Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Doyle Incompetency: Monumental


Doyle sure picks a bunch of wieners winners for HIS administration.

...people wanting to sign up for Food Share – that’s what food stamps are called in Wisconsin – need to call (888) 947-6583. The number’s toll-free.

Simple, eh? Wrong answer!!

...the state Department of Health Services, the people doing the takeover, didn’t tell the media. You’d think they’d do that if they want the message out that, as of July 1, the old number stops being answered.

And it gets even better, but not for the 178,000 people who will soon depend on the Doyle Incompetency for food. Read the article linked below...

HT: McIlheran

Stupid Crook Jokes, Texas Edition

Dreher passes along a story from Fort Worth.

Big kerfuffle in Fort Worth as gay protesters complain that cops who turned up at a gay bar to arrest patrons were brutal. I find this hilarious:

Protesters said they want to know why Fort Worth police officers and Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission agents used what the protesters described as excessive force when arresting seven patrons at the Rainbow Lounge early Sunday.

In a statement, the Fort Worth Police Department said agents inspected three bars early Sunday and police arrested patrons at the Rainbow Lounge because they were drunk and tried to grope officers

Umnnnhhh...a crotch-grab of a cop in Texas is not a wise move. Period.

Screw Paul Krugman, Too!

Only a complete jackass could write that:

[i]f, like virtually all House Republicans and a handful of Dems, you don't agree with the likes of Henry Waxman on the need to take radical measures on the climate, you're guilty of . . . "a form of treason." Treason against the planet, to be precise.

Calling dissenters 'treasonous'?

Is that somewhere in Econ 101 books?

NewsBusters via Caveman

The Abuse of "Power"--from a Philo/Theo Standpoint

This guy has a good grip on the issue.


...Nevertheless, the term was used in the common colloquial sense that suggests that power is the capacity to do what one wills, as one wills. This sense of power as arbitrary application of force over/against someone or something else certainly corresponds to the arbitrariness associated with modern notions of freedom. It also is what gave rise to the Hegelian-Marxist-Nietzschean view that conflict is in someway a necessary part of the natural order. This defective philosophy permeates many aspects of our society.

He points to Ockham (Occam's Razor fame) as one source--and tells us that Ockham was influenced by Mohammedan thought (!)

It's not a lenghty post--read the rest.

GimmeMoneyMagination; GE KO's Competition w/FDIC Help

HT to Rhymes With Shown for this. You should read his post to get a feel for Professional Rent-Seeking.

Long story short, the FDIC began backing the borrowing of certain banks and S&L's about the same time TARP rolled out. That FDIC guarantee encouraged bond-buyers.

At the time, GECapital owned a couple of small S&L's in Utah and was primarily an "industrial loan" company--essentially, GE financed sales of its own product. They were not limited to that, by the way; they also made a lot of commercial real-estate loans.

Anyhoo, GE's lobbying effort paid off--despite its prima facie non-eligibility for FDIC backing, they managed to get it.

What's just as interesting as that is this:

Not every finance company has had that peace of mind. One of GE's competitors in business lending markets, CIT Group, a smaller company, has had a harder time raising cash. It has been unable to persuade the FDIC to allow it into the debt-guarantee program, at least in part because of its lower credit ratings. A recent Standard & Poor's analysis cited CIT's "inability to access TLGP" as a factor in the company's declining financial condition.

Awwwww. Too bad. A major GECapital competitor may just disappear.

Now and then the critics of "capitalism" are absolutely correct.

Why Obama Backs the CorruptoCrat of Honduras

From IBD, via Powerline, a couple of reasons that Obama/Clinton are lining up with Zelaya.

1) Buttering up Chavez:

The Venezuelan despot has made political hay against the U.S. over its premature recognition of the Venezuelan coup leaders who tried to overthrow Chavez in 2002. Obama wants to avoid that this time

2) Buttering up to the Organization of American States (OAS)

The White House also wants to mollify the morally corrupted Organization of American States,...

3) (and a much darker, but entirely plausible, rationale)--Obama likes Statists:

Such a response says that democracy effectively ends with elections. It says rule of law is irrelevant and that rulers have rights, not responsibilities

Maybe it's all three. But with Obama, there is a track record of Statism and "ruler rights" which gives one pause to think.

The "Gummint Efficiency" Lie

The Warrior found this.

...when you compare administrative costs on a per-person basis, Medicare is dramatically less efficient than private insurance plans. As you can see here, between 2001-2005, Medicare’s administrative costs on a per-person basis were 24.8% higher, on average, than private insurers.

Actually, Obama is much less-sophisticated a liar than Clinton.

And, fortunately, the smackdowns are faster. Yesterday, the "McAllen lie." Today, the "Administrative costs" lie.

Squash That Recovery With Taxes!


Dear Leader Obama has a few more business taxes lined up, ready to go, reported by Geoff Colvin at Fortune, relayed by the AmSpec blog.

The White House therefore proposes charging all American companies full freight -- the whole difference between their overseas taxes and the U.S. corporate rate -- on all their profits as soon as they're earned, no matter where. This measure, in their minds, would bring jobs home.

...Another would require companies to account for their inventories on a first-in-first-out (FIFO) basis rather than a last-in-first-out (LIFO) one -- an eye-glazing change that's highly significant.

1) It's not likely that 'full freight' taxation, in and of itself, will move jobs back to the USA; there are a lot of other considerations which play into that decision.

2) FIFO is great for the Gummint when inflation hits (and it will.) But it's like property taxes, which increase based on the "value" of your home, rather than your ability to pay.

But that's not the bad news. Here's the bad news:

Tax-wise, a company is just a bunch of incorporation papers; all taxes are paid by people -- customers, shareholders and employees. And guess who would bear most of the burden of these tax increases? It's the U.S. employees of the companies being taxed.

Research has shown that
when business taxes are raised by a dollar, 70 to 92 cents comes out of employees' pay.

Now that's a stimulating thought, eh?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Was Buckley Right About Iraq?

Good, if brief, discussion here.


Buckley was influenced both by a Cold War conservatism that emphasized American ideals and an older conservatism that understood the rootedness of normal countries in history and place. Believers in the latter have sometimes been guilty of indifference in the face of tyranny. Believers in the former without any regard for the older conservatism's sobriety tend to be guilty of something else: liberalism.

Yes, boys and girls, the Wilsonian conceit. Liberalism.

Bush gained my assent on the Iraq adventure only by the slimmest of margins; I assumed he had intel that I did not have. But as to his Second Inaugural foo-dadderie about 'spreading democracy' all over the earth like Glidden paint?

Wilsonian conceit.

Five Months Past Due: Get Sued

No, not your mortgage.

The campaign finance reports, silly.

A state Government Accountability Board attorney said Monday the agency would sue four legislators because they have not filed campaign-finance reports that were due nearly five months ago.

Michael Haas, an attorney with the state elections watchdog, said lawsuits would be filed within about two weeks against Rep. Tamara Grigsby (D-Milwaukee), Rep. Scott Newcomer (R-Hartland), Rep. Christine Sinicki (D-Milwaukee) and Rep. Annette "Polly" Williams (D-Milwaukee).

Reports from the four were due Feb. 2, but none has been filed, Haas said.

Only Newcomer is (cough) a relative newcomer to the scene--but that's not really a good excuse.

Obama Doubles Down on Honduras

Despite the fact that the Honduras' President was removed by court order, Obama is not happy.

President Barack Obama says the weekend ouster of Honduran leader Manuel Zelaya was a "not legal" coup and that he remains the country's president.

Obama spoke to reporters in the
Oval Office on Monday after meetings with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe. Obama said he wanted to be very clear that President Zelaya is the democratically elected president.

Obama pledged the U.S. to "stand on the side of democracy" and to work with other nations and international entities to resolve the matter peacefully

That's fairly strong language: "not legal."

But Obama has plenty of folks who agree with him:

...Fidel Castro, Daniel Ortega, Hillary Clinton and, of course, Hugo [Chavez].

That list is from an earlier report published in the Wall Street Journal.

Here's more:

While Honduran law allows for a constitutional rewrite, the power to open that door does not lie with the president. A constituent assembly can only be called through a national referendum approved by its Congress.

But Mr. Zelaya declared the vote on his own and had Mr. Chávez ship him the necessary ballots from Venezuela.

...The attorney general had already made clear that the referendum was illegal, and he further announced that he would prosecute anyone involved in carrying it out. Yesterday, Mr. Zelaya was arrested by the military and is now in exile in Costa Rica.

Castro, Chavez, Ortega. I don't know if I like those associates, Mr. Obama.

French Catholic "Fundies", or Integristes

Interesting observation here.

Where do the fundamentalists come from?

The vast majority of the faithful are those nostalgic for the Church before 1965 and especially the Latin Mass. However, the leaders of the movement are priests and lay people who are much more arrogant and who often belong to the extreme right. Sociologically, they consist mainly of large families of aristocratic and bourgeois tradition who are very committed to the moral order and the Catholic tradition. But it is not exclusive - they also recruit from the mainstream
. --Henri Tincq, Le Parisien interview.

The French term for "fundamentalist" is "integriste" and has approximately the same connotation as does "fundamentalist" in the US.

Another Look at Obama's Foreign "Policy"


...In Obama’s imagination, a Sunni Arab coalition – empowered by Washington’s turn against Israel – would encircle Iran and dissuade it from acquiring nuclear weapons, while an entirely separate Shi’ite coalition with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization would suppress the radical Sunni Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan. This was the worst-designed scheme concocted by a Western strategist since Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery attacked the bridges at Arnhem in 1944, and it has blown up in Obama’s face.

I don't know whether Obama designed this based on his political experience in Chicago, or based on a stunning lack of understanding of the power of religious fanaticism.

Either way, it won't work.

Oh, Yah. Wisconsin Pioneers "Card Check"

Jo found this in the new "budget".

...Provide that bargaining units would be formed if and when a majority of research assistants at each campus affirm the decision to participate in collective bargaining by signing an authorization card stating this intent. Require the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission (WERC) to establish a procedure whereby research assistants may determine whether to form themselves into collective bargaining units by authorization cards in lieu of secret ballot...

This only applies to research assistants. Doyle's proposal (for faculty) requires a secret ballot.


"Shaken Baby"? Maybe Not

Interesting article here.

Of specific interest is this:

“there is no consensus among medical professionals as to whether the symptoms that have traditionally been attributed to SBS are necessarily indicative of intentional shaking.”

Seems that some SBS symptoms occur in newborns just released from the hospital, and CAN occur through accidental dropping at only one to four feet.

The McAllen, TX Lie-With-Statistics

The McAllen, TX. "case" became the foundation of an ObamaCare argument--that there was "too much" medical service rendered in 'some parts' of the USA. Grand Junction, CO., was offered as the antithesis to McAllen.

The "case" is hogwash.

Many of the disease rates for the McAllen population are more than double those for Grand Junction. If the Medicare population in McAllen is truly that much sicker wouldn’t we expect the payments to be greater? A comparison of expenditures for Medicare enrollees without a diagnosis of diabetes or heart disease in the last year shows that costs for these standard populations are statistically very close.

HT: JustOneMinute

$3,972,000. Per Day

That is the amount that the State of Wisconsin will borrow during the next 2 years, per its new "budget."

Almost $4 million/day, every single day.

HT: Sykes

Also HT to the anony who has a calculator!

Lessons From Chairman Mao

Owen came across a gem.

What, then would the Chairman himself do? “Easy,” he said - concurring with Liu at least on that. “You rub the pepper thoroughly into the cat’s backside. When it burns, the cat will lick it off - and be happy that it is permitted to do so.”

Just as revealing are the solutions Mao determined NOT to use.

And if you can't read between THOSE lines, come back in 10 years or so...

'Hindering Sales' or Reality Pricing?

The local angle is just the tip of the iceberg; realtors are protesting nationally, too.

Under an industry code of conduct that took effect May 1, mortgage brokers, real estate agents and loan officers are prohibited from selecting home appraisers. In order to avoid trouble with the rule, called the Home Valuation Code of Conduct, many lenders are hiring companies that put together pools of appraisers and then assign them to individual housing transactions, they say. The code applies to mortgages that will be sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

Real estate agents and mortgage brokers say it has led to an increase in questionable or stingy valuations by appraisers who are leery of producing estimates that are too high, or who may be from outside the housing market and unfamiliar with the nuances of neighborhoods to which they're sent.

Note the Fan/Fred connection. You might recall that Fan and Fred have a few problem loans.

Bill Garber, director of government and external relations for the national Appraisal Institute, said appraisals are meant to be a risk-management tool for lenders "who typically don't want to lend beyond what the value of the collateral is worth."

"Appraisers don't make the market. They simply report what is occurring within the markets, and they are sort of the eyes and ears of the lender," said Garber, whose organization is the nation's largest association of appraisers. "In the end, it's really a lending decision."

It may be a fact that 'non-locals' are less informed. On the other hand, it IS a fact that if Fan/Fred lose, so does the US taxpayer.

From Ritholtz, in an essay outlining the national effort to rescind the new regs:

Historically, there was no incentive to inflate appraisals. But with the rise of the mortgage brokers—many working closely with real estate agents—the business of steering appraisals to the most generous rose rapidly. By inflating appraisals, many appraisers found they could attract more referral business; some even managed to always hit the target prices given by real estate agents, which contributed significantly to the huge run-up in home prices. In 2005, more than 8,000 appraisers—roughly 10 percent of the industry—petitioned the federal government to take action against such abuses. But both Congress and the White House did nothing, allowing this rampant fraud to continue unabated.

Nobody wants to hear that their house has devalued. But a devalued market is what it is.

Honduras: NOT a "Coup"; What's Obama Doing?

The early reports were a bit under-informed.

In a nutshell, Zelaya wanted another term as president so he decided to hold a popular referendum on whether he should be eligible. Minor problem: The Honduran constitution can’t be amended by popular referendum so the country’s supreme court ordered the vote canceled. Zelaya tried to go ahead with it anyway. Literally every other arm of the Honduran government — judiciary, legislature, military — was against him, to the point where the troops who arrested him this morning were evidently acting on a court order.

Zelaya is a Chavez-ite; some Hondurans were concerned that Zelaya was following the Chavez/Argentine model, beginning with his move to make his Presidency long-lived.

Even more interesting is the Obama reaction, which seems to favor Zelaya. Why? Perhaps he did not want the US to be perceived as too close to the Honduran military.

Promises, Broken

What "promise"?

White House adviser David Axelrod said the administration wouldn't rule out taxing some employees' benefits to fund a health care agenda that has yet to take final form.

...But if President Barack Obama compromises on that point, it would reverse a campaign tax promise.

"I pledge that under my plan, no one making less than $250,000 a year will see any type of tax increase," Obama told a crowd in Dover, N.H., last year. "Not income tax, not capital gains taxes, not any kind of tax."

Under the bus.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Cap-and-Tax Building Codes

We mentioned in passing that yes, indeed, Cap-and-Tax has a section which will supercede local building codes.

Samples? Sure.

Sets energy efficiency targets for the national building code: “on the date of enactment of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, 30 percent reduction in energy use relative to a comparable building constructed in compliance with the baseline code…effective January 1, 2014, for residential buildings, and January 1, 2015, for commercial buildings, 50 percent reduction in energy use relative to the baseline code; and…January 1, 2017...

...Requires that states and local governments comply with or exceed the national energy efficiency building code, and provides for enforcement mechanisms for states which are out of compliance

And then there's this:

"This section requires the Secretary of Energy to develop a Retrofit for Energy and Environmental Performance (REEP) program to facilitate building retrofit programs for energy efficiency and efficient water use. Funding will be made available through REEP to the State Energy Programs for state and local efforts, including audits, incentives, technical assistance, and training.

The red highlight is very interesting, indeed.

HT: Riehl

The HRC Question

Just Sunday afternoon speculatin'.

Hillary ain't going down with the USS Obamanation, bet on it- serving Chairman O to the bitter end is not the way the Clintons plan to end their legacy. And as for other Democrats who were caught surprised by the meteoric rise of Obama, then just went with the flow-- there's a lot of shallow support out there that could evaporate as quickly as it appeared. The arrogant serial-opportunist Obama seems destined to offend much of the party's old guard, as well as anyone else that he used to get elected... but now no longer finds useful.

Reaganite is of the opinion that Obama's numbers are not going to recover. But that's highly unlikely, UNLESS the recession continues unabated (or gets much worse.) Even then, the only immediately-endangered species is Democratic Congresscritters.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Here's the thing: Obama knows that his honeymoon is short-lived under the very best of circumstances, which is why he's trying to jam ObamaCare, Cap-and-Tax, and a (summarily) ridiculous budget through Congress all at the same time.

But looking at cap-and-tax (which would have LOST if the Pubbies had held together)--and the now-imminent "re-shaping" of ObamaCare, it's clear that O will have to begin playing nice-nice with the (D) Party "old bulls," or he will lose Congress in '10.

Of course, that could also mean that he doesn't really give a rat's ass about Congressional (D's) after 2010, too--


REAL Non-Profit Health Options

Oh, yes there are some.

McIlheran points to quite a few co-operatives, matter of fact, all in Wisconsin.

But that's irrelevant. He and I agree on this:

That's where co-ops lose Congress. They're a reasonable, thoughtful, voluntary option. What Congress contemplates is more compulsory.

The only word a Statist loves more than "compulsory" is "I".

For Kagen, Baldwin, Kind, Moore, and Obey

Not exactly fair. "You cap us. We cap you." would be fair. But I'll settle for what's there before some Congresscritter gets all upset.

The "Justice" Bunch

The trial lawyers, in an attempt to make themselves all soft and cuddly, re-named themselves last year. The new monicker has something to do with "justice."

Beats "ambulance-chasing scum-suckers", I suppose.

Here's an example of their new-found "justice."

In re TD Ameritrade Account Holder Litigation, Case No. C 07-2852 VRW (N.D. Cal.) ($1.87M for the attorneys, coupons for the class.).

What? 5% off at Pick-N-Save?

By the way, for some strange reason, the 'class' objected to the settlement!

HT: OverLawyered

A Rational Discussion of Health Care

Schiff has a few good observations and ideas here.

They will not comport with the Statist dream, of course.

...The meteoric rise in health care costs, which has become an unending nightmare for U.S. businesses and consumers, is not an accident. This painful condition has arisen from excess government involvement in the system, tax provisions that encourage the over-utilization of health insurance, and government support of an out-of-control malpractice industry.

Who could argue with that?

Given our current tax code, the simplest way to bring down medical costs would be to fully tax health care benefits as wages and simultaneously increase the personal deduction by an amount significant enough to neutralize the effect of the tax increase. This would do two things. First, the uninsured would get a huge pay increase, enabling them to buy reasonably priced catastrophic policies. Second, those currently insured could opt out of expensive employer-provided plans, trading premiums for extra wages, then buy a more economical plan. The savings would go right into their pockets.

And what might those "economical plans" look like?

...insurance should only cover unpredictable, catastrophic costs.

Schiff compares to typical automobile insurance, which does not include routine maintenance, and homeowner's insurance, which does not include routine maintenance, either...

...President Obama claimed that government insurance would not drive private providers out of business. This is absurd. As the government provider will not have to produce a profit or accurately account for its contingent liabilities, it will provide insurance on an actuarially unsound basis.

It is impossible for a thinking person to accept Obama's claim; Schiff merely adds to the chorus.

I suspect that Obama knows his ObamaHealth is in trouble; the shape and (likely) origin of the "survey" I participated in yesterday tell me that the rhetoric is about to change significantly.

That's characteristic for this Administration. If you don't like our idea, we'll simply implement the idea and change the terms and/or language.

See, for example, here.

A Problem in IRAN?

Vox makes a very, very good point. He cites the news-item:

Through a series of parliamentary inquiries, the Republicans learned that the 300-plus page managers' amendment, added to the bill last night in the House Rules Committee, has not even been been integrated with the official copy of the 1,090-page bill at the House Clerk's desk, let alone in any other location.

And makes the comparison:

This sort of thing is why I find the false and sentimental concern for Iranian democracy to be so ludicrous. Worry about your own so-called democracy, people, while you can still harbor the illusion that you possess it.

Similar, but not as egregious: the Wisconsin "budget."

Home Defense

Also clears squirrels from bird feeders.
HT: Cramer (just like below)

We're Ready!

Go ahead, Owen. Be jealous.
HT: Cramer

Rumor? Threat? or Fact?

One line from an essay in the Weekly Standard kinda jumps out at you.

All of this means that the electrical energy needed to power battery-driven vehicles won't come cheap, if indeed it is available. Industry sources fear that with coal and nuclear more or less off the table, at least for now, we will end up rationing electricity.

Given a squeeze on coal and the "no nukes" mindset, that could start happening in less than 10 years.

"Climate Change" Chatter Is a Loser

New polling data, different flapjaw from Obama.

Read the President's remarks Friday night after the House passed the measure most Capitol Hill staff and press referred to as the Waxman-Markey climate bill. You'll notice some words that the President never speaks: "climate," "warming," "greenhouse," "carbon," "cap-and-trade," or "emissions."

The charts at this link tell the story.

When asked in 2009 "how much more would you pay in utility bills to combat climate change?" FIFTY-EIGHT percent of respondents said "Zero."

Contrast that to the 2007 survey, in which only 35% had that response...

Put another way, in 2007, 57% of the respondents would pay something to offset climate change; by 2009, that had diminished to 35%.

Let's see if the Senate will bait the public into a revolution like Pelosi's House attempted to do.

The Dirty Underbelly of TARP

If you think TARP bailed out a bunch of banks, you're right.

But that's hardly all it did.

That legislation included $20 billion in tax breaks for companies that produce energy from wind and other alternative sources as well as $1.6 billion in relief related to the tax treatment of canceled debt for Sprint Nextel Corp., the third- largest U.S. mobile-phone-service company, and other firms.

Max Baucus, the Montana Democrat who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, spent much of 2008 searching for a way to enact the tax provisions, says Russ Sullivan, the committee’s staff director. Baucus recommended to Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada that the tax breaks be included in the October bailout bill, Sullivan says.

Think that stuff is stupid? We're not done yet.

The legislation, which includes dozens of narrowly written provisions, created a new class of bailout beneficiaries.

One, championed by Michigan Representative
Dave Camp, the top Republican on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, and supported by Baucus, is saving Nascar track builders $109 million in taxes this year by allowing more generous write-offs. ...Another shaves $478 million during the next decade from tax bills to movie and television producers as a better way of encouraging them to shoot in the U.S.

Fred Rosenthal, president of Beltsville, Maryland-based Jasper’s Restaurants, says his industry needed shorter cost-recovery periods for renovations to restaurants.

The October bill changed that time to 15 years from 39 and 1/2 years.
That will cost the IRS $8.7 billion over the next decade, according to the JCT

And then there's Captain Morgan Rum. But you'll have to read the linked story for that part.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Health Survey


Got a call from a (D) polling outfit. You can tell because all their questions leave little room to doubt that ObamaCare is the best thing since sex.

So when CCI releases its info, don't believe a word of it.

Losing Bets: TARP, Zombie Banks, FDIC

No wonder this is a Friday/Saturday news release:

Of the original $700 B of TARP funding, CBO estimates that $439 B of the original $700 B has been spent, $280 B of that will be repaid and $159 B will not be repaid and will be a cost to the taxpayer. When you include the costs of FDIC actions and the bailouts of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the expected cost to the taxpayer rises to about $553 B.

But hey: SPEND MORE, you Congressional jackasses!

To Pocan, It's No Big

Mark Pocan, letting you all know how to spend your money.

Madison Democrat Mark Pocan said the plan does what Democrats pledged they would do after gaining the majority in the Assembly: dealing with a record deficit, while protecting schools, public safety and health care, and shielding working families from big tax hikes. A family earning the median state income, said Pocan will pay "about 128 bucks" in new taxes and fees. "Given a $6.6 billion deficit, a historic deficit, I don't think that's all that bad."

Of course, that number doesn't count property-tax increases which WILL result from the State budget.

Beyond that, when you are taking a reduction in pay somewhere between 6% and 50% (or more), that $128.10/year actually means something.

And yes, I know several people who have taken 50% pay cuts. White-collar, hardworking guys. There are a lot more of them around than you may think.

Of course, they still HAVE an income, unlike the folks in Janesville, to whom $128.10 is even MORE significant.

Thanks, Mark!

HT: Kevin

Kagen Crows About Screwing You

I believe that the number of lies and half-truths in Twit Kagen's statement exceeds all world-records heretofore known.


“We are taking the necessary steps to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and build a better future for our children and grandchildren.”

Except that the oil companies will now import MORE product.

Congressman Kagen has been working closely with House Agriculture Committee Chairman Colin Peterson to ensure that Wisconsin’s family farms are rewarded for their efforts to operate self-sustaining farms.

Read: Corn-a-Holing will be more lucrative. The fact that you are Corn-a-Holing your fellow Wisconsin residents--well, ignore that.

“We have kept the EPA off our farms,” said Kagen.

Except for your farm-HOUSES, which will now have to conform with California (!!!) building codes.

The jobs created cannot be shipped overseas and will make America the global innovation leader and preserve our planet by reducing the pollution that causes global warming.

All OTHER jobs--not so much. Like the ones in metalbending, for example.

HT: Berry

The Obama Catches Some Smarts from Bush


...the Obama Administration leaked this afternoon that the President is drawing up an executive order to allow indefinite detention of terrorism suspects.

Close Gitmo. Abandon Iraq in 6 months. No tax hikes if you earn less than $250K. No taxes on health insurance.

Nothing like having a "R" gear on that wreck Obama's driving.

HT: Ace

Was Lombardi a Southerner?

This is a great essay/memoir about growing up Southern.

The quote most Lombardi-esque:

...The key to winning as a lineman, Dad said, was the first play from scrimmage. Come to the line with the determination to fire off as soon as the ball was snapped and hit the other guy as hard as you can. “Line up and look him in the eye and say, ‘I’m going to beat you today,’ and then knock him on his butt. Hit him as hard as you can, then come back on the next play and do it again. Just keep at it until you’ve got him beat.”

But you really should read the whole thing.


Football Trivia

OK, I'm not a football geek, but I didn't know this, and maybe you didn't either.

...Hutson—destined to become a Hall of Famer for the Green Bay Packers—caught six passes for 165 yards and two touchdowns in Pasadena to lead the Tide to a 29-13 victory over Stanford. Yet it was the fellow who described himself as “the other end” on that championship squad—a tough farm boy from Fordyce, Arkansas, named Paul “Bear” Bryant—who ultimately became synonymous with Alabama football legend.

Hutson and Bryant(!!)

Kinda like Lombardi and Landry both working as NYGiants assistants.

Reverse Rent-Seeking: FedEx

Rent-seeking is what GE does: get Congress to write laws which force people to spend money on YOUR products, and yours alone. (It works just as well with regulators, of course.)

Then there's 'reverse rent-seeking,' which is getting Congress (or a regulator) to minimize YOUR expenses, and yours alone.

That's exactly what FedEx is doing, folks. Facts supplied by Muth, and HT McCain.

Nuclear Fallout? Phosphates? ChemoPlastics?

Nope. Sorry, but this ain't man-caused. Find another Scary Story.

Around the world, frogs are found with missing or misshaped limbs, a striking deformity that many researchers believe is caused by chemical pollution.

However, tests on frogs and toads have revealed a more natural, benign cause.

The deformed frogs are actually victims of the predatory habits of dragonfly nymphs, which eat the legs of tadpoles

Nymphomania, redefined.

HT: Agitator

More on the Fake "CRA Did It" Stuff

Ritholtz discovers that the Orange County Register did data-analysis on Community Reinvestment Act lending.

Most of the lenders who made risky subprime loans were exempt from the Community Reinvestment Act. And many of the lenders covered by the law that did make subprime loans came late to that market – after smaller, unregulated players showed there was money to be made.”

The study included 55 million mortgages classified as "high-priced" by the Fed.

VanHollen Will Need More Expense Money

....for his department, silly!

Crime laboratory reports may not be used against criminal defendants at trial unless the analysts responsible for creating them give testimony and subject themselves to cross-examination, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday in a 5-to-4 decision.

Interesting split: Scalia, Thomas, Souter, Stevens, and Ginsburg were the 5.

HT: JustOneMinute

Jobless FantasyLand

Here we go!

America’s biggest oil companies will probably cope with U.S. carbon legislation by closing fuel plants, cutting capital spending and increasing imports.

The same amount of gasoline that would have $1 in carbon costs imposed if it were domestic would have 10 cents less added if it were imported, according to energy consulting firm Wood Mackenzie in Houston. Contrary to President Barack Obama’s goal of reducing dependence on overseas energy suppliers, the bill would incent U.S. refiners to import more fuel, said Clayton Mahaffey, an analyst at RedChip Cos. in Maitland, Florida.

Murphy Oil? Maybe they'll re-think their upgrade plans, too.

WI Dems Vote to Strangle State for FantasyLand

Ron Kind, Tammy Baldwin, Twit Kagen, Dave Obey, Gwen Moore.

Remember those names when your plant closes and when your electricity bill exceeds your property-tax payment.

They all voted against manufacturing and against about half your electricity generation--in favor of FantasyLand.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Is Doyle Bent on Killing Off Manufacturing in WI?

This thread gets interesting.

In recapping the Merc Marine situation, I cautioned about assigning all the blame to Doyle and his (D) pals in the Legislature. There are other considerations whenever a business closes and relocates.

But, as others have observed, there seems to be a cold shoulder in Madistan when manufacturing is on the table. He's unfriendly to most businesses, but GM, Thomas, Merc (??), Simplicity.....and there are others in the process (or who are less visible.)

Anyhoo, my interlocutor hit on something I had been discussing with another friend a couple of weeks ago:

the only jobs our Gov seems to recognize are those requiring PhDs.

As to you factory-laboring slobs, "meh" sez Jimbo.

That's short-sighted; there are some things which MUST be manufactured domestically because offshoring is simply not practical; either transportation is inadequate, or JIT considerations preclude it, or only US plants have the quality required.


Another Perspective on Gay "Marriage"

Good think piece, for those who think.

...Franz Rosenzweig’s anthropology—in which religion is a response to man’s sentience of death, and the sentience of death is not only an individual but also an communal characteristic—may help answer that question. Humankind fights mortality in two ways. The first is to raise children who will remember us, and the second is to seek eternal life through divine grace. The estate of marriage involves both.

“Why do men chase women?” asks Rose Castorini in Moonstruck. “Because they want to live forever.” The data suggest that we marry and have children for just that reason. When we cease to hope in eternal life, we no longer marry and no longer have children. That is the terrible lesson that the triumph of secularism has taught us. In industrial countries where atheism triumphed in the form of communism, fertility rates have fallen to levels barely half of replacement. The fertility of Eastern Europe in 2005 was only 1.25 children per woman, according to the United Nations Population Prospects. Japan stood at 1.3. In secular Western Europe it was 1.6. In industrial countries where most people profess some form of religious faith, however, fertility remains at replacement levels or above. America’s fertility in 2005 stood at 2.1, and Israel’s at 2.9.

Hmmmm....recall that there is such a thing as "practical atheism" when someone remarks that 'Oh, yes, I believe...'

...The first principle of Augustine’s anthropology, that we are made for God and restless until we come to him, coheres well with what we observe in societies that abandon God. Our restlessness in that terminal case can reach levels that tear us to pieces. It is entirely possible to devise other means of perpetuating the species than marriage, for example, the collective raising of children as in Plato’s dystopia and the various attempts to realize some of its features. But none of them has taken, not even for short periods of time. They have no interest for human beings. It is not only that people want to raise their own children, rather than the state’s children: Without the expectation of eternal life within a faith community, mating couples do not evince interest in reproducing at replacement levels.

...This may be the first time in Western history in which the sacred foundation of society, whose irreducible fundamental unit is the family, faces explicit opposition. If militant secularism succeeds in banishing the sacred from social life, we will lose heart and perish, as the tragic victims of communism are perishing. There is nothing to be done for the infertile, aging peoples of the former Soviet empire. The best thing one can do for them is not to be like them. Secular Western Europe already has one foot in the demographic grave. If we lose the sacred in the United States, we will follow them into Sheol. We might as well make a stand now over the sacred character of marriage, because there is nowhere to fall back from here.


How To Make Money in a Recession

Berry has three stories--I'll give you just one.

A Monroe County, WI Policeman had a perfect spot to watch for speeders, but wasn't getting any. Then he discovered the problem -- a 12-year-old boy was standing up the road with a hand painted sign, which read 'RADAR TRAP AHEAD.' The officer also found the boy had an accomplice who was down the road with a sign reading 'TIPS' and a bucket full of money.

Damn, that's good!

Merc Outta Here?

The speculation is rampant. Will Merc Marine leave?

One blogger, Maichle, opines that Merc will depart and indicts Doyle, Sheridan, Decker, and Pocan. Those four are certainly in the Hall of Shame, if that Hall consists of politicians who did their damndest to drive businesses out of Wisconsin.

But it's not quite that simple.

Yes, the tax rate in Wisconsin is a factor. Yes, the union-labor situation is a factor. Yes, Wisconsin's repressive regulations are a factor. And the uncertainty of what the NEXT round of budget/policy/regulations will bring is a really big factor.

But distribution counts. Wisconsin is located in a part of the country which is very cold in the winter; people do not use powerboats on frozen lakes. The South doesn't have that problem, AND the South actually has lakes. A lot of them. And fishermen, too. (We could also postulate that "taxing the rich", a Wisconsin "solution" has an effect on boat-and-motor purchasing.)

An aging plant is another factor. The Oklahoma site is not encumbered by that problem.

Maybe, as Maichle states, OSU has talent. But so does MSOE, the UW system (especially Stevens Point's manufacturing program), and Marquette (ask Briggs and Stratton.)

Finally, if Wisconsin and Oklahoma get into a bidding war for Merc's plant, ........

Who has more money available? Wisconsin, with a projected $2.3Bn deficit??

It Ain't the CRA, Folks; It's De-Regulation

Ritholtz doubles down on his point: it was NOT the CRA which made the mortgage market implode. Personally, I think that CRA was a contributor, but Ritholtz clearly makes the case that it was not "THE cause."

Some facts which should be considered by Phil Gramm and his mind-darkened followers:

The 345 mortgage brokers that imploded were non-banks, not covered by the CRA legislation. The vast majority of CRA covered banks are actually healthy.

The biggest foreclosure areas aren’t Harlem or Chicago’s South side or DC slums or inner city Philly; Rather, it has been non-CRA regions — the Sand States — such as southern California, Las Vegas, Arizona, and South Florida. The closest thing to an inner city foreclosure story is Detroit – and maybe the bankruptcy of GM and Chrysler actually had something to do with that.

When CRA was introduced, the FDIC (and other bank regulators) made a big deal of it, and a number of Milwaukee-area banks paid attention. But the lending resulting from CRA was not the "disaster" which was predicted at the time. Gramm is way overblowing his case to draw attention from his successful deregulation, which was successful only in creating 'too big to fail' Zombies such as Citibank.

Need more on the ills of deregulation? OK. Paul Volcker thinks that the system needs MORE regulation. Remember Paul? The guy who fixed the system post-Carter? Yah, him.

Shut up, Phil.

The Nasty Little "Public Option" Provisions Upcoming

Oh, yah, ObamaCare gets worse. It's only a matter of time before the screws are tightened as this scenario envisions.

What is being overlooked this time around compared to 1993 is this: to prevent "leakage" from the system, draining of supply to other providers of insurance/purchasers of health care services...the "public option" has to effectively outlaw them. The mechanisms will be various and include provisions in law such as a prohibition on "topping off" fees paid independently by patients to physicians or hospitals above the public option's reimbursement rates to get better service or, indeed, any service at all in some circumstances (already in Medicare, I believe). A prohibition against taking private patients if a provider accepts ANY public patients...it's an all or none situation...unless your entire practice is exclusively private, you must accept the government's terms and conditions and no others. Severe penalties for the economic "crime," probably deemed to be medical fraud, of engaging in free market medicine, for violators.

One suspects that these provisions SHOULD ignite a shooting-war...

EPA Malfeasance? Fantasyland, Part 2

From a memo suppressed by EPA:

"...Our conclusions do represent the best science in the sense of most closely corresponding to available observations....and are sufficiently at variance with those of IPCC, CCSP, and the draft TSP that we believe they support our increasing concern that EPA has not critically reviewed the findings by these groups."...

"...we believe our concerns and reservations are sufficiently important to warrant a serious review of the science by EPA before any attempt is made to reach conclusions. ..."

[In critiquing the EPA's TSP] "The principal comments are as follows:

"The current draft TSP is based on the IPCC AR4 report which is at best three years out of date in a rapidly changing field.

..."Global temperatures have declined, extending the current downtrend to 11 years...at the same time, atmospheric CO2 levels have increased and CO2 emissions have accelerated.

..."A new 2009 paper finds that the crucial assumption in the GCM models [used by IPCC concerning water vapor] is not supported by empirical evidence and that the feedback is actually negative."

There is plenty more.

In short, the reservations are extremely serious--flawed/faulty premises, observations contradicting IPCC projections, and new criticisms of Global Warming Theory which deserve a very close look.

Fantasyland Exposed, folks.

Will Obey, Kagen, Kind, and Petri Vote for Fantasy?

The House of Representatives is about to vote on Cap-and-Tax, which has been compared to the "Smoot-Hawley" bill of this age. It is astonishing that Wisconsin congressmen would seriously consider pointing a death-ray at Wisconsin manufacturing plants in the first place. It is even more astonishing that they will do it in the name of Fantasy--and a Fantasy which many other countries are now seeing as just that.

...In April, the Polish Academy of Sciences published a document challenging man-made global warming. In the Czech Republic, where President Vaclav Klaus remains a leading skeptic, today only 11% of the population believes humans play a role. In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy wants to tap Claude Allegre to lead the country's new ministry of industry and innovation. Twenty years ago Mr. Allegre was among the first to trill about man-made global warming, but the geochemist has since recanted. New Zealand last year elected a new government, which immediately suspended the country's weeks-old cap-and-trade program.
The number of skeptics, far from shrinking, is swelling. Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe now counts more than 700 scientists who disagree with the U.N. -- 13 times the number who authored the U.N.'s 2007 climate summary for policymakers

...Australian polls have shown a sharp uptick in public skepticism; the press is back to questioning scientific dogma; blogs are having a field day.

Stossel's article also mentions serious opposition in Japan and Norway.

Beyond that, neither India nor PRChina will participate. They know better, and are perfectly willing to watch the U S Congress impose a national-suicide regime on the US. Fantasy doesn't play well in China.

Word has it that "farm state" congressmen are being purchased by logrolling on ethanol, or "Corn-a-Hole", which only goes to show that the bill is NOT about 'pollution'; it is about raw power and control.

The first consideration in legislating should be "What are the facts?" The fact is that the religion of AlGore is heresy. In the case of this particular heresy, its corollaries will lead to national economic suicide.

The Fantasy should be opposed by Kagen, Petri, and Obey. Period.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Dave Obey/Obama "Die Now" Act

Just as a reminder, Wisconsin's very own 'Doctor' Dave Obey authored the language establishing the "Die Now" Commissariat, Bureau of Health, Life, and Death, ObamaCare Department.

Matt Vadum has the Committee's motto:

"Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori." (How sweet and proper to die for one's country.)

Not the same meaning as 'Arbeit Macht Frei' over the gate, but the same result.

I.G.-Gate, Amtrak Branch, Part 2

This stuff is getting serious.

Officials of Amtrak have "systematically violated the letter and spirit of the Inspector General Act," Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) charged Thursday, making public a 94-page legal report prepared at the request of the Amtrak inspector general who resigned suddenly a week ago

...Amtrak vice president and general counsel Eleanor "Eldie" Acheson -- a close friend of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton -- had been involved in several of the disputes between the money-losing passenger rail service and the IG's office.

Ms. Acheson, daughter of the ex-Sec/State, was also a lobbyist on GLBT issues prior to joining Amtrak.

HT: AmSpecBlog

Ordination Confers Vast Powers, Eh?

Here a reporter for LifeSite News examines the statements of the Canadian Bishops, who speak with "authority" on matters of fact.

Problem is that the Canadian Bishops have made up "their own facts."

I have just heard that the Canadian bishops, in their "God-given authority" can change external reality. Stop looking at me like that. Of course I'm not kidding.

We have it from the president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops himself, so you know it must be true. Archbishop James Weisgerber, the President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has said, unequivocally, that there is "no evidence" that the groups that D&P is funding around the world are plumping to legalise abortion....Except for all the, you know, evidence, an' stuff..

But Bishop Weisgerber wants to let us know that these so-called "facts" are just the machinations of "websites" who have no, ABSOLUTELY NO, authority in the Church to judge these matters.

We in Milwaukee are quite used to claims that Ordination (either to the priesthood, or to the Office of Bishop) confers the license to ignore Church laws and teachings, in addition to conferring the power to make up one's own "facts."

It must be so; the Canadians have confirmed it!

Should You Survive ObamaCare's Rationing...

Yes, ObamaCare will ration healthcare, especially for the elderly.

But if you are young, or reasonably healthy, that's not the ONLY rationing Dear Leader has in his bag.

...Worse than the increased cost of energy, perhaps, is that the Waxman-Markey bill will essentially result in artificial limits on electricity production and, ultimately, electricity rationing.

...In addition to the limits imposed by the renewable energy requirement, Waxman-Markey essentially phases out coal-generated electricity (50% of our current supply) while failing to guarantee the construction of the only realistic substitute for coal -- nuclear power. In the end, what we’ll have is an energy grid constrained by the supply of natural gas -- much of which will have to be imported. Even so, there’s simply not enough natural gas to affordably meet all our energy needs, so supplies will have to be rationed somehow.

However, neither the President's family, nor Congress, will be on the short end of either ObamaCare or electricity rations.

Fortunately, we are still able to BUY MORE AMMO!!


Obama on Whatever Topic!

Your basic all-purpose picture, HT AOSHQ

Think HRC Is...Unhappy? Part Two

Great minds...

Yesterday we mentioned that Obama hammered HRC about her 'mandatory joining' for Gummint Health. Obama won the election and (voila!!) 'mandatory joining' is now part of the ObamaPlan.

The Winning McCain finds another reason that O should be very, very grateful for his Secret Service protection, albeit secondary.

...dear old Joe Biden gets $1.3 billion in "stimulus" money for Acheson's Amtrak, and they don't need no stinkin' IG sniffing around.

But wait a minute, there's more. As Michelle Malkin points out, Biden's all about Amtrak. Suppose that Biden's fingerprints were discovered on some shenanigans at Amtrak, so that there was a real scandal? If dear old Joe had to resign . . .Vice President Hillary? OK, that's far-fetched.

But did anybody else notice that Hillary's now got Sidney Blumenthal working for her over at State Department?

The wolfpack is circling.

Christian Schneider Gets Half of It?

Christian Schneider does a good job showing us how Jim Doyle personally raises the cost of healthcare in Wisconsin.

...raising taxes on hospitals by hundreds of millions of dollars...mandating health plans cover autism services...requiring all Wisconsin health plans to carry coverage for cochlear implants and hearing aids for kids...[and t]he current version of the state budget includes a provision that provides increased mental health coverage by insurance plans

Other Wisconsin legislatures and executives have also added 'mandates' (birth control and abortion services come to mind) which also increase the cost of health insurance.

But Schneider is, I think, a bit naive.

The major driver behind a Gummint Health plan is the "increasing cost of health insurance." Today's JS contains an article which has some frightening numbers--like 30%--and those numbers are killing small businesses.

Think of it this way, Chris: if Doyle can drive the cost of health insurance even higher, the argument from "cost" is far more effective.

Doyle's not only playing Hero with our money. He's doing his best to facilitate ObamaCare.

You can purchase Cynic Pills by living another 20 years with politicians, Chris...

Liar's Poker: Cap-and-Tax

They are lying--and hope you're really, really stupid.

...the Congressional Budget Office did an analysis of what has come to be known as the Waxman-Markey bill. According to the CBO, the climate legislation would cost the average household only $175 a year by 2020. Edward Markey, Mr. Waxman's co-author, instantly set to crowing that the cost of upending the entire energy economy would be no more than a postage stamp a day.

(Which postage stamp? The one we used in 2005? 2006? 2009? But I digress...)

A closer look at the CBO analysis finds that it contains so many caveats as to render it useless.

Well, yah!

The CBO's analysis looks solely at the year 2020, before most of the tough restrictions kick in. As the cap is tightened and companies are stripped of initial opportunities to "offset" their emissions, the price of permits will skyrocket beyond the CBO estimate of $28 per ton of carbon.

Isn't 2020 about the same time that Social Security and Medicare collapse?

The biggest doozy in the CBO analysis was its extraordinary decision to look only at the day-to-day costs of operating a trading program, rather than the wider consequences energy restriction would have on the economy. The CBO acknowledges this in a footnote: "The resource cost does not indicate the potential decrease in gross domestic product (GDP) that could result from the cap."

Sorta like measuring the impact-crater of a missile while ignoring the effects of the nuclear bomb it delivered.

Under this more comprehensive scenario, [measured by the Heritage Foundation], Waxman-Markey would cost the economy $161 billion in 2020, which is $1,870 for a family of four. As the bill's restrictions kick in, that number rises to $6,800 for a family of four by 2035

That would be about--what? 5-10 years after the collapse of Social Security and Medicare?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Think HRC Is...Unhappy?


One of the few actual domestic policy differences between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama during their contentious primary involved whether to have a mandate forcing individuals to purchase health care. Obama was strongly opposed, his campaign hammered Clinton on this, and the issue was aired over and over again during their many debates. Yet today, Obama told Diane Sawyer that he's reversed on the issue because, "People have made some pretty compelling arguments to me that if we want to have a system that drives down costs for everybody, then we've got to have healthier people not opt out of the system."

Obama can be very thankful he has the Secret Service.

HT: AmSpec Blog

Charlie Sykes Feeds Obama the Lines?

The End of the World As We Know It...TEOTWAWKI...one of Charlie's occasional themes.

It's been hijacked by Obama!

If Congress did not pass the Porkulus bill, it would be TEOTWAWKI

If Congress fails to pass ObamaCare, it will be TEOTWAWKI

If the Government did not take GM ownership it would be TEOTWAWKI

If Congress does not make the Fed into a Super-Regulator, it will be TEOTWAWKI

And, of course, if Congress does not pass Cap-and-Tax, it will be TEOTWAWKI

And it is "all of the above," not just 'some of the above,' or 'one of the above.'

Propaganda 101: The Missing "Climate Change"

Noted by a very sharp observer of Obama's presser:

He is still not referring to it as a “climate change bill,” nor does he ever say “cap-and-trade.” He refers once to “the carbon pollution that threatens our planet,” but continues to rhetorically frame this cap-and-trade legislation as a clean energy technology bill. He has been doing this consistently since his first press conference, and it reaffirms for me that his political and communications advisors think that addressing climate change is less popular than promoting clean energy technology

Of course, his assertions about the "job-creation" are pure hogwash; while there may be some 'new jobs' in windmill factories, the crushing of the coal industry alone should more than wipe out those gains.

HT: KeithHennessey

AlGore "Forgets" To Mention Earthquake Problems

AlGore, whose interest in profits is orders-of-magnitude larger than his interest in 'saving the earth,' seems to have forgotten a minor detail.

AltaRock Energy — a start-up geothermal energy firm whose investors include Al Gore’s venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins — failed to notify federal regulators that the bedrock drilling technique it is using in the San Francisco area had been linked with a project-ending 3.4-magnitude earthquake in Basel, Switzerland in 2006.

Rule Number One: Follow the Money.

HT: GreenHell

Jackboots vs. Dishwashing

The fact that the "new, improved" product actually DOES NOT WORK won't bother the jackboots in Madison.

Household dishwasher detergent that contains phosphorus would be banned Wisconsin, under a bill that is poised to pass the Assembly

Kevin has the rest of the story:

...The people of Spokane found that the phosphorus-free detergent wasn't cleaning their dishes as well as the 'nasty stuff,' so they'd head in the car and travel to neighboring Oregon which hadn't enacted a ban on phosphorus detergent and buy out stores in border towns.

The temptation is to capitalize on Wisconsin Government's endless quest to "fix" its citizenry's bad habits. A semi-load of bootlegged cigarettes is worth about $150K in profits these days; bringing in actual working detergent would simply add to the pot.

Tax-free, by the way...

TSA Reforms

Some very good suggestions from Schneier on the TSA airport jungle.

Obama has repeatedly talked about increasing openness and transparency in government, and it's time to bring transparency to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Let's start with the no-fly and watch lists. Right now, everything about them is secret: You can't find out if you're on one, or who put you there and why, and you can't clear your name if you're innocent. This Kafkaesque scenario is so un-American it's embarrassing. Obama should make the no-fly list subject to judicial review.

...Obama should mandate that airport security be solely about terrorism, and not a general-purpose security checkpoint to catch everyone from pot smokers to deadbeat dads...The TSA should limit its searches to bombs and weapons and leave general policing to the police - where we know courts and the Constitution still apply

The fact that these are common-sense suggestions militates against acceptance by Gummint.

"The New Professionalism", Chapter 33,540

You gotta love the excuse.

Marye Minton, 70, and her 72-year-old husband were awoken early Thursday to officers banging on the door of their home…

Marye Minton said she is upset that the officers came inside and ordered her husband, who is in poor health, onto the ground.


Officers were trying to serve a warrant for a man wanted on drug charges. The address listed on the paperwork was 4042. The Minton’s home is 4048, with both house numbers clearly marked.

But Major Mark Robinett of the Marion County Sheriff’s Department, who is in charge of warrant sweeps, said he was told that officers had a difficult time reading the addresses because of overcast skies

I suppose the standard-issue flashlight didn't work, either.

HT: Agitator

Maybe It IS Your Data---but We Have It!

Good observation here from Vox, who notes that 2-year-cycle 'upgrades' will be required for some hot-selling doodads.

The point is that if you accept DRM devices, then you had better accept you are going to be completely at the mercy of the device manufacturer. That's why I refuse to buy either a Kindle or an iPhone; anything that requires passing your own data through the manufacturer's official distribution channel is of zero interest to me. Yes, I'm aware that there are always ways to get around it, but I prefer to give my business to manufacturers who aren't attempting to keep their customers, and their customer's data, in virtual lockdown.

DRM is nothing more than theft... from the consumer. It's the transformation of a purchase transaction into a rental one.

One of the Norton security options is to back up your data on their servers. Thanks, I'll use R/W CD's. The security implications of storing stuff 'out there' someplace are convincing.

The Cost of Cap-and-Tax

Key to map: If it's red, you will have bled.
The cost to Wisconsin is $200++ million in 2012, and we're lucky compared to OH, PA., and TX.
And that's just the cost of the "allowance allocation formula."

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I.G.-Gate, Amtrak Branch

Seems like the "suddenly resigned" I.G. of Amtrak was having some problems with Amtrak--they were not cooperating in an investigation the I. G. was conducting.

Sen. Charles Grassley says Wiederhold's unexpected resignation came after he was asked to provide "specific examples of agency interference with OIG audits and/or investigations."

Just co-incidence, of course: the VP-General Counsel for Amtrak is HRC's old Wellesley roomie, and a very good friend of none other than Joe Biden.

Finally! An Idea on Iran!

Not from the President-in-Jellospeak, of course.

Obama won't say that he won't recognize a government imposed by force.

That's an option which he could exercise, and would have big-time approval from US citizens, not to mention being a boost for the Iranian resistance.

Too bad the ideas have to come from a blogger, eh?

Obama Channeling Doyle: The Democrat "Mind"

Gabe watched the presser, and his first "this is a LIE" observation is relevant to Wisconsin.

When the President claims that cap and tax will be paid for only by polluters, implying that it will not have an impact on the economy, he fails Economics 101. Polluters, aka producers of goods and services, aren't going to magic up the money to pay for cap and trade out of nowhere. That money will be felt by consumers (and by every entity in the chain of commerce between the first cap-and-taxed company and the consumer). Prices will rise. The President's intimation that they won't is an outright lie.

Yah. And that's the same damn lie that Doyle told about the "Oil Company Tax"--which even his own (D) yutzes in the Assembly knew was simply impossible.

If Obama is so damn smart, how could he mimic the Doyle-O-Lie machine? Or is this mental deficiency something genetic in the (D) ranks above "Assemblyman"?

Actual History: Jack Chick Was Hugo Black's Mentor

Gee. What a surprise. Everson opinion written by a bigot!

"What I learned in Mark [Levin's] book (pages 30-31) is that former Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black -- who wrote the fateful, culturally damaging, precedent-breaking 5-4 decision -- was described by his own son as an avid reader of the vilest anti-Catholic hate literature. This fact contradicts the usual excuses for Black's former membership in the Ku Klux Klan (youthful indiscretions, socially required, etc.). So this American Civil Liberties Union-cherished provision was not the product of 18th-century enlightenment, but 20th-century rural anti-Catholic Protestant bigotry. Fascinating and useful. " --Tony Blankley, reviewing Levin's Liberty and Tyranny

In the 1960's, before Roe v Wade (and after), knowledgeable attorneys were well-aware of Black's vicious and pervasive anti-Catholicism. Might have been interesting to hear Wm. Bentley Ball's private comments, eh?

HT: The Shepherd

Forty-Six Years' Worth of Change

Roughly forty-six years ago, John F. Kennedy, President of the United States, was doing the horizontal mambo with a woman who was also a Mafia wench, while the U S Attorney General, JFK's little brother, was investigating the Mafia.

That was most assuredly and definitely NOT "news."

Today, the chief of police in a larger Midwestern city does the horizontal mambo with an occasional journalist and pundit, and it is MOST ASSUREDLY and CERTAINLY "NEWS."

Or so we are told.

My, how things change in 40-some years, no?

QueenNancy's New Clothes: Tyrant Chic

Well, well.

...Rep. Steve King, Iowa Republican, said in an interview on The Washington Times' morning radio show "America's Morning News" that Mrs. Pelosi and the Democratic majority had recently authorized an unprecedented change in House rules to curb the right of the minority to offer amendments to appropriations spending bills.

...Mr. King and other Republicans charge the rules violate the House's traditions for debate and are meant to protect Democrats from politically embarrassing votes.

We all know that the Democrats have the votes to pass whatever they damn well please. Now they KO amendment-offers?

The word "tyranny" comes to mind.

Use Plastic? Keep Your Eye on the Ball

MWBH has a few tales of interest, particularly if you have/use credit- or check-cards.

And two of the three are "right-under-your-f'n-nose" jobs.

U C Bennie Exhaustions Worst in 30+ Years

Some "green shoots" are poison ivy.

The "100 Year Storm" Crock

Not to pick on the engineer from West Allis, but here's the quote:

"Our system is not designed to handle, nor any system is designed to handle, what is fairly close to a 100-year storm," said [Mike] Lewis, who met with [West Allis] residents Monday

That "100-year" line has been used a lot lately. And that phrase has an odor which strongly resembles the odor of the stuff in those West Allis basements.

Actually, the "100-year" line is used every year, sometimes twice a year, to explain why $Mega-Zillions of sewer systems, interceptors, and drains do NOT work as advertised.

It's always a "100-year storm" which is at fault.

That was the case 12 years ago when 9" of rain fell in a couple of days, flooding Brookfield and Elm Grove. That was ALSO the case exactly one year later, same time, same place, about the same amount.

That was ALSO the case last year during June, and THIS year during June.

Getting the picture? "100-year event" doesn't mean "100-years." It simply means that somebody decided to design and build an inadequate system and made up the "100-year event" label to justify that.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Obama's Goolsbee: Liar or Fantacist?

Hennessey isn't quite as direct as was my headline, but you be the judge.

FoxNews Sunday, regarding the GM/Chrysler bailouts, Goolsbee (excerpted):

The President made totally clear in his remarks, and he specifically said we are not going to be in the business of telling General Motors or anybody else what kind of cars to make, where they should open their plants, or anything of the sort. The President made clear we want to get out of this as quickly as possible. We are only in this situation because somebody else kicked the can down the road, and that’s really an understatement. They shook up the can, they opened the can, and handed to us in our laps. Senator Shelby knows that to be true. When George Bush put money in to General Motors, almost explicitly with the purpose, how many dollars do they need to stay alive until January 20th, 2009? There was no commitment to restructuring, to making these viable enterprises of any kind.

Not true.

At 3:30 pm on Sunday, November 30, 2008, a quiet meeting occurred at the Treasury Department in Secretary Hank Paulson’s office. Present for the Bush Administration were Treasury Secretary Paulson and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten, Deputy COS Joel Kaplan, White House Legislative Affairs chief Dan Meyer, Treasury Legislative Affairs head Kevin Fromer, and me. Present for the incoming Obama Administration were Deputy COS-designate Mona Sutphen, NEC-designate Dr. Larry Summers, Dan Turullo (now a Fed Governor), and WH Legislative Affairs-designate Phil Schiliro. We had requested the meeting. They agreed and asked that it be held outside the White House.

There's too much to re-post; suffice it to say that the ObamaBoyzz were VERY well-informed, and the BushBoyzz made a very fair and respectable offer to the OBoyzz on the matter.

Note that Goolsbee was not a party to the meeting...so he's just 'talking through his a%%', in the vernacular.

One interesting note:

...the loans to GM and Chrysler were a choice, but they were not the choice that he and Senator Shelby thought we faced. The choice was loan or liquidate. There was no feasible Chapter 11 option available at the time.


The (R) House Health Plan

Major elements, as summarized by "Health Reform Talk"

--An "above the line" deduction that is equal to the cost of an individual's or family's insurance premiums.

--Incentives for individuals to build health savings accounts and IRC Sec. 125 flexible spending accounts.

--An option for Medicaid beneficiaries to "transfer" the value of their coverage to a private insurer.

--Allowing youths up to age 25 to remain on their parents insurance policies.

--Limits on malpractice lawsuits.

--Insurance pools that would encourage states, small businesses and others to share risk in low-cost plans.

Same post also shows the Daschle/Dole/Baker plan.

Anything with the Bob Dole name attached will have artificial manhood chemicals contained therein, of course.