES!” my first reaction has always been “forget the last name-what in Jeb’s record do you have an issue with?” I guess it is my turn to have an issue.

Jeb has an op-ed in the Miami Herald titled Conservative movement must commit to a long-term outreach strategy in which he used the term “center-right” fourteen times.  I take his use of the term to mean those Republicans who are not crazy assed conservatives like myself.  Talk about a let down.

I've always known that Jeb and I differ on our approach to immigration.  For me it comes down to "what part of illegal don't you get" while Jeb is all about the amnesty.  Okay.  I have always assumed, believed, that Jeb could put his personal beliefs aside in the face of overwhelming evidence that that the majority of Americans oppose amnesty for those who have broken our laws.  After reading Jeb's piece in the Herald I have lost faith that Jeb would honor "the will of the people."

My son-in-law is Hispanic.  He is a bronze star recipient and a kick ass Marine.  I am grateful that my daughter has a man of his caliber in her life and that my grandchildren are being raised by such an incredible, honorable man.  My position on border control isn't based on bigotry.  It is based on the belief that our national security depends on controlling who enters our country.  I also believe that during tough economic times available jobs should be filled by our citizens.  That being said I welcome those come to our country legally regardless of their country of origin. 

We all have deeply held beliefs that we cannot compromise on.  If immigration is Jeb's line in the sand, so be it.  I thank him for his service to my state but with great saddness I can no longer support him.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Pish Posh

Just earlier I posted in the comments at Potluck that I would like to see a Paul Ryan/Marco Rubio ticket for 2012 and now, via Instapundit, comes this:

PROFESSOR BAINBRIDGE: The Problem With A Paul Ryan / Marco Rubio Ticket. “They’re practically still kids, at least in my aging eyes. And having them running the country would make me feel very, very old.”

Aw, come on now.  First the good professor quotes the always wise and well thought out William Jacobson:

Bill Kristol has floated the idea of a Paul Ryan - Marco Rubio ticket in 2012:

Having just returned from the e21 and Manhattan Institute-sponsored Conversation with Paul Ryan (very ably conducted by Paul Gigot)--and having seen Marco Rubio speak recently as well, I'll just say this: Wouldn't it be easier just to agree now on a Ryan-Rubio ticket, and save everyone an awful lot of time, effort, and money over the next year and a half?

Having seen Ryan in action the past few days, there is no doubt he would eat Obama alive in a debate, and Rubio would filet Joey Biden.
and then Bainbridge concludes that the whippersnappers are just too darn young.

Can you imagine, as Jacobson mentions, a Ryan vs Obama or Rubio vs Biden debate?  The very thought puts a giddyup in my gate and a smile in my heart.  Ryan and Rubio are intelligent, purpose driven, knowledgeable, charming, and dare I say it, sexy.  Yes, they are young.  What of it?  With that much talent age shouldn't be a consideration.

At the risk of showing my age, let me just say "Yowser!"

Incredible sadness

I am watching the news of Rep. Giffords' shooting at my parent's home.  I temporarily moved in with Mom and Dad earlier this week after Dad took a turn for the worse and the three of us are sitting here stunned.  My prayers go out to the families of those people injured and killed.

Even before all the details have been released a quick look at the various threads on Memeorandum show that the Left has wasted no time to rev up their hate machine.   We have no information on the 22 year old man accused in the shootings or what his motives might have been but the Left has never been fact based group. 

I am a person who occasionally lets her mouth get way out ahead of her brain.  When it happens I typically end up looking like a complete ass.  I would caution those who would use this tragedy for their own political purposes to take a deep breath and concentrate their thoughts in a more positive manner.

More from Michelle Malkin

Stacy is updating continuously

Doug Ross has the shooter's ramblings  Sad, nonsensical and he sounds like someone who has been "round the bend" for quite some time.


We're praying for all the victims of the mass shooting today in Tucson. I don't suppose it's possible to wait 24 or 48 hours for the dust to settle and the facts to emerge before we start playing the political blame game, assigning the shooter to the left or the right, and so on? This is a profound tragedy for everyone involved. It seems wrong to politicize it even as some of the victims are fighting for their lives. How about a grace period out of respect for the families?

Spot on quote:

First, it is sad to see folks immediately politicize such a tragedy. If your first response to such an event is to think of Sarah Palin, something is wrong.

We have a winner

Shortly before the election I mused about Charlie Crist's life after politics.  I conducted a little poll and those who choose "Open a personal injury practice" got it right.  Technically he didn't "open" a practice, he has joined Morgan and Morgan of tear jerker "I can't tell you how many times I've a sat at the kitchen tables of grieving families" fame.  So, Charlie really is a shyster?  Who knew?

P.S.  My choice in the poll was "Become a cast member in a revival tour of Cabaret".  I stand by my choice which is in no way compromised by his employment at M&M.

I am soooooooooo sorry!

I just couldn't turn away.  It was just so disturbing and bizarre.  It must be a joke, right?  Right?

Via Don Surber:

All I can say is, "Baby's got back!"

Monday, January 3, 2011

Writing in the New York Times, Ross Douthat discusses MTV’s No Easy Decision (an earlier, excellent discussion of the reality show took place at Potluck, here and here). Douthat ends with:

This is the paradox of America’s unborn. No life is so desperately sought after, so hungrily desired, so carefully nurtured. And yet no life is so legally unprotected, and so frequently destroyed.
Can we be honest about abortion? It seems that the pro-abortion side of the equation shuns honesty in favor of ‘heart tugs’. The pro-abortion crowd talks about rape, incest and children with such severe developmental problems that even if they survived birth their lives would be short on time but long on suffering. From there the conversation travels to “a woman rights to chose”. Under no circumstances will the pro-abortion crowd admit that most unwanted pregnancies are the result of a failure to use birth control or, as in the young woman in No Easy Decision, the failure to use birth control consistently as prescribed. For all of the “my body, my choice” bluster very little is said about woman’s choice to swallow a pill each morning or a woman’s choice to ensure that her partner always wears a condom. Frankly, the pro-abortion folks are big on choice but shrink away from discussing responsibility.

But a woman’s choices aren’t just limited to just prevention or abortion. Both the NYT and Potluck pieces mention the other choice, the one almost never mentioned by the pro-abortion crowd: adoption. Support for adoption comes from an unlikely source:

The great gulf between those who desire children and cannot have them biologically and those who conceive children but do not want them may vary over time and place. But what marks a civilization, in my view, is how we handle this chasm. Do we simply throw the unwanted away? Do we make every effort to find them homes? How do we practically facilitate this?
Whoops, I spoke too soon. Andy’s real motive for bringing up adoption is to use it to snipe at the pro-life movement:

If the pro-life movement dedicated its every moment not to criminalizing abortion but to expanding adoption opportunities, it would win many more converts.
Andy doesn’t bother to backup his assertion that the pro-life movement would rather fight against abortion than fight for adoption. One doubts he seriously cares. But adoption services are by their very nature “pro-life” making Andy’s little snipe both ridiculous and misplaced.

Approximately 1.2 million children are aborted each year in the United States while prospective parents of the non-Hollywood variety can literally wait years to adopt a child. Is it any wonder that one desperate Michigan couple recently resorted to advertising for a child to adopt on a billboard?

My heart breaks for young women who feel that they have nowhere to turn. Had I become pregnant as a teen I would have had the support of my family though admittedly that initial conversation would not have been pleasant. I would also have a second advantage-I am adopted so I am aware that for every child conceived there are adoptive parents waiting to share their homes and their love.

I did not watch No Easy Decision. I am curious to know if the subject of adoption was broached with the pregnant teenager. Was it mentioned at all or even in passing? Was she told about support that would be available to her if she chose to have her child and place it for adoption? I only ask because the pro-choice crowd says that they want abortion to be “rare” but they certainly seem to shy away from anything (waiting periods, ultrasounds, counseling, etc.) which would provide a pregnant woman with information about their full range of choices. It seems to me that pro-choice women are routinely and nastily anti-adoption:

Douthat also talks a big game about valuing and protecting the unborn, but neglects to lay out the specifics about how he proposes we actually do that. Implicit in his column is the argument that we outlaw abortion, but he never actually comes out and says that — probably because he realizes that when it comes right down to it, a lot of people really don’t like the idea of criminalizing women who don’t believe it’s their burden to provide babies for anyone who wants one. It’s also a lot easier to talk about “valuing life” (and to really mean “punishing women”) than it is to take the sometimes costly steps that actually value that life — providing affordable health care, early-childhood education, childcare, paid maternity leave, and on and on. You know, things that social conservatives like Douthat routinely oppose because of “personal responsibility” and “keeping the government out of our lives.”
And then it gets personal:

We all know that Douthat isn’t a big fan of the ladies (or the rights of ladies). But his concern here isn’t just for fetuses — it’s also for “good” families that, in his estimation, deserve children from not-good women. The old era of adoptions, where middle and upper-middle-class families were able to adopt babies birthed in secret by teenage mothers, required not only a crackdown on women’s bodily autonomy, but also a social model that deemed single mothers inherently bad, and certain families (largely white, headed by a heterosexual couple, and on the wealthier side of not) to be the only acceptable ones. It’s not just about abortion. It’s about a return to an idealized, gender-inegalitarian, racially divided and socially stratified time. It’s about making sure women know that their place isn’t just at home and in the service of their husbands, but also in the service of “better” families.
What a bunch of super sized BS! Let me tell you about my family. My parents brought me home when I was ten days old. They did this despite having their hands full. You see, the first child they adopted turned out to have developmental problems. It didn’t matter to them-he was their son and they loved him with all of their hearts. My parents weren’t wealthy. I was about ten years old when my father finished up his engineering degree and I was twelve when he became a plant engineer. During the years in between there were a lot of handmade clothes and scrimping because of my brother’s medical bills. It didn’t matter. For my parents it was about two people who loved each other and wanted to share that love with children.

Every unborn child deserves what I have had. Too bad the pro-choice crowd doesn’t care.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Don't screw it up

Writing in The Examiner, Prof. Glenn Harlan Reynolds gives some excellent advice to Congress.  In short, be bold and don't blow it.  I would add that Congress shouldn't buy into the bloviations of wishful thinkers who claim that voters have short attention spans and soon will return to their old disengaged lives.  We are living with the results of a Congress who has gone about its business unwatched and unchecked and we won't be making that mistake again.  Prof Reynolds:

Second, remember that fortune favors the bold. It's true that ordinarily in politics, most progress occurs at the margins. But it's also true that these are not ordinary times. Big money-saving and government-shrinking proposals in the House, even if they're shot down by the Democrat-controlled Senate, will nonetheless establish a tone.
They're trying to hide it, but the Inside-the-Beltway permanent-government political class is currently scared. Keep them that way, while showing the public at large that you're serious.
Dear Republican congressmen, push, push, push,  Force the Dems to join you or leave them to defend in indefensible.  Either way, we, the American people, win and they, the collectivists who have driven us to edge of bankruptcy, lose.

We are off to a good start.  The Hill on legislation introduced last month by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-CA:

Introduced earlier this month, Nunes' Public Pension Transparency Act would force state and local pension programs to report their liabilities to the federal government using a uniform accounting standard. It would also create a federal ban on any future public pension bailouts by Washington.

The bill has picked up the support of several leading Republicans, including Reps. Paul Ryan (Wis.) and Darrell Issa (Calif.). In a statement issued earlier this month, Ryan, who will head the House Budget Committee in the next Congress, said the proposal "will make government more accountable to taxpayers by shining a light on the financial soundness and unfunded obligations associated with these plans."
Deprived of federal bailout funds what will states like California do?  Well, California is facing a 500 billion dollar pension shortfall so it is doubtful that they can raise taxes high enough to cover the shortage.  Without help from Washington (translation: you and me), California will be forced to do the one thing that governments are loath to do:  fix the damn problem.

Sadly, government has been no better on the federal level than on the state when it comes to actual problem solving.  Often this is because the government interjects itself into problems that simply are none of its business.  Unfortunately, while government may not excel at fixing problems it has the creation of problems down to a science.  Think ObamaCare, Social Security, Medicare. 

But if Republicans take Prof. Reynolds advice and act boldly they can begin to undo the problems they helped create.  We can only hope they don't screw it up.