Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Been absent again lately due to the continuing plethora of extended family issues. But a Merry Christmas to you all. Before the new year begins, I'll be offering up what I hope are at least moderately interesting observations on the year nearly past as well as what we might expect in the year that is to come.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Back to the 70s: Remember Jimmy?

The myriad leftists who will populate President Obama’s administration will dramatically speed up America’s seismic shift toward a general acceptance of open borders; expanded rights and privileges for illegal aliens; radical environmentalism; judicial activism; opposition to the Patriot Act and other anti-terrorism measures; racial preferences; taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand; socialized medicine; redistributive economic policies; ever-expanding social welfare programs funded by escalating taxes; softer approaches to dealing with crime; the provision, for terrorism suspects, of all the benefits and procedural protections afforded by civilian trials; the removal of all religious symbols from the public square; the subordination of the American justice system to the mandates of international tribunals; the promotion of the view that America is institutionally an oppressive nation; and America’s gradual, unilateral military disarmament...Obama's Legal Left Brain Trust, John Perazzo, Front Page Magazine, 12/18/08

For those unfortunate enough to have been in the military in the late 1970s, it was just one piece of bad news after another. The dissolution of the NCO and officer corps after Vietnam, the shrinkage of the Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Army, and the almost weekly lectures by Russian officials (not in Moscow, but in Washington!) on American misbehavior were trademarks of the Carter Administration. It all culminated the Iranian hostage crisis and the wholly inept rescue mission. It was clear to anyone who could manage to turn on the TV or read a newspaper that the United States was not only an undependable ally, but an incompetent military and diplomatic actor. As much as this may have touched the average American's desire to be an innocent in the world, it directly contributed to a long period of pain and suffering for many across the world. When a strong actor pretends to be ignorant and soft, the killers start looking for victims.

You could look it up.


President-elect Once a Young Man -- Oh, Dear!

A series of photos newly discovered by Time magazine were taken three decades ago and capture 20-year-old college student Barack "Barry" Obama suavely striking a pose in a leather jacket and dragging on a cigarette....O Was Cig Man On Campus, NY Post, 12/18/2008

Of all the useless things that reporters do, a story like the one in today's NY Post is probably the nadir. While the President-elect calmly installs a government that would make George Soros happy, the media discover that the President-elect was once a twenty-year-old, a little fixated on his coolness. What next?


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What Others Think Of Us: Chinese & American Crisis Policies

The US has run a massive current account deficit for a long time, while China has run a sharp current account surplus...With a current account deficit and absent any willing lenders, the only way forward for the US is to recognize that a rebalancing of its economy away from consumption to production is in its interests. This calls for...overall contraction of the economy by over 20% and perhaps as much as 30%; for a very sharp decline in wages and other local factor costs of production and lastly for currency depreciation that helps to rebalance its global competitiveness...As for China with its gargantuan current account surplus, the only way forward is to effect greater government spending...intended to spark consumption as it attempts to replace production intended for the export market - primarily to the US market. The resulting Chinese economy will probably be 10-20% smaller, but certainly better balanced and capable of generating more profits than it does now...Instead of accepting these bald-faced truths, the two countries are trying to sugar-coat the situation by in effect switching their respective medications. The US is behaving as if the government has the wherewithal to fiscally stimulate a broken part of its economy, and China is behaving as if its path to resurgence lies in the age-old production route....Honey, I Switched the Medication, Chan Akya, Asia Times, 12/17/2008

If this were read in the Office of the President-elect this morning, it would probably cause an immediate ban on the presence of the day's copy of Asia Times, but go and read this very level-headed look at two big nations whose policies are acting against the grain of the crisis.

A great example: an obvious place for America to reduce its enormous current account deficit would be to develop its own oil resources, such as Rocky Mountain shale (1 trillion barrels, the largest reserve on Earth). Answer from the Washington? Sure, go ahead; but be sure to ask the governors of Colorado and Wyoming for permission. We won't do that for you and we won't provide any money or tax benefits. In other words, bring back a proposal for wind-powered cars and tide-powered furnaces. Oil represents close to half of the current account deficit, with the money going to fund our adversaries. Hey, way to go!

It isn't complicated. Two neighbors, living side by side. One, Mr. Johnson, who's just lost his job at Lehman Brothers, owes seven hundred thousand on an ARM mortgage for a house now worth five hundred thousand and has a 6-year-old Lincoln. The other, Mr. Chan, an SVP at the Southern Company, has half a million in quick assets, a paid-off house, and a 14-year-old Buick. Who would a rational car dealer offer a car loan to? On the evidence, not speculation, Ben Bernanke would give it to the guy closing on bankruptcy. A bank in China wouldn't give a loan to either. Needless to say, neither banker is acting rationally.

Chan Akya is a smart guy. Take a read of his other articles (linked in the piece on China and the US).


Behind Every "Great" Man...

Cable television introduced us to The Real Housewives of Orange County — an estrogen-infused reality show featuring a coven of conniving and ambitious women living pampered lives in Southern California. Blago-gate has brought us something even juicier: The Real Housewives of Crook County, Illinois. The public may be wearying of indicted Democratic governor Rod Blagojevich and the Chicago boys’ club, but the conniving and ambitious women behind the scenes of the corruption scandal are a must-see political drama all their own....The Real Housewives of Crook County, Michelle Malkin, National Review, 12/17/08

One of the beautiful touches of The Sopranos is that the tortured, saintly Godfather's wife was replaced by a thug almost as villainous, and just as ready to kill, as her husband. We owe a lot to Patrick Fitzgerald, especially women who've been traditionally under-represented in the news.


California Still Dreamin': Arnie and Dems Taxes

Democrats in the state Assembly on Tuesday countered the plan by Republican lawmakers for deep cuts to help bridge California's gaping budget hole, putting up for a floor vote a new $19 billion plan through mid-2010 that would adopt Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's tax ideas....Dems' New Budget Plan Fails To Get 2/3 Majority, San Francisco Chronicle, 12/17/2008

Republicans refused to vote for a tax plan like this, despite "Republican" Governor Schwarzenegger's refusal to support their alternate plan.

An obvious source of funding, the Governor encouraging a follow-through on the US Congress's decision to allow offshore drilling, has been refused, of course. Arnie must still think it's 1969 when a platform off Santa Barbara blew out and made a mess of beaches. However, it's soon to be forty years later. There hasn't been a major oil drilling platform accident anywhere in the world in over decade, and nowhere in the United States since 1969. There's an estimated trillion dollars of revenue sharing money available for California in expected reserves off the Governator's shores. But, Californians can't get their hands dirty. Perhaps Arnie can propose a plan that puts windmills on every car's roof.

I have a better idea. Let's have every Congressional representative from California, especially including Speaker Pelosi, offer to push Californians to work. Think of the taxes they'll lose if people are stranded on the freeway! And think of the arguments they'll have about who gets first service!


Madoff Ponzi Scheme: The Perils of Cults of Personality

There aren't many people left for alleged mega-swindler Bernard Madoff to alienate - even his sons seem to want to let him rot in jail....Desperate "Super-Thief" Son-Berned, NY Post, 12/17/08

In the late 1960s, there was an investment theory developed around the idea that a particular executive, moving from one company to another, was a sure sign that his or her former company's stock would go down and his or her new company's stock would go up. It was called, after Chairman Mao, "a cult of personality." As investment theories go, it failed, as do most actions based on romantic interpretations of the evidence. This is endemic in New York even today. Cults of personality develop around certain heads of private schools, certain doctors, certain lawyers. Dig underneath the surface of such a proclamation about someone's perfection in a profession, however, as in statistical analysis of outcomes of education, treatments, lawsuits, and the basis for the positive assessment falls apart. Still, one still hears "I'd only go to Dr. J...; he's the only oncologist in New York."

In Palm Beach, one suspects that five, ten years ago, a common cocktail party sentiment was "Bernard Madoff is the only worthwhile investment manager in New York." Perhaps they can put the sentence on the tents they'll be living in after prosecutors, attorneys, and the police finish recouping all the loot they thought Bernie Madoff had earned.

In investment, as in politics, it's terribly old-fashioned, but also still terribly true: if you don't look at a person's record, you're just as dumb a mark as someone expecting to win at 3-card monte on 42nd Street.


Gov. Paterson to New Yorkers: Screw You

Gov. Paterson yesterday socked New Yorkers with a mind-boggling 137 proposed new and hiked taxes on everything from beer to cab rides to iTunes downloads and movie tickets...The doomsday, $121.1 billion plan represents the biggest tax hike in state history and slashes services across the board - while still increasing spending by $1.4 billion....Gov's Tax & Spend Shocker, NY Post, 12/17/08

Conceiving of state employment as an entitlement has reached a new low in New York State, with the accidental Governor proposing $4.1 billion in new taxes, almost all of which are regressive, i.e., suckers like us have to pay them. This, of course, is typical of the People's Republic of New York. Socialist bureaucracies, confronted by declining revenues, don't look at wasteful spending such as a retirement policy that allows service union employees to retire at 45. Instead, they look for "rich" people to make sure that early retirement remains an option for NYS employees. With these taxes, "rich" has been defined downwards to anybody stupid enough to work for a living. The taxpayer flight that has emptied out western New York will spread. Then Albany can tax state employees to pay their salaries and benefits, the ultimate zero sum game.

Like California's, New York's bureaucrats and politicians seem to be of the infantile opinion that there's nothing so valuable to state residents as the services rendered by state employees. The remarkable willingness of people to pay the exorbitant fees of private primary, middle and high schools is a fairly good indication of the speciousness of that opinion. Privately organized streetcleaning and garbage collection districts, widespread throughout New York City and set up to compensate for mediocre city service, is another. The willingness to put up with extravagant fees, high tolls, and vindictive parking restrictions rather than riding to work in the world's largest and most expensive transit system is another. Perhaps the best, however, is the looting of disability benefits by Long Island Railroad employees. That's almost a paradigm for people who think state employment is a gravy train, not service to the people: Looting is their most important product.


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

President Elect Obama's Senate Seat for Sale by Governor Blagojevich

Federal authorities arrested Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich Tuesday on charges that he brazenly conspired to sell or trade the Senate seat left vacant by President-elect Barack Obama to the highest bidder...Blagojevich also was charged with illegally threatening to withhold state assistance to Tribune Co., the owner of the Chicago Tribune, in the sale of Wrigley Field, according to a federal criminal complaint. In return for state assistance, Blagojevich allegedly wanted members of the paper's editorial board who had been critical of him fired...Il. Gov. Arrested in Obama successor probe, Yahoo news, 12/9/2008

Notice they didn't say "Democrat Governor of Illinois". Well, he is. And the story is true. Liberals buying political office is not new, of course. Look at Democrat Governor Corzine of New Jersey, or "Independent," former Democrat, Mayor Bloomberg of New York. But their purchases were in the form of a political advertising flood that overwhelmed opponents. Illinois Democrat Governor Blagojevich offered cash up front, which is new, as far as this writer is aware.

The affidavit said Blagojevich expressed frustration at being "stuck" as governor and that he would have access to greater resources if he were indicted while in the U.S. Senate than while sitting as governor...U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald said in a statement that 'the breadth of corruption laid out in these charges is staggering'...'They allege that Blagojevich put a for sale sign on the naming of a United States senator," Fitzgerald said.'...(Il. Governor Arrested...cont'd)

Evidently US Attorney Fitzgerald hasn't spent much time in New Orleans.

Blagojevich took the chief executive's office in 2003 as a reformer promising to clean up former Gov. George Ryan's mess...Ryan, a Republican, is serving a 6-year prison sentence after being convicted on racketeering and fraud charges. A decade-long investigation began with the sale of driver's licenses for bribes and led to the conviction of dozens of people who worked for Ryan when he was secretary
of state and governor...(Il. Governor arrested...cont'd)

Chicago! Chicago! It's a hell of a town...

According to Tuesday's complaint, Blagojevich schemed with Rezko, millionaire-fundraiser turned federal witness Stuart Levine and others to get financial benefits for himself and his campaign committee...(Il. Governor arrested...cont'd)

Rezko, now there's a familiar name, one long associated with President-elect Obama's Senate seat.

Among those being considered for the post include U.S. Reps. Danny Davis and Jesse Jackson Jr.(Il. Governor Arrested...cont'd)

There's a surprise. Just think, Jesse, Jr., could arrange to bring Busch Beer to the Senate floor.


Friday, December 05, 2008

Back to the 70s: Cynicism

While among the top echelon at Citigroup (as someone called “Citigroup Inc. director and senior counselor”) Robert Rubin [one of the President-elect's principal advisors on economics] took in an aggregate $115 million in pay and bonuses — even though his bank’s stock crashed and lost 75 percent of its value, and now the conglomerate totters close to bankruptcy...Parallel Lives, Victor Davis Hanson, National Review Online, 12/5/2008

A disciple of Robert Rubin, Timothy Geithner, according to the Office of the President-elect, will be the next Secretary of the Treasury. Larry Summers, another of Robert Rubin's buddies, is about to the White House's senior economics advisor. And still another Rubin protege, Peter Orszag, is about to become White House budget director. Who is Robert Rubin?

Before he became Citibank's Senior Counselor and a Director, he was Bill Clinton's Secretary of the Treasury,from which position he oversaw the deregulation of the banking industry, deregulation which the Office of the President-elect hopes to overturn as a means of recovering from the current banking disaster. He's also the guy who, as Senior Counselor it is claimed, convinced Citibank to buy a ton of collateralized derivatives from Citibank's board members, including himself (no one else would buy them). He's also the guy who is widely quoted as disclaiming all responsibility for the misbehavior of the world's largest bank (Citibank), misbehavior he was involved in himself as Senior Counselor and Director, and which, it is possible to allege, has cost investors several hundred billion dollars in stock value in the last year. At the same time, Rubin collected over a hundred million dollars in personal compensation from the same company.

Perhaps this is overstatement, but this biography of the mentor for the new President-elect's economics team reads a lot like being rewarded for robbery, not only by Citibank (which benefited enormously, for a short time, under former Secretary Rubin's deregulation scheme), but by the incoming administration in appointing one of his colleagues to be Secretary of the Treasury and two others to oversee White House thinking and action on the budget. One can almost imagine the job interviews in a Brooklyn social club.

But, hey, that's just cynical, eh?


Back to the 70s: Stagflation

Here was the problem: In order to fight inflation, policy makers raised taxes. In order to fight unemployment, economists pressured the Fed to rapidly expand the money supply. It wasn’t until Milton Friedman weighed in that people realized the core of the problem: Too much money was chasing too few goods...Back to the 70s? Lawrence Kudlow, 1/17/2008

In the days referenced, the early 1970s, almost 40 years ago,the economy went on a years-long downward spiral, culminating in two steps: a bear market that lasted from 1973 through 1974; and the inflation that lasted from 1973 to late 1981, after Reagan took office. The principal causes of the decline were easy to identify: a speculative marketplace that became something of a casino in the late Sixties; government Great Society (read "socialist") programs; and a war in Vietnam that Congress and the White House had decided were best funded by future generations. The market said "ha!" to these delusions; the bottom fell out. The economy shrank. Politicians, unable to manage simple concepts like supply and demand, God help us, responded with policy.

When Nixon unhinged the dollar from gold (Bretton Woods, 1972), there was no governor on the U.S. money supply. This monetary expansion substantially increased aggregate demand. And yes, the economy would periodically get a short-term spurt. The problem was that higher tax rates, either through legislation or inflation, stifled producers and investors. So the supply of goods and services was held down while the demand for them was increased. This stagflation raised unemployment and inflation at the same time...Sound familiar? (Back to the 70s..., cont'd)

Sure does. And remember, Kudlow wrote this a year ago, months before even Bear Sterns fell off the cliff. Hell, the several-months, 7% drop in the market he mentions is by today's standard's nothing. We've lost that much a day on several occasions in the last month. But, he saw, with uncanny precision, what we ought to be looking at.

What we’re hearing from Washington is cause for Ben Bernanke to gun the money supply and drop interest rates more. At the same time, Congress wants to spend more (either through temporary tax rebates or more spending, or both) and pay for it all with a tax hike at some later date. That tax hike could mean overturning the Bush tax cuts, or new surtaxes on high-end producers and successful earners...(Back to the 70s..., cont'd)

Remember, that was written on January 17th, 2008. Since then, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve and Congress have injected two trillion dollars into the economy. The Office of the President-elect, the new Congress, and the EPA have plans to take trillions more in taxes and fees from those who actually earn a living. When the productive are taxed, the economy goes down and people (half a million last month) lose jobs. But not to worry, the Office of the President-elect and Congress promise that everybody will have a bailout, or "stimulus," as it is delicately called. But, when everyone has money, and not much is being made, demand goes up. And so, dear friends, does inflation. Magic time, higher unemployment, higher prices, savings and investments worth nothing -- stagflation! Back to the 70s indeed! It won't be long until we'll all be humming "Candle in the Wind" again.

Would that someone had listened to Lawrence Kudlow in January of this year. It is highly apparent that no one --the banks, the housing industry, the government, or, dear reader, you and me, bothered to try. Cassandra, sadly, is usually regarded as mad.


Back to the 70s: Socialism and You

Americans may be in for some unpleasant changes. President-elect Barack Obama,[1] Senator Max Baucus (D-MT),[2] and former Senator Thomas Daschle (D-SD)--Obama's choice for secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)[3]--have outlined policy proposals that, if enacted, would negatively impact private health care for millions of Americans. Private health plans and medical practice might continue to formally exist, but many crucial health care decisions would be made in Washington. All three politicians have advocated the creation of a new public agency--variously described as an institute, board, or council--that would make key recommendations regarding the kinds of medical technologies, treatments, drugs, and procedures that would be officially deemed "effective." To the extent that these recommendations were imposed as a condition for reimbursement, they would constitute an unprecedented level of government regulation and control over the delivery of health care...How a Federal Health Board Will Cancel Private Coverage and Care, Robert Moffit, Ph.D, The Heritage Foundation, 12/4/08

As Dr. Moffit makes clear, this is an evolved version of the 1993 Clinton health plan, decisively rejected by a Democrat controlled Congress. It is based on the British National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (called NICE -- silent 'H' -- in Britain). In it, a politically appointed board would, through its members and their staffs, determine whether or not any treatment was "effective." In Britain, this is done solely on a cost basis. If an effective treatment is more expensive than the guideline, you don't get it. Why do you think so many passengers to JFK Airport are Brits too sick to be treated in their own country? And of course, this health board would be unelected, i.e., answerable to the political persuasions of those making appointments to the board.

When evaluating the "fairness" of any national health insurance exchange, a key issue is whether the government's rules--particularly for benefits, financing, and solvency--apply equally to the government plan and the private plans that are supposed to compete with it. If they do not, the proposed "competition," presumably with the government plan having special advantages, is a meaningless charade. If the rules are the same for all plans, then logically there is no point to having a government health plan at all. In any event, the right of an individual to make a personal choice, based on their determination of what package of benefits would be best for them, would simply be out of the question in such an arrangement...Despite official rhetoric to the contrary, genuine market competition is not envisioned in any of these proposals. Indisputably, the professional literature shows that the expansion of government health coverage (Medicaid and SCHIP), a key element of the Obama health plan, "crowds out" existing private health options.((How a Federal Health Board...cont'd)

So, change in this instance has a direct meaning: you're too stupid to make your own choice; we'll do it for you. But, it also encompasses the usual artful avoidance of responsibility, so important to re-election campaigns. Remember the 70s watch word list. Cynicism was one:

"Most members of Congress would be glad to be rid of their responsibility for controversial health policy decisions...", (How a Federal Health Board...cont'd), quote from former Senator Tom Daschl (D., SD).

No kidding. First, Representatives and Senators can howl in their political announcements, circulars and TV ads that they've brought medical care to the people. Then, they can make more announcements, circulars and TV ads that they're not responsible for the Federal Health Board refusing to allow heart surgery in people over 60 (already true in France -- remember the 70,000 old folks who were allowed to die in French nursing homes in the 2005 heatwave? A fine example of socialism at work!).

Here's another from the Back to the 70s list: Surrender. Will you?


Back to the 70s: Alternatives to Taxation and Other Concerns

The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) foreshadows new regulations of unprecedented scope, magnitude, and detail. This notice is not just bureaucratic rumination, but could very well become the law of the land. Jason Grumet, a senior environmental advisor to Barack Obama, has promised that a President Obama would "initiate those rulings." These rulings offer the possibility of regulating everything from lawn-mower efficiency to the cruising speed of supertankers. Regardless of the chosen regulatory mechanisms, the overall eco­nomic impact of enforced cuts in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions as outlined in the ANPR will be equivalent to an energy tax....CO2-Emission Cuts: The Economic Costs of EPA's ANPR Regulations, David Kreutzer, Ph.D., and Karen Campbell, Ph.D., The Heritage Foundation, 10/28/08

While the Office of the President-elect has reported on several occasions that some of the larger, tax-funded programs planned for your hard-earned money are likely to be put on hold with the ongoing and increasingly horrendous recession, don't discount the Left's discount for finding ways to loot your wallet. The EPA, the Office of the President-elect advises, will be encouraged to put a stranglehold on the U.S. economy with its new carbon regulations. (Carbon, and carbon dioxide, it should be noted, are fundamental to all life on earth; describing them as pollutants is a deep ecologist's* wet dream.)

Because the economic effect of the pro­posed regulations will resemble the economic effect of an energy tax, the increase in costs creates a cor­respondingly large loss of national income....(CO2-Emission Cuts...EPA (cont'd))

The estimates by the Heritage Foundation are that the annual cost of these regulations could run at about $600 billion per year, with annual job losses of 800,000 a year for a number of years. And these regulations cross over into the ridiculous, to wit:

For farmers, this stinks: Belching and gaseous cows and hogs could start costing them money if a federal proposal to charge fees for air-polluting animals becomes of several put forward by the Environmental Protection Agency after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that greenhouse gases emitted by belching and flatulence amounts to air pollution..."This is one of the most ridiculous things the federal government has tried to do," said Alabama Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks, an outspoken opponent of the proposal...It would require farms or ranches with more than 25 dairy cows, 50 beef cattle or 200 hogs to pay an annual fee of about $175 for each dairy cow, $87.50 per head of beef cattle and $20 for each hog...The executive vice president of the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation, Ken Hamilton, estimated the fee would cost owners of a modest-sized cattle ranch $30,000 to $40,000 a year. He said he has talked to a number of livestock owners about the proposals, and "all have said if the fees were carried out, it would bankrupt them."Proposed fee on smelly cows, hogs angers farmers, Bob Johnson, Yahoo News, 12/5/08

If you've followed EPA actions and statements, as well as those by environmentalists, for the past twenty years, you know what their response is likely to be already: "who cares if hog farmers and cattle ranchers go broke?" Or "who cares if any manufacturer goes broke?" And you know why: they care more about the global warming than they do about your well-being. Global warming, as we have written and noted for years, is an increasingly discredited, ideological construct that declares not only the open falsehood that earth's atmosphere is rapidly warming, but that nobody has the right to disagree with this "consensus" of politically driven "scientists." (See the late Michael Crichton's State of Fear, 2005, a brilliant demolition of the politics of hysteria that so dominates the American Left.

For those who don't remember the 1970s, thankfully a diminishing group, the watchwords were Superstition, Surrender, Cynicism, and Socialism. In the 1970's, a leading Superstition was Global Cooling. Pick your own 1970's surrender; there were a lot of them. Cynicism was filled in with the sociopolitical pathologies of racial preferences and the witch hunts under the banner of satanic child abuse. Socialism, of course, was no different then than it is now, a system where the government would totally dominate all economic activity. The result was a decade of recession, a radical decline in American prospects, unending inflation and its accompanying devaluation of every American's savings and investments, and the humiliation of America by a band of 8th century thugs in Iran.

Back to the 70s, for anyone who was there, is not a subject of nostalgia but of fear.


* Deep ecologist: one who proposes it would be a better world without human beings, or at least at a technological level of, say, five centuries ago.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Feds Arrest Birmingham AL Mayor: Name That Party!

The headline says it all. The online Birmingham News reports:
Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford was arrested this morning on federal charges and is being held at the federal courthouse, the FBI and other federal officials confirm.
The issue: Financial hanky-panky, of course. But hey, there's no mention in this piece as to which political party is pround to call Langford a member. You know what that means.

The freepers are having a field day commenting on this. And revealing Langford's actual political affiliation--Democrat.

But did you have to guess? Republican miscreants are ALWAYS identified by party in the MSM. Democrats are not. That's how you can tell their affiliation 98% of the time.

Fair and balanced. Just ask Sarah Palin how that works.

As one freeper observes:
Don't let the MSM know we've cracked their code.