Thursday, October 27, 2011

President Invited to Speak at Manual

As Whas 11 recently reported, Manual High School Seniors have created a FaceBook page called "The Presidential Project" inviting President Obama to speak at their commencement pep rally. The page is taking off and now has over 727 fans, close to half of the entire school population.

I think there is a good chance that the president will come. After all, it is Senator McConnell's school, and one of the nation's top schools.



Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sen. Richard Burr Delivers GOP Address

Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) gives this week's Republican Address. He presents a counterpoint to the president's bus tour, in which the president drives to battleground states in his million dollar Canadian bus and argues for massive amounts of new government spending.  That tour, incidentally hit North Carolina this week -- a key state for Obama -- and Burr is therefore a fitting choice to respond not only for the Republican Party, but to speak to those constituents directly.

Burr makes the case for government getting out of the way to allow the private sector to create real jobs, as opposed to phony government jobs. He outlines the Republican jobs plan to consist of the following points:

  • Simplify the tax code. This is part of the appeal of the 9-9-9 plan, by the way.
  •   Rein in government regulations. Steve Jobs apparently told Obama that the amount of regulation in this country was going to make Obama a one-term president.
  •  Cap spending and reduce budget deficits.  Need we say more?
  •    Propose common sense healthcare solutions. It is not enough to repeal Obamacare; Republicans need to restore competition to drive down costs.
  •    Encourage domestic energy development.  This is Rick Perry's platform.
  •     Create a competitive workforce,  To the extent that this justifies the federalization of education, I disagree.
  •  Increase exports.  There is bi-partisan support for passage of free trade agreements. Let's get it done.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Herman Cain Bounces Back

After a lackluster debate performance this week, Herman Cain picked up some impressive support. First, Arthur Laffer -- the economist for whom the Laffer Curve is named -- praised the 9-9-9 plan. This did rebutted the inference at the debate that some unknown guy in Ohio had just made the plan up on a whim.

Laffer, who was the architect of Reagan's supply-side economist, called Herman Cain's plan a "wonderful plan."

Laffer told Human Events that the proposal

was pro-growth and would create the proper conditions for America's economy to expand and thrive again.
"Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan would be a vast improvement over the current tax system and a boon to the U.S. economy," Laffer told HUMAN EVENTS in a statement. "The goal of supply-side tax reform is always a broadening of the tax base and lowering of marginal tax rates.
"Mr. Cain’s plan is simple, transparent, neutral with respect to capital and labor, and savings and consumption, and also greatly decreases the hidden costs of tax compliance. There is no doubt that economic growth would surge upon implementation of 9-9-9."
Laffer also said that "such a system provides the least avenues to avoid paying taxes, yet also maintains the strongest incentives for work effort, production, and investment."

But Herman's week got even better:  Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour praised the candidate on the Laura Ingraham show and said that if Cain is the Republican nominee, he will "sweep the South."

Barbour is highly respected for the outstanding job he has done as governor of Mississippi -- including during Hurricane Katrina -- as well as his role as a political operative in the Reagan administration. Indeed, many of us hoped he would run for president.

Barbour is a former head of the Republican National Committee; he can therefore be fairly described as an "Establishment Republican."  And he is former head of the Republican Governor's Association, which makes his plug for Cain so much more interesting, and telling, given that Cain's rivals for the nomination include a sitting governor, Rick Perry, and a former governor, Mitt Romney.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What Happened to Herman Cain?

Herman Cain did not perform in the debate as hoped or expected.  He didn't make any huge mistakes. Rather, his constant reference to the 999 plan became first tedious and then comical. Substantively, the plan is a good idea, but without an alternative way to describe it, the name diminishes it.

Mitt Romney, as always, looked more presidential than most presidents (including this one). It is beginning to feel like a Romney nomination is inevitable. That wouldn't be so terrible but for the fact that if Romney is the nominee, Republicans take the Obamacare issue -- which inspired the creation of the Tea Party -- off the table. It will be gone.

Moreover, given Romney's experience at Bain, Democrats will portray him as the personification of Wall Street. It is not clear that Romney can or will defend himself from the #OccupyWallStreet kooks; contrast Romney's non-response to those demonstrations with Herman Cain's vigorous denouncement of the protests.

One odd moment of the debate:  when the candidates were allowed to question each other, Romney used his opportunity to throw Michele Bachmann a soft-ball.  It looked sort of chivalrous, sort of condescending. She was having a good debate, so why did Romney choose to help her? Maybe he is thinking about her as VP.

Newt had a good debate; whoever wins the nomination, if they are able to defeat Obama, should put Newt in the cabinet.

Rick Perry is finished. He doesn't appear to have the depth or intellect.

As for Huntsman and Santorum, can we please stop inviting these guys to debates?  I am sick of Santorum whining that he hasn't had enough chance to speak.  Both of these guys just annoy me. They are worse than brown-nosers -- they come across as the class snitches, oozing with sanctimoniousness.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Chris Christie Disappoints; Herman Cain Wows

Does he want the VP slot?  Chris Christie's endorsement of Mitt Romney, coupled with his pathetic attempt to distinguish Romneycare from Obamacare, the whole thing stinks.  What made Christie an attractive potential candidate is his boldness about speaking the truth. After today's speech, his nose grew to Pinnochioesque proportions, and it is not a good look.

Herman Cain, consequently, looks better and better.  He brings the courage and boldness, a sunny optimism that evokes memories of Reagan, and he tells the truth -- consequences be damned. Moreover, his political instincts on the #Occupy Wall Street protests are prescient.  While Romney is waiting to see how it all plays out, Herman has called the rabble to account for their lack of personal accountability, their class warfare and their foolishness in understanding that this is Obama's economy:  picket him.

I am really looking forward to see how Herman performs in a debate now that he has a target on his back.

Here is what Fox News and the Republican leadership need to understand:  everyday conservatives take Herman Cain very seriously, and we have had enough of the elites telling us that he is a not a contender.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Herman Cain's Reaganesque Rebuke Of Protesters

Herman Cain's speaking the truth about the Occupy Wall Street protesters brings to mind then-California Governor Ronald Reagan's calling the anti-Vietnam protesters the spades that they were. And judging by the geriatrics showing up at today's protests, some of them likely are the same folks who vowed in the 60's not to trust anyone over thirty. Good for Cain for his Reaganesque stance against this bad acidic trip down memory lane.


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Letter to Obama

On September 8, exactly one month ago, I sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging a flat tax, and for those on welfare and unemployment to complete some kind of community service in exchange the benefits they receive. Here's my letter: (sorry for the small print).




Today, I received a response. Here it is:



This is clearly a standard letter. Along with it came a picture of the Obamas, their dog Bo, an interview of Obama about general questions a kid might ask him, a diagram of the White House, and an art guide to the White House. This all came in an official looking 8.5" x 11.5" envelope marked, "First Class Do Not Bend."

The package included some interesting information, but the letter was disappointing. It was irrelevant to my own letter, and an insult to my intelligence and the intelligence of people my age across the country. Notice that they couldn't even put my name on the letter, instead addressing me as "student." To me, addressing me as student it the equivalent to me addressing him as "adult."

Many kids ask Obama questions like, "What is your favorite book?" These are answered in his "interview," or FAQs for the President if you ask me. But my letter was nothing like that, but it was treated that way. I wonder what stock letter they would have sent me if I claimed to be an adult.

In my father's study, there is a letter on the wall to President Reagan from a student asking Reagan his advice for her. He gave her a personal response. If she had written Obama, his stock letter probably would have satisfied her, but my point is that Reagan took the time to respond.

One more thing: The postage was $1.68 plus the cost of color ink and nice stationary for an irrelevant letter.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Herman Cain Hostile Interview

Just saw this hostile interview of Herman Cain by Lawrence O'Donnell. O'Donnell asked some tough question, but Cain responded terrifically.

Since the first GOP debate, I have liked Cain, but after watching this interview, I knew he was the man. Cain points out several times where O'Donnell had misquoted him or used one of his quotes out of context. One of the most notable times was when O'Donnell asked him if he was grateful for the government paying for his graduate degree while he was serving in the navy. To set the record strait, Cain explained that did not serve in the Navy, but he did work as a ballistic missile mathematician consultant for the Navy. Embarrassed, O'Donnell asked Cain why he should be Commander and Chief if he avoided service in the Vietnam war. Cain then made it clear that he did register for the draft, but that the Navy though he would be more helpful where he was. Believe me, that ticked O'Donnell off. 

I encourage you to watch the video for yourself on Real Clear Politics

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

RIP Steve Jobs (Update)

Earlier today, Apple announced that former CEO and Chairman Steve Jobs has passed. Although I am not a huge Apple fan, as you may have guessed from my iPhone 4s post, I appreciate all of the innovations Apple has brought to the tech industry, largely because of Jobs.

In this post, I'd like to take a quick look at Job's life and some of his major accomplishments.

Jobs was born to a Syrian Muslim and an American graduate student. He was adopted to a couple from Mountain View, California. During high school he often attended technology lectures at HP. Jobs was hired at HP for a summer job with soon to be Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

Soon Jobs went to Reed College in Oregon where he quickly dropped out, but stayed there sleeping on his friends' dorm room floors listening in on classes. After two years, Jobs returned to California and went to Homebrew Computer Club meetings with Wozniak.

Jobs, Wozniak, and  Ronald Wayne founded Apple. They made the first commercially successful personal computer. As things took off, Jobs convinced Pepsi-Cola CEO John Sculley to come run Apple from a commercial aspect. Jobs and Sculley didn't get along well, and Sculley ended up firing Jobs.

While gone from Apple, Jobs formed a new company called NeXT Computer. NeXT computers were the first PCs to have a built in ethernet port and helped improve the way we communicate through email by adding more graphical support. NeXT later switched solely to software due to poor hardware sales.

Next, Jobs purchased Pixar from Lucas Film for $10 million. Pixar's first commercial success was the movie Toy Story, licensed to Disney, with many other Disney movies following. Disney bought Pixar in 2004 for $7.4 billion, making Jobs Disney's largest single shareholder, with nearly 7% of the company.

In 1996, Apple purchased NeXT from Jobs bringing him back as Apple's CEO. Jobs terminated several projects at Apple and brought it back to profitability. He introduced products like the iMac that are extremely popular to this day.

Apple has since launched the MacBook Air, an ultra light laptop with flash memory instead of a hard drive. This has helped draw attention to this super fast memory solution that may replace hard drives in the near future as it become more cost effective.

Apple also launched the iPod under Jobs direction, revolutionizing the way we enjoy music.

We can't forget the iPhone. The iPhone was the first phone with a multi-touch display which paved the way for intense competition resulting in cell phones as fast as computers.

And the iPad. There were very few tablets before the iPad, but the iPad was the first commercially successful one. Just like the iPhone, the iPad has resulted in innovation from other manufacturers that may not have happened without the iPad.

When you think about it, almost everything tech wise today came about from an Apple innovation.

It certainly says something about Jobs when you find out about his death on an iPad.

Update:

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has released a short video about what Steve Jobs meant to him. You can tell that Steve meant a lot to him from watching the video.


Update:


President Obama released a statement late last night which can be viewed here. The second to last sentence says, "And there may be no greater tribute to Steve's success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented." It sure feels nice to know President Obama liked the ending of this post.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Editorial: Apple in Decline

Today Apple launched the iPhone 4s. This is the phone that we have been waiting for months to arrive. Every iPhone, besides the 4s, has been launched during the summer, so when that didn't happen this year, our suspense grew. We knew Apple must have needed extra time to make not just a smart phone, but a super phone. Today Apple let us down.

Every iPhone in the past has been cutting edge, so far ahead of the competition that by the time they have caught up, Apple is ready to launch a new iPhone, starting the process over. Unfortunately for Apple, that game doesn't work anymore. There are so many new phones constantly being launched that there is no way for Apple to continue this one year refresh cycle.

The iPhone 4s is a very nice phone, but it's not cutting edge, it's barley up there with many Android handsets. Sure, it has a dual core processor like many new Android phones, but it's missing something: 4G LTE. Is that such a big deal? Yes, when you live with it, you can never go back. Verizon's not joking when they make their claims about their 4G network. I ran a speed test on it, and it really is 10 times faster than 3G. 

I was waiting for the iPhone to "wow" me. This is what I wanted: 


Although I knew this would probably not be the next iPhone, I wanted something that would have current technology for eight months, but I'm guessing this will only be current for three months.

This was Apple's chance to take a free shot on all Android phones. This will hurt Android, but only temporarely, as it will only help Apple temorarly. Android market share will continue to climb, and Apple too, but only slightly. 

And to think Steve Jobs has only been gone one month! Apple is already missing him, and I am as well.

The iPhone 4s will not save iOS. Don't take my word for it, take the Apple investors' word, who chose to sell Apple stock on arguably the biggest day of the year for Apple. Apple closed at $372.5 today down .56%. At it's worst point of the day, Apple was down to $355.11, over 5% below it's opening price.

My advice: Don't spend the extra money to upgrade from an iPhone 4 to a 4s. 


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Catching Up on Kentucky Races

Apologies for the light blogging recently. I have been otherwise occupied, and quite frankly, depressed about our  the state of the Republican slate in Kentucky.

David Williams is a ball and chain around the necks of the rest of the ticket. He just is. Worse, he appears to have given up.  At the Bluegrass and Burgoo Festival in Louisville recently, he was there and yet lacked any presence.  His family joined him, but there did not appear to be any staff passing out bumper stickers or pamphlets. He said hello to a few people. No real effort to work the crowd, however. And this should have been a friendly crowd.

My son met him only because they were in the Burgoo line together and Robin Williams introduced herself.  My son's take was that David was "shy" and "awkward."  Surely this is the first time in his adult life that David Williams has been described as shy.  The more accurate word is probably "defeated."  It has to be very discouraging to keep campaigning when one is 20-plus points down in the polls. Nonetheless, Williams has an obligation to the rest of his slate to close the gap, even if the lead is so vast that he cannot win.

If Williams can close the gap to 12 points or so, then Todd P'Pool and Jamie Comer and the rest of the ticket might be able to pull off a win. P'Pool argued on the Joe Elliott show this week that he has been elected in a district that is 70 percent Democrat -- and is the first Republican elected there since the Civil War. It follows, according to P'Pool, that he can win regardless of what happens at the top of the ticket.

That is wishful thinking, I'm afraid. P'Pool needs to go negative.  P'Pool needed to go negative a month ago. He is running out of time.  There is so much material with which to attack Jack Conway -- take Conway's "time to destroy evidence" call to his brother. Why on earth is P'Pool holding back?

Jamie Comer, meanwhile, continues to impress; he is building momentum for a future of service to the Commonwealth. At a recent Louisville fundraiser for Comer, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell was all smiles as the hostess set a backdrop that included not only bales of hay and antique pitch forks, but live animals:  a baby goat and a calf.  In the world of stodgy political fundraisers, a little levity goes a long way.