Thursday, March 31, 2011
I'd remembered her (self-) service at Fannie Mae and "Gorelick's Wall" separating the intel of the FBI from external intel outfits like the CIA. She then "investigated" her own actions as a member of the 9/11 Commission.
But the worst part?
...there was her tenure as deputy attorney general under Janet Reno during President Clinton's first term. Reno described Gorelick as Justice's "chief operating officer" from 1993 to 1997. She was a key Reno adviser during the horrendous events in Waco, Texas, in which David Koresh, 76 of his Branch Davidian followers (including 20 women and children) and four federal agents died in an unbelievably bungled assault intended to end a 50-day siege...
Well, it's a fair warning, people. You don't comply with Gorelick......
“There are so many people living by that plant, and coal is too dirty to burn amid that many people.”
That would be the Valley plant of WE Energies. Evidently the Sierra Club has found a new census tract in the Valley to justify their lawsuit against WE and the State DNR. Either that, or the homeless population living under bridges has exploded.
(Actually, a big increase in homeless people wouldn't be a surprise, given the increase in energy prices due to Sierra Club lawsuits.)
As Congress struggles to negotiate a budget deal to keep the government running, the head of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) told lawmakers Wednesday that the GOP version of the budget bill would result in the deaths of at least 70,000 children who depend on American food and health assistance around the world.
Here's an idea: eliminate D of Education instead of the world-health programs!
...White House and Senate Democrats keep caving, while House Republicans — at least publicly — have yet to budge an inch. The latest development, as Politico reports, is that the administration has agreed to an overall cut of $33 billion, which is near the number that the House leadership originally proposed (before the Tea Party caucus forced it to go higher)....--NBC, quoted at Hot Air
Some things don't change. 33 is still less than 61, and less than 100.
So here's the deal: Boehner peed his pants when "shutdown" was uttered in Reid-Land and voila! "To Hell with the promises WE MADE, to Hell with "$61Bn", the modified limited hang-out promise....
"Please, please, please, don't shut down the Gummint!! Where will our children, nieces, and nephews work?"
Time for John to have a good cry.
A key congressional committee accused the Obama Department of Homeland Security of non-cooperation, witness tampering and even attempted theft of committee documents. The report claims that DHS Attorney Reid Alan Cox attempted to leave a committee hearing room with the Committee’s exhibits in his bag.
Well, at least it wasn't stuffed into his/her/its crotch, the method favored by Clinton attorneys.
"Law school" must have changed a bit since 1970 or so.
Now it's "Make-Your-Own-Law" school.
Camp Pendleton in California is reportedly on high alert after three Middle Eastern men tried to repeatedly enter the base last weekend on multiple occasions in multiple vehicles.
They're trying to invade a U S MARINE CORPS base?
Beginning on February 21, 2011 DCI was asked to investigate multiple threats to various members of the Wisconsin Legislature due to the volume, our ability to fully analyze the many communications and our experience.
...Investigators concluded it did not present an imminent threat but presented sufficient probable cause that criminal behavior had occurred and on Friday, March 18, 2011 this matter was referred to the Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne who has sole jurisdiction and charging authority for a charging decision. On Monday, March 23, 2011 the Department of Justice learned through press reports that the Dane County District Attorney had returned the referral to the Department citing clerical and administrative issues related to the reports transfer. Importantly the investigative reports themselves were not returned.--WI Dep't of Justice
It's fair to guess that DofJ had either extremely minor--or zero--"issues related to reports." The DofJ people do this regularly, you know. It's not a proc with which they are unfamiliar.
SOME crimes are subject to swift and timely prosecution in Dane County. However, politically-correct crimes, such as threatening death to Republicans, are NOT of particular interest.
The obvious question: WHO is being protected here? (We know it's not Republicans.)
What is the identity of the perp? AFSCME bigwig? Son/daughter of a (D) bigwig? Inquiring minds want to know.....
I mean that liberal education is conservative in this way: it defends order against disorder. In its practical effects, liberal education work for order in the soul, and order in the republic. Liberal learning enables those who benefit from its discipline to achieve some degree of harmony within themselves.
Well. That's not even close to the objectives at the UW-M LibArts Schoo.
And yes, there's a lot of shouting.
Amid shouts and jeers in both chambers, the House passed a measure affecting 350,000 public workers on a 53-44 vote, and the Senate followed with a 17-16 vote of approval. Republican Gov. John Kasich will sign the bill by the end of the week.
...The Ohio measure affects safety workers, teachers, nurses and a host of other government personnel. It allows unions to negotiate wages but not health care, sick time or pension benefits. It gets rid of automatic pay increases, and replaces them with merit raises or performance pay. Workers would also be banned from striking.
Wisconsin PEU members should be kissing Scott Walker's feet.
So what next?
Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi signed a revised temporary restraining order this morning declaring the legislation changing collective bargaining powers for public employees has not been published and is not in effect.
Sumi's order, sent to the media this morning by the Dane County DA's office, comes on the heels of statements by the Department of Justice and DOA Secretary Mike Huebsch that the effect of her earlier restraining order was unclear and that the changes were still law.
Gee. I'd like a do-over too, Judge Judy, for that 18-over ticket. Can I just go back to the Beltline and drive it again?
Import oil from Canada, Mexico, and Brazil, which is the beneficiary of a $2Bn US investment AND Obama-granted leases in the Gulf of Mexico. No domestic drilling, sorry. Would offend
Burn corn, grass, leaves, and miscellaneous other *cough* biofuels.
MO' 'LECTRIC!!! but only if it's a car.
And don't forget! Obama promised 5 million "green" jobs. Someday, somehow, somewhere. --Lyrics by Steve Sondheim
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
A while back, their light shone forth with the news of an upcoming "Vagina Monologues" doing. McAdams mentioned it, because it fits so well into the "Catholic charism" ......not.
Then came Marquette's announcement that they would become material cooperators in at least a few immoral activites with their "partner health insurance" plan.
THEN the news breaks that there were some alleged sexual assaults.
NOW McAdams advises that there will be a "meeting" to discuss his blog-cum-professoring. Seems that it's all so..........confusing........to a certain Provost (who also has problems understanding room-scheduling complexity.)
Well, OK. You like to be in the headlines. We get it.
Sources tell me that budget negotiators on Capitol Hill have tentatively agreed on a deal that would involve at least $33 billion in spending cuts from this year’s budget.
That's about 1/3rd of the way to your "promises."
Or don't you recall?
Ace has it:
I love this bargain. Because I'm stupid.
A train, and a flame was extinguished. Two hundred candles, held by students, faculty, staff, and parents, were there, but the flame was extinguished.
Many spoke, but none explained. No lesson was there for teaching.
There was laughter, because the girl laughed through shining eyes. There were tears recalling the laugh.
There were teammates, classmates, friends, teachers, who spoke. None explained.
And when she buries a man, that action concerns me: all mankind is of one author and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated.
Two hundred were there, many never met her.
As therefore the bell that rings a sermon calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come, so this bell calls us all
There's a church a block from the school. The toll was seven at the start....
Who bends not his ear to any bell which upon any occasion rings? but who can remove it from that bell which is passing a piece of himself out of this world?
...and the church's toll was eight at the end.
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were. Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
Those two hundred gave testimony to Donne, and those who did not speak were, too, diminished.
Two hundred candles lifted into the chilling-cold; In paradisum was thought, not said. The candles were brought down and put out.
Those who did speak could not explain. No lesson was there for teaching.
Then school was dismissed again, today.
We have news for you, Mr. Tanned One.
It's reported that you're taking out the riders cutting off Planned Barrenhood and NPR (e.g.) and that you're all very pleased about $30Bn.
In which case, Speaker Boehner, the ass that gets kicked may be your own. Buy padding.
Asked Wednesday about the boycott effort, the Rev. Jesse Jackson said "that any nonviolent tactic used to get attention to the steamroller tactics it seems to me are reasonable. I encourage people to remain nonviolent and disciplined in their protests."
Hey! This guy is a BEARS fan, for crying out loud. An FIB!
Of course, there's a reason that Jackson gets the call: no one who IS relevant will back this suicide-campaign.
President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing covert U.S. government support for rebel forces seeking to oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, government officials told Reuters on Wednesday.
Obama signed the order, known as a presidential "finding", within the last two or three weeks, according to four U.S. government sources familiar with the matter... (Reuters)
That 'covert action' is run by the CIA and involves, by necessity, SpecOps people.
Another Obama Inoperative Promise.
...the fact remains that she has yet to address and distinguish Goodland v. Zimmerman. I understand the argument that the Open Meetings law has created, sub silentio, an exception to Goodland. I don't buy it. To say that the legislature is subject to the open meetings law doesn't mean that the normal rule against enjoining publication is inapplicable.
...[A local gadfly says that] the court has properly considered and concluded that apparently controlling Supreme Court precedent is "insignificant." Maybe so, but one would have expected her to tell the public - in the decision explaining her conclusion - why that is the case...
...She obviously thinks that the LRB was subject to her initial order - presumably because they are, to use the legal term, a "privy" of the Secretary of State. A "privy" is normally someone who acts at the direction of - or in concert with - a party before the court. But the LRB does not act at the direction of the Secretary of State.
What she has not done is enjoin implementation of the law - although she apparently said from the bench that she was doing just that. [Talk is cheap.] While she has enjoined the Secretary of State from any further application of Act 10, he has nothing to do with implementing the Act.
...but even if she ultimately finds that it is not in effect, she does not have the right parties before it to enjoin implementation. I am doubtful that the LRB is "in privy" with the Secretary of State, but I am sure that the Secretary of Administration (who is appointed by a different constitutional officer) is not.
One wonders if she knows whose courtroom she entered this morning--or ANY morning.
This is designed to send you a message: "it's all Big Oil's Fault!!"
The response is here. If you weren't fooled by Dept of Interior's foofoodust, don't bother to read it. If you were silly enough to believe anything from the Regime, you will learn something by reading the linked article.
We the undersigned call on you and the Senate to pass a long-term Continuing Resolution; a resolution that hears the calls of the American people and makes reasonable, responsible spending cuts.
Mr. Reid, your record on spending in the Senate is one of failure. You have failed to pass a budget, failed to restrain spending, and failed to put our country on sound fiscal footing.
We do not accept your failure as our own.
The American people did not send us here to fail. Make no mistake: any government shutdown is the result of your lack of leadership. America has a $14 trillion debt and you offered a mere $6 billion in cuts. The House heard the calls of the American people and offered $61 billion in cuts, but the Senate has not sent us a Continuing Resolution in return.
We have received nothing from the Senate except denials of the dire straits of our nation’s fiscal health.
Blunt and pointed. Almost (not quite) a pitchfork. Get the hint, Harry?
Rules are rules, you know. We're the State and you're the peon.
So we'll pee on you and tell you it's raining...
You'll be happy to learn that the lying sack woman is now undergoing an Internal Affairs investigation. 99-1 she keeps her job, rank, and pay, of course.
FWIW, I don't think that Prosser is dead-man-walking. Not by a long shot.
So Vox publishes a note from a correspondent:
The question is do we actually get pitch forks and march on Washington and gig them (If we did we would be terrorists) or do we hunker down and prepare for the worse. Unfortunately, most people are doing the later and it is only a matter of time before they will be proven right.
Vox cites an inane yap from Sen. Rubio regarding the debt-limit, and we've already mentioned a similar inanity on the same question from Sen. Cornyn. They are (and I'm restraining myself) selling you a bill of goods. It's a crock, folks.
Maybe the correspondent is correct.
...They also found that while inflows into unemployment in the early part of the recession were dominated by the weaker demographics—the young, the less educated, the nonwhite—the rate of exit has been broadly similar for all subgroups. So both for sectors and demographics, the problem is largely an aggregate one....
That's a minuscule cite from a much longer and more comprehensive paper, but it tells you what you already knew. This is a VERY serious event.
Depression? Well, it's certainly at the borderline.
So when he publishes an essay which has ramped-up language, it means something.
Not only are public-employee unions attempting to choose their court, they are doing so by making an electoral issue of the very matter that the court will be asked to decide. There are reasons that we don’t hold votes on pending court cases. They are rooted in due process and the rule of law. But in a world that chooses “any means necessary,” these are mere inconveniences. It is time, after all, to “get even.”
Yes, the election is important. And Prosser is the best choice. It's hardly "all about Walker;" it's all about Wisconsin for the next 20 years, folks.
The biggest banks are 20 percent larger than they were before the crisis and control a larger part of our economy than ever. They reasonably assume that the government will rescue them again, if necessary. Indeed, credit rating agencies incorporate future government bailouts into their assessments of the largest banks, exaggerating market distortions that provide them with an unfair advantage over smaller institutions, which continue to struggle.
In the final analysis, it has been Treasury's broken promises that have turned TARP - which was instrumental in saving the financial system at a relatively modest cost to taxpayers - into a program commonly viewed as little more than a giveaway to Wall Street executives.That "friendly banker" inside the Chase-Meatball building? He ought to kiss your toe.
But he won't.
Jim Parrett is a "Field Rep" (we used to call them 'hired fists') for AFSCME 24, which has a lot of Corrections staffers in Racine/Sturtevant.
He don't-a like it when youse storekeepers don't-a put up his signs.
Dat means youse don't-a "support" his-a boyzzzz.
Youse'll be sorry.
This attitude, by the way, is endemic in Dane County, THE Most Entitled County in the Universe.
HT: Jay Weber
Gov. Scott Walker's budget proposal would eliminate a law requiring state agencies to study the costs and benefits of outsourcing work.
That provision and others in the GOP governor's 2011-'13 budget drew questions from both Republicans and Democrats at a briefing Tuesday before the Legislature's budget-writing committee.
Well, yah. The law--passed by the micro-managers of the Legislature--is a pain in the .....nose. And, if you haven't figured it out, it's also "protection" for the AFSCME.
Current law says agencies must compare the costs of having private contractors do work costing more than $25,000 against what it would cost to have state workers do the job.
Speaking to the Joint Finance Committee, Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch said that the law was cumbersome and required an analysis of contractor costs to be done even in cases where state workers couldn't do the work.
"We did a cost-benefit analysis on the cost-benefit analysis and found it was costing us money," Huebsch told the committee.
In other words, the State is required to demonstrate that ANY outsourcing is "cost-justified", no matter the question.
It's stupid. It's featherbedding. And with the new bargaining rules, it's antiquated, because under the new rules, performance, not seniority, counts. You screw up, you get demoted.
"Accountability" is the game. Real "management" will take place in State agencies.
Would be nice if Luther Olsen (R-Ethanol) could catch up.
At the 2010 SHOT Show, Smith & Wesson unveiled a new, state-of-the-art small frame revolver for personal protection: the Bodyguard 38.
The snubby has something which is extremely useful:
The Bodyguard also features a laser sight integrated with the revolver frame. The Insight brand laser is fully adjustable for elevation and windage, and is activated with a push-button near the top strap.
It is difficult to place shots from a small/lightweight handgun because of the very short sight radius. The built-in laser sight fixes that problem.
Based on the report (linked) the weapon is easy to shoot, even with +P rounds--and of course, it's very easy to carry concealed. Pace the '.45 bigots;' a .38 hole, well-placed, is a fine deterrent.
“HAMP has been beset by problems from the outset and, despite frequent retooling, continues to fall woefully short of meeting its original expectations,” testified Barofsky. “Today the program is under siege from all quarters, with near universal agreement that the program has failed to meet its goals.” --Inspector General Barofsky, TARP
So the Pubbies applied $29Bn to the national debt; the other $1Bn's been
The White House... released a statement stating that Obama will veto the bill if it passes the Democrat-held Senate.
The Obama plan: chaos and irrational decisions!
HT: Human Events
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
For the second time in less than two weeks, a Dane County judge Tuesday issued an order blocking the implementation of Gov. Scott Walker's plan to curb collective bargaining for public workers.
...She warned that those who violate her order could face court sanctions.
Meantime, in the real world, the AG had a pertinent comment:"We don't believe that the court can enjoin non-parties. Whether the Department of Administration or other state officers choose to comply with any direction issued by Judge Sumi is up to them."
A Marquette lawprof says he thinks that the Judge-Ette is unhappy with the State for implementing a law duly passed, signed, and published--just like the State law requires.
No kidding. On TV she looked like she was in serious need--waaaaayyyyy overdue serious need--of a good old-fashioned enema.
More than that, she needs a dictionary in which to look up "Separation of Powers."
ADDENDUM: And now for a word from someone with whom I FREQUENTLY disagree, Recess:
A court - any court - deciding that it has the power of administrative review over the working processes of its co-equal partners is a very dangerous step that effectively elevates the judiciary above the other two branches of government.
I'll go with prunes instead of the enema--same cause, though. The Judge-Ette's widdlebiddy ego was smacked, appropriately.
After recounting the painful experiences Conservatives have had with Dreyfus and Thompson, he gets to the point:
I’ll tell you why things are bitter: It’s because until lately, liberals in Wisconsin, having for years had the field to themselves, presumed the state was their possession. They grew unused to having to contest things politically and so lost the habits of fighting civilly. They did not know, and in some quarters still do not know, how civilized people differ.
P-Mac doesn't go far enough. In fact, the remarkably un-civil Democrat Party members not only 'lost the habit of fighting civilly,' they are convinced that resistance to their ideas or argument therewith automatically signifies one who is consumed by "racist, homophobe, misogynist, and/or greedy" sentiments. In other words, they do not know that civilized people differ--not just 'how' they differ.
The lack of civility from the (D) Party and its sheep stems from the fact that they are irrational, not that they are unused to battle.
Of the multiple rebellions now going on across the Arab world, the one with most potential to damage American interests is in Egypt, with Yemen perhaps a close second. The revolt with the most potential to advance American interests is taking place in Syria. Strangely, the Obama administration has taken a negative attitude toward that uprising, apparently on the inexplicable ground that it considers Assad a "reformer."
And of course, there's the Iranian kerfuffle, studiously ignored by Obama for a couple of weeks--after which Obama came forth and offered....nothing... to the rebels.
Now it appears that the Obama Regime expects Qaddafy to bail out of Libya in the next month or so; one of the Obozo sycophants is claiming that 'all the rebellions in the Middle East are a result of Obama's words,' beginning with the Cairo speech of a couple years back.
Some rebellions are good: those which (most likely) will endanger US interests in the Middle East. Others--not so good. Let the Iranian demonstrators be killed, like the Sudanese. Too bad.
On the other hand, if we are reasonably certain that the Bad Guy will abscond (see: Qaddafy), then by all means, engage!
And lie about "boots on the ground," too. Wouldn't want to explain that to Congress or the citizens, now, would we?
But what's NOT in dispute is the cost of security.
The cost to bring Wisconsin State Patrol officers to the state Capitol to provide security during weeks of protest totals $2.23 million, the state Department of Transportation said Tuesday.
The costs include actual costs between Feb. 11 and March 5, as well as estimated costs from March 6 through March 10.
Hundreds of troopers were dispatched to the Capitol during the protests.
The $2.23 million is on top of an estimated $3.2 million in wages, overtime, mileage, food and lodging that was claimed by officers from law enforcement agencies all over the state who were asked by the state to assist in providing security at the Capitol.And they're not done yet adding it all up.
So how'd that happen?
The author of a military doctrine used by the Obama administration to justify the recent airstrikes targeting the regime of Moammar Gadhafi in Libya recently advocated for a "global rebalancing" and "international redistribution" to create a "New World Order."
...The joint U.S. and international air strikes targeting Libya are widely regarded as a test of Responsibility to Protect – a set of principles, now backed by the United Nations, based on the idea that sovereignty is not a privilege but a responsibility that can be revoked if a country is accused of "war crimes," "genocide," "crimes against humanity" or "ethnic cleansing."
The Usual Suspects are involved:
Board members of the group include former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, former Ireland President Mary Robinson and South African activist Desmond Tutu. Robinson and Tutu have recently made solidarity visits to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip as members of a group called The Elders, which includes former President Jimmy Carter.
Interesting. Of course, the un-answered question is "Who decides?" Who decides to commit American blood--if 'treasure' is not really another objection.? I don't see "Congress" in the equasion so far.
And since the organization(s) supporting this are unhappy with resource-utilization in the West, will resource-allocation also become a casus belli?
The Bishops object, and we're reminded of the question of Marquette U's 'partner bennies'.
Recognizing “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as grounds for non-discrimination in new federal housing regulations could require faith-based groups to violate their religious beliefs, warned the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) last week.
...the regulations could “force” faith-based organizations to violate their religious beliefs by requiring – as a condition for HUD funds – that they make housing available to homosexual or unmarried couples...
So. The USCCB has a problem with making housing available to 'homosexual or unmarried couples'? Not precisely:
“By this, we do not mean that any person should be denied housing,” the attorneys stressed. “Making decisions about shared housing, however, is another matter.”
“Particularly here, faith-based and other organizations should retain the freedom they have always had to make housing placements in a manner consistent with their religious beliefs, including when it concerns a cohabiting couple, be it an unmarried heterosexual couple or a homosexual couple.”Marquette University will facilitate that co-habitation, of course, with "partner" health insurance.
So which "faith tradition" does Marquette claim?
Actually, removing Qaddafy is not the objective. The fact that Qaddafy is the ONLY "threat" to Libyan civilians should not have an impact on this decision. We'll leave the threat in place, but make sure he's not a threat. Or something.
And we went there because we're humanitarians. Yemen, Somalia? Sure, they're problems, but they're not "humanitarian" problems. See?
So why are we here?
...Denis McDonough, told reporters Monday that the administration doesn't "get very hung up on this question of precedent."
"We don't make decisions about questions like intervention based on consistency or precedent," McDonough said.Shades of LBJ's maps! Now we pick "humanitarian" winners and losers based on what the President thinks is a good target today.
Uh-huh. That's gotta inspire our Armed Forces.
Monday, March 28, 2011
Ford Motor Co. has a shot at beating General Motors Co. for U.S. sales leadership in March, a month in which the Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of sales is expected to be 13.1 million vehicles. Ford will sell 210,400 vehicles in March to GM's 208,400, according to Edmunds.com's forecast released Thursday. …
And if Ford moves ahead of GM in March, it would be largely due to GM's sales drop-off more than any extraordinary sales performance by Ford.
Gummint Motors tossed about $3800/car into incentives in Jan/Feb. That's a lot of taxpayer money, mon.
...And that’s why building this international coalition has been so important because it means that the United States is not bearing all the cost. It means that we have confidence that we are not going in alone, and it is our military that is being volunteered by others to carry out missions that are important not only to us, but are important internationally.
Think that Obozo will repeat that tonight? Because if he does, someone WILL ask exactly where such 'being volunteered by others' is found in the Constitution.
I think we're moving towards 'high ...misdemeanors' here.
Gov. Scott Walker's administration is no longer collecting dues on behalf of state unions and as of Sunday began charging employees more for health care and their pensions,...[insert editorial content here]..... even though nonpartisan legislative attorneys say the changes are not yet law. [End editorial content].
In the Land of Entitlements, the State is required to serve as the collection agent for Marty Beil and his sockpuppet Mary Bell.
No longer, and the crescendo-wailing will be heard resounding throughout Cheeseland.
General Electric, along with General Motors, is the prototype of Big Business in the Age of Obama. GE bills itself as the world's largest industrial company; currently it ranks #4 in the Fortune 500, with revenues in 2010 of around $156 billion. All has not been well at GE, however. Since 2002, the company has laid off around 20 percent of its work force in the U.S., while expanding its overseas operations. And the company's financing arm, GE Capital, sustained massive losses and had to be bailed out by the federal government:
....2010 was a good year for GE. The New York Times reported that the company earned over $14 billion in 2010, $5.1 billion from its U.S. operations. (The tens of billions GE has received from the federal government in bailout guarantees were obviously a big help.) Yet GE paid no federal income taxes in 2010. On the contrary, it claimed a $3.2 billion "tax benefit."
...GE strives for business success through lobbying for special privileges, not through open competition. President Obama has acknowledged the special relationship that GE has with the federal government by anointing GE's CEO, Jeff Immelt, as his favorite businessman.
... Open Secrets says that GE's PACs and individuals make it a political "heavy hitter." In recent years, its contributions have tilted heavily toward the Democrats: in the last two cycles, GE's PACs and individuals have contributed $3.9 million to Democrats and $2.3 million to Republicans. And that doesn't count the much larger $40 million GE spent on lobbying in 2010, much of it devoted to cap and trade and other "green" initiatives that cement the alliance between Big Business and Big Government, in opposition to the interests of consumers and taxpayers
...GE strikes us as a "modern" company, in that its business strategy consists largely of exercising political influence. In truth, however, the concept is not new: the virtual merger of Big Government and Big Business has long been a hallmark of national socialism.
...One can hardly resist comparing GE with another American company--one that has steadily increased its American workforce, rather than cutting it. One that has never gone to the federal government for a bailout. One that lobbies out of self-defense, as all companies do, but not to secure special privileges for itself at the taxpayers' expense. One that pays lots of taxes. One that not only advocates free enterprise, but lives by it, competing for business with superior products and services. ...
Aaaaannnnnnnnnnnnd, heads up!!...A number of companies would fit that description, but I have in mind Koch Industries. Koch is smaller than GE, although not radically so--$100 billion in revenues vs. $150 billion--but it pays a whole lot more in taxes
Well, there's a stark choice: a large, profitable, US-owned company which hires and retains American citizens, pays a ton of taxes--Federal, State, and local--and which does not suck Federal tit to do so.
What PowerLine does not highlight is this: it is precisely BECAUSE Koch Industries is not tit-sucking that the State Socialists of Obama despise it.
Now when the age-enriched Senator says this:
"Those who don't respect the rights of women [to kill inconvenient children] don't earn the freedoms that are guaranteed in the Constitution."
Or this (about TEA Party people):
"They don't deserve the freedoms that are in the Constitution. But we'll give them to them anyway."
....who, exactly, is the "we"? Is it the Ruling Class? The Democrat Party? Or the superannuated hags whom he addressed?
Boehner appears to be in a no-win situation. Any agreement with Obama is sure to incite a revolt among hard-line tea partiers who want the full roster of cuts and an end to funding for Obama's signature health care law. And social conservatives are adamant that the measure cut off money for Planned Parenthood clinics that provide abortions in addition to the family planning services the government funds. Any attempts to outmuscle Obama with legislation that pleases tea partiers, however, would surely incite a shutdown.
We all know, Mr. Speaker, that the Gummint doesn't really "shut down." SocSec is paid, the military goes on--and of course, the Gummint will issue back-pay checks to everyone who was told to stay home.
Grow a pair, John. Call Obozo's bluff. You promised $100Bn, and you ain't delivered yet.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
USA Today reported this week that billions in earmarks remain tucked into the funding measure that keeps the federal government running for the remainder of the fiscal year. Congress is debating right now how much to cut from the measure, yet these secret earmarks are not being openly discussed by members of Congress.
And you'll be pleased to know that one of them--$6Bn worth--is for ethanol!
Here's another item of interest:
Another Coburn legislative item would bar federal unemployment benefits to those earning over $1 million a year.
You read that right. Perhaps 2,000 households with $1 million ++ incomes took $18 million in unemployment comp. Poor dears. How CAN they survive without $350.00/week?
"Little", but not "zero."
Fr. R. Barron goes through the exercise, and concludes that this ....whatever it is.....doesn't meet the criteria. Although the first four criteria are (arguably) satisfied,....
...The Catholic just war tradition teaches that a war can be legitimately waged if and only if there is a reasonable hope of success on the part of the government that authorizes the fighting. For example, a war fought against an overwhelmingly more powerful opponent might be noble and brave, but it wouldn’t be just. But another reason for questioning the reasonable hope of success is the absence of a clearly defined mission and purpose. As I stated above, if we don’t know precisely what it is that we’re fighting for, we cannot, even in principle, determine when and whether we’ve won. A poorly-defined war is one that enjoys no reasonable hope of success. I believe that the strict application of this final criterion would render our action in Libya unjust.
And he then cites Gen. Colin Powell as part of his argument.
Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people: those who work to further the actual goals of the organization, and those who work for the organization itself. Examples in education would be teachers who work and sacrifice to teach children, vs. union representative who work to protect any teacher including the most incompetent. The Iron Law states that in all cases, the second type of person will always gain control of the organization, and will always write the rules under which the organization functions.
Nicely formulated, reasonably concise, accurate!
But the real money will be saved through Rules changes.
...The key part of Walker's bargaining reform isn't making workers pay a more reasonable share of their benefits cost; the key part, rather, is letting government be managed better.
The law restricts public-sector bargaining to wages. Benefits won't be bargained, and neither will work rules. The latter is important, says Vrakas, because having to bargain for any change in how the county's work is done makes it hard to do the work better.
Thus Dan Vrakas.
That, of course, is what Vrakas meant when he said "...do more with less." While I still think that Government as a whole could do a lot LESS with less, private industry has proven--beyond a doubt--that using 5S, "Lean", and other work-simplification tools gets big results.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Is anyone surprised that a local judge has issued a temporary restraining order against . . . well, against Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican party of Wisconsin?
.....Welcome to Election 2012, the preview edition.
As I’ve been saying, Wisconsin is a test-case battleground for the special forces and new weapons that each side will bring to bear next year. Okay, make that one side, since the Republicans continue to play by the old rules — you know, contesting and winning elections, passing laws, stuff like that — while the Democrats deploy their fleets of teachers, cops, firemen, and lawyers like Panzer divisions. For the Party of Alinksy — the unholy offspring of ’30s machine-politics gangsters and ’60s Marxist radicals — there is no tactic too thuggish, no argument too ridiculous, and no thing they will not attack, including the very legitimacy of the system that gave them their law degrees.--Michael Walsh, NRO, quoted at Protein Wisdom
Wisdom goes on:...Obama isn’t a Good Man; what we are witnessing is the installation of a soft tyranny and a radical restructuring of our societal foundations away from individual liberty and the preeminence of the individual and towards the power of the identity group and the collective; and if the rule of law is effectively politicized to the point where the rulings of left-wing judges start with the desired outcome and then reason back from there — using an interpretive methodology that is no longer required to concern itself with legislative intent — we no longer have a rule of law, only the outward trappings of one: leaving us to choose between being subjects of the liberal fascist state or anarchists who, should we not be able to save our republic through conventional means, are compelled to revolt.
Hmmmmmm. I'll take several thousand of the JHPs, please.
HT: Real McCain
The chairman and CEO of Peoria-based Caterpillar Inc. is raising the specter of moving the heavy equipment maker out of Illinois.
In a letter sent March 21 to Gov. Pat Quinn, Caterpillar chief executive officer Doug Oberhelman said officials in at least four other states have approached the company about relocating since Illinois raised its income tax in January.
Cat recently acquired a VERY nice office building in Oak Creek, along with a large facility in South Milwaukee.
Hint, hint, hint.
Staffers with Governor Scott Walker confined an Appleton Post-Crescent reporter in a closet this week to keep him from mingling with high-powered guests gathered for a Republican fundraiser.
Reporter XXX XXX was the designated “pool reporter” for the Governor's Wednesday visit to the massive Appleton, WI., home of developer and philanthropist XXX XXXX.
Well, maybe not exactly.....
Staffers with Vice President Joe Biden confined an Orlando Sentinel reporter in a closet this week to keep him from mingling with high-powered guests gathered for a Democratic fundraiser.Reporter Scott Powers was the designated “pool reporter” for the vice president’s Wednesday visit to the massive Winter Park, Fla., home of developer and philanthropist Alan Ginsburg.
What PO'd the reporter was that he wasn't able to go for this:
...they were busy noshing on caprese crostini with oven-dried mozzarella and basil, rosemary flatbread with grapes honey and gorgonzola cheese and bacon deviled eggs, before a lunch of grilled chicken Caesar and garden vegetable wraps
...which they ate to show their empathy for the poor migrants, jobless, and homeless of Florida's east coast.
Secretary of State Doug La Follette said Saturday that the budget-repair bill has not taken effect because it has not been published by his office. "It's still an act of the legislature that has not yet become law because I have not yet designated a publication date," La Follette said
OK, Douggie. Whatever....
The NMB... said the carrier’s fragile finances and the weakened national economy would weigh heavily on its decision, according to the union
"Fragile finances"....."weakened national economy"....
It’s a clear signal to any union, at American or elsewhere, that trying to win a contract that would result in an unsustainable outcome won’t be supported by the government, said Jerry Glass, a labor expert at F&H Consultants Group
That's why the Obama Administration will not allow the Flight Attendants to go on strike.
Recap: the Obozo Administration approved a scheme whereby hundreds of questionably-purchased long guns would be taken into Mexico. A Phoenix-area gun dealer TOLD ATF that he had good reason NOT to sell the guns, but ATF told him "Sell 'em anyway, we're tracking them into Mexico."
Uh-huh. ATF lost track of the guns and one of them was used to shoot a Border Patrol agent.
Now the former ATF attache to Mexico, in charge of agency operations there, is talking to CBS News. He was told that the operation had been approved by the acting ATF director and by higher officials at Justice Department, and that Assistant Attorney General and head of the Criminal Division Larry Breuer knew about it.
Oh, there's even MORE:
...when Gil's analyst checked ATF's computer files to find out more, he hit a brick wall.
"Not only did he not have access, I as the attache, the head agent in Mexico for ATF operations, did not have access," says Gil. He was locked out.
That was a red flag because Gil says as the senior ATF official in Mexico, it was his job to approve any ATF operation involving Mexico; and he didn't approve this one."Now the NRA gets into it and proposes (as did I) that Obozo & Co. approved this gambit not only to "track the guns"--which it failed to do--but to bolster its case against selling more than one long-gun at a time altogether.
It's also worth recalling that ATF's proposal included ALL rifles of "over .22 caliber" (which includes your basic squirrel-gun b/c it is .224) but also included ALL gun-shops, not just those near the border.
Sen. Grassley's on this, but I hear document-shredders overclocking already....
HT: Moonbattery and Arms/Law
Evidently that's not a qualification for the jobs they have. In Dane County, the only thing you have to know for ANY office is "what the (D) Party wants".
For the rest of us, the schlubs, taxpayers, and bitter ignorant clingers--well, that's another story, which consists of the following: "Pay your taxes and STFU."
So Professor Esenberg has a nice 20-minute seminar on the topic for the benefit of the ignorami of Dane.
...Prosser said Sharon Merryfield told him that Feeney was visiting the Merryfield home and went upstairs to pray with 12-year-old Troy and his 14-year-old brother, Todd, before they went to bed, while their parents remained downstairs. According to the mother, the priest touched both boys and pinched Todd's buttocks, but did not touch either boy's genitals, Prosser said. A subsequent investigation found another man who said he had been inappropriately touched by Feeney but did not want to be part of any court case, Prosser said. Prosser said the Merryfield case seemed weak to him...
...Prosser said he met with Bishop Aloysius Wycislo and asked the bishop to remove Feeney from the parish. Wycislo said he would take care of it, Prosser said. When Prosser explained the decision to the Merryfields, he said, "My honest view is that the family didn't seem all that upset at the time."
What Prosser couldn't know was that Wycislo would double-cross him (and for that matter, the entire Diocese of Green Bay.)
Catholics who've been around for a while always knew that there was something fishy about the Green Bay Diocese under Wycislo's reign. We didn't know how bad it really was...but there was plenty of smoke.
Prosser said he never thought the church would repeatedly transfer a priest with multiple allegations against him
Prosser simply made the same mistake that McCann did.
Marquette University, which will begin offering domestic partner benefits next year, isn't the first Catholic institution in the Milwaukee area to do so.
Cardinal Stritch University and Alverno College have provided benefits for domestic partners for several years, spokesmen for the schools said Friday.
Umnhhh....so?Marquette spokeswoman Mary Pat Pfeil [....] called it in keeping with Catholic teaching.
"The benefits provision is an expression of pastoral care and an acknowledgment that health care is a basic human right," Pfeil said.
That statement is not true. Actually, medical professionals (and hospitals) have a moral obligation to provide essential health care, and essential health-care is mandated by the Hill-Burton Act. But that's secondary.
...the Catholic Church does not teach that “health care” as such, without distinction, is a natural right. The “natural right” of health care is the divine bounty of food, water, and air without which all of us quickly die. This bounty comes from God directly. None of us own it, and none of us can morally withhold it from others. The remainder of health care is a political, not a natural, right, because it comes from our human efforts, creativity, and compassion. As a political right, health care should be apportioned according to need, not ability to pay or to benefit from the care.--Bp. Nickless (Sioux Falls, IA.)
Bishops such as Bp. Nickless, teach in the name of the Church. Neither Mary Pat Pfeil nor Fr. Wild has the authority to so teach. So when they chatter about "rights" they are not competent to make the assertion--and, in fact, they are contradicted by an authoritative teacher--a Bishop.
Marquette is now in the position of facilitating non-marital "relationships," both hetero- and homo-sexual, which facilitation happens to have a name in moral theology: cooperation.
Mediate material cooperation occurs when the cooperator participates in circumstances that are not essential to the commission of an action, such that the action could occur even without this cooperation. Mediate material cooperation in an immoral act might be justifiable under three basic conditions:
- If there is a proportionately serious reason for the cooperation (i.e., for the sake of protecting an important good or for avoiding a worse harm); the graver the evil the more serious a reason required for the cooperation;
- The importance of the reason for cooperation must be proportionate to the causal proximity of the cooperator’s action to the action of the principal agent (the distinction between proximate and remote);
- The danger of scandal (i.e., leading others into doing evil, leading others into error, or spreading confusion) must be avoided.
While one could argue that Marquette's action meets #2, it is extremely difficult to argue that 'scandal' is avoided. (The same applies to Stritch and Alverno, of course.) It's an open question whether MU could even meet Condition #1.
So. The basis on which MU claims to act (a "right") is not actually a right under Catholic teaching. And MU's material cooperation will cause scandal. And MU simply cannot assert, without better arguments, that there is a "proportionately serious reason for the cooperation."
All in all: FAIL.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Friday ruled that a 2008 law that gave municipalities the option to limit property owners' rights to appeal assessments is unconstitutional.
The 4-3 ruling reversed a Court of Appeals decision and reaches the same conclusion originally adopted by Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Jean DiMotto in early 2009 that limiting the options of taxpayers in some cities and not others violated the equal protection clause...
The court split along familiar lines. Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson along with justices Ann Walsh Bradley and N. Patrick Crooks dissented
What's it all about, Alfie?
Before the 2008 law, property owners could challenge a board of review ruling in circuit court one of two ways: the court either considered the board's record to make sure there were no errors, but largely deferred to its conclusion, a process called a certiorari review, or it could basically hold a new trial over the assessment, with new evidence and no deference to the board of review, known as de novo review.
The law allowed municipalities to opt out of the latter, and instead require taxpayers to use only an enhanced certiorari review.
IOW, Shirley & Co. didn't like property-owner options--like a full-scale trial--to achieve a just assessment. "City's right, you're wrong, you lose, pay at this window."
National Public Radio
Internal Revenue Service Obama wants a 9% budget hike for the tax collecting agency and 1,269 new positions to implement ObamaCare
Amtrak Republicans want to cut $224 million from its budget, which could be accomplished by axing highly subsidized routes outside the Northeast Corridor
Environmental Protection Agency
National Endowment for the Arts Democrats are fighting a Republican effort to merely return funding to 2007 levels
National Endowment for the Humanities --the cowpoke poets' society
Planned Parenthood a/k/a "Murder, Inc."
Interior Department Republicans want to cut $1.4 billion from the Interior Department to prevent it from implementing the Obama administration’s wilderness policy, which allows the agency to impose conservation restrictions on public lands without congressional approval
Legal Services Corporation
At the same time, (D) Senators are dreaming up a "mileage tax" ...
As former chairmen and chairwomen of the Council of Economic Advisers, who have served in Republican and Democratic administrations, we urge that the Bowles-Simpson report, ‘The Moment of Truth,’ be the starting point of an active legislative process that involves intense negotiations between both parties.
There are many issues on which we don’t agree. Yet we find ourselves in remarkable unanimity about the long-run federal budget deficit: It is a severe threat that calls for serious and prompt attention. --quoting Politico
The letter is (really) addressed to Obama. You remember him? He's doing what he does best: voting "present."
Smoke over the Appian Way....
Friday, March 25, 2011
Under fire for an operation that allowed smuggling of U.S. weapons across the nation’s border with Mexico, President Obama said in an interview that neither he nor Attorney General Eric Holder authorized the controversial “Operation Fast and Furious.”
The Mexican government has complained that it didn’t know about the U.S. operation that allowed guns to illegally cross the southwestern border so they could track the weapons.
This was one of the dumbest moves by an Administration which is beginning to stretch the term "stupidity" to new sixth- and ninth-dimensions.
But it wouldn't surprise me at all to learn that "Fast and Furious" was put into play to run up the number of "arms bought in America and found in Mexico" so that President PixieDust and his boyzzzz could simply declare a moratorium on the sale of guns.
Yes, I think he's that stupid.
(Hint: it's spelled L-I-B-Y-A)
There is the near universal confusion about what the American military’s mission in Libya is. Who is calling the shots on deploying military assets? What is the end game?
Finally, there is astonishment that the president of the United States departed for a routine overseas trip on the eve of war.
At the center of an increasingly incoherent policy is the president’s national security advisor, Thomas E. Donilon, and Washington insiders are privately pointing a finger at him.
The article at the link paints a picture of a craven political know-nothing.
Just what we need when dealing with the lives of US servicemen.
LaborPains disagrees, finding that PEU members are paid five percent MORE than comparable private-sector folks (without taking into account the benefits...)
In his original analysis released by the Economic Policy Institute, Dr. Keefe found that public employees suffered a 4 percent compensation penalty relative to similar employees in the private sector. Correcting for errors in that analysis, the Center for Union Facts demonstrated that the 4 percent penalty is actually at least a 5 percent premium—a 9 percentage point margin. Keefe and EcPI made an attempt to defend their errors, but—as we’ve shown here—those defenses amount to more rhetoric than substance.
The conclusion of our original piece still stands: public employees are overpaid.Has to do with some deficiencies in the EPI analysis.
So how does GE repay the US?
The company reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States.
Its American tax bill? None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion. --NYT quoted at AOSHQ
It is a fact that "corporations" do not pay taxes--their customers do.
Having said that, it does seem a bit........odd........that President PixieDust is consorting with such rapacious and eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeevil corporations, no?
The Wisconsin Quality Care Authority was to provide information on home care workers' experience and qualifications and do background checks.
But the law also required the state to provide a labor organization with the names of the workers - most of whom earn $9 to $12 an hour and receive no benefits - and to hold an election on whether they would be represented by a union.
The SEIU pushed for the legislation, and the law was seen by some as an effort by Gov. Jim Doyle to reward organized labor.
In fact, it's a re-run of a Michigan plot with the same general results.
Other than Doylet and the Democrats, who thinks that a union--ANY union-- is entitled to the names of all workers in a given field?
If Obama does that, the Pubbies will raise the debt ceiling.
Of course, even assuming that the BBA gets through Congress by June of this year, there's another step: 37 States must ratify it, too.
That might take a while--like 2 or 3 years.
Cornyn's move is also called "spraying the foofoo dust." Or in more earthy language, he's pissing on your back and telling you it's raining.
So far, neither the House nor Senate Republicans have shown five percent of the cojones of Scott Walker, Chris Christie, John Kasich, or Mitch Daniels. They blathered about a $100Bn "cut", and have not yet delivered $10Bn of it. When they feel the heat, they attack the electorate that put them into office with faintly-disguised "bitter and stupid clinger" ad hominems (see Rep. Duffy, stage-struck NPR bootlicker, e.g.)
Meantime, President PixieDust puts forth a budget which will bankrupt the US, spending 25%++ of GDP by 2014. And that's the low-end estimate; unemployment is not expected to return to 5-6% until 2016. So where will tax revenues come from?
Nice try, Senator. But it's no substitute for manhood.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Marquette University plans to start offering domestic partner benefits to its employees in 2012, ...
...“If we are truly pastoral in our application of the Jesuit principle of cura personalis, I asked myself if I could reconcile that with denying health benefits to a couple who have legally registered their commitment to each other,” Wild said. In Latin, cura personalis means "care for the entire person." [said Fr. Wild]
Sure, Father, so long as that "entire person" doesn't have an eternal soul--you know, like in "cura animarum--or more important, salus animarum."
G K Chesterton had two applicable quotes.
"A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it." - Everlasting Man
"Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions." --ILN
Marquette: a dead thing grasping at fashionable fallacy.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) this week released a report that said taxing people based on how many miles they drive is a possible option for raising new revenues and that these taxes could be used to offset the costs of highway maintenance at a time when federal funds are short.
But it's not just highway-replace/repair they're going to extract. Gotta get a pound of flesh AND a few pints of blood!!
...CBO's assessment of "costs" was broader than just those costs associated with maintaining highway systems.
"Any given driver’s highway use also imposes costs on other users, on nearby nonusers, on the environment, and on the economy in the form of congestion, risk of accidents, noise, emissions of greenhouse gases and pollutants that affect local air quality, and dependence on foreign oil," CBO said.
Can't wait for LaHood and the boyzzzzzz to fix a price on "risk of accidents."
...Twelve years ago, the court had a different make-up but Shirley Abrahamson was still the problem. Back in 1999, four justices tried to curb Abrahamson's power. They included Bill Bablitch, recently deceased, Patrick Crooks, Don Steinmetz, and Jon Wilcox. Bablitch, a former Democratic state senator, complained that Abrahamson, even then the chief justice, never let the court know what she was up to.
...Way back in the mid-1980s, the Milwaukee Journal quoted an unnamed justice as saying Abrahamson gave colleagues the finger in conference and ridiculed their opinions in her dissents. Long before Abrahamson was trading barbs with Prosser and Roggensack, she was locked in a public battle with Justice Roland B. Day. There has been consistent criticism of her management style, Nichols reported.
One lawyer who has worked in the court calls her style "toxic" and compared dealing with her to chewing tinfoil. In short, Abrahamson may be brilliant, but her critics say she doesn't countenance other perspectives or much care about consensus or conciliation.
Clearly, there's a pattern of practice which Screechin'Shirley follows. So we can update the old joke:
Q. What's the difference between Shirley Abrahamson and the Panama Canal?
A. One of them is a busy ditch.
The murder and rape of Black African migrants in Benghazi (East Libya) reduces the value of anti-Qaddafi rebels’ claim to justice. --Barutiwa Daily Times
And then there's this:
“Yesterday a UNHCR team at the Egypt border interviewed a group of Sudanese who arrived from eastern Libya who said that armed Libyans were going door to door, forcing sub-Saharan Africans to leave. In one instance a 12-year-old Sudanese girl was said to have been raped,” Edwards said.
“They reported that many people had their documents confiscated or destroyed. We heard similar accounts from a group of Chadians who fled Benghazi, Al Bayda and Brega in the past few days,” he added. --UN High Commission for Refugees
When it comes to policy, the political class doesn’t have a lot of faith in the public’s IQ. In the latest National Journal Political Insiders Poll, a solid majority of political operatives—59 percent—said the public didn’t “know enough about the issues facing Washington to form wise opinions about what should be done.”
See, you're stupid. Ignorant clods who should just keep to your goat-herding and STFU.
There was a sharp partisan difference between the two parties: By more than a 2-to-1 margin, Democratic Insiders believed the public didn’t “know enough,” while a slight majority of Republicans thought they did.
Democrat Insiders--the Illuminati--include such as Joe Biden.
HT: Hot Air
Not enough [Pubbies] agree on one bill, however, to defeat a Democrat filibuster, even if the magic number of 60 in support of blocking EPA has been reached.
...The above situation, translated, also reflects that the Dems have split up their votes to avoid actually checking EPA's Power Grab while still saying "hey, I voted to stop them." Knowingly in a way that averted actually stopping them.
Ain't it a wonderful country?
Fortunately, the US will choke on its ObozoDebt long before the electricity gets shut off.