Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Business as usual...

... and not a moment too soon.

Now, this is more like it.

Reversing a ban on oil drilling off most U.S. shores, President Barack Obama on Wednesday announced an expansive new policy that could put oil and natural gas platforms in waters along the southern Atlantic coastline, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and part of Alaska.

Speaking at Andrews air base outside Washington, Obama said, "This is not a decision that I've made lightly." He addressed the expected outcry from disappointed environmentalists by saying he had studied the issue for more than a year and concluded it was the right call given the nation's voracious thirst for energy and the need to produce jobs and keep American businesses competitive.

"We're announcing the expansion of offshore oil and gas exploration but in ways that balance the need to harness domestic energy resources and the need to protect America's natural resources," Obama said, according to his prepared remarks released in advance by the White House. "This announcement is part of a broader strategy that will move us from an economy that runs on fossil fuels and foreign oil to one that relies more on homegrown fuels and clean energy. And the only way this transition will succeed is if it strengthens our economy in the short term and long term."

He added: "To fail to recognize this reality would be a mistake."

Obama made no secret of the fact that one factor in his decision was securing Republican support for a sweeping climate change bill that has languished in Congress. But Obama has long stated his support in favor of the "tough decision" to expand offshore drilling.

(italics, ours)

There's always that yeah, but, however we're kind of O.K. with this. In fact, it's a very shrewd move by the President. After several prominent Republicans, including John McCain stormed righteously that after the manner in which OmamaCare was passed, no business in Congress would get done for the duration of the session, the President has now effectively asked the Republicans if they need anymore paint for the corner in which they are painting themselves.
(Full disclosure: We were with McCain in his sentiment)

This is more along the lines of what we expected to see out of the Obama administration and what Obama himself promised on the campaign trail.

Will the form that cap and trade takes ultimately be bad for the economy? If the big government statists who will hold sway over this bill get their way then it most assuredly will. But, again, this is the politics we believe everyone is more comfortable with and is why elections have consequences.

The Republicans need to come to the table and negotiate in good faith on this bill with Congressional Democrats and see if they can get this bill to stink less than it probably will. Otherwise, the President, who gave up nothing politically in lifting the ban (to quote faithful reader and commenter, Road Dawg: "Like, where are they going to go?") can and will with justification point to Republican "obstructionism".

At the end of the day, energy policies can be rolled back or reversed much easier than authoritarian statist power grabs masquerading as entitlement programs disguised as health care reform. There is something fundamentally less invasive to our freedoms and liberty with cap and trade than with ObamaCare.

Our finely-tuned, gut level B.S. alarm is not going off on this one and we think that is good news.

Please let us know if we are off base or are missing anything.

Honduras: not going away any time soon

The situation in Honduras, or more precisely our country's meddling in Honduran political/constitutional matters, is becoming the Freddie Kruger of Latin American foreign policy: you just can't kill it.

With the election of a new president, a peaceful transfer of power and deposed Hugo Chavez puppet and former President, Mel Zelaya safely in exile it looked like this all was going to have a happy ending. If by happy ending one means the United States, in this case truly acting like an imperialist bully, pitching a temper tantrum by way of not restoring revoked visas and aid to Honduras and agitating for the return of Zelaya to Honduras without facing any legal repercussions, then, yes, it has had a happy ending.

Mary Anastasia O'Grady who has been doing yeoman's work in covering this for the Wall St. Journal is interviewed in clip below.


We will give the Obama administration and the State Department credit for consistency, though. The pattern of giving the hand to our friends (Great Britain and Israel) and getting rolled by our adversaries (Russia and Iran) had a decidedly Euro/Mid East slant to it. We can now claim without threat of contradiction that we are extending this ass-backwards policy to the Western Hemisphere.

It remains unfathomable to us that our country not only has turned its back on a struggling ally attempting to get into the 21st century democracies in good standing club but has worked openly to subvert that effort.

Hondurans are possibly wondering: that we would be subjected to mere snubs.

Previous posts on Honduras, here.

A lot more than miles separating

Two rallies took place one week and about 250 miles apart. On Saturday, a generally right-wing, free-market oriented rally went down in Searchlight, Nevada. One week earlier, a generally left-wing, anti-war rally took place in Los Angeles.

Look at each picture and associate it to one of the two rallies and then ask yourself in which of these two mainstream political rallies Frank Rich would feel most comfortable?

Get the full low-down on both rallies at Zombie.




Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Operational Pause

We've noticed a significant uptick in readership at this site over the past couple of weeks. We've been pounding on healthcare reform relentlessly and as that has been front and center in the blogosphere, if not necessarily main stream news, the on-topic consistency has probably helped this bump. More significantly, however, is the links we've been getting from Sarah B. (via FaceBook) and Leslie at Temple of Mut and we'd like to thank those two ladies in a public fashion for their support.

And to those readers who have been recently linked up to BwD, we'd like to say thanks for stopping by and checking out our humble site. We'd apologize for being so heavy on health care coverage but we think you would agree that in both theoretical and practical senses (as we discover more and more what's actually in the bill as Ms. Pelosi indicated) just how critical to our freedoms and liberties this law is.

So we hope you enjoy the site and will make it a regular stop in your web surfing in the future.

And a special shout-out to our Jewish readers who will begin celebrating Passover today which, in part, represents the Jewish people's flight from their oppressors in Egypt to the promised land.

Mirror, mirror...

Folks, Obama and his policies ain't the problem. They are merely symptoms of some inconvenient truths we as a nation are completely unwilling to own up to.

However, in a free society, we have no right to the fruits of the labor of others; it is not our right to live by the sweat of another's brow. Doctors are not obligated to save our lives without just compensation, nor is the general population obligated to pay for that which we should be responsible ourselves. Ultimately, this is the moral code that we all instinctively live by, that we should be responsible for our own welfare and that of our families. We are angry because we are being punished for our integrity and figuratively spat upon and told that we are selfish and racist. We know that both our taxes and our insurance premiums will rise, we don't like it, because we have done nothing to deserve this and have made clear our desires. That many are angry is understandable. I do not condone threats or actual violence, but merely point out that the anger behind it is understandable.

Funny thing about democracies is that we generally get from our government what we deserve, or more accurately, desire. That we are a fundamentally less-free nation than we were just two weeks ago ought to be cause for some soul searching.

B-Daddy explains it all here, knocking the bottom out of it in the process.

P.S. Looking on the bright side of things: now that we will be paying for everyone else's healthcare and thus the consequences of piss-poor lifestyle choices, KT is going to be even more of an insufferable moral scold than ever before. Good times.

Letting the mask slip Pt. III

We didn't really intend on this turning into a series but golly, now that this thing is law, everyone is just relaxing and lettin' 'er rip. In reconciliation veritas, we suppose.

Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell was on O'Reilly's show last week talking ObamaCare with O'Reilly when he said something very interesting with respect to the compulsory aspect of Obamacare and the pre-existing condition provisions.

Obamacare proponents tout a) the fact that 30 million uninsured Americans will be covered under Obamacare and b) that health insurers will not be able to deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions. Pretty benevolent of Congress, wouldn't you say?

Fast forward to the 5:10 mark of the clip where O'Reilly and Rendell are arguing if ObamaCare does indeed constitute a "government takeover" and listen to what Rendell says right at the end of the clip.

"It's the insurance companies that drove the mandate"

So, our benevolent overseers really had no intention of covering the uninsured and it only resulted as the happy coincidence from forcing the insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions?

To quote Jim Rome: "That is epic"

It turns out, then, it wasn't the benevolence of our overseers in Congress after all but rather it resulted at the behest of the health insurance, excuse us, the profit-gouging health insurance industry and its lobbyists working hand-in-glove with Congressional leadership to force ObamaCare onto people while simultaneously adding 30 million more people to the health insurance companies' rolls.


If this doesn't qualify as "standing up to special interests" then we scarcely know what does.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Coming to a dinner table near you

Whether you like it or not.

That Caesar salad you're about to eat? It's 800 calories, and that's without the croutons. The fettuccine Alfredo? A whopping 1,220 calories. You may choose to ignore the numbers, but soon it's going to be tough to deny you saw them.

A requirement tucked into the nation's massive health-care bill will make calorie counts impossible for thousands of restaurants to hide and difficult for consumers to ignore.

More than 200,000 fast-food and other chain restaurants will have to include calorie counts on menus, menu boards, and even drive-through eateries.

The new law, which applies to any restaurant with 20 or more locations, directs the Food and Drug Administration to create a new national standard for menu labeling. The FDA has one year to draw up regulations, which would likely take effect a year or two after that.

What a ridiculous provision in a completely non-sensical law. Seriously, if you are ordering up the rib-eye and the baked potato (loaded) and washing that back with a couple-three Stone IPAs at the Riviera Club are you doing any calorie counting? Probably not.

It just speaks to the awfulness of ObamaCare that there is not a single part of your life that, if they cannot control, will certainly aspire to nagging you into submission.

By the time we got to Searchlight....

... we were dozens and dozens strong?

CNN beclowns themselves with crowd estimates at the Tea Party event in Searchlight, NV, Harry Reid's hometown, this weekend.

The Tea Party event was held on private property so the big question is: who is the Tea Party's Max Yazgur? Probably better left in anonymity, though.

Roger Hedgecock who spoke at the event has his write-up, here.

Quotes of the Day

There’s no reason a country with vast natural resources, tended by a bold and innovative people, should suffer double-digit unemployment and capital flight. A compassionate nation, whose daily industry has done more for the downtrodden than every utopian scheme combined, has no reason to lower its head in shame, and tolerate the extraction of “charity” at gunpoint. The veterans of bloody wars against lawless tyranny should not accept a system that makes fools of the industrious. A great people, who live in reverence of equality, require no lists of class and racial enemies from opportunistic politicians.

This is the hour for passion and reason, not anger and disgust. The strength to restore our prosperity lies in the muscle and imagination of citizens who have been programmed to think of themselves as sheep, by those who seek power as their shepherds. The time for averting a painful disaster is short… but the most amazing chapters of American history were written in the last seconds before midnight.

It’s time for us to be amazing again. I hope you find that as invigorating as I do.

- Doc Zero

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

- C.S. Lewis

H/T: W.C. Varones

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Letting the mask slip Pt. II

The great Obamacare walk back begins. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) admits that perhaps the Democrats "overpromised" on the awesomeness of Obamacare during the past year.

In the exchange on MSNBC McCaskill also breaks out the refrain that we are going to be hearing for the next few years: It's going to take time to realize just how terrific Obamacare is and that Obamacare is incremental and not the radical make-over of the healthcare sector you've been told..

In the meantime, while we are educating ourselves to a piece of legislation we guarantee McCaskill didn't bother to read, we'd like to remind McCaskill and the Democrats that until the "benefits" to ObamaCare start kicking-in incrementally, over 110 people are dying every day because they don't have life insurance.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

There really is nothing new under the sun

A couple of days ago we blogged about the displeasure D.C. pols have exhibited towards what they perceive as an under-achieving HAMP (Home Affordable Mortgage Program) program.

Alas, and as predicted, statists will never recognize the failure of a government program and, as such, rather than scaling back or shutting down HAMP they are going to throw more money at it.

The Obama administration on Friday will announce broad new initiatives to help troubled homeowners, potentially refinancing several million of them into fresh government-backed mortgages with lower payments.

Another element of the new program is meant to temporarily reduce the payments of borrowers who are unemployed and seeking a job. Additionally, the government will encourage lenders to write down the value of loans held by borrowers in modification programs.

The escalation in aid comes as the administration is under rising pressure from Congress to resolve the foreclosure crisis, which is straining the economy and putting millions of Americans at risk of losing their homes. But the new initiatives could well spur protests among those who have kept up their payments and are not in trouble.

Protests like the one that will go down in November of this year, to be precise.

If we sound like a broken record it's only because we're being cued by the actions of the Obama administration.

Re-read those paragraphs above from the NYT article and tell us they could not have just as easily appeared in print back in July '09, Nov. '09, or Jan. '10.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Radio KBwD is on the air

About 24 hrs. later than our usual Friday afternoon Radio KBwD time slot so we hope it was worth the wait.

Inspired by our previous post, Ladies and Gentlemen: it's Dire Straits getting their swing on with "Badges, Posters, Stickers and T-shirts".

The hits... they just keep on coming

What we were told for years wouldn't be a reality until 2018 or 2015 at the earliest is now an honest to goodness reality: Social Security is running a deficit. Yaaayy!

The bursting of the real estate bubble and the ensuing recession have hurt jobs, home prices and now Social Security.

This year, the system will pay out more in benefits than it receives in payroll taxes, an important threshold it was not expected to cross until at least 2016, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Stephen C. Goss, chief actuary of the Social Security Administration, said that while the Congressional projection would probably be borne out, the change would have no effect on benefits in 2010 and retirees would keep receiving their checks as usual.

Yeah, let's not actually worry about the systemic fatal flaws in Social Security because everyone will be getting their checks as usual. Nothing to see hear - please move along.

Informal poll question that you can answer in the comments: Would you give up your social security benefits (despite all the years you paid into it) in return for, effective immediately, dropping the 6% Social Security tax (FICA) on your paycheck and dropping a portion of the 6% payroll tax your employer pays to the system (this precise amount can be negotiated - we're open to suggestions!)?

Bottom line: A 6-9% payraise in exchange for walking away from the system. We totally understand those of you approaching retirement who would balk at this but we would jump at this opportunity in a heart beat.

Not that anything is actually going to get done to solve this crisis. Bush's modest proposal for the option of privatizing up to 10% of your Social Security account was met with such outrageous howls of protest back in '05, we can't imagine anyone possessing the nerve to do anything now.... except to throw more money at it or paper over the deficit with gimmicks.

Think it was Dennis Prager that said: "Religion is not the opiate of the masses, entitlements are."

Shameless plug of the day: Get ye over to Doo Doo Economics to gear up for the coming battles. To quote Mark Knopfler of Dire Straights: "Badges, posters, stickers and t-shirts."

Friday, March 26, 2010

The death of the "good liberal"

Out: Hope and Change

In: Business as usual. Only more so.

We're somewhat outnumbered by friends in our loose social circle with respect to political inclinations. They aren't socialists, commies or even what we would call leftists - they are "good liberals", meaning they believe government should play an active role in the overall scheme of things but also with this active role comes a high degree of transparency, honesty and an absence of corruption. And they would also recognize there are certainly limits to what the governmnent can force you to do. In short, they are "good government" types.

What happened on Sunday which was merely the culmination of what had transpired for a near calendar year leading up to Sunday's vote on health care reform would not qualify as "good government" by any standard of the definition.

So, what happened to the "good liberals"?

An entire set of people whom a generation ago might've been wearing "Keep Your Laws Off My Body" t-shirts have been curiously absent the health care debate. Certainly, there have been what we would formerly describe as liberals cheerleading for ObamaCare but in championing this legislation they've sacrificed their good government bona fides in return for an authoritarian statist power grab.

We know it appears we are getting bogged down in political semantics but these labels do have a degree of import. To that end, it certainly seems that this shift from "liberal" to "progressive" was more than just a re-branding or an image make-over but rather a substantive re-alignment that would make the aforementioned authoritarian statist power grab not only palatable but entirely welcome.

Here's Maureen Dowd of the New York Times assessing the performance of the Dear Leader:

Until now, Obama has gotten irritated at those who cast Washington affairs in Manichean terms of strength or weakness and red or blue. He wanted to reason, to compromise, to float in his ivory tower.

But at long last, when push came to shove, he shoved (and let Nancy push). He treated politics not as an intellectual exercise, but a political one. He realized that sometimes you can’t rise above it. You have to sink down into it. You have to stop being cerebral and get your hands dirty. You can fight fear with power.

The Chicago pol in the Oval has had to learn one of the great American truths: You’ve got to slap the bully in the face. He’s a consensus-building “warrior,” Axelrod boasted to Charlie Rose.

In case you were wondering, Dowd meant this in the most complimentary of ways. So convenient to now couch special interest buy-offs, closed door deals, highly dubious and outright misleading accounting and Christmas Eve and Sunday votes in such a glowing light.

For those that argue that, as the President himself did in an interview a few weeks back, the process doesn't matter so much as the actual content of the bill are being shamelessly hypocritical. During the campaign, Obama's key selling point was that he was going to change the way business was done in D.C. Obama ran on process! Obama ran on good government! Obama lied.

Liberals have hoisted themselves upon the petard of ObamCare.

Liberals are dead to us.

It's a shame. America could've used their help were they still in existence.

Doing what they do

Somewhere Sean Penn is smiling.

Stepping up what opponents call a smack-down of opposition voices, the Venezuelan attorney general said Thursday that authorities had arrested the owner of the Globovision TV channel, one of the few remaining broadcasters critical of President Hugo Chavez.

Guillermo Zuloaga was arrested at an airport in western Venezuela as he was preparing to fly his private airplane to Bonaire, a Caribbean vacation destination, for Easter week. Venezuelan Atty. Gen. Luisa Ortega Diaz said Zuloaga was detained because he was considered a flight risk.

A judge on Wednesday denied bail for Oswaldo Alvarez Paz, a former state governor and Chavez critic jailed a day earlier on charges of incitement, conspiracy and spreading false information in a March 8 interview on Globovision.

Under his regime, Hugo Chavez has closed down 33 independent radio stations and put the screws to numerous regional newspapers.

Michael C. Moynihan reminds us that this is all eerily similar to Sandinista censor Nelba Blando when asked why he shut down an opposition newspaper, countered with: "They accused us of suppressing freedom of expression. This was a lie and we could not let them publish it."

So, don't claim that Chavez is suppressing free speach and for heaven's sake, don't you dare call him a "dictator".

Ma Bell will see you now

So, what is "universal healthcare" going to look like in the future? First, one has to look back into history and the telecom industry is a great place to start.

Secular Apostate has an excellent take, here, on the subject which also might contain a ray of hope.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Amendments a no-go

Call it stocking up on campaign trail fodder or call it just having some procedural fun or just call it helping Obama and the Democrats live up to the promises they made while pushing ObamaCare, Senate Republicans have proposed a number of amendments to the reconciliation bill. The reconciliation bill that was ostensibly to make the standing ObamaCare bill signed yesterday by the President less sucky.

Among the amendments shot down by the Democrats:

- Denying funding of Viagara for pedophiles and sex offenders.

- Forcing members of Congress and their staffs receive health care through
the newly-created exchanges rather than the Federal Emplyoee Health
Benefits Program (Obama had indicated that the care people would receive
under ObamaCare would rival that of the FEHBP).

- No provisions in the bill would raise people's health care premiums (the
CBO says premiums in the individual market would rise by as much as 13%).

The Heritage Foundation has more here.

It's come to this

If it will bend the cost curve downward, then we suppose everything is on the table... or off the table as the case may be.

H/T: Weasel Zippers

A Government success story?

A story about existing home sales falling for the 3rd straight month also included the following:

The number of homes on the market jumped 9.5 percent, pushing the time it would take to sell all properties at the current sales pace up to 8.6 months from 7.8 months at the end of January.

The increase in supply last month was “unusual” and “discomforting,” Lawrence Yun, the Realtors’ chief economist, said in a news conference. The jump may be caused by more distressed properties coming on the market, particularly condominiums, and by trade-up buyers who are now putting their houses up for sale before purchasing another property, he said.

If inventories exceed a 10-months’ supply, it would lead to larger price declines and signal the housing slump was not over, he said
(italics, ours)

Distressed properties = foreclosures

In other totally related news:

Scrutiny of the Home Affordable Refinance Program is heating up in Washington, as lawmakers continue to question the mortgage refinancing program and say it is failing to meet expectations.
The House Oversight Committee announced today that it will hold a hearing to examine the program Thursday.

Special Inspector General for TARP Neil Barofsky is scheduled to release his report on the program at the meeting. Herbert Allison, who oversees the Troubled Asset Relief Program for the Treasury Department, also is expected to testify.

The $75 billion HAMP program, which can use up to $50 billion of TARP funds, provides incentive payments to lenders who can help responsible borrowers modify their mortgages.

(ed. note: The TARP program was never intended for this)

Earlier this year, committee chair Edolphus "Ed" Towns (D-N.Y.) requested data on the program from the Treasury Department as part of an investigation into HAMP.

Towns has criticized the program for failing to require that lenders give homeowners an explanation for a modification denial and for failing to establish an appeals process.

That's because, Ed, HAMP lenders are rolling on the floor in gut-wrenching laughter after seeing the nature of these appeals for assistance and are unable to respond.

Seriously, could this actually be good news? Could it be good news that an inefficient government bureaucracy is, in reality, aiding the "purge" cycle of a recovery as they are unable to throw good money after bad to homeowners compelled to stay in their homes by the lure of cheap, easy government money?

The article goes on to talk about the difficulties in assessing what constitutes the success of the program and that leads to a very interesting point. By usual government standards, they would simply point to the number of cases that have been processed and/or the amount of money expended through the program but as we alluded to above and which is a point we have long been critical regarding these types of programs, the housing market is little served by keeping distressed homeowners on terminal life support.

Generally speaking, foreclosing and moving into a cheaper rental in order to save up money to enter the market in a more solid financial situation in the future is better for everyone all around. But dammed if the government is going to let you out of your American Dream that easily.

No one seems to be pleased with the HAMP program,as is, but rather than shutting it down, recognizing it for the failure it is, rest assured, tweeks will be made to speed up processing which will also entail loosening qualifying criteria and lending standards... is any of this sounding familiar?... so that the bean counts start meeting approving nods.

Double-dip, anyone?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Death, taxes and...

... Government entitlement programs that always, repeat, always, cost more than originally projected.

The reasons are myriad, of course, from the inherent inefficiencies of the government to accounting tricks in the legislation that would make Enron blush to the pols simply not carrying out what they promised to do (in straight parlance, "lie"). All 3 come into play with ObamaCare and in the case of the pols just lying through their teeth without any intention of carrying out the promises they made while campaigning for passage of ObamaCare, it is with respect to Medicare.

The Democrats claimed they will pay for ObamaCare, in part, by cutting $500 billion from Medicare over the next decade. Seriously, they actually said that. But you and we both know that doesn't have a ghost of a chance of happening. In fact, we'll bet a pay check that not a single, honest-to-god, cut gets made to Medicare.

Anyway, check out the chart below, courtesy, on the actual costs of government health programs vs. the original projections.

All things being equal, what this chart tells us is that British politicians lie to their constituents to a far lesser degree than do their American counterparts.

Letting the mask slip Pt. I

As Nancy Pelosi suggested, once we pass the bill, we will be able to see what's in it. Additionally, we will be able to see and here the motives and the rationales of the people who have been pushing ObamaCare.

Here's John Dingell (D-MI) on the radio yesterday explaining why it is that it will take so long (starting in 2014) for the actual ObamaCare goodies to start kicking in (taxes to fund it start immediately, of course).

As a set up, the radio host, Paul W. Smith of WJR, questions the assertion by the Democrats that approximately 40,000-45,000 people a year die because they don't have health insurance so it would stand by our reasoning that ObamaCare is actually letting 160,000-180,000 people die.

Dingell counters that it's just a matter of time and administrative socialization in order to dull the public's senses to the point they will submit to an authoritarian nanny-state.

Let me remind you this has been going on for years. We are bringing it to a halt. The harsh fact of the matter is when you’re going to pass legislation that will cover 300 American people in different ways it takes a long time to do the necessary administrative steps that have to be taken to put the legislation together to control the people.

Along with Alcee Hastings, "were making the rules up as we go along", these clips are providing some nice insights to the command and control nature of the statist mindset.

H/T: Hot Air


With all the wailing and gnashing of teeth we've been doing of late with respect to ObamaCare, there is some good news out there. The largest tax-payer funded prostitution advice network in America is folding its tent and/or renaming itself.

The once mighty community activist group ACORN announced Monday it is folding amid falling revenues - six months after video footage emerged showing some of its workers giving tax tips to conservative activists posing as a pimp and prostitute.

"It's really declining revenue in the face of a series of attacks from partisan operatives and right-wing activists that have taken away our ability to raise the resources we need," ACORN spokesman Kevin Whelan said.

Several of its largest affiliates, including ACORN New York and ACORN California, broke away this year and changed their names in a bid to ditch the tarnished image of their parent organization and restore revenue that ran dry in the wake of the video scandal.

Such is the state of current journalism, the article fails to inform the reader of what the new names are. That information will be relevant for anyone wanting to set up a tax shelter for their prostitution ring.

Bertha Lewis, the CEO of ACORN, which stands for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, alluded to financial hardships in a weekend statement as the group's board prepared to deliberate by phone.

"ACORN has faced a series of well-orchestrated, relentless, well-funded right wing attacks that are unprecedented since the McCarthy era," she said. "The videos were a manufactured, sensational story that led to rush to judgment and an unconstitutional act by Congress."

Getting Stupaked by a couple of young conservative activists now clears the bar of "McCarthyism". McCarthyism, socialism and hate/hate crime represent 3 terms in our lexicon that no longer mean jack-squat because of either misapplication and/or over-use.

Don't over-celebrate, though. Leftist community organizers don't go away forever because as the New York and California chapters would suggest, they will re-appear only to pimp another day.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

It's Official...

America is racist.


Standing by for the outrageous outrage over the House approval of the Senate health care reform bill from our new friends in the Coffee Party movement.

If they decry the undo influence of lobbyists on Capitol Hill and the “corporatism” that describes today’s public/private marketplace, then surely they must object to the compulsory nature of Obamacare where for the first time, the federal government is forcing citizens to purchase a good or service, in this case, health insurance coverage, from a private entity – the very health insurance companies that have allegedly been getting fat off the American people for years now.

And you think the healthcare industry lobby is influential now, just wait until it’s Congress telling them what medical practices they will be required to cover and dictating the deductible amounts for specific drugs and so on and so forth.

Surely, the hypocrisy of demonizing the health insurance industry and then turning around and handing them 30 million new customers would gall the Coffee Party to the degree they would stand with the Tea Party in opposition to this sham of a bill.

We can imagine that this is not the HopenChange they were waiting for. The Cornhusker Kickback, the Louisiana Purchase, Gator Aid and all the other backroom bribes, special-interest deals and general whoring-out that was required for this once-in-a-generation legislation should definitely be an anathema to the good-government instincts of the Coffee Party.

And surely, they must be disappointed in the man whom we are assuming most of them voted into the Oval Office as it was he who was going to change the way business was done in Washington and it was he who was going to usher in a new era of bipartisanship, cooperation and understanding in this country. Yet, it is he who will sign this illegitimately-fashioned and fatally flawed bill into law.

The cynic in us says that, yes, yea verily has Obama delivered on his promises. Any amount of corruptness, rank partisanship, naked power-grabbing and toxicity that existed previously in Washington has been exceeded by a degree we never thought possible. Change we can believe in is change we can now see with our very eyes.

So, what say ye, Coffee Party? Here’s your opportunity to prove to America you are not the statist shills for the Obama agenda we believe you to be. Prove us wrong. Prove us wrong by standing with the majority of Americans in opposing Obamacare.

Addendum #1: We’re calling you out also, ACLU, on the grounds of the compulsory nature of O-Care.

Among the more repeatable sobriquets at this family-oriented website (UPDATED)

KT sees at least one successful challenge to an element of ObamaCare, here.

We almost have a level of respect for the Obama administration not unsimilar to that of the Sawi tribesmen who were far more fascinated and admiring of the deceitfulness and treachery displayed by the person of Judas than they were of Christ while being evangelized by missionary Don Richardson in his book “Peace Child”.

It’s almost as if Obama was saying to himself,”You know, how do I maintain my unsullied bona fides as the most radical pro-abortion president in the history of this country but still sway this yokel, Stupak? Any ideas, Rahm?”

“That’s it! We’ll go with 'ol the Executive Order 1-2. He’ll never see it coming”

(UPDATE #1): Unbelievable.

According to reports, Stupak received $729,000 from the Obama administration on March 19 for 3 airports in his district in return for his "yes" vote on Obamacare. March 19 was Friday. An entire weekend of hand-wringing and will-he-or-won't-he and stay strong, Bart and it was already a fait accompli! And for what? A stinking 3/4ths of a million dollars? By standard porkulus jobs accounting, that amounts to approximately 6 jobs. 6 jobs!

Not only is Stupak unconcionable, he is completely incompetent as well. If you are going to go down as one of the biggest chumps in the history of this country, you better get a better exchange rate for your "vote of concious" than $729,000.

H/T: Faithful reader and commenter: CZ

Timing is everything

Spring has sprung in Washington, DC, and while many buses line the streets packed with students touring the National Monuments, another group of students came to Washington this week for a different purpose: To tell policymakers about the impact that abstinence education has had in their lives.

This year’s annual Abstinence Day on the Hill was of particular significance because of recent studies that suggest abstinence education could delay sexual activity in teenagers.

Suffice to say, we’re glad these students showed up at the Capitol on Monday rather than Sunday.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Quotes of the day...

...with some accompanying commentary

"It is naive for any elected official, especially one who describes himself as 'pro-life,' to expect that a promise to issue an Executive Order that reasserts the intentions of the Hyde Amendment will be fulfilled by the most pro-abortion president to ever sit in the White House. Perhaps Mr. Stupak and his fellow pro-life Democrats forget that President Obama's first Executive Order was the repeal of the Mexico City Policy to allow for international funding of abortion."

"Not only would an Executive Order be rendered meaningless in the face of Congress passing legislation which actively provides for the massive expansion and funding of abortion services, but anyone who doubts the abortion tsunami which awaits this bill becoming law lives in a fantasy world."

That from Phyllis Schlafly, president and founder of the Eagle Forum.

We’re submitting a new word for consideration into the modern political lexicon: “Stupak” (verb) as in, “to be Stupaked”.

Essentially to get rolled in the most embarrassing, obvious and transparent of ways. “Dude, I cannot believe you let that used car salesman play you like that. Now, you’re stuck with this lemon. You got totally Stupaked.”

"Rarely has such a good thing for Americans been perceived by so many as a threat to their livelihood and liberty."

That from the clueless and hapless editors of the L.A. Times rationalizing their support for universal healthcare which they believe is the endstate of Obamacare.

So, those folks showing up at tea party rallies and town hall events with their “Obama = socialist” placards weren’t guilty of overheated and hyperbolic rhetoric after all. Guess that just proves when you get what you set out after, you can finally reveal yourself for who you really are.

“There is some danger that health care reform will turn the larger private health insurance companies into the same sort of black-belt lobbying champs that Congress created in Sallie Mae."

Count on it. As smaller insurance companies get squeezed out because they will be unable to afford the expanded coverage mandated by ObamaCare, look for a consolidation in the industry to where there will be only a few big boys left and who will really be throwing their weight around Capitol Hill, especially considering their client list just increased by 30 million people.

If you thought that the health insurance lobby was influential now just wait until ObamaCare downsizes the number of carriers and increases the influence of those left. It will be picking winners and losers and crony capitalism at its finest as the politicization of health care kicks into high gear.

Can you feel the excitement?

Programming Alert (UPDATED)

If you think we're spending too much time on health care, we've got some very bad news for you as we will be venting and then plotting and scheming for a while with respect to ObamaCare. No other piece of legislation in our lifetime has been as great a threat to our freedom and liberty as this one is.

Please feel free to pass on this blog for a while if you feel differently. If not, please stick around and help us strategize how best we can blunt the effects of if not ruin ObamaCare altogether.

We were pretty depressed yesterday evening. We woke up this morning, though, energized and ready for the battle. Join us, won't you?

(UPDATE #1): Ask and ye shall receive. Liberated from the comments courtesy Sarah B., Dawn from the Southern California Tax Revolt Coalitions has some initial thoughts on first response strategy to ObamCare, here.

Our brave new world

What are you doing right now? What are you eating right now? Under normal circumstances we wouldn’t care but as yesterday’s vote on health care has signaled, these are no longer “normal circumstances”.

You see, though Obamacare is not a single-payer system, the template for complete government control of healthcare has been set and the battles in the future will not be for a repeal of Obamacare (given electoral realities, we just don’t see a full repeal being a possibility) but rather against the incrementalism towards a full-blown, British-style NIH system.

So, back to what you are currently doing/eating/drinking/smoking/watching. Drop it in the comments section but try to keep it as brief as possible because under our eventual single-payer system, we are going to have quite a few people to keep track of.

“They are chastising me for telling her she should lose some weight because it is raising the cost of health care and it is also bad for her children and she is going to end up with diabetes,” Sunderhaus said. “I had to take three days out of my practice and go down to Raleigh, losing income, just because somebody didn’t like that I told her that she was fat.”

The patient complained that Sunderhaus poked her thigh and told her she was fat, and scolded her as irresponsible for being unemployed and relying on taxpayers to pay for another pregnancy.

“I told her the thick glasses were not going to blind her, she would go blind because of her thick thighs because diabetes is the No. 1 cause of blindness in this country,” Sunderhaus said.

Sunderhaus is an eye doctor in North Carolina who is some dutch with the state’s medical board to where he may lose his license for having the temerity to suggest to one of his patients she might possibly be better served by altering her eating habits for her own good and for that of the overall health care system.

It’s bad enough that a common sense-speaking doctor dispensing some common sense in private to one his patients might actually cost him his job - now that we will soon be paying for all of your healthcare, that unfortunate responsibility of being a nag falls to us.

As we enter this uncomfortable intersection in cultural history where we hesitate pointing out any unhealthy life-style choices among others for fear of being labeled a prude and the single-payer era where we are all invested in each others life-style choices, again, the government has the solution.

If one feels uncomfortable moralizing about another’s smoking, drinking, crappy driving, sexual promiscuity or what have you, just give it a little bit of time before the government will simply ban whatever untoward behavior or substance that may bend the cost curve of health care upward. So if you don’t feel quite right about suggesting someone not take the hair dryer into the shower, don’t sweat it, the government’s got you covered.

The government has already engaged in some “price signaling” with respect to tobacco and trans fats and some other nasty, nasty stuff that needs to be regulated if not banned outright so here’s hoping we’ll be spared the role of our brother’s nag by the government stepping in and regulating or banning many other products and activities.

It’s all just so much simpler that way.

But until that time comes, we are politely asking KT to cut back somewhat on his beloved spice-laden and deep-fried Cajun/Southern cuisine. Also, B-Daddy, we know you are fond of cholesterol-inducing grilled red meat. Might want to dial that back, bro. Foxie, you are currently on a dairy farm or were raised on the family dairy farm, yes? Well, might want to think about a different profession. We’ll get to addressing others that we know in due time.

We’re glad to be of such overall societal benefit to you all. We’re sure you’ll see the wisdom of Obamacare and our collective roles in making it happen in the by and by.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


KT has an excellent piece here comparing the frantic push by the President and his supporters for Obamacare to the disastrous Nivelle offensive of World War I (in fairness to both President Obama and the CinC of the French Army, Robert Nivelle, disastrous doesn’t begin to describe either of their actions). Obama has staked his entire presidency on the passage of this bill and with that riding on it comes some entirely predictable results:

How do we know the President is all in and all in to the exclusion of any rationality and truthfulness? When he starts spewing crap like this.

3,000? 3,000 percent…… ?!

Good things are in store for all Americans with respect to pending health care reform when its biggest cheerleader doesn’t pretend anymore to give lip service to facts but instead just starts making shit up off the top of his head when speaking in public.

Your legacy, sir.

Follower update: American Daily Conservative, Left Coast Rebel and Carol are all in the house. Special shout-out to Carol who with her husband, Gary, is doing the Lord's work with orphans over in Lithuania.

Who are these guys?

Obama supporter and campaigner, Annabel Park, pens a column for, “Why I started the Coffee Party USA”.

We’ve stated before that the Coffee Party movement is simply a collection of disaffected liberals who are frustrated Obama’s agenda has not progressed quickly enough and her article only re-enforces this notion.

What it is that they appear to be really big on is the influence wielded by lobbyists working on behalf of corporations. While that may be a noble and legitimate concern, it doesn’t address the central issue that the reason lobbyists enjoy such seemingly undue influence in the democratic process is because the government itself is such a powerful and authoritarian entity. Why else would these corporations and industry groups invest so much money lobbying if there was not going to be a payoff from the government in position to grant the wishes of these corporations? At the end of the day, the lobbyists are only a symptom of the problem.

Park never addresses this central issue. There is a lot of talk in the article about civil discourse and collective deliberation and what not but she never addresses the breadth and reach of government that is the cause of what the Coffee Party claims to be upset about.

Towards the end of the article, she lets the mask slip and reveals herself and her nascent movement for what it is.

We can find immediate institutional solutions -- for example, changing Senate rules and procedures that impede government, countering misinformation and promoting campaign finance reform and term limits.

It doesn’t take our vaunted de-coder ring to decipher this as frustration with the Republicans using the filibuster rules of the Senate to prevent/stall Obama’s statist agenda. Never mind the fact, it has been House Democrats that have been the ones gumming up the works.

Perhaps Ms. Park doesn’t speak for the entirety of the national Coffee Party movement, just as there is no national spokesperson for the Tea Party movement but any person interested in joining the Coffee Party should realize that despite the feel-good yet vague rhetoric, the Coffee Party is nothing more than Obama supporters who cannot believe that with their guy in office and majorities in both the House and Senate, they have not yet achieved the statist utopia of their dreams.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Tick-tock (UPDATED... again)

(Please scroll down to bottom of post for update)

Good lord, another tea party rally? You betcha. With the House Democrats dropping “deem and pass”, this sets the table for an up and down vote on the Senate bill tomorrow… Sunday, when all monumental pieces of legislation get voted on.

(Gulp. If the Democrats are dropping the kamikaze deem and pass, does that mean Pelosi has the votes?)

Nice turnout downtown for a short-notice Saturday event during March Madness.

Uhhh... not really but we get the sentiment.

A couple of things keep rattling around our head when thinking of healthcare reform: How is it possible that our government can force us to purchase a good or service from a private entity? The rank hypocrisy of it all is that the Obama administration and congressional Democrats have not spared the rod in demonizing the very private entity (the health insurance industry) that you will be forced to enter into contract with.

And how unconscionable is it that our tax dollars will go to fund abortion as the current Senate bill provides? One would think that even an ardent pro-choicer would find these involuntary contributions objectionable. It is, after all, about choice, right?

We’ll update this later when Leslie of Temple of Mut has her write-up of the event.

(UPDATE #1): As promised, a comprehensive recap of today's events from Temple of Mut, here.

(UPDATE #2):

Florida Democrat, Alstee Hastings, making no pretense as to how things work in D.C. these days.

NCAA March Madness second round open thread

Best first day evah! on Thursday. Friday was relatively quiet. Let's see what the first set of second round games today bring us.

Tales from Bailout Nation XXIII

The Federal Reserve Board must disclose documents identifying financial firms that might have collapsed without the largest U.S. government bailout ever, a federal appeals court said.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled today that the Fed must release records of the unprecedented $2 trillion U.S. loan program launched primarily after the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. The ruling upholds a decision of a lower-court judge, who in August ordered that the information be released.

The Fed had argued that disclosure of the documents threatens to stigmatize borrowers and cause them “severe and irreparable competitive injury,” discouraging banks in distress from seeking help. A three-judge panel of the appeals court rejected that argument in a unanimous decision.

Looks like we’ll finally be able to find out who was naughty and who was nice and who really did and didn’t need bailout money when this whole thing turned ugly in the fall of 2008. Recall back in October of 2008, 9 of the largest banking institutions in the nation were summoned to a closed-door with then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Fed chief Ben Bernanke and were told to sign on the dotted line accepting bailout money whether they needed it or not.

And with respect to the Fed not wanting to stigmatize borrowers? Umm…. Isn’t this the sort of information you would want to make public in an effort to prevent it from happening again? As an investor, would you not want to know who were the bad actors and shouldn’t those bad actors be punished as a result in an open and transparent free market.

Well, of course, but that’s not how things work in Bailout Nation where bad behavior both on Wall St. and Main St. (see: Homeowner’s assistance programs) are rewarded and good behavior is punished in the form of higher fees and taxes to fund Bailout Nation.

In what is probably a first, we are in concurrence with Socialist Bernie Sanders of Vermont who called the decision a “major victory” for U.S. taxpayers.

We’ll savor this victory while we can as the governing trend of our “deem and pass” government is away from transparency and accountability and where our lives and everyday decisions are thought to be too important to be left to our own devices.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Radio KBwD is on the air

We may lose some style points on this one but who cares? Good music is good music.

This particular track was recorded in San Francisco and as far as musical influences go let’s just say that if Bay Area natives Steve Perry and Neal Schon were in the audience that evening they must’ve really, really liked what they heard.

Ladies and Gentlemen: off of the album teenagers were issued at the gate of 70s suburbia in America, it’s Peter Frampton performing “Something’s Happening”.

Fun with words

Confused by that term “reconciliation” and just exactly what it means? Let’s let the community organizer Godfather himself, Saul Alinsky, break it down for us:

It is a world not of angels but of angles, where men speak of moral principles but act on power principles; a world where we are always moral and our enemies always immoral; a world where “reconciliation” means that when one side gets the power and the other side gets reconciled to it, then we have reconciliation.

(italics, ours)

40 years on, who knew how relevant those words and that definition would be?

Kill'em all because Holder can't sort'em out Pt. II

The miserable hack that runs the Justice Department was testifying before the House Judiciary committee earlier this week and the subject of Osama bin Laden came up. After claiming that bin Laden would be entitled to the same rights as Charles Manson in a court of law, here is what the hack had to say about mirandizing bin Laden:

HOLDER: Let me -- you're talking about a hypothetical that will never occur. The reality is that we will be reading Miranda rights to the corpse of Osama bin Laden. He will never appear in an American courtroom.

Lest you think the hack has suddenly transformed into the Dirty Harry of counter-terrorism, please realize these are the words of a man who has an entirely incoherent policy with respect to the treatment of terrorists and unlawful combatants on the battlefield and hopes to god we don’t ever have the good fortune of actually capturing bin Laden alive.

Don't get us wrong. bin Laden in the sights, 500 meters out, of a Spec Ops sniper is all good but on the outside chance he is captured alive, then what? Holder doesn't have a clue.

We know Geithner won our "biggest hack" poll question a couple of months ago but Holder blows "Turbo Tax" Tim out of the water for completely irresponsible ideologically driven words and deeds. He needs to go and he needs to go now.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Obamacare by the numbers

46% of physicians polled said they would look to leave the profession if Obamacare passed.

Under Obamacare, according to the Associated Press, health insurance premiums would go up between 10 – 13%.

In a resounding triumph for accountability, Congress boldly claimed by a 222-203 margin today, they lack the testicular fortitude to put Obamacare to an up or down vote.

According to a study by Americans for Tax Reform, enactment of Obamacare will mean job losses of between 120,000 and 700,000 by 2019.

Obamacare will result in tax increases of $497 billion over the first ten years.

We're here for you

We here at BwD like to pride ourselves in breaking things down so that the complex is seemingly made less so. We emphasize “seemingly” as a self-delusional ploy to keep striving for the “less so” side of the equation to be reality.

At any rate, B-Daddy has an excellent post, here, regarding the current state of our Republic that we encourage everyone to read. And in keeping with our opening statement, we provide the following with respect to that post:

Executive summary:

1) The statists that are currently sitting at the levers of power in academia and politics are flaming and damnable hypocrites.

2) Sarah Palin is one mighty fine-lookin’ woman.

Now, go read that post and tell us where we screwed-up.

NCAA March Madness 1st Round open thread

Quote of the day

...while the healthcare debate rages, there is still other business being tended to in D.C.

“Americans are frustrated and angry, as we all know, they've lost faith in our markets, and they wonder if anyone is looking out for them.”

That from the on-his-way-out-the-door, Connecticut Senator, Chris Dodd unveiling new sweeping financial regulations that came out of committee on Monday.

It is now confirmed that Congress has a special tailor on the premises solely for the purpose of fashioning the appropriately-sized pants required to house the basketball-sized stones possessed by the likes of Chris Dodd and Barney Frank.

How else does one explain a man sitting in the epicenter of the financial/housing meltdown and who was getting sweetheart deals on his own properties from Countrywide Mortgage, saying something like that and there not be such a person? Wouldn’t it be downright embarrassing for all involved for Dodd and Frank to be bouncing around Capitol Hill sans culottes?

It is duly noted that Dodd made his announcement at a news conference alone – not even accompanied by any of his fellow Democrats on the Banking Committee that he chairs. The man is that toxic. This could be the greatest piece of legislation ever written but the man has zero credibility on this or any other issue for that matter and no one wants to be associated with the man as he pushes for his legacy bill.

Happy Trails, Senator

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Photo image of the day

It's just bizarre. It doesn't feel right. Can't quite place our finger on it but Linda Cohn in red is not a good look for her.

In all seriousness, even Linda Cohn looks sad.

Obesity is killing Americans

Finally. Here is the opening paragraphs of a news article titled “E-mails suggested Fort Hood suspect subpar for Army” which shines a light on just exactly what it was that caused poor Nidal Hasan to snap and kill 13 of his colleagues at Ft. Hood:

Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, charged in the Fort Hood shootings, was too fat and "chronically" unprofessional during his psychiatric training, according to internal e-mails exchanged by his superiors.

The communications are the latest in a series of early signs that showed officers had reason to suspend Maj. Hasan's training, and perhaps re-evaluate his suitability as a military physician, but failed to do so.

That Hasan being an out-of-shape schlub was the reason for him killing those people at Ft. Hood rather than being an outright jihadist will come as a big of a surprise to us as it will to you. We all reserve the right, though, to be smarter than we were before.

No wonder there is a growing demand for healthier eating all around.

For many, a night out at the movies would not be complete without the sound of popcorn and chocolate wrappers from the stalls. One of the most powerful studio bosses in Hollywood, however, would like to see cinemas selling healthier snacks.

Michael Lynton, chairman and chief executive of Sony Pictures, says that audiences would be better off nibbling on granola bars, fruit salad, yogurt and vegetable crudités with dips. “I can almost imagine the Romans eating popcorn and drinking Coke at the Colosseum 2,000 years ago,” he told a convention of cinema owners in Las Vegas. “But by bringing healthier snacks into your concession stands you would be helping our country meet an urgent public health need.”

Preventing a rash of cineplex massacres is reason enough for us to buy into eschewing the popcorn in favor of organically-grown arugula.

If only Hasan’s superiors had enforced better eating and exercise habits for him, we might have been able to avoid that unseemly occurrence.

San Diego code red/urgent care health care protest 3/16

Folks, yesterday we were over in City Heights in front of our Congressional representative, Susan Davis’ office for the San Diego code red/urgent care Healthcare rally.

Pictures of the event following. We estimated 80-100 people while we were there. Pretty solid for a short-notice mid-week event.

This was by far our favorite sign (and completely thieved from somewhere else – the photo, that is) because it parallels the familiar liberal battle cry of the 70s and 80s favored by pro-choice feminists: Keep your laws off my body!

The irony of course is some of the very people who were sporting t-shirts bearing this slogan are some of Obamacare’s biggest supporters. Hypocrisy, you say?

To that end, we’ve advised tea partiers who wish to engage the coffee partiers to challenge them on the compulsory aspects of Obamacare. What is legal or even ethical about forcing one to purchase healthcare from a(n evil) health insurance corporation. Challenge them in the most civil of ways, of course.

Also, along the same lines as far as engaging coffee partiers ask them if they consider the federal government ownership of General Motors to be a manifestation of the “corporatism” they railed against during the Bush years. Corporatism on HGH if you want to get specific. We’d like to see if they are truly as upset as we are with regard to this “hand-in-glove” partnership of the private and public sectors that is ultimately an anathema to free-market democracy.

And the rest of the photos? Screw it. Our photos stink. Don’t dawdle here too long, rather go on over to Temple of Mut who has an outstanding and comprehensive breakdown of the rally plus… a photo of a heretofore unseen blogger?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Democracy is, like, hard

Back on March 3rd, here’s what the President had to say regarding the way-ahead for passing healthcare reform:

President Barack Obama launched the endgame on healthcare Wednesday, urging Congress to “finish its work.”

Obama said he believes Congress owes the American people a final up-or-down vote on healthcare reform, but did not use the word reconciliation.

Vote. What a novel concept. What say ye, Stretch?

After laying the groundwork for a decisive vote this week on the Senate's health-care bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested Monday that she might attempt to pass the measure without having members vote on it.

Instead, Pelosi (D-Calif.) would rely on a procedural sleight of hand: The House would vote on a more popular package of fixes to the Senate bill; under the House rule for that vote, passage would signify that lawmakers "deem" the health-care bill to be passed.

The tactic -- known as a "self-executing rule" or a "deem and pass" -- has been commonly used, although never to pass legislation as momentous as the $875 billion health-care bill. It is one of three options that Pelosi said she is considering for a late-week House vote, but she added that she prefers it because it would politically protect lawmakers who are reluctant to publicly support the measure.

(italics, ours)

Any pretense of democratic accountability has just gone out the window with “deem and pass”. After all, it would be just too much to ask our elected representatives to do what the hell it was we sent them to Washington to do.

And with respect to this “self-executing rule”, we are reminded of the late great John McKay who was the legendary football coach at USC before being brought back down to earth as the coach of the spectacularly hapless expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After one particular woeful performance in their inaugural 0-14 season, McKay was asked by the press what he thought of his teams execution. McKay deadpanned, “I’m in favor of it”.

Have at it, Congress.

Does the President have the nerve to dare sign this thing should it make it to his desk in this fashion? Whatever happens, we will hand it to him, though. In our minds, he has officially delivered on his promise to change the way business is done in Washington. Whatever manner of sleazy, unseemly and downright undemocratic and corrupt politics that existed in D.C. before this is now nearly lost to memory as the good ol’ days of D.C. good governance.

Mission Accomplished!

Messin' with Madness

The drum beat is getting louder and louder by the day. Last year, there was some buzz but this year the NCAA has indicated they will give consideration to expanding the NCAA men’s basketball tournament field (aka the greatest tournament on the face of the planet) from it’s current 64 (+1… don’t ask) teams.

The most popular proposal that we have heard is expanding the field to 96 teams. Why? It’s got to be about the money, right? Why else would you alter an entity of such perfect symmetry (64 teams, 6 rounds, 18 days, pure bliss)?

And the biggest stated argument for expanding the field? Those bubble teams that did not get an invite to The Dance would get in with the expanded format. Really? You mean to tell us there won’t be bubble teams who get left out of the tournament with 96 teams, 128 teams… 150 teams that won’t be bitching and whining on Selection Sunday to the ESPN crew about how they got shafted by the selection committee? (Selection Sunday is a double-edged sword: the great unveiling of the tournament brackets is like opening presents on Christmas morning. However, the whine-fest seems to get worse every year).

Ask yourself this question: is the tournament and thus our viewing enjoyment better served by having a 19-14 Illinois team in the field?

And how are 96 teams ever going to fit so conveniently in readable 10-point font on a standard 8-1/2 x 11 piece of office grade photo-copy paper?

These are just a few questions that must be raised before we rush head-long into tournament expansion.

Also, new rule for Selection Sunday proceedings: any coach or analyst making a pitch for why Team “X” should be in the tournament must pick out a Team “Y” from the field that they would replace.

Tournament brackets, here.

Congratulations to the San Diego St. Aztecs who pulled two upsets in the Mountain West conference tournament over the weekend to earn an automatic bid in the NCAA tournament.

The man pictured is Patrick Patterson of the Kentucky Wildcats who are our pick to win the tournament.

Addendum #1: Consider this our Gen-X/slacker contribution to the Farmer’s Almanac. Don’t know what it is but Selection Sunday is coincidental with fantastic weather. Did not this weekend feel like a breakout weekend here in Southern California? After 3 months of stormy weather seemingly reserved exclusively for the weekend, we got beautiful blue skies and sunny weather. Looking back, whether it’s here in Rolando Beach or at our humble Pacific Beach duplex rental years gone by, we would, while breaking down our brackets comment, “why, isn’t this a glorious spring day”.

It is for this reason alone that the NCAA powers-that-be not upset the tournament gods. Mid-March climate change cannot abide!

Coffee and/or Tea?

Two Sundays ago, we informed you B-Daddy was contemplating attending San Diego’s inaugural Coffee Party event at Lestat’s in (ab)Normal Heights. He went and his excellent account of the proceedings can be found here.

Not really sure what it is they’re after or attempting to accomplish. They’re big on emphasizing civility which is cool but that overarching theme is an obvious attempt to differentiate themselves from the state-controlled media-driven template of the Tea Party as the angry mob without (yet) having to stand for anything.

We know what they will eventually stand for so we will save you all the suspense: They are disaffected liberal-lefties who are disappointed Obama’s statist policies haven’t moved along swiftly enough. Fancy that.

But is there any common ground that can be found between the two groups? That depends on them. We’ve been beating the drum on this for quite some time but a good and honest liberal who railed at the “corporatism” of the Bush years should be equally if not more outraged by the corporatism of the Obama administration. What else would one call the hand-in-glove partnership of the government and two of the three U.S. auto manufacturers without any apparent exit strategy than corporatism or as we like to refer to it, crony capitalism and economic fascism.

We wait to be surprised but we have a sneaking suspicion that the Obama administration’s governing penchant for picking winners and losers in the private sector won’t be a pressing concern of the Coffee Party movement.

Wow us, guys.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Process, shmrocess

The White House is backing down from trying to get senators to remove some special deals from the health care bill.

Senior adviser David Axelrod says the White House only objected to deals that affected just one state, such one involving Medicaid and Nebraska that's being cut from the legislation.

Axelrod says that deals that could apply to more than one state are OK.
That means deals pushed by senators from Montana and Connecticut would be fine because they're written in such a way that other states could potentially qualify.
It's a change from a couple days ago when press secretary Robert Gibbs singled out the Montana and Connecticut deals and said President Barack Obama wanted them gone.

Axelrod spoke on ABC's "This Week."

So, let’s get this straight: pork for one is bad but as long as the pork can conceivably be spread across the entirety of the fruited plain then it’s all good.

It’s about equality, remember?

Never in our lives have we seen legislation whereby there has been a wider delta between the stated noble intentions of the bill and the actual sleazy, craven and outright corrupt manner in which it was fashioned.

Define irony: At the bottom of the linked page is something called “Google sponsored links” and a link to the official Obama website (Organizing for America) which is accompanied by the tagline: “Barack Obama Needs Your Help to Change Washington”

Addendum #1: Democrats are actually starting to cop to the fact that the process for trying to pass ObamaCare has stunk to high heaven by claiming the American people don’t care how it gets passed as long as it gets passed. After Pelosi claimed last week that ObamaCare needed to be passed in order for the public to actually see what’s in the bill, we are finding that congressional Democrats have a very interesting take on legislative democracy.

A day at the races (UPDATED)

Camping all around us at Blair Valley this weekend was the Eagle Nation of the North County YMCA Indian Guides. We felt an immediate kinship with these folks as we are former Guides ourselves being aligned with the mighty Paiutes of the Yuki Nation.

As one would expect, things are little more high tech with respect to the group Father-Son campout get-togethers (high-tech PA systems and radio controlled air planes) than when we were doing something similar 30-35 years ago but some things remain refreshingly the same: the corny and/or somewhat off-color jokes told by the Great Cheiftain at the Nation bonfire on Saturday night where the Dads would alternately groan or laugh uproariously and where the sons would scratch their heads or laugh along because that was what Dad was doing was found to be a tradition in good standing.

But there is one thing that was radically different and represents a development towards which we are leaning “yes” but still can be talked out of and that was……

Chariot races!

Aw yeah.

Only two casualties that we witnessed.

One poor kid appeared to trip and fall. Unfortunately, he was closest to the chariot and in the process of his face plant that damn thing ran right over him with the 200+ lb. driver still in the reins. It was not a pretty sight. As far as we could tell, though, the lad “only” experienced a little road rash, a bruised back and a bruised ego. It was the freaky-deaky visual highlight of the weekend.

On the spot safety memo from BwD to Eagle Nation: chariots shall be constructed in a manner such that all “horses” are outboard the wheel base of the chariot.

(UPDATE #1): We don't mean to appear macabre but we were able, quite intentionally, to pinpoint the exact moment when our lad took his fall. After further review, please click to enlarge the second photo down in this post and look at the upper right hand of the image and the blue chariot.

So ends this Zapruder-like experience at Blair Valley.