The Horse Sense Blog compares the nonsense in today's news with good ol' fashioned horse sense


“…I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve.… It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.” - Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775


"The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it." - George Orwell

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

How Can We Support Mitt When We’ve Been Against Him In The Primaries?

Here’s the Nonsense:  If you had problems with Mitt, or any other candidate, during the primaries, then it would be impossible to support his candidacy in the general election.

Here’s the Horse Sense:  Some of us, me included, may have found that Mitt Romney was one of, if not the weakest candidate of those that have run in the GOP primaries.  But just because our candidate of choice did not become the nominee should not mean that we can’t support Mitt, even if we have problems with some of his history and positions on issues.

In the last post I made to this blog I stated how Mitt can win in the general election.  I was surprised at the number of responses I got questioning how I could give him that advice when I’ve been so outspoken against him as the nominee.  Not only have I not supported him in the past, he has to find a way to overcome huge negatives, the greatest of which is Romneycare.  Let’s look at how we can support him and what else he must do to win against Obama.

I have not been a Romney supporter throughout the primary season.  My reasons have been articulated through this blog numerous times.  Everything from his liberal record as governor of Massachusetts to his creation of and unwavering support of Romneycare to his inability to articulate a clear plan to save the economy of the U. S. and instead just grossly outspend his competition by up to 12 to 1 while running thousands of attack ads instead of dealing with the issues have stood in my way of supporting him.

And although I disagree with his tactics and many of his positions, he is still a better choice than Barack Obama.  At least Romney will slow the demise of America and buy the voters a chance to continue to work for change in government over the long term.  So given that he is the presumptive nominee, even though he has far from enough delegates to claim the nomination yet, I thought I’d take a look at what it would take for him to win.  That’s what my last blog post was about.

But the one mistake I made in that post was that I didn’t address how he can get past his signature legislation as governor, which was Romneycare.  It has already been proven to be a loser costing far more money than they thought it would.  Mitt’s entire defense of it is that it is a state’s issue, not a federal one.  But the fact that he doesn’t admit outright that it was a bad choice and should never have been done worries me. 

Romneycare is the blueprint for Obamacare.  Three of Romney’s advisors went to the White House a dozen times to help them develop and learn how to implement the healthcare plan we call Obamacare, but Romney’s own advisors admit is a duplicate of Romneycare.  Anything other than an outright rejection of it with an admission it was a mistake and an apology to the Massachusetts voters on the part of Mitt will not be good enough to save him from what Obama will do to him in the election when Mitt attacks Obamacare.  Mitt MUST reject and admit Romneycare was wrong or it will eat him alive.  Even if he articulates a good plan for fixing the economy Romneycare could be too big an issue to allow him to win.

And for all of you who support Romney, why won’t anyone say how he can get past the Romneycare issue if he doesn’t reject it and admit it was wrong?  When I said in my last post is critical for him to win, but if he doesn’t also get away from Romneycare he will have little, if any, hope of winning the election. 

And by the way, if any of you reading this actually have an answer he can use for defending Romneycare other than rejecting it, please use the contact form on my site to send me the answer.  I’d sure like to hear it.  In fact, I’ll bet Romney would like to hear it, too. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Romneyconomy: What Mitt Needs To Do To Win


Here’s the Nonsense:  Mitt Romney is the most effective candidate against Obama.  The election is clearly his and Obama will be hard pressed to win against him.

Here’s the Horse Sense:  Romney needs a clear plan to win against Obama.  What he’s done in the primaries won’t work for him in the general election.

The Republican establishment feels that Romney is the best man to beat President Obama in the upcoming election.  While I don’t agree with that view, it does appear that Romney will be the nominee.  Romney’s campaign has not showed us yet that they have a winning strategy against Obama. 

To date all they’ve really done is compete with other Republicans.  They’ve done so not by articulating a clear plan to fix what ails America.  Rather, they’ve simply grossly outspent their competitors and used that money to beat them down with attack ads.  Now those of you reading this may not like what I’m saying, but the facts are the facts.  And if Mitt and his campaign think they can win by doing the same to Obama then they’re in for a rude awakening.  They need a clear plan to win.  And I can give it to them in very simple terms right here.

I will admit that lately Mitt has done some very good things in his campaign, such as recently stating about the Keystone pipeline that he’d build it himself if he had to.  That kind of talk is exactly what people want to hear.  They want to hear Mitt Romney’s entrepreneurial spirit that will tackle a problem and make it work even if he has to handle the small details himself.  When a candidate does that people want to stand up and cheer and then follow them to victory.

Republicans are known for letting the Democrats control the debate.  They let the Democrats keep them on the ropes and they are always trying to defend from a Democrat attack.  Those are the same methods Romney used against Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich.  Mitt Romney cannot use those against Obama because the American people will already hear that stuff from Obama.  And Obama will have far more money to spend and also have the media backing him which will put Romney in the same position against Obama that Gingrich and Santorum were against him in the primaries.   Romney needs to deflect those attacks by addressing the serious ones quickly and succinctly and then dropping the topic and moving back to his strengths and that will weaken the effectiveness of those attacks.

But even more importantly, Romney needs to remember that there is no doubt that the economy is the number one issue that Americans are focusing on.  Mitt needs to stake his claim to victory in this election by articulating clearly and succinctly exactly what he will do to turn this economy around. 

Ronald Reagan is known for Reaganomics and its huge success.  Barack Obama’s Obamanomics is a huge disaster that not only gives Obama no record to stand on, but gives him a record he has to run from.  Mitt Romney needs to lay claim to how he can fix the economy and he will be known for the “Romneyconomy.”  Once that is compared to the failure of Obamanomics the election will be Romney’s to lose.




Sunday, April 22, 2012

Rest In Peace Chuck Colson

There is no "nonsense and horse sense" in this post.  This is simply to say farewell to a great American.

Chuck Colson made a mark in history by being involved on the wrong side of the Watergate scandal under President Nixon.  And for that he served a prison sentence.  For most people, that would be the end of their impact in history and they would end their lives with that blemish being the most notable remembrance of their lives.

But not Chuck Colson.  He went from being a political insider in Washington whose life became so committed to politics that he compromised himself and ended up in prison, to a life that is a testimony to the power of redemption.

While in prison Chuck Colson found himself face to face with what he'd done.  He turned inward and upward and looked to God for forgiveness and hope.  He became a changed man and through his weakness and failure came a new man that God recreated to be more effective than any of us can imagine.  He founded Prison Fellowship and began reaching out to inmates and their families.  His organization has been so effective at turning lives around that it would take a book (or maybe two or three) to cover all it's accomplished.

When Prison Fellowship gets involved with prisoners the number of those who become repeat offenders drops dramatically.  About half of released inmates return to jail or prison within 3 years.  But a result of the effectiveness of Prison Fellowship's programs is Texas, where they decided to make a change a few years ago and Prison Fellowship came in to work in many of the prisons.  For two years before their release and one year afterwards Prison Fellowship works with inmates to help them learn a moral compass.  Those values are based on biblical principles.  The result has been that only 8% were re-incarcerated after two years from their release date.

That is a pretty remarkable record.  And it started with Chuck Colson making a terrible mistake and finding redemption.  His life turned around and what he did with that gift of redemption has left a legacy that few could ever come close to matching.

Chuck Colson has passed from this life and now stands before God.  I am pretty sure he's hearing God say, "Well done faithful servant."

Rest in peace Chuck Colson.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Obama/Romney Animal Wars

Here’s the Nonsense:  Mitt Romney transporting his dog in its kennel crate on top of his car years ago is proof he hates animals and isn’t fit to lead the nation.
Here’s the Horse Sense:  The Republicans try to counter the attack against Romney by using a childhood experience of President Obama while living in Indonesia as proof he cares even less for animals.  That is not only a poor line of attack, they have a much more important and legitimate animal issue they can use against him and ignore the opportunity.
The Left has attacked Mitt Romney for the story about taking his dog on vacation by putting the dog’s crate on top of the family car.  They are painting a picture of an uncaring human being who doesn’t care about man’s best friend.  The Right have countered by bringing up President Obama’s admission that he ate dog meat as a child in Indonesia while ignoring a legitimate and far larger issue regarding animals and the president. But then again, the Right are the worst fighters on the planet.  Our leaders (I hate to call them leaders when they aren’t qualified to lead anything) seem to think that a winning argument is to give in to the Left on everything in return for hoping that the Left will like them.
Yes, putting his dog on top of his car was nothing short of foolish.  But Mitt has admitted it was not a good idea nd that wouldn’t do it again.  However, to characterize Mitt as some animal hating monster is ridiculous.  There is no evidence of that.
What’s worse is the right using Obama’s experience as a child in another culture as their big counter-attack.  I know it will surprise people, but I agree with PETA who gives the president a pass because he was a child.  He was not in a position to make a decision about the issue and probably didn’t know any better.  After all, not only was he only a child, but he was a child living in a culture where it was an acceptable practice to eat dogs.  That doesn’t make it something to be proud of, but I think it gives him a reasonable excuse.  This time he really can blame someone else and it will be legitimate!
What is sad is that the Right, in their brilliant wisdom (I hope you read those last 3 words with a lot of sarcasm in your voice) chooses the president’s childhood experience as their point of attack instead of looking at important issues. 
What they missed is the administration’s recent approval for a slaughterhouse in New Mexico to start slaughtering horses for human consumption.  As I understand it, in western society it would make the U. S. only the second nation to currently allow it.  It is a sad thing to see the Republicans ignore such an issue and when they have a perfect opportunity to bring it up, they ignore it and choose to run with something as stupid as the president’s actions as a child.
The approval of the New Mexico’s plans to slaughter horses will inevitably be used as a door opener to capture many of the wild horses in the western U. S. and kill them.  Those wild herds are an American iconic image to many of us who are not only horse lovers, but lovers of American history and the western expansion of our nation.  As a horse owner myself who has witnessed those wild herds as they run I have to say that in my mind it is one of the most beautiful and magnificent things I’ve ever seen.  Years ago I even adopted two wild horses and we taught them to trust humans and trained them to ride.  It was quite an experience and gave me an even greater love for them.
Yes, I’m an animal lover.  As a kid I didn’t have pets but as an adult I’ve had 42 animals in my lifetime.  Those included dogs, horses, and cats.  I’m passionate about them because of a list of reasons too long to write here.  Suffice it to say that I find the idea that the president would allow this New Mexico slaughterhouse to kill horses is outrageous.  Surveys of Americans show they are not in favor of this action either.  But that doesn’t matter to the people in Washington.  The iconic image of the wild horses of the American west is a dying image and this action speeds that up. 
With the attitude of the general public prevailing on the side of the animals, the Republicans could easily have used this issue against the president as a comparison to Mitt Romney’s mistake of transporting his dog one time in a kennel crate on top of his car.  It would be far more effective and would easily point out yet another inconsistency and hypocrisy of this administration.  That’s how you win a fight.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Taxes: Another Benefit Of Working For The Federal Government

Here’s the Nonsense:  Federal employees and politicians have to live by the same rules as the rest of the citizens in the country.

Here’s the Horse Sense:  The federal employees and politicians are treated as though they are something special and above the rules and laws the rest of us live by.  It’s time we citizens put our foot down and demand change so we can start to turn this nation around.

Recently I read that federal employees owe about $1 billion in federal back taxes and politicians owe millions more.  And to remedy the situation Congress is considering passing legislation that would give those owing the back taxes a year to make arrangements to pay what they owe or set up some sort of payment plan.  If they don’t do it by that point, then the government will have the right to take the money out of their paychecks.  This is another example of the culture they have built for themselves as privileged people who are above the rest of us.

If we, as private citizens, owed back taxes we would have to pay up.  But even more important, if we owed money to our employer we would have to pay up immediately or, at best, have the money taken from our paychecks and, at worst, lose our jobs.  It doesn’t take extended periods of time to get an employee to pay because there are consequences that are complete and immediate if nothing is done to resolve the situation.

But not for federal employees or politicians.  Unlike any of the rest of us who would have to deal with this immediately, they would be able to wait a year before they started paying.  From what I’ve heard it is virtually impossible to fire federal employees so firing them is not even worth the threat.

What part of stupid are we?  Why don’t we demand that a bill be passed that requires all politicians and federal employees to keep their tax obligations up to date or the monies that are owed will automatically be deducted from their income?  Because some tax bills are large and because some employees don’t make as much as others there could be a formula used to pay it back in a series of payments with interest.  After all, if any of us had a situation like this with our employer we’d have to pay it immediately.  If we needed time to pay it we’d have to go to a bank and get a loan where we’d pay interest.  The same thing should apply to the people who work for us in government.

This is the very kind of issue that is simple to figure out but yet our government even abuses these situations.  The main reason for this is that our government is made up of people in leadership positions that are not qualified to lead. I’ve spent 37 years in business as an employee, owning businesses and running businesses for other people.  If I had allowed these kinds of things to go on in companies where I was in management I would have lost my job and the company would not have been successful.  And if I would have allowed these kinds of things to go on in my own companies I would have been out of business.

This is common sense (or horse sense for the sake of this blog post) but it is clear that our government and the politicians we elect have none of it.  That is why our nation is in the trouble it is in.  

H. L. Mencken said, “I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office.”  

I agree wholeheartedly.



Monday, April 16, 2012

Obama Thinks It’s Romney’s Achilles Heel, But It Might Be Mitt’s Secret Weapon

Here’s the Nonsense:  The Obama campaign feels that Mitt Romney is nothing but a backwards, out-of-date man of the 1950s.  Pointing that out to Americans will assure an Obama victory in the election.

Here’s the Horse Sense:  Obama may think that a 1950s image will hurt Mitt Romney, but Romney could turn this into a big win if he handles it right.

The Obama campaign has decided to attack Mitt Romney on a variety of levels.  One of the ideas they have is to attack him as a man of the past, who is out of touch, who isn’t prepared to deal with current or future events.  I’ve heard that they want to use his appearance with the slicked back hair and conservative professional image as a way to compare his style to that of the 1950s.  Their attack will paint a picture him as a man of the 50’s raising the question of how effective he can be when he’s so old fashioned.

So if I understand this right, they’re saying that no one should want to go back to the 50s.  My question is why not?  The 1950s was a time that was known predominately for two things:  peace and prosperity.  That is the legacy of that decade in American history. 

While Harry Truman started the decade as president, from his 1953 inauguration through rest of the decade Dwight Eisenhower was the president.  As time has gone by historians have come to believe that Eisenhower was one of the best presidents in our history.

Eisenhower did not have the nation riding a roller coaster of emotional ups and downs while taking us through one crisis after another.  Rather, he was stable and steady.  He led a country that was in an era of peace while riding the wave of prosperity brought about by America’s clear position as the leader of the industrialized world. 

No nation in history had ever before achieved the successes in these areas that America attained at that time.  Americans had overcome the Great Depression and the worst war in history.  The middle class was expanding and the average citizen’s standard of living achieved a much higher level than had ever before been seen.  Innovation in science and technology was expanding at a rapid rate.  As the population expanded they were able to look to the future with great promise and hope.

During the 1950s the economy grew by 37% and purchasing power for Americans was up 30%.  President Eisenhower worked hard to keep the federal budget balanced, thereby keeping inflation under control.  The oil industry was producing domestically and keeping the cost of oil down while other technological advances saw productivity increase.  And the fact that the industrial strength of other countries was still trying to recover from the destruction they incurred during World War II gave the U. S. an advantage by making us the industrial powerhouse of the planet.

Compare that to what we’ve faced under President Obama.  According to Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics, about 150,000 fewer households are being formed each year than would be formed in a well-functioning economy. That means a depressed demand for homes, which thereby holds home prices down and lowers property values.[1]

Consider these discouraging statistics:
·      The average length of time spent unemployed has risen from 19.8 weeks in January 2009, the month of Obama’s inauguration, to 40.1 weeks in January 2012.[2]
·      According to the Congressional Budget Office, unemployment at the rate we are seeing it has continued for the longest time since the Great Depression. They project it will remain that way until 2014.[3]
·      According to www.shadowstats.com, when you include discouraged workers in the calculation (discouraged workers are unemployed people who've given up trying to find a job), the unemployment rate is actually 23 percent.[4]
·      The number of long-term unemployed workers has increased under Obama from about 2.6 million to 5.5 million.[5]
·      The Federal Housing Administration is headed toward collapse. The financial mess it’s gotten itself into has done so much damage that its survival is at risk.[6]
·      49.5 percent of Americans did not pay income taxes in 2009.  Spending on "dependence programs" accounts for more than 70 percent of the federal budget.  The American public's dependence on the federal government shot up 23 percent in just two years under President Obama, with 67 million now relying on some federal program.[7]
·      On Dec. 11, 2009, USA Today reported that at start of the Recession the Transportation Department only had one person earning $170,000 or more. Eighteen months later there are 1690 employees with salaries above $170,000.[8]
·      According to August 2010 data released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, federal employees earn twice as much on average as private sector employees.[9]
·      The Federation for American Immigration Reform reported in February 2010 that the cost of illegal immigration is $113 billion annually. That is $1117 for every native-headed household in America.[10]
 So, if Mitt Romney can return America to a time of peace and prosperity like that of the 1950s, then I don’t think people will look down on him.  Rather, they will look at him as a hero. If President Obama thinks that his success at dragging our economy further down, increasing unemployment, and tearing down our military to make us less secure is the preferred choice, then I think he may be in for a surprise when the American citizenry get to choose between what he has to offer and what Mitt Romney has to offer.

No Mr. Obama, I think that most Americans would far rather see America return to the peace and prosperity of the 50s.  We are tired of wondering if our nation will be safe, if we will ever be able to recover from all the losses we’ve suffered economically, and if we will ever be able to see the American Dream come alive again.  Since you have nothing positive in your record over the past 3 years you must rely on attacks to tear down your competitor.  And if you think it’s negative to suggest that we return to some of America’s glory days, then you’ll be in for a real surprise in November when the election results come in.




Wednesday, April 11, 2012

War On Women? The President Needs To Look In The Mirror

Here’s the Nonsense:  President Obama lives what he preaches.  He’s very passionate about the things he talks about.
Here’s the Horse Sense:  President Obama’s passion seems to be more lip service than genuineness.
With all his claims that the Republicans are waging a war on women, it appears that President Obama needs to look in the mirror.  The Washington Free Beacon reports that the 2011 White House annual report reveals that White House employees who are women have an average salary of $60,000 while men at the White House average $71,000.  That’s an 18% difference.  It makes you wonder how the president dares make accusations against Republicans for a war on women when his own staff are paid disproportionately.
Now before you go thinking that this must be a fluke, we have to also remember that this is a president who, as a candidate, also paid his female campaign staff less than the men.  And even less than his competitor John McCain paid his female staff.
This from the president who said in July 2010, “Paycheck discrimination hurts families who lose out on badly needed income.  And with so many families depending on women’s wages, it hurts the American economy as a whole.”
If he believes it would help the economy so much, then why doesn’t he pay his female staff what he pays his male staff?  After all, he’d only have to have a few less concerts and parties at the White House to pay for it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Santorum Exits Race

Here's the Nonsense:  Rick Santorum has finally gotten out of the race for the GOP nomination.  His positions didn't matter anyway.  It's about time he got out of the way and let voters get behind the poll leader Mitt Romney.

Here's the Horse Sense:  Rick Santorum not only brought a lot to the debate, his positions hit home with many voters.  With his success in the race he will have influence on the GOP platform in the general election.  And it's possible this gives another voice some clout in the GOP race.

Rick Santorum, as most everyone knows by now, has suspended his campaign for the GOP presidential nomination.  Some are saying it was the fulfillment of the inevitable.  Others are speculating it was because of his daughter’s health.  And still others are being far less kind and taking a last shot at him as having been unqualified and unworthy (in their eyes) to run in the first place.  Regardless of the reason Santorum exited the race, the fact is that he accomplished an amazing feat with his run.  With virtually no money compared to other candidates, especially Mitt Romney, he became a serious contender who ended his run in second place.  And while there are people who would say that second place is the first loser, the reality of the situation is that Rick Santorum cannot be called a loser by any honest analysis.

Rick Santorum accomplished more than just rise to second place in the contest.  He brought to the table issues that needed to be discussed.  He reminded us that principles are important.  By putting his family as such a high priority he showed us by his life that there are some things more important than power and position.  His stand on issues, whether you agree with them or not, were important and healthy for the debate.  He brought issues to the table that will not die here.  Many of those very issues will continue on to the GOP convention in Tampa and be seriously discussed, probably with some being adopted, as important parts of the GOP platform.

And just because Rick is out of the race does not mean it’s over.  It certainly appears that Mitt Romney will be the inevitable winner.  But Newt “Phoenix” Gingrich is still holding on and may rise again from the ashes to have a significant impact on this contest.  With Newt you have to wait and see because even when he’s down, you can never be sure he is out.  And with such a strong distaste for Romney on the part of many conservatives it is very possible that many of Santorum’s supporters may move their support to Newt Gingrich.  It may be enough to make Newt a serious player at the GOP convention in August.



Monday, April 9, 2012

Romney’s Environmental Positions Shaped By Obama Czar


Here’s the Nonsense:  Romney is as conservative as anyone in the Republican Party.  It’s obvious he’s been influenced by only the most conservative of thinkers.

Here’s the Horse Sense:  Not only has Romney been influenced by the most radical type of thinking, as governor he hired an advisor with some of the most radical views and background ever seen in American politics on either side of the aisle.

I’ve written about Romney’s background before and some of you have blown it off as unimportant or as just the ranting of someone who wants a different candidate for the GOP nominee.  And while I’ve said and still believe that supporting Romney over Obama is the better choice between the two, the more I look the more I find that Romney and Obama are similar in so many ways that it will make Romney much easier for Obama to beat than any of the other GOP candidates.

What’s the latest similarity?  One of Obama’s czars was an adviser on environmental policy to Romney when he was governor of Massachusetts.  If you don’t know about the background of Obama’s czars you need to get educated.  John Holdren is the science czar.  He coauthored a paper titled, “Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment.” Its authors argue morally acceptable and necessary actions such as forced sterilization may be necessary under extreme conditions such as famine brought about by “climate change.” They went so far as to say that depending on ecological conditions, “It would even be possible to require pregnant single women to marry or have abortions, perhaps as an alternative to placement for adoption, depending on the society.”

Investors Business Daily reported in October of 2011 that Holdren “views humanity as a plague on the planet and the Industrial Revolution as a tragic mistake. The fewer people, he believes, the better, and he's not shy about the ways he would use to reduce their number.”

The article went on to say:

“On Jan. 1, 2006, Massachusetts became the first state to regulate CO2 emissions from power plants, something the Obama administration is trying to do to all states through the Environmental Protection Agency's draconian job-killing regulations and mandates.
“A Dec. 7, 2005 memo from the governor's office announcing the new policy listed among the ‘environmental and policy experts’ providing input to the policy one ‘John Holdren, professor of environmental policy at Harvard University.’
“This is the same person who wrote that a ‘massive campaign must be launched to restore a high-quality environment in North America and to de-develop the United States.’"

It now makes sense to me why Romney said at the University of New Hampshire last year that he believed that the world is getting warmer and humans contribute to it.  It also explains why Al Gore expressed such admiration for Romney’s stand on the environment.

With friends like Romney has, the GOP doesn’t need enemies.  No, if he becomes the GOP candidate all President Obama is going to have to do is list this along with the many other things with which Romney agrees with him and that will be enough to cast doubt in voters minds. 

When you add Romney’s past record in Massachusetts to the fact that 3 of his own advisers went to the White House 12 different times to help the Obama administration develop Obamacare, then it is apparent that Romney’s aspirations for the White House will come to an abrupt end.  After all, why would voters vote for Romney when they can vote for Obama?  In other words, voters will choose Obama when they realize their choices are between Obama and Obama-lite.