25 April 2006

Maybe the drought has ended

An e-mail exchange with a friend this morning:

Date: Tue, 25 Apr 2006 08:04:19
From: redacted
To: heywoodblogger-at-yahoo-dot-com

I find myself not so pi$$ed off anymore when I see the bumper stickers that say "We need a better President".

Something about having no exit strategy, a poor position on illegal aliens (actually contrary to my own), and high energy prices record oil company profits has me bothered.

What say you?

Indeed. Like I have to be prompted to speak my mind. Fortunately, I had been scheduled for an all day meeting that got cancelled at the last minute, and since the time was already blocked out on my calendar.....
From: Heywoodblogger-at-yahoo-dot-com
Sent: Tuesday, April 25, 2006 2:20 PM
To: redacted
Subject: FW:
Right. I know, we've heard the leftards whines and complaints for years now, but there are some good points to be made.

My knee-jerk reaction is "Who? Who would be better? John F'n Kerry? Harry Reid? hillary clinton? Who would be better?". Well, obviously none of the above would be "better". Better liked, maybe. Better at communicating their ideas and visions, definitely (double plus better at communications). But "better" for the long term well being of Our Country?
"Better" is so freakin' subjective, anyway. Was billy jeff blythe clinton a "better" President than GWB so far? More popular, to be sure. Far better at getting the message of the day out. But "better" overall? Not at all. Quite possibly the second worst (after Carter) President we've ever elected. [Note: I give Ford a pass because he was a lame duck from day one; dead on arrival to the 1976 election, having died for Nixon's sins. Plus Ford is the only un-elected President we've ever had.]
Than all being said, you mentioned three of the top "complaints" about GWB, I'll add some of my own as well.
First, Iraq. I think the problem most people have is that there is no timeline for exiting Iraq. The "exit strategy", as I understand it, is to withdraw once Iraq is established as a secure and stable state, and not a day before. Yes, "secure and stable" are somewhat subjective measurements, but it really shouldn't be that hard to establish the metrics for determining those goals. No one seems to remember GWB talking about this being a long haul, as in decades. I mean, we still have troops in Korea and Germany and no one is complaining
Iraq is 80% a failure in communications, and 20% shortcomings in the prosecution of the war, IMHO. The war should have been pressed much more aggressively from the start. We should have flattened Fallujah when those contractors got strung up and burned, instead of having the "Battle of Fallujah" months later. We should have unapologetically 'stone-aged' those futher muckers, leaving no two sticks nailed together and no pile of rocks more than one rock tall. Because we have shown restraint, the Zakarwi / al Qaeda types have stayed intact and have been emboldened, forcing us into a war of attrition. As a result "secure and stable" is harder to achieve, al Qaeda can string this out for years. They can wait until 20 January 2009.
Had we gone all "blitzkrieg" on their a$$ and forcefully and convincingly communicated the big picture; this whole "exit strategy" issue would have never come up. Granted, forcefully and effectively communicating over the obfuscation of the liberal media would be difficult, but it can be done.
I'll have to continue this later, the leftard on the other side of the cube wall is going off about gas price gouging making all of GWB's oil buddies rich. I've gotta go argue with him or just walk away. I can't just sit here and listen anymore.......
OK, I'm back. The leftard is in meetings all afternoon so I'll be able to think and not have a severe attack of Tourette's Syndrome.
Energy prices / oil profits. There's some good info today over at Michelle Malkin's site, as well as Captains Quarters on the oil profits debate. Separate the wheat from the chaff; oil is a market driven commodity, supply and demand and all that good crap. You know about the summer "anti-smog" gas, the shortage of refining capacity, etc. You know that the oil companies earn about $0.09 / gallon in profits, and that the government takes $0.40 / gallon in taxes. One could make the arguement that the Government is raking in "excess taxation".
You know me to be a Constitutional conservative hegemonic free market libertarian war-mongering knuckle-dragger, so you know that I dismiss the concept of "excess profits" in economic terms. Profit is profit, however big or small. Say you ran a business and eked out a 2% profit, you could be said to be barely getting by. But then consider that the average profit in your industry is 0.04%. Are your profits "excessive"? Again, "excess" is too subjective of a descriptor (like "rich", where the leftists consider a family of four with an adjusted gross income of $46,200 / year to be "rich". But I digress.....)
Gouging, on the other hand, is just fookin' wrong. It borders on extortion. It's a fine line: despite the market mechanisms driving the cost of production, the price at the pump is what the market will bear. On one hand, the Board at ExxonMobile has a responsibility to maximize their shareholders return on investment, and if the market will bear $3.00 per gallon, then so be it. A lot is being made about the dollar value of ExxonMobile's profit, but what was their margin? What was their ROI? Yeah, the dollar number is ginormous, but they deal in super-ginormous sums of money as it is.
Wikipedia defines "profiteering" as ".....making a profit through means considered unethical.....". I would think that if Big Oil has deiberately increased their profit margins during the recent run-up in pump prices just because they could, that would be unethical and wrong.
Yes, it is quite a dichotomous position for a Constitutional conservative hegemonic free market libertarian war-mongering knuckle-dragger to find oneself in. Thanks for noticing. I'm trying to establish a congruent position on the issue. I'll keep you posted.
OK, let them investigate Big Oil for evidence of profiteering. Guess what? If they find evidence of price gouging, it'll all be portrayed as GWB helping his Big Oil friends get rich on the back of the Little Man. If they find no evidence of gouging, it will be spun as GWB covering for his oil buddies. I really can't see the Administration coming out smelling like a rose either way.
The price per barrel is what it is due to market pressures, based on global demand and OPEC's supply. Keep in mind the Chinese economy is sucking oil out of the system faster than all the pointy-heads said it would. Tha price at the pump is driven by what the market will bear and by demand out-pacing the ability to supply. That's called "scarcity" in Econ 101. The bestest way to reduce the price at the pump is to increase refining capacity, but thanks to the NIMBYs (Not In My Back Yard) and the BANANAs (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything) there are no new refineries coming on-line anytime soon.
You want to be pissed off about $3.00 / gallon at the pump? Fine. Your anger would be better served directed at the Seirra Club rather than GWB. Contrary to what the MSM would have you believe, it's not a big conspiracy to keep you poor and stupid.
And finally, immigration policy. Sigh. I'm glad to hear that you're concerned; I was starting to think I was the only one having a serious WTF? moment.
Again, I have to point to the Administration's communications problems. If you read into the Guest Worker idea, it actually makes some sense. We can't deport them all, this program would help identify the illegals who want to assimilate and contribute, and set them on the path to righteousness. The problem is, you gotta go digging to find out the details. And you gotta dig deep. I'm a political junkie; I live for this siht, and I had a hard time understanding the ins and outs.
Despite the poor communications, there is one thing that is lacking from the program: a really fcuking big fence. Guest worker / amnisty / whatever is just so much flatulence in the whirlwind without secure borders. And don't get me started on canadians, either. Mexicans picking lettuce do not threaten my ability to put food on the table; canadians taking white collar jobs for 80 cents on the dollar do indeed impact my family directly. But that's another rant for another time.

"We need a better President....." No, what they want is someone more "likeable" who "feels their pain".
I reserve the right to revise and extend at a future date.

21 April 2006

Supply Side 101

how could I not link this?

Mark Goldblatt over at NRO walks us through the realities of supply side economics and the practical application thereof. It's all so simple; I'm constantly amazed that some people just don't get it.

More soon.....

06 April 2006

I am so pleased

something good has happened this week

Smoke on the Water is under sail once again. Welcome back, Jim. Your voice has been missed these past few months.
Now, if we could only get Rachel Lucas to do the same.....

Kinda Sorta

out of the closet

Or something like that. Astute readers will note the change in the signature for these stellar posts. It's a long story that you really don't care about hearing anyway.

The "Heywood" moniker extends back to the halcyon days of 1994 and my brief but undistinguished stint as a small major B-list player in the IRC world.

It's time to set it aside. thatisall

03 April 2006

Quick Hits

Yeah! Baseball is back!

So anyway, just a couple of quickies then you kids are off to bed

Dihydrogen Monoxide. Heh.
Stephen Green is staying focused, with Mark Steyn's help. Must read stuff. As was Victor Davis Hanson's column on Friday. Print it out, roll it up, and smack a leftard with it today!
More soon.