Archive for the Conservatism Category

When a Shutdown’s Not a Shutdown.

Posted in Conservatism, Economy, Environment, Health Care, Media, Politics with tags , , on October 8, 2013 by Cannon

Mark Steyn brilliantly puts the government shutdown crisis in perspective.  To wit:

This week’s “shutdown” of government, for example, suffers (at least for those of us curious to see it reduced to Somali levels) from the awkward fact that the overwhelming majority of the government is not shut down at all. Indeed, much of it cannot be shut down. Which is the real problem facing America. “Mandatory spending” (Social Security, Medicare, et al.) is authorized in perpetuity — or, at any rate, until total societal collapse. If you throw in the interest payments on the debt, that means two-thirds of the federal budget is beyond the control of Congress’s so-called federal budget process. That’s why you’re reading government “shutdown” stories about the PandaCam at the Washington Zoo and the First Lady’s ghost-Tweeters being furloughed.

Nevertheless, just because it’s a phony crisis doesn’t mean it can’t be made even phonier. The perfect symbol of the shutdown-simulacrum so far has been the World War II Memorial. This is an open-air facility on the National Mall — that’s to say, an area of grass with a monument at the center. By comparison with, say, the IRS, the National Parks Service is not usually one of the more controversial government agencies. But, come “shutdown,” they’re reborn as the shock troops of the punitive bureaucracy. Thus, they decided to close down an unfenced open-air site — which oddly enough requires more personnel to shut than it would to keep it open.

When the Democrats had control of both the House and Senate. as well as the White House, they pushed through the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.  No Republican voted for Obamacare.  If Obamacare were to come before lawmakers today, it certainly would not pass.  Yet, all we hear from supporters of the act is that it is established law, and debate should cease.  It sounds a lot like global warming (a.k.a. climate change).  Carbon’s destroying the environment.  It’s settled science, so shut up.

Do you get the feeling that we’re living in a time where molding perception is far, far more common that facing reality?  The federal government is running record deficits, piling up record debt.  Current entitlements are set to go broke in the years to come.  Just north of 63% of adults are participants in the labor force.  That’s the lowest rate since 1978.  However, we have to enact another huge entitlement we can’t afford because it’s “established law.”  Really?  That’s your best argument?  Obama’s unilaterally handed out exemptions even after the law was “established.”

Democrats are depending on most Americans being ignorant of what’s really going on.  They shutdown elements of the government which are easily highlighted in the media.  Hopefully, turning veterans and other citizens away from “an area of grass with a monument in the center” won’t just reflect negatively on Republicans.  It should reflect negatively on us all.  Some of us are being manipulated while others are willing perpetuators of a narrative that favors bolstering future political support through government programs over solving a fiscal dilemma that will certainly cause massive amounts of pain in the near future.

Obamacare, Government Shutdowns, and Republican Disunity

Posted in Conservatism, Economy, Health Care, Politics with tags , , , , , , on October 5, 2013 by Cannon

So, you can’t get signed up for Obamacare.  It’s probably not President Obama’s fault.  It’s just like when Apple has some teething issues with one of its products.  It’s not the Congressional Democrats who are to blame.  They just want to fund government although they blow up every attempt to fund certain elements because Republicans won’t cave to funding Obamacare.  It’s not like Congress has been diligent in passing budgets over the last few years.  Now, the government is somewhat shutdown.  No doubt, numerous people are being affected.  Many Republicans preach that Republicans will ultimately pay the price for the shutdown.

I’m inclined to believe that the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, is a stepping stone to a system that’s totally government controlled, devoid of any quasi-market aspects.  If people can’t get signed up due to wacky websites  and employers continue to respond to incentives and direct employees into the government exchanges, there will be a push for government to step in and just give everybody health insurance.  It’s a scary thought, I know.

John McCain doesn’t like Ted Cruz, the opportunist.  Kim Strassel and Brit Hume don’t believe in Cruz and his followers, either.  Sure, Cruz is gaining contributions from like-minded parties and raising his political profile.  I’m all for people on Capitol Hill taking a stand against another debt fueling entitlement.  The current Republican leaders haven’t done all that much in the way of winning elections and holding Democrats’ accountable.  I know Hume has 115 years of experience in Washington alongside Mitch McConnell, McCain et al.  Here, we have the problem.  A good portion of America doesn’t believe in the “conservative” contingent that’s been entrenched in Washington for what seems like an eternity.  Next time you conservatives of the Potomac want to give the rest of right-wing America advice on winning in D.C., you could do it with a little more humility and little less quoting of old saws.  These are fiscally tenuous times for the United States.  It’s important that we make every effort to distinguish ourselves from those who support a semi-socialist paradigm, the same paradigm which has put European countries on a downward economic trajectory.

Awful Blogger

Posted in Conservatism, Politics with tags , , , , on May 22, 2010 by Cannon

Yep, that’s me. It’s like I’ve fallen off the face of the blogging earth. Luckily, I don’t have a ton of fans to disappoint. I must do better. I blog about as often as Eric Holder (a.k.a. Stedman) reads the legislation he criticizes. I heard someone on TV saying today that if Alberto Gonzalez had done such a thing he’d be labeled a stooge. So true.

What about Richard Blumenthal? Though he has caught some flack from leftist media types, he would have been drawn and quartered if he were a conservative. Republicans really don’t have it together yet, though. They let John Murtha’s old seat slip through their hands. It seems the public is breaking right so to speak. All Republicans have to do is be coherent and tenacious. In other words, they have to do a better job campaigning in November than I’ve done at blogging as of late. And that my friends is not a huge hurdle to clear.

Progressives’ Love for Old Fashioned Entitlements

Posted in Conservatism, Economy, Health Care, Politics with tags , , , , , on March 21, 2010 by Cannon

It’s odd that leftists call themselves “progressives” while they continue to utilize the oldest tricks in the book in hopes of capturing constituents.  Way back in the 1930’s, FDR used Social Security as a payoff of sorts for voters.  Lyndon Johnson continued in the 1960’s with Medicare and Medicaid.  Now we have Obama, Pelosi and company bringing us this massively expensive health care bill.  Just another stab at utopia.  It’s another entitlement we’ll have all kinds of hell getting out from under once it’s proven that we can’t cure all our ills with the magic wand of the federal government.  I have no doubt this is the conclusion that most reasonable people will draw at some point in time.

You can give people health insurance or make them purchase it or whatever.  You can tax “the wealthiest among us” under the guise of helping those who are less fortunate.  However, you cannot improve actual health care by providing insurance.  It’s not the same thing, but, then again, this isn’t about saving people or improving the lives of American people.  This is more about a desire to shape the country into one where the educated elite decide what’s best for everyone.  One might call it a power grab.  Underestimating the intelligence of the general public is a mistake that leftists continually make.  The country is swinging back to the right.  My only hope is that we can undo some of the damage created by these misguided attempts at central planning.  Sadly, its this type of damage that conservatives have failed to remedy, and many times have contributed to, in the past.

There’s nothing “progressive” about nationalized health care.  It’s from an old old playbook.  One that should be burned and forgotten.

Corporations Fund Al Sharpton’s Campaign Against Rush Limbaugh

Posted in Conservatism with tags , , , , , on October 16, 2009 by Cannon

Well, this is nice.  It turns out that some giants of corporate America have come together to sponsor Al Sharpton’s National Action Network (NAN).  This is the vehicle Sharpton utilized to thwart Rush Limbaugh’s NFL ownership bid.  Here are the details from the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC):

The following companies were identified this year by NAN as “sponsors”: American Honda, Anheuser Busch, Colgate-Palmolive, Comcast, Entergy, Ford Motor Company, Home Depot, Johnson & Johnson, Macy’s, PepsiCo, Pfizer and Wal-Mart. Sponsorship reportedly cost $50,000.

The above linked post from the NLPC gives information for contacting each of the listed companies.  It irks me when businesses get this deep into politics.  Let’s face it; everything Al Sharpton is publicly involved in screams political activism.  One thing is certain, however.  Sharpton wouldn’t be so quick to attack a like-minded individual, like Keith Olbermann, no matter what that person said, and this is a major problem for the companies in question.  Maybe, this particular situation won’t aggravate enough people for Walmart to notice.  Eventually though, supporting a galvanizing organization such as NAN is going to end up driving patrons away.

I think that Limbaugh has unfairly been labeled as a racist, because too few people are willing to speak out against the powerful media forces that don’t like him.  That’s one issue.  The second issue is the unsettling, significant overlap between private business and politics.  It’s something that’s been going on a long time, and it’s getting worse.  The U.S. automakers are proof of what happens when government creeps too far into private business.  The federal government empowered monopolistic unions and forced untenable standards upon the car makers for years making them unable to compete with foreign competitors utilizing much more streamlined cost structures.  Health care reform and “cap and trade” are two current instances where certain firms are attempting to gain an improved competitive standing by partnering with politicians.  It’s a dangerous game where private industry almost always gets burned in the end.

Acquiescing to government intervention is not a viable option.  The more these companies get involved in political issues, the more likely it is that they get rolled over by government’s heavy hand.  They’ll end up being “bailed out” by grandstanding politicians and abandoned by consumers.

Hat Tip:  Mark Levin

Cowardly Action: The NFL’s Repudiation of Rush Limbaugh

Posted in Conservatism with tags , , , , , on October 15, 2009 by Cannon

The Wall Street Journal hits the proverbial nail on the head:

What happened here, and is happening elsewhere in American life, is that Mr. Limbaugh’s outspoken political conservatism is being deemed sufficient reason to ostracize him from polite society. By contrast, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, who fires off his own brand of high-velocity, left-wing political commentary but lacks Mr. Limbaugh’s sense of humor, appears weekly as co-host of NBC’s “Football Night in America.” We haven’t heard anyone on the right say Mr. Olbermann’s nightly ad-hominem rants should disqualify him from hanging around the NFL. Al Franken made it all the way to the U.S. Senate on a river of political vitriol.

But Rush Limbaugh gets hung out to dry by someone of Roger Goodell’s establishment prominence, and barely a soul from that same fastidious establishment has the courage to step forward to criticize it.

Personally, I find Olbermann absolutely contemptible.  He and MSNBC are obliterated night after night by Fox News and that network’s lineup of conservative commentators.  Yet, we’re force-fed this third-rate talking head every Sunday night of the NFL season as part of the NBC sports team.  The NFL is fine with Olbermann slandering a former President of the United States and the second woman to be nominated for Vice President by a major party, among others.  There’s no doubt that Limbaugh is a controversial figure.  But holding a small ownership stake in one NFL franchise is not equivalent to being the face of the league.  Olbermann’s presence would worry me more if I were NFL commissioner.

This entire matter is about posturing.  The players association is using Limbaugh as leverage in the negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement.  I don’t think that’s the whole story, however.  The NFL, as the above excerpt alludes to, doesn’t want to fight the mainstream media.  These people foam at the mouth when they hear the name “Rush.”  Not only have Limbaugh and others in conservative talk radio survived without the help of the media elite, but they’ve flourished.  Old media detests what right-wing talkers like Limbaugh, Hannity, and Levin stand for.  It’s as if the mainstream media is more about controlling the message than freedom of speech.  The problem for them is that they’re fighting a losing battle.  Technology has rendered relics like the New York Times and the major networks incapable of monopolizing the news.  Regrettably, the NFL lacks the intestinal fortitude to stand-up to the leftist blowhards inappropriately described as “mainstream.”  Although in the broad scheme of things, the NFL’s convenient application of its high standards doesn’t matter, because there’s real, significant demand for the products Rush Limbaugh and others are selling.

Will the Real Conservatives Please Stand Up

Posted in Conservatism with tags , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2009 by Cannon

I watched a video on Andrew Sullivan’s blog.  In it Sullivan sort of explained how Obama is kind of a conservative.  Click here for the aforementioned interview.   Hopefully the video will load, and you can see what I’m talking about.  Personally, I’m not a fan of Sullivan’s ideas regarding conservatism.  He’s a talented writer and probably a genuinely bright guy.  With that said, when you contend that Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin are nothing more than radical populists, but President Obama could conceivably be thought of as a Tory – think Margaret Thatcher – people are going to question what’s really in that wine glass.  Although Beck’s done some great work (i.e. the ACORN/prostitute/housing scandal), I think he plays a little fast and loose with the facts (i.e. money supply growth graph).  In regard to Palin, at this point I feel there are people who would be better suited for the job of president – the current inhabitant of that position not included.  The liberal blogosphere and media have unmercifully flogged the woman and her family.  Sarah Palin has just as much right to express her opinions as Andrew Sullivan or the feeble-minded anchors and correspondents on MSNBC.  Like Obama, many people like her.  Let it go.

I wonder if Sullivan is still miffed about Forbes labeling him as an influential liberal blogger.  Frankly, I tend to use Milton Friedman, someone who didn’t describe himself as conservative but as a classical liberal, as my conservative benchmark.  Given the terminology of the day, I believe Friedman embodied what I view as modern conservatism.  I couldn’t see Friedman supporting the major government overhaul of the health care system – what Obama has supported is major government intervention despite what Sullivan claims.  Knowing what we knew of the current president at the time of his election, it would be hard to imagine Milton Friedman supporting Obama.  Sullivan supported Obama for president, and he doesn’t see the proposed  health care plan (sort of a mythical moving target in its own right) as being at odds with his conservative sensibilities.

Bottom line:  labels are subjective to an extent.  I could say that Dick Cheney is a left-wing pacifist.  I could say it.  The few people that happen upon this blog might make sure not to happen upon this blog again, but I could say it.  Those groups still enamored with the ideal that is the Obama presidency are going to be forced to wake up sometime toward the end of 2010.  The Republicans may not gain control, but the momentum between the coasts clearly is in their favor.

However one chooses to describe these people is fine with me.  Be warned though, your assessment may cause thoughtful individuals to see you as out of touch.  Anyone with half a brain can see the company Obama keeps, his scant voting record as a U.S. Senator and the policies he’s chosen to push.  Furthermore, the people protesting against increased spending and the over-reach of government should not be minimized.  They didn’t clash with police or destroy much, so I guess their grievances aren’t legit.  Most media outlets have chosen to mostly ignore their rather large demonstrations, only to reference these people as out of the mainstream.  Ms. Pelosi describes tea partiers as “astroturf.”  That’s classy.  I find these tactics to be condescending and lazy.  “Southern Populism?”  Are you kidding me, Mr. Sullivan.  Yes, we Southerners are too ignorant to understand what being a true conservative really is.  It’s important to break out of the liberal internationalist bubble from time to time.  There’s a vast country beyond Washington D.C.