Saturday, July 31, 2010
First, Private Manning is openly homosexual. Did you know that? I didn't; if the fact has been reported in the American press, I've missed it. Moreover, Manning was an activist who demonstrated against Congress's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. His Facebook includes a photo of him at a gay rights rally, holding a sign demanding equality on "the battlefield." Further, he has posted anti-military comments on his Facebook page. An uncle describes him as "an introverted kid who loved computers and was fired up politically." That's a tantalizing reference that is left hanging. Whether he was fired up about something other than gay rights remains unknown, for the moment. --Telegraph, quoted by PowerLine
For some strange reason, none of that is interesting to the MSM.
I'm no fan of the Afghanistan adventure. At the same time, there are some things which one does NOT DO, and unloading a military database for dissemination is one of those things.
And it's ObamaMotors' godfather who's doin' the conspiring.
A new report in the WSJ quotes a retiring NHTSA official as saying higher-ups are refusing to release the results of the agency’s staff investigation into charges of Toyota sudden acceleration, because those findings are not unfavorable enough toward the automaker.
The claims were always just vague enough to be ......vague......
and just credible enough to crawl up onto the shore.
The Wall Street Journal's steadfast Dorothy Rabinowitz wrote that Barack Obama is "an alien in the White House."
--quoted with approval, by the way...and they have more to say.
George Washington was not the last to warn about "the SPENDING, STUPID!"
"cherish public credit ... use it as sparingly as possible ... avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt ... bear in mind, that towards the payment of debts there must be Revenue, that to have Revenue there must be taxes; that no taxes can be devised, which are not ... inconvenient and unpleasant ... ." --G Washington
It's a generally dark paper which acknowledges that Obama, as President, has a lot of power.
What the authors forget is this: a Republican House has the power of the purse. Every Cabinet agency and regulatory body must be funded, and that happens only when the House allocates the money. It cannot happen any other way.
But what they open their essay with is very intriguing, indeed.
The Internet is a large-scale version of the "Committees of Correspondence" that led to the first American Revolution — and with Washington's failings now so obvious and awful, it may lead to another.
They're on to something.
More here, picking up on the same essay:
...Our politicians view the people as rubes and subjects, and treat them as such. They imagine themselves a ruling class...
...Republicans and Democrats differ only in how they plan to loot the public coffers. Our present Congress and Administration are merely more transparent in their corruption and disdain than their predecessors....
Si vis pacem, para bellum.
Friday, July 30, 2010
Not a very large number, and it appears as though the demand is far greater, given that there are 10 million illegals in this country scratching out a living.
And this has consequences. Wonder no longer why 'deflation' is occurring--AND why 'growth' is so elusive.
...America’s demographic profile has a disturbing resemblance to Japan’s at the beginning of the 1990s,the beginning of its famous “lost decade.” Its population had just began to age dramatically. Over the decade, the elderly dependency ratio rose from 17 percent to 25 percent. As the Japanese aged, their appetite for savings naturally and rationally grew, and they had to save more and more as their stock portfolios and home values crashed. But the more they saved, the worse the economy did. The government lowered interest rates to 0.25 percent or less and ran up spectacular government deficits and couldn’t change the aging population’s desire to save as much as they could. The result was deflation: falling asset values and a strong yen.
Fast forward to America in 2010, with an elderly dependency ratio of 19 percent, a little higher than Japan’s in 1990. By 2020, it will rise to 25 percent, almost as fast as Japan’s. Americans also have seen their stock prices and home values crater, and—again, naturally and rationally—have suddenly shown an insatiable appetite to save rather than spend.
Demographics rule growth, all other things being equal; and when chilluns are rare, growth goes south.
The aging of the population tends to force deflation, not "growth."
But things aren't exactly going their way.
The Commerce Department announced that the advance estimate of economic growth in the second quarter fell to a 2.4% annualized rate, down from a “real” GDP rate of 3.7%. The slowdown came across a broad swath of the economy...
Good luck, Barry.
...neither the American nor the British people have the slightest idea what the objective is with Obama’s Afghan war policy. Is it to defeat al Qaeda? Is it to defeat the Taliban? Is there any intentions to defeat anything, win the war, or make Afghanistan safe for average Afghanis? What are Obama’s goals in Afghanistan?...
Gee, Karl. Somehow, the GWB "objective" in Afghanistan are not real clear in my memory either--except the "get OBL" and "KO the Taliban" parts.
Rumsfeld made certain that OBL did not get taken out, according to the History Channel's documentary on the war.
So what are you yapping about, Karl? Did GWB intend to leave a nice planned community like Levittown over there?
For the next chapter of "Laugh-a-Minute", we turn to the Big Kahuna Doyle-ite at Regulation and Licensing, who announced that her fraud-friend will "adjust" her timesheets for .....
....ONLY THE THREE DAYS DIAMANT CAUGHT HER WITH HER PANTS DOWN.
What a pile of crappy-crap-crap.
Doyle, an old hand at Government-by-Fraud, doesn't give a rip, and Ms. Jackson doesn't, either.
This is not a "say sorry and give back the cookie" offense.
This is a FIRING offense.
They knew the day would come when the population would shift out of Milwaukee and the socialist scam that is MMSD would change its "screw the suburbs" tax/fee approach--because the suburbs would have the majority of 'served' residents.
Sykes was kind enough to remind 'PoopDump' Barrett of his own words in 2004, and the newspaper article included the following:
...Barrett's push to reform MMSD appeared aimed at staving off another reform he does not favor -- a fundamental change in the way the district is governed. Some suburban state lawmakers have advocated making the commissioners elected, not appointed.
Barrett said the Milwaukee mayor should retain authority to name seven of the 11 commissioners because a large majority of metro-area residents live or work in Milwaukee...(emphasis is Charlie's)
Notice Barrett's weasel-wording? "..majority live OR WORK in Milwaukee..."
Yah, but: the majority of MMSD taxpayers do NOT live "in Milwaukee." They live in suburbs which have separated-sewer systems.
And they pay for Milwaukee's mistakes. Dearly.
But that doesn't mean that their replacements are going to be an improvement.
Although President Obama's bailouts and takeovers have been useful in uniting Republicans against his liberal agenda, the GOP is still not united in its commitment to cut spending and debt. The appropriations system has too much control and it will take an earthquake election to break its grip over the party
That's not from some pundit.
That's from Jim DeMint, who knows the process well.
Wisconsin's individual income-tax collections popped an impressive +10% from FY '09 to FY '10 in June. Even so, individual income taxes are down 2.2% year/year, or about $125 million less.
However, the metric which tells you the most is the Sales Tax.
THAT is still off by 3.9% year/year.
Doesn't sound like much until you notice that 3.9% is one hundred forty MILLION dollars.
The corporate income tax is up by 26.9%, which may reflect the change in State law regarding reporting-basis of income.
All told, Wisconsin managed to clamber back to "even" with '09 collections, squeezing $11.1 BILLION out of its residents.
About time that we add new spending obligations--like a ChooChoo that nobody will ride!!
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Since that horrific abuse was committed DURING THE US' TIME IN THAT COUNTRY, one might ask whether 'bringing Democracy to Afghanistan' is really all that......uhhh........effective.
Your mileage may vary.
...Specialists believe that it is unrealistic to expect turbines to produce much more than 20 to 25 per cent of their potential annual output, and that has been the experience in Denmark. Sometimes there is too little wind, sometimes there is too much. Sometimes the machines are broken or being serviced and polished.
With wind turbines, a conventional power station must always provide back-up. For the Danes, traditional power stations with capacities equal to 90 per cent of the installed wind-power capacity must be permanently online to guarantee supply at all times.
So the Danes pay about 300% of average US electric rates, not to mention the tax subsidies, which some estimate to be greater than the annual Danish expenditures on ALL schooling.
1. Vernacular Novus Ordo = Ordinary Form of the Ordinary Form (OFOF)
2. Latin Novus Ordo = Extraordinary/Extinct Form of the Ordinary Form (EFOF)
3. 1962 Mass = Ordinary Form of the Extraordinary Form (OFEF)
4. Pre-1955 Mass = Extraordinary Form of the Extraordinary Form (EFEF)
5. Anglican form of the Ordinary Form (AFOF)
6. (Guitars, goofy sermons, and/or clowns, puppets, vestments in colors of national soccer team, glass chalices, love-ins at Sign of Peace, etc) = The Ordinary Ordinary Form (OOF).
Or we could label #6 as follows:
The Pedestrian Ordinary Ordinary Form (POOF).
This brief asks the Supreme Court to review a recent Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision, which approved actions by the University of California system that effectively prevent private Christian, Catholic, and Jewish high schools from teaching courses in accordance with their faith traditions.
In essence, the UC system has declared that students from religious high schools will have difficulty being admitted to UC schools because those students will not be given credit for key courses such as biology, history, and literature when those courses are taught from a religious perspective.
UC officials stated in the lower courts that they considered religious perspectives - such as the role of divine providence in history - too narrow - minded. As a result, students from religious schools may be required to post higher test scores than their public school counterparts in order to be admitted to one of the ten UC schools, which include UC Berkeley and UCLA.
Given Californicate's budget problems, this may be moot before SCOTUS hears it.
Arizona's Catholic bishops commended a July 28 ruling that blocked enforcement of the most controversial sections of the state's contentious immigration law a day before it takes effect.
"We know that in practically every parish there are families that have been living with the fear and anxiety generated by S.B.1070 that they might be torn apart," said the bishops' statement, issued by the Arizona Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of the bishops.
"The situation of these families might be that one parent is a citizen and that the other is not in our country legally. Or, the situation might be that some children in the family are citizens and that a brother or sister is not here legally," they said. "Our hearts go out to these families. We know them to be good people who work hard and who contribute to the economy and to the quality of life of their communities.
The four Arizona bishops include: Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas of Tucson; Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted and Auxiliary Bishop Eduardo A. Nevares of Phoenix; and Bishop James S. Wall of Gallup, N.M., whose diocese includes part of northern Arizona.
What the Bishops would like to ignore is reality. "Mixed-citizenship" families do not have to remain in Arizona.
They can go back to where the parents ARE citizens.
LaHood stated that because it is a federal program, there is nothing that Walker, Republican candidate Mark Neumann or another potential opponent of the program can do to stop it from happening.
Don't bet your job on that, Ray. Nor your fat retirement bennies.
The MOVE act requires states to send absentee ballots to overseas military troops 45 days before an election...
OK, so what's the Big Deal?
...but a state can apply for a waiver if it can prove a specific “undue hardship” in enforcing it.
An application which the Obama Department of "Justice" is happy to explain, in detail and at length.
Wanna take bets?
164-O-035 is the Ordinance by which Waukesha County will be paying its AFSCME members more money during the next 12 months.
The Ordinance was passed, 21-3, with only the above men (underline men) voting against it.
"Binding Arbitration." Some dweeb arbitrator decided that Waukesha County taxpayers were not paying enough to its employees, and decreed that a raise must be given.
Eighteen supervisors voted to bend the taxpayers over, again.
Here's the Milwaukee JS summary of the package:
In a proposal headed to the County Board this month and already ratified by the union, workers would pay some higher insurance deductibles and co-payments on medications and get a 1% pay raise this year and a 1.5% raise in 2011.
…Out-of-network deductibles under the proposed AFSCME contract would more than double, from $200 to $450 for single coverage and from $600 to $1,350 for family coverage. Employees who now pay $25 for certain drugs would have to pay $40 while other co-pay levels would not change.
That's a VERY nice health plan.
Made "legal" by 21 twits.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
You paid for her!
...President and CEO of the YWCA of Greater Milwaukee. During her tenure, she led the agency in reducing a $5.2 million deficit, restructured the organization to align its programs with the agency mission and served as the official spokesperson at community and civic events.
In her distinguished career in telecommunications, she worked as a regional manager for Time Warner Cable where she led a team of 265 contributors who provided services to over 100,000 customers in Milwaukee. She also served as Director of Customer Services Operations with SBC Communications.
Ms. Wyatt Sibley is a long-time community and civic activist, having served on the boards of Alverno College, Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton’s Wisconsin Women Equals Prosperity, Mt. Zion Baptist Church, the 1290 Scholarship Fund and Community Care for the Elderly.Well, "activist" explains it all.
“It was the flooding of the Deepwater Horizon and the resulting sinking of the rig that directly caused the piping to break and begin spewing millions of gallons of oil into the ocean,” Lloyd Frischhertz and Gerald Maples, lawyers for the spill victims, said in a complaint filed in federal court in New Orleans.
You mean that FedGov folks may be incompetent bozos?
Say it ain't so!
Judge Susan R. Bolton, a Clinton appointee who sits in Phoenix, said requiring police to check the immigration status of those they arrest or whom they stop and suspect are in the country illegally would overwhelm the federal government's ability to respond, and could mean legal immigrants are wrongly arrested.
That's the Feds' problem. For 30 years, Presidents have not bothered with border security; they've
And gee, what a shock: a Fed judge affirms Fed asininity.
...states already routinely run searches for a variety of statuses, including outstanding warrants, child support orders, and non-immigration identity checks. Each of these checks potentially could delay release of an innocent person or burden some federal agency.
The Judge's reasoning, particularly that the status check provision violated the 4th Amendment even as to persons already under arrest, applies just as easily to these other status checks.
As it stands this afternoon, it is perfectly rational for someone faced with the choice of obeying the immigration laws or not, to choose not to do so. The choice of lawlessness makes a lot more sense than spending years winding through the byzantine legal immigration system, because the end result will be the same but lawlessness gets you here more quickly.
When the law and the federal government reward lawlessness, something is very wrong.
In the long run, "legal lawlessness" promoted by Government leads to worse problems. Jacobson mentioned anarchy, but vigilantism is also in the realm of possibility.
Stuart Chessman has a great piece up on the St. Hugh of Cluny weblog about the great social critic Ralph Adams Cram, who is probably better known to our readers as the famous neo-Gothic architect Ralph Adams Cram. It is not a surprise that the builder of such masterworks as St. John the Divine and St. Thomas, Fifth Avenue, might hold that, "[i]n a way[,] the eleventh century may be considered one of the most marvelous centuries in all history,"
That would be just after the "Dark Ages," when nobody knew anything at all.
So how did they suddenly become so smart?
Big government has consistently failed to address the problems of poor and troubled families, white and black. And the reasons for its shortcomings were best expressed by Pope John Paul II in Centesimus Annus: “Malfunctions and defects in the Social Assistance State are the result of an inadequate understanding of the tasks proper to the State. . . . By intervening directly and depriving society of its responsibility, the Social Assistance State leads to a loss of human energies and an inordinate increase of public agencies, which are dominated more by bureaucratic ways of thinking than by concern for serving their clients.”
Say what you like about "intentions," because as we all know, "intentions" are not a predictor of results.
This should be pasted, front and center, on Governor Walker's desk--and that of every (R) Congresscritter.
It's the direct precursor of "IT'S THE SPENDING, STUPID" and should dominate the thinking of responsible Governments.
...This summer, Father Schall is recovering from some nasty surgery, which involved removing a cancerous jawbone and its attendant teeth and replacing the jaw with bone taken from Schall’s leg.
The linked essay mentions a book. I've purchased more than one copy and distributed it to some of my chilluns.
“In all seriousness, I think schools should be open 12, 13, 14 hours a day, seven days a week, 11-12 months of the year,” Duncan said. “This is not just more of the same. There would be a whole variety of after-school programs. Obviously academics would be at the heart of that. But you top it off with dancing, art, drama, music, yearbook, robotics, activities for older siblings and parents, ESL classes.”
Serious citizens listen, and act accordingly.
A Japanese oil tanker damaged in an explosion in the Strait of Hormuz, one of the world's most important shipping lanes, was being diverted to a port in the UAE on Wednesday.
..."A crew member saw light on the horizon just before the explosion, so (ship owner Mitsui O.S.K.) believes there is a possibility it was caused by an outside attack," Japan's ministry said in a statement.
Oman's coastguard said there was no evidence of any attack on the tanker and instead cited an earthquake.
"The boat was hit by a tremor ...we have no information of an attack," an Omani coastguard official told Reuters.
An earthquake damages a ship.
The law, signed last week by President Obama, exempts the SEC from disclosing records or information derived from "surveillance, risk assessments, or other regulatory and oversight activities." Given that the SEC is a regulatory body, the provision covers almost every action by the agency, lawyers say. Congress and federal agencies can request information, but the public cannot.
Hundreds of protesters shouted down same-sex marriage opponents today on the steps of the state Capitol, drawing an angry rebuke from one Republican lawmaker.
A rally planned by the New Jersey-based National Organization for Marriage that attracted about 50 supporters of traditional marriage spurred a counter protest by about 500 who support giving gay, lesbian and transgender couples the right to marry.
And those 500 screeched, screamed, and caterwauled with great effect. (Video at the link)
They also claim to be adults.
Seems that Bawney thought he was entitled to a discount on his boat ticket; he wanted to attend a homosexual gathering on Fire Island.
The Post's text referenced "Ferry Fare."
The audio of that.... well.....
Who Coulda Node??
The Congressional Budget Office today released a new report on the risk of a fiscal crisis occuring in the United States due to our long-term debt...
The bottom line is that the longer we prolong dealing with our debt problem, the greater the risk of a fiscal crisis, and the more unattractive the options become for digging ourself out of the mess.
To no one's surprise, CBO blesses the idea of increasing taxes.
It outlines several consequences for growing debt, including crowding out of private investment and the need for higher taxes and/or spending cuts. Of higher taxes, however, it warns that, "To the extent that additional tax revenues were generated by increasing marginal tax rates, those rates would discourage work and saving, further reducing output and incomes."
The debt--which is engendered by SPENDING--will also impair military readiness (and operations, if it gets serious enough.)
In 1997, 400 African-American farmers sued the United States Department of Agriculture, alleging that they had been unfairly denied USDA loans due to racial discrimination during the period 1983 to 1997. The farmers won the case, known as Pigford v. Glickman, and in 1999 the government agreed to pay $50,000 each to any farmer who had been wrongly denied an agricultural loan. By then it had grown into a class action case, and any black farmer who had filed a complaint between 1983 and 1997 would be given at least $50,000 — not limited to the original 400 plaintiffs. It was estimated at that time that there might be as many as 2,000 beneficiaries granted $50,000 each.
So far, so good, with reservations...but hey, it's only YOUR money.
But that did not end it. In February 2009, USDA agreed to pay out $1.25 BILLION over and above what was already paid.
The new agreement would provide cash payments and debt relief to farmers who applied too late to participate in the earlier settlement, The Washington Post reported. Authorities say they are not certain how many farmers might apply this time, but analysts say the number could be higher than 70,000.
Of course, there are only 39,700 African-American farmers in the first place--but nevermind!
A bill introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., would reinstate a compulsory military draft during war time and require U.S. citizens not selected for military duty to perform a "national service obligation" – as defined by President Obama – for a minimum of two years.
Rangel ought to be thinking about "compulsory tax payments" instead.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
...the costs of carbon dioxide reduction are far greater than the $26 per metric ton tax the House passed as part of its cap-and-tax proposal: roughly $750 per ton for corn-based ethanol, $275 per ton for cellulosic ethanol and $300 per ton for biodiesel.
LOTS more at Eggster's place.
But it was in the name of Equal Opportunity!!
Decisions on which car dealerships to close as part of the auto industry bailout — closures the Obama administration forced on General Motors and Chrysler — were based in part on race and gender, according to a report by Troubled Asset Relief Program Special Inspector General Neal M. Barofsky. …
Thus, to meet numbers forced on them by the Obama administration, General Motors and Chrysler were forced to shutter other, potentially more viable, dealerships.
I can think of at least one MAJOR old-line GM dealership in Milwaukee which was likely a victim of that 'race/gender' agenda, leaving the (former) franchisee with a $5 milllion land/building investment which will soon be damn near useless.
When you look at the map of dealerships, there was NO other possible reason to shut it down.
At the very last minute, the Mayor of Milwaukee came up with an individual who the Mayor claimed would be the perfect candidate. The City hired the Mayor's man, acceding to a higher-than-expected compensation demand.
The Chief proceeded to work. He changed the operations of the gang- and drug-squads, making them less effective. He required beat-cops to initiate investigations into major crimes, with the idea that the detectives could 'pick up the traces' from the initial reports and finish the investigation.
At the same time, the headcount in the MPD was getting smaller every year.
Recently, the Chief announced that Crime Is Down, basing his claim on commonly-utilized statistics.
But nobody believed him. Certainly not the 500+ small-business owners who signed a petition asking for better police protection. Certainly not the people who had called 911 only to find that a police response to a reported incident doesn't happen until much, much later--if at all.
Isn't it curious that the Mayor's handpicked Chief is a VERY good spinmeister? Isn't it curious that that Chief does NOT raise Hell about a manpower shortage? Isn't it curious that the Milwaukee crime-rate numbers do not jibe with the impressions of Milwaukee's population?
Cops cost money, which means prop-tax increases. Isn't it curious that the Chief is not thumping the table about filling the gaping hole in Milwaukee's police-department staffing?
When did Barrett know that Doyle was quitting, anyway?
Monday, July 26, 2010
The Milwaukee Police Department released data Monday showing it had actually received fewer calls for service in 2009 than in the previous four years, contradicting data it had given the Journal Sentinel in response to an open records request...
...The data regarding calls for service showed the department had received more than 817,000 in 2009, an increase of about 23% over the average for the previous four years
(That was the first story.)
...On Monday, however, Police Chief Edward A. Flynn said the information provided by the department incorrectly included data on all officer activities...
The department actually received slightly more than 254,000 calls for service in 2009, lower than the totals for any of the previous four years, Flynn said Monday.
That's quite a decrease, indeed!
With my calculator, mmmmmm scritchmmmmscratchmmmmmscritch, I get a 2004-2008 average of about 650,000 calls, using MPD's first number.
So what Flynn's selling is that calls went from ~650K to ~250K?
A SIXTY-ONE PERCENT DECREASE IN CALLS?
I know that Milk-Carton Tommy wants to become the Governor. I know that he has to show results in his Crime-Fighting. OK.
In case you missed it, the Supreme Court turned the old adage, “Save the best for last,” on its head when, on the last day of its term, it announced a decision that is surely one of its worst ever, and one that could prove deadly for religious freedom on campuses.
In the case of Christian Legal Society v Hastings, the Court decided that the Hastings College of Law could deny registration to a student group as a CLS chapter because it required morally upright behavior of its members and adherence to its statement of faith.
...Didn’t we have contentious debates about “free speech” on campus during the 1960s and 1970s? Indeed we did, and there is a case from that era that is right on point, Healy v James.
SCOTUS did an end-around with that one, declaring that "a little" discrimination was OK.
The Hastings case was all about homosexual practice, no more, no less. Do we REALLY want Ms. Kagan on that Court?
Not exactly news; rumors of ISI (Paki mil/intel) working with Taliban have been circulating for years.
Goldman has a thought.
...It may be true that Afghanistan will be a breeding ground for terrorism when American troops leave, but Pakistan already is a breeding ground for terrorism. But there are other, cheaper ways to deal with the problem. Here's an idea: freeze travel between Pakistan and the United States (or subject prospective travelers to extreme scrutiny) until Pakistan roots out and punishes the elements of its military who help the Taliban kill Americans and their allies.
As for the threat that Pakistan may become a failed state: Pakistan already is a failed state. America's natural ally in the region is India.
Well, yes. The Pakis have nukes, but the Taliban has ZERO friends in the region: not India, not Iran, not PRC, not the Russkis.
Remind me again why we're in Afghanistan?
You know, I haven’t seen such a mean-spirited people as I’ve seen lately over this issue of health care. Some of the racism we thought was buried. Didn’t it surface? Now, we endured eight years of the Bush’s and we didn’t do the stuff these Republicans are doing because you have a black President.
So opposition to ObamaCare is racist?
The woman is blinded by her own racism (and hatred of the moneyed, by the way.)
Maybe the reason is that the Twit-in-Chief is acting like a twit, not a President.
...With the peculiar magic of his presidential campaign now a faded memory, Obama is shoring up support by the cruder method of divisive appeals.
...An ass-thumping president frantically fighting for the little guy—it’s hard to imagine George Washington or Abraham Lincoln choosing to project an image of this kind. Barack Obama has managed a rare feat in American history: The longer he is president, the less presidential he has become.
It certainly is the case that he's not a US partisan in global affairs.
...Obama supporters today regularly insist that his personal standing in the world is a vital element of America’s soft power and the key to altering world perceptions about America. Obama himself reportedly expressed this very position to Democratic members of Congress in the summer of 2008: “I have become a symbol [abroad] of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions.” Following on this belief, the nation’s foreign policy has become hostage to the president’s charisma. Anything that sustains Obama’s image, even if it involves the president apologizing abroad for America’s sins or errors, is justified by the canons of a new understanding of realpolitik that promises to bring substantial returns.
But Obama's methodology, drawn from Alinsky, is not Presidential:
...Many past presidents endured harsh criticisms from the press and from popular movements of their day, but considered it unpresidential to respond in kind. Not Barack Obama, who has found his comfort zone in magnifying and then assaulting any kind of opposition.
...The usual posture of the statesman is calming and deliberate, which is what is meant by the term “presidential.” To engage in populism and parallel demagogic tricks—to blame others, to mock, to display no magnanimity toward opponents—all of these actions necessarily appear unpresidential.
IOW, the country did not elect a President, as it turned out; it elected just another rhetorician/ideologue. A hard-Left ideologue, to be sure; but no more than that.
Nancy Pelosi in a different realization.
The White House said Friday it expects that unemployment will stay at or above 9% until 2012, but at the same time forecast that the economy will grow by at least 4% in 2011 and 2012.
4% growth is a very ambitious number.
Oh, and they also forecast a reduced deficit number--it will be $58Bn less than they thought, over the next 10 years.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Maybe 15th/Mitchell in Milwaukee, but not Texas.
JustOneMinute relates that there was a ferocious gun-battle across the border. It was so serious that Laredo residents called 911 about the gunfire.
There is the possibility that some of the druggies came north, figuring that surrender to ICE/DEA was better than surrender to the Mexican Federales.
“Ever since the events of 9/11, there’s been an almost religious veneration of U.S. service members as ‘Our American Heroes’ (as a well-intentioned sign puts it at my local post office). But a snappy uniform — or even dented body armor — is not a magical shortcut to hero status.
A hero is someone who behaves selflessly, usually at considerable personal risk and sacrifice, to comfort or empower others and to make the world a better place.
Whether in civilian life or in the military, heroes are rare — indeed, all too rare. Heck, that’s the reason we celebrate them. They’re the very best of us, which means they can’t be all of us.
While it's all very nice to use the term, it's stupid to use the term willy-nilly.
Same effect as using the term "racist" too often. Pretty soon it doesn't mean anything in the mind of the audience except "....must be another Obama pal talking..."
There are a LOT of good soldiers, a term which is VERY respectful. It ain't easy to be a good soldier.
There are damn few heroes. And if you want an objective measure, count the issued Congressional Medals of Honor.
Curious, that. You'd think that "Democrats" would be in favor of reduced prices in the health-care sector. It's what they yapped about to pass ObamaBortion.
...Ron Johnson says he is well aware that Democrats are criticizing his suggestion that Americans should get some of their health care at Wal-Mart.
He is standing behind that idea as a way to reduce reliance on insurance-paid care. The effect would be to pull down prices in the whole medical system, the Oshkosh business owner said in an interview Friday.
This is a no-brainer. If WallyWorld (or Walgreen's, or Target) offers good medical treatment for minor ailments at decent prices, why NOT go there?
Their offerings are for minor routine stuff, the 'irritating but not critical' things that really do NOT require a $100 million-dollar building, MRI's, CT's, and a staff of MD's and RN's to handle.
We know that the "Democrats" absolutely despise HSA and HRA offerings, mostly because they nudge people toward shopping around a bit. For minor stuff, why NOT shop around a bit?
Beyond that, Johnson's correct when he says that prices will drop if Wal-Mart health treatments are used.
Johnson is using common sense. Democrats just hate that.
President Barack Obama has gone on the charm offensive, claiming Republicans are demonstrating a "lack of faith in the American people."
...To begin with, what mysterious brand of public policy has Obama employed that exemplifies this sacred trust between public officials and the common citizen?
...The same faith in Americans surely precipitates the administration's defense of censorship (even book banning) to ensure that the citizenry is protected from the despicable reach of political ads funded by corporations. People, you see, are too gullible and too uninformed to withstand the force of Fox News — much less Wal-Mart.
Similarly, that faith has led to the 20-year explosion of paternalistic regulations (often with the help of Republicans) that propose to regulate everything from the size of candy to tanning salons to fast-food restaurants to the pressure in your showerhead.
(Don't forget about the eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeevil, banned, incandescent lightbulb.)
The Twit-in-Chief places his faith in his god: Mo' Gummint--which resembles Baal.
Too bad for him.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Can diplomats field their own army? The State Department is laying plans to do precisely that in Iraq, in an unprecedented experiment that U.S. officials and some nervous lawmakers say could be risky.
In little more than a year, State Department contractors in Iraq could be driving armored vehicles, flying aircraft, operating surveillance systems, even retrieving casualties if there are violent incidents and disposing of unexploded ordnance....The Obama administration has promised Iraqis that the United States won't abandon their country when American troops leave. If it can't keep that promise, U.S. influence in the unstable region could dissipate, despite a seven-year war that's cost more than $700 billion and the lives of at least 4,400 U.S. troops.
Already, however, the State Department's requests to the Pentagon for Black Hawk helicopters; 50 mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles; fuel trucks; high-tech surveillance systems; and other military gear has encountered flak on Capitol Hill.
And the ACLU is extremely worked up about it. They wrote a scorching letter in April.
Glenn Beck reports on Comrade Obama's domestic assassination program, by which "American citizens are targeted for killings far away from any battlefield, based exclusively on unchecked accusations by the executive branch that they're involved in terrorism"...
MoonBattery adds that pro-lifers (inter alia) were categorized as "terrorists" by Napolitano's Homeland Security cabal--a characterization later rescinded.
For the time being.
"My opening line in the Supreme Court . . . was: If this court upholds this extension of federal power, Gonzales v. Raich will replace Wickard v. Filburn as the outermost extension of federal power ever recognized by this court," he says.
The lawyer quoted above was co-counsel on Raich.
In Raich, SCOTUS decided that the US ban on marijuana growing overrides the California law.
In Wickard, SCOTUS decided that the Feds can tell farmers what not to grow.
There IS a response, of course, beginning with "BUY MORE AMMO...."
Record-high water levels at China's massive Three Gorges Dam have called into question Beijing's claims that the world's largest hydroelectric project could withstand a 10,000-year flood.
Looks like PRC contracted their "engineering experts" from MMSD.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Empirical evidence from a sample of OECD countries in the 1960-2000 period suggests that, on average, creation of 100 public jobs may have eliminated about 150 private sector jobs, slightly decreased labour market participation, and increased by about 33 the number of unemployed workers. Theoretical considerations and empirical evidence, however, suggest that the crowding out effect of public jobs on private jobs is only significant in countries where public production is highly substitutable to private activities and the public sector offers more attractive wages and/or other benefits than the private labour market.
Waukesha County is about to vote on giving its workers another increase.
That would be foolish, eh?
It doesn't work so well in real life.
[District Court judge] Bolton, a Democratic appointee, also questioned a core part of the Justice Department’s argument that she should declare the law unconstitutional: that it is “preempted” by federal law because immigration enforcement is an exclusive federal prerogative.
“How is there a preemption issue?” the judge asked. “I understand there may be other issues, but you’re arguing preemption. Where is the preemption if everybody who is arrested for some crime has their immigration status checked?”
Oh, well. Maybe the "They ate our homework" argument will be next.
HT: Hot Air
According to the documents, one company in particular raked in the taxpayer dough: CapitolHost. At least 61 legislators and 20 congressional offices used the catering service, to the tune of about $169,143. But that's only the tip of the iceberg salad, as you'll see below.
$2.5 Million for outside-provided chow.
That includes $604,000. for bottled water, $397,000 for catering, and $135,000 for restaurant meals.
No mention of CAKE--which is probably provided in the House and Senate dining rooms.
A gay priest sex scandal has rocked the Catholic Church in Italy today after a weekly news magazine released details of a shock investigation it had carried out.
Using hidden cameras, a journalist from Panorama magazine - owned by Italian Prime Minister and media baron Silvio Berlusconi - filmed three priests as they attended gay nightspots and had casual sex.
There's a lot more out there, too. Oremus.
Deneen describes both the progenitors of and the enablers of the "Ruling Class" identified by Spectator contributor Prof. Codevilla. They are overlaid circles in the Venn diagram, to some extent.
The best guide on this subject remains the work of historian Christopher Lasch, especially his exploration of the rise of the meritocracy in the title essay of his posthumous book, The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy. There Lasch excoriated the new meritocratic class, a group that had achieved success through the upward-mobility of education and career and that increasingly came to be defined by rootlessness, cosmopolitanism, a thin sense of obligation, and diminishing reservoirs of patriotism. The meritocracy had all but replaced the old aristocracy of the sort embodied by a Connecticut man like Prescott Bush, on the one hand substituting talent for privilege, but on the other hand replacing older forms of noblesse oblige with self-congratulation. Lasch argued that this new class “retained many of the vices of aristocracy without its virtues,” lacking the sense of “reciprocal obligation” that had been a feature of the old order.
And that had consequences.
Deneen refers to the group not as "Ruling Class" but as "Creative Class," which is a distinction only in degree, not in substance.
...a key difference between “Creative Class” cities and the rest of the country was a remarkable gap in what Putnam called “social capital.” While Creative Class locations are successful in generating financial and creative capital, they are comparatively poorer in social capital. Bishop discovered that people living in non-Creative Class settings enjoyed “the comfort of strong families, bustling civic groups, near universal political participation, and abundant volunteering.” Creative Class cities, by contrast, “had fewer volunteers, lower church attendance, and weaker family connections.” Among other attractions for the Creative Class were “anonymity, the opportunity for self-invention, and the economic benefits of loose ties.”
...Inclined toward individualism and a devotion to personal expression and development, and committed especially to success in their careers, members of the meritocracy rely not on each other for assistance and support, but rather expect the government to fill in the abandoned civic sphere. Thus their decision to support liberal politicians is a classic case of recognizing opportunity costs: rather than generating their own social capital, which would detract from their careers and their lifestyle experimentation, they are willing to use relatively ample economic resources to get someone else to do the job
Having used Connecticut as a proto-locus of the Creative Class, Deneen contrasts it with Kansas:
If the denizens of Connecticut are acting reasonably in supporting liberal politicians, so are Kansans in opposing them. They inchoately recognize that expanding government is a desideratum of the Creative Class, not of those left behind. Theirs is a new kind of class resentment, ironically one in which the “revolutionary” class supports conservative policy and the “aristocracy” advances a global liberalism
Should I mention "subsidiarity" again? Or note the term "revolution" in Deneen's work?
Klavan, "Crap Talk One"
Klavan, "Crap Talk Two"
Only a superhuman crap-release from Barret could overcome this.
Although Milk-Carton Tom does have a chance. He's running for office.....
Sen. John Kerry, who has repeatedly voted to raise taxes while in Congress, dodged a whopping six-figure state tax bill on his new multimillion-dollar yacht by mooring her in Newport, R.I.
Isabel – Kerry’s luxe, 76-foot New Zealand-built Friendship sloop with an Edwardian-style, glossy varnished teak interior, two VIP main cabins and a pilothouse fitted with a wet bar and cold wine storage...
So what's the big deal?
Cash-strapped Massachusetts still collects a 6.25 percent sales tax and an annual excise tax on yachts. Sources say Isabel sold for something in the neighborhood of $7 million, meaning Kerry saved approximately $437,500 in sales tax and an annual excise tax of about $70,000.
That would be a neat $500+K in the first year, and $70K/year ongoing.
John F'n Kerry, indeed. Emphasis on the middle name, please.
Now the hysterical screeches commence from all the usual suspects: Media Matters, Think Progress, and their sheep/bloggers nationwide. The word of the day is "Context."
The Professor reminds us that "context" is important, indeed!
...And while we're at it, how about some apologies for all the false allegations by Frank Rich, Paul Krugman, Charles Blow and numerous left-wing bloggers claiming that health care protesters were violent, and falsely linking the Tea Parties to the Amy Bishop shooting, the IRS Plane Crasher, the Fort Hood attack, and the Pentagon shooter....
Plenty more "context" at the link.
A 73-year-old Pewaukee man has been charged with selling so-called throw-away guns to a known felon, after a federal informant purchased four guns on two occasions recently in Milwaukee.
The charges came a week after a 75-year-old Hartford man was charged with selling more than 100 weapons at gun shows and elsewhere without a license over the past three years, activity at the heart of what critics call the "gun show loophole."
A couple of genuine dangers to society. Throw away the keys.
Opposition to affirmative action is racist. Supporting the tea party gives aid and comfort to racists. Opposing health care puts you in league with folks who used racial slurs on Rep. John Lewis. To raise the issue of the New Black Panther Party is to play the race card.
One understands the bitterness of tea-party folks who carry signs that read: "What difference does it make what this placard says? You'll call it racist anyway."
As the National Journal's Ron Brownstein has been reporting, white America is increasingly alienated and distrustful of all our major economic and political power centers – the banks, big corporations, the government.
And, for the first time in our lifetimes outside the South, white racial consciousness has visibly begun to rise.He doesn't even mention Racist Wright or Obama's stulta dicta about the "stupid" Cambridge cop.
The KGB, yes. Nixon, no. AP has a long story on it; here are a few clips:
For at least a year, the Homeland Security Department detoured hundreds of requests for federal records to senior political advisers for highly unusual scrutiny, probing for information about the requesters and delaying disclosures deemed too politically sensitive,...
Anyone who seeks information through the law is supposed to get it unless disclosure would hurt national security, violate personal privacy or expose confidential decision-making in certain areas.
But in July 2009, Homeland Security introduced a directive requiring a wide range of information to be vetted by political appointees for "awareness purposes," no matter who requested it.
Remember all that BS about "open and transparent"?
Well, it sure SMELLS like BS. The substance is more like KGB.
Career employees were ordered to provide Secretary Janet Napolitano's political staff with information about the people who asked for records — such as where they lived, whether they were private citizens or reporters — and about the organizations where they worked.
If a member of Congress sought such documents, employees were told to specify Democrat or Republican.
Bottom line?...many e-mails directed Homeland Security employees never to release information under FOIA without approval by political appointees.
"It is imperative that these requests are not released prior to the front office reviewing both the letter and the records,...
There's a LOT more at the link.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Since Porky passed, The Regime claims that Wisconsin added 63,000 jobs.
But the US Department of Labor doesn't think so.
Its figures tell us that Wisconsin has LOST 82,000 jobs.
You may believe either figure, of course--or neither, for that matter.
And you could believe what you actually see and hear.
Therefore, e.g., you MUST wear seat-belts, MUST stop drinking over-sugared soda pop, MUST use flourescent bulbs, .....etc.
You get the picture: do it our way and your life will be extended.
Ayn Rand would be fine with that.
An individual belongs to himself as an individual. He does not belong, in any measure, to God or to society. A corollary of Rand's basic premise is that "altruism," or the sacrifice of one's only reality – one's individuality – for a reality other than the self, is necessarily self-destructive and therefore immoral. This is why she can say that "altruism holds death as its ultimate goal and standard of value." On the other hand, individualism, cultivated through the "virtue of selfishness," is the only path to life. "Life," she insists, "can be kept in existence only by a constant process of self-sustaining action." Man's destiny is to be a "self-made soul."
And yes, it makes perfect sense. At the core of Progressive and Randian philosophy is a denial of the Judaeo-Christian tradition--specifically, the Fall of Man. Rand is an atheist, but that makes no difference. Deny the Fall and there's no Redemption; deny Redemption's 'eternal life' component and all you're left with is here-and-now.
There, the Progressives and Randians are on the same ground.
For example: what about carrying a loaded and UN-cased handgun on your car's passenger seat?
What does the cop do when he stops someone for Not Wearing a Seatbelt (almost a crime in the Nanny State) and walks up to the car and sees that big black H&K .45 sitting there?
The loaded gun is "openly carried"--it's in plain view-- meaning that it's not subject to the 'cased, un-loaded' proviso of the concealed-weapon law, right?
This should be interesting.
Critics claim the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is trying to indoctrinate students into becoming environmental activists by distributing thousands of copies of a textbook called the “Climate Change: A Wisconsin Activity Guide.”
The co-author claims that the pamphlet is "straight facts." But one doesn't have to be smarter than a 5th-grader to understand the thrust of the graphics in the book (which McIver supplied at the bottom of the linked article.
Another expense which Governor Walker can cut.
It might cost a few $Zillion, and trample all over your life, but hey! It's For the Chilllllrrren.
State health officials Wednesday released a long-range health vision that proposes increased taxes on alcohol, placing community health centers in middle schools, restricting the sale of alcohol at public events and would begin public schooling for children as young as three years old.
Not to mention More and Better Sex for everyone.
A proposed 1,700-mile ethanol pipeline from the Midwest to the East Coast has hit a major speed bump, with a U.S. Department of Energy study terming the multibillion-dollar project economically unfeasible.
Yadayada. Use food to make cars go--inefficiently. Nothing new here except the Feds don't like the plan.
But who surfaces as a Corn-A-Holer?
Mark Graul, a spokesman for pro-ethanol group Growth Energy, also said the DOE report was positive because it at least indicated such a project is possible...
The Dark Side must pay well.
Standard & Poor's, Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings are all refusing to allow their ratings to be used in documentation for new bond sales, each said in statements in recent days. Each says it fears being exposed to new legal liability created by the landmark Dodd-Frank financial reform law...
...some bonds, notably those that are made up of consumer loans, are required by law to include ratings in their official documentation. That means new bond sales in the $1.4 trillion market for mortgages, autos, student loans and credit cards could effectively shut down
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
But that's the Obama Way.
The newly-mandated Electronic Health Record regs include the following:
Among the regulations that Dr. Blumenthal issued last week for health-care providers seeking to demonstrate that they are engaging in “meaningful use” of EHRs is that they: “Maintain an up-to-date problem list of current and active diagnoses."
The regulations also require the EHRs to include a patient's "problem list" as well as "procedures."
What a "problem list" must entail is defined in separate federal regulations – referenced in those issued by Dr. Blumenthal on July 13. These regulations say such a list will include: “(i) Diseases. (ii) Injuries. (iii) Impairments. (iv) Other health problems and their manifestations. (v) Causes of injury, disease, impairment, or other health problems.”
"Procedures" are defined as actions taken with regard to: “(i) Prevention. (ii) Diagnosis. (iii) Treatment. (iv) Management,” of those things listed on the problems list.
As you recall, that includes Body Mass Index.
But not AIDS, STD's, or previous abortions.
CNSNews.com asked Blumenthal whether abortions and HIV tests must be included in an EHR, as the new regulations, on their face, seem to suggest.
“The regulations that came out state that hospitals and doctors have to provide problems lists, medications [lists], diagnostic test results, copies of those things in the electronic health record," said CNSNews.com. "Does that mean that a test result like, say, an HIV test or a procedure like an abortion would have to go on an electronic health record”
Blumenthal said, “Any specific information recorded in the record is an issue between the doctor and the patient, not an issue that this regulation specifies.”
It would seem that HIV-positive tests are far more significant than BMI readings, if only for the safety of medical personnel treating a new patient.
But not in ObamaTwit world.
...One of the most fundamental ideas of Western classical liberalism is that the state’s central government can’t pretend to adjudicate, as if for the ages, all the questions of right and wrong that arise in the consciences of men. This is why America’s Framers were so careful to place checks on the incorrigible tendency of a central government to take on that heroic project. But collectivist movements see it the opposite way. As far as they’re concerned, central governments that are out crusading with laundry lists of hortatory moral law are doing exactly what central governments exist for.
Americans have largely lost sight of how deeply collectivist and anti-libertarian it is to talk about public issues as if writing detailed laws – laws intended to coerce everyone to a single solution – is the only way to address them.
And that's only a part of it.
The above passage underlines inter alia the Law of Subsidiarity, as does the rest of the essay--which happens to begin with comments on essays on the Abortion Question.
If he was the father of commenter Struppster, my sympathy is extended, along with prayers for the repose of his soul.
If he was THE Struppster, it will be a loss. Strupp was/is a reasonable Lefty (rare, indeed.) And yes, my sympathy to the family and prayers will be said.
Here's the notoriously Leftist Ron Bloom's take:
Mr. Bloom, the current head of the Auto Team, confirmed that the Auto Team ‘could have left any one component (of the restructuring plan) alone,’ but that doing so would have been inconsistent with the President’s mandate for ‘shared sacrifice.’”
Which is to say "You schlubs in these doomed dealerships will sacrifice. WE in Government, however, will not."
And that's the way it is.
He's also perfectly happy to have voted FOR the outright theft of $200 million from the State's medical doctors, presumably in hopes of achieving "comity" and getting invites to All the Right Parties in Madison. Oh, yah, there are other ways Brett screws Wisconsin taxpayers, too.
So: screw Brett Davis! What goes around comes around, Brett.
Meantime, a sincere and refreshing candidate is clocking the Establishment Boy in fundraising--so far. (That's until Archer-Daniels-Midland ships its PAC money to Davis.)
Rebecca Kleefisch's campaign raised more money than any other Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor in the first six months of 2010, state filings reveal. Kleefisch, who began her campaign on January 19th of this year, has raised $141,634.58 in the first six months. This amount is 27% more than her nearest competitor.
Seems that Wisconsin folks know the difference between actual people and plastic-banana good-times boys, eh?
[There is a] “longstanding view in Wisconsin law that trust funds are to be treated differently than general revenue, and that the state has less power to regulate the use of trust funds.”
Hint: it was written in 1995.
You have to read Christian's essay to get the answer. WARNING: Do not imbibe coffee before reading....you'll destroy your keyboard and screen.
But here's a perspective which tends to confirm that "journalists" are really just another herd.
When Dave ("Who?") Weigel wanted to bash conservatives about Palin, he asked why we were freaking out over Joe McGinnis invading her privacy, because "any journalist" would jump at that chance.
See, that's the problem Dave: No they wouldn't. How do I know this? Because they haven't. Bill Clinton's a big, important figure to write biographies about; how come no one's renting the apartment across the street from his wink-wink "executive offices" in Harlem and peeking at him to see who visits him?
Same with Hillary. There are a lot of interesting subjects who'd sell a lot of biographies -- and for all of them, the lurid promise of exxxtra special access!!! Spy footage!!! would sell even more copies.
So why, Dave, if this is something "all journalists" would jump to do, do they not... actually... do... it?
It's because you're wrong. Not "all journalists" would do this about their subjects. Not because they don't want to sell more books. But because the peer disapproval from their like-minded liberal colleagues discourages them from spying on Hillary Clinton.
And they do it to Palin because none of them care if Palin's privacy is invaded; in fact, they applaud it. Because she is "The Other." She is inhuman -- and you can treat her worse than an animal.In a more local context, we note that Scott Walker is attacked for everything he's done except walk across the street--and we expect that Bice will observe THAT any minute now.
On the other hand, no "journalist" in Milwaukee has ever noted that Tom Barrett's work-ethic approximates zero--except for Charlie Sykes, who FINALLY mentioned it yesterday.
Borsuk, while employed at the local monopoly, was a helluvalot more restrained about MPS issues than he is now, as an indy working at Marquette U. Co-incidence? You be the judge...
"Newspaper"? Not really. Docile, ideology-driven sheep.
Ho hum. What's new?