Saturday, February 28, 2009

Another Baby-Killing Enthusiast to HopeyChangey's Cabinet

Sibelius is a very, very close friend of George "The Killer" Tiller--the most notorious abortionist in the USA.

President Barack Obama asked Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius on Saturday to serve as his secretary of Health and Human Services and she accepted, a senior administration official said.

But just as important in the emerging debate over health care reform is the title she didn’t get: health care czar. It signals that Sebelius will be one of many voices in the administration on health care – rather than the chief figure as Tom Daschle would have been – and the effort will be run out of the White House

And another end-run around the Cabinet structure of Gummint, to boot!

"Papers"? No. Just Napolitano's New Driver's License

No surprise at all that Napolitano endorses this.

Privacy advocates are issuing warnings about a new radio
chip plan that ultimately could provide electronic identification for every adult in the U.S. and allow agents to compile attendance lists at anti-government rallies simply by walking through the assembly.

The proposal, which has earned the support of Janet Napolitano, the newly chosen chief of the Department of Homeland Security, would embed radio chips in driver's licenses, or "enhanced driver's licenses."

She doesn't like "REAL ID" because it proves citizenship--no matter her excuse (below). Note that there is no mention of 'citizenship' in the description.

But she DOES like tracking the whereabouts of everyone with a driver's license.

"Enhanced driver's licenses give confidence that the person holding the card is the person who is supposed to be holding the card, and it's less elaborate than REAL ID," Napolitano said in a Washington Times report

BS, Janet.

Enhanced driver's licenses have built-in radio chips providing an identifying number or information that can be accessed by a remote reading unit while the license is inside a wallet or purse

THAT'S what the Statists want.

Payback for WEAC: State to Take Your Kid Earlier

This is pure crap.

The state would require 5-year-olds to attend school under a bill introduced earlier this week in the Legislature.

Two Racine lawmakers, Sen. John Lehman, D-Racine and Rep. Cory Mason, D-Racine, co-sponsored the bill that would require children to complete 5-year-old kindergarten as a prerequisite to being admitted to first grade in a public school, including a charter school, beginning in the 2011−12 school year.

K-garten is nice--but your kid won't miss anything if they aren't there--assuming you're actually being a parent.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Bp. Martino (Scranton) Draws Tight the Bowstring on Casey

One plus one always equals two.

Bp. Martino sent a letter to Sen. Casey--some parts of which are reproduced here. It is the second letter on the same topic (Mexico City Policy) and is explicit.

It is a matter of deep concern that your recent vote against the Mexico City Policy is continually misrepresented by your staff as a pro-life vote intended to promote “contraception and other family planning that avoid unintended pregnancies”

...My letter of January 30 urging you to rescind your vote on the Mexico City Policy was in no way mistaken regarding the nature and the effect of President Obama’s order to rescind America’s long-standing policy to avoid using U.S. tax dollars to support organizations that promote abortion abroad. It is imperative that this fact be made known to the public.

It is also imperative that there be utter clarity when it comes to the teaching of the Church on matters that pertain to the taking of innocent life and the special responsibilities that fall to you, Senator, as a lawmaker to oppose abortion and other clear evils.

On the VERY SAME DAY as that letter was released publicly, the following appeared on Bp. Martino's Diocesan website.

In 2004, the then Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) instructed the Bishops of the United States as follows:

Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist

Therefore, His Excellency, the Most Reverend Joseph F. Martino, Bishop of Scranton, reminds all ministers of Holy Communion, ordinary and extraordinary, that:

To administer the Sacred Body and Blood of the Lord is a serious duty which they have received from the Church, and no one having accepted this responsibility has the right to ignore the Church’s law in this regard;

Those whose unworthiness to receive Holy Communion is known publicly to the Church must be refused Holy Communion in order to prevent sacrilege and to prevent the Catholic in question from committing further grave sin through unworthy reception

One plus one equals two. Read between the lines.

HT: Creative Minority

Wilson's War

As usual, Roeser provides facts usually NOT admitted to evidence by the "historians."

...That would be the same Wilson who hoodwinked us into World War I by insisting Americans have a right to travel on belligerent ships such as Cunard’s Lusitania despite warnings from the German government that British merchant ships were continually carrying munitions and henceforth would be regarded as military vessels. Yes the same so-called 9th greatest president of the United States-a purported idealist-who maneuvered us secretly to enter World War I which inevitably produced the inequities that prompted World War II…which in turn led to the Cold War. Certainly one of the most duplicitous stratagems involved the Lusitania.

The Lusitania, secretly loaded with munitions in the U. S. for Britain, was sunk by a German U-boat on May 7, 1915 with one torpedo-killing 1,198 including 128 Americans and 102 children. The 31,000-ton vessel sank in 18 minutes, spurring suspicions it was loaded with munitions which exploded-steadfastly denied by Wilson. Goaded by Wilson’s government propaganda agency under hired propagandist George Creel…the first such created…American public opinion exploded in a furor leading to demands we go to war against Germany.

The horror of German barbarity in sinking the Lusitania (without mention that it was an arms ship, of course) trumped up by Wilson’s Creel director of the U.S. Bureau on Public Information, was invented out of whole cloth…along with Creel’s fictitious story that Germans celebrated the anniversary of the Lusitania torpedoing, as a national holiday-a myth which angered the U.S. public to the boiling point.

In 1915, Wilson sent three angry well-publicized notes of protest to the German government, insisting the ship was a peaceful merchant vessel. After his reelection in 1916 in which his slogan was “He kept us out of war,” Wilson used the case of the Lusitania and other events as a pretext for war, justifying the hopes of Winston Churchill, then 1st lord of the admiralty: “It is most important to attract neutral shipping to our shores in the hope of embroiling the United States with Germany…If some get into trouble, better still.” Following his reelection, the sinking of four other merchant ships armed with U.S. Navy guns, qualifying them as military vessels, led Wilson to request a declaration of war with Germany in April, 1917.

And some complain that Bush "had no evidence...."

Churchill needed the US badly. He couldn't win a checkers game playing against a 4-year-old.

Pro-Life MD's, RN's in the 10-Ring

No surprise here.

The Obama administration has begun the process of rescinding sweeping new federal protections that were granted in December to health-care workers who refuse to provide care that violates their personal, moral or religious beliefs.

The Office of Management and Budget announced this morning that it was reviewing a proposal to lift the controversial "conscience" regulation, the first step toward reversing the policy

That's "Kill or Be Killed" if you want the translation.

HT Ignatius

Kasriel's Commentary Is Mildly Optimistic

This guy always produces readable stuff. And it's well-informed, insofar as he's with a major-player Midwestern bank. This is from his February letter.

...The Federal Reserve proposes through TALF to provide non-recourse financing to entities that purchase newly-issued securitized debt with a credit rating of AAA. The term of these loans would be three years. ...When TALF was first proposed, back in November of last year, its funding allocation was $200 billion. Under the Treasury’s new FSP [formerly called TARP], TALF’s funding amount has been increased to $1 trillion.

TALF expands the capacity for the Fed to, in effect, create credit for the private sector. We believe that TALF will be the most important element of the FSP to increase the flow of credit to the private sector in the coming 12 months

In other words, TALF is designed specifically to 'liquify' Banks, unlike TARP which seemed to be recapitalization-oriented. (Maybe "seemed" should be followed by a question mark; it remains unclear what the Hell TARP actually was for.)

Is Kasriel an optimist?

In sum, we believe that the nadir of this recession is occurring now. Moreover, we believe that the combination of the $1 trillion TALF program and the $787 billion fiscal stimulus program, assuming it is financed by the banking system and the Fed, will have a salutary effect on aggregate real activity, perhaps inducing an economic recovery by the fourth quarter of this year

Well, he hasn't changed his call for end-of-'09 recovery.

Chase: It's Worse

I thought I saw an item wherein Jamie Dimon said he wanted to repay the TARP stuff soon.

Well, maybe.

...[Chase] bank anticipates quarterly losses this year of $1 billion to $1.4 billion just on its home equity loans to more credit-worthy borrowers. Those figures exclude loans Chase picked up in its purchase last September of the failed banking operations of Washington Mutual

So "good paper" is going "bad" at $1+Bn/quarter at Chase, alone...

Source: Milwaukee BizJournal

The Left In Full Screech (Fact-Free Zone)

The screech-and-wail crowd once again demonstrates that calling names is its only trick.

One Wisconsin now says the appearance of Todd Berry, president of the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, at an Americans for Prosperity rally is proof of the WTA's conservative, Republican-leaning bias.

...Berry, a former state Department of Revenue official, said in response:

"I will speak just about anywhere I am invited. I've spoken to WEAC and WMC, county Democratic and Republican parties, rural groups, urban groups... We receive donations or subscriptions from individuals, unions, including WEAC, local governments, state agencies, trade associations, firms and foundations. I'll go anywhere because our support comes from everywhere

Far more important, however, is this:

"I do find it interesting that our numerical analysis is never contradicted,"

....proving that to the Left (following its proclivities) appearances are far more meaningful than content.

Congrats! Now You Own 40% of Citigroup!

This morning's news.

As part of the TARP plan, and also in a supplemental purchase, you the taxpayer have purchased about $45 billion worth of convertible preferred stock in Citigroup.

Today, the government has made a deal with Citi to swap about $27 bn of that preferred for common.

Since the entire market value of Citigroup’s common stock was slightly below $27 bn as of yesterday’s close, the deal amounts to creating about as much new stock as existed beforehand. So each existing share is now worth about half as much.

And in pre-market trading, they’re down just about… half.

I'm waiting for my dividend check.

Ritholtz has an opinion on this move: Losers double down

HT: RedState

Stupid Credit-Rating Jokes

Except that these are not jokes, the headline applies. "Credit-Rating" folks like S&P made a few bad calls recently:

*Bear Stearns, rated A+ as recently as October 2007, was rescued in a Federal Reserve-assisted transaction by JPMorganChase on March 14, 2008.

*AAA-rated FNMA [Fannie Mae] was put into receivership on September 7, 2008.

*AAA-rated FHLMC [Freddy Mac] was put into receivership on September 7, 2008.

*Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy on September 15, 2008, but it had been rated A+ in May 2008.

*AIG, which had been rated AAA as recently as 2005, was rescued by the U.S. government on September 16, 2008.

*Kaupthing Bank, rated AAA as recently as February 2007, was nationalized by the Icelandic government on October 9, 2008.

*Wachovia, rted AA- in June 2008, was "purchased" by Citigroup on September 29 in a distressed merger, only to sell later at a higher price to Wells Fargo.

*Citigroup, rated AA as recently as December 2007, was rescued by the U.S. government on November 23, 2008.

Remember those "dumb predictions" like the one from the Patent Office guy who opined (in the early 1900's) that 'everything which could be invented has already been invented'? Or IBM's Watson opining that there will never be a need for 'small computers'?

HT: PowerLine

Holder's Straw-Man: GUNS!! And US CITIZENS!!

Demonstrating that two (or more) can play the straw-man game, Eric Holder, our new Attorney-General, lies for the cameras.

Holder said that putting the ban back in place would not only be a positive move by the United States, it would help cut down on the flow of guns going across the border into Mexico, which is struggling with heavy violence among drug cartels along the border

...Mexican government officials have complained that the availability of sophisticated guns from the United States have emboldened drug traffickers to fight over access routes into the U.S

"Sophisticated guns"?

Quoting a State Department release:

"Some recent Mexican army and police confrontations with drug cartels have resembled small-unit combat, with cartels employing automatic weapons and grenades," the warning said.

Owen picked this up yesterday, and it is clear that there's a load of crappy-crap-crap in the Holder logic-bin.


Any automatic weapon is subject to National Firearms Act regulation. You can't just go into a store and buy automatic weapons in the U.S. There is a procedure, involving background checks, fingerprinting, a several month wait, signoff by your police chief, sheriff, or other chief law enforcement officer. In many states, it isn't even possible--state law either has additional restrictions or completely prohibits it. Further: ... new manufacture of automatic weapons for civilian ownership is unlawful--and as a result, legal automatic weapons are hideously expensive.

In contrast, one can purchase full-auto AK's overseas for a couple of hundred bucks.

And "grenades"????

Hand grenades aren't even as available as automatic weapons. I suppose in theory that they are considered destructive devices and there might be a way to get a license for them...I have never seen a live hand grenade offered for sale.

Let's face it. There are at least two Mexican provinces that are ruled by drug cartels (one borders West Texas.) This is a MEXICAN problem, not a US problem.

Holder's solution is to prevent US citizens from obtaining weapons.

Most people who read this blog understand that the Second Amendment is in place to make sure that folks such as Holder and Obama don't get too big for their britches. Holder's foofoodust strawman 'it's OUR fault' doesn't play where actual logic is used.

Holder's concerns about the exercise of the 2A are valid. He'd like you to think it's all about Mexico.

It ain't.

Fannie Mae Will Just Get Worse

Earnings report from Barney's BFF, Fannie.

Fannie Mae reported a loss of $25.2 billion ... in the fourth quarter of 2008, compared with a third-quarter 2008 loss of $29.0 billion ...

That's not all, folks.

We expect the market conditions that contributed to our net loss for each quarter of 2008 to continue and possibly worsen in 2009, which is likely to cause further reductions in our net worth

And that's BEFORE "rescues" and "cram-downs."

HT: Calc

"Big Bath" or "Big Lie" Accounting?

McArdle is not overly enthused by Obama's "Big Lie" budget claims. She starts with the concept:

Analysts have long recognized the tendency of companies who are forced to report bad news to make the news worse than they have to, piling every single thing that might goi wrong into one hell of a charge-off. The logic of this is simple: if your stock is going to take a hit, make it one gigantic hit, so that you can later "surprise" everyone when aliens from the Planet Zork do not actually land...

You can see a lot of that stuff in recent bank earnings reports (except the stuff about Zork.)

Now she shows how HopeyChangey is massaging numbers--with the objective of making himself look good.

Looking through Obama's budget, I am reminded of those massive one-time-write-off festivals

...Take the Iraq war. We were not, under any administration, going to spend as much in 2015 as we did in 2005. But by treating that spending as an ongoing cost, Obama now gets to take as much credit for reducing it as he would for closing permanent air bases in Germany, or trimming Social Security. Reducing the cost of "overseas contingency operations" acounts for $1.5 trillion of Obama's much vaunted $2 trillion in savings. Likewise the AMT fix--with high-end incomes falling, deflation in the air, and homeownership rates declining, AMT collections are going to decline even without a fix; this lets them recognize the entire decline at a time when the numbers are so large that taxpayers are too dazed to notice the fall.

This is classic "straw man" technique. First, establish a Scary Scene which is fictional. Next, "defeat" the "scary scene" in real life. (You can do that while working out at the gym, for example. Since the scene doesn't exist, no actual effort is required.) Finally, declare "Victory!!" and seek re-election.

Same BS as Doyle's "$530Bn Deficit" mutterings. There WAS no $530Bn deficit--the number existed only because Doyle fabricated it.

Some people may actually buy what he's selling. Others will buy tea and throw it into the face of home-visiting (D) co-conspirators.

The O-and-Savior Alienates the Military

Levin reported last night that HopeyChangey's budget gives the military the bare minimum 2.9% annual pay-increase.

Kinda cheesy, compared to the bladder-emptying spending he's committed to "mortgage rescues."

Members of the Armed Forces may wind up disliking C-I-C HopeyChangey.

Mortgage Interest and Housing Values: The Golden Mean

So this is the Administration of HopeyChangey.

Only a week ago, the O-and-Savior's gang of Enlightened Ones was trying to find a way to prop up home values, remember? Something about "rescuing" homeowners in default...

Well, that was then. This is now.

The new proposal is to QUASH home-values, if those homes are owned by people earning in excess of $250K or so.

How to do that? Simple. Reduce the value of the deduction for mortgage-interest paid!

Maybe the point is to push UP the value of small homes, and push DOWN the value of big homes so there will be only one value for homes?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Where Paul Ryan Thinks the (R) Party Should Go

No, not there.

He said Republicans should focus on the following:

1) Sound Money

2) Tax Reform -- calls for junking 64,000 page tax code and replacing it with a new one. Supports optional two bracket "flatter" tax code.

3) Health Care -- Makes the case for consumer-based health care.

4) Federal Budget -- Binding cap on federal spending. Says on our current course, taxes will have to double from 20 cents out of every dollar of GDP to 40 cents.

5) Regulatory reform

Rep. Ryan assumes that the US will recover from Obama's $Zillion Dollar Deficit, although he is doing a Cassandra:

Rep. Paul Ryan, the opening speaker at CPAC, just warned that America is currently at a "irreversible tipping point" as it is on the verge of drastically remaking the individuals' relationship with government. The stimulus bill, the housing bailout, the prospect of bank nationionalization, cap and trade, government-run health care, when you add them all up, he said, we could get to the point where more people depend on the government than free enterprise.

President Obama's housing proposal, he said, is an update of Marx's "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need." Instead, it's “From the suckers who followed the rules to those who borrowed beyond their means."

And Obama's budget wasn't released until AFTER this speech.

One Obama Winner: GE

Well, of course, there's a loser, too: people who depend on electricity.

...according to the table from the budget preview, they are claiming that only $525 billion is targeted for the new welfare payment Obama calls a tax cut (approx. $52 billion a year, not $80 billion). With the $120 billion for green pork to major lobbying parties like GE (windmills, among other items)...

Windmills are great generators.

IF there is wind.

Steyn on Self-Extinction

This Steyn guy is really good.

It's striking that, no matter how many British women think globally and sterilize locally, the population of the United Kingdom keeps rising: those London ladies assume they're saving the planet for Al Gore's polar bears, and the spotted owl, and the three-toed tree sloth, and the green-cheeked parrot. In fact, they're saving it for the cultures whose womenfolk don't get themselves sterilized. Forty per cent of children in London primary schools now speak a language other than English at home. The Muslim population of the United Kingdom is growing 10 times faster than the rest of the population. No matter how frantically the ecochondriacs tie their tubes, their country grows ever more crowded. This is a story not of "overpopulation," but of population transformation

And yes, there is a parallel in the USA.

HT: Off the Record

Music: What Is It GOOD For?

We could talk about "what is music" with some benefit, but it's easier to cut to the chase.

In the February 21-22 weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal, American composer Morten Lauridsen explained what he was trying to achieve in his sublime choral work, O Magnum Mysterium. "In composing music to these inspirational words about Christ's birth and the veneration of the Virgin Mary," he said, "I sought to impart . . . a transforming spiritual experience within what I call 'a quiet song of profound inner joy.' I wanted this piece to resonate immediately and deeply into the core of the listener, to illumine through sound."

The MSOChorus performed that work. It does exactly what Lauridsen suggests.

And the further 'music' goes from that illumination, the less 'music' it is, folks.

"Necessary Spending" in the New Budget

Can't do without this, I suppose.

"Congress increases "family planning" budget by $95.5 million to whopping $852 million"

That way, the deficit can be borne by LESS people!

Should Obama Fail? Sanford v. Limbaugh

The Governor of South Carolina doesn't get it. (Limbaugh doesn't get it, either.)

Here's Sanford:

I don’t want him [Obama] to fail. Anybody who wants him to fail is an idiot, because it means we’re all in trouble

Sanford then goes on to brag about his education and "finance" background.

Limbaugh is famous for saying that he wants Obama to fail.

Both are wrong. On my masthead you find the following:

"My kind of loyalty was loyalty to one's country, not to its institutions or its officeholders." ---Mark Twain

Apparently Gov. Sanford doesn't analyze things very well. Limbaugh has an excuse: he's an entertainer. Sanford is supposed to be a thinker.

Thinking would be a refreshing change.

Irish-Dance Fan? Fuggeddaboutit!

Remember the Trinity Dancers? That's a group of young'uns who are world-class prize-winning Irish dancers.

They're in the 10-ring of the new CPSIA law, too. Seems the 'bling' on the dresses contains lead.

...if you’re, say, a teacher of Irish step dancing, with a stock of performance dresses in youth sizes (quite possibly with crystals, rhinestones or sequins, since nothing picks up stage lights the way they do).

That stock of costumes, which might even be your most costly asset, by law at least may now occupy the same frozen contraband category as those tarped-over new youth minibikes at the sports dealer’s. As message-boarder “GailV” put it, “The dresses are worn for about 15 minutes at a time, the possibly lead-containing parts never touch the child, but it’s still illegal.” For more on the dismay CPSIA has struck into the Irish dance apparel community, see Irish Dance Moms, Fashion Incubator Forums, and Voy Forums comments here, here, and here (”Heidi”: “Most of us would like to be successful and running legitimate (law abiding) businesses. I want to grow my business, not hide in the shadows looking for ways to circumvent the law. Besides, the jealous world of Irish dance is full of potential whistle blowers.”)

Oh, well.

Now even "for the chillllllllren" is meaningless.

HT: Overlawyered

Statist Goon-Kisser to Head HopeyChangey Nat'l Intel Council

This guy Freeman really likes Gummint Goons. Or Goons Who Govern.

Probably both.'s more information on Chas Freeman, the bin Laden associate Chairman Zero deems fit to head the National Intelligence Council.

Here's what he had to say about the communist Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989:

I find the dominant view in China about this very plausible, i.e. that the truly unforgivable mistake of the Chinese authorities was the failure to intervene on a timely basis to nip the demonstrations in the bud, rather than — as would have been both wise and efficacious — to intervene with force when all other measures had failed to restore domestic tranquility to Beijing and other major urban centers in China. In this optic, the Politburo's response to the mob scene at "Tian'anmen" stands as a monument to overly cautious behavior on the part of the leadership, not as an example of rash action. …

I thus share the hope of the majority in China that no Chinese government will repeat the mistakes of Zhao Ziyang's dilatory tactics of appeasement in dealing with domestic protesters in China.

Did I mention that it's time to BUY MORE AMMO??

He's even more blatant when describing his 'ideal solution' for Iraq:

Regarding Iraq, Freeman wants to "help the Shiites win fast, consolidate their damn dictatorship and get the hell out" because "it's very hard to imagine anything except a Saddam-style reign of terror succeeding in pacifying the place."

HT: Moonbattery

"Fascism" --Part 10,875

Take it seriously, folks.

I don't think the idea of nationalizing, as it's now being called — which means bailing out these banks, setting them straight, then letting them go private again, which is the model that everybody is using, and the people who get screwed are the people whose retirement funds had common or preferred shares and they get wiped out, and these bankers come out richer than ever at the other end — that's not a leftist idea and it's not socialism. This is what we used to, in Comparative Economic Systems, call fascism. It's putting government at the service of the big financial interests. That's what happened in Italy, that's what happened in Germany, that's what happened in Japan ---Robert Scheer/NPR

After which Scheer frankly admits that 'he is disappointed' in the O-and-Savior and 'is not quite sure what [O] is doing.'

Well, Robert, you DO know what he's doing--you named it.

HT: Moonbattery

Saturday: The Tea Party Schedule

Looking for a Tea Party to attend this Saturday?

Here's the schedule as of today.

The national event will be in Chicago--and there is one in Wisconsin!! (Green Bay.)

Think You're NOT Going to Pay for HopeyChangey?

If you think for one second that you're not paying for HopeyChangey's fascism, think again.

Obama's budget also would make permanent a tax cut for the middle class enacted in the recent stimulus package. But to pay for it, the president counts on a big infusion of cash from a politically controversial cap-and-trade system, which would force companies to buy allowances to exceed pollution limits....

"Cap and trade" will be costly to utilities and manufacturers. Utilities don't actually pay their own expenses--utility CUSTOMERS pay utility expenses.

So not only will the "middle class" pay more to heat and light their homes, but so will the poor.

...Makes no difference who you are/Just to heat your home will cost/Your left leg, too!!...

Big Spending on Ag: What's Mentioned, What's Not

Two newspaper stories about the ag sector today. One focuses on Porkulus and tells us what you already suspect, but doesn't mention a key word.

Here's the part you expect:

Most of the money slated for agriculture, however, will increase spending at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and won't go directly into farmers' pockets.


In contrast, what's missing from this section?

Wisconsin stands to lose hundreds of dairy farms this year as profit margins have all but vanished in recent months. Some farmers will be forced out of business by debt that can't be refinanced and by high operating costs, according to industry experts

OK--I'll give you another crack at the missing information. Here's another story--not a pleasant one--in which the very same information is notably absent.

The critical paragraph:

He wasn't the first farmer to shut his operation during this recession, and he won't be the last. Milk prices are down, feed prices are up. The math doesn't work.

Still don't get it?

The Missing Words Are "CORN PRICES"
"Operating costs" and "Feed Prices" are code for "Ethanol Is Killing Farming."

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Planned Barrenhood's Foundress

Yes, that's Margaret Sanger. The current Senator from West Virginia is third from the left.

Hopey-Changey, Unicorns, Seashells, and Balloons

Had to get Al McGuire in there what with UConn on the horizon...

So why will Hopey-Changey's plan NOT WORK?

The fact of the matter is that this 2/3rds of the credit provided to our market has left and is not coming back until the misrepresentation ends and they can be assured that it will not happen again.

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Asian investors won’t buy debt and mortgage-backed securities from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac until they carry explicit U.S. guarantees, similar to those given on bonds issued by Bank of America Corp. or Citigroup Inc the attempt to divert attention from one group or another - and all of the guilty parties are engaged in it at this point, including Congress and our other regulatory agencies such as The Fed - we are forgetting that the private capital is still gone and until we find a way to guarantee that another assault will not happen that capital will not return.

And that "private capital" is not just "private," and certainly NOT the capital held by All The Rich Guys In The USA.

It includes Arab money, Chinese money, Japanese money, European money....

You really think they are going to buy T-Bonds which simply cannot be repaid?

Look, folks, that Old Money didn't get Money by being stupid. They, (unlike bankers), place a higher value on a "revolution is possible"-factor to their risk-analysis.

And when Hopey-Changey argues that it's all Seashells & Balloons & Unicorns after just $1Trillion more (and more, and more), the bond-buyers also think "...but who's going to pay 50++% taxes to FUND the repayment of the bonds?"...

Why do you think HRC was begging in PRChina?

Hint: It's not because of her nature...

HT: Ticker

Dogbert Does DC

I would suggest that Dogbert was overly kind and gentle in his selection of adjectives.

The "F"-Word Again; Obama's Continuing Fascist Chatter

In the middle of Dan McLaughlin's essay describing the ....ahhhh..... contradictions, ironies, and pure foofoodust spewed by the O-and-Savior last night, we find this:

Obama’s reading of American history fits neatly in what Jonah Goldberg has described as the literally fascistic tendency to demand the peacetime permanent military-style mobilization of civilian society, the endless search for moral equivalents of war that has been a unifying theme since the days of Woodrow Wilson...

(Followed by the pertinent quotation, which includes railroads, high-schools, and the I-system.)

And a promise we'd like to see kept:

I’ll get some other day into my review of Goldberg’s book, which details the history of this sort of thinking in the U.S. and Europe between the rise of Bismarck in Germany and Hillary’s “politics of meaning” in much greater detail...

McLaughlin links to an earlier RedState item he penned, which includes the "10 Commandments of Socialism" written by Walter Ulbricht (yup, I recalled the name and his position!) back in East Germany.

It is important to recall that "Fascism" does not necessarily include "Socialism." Socialism, properly speaking, denies a 'right to private property;' Fascists did not necessarily adopt that line.

Given that, here are Ulbricht's "Big 10" for your careful review:

1. Thou shalt always defend the international solidarity of the working class as well as the permanent bonds that unite all socialist countries.

2. Thou shalt love thy Fatherland and always be ready to defend worker and peasant power with all thy strength and capacity.

3. Thou shalt help to eliminate the exploitation of humans by one another.

4. Thou shalt perform good deeds for socialism, since socialism produces a better life for all working people.

5. Thou shalt act in the spirit of mutual support and comradely cooperation during the construction of socialism, respect the collective, and take its criticisms to heart.

6. Thou shalt protect and increase the property of the people.

7. Thou shalt always pursue ways to improve thy performance, be thrifty, and strengthen socialist work discipline.

8. Thou shalt rear thy children in the spirit of peace and socialism to become citizens who are well-educated, strong in character, and physically healthy.

9. Thou shalt live a clean and decent life and respect thy family.

10. Thou shalt exhibit solidarity with all those people who are fighting for national liberation and defending their independence.

As McLaughlin comments,

Taken collectively as an official statement of the government's ruling class, they are an abomination, a symbol of the subservient relationship of the individual to the constantly hectoring collective state.

McLaughlin needs look no further than Doyle's Wisconsin to see a "hectoring collective."

If you think that this is a bit speculative (like, e.g., my term-of-endearment for the Obey/Kohl/Feingold "Final Solution"), you haven't considered Michelle Obama's words very carefully.

Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed.

You have to stay at the seat at the table of democracy with a man like Barack Obama not just on Tuesday but in a year from now, in four years from now, in eights years from now, you will have to be engaged.


In a free society, citizens have not just the right but the duty to have a healthy skepticism about government and politicians and what they propose to do with our liberty and our property. The Right has always known that, as far back as Madison's view that "if men were angels, no government would be necessary"

We'll not quibble with "self-improvement" and "hard work." But we WILL quibble, strenuously, about how that "hard work" is assigned--and by whom.


House Dems Guarantee Medicare Bankruptcy

From the Minority:

...the Democratic leadership, in their Rules package for the 111th Congress, turned off the Medicare trigger, ensuring no proposal to address Medicare’s long-term spending crisis would receive the special consideration provided by law in the Medicare Modernization Act [MMA] of 2003

So what?

--The Medicare Trustees estimate the unfunded liability of the Medicare Program at $36 trillion over 75 years, a per-household burden of approximately $317,000. Without reform, this number skyrockets to nearly $48 trillion in just 5 years, or about $421,402 per household

--The Congressional Budget Office [CBO] estimates that Medicare alone will constitute 17 percent of gross domestic product [GDP] by 2082 – a sixfold increase from 2006, and nearly the same percentage of GDP absorbed by the entire Federal budget today

That's what. Your own CHILDREN cannot afford this, unless they are living in slums comparable to those of Mumbai.

And they will be, with cap-and-trade, and nationalhealthcare.

Kyl Affirms: Obama Uses "Strawman" Deficit Numbers

As No Runny Eggs pointed out, the President created a "strawman" budget deficit number--and then promised to reduce it.


Sen. Kyl confirmed NoRunny/Shoebox's contention last night on Fox News following Obama's speech.

Here's the relevant post and excerpts.

According to [a] CBO forecast, the budget deficit for the last year of Obama’s first term, FY 2013, was projected to be $257 Billion.

[Even with the Porkulus added,] [a]ccording to the CBO’s analysis, the increase is $28 billion in 2013 for a total of $285 Billion

With a few minor adjustments having to do with military spending, etc., we STILL only have a $290Bn deficit by 2013.

That looks to be more than 45% less, $243 billion below, the audacious target President Obama has set for himself

Don't worry: he will take credit for all the "work" he did (in the gym?) to "reduce the deficit."

Except he won't have to do a damn thing.

Schumer: Blowhard With Imperial Gas

Seems like Chuckles doesn't like all that "Federalism" stuff.

Chuck Schumer wants the White House's Office of Management and Budget to tell states they have no choice in the use of porkulus funds.

...This stems from Gov. Bobby Jindal and others saying they would not take the whole package because some parts would force state tax increases to comply with the terms of Porkulus.

Schumer says that's tough. States will be forced to increase taxes and take 100% of the money if he has his way. And the states will have no discretion

Well, maybe it's about time to try this before a Federal Court.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tonight's Drinking Game

You know the routine...

More here--including downloadable playing-boards, etc., courtesy Americans for Tax Reform

James Burnham: Prophet


I knew about Burnham's history, but I shoulda read the book. Here George Marlin, a Chestertonian extraordinaire, writes about the Gudge described by Burnham.

In 1941, New York University philosopher James Burnham published a prophetic book, The Managerial Revolution: What Is Happening in the World, to critical acclaim. Fortune called it the most debated book of the year. Time had it on its annual most notable list. And it made The New York Times best sellers. It was translated into a dozen languages.

Burnham (1905-1987), an ex-Trotsykyite who became a founding editor of National Review and returned to the Church late in life, held that self-destructing capitalism would not be replaced by socialism, which he thought “a mythical dream,” but by a managerial class that administers corporate policy.

Uh-huh. Details?

In times of economic crisis, Burnham argued, the capitalist class – bankers, industrialists, merchants – will gradually be replaced by a new class of self-confident government managers. These administrative experts, directing engineers, and technocrats, will control ever-expanding government bureaus, agencies, and commissions that dictate how resources will be distributed. They will stress the state over individuals, will talk about planning more than free initiative, `jobs over opportunity, and as “economic conditions progressively decay, the reward allocated to the finance-capitalists [will] seem inordinate and unjustified.…”

And with familiar rhetoric, too:

The managerial society will be promoted as the salvation of mankind ushering “in an age of plenty, sweetness, and light..."

How can one accomplish that goal? Well, here's one way:

The Roosevelt administration created scores of federal agencies that governed by fiat. The National Recovery Administration (NRA), for instance, determined prices and wages throughout America until it was declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. Subscribing to a “high wage” theory that assumed efficient cost-cutting measures were bad, NRA managers created volumes of price codes; every business, big or small, had to comply. Policing the nation for violators, NRA agents actually jailed a Cleveland couple who owned a dry cleaner “because they cleaned suits for five cents less than the NRA codes provides.”

Not exactly the NRA we know and love today, eh? 'S OK--the OLD NRA was replaced by the Minimum Wage police--and a helluva lot more than that:

The emerging managerial class that Burnham described in the 1940s has continued to expand – even during Republican ascendency in the last third of the twentieth century. Today there are more than 400 Federal agencies, programs and activities ...(ACYF), (APHIS), (CRS), (ERA), ...

(More at the link, if you have the stomach for it.)

...The present economic crisis opens whole new vistas to managerial types.

Oh, goodie goodie gumdrop!!

...Don’t expect the agenda of this professional governing class to be limited to economics. They will reach into every home and church. Catholics should be especially wary of them. Their significance in the world hinges on the transformation of America into a Ward Three nation. For them, liberty means obedience to the enlightened values of a managerial elite, which is also becoming international in scope.

Some of them may still believe in God, but He lives in a different neighborhood, has odd views not shared by the very best people, and anyway there are multiple crises to deal with – and managerial opportunities

Yah. Clinging to His Bible...and all that.

Why MU Defeated Georgetown TWICE This Year

The Georgetown folks had other things on their minds. Two seminars (pun there) to be held at Georgetown U:

Tuesday Feb 24, 8:00, Reiss 262: TORN ABOUT PORN?
This event will is important to open dialogue around pornography and how it affects our lives. It is important to be open to discussion about arguably alternative forms of pornography that are not supposed to be exploitative, but rather radical and empowering. The question of the day: Can pornography be sex positive?


Saturday, February 28, 7:00 pm Washington DC

Jenny Block reads from her memoir Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage and Tristan Taormino reads from her book Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships. Their readings will be followed by a question & answer and discussion about monogamy, non-monogamy, and the state of love and relationships today. This event is co-sponsored by Georgetown University Pride as part of their Sex Positive Week and by Whole DC

Who needs buckets?

HT: Dreher

New Gibson Flick

You will be interested in the trailer, of course.

Right here.

Intro'd on the Jimmy Kimmel show!

Implementing the Final Solution

Thought I was just being a bit ...ahhhh.... 'over the top' with that language, eh?

Not really.

Humana Inc. is “closely analyzing” an announcement by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that includes preliminary 2010 Medicare Advantage payment rates, the health insurer said Monday.

The preliminary rates were announced by CMS after the close of trading on Friday, Feb. 20.
Medicare Advantage plans are government-approved plans that are run by private companies.
Humana, one of the largest health insurers in Wisconsin, is examining “all aspects of the CMS announcement because the company finds certain assumptions behind the preliminary 2010 rates to be unusual and inconsistent with decades of experience and with past CMS practice,” a Humana news release stated.

The CMS notice includes a preliminary estimate of a 0.5 percent payment rate increase in the Medicare Advantage plans. Analysts had expected the increase to be considerably more, according to a Reuters article.

According to Humana, the Feds' announcement means that premiums will rise substantially.

Or, of course, medical treatments could be cut back substantially.

Or we could adopt the Dave Obey/Herb Kohl/Russ Feingold position: have the Gummint decide whether or not you are worth the indicated treatment dollars.

Iran: Worse Than You Think

Spengler has a very revealing essay.

Iran is dying. The collapse of Iran's birth rate during the past 20 years is the fastest recorded in any country, ever. Demographers have sought in vain to explain Iran's population implosion through family planning policies, or through social factors such as the rise of female literacy

...[The mullahs'] efforts to isolate Iran from the cultural degradation of the American "great Satan" have produced social pathologies worse than those in any Western country. With oil at barely one-fifth of its 2008 peak price, they will run out of money some time in late 2009 or early 2010. Game theory would predict that Iran's leaders will gamble on a strategic long shot. That is not a comforting thought for Iran's neighbors.

In fact, the Iranian fertility rate-drop is "a world record."

It gets worse.

...prostitution has become a career of choice among educated Iranian women. On February 3, the Austrian daily Der Standard published the results of two investigations conducted by the Tehran police, suppressed by the Iranian media. [1]

"More than 90% of Tehran's prostitutes have passed the university entrance exam, according to the results of one study, and more than 30% of them are registered at a university or studying," reports Der Standard. "The study was assigned to the Tehran Police Department and the Ministry of Health, and when the results were tabulated in early January no local newspaper dared to so much as mention them."

Spengler goes on to analyze the cause, and has this conclusion.

As in the decline of communism, what follows on the breakdown of a state ideology is likely to be nihilism. Iran is a dying country, and it is very difficult to have a rational dialogue with a nation all of whose available choices terminate in oblivion.

The Mullahcracy failed, spectacularly--the corruption of the Iranian regime is comparable to that of late Rome (which also collapsed, as you recall.)

No wonder Israel has grave concerns.

HT: Vox

Poster-Worm for Projection: Bill Moyers


Seems Moyers directed the FBI to find homosexuals in Goldwater's campaign staff, back when Moyers was working for LBJ (another un-indicted criminal.)

And Moyers suffers from "projection," the most common Lefty mental disease:

Mr. Moyers has gone on to promote himself as a political moralist, routinely sermonizing about what he claims are abuses of power by his ideological enemies. Since 9/11, he has been particularly intense in criticizing President Bush for his antiterror policies, such as warrantless wiretapping against al Qaeda.

Yet the historical record suggests that when Mr. Moyers was in a position of actual power, he was complicit in FBI dirt-digging against U.S. citizens solely for political purposes

If you want to see more of "projection," visit any LeftyBlog which advocates the repeal of the 2A, or for that matter, which advocates for the repeal of Free Speech.

HT: Moonbattery

The ACORN Fraud in Baltimore


Here is what the MSM won’t be telling you about the so-called “victim” in that case, ACORN worker Donna Hanks — all based on public records and court documents.

Hmmmm--she's an ACORN employee!!

According to real property data search information, Hanks bought the two-story home in the summer of 2001 for $87,000. At some point in the next five years, she re-financed the original home loan for $270,000

That's a helluvalotta gain in 5 years, no?

She went BK in '06, and filed a Chapter XIII plan to repay; that repayment plan stipulated the $340/month which she claimed to be a "mortgage company increase" in payment.

But she WAS using the joint as an income property, (illegally)---and managed to rack up a couple of convictions, too.

Then the second FC, about which we have heard a great deal.

The whole thing is a fraud, top to bottom.

We don't need to remind you that Barack Obama trained ACORN people, do we?

Good News? Bad News?

NOTE: The Great Depression chart is DOW--all the others are S&P
Although the technical barrier was broken (down >50%), it's possible that the stockdump is near the nadir.
As we mentioned yesterday, however, the President-Savior and his Cabinet have not finished bad-mouthing/talking down the economy.
Another round of TEOTWAWKI comes tonight!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Dow 5,000?

Well, the Dow lost 4,000 points or so since Obama took the permanent lead in the Pres race--a bit more than 30% off.

Now at 7,000++

Can it hit 5,000?


All Obama has to do is talk twice a week, and fill in the gaps with Geithner-talk, LaHood talk, and any-old-Cabinet-moron chatter about National Healthcare.

For the double-dog-dare challenge: can the O-and-Savior's Administration get Dow to 1,500 before the end of 2009?

Kmiec in Time Mag-a-Rag: Deceptive.

Since at least 1960, high-school debate competitors have not been allowed to cite from Time magazine, as it was (even then) regarded as unreliable.

Nothing has changed.

Latest example is from Doug Kmiec, who really, really, really wants to be on SCOTUS--and in order to get there, he has used his 'Intellectualoid' status to wage war against the unborn and their Catholic supporters.

Fr. Z. picked up the subtle, but clear, problem in Kmiec's essay.

Following the Pelosi meeting, the Holy See issued the following statement:

"His Holiness took the opportunity to speak of the requirements of the natural moral law and the Church’s consistent teaching on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death which enjoin all Catholics, and especially legislators, jurists and those responsible for the common good of society, to work in cooperation with all men and women of good will in creating a just system of laws capable of protecting human life at all stages of its development."

So what? Here's what:

Kmiec wants the reader to accept the premise that the Pope is imposing a new moral duty imposed on jurists, a duty to "undertake an activist, law-changing role".

The Pope didn’t say that at all.

The statement does not say that jurists must be activists. It says that jurists should "work for a system of law capable of protecting human life at all stages of its development".

Kmiec says that there is now a "new directive" from Rome. There isn’t.

Here's the root sleight-of-hand:

Kmiec wrongly interprets the papal statement as putting jurists and legislators in the same category so that their responsibilities about protecting human life must be exercised in the same way. Kmiec says the pope doesn’t recognize that there are different roles

...which is patently untrue.

The old wisdom about Time magazine proves correct, again.

Abp Dolan Leaving: The Good News/Bad News

For New York, of course, it's the good news.

The Archbishop is far more pastoral than Abp Egan, who is currently in charge--and since Egan did a lot of heavy-lifting in NYC, Abp Dolan will be able to exercise his instincts to the benefit of the NYC folks.

The bad news is that Abp Dolan is leaving here, having done a LOT of good.

The rest of the story? Mixed.

It's likely that the Seminary will be a source of hope over the next several years with its new Rector, Fr. Hying.

But the Rembertine Rabble still dominates most of the bureaucracy; it was not in the nature of Abp. Dolan to fire people who mis-served.

Ah, well. Nobody promised a rose garden.

Like Citibank? You'll OWN It Soon

The trouble with taxpayer-ownership of Citigroup is that it isn't worth a pint of pee--much less the $40Bn we're going to put into it.

“Explain this to me again: We put in many times the value of this company — we have already given them $45 billion dollars, and guaranteed almost $300 billion dollars worth of bad paper — and we get less than 50%? WTF? How the hell does THAT work?"

(A comment imagined by Ritholtz--but which should be part of the "Tea Party" signage...)

Answer to the question:

Because Tim Geithner says so, that's why.

HT: BigPicture

Have You Seen the Omnibus Spending Bill? Neither Has Congress


As if the $1.2 trillion Democrats spent on “stimulus” last week wasn’t enough of a disaster, this colossal bill encompasses the remaining nine appropriations bills for fiscal year 2009 sloughed off by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

House minority leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) called upon the Speaker Thursday to release the voluminous spending bill online without delay

And got no response from QueenNancy (who has no pictures of Herself with the Pope)

If Democratic leaders plan to schedule a vote on the half-trillion dollar omnibus spending bill next week, they should post the legislation online immediately so the American people have adequate time to read the measure and understand what is in it,” Boehner said. “My colleagues in the Republican leadership and I made this request two weeks ago, and to date, our request has gone unanswered. Time is running short, and American taxpayers deserve to know how their hard-earned tax dollars will be used under this legislation.”

Apparently we don't.

HT: RedState

A Lesson In Complexity

Tired of depressing news, now that the Democrats control the Gummint?

Here's some enjoyable reading from Planet Moron. I'll give you a tease:

If there’s one thing we know about our current home mortgage and banking crisis, it is that it’s complex...

Don’t believe it's complex? Take a look at this detailed summary we prepared, the result of weeks of painstaking research and study:

People borrowed too much money to purchase homes they couldn’t afford.
Lots of good Q&A at the link, too!

The Strawman Lie from O-and-Savior

NoRunnyShoebox is a national treasure, today exposing Bambi's "Lie by strawman" trick.

That happens when you simply create a number--not from evidence or fact, but pulled from where the Sun never shines---and tell everybody 'I can fix that!!'

How does it work? Simple.

Bambi announced that he would "reduce the deficit to only $530++Bn" by the end of his first term (2013.) To do that, he'll impose tax increases on the eeeeeeeeeeevil Rich and the eeeeeeeeeevil Corporations.

Only trouble: the $530++Bn number is a strawman--pulled directly from O's ass.

According to [a] CBO forecast, the budget deficit for the last year of Obama’s first term, FY 2013, was projected to be $257 Billion.

Yeah, yeah, I know.

That nasty stimulus bill really jacked the future deficit up right? According to the CBO’s analysis, the increase is $28 billion in 2013 for a total of $285 Billion

With a few adjustments for war spending, variables on the AMT, etc., Shoebox has the following:

That leaves us at a projected 2013 deficit of $290 Billion. That looks to be more than 45% less, $243 billion below, the audacious target President Obama has set for himself.

Damn! He can spend all DAY in the gym and "reduce the deficit"--so long as you are stupid enough to believe the lies he told you over this weekend.

Of course, it IS possible that there will be a $530++Bn deficit--it's called ObeyPelosiReid.

For the budget deficit to grow $243 Billion over the latest, adjusted for the Stimulus plan, forecast by the CBO, Congress will need to increase their discretionary spending by 20% over the assumed increases for inflation, growth and GDP adjustments. In the CBO’s forecast, discretionary spending is only expected to increase by $36 Billion over Obama’s term. If discretionary spending does increase by $243 Billion over the rate that the CBO has projected, it will grow at a rate that is 675% higher than that projected rate.

The "Tea Parties" may counter that threat. Direct action is possible.

White House Mortgage-Bailout Liar Exposed

Gibbs is not only a poor WH spokesman, he's lying like a rug.

Here is the definitive rebuttal to Gibb's pathetic drooling over Santelli's comments.

HT: Moonbattery

Porkulus in Tennessee--Who Is "Stimulated"?

How MIGHT Porkulus be spent in Wisconsin? Let's use Tennessee as a rough guide.

(Sorry--the source materials are 'paid subscription' only, or I'd have the Wisconsin breakdown.)

Here's what Stop the ACLU discovered through a TN blogger.

The Volunteer State stands to have a windfall of $3,779,708,000 thanks to the pork-laden bill passed by Congress and President Obama. The list of payouts is impressive, but it really does show that only a small amount of the total could be considered an economic stimulant.

$771,610,000 on Education
$171,678,000 on “General Purpose”
$1,100,000,000 for Medicaid
$10,200,000 for the Foster Care system
$71,988,000 to mass transit capital grants
$20,394,000 to “clean water” programs
$57,814,000 to drinking water programs
$97,467,000 to something called “weatherization”
$59,065,000 to the state energy program
$7,199,000 for immunization
$2,614,000 for elderly nutrition
$41,932,000 to child care
$19,699,000 to the shadowy idea of “community services”
$2,069,000 to the “temporary emergency food assistance program”
$2,064,000 for emergency food and shelter
$11,500,000 for vocational rehabilitation
$174,210,000 for K thru 12 education
$50,386,000 for school improvement
$236,163,000 goes to the individuals with disabilities act

Yada, yada, yada.

Kinda looks like a Gummint Employees' Preservation Act, no?

Quoting his source:

Of our total $3,779,708,000 - $1,246,017 goes to various Education programs, $1,100,000,000 goes to Medicaid leaving just $1,433,691,000 to spend on everything else. Almost two thirds of the money is excluded from stimulating the Economy in just two general items. Of the monies left, $771,282,000 also fails to stimulate the Economy, $662,409,000 falls under the “Maybe” category and only $12,979,000 has the appearance of true Stimulus spending

I wouldn't be surprised in the least of 2/3rds of Wisconsin's pork-hocks dollars are similarly distributed--that is, directly into the hands of State and local Gummints.

So again--exactly WHO is "stimulated"?

Is There a REAL REPORTER in the House? Part 2

Don't you love it when "news stories" lie?

In the budget he proposed last week, Doyle called for offering limited legal protections for same-sex couples, such as allowing domestic partners to take family and medical leave to care for a seriously ill partner, make end-of-life decisions and add health care coverage

"Limited"?? LIMITED???

Ms. Forster, do you have ANY idea what that "health care coverage" is going to cost the taxpayer?

Doyle is not "limiting" this proposal in any way whatsoever.

If you are a public employee--State, Municipal, or County--and you have a "partner," whether homosex or heterosex, you can put that partner on the taxpayer's health-insurance tab.

Oh, and by the way, it's been about a week since LRB put out the memo mentioning this little provision.

Were you on vacation?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Its' The SPENDING, Stupid, Part 25,896

McIlheran has a more elegant phrasing of the spending stream dribbling down Jim Doyle's leg.

"This budget makes the largest cuts we've ever seen," said Gov. Jim Doyle the other night.

And: "It makes a lot of tough cuts," so that "everyone is going to have to share in the sacrifice." Oh, and did he say he's cutting?

Or, rather, cutting*. Because the state is not cutting its spending. It's raising it.

In other words, you know he's lying because his lips moved.

But P-Mac, a gentle soul, won't call Doyle a liar.

It's not at all prohibited for him to say he's cutting and to really mean that he's cutting ever so slightly the state's general fund, which is about half the budget. He is increasing spending in the other half, in many cases shifting which pot of money pays for things. That's why, even as he moans about the enormous deficit, his budget is rising at least 7%.

Wait till you get to the part where Doyle "is going to eliminate 10,000 State jobs." Remember that one? Or the one about "..we can not, we must not, and I will not raise taxes!!? Remember that one?

He wasn't lying, really. He was just kidding. On the record, in front of the cameras.

Tea-party Time!

Now, Jimbo: am I just kidding, like you--or am I lying, like you?

Or do I really mean it, Jimbo?

Mini-Crime Wave at Brookfield High School

Noted in today's "police reports":

A wallet, gift cards and digital media players were taken from the girls locker room at Brookfield Central High School, 16900 W. Gebhardt Road, before 12:15 p.m. Feb. 9.

A backpack, calculator and digital media player were taken from a gym locker at Brookfield Central about 3 p.m. Feb. 9.

A student's cell phone and wallet were taken from the boys locker room at Brookfield Central before 5:55 p.m. Feb. 9.

And only a few days later:

A digital media player was taken from an unlocked locker in the boys locker room at Brookfield Central between 10:30 and 10:40 a.m. Feb. 13.

Ummmmmnnnnnhhhhhh....make sure you lock your lockers. And don't take stuff to school if you don't want it to be lost/snatched.

Phil Gramm's FooFooDust Machine

Ticker absolutely demolishes Phil Gramm.

I believe that a strong case can be made that the financial crisis stemmed from a confluence of two factors. The first was the unintended consequences of a monetary policy, developed to combat inventory cycle recessions in the last half of the 20th century, that was not well suited to the speculative bubble recession of 2001. The second was the politicization of mortgage lending--Phil Gramm, WSJournal

That's a statement so blatantly self-serving that it deserves the nuking awarded by Ticker:

You mean to tell me that the creation of 2/28, 3/27 and OptionARM loans was the result of politicization of mortgage lending?

Well, Gramm hopes you're stupid enough to believe that.


Because Gramm was a big part of the problem, that's why.

Step One:

Mr. Gramm, as someone who claims to understand finance, you of all people should know that the law of exponents does not permit the fanciful view you claim bankers had above to be the case.

Advancement in income is a known, published fact - the government puts out this number for personal income (annualized) every month.
It is not possible for home prices to continually advance at a rate that exceeds the growth in personal income, and to the extent that it does, compounding (that is, the mathematical law of exponents) guarantees that a collapse will eventually take place

We're not done yet.

Recall, Phil, the repeal of Glass-Steagall? Why yes, Phil does recall it--he was behind the move.

Moreover, GLB didn't deregulate anything. It established the Federal Reserve as a superregulator, overseeing all Financial Services Holding Companies

...quoth Phil.

Yah, but:

That same Federal Reserve then proceeded to remove all reserve requirements through various machinations with sweeps and most recently lobbied for (and got, in the EESA) authority to set reserve levels to zero!

Oh, yes, there's more.

Every single one of the firms that has failed - Fannie, Freddie, AIG, Lehman and Bear Stearns - was operating with more than double the previously-lawful limit of 14:1 leverage at the time of their collapse.

All of them.

That limit was removed due to explicit lobbying by Henry Paulson (then in charge of Goldman Sachs) in front of Congress and the SEC in 2004 - after being rejected on the very same request in 2000.

The fact of the matter, Mr. Gramm, is that absent excessive leverage credit bubbles cannot grow to a dangerous size. Leverage limits prohibit that growth by constraining the ability to grow a balance sheet beyond what tangible capital will reasonably support. The housing bubble, LBO bubble, commercial real-estate bubble and consumer credit bubble had all reached their limit under the previous leverage ratio caps around the 2004 time frame, and so the banking industry went to Congress and the SEC and asked for it to be removed, claiming that they were "better able to manage risk."

And the SEC granted their wish, just like Fairy Godmother! Except the bad news is that there is no Fairy Godmother, and granting wishes in the real world created problems.

Oh, and Phil: that "mental recession" you talked about a quarter back or so? How's that working out for you?

Robber Barons? Call Them "Rent Seekers"

The Warrior highlights an analysis from FrontPage identifying the next wave of Robber Barons.

But they are called "rent seekers." Elegant, no?

...Alarmists have tried to induce the public to think that simply because the Arctic ice cap has shrunk on our watch, for example, then industrialized man must have caused it. The reason they do this is because they have been unable to prove their fundamental contention in the global warming debate - that manmade emissions of greenhouse gases drive global climate - despite the expenditure of tens of billions of dollars on climate research over the last 25 years

...First, we know from studies of Antarctic ice that, over the last 650,000 years or so, warmer temperatures have preceded increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels by hundreds, if not thousands of years. The ice studies indicate that the carbon-dioxide-causes-global warming theory is precisely backwards

Summarily, 'anthropogenic global warming' is a crock of crap--you know it, I know it, and the Members of Congress with an IQ above 42 know it, too.

Why doesn't the whole charade-and-parade stop?

When in doubt, go to Rule Number One: FOLLOW THE MONEY!!

...we’re in crushing jaws of global warming regulation thanks to big business and other rent-seekers, including Gore, who hope to profit from new laws.

Leading the lobbying charge on Capitol Hill is the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, a big business-environmental activist group coalition that is urging Congress to enact a so-called cap-and-trade bill...we’re in crushing jaws of global warming regulation thanks to big business and other rent-seekers, including Gore, who hope to profit from new laws.

...Under cap-and-trade, Congress would issue more than one trillion dollars worth of permits over the programs first ten years - so there’s a lot of money at stake. Who’s set to profit from all this?

Alcoa, Dow Chemical and Dupont...Exelon, Florida Power & Light, and NRG Energy...Goldman Sachs (which has more "plants" in the FedGov than the entire population of the City of Brookfield) ...General Electric...[and] the venture capital firm of Kleiner Perkins [in which AlGore holds a partnership.] Let's not forget "Boondoggle" Pickens, by the way.

By the way, many of those firms are perfectly happy with the "no more nukes" mantra of such slimeballs as Jim Doyle. You'll notice the effects of "cap-and-trade" in Wisconsin, which relies on CO2-emitting coal and gas plants for 2/3rds of its electricity.

By "notice", I mean that you will pay, dearly, to fire up the single 60-watt lightbulb you can afford to purchase after Doylie's tax increases go into effect.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

It's the SPENDING, Stupid!!

Eggster did a lot of homework (which you can see here.)

Let's focus:

- Spending increases in the initial FY2010/2011 budget: $2.8 billion (4.7% increase over FY2008/2009)

- Spending increases between Wisconsin’s Porkulus and the Necro-Budget (estimated; assumes no deficit on 6/30/2011 even though I’ve seen projections of a $2.1 billion structural deficit at that point): $2.2 billion (3.7% increase over FY2008/2009)

- Spending increases between Wisconsin’s Porkulus and the Necro-Budget (estimated; assumes a $2.1 billion structural deficit on 6/30/2011): $4.3 billion (7.2% increase over FY2008/2009)

Doylie intends to blow every single Porkulus dollar ($2Bn or so) and then ADD ANOTHER $2.3Bn in spending--in a State with rapidly-declining revenues, and some "revenue projections" that will not make it past 10 minutes in Federal Court (the oil-company tax.)

Doylie is insulting you, folks.

Maybe he needs his own special tea-party stimulation next time he shows his grin in the Milwaukee area.

Hot, wet, tea. Right in the kisser.

Kill People or Cut Emissions?

Owen notes that some priorities are more important than others.

When dealing with PRChina: “human rights cannot interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis and the security crises,” said Clinton

Certainly. After all, it's PEOPLE that emit all that poisonous CO2.

Obama's Budget Squeeze Play

The WaPo has an article laying out The O-and-Savior's initial budget plan.

He's putting a "squeeze play" on private health insurance.

Administration officials and outside experts say the most likely path to revamping the health system is to begin with Medicare, the federal program for retirees and people with disabilities, and Medicaid, which serves the poor.

...Making policy changes in those programs -- such as rewarding physicians who computerize their medical records or paying doctors for results rather than procedures--could improve care while generating long-term savings, expert say. It also could prod private insurers to follow suit

So he's 'reducing spending on Medicare/Medicaid.'


Traditionally, those "reductions" are offset by increases in doctor and hospital fees charged to patients covered by traditional health insurance--that would be you and me, folks.

And guess what that does to premiums?

What he wants to do is make 'traditional insurance' expensive enough so that employers will be happy to dump the plans when Gummint Health Insurance is finally organized and available--including the "Final Solution" cost/benefit provisions.

You read it here first.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Is There a REAL REPORTER in the House?

BudgetBlog reports as follows:

Gov. Jim Doyle on Thursday defended his budget proposal to grant domestic partner benefits to state employees by saying "it isn't marriage."

Critics have said the proposal may violate the state ban on same sex unions "I think most people think that somebody ought be able to make end of life decisions for a lifelong partner," Doyle told reporters following the signing ceremony for the budget adjustment bill passed Wednesday by the Legislature.

"I think you'll see these are pretty common sense rights that would come to people on the registry, and they don't cost the state any money, they're just a way that you can be a little more decent to people," he said.

OK. And I don't have a problem with those provisions.

But what about the provision that Wisconsin TAXPAYERS will now pay for BENEFITS to "shack-up partners" who happen to have one member on the public payroll?

Hello!! Is there an actual, real-live REPORTER someplace?

Porkulus Letter from Sen. Kohl

Yah, Kohl says "he has concerns" about it, and sent a letter telling me that the 'concerns' were over-ridden due to the awfulness of the Apocalypse upcoming.


But maybe the letter was pre-written?

Here is the direct quote of interest:

On February XXth, 2009, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law

Could you be a bit more specific about that date, Senator?

"Black Flag'? Hoist It Over CO2

Regulating carbon dioxide (CO2) will bring about the worst calamity this country has ever seen (and that's saying a lot, given Porkulus).

Regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act will create a regulatory train-wreck. It will impose substantial costs, and yet fail to meet the President's ambitious emission reduction targets (80% by 2050).

Coal-generated electricity and heat, gas-generated electricity and heat, ANY petroleum-fired vehicles, and, of course, vegetation--ALL emit CO2.* So do you, if you exhale.

If, as the President has suggested, Congress puts forward a cap-and-trade proposal, it will unleash a feeding frenzy of rent-seeking, as every conceivable industry and interest group seeks to protect its own or gain competitive advantage

We know from rent-seeking, which usually leads to corruption (see Murtha, e.g.).

And we have more than enough corruption at this time.

*CORRECTION: As pointed out in the comments, vegetation does not "emit" CO2. Therefore, there IS an obvious and easy solution: kill off all those damn polluter-people.

Another use for the Obey/Kohl/Feingold/Obama "Final Solution" Healthcare regime!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

WI PublickScrewels Worser Thn U Thunk


Under the federal No Child Left Behind act, schools have to teach students well enough that a certain number reach certain scores on standard tests. The idea was that parents could then tell whether schools were actually doing a good job rather just having to trust administrators when they said they were. But, as the report notes, states get to “craft their own academic standards, select their own tests, and define proficiency in reading and math as they like; as a result, proficiency standards (which take the form of cut scores on state tests) vary widely in their rigor and consistency.”

Yah, so, hey? Net-net-net:

So what’s wrong with Wisconsin? You can read the full report here, but the short answer is, “The high number of schools making AYP in Wisconsin is likely due to the fact that Wisconsin’s proficiency standards are extremely easy compared to other states, plus it uses a proficiency index, which means it gives ‘partial credit’ to students performing below proficient.”

"Sally, what's 1+1?"

"Well, teacher, maybe 3?"

Good enough for Wisconsin's WEAC-dominated DPI.