Thursday, December 31, 2009

Third party? We don't need no stinking third party

Hey, do you remember when they told us that if we voted for McCain it would just be a continuation of conflicting interests and lack of transparency of the Bush years? Well, they were right.

The White House is jumping on the how it is the system failed in wake of the thwarted Christmas bomber attack and doing it in a manner that is entirely consistent with what we expect now from this administration.

President Obama's top counterterrorism adviser, John O. Brennan, will lead the White House review of intelligence community information practices and aviation security, even though he was CEO of the private company the government used to help manage a key terrorism database before he joined the administration.

In response to questions about Brennan's potential conflict of interest, White House ethics counsel Norm Eisen has issued a waiver for Brennan, official said.

No doubt, this guy may know this system like the back of his hand but how is he going to be able to objectively critique it and point out any flaws?

Eisen, you may recall, was the President’s hatchet man in the firing of Gerald Walpin, the Inspector General who was investigating Sacramento mayor and Obama supporter, Kevin Johnson and his charity organization so you know he’s got tons of credibility in the ethics department.

Yep, we’re in the very best of hands.

Time for some "Skunkies"

While wrapping up '07 we had some fun with year-end awards. General malaise prevented us from doing it last year but because of the nature of things, we want to hand out one or two this year.

This is why you wait ‘til the very end. This is why you don’t pull the plug on the worst article of the year until the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31st. We didn’t think we’d be able to say it but Mark Whicker’s horribly inappropriate and lame “Congratulations, Jaycee (Dugard). You’ve left the yard” column has been bested(?).

Jeff Norman writing for the HuffPo works himself into a righteous lather over the righteous lather worked up by critics of director Roman Polanski. This Polanski is indeed to be confused with the self-confessed drugging, raping and sodomizing director Roman Polanski who is currently doing hard time in his Swiss chalet.

The floor is yours Norman:

Demonstrating the same lack of self-esteem as prisoners who beat up child molesters, noisy segments of the American population continue to hyperventilate over Roman Polanski as if the sexual abuse of minors were not already sufficiently condemned by our society.

We actually do feel like the moral equivalent of prisoners beating up child molesters or something. However, as free men, we would love to take a few cracks at Polanski, himself.

The offense for which Polanski's extradition from Switzerland is sought is barely considered a crime in Europe, where the age of consent is as low as 13.

So he drugged and raped the 13 yr. old in his Swiss chalet? We missed that part (Commenters to article jump on the fact that Spain is the only country in Europe with an age of consent as low as 13 and we're curious how Europeans feel being equated with a child sodomizer).

Regardless of how one feels about Polanski or his confessed/alleged crimes, guilt or innocence should be determined by actual evidence, not mere perception.

We feel about Polanski the way we do because he, uhhh… confessed to the deed.

Just because a lot of pathetic people need to dwell on the director's supposed indecency to make themselves feel decent in comparison, doesn't mean that normal evidentiary standards should be abandoned in the Polanski matter.

(italics, ours)

Hey, we don’t condone physical violence in any manner but as proud (and pathetic) uncles of several young nieces and nephews, were this creep Norman to be in the general vicinity of them, we’d beat the living crap out of the guy just to be on the safe side.

Congratulations, Jeff Norman! You’ve left your senses (were you to possess any in the first place).

H/T: Big Hollywood

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A 2nd bomber? (UPDATED)

Kurt Haskell, an attorney from Detroit was in the airport in Amsterdam with his wife returning to the states from a safari in Uganda and claims the Christmas bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, had an accomplice help him board the plane there.

Long story short: Well-dressed Indian or Pakistani man was able to convince airline officials that Abdulmutallab was from the Sudan and thus as some sort of refugee-fleeing-war-torn-country did not have/require a passport for international travel.

Linked story does not provide an additional claim made by Haskell which we heard during a radio interview with Haskell this morning on KOGO AM 600 – that being there was a second bomber onboard who was hauled off the plane after an explosive device was discovered by a bomb-sniffing dog that was brought onboard the plane in Detroit and was witnessed by many of the passengers including Haskell.

Haskell has been questioned on multiple occasions by federal authorities since that time. At one of these sessions they showed him a series of photos and asked him if he recognized any of the people in the photos. Haskell picked out Abdulmutallab as well as the 2nd bomber while adding, “That’s the 2nd bomber you’re not telling anyone about.” The feds were not pleased with this commentary. To our knowledge, we have not seen any official word confirming or denying the existence of this second set of explosives or an alleged 2nd bomber.

Stay tuned

(UPDATE #1): There was indeed a 2nd man taken into custody according U.S. Customs but they are insisting this person came to Detroit on a separate flight from Flight 253 and the F.B.I. is maintaining that Abdulmutallab was the only person arrested in relation to Christmas’ foiled attacks.

Several eye-witnesses including Haskell maintain they saw a man being taken away after a carry-on baggage search.

The most intriguing part of this whole thing remains Haskell’s contention that he positively ID’d this person from a series of photos presented to Haskell in one of his questioning sessions with authorities – photos which we will assume were not from Haskell’s high school year book.

We’re just baffled that it's nearly a week gone by before this has generated any hard news stories. Guess our Homeland security apparatus sure runs a tight ship.

Question of the day

A senior Obama administration official pushed back against critics of the White House’s plans to transfer some detainees at Guantanamo Bay to Yemen as it moves toward closing the facility, saying the process for transfers are “consistent with our national security interests.”

The fresh criticism, including a letter from Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) calling on President Obama to halt the transfer of detainees to Yemen, comes after reports of links between that country and the attempted Christmas Day terrorist attack.

“I am aware of a lot of people pointing back at the way the transfers were handled under the Bush administration that apparently they have some concerns about that,” said the official, who had not seen the senators’ letter. “I didn’t hear many of those concerns at the time, but there were obviously hundreds and hundreds of detainees that were transferred under the old regime.”

So, what’s more shocking? That an administration official would actually acknowledge publicly that they are mimicing a Bush-era policy (a man and administration they have been concurrently blaming and campaigning against since they took office over 11 months ago) or the fact that they are behaving in such a thick-headed manner (remember the sin of “moral certitude”?) as to continue to deport Gitmo detainees to a terrorism training hot spot in the face of such overwhelming countering common sense? Common sense shared by heavyweight Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein who is urging the administration to halt the transfer of detainees to Yemen.

P.S. The nutroots-inspired regime reference did not escape our notice. When dealing with the absolute whiniest administration ever, sometimes further commenting to the same becomes redundant.

Encouraging signs?

Better late than never we suppose but President Obama finally had some strong words of support for the protesters and condemnation for the Iranian regime on Monday while denying the U.S. has had anything to do with the civil unrest currently going on in that country.

He completely blew his opportunity the first time around during the first wave of protests in the wake of the Presidential elections this past June. The administration’s line of thinking was that any words of encouragement to the anti-regime protesters would hamper Obama’s hoped-for sit down with Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad regarding Iran’s nuclear program. And just how is that all working out?

Maybe now that the administration has received the memo that Iran, through stonewalling and outright defiance, isn’t listening to anybody regarding its nuclear program, it feels it can drop the real-politik sham and step up the rhetoric a bit with the protesters.

At this point it’s a win-win. Similar to Reagan’s emboldening the opposition in the Warsaw Pact nations and Russia itself with his freedom rhetoric, what’s wrong with a little regime change where the Middle East gets itself yet another democracy? And doesn’t the establishment of a mullah-free democracy make the whole nuclear situation just a tad less volatile?

And how are things going over there in Iran right now? Well, the Khamenei thugs are running over protesters in trucks – that’s how things are going.

Keep the pressure on, sir. We can all learn from our mistakes and you know we’re always here for you.

Call us. We’ll be awake. Sharks don’t sleep.*

* A BwD atta-boy, if anyone can give us the source of that pop-culture reference. Think early 80s late-night T.V.

H/T: Gateway Pundit via Instaglen

Chris Dodd: (Still) #1

Judicial Watch has compiled their 10 most corrupt politicians of 2009 and Chris Dodd, the prohibitive favorite coming off his title-winning campaign last year, claims his 2nd straight crown this year.

This marks two years in a row for Senator Dodd, who made the 2008 "Ten Most Corrupt" list for his corrupt relationship with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and for accepting preferential treatment and loan terms from Countrywide Financial, a scandal which still dogs him.

In 2009, the scandals kept coming for the Connecticut Democrat. In 2009, Judicial Watch filed a Senate ethics complaint against Dodd for undervaluing a property he owns in Ireland on his Senate Financial Disclosure forms. Judicial Watch's complaint forced Dodd to amend the forms.

However, press reports suggest the property to this day remains undervalued. Judicial Watch also alleges in the complaint that Dodd obtained a sweetheart deal for the property in exchange for his assistance in obtaining a presidential pardon (during the Clinton administration) and other favors for a long-time friend and business associate. The false financial disclosure forms were part of the cover-up. Dodd remains the head the Senate Banking Committee.

So, to one of the bright lights in the most ethical Congress ever, we salute you, Senator Dodd!

Rounding out the Top 10:

Senator John Ensign (R-NV)
Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA)
Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner
Attorney General Eric Holder
Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL)/ Senator Roland Burris (D-IL)
President Barack Obama Oh, my
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
Rep. John Murtha (D-PA)
Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY)

It should be noted that this list is in alphabetical order and Chris Dodd really isn’t #1 but we couldn’t resist the convergence of a great photo op and him being listed first. To prevent any confusion in future years, perhaps we could advise the Senator to stay off this list altogether. As someone who’s taken an oath to uphold the law and represent the people, that’s probably not asking too much.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Then again, what would one expect from the curator of the “man-made disaster” paradigm?

Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano, is taking quite a bit of grief for a quote she made regarding the Christmas bomber, that being “the system worked”. She later walked that back saying she was being taken out of context and that indeed the system did not work.

But here’s what she said that really puzzled us.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says there is no indication that the man who attempted to destroy an airliner in Detroit on Christmas Day is part of a larger terrorist plot.

Oh, really?

Every single jihadist on the face of this planet be they trained and funded by or affiliated with Hamas, AQ, Hezbollah, the Taliban… even if they are “lone wolves”… whoever, is part of “a larger terrorist plot.”

That larger terrorist plot is called Islamic extremism and every single one of its minions is unified in its hatred for the West and its institutions and belief systems and are fatally committed to its destruction including all who live within it who are not found to be in sufficient compliance to Sharia law.

That Napolitano apparently fails to grasp this concept is, unfortunately, not shocking nor shocking enough combined with the frightening ease by which Abdulmutallab boarded the plane does not give us the warm fuzzies regarding our commitment to stopping airborne terror plots.

Today's threat level brought to you by the color...

Yesterday while I was lying in the burn ward getting my crotch bandages changed, I had a chance to catch the air disaster movie marathon on TCM. The lineup included "Zero Hour," "The High and the Mighty," "Skyjacked," and "Airport '75." For all their campy fun and unintentional laughs, those corny old films really serve as a grim reminder how the whole in-flight terror experience has gone completely downhill since the jet set golden years of the 50's, 60's and 70's.

What happened to all those pretty stewardesses and polite, well dressed infidels, screaming as the plane plummeted to the ground? Time was, a suicide mission to explode an international jumbo jet was an event full of glamor and excitement; but now it seems to be a endless series of delays, hassles, pushy jerks and third-degree testicular chemical burns. And don't even get me started on the crappy airline food.

More of Umar's random thoughts on Holiday air travel here.

And this from Hitch'

It was reported over the weekend that in the aftermath of the Detroit fiasco, no official decision was made about whether to raise the designated "threat level" from orange. Orange! Could this possibly be because it would be panicky and ridiculous to change it to red and really, really absurd to lower it to yellow? But isn't it just as preposterous (and revealing), immediately after a known Muslim extremist has waltzed through every flimsy barrier, to leave it just where it was the day before?

Video clip of the day

Another war? Terrific.’s Nanny of the Year

If embed no worky, please click here.

Monday, December 28, 2009

No sleeping on this guy

Op-ed piece in today’s San Diego Union-Tribune gives some of the conventional wisdom regarding immigration reform with respect to both political parties. The CW held that two years ago when the immigration reform was last debated in Congress, Democrats weren’t sufficiently devoted to the cause and were merely content to use it as a wedge issue against the Republicans. Fair enough.

Fast forward, though, to just a couple of weeks ago when House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi reportedly told members of her Party that she was not going to act on any immigration legislation until the Senate took it up first. This leaves recently-introduced legislation from Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) in the lurch, thus shielding vulnerable freshman Democrats from this controversial issue.

The Op-ed fails to note that, given this series of events, whatever wedge issue may exist for the Republicans exists also for the Democrats. And doesn’t that speak to the general horribleness of all the legislation regarding immigration “reform” of recent vintage that the issue is a complete loser with the voting public for both parties? We can't recall, in our lifetime, a piece of legislation that was as opposed across such a wide-range of the political spectrum of the voting public.

No matter how much of a loser it may be, immigration reform (see also: Amnesty) is the Freddie Kruger of American politics – everytime you think you have killed it, it just keeps coming back. And just because the deliberative nature of the Senate makes it unlikely that immigration reform will gain any traction in the upcoming election year, don't expect it to really fade away any time soon.

Shape of things present

Congress isn't so willing to surrender its leverage. That was clear when GM and Chrysler decided to terminate about 3,400 dealers. Many turned to their lawmakers, and Congress got involved, prompting the companies to reinstate about 110. But the dealers felt that was insufficient.

GM's frustration with the process boiled over at a mid-November meeting in the office of Sen. Richard Durbin (D., Ill.). GM's usually cool-headed chief lobbyist, Ken Cole, was too agitated to sit, say several participants. When Tammy Darvish, an executive of a dealership in Silver Spring, Md., pressed Mr. Cole about whether it would cost the company any money to reinstate a terminated dealer, the GM team started to pack their briefcases and threatened to walk out, according to Ms. Darvish and a government participant in the meeting. They say the GM team stayed only at the insistence of congressional staffers.

Congress later enacted a provision giving axed dealerships broadened grounds to appeal in arbitration procedures -- broader than the White House or car companies sought.

A spokesman for GM declined to comment on the dealers meeting or Mr. Cole. But the auto maker, now 60% federally owned, said the arbitration law will hurt its efforts to turn a profit and repay the government, which has invested roughly $50 billion in the company.

If, two years ago, you were to show us that excerpt above and told us that would be the shape of things to come as 2009 wound down, we’d have said you needed your head examined.

Things have occurred at such a dizzying pace, though, that one needs to sit down for a moment and absorb the fact that… holy crap, why the hell is Congress even present at this meeting let alone dictating business terms to a major (formerly) private entity?

What a joke, we would’ve probably said adding that being committed Toyota people we would not be subject to the utter fail that this will result in and being happy with the fact that at least Congress won’t be meddling in any of our health care choices.

Programming Alert

B-Daddy, proprietor of The Liberator Today has a new blog at, wait for it... B-Daddy's Other Blog. He'll still be blogging at TLT, so this division of labor reflects sticking with politics and the freedom agenda at TLT and allowing his mind to wander on subjects like management, IT, culture, sports, the Nature of God and other similar light fare.

"Change is good"... We hear that phrase far too often and we'd be pleased to know you are in our company if you find it as cringe-inducing as we do. However, "Change is change and neither inherently good nor bad" just does not roll off the tongue at management seminars as easily.

One of B-Daddy's first post is on the power of "No" and the churn and change for churn and change's sake in corporate America. Check it out here.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Photo image of the day

Scores of U.S. citizens and foreign tourists descended upon the Mt. Soledad War Memorial in San Diego on Christmas Day to take in what was a beautiful day and tremendous scenery of much of San Diego County that the Memorial affords.

All the smiling, paying of respect and general milling around masked the outrage and offended-ness of these people being subjected to this religious symbol. Outrage to the point that no one was talking about taking down the cross or relocating the Memorial. Seriously, the restraint shown by these people was incredible. It’s like they’re the anti-Tea Partiers or something.

The Christmas Eve dump

(a seasonal varietal to our Friday evening dump series which is intended to shine some light upon unsavory and/or unpopular news coming out of Capitol Hill or the White House right before the weekend)

The Obama administration pledged on Thursday to back beleaguered mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac no matter how big their losses may be in the next three years.

It also jettisoned a demand that the two companies cut the size of their mortgage-related investment portfolios next year, allowing them to provide even more support in the near term for a housing market recovering from its worst slump in decades.

Analysts don’t expect Freddie to tap the full $200 bil but Fannie, because of horrendously poor underwriting standards, left it with losses that many think will grow past $200 billion.

By law, Geithner had until the end of this year to increase the limit without asking Congress for approval. And to be on the safe side, he did it on Christmas Eve.

Just how toxic the assets that Fannie holds may be difficult to figure out since Fannie effectively wacked their own Inspector General. And to keep form, don’t expect the Treasury Department run by that miserable hack to look into it. This also begs the question, with no IG oversight and no effective spending limit, what’s to keep Fannie from continuing to encourage and back subprime lending?

And this brings us to our first real bipartisan pushback against the Obama corporatism/fascism economic model as the liberal Fire Dog Lake’s Jane Hamsher and the small government, low tax Americans for Tax Reform’s Grover Norquist have teamed up to ask the Justice Department (sigh) to look into White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel’s dealings with Freddie Mac while he was on the board of directors (2000-2001) and during his time thus far in the White House where Hamsher and Norquist believe Emanuel has been directing stonewalling efforts to obtain information on the bankrupt Freddie Mac.

We don't expect much movement on this but we'll keep you posted.

Christmas Redux

We’ve got family and friends coming in today for Christmas festivities which will include a completely unholy white elephant gift exchange and a 2 on 2 or 3 on 3 uncles vs. nephews hoops smackdown.

Who ya got?

Gaming hint: Age, treachery and guile beat youth and a bad haircut any day of the week.

Got some pre-scheduled posts worked up but we’re pretty much out for the rest of the day so from all of us here at BwD, including Marshal and the fattest horn groove of all-time, we want to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Years!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Look for that union label... in places you'd least expect it.

We ran across the following item today from the Wall St. Journal courtesy Weasel Zippers regarding some highly dubious union organizing which involves the state withholding dues that are part of the subsidies paid to day-care centers.

Michelle Berry runs a private day-care service from her home on the outskirts of this city, the birthplace of General Motors. "The Berry Patch," as she calls the service, features overstuffed purple gorillas, giant cartoon murals, and a playroom covered in Astroturf. Her clients are mostly low-income parents who need child care to keep their jobs in a city that now has a 26% unemployment rate.

Ms. Berry owns her own business—yet the Michigan Department of Human Services claims she is a government employee and union member. The agency thus withholds union dues from the child-care subsidies it sends to her on behalf of her low-income clients. Those dues are funneled to a public-employee union that claims to represent her. The situation is crazy—and it's happening elsewhere in the country.

A year ago in December, Ms. Berry and more than 40,000 other home-based day care providers statewide were suddenly informed they were members of Child Care Providers Together Michigan—a union created in 2006 by the United Auto Workers and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The union had won a certification election conducted by mail under the auspices of the Michigan Employment Relations Commission. In that election only 6,000 day-care providers voted. The pro-labor vote turned out.

Hmmm.... That story had an air of familiarity about it. To the archives!

Sho’nuff, back on Labor Day we blogged about a situation in Illinois where similar dubious union orgainizing practices were taking place, and similarly, the target was at-home assistance for the developmentally disabled and where even if you did not choose to be part of the union, union dues would be withheld.

We loved the money quote from one Kathy Keith who has cared for her son who suffers from Down syndrome for the past 23 years.
"Are you saying I can go on strike and not wipe my son's rear end?" Keith said, questioning if union membership would pit her interests against her son's.

The case in Michigan is particularly galling because Berry is serving low-income parents and the withholding of dues will be passed right along to these folks.

According to the article, the scheme in Michigan is effectively throwing the unions a cash lifeline as these unions, particularly the UAW, are hemorrhaging members and thus money and power.

You will also be pleased to know that in both Illinois and Michigan the Purple People-Beaters of the SEIU are heavily-involved.

When Germany faced the last depression, its government turned to a hand-in-glove partnership with corporations (including some American corporations, as has been shown in recent years) to solidify its power over its own people and to wage war on others.

Slight twist to the corporatist or fascist business model of above: this time we find the government forging a hand-in-glove partnership with the unions which could very well be considered corporations or Big Business in their own right.

P.S. Is it coincidence that the Big Government-Big Labor complex in both Michigan and Illinois are targeting stay-at-home women who lack the experience, time and resources to organize themselves against this forced “organization”? Don’t think that BG-BL thinks these folks are easy marks?

Great moments in the history of centrism Pt. IV

Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) discovered some astounding language in the bowels of Senatecare regarding the Independent Medicare Advisory Board which, when it comes to fruition, will not be confused with either “independent” or merely “advisory”. Here’s what DeMint said on the floor of the Senate this past week

There's one provision that I found particularly troubling and it's under section c, titled "limitations on changes to this subsection."

And I quote -- "it shall not be in order in the senate or the house of representatives to consider any bill, resolution, amendment, or conference report that would repeal or otherwise change this subsection."

This is not legislation. it's not law, this is a rule change. It's a pretty big deal. We will be passing a new law and at the same time creating a senate rule that makes it out of order to amend or even repeal the law.

I'm not even sure that it's constitutional, but if it is, it most certainly is a senate rule. I don't see why the majority party wouldn't put this in every bill. If you like your law, you most certainly would want it to have force for future senates.

I mean, we want to bind future congresses? This goes to the fundamental purpose of senate rules: to prevent a tyrannical majority from trampling the rights of the minority or of future co congresses.

(emphasis, ours)

Reid must be pretty committed to making sure your healthcare decisions will be permanently taken out of your hands with language like that.

And weren’t the statists in the press just recently whining about “the system” being “ungovernable”? Well, this certainly puts a cherry on top of that. Forget “ungovernable”, how about “why show up at all” when you have made rules that prohibit repealing, changing or modifying existing laws.

C’mon, libs – let’s hear it. We want to hear the howls of indignation regarding just how truly undemocratic this bill is. We wanna hear more about how ungovernable the system will be under these new rules Reid has fashioned. We certainly want to hear more about the transparency under which they were fashioned and we want to hear more about the centrism being embraced by the Democrats with respect to Obamacare.

Friday, December 25, 2009

So the light came into the world

There was the persecution of men who dared think differently, who heard strange voices or read strange manuscripts. There was enslavement of men whose tribes came not from Rome, disdain for those who did not have the familiar visage. And most of all, there was everywhere a contempt for human life. What, to the strong, was one man more or less in a crowded world?

Then, of a sudden, there was a light in the world, and a man from Galilee saying, Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's.

Far be it from us to politicize this holy day but the lead op-ed piece from the Wall St. Journal which has appeared there every Christmas Day since 1949 is a great reminder of the folly of putting your faith or trust for the betterment of life in any man or government.

H/T: Bevvie

Christmas 2009

From us here at BwD, may everyone enjoy a safe and blessed Christmas.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Photo image of the day

Despite the fact that our blog name and our fondness for the hopped nectar is purely coincidental (check out our first blog post ever for an explanation), we have none the less been taken to task from time to time for not posting more on the subject.

Getting some last minute shopping done on Christmas Eve is highly ill-advised but the process can be made somewhat less awful if you incentivize by promising yourself a run out to Alpine to fill a couple of growlers upon completion of your appointed rounds.

And when your talking Pure Hoppiness and Exponential Hoppiness, it's......


It's Christmas tomorrow but we won't be celebrating with family until Sunday so we will probably be doing some light blogging. If you are in the same celebratory boat that we are, please feel free to hang out with us some.

Great moments in the history of centrism Pt. III

From William M. Daley, chairman of Al Gore’s presidential campaign and brother of current Chicago mayor, Richard M. Daley:

The announcement by Alabama Rep. Parker Griffith that he is switching to the Republican Party is just the latest warning sign that the Democratic Party -- my lifelong political home -- has a critical decision to make: Either we plot a more moderate, centrist course or risk electoral disaster not just in the upcoming midterms but in many elections to come.

Just wondering what all that talk was about the Republicans being run into the ground by the "extremists"?

In his op-ed piece for the WaPo, Daley goes on to explain what we’ve been preaching all along: that recent Democrat victories in ’06 and ’08 weren’t a result of leaning left but rather capturing the center-right ground that the Republicans, drunk with power, had abandoned during the Bush years.

In a glorious re-enactment of history, the Democrats stand poised to repeat the same mistakes of the Republicans but with even more monumental displays of spending, statism and craven pork-barrel politics that Americans clearly don’t want.

Now, it can be told

With Obamacare nearing inevitability, Big Media can finally let down it’s guard and start to report on what’s really in the bill – items and features of Obamacare which the blogosphere has been doing for months.

This from the AP yesterday:

Americans will feel the pain before the gain from the health care overhaul Democrats are close to pushing through Congress.

Proposed taxes and fees on upper-income earners, insurers, even tanning parlors, take effect quickly. So would Medicare cuts.

Benefits, such as subsidies for lower middle-income households, consumer protections for all, eliminating the prescription coverage gap for seniors, come gradually.

"There's going to be an expectations gap, no question about that," said Drew Altman, president of the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. "People are going to see their premiums and out-of-pocket costs go up before the tangible benefits kick in."

Thanks for sharing that, guys. And doesn't "expectation gap" kind of sum up this entire administration?

To be precise, we will start paying for this colossal mistake in 2010 but won’t see any appreciable decline in our health, err…. won’t see any of the benefits until 2014 and at a trickle at that. The chart below from the CBO documents the crappy healthcare ramp-up. Please feel free to click and enlarge to be sufficiently appalled.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Choice for thee but not for ye.

You think these two moms would like an opportunity to have their children sit next to Sasha and Malia Obama in school?

We realize there are some other pressing legislative matters currently but the Republicans have traditionally done an outstanding job of punting on the issue of school choice/vouchers, an issue, unlike pandering on immigration reform, can make real inroads with minorities.

Having said that we give all the credit in the world to the Democrats who have been active of late on the school voucher front by hosing over Washington D.C. schoolchildren by killing Washington D.C.’s Opportunity Scholarship program in a recent spending bill.

When the teachers’ union cracks the whip, the Democrats make the trip.

B-Daddy has more here.

And some more of our thoughts on school choice and vouchers, here.

Day of Reckoning

For our moderate and liberal friends who were had...

Harry Reid cravenly explained all the pork give-aways in Senatecare as being just business as usual and intimating that’s just how legislation was done. We’re sorry – we’re not buying because it was supposed to be different with this Congress and this administration, wasn’t it? That’s what we were promised, right?

Hope and Change.

It wasn’t going to be business as usual and there was going to be transparency and openness as well. And particularly for a bill that was supposed to be about “justice”, “morality” and “doing the right thing”, in the end all the backroom whoring seems to be a tad unseemly and tawdry, does it not?

Here is the abstract of The Heritage Foundation’s excellent breakdown of Senatecare:

The Senate health care bill would overhaul the entire health care sector of the U.S. economy by erecting massive federal controls over private health insurance, dictating the content of insurance benefit packages and the use of medical treatments, procedures, and medical devices. It would alter the relationship between the federal government and the states, transferring massive regulatory power to the federal government. The bill would also restrict the personal and economic freedom of American citizens by imposing controversial and unprecedented mandates on businesses and individuals, including an individual mandate to buy insurance.

Let’s go back to what a liberal said regarding corporatism in 1930s Germany and with respect to what he was warning against in America circa 2004:

When Germany faced the last depression, its government turned to a hand-in-glove partnership with corporations (including some American corporations, as has been shown in recent years) to solidify its power over its own people and to wage war on others.

(We want to be 100% crystal clear on one thing: we are in no way conflating the economic fascism of Germany with its Nazi ideology. Chase that thought from your head right now.)

How is the economic fascism of Germany and Italy where partnerships between the government and private industry were forged any different than what we have now with Obamacare where you will be forced to purchase a service, even if it’s against your will, from a private entity and where the federal government is a major stockholder of two American auto manufacturers as well as having ownership interests in this country’s financial sector? How is it different?

One of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals is forcing the opposition to play by its own rules. As such, if liberals and independents were upset with the crony capitalism and the cozying-up to Big Business of the Bush administration then they should rightly be outraged by what they have seen thus far with the Obama administration. Yet, what we hear is tea bagger jokes.

It’s time to come forward. All will be forgiven, ye who fell under the spell of The One. Come forward now and confess of your transgressions, ye who chafed under 8 years of the power-grabbing Bush regime who now look like mere pikers when compared to the gangsters from Chicago who now reside in the White House.

We understand. We get it. Over a year ago, you had in Barack Obama, the pefect tonic for 8 years of war, triumphalism, moral certitude, faith over science and conservatism run amok. A black man who spoke in moderate tones that would accommodate squishy political ideology while soothing whatever racial guilt that may have been pent up within you represented the ultimate in personality over politics and ideology.

The gig is up. Time to come home.

News item of the day

The economy grew at a 2.2 percent pace in the third quarter, as the recovery got off to a weaker start than previously thought. However, all signs suggest the economy will end the year on stronger footing.

The Commerce Department's new reading on gross domestic product for the July-to-September quarter was slower than the 2.8 percent growth rate estimated just a month ago. Economists were predicting that figure wouldn't be revised in the government's final estimate on third-quarter GDP.

This is simply incredible because what the article from the AP fails to report is that 2.8 percent figure they cite is a downgrade itself from the original 3.5 GDP figure made by the “experts” back in November.

3.5 all the way down to 2.2… who’s doing the books?

And with a completely straight face, the November article from Fox News adds that the “experts” expect the economy to slow to a growth rate of 1% “as the impact of the $787 billion stimulus package fades…”

Even the AP article acknowledges that “much of the third quarter’s growth was supported by government stimulus spending.”

Not quite working out as well as expected, perhaps? Double-dip, anyone?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

More green on green violence

Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced legislation in Congress on Monday to protect a million acres of the Mojave Desert in California by scuttling some 13 big solar plants and wind farms planned for the region.

But before the bill to create two new Mojave national monuments has even had its first hearing, the California Democrat has largely achieved her aim. Regardless of the legislation’s fate, her opposition means that few if any power plants are likely to be built in the monument area, a complication in California’s effort to achieve its aggressive goals for renewable energy.

Alternative energy and weening ourselves off of fossil fuels is imperative and for the sake of the planet must be addressed immediately… until it doesn’t.

Setting our snark aside for a moment, Feinstein is doing the right thing as the land was donated by a nature conservancy and we’re assuming not for the purposes of being turned into a solar farm. KT has his thoughts on the matter here.

But this little urinary Olympiad between competing environmental interests is what we will see more of and with increasing frequency in the future precisely because the state of California has locked itself into a completely unrealistic goal of obtaining fully a third of its electricity by 2020 from renewable sources which for those scoring at home is just 10 years off.

A BwD (partial) book review

A very good friend of ours gave us as a Christmas gift Thom Hartmann’s What Would Jefferson Do? A return to Democracy. Those of you in the know, know that Hartmann has a gig on Air America (or at least he used to. Is Air America even around anymore?) and so you are probably wondering just what the angle here is. The angle is that it’s a gift from a friend who was nearly in tears when she presented it to us - you have to respect that type of passion - so of course we are going to read it and filter out as best we can the expected liberal bias.

Reviews thus far (50 pages in): Mixed.

We get some good history concerning Jefferson’s view of democracy and in particular his study of a strain of democracy as practiced by the Saxon tribes of England prior to the Norman conquest in the 11th century. But, as one would expect for a book written by a liberal in 2004, it’s also providing an opportunity to bash Bush.

As a liberal populist, Hartmann goes at lengths decrying what he describes as corporatism – the government cozying up to big business to effectively control the masses. In the following paragraphs, which is very representative of his ideological slant, Hartmann makes the corporatism-fascism nexus (page 22-23):

Beware: Tight control can look very good at first

When Germany faced the last depression, its government turned to a hand-in-glove partnership with corporations (including some American corporations, as has been shown in recent years) to solidify its power over its own people and to wage war on others.

When Benito Mussolini named this new form of corporate/state partnership “fascism” referring to the Roman fasces or bundle of sticks held together with a rope, that was the Caesars’ symbol of power, he said that the bundle represented the police and military powers of the state combined with the economic power of industry. The fascist system was adopted by Italy, Spain, Japan and Germany.

Using Hartmann’s own standards, he shouldn’t be surprised that in 2009, we can effectively substitute “America” for “Germany’ and “recession” for “last depression”.
And this brings us to the larger point: Sure, it was easy to bang on Republicans and Bush back in ’04 if you were a liberal/statist – banging on the other guy when you’re on the outs is to be expected. But how is that first paragraph working out for Hartmann, now?

Whatever dim view Hartmann may have had of Bush and the Republicans, how does the nationalization of the auto industry which included firing the CEO of Chrysler and jobbing the secured creditors in favor of the unions in the bankruptcy cramdown, the crony capitalism of the Environmental-Industrial complex and now the attempted nationalizing of the healthcare industry look through Hartmann’s liberal populist prism?

It can’t look good or else Hartmann is a complete hypocrite. Since the state of the American auto industry is not what it was in ’04, we don’t know how Hartmann would react to the fascist tactics employed by the Obama administration but we have a clue how he feels regarding Big Green and universal healthcare (we cheated and skipped ahead to Hartmann’s to-do list for returning to democracy which is to be totally confused with a liberal policy laundry list).

First on Big Green (p. 245-246):

Use tax incentives and grants to jump-start alternative energy

Jimmy Carter pioneered this during his time in the White House and the alternative energy industry was birthed from his tax cuts, tax credits and grants for solar, wind, water and other power sources.

We’ve seen how this all really works as Big Green is nothing more than crony capitalism dressed-up in the fineries of doing something about our dependence on fossil fuels and doing something about global-warming and of course we now know its all bullshit as it is the politically well-connected that are receiving the benefits of the Environmental-Industrial complex.

How about healthcare?

From p. 227:

Provide health care for all

Insurance companies take between 8 percent and 60 percent (with an average of 15 percent) of the money that flows through them to cover their overhead, administration, and profits.

Aside from the total incoherency of that sentence (how do you “cover” profits?), suffice to say Hartmann is a big fan of the single-payer system of “every other industrialized nation in the world”.

But how does nationalizing the healthcare industry to where the government is dictating the terms of coverage and forcing every single citizen to sign up with a private insurer anything other than the “hand-in-glove partnership with corporations”, Hartmann claims is an anathema to democracy?

We will continue reading the book as it looks like there is some good history but at this point we have to conclude that Thom Hartmann and many of those who bashed Bush for his power grabs but now support Obama's policies are big fat hypocrites.

Hubris Pt. V

Nathan Myhrvold is a former technology officer for Microsoft who has found his own company, Intellectual Ventures, which is involved in a number of technology development programs, including new forms of energy generation.

Nathan Myhrvold also thinks that he has found a cheap and reliable way to solve global warming, which does not involve upending and perhaps destroying the world's economy. The global warming solution proposed by Nathan Myhvold involves
running a hose up to the stratosphere with balloons and using that hose to pump out enough sulfur particles to dim the sun's heat just enough to counteract the effects of global warming. The estimated cost would be about two hundred and fifty million dollars.

Nathan Myhrvold suggests that volcanoes and other natural processes already pump out sulfur into the stratosphere and that his scheme, if adopted, would increase that amount by only one percent. Nathan Myhrvold therefore thinks that there would not be any unintended consequences (like starting a new ice age.)

(italics ours)

Running a hose up to the stratosphere with baloons?

While Myrvold is toiling away in his basement decked out in his wizard's hat, we'll be relying on much more proven technology in order to take advantage of that slush fund sector of the economy known as the Environmental-Industrial Complex.

People, behold.... Climate Buster

Monday, December 21, 2009

The inevitable Tiger Woods is no A.C. Green column

"Tiger is having a halftime moment in his own life."

Pork keeps better when chilled (UPDATED)

A couple a hundred million dollars here and a couple a hundred million dollars there and pretty soon you are talking about some real money.

So just what is it costing to get Obamacare passed? Start with $300 million for the Louisiana purchase, $100 million in subsidies for sell-out Ben Nelson’s Nebraska Medicaid fund and $100 million for construction of a university hospital in Chris Dodd’s state of Connecticut. All told, the pork in Obamacare alone to this exclusive little clique amounts to at least $1.2 trillion over 10 years.

(UPDATE #1): Harry Reid on all the pork in the Senate version of healthcare:

“There are 100 senators here and I don’t know that there’s a senator that doesn’t have something in this bill that isn’t important to them,” Reid said. “If they don’t have something in it important to them then it doesn’t speak well of them.”

Translation: If you didn't line up at the trough when this thing was being "negotiated", you're a chump.

The L.A. Times has a breakdown of the differences between the House and Senate healthcare bills. Looking over it, we have a tough time grasping just how they will reconcile the differences between the two. Ah, how quickly we forget the paragraph above.

The breakdown, however, disingenuously touts the savings to the federal budget of both bills, knowing damn well that the first 10 years of concurrent funding and outlays represents a budget buster.

Operational pause

Because every piece of legislation that will nationalize 1/6th of the economy and effect the health of every American citizen (and non-citizen) deserves a 1 A.M. Senate floor vote, we are taking a short break to pass along something that goes on day after day and which goes unnoticed, unrecognized and too often, unappreciated just the same.

That’s what we do…

H/T: Bevvie

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Quote of the day

"That's going to cause us to make some real decisions as to who gets how much health care and when they get it… To the extent we need to raise taxes down the road we're going to have to sort of work our way down that income level starting with people making over $250,000 and maybe even going further down. I hope we don't have to do too much of that."

We actually posted this quote back in April of this year. It’s from Lawrence J. Haas, the former communications director for Al Gore and who, you can imagine, is a big fan of government-managed healthcare.

Consider this a reminder that even before “rationing” and “death panels” entered the rhetorical fray of the healthcare debate, proponents of Obamacare knew in their hearts, even if they denied it in public, that government-managed healthcare would indeed entail the same government picking winners and losers with respect to healthcare services.

Consider this also a reminder of the blatant hypocrisy of a set of people that occupy a band on the political spectrum that have conveniently tucked away displays of bumper sticker politics to the basement of their convictions.

Your Sunday-before Christmas cheer video clip.

Overzealous plain-clothes D.C. cop vs. multi-racial entitlement crowd who think it's cool to throw snow balls at passing vehicles.

Who ya got?

Perhaps because of our absolute unfamiliarity with the white stuff, this whole scene is bizarre. Seriously, what's the protocol for a once-a-decade snow storm?

Big Green really is the next green

No one in the world exercised more influence on the events leading up to the Copenhagen conference on global warming than Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and mastermind of its latest report in 2007.

Although Dr Pachauri is often presented as a scientist (he was even once described by the BBC as “the world’s top climate scientist”), as a former railway engineer with a PhD in economics he has no qualifications in climate science at all.

What has also almost entirely escaped attention, however, is how Dr Pachauri has established an astonishing worldwide portfolio of business interests with bodies which have been investing billions of dollars in organisations dependent on the IPCC’s policy recommendations.

These outfits include banks, oil and energy companies and investment funds heavily involved in ‘carbon trading’ and ‘sustainable technologies’, which together make up the fastest-growing commodity market in the world, estimated soon to be worth trillions of dollars a year.

Dude is like Al Gore on steroids. Or, with all the jack that Algore stands to swim in, maybe it’s the other way around. Tough call.

What more is needed to be known about the faith-based AGW zealot wing of the Star Wars cantina scene than the fact that a choo-choo engineer with a doctorate in economics pretty much calls the shots with respect to AGW policy, worldwide?

Speaking of which, how did Copenhagen work out for ya, doc?

And speaking of what more is needed to be known, the EU’s Emission Trading System, which will be the model for any carbon credit trading system should cap and trade survive abortion efforts over here is one giant white collar crime-riddled sham.

The top cops in Europe say carbon-trading has fallen prey to an organized crime scheme that has robbed the continent of $7.4 billion -- a massive fraud that lawmakers and energy experts say should send a "red flag" to the U.S., where the House approved cap-and-trade legislation over the summer amid stiff opposition.

In a statement released last week, the Europol police agency said Europe's cap-and-trade system has been the victim of organized crime during the past 18 months, resulting in losses of roughly $7.4 billion. The agency, headquartered in the Netherlands, estimated that in some countries up to 90 percent of the entire market volume was caused by fraudulent activities.

"These criminal activities endanger the credibility of the European Union Emission Trading System and lead to the loss of significant tax revenue for governments," Rob Wainwright, Europol's director, said in a statement.

We’re way passed “endanger”, pal. And one gets the feeling that the "loss of significant tax revenue for governments" is the real crime.

And something like this couldn’t happen over here because the value added tax (a Ponzi scheme in itself) that was part of the EU’s carbon trading market, won’t be part of the American cap and trade scheme? Think again.

U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said it's no surprise cap-and-trade systems are vulnerable to corruption.

Barton said he recently asked the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to unseal the court file of Anne Sholtz, a former environmental executive who co-created the Regional Clean Air Incentives Market (RECLAIM) in 1999. Sholtz's company, Automated Credit Exchange, provided a market for companies to buy and sell pollution credits under RECLAIM. In 2005, Sholtz pleaded guilty to wire fraud for using counterfeit credits to pocket more than $12 million. Sholtz was later sentenced to one year of house arrest. (Barton wrote about Sholtz earlier this year for

When the government attempts to set up an artificial market that the free market wouldn’t normally recognize, corruption and graft is sure to follow.

Here again, we see the nexus of fascism and crony capitalism, terms that are inescapable when you are discussing picking the winners and losers in the national and global Environmental-Industrial complex.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Quote of the day

"It’s a catastrophe," said Dan Joergensen, a member of the European delegation, of the five-nation agreement. "We’re so far away from the criteria that was set up in order to call it a success, and those weren’t really that ambitious to start with."

(italics, ours)

Well, the President was able to save some face by getting India and China to buy into a vague and totally meaningless non-binding carbon emissions reduction agreement that was not endorsed by the balance of the 193 nations voting on the official accord so I guess we can classify this as a win-win situation.

Do they have a vaccine for this?

New cottage industry: Libs who have their guy in the Oval Office and majorities in the House and Senate now whining about “the system” being broken because they can’t get an excrable piece of legislation passed.

Sigh. If you've been watching the Washington healthcare debate, you know what that sigh was about. We Americans have always been proud of our constitution and the principle of separation of powers. The system has always ensured that the minority party has certain rights and that the executive branch cannot just muscle through Congress any old thing that it wants. Our founders wanted a system that moved slowly.

Do they ever have it. In fact, we now have a system that barely moves at all. Watching American politics through British eyes, you must be utterly mystified as to why Barack Obama hasn't gotten this healthcare bill passed yet. Many Americans are too. The instinctive reflex is to blame Obama. He must be doing something wrong. Maybe he is doing a thing or two wrong. But the main thing is that America's political system is broken.

Michael Tomaskey writing for the Guardian UK, did not get the memo, the Gallup memo, if you will that shows that 48% of the public do not want this version of healthcare reform vs. 46% who do. This represents an undeniable trend from just back in October where the numbers were 41% not wanting healthcare and 51% wanting it.

And here’s E.J. Dionne of the WaPo on his definition of what constitutes a real American:

Normal human beings -- let's call them real Americans -- cannot understand why, 10 months after President Obama's inauguration, Congress is still tied down in a procedural torture chamber trying to pass the health-care bill Obama promised in his campaign.

If you are not one of those who “cannot understand”, you must not be a real American? Didn’t we just spend the better part of this past decade listening to liberals whine about their patriotism being questioned?

Paul Krugman whining about the 60-vote filibuster:

A message to progressives: By all means, hang Senator Joe Lieberman in effigy. Declare that you’re disappointed in and/or disgusted with President Obama. Demand a change in Senate rules that, combined with the Republican strategy of total obstructionism, are in the process of making America ungovernable.

But meanwhile, pass the health care bill.
Yes, the filibuster-imposed need to get votes from “centrist” senators has led to a bill that falls a long way short of ideal. Worse, some of those senators seem motivated largely by a desire to protect the interests of insurance companies — with the possible exception of Mr. Lieberman, who seems motivated by sheer spite.

Beyond that, we need to take on the way the Senate works. The filibuster, and the need for 60 votes to end debate, aren’t in the Constitution. They’re a Senate tradition, and that same tradition said that the threat of filibusters should be used sparingly. Well, Republicans have already trashed the second part of the tradition: look at a list of cloture motions over time, and you’ll see that since the G.O.P. lost control of Congress it has pursued obstructionism on a literally unprecedented scale. So it’s time to revise the rules.

Hang Lieberman in effigy? Is Krugman also suggesting that perhaps mobs of angry statists take to the streets wielding signs and/or confront their respective congressmen at town hall meetings? Now that would be downright uncivil behavior and might also be considered unpatriotic.

It remains absolutely mind-boggling to us just how behind the curve the alleged taste-makers like Dionne and Krugman are on the issue of Obamacare and the current plight of the Democrats.

Just pass the bill? Is it possible that these people really do live under a rock and are not aware of the tanking poll numbers for Obamacare? Oh, we forgot - passing Obamacare should not be about politics, it’s about doing the “moral” and “just” thing.

And we don't remember this degree of moral indignation for the years that the Democrats were in the minority during the Bush years and where they were only to happy to use filbusters to derail Bush's judicial appointments.

Setting aside the procedural rules of the Senate, could it be that the reason why Obamacare has not passed yet is because as a piece of legislation, it stinks? There’s a reason why the bill is currently holed-up in Harry Reid’s office and won’t see the light of day until the last possible moment and it’s not because it is a tidy, easily-comprehended bill absent an unseemly amount of amendments and loopholes.

The American people know this, they have expressed this and that is why Obamacare has not yet passed and no amount of bitching and carping by state-controlled media will change this fact.

Great moments in the history of government-managed health care

Health officials are recalling hundreds of thousands of doses of swine flu vaccine after tests indicated they may not be potent enough to protect against the virus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notified doctors about the recall Tuesday. The recall involves about 800,000 doses made by Sanofi Pasteur. The doses are pre-filled syringes intended for young children, ages 6 months to almost three years.

Health officials recommend children those ages get two doses, spaced about a month apart.

Health officials say it's not clear how many doses have already been given, but they don't think children need to be re-vaccinated. The lots passed potency tests when they were first shipped, but tests indicate the potency waned after.

They don’t think the children need to be re-vaccinated? That’s reassuring.

Again, massive government efforts at the federal level are fine when it comes to fighting wars as degrees of inefficiency and inaccuracy are acceptable in order to “get the job done”. Not so much, however, when it comes to your personal health or that of your children.

P.S. Prepare yourself for some more “thinking”. They finally broke Nelson.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Radio KBwD is on the air

Folks, it’s office party season so blogging will be light and/or incoherent for the duration.

We leave you with a clip from the greatest concert film of all time. Ladies and Gentleman, from the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco, it’s Paul Butterfield and The Band in their performance from The Last Waltz and their take on the blues standard, "Mystery Train".

Enemies of our enemies or something...

Obama’s left flank is in full rebellion over the healthcare bill as they have just recently figured out that all the compromises have made the legislation a “sell-out”. And to be specific, what they are having the most heartburn over is the fact that they will be forced to purchase a service from a private entity – individual mandates – a feature of Obamacare that we have been all over from the get-go.

Hey, lefties…we’ve saved a seat for you all down here at the bar. Grab a beer with us when you get done venting.

Markos Moulitsas, he of the liberal Daily Kos on individual mandates:

“My take is that it’s unconscionable to force people to buy a product from a private insurer that enjoys sanctioned monopoly status,” says Moulitsas. “It’d be like forcing everyone to attend baseball games, but instead of watching the Yankees, they were forced to watch the Kansas City Royals. Or Washington Nationals. It would effectively be a tax — and a huge one — paid directly to a private industry.”

The Royals? The Nationals? Now, that would be cruel and unusual punishment.

Alas, ‘Kos as representative of the rest of his crowd, comes to the right conclusion for the wrong reason (to use his example, even if the Yankees are your favorite team, why should you be forced to watch them). He isn’t against individual mandates, per se, or as a matter of principal, he’s against individual mandates that are decoupled from the public option. In ‘Kos World, individual mandates are fine as long as the government option is in play and where an individual isn’t forced to sign up with an evil private insurer, only.

Of course, this reasoning is totally lacking in principle as the individual mandate, public option or not, is the antithesis of freedom of choice (something we are told is cherished by this country’s liberal-Left) and most likely unconstitutional.

Think about it: the federal government is forcing you to purchase a product produced by a private, for-profit entity. No amount of alliteration can free one from the wrongness of that scenario.

Be that as it may, we welcome a temporary partnership with our statist friends of whom do not find the satisfactory amount of statism in Obamacare.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Copenhagen 101

Confused about global-warming, are ya? Not sure whether or not you are to blame? Can’t quite get your brain wrapped around the climate conference at Copenhagen? Is that what’s troublin’ ya, bunky?

Maybe this will help you make sense of it:

President Chavez brought the house down.

When he said the process in Copenhagen was “not democratic, it is not inclusive, but isn’t that the reality of our world, the world is really and imperial dictatorship…down with imperial dictatorships” he got a rousing round of applause.

When he said there was a “silent and terrible ghost in the room” and that ghost was called capitalism, the applause was deafening.

But then he wound up to his grand conclusion – 20 minutes after his 5 minute speaking time was supposed to have ended and after quoting everyone from Karl Marx to Jesus Christ - “our revolution seeks to help all people…socialism, the other ghost that is probably wandering around this room, that’s the way to save the planet, capitalism is the road to hell....let’s fight against capitalism and make it obey us.” He won a standing ovation.

That puts a nice neat bow on things, now doesn’t it?

That we would even think about throwing our hat in with the freedom-loathing, capitalism-destroying, faith-based AGW zealot-wing of the Star Wars cantina scene is a disgrace.

Not so random thought of the day

After witnessing the repeated and vicious attacks on the likes of Sarah Palin (literally), Carrie Prejean, Michelle Malkin, and now Joe Lieberman’s wife which comes on the heels of Chuckie Schumer (D-NY) calling a flight attendant a “bitch” , one has to ask oneself, just what does the liberal-Left have against women?

Your brother's keeper?

So, why is the notion of a single-payer healthcare system so antithetical to our exceptionally American sensibilities?

Setting aside the rationing, the deficit-busting and the invasion of privacy that Obamacare will certainly deliver, the fact that you will, in effect, be paying for someone else’s crappy diet and poor lifestyle choices is reason enough to abort this bill. B-Daddy has more here.

That's an awful lot of cotton that went into that T-shirt. Now shut up and pay up!

Porky's revenge

Porkulus the younger, in fetal form, survived the lower chamber yesterday.

WASHINGTON, Dec 16 (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a $155 billion measure that seeks to create jobs and blunt the impact of the worst recession since the 1930s.

By a vote of 217 to 212, the House approved additional spending for "shovel-ready" construction projects and money to avoid layoffs of teachers, police and other public employees.

The Senate is expected to consider the measure early next year.

It’s like déjà vu all over again as several of those terms used in the short paragraphs above should sound mighty familiar. It is duly noted that Reuters terms it “additional spending” without referencing to what it is additional. It’s as if Porky Jr. is some sort of bastard child. How’s that for tolerance and understanding?

But with the Senate bogged down trying to find a way to have an open floor vote on a health care bill that no one has yet seen (is it possible to vote on a bill that has not been written?), we will be partying like its February 2009.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Single issue voting

Speaker Pelosi has conceded that Obamacare won’t get done this year but rather next year when job creation and deficit reduction will be the central Democratic themes, (hey, you in the back – no laughing) Politico is reporting but this paragraph caught our eye:

“We are in a define-or-be-defined occupation,” she said, and her adversaries have had the advantage of picking out single issues, such as abortion or the public option, to characterize the whole.

…or rationing or the expansion of Medicare or how it will increase the deficit or how it will infringe upon physician/patient privacy or how it will stunt medical innovation or how it will actually push people out of their current employer-based health insurance or how it will cover illegal aliens or how it will raise health insurance premiums or....

The cherry-picking by Obamacare opponents has been downright shameful.

Do we need an alternative to alternative energy

Watched us a very interesting PBS segment on Copenhagen, green technology, rare earths and China the other night.

The producer of the segment contended that all the efforts to control green house gases in Copenhagen were worthless without first addressing the environmentally ruinous practice of extracting a rapidly shrinking supply of rare earths which are at the heart of the renewable energy industry and which 95% of its production is located in China.

Let’s see: China, environmentally unsound mining, increasing demand, decreasing supply. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, what could go wrong is exactly what one would predict given this scenario. China is cutting back on rare earth exports citing environmental concerns and a shrinking supply of these rare earths. Good for China’s environment – not so good for the world’s green technologies.

And, as predictably, according to the PBS piece, China is leveraging this export cut back to force green industry to move to China and indeed, have mastered-planned a business-city in Bayan Obo, the epicenter of China’s rare earth extraction activities, to facilitate this.

And this remains our heartburn with our country’s and much of the world’s business approach to green technology: Instead of relying on true R&D at the university and professional society level that can “look around the corner” and forecast and react to potential dead-ends like the rare earth dilemma, we have locked ourselves into, both legislatively and monetarily (picking winners and losers), the production of electric cars, solar panels and wind turbines – technologies all that may well be DOA before they are even market-viable because of the rare earths shortage and its environmental and geo-political ramifications.

In the meantime...

...anyone up for an alternative to alternative energy until we truly get this whole renewable energy thing figured out?

The Great Dodge challenge update

Quick backdrop: Both the President and the miserable hack that currently runs our Justice Department have with grand theatrical flourish granted a civilian trial in NYC for 9-11 mastermind and war criminal, KSM…. yet, have reassured all of us that regardless of the outcome, he will remain locked up.

Nothing. Nada. Zip. Still have not read a single piece by anyone out there in Big Media or in the comment section of this blog who supports the decision to try KSM in civilian court but who have either a) demanded an explanation from the President and the Attorney General for this glaring hypocrisy or b) attempted to rationalize it.

C’mon! We dare you. The very fate of this blog is in your hands*

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Quote of the Day

Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia) was on Hedgecock’s show yesterday and he was asked to give a reason why we should oppose healthcare.

Isakson: “Because you will start paying for it in 18 days but won’t see any benefits from it for it for 1,112 days”

We question the legitimacy of the term "benefits" but, yeah, we get what the Senator was trying to say.

Falling on the grenade

A doctor from Indianapolis, who should be awarded a medal for his valor in reading the entire Senate health care bill, penned a letter to his Senator, Evan Bayh, documenting all the little goodies contained therein.

Sparing you and our elected representatives any further pain, Teresa has the letter, here.

Great moments in the history of statism Pt. VII

A reporter from the Clevand Plain Dealer got out from behind his desk, did a little digging and found that the city of Cleveland was handing out home loans via HUD’s Afford-A-Home program to homeless and jobless people with the entirely predictable results.

The city of Cleveland has aggravated its vexing foreclosure problems and has lost millions in tax dollars by helping people buy homes they could not afford, a Plain Dealer investigation has found.

The city provided mostly low-income buyers with down payment loans of up to $20,000 through the federally funded Afford-A-Home program, but did little to determine whether the people could actually afford to keep their homes.

That lack of oversight persisted for years, even as hundreds of loan recipients defaulted on mortgages, many within two years, the newspaper found by analyzing property and loan records covering the period between 2000 and 2007.

In other completely unrelated news today….

First, it was S.W.A.T teams and then naughty and nice lists published by Treasury Dept. and now what is going to be affected to spur banks to lend to homeowners and businesses? How about more arm-twisting by the President?

Meeting with top executives from 12 financial institutions, Mr. Obama sent a clear message that the industry had a responsibility to help nurse the economy back to health and do more to create jobs in return for the huge federal bailout last year that kept Wall Street and the banking system afloat.

But Mr. Obama also confronted the limits of his power to jawbone the industry as banking companies continued to repay government money received in the bailout. Citigroup and Wells Fargo, two of the biggest, announced on Monday that they were doing precisely that.

President Obama pressured the heads of the nation’s biggest banks on Monday to take “extraordinary” steps to revive lending for small businesses and homeowners, prompting assurances from some financial institutions that they would do more even as they continued to shed their supplicant status in Washington.

Don’t think it was coincidence that both Citigroup and Wells made this announcement when they did. They want to eliminate as much bully pulpit leverage from the government as fast as humanly possible.

For their part, a few of the banks, did make some specific pledges to increase lending to small businesses. No such pledges were reported as being made for the housing sector, though.

The banking executives promised Mr. Obama that they would take second looks at loans they had denied over the last year. Richard K. Davis, the chief executive of US Bancorp, told reporters after the meeting that the executives were aware of the public perception that they were profiting with hefty bonuses at taxpayer expense, and that they realized they were “under a microscope” and needed to align themselves more closely with the needs of consumers.

Call us crazy but perhaps the loans were denied the first time around because they were bad risks. One would think that the banks might have some expertise in that area. But forgive our lack of populist outrage regarding bank executive compensation when we stand dumbfounded observing an alignment of circumstances that look eerily similar to that which caused this meltdown in the first place.

But as we've said all along, the statist solution to failed statist policies is just more statism.

More "Great moments..." can be found here.