Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Why Not Make it Illegal?

P-Mac notes a McGurn essay on waterboarding.

“Over the past few years, the Democrats have moved to ban waterboarding only when it was clear that such a bill would not pass -- or would be vetoed by George W. Bush. . . . Today the Democrats have an even larger majority -- plus a president who would sign such legislation. So why the call for a truth commission instead? The answer is a nasty one: If Congress made waterboarding illegal now, they would be making clear that it was not illegal before."

That's only one of two good reasons.

The other is that the Democrats WANT waterboarding to be legal.

..........Oh, yes they do.......

Because if it is not, and another few thousand Americans die during Lightworker's watch...

A Primer on REAL Torture

No waterboarding here.

Kaing Guek Eav, the former Khmer Rouge chief at Tuol Sleng prison where nearly 17,000 Cambodians (and a few others) were tortured and killed (or sent to nearby Choeung Ek for execution), has been on trial the last few weeks in Phnom Penh. Unlike the few other top officials from Pol Pot's regime who are awaiting trial, Eav -- known as "Duch" -- has admitted responsibility for the evil. The brutalities committed under his authority are unimaginable: beatings, electrocutions, fingernail-ripping, burning, cutting, etc. Guards would toss infants in the air like they were skeet and fire away.

The infants never spilled any information, either.

But, as AP and AFP report, with a sigh of relief, that there was no "waterboarding."

HT: AmSpecBlog

Congrats! You May Own Chrysler!

Drudge reports/WaPo:

If the bankruptcy proceeds as expected, the administration would create a new Chrysler that would purchase assets of the old company. The ownership of the new company would be divided between the union's retiree health fund, which would get a 55 percent stake, Fiat, which would get at least a 35 percent stake, and the United States, which would take an 8 percent stake. The Canadian government would receive two percent

And there are some loans that Chrysler will repay to the Treasury, maybe.

It's the plan, folks. Next: GM becomes yours, too!!

It's the Message, Not the Money

Lotsa people are up in arms about SB20, the Democrats' next gift to the trial-lawyer (ambulance-chaser) lobby.

Here's Grothman, via Boots & Sabers:

“This bill can give up to $300,000 in punitive damages to people who claim they were discriminated against while similarly-situated employees in Iowa, Illinois and Michigan would get nothing. Punitive damages in Minnesota would be limited to $25,000,” observed Grothman. “We already have 3,500 claims for discrimination in this state and about 85-percent don’t even meet a probable cause determination. Employers are already expressing frustration at spending countless hours of management time as well as paying thousands of dollars to not have to deal with these lawsuits. This bill will not only increase the number of frivolous lawsuits already filed against Wisconsin employers but put Wisconsin at a further competitive disadvantage compared to other states.”

“At first, I didn’t feel these Democrats understood how common and damaging to business these marginal discrimination claims were, but then, these Democrats exempted school districts, cities, and counties from the lawsuits. The message they sent today is clear, ‘We understand that government cannot be expected to deal with this nonsense, but people who risk their own money going into business will just have to lump it,’” said Grothman. “A more clear dislike for business cannot be imagined.”

Two observations:

1) Most well-run businesses will not lose one of these lawsuits; Grothman says, accurately, that 85% of the cases don't get past the "I'm gonna sue you!" stage.

2) #1 (above) is irrelevant.

What the Leggies accomplished is another marginal attack on predictability, just like Doyle's 'joint/several' switcheroo.

Business likes predictability in the operating environment. Whacking away at predictability is a lot like the process of erosion; you don't really see anything happening; you just note that the big rocks became small rocks.

Having another set of opportunistic and foul-breathed lawyers crawling around your business, looking for an un-crossed "t" or un-dotted "i" simply adds cost. It's that marginal cost, or the fear thereof, which is un-settling.

Then the only question is "when," not "if," the business pulls the plug.

Obama's First Energy Victim: Navajos

Add a few thousand more bodies under the bus.

...the EPA has issued an unprecedented order to renege on a permit already granted to open a coal-generator plant in a Navajo reservation in New Mexico that has the tribe and its supporters steaming

Jeff Holmstead, former head of the air program at EPA and now head of the Environmental Strategies Group at Bracewell & Giuliani, the law firm representing the plant’s developer, Sithe Global, said in a statement that he has “never seen anything like it.”

“I don’t think anyone ever imagined that the new team at EPA would seem to have such little regard for due process or basic notions of fairness,” Holmstead said. “Everyone understands that a new Administration has discretion to change rules and policies prospectively. But I’ve never seen any Administration try to change policies and rules retroactively.”

Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley said in a statement the decision was further proof that the U.S. government isn’t “honest and truthful in its dealings with Native America.” Shirley said that the EPA withdrawal of the permit will harm the Navajo people

Of course, not having electricity may be even more harmful in the long run.

HT: Hot Air

Obama to Nationalize Banks and GM

Lotsa press on both today.

Banks which should be sold off (Citi, Regions, Wells Fargo, B of America--among others) will instead be walking Zombies, owned by Treasury.

GM, which should go banko, will be controlled by Treasury and the UAW.

This is Corporatism/Fascism. No other way to phrase it.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

More Lying With Headlines

Here's the actualities:

55% of Americans believe in retrospect that the use of the interrogation techniques was justified, while only 36% say it was not. Notably, a majority of those following the news about this matter "very closely" oppose an investigation and think the methods were justified.

A new Gallup Poll finds 51% of Americans in favor and 42% opposed to an investigation into the use of harsh interrogation techniques on terrorism suspects during the Bush administration

So the headline from Gallup?

"Slim Majority Wants Bush-Era Interrogations Investigated."

Yah, well, a LARGER majority thinks that the interrogation methods were just fine, thanks.

HT: Ace

AlGore's Shady Pals and the Next TEA Party

Oh, there's a LOT more to the "tax-and-cap" story than AlGore will tell.

The fix on "cap-and-trade" was in by the middle of 1997. NINETEEN NINETY-SEVEN, suckas!!

("Kenny Boy" is Ken Lay, convict.)

...the next day I was tasked with sitting in for “Kenny Boy” at a meeting in fancy New York law firm offices (in DC), around a table of Baptists and Bootleggers, rent-seekers and green puritans, discussing how to ensure a global warming treaty came about, of our collective design, and how to rope the U.S. in.

So, seeing very measured groups like Union of Concerned Scientists on my immediate left, I turned to one of the rent-seekers’ officers on my right, among whom I recall being the American Gas Association, Niagara-Mohawk Power, and BP, among others. In response to my query, “what are we doing sitting around a table with a bunch of people who want to put us out of business?”, I was told with a laugh, “they want to put coal out of business first.”

The author was a lobbyist for Enron.

So I fired off a “Houston, we have a problem” missive to my boss asking if Enron knew what it was getting into in this group. That’s when they explained the specifics of their business plan to me - which did include setting up a trading business with Goldman, by the way, as one of Goldman’s energy practice chiefs at the time also roared to me in joy about about all of the money they were going to make. This cannot conceivably be news to Gore and his VC partner and former Goldman Pooh-Bah Blood

In other words, the US citizen is being played. Not only for sucker, but for sucker-who-pays-and-will-damn-well-LIKE-it.

BOHICA July of that year (1997), a unanimous Senate votes pursuant to Art. II, Sec. 2, its (unsolicited) “advice” to Clinton-Gore to not go to Kyoto and agree to that beast. In December Al Gore then flies off to Kyoto to do just that.

How come? Simple.

An August 4, 1997 Oval Office meeting with [convict] Kenny Boy, (then-) Sir John Browne of BP, and the President and Vice President of the United States. Let that sink in. He didn’t know the guy [Kenny-Boy, the convict]. But anyone who can even spell “Beltway” can tell you that that kind of orchestration and attention takes serious influence. Ask Gordon Brown.

As revealed by the August 1, 1997 Kenny Boy briefing memo subsequently aired after the unpleasantness, in this meeting Kenny Boy was to demand that the Senate be ignored, that the administration agree to Kyoto, and most important that it contain a cap-and-trade scheme.

The Spectator Blog has a bit more, naming the current bloodsuckers in the game.

Al Gore and all of those pushing the cap-and-trade rationing scheme -- as envisioned in the president's budget, the biggest tax increase in the history of our Republic -- have some 'splainin' to do about just why they're promoting a rent-seeker scheme hatched by Enron, now demanded by Ken Lay proteges and those who picked Enron's carcass clean of its erstwhile white elephants like Enron (now GE) Wind, its solar panel venture (now BP), and that derivative-swaps and ration-coupon trading scheme hatched with Goldman

That July 4th TEA Party should be a lot louder and larger.

Louder, because the Pitchfork-and-Torches crowd might bring stuff that goes "BOOM!!"

Good Riddance to Specter

The Dems had 60 votes when Spectral was (R).

They still have 60 votes.

And now they have another self-obsessed Scottish Law advocate.

If This Sounds Familiar....

...then you're in trouble.

H. Richard Niebuhr (not his brother, Reinhold) is known for a number of reasons, one of which is this famous quote describing Americanist religion:

He said that it peddled the idea that "a God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross."

This is the Therapeutic religion (as Dreher would have it), and it is a lot more common across denominations than it should be.

HT: Pertinacious

How to Read Genesis 1

In brief, it most assuredly is NOT 'creation science'. Here's the end of a medium-length essay written by a guy with a Ph.D in Theo and another Ph.D. in astrophysics.

...Père Congar called attention to a crucial point: Today the principal Christian heresy is the practical denial of that eternal life for which the secularized world in its resolve not to look beyond nature has no use at all. Congar also noted that one cannot defend eternal life, centered on the immortality of the soul, without defending the proposition that all is created. That proposition too goes against the grain in this age of nature-worship. No theological defense of the strict createdness of all can, however, be made without a defense of Genesis 1. It should not be defended under any circumstances as a cosmogenesis, with any reference, indirect as it may be, to science. Its genuinely biblical meaning can, however, be fully defended by that reason whereby, as Genesis I tells us, man is created in the image of Almighty God. --S. Jaki

Yes, it is the story of Creation, but it's not meant to be history. It is theology.

Indict, Prosecute, and Jail All Three

Well, 'three' is merely rhetorical. It might be 3,000 by the time it's over. But Lewis, Paulson, and Bernanke are a very good start.

Both Bernanke and Paulson in mid-December knew Bank of America was obliged by statute to publicly disclose the huge losses Merrill Lynch & Co. had racked up that month. You don’t get to be chairman of the Federal Reserve or, in Paulson’s case, secretary of the Treasury or head of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. without learning this basic tenet of U.S. securities laws. Instead of making sure the public was fully informed of the losses before Bank of America completed its purchase of Merrill on Jan. 1, they did all they could to keep the secret safe.

Neither Bernanke nor Paulson told the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to the letter Cuomo wrote to lawmakers and regulators. They didn’t tell Lewis or anyone else at Bank of America to do the right thing and obey the law. And while they promised Bank of America lots of money to keep it from calling off the deal, they were careful not to commit any of their agreements to writing for fear this would bind the government into disclosing them itself.

It didn’t matter that investors were buying and selling billions of the banks’ shares without a clue that Merrill had lost more than $12 billion during the fourth quarter. Bernanke and Paulson had a singular objective -- to get the Merrill deal done, on time -- even if that meant duping the stock market and threatening to fire Lewis as chief executive officer, along with the company’s board.

--Quoted in Market Ticker

Lewis, of course, complied with the "requests," which makes him a co-conspirator and also guilty of fraud.

Super-Nanny to Head Nat'l Highway Safety Admin

If you thought that Jimmuh Cahtuh's NHTSA pick (Joan Claybrook) was a screeching twit, you ain't seen nothing yet.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving is anything but an uncontroversial organization, as the Washington Times, Radley Balko, and our own archives make clear. Among the bad, sometimes awful ideas with which it has been identified are a reduction of the blood alcohol limit to .04 (meaning that for some adults a single drink could result in arrest), blanket police roadblocks and pullovers, the 55 mph speed limit, traffic-cams, and the imprisonment of parents who knowingly permit teen party drinking, to name but a few. Of particular interest when it comes to the policies of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it has backed proposed legislation demanding that costly breathalyzer-ignition interlock systems be foisted on all new cars, whether or not their drivers have ever committed a DUI offense; it’s also lined up with the plaintiff’s bar on various dubious efforts to expand liability.

Now President Obama has named MADD CEO Chuck Hurley to head NHTSA


A National Random-Check Traffic-Stop Day!!--say, July 4th??

On the other hand, since Obama's Boyzzzz want the price of gasoline to exceed $6.00/gallon, who cares what this Super-Nanny thinks or does?

Nobody will be driving, anyway.

HT: Radley Balko

Tammy Baldwin's Pedophile-Love

Under the "you can't make this up" column:

[Iowa Republican Rep. Steve] King offered an amendment that would have barred pedophiles from receiving special protection under the hate crimes bill. The amendment was defeated on a party-line vote 13-10. Congresswoman [Tammy] Baldwin [D-WI] said that amendment was "unnecessary and inflammatory"

Who knew about her constituency in Madison?

HT: Moonbattery

Truck Tonnage Down Again

Truck tonnage (freight) fell back to a 102 index reading after increasing for a few months from November through February.

Average index 2005-2007 was around 112. The major cliff-dive occurred October 08, but 2008 was generally a declining year.

HT: Calculated Risk

Monday, April 27, 2009

One Hundred Days on, and MUCH Deeper in Debt

Sixteen tons, a hundred days, what's the diff?

HT: Ace, Tennessee Ford

Elmbrook Schools Lawsuit Update

John Foust, commenter extra.....umnnnhhhh....

Well, whatever. John sent a cc of the complaint against Elmbrook.

Local representation is provided by Hall Legal.

You'll note that they haven't invested too much in their webpage.

NY 20: Why the (R) Lost

Nice analysis here.

Mr. Tedisco betrayed that he wasn't all that different than the other politicians who have made Albany the tax and spend center of America..

IOW, another Tommy Thompson (R), about 20 years out of fashion.

Plenty more at the link.

HT: Ace

Glendon to ND: Thanks but No Thanks

Mary Ann Glendon was to recieve the Laetare Medal from Notre Dame at this spring's graduation.

"A commencement, however, is supposed to be a joyous day for the graduates and their families. It is not the right place, nor is a brief acceptance speech the right vehicle, for engagement with the very serious problems raised by Notre Dame’s decision—in disregard of the settled position of the U.S. bishops—to honor a prominent and uncompromising opponent of the Church’s position on issues involving fundamental principles of justice

"...It is with great sadness, therefore, that I have concluded that I cannot accept the Laetare Medal or participate in the May 17 graduation ceremony"

Ms. Glendon turned down the gloria mundi. There are more important things, after all.

The Paulson/Bernanke Legacy: Criminals

I'll admit it was not just "Paulson and Bernanke."

There's Bush, Greenspan, Geithner the Hapless, and the vast majority of Congress, too...

Both from the Hotline and from other leads, SIGTARP has initiated, to date, almost 20 preliminary and full criminal investigations. Although the details of those investigations generally will not be discussed unless and until public action is taken, the cases vary widely in subject matter and include large corporate and securities fraud matters affecting TARP investments, tax matters, insider trading, public corruption, and mortgage-modification fraud

That's 20 investigations springing from less than 1 year of TARP funding, folks, according to the Inspector General/TARP.

How d'ya s'pose that could happen?

Treasury has indicated, however, that it will not adopt SIGTARP's recommendation that all TARP recipients be required to do the following:

• account for the use of TARP funds

• set up internal controls to comply with such accounting
• report periodically to Treasury on the results, with appropriate sworn certifications

In light of the fact that the American taxpayer has been asked to fund this extraordinary effort to stabilize the financial system, it is not unreasonable that the public be told how those funds have been used by TARP recipients. Treasury is now conducting regular surveys of the banks' lending activities; however,
with the exception of Citigroup and Bank of America, Treasury has refused to seek further details on TARP recipients' use of funds.

The NYTimes (separately) published an article this AM which describes Geithner's 'unusually close and personal' relationships with New York bankers.

HT: Powerline

What REAL Cops Think About Massacre-Prevention

Ayoob attended Int'l Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers' Ass'n. meeting.

One of the topics that inevitably cropped up was response to mass murders in schools and other public places. Among us was Ron Borsch, instructor at the Southeast Area Law Enforcement Academy in Ohio, who has been an advocate of “sole response” entry into such situations by the first responding officer. Though controversial in law enforcement, his theory was validated recently by the courageous 25-year-old cop who entered a mass murder scene only a few weeks ago at an old folks home, and stopped the killing with a single bullet from his Glock .40 service pistol coolly and expertly delivered to the gunman’s chest.

Borsch’s impromptu discussion revealed the fact that some 25% of mass murder shooting sprees he has researched were ended by armed private citizens. This led in turn to a discussion of the Israeli Model, in place since the Maalot massacre of schoolchildren decades ago, in which teachers and other school personnel were trained and discreetly armed with handguns, which has proven famously successful ever since in Israel. Across the ten-member panel AND the dozens of police instructors attending the discussion, not a single voice was raised against that concept, and many spoke enthusiastically in favor of it.

The rubber does NOT meet the road in the office of Chief of Police, folks. Those offices use 'unicorns, seashells, and balloons' interior decoration.

HT: Arms and the Law

World Poverty--the Fault of the West?

Interesting little item from Rome.

The radical causes of poverty are not colonization, or the multi-nationals or the egoism of rich countries. Although the rich of the world bear so much responsibility and culpability, they are not at the root of the poverty of poor peoples.

... the [common knowledge] is that, prior to the encounter with Western colonization, for example, the African peoples and the Amazonian Indians lived a natural, happy, peaceful and community life. However, [that] is an ideological vision altogether contrary to the historical reality

So Western civilization did not disrupt things. In fact, in the late 1800's,

...the missionaries wrote that the tribes were constantly at war among themselves, and described their life as inhumane, slightly above that of animals, in addition to being "impoverished." The tribal peoples of Burma developed precisely through the action of the missionaries, who brought peace, taught them how to work and cultivate rice-fields -- previously they were nomads -- opened roads and schools, brought in modern medicine, studied their languages and compiled dictionaries, gathered proverbs and narratives from them and so on.

This missionary priest has another explanation for the problem of poverty in the Third World.

In 2001, the "non-globalists" coined an effective slogan for the Group of Eight meeting in Genoa: "We are rich because they are poor and they are poor because we are rich." I always say that the poor are not helped by telling lies.

Akin to the other slogan: "Ten percent of the world population consumes 90% of the resources, and 90% of men consume only 10% of the available resources." This must be corrected to read: "Ten percent of men produce and consume 90% of the resources, and 90% of men produce and consume 10% of the resources."

If you missed it, the key word here is "produce."

The root of the problem is that first one must produce if one is to consume: One consumes if one produces, and in poor countries not enough is produced to maintain the rate of growth of the population

So what IS the solution?

Famine does not come from too many men and women, but from the fact that they are not taught how to produce more, beyond the level of pure sustenance. However, in the West this is not acknowledged because it calls into question our true responsibility, which is not just helping finance poor countries and paying a just price for their raw materials (this is also true, but it is not first and foremost). Our responsibility is to contribute to their education so they become self-sufficient, first of all in the production of food and then of all the rest.

Do not give the man a fish. Teach him HOW to fish...

For example, despite what appears to be a stable economy:

Cameroon produces little if anything in the industrial area. It has no real industry, only cement works, textile production and sugar, beer and cigarettes, ginning of cotton and little else. It imports almost all modern goods, including lamps and refrigerators, exporting natural riches (oil, various minerals, wood) and agricultural products. And economic growth without industry is not possible.

There's another factor, too.

The second cancer of Cameroon is state corruption at the political and administrative level. In the list of the most corrupt countries of the world drawn up by the United Nations, Cameroon always places at the top; in 2007, in fact, it placed first. It is not the specific fault of this or that head of state or administrator; it is a custom that stems from the mentality: When one has power one must think first of all of one's ethnic group, tribe, village and family

(Jack Murtha is no different, eh?)

We Westerners do very little for the education of poor peoples, and we never hear of the role of cultural and religious values that lead to development: It is a topic that is ignored by the mass media and the Western "experts" that favor economic and technical aid

--Father Piero Gheddo

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Humor Time on The Collapse

This is really quite good!

Sondheim may well approve of the parody's "West Side Story" transmogrified to "Worst Slide Story."

HT: Ritholtz

Obama Admin Allowing Attack on Armed Forces

Last week, the Obama administration hinted that it would be attacking lawyers who wrote opinions for their client, the Bush Administration.

This week, a new attack on Americans--specifically, our Armed Forces.

The target audience now includes the American Warrior. The Obama administration has abdicated the Warrior's defense, refusing to appeal the 2nd Circuit's decision that more photos should be released from investigations of the detention of enemy fighters from the battlefield. The Obama administration has sided with the ACLU and abandoned our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. This cannot stand.

Any particular reason?


The release of these images serves no practical purpose, except perhaps for "enhanced prosecution techniques" against our own. Understand clearly that the purpose of the release — and the Obama administration’s decision to do so willingly if not energetically — is to denigrate the American Warrior and to further the assault on the American psyche.

Those we were detaining (rather than summarily executing in the field, mind you) were being locked away at a time when beheadings were commonplace, men were being killed by slowly lowering them into 55-gallon drums of acid, and teens refusing to join al-Qaeda in Iraq were being crucified — literally crucified — in the public square and given just enough water to keep them alive and their public suffering great enough to serve as AQ's example to the rest. The children of resistant families were baked in ovens, folks.

Well, actually, there IS a reason:

The aim of the release is to assault America in the court of public opinion, using the wholly owned media PR subsidiary as the armored assault vehicle

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Increasing the Heat on Corrupt DC (and Madison)

Ticker embeds this video (6:15 or so minutes)

What's true about the Washington DC corruption is true about Madison corruption (with the obvious differences.)

You will notice that the video includes both Right and Left complaints about the Mess in DC.

I'm not real surprised by the last minute's message, either.

The Actualities on CIA Interrogations

Dick Cheney's daughter absolutely flays the NBC twit-ette on all the questions.

Take-away: ignore the headlines and the half-truths of the Obamamamamama-ites. They are the enemies of the United States and (now) of US intel operations worldwide.

Get the whole story and THEN make a judgment.

HT: PowerLine

Doyle's Pot Gets Smaller

State tax revenues continue to decrease--and it's just the beginning.

March '09 individual income tax collections are off TWELVE percent+ from last March.

Sales and Use tax is off almost FIVE percent from last year.

Corporate income tax off TWENTY-SEVEN percent from last year.

Real estate transfer fees have declined by FIFTY percent from last year.

We can expect that individual and corporate income tax collections will continue to spiral downward as unemployment, under-employment, and corporate incomes decrease throughout at least the next 6 months or so.

Doyle's response?

Increase State spending by ten percent, of course! What else?

Who Controlled McVeigh?

Tim McVeigh's name has come up again, due to the ridiculous and grossly uninformed Secretary of DHS, Janet Napolitano.

And the "common knowledge" about McVeigh may not be "knowledge" at all.

...a counter-terrorism group has posted a video statement by a prominent Democrat investigator who contends the Oklahoma City bomb plot was hatched not by right-wingers but by Islamic jihadists.

David Schippers, the chief counsel for the 1998 impeachment trial of President Clinton, probed the bombing with investigative reporter Jayna Davis, [who] asserts McVeigh and Terry Nichols were not the lone conspirators but part of a greater scheme involving Islamic terrorists and at least one provable link to Iraq

But, but, but....didn't the Clintonistas investigate? And find that McVeigh was a "right-wing kook"???

Yup. They did the usual Clinton stuff.

Napolitano recklessly ignored the fact that despite Bill Clinton's best efforts, ties couldn't be established between Timothy McVeigh and right-wing extremist groups," Epstein said.

Schippers says in the taped interview the FBI inexplicably closed its probe into the infamous "John Doe No. 2" suspect despite numerous witnesses he interviewed who identified a "foreign-looking man" with McVeigh immediately before the bombing.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., who
produced a report two years ago on the alleged foreign-link to the bombing, told WND he experienced a "high level of frustration" during his own investigation "with how many people, from local newspapers to the FBI, to just even other members of Congress, who are just anxious not to even give another look at this monstrous crime..."

Why shut it down?

It's now clear, Rohrabacher told WND at the time, that the Clinton administration had "an aversion to any type of efforts by our government that would in some way require the use of force against foreign enemies, and especially in the Middle East."

Oh, really? Yes, really.

Schippers also points out Yossef Bodansky, the director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, issued a warning two months prior to the Oklahoma City bombing that Iran-sponsored Islamist terrorists had recruited 'two lily whites' – people like McVeigh and Nichols – to carry out the bombing of an American federal building

There is a "he said/she said" element here, but it's poisoned by the presence of Morry Dees.

Schippers contends the FBI failed to establish a tie between McVeigh and right-wing militias. Some independent investigators dispute that, including Jesse Trentadue, a Salt Lake City attorney who believes McVeigh was aided by a white supremacist group that had been infiltrated by the FBI.

(Actually, the 'infiltrators' were on the payroll of Morry Dees' Southern Poverty Law Center, which is controversial all by itself--mostly because Morry Dees is, to be polite, erratic and more than a little paranoid.)

As usual, you will never know the answers.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Stacy, You May Be a Jet...

But I'm a Shark, along with Cusack, Rao, JPII (and a whole bunch of others who are WAAAYYYY beyond my paygrade.)

Regrettably, I must begin by affirming Cusack's remark that the Prots are "on the side of the Revolution." He's right, you know...once Marty Luther started swingin' that hammer, the Frence Revolution was only a matter of time, and then its children, such as 'dolf of Austria and Joe of Ukraine...

Back to the topic. You posit further:

Yet there are many other Catholics who have grasped some other part of the elephant and declare that the Church is an irresistible force of Progress which, were it not for the obstructive ways of bigoted reactionaries like Mr. Cusack, would vanquish each injustice and every inequality, including those obsolete superstitions about the celibate all-male priesthood, abortion, divorce, homosexuality, etc

And every one of them is wrong, Stacy; as wrong as Schlitz was when they decided to change their world-beating beer formula in the 1970's. THEY have eaten the apple of the Revolution, core, seeds, and all; they have determined that the unseen Paradise is........ummmmmhhhhhh........a bit too unseen, indeed.

Speaking strictly as a Protestant layman, it seems to me that Catholic leadership has for more than a century tried to steer a middle course between secular Left and Right, seeking to preserve social conservatism while steadily ceding political ground to statist economic collectivism

You wouldn't mind telling us exactly how you arrived at that "ceding political ground..." stuff, would you? Because you would be the first guy on Earth to have discovered that John Paul II was comfy with the Totalitarians. You DO recall who visited Poland to buck up the Solidarity movement, Stacy? (Hint: it was not the Iron Lady, nor Ron Reagan...)

We strive, or at least should strive, for honesty and fairness in matters of business. Yet when we attempt to reason upward, as it were, from the level of individual morality to the question of “social justice,” the One True Way becomes increasingly less obvious. Thoughtful minds see that this is a utopian mission, an effort toward universalistic one-size-fits-all prescription, with some central authority dictating down to the minutest level what is prohibited and what is required

You are absolutely correct. Two suggestions: 1) take a quick look at the "law of subsidiarity" which is RC foundation for politics, and 2) take a solid look at what ALL RC 'social doctrine' begins with: the dignity of each and every man under God. The Church never proposed 'top-down/one-size-fits-all' solutions. Ever. Not her job. Her job is saving souls, not providing warm and dry housing with flush toilets.

The church DOES propose more or less precisely what YOU offer in the first sentence quoted above---"honesty and fairness..." So if you'd dress that up in Latin, it's possible that you'll get some credit should B-16 do a social encyclical.

And, please, Stacy--don't throw Cdl. Mahony in our faces, or we'll start yapping about certain Southern Prot menfolk who have wives with far too much makeup and like know, coughcough...

Gee, Officer Krupke--Krup YOU!!

Stolen from Owen

Stole it fair and square from Owen.

Just Who IS Obama?

Roeser unloads a bit.

At the outset, one doesn’t know how to adjudge a president of the United States neglecting to defend his country on a foreign trip-shrugging off a chance to defend three predecessors including John Kennedy. That’s because this is a presidency we have never seen before-because he is a jumble of inconclusive responses to political stimuli, devoid of philosophy, as imponderable as a kaleidoscope with its varying patterns every time it is shaken.

At the root is narcissism but also more than that. Barack Obama’s still largely unexamined (by the media) personal background presages deeper analysis. His is not a family tree but a bramble bush of inconclusive parentage devoid of familial or parental stability…which explains his unfeeling inability to even feign patriotism or loyalty when what is supposed to be his country is under attack by foreign enemies. Answer: it is not his country; he knows no loyalty to anyone by himself. He is a multi-layered ideological non-citizen of any country: an anomaly of confusion even to himself.

...Indeed what is truth to this value-free relativist who doesn’t care if babies born from botched abortions are left to struggle in pain, left without nutrition or comfort, left to die…saying all this is “above my pay grade.” ? What does it mean to him? He is a glossy, faculty-lounge sophisticate who picked up Gentlemen’s Quarterly manners with no enduring values, no moral code, no patriotism, no loyalty to anything but to the constantly shifting scenes of his own self-interest

As difficult as it is to agree wholeheartedly with Tom's assessment, I don't think Tom is wrong.


The Speech ND Grads Should Hear

This is Pow'fl Stuff.



Actual Union Mentality: Solidarity

Two demonstrations of the actual Union mentality (not to be confused with the typical one...)

In Caledonia, five unions, including the firefighters, have approved a salary cut of 2.5% from May through December; two unions have refused to accept the cuts.

“We’d rather take a pay decrease than see someone lose their job,” said Don Tiegs, vice president of Caledonia Professional Firefighters Local 2740.

Same thing at the Journal-Sentinel; the newsroom took 6+% pay cuts rather than dumping one or more of their brothers onto the street, unpaid.

Oldsters, such as I, recall the "Solidarity" song.

THAT is what it really means, folks.

HT: FoxPolitics

Let's Re-Play the Towers Hits, Too!!

While the Obamamamama Administration is releasing "stuff" on 'torture,' (however you may define that term,) Cheney says "Release ALL the CIA docs" on the topic--including the narratives which demonstrate the results.

Like, for instance, the Los Angeles Library Tower attack which didn't happen.

I have another suggestion.

Show the videos of the Twin Towers event, COMPLETE with the vids of the people jumping out of the burning buildings and taking an 80-story dive.

You know. The dives from Hell to Eternity.

Those dives.

Fed Tax Revenues

In one word, Fed tax revenues are doing a cliff-dive.

Decrease, Oct/07 Oct/08: -6.95%

Decrease, Dec/07 Dec/08: -14.1%

Decrease, Mar/09 Mar/08: -38.6%


HT: Vox

BATFE Rogues; There Are Lots of Them

There have been plenty of complaints about the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) over the years, many from gun dealers (and Evian Gonzales' Miami family members.)

But you haven't seen these, from BATFE field agents.

The Southwest Field Division SAC ignored threats of murder and violence and an actual attack from a criminal organization a targeted at one of his assigned Special Agents and his family.
The SAC intentionally delayed the agency meager response to the threats and discouraged any follow-up investigation.
In coordination with ATF Headquarters, the SAC routinely tolerated, supported and encouraged the abuse of his own agents, resulting in major settlement payouts to the victims at taxpayer expense

..or try this one:

The SAC Southeast becomes the subject of an OPSRO/OIG investigation involving multiple allegations of significant ethics and integrity violations. She was formally found to be guilty of discrimination.
Agents and other employees who are victims of or witnesses to potential criminal acts by managers are never contacted under the Victim/Witness Protection Act as required by law.
Numerous previous and current ATF managers whose credibility was completely destroyed through obviously false testimony under oath, receive no disciplinary action and remain in key management positions

with this result:

The SAC was removed from his [sic] position and transferred to ATF HQ without explanation. The media was told that it was a “routine detail”, although she never returned to her previous position. A special HQ position intended to “park” and hide problematic managers until they are eligible to retire was created. Upon retirement with full SES status and benefits, the disgraced former SAC was touted by ATF as a “Hero"

Plenty more at the link.

HT: Of Arms, who comments,

As the page notes, there have been about 100 employee complaints a year, which in my federal experience, is staggering

...and that's just INTERNAL complaints!

Think the Economy's a Problem? Look at Pakistan

If you think that James "Three-Card-Monte" Doyle and his mentor, Obama-the-Fascist, are big problems, you're right.

But there's always the possibility of WORSE problems.

...Bill Roggio has even worse news - they’re [the taliban] also moving on the Haripur district, which neighbors not only Islamabad, but the military garrison city of Rawalpindi (headquarters of the Pakistani Army) and several nuclear facilities, including the facility where Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are reportedly stored. If memory serves, Pakistan has close to 100 nuclear weapons, already sized for ballistic-missile or tactical fighter delivery, and while they don’t possess any purely-military nuclear-capable assets that can hit American soil, they do have nuclear-capable assets that can easily hit Afghanistan.

You recall that US troops are in Afghanistan, right?

Eggster has more, here.

Cuomo to Jail Paulson? Good Idea!!

Little-noticed except in banker/politico circles, but very, very important. UPDATES BELOW!

According to the February 26th testimony of Bank of America CEO, Ken Lewis, before New York State Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo, Paulson strong-armed Lewis into completing the Merrill takeover, without disclosing to B of A shareholders that Merrill’s losses were much larger than publicly disclosed."

Lewis testified that he asked Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke to ‘put something in writing’ regarding the US government's plan to support pack of America's acquisition in view of Merrill's mounting losses," Bloomberg news reported yesterday. “After Bernanke said he would consider the idea, Paulson called Lewis and said, according to Lewis, ‘First, it would be so watered down, it wouldn't be as strong as what we were going to say to you verbally, and secondly, this would be a disclosable event and we do not want a disclosable event."

--Rude Awakening Newsletter 4/24/09, Bloomberg News (Similar story here.)

Which is to say that Henry Paulson, ex-Secretary of the Treasury of the US, is a co-conspirator to defraud the shareholders of Bank of America, AND the taxpayers who have coughed up money for the undisclosed "disclosable event." It is also possible that Lewis himself can be brought up on similar charges; as argued in the link above, Lewis' legal (and fiduciary) responsibilities are NOT to Paulson and Bernanke, but to the shareholders of BofA.

Let's hope that Mr. Cuomo pursues this line of investigation and issues indictments.

After all, Paulson has no "credibility" at this time, anyway.

Oh--one more thing: Thanks!! to GWBush.

UPDATE: Another Vote for Indictment by Vox

Even more on the topic from Ticker:

Let's outline the possibilities. There are only two:

1) Ken Lewis lied in his testimony. That is, he committed perjury and must be so charged. He also committed securities fraud, acting alone; the shareholders should sue him to Mars and the SEC should bring both civil and criminal felony complaints.

2) Ken Lewis told the truth. Ben Bernanke and Hank Paulson, both federal officials, grossly exceeded their authorities, possibly exposing them personally to liability, both civil and criminal. "Acting under color of authority of law" is an extremely serious matter and the predicate act may rise to extortion; since they acted in concert one must ask if racketeering may have taken place (in a legal context.) In addition Ken Lewis is an active participant as he cooperated with this unlawful act as demanded and he must also be charged.

Oh, so what?

Just as importantly we must have the truth for the integrity of our capital markets. That fluttering sound you hear is foreign capital departing, and if we are not careful since this extends to the highest level of our Treasury and Banking System (The Fed) the risk is very real that we will incite a run on Treasury Securities, which would lead to an immediate collapse of federal funding and the failure of our political and economic system

--THAT's what.

McIlheran Gets It

P-Mac, who actually read the signs and talked with TEA Party folks, gets it.

The critics miss a key distinction, one central to roughly 220 years of American liberty. It is this: One can favor government without favoring ever-growing, unlimited government.

The rallies made this point, that it's not taxes so much as their increase. "Tea," aside from the allusion to history, stood for "taxed enough already." This is what people wrote on signs. "Instead of raising taxes, maybe we should be tightening our belts," one gent in Milwaukee said. I can see where critics missed this, though, since you'd have to actually bother listening to ralliers to pick it up.


Next TEA party/protest day: July 4th, 2009.

Bring something that goes "BOOM!!"

Thursday, April 23, 2009

QueenNancy Loves "Torture"

HT Ace, and the wayback machine...

In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody. For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA's overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk

...Individual lawmakers' recollections of the early briefings varied dramatically, but officials present during the meetings described the reaction as mostly quiet acquiescence, if not outright support. "Among those being briefed, there was a pretty full understanding of what the CIA was doing," said Goss, who chaired the House intelligence committee from 1997 to 2004 and then served as CIA director from 2004 to 2006. "And the reaction in the room was not just approval, but encouragement." --WaPo, 2007

Frankly, it's likely that QueenNancy would approve 'torture' for Napolitano's CURRENT list of "terrorist" suspects (pro-lifers, believing Christians, Constitutionalists, returning war vets...), if they don't like her program for Fascist America.

Want Clean Air? Look East--to PRChina

While we're (loosely) on the thread of destroying American (and Wisconsin) manufacturing...

...the doomsayers seem strangely fixated on overcoming any climate crisis mainly by imposing greater burdens on a U.S. manufacturing base that is already very efficient but still cutting emissions substantially – even in the face of recession and unfair foreign, especially Chinese, competition

It’s as though a perverse, anti-American manufacturing attitude infects the nation’s capital. ...Washington has been so obsessed with the banks that it has paid scant attention to the extreme crisis in manufacturing; and it is manufacturing, not banking, that can actually create the plants, jobs, technology, products, and widespread wealth necessary for recovery – and do so in a climate-conscious way.

Gee. That sounded kinda familiar...

...China’s emissions performance is in a league of its own. The People’s Republic has just exceeded America as the world’s larger emitter in absolute terms, and according to some estimates, is currently producing 14 percent more greenhouse gases than the United States. Moreover, the U.S. Department of Energy projects that, from 2005 to 2030, China will generate fully 47 percent of the projected global increase in greenhouse gas emissions, and the third world as a whole will produce more than 86 percent.

Yup. Crucify US manufacturing with "carbon taxes," and order MORE goods from China--which emits more carbon today than does the entire USA...

Abp. of NYC on Various Topics

Good questions, excellent answers here.

HT: Rocco

Want Blog Traffic?


All you have to do is have a blogpost with "Fannie" and "Suicide."

By the way--one of those hits came from PRChina...

The Winning McCain Trends Catholic

This McCain fellow claims to be a Southern Prot.

Then he writes stuff like this:

Christians believe that marriage is an institution ordained by God, and every marriage is thus blessed. However, in ordaining marriage, God commanded man to "be fruitful and multiply." This commandment has never been repealed or amended, no matter what any Malthusian population-control fanatic tries to tell you.

One trend that has undermined marriage has been the rise of the Contraceptive Culture, which celebrates sterility as the norm and views fertility as a pathology requiring medical prevention.

How many Christians have embraced this false -- dare I say, evil -- worldview? How many young Christian married couples use contraception because "we can't afford children now"? And how many married Christian couples have unwittingly subscribed to the Zero Population Growth ideal of exactly two children per couple? Did you know that surgical sterilization (tubal ligation) is the No. 1 form of birth control for American women? It's the "two and tie 'em" mentality: Have exactly two children, then get yourself surgically sterilized. . . .

Next thing you know, he'll be writing for Homiletic & Pastoral Review, or Ignatius Press, or some such...

Belling Has It Right

Belling swats James Doyle, Three-Card-Monte winner. We had a parallel-track post on the more general issue yesterday.


Wisconsin has a tax-hiking dolt who won’t allow himself to be bothered with mundane concerns like hundreds of middle-class jobs.

Joel Kotkin:

The administration's priorities reflect a new political consciousness that, if not openly anti-industrial, seems to minimize manufacturing's role in the nation's long-term future

...These days this mentality appears alongside an overall contempt for the tangible economy. Very few Obama appointees have ties to the country's core productive sectors: manufacturing, agriculture, energy. Veterans of investment banking, academia or the public sector, they seem to see the economy more in terms of making media, images and trades – as opposed to actually making things


...[Doyle's] proposal to make businesses only slightly responsible for civil damages to have to pay the full amount of their cost [the joint/several liability change]

And, of course, Doyle's turning of the "energy screws" on industry issued last summer.

It does seem that Our Governor shares the ObamaCrowd's disdain for manufacturing--"making stuff"--and is far more interested in promoting lawyers, educators, State-payroll fattening, and the other ephemeralisms mentioned by Kotkin.

So, Lee Dreyfus was right: "Madison is 10 square miles surrounded by reality."

And to Hell with middle-class jobs surrounding "making things."

Milwaukee News Goes National. Ugh.

Well, Milwaukee made the national conversation--again. A few years ago, there was the 'wilding' incident following Juneteenth Day; then there were a few other spectacular crimes........

Now Ed "Kiss The Ground, Asshole!!" Flynn, Glorious Star-Covered Chief of Gestapo Police.

Dave Hardy at Arms and the Law; Clay Cramer; Snowflakes; Instapudit; Agitator; and there will be more...

Elmbrook Lawsuit Followup

The unintended humor and general ignorance on this thread is worth the read.

Perhaps the best one is from "Ralph" of Brookfield, who claims that he was "forced" to attend a graduation at Elmbrook church.

Really, Ralph? Who, exactly, "forced" you to attend? Storm-troopers? Mafia enforcers? The Brookfield Police Department's heretofore super-secret God Squad? Yo--Ralphie!! We want documentation!!

Another loose nut suggests that the graduation should be held at the nearest local mosque or synagogue--because, after all, the Elmbrook Church deal is really a sinister Christian Plot, and if the Christians were all forced to go to a mosque, THEN things would change...

Yah. That's it.

Some woman from Nekoosa chimes in, also referencing the "Christian Plot" to destroy the 'separation of church and state,' which plot has been ongoing for........years!!!

And "Ed Formerly of New Berlin" wonders why some children will be "forced" to have their last picture from HS "taken under a cross"--which tells us that Ed is grossly ignorant about the ceremonies and picture-taking protocols.

Matt Gibson is correct; the school system's use of the Elmbrook facility is strictly for secular purposes, is amply justified by space, comfort, and convenience factors, and is perfectly Constitutional given those arguments.

And that "anonymous" senior-class member who filed the suit? Not really "anonymous." The name's in circulation, and has been for about 180 days.

17 Years Old, and Not Your Daughter Anymore: FDA

Ah, the wonders of having Federal judges and a Federal agency!

Seventeen-year-olds will soon be able to buy the "morning after" emergency contraceptive without a doctor's prescription, after the Food and Drug Administration bowed to a federal judge's order Wednesday.

Just in time for senior prom!!

Here's the name of the perpetrator:

U.S. District Judge Edward Korman...ordered the FDA to let 17-year-olds get the birth control pills. He also directed the agency to evaluate whether all age restrictions should be lifted

The kind of guy you want living next door, ya know.

(D) Job Creation: Add to Lawton's Office

Well, here's one (D) job creation!

...the Legislature's budget committee wants to add a position to Democratic Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton's office.

The Democratic-controlled committee Tuesday approved adding more than $118,000 to Lawton's budget so she can hire a fourth staffer.

The staffer will share the burden of doing exactly nothing--which is what Lawton does.

"Slow Roll" or "Obama Muddle": Which Is Worse?

Yesterday, the WaPo printed a column about "slow rolling" at the CIA following the Obama arabesque (walk forth, walk back, toss the ball to an inferior, shrug and skedaddle) on the torture question.'s known as "slow rolling." That's what agency officers sometimes do on politically sensitive assignments. They go through the motions; they pass cables back and forth; they take other jobs out of the danger zone; they cover their backsides

President Obama promised CIA officers that they won't be prosecuted for carrying out lawful orders, but the people on the firing line don't believe him. They think the memos have opened a new season of investigation and retribution.

The lesson for younger officers is obvious: Keep your head down. Duck the assignments that carry political risk. Stay away from a counterterrorism program that has become a career hazard

It's not just our guys, either.

Agency officials also worry about the effect on foreign intelligence services that share secrets with the United States in a process politely known as "liaison." A former official who remains in close touch with key Arab allies such as Egypt and Jordan warns: "There is a growing concern that the risk is too high to do the things with America they've done in the past."

On the other hand, since the Obama Administration has scrubbed "terrorism" from the lexicon (except for US citizens who are pro-life, military veterans, believing and practicing Christians, or Constitutionalists)--who cares?

Well, actually, the Administration spinners care. Here we have Politico:

President Barack Obama’s attempt to project legal and moral clarity on coercive CIA interrogation methods has instead done the opposite — creating confusion and political vulnerability over an issue that has inflamed both the left and right.

...The public distance between Obama and Emanuel over prosecutions set off a frenzy in the White House briefing room, where reporters pushed press secretary Robert Gibbs to acknowledge that the administration had reversed itself on the prosecution issue. Gibbs, who had endorsed Emanuel’s position on Monday, awkwardly declined to address the discrepancy on Tuesday, which seemed only to intensify reporters’ insistence that he do so

So the spinners are behind the 8-ball.

A Democratic strategist close to the White House said: “The president looked resolute, and like he had threaded the needle perfectly on the substance: The heat from the right was preposterous, and the heat from the left was manageable. But now they look like the scarecrow, pointing in both directions. They got the policy right, but they look confused and beaten down by critics."

Obviously, the heat from the Left was not-so-manageable.

Want a clue as to what happens next? Politico has a big fat hint for you.

A non-profit think tank, the U.S. Naval Institute, also noted that the press release omitted a line claiming that Congressional leaders and executive branch officials were "repeatedly" briefed on the interrogation program and allowed it to continue.

...which is to say that NOTHING will happen on this matter unless Pelosi and Reid can exculpate themselves in advance.

But that won't make the Slow Roll reverse, folks.

Here's how it works: if you actually want to demolish our foreign intel programs, elect a Democrat. Carter, Clinton, and Obama all screwed intel to a fare-thee-well.

It's a pattern worth remembering.

Geithnerism, Part Two

Yesterday we introduced the term "Geithnerism."

Today we'll have to expand the definition, or change it.

The Treasury Department has not developed a strategy to manage the billions of dollars of investments it holds under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), according to a startling new report from TARP’s inspector general.

Treasury was told by SIGTARP in January to develop such a plan

That's not all.

Another revelation from the SIGTARP report: The Treasury Department has almost no oversight over a joint Treasury-Federal Reserve lending program known as TALF, or the Term Asset-backed securities Lending Facility.

“Treasury did not receive sufficient oversight-enabling provisions in the (TALF) agreements,” the report says. “(I)t has no oversight or access rights over any of the borrowers, including borrowers who default on their loans.

Treasury does not even have the right to learn the identity of such borrowers,” the report noted. “Under its current agreement, Treasury does not have access to the identity, or any oversight authority over, the borrowers from whom, in effect, it will be buying surrendered ABS (asset-backed securities).”

We thought that the term "Geithnerism" could be a noun meaning 'true one day, not true the next.' Well, that definition itself is a Geithnerism; it's not adequate.

Today's definition:

Geithnerism: adj., signifying total incompetence or cluelessness; usually applied to statements or work-products which are meaningless or so incomplete as to be useless. Also see: Geithnerite, Geithneritical

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Doyle, SEIU, and ACORN

Well, well, well.

We all know that 'there is no voter fraud' in Wisconsin, (except for the ACORN organization's voter fraud.)

And we all know that vote fraud leans (D).

And we all know that James Doyle, Governor of Wisconsin, inserted a provision in his budget (!!) which makes membership in the SEIU MANDATORY for certain healthcare workers.

Those are dots. Here's an interesting little story. Maybe there's a connect-the-dots.

“ACORN claims to be non-partisan but there are mountains of evidence that show it is flagrantly partisan,” Vadum said. “It celebrates the most left-wing politicians and endorses Democratic Party candidates. Whenever ACORN is called out for activity that might violate their tax status, the standard operating procedure is to deny responsibility and to place the blame on rogue actors. Their network is deliberately set up to avoid scrutiny and to create confusion.

Yup. It was "rogue actors" who pulled the voter-registration fraud in Milwaukee...

While the organization’s complicated structure makes is difficult to determine how many affiliates and subsidiaries are tied in with ACORN’s vast apparatus, its connection with organized labor, especially the Service Employees International Union, is well-established, Vadum observed.

SEIU Locals 100 and 880 are identified as allied organizations on ACORN’s web site. U.S. Department of Labor LM-2’s (financial disclosure forms) point to over $600,000 in transactions between these same SEIU locals and other ACORN operations. A 2007 LM-2 form shows SEIU Local 880, which is active in Illinois and Minnesota, donated $60,118 to ACORN for "membership services." Organized labor has kicked it back in the form of gifts and grants to ACORN totaling $2.4 million, the LM-2’s reveal...

In 2008 SEIU spent over $42 million on independent expenditures and communications, more than any other group aside from the Republican and Democratic National Committees, according to SEIU’s political action committee (PAC) also contributed about $2.3 million to candidates in the 2007-2008 cycle, with 94 percent of its donations going to Democrats

$42Million spent in political money.

Mandatory SEIU membership, ordered so by the Governor of Wisconsin.


Actually, The Problem Is Vice

Benedict XVI:

Greed, which views possession and appearance as the most important things in the world, is the real root of the current global economic crisis. Benedict XVI again today pointed to a "vice" of the human heart as the profound cause of the economic situation. He has expressed this view repeatedly, most recently in Luanda, during his trip to Africa, when he spoke of "the greed that corrupts the heart of man," or at the beginning of April, when in a message addressed to the G20 summit he wrote that the origin of the crisis there is also a "failure of correct ethical behavior."...

I had a business conversation with a client today during which he mentioned that he had bid against a Fortune 50 competitor in two different situations. In one case, they underbid the F50 company by NINETY-FIVE PERCENT (and my client was going to make a lot of money); in the other, they underbid the same competitor by about SIXTY-SEVEN PERCENT (and my client was going to make a lot of money.)

Obviously, there are a number of reasons for price variations, one of them being retained earnings to allow a Company to survive recessions and to spend money on R&D, (etc., etc.) But one can question disparities that large for damn-near-identical service offerings, no?


HT: Rocco

ND's Fr, Jenkins v. His Bishop: Mano-a-???

Whether Fr. Jenkins of Notre Dame U. likes it or not, THE Catholic authority in South Bend is the local Bishop. Yes, it is a Goliath vs. David situation; it's likely that most people don't even know that South Bend has a Bishop--but they sure do know that there's a Golden Dome in that town.

Well, David issued a very strong statement about Goliath's smoochy-kissy-with-Obammy, and he remarks on Fr. Jenkins' defense of Fr. Jenkins' abominable decision.

1. The meaning of the sentence in the USCCB document relative to Catholic institutions is clear. It places the responsibility on those institutions, and indeed, on the Catholic community itself.

2. When there is a doubt concerning the meaning of a document of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, where does one find the authentic interpretation? A fundamental, canonical and theological principal (sic) states that it is found in the local bishop, who is the teacher and lawgiver in his diocese

...4. I reminded Father Jenkins that he indicated that he consulted presidents of other Catholic universities, and at least indirectly, consulted other bishops, since he asked those presidents to share with him those judgments of their own bishops. However, he chose not to consult his own bishop who, as I made clear, is the teacher and lawgiver in his own diocese

(5.)...Father Jenkins declared the invitation to President Obama does not “suggest support” for his actions, because he has expressed and continues to express disagreement with him on issues surrounding protection of life. I wrote that the outpouring of hundreds of thousands who are shocked by the invitation clearly demonstrates, that this invitation has, in fact, scandalized many Catholics and other people of goodwill. In my office alone, there have been over 3,300 messages of shock, dismay and outrage, and they are still coming in. It seems that the action in itself speaks so loudly that people have not been able to hear the words of Father Jenkins

(6.) would be one thing to bring the president here for a discussion on healthcare or immigration, and no person of goodwill could rightly oppose this. We have here, however, the granting of an honorary degree of law to someone whose activities both as president and previously, have been altogether supportive of laws against the dignity of the human person yet to be born.

In my letter, I have also asked Father Jenkins to correct, and if possible, withdraw the erroneous talking points, which appeared in the South Bend Tribune and in other media outlets across the country. The statements which Father Jenkins has made are simply wrong and give a flawed justification for his actions

Bp. D'Arcy's comments are, frankly, manly, which is not typical of US Bishop-talk.

And it's damn refreshing to see it!

HT: CrankyCon

Another Conservative Platform Possibility

The Conservatives have been challenged to come up with a platform which will recapture Congress (and the Presidency).

Here's an article which presents interesting possibilities.

...a recent survey of manufacturers found that most see the stimulus as only "slightly effective" for them. This is no surprise, since the lion's share of the $800 billion is going to bolster the banks, with scraps spread out to green projects, health care and education.

The administration's priorities reflect a new political consciousness that, if not openly anti-industrial, seems to minimize manufacturing's role in the nation's long-term future.

... it is also dangerous to embrace a mindset that disdains all practical skill and areas of business not dominated by the cognitive elite.

These days this mentality appears alongside an overall contempt for the tangible economy. Very few Obama appointees have ties to the country's core productive sectors: manufacturing, agriculture, energy. Veterans of investment banking, academia or the public sector, they seem to see the economy more in terms of making media, images and trades – as opposed to actually making things.

Such an approach also reinforces the administration's surprising radicalism on the environmental front. Most industrial firms understand that precipitous moves to limit greenhouse gases and decimate domestic fossil fuels threaten America's international competitiveness.

Why should we care? Here are two good reasons:

As demographer Richard Morrill has pointed out, traditionally, regions with industrial economies have been more egalitarian than the finance-driven areas. If this anti-manufacturing trend continues, more of America will resemble New York, Los Angeles or Chicago, places sharply divided between a growing class of low-wage workers and a relative few hegemons in finance, academia and media.

Perhaps even worse, by stimulating everything but industry, the administration risks accelerating the very imbalance between production and consumption that is one key reason for the nation's economic woes

Ultimately benefitting OTHER countries, like PRChina and India.

Stupidity runs rampant, of course.

...economic conservatives have tended, if anything, to be at least equally clueless about the importance of industry. As far back as 1984 – the peak of the Reagan era – the New York Stock Exchange issued a report stating that "a strong manufacturing economy is not a requisite for a prosperous economy."

Wasn't true then, isn't true now; but it certainly has a New York City 'ring' to it, eh? Kinda like Geithner does.

So, Paul Ryan, pay attention:

American industry needs government to recognize their importance. We need incentives for improved productivity and investment, including ones for those companies employing "green" technologies. Another step would be to include accurate "carbon accounting" of goods produced elsewhere – particularly in places like China, whose production tends to generate more pollutants than those in more regulated countries like the U.S. Greening may be good, but it should not become another excuse for American de-industrialization

The article was written in hopes that Obama's boyzzzzzzz would pay attention to it and implement the suggestions above. That's not likely--leaving the field open to actual Conservatives who have an interest in the economic well-being of the USA and all its inhabitants.

Elmbrook Sued Over Graduation

No big surprise.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State had warned the Elmbrook district in February that it likely would take legal action if the district did not move upcoming graduation ceremonies from the Town of Brookfield megachurch to a secular location.

...In its response to Americans United, the district asserted that its reasons for choosing the church were "purely secular" and included having a venue that is large enough to host all the graduates and their family members

Well, by coincidence, someone did a bit of homework which is not legally relevant (this is from the Preamble to the Wisconsin Constitution and the suit was filed in Federal Court) but SHOULD have a bearing on the case:

We, the people of Wisconsin, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, domestic tranquility…

It would be snarky to ask "What domestic tranquility, given Americans United exist?"

--or would it?


Pretty soon, that word will be in Webster's.

Geithnerism, n: a statement which, after a time, is un-true.

Treasury Department lawyers have determined that firms participating in a $1 trillion program to relieve banks of toxic assets could be subject to limits on executive compensation, contradicting the Obama administration's previous public position, according to a report to be released today by a federal watchdog agency. [...]

Speaking last month about the initiative to buy toxic assets, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said, "The comp conditions will not apply to the asset managers and investors in the program."

HT: Gabriel/Ace

"Prime" Mortgages Sour

The recession is not over yet. The question: whether this trend will get even worse.

Prime borrowers at least 60 days behind on mortgages — “Delinquent” is the official term for this period — rose from 497,131 in December to 743,686 in January, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency. This is almost double the total for October.

That report is from Fan/Fred.

HT: Big Picture

The Obama/Pelosi/Reid "Close America" Act

It's called "ACES."

Pertinent questions:

Can I afford a $3,128 tax? Can I afford 60-144 percent increase in gas prices? Can I afford to have my job shipped overseas because my employer can’t afford to stay in business with a 77-128 percent increase in electricity prices? My guess is, the answers to all three are “no”...

--Cong. G. Radanovich, quoted in RedStates

Ph.D in PoliSci, Now MSM Ignoramus

Rachel Maddow earned (?) a Ph.D in PoliSci at Oxford.

Maybe the location of her alma mater explains her gigungous stupidiflub:

Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, appears to have his sights set on higher office. What is higher office if you're already governor in Texas? Of course, that would be president of Texas. The return of Confederacy in American politics as seceding from the Union comes back into Republican fashion.

You go, girl.

HT: NewsBusters

On the Second Amendment

Just a reminder.

...the rights secured by the Second Amendment are “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition,” and “necessary to the Anglo-American regime of ordered liberty.” ...

Second, the right to bear arms is a protection against the possibility that even our own government could degenerate into tyranny, and though this may seem unlikely, this possibility should be guarded against with individual diligence.--Justice Gould, 9th Circuit, Nordyke

Gould was appointed to the 9th Circuit by Wm. Jefferson Clinton.

HT: Clay Cramer

Obama: "L'Etat et La Loi, C'est Moi"

Add this to the pile of evidence that to Obama, the rule of law is personal, not business.

Many liberals don't just want to defeat conservatives at the polls, they want to send them to jail. Toward that end, they have sometimes tried to criminalize what are essentially policy differences. President Obama hinted at another step in that direction when he said today that he is open to the idea of bringing criminal charges against the Justice Department lawyers who wrote opinions to the effect that waterboarding and other harsh interrogation methods could legally be used on al Qaeda detainees. ..

The idea of prosecuting a lawyer because a wrote a legal analysis with which the current Attorney General disagrees is so outrageous that I can't believe it would be seriously considered

--Powerline, quoted by Sykes.

Same as if VanHollen decided to criminally prosecute Lautenschlager for her notorious 'cranberry' thoughts.

Obama's Gift to Cerberus

Cerberus is a hedge-fund, with major dollars coming from (inter alia) oil-producing countries and heavy-hitter US investors.

They own Chrysler.

This is kind of interesting:

Chrysler owes ... lenders, which include banks such as Citigroup Inc. and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., about $6.9 billion. But President Barack Obama and his auto team had demanded that the banks cut that to $1 billion, while gaining no equity stake in a restructured Chrysler.

IOW, Obama's boyzzz want the Banks to give Cerberus about $6Bn.

Those would be the banks which are the recipients of taxpayer money, in effect, YOU are giving Cerberus about $6Bn.

HT: Calculated Risk

Doyle Rules, You're Screwed, Part 89,765

More Doyle governance stuffed down your throat (or up your....)

People would [that's WILL] see a surcharge of up to 75 cents on their monthly phone bills to pay for upgrading 911 services under a state budget provision adopted Tuesday by the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee

That's 75 cents, every month, for each and every phone line (cell or land) you use. And that's in addition to the $$Umpty-millions you ALREADY paid for 'upgrading' 911 centers.

Speaking of which:

A past surcharge on wireless phones, which ranged from 43 cents to 92 cents per line to help upgrade and maintain 911 centers, expired in July. The committee voted to use a $20.3 million surplus in that account as part of aid payments to local governments. Otherwise, cell phone owners would receive a one-time credit on their bill of $5 on average

Cute. The State overcharges you and then, looking at itself in a mirror, says "Keep the change, Bub!!"--then thanks itself, and puts your money in its pocket.

And finally, the Purchase-More-Votes-for-Doyle song is sung: You will now be forced to fund more pensions!!

The recommendation to extend pensions to part-time school aides came on an 11-4 party-line vote

State officials said they don't have a precise number of how many part-time workers it would affect, but suggested it could range from 2,500 to 8,400 employees. School districts would bear the costs, which amount to 10.4% of payroll

But if you think that's stupid, check this factoid:

...teachers qualify for pensions when they work 440 hours a year, while support staff don't qualify until they work 600 hours a year

If you have a 401(k), you generally have to work over 1,000 hours/year to qualify.

Thought you'd like to know that!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Reflections on the Tea Parties

As usual, Deneen provides provocative stuff.

Last week's motley collection of protests against taxation, centralization and the Government are now old news, but their spirit remains perennially relevant. Invoked in the name of the original "Boston Tea Party," the patchwork of local Tea Parties sought to revive the spirit of protest against a distant and arbitrary government. While a number of commentators have rightly noted that this most recent set of "tea parties" did not share a central feature of the original Boston tea party - namely, a protest against "taxation without representation" - in a deeper sense, there is a profound continuity between these two protests, even if the circumstances and the particular governments in question are radically different.

...Indeed, if anything should be learned from our current crisis, it is that the very apparent "efficiencies" of larger and more consolidated entities actually decrease our capacity to govern ourselves. The current frustrations of our many "Tea Parties" is surely derived from the palpable sense that things have spun wholly out of control and ordinary citizens are being asked to bankroll a system that is almost wholly ungovernable.

... If anything, this "reset" should consist of the obvious instruction that we should be downsizing and decentralizing, retaining and encouraging actual diversities based in local circumstance rather than encouraging the creation of monolithic and homogeneous organizations of such massiveness that they are barely governable and hardly function. Above all, we should avoid further centralization in the name of efficiency that simultaneously leaves the citizenry with a sense of insignificance, powerlessness, irrelevance and indignity.

Condensed a bit: we have created "efficiencies" in Gummint which by necessity have deprived us of control of that Gummint. What Deneen doesn't mention (and is equally true) is that, given the larger platforms, politicians have sought to increase their control.

In other words, we got efficiency, all right--at the cost of actual self-government.

New Archbishop for St Louis

From the St Louis website:

Archbishop–elect Carlson was installed as the fifth bishop of the Diocese of Saginaw on February 24, 2005 at the direction of Pope John Paul II. A native of Minneapolis, MN, he was ordained to the priesthood on May 23, 1970 for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. He was later ordained as an auxiliary bishop for his home archdiocese on January 11, 1984 and went on to serve as Bishop of Sioux Falls, SD, from 1994 to 2005.

He is admired by the Michigan canonist...

And AmPap tells us:

In 2003 Bp. Carlson told Tom Daschle he could no longer call himself Catholic, when he was his bishop.