Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Sad and Confused C-in-C

He's displaced Jimmuh as the Most Incompetent Boob ever to hold the office.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Whistling Through the Cemetery

Seems that some Wisconsin bigwigs are not concerned about the DOMA ruling.

Wisconsin conservatives, though, say the rulings leave states free to address gay marriage as they see fit and the decisions don’t change things here.

``Our marriage protection amendment in this state is still valid and will continue to be,’’ said Julaine Appling, president of the conservative group Wisconsin Family Action. ``Wisconsin voters adopted it. Nothing in (the rulings) said we can’t do that.’

And this:

...Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Burlington, said he interpreted the rulings to mean states can set whatever policy they want on gay marriage and he doubted Wisconsin’s ban would change ``any time soon.’’

Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s spokesman said in an email to The Associated Press the rulings don’t appear to affect Wisconsin law...

Good luck with that.  In the very same article, we see this:

...Wisconsin ACLU Executive Director Chris Ahmuty said the chapter is focused on defending the partner registry and isn’t considering any lawsuits challenging the ban, at least not yet. He said challenges to gay marriage prohibitions elsewhere in the country might eventually draw a broader decision from the U.S. Supreme Court that would settle the issue....

Ahmuty knows that the Wisconsin amendment barring gay "marriage" is dead meat walking.  This is not "if."  It's "when."

Thursday, June 27, 2013

What the Feds Need: THE Database

This should complement the NSA's domestic spying handsomely. 

According to a recent solicitation from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the bureau is looking to buy a “massive online data repository system” for its Office of Strategic Intelligence and Information (OSII). The system is intended to operate for at least five years, and be able to process automated searches of individuals, and “find connection points between two or more individuals” by linking together “structured and unstructured data.

Primarily, the ATF states it wants the database to speed-up criminal investigations. Instead of requiring an analyst to manually search around for your personal information, the database should “obtain exact matches from partial source data searches” such as social security numbers (or even just a fragment of one), vehicle serial codes, age range, “phonetic name spelling,” or a general area where your address is located. Input that data, and out comes your identity, while the computer automatically establishes connections you have with others.

Many other specific requirements are also to be expected for a federal law enforcement agency: searching names, phone numbers, “nationwide utility data” and reverse phone searches. The data will then be collected to help out during investigations and provide “relevant information and intelligence products.”...

If nothing else, the NSA ought to bid on the project.  It has a good head start, ya'know?

HT:: Arms/Law

Tolkien and Benedict

What Tolkien observed:

Like many Englishmen, Tolkien feared a world divided in two, in which the smaller peoples would be swallowed whole by the bigger powers. While he saw evil in 1916, he also saw it in 1969. “The spirit of wickedness in high places is now so powerful and so many-headed in its incarnations,” Tolkien wrote, “that there seems nothing more to do than personally to refuse to worship any of the hydras’ heads.” The world, he thought, seemed little better than a new Tower of Babel, “all noise and confusion.” the 'dictatorship of relativism' which Benedict XVI railed against.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Fifth: IRS' Best Friend

Gracious me!  Lands and little fishes!! 

ANOTHER IRS manager pleads the Fifth.

SCOTUS: It's Not Bad; It's Worse

Arkes, who was quoted by Levin.

...Justice Kennedy sought to pretend, and Chief Justice Roberts pretended to believe him, that his judgment applied only to Section 3 of DOMA, in which the Congress declared that, in federal law, “the word ‘marriage’ means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.” Section 2 of DOMA sought to support the authority of a state to refuse to credit a same-sex marriage brought in from another state. It sought to prevent one state from indirectly nationalizing homosexual marriage, with the aid of the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution. Justice Kennedy insists that the decision on Section 3 does not touch Section 2: It does not compel any State to recognize same-sex marriage. But as Justice Scalia quipped in dissent, that claim falls into the list of “bald, unreasoned disclaimer[s].” Kennedy’s opinion will be hauled out in the cases to come to argue that the State has no justified ground for refusing to accept same-sex marriage in its own laws, or crediting the same marriages coming in from other states....

And the Prop8 decision is likely the worst since Roe.

...In Hollingsworth v. Perry, the Court refused to recognize the standing of the backers of Proposition 8 to defend that constitutional amendment in the courts. Once the governor of the state refused to defend the amendment, the backers of the amendment could claim no personal injury at stake in the litigation. When a federal district court struck down Proposition 8, the backers of the amendment had no standing to take the case into a higher, appellate court, and that court, in any event, turned out simply to confirm the holding of the district court....

...The legislature will take Justice Kennedy’s language in the DOMA case to call into question the standing of Proposition 8 as a constitutional amendment in California. And they may proceed then to legislate again to establish and promote same-sex marriage....

Contra the somewhat optimistic take given by Esenberg/Sykes this morning, the two rulings combine to slap Nature (and Nature's God) right in the face.


Ryan's Not Good at Double-Talk, But He Tries

One is reminded of Prof. Harold Hill's "Think Method" when watching Ryan stumble around trying to make 2+2=7.

Sad to see a guy with so much potential blow himself up, eh?

Right Solution, Wrong Administration

A former partner of the KGB suggests a path forward in the 'War on Terror.'  But there's a problem.

...I strongly suggest our current administration and Congress take a serious look at President Truman’s National Security Council Report 68 (NSC 68/1950), which set forth the strategy of containment and became our main weapon in the Cold War.
...“The issues that face us are momentous,” the document states, “involving the fulfillment or destruction not only of this Republic but of civilization itself.” Therefore, it prescribed a two-pronged political strategy: 1) superior military power, and 2) a “Campaign of Truth,” defined as “a struggle, above all else, for the minds of men.” 

 Truman argued that the propaganda used by the “forces of imperialistic communism” could be overcome only by the “plain, simple, unvarnished truth.” The Voice of America, Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberation (soon to become Radio Liberty) became part of Truman’s “Campaign of Truth.”

This same two-pronged strategy – total military superiority and a robust campaign of utter truth – enabled America to prevail against communism, and is equally essential if we are to get the upper hand in a world threatening the unthinkable of nuclear terrorism....

Neither Obozo, nor any of his cabal, is capable of telling the truth.  (For that matter, Rubio's down the toilet, too, along with about 500 of the 535 other leeches-in-Congress.)

So this will have to be outsourced.  Palin?  Mark Steyn?  PJBuchanan?

Lights Out

Here we have a Harvard grad:

”The one thing the President really needs to do now is to begin the process of shutting down the conventional coal plants. Politically, the White House is hesitant to say they’re having a war on coal. On the other hand, a war on coal is exactly what’s needed.”

That bozo also happens to be an "energy advisor" to our current President.

Given what "shutting down the...coal plants" will do to Wisconsin residents--without the benefit of Vaseline, mind you--I wonder if the Harvard grad would like to visit here when the lights go out.

Not likely.  He doesn't have the balls.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Will Paul Ryan Follow Rubio?

PowerLine is usually very restrained.

Not about Rubio.

...Is there a conservative talk show host with whom Rubio has truly leveled about the Schumer-Rubio legislation? He lied to Mark Levin. He dissembled to Sean Hannity...Now it seems that Rubio lied to Chris Crane, head of the organization that represents the brave men and women who fight, against the odds, to enforce our immigration laws...

Paul Ryan has stated that 'the House bill will require border security.'

Let's see how that actually plays out.

By the way, Ryan is the Chair/Budget in the House.  Did his last budget fund a border fence?

"Trust Us. We're National Security!"


The NSA, which is by charter and definition the nation's security watchdog, managed to:

1)  Hire a guy whose resume was......ahhh.......enhanced;

2)  Put the guy in a position to "steal secrets" and load them into a laptop computer (or several of them) and allowed him to walk away with them;

3)  Stand watching as the guy, his laptops, and "secrets" successfully flies to Hong Kong;

4)  Fail to capture the "spy" in Hong Kong; and

5)  Fail to prevent his flight to Moscow;

5)  Lose track of the guy, totally, while he's in Moscow--(or maybe he's NOT in Moscow.)


Not to worry, however.  The NSA has a record of every cellphone call you've ever made or received, along with every email you've ever sent or received, and every pixel you've ever posted on the 'net.

Because that makes us "secure."


Another (similar) look at the same Incompetentos.

One Graf Synopsis of the Obozo/Congressional State

Belvedere spotted this and I'll steal it.

Look at the immigration bill. Look at the one in 1986. Look at Napolitano’s declaration that the border is secure, and that agencies like hers have the right to determine which laws shall and shall not be enforced. Look at Benghazi. Look at Fast and Furious. Look at ObamaCare, and how it was rammed through, and all its promises, and behind those Obama’s 2008 campaign rhetoric about the individual mandate, and keeping your doctor, and bending the cost curve. Look at the IRS, and the story about low-level employees, and the audit that wasn’t an investigation, and the preliminary results that weren’t communicated to the congressmen who asked for them, and the FBI’s lack of follow-up. Behold Pigford, with the DoJ coordinating with trial lawyers and community activists to trawl for fraud in black churches. Behold DoJ lawsuits designed to prevent states from ensuring that the rolls are clean, or that voters are who they claim to be, or that addresses given for registration are valid. Hurry, hurry, step right up and see Catherine Engelbrecht, the woman targeted by multiple federal agencies at the behest of low-level IRS employees who were just a little overzealous about doing their jobs. Watch in amazement as the IRS head approves $70 million in bonuses for a job well done, despite the sequester, while VA employees are furloughed. Feast your eyes on the spectacle of ICE agents suing the government for the right to do their jobs, and fulfill their oaths of office. Be dazzled at the EPA creating its own laws, at the DHS and lobbyists writing health care regulations, at ideologues deciding on the basis of campaign donations who will and who won’t be permitted to continue to deal GM vehicles, giving preferred stock interest to unions who helped their boss become Chief Executive of the country, creating massive subsidies for Chevy Volts. See the State Department squelch its internal investigations and persecute those who inform on Ambassadors trolling in public parks for sex with underaged girls, security agents frequenting prostitutes, abusers of female staff, under the direction of Hillary Clinton, who would like to be the first female President, because it sends the right message. Watch as Smart Power reshapes the Middle East, and leads to a general jihad of Sunni against Shiite. See the Jews and Christians evicted and murdered, watch their synagogues and churches burn at the hands of adherents of the Religion of Peace. Marvel at the lack of coverage in the MSM. Get a front-row seat to watch as military functionaries institute anti-Christian policies on behalf of Muslim extremists. Watch them all lie, lie, lie, and get away with it.

A fellow of my acquaintance is an ex-DEA agent.  He's a pleasant, bright, hard-working guy who manages people very well.  But that DEA background impels him to toss the 'paranoia' label carelessly.

Too bad he hasn't read the above, eh?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Rubio's False Choice

Here's the last graf from Marco Rubio's essay on why the immigration bill should be passed:

I understand the American people’s frustration. I know that these promises have been made in the past. But here’s the reality of it: the choice before us is to try to fix this, or leave it way it is and risk an even bigger problem due to Washington’s inaction. What we have today is a disaster of epic proportions. Eleven million human beings living among us, and we don’t know who they are. They are working but not paying taxes. There are criminals among them. That has to be solved. We need to fix this, and this is our chance to fix it.

Those are not the only choices.  He knows it, and we know it.

There's another choice:  fund, implement, and enforce the existing laws, or clean out D.C.

I like my suggestion better.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

How Congress Works

Found at PowerLine:

It’s true, we have a two-party system in America: The Evil Party, and the Stupid Party.  And every once and a while the Evil Party and the Stupid Party get together to pass something really evil and stupid.  That’s called “bipartisanship.”  --M Stanton Evans

That sums it up.

NSA "Secrets". Really?

Chapman says here what a lot of other people are saying (myself included):  what Snowden exposed are not "secrets."  

The first [claim] is that these programs were vital in stopping terrorists. The second is that by revealing their mere existence, Snowden did grave damage to national security.

On the first claim, NSA Director Keith Alexander and others have gone into great detail, crediting the programs for foiling some 50 plots. But on the second one, they have been curiously reticent.

Now, it's hard to believe it would come as a great surprise to al-Qaida that American spies might be examining their phone records. Nor is it likely that hardened militants were slapping their foreheads to learn that someone in Washington may have been reading their email or listening in on their Skype chats.

What Chapman didn't mention is that those "50 plots" were largely targeted OUTSIDE the US.

And Chapman doesn't mention that the British are also monitoring phones and emails, and slipping NSA the data they get.  That's significant because the British Gummint does not have to observe 4A rights of US citizens, whether terrorists or not.  Gee--the NSA chief didn't mention that, either!

"Lightbulb" Rogers (R-MI) is going wonzo over the leaks.

Stick your flourescent up your ass, Rep. Rogers.


Remember all those AFSCME/public employee robots screeching for Big Gummint?

Yah, well, they got their Big Gummint, and something else, too.

...local governments across the country have been quietly doing exactly the same thing — cutting part-time hours specifically so they can skirt ObamaCare's costly employer mandate, while complaining about the law in some of the harshest terms anyone has uttered in public. The result is that part-time government workers — many of them low-income — face pay cuts that can top $3,000 a year, and yet will still be left without employer-provided benefits...

...Dearborn, Mich.: "If we had to provide health care and other benefits to all of our employees, the burden on the city would be tremendous," said Mayor John O'Reilly, explaining why the city is cutting its more than 700 part-time and seasonal workers down to 28 hours a week...

...Long Beach, Calif.... is going to cut hours for 200 part-time workers so it doesn't have to pay $2 million to provide health benefits...

...Virginia: ... is requiring that about 7,000 part-time government workers put in no more than 29 hours a week.

There will be more.  Lots more.  And while schadenfreude feels good for a few moments, it's really an avoidance reaction to the tragedy that's unfolding for thousands of little Gummint gerbils that swallowed, whole, the lies of the Progressive Statists they so ardently supported.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Wisconsin and Lake Woebegone

The Wisconsin DPI, under Tony Evers' Most Beneficial Leadership, describes Wisconsin's public education establishment in terms which would make Lake Woebegone blush:

For much of Evers’ tenure at DPI the media lapped up claims about Wisconsin’s public schools being among the best in the nation.  This occurred despite an earlier Education Sector report — in 2006 — listing Wisconsin as Number One in the nation in over-hyping the test scores of its students....

..."The Pangloss Index ranks Wisconsin as the most optimistic state in the nation…[A]ccording to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, the state is a modern-day educational utopia where a large majority of students meet academic standards, high school graduation rates are high, every school is safe and nearly all teachers are highly qualified.
"[While] school districts around the nation are struggling to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), the primary standard of school and district success under NCLB…99.8 percent of Wisconsin districts—425 out of 426—made AYP in 2004–05."...
Maybe Keillor's imaginary hometown isn't the correct analogy; at least Keillor's Camelot is deliberately ironic.
On the other hand, Evers' Camelot is not deliberately ironic.  It's fraud.
...the Education Sector reported that under Evers and his boss, Elizabeth Burmaster, Wisconsin basically cooked the books.  Wisconsin used a "proficiency" standard that was so low it enabled all but one district — Milwaukee — to pass muster....
The solution is simple:  more money!!

Ryan and Sensenbrenner: Conservative Again?

We've mentioned Sensenbrenner's and Ryan's Left-leaning votes a few times, so in the interest of being fair and balanced, here's a glimmer of light:

U.S. Reps. Paul Ryan of Janesville and Jim Sensenbrenner of Menomonee Falls were among 62 Republicans to oppose the farm bill as the House defeated the measure this afternoon. 

We'll see how this plays out later on, eh?

Obozo's IRS: Hates TEA, Loves Illegals

We all know that Obozo's IRS has a mission to harass folks that oppose Obozo's agenda.

But Obozo's IRS has another mission, too:  facilitate illegals' life in the US.  If that happens to cost REAL US taxpayers several billion dollars, tough s*&t.

Since 1996, the IRS has issued what it calls Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) to two classes of persons: 1) non-resident aliens who have a tax liability in the United States, and 2) aliens living in the United States who are “not authorized to work in the United States.

The IRS has long known it was giving these numbers to illegal aliens, and thus facilitating their ability to work illegally in the United States....

So there was an audit in 2012.  Guess what?

“TIGTA’s audit found that IRS management has not established adequate internal controls to detect and prevent the assignment of an ITIN to individuals submitting questionable applications,” said Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George. “Even more troubling, TIGTA found an environment which discourages employees from detecting fraudulent applications.

Oh, yes, it gets worse.

The Internal Revenue Service sent 23,994 tax refunds worth a combined $46,378,040 to “unauthorized” alien workers who all used the same address in Atlanta, Ga., in 2011...The IRS sent 11,284 refunds worth a combined $2,164,976 to unauthorized alien workers at a second Atlanta address; 3,608 worth $2,691,448 to a third; and 2,386 worth $1,232,943 to a fourth....Other locations on the IG’s Top Ten list for singular addresses that were theoretically used simultaneously by thousands of unauthorized alien workers, included an address in Oxnard, Calif, where the IRS sent 2,507 refunds worth $10,395,874; an address in Raleigh, North Carolina, where the IRS sent 2,408 refunds worth $7,284,212; an address in Phoenix, Ariz., where the IRS sent 2,047 refunds worth $5,558,608; an address in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., where the IRS sent 1,972 refunds worth $2,256,302; an address in San Jose, Calif., where the IRS sent 1,942 refunds worth $5,091,027; and an address in Arvin, Calif., where the IRS sent 1,846 refunds worth $3,298,877...

I have to admit that those illegals are frugal.  24,000 people sharing one lower flat in Atlanta!

Here's an idea:  have Lois Lerner's sorry lying ass assigned to Atlanta where she will be required to meet, photograph, and fingerprint every single one of those ITIN holders before she can return to a management slot in D.C.  And no refunds will be issued to any of those ITIN's until Lois submits their documentation.

Friday, June 21, 2013

More Jackassery in DC

As an aside to the main argument over the Farm Bill, this factoid emerges.

...Pursuant to a silly 1949 act of Congress, every time we fail to renew expiring farm programs, the government must begin imposing Soviet-style price controls on milk by decreasing supplies through massive purchases of milk, butter, cheese, and other dairy products.  Under permanent law, the USDA would begin purchasing dairy products at a rate of $38.54 per hundredweight, more than double the current price ($18 per hundredweight).  This market manipulation could double the price of milk, dairy products, and everything else up the food chain.

But instead of avoiding the deleterious effects of the Agriculture Act of 1949 by growing government, why don’t we just repeal the dang law?

In a sane world, both houses of Congress would convene and repeal this inane and outdated law within a few minutes by unanimous consent.  That way we could debate a long-term farm bill without having the sword of the 1949 law brandished over our necks and forcing Congress to rush through bad legislation.

Silly man. "Both houses of Congress" and "sane" in the same sentence?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Bipartisan Totalitarianism

Yah, we know that Obozo's collection of phone calls, emails, and internet traffic is...ummmnnnhhhh....Obozo's.  He's a totalitarian and has his enforcers:  Holder and the IRS (not to mention DHS and the upcoming ObozoCare/HHS regime).

Recall, though, that Jim Sensenbrenner WROTE the Patriot Act which "authorized" all this stuff; and sure enough, another Totalitarian emerges creeps forth from the (R) sub-basement:

...Within a few hours, King [R-NY] provided an illustration of precisely what the Examiner editors fear. Responding to a question by Fox News' Bill Hemmer about why the government needs everyone's phone numbers and not just suspects', King said, "Because if you don't have all of them, the system is incomplete."

Pressed further by Hemmer as to why the government needs his phone records, King expanded: "Because you can't distinguish one number from the other as to which one could potentially in the next five years be involved in a terror case. You need to have the full array of numbers so that any time in the next five years, if a number comes up, they can then drill in and find out who in this country spoke to it. It's very hard to decide who to include and who not to include."

(Aside from his implication that EVERYONE is a suspect, there's another fact which King the Totalitarian forgets:  phone numbers actually change owners!!)

Oh, well.  There's still the Second Amendment.

It's the SPENDING, Stupid!!

More from the Department of Confirming Cynicism (see below, too!)

When the Wisconsin State Assembly passed a budget on Wednesday, they exempted the biannual plan from a provision in state law that requires its appropriations to be balanced by tax revenue and state agency income.

Why?  Simple.  The Legislature and Governor spend a lot of money.

...Because Republicans failed to reduce spending, and instead increased overall state spending, and because tax cuts lowered revenue projections, the budget does not balance at this time unless assumptions are made about the state’s economic growth....

More State employees, more spending, more bonding.

And someone is (reportedly) running for President as a "Conservative."

The Legislature's Big Gummint Move

Confirming the cynics.

Data from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau shows that the proposed Wisconsin state budget adds 1,777 jobs to the state government workforce as compared to the number of state jobs approved in the 2011-2013 budget. Baseline projections used for the current budget process show the Joint Finance Committee’s version of the budget, which was modified on the Assembly floor today, enacting a smaller increase in state government jobs funded through general tax revenue, segregated funds, and program revenues. Compared to Governor Scott Walker’s initial budget proposal, the JFC budget cuts 730 proposed government jobs...

Naturally, the Big Gummint folks have a convenient statistical lie available.

The LFB report prepared before full Assembly and Senate deliberations on the new state budget asserts that the 2013-2015 budget contains authorizations for 69,243 full-time equivalent (FTE) state government jobs. The baseline used for the budget was 69,263, meaning lawmakers can boast that they reduced state government jobs compared to the baseline...

But to us normal people, 69K is larger than 67.5K.

If the State was able to struggle through 2012 and 2013 with only SIXTY EIGHT THOUSAND EMPLOYEES, it should be able to make it with only SIXTY SEVEN THOUSAND EMPLOYEES in 14/15.

If it can't, the revolution has a long way to go.

Statist Doctor-Ninnies

What a bunch of ninnies. 

Health care organizations are urging Wisconsin lawmakers to reject proposed legislation that would bar doctors from asking patients if they own guns.

The measure, unveiled last week by Rep. Michael Schraa, R-Oshkosh, “is detrimental to medical providers’ ability to educate patients and in so doing prevent injury and death,” the organizations said in a memo Monday to legislators.

Doctors have better things to do with their VERY limited time.

No surprises present on the roster of Statist Ninnies:

 ....American Family Children’s Hospital, Dean Clinic, Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative, SSM Health Care of Wisconsin, UW Hospital and UW School of Medicine and Public Health....

...nor the carefully-worded deception here:

...In 2010, more than 15,000 children and adolescents younger than 20 were treated in emergency rooms nationwide for firearm injuries, the academy said.

"Adolescents younger than 20" includes a boatload of gang-bangers.  Somehow that fact eludes the newspaper "reporter."

Hillary's Grab-Ass Gang

Seems as though Hillary has gotten used to being around ass-grabbers, and rather likes it.

Just like she likes perjurers.

For that matter, she enjoys sending messages to whistleblowers.  Kinda makes you wonder about all those dead bodies surrounding the Arkansas Governor's mansion, eh?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Prophet deTocqueville

Egads.  The quoted stuff was written more than 100 years ago.

Toward the end of “Democracy in America” he warned against the government becoming “an immense tutelary power…absolute, detailed, regular…cover[ing] [society's] surface with a network of small, complicated, painstaking, uniform rules through which the most original minds and the most vigorous souls cannot clear a way.”

Tocqueville also foresaw exactly how this regulatory state would suffocate the spirit of free enterprise: “It rarely forces one to act, but it constantly opposes itself to one’s acting; it does not destroy, it prevents things from being born; it does not tyrannize, it hinders, compromises, enervates, extinguishes, dazes, and finally reduces [the] nation to being nothing more than a herd of timid and industrious animals of which the government is the shepherd.”   --N Ferguson/WSJ quoted at ColdFury

The only thing he missed was the Omnipresent Eye of NSA/IRS.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The NSA's Jobs Machine: Congress

Not to worry about whether the NSA will always have a job to do.

...senators also voted to weaken current law that requires the government to have biometric checks such as fingerprints or eye-scans for every visitor to the U.S. — a recommendation of the 9/11 commission that looked into the terrorist attacks on Washington and New York.

Senators said it is too expensive to check fingerprints at all air, land and sea ports of entry. Instead, the bill calls for photographic checks at air and sea ports, but excludes land ports....

Baldwin, who doesn't give a flying crap about national security, voted with the majority.

Is Sensenbrenner Clueless, Or Just Stupid?

At the invaluable Sykes site, we learn that Jim Sensenbrenner, who WROTE the Patriot Act, cannot figure out how NSA could be misusing it.

Here's a clue:

USA Today has published an extraordinary interview with three former NSA employees who praise Edward Snowden's leaks, corroborate some of his claims, and warn about unlawful government acts.... 
  • Congressional overseers "have no real way of seeing into what these agencies are doing. They are totally dependent on the agencies briefing them on programs, telling them what they are doing."
  • Lawmakers "don't really don't understand what the NSA does and how it operates. Even when they get briefings, they still don't understand. --quoted at Vox Populi.
I'll take pretty damn dense for $500.00, Alex. And I'm being very charitable.

Read the rest of the Vox link, by the way.  Snowden wasn't kidding. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

What Tolkien Said

Tolkien was arguably the best philologist of the 20th Century.  So when he wrote the Trilogy, the name he gave the Enemy's City was significant.


One doesn't have to be a Tolkien-class philologist to get the drift; the "mor" root is familiar to people educated in German, French, and Latin, and changed only slightly to "mur" in English.

We're now seeing "Mordor" in phrases like "Mordor on the Potomac" and "Mordor on Lake Michigan". 

Artful use of the name, I think.

This Guy's Not Alone in His Opinion

The principal reason that Rush Limbaugh is the single most significant radio host in history is this:  he says what a helluvalotta other people think, and that draws a helluvalotta listeners.

Here's another example of saying what others think from a fellow named Bill Quick:

It doesn’t really matter who you vote for. Vote for Bush, get an attempt to shove scamnesty down your throat. Vote for Obama, get scamnesty shoved down your throat. Vote for Bush, get gigantic new entitlements, and one of the biggest spending increases in history, and a massive economic crash. Vote for Obama, and get gigantic new entitlements, the biggest spending increase in history, and the New American Depression. Vote for Bush, get a promise to sign an Assault Weapons Ban if congress sends it to him. Vote for Obama, get him sending a new Assault Weapons Ban to congress. Vote for Bush, get a vast new security state. Vote for Obama, get that security state on steroids.

We've pointed out Sensenbrenner and Ryan's complicity in the Statist regime; RoJo tries to hold the fort but is drinking the Legalization Kool-Aid.


HT:  Cold Fury

"Your" Children? Think Again

The nation's Momma:

Children who don’t get a pre-kindergarten education, ideally from birth to age 5, might fall behind and “may as well drop out” by third grade, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said on Wednesday at an event to garner support for President Barack Obama’s $75-billion proposal to increase pre-school enrollment across the country...Protein quoting CNS

As we've learned by now, the Statists never quit taking, so this isn't just some offhand inane remark.

Yes, it's inane.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

About That Phone Conversation With the TEA Party...

Catholic?  Pro-Life?  TEA Party member?  Use Windows?  Remember Bill Clinton?  Keep reading...

The National Security Agency has acknowledged in a new classified briefing that it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, disclosed this week that during a secret briefing to members of Congress, he was told that the contents of a phone call could be accessed "simply based on an analyst deciding that."

If the NSA wants "to listen to the phone," an analyst's decision is sufficient, without any other legal authorization required, Nadler said he learned. "I was rather startled," said Nadler,...Hit and Run quoting CNet


What's a "terrorist"?


...Like Dr van Someren, Andrew Fernandez, chief scientist with Cryptonym of Morrisville, North Carolina, had been probing the presence and significance of the two keys. Then he checked the latest Service Pack release for Windows NT4, Service Pack 5. He found that Microsoft's developers had failed to remove or "strip" the debugging symbols used to test this software before they released it. Inside the code were the labels for the two keys. One was called "KEY". The other was called "NSAKEY".

Fernandes reported his re-discovery of the two CAPI keys, and their secret meaning, to "Advances in Cryptology, Crypto'99" conference held in Santa Barbara. According to those present at the conference, Windows developers attending the conference did not deny that the "NSA" key was built into their software. But they refused to talk about what the key did, or why it had been put there without users' knowledge...--Ticker quoting Heise Online

THAT item was dated 1999.

Think again:  Nineteen ninety-NINE.  Hint:  BEFORE 9/11, BEFORE GWBush.

That was the Clinton Regime, remember?

First They Came for the TEA Parties. Next, the Churches

Actually, the ObozoTyranny has been after the Catholic Church for a few years (see "the mandate.")

Then came the IRS' TEA Party corruption.

Now back to the churches--this time, the fundamentalists.

On Thursday the Examiner provided an exclusive report indicating that the Obama administration had implemented a covert program beginning in 2009 that was intended to spy on conservative, evangelical Christian churches.

That program involved infiltration — sending in government operatives to join churches for the purpose of data collection. The government snoops would keep their eyes and ears open for criticism of the Obama administration, talk of Tea Party participation, conversations about gun ownership, and a number of other issues.

But a special report issued today by Fox News indicates that the program went far beyond infiltration and snooping. The IRS was used to harass Christian churches if they were identified as places where large numbers of anti-Obama citizens congregated for worship.  --Gateway quoting Examiner

Franklin Graham, the Biblical Recorder, Billy Graham Evangelist Organization.....


They Should Have Read the Bill

Ms. Pelosi shoulda read the bill.  Because now the bill is coming due.

  1. Temporary hiring at Wal-Mart has gone from 1-2% to 10% in a year
  2. mployees face an 8-36 percent increase in healthcare premiums in 2013
  3. Part-time employees now need to work 30 hours instead of 24 to get coverage
  4. 61% of the stores in the survey were only hiring temps or were not hiring at all
  5. Regular employees have seen their hours cut

But hey, none of this has anything to do with Obamacare. It just happened. 

HT:  Shedlock

First of Many

There will be lots more of these coming.  Forget what you said on a phone call?  Not to worry; NSA can tell you.  Forgot your password(s)?  Call NSA's hotline:  1-800-WE KNOW YOU.

(For that matter, if your kid's high-school transcripts got lost, call the Dept of Ed in DC.)


HT:  MoonBattery

Protesting Too Much, and A Question or Two

This guy Snowden certainly is a narcissist lying dumb twit, eh?  (But that leaves a VERY important question or two.)

...When one major institution (the Washington media establishment) so seamlessly partners with another (the U.S. government) in trashing a whistleblower, it’s not hard to understand why Americans might be jaded. The New Yorker’s Jeffrey Toobin wrote that Snowden is “a grandiose narcissist who deserves to be in prison.” MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell complained about Snowden’s naiveté and “maturity level,” as if only a child would believe the government should be transparent about its activity. Politico’s Roger Simon called Snowden “the slacker who came in from the cold,” with “all the qualifications to become a grocery bagger.” That people feel comfortable sneering about grocery workers—a respectable job—and writing off Snowden’s years working as a security guard as sloth tells you a bit about the culture of the nation’s capital, doesn’t it?

But he didn’t finish high school! Actually, Snowden earned a general equivalency diploma (GED), but that hasn’t stopped his detractors from spitting this accusation like an epithet. On Wednesday’s Late Show With David Letterman, Tom Brokaw dismissed Snowden as “a high school dropout who is a military washout.” On Tuesday, Sen. Susan Collins, mocked the 29-year-old man as “a high school drop-out who had little maturity [and] had not successfully completed anything he had undertaken.” Yes, if only he had gone to Harvard or Yale like our last four presidents, who have done such a bang-up job running the country....--HotAir quoting Kirsten Powers


So here's the question:  How did this critter get hired by Booz, Allen and work at the NSA for four years?

Here's another question:  How many more just like him are on NSA's direct or indirect payroll?

"Nice Kids You Have. Yes, We Know All About 'em."

That "Common Core" thing has a totalitarian component.

...President Obama’s nearly trillion-dollar Stimulus law designates $128 billion for education, so it’s no surprise that tight strings are attached.

Buried in the fine print is an ominous requirement to build a national electronic database of all children. Any state that receives federal education funds must “establish a longitudinal data system that includes the elements described in . . . the America COMPETES Act.”

That law, passed a couple of years ago, sets out the goal of longitudinal databasing of “student-level enrollment, demographic, and program participation information” for all students from preschool through postsecondary education. This electronic database will contain “yearly test records of individual students,” “a teacher identifier system with the ability to match teachers to students,” “student-level transcript information, including information on courses completed and grades earned,” and “student-level college readiness test scores.”

Database collection on each student continues through college and into the workforce. States are required to enter “information regarding the extent to which students transition successfully from secondary school to postsecondary education.”  --Gateway quoting Schlafly

It ain't just reading, writing, 'rithmetic any more.  Any wonder why home-schooling is growing like topsy?  

Whooops! We're Outta Money!

This will leave a mark:

A team led by a state-appointed emergency manager said Friday that Detroit is defaulting on about $2.5 billion in unsecured debt and is asking creditors to take about 10 cents on the dollar of what the city owes them.

Kevyn Orr spent two hours with about 180 bond insurers, pension trustees, union representatives and other creditors in a move to avoid what bankruptcy experts have said would be the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

Underfunded pension claims likely would get less than the 10 cents on the dollar.  --Gateway quoting AP

Think your tax-free munibond portfolio is solid?  Best be reviewing its holdings, eh?

Friday, June 14, 2013

Why Atkisson's Computer?

It's no longer news that Atkisson's computer was hacked by 'extremely sophisticated' folks.

Timing is everything, folks.

[C]hecking the record, we see that Attkisson had a very interesting scoop on October 20th, relying on anonymous military sources that called into question the Obama administration’s claim that they couldn’t have responded in time to assist in the attack:

As we've said many times, Obozo was resting up in preparation for a campaign fundraiser.  He didn't have either the time or the inclination to rescue the Ambassador and the others at Benghazi.

But he DID have the time and inclination to make certain that Atkisson's computer was hacked.

Remember the Mortgage Scandal?

Only 3 years ago, the mortgage problem morphed into a scandal.

Then came Obama's second term:  Fast & Furious, Benghazi, the IRS, ....and the mortgage thing fell off the radar screen.

It shouldn't.

Attached is an affidavit of a senior loan collector for BOA that was filed in United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts under case number MDL 2193.

Simone Gordan stated the following under oath:

"Using the Bank of America computer systems I saw that hundreds of customers had made their required trial payments, sent the documents requested of them, but had not received permanent modifications. I also saw records showing that Bank of America employees have told people that documents had not been received when, in fact, the computer system showed that Bank of America had received the documents. This was consistent with the instructions my colleagues and I were given. We were told to lie to customers and claim that Bank of America had not received documents it had requested, and that it had not received trial payments (when in fact it had). We were told that admitting that the bank received documents would "open a can of worms" since the bank was required to underwrite a loan modification within 30 days of receiving those documents and it did not have sufficient underwriting staff to complete the underwriting in that time.... Site leaders regularly told us that the more we delayed the HAMP modification process, the more fees Bank of America would collect. We were regularly drilled that it was our job to maximize fees for the bank by fostering and extending the lay of the ... modification process by any means we could --- this included lying to customers. For example, we were instructed by our supervisors at Bank of America to delay modifications by telling homeowners who called in at their documents were "under review," when, in fact, there had been no review or any other work done on the file."

" Employees who were caught admitting that Bank of America had received financial documents or that the borrower was actually entitled to a permanent loan modification where discipline and often terminated without warning."

BofA is Too Big to Fail (but really, a zombie).  It shouldn't fail.  It should be shot to death.

HT:  Ticker


Courtesy of Belvedere.

...Live reality was treated as a perversion or caricature of “genuine” reality, believed to lurk invisible behind appearances and waiting to be set free by the Revolution. This attitude would enable the intelligentsia to accept as true propositions at total variance with demonstrable fact as well as common sense…. To understand the behavior of the intelligentsia it is imperative to keep in mind at all times its deliberate detachment from reality: for while the revolutionaries can be ruthlessly pragmatic in exploiting, for tactical purposes, the people’s grievances, their notion of what the people desire is the product of sheer abstraction. Not surprisingly, when they come to power, revolutionary intellectuals immediately seize control of the means of information and institute a tight censorship: for it is only by suppressing free speech that they can impose their “sur-reality” on ordinary people bogged down in the quagmire of facts...--D Pipes

Pipes was describing the Russian Revolution's Lefty Intellectualoids.

Has a familiar ring, no?

The concentration of Progressive Thinkers in DC (and in many State capital cities) results in this dissociation problem.  It's not surprising, thus, to read of "strange new respect" afforded to solons who ran 'conservative' but in only a few years of office-holding, begin to vote--even to think-and-speak--"progressive."

Paul Ryan is becoming an example; Rubio's time-line was much shorter; but look at the really damaged goods:  McCain, e.g.

Vos, Nygren & Co.: Big Spenders

All that sweat and bother to spend even MORE money?  Hell, we could have elected Barrett for that!

...Now that the committee has finished writing the budget and it heads first to the Assembly, and then the Senate, for passage, it turns out that Nygren’s committee actually grew state appropriations more than the Governor proposed....

...When calculating spending by state government agencies, the Republican-controlled JFC hiked spending by $1.9 billion....

Oh, Vos and Nygren will have a song-and-dance about "bond reductions" which is a smoke-and-mirrors variant.

Whatever.  Kinda reminds you of Cryin' John and Ryan, who can't possibly DE-fund ObozoCare.  Maybe Nygren and Vos are thinking of their next office.... 

The War Party's New Pal: AlQuaeda

Kristol, Peter King, John McCain (and his sister Lindsey) and Obama are all ready to assist the Syrian "rebels."

Meantime, the Syrian "rebels" pledge fealty to AlQuaeda.

That's the same AlQuaeda which no longer existed before Benghazi, right? 

The same AlQuaeda which engineered 9-11, right?

Rubio Descends Into Madness

Since it's in pixels it must be true.

Marco Rubio told Sean Hannity yesterday that he had wanted border security before amnesty, but now thinks we need amnesty first so, in paying the government for their amnesty, we can use the illegal aliens’ to pay for securing the border....

Looks like a pilot for a TV comedy series, actually.  

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Schneier on PRISM (2005)

The PRISM program (or whatever NSA calls it today, if they admit it), has a problem:  it won't work.  Not even for $80Bn/year.

...Data mining is like searching for a needle in a haystack. There are 900 million credit cards in circulation in the United States. According to the FTC September 2003 Identity Theft Survey Report, about 1 percent (10 million) cards are stolen and fraudulently used each year. 

When it comes to terrorism, however, trillions of connections exist between people and events -- things that the data-mining system will have to "look at" -- and very few plots. This rarity makes even accurate identification systems useless. 

Let's look at some numbers. We'll be optimistic -- we'll assume the system has a one in 100 false-positive rate (99 percent accurate), and a one in 1,000 false-negative rate (99.9 percent accurate). Assume 1 trillion possible indicators to sift through: that's about 10 events -- e-mails, phone calls, purchases, web destinations, whatever -- per person in the United States per day. Also assume that 10 of them are actually terrorists plotting. 

This unrealistically accurate system will generate 1 billion false alarms for every real terrorist plot it uncovers. Every day of every year, the police will have to investigate 27 million potential plots in order to find the one real terrorist plot per month. Raise that false-positive accuracy to an absurd 99.9999 percent and you're still chasing 2,750 false alarms per day -- but that will inevitably raise your false negatives, and you're going to miss some of those 10 real plots. 

This isn't anything new. In statistics, it's called the "base rate fallacy," and it applies in other domains as well. For example, even highly accurate medical tests are useless as diagnostic tools if the incidence of the disease is rare in the general population. Terrorist attacks are also rare, any "test" is going to result in an endless stream of false alarms. 

This is exactly the sort of thing we saw with the NSA's eavesdropping program: the New York Times reported that the computers spat out thousands of tips per month. Every one of them turned out to be a false alarm....

And guess what?  IT DOESN'T WORK!!  See Ft. Hood, the ShoeBomber, Boston, and Mumbai hotel.

But the Political/Ruling Class is happy to spend $80Bn/year to continue failing.

"El Foldo" Boehner, Again

Boehner does his prize-winning El Foldo.  Will the "conservative" Sensenbrenner do what Boehner tells him again?  Will WannaBeePresident Ryan soak the taxpayer with this farm runoff?

Forget about the subsidies for a moment.  The real problem with this pile of manure is that it combines the Food Stamp program with the farm subsidies, conflating two streams of effluent into one settling pond.  And El Foldo Boehner, after conference committee, will give the remaining few taxpayers the worst of both sides.

But none dare call it manure.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The SWAG Method at EPA

Most of you know what the acronym stands for.  If you don't, find someone who does.

Here's the EPA version.

The increase of the so-called social cost of carbon, to $38 a metric ton in 2015 from $23.80, adjusts the calculation the government uses to weigh costs and benefits of proposed regulations. The figure is meant to approximate losses from global warming such as flood damage and diminished crops. …

... Even supporters questioned the way the administration slipped the policy out without first opening it for public comment. The change was buried in an afternoon announcement on May 31 about efficiency standards for microwave ovens, a rule not seen as groundbreaking.

“This is a very strange way to make policy about something this important,” Frank Ackerman, an economist at Tufts University who published a book about the economics of global warming, said in an interview.  --Bloomberg quoted at HotAir

That's about a 60% increase, with no justification attached, and no public hearings.

"Whaddya want the Cost/Ton to be, hey?"

"I dunno.......let's make it $38.00.  It's Friday go-home time."

The NSA: Federal Criminals?

In the Obozo Regime, criminals dominate the offices.  Now comes MikeD at Grim's place to put the finger on the NSA, too.

...The NSA may not, by its own charter, perform Communications Intelligence operations upon the United States or its citizens.  It's target, and mission, is COMINT ops on foreign targets.  

Now, I am certain the Administration will claim that the actual targets of this program are foreign terrorists.  However, the one overriding law that the NSA must follow is the United States Signals Intelligence Directive (or USSID) 18.  I would draw your attention specifically to the unredacted portions of Sections 4 and 5, which specifically deal with how communications collected from sources known to be US citizens are to be handled.  I won't quote directly (you can read it all there) but in short, they can't.  They are forbidden by federal law from collecting, processing and disseminating Signals Intelligence gathered from US Citizens.

And I don't really care how the Administration spins it, this meta-data collection and processing, especially as laid out in everything we've seen, is in direct contravention of USSID 18.  And that makes it a federal crime.

Bonus question:  What is the meaning of is? "collect"?

PRISM "Misses"

Besides the Ft Hood terrorist, the Boston terrorists, and the Flying Terrorist, NSA's "PRISM" seems to have missed something else:

The agency also has a counterspy team that looks at NSA employees — and contractors? — in hopes of anticipating who might be ready to leak. Evidently they missed the Ron-Paul-donating loner who’d apparently been in contact with Glenn Greenwald for months before he skipped town.

That from a longer essay asking exactly how Snowden could have obtained the info he disseminated.

In a way, it's reassuring that the NSA appears to be a bunch of bumbling idiots.  With $80Bn of your dollars.

The Cops vs. the Citizens

Noted by Sykes & Co:

Beginning today, the 2013 Fighting Forward Labor and Working Class Summit will begin four days of panel discussions and presentations on class warfare, labor history, organizing, recounting of events like the Wisconsin labor uprising and Occupy Wall Street.

Attendees will get to choose to attend panels on "Transitional Steps to a Socialist Future," "Changing U.S. Capitalism," "Possibilities and Limitations of the Electoral Process," "The Wisconsin Struggle," "Building a Genuine Left Wing in the Union," "Historical and International Perspectives on Occupy," and much much more....
Among others (like the Wobblies (!!!)), sponsors include the Wisconsin Professional Policemen's Association.
Remember that the next time you get a ticket for failing to signal a turn, jaywalking, or not wearing your seatbelt--all occasions for collecting your DNA, too, according to the Supreme Court.

Pat Caddell on PRISM: A Warning

The first time I ever saw Pat Caddell was when he was working for Jimmuh Carter.  Remember that as you read this.

...if the PRISM program and all the rest of the government’s surveillance programs were so good and necessary, then why didn’t the feds catch the Tsarnaev brothers, who earlier this year blew up the Boston Marathon?  Or Major Hassan, the 2009 Fort Hood mass-murderer?  Or the “underwear bomber,” also from 2009, who nearly succeeded in blowing up the passenger jet flying into Detroit?

(In fact, there is no documented evidence that PRISM has prevented ANY terrorist attacks.)

...if and when everything is revealed about PRISM and all the rest, it’s likely that we will learn of important and inculpating connections between the National Security Agency (NSA), on the one hand, and many civilian agencies, on the other.
I am not just referring to Eric Holder’s Justice Department; I am also referring to the gleefully gushing leakers and win-at-any-cost politicos in the White House.  And oh yes, let’s not forget the Obama administration’s partisan allies at the IRS, as well as the Obamacare overseers at the Department of Health and Human Services

Moreover, since we know that the IRS was eagerly willing to share secret tax information with favored private groups, we shouldn’t be surprised, in the end, to learn that NSA/PRISM material ended up in the hands of Obama friends and allies outside of the government

Yes.  Where the Old Stasi worked from the bottom up, the Neue Stasi works from the top down.  Bonus:  we get to pay for the Neue Stasi with our tax dollars!! far as the American people are concerned, this domestic spying is a big deal. Yet revealingly, to the political class--that is, our leaders in Washington DC--it’s not such a big deal.  And there we see the central cleft in our politics today: the widening gap between the government and the governed.  According to pollster Scott Rasmussen, the American people oppose the US government’s secret collection of phone records by a whopping 59:26 margin.

The DC crowd--including Lightbulb Rogers of the House Intel Committee--absolutely love this program.  Are you surprised?  (By the way, is there any intelligence present at the meetings of the Senate and House "Intel" committees?)

...we must know this for sure: One way or another, a revolution is coming.

I've become acquainted with a pleasant Lefty who, in his own words, is 'heavily involved in politics' at the State and local levels.  (His wife is connected to MoveOn.)  He advised me that he's 'heard talk of a revolution' recently.  Interesting, because of the circles he travels in.

HT:  Sipsey

Schumer & Rubio vs. US Workers

The Chamber of Commerce, Big Ag, and SEIU assembled this bill, along with the usual LaRaza suspects.  It was very secretive work for a good reason:  they don't want you to know what's in it.

Under the existing Senate immigration bill, immigrants who have been in the United States illegally can obtain a provisional legal status after paying fines and meeting certain preconditions. But this population would have to wait at least 13 years to be able to obtain full citizenship, and it isn’t until then that they could qualify for government benefits such as Obamacare.

The problem arises when this rule interacts with another provision of Obamacare – the employer mandate. Starting in January, businesses with 50 or more employees who don’t offer workers health insurance that the federal government deems acceptable must pay a penalty if at least one of their workers obtains insurance on a new government-run exchange....


This means if the immigration bill becomes law, some employers could effectively face incentives of hundreds of thousands of dollars to hire newly legalized immigrants over American citizens, because the immigrant workers would not qualify for Obamacare benefits.

In the past, the signs read "IRISH NEED NOT APPLY."


What Your ObozoCare Will Cover

Yah, you'll have to pay for this, one way or another:

According to the Washington Examiner's Paul Bedard, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who led the Planned Parenthood cheering section as Kansas's governor, is taking her allegiance to new heights with the ObamaCare law. In an April letter to insurers, Sebelius issued a regulation ordering companies to cover Planned Parenthood clinics in their state exchange packages. Planned Parenthood, which she deems as an "essential community provider," is part of the long list of local organizations that insurers are required to partner with. (Others, Bedard says, include lesbian and gay centers, family planning clinics, and "holistic" centers.)

Walker's refusal to establish a state exchange looks better every day, although the babykiller regime's order will, de facto, fund Planned Barrenhood nationally.

So let's ask Levin's question again:  who has done more damage to the USA?  Obozo, or Snowden?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Levin: "Who Has Done More Damage to the USA?"

Good question, Mark.

Snowden or Obozo?  Who has damaged this country more?

Refined further:  who has done more damage to national security?  Obozo or Snowden?


Rubio's Immigration Formula: Cheaper Is Better

We've mentioned--often--that the current immigration scheme for "STEM" (best and brightest) types is not good.

Rubio's bill will make it worse.  It is very disappointing that Sen. RoJo hasn't moved to repair these problems.  But if RoJo believes that "cheaper is better", then Rubio's bill is just right for him.

The dazzling innovative power of the tech industry is one of the few remaining American comparative advantages. Unfortunately, Congress is on the verge of squandering that precious national strength. 

U.S. dominance in technology has been due to our cultural flair for innovation, good old Yankee ingenuity. Yet, as currently structured, the H-1B work visa and employer-sponsored green-card programs are bringing in workers who tend to be of lesser talent than their American peers. Worse, they are indirectly displacing Americans. The result is a net reduction in the country's talent level.

Matloff goes on to PROVE that the "high-tech" industry lies about patents and R&D differences (US natives are a lot better at both);  and that--actually--immigrants generally graduate from LESS selective colleges than US natives (one result of the 1990 immigration "reform.")

A 1989 internal National Science Foundation report forecast that the H-1B program, then in the proposal stage, would result in a flood of foreign students into U.S. doctoral programs. The report stated that this would cause wages to stagnate, driving American science, technology, engineering, and math students into finance and law--exactly what did occur. 

Those who do stay in STEM then have financial disincentives against pursuing graduate work. A 2007 Urban Institute study found that we are producing far more STEM graduates at the bachelor's level than the economy needs, but that too few get advanced degrees. A Ph.D. student must forego an industry-level salary for about five years, only to find at the end that the wage premium accruing to a doctorate--held down by the large foreign influx--doesn't make up for that loss in lifetime earnings. 

The impact of the foreign-student and H-1B programs has been to displace American students from STEM fields. Since the average quality of the foreign students is lower than that of the Americans, the result is a net loss of quality in our STEM workforce

What this bill is REALLY all about is cheaper STEM labor.  That's what the Rubio Act will get us.

Next time RoJo sends a fund appeal, send him $1.00.  Cheaper is better, ya'know.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Say WHAT, Sen. RoJo?

Senator Johnson tells us that the Immigration Act 'needs a few tweaks' to gain House acceptance.

Yesterday, it seemed as though he hadn't read the bill (or worse.)

Today, it's worse:

“Let’s be clear,” Rubio said. “Nobody is talking about preventing the legalization. The legalization is going to happen. That means the following will happen: First comes the legalization. Then come the measures to secure the border. And then comes the process of permanent residence.”  AOSHQ quoting HotAir

There's no excuse for RoJo's koombaya any more.

Describing "Total Security"

This Englishman gets it.

...Fox News’s Kirsten Powers certainly seems to think that such widespread data mining is acceptable, asking critics on Twitter last week: “how r they supposed to know who to target before the data is mined to find suspicious activity? it has to be ‘blanket’ initially.”

This is an utterly terrifying suggestion, a principle that could be applied to almost anything in any place and at any time. Are we routinely to obtain warrants in order to search each and every house in a city so that we might know which house warrants even more thorough scrutiny? I rather think not. And yet if it is acceptable for the state to apply a single search-and-seize permission slip to hundreds of millions of people on the off chance that something might turn up, why not, say, to all the homes in Dearborn, Michigan?...

Why not?  Why doesn't the (R) majority in the Wisconsin legislature simply issue a warrant covering all the residences in Dane County, given the proclivities of that region?

...When I entered into arrangements with American Express, Google, and AT&T, I took a calculated risk with my privacy. I took that risk with American Express, not with the federal government; with Google, not with President Obama; and with AT&T, not the national-security services. Are we to presume now that all private agreements implicitly involve the state? And if so, where is the limiting principle? If I am to expect that private information I keep on a server run by a private company will be routinely accessed by the government without my knowledge, then why would I not also expect that private belongings I keep in a storage unit run by a private company will be routinely accessed without my knowledge? At what point did it become assumed in free countries that relationships between free citizens and free businesses were not sacrosanct?...

Umnnnhhh....those businesses are not "free."  They are wholly dependent on the license of the Gummint to operate, silly.  They're cooperating because the gun is to their heads, too.

And contra the vacuous "nothing to see here" blather from Krauthammer (etc.), here's a dose of reality:

...After analyzing 1.5 million cellphone users over the course of 15 months, the researchers found they could uniquely identify 95 percent of cellphone users based on just four data points — that is, just four instances of where they were and what hour of the day it was just four times in one year. With just two data points, they could identify more than half of the users. And the researchers suggested that the study may underestimate how easy it is....

You may call Snowden a traitor if you like.  Obama certainly will.  But if NSA can hire such a person, why can't they (or IRS, or EPA, or DHS) hire a lesser-grade voyeur?  One who has a certain dislike for you, or your spouse, or your children, or your political beliefs, and who can make your life Hell?

Oh, wait:  they already DID so.


Another Look at Turkey

If your education about Turkey comes mainly from the MSM, you're not educated.

...Erdogan fears a vast regional war between Sunnis and Shia Muslims, egged on by the West and by the same Arab states that bankroll Al Qaeda, and the Israelis. Sunni Turkey has a large minority of Alawites who are Shia co-religionists to the Syrian regime. It also has anti-Turkish problems with foreign Sunni Kurds. It aspires to closer integration with Europe, remains the toughest army in NATO and its most reliable partner, and it tends overwhelmingly to support America. Moreover, ignoring the bigots from Tennessee to Tel-Aviv who say that all Muslims are equally backward and vicious, the recently urbanised Turks who crave more social conservatism are not our enemies: many, it seems from my visits, are too busy buying Western-made machines and trying to export furniture and dried fruit to America and Europe.

It is a difficult set of problems for Turkey, and there are no sure answers except that the Western media effluvia and daily warnings-cum-“helpful thoughts” from the White House do no good....

As usual, Obozo is not really promoting US interests.

There's a lot more in that essay.  Read it.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

RoJo Kinda Likes the Immigration Bill. Why?

Senator RoJo thinks the Immigration Bill only needs a couple of tweaks to pass both the House and the Senate.

Apparently Senator RoJo hasn't read the bill.  Kaus (via PowerLine) sheds some light on the weasel-wording, deception, and flimflammery of the bill.

“Multiple triggers” — Legalization is immediate. DHS just has to write border “plan.” The most any “triggers” can possibly do is delay green cards and citizenship.
“90% effectiveness” — If not reached, triggers only toothless commission
“Pay back taxes” — Only if already “assessed” by IRS (unlikely). Newly legalized may instead get refunds.
“Learn English” — Only need to sign up for English class.
“Clean record” — Allows two free misdemeanors. Additional misdemeanors (including assaults) can be waived by DHS.
No “public charge.” Must earn 125% of poverty line — They’re going to deport people who earn only 124% or less? Ha.
“Pay a fine” — Can be waived by DHS.
“Back of the line” — Get to wait out the line while living in the U.S (unlike suckers trying to come here legally).
Border fence — Leaves it up to DHS, which decided not to complete fence in first place.
“Comprehensive Southern Border Security Strategy” — Only has to be “substantially” operational–whatever that means, as defined by DHS–before green cards are issued. (Legalization has already happened, remember? )
“E-verify” employment checks — Replaces E-Verify with new system. Requires only that this system be “implemented” (30%? 70%? Who knows?). Subject to lawsuit. If still in court after 10 years, never mind!
Entry-exit system for visas — Has been required since 1996. DHS must only be “using” a system before green cards can be issued. (Using in 10% of airports? 50%? Again, who knows?)
That doesn't address the "STEM-workers" provisions, which are just as deceptive and weasel-worded.  The STEM-worker section has another major flaw:  even more American kids will not bother to pursue STEM-related careers.  Why should they go into $zillions of debt to take jobs paying less than Mickey D's?

We don't know who is 'advising' Sen. RoJo on this bill, but he should shitcan the bozos.

Yoo, the NSA, Conditionals, and Spy v. Spy v. Spy

John Yoo (who is a bit controversial) defends what the NSA has admitted to doing with phone calls; the piece is loaded with conditionals, as you'll note.  It also leaves room for the possibility for far worse skulduggery than has been imagined.

[The GWB and Obama] programs, however, seek to use communications coming into the United States from a known terrorist abroad to identify an al-Qaeda network within the country.

The program does not represent a violation of the Constitution because the Fourth Amendment does not protect dialed phone numbers, in contrast to the content of the communications, because individuals lose privacy over those numbers when they are given to the phone company. The Constitution protects the content of the communications, whether it be a phone call, e-mail, or old-fashioned letter. And Congress approved a change to the FISA statute to allow such collection, and a court of federal judges approved it.

Yoo acknowledges that there may be a problem with Obozo's email intercepts.

The revelation of broad e-mail surveillance is more troubling, but it is because we don’t know the program’s scope. If the program only intercepts the content of e-mails for foreigners abroad, as is being reported, there is no constitutional violation.

(Highlights are mine.)

Yoo doesn't address the search-function monitoring at all, nor does he mention that England can (and does) spy on any US citizen and turn over its findings to the NSA--or Eric Holder.  No Constitutional problem there!!

The guy can add 2+2 pretty well, however:

...unfortunately, the program will be questioned because of the Obama administration’s serious mistakes on its IRS investigations into conservative groups and Justice Department surveillance of journalists to stop leaks. The Obama administration’s destruction of the American people’s trust in their government’s ability to run its core tax and law-enforcement functions will harm our government’s ability to carry out its duty to protect the nation....


We know that this President has little use for America, other than as a source of funding for his lifestyle and for his favorite Middle Eastern pals, not to mention thinly-disguised communist-front "community organizer" groups.  He certainly doesn't give a rip about border security.


If the revelation "will harm our government's protect the nation" is he really unhappy that the NSA work has been revealed?

Think about that for a while.

HT:  PowerLine

The Efficacy of CA. Gun Laws? Zero

This one fellow blew a number of holes through "gun law" theory.

...A law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN on Saturday that the gunman had suffered mental health issues. A few years ago, he was hospitalized for treatment after allegedly talking about harming someone, according to the official.

It's not clear whether the state government or his family committed him for treatment or whether he committed himself. It's also unclear under what circumstances he was released....--Cramer quoting CNN

Cramer goes on:

California has had an assault weapon ban since 1989  (the year the shooter was born) and on transfers of high-capacity magazines since 2000 (when the shooter was eleven years old).  It has required all firearms transfers to be done through a background check since 1991 (when the shooter was two) and it appears that the shooter had been committed at some point -- which is one of the things the California background check includes. 
So what we really need is more gun laws!!

HT:  Arms/Law