We'll freely admit we don't know the full context of what Clueless Joe is talking about here in a campaign stop in Davenport, Iowa but when you utter the words "Global Minimum Tax", you are going to get called on it.
Yawn. We suppose it's good applause track material depending upon your audience but "Global Minimum Tax" has slipped into a category along with "Kyoto Protocol" as items that don't have a chance in hell of ever being enacted here. At least, we think.
As it stands, it's responsible to remain vigilant against non-sense spewing forth from the likes of our hapless Veep. Besides, what's to be lost with encouraging the other side to use a "Global Minimum Tax" as a campaign platform plank? Always a big hit with the general electorate.
Saturday, March 31, 2012
So, this Jew and a Goy wander into the East Bay...
It didn't take long for this band to rise to the top of the heap in a conversation between us and our friend Loren regarding our favorite soul/funk/R&B bands.
Ladies and Gentlemen, from Oakland, California, it's Tower of Power performing "What is Hip?"
Tower of Power fun fact: Their horn section backed Little Feat on their epic double-live album Waiting for Columbus circa 1977.
Friday, March 30, 2012
That queasy feeling comes from realizing that the "x" button sets right next to the "z" button. Proof read before publishing... Proof read before publishing...
Just got back from sea a few hours ago so we will try to ease our way back into this.
With ObamaCare facing it's precarious moment of truth before the Supreme Court with regard to its constitutionality, said constitutionality is suddenly of great import to the Speaker of the House when ObamaCare was rammed through sideways just over two years ago.
At her weekly briefing today, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Cali.) was asked to opine on the Supreme Court proceedings on the Constitutionality of the health care law passed in 2010 when Democrats were in control of the House.(italics, ours)
"I'm a supporter of judicial review, I honor the Constitution in that regard," Pelosi said to reporters. "That's why we wrote our bill in a way that was Constitutional. I still feel pretty confident about it. And if and when -- this game is not over. In March Madness, what happens when your team doesn't win one -- well wait a minute, let's have the game."
Funny what two years out from your party being in total control of the federal government will do for your respect for the constitution.
"Are you serious?"
Why, yes... Yes, we are quite serious.
Take the second quote for being how she really feels as she and her party have exhibited over and over again with a combination of hubris and utter disdain, they have no more regard for ObamaCare's constitutionality than they would a piece of burnt toast.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
We had been meaning to get around to this but could not get off the dime. From last week:
After the excrable Kelo v. New London decision from the Supreme Court, we were in need of some good news on the property rights front and the same Supreme Court some 7 years on delivered a double whammy for property rights plus a smack-down of a seemingly unaccountable EPA in Sackett v. EPA .
When Mike and Chantell Sackett bought land in Idaho zoned for residential construction and acquired the necessary permits for building a home, they believed their dream of owning a custom-made house would become a reality. Instead, the EPA sent the Sacketts into a five-year nightmare of regulatory war over the supposed status of their lot as a wetland, and demanded that the Sacketts entirely undo their work on the land to comply with the Clean Water Act.
The Sacketts tried to appeal but were threatened with fines of up to $37,500 per day, and when they tried to go to court to appeal that, they discovered that the EPA had to allow them to go to court. The Sacketts sued in federal court, and yesterday finally prevailed in a unanimous Supreme Court decision that has far-reaching implications for the EPA and overreaching government intrusion.
Why wouldn't the EPA allow the Sacketts to go to court? Because the EPA claimed that the agency had not committed a "final agency action". If you are thinking that the EPA by fining the Sacketts upwards of $70,000/day sounds pretty "final" and definitely qualifies as "action", all nine of the Supremes agreed with you. Think about that for a moment: the EPA refused the Sacketts their constitutional right to appeal because the EPA had taken no action against the Sacketts... aside from that fine for every day they were out of compliance.
The EPA claimed they could keep the Sacketts in this bureaucratic limbo under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). Scalia and the rest of the justices weren't buying it:
Nor did Scalia and the other members of the court buy the notion that a compliance order was just “a step in the deliberative process … rather than a coercive sanction that itself must be subject to judicial review,” as the Obama administration argued. Scalia points out that sanctions signal that deliberation has come to an end. Besides, Scalia wrote for the unanimous majority, the Sacketts had tried to get a hearing with the EPA, which the agency rejected – hardly a sign that deliberation over the issue had much of a chance of continuing.
How important was this decision?
Clearly, the EPA and the Obama administration offered a loophole that would have allowed the EPA and other government agencies to levy compliance orders without any oversight at all, had the Supreme Court accepted their arguments. That would have created a situation where defendants in these agency actions not only had to prove their innocence rather than the agency prove their guilt – it would have also left defendants with no opportunity at all to prove their innocence.
There's a reason why constitutional republics are, like, hard. Accountability, transparency, redressing of grievances and petitioning/appealing to a court of law and stuff like that normally gum up the works of a smoothly running, efficient, authoritarian form of government which we are learning more and more every day is the preferred operating mode of our political class.
Congrats, Supremes, on knocking that one out of the park.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
The Trayvon Martin shooting down in Florida continues to descend into a sad spectacle of unhinged leftist hatred.
Perhaps, fortunately, for George Zimmerman, this
lynch justice mob couldn't organize a rock fight...
Filmmaker Spike Lee tweeted the wrong home address for George Zimmerman, the Sanford, Fla., man who many are claiming should be arrested for shooting and killing Trayvon Martin. The tweet could have potentially put the woman who actually lives at that address in danger.
The Washington Times’ Kerry Picket went to the address that Lee tweeted as members of the New Black Panther Party were offering a $10,000 cash reward for Zimmerman’s capture, “dead or alive,” and others were demanding his arrest.
“[T]he Edgewater Circle address Mr. Lee re-tweeted out is not part of the gated Retreat at Twin Lakes where the shooting took place and where Mr. Zimmerman lives,” Picket reported. “The area is not even a gated community.”
“In fact, I took a drive to that Edgewater Circle address that so many on Twitter re-tweeted and cursed, and I discovered through a neighbor, named Tim, who lives across the street from the address, that not only does George Zimmerman not live at the lakeside house but a woman by the name of Elaine does,” Picket added.
Picket also said several news agencies have showed up at the address looking for Zimmerman, which – with the crowds the Panthers, MSNBC’s Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have whipped up into a frenzy – may have put the woman, Elaine, in danger.
It’s unclear specifically which news agencies trekked to the address Lee tweeted and why they failed to report Lee’s inaccuracy.
Nice work, Spike.
And there is a very simple reason why news agencies didn't report Lee's inaccuracies. It stems from the same mentality whereby the New York Times uses the term "white Hispanic" to describe George Zimmerman. We're voracious consumers of both print and electronic news media and we've never heard nor seen that term before. Extraordinary lengths one must go, then, to perpetuate the narrative of racial and class oppression here in this country.
And while there is indeed racial oppression in this country, it does appear to be rather inward-directed. From Victor Davis Hanson:
While it is natural that African-American activists need answers as to why the armed assailant Mr. Zimmerman was not charged in the shooting, they also cannot explain why their attention is not in commensurate fashion focused on the far greater number of young black males gunned down, many just last week in Chicago, by other black males. Nor can they explain to the non-African-American community why the far greater instances of black-on-white violent crime supports any such notion of a supposed war on young black males..
The net result of the demagoguery will be more racial polarization, as African-Americans believe that young black males are unfairly stereotyped by society and treated less fairly by police, while non-African-Americans will only be further convinced that the African-American leadership is not concerned with the vastly inordinate rates of black violent crime, given the small percentage of the African-American community within the general population, much less the much higher rates of black-on-white crime – and as both sides argue either for more money to be invested in social programs, or that too much has already been spent in counter-productive fashion.
So far all that is clear is that there is a growing anger among African-Americans about a failure to immediately arrest the shooter that in turn is provoking an even greater backlash against the antics of Al Sharpton, the creepy bounty offered by the New Black Panther Party, and others who inflame for their own careerist advantage, and no one — not the president, not the media, not the civil rights leadership, not the politicians — seems willing or able to call for a time-out until all the facts are reviewed and released. We have collectively regressed to the days of Rodney King and the L.A. riots and the O. J. Simpson trial — or to something far worse. Hope and change came and went
It's becoming all too apparent as the days roll on that the media, the establishment left and the race-based grievance industry (not that there should be too great a distinction drawn between them) learned no lessons from the Duke Lacrosse rape case. Again, why let the wheels of justice grind away and the facts to sort out when there are agendas to advance?
Any violence or breaking of the law that results from this whole sorry affair, for it, we have no choice but to blame the inflamed rhetoric and hateful speech emanating from the left-wing media and cultural institutions in this country. The blood will be on their hands.
Even more so than normally, blogging will be spotty, of questionable quality and most likely of the pre-scheduled heat'n' serve variety as we will be out of pocket the next couple of days and at sea aboard the good ship USNS MEDGAR EVERS (T-AKE 13) for sea trials.
We're hoping to be back live by Friday morning.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
We generally do not like to news chase too much but we will make this exception for very obvious reasons.
The conventional wisdom from across the political spectrum is that ObamaCare suffered a pretty bad day at the conclusion of day 2 arguments heard from both sides before the Supreme Court:
Today was the main event at the Supreme Court, debating the constitutionality of the individual mandate. The Court’s audience, including more than a few members of Congress, was full for the marathon two-hour argument. Even near the back of the courtroom, I shared a bench with three senators — the Court’s VIP section was obviously inundated.
Solicitor General Verrilli had a rough start to his argument, speaking haltingly, stumbling, and stopping to take a drink. The solicitor general spent almost all his time trying to convince the justices that health care is, in fact, different from other markets. While Justices Ginsburg and Kagan were trying to throw him soft balls, Verrilli kept striking out with Justices Scalia, Roberts, and Alito, and to some extent, Kennedy.
Justice Kennedy was particularly concerned because, as he put it, the government bears a “heavy burden of justification” when a law “changes the relationship of the individual to government in a unique way.” From my reading, General Verrilli didn’t ultimately convince them, and Justice Kennedy returned to the issue several times. He asked whether the administration’s argument had any limits “at all,” and noted that the mandate “requires the individual to do an affirmative act,” a completely novel type of law.
Kennedy continued, expressing concern with the effects of the mandate and skepticism with the alleged constitutional right for Congress to compel you to purchase health insurance:
KENNEDY: Health care law “changes the relationship between the individual and the government in a very fundamental way.”
KENNEDY: Can you “create” commerce in order to regulate it? Suggests govt has “heavy burden” in health care case.
This exchange is particularly significant as it is generally felt that if the court splits 4-4, Kennedy is seen as the all-important swing vote.
Here's CNN analyst Jeffrey Toobin assessing the day's results:
CNN Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin, following Supreme Court arguments on President Obama's health care law, said on CNN that based on what he heard inside the Court, things didn't look good for proponents of the law.
"This was a train wreck for the Obama administration," he said. "This law looks like it's going to be struck down. I'm telling you, all of the predictions including mine that the justices would not have a problem with this law were wrong... if I had to bet today I would bet that this court is going to strike down the individual mandate."
Toobin added that he felt that U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli simply wasn't prepared for the conservative justices.
"I don't know why he had a bad day," he said. "He is a good lawyer, he was a perfectly fine lawyer in the really sort of tangential argument yesterday. He was not ready for the answers for the conservative justices."
Toobin also said he thought Justice Kennedy, the perennial swing vote, was a "lost cause" for supporters of the health care reform law.
Obviously, no time to go uncorking the champagne yet, but it appears the ObamaCare mandate is facing some pretty long odds.
They made a music video out of it. Of course, they did.
Murders up in Chicago since the President left. They need him back. Let's oblige.
As is the case with constitutional republics, reality is, like, hard.
It is no coincidence that all these businesses are populated mainly by the Left. Because the Left lives on lies; the lie of the mighty economy of the Soviet Union, the lie of the Cuban health care system, the lie of the British National Health, the lie of the Greek economy. One of the most risible lies in recent history that ran up against hard reality was that issued by George Papandreou, leader of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement and President of Socialist International before he was elected Prime Minsister of Greece in 2009: Papandreou famously said, “The money exists.” Heh. Reality’s a bitch, bitches.
The entirety of Secular Apostate's lengthy but well worth reading post, here.
Alternate headline: Statist-in-Chief sees results of full-blown statism
The President in South Korea looking northward:
After squinting through binoculars into a nation frozen in time, US President Barack Obama reeled off a contempt-laden and startlingly frank indictment of North Korea.
The Stalinist remnant of the Cold War was, in Obama's eyes, nothing but a nation which cannot make "anything of any use", "doesn't work", and even its vaunted weapons exports were hardly state of the art.
"It is like you are in a time warp," Obama said Sunday, after he toured a rocky border post in the demilitarised buffer zone that has split the Korean peninsular for longer than he has been alive.
"It is like you are looking across 50 years into a country that has missed 40 years or 50 years of progress," Obama marvelled later, after taking a helicopter back to teeming, prosperous Seoul, just 25 miles (40 kilometres) away.
Of course, any lessons learned or meaningful take away regarding the ultimate folly of a top-down, command-and-control economy will be completely lost on him. Sees no parallels to his own disastrous Department of Energy loan program. Just not doing it correctly, he must assume.
And dig this paragraph from the article:
Earlier, he had told some of the 28,500 US troops stationed in South Korea they were performing honoured service at "freedom's frontier" and brought news of annual college basketball playoffs from home.(italics, ours)
Such are the pervasive and insinuating effects of North Korea's collectivism, our Commander-in-Chief, while he's over there, doubles as a sort of Pony Express rider? Weird.
Monday, March 26, 2012
With the Supreme Court hearing opening arguments on the legality of ObamaCare starting today, Reason.tv's Nick Gillespie reminds us of why ObamaCare needs to be scrapped for just 3 simple reasons.
1. It Represents the End of Limited Government.
2. Its Price Tag is Already Ballooning.
3. Obamacare Won't Make Us Healthier.
While #2 and #3 are perfectly legitimate reasons for scrapping ObamaCare, #1 is indeed the biggie. If the government can force you to purchase health care insurance, what can't they compel you to do?
Once again, here's Congressman Pete Stark (D-CA) with the answer to that question.
Here's what we wrote when we first posted this video a year and a half ago:
Great points all, made by this young lady as it's readily apparent that she is talking at a level way above Stark's pay grade as he has no concept nor interest in understanding how the 5th, 10th and 14th amendments would prevent you from being compelled to sign up for health care just as it would prohibit the confiscation of goods and services from others as is the case when you declare particular goods and services a right.
Stark is a thug. There is simply no other way to put it.
Another memo to our goo-goo (good government) liberal friends: Sure, you would like to see the government play an active role for good in society but does Pete Stark's vision of a Thomas Friedman-esque totalitarianism look like your view of liberalism? Does what Pete Stark is saying sound anything remotely like, "Keep your laws off my body?"
The Democratic Party, which has for years been informed by notions of the limitless power of government dared not actually say it, until now. The passage of ObamaCare has proved to be truth serum to its authoritarian acolytes who now attend town hall meetings and impassively tell their constituents:
I think that there are very few constitutional limits that would prevent the federal government from (making) rules that could affect your private life.
Well, shoot-howdy, that doesn't sound like the bra and draft card burning Democratic Party of dear old Mom and Dad, now does it, gang?
If they can do this, what can't they do?
A year and a half later and nothing's changed except for the fact that the constitutional arguments against ObamaCare are now being joined in force by the unfolding revelations by bodies like the CBO, that we are adding yet another unsustainable entitlement program for which we have no way to pay.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
A round-up of news items, columns, articles and blog posts that caught our eye this past week.
Work prevented us from attending one of the many "Stand Up for Religious Freedom" rallies that were held around the country on Friday.
One who did, Dawn Wildman of the Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition had this to say:
Today I attended one of the 140 Stand Up for Religious Freedom rallies. This one took place in San Diego, CA , where over 2000 people exercised their First Amendment right in all its forms. They stood up against the HHS mandate that flies in the face of their religious beliefs. They held a peaceful assembly of citizens seeking redress of the federal government due to this latest assault on the US Constitution. For those that are a little fuzzy on the First Amendment this is it in its entirety:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
So while Congress did not actually make the HHS mandate which forces religious affiliates as employers to pay for and give their employees free contraception, it is still the government under the tutelage of Secretary Sebilius who is demanding that religious organizations facilitate this law. Many speakers referenced this mandate as a “conscience tax” and I couldn’t agree more.
Here's B-Daddy of The Liberator Today:
I was struck by how impassioned both the speakers and participants were. The President's policies are uniting people of faith against him. The speakers all spoke of the importance of freedom and conscience to the proper functioning of government. They spoke of the continued assault on religious liberty. They spoke of the laughable accounting shell game of the administration: "Religious associations don't have to pay for birth control, only their insurers will be required to provide that." My personal estimate was that about 700 people turned up. We got honks of support throughout the rally.
“Religious freedom is not a gift from politicians: It is a gift from God,” said Bishop Flores. “Today’s debate is not about the access to contraceptives…it is about the federal government forcing the Church to act against its teachings”.
And Leslie of Temple of Mut has a very comprehensive round-up here to which she adds:
Our opponents must be very worried. They sense they have “awakened a sleeping giant and filled it with a terrible resolve”. The elite media reports I am reviewing, with the jaundiced eye of a recovering reporter, are going out of their way to minimize this unification of religious faiths across this country in standing behind the Catholic Church in its defiance to implement the Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate to offer contraceptive/abortion/sterilization coverage in health plans.
For those of you in the tea party/freedom coalition movement who are either pining for or conversely running away from any social issues, relax! This issue is perfect. An authoritative and overreaching government mandating goods and services provisions upon a private entity and which also happens to violate the fundamental religious conscience of a religious entity. What are we missing?
If you wanted an issue over which to beat the head of a dreadful administration and which also helps define your guiding principles, it doesn't get any more basic and fundamental than the 1st amendment, gang, so let's have at it and pull no punches!
And speaking of dreadful... similar to his Skip Gates the police acted stupidly remarks, the President can't help putting his foot in his mouth whenever he goes off-script and away from the teleprompter.
President Barack Obama weighed in Friday on the shooting of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, calling it a national tragedy — and saying that the young man reminded him of his own children.
"When I think about this boy, I think about my own kids," Obama said in the Rose Garden. "I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this. And that everybody pull together."
Obama has come under fire from some black leaders for failing to comment on a case that has become a major national story — and brought thousands of Americans into the streets for demonstrations calling for the arrest of Martin's shooter. One black leader even wondered why Obama called a Georgetown student who was attacked by Rush Limbaugh but not Martin's family. Obama's comments Friday represent the first time the president has addressed the growing controversy.
"My main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin. You know, if I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon,"
Obama said. "All of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves."
That's his main message? Bizarre yet entirely predictable. There you have it, ladies and gentlemen: when asked to offer some commentary and perspective on the shooting, he serves up one of the most self-serving and narcissitic statements we have ever heard. Gawd, this guy is a piece of work.
And from the Nice Try Department, the President running away as fast as he can from Solyndra:
"Obviously we wish Solyndra hadn't gone bankrupt. Part of the reason they did was the Chinese were subsidizing their solar industry and flooding the market in ways Solyndra couldn't compete. But understand, this was not our program per se."
-- President Obama talking to National Public Radio's "Marketplace."
President Obama is on a swing-state campaign blitz this week, looking to stifle voter anger over high energy prices. While the White House is casting the trip as an effort to lay out Obama's vision for future energy abundance, much of the message is aimed at reducing the supply of blame.
And how does that square with reality? From FactCheck.org:
President Obama exaggerated when defending his administration’s approval of a $535 million loan guarantee to Solyndra, a now-defunct solar company.
Obama referred to Solyndra’s loan at an Oct. 6 press conference as “a loan guarantee program that predates me.” That’s not accurate. It’s true that the Energy Policy Act of 2005 created a loan guarantee program for clean-energy companies developing “innovative technologies.” But Solyndra’s loan guarantee came under another program created by the president’s 2009 stimulus for companies developing “commercially available technologies.”
The president also overstated past Republican support for the program, saying “all of them in the past have been supportive of this loan guarantee program.” Republicans overwhelmingly opposed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and some of them even voted against the Energy Policy Act of 2005 at a time when Republicans controlled both houses of Congress.
Independent auditors and even officials within the administration warned Team O that Solyndra was a dog but they cronied ahead anyway with highly favorable interest rates and then shoved their cronies to the front of the bankruptcy line ahead of the tax-payers when the $535 million house of cards came tumbling down.
And you'll love this:
Several key White House offices were involved with the Obama administration’s messaging plans and other preparations as the collapse of the taxpayer-backed solar company Solyndra was imminent, newly released documents show.(italics, ours)
The latest White House documents delivered to House Republicans on Friday again highlight the extent to which senior administration officials braced for the fallout as Solyndra – a company President Obama had personally visited – was about to go under.
A White House memo that noted the danger of “imminent bankruptcy” at the end of August 2011 says, “OMB, DPC and NEC have been working with press and OLA to be prepared for this news to break.”
Acronym translation: OMB is the Office of Management and Budget, DPC is the Domestic Policy Council, NEC is the National Economic Council and OLA is the Office of Legal Affairs.
Working with the press? We were previously unaware that one of the job descriptions of the 4th estate was to frame a message and provide cover for incompetence if not outright malfeasance in the executive branch. We kind of knew it along along, however, there is still some shock value to see it mentioned in such a casual and matter-of-fact manner.
More media double-standard red meat, this time with respect to gas prices/energy policy:
Column headline of the week:
Is it us or is there cottage industry within the feminist movement that agitates women to be in a constant state of being pissed-off?
So, who is it that is waging a war against women?
Obamacare contains 20 new or higher taxes on American families and employers. Five are especially-harmful for women, be they Moms, singles, or retirees.
The jobs-killing Obamacare law contains 20 new or higher taxes on American families and employers. Many of these tax increases fall on families making less than $250,000--a direct violation of candidate Obama's promise not to raise "any form" of taxes on these families. In less than a week, the second anniversary of Obamacare being signed into law will take place. The Supreme Court will be hearing oral arguments about the constitutionality of Obamacare next week.
Out of the 20 new or higher taxes in Obamacare, here are the five that most hurt women.
Read about them at the link.
And finally, the way NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was firing off suspensions and fines this past Wednesday as punishment for the New Orleans Saints' participation in Bountygate reminded us of Michael Corleone wacking members of the other crime families in the baptism scene of the God Father I.
Sean Payton. Wack. Mickey Loomis. Blam. Greg Williams. Pop. Joe Vitt. Wham.
More carnage than we've ever seen in one day in the NFL. Lessons learned: don't lie, don't ever lie to Roger Goodell.
OK, gang, that's it. We'll see you all tomorrow.
Saturday, March 24, 2012
We'll just chalk it up to being a leap year for being unable to get on-track for doing our covers challenges on the first Friday of the month:
First up, ? and The Mysterians performing "Can't Get Enough of You, Baby".
(did you all catch the organ noodling to their big hit "96 Tears" in the verse of the song?)
Next up, The Coulorfield, with their faithful rendering of the song from the mid-80s.
Friday, March 23, 2012
It was just too easy and besides, you know who the real culprit was going to be if we tried to run this as a straight Sarah sez piece, such is the nit-wittery contained herein.
Here's Nancy Pelosi on the floor of the House and on the two-year anniversary of ObamaCare explaining to the world that it's not about the constitutionality of ObamaCare rather the Declaration of Independency that's at issue or something.
I appreciate his leadership in helping us honor what our founders put forth in our founding documents which is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And that is exactly what the Affordable Care Act helps to guarantee: a healthier life, the liberty to pursue happiness, free of constraints that the lack of healthcare might provide to families.
It's done. Some 236 years later, we've completed the journey started by our founding fathers. Not merely content with inherent or God-given rights, we've progressed to a point in our post-constitutional republic where a back room deal-brokered, kick back-laden, lobbyist-written piece of legislation that nearly two years from full enactment is going to cost twice as much as advertised as when it was voted into law, will now be the guarantor of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Little did the men at Saratoga, Valley Forge, Cowpens and Yorktown know that their sacrifice was not to break free of the shackles of a distant, unaccountable and imperial governance but rather to embrace the legislation of a very much close-to-home, unaccountable and imperial governance.
Happy birthday, ObamaCare. May you meet a swift and certain death via judicial dismemberment or legislative fiat.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
... by the numbers:
254: the number of companies that moved out of state last year; five times as many that moved out in 2009.
120,000: the number of jobs lost last year; Texas gained 130,000.
3,600: the number of people that will be employed at Apple's next expansion in Austin, Texas. Apple, you will recall, was founded in California.
12: the percentage Americans living in California.
34: the percentage of Americans on welfare living in California.
9 billion: the amount of dollars Governor Brown expects to generate in revenue from his proposed tax plan (that will be voted on in November) in the first year.
2.2 billion: the actual amount of dollars in revenue that the Legislative Analyst's Office expects the state to realize from the Governor's proposed taxes.
9.2 billion: the deficit this year as estimated by the State Controller's Office.
Here's Brown's ad announcing his candidacy for governor back in 2009:
The numbers demonstrate things have got progressively worse since then.
The man has exhibited zero leadership in forging any headway with respect to our budget deficits, instead resorting to the gimmickry of hoped-for "unexpected revenue" windfalls that never materialize in order to balance the budget.
He has zero interest in standing up to the public employee unions that are saddling the state with unsustainable pension obligations and he has allowed himself to be painted into a corner by Big Labor, the green lobby, Big Construction, Democratic mayoral machine politics and the Obama administration over the high-speed choo-choo project that is estimated to cost as much as $120 billion when all is said and done.
Jerry Brown claimed he was just "too old" to give a damn any longer in his pitch to solve the problems of California. Turns out, even old age can't wring out deeply engrained statist hackery.
That man in the ad requesting "courage" is nowhere to be found these days.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Alternate headline: Why we are looking forward to 2016... or 2020*
Paul Ryan, one of the few people in Washington D.C. that is serious about the budget, national debt and our unsustainable legacy entitlement programs.
We'll have more on this later.
* Ryan, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Chris Christie are among those on the GOP's deep and quality bench team and any of whom, unlike this particular presidential cycle, will garner enthusiastic support from us should they decide to throw their hats in the ring.
Recall Energy Secretary Steven Chu last week, walking back his 2008 remarks concerning desiring to see gas prices at European levels (ostensibly to push people into electric cars) and recall also our skepticism as even the prospects of getting walloped in polling questions related to energy policy, Chu cannot betray his statist heart and worshipfulness at the altar of green energy.
It would appear we were right as in testimony before Congress on Tuesday, Chu gave himself quite high marks when it came to gas prices.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu told a House panel Tuesday that he’d give himself top marks when asked to grade his policies’ effects on energy prices. Rep. Darrell Issa, the chairman of the House committee on Oversight and Government Reform, asked President Obama’s top energy official if he’d grade himself with an “A minus” on “controlling the cost of gasoline at the pump.”
Chu responded by saying he’d give himself a better grade than that.
“The tools we have at our disposal are limited, but I would I say I would give myself a little higher in that since I became Secretary of Energy, I’ve been doing everything I can to get long-term solutions,” Chu said.
Chu would give himself the top grade on gas prices despite that fact that the average price for a gallon of gas just hit $3.87 – the highest ever recorded in the month of March, according to ABC News.
Long term solutions, huh? We will assume then that long-term solutions necessarily entail dumping billions of dollars of tax-payer money into the failing and flailing green energy schemes of your buddies
Gas prices stay where they are and Mr. Chu may not be around to do everything he can to
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
C'mon, she had to be a plant, right?
While campaigning in Peoria, Illinois yesterday, ahead of today's primary in that state, Mitt Romney confronts a heckler demanding free birth control and promptly smokes it into the gap for a stand-up double.
Question from woman in Peoria, Illinois: "So you’re all for like, 'yay, freedom,' and all this stuff. And 'yay, like pursuit of happiness.' You know what would make me happy? Free birth control."
Romney: "You know, let me tell you, no no, look, look let me tell you something. If you’re looking for free stuff you don’t have to pay for, vote for the other guy. That’s what he’s all about, okay? That’s not, that’s not what I’m about."
This demostrates precisely what we have been saying all along with respect to the willy-nilly making up of rights out of thin air and particularly making goods and services rights: "free" stuff necessarily requires the involuntary confiscation of other people's wealth and property to pay for it.
This woman wants "free" birth control (yes, we will be using air quotes from here on out whenever applicable) but that comes at a cost to everybody else in the form of higher premiums so that this woman can get laid. That may be her pursuit of happiness but we're pretty damn sure the founders didn't intend for her pursuit of the same to be the responsibility of others. Pursue getting laid on your own dime is elegant in its simplicity.
And irony of ironies, since this woman is insisiting that we all pay for her to get laid, an activity we were once told was the exclusive domain of the two (or more) consenters, she is now insisting that her getting laid be our business as well. Hey, we are paying for it, after all.
It is completely incoherent logic but logic just the same for a reditributionist statist.
We have been told to stay away from the contraception issue as it is one of those un-winnable social issues. Nonsense. The contraception issue , if approached correctly from religious conscience, personal freedom and fiscal responsibility angles will help illustrate the conservative and libertarian principles of the freedom coalition.
Back in 1995, the miserable hack that runs the Justice Department thought he had the strategy to rid our streets of guns:
Breitbart.com has uncovered video from 1995 of then-U.S. Attorney Eric Holder announcing a public campaign to "really brainwash people into thinking about guns in a vastly different way."
Holder was addressing the Woman's National Democratic Club. In his remarks, broadcast by CSPAN 2, he explained that he intended to use anti-smoking campaigns as his model to "change the hearts and minds of people in Washington, DC" about guns.
"What we need to do is change the way in which people think about guns, especially young people, and make it something that's not cool, that it's not acceptable, it's not hip to carry a gun anymore, in the way in which we changed our attitudes about cigarettes."
Now, fast forward some 17 years and the whole idea of "brainwashing" seems rather portentous given Operation Fast and Furious: a federal gun-running scheme that allowed weapons to walk back across the border without ever any intention of tracking them back to the bad guys all in order to enforce a narrative of an unchecked flow of guns southward and into the hands of violent Mexican drug cartels.
Holder's Justice Department continues to stonewall congressional investigations tempting contempt charges as well as shuffling/promoting/demoting people out of the way that were connected to Fast and Furious.
Though by no means a smoking gun but speaking of establishing a narrative, Holder's sentiments back in the 90s lay bare the mindset of an anti-2nd amendment political class warrior and his intentions of willfully misleading the general public in order to achieve an end.
Monday, March 19, 2012
Memo to Ms. Fluke and the rest of you free-loaders out there who want the rest of us to pay for your sex life: contraception is so unavailable and expensive, Planned Parenthood is totally not putting up billboards like the one pictured here at the well-traveled intersection of Navajo Road and Lake Murray Blvd. in northeast San Diego to prove those very points.
Also, in a Friday evening news dump the Obama administration is moving forward with their intended plans to have health insurance providers provide free contraceptive services:
Officials at the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Labor, and the Treasury today took the next step in the Obama administration’s effort to ensure women access to recommended preventive services while respecting religious liberty. The Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued today outlines draft proposals to implement the policy announced by President Barack Obama and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Feb. 10, 2012. This policy will provide women with access to recommended preventive services including contraceptives without cost sharing, while ensuring that non-profit religious organizations are not forced to pay for, provide, or facilitate the provision of any contraceptive service they object to on religious grounds. The Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued today gives all Americans the chance to formally comment on ideas for implementing this policy.
Of course, this is totally misleading in that, though religious organizations may not be forced to pay for contraceptive services, the health insurance companies will... and will pass that cost right back onto the consumer in the form of higher premiums. Also, this does nothing to settle the issue that this "compromise" forces religious organizations to offer a full range of contraceptive services against their conscience nor does it solve the conscience problem of religious organizations that are self-insured.
As that billboard ably demonstrates, there is absolutely zero need for the government to get into the business of dictating contraceptive services terms to health insurance policies. Please tell us where is the compelling need? And if there is one, don't you think that in an open and transparent market place, there would be health insurance policies that would offer those services?
This is simply about picking a fight, creating an artificial issue and shamelessly pandering to a naive and dim-witted voting bloc ahead of a presidential election.
Sunday, March 18, 2012
A round-up of news items, articles, columns and blog posts that caught our eye this past week.
Let's start off with a little humor, shall we. Family friend and early reader and commenter of and on BwD, Bevvie, shares this letter from a farm kid in basic training to the folks back home:
Dear Ma and Pa,
I am well. Hope you are. Tell Brother Walt and Brother Elmer the Army beats working for old man Minch by a mile. Tell them to join up quick before all of the places are filled.
I was restless at first because you get to stay in bed till nearly 6 a.m. But I am getting so I like to sleep late. Tell Walt and Elmer all you do before breakfast is smooth your cot, and shine some things. No hogs to slop, feed to pitch, mash to mix, wood to split, fire to lay. Practically nothing.
Men got to shave but it is not so bad, there's warm water. Breakfast is strong on trimmings like fruit juice, cereal, eggs, bacon, etc., but kind of weak on chops, potatoes, ham, steak, fried eggplant, pie and other regular food, but tell Walt and Elmer you can always sit by the two city boys that live on coffee. Their food, plus yours, holds you until noon when you get fed again. It's no wonder these city boys can't walk much.
We go on 'route marches,' which the platoon sergeant says are long walks to harden us. If he thinks so, it's not my place to tell him different. A 'route march' is about as far as to our mailbox at home. Then the city guys get sore feet and we all ride back in trucks.
The sergeant is like a school teacher. He nags a lot. The Captain is like the school board. Majors and colonels just ride around and frown. They don't bother you none.
This next will kill Walt and Elmer with laughing. I keep getting medals for shooting. I don't know why. The bulls-eye is near as big as a chipmunk head and don't move, and it ain't shooting at you like the Higgett boys at home. All you got to do is lie there all comfortable and hit it. You don't even load your own cartridges They come in boxes.
Then we have what they call hand-to-hand combat training. You get to wrestle with them city boys. I have to be real careful though, they break real easy. It ain't like fighting with that ole bull at home. I'm about the best they got in this except for that Tug Jordan from over in Silver Lake. I only beat him once. He joined up the same time as me, but I'm only 5'6' and 130 pounds and he's 6'8' and near 300 pounds dry.
Be sure to tell Walt and Elmer to hurry and join before other fellers get onto this setup and come stampeding in.
Your loving daughter ,
"We love you!"
Dear Leader: "I love you back."
It's hard to get my mind to come to grips with all that's wrong with this. The shamelessness with which it was sent is a nice starter. Bragging not about your husband's accomplishments, but about how many groupies he has? And Obama's response is not the humble "thank you" of a man who might be uncomfortable with such adulation, because his native humility reminds him that he is not perfect. Rather, he responds as the immature rock star who wants more and more.
Next the image of Obama as loving father figure to the masses of adoring fans smacks of a personality cult worthy of Kim Jong Il. He is not our father figure, he is a fellow citizen of the Republic. He is the President, to be sure, but that position is limited and temporary.
What do you think? I am too harsh?
So asks B-Daddy of The Liberator Today.
Not at all. It is perfectly in keeping with this administration's view of itself. Preening, posturing narcissism at its finest.
From The Washington Post:
Before his death, Osama bin Laden boldly commanded his network to organize special cells in Afghanistan and Pakistan to attack the aircraft of President Obama and Gen. David H. Petraeus.
“The reason for concentrating on them,” the al-Qaeda leader explained to his top lieutenant, “is that Obama is the head of infidelity and killing him automatically will make [Vice President] Biden take over the presidency. . . . Biden is totally unprepared for that post, which will lead the U.S. into a crisis. As for Petraeus, he is the man of the hour . . . and killing him would alter the war’s path” in Afghanistan.
Biden is totally unprepared? Looking on the bright side, given the terms of succession, we'll thank our lucky stars that bin Laden didn't have designs to take out both Obama and Biden prior to 2011.
The Wall St. Journal on California's math problems:
Long a harbinger of national trends and an incubator of innovation, cash-strapped California eagerly awaits a temporary revenue surge from Facebook IPO stock options and capital gains. Meanwhile, Stockton may soon become the state's largest city to go bust. Call it the agony and ecstasy of contemporary California.
California's rising standards of living and outstanding public schools and universities once attracted millions seeking upward economic mobility. But then something went radically wrong as California legislatures and governors built a welfare state on high tax rates, liberal entitlement benefits, and excessive regulation. The results, though predictable, are nonetheless striking. From the mid-1980s to 2005, California's population grew by 10 million, while Medicaid recipients soared by seven million; tax filers paying income taxes rose by just 150,000; and the prison population swelled by 115,000.
California's economy, which used to outperform the rest of the country, now substantially underperforms. The unemployment rate, at 10.9%, is higher than every other state except Nevada and Rhode Island. With 12% of America's population, California has one third of the nation's welfare recipients.
And any discussion or suggestion of, you know, reform, to attempt a fix of some of the underlying structural fiscal problems of the state is met with swift and forceful opposition by the progressive forces of the left who are just defenders of the doomed-to-fail status quo.
Let's see how that other "progressive" in D.C. is coming along with respect to battling the status quo:
President Obama’s budget would pile up an additional $3.5 trillion in debt over the next 10 years and shows the government’s trust funds running out of money in 2020, Congress’s official non-partisan scorekeeper said Friday.
In 2012 alone Mr. Obama’s budget would leave a $1.3 trillion deficit — $82 billion worse than if none of his policies were enacted. Over the next ten years the deficit would dip to less than a half-trillion dollars in 2017, but would rise again in the later years.
By 2022, a decade from now, the federal government would spend $5.6 trillion and take in $4.9 trillion in revenue — both figures far outstripping today’s levels.
CBO’s analysis also shows the government’s combined trust funds, including the Social Security trust funds and the cash flow of the Postal Service, will begin running deficits in 2020.
Mr. Obama released his budget last month, but it has received scant attention on Capitol Hill, where both Republicans and Democrats have ignored it. It proposed a mixture of new tax increases and tax cuts, and called for some new spending, particularly in education and infrastructure, but mostly left the entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security untouched.
We won't go too hard on the President, as has been noted before, outside of some bold individuals like Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Rand Paul (R-TN), no one in the political class appears remotely engaged in wanting to take on the problems detailed above. The math is unavoidable yet everyone is paralyzed in the face of it.
From The Huffington Post:
"Pink slime" might soon have a leaner presence in public schools than many might have initially anticipated.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced today that it will offer schools an option between two types of ground meat to purchase for student meals. The move is in response to requests from districts amid a weeks-long firestorm of public outcry against the ammonia-treated cow product.
The controversy was spurred by a report earlier this month by The Daily revealing that the USDA planned to purchase 7 million pounds of ground beef for schools that is mixed with "lean finely textured beef," or what has been nicknamed "pink slime." Two microbiologists, Carl Custer and Gerald Zernstein, said they warned the USDA against the "high risk" product years ago, but federal officials did not heed their advice.
The lean finely textured beef is a low-cost product rendered from the mostly fatty outside trim of cow carcasses or leftovers from other cuts. To salvage every bit of meat, the trimmings, combined with connective tissues and cartilage, are heated at a low temperature to remove about 95 percent of the fat. The resulting product is then compressed into blocks to be mixed into ground beef and treated with ammonium hydroxide (essentially ammonia and water) to kill pathogens like E. coli and salmonella that could have emerged during the rendering process.
Discovery of the USDA's purchase prompted Houston mother of two Bettina Siegel to start an online petition on Change.org asking Secretary of Agriculure Tom Vilsack to "please put an immediate end to the use of 'pink slime' in our children's school food." The petition had more than 225,000 signatures as of Thursday morning.
The USDA contracted to buy more than 111.5 million pounds of ground beef for the National School Lunch Program, with 7 million pounds of it coming from Beef Products: This South Dakota-based company produces lean finely textured beef. No more than 15 percent of Beef Products' ground beef mix for schools may be composed of lean finely textured beef, according to the USDA.
The announcement grants schools the option to purchase either 95 percent lean beef patties made with Beef Products' mixed product or fattier bulk ground beef without the controversial mix. The change will not affect schools until the fall as a result of existing contracts.
Those are the options? United States public education: making the case for home-schooling on a weekly basis.
OK, gang, that's it for today. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday and we'll see you all tomorrow.
Saturday, March 17, 2012
Clean, articulate, good-looking African-American makes the case for the Keystone XL pipeline* (UPDATED)
(please scroll down for update)
A nice little shot across the bow that has been getting fairly heavy rotation on CBS during NCAA tournament games.
Here's another clean, articulate, good-looking African-American back in 2008 making the case for why you should be paying for more at the pump:
0:35 - "Nothing's for free." Except for condoms and the pill.
1:43 - Energy efficiency means... changing our light bulbs?
2:15 - Subsidizing an individual filling up their Suburban is indeed a bad idea. Just as bad of an idea as subsidizing student loans, other people's sex lives and most relevantly, tens of billions of dollars to subsidize the not-yet-ready-for-market green technology of your cronies.
We're paying higher prices at the pump, alright - making those sacrifices, however, is not bringing us any closer to true energy independence.
* For those of you that had forgot.
(UPDATE #1): We felt B-Daddy's feedback was worth liberating from the comment section:
This is the most anti-science administration ever. They think that their secular religion trumps the technology of energy production, to whit, that they can declare that there are energy sources of greater power density than liquid hydrocarbons on a mass and volume basis. There are not, and no amount of declaring otherwise will make it so. If they were honest, they would encourage the production of natural gas, because its carbon footprint per btu and mass is less than other sources of energy. That they do not is further evidence of their hypocrisy.
He's exactly right. If you are talking total cradle-to-grave carbon footprint with respect to energy output, oil is the greenest thing going. To use the terminology of Obama's predecessor, we need to ween ourselves off our addiction to green technology... well, at least the political class needs to ween itself off its addiction to pouring billions and billions of tax-payer dollars into green energy schemes that can't pay for themselves. Time to take off the training wheels!
Friday, March 16, 2012
Last week, the National Review's Rich Lowry had a column titled "Holder's Identity Problem" which took a look at Holder's considerable issues with individual state's voter identification laws.
Clever but not nearly as appropriate or relevant for the miserable hack that runs the Justice Department's identity problem with respect to indefinite detention of suspected terrorists and the killing of alleged terrorists even if they are American citizens.
Let's jump in the way-back machine and catch up with Holder in 2004 during the dark tyranny of the Bush regime:
(Via Patterico's Pontifications):
And yet a disturbing pattern has emerged. Lawyers for this administration have attempted to sanction the wholesale roundup and extended detention of Middle Eastern men on routine immigration violations, and the indefinite detention of American citizens with minimal judicial supervision, and without access to legal counsel.
We must be aggressive in the conduct of the war, and in the interrogation of prisoners taken in that war. But this Administration’s view, that the President’s authority as Commander-in-Chief can almost always overcome what it views as burdensome laws, restrictive International treaties, and tired old customs is extremely dangerous.
Now let me be clear. This is not to equate American al-Qaeda sympathizers with law abiding Japanese-American citizens. But citizenship must mean something. The guarantees that come with it must be respected.
Now, let's see how Holder grows in office. Back to the present: Eff, it.. let's kill'em instead:
President Obama, who came to office promising transparency and adherence to the rule of law, has become the first president to claim the legal authority to order an American citizen killed without judicial involvement, real oversight or public accountability.
That, regrettably, was the most lasting impression from a major address on national security delivered last week by Attorney General Eric Holder Jr.
Eric Holder, in a speech just last week, did indeed claim that the Executive branch had the authority to kill American citizens suspected of being terrorists without due process.
Quite a turnaround, now isn't it? Imagine the rioting in the streets in Berkeley, Madison and Eugene if Bush had claimed this authority. And let's be clear, Team O did indeed carry through with this threat when they wacked Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen in a drone strike last September.
So, what is the real reason behind this new-found extra-constitutional executive power? A realization of the threat posed by terrorists to this country? A convenient opportunity to accrue even more authority? Maybe. But we think it's a little more simple than that: Obama's lazy. That's it. He doesn't want to have to mess around with the sticky business of capturing, interrogating and, mostly, detaining suspected terrorists. Afterall, this is the administration that made a campaign goal of closing down Gitmo and which still maintains a public position of desiring to see suspected terrorists in civilian courts. It's much, much easier to just wack them... it's a hell of lot cleaner that way.
Let that sink in for a moment: An administration that desires to see Gitmo residents tried in civilian courts doesn't let suspected terrorists see the light of the Cuban day.
Here's Andew Napolitano with Shep Smith talking about the subject matter just prior to Holder's speech (Via Dueling Barstools):
"Due process is not something the government gives, due process is a natural right that every human being has and the Constitution requires that the government respect that in the 5th amendment."
1:45 : Wait, al-Awlaki's son and a family friend, both U.S. citizens were killed also? We've been following this story pretty closely and this is the first time we've heard this.
"On the basis of that summary, the President can be judge, jury and executioner for any American anywhere."
2:40 : That's right - we'd almost forgot. al-Awlaki was the guy the Ft. Hood shooter was reaching out to. Fancy that, it's considered impolite to suggest that the Ft. Hood shooter was a radical Islamist terrorist yet al-Awlaki receives death by drone for being a radical Islamist terrorist... allegedly.
"If what the attorney general is about to say is accepted uncritically by Americans then we are doomed, our freedoms are gone - the President is no longer our President he is a King, he can decide who lives and who dies on his own without any evidence, without any trial."
It's being received uncritically by Americans because the 4th estate has again failed in reporting out on this travesty. One of the very types of things they despised Bush for, they will provide cover when one of their own not only matches the outrage but far exceeds it. It would only be fair then to say then that the media does not suffer any longer from "liberal bias", rather "despotic bias".
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Entrance question: Can a guy who refuses to acknowledge the technology for his pet green programs aren't quite market ready get off calling his political opponents as being, uh, unscientific?
Entrance answer: It's campaign season so let'er rip, baby, even if you beclown yourself.
President Barack Obama on Thursday derided his GOP challengers, calling them members of the “flat earth society” for their positions on energy.
“Lately, we have heard a lot of professional politicians, a lot of the folks who were, you know, running for a certain office, who shall go unnamed, they’ve been talking down new sources of energy,” Obama told a crowd during a speech in Maryland. “They dismiss wind power. They dismiss solar power. They make jokes about biofuels. They were against raising fuel standards. I guess they like gas guzzlers. They think that’s good for our future. We’re trying to move towards the future, they want to be stuck in the past!”
While not identifying any of the GOP contenders by name, Obama continued: “We’ve heard this kind of thinking before. Let me tell you something, if some of these folks were around when Columbus set sail, they must have been founding members of the flat earth society. They would not have believed that the world was round.”
Boy, that's rich. Dude is presiding over some of the highest gas prices ever and is running a corrupt, cronyistic and now we are finding via the GAO, a completely incompetent and unaccountable DOE loan program.
Perhaps, the President should consult with a flat earth convert in his midst, Dept. of Energy HMFIC, Steven Chu, who has appeared to submit to the reality that people really don't give a damn about sparkly, shiny new green technology when they are paying $4.50/gallon at the pump.
And as for that 2% myth the President has been peddling as an excuse to not drill: don't believe it. Known reserves are only the tip of the iceberg.
Please note that one of the sources is the very government department that appears completely dis-interested in developing this cheap and dependable energy resource.
That we would not go after that which is setting beneath us to spur economic growth that would provide the private capital to get green technology up and market-ready is near criminal.
First, a programming alert: due to a heavy workload and annual mid-March (Madness) opening rounds television viewing obligations, blogging will be light for the next few days. By, the by, we're gunning for a border war in the finals: Mizzou v. Kansas.
Similar to what then-Speaker Pelosi said when she spoke of passing the ObamaCare bill to see what's in it, the Congressional Budget Office is having to wait year to year in their progressive 10-year budget analysis to see how much ObamaCare is actually going to cost.
President Obama's national health care law will cost $1.76 trillion over a decade, according to a new projection released today by the Congressional Budget Office, rather than the $940 billion forecast when it was signed into law.(italics, ours)
Democrats employed many accounting tricks when they were pushing through the national health care legislation, the most egregious of which was to delay full implementation of the law until 2014, so it would appear cheaper under the CBO's standard ten-year budget window and, at least on paper, meet Obama's pledge that the legislation would cost "around $900 billion over 10 years." When the final CBO score came out before passage, critics noted that the true 10 year cost would be far higher than advertised once projections accounted for full implementation.
Or, as it's known in Placentia, California, "fraudulent behaviour".
A doubling of the cost in just two years: a trend line to be proud of.
The taxes and fees to pay for ObamaCare started in 2010 but the full range of goodies don't start kicking in until 2014.
Recall, it was the Democrats who claimed that Republicans were the cause of death to 40,000 Americans a month because of their obstruction of ObamaCare. We'd like a CBO projection on the number of deaths caused by this delayed implementation of ObamaCare due to fiscal chicanery.
Just 3 years ago, we had on our "unsustainable entitlement plate", Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Now, due to a goods-and-services-as-rights mentality that has taken hold of this country, we can now add ObamaCare to the plate of things we have no way in hell of paying for.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
We'll take the bullet on this one and do the heavy lifting because we don't think anyone else in the righty blogospere is going to cover the following news item... right?
After a short stand off between a group of veterans and the head of the Lake County, FL Democrat Party, an American flag that had been altered to depict an image of Barack Obama in the space where the stars are normally located was taken down.
The Lake County Democratic Headquarters in Tavares has been flying two American flags outside their office. The first an American Flag and the second the altered flag.
A veterans group arrived late this afternoon with the media in tow and demanded that the second flag be taken down. Don Van Beck, executive director of the Veterans Memorial at Fountain Park asked that the altered flag be removed, explaining that it was in violation of federal flag code. He offered a POW/MIA flag to fly in its place.
Nancy Hurlburt, the Democratic Party Chair for Lake County, said she would research the issue but didn’t take the Obama flag down immediately, prompting Van Beck to declare that they would take the flag down for her.
“No, you will not. This is private property,” Hurlbert responded.
After a short time spent ‘researching’, Hurlbert relented and took down the flag while the veterans looked on. She did not accept the POW/MIA flag offered as a replacement.
Why on earth did this woman think this would possibly be a good idea? We're going to assume the approval chain was an extremely short one as anyone with just a passing knowledge of the flag code would know that defacing or depicting an image on the flag is a no-no. Besides, shameless, bootlicking, hagiography is so 2008-2009. The thrill is gone, Ms. Hulbert, and everyone knows it.
And speaking of shameless, bootlicking hagiography from years gone past, you would not be mistaken if you thought this post was merely an excuse to play one of our favorite Youtube clips of all-time.
It just doesn't get any more self-serving and creepy than this, folks, Enjoy.
Douche-baggery at its finest
The absurdity of the statist-left knows no bounds. Plus, yet more evidence of the big lie.
From CBS Los Angeles:
The next influx of UC students may be asked to state their sexual orientation.
In January, the Academic Senate recommended that upon accepting admission offers from a University of California school students should have the option of identifying themselves as lesbian, gay, bi-sexual or transgender.
The UC Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools had mixed reactions but agreed that the question would allow them to collect important statistical information. They recommended putting the question on the SIR forms instead of college applications to protect students’ privacy.
(ed. note: for what purpose is this information collected?)
The news made the front page of UCLA’s campus paper Daily Bruin and is stirring controversy across UC campuses.
Supporters say the declaration will help campuses better plan for the needs of LGBT students.
Queer Alliance Board member Luis Roman said he has spoken with university officials about the proposal, which he enthusiastically supports, because he believes it will bring badly needed services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students.
(ed. note: precisely what needs and services are required for LGBT students above that of the rest of the student population?)
Some members of that community believe it would show that there are many more LGBT students than university officials realize.
“I think the numbers are way bigger than we really imagine or know,” Roman said.
(ed. note: And? )
The sexual orientation question would likely be optional. That may mean that a sizable number of students would not respond or would do so dishonestly — skewing the results, said Raja Bhattar, the director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Center at UCLA.
(ed. note: Questions: is this implying then that Bhattar thinks the inquiry should be mandatory and if so, how does making it mandatory compel the questionee from being any less or more forthright in his answer?)
The data would be collected from incoming freshmen and transfer students.
High school senior Brian Vo, who was visiting his friend Quincy Vien on campus, said he wouldn’t mind being asked.
“I think it’s fine. They’re just collecting information to kind of cater to the population. It’s not obligatory — it’s voluntary — so it’s up to you whether you want to or not.”
(ed. note: Cater? How about pander?)
That's about as much ridiculousness as can be fit into one news story. Congrats.
It really boils down to a social engineering statistical make-work program.
And with respect to the big lie: Similar to the contraception mandate and the valuable Congressional testimony given by their cute little mascot, Sandra Fluke, who decided to go public with her sex life and thinks that others should pay for the same, the statist-left's desire for the bedroom to be off-limits to inquiry and public policy proves itself to be just that... as it always has been.
With these two examples, the mask is beginning to slip in regards to the amount of privacy and autonomy the political class will allow you to have.
Via Leslie at Temple of Mut: the GOP's "war on reproductive rights" in graphical image form.
I think the “War on Women” is more along the lines of the film, “Wag the Dog“: Since, the president does not seem to have much of a chance of being re-elected, one of his advisers contacts a top Hollywood producer in order to manufacture a war that the president can heroically end, all through mass media.
I can imagine the discussion now: I am sure it went along these lines:
Stanley Motss: The President will be a hero. He brought peace.
Conrad ‘Connie’ Brean: But there was never a war.
Stanley Motss: All the greater accomplishment.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
It would appear as though Energy Secretary, Steve Chu is learning there is quite a bit of difference between saying dumb stuff as a pointy-headed academic and saying dumb stuff as the head of the Department of Energy.
Recall it was Chu, before entering the administration and as a professor of physics at Stanford, said he desired to see gas prices in the U.S. approach that of Europe's.
And recall a couple weeks back, Chu, now the very public face of the DOE and maintaining his principled stand on gas prices, told Congress that lowering gas prices was not really that high of a priority of his.
Well, politics has a curious way of adjusting one's principles as bad poll numbers suggest the American public does indeed hold the President and his people responsible for high gas prices.
From the National Journal:
Energy Secretary Steven Chu on Tuesday retracted his now-infamous quote from 2008: “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.”(italics, ours)
“I no longer share that view,” Chu said in response to questioning from Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on another topic related to DOE’s loan-guarantee program.
Chu’s 2008 quote, initially included in a Wall Street Journal article, has formed the foundation for daily Republican attacks on President Obama over high gas prices.
Chu seemed to equivocate, pause, and stumble over his words when responding to Lee’s question about high gas prices. Other comments Chu made at another hearing late last month put him in hot water on gas prices. Politico reported on Feb. 28 that Chu told a House committee that he was not working to lower gasoline prices but to wean the United States off oil. That story has since been corrected to clarify that DOE is working to both lower gas prices and wean the country off oil. But that was only after the story was picked up by Republicans and used against the administration.
During his testimony before the Senate panel on Tuesday, after stopping and starting with a few thoughts on the economy and the department’s commitment to alternatively fueled vehicles, Chu told Lee: “Of course we don’t want the price of gasoline to go up. We want it to go down.”
New polling out this week found that the president's disapproval rating is going up alongside high gasoline prices, which averaged $3.80 per gallon nationwide on Tuesday.
After the hearing, Chu told reporters that he changed his view from 2008 because of the fragile economy.
“There is a real hardship that Americans are suffering at the gasoline pump,” Chu said. “The recovery is fragile. Another spike in gasoline prices could put that recovery at jeopardy. So there are many, many reasons why we do not want the price of gasoline to go up.”
Splitting atoms at Lawrence Livermore Labs is a little different from telling working Americans that higher gas prices is necessarily a good thing, now isn't Steve?
It remains to be seen, however, if Chu really believes this new-found alleged pragmatism. We doubt it. He currently runs the administration's cronyistic green energy loan program and we doubt the President would've picked the guy to run the DOE if he was a practical all of the above energy type.
With the President's poll numbers tanking, throw the people some comforting words to let them know you feel their pain and get back to business as usual.