Tuesday, November 30, 2010
How To Turn Vice to Virtue
The general steps are these: The first step is sympathy. We do not recognize a natural law in things and especially human things whereby we know what these vices are. We plead sympathy for the one who practices them.
...Everyone wants approval. The tolerance of the vice comes next. It is an exceptional case, but we overlook it. It is purely private. But it is what we want. We cannot accept the distinction between practice and tendency. We have a “right” to practice our vice. The word “right” is so fuzzy, yet powerful in our culture.
If we have a “right,” nothing really can be wrong with our ways. Those who insist that something is wrong “discriminate.” The law must guarantee our “right” to practice what we define as good. To do this, we must eliminate from the world any sign of that understanding whereby certain activities are wrong or unnatural.
The final step makes what was once called virtue to be a vice. Moreover, it is embodied in the civil law. No one can question the legitimacy of the vice-become-virtue. The whole structure of education, work, military, government, and religion must conform to the “new law” now normative for everyone.
It doesn't take all that much to remember the applications of the above steps in this society to all sorts of un-natural vices-now-virtues, and the converse.
Prestegard Is an Intelligent Guy!
Which brings to mind (thanks to a reader who reminded me) my proposal of two years ago to eliminate the Wisconsin State Patrol.
He thinks it will save around $35 million.
I'd suggest (and Prestegard may agree) that retaining truck-inspection and mobile-network expertise is important.
As to the traffic-cops? Dump 'em. There are lotsa County Mounties out there--and when the Town of Brookfield cops are bored, (or need a few revenue dollars) THEY'RE patrolling the Interstate, too.
What Health Insurance Is NOT
...In this country, Noah's Christmas Club metaphor is the dominant way of thinking about insurance. People believe that since they pay premiums they shouldn't have to pay for all sorts of care ranging from physicals to the utterly predictable trips to the doctor for minor ailments that all of us will take during our lives. And under most insurance that is written in this country, they'd be right! At some point our system stopped being about the possibility of catastrophic loss and went into effect at the first dollar. (Keep in mind that even if you pay the first dollar, but it goes toward your deductible, the terms of your insurance contract are kicking in even with that first dollar that you pay.)
In my estimation one consequence of first dollar coverage is that costs for routine care, including some less common things like stitches and simple broken bones, are driven up by the fact that they are covered by insurance. I guess one could argue that the coverage provided for these items outpaces the cost distortions and that consumers come out ahead in this, but I'm skeptical that this is the case.
The conception of insurance as a health expenses savings account funded by one's premiums is unfortunately widely held. I believe it remains one of the major stumbling blocks to enacting real reform in this country...
The Middle-East Fairyland of GWB and Obama
What comes through most strongly from the Wikileaks documents...is that U.S. Middle East policy is premised on a web of self-justifying fictions that are flatly contradicted by the assessments of American diplomats and allies in the region. Starting with Bush's second term and continuing through the Obama Administration, Washington has ignored the strong and repeated pleas of its regional allies--from Jerusalem to Riyadh--to stop the Iranian nuclear program. Perhaps the most disturbing revelation in the documents is the extent to which both the Bush and Obama Administrations have concealed Iran's war against the United States and its allies in Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, and the Arab Gulf states, even as those same allies have been candid in their diplomatic exchanges with us. U.S. servicemen and -women are being dispatched to combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan where they are fighting Iranian soldiers and assets in a regional war with the Islamic Republic that our officials dare not discuss, lest they have to do something about it. --Lee Smith, quoted in PowerLine
Someday, somebody's going to draw the parallel between "nation-building" and "community organizing." It ain't going to be pretty.
Statists Love EPA
The following are highlights of EPA’s 40 year history identified in the report:
Removing Lead from Gasoline—and from the Air
Removing the Acid from Rain
Clearing Secondhand Smoke
Vehicle Efficiency and Emissions Control
Controlling Toxic Substances
Banning Widespread Use of DDT
Rethinking Waste as Materials
A Clean Environment for All/Environmental Justice
The “Community Right to Know” Act
The second and third items are questionable--the second having been a myth in the first place, the third, not-so-much-cleaner.
"Efficiency" has been obtained largely by reducing vehicle weight. Note, e.g., that semi-trailer trucks average 6.5 MPG. Along with reduced weight comes reduced safety, but....
Banning DDT is an unmitigated disaster for the Third World, but who cares about 'little brown people,' anyway? And by the way, why do you think bedbugs are coming back strong??
"Environmental Justice"????? Puhhhhhleeeeze. Nothing like a term whose definition is malleable as soft cheese. And it works so WELL in PRChina!!
"Waste not, want not" was not invented by EPA.
"Cleaner water" if you don't live downstream from MMSD, of course. Those restrictions only apply to farmers and industry.
What Happened to Minnesota?
Things change. We got the Doylet.
They got Mark Ritchie.
Mark Ritchie, the Minnesota Secretary of State who took a Minnesota Senate seat away from Norm Coleman and handed it to the obnoxious left-wing comedian Al Franken, is affiliated not only with Obama's ACORN, but with the Communist Party USA.
Now Ritchie is trying to push Mark Dayton (also endorsed by the CPUSA, like Franken) into the Governor's chair in that State.
At least we managed to flush the Doylet....
Federal Subsidies of Energy Go Green
...the federal government does provide some subsidies to fossil fuels. Those would include direct outlays such as the government's geological research, and on the tax side it would include any tax treatment of fossil fuel profits that is more generous that the ordinary treatment of corporate profits. As previous Tax Foundation research has shown, such tax breaks total approximately $2.8 billion per year.
For people familiar with the full range of U.S. corporate energy tax subsidies, the $2.8 billion will be recognized as the comparatively small part of the annual federal energy subsidy, most of which excludes fossil fuels. In recent years, fossil fuel subsidies have been dwarfed by new tax breaks enacted to promote the green energy sector such as wind and solar power production. Those green subsidies now amount to about $11.3 billion a year.About 400% of fossil-fuel subsidies.
Tyrrell Gets It!
Now he thinks TSA's techniques are useless.
Welcome back to the man-cabin, Emmett!
O-Bozo: Sold Poland, Got Zip in Return
The Naif-in-Chief blew that one, but good.
....The missile shield was officially canceled in September 2009. Shortly thereafter President Obama met with President Medvedev who came out of the meeting conceding "in some cases, sanctions are inevitable."
A diplomatic victory for Obama? Not remotely. Less than a month later, Russia reversed itself and declared that "[t]hreats, sanctions and threats of pressure in the current situation, we are convinced, would be counterproductive." After the US and the EU imposed tough penalties on Iran in September of this year, Russia immediately condemned the sanctions regime and started finding ways to undermine it....Hopeless naif.
More on the 6th-grade geopolitical smarts of Obozo here, related to Israel and the Arabs.
ObamaCare 1099 Requirement: Kohl, Feingold Love It
Here's the brief on the requirement:
...nearly 40 million U.S. businesses would start filing tax forms in 2012 for every vendor that sells them more than $600 in goods.
Of course, Feinie and Herbie have a "reason" for voting to drown businesses with new paperwork: they had to find $19Bn in revenues or spending reductions to match the (supposed) gains from the requirement.
Monday, November 29, 2010
A Pay Freeze? Really?
Secondly, as Beutler points out, 6 months ago it was a BAD idea.
The proposal was originally put forward by Republicans in recent months -- and slammed by Democrats
(More at the link).
WikiLeaks' Next Release? A Major US Bank
So do you have very high impact corporate stuff to release then?
Yes, but maybe not as high impact…I mean, it could take down a bank or two.
Yes. We have one related to a bank coming up, that’s a megaleak. It’s not as big a scale as the Iraq material, but it’s either tens or hundreds of thousands of documents depending on how you define it.
Is it a U.S. bank?
Yes, it’s a U.S. bank.
One that still exists?
Yes, a big U.S. bank.
The biggest U.S. bank?
When will it happen?
Early next year. I won’t say more.
...there will be some flagrant violations, unethical practices that will be revealed,but it will also be all the supporting decision-making structures and the internal executive ethos that cames out,
A 'major US bank' in the Pentagon's computers?
One Solution to TSA Body Scanners
A Rightist Criticism of Glenn Beck
But the most telling remark from Radosh is this:
Beck seems to change course and move in a new direction each week. One does not know where he will end up and what he will say next.
Outside of Beck's luminous and revealing tracing of the Progressive movement in America and its not-always-beneficial positions, Beck is, indeed, erratic. There is no 'center' to his philosophy, and his code-numbering of every date on the calendar is.........ahhh.........odd, to be kind.
And Beck's not-very-hidden assumption of the role of "prophet" could be viewed as mirroring Teh Won's very own self-description. Radosh comments on that, too:
Americans, Beck says, need God in their lives. Many will say “Amen.” But that does not mean we, and conservatives, need Glenn Beck.
Well, Now, at Least the Irish Bankers Are Safe!
According to figures published by the Bank of International Settlements, the Irish government now owes $146 billion to German banks, $134 billion to British banks and $54 billion to French banks that have invested in Irish banks and Irish bonds. This means that if the Irish government refuses to default on the debts incurred by its failed banks, it will put every single man, woman and child in Ireland on the hook for $76,781.61 for the benefit of the European bankers to whom the Irish bankers owed that money.
....and posits a question:
...After the failure of the biggest bank in Iceland, Dutch and British banks tried to force the Icelandic people to pay them $16,400 apiece to settle bad debts incurred by the owners of Landsbanki. Fortunately for Iceland, some of the politicians in Reykjavik were made of less corrupt stuff than Brian Cowen and his Fianna Fáil government and they took the matter to a referendum in which only 1.5 percent of the electorate voted for the "bailout." And contrary to the dire predictions of the furious banking elite, the island nation did not sink into the Atlantic as a result.
Who Needs Poland? Let's Boycott Iran, Instead!
President Obama cancelled anti-missile shield plans in Poland and the Czech Republic to get Russia support for UN sanctions against Iran, documents made public by Wikileaks reveal.
A very interesting decision which implies that Obama: 1) trusts the Russkis and 2) thinks that 'sanctions' are effective.
Also, that Obama/Clinton does not value Eastern Eurpoean nations too highly.
New! Improved!! A 2-Hour Wait for Speeding Ticket!!
First, air-travelers are subject to
Now, the Doylet Gummint gives you another PC gift: the data-intense traffic stop.
...This data collection is mandatory if, 1) any contact is made by an officer with a driver, 2) the stop was conducted on a public street, 3) the traffic stop was initiated by the officer, and 4) the traffic stop resulted in detention of the motor vehicle. This data must be collected regardless of whether the traffic stop resulted in a citation, verbal or written warning, or even if no official action was taken what so ever. ....
How much data? You'll be sorry you asked.
...We will be required to collect all stop data, vehicle data, occupant data, reason and outcome data and search data. The new form will require 46 different data fields, 23 of which are collected via the citation, with an additional 16 data fields required should the officer search the vehicle and even more data fields should the driver or passengers be searched.
Of course, EACH data entry carries the possibility of error.
The good news? If you see a cop stopping someone, you know he'll be busy for about 30 minutes.
The bad news? If YOU get stopped, you'll be very, very late for your appointment.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
California's ESCR Fail
In 2004 Robert Klein, chairman of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), helped pass Proposition 71, establishing the CIRM with a state taxpayer-funded budget for ten years. The measure was passed with promises of affordable cures for virtually all diseases, cures specifically from embryonic stem cells and cloning, as well as tremendous financial payback for the citizens of In 2004 Robert Klein, chairman of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), helped pass Proposition 71, establishing the CIRM with a state taxpayer-funded $3 billionCalifornia.
He wants another $3Bn, too.
"The scientists themselves admit that any therapies from embryonic stem cells are years, and likely decades, away.
"The real success, as well as payback, is coming from adult stem cells.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Schadenfreude? Nope. "Read The BILL, Fool!!"
One of the largest union-administered health-insurance funds in New York is dropping coverage for the children of more than 30,000 low-wage home attendants, union officials said. The union blamed financial problems it said were caused by the state’s health department and new national health-insurance requirements....
The fund informed its members late last month that their dependents will no longer be covered as of Jan. 1, 2011. Currently about 6,000 children are covered by the benefit fund --WSJ via Legal Insurrection
That would be SEIU Local 1199.
The very same SEIU Local whose ex-Big Honcho, Dennis Rivera, was transferred from the local to a national gig: ramming ObamaCare through Congress.
LegalInsurrection worries that it's schadenfreude to post this.
It's not. It's education for Union Bozos.
And by the way: don't give us that "It's for the chillllrrrrren!" crap anymore. You just dumped 6,000 of them into the gutters of New York City.
The (Slightly) Good News Continues
Yesterday, it was truck tonnage.
The American Trucking Associations’ advance seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index rose 0.8 percent in October after increasing a revised 1.8 percent in September. The latest gain put the SA index at 109.7 (2000=100) in October from 108.9 in September
That comports with Ceridian's real-time diesel-fuel index and the ECRI Weekly Leading Index.
Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"
Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.
Happy Thanksgiving to You!
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Glenn Greenwald, Too!!
...anyone who doesn’t quietly, meekly and immediately submit to Government orders and invasions — or anyone who stands up to government power and challenges it — is inherently suspect. Just as the establishment-worshiping, political-power-defending Ruth Marcus taught us today in The Washington Post, objecting to what the Government is doing here is just immature and ungrateful; mature, psychologically healthy people shut up and submit. --Greenwald
See, the 4th Amendment ain't just for Conservatives, eh?
The LVPD's Amazing Marksmanship
So is ConYank. This is from his latest essay on the topic:
This is only one of a great many reasons why the Erik Scott shooting is so unusual. Apparently three officers fired at Scott from very close range from at least two sides, more or less simultaneously, while actually surrounded by innocent citizens, citizens close enough to have been hit by ejected brass. These officers were almost certainly facing each other and were said to have fired only seven rounds, yet every round stuck their intended target--if they are to be believed, a moving target--and there were no misses despite the fact that they all fired--by their own testimony--in what amounts to a panic. We are expected to believe, among all of the amazing coincidences in this case, that the three random officers at Costco that day were world class tactical shooters who fired only a limited number of rounds and that no rounds missed. Miraculously, apparently none of the rounds fired struck anyone or anything else. This is, to put it mildly, highly unusual.
Yah. You think a casino manager would take odds on that sort of marksmanship??
He leads up to it with a dark-comic recap of the Kansas City cops who shot everything in sight on hearing, over the radio, that there were 'shots fired.'
They were backfires from a dying truck, but...
The Regulators Killed Dozer Days
The Hamilton Education Foundation, host of the popular Dozer Day at Halquist Stone’s Sussex Quarry, determined at a recent board meeting that the popular Southeastern Wisconsin event will no longer occur.
Dozer Day has had an excellent track record in regards to safety issues during the event; however, due to “interpretation of safety regulations by the Mine, Safety and Health Administration, it became apparent that Dozer Day would not happen next year,” said Tom Halquist, a co-founder of the event in a press release sent out Nov. 24.
The Apology Tours at $182,000/Hour +++
The U.S. military has provided an updated estimate on that cost [of using Air Force One], first published by a taxpayer watchdog group and confirmed by FoxNews.com, and the number is staggering -- $181,757 per hour.
Think that's something? Think again.
That's the price tag for shuttling around President Obama, who, as it turns out, has spent more days abroad in his first two years than any other president.
Bush, the piker, was out of country for 54 days; Obama is at 55.
But Obama didn't have to persuade a dozen nations to join in an attack on Saddam, either.
The White House refuses to come up with a number 'better than' the $200 million/day estimate for the Taj Mahal trip, but ...
While a total by-the-day figure may be impossible to come by, [Demian] Brady estimated that the 48 hours of flight time logged on the trip would cost at least $8.7 million for Air Force One alone. The president's latest visit to Lisbon, Portugal, for a NATO conference would add another $2.7 million, he figured.
The all-time record-holder for o/seas travel is Clinton at 233 days. Next is Bush 43 at 215.
It took them 8 years to get there.
Modern Medicine, SuperBug Variety
The Swedish medical community is increasingly turning to what many patients consider a rather unappealing antidote for battling resistant 'superbug' bacteria.
I'll leave it to you to click through to read the details. It seems to be an unusual application of common sense.
HT: Bayou RenMan
Guess Who Visited Abp. Dolan?
Here, Abp. Dolan writes a note to his priests about 'being available.' But the prelude is all about a well-known local guy!
A good friend of mine was a very successful shoe salesman who was so effective that he now owns his own company and is a self-made multi-millionaire. He gives a good talk on “the priest as salesman,” and claims that “evangelization” is only a fancy word for marketing! Anyway, he was just in for a visit, and read me the riot act on how utterly frustrating it is to get through -- either in person or by telephone -- to our priests and parishes. He went on at length telling me that no wonder people are drifting away from the Church. They might show up, but the doors are locked and the parish buildings a ghost-town; they try to call the rectory and get nowhere; or try to contact their parish priest and can’t get through. Before you think he was picking on parishes, I need to tell you that he had equally bad grades for the Cardinal Cooke Center [i.e. Chancery], and berated me for being next to impossible to reach.
We might agreeably disagree about 'marketing' and 'salesmanship' being marks of the Church, by the way, but certainly NOT disagree about phone-trees and voicemail.
My friend has a point: he concluded that if it was as hard getting in touch with him or his shoe salesmen as it is with some of us, he would be in a homeless shelter instead of a mansion on Lake Michigan.
Shoes. Millionaire. Lake Michigan shoreline home.
Need a hint? He's NOT Ernest Borgnine.
The Profiling Question
He carried on for a while about the necessity for nudiepix and crotchgrabs, swiping at Krauthammer (!!) and Drudge in the process, and generally moaning softly in the direction of Incompetento, Dominatrix of DHS.
He was taken apart by a combox response, which I will re-post in full because it is dead-on.
I've been a defense and security analyst for more than thirty years. I've studied terrorism and counterterrorism for a good many of those. My principal objection to TSA is not that its inspections are intrusive, but that their inspections are ineffective, amounting to--as George Will put it--"security theater". That is, nothing TSA does is likely to stop a determined terrorist plot, but does waste a lot of resources that could be applied better in other ways. A good case can be made that TSA creates a false sense of security and actually creates more targets for terrorists in the form of long lines of vulnerable passengers densely queued in the security line. After all, none of the people in the line have been screened, and a couple of guys with exploding backpacks and/or submachine guns could create carnage.
Aside from that, TSA screening is generally capricious and has not proven useful in thwarting real terrorists--though it has proven all too good at humiliating and occasionally terrorizing innocent passengers. The most effective line of defense against terrorists to date has been alert and active airline passengers themselves.
It is also false to characterize what Charles Krauthammer and other have advocated as "racial profiling". Most of them advocate behavioral profiling, which is what Israeli security does. They have built up a very comprehensive taxonomy of behavior and activities that characterize likely terrorists. From the moment a passenger enters the Tel Aviv airport, he is questioned and observed, and not just the perfunctory "Did you pack your own bags?" questions. Those meeting the profile are selected for additional interviews, which might--ultimately--result in a bag and body search. Note that while Israel uses metal detectors, it does not use--and has no intention of using--full body scanners. Nor does it comprehensively search every passenger who comes through the door.
Now, you may not like it, but your basic terrorist to date has been a single Muslim male, aged 20-30, traveling alone, without checked bags, on a one way ticket, usually paid for in cash. Most have visited countries of dubious reputation, such as Yemen, Egypt and Afghanistan. Yes, there has been a spate of home-grown terrorists, but while these do not meet the criterion of Middle Eastern appearance, they do meet the other factors.
Yet we do not focus on such persons, but in the name of fairness, subject all to the same degree of scrutiny, pulling people out of the line for "random" checks. These may actually not be so random, but are frequently dictated by non-operational criteria, such as the number of male and female screeners on duty at a particular moment. Since TSA does not permit cross-sex patdowns, when there are more women than men on duty, more women are screened than men. Yet men are by far the more prominent terrorist risk. Women wearing skirts are also, apparently, subject to searches more than those wearing slacks, on what? The assumption that it's easier to hide weapons under a skirt than inside pants? Then why search men, most of whom do wear pants? I also note that in all my years of flying, I have never seen TSA pull over a woman wearing a burka or chadour. Why is that?
My wife theorizes that the most unlikely targets are frequently selected for enhanced screening precisely because they are not threatening. A middle aged woman, an old man with a cane, small children--these are most unlikely to be terrorists or to resist a search, therefore they are also the least likely to beat the snot out of an offensive TSA screener or to blow themselves to smithereens if pulled aside.
The bottom line is this: behavioral and ethnic profiling does work, is highly effective when employed properly, and focuses the full weight of the security apparatus on the most likely subjects. As Frederick the Great noted, "He who defends everything defends nothing", and that is precisely the situation at airports today. By assuming everyone is a threat, resources are spread too thin--and this forces a reliance on high technology fixes which are relatively easy to circumvent.
Of course, to apply Israeli style profiling properly, one must follow the Israeli lead, and assign the job to highly trained (and highly paid) professionals, and not to the minimum wage, brain dead mouthbreathers who comprise the bulk of TSA employees--who are soon to be unionized, or so I understand.
Is it any wonder, then, that al Qaeda laughs at our pathetic airport screening processes? In their line of work, any time one of their actions imposes costs, inconvenience and social disruption on us, they win.
So much for Joe, (probably a kindly soul) and the Idiots of TSA. It was never, really, the nudiepix and crotchgrabs.
It was the plan-design. But with The Regime, that's what one expects.
The Suddenly Silent MSM: B-16's OTHER Remarks
And the MSM goes wild. Google "Benedict XVI Condoms" and you get 1.66 million references.
Google "Benedict XVI Homosexual Priests" and you get 1 million less.
"Homosexuality is incompatible with the priestly vocation. Otherwise, celibacy itself would lose its meaning as a renunciation. It would be extremely dangerous if celibacy became a sort of pretext for bringing people into the priesthood who don't want to get married anyway," the pope said.
The pope cited a 2005 Vatican document that drew a sharp line against priestly ordination of homosexuals. He said the document emphasized that homosexual candidates cannot become priests because their sexual orientation interferes with "the proper sense of paternity" that belongs to the priesthood.
The sounds of silence from Tommy Reese and Tricky Dick McBrien, inter alia.
":Comply, or Be on Watchlist": Napolitano
The terminology contained within the reported memo is indeed troubling. It labels any person who “interferes” with TSA airport security screening procedure protocol and operations by actively objecting to the established screening process, “including but not limited to the anticipated national opt-out day” as a “domestic extremist.” The label is then broadened to include “any person, group or alternative media source” that actively objects to, causes others to object to, supports and/or elicits support for anyone who engages in such travel disruptions at U.S. airports in response to the enhanced security procedures.
For individuals who engaged in such activity at screening points, it instructs TSA operations to obtain the identities of those individuals and other applicable information and submit the same electronically to the Homeland Environment Threat Analysis Division, the Extremism and Radicalization branch of the Office of Intelligence & Analysis (IA) division of the Department of Homeland Security.First observation, which is almost parenthetical: the nomenclature is Soviet-redux. "Homeland Environment....Division/Extremism....Branch/Office of Analysis Division/Department of HS."
Huh? FOUR levels? And we wonder why Gummint costs too much?
Second observation, not-so-parenthetical: if that includes bloggers, Steve and I are now on the list. He gets both a hat-tip AND companionship, albeit not the companionship he might really desire.
Third observation: who's the Fascist now?
A Little Theo-Poetry
ANOTHER Reason to Kill the ChooChoo
“I think the tighter we get on aviation, we have to also be thinking now about going on to mass transit or to trains or maritime." --Sec'y Incompetento via Gateway.
Maybe we should find an Administration that understands what a terrorist profile actually looks like--and then utilizes it.
The Good News? Feingold!!
Podhortez reviews the history of "challenges from principles" in Presidential politics.
Brief, no-nuance: If Feinie runs against Obama, it's likely Obama loses the 2012 election.
Go, Russ, Go!!
Was the NorK Action #1 or #2? Or #3?
But was that really the beginning?
PRChina has been elbowing and jostling the US for quite a long time. Most recently, they have watched Obama & Co., and now the Fed, devalue the USD, which happens to occupy a big space in PRC's "current assets" ledger entry.
This does not make them happy.
And PRChina sees itself as a Big Player on the world stage, with the only counter to PRChina being the US. It ain't the Russkis any more, despite Putin's manly-man image-thrusting pictures and cunning. The EC? Giggle. India? Not now, not ever.
The Chinese are not stupid, either. They read Obama for what he is--a pampered dilettante flyweight with a better-than-average IQ and a serious distaste for the US's place in the world. Carville is right: Obama lacks at least 50% of the standard manhood tools. (Whether HRC has them is another question.)
As the AmSpec reminds us, NorK is utterly and totally dependent on PRChina for its existence. MacArthur knew it, and it hasn't changed in the last 50 years. So the NorKs dance to the PRC's tune. They did what PRChina hinted at, and loosed a few rounds into one of the US's two principal Far Eastern allies.
But that was NOT the first Chinese Obama-whacking. Not by a long shot.
The first was PRC's decision to cut off exports of rare-earth minerals to Japan--who just happens to be the US's OTHER Far Eastern ally. That action is (was--it was reversed, to a degree) an economic mortar-round of the first water.
The PRC sub-launched missile off the coast of California. Timing is everything; that missile popped up just as Obama was failing on the Far East trade mission. The message? "It ain't only your rare-earths that are in trouble."
And now the NorKs.
What will the Teleprompter say?
Turkey, Obama, Onion
More Music to Fly By
Scalia Tosses a Bomb at Humpty Dumpty SCOTUS
“The Constitution says what it says and it doesn’t say anything more,” said Scalia to an audience of 250 people, most of them legal professionals and academics.
...“Under the guise of interpreting the Constitution and under the banner of a living Constitution, judges, especially those on the Supreme Court, now wield an enormous amount of political power,” continued Scalia, “because they don’t just apply the rules that have been written, they create new rules.”
Scalia pointed out that the high court distorted the meaning of “due process” (referring to legal procedure) in the 14th Amendment to invent new rights under a “made up” concept of “substantial due process.” That has allowed the 14th Amendment to become the gateway to legal abortion and other behaviors
Lewis Carroll anticipated such cretins as Brennan and Blackmun and foretold The Problem With SCOTUS.
"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less."
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master - - that's all."
The voters of Iowa decided the question of "master." There will be more such deciding.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Yet ANOTHER (D) Bites the Dust
Maffei issued a statement this afternoon thanking the residents of the 25th for the opportunity to serve.
Say g'bye, bloke! Ms. Buerkle took you out.
HT: Winning McCain
Your Basic Big-City Wildlife
Raccoon and rabbit control.
Sales Tax/PropTax Trade?
A member of Governor-elect Scott Walker's transition team is proposing raising the state sales tax to as much as 7.5% in exchange for lowering income and property taxes.
First off, as I've remarked before, the property tax is a LOCAL issue. Lots of Leggies and Governors like to play hero by "lowering property taxes", but in a well-ordered State, it's none of their business. If Milwaukee wants to kill off its property-owners with onerous taxes, let them. In the end, "lowering property taxes" really means "raising State taxes" because there is absolutely NO incentive for the locals to govern responsibly. None.
This is no different than the 10th Amendment discussion being held at the Federal level. It's called "subsidiarity" and it underlies the entire Bill of Rights.
As to Chandler's reasons:
Chandler is a lobbyist for Wisconsin Energy Corp., the Wisconsin Realtors Association and the Wisconsin Coalition of Virtual School Families.
WE and Virtual Schools are irrelevant: his Realtors connection is what counts. "Lowering property taxes" raises the value of housing--artificially, of course--but you understand where the Realtors are coming from, and that's what Chandler's position grows from.
Murphy Swings---And Misses Badly
Too bad Murphy doesn't quite get it. Maybe he doesn't know the definition of "history."
The ghost of Herbert Hoover is haunting certain Republican leaders and Wisconsin’s Republican congressman from Janesville, Rep. Paul Ryan. Hoover, of course, was famous for his solution to the Great Depression – cutting government spending – which just made the Depression worse
But that's not what Hoover did. He actually INCREASED Gummint spending: classical Keynes. However, Hoover also screwed up royally by increasing the bank-reserves requirement, making bank lending disappear. That's history. In-the-book, written for all to see.
Then Murphy makes it worse.
...The Fed has been aggressively lowering interest rates, given that the unemployment rate is nearly 10 percent. But interest rates have already dropped to nearly zero, so nothing further can be done on that front. Hence the Fed’s new strategy to pump $600 billion of new money into the economy through “quantitative easing” - buying up long-term debt. Both its critics and defenders concede this will devalue the dollar in the short term...
Yah, the Fed lowered ITS OWN interest rate (the one it charges banks for overnight loans) to near-zero. However, if Murphy would bother to take a look at 10-year US notes, he'd find that since QE2 was rumored, their rates have gone, ah, straight up. UP. And guess which rate mortgage loans' rates are based on. Go ahead. Guess.
So. Mortgage debt will be more expensive. And higher interest rates are a sign that investors expect the dollar to be worth LESS, not more, Bruce.
Oh, but he delivers yet another gem:
...the current, catastrophically-high rate of unemployment means inflation has gotten so low it barely exists.
Actually, what it means is that DEMAND for goods is lousy. Crappy. Awful. Thus prices are not climbing, unless you buy groceries, (which GHWBush and Murphy, evidently, do not do). Adding labor to idle factories is.......ahhh.......not smart.
More to the point: When James E. Carter was President, both inflation AND unemployment were very high. But that's only a matter of history. In-the-book, written for all to see, and memorialized by the "Misery Index" which cost Jimmuh the election.
But, But....He's Edyumakated!
Bill Honda, president of Kilgore College in Texas, gets upset that a legislator has introduced a bill that would allow CCW licenseees to carry on campuses. He calls for legislation to be "based on a good body of information." Then he describes the mass shooting at the Luby's cafeteria in terms that suggest he is somewhere between uninformed and delusional...
But hey! He's an Intellectualoid.
Time to Dig Into Chertoff's Business
A cheap and simple fix in the computer software of new airport scanners could silence the uproar from travelers who object to the so-called virtual strip search, according to a scientist who helped develop the program at one of the federal government's most prestigious institutes.
It was designed, perfected, (and patent application filed) while Chertoff was running TSA.
And it was circular-filed immediately.
Now Mickey (Mouse) Chertoff is doing bigbucks pushing Rapiscan.
HT: Just One Minute
Spoil Your Holiday: Jeb Bush Wants to Run
...I am starting to hear rumors that Jeb is telling potential prominent supporters to “keep their powder dry,” meaning not to endorse or support any 2012 candidates until they check back with him.
And since HRC is denying, denying, denying, .......
It's been said that Jeb is the 'most conservative' of the Bush family. Hard to define 'most conservative' when you have a Globaloney Promoter (or two), and a Big Gummint/Big Spender hawk as contrast buttons.
And another 4 years of Barbara? Say it ain't so!
Another (D) Bites the Dust
Monday, November 22, 2010
A Map Which Will Soon Change
That's the current situation.
But in 12 months or less, the US will own ALL of Californicate, by "bailout".
"Patriot Millionaires" Offer Everything But.....
For the fiscal health of our nation and the well-being of our fellow citizens, we ask that you allow tax cuts on incomes over $1,000,000 to expire at the end of this year as scheduled.
Apparently each of the petitioners has a >$1million income.
So, boys and girls: write a check payable to the U S Treasury. Nothing in law or custom prevents it.
Oh. That wasn't your thought? You wanted OTHERS to write those checks?
Actually, We Mean "JOB" Security. For Us
...He then proceeded to interrogate me about why I was videotaping the “procedures of the TSA”. I told him that I had never seen such practices before on a young child and decided to record it. The man being frustrated at this point demanded to know my plans with the video, of which [sic] I didn’t respond. Repeatedly he asked me to delete the video, hoping his mere presence could intimidate me to obey, but I refused.
They're not done yet.
...2 TSA agents came and sat 15 feet or so away from me. I stood up and moved so that they were in front of me and then took a picture. A 3rd and then a 4th agent came and sat down with the others. They would occasionally glance at me and talk on their walkie-talkies. I don’t know why they were there or if it was a huge coincidence but they stayed for 30-45 minutes and left just before I boarded the plan [sic]....
It certainly wasn't for observation. There are several dozen videocameras in airports.
Krugman v. Krugman
These days he's screaming for mo' printing-press.
In 2003--with Bush as President--not so much:
...How will the [fiscal] train wreck play itself out? ...[M]y prediction is that politicians will eventually be tempted to resolve the crisis the way irresponsible governments usually do: by printing money, both to pay current bills and to inflate away debt.
And as that temptation becomes obvious, interest rates will soar. It won't happen right away. With the economy stalling and the stock market plunging, short-term rates are probably headed down, not up, in the next few months, and mortgage rates may not have hit bottom yet. But unless we slide into Japanese-style deflation, there are much higher interest rates in our future.
Profile of Stupid: Pistole
We can profile "stupid" and Pistole fits the profile.
Ideology Loses. So Do You
Too bad that US citizens are also losers in this case.
An End to Afghanistan Action? Fuggedaboutit
At the NATO summit beginning Friday the United States will endorse turning over security responsibilities in Afghanistan to Afghan forces by the end of 2014--but also commit to “an enduring longer-term commitment,” President Obama’s “war czar” said this week.
The President Approves TSA Gropes
At this point, the Transportation Security Administration, in consultation with our counter-terrorism experts, have indicated to me that the procedures that they've been putting in place are the only ones right now that they consider to be effective against the kind of threat that we saw in the Christmas Day bombing. --Obama
Israel would differ.
And it's not a surprise that Obama fails to note that the 'Christmas bomber' was NOT on TSA's no-fly list despite several red-flag conditions.
Because Obama thinks you're "stupid," too.
UW Prof: You Are "Stupid"
Political reporters often rely on University of Wisconsin political scientist Charles Franklin for expertise. In just the past few months, his insights have appeared in articles in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Associated Press, Politico, Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, and many other publications. He's also a co-founder of the influential website Pollster.com, as well as co-director of the Big Ten Battleground Poll.
So Franklin answered with considerable authority when he was asked, at a recent forum on the November 2 election results, why Republicans emerged victorious in so many races. "I'm not endorsing the American voter," Franklin said. "They're pretty damn stupid."
That quote was inspired by an ex-TMJ reporter (doh), and led to another round of wailing and foot-stamping about the ChooChoo and RoJo.
It's a good thing that the Intellectualoids are a tiny minority.
S.510: 17,000 New Feds
If passed, the misnamed Food Safety and Modernization Act would authorize the FDA to tell farmers how to grow their crops...
So. Won't it prevent stuff like the salmonella-egg problem?
...over-regulation—not a lack of regulation— is largely to blame for the recent outbreak of salmonella. According to the Wall Street Journal, “USDA graders pointed to increasingly unsanitary conditions at Wright County Egg — but that the agriculture agency didn’t flag the problems to the FDA…”
Classic "silo" problem.
In the end, the $1.4Bn cost of the new regs will be passed to the consumer at the grocery store, of course, and the small-time truck farmers will be smacked hardest.
It would be better if a new Congress looked at the problem.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
"Catholic" News Service? Not Really
Pope's remarks in book open new chapter in condom debate
Umnnnnhhhh...that's 50% true. What he said has not been said before by a Pope.
In a new book, Pope Benedict XVI said the use of condoms may be a sign of moral responsibility in some specific situations when the intention is to reduce the risk of AIDS.
Only about 25% true. The phrase "some specific situations" actually is ONE "specific situation," and it is a perfectly logical extension of Church teaching on rubbers.
There are a couple of grafs of wasted ink. Then:
But the pope went on to say that in particular cases -- he mentioned prostitutes -- condom use may be justified as a first step toward taking moral responsibility for one's actions.
Now only about 10% true. There IS a key word which CNS deleted.
New we're ~10 grafs in--about 5 grafs past where most people read--and CNS finally decides to print the actual quotation!
"There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom..."
Since homosexual relations never produce offspring, 'contraceptive' is irrelevant--and 'contraceptive' is the basis of the Church's opposition to rubber-usage.
IOW, the Pope said nothing which is controversial.
Meantime, the "Catholic" News Service people are trying to get AP (or CNNNBCCBSABC) jobs.
And, predictably, a local dissident decides, with no basis in fact nor in print, that this "extends" to married couples. Expect Dan Maguire interview to do same.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
The New Rules in New Jersey
But he has the same effect.
In the Words of Tonto...
"One of the most frustrating aspects of this fight against terrorism is that it has created a whole security apparatus around us that causes a huge inconvenience for all of us," Obama said.
Yah, all those Secret Service types can really screw up your driving and putting games.
Doylet's Ugly Twin, Chet Culver
Gov. Chet Culver's administration agreed Friday to offer pay increases for state employees that will cost taxpayers more than $100 million, despite Republican requests that the decisions be delayed until Terry Branstad becomes governor in January.
...The wage hike plan would give members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, better known as AFSCME, a 2 percent across-the-board increase for the fiscal year that begins July 1 and another 1 percent raise the following calendar year on Jan. 1, which is what the group had requested. This 2- and 1- percent increase, under the contract, would be given in each of the next two contract years.
Here's the part that really sucks:
In addition, many union members who are not at the top of their pay grade would receive an additional 4.5 percent raise, known as a step increase, for certain professional milestones or for job longevity and other career advancements.
I'm tempted to say "longevity" is the determinant for the vast majority, but...
Of course, the incoming (R) has an option: furloughs and layoffs, just like Governor Walker.
Friday, November 19, 2010
No Invasion Needed. Stuxnet Did the Job
Seems that the Israelis invented "Stuxnet," a virus which infects motor-controllers.
But Stuxnet only does its dirty work in IRANIAN motor-controllers which happen to control the centrifuge motors in Iranian nuke-materials plants.
It does nasty stuff to motors: race, stop, race, stop, race, stop........(etc.) until the motor goes "poof!"
Beats losing 4,000 troops over there.
Republicans Up By One More
61 net gains now, probably 3 more before it's all over.
HT: The Winning McCain
"Other Banned Items"
Erickson has a pal who was returning from Afghanistan. It's worth the read.
MU E-College Problems
Not really a Mechanical Engineering formula, but apparently governs some dweeb at MU's Engineering College.
Sinatra's PSA for the TSA
Well, Iowahawk found it in the archives, complete with pix.
Statism Marches On
...the Department of Justice may soon have the power to suspend domain names if the Attorney General deems a site as having copyright infringement “central to the activity” conducted by the site owners.
THAT is fine and good. Copyright law exists for a reason; creators and performers should be paid for their work.
But there are some questions.
...the law’s critics do not believe that giving the federal government the right to shut down websites at will based upon a vague and arbitrary standard of evidence, even if no law-breaking has been proved, is a particularly good idea.
There is no provision in the law for trial, evidence, all that stuff. It's solely up to the AG.
Fixed-Benefit Pension Problems in Wisconsin
Losses for the public pension funds managed by the State of Wisconsin Investment Board totaled $23.6 billion that year, causing retirees to see a drop in payments from the board's core fund - the first time retirees ever saw their monthly payments from the fund decrease.
They gained $13.5 billion the following year, ending 2009 with $72.8 billion in assets.
So what?...governmental entities that employ people covered by the retirement system saw their costs to fund pension benefits increase "from 10.4% of employee salaries in 2009 to 11% in 2010 and 11.6% in 2011, which will be the highest rate since 1996."
Your "retired" Legislators and Doylet will send thank-you notes, no doubt. I'm sure I'll get one from Mr. Vrakas, who voted to enhance his pension while still a legislator.
Just ask TSA!
"This year alone, the use of advanced imaging technology has led to the detection of over 130 prohibited, illegal or dangerous items," TSA spokesman Greg Soule told FoxNews.com. The TSA would not disclose exactly what those items were, but it said they included weapons like ceramic knives and various drugs -- including a syringe filled with heroin hidden in a passenger’s underwear.
So. 130 "items" were found. US airlines carry around 750 million passengers/year.
But that's only the start. Are all drug-users terrorists? Were some "items" nail-clippers? Large bottles of shampoo? How many? And precisely how far would a guy with ONE knife get on a plane full of actual Americans?
What a bunch of morons.
Money Gone: Taxpayers Lost $9Bn on GM Offering
The U.S. government is satisfied with pricing and the investor lineup in the General Motors Co [GM.UL] (GM.N) public offering, a senior Obama administration official said.
Ron Bloom, the administration's point man on auto restructuring, told Reuters Insider ahead of GM trading on Thursday that the government wants a fair return for taxpayers on its $50 billion investment, but also wants to "get out of this thing as soon as we can." ....Bloom said GM has done the right thing and pricing of $33 per share is a "fair deal" even though the partial sale represents a loss of roughly $9 billion on taxpayers' original investment.
As to the remaining GM stock in the Gummint's portfolio? Don't hold your breath on a massive capgain:
...even with that stock sale and other money returned to the government by GM, about $27 billion will remain unpaid. Whether taxpayers get that back will depend upon the price the government gets for its remaining 33% stake in the company when it sells shares in the future. The share price will have to rise about 65% in order for taxpayers to break even...
ObamaNomics in action.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Sad Departure: Tyrrell Leaves the Land of the Free
(And we were the few, the.......odd, perhaps. I sat in an airport lounge reading my copy as an older gent, complete with hat, read his across the aisle from me. When it was time to embark, we both stuffed the mag into our briefcases, exchanged knowing glances, and separated. No greetings were necessary.)
Anyhoo, Tyrrell was an Indiana U. swimmer and the mag began operations in Indiana. By and by, he succumbed to the siren and moved the operation to D.C.
It's now clear that he's part of the DC Set. The Manicured, the Comfortable, and the Chicken.
I blame Drudge! Yes, I blame the Drudge Report for this insane controversy about the use of high-tech body scanners and "pat-downs" at airport security zones.
Capitulation didn't take too long; in this essay, only about 10 grafs.
...Terror poses an enormous threat to the free society. The terrorists can attack us anyplace, which is why I rather like the idea of citizens free to carry arms. The scanners and the pat-downs are a dreadful threat to freedom and personal dignity, except for what they are meant to combat, terrorists -- thugs who would attack the unarmed and innocent. Scanners and pat-downs can be executed with care or with stupid disregard for our dignity.
Tyrrell evidently doesn't read much while he's clubbing with the Boys. The scans and pat-downs are absolutely, totally, without effect. The X-rays cannot detect PETN, and an artful (if rather detestable) stuffing of a PETN-pak into a dark orifice will put it ........out of reach, so to speak........of the gloved wanderings of TSA hands.
Too bad. At one time, Tyrrell was of the Midwest.
Abp. Dolan's Welcome
NPR is worried that Archbishop Dolan is “overtly conservative,” and Tim Rutten of the Los Angeles Times is fretting about his “confrontational approach.” Dissident Catholics are upset as well: New Ways Ministry says the vote “sends an ominous message”; Call to Action also sees his election as “ominous”; Sr. Maureen Fiedler says “we now have our very own Catholic version of the ‘Tea Party’ movement”; DignityUSA concludes that Dolan’s election means the hierarchy is “out of step” with Catholics. Similarly, the Human Rights Campaign, a gay secular group, says the vote means the hierarchy is “out of step.” Not to be outdone, the website of the Tucson Citizen accused Dolan of evincing an “arrogant” attitude in winning (it is true that he was caught smiling).
SNAP, the professional victims’ group, opines that Dolan’s “winning personality obscures his terrible track record on abuse.” Marian Ronan of Religion Dispatches says his election is “not a good sign,” and her colleague, Sarah Posner, concludes—and this really is ominous—that “the bishops are targeting families with loved ones who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.” The Internet site Lez Get Real calls Dolan “the Vatican’s spin-doctor,” and the website of Time has a headline which reads, “More Bad News for Obama 2012: Catholics Elect Dolan.” Edgeboston.com picked up the AP piece, but chose to give it a new headline: “Catholic Bishops’ Vote to Mean Harder Church Stance Against Gay Families.” And atheist Susan Jacoby is sweating over the fact that Dolan will be treated by the media “as if he is the voice of all American Catholics.” She needs to get used to it. --Catholic League, quoted by FrZ
Finally, the Conservatives write about Senator RoJo's eerie and strange prejudices.
...he hates to waste things (even pickles, which he loathes.)
This is a monumental admission of grievous un-hingedness. Had Feinie (D-Arrogance) known this, it would have been all over for RoJo.
Orlando (Sanford) Airport to Dump TSA
[O-S] now plans to replace "testy" Transportation Security Administration screeners with private contractors...
Gee. S'pose Disney had any input on that one?
Next up, if you're betting: Las Vegas.
If people won't fly, there will be a serious impact on tourism/entertainment destinations.
Rockefeller Redux: Monopoly Is Good!
SEN. JAY ROCKEFELLER (D-WV): "There's a little bug inside of me which wants to get the FCC to say to FOX and to MSNBC: 'Out. Off. End. Goodbye.'
Nothing like a monopoly, particularly one which favors the Elite Class.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Gee, Warren. Tell Us About Wells Fargo!
DEAR Uncle Sam,
My mother told me to send thank-you notes promptly. I’ve been remiss.
Well, Warren, you have a large chunk of Wells Fargo stock. Why don't you force the management to value its 2nd-mortgage paper at market?
And by the way, will you take back all the first-mortgage paper that Wells Fargo ginned up and sold to Fan/Fred/FHA?
ALL of it?
Aurora's Exec-Dump Is "Change"
Aurora Health Care paid Donald Nestor, its former chief operating officer, $8.2 million in salary, bonus and other compensation after his resignation in January 2009, according to the nonprofit health care systems' tax return.
Nestor, considered a key architect in Aurora's aggressive expansion over more than two decades, announced in October 2008 that he would retire at the end of that year. He was paid $2.2 million that year.
Nick Turkal, a physician and chief executive, disclosed the $8.2 million pay package in a message to employees.
"I signed the agreement which ended Don's employment with Aurora, as it was time to move forward with a new culture and new type of leadership," Turkal said in the message. "I believed then, and I know now, that it was the right thing to do for Aurora Health Care."
A change. Maybe putting up hospitals like McDonald's restaurants was beginning to burden the south-east corner of the balance sheet, where it says "long-term liabilities"?
Especially hospitals that aren't exactly drawing people by the zillions--like the one in Oconomowoc, where very little of the building's interior is lit up in the evening?
And We're Off!! TSA Sued Over Boob Exposure
Rutherford is going 4th Amendment on behalf of an Express Jets pilot.
It would be great, except the taxpayer is paying for it.
Maybe Cabbage-Head Mikie Cherthoff should have his lobbying fees clawed back as part of the proceeds, eh?
What Hot Air Ignores
The survey tells us that "financial issues" outpace "social issues" with the surveyed folks.
Then Hot Air has a US map which purports to show "Christie" States, "Palin" States, (etc.) The vast majority are "Christie" states.
Yah, well...maybe Hot Air forgets that Christie is absolutely positively pro-life, and just cut $7.50++ million of Planned Parenthood funding from the New Jersey budget.
RomneyCare Now. ObamaCare Later?
The [Massachusetts] health insurance connector — the highly touted agency that aims to bring cheap medical care to the masses — has turned into a legal pit bull by aggressively going after a growing number of Bay Staters who say they can’t afford mandated insurance — or the penalties imposed for not having it.
...“Just as Massachusetts’ residents are having to appeal the extra taxes they are being levied because they can’t afford health insurance — and because Massachusetts residents are having to sue the state because it’s an unfair and abusive law — citizens from every state in the nation will be doing the same thing in 2014, when Obamacare takes effect,” he said.
And Romney still thinks he'll become a Presidential candidate.
Who WON'T Get GM IPO Shares?
It appears that "retail" investors, which means individual public customers, will have a hard time getting any shares. Major retail brokerage firms like E*Trade, Ameritrade, Scottrade, and Charles Schwab are being shut out of access to the offering.
So who DOES get them?
Instead, all the shares will go to the biggest hedge funds and other clients of the biggest investment banks. Many of those funds and banks will simply sell the stock if it spikes 10-20 percent on its first day of trading, as expected.
Can you spell G-O-L-D-M-A-N......?
The Reality of TSA: Theater.
...full-body scans using X-rays and microwave radar at potentially dangerous cumulative radiation levels, coupled with invasive searches of the genital area for those who refuse such screening -are a farce. They would not have stopped a single one of the 9/11/2001 hijackers, and they would not have detected the so-called 'shoe bomber'. They can and will do nothing whatsoever to improve our security in flight
Other than that, what could possibly be wrong with TSA?
I've grown accustomed to having TSA personnel lie to me every single time I use a US airport. I travel with a cane, the result of partial disability. I've had different procedures applied to that cane in almost every airport. Some let me walk through the metal detector with it; some don't. Some X-ray it along with my carry-on baggage; some don't. Some swab it to check for explosives; some don't. Yet, at every airport, if I query something that's required, their common answer is that "this is TSA policy, and it's the same at every airport". I know damn well it's not the same - I routinely use other airports, and I know they're lying to me!
So the procedures are:
1) A farce because they don't detect or prevent s*&^;
2) A blatant violation of your 4th Amendment rights, and
3) Perpetrated by 43,000 lying dummies. (Follow the leader.)
One thinks that the Budget Committee could make an adjustment in TSA funding, no? They SHOULD, if they read this link, which describes Israeli airport security.
Johnny Carson Is Still the Best
Letterman has one joke with 345665 variations.
You'll note that the humor is timeless...
This One Is in SOUTH America
When Hugo Chavez was sworn in as president of Venezuela in February 1997, he was hailed as the true successor to Latin American freedom fighter, Simon Bolivar. Notables including Sean Penn, Harry Belafonte, Oliver Stone, and Noam Chomsky shouted from rooftops that Chavez was a visionary who would restore prosperity and return power to the people. And they applauded his claim that the United States is “the most evil regime that has ever existed.” These useful idiots have turned a blind eye to the fact that Chavez is a depraved Marxist totalitarian whose heroes are Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. They have also ignored that he supports global terrorism, has provided sanctuary to the Colombian terrorist group FARC, and has pledged, “that nothing will stop us” from acquiring nuclear power.
Chavez has been described by his long-term mistress and mother of his child as a “typical narcissist dictator.”
Since taking office Chavez has destroyed what was considered the most stable Latin American democratic country. A 300-page 2010 report issued by the Inter-American Human Rights Commission accused Chavez of massive violations of human rights, the destruction of democratic principles such as the separation of powers, judicial review of acts of state, and the rule of law over the will of the president. The report concluded that there are “persistent threats and violations of human rights involving political participation, freedom of thought and expression, right to life, personal security and personal integrity and liberty.
Well, thank goodness it was about Hugo Chavez, instead of another Western Hemisphere counter-cultural narcissist/totalitarian Commie-worshipper!
The Regime's LaHood
Since Wisconsin (and Ohio) voters told ol' Ray to stuff his trains where the sun never shines, ol' Ray has found a new ram-it-up-yours! crusade.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said using a cell phone while driving is so dangerous that devices may soon be installed in cars to forcibly stop drivers — and potentially anyone else in the vehicle — from using them.
Predictably, the Old Ladies' Club thinks highly of Ray's latest fantasy, and they trot out the line that "we never had cellphones when I was a girl...so who really needs them now??"
Let's leave aside the likelihood that Alex Bell wasn't BORN when you were a girl, and focus on the logic, which would impel you to stop using seat belts, anti-lock brakes, cars weighing less than 4,000 pounds, radial tires, power windows, air conditioning, and an engine that gets more than 20 MPG, inter alia. For that matter, get off the Interstates.
Like the OmniState's mandate to use poison lightbulbs, this idea, too, will die an ugly death. Whether it takes gentle protest or a bit more than that, eventually you will be put back in your place.
Alaska Wonkery: A Lesson
...the essence of what seems to have happened is that somebody on Team Joe got the clever idea that what they needed to do was to “distance” their candidate from Sarah Palin.
Yah, well, that worked, eh?
A Reminder of the Story of Genesis
...Gates has bought into the notion that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons because they seek a deterrent to aggression against Iran. Convincing Iran to relinquish its pursuit of nuclear weapons is synonymous with convincing them that no one intends Iran harm. Military action only pushes they into the very decision point we wish to avoid. Or so the narrative goes.
It’s the same mistake made by most of the secular, post-modernist Western elite who sees things mainly through Western, secular eyes. It’s all about self preservation viz. Darwin, and upon being assured that they are safe, and since there is no such thing as real evil in the world and no absolute against which to measure such a thing as right or wrong, there is only the pragmatic. The Iranian rulers will be pragmatic and see the error of their pursuit and act in the defense of themselves and their own people. Altruistically, of course. It’s all about diplomacy. It just means saying the right things.Except the world and mankind don’t work that way, and objective evil does in fact exist. Seeing things through eschatological eyes is uncomfortable to the Western secularists, but absolutely necessary in order to understand the radical Mullahs,...
Blindness is a disqualifier for SecDef.