Saturday, January 31, 2009

Men of Honor

His No. 40 replica jersey — the top seller on the team Web site — hangs off the shoulders of grandmothers and bikers and businessmen who form a human ring of honor in the stands. Tillman is idolized by people who never saw him play. Journalists here are sizing him for a Super Bowl ring.

While the NFL has no plans to honor Pat Tillman tomorrow in the city where he played college and pro ball before joining the Army Rangers and later being killed in action in Afghanistan, some people are now wondering whether or not he belongs in the Hall of Fame. (The NFL’s action or inaction in this matter of not planning anything for tomorrow's game is an egregious omission in our not-so-humble opinion).

Tillman and Bob Kalsu remain the only two players to have voluntarily left the NFL during their careers and serve in the armed forces. Like Tillman, Kalsu was killed in action in Vietnam.

Tillman’s story is fascinating: always a free-spirit and a free-thinker, he had serious misgivings about the war in Iraq but forsook millions of dollars and a safer life here in the U.S. with his wife to serve a country he loved even though there was a very good chance he would be sent into combat in Iraq… which he was upon completion of the Ranger Indoctrination program in late ’02.

Greg Easterbrook writing for ESPN’s page 2, has a curious take on whether or not Pat Tillman should be enshrined in Canton. Though he is very respectful of Tillman’s courage and ultimately, his sacrifice, we gage that Easterbrook does not think the Hall worthy of either Tillman or Kalsu.

But each of these men made a difficult choice that had nothing to do with football. It would be offensive if pro football, through the Hall of Fame, pretended its players and coaches, paid vast amounts of money for making no sacrifice of any kind, could claim the reflected glory of two departed war heroes.
Easterbrook is off-base: It is not about “claiming”. It is about, however, “recognizing” and “honoring”. Easterbrook says it best himself: “…in an age that has devalued honor, they were men of honor.”

We don’t think it would be too much to ask of an entity whose existence revolves around fame, adulation and turning a profit, to carve out a couple of spots to honor two men who are forever members of the NFL family and forever brothers of every other player but which represented everything the NFL is not.

We’d like to hear what you think.

H/T: Special thanks to Mongo and Jonesy who alerted us to linked articles.

High Definition

For those of you wondering just what the heck terms like “Neighborhood Stabilization” and “Community Development” mean, we’d like to help out because those two terms are currently near and dear to our heart.

We are currently petitioning Congress, the President and ACORN to see if they could possibly see their way to sweeping just 2 or 3 crumbs off the Great Stumble Sideways banquet table our way here in humble little Rolando Beach.

These water main breaks have become an all too frequent occurrence in our ‘hood.

The hydraulic forces lifted this slab of earth and asphalt a good six inches. One could here stones and rocks from under the pavement being washed downhill… an unnerving experience… so yeah, how about a little “stabilization”?

And then maybe a little sumthin’-sumthin’ to get this mess in our front yard cleaned up.


B-Daddy here. Does anyone recall during the campaign how Joe Biden declared that paying taxes by wealthier Americans was patriotic? Well, I do. Since Dean has been hammering the Treasury Secretary and chief tax compliance officer for his past lapses paying Uncle Sam, I wanted to get in on the fun. Turns out one of my least favorite liberals, Tom Daschle, nominee for Health Czar has had some tax problems as well. From the Reuters article:

A Senate Finance Committee report obtained by Reuters showed Daschle paid $128,203 in back taxes and $11,964 in interest for 2005 to 2007, to cover income for consulting, the use of a car service and lower deductions for charitable contributions.

"He didn't think to report it to the IRS. He didn't think of it as taxable income, but it came up during the vetting process," said a congressional aide, who asked not to be identified.

Well how do you like that? Normally, statements such as "I didn't think it was taxable income" get translated by IRS auditors as "income tax evasion." However, see Iowahawk's excellent article, "Ask the Tax Guys," for how this applies to the well connected.

Also, note that Daschle worked as a "consultant" for broadcasting and cable TV company, Intermedia Partners. I am certain he used his vast knowedge of marketing, communications technology, or something like that to earn all that jack. He certainly wasn't a lobbyist, because I read somewhere that our new Prez has special rules about lobbyists and their unseemly stench shall not disturb the smell of pixie dust that now wafts through the White House.

And dang! $128,203 in back taxes! A lot of people would be happy to make that much in a year. But I guess a patriotic soul like Tom Daschle couldn't be a wealthy American, now could he. Because I know that Barack Obama wouldn't fill his cabinet with wealthy, well-connected Wall Street and busines types who weren't patriotic.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Tales from Bailout Nation Pt. V

Four more banks have announced their approval to receive taxpayer capital through the Treasury Department's $700 billion Troubled Asset Purchase Program. But a growing number of financial institutions are opting not to take the government money.
At least five banks said this week that they had decided against selling preferred stock to the government. They included United Bankshares Inc., which was approved for $197.3 million in aid, and Bridge Bancorp Inc., which was approved for $15 million

United Bankshares said that although it was honored to be selected for the Treasury Department's stock-purchase program, it decided that going forward with the deal would not have been in the best interests of shareholders.

"The program's restrictions on possible future dividend increases, the dilution to earnings, and the uncertainty surrounding future requirements of the program outweighed the benefits of United's participation,'' Chairman Richard Adams said.

(emphasis ours)

Folks, perhaps the realized consequences of selling your soul for some quick cash is starting to sink in.

Maybe being a two time tax cheat's bitch isn't such a hot idea after all. Rather than have their business practices dictated to them from Capitol Hill and the Oval Office, it’s encouraging to see United Bankshares and Bridge Bancorp go it on their own. How very individualistic… how very American.

A corporate jet for Mr. Adams and a fat bonus as well.

Peeling back the layers of this Onion

Now that the Great Stumble Sideways stimulus plan has passed the House and is on its way to the Senate where it is approaching the $900 billion, its time to start taking a good hard look at all the goodies that await sitting there underneath that Christmas Tree.

By the way, the House version of the bill itself in all its 258 page .pdf mind-numbing glory can be found here.

First stop: National Parks.

The man, David Obey (D), Wisconsin who essentially cobbled this thing together is under the gun because the National Park Service is getting $2 billion of the stimulus plan. Obey happens to have a son Craig who is a senior VP and top lobbyist for the National Parks Conservation Association which made public appeals for funds to repair and maintain national parks in the weeks before the House passed the bill Wednesday.

Obey’s people came to his defense by saying there is a tremendous backlog of work at the parks and that people could be put to work by, yada, yada, yada….

But here is the line of defense we thought was the most interesting.

Dicks' chief of staff, George Behan, said neither Obey nor anyone else needed to lobby the lawmaker on the issue.
More than anything else, this speaks to the ungodly amount of money contained in this bill and Behan certainly has a point, inferring 0.24% of the total bill as mere crumbs that fell off the dinner table and into Park Service’s lap. No lobbying necessary.

Alright, let’s leave the great outdoors and get inside… way inside. Now, you didn’t think that the Organizer-in-Chief was going to forget his roots, did you? A cool $1 billion will be going to the lovely and talented “Community Development Fund” (p. 228) which will be distributed via the always transparent and accountable “community development block grant program”. Also, the “CFD” will receive an additional $4.2 bil for “neighborhood stabilization”.

You can dress up that pig any which way you will and call it what you please, we will refer to it as seed money for the Obama in ’12 campaign.

More to follow.

Permission granted to start drinking early today

.... read here first, though, in order to qualify.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

High Irony content warning

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner picked a former Goldman Sachs lobbyist as a top aide Tuesday, the same day he announced rules aimed at reducing the role of lobbyists in agency decisions.

Mark Patterson will serve as Geithner's chief of staff at Treasury, which oversees the government's $700 billion financial bailout program. Goldman Sachs received $10 billion of that money.
Melanie Sloan, executive director of the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said President Obama was retreating from his own ethics rules barring lobbyists from working on the issues they lobbied about during the previous two years. "It makes it appear that they are saying one thing and doing another," she said.

Perhaps Ms. Sloan hasn’t quite caught on to the drift of the financial bailout package. Where is the conflict of interest when everybody seems to be getting some Fed money whether their bank needs it or not?

We appreciate her pluck and willingness to point out an empty and now violated campaign promise but the helicopter is gassed up and its time to take to the air and scatter mass quantities of tax payer largesse across the fruited plain.

Define Fair...

The second incident came at the instant Obama uttered these words in his inaugural address: “Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions.” As soon as he got to the word “communism,” the censors at the state-run China Central Television could take no more. They cut away from the speech and went to an anchor interviewing an analyst.

In other news today, President Obama has two vacancies to fill on the Federal Communications Commissions board which could reimpose the “Fairness Doctrine” by a simple majority vote. (There are five seats on the commission, no more than 3 of which can be filled by members of the same party)

Aside from the obvious, the imposition by 3, 4 or 5 people of what radio programmers can and cannot broadcast, another difficulty we have with the Doctrine is how it would be applied. If the goal of the Doctrine is for issues of public importance to be presented in a manner that is honest, equitable and balanced, how exactly would the mechanics of that goal be carried out and to be more precise and to the real nitty-gritty of those who support the Doctrine, how is it that you would determine who is the “liberal” and who is the “conservative”?

Take us, please. As we’re filling in the bubbles on our FCC Fairness Doctrine application for airtime on a 500 watt station situated at the far end of the dial being broadcast from Searchlight, Nevada and our FCC overlords see that we’re opposed to a Flag burning amendment, are virulently against school prayer and really have no need for English being declared “the official language” of this nation, we might just find ourselves on the midnight shift as the “liberal” alternative.

All this to say, there are just too many opinions and views held by people across the political spectrum, or quadrant, if you will, to be able to lock down people into two specific camps which is what proponents of the Doctrine will need to accomplish in order to fulfill their own doctrinaire policy.

Lastly, we are going to pick on someone who wrote into the San Diego U-T with respect to the U-T’s piece on the Fairness Doctrine and which seemed to typify the views of those who support the Doctrine: Hey, were huge supporters of free speech, but…..

David B. of Del Mar writes:

Yes, I heard these characterizations on right-wing radio and view them as possibly inciting ideologically extremist people to try violence. So while the airwaves should be free and open to reasonable (and even some unreasonable) communications, where is the limit? In a country with the legacy of the assassinations of JFK, RFK, Martin Luther King Jr. and the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan, public calls to stop Obama from imposing a fascist or communist (forget the distinction, these right-wing fanatics seem too dumb or hateful to know the difference) system seem to cross the line into irresponsible “radio journalism” that needs some reasonable limits.

It is duly noted that the assassinations Mr. B. speaks of all occurred during a time the Fairness Doctrine was active and thus by his own logic should probably remain inactive. We believe that to be quite reasonable.

Only the French

Frenchmen fearing unemployment and a bad economy…..
…......... Stay home in protest.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Quote of the Day

"If we want people working in America, we got to make sure our highways and roads are modern,…We've got to bring up this transportation system into the 21st century."

For those of you wondering what earthly form the infrastructure build/re-build portion of the Great Stumble Sideways will appear, we’ve got a pretty good idea as the above quote cannot be attributed to the current President but rather his John the Baptist-like predecessor, George W. Bush who was pumping the just-enacted $286.4 billion transportation bill just 3-1/2 years ago at a Caterpillar plant in Illinois.

$286.4 bil for roads, bridges, transportation systems… and bike paths not even 4 years ago. Where does the time… and money go? Wherever both have gone it has apparently gone fast enough that we need another spending program to get our transportation system into the 21st century.

Keith Ashdown, vice president of policy for Taxpayers for Common Sense, called the measure a "bloated, expensive bill" that the president should veto.

It is fitting that Mr. Bush is signing this legislation in Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert's district, Ashdown said, "Because the speaker's district has the third highest amount of highway pork in the nation."

The bill contains more than 6,371 special projects valued at more than $24 billion, or about 9 percent of the bill's total cost, he said. The distribution of the money for these projects "is based far more on political clout than on transportation need," Ashdown said.

The critique above was pulled from an archived CBS News article. We look forward to more straight-shooting and honest assessments of the Great Stumble Sideways by the 4th estate as more and more of its details are revealed.

P.S. We're confident that the Hollywood conventional wisdom of "sequels are never as good as the original" will certainly hold form here... even as its yet to be determined just how bad the original movie was.

Cartoon of the Day

(BwD throws shoe at the Main Stream Media)

Get it? We’re throwing a shoe at the. Main. Stream. Media. Just like that guy over in Iraq did at President Bush… because we don’t have a whole lot of respect for the traditional media outlets… so we’re showing our disgust and disrespect… just like that guy who didn’t like Bush.

Have you ever seen anything so original or creatively brilliant in the past 3 or 4 weeks? We’re thinking of sending this directly to Rich Lowry of the National Review. He’s hit us up a few times in fund raising mailers, so we figure he owes us a panel.

Commenter Picture Caption Contest

...courtesy Awful Announcing.

"....So then Madsen starts dancing in front of everybody..."- B-rent

"Mihm: "I can get 42 this season."
Walton: "42 Minutes?""

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Obama frowns, Citigroup jet goes down.

Why does it seem that the Feds have zero problem with injecting their desires and expectations into the private businesses they have bailed out but do not impose similar criteria upon state governments and GSEs that they bailout?

One of the Feds’ bitches, Citigroup has scuttled a plan to purchase a $50 million jet when it was found out that certain members of their new board of directors in Congress didn’t think it was such a hot idea. In fact, in his newly expanded role as CEO of Citigroup, President Barack Obama didn’t believe “that’s the best use of money” for companies that are receiving taxpayer assistance.

Never mind the fact that Citigroup was financing the purchase of this new jet with the sale of old ones and thus replacing older technology with new, or the fact that they were planning on reducing the number of jets from 5 to 2, anyway, the new bosses have spoken.

This incident is a great illustration of just why this bailout nonsense is such a horrible idea. Citigroup, a formerly fully private entity, will not be able to sneeze without Carl Levin finger-wagging disapprovingly.

So the majority of the financial sector now has been reduced to conducting business via symbolism; by meaningless populist acts of omission and in the case of ousted Merrill Lynch CEO, John Thain who apologized for spending $1.2 million on his office remodel, vacuous acts of contrition.

The shame is not in losing

We wanted to comment on this but got caught up in the excitement of a two-time tax cheat being named our nation’s top tax collector. Could you blame us?

Anyway, back on Jan. 13, the girls’ basketball team from The Covenant School beat the Dallas Academy, 100-0. Since that time the score, the two schools and the The Covenant School coach (well, former coach as he’s since been fired) have gone national and unless you’ve been living under a rock, you've probably heard about this and probably have some sort of opinion regarding the whole brouhaha.

As bad as the score appears, it’s difficult to form any strong opinion on the game itself, and more precisely the conduct of the game unless one is there. True, a 100-0 score would appear to speak for itself, but we would want to witness the mood and tenor of the participants firsthand before laying down any judgements.
One question we do have right off the bat is, if The Covenant School is as good as the readings on this matter say they are and Dallas Academy is a school for kids with “learning disabilities” and with only 4 players on the team as far as we can tell, who’s brilliant idea was it to let this game get scheduled and actually played in the first place?

Back in junior high we were on the winning end of a 123-8 game against a league foe. We don’t recall any feelings getting hurt (true, we were on the winning side but actually being there as a participant afforded us to being attuned to the general attitude of the opposing team) – we had a good team, our shots were falling and the other team stunk. We only suited up 8 guys and the 3 off the bench were no slouches either and they certainly wanted to get their minutes and their shots. It just kind of happened, if 123-8 happens.

But here is what’s important: We don’t recall any hard feelings, humiliation or indignation expressed by the opposing team, their coach or the fans of that team either during or after the game.

A final score in and of itself does not make for humiliation. We’ve never been humiliated merely because we’ve been on the wrong end of a 40 pt. beat-down. The handful of times where we can honestly say we’ve been humiliated or shown-up is when the opposing team started noticeably altering their style of play. When the other team starts clowning or “easing-up” so as to not embarrass you, it has the exact opposite effect. As a competitor, what becomes truly galling and infuriating is when you sense the other team’s patronizing efforts to not make you look so bad. The very thing that has been suggested by some of the talking heads (“just let’m score”) is the only thing that would ever cause us to be humiliated or shamed on the field of play.

Ass-kickings happen.

But now The Covenant School has forfeited the game. Embarrassment. And Dallas Academy has become somewhat of a celebrity… for losing… as Dallas Maverick owner Mark Cuban has invited the Dallas Academy team to attend a game in his luxury suite. Humiliating.

We think the best for all involved would’ve been to let this game go quietly into the night.

So, about that temperament?

Well, that was the word we heard quite a bit during the campaign and one in particular that was employed whenever the country-clubbers in the G.O.P., not wanting to be shut-out of the Georgetown cocktail circuit or possible future employment, needed an excuse to vote for Obama. Personally, we would’ve been happy with a little honesty, as in, he’s young, he’s hip, he’s black and just’ve been done with it like about half of his supporters.

Anyway, in his first week in office, the man with the first-class temperament has seen fit to get into it with… a conservative talk-radio host. Can’t ever recall that happening before. It would be like George W. Bush getting into it with….. um…. hmmmm, it’ll come to us in a moment…. sounds like….. Oh, never mind.

B-Daddy, has a take regarding another somewhat childish display of un-Presidential-like behavior, here.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Glorified radio personality gets Treasury post

The man who will be charged with flying around America and throwing money out of a helicopter to hopeful bank executives was confirmed by a 60-34 vote in the Senate today for what is now the second most powerful position in the federal government.

So, let’s get this straight: Linda Chavez, George W. Bush’s choice for Secretary of Labor, withdraws her name for consideration 8 yrs. ago because she allegedly employed and illegal immigrant when in reality she was doing what any good liberal would do by letting this women who was facing domestic abuse at home, stay at her residence while providing her some emergency cash on the side.

Timothy Geithner did indeed briefly employ an illegal immigrant after her visa expired. An honest mistake. We get it. You wouldn’t believe the admin. nightmare it’s become to stay up with the paperwork of the staff here at BwD headquarters.

The bit with not paying taxes, on the other hand, leaves us dumbfounded that not more of a stink was made when this is the guy that is now tax collector-in-chief.

And to be sure, not paying taxes for the years he was audited (’03-’04) is bad enough but his most egregious offense was that he knew he had shorted the IRS by essentially the same amount in ’01 and ’02 and didn’t come clean about it until informed of this other little oversight by the Obama vetting team.

Sorry – this is an outrage. The man responsible for collecting this nation’s taxes is a cheat and a bald-faced liar.

But, it’s cool. You wanna know why? Because Chris Dodd said it is.

"To suggest that Tim Geithner is unqualified because of this tax issue is to fail to understand his contribution to this country," said Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.

To suggest that Chris Dodd has any credibility whatsoever in this matter is to fail to understand his contribution to this country's financial crisis.

Chris Dodd must find it very difficult to be able to walk around carrying those basketball-sized onions of his.

You might be interested to know that one of the crown jewels of the “most ethical Congress in history” has his own clock. As of this posting, it has been 186 days, 2 hours, 48 minutes and 40 seconds since Dodd promised to release his mortgage documents that would detail the extent to which he received a sweetheart deal from Countrywide back in ’03… and for which he attempted to arrange a financial bailout as chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.

So, you can see how it is that Dodd felt an immediate kinship and affinity towards wacky Tim, right off the bat.

After all, what good is sacrificing your professional life to public service when you can’t game the system.

Change: you better believe in!

Keeping the mills humming Pt. III (UPDATED)

The revelation came during an exchange Sunday morning on ABC's THIS WEEK.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Hundreds of millions of dollars to expand family planning services. How is that stimulus?

PELOSI: Well, the family planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children's health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those - one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So no apologies for that?

PELOSI: No apologies. No. we have to deal with the consequences of the downturn in our economy.

Contraception? That’s it? Sure thing, Nancy.

Good to see Planned Parenthood will be taking their rightful place at the trough along with everyone else. We wonder, though, if there will be any sort of racial set-asides or preferences with respect to funding. We don’t want all that family planning money going predominantly to white folks. Fortunately for all involved, Planned Parenthood does have some experience in these matters.

UDPATE #1: what if...

H/T: The Liberator Today

"The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness." This seemed to be a reference to the Declaration of Independence, or at least to the principles in that sacred political document.

The moment I heard those words, I immediately noticed -- as did others who quickly commented -- that Obama neglected two crucial things from the most famous line not only in the Declaration of Independence but in the essence of the American founding: 1) He left out the unalienable right to "Life;" and 2) He left out the words "created" and "Creator" -- the God who "endows" that "Right," a right which is a "self-evident" "truth."

When we read the above, originally, we thought it to be parsing a little too finely. But after placing it in the context of what Pelosi said and watching the video we decided that the devil is always in the details, isn't it?

More here from American Thinker

Now if we could only find this channel....

Chris "The Thrill" Matthews of MSNBC gives an objective assessment of the inaugural proceedings:

(Sorry, inbed no worky. Please click here.)

You know its bad when even Keith Olbermann makes a light-hearted attempt to talk him down off the ledge. Matthews, however, remained undeterred. Hilarious.

… Sluuuurrrp.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Hey, do you know what might help stimulate the economy?

learning to speak and write in English.

Now before anyone gets their panties in a wad, we are generally against any sort of formal declarations of English being the “official” language of this country.

When we were growing up and leafing through encyclopedias and almanacs that contained info-blurbs on all the nations on the planet and reading about “main exports” and “Gross Domestic Products” and “chief ethnicities”, it seemed pretty cool that the official language of the United States was “none”. To us, nothing was better representative of the melting pot that our nation was than to be above or just to busy to get around to declaring English the official language.

And perhaps more importantly though, it appeared to contain a tacit acknowledgement and admonishment: “Why do we need and official language? Doesn’t it seem pretty obvious that in order to succeed and get ahead here, it behooves one to learn the English language?”

Unfortunately, most of these proposals are largely symbolic in nature and don’t come equipped with the mechanics that would “nudge” (see, we learn quickly. Thanks, Robert Reich) English-as-second-language folks towards English in a more expeditious manner such as eliminating/cutting back on government signage, forms and publications printed in other-than-English. (The citizens of Nashville just recently shot down a proposal that would've done just that).

The fact of the matter is and it is something we see on a daily basis in our job is that lack of communication skills in the work place is an impediment to progress and achievement and contributes mightily to waste and inefficiency. People that cannot effectively communicate in English here in America simply will not find better paying jobs – this is fact.

So we wonder if somewhere under that $825 billion Christmas tree is a little something that would be of immediate benefit to low-pay/low-skill citizens and have lasting beneficial effects in way of classes that would provide an avenue to better jobs and a better way of life in this country, strengthening them as citizens and strengthening this country as a whole in a shared and common tradition: the English language.

We realize this plea for unity and oneness probably won’t pass the diversifiers’, the people who will be running the near trillion dollar make work program, sniff test but we figured we’d throw it out there anyway to see if these people practice what they preach.


ESPN is handing over some of their broadcasting and production duties to college kids during ESPNU Campus Connection Week.

We’re thinking that Sara probably wants to get away for awhile.

H/T: Awful Announcing

We Haven't Felt This Way Since August

(We ran this piece originally one year ago today. We're retreading it and throwing it back out there because talk of Super Saturday is gaining some traction.)

For those of you wandering around this morning in a daze after coming to the realization that for the first time in nearly 5 months, there is no football being played today, please consider this a fix… a feeble fix but hopefully a fix nonetheless. The crusaders at the American Mustache Institute (AMI) are campaigning for a move of the Super Bowl from Sunday to Saturday. They make their case here a strong one.

Really, there is no reason to not play the Super Bowl on Saturday evening as a prime-time event. There is nothing sacred about Sunday… rather there is nothing sacred about playing NFL football on Sunday. That horse got out of the barn over 35 years ago when Monday Night Football appeared on the scene. And now with football on Thursday and Saturday nights in the regular season and playoffs, the purist argument is rendered moot.

When was the last time you hosted or even went to a party on Sunday? Since the Super Bowl has become such a nation-wide social event with people of every socio-economic stripe hosting Super Bowl parties, rescheduling this consumer-America high holiday to Saturday makes more and more sense.

Throw in the absentee and loss-of-productivity arguments from Hangover Monday and guilt-free binge drinking becomes yet one more reason to make this happen.

Super Saturday, A Salute to Excess: Losing none of the alliterative corporate punch.

… and finally spin on over to the cut-throats at Kissing Suzy Kolber for their piece of sass that debunks a story out of Boston claiming Pats fans are classier than Giants fans. You know it’s the Sunday before the Sunday when you read about whose fans suck less

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Blog Post of the Day

So about that post-racial stuff…?

But if there aren't enough skilled professionals to do the jobs involving new technologies, the stimulus will just increase the wages of the professionals who already have the right skills rather than generate many new jobs in these fields. And if construction jobs go mainly to white males who already dominate the construction trades, many people who need jobs the most -- women, minorities, and the poor and long-term unemployed -- will be shut out.

That from Labor Secretary, Robert Reich’s blog. We commend Mr. Reich for not beating around the bush or mincing words when it comes to the nature and objective of the stimulus package. When your party is calling the shots in the House, Senate and Oval Office, you can speak plainly and leave the hopeful rhetoric to the boss.

Never mind the inherent bigotry in Reich’s post, is what he is claming actually true? He provides no evidence that whites are the predominant race in the construction trade so we will come up with some figures ourselves. Faithful commenter Road Dawg has worked in the commercial contracting/construction field for the past 20-25 years and guesstimates that the labor pool in the construction industry here in SoCal is 40/60 whites to minorities. Also, one of ‘Dawg’s pups is the only white kid in a construction apprentice class of 20. And here in San Diego, the shipbuilding and repair industry among the trades runs about 30/70. Anecdotal numbers to be sure but numbers just the same that suggest Reich’s breezy assumption and thus justification for the quota approach to the Great Stumble Sideways, doesn’t square with reality.

But let’s not get off point, here. Whether or not whites dominate the construction labor pool is beside the point to the reality of the obvious social engineering that is the motive behind the infrastructure improvement plans of the stimulus package.

Later in the post Reich claims that many low-income/low-skilled workers could be put to work immediately in providing home and businesses green technology and infrastructure upgrades:

People can be trained relatively quickly for these sorts of jobs, as well as many infrastructure j0bs generated by the stimulus -- installing new pipes for water and sewage systems, repairing and upgrading equipment, basic construction -- but contractors have to be nudged both to provide the training and to do the hiring.

Of course, this in non-sense. The typical apprenticeship program in the construction industry is 4 years, so in the meantime we will have roads, bridges and sewage systems built/re-built by unskilled labor. What could possibly go wrong?

And we thought the use of the word “nudged” was charming as well. In the very next paragraph we find that “nudged” means “all contracts entered into with stimulus funds require contractors to provide at least 20 percent of jobs to the long-term unemployed and to people withincomes at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. And at least 2 percent of project funds should be allocated to such training… which must be fully available to women and minorities.” Wink-wink… nudge-nudge.

And who will do the vetting to make sure there is the proper of numbers of women and minorities among the labor pool of a bidding contractor? Another bureacracy or even an existing one who will, no doubt, be as transparent and forthcoming in its selection criteria as the Treasury Department is currently with regard to dispersal of TARP money?

You know, we wanted to give it a break for a week. We wanted to just relax and take in the historical significance of what happened this past Tuesday… but we can’t. We can’t because of people like Robert Reich whose own transparency betrays the utilitarian and pragmatic goals of the stimulus plan as pitched to us by the President.

P.S. With respect to gender set-asides and quotas, it should be noted that men have been hit harder than women by this recession.

P.P.S. Of all people, the Labor Secretary should know there are scads of set-aside and minority-hiring provisions already on the federal aquisition books. The fact that Reich is pushing for even more, again, speaks to the true motives of the stimulus plan.

H/T: Hot Air

We went to a tennis match...

...and an Olympic demonstration sport broke out?

Well, it wasn’t Hungary v. USSR in water polo in the ’56 Melbourne Olympics… in fact, as far as sports riots go, it was pretty lame.

Kids of Bosnian and Serbian descent get into it a little, and we mean little, following the match between Serbian Novak Djokovic and Bosnian Amer Derlic at the Australian Open.

… but lawn chair throwing? C’mon people.

This either speaks greatly to the general dysfunctionality of the Balkans region (St. Vitus Day, anyone?) or to the general sensibility of the sport of tennis… or perhaps, both.

Keep those spritzers flowing!

Friday, January 23, 2009

This is your government.... this is your government on crack.

Keynesian economics doesn’t work. Unless, you think it does. KT explains what every home owner knows when one takes a hit off the 2nd mortgage pipe and how it applies directly to Maximum Yield Thermonuclear Obamanomics (H/T: Secular Apostate)… here.

Scenes from our youth

Coca-Cola is choosing to hitch its wagon to a different star for its Super Bowl commercial when it revives the classic ad from 1979 that featured Mean Joe Green and everykid, but with a modern twist. In the updated version, the product will be Coke Zero (which we always thought to be an odd name for a liquid confectionary) and will feature current Steelers’ player, Troy Polamalu.

And in case you had forgot… Thanks, Mean Joe.

H/T: Awful Announcing

What are these "typewriters" you speak of?

Staff Finds White House in the Technological Dark Ages.

…but with the “B” and “O” still intact on the Selectrics. B-Daddy has some thoughts on the transition, here.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Tales from Bailout Nation Pt. III

Troubled OneUnited Bank in Boston didn't look much like a candidate for aid from the Treasury Department's bank bailout fund last fall.

The Treasury had said it would give money only to healthy banks, to jump-start lending. But OneUnited had seen most of its capital evaporate. Moreover, it was under attack from its regulators for allegations of poor lending practices and executive-pay abuses, including owning a Porsche for its executives' use.

Nonetheless, in December OneUnited got a $12 million injection from the Treasury's Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP.

Now, who do you suppose might have been behind this totally unexpected gift of largesse from the TARP program? Think Massachusetts. Think big shot of the House Financial Services Committee but most of all think Congressman that was at the epicenter of this financial meltdown in the first place.

Yep, you got it.

Our old pal Barney Frank who was instrumental in crafting the TARP bill language included a narrowly-worded provision aimed at helping this particular home-state bank.

Additionally, Frank lobbied on behalf of OneUnited to its federal regulator who with other regulators are charged with providing data and recommendations to the Treasury Department where the final decision on who does and does not get the “golden tap on the shoulder”.

There is virtually zero transparency in this program and the Treasury Dept. won’t divulge the mechanisms by which they determine the outlay of TARP money.

Dear readers, allowing for a momentary suspension of reality, please tell us how the proposed $825 billion Great Stumble Sideways stimulus package will be administered in any other fashion. We truly believe President Obama does want the GSS to be doled-out in a completely open and judicious fashion but his noble vision that would do Tom Joad proud just doesn’t square with the reality of patronage, power-mongering and outright corruption that exists on Capitol Hill.

And for those of you who believe that many on the Hill, particularly in leadership positions, don’t think of Obama, despite the (D) that they share, as just some piker that can be rolled, you’ve got another thing coming.

Dick LeBeau for Secretary of Defense

We’re stripping the Dallas Cowboys of their NFL Films-conferred “America’s Team” title and granting it, for the time being, to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are far more representative of America circa 2009 than are the Dallas Cowboys and the reasons are many.

These times of economic uncertainty and gloom seem to be more in sync with the steel-town sensibilities of Pittsburgh rather than the glitz and glamour of Dallas and as comedian Dennis Miller once noted during a Monday Night Football telecast, the franchise hails from a city so austere, they could only afford to put the Steeler logo on one side of their helmet. And so austere they do not appear to be able to afford cheerleaders… the only team in the NFL to deny themselves this vanity.

Also, it is noted that this historic presidential election bears some symmetry with the Steelers on-field and front office leadership. It was Steeler owner Dan Rooney who got the league owners to adopt the “Rooney Rule” which obligated teams to offer interviews to minority candidates for coaching, particularly, head coaching vacancies.

It was because of the self-imposed Rooney Rule that the Steelers gave then-Minnesota Viking defensive back coach and African-American, Mike Tomlin, an individual that was not on their initial short list, an interview. As the story goes, Tomlin knocked their socks off and got the job – a decision made by the Steelers’ brass that appears to be working out quite nicely, thank you very much.

(Full disclosure: We were vehemently against the Rooney Rule when it was first implemented as it made, depending on the circumstances, minorities the “token” black interview subject when they knew full well they were not going to get the job. We’ve backed off our adamancy a bit as there is now concrete proof that the concept did indeed work instead of the rule merely being of rhetorical good intent.)

And, no dummy Tomlin, the first decision he made was to keep onboard defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau. LeBeau is a flat-out genius. His ability to disguise blitz packages by using various formations and personnel sleight of hand is very reminiscent of Bailout Nation as one never knows where the next stimulus package or bailout is coming from, where it is going and the havoc it is ultimately going to wreak. It’s all just a crap shoot, baby, and we love it.

So there you have it. The Pittsburgh Steelers: America’s Team.

Caroline, No.

Caroline Kennedy last night withdrew from consideration to replace Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, just two months after rocking the New York political landscape by throwing her hat in the ring.
She confirmed the news publicly in a statement released shortly after midnight today - hours after The Post exclusively revealed her decision last night.

It’s not your fault, Princess. We blame Paterson. We blame a man who dragged his feet and ultimately stood athwart history denying you your rightful seat at one of the most exclusive clubs on the planet.

What his motivations were, we’re not sure, Princess. Was it some dubious nod to democracy in acknowledging that the New York Senate seat would not become another permanent Kennedy seat? Was he somehow implying that the rabble of Staten Island and Utica should have a say in representing them? Sheesh. If Paterson really is that far gone then there may not be hope for the rest us… and the rest of the Kennedy clan…and our representative republic as we know it.

Cheer up, Princess. We won’t stop fighting for you. Our efforts to see that you and others from prominent and politically-connected families won’t have to waste effort and hairspray on expensive, time-consuming and degrading processes like campaigns and elections. Elections….. like, ick.

To you, Princess.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Just how bad is it?

... trust us, plenty bad.

As we're on the cusp of blowing through the $350 billion balance of the original financial bailout package to be followed by yet another, if rumors are to be believed, financial bailout package (because, if “some” didn’t do jack squat then its certainly reasonable to believe that “more” might achieve the desired result) AND a $825 billion Great Stumble Sideways stimulus package, are any of those smart folks in D.C. really taking a look at the hard numbers of "the worst economy since the Great Depression?"


Graph below stacks up some key economic indicators from the latest figures available against those from the early eighties.

And link here, takes a look at how this recession stacks up against the ten most recent recessions. We think you’ll be surprised.

There’s a couple of things working here: One is our complete societal intolerance to economic pain…. any. The other is the completely political nature of Bailout Nation where the end-game of profit – private sector profit – is secondary to a work-for-work’s sake government-funded and controlled jobs program.

For all the talk of hope and change, this sort of scam could only be perpetrated in an environment of fear.

H/T: The Good Doctor Mark Perry

That God would be so good to us.

The closing of Guantanamo. The prosecution of Bush administration officials. And the continuation of Bush Derangement Sydrome.

Outstanding ideas, all. B-Daddy explains why, here.

Jill Biden: Joe got to choose his job...

... decided to spare nation constant embarrassment.

Thanks, Joe for taking up residence at the Naval Observatory rather than Foggy Bottom where you’d run the risk of actually having coherent conversations with the leaders of other nations and bizarre on-camera non sequiturs all in order to be with your family.

To the President’s health.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A cloud in every silver lining

"All those people who expected Bush to declare martial law today must be crestfallen. Man, he disappointed everybody."

- James Lileks

H/T: This Blog... via KT

Dear President Obama, please protect us from your followers Pt. IV


Suspicions.......... Confirmed.

Hey, Capitalist pigs that we are, we certainly don’t blame the marketing folks at Pepsi for wanting to hitch their wagon to the world’s biggest celebrity – that’s certainly their prerogative. And being the freedom and liberty-loving pigs we are, we’ll certainly make it a Coke and a smile from here on out.

And enjoy video below of a many well-paid retards promising to be better people which, of course, means pledging to be “a servant to our President”.

MySpace Celebrity and Katalyst present The Presidential Pledge

Similar to Ariana Huffington’s well-intended admonition that we all sign up and do some volunteering at the outset of inauguration day, we’re asking, why now? What the hell does being a better person and bettering your community have to do with who’s in office?

If Bush was as bad as everyone says he was then we probably should’ve seen this video at least 4 years ago. Now, not only are Eva Longoria and Anthony Keidis guilty of making a juvenile (with apologies to 13 yr.-olds everywhere) pseudo-religious video but are extremely delinquent in doing so…. to think that if Courtney Cox were only smiling more and not flipping people the bird while driving, she could’ve prevented Katrina… but she didn’t.

Their's are the thoughts and words of children, of blunted intellect, non-critical thinking and arrested emotional resolve.

Oh, and our pledge? We pledge to welcome with open arms and with malice towards none these self-absorbed narcissistic fools to what we've been doing for years.

Can we get an Amen?

H/T: Hot Air

Doing the Right Thing Pt. II

The contenders based their conclusion on the view that Paterson, after nearly two months of indecision, would "greatly embarrass" and "entirely humiliate" Kennedy, anger her prominent political family and even offend President-elect Barack Obama by picking someone other than President John F. Kennedy's daughter.

For the love of all that’s right in a democracy: patronage, political dynasties and kissing ass…. quit screwing around, Paterson and make this happen.

We’ve fought too hard for this to let you goon-up a golden opportunity to reward Princess for all those books she wrote and awards she presents.

(Kennedy family scion, Caroline Kennedy pictured on left)

Inauguration Day 2009

Was yesterday about and will today and all our tomorrows be about the color of one’s skin or the content of one’s character?

It's high time we find out.

May God Bless President Obama, his family and this great nation of ours.

Now, let’s get back to work.

Monday, January 19, 2009

BwD buys American

The near apocryphal Russian River Brewing Company’s Pliny the Elder I.P.A. and Alpine Beer Company’s Pure Hoppiness were at long last located (at this remote outpost off of Mission Gorge Road in Santee), tracked, purchased and imbibed back at BwD HQ this evening. Mmmmmm….. tasty.

Oh, and we finally reactivated our iTunes account and purchased John Doe’s (formerly of X and the Knitters among others) “Forever Hasn’t Happened Yet” after listening to it over at Mr. Styles residence last week. Good stuff.

Too taboo a subject, perhaps?

Kathy Phuc Nguyen, a demonstration organizer and spokeswoman for the human rights group Thanh Nien Co Vang, drew cheers when, speaking through a bullhorn, she said, "Surely, one would not display a photograph of a young Jewish person wearing a Nazi symbol and standing next to a bust of Hitler in a heavily populated community of Holocaust survivors."

So it goes up in Orange County where large protests from the Vietnamese community and a defacement with red paint of one of the works, forced the shut-down of an exhibit sponsored by the Vietnamese American Arts and Letters Assn. which they claim was intended to launch a discussion about freedom of expression in the Vietnamese community.

Now, here is where you get our obligatory preachiness about respecting others’ property and opinions and and where we also denounce vandalism……….

…. There. Glad we could get that off our chest.

Now despite the unfortunate actions of a few knuckleheads, we couldn’t help but feel some pride over the words and actions of many of these protesters. These people lived through the horrors of communism (or the coercion to live through the horrors of communism) – they should know.

There are a slew of Nazi/Holocaust movies out right now and that’s all to the good. Evil is evil and it should be forever documented, dramatized and memorialized as such. We’ve always wondered, however, why it is that “communism” has never received the same treatment from Hollywood or the arts and letters as its step-brother, National Socialism.

The reasons are many - we know this - but at the end of the day it boils down to practicality.

Making a two hour movie that focuses on a corrupt ideology and which is essentially contained to one geographic region, a dozen or so years and one central figure is difficult enough for Steven Spielberg.

Now try a movie that focuses on a corrupt ideology but has literally spanned the globe over the course of centuries now and which has been perpetrated by scores of influential regional and global figures alike and which has, ultimately, claimed the lives of 50, 60, 70(?) million people.

Yep. No wonder Hollywood has never attempted to crack that nut. Completely out of their league… and mood.

Hubris (UPDATED)

Beware. The fixers have come to Washington. "Fix" because this one little word, in a close race with "run," is now the most dangerous word in the English language. Fix and run, you see, are words that betray the false metaphor upon which most of today's economic vernacular is built: economy as machine.
· A CNN headline reads: "Obama's priority: Fixing the economy."
· Paul Krugman says that what's interesting about the Bush Administration "is that there's no sign that anybody's actually thinking about 'well, how do we run this economy?'"
· Mark Ames of The Nation thinks hiring Larry Summers "to fix the economy makes as much sense as..."
With Google's help I could go on. But even in social studies we learned that FDR and a coven of interventionists -- channeling John Maynard Keynes -- messed with the monetary system and dropped largess from on high to fix the Depression. This was referred to as "priming the pump."

Linked article likens the economy to the ecosystem as a complex adaptive system that can and will experience episodes of wild pitching, bucking, ebbs and flows but almost always returns to a steadier state known as “ordered chaos”…. when left alone.

This is why we remain incredulous when a handful of decision-makers think that they can replace the billions of micro-actions and information exchanges that take place on a real-time basis in the real world when they say they are going to “fix” the economy or “fight” global warming.

The power that is wielded, whether it’s through bailouts or environmental legislation (we’ve a dandy we’ll share later this week), quickly runs up against this reality and soon merely becomes power for power’s sake… or to make it more palatable for 24 hr. news cycle consumption, “work for work’s sake”.

Friedrich Hayek warned about this consolidation of decision-making authority in The Road to Serfdom as it was wholly inadequate to effectively allocate resources and to where, ultimately, it resorted to coercion in order to get anything done. And we've got to do "something", right?

And $825 billion would appear to be “prime for the pump” for plenty of coercion.

UPDATE #1: or... measure once, cut twice:

Obama believes the current economic situation and the state of our energy, health care and education systems create a sense of urgency that puts pressure on Congress to act in a fast and decisive manner: “People's attention is on our government right now, and that means a president can rally the American people in ways that in normal times, you can't do.”

What could possibly go wrong with this set of circumstances? Y’all better rally, now.

The Tribune sends children to do the adult’s work. Read more of shamelessly pandering interview, here.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Dear Lord... not again?

You could not blame the citizens of New York or New Jersey for thinking the worst when, mere days before one administration transfers power to another, they saw a jet liner over the skies of New York city but in a location and trajectory where it absolutely should not be.

Graphic at right (H/T: Information Dissemination) shows the flight path of the Airbus A320 from take off at LaGuardia to splashdown in the Hudson 6 minutes later. (Last ping should read 3:31 vs. 3:21)
And video below provides a computer-generated look at what the pilot and co-pilot were seeing upon descent.

The reviews continue to roll in

And yet....

I'm still not sure. The book "Good to Great" talks about the hedgehog, who only has to know one thing to defeat the much more clever fox. George Bush may be that hedgehog in that he knew this: Allowing the drift of events and opinion in the Middle East to continue unchecked would inevitably bring far greater tragedy to the world than the events of 9-11. Something huge needed to be done, something that only America could do, something that would demonstrate our commitment to democracy as well as serve as a reminder that we remain the most powerful nation on earth. A confluence of events made that something a place and a war called simply "Iraq." Only time will tell if he was able to reverse the course of history. I am certain only of this, on the most important decision he had to make on his watch, George Bush got it right. We hope and pray that Barack Obama will be similarly fated.

A disaster on the domestic front but cautious reason for hope abroad. B-Daddy chimes in with his thoughts on the Bush presidency, here.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Getting ahead of the curve?

Mexico is one of two countries that "bear consideration for a rapid and sudden collapse," according to a report by the U.S. Joint Forces Command on worldwide security threats.

The command's "Joint Operating Environment (JOE 2008)" report, which contains projections of global threats and potential next wars, puts Pakistan on the same level as Mexico. "In terms of worse-case scenarios for the Joint Force and indeed the world, two large and important states bear consideration for a rapid and sudden collapse: Pakistan and Mexico.

The drug wars are threatening to tear Mexico apart and that is certainly not welcome news for our country, particularly for areas close to the border with Mexico.

And why do we have a feeling, this situation is ripe for some political shenanigans here in our own country?

We’re calling our shot early: President Calderon of Mexico will use the current crisis in Mexico as across-the-board justification for the continuation of illegal immigration and the powers that be here will be more than welcome to employ the “human tragedy” angle for the same purpose.

Here’s the definition of refugee, according to the U.S. State Department’s website:

In general, a refugee is a person who has crossed an international border and is unwilling or unable to return home because of past persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

What sort political sleight of hand would it take for the traditional definition to also include “safety of life and limb” due to the extraordinary circumstances as currently exists in Mexico?

Seems like a messy fight regarding comprehensive immigration reform legislation could be avoided here, doesn't it?

Needlessly jumping the gun

It appears our criticism of Nancy Pelosi’s $825 billion stimulus plan was a bit misguided. We were thinking that, perhaps, The Great Stumble Sideways and its promise of rebuilding America’s broken infrastructure would get bogged-down in bureaucratic red tape, union rules and environmental regulations, not to mention the fact that it would be a prime source of patronage and pork.

Well, KT points out that only $30 billion of the stimulus plan (4%) is actually going to build roads and bridges. Whew. That’s a relief. And here we thought that this work-for-work’s sake plan was just going to be a bloated exercise in governmental activism.

And what about the other 96%, you ask? Read where the rest is going, here.

Random Thoughts via Lee

A week or so ago we received one of those Fw:fw:fw:fw: “Celebrity X really nails it”-type emails from a good friend of our that made us weep for all the cyber-trees that were felled in its center-right populist name.

In this particular instance, it was Lee Iacocca blustering (“Our schools are in trouble”) and ranting about a lack of leadership in this country. After reading Lee’s screed we got to thinking about something that related to Lee, the bailouts and two historical instances to which he was central:

Private innovation, investment and initiative gave us the Mustang. A federal bailout gave us the K Car.

P.S. Full disclosure: Anyone who read P.J. O'Rourke's brutally scathing assessment of Iacocca's autobiography in P.J.'s Give War a Chance could forgive us our dim view of Iacocca.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Radio KBwD is on the air

We’re celebrating some birthdays in the BwD family this weekend and in doing so we’d like to recognize an upbringing that was rich in both books and music. Everything from classical to jazz to country and western could be heard around the compound at any time of the day or night while growing up.

This one’s for you Pops….. Happy Birthday!

Ladies and Gentlemen, from Bakersfield California, it’s Buck Owens accompanied by Dwight Yoakam performing "The Streets of Bakersfield"

Reba, it isn’t about the perceived novelty of country music merely being in California, it’s about California saving country music… or at least, what’s left of it.

Significant of Nothing

Contract requirements allowed a maximum completion time of 140 calendar days with a penalty for late completion of $205,000 per calendar day and an incentive of $200,000 per day for early completion. Contract time commenced on Saturday, the 5th of February, with materials and equipment moving to the jobsite that day and through the weekend. Even though the final construction plans were not available until February 26th, C.C. Myers, Inc. immediately went to work on a 24-hour-day, 7 days-per-week schedule with up to 400 workmen on the job, while maintaining a safety record that even surpassed C.C. Myers, Inc.'s AGC award-winning program.

That summarizes the Herculean task undertaken and achieved by the construction company C.C. Myers in opening the world’s busiest road, the Santa Monica Freeway in Los Angeles that had been destroyed by the Northridge quake in 1994. Work was completed in 66 days…. 74 days ahead of schedule!

And the dirty little secret that no one ever wants to talk about is that this was accomplished, or rather expedited because then-Governor Pete Wilson relaxed the normal procurement and permitting regulations and waived environmental impact reports while implementing a bidding procedure and incentive system that tied potential profits to a successful on-time/ahead-of-time completion of the freeway.

In other news yesterday, Nancy Pelosi unveiled the House’s own version of the Great Stumble Sideways or This Old House (still haven’t settled on one yet) and not to be outdone by Obama, it comes with a price tag of $825 billion, a cool 50 bil over Obama’s projected stimulus plan cost.

We bring up the former as an example of quick, hard-hitting and smart decision-making and management practices as a juxtaposition to the opposite that this stimulus plan will be.

Is it really possible that a Congressionally-conceived and administered jobs program will waive environmental impact reports? Can you imagine Democrats signing off on relaxing overtime restrictions above union objection or establishing work-arounds for long and laborious open-bidding processes?

As President-elect Obama is soon to find out, there are a few specific reasons why nothing ever actually gets built here in California anymore and with Big Labor and Big Green both wanting to take responsibility for Democratic gains over the last couple of years, there are a few constituencies that will be looking for a little payback.

Then again, when actually building something is not really the end but rather the means to a 2, 3, 4 million man and woman jobs program, work for work's sake if you will, who the hell cares?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

"We'll take racist quotes for $600, Alex."

Go to the Book of Deuteronomy. When the ancient Israelites entered Canaan their leaders urged violence against its inhabitants. The very Moses who had brought down the commandment "Thou shalt not kill" now proclaimed, "You must destroy completely all the places where the nations have served their gods. You must tear down their altars, smash their pillars, cut down their sacred poles, set fire to the carved images of their gods, and wipe out their name from that place"....So God-soaked violence became genetically coded.

So, who said it? David Duke or everybody’s favorite publicly-subsidized ordained minister, Bill Moyers.

Yep, it’s a sucker’s bet but you’d be surprised at the array of indistinguishable-from-another quotes made by these two sages.

More here from American Thinker

Glorified radio personality has himself some tax problems

Timothy Geithner didn't pay Social Security and Medicare taxes for several years while he worked for the International Monetary Fund, and he employed an immigrant housekeeper who briefly lacked proper work papers.

In case you hadn’t heard, Obama’s pick for the Secretary of Treasury, which will make him the most powerful man in the U.S. government, failed to pay taxes in 2003 and 2004 while working for the International Monetary Fund. This was discovered by an IRS audit in ’06. The IRS decided against levying penalties and Geithner had to pay $17,230.

“An honest mistake” we were assured by both the President-elect and members on both sides of the aisle of one of the chummiest clubs in western civilization, the U.S. Senate.

Problem is, his failure to pay taxes wasn’t just restricted to ’03 and ’04, the years in which he was audited. He also failed to pay taxes in 2001 and 2002, years also in which he was employed by the IMF. This other “honest mistake” was discovered by the Obama vetting team late last year and Geithner submitted payment for that tax to the tune of $25,970.

As to why Mr. Geithner didn't pay all his back taxes after the 2006 audit, an Obama aide said the nominee was advised by his accountant he had no further liability. Senate Finance aides said they were concerned either Mr. Geithner or his accountant used the IRS's statute of limitations to avoid further back-tax payments at the time of the audit.

Nothing like “statute of limitations” trumping “ethical behavior”. Dude knew he was getting over for ’01 and ’02 and still didn’t come clean.

But similar to our coming-around on Caroline Kennedy’s bid for Senate and our tireless campaigning to see Princess attain her rightful seat of power, we have similar feelings about this Timothy Geithner fellow.

While Bush’s John the Baptist has heralded the coming of the One for Bailout Nation, Henry Paulson has set the template for Geithner.

Geithner’s tax problems and failure to be voluntarily-transparent when he had the chance is indicative of the temperment that is needed in a job that has become the equivalent of wacky drive-time FM DJ guy that will be flying around America dumping bails of money from out of a helicopter.

If there is to be zero accountability and minimal transparency as to how the next $350 billion dollars of the original $700 billion financial bailout package is to be spent, then dammed if Timothy Geithner isn’t the man for the job.

Welcome aboard, Tim.

Commenter Picture Caption Contest

...courtesy Awful Announcing.

"Chauncey: ‘It's always a pleasure to meet one of the people I watched on TV growing up.
You are The Count from Sesame Street, right?’”- RJBO

"Heeeey Chauncey! You used to run the Pistons at the point, but I used to run them into the ground, BABY!"- Ali

Responsible Blogging

If you thought that being stewards of the environment was restricted to only the physical world, you would be mistaken. Environmentally-conscious blogging has hit the interwebs.

KT, provides a perfect example of this rising awareness that is taking hold of the blogosphere with his very own “green piece”, here.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ready, Fire, Aim Pt. V

Ben Bernanke would like you to know that he hears your concerns and… that you can all go pound sand anyway.

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned yesterday that the highly unpopular job of using taxpayer money to bail out financial institutions in the United States and other countries was far from over.

“More capital injections and guarantees may become necessary to ensure stability and the normalization of credit markets,” Bernanke said during a speech at the London School of Economics.

Though the Fed chairman acknowledged that people in many countries were “understandably concerned” about pumping government money into the financial industry while often turning a cold shoulder to other sectors, he defended the effort as unpleasant but necessary.

And about that original idea of buying-up bad mortgages? Well, perhaps, Obama can take that up again with the second $350 billion of the $700 billion financial bailout kitty.

Bernanke suggested that Obama might want to revive the original idea of the rescue plan to buy unsellable mortgage-backed securities and other illiquid assets. That idea was originally the centerpiece of the program as it was first promoted by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. Paulson abandoned the idea before getting started, arguing that it would be faster and more efficient to inject capital directly into the biggest banks and investment firms.

You’ll be pleased to know what a magnificent bi-partisan effort this has all been as any effective differences between D.C. Republicans and Democrats, in fiscal matters at least, has been papered over in an avalanche of green backs spewing forth from the Treasury.

How bad can it really be if you can make a game of it?

The economy's in the dumps, your credit score stinks and your 401(k) is plunging... Is that what's troubling you, bunky? Well, cheer up, little buddy - we got you something you might enjoy.

Time to go cruisin' down Wall St. with our buds Hank and Ben. It's called the Bailout Game and can be played here.

H/T: Bailout Sleuth

... then everyday would be a party.

“In certain quarters in Europe,” he said, “you can be popular by blaming every Middle Eastern problem on Israel. Or you can be popular by joining the International Criminal Court. I guess I could have been popular by accepting Kyoto, which I felt was a flawed treaty . . . And in terms of the decisions that I had made to protect the homeland, I wouldn't worry about popularity.”

That from President Bush’s last press conference.

… in other news, President-elect Obama’s advisers, in a nod to his increasingly restive left flank, indicated he would shut down the holding facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba as early as his first full day in office.

Signing a piece of paper to “close” the facility is one thing. What to actually do with those detainees is an entirely different matter, though.

B-Daddy, questions whether the sheer awesomeness of Obama can make that a reality, here.

P.S. Still getting the squiggly red line underneath “Obama”, signifying a misspelled word. Wonder if that will go away next Tuesday. Microsoft really needs to start getting its act together.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Wishing they had to walk through 2 miles of snow, uphill, both ways...

We often have fun here at BwD with the disdain and contempt we hold/held towards the compulsory education of our youth… some of which is actually just a put-on. We figure it’s because, in part, we really had no say in the matter… no real choice.

Well, the young women in Kandahar certainly have a choice… then again maybe they don’t. Back in November, the Taliban assaulted the Mirwais School for Girls by spraying acid at the students and teachers in which 11 girls and 4 teachers were injured.

After an initial and completely understandable lag in attendance in the immediate aftermath, attendance is back at full capacity. We can’t explain it. Defiance, Faith, an internal rage for the opportunity of self-betterment in the face of an enemy that denies you the same…. things all at a level and intensity that we have never been forced to exhibit. These young ladies illustrate why, perhaps, not going back to school is simply not an option.

Check out more of their story, here, in slide show form.

Many thanks to Mongo for some outstanding primary research.

Folks want turkey pot pie on New Year's Day

The bowl ratings are in and they were up, generally, across the board with the notable exception of the Orange Bowl which offered up a less-than-scintilating Va. Tech vs. Cincinnati (down 27%). And the highest rated bowl game…?

If you guessed the bowl that has retained as best it can in the new BCS world, its brand image and the bowl represented by two conferences that have for the most part resisted the BCS-driven compulsion for conference expansion, sit yourself at the head of the class for picking the Rose Bowl. (The Rose Bowl’s 11.7 rating beat out the BCS championship game’s 10.4).

These two conferences, particularly the Pac-10, have taken a lot of heat over the years for not “getting hip to the times” (we have spared soon-to-retire Pac-10 conference commissioner, Tom Hansen, no quarter for much of his decision-making over the years) and falling in line with rest of the conferences with respect to the BCS agenda.

Ironically, its been the east coast media establishment that has accused the exclusively west coast conference of “elitism” and “snobbery”.

We’re glad, though, the two conferences have dug-in their heels as best they could. Outright refusal to sign on to the BCS is certain doom but we find being a constant pain-in-the-ass to the BCS to have a certain dignified and laudatory appeal.

There is a reason ABC, in its’ negotiations with the BCS held onto the Rose Bowl as its lone BCS bowl game. In the system we have now with 30+ bowl games and the largely sundered traditional conference tie-ins that produce un-compelling matchups, the notion of college football-as-comfort food takes a hit. The Rose Bowl, however, is pure meat and potatoes: Pac-10 vs. Big 10, West Coast vs. Midwest. (And it never hurts that it also happens to be the most photogenic of all the bowl games.)

Never underestimate familiarity when it comes to big-time televised sporting events where you hope to cast a wide net for viewers for your advertisers. Even Mom knows that Ohio St. has one of the greatest fight songs of all time and that USC trots that damn white horse around the field every time the Trojans score.

P.S.: With respect to the ratings, it did not go un-noticed that ABC/ESPN broke out all the stops in promoting the Rose Bowl as the signature event of its Holiday calendar.