Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Summing it up...


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... as only Michael Ramirez can.





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As a point of comparison, consider the freakout on the left and within the media at large that occurred in the wake of Abu Ghraib, a glorified frat hazing stunt where no one was killed.

Suffice to say, this all would have been handled a bit differently were it a Republican administration that left 4 ultimately dead Americans twisting in the wind and then couldn't get their story straight about it even one month after the incident.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Another day, another round of bad news for ObamaCare




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So, why isn't the President campaigning on his signature piece of legislation, ObamaCare, the crown jewel of command and control statism? Because more and more bad news as represented by the chart below illustrate just what a disaster the (perhaps, not so) Affordable Care Act will be.



(click to enlarge)






The composite premium increases of 55%-85% above current market averages by 2017 as found by a study performed by Milliman, the prestigious actuarial consulting firm, which was retained by the Ohio Department of Insurance to perform that study.

55-85%!


As the first two lines of the chart show, Milliman blames the bulk of the increases on the fact that ObamaCare will mandate more coverage and benefits and that more people will be added to the risk pool to receive those additional bennies.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist or even an actuarian to figure out that if you going to provide more coverage and provide more coverage to more people, that is necessarily going to result in a net increase in costs to the healthcare system. No amount of budget gimmickry that was built into ObamaCare was going to dodge this stark mathematical reality.


Go to the linked article for more cheery news on cuts to Medicare and the growing number of doctors who will place "new or additional limits" on accepting Medicare patients.

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Not so random thoughts of the day


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Via Shane Atwell:

Check out this approx. 4-1/2 minute video on Chicago residents fed up with the Great Society welfare machine of Democrat pols, unions and failed liberal policies.





Community resident Paul McKinley says, “Everything in Chicago is controlled by the Democratic party. Everything in my community is controlled by Black Democrats. There is no Tea Party in my community. There is no Republicans. So they can’t blame the Tea Party.” Later, he says, “I tell you that the liberal agenda is not the black agenda, it is not the family agenda, and it is not the American agenda.”




This video and what these folks were saying reminded us of our experiences in the black community here in San Diego.

Our job on the waterfront has afforded us the opportunity to play in shipyard leagues over the years. In our first season, many, many moons ago, we played on a team of all white staff engineers in a predominately black and latino league. We did alright and held our own with ourselves and our boy, "Tommy Gun" leading the way (everyone hated playing us because "those white boys be shootin' that ball!"). We didn't get the team back together the following year, so we were, more or less, recruited to play on one of the other teams the following year.

From then on, we were pretty much the only white player on whatever team we happened to be playing on. It was an eye-opening experience, though, for reasons you may not have expected.

At least once or twice a year, our team would get together to cook out, most of the time at Mission Bay where we would pot-luck it. Perhaps some of whatever grilling prowess we possess stemmed from the fact that we did not want to get embarrassed in front our brothers when it came to grillin'.

We're getting to the point, trust us: the conversations we had were fascinating. Amid all the ribbing and smack-talk, there would be openings of somewhat serious discussion about our families and where we came from and how we were reared. Mild competition arose over who had it tougher as a kid. We mostly listened as who wants to hear about growing up in North Orange County whose family's idea of austerity was focusing on school, church, youth sports and Dad's Sunday evening home-cooked dinner extravaganzas at the expense of dining out, vacations to Hawai'i or trips to Disneyland, though that may have won the Riehm family some medals for our particular demographic there in Placentia because it seemed all our neighbors were having all that fun.

Shorter: if you had a transcript of those conversations and cleaned up the language, you'd've sworn it was a bunch of cranky old white men talking about who had it worse. These were not the conversations envisioned by rich white liberals rather, without the political rhetoric, they were conversations about family, commitment, fishing, of course, and "doing the right thing". Mind you, these guys weren't angels but, they knew. They knew. Amid their own self-inflicted wounds of perhaps fathering children out of wedlock and other indiscretions, these guys all knew what was expected of them as grown men and none of it ever involved getting help from some other entity. Though, perhaps, their actions did not always reflect it, they were grown-ass men and knew they had to produce... for their children, for their family and for their bosses at the yard

We think the word has been trivialized and cartoon-ized but we believe there is a simple honor in machismo. There is a singularity and dignity in that word that says, "No, I got this. Thanks for the offer but this one is mine".

All the above, of course, is at odds with the modern statist welfare complex which has succeeded in infantilizing and apologizing for two, maybe three now, generations of black males. My friends, my teammates are fighting against a near-irreversible tide of culture that is stacked against establishing functioning nuclear families, functioning schools and functioning communities.

If we were, say, a 70 year-old black male living in inner-city Chicago, we'd probably be in a blind rage at this point knowing that the welfare state of LBJ's Great Society, for whatever good it had intended, had transformed into a a self-sustaining monetary black hole that, in reality, preyed upon and thus profited from the misery of the very people it had set out to help.

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Quote of the day


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Here's the father of slain former SEAL, Tyrone Woods speaking out about his son's death in Benghazi this past September 11th. Listen to/read in the transcript below what he has to say and prepare to have your mind blown:


Via Hot Air:






“I was contacted by military personnel yesterday, who told me an interesting fact. And that is any consulate anywhere in the world is American soil,” Woods said. “Any attack on an American consulate is an attack on American soil. There were American citizens that were attacked for seven hours on American soil a couple thousand miles away from Washington, D.C.”

“My question of the president would be this: Your Honor, I respect your office as president. But if this attack on American citizens, on American soil, happened 2,000 miles away from Washington, D.C. — say in Los Angeles or in Seattle — would you have waited seven hours before you sent the first airplane? Would you have waited seven hours until the attack was over? Would you have waited a couple of days until you had all of the videos and all the information before you responded in a responsible military way?” …

“This is about honor, courage and about love for America. And remember this, Mr. President: My son and the others died heroes and it’s better to die the death of a hero than it is to live the life of a coward. If you are responsible for the death of my son, I forgive you, I love you. I also love America.

(italics, ours)


Dude.

Dude...



If you wondered from where Tyrone Woods received his courage, honor and sense of duty, your question has just been answered.


We don’t doubt Charles Wood’s sincerity, such is the forgiving power of agape’ love but there is also profound disappointment within Mr. Woods for the way the aftermath of this disaster was handled. When we watched it, we could not help but recall a famous scene from one of the greatest movies of all time that was also all about profound disappointment






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Our prayers to the Woods family and to the families of the other 3 slain American heroes of Benghazi.

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Photo image of the day and an observation or two


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At last... we found the one Democrat willing to campaign on Obama's signature piece of legislation...

... in LaMesa Village yesterday...









The President is not making a mistake by not running on ObamaCare as he knows the sausage-making legislation of it and, indeed, the content of the law got completely bunged-up.

When that simpering idiot, Nancy Pelosi, told the world that they needed to pass the legislation in order to find out what's in it becomes the signature imagery of that legislation, you know you've got problems.



B-Daddy at The Liberator Today explains why it is that a second term, and specfically, ObamaCare are not good for the "liberal" brand.


ACA. The Affordable Care Act will continue to be an albatross around the Democratic party's collective neck. Time will reveal all of the sops to big insurance and big pharma that went into the bill. It will eat into the party's desired reputation as being against the excesses of big business. When your party is seen as the party of both Big Business and Big Government you are toast. Look at the 2006 Congressional elections and what happened to Republicans. Opinion polls had shifted and found the GOP to be seen as the party of big government in polls and they got shellacked.

ACA. Again, because you know in your heart that countless regulations embedded in the law will drive up the cost of health care and tarnish government with the same heartless image that is now enjoyed by the insurance companies. Being tied to the eventual demise of quality health care is not in the Democratic party's best interest. You would be better served by a repeal, after which you could propose a much simpler bill that prevented discrimination due to pre-existing conditions, guaranteed portability and subsidized insurance for those above the poverty line but still in lower income brackets. Even though I don't agree with this platform, it is guaranteed to be more popular than the ACA.


If not repealed, the Democrats will live with the negative impacts of ObamaCare for years to come.




Observation(s): We don't know how it is in your neighborhood but there has been an incredible dearth of front lawn political signage in this election cycle. We see a few state-wide proposition and San Diego mayoral lawn signs but have seen zero, repeat, zero presidential signage in a pretty solidly Democratic neighborhood which is quite a turnaround from the amount we saw in both the 2008 and even the 2004 campaign season.

What to make of the flap surrounding Madonna getting booed and being walked out on during a concert in which she encouraged fans to vote for Obama? Not much, we think. People go to concerts to listen to music and to escape the grind of everyday life, which at this time, every four years, means being bombarded with political ads and rhetoric. I'm sure the last thing even Democratic-leaning Madonna fans want to listen to is being preached at with respect to their vote of choice.

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Political cartoon of the day


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Plus this from the father of slain former SEAL and North County resident, Tyrone Woods:


“When [Obama] came over to our little area” at Andrew Air Force Base, says Woods, “he kind of just mumbled, you know, ‘I’m sorry.’ His face was looking at me, but his eyes were looking over my shoulder like he could not look me in the eye. And it was not a sincere, ‘I’m really sorry, you know, that your son died,’ but it was totally insincere, more of whining type, ‘I’m sorry.’”

Woods says that shaking President Obama’s hands at his son’s memorial service was “like shaking hands with a dead fish.”

“It just didn’t feel right,” he says of his encounter with the commander in chief. “And now that it’s coming out that apparently the White House situation room was watching our people die in real time, as this was happening,” Woods says, he wants answers on what happened—and why there was no apparent effort to save his son’s life.



Well over a month after the incident, the President says they are still working on getting all the facts. Color us skeptical but we don't think Mr. Woods will be getting any answers any time soon.

But, remember, it's all just a distraction, right?



H/T: Instapundit

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Tribalism at its finest


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A couple of days ago we noted that with a Romney election victory things like Obama's "kill list" and the National/American Defense Authorization Act would finally be getting the scrutiny they deserve.

For as these Obama supporters appear to concede, it's OK, when your guy has that kill list.






From "Psychopath" to "uhhh... healthcare" in a matter of minutes.


So, on November 7, we'll see if those stalwart civil libertarians that have been enjoying their little nappy-poo for the past 4 years will get out of the rack or simply hit the snooze bar for another 4 years.

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Video clip of the day


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For those of you in love with the auto bailouts as much as we are, this one is kind of a no-brainer.

Love that they patterned the music after the Bob Seeger "Like a Rock" Chevy ads from years gone by.



All you have to do is fail miserably...





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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Constitutional republics are, like, hard




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It must've been Cindy Sheehan and Code Pink camping out in that ditch in Texas all those years that kept G.W. Bush from assassinating 16 yr. old U.S. citizens.



In the aftermath of 9-11, B-Daddy of The Liberator Today warned of the amassing of executive power as justified by the necessity to protect this country in our newly-minted War on Terror. Paraphrasing:

The Commander-in-Chief's intentions may be entirely honorable and he may not abuse the powers Congress has granted him but the framework for these powers to be abused are now codified into law and we may not always be blessed with a Commander-in-Chief with the best of intentions. What if Hillary Clinton becomes the next President? Would you trust her with these powers?




Here's Glenn Greenwald, a reliable lefty, writing for the Guardian UK in a column titled "Obama Moves to Make the War on Terror Permanent" :



The primary reason for opposing the acquisition of abusive powers and civil liberties erosions is that they virtually always become permanent, vested not only in current leaders one may love and trust but also future officials who seem more menacing and less benign.

The Washington Post has a crucial and disturbing story this morning by Greg Miller about the concerted efforts by the Obama administration to fully institutionalize – to make officially permanent – the most extremist powers it has exercised in the name of the war on terror.

Based on interviews with "current and former officials from the White House and the Pentagon, as well as intelligence and counterterrorism agencies", Miller reports that as "the United States' conventional wars are winding down", the Obama administration "expects to continue adding names to kill or capture lists for years" (the "capture" part of that list is little more than symbolic, as the US focus is overwhelmingly on the "kill" part). Specifically, "among senior Obama administration officials, there is broad consensus that such operations are likely to be extended at least another decade." As Miller puts it: "That timeline suggests that the United States has reached only the midpoint of what was once known as the global war on terrorism."

(italics, ours)


As we have written in these pages before, the administration is simply to lazy to be bothered with the nettlesome "capture and question" aspect of anti-terrorism and have opted to go heavy on the "kill" aspect. It is indeed, just too hard.


With respect to creating an infrastructure capable of sustaining a seemingly permanent war:

The Post article cites numerous recent developments reflecting this Obama effort, including the fact that "CIA Director David H Petraeus is pushing for an expansion of the agency's fleet of armed drones", which "reflects the agency's transformation into a paramilitary force, and makes clear that it does not intend to dismantle its drone program and return to its pre-September 11 focus on gathering intelligence." The article also describes rapid expansion of commando operations by the US Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) and, perhaps most disturbingly, the creation of a permanent bureaucratic infrastructure to allow the president to assassinate at will.

The creepiest aspect of this development is the christening of a new Orwellian euphemism for due-process-free presidential assassinations: "disposition matrix". Writes Miller:

"Over the past two years, the Obama administration has been secretly developing a new blueprint for pursuing terrorists, a next-generation targeting list called the 'disposition matrix'.

"The matrix contains the names of terrorism suspects arrayed against an accounting of the resources being marshaled to track them down, including sealed indictments and clandestine operations. US officials said the database is designed to go beyond existing kill lists, mapping plans for the 'disposition' of suspects beyond the reach of American drones."


Again, the reasoning behind this disposition matrix appears to be a result of the incoherency of a anti-terrorism policy that wants to give Gitmo detainees civilian trials, while reaching out, touching and killing others overseas.

This was all motivated by Obama's refusal to arrest or detain terrorist suspects, and his resulting commitment simply to killing them at will (his will). Miller quotes "a former US counterterrorism official involved in developing the matrix" as explaining the impetus behind the program this way: "We had a disposition problem."

The central role played by the NCTC in determining who should be killed – "It is the keeper of the criteria," says one official to the Post – is, by itself, rather odious. As Kade Crockford of the ACLU of Massachusetts noted in response to this story, the ACLU has long warned that the real purpose of the NCTC – despite its nominal focus on terrorism - is the "massive, secretive data collection and mining of trillions of points of data about most people in the United States".

In particular, the NCTC operates a gigantic data-mining operation, in which all sorts of information about innocent Americans is systematically monitored, stored, and analyzed. This includes "records from law enforcement investigations, health information, employment history, travel and student records" – "literally anything the government collects would be fair game". In other words, the NCTC - now vested with the power to determine the proper "disposition" of terrorist suspects - is the same agency that is at the center of the ubiquitous, unaccountable surveillance state aimed at American citizens.



Greenwald writes of this new nearly unaccountable, supra-legal bureaucracy that, most likely, would have been rejected out of hand as recently as 10 years ago:

What has been created here - permanently institutionalized - is a highly secretive executive branch agency that simultaneously engages in two functions: (1) it collects and analyzes massive amounts of surveillance data about all Americans without any judicial review let alone search warrants, and (2) creates and implements a "matrix" that determines the "disposition" of suspects, up to and including execution, without a whiff of due process or oversight. It is simultaneously a surveillance state and a secretive, unaccountable judicial body that analyzes who you are and then decrees what should be done with you, how you should be "disposed" of, beyond the reach of any minimal accountability or transparency.

The Post's Miller recognizes the watershed moment this represents: "The creation of the matrix and the institutionalization of kill/capture lists reflect a shift that is as psychological as it is strategic." As he explains, extra-judicial assassination was once deemed so extremist that very extensive deliberations were required before Bill Clinton could target even Osama bin Laden for death by lobbing cruise missiles in East Africa. But:

Targeted killing is now so routine that the Obama administration has spent much of the past year codifying and streamlining the processes that sustain it.

To understand the Obama legacy, please re-read that sentence. As Murtaza Hussain put it when reacting to the Post story: "The US agonized over the targeted killing Bin Laden at Tarnak Farms in 1998; now it kills people it barely suspects of anything on a regular basis."



Consider the case of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born person who later renounced his citizenship when he turned radical cleric and who was considered by our intelligence community to be a top recruiter and strategist for Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. He wound up on the President's "kill list" and on September 30, 2011 he, along with Samir Khan were killed by U.S. deployed Hellfire missiles. al-Awlaki, who was said to be in regular contact with the Fort Hood shooter, Nidal Hasan, was most likely a bad actor, a very bad actor. However, throughout this nation's history, "most likely" didn't cut legal muster for the ostensible purposes of a targeted assassination.

It gets better: Two weeks after that, his 16 year old son, himself a U.S. citizen, Abdulrahman al-Aulaqi, was cut down in a separate drone strike. To give you an idea of how far this program has already progressed and how far gone is the psychology and mentality that is guiding it, consider what former White House Press Secretary and current Obama campaign contributor, Robert Gibbs had to say with respect to the justification: (he) "should have [had] a far more responsible father." It was thought that Gibbs was unaware that the son was killed in a different strike but that is nearly a distinction without a difference as far as Gibbs is concerned; an unaccountable star chamber can afford to make flippant and callous remarks like this.

What is most disturbing to us is not only the lack of outrage but even the lack of any national conversation on this topic. It was a truly bipartisan effort by a Democratic-controlled Senate and a Republican-controlled House that gave the President the powers he now wields via the American Defense Authorization Act that was signed into law at the end of 2011.

And consider the New York Times expose' of a couple months back that described the kill list in physical terms, as a deck of baseball cards... Now batting clean-up for Yemen, Anwar al-Awlaki who's 2010-2011 disposition is "dead man walking"... That article was not intended in any way to blow the lid off the existence of the kill list or to paint the President as a blood-thirsty assassin who called his decision to assassinate al-Awlaki's son a "no-brainer" rather quite the opposite. The image of the President casually flipping through that deck of cards and giving the thumbs up or thumbs down was absolutely intended to burnish his credentials as a defender of the republic and not some effeminate, milque-toasty community organizer-type.

And it all happened just like that. No protests. No lawsuits. No screams of outrage from the left. And because of their inaction in this matter, it has proven them to be as morally and intellectually bankrupt as we always figured them to be. Nothing exists for the left except politics. No principles, no bearings, no convictions, only politics and winning elections.

Whereas 3 people get waterboarded and the Abu-Ghraib prison scandal created a virtual lefty Woodstock out there in that ditch outside of Crawford Texas for a few years, the existence and application of a kill list which led to the unlawful assassination of a 16 year old U.S. citizen has been met with deafening silence.

As the saying goes, "Only Nixon could go to China". Now it's "Only a leftist ideologue posturing as a pragmatic centrist could get a kill list" 'cause it sure as hell wasn't going to happen for a President from Texas.



Greenwald concludes with this:

At Wired, Spencer Ackerman reacts to the Post article with an analysis entitled "President Romney Can Thank Obama for His Permanent Robotic Death List". Here is his concluding paragraph:

"Obama did not run for president to preside over the codification of a global war fought in secret. But that's his legacy. . . . Micah Zenko at the Council on Foreign Relations writes that Obama's predecessors in the Bush administration 'were actually much more conscious and thoughtful about the long-term implications of targeted killings', because they feared the political consequences that might come when the U.S. embraces something at least superficially similar to assassination. Whoever follows Obama in the Oval Office can thank him for proving those consequences don't meaningfully exist — as he or she reviews the backlog of names on the Disposition Matrix."



We guarantee you this will be an issue if Romney wins the election when we all welcome back the anti-war left on November 7th.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

News you can use


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I know some of you have been wondering what's become of our boy Max and his weekly beer-soaked feature, MAXED OUT. Max asked for some time off as coming up with a beer-related theme, even for someone as steeped in the San Diego and world-wide beer scene as Max, on a weekly basis was tapping him out (pun totally intended).


But in the spirit of MAXED OUT, we stumbled across this video on enjoying the perfect pint of beer we think you all will enjoy.


Cheers!





See. Math wins. Math always wins.



P.S. Max is currently bartending at the premier beer bar in San Diego, Toronado. Stop in and say hi some time.

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What we've been tweeting



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With respect to this fast-approaching dress-up holiday...


How do I know #Romney is in their heads? My lib friend is going as a Satan-worshipping Mormon 4 Halloween. And I'm donating the 10-speed.

And...

Binders, #BigBird and Satan-worshipping Halloween costumes. #Romney #Occupy - ing the liberal mind.





And it stands to reason that if this administration won't classify the Ft. Hood attack as terrorism...


As with Ft. Hood, since attack happened inside the consulate, #Benghazi not #terrorism rather #WorkPlaceViolence





And finally...

Back in '08, they told me that if I voted for #McCain it would be 4 more years of racial divisiveness. Well, they were right.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What others are saying about ObamaCare


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Here's Anne Marie Valinoti writing an OpEd for the Wall St. Journal regarding the Electronic Medical Record mandate contained within ObamaCare:

(subscription needed for full article)

At first I thought EMR sounded like a good idea. Then our practice started using one.

Tasks that once took seconds to perform on paper now require multistepped points and clicks through a maze of menus. Checking patients into the office is an odyssey involving scanners and the collection of demographic data—their race, their preferred language, and so much more—required by Medicare to prove that we are achieving “meaningful use” of our EMR. What “meaningful use” means no one knows for sure, but our manual on how to achieve it is 150 pages long.


Valinioti frets she will be spending more time looking at a computer screen than listening to her patients.

Electronic Medical Records do indeed sound like a swell idea but once ObamaCare got involved it appears that the inherent efficiencies of EMRs could not stand on its own two feet as justification and instead the Affordable Care Act is turning them into a bureaucratic quagmire of check-the-box identity politics.



ObamaCare: ruining credible ideas one mouse click at a time.



Ethanol and sad cow disease


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If there is a worse alternative energy idea than corn-based ethanol, we have yet to see it. Despite growing evidence and data that reveal what a bad deal is ethanol, we continue our tax payer-subsidized head-long plunge deeper into this horrible idea. And now, in California, we have more bad news regarding ethanol that will, no doubt, be ignored by our law-makers and regulators.


From SFGate.com:


Attempts to clean up our air and to ensure that the nation has enough milk to drink are on a collision course.

As a result, the future of California's dairy industry looks sour. Around 100 farms are expected to go bankrupt this year alone, and the trend seems likely to continue if nothing is done.

Because of the demand for grain to produce the gasoline additive ethanol - which was supposed to reduce air pollution - plus a nationwide drought, many of the state's cash-strapped farmers are selling their cows for slaughter because they can't afford to feed them. It's a "perfect storm," says Colin Carter, professor of agricultural economics at UC Davis, that could spell trouble for the county's milk supply - 1 out of 5 glasses of milk consumed in the United States comes from California cows. And the increasing price of grain is hurting all livestock industries.




The drought conditions are bad enough as it is and we compound the problem by doubling down on stupid as the federal law mandating ethanol in gasoline now consumes one-third of the nation's corn crop, a percentage that only looks to go higher.

So far, 6 states have petitioned for relief via an escape clause contained within the ethanol law. The EPA, in an emergency, can temporarily lift the mandate. Frankly, given the ideological bent of this particular EPA, we don't see that happening. Besides, even a temporarily lifting of the mandate would expose what an awful sham corn-based ethanol is.

That the actions of the Environmental Protection Agency should be so far-reaching as to effect the price of food and availability of fuel demonstrates how far outside the box the agency has grown.

By 2050, there will be 9 billion people on this planet and they are going to need to be fed but try reasoning that reality to the flat-earthers within the enviro-zealot community.

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Image of the day


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Team O wanted to make tax-payer funding of Big Bird and Sesame Street a campaign issue. We will continue to grant them their wish.


P.S. Remember, Bert is still evil.



H/T: Instapundit

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

It's gotta be the shoes!



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Pictured is a young un-identified BwD staffer at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon this past week.

The young lady that took the picture assumed, looking at the shoes slung over his shoulder, we think, that the lad made it to the bottom of canyon and back as she asked that very question. Little did she know that the only reason the extra shoes were along for the ride was that they’re old beaters and, thus, back-ups for the new ones he was having difficulties breaking in.

But screw it. Why let the truth get in the way of a good story? Of course he made it down and back!

Needless to say, this feature of perceived bad-assery will be a permanent prop of his hiking ensemble from here on out.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Somethings just don't add up



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Correct us if we’re wrong but there seems to be a bit of inconsistency with Obama’s approach to terrorism, err… man-made contingencies or whatever it is they are calling it these days.

To combat, umm, terrorism, the President has quite the quick trigger finger when it comes to taking out alleged bad guys from his deck of cards he keeps, presumably in the Oval Office, via drone strikes and whomever else happens to be around (because when pondering how it is that the innocent bystander body count has dropped as it has under Obama, consider that those “innocent bystanders” were hanging out with the wrong element and thus had their “innocent” card pulled, thank you very much).

Now stand this up to the fact that he still wants to try our friends there in Gitmo in civilian courts… but swears they will never see the light of day, even if a person like the 9-11 mastermind, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, is acquitted. U.S. citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki (dead via drone strike) and his also dead teenage son (see what hanging out with the wrong element will get you) should have been so lucky to be rounded up and sent to Gitmo under the Bush regime.

And now, if your head isn’t spinning enough consider the situation regarding the Ft. Hood shooter, Nidal Hasan (pictured), who has been behind bars now for 3 years since his act of, well… just read this:


Victims of the Fort Hood shooting are rallying in a grassroots effort to get the rampage classified as an act of terrorism.

A coalition of 160 victims and family members released a video Thursday detailing what happened at the Texas military base on Nov. 5, 2009, and why they believe it was a terror attack.

In “The Truth About Fort Hood,” victims give testimonials about their experience and express their frustration at the government calling the incident “workplace violence.”

They point out that the accused shooter, Maj. Nidal Hasan, consulted by email with top al-Qaida leader Anwar al-Awlaki about whether an attack against American soldiers was justified to “protect our brothers.” Until his death in an airstrike in 2011, Yemen-based Awlaki was considered one of the United States’ top enemies.

(italics, ours... as if they were really needed)

The video can be found at the link.

For the victims who survived and the families of those who were slain, this isn't merely about terminology and it isn't about a distinction without a difference, there are real-world consequences to "working place violence".



Because the incident is not considered an act of terrorism, the victims do not get combat-related special compensation that provides disability pay for medically retired servicemembers. Manning, who was shot six times, was recently denied such benefits.
The victims are also ineligible for Purple Hearts or medals for valor.

Stalnaker said her husband, Sgt. Rex Stalnaker, feels diminished by the government denying he suffered through a terrorist attack, and it causes him to doubt the importance of what he did that day. As a medic, Stalnaker treated many of the victims and was one of the last to leave the building. His uniform was soaked in blood.


Hasan had been in regular contact with the very man the Obama administration had deemed dangerous enough as a terrorist to have taken out and not brought in; the aforementioned and still dead, Anwar al-Awlaki.

If Hasan's actions, words and speech both prior to and during his act of terror can't be classified as such, then the term simply no longer exists.


Yeah. While Team O continues to spike the "bin Laden is dead" ball over and over again out on the campaign trail, the men and women who served in our armed forces and those who acted heroically on that day of terror are getting the shaft by the very same people.

It's utter incoherence and complete non-sense and is a bottom-line embarrassment to this country. The men and women of our armed forces deserve better. We need to put a stop to this and a good place to start would be on November 6.


(h/t: Hot Air)
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(This blog was posted from the comfort of camping spot No. 31 at the South Campground of Zion National Park with excellent connectivity on one hand and an ice cold end-of-a-long-hike beer in the other.)


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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Video clip of the day


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Our trip to parts of the desert southwest has been delayed while we idle in Kanab, Utah while the clutch on our truck gets fixed, so if nothing else it's a chance to reconnect and see what's going on out there.





Alternate headline: If this is success, we'd hate to see failure


The Obama campaign is fond of saying that they saved General Motors. A political victory perhaps for a dubious definition of "saved" but consider at what cost to the tax-payer and that of our free-market system here in America did this victory come.

On this blog, we've been railing against the auto bailout for years and the following 6 minute video from the Center for Freedom and Prosperity does a nice job of covering why it is that this bailout is/was not a success and why it was and has become such a horrible idea in 4 points:








1. Taxpayers got fleeced (if GM stock were sold today, we'd all be out $25 billion)

2. President Obama gave favors to his union supporters (while other creditors got shafted)

3. When government picks winners and losers, we all lose. (Expending public capital and political pressure to build products the consumer does not want, causes ripples all up and down the auto manufacturing supply chain).

4. The costs are unseen (Moral hazard! Poor performance will be rewarded!)



Yeah, this is something Obama could've laid at Bush's feet, instead he doubled down and proceeded with the bankruptcy cramdown and ensuing favors to his union buddies at the expense of secured creditors which may all fall apart in court due to a backroom deal hatched by General Motors to meet the administration demands for a quick bankruptcy which was kept hidden at the time from the bankruptcy judge.


General Motors and Chrysler should've been allowed to enter bankruptcy under normal means which would've forced them to settle with their creditors while keeping the doors open while they restructured their organization and union deals. Instead, we have this unholy mess as a reward for bad business practices while sticking the tax payer for tens of billions of dollars.

Remember all this next time you here how the administration "saved" the U.S. auto manufacturing industry and how GM and Chrysler now represent "success" stories.












Monday, October 15, 2012

Photo image of the day



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Like Flat Stanley, only better...




... Iron Fist's Hired Hand visits the Prescott Brewery Company.




Also, we couldn't go without mentioning fellow SLOB W.C. Varones got Instalanched for his post Rime of the Ancient Australian.

From the post:

"My wife doesn't like me talking about this. But I've lived under a dictatorship before. And that's exactly what you've got coming here," he finally confessed.

He couldn't have known that I was no Obama fan. Most people my age in this area were Obama voters. But once he had decided to tell his tale, he couldn't stop.

He talked of things with which I was quite familiar, but with which most of the public would not have been: Eric Holder and the Black Panthers, the White House asking people to inform on their dissident friends and neighbors, the Obama cult of personality, and the way the media were no longer watchdogs but open supporters of the regime
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Check out the whole thing at the link.


For those that are thinking that this is a tad over-the-top or delusional, try taking yourself to a place where it was President George W. Bush that had signed legislation that gave himself the power to detain U.S. citizens indefinitely without cause or to carry out drone strikes against U.S. citizens overseas without traditionally-recognized due process, and which in the case of Anwar al-Awlaki and his teenage son, has already happened (bet you didn't know the son was killed in a separate drone strike, altogether).

And Cindy Sheehan and her set were camping out in a ditch somewhere outside of Crawford, TX because three bums were waterboarded. Got it.


Where are the outraged and aggrieved now? Seduced by a cult of personality and having their feeble minds inflicted with a case of un-democratic it's-OK-because-it's-our-guy-did-it tribalism, they have busied themselves decrying the tea party as extreme and have actually been seen lamenting the radicalization of the G.O.P., longing for the days of their ultimate tormentor, Ronald Reagan. Talk about your alternate universes.


As it stands, much of America is coming around to what many of us knew all along; Hopenchange was the ultimate con, the pitch-perfect sales campaign for one who was nothing more than another thuggish, two-bit Chicago pol.

After all the votes are tallied on November 6, we will either be celebrating victory or celebrating the 22nd amendment.

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Programming alert





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We'll be out of pocket for the next week or so travelling around the great southwest. Depending upon connectivity and motivation, we will be checking in from time to time so don't forget about us.



And being ones who believe in safety first, there are never too many precautions you can take when venturing through parts of this country where Shock Top may be considered a craft beer.




We're firm believers in "gift beers" to be shared with the staff of breweries and good brew pubs we happen across that may not have access to the great local stuff here in San Diego.





Saturday, October 13, 2012

More on that poor ol' put-upon 1-percenter




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Of course, no one wants to kill off Big Bird. It's Big Bird, man and who doesn't love Big Bird?

And, yes, we realize that cutting funding for Sesame Street and PBS would not amount to a drop in the bucket with respect to debt reduction but if the President wants to talk about "fairness" in the economy and with respect to our tax code then what is fair about tax-payers subsidizing the well-off, the very well-off?.



From the Wall Street Journal:


According to financial statements for the year ended June 30, 2011, Sesame Workshop and its nonprofit and for-profit subsidiaries had total operating revenue of more than $134 million. They receive about $8 million a year in direct government grants and more indirectly via PBS subsidies. Big Bird and friends also receive corporate and foundation support, and donations amount to about a third of revenue. Distribution fees and royalties comprise another third and licensing revenue makes up the rest.

At the end of fiscal 2011, Sesame Workshop and its subsidiaries had total assets of $289 million. About $29 million was held in cash and "cash equivalents," mainly money-market mutual funds. Another $121 million on the balance sheet was held in "investments." According to the accompanying notes, these investments included stakes in hedge funds and private-equity funds.

(italics, ours)

Bain Capital could not be reached for comment.


And it goes from being an issue of fairness to that of principle. That principle being why are tax dollars going to prop up such obvious Wall Street fat cats. So, if we're serious about eliminating subsidies and closing tax loopholes what more obvious choice is there?

Sorry, our yellow-feathered friend, but we've got a hunch you'll do just fine off the government dole.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Building cars no one wants may be the least of their problems


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It appears that shoving aside first-in-line creditors in favor of auto worker unions during the great U.S. car manufacturer bankruptcy cramdown of 2009 wasn't the only shenanigans that were pulled by the Obama administration.



From the Washington Free Beacon:


A backroom deal hatched by General Motors during the auto bailout to fulfill the Obama administration’s demand for a quick bankruptcy could be reversed, draining the automaker of nearly all of its cash on hand and leaving it in worse shape than it was when it collapsed in 2009.

As GM teetered on the edge of bankruptcy in June 2009, it cut a $367 million “lock-up agreement” with several major creditors in order to prevent its Canadian subsidiary from going under. The move spared the subsidiary from fulfilling the $1 billion debt it owed the creditors—major hedge funds—ensuring that GM would not have to face bankruptcy courts in two nations, which could have delayed the company’s recovery.

The trustee for (old GM) creditors shortchanged by the government-driven bankruptcy are now suing the hedge funds in a move that could undo the bailout.

“Many U.S. creditors waived their rights to object because the government wanted to push through the bailout for political reasons,” risk analyst Chris Whalen said. “If they had continued through normal channels, they could have easily been in bankruptcy for five years. So they made sure these issues were not adequately briefed before the court.”

The GM that exited bankruptcy was radically different than the one that entered. The Treasury Department arranged for the company to split into Motors Liquidation Co., known as “old GM,” and created a “new GM” with the help of $30 billion from American taxpayers. Judge Robert Gerber, who approved the sale with little hesitation, could now reverse the entire auto bailout—and overturn one of President Barack Obama’s signature achievements.

“When I approved the sale agreement and entered the sale approval order I mistakenly thought that I was merely saving GM, the supply chain, and about a million jobs. It never once occurred to me, and nobody bothered to disclose, that amongst all of the assigned contracts was this lock-up agreement, if indeed it was assigned at all,” Gerber said in July.

Industry experts say GM should be very concerned with the judge's reaction to the deal.


The judge does not have line-item veto power which means the whole government-run bankruptcy deal could fall apart if this thing goes to court.

The U.S. and Canadian governments' desire to ram this thing through as quickly as possible without harming the pensions of the unions may very well come back to haunt them leaving General Motors in worse shape then they were in 2009.





Thursday, October 11, 2012

Photo images of the day


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Alternate headline: Santa Anas? We don't need no stinking Santa Anas.



Some rather unseasonable weather here in San Diego as we move into mid-October has resulted in some brief but intense localized rain showers and some great sunrises and sunsets.


(click on images to enlarge)






This morning outside the shipyard on the waterfront









Last night, outside of Windmill Farms in Del Cerro.


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No longer just crappy Italian food...




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... but reduced work hours and dropped healthcare coverage as well.



After all the dust had settled upon the passage of ObamaCare in the spring of 2010 and people, unlike Congress, had a chance to actually find out what was in one of the most sweeping pieces of legislation in decades, it was discovered that by accident or design there were some rather perverse incentives built into ObamaCare. By perverse incentives, we mean that the outcome of some or many aspects of ObamaCare would work out exactly the opposite as intended.

Predicting the outcome of these perverse incentives didn’t take a Ph.D. as some of the mandates contained within ObamaCare were going to lead to the most obvious of results. Take for instance the additional coverage that would be mandated for full-time employees and think about what possible outcome it might result in if the employer felt the additional cost of that additional coverage too burdensome to bear.


From the Washington Examiner:



If you want to know how Obamacare will affect future U.S. employment, look no further than this week's Orlando Sentinel report on Darden Restaurants -- the company that owns popular chains like the Olive Garden and Red Lobster. Currently, all 185,000 Darden employees are offered health insurance, but that's about to change, thanks to Obamacare.

Obamacare fines large companies that fail to offer health insurance to their full-time employees. This would not be a problem for Darden, except that many of its employees have affordable health plans whose coverage is not robust enough to fulfill the requirements of Obamacare's individual mandate. Such plans are popular with restaurants, whose profit margins tend to be small, because they let employers offer benefits at a very reasonable cost. But such plans have coverage limits and other features that Obamacare bans, so they will likely be discontinued beginning in 2014, if not sooner.

And so in order to avoid paying fines or buying massively more expensive health plans that are Obamacare-compliant, Darden is now experimenting with limiting its employees' hours instead. By keeping workers to fewer than 30 hours per week, Darden can categorize them as "part-time." Thus, the company avoids the Obamacare fines and leaves employees to the new government health insurance exchanges, where they may receive subsidies to purchase insurance. At least two other restaurant chains -- White Castle and McDonald's -- are considering similar plans.



The perverse incentive built into ObamaCare has employers seriously considering cutting their employees' hours to part-time status so they don't have to provide any health insurance to them.

Cutting the hours and thus the take-home pay of your employees and gutting their health care insurance at the same time. What's not to like about that?

Yet another Obama policy that is not only counter-productive to the health care of this nation's workforce but one that puts a drag on the economy when that is the last thing we need.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

And where Andrew Sullivan proves he's on crack




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Andrew Sullivan, Obama cheerleader, laments the President's poor debate performance in a column titled: Did Obama Just Throw the Entire Election Away?

At the end of the column, he pens the two final paragraphs:


I've never seen a candidate self-destruct for no external reason this late in a campaign before. Gore was better in his first debate - and he threw a solid lead into the trash that night. Even Bush was better in 2004 than Obama last week. Even Reagan's meandering mess in 1984 was better - and he had approaching Alzheimer's to blame.

I'm trying to see a silver lining. But when a president self-immolates on live TV, and his opponent shines with lies and smiles, and a record number of people watch, it's hard to see how a president and his party recover. I'm not giving up. If the lies and propaganda of the last four years work even after Obama had managed to fight back solidly against them to get a clear and solid lead in critical states, then reality-based government is over in this country again. We're back to Bush-Cheney, but more extreme. We have to find a way to avoid that. Much, much more than Obama's vanity is at stake.

(italics, ours)


Sullivan has absolutely lost it. It's apparent he awoke from a long slumber from back in late 2008, received some crib notes from The Daily Kos and wrote what you juest read.

Contrary to Sullivan's addled vantage point, we see an administration that threw into warp drive the Bailout Nation started under Bush-Cheney. And, in case you were wondering, this is not a positive trend. We see an administration that has doubled down on Bush-era signing statements and executive orders, something Obama decried as a candidate but as his “We can’t wait!” campaign demonstrated, exhibited scant respect for the separation of powers of a constitutional republic.

We see an administration that saw water-boarding and raised indefinite detention of U.S. citizens. We go from firing politically-appointed U.S. attorneys to the head of the Department of Justice claiming executive privilege for a gun-running scheme, Fast and Furious, he claims to know nothing about yet of which he still managed to mislead Congress.

And where Bush was accused of corporatism in his economic policies, this administration has raised the bar, nakedly pursuing a broken Keynesian justicialism highlighted by a corrupt Department of Energy green loan program that has served to line the pockets of its supporters running those favored companies while serving pink slips to its employees.

This is Sullivan's idea of a reality-based government.

But assuming we have left the stage of reality-based journalism in this country perhaps Sullivan can be forgiven this obvious display of insanity and unhinged bias.



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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

What we've been tweeting





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Hey, don't ask us what got into us but the absurdity of Team O's Big Bird-themed counter-offensive kind of caught our fancy late this afternoon.




Tweet: The annual sales of Elmo alone make Big Bird a 1-percenter. #OccupySesameStreet






Image courtesy Leslie of Temple of Mut who ginned it up within 30 minutes of our email request. Thanks, Leslie!


Follow us @deanriehm

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More great moments in the history of tax payer-funded green energy FAIL




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New Rule: If you are a pol that attends the ground-breaking of a business that recieved tax-payer money, your ass better be there as well when they start handing out the pink slips.


Another Department of Energy green loan failure and just the latest among those that are stacking up like cord wood.


President Obama touted it in 2010 as evidence "manufacturing jobs are coming back to the United States,” but two years later, a Michigan hybrid battery plant built with $150 million in taxpayer funds is putting workers on furlough before a single battery has been produced.

Workers at the Compact Power manufacturing facilities in Holland, Mich., run by LG Chem, have been placed on rotating furloughs, working only three weeks per month based on lack of demand for lithium-ion cells.

The facility, which was opened in July 2010 with a groundbreaking attended by Obama, has yet to produce a single battery for the Chevrolet Volt, the troubled electric car from General Motors. The plant's batteries also were intended to be used in Ford's electric Focus.

Production of the taxpayer-subsidized Volt has been plagued by work stoppages, and the effect has trickled down to companies and plants that build parts for it -- including the batteries.

“Considering the lack of demand for electric vehicles, despite billions of dollars from the Obama administration that were supposed to stimulate it, it’s not surprising what has happened with LG Chem. Just because a ton of money is poured into a product does not mean that people will buy it,” Paul Chesser, an associate fellow with the National Legal and Policy Center, told FoxNews.com.



On the campaign trail, the President has continually decried the "top-down economic policies that got us into this mess in the first place” which confuses us because he is a first-rate purveyor of this economic school of thought as evidenced his colossal failure that is the DOE’s green energy loan program.

With no real market analysis executed for electric car demand, they built a factory to make batteries for the number of cars they decided to build.

No amount of money they were going to throw at electric cars, which in the case of Government Motors' Chevy Volt included a $7,500 credit, was going to change the fact that, relatively speaking, no one wants the damn car.



And dig this from Chesser:


Chesser said no amount of government subsidies can counter the practical problems posed by plug-in cars.

“Electric car batteries do not perform much better than they did 100 years ago," he said. "Research has not conquered the battery storage issue, and therefore the electric transportation ‘stimulus’ did not boost the ‘technology of the future,’ but instead a century-old technology as far as performance and capability goes.”

(italics, ours)

Dude. Remind you of any other so-called high-tech green sector technology we are investing in that is more a throw-back to the 19th century? High-speed choo-choos, perhaps.


And Chesser, again, for the kill:

“Had it been private investors rather than government bureaucrats making the decision, there either would have been a reality check about the industry, or only those who made individual decisions to invest would have lost their money, not taxpayers.”


Tax-payer subsidies are all about quantity and brute force. Since there is no direct skin in the game for the investors, ostensibly, the U.S. taxpayers, there is really no accountability required of those people in the government administering those decisions. No skill, no forethought and certainly no prudent market analysis required - you are the U.S. government so, screw it, you just keep throwing money at it.



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Monday, October 8, 2012

News item of the day


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With gas prices spiraling out of control here in California, we suppose it was time for a little government intervention, right?



Gov. Jerry Brown Sunday ordered California smog regulators to allow winter-blend gasoline to be sold in California this month, a move intended to reverse a sudden scare in the wholesale gasoline market that saw prices shoot up nearly 50 cents a gallon in six days.

The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County climbed 3.8 cents overnight to settle at $4.712, a record high for a second day, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.

The previous local record of $4.63 was set June 19, 2008.

The governor ordered the California Air Resources Board to allow refiners and gas stations to roll out the winter blend before its previously- scheduled Oct. 31 sales date, an action the governor said will increase gas supplies up to 8-10 percent, ``with only negligible air quality impacts.''


In a letter released at noon, as California gas prices fluctuated widely for the seventh straight day, the governor said the market variations were imposing ``unacceptable cost impacts on consumers and small businesses.''


(ed. note: if by "fluctuate widely", they meant "shot up like a bottle rocket" then yes, prices did indeed "fluctuate widely")



This, he said, was threatening ``significant economic disruption, and serious harm to public safety and welfare.''

The average price in San Diego County has gone up 55.8 cents over the past week, which included a jump of 19.5 cents on Friday, according to the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.

It is now 55.4 cents higher than a month ago and 91.3 cents more than a year ago.

An analyst said California's wholesale gasoline market has gone ``into a panic about the adequacy of California fuel supplies,'' Jeffrey Spring of the Automobile Club of Southern California said the market disruption followed a power failure at the ExxonMobil Torrance Refinery and closure of a Chevron pipeline that moves crude oil to Northern California last Monday.

Other pressure on the state's gas market includes local refineries dropping production levels, energy companies exporting fuel to Mexico and other countries, and allowing inventory to dwindle in anticipation of switching over to production of winter blend gasoline, Spring said.

``I am directing the Air Resources Board immediately to take whatever steps are necessary to allow for an early transition to winter-blend gasoline'' to be sold in California, the governor said in a letter to Mary Nichols, his appointed head of the CARB.




So, it's not Big Oil that's driving up the price of gas? This certainly seems to be an admission as such.


But anyone else troubled by the fact that the governor can figureatively wave his hand over a board of politically-appointed bureaucrats to lower the price of oil. And let's not forget it was this board, the California Air Resources Board, that authored the job-killing AB 32 with its emissions restrictions. This same board self-vetted this law with one of their own scientists who lied about his Ph.D., claiming he received it from UC Davis, when instead he picked it up from a diploma mill in New York.


But back to Big Oil and the profits they make off of their product. You'd be pleased to know that California is right behind New York and tied with Connecticut for having the highest tax rate in the country at $0.67/gallon.


Excessive taxation on the commodity combined with excessive bureaucratic and regulatory burdens placed upon it by a sham of a regulatory board, and Senator Diane Feinstein wants the Federal Trade Comission to have Big Oil investigated for collusion.

Yep. We're in the best of hands.



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Charts of the day


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Alternate headline: Dear, Liza...*


Illustrating the absurdity that Bush was responsible for spending deficits:










And via Hot Air, a look at federal spending per household since 1965 in inflation-adjusted 1965 dollars:


(click to enlarge)






We're constantly being beat over the head, especially at election time that we need to spend more on our schools (we'd be neglecting the children, otherwise), firefighters and infrastructure (bridges!).

OK, sure. We don't want to be the meanies but... what the hell? Where is all that our money going?

A 152% increase in spending for declining classroom performance and an evidently declining national infrastructure?



*Is there a hole in the bucket?





Sunday, October 7, 2012

Some breakdown of those jobs numbers



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That jobs report from Friday was awfully curious, wasn't it? From 8.1% to below that mythic 8% mythical presidential-reelect Mendoza line all the way to 7.8%. Weird.


Here's James Pethokoukis writing for the American Enterprise Institute, explaining why Friday's jobs numbers were, despite the White House spine, anything but good news:



Is this the Obama October Surprise?

Only in an era of depressingly diminished expectations could the September jobs report be called a good one. It really isn’t. Not at all.

1. Yes, the U-3 unemployment rate fell to 7.8%, the first time it has been below 8% since January 2009. But that’s only due to a flood of 582,000 part-time jobs. As the Labor Department noted:


The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) rose from 8.0 million in August to 8.6 million in September. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.



2. And take-home pay? Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by just 1.8 percent. When you take inflation into account, wages are flat to down.

3. The broader U-6 rate — which takes into account part-time workers who want full-time work and lots of discouraged workers who’ve given up looking — stayed unchanged at 14.7%. That’s a better gauge of the true unemployment rate and state of the American labor market.

4. The shrunken workforce remains shrunken. If the labor force participation rate was the same as when President Obama took office, the unemployment rate would be 10.7%. If the participation rate had just stayed steady since the start of the year, the unemployment rate would be 8.4% vs. 8.3%.


Read the rest of Pethokoukis' breakdown at the link above.


But it's also important to remember that in this era of the new normal and lowered expectations where people are cheering dropping below 8% unemployment, what it is we were promised when the gang of economic illiterates took office. It was this chart produced by that very gang of economic illiterates:


(click to enlarge)




That $800 billion to public employee unions and to keep afloat state and municipal governments didn't necessarily produce the desired results, now did it?






Faulty sampling and statistical anomalies aside, we know there are some numbers out there that don't need explanation or qualifications from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and which we are all feeling:










Saturday, October 6, 2012

Free speech Saturday




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One in a weekly series that features what's-happenings and goings-ons related to our cherished first amendment.




Alternate headline: What we've been tweeting


From this past Thursday:

Tweet: So, it's been precisely one week since they hauled in #Nakoula and uhhh... just thought I'd bring it up. No biggie.




The filmmaker of the alleged anti-Islam Youtube video that the administration has laughingly blamed for all the chaos in the Middle East was brought in by the authorities for alleged parole violations. It's over a week and, to our knowledge, no formal charges have been brought against him.


In fact, we googled "Nakoula" and the last reference to him was September 28. Today is October 6.



For an administration that has the power to detain, indefinitely, U.S. citizens without cause, please tell us why we shouldn't be suspicious of this black hole?


Friday, October 5, 2012

When you don't have 90 minutes to tell you what you already know


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A previous commitment kept us from watching the first Presidential debate but from the post-debate freakout on the left and from the commentary and highlights of the proceedings, it appears we really missed out, huh?


For those of you, who like us, were under that proverbial rock on Wednesday evening, the good people of New Media Animation out of Taiwan have provided a helpful two-minute wrap-up of that debate:


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Brutal

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Some things worth remembering here in the heat of the battle


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Reason.tv presents their special presidential election edition of Nanny of the Month:

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It reminds us of an un-attributed quote we heard some time back:

Democrat or Republican... no matter who wins the election, government still gets in.

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Everything you need to know about the United Nations...


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... in one simple statement:


Free speech is a "gift given to us by the [Universal] Declaration of Human Rights," said Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations Jan Eliasson during a press conference on October 2nd at UN headquarters in New York. It is "a privilege," Eliasson said, "that we have, which in my view involves also the need for respect, the need to avoid provocations."



Dear Mr. Eliasson, kiss our lily-white suburban ass. Neither you nor any other two-bit hack bureaucrat in that pathetically counter-productive pack of braying jackals called the United Nations can grant us or guarantee us our natural and inherent free speech rights.

And hold it, just a second: We might've found what Eliasson offensive in itself if it weren't coming from someone obviously possessing a room temperature I.Q.

We will note that this recent spate of free speech qualifications, hedgings and outright lies comes amidst the manufactured outrage over a crappy Youtube video no one has seen that is alleged to be offensive to the Islamic faith. Trust us when we say that nothing other than "alleged offenses against the Islamic faith" could generate the quantity and quality of idiocy we've been hearing the past couple of weeks.

We shudder to think of what other violence and stupidity should befall us if some U.S. tax-payer funded "art" were to sponsor, say, putting an image of Christ in a jar of urine. What then?

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Video clip of the day (Pt. II)


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So, you think we're just mailing it in today? C'mon, man, blogging is hard work and besides, this affords us the opportunity to go back and assess the administration's first great accomplishment...

... Porkulus!


Nearly $800 billion of not-so-shovel-ready projects hampered by very regulatory regime he helped build.


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Stacked up against ObamaCare and Fast and Furious, one almost forgets what a stupendous failure was the American Recovery Act of 2009.

Sometimes it's good to back off the gas pedal, tap the brakes and remember some of this stuff from years gone by.

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Video clip of the day



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Alternate headline: What? "Vote for S#%t" was taken?






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We don’t know who’s backing this video and in a sense it doesn’t really matter because it’s just more Hollywood juvenility (that, at least, should answer who the target demographic is).

When Rock the Vote just became so 20 years ago and you still haven’t moved out of the parents’ basement, you get Vote 4 Stuff… it’s Democracy’s "free" bag o' swag.

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Doing the jobs Americans won't (cont.)




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One of the largest Spanish-language media outlets, Univision, has been doing an expose' on the federal gun-running scheme that put thousands of guns into the hands of violent Mexican drug cartels which has resulted in the deaths of two U.S. federal agents and scores of Mexican civilians and officials.

This is the sort of stuff they have been turning up:





When Mexican authorities took Juarez drug cartel carnage king Jose Antonio Acosta Hernandez — better known as “El Diego” — into custody, he had weapons from Operation Fast and Furious on his person, the English-language transcript of the Spanish-language television network Univision’s special investigation into the scandal shows.

“According to investigations, ‘El Diego’ forms the link between this massacre and Fast and Furious,” an anchor read on air in Spanish Sunday evening, referring to two different mass killings drug cartel operatives used Fast and Furious weapons to conduct as Univision reported.

“When he [El Diego] was captured in Chihuahua in the summer of 2011, he was found with weapons that the American government had allowed to enter Mexico,” the anchor added.

El Diego was, until he was taken into custody, the leader of the Juarez drug cartel’s La Linea — or “enforcement arm.” According to the El Paso Times, El Diego told Mexican authorities after his capture that La Linea’s mission was, among other things, to “eliminate the members of the Sinaloa cartel in Ciudad Ju├írez.”

Mexican authorities have alleged El Diego is responsible for the murders of at least 1,500 people in Juarez and Chihuaha City, Mexico, according to the El Paso Times.

Tracy Schmaler, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Eric Holder, has not responded to a request for comment in response to this revelation.




(italics, ours)

Yeah, fat chance of that ever happening.

Outside of Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News and Richard Serrano of the L.A. Times, we have seen scant attention paid to this deadly scandal for which the administration has misled, obfuscated and otherwise stone-walled the official congressional investigation.

And now with just over 4 weeks left to the presidential election, suffice to say if it were a Republican in the Oval Office whose DOJ oversaw Fast and Furious and whose administration was spinning madly and looking horribly inept while doing it with respect to the Benghazi goat-rope cover-up, the press would be in full attack mode claiming the "October surprise" had indeed been self-inflicted wounds while declaring the election all but over.

But that's not happening, now is it? What we have is a foreign news outlet that has done more leg work in uncovering these deadly series of events that possibly reach the highest levels of our government than has any corresponding U.S. media outlet.

It's sad, really, but there's hope: not only does the 22nd amendment to the constitution guarantee that no president can serve more than 2 terms it also guarantees that by, Jan. 2017, at the very latest, the U.S. media will reclaim its rightful position as watchdog of the federal government.

Praise be.

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Monday, October 1, 2012

Of the 47% and trying something else...


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... because what we have now, just ain't working.




In 1992, a full 74% of Americans paid some amount of federal income tax. Twenty years later that number has plummeted to 47% so we were rather puzzled as to why everyone was going bonkers over Romney's "47%" remarks (oh, that's right - the man dared to open his mouth) which were ostensibly about a culture of dependency which has been cultivated by the statist-left of this country for a number of decades. From 74% to 47% in 20 years..? We're sorry - there's something wrong with this picture.


Evidently, an overwhelming majority of Americans are of similar mind as we. Here's Glenn Reynolds on some encouraging poll results that show that 79% of Americans* say their fellow citizens, regardless of their income, should be paying some amount of federal income tax:

These Americans understand instinctively what a recent report from the Tax Foundation said: "Aside from the revenue impact of not having 58 million Americans pay income taxes, economists worry about the social and political effects of having so many people disconnected from the cost of government — a phenomenon known as fiscal illusion. The concern is that when people perceive the cost of government to be cheaper than it really is, they will demand ever more government benefits because they either don't feel the cost directly or believe that others will be paying those costs. Indeed,when one takes into account those who do not file, about half of all households pay no federal income tax, making the situation particularly worrisome in a majority-rule democracy."



You've heard us use the term before but we cannot over-emphasize how much having skin in the game should count for things like health care and the services we receive for our taxes. You think Americans might pay a little bit more attention to bond initiatives and ballot propositions like, say, California high speed choo-choos when they realize that ridiculously butchered estimate of $68 billion is going to be coming out of their hide from both state and federal taxes? You think the term "low information voter" might, hopefully, become a thing of the past if everyone had skin in the game? We do.


It's time to do away with our current byzantine and progressive tax code. Our liberal friends don't think the rich are paying enough and we find it, yeah, we're totally going to highjack the left's own terminology for this context, "unpatriotic" that only 47% of Americans are paying federal income tax. No one's happy. It's not working. Time to scrap it and try something else.


We can probably be talked into a flat tax but what we've recently become intrigued by is the concept of a national sales tax to replace the income tax whereby the wealth you generate for yourself and your family is not taxed rather what and how much you consume. We think that's an idea that would have cross-over appeal to our liberal friends.

So, what do you all think? As alway, your comments are appreciated.



* This would mean that a significant number of that 47% think they themselves should be paying at least some federal income tax. Hmmmm...





Doing the jobs Americans won't


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(via Hot Air)



ABC News previews a report on Operation Fast and Furious (as you all know - the wildly successful federal gun-running scheme that allowed weapons to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels, all without the knowledge or consent of the Mexican government) from Spanish-language Univision which was to air last night.










As you can see, Univision puts a much more personal touch on this matter than whatever attention has been spared to it by American media outlets who have chosen to cover it as an election season partisan battle as much as anything else.


Much as how was demonstrated during their interview of the President a couple of weeks back, Univision appears to be a more journalistically credible entity when it comes to American concerns than does the American media.

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