Worst Magic Trick of All Time?

What do Jack Welch, Rush Limbaugh, Rick Santelli, and the US labor department all have in common?  They’ve all known for months that the unemployment rate would be just under 8% the month before the election…

Good magic tricks are both unpredictable and subtle.  The 7.8% number put out by the US Labor department for September was neither. Every major economist at every bank and independent group measured the unemployment rate to be between 8.1% and 8.2% for the month of September.  Most economists predicted the employment gains correctly at around 120,000 for the month.  The “establishment” employment numbers confirmed their prediction at 114,00.  Since that number doesn’t keep up with the monthly population growth contribution to employment of 150,000, economists predicted that the unemployment rate would edge up from about 8.1% to approximately 8.2%…

But wait! What is this behind your ear Uncle Sam? Oh, look at them apples – over 800,000 new jobs magically appeared in the “household” indicator!  No one saw that one coming (except for every conservative “conspiracy theorist” for the past six months)!

If Obama’s little magic trick doesn’t make you feel like a embarrassed parent quietly texting your spouse that you will NEVER HIRE BOZO THE EX-CON CLOWN MAGICIAN AGAIN for your child’s birthday party, then you are obviously the child.  The mastoid process behind your ear is also a winning penny slot machine.  Congratulations.

Good Video on Media Bias…

No one can honestly dispute that the majority of the main stream press leans pretty hard left.  There are some notable exceptions such as Foxnews or the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, but the majority are shills for the Democratic party.

Ten years ago in my grad student days at Columbia, I dated a woman who was attending the Pulitzer School of Journalism.  She described the environment at the journalism school as very hard left.  Though a self-labeled liberal Democrat, she said she felt like a right-winger during class discussions about politics.  She was unaware of any Republicans attending the school….

Indeed, polls among journalists show that the political skew is overwhelmingly left.  This is by no means a new phenomenon and for years it has been something that political candidates have had to plan for.  However, this election cycle has been something special.  For the first time, journalists are going a step beyond bias and are now actively abdicating their roles as news reporters if it helps Obama.  Here are some examples of “missed” reports that would end Republican presidencies:

  • Obama chooses The View over world leaders at the UN while our embassies burn
  • Bombing citizens with drones and re-labeling them as combatants to keep your numbers clean
  • Openly ignoring your own intelligence reports to publicly blame terrorist attacks on obscure youtube videos

It really is a dangerous line that the American press has crossed.  Former Democratic pollster and strategist Pat Caddell has a rant about it that is worth watching in its entirety:

How Romney Can Win With a Mandate

It is panic time for the Romney campaign.  We are in the final stretch toward the most important election of our lifetimes, and Romney’s campaign still hasn’t left the starting blocks.  The fact that he is as close as he is to an incumbent president in the polls is a powerful testament to the failure of our current leader, not shrewd tactics from Romney’s campaign team.  By every measure, Obama’s policies have been an unmitigated disaster to the United States.  Until this past month, Obama could claim to have some solid footing on foreign policy, but now even that part of his presidency is proving to be an epic fail.  It would be hard for a cardboard cutout to poll any worse than Romney given the circumstances.

So, how do you lose what should be the easiest election against an incumbent president since Richard Nixon?  The problems to date widely recognized by the pundits and a very confused electorate are the following:

  1. No one has any clue what Romney’s positions are.
  2. There is no sense of urgency.
  3. The public only knows Obama’s lies as to why we are in a recession.
  4. Romney has been defined entirely by the Obama campaign.
  5. The public doesn’t know how to get out of the recession.

There is an easy way to answer all of these concerns and a way of giving the nation a secure understanding of how Romney will turn us around:

Three to Five 30-minute “Fireside Chats” discussing the most important topics of the day.

These fireside chats will accomplish the following things that state to state campaigning, 30-second commercial advertising, and media outlets cannot:

  1. Provide a clear explanation of our current situation.
  2. Debunk the left’s lies about what caused the Great Recession.
  3. Give the sense of urgency of how important this election is.
  4. Give a clear concise message of what Romney will do to save the economy.
  5. Provide powerful sound bites and themes to carry through November.

Though important, Romney cannot depend on the debates to accomplish these objectives since they will largely be run by highly motivated liberal moderators who will keep the subjects to personal attacks and issues they know are republican losers like contraception and abortion.  He needs to control the medium and content to correctly define his positions and explain how he will save the United States.

The “fireside chat” tradition was started by FDR early in his presidency, when he addressed the nation with radio speeches organized into what he considered to be the most important topics.  The best candidate to have recent success with speaking to specific problems and solutions in a controlled 30 min format was Ross Perot.  He attracted a huge audience (over 16 million) and used very simple charts and graphs to explain subjects in a way that resonated with the public.  Though he was unable to ultimately capture votes from party loyalists, he had powerful support with the independents, that same 5-10% that Romney now so famously said were his focus at a fundraiser earlier this year.  Most importantly, it will allow Romney to take control of the national narrative that has been dominated by the Obama camp to date.

Below are suggestions for subjects and the information that could be presented in each.  The following proposal lists important topics and gives a synopsis of what has happened under the “Obama Record”.  Some of the points should be illustrated in pictures, charts , and graphs that will show the magnitude of the problem.   After the synopsis, there is a description of what “Romney’s Plan” would accomplish and why it will address the problems that have festered under Obama’s presidency.


Obama Record:

  • Labor force participation rate Jan, 2008 to Aug, 2012: 66.2% è 63.5% or about 3.7 million fewer jobs than the beginning of 2008.
  • 8.1% unemployment only made possible because of those dropping out of the force.
  • 5.2 million long-term unemployed.
  • 7.3% decline in median household income ($4K per family).
  • 15% poverty rate.
  • Over 46 million on food stamps as of Aug, 2012… up from 26 million in Jan, 2008.
  • Over  $2 Trillion in cash sitting on company books.
  • Hundreds of billions sitting outside the country because of tax concerns.
  • Regulatory uncertainty freezing business activity.
  •  Frank-Dodd freezing nearly all small business loans.
  • Obamacare driving medical innovation offshore.

Romney’s Plan:

  • Create an environment for business to invest and grow.  North of $2 Trillion of money sitting on balance sheets and off shore that would go DIRECTLY to investment in R&D and hiring, not the favors and pension padding of Obama stimulus dollars.  That money will go to where it gets the best return.  Under Romney that is in the US, under Obama that is offshore.
  • Lower business taxes to 25% and cut out loopholes.  Lower taxes will bring in offshore money and increase the returns for domestic dollars.
  • Repeal Frank Dodd, which will lift the freeze on banks to lend to small business.  Business start-ups have to go to “mom and dad” because Obama destroyed their ability to get money from banks.
  • Repeal Obamacare.  The device tax is a company killer and 1/6th of the economy is in lock down as companies try to figure out regulations that are still being written.  Show examples of companies that are taking their innovation dollars overseas.
  • Reduce regulations that make US investment onerous.  Name some of the bad ones.
  • Encourage energy production in the US.  Give numbers to show our untapped reserves.  Give numbers to show how many jobs can be created.  Mention that the oil will either be refined in our “green” refineries or seriously pollute in unregulated Chinese facilities.
  • Grant work visas to any foreign national who gets a graduate degree in the US.  Stop educating the world’s innovators and then sending them away.


Obama’s Record:

  • Higher tax rates kill growth.  Period. This has been shown by the likes of even liberal economists Christine Romer and John Maynard Keynes. It is something that scares business and has created uncertainty.
  • Outsourcing at an accelerated rate partly in anticipation to higher business taxes (and partly due to increased regulations). Even the head of Obama’s jobs council, GE’s CEO Jeffrey Immelt is shipping thousands of their jobs off-shore.
  • Money made in the global markets does not return to the US because of high business taxes.
  • Over 50% of companies in the US file as S-corps and will see large tax raises well ABOVE the Clinton levels.  That directly drains from hiring.
  • Obama’s tax cuts were temporary, econ 101 shows that temporary cuts do nothing to spur the economy.
  • The tax code is horribly confusing, counterproductive, hurts the little guy, and allows the rich to hide their money.  It needs to be completely reformed.  Describe what simplification means. Give real world examples.

Romney’s Plan:

  • Make the Bush cuts permanent.  It will send a signal that S-corps and investors will continue to get good returns on investments in the US.
  • Decrease the corporate tax rate to 25%.  This will directly free up money for hiring & innovation and encourage companies to keep their facilities in the US.
  • Give a one-time tax break for repatriating the hundreds of billions from overseas.  This will provide a real stimulus directed by those who actually make jobs: businesses
  • Cut out loopholes in the code and simplify.  The lower rates with fewer loopholes will actually be a more progressive tax. Describe what the loopholes are going to be with examples!
  • Give examples of how much easier it will be for someone to fill out their taxes and not feel like the IRS is always out to get them.


Obama’s Record:

  • On the Road to Greece.
  • Taxpayer money was spent to create jobs in foreign countries.
  • Taxpayer money was spent to promote and fund gas drilling by Mexico and Brazil.
  • Debt looks benign because interest rates are low. As soon as rates go up it will crowd out other government spending and lead to economy crushing taxes, on everyone
  • Over $6 Trillion added with little to show for it.  Cost per job created is an astonishing figure.
  • That equates to $55,000 of debt per household added under Obama.  Do you feel better off now?
  • Stimulus didn’t stimulate anything but uncertainty about the future.
  • At current rate of spending (and Obama projected budgets), we will have to take a 750 billion annual haircut on government programs in 10y just to service interest.

Romney’s Plan:

  • Reagan, Keynes(!), JFK, and even Clinton (large capital gains tax cut) showed that the best way to raise revenues is growth-inspiring tax cuts.
  • Entitlement reform!  Show how to bend the curve and preserve the social programs.  Show what kind of cuts you have to do if the budget is left under current projections.
  • Show the Bain Chief’s abilities to identify and cut waste out of systems with examples.
  • Show example of states and how they beat their deficits: New Jersey, Wisconsin, Massachusetts (under Romney), Indiana and contrast it with Obama style states like California and Illinois that raised taxes and pandered to labor interests.
  • Other good stats to show: http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2012/09/obama-versus-economic-freedom.php

Sound Money

Obama’s Record:

  • Fed continues to benefit Wall Street at the expense of Main Street under Obama.
  • Show how much purchasing power has decreased in the past four years and who that hurts.
  • Show the increase of money supply and show what that means for future “poor taxing” inflation when banks start lending.
  • Adds uncertainty to the market.

Romney’s plan:

  • Replace  Bernanke with someone who will protect the value of money
  • Give business the kind of long-term certainty they need to make decisions.
  • Mirror what Reagan did with Volcker to get us out of the Carter mess


Obama’s Record:

  • Everyone thinks Bain was some financial engineering group that hurt companies for shareholders
  • Convinced the public Romney is pitching the same toxic policies that got us here in the first place.

Romney’s Pitch:

  • Romney’s business history was to create a firm that engages distressed companies or divisions and turn them around.  Banks and institutions lined up to lend to Bain’s companies because of Romney’s record returning the money and building enterprises with it.
  • It doesn’t makes sense that a corporate raider who would loan companies up with debt and fire everyone would be a called upon by the Olympic committee to rescue them from too much debt… or for the people of Massachusetts to vote in a REPUBLICAN to rescue them from crushing debt and the nation’s worst job creation rate.
  • Romney went into a debt-crushed state and came out with a surplus, tax cuts, and maximum theoretical unemployment. Obama went into a debt-crushed country and came out with double the debt, tax hikes, and 3.8 million fewer jobs…

A series of talks that illustrate the above points in clear simple language, using charts, graphs, and real world examples, would win over the undecided and elect Romney with a mandate to put us back on the track to free markets.  If Romney doesn’t reveal a clear plan, we will have four more years of Obama and solidify a “new normal” of high permanent unemployment, low growth, and steady progress to a debt crisis that will inevitably remove our status as the international superpower.

Time For the Invoice

So, what is the cost to each of us and our children for the spectacular job Bush and Obama have done prolonging, I mean, saving us from certain doom and destruction?  A group from Stanford economists from the Hoover Institute lay out the numbers for us in the WSJ today.  If it doesn’t frighten you then you are obviously one of our international readers (welcome to www.realitybatslast.com!)

The Magnitude of the Mess We’re In

9-18 Update by Bryce- Reading this column about the ‘Mess We’re In’ prompted two thoughts:

1. Who in their right mind would want to be the Captain as the USS Titanic tries to make it’s way forward through these waters? None of the problems enumerated in the article have easy solutions; just very painful and difficult ones. And if you are a conservative Captain, the press will be sabataging every move you make.

2. Republicans would be wise to avoid the Messianic thinking that swept Obama into power. Dear Leader cannot make these problems go away. Not Obama; not Romney. Turning this big ship around will take much more than the election of a new Captain. A new Captain is necessary, but certainly not sufficient.

Who Is The Real Radical?

The battle is between those who believe in individual liberty and those who believe in a large and expanding government. Let’s face it, many Republicans believe in a large and expanding government, as demonstrated by their actions in recent decades. So the philosophical alternatives of strictly limited government and massive, growing government do not represent our real-world choices. Still, there are stark differences between the visions of the two parties.

Our founding documents were clearly designed to strictly limit the power of government over the lives of free men. That was the expressed goal, as described here. But “Progressive” politicians think they have a better idea. To them, government is the answer to lifes challenges, not freedom. With enough spending, with enough government programs, with the right people in charge, everything will be wonderful. This is the socialist utopian delusion.

George Will’s latest column explains the progressive belief that “society may be perfected through the instrumentality of government”. It is George Will at his best.

We regularly hear that the Tea Party folks are radical extremists. Will explains the real radicals.

Happy Birthday, Milton Friedman

Milton Friedman, great defender of freedom, would have been 100 years old yesterday.  His television series, “Free To Choose” was one of the best things ever shown on public television.  Watching Friedman clips on YouTube is time well spent because he so simply and concisely explains principles of liberty.

This is one of my favorites:

Two Friedman quotes:

“If you put the Federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.”

“Many people want the government to protect the consumer. A much more urgent problem is to protect the consumer from the government.”

SAID IT!!!! (Thank you Sununu!)

Imagine if you lived in a free nation… A place where you could live, work, and play without being subject to the whims of a regulator.  Where you could follow your dreams without answering to anyone or anything, as long as your dreams didn’t infringe on the right of others to do the same.   Our forefathers imagined such a place.  After thousands of years of oppressive regimes and states where the lives of the population were governed in detail by the whims of tyrants, they decided to try freedom.  The experiment worked.  For over 200 years, this nation has improved the quality of living in the world on an exponential level unimagined by any ancient philosopher.   Now imagine how you would feel to watch that dream crushed by the same sorts of bureaucratic populist tyrants whose experiments in control and social engineering have crushed the spirits of their people and driven them to your shores for hundreds of years.  You would be angry right? Maybe just a little?

Luckily, you have your 200 year experiment of success all around you and easily googlable.  You wouldn’t have to struggle hard to debunk their sad little twisted talking points taken from the outright lies of the Obama campaign team or the “king’s clothes” intellectuals like Krugman.   You would simply state the facts and maybe sometimes laugh at them a little when the intellectual twister gets over the top.  Instead, what we seem to get are pundits on the right that have a frozen petit mal seizure in the face of an argument and then regurgitate some pre-rehearsed talking point.  And we wonder why the right isn’t as jazzed up as they should be…

Here is how it is done:

Imagine living in a Russian submarine on a dive for three months surrounded by unwashed sailors who only eat raw fish and chain smoke in your 6’ X 6’ bunk bed quarters.  When the submarine surfaces, you get to be the first sailor to open the hatch and take in a deep breath of ocean arctic air in Siberia 300 miles from the nearest town.  Watching the above clip kind of felt like that.

Here is another fresh breath for you:

The master at work.  Krauthammer, Ryan, and West can also get it done, but the list gets short after that….

S E Cupp runs with it like Forrest Gump

SAY IT!!!!!

I really hate to pick on amateurs (especially when they look like Ms. Cupp). However, she is the conservative ambassador to a network that would otherwise meet the old Soviet Politburo standards of journalistic content, so she needs to step it way up. Beating these guys in an argument is like playing t-ball with 6-year-olds, but you really have to have spent more than five minutes researching the subject.  Instead, we see Ms. Cupp seize a totally BS statistic about .00004% of the US electorate committing voter fraud and running into a brick wall with it.  Eighty-six cases on a national scale isn’t voter fraud - it is an immaculate election proctored by angels. It is obviously a total crap statistic. The ensueing viewer experience of her argument is like watching someone put down his Desert Eagle .50 caliber handgun and attack knife-wielding street thugs with a wooden spoon, only slightly more frustrating.

The talking points are simple:
1.  Holder’s Completely Misleading Statement:   “In the clip of Eric Holder, there is mention of being able to use a concealed weapon permit in Texas to vote, but not a student ID.  Why does he assume that everyone at the NAACP are idiots? What are two things you need to show to get a concealed weapon permit in Texas: CITIZENSHIP and LACK OF A FELONY RECORD!  El Chapo, the Sinaloa Cartel Kingpin at the top of FBI’s most wanted list, could enroll at Texas Tech and vote in the next election using his student ID in Holderworld…”

2. It Is Illegal Not To Have An ID in Texas Over 16: “It is already a law in Texas that you have to have an ID over the age of 16.  How can someone who doesn’t have an ID pay taxes, go to Jury Duty, drive, and hold a job without an ID?  Unless they are illegal…”

3.  The Law Already Exists In Other States:  “How are those other states doing? Why haven’t we been talking about them and running stories about all of the people dying to vote, but can’t get a hold of an ID?”

4.  Their Stats Are Completely Full of Crap:  “Sargent at Arms positions at large middle schools have more voter fraud than 86 people.  Hell, even Al Franken’s Senate seat was won with alleged voter fraud counting well over 300 people – and that is just in the state of Minnesota.  In that case, it was supposedly felons casting votes, something not possible if they had been using concealed weapons permits to vote.

5.  Their Stats Are Totally and Completely Full of Crap:  “The number of 1.5 million voters not being able to vote was debunked many times over.  Even donning ruby red slippers, no matter how many times you say it on MSNBC, it will never be true…”