RE: Hope and change? Try fear and politics-as usual…

Careful. I think
the Republicans are running the real risk of playing right into the hands of
the Democrats. Who do you think they will blame at the mid-term elections when
things haven’t improved? Republicans, of course. Democrats won’t be
bothered by the reality that they enjoy majorities in both houses of Congress. They
will claim with some truth that Republicans blunted the thrust of their efforts
with obstructionist tactics. This is what both parties do when things don’t
go their way.

 

Instead of
emulating the Democratic jack-ass, I think the Republicans need to stop digging
in their heels and become much more pliant. Pick and choose your battles much
more selectively. Rather we want to accept it or not, the last election clearly
handed the Democrats a mandate. All you are doing right now is facilitating
grid-lock and painting yourself with clown paint. The Democrats have the
Congressional votes to get the things they really want so you’re not accomplishing
anything. To me, it would be better to go quiet for now, and then point out all
of the Democratic failures in time for the 2010 mid-terms. The country is going
to be a mess anyway.

 

From: Michael S. Steele,
RNC Chairman [mailto:ecampaign@gop.com]
Sent: Thursday, February 12, 2009 10:01
To: royall@conchbbs.com
Subject: Hope and change? Try fear and politics-as usual…

 

Dear
Scott,

As President
Obama’s Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, said last November, "You never let a serious
crisis go to waste. And what I
mean by that it’s an opportunity
to do things you think you could not do before."

It
didn’t take long for the liberal Democrats to put that political strategy
into play.

They
have taken advantage of our nation’s present economic woes to ram through
Congress the biggest
spending bill in American history
.

President
Obama, who talked so much about a new era of bipartisanship and cooperation
on the campaign trail, didn’t take long to throw that rhetoric out the
window to support Nancy Pelosi’s liberal spending spree.

Our
economy is in trouble. We all agree on that.

President
Obama says that it is only
the federal government that can give our economy a boost.

But
even if you believe that silly premise–only 15% of the massive spending
increases in the Obama/Pelosi spending spree will take place in 2009. The
remaining taxpayer dollars they plan to spend pay out over the next ten years!

A
budget watchdog group calls this bill a "lobbyist full-employment
act." And one Washington lobbyist called the special interest frenzy
surrounding this bill "the Super Bowl."

And at
the heart of it all is the liberal Democrats’ goal of the permanent expansion of the
federal government’s power
and the redistribution of wealth.

  • $160 million to pay
    "volunteers" at the Corporation for National and Community
    Service.
  • $45 million dollars for the
    removal of fish passage barriers.
  • $248 million to buy furniture for
    the Department of Homeland Security.

Make
no mistake, the Democrats’ so-called "stimulus" bill does a lot
more to expand government than it does to give America’s ailing economy a
much needed boost.

I ran
for the job of RNC Chairman to lead our Party forward with its core
principles as a guide: shrinking
the size of government
and creating private sector jobs that won’t go away as
soon as taxpayer money runs out.

The
Republican Party must vigorously champion these rock-solid cornerstones of
the American success story.

This
is our opportunity to stand strong
, and let the American people
know that we Republicans won’t be a part of the Democrats’ tax-and-spend
schemes. And we won’t cave to disastrous policies just for the sake of
"bipartisanship."

But
we can’t do it without the steadfast support of Republicans like you.

To get
the truth about the Obama Democrats’ plans for our country past the liberal
mainstream media filter and set the stage for Republican victories in 2010,
please make
an online contribution of $25, $50, $100, $500, $1,000 or more to the RNC
today
.

Your
gift provides the crucial resources we must have to defend our American way
of life.

Only
you and I and other grassroots Republican activists stand between the
Democrats and an unprecedented power grab — please stand with me and let the
Democrats know we will hold them accountable for their actions.

Sincerely,

Michael Steele
Chairman, Republican National Committee

P.S.
Scott, we are working hard to expose the irresponsible policies of
Democrats in Washington, but we need your financial support to do this
vital work. That’s why I hope you’ll take this opportunity right now to
make a secure
online contribution of $25, $50, $100, $500, $1,000 or more to the RNC
today
. Thank you.


Contributions or
gifts to the Republican National Committee are not deductible as charitable
contributions for federal income tax purposes.

Contributions
from corporations, labor unions, federal contractors and foreign nationals
without permanent residency status are prohibited.


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Doing More with Less

Per my comment on Paul Thurrott’s urge to "do more with less," I also have been reducing the number and variety of software I use. Who needs 45 ways to perform one task? Of course the desire is to find the best way of doing something, but the search process can itself take a large chunk of your life if you let it.

Take web browsers for example. The technical elite swears up and down that Firefox is the bomb. After all, there was a time when Internet Explorer truly wasn’t very secure, and that’s what fueled the metamorphosis of the old Netscape browser into the open source darling that is Firefox. But, times do change, and that even applies to browsers. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 7 is arguably as safe as any version of Firefox so the advantage of the latter becomes its wealth of add-ins. The open nature of Firefox has attracted a horde of add-in developers. You can write add-ins for IE 7 also, but far fewer do. Firefox has some great add-ins, no doubt. A few I like personally. However, none of those add-ins does anything I can’t live without.

It’s funny. There is a certain "cool guy" mystique associated with some technology. The iPhone is an archetypical example of this effect. Some people see it as very cool, and they advocate it to others. This creates and nurtures the mystique until it takes on a life of its own. Firefox has a similar aura. Tech memes the world over sing its praises, and it largely deserves them. On the other hand, as one of my former caregivers used to say, "it isn’t all that."

I install Firefox every few months because I too am lured by that "cool guy" mystique. I too want to be "cool," and I try to use tools that are heralded as such. However, I invariably end up uninstalling Firefox after a few hours or days, because it doesn’t do everything I need. For example, you can’t play instant video from Netflix in Firefox unless you use the IE7 plug-in. Why should I need two browsers to do the work of one? That doesn’t compute, Firefox.

Windows Weekly #92

In some sense, I think it very appropriate that Paul keeps referencing "The Cloud," because he and Leo seem to spend a good deal of their time there mentally. Don’t get me wrong, I know they mean well, but they do live much better than most Americans. So how can they relate? Paul’s belief that everything will be available "in the cloud" is rather emblematic of that skewed perspective.

I am disabled, and I live on under 20k annually. I get that much only because I bucked prejudice for 14 years and was a programmer for a major oil company. That means I’m also somewhat fortunate, and I know it. I have four computers of varying ages, including two laptops. I have both Comcast Internet and EVDO so I’m about as connected as a Houstonian can be. Yet, for the life of me, I can see no possibility of implementing Paul’s life in the cloud. Even if I could use an iPhone (I can’t; the screen doesn’t sense my hand), the critical bottleneck is bandwidth. It doesn’t matter how many terabytes Google, et al, let you store on their servers if you can’t get to it when needed due to bandwidth limits or caps. Maybe Paul and Leo can, but us lowly mortals can’t live on that assumption.

The Cloud is just one of Paul’s pet themes that has started to really tick me off. (Yes, "cloud computing" will become important–when we get ubiquitous bandwidth.) I listen to WW for practical Microsoft news, but I feel like Paul is straying more and more afield. If he is serious about simplifying life, maybe he should consider my comments.