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VI Day

Although our governments have chosen to not name any official day marking the end of this war, we the people have taken it upon ourselves to commemorate November 22, 2008 as the day of victory over the forces of tyranny, oppression and terror in Iraq.

Iraqi woman showing purple finger

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The Wages of Sin, GM-style

As Congress considers throwing your money at General Motors, a fact oft mentioned in bailout or bankruptcy discussions is that labor costs GM something more than $70 per hour. The relevant idea beneath the talk is that labor is too expensive compared to GM’s competitors. A less-relevant idea beneath repeating the talking point is that autoworkers make too much compared to labor in other industries.

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Stimulating Language

There seems a wide consensus that last spring’s fiscal stimulus plan didn’t work. Americans used their $600–1200 rebate checks to pay down debt rather than buy more goodies. But why, this time, did the government fail to achieve its intended outcome?

They used the wrong word. Had it been called a “bonus” instead of a “rebate”, people would have regarded the money differently.

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Obama Tosses Aside Dead Grandmother

Barack Obama’s grandmother, you remember, the woman who raised him, for whom he broke from campaigning to visit on her deathbed, was laid to rest yesterday.

Barry wasn’t there.

The election is over, and it looks like Barry doesn’t need her anymore. He’ll be squeezing his last respects into a previously planned Hawai’i vacation next month.

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Don’t Panic Yet

We’ve seen another round of sour economic headlines. Unemployment is up to 6.5%, retail sales were down 2.8% in October and 4.1% year-over-year. General Motors is headed toward zero dollars per share. Even Walmart, although reporting greater than expected profit for the most recent quarter, warned that next quarter will likely come in below projections.

Is it time to panic? Let’s look at some data not making headlines.

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Two Amens

I’m not sure how they’re connected, but I like both sentiments.

Excerpt A:

Americans are the most arrogant people in the world. And we're proud of it.

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Worse than Iraq

The rush to hand US banks a $700B $850B bailout has been compared to a popular perception of the invasion of Iraq. After years of complaints that Bush lied, pundits not only believed he was telling a truth about a dire crisis, but joined him in urging a huge immediate response.

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Rolling Down the Negative Highway

It seems that blindness to unintended consequences is an essential political skill. The more an elected is able to ignore mistakes, the greater power accumulated. Attention to detail is passed down the line of staffers, who seemingly edit out the negs and contradictions as they create the executive summaries upon which our laws are argued and enacted.

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A Condo by Any Other Name

The neighborhood in which the Negative Railroad is headquartered recently updated its brand identity. I was involved in the effort. We’re an old neighborhood, with some blocks settled for well over a century. Decades ago the City gave us a name, Audubon Park. With that bit of identity pre-established, our branding committee was spared this exercise:

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President Mutt

Another item of evidence suggesting the President-elect is a race-obsessed man:

It must be the first time in recorded history that the leader of the Free World has proudly described himself as a “mutt”. At his first press conference as President-elect, Barack Obama sought to project the gravitas that his post requires.

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Matthews Defines Role as Barry’s Poodle

Another bit of evidence for feeling replacing fact in journalism:

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Unmoved

The first day of the Age of Obama is nearly over. The chattering class is affirming a transformational milestone concept to which I cannot subscribe. Even the ardent critics of Barry’s now-masked marxist worldview seem to be impressed by this superficial achievement.

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Voting Time

I did it. I have participated in my own rape.

For the first time, I found voting to be an ugly and repugnant experience. The process was quick, at least. During my short wait, election judges commented that turnout had been quite high so far, with one-hour waits at the open. The entire ordeal was over in under 10 minutes, thanks to my lack of enthusiasm for writing in cartoon characters* against the dozens of unopposed judges.

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Graphics are not Leaders

Mr. Obama’s campaign for President has had the benefit of excellent graphic design. Good graphics help sell products. But packaging is not the product itself. Once people try the product, the graphics have done their primary job, and only a genuinely good or satisfying product can sustain the brand built by advertising.

Here’s Virginia Postrel on Obama’s campaign graphics:

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Who’s He Talkin’ About?

[T]he single worst major party candidate for high office in living memory, a proudly ignorant political automaton whose only notable qualities are a pretty face, a sufficient lack of awareness to [be blind to self-incompetencies] and a quality of ambition that can only be described as voracious.

Another bilious righty smear of Obama?

Nope.

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Look At Me!

Last night Barack Obama took five million dollars from poor, struggling Americans and spent it to air a self-promotional television show. The Obama campaign claims their average donation is $109. That infomercial then represents 45,870 families going hungry or skipping prescriptions in favor of seeing their candidate on TV.

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I Resent You, Mr. Obama

You see, Mr. Obama, I’m the guy you intend to raise taxes on. I’m the guy who has spent 25 years toiling and sweating, fretting and fighting, stressing and risking, to build a business and get ahead. I’m the guy who has been on the very edge of bankruptcy more than a dozen times over the last 25 years, and all the while creating more and more jobs for East Texans who didn’t want to take a risk, and wouldn’t demand from themselves what I have demanded from myself. I’m the guy you characterize as “the Americans who can afford it the most” that you believe should be taxed more to provide income redistribution “to spread the wealth” to those who have never toiled, sweated, fretted, fought, stressed, or risked anything.

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Facts of Obama Birth Placed Under Seal

The Obama Birth Certificate conspiracy has been fueled.

Hawaii's Gov. Linda Lingle has placed the candidate's birth certificate under seal and instructed the state's Department of Health to make sure no one in the press obtains access to the original document under any circumstances.

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Ineligible Candidates Not Harmful

The Federal District Court for Eastern Pennsylvania has dismissed the suit claiming Barack Obama is not qualified to hold the office of President.

The court has not affirmed that Obama is, in fact, qualified under the “Natural Born Citizen” clause of the Constitution. Legal process requires the court to assume the plaintiff’s claims are true—that Obama is not Natural Born—when considering a motion for dismissal. The suit was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction and lack of standing.

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Obama Admits Kenya Birth

One of the most plausible wacko/conspiracy theories about Barack Obama holds that he is not a Natural Born US citizen, and therefore is not Constitutionally qualified for the office of President. A former Pennsylvania Deputy Attorney General, a Democrat, filed a suit challenging Obama to prove his qualifications.

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