Saturday, October 31, 2009


I really don't think that there's any amount of money that can lift the Democrats up enough to win this election. I've heard that Soros is investing money in Owens' campaign, but I highly doubt it. This district has always trended Republican, why would the Democrats throw good money away?

What I expect to happen is a landslide for Hoffman. In the aftermath, the Democrats will be dismissive, suggesting that this race is a mere pimple on the ass of, well, the Jackass.

The fun of this election is watching how the national Republican leadership spins it. I suspect that they will follow the Democratic tack, and suggest that this particular race is inconsequential.

Yeah, right! Over the next few weeks we are going to see a purge. This election decides who runs the national Republican party. Do the big-wigs run it, or do the grass-roots?

The RNC is now at a cross-roads. Do they continue to defer to local politics, or do they take a stand for the base? Do they make a stand for conservatism, which the national polls suggest comprises 40% of the electorate, or do they continue to pursue the "big-tent" theory?

I'm reminded of Dirty Harry:

"I know what you're thinking. "Did he fire six shots or only five?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?"

Well, Republicans, you must be asking yourselves, is this a mere blip on the screen, or should we be worried? After all, Sarah Palin seemed to make this race a major issue. Is she bluffing, or is she really going to endorse "conservatives", no matter their party? Well, do you feel lucky, punk?

ESPN Gets It......albeit related to football!

Republican Party Groupthink

Update: I wrote this three weeks ago. It looks like the NY-23 congressional race bears this out.

(Originally published 10/09/09)

Every politician desires to have the ability to influence other people. For the most part, that desire helps define what a politician does. The politician's ability to influence others allows them to hold sway with the political machinery that affords them the opportunity to run for elective office. Once elected, that same desire manifests itself in the ability to get other politicians to follow you as you drive legislative initiatives into law, a payback to those whose "chits" you redeemed or still hold.

Politicians build an inventory of "chits" that they can use at critical times during a run for office. Political machinery is steeped in the tradition of trading "chits". It has helped build the foundational culture behind both major political parties. This culture helped create a structure that enabled our two major political parties to build national organizations. Unfortunately, this political structure does not always operate in a manner that has the best interests of the electorate in mind.

Now, consider the concept of groupthink. Groupthink gained prominence in light of the Kennedy administration's disastrous policy toward Cuba, culminating the the Bay of Pigs fiasco. Wikipedia defines it as follows:

Groupthink is a type of thought exhibited by group members who try to minimize conflict and reach consensus without critically testing, analyzing, and evaluating ideas. Individual creativity, uniqueness, and independent thinking are lost in the pursuit of group cohesiveness, as are the advantages of reasonable balance in choice and thought that might normally be obtained by making decisions as a group. During groupthink, members of the group avoid promoting viewpoints outside the comfort zone of consensus thinking. A variety of motives for this may exist such as a desire to avoid being seen as foolish, or a desire to avoid embarrassing or angering other members of the group. Groupthink may cause groups to make hasty, irrational decisions, where individual doubts are set aside, for fear of upsetting the group’s balance. The term is frequently used pejoratively, with hindsight.

Now that you have a basic understanding of groupthink, let's re-examine the structure of national political parties. They are, in essence, a fraternity of politicians schooled in the principles of the structure. This structure supports the apparatus used to achieve political goals. It does not necessarily exist along ideological lines since those ideologies can change over time. It must, however, adapt to these changing ideologies and continue to work toward the party's electoral victories.

I believe that the Republican Party is wallowing in structural groupthink. The political machinery is driven by the age-old process of trading "chits" and no longer knows how to adapt to the ideology of its party members, much less the electorate. How else do you explain the disdain shown toward such up-and-coming politicians like Sarah Palin? Sarah Palin has done nothing to warrant such treatment by her own political party. What she has done is challenge the status quo of the party machinery by her appeal to the party base.

The Republican Party does not know what to do with a candidate that has such an appeal at the grassroots level. It didn't know what to do with the appeal of Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan's strength was his ability to speak directly to the party base and, ultimately, build a broad majority among the electorate in general. The Republican Party did very little to elect Ronald Reagan. It was forced to finally get out of his way as he built up an organization that "trumped" the party bosses.

Nothing has changed in the Republican Party since the days preceding Reagan. The party is again being driven by the party bosses and their respective fiefdoms, all rolled together to form the Republican party leadership. The process of trading "chits" has re-established itself to the same result, one that maintains the structure at the expense of its members.

Sarah Palin must travel the same road as Reagan and she has precious little time to build an organization. She must counter the groupthink that lives in the Republican Party. She already has an ideology that appeals to the party base, as did Reagan, and I believe that we have not heard the end of her self-proclaimed "common-sense conservatism". If only the Republican Party could recognize its groupthink and see its salvation in a common-sense candidate from Alaska.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Warrior Song

I'm reminded of a conversation that a CNN reporter had with an Army sniper. The CNN reporter asked "What do you feel when you pull the trigger on another human being?" After reflecting for a few seconds, the Army sniper replied: "Recoil".

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Obama's Artistic America

This short video made the list of 20 finalists in a health care video contest sponsored by Barack Obama's Organizing for America.

Sad to see what Obama's favorite organization thinks about "Old Glory".

Hat tip: Politico

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Time for Choosing

This wonderful video is especially pertinent in today's political climate. Think about what Ronald Reagan would say about the travesty of the Republican Party's behavior in the NY-23 special congressional election.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sarah Palin's Accomplishments

From Unbalanced Libra comes an excellent synopsis of Sarah Palin's accomplishments:

The most recent comment I received regarding Sarah Palin, from 'anonymous' no less - that she is a bimbo - gave me motivation to do a bit of research on the subject of accomplishments. So, just what did Sarah Palin accomplish? Are ya ready? This is going to be a long post!

Firstly, there is no government closer to the people than at the municipal level. Palin spent eight years in city government, winning a seat on the Wasilla City Council in 1992 mostly thanks to her opposition to tax increases. She went on to serve two council terms from 1992 to 1996. She was elected mayor of the fast-growing Anchorage suburb in 1996 and again in 1999. Mayor Palin had a record of reducing property tax levels, increasing municipal services and attracting new industry to her town. During her tenure in Wassilla, she was elected chair of Alaska's conference of mayors.

Next for Sarah Palin was service as chair of the Alaska Conservation Committee, a board which regulates the state's oil and gas industry. In this appointive position she began to gain what would become extensive and valuable knowledge and experience in the area of one of America's most pressing issues - energy. It was in this job where Palin first really demonstrated the toughness, political courage and maverick spirit that would years later so impress presidential candidate John McCain.

She resigned in January 2004 as head of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission after complaining to the office of Governor Frank Murkowski and to state Attorney General Gregg Renkes about ethical violations by another commissioner, Randy Ruedrich, who was also Republican state chairman.

State law barred Palin from speaking out publicly about ethical violations and corruption. However, she was vindicated later in 2004 when Ruedrich, who'd been reconfirmed as state chairman, agreed to pay a $12,000 fine for breaking state ethics laws. She became a hero in the eyes of the public and the press, and the bane of Republican leaders.

In 2005, she continued to take on the Republican establishment by joining Eric Croft, a Democrat, in lodging an ethics complaint against Renkes, who was not only attorney general but also a long-time adviser and campaign manager for Murkowski. The governor reprimanded Renkes and said the case was closed. It wasn't. Renkes resigned a few weeks later, and Palin was again hailed as a hero.

In 2006, Palin ran for governor and was elected in a landslide. According to Fred Barnes:

With her emphasis on ethics and openness in government, "it turned out Palin caught the temper of the times perfectly," wrote Tom Kizzia of the Anchorage Daily News. She was also lucky. News broke of an FBI investigation of corruption by legislators between the primary and general elections. So far, three legislators have been indicted.

In the roughly three years since she quit as the state's chief regulator of the oil industry, Palin has crushed the Republican hierarchy (virtually all male) and nearly every other foe or critic. Political analysts in Alaska refer to the "body count" of Palin's rivals.

"The landscape is littered with the bodies of those who crossed Sarah," says pollster Dave Dittman, who worked for her gubernatorial campaign. It includes Ruedrich, Renkes, Murkowski, gubernatorial contenders John Binkley and Andrew Halcro, the three big oil companies in Alaska, and a section of the Daily News called "Voice of the Times," which was highly critical of Palin and is now defunct.

As governor, Sarah Palin's list of accomplishments lengthened rapidly. She used her line-item veto to cut $268 million from Alaska's state budget.

She stood up to some of Alaska's most entrenched interests, including three big oil companies (BP, ConocoPhilips, and ExxonMobil) who hold the lease rights to much of Alaska's oil and gas wealth:

Once in office, Palin took an aggressive stance toward the oil companies. Her nickname from high-school basketball, "Sarah Barracuda," was resurrected in the press. Early in her term, she shocked oil lobbyists when she was so bold as to not show up when Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson came to Juneau to meet with her. Palin, after scrapping Murkowski's deal, would not give Big Oil the terms they wanted, yet insisted that the companies still had an obligation under their lease to deliver gas to whatever pipeline Alaska built. She invited the oil companies to place open bids to build a pipeline, but they refused. A bid by TransCanada, North America's largest pipeline builder, was approved by the legislature in August.

Palin also raised taxes on oil companies after Murkowski's previous tax regime produced falling revenues in 2007, despite skyrocketing oil prices. Alaska now has some of the highest resource taxes in the world. Alaska's oil tax revenues are expected to be about $10 billion in 2008, twice those of previous year. BP says about half its oil revenues now go to taxes, when royalty payments to the state are included. Recently, Palin approved gas tax relief for Alaskans, and paid every resident $1,200 to help ease their fuel-price burden.

Some other Palin accomplishments include supporting and signing an ethics bill passed by the Alaska legislature and creating the Alaska Health Strategies Planning Council to find innovative solutions to effectively provide access to, and help reduce the costs of, healthcare.

As governor, Palin is commander of her state's National Guard. Not content to merely sit on the title, she traveled to Kuwait to learn about her troops' mission there. On the return trip to Alaska, she stopped in Germany to to visit wounded soldiers in the hospital, an activity that Barack Obama did not see fit to engage in during his own overseas venture, blaming the Pentagon for his snubbing of the wounded.

More accomplishments: Gov. Palin signed a resolution in opposition to the FAA's plan to increase taxes on aviation fuel, impose user fees and slash airport funding. Also, before Palin became governor, her predecessor Frank Murkowski had purchsed a Westwind Two business jet for the governor's use at a $2.5 million price tag, despite the objections from the state legislature and the public. Her first order of business after taking office was to put the jet up for sale.

Palin did keep the governor's state-owned Chevy Suburban, but she got rid of the driver, saying it was wasteful for the state to pay someone to drive her around, since she was perfectly capable of driving herself. The governor's gourmet chef also got changed from a full-time to a seasonal-only basis because Palin considered it a luxury she didn't think Alaskans should be paying for. Her political enemies called all this "superficial pandering."

Alaska is the only one of America's states which borders on two foreign countries. Sarah Palin is chief executive of our most important energy state, one which lies only a few miles from Russian territory. She has negotiated sensitive agreements on fishing rights and other matters to keep the peace up there. She's also worked on important trade deals with other countries. She has received foreign heads of state and had discussions with them.

There are many benefits to having Governor Sarah Palin on the GOP presidential ticket, and many of them have been already been discussed extensively by both new media and old in the few short days since John McCain introduced her to the GOP in Ohio. They all rest on a rock-solid base of achievement. She is one very accomplished vice presidential nominee.


Friday, October 23, 2009

What Comes Next?

In my wildest imagination, I see a change in momentum. I suddenly witness the act of certain, principled people supporting conservatism. Look particularly at the special Congressional race in NY-23, where an independent candidate has labeled himself "conservative" and garnered the support of Sarah Palin, Dick Armey and Rick Santorum, true conservatives all. Moreover, Hoffman has he support of the Tea Party movement. He is approaching the finish line of a November 3rd election and he has suddenly been infused with major campaign cash. What to do?

I'd like to see him hammer his Republican and Democratic opposition to the maximum degree! Stand on conservative principles and watch the electorate line up to support you. Although the mainstream media would have you think that this is a minor election, it is HUGE! If Doug Hoffman can pull off the unthinkable and win this election, what does it say in the aftermath?

It says that the organized efforts to demonize Sarah Palin, Dick Armey, Rick Santorum and the Tea Party movement have been lost on the electorate. Given a conservative candidate in their midst, the voters in the 23rd district of New York will stand with a candidate that supports their conservative values!

This will give immediate credibility to those people that supported Hoffman. Demonize them as they will, the mainstream media will not be able to ignore the fact that Palin, Armey, Santorum and Tea Party protesters were on the winning side. Ah, but this is just my wildest imagination, right?

We now stand on the cusp of certain events never before entertained during the existence of our country. We stand in stunned amazement at the notion that our government has nationalized the automobile and banking industries to the extent that they are dictating salary levels. This country (our country) is poised to take a dramatic tack to the left that cannot be undone. We stand on the verge of installing a socialist government that mandates heath care options and will render our way of life and its history a faint memory. Unless these efforts are halted, the US Constitution will be a remnant of the distant past, a footnote remark as a failed document and ideology. Unless....

What happens if an upstart, conservative candidate in the 23rd district of New York wins his election and is installed as a member of the U.S. Congress?

What happens when FoxNews calls the election for that conservative candidate in advance of all the other, so-called "legitimate news organizations"?

How will the Obama administration spin the event? "It's not something we're losing sleep over".

Pray tell, what comes next?

Cross-linked at Yahoo! Buzz.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Friday, October 2, 2009


Come on down! We have lots of room for everyone!