Friday, December 30, 2011

Benjamin Harrison and Obama

Obama, who recently stated, in a manner of speaking, that he saw himself as the fourth best president (behind Lyndon Johnson and in front of George Washington, for whatever reason) looks more and more like a former Republican chief executive.

He would like you to think of Theodore Roosevelt or Ronald Reagan. However, according to yesterday's New York Times, he resembles more a forgotten GOP one termer, Benjamin Harrison.

Harrison served from 1889 to 1893. Most people saw him as a powerful and persuasive public speaker. It must be noted that his ability to deliver an address counted for much in the days when speaking was a form of mass entertainment and teleprompters were not even a dream.

This president, who served between the two terms of Grover Cleveland, quickly gained a reputation for social ineptitude among fellow politicians. People also found him aloof and arrogant. Stephen Elkins, his Secretary of War, exclaimed that God's overcoat would not even make a vest for Harrison. Elkins received the office as a reward for strong service on Republican campaigns, including Harrison's.

The opposition calling Obama haughty and aloof comes with the territory. But on December 28, the New York Times agreed. The fact that Obama comes on the heels of one of the most well-liked Democratic presidents in history does not help him in the least.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

War on Human Events

A war has opened up on the pages of the conservative publication Human Events.

If conservatism has a paper of record, this might be one of the prime candidates for the honor since it is the eldest. Human Events features some of the most prolific and well-known conservative pundits around, including Newt Gingrich and Ann Coulter. Gingrich continues to write for the paper/website while campaigning. About a month ago, Coulter launched attacks on Gingrich more powerful and cutting than any campaign.

Gingrich has not responded to Coulter . . . yet. When he does, it will serve as truly high political drama because her pieces cutting into his conservative image coincided with a drop in his polling numbers.

The internet serves as a great equalizer. Gingrich and Coulter's columns are each as accessible as the other. No subtle messages in placement on a page can be made. On paper, each looks about as intelligent as the other (meaning that they are both a lot more brilliant than I am!) They take different tones, but both get their points across.

It is a new age of campaigning and writing. A lawyer turned journalist has set her sights on sinking Gingrich's campaign. We shall soon see if she succeeds.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Liberal Problem With the Kardashians

A recent poll indicated that liberals tend to watch reality and talent shows more often, while conservatives prefer occupation oriented shows. No, I don't mean aimless protesters. I mean shows such as Gold Rush, Flipping Out, or Storage Wars where people actually create wealth through risk and hard work.

Keeping Up With the Kardashians and that shows many spawn are exactly as described by the media. Yes, I've seen parts of it here and there. It is a show about relatively attractive people doing nothing in particular. These relatively attractive people get attention because one of them made a sex tape that was seen by millions and has dated a large number of professional athletes.

But, as we have seen, self-described liberals help to keep the show on the air. Does this mean that they approve?

Of course not. A group called Courage Campaign in California has decided, despite the fact that the Kardashians pay all of their taxes completely and in a timely manner (thus preventing any of them from being eligible to serve in the Obama Cabinet) that the Kardashians pay too little in tax money. They have launched a fight to make celebrities pay more.

Whenever states such as Maryland or New York launch such folly, they make their neighbors do backflips in appreciation. Such states have high opinions of themselves, believing that people would want to pay more for the privilege and fun of living there. They may gain in the short term, but lose in the long. Rich residents move away and few would choose to locate there.

This campaign also reflects a very liberal cultural snobbery. Conservatives who do not prefer to watch a show such as the Kardashians put on will still grudgingly respect the fact that they are creating wealth by responding to a market. Some may wish the market had better taste, but it does not and never has. The fact that they create wealth and employ people legitimately makes them valuable in the market.

But liberals think that they have too much money. They want to punish them for their success. That is a dangerous philosophy, no matter who you are referring to.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Rest In Peace Harry Boggs

He was truly a pillar of the Mineral County community and will be missed.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

In Obama's World, A Compact Costs More Than a Bentley

A Bentley, one of the finest luxury cars in the world, starts at $200,000

A Chevrolet Cruz, one of the newest offerings from Gummint Motors, a compact filled with glitches and issues, costs, including all the subsidies, $250,000

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Bad Sports

Remember the movie Hoosiers? It was based upon the magical season of a small Indiana high school who played their way into winning a state basketball title. Through parts of the season, the coach only had six usable players. At one point, he refused to put a player back on the floor and finished the game with four.

The Poca Dots, known throughout the country for creative naming, just ended their girls' basketball season before it began. They started the season with nine girls. After injuries and defections, they ended up with six. Since the WVSSAC mandates that teams have ten players, the Putnam County Board of Education ended their season.

Why? The six remaining players wanted to compete. The coaches still wanted to coach. They could have made magic on the banks of the Kanawha. Instead, a bunch of old folks decided, for no particular reason, that a basketball team could not consist of six determined young women.

Shame on you, government. Why did you ruin their season?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Risk Theory

Once upon a time, a nation with great land power and an ever-expanding industrial base sought to broaden its horizons. Having a massive army with which to confront, or to protect itself against regional adversaries was not good enough, even though it had historically defeated powerful nations.

Unsatisfied with dominance in its region on land, it decided to put its efforts into developing its sea power as well.

This did not go unnoticed. A wealthy island nation nearby looked with concern as the land power started to construct ships that equaled others in its class in more historically established navies.

The land power targeted the most powerful navy of its time. Its leaders came up with the "risk theory." They figured that they could never build a navy as large, or larger than their assumed enemy. However, they could become large enough that a sea battle would be too costly for the rival. They would then have to appease the demands of the land power.

I am talking about Germany's push for world power a hundred years ago, but could just as easily be talking about China today. In the 1870s and 80s, Germans did not love the British, but trusted that fair policy and a massive fleet were enough to protect their interests. By 1900, Germany wanted to be the arbiter of sea power along with Britain. Germany made its interests know, they wanted colonies and other trappings of world power.

What does China want? Regional supremacy. Their plans also seem to resemble the growing will to power expressed by Japan in the 1930s. Oil, and other resources are part of their long term plans.

China famously plays the long game and it must feel that the time is ripe to move. Japan suffers from economic problems. The United States has a clear leadership gap. Europe seems determined to dive off a cliff to save the ill-fated Euro. And China has no fear of Russia.

They face containment on land. Vietnam, India, South Korea, and Russia block traditional avenues of influence expansion. All, including the Philippines and Japan, fear, or have good reason to fear, an awakening of Chinese ambitions.

Trouble is brewing. We must not await China's plans to become mature before figuring out if they are dangerous, and sending a stern message.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Obama Declares Kind of Good Outcome In Iraq

But not victory. Whatever you do, do NOT call it victory.

Also. praise the Iraqi people and the result, but never mention the foresight of the man who caused all the wrong in the history of the world, President George W. Bush.

This had to be a tough moment for Obama. He opposed the war. He never credits Bush for any good. Yet politically, he will try and make this success his own without alienating the antiwar crowd that increasingly tires of him.

Obama has left the Middle East a more dangerous place. By refusing to work with Iraq to even keep some forces in place to watch and cow Iran, the Obama Administration preferred to pull all forces out. This leaves a vacuum of power that Iran will try to fill one way or another.

Regardless of anything that Obama or Ron Paul says, Iran's mullahocracy has revolutionary ambitions for the region. As it inches closer to a doomsday bomb, American influence has gone into full retreat. We left no forces in Iran's most hated rival. We have failed to support Israel, our most reliable ally. What is it, exactly, that we plan to do besides blowing up a few facilities, supposedly in secret?

They also have had one of our most advanced pieces of military equipment in their custody for several days now. When that happened 200 years ago, men volunteered to risk their lives to blow it up. We are too impotent to do anything today?

We left Iran the initiative. Where they take it is apparently up to them.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ann Coulter Could Decide the GOP Nomination

In the conservative world there are aircraft carriers, submarines, destroyers . . . and then there are battleships.

Aircraft carriers project power hundreds of miles away in small or big chunks, whichever you prefer. Submarines stealthily ride beneath the waves, attacking from beneath, from where you least expect it.

Destroyers sit on top of the water, but mainly escort the bigger guys and have little pop by themselves.

Then there are battleships.

Maybe the navy decommissioned them, but they are alive and well in the conservative world. They are large, loud, and destructive. They also impress with the range and strength of their firepower. You can't miss the arrival of one, or its intent. Battleships change the game.

Ann Coulter is a conservative battleship. She has trained her guns on Newt Gingrich.

Gingrich has ranged himself as the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney, latest of about ten. Coulter is one of his biggest threats.

The conservative base reads Ann Coulter. She may have less influence in the mainstream world, but she packs a major punch within strongly conservative ranks. When she supports Romney and broadsides Newt, she cannot be dismissed as squishy, or a RINO, or whatever the buzzword is these days. Newt's support is precisely what she is gunning down. Here are her last two commentaries for Human Events.

And, yes, Coulter knows exactly what she is implying with the phrase "tiny stick." She is a battleship of the conservative movement and the shells have been fired. Don't expect them to cease any time soon.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

David Cameron Makes a Stand

Prime Minister David Cameron took a stand for the United Kingdom this week. He decided that Britain would not march happily with the rest of Europe into the Fourth Reich.

Germany is willing to bankroll plans to save the Euro if member nations cede sovereign control over fiscal policy. In most people's experience, those that pay the piper call the tune. It is not a slam on Deutschland to say that their contributions would give them reason to act as though they were uber alles. It's not that they are evil or power mad, but it would be a reasonable and predictable position to take. Britain vetoed the plan as presented and will not take part in any tightening of the European Union.

Britain traditionally ranges itself against any power looking to dominate Europe. Germany, peacefully, and maybe even altruistically, is setting itself up to do just that.

The best policy would be to allow the Euro to disappear as the failed experiment that it is.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Lowes Down Dirty Shame

Count me as one of those who does not think that the "All American Muslim" program on TLC is as grave a threat to Western Civilization as some have made it out to be. Sure it does not present the fact that Islamists have a political agenda over and above the faith of Muslims. But I'd rather not see the Westboro cult get mentioned in a show about mainline Protestants, either.

In all honestly, Lawrence of Arabia makes a stronger case for Islam than All American Muslim ever could.

Some companies, such as Lowes, pulled their ads from the show. In America, that is your right. You do not have to pay for a commodity. They made a business decision, maybe a good one, maybe not, but they made it.

Now Lowes is actually facing a lawsuit by a California state senator demanding that the company reinstate the ads and apologize to the Muslim community.

Honestly, this foolishness does not help the cause of Muslims who want to improve their image. Freedom to speak and spend when you want are rights. There is no right to not be offended by crass statements, mockery, due to the faith that you happen to carry. Certainly no right exists to force advertisers to support a television program.

Very interesting in comparison to the crusade of many in the media and elsewhere against Tim Tebow.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Frustration With the Field

Election season is almost upon us. The Republican Party offered up a large and varied field for consideration, which has been whittled down one by one.

I have to admit. Although I see considerable talent and experience in the original field, the country also saw an appalling lack of preparation. Many in the Republican field ran as if they had never witnessed a presidential election before.

We knew that debating in the fall might have something of an impact on the election. Why on earth did Rick Perry stumble into these competitions so woefully unprepared? He might have made a fairly good president, because the man is not as stupid as his detractors want to say. However, Perry needed a team to help him learn to parry rhetorically. He also needed to come up with a better way to defend his departures from conservatism in some way other than calling most of us "heartless."

I really liked Herman Cain. The man had a magnetism that filled a room. People instinctively liked him and he gave the impression that he liked you too, and had a good sense of humor to boot. Some say that sexual harassment allegations sank him. Only partly true. His decline in the polls also coincided with a sudden inability to answer any question that departed from his basic understanding of economics. Our world remains a dangerous place. It requires an American president with an already formed vision of how he wants to deal with its problems. Cain rarely gave an impression that he considered these problems very often.

Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney come to the table with a solid understanding of foreign and domestic issues already in place. We have come to understand that the pitfalls of both are polar opposite. We don't want "world-historical Newt." We don't want the ultimate technocrat Romney. We need a president with energy, boldness, and focus.

We also do not want another Dear Leader. The Republican nominee must emphasize teamwork in his campaign and Cabinet. He cannot portray himself as the answer to all questions and the source of all solutions. But he must prove to us that he can assemble the team that can redirect our nation down the proper path, restoring prosperity and respect around the world.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Youth In Misery

Press Release: “Youth Misery Index” Exposes Worsening Economic Hardship for Young Americans

Permanent link

YMIGHERNDON, VA – Young America’s Foundation has released the Youth Misery Index (YMI), which has reached a record high (90.6) and has grown more than 25 percent in four years—17 percent since the Obama administration took office.

To calculate the index, Young America’s Foundation adds together youth unemployment, average graduating student debt (in thousands), and national debt per capita (in thousands). At no point in recent history has life been harder for America’s young people.

The Youth Misery Index represents a three-pronged attack on young Americans’ financial security—educational debt from their past, unemployment in the present, and a future plagued by the burden of massive government debt.

Youth unemployment is at 17.4 percent—one of the highest levels since World War II. Average graduating student debt has reached a record-breaking $26,300. National debt per capita is $46,900—the highest ever. Add it up, and the Youth Misery Index comes out to 90.6 (17.4 + 26.3 + 46.9 = 90.6). What does this number mean? Like Jimmy Carter’s Misery Index, the YMI uncovers some real threats to our nation’s prosperity.

As explained at, all three indicators of the Youth Misery Index have gone up, at least in part, thanks to government intervention and out-of-control spending. Few things are more earth-shattering to a young person than being stuck with no job and tens of thousands in college debt. As the Youth Misery Index rises, look for the Obama administration’s youth support to continue to plummet (as reported by the New York Times).

Young America’s Foundation’s Ron Meyer, who developed the Youth Misery Index with support from Nathan Harden, a Novak Fellow with the Phillips Foundation, said, “As a recent college graduate myself, I’ve seen the harsh realities of the Youth Misery Index. Young people can and must be the catalyst to shock the establishment by advocating for the halt of big government. If we do nothing, we can kiss the American Dream goodbye."

For more information on the index or to request an interview, please call Ron Meyer at (800) USA-1776.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Fourth Reich

Europe has been given ten days to come up with a plan to save itself.

Any plan that will save the tattered Eurozone will require massive infusions of capital from one of the few fiscally responsible nations left in the Western world, Germany.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has named the price of German action. She wants member nations to cede sovereignty over financial affairs to a central commission. On the surface, this could be the only possible way to save the unified currency.

However, it would possibly bring horrific consequences. Germany will not hand out money and then step back. as the United States would. The price of Germany's help would be German control, at least indirectly. This is not meant to muster Nazi overtones. Merkel is more like Otto von Bismarck. She wants to protect Germany by stabilizing Europe with a German vision, not overturn civilization.

But each incarnation of a German Reich usually ends with violence. Each one, from the Holy Roman Empire to Hitler, drew upon a sense of a German mission to secure civilization through exercising order in Europe. European nations do not want German domination in any form and will fight if pushed.

The plans on the table call, whether they know it or not, for a Fourth Reich. Every Reich, no matter how well-intentioned, ends in war. European bureaucrats need to remember that.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pattern of Tyranny: Hugo Chavez, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Bill Clinton

What do each of those individuals have in common? Each of them over the past several years has been associated with term limits abolition for presidents.

Hugo Chavez already has the coveted "president for life" job. Argentinian President Fernandez de Kirchner this week seemed to float a trial balloon in her country about amending their "outdated" constitution. Bill Clinton suggested that the term limit amendment be lifted in this country recently.

The executive branch has an advantage over the legislative in this key area. At the most, every eight years, the executive gets swept clean of its political officers. Even presidents from the same party tend to want to have their own people, avoiding the messes caused when John Adams and Harry Truman held over officials. Turnover in office reduces the amount of corruption that can settle in.

Congress operates without term limits. Invariably, human nature takes over when a person in power gets comfortable. They cut corners, ignore rules here and there, and probably are as surprised as anyone else if they end up scandalized.

President Washington feared more than most the concept of "president for life." He saw it as upsetting the balance established between the branches of government, leading to the establishment of what Madison called "the tyranny of the majority." The president has the most to gain by somehow purchasing or otherwise appeasing the majority at the expense of the minority. And the majority rarely see infringements upon their rights.

Presidential term limits are necessary for the continuance of good government. Congress should consider them as well.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

New York Governor Faces Daunting Threat By His Own Party

The Governor of New York has tossed down a challenge at any and all. He will not raise taxes and he will support Marcellus Shale drilling. Cuomo publicly lashed out, ridiculing those who felt that

Andrew Cuomo, son of Democratic Party legend Mario, faces powerful attacks from public employees' unions, factions of his own Democratic Party, and a left wing "workers' party" the supports everything but work.

The Democratic Party in many parts of the nation faces a serious identity crisis. In places such as New York, the old liberal establishment finds itself at odds with the New Left. Most of the time, liberalism succumbs quietly to the shrill and mindless "mike check" mentality. In doing so, they wave good-bye to meaningful dialogue and the jobs that could be saved through tax and regulation relief. Governor Cuomo will have none of the Left. He seems to stand ready to strike back.

Thankfully, West Virginia Democrats, at least the majority anyway, have successfully resisted the burrowing of the left. They do not support business reforms as stridently as the state needs, but they have not kowtowed to Obamunism either. Democrats in the Mountain State are not swimming to shore, but they do continue to tread water, unwilling to put the weights desired of the left on the state's ankles.

Democrats need to take their party back.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Mitt Romney Needs to Abandon the Thomas E. Dewey Strategy

What do you think of when you think of Mitt Romney? Certainly he is intelligent, accomplished, organized, and, in a way, looks like a president. Conservative ideology aside, we would have no reason to think that Romney could not be sound in office.

But is Romney inspiring? Does Romney exude what George H. W. Bush derided as "that vision thing?"

There lies the problem.

Romney's rope-a-dope style in the primary season may win him the nomination as the not-Romneys battle it out. Compared to most of the pack, he looks far better informed and ready to govern. Compared to Newt Gingrich, he definitely looks more predictable and, some say, safe. Unfortunately for Romney, that could have been said about Neville Chamberlain versus Winston Churchill in 1938.

Should Romney win the nomination, and that is a strong possibility, he must cease the pleasant little boat trip of a campaign that he has captained so far. His latest debate spawned criticisms of his "going through the motions" and resorting to platitudes. This will not do against a campaign in 2012 that promises to be one of the most vicious in American history.

Thomas Dewey took the field against Harry Truman in 1948. Dewey altered his strategy after accusations of going too aggressively against Franklin Roosevelt. That was a mistake in that FDR was a sick old hero, whereas Truman was somewhat unpopular.

Whatever accolades Truman deserves for identifying Soviet evil early on, he must be remembered as a bare-knuckled liar of a campaigner. FDR's successor got everything that he wanted out of the initially hesitant to spend GOP Congress in 1947. The Marshall Plan, National Security Act of 1947, aid to Greece and Turkey, all this and more came at the behest of Truman. Few presidents have gotten more out of their own party. But Truman, seeing Dewey as a likeable opponent, campaigned against the "do-nothing Congress."

Dewey responded by ignoring Truman and playing prevent defense, which in football usually translates to preventing the win. Truman had very low popularity with all voters and even faced major splits in his own party. The liberal Louisville Courier-Journal summed up Dewey's campaign in the following fashion:

No presidential candidate in the future will be so inept that four of his major speeches can be boiled down to these historic four sentences: Agriculture is important. Our rivers are full of fish. You cannot have freedom without liberty. Our future lies ahead.

If you didn't already know....Truman won in 1948.

To be fair, Romney has been much more specific than Dewey was. However, he needs to show spark. Romney, if he wins nomination, needs that moment where Americans see that he can intelligently rise to the occasion. Ronald Reagan's famous 1980 microphone moment ( is an example.

It is still a long way to the end, and Gingrich is showing staying power and intellectual command. But if Romney should win, he needs to ignore the Dewey gameplan and go on the attack.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

We are thankful for God, family, country, and all of the men and women who risk all every day to protect us.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Gingrich Looking Past Primaries?

Newt Gingrich, in last night's debates, seemed to start positioning himself against not only his fellow Republicans, but also the incumbent president. The former Speaker of the House strongly advocated for a "humane" immigration policy that eases the enforcement of laws on long term illegals. His rationale lay in preventing family break-ups.

Gingrich runs the risk of losing the conservative support built over the past several weeks, following the trend of Michelle Bachman, Rick Perry, and Herman Cain when each fumbled in the right wing red zone. It lends credence to the idea that Gingrich actually lies more in the center than even Mitt Romney and opens the door further to criticism of his other non-conservative moves in the past.

It also opens the door for Gingrich to expand his support into different groups, especially if he wins the nomination. The Hispanic community is no monolithic creature. It divides along national and generational lines. Gingrich's move tactically targets Hispanics whose social conservatism could bring them into the GOP camp, or at least convince them to elect some Republicans. The family first mantra will attract Roman Catholic and other religious voters who have been pushing this line in many issues for decades.

The Republican Party itself has no consensus on all immigration policy ideas. Gingrich's gamble will cost him support now, but would definitely broaden his appeal if nominated.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What Is Joe Manchin's Endgame?

It's a good question.

Unlike many Democratic lawmakers who thinly praise, or opt out of the discussion altogether when it comes to Obama, Senator Manchin has gone on the offensive. Most recently, he blasted Obama for failed leadership on the issue of budget deficits.

This is not really a position of tremendous political courage for Manchin. West Virginia despises Obama and overwhelmingly approves of their newest U. S. Senator. However, he is right to compare his own leadership favorably to the absent Obama. Manchin, albeit with a few accounting gimmicks, could show a balanced budget every year. He also used surpluses to reduce state pension debt. Despite the (D) after his name, Manchin exercised some fiscal conservatism. His example has been followed by current West Virginia governor Earl Ray Tomblin and even New York governor Andrew Cuomo. Common sense dictates that in a poor economy, tax hikes and drastically expanded spending cannot work.

Joe Manchin is the consummate politician. He has an endgame here. Does it involve a bid for higher political office under the Democratic banner? Or is his rhetoric, which sounds moderate for a Republican and actually runs right of Mitt Romney in some ways, prefacing a party switch?

This coming election cycle could be one of the most raucous and unpredictable in some time. Some things that would have been impossible a few years ago might be seen as bold solutions now, especially if a true maverick like Newt Gingrich ends up on the GOP ticket.

For now, it is interesting to see Manchin again target Obama on the economic warpath.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Obama and NASCAR...What Could Go Wrong?

In one of the worst of a series of bad moves for the Obama administration, someone had the bright idea to put Michelle Obama front and center in front of a .........NASCAR crowd?

What's next? Beer summit between Barack and Charlie Daniels?

Michelle Obama, she who was first proud to be an American only when her husband received the nomination, was booed heartily by the crowd in Florida. Just like Herbert Hoover met with boos in 1932 when he attended baseball games.

She ostensibly was on tap for a pretty worthy cause, honoring troops and their families. The swing state timing of this appearance was certainly political, and had she met with roars of approval, Democrat pundits would have eagerly embraced this as evidence that Obama has more support than we think.

Barack himself, who believes that these NASCAR fans cling unreasonably to guns and religion, (among other fairly condescending remarks) was booed in 2010 by Boy Scouts, of all people. This is not a new phenomenon for the Obamas.

I wonder what bright individual thought that Obama and NASCAR would mix. NASCAR fans do not tend to be leftists. And don't give me the race issue either. Had Allen West or Herman Cain done the same, they would have received raucous cheers.

Michelle Obama should try opening up CPAC next year. She might get a better reaction.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

University of Charleston: Ahead of the Curve

The University of Charleston, yes, our Charleston, is getting ahead of the curve on changes that are coming to higher education.

It announced this month that tuition will drop 22% over the next few years.

High education costs, pushed by the student loan balloon, have soared. Students and institutions of higher learning alike rode the "free money" train for many years. Humanities departments rejoiced and hired hand over fist, granting tenure to many. Inevitably, student loan procedures will change. They will have to be more geared toward students who plan to do something productive with their degrees, something that will eventually be able to repay the loans.

Colleges and universities will have to do their part and lower their tuition and fees. Raises in these were only possible on a large scale because of the student aid programs.

The University of Charleston is adapting to the landscape before the changes come, trying to remain competitive for great students while dealing with the realities of the next several years.

Bravo, U. C. You are likely a model for the rest of the country.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Has CBS Rediscovered Journalism?

The lowest point of the news career of the Tiffany Network came in 2004 when Dan Rather pursued a story about George W. Bush's National Guard record into the ground, despite the fact that supporting documentation was forged. This came many years after Rather declared a vendetta for no conceivable reason against George H. W. Bush. In 2008, Katie Couric ambushed Sarah Palin by using a softball interview to ask strong questions. Which, honestly, is fair enough. A candidate or elected official should be prepared to answer tough questions at any time. But treat Obama and Biden the same, please. That's all we ask.

That was then. Are we seeing a new CBS?

Which old network has pursued Fast and Furious? CBS. Which old network spotlighted a Brietbart contributor's book on the use by congressmen and women (including Pelosi) of inside congressional information to score big on stocks? CBS' 60 Minutes.

CBS seems to have rediscovered the public benefit of journalism that shows less ideological favor and hits everyone just as hard. Now they are not yet perfect. Scott Pelley's laughable performance as debate moderator demonstrates that they have a ways to go. But at least they are covering the news.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Remember Our Vets Today

From the militia defending the frontier in the 1600s to the men and women on the front lines of freedom today. You all are appreciated. Thank you!

The Third Agency and the Stupid Shallowness of Debating

In the future, the Republican Party needs to shape the debate process better.

In no way, shape or form can voters make an intelligent decision about their candidates when their main national speaking forum resembles more a game show than a serious discourse.

In thirty seconds or less, explain how and why you would end Obamacare. Really? This is what an important issue gets reduced to?

Rick Perry is no debater, but he does have more executive branch experience than anyone that he might face in this election. How does eleven years of experience translate into debating? It doesn't. Pundits, based solely on his debating skills, rate him as mentally deficient. Debating skill does not necessarily equal political brilliance. Had Prince Otto von Bismarck, one of the great statesmen of the modern era, been put on stage with these GOP candidates, he would have flubbed worse than Perry.

Tell me when, outside of a campaign, does a president have to debate anyone in this fashion?

I am not endorsing Rick Perry here. In fact, if there is any way that we can set aside the personal baggage, Newt Gingrich may be the best potential president. He sounds absolutely Churchillian at times.

Gingrich, to his credit, is trying to change the game. America deserves thoughtful debate. We don't need guys standing behind podiums sweating nervously and trying not to make mistakes. Let us, just one time, sit these candidates down in comfortable chairs and let them calmly discuss the issues of the day. If it takes three hours, so be it. If America tunes out, that is our choice. But let us discuss issues in a civilized tone so we can make a truly educated choice.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Why Republicans Should Engage Labor Unions

A dalliance. A brief liaison. A flirtation. That might be all that is needed to spur union rank and file towards the Republican camp in the upcoming election year.

Big Labor has a problem. They face squeezes from the Left and the Right. Conservatives want to check their power in the private and public workplace. They see Big Labor's goals as a burden upon the economy and what is left of the manufacturing sector.

The Left presents even more challenges. Its "Occupy" movement embraced Big Labor, then protested the economic development that labor needs to survive. The proposed pipeline from Canada to the Gulf would employ steelworkers, Teamsters, and who knows how many others who pay their union dues. Big Labor understands that these worker intensive projects form their lifeblood in a fashion that windmills and solar panels do not. Richard Trumka a few weeks ago angered the Right by threatening violence against the Tea Party. Now he angers the Left with his grumbling recalcitrance against their hypergreenie movement.

As I said last week, the American economy is capable of paying off our debt and social programs that have been vetted to prevent inefficiency and fraud. We can also handle some of the desires of Big Labor. It is interesting that we were able to pay for all of this until the 1970s when more and more regulations served to hogtie manufacturing and energy production. Now we need not go back to the bad old days of rampant pollution, but we also need a reasonable balance between the needs of conservationists and industry.

Were I a GOP presidential candidate, and Newt Gingrich is likely the only candidate with the brass cahones to do so, I would invite the AFL-CIO in for a discussion, much as he did with Herman Cain. They can discuss where conservatives and Big Labor can realize shared goals of expanding production and prosperity while clearing the air over shared anxieties about each other. Would they come away in perfect agreement? Probably not. But traditional Big Labor liberals have more shared interests with conservatives than they do with the Left.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Tale of Two Joes

Two Joes have the spotlight today. One finally got his due, another got exposed. One was beloved by the media, the other ridiculed. Time has a way of uncovering the good and evil that men do, or at least tolerate.

Joe Frazier never got his due while he was alive, as a boxer or a man. The media always saw him as a placeholder for Muhammed Ali during his suspension, even after Frazier beat him. It took Frazier's death for the media to admit, finally, that Ali (as a Washington D. C. sports talk commentator said this morning) that Ali was a "d!&k" and that Frazier conducted himself with class.

The media always looked upon Joe Frazier with scorn and laughed at Ali's racial characterizations of him. They sounded a lot like later attacks on Condoleeza Rice and Michael Steele. Frazier bore them with pride and dignity, even in his later, impoverished years. Only now, with his death, do we finally hear that, yes, this was a great man in his own way.

Joe Paterno has always been identified as morality and rectitude itself. He comes from that greatest generation and seemed to symbolize all of its virtues. Unfortunately, he could not bring himself, when given a statement that a child had suffered sexual attack, to turn in his old friend who happened to attack at least eight other children. Paterno did the legal minimum. He told his superiors. It does not matter that Paterno knew few of the pertinent details. He knew a man with Penn State credentials had sexually forced himself on a young boy. That is all you need to know to pick up the damned phone and call 9-1-1.

So while we feel disappointment with one Joe, let us remember fondly the other. Joe Paterno was not the man we thought he was. But Joe Frazier was so much more.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Liberalism Needs to Separate From Leftism

America is moving towards disaster. Greece, which currently is in debt at 120% of its GDP, is set to collapse. We are at 101% and rising. Tough decisions must be made.

This is where traditional American, old school liberalism needs to reassert itself. American liberalism was not anti-industrial. As a matter of fact, they cringed at radical environmentalist proposals in the 1960s that feel far short of the Lisa Jackson EPA. They understood that labor needed industry in a basic way, but also needed help. Labor needed prosperous industry to employ workers and pay for pension and social programs.

At some point, liberals joined with leftists and therein lies the current problems.

Liberals understand that business needs to profit so that it can grow, employ more people, and pay its taxes. The Left sees business as a milk cow to be squeezed as much as possible, then whipped when it can provide no more milk.

The fact is that, given the knowledge that the United States can lead the world in energy production, including oil, we can pay for our social welfare system. We need to make tough decisions about federal spending on such things as education and we definitely need to cut waste. But, in reality, if we unleash American energy and manufacturing from its regulatory shackles, the resulting economic growth can pay for social welfare IF we do not start tacking on a whole bunch of new programs.

I don't mean gutting all environmental and labor laws. But we need to recognize that a balance must exist. We must stop discouraging development and begin encouraging growth.

To do so, the liberals need to reject the left and support energy and manufacturing growth. They need to stop bashing the productive simply because they exist and realize that if they are doing better, so is labor and so are the tax revenues that fund the programs that liberals love.

In other words, you cannot have it both ways. We cannot expand social benefits and discourage manufacturing and energy production at the same time.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


It was either this or Herman Cain today. I happened to see Cain last night at the American Spectator dinner. He has a power and an eloquence in his public speaking and an easy going nature around his potential constituents. If you wonder how conservatives react to Cain now, he got a standing ovation after his introduction.

Unless the accusers have something more than inappropriate talk, Cain ain't going anywhere.

And now Greece.

2,400 years ago, Greece stood at the center of civilization. Persia's slow decline coupled with regional desire for olive oil and wine made the Greek cities wealthy. They traded their own, and other countries' products. However, their own tragic flaw lay in their inability to unify on anything. Their fratricidal wars left them vulnerable to the expansion of Rome.

Today, Greece stands at the abyss. Most of their country wants to stick its head in a hole and pretend that a welfare state is viable. Their debt is 120% of their GDP (ours is 101%, so we are not far behind) and they must pare away much of their welfare state and bureaucracy to qualify for a loan that will only pay their bills until the end of the year. An agreement was made, then rescinded as their prime minister agreed to put it to a national referendum, which is allowed under their legal system.

Where will Greece go from here? No one knows. The agreement will fail to win the vote, according to polls and observers. Had the prime minister gone ahead with the deal with the European Union, he risked civil war. If the country votes the plan down, there will still be massive social unrest, but the people can only blame themselves for that. However, if the vote passes, then it will give their government a mandate to make the reforms that they desperately need.

Greece's prime minister has gotten pummeled by the international press. But the spoiled brat populace of Greece gives him little choice

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Jim DeMint (R-SC) Blasts Environmentalists Who Put Extremism Ahead of Public Safety

Recent Press Releases

November 1, 2011

54 Senators Risk Health of Millions to Appease Environmentalists on Inhaler Ban

Today, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) made the following statement after the Senate voted 44-54against his amendment that would have stopped the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) ban on over-the-counter (OTC) epinephrine asthma inhalers. The amendment would have disallowed the use of taxpayer funds to enforce the ban on OTC inhalers. The ban is set to take effect in Jan. 1, 2012 and puts environmental concerns ahead of concerns for the estimated 3 million American asthma sufferers who use these inhalers.

“Fifty-four Senators voted to appease extreme environmentalists by banning inhalers that millions of Americans that depend on to breathe,” said Senator DeMint. “This ban won’t do anything serious to help the environment but it will force asthma suffers to spend two to three times more on prescription inhalers, leading many low-income Americans to seek less effective remedies. Even the EPA and FDA admit that banning OTC inhalers will do little to nothing to affect the ozone, but it could lead to hundreds of thousands of new asthma related hospital visits and hundreds of millions in new health costs.”

“This is exactly the kind of ridiculous regulation that shows why Americans are so fed up with the federal government’s nanny-state mentality. Once again, Washington is willing to put Americans at risk in the hopes of appeasing special interests.”

The FDA estimated that the inhaler ban may result in asthma sufferers self-medicating with less effective remedies, and could lead to an increase in annual health expenditures from $180 million to $1.1 billion and hospital ER visits for asthma could increase by anywhere from 0 to 444,000. (source:

The ban is an attempt to reduce chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) emissions, yet even the FDA admits that “The reduction of CFC emissions associated with removing OTC epinephrine CFC MDIs [Metered-Dose Inhalers] from the U.S. market represents only a fraction of 1 percent of total global CFC emissions. Current allocations of CFCs for OTC epinephrine MDIs account for less than 0.1 percent of the total 1986 global production of CFCs.” (source:

Monday, October 31, 2011

Federal Reserve Not Immune From Law of Unintended Consequences

Twist Puts Looney Tune Squeeze on Citizens
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke recently announced that the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) would begin a process informally known as “Operation Twist,” in which the Federal Reserve will attempt to force long term rates downward while letting short term rates rise.
This will be accomplished by selling short term treasuries and purchasing longer term ones with those same funds. Bernanke believes that this will aid the economy by allowing individuals to refinance at lower rates, thereby providing support for real estate markets and yielding an increase in consumer spending money.
With this announcement, Mr. Bernanke has proven once more that elaborate theories crafted by geniuses always yield results even Wile E. Coyote himself could not devise a more promising scheme if left alone in the desert with stacks of economic data.
If by now you’re wincing just a bit, it could be because you know that reality comes with its own set of rules. Attempting to manipulate markets to achieve a desired outcome may appear logical…. it might even seem like the right thing to do on many occasions, but the law of unintended consequences always does exactly what you don’t expect, as its name implies.
Economic recovery in this environment is not unlike the Road Runner. Each time you think it can be had, it leaves you looking silly. What we need is an elaborate plan—or two…or even three.
The problem is that we have already made these attempts. First, there was QE1, then there was QE2. Both were extravagant and expensive ways to attempt economic stimulus. And now, because the first two were so successful, this third round of tinkering is being forced upon the public by a Fed Chairman concerned with his own job security.
First of all, we must consider those who depend the most upon a healthy and normal yield curve. Retirees, pensions, and small to regional banks depend more on long term rates to yield an acceptable rate of return than most other segments of society. Yet, Operation Twist is taking from those who have worked and saved, pressuring pension funds which are already stretched thin, and tilting the board to favor the megabanks which have far more diverse revenue streams – banks that have already been bailed out once.
In addition, only those people who qualify for refinancing will be able to benefit from these lower rates—if the bank is willing to lend at all—but those on the edge of walking away from their mortgages will see no reason to change their minds. As a result, real estate values will remain soft from the glut of homes on the market.
Mr. Bernanke (Wile E.), perhaps it is time to stop chasing Mr. Recovery (Road Runner). Retreat. Reconsider. Let supply and demand determine housing prices.
Perhaps some young couples starting out could benefit from a real break. If left alone, they will soon have saved enough money to do the things that move economies.
They could start a business and hire people. Perhaps their local bank would lend them money for commercial property if rates were attractive. Maybe Grandpa could have helped them out in a tight spot if his cash flow wasn’t restricted by a meddling little man in a far away place with a fancy title and wild ideas.
Henry Dillon is the Principal/Adviser with Founders Finance, LLC located in Huntington, WV. For further information, please visit their website at

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Joe Biden Causes Increases In Rapes

The Joe Biden Theory of Police Presence and Increases of Instances of Rape can be put to teh test in other areas besides Republican fiscal responsibility.

Joe Biden supports OWS and like movements across the country.

Prominent officials' support of such movements encourage local city governments to tolerate their presence no matter how violent, unhealthful, etc. they get.

A large assemblage of shady characters requires a larger than normal police presence.

Those police are not on their usual beats.

This causes rapes.

Therefore, according to his own logic . . .

Joe Biden causes rape.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

If We Wanted to: How to Comply With OWS Demands

OWS demands pretty much fly all over the place. This should get even more freaktastic now that Islamic militants have joined in common cause bare breasted hippie girls that have (useless) college degrees. But a few stand out. Universal distribution of food and through the roof minimum wages are only a couple of the proposals/demands heard from these protests.

Conservatives claim that such demands are impossible. We are wrong. They are possible, as well as easy, to fulfill. We cannot do these things through simple taxation because American businesses and individuals simply do not have enough wealth to cover the bill.

One model of society that could satisfy the demands made by OWS was proposed over two thousand years ago in Plato's Republic.

Hippies would love this. Philosophers, defined by Plato as the enlightened, not necessarily the ones from the ivory tower, get to rule. Bankers, soldiers, merchants, artists, and professionals have their place in this system. The intelligent, educated, and enlightened get to spend all of their time pursuing the work that fulfills them and avoiding other kinds of dull or dangerous labor.

Sounds great so far. Just what the young want. Fulfilling work that pays. There is a catch, though. Plato insists that each person fulfill their intended roles. He then lists a number of jobs and includes the word "slave" in the list. Plato's model state rests on slavery. This produces the wealth that enables everyone else to pursue their dreams without worrying about who digs the ditches.

Let's say that we don't want to enslave anyone. We can still pay off the debt and do as OWS desires, at least for a few decades. The answer is conquest. Yes, we can pay for everything by seizing the wealth and resources of neighboring states. We have military strength and resources to seize Canada, Mexico, Cuba, and any other nearby area that suits our needs. We then just take what we want for the greater good.

Towards the end of the Roman Republic, the masses were encouraged by opportunistic political leaders to demand more and more handouts. The constitution, once revered, was increasingly seen as an obstacle rather than a guardian. Poor leaders demanded action now, even if it violated individual rights and constitutional law. Once leaders started down that road, it led to civil wars, conquests, and, eventually, an empire led by insane tyrants.

Yes we can do what OWS wants. We could enslave our own population. Or conquer others and lose our own constitution in the process. Or we could ignore the simple minded drivel and make long term plans to cut spending, cut regulation, spur economic growth, and diligently climb out of the mess created by greedy government.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ann Coulter

I had a chance to see Ann Coulter at Georgetown University last week. She put on an impressive show.

About 2/3 of the student crowd were respectfully hostile. Coulter delivered a lively and confrontational performance. She did not just want to preach to the choir, but also to afflict the comfortable liberals and leftists in their own academic lair.

Coulter cast her lines and reeled them in. No one disrupted the forty minute speech, but the question and answer session, called by Coulter "the fun part," brought forth lines of undergraduate students offering themselves up as neophyte gladiators against a master of rhetoric.

An academic world dominated by leftists and liberals can only with difficulty produce people of that ideology who can argue their own cause. The best resorted to ad hominem attacks against her while the worst spouted incoherent and untrue anecdotes of things that were said to have happened ten years ago. At one point, in mock frustration, she stated that she gave them a half an hour of actual issues to attack her on, but none of them were creative enough to go beyond what they found on "" talking points.

It's true. They attacked her language and image, but none took issue with the substance of her speech on economics and society.

Most amazingly, a few of the very critical questioners, whom she dispatched easily, showed up afterwards, her $29 book in hand, to get an autograph and shake her hand.

It reminded me of a scene from the movie Private Parts where the network executives were aghast that not only did Howard Stern's fans listen regularly, but also those who hated and complained about him.

In this sense, Ann Coulter entertains liberals. She offers herself and her views on their turf and invites their attacks. Like the old contests where an average guy can win a prize if he lasts three minutes with a boxing champion, they test themselves. They come out the loser each time, but they can at least brag that they faced their conservative devil and lived to tell the tale. Coulter goes beyond the preaching to the choir mentality that a lot of commentators have. She engages, entertains, and provokes. Very likely, liberals often leave a presentation of hers at least rethinking some of their ideals because she presents her own very logically. But they also enjoy the kind of rhetorical tussle with an accomplished conservative that rarely happens on a college campus.

It's also obvious that she loves the fight as well.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Republicans Need to Talk Team In Presidential Race

America is living through a crisis that we have not seen in two generations. Somewhere between the Carter years and the Great Depression is our economic mess, caused by big government, easy credit, tax policy that is beyond stupid, and overregulation.

Republican presidential candidates and political minds, too influenced by both "The Won" and the Ron, offer themselves as the solution.

Most of us following the chase for the Republican nomination know that no free market white knight messiah exists on stage. One has personal baggage, the presumed winner before it starts is more liberal than Joe Manchin, another sees aggressive foreign policy as a covenant with death, the leader's demise has already been predicted, and the guy from Texas is just making it up as he goes along.

The GOP choices look way too much like a Washington Redskins quarterback controversy. All bring strengths to the table, but none stand out as a definite winning horse, not yet anyway.

So I want to hear something more team oriented. Not "I." We don't have complete confidence in any of you yet. You have all had failings and flaws at some point. You all bring weaknesses to the table, even you, Newt. Talk about the team. Talk about working with John Boehner, other prominent members of Congress such as Allen West and Marco Rubio, state governors, and even each other.

What we actually have is a slate full of great potential Cabinet appointees. Paul at Treasury (imagine the Federal Reserve boys if he actually got that appointment!), Gingrich at State, Romney or Cain at Commerce, Perry at Homeland Security. Bachman should stay where she is and work towards a committee chairmanship. Santorum to Labor, or something else domestic. But we have to pick one of these people for president.

Conservatives ridiculed and decried "The Won." Now we are foolishly looking for our own version. We only got one of those in the past century and some countries never see his ilk in their entire histories. They need to talk about how they will work together after the primaries and a successful GOP campaign. Even Romney and Perry, who obviously share some dislike, need to talk about cooperating in the future.

The team concept is how to sell the GOP nominee to the country. You don't just get the nominee, but you also get the Republican team. The adults are coming back to set things right again.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Joe Biden Rape Prevention Act Goes Down

Senator Manchin and other fiscally conscious Democrats joined with Senate Republicans to shoot down Obama's mini stimulus, an action that Joe Biden said would increase rape and murder. So, if you combine Obama and Biden, Republicans support unbreatheable air, rape, dirty water, murder, and puppy kicking.

Biden's assertions come from his speech in Flint, Michigan, one of the few cities with rising violent crime rates. He claimed that less police mean more rape and murder.

We could point out that police departments are shedding jobs as crime drops and technology improves.

But it is more fun to point out that most major cities have been run by Democrats for decades. They build sports complexes that they cannot afford and do not pay for themselves. They follow tax and regulation policies destructive to business. Their tax bases drop and they cannot hire as many city employees, including police. That all being said, population drops might account for a lower crime rate as well.

That is not a federal issue. It is municipal mismanagement. At some point, the bailouts and handouts have to stop.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

$300,000 Is Not Flexing Muscle

Yesterday a news story made its way through the wires without question or analysis. It even ended up in the Washington Times. It claimed that OWS was flexing its muscle because it raised $300,000 in a month.

Wow. A nationwide, nay, we are told, worldwide movement raised $300k in a single month?

That's not muscle flexing in the world of political fundraising. The worst president in one and a half centuries raised $300,000 in the past hour. That is nothing.

Truth is that OWS and its related movements are losing steam. The Howard Stern Show on Monday claimed to have interviewed over 150 people who could not identify any coherent reason why they were in New York protesting. DC protesters are somewhat more intellectual, but the lunchtime exercisers have started crowding their dwindling numbers out. Most of the remaining die hards are anti-war protesters, who could not have been thrilled with the recent deployment to Uganda.

Many on the conservative side counted on this movement to discredit leftism through stupidity and foolish acts. Since Obama backed it, they reasoned that he would be tied to their behavior. It turns out that they are inept and incoherent, much like Obama himself. The brightest ones in the protests, not any better informed, but better able to articulate a philosophy of some sort, are the old timers.

A few beacons of reason are sprinkled among them, but very few. I saw an interview with a true old school Truman type liberal. He described the loss of pensions and secure jobs in the past few decades without really understanding why those things disappeared. But he was older, reasonable, rational, generally not anti-capitalist, and an unabashed lover of his country. He was not sure how to fix things, but believed that labor unions could provide the answers. Again, not a bad or a stupid guy, just misguided. He was rare, though.

As badly as some in the media and the Obama Administration want this to continue, it looks to be fizzling. The Tea Party has a pretty coherent idea of what it wants economically and politically, a little less coherence socially. But they have a much tighter focus and are more effective. OWS is all over the place.

Monday, October 17, 2011

David McKinley's Bill On Coal Ash Sails Through House

McKinley’s Jobs Bill on Coal Ash Passes Full House
W.Va. freshman’s compromise legislation passes with bipartisan support

Washington, D.C. – A jobs bill (H.R. 2273) authored by Rep. David B. McKinley, P.E. (R-WV), which for the first time sets minimum federal guidelines regulating coal ash while empowering the states to enforce them, passed the House Friday with overwhelming bipartisan support. McKinley’s legislation, which a Veritas study found could protect up to 316,000 jobs from being eliminated, was approved 267-144, with 37 Democrats voting yes. The Charleston Gazette’s Ken Ward Jr. today noted that the question of how to regulate coal ash has been “a long simmering issue ignored by many policymakers” – until now.

Rep. McKinley made the following statement about H.R. 2273 on the House floor today:

“Every day coal ash is produced in nearly 700 coal-fired generating plants in 48 of the 50 states in America. Approximately 140 tons are produced annually with 40% of that coal ash being beneficially recycled. Over the years, scientists and entrepreneurs have found uses for coal ash through a variety of recycling options. Businesses were emboldened to recycle the material after two studies by the EPA in 1993 and in 2000 found that coal ash is not a hazardous material and could be used by the public. The findings of these two studies specifically state that there have been no documented cases of coal ash damaging human health or the environment. As a result industries have sprung up all across America and thousands of jobs have been created by recycling coal ash.

“After 30 years we finally resolved the issue today. H.R. 2273 is strongly endorsed by state environmental officials, including the Environmental Council of the States and the Association of State and Solid Waste Officials as well as various labor unions. I am pleased to see so many of my colleagues support this bipartisan, pro-jobs legislation.”

McKinley concluded by saying, “This is a jobs bill and a public health bill; protecting the livelihoods and the health of our working men and women are not mutually exclusive ideas.”

H.R. 2273 now moves to the Senate, where already fourteen Democrats have expressed support for the approach taken by McKinley’s legislation. Rep. Gene Green, a Democrat from Houston who rarely votes with Republicans on environmental issues, rose in support of McKinley’s legislation today and hailed its bipartisan nature: “We are doing something here that we don’t do very often in this House. We actually have a bill that came out of committee that has bipartisan support…this bill is something we don’t do on this floor in the last 10 months very often: we actually compromised and came up with good legislation, and we hope the Senate will pass it.”

In a Statement of Administration Policy this week, the White House notably did not threaten a veto of this bill unlike previous House-passed EPA bills.


H.R. 2273, the Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act, would ensure the continued beneficial use of coal combustion residuals and strengthen state regulatory authority over these materials under the Solid Waste Disposal Act. The legislation would prevent the Obama administration’s attempt to reclassify these materials as a hazardous waste— a designation previous administrations have deemed inappropriate.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Suggested Strategy to Cain: Voter Registration

Herman Cain, I am not your strategist, but here is a thought that you should consider.

You are an outside the box thinker, always have been. That is why you are a success. No, I don't like any national sales tax plan that does not come with a constitutional cap. But I like your style and I think you are one of the folks that can whip Obama next year.

Here is your strategy to win. Voter registration.

Everyone wants to register voters, but you have the opportunity to do something groundbreaking and game changing. Go into black communities on intense voter registration drives. Emphasize individual choice over the mass mentality. Share your optimism and your belief in work, education, and drive. Sell them on registering Republican and backing your candidacy.

This is how you can win. Bring over tens of thousands of black voters into the GOP column in every state. Of course they are not voting for a Leader, but for themselves. Their votes and registrations tell the Democratic Party that they cannot be taken for granted. Maybe even the unions will someday learn that.

Young people are living the post racial society. It is they who you can bring aboard in the largest numbers. Your vision, even if you do not win, is key to countering the depressing and woeful victicrat line that dominates black political thinking. The Democratic race coalition is cracking anyway. J. C. Watts, Allen West, Condoleeza Rice all experienced racial prejudice when it was still a major problem in society and all turned out to be devotees of the free market and personal liberty. You can further that movement.

Just a thought, Mr. Cain. But you should definitely consider it.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Learning to Like Mitt Romney

I am learning to like Mitt. Why? Because odds are, he will be the nominee.

I don't dislike him personally. He seems to be a decent enough person. But he reminds me all too much of that Thomas E. Dewey northeastern establishment Republican set. Romney will not heartily embrace the kind of conservatism that galvanizes the rest of America outside of New England. Romney's positions, to put it mildly, seem to change a great deal over time. On one or two issues, that's fine. Doing that on several leaves him vulnerable. His Mormonism is not a concern for me, actually it is a plus. Mormonism requires a strong spirit and self-discipline. I respect the heck out of that. Romney also has administrative experience and seems to run his operations and communications fairly smoothly.

No, he is not a guy the conservatives love. But he could be what we have.

Instead of hating Romney and peeing in our own Corn Flakes if he wins, we have to strategize for success.

First of all, get the man elected president if we nominate him. He is not a revolutionary prophet of conservative change, but he is not the incompetent Il Duce that we have now. Romney's foreign policy speeches should bring comfort to anyone at home and abroad who understands that America has a positive mission in the world. Domestically, though, the right must hold Romney's feet to the fire and pressure him into supporting the shrinking of government. We can do that through the congressional Tea Party factions.

There is a potentially great president on the horizon who bowed out of this year's contest. Bobby Jindal has almost no negatives. He is experienced, has terrific conservative credentials, highly intelligent, and has shown strong leadership at crucial times for Louisiana. Jindal is what Palin could have been had she stayed at her gubernatorial post and worked at it aggressively. Getting to a Jindal, or some other strongly conservative administration without four more years of irreparable damage to our system is paramount. Romney may not have great conservative credentials, but I cannot imagine that he will make things a lot worse. We need to get rid of Obama and his leftist cadre first so that we can turn this thing around.

It looks more and more like the first step in turning this thing around could be the election of Romney as president.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Al Davis and Occupy Wall Street

I originally was going to use Mylan Puskar as a perfect foil for the anti-everything Occupy Wall Street Crowd. His story of work ethic, success, and generosity are shining examples of what the free market is all about. Then I figured, that's too easy.

So I picked a villain. Al Davis. Recently deceased owner of the Oakland Raiders.

Davis was a guy that everyone loved to hate, unless they played for him. He believed that he was the smartest man in the room. Every room. The Raiders and the old American Football League were his initial passions and he fought like the devil for both. Most other owners and commissioners thought that he was the devil.

Until his decline in the past decade, Davis bestrode his part of the NFL as a colossus. He dared to innovate and take chances, and Davis' mark remains strong. The vertical passing game evolved from simply a Raiders strategy to a league-wide norm. His habit of picking up odds, ends, and rejects lives on as the modus operandi of the Patriots organization.

Davis was an innovator and a competitor. He earned every accolade and treated almost all of his players (Marcus Allen excluded) like family.

Al Davis worked hard, like Mylan Puskar, in their respective fields. They were both ahead of their time and both showed what our economic system can do for anyone, if they are wiling to work and take some risks.

The difference was that Al Davis was not a personable guy. He was easy to hate to the point that too many overlooked his positive impact and influence over both the business side of football and over the many young men who wore the silver and black over the decades. But he was a gritty all American guy, a streetfighter in the boardroom. Al Davis was the kind of guy that the hippified protesters love to hate, but he helped to build a powerful and profitable business that puts a lot of food on a lot of tables. Davis was an honest capitalist and, regardless of how some feel about his attitude, or his teams, earned our respect.


The F 35 remains a hot topic in Washington. An Air Force official noted that:

Air Force chief: F-35 'must succeed'

Let there be no doubt. The F-35 cannot be replaced. That is why Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin should support funding the project.
Air Force Secretary Michael Donley recently called a new long-range bomber "essential" and said there is "no alternative" to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter as he pledged to protect some major weapons programs from defense spending cuts.
Pointing to a fighter fleet that is on average 22 years old and a tanker force with an average age of 49 years, Donley used a speech to the Air Force Association to lay down markers on spending needs. "Simply put, there is no alternative to the F-35 program," Donley said of this advanced fighter jet. "It must succeed."
The $382 billion program is designed to replace older fighter jets for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps over the next 30 years.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Why Columbus Day?

Christopher Columbus gets a very bad rap. He is accused basically of causing every crime ever committed against Indians in North America, mostly by virtue of having shown up. Many want to downgrade his accomplishment because he did not come over first. Only the Italians and conservatives really stick up for the poor captain anymore.

If you are one of the anti-Columbus crowd, remember this. Christopher Columbus did know from his readings of the experts that the world, most likely, was round. Most people's estimates of that distance around would have put Asia around 3,000 miles away. To Columbus, however, all this was theory. It made sense, but was it accurate. He bet his life on it.

Imagine the trip. You assume that land exists 3,000 miles away and you pack provisions for the trip. But if you are not right, that 1,500 mile point in the voyage must be frightening. The courage to believe in the idea and the leadership to keep the expedition together marks Columbus as one of Western Civilization's great heroes.

Once he arrived, his leadership fell apart. The crew preferred to work the local Indians rather than themselves, and thus earned Columbus a tarnished reputation. His responsibility over them only goes so far. We ought to continue to remember his accomplishment and the courage that it took for one man to take a chance with the stakes so high.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Hippies Do Have a Point Here, But They Protest the Wrong Villains

A Wisconsin judge, in a wonderful display of legal wisdom, ruled that people do not have the right to drink milk directly from their own cow if they board it on another farm.

Chalk another victory up for crony mercantilism.

State and federal health guidelines used to be used to protect the general public purchasing from major corporations. You really do need to trust that the food that you buy at a store meets some health and safety guidelines. Conversely, if you buy from a truck on the side of the road or a farmers market, there is a little more caveat emptor in this situation. You might get an ear of corn with a huge worm at the top, for instance. But that's OK, just cut the top off and you still have a better tasting ear of corn.

Under the guise of trying to protect us from ourselves, but, in reality trying to protect big connected businesses from competition, food regulations have increased dramatically, especially under Obama. They hit hard the small producers and their small scale operations. Add the Obama EPA's obsession with regulating dust on a farm and you practically have a recipe for killing off the small farmer and small businesses that sell their produce.

This is part of the hippie protest of Wall Street. They really need to understand that their enemy, as always, is Big Government. Companies can ask until the cows come home for special favors. It is the obligation of the government to refuse them in the name of the free market.

Hippies, protest the real villains. Don't clog up the streets and prevent people from going to legitimate private sector work. Protest government!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Real World Dawns

It's a cold, cruel world because it's real.

We have a set field. Palin and Christie declined. Unless Rudy Giuliani unexpectedly steps in, we have a set field for the Republican primaries.

And no one is happy.

We do have a great field. A businessman with experience at the Fed, two former governors who enjoyed success in their own ways, the intellectual, and the others.

However, we're grumbling because we did not find Supercandidate. The person who combines perfect ideology with a perfect and extensive record.

Perry can't debate and is weak on immigration. Cain apparently backed TARP at the time (so did a lot of scared folks who have since regained their senses), Gingrich had that weird global warming moment. And Romney is health care challenged.

The candidate so many want does not exist and never did. Even Reagan raised taxes in California.

We don't need The (Republican) One. We need the best person available. And we need a winner.


Kudos to Bill Maloney. What a long, hard fight only to lose by a handful of percentage points. He really shocked anyone who was paying attention. However, it is more proof that shifts in demographics and the national Democratic Party are seriously eroding that party's hegemony in West Virginia

Monday, October 3, 2011

Are the Democrats Worried Yet?

Not too long ago, we secretly denied that it would be possible within a decade. Now it seems within our grasp.

A two party system may soon emerge in West Virginia.

The passing of Byrd has removed some of the powerful coattails that connected other Democratic candidates to voters. "Big Daddy" had big influence on state elections. Joe Manchin also has similar popularity, but he accomplishes this mainly by aping conservative positions in public while mainly voting with his party in the Senate. He who sits between two stools will someday have a hard fall.

Manchin's own race, plus the governor's race this month, illustrates the changes. Raese nearly knocked off Manchin. Tomblin goes into tomorrow essentially tied with Maloney. Independents and conservative Democrats in the north and east of the state are trending Maloney. Democratic registrations have fallen ten percent in the past eight years. This did not directly benefit the Republicans in registrations as much as campaigns.

Doug McKinney and Mike Stuart worked very hard to get the ship turned in the right direction. First the WVGOP paid off its debt under McKinney. Now Stuart has adroitly connected state Democrats with the sinking ship of Obama in key races.

The next few years needs to bring to West Virginia a true competitive party system.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Know Your Scandals

Watergate was a horrific abuse of presidential power. Nixon obstructed justice and acted as if he was above the law. He also got what he deserved, or perhaps less than he deserved......BUT

Watergate did not cost taxpayers a half a billion dollars in bad loans to presidential cronies.

Watergate did not result in the death of any law enforcement officers or contribute to the violent destabilization of a friendly democracy. Nor was it used to try to subvert the Constitutional rights of millions.

Obama's administration is the most dangerously corrupt and out of control in American history. He tried to get a news network that did not agree with his positions delegitimized by the rest of the media. He has unconstitutionally appointed, without the consent of Congress, over sixty executive branch officials. He has overturned Congressional acts with executive orders, again, in violation of the Constitution.

A vote for Obama is a vote for criminals.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Left Has Met the Enemy, and They Think It Is Them

The refrain is familiar and bizarre at the same time. Leftists bash Tea Partiers as racist, violent, revolutionary, and dangerous. How could they come to such conclusions about a group that, even when it gathers by the tens of thousands barely even litters and also shows a strong affection for an actual American black, Hermann Cain?

Simple. The Left remembers their own period of protest, which was much different than now.

Left wing protests in the 1960s made a habit of race-baiting and used shockingly vile language against whites.

Left wing protests sparked actual violence in most major cities. It seems that they could not congregate at all without causing a riot.

The Left called for violent overthrow of the system and used the language of power, control, and even murder.

This is the Left's historical memory of protest. It is not surprising that they would assume that the Tea Party would behave as badly as them. It frustrates them that conservatives have not destroyed their own movement in the same fashion as the Left.

Monday, September 26, 2011

We Won't Let Campaign Spokespeople Speak Or Write With Horrific Sentence Structure

From the Tomblin campaign...

We won't let New York multi-millionaire Bill Maloney who made his money drilling and digging in other states, then investing it in West Virginia, then selling out somehow because he obviously sold out because he made this money on his own and not by an Obama Department of Energy handout win a campaign with crazy ideas, such as free market, non-crony capitalism, that will take power away from West Virgina Democratic multi-millionaires and union bosses who actually happen to be the same people in some instances.

O. K., maybe not from the Tomblin campaign, but it does sound a lot like their really, really strange talking points.

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Gingrich Role, the Ruin of Sarah Palin, and Approve the F 35 Already!

Conservatives love Herman Cain. He is a businessman, answers questions in regular talk and not politicianese. So why so little support for a guy who seems to have been preparing to be president at this point in history for much of his adult life?

Gingrich will probably not be nominated. But he is definitely a potential consigliere for anyone elected who may not bring a lot of experience to the job.

Is Bill Clinton prepping the country and the Democratic Party for another Hillary run? His criticism of Obama lately has been palpable. Sounds like he is almost begging someone to call for her to be a candidate.

The media has won. They have effectively destroyed Sarah Palin as a serious presidential contender. Not because she was dishonest in office, not because she is a criminal, but because she dared to be a pretty, successful, conservative woman from Middle America. Media figures have figuratively ravished her family, not even sparing her disabled son. Her name, without cause, has been tarnished and her ideas ignored. Shame is too minor a word for what they should feel.

Would you rely on a 22 year old car with hundreds of thousands of miles on the odometer to keep you safe on a long trip? Would you bet your life on it? That is what we do with our aging fighter fleet. It is time to start production on the F 35

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Earl Ray Tomblin Needs To Explain This Immediately

Earl Ray Tomblin wants to be governor, but he needs to explain or clarify some remarks that he wrote several years ago.

Tomblin wrote the foreword to the book West Virginia Tough Boys: Vote Buying, Fist Fighting, and a President Named JFK. The book, written by F. Keith Davis, details the career of several Southern West Virginia Democratic bosses, including Raymond Chafin. One scene in the book, originally described in Chafin's own autobiography, and later by former Gaston Caperton official Dr. Allen Loughry in his own book, portrays a $35,000 payoff from the Kennedy campaign. That money was meant to secure support of the bosses away from Humphreys. One of the bosses, Bus Perry, feared at the time that this act would put him back into state prison. Dr. Loughry, in Don't Buy Another Vote, I Won't Pay For a Landslide claims that the 1960 campaign started the era of big money political corruption in West Virginia.

Well, what does Tomblin say about this? Does he condemn the fixing of a presidential primary in the strongest possible terms? Does he call their actions disreputable and criminal, as Loughry does?

This is the response of the man who would be governor:

"As we reflect on our role in U. S. Presidential History and our own unique historical perspective, some might have legitimate reason to question the means, but no one can question the positive and outstanding contribution West Virginia has made in this venue of government and political development."

This was his one negative comment about the crimes detailed in this book. To him, this seems to be a matter of interpretation. Tomblin also seems to imply that the end of a Kennedy victory over Hubert Humphreys was worth subverting an honest vote. This shows an amazing lack of concern for democratic process and rule of law. So long as you get something good, it's O. K. to commit a slew of crimes to make it happen. And what of West Virginia's role? This travesty helped to cement our reputation for generations as a Hazzard County-like place where politics is shaped in back rooms with a wink, a nod, and an exchange of cash. Tomblin's foreward doesn't celebrate just one Boss Hogg, but a whole gaggle of them.

The man who would be governor needs to address this issue immediately. Perhaps he did not write this little piece with enough thought, or maybe he did not want to offend his friends and neighbors. In any event, West Virginia voters need to know where he stands on election corruption in the past, present, and future. If this foreword is any indication of where he truly stands, Tomblin cannot be trusted even with the office he has held for so long, much less that of governor.

This is not a hit piece. Lord knows that I have written enough over the years that if I ran for major office, my opponents would definitely ask me to defend some of the blogs and columns the I have produced over the years. Writings are a window into the mind of the author. Voters have grown aware of this passage in the past few weeks and have started talking all over the state. Tomblin should take the opportunity to explain why he wrote in this fashion and to clarify his position on the history of Southern West Virginia political fraud and corruption.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Larry Puccio Does Not Want to Go Down the "Big Money" Road

According to "" in 2010:

Trade unions were the second largest contributors to state candidates besides self-financing. They contributed $867,000. After them came public sector unions and lawyers' associations. Only after them came business contributors, whose contributions are often divided. The West Virginia Coal Association contributed a little over $40,000.

The top six contributors to state candidates, except for individual candidates, were labor and one lawyers' group.

Mr. Puccio. Are you sure that you want to bring up big money in West Virginia elections?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Democrats' Missed Opportunity

Remember 2009? When stimulus was supposed to save us all? When we believed that it was all going to "shovel ready projects, and not ACORN? Looking back, the Democratic Party had in its grasp the possibility of ensuring popularity and success for years to come. And the screwed it up (thankfully!)

I am not saying that the stimulus would have successfully turned around the economy. It would not have done that any more than the New Deal helped in the 1930s. But people in the 1930s could actually see work and effort going on around them. Franklin Roosevelt and his economic team, for all their lack of understanding, or even belief, in prosperity, understood that actual work that actually improved communities had to be done.

Imagine if Obama and Congress had taken half of what they spent and used it on actual infrastructure projects? What if they built a new water plant for Keyser and a new sewage plant for Westernport? What if they worked on roads, bridges, existing schools, sidewalks, and the like? What if they went into towns with century old sewer systems and rebuilt them? What if they emphasized long neglected rural development instead of dumping money into Obama's base and the federal bureaucracy?

The Democrats would have made substantial inroads into Republican country. Rural folks are grateful for recognition and help. They will vote for you if you deliver something helpful even if they do not share your ideology. Obama and his brand of Democratic Party never had any connection with Middle America. If they listened, they would know, but they barely speak our language, much less understand us. Obama approached the recession/depression with the idea of reforming America to fit his radical agenda. If he had just helped to rebuild it, without the radical leftism, thank you very much, he would have done a lot more good.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Death of Eastern Football

It's pretty much a done deal and in many ways the future looks bright for West Virginia athletics. The SEC is the king of football, just as the Big East was in basketball. What Bobby Huggins did to take West Virginia to the top echelon in that league can be mirrored by Dana Holgerson in football. If he is successful, this could mean that he remains here for a long time instead of looking for greener pastures as his teams do better and better. But we have lost something important along the way. Eastern football.

A long, long time ago, and not in a galaxy far away, and not when the music made me smile, Eastern football challenged the South and Midwest for supremacy among the college regions. Penn State, Syracuse, Pitt, and, sometimes, West Virginia made a lot of noise in the college football world. Eastern football gave us Joe Paterno, Jim Brown, Doug Flutie, Major Harris, and countless players and memories that resonate nationally.

Back then, eastern colleges played as independents. Penn State tried to organize an eastern conference, but could not get everyone to play along. Finally, in frustration, they accepted an invitation to join the Big Ten. This move started the slow seismic changes that erupted in the college football landscape and led us here.

As it turns out, the Big East conference only represented a temporary reprieve. It was too small, too dominated by Miami. too poor, too traditionless to succeed. Had it attracted Penn State and Notre Dame, it could have rated alongside of anyone, but such moves never happened. Over the past ten years, West Virginia has carried the banner. It has remained the most consistently successful and most interesting team of the bunch.

Had the ACC thought ahead and foreseen the advent of 16 team conferences, it might have saved Eastern football by bringing in all the remaining traditional eastern teams as a unit. This would have preserved rivalries such as Boston College and West Virginia that sustained the former team. BC lost to Duke last week; how far they have fallen. This move did not happen either.

And now Eastern football divides. West Virginia (I want to emphasize likely, since nothing has been confirmed) initiated the final death by entering into unreported discussions with the SEC that prompted the quick moves of Syracuse and Pitt to the ACC. At this point, with even venerable conferences, such as the Big 12, dying, WVU found its long term position in the Big East untenable and made the best move possible. The ACC and Big Ten will pick up the usable pieces of the shattered Big East football schools while the basketball only schools likely shrink into an Atlantic 10 calibre league.

This is ugly and to be regretted, but WVU AD Oliver Luck cannot be the only one to cling to a fading tradition while everyone else moves along.