Saturday, December 31, 2011

Tactics and Strategy, Obama-Style

You noticed that last week a few stories in the MSM focused on Obama's 'aloofness' from 'politicking' with Congress.

Here's why they came out:

Heading into the new year, President Obama will insist that Congress renew the payroll tax cut through the end of 2012, but will otherwise limit his dealings with an unpopular Congress, and instead travel the country to deliver his reelection message directly to voters, a White House aide said.

"In terms of the president's relationship with Congress in 2012 — the state of the debate, if you will — the president is no longer tied to Washington, D.C.," spokesman Josh Earnest said in a news briefing in Honolulu.

The strategy is interesting.  The tactics are, again, using the MSM as a steno-pool.

HT:  HotAir

Recall (D) Is Who?

Barrett, Obey, Falk, Cullen, Feingold.........

A friend who lives in Planet Madistan called this morning; he was driving someplace and there they were:  more 'sign-the-petition' folks lining the streets.

We got into a discussion about who might run.  The petition-drive's success will govern that.

If they come in with 1 million++ signatures (let's assume they're all valid), there will be a bunch of (D) pols who want to get into the race; that number would be a very strong signal that Walker's in serious trouble.

OTOH, if they can't come up with 900K, whichever (D) actually gets in the race will be swimming uphill.  It won't be impossible:  an astute Lefty Pubbie thinks Walker's support is fading a bit.  But it won't be a cakewalk.

You'll know how many signatures the (D) Boyzzzzzzzz think they have by the weight of the contenders.  If it's a very big number, Feingold will get in.

All the possible candidates will know long before the number is public, so they're the coal-mine canaries.

Lefty "Appeal" Is Abuse-of-Process

All they really want is to delay the decision, but "discovery" would be nice, too!!

Recall activists who on Thursday were denied a chance to intervene in a lawsuit over procedures for vetting recall signatures said Friday they'd appeal that ruling and are asking a judge for a stay in the lawsuit pending their appeal.

This is nothing more than a delay tactic.

The original suit seeks to clarify the recall law, to wit:  whether the GAB is required to "clean" the petition signatures, or whether it only has to "flag" obvious fakes (e.g. Mickey Mouse) and ignore multiple signatures, which is its current protocol.

Judge Davis denied intervention because the GAB doesn't want it, AND because this is a time-sensitive matter.  In addition, intervention would give the Lefties an opportunity to "discover" Walker campaign memos, records, and correspondence.

IOW, it's both un-necessary (per the GAB) and a fishing expedition.

Abuse of process is another term which could be applied. 

Dane County DA to Re-Litigate Act 10

Desperate move.

A prosecutor asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court on Friday to reopen his lawsuit challenging Gov. Scott Walker's contentious collective bargaining law, contending a justice who voted to dismiss the suit earlier this year got free legal help from the firm defending the law.

Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne argued in filings with the court that it should vacate its earlier decision, reconsider the case and disqualify Justice Michael Gableman from participating if he won't recuse himself.

Yah, right, Izzy.

Common-Sense Blackrobes KO EPA Coal-Burner Rule

Last-minute intervention:

A federal court Friday put on hold a controversial Obama administration regulation aimed at reducing power plant pollution in 27 states.

More than a dozen electric power companies including We Energies, municipal power plant operators and states had sought to delay the rules until the litigation plays out. A federal appeals court in Washington approved their request Friday.

These are the MACT rules. 

Friday, December 30, 2011

Woopsie!! Forgot the Brake Pads!!

Somebody should be......ahhh.....fired.

General Motors Co. said on Friday that it is recalling more than 4,000 of its 2012 Chevrolet Sonic subcompact cars to check for missing brake pads.

Those aren't teeny-tiny itsy-bitsy stampings.  They are pretty damn visible.

Will the Ryan Plan(s) Be Enough?

Sharp-eyed RenMan catches this.

...the GAO analysis of the net present value of the Social Security and Medicare promises Washington has made to Americans. “Net present value” means the total that would have to be set aside today to pay the costs of these programs in the future. The government puts these numbers in appendices, rather than in headlines. But the costs are real.

In fiscal 2011, the cost of the promises grew from $30.9 trillion to $33.8 trillion. To put that in context, consider that the total value of companies traded on U.S. stock markets is $13.1 trillion, based on the Wilshire 5000 index, and the value of the equity in U.S. taxpayers’ homes, according to Freddie Mac, is $6.2 trillion.--quoting the WaPo

By the way, it's worse than that:  the GAO analysis assumes that the "doc fix" will NOT be applied, meaning that Medicare assumptions are artificially low.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

NYC a Destination? Why??

It's not that you'll be doing something as HORRIFYING as this girl did...

Graves, a fourth-year medical student, showed up at the [9/11] memorial on Dec. 22 to pay her respects during a trip north for a job interview.

She didn’t realize that the loaded .32-caliber pistol in her purse would be a problem until she saw a sign at the site that read, “No guns allowed,” sources said.

“She remembered she had the gun on her,” a source said. She walked up to a security guard and said, “I have this gun. Where can I check it?

Ya'd think--given that she VOLUNTEERED the info on her weapon, that the DA.......


Graves, who has a full legal carry permit in Tennessee, was locked up on a weapons-possession charge and held on $2,000 bond that she posted yesterday. … The Manhattan DA’s Office is pursuing a conviction on felony gun possession — carrying a minimum sentence of 3 1/2 years.

Bloomberg can go f(*& himself before I drop another $3K to visit NYC.

HT:  MoonBattery

Santorum's Economic Plan

Pethokoukis likes it.  He highlights the following:

1. Cut and simplify personal income taxes by cutting the number of tax rates to just two – 10% and 28% returning to the Reagan era pro-growth top tax rate.

4.  Lower the Capital Gains and Dividend tax rates to 12% to spur economic growth and investment.

5.  Reduce taxes for families by tripling the personal deduction for each child

6. Reduce and simplify taxes for families by eliminating marriage tax penalties throughout the federal tax code.

9. Eliminate the corporate income tax for manufacturers – from 35% to 0% – which will spur middle income job creation in the United States and will create a job multiplier effect for workers

Santorum has one of the most politically and economically cohesive policy plans in the GOP field. He wants to help middle-class families and sees tax policy as a way of directly doing that, beyond trying to boost GDP growth. It’s more populist-conservative in many ways than pure free-market/libertarian, the latter of which seems to more reflect the Tea Party trend in GOP economic policy

If you don't think that families and chilluns are a god thing, fine; but you would be wrong.  Demographics is destiny.

I'm not surprised that he refers to the TEA Party as libertarian/free market.  But that's the 'visible' TEA Party folks--IOW, the running-mouth bunch. 

Scandals in Obozo-Land

Malkin chronicles the scandals from "Chicago-on-the-Potomac."

You have Browner-the-Liar, Interior's stiff-arming of the judiciary, Solyndra, LightSquared, "Shredder" Sibelius, ObozoCare Exemptions, and the several hundred dead Mexicans from Holder (who should have at least an Emmy of his own in this department.)

There are more, of course; we just haven't found them ........yet.

Maps "Provided to RNC": So What?

The MSM's game plan is clear:  it's indictment-by-innuendo!

An aide to a top lawmaker gave sworn testimony last week that new legislative maps approved this year were not meant to increase the Republican majority in the Legislature but were nonetheless provided to the Republican National Committee in advance. The seemingly inconsistent testimony came in a deposition from Adam Foltz, an aide to Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald...

Umnnhhhh...."inconsistent"?  Nope.

Sending a copy of a map is not "political."  It's .....ahhhh........Sending a Copy of a Map.

The trick here is to make it LOOK just dreadful. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Utterly Electable Romney? BS.

This guy's wheels are coming off.

The Republican Party has two top priorities this cycle: Reduce government spending and defeat ObamaCare. ObamaCare's chief political and constitutional weakness is the individual mandate. Other parts of it are actually popular or at least not unpopular (such as letting adult children stay on policies until age 26); our best path to undoing ObamaCare is focusing on the individual mandate.

And defending the mandate as "conservative," every inch of the way, and actually showing uncharacteristic passion while doing so, is would-be Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Scroll down just one post to find another set of reasons to be suspicious of Willard.

Don't tell the RomneyBots!  They'll be tweeting the RadioGuyzzzz before tomorrow's shows....


REAL Buying Power: The Whole Executive Branch!!

Kevin Williamson flat-out NUKES Obozo's Gummint.

...For a few measly millions, Wall Street not only bought itself a president, but got the start-up firm of B. H. Obama & Co. LLC to throw a cabinet into the deal, too — on remarkably generous terms. President Obama, for a guy prone to delivering prim and smug little homilies denouncing greed, greed, greed — the only of the seven deadly sins that truly offends Democrats (though Mrs. Obama has done some desultory work on gluttony) — is strangely comfortable among the Gordon Gekkos of this world. Shall we have a partial roll call?...

You'll get three or four without any trouble.  But Williams names a lot more, in all sorts of interesting positions.

Then he gets to TurboTaxTimmy!

...the real bonus turned out to be Treasury secretary Tim Geithner, who came up through the ranks as part of the bipartisan Robert Rubin–Hank Paulson–Citigroup–Goldman Sachs cabal. Geithner, a government-and-academe man from way back, never really worked on Wall Street, though he once was offered a gig as CEO of Citigroup, which apparently thought he did an outstanding job as chairman of the New York Fed, where one of his main tasks was regulating Citigroup — until it collapsed into the yawning suckhole of its own cavernous ineptitude, at which point Geithner’s main job became shoveling tens of billions of federal dollars into Citigroup, in an ingeniously structured investment that allowed the government to buy a 27 percent share in the bank, for which it paid more than the entire market value of the bank. If you can’t figure out why you’d pay 100-plus percent of a bank’s value for 27 percent of it, then you just don’t understand high finance or high politics.

He's right.  I don't get it, either.  So yeah, I don't have an Ivy League MBA.

Then the bad news:

...When President Obama opined during his 2011 State of the Union speech that a corporate tax-rate cut might be just the thing for America after a year of record corporate profits, his left-wing base was shocked and dismayed. Heck, some conservatives were caught offguard, too. Perhaps they hadn’t noticed who was running the Obama administration: In large part, the same guys who plan to be running the next Republican administration.

Not-very-thinly-veiled slap at Romney, the Utterly Electable Squish. 

For that matter, he's not very nice to the "conservative/Free-markets" radiomouth-gang, which obediently reads press releases:

...Congress has effectively exempted itself from insider-trading rules, not that the SEC would have the guts to go after a Senator Schumer or a Speaker Pelosi for these exploits. And that — not campaign contributions, not lobbying — is the really stinky petri dish of festering corruption at the nexus of Washington and Wall Street. You want a case for limited government? That’s it. And Wall Street is on the wrong side of the argument, which is one reason free-market conservatives should not romanticize the lords of finance.

...Wall Street can do math, and the math looks like this: Wall Street + Washington = Wild Profitability. Free enterprise? Entrepreneurship? Starting a business making and selling stuff behind some grimy little storefront? You’d have to be a fool. Better to invest in political favors.

All that from just one reading of Prof. Schweizer's "Throw Them ALL Out..."

(One ponders the possibility that merely 'throwing them out' is far, far, far too kind...)

Back to Romney, the Utterly Electable:

Romney’s ten biggest donor blocs include Goldman Sachs (his biggest — No. 1, as always), Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, Barclays, Bank of America, and JPMorgan Chase.

Wonder why?

You'll have to read PP 5 and 6 of the essay.  Then you'll do a forehead-slap:  of COURSE that's why!!


Walker to Expand "Family Care"

Walker announced that he'd like to expand "Family Care", a program by which the elderly are able to remain in their homes rather than in nursing home-care.

That's supported by damn near everybody except Robin Vos.

He'd like "other programs."

OK, Robin.  Like what?

Cameron Awakens to Reality

PM David Cameron of Britain gave a wee speech in Parliament.

...Cameron went on to say that the King James Bible “bequeathed a body of language” that has influenced every aspect of British culture – literature, music, and art. The Bible has guided Britain’s politics “from human rights and equality to our constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy” and “helped to give Britain a set of values and morals which make Britain what it is today.”

His most startling comment – which made international headlines – was that thanks to the Bible Great Britain is a Christian nation – “and we should not be afraid to say so.”  Cameron also said Judeo-Christian beliefs provide the foundation “for the evolution of our freedom and democracy.”  And he added “the knowledge that God created man in his own image was, if you like, a game changer for the cause of human dignity and equality.

Egads.  It's as though the man was reading Benedict XVI's thoughts....

“For too long,” Cameron confessed, “we have been unwilling to distinguish right from wrong” and that “moral neutrality or passive tolerance just isn’t going to cut it anymore.” 

Ya think???

...Benedict has argued the European cultural crisis is due to the modern perception that the idea of man is nothing more than a cultural construct. Hence, the pope has written, “the splendor of the fact that he is the image of God – the source of his dignity and of his inviolability – no longer shines upon this man; his only splendor is the power of human capabilities.

IOW, utilitarianism writ large. B-16 ties that to relativism, which is a logical outgrowth.

A Couple of PRChina Questions

Two articles of interest.

From the Small Biz Times:

One aspect of Chinese business competition that Western companies often fail to grasp is the razor thin margins many companies in China live on. A Chinese boss will tend to look at the amount of money that can be made as opposed to what it represents in terms of margin.

... The company that assembles iPhones in China works on a 1.8-percent margin. With projected sales of $37 billion for the fourth quarter of this year alone, 1.8 percent means a fairly hefty $666 million for just one quarter - a tough number to sneeze at, but one which would disappear in an instant, if there was a major manufacturing flaw.

Thin margins, like thin branches, cannot take much weight, and if there is a storm, it’s not the place to have your baby’s basket hanging from. Even minor issues can become life and death struggles for these companies. Cutting costs and expenses, especially on quality and materials, becomes the only way for them to claw back.

It doesn't take a Ph.D. in Financial Analysis to recognize the implications:  if there is a serious manufacturing problem requiring a product-recall/warranty repair, the PRC supplier ain't gonna cough up the cash.  He doesn't have it.

Still think that low supplier-pricing is a good deal?

From Manufacturing News/McMillion:

...well-financed efforts continue to deny and minimize the immense damage being done to United States and world production, jobs, wages and tax revenues by obsolete "free" trade practices in the face of China's muscular, highly successful protectionist and industrial policies. One of the loudest and most prominent "serious" current claims derives from the fact that traditional trade statistics do not capture the country of origin for all "value added" because it omits inputs from the global supply chains of component parts and services in almost all advanced products. This new argument is being used to make misleading and clearly false claims which, repeated unquestioningly by virtually all major media (see links at the end of this article) has led to the point where these claims are now "known" by those who believe themselves truly informed, including by some who should have learned by now to be more skeptical...

IOW, there's a lotta lying-with-numbers goin' on out there by ignoring the actual supply-chain in favor of a (far more selective) set of cherry-picked numbers.

...Worsening rapidly, U.S. ATP [Advanced Technology Products] goods deficits now exceed the total net foreign earnings on all Intellectual Property royalties and fees (including franchise fees) by all "U.S." incorporated companies, from Apple and Intel to Starbucks and McDonald's. Using a broader measure, the global U.S. trade deficit for all types of machinery and components (HS 84-85) -- from nuclear reactors and machine tools to all computers, mobile communications devices, semiconductors and the component parts thereof -- has soared to -$1.4 trillion since 2000 including a new record -$173 billion in 2010 alone.

The US' net foreign borrowings reflect this, as trade-deficits must be financed by borrowing.

...China's enormous full global current account trade surplus surged to as much as 11 percent of its GDP, with even more immense global surpluses in manufactured goods totaling $2.7 trillion. China's exports and imports of all types of machinery and components first achieved a global surplus only in 2004, and yet, since 2000 have achieved a global surplus of just over $1 trillion including a record $212 billion surplus for 2010 alone. Perhaps I should emphasize that, as with China's massive surpluses in total global trade, its stunning surpluses in machinery trade fully take into account all of China's imported components

So what?

...except for research showing the systematic undercounts of U.S. unit imports through unit over-pricing by the BLS -- thereby underestimating the real size and effects of U.S. trade losses -- there is no serious question about the overall value-added that is being lost in the United States and gained in China from global trade. Failing to emphasize this key global reality of gross imbalances leaves critics' claims, at best, extremely misleading.

IOW, the "Free Trade" gang ignores the total-supply-chain to fuzz the numbers--and BLS assists them with systematic over-pricing errors.

...critics [i.e., the FreeTraders] insist that U.S. losses to China are exaggerated because much of the value of China's exports comes from global supply chain imports from third countries to China. Curiously, I have not seen any critic even note that China is flooding Canada, Mexico and much of the rest of the Western Hemisphere with its component exports, which also are assembled into products that are then exported to the United States but are similarly not counted in bilateral U.S./China trade statistics.

What does that mean?  It means this:  FreeTraders ignore PRChinese exports to Canada and Mexico when counting the "value" of goods assembled in those countries.  So--as an example--if all the brake-assemblies of your car come from PRChina, but the car is assembled in Canada, the brake-assembly costs are counted as "Canadian origin"--not PRChina origin.

McMillion goes on to demolish an IPhone "study" which purports to show that PRChina has only about $6.50/unit in value-added (compare to its $180.00 retail price.)  The study could have been written by 6th-grade students, except that the 6th-graders would have been awarded an "F" for drawing conclusions with absolutely zero evidence.

Have we entrusted virtually our entire ATP and autos to a country where margins are incapable of sustaining warranties?

$100.00/Year to Read the JS Online

Not surprising.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's digital subscription program is set to begin Jan. 4.

With its digital offering, called "JS Everywhere," the Journal Sentinel will offer access to, the Journal Sentinel e-edition, its mobile site for smartphones, plus coming iPad and other digital applications for a subscriber's fee. Readers who subscribe to the print edition of the newspaper will receive free access to all digital products.

... Under the JS Everywhere plan, online readers will be able to read as many as 20 articles per month at no charge, but after reaching that threshold, will be prompted to become a print or digital subscriber.

 Readers who subscribe to digital-only access will pay $2.35 a week, said Hugh McGarry, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Journal Sentinel. The subscription can be paid annually, semiannually or monthly, he said.

Got the Flu Yet?

There's a very nasty tummy-flu running around.  Violent reaction lasts less than 1 day, but full energy-recovery takes about a week.

Good thing the kiddies aren't in the flu-factory (school) this week.

Cellulosic Ethanol? Nope. Sorry!

Another Gummint-funded total fiasco.

...the EPA said that of that 15.2 billion gallon total, cellulosic ethanol would make up 8.65 million gallons, or 0.006 percent. That is considerably short of the 500 million gallon target for 2012 set by congress in 2007 when it wrote the law mandating that 36 billion gallons of non-petroleum biofuels be used in the nation’s transportation fuel mix by 2022.

There's a really, really good reason for that:

...In early 2009, the company said production was not expected until 2010. Undeterred, President Obama’s Department of Agriculture provided an $80 million loan. In May 2009, Range’s former CEO, Mitch Mandich, explained that the problem was that nobody had figured out how to produce cellulosic ethanol in commercial quantities. Whoops.  (Quoting the WSJ)

Feeling particularly masochistic?  Click through to the link and read the editorial to find out how much taxpayer money was shoved down this toilet.

HT  JunkScience

Frank & Nelson Just the Tip of the Iceberg

PJ Media notes that there are 9 high-seniority (D) congresscritters taking 'retirement'.

Kyle Kondik, House race editor at the Center of Politics at the University of Virginia, tells PJ Media: “It’s no fun to be in the minority in the House.” He noted that the retirement of veteran Democrats in safe seats is an admission the House will not return to Democratic hands in 2012: “If you read between the lines, I think you can say that if they were hoping to get their committee chairmanships they would be back. They really don’t see the prospects being very good for taking the House back.

It's also possible that the (D)s will not run the Senate.

Housing Prices: Is the Decline Almost Ended?

CalcRisk presents a few charts of interest.

His summary:  another 3-5% price drop will happen (in '12?), but that should be the end of it.

The price-to-rent ratio is now in 1999 territory.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Blue Shirts Grab Cupcake, (Not Crotch)

Working to make you secure!!

A Massachusetts woman who flew home from Las Vegas this week says an airport security officer confiscated her frosted cupcake because he thought its vanilla-bourbon icing could be a "security risk."

Something about a 'gel-like' frosting.


Another NYT "Scary Story" Fail

Noted at Hit & Run:

A front-page story in today's New York Times tries to stir up alarm about liberalized carry permit laws, which let people carry concealed handguns if they meet a short list of objective criteria. To illustrate the hazards of that policy, the Times cites crimes committed by permit holders in North Carolina.

...cutting to the chase:

...How many permit holders are there in North Carolina? According to the story, "more than 240,000." So 0.2 percent of them are convicted of a non-traffic-related offense each year, about 0.017 percent are convicted of a felony, and only 0.005 percent are convicted of a gun assault.

About 1/20th of the national-average rate (felony convictions.)

"Law? Law Does Not Apply to Moi!!"

So babbles forth the Incompetento, Obozo, as he departs for his $4 million Hawaiian vacation.

On Friday, the president signed the $1 trillion omnibus spending bill, which funds the government for the remaining nine months of the fiscal year. Afterward, he released a statement saying he won’t abide by the law because the Justice Department had advised that certain provisions are “subject to well-founded constitutional objections.”

The "Justice" Department?

The ObozoObjection is to the de-funding of the Tsars in his office (inter alia; see the link.)

Holder the race-baiting weapons-smuggler may have his own copy of the facts, but IIRC, the House of Representatives has a great deal of authority over raising and spending tax moneys.

Unless, of course, one believes in the Unitary President theory. 

On the other hand, when GWB ran with that theory, the Obozos of the world screeched like the banshees they really are.

Confusing, eh?

Nelson (D-NE) "Retiring"

Ol' Benny decides to "retire" rather than get steamrolled in the election.

He made fools of Nebraskans with his "Cornhusker Purchase" on Obozocare; they don't like that too much.

The El Paso Diocesan Mess

Lots going on there.

First off, the Bishop (a Cdl. Mahony protege) denied Church teaching regarding homosexual "marriage"--and banished a priest who forcefully delivered the truth to the local political establishment.  Then, a "school" for CCD teachers--run by the Diocese--started delivering all sorts of demi- or full-blown heretical "lessons" to its students.

Then things got even MORE interesting; a well-known Catholic apologist/gunslinger went to El Paso to interview a number of unhappy Catholics (see the videos at the link).  This made the story national.

All of a sudden, the Bishop is transferred to California, and the Catholic apologist gets a nastygram from the Archbishop of Detroit (a pretty solid guy named Vigneron).  The nastygram demands that the apologist remove the term "Catholic" from his organization's title.

But there's a problem with that:  the organization is HQ'd in South Bend, not Detroit.  So Abp Vigneron's demand is .......null and void.

Bishops don't like it when other Bishops are smacked up for their ........*cough*.......laxity, or worse.  In my opinion, (and that of the author of the linked post), that's too damn bad.  It's one thing to push blue vestments over purple ones for Lent.  It's another thing entirely to deny the teaching of the Church on homosex marriage.

Pity the Diocese of Fresno.

Demographics Are Destiny

Wow.  "Spengler" notes something new.

...As Muslim fertility shrinks at a rate demographers have never seen before, it is converging on Europe's catastrophically low fertility as if in time-lapse photography. The average 30-year-old Iranian woman comes from a family of six children, but she will bear only one or two children during her lifetime. Turkey and Algeria are just behind Iran on the way down, and most of the other Muslim countries are catching up quickly. By the middle of this century, the belt of Muslim countries from Morocco to Iran will become as gray as depopulating Europe. The Islamic world will have the same proportion of dependent elderly as the industrial countries - but one-tenth the productivity. A time bomb that cannot be defused is ticking in the Muslim world.

In his view, that's bad news.

Imminent population collapse makes radical Islam more dangerous, not less so. For in their despair, radical Muslims who can already taste the ruin of their culture believe that they have nothing to lose.

Political science is at a loss in the face of demographic decline and its consequences. The wasting away of nations is an insoluble conundrum for modern political theory, which is based on the principle of rational self-interest. At the threshold of extinction, the political scientists' clever models break down. We "do not negotiate with terrorists". But a bank robber holding hostages is a terrorist of sorts, and the police negotiate with such miscreants as a matter of course. And what if the bank robber knows he will die of an incurable disease in a matter of weeks? That changes the negotiation. The simple truth - call it Spengler's Universal Law #1 - A man, or a nation, at the brink of death does not have a "rational self-interest".

PRChina and Japan are also de-populating; Japan is far more advanced in that regard than PRChina.

Interesting times.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Trouble in PRChina


"China's biggest provincial borrowers are deferring payment on their loans just two months after the country's regulator said some local government companies would be allowed to do so....Hunan Provincial Expressway Construction Group is delaying payment on 3.11 billion yuan in interest, documents governing the securities show this month. Guangdong Provincial Communications Group Co, the second-largest debtor, is following suit. So are two others among the biggest 11 debtors, for a total of 30.16 billion yuan, according to bond prospectuses from 55 local authorities....Vox quoting ZeroHedge

That means that the PRChinese banks (and others) who bought those bonds are not getting either interest-earnings nor (partial) capital returns for at least the next 30-90 days.  Which, in turn, means that the PRC dictatorship will have to rescue those banks, in at least some cases.)

Hmmmnnnnnnnn, again.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

"Occupy" to Escalate Conflict

No more smelling up parks and feeding rats.

....OWS leaders say they are accelerating their battle strategy in 2012. In what amounts to a new declaration of war that promises to electrify the 2012 elections, OWS will be using new asymmetrical warfare strategies, write two of the men who have been the driving force behind the movement since early this year: Kalle Lasn, the editor-in-chief of Adbusters magazine, and senior editor Micah White.

Listen to some of the specific guerrilla tactics they warn will be used in their 2012 "American Spring" assault: A "marked escalation of surprise, playful, precision disruptions, rush-hour flash mobs, bank occupations, 'occupy squads' and edgy theatrics." And in a New Yorker magazine interview shortly after New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's "military-style operation," Lasn warned: "this means escalation, pushing us one step closer to a revolution."

Oh, really!

HT:  Zippers

And Now, for Wassail!!

A trip down memory lane:  Roger Wagner's chorale singing Wassail!

This was recorded at the Capitol studios (Hollywood and Vine) in mid-summer; the singers came in dripping with Los Angeles sweat and geared up for Christmas tunes.

The first tenor is Paul Salamunovich, who later took over direction of the L. A. Master Chorale.  At this link, you can hear a bit of the "Wassail" as he recorded it.

Neat Idea, Nicely Done

The British Military Wives' choir sings a love song.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

And Happy Chanukah to those of the predecessor tradition!

For you athests, Have a Nice Day!  (Stolen from Sykes....)

Tommy v. Walker? Hmmmm!

Althouse finds a very interesting interview.

"After a certain point, Walker quit taking Tommy's phone calls... I think Tommy was giving him advice he didn't want to hear."

.....thus spake Bob Jauch (D) on the Act 10 matter.

Jauch speaks of Tommy's "unifying" the State.  Curiously, he does not speak about TT's Big Spender/Big Bonder inclinations, nor his "Screw 'em!!!" dissing of taxpayers in Waukesha, Racine, Washington and Ozaukee Counties over the Bud Selig tax.

It's not just Big Spender v. Dirty Campaigner in this primary, by the way.  There is an Actual Conservative named Lassee who's interested.

Here's a Picture of $40.00 in SocSec Tax

Picture at the link.  The President can enjoy this due to the SocSec tax reduction!

Are You a "Terrorist"? Are You Sure? Part 2

Powerline posts an essay from an ex-spook who has doubts about the President's license to summarily execute US citizens who are deemed 'terrorists.'

...Mistakes are frightfully easy to make, especially in gathering the numbers used to identify location, address, or telephones of suspected terrorists. Every number needs to be checked and re-checked. If one number in a grid coordinate is incorrect, it can mean a missile will strike a completely unintended location. During my CIA career I saw so many incorrect numbers that I was suspicious of any number until it had been double-checked. If someone handed me a telephone number and the number did not work, I learned to try changing a 3 to an 8 or a 1 to a 7, and to switch the numbers most commonly transposed.

Of course, "mistakes" are made in areas which are not 'hot battlefields,' too.  And we all know that "terrorist" has a very flexible definition.  Ask anyone who spent time in the Gulag about the definition of "mentally ill."

You're LESS Corn-a-Holed Now!

Another small victory.

The United States has ended a 30-year tax subsidy for corn-based ethanol that cost taxpayers $6 billion annually, and ended a tariff on imported Brazilian ethanol.

And (so far) the House has squashed the Corn-a-Holers' desire for an increase to 15%-blend (from the current 10%-blend).

HT:  BerryLaker

Chant Is Not Just for Albums Any More

We note that the music for Midnight Mass at St Peter's (the Vatican) will be Gregorian Chant (Mass IX, Cum Jubilo).

Further, Matins will and the Kalendia chant will be sung before the Mass and the proper Introit will be chanted (and the proper Communio).

This is what Vatican II's document on the liturgy (SC) meant by "noble simplicity."

Friday, December 23, 2011

Sly Slam of Fourth-Greatest Pres, (If He Does Say So Himself...)

The video is really good.

"Oh, Yah! We Need a Candidate to Defeat Walker!"

So in order to defeat Walker, the Unionista Poohbahs want Katy Falk, a much-more-Left version of Hillary Clinton.

That's the ticket!  

But even the ExecDirector of the Cop Union can't buy Falk--he mumbles about "electability" or some such foolishness.

I keep telling you:  there's Dane County, and there's the rest of the State.

Barrett, who campaigned last time around as though he'd rather be having dental surgery without anaesthetics, is keeping his options open.

This will be fun.  A Barrett/Obey/Falk primary should be a boon to the popcorn industry.

About the Date of Christmas

Fr. Longenecker is a pretty good historian.  So was JRR Tolkien, by the way.

...In 386, St John Chrysostom preached a sermon linking the date for Christmas to the date of the Annunciation. He does so in a way that suggests that this was already an established belief. The date of the Annunciation was based on a Jewish tradition that the world was created on March 25, or Nisan 15, according to the Jewish calendar.  The Jews also believed that a great man would die on the same day as his conception. The early Christians (who were of course Jews) therefore concluded that Jesus had been conceived on March 25. This made it the date of the world’s creation, and the start of the world’s redemption (and therefore the new creation).

It’s easy. If the Lord Jesus Christ was conceived on March 25, then he was born nine months later on December 25. The date for Christmas is therefore determined by the date of the Annunciation and has nothing to do with the Roman celebration of the Saturnalia or the celebration of the birthday of Sol Invictus.
So Christmas Day cannot be separated from Ladyday–the medieval term for the Feast of the Annunciation. While we now (sadly) celebrate New Years’ Day on the pagan date Jan. 1, it was not always so. From the apostolic age through the Middle Ages, the church continued to battle the vestiges of paganism. So right through 1752, the new year was celebrated in Europe not at the outset of the pagan god Janus’s month, but on the Annunciation, March 25.

What about Frodo Baggins? Tolkien fans the world over celebrate March 25 as a day of celebration by the reading of Tolkien’s work. Why is that? Because the day Frodo Baggins saves his world by delivering the Ring into the fires of Mount Doom was (you guessed it) March 25.  Ladyday–the feast of the Annunciation and the beginning of our world’s redemption.

Take that and stuff it into your Saturnalia.

Hitchens v. That Troubling "Law"

Just a quick excerpt:

Hitchens writes that he and other atheists “believe with certainty that an ethical life can be lived without religion,” thus implying that he and others have direct and incorrigible acquaintance with a natural moral law that informs their judgments about what counts as an ethical life.

But to speak of a natural moral law – a set of abstract, immaterial, unchanging principles of human conduct that apply to all persons in all times and in all places – seems oddly out of place in the universe that Hitchens claimed we occupy, a universe that is at bottom a purposeless vortex of matter, energy, and scientific laws that eventually spit out human beings.

Indeed.  Rorty at least was honest enough to admit that he was a "free-rider" on the Judaeo-Christian tradition.

"No Vote Fraud. Nothing to See Here. Move Along"


Four New York Democrats pleaded guilty to voter fraud after they were caught forging signatures on absentee ballots in a 2009 primary election.

And those were the damnfools who got caught.

HT:  Gateway

"Business" or "Market" Contrast in Lightbulb War

And yes, it will be a war.

Republicans suspended the law until October by denying funds for its implementation as part of a massive spending bill. For Democrats, this move was another sign of how out of touch the GOP is.

But look who else is complaining. As Politico reported, "big companies like General Electric, Philips and Osram Sylvania (are) fuming." Allegedly these companies are mad because they invested lots of money getting ready for the new rules.

Fact is, they were pushing for the ban all along.  --AmSPec quoting IBD

Hit the link and you'll find that the Cronies were not very complimentary about the intelligence of the US population, either.

This is the prototypical "Business" v. "Markets" battle to which Paul Ryan refers.  The job of the FedGov is not to "protect business" at the cost of the consumer (with some exceptions and some nuance, of course.)

By the way, what the hell does GE care?  They don't pay taxes anyway....

Happy New Year, Cavity-Prone Folk!!

Time to polish up your "......when I was a kid...." tooth-stories.

....researchers at the University of Missouri have developed what they think may a device that could eliminate the horrifying buzz of a dentist’s drill going in for a cavity.

In a university press release, researchers state that human trials will soon be underway for a “plasma brush,” making painless — not to mention sound-less — fillings a possibility in the future.

Another fine tradition--getting drilled & filled--going the way of the dinosaurs.  Now you can proudly be a plasma-puss!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

'Aging Out' of Labor Participation? No.

The labor-force participation rate has been dropping like a rock over the last couple of years--which has mitigated the "top-line" unemployment rate; the U-6, on the other hand, measures the discouraged workers who have dropped out of looking for work.

JPMorgan calculates a U-6 equivalent at around 11.5%.

Well, then, some argue, that's because old people are simply pulling the ripcord!


Another JPMorgan calculation says that old folks are responsible for only HALF the disparity.

Christmas Carol

Stolen from one of the wittiest:

Hark The Obama supporters sing,
Glory to the newborn king.
He’ll put gas in your car.
8% jobless is the bar,
Oceans’ rise are clearly slowing,
Deficits are really growing,
Let us rise up and proclaim,
We can lay on Bush the blame,
Hark, the Obama supporters sing,
Let’s soak the rich, yes, ka-ching!

HT:  PlanetMoron

And yes, there's more at the link!

100% Debt-to-GDP!!

ZeroHedge reports:

US debt, net of all settlements for all already completed bond auctions, is now at precisely $15,182,756,264,288.80. Why is this relevant? Because the latest annualized US GDP, according to the BEA, was $15,180,900,000.00. Which means that, as of today, total US debt to GDP is 100.012%.

Another milestone in the Obozo Era.

HT:  MoonBattery

G H W Bush *Hearts* Romney

Well, that damn near settles it.

Something even more curious from the quotation:

...the former president said he knew Gingrich relatively well. “I’m not his biggest advocate,” he said. “I had a conflict with him at one point,” Bush recalled, alluding to the crucial moment in 1990 when a recession drove him to renege on his “no new taxes” pledge.

So let's get this straight.  GHWBush decided to RAISE taxes during a recession and Gingrich gave him the finger, so GHWBush doesn't like Newtie?

And the "Raise-taxes-in-a-recession" pledge-breaker endorses Romney, eh?

How's Ted gonna 'splain this one?


It's Over. Pubbies Cave on 2-Month

House Republicans on Thursday crumpled under the weight of White House and public pressure and have agreed to pass a two-month extension of the payroll-tax cut, Republican and Democratic sources told National Journal.

Obozo wanted a one-year deal; payroll processors DESPERATELY wanted a one-year deal; and since nobody gives a rotten rip about deficits, what the Hell.

Izzy Strikes Again!

I've said it a thousand times.  There's Wisconsin, and then there's Dane County.

The Dane County district attorney is considering asking the state Supreme Court to reopen his case over collective bargaining legislation without Justice Michael Gableman after learning that Gableman received two years of free legal service from an attorney involved in the case. 

"We're taking a hard look at it," District Attorney Ismael Ozanne said Thursday. "I don't think we have all the facts, but the ones we do have are concerning."

"Concerning" is NOT AN ADJECTIVE, DAMMIT!!

On Planet Madistan, this guy Izzy is some sort of knight.

I'd use the term "errant," in today's sense.

A Candle in the Dark Night

Remarkable story about Reagan in 1981.  Source is B. Burch of

It was 30 years ago, December 13, 1981, that martial law was imposed upon Poland by the communist government. Poles were aghast, horrified, frightened. And so was the man in Rome, a Polish native named John Paul II, and so was another man thousands of miles away in Washington, DC, President Ronald Reagan. 

When word of the communists’ actions reached the White House, President Reagan was furious. He wanted to help the people of Poland in any way he could. At that very moment, Reagan committed to save and sustain the Polish Solidarity movement as the wedge that could splinter the entire Soviet bloc, as the first crack in the Iron Curtain.

One of Reagan’s first responses was to call someone he deeply respected: John Paul II.

There is much more I could say about all of this, having written books on the subject, but one item that happened precisely 30 years ago, right now, on December 23, 1981, is especially moving and notable:

On that date, Reagan held a private meeting in the White House with the Polish ambassador, Romuald Spasowski, and his wife, both of whom had just defected to the United States. Michael Deaver, a close Reagan aide, witnessed the meeting.

(Quoting Deaver):

...Then, almost sheepishly, he said, “May I ask you a favor, Mr. President? Would you light a candle and put in the window tonight for the people of Poland?”

And right then, Ronald Reagan got up and went to the second floor, lighted a candle, and put it in the window of the dining room. 

That evening, with Christmas only two days away, the president gave a nationally televised speech watched by tens of millions of Americans. He connected the spirit of the Christmas season with events in Poland: “For a thousand years,” he told his fellow Americans, “Christmas has been celebrated in Poland, a land of deep religious faith, but this Christmas brings little joy to the courageous Polish people. They have been betrayed by their own government.” He made an extraordinary gesture: The president asked Americans that Christmas season to light a candle in support of freedom in Poland

Obviously, it took more than candles to free Poland.  But never under-estimate the apparition of light in darkness, folks.

Vaclav Havel Speaks to Us

Stolen, entirely, from Fifth Column, a graf from Havel:

The post-totalitarian system touches people at every step, but it does so with its ideological gloves on. This is why life in the system is so thoroughly permeated with hypocrisy and lies: government by bureaucracy is called popular government; the working class is enslaved in the name of the working class; the complete degradation of the individual is presented as his ultimate liberation; depriving people of information is called making it available; the use of power to manipulate is called the public control of power, and the arbitrary abuse of power is called observing the legal code; the repression of culture is called its development; the expansion of imperial influence is presented as support for the oppressed; the lack of free expression becomes the highest form of freedom; farcical elections become the highest form of democracy; banning independent thought becomes the most scientific of world views; military occupation becomes fraternal assistance. Because the regime is captive to its own lies, it must falsify everything. It falsifies the past. It falsifies the present, and it falsifies the future. It falsifies statistics. It pretends not to possess an omnipotent and unprincipled police apparatus. It pretends to respect human rights. It pretends to persecute no one. It pretends to fear nothing. It pretends to pretend nothing.

Keep that handy, folks.

Capuchin Opens Mouth, Removes All Doubt

There's a reason that this poor fellow is a FORMER instructor at St Francis Seminary.

I deplore the English translation of the Roman Missal that has been foisted upon American Catholics. 

Being "a professor of liturgy" is not equivalent to being a Latinist, first off.  Regardless, the elevation of the language and its far less casual approach to mystery and the majesty of God is......objectionable? 

And that 'antiquity' rattle from him is particularly ironic, given the antiquity of the habit which he wears for the picture.

"It's Only Perjury Obstruction of Justice"

Evidently the "lying problem" in the Holder Department of Justice is serious.

But only if you're not employed there.

"Woopsie!!" They Said, As "Green Energy" Plans Sink

There's no "there" there in the market.

A123 Systems, a battery maker that received $380 million in government support, announced recently that declining orders had forced layoffs. Instead of up to 3,000 new Michigan jobs as Obama and the company had predicted, it now has 690 employees.

Battery maker EnerDel, recipient of a a $118 million federal grant, took a hit when its key customer, electric-car maker Think, declared bankruptcy this year. Johnson Controls, which received a $299 million stimulus grant, opted to build one factory instead of two because of lower-than-projected demand, a company official said, and that one is now operating at half capacity.

California electric-car maker Aptera announced it was shutting its doors because of problems raising capital. And General Motors — whose moderately priced Volt was supposed to drive Obama’s push for 1 million alternative vehicles by 2015 — revealed last week that it would fall roughly 38 percent shy of its goal of selling 10,000 Volts this year.  --Enterprise quoting WaPo

If you click the link, you'll notice that the GWBush push for new nukes DID get a bunch of money, so DOE spending is not entirely scatterbrained.

Another "Never Mind" About CO2

Now that the world has spent (or will spend) several trillion dollars on "fixing" CO2 emissions, the truth emerges.

“Many previous climate sensitivity studies have looked at the past only from 1850 through today, and not fully integrated paleoclimate date, especially on a global scale,” said Schmittner. “When you reconstruct sea and land surface temperatures from the peak of the last Ice Age 21,000 years ago – which is referred to as the Last Glacial Maximum – and compare it with climate model simulations of that period, you get a much different picture.

If these paleoclimatic constraints apply to the future, as predicted by our model, the results imply less probability of extreme climatic change than previously thought,” Schmittner added.  --Moonbattery quoting GizMag

But where do we go to get our lightbulbs back?  And all that corn??

Shocking Ignorance at the Editorial Board Level

Sykes posts WMC's line-by-line refutation of moronic JS editorial claims about the proposed mining law for the Gogebic project.  It's too bad that the JS editors are merely transcriptionists for the Far Left GreenGoddess worshipers.  (JS statements are italicized below).

The bill would allow mining corporations to dump toxic waste into wetlands.

This is completely false, and ridiculous. Like current law, the bill requires any mining company to go through a permitting process before disturbing any wetland. The Wisconsin DNR and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers cannot grant a wetland permit unless applicable water quality standards will be met.

Further, iron mining does not utilize toxic chemicals.  What gets "dumped" is stuff that came from Gaia in the first place.

Even more:

....current law does not require mitigation for wetland impacts occurring as part of a mining project. [In contrast,] Assembly Bill 426 requires compensation activities and/or mitigation at a ratio of up to 1.5 to 1 for each acre of wetland adversely impacted in the mining process. As a result, the bill may result in a net increase of wetland acreage in our state

 The bill would allow mining corporations to contaminate the groundwater of neighboring properties

This statement is completely false.

The bill requires the DNR to review a mining permit in 360 days, which is much shorter than the 3 ½ year average of the Army Corps of Engineers.

Except for the fact that the ACE does not "review" mining-permit applications.  Moreover:

Minnesota and Michigan have 120-180 day deadlines for iron mining permits. The 360 day timeline proposed in Assembly Bill 426 is significantly longer than those of our neighboring states

Plenty more at the link.

Perhaps the Editorial Board should have run the following instead:

We oppose mining in Northern Wisconsin.  When and if we find good reasons, we'll get back to you.  --Signed, The Luddites.

Much more honest, anyway.

How the MSM "Thinks" About Charity

It's just evil, that private charity stuff.

The New York Times' Stephanie Strom bizarrely blasted private charity in 2007 because it took money away from the government, declaring that "The rich are giving more to charity than ever, but people like Mr. Broad are not the only ones footing the bill for such generosity. For every three dollars they give away, the federal government typically gives up a dollar or more in tax revenue, because of the charitable tax deduction and by not collecting estate taxes."

Perverted thinking.  No surprise.

Turnabout Is Fair Play: OWS "Drones" LEO's

Worth a smirk.

The United States military is on the front lines of using remote-controlled aircraft on the battleground. One of the latest entrants in that field is … Occupy Wall Street.

Yes, the global anarchist/socialist/communist protest has taken to the skies to both monitor police and capture video of events – even livestreaming.

More at the link.

BMO Harris Tightens the Screws

The word that is missing from this article is "covenants."

Dozens of Reedsburg area business and property owners said Monday they are facing foreclosure even though many have never missed a mortgage payment.

The move will force many owners to downsize their operations, but BMO Harris Bank's decision is perfectly legal, mortgage experts said.

For most business loans, there are "covenants" which accompany the lending agreement.  Those covenants lay out conditions under which the bank will continue to lend money.  Those might include "loan-to-value" percentages, or receivables as a percent of assets, or a minimum of X dollars kept as cash-in-the-bank.

Lisa Jackson: Dark Knight

One could imagine that Lisa Jackson is crusading, I suppose.

In which case, she's on the wrong side.

The new (hospital-announced) MACT rules are a very serious danger to this country.

...The Associated Press estimated that “more than 32 mostly coal-fired power plants in a dozen states will be forced to close because of the new, more stringent regulations. Another 36 plants are at risk of closing.”  This will drain at least 14.7 gigawatts, “enough power for more than 11 million households,” off the grid between 2014 and 2015.

The AP nevertheless assures us that “no lights will go dark,” which sounds less like a prediction than a prayer.  How do we lose 14.7 gigawatts without any lights going dark?

And that’s a fairly lowball estimate of the impact from these plant closings.  Last month, the Institute for Energy Research estimated that the true effect will be nearly double what the EPA estimates, or at least 28 gigawatts of generating capacity… and even that might not be the end of it.  According to the Wall Street Journal, the highly respected North American Electric Reliability Corporation believes that “on top of the 38 gigawatts of generation that is already being run below normal levels or slated for early retirement, another 36 to 59 gigawatts will come offline by 2018, depending on the ‘scope and timing’ of EPA demands.”

By the way, there is ZERO evidence that utility-emitted mercury has any health effects.  ZERO.  One may speculate that there are some, of course.  But 28 gigawatts is a helluva large bet on speculation.  (Of course, our Statist Masters will not have to worry about electricity shortages.)

You remember those images of North Korea at night?


Seven Really Good Keys to Defeating Obozo

Well-thought out, solid pieces of advice.  Hayward at his best.

Ryan "Conservative of the Year": Human Events

Human Events is easily the most respected Conservative publication in this country.

Fitting that they named Paul Ryan as "Conservative of the Year." 

Congratulations to the Congressman!

B of A: $335 Million in Discrimination Penalties

While Bank of America is paying the penalty, it was Angelo Mozilo's company when the discriminatory practices were in play.

One wonders if there's a claw-back clause someplace, no?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Real Hospital Announcement

Lisa Jackson's stunt of announcing MACT (MATS) regs at a chillllruuunnnnn's hospital masks the real future hospital patients:  1.6 million jobs and all the people who can no longer pay their electric bills.

House Oversight and Government Relations Committee lawmakers believe that MATS, which includes the Utility MACT rule, could kill 186,000 jobs per year between 2012 and 2020 -- 1.65 million jobs total -- citing a study by National Economic Research Associates. "The Committee is not satisfied that EPA has conducted a good faith analysis of the employment impact of the rule," Committee chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, chairman of the Subcommittee on Regulator Affairs, wrote in a letter earlier this month. "EPA's jobs analysis failed to look at the impact that higher energy prices would have on employment," they added.

Not to mention grid-reliability issues.

"Dangerous" Fond du Lac?

The militarization of the local PD.

The Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Department says it has become the nation's first law enforcement agency to buy a $220,000 Oshkosh Corp. tactical vehicle that's based on a military truck used in the mountains of Afghanistan.

The truck, which has an armored body and bulletproof windows, is designed for urban settings as well as off-road use,...

So this is really, really, necessary?

Fond du Lac County Sheriff Mylan Fink said the area has seen a significant increase in the number of incidents requiring the department's tactical team - from delivering high-risk warrants to calls involving armed suspects.

In March, two City of Fond du Lac police officers were shot, one fatally, while responding to the home of a man who was firing a gun.

At the end of a six-hour standoff, the man who shot the officers was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.

"Our officers are managing high-risk situations that continue to grow in severity and numbers," Fink said in a news release.

The loss of two officers is horrible.  But a military-grade armored truck would not have prevented that loss, Sheriff.  You weren't going to drive that truck into the house, were you?

More on militarizing the LEO's here.  It's not a good trend.

Ron Paul's 10%

It's extremely difficult to believe that all of Ron Paul's supporters actually believe the stuff he wrote.  No question some of them do.

“Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks,” read a typical article from the June 1992 “Special Issue on Racial Terrorism,” a supplement to the Ron Paul Political Report.

... One newsletter reported on the heretofore unknown phenomenon of “Needlin’,” in which “gangs of black girls between the ages of 12 and 14” roamed the streets of New York and injected white women with possibly HIV-infected syringes. Another newsletter warned that “the AIDS patient” should not be allowed to eat in restaurants because “AIDS can be transmitted by saliva,” a strange claim for a physician to make.

... Paul gave credence to the theory, later shown to have been the product of a Soviet disinformation effort, that AIDS had been created in a U.S. government laboratory at Fort Detrick, Maryland.

Umnnnhhhh...OK, Ron.

HT:  Sykes

Gee. Another Solar BK. Another $2.1 Bn Down the Tank

Sure, you know about Solyndra.

Next domino:  Solar Millennium, a German company whose US subsidiary got $2.1Bn in FedGov guarantees.

Another Shiny Object caught Obozo's attention.  It was a gum-wrapper.  Regardless, it got FedGov guarantees.


It's the (Stupid) Spending, Stupid!! Part 565,281

And away we go!

  • $113,227 for video game preservation center in New York.
  • $550,000 for a documentary about how rock music contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union.
  • $48,700 for 2nd annual Hawaii Chocolate Festival, to promote Hawaii’s chocolate industry.
  • $350,000 to support an International Art Exhibition in Venice, Italy.
  • $10 million for a remake of “Sesame Street” for Pakistan. 
And finally:

$764,825 to study how college students use mobile devices for social networking. 

That's just the short list from Coburn's much, much, much more extensive one.  If you want all 98 pages, go to the link below and dial up the PDF.  It's sure to ruin your Christmas.

HT:  RenMan

Old Christmas Humor

It's on a blog, so it must be true, no?

The Supreme Court has ruled that there cannot be a Nativity Scene in the United States Capital this Christmas season.

This isn't for any religious reason. They simply have not been able to find Three Wise Men in the Nation's Capitol.

A search for a Virgin continues.

There was no problem, however, finding enough asses to fill the stable.

How Much Does Jamie Dimon Make?

Not to pick on Dimon; after all, there's Pandit, Blankfein, Paulson, .....a long, long, list.

All of them running (or formerly running) "Too Big To Fail" outfits.

They're "Too Big to Fail" because the Gummint made them so--and in so doing, the Gummint perpetuates "income inequality."

HT:  Enterprise

SHOWTIME!! (How Democrats Put Frosting on S*&^ Sandwiches)

In order to make electricity go away, the Obozo Administration will resort to stunts.

EPA administrator Lisa Jackson will unveil the agency’s new utility MACT rule at the National Children’s Hospital in Washington, DC today at 2pm. The rule will reduce mercury and other emissions from coal-fired power plants.

Sadly, there are those damn stubborn facts:

...there still is not a shred of tangible or scientific evidence that mercury emissions from power plants have ever harmed anyone.

However, ingesting the stuff is not good for you.

That's why EPA wants mercury-stuffed CFL bulbs in your homes, of course.

HT:  JunkScience

Egads! Straight Talk!!


“The reason you see some sympathy among the American public for [OWS] is the grave concern — and it’s a legitimate one — that blue-collar workers, lower-income workers, are having a harder and harder time rising,” the former Pennsylvania senator said at a presidential campaign stop. “They talk about income inequality. I’m for income inequality. I think some people should make more than other people, because some people work harder and have better ideas and take more risk, and they should be rewarded for it. I have no problem with income inequality.

President Obama is for income equality. That’s socialism. It’s worse yet, it’s Marxism,” Santorum said. “I’m not for income equality. I’m not for equality of result — I’m for equality of opportunity.

It's a variant of Paul Ryan's maxim that being "pro-business" is NOT the same as being "pro-markets."  Pro-markets is the position we all espouse; pro-business is the position that crony capitalists prefer to push.

HT:  ColdFury

Your Christmas Gift to Volt-Owners

Not to worry; all that decision-making over at Amazon isn't necessary.  You already mailed (or will do so, at some time in the future) your check to Volt-owners!

Each Chevy Volt sold thus far may have as much as $250,000 in state and federal dollars in incentives behind it – a total of $3 billion altogether, according to an analysis by James Hohman, assistant director of fiscal policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

So for $42K retail you get $250K or so in "value."  Fire extinguisher extra.

HT:  Zippers

The Gableman Complaint: Not Even Smoke.

We observed that Justice Gableman makes decisions in his job at SCOWI.  That's good:  he's PAID to do that.

We also observed that the Usual Suspects are sliming Gableman and Michael, Best--his lawyers.

Esenberg reads all that boring black-letter stuff and demonstrates that the Usual Suspects can't even point to smoke, much less a fire.

VERY short version:  Michael, Best took the case on a 'contingency fee' basis.  No harm, no foul, period.  Further (still short, not nuanced), there's no bar to a member of the judiciary using such an agreement.

Not to worry.  The sliming will continue unabated.  Too bad that Michael, Best will not respond in kind, but then, they play by the rules.

Obama v. Big Labor. This Won't End Well

We mentioned that Hewitt thought the '12 election would be a "forty-State landslide".

(Assuming, of course.......well, you know.)

It's notable that Big Labor is speaking out--clearly--about Obozo's policies.

...The latest to take notice is the Communications Workers of America union. It reported last month that AT&T's $39 billion bid for T-mobile would have brought 5,000 quality jobs back from overseas and created "as many as 96,000 additional quality jobs in the build-out of high-speed wireless broadband."

Instead, AT&T this week decided to spike its acquisition plans after Obama's Justice Department sued and his Federal Communications Commission came out against it,...

The editorial also mentions the IAMAW's unhappiness over Obozo's 'corporate jets' remarks and the Laborer's International slamming of his GreenGoddess-inspired attempted murder of Keystone XL.

You can bet that the Mineworkers are very unhappy about his war on coal, too--but they can't speak out about it because their ex-President--now the Big Kahoona of the AFL-CIO--has a reputation for silencing opposition the old-fashioned way.

HT: PowerLine

Meantime, in Chicago....

You guys all think my "Statism!!" remarks are a product of fever.


...Big Government programs “for the children” are never about the children. If they were, you wouldn’t see Chicago public school officials banning students from bringing home-packed meals made by their own parents. In April, The Chicago Tribune reported that “unless they have a medical excuse, they must eat the food served in the cafeteria.”...

That home-packed lunch?  Never.

Al Capone couldn't possibly out-do the Chicago Public Schools' hegemony.

HT:  Malkin

Ron Paul *Hearts* Bradley Manning


A number of commenters on this site seem to think that Ron Paul is the cat's pajamas.

He certainly has curious affinities.

Paul has called Manning, a crossdresser with acknowledged mental problems, a “hero” and “patriot” for stealing government secrets and providing them to WikiLeaks.

Does the Gummint classify stuff that covers its ass?  Undoubtedly.  Does Bradley Manning understand ALL the reasons for classification?

Do you really think so?

HT:  AmSpec

Gun Smoke

We mentioned the most notable Black Friday shopping trend:  buying guns.  NICS-checks were an all-time high that day.

Now we learn something else:

...a recent Gallup poll found that 47% of American households own a gun, up from 41% just a year ago.

Something's going on here.  Gun ownership is not a fad like Starbucks coffee v. A&P's Eight-O-Clock coffee.  Gun purchases have more serious 'purchase-decision' implications.

Tax Crap

Smoke, mirrors, and stupidity.

The SocSec tax-reduction continuation was fiscally dumb (that piper MUST be paid, you know).  But of course,  Obozo's grandstanding is just as stupid; when 15% of the workforce is not working, an extra $20.00/week for those who ARE working isn't going to turn the economy around.  If it were really all that effective, 2011 would have been a lot better than it was.

But there's more:  the AMT "patch" expires at the end of this year.  It's not part of the legislation.  Same-o for the "doc fix" which would increase payments to Medicare providers.  And that AMT patch is particularly important in Wisconsin and a few other high-tax States.  I understand that some Medicare patients like to see their doctors, too.

Altogether, Congress is over-rated at 19%.  So is Obozo at 43% re-elect.

Vending Crap Sandwiches With McConnell

Mitch McConnell is the master-chef of the above-named goodies....Horowitz names his sous-chefs:

Republicans Scott Brown of Massachusetts, Dean Heller of Nevada, Richard G. Lugar of Indiana and Olympia J. Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine called on the House to change course

Can you say "the usual suspects"?

Perry? Paul? Santorum? Iowa........

Last night, Hewitt opined that "Santorum will surprise" in Iowa.  He's certainly getting heavy-hitter endorsements, including from Palin and a number of notable Iowa activists.

Paul, of course, will have the largest bunch of people in the caucuses.  He does it the old-fashioned way, providing transportation and meals for his supporters.  Works damn well, too.

Perry seems to have figured out "how to communicate"--at least according to Erickson of RedState.

Gentlemen, place your bets!

Rorty, Darwin, and Their Problems

Wherein the essayist dismantles Rorty's "freeloader moralism" and Darwin's atheistic materialism and shows that each of these men have intellectual descendants--equally flawed--in both "liberal" and "conservative" political camps.

...two major problems in Rorty’s thought should be evident: First, his active commitment to human dignity and social justice is undermined by his rejection of foundations for them in philosophy and religion, leading him to admit that he is a “freeloader” on traditional foundations of moral duty and goodness. And second, for all his profession that each person’s beliefs only derive their legitimacy from the accident that he happened to inherit them, Rorty’s commitment to a democratic, egalitarian version of human dignity and social justice does not lead him to embrace a “live and let live” attitude, but instead attracts him to the moral authoritarianism of a strong-willed teacher imposing views on his students, and eventually to world government. One must stand in amazement at just how much moral certitude and moral authoritarianism can be drawn from the empty relativity of Rorty’s postmodern skepticism and non-foundationalism.

As to Darwin:

...Insofar as Darwinians appeal to nature as a standard, they are not candid enough to acknowledge the most logical implication of their theory. The moral and political implications of Darwinian evolution do not point either to Aristotelian virtue ethics or to a progressive, democratic social justice that respects the rights and dignity of persons. Rather, it points to something like the Social Darwinism advocated by Herbert Spencer, Friedrich Nietzsche, or Ayn Rand — a view of politics in which the strong inevitably and even legitimately dominate and exploit the weak for their own purposes, and democracy, dignity, justice, and compassion are sentimental relics of Christianity, or, more accurately, prejudices of democratic culture

It's a lengthy essay with lots more nuggets, worth the read.

Diamond Jim Doyle's Legacy: Expensive Medicaid

We're all acquainted with Diamond Jim Doyle's mal-governance.  And there's plenty of it, as outlined in a report on Doyle's Medicaid program.

...The audit raises questions about whether, given the growth in the health programs, the state Department of Health Services is able to oversee both its contractors and the overall Medicaid programs. It also found that the state could do more to shift to lower-cost models such as health maintenance organizations, or HMOs, that charge a capped rate for patients.

As a matter of interest, Walker's budget increased Medicaid spending by $1.3BILLION in an attempt to get ahead of Doyle's lack-of-controls problems.

...The audit found that Wisconsin was toward the upper end of eligibility limits for the program compared with its five neighboring states and over the most recent four-year period had seen the second-largest increases in enrollment and spending, behind only Illinois.

When I said "lack of controls," I meant it.

In recent years, the state frequently has chosen to add more services from vendors by expanding its existing pacts with contractors such as Hewlett-Packard and Deloitte Consulting rather than putting those new services out to bid to see if other vendors might do them more cheaply, auditors found.

When you look in the dictionary under "EXPENSIVE", you'll find H-P and Deloitte, folks.

Did I mention "lack of controls"?

As the Medicaid program has grown, the state [actually, the Doyle Administration] has cut the money available for investigating fraud. The number of investigations of potential fraud by recipients dropped to 1,424 in fiscal 2011 from 2,166 in fiscal 2007 along with the amount of money recovered through such investigations, the audit found.

Predictably, the (D) finds that not looking for fraud results in not finding it!

Rep. Jon Richards (D-Milwaukee) said the audit didn't find widespread fraud in Medicaid...

Thanks again, Jimbo!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Romney Waltz

I'm sure that the RomneyBoyzzz will be pushing this, like they push the idea that Romney will be a fine servant to a Conservative Congress--which, ipso facto, tells you that Romney has zero principles.

The first step in returning to an Opportunity Society is scaling back our vast federal government. I will put every single government program to a simple test: Is this program so critical to our nation’s future that we should borrow money from China to pay for it?

Sounds good, eh?

But as our pal Smitty observes:

What is required is a straightforward Enumerated Powers check against the Federal government, and then a transition plan to unwind the substantial over-reach that has accumulated.

Mitt hasn't ever thought in terms of the Constitution, I guess. That showed in his Imperial Directive to force gay "marriage" into Massachusetts, in direct defiance of the Mass. Constitution.