Wednesday, April 28, 2010

In Re A Leinenkugel Senate Run

So, earlier this week I listened to Charlie Syke's interview of Dick Leinenkugel after he announced his Republican run against Russ Feingold for senate. I got the feeling that Charlie was a semi-sympathetic interviewer, because while Leinenkugel did not come off well in the first 2/3 of the interview, I think Sykes could have ended his campaign before it even started.

I'm not sure who is in charge of the Leinenkugel campaign, but they had better do a hell of a lot better job of crafting a story for their candidate or he is going to avoid getting his butt kicked in the Republican primary. And it has to start by openly repudiating his old boss, Jim Doyle.

At this juncture, I'm not sure who I'd vote for in the primary, but Leinenkugel did not acquit himself particularly well out of the gates. If I had no knowledge of the family, I'd probably be on the popular band wagon on this side of the aisle that is constantly repudiating him. But I remained bothered by the fact that if Feingold does not lose in this year of vulnerability for all Dems, I am convinced he will own his seat until he chooses to leave the Senate. Yet this crew is the best the Republican party can muster.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Obama Administration Politically Incompetent

Okay, for a moment, let's disregard any arguments over the right/wrong of tax credits, period. Instead, let's look at the political component of creating one. When you create a credit, as President, it is in your best interest to trumpet them from the mountain top. People like to keep more of their money. Plus, they need to know about it or it costs you a lot of money at the IRS. The Obama administration has failed at this basic attempt at politics:

Schedule M is the big tax credit of 2009 that's really easy to miss.

After figuring deductions, calculating taxes, and recording estimated tax payments, the exhausted taxpayer will come to line 63 of IRS Form 1040. It has an innocuous description – "Making work pay and government retiree credits" – but potentially a big payout: $400 ($800 if married filing jointly).

Most taxpayers will be able to claim it.

Last year, in an attempt to reinvigorate the economy, the White House cut the amount of withholding for workers and sent out a onetime $250 payment to retirees?

That's money already in Americans' pockets. But unless they fill out Schedule M, they'll pay it back in taxes (at least initially).

About 4 percent of tax filers so far failed to send along the new schedule.

C'mon. Really, Obama administration? Is it that embarrassing to Democrats to let people keep some more of their own money that you can't blare out to them that you let them keep more of their own money? Is it because you are too embarrassed to tell people you are taking a little less of their money while spending much, much more, or is it because you are that incompetent?

Prediction For The '10 Republicans

Republicans are going to have a huge year at the polls. And then over the next 2-8 years, we will learn that many of the Republicans who won by spoon feeding the Tea Party what it wanted to hear didn't really mean much of what they said, and an all new resentment of the Republican party will set in.

The Leinenkugel Question

Okay, if anyone in Wisconsin is still reading me, I have an honest question for you. Let's say Tommy Thompson does not challenge Russ Feingold for Senate, and reports that Dick Leinenkugel will against him as a Republican are true. I will give you all the fact that Leinenkugel's politics are questionable given the fact that he voluntarily served Governor Droopy Dog. But even if he is a left of center Republican, he still might be the only guy not named Thompson who has a chance in hell of putting up a challenge to Feingold. So my question is this: Would you rather six more years of Feingold because Leinenkugel isn't a died in the wool conservative, or would you rather accept his flaws for a less radically liberal Senator from Wisconsin?

Tommy Thompson Might Not Run For Senate?!?!

Shocking, I say! Okay, I'm being sarcastic. Maybe I'm just the naive observer of Wisconsin politics, but Tommy always struck me as the guy that did not need power, but needed to be wanted and loved. This appealed to both, especially the "being wanted". But once you win, you aren't wanted anymore. And once you have to make votes and politically move and shake in Washington, you risk the love that you spent so much time winning as Governor of Wisconsin. He may still surprise me tomorrow, but only if he announces that he's running. I'll be toiling away at my job about a mile away, but I'm surprisingly not interested in heading down to King Street to see what he has to say.


I'm having a pot v. kettle moment. I'm jaded about blogs, which is funny because every regular reader I've ever had has every right to be jaded by my near absence from the venue for quite some time now. But still, I regularly read many of the blogs that I once considered indispensable, and I'm so very disappointed. Some have ceased to offer much in the way of the opinion and analysis that made them what they were. Instead, they Instapundit it, which annoyed me while Glenn Reynolds pioneered it. Others seem to be living on their reputation circa 2005 and offer a smugness that they have absolutely no justification for. I always half anticipated the collapse of blogging, but I never anticipated that it would start to devour itself in this way.

A Warning To The Tea Party

I personally become less and less a fan of populism every year I walk this earth. But I recently talked with someone who has traditionally been very unpolitical and who responds to things that just make logical sense. This person admires the early tea partiers, but looks suspiciously upon some of the less savory individuals that have attached themselves to the tea party over time. If the Tea Party wants to be more than a flash in the pan, you will have to address the less savory elements and counter Democrat attempts to tar and feather you with them or you will flame out as quickly as your star began to blaze.

Monday, April 05, 2010

President Obama Is A Naive Fool

I don't believe I am actually witnessing a President remove nuclear weapons as a deterrent.
Discussing his approach to nuclear security the day before formally releasing his new strategy, Mr. Obama described his policy as part of a broader effort to edge the world toward making nuclear weapons obsolete, and to create incentives for countries to give up any nuclear ambitions. To set an example, the new strategy renounces the development of any new nuclear weapons, overruling the initial position of his own defense secretary.

Mr. Obama’s strategy is a sharp shift from those of his predecessors and seeks to revamp the nation’s nuclear posture for a new age in which rogue states and terrorist organizations are greater threats than traditional powers like Russia and China.

It eliminates much of the ambiguity that has deliberately existed in American nuclear policy since the opening days of the cold war. For the first time, the United States is explicitly committing not to use nuclear weapons against nonnuclear states that are in compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, even if they attacked the United States with biological or chemical weapons or launched a crippling cyberattack.

This is a President who does not understand the times in which we live. There are many nations who will gladly turn a blind eye to their nationals planning a massively deadly attack against the United States if they know the nuclear option is off the table. Additionally, Pandora is out of her box. There is no making nuclear weapons obsolete. Small nations are not pursuing nuclear weapons out of fear of the United States...they are pursuing them for regional dominance and as a hedge against outside, particularly American, interference in their plans. This is not a time to sing Kumbaya and expect states to willingly give up their nuclear ambitions. Instead, it is a time to send the message that the nuclear ambitions of non-nuclear states is clearly unacceptable.

May God help us all.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Maybe We Should Have Read Between The Lines

Remember this picture?

I'm no huge fan of Senator McCain, but I think he was subtly trying to let us know about then Senator Obama's prospects for America: