May 29, 2011

Bill Whittle: ‘Turncoat Nation’

In my Pajamas Media column today (“Herman Cain: Barack Obama Is Not a Patriot”), I essentially said that it’s debatable whether Barack Obama’s treatment of Israel since he has become president is an example of how he “has acted against the best interests of his country.” I believe he has, but allowed some room for disagreement in that one instance of 13 identified (11 by Rush Limbaugh, two more my me).

Bill Whittle believes there is no such room, and make powerful arguments during the course of his more comprehensive video, “Turncoat Nation” (HT Instapundit), wherein he argues that Barack Obama has acted as a turncoat, turning us by proxy, since a majority of those who voted elected him, into a nation of turncoats:

As you can see, Whittle leaves no room for entertaining the idea that Barack Obama might be a patriot, which places him in complete agreement with Herman Cain.

Latest Pajamas Media Column (‘Herman Cain: Barack Obama Is Not a Patriot’) Is Up (Update: Dems and the Press Officially Scared)

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:25 am

herman-cain_052111It’s here.

It will go up here at BizzyBlog on Tuesday (link won’t work until then) after the blackout expires.

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The column’s opening:

Presidential candidate Herman Cain is unafraid to speak his mind, and did so on May 23:

Throughout a Monday interview with Hotline On Call, Cain bashed Obama and his policies. When asked about Obama as a man, he complimented his family life. But when asked whether the president was a patriot, Cain hesitated. After asking for a definition (a man who is working to do what he sees as right for his country), he simply said “no.”

Cain is a reasonable man, and made a reasonable assertion based on the available evidence.

Cain’s popularity with those who have come to know him would explain why he has graduated to the big-time — the official DNC “Rapid Response Team” hit list:

While the DNC has been barraging media and supporters with alerts criticizing Republican presidential hopefuls Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, and Mitt Romney’s media appearances, Cain has largely been out of the mix. Last week, the DNC sent out more than 25 alerts attacking the aforementioned GOP frontrunners, not one mentioned Cain.

Today, however, the committee ramped up its focus on Cain, issuing a “Rapid Response” attack against his morning “Fox and Friends” appearance, during which Cain praised the Paul Ryan budget.

“I support Ryan’s plan one hundred percent,” Cain said. “We don’t need to come up with another plan.”

Another indicator of Cain’s improving status is the establishment press’s recent inclination to ignore him.

Example: Despite certainly knowing of the the Herminator’s intensity-based first place with Gallup last week and his leading-the-field status(!) in a May 20-23 Zogby poll (HT Kerry Picket at the Washington Times), the Associated Press chose not to mention him in its story yesterday on the status of the race, even writing that “Tea party activists want one of their own.”

Memo to the AP’s Philip Elliott and April Castro: Herman Cain is “one of their own” (that sort of busts that “Tea Partiers are racists” mantra, doesn’t it?), and your failure to mention him only shows that you and the DNC (but I repeat myself) are scared to death of his candidacy.

The Obama Administration’s Sidam Touch

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:30 am

economy1If they touch it, they end up breaking it. Is that what they really want?

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Note: This column went up at Pajamas Media and was teased here at BizzyBlog on Friday.

(graphic found at Independent and Conservative)

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According to the Urban Dictionary, a person with “The Sidam Touch” has an ability that is “[t]he opposite of The Midas Touch, which turns everything to gold.” A person with The Sidam Touch “breaks and/or ruins everything.”

To say that President Barack Obama and his administration, especially what’s left of his economic team, have The Sidam Touch is the understatement of the 21st century.

In early February 2009, in the run-up to the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), known to most as “the stimulus,” the newly sworn-in Obama flexed his Sidam Touch muscles, repeatedly telling the nation; ”Doing nothing is not an option.” Fittingly, Obama flew Ohio’s Sherrod Brown in on a government plane from the funeral of Brown’s mother so that the Buckeye State senator could cast the deciding vote.

So how has it worked out? In December 2010, James Cogan and John Taylor at the Hoover Institution overestimated the impact of the stimulus plan by saying that it accomplished “zero.” On May 12, Professors Timothy Conley and Bill Dupor released more precise results demonstrating that ARRA really “created/saved 450 thousand government-sector jobs and destroyed/forestalled one million private sector jobs.” For the math-challenged, that’s a net loss of 550,000 jobs. A bit over two years later, it is abundantly clear that doing nothing would have been vastly preferable.

It may be lip service, but the president and his advisers continually tell us that private sector growth is important. On May 10, White House economic adviser Austan Goolsbee said: “You want the private sector to be the source of growth because that’s where the sustainable job creation is.” That’s interesting, because, as seen below, after almost three years, largely thanks to the Sidam Touch employment results just noted, the private sector’s inflation-adjusted size is barely back to where it was before the recession as normal people define it began, while the federal component of gross domestic product (GDP) has grown by 12%:

GDPthrough11QtrsPostRec052611

The situation is much worse than it appears, because personal consumption expenditures, which are part of the private sector total above, include money spent by those who receive their “income” from government transfer payments. Such handouts have exploded, even after the recession’s end in June 2009. From that point until February of this year, the number of food stamp recipients ballooned to over 44 million, an increase of more than 9 million. Shoot, you can have over $80,000 in the bank or win a $2 million lottery prize and still receive food stamp benefits. Overall, government payments as a percentage of all income hit 18.3% in 2010, an all-time high.

In the housing market, we see the administration’s Sidam Touch on steroids. This is another instance where doing nothing would have been a better option than the path chosen. Instead of letting the housing and home-lending messes sort themselves out, Team Obama’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) has seriously gummed things up. The average cost to taxpayers of each HAMP modification has been $22,600, while the program’s existence has until recently kept many banks from trying to impose their own modification terms. While this has dragged on, new home construction remains at a post-World War II low, largely because competing bargain-basement foreclosure properties haven’t been cleared from the market.

Just imagine how bad the economy’s results would be if it weren’t for Texas, where The Midas Touch still rules, at least for the moment. Since the recession’s end through April, the U.S. economy added 535,000 seasonally adjusted jobs. An incredible half of them were added in Texas, which has only 8% of the nation’s population. Texas’s April unemployment rate of 8.0% was a full point below the U.S. as whole.

Naturally, The Sidam Touch-infected Obama administration is trying to put a stop to these good things, perhaps especially because Governor Rick Perry is starting to look like a viable 2012 presidential opponent if he chooses to run. The president’s recent campaign appearances in Texas can’t hide the fact that his regime has declared economic war on the state in ways big and small:

  • The biggest is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s hijacking, without legal basis, of the state’s authority to issue air permits for large power and industrial projects. In a scathing January editorial, the Wall Street Journal observed that the EPA is punishing the Lone Star State “for not obeying rules that don’t exist today because the EPA hasn’t finalized them.” As of early May, the EPA still had authority over Texas’s permits.
  • Then there’s the Federal Emergency Management Administration’s denial of disaster area status to sections of the state hit by wildfires which have consumed more than 2 million acres and caused over $500 million in damage. In 2006, FEMA declared a disaster in Texas when less acreage burned. Its 2011 decision reeks of political malice.
  • Relatively minor, but certainly seen as spiteful by those involved, is the administration’s inexplicable (unless you consider politics) snub of Houston, the home of NASA’s mission control and its astronauts, as a site for one of the four museum-bound space shuttles.

Since President Obama and his brain trust surely know that The Sidam Touch actions being taken against Texas will hinder its economy and hurt job growth, one can only conclude that they don’t care. This leads to a broader and much more important question: Do they really care if the economy recovers anywhere else, or are they on an entirely different mission?

Positivity: ‘Hold for Coach Belichick’

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:35 am

From Rick Reilly’s May 17 ESPN column:

Marcus Cannon is a lucky guy. Fish practically jump in his boat. He weighs more than many pianos but dances like Michael Jackson. And, best of all, doctors discovered he had cancer less than two weeks before the NFL draft.

How is cancer lucky?

Here’s how:

When the 6-foot-5, 358-pound Cannon was a 15-year-old in Odessa, Texas, he found a lump on one side of his lower abdomen. The doctors said it was just an infection and not to worry about it.

When he was a redshirt sophomore at TCU, the lump grew. Doctors performed a needle biopsy, said it was benign and told him not to worry about it.

This April, when Cannon went to the NFL combine as a potential first-round draft pick — the Chicago Bears were said to want him with the 29th pick — the Indianapolis Colts head trainer, according to Marcus, heard about the lump and requested another biopsy, just to be sure.

So, Cannon went to the doctors and said, “Do whatever you have to do to prove to them I’m fine. I want to crush all the fears they have.”

This time, they did a full biopsy, and what they found crushed Cannon instead — non-Hodgkins lymphoma, the kind that killed Roger Maris and Jackie Kennedy Onassis and kills 1,300 Americans a year.

Not much scares a guy who can squat 800 pounds, but this poleaxed Cannon. He climbed in his black Toyota truck and just drove. He cried. He panicked. He freaked.

The biggest prankster on the TCU team? The guy who disguises his phone voice to tell friends they’ve just won Lotto? The guy who never stops laughing … had stopped? Was this the end of his football career? What NFL team would possibly draft him now?

Forget all that, would he live?

“I really didn’t think any team would take me now,” Cannon recalls.

He drove to his parents’ house in Odessa, where his truck-driver father said something Marcus had never heard him say before:

“You need to pray.”

The first day of the draft, Cannon couldn’t bear to watch. “It’s like a firecracker you know is going to blow,” he says. “Why hold it in your hand?” Besides, he had to go to his first chemotherapy treatment that day.

“We went fishing that next day,” says Cannon’s roommate and teammate, safety Colin Jones. “He had to leave. He just wasn’t feeling good at all.”

But the day after that, home alone, his phone showed him something that made him feel much better: an “unavailable” number. On the other end, a mystery voice said: “Marcus, the New England Patriots want to congratulate you and welcome you to the family. Now hold for Coach Belichick.”

He’d been taken in the fifth round, the 138th pick overall. He had fallen probably 100 choices. The cancer had cost him millions. And he felt like dancing an Irish jig.

“Really, the combine maybe saved my life,” Cannon says. “It was a pure blessing. They found the cancer in time. If it weren’t for the combine thing, I wouldn’t have gotten [the biopsy]. It might have been a year or more before we found it. Maybe two or three years. That might’ve been too late.”

But what kind of whacked NFL coach would draft a player with cancer? A certified genius with a hidden heart, that’s who.

“We all understand what the situation is,” Bill Belichick said after taking a risk on Cannon, whose 27-inch thighs are nearly cannons themselves. “How will it all work out? … We’ll all have to find out.”

It might just turn out sweet for everybody but the teams who passed on Cannon. He was ranked by many as a top-10 lineman. Instead, he was taken as the 22nd.

“That’s a steal,” Jones says. “Marcus is great.” …

Go here for the full column.