Obama’s War on Catholics Has Nothing To Do With Healthcare

Obama’s dictate that Catholic organizations must participate in contraception and abortion has nothing to do with healthcare or rights or contraception or anything of the sort. Not at all. Modern dictatorships don’t operate that way.

Obama just destroyed the free practice clause of the First Amendment, and that’s exactly what he intended.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof

Obama declared jihad on Christianity.

crusadersObama exercised absolute power—the power he warned us about at the State of the Union address.

Notice his “compromise” on the matter. Today, Obama ordered insurance companies to provide contraceptives and abortifacients to employees of the Catholic church  . . . for free!

Obama has told us that he despises the Constitution because it “reflected fundamental flaw of this country that continues to this day.” 

Subordinating the Catholic church to his despotic rule is just one step in his perverted mission to fix those flaws.

Time to open up a can of crusade on this potentate.

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Mitt Romney’s Resume Cover Letter

There are some things you just don’t say in a cover letter—or on the campaign trail.

A self-aggrandizing cover letter from an NYU undergrad to some Wall Street banks has the whole financial world laughing. The kid’s naïve hubris and ignorance of what employers look for in a candidate earned him public humiliation on an internet scale.   Here’s just a sample of the kid’s self-promotion:

That semester I achieved a 3.93, and in the same time I managed to bench double my bodyweight and do 35 pull-ups

(Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-a-tenacious-summer-analyst-applicant-got-laughed-at-by-goldman-morgan-and-everyone-else-on-wall-street-2012-2#ixzz1loTZYiIe)

Mitt Romney should be even more embarrassed. He’s a lot older and, theoretically, wiser, you know.

mitt-romney-tsa

After Rick Santorum destroyed the establishment’s plastic candidate of choice, Romney’s spokesman gave a remarkably idiotic reason to support Romney: Money and infrastructure.

The reason Romney won’t beat Obama and shouldn’t win the GOP nomination is his hubris and his inability to think like a human being. Romney is the reason that Republican voter turnout is abysmal and why Democrats are now more enthusiastic about voting than Republicans are.

The republic’s greatest threat since the British army of 1812 now sits in the White House.  In 2009 and 2010, the Tea Party resuscitated a comatose GOP and won back the House.  Since then, the inept, elitist, and self-serving Republican establishment has reasserted its thumb-laden hands, chosen an elitist candidate, and killed enthusiasm among those who actually get out the vote and win elections—the conservative grass roots.

If Romney and his elitist Republican friends manage to give Obama four more years to destroy this country, the GOP, not Obama, will face the angry mobs of America’s 60% conservative base.

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Wait ‘til These Kids Meet the Tax Man

When the rules become so complicated and convoluted that well-meaning people unwittingly break the law, the legal system has lost its moral authority.

Students at Georgetown University are discovering the horrors of, what Tocqueville called “small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd.”

An editorial in The Hoya, the official student newspaper, students advocate “eliminating bureaucracy.” Their grievance?  Indecipherable rules that student groups cannot understand.

In other words, student groups have no way of knowing the exact consequences for violations or even what kind of conduct merits punishment. For the university to legitimize its authority to sanction student groups for improper conduct, administrators must more clearly communicate their rules and expectations.

If they think Georgetown’s rules for student groups are confusing and unmanageable, wait until they fill out a tax return more advanced than the 1040-EZ.

I’m thrilled to see students at a Jesuit school awake to the horrors of bureaucratic tyranny.  I hope they carry their love of liberty and sound government into the political world by working hard this year for the overthrow of Barack Obama.

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capricious
Don’t Bet On Election Outcomes

“Anybody will beat Obama.”

I get some comments and see a lot of tweets about the inevitability that any Republican will win in November.

That’s frightening.

The prospect of a Republican beating Obama isn’t frightening, of course—any of the four remaining candidates would be night and day better for our future.  What’s frightening is that so many people bet on the unknowable.

Except in rare cases—one candidate is caught stealing from a church weeks before the election—political elections carry too many variables for anyone to predict their results a month in advance, much less three-quarters of a year ahead.

News agencies and pollsters make their prognostications with an enormous caveat: “if the election were held today.” They’ve learned that a lot can happen between today and November.

The pundits seem to not know this. Or they prefer to ignore the reality of randomness, hoping their guess is correct, in which case, they’ll look like geniuses.

I’ve talked about the influence of memories on elections, and on the role of emotions.  But we can’t ignore the problem of, what Donald Rumsfeld called, “the unknown unknowns.” And these unknowns are why you shouldn’t bet on elections.

Herman Cain had a lot of unknown unknowns, didn’t he? Before the train of women problems emerged, I might have been tempted to say “Herman’s gonna do it.” My mind may have even thought that Herman was going to win.  Had I predicted Cain the winner and Cain had won, would I have been right?

Depends on what you mean by “right.”  On the one hand, the truth condition (Cain won) would match my prediction (Cain will win).  On the other hand, no matter how smart I might think I am, I could not have known Cain would win.  My chances of being right were no better than chance. Or, as Daniel Kahneman might say, my chances of being right are about he same as chimpanzee throwing darts.

If I believe my own predictions, if I build great defenses of my predictions, I might be quite convincing. Still, I’d be falling for what Nassim Taleb calls the narrative fallacy.

Again, from Daniel Kahneman:

Narrative fallacies arise inevitably from our continuous attempt to make sense of the world. The explanatory stories that people find compelling are simple; are concrete rather than abstract; assign a larger role to talent, stupidity, and intentions than to luck; and focus on a few striking events that happened rather than on the countless events that failed to happen. Any recent salient event is a candidate to become the kernel of a causal narrative. Taleb suggests that we humans constantly fool ourselves by constructing flimsy accounts of the past and believing they are true.

Kahneman, Daniel (2011-10-25). Thinking, Fast and Slow (p. 199). Macmillan. Kindle Edition.

The past in politics often includes opinion polls, past elections, and conversations with the butcher.  (If there still are conversations with butchers.)

When you hear someone say, “it doesn’t matter who wins the nomination, because most people will vote for anyone who isn’t Obama,” don’t fall for it.  Remind them that millions of Democrats believed the same about George W. Bush in 2004.

Who wins the Republican nomination matters, or will matter, in November.  But regardless of the nominee, the final outcome of the race is anybody’s guess.

If you want to exert more influence on the outcome of this year’s elections, attend the 3rd Anniversary Tea Party.  We’re dedicating Saturday to making us all more effective campaigners and advocates.

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How Rational Is Your Vote?

Ask a real partisan—someone with a Ron Paul or Ed Martin sticker on his car–why he supports that candidate.  You’ll get a lot of rational reasons.

Then challenge just one of those reasons, and what do you get?  More reason?

No,  you get raw emotions.

discovery_391555

That’s because the emotional mind—the part of the brain designed for survival—exerts far more influence over our thinking that most people are willing to admit. The conscious mind, operating at about 40-50 bits per second, is overwhelmed by the subconscious mind with its 10-40 million bits per second power.*

And our drive to defend our choices evokes a lot of emotion. 

What’s more frightening is the amount of subconscious work goes into picking our candidate in the first place.

In a famous study at Princeton, Alex Todorov flashed images of men’s faces before students, sometimes as briefly as 1/10th of a second.  Next, the students scored the faces on likability and on competence.

The faces were of political candidates from a variety of races, but the students didn’t know that. The politicians were of mixed ideologies and parties and from many parts of the country.

When Todorov compared the students’ assessments—based on nothing but a flashed image of the candidates—to actual election results, the students’ raw emotions picked the winner 70 percent of the time.

The power of physical attributes is even more dominant among less informed voters and those who watch a lot of television. 

[T]he effect of facial competence on voting is about three times larger for information-poor and TV-prone voters than for others who are better informed and watch less television.

Kahneman, Daniel (2011-10-25). Thinking, Fast and Slow (p. 91). Macmillan. Kindle Edition. (Link to Book)

Candidates owe their constituents rational justifications for their votes.  And the soundness of a candidate’s plan helps solidify his supporters’ emotional commitment.

But candidates—and their partisans—who expect to win solely on the weight of rational argument hold an irrational and anti-scientific position. To win, you must earn the emotional commitment of people, not just make a rational case.

I’ll discuss how to win the emotional battle at the 3rd Anniversary Tea Party, February 25.  It’s valuable information for candidates, staffers, and volunteers, and you can get your tickets now.


* It’s not quite that simple, but it’s close. The conscious mind includes executive functioning which decides what we focus on. The subconscious responds to the object of that focus—but it does so in its own peculiar way.

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What Do Presidential Debates and Colonoscopies Have in Common?

At some point, each additional GOP Presidential debate becomes just a bigger pain in the . . . But science shows us that the last debate before a vote—and the last memorable event in the last debate—is paramount to how we remember the entire event. 

In fact, memorable moments at the end, not consistent performance throughout, determine who wins and who loses.

In this awesome TED talk, Nobel winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman explains the weird difference between our experiencing selves and our remembering selves.  And his research offers very important information for candidates and campaigns:

http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf

If you want to win, forget the experience; own the memory.

That’s why you can predict primary results from the last debate when the candidates are close and a lot of voters are only mildly committed.  (There’s a lot of great information about how committed minds defend their decisions, but that’s for a later post.)

Whether writing a blog post, planning an event, giving a speech, or just engaging in a conversation, the audience’s memory will not be the sum of the experience, but the memory created.  As Kahneman points out, memories of colonoscopies are better when the unpleasant experience lasts longer.

Newt Gingrich won South Carolina’s final debate and its primary. Then, Newt under performed in Florida’s final debate . . . and now he’s losing ground to Romney. Just like a protracted colonoscopy.

BONUS:  Candidates and parties worry about the spin as much as they worry about the presentation for this exact reason. The media itself determines who wins a debate, too, by dominating memory.  Most people don’t watch debates or major speeches. They get a summary from the news.  And that summary is designed to influence their memories. 

P.S.  I will be talking about the brain science of winning elections on Saturday, February 25, at the 3rd Anniversary Tea Party.  Don’t miss it.

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The Biggest Rip-Off in America is College Tuition

While everyone was screaming about the rising cost of medical treatment, America’s leftist incubation chambers—colleges and universities—robbed us of our economic future. And the federal government’s misguided student aid program is to blame.

What allows this growth? 

  • Increased per student government funding
  • Massive private and public debt

Who benefits?

  • College administrators
  • Unions working on college campuses
  • Political causes that college administrators like (liberal)

Who pays?

  • Taxpayers (who else?)

Check out these statistics:

  • College tuition increased 799% between 1978 and 2007 (source)
  • Student loan debt has increased 511% since 1999 (source)
  • Government per student increased 246% between 1978 and 2007
  • In the past 20 years, college tuition has increased about twice as fast medical costs
  • The education bubble makes the housing bubble look like a pimple (source)
  • Recent college graduates are no smarter than graduates of 40 years ago (observation)

On that last point, I’m not alone.  From contraryinvesting.com, Brett writes:

Did this increase in spending do any good? Not on the available evidence. Test scores — measuring achievement — have not budged in 40 years. In other words, the additional investment over the last 40 years has been wasted. We might as well have thrown the money down a well.

Read Brett’s piece in its entirety.  The arguments against everyone going to college are important.  Seth Godin raised similar questions in 2010.

Most colleges are organized to give an average education to average students.

Check out these graphs from www.mymoneyblog.com:

tuition

And Tuition vs. Healthcare

tuition2

There is great value in a college education, but not at any price.  Not when the lifetime economic value of an education is about to become a net negative.  According to the rating agency Moody’s:

Unless students limit their debt burdens, choose fields of study that are in demand, and successfully complete their degrees on time, they will find themselves in worse financial positions and unable to earn the projected income that justified taking out their loans in the first place.”

Personal finance coach Dave Ramsey shows families how a child can complete a 4-year degree without a penny of debt.  But that formula might not work today. Tuition has gone up 16 percent in the two years since I first heard of Ramsey’s plan.

So what’s Obama’s prescription? 

You guessed it: Obama wants more government spending.  More borrowing.  More forgiveness of debt. 

While some on the right want to vilify students, in most cases, I disagree. Kids born near or after me grew up with “college education” pounded into our heads. 

“You’ll be nothing! without a degree,” we heard.

We scorn people who don’t go to college.  (Look at the recent flap involving St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley.) 

But the government has encouraged colleges to drive their costs through roof. For years, the federal government promised to fill the gap between what a student could afford (according to the government) and what a college charged. 

Seriously.  What if the government made the same deal with car buyers?

The solution isn’t simple.  There’s a big bubble in the higher education market, and it has to burst. Families, students, and governments have no more money to lend.  The ROI on a degree is falling fast. 

Kirsten Winkler of the blog big think shares one alternative to college degrees as credentials.

I see only two possible solutions: we continue to bail out colleges by feeding borrowed money to the bubble, or we unwind our addiction to traditional higher education.

Exit question:  Do we do as Obama says and borrow more money to endow colleges, or do we begin dismantling the “college or death” mantra? Or is there a third way out?

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Ed Martin’s AG Race Makes 3rd Anniversary Tea Party Even More Important

Two weeks ago, weeks ago, how many Missouri statewide offices did you expect to flip?  Be honest.

Yes, there are great people running for Governor, Secretary of State, and Treasurer.  And we already have a fine Lieutenant Governor Kinder running for re-election.

But numerous factors, like name recognition, experience, and Jay Nixon’s weird relationship with Republican House leadership, made a major upset unlikely. And no Republicans had stepped up to challenge Chris Koster for Attorney General.

Until Ed Martin jumped into AG race yesterday.

Now, we have a fight.

Great Seal of the State of Missouri

Ed’s statewide name recognition, familiarity with Jefferson City, and enormous respect among grass roots put every statewide office immediately in play.

But every race will be a dogfight.  Every race will be bruising.  Every candidate will need every possible vote.

That’s why I’m thrilled, giddy, jubilant, proud, and pantingly pleased that the St. Louis Tea Party Coalition has joined the nationwide Election Day Tea Party.

And I’m more thrilled, giddy, etc. that we’re kicking off election season with the 3rd Anniversary Tea Party PLUS 7 Events That Made America America with Dr. Larry Schweikart. 

Register for 3rd Anniversary Tea Party PLUS<br />
7 Events That Made America America with Dr. Larry Schweikart in Clayton, MO  on Eventbrite

Friday is Dr. Schweikart, author of A Patriot’s History of the United States.  Larry puts on one hell of a show.  We’ll provde hors d’oeuvres, a free drink, a cash bar, and an After Party.

Saturday is a full day of getting down and dirty with winning some friggin’ elections.  We’ll have training from local and national experts, inspirational talks from Bill Federer and Dr. Schweikart, caucus training, social media training for beginners and experts, and more. We’ve taken care of breakfast AND lunch, so you can focus on the fight.

With four statewide offices now totally in play, we all need to arm our minds with the most important facts to win in 2012.  But wait; there’s more!

In St. Louis’s reconstituted 1st US Congressional District, the indefatigable Martin Baker has a chance to flip a seat that’s been Democrat since the destruction of federalism was only gleam in FDR’s eye.

Plus, we have a Saul Alinsky socialist to evict from the White House!

Please get your tickets now. Tickets for Friday’s event are going very fast, and Saturday’s moving, too.  Once they’re gone, they’re gone—we don’t have room for more.

Remember, Friday and Saturday, February 24 and 25 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Clayton, MO.  Get your tickets here, today.

Register for 3rd Anniversary Tea Party PLUS<br />
7 Events That Made America America with Dr. Larry Schweikart in Clayton, MO  on Eventbrite

Still not ready to order?  Watch this.

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