An electoral college computer model which has accurately predicted every Presidential election since 1980 is signaling a landslide victory for Romney in November, 320 to 218.
While media outlets generally call the race with a slight Obama victory, those analyses rely on current polling data and do not take into account how trends will break as the election nears. This model, on the other hand, examines more meaningful data like economic statistics from individual states. It suggests voters hold Democrats responsible for high unemployment, and Republicans responsible for low per-capita income. Democrats tend to lose the White House anytime unemployment is above 5.6%.
It’s worth noting that Dick Morris has been predicting a big Romney win for awhile now.
Of course it’s still too early to truly call this race and anything can happen between now and November. Still, the results of this prediction have to be concerning to the Obama re-election team.
Here in the U.S. we have a long tradition of secret ballots, and we feel like our political preference is generally a private matter unless we choose to reveal it to those with whom we interact. Unfortunately, we couldn’t be more wrong about these assumptions.
I first discovered the ugly truth about our political privacy purely on accident while researching the history of campaign finance laws. I’ve always known that campaigns and political organizations are required to disclose their contributors. What I didn’t know is that the entirety of that disclosed information is public record and easily obtainable by anyone with access to the Internet.
Let me introduce you to one of the most potentially dangerous tools on the Internet: The Federal Election Commission’s financial disclosure database. Curious about the political affiliations of your neighbors? How about the businesses you frequent? Just punch in your zip code and prepare to be shocked. Anyone who has contributed $200 or more will be shown with their name, employer, and you can even click through to the filing form to see their home address.
The danger is not so much the fact that the information is collected, or even that it is made public. The danger is in the level of accessibility. Imagine a world where anyone could open up a “Political Contributors” app on their iPhone and, with GPS technology, call up a summary of contributions by party for each nearby address. Imagine if Yelp included a “political affiliation” tag for each business, or a tally of how many employees contributed to each party.
Federal law currently prohibits the use of disclosure records for commercial purposes or to solicit contributions, but the rules on use are kind of wishy-washy. I see a whole lot of loopholes. Plus, it is not clear to me exactly how the FEC would determine that anybody was breaking the law.
The implications are serious. Politically-motivated vandalism could become commonplace, especially as we trend towards greater political division. Local boycotts could become as easy as logging in to an app on your mobile phone. People could even stage protests at businesses who employ too many contributors to a particular party.
Some will say I’m just being paranoid. I concede the possibility. However, you may recall that theft and vandalism already occurs due to campaign signs. For every one person who displays a sign in their yard, there are probably 5 more who have contributed but don’t want their political ideology plastered on their front door. Imagine if it was in the palm of everyone’s hand.
The technology is much closer than many may realize. Just a few days ago, the Obama campaign released an app that shows you nearby Democrat households. Still think I’m paranoid?
As technology improves, the lines of political privacy will continue to blur. Combine this with a growing push for ever-greater disclosure requirements and we’re headed for a dangerous “brown shirt army” situation.
This is not a partisan topic. This should concern everyone. The technology is in its infancy — we can barely imagine the potential in years to come. Entrenched interests on both sides of the aisle will seek to use it to their own advantage, which will ultimately be detrimental to the privacy and freedoms of all of us.
I used to believe that campaign contribution disclosure was generally a good thing. After all, I like to know who guys like George Soros are supporting. Now I’m not so sure.
During my research, I found that one of this nation’s original campaign finance laws (the Tillman Act) was actually created by a notoriously racist Democrat with the purpose of browbeating anti-slavery Republican corporations. As I thought about it, I realized that our current disclosure laws are right on the cusp of allowing the same type of abuse Tillman envisioned. As technology advances, political privacy is going to continue to disappear, unless disclosure laws are repealed or reformed.
What say you?
With the Olympics on everyone’s television, what better way to highlight the true idiocy of Obama’s “you didn’t build that” comment than with a brand new meme.
Hey Missy Franklin, Michael Phelps, Gabby Douglas and all the other gold medalists… in the spirit of President Obama’s theory on human success… you didn’t win that! Somebody else made that happen! After all, you couldn’t possibly have been successful without the roads and bridges that allowed you to reach the pool and the gym! The focus, the training, the countless hours of dedication… that nice but it’s barely a footnote to the contribution of the government!
No rational person would agree with the paragraph above. And yet, millions of dutifully ignorant Obama supporters see nothing wrong with the application of the same theory towards business owners. It’s madness.
Not everyone can be an gold medalist. Can we agree that these exceptional men and women are indeed born with a natural affinity for their sport? Is it OK to acknowledge that nature does play a role in the creation of an Olympic athlete?
Not everyone can be a business owner either. It takes a certain kind of person to be successful in business, and it takes an awful lot of focus and dedication. Well beyond the level of “hard work” that most non-business-owners — including President Obama — assume is necessary.
The great thing about a truly FREE country is that we don’t all have to be superstar athletes or exceptionally wealthy business owners to be successful. But in that same vein, we should not castigate those folks simply because their success is different than ours, or because we feel inadequate by comparison, or “cheated” by the system. No, we should be celebrating the success of American entrepreneurial exceptionalism the same way we celebrate our phenomenal athletes.
Barack Obama’s re-election campaign has posted a new ad accusing Mitt Romney of launching a false attack. The ad plays a clip of Romney quoting Obama’s speech where he said “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” The ad then shows text saying Obama never said that. A few seconds later, the ad even plays a clip of Obama saying those exact words.
This is phenomenal. Obama’s campaign is literally calling Romney a “liar” and a “say anything” candidate for quoting Obama’s own speech! The emperor is truly naked folks.
This is also just another example in a growing litany of evidence that whatever terrible thing the Progressive Left accuses the right of doing, they are already doing it themselves.
Click over to YouTube to watch the ad, and then give it a dislike just for fun.
Personally, I think this is a mistake on the part of the Obama campaign. Claiming your guy didn’t say something and then playing your guy saying that exact thing is pretty dumb. It will be interesting to see if the campaign pulls this ad. If they do, you can also catch Beck’s analysis (currently free). He doesn’t show the ad but he does play the audio and then plays Romney’s speech and Obama’s speech side by side.
This whole incident rekindles my theory that the main factor in choosing Biden for Vice President was to give the late night comedians a more obvious target to roast. Obama’s off-prompter gaffe record isn’t exactly stellar. All I know is that Romney better ride this horse as far as it will go because after this, I doubt Obama will go off prompter again through the rest of the campaign.
On the other hand, he seems to be so arrogant that maybe he will and just assume he can lie his way out of it like he’s trying to do here. What say you?
Hagiography. I was not familiar with the word until reading Rick Reilly’s commentary on ESPN where he shares his thoughts on JoePa’s role in the Penn State Sandusky scandal. In this context, “hagiography” is used to mean the anointment or idolization of JoePa — those who bought in to his legacy literally thought he could do no wrong.
Reilly points out that even as the Sandusky scandal was breaking, he and others thought JoePa couldn’t possibly have had knowledge. As he put it, JoePa was “too old and too addled to understand, too grandfatherly and Catholic to get that Sandusky was committing grisly crimes.” For all intents and purposes, they believed Joe Paterno was a saint.
Even now, after the Freeh report has laid bare the extent of the coverup and of Paterno’s depth of knowledge, the Internet is alive with JoePa defenders. I admit that I find myself not wanting to believe the evidence, and I’m not even a Penn State fan. Clearly, the lure of the legend is powerful.
As I read ESPN’s article I was struck by the thought that Obama enjoys similar hagiography as JoePa. Case in point: Chris “thrill up my leg” Matthews recently commented that Obama was basically “perfect.” This from the same guy who said his job was to make Obama a successful president, and once compared Obama to Jesus. The Internet overflows with other examples of the cult-like support of Obama.
I believe that once a person buys in to a legend, in some ways they feel like they become a part of that legend. And they perpetuate and even grow that legend – and their own perceived role within it – through their own retelling. When this happens, their dedication to the legend becomes more powerful than the legend itself.
When people by in to a legend, they become incapable of seeing the truth. Anything which could shatter the legend is willfully ignored. Not just because it would destroy the legend itself, but also because it would mean the person’s investment into said legend would have been false from the beginning.
JoePa, Tiger Woods, Barack Obama. All legends, all recipients of blind hagiography.
The media really should wake up. I firmly believe that our leaders — regardless of party — should be treated tough by the media. Fair, but tough. There is no room for idolatry in a free country.
As the unnamed professor from Reilly’s commentary said, “What you media are doing is dangerous.” Yes, it is dangerous. Idolization allows Obama to be a lazy president and a weaker leader, which damages us both domestically and throughout the world. Media, take a lesson from the blind beatification of JoePa and do your damn job.
If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.
So said President Obama in a particularly revealing address on Friday. Obama has been blasted lately for going so negative, and the full speech reads mostly like the “Hope and Change” he ran on in 2008. I have to wonder if this and other remarks were the result of an unfortunate TOTUS malfunction. It always seems Obama is most revealing when he is unscripted.
In any case, there is no doubt that Obama meant this as a shot at those who consider their success to be of their own making. The overall theme of his speech was that nobody is successful without some kind of help, especially help from the government. Unfortunately, Mr. President, somewhere around 24 million small business owners may disagree.
Throughout his speech, Obama reveals an obvious bias against pro-business economic theory, not to mention an unprecedented level of ignorance on the requirements of successful entrepreneurship. Here are some examples:
And on their side, they’ve got a basic theory about how you grow the economy. And the theory is very simple: They think that the economy grows from the top down. So their basic theory is, if wealthy investors are doing well then everybody does well.
Obama is displaying his reliance on demagoguery by willfully distorting the economic theory most conservatives refer to as “Reaganomics.” The so-called “top-down” or “trickle-down” theory has very little to do with wealthy investors, and everything to do with the production of value to the consumer.
Think about it this way: do business owners get rich just because they open a business? On the contrary. Most small businesses require a minimum of tens of thousands of dollars of investment to start — often financed in whole or in part out of the owner’s pocket — and at least one-third of them fail within 2 years. Anybody can open their own business, but that alone does not translate into success or wealth.
Unless you have powerful friends in Congress who can subsidize ineptitude, your success in business can only be achieved by creating a value proposition which entices consumers to purchase your good or service. Even then it requires many years of tireless labor and painful sacrifice to achieve success. 40 hour workweeks? Hah! Try 60+. 2 weeks paid vacation? There’s no such thing when you’re the owner. When you own a small business, you’re chained to it for the first several years. Some people never break those bonds.
So why would anybody ever want to own a business? It is the promise of future wealth which entices people to start (and stick with) a business. In the mean time, though, the owner is busy buying materials, producing products or services that people want to buy, and creating jobs. As economist Thomas Sowell has observed, “Reaganomics” is actually not “trickle-down” in practice. The money goes to the suppliers and employees and the value goes to the consumers BEFORE the owner get wealthy — if they ever get wealthy at all! Only after years of successful enterprise will the typical business owner ever truly enjoy above average wealth.
Obviously, this economic theory has nothing to do with wealthy investors as Obama characterizes. It has everything to do with producing value to the consumer, and the presence of a profit motive on the part of the business owner. Unfortunately for all of us, Obama and his progressive cabal seem woefully incapable of comprehending this relatively simple idea.
Look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.
Apparently, Obama is saying that being hardworking and smart is not sufficient for achieving success, which makes me wonder, what exactly is Obama’s measure for success? Surely there are millions of Americans who are not business owners and not “wealthy” who can nevertheless be considered successful by most standards. What kind of message is the President sending about success?
But returning to the core point, the President is right that there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. While hard work can create success for employees, hard work alone is not sufficient to create success for a business owner. Studies have proven what successful business owners already know — the secret to great success goes beyond just dedication, requiring higher levels of sacrifice as well as focused improvement.
If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life.
I’m not going to bash teachers. Teaching is tough, often thankless work. But if all that was needed to be successful was having a “great teacher somewhere in your life,” there would be virtually zero unsuccessful people in this country. At some point in their lives, almost EVERYONE has had a great teacher. I remember having undisputed “great teachers” in high school and college, but not everyone got A’s and not everyone who went through their classroom ended up being successful.
Don’t get me wrong. Most accomplished people do have some person or some event to thank for planting the seeds of success. But the cultivation of those seeds into something fruitful is another story entirely. I can say that my own success had very little to do with my education and a whole lot to do with my work ethic and my business savvy. I can thank my parents for planting the seed, but it took hours upon hours of hard work well beyond a 40 hour workweek to bear fruit
Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges.
I always love when liberals give the government extra credit for performing the basic duties with which the government is tasked. But even this argument this is spurious.
Giving the government credit for successful commerce because they build roads would be like Wal Mart giving their building contractor credit for selling me a DVD. Roads weren’t conceptualized by the government. We The People chose the government to be responsible for our road building. If not the government, We The People would find some other way to have roads built because roads are essential to our lives.
The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.
False. Actually, the government was one of the main sponsors of a project by MIT called ARPAnet, which is widely (but incorrectly) considered the original Internet. However, an “internet” is a connection of multiple networks, whereas ARPAnet was simply a single network. The MIT research was responsible for some of the underlying technology, but comparing ARPAnet to the Internet is like comparing oil lamps to LED light bulbs.
At the time ARPAnet was being created, other institutions were already researching ways to connect computers together across short and long distances. ARPA got there first, possibly due to a larger influx of capital; at the time, the U.S. government was worried about being technological underdogs after the Soviets launched the Sputnik project. Nevertheless, anyone who says the Internet would never exist were it not for the government is certainly wrong.
Most objective observers agree that it really wasn’t until the government got out of the way, thereby opening the Internet up for private investment, that the World Wide Web was truly born. This is illustrated by the fact that the government’s own standards agency (OSI) actually tried to shut the door on the very same network communications protocol standards (TCP/IP) which are in use by all of us using the Internet today. They believed the technology would never work.
Beyond that, consider the underlying infrastructure supporting the Internet. Data travels across a huge network of fiber optic cables. Cables conceptualized and fabricated by private corporations, installed and maintained largely by private corporations, and funded by well over a trillion dollars of private investments, primarily from Wall Street.
At the very most, we could say the government accidentally helped encourage some of the basic technology of the precursor to the first version of the Internet while throwing money at any project that might have military application to counter the Soviets. After that, it’s at least plausible that the government’s role actually inhibited the development of the Internet we know today.
More to the Story?
By now, Obama’s ideological proclivities should come as no surprise. But reading his remarks, I am suddenly struck by another thought:
Consider his argument; the U.S. has the greatest system in the world, yet even here, people cannot be successful without help from the government. “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” What does that say about this country, this world, and humanity in general? Not much faith in mankind there!
Does Obama’s speech reveal something deeper, something on a personal level? What kind of life experiences must a person have to hold such a belief? Is Obama telling us that his own successes are owed to others? Did he accidentally reveal that he was the beneficiary of some government initiative, perhaps affirmative action? Or maybe that someone else, like Bill Ayers, wrote Dreams From My Father?
It’s no secret that we are big fans of Allen West around here. In a single paragraph, here is why:
There is no doubt that President Obama and his liberal acolytes in Congress have unleashed upon our nation the greatest economic policy failures in our 236 year history. The amazing thing is that they are so arrogant that they will not admit their own failure. Never in history have socialist egalitarian nanny-state economic policies ever been successful. The President needs to stop making excuses and stop blaming others. It is President Obama’s signature law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, that is a massive tax increase that will further cripple our economy. If America is so intellectually bankrupt to re-elect President Obama then as Benjamin Franklin stated, we get the government we deserve. However, I believe the American people are awakening to the dangers of liberal progressives and their incompetence.
This man is amazing. His ideology is spot on. His courage is unquestionable. He says what he means and does not back down. Unlike so many of the wishy-washy members of the Cocktail Party GOP who only offer a half-hearted defense of conservatism, Lt. Col. Allen West not only defends with brilliance, he mounts an impressive assault on progressivism as well. And man… he punches like a jackhammer!
West is going to be a main figure in the future of the conservative movement. He’s already tying liberals in knots because they’re not used to truly being called to the mat, and they REALLY have a problem with his skin color. Allen West’s rise to national political stardom is going to reveal the true racism of the so-called “progressive” left. As Michelle Malkin put it:
How dare we “people of color” stray from the left’s ideological plantation? If we choose personal responsibility over entitlement, capitalism over statism or self-determination over identity politics, presumptuous white liberals appoint themselves spokespeople for our forefathers and deciders of our true destinies.
If you’re not following West on Facebook, you should be.
Here’s something entertaining. It seems that National Geographic Channel has run a study finding 65% of Americans believe Obama would be a better choice to deal with an alien invasion than Mitt Romney.
I suppose it’s not entirely outside the realm of possibilities that such a consideration could be made. Hawking feels that contact with extraterrestrials is “risky,” and should be avoided. The Internet is full of theories and supposed evidence that aliens are already on their way. Plus, it would explain why Obama golfs so much — might as well get it in before E.T. turns the country club into a headquarters.
On the other hand, more scientific analysis suggests that if alien life does exist, the probability of it visiting Earth is fairly low, so we shouldn’t worry about whether or not it’s hostile. Personally, I agree with this theory. NASA has already been able to identify several Earth-like plants — surely any space creature capable of traveling to Earth would have much more sophisticated equipment than us, and would be able to locate Earth-like planets closer to home.
Nevertheless, it’s an interesting subject to consider, and it got me wondering exactly how one would justify the position that Obama would be better at dealing with an alien invasion. Do they think bowing to the Saudi king prepared Obama for bowing to an alien leader?
My opinion is that if an alien invasion did occur, knowing that they would have significantly advanced technology, our success would hinge on our ability to think outside the box. Of the two men, Mitt Romney is certainly more likely to possess that particular skill. Successful entrepreneurship tends to necessitate outside-the-box thinking, whereas working in government tends to suffocate creativity of all kinds.
What say you?
I’m sure most of you have seen this photo already. It’s from the G20 summit. Supposedly, this had something to do with the discussion over Russia’s involvement in the Syria conflict.
I thought we’d try something a little different. This photo just looks so ripe for some snarky captions. Post your captions below!
Or, you can add some cartoon bubbles to the image using http://superlame.com like so:
Or, you can pop over to http://diy.despair.com and make one of those demotivational posters like so:
A few weeks ago, from Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, President Obama personally confirmed that his administration has been in direct negotiations with the Taliban. Obama made it clear that he personally supports an Afghanistan where the Taliban play a role in governance. As US News put it, he has gone “all in.”
Let’s review who the Taliban really is, shall we?
- Massacres its own people
- Denied food to 160,000 people
- Believes in STRICT Sharia Law
- Wages a REAL war on women
- Blows up schools for “un-Islamic teachings”
A few years ago, the Taliban attacked girls with acid on their way to school, blinding and disfiguring several of them. Reuters did a video report on one of the incidents. Watch it, but only if you are ready to be sad and angry for awhile.
More recently, the Taliban has been poisoning schoolgirls in an apparent effort to discourage them from attending school, and/or to undermine the Afghan government.
I ask you, do militants who rule with an iron fist, starve and slaughter their own people, and poison and burn young girls with acid just for wanting to learn seem like reasonable human beings?
Most of us would say no, but President Obama says yes. These are the people with whom Obama seeks accord. These are the people Obama believes can be part of Afghanistan’s governing body.
Sure, Obama stipulates that the Taliban must “renounce violence.” Yeah, right. So they renounce violence “officially,” then continue to perpetrate the same acts of oppression they’ve been doing, and turn around and claim innocence to Washington and the U.N. Heck, they’ll probably get Obama or Ban Ki-moon to give them money to “fight the terrorists within.”
Look, I can’t claim to be an expert on foreign policy, and I’m definitely torn on whether or not it’s worthwhile to continue the war in Afghanistan, where our young men and women are dying and getting seriously injured. But to actually engage in direct talks with an organization of terrorists as evil as the Taliban is an insult to every soldier who has given his or her life to see that country saved.
To give them the prestige of being recognized internationally, on television, by the most powerful man in the world as an invited player to the negotiating table is to concede that America no longer stands defiant in the face of such terrible evil. We are no longer seeking an Afghanistan that is safe for women and girls to learn and pursue their own dreams.
Instead, we seek an exit strategy. Political expedience is the rule of the day. Obama wants to check a box on his list of campaign promises. In essence, he is willing to casually trade the lives and futures of hundreds of thousands of Afghan women for a better chance at winning reelection. Bold leadership, no doubt.