Thursday, November 08, 2012

 

Too Late

Sorry, Sarah.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

 

A Few Thoughts Post-Election

In my job, I'm an analyst.  I look for patterns and try to predict behavior based on available indicators.  Being human, it's very hard to divorce rational analysis from emotional influences.  But, I'll try.  Here are some predictions for the next four years:
-Within the next 12 months, Iran will detonate a nuclear weapon.  Much of the world will cry out.  Ultimately, Iran will profit from it because it will sell its technology and/or hold the Persian Gulf hostage in exchange for eliminating sanctions.  Arabs will not stand for Persians having the bomb.  Neither will Turks for that matter.  This will start a nuclear arms race in the middle east.  Every oil-rich country that can afford it (all of them) will start its own nuclear program, or will buy the technology from China or Russia.  Which leads me to:
-Within the next two years, gasoline in the US will rise to at least $6 a gallon due to a combination of the declining value of the dollar (see below), tensions in the Middle East, regulations against fracking, and a continued effort to deny drilling permits on public lands.
-Within the next four years, good people will stand agape and helpless and watch as Israel recovers from a major attack that threatens its soul and very existence.  The US will declare support for Israel, but will not fight by her side.
-Within the next four years, China will project its military power to seize islands belonging to Japan, the Philippines, or Korea.  It will happen quickly, and the US will be unable to respond.
-About that same time, North Korea will attack South Korea.  It will probably be along the lines of what happened at Yeonpyong island in 2010.  But, it could be worse.
-As people exhaust their unemployment benefits, disability claims will continue to skyrocket.  As a result, the unemployment rate will drop.
-The number full-time employees will remain steady or drop, while the number of part-time employees will rise.  Converting full-time employees to part-time employees is the cheapest option under Obamacare.
-The majority of the part-time employees will no longer have employer-based health insurance.  The premiums for private insurance will rise to the point to where they are not affordable to the average worker.  Thus will begin the entrenchment of the single-payer (government) system.
-The ratio of doctors per capita in the US will continue to decline.  
-Within the next two years, the dollar will collapse to less than half its current value.  This is the ultimate effect of an indefinite Quantitative Easing effort and an economy rocked by high oil prices.
-New regulations concerning fracking, coal, and fuel efficiency standards will cause a spike in energy prices.
-The collapse of the dollar, high energy prices, and global instability will cause hyperinflation that will raise prices of everyday goods approximately 200% from where they are now.
-Gold will hit $2000 per ounce.  This is a conservative estimate.
-Within the next two years, someone will sue a church in Maryland for refusing to perform a homosexual marriage ceremony.  After that, all churches will perform them or lose their tax-exempt status.
-The Supreme Court won't intervene and will likely affirm a civil right to homosexual marriage.
-By the time the next Presidential election rolls around, the 47% will be approximately 52% of the population.  This will cause the Republicans to lose the House and not have a chance to take the Senate.
-The next President Clinton will be elected in 2016.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

 

The Comedian's Funeral and the Twin Towers

Just watched the Watchmen again. Great comic. OK movie. But he music is fantastic. I just noticed something in the background during the Comedian's funeral scene (Simon and Garfunkel's Sound of Silence playing along with it). Can you see them?




They're just to the right of the priest, over his left shoulder. I'm not sure if it means anything, but the soldiers carrying the coffin are all Captains. If you don't know what a Captain's rank insignia looks like, it looks like 2 silver bars sitting side by side. They're often referred to as railroad tracks. In a way, it looks like they're carrying the towers on their shoulders.


It's not really a hidden reference, but I think the director was also including an homage to 9/11. It takes me a while to pick up on these things. This just makes me angry that there's still a hole in the ground where the mighty towers once stood.

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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

 

Liveblogging the President's Afghanistan Speech

I'm a USMA grad - class of 94. I've spent a lot of time in Eisenhower hall. It looks like they covered up the orchestra pit to create the thrust stage. That's my theater geek side showing through.

It's 7:01 CDT, so I'll start my comments here...

7:02 - It really looks like he's got a teleprompter problem.

7:03 - Recalling 9/11. A little history to introduce this as the "right" war.

7:04 - Once again defending Islam. Invoking the Congressional use of force. Also invoked Article V of the NATO treaty.

7:05 - I would guess the shots of cadets are intended to keep him from looking like he's playing teleprompter ping-pong.

7:06 - "Bringing the Iraq War to a responsible end." By the way, cadets don't clap at political points. That single clapper you heard was probably part of the entourage.

7:08 - "a fraction of the troops that were in Iraq" - so he's blaming Bush for not properly resourcing Afghanistan. OK.

7:09 - Objectives: kill Taliban/AQ leaders, have an election. Those aren't strategic objectives.

7:10 - First talk of securing the population.

7:11 - Never had an option in front of him to deploy troops before 2010. But, the longer you wait, the further in the future the deployments have to be made. 18- month deployment. Embrace the suck.

7:13 - I have signed letters, I have read letters, I have visited...stay classy, B.

7:14 - Shinseki, Gates, and Clinton. Shinseki is the king of not lowballing troop levels.

7:15 - Goal: disrupt, defeat AQ and Taliban. And other stuff.

7:16 - Rapid deployment, train Afghans, transfer responsibility, then a miracle happens....poof...world peace!

7:17 - Addressing corruption, addressing agriculture. Why am I thinking that I'm not hearing anything else here. There was only 1 reference to securing the population.

7:18 - He's got a 3rd teleprompter in front of the camera riser.

7:21 - He's addressing Pakistan but not listing many specifics, it seems to me.

7:22 - Dismissing the Afghanistan/Vietnam comparison. 1. Coalition fight, 2. Unpopular insurgency, 3. We were attacked from Afghanistan.

7:24 - He wants the Afghans to have a sense of urgency. Good luck with that. Sit down. Have some chai. We'll get to business sometime next week.

7:25 - "Cannot ignore the price of these wars". He's trying to blame the wars for our inability to recover economically. I don't buy it.

7:28 - Damn you Stephen Green!

7:29 - Another promise to close GTMO.

7:30 - Sounds like the wrap up. Recalling America's past achievements.

7:31 - UN, NATO, and the World Bank in the same breath? Really?

7:32 - Once again, cadets don't clap. You can make them laugh, though.

7:33 - If you're wondering why the cadets look so enthused, they should be doing homework right now. Losing 2 hours of homework time for a guest speaker really disrupts a timeline.

Overall, some tough talk. Not a lot of specifics beyond announcing 30,000 troops and an 18 month timeline. I didn't really hear what his vision was, though. He says our resolve is unwavering....we'll see.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

 

Doing the Math

With apologies to Glenn Beck: blood is now shooting out of my eyes.

One note: How do higher CAFE standards lower the price of gas? uuuuuuhhhhhh......waiting. Obama said it would.

$4000 education grant to every student. Let me do the math here:

How many new college students are there every year? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 1.6 million new US college students in 2006.

That's another $6.4 billion a year spent on education. If that all goes for college education, Obama just made a $6.4 billion promise to college administrators across the country. Anyone like to guess how much the cost of a college education will increase?

Don't even get me started with his plan to require public service to get the grant. It would no longer be "public service". It would be bribing young Americans to participate. No volunteering necessary.

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Watching the Wisconsin Numbers Roll In

Well, I joined a little late to see John McCain talking about security. It is definitely his strong suit. With less than 1% reporting, he's got 83% of the GOP vote. Not a shocker. WI is a fairly liberal Republican state.

Obama is breaking out on top with 61% (to 38% by Hillary). But, if previous states are any indicator, that will even out. I'm actually interested in this one.

McCain is on a roll, I like the health care talk "without bankrupting our country". I like that. Vouchers too. It's the finding "clean" alternative sources of energy that bugs me. Cap and Trade anyone? I will say this: he needs practice on holding for applause. His timing with the audience is a little off. Hey, speechwriter, can you highlight the applause lines or something?

9:17pm With a grand total of 1500 votes in, Obama has 54%. Oops, just updated. it is interesting that 2500 voters is less than 1% of the precincts. Does that mean that there will ultimately be around 200k votes on the Dem side?

9:19pm Fox calls it for Obama based on the exit polling (55%/43%). Brit Hume gave it a big caveat. It bears watching. But it's also an indicator of Hillary's lack of momentum.

9:25pm Exit polling: Hillary lost all of the demographics that she used to win. It's over. Only chicanery (shenanigans!) will get her the nomination.

9:27pm McCain is down to 56% (with 2% reporting). I bet it will stabilize around there. Obama is holding at 56% (with 3% reporting). It looks like a double-digit win for Obama. As Karl Rove said, that will translate into a 6-7 delegate gain for Obama. He continues to extend his lead.

9:29pm For the Record: I am NOT staying up to see the Hawaii returns. I'll catch up on those tomorrow. Did I just hear Hillary walk in to "9 to 5"? That's no way to make a living.

9:33pm Hillary is in OH. Barack is in TX. I'd bet that TX has more delegates. Also, I'd bet that OH has more black voters. She is so going to lose both states. That's my prediction.

9:35pm She said what?!? "Health care is a right, not a privilege." I don't remember anyone ever actually admitting that before? Am I just naive? To whom does she think the check book belongs? It's not the President's, it's the peoples'.

9:39pm Obama is giving a "shout out". Hey! I guess he is an authentic black after all. He just used "in the house" too. I don't want a President that gives "shout out"s, or wonders who is "in the hizzy". He is a joke.

9:43pm With 10% reporting, Obama is maintaining a 10 point lead. That's a shellacking in a white-bread state.

9:44pm Mike Huckabee is still pulling in about 35% of the vote. Those are the hard-core religious conservatives that have concerns about McCain. I just don't think he can pull everybody in from the base. But, I believe he may be able to steal some Dems. I still don't think that will be enough. As I've said before, if Obama is the nominee, I believe he will be president. And a cold chill just went down my back.

9:45pm Ooooooh. Obama is being substantive: money for people that signed up for loans they couldn't afford, end the war, Patriotic Company act (or whatever it's called) yadda, yadda. How many mothers with blind twins have homes? There's a typical case for you. How about actually asking a soldier that is in Iraq if he feels taken care of? Why are re-enlistment rates at an all time high? Hey, at least Obama and Hillary agree - the election is about "you". Yeah, right. The speech is a pig with lipstick. It still has no substance.

9:53pm With 17% in, Obama is up 56%-43%. When, exactly does it become butt-whippin' territory? At 13 point win would be huge. He's pulling away as the numbers come in.

I'm off to bed. Good, Lord, please deliver us from politicians that want us to "get beyond" our positions. Obama, I'm standing over here for a reason: because I don't like where you're going.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

 

Watching the Virginia Numbers Roll In

Well, the polls just closed and Fox already called VA for Obama. That was fast.

I really think he will get the nomination. I also think that McCain will not be able to beat him. So, say hello to President Obama, and goodbye to our country as we know it.

7:50pm I'm watching the returns on FoxNews.com. So I'm a little slow. But, Huckabee breaking out on top with 56% in VA? I know it's early, but that does not bode well for McCain.

7:56pm OK, it's getting closer. Huck's only up by 2% in VA. But 11% is in. This lead could hold for a while. Maybe until the big cities start reporting, especially around DC.

8:09pm With 24% reporting, McCain jumps ahead, but only by about 800 votes. The vote totals about doubled, so I guess some cities are reporting now.

8:58pm Well, McCain got VA. With 61%, he's leading by 4. So much for a Huckabee upset.

8:16pm With 32% reporting, McCain is up to about a 1,400 vote lead. The trend line is not good for Huckabee. He's got to hope that there are some rural counties yet to report. Still, I'm not sure if VA is a proportional state or not.

8:34pm McCain leads by only about 2500 votes with 49% of the precincts reporting. It's not a big split, but I don't know if Huck can rebound. I don't know that I want Huckabee to win. I would really just like to see McCain squirm for a while.

Monday, February 11, 2008

 

An Endorsement That I Noticed

OK, with apologies to IMAO, the Dems can now Fear the 'Stache. (h/t Power Line) John Bolton, whom I really like an respect, has endorsed John McCain.

I find myself thinking about buying into the "this election is about National Security" argument. But if it is, why do I shudder when "McCain" and "border security" are mentioned in the same sentence?

Put me at 50/50 for voting for McCain.

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