Saturday, October 27, 2012

Obama Did Raise A Billion Dollars For His Campaign

Romney only about $860 million.  I just kicked in some money to the Romney campaign.  Yes, I know many are not keen on Romney's wishy-washy conservatism.  I am not either.  But the NPR program yesterday pointed out that the independent campaign groups pay more for their TV time than the campaigns themselves.  As a result, a dollar spent by Romney's campaign goes further than a dollar spent by the independent groups.

We have a choice this election: national bankruptcy in the short-term, and pretty well guaranteed with Obama, or a small possibility of avoiding national bankruptcy with Romney.  And yes, I am afraid that it is only a small possibility.  Obama is going to take us off the cliff full throttle; Romney will likely slow us down to 20 or 30 MPH going off that cliff, so there is a small chance that something semi-miraculous will happen to save us as we approach the cliff: fusion power; a way to make gasoline cheaply from algae; least likely of all, Americans actually start paying attention.

I had a very discouraging experience last night.  A guy who specializes in evangelism to Mormons -- especially the backsliding Mormons who are really mostly culturally Mormon -- spoke at my daughter's church.  He essentially argued that it was better for Christians to not be involved in voting or politics at all, rather than vote for a Mormon for President.  To say that I was disappointed was putting it mildly.  If the choice was a Christian with orthodox beliefs and a Mormon, I could see his point.  But our choice is someone who most Christians can agree with on lots of issues (examples: sanctity of life, one man, one woman as the definition of marriage), and someone who has not even made the trivial pretense of being a Christian by attending church since he was elected and who voted for allowing babies born alive after abortions to be allowed to die.  This is not a hard choice.


  1. "a way to make gasoline cheaply from algae"

    I've looked into this for my father, and based on that and my biology background I have to point out that it's very hard. The problem is you have these huge volumes of water + you hope your preferred algae, but let a wrong but more competitive strain get in, a virus, stress it enough for them to change mode, etc. etc. and you loose that "pot" (it's sort of like the pot method of making chemicals).

    I came across one outfit that had a plausible approach; haven't followed them, but the bottom line is that the above "minor detail" is a bear, one bad enough that no one's economically solved it since the '70s.

    As for your analogy, ignoring the possibility that the Democrats keep the Senate, I expect that Romney plus the current Republican Congressional leadership Profiles in Courage will only ease up the throttle from 100 to 75 mph.

    While it's a bit obsolete now that the final figures for the FY2012 budget are in at ~ $1.1 trillion, I haven't previously found anyone willing to bet that absent a major economic recovery (and resultant tax revenue increases) that the deficit will ever drop below a trillion dollars before we hit the fiscal cliff.

    On the other hand, delaying that by even one year has its value, and, hey, if you hate the Republican party, their being in control when we (likely) hit the cliff will likely fulfill Bob Krumm's prediction that "2012 will be the last year that a Republican is ever elected President.".

    I'm of much more limited means than you, so I'm standing pat with my one donation after the Supreme's OKed Obamacare, to along with many others underline to Romney that his pledges on it were non-negotiable. I do expect him to be more intelligent about this than "Read my hips" G. H. W. Bush....

  2. I have been wagering that Mr. Romney has a fairly precise (undisclosed) plan for fiscal consolidation, that some of it flies under the radar because the media simply do not report on anything substantive and the summary position papers he publishes are not fully illuminating, that some of it he refuses to disclose because the Obama campaign and its auxilliaries (CBS, NPR &c.) will spin it into sob stories, and that some of it he refuses to disclose because elements of the Republican base are heavily invested in their master narrative and stick their fingers in their ears when anyone attempts to run the budget numbers in their presence. Of course, my wager could be a complete fantasy...

    As for Obama, I think the problem was summarized some years ago by an exasperated Democrat in one of the state capitols: he has no clue how to set priorities. One might also surmise he neither knows nor can be made to understand anything about economics or finance and that his reflexive response is to subordinate all questions to the imperatives of public relations.

    Did you catch this, from Elspeth Reeve:

    President Obama "doesn’t like, admire or even grudgingly respect" Mitt Romney, according to a new e-book by Politico's Glenn Thrush. This is a new feeling towards Obama's electoral enemy, because Obama at least thought John McCain was kind of okay, per Thrush:

    "There was a baseline of respect for John McCain. The president always thought he was an honorable man and a war hero," a longtime Obama adviser said. "That doesn’t hold true for Romney. He was no goddamned war hero."

    If this is true, what does it say? Mr. Romney is one of the more accomplished notables to stand for the Presidency post-Eisenhower (others being Stuart Symington, Ross Perot, and the elder George Bush). What's Obama ever done? Certainly not serve in the military. The man seems disoriented in ways few are.

  3. Art Deco: The problem with your thesis is that without Romney having campaigned on such a platform, all those reasons you list in the latter half of your first paragraph will be even more in force after the election.

    The people are voting to stop the bleeding, not cut X program 20%, Y program 50%, and to end Z program altogether (unless it's funding Big Bird :-).

    Remember voodoo economics, a phrase used by G. H. W. Bush to deride the very specific proposals that Reagan was making in the 1980 primary, like supply side economics (my, how quickly people forgot JFK...). While he never had the House, and not the Senate for long, remember how bad the fights were in the '80s over "cuts" that were almost always from an automatically rising baseline, often not even cuts after inflation? Back when every dollar was borrowed at 20%? And we had a much bigger, much more expensive war to fight?

    Romney might have some secret plan to save us fiscally (if it's in a list of 55 items it might as well be secret), but an explanation of how he'd get it enacted is not I think too much to ask.

  4. There is no explanation other than the arts of persuasion.

    It would help if the Republicans won the Senate and disposed of the filibuster. Alternatively, he might attempt an understanding with the main body of the Democratic Party. Fiscal consolidation will require a tax increase and (one might wager) spending cuts have to be structural alterations of entitlements or (alternatively) incorporate liquidating the bureaucracies which spend. Otherwise, the cuts are just restored later.

    You either have to get the TEA partisans to agree to a tax hike or get the main body of the Democratic caucus to agree to liquidate the Food and Nutrition Service, the Farm Security Agency, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Neither seems likely. All of which is saying that the American political class as manifested in Congress is worthless. I am not sure why Mr. Romney wants this position; he is not worthless (though troubling in certain aspects).

  5. Just like the Democrats and Obama the election before, I fear too many conservatives are looking at Romney as their economic savior.

  6. I have a lot of hope for Romney. Everything I have learned recently suggest that he is a good man and a smart one. Conservative? He seems to be pretty conservative, although only time will tell.

    But I'll take even a wishy-washy conservative over the disastrous Barack Obama. His reign as been disastrous. He has one accomplishment to point to - killing Bin Laden - which was a good thing but doesn't make up for his disastrous economic, regulatory and foreign policy disasters. The Benghazi disaster by itself is more significant than the Bin Laden hit, although the MSM has been mostly covering for him on that.

    Let's get Romney in there and see how we he does. It can't be any worse than the alternative.

    Finally, on his religion... I just don't think it's an issue. No, he's not a Christian. But he's a lot closer to policy wise to conservative Christians than some nominal Christians on the scene (Pelosi, Sebelius, Obama).

  7. If Christians shouldn't vote for a Mormon for President, should they vote for an apostate Moslem?

  8. Us Mormons consider ourselves Christians... we accept Jesus Christ as the Redeemer of Mankind, and try to be disciples by serving our fellowmen.

    Do we fall short? I'm sure I do often... but as long as Christ sees in me a disciple, I really don't care what others think.

    It hurts to hear of religious men suggesting their parishioners sit the election out... I can guarantee you that Mormons and "traditional" Christians have much more in common than what separates us.

  9. Actually, it isn't that Mormons fall short -- the Bible says that we all fall short of the glory of God. To be blunt: Mormons generally do a better job in how they live their lives than Christians, partly because LDS doctrine puts an enormous emphasis on works, which is doctrinally wrong, but encourages Christian morality far more effectively than the doctrinally correct but somewhat dangerous doctrine of grace.

    There are doctrinal differences between Christianity and Mormonism that are actually pretty dramatic -- although I often meet Mormons who do not fully understand Mormon doctrine and the ways in which it deviates from, for example, the Nicene Creed. (And you can find an astonishing number of people attending Christian churches who do not fully understand Christian doctrine.)

    My guess is that there are a lot of people attending LDS churches who are actually Christians, because they do not fully understand LDS doctrine, or do, but because their family has been LDS for generations would not be comfortable leaving.

    The Nicene Creed is a fundamental difference, and the LDS Church regards it as corrupt. See for a short examination of some of the differences related to that.

    I am not particularly interested in getting into a food fight with my readers about LDS doctrine. I know that I would much rather live in an LDS-dominated society than a place like California. There are days that it would be a toss up between an LDS-dominated society and one dominated by many Christians I have known -- for the reasons above: works makes people behave; cheap grace does not.