Thoughts On A Sunday

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Thanksgiving is fast approaching and preparations for Thursday's celebration are ongoing.

The WP clan will be gathering at the WP Mom's abode to celebrate, with much of the food preparation taking place here at The Manse or at my dear brother's place. After this past week we didn't want to burden her with the stress of having to coordinate anything, considering the goings on over this past week.

While it will be bittersweet, it will be a celebration nonetheless.

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The fallout from President Obama's decree on immigration continues. You know it's bad when even leading Democrats have been saying it was the wrong thing to do.

Then again, Obama has shown himself to be a hypocrite - stating at an earlier time when he was still a US Senator the President should stay within the law and work with Congress to hammer things out, then turning around and issuing an imperial decree when things don't go his way. Then again we've seen all throughout his administration that he has no use for the Constitution and will go around it when he doesn't get his way.

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Oh, this is going to sting!

Does anyone remember those 'missing' e-mails from Lois Lerner's 'crashed' computer that could prove that the IRS targeted GOP and conservative political groups for special scrutiny at the behest of the Democrats and the White House? They are missing no more.

Thirty thousand e-mails to and from Lois Lerner have been recovered.

The U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) informed congressional staffers from several committees on Friday that the emails were found among hundreds of "disaster recovery tapes" that were used to back up the IRS email system.

Committees in the House and Senate are seeking the emails, which they believe could show Lerner was working in concert with Obama administration officials to target conservative and Tea Party groups seeking tax-exempt status before the 2012 presidential election.

I have a feeling this news will have a lot of Obama operatives and supporters diving for cover.

Let the subpoenas begin!

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A reader asks Dr. Helen whether "geeks are on strike." This question was brought up due to the two most recent 'geek gaffes', namely the Shirtstorm and Gamergate scandals.

I probably have a unique perspective on it due to my connections to the young guys in the gaming industry. It's bizarre how some of them are in their twenties, have graduated from good schools, and have simply zero interest in women. They just have literally nothing in common with them and no interest in them.

The biggest communication problem is that most women see "relationship" as a positive thing. Most men see it as an ambiguous thing. So, when the selling point of Little Miss Real Life over Jane Pornstar is "relationship," you can see where it's not going to be very appealing. I don't think there's much of a "fuck you" element, though. The guys who think that way tend to be the players, particularly the Sigma players. A lot of the guys who opt out aren't particularly angry at women, they just don't see much point to pursuing involvement with them.

Perhaps what the reader is observing in Gamergate and Shirtgate is that the geeks involved not only don't have the social conditioning to "make nice," but that they have less to lose than conformists such as the media or feminists who need other women and men to join their worldview.

The conformists hate that their groupthink doesn't extend to everyone and are taken by surprise that the geeks don't care if they are invited to the party. They learned long ago that they weren't invited in the first place and many made their own world that didn't depend on being popular. One thing about being on the outside is that it can be freeing and allow one to fight back without restraint. The conformists can't forgive that. When you see people on Twitter and in the media calling these guys names and bellyaching about them, it just shows that the geeks have won.

Exactly. So it's not surprising the geeks are telling the perpetually offended feminazis to "bugger off!" I only wish the poor sod at the ESA who was the target in the #Shirtstorm debacle had told them the same thing.

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The University System As The Village Of The Damned indeed!

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A UC Berkeley alum shares his disgust for his alma mater, illustrating just how much worse it has become, illustrating just how bad it's become in a video, showing how it has become an anti-semetic and even more deeply anti-American institution of indoctrination.

If you support Palestine or other radical Islamic nations or causes, you are directly supporting genocidal, racist, homophobic, misogynistic, antisemitic, anti-Christian, anti-American, anti-Western, incredibly violent, sadistic regimes. Ask yourself what that says about you. I can assure you without any hesitation that you would be the same person who would have supported Stalin in the 1930s, Hitler in the 1930s and 1940s, and Genghis Khan in the 12th and 13th centuries. You are a person utterly bereft of any decency or morality, and this is true no matter how you try to use the battle cries of "imperialism" and "oppression" to dress up your perverse cultural predilections and moral vacuum.

What many of the Berkeley students don't realize is that if those same powers they support ever took control here in the US they would be the first ones to be imprisoned and, even more likely, beheaded.

Heh.

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Judge Janine Pirro slammed Obama on Fox News Opening Statement last night, comparing him to a mobster with contempt for the law.

Beginning her segment with a series of clips showing Obama himself declaring the action he took Thursday to be illegal, Pirro noted the president has been on the record stating at least 12 times that the solution to American immigration's problems was to be found in Congress, not the Oval Office.

"This is not about the audacity of hope, Mr. President," Pirro said. "This is about the tenaciousness of your lawlessness, the imbalance of your moral code, and the imposition of your political agenda."

Actually, gangsters respect the law more. At least they don't pretend they're following it.

Has Obama ever had any respect for the law? Not that I can tell.

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The News Junkie expounds upon the infantile relationship we have with government.

Over 100 years, government trained the masses to think "government should do something" whenever life presents them with obstacles, challenges, heartaches, bad luck, and expenses.

Is it any wonder government, or at least those in government, believe they should be running every aspect of our lives?

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And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where we're getting a break from the chilling temperatures over the next few days, finishing up on the last of the yard work, and where preparations for Thanksgiving continue apace.
Five people are killed in a ghetto section of Cleveland as a result of a shooter or shooters and I wonder, Where's the outrage? Where's the coverage in the rest of the nation? Nothing at the Daily Mail. There's been much more of the 12-year-old boy shot and killed in Cleveland by police officers who mistakenly viewed him as being armed when in fact he was carrying a BB gun that looked real. But the assassins still roaming the city? Now that's much worse than a tragic set of circumstances. I have gained more information, whether it's true or not it's difficult to say, from reading the comments to the cleveland.com articles on this shooting in which a young girl called 911 when her mom was shot dead and she herself was shot. It's areas like this where people need loaded guns stashed throughout the home in drawers for immediate access.
Kimberly Morin and I comment to this morning's Concord Monitor editorial Sen. Jeanne Shaheen has penned. If this is all she's got, there's little of that. We did the venerable wrestling move on Shaheen's surprisingly weak position, though I was not nearly as talented as Kimberly, who was far more succinct than I.
As I learned from Cato's Regulation magazine in the very early 1990s and a speech given by the late writer Michael Crichton the EPA pushed through a bogus report in 1993 on the dangers of second-hand smoke that was totally unjustified by the science. A few dissenting voices are now lost in the wilderness.

Now towns are debating banning smoking...in the whole town.

Working at a major company part-time, I have been enlisted as its wellness champion for years now. Having to read utterly bogus "advocacy statistics" on the death rates supposedly caused by second-hand smoke to my co-workers makes me miffed. When we intentionally exaggerate dangers, we are lying. We lose credibility. When we have something truly worthwhile to say, we've cried "Wolf!" too many times.

I call your attention to an American Thinker analysis by the very reputable University of Virginia scientist S. Fred Singer backing up my thoughts on the matter.

I say, Don't smoke. It's stupid. But don't think that if one walks near a smoker and his cloud, however aesthetically unpleasing,that cancer is knocking on your door. That's Salem witch trial stuff. Like the siren song of so-called "climate change" that Professor Singer specializes in debunking.

I'm Gonna Do It My Way!

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I listened to President Obama's speech about the executive action he will be taking in regards to the illegal immigration problem we have. As expected he laid the blame at the feet of the GOP. He also kept emphasizing that his actions were "lawful", maybe not so much to convince the American people but to convince himself and his sycophants. He tried to sound reasonable, but then he always sounds reasonable, even when he's pushing damaging legislation or foreign policy decisions that come back to haunt us.

I've said it before and I'm going to say it again: What a putz.
I love this quote I read on a Twitter account that originated with former Ohio State head football coach Jim Tressel:

Determination and perseverance move the world; thinking that others will do it for you is a sure way to fail. -Marva Collins

What They Really Think Of Us

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Between David Gruber's admission in front of a camera that he thinks the American people are "too stupid" to make decisions for themselves, and stating outright that the Obama Administration had no problems lying to the American people in order to pass legislation that no one in their right mind would support, it gives us a snapshot of just what our political elite - our self-anointed "betters" - really think of us. That in itself should give us pause to reconsider what we think of them.

They do not have our best interests at heart despite their claims to the contrary. They think of us as incompetent children who need to be led down the right path in life, that being obeisance to the state and perpetual dependence upon it. They really don't like us very much. But the thing is that we outnumber them. As such we have the power to tell them to "shove it", take their power away from them (either by the ballot box or the gun), and then get back to our lives and our work undisturbed by these 'intellectual' know-nothings. When one compares the lives of Americans in fly-over country to the lives of the political elites, you'll find that the elites' lives are no better than anyone else's. The big difference is that they have more money - usually ours rather than theirs - but their lives are little different. They experience they same ups and downs, joys and sorrows, triumphs and failures as the rest of us. However their worries tend to be different as they rarely have to deal with the effects of government over-reach into the economy and our lives. They have in effect carved out exemptions that allows them to skirt the effects of the actions they've taken to control the rest of us.

Socialists are one of the more hypocritical groups within the political elite. Have you ever noticed how many of the most vocal and adamant socialists all have one thing in common? That commonality: wealth. Their wealth insulates them from the effects of the very socialist agendas they're pushing. (The wealthy generally aren't socialists, but all of the more prominent socialists are wealthy. That's one of those examples of cognitive dissonance for which the Left is so famous.)

So the next time we hear the Obama Administration or the Democrats in Congress say they're trying to "help" the American people we'll know they only thing they're trying to do is help themselves to our money, our health care, and in the end, control over our lives.
Normally I start my Sunday post with some reference to the goings on around The Manse or in our town, usually covering something mundane or mildly humorous. But I can't this time.

You see, my father - the infamous Weekend Pundit Dad - passed away Friday morning. His passing was not an unexpected event seeing as he had been diagnosed with Stage 4 melanoma. He was given two to three months before the cancer would kill him. It took a little over three weeks.

He wasn't afraid of dying per se. It was more that he was afraid his mental faculties would be seriously affected, leaving him non compos mentis for weeks before he finally shuffled off this mortal coil. Just last weekend he was hale an hearty, at least for him, enjoying a visit from two of his nephews from Connecticut.

He hated being fussed over and there were times when he said he felt smothered, but that was just Dad expressing his need to show he was still capable of doing things for himself. Thursday that all changed.

My sisters, my brother and his wife, and me along with BeezleBub were there to help rearrange things in the house to make it easier to take care of him, including a hospital bed to make it easier for him to get in and out of bed. He looked drained, as if he'd spent all day laboring at some great task. He dozed now and then, but would fully engage when anyone spent time talking with him. When it was time for me and BeezleBub to leave, he took my hand in a shake and I said "I love you, Dad. I'll be by tomorrow."

Just a little before 7AM the next morning one of my sisters called to tell me that Dad had just passed away. He went in his sleep, his mind intact, just as he wanted.

One can't ask for more than that.

I love you, Dad.

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My normal Thoughts On A Sunday post will resume next weekend.
Time to blame Whitey, says a high-flying writer for the New York Times. Reading his fourth installment in the conscious-raising exercise, I couldn't help thinking to myself with all his trite legacy of racism stuff, what's Haiti's excuse? It's really preposterous to bring up what happened generations ago, let alone centuries.
I. Education by Progressives Ruins Education.

There's an extraordinary piece by L.E. Ikenga about threatening to give up on Black America, which I enclose in its entirety below the fold. She must herself be black, for no one else could get away with saying such things about the depressing, infantile behavior of American blacks that makes it difficult for Ikenga to love them as Jesus commands. Even Caribbean Blacks aren't much better, she says.

But she has a summer academy in New York City educating the students in the classics, to spectacular success. The sadness comes when she realizes their gains will be obliterated by the department of education schools, as she calls them. So sad. Why can't we learn to embrace the traditional in education when it delivers far better than the whacky alternatives?

(For that matter, the same "solely within the tribe" truthful reality is shown recently with the left-of-center Israeli publication Haaretz about the "phenomenally successful" American Jews who "absolutely dominate" in certain fields like finance and Hollywood--something that only could be said by fellow Jews.)

Ikenga's dismissal of progressive education should be shouted from the rooftops; I like it so much I'm going to steal it. Is that all right, Mrs. Ikenga?: 

Just as the Chinese have flooded our markets with cheap, flimsy products, progressive education has flooded our nation with cheap, uninformed minds.
Also, when Ikenga says how white progressives extol diversity from the comfort of their homogeneous white enclaves, she speaks a truth, which I've also noticed. Even in some of my neighbors who are retired Ivy League professors who have settled in such a monochromatic place for "the mountains" or "the beauty." Yeah, right.

I would add to Ikenga's piece that memorization should be reimbraced when teaching youngsters. Currently my high school seniors are memorizing a sonnet of their choice and my juniors are doing the same with Robert Frost's "Path Not Taken." I imagine a math or science competition where the black students win over their more intellectually gifted competitors, probably Asian, by dint of hard work memorizing things like the Periodic Table. Anyone can memorize. It just takes lots of time and willpower.

II. James Tierney Calling for Maine To Become More Diverse.

Ikenga's piece reminds me of listening this week to Maine Public Radio during my lunch break on the way to walk my dogs. Columbia Law Professor James Tierney, who was Maine's attorney general from 1980 to 1990, gave an address saying that what Maine needs is more diversity. He's been beating this drum for awhile with 96 percent white Maine. White people don't have babies, so Maine's lack of growth stems from this. Maine's lack of diversity means that the asian Columbia Law School graduate, when visiting Portland, was taken aback when she didn't see anyone who looked like her. Just what Maine needs--more lawyers.

Maine and NH have the nation's lowest crime rates is attributable almost solely to its ethnic makeup; I learned from James Alan Fox--when prodded by talkmeister David Brudnoy in the early 1990s--that black and brown populations are where the higher crimes rates are to be found.

Be careful what you ask for, Professor Tierney. It depends on what kind of immigrants: High IQ asians or below the white average for hispanics or blacks? I realize it's verbotten to introduce IQ into the mix, but I will anyway.

I teach two wonderful Vietnamese brothers from what had been black Roxbury but asians have moved in, changing the area into something much nicer. These boys arrived in this country several years ago. Those kind of immigrants? Eager learners? Fine. (These boys actually demanded I teach them grammar during our English as a Second Language classes. Can you imagine that?)

But hispanics or blacks? Watch the crime soar and the educational achievements decline--along with family structure. It's not for nothing that John Derbyshire links to results of the USA's math team for the International Olympiad. All male, mostly asian. No non-asian minorities (NAM). No females.

How are those Somalis working out in Lewiston, Professor Tierney? "Still facing many challenges," he says. That's liberalspeak for having seven to ten kids and living on welfare and not getting gainful work.

What Portland, Maine, needs is a Ferguson racial take-over, 99 percent white in 1970 to something much more diverse now. How's that going, Professor Tierney? You are so irremediably clueless.

His incoherent address--much like this blog entry--extols diversity while saying how it strains social services where "it is difficult to go to school" today. How is that going to ensure the American dream as drop-out rates soar?

And I never heard Tierney address the profound challenge all diversiticrats ignore: as populations become an increasing admixture of various races, the social capital correspondingly collapses. Robert Putnam's research, that so depressed him he avoided publishing it for years.
I was going over old blog entries of the irreplaceable Lawrence Auster, coming across a discussion of liberty versus freedom. It's excellent, reminding me of John Winthrop's two-fold liberty that I included in my students' American literature anthology. He is a Founding Father of Massachusetts Bay Colony and coined the famed "city on the hill" phraseology used by Ronald Reagan, who unfortunately according to Auster didn't follow suit in proper terminology: "liberty" is to be preferred over "freedom."

I'm not certified to teach in the government schools yet I managed to create my own text.

Anyway, we have a "natural" liberty that's bestial and a "civil" liberty that's under law and morality. It's not a long discussion. You can check it out here.
I"m so bleepin' sick of nearly twenty years' worth of film and TV that show dainty ladies dishing out massive punches of troglodytic men, the sound of which must nearly equal a side of beef falling out of a fourth-story window and landing with a tremendous "Thwawomp!" on a sidewalk, that news of a Secret Service lady acting as a turnstile in the White House by the infamous intrusion is like a tonic of moonshine.

We lie so much about the truth of sex and race that it's sickening. Women have weaker upper body strength. Much weaker. Epistemology dies when confronted by Political Correctness.
One of my favorite quotes seen today on Instapundit in regards to Scott Walker::

Does Walker sizzle? Not exactly. Is he a particularly charismatic speaker? No, he isn't. But does he sit upon a throne made of the skulls of his enemies? Yes, yes he does.

Every time Wisconsin Democrats and their union cronies think they have Scott Walker on the ropes and on the way out, he proves them wrong. Every time they lose to him they become weaker and less relevant. Every time they go up against him they lose even more support, and more imprtantly, they lose more money.

You'd think they would have figured this out by now, but it's apparent they haven't. They also don't have the support they thought they did. Those public employee union members who used to have their money taken from them non-voluntarily in the form of union dues have repudiated them, gladly giving up union membership now that the unions can no longer force their employers (the state or local governments) to collect dues for them. They haven't realized the voters have derailed their gravy train, a long overdue event.

At The End Of The Day....

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It was the end of my work day. I was heading out the side door to our building when I looked over towards the Belknap Mountains and saw something that stopped me in my tracks.

The mountains were illuminated by the setting sun, something I've seen many times before. But what had me stopping and gawking were the juxtaposition of some of the lower clouds flowing over the tops of the mountains, lit up by the setting sun, and the darker sky above that, providing a contrast that is very hard to describe.

I stopped long enough to pull out my cell phone and take a few pictures, knowing even as I was did so the quality of the photos would be poor at best. (Indeed, they were. No amount of working on them with my photo editing suite could make up for the poor image quality.) With the flowing of the clouds over the mountains I knew that if I went back inside to grab the high-res digital camera from our engineering lab, the beautiful scene would be gone. Instead, I stood there for a few minutes longer, imprinting the scene upon my memory until the clouds drifted to the other side of the mountains and the light from the sun faded away.

It was the perfect way to end the work day.
Just as the evidence has been saying all along for lo these past eighty years IQ is largely genetic. Normal parenting, even enriched upbringing, doesn't make much if any difference.

Why don't we have a eugenics policy? Dumb people have lots of children because the plumbing works, no permit needed, even if they have no way of paying for their brood. But if I want to sell hotdogs I need to jump several hurdles. Makes no sense, really.

I realize I'm residing way outside the Overton Window.

Thoughts On A Sunday

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Winter preparations continue here at The Manse.

One thing I had to do was remove the blowers on the Official Weekend Pundit Woodstove again to take a second crack at cleaning them out. While first attempt did increase the airflow, it wasn't enough, so a second and more thorough cleaning was warranted. After it was done the airflow was restored and the blowers were much quieter than they have been in quite some time.

A lot of stuff went to the dump on Saturday, consisting mostly of unwanted and non-repairable items from the basement as well as some items from the WP Parents' abode as well. There was also a trip to the recycling center as well.

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Even though we haven't had any significant snowfall here at The Manse yet, there was some the other evening, giving us a small preview of what's coming over the next 4 months. If the Weather GuysTM are right, we're due for some bone-chilling temperatures later this coming week as a northern Pacific hurricane pushes the jet stream, creating a large dip well into the south and east. I have no doubt there may be some snow to go with that.

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After the killing of Honor Guard Corporal Nathan Cirillo in front of the Canadian National War Memorial in Ottawa, a retired United States Marine felt he had to do something to honor Corporal Cirillo's sacrifice.

On October 31st, Major R.E.G. "Fox" Sinke, Jr. (USMC Retired) with dual American and Canadian citizenship, donned his dress blues and stood guard by himself at the Memorial until a Canadian honor guard joined him. Sinke is a much decorated war veteran, having been awarded five Purple Hearts.

Sinke received death threats for his actions. His response: "If they're looking for a fight, they came to the right guy...I promise you this: If they come here, they'll die here."

Ooorah!

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Gee, yet another one of Obama's favorite green energy projects, in this case the $1.6 billion Ivanpah Solar Electric Power Plant, is bankrupt, can't pay its bills, and wants a $539 million government bailout.

Hmm, where have we heard that before? Solyndra, anyone?

(H/T Instapundit)

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Of course he'll ignore the polls showing huge opposition to amnesty for illegal immigrants. After all, he's supposedly smarter than everyone else in America and he knows better.

Yeah. Right.

On the other hand that gives him and the Democrats a built-in constituency for the next couple of generations. He must be pulling a play from the LBJ playbook.

(H/T Maggie's Farm)

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Mike Hendrix shows us how badly deluded some of the Democrats are in regards to the mid-term election results, acting as if it's their party that won at both state and federal level, denying that the voters have shown their displeasure at Obama's policies, as well as being totally wrong about which party has been obstructive in regards to getting legislation passed. (Hint: It wasn't the GOP. Just ask Harry Reid about all of the votes on House-passed legislation he's quashed over the past 4 years.)

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David Starr asks a truly important question in regards to the just-completed election season: Should TV stations air deceptive ads?

Down at the bottom, the local station owners can decide to air, or not to air, any ad.  Is it ethical for them to air ads that they know, and everyone knows, are deceptive? Like half the political ads aired this last election (like just this week). Most of the ads accused the other side of illegal, improbable, and unprovable crimes. If you bothered to watch, most of 'em were so far out that anyone knew they were false.

But none of that stopped the TV stations from airing them. After all, the money was too good to pass up. During this particular election cycle millions upon millions poured into our state to help decide the US Senate race and those in the two Congressional districts. Just about every negative ad was untrue, twisting statements made by the candidates into something other than what they were, or taking quotes and/or actions out of context as a means of painting a political opponent as an unindicted quasi-criminal. I expect it will be worse for the 2016 campaigns.

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The announcement of the death of the TEA Party is premature, particularly in light of eleven TEA Party Republicans being elected to Congress - two in the Senate and nine in the House.

It odesn't help that far too many people have absolutely no idea what the TEA Party platform is, assuming it has something to do with all kinds of social issues. Instead, it breaks down to three defining principles: Fiscal frugality, government staying within its constitutional limits, and free markets. If anyone else claims the TEA Party is working towards limiting women's rights, access to contraception, abortion, and a whole host of other social issues, then they are lying, either deliberately or due to being seriously misinformed by those who have lied to them.

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And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the last of the boats have been removed from their berths, leaf raking is continuing. And preparations for winter continue in earnest.
The question that has been percolating on the right-leaning web asks whether Obama even knows how to negotiate.

Unfortunately for everyone the answer is a resounding "No!"

There's a simple reason for that: He's never had to negotiate anything in his life. Despite the stories of his 'disadvantaged' upbringing, he was anything but disadvantaged. Many things in his life were handed to him and he never had to meet anyone's expectations. We've seen that just during his political life, where every time he was elected to office he rarely performed the duties of that office because he was preparing to run for the next higher office. To him, negotiation, which at times includes compromise, is something others have to do. As I've stated more than once, to him compromise means telling his opponents "Sit down, shut up, and do what I tell you." That's no way to negotiate and it isn't going to work with the new GOP majority in the House and Senate.

It's a little late in the president's career to learn the fine art of making deals with people who fundamentally disagree with you, but might be willing to work on whatever small goals you might share. I suspect it feels more comfortable to go along with the strategy that has worked decently well over the last four years: hold your ground, complain about Republican intransigence, and hope that Republican legislators give you another opportunity to play long-suffering adult in the room.

I'm not sure that it's wise to go back to the well. Mitch McConnell has already announced that he is not going to allow shutdowns, impeachment, or other theatrics that will hurt his party in the eyes of swing voters, even if doing so would please the base. Maybe he can't make good on that promise. But what happens if he does? What happens if Obama signs his executive order, and voters decide that he's the one who's acting like a toddler?

He's been acting like a spoiled child since he took office, starting with his first inaugural speech. (In case you've forgotten, he slammed hes predecessor and his administration while he was standing behind him. A real class act, I tell you. It was all down hill from there.)

The next two years are going to be interesting, at least for the GOP. I have a feeling it's going to be a nightmare for Obama and his administration.
Listening to the pronounced left-of-center Democratic candidate Ken Hill who trailed far behind the two Republicans Glenn Cordelli (whom I like) and Karel Crawford (too mushy moderate for my taste) in the state district that consists of Moultonboro, Sandwich, and Tuftonboro, I continue to roll my eyes days after watching it online.

You can see it here, at the 52-minute mark where an aspiring politician spews a load of horse goo about education with a nice accent. It's from the late October "Meet the Candidates" event in Sandwich, moderated by Mr. Lee Quimby, who was a selectman for that town I covered when I was a stringer for the Meredith News over fifteen years ago, on the Moultonboro Speaks blog. I've made several lengthy comments.

May I rant?
The global price of oil is dropping, causing ripples in economies all over the world. For some, the lower oil prices are a good thing. For others, the lower oil prices mean falling revenues. Russia's oil income has dropped to the point where it no longer provides enough funds to run the government. Venezuela's already pathetic economy is getting even worse as its oil income decreases and its ability to even provide oil diminishes. For some countries, like Saudi Arabia, oil is its only material export and when oil prices fall the Saudis can't keep paying for its inhabitants benefits. Under those circumstances the Saudis tend to do something that at first seems counterintuitive: pump more oil and force the prices even lower.

What this accomplishes is that it makes it unprofitable for oil producers requiring use of more expensive means of pumping oil to dial back production or to stop producing oil at all because the cost of producing it is higher than what they can sell it for on the open market. This has the effect of crippling other oil producing nations' petroleum sales and reducing the number of competitors in the world oil market. This isn't the first time the Saudis have done this. It's worked for them in the past. But there may be two problems with such a strategy this time that could just as easily cripple the Saudis, too: Even though the supply of oil has increased many fold, demand has not, at least in the US; and the cost of fracking is dropping at an increasing rate even as its ability to increase production goes up which in turn means the cost of producing oil from the shale formations will drop as well.

As more nations start to embrace fracking as a means of producing oil domestically, the downward pressure on oil prices will continue which would force the Saudis to try to produce even more oil. This would force oil prices into a downward spiral the Saudis might not be able to survive particularly, as their oil fields are older and their ability to produce more oil may not exist. When its competitors may have more oil reserves than they do, such a strategy can be a loser. With just the US now having oil reserves many times that of Saudi Arabia and that total going up every day, the Saudis are going to find their window of opportunity to take control of the oil market is closing. As other nations like Russia and China resort to fracking, the Saudis' grip on the oil market could end. That could leave them as minor players and their ability to buy off the more radical citizens could end.

This is one of those "Good News, Bad News" scenarios that could have effects far beyond the Middle East. It could be that over the next decade or so we will be living in "interesting times".

Ungracious In Victory

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Like many others in America, I was glued to the TV last night, checking election results. While some of my picks won (Frank Guinta in NH's First Congressional District, to name one), others didn't.

I had hoped we'd replace Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D) with Scott Brown (R), but after a very close race, Shaheen edged out Brown. Of course if the IRS had responded to Breitbart News' FOIA request in a timely fashion, Shaheen would have likely lost because the information released showed that Shaheen had worked with Lois Lerner to target GOP, conservative, and Tea Party organizations for 'special' scrutiny. When was that information released? Tuesday morning after the polls had opened.

Our Democrat governor, Maggie Hassan, survived against GOP newcomer Walt Havenstein, but it wasn't a blowout.

However the results of those two races didn't bother me nearly as much as the aftermath of the results in New Hampshire's Second Congressional District. I had hoped GOP challenger Marilinda Garcia would unseat Democrat incumbent Annie Kuster, but the numbers were against Garcia. Of all the races, this one was probably one of the dirtiest I have ever seen, with ads run by Kuster and those supporting her making all kinds of claims that a little research proved again and again weren't even close to true. Ads run by Garcia and those supporting her were tame by contrast.

Watching the various victory and concession speeches, almost all were gracious. Almost all.

Kuster, always looking and sounding polite in her ads and at campaign speeches, is known to be condescending, rude, and confrontational under other circumstances. During her victory speech she didn't waste any time slamming her opponent and those who supported her. It was one of those "Nyah nyah nyah...nyah nyah nyah!! I won, you loser!!" types of speeches. It could in no way be considered gracious. It was a poke-in-the-eye kind of speech, something beneath the dignity of the other candidates of either party.

And to the think we're going to have to put up with this self-important condescending jerk for two more years.

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