Thursday, December 31, 2009

Huh? More on NWA 253?

More stuff on Detroit 253.

This is beginning to look like the Black Helicopter stuff. Another detention (arrest?) and questions about the 'sharp-dressed' guy and PantyBomber's passport/visa.

Installing Abp. Listecki

The program is here.

On 1/3, Vespers will include the Pater Noster (traditional Chant) and the Salve Regina (also Chant.)

The Mass, on 1/4, will include Proulx's variation on the Agnus Dei of Mass XVIII--a form which is a bit odd.

The choir will sing a few voluntary motets, including Vittoria's Ave Maria (at Communion.)

In general, the hymnody is sturdy stuff, and the Ordinary parts are well-worn and certainly not strange--but nothing to write home about.

Best wishes to Abp. Listecki. Some have already constructed a "honeydew" list for him.......

HT: Berres

What's Going On at Louvain?

Since there's a regular visitor to this blog with a Louvain location, I may as well ask what in Hell is going on over there?

At the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium) Fr. Bernard De Cock, O.P. (Dominican) has received (9th of December) his doctor's degree with a work "Touched to Love. An Attempt at a Theological Anthropology of the Body and Homosexuality."

The promotor is prof. dr. Roger Burggraeve S.D.B. (Salesian), well known for his 'subversive' opinions on sexuality and the Church. In his work, Fr. De Cock OP states "homosexual love can be God's love".


The name is just a bonus.

Eventually, GWB Figured Out What to Do With Terrorists

While I'm perfectly happy to point out GWB's precedent with the Shoe Bomber as being an error, it's also clear that Padilla (and numerous others) were treated the RIGHT way under GWB.

Obama, of course, reversed GWB policy, erroneously. In fact, it's not only an error; it's likely to be a very COSTLY error. But Obama's foreign-policy experience is limited to running to Copenhagen (with a 50% win rate) and bowing/scraping to potentates. Mostly, however, that experience is ragging on the US.

The long story on the Bush policy-migration is here.

The short?

Why is the Obama administration telling Abdulmutallab that he has the “right to remain silent”? Why are they not interrogating him to find out what follow-on attacks may be coming? Is Josh okay with the decision to let this terrorist, who tried to kill hundreds of Americans, keep his secrets to himself? And will he stand up and defend that decision if another terrorist who trained with Abdulmutallab in Yemen succeeds in blowing up another plane?

Indeed. More important: will Obama defend HIS decision? And how will he do so?

Feingold v. the Truth on Medicaid Expansion

Feinie "fixed" ObamaCare for Wisconsin. That's what Feinie will tell you at his 'listening sessions.'

But the NYTimes doesn't agree with Feinie's spin. After 2 years or so, Wisconsin will bite the Green Wazoo, unlike a number of other States, and especially Nebraska.

...while the federal government would pick up the entire tab for expanding Medicaid to those not now eligible under their state's coverage for two years, for years three through five the federal government would return 95 percent of the cost of expansion to those states without expanded coverage now, but only between 80 percent and 95 percent to states with expanded coverage now, such as Wisconsin, based on per capita income.

More important, the Times reported, many citizens now eligible in states with expanded coverage have not yet enrolled but most likely will after the bill's enactment, if only because the law would require everybody to purchase health insurance.

The kicker is, the Senate bill provides new matching dollars only for those who are "newly eligible," which would be the case mostly in states expanding coverage under the bill. In states where coverage has already expanded, Zernike wrote, many citizens might be newly enrolled but would not be "newly eligible," and so no additional matching funds would be provided.

The existing reimbursement rate would control.

In Wisconsin, then, expanding Medicaid won't by itself drive up state Medicaid costs because the state's coverage already generally covers people up to 150 percent of the federal poverty line. So Wisconsin's coverage will still be more generous.

However, because many now below 150 percent of the poverty line are already eligible, though unenrolled, new (meaning increased) federal matching funds wouldn't be available for them when they do sign up.

In contrast, their income counterparts in states without such generous coverage will be newly eligible when the bill takes effect, and their states would receive the additional federal dollars.

To make matters worse, because of the Nelson and other so-called business-as-usual compromises, Wisconsin will not only fail to collect on many newly enrolled eligible citizens but will also subsidize workers enrolling in such states as Nebraska, since the federal government will cover its Medicaid's expansion 100 percent in perpetuity.

Oh, well. Another Kohl/Feinie FAIL.

Thanks a lot, Russ!

HT: FoxPolitics

*Ahem* Did GWB's Boyzzz Lose Their Minds?

What with Dick Cheney carrying on about Obama, this is kind of interesting.

One of the most troubling aspects of the recent explosion of activity by Al-Qaida in Yemen (otherwise known as "Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula") is the role being played by Saudi nationals who are former detainees in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. At least eleven former Saudi Gitmo prisoners who were sent back home by the Bush administration between 2003-2007 have promptly rejoined Al-Qaida in Yemen -- including individuals who made no secret of their intentions upon being released.

...the U.S. military repeatedly warned the Bush administration in advance that almost half of the former Saudi Gitmo detainees who have rejoined Al-Qaida continued to represent active threats to the United States--and yet they were released anyway, evidently for political reasons. There are serious questions here that must be immediately addressed by those within the former Bush administration responsible for this inept decision-making process.

Yup. "Kind and Gentle" didn't cut it, George.

By the way, that article is balanced by another from the SAME author--who describes himself as 'generally in support of the Obama Admin,' telling Janet NapolitanoSesameStreet:

I watched with a sense of deep dismay on Sunday as Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano attempted to defend the handling of would-be terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. According to Napolitano, the fact that ordinary passengers stepped in and intervened to stop Abdulmutallab's failed effort to down a U.S. airliner is a positive sign that the "system is working smoothly." In fact, nothing could be farther from the truth -- and this fiasco is only further evidence of the ongoing mismanagement of U.S. national security. Although this breakdown began during the chaos of the last Bush administration, Obama and his advisors are now looking down the barrel at their own "Brownie" moment --

We could conclude that the Insanity is endemic to Washington, DC--a point that the Tea Party folks have been loudly raising for several months....

Great Granny!

Spoke today with a customer-service/sales guy about a utility matter.

He was a lot of fun--but apparently his Grandma was even more so.

He described her as a VERY straight-talking lady who said exactly what was on her mind. Pulled no punches. Family member? Made no difference to her. You don't like it, then don't visit...

She also had a snubbie .38 revolver and a police baton handy, just in case of back-talk.

My kinda gal!

Doyle v. the Church (Again)

The usual.

...birth control costs must be covered for those looking to avoid having any kids at all, under new laws that take effect Friday in Wisconsin.

That happens to include the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, the Diocese of Madison, and the Diocese of Green Bay. (LaCrosse and Superior are self-insured and not covered by the mandate.)

Opponents argued that birth control is not medically necessary and insurance companies should not be forced to pay for what is a personal decision.

The Wisconsin Catholic Conference is lobbying lawmakers to provide an exemption for religious organizations.

"The law does not give adequate deference to our religious values and our religious liberties," said John Huebscher, executive director of the conference. "It would force dioceses and other Catholic organizations that buy insurance to pay for something they object to."

I suspect that there are other organizations for whom this law is offensive.

Speaking of "offensive,"...

Planned Parenthood opposes any exemptions because that will limit women's access to birth control, said the group's legal and policy analyst Nicole Safar.

"An exemption really defeats the purpose," she said.

But I have another question for Mr. Huebscher: Where were you when this law was passed in the first place? How many press releases did you issue as this was grinding through?

And where did they go? To the Milwaukee newspaper (which did NOT run this story)? To other interested parties--like (R) members of the Legislature? To television? Radio?

I'd be very happy to hear that you were vocal--really vocal--in opposing this, John.

HT: Owen

More Guns, Less Crime: Lott Was Right!

All those GUNS!!!

But even less murders!!!!

Last week, the FBI issued its preliminary 2009 crime report, showing that the number of murders in the first half of 2009 decreased 10 percent compared to the first half of 2008.

...the number [of privately-owned guns] rose between 1.5 and 2 percent, to an all-time high. For the better part of the last 15 months, firearms, ammunition, and "large" ammunition magazines have been sold in what appear to be record quantities. And, the firearms that were most commonly purchased in 2009 are those that gun control supporters most want to be banned - AR-15s, similar semi-automatic rifles, and handguns designed for defense. The National Shooting Sports Foundation already estimates record ammunition sales in 2009, dominated by .223 Remington, 7.62x39mm, 9mm and other calibers widely favored for defensive purposes.

Huh. Imagine that.

Sources: NRA/FBI

Milwaukee Social Welfare "System Worked!"

Looks, offhand, as though some social worker is taking pay but not doing the job.

A social worker from the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare investigated an abuse complaint about baby Dekia Mattox just seven weeks before authorities say she was killed by a homeless drug addict in a filthy, cold home...

The bureau's Nov. 4 investigation - which stated "the home was in order," contained food, had a well-heated bedroom for the baby and contained no evidence of drug use - stands in sharp contrast to the medical examiner's report, filed shortly after the baby's death Dec. 26.

You might ask "Which house did the social worker (AFSCME member, too) inspect? The Mayor's house?"

Or perhaps he/she mistook a nearby tavern, or restaurant, or movie theater, for the house, and thoroughly inspected a few beers, or a nice steak sandwich, or Avatar?

According to the medical examiner, the dilapidated cottage in the 2700 block of N. Richards St. had two broken windows and was heated by three space heaters. Knives were found on the floor of nearly every room. The bathroom contained a leaking toilet and a broken sink. Dirty dishes filled the kitchen sink. Investigators found empty liquor bottles and beer cans, piles of dirty clothes, discarded baby bottles and little food.

"Do I think something dramatically changed in the home? Clearly that's the case," said Arlene Happach, director of the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare. "I don't have a clear explanation for it."

Yah, dramatic. Like maybe the house was actually teleported in from Beirut or Kabul in the last 14 days, eh?

Obama's Terror Strategy and Ant Poison

It's either a war or not. Obama seems to be denying the obvious--his 'isolated wacko' comment about the KnickerBomber is one clear signal of his misunderstanding. It's not the only one; the hapless hack politician Napolitano attempted to re-define terrorist acts as "man-caused disasters," which places her weltanshcauung right around the Sesame Street/Mr. Rogers level.

It's not that Obama is doing nothing at all. It's that he's not using ant poison.

...the Obama administration has escalated the targeted killing of high-value terrorists. There may be times when killing a terrorist leader is the best option (for example, his location might be too remote to reach with anything but an unmanned drone). But President Obama has decided capturing senior terrorist leaders alive and interrogating them — with enhanced techniques if necessary —is not worth the trouble.

It's that he's not playing all our cards:

...The problem with this approach is that dead terrorists cannot tell their plans. According to ABC News, Abdulmutallab has told investigators there are "more just like him in Yemen who would strike soon." Who are these terrorists? Where have they been deployed? We may not find out until it is too late because we launched a strike intended to kill the al-Qaeda leaders who could give us vital intelligence.

On Christmas Eve, U.S. and Yemeni forces struck a compound where senior al-Qaeda leaders were meeting. Among those believed killed, The Washington Post reported, were "Nasser al-Wuhayshi, al-Qaeda's regional leader, and his deputy, Said Ali al-Shihri." A U.S. official told the Post that they were "the two biggest fish in the most violent offshoot of al-Qaeda that exists in the world." Subsequent reports have indicated al-Wuhayshi might have survived. The fates of the two men remain unclear.

In an earlier time, when we tracked down such big fish, we would take them in alive, hand them over to the CIA and find out their plans to kill Americans. No longer. If we had tried to capture, instead of kill, these two terrorist leaders, they could have told us whether more like Abdulmutallab were on the way. Now, they might have taken these secrets to the grave. And we are left to hope that the passengers on the next flight are as brave as those who subdued Abdulmutallab on Christmas Day.

Utilizing the intel procedures described above is not exactly new. You can compare it to removing ants from your kitchen. Many ant-traps now allow an ant to escape back to its home, but that ant is loaded with poison which will destroy the rest of the ants in their nest.

Or you can keep swatting ants, one at a time. When you see them. IF you see them.

Good luck with that.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

"Bank Reform" Bill: Another $4Tn to Citi?

It's possible.

It authorizes Federal Reserve banks to provide as much as $4 trillion in emergency funding the next time Wall Street crashes. So much for “no-more-bailouts” talk. That is more than twice what the Fed pumped into markets this time around.

Remember that this is the BawneyFwank bill.

Since Congress isn’t cutting jobs, why not add a few more. The bill calls for more than a dozen agencies to create a position called “Director of Minority and Women Inclusion.” People in these new posts will be presidential appointees. I thought too-big-to-fail banks were the pressing issue. Turns out it’s diversity, and patronage

And it emulates HarryReidProcedures 1o1!!

...the bill contains a provision that, in the event of another government request for emergency aid to prop up the financial system, debate in Congress be limited to just 10 hours. Anything that can get Congress to shut up can’t be all bad.

Altogether, another shit sandwich served courtesy US Congress (Subsidiary of Wall Street.)

Barry at Yearend

Even though Folkie already flagged it, it's worth a second read.

Surprisingly, my "excerpt you should read here" is different from Folkie's:

President Obama then delivers an upbeat inaugural address, ushering in a new era of cooperation, civility and bipartisanship in a galaxy far, far away. Here on Earth everything stays much the same.

The No. 1 item on the agenda is fixing the economy, so the new administration immediately sets about the daunting task of trying to nominate somebody -- anybody -- to a high-level government post who actually remembered to pay his or her taxes. Among those who forgot this pesky chore is Obama's nominee for Treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, who sheepishly admits that he failed to pay $35,000 in federal self-employment taxes. He says that the error was a result of his using TurboTax, which he also blames for his involvement in an eight-state spree of bank robberies. He is confirmed after the Obama administration explains that it inherited the U.S. Tax Code from the Bush administration.

It's all Barry, all the time. Go. Read.

In the Doylet for $2.7 Billion

It's no wonder that James Earl Doyle is unable to sell his resume--even when he goes overseas to try. Todd Berry lays it out in all its dismal stink.

A week before Christmas, an important report appeared on a Wisconsin government website. There were no press releases from Madison politicians. No headline news stories.

Yet no public official, taxpayer or citizen can afford to ignore the report’s bottom line: According to its just-released financial statements, state government closed its 2008-09 books with a $2.71 billion deficit in its general fund.

Gee. No trumpeting from the (D) folks? One wonders why.

Oh, it gets worse, all right.

True, this year’s deficit is the largest ever reported. But it is the fifth consecutive year that the GAAP shortfall exceeded $2 billion and the ninth that it has topped $1 billion. We have not had a recession every year since the late 1990s. This recession didn’t really get underway until early 2008.

Even more troubling than the size of the deficit is its trend. Since 1999, the shortfall has grown in every year except one: $830 million in fiscal 1999, $1.21 billion in 2000, $1.48 billion in 2001, $2.24 billion in 2002, $1.93 billion in 2004, $2.12 billion in 2005, $2.15 billion in 2006, $2.44 billion in 2007, $2.50 billion in 2008, and now, $2.71 billion in 2008-09.

Yes, I know Tommy Thompson's name, and the names of the Moron Republicans who aided and abetted his schemes. One was such a turd that he eventually vacated his District and ran off to Sun Prairie. Even the people up there couldn't stand him any more.

For the other "Republican-or-Die" types: that Tea Party stuff was, and still IS, very real. Don't come to our doors with fundraising hopes. Your votes on the budgets of Thompson are public record, remember?

Worth Pondering

As usual, a very interesting essay from Deneen. One juicy excerpt:

First, it was held that modern society should be built around the goal of material prosperity - "the relief of the human estate," in Bacon's phrase, or "commodious living," in Hobbes's articulation. Human ingenuity and the rise of modern science aimed toward maximizing the ability of humans to manipulate and control the natural world, and to extract from it hitherto unimaginable bounties for life.

Second, particularly with arguments posed by John Locke and the Framers, as well as the thought of many thinkers in the Scottish Enlightenment, it was held that political sovereignty rested in the will of the people, and that political systems ultimately derived their legitimacy from the consent of the governed. This basic insight (which had some relationship to medieval theories of constitutionalism, albeit without a concept of "human will" at its core) laid the groundwork for theories of modern democracy, including periodic elections, theories of rights-based individualism, and eventually a form of liberal welfare-statism that would ensure the basic material conditions of life needed for participation in the political and civic order.

The result were two theories in pronounced tension, if not outright contradiction, with one another. The first claim recognized that practical inequality was the likely result: as people's talents and abilities were permitted maximum distinction in an environment of opportunity and progress, some would achieve great rewards, and others would risk too much or accomplish too little. Prosperity with pronounced social inequality and societal instability was the anticipated outcome. The second claim allowed for the full expression of grievances over those unequal outcomes, with the strong possibility that the popular sovereign would demand some form of equalization of outcome.

Deneen then goes on about the utilization of resources (as is his wont) in the US. Well, it's an opinion--not necessarily wrong, not necessarily right.

But his conclusion has cachet:

All the major players knew that the "social contract" between Stratification and Equality was teetering, but that it could be propped up a while longer with further pay-offs. For years these pay-offs had no longer come out of "current use" funds - those funds were becoming too precious, and without prospect for long-term increase - to be used to pay off the demands of Equality. Instead, pay-offs were increasingly made using future funds, the presumed inheritance and legacy of generations not born, all added to a running tab called "the deficit" or (most amusingly) the Social Security "Trust Fund." A massive fiction called "the National Debt" was sold to the rising nation of China, who - for lack of better savings depot - decided to buy out its only real competitor, biding its time for the day when it would own the West. Monetary policy was devised to create a series of oscillating bubbles, each popping ever more closely to the previous, each one indicating a growing frenzy to get what one can while one could. Fearing electoral backlash, the political classes continued to buy enough votes to bring its success in the next election, and the money-masters financed that auction in return for 1,070 blind eyes.

Without the advantage of a crystal ball, I suspect we will be looking at a New World Order within a decade.

Black Helicopters sighted at G'town, folks?

I wager that in 10 years' time, the nation will either have sunk itself beneath the untenable weight of continuing payment of a bribe that could never be sustained - and will look like a third world "banana republic" - or, it will have "successfully" made the transition to another regime, an form of autocratic capitalism in which the State will change the terms of the bribe, paying us with materialist distractions in exchange for our political rights and equality. I daily see signs of both prospects, and can't clearly discern at the moment which will arise. Either way, our culmination is grim, for in either event we will cease in any real sense to be a Republic.

Not exactly a candidate for Optimist Clubman of the Year, eh?

Making a Bet on Housing? Hold Back a Bit

Somebody actually looked at the Case-Schiller numbers instead of yapping soundbites.

On a month to month basis, we see hills in the spring and summer and valleys in the fall and winter. During the onset of the bursting of the (first) bubble, this cycle was compressed, but was still there. and lasted throughout the bubble. With the onset of the government stimulus (ex. housing credits and MBS market manipulation), the peaks were significantly exacerbated. Now we are entering into the winter months again, and guess what's happening, as has happened nearly every winter cycle before. The only difference is that this dip is extraordinarily steep! I would also like to add that the month to month price changes coincide exactly with the S&P 500 move downward and upward for 2008 and 2009, to the MONTH! What a coincidence, huh? If this relationship holds,,,, well you see what direction the month to month lines are going and how steep they are, don't you?

Lots, lots more at the link.

Not Exactly Humor

HT: The Winning McCain

Banking Reform? Never.

No matter what you think of credit-card reforms, or 'bank reforms' in general, remember this.

“In the fall of 2008, Democrats took the White House and expanded their Congressional majorities as America struggled through a financial collapse wrought by years of deregulation. The public was furious. It seemed as if the banks and institutions that dragged the economy to the brink of disaster — and were subsequently rescued by taxpayer funds — would finally be forced to change their ways.

But it’s not happening. Financial regulation’s long slog through Congress has left it riddled with loopholes, carved out at the request of the same industries that caused the mess in the first place. An outraged American public is proving no match for the mix of corporate money and influence that has been marshaled on behalf of the financial sector.”

In short, by setting up the committee as a place for shaky Democrats from red districts to pad their campaign coffers, leadership made a choice to prioritize fundraising over the passage of strong legislation. “It makes it difficult to corral consensus,” says Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), a subcommittee chairman, of the unwieldy panel.

Source? HuffPost via Barry.

"Hope" Part of HopenChange: In Detroit

Powerline notes that this quotation was removed from the WaPo website.

"Authorities are holding out hope that [Abdulmutallab] will change his mind and cooperate with the probe, the officials said."

The damnfool President and his lackey Holder decided to prosecute this non-State combatant/terrorist as a common criminal, which led to 'lawyering up,' which led to.........


The HopenChange embraces Nigerian/Yemeni AlQuaeda members! Hey, Jude!

How to "Control" Guns: Let Us Count the Ways

Bloomberg's bunch (Mayors Against Illegal Guns) has found 40 ways to impinge on the 2A.

You remember the 2A? "The right to bear arms shall not be infringed...." Well, "impinge" is not the same as "infringe," right?

So there you have it. Congress will not make any laws under these schemes; it's just "regulatory", you know.

Here are a few of Bloomie's ideas:

Require REAL ID compliant identification for all gun purchasers. Those in non-complying states, which are many, will no longer be permitted to buy firearms.

(Wisconsin is NOT 'REAL ID' compliant.)

Lots of recommendations for new record keeping requirements on the part of FFLs

(Added costs, not to mention ways by which BATF/E can screw with dealer's heads over missing commas, non-dotted "i"'s, etc. And they WILL screw with dealers.)

Extend the multiple purchase reporting requirement to long guns, especially ARs, 50 caliber firearms, and Kalashnikov variants.

Recommends a ban on the importation of all “non-sporting” firearms and ammunition, and specifically calls for banning the FN Five-Seven.

Define "sporting." AK's are fine deer-killers, and the FN Five-Seven is a personal-defense weapon.

Snowflakes is convinced that the author(s) of these recc's are intimately familiar with BATF/E regs, strengths, and weaknesses. And of course, we know that Holder and his Supreme Leader Obama are perfectly happy to disarm citizens.

How do you counter this crap?

Here's a possibility: BUY MORE AMMO!!

Oh, by the way: Bloomie's Bunch includes Tom Barrett (Candidate for Governor), Dave Cieslewicz (Madistan, the Snow-Town), Tom Ratzlaff (Park Falls), Richard Johns (Rhinelander !!!), Al Richards (St. Francis), Larry Nelson (Waukesha) and Christine Deiss (West Bend.)

HT: Arms/Law

Smurf DDOS: SBC Missed a Call

Talked to a very, very, very knowledgeable network guy this morning.

The Smurf DDOS/DOS attacks are hitting D-Link routers all over the country, with some users going off-'net as often as 3-4 times/hour.

Basically, that means that (while there is a s/w and firmware hole in the D-Link routers), ATT has not re-configured their router systems to foil the attacks.

As I mentioned, D-Link resolved the problem for me in about 3 minutes of walk-through instructions; the tech knew immediately what the problem was, and how to fix it.

Wish that SBC, or ATT, were as upfront in admitting that they had not addressed the problem yet.

Where's Doylet?

Still haven't heard or seen a word from James Earl Doyle on this little problem.

The governors of the nation’s two largest Democratic states are leveling sharp criticism at the Senate health care bill, claiming that it would leave their already financially strapped states even deeper in the hole.

New York Democratic Gov. David Paterson and California GOP Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger are urging congressional leaders to rework the Medicaid financing in the Senate-passed bill, warning that under that version their states will be crushed by billions in new costs.

Wisconsin is in exactly the same place as CA and NY. So, Jimbo, whassup?

(Obviously, Obama hasn't yet committed to giving Doylet a plum spot in his Administration or in the judiciary....)

HT: John Lott

Cheney Sums It Up for Obama

Nicely stated.

Cheney's thought that Obama's "social transformation" agenda is weakened by an admission that there is a war is interesting, because it extends Obama's 'social' (Statist) agenda worldwide, not just inside the US.

That implies a "one-world" thought-pattern which is, at the very least, naive and dangerous to actual US citizens who are not protected by a few thousand Secret Service folks with armored vehicles--you know, like the 277 people on NWA 253 who were NOT knicker-bombers.

Of course, achieving "one-world" transformation may require a few sacrifices, like the lives of your family members. You can volunteer them if you wish.

“As I’ve watched the events of the last few days it is clear once again that President Obama is trying to pretend we are not at war. He seems to think if he has a low key response to an attempt to blow up an airliner and kill hundreds of people, we won’t be at war. He seems to think if he gives terrorists the rights of Americans, lets them lawyer up and reads them their Miranda rights, we won’t be at war. He seems to think if we bring the mastermind of 9/11 to New York, give him a lawyer and trial in civilian court, we won’t be at war.

“He seems to think if he closes Guantanamo and releases the hard-core al Qaeda trained terrorists still there, we won’t be at war. He seems to think if he gets rid of the words, ‘war on terror,’ we won’t be at war. But we are at war and when President Obama pretends we aren’t, it makes us less safe. Why doesn’t he want to admit we’re at war? It doesn’t fit with the view of the world he brought with him to the Oval Office. It doesn’t fit with what seems to be the goal of his presidency – social transformation—the restructuring of American society. President Obama’s first object and his highest responsibility must be to defend us against an enemy that knows we are at war.”

That's a LOT of Ammo!

Owen noticed that DHS has a hunger for ammo.

The Department of Homeland Security has placed an order for 200 million rounds of pistol ammunition (.40 caliber, hollow-point) over the next five years for use by its Immigration, Customs and Enforcement division.

Let’s see now, ICE has approximately 15,000 employees. ...

That's about 2600 rounds/employee/year for the next 5 years, or about 220 rounds/month/employee. (But not all DHS employees tote sidearms.)

Which works out to about 2++ hours' target-practice per month per employee, unless they're saving those rounds for other purposes.

Opportunism: Axelrod's Middle Name

See, this is how things are done in Chicago.

A number of private citizens who signed up for White House news alerts on the official White House website woke up this morning with a nice New Year's message… from senior White House political adviser David Axelrod's Chicago-based consulting firm.

... "I didn't sign up for anything with the Axelrod firm, so I don't know why I'm getting an e-card from them," says a Republican PR consultant based in Los Angeles. "The only thing I've signed up for were White House alerts, and I'm not on any Democrat Party e-mail lists

Yah, well, take the hint, stupid.

HT: AmSpecBlog

Even More ObamaCare Garbage

Bit by bit, the Herb Kohl/Rusty Feingold/Obama chamber of horrors-show gets worse and worse.

An insurance requirement in the U.S. Senate’s health care bill targeting small contractors has opponents worried lawmakers are unfairly singling out the construction industry.

...The health care bill the Senate passed Dec. 24 includes an amendment that would require construction companies with as few as six employees offer health insurance. The health insurance requirements kick in at 50 employees for all other companies.

It's not a question of 'whether or not health coverage is a good thing.' Here, the blindlings in the Senate (see above names) arbitrarily whacked a particular segment of the economy.

And when you have all the cards, you can be arbitrary, capricious---and vicious.

My suggestion: Buy More Ammo!

GMAC Gets Tax Dollars for Losses

Swirling down the porcelain-lined circular container...

GMAC Financial Services is expected to receive $3.5 billion more in federal aid to further stabilize the automotive lender, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

...Results of the federal government's "stress tests" earlier this year demanded that GMAC raise an $11.5 billion capital cushion to help it weather further economic decline. GMAC was unable to raise the funds privately

That's on top of the $12.5Bn GMAC already had...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

John Yoo Pwns NYT Ditz


NYT: Were you close to George Bush?

Yoo: No, I’ve never met him. I don’t know Cheney either. I have not gone hunting with him, which is probably a good thing for me...

NYT: So you’re saying you were just one notch above an intern, you and Monica Lewinsky?

Yoo: She was much closer to the president than I ever was...


HT: Ace

C S Lewis Demolishes "Mythologizers"

Pertinacious quotes C S Lewis on the usual suspects (Crossan, Brown, etc.)--the "Scholars".

1. [If a scholar] tells me that something in a Gospel is legend or romance, I want to know how many legends and romances he has read, how well his palate is trained in detecting them by the flavour...

I have been reading poems, romances, vision-literature, legends, myths all my life. I know what they are like. I know that not one [of the stories in the Gospel of John, for example] is like this... Either this is reportage - though it may no doubt contain errors - pretty close up to the facts; nearly as close as Boswell. Or else, some unknown writer in the second century, without known predecessors or successors, suddenly anticipated the whole technique of modern, novelistic, realistic narrative...

2. All theology of the liberal type involves at some point - and often involves throughout - the claim that the real behaviour and purpose and teaching of Christ came very rapidly to be misunderstood and misrepresented by his followers, and has been recovered or exhumed only by modern scholars...

And there's more........every bit worth reading. Summary: they're full of BS, or perhaps themselves.

Take your pick.

USCC Leads the Way for Homeland Security!

Diogenes, a very acute observer:

...will [TSA] force all of us to shut off our laptops, close our books, and sit at attention for the final hour of every flight, like schoolboys in detention?

It’s an absurd reaction. It would be comical if it weren’t so infuriating. It’s almost as if the US bishops, having allowed known molesters to work with children for years, decided that the most appropriate remedy was to force parents to undergo background checks before serving as playground monitors.

Indeed. The DC/Ruling Class mentality, displayed for all to mock. Deservedly.

Herbie Kohl! Rusty Feingold! Pay Attention!

All I get from Herbie (Nobody's Senator) is the same damn form letter, no matter what my correspondence says.

No surprise. Herbie won't be accused of "activist Senator-ing", ever.

Meantime, the Lefties have figured out what's up with ObamaCare, and they don't like it. Maybe Herbie and Rusty will pay attention to them.

Or not.

The bill that passed the Senate with such fanfare on Christmas Eve would impose a confiscatory 40 percent excise tax on so-called Cadillac health plans, which are popularly viewed as over-the-top plans held only by the very wealthy. In fact, it’s a tax that in a few years will hammer millions of middle-class policyholders, forcing them to scale back their access to medical care. Which is exactly what the tax is designed to do.

--Bob Herbert, NYT

The alternative, of course, is to INCREASE the tax to maintain ~par medical care. Either way, most people in the USA will lose.

HT: Secondhand Smoke

Interpol, Again. Black Helicopters?

What's the Boy President (and his sidekick, Holder) up to?

We mentioned this a couple of days ago; now Andy McCarthy has a few questions.

You just can't make up how brazen this crowd is. One week ago, President Obama quietly signed an executive order that makes an international police force immune from the restraints of American law.

...On Wednesday, however, for no apparent reason, President Obama issued an executive order removing the Reagan limitations. That is, Interpol's property and assets are no longer subject to search and confiscation, and its archives are now considered inviolable. This international police force (whose U.S. headquarters is in the Justice Department in Washington) will be unrestrained by the U.S. Constitution and American law while it operates in the United States and affects both Americans and American interests outside the United States.


Why would we elevate an international police force above American law? Why would we immunize an international police force from the limitations that constrain the FBI and other American law-enforcement agencies? Why is it suddenly necessary to have, within the Justice Department, a repository for stashing government files which, therefore, will be beyond the ability of Congress, American law-enforcement, the media, and the American people to scrutinize?

I dunno. And the Boy President ain't talking--he's busy on the links, and mis-characterizing terrorists as "criminals."

But I do happen to have an idea:


"Smurf" Detection/Packet Dropped

I thought smurf attacks were old-school.

Have a bunch of them on my dlink log in the last several days...

Any thoughts?

UPDATE: SBC/ATT, of course, blamed D-Link. So I called D-Link. Their phone routine is kinda discouraging--"....we will require proof-of-purchase of your unit," ......."there is a limited time for warranty-service calls....." etc., yada yada.

Guy gets on the line, I describe the problem, we tweak internal settings on D-Link machine, problem solved! (That is, more than 4 hours 'net service without interruption as of now.)

D-Link gets the White Hat prize. Jury's still out on SBC/ATT.

Boumedienne Was Wrong

Yup, it was Kennedy and the other Left-O-Wackies at SCOTUS...

And Scalia had it nailed:

The game of bait-and-switch that today’s opinion plays upon the Nation’s Commander in Chief will make the war harder on us. It will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed. That consequence would be tolerable if necessary to preserve a time-honored legal principle vital to our constitutional
Republic. But it is this Court’s blatant abandonment of such a principle that produces the decision today....

These, mind you, were detainees whom the military had concluded were not enemy combatants. Their return to the kill illustrates the incredible difficulty of assessing who is and who is not an enemy combatant in a foreign theater of operations where the environment does not lend itself to rigorous evidence collection. Astoundingly, the Court today raises the bar, requiring military officials to appear before civilian courts and defend their decisions under procedural and evidentiary rules that go beyond what Congress has specified....

Today the Court warps our Constitution in a way that goes beyond the narrow issue of the reach of the Suspension Clause, invoking judicially brainstormed separation-of- powers principles to establish a manipulable “functional” test for the extraterritorial reach of habeas corpus (and, no doubt, for the extraterritorial reach of other constitutional protections as well). It blatantly misdescribes important precedents, most conspicuously Justice Jackson’s opinion for the Court in Johnson v. Eisentrager.

HT: Legal Insurrection

Obama Blows It Big-Time (Again) on knickerbomber

Steyn's way with words cannot be beaten. Here he simply demolishes the Boy President's statement on the Detroit bomber.

There’s a difference between an alleged suspect (which is what he is is the President’s fantasy) and an enemy combatant (which is what he is in reality). If this were a war, we would question him about who he hooked up with in Yemen, who did he meet with in London, and maybe get a lead on attacks to come. Instead, the authorities, having issued the Knickerbomber a multi-entry visa, having permitted him to board the plane, and having failed to detect his incendiary unwear, now allow him to lawyer up and ensure that we’ll never know who he knew in Yemen or anywhere else

Hard to tell those differences, though, from the putting green.

While our President resides in Fantasyland, the rest of us deal with the consequences.

Nothing wrong with a summary execution in this case. After all, it's on video...

HT: Gateway

Mencken Was a Prophet

History repeats itself.

This Constitution was proposed by H L Mencken during the Statist regime of FDR. May as well dust it off; it's evidently been ratified.


The Executive

All governmental power of whatever sort shall be vested in a President of the United States. He shall hold office during a series of terms of four years each, and shall take the following oath: “I do solemnly swear that I will (in so far as I deem it feasible and convenient) faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will (to the best of my recollection and in the light of experiment and second thought) carry out the pledges made by me during my campaign for election (or such of them as I may select).”

The President shall be commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy, and of the militia, Boy Scouts, C.I.O., People’s Front, and other armed forces of the nation.

The President shall have the power: To lay and collect taxes, and to expend the income of the United States in such manner as he may deem to be to their or his advantage;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States, and to provide for its repayment on such terms as he may fix;

To regulate all commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and within them; to license all persons engaged or proposing to engage in business; to regulate their affairs; to limit their profits by proclamation from time to time; and to fix wages, prices and hours of work;


HT: FoxPolitics

The 2A Song

Just in case you need a pick-me-up....

From Ace

Arne Duncan FAIL

Gee. Another Obama appointment, another fail!

Soon after Arne Duncan left his job as schools chief here to become one of the most powerful U.S. education secretaries ever, his former students sat for federal achievement tests. This month, the mathematics report card was delivered: Chicago trailed several cities in performance and progress made over six years

...the new math scores signal that Chicago is nowhere near the head of the pack in urban school improvement, even though Duncan often cites the successes of his tenure as he crusades to fix public education.

Duncan was quoted as saying that "The system worked."

Well, maybe I made that up....

Jim Doyle Memorial

The picture is an analogy for the State of Wisconsin after Doyle.

The worst part: that bridge is in better shape than the State of Wisconsin's finances after 8 years of James Earl Doyle's "governance."

HT: Daily Reporter

House Dems to Dump Public Option


The House’s third-ranking Democrat said Sunday that he can support a healthcare reform bill without a public option. --The Hill

House Democrats are going to abandon the public option. Ignore the nonsense about more choice and reduced costs: that’s for the rubes and the netroots. They went with the #3 House Democrat to make the announcement because both Pelosi and Hoyer want to appear to be reluctantly going along with this

"Healthcare. ANY Healthcare."

Monday, December 28, 2009

On Visa Issuance

Well, well.

Despite the protestations of the clueless twit over at Owen's place (hint: try the initials "RS"), it seems that pulling the visa was very, very do-able.

That law requires an applicant to show strong roots in his home country — such as a house, a spouse, and/or employment — in order to prove that he would be likely to return home when his visa expired.

Young, single, unemployed men are the people most often refused visas under 214(b) (when it is actually enforced) for the very reasons that al Qaeda recruits them so heavily: They are shiftless and have very little to stop them from packing up and moving to a new country. There’s also, sadly, very little to prevent them from committing terrorist attacks.

(Visa Reg 214(b))

HT: Malkin

The "Doh" Post

Think the economy's troubled?

Then you take money from the wrong people!!

Government employees are much more bullish about the economy than those who work in the private sector. That’s a big change from the beginning of the year when those on the public payroll were a bit more pessimistic than private sector workers.

Data from the Rasmussen Consumer Index from the past seven days shows that a plurality of government workers think the economy is getting better while those who work in the private sector tend to have the opposite view. Those in the government sector are also more upbeat about the current state of the economy and their own personal finances.

Of course, Gummint employees also complain a lot.

HT: Hot Air

Andrea Mitchell's Silliness

So yesterday on "Meet the Depressed," Andrea Mitchell (wife of Greenspan, the Bubble King) lets us all know that 'the anger' she's seen in the last 12 months--specifically, the Tea Parties-- is 'worse than any anger' she's seen since the George Wallace campaign.

I think Andrea Mitchell's observations on voter anger are as accurate as are Napolitano's on "the system."

Useless twit.

Napolitano: It Was Bush's Fault!

The Secretary-ette of Homeland Security first (Sunday) declared that "the system worked," then (Monday) declared that "the system failed miserably."

Of course, it was the BUSH system which 'failed miserably.'

The Obama system worked, see?

DeMint Trips Up HealthCare

Gotta love this guy.

When Senator DeMint engineered, and Republican Leader McConnell actually objected to the appointment of the conferees, he was really handing the ball off to the left wingers — progressives if you will — and now they have their shot to either hold their own clan members who are against the Senate compromises and force them to vote No, or have their policy demands be ignored and take the crumbs from Senator Nelson’s and Senator Lieberman’s table.

Now, because of the Senator DeMint’s objection, unless the House votes for the Senate bill unchanged ... then the Senate ObamaCare bill must be amended on the House floor to gain the votes they need to pass it on the House floor. And because of Senator DeMint’s objection to the appointment of the conferees, there will be no conference, or conference report.

If the House amends the Senate bill, they then have to send the amended bill back to the Senate — where all the 60 vote margin cloture votes still apply — cloture on the motion to proceed, and cloture to end the filibuster and cloture on any amendment.

Three cheers for DeMint!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Puer Natus Sighting

Was at the 10:30 Midnight Mass at a prestigious West Suburban parish and the men sang the Puer Natus (sans psalm verse) while the creche was blessed.

Interesting placement...

Is Napolitano Drunk?

"The system worked" will become a meme-du-sarcasm in the next 3 days, tops.

It will be used as a "moron speaking here" catchword.

Arizona elected her? Beyond dogcatcher?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Obamism, Simply Another Cult of Materialism

VDH has an insight here, but it is incomplete, because VDH doesn't completely define "Obamism" as the cult it really is, which is another form of mere materialism.

These true believers, then, don’t really care that the Blue Dogs (if such really exist) bite the dust in 2010, if Harry Reid goes up in smoke, or indeed, if Barack Obama is reelected. Instead, they will institutionalize an agenda that will affect America for generations, move it sharply to the left, and earn a spot in the academic pantheon of American heroes.

...for the true believer, it is all about the self, and the sense of the self—and damn all other considerations.

It's possible, I suppose, that Obama (and let's not forget the enablers: Propagandist Axelrod and Enforcer Rahmsputin) can be that narcissistic. On the other hand, it's difficult to imagine that all of them and their enablers are so energetic--so morally righteous--about 'Obamism' that it is the real, impelling, force behind the cult.

It is far more than mere Obamism. It is a cult, but it's not about Obama, nor his predecessors-in-kind, TR, Wilson, FDR, Carter, et. al. The debate is theological, not political, and while Obamism will go the way of any other cult of personality, the underlying theology, materialism, will not.

Obama is a practical atheist, one of many; there is no God but the State, in his mind, and it is the State which brings about salvation. I've called it 'immanentizing the Eschaton,' which is homely shorthand for bringing about the Second Coming without Christ. It's a trap into which many have fallen to one degree or another, including a large number of Catholic Bishops, priests, and bureaucrats and an overwhelming number of mainline Protestant leaders and their apparatchiks, and it rests on the foundation of materialism rather than the Judaeo-Christian tradition. John Paul II exhorted Eastern Europeans to avoid Western materialism when they were freed from the Communist materialism-variant. He had good reason for that.

What we have in Obamism is a cult, but it is merely a perversion of the same cult which underlies unfettered capitalism (and I use the term 'unfettered' with a reason.) Narcissism is a manifestation of materialism, and narcissism, like materialism, is endemic in all of society. They must go together as integral parts of that 'immanentized eschaton.'

But while the typical capitalist advocate at least recognizes the need for 'fetters' (wage/hour/safety laws) and/or some other form of amelioration such as personal or private charitable works and institutions, the Obamism variant sees no need for personal or private charity; instead, the State will provide satisfaction of all wants; the State will lead us through the valley of darkness to green pastures. (Going back up that trail far enough brings you to the cult's logical starting point of atheism.)

But the practical-atheist/materialist State will not--cannot--'restore one's soul;' thus, the vague discomfort and unrest which haunts the reaches of ObamaLand which are outside the Beltway.

Of course, the cult of materialism (unfettered capitalism variant) produced the same unrest and discomfort. Bay View has a landmark dedicated to that unrest. The AFL-CIO exists due to that unrest.

In the end, St. Augustine was right: one's soul cannot rest until it rests in the Lord.

There. That's a long way around to the actual Christmas message, no? Christ, unlike any materialist of either variation, gave Himself as a gift to us. Neither Statism nor Capitalism does that, for they ignore the person--and God--by default.

Down the Doylet Transpo Hole

Remember that $400 million, or $1 Billion (whatever) that James Doyle, Governor of the State of Wisconsin, Fraud, and Hero of Public Employees stole from the Transportation fund?

Well, it's causing a problem.

Outagamie County rejected the state’s 2010 contract offer for highway plowing and maintenance, and more counties may follow suit next year.

The proposed Wisconsin Department of Transportation contract would force the county to have 15 snowplows and up to 25 people on staff during winter, said Al Geurts, Outgamie County’s highway commissioner. But the contract would not offer enough construction work in the summer to keep those people working, he said.

The offer would require the county cover the summer expense of keeping the trucks and people busy, Geurts said.

Outagamie may not be the lone ranger here.

“The reality is that some of these counties will opt out of it,” said Bruce Stelzner, Chippewa County highway commissioner, “and stop doing the work and leave it to the state.”

...“With the diminishing county budgets as well, the counties will not spend money in the state highway system,” he said. “So it will be up to the state to figure out how to pay for the state trunk highway system.”

Picture Frankie Busalacchi tooling to his Brookfield home from Madistan in a snowplow, clearing SH 190 (Capitol Drive) on the way...

The Re-Writing of History: Fall of the Wall

Interesting point here.

There has been a great rewriting of history as to why the Berlin Wall fell and why communism was overcome in Europe, reducing the course of events to merely the failure of an economic system. It is important to realize that communism was not overthrown simply because of a need for economic reform.

For instance, people standing in front of tanks in Tiananmen Square do not do so because of a simple desire for economic reforms. These are men and women who believe in justice and in their own right to freedom and the rights of their children, and they are willing to pay a very high price in pursuit of these rights.

It was not co-incidence that two of the four major players were Catholic.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christ's Mass

May your Christmas be blessed, and merry; may your New Year be filled with the blessings of the Christ Child.

Silent Night, 9-voice Male

This chorale is outstanding.

The arrangement of the second canto is a bit bothersome, but if you get past that, you'll love the rest.

HT: Badger Catholic

Sen. Coburn Wraps It Up

No way to say it better.

This vote is indeed historic. This Congress will be remembered for its arrogance, corruption and stupidity. In the year of 2009, a Congress ignored the coming economic storm and impending bankruptcy of our entitlement programs and embarked on an ideological crusade to bring our nation as close to single-payer, government-run health care as possible. If this bill becomes law, future generations will rue this day and I will do everything in my power to work toward its repeal. This bill will ration care, cut Medicare, increase premiums, fund abortion and bury our children in debt.

This process was not compromise. This process was corruption. This bill passed because votes were bought and sold using the issue of abortion as a bargaining chip. The abortion provision alone makes this bill the most arrogant piece of legislation I have seen in Congress. Only the most condescending politician can believe it is appropriate to force Americans to pay for other people's abortions and to coerce medical professional to take the lives of unborn children --Sen. Tom Coburn.

I believe that "arrogant" describes Russ Feingold perfectly. He's not only arrogant; he is a sneering, juvenile, wearing-it-proud, elitist.

Herb Kohl, on the other hand, is merely a tool. An old, useless, tool.

HT: PowerLine

One World Order, Here and Now!

I'm never comfortable around the 'conspiracy' folks--you know, the ones who believe that there's a One World Order being pushed by the Elites in the US, Europe, and so forth....

That doesn't mean that the conspiracy folks are wrong.

Last Thursday, December 17, 2009, The White House released an Executive Order "Amending Executive Order 12425." It grants INTERPOL (International Criminal Police Organization) a new level of full diplomatic immunity afforded to foreign embassies and select other "International Organizations" as set forth in the United States International Organizations Immunities Act of 1945.
By removing language from President Reagan's 1983 Executive Order 12425, this international law enforcement body now operates — now operates — on American soil beyond the reach of our own top law enforcement arm, the FBI, and is immune from Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
For their own sakes, I hope they're carrying a lot of ammo.

HT: MoonBattery

Obama Wants More Statism of the (D) Variety

Noted at Hot Air:

...Barack Obama on Wednesday expressed frustration with the way the Senate does business, saying the use of delaying tactics there harms the nation's ability to "deal with big problems in a very competitive world."

"Other countries are going to start running circles around us," Obama said in a White House interview with PBS. "We're going to have to return to some sense that governance is more important than politics inside the Senate."

There are two possible reasons for his statement. One is the obvious one--that his programs are so over-the-top Statist/Leftist that debate threatens them, and that he's jealous of the ChiCom/Putin/Chavez/Imadinnerjacket modus operandi. Even Richard Daley thinks so--see today's WaPo.

The other is that he's figuring on a loss of several Senate seats in 2010 and would like to deal with 51 rather than 60.

The "Bad" Old Days? Compared to What?

Cramer finds that the Ruling Class hasn't really changed too much in 600 years...

...Other means being exhausted, funds for an expedition to Brittany were raised in 1379 by a graduated poll (or head) tax, a new device designed to cover clergy and peasants at lower income levels than before. Calculated, with the usual vagueness about population figures, to bring in £50,000, it produced only £20,000, all of it invested in a fleet commanded by Sir John Arundel.

Delayed until winter by lack of wind and then by threat of a French raid, Arundel took part of his force to Southampton to guard against an enemy landing and, why there, to conduct himself indistinguishably from the enemy. Beside robbing the countryside, he quartered his men-at-arms and archers in a convent, allowing them to violate at will the nuns and a number of poor widows who lived there, and to carry them off to the ships when ready to sail. Arundel was the man who had demanded money in hand before he would defend the south-coast towns against earlier French raids. If Walsingham may be believed, he used it for ostentation as extreme as his brutality. He is said to have embarked with a wardrobe of 52 suits embroidered in gold, and horses and equipment to the value of £7,000.

Sailing in December, his convoy was caught by a violent storm during which he ordered the kidnapped women thrown overboard to lighten the ships, maltreated the crew,...

Parallels are hardly lacking. Obama's travel-and-(self)-entertainment bills are comparable to those of QueenNancy (but gaining fast); abusing troops with ROE's such as those favored by Teh Won in Afghanistan continues; and raising taxes on medical equipment and HSA's is called "healthcare reform."

Raping nuns has not recurred........yet.


The Yemeni Al Quaeda group is a bit smaller today.

Sources tell ABC News that an air raid in Yemen this morning may have killed two top al Qaeda officials as well as an imam believed to have inspired the alleged Fort Hood shooter.

Those believed to have been present at the target in the eastern province Shabwa included the leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Nasser al-Wahayshi, his No. 2, Saeed al-Shehri, and Anwar al-Awlaki, who was quoted telling Al Jazeera Web that Maj. Nidal Hasan, asked him "about killing U.S. soldiers and officers. His question was is it legitimate" under Islamic law.

Awlaki said the query was a year before the Fort Hood shooting, making him "astonished. Where was American intelligence that claimed once that it can read any car plate number anywhere in the world?"

Didn't need your license plate, fella. Just your herd of goats.

HT: Ace/Drew

"Death Panel"? Very Close

The "death panel" legislation was written by David Obey as part of the Budget Reconciliation bill early this year. The House version of ObamaCare incorporated the panel into the 'healthcare' process.

The Senate version is just as threatening.

...It all starts with the sweeping power that the Senate bill gives to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The agency will be given the authority to unilaterally write new rules on when medical devices and drugs can be used, and how they should be priced. In particular, the Obama team wants to give the agency the power to decide when a cheaper medical option will suffice for a given problem and, in turn, when Medicare only has to pay for the least costly alternative. far, not entirely unreasonable. But then there's this:

...Now the Obama team will use murky provisions embedded in the Senate bill to subtly attain in law those powers they couldn't more artfully acquire in court. In fact, the bill lets Medicare seek almost any restrictive payment authority it wants from a Medicare Commission established for the purposes of cost control.

If Congress believes Medicare has overreached, it has to pass a separate law to explicitly block the agency's newly acquired powers. These provisions are deliberately designed to leverage Congress's inability to act in a timely fashion.

We could add that "donations to re-election funds" could be used to move the process in a timely fashion. Of course, we're not THAT cynical. Uh-huh...

The Senate health-care bill also exempts Medicare's actions from judicial review, taking away the right of patients to sue the government. Unlike existing Medicare coverage laws, patients won't have the ability to appeal any of the decisions of this new Medicare Commission.

Ironically, private health insurers must comply with new patient appeals rights under the Senate bill. The government has exempted itself from the same sort of protections.

It ought to be crystal-clear that centralizing medical decisions in the hands of "commissions" under the control of Congress is foolish, at best.

You want Dave Obey "helping" your surgeon? Pass Obamacare!

WisDOT to Counties: Don't Do Road Maintenance

Since Doylet stole .....what, $400 million? $1 Billion......from the highway fund, there are effects.

WisDOT contracts with various counties to maintain the state county trunk highway system, he said, but the state budget cuts mean maintenance such as pothole filling and crack sealing likely will drop next year.

“There’s a domino effect you’re going to see immediately,” Takerian said. “We got a memo saying, ‘Don’t do preventative maintenance, only reactionary.’ So pothole problems are going to be absolutely magnified, and a lot of issues are going to continue into summer.”

I think the State could do very well without a Governor's office for the rest of 2009. That's a pothole which SHOULD be filled.

You Think $300 Million for the SwampState is a Lot?

Landrieu is rapidly becoming a cheap hooker...

-- California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger wants President Barack Obama to help ease large- scale cuts to the most populous U.S. state’s already diminished social programs amid a $21 billion anticipated deficit.

Schwarzenegger, a Republican, plans to ask for relief totaling as much as $8 billion,

Just what Wisconsin taxpayers need: a second mortgage on Haight-Ashbury to go along with our second on the swamp at the mouth of the Mississippi.

How to Pay Federal Mortgage Guys

Makes sense to me, hey.

-- Fannie Mae Chief Executive Officer Michael Williams and Freddie Mac CEO Charles Haldeman Jr. are each eligible for compensation of as much as $6 million in 2009, the companies said today in regulatory filings.

Pay at the mortgage-finance companies that were seized by the government in September 2008 must be sufficiently high to “attract and retain” top talent, their regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, said in a statement reflecting debate over salaries at companies receiving government support.

Umnnhhh, yah, "attract and retain." How about "attracting and retaining" (clawing back) the salaries, bonuses, stock-option gains, and pensions of the f*&^ing LOSERS who ran Fan/Fred since 2000 or so? ALL of it, not just some of it. Houses, cars, ALL of it.

Washington-based Fannie Mae, which has lost $120.5 billion over the last nine quarters, has requested $60.9 billion from the Treasury Department this year. McLean, Virginia-based Freddie Mac has tapped $50.7 billion in government capital since November 2008 and recorded $67.9 billion in cumulative losses over the last nine quarters amid a three-year housing slump.

And, by the way, what are the terms and conditions under which these folks earn a bonus?

Lawyers Don't Like 'Free Press'

What were we saying about lawyers yesterday?

Oh, yes.

There's always more where that came from.

...I posted an item about how the Federal Aviation Administration threw a "$5 million taxpayer-funded drunken bash" at an Atlanta hotel for federal employees. The entire item was based on a terrific video report by ABC news, that's highly embarassing for the FAA...

...Within a very short time of my post landing on the internet, I got a phone call at my desk from someone at Gebhardt and Associates, an employment law firm in DC, rather insouciently demanding to know where I got my information about this FAA party.

The lawfirm happens to represent some air-traffic-controller union.

By the way, the party was a lot of fun, but one suspects that some spouses will be....ahhhhh.......

Big Pharma's Wet Sloppy from Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold

Sure, there's a payoff! Hell, if Nebraska can score $100 million, and the swampland at the mouth of the Mississisppi can score $300 million, what's a few hundred million more?

John Berlau, my former colleague at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, adds to my list of the goodies big drug companies receive in the Senate health-care reform bill. Berlau flags the bill's provision prohibiting the use of pre-tax Health Savings Account money to buy over-the-counter drugs. This tax hike thus pushes more people to buy more expensive prescription drugs, which still, of course, get favorable tax treatment. OTC drugs are much cheaper those available for prescription, but they could now be more expensive to individual consumers given that prescription drugs would still be eligible for favored treatment in the tax plans, and that insurance companies would be mandated to cover many of them

Neat. A wealth-transfer from you directly to Pfizer.

And the Angel Said Unto Them......

".....and the angel said unto them 'Fear not. For behold, I bring you glad tidings of great joy, which shall be for all peoples'. And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of......."

Democrat Senators, whose leader, Harry Reid, said to the crowds of reporters:

...that Democrats will indeed hear an earful -- "an earful of joy and happiness."

FWIW, the Catholic church has always taught that even Beelzebub can appear like an angel.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Curious. for Lawyers

Here's the meat of the article.

Lawyers are trying to remove state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman from a case over when police can place tracking devices on cars without search warrants, the Associated Press reports.

That brings to eight the number of cases where Gableman has been targeted for removal by criminal defense attorneys.

When you click on the link to the AP article, you find:

Lawyers for a man convicted of stalking ...

What's missing? The NAMES of the "lawyers." Usually, criminal defense attorneys like very much to get their names in the papers. Free advertising, you know.

S'pose they're afraid of something? I mean, these bozos are so full of s&^% that their hair will be brown until they're 99 years old, and they're clowns, besides.

Reversing an election by making shit up....why NOT get your names in the paper?

Two Stories

Fall and redemption.

Two stories. Read 'em.

Are You Shocked? No? Cynical? No? You Will Be


U.S. banks that spent more money on lobbying, were politically connected with the Fed, or had close ties with Pols, were more likely to get government bailout money.

That stunner is according to a new study released this week by two professors at the University of Michigan, Ross School of Business.

Like the man says....."Doh!"