Thursday, September 30, 2010

In this case at least, the President meant what he said

Last year, not too long after President Obama took office, he held a town hall meeting down in Florida and was asked questions regarding jobs, college tuition and health care by a rather breathless young chap, Julio Osegueda, a college student and McDonald's employee.

Remember when the President said that if you liked your current healthcare plan, you could keep it? Well, in the case of Mr. Osegueda who, at the time did not have health insurance, the President in a very perverse way via ObamaCare may fulfill that pledge.

McDonald's denies it McDonald's Senior VP Steve Russell, who is the head of human resources, calls reports that the company will drop its coverage "completely false." Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has also denied The Wall Street Journal's report, calling it "flat out wrong."

"I am sorry that they were not more accurate in their reporting," Sebelius said.


McDonald's has threatened to terminate health benefits for almost 30,000 hourly workers if the government doesn't give the corporation a pass on a provision of this year's health care legislation, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The restaurant chain's insurer has refused to meet a 2011 requirement to spend 80 to 85 percent of its revenue from premiums on actual medical care, a McDonald's official told the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services last week. That high of a percentage, McDonald's says, according to the WSJ, doesn't make sense given the high cost of dealing with frequent worker turnover. The requirement was designed to curb executive salaries and other expenses not directly related to health care.

In a memo quoted by the WSJ, McDonald's said it would be "economically prohibitive" for their insurance provider to continue offering plans, in which workers currently can pay $13.99 a week ($727.48 annually) for $2,000 of annual coverage, $24.30 a week ($1,263.60 annually) for $5,000 of annual coverage or $32.30 a week ($1,679.60 annually) for $10,000 of annual coverage, according to the WSJ.

"We're not going to walk away from health-care insurance completely, but we're going to have to look for alternatives if we can't get the resolution we're seeking from Health and Human Services," McDonald's spokeswoman Danya Proud told Bloomberg.

(italicized is an update to the original news story)

The original story makes absolute sense. Why should McDonald's insurers comply with those ObamaCare proportion mandates when they are covering so many low/minimum wage workers that turnover on a regular basis? You think that there might be a tad bit more spent per employee on admin/overhead for those employees as opposed to higher wage earners who stay with the company for a longer period of time? This isn't rocket science except for those in the regime who think those admin. costs can magically be absorbed by McDonald's. In that case, it isn't rocket science for the regime either, rather voodoo.

And the fact that the update involves that thug Kathleen Sebelius indicates that either McDonald's is going to deny it in public for the time being and then just drop the coverage later on or there was some arm-twisting going on by the regime to comply with the mandates and retain the coverage.

We're going with the former.

Highway blues

Best business model for creating a tourist trap: Instead of connecting people directly from the interstate to the highway on way to a major destination...

... route people, instead, through the business district of small, cute, kitschy Western outpost before connecting to said highway.

Such is the case with I-40, the Grand Canyon, Williams, Arizona and its 15 mph business district speed limit.

To hell with you, Williams - you ain't getting any of our scratch. Not now, not ever.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What Would Bush Do? Not this.

B-Daddy here. Dean has a series of posts on the theme of this administration's continuity with the policies of George W. Bush, most of them not to his liking, titled WW()D? He also notes Obama's proposed expansion of wire tap, going farther than Bush ever did. However, Obama lacks one thing that Bush had, restraint and class, when it came to dealing with his opponents in the press. Did you ever see Bush attack MSNBC, despite their relentless attacks on him? But here is Obama in Rolling Stone, after being asked if he thinks Fox News is "is a good institution for America and for democracy?":

Obama: “[Laughs] Look, as president, I swore to uphold the Constitution, and part of that Constitution is a free press. We’ve got a tradition in this country of a press that oftentimes is opinionated. The golden age of an objective press was a pretty narrow span of time in our history. Before that, you had folks like Hearst who used their newspapers very intentionally to promote their viewpoints. I think Fox is part of that tradition – it is part of the tradition that has a very clear, undeniable point of view. It’s a point of view that I disagree with. It’s a point of view that I think is ultimately destructive for the long-term growth of a country that has a vibrant middle class and is competitive in the world. But as an economic enterprise, it’s been wildly successful. And I suspect that if you ask Mr. Murdoch what his number-one concern is, it’s that Fox is very successful.”
Give me a break. Fox disagrees, so the President labels them "ultimately destructive?" Why can't he show some class. He loves to play the bully, with Massachusetts police officers, health insurers, and anyone who disagrees with him in general. His air of moral superiority offends, note his disdain for the fact that Fox is a successful economic enterprise. What enterprise has the President ever successfully run in his life?

The much anticipated Condor post

Folks, the gentleman pictured is Ranger Dave who volunteers at Grand Canyon National Park and who gives nature talks. Yesterday was his first one on condors who have been re-introduced to the Grand Canyon on an incremental basis since 1996. There are currently 77 condors in and around the Grand Canyon area.

Some fun facts about the Condors:

- They mate for life.

- There is no distinguishing features that differentiate between male and female which may help explain their very low reproductive rates - more on this later. In fact, the only way humans can tell is by blood tests.

- They have a 50-60 year life span and can begin mating at age 6 or 7.

- Being scavengers (they don't kill their prey) they have tremendous immune systems as what they're dining on may not exactly be farm fresh. The fact that its head and neck is hairless aids in cutting back on bacteria buildup as the condor will literally be in neck deep come chow time.

Ranger Dave was not reading from a script and when they asked him to give a talk on condors, the Park Service gave him a stack of books and points of contact for condor subject matter experts.

Condors at one time were much more numerous than they are now and they ranged from the Canadian border down to Baja, concentrated in the western half of the United States.

We'll spare you all the gory details but their population decline was so precipitous that by the early 80s they numbered 22, 15 being in captivity and 7 in the wild

Their comeback was a painful ordeal as the 80s proved to be a decade that marked bitter divisions with respect to how best to restore the condor population. On one side, you had folks who were opposed to breeding condors in captivity as they felt that a young chick would not learn the life skills from its captive parents. And preserving the few that remained in zoos was akin to museum pieces or as Ranger Dave described, "pigs with feathers".

The other side said, "Hello. There are only 7 free condors left in the entire world. We have to do something to preserve this species".

So, the captive breeding continued: Breed, breed, breed - fail, fail, fail. Condors only lay one egg every two years and this was obviously a constricting factor in the condor comeback but then a funny thing happened: in the late 80s, scientists discovered that if you took the egg away from the Condor, the female would simply lay another one. Bingo!

The egg count went up but this gave rise to another problem: Imprinting. Imprinting is the phenomena where a new born animal will think it is the very first thing it sees and as Ranger Dave explained, the last thing that was wanted was for the Condor chicks to think they were government employees.

So, the scientists developed condor puppets just like you see on Ranger Dave to feed and nurture the young condors. But this still didn't solve the problem of the abysmal survival rates of the captive-bred condors when they were released into the wild in the early 90s. Since breeding couples could not be taken out of the egg factory rotation, it was decided that formerly wild condors that had been brought into captivity would be released with the young Condors to serve as "mentors". This approach has appeared to work and everyone seems pleased with this approach.

Today, there are nearly 400 living Condors with an even split between those in captivity and those in the wild, with the vast majority of free condors (77) in the Grand Canyon area.

If any condor expert accidentally stumbles across this site and takes umbrage with any of the points presented herein... blame Ranger Dave.

Graphic of the Day

In: Tea Party

Out: Coffee Party

So Out, they're really In: Legal Insurrection

In the Coffee Party's defense, it's really tough to generate any excitement... or actual membership, for that matter, when you are unable to state what your agenda (see: progressive statism) is other than some mindless drivel about "civility".

Photo image of the day

We're convinced: Copiers/Printers are designed by.... Copier/Printer repair guy.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

> or = ?

The White House on Saturday invoked the state secrets privilege to toss a lawsuit brought by civil liberties groups against an assassination plan against terrorists that would also target a U.S. citizen.

Anwar al-Awlaki, an alleged al-Qaeda regional commander born in New Mexico and reportedly hiding in Yemen, has been linked to the Fort Hood shootings and the attempt by a Nigerian man to blow up an airliner over Detroit on Christmas Day. The cleric, author of "44 Ways to Support Jihad," also reportedly inspired the Times Square car bombing attempt in May, and placed a fatwa on Seattle Weekly cartoonist Molly Norris for suggesting a controversial “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day”.

He's said to be on a U.S. list that approves death or capture of key terrorist suspects. The 39-year-old's placement on the list in April made him the first U.S. citizen to land on the CIA targeted kill list.

Al-Awlaki's father enlisted the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights to challenge the program in court and declare the targeted killings unconstitutional.

The lawsuit also aimed to block the assassination green light against al-Awlaki, and compel the U.S. government to disclose the guidelines for putting a U.S. citizen on such a list.

According to the Associated Press, the administration invoked the rule that asserts court proceedings and evidence revealed in such would endanger national security. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, in the declaration filed in federal court, said he was invoking the military and state secrets privilege because of information that could be disclosed on possible military operations in Yemen.

You know, between wanting Internet wiretaps, an increase in drone attacks and whacking U.S. civilians without due process, this Obama fellow makes Bush look like a mere piker when it comes to expansion of executive authority as justified by the war on terror.

Still waiting for our brave liberal, excuse us, our useless, hypocritical, Crawford, Texas-ditch dwelling liberal friends to raise anywhere near the same McBushchimpHitler stink they did for the better part of the 8 years of the Bush administration.

B-Daddy warned us that this would be the logical extension of Bush's expansion of executive authority; that horse has now left the barn. File the above under "Only Nixon could go to China".

Prescott, Arizona

First stop on our roadie and the "Sorry, Arizona, for that whole insufferably moral preening and yet hypocritical California boycott thing" leg of the trip.

Something is screwy with Blogger this morning, so let's just take it by the numbers:

A couple of looks at Whisky Row in downtown Prescott.

The War Memorial sculpture outside the Yavapai County courthouse of which Prescott is the county seat and which is across the street from Whisky Row.

Inside the Prescott Brewery Co.

And enjoying a Bell's Two-Hearted Ale, a hoppy but balanced red ale, at The Raven Cafe in town.






Monday, September 27, 2010

It even kind of looks like TOTUS...

... so what the heck are they waiting for?

The Obama administration has nixed the idea of reinstalling solar panels on the White House roof.

Some 32 solar panels were first installed on the executive mansion's roof by then President Jimmy Carter as part of his efforts to tout clean, renewable energy during the 1970s, when the U.S. faced severe shortages and price spikes after an oil embargo by Arab countries. Carter held a rooftop news conference in 1979 to show off the panels and discourage reliance on foreign oil.

The panels were yanked off after Ronald Reagan took office a year later, but they didn't disappear. Instead, some of them have been stored for the past 30 years by environmentalists at Unity College in Maine, where they were used to heat water in the school's cafeteria. Last week, a group of students loaded one of the vintage 6-by-3-foot panels into a biodiesel van headed for Washington.

The group was led by Bill McKibben, founder of the environmental group, who described the mission on his blog: "If the president can't climb up on the roof and hammer in some solar panels, clearly we need to push him up."

The technology used in the Carter-era solar panels is now outdated, but a California company called Sungevity offered to outfit the White House with new panels for free. More than 8,000 people have signed on to a Facebook group in support. McKibben appeared on David Letterman's "Late Show" last week to plug the effort as well.

What does it say about an administration that they, after constantly lecturing the rest of us country classers on the noble and moral merits of green power, wouldn't follow through on this easy button-type of substantively meaningless yet highly symbolic gesture?

The article indicates that some inside the administration are skittish about doing so because it may lead to Carter comparisons. That horse has left the barn, folks - and the fact that it's solar panels, for crying out loud, providing the Carter-Obama nexus which has the regime spooked amuses us to no end.

Former Obama hack wants you to know there is more to his book than profane Rahm Emauel quotes

Steve Rattner, former HMFIC of Obama's automotive task force penned "Overhaul" to give the public an inside look at the bailout of Chrysler and General Motors but is bummed out that people are focusing more on Rahmbo's colorful language.

Colorful language like "f... the UAW" which is, coincidentally, the title of one of the chapters in Rattner's book of which he thinks everybody is paying to much to much attention to Rahm's cursing.

He says he hoped the tale would show how bold moves taken by the Obama administration saved the auto industry overall from an imminent collapse. But instead, he says, people are focusing on juicy quotes, such as when White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel dismissed concerns of the United Auto Workers union, a staunch administration ally, with a colorful "f ——— the UAW."

"It was disappointing for me to have people focus on a phrase that I put in to humorize things, and not the meat of the book," Rattner says.

Maybe the reason people are not paying any never mind to the rest of the book is because, if the USA Today account is to be believed, it's one big fat lie.

But Rattner, a lifelong Democrat, thought it would prove that there were no sacred cows in the Obama administration. Even though the UAW is a longtime Democratic party stalwart, he says Obama made it clear that union workers, CEOs, bondholders, dealers, suppliers and anyone else with a stake in the industry would have to sacrifice.

If by sacrifice, Rattner means the UAW got to cut to the head of the line in front of secured creditors and others that would be served ahead of the UAW when it came to carve-up and divvy-out the scraps after the restructuring of General Motors, then yes, everybody did indeed make a sacrifice.

Combine this with GM CEO, Ed Whitacre, flat-out lying about the source of their TARP repayments (simply another line of TARP credit), and the whole sordid GM affair is nothing more than a bunch of lying liars lying about this big lie of a bailout funded on the backs of the American taxpayers.

We hate these people.

And where we forgot to provide a title to this post the first time around

(Updated. Please scroll down for update)

Via the Scratching Post:

This notion of assessing the moral standing of a movement by picking out the number of black faces in the assemblage makes a lot of sense. By this sort of easy button profiling we can surmise that the 22,000 or so fans that show up at Padre games downtown might do so as motivated by bigotry. To wit, we have almost sworn off hiking Cowles Mountain for concerns regarding the lack of specific hues out on the trail. Honestly, who would want to be associated with that lot?

We can't imagine what it is like to be a black conservative in this country, especially an older black who grew up in the South and now attends tea party rallies. That'd be like hitting for the cycle in defying the leftist narrative of how a good plantation negro in this country should be behaving.

As that person, you experienced discrimination and bigotry first hand. And now, some 40 or 50 years on, where we have progressed to the point in this country where we have a black President, you are marginalized still but this time around by the very same "progressives" that took up the cause of equality in the 50s and 60s.


(UPDATE #1):

"The worst form of insidious racism in America is the institutionalized elite view where they treat African-Americans, including the president, with a patronizing attitude and condescension; where the press so blatantly expresses that the black guy can't do it on his own, we have to protect him,"

That from Democratic strategist/pollster Pat Caddell, no conservative he, whom none the less is one of those rare liberals out there who has been openly critical of the President particularly with respect to "process" and the administration's abject failure in changing "business as usual" in D.C.

Please read the entire article at the link as it is probably the best thing you will read all week.

One of the things that is discussed is how race and racism is viewed much differently in the South than in the North and how proximity drives these differences. We forgot where we heard it but this difference is summed up in the statement: In the North, the blacks could get powerful just not too close. In the South, the blacks could get close just not powerful.

Please do read it - we believe you will enjoy it.

Programming Alert

Starting today, we will be out on the road for a couple of weeks, enroute to kinfolk in Colorado and back.

In the meantime, we hope to have BwD populated with scheduled and recycled posts as well as that from some guest blogging and from the road as we've boldly entered the 21st century and purchased an air card for our laptop.

First stop, Prescott, Arizona.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Photo image of the day

Forget about the controversies surrounding sex ed classes, apparently South Bend, Indiana is devoting entire schools to them.

And from the comments:

This is a hairy situation. I think someone at the Blue Water Group may get trimmed from the staff. I'm itching to see when they fix it.

ObamaCare: on a whince and a prayer

When all else fails, send in the shamans and snake-handlers...

With nothing else working, President Barack Obama is asking religious leaders to help him sell the public on health care reform.

POLITICO listened in to an Oval Office conference call Tuesday, where Obama and top administration officials, beseeched thousands of faith-based and community organizations to preach the gospel on new insurance reforms, chiefly the Patients’ Bill of Rights.

“Get out there and spread the word,” Obama told leaders from across the religious spectrum on the conference call, organized by the Health and Human Services Center for Faith-Based and Community Partnerships.

“This is something that we’ll be able to look back on, just like we do on Medicare and Social Security, as a cornerstone that improves the security of millions of Americans, at the same time lowers costs and gets control of costs, both at the government level, but also for families and businesses," he added.

Obama instructed faith leaders to treat the new law as settled fact and use their perches of power to convey that message to congregants and friends.

“The debate in Washington is over, the Affordable Care Act is now law ... I think all of you can be really important validators and trusted resources for friends and neighbors, to help explain what’s now available to them,” he said.

The call included the administration’s highest-ranking health reform officials: Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, White House Office of Health Reform director Nancy Ann-DeParle, and Assistant to the President for Special Products Stephanie Cutter.

Joshua DuBois (pictured above with the President), director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Community Partnerships, gave activists a rallying cry: “Get the word out there, get information out there. Make use of the resources we’ve described on this call: the website, door hangers, one pagers and so forth. We’ve got work to do.”

As is being borne out before our very eyes, the feasibility and effectiveness of ObamaCare is now officially taken as a matter of faith.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

And where the wheels officially come off Bill Maher's shabbily crafted brand

Bill Maher on his show "Real Time" is finally forced to concede at the needling of Andrew Breitbart that he is anything but a libertarian.

(if embed no worky, go here)

But we've known this for about a decade where during the run-up to the 2000 election, he let the world know, in the very same breath, that he was a "libertarian" and that he was voting for Mr. Nanny State, himself, Ralph Nader.

Does. not. compute.

And of course, no self-respecting libertarian or conservative could support ObamaCare as Maher does in the video clip.

Maher's fantasy of claiming to be a libertarian, we believe, stems from some sort of inferiortity complex in the political image world. Libertarians have always been kind of the cool kids of the cigarette pack rolled in the t-shirt sleave and slicked back hair variety. However, Maher's sneering libertine attitude towards sex and drug use couldn't compensate for his over-arching liberal/statist positions on everything else, so there he sits gazing longingly at the punks in the leather jackets while sitting in the knitting circle with the rest of his gal pals.

Exit question: Exactly how much of a gangster is Andrew Breitbart?

College football Saturday open thread

Some very nice match ups today:

#1 Alabama at #10 Arkansas

#12 South Carolina at #17 Auburn

#5 Oregon at Arizon State

#16 Stanford at Notre Dame

And in the primetime, #24 Oregon St. travels to the Smurf turf of #3 Boise St.

Take the 17-1/2 points that the Beavers are getting. OSU recruits athletes, particularly from the L.A. area that were overlooked by USC and UCLA - they have a chip on their shoulder and as evidenced by what they have done to USC in recent years, they would love nothing more than to come into Boise and deflower America's undefeated little darlings. And all we're asking is that they not lose by more than 17. Lock it up.


A round-up of articles, columns, news items and blog posts that caught our eye this past week.

Awww... Obama iconographer Shepard Fairey is bummed that Hopenchange isn't quite working out as planned.

Next time you hear the tea party = wingnut refrain, please bear in mind that the reason that Fairey and those of his ilk are so disappointed is because the Obama agenda did not advance further.

You'll never guess who Thomas Friedman is writing about...

Studying China’s ability to invest for the future doesn’t make me feel we have the wrong system. It makes me feel that we are abusing our right system. There is absolutely no reason our democracy should not be able to generate the kind of focus, legitimacy, unity and stick-to-it-iveness to do big things — democratically — that China does autocratically.

If it walks like a duck...

They sold us Porkulus, in large part, on the promise that no less than $40 billion would be spent on "infrastructure" upgrades/improvement/new projects. To date, we have spent a grand total of $2.4 billion just as Porkulus is winding down.

And as long-time readers of this blog know, we're still wondering what the hell ever became of that $286 billion Highway bill that was signed into law by President Bush back in 2005. Remember the Bridge to Nowhere?

Guess those shovels weren't quite so ready.

First, they came for the cigarettes...

The Wall St. Journal on the taxation of cigarettes and then tax-evading smaller cigars and which yielded the unintended yet entirely predictable consequence of higher tobacco consumption.

We suppose this is what they mean by public financing of political campaigns.

General Motors Co. has begun to once again contribute to political campaigns, lifting a self-imposed ban on political spending put in place during the auto maker's U.S.-financed bankruptcy restructuring last year.

The Detroit company gave $90,500 to candidates running in the current election cycle, Federal Election Commission records show.

The beneficiaries include Midwestern lawmakers, mostly Democrats, who have traditionally supported the industry's legislative agenda on Capitol Hill, including Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.), Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) and Rep. John Dingell (D., Mich.).

Guys... November 2nd. Just sayin'.

Chief advisor in an administration that raised more money than any campaign in history whining about... all the money Republicans are raising.

Ines Sainz... yeah, her...

... actually was not the one who filed the harrassment complaint against the New York Jets a few weeks back but rather it was the AWSM (Association for Women in Sports Media). As we are familiar with the work of the insufferable Christine Brennan, we should've known better. This revelation comes on top of Sainz penning an article regarding the whole affair titled, "My September 11 in New York"... which we are not even going to link to.

Somehow, the Jets players just don't seem so villainous anymore.

Friday, September 24, 2010

One Republican's heroic efforts to remind us all of what this election is really about

A smoker, a drinker and now an adulterer?


The Republican Party poster boy for the 2010 mid-terms may or may not be making whoopee with a lobbyist but one thing we are certain of is come this January we will be saddled with higher taxes, a still-crappy economy and more and more liberty-denying provisions of ObamaCare that will continue to kick in. Bank on it.

Radio KBwD is on the air

Recorded in his first session with Sam Phillips at Sun Records in August of 1954, this is a cover of a 1946 blues obscurity by "Big Boy" Crudup.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it's the King, Elvis Presley, performing essentially what is the ground zero of rock'n'roll and checking in at #113 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs, "That's All Right, Mama".

Family Values...?

We hate "family values".*

B-Daddy has a good break-down of the Republican's "Pledge to America", here.

* Seriously, does this election cycle look like it has anything to do with family values?

ObamaCare: through the months

ObamaCare turned 6 months old this week and to commemorate this occasion, let's go back to the very first public utterance by President Obama in defense of ObamaCare:

“Here’s the bottom line. Number one is that we are the only — we have been, up until last week, the only advanced country that allows 15 million of its citizens to not have any health insurance.”

Simply wreaking of authoritarian paternalism, no? And how totally self-absorbed.

Let me be clear, it's simply beyond the pale for a civilized nation as ours to assume there are basic reasons why millions and millions of people may choose to go without health care insurance. To hell with any rationally-based choices you may feel you have a right to, we simply cannot allow that.

Do you have any idea how embarrassing it is for me to attend international confabs and know that Norway, Belgium and Great Britain are snickering behind my back. At least, now, I can hold my my head high overseas knowing I have saddled this country with yet another unsustainable entitlement program just like the rest of gang and justly receive their back pats and nodding approval.

Happy six months-old, ObamaCare!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

"Did the Japanese sit down with Pearl Harbor before they bombed them?"*

Democrat Loretta Sanchez (CA-49, central Orange County, CA) is running against Republican Van Tran and she had a special message regarding Vietnamese voters in her district that she shared on Spanish-language Univision.

* There's just always been something about race-baiting and/or racially-tinged rants that remind us of the late Jerome Brown, then defensive tackle for the Miami Hurricanes, on his team's refusal to break bread with the Penn State Nittany Lions on the eve of the 1987 Fiesta Bowl. The heavily-favored 'Canes were upset by Penn St., 14-10. Karma, you say? Perhaps.

This one's for you, Pops!

Washington Post columnist kind of bummed that Democrats have all this time on their hands

While bemoaning the fact that the majority party in both houses seemingly have nothing better to do than naming post offices of late, Dana Milbank offered up the following:

Over the past 20 months, Democrats have done a lot -- too much, the opposition says. But they don't want to talk about the achievements. The stimulus bill is unpopular; they're not getting credit for health-care legislation, financial reforms and many other accomplishments; and the spent majority can't limp out of town fast enough.

From what planet is Milbank reporting? Oh, that's right - Planet Capitol Hill in the Beltway Constellation.

Democrats are about to get tsunamied right out of the House precisely because, in part, America is giving them credit for the passage of ObamaCare and the near passage of cap and trade.

Milbank is no dummy, though. He knows the Democrats are getting credit they richly deserve for ObamaCare, it's just that in this context , he is implying that Americans are not sufficiently grateful for the wonderful bounty in which ObamaCare and the balance of the regime's legislative accomplishments will result.

Such is the disconnect, however. Perhaps in November we can assist in a little reconnecting between the two classes in this country. It's been a while since we've heard from them.

And stacked next to all those films about George Washington...


Chinese film on 1960 labor camps cheered in Venice

A powerful Chinese film on the plight of political prisoners condemned to forced labor camps in the late 1950s wooed critics in Venice on Monday, with some tipping it as a strong contender for the festival's top prize.

"The Ditch" tells the little-known story of some 3,000 people deported for "re-education" to labor camps on the edge of the Gobi desert, in western China, and struggling to survive extreme climate and acute food shortages.

Billed as right-wing enemies by the government for even mildly criticizing the Communist party or simply because of their background, many died of starvation, disease and exhaustion in the ditches that served as dormitories.

For a set of people that become giddy over the prospects of a "docu-drama" on Che' Guevara, we're at a loss to determine in what context this "cheering" was er, executed.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Video clip of the day

Kathleen Parker likes this:

Fred Davis of Strategic Perceptions and who also graced us with the bizarro Demon Sheep ad serves up this play on Reagan's "Morning in America" ad from 1984.

Our Frank Luntz tingle-meter maxes out at "the government is taking away choices we used to make" but then nose-dives towards the end with the whole "caring" government thing. Thought we had discarded compassionate conservatism to the sorry, sorry ash heap of history. Guess Davis felt compelled to offer up at least one thing soft and cuddly in this otherwise grim ad.

All in all, though - we're with Parker on this one.

Some life advice for Ms. Sebelius

Connecticut insurers are taking the Pelosi challenge... and now we will all be paying for it.

Recall a couple weeks back and Kathleen Sebelius's completely unveiled threat to freeze-out those health insurance providers whom she felt were gaming the system by requesting unreasonable rate hikes in anticipation of full implementation of ObamaCare.

"There will be zero tolerance for this type of misinformation and unjustified rate increases," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a letter to the insurance lobby.

"Simply stated, we will not stand idly by as insurers blame their premium hikes and increased profits on the requirement that they provide consumers with basic protections," Sebelius said. She warned that bad actors may be excluded from new health insurance markets that will open in 2014 under the law. They'd lose out on a big pool of customers, as many as 30 million people nationwide.

These comments were made specific to health insurance providers in Connecticut such as Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield who were requesting rate hikes of 20% and more.

Well, lo and behold, Connecticut insurers were granted those rate hikes in full by the state regulators last week.

The state's largest health insurer was granted rate hikes Friday that will be well over 20 percent for some plans, drawing sharp criticism from the attorney general.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut requested a wide range of premium increases, which will take effect Oct. 1, to cover the costs of new benefits required by federal health reform. Higher prices mostly affect new members shopping for a health plan on the individual market rather than people who have group plans through an employer or some other organization.

The Connecticut Department of Insurance approved Anthem's request without changes, including a boost of as much as 22.9 percent just to comply with one provision: eliminating annual spending limits per customer. But it's unclear how much more customers will pay because of the variety of plans and the complexity of other factors, such as a person's age

(italics, ours)

That last sentence is key because it represents regulatory uncertainty which the market, any market, hates and which causes businesses to hedge their bets by raising prices. Look for more of the same with pending regulations imposed by the regime across the economic spectrum (And wags wonder why businesses are hoarding record amounts of cash).

Again, the smartest kids in the class that is Team O thought they were being too cute by a half by front-loading popular provisions while totally neglecting the reality that perhaps the reason why each of those provisions are so popular is because they are of some tangible market value which translates into a cost to the health insurance providers that will simply get passed along to their customer.

Follow the link above which does a good job of breaking down just what rate hikes the providers were requesting for each individual provision.

At first, Sebelius's remarks looked simply thuggish. Now that the very people who pore over the books of the providers requesting these rate increases have deemed them 100% justified, her comments also look completely ignorant as well.

Thuggish and stupid is no way to go through life, Kathleen.

Exit question: How much more politicized will become these state insurance regulator and commissioner posts now that they are central to justifying rate hikes caused by this legislative abortion?

It's the language (and culture), stupid!

Memo to all of our Euro-philic friends who have, over the years, lectured us on the merits of month-long holidays in August, 35 hour work weeks and universal healthcare: Party's over.

The Netherlands' queen and the outgoing prime minister presented an austere annual budget on Tuesday that cuts spending on health care, immigrants, and government workers -- a foretaste of more far-reaching cuts likely to come under the conservative Cabinet now being formed.

The budget cuts about $2.4 billion in spending in 2011 which will reduce the deficit to about 4.0% of Holland's economic output next year.

But with respect to cuts to immigration, here is the paragraph that caught our eye and which puzzled us.

In a nod to the anti-immigrant sentiment prevalent among many Dutch, it also reduces the amount of funding for language and citizenship classes that were made mandatory for immigrants by the outgoing administration. Immigrants will have to cover the gap.

Our understanding of the anti-immigrant issue in Europe is that besides the sheer numbers of incoming immigrants, there was one of assimilation, or lack thereof, as well.

And if that is the case, how does defunding literacy and citizenship classes where immigrants might be taught the Dutch language, Dutch history and Dutch civics, help matters?

What are we missing? If many Dutch are somehow resentful that immigrants aren't acting sufficiently Dutch how does denying them opportunities to learn the lay of the land so to speak, better integrate them into Dutch society. Seems to us, this only exacerbates this growing immigration problem.

In somewhat related news: when we return from our annual late summer/early fall roadie out to Colorado to visit family, we will be looking to do some volunteer work for the San Diego Council on Literacy. Europe just seems to be a bit further down the path than we are currently and we can think of no better tool for assimilation and for integrating new or pending members of this country's citizenry than those folks being able to effectively communicate both orally and in the written word.

And we say this as a way to put us on report so you all can hold us accountable as well as a way to give feedback to you all in case you are interested in doing something similar.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Photo image of the day

No taxes on berthing my yacht here? Excellent.

Considering how well Mssr. Dainty Fingeurs did battle with that Philly Cheese steak back in the '04 Presidential campaign... what here at this University of Iowa tailgate could possibly go wrong?

Probably this.

H/T: Deadspin

Video clip of the day

Before our featured video today, a quick story...

Back in the 1880s sometime in a dusty Texas cow town a dispute over a card game or a lady of the night erupted into an all-out street brawl. The sheriff knowing he would need some help wired the governor to send the Texas Rangers.

The governor responded in the affirmative but reminded the sheriff that owing to the distance it might take a while.

This street riot raged all night and into the next morning. The sheriff was at a near-panic as the entire town was consumed by violence and the riot was at the point of breaking into an MGM sound stage just like in Blazing Saddles. Yes, that's how the West really was.

Anyway, towards the end of the 2nd day, a lone figure rode into town. The sheriff ran out to greet him as he recognized him as a Texas Ranger. The sheriff exclaimed, "Well, I'm damn sure glad to see you but... what the hell? There's only one of ya. Where are the rest of you?"

The Ranger paused slightly, lifted the brim of his cowboy hat and calmly replied, "You told the governor there was just one riot".

Folks, meet your lone Texas Ranger, Andrew Breitbart, who single-handedly shuts down an Organizing for America and union-funded protest of an event sponsored by Breitbard and Glen Beck over the weekend outside of Chicago.

We give this four unfiltered Camels and might have awarded it a brandy and cigar if any of those protesting clowns could have put together a coherent sentence to counter-challenge Breitbart.

Apparently, enough to give one some heart palpitations

Owing to the fact it went down late Saturday night, there is the distinct possibility you did not see this as the NFL took over as soon as the Saturday college football news cycle was wrapped up.

The perennially under-achieving Michigan State Spartans pulled off the play of the year so far, going for the win in OT against Notre Dame instead of a game-tying field goal, beating the Irish 34-31 in East Lansing.

State coach Mark Dantonio suffered a mild heart attack shortly after the game and while he is fine now, he will be taking an indefinite leave of absence.

Run it back and look how it appears the Notre Dame defenders think the right end, #24,and who is looping underneath, may be trying to sneak out for a pass catch while it is in reality #83 as #24 successfully takes out two ND defenders.


Is everybody done now?

With respect to Christine O'Donnell and the hand-wringing right, Professor William Jacobson of Legal Insurrection absolutely nails it:

The left is doing to O'Donnell exactly what they did to Sharron Angle -- swamp her with accusations and nonsense in the days after the primary to keep her from organizing her campaign. The Nevada primary was months ago, so Angle had a chance to recover. O'Donnell doesn't have that luxury of time given the late primary. She needs to integrate millions of dollars in new cash, gear up with staff, and plan her attack.

With each of your self-righteous columns and snide blog posts, you become part of the problem not part of the solution.

The woman (at the time, a young woman) went on MTV and Maher and who knows where else, and said some things that she would not say now. For that sin you are ready to toss her overboard so that you can declare yourselves to have been wiser than the unwashed voters who elected her in the primary?

And we call the Democrats elitist snobs? Stop being so damn selfish. November is not about who was right or wrong in the primaries. If Castle had won, O'Donnell supporters would have rallied around him, or at least kept their mouths shut.

Look, Christine O'Donnell is that cute but wacky girlfriend we all had once back in the day who did and said some goofy stuff that was all completely harmless when looked at in its proper context.

Delaware primary results: O'Donnell won, Castle lost. This is perhaps an election cycle unlike anything we have ever seen so if there was ever an opportunity for O'Donnell to win, this would be it. Everybody just needs to quit whining and get onboard.

Let's Roll.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Warning: This is what happens when you get S.L.O.B.s together

We want to say a few more words about the SLOB (San Diego Local Order of Bloggers) quarterly Beer Summit/Confab that we did not get around to in the previous post but first and in a totally related subject...

... we were driving home from work last week and listening to the radio when we heard that House minority leader, John Boehner was taking some grief from Bob Schieffer for Boehner's smoking habit during his appearance on Face the Nation. And it was just a week or two before where we heard some fellow Republican refer to Boehner as "a lazy barhopper". Sheesh. Unfortunately, the context did not allow for whether or not this person thought that Boehner was not applying himself in an sufficient manner while making his appointed rounds. Would've been good to know.

But all this got our mental wheels grinding away and when we got back to BwD headquarters we fired off an email to our friend, Leslie of Temple of Mut. Knowing what a big fan of Mad Men Leslie is, we explained what was rattling around in our head and requested her photoshopping skills in melding the image of John Boehner onto that of the hard-living but brilliant Don Draper. Leslie replied, "Great minds think alike - already working on it." The group-think that exists amongst the SLOBs is truly breath-taking.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am pleased to present the new face of the Republican Party for this election cycle:

Hey, social conservative issues just ain't that important this time around, right?

Meet your new boy, Huckabee.

At the Beer Summit, Leslie hinted that the grand unveiling was nigh and we must say we are blown away by the results.

One other order of business that was accomplished was the development of the Mad Men passion index for rating our election picks. Temple of Mut has all the details, here, because if we're going to allegedly rip the G.O.P. assunder let's do it with a Camel in one hand and a Scotch in the other. Seriously, check it out - we think you will enjoy.

But before we go, we must recognize! Tim of Left Coast Rebel and fellow SLOB, in addition to being picked up by The Daily Caller from time to time, now has a regular paying gig at Pajama's Media. We're damn proud of Tim as he is one of our own and we wish him great success in his burgeoning career as a citizen-activist-journalist. Congratulations, Tim!


The SLOBS (San Diego Local Order of Bloggers) had their semi-quarterly confab up at Sarah B.'s new place. Over tostadas and chilled adult beverages, a wide variety of topics were discussed and a great time was had by all. But why we were getting together elicited the following from B-Daddy:

Looking around at the folks gathered at the Beer Summit today at Sarah's place, I thought that the founding fathers would have been both appalled by and proud of our situation. I saw a small group of ordinary Americans, Democrats, Republicans and Libertarians, just one of a countless number of such groups, roused to action by a federal government that had over reached its bounds. The Tea Partiers in the room were not tools of corporate interests, not interested in political office, and motivated only by a desire to change the direction of their country. The founders would have been appalled because the constitutional republic they had bequeathed posterity had been so violated by the rapacious over reach of a political class that had lost all regard for their vision of limited government. And they would have been proud that ordinary citizens had risen up to restore that government to its proper limits.

We started off as a sports blog if you can believe it. And just as recently as 3 years ago, our morning routine consisted of going first for the sports page and then the subsequent sections. Now, the sports page bats third in the lineup on most days. How can this be? There needs to be some sort of freedom index whereby a nation's freedom can be gaged to how long in minutes it takes the male populace to get around to the sports page.

You know something is amiss when we are writing about politics as much as we are and to the exclusion of writing about how this Dodger team is the most listless and disappointing team in memory or handicapping the Heisman trophy race.

We need to make things right in this country again so we can return to obsessing over truly insignificant matters.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Not so random thought of the day

First, he flipped and now he's merely a flop.

This is us back in March of 2008:

But for all his talk of change and his audacity of hope, he is very much cut from the cloth of his Party… the Party that champions the poor, the weak, the dispossessed. Afterall, how else would you explain his leading the charge against legislation that would’ve provided governmental assistance to survivors of abortion (for those of you confused by some of the Roe v. Wade legalese there, this term is also commonly referred to as “infants”) while an Illinois state senator?

Even now, he has cynically changed his tune on the matter of Terry Schiavo, allowing he made a mistake in voting for a law that granted federal judicial review of the Schiavo case, saying Terry’s fate was a “family matter” and not one to be left to bureaucrats or politicians. (Given the chance, we still would never be so impolite as to ask the Senator where he stood on “parental notification” given his obvious commitment to limited government). All for the better, though, as this “change” of heart puts him back in lock-step with his own Party’s commitment to protect the defenseless.

(italics, ours)

What with comparative effectiveness boards, czars and countless bureaucrats all part and parcel to ObamaCare, we sense that the President's commitment to "family matters" with respect to one's health care has all the pliability of a wet noodle.

All things considered, we'd rather be in Denver (UPDATED)

(please scroll down for update)

Although, we suppose we can settle for an absolutely gorgeous fall Saturday in San Diego... we're willing to make that sacrifice.

The Great American Beer Festival is going down this weekend in Denver where judges will be tasked with sampling 3,594 beers from 522 U.S. breweries in 79 different categories. Foreign breweries need not apply.

As we've stated before, although craft beers only make up about 4% of the overall beer market, once you go craft beer, you never go back. Proving that is the fact that during this economic slump we're in, overall beer sales in America fell 2.7% by volume, however, craft beer sales rose by 9%.

“In good times, beer is good,” said Vince Marsaglia, vice president of Grain to Green, a Carlsbad company that operates the Pizza Port brew pubs and the Port/Lost Abbey brewery in San Marcos. “In bad times, well, it’s still a good thing.”

When the results get posted, we'll update with how the San Diego beers fared.

P.S. Go to the link above for some fun facts and addresses of some of San Diego's prominent breweries.

(UPDATE #1): San Diego breweries did themselves proud by winning 15 medals with Pizza Port responsible for 7 of those medals. Pizza Port also won Large Brewpub and Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year (Carlsbad) as well as Small Brewpub and Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year (San Clemente).

And congrats to Karl Strauss, who ironically, won their very first medal (Gold) with their Red Trolley Ale in the Irish-Style Red Ale category.

Full results, here.

Video smack of the day

Via Hot Air:

Home Depot founder, Bernie Marcus believes he knows why the economy continues to languish.

Tenured whether we work or not...


Sorry for creating 300,000 jobs...



Saturday, September 18, 2010

College football Saturday open thread

The merit of leading the nation in total offense through the first two weeks of the season certainly stands on its own, however, having your image captured in a rather iconic pose can only aid your prospects.

Having said that, Michigan QB, Denard Robinson and his Wolverines are currently down to the mighty Minutemen of Massachusetts, 10-7 in the second quarter in Ann Arbor.

And as a public service to our younger followers out there, this why you shouldn't bet on sports. Forget the money...

... it's about the pride. Good on this lad for making good, though, but... damn, that had to hurt.


A round-up of news items, columns and blog posts that caught our eye this past week.

Another Porkulus success story: $111 million to the Los Angeles Dept. of Transportation creates 54.46 jobs (give or take).

And the best part? They can't even differentiate between Porkulus-funded jobs and city-budgeted jobs.

And from the She ought to know Dept.: Jenn Sturger weighs in on the laughable Ines Sainz dust-up.

We totally dropped the ball on this: Yesterday was Constitution Day which B-Daddy says should be a tea party national holiday. Check out his take on this most important day, here.

Michael Ramirez on what went down on Tuesday... as well as any other day of the week as of late.

And speaking of what went down on Tuesday...

Who was this mysterious rival, I inquired - some heretofore unknown Machiavellian prodigy from Harvard poli sci? An old-money interloper from the Philadelphia Mainline? Neither, they said. The challenge, they explained, came in the form of one "Christine O'Donnell," a financially destitute 37-year old Tea Party schoolgirl whose intellectual heft by comparison made even la Palin look Obamanesque. I then watched in abject horror as they played a video of her crusading against teenage onanism. I admit no great pride in my own occasional participation in that unseemly adolescent pastime, but what sort of person declaims it on MTV? And what sort of party allows her name to appear on an official primary ballot?

Life is measurably more enjoyable with Iowahawk in it. It's scientific. More here.

Via Temple of Mut, HillBuzz's take on the new Democratic Party logo:

We blogged on the same topic a few days ago and it's uninspiring tone reminded us of another flop from days gone by.

You know, Leslie, not to be a spoiler or anything but we are so looking forward to that Don Draper/John Boehner photo shop job. Can't wait!

Our blog buddy, Harrison at Capitol Commentary was packing heat on his vaca to the wild, wild West. Read about it here.

Just curious: What percentage of NRA membership comes from people who do not even own a gun? We're curious as we would be a part of whatever that percentage is.

And speaking of vacations, we are a little more than a week out from going on the road ourselves. We've purchased a laptop and an air card in our continuing efforts to join the rest of the 21st century so we hope to do some blogging and/or sharing of photos, from the road.

Short of that, we will be recycling some posts and video clips pertinent to the upcoming elections in November. We're all busy people with lives, jobs, friends and family to tend to so it's nice to be reminded every once in a while of why we need to get to the polls.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Radio KBwD is on the air

Fit snugly between Motown and disco set Philadelphia Soul.

Ladies and Gentelmen, from Houston, Texas, it's Archie Bell and the Drells performing "Tighten Up".

Video clip of the day

Yeah, yeah, we know... we're totally late to the party with this but we finally got around to watching it a couple of days ago and wanted to share what is probably the finest smack-down from an elected official in a press conference/town hall setting that we have ever seen.

And owing to the fact that we will be on the road in a little over a week and the fact that all of our memories are short, we will be going to the archives from time to time to pull posts and videos to remind us all of why we need to get to the polls in November.

As summer fades and families are getting the kids back to school and/or settling into more of a scheduled routine, we hope to provide some flash-backs to generate that fire and a sense of urgency as we move towards that first Tuesday in November.

OK, enough babbling. Governor, the floor is yours:

Screw it...

...Go Indie, Christine!

The GOP's initial reluctance to get behind O'Donnell after her stunning upset victory in the Republican Senate primaries in Delaware on Tuesday gave way to a $42,000 check sent to her campaign by the NRSC. Too late. The damage has been done. The Democrats will use this initial reluctance to paint O'Donnell as outside the mainstream of even her own party.

Our advice: Send the check back and run as an independent. The money bomb that has been dropped on her campaign (reportedly, $750,000 in the first 24 hrs. since her victory) should be evidence of that. Besides, in the deep blue city-state of Wilmington, this would be a powerful message to send to the voters of Delaware similar in vein to the "independent" brand Scott Brown fashioned for himself with great success in Massachusetts earlier this year.

For those out there miffed that the Republicans are essentially ceding this seat to the Democrats, two things: 1) anything is possible in this particular election cycle. Take a look around the country and at some of the minor electoral miracles that have occurred already this year, the quantity of which was not matched in preceding election cycles combined. And 2) achieving a majority in the Senate is going to be unlikely even if Castle did win - nearly as important and much more achievable is solidifying the filibuster.

Lastly, we think everybody needs to back off Karl Rove. Yes, he said some rather unfortunate things with respect to O'Donnell and the Delaware primary but he has solidly backed Sharon Angle and other non-RINO conservative candidates.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Not all reporters created the same

The New York Jets find themselves in a little bit of trouble as this past Saturday, TV Azteca reporter, Ines Sainz claimed she was harassed by the Jets players in their locker room while she was trying to get an interview with the Jets' QB Mark Sanchez.

The National Football League is investigating claims that Sainz was sexually harassed with catcalls and whistles over the weekend while conducting an interview in the New York Jets' locker room. The allegations have unleashed a media maelstrom over what constitutes sexual harassment and what role -- if any -- a woman's attire plays in it.

Here's Sainz as she was attired at the Jets practice on Saturday.

"It's my style," the 32-year-old television journalist told George Stephanopoulos on ABC's "Good Morning America." She's not trying to elicit leers, she said. "It is my style for all my life."

And she has no plans to change.

"I'm not trying to provoke anything," she told Meredith Vieira on NBC's "Today" show this morning. "I don't think I need to change. They are going to change."

(emphasis, ours)

That's a patently ridiculous thing for Sainz to say. Fact: a large part of her notoriety absolutely depends on men being who they are and not changing. Fact: If they do change, Sainz is out on the streets looking for work.

Ms. Sainz has apparently forgotten she's in America where we have crafted ourselves a delicate double-standard where we stick attractive yet tastefully-dressed women on the sidelines to perform inane on-the-field interviews with coaches as they're running off the field at half-time and where highly unattractive, slovenly-attired male reporters are not let anywhere near the locker rooms of womens' sports. We all get it. We all live by these rules. For better or worse, this is how things work in America, circa 2010.

And that's not to excuse the behavior of the Jets... oh, screw it... Yes. Yes, we will excuse the behavior of the Jets players in that locker room with a caveat that crude and/or explicit language was refrained from and the "harassment" was confined to whistles, hoots and general garden-variety ogling. Having been witness to the piece by piece emasculation of the American male over the years, what would be a more depressing development: Men acting like boys in the presence of this "reporter" or the Jets not reacting at all to this provocation to the male libido?

Either Sainz is as clueless as they come or this was a publicity stunt of the highest order.

And this is the beauty of having a blog as the above would most likely result in being suspended and/or fined or fired were this a paying gig.

P.S. If anything is to be taken from the Jets' performance on Monday night then all those pass routes they were executing in practice on Saturday and which were all purposely ran in the close proximity of Sainz, then it's clear they were all short dump-off patterns.

Sub-headline of the day

Disaster On Primary Day As Machine Glitches Cause Chaos

Given the number and degree of tea-fueled upsets that went down around the country on Tuesday, that sub-headline made us think of something other than malfunctioning vote counters.

Still your mommy's party

With great fanfare the Democratic Party, yesterday, revealed what they were touting as a major announcement.

And that major announcement was...?

A new logo?

If you remain uninspired by the new logo perhaps it's because in the Freudian depths of your mind, it reminds you of another flop from days gone by whose failure was attributed to, in part, a er... lack of masculine assertiveness.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

1099 a' go-go

Nancy Pelosi's desire that we pass ObamaCare in order to find out what's in it is the gift that keeps on giving.

Back in April, the Cato Institute alerted us to just one of the thousands of provision buried within ObamaCare and which would require businesses to submit to the I.R.S. individual 1099s for every entity with which they did $600 of business for that year. Here's Cato's Chris Edward's laying it out in real-world terms:

For the $14 trillion U.S. economy, that’s a hell of a lot of 1099s. When a business buys a $1,000 used car, it will have to gather information on the seller and mail 1099s to the seller and the IRS. When a small shop owner pays her rent, she will have to send a 1099 to the landlord and IRS. Recipients of the vast flood of these forms will have to match them with existing accounting records. There will be huge numbers of errors and mismatches, which will probably generate many costly battles with the IRS.

Well, it now appears that 6 months after passage of the bill, members of Congress or at least those who have finally got around to reading the legislation they have passed are realizing what this means to small businesses around the country.

The Senate will vote on amendments to the White House small business bill that would rescind an ObamaCare mandate that companies track and submit to the IRS all business-to-business transactions over $600 annually. Democrats tucked the 1099 reporting footnote into the bill to raise an estimated $17.1 billion, part of the effort to claim that ObamaCare reduces the deficit by $100 billion or so.

Meanwhile, small businesses are staring in horror toward 2013, when the 1099 mandate will hit more than 30 million of them. Currently businesses only have to tell the IRS the value of services they purchase from vendors and the like. Under the new rules, they'll have to report the value of goods and merchandise they purchase as well, adding vast accounting and paperwork costs.

Most Democrats now claim they were blindsided and didn't understand the implications of the 1099 provision—which is typical of the slapdash, destructive way the bill was written and passed. As the critics claimed, most Members had no idea what they were voting on. Some 239 House Democrats voted to dump the 1099 provision in August, and the repeal would have passed except Speaker Pelosi rigged the vote procedurally so it needed a two-thirds majority. She thus gave Democrats the cover of a repeal vote without actually repealing it.

(italics, ours)

Yeah, no kidding.

For its part, the White House is not onboard with this proposal but rather a compromise where the threshold is raised to $5,000. This just exempts more businesses from a simply horrible idea. And besides, it's a tactically tone-deaf stance by a tone-deaf administration: show everybody that you are willing to work with the Republicans on what is clearly an unpopular provision of ObamaCare. See, were working with the Republicans just like everybody wanted us to.

It's not as if there are not still thousands of other horrible provisions left in ObamaCare that they will be able to inflict upon the public. It's not as if they are going to run out of them after a compromise or two.

It's like they're trying to go out of business

Seriously... to what degree of metro- is achieved here?

And the best part? We saw this run not on CNN, NBC nor the History Channel but rather during Inside College Football on the CBS College Sports Network. Channel 321. Sponsored by Bass Pro Sports Shop. And followed immediately by a spot for praise music. Do the people at the NYT have any grasp whatsoever of this demographic? It must be the pasta test method in their ad department: throw it against the wall and see what sticks.

The kitchen is no place for this woman

Continuing in the grand tradition of pet causes, the wife of the Smoker-in-Chief, Michelle Obama, has chosen childhood obesity and healthy eating as her particular cause.

A few days ago she addressed the National Restaurant Association regarding the virtues of offering healthy alternatives on the menu and disclosure with respect to providing calorie data for individual menu items.

Look, we've really no problem with the First Lady using her bully pulpit to "encourage" restaurants to offer more healthy options but as can be expected from members of the regime, even those not technically on the payroll, they go seamlessly from simple and harmless nagging to codifying menu changes by fiat.

After playing nice for the first three-quarters of her speech employing words as "asking", "challenge" and "encourage" implying voluntary cooperation, she gets down to brass knuckles.

That’s why we’re committed to helping increase that demand and making it easier for you to do what’s right. And we’ve started by requiring chain restaurants to provide calorie counts on their menus and menu boards. And I am grateful for the support we’ve received from the NRA to get this done. And I want to encourage restaurants that aren’t providing calorie counts to join us in this effort.

How much awfulness can be packed into one paragraph?


Americans are too damn stupid to make these decisions on their own so we'll "help" by forcing you to do what we think is right and we've begun this dictatorial process, thank you, by telling you what is required to be on your menus, menu boards and any thing else bearing the name of your establishment. And we're grateful that you've pretty much allowed us to steamroll you on this (not that you had any choice in the matter) and let's just say we know who all those other restaurants are out there that escaped our clutches and which we will be strong-arming into compliance at a later date.

These people are simply drunk with power.

We had almost forgot about this whole menu thing. We believe the cut off for compliance with this ridiculous regulation is 20 or more restaurants. So, imagine if you own 21 or 22 restaurants: you will be faced with making a decision to comply with a needless and expensive regulation (how exactly does one go about getting a calorie count for every single item on their menu and however it is done, do you think the going rate for CalCount Inc.'s services just went up a tad as a result of this regulatory capture?) or cutting back on your restaurant locations and putting a few dozen more people out on the street. And conversely, factor in yet another reason to not expand and not add more jobs in the private sector for that restaurant owner of 18 or 19 locations.

This probably is no big deal for massive chains like Denny's or McDonald's who have the resources to comply but as we've seen with ObamaCare and how it hoses the smaller insurance providers, these menu regs will be another unwanted expense on the small and medium-sized chains.

How to fight back? Patronize these Mom and Pop shops or medium-sized chains that may be on the cusp of this regulation. We're open to other suggestion and, as always...