A round-up of news items, articles, columns and blog posts that caught our eye this past week.
One would think that during winter hibernation and reflecting upon all the unsanitary, assault-y and rape-y shenanigans of their Occupy camps from last year, these ass-hats would've come up with something cogent, relevant and productive. Nope.
Another #Occupy Fail:
Because nothing speaks to the 99% like making their morning commute that much more difficult and chaotic.
What was the point of this anyway? Isn't being crammed into the shiny metal boxes of mass transit the very epitome of statist social engineering?
God bless ya, #Occupy... if nothing else, you have provided a never-ending stream of blog fodder for this humble little neighborhood blog.
Charles Krauthammer on the President's hot mic problem:
"On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this can be solved, but it's important for him (Putin) to give me space.... This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility."
— Barack Obama to Dmitry Medvedev, open mic, March 26
You don't often hear an American president secretly (he thinks) assuring foreign leaders that concessions are coming their way, but they must wait because he's seeking re-election and he dare not tell his own people.
Not at all, spun a White House aide in major gaffe-control mode. The president was merely explaining that arms control is too complicated to be dealt with in a year in which both Russia and the U.S. hold presidential elections.
Rubbish. First of all, to speak of Russian elections in the same breath as ours is a travesty. Theirs was a rigged, predetermined farce. Putin ruled before. Putin rules after.
Obama spoke of the difficulties of the Russian presidential "transition." What transition? It's a joke. It had no effect on Putin's ability to negotiate anything.
As for the U.S. election, the problem is not that the issue is too complicated but that if people knew Obama's intentions of "flexibly" caving on missile defenses, they might think twice about giving him a second term.
After all, what is Obama doing negotiating on missile defense in the first place? We have no obligation to do so. The ABM Treaty, a relic of the Cold War, died in 2002.
"Flexibly". That would be one term for it. Read the rest of the dressing down at the link.
B-Daddy grabs ahold of one our favorite subjects: California's high speed choos-choos and the most massive public works boondoggle in the history of western civilization which it represents. It would appear that before even laying down a single mile of track somewhere out in the middle of the central valley, it is running afoul of its bond provisions.
It seems that all the changes being made to this boondoggle are violating the terms of Proposition 1A. Some provisions that can't be met and would violate the law:
Any initial segment has to use high-speed trains. Instead, the rail authority has agreed to run fewer trains at slower speeds on tracks shared with commuter rail systems.
Passengers must be able to board in Los Angeles and arrive in San Francisco without changing trains.
The system is supposed to run without taxpayer subsidies. I can't stop laughing at that requirement.
The system running without subsidies is some sort of sick joke. And running fewer trains at slowers speeds? That's called AmTrak. And anyone who has seen a proposed map of California's choo-choo routes knows that there has always been a handful of stops between San Francisco and L.A. Say, a proposed map like this:
This whole thing is a mockery of a travesty of a sham and we will admit to taking a huge degree of glee in watching this whole miserable house of cards come down in rather slow-motion fashion.
Sir Charles of Doo Doo Economics has more on the faith-based global-warming set and their continuing truthiness problems.
What are you waiting for? Click here to vote for Leslie Easterman as Circle of Moms Top 25 Political Moms competition. Currently, #35 with a bullet.
... we said get over there and vote, already. sheesh.
Glenn Reynolds on the Solicitor General's dreadful performance this week in defending ObamaCare before the Supreme Court and why, perhaps it is such a daunting task for which Donald Verrilli should not take such a bad rap:
So last week's Supreme Court arguments over Obamacare weren't exactly a smashing success for the Obama administration. How bad was it? Bad enough that Jeffrey Toobin called the event "a train wreck," Mother Jones called it a "disaster," and constitutional law professor Ann Althouse, amid terrible reviews of Solicitor General Donald Verrilli's performance, wondered if Verrilli had taken a dive, deliberately throwing the argument so that the Obama administration would no longer be tied to the increasingly unpopular health care bill.
But I think that people are being too hard on Verrilli. He may have coughed and stammered a bit, but his real problem wasn't about performance. His real problem was that he was tasked with defending the indefensible.
Object Lesson #592 on why it is you don't mess with this regime:
Today I received a letter from the IRS that my 2007 tax returns are being audited. Less than one month after launching TaxCheatStamps.com.
There's a list of "proposed changes" they want to make to my 2007 return that would require me to pay almost $14,000 in taxes, penalties, and interest. All the "discrepancies" they list are bogus and I have documentation to prove it. I keep meticulous records and always pay every cent I owe to Uncle Sam. We're going to talk to a lawyer ASAP.
There is no doubt in my mind that my family is being politically persecuted for making a mockery of our new Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and the Obama administration.
Honestly, we're scared. We haven't done anything wrong (and I've got the documents to prove it in storage) but now the IRS is coming after us and they can destroy our lives with a flick of their pen. I don't want to sound like a coward, but I'm so scared I'm literally shaking. We've got a seven-week-old daughter.
I suppose it's a sort of honor to be persecuted like this. I'd really appreciate it if people would blog about this and link to this post. (And a prayer wouldn't hurt.)
Donations and prayers welcome at the link.
Related: Years ago, our old boss, Bob Kinsella, President and CEO of the 5 employee team at San Diego Tug and Barge asked me to order a "Bullshit" stamp as he could not find his. We asked how it was we were going to get that order filled on the up and up. "Simple", he stated. "It's not a "Bullshit" stamp, per se, rather "Ballast Under Load Line - SHip In Transit".
As a young labor organizer in Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa worked for the city’s teachers, honing his political skills in the fight for a good contract. The union loved him back, supporting the Democrat’s election to the State Assembly, City Council and, finally, the mayor’s office he occupies today.
But now, Villaraigosa, a rising star in the national Democratic party, has a different view. He calls the teachers union “the one, unwavering roadblock” to improving public education in L.A.
Villaraigosa is one of several Democratic mayors in cities across the country — Chicago, Cleveland, Newark and Boston, among them — who are challenging teachers unions in ways that seemed inconceivable just a decade ago.
We've long been of the opinion that because of the realities of big city politics, Democrats were far better positioned to effect any real and meaning full change/reforms within our public education system (the crappiest school systems are almost exclusively the domain of Democrat/Union dominated cities). Also, any Republican mayor or governor who goes messing with the status quo is a knuckle-dragging enemy of the people whereas a reforming Democrat is viewed far less hostily.
No matter. If Democrats are willing to stick their necks out on this one, they have our full support.
No one saw this coming. No one:
Angry lib talking head breaks with channel no one could find.
David Brooks of the New York Times whines about Nathan Fletcher going independent after not receiving the San Diego Republican Party's endorsement for mayor.
Fletcher is tall, good-looking, smart, polished (maybe too much so) and moderate. An article in The Sacramento Bee touted him as a rising Republican star, the kind of Republican who could get elected statewide. It didn’t hurt that his wife has worked for George W. Bush and other Republicans.
The next step was obvious: Run for mayor of San Diego. The city has a tradition of electing pragmatic center-right Republicans. Fletcher ran on some conservative ideas — pension reform and fiscal conservatism — and some less conventionally conservative ones — open space, bike paths and environmental policies. He’s also for comprehensive immigration reform.
He was endorsed by Paul Jacobs, the chairman and chief executive of Qualcomm. Both Mitt and Ann Romney, who have a place in San Diego, maxed out to his campaign, giving $500 each.
But as Scott Lewis of voiceofsandiego.org has detailed, the San Diego Republican Party has moved sharply right recently. A group of insurgents have toppled the old city establishment. As Lewis wrote, “The Republican Party has gone through a fantastically effective effort to enforce conformity around its principles.”
Brooks describes Carl DeMaio, who did receive the party endorsement as "the more orthodox conservative". One wonders if Brooks did any research at all regarding DeMaio, the first openly gay city coucil person and the man who has been at the forefront of public employee pension reform, an issue that has resonated greatly with the voters of the city. If this makes DeMaio the more orthodox conservative and which also represents an enforcing of conformity, then so be it but perhaps Brooks should pause to consider that at 3,000 miles away, he has zero feel for the political ground game here in San Diego before he puts fingers to keyboard to bellyache some more about the extreming of politics in this country.
OK, gang... that's it for today. We'll see you all tomorrow.