Two Words.

Due process?

How Green is too Green?

During the Superbowl, I was surprised by an ad. The Audi “Green Police” ad was both shocking and attention getting. Probably to the delight of the marketing executives at Audi, this ad has demanded significant attention across the web. My first reaction to the ad was shock and dread. If you love freedom, this sort of idea is stomach turning, and unfortunately believable. Of course, the left argues that this is mere histrionics and hyperbole, but with mandatory recycling in some localities and regulations on lightbulbs, how far are we from this reality?

In review, the links below all have the video for you to watch.

  1. Here is a review from the right.
  2. Here is a review from the “supposed” center.
  3. Here is a review from the left.
  4. Here is a ‘bonus content’ review and global warming interview.

The infamous Tim Tebow ad debuted tonight with little controversy. Sure, if you go to the Focus on the Family website, you will get more information that would have been provocative for a national audience, but few could argue there was anything dangerous about this ad. Here is the link to the video.

Now for a real controversy. Within an hour of the Superbowl ending, YouTube had all the ads in a slick voting setup…except this ad was not there. Huh?

I have just a few quick thoughts on Sarah Palin’s keynote speech for the National TEA Party Convention.

  • It was not difficult to notice what the primary concerns of the delegates of the Convention were. Whenever Mrs. Palin spoke of fiscal conservativeness the crowd erupted with applause. I see this as a continuing trend throughout the next year with implications for the 2012 election as well. Hopefully, people will latch on to the necessity of reforming government spending.
  • The speech touched on a lot of topics that were expected, but a pleasant development of the speech was the idea of an independent TEA Party that does not necessarily propose candidates. I think the watchdog model of the movement should be emphasized. Keep the fire under the feet of both parties so that positive change will be demanded of Congress.
  • The Beltway is strongly against a Sarah Palin Presidency, but middle America is strongly considering it.
  • Simplicity can be a beautiful thing. Just imagine a booklet instead of a novel for a budget.
  • During the Q & A session, Sarah Palin mentioned what she would look for before endorsing a candidate. She gave a “litmus test lite” response that I thought was appropriate for a movement such as the TEA Party. This movement needs to stay focused on a few core principles and not a laundry list of dos and don’ts.

All-in-all, it was a very enjoyable speech, and I hope that the Congress that are snowed in watched and payed attention. Talk about a captive audience.

Where is the Equality?

I have a few serious questions about the government takeover of GM and Chrysler. First, how can a government that owes so much debt to Japan keep objective in its ownership of the US automakers. The push back could go like this:

  1. The transportation secretary tells people to stop driving Toyotas, and the government starts investigating the brakes on the Prius.
  2. People listen to the regulatory chatter coming out of Washington when they are looking for a new car. They end up buying from a car maker other than Toyota.
  3. Japan pushes back on our debt obligations and threatens to stop buying our debt without concessions as a retaliatory measure against the unfair advantage that GM and Chrysler have.

My real objection here is that US meddling in the auto industry could have serious financial ramifications.

Second, as the stakeholder in these companies, the US has a vested interest in how they perform. How then can the public, and investors in banks, Ford, Honda, etc. not recoil at the unfair taxation that is being proposed to prop up the automakers and AIG. Unbelievably, the banks will be taxed, (because that is ok with the public) to pay back the debts of GM, Chrysler, and AIG, which the government benefits from. In the end, the government gets its money and their companies don’t have to pay. What other companies have these amazing benefits?

In the end, if this isn’t corruption it sure smells of it.

The populist outrage over the banks has reached a fevered pitch in recent weeks. While I understand the outrage over bonuses and executive compensation, the banks are not the real problem. The President and Democrats have continually decried the lack of government regulation, but in reality, it is the government itself that is the problem.

Forget about blame, forget about party affiliation, forget about denials to the contrary, the government is the source of the disease that we find ourselves afflicted with. Allow me to explain.

Fannie Mae is a strange compilation of government and corporate elements that purchases and guarantees home mortgages. This process has been going on for a long time. The reason that this presents a problem is that the markets view these GSEs (Government Sponsored Enterprise) as implicitly guaranteed by the United States Government. While they are publicly traded companies, they were created by the government and supervised by a board that includes 5 members appointed by the President of the United States. In addition, at their creation the government allowed itself to purchase securities to a certain limit as a guarantee against default. All these are reasons why the markets trust these companies.

Over time, the executives of Fannie have accumulated mortgage positions that have caused the debt to asset ratios of the company to balloon to ridiculous levels. The banks continued to write mortgages to high-risk mortgagees because they knew that Fannie and Freddie would buy them on the secondary market, thereby reducing the risk for the bank. If the bank does not have to assume the risk, of course they will continue the profitable practice. This government induced mortgage frenzy is responsible for the glut of debt from which our country is desperately trying to keep from drowning. Without reform of these government companies, our market will continue in the death spiral started decades ago.

Yesterday, President Obama spoke to Senate Democrats about their questions and concerns. During the one interesting exchange with Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln, President Obama offered a summary of his response to her question. Here is that summary;

So the point I’m making — and Blanche is exactly right — we’ve got to be non-ideological about our approach to these things. We’ve got to make sure that our party understands that, like it or not, we have to have a financial system that is healthy and functioning, so we can’t be demonizing every bank out there. We’ve got to be the party of business, small business and large business, because they produce jobs. We’ve got to be in favor of competition and exports and trade. We don’t want to be looking backwards. We can’t just go back to the New Deal and try to grab all the same policies of the 1930s and think somehow they’d work in the 21st century.

I just have a few points on this loaded paragraph. First, what is the deal with “like it or not”? Who would not like a healthy and functioning financial system? Who is the President assuming would not like it?

Second, if we can’t be demonizing every bank out there, why is the President demonizing every bank out there? The bank tax he has proposed, and the populist anger of the State of the Union address belie the fact that he is doing the opposite of what he is suggesting.

Third, the sentence, “So the point I’m making — and Blanche is exactly right — we’ve got to be non-ideological about our approach to these things. We’ve got to make sure that our party understands that, like it or not, we have to have a financial system that is healthy and functioning, so we can’t be demonizing every bank out there. We’ve got to be the party of business, small business and large business, because they produce jobs. We’ve got to be in favor of competition and exports and trade. We don’t want to be looking backwards. We can’t just go back to the New Deal and try to grab all the same policies of the 1930s and think somehow they’d work in the 21st century” is not what worries me, because we have survived 80 years in spite of the “Bad Deal”. I am scared, however, of what the 21st century plans are, and how exponentially they will grow our ballooning debt.

I could go on, but as you can see from this brief excerpt, our President is looking every bit the radical that we thought he was two years ago.

A Growing TEA Party

I have followed with interest the burgeoning TEA party movement since Mr. Santelli first mentioned it on CNBC. The movement has grown from an angry, disorganized motley crew, to angry, organized, still motley masses. Starting with NY’s Doug Hoffman and moving to Massachusetts the movement has picked up steam and cache. Read the following pieces on this group here, here, and here.

A Couple of Links

The Cato Institute brings up some good points here. I would like both parties to address these issues.

Arianna Huffington seems to think she has Glen Beck “dead to rights”. Metaphorically that is!

Political Math? Genius!

There is a blog. This blog likes numbers. I like numbers. This blog illustrates big numbers with colored liquid. I like colored liquid. If you want to get the inside scoop you will visit this blog.

Going Rogue?

There has been a media frenzy concerning Sarah Palin’s book from both her side promoting it and from her antagonists decrying it. My poll question of the week for this first week of February is, “What think you?”.

Funny, not Substantial

I use twitter to follow the newsmakers and update my activities at this newly formed blog. Over time I will probably follow thousands as I incrementally add them. On my first day I went to the “find people” functionality and selected the political grouping. I selected some of the following:

  1. @thehill
  2. @maddow
  3. @michellemalkin
  4. @jaketapper

These are just a sampling, but you get the idea. Now I also followed @KarlRove. I just got a message that he is also following me. I find that to be hilarious. I do know that in the twitter world this is not remarkable, and in fact a common courtesy to follow those that follow you, but consider my blog and the wording of the message below. I find it funny.

The Right to Life

An important plank in a Conservative platform is the belief that human life is sacred, and abortion violates the rights of unborn human life. Conservatives do not believe that a fetus is a part of the woman’s body, and therefore subject to her wishes, any more than liberals believe that endangered sea turtle eggs are not vital turtles. The fetus is an unborn human. If allowed to grow and be delivered he/she will look, behave, and think just like anyone else. Why then does the unborn child not count as a human to the abortion supporter? That indeed is a question I would like answered with more than the typical dodges of NOW and Planned Parenthood.

Stoking the fire of this controversy is the upcoming Super Bowl commercial starring Tim Tebow of college football fame. It is an undisputed fact that if Tim Tebow’s mother had aborted him, he would not have grown to be a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback at the University of Florida. He would not have lived to carry on the charity work that he does. He would not have had a chance to speak to the hundreds, if not thousands he has spoken to in the past few years. These are all indisputable facts. Why then is the commercial disputed? Let me offer three thoughts.

  1. Football fans will identify with Tim and therefore sympathize with the anti-abortion position. Since the point of the ad is to show that someone’s life would not have happened if his mother had listened to counsel to abort him, this objection is merely political. “We don’t want people to hear that because that might change their mind” they would say. Too bad.
  2. Some regard this in the light of a separation of church and state issue. Basically, don’t talk about things in public that religious folks affirm. Once again, too bad.
  3. The rest dispute the advertisement because they are partisan hacks who hate anything that the other side has to say. Also, too bad.

Focus on the Family, the Tebows, and CBS are exercising free speech and commercial rights well withing the bounds of FCC regulations. I am pretty sure that after watching the ad, no one will be as scandalized or manipulated as the left suggests.

Glen Beck thinks so. The President does give the impression that he is speaking down to his audience. During the State of the Union Address, the constant thought that came to mind was that this speech was a college lecture, and we had a lot to learn. When he spoke to the Republicans on their weekend retreat, once again, the lecturer in him came out. Now that he is the President, the skillful, charismatic campaigner has given way to the know-all professor.

The Week in News

Below are some links that I have found interesting in the past week. Enjoy yourself as you catch up with the news of the week.

A Fiscal Catastrophe in the Making

It may be surprising to some, due to the hype over the 4th Qtr. GDP numbers, but there is an increasing amount of contrary indicators on the economic condition of the USA.

Obama and the CPUSA

If you were surprised by the President’s leftward orientation in the State of the Union Address, then you will probably be surprised by the similarities highlighted in this article between the President and an infamous political party.

The Obama Contradiction

While I don’t always find myself agreeing with Peggy Noonan, I can appreciate this column for highlighting an area of concern in the President’s State of the Union Address.

Why Elitists Fail

Isn’t it obvious?

This article is worth it for the following quote alone, “The Liberal cannot strike wholeheartedly at the communist for fear of wounding himself in the process,”

The Wrong Financial Reforms

Where are Freddy Mac and Fannie Mae in all of this? Rank populism aside, there is also sufficient cronyism to make one ill.

No matter the spin, no matter the excuses, no matter the reasons offered, the Democrats are left with a very uncomfortable association. Osama bin Laden has been reading up on Democratic talking points, and in his most recent diatribe he pronounced some of the following gems taken from the New York Times:

Talk about climate change is not an ideological luxury but a reality

All of the industrialised countries, especially the big ones, bear responsibility

Noam Chomsky was correct when he compared the U.S. policies to those of the Mafia,

They are the true terrorists, and therefore we should refrain from dealing in the U.S. dollar and should try to get rid of this currency as early as possible.

Also from the UK Guardian:

In the latest recording, he calls out developed world economies for continuing to produce global warming pollution even after signing on to the Kyoto protocol. America stayed outside Kyoto, which Osama noted.”George Bush junior, preceded by [the US] congress, dismissed the agreement to placate giant corporations. And they are themselves standing behind speculation, monopoly and soaring living costs.”

“They are also behind ‘globalisation and its tragic implications’. And whenever the perpetrators are found guilty, the heads of state rush to rescue them using public money.”

Now the common argument put forth in the wake of these revelations is that this is an attempt by bin Laden to “expand his audience”. Take the quote from the UK Daily Mail below:

The speech, which included almost no religious rhetoric, has been interpreted as an attempt by the terror leader to broaden the appeal of his message beyond Islāmic militants.

Ballot Measures 66 and 67 passed in Oregon and there is a lot of debate on the severity of the tax. This vote does bring into clarity a microcosm of today’s American politics. All of politics has become a calculated game. What can I do to buy votes without alienating many others. Several tactics have been used successfully.

  1. Tax the rich. This tactic works because they have tons of cash and percentage increases bring in substantial sums of money without affecting a great number of voters. We can debate the merits of this in a “free economy” (and believe me I do), but this is politically savvy.
  2. Tax the opponents. This method has come into focus recently with the selective tax applications that we highlighted earlier today. How effective this is remains to be seen.
  3. Tax the public enemy. We are also beginning to see this as the bankers are public enemy # 1. Therefore, politicians do not feel any risk for attacking them and targeting specific industries with unconstitutional taxes. Once again, we will have to wait and see if this works.

Unfortunately, along with this methodology, a lot of misinformation is spread about. Take the following quote from Kevin Looper of the “Yes” on 66 and 67 campaign.

Opponents overstated the measures’ effects during the campaign, creating a false impression about Oregon’s business climate, …Most businesses won’t be affected by the taxes, … and only a few of the very wealthiest individuals will be paying more.

This statement is complete nonsense. First, why does it matter that “few” businesses will be impacted? If a business has a loss in a tax year, why should they also have to pay up to $100,000 in taxes as well? This is a completely ridiculous taxation system that will compound business failures in recessionary times. Second, the notion that only the very wealthiest of individuals will be paying more taxes is also ludicrous. All an individual has to make is $125,000 to see a tax hike of 1.8% or $2,250 minimum. Also according to this source, at least 2% of homes qualify for an increase. At a minimum, that is one in fifty. So for every fifty families you know, one would be impacted according to national averages, which are likely low for the expensive Pacific Northwest. I don’t know about you, but that does not seem to represent “only a few of the very wealthiest individuals.” It sounds as if someone is understating the measures’ effects.

We’ll see the consequences of this vote, but hopefully America will wake up to the national nightmare that is looking us in the face due to policies such as these.

I am posting several responses to the President’s speech on Wednesday night. Today I want to address the section on the Citizens United case. I won’t actually comment on the substance of the statement, but I do want to offer commentary on both Justice Alito’s and the President’s comments. For insight into the accuracy of the claims please read here and here.

I have no problem with the President asserting that he does not agree with a Supreme Court decision. I even believe that he could do so during the State of the Union Address, but the manner and tone of this President’s remarks were out-of-line. He was antagonistic and derisive in attacking a branch of the government. Instead of demagoguery the President should have offered ideas. He could suggest that Congress draft legislation to address the issue, but to call the credibility of the Court into question as he did is unconscionable.

Justice Alito found himself in a difficult situation. Decorum demands that Justices refrain from public comment and political involvement. He should have kept silent, but in a way I am glad he did not. If he had remained silent, this likely would only have raised a minimum of discussion on a fact check report. However, now the internet is ablaze with commentary on this quote.

In the end, he should never have been put in this position in the first place.

This is a Bribe!

Common sense governance has been completely eradicated from Washington. When healthcare reform stalls, Democratic leaders throw pork at amiable senators to entice their vote. When the unions are upset that they will have tax increases as well as corporations on insurance benefits, they appeal and only the corporations are left to pay taxes in the plan. Now, President Obama needs votes for the 2010 elections, which means he needs one thing–jobs. In order to induce job growth, the President is suggesting that companies get $5,000 per employee hired. Not just for hiring employees, but doing so this year–an election year. Of course, funding for these jobs goes away next year, so who’s to say companies won’t layoff workers in January? In our current economy and political environment, Congress applies taxes and tax breaks selectively to buy votes, and that is a bribe!

In my first post I outlined three “pillars” of conservatism – rights, respect, and responsibility. I will be posting several articles giving greater consideration to these “pillars” over the next few weeks. In regard to respect, Conservatism supports a high view of the individual, whereas liberalism divides people by groups and classes, which are set against each other. Liberals cannot escape these personal categories. In contrast, Conservatives define themselves by ideas and actions. For example, whenever liberals speak of the current President, they cannot help but notice his race. How else can you explain the gaffes by Chris Matthews, Joe Biden, and Harry Reid – all three highly accomplished public speakers. I think that Freud would have something to say about this.  

What Pivot?

While many had anticipated a center-ward “pivot” from the President last night, those who have followed the man know two things. First, he is a man of principles, and second, those principles are progressive. Despite campaign rhetoric and hopes of center-left government from pundits after the election, President Obama has governed according to progressive ideals without regard for polls and politics. While standing up for what you believe is an admirable trait, we here at Trending Conservative do not appreciate the leftward bent of this government. The American people do not agree with the government’s progressive policies. The people of Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts have voted against liberal politics. For all the Beltway talk of center “pivots”, those who know the President should not be surprised by his adamant liberalism.

I thought it would be appropriate at this time to poll the public on their reaction to the President’s speech. I also thought it would be appropriate to have each answer feature the letter I as much as the speech did.

Simply, it is the newest and best political blog!

Realistically, it is the newest of the new in a crowded niche without any cache.

Fortunately, it is written by a man of passion, who believes in Conservative Principles of rights, responsibility, and respect.

Honestly, it is currently a lone voice “crying in the wilderness”, but conceptually it is a funnel for disparate voices, ideas, and causes to join together and speak more loudly than any lone individual.

Ideally, it is the promise of a more active, engaged, and enthusiastic Conservative Movement that stands up for its core principles.

Eventually, it will be the impetus for a Trending Conservative Nation!