Archive for the 'Politics' Category


What the Hell is Gracie Law Doing Here?

Quotes from Big Trouble in Little China can work with anything!

In this case, I’m talking about Newt Gingrich as the conservative frontrunner in the GOP race.  I don’t think anyone really saw this coming.

I’m not too perturbed about Newt.  I was a supporter of Contract with America, and he knows what makes a conservative.  But he’s prone to getting distracted, and he’s had some ethics issues, so he’s not the best guy to nominate.  But will Obama fare well against Newt in the debates?  No.  Newt will destroy Obama.  Handily.

But that leaves the question:  who’s best?

Santorum?  Unfortunately for him, he lost in Pennsylvania, which is a swing state.  And it seems Republicans remember that.

Paul?  Certainly he’s called the Fed problems.  And his fiscal policies are solid.  But his isolationism is dangerous.

Huntsman?  I can’t get him.  He seems very moderate, and he has executive experience as Governor of Utah.  And he’s been the ambassador to China.  I don’t know.

Perry?  On record alone, he’s solid.  But he’s a gaffe machine.  (And so was Bush, btw.  Must be a Texas thing.)  His proposals have been solid.  And the team around him is excellent.  I don’t know if he’d do well in a debate with Obama, or royally screw the pooch.

And that brings me to Herman Cain.  I really don’t know what’s up, but with the sexual harassment claims, and now the woman claiming the 13 year affair and the non-denial denial from Cain’s camp, he’s falling apart.  At this point, he’s shedding support because he’s been inconsistent on the scandal.  At least with Newt, we know his scandals, and he’s freely admitted them.  But Cain crumbled with the clumsy coverup.  In addition, he performed poorly in the Foreign Policy Debates.

(Oh, I didn’t include Bachmann because she faded ages ago, mainly because she hasn’t put forth any plans of substance.)

Now, the big question is what happens to the 10-15% of Cain voters when Cain inevitably pulls out.  Where will they go?  Who has a plan that is similar to Cain’s?  Cain’s big push was 9-9-9, and that’s where he found his support.  But the only other people out there that’s proposed something similar are Newt and Perry.  Since the 10-15% of Cain voters haven’t peeled of to Newt, it’s safe to say they’re going to run somewhere else– and that’s most likely to Perry.

To solidify this, and rebound in the campaign, Perry’s going to have to quickly secure Cain’s support.  If Perry’s going to have a chance to pull off the nomination, he’s got to secure the Cain backers, and that means securing Cain.



Perry’s Big Choke

Yeah.  You’ve seen it.  Here’s the link.  Much like the Theisman MNF leg-breaking incident where ABC showed it over and over in slow motion, the Perry brain-fart is going to be show repeatedly on late-night talk shows for weeks to come.  Be sure Letterman is going to love this.  The question, can Perry recover?

I’m not so sure.  He’s got tons of money, but this is a defining moment.

Perry’s entry was exciting.  We had an executive from Texas, a state with a GREAT economic record, come in to challenge Mitt “Romneycare” Romney.  We hoped the Texas straight-shooter would walk in, swagger Romney to death in the debates, and walk off with the nomination.  But after 3 debates, it was clear that Perry sucked at debates.

Tonight was nothing new.  In fact, outside of his Big Choke, he did very well.  He was cogent, clear, and made great points.  But these debates favor the sound-bite.  And Perry’s biggest sound-bite will be his biggest failure.  The only thing that can save him is the fall of Joe Paterno at Penn State, depending upon the news outlet.

Perry’s failure here is a detraction from everything he has going for him.  Ultimately, he’s great on paper.  But he doesn’t exude the confidence to be the GOP Nominee.  If he can’t secure the base, he can’t secure the nomination, regardless of the money in his war chest.  And tonight, he showed just how badly he performs when he needs to perform.

Would he perform better in an intimate 1-hour setting with one other candidate, ala Newt & Cain?  Maybe.  But he hasn’t.

The good news is Gingrich is rising.  People call him a RINO.  But there’s nobody better on the issues.  If I’m willing to forgive Newt for sitting on a bench with Pelosi, he’s come a long way.

More on HotAir.


The Best Minds on the Stage

Tonight’s debate was very similar to the debates we’ve seen so far.  People attack Romney, but the attacks slip off.  We did see Mitt lose his cool after being interrupted by Santorum and Perry.  But for the most part, there was little new.  Here’s my reaction.

Romney:  Solid, although showed some temper.  I can’t say I blame the guy.  And he was playing in front of a “home” audience who cheered him and booed his detractors.  Still, lots of fun things to say, but no substance.  His job was to not make any mistakes, and he clearly accomplished that goal.

Perry:  Remove the awkward illegal immigrant attack, and you have a much better performance from Perry.  He had less of the stammering (although some clearly awkward pauses).  When talking about jobs and immigration, he was commanding.  He probably saved his campaign tonight.

Cain:  Apples and oranges.  A clearly incompetent attack from Bachmann, who launched into a VAT argument that wasn’t a VAT argument (D’OH!) when she really meant to say national sales tax (ain’t you a tax lawyer, lady?).  That made her attack confusing and ultimately it fell flat, and it helped Cain.  Ultimately Cain had to throw up his hands and say “read the plan”.  Romney’s question on the two sales taxes, state and federal, was not well-addressed by Cain.  But Herman certainly had a few winning comments in the debate.

Bachmann:  She clearly fumbled the VAT/Sales Tax attack on Cain.  Plus  she’s gone from saying nobody should be taxed to everybody should be taxes.  Since the Gardisil overreach Bachmann has flown off the rails.  Tonight’s performance should force her to drop from the campaign.

Santorum:  Clearly a stalking horse.  The good news is he got more airtime because Huntsmann wasn’t there (hey, a guy has to spray tan!).  The bad news is he got more airtime to launch attacks on basically everyone.  I’d suggest to the Perry or Romney campaign to reach out to Santorum, promise him a cabinet position and assume his campaign debt, and keep him in, then have him launch proxy attacks on Romney/Perry, or a fake proxy on said candidate so the candidate can come out looking good.  If he doesn’t want to do that, then he needs to drop out.  Nobody’s taking him seriously.

Paul:  Good on domestic, bad on foreign policy.  Same old Ron Paul!

Gingrich:  I want to say this– the stage tonight was full of people with solid conservative credentials, but only one shines above the field, and that’s Newt.  If he didn’t have so much baggage, he’d be the frontrunner.  But again he talks about “working together” with Democrats, and he alluded to it tonight.  There will be no working together with Democrats to dismantle Obamacare.  That’s certain.  When the Democrats controlled the House & Senate & White House in 2008-2010, the Republicans got all stick and no carrot.  Speaker Boehner has done a great job using that stick on the White House and Senate to get things as done as he can get done.  But Newt has to come out guns blazing and declare total animosity towards compromise with the Democrats on Obamacare.  And the EPA.

Newt’s brilliant.  There’s no doubt about it. He’s a professor and it shows.  Romney’s smart, but he’s not Newt.  Santorum is smart, and so are Bachmann and Perry.  Paul’s a different kind of smart.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Newt’s really making me think about taking him seriously.  He’s got tremendous downside potential, but he’s got tremendous upside as well.  Perry’s got money, but no mojo to stop Romney.

In fact, if Perry and Gingrich got together right now and formed a ticket, Romney would be dead in the water and Cain couldn’t compete.

Tomorrow:  An interview profile of Rick Perry.


Application for President : Mitt Romney

(This is the first of profiles of the current candidates and their performance.  I’m reviewing this as if each of the candidates submitted information to me and then did an on-site interview, and my reactions to their information.  They are considered to be applying as a Republican candidate for office, not a conservative candidate for office.)

Candidate Name:  Mitt Romney

Cover Letter:  Bio from Website.

Comments:  He seems like a good family man and has been actively involved in industry.  Strangely enough, there’s nothing in the post that says why Mitt wants to be President.

Education History:  BS in English, Brigham Young University

JD (Law Degree), Harvard

MBA, Harvard

Comments:  Very impressive, especially the joint JD/MBA.  He has had high grades.  But do we want another lawyer as President?

Work History:  Management Consultant, venture capital / investment, CEO of Bain Capital, CEO Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games, Governor of Massachusetts, ran for Senate, ran for President in 2008

Comments:  Certainly has a lot of leadership experience and understands business.

Government Experience:  Governor of Massachusetts.  Ran for Senate.  Enacted Romneycare.  Ran as a Pro-Choice Governor in Massachusetts.  Claimed a pro-life mantle when running for President in 2008.

Comments:  A “moderate” Republican.  Has claimed a more “conservative” mantle, but his record disputes that.  Has serious conflicts with the Tea Party thanks to his Romneycare policy.

Issues:  Whole plan is listed here and focuses on economic policy.  His jobs plan is to “restructure” the tax code by “broadening the tax base”.  He never really defines this particular term, but the tax base is going to be broad, baby!  He also plans on moving toward a territorial tax plan to bring extranational taxes back to the the US.  He plans on eliminating red tape by repealing Obama regulations.  He wants to ensure that regulations do not make a direct impact on the economy and will restrict any new regulations from making negative impacts on the economy.  How?  Not sure.  he will also allow new permits for drilling and expand the territory allowed for such drilling.  What territories?  Doesn’t say.  His labor policy will be to put more “conservative” people on the NRLB to ensure unions act “fairly”.  He plans to “work with Congress” on this (translation:  if Congress wants to do it, I’ll sign it.)

Comments:  It’s long.  And in fact, most of it isn’t what Romney is proposing, but what Obama has done wrong.  It’s an interesting read because the proposals inside are vague and the language is carefully crafted to come off as saying something important.  Every statement is capable of meaning something that can be deflected.  For example, Romney throws his support behind Paul Ryan’s Medicare Reform as “a good start”, and claims to want to do something similar but different.  What he wants to do that’s different?  I don’t know.  He doesn’t explain.  And that’s what Romney is good at– making sweeping declarative statements that have no substance.  Same goes for his jobs policy, energy policy, labor policy– everything is treated with a broad brush.  There is no “red meat”, per se.

The Interview:  Romney’s performance in the debates has been great.  He’s been confident, articulate, and has good comebacks for any attacks.  However, he’s not giving any specifics on his plans.  His 59-point plan on jobs is an organizational mess and Romney hasn’t explained anything about it at the debates because it would take too long.  But it hasn’t hurt his performances in the debates, and he’s still the frontrunner.

Comments:  Again, light on specifics.  Mitt looks great, sounds great, but is weak on giving an indication on what his plans are.  Mitt excels at talking while not saying anything.  He’s proud of Romneycare but opposes Obamacare even though people from Romneycare lent the Obama administration support on how to craft Obamacare.

Overall Application:  Mitt’s a force to be reckoned with.  But he’s short on conservative credentials.  Serious conflicts with Tea Party values.  Proven leader.  He’ll be a good candidate, but as for governance, it’s unsure just what he will push and if it will be a solid conservative Presidency or something more middling.  His track record suggests he will lean more towards centrist policies.  He’s talked a more “conservative” game in this run, but his plan lacks specifics.  Also, there’s nothing that suggests Romney will cut government spending or streamline government by eliminating departments.  He’ll suspend Obamacare, but what he’ll do with it is unclear.  Will he push for its dissolution?  Will he amend it?  Will he talk with Paul Ryan and get Medicare straightened out?  Who knows.  Nothing in his debate performances has addressed specifics in these plans.  I’d like to see more specifics, but Romney’s been running for 10 months now and we haven’t seen anything that the Tea Party can get behind.


The Definition of Insanity

I’ve heard insanity can be defined as doing the same thing repeatedly while expecting different results each time.

It seems our President is “insane”.  Stimulus I hasn’t produced any jobs, and as my analysis and the analysis at HotAir has proven, the stimulus jobs are mostly VaporLabor (defined as jobs that can’t be proven as created or saved, or jobs that were “saved” that were never in jeopardy to begin with).  But now Obama is out talking about another round of government spending to try and stimulate more job growth.

I think the last thing we need is more government assistance in this matter.  Just ask this chart from


Another Sign He Doesn’t Get It

Obama has stopped whining about FOX news, for now, and has instead shifted his attention to conservatives.  He’s particularly miffed that he caught heat for taking his wife out on an extravagant date night to New York.

“People made it into a political issue,” Obama told The New York Times Magazine for an article about the Obamas’ marriage, appearing in the Nov. 1 issue. The article was posted on the Times’ Web site on Wednesday.

“If I weren’t president, I would be happy to catch the shuttle with my wife to take her to a Broadway show, as I had promised her during the campaign, and there would be no fuss and no muss and no photographers,” he said. “That would please me greatly.”

Again, this is part of Obama’s massive narcissism.   ‘I just wanted to take my wife out for dinner!  Is that so wrong?’

Usually, when people find fault with something I do, I perform an internal examination to determine if my course of action was indeed misguided.  If I wore a lampshade on my head, and danced around in my underwear at a party, would I then whine about the people complaining about my actions?  Or would I say, “Hey, maybe the Lampshade Underwear Mambo wasn’t the classiest of maneuvers?”

Obama’s still living in the world of Obama, not the world of the President.  Obama the Senator could charter a helicopter to fly him and Michelle to New York to dine at a 4 star, then hit some swanky parties and get home at 4 AM.  But with the office of President, you are now charged with being the Head of State.  You have to arrange travel through the Secret Service, as well as transportation to New York from D.C.  The NYPD need to be alerted and involved.  The FBI has to run checks to make sure there’s no elevated risk of terrorist activity.  Effectively, a little harmless jaunt costs the US money in protection and manpower.  Worse, we’re paying for security for a private date– this doesn’t even have any official State function.  Effectively, the US paid $80,000 so Obama and Michelle could have a date.  And yes, Mr. President, that is a political issue.

Presidents become trapped in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue by means of elaborate security measures.  We need our Head of State to be safe.  And if you don’t understand the inherent costs to the taxpayer for your indulgence of the New York Nightlife, you’re just confirming everyone’s suspicions you’re aloof.


What do Obama’s Appointees Have in Common?

Here’s a list of Obama’s cabinet and their relevant military experience and educational experience

  • President Barack Obama* — None. Law degree.
  • Vice-President Joe Biden — Exempted from Vietnam draft. Law degree.
  • Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — No military service. Law degree.
  • Secretary of Treasury Tim Geithner* — No military service.
  • Secretary of Defense Robert Gates — Air Force Officer (and Bush Holdover)
  • Attorney General Eric Holder* — No military experience. Law degree.
  • Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazaar — No military experience. Law degree.
  • Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack — No military experience. Law degree.
  • Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke* — No military experience. Law degree.
  • Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis — No military experience
  • Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius — No military experience
  • Secretary of Education Arne Duncan* — No military experience
  • Secretary of HUD Shaun Donovan* –No military experience
  • Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood –No military experience
  • Secretary of Energy Steven Chu — No military experience
  • Secretary of Veterans Affairs Gen. Eric Shinseki — Retired General
  • Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano — No military experience. Law degree.
  • Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel — No military experience (although he curses like a sailor)
  • David Axelrod, chief adviser — No military experience
  • Robert Gibbs, press secretary — No military experience.

And let’s examine Obama’s Czars

  • Richard Holbrooke, Afghanistan Czar — No military experience, although spent 6 years in Vietnam with the Foreign Service and diplomatic services
  • Jeffrey Crowley, AIDS Czar — No military experience. 2 years in Peace Corps. (BA in chemistry)
  • Ed Montgomery*, Auto Czar — No military experience.
  • Alan Bersin*, Border Czar — No military experience. Law degree.
  • David J. Hayes, California Water Czar (Deputy Secretary of the Interior) — No military experience. Law degree.
  • Ron Bloom*, Car Czar — No military experience.
  • Dennis Ross, Central Asia Czar — No military experience (but much intelligence experience).
  • Todd Stern*, Climate Czar — No military experience. (No science experience, either.) Law degree.
  • Lynn Rosenthal, Domestic Violence Czar — No military experience ( to the best of my knowledge).
  • Gil Kerlikowske, Drug Czar — Drafted into the US Army in 1970, served stateside for 2 years. Served as a police officer.
  • Paul Volcker*, Economic Czar — No military experience.
  • Carol Browner, Energy and Environment Czar — No military experience. Law degree. (No scientific degree, but she did say of growing up in the Everglades “I was very shaped by growing up in that kind of environment where nature was right there.” That’s like me saying that I should be Chairman of the Joint Chiefs because I grew up near military bases.)
  • Joshua DuBois, Faith-Based Czar — No military experience.
  • Jeffrey Zients, US Chief Preformance Czar — No military experience.
  • Cameron Davis, Great Lakes Czar — No military experience. (Environmental lawyer.)
  • Van Jones*, Green jobs Czar — No military experience. Law degree.
  • Daniel Fried*, Guantanomo Czar – No military experience. Spent time with the Foreign Service.
  • Nancy Ann DeParle*, Health Czar — No military experience. Law degree.
  • Vivek Kundra, Information Czar — No military experience.
  • Dennis Blair, Intelligence Czar — Retired Navy Admiral. Former CinC-PAC.
  • George Mitchell, Middle East Czar — Served 2 years in the army. Law degree.
  • Kenneth R. Feinberg, Pay Czar — No military experience. Law degree.
  • Cass R. Sunstein*, Regulatory Czar — No military experience. Law degree.
  • John Holdren, Science Czar — No military experience. Actually has a degree in science!
  • Earl Devaney, Stimulus Oversight Czar — No military experience. Police & Secret Service experience.
  • Aneesh Chopra, Technology Czar — No military experience.
  • J. Scott Gration, Sudan Czar — Retired Air Force general.
  • Herb Allison*, TARP Czar — Four years in the navy.
  • John Brennan, Terrorism Czar — No military experience. Many years of intelligence training.
  • Adolfo Carrion, Jr., Urban Affairs Czar — No military experience.
  • Ashton Carter*, Weapons Czar — No military experience.
  • Gary Samore*, WMD Policy Czar — No military experience.

Those marked with an asterisk are graduates of Ivy League schools.


Number with military experience: 6 (2 in cabinet) (11%)

Number with law degrees: 17 (31 %)

Number of Ivy Leaguers: 18 (33%)

So if you said “lack of military experience”, you’d be right. In fact, half of the appointees with military experience are retired flag officers (Shinseki, Gration, Blair). But there are many lawyers (as well as M.P.A.’s as well). And 1/3 of this crew attended Ivy League schools, hardly a “cross section of America”. Well, if you just counted Northeast and Chicago as “America”. Maybe.

For comparison, Clinton’s cabinet had 6 ex-military, and GWB’s had 5 ex-military (counting Tom Ridge) at start.

About Me

My name is Doc. Welcome to my blog. If you're visiting from another blog, add me to your blogroll (and I'll happily reciprocate). I have a Ph.D. in Chemistry and live in Wisconsin. If you have any questions, feel free to email me. My email is docattheautopsy at gmail. (No linking to deflate the incredible spam monsters).



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