Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Need a Temporary Job? Go to an Obozo "Green" Loan Recipient!

Well, there's Solyndra, then Ener1, now....

Just seven months after California-based solar power company Amonix Inc. opened its largest manufacturing plant, in North Las Vegas, the company’s contractor has laid off nearly two-thirds of its workforce.  --Human Events quoting Las Vegas Sun

That's only $5.9 million in US tax dollars "invested."

More Boehning, Chapter 465

Once again, the Boehner "leadership" is toward national bankruptcy.

As part of their ongoing “jobs agenda,” House Republicans will unveil this week and soon consider the American Energy & Infrastructure Act (AEIA) to reauthorize transportation spending for five years. The “highway bill” promises a host of reforms (consolidating programs and streamlining red tape) and includes increased oil and gas exploration. But unfortunately these reforms are meant to distract from the overall size of the program, and the fact that such spending will require a massive bailout from federal taxpayers.

Except that the bill will bust the Ryan budget and build on an already-bloated previous bill (SAFETEA).  SAFETEA not only spends a lot of money; it spends more than the highway trust fund has available from taxes.

Boehner, a '60's style pol, packages it with some oil drilling--a spoonful of sugar, you know.

Screw him.  And his horse, too.

Monday, January 30, 2012

RayOVac Getting Out of Madison. Smart Move!

RayOVac (Spectrum) is leaving Madistan for Middleton.

And Soglin doesn't like it.

But there are a number of businesses which have deliberately avoided a Madison location, knowing that the taxes, fees, and regulations of Madison are burdens.

Soglin complains that he was 'out of the loop'.  There's a reason for that:

...Soglin says the Spectrum consultant who originally contacted the city last spring would not reveal the name of the company unless the city signed a confidentiality agreement to keep the identity undisclosed, which Soglin refused to do. Therefore, the consultant would not agree to further discussions.

According to Soglin, the Cieslewicz administration had signed a confidentiality agreement last March, just a month before the 2011 mayoral election, but did not move forward. Cieslewicz could not be reached for comment.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

More On Obozo's "Contraception/Abortion" Ruling

The Bishops of the US are--like most of their flocks--VERY unhappy with the Obozo Administration's flagrant violation of the 1st Amendment.

Here's Bp. Zubik of Pittsburgh:

...Let’s be blunt. This whole process of mandating these guidelines undermines the democratic process itself. In this instance, the mandate declares pregnancy a disease, forces a culture of contraception and abortion on society, all while completely bypassing the legislative process.

This is government by fiat that attacks the rights of everyone – not only Catholics; not only people of all religion. At no other time in memory or history has there been such a governmental intrusion on freedom not only with regard to religion, but even across-the-board with all citizens. It forces every employer to subsidize an ideology or pay a penalty while searching for alternatives to heath care coverage. It undermines the whole concept and hope for health care reform by inextricably linking it to the zealotry of pro-abortion bureaucrats.

The Bishop is being charitable, which is his vocation.

Much more from various Bishops here. Obozo will regret this move.


The "Good Citizens" of High-Tech

Just a little Sherman Anti-Trust violation (or 1,000s of them--who knows?)

...Apple, Google, Adobe, Intel, Intuit and other tech firms, it was revealed, had agreements not to poach one another's employees. Technically, the Department of Justice settled an antitrust lawsuit in 2010, but employees who claim they were injured by the arrangement are still fighting for more, with a proposed class-action lawsuit that's having its day in court this month.  --Ticker quoting The Verge

Silicon Valley firms were also heavily promoting national health-insurance schemes back in the '90's--as were the Big Three automotives.

About time that it is clear:  these assholes are predators, not "capitalists."

Holder Sinks to a New Low (Believe It or Not)

Well, well.

Attorney General Eric Holder’s Department of Justice dumped documents related to Operation Fast and Furious on congressional officials late Friday night. Central to this document dump is a series of emails showing Holder was informed of slain Border Patrol agent Brian Terry’s murder on the day it happened – December 15, 2010 – and that he was informed the weapons used to kill Terry were from Fast and Furious on the same day.  --AOSHQ quoting Daily Caller

Holder testified that he didn't know about the Terry/F&F connection until April.

Time for Eric to go.

Friday, January 27, 2012

RomBama Dismisses ObamaCare Concerns

After 10 or 20 years of campaigning for the Presidency, you'd think Romney would get it.

He doesn't.

....Santorum didn't just offer a grazing attack of Romneycare like many other candidates have in prior debates. He got very specific. He noted that it was top-down government control -- from the mandate forcing individuals to purchase health insurance to the expansion of Medicaid. And when Romney tried to wiggle away, and  defended the individual mandate making the same arguments as President Obama, Santorum pinned him down, explaining all the problems with the health care system in Massachusetts under the law. Romney's response to Santorum's passionate case against government-run health care was to say, “It’s not worth getting angry about,”...

Perhaps Willard doesn't recall the genesis of the American Revolution, which was a very small tax on tea, along with a Statism which resembles the one Obozo is beginning to impose.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

B.O.M. Goes Apple

Oldsters will recall that the original IBM Bill-of-Material software (BOMP, then DBOMP) was written in Milwaukee by (among others) IBM, Arthur Anderson, Allis-Chalmers, and Allen-Bradley.

Now a Racine firm has replaced the paper BOM with an Apple.

All Wisconsin, all the time....

President Downgrade's SS, DD

You'd think that for his farewell address, Obozo could at least get new lines.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

SCOTUS Makes It Harder for the Snoops

Good ruling.

The United States Supreme Court ruled Monday that when police use GPS tracking devices on suspect vehicles, that does constitute a search. That ruling effectively wipes out a Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling that said the opposite, and could mean big changes for local police.

Some are calling this ruling the biggest Fourth Amendment ruling of the computer age. The U.S. Supreme Court has decided that police will need to get a search warrant from a judge in most cases, before they can stick a GPS tracking device on a suspect's vehicle.

If it's a solid case, the warrant will be issued.  Right?

Obama's "American Values": Costly!!

The cost of Obamism (or "American values" as he calls it):

So far, during the presidency of Barack Obama, the price of a gallon of gasoline has jumped 83 percent, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

During the same period, the price of ground beef has gone up 24 percent and price of bacon has gone up 22 percent.

That's offset by the cost of Michelle's vacations, of course.

Monday, January 23, 2012


It's all there, in the book.

Here's the (30-minute) brief, naming names including Harold Washington, the "Raza" of Chicago--which reminds one of the Milwaukee Hispanic agitator-socialist bunch "Frontera".....

HT:  PowerLine

Sunday, January 22, 2012

39th Anniversary of the American Holocaust

39 years ago today, the worst decision ever by the Blackrobes.

Pray.  Harder.

"Safe" Abortions, Eh?

There's a fellow named "Jim" whose brother worked for Planned Barrenhood--so Jim spends a lot of time and effort in my comboxes telling us all about how "good" abortion really is.

Well, then, there are the damn facts....

HT:  Al/Dubuque

MoDo's Slam of Obozo & The Queen

Holy Wah!!, as they say in Green Bay.

Reagan didn’t socialize with the press. He spent his evenings with Nancy, watching TV with dinner trays. But he knew that to transcend, you can’t condescend.
The portrait of the first couple in Jodi Kantor’s new book, “The Obamas,” bristles with aggrievement and the rational president’s disdain for the irrational nature of politics, the press and Republicans. Despite what his rivals say, the president and the first lady do believe in American exceptionalism — their own, and they feel overassaulted and underappreciated.
We disappointed them.

Quoted by the Prof.

Why Manufacture in PRChina?

Some thought-provoking stuff here, discovered in the NYT by Althouse.

....Apple had redesigned the iPhone’s screen at the last minute, forcing an assembly line overhaul. New screens began arriving at the plant near midnight.

A foreman immediately roused 8,000 workers inside the company’s dormitories, according to the executive. Each employee was given a biscuit and a cup of tea, guided to a workstation and within half an hour started a 12-hour shift fitting glass screens into beveled frames. Within 96 hours, the plant was producing over 10,000 iPhones a day

The facility has 230,000 employees, many working six days a week, often spending up to 12 hours a day at the plant. Over a quarter of Foxconn’s work force lives in company barracks and many workers earn less than $17 a day.


On the Death of a Friend

A lady I knew died last night. 

She was an old-school Great Lady--with a capital "L".  Knew how many pieces of silver were to be laid out, exactly where they belonged on the table, and what course went with what silver.  Knew when the red wine was served, in which goblets, at what temperature.  Quoted Milton, Shakespeare, and Twain, not to show that she could, but to remind you that there was nothing new under the sun.

But she was not a priss.  When the historical society re-enacted the old days of Milwaukee, she played the madam for the house on the west side of the river at Juneau Ave., and did so with just the right smile.  She could rollick with the young ladies she knew, but never, ever lose control.

She was fearsome in her 5,000 lb. Olds sedan, which occasionally escaped her control.  St Peter knows that, of course, and will prudently step out of her way.

Requiescat in pace, Rosemary.

Fast & Furious Has Grandchildren!

Operation "White Gun."

...members of Congress who have spent months scrutinizing the Fast and Furious debacle are seeking to determine whether White Gun was another weapons investigation gone wrong.

"Apparently guns got away again," said one source close to the investigation, led by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) and Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa). "How many got into Mexico, who knows?"

Same agent as "Fast & Furious," same results.  Some people never get learned, eh?

HT:  Arms/Law

So It's Romney?? Really?

Delegate count:  Romney 33, Newt 25, Santorum 14, Paul 4

1500+ to win at the convention.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Obozo's War on Religion

Not really surprising at all.

Today, in a huge victory for women’s health, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that most employers will be required to cover contraception in their health plans, along with other preventive services, with no cost-sharing such as co-pays or deductibles.  --Catholic Vote quoting ThinkProgress

OK, jackwad.  You want a war?  Ask the Muslims how they did at Lepanto, or Vienna.

Lawsuit to follow.

Carl Pope Goes Off the Rails in "Manufacturing" Part 3

We've cited a few chunks of Pope's Bloomberg essays here because he makes a few good points.

Too bad that he now advocates what amounts to Fascism--or at the very least, a re-working of the 'military-industrial complex' against which Eisenhower warned us.

...Liveris is part of an emerging consensus that includes New Economy business gurus such as former Intel Corp. CEO Andy Grove, whose essay on the need to rejuvenate manufacturing, “How America Can Create Jobs” is a seminal document. The gospel is infiltrating Silicon Valley, where investors such as Vinod Khosla and his former partners at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers are believers. It has been embraced by the American labor movement, including AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard, Teamsters’ head Jimmy Hoffa and former Service Employees International Union President Andy Stern

Liveris’s analysis is bolstered by former General Motors Co. Vice Chairman Bob Lutz, Honeywell International Inc. CEO David Cote and ArcelorMittal’s U.S. CEO Michael Rippey. A growing number of public officials, such as former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, have come to see manufacturing as the key to economic revival and jobs.

Unstated in the essay is that many of these individuals want to de-couple health and pension benefits from employment and move the liabilities to Government.

Pope's logical fallacies begin here:

...A national industrial policy is anathema to many conservatives. When solar-panel maker Solyndra LLC went bankrupt after receiving $535 million in federal loan guarantees, opponents of industrial policy eagerly cooked the failure into a “scandal.” The attack was not only a partisan shot against the Obama administration, which had signed off on the loans. It was intended to preempt and disqualify federal support for manufacturing in the future. 

Although conservatives condemn the notion of a national manufacturing policy, they embrace similar policies on the state level....

The "attacks" on the Solyndra deal have to do with the utter failure of the business model (high-cost/low-price, then heavy losses) rather than with the "national" involvement.  And Mr. Pope, like other Statist-inclined foks, forgets that there is a 10th Amendment. 

Pope, an ideologue on the Green Goddess' side, even found the villains:

...for the Tea Party and its financial backers, like the Koch brothers, weakening the federal government is ideologically more important than strengthening the national economy; if a unified, competitive national economy requires a strong, powerful federal government, the trade-off is not worth it to them. Second, the political leaders who shape federal economic policy are responsive to the sectors that have mastered lobbying -- oil, agribusiness, finance and drug companies. Manufacturing for decades has been left to take care of itself.

Being an early TEA Party guy, I can tell you that I don't really give a fig for Koch Industries; they can stand or fall on their own.  The fact that they're standing says something about their business model, ain'a?

(And Carl, the term stands for "Taxed Enough Already.", for your information.  Further, although you may be out of the loop here, most of us know that there are two parts to the Chamber of Commerce:  the 100 or so ultra-big transnationals, and the rest of 'commerce' in the US.  That's why the message is muddled.)

Pope's yappaflappa does have a few more good insights.  Here's one:

To create markets, we must enforce trade agreements and insist on fair play. China has been stealing wind-turbine manufacturing by requiring 70 percent domestic content in its turbines. U.S. manufacturers like General Electric Co. make components in China solely to satisfy that demand.

If Pope had been paying attention, he'd note that the term "FAIR Trade" has been around for quite some time--voiced by P J Buchanan and the Tonelson gang.  Good that he's catching up, though.

Yes, manufacturing has been crunched in the US.  PRChina adopted State mercantilism and imposes zero regulatory burden, zero benefits-burdens, and only minor 'baksheesh' burdens.

But going to State mercantilism here--particularly by tossing Big Tax Bucks into technologies which are questionable and--frankly--inefficient, is to imitate,........ahhh........the People's Republic of China.

Not the model we're going to follow, Carl.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Raising the National Debt

Sure, it's going to go through.

Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan offered the following statement as the House prepared to vote its disapproval of President Obama’s decision to raise the debt limit by another $1.2 trillion:

Interest payments on the national debt will cost more this year than the entire federal budget did in 1972, and that’s with interest rates at historic lows. We have to stop the crazy spending if we’re going to stop this crazy borrowing. Fiddling around the edges won’t get the job done. We need to cut, cap, and balance the budget.”

Actually, Congress and the Executive Branch should be "cut, capped, and balanced."  Takes two to tango.

Killing US Manufacturing, Part 2

Yesterday we noted a Bloomberg article about US manufacturing.

Today we have Part Two.  The author has some weaker arguments here, (see the link), but some are very compelling.

...When federal fuel-economy rules required Detroit automakers to produce some fuel-efficient cars, they decided to make them in places like Mexico because two decades of trade deals, under Republicans and Democrats, protected American banks, agriculture, drug companies and Hollywood -- but not manufacturing. (Gas-guzzling trucks, intriguingly, continued to enjoy tariff protection -- one reason Detroit made so many.)

The final nail in Detroit’s coffin was also hammered by Washington. It was gasoline priced at almost $4 a gallon. For decades, the U.S. government let the Saudis manipulate the market -- periodically flooding it with cheap oil to discourage the U.S. from making serious efforts to reduce our demand for oil, which, ironically, is the only way to ensure cheap oil.

That last line is half-right.  There are TWO parts to the equasion:  supply and demand.  Supply is also restricted by the FedGov (see below post).

This line, however, is key:

Former Intel CEO Andy Grove warns that the whole “scaling” process by which innovation led to mass production has broken down in the U.S. As he put it in a 2010 essay in Bloomberg Businessweek, “How America Can Create Jobs,” both politicians and business leaders bought into a “general undervaluing of manufacturing -- the idea that as long as ‘knowledge work’ stays in the U.S., it doesn’t matter what happens to factory jobs.

In other words, the Utopians in Gummint (and other places) decided that people who do NOT do "knowledge work" are irrelevant and immaterial to the US and its economy.

Talk about 'elitism writ large'....

Ironically, the author is the ex-President of the Sierra Club--which explains his animus toward "gas guzzlers." 

Perhaps he should look at KeystoneXL and 'splain that, too.

"Never Forget" XL? Not Just the Blue-Collar Workers!

The Green Goddess claims another 20,000 (plus families) victims.

...the Obama administration decided on Wednesday to kill the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which would have carried crude oil from Canada to Gulf Coast refineries.

The Laborer's Union Pres:

“The score is Job-Killers, two; American workers, zero. We are completely and totally disappointed. This is politics at its worst,” LIUNA General President Terry O’Sullivan said. “Once again the President has sided with environmentalists instead of blue collar construction workers – even though environmental concerns were more than adequately addressed. Blue collar construction workers across the U.S. will not forget this.”

You're not the Lone Ranger here, Mr. O'Sullivan.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Manufacturing: It's Not the Labor Cost

Nothing new in this item if you've been paying attention.

...My host, a NASA engineer turned Silicon Valley entrepreneur, has just conducted a fascinating tour of his new clean-energy bench-scale test facility. It’s one of the Valley’s hottest clean-technology startups. And he’s already thinking of going abroad. 

“Wages?” I ask. 

His dark eyebrows arch as if I were clueless, then he explains the reality of running a fab -- an electronics fabrication factory. “Wages have nothing to do with it. The total wage burden in a fab is 10 percent. When I move a fab to Asia, I might lose 10 percent of my product just in theft.” 

I’m startled. “So what is it?” 

“Everything else. Taxes, infrastructure, workforce training, permits, health care. The last company that proposed a fab on Long Island went to Taiwan because they were told that in a drought their water supply would be in the queue after the golf courses.

Read the rest--and Part Two when it materializes.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cleaning Out the Jungle

From MoonBattery.  Who else??

"Zero" Income Tax? Ron Goes Further Off the Edge

Ron Paul now wants a "zero" income tax.

Cute rhetoric. 

That goes along with his "yes/no" on taking out Bin Laden and his anti-gun votes--not to mention his profligate earmarking (which is paid for by.......yup.......income taxes.)

OK, Ron.  Whatever.

Kilowatt Price Falls--Except Where Regulation Increases It

Interesting item here.  The Doylies/Green Weenies cost you a lot of money.

...Mirroring the gas market, electricity prices have dropped more than 50 percent on average since 2008, and about 10 percent during the fourth quarter of 2011, according to a Jan. 11 research report by Aneesh Prabhu, a New York-based credit analyst with Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC. Prices in the west hub of PJM Interconnection LLC, the largest wholesale market in the U.S., declined to about $39 per megawatt hour by December 2011 from $87 in the first quarter of 2008.  --JunkScience quoting Bloomberg

In Wisconsin, however, electric rates are holding steady or moving upwards, due to the utilities' willingness to provide "renewable" energy.  That, along with the compliance-costs of the new Oak Creek coal-burners, insures that ratepayers will be paying the GreenGoddess for quite some time into the future.

Other utilities aren't quite so......ahhh........expensive:

...With abundant new supplies of gas making it the cheapest option for new power generation, the largest U.S. wind-energy producer, NextEra Energy Inc. (NEE), has shelved plans for new U.S. wind projects next year and Exelon Corp. (EXC) called off plans to expand two nuclear plants. Michigan utility CMS Energy Corp. (CMS) canceled a $2 billion coal plant after deciding it wasn’t financially viable in a time of “low natural-gas prices linked to expanded shale-gas supplies,” according to a company statement.

IOW, since WEnergies rolled over to the Doyle/Greenies, we pay.

So How's QE2 Working Out?

QE2 ain't doing what Helicopter Ben thinks it should do.  Now he wants QE3?

With an increase of $1.8 Tn in base money supply since (roughly) '08, we find that bank loans divided by base money supply has dropped to ~2.5x from a high of 8x in late '07.  The overall average of that number from 1970 through '07 was ~6x.


More devastating to the monetarists:  M2 Money Supply divided by base money is now at ~3.5x--where the annual average from 1957-2008 was about 9.5x.

Lotsa chart-porn at Mish's place.

Who's the Racist?

Noted at Zippers:

In its strategic plan for the Africa Region for 2010 to 2015, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) states that it is working toward an 82 percent increase in abortion services


Monday, January 16, 2012

"Survey Says"......Santorum WON Iowa?

Well, here's a fine kettle of fish.

...But what if Romney did not actually win Iowa? That could change the calculation considerably. And there is a very real chance that the Republican Party of Iowa will announce this week that Rick Santorum, and not Romney, won the Iowa caucuses.

...One campaign source says the vote count as of midday Monday showed Santorum ahead by 80-something votes. If that number holds through certification of the last precincts, Santorum will win. Of course, there is always the possibility that some of the final precincts will contain discrepancies that put Romney back on top. It's just not clear.


Gee. Romney Lies. Water Is Wet. Sun Rises in the East.....

Now the Establishment Liar has PO'd Santorum, too.

We recall that Hillary Clinton was "inevitable."

More Defined-Benefits for UW Employees?

Word on the street is that Pat Strachota (R-West Bend) intro'd legislation to allow UW System to offer a defined-benefit pension plan.

Oh, really, Pat?

She offers some flapdoodle about 48 other States, and how since U-teachers move around a lot, they really need a defined-pension plan, yada yada yada.


A 403(b), which is the public-sector version of a 401(k), is portable--unlike defined-benefit plans, and can be converted at retirement into a defined-benefit pension.  That's called an SPDA.

C'mon, Pat.  Get a grip on reality.

On Cdl. Dolan

The Catholic Thing reviews John Allen's book on Cdl. T. Dolan.

Some interesting "Dolan-isms" in there....

The Fundamental Fallacy of Free-Market Libertarianism

R R Reno of First Things reads the WSJ editorial page.  What he sees there is problematic, specifically in its slamming of Santorum's increased child-credit which echoes a Strassel position.

Cutting to the chase:

...Take will-to-power and domesticate it as economic self-interest, and you pretty much have the political and social vision of free-market libertarianism. I see little future for what is today a very modern social philosophy in American conservatism. Yes we’d like to be richer, but that’s not all we want. We want to live in accord with our nature as human beings, and that includes contributing to and enjoying the primitive community of the family. If free market libertarians can’t get their minds around that fact—and the fact that as we make personal choices about marriage and children we’re influenced by a manifold of social and economic incentives—then I can’t see how they will be able to formulate a governing consensus. Over the long haul people won’t vote for politicians who won’t work to implement policies that help them live the kinds of lives their nature desires.

None of this is surprising to any Conservative.  The REAL significance here is the growing division between the Libertarians and Conservatives, and for that matter, Libertarians and Reagan Democrats.

Word to the wise:  TEA Party people are not "libertarians" by nature.

What we do see is a fusion between the Reagan Democrats and actual Conservatives--named Rick Santorum.

"Subscriptions? We Don't Need No Steeenkin' Subscriptions!!"

Of course, when you start with a subscription-base of 32 (all delivered to the White House), there's not all that much to lose.

HT:  MoonBattery

EPA to Strike Again (!!!)

If you think that the MACT rules are serious problems--and they are--you might want to take a few calm-pills.

...EPA has sent its proposed regulation establishing greenhouse gas (GHG) New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for new and modified power plants to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review.
The stringency of the regulation is unknown to outsiders at this time. Environmental lobbyists hope EPA will set the bar so high that only natural gas power plants, or coal-fired plants equipped with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, can comply. Industry representatives want EPA to propose separate standards for coal- and gas-fired electric generating units reflecting the different carbon intensities of coal and natural gas.  --GlobalWarming.org quoting Greenwire

Since there are no CCS systems in place without massive Gummint funding, that will be a problem.

Can Obama blow off the coal-producing States and still win?  He doesn't have to worry about ND, SD, NE, and TX--which he will blow off with the Keystone/XL game.  He wouldn't have them anyway.

But West Virginia, VA., PA, OH.?


HT:  JunkScience

Undercover Boss

In something of a post-Packer stupor, didn't object loudly to watching "Undercover Boss" last night. 

The show featured a maroon of the first water who is about to have more HR trouble than he ever thought possible. 

Did CBS do its best to slime 'capitalism' with that show?

The "Electable" Romney, Part 333

Interesting observation:

4. Democrats don’t trust Romney because they believe conservatives don’t either.--McCain/Smitty quoting Pollack

On-target takeaway:   In summary, Mitt is about as opaque as Barack.

IOW, nobody trusts him.  For the (D) folks who would think about voting (R) because they don't trust Obama, Romney is not the alternative.

Actually, He's Not Far Off

Here's a quote:

“Federal Reserve policy will continue at an expanding rate with massive credit expansion, which will make the dollar crisis worse. Gold will be seen as an alternative to paper money as it returns to its historic role as money. Erosion of civil liberties here at home will continue as our government responds to political fear in dealing with the terrorist threat by making generous use of the powers obtained with the Patriot Act. … The Congress and the president will shift radically, expanding the size and scope of the federal government. This will satisfy both the liberals and the conservatives. Military and police power will grow, satisfying the conservatives. The welfare state, both domestic and international, will expand, satisfying the liberals. Both sides will endorse military interventionism overseas. … During the next decade, the American people will become poorer and less free while they become more dependent upon the government for economic security. … I have no timetable for these predictions, but keep them around and look at them in five to ten years. I hope and pray that I am wrong on all accounts.”  --2002 predictions of Ron Paul

The red-highlights are matters on which Paul was proved correct. 

The rest?  Some not true at all (the USD--and Treasuries--remain the safe harbors), or are worded carefully to be really a matter of perception, e.g., did "military power" really "grow"?  Recessions happen; so the American citizen may be "poorer," but hey--predicting a recession 'sometime' in 10 years is a sure bet.  Is Obama 'interventionist'?  Who knows?  Obama doesn't.

Anyhow, that was Ron Paul.

Well, THAT Sucked

......and if you have to ask "What sucked?" you don't live in Wisconsin.

"Seamless Garment" Redux

Apparently the Diocese of Salt Lake has a problem.

...Jean Welch Hill, who ran unsuccessfully for Utah Attorney General in 2008 and the State House in 1996, issued a column Friday as Director for the diocese’s Peace and Justice Commission that prefaced future remarks on the U.S. Bishops Conference voter’s guide, “Faithful Citizenship,” by emphasizing the latitude individual Catholics have to “decide for ourselves which candidates truly respect life.”

...Hill began the piece by listing bishops’ quotations against abortion alongside other quotes against poverty and violence, and suggested that it’s up to the voter to balance a candidate’s “morally flawed” positions with others that could outweigh the bad.

We've seen that......umnnnhhhhh.....stuff.......before. 

There are intrinsic evils--like abortion and homosexual activity--and there are other evils. 

And there's a big difference between them.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Santorum Picks Up Another Endorsement

In passing, we'll mention the Family Research Council.

Here's the one which counts.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Massachusetts, You Say?

Some (R) candidate for President used to be Governor of Massachusetts.

McKay is the young father who, seeing a local druggie breaking into his truck and stealing the tools he uses to pay the bills, confronted him, subdued him and held him for the police. When the police arrived, they found the bad guy had a knife, a billy club and — thanks to the unarmed McKay — a broken jaw.

Instead of thanking McKay for helping get an armed criminal off the streets, Swampscott officials charged him with a felony. As a Swampscott police spokesman said at the time, “We don’t urge anybody to fight back. We want them to call us.”
  ---Paco quoting Boston Herald

OK, then.

There's a bit more to the story, which is significant, at Paco's place.

The "Electable" Romney, Part 258

Hillyer mentions a few folks who have their doubts about "electable."

...with Troy Senik and Ashton Ellis insightfully joining me in weighing in. Actually, Jonathan Last made the case earlier, here. Tina Korbe, a rising star, argues the same thing at Hot Air. Phil Klein at the Washington Examiner makes the case that Romney's flip-flopping is a big liability in a general election (as it was for Al Gore and to a certain extent John Kerry). Back in late December, John Hawkins at Right Wing News also argued the situation quite well. Of course, Peter Ferrara made the case right here at the Spectator, although he also segued into (strong) arguments against Romney's ability to do a good job if he were elected anyway. William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection also has questions. The scholarly take on it, again doubting Romney's electability, was by Larry Lindsey at the Weekly Standard....

That's just from the Right.  The Left is going to flay Willard--right, wrong, or otherwise on the Bain Capital days, and correctly on the flip/Flop/Flip/flop........

Friday, January 13, 2012

The American Revolution Differs from the French .....How?

Al provides the answer, and a lot of other historical nuggets.

He also bears a darker message in the last couple of grafs.

Romney Back In Form, Slapping Opponents

Since Mitt Romney has nothing to sell--including his principles, which have been gone for at least 20 years--he can only "win" by nuking his opposition.  See, e.g., Newt Gingrich.

Now it's Santorum's turn.

And the Back-and-Forthright candidate expects support in November?

Alan West Is Right

Col. (and Rep.) Allen West has it about right.

“The Marines were wrong. Give them a maximum punishment under field grade level Article 15 (non-judicial punishment), place a General Officer level letter of reprimand in their personnel file, and have them in full dress uniform stand before their Battalion, each personally apologize to God, Country, and Corps videotaped and conclude by singing the full US Marine Corps Hymn without a teleprompter.

“As for everyone else, unless you have been shot at by the Taliban, shut your mouth, war is hell.”


HT:  Zippers

Obozo's Green Plan: BK the US Taxpayer, Too!!

There are--occasionally--good reasons for Gummint money spends in technology.  Basic research is always a good suspect, for example--which might even cover some 'alternative' energy ideas.

Then--in contrast--there are the Obozo money-spends in technology.

Take Beacon Power -- a green energy storage company. We were surprised to learn exactly what the Energy Department knew before committing $43 million of your tax dollars.

Documents obtained by CBS News show Standard and Poor's had confidentially given the project a dismal outlook of "CCC-plus."

Any high-school kid has a better rating.

CBS News counted 12 clean energy companies that are having trouble after collectively being approved for more than $6.5 billion in federal assistance. Five have filed for bankruptcy: The junk bond-rated Beacon, Evergreen Solar, SpectraWatt, AES' subsidiary Eastern Energy and Solyndra.

Others are also struggling with potential problems. Nevada Geothermal -- a home state project personally endorsed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid --  warns of multiple potential defaults in new SEC filings reviewed by CBS News.

There are MORE!!

SunPower landed a deal linked to a $1.2 billion loan guarantee last fall, after a French oil company took it over. On its last financial statement, SunPower owed more than it was worth. On its last financial statement, SunPower owed more than it was worth. SunPower's role is to design, build and initially operate and maintain the California Valley Solar Ranch Project that's the subject of the loan guarantee. 
First Solar was the biggest S&P 500 loser in 2011 and its CEO was cut loose - even as taxpayers were forced to back a whopping $3 billion in company loans.

Meanwhile, Obozo has delayed (or tried to eliminate) the XL petro-line.

HT:  Verum

A Reminder of "Why the TEA Party Exists"

Steve, the Numbers Guy, shows you why John Boehner--along with the rest of the spineless twits he herds around the House floor--should be given a very thorough rectal exam before the next election.

The Fools at the Fed

WaPo reviews the FedReserveBoard's meeting minutes of 2006.

As I mentioned earlier, public "servants" can make fools of themselves with no help from the kulaks.

And the FRB did so, in spades.

"Audit" the Fed?

That's not even close to what ought to happen to these bozos.

Venture Vultures Are Not "Conservative" Icons

Rick Perry makes a few very cogent observations while on Ingraham's show (HT Ace).

There are such things as 'Venture Vultures.'  Put up $5 million, borrow $95 million against a target's assets, pay yourself $25 million in "fees," watch the target die.  Romney's Boyzzzz did some of that, although it was apparently a minor portion of the business

Happens all the time, and there is no Conservative worthy of the name who can possibly "approve" this sort of crap.

Perry opines that there should be a discussion of these issues.  We agree.

Billiam highlights a few other vultures (via Ticker) who have--by and large--magically escaped prosecution for egregious rape and pillage.  They're called "Wall Street Bankers."

If You Like to Read in the Evening......Fuggeddaboutit

Beer/Bicycles notes that Obozo, our SCOAMF, has a plan.

Driving the Snowstorm

Ran up a few miles last night.

Waukesha County's plow/salt operations on I-94 were disappointing when compared to Jefferson and Dane Counties.  By 9 PM, Jeff/Dane stretches of the I-road had two mostly-clear lanes, with one of them wet, not snowy or slick.

Not so in Waukesha, where the road was mostly snow-packed and slippery--and only 1 lane of the 3-lane stretch from Pewaukee to SH164 was drive-able at 55 MPH.  That's embarrassing.

Waukesha will tell you that the snow was "packed" by all that traffic, making it difficult to clear. 

Wouldn't have had that problem if they had pre-salted the road and actually kept the plow-crews out there.

The "Electable" Romney, Part 144

The Back-and-Forthright candidate in video!!

Ace's tagline will suffice:

Because "electability" doesn't have to mean an actual record of winning elections.


Romney holds 2.05% of the delegates necessary and is losing ground in South Carolina.

New Hampshire Undies Bundled Over Vote Video

We all know that O'Keefe's gang obtained at least 9 ballots using the names of dead people.

Now New Hampshire is investigating............O'Keefe.

It's not good to make fools out of public officials. 

Besides, they can make fools of themselves without any help.

Our Sunstein Statist

Mr Sunstein is not a civil libertarian.

Just prior to his appointment as President Obama’s so-called regulatory czar, Cass Sunstein wrote a lengthy academic paper suggesting the government should “infiltrate” social network websites, chat rooms and message boards.

By no co-incidence:

The find comes after a report of a government document indicating that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s command center routinely monitors dozens of popular websites, including Facebook, Twitter, Hulu, WikiLeaks and news sites such as the Huffington Post and Drudge Report.

The Sunstein Statist rationale?

Such “cognitive infiltration,” Sunstein argued, should be used to enforce a U.S. government ban on “conspiracy theorizing.”

Among the beliefs Sunstein classified as a “conspiracy theory” is advocating that the theory of global warming is a deliberate fraud.

The Hockey Stick is real!!  Real!!!  Really Real!!!!

“We suggest a distinctive tactic for breaking up the hard core of extremists who supply conspiracy theories: cognitive infiltration of extremist groups, whereby government agents or their allies (acting either virtually or in real space, and either openly or anonymously) will undermine the crippled epistemology of believers by planting doubts about the theories and stylized facts that circulate within such groups, thereby introducing beneficial cognitive diversity.

Sunstein Statist has a problem with such things as "the truth," too:

In the book, Sunstein cited as a primary example of “absurd” and “hateful” remarks reports by “right-wing websites” alleging an association between President Obama and Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers.

He also singled out radio talker Sean Hannity for “attacking” Obama regarding the president’s “alleged associations.”

So all you "Facebook Like" Hannity folks, do you have your papers in order?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Retail Sales Reality

That's adjusted for population growth and inflation.

More at Mish's place, including December's very lousy sales numbers.

About that "Forum Shopping?" Ahhh....Never Mind

Haven't heard much about "forum shopping" in that GAB case lately, have  you?

There's a reason, 'splained by The Perfesser:

Because the new law went beyond that in giving the plaintiff an unlimited choice of venue, the law has a curious venue provision in the event of appeal.  The losing side in the trial court can pick the district in which the appeal will be heard as long as it is not the district in which the trial court is located.

I am sure that this was intended to discipline plaintiff's unlimited choice of forum but it also enhances the opportunity for gamesmanship - and we see that in the case challenging the GAB's intent to conduct a more limited review of petitions.

Of course, the plaintiffs chose Waukesha because they expected it to be a favorable forum. Having lost, the GAB has now chosen District IV of the the Court of Appeals which embraces - Dane County. It certainly expects that District IV will be a more favorable forum.

Really, really, really quiet in the MSM about that Dane County appeal, ain'a??

The "Electable" Romney, Part 96

Quin Hillyer:

...Which leaves, again, Santorum, having won four of five elections and overperformed so far on the presidential stage, and Romney, having so far lost two of three elections and badly underperformed on the presidential stage. 

That's just the tail end of a column in which Hillyer makes it clear:  Romney (now holding 2.05% of the delegates to the (R) convention) is NOT "inevitable," and--matter of fact--may not even be "electable."

HT:  Hot Air

After Tabor

Oh, yes, there's more to follow.

There may be a straw in the wind in yesterday’s ruling, with respect to the Obama administration’s determination to compel the coverage of contraceptive and abortifacient drugs in health insurance policies, even ones for religious institutions. The only “religious exception” offered so far by the Department of Health and Human Services to its contraceptive coverage mandate is an exemption so narrow, for religious organizations that employ and serve only their own co-religionists, that even the ministry of Jesus would not qualify. It is as though the Obama administration is staffed by people who have never encountered the ministry to the world that is so common among religious folk—especially but not uniquely among Christians....

Makes that 9-0 even more interesting.

HT:  FirstThings

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Milwaukee JS: "Help Us"

Today's (toll-free) JS NewsWatch includes a plea for readers to "help" the paper cover the snow. (4:39 PM)


That'll be $9.25, or whatever a month's news-reading costs.

Extreeeme Holder Loses Hosanna-Tabor at SCOTUS

This is a big one.

The Supreme Court decided against the Obama administration today on what many have called the most important religious freedom case in decades. The case pitted the rights of religious organizations to choose their own ministers against the government's interest in preventing discrimination in the workplace. In Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Supreme Court unanimously acknowledged the existence of a "ministerial exception" that allows religious organizations — churches and the like — to decide who their employees are without government intervention.

Why "big"?

The court rejected the "extreme position" of the EEOC to limit the exception to only those employees who are engaged in "exclusively religious functions."

Yup.  EEOC/Holder was "extreme."

Voting in Milwaukee: "F"

Egads.  Whether one calls it 'voter fraud' or 'unbelievable incompetence,' a number of Milwaukee County [Municipal] Election Commissions have a stinking pile on their doorsteps. 

This release covers "Election Day Registrations."

This seven month study developed a historical analysis of the April 5th, 2011 election. Two key statistics leap from the results. First roughly 94 percent of the voters registering had either a Wisconsin Drivers License or State ID and second was that overall there was a 33 percent error rate among all the registration forms.
This study was performed by members of the pro-Constitution group Wisconsin Grandson of Liberty between May and December, 2011. Our study only looked at voter registration forms completed at the polls on April 5th, 2011. Existing registrations, early absentee and in-person, early absentee voting was beyond the scope of this project. The Open Records requests were made shortly after the April 5, 2011 election, data was entered between July and November and results tabulated in December.

THIRTY THREE PERCENT?  That equates to a 67% score--which in the Good Old Days, was an "F".

...it appears some polling locations did a poor job of ensuring the completeness of the forms and a poorer job of noting that they verified the actual identities of some same day registrants. This statement is based on the data that shows county-wide, 1,995 forms left the proof of residency verification incomplete, 142 electors registered using a corroborator then corroborated for someone else, and 164 electors voted in the wrong district.

Ripley moment:

1 Voter’s signature is legible but is a different name than listed in on the registration form

In fairness, it seems that the "Proof of Residency/Document Number" blank on the registration documents is completely mis-understood by ALL election officials, and this mis-understanding contributes significantly to the overall error-rate.  (See P. 16/17 of PDF pagination.)  The Bayside and Greendale error percentage was actually greater than that of the City of Milwaukee.

MSM v. Actual Truth

Shocked-you-are!! to find that the MSM (Reuters) is now making stuff up about the Pope's speeches.

Pope Benedict said Monday that gay marriage was one of several threats to the traditional family that undermined “the future of humanity itself.”

So proclaims Reuters.

Now to the actualities:

...Education is a crucial theme for every generation, for it determines the healthy development of each person and the future of all society. It thus represents a task of primary importance in this difficult and demanding time. In addition to a clear goal, that of leading young people to a full knowledge of reality and thus of truth, education needs settings. Among these, pride of place goes to the family, based on the marriage of a man and a woman. This is not a simple social convention, but rather the fundamental cell of every society. Consequently, policies which undermine the family threaten human dignity and the future of humanity itself. The family unit is fundamental for the educational process and for the development both of individuals and States; hence there is a need for policies which promote the family and aid social cohesion and dialogue....

Big difference in tone, content, and emphasis.

IOW, 'how to lie with words' is evidently Journo-201.

HT:  GetReligion

Is Obama Over-Confident or Crazy?

Very interesting essay which addresses Bill Daley's departure from Versailles the White House.

Start with the essayist's (Rahe) observation at the time Daley came on board:

...the President could not take on Bill Daley “without eating a substantial helping of crow.” Before taking the job, I observed, “he must have heard the President whisper the familiar words that this son of one Chicago mayor and brother of another first learned as an altar boy: “Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.” I then predicted that Daley would wield “far more authority than was ever accorded to Rahm Emanuel,” and I argued that his arrival at the helm meant “that Obama has decided to pivot and reposition himself as a budget-cutter and a friend to big business.

That was then.

...It did not cross my mind at the time that Barack Obama would dither and dither, drop the ball, then balk, and pivot left – with an eye to winning the Presidency as a proponent of class warfare. But this is, in the end, precisely what he did, and Bill Daley is now appropriately heading for the exits. If I am surprised, it is only because he stayed on as long as he did.

Perhaps it is putting far too much weight on one event--Daley's departure--to determine that Obama is either extremely confident of the '12 outcome or is so self-obsessed that he doesn't care what that departure may mean.

Then again.......hmmmmmm.

Another look at the Daley Departure:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson is having a good week in White House politics, as a major obstacle to her regulatory powers resigned as President Obama's chief of staff, and then the president held an EPA pep rally the next day assuring Jackson of his commitment to her agenda.

Daley quashed MACT earlier, and obviously lost the battle.

Seriously. You Really Want the Gummint to "Run" Healthcare?

You recall "Fast & Furious", where the BATFE schemed to illegally allow mass-sales of weapons to drug cartels, and subsequently "lost track" of them.

Well, we have an echo.

The Mexican magazine Emeequis published portions of documents that describe how Drug Enforcement Administration agents, a Colombian trafficker-turned-informant and Mexican federal police officers in 2007 infiltrated the Beltran Leyva drug cartel and a cell of money launderers for Colombia's Valle del Norte cartel in Mexico.

The group of officials conducted at least 15 wire transfers to banks in the United States, Canada and China and smuggled and laundered about $2.5 million in the United States. They lost track of much of that money.

That's not unique.  Reading between the lines of the Governor's Commission on Waste, Fraud, and Abuse, it is clear that many State managers have also "lost track" of money.  A LOT of money.

But hey!  Incompetence and stupidity is a blessing.  They'll likely "lose track" of terrorists, too--whether pro-lifers or Muslim (they're all the same, you know.)

HT:  Arms/Law

The "Electable" Romney?: Part 45

A pseudonymous author at RedState (who is a securities lawyer, Harvard, Holy Cross, yada.)

The other point I would make about integrity is that it goes close to the core of why a Romney nomination worries me so much: because we would all have to make so many compromises to defend him that at the end of the day we may not even recognize ourselves. Romney has, in a career in public office of just four years (plus about 8 years’ worth of campaigning), changed his position on just about every major issue you can think of, and his signature accomplishment in office was to be wrong on the largest policy issue of this campaign. Yes, Obama is bad, and Romney can be defended on the grounds that he can’t possibly be worse. Yes, Romney is personally a good man, a success in business, faith and family. But aside from his business biography, his primary campaign has been built entirely on arguments and strategies – about touting his own electability and dividing, coopting or delegitimizing other Republicans – none of which will be of any use in the general election. What, then, will we as politically active Republicans say about him? I was not a huge fan of John McCain’s record, but I was comfortable making honest points about the things McCain had been consistent on over the years – national security, free trade, nuclear power, public integrity, pork-barrel spending. There were spots of solid ground on which to plant ourselves with McCain, and he had a history of digging himself in on those and fighting for things he believed in. But Mitt Romney’s record is just one endless sheet of thin ice as far as the eye can see – there’s no way to have any kind of confidence that we can tell people he stands for something today without being made fools of tomorrow. We who have laughed along with Jim Geraghty’s prescient point that every Obama promise comes with an expiration date will be the ones laughed at, and worse yet we will know the critics are right. Every time I try to talk myself into thinking we can live with him, I run into this problem. It’s one that particularly bedeviled Republicans during the Nixon years – many partisan Republicans loved Nixon because he made the right enemies and fought them without cease or mercy, but the man’s actual policies compromised so many of our principles that the party was crippled in the process even before Watergate. We can stand for Romney, but we’ll find soon enough that that’s all we stand for.

He also mentions Bain, of course, and with all the nuance it deserves--but holds the same thesis as do I:

...But just because the role of red-in-tooth-and-claw capitalists is a crucial and necessary one does not mean that they are likely to be popular candidates in today’s general election environment. Criminal defense lawyers, for example may be crucially necessary to our system of justice, but if they have represented a lot of unpopular clients, they are not likely to be politically viable. I continue to think that Romney’s business record is an under-explored political vulnerability (one Ted Kennedy used against Romney in 1994, but didn’t even use all the ads he cut) that the Democrats will exploit ruthlessly...

Rational Lefties (there are some) will not argue that Romney should not make money.  "Not making money" would change the landscape of PI lawyers considerably--endangering a very large (D) fund-source.

But 'rational' will have nothing to do with what the Obama campaign will do with Bain/Romney.

Crony Capitalism, Bi-Partisan-Style

Just another small stone in the crony-capitalism wall.

Reps. Darrel Issa (R-CA) and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) have reintroduced a bill that would reject the NIH requirement that any published research that was funded by taxpayers be made available in the free, public NIH digital archive after publication. The bill would also make it illegal for other federal agencies to adopt similar open-access policies. They claim, ISYN, that the law is necessary to protect the sustainability of the research publishing industry.

It'll only take a moment for you to figure out the acronym "ISYN."



The Definition of "Chutzpah"

For a guy with his proclivities, there's irony here.

Rep. Ron Paul's campaign called on the rest of the Republican field to drop out of the race and unite behind him in order to defeat Mitt Romney.

A no-accomplishment flea telling the elephants to make room.


Actual Conservatives Win. "Moderates" Lose

Terry Jeffrey, after reviewing some election results in PA, CA, and OH:

Every four years, the establishment media and members of the Republican establishment try to convince conservatives they need to support a moderate — that is, a social liberal — for president, so they can reach out to voters in the middle of the political spectrum.

But the middle of the American political spectrum is not with the liberals on cultural issues. It is with the conservatives.

By big margins.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Armageddon, or something.

Hostess Brands, the creator of magical marvels of modern science such as Twinkies, Ding Dongs, and Wonder Bread, is preparing to file for bankruptcy protection…

I can't go on.

HT: EntBlog

Egads! I Agree With Billy Kristol!

This is dead-on:

....capitalism needs its strong defenders—but its defenders need also to be its constructive critics. The Tea Party was right. What's needed is a critique of Big Government above all, but also of Big Business and Big Finance and Big Labor (and Big Education and Big Media and all the rest)—and especially a critique of all those occasions when one or more of these institutions conspire against the common good. What's needed is a willingness to put Main Street (at least slightly) ahead of Wall Street, and a reform agenda for capitalism that strengthens it, alongside an even more dramatic reform agenda for government that limits it

Then, for crying out loud, he goes all.......ahhh.........Santorum:

...in laying out a way forward, conservatives might remember that Bain Capital isn’t capitalism, that capitalism by itself isn’t freedom, and that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in the Gospel of Wealth.

Doesn't mean I'll give him a pass on his WarParty credentials, but wow....

HT:  AmSpec

Governor's Waste/Fraud/Abuse Commission

Oh, there's plenty to do when reducing the State of Wisconsin's wasted money problems.  The Commission issued its report which is worth at least a quick read.  My only problem with the Commission?  Far too many politicians, not enough nail-spitting private-sector types.


Here's a good question:

Why, for instance, is an agency that has relocated to reduce lease cost by $500,000 not required to reduce
their budget by that same $500,000 but instead allowed to use it towards their lapses budget after budget?

Here's a somewhat mysterious passage which tells you that you DON'T really want to know the answer:

Paying a premium for working overtime is required by federal law under the Federal Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA). One and one-half times regular base rate for overtime is what is required under FLSA. Most private employees would believe getting paid overtime at 1.5 times their regular base rate is reasonable and fair. Overtime rates paid to state employees should be in accordance with FLSA.

You mean to tell me that "overtime" for State employees is MORE than 1.5x straight-time?

Dont' tell me that answer.  I'll puke.

The largest single obstacle in the path of reform?

IT needs to be a separate agency from the Department of Administration with a strong leader to keep projects on track and make sure that best practices are followed. Milestones should be set and in place prior to any project being undertaken. Large projects should be broken into smaller, manageable projects with specific goals and timelines including milestones. Managers and employees should be rewarded or held accountable based on these goals and timelines. Prior to developing any new information system a review of alternatives such as systems developed by other states or vendors should be undertaken.

"Reforming" the State's IT group failed, miserably, about 20 years ago.  If you really expect a reform to take place, recalcitrant State managers must be fired, immediately, loudly and publicly.  State employees who are undermining the project?  Fired, immediately, loudly, and publicly.  Whoever takes on this bunch will probably demand a very high compensation (and bodyguards would be nice.)  They will earn it.  Don't go "cheap" on this hire.

Under the "School Administrators Are Oooohhh, Sooooo, Smart" label we have this:

...the Commission conducted a survey of school districts in regards to how they procure goods and services. The survey showed 20% of districts had as one of their top five wants to work with other districts and CESA’s was to reduce health insurance costs. The survey also showed 70% of the 305 district respondents did not know what VendorNet was; the state procurement website that has the potential to reduce the costs of goods and services purchased by school districts. VendorNet allows local governments to purchase from
state contracts. The state Bureau of Procurement claims savings on VendorNet can range from between 20 and 60 percent off retail prices.

Under "Are You KIDDING Me?":

The State of Wisconsin and UW System spend nearly $53 million to lease space at 466 locations statewide per year. Rental rates, per square foot at these locations for the most part range from $.14 for DNR storage space in Rhinelander to $79.82 for storage in Verona.

First-class Downtown Milwaukee office space (triple-net):  $20-22.00/s.f.

Gee, we're not surprised:

...and most state agencies supervisor to general employee ratios are much lower than nationally accepted levels.

(Act 10 will solve that problem very quickly.)

The "We Fixed It!!!" line of BS:

The [FoodShare] error rate dropped dramatically between 2008 and 2009, the state subsequently received
an award of federal funding and the contractor was paid. However, it is possible that the drop in the error rate may not have resulted from improved error detection and prevention practices, but from changes in agency reporting methods. It was indicated to the Commission that some of the criteria to define an ‘error’ were simply removed.

And the "No DOH!!" conclusion:

...there are four major factors leading to the inadequacies in public assistance program integrity efforts.
1. Growth in program scope and enrollment without corresponding increases in fraud prevention and identification efforts
2. Reduction in collection efforts
3. Shifts in management priorities and federal limits on enforcement actions
4. Sanctions not acting as a deterrent to fraud

There's plenty more!  Feel free to follow the link.

Why It Is Necessary to Destroy Santorum

The harpies of the Left (and Right) are in full-screech mode over Rick Santorum, and as usual, the Left is lying furiously about his position on social issues.  No surprise; the Father of lies has an interest here, too.

It is absolutely necessary to destroy Santorum by whatever means, because Santorum is running a semi-populist campaign.  He wants Joe Sixpack to have a good job, so he favors manufacturing in his tax plan.  He wants families to be supported, so his plan is also very generous in its child-deductions.  He's from steel-country, and honors that heritage.

What campaign will Obama run?  The explicitly anti-Romney platform:

“We are not a country that was built on the idea of survival of the fittest. We were built on the idea that we survive as a nation. We thrive when we work together, all of us,”  he said yesterday.

Umnnnhhh, yah.  Never mind that "together" means "under the detailed and extractive direction of my 500,000 bureaucrats," and that the un-born and elderly are not part of "us" to Obozo.

So the MSM works to demolish Santorum. 

Romney is the DNC's pick for the (R) nomination

Monday, January 09, 2012

Know Any Journalists? Don't Get Too Close!

Whatever you twitter/tweet to journalists is now Property of Homeland Security.

Freedom of speech might allow journalists to get away with a lot in America, but the Department of Homeland Security is on the ready to make sure that the government is keeping dibs on who is saying what.

Under the National Operations Center (NOC)’s Media Monitoring Initiative that came out of DHS headquarters in November, Washington has the written permission to retain data on users of social media and online networking platforms

Specifically, the DHS announced the NCO and its Office of Operations Coordination and Planning (OPS) can collect personal information from news anchors, journalists, reporters or anyone who may use “traditional and/or social media in real time to keep their audience situationally aware and informed.”

DHS is only interested in correspondence, or inferred/deduced correspondence, with "terrorists".

Of course, "Terrorists" are only what Napolitano SAYS they are.  Nothing to see here.  Move along.

The Crony Truckers' Association

Carney finds another plump target.

The Environmental Protection Agency is ordering large trucks and buses to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 20 percent and overhaul engine design starting with models built in 2014. Most operators will need to spend thousands upgrading their rigs or buying new vehicles, with prices starting at $50,000 and going up from there, depending on the model. 

Even so, the regulations have the support of the large and powerful American Trucking Association.  --quoting FoxNews

If you're an independent trucker, or small-guy with a few tractors/trailers, of course, all those new admin requirements and new trucks--well, that's REAL money.

So those little guys will go away.

It's the inverse of the Mafia's "protection" racket.

So Who Needs Decca?


AOSHQ mentions a comic who self-produced a show for <$200K, and is selling the podcast.  Sales so far?

$5 million.

Evidently Breitbart thinks that the intermediary companies will be (largely) history in 5 years.


Romney: "Electable." Really? Part 235

The "He's the Only Electable Candidate" line is a trap.

...Bain's investors may have bought some companies with the idea that they would be downsized, broken up and sold off to make money but that just freed up capital that would invested in more profitable ones elsewhere.

That's a fantastic theory and creative destruction is a necessary part of a successful economy. It's also a losing political message.

...Just like the costs and benefits of what Romney did at Bain, we need to consider all the costs and potential benefits of nominating him, especially in this economy.

Aside from the economy, can Romney really campaign against ObozoCare?

Romney ran Massachusetts.  So he'll talk about "high taxes"?  "Too much regulation"?  "Gay Marriage"?

Be serious.

Don't like Santorum?  Fine.  Look again at Perry.  Look at Gingrich.  Even Huntsman.

But don't for one second think that "Romney is the electable candidate."  He's a PR disaster for the (R) Party.  He's the very picture of BigBank/Big Capital.  And that won't play well in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, or Wisconsin.

Don't believe that?

Look again at what happened in Iowa, after a 20-year campaign by Romney.

Added:  Or you can look at how this will be edited by the Obozo Machine.

Even MORE:

RUSH [Limbaugh]: There is a story on the Drudge Report today from Sarah Palin in which Sarah Palin says that the White House wants Mitt Romney to be the Republican nominee. Now, not only did I tell you that the Broncos were gonna beat the Steelers, for months I have been telling you that the Democrats want Romney — and you all know it. You’ve been listening here and you’ve heard people call me and tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about, that I’m full of it, that they’re scared of Romney. “Romney is the only guy who can win.” And I have said, “No,” and I’ve stood tough, and I’ve said, “They can’t wait for him. What’s Occupy Wall Street all about but running against Romney? He’s the Wall Street guy on our roster — and then Romneycare,” and I’ve laid it all out.

Nice to know that they think just like I do!!

$45 Million Down the Chute in Chicago

The headline is not 'news.'  Chicago is a cesspool, and has been for decades.

But there are a couple of interesting names here.

IBM was the initial contractor for the first two phases of Project Shield. Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls was brought in for Phase 3. According to the IG’s report, from beginning to end there were technical problems.

Not the kind of press JCI would like.  IBM doesn't care what their press looks like, of course.

Fun With Movies

Paco draws attention to a short clip from Wyatt Earp.

He's right:  there are TWO great lines, but you have to watch it to the end.

So We're Supposed to Spend $9 Million....For Whom?

The dollar-spend for a Walker recall will be about $9 million, borne by 100% of the local and State taxpayers.

That recall is on behalf of the "leadership" of the Public Employee Unions.

IOW, about 10% of the PEU membership in Wisconsin--which is about 10% of the total population.

Talk about "The 1%"!!

Obama Was Right, but Pissed Away $825Bn Anyway

Well, at least one of their guesses was correct.

The 8.5 percent unemployment rate announced on Friday is in line with the rate the Obama administration forecast if the $825-billion stimulus package did not pass – it was signed into law in February 2009 and, besides funding myriad government projects and more public employees, was supposed to keep unemployment below 8 percent.

Without the stimulus, unemployment was projected to rise to 8.8 percent by the fourth quarter of 2010, according to a report by Christina Romer, then the chairwoman of the Council of Economic Advisors, and Jared Bernstein, then the chief economist for Vice President Joe Biden.

Too bad about that $825Bn, eh?  Hope your kids enjoy paying it back.

HT:  Zippers

Your Campaign Donations (!!)

Bet you didn't know you contributed $48 million to politicians over the last 20 years.

Lance Burri posts a graphic which identifies the "Top 20" political contributors.  (None named Koch, by the way).

But one is called "AT&T."

Those phone bills you pay?  Umnnnhhhh, yah.....

George Will Mouths Tim Carney

Whaddya know about that!

Government becomes big by having big ambitions for supplanting markets as society’s primary allocator of wealth and opportunity. Therefore it becomes a magnet for factions muscular enough, in money or numbers or both, to bend government to their advantage.  --Lance quoting Will

Carney ought to be getting a nice lunch from Will any day now, right?

Got <$250K in Investments? You're Worth Nothing to Merrill Lynch.


The article notes that Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch division will no longer pay its advisers on business done in new relationships they establish that are under $250k. Previously, the cut off was $100,000 dollars. What this means, quite simply, is that no Merrill adviser is going to pursue such business.

It's about $1.7Bn in commissions (formerly) paid to Merrill brokers.

Here's the best part:

...A few gents I spoke with are already looking at other shops. Another told me he considers this voiding his employment contract, and is speaking to his attorney about his options.

Fortunately for him, Angelo Mozilo has more than $250K on the side. 

HT:  Ritholtz

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Table-Talk v. The Numbers: Romney Gets Nomination?

From a pretty good political chick-counter (the egg-product, not the other ones.)

...If Romney were to sweep every early primary, including those on Super Tuesday, he would only have 820 delegates, 323 short of the needed number to take the nomination.

But he won’t sweep every primary, and only came out of Iowa with 6 delegates. A sweep in NH would give him 18 (but NH, like Iowa, is proportional), SC 25 and Florida 50. That is a total of 115 delegates, but Romney has already lost 22 delegates in Iowa. 

Best case scenario is at the end of SC he winds up with 93.

A loss of any of the major delegates states on Super Tuesday, and he still won’t be able to pull it off by the end of March. That takes us into the first week of April with Texas (a big gun) that holds 155 delegates.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but Romney is not going to carry the evangelical Bible-belt Midwest or the Deep South. He’s betting on the momentum out of Iowa, and counting on unimportant New Hampshire. But he did that in 2008, and by February 7, 2008, he dropped out. Huckabee threw his support to McCain, and Romney was history.

The table-talk at the BlogForum at Papa's place this afternoon was that 'it's all over; Romney gets the nomination.'  The talkers were pretty smart people, but I don't know if they actually did the math.

No fat lady singing, except on Wiggy's blog.  It ain't over.