Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The scandal that just keeps on giving

Below is the news conference held yesterday where Blago introduces his selection for Obama’s vacated Senate seat, the now former Illinois Attorney General, Roland Burris, an African-American.

This is Blago rolling a grenade toward the Senate and seeing who will jump on it as Senate leadership has said they will reject any appointment made by Blago but where Illinois Congressman Bobby Rush, later in the clip, puts the Senate on notice as rejecting Burris is rejecting a black person, none of whom currently serve in the Senate. Oh goody.

B-Daddy examines the legal ramifications and how Blago is absolutely within his right to make this appointment and the solid legal precedent for the Senate not being able to do a damn thing about it, regardless of what they say.

Oh, and the long knives for Burris are out already as negative stories regarding his stint as state attorney general (some from as far back as 16 years ago) are now in general circulation.

H/T: Hot Air

Quote of the Day

Before you can declare free markets a failure, you have to establish that they exist.
- Paul Kasriel, chief economist at Northern Trust Co. in Chicago

A combination of “chosen people” who fix interest rates, an army of regulators (particularly in the banking sector) and compromised overseers (see: Fannie and Freddie campaign contributions to members of Congress) belie the reality of a truly free market.

Free market capitalism has its flaws and chief among those and one that will never be solved, cured or “regulated” is that at the epicenter of all free market enterprise is the inherently flawed human being. His judgement, his ambitions and his desires all for better or worse determine his economic fate and taken collectively with all the other players determines the fate of the larger economy.

And for all these flaws, capitalism has been the only economic system to lift millions out of poverty as a “direct consequence of government stepping out of the way.”

But now, people like Arianna Huffington are cheering the death of laissez-faire capitalism (quick side note: she, of course, sites that New York Times article which laid primary blame for the financial crisis at the feet of the Bush administration. Fair enough. That’s their prerogative but any serious piece that investigates the cause(s) of the crisis and fails to note Congressional ineptitude and malfeasance is guilty of negligence and disingenuousness and thus any person who would cite this article to back-up any of their own contentions lacks a seriousness of their own).

… and Paul Krugman is gleefully rubbing his hands together as the impending expansion of government under Obama is a perfect opportunity for “good government” as if good government was some sort of end-state rather than a utilitarian means to protecting property and the coasts. And how the growth of federal government is an opportunity for it to become more transparent, more efficient and less susceptible to graft and corruption is lost on us.

Allowing bad business models to survive and bad judgement to go unpunished via the bail outs and a $1 trillion stimulus plan which will most certainly be riddled with pork and which because of its centralized nature will certainly entail a massive misallocation of resources, will not improve our economy but certainly hinder it all in the name of avoiding (short term) pain.

It defies logic but demands an explanation.

That's a wrap

Seven biggest political blunders of 2008

7. Pundits get New Hampshire primary wrong.
6. Eliot Spitzer acting very un Attorney General-like
5. The Blago fog-o
4. Barack Obama did not have ministerial relations with that man
3. John Edwards’ two Americas and… two women (…and one baby?)
2. Hillary and Sinbad brave sniper fire in Bosnia
1. Maverick bails out banks, loses election

All are worthy though we’d knock Hillary down… way down and move Breckie right up to No. 2. Geez, we’d almost forgot what a cad that guy is. Perhaps it’s a sign of the times or maybe it’s just because its an election year (5 of 7 were campaign related) but we would’ve thought the outbreak of unethical behavior on Capitol Hill (William “cold cash” Jefferson, Chris “Country Wide” Dodd, and “Tropical” Charlie Rangel, etc.) would’ve got some love. Then again, if the blunders are not recognized (or precipitate any negative repercussions), then are they really blunders?

And, yes, No. 1 is a deserving No. 1. Maverick spent a good part of his political career marching to his own beat but when the perfect opportunity came to, once again, stand apart and lead… and give a skeptical but resigned electorate an alternate vision of this country’s economic future, he fell right in line with President Bush, Obama and the rest. For shame, Senator, for shame.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Blogging off the top of our head

An observation based on zero data (well, some) and mostly anecdotal observations.

The following paragraph appeared as an Op-Ed piece in the San Diego U-T today (titled: A model of civility) and is perfectly demonstrative of the general tenor that we have seen in Op-Eds, the internet and blogs regarding the Barack Obama/Pastor Rick inaugural dust-up.

Gay activists are furious that Obama would invite the pastor of Saddleback Church, who is also a best-selling author and vocal opponent of gay marriage, to give the invocation. And evangelical Christians who oppose many of the president-elect's liberal policies are just as upset that Warren would even consider accepting the invitation.

(emphasis ours)

This would be a nice tidy way to summarize the positions of both sides of those opposing Pastor Rick Warren giving the inaugural invocation for President-elect Obama…. if it were true.

This “civil” attempt to be all fair and balanced in creating a straw man to make the broader point about the President-elect’s (“see… both sides are very upset about this and we just can’t understand why”) implicit call for tolerance and unity is well-taken. However, we simply do not see the amount and the degree of outrage among “evangelicals” and “social conservatives” vis a vis the gay community and their supporters as the pundits would have you believe. There was some Southern Baptist preacher of whom we had never heard and who supposedly put a hex on Obama… or was it Warren, we forget, over the whole ordeal.

If the point of the Op-Ed is to commend Obama and, in turn, Warren for bridging a gap between two very much opposite ideologies, then by all means, go for it. It's just shoddy and lazy journalism to have to acknowledge the point in grand and magnanimous fashion via the “reality” that there is equal outrage on both sides of the equation.

Ultimately, what this is really all about is calling out evangelicals to provide cover for calling out the gay community.

P.S. A while back we made a snarky remark, which we must now retract, regarding an L.A. Times story that neglected to report out on the “outrage” of evangelicals over this situation. Sorry, our bad.

The Stupid shall be punished

What may be provocative, entertaining, polemical, edgy, satirical, etc., etc. for an Op-Ed columnist or a radio talk show host is downright moronic for someone vying to be in charge of one of this nation’s two major political parties. But unlike Chris Dodd, Charles Rangel and Barney Frank who are now synonymous with “conflict of interest” and “most ethical Congress of all time” don’t expect, Chip Saltsman to ever again see the national public light of day… as it should be.

B-Daddy has more, here.

Stormwatch 2008

....resulted in thousands of Southern Californians breaking out their skis for the first time in months and hitting the slopes.

Pun very much intended

Monday, December 29, 2008

She can see Jersey from her Manhattan apartment

Rather it is the aristocratic value system of most NY-DC journalists themselves who apparently still assume that old money, status, and an Ivy-League pedigree are reliable barometers of talent and sobriety, suggesting that the upper-East Side Kennedy's public ineptness is an aberration, a bad day, a minor distraction, while Palin's charisma and ease are superficial and a natural reflection of her Idaho sports journalism degree.

A few generations ago, Democrats would have opposed Palin but appreciated her blue-collar story, and applauded a working mom who out-politicked entrenched and richer male elites. But now the new aristocratic liberalism has adopted the values of the old silk-stocking Republicans of the 1950s—and so zombie-like worship rather than question entitlement.

We’re beginning to feel quite alone out here in the right-wing blogosphere regarding our endorsement of Caroline Kennedy’s ascension, er, appointment to Hillary Clinton’s vacated New York Senate Seat. (Shoot, even the East coast establishment is cracking back on her Senatorial bid).

As much as we hate to admit it we’re kind of with Kathleen Parker on this one. It’s not exactly like Kennedy is going to be one heart beat away from the Presidency or tasked with lugging around the “nuclear football”. She’s only going to be a Senator and have a listen below and ask yourself if she might just be overqualified for the job as she seems to possess the same “off teleprompter” skills as both the President and President-elect.

See? And back to the business of being a Senator – a member of an exclusive club - this august and deliberative body that is led by… Harry Reid. Harry Freaking Reid. Show up, punch the clock, vote “present” on the tough ones and vote with Uncle Ted on the others. This requires some sort of exhaustive resume' and comprehensive political skill set? Besides, the bar will not be raised very high for Princess to be party to an organization that is currently basking in an 18% approval rating.

And for those of you yammering about how all this violates some sacred democratic code of ethics regarding political dynasties, let’s just say that the Senate is currently the best case in point for illustrating how this nation is not a democracy after all but is becoming a fully formed representative-by-appointment-republic.

Ich bin ein Eagles Fan

OK. If you stuck a gun to our head and told us we had to choose between college football and the NFL, we’d still probably go with the amateurs over the pros. But that once yawning gap that existed some 10-15 years ago when organizations, players, coaches and GMs all struggled with the intricacies and implications of free agency and the salary cap and which resulted in a sub-standard quality of play out on the field is closing fast as the overall level of play in the NFL is as good as it has ever been (yes, the 0-16 Lions stink but to illustrate our point, they would beat the stuffing out of the 0-14 ’76 Tampa Bay Buccaneers who set the standard for futility).

Oh, and one other thing has been setting the Leauge apart: yesterday. Good lord. Nearly half (7) of the 16 games played yesterday had playoff implications. Not merely seeding implications but lose-and-you-go-home… win-and-you’re-in/maybe-in implications.

The NFL schedule makers did a fine job of lining up as many intra-divisional match ups as possible so that you had 3 games (Chargers/Broncos, Philly/Dallas and Miami/NY Jets), heated divisional rivals all, that were also defacto play-in games for all six participants. Excuse us, meaningless regular season play-in games. And what really could be more exciting than seeing America’s Team, the Dallas Cowboys, culminating another December meltdown at the hands of their hated rivals, the Philadelphia Eagles, 44-6?

As we mentioned before, our mixed feelings about the Chargers’ miraculous come-back against the Broncos, owners of their own epic December collapse, (no team has ever started off 4-8 and made the playoffs and no team has ever had a 3 game lead in its division with three weeks left and lost it) is decidedly a little less mixed as the opportunity to play at least one more game, at home no less against the Indianapolis Colts, trumps the certainty that head coach Norv Turner will be back next year and the uncertainty that the seemingly perpetually immature Chargers have yet to really learn their lesson as despite sleepwalking through the first 3 quarters of the game just 2 weeks ago (after a night of partying?) find themselves, once again, in the playoffs.

Boy O boy, all that excitement from yesterday has totally got us geeked for….. the (We thought they made pizza) Bowl (N.C. State vs. Rutgers) and the Alamo Bowl (Missouri vs. Northwestern) today and the slew of all the other totally meaningful, relevant and sexy bowl match ups we get to endur… er, enjoy until the the Grand-who’s-yer-Daddy of ‘em all, the BCS championship game to be played sometime in mid-January.

P.S. We'll take a break from our usual end-of-the-year slamming of our college football sweetheart to admit that the Mizzou/Northwestern affair could be a pretty high-scoring and exciting affair.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Fear of Gravity

If part of the normal business cycle is that of expansion and contraction then what we are attempting to do now with bailouts and partial nationalization of the banking industry is akin to reversing the laws of physics.

In contraction, inefficient and/or reckless businesses and business plans are naturally wrung-out of the system and talent and labor in the same is allowed to naturally flow to those more productive businesses that survived the contraction cycle.

…any jobs or other economic activity created by public-sector expansion merely comes at the expense of jobs lost in the private sector. And if the government chooses to save inefficient jobs in select private industries, more efficient jobs will be lost in others. As more factors of production come under government control, the more inefficient our entire economy becomes. Inefficiency lowers productivity, stifles competitiveness and lowers living standards.

Its become apparent that despite the heady rhetoric we have heard for the past year or so, we are indeed being governed out of fear as the free market has been forced to take a back seat to political expediency and the avoidance of pain.

The good news is that economics is not all that complicated. The bad news is that our economy is broken and there is nothing the government can do to fix it. However, the free market does have a cure: it's called a recession, and it's not fun, easy or quick. But if we put our faith in the power of government to make the pain go away, we will live with the consequences for generations.

H/T: Carpe Diem

Congressional Motors presents...

Via Iowahawk via KSFO in San Francisco via KFMB San Diego and via all the way back around to Iowahawk.

The 'Hawk is feeling a little peeved by how all this transpired. Well, Congressional Motors, yes - but the nature and origin of the video as well.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

This is what people were all up in arms about?

If you care, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Alternative Christian Message is below.

Unfortunately, nothing outlandish. In fact, his “message” was pretty standard Holiday season pap that, outside of direct references to Islam, we could see any number of Westerners making. He gets in the obligatory thinly-veiled dig at the “imperialist” U.S. that would be stopped dead in its tracks if that Jesus fellow were to make a sudden return. Short of that, though, we will have to settle for “Hope for a brighter future, and hope for the establishment of justice… hope for real peace, hope for finding virtuous and pious rulers who love the people and want to serve them”

(emphasis ours)

Shameless pandering to a post-Christian Great Britain, references to the second coming and a re-packaged U.S. campaign speech circa 2008. C minus for lack of originality and pro forma content.

Keynes Kids

Perhaps the reason why Keynesian economics doesn’t work so well is that practitioners of Keynesian economics aren’t particularly Keynesian.

Our interpretation of at least one aspect of the Keynesian economic model is that during economic slumps, the Government will engage in huge spending programs to inject money back into the economy. That deficit spending where the government is spending more than its taking in, “deficit spending”, is offset where the government was running a surplus during the good times.

Well, the first half of that equation is easy enough, isn’t it? Who doesn’t like to spend? It’s that second part of the equation that’s just so damn difficult.
Look at the bind Hugo Chavez is in. With oil prices plummeting, Venezuela is facing 40% inflation and a rapidly shrinking budget surplus. Chavez built his economic model around the assumption that oil prices would stay high – $125/barrel – vs. the $34/barrel it is now and the populist goodwill he had built up with the masses via his soup kitchen Socialism is rapidly disintegrating as the masses don’t want to hear about global markets, the unpredictability of oil prices or any other such non-sense.

(This is in stark contrast to the State of Alaska, another petrol-state, if you will, whose governor made it a priority to “save for a rainy day” in managing the state’s oil bonanza)

So, as the train has already left the station here with our myriad of bailouts and where we will soon be embarking on a $1 trillion stimulus plan road trip, we are in decent shape because of the boom in the 90s and the strong GDP showings in the middle of this decade that has our national piggy bank bursting for this, our rainy day, right? Oooops….

This nation is currently in debt to the tune of 10 times the amount of President-elect Obama’s stimulus package (or as David Brooks of the New York Times refers to this glorified maintenance/overhaul public works program, "This Old House") with no real plan on who’s going to pay for it. But when you are talking sexy… sexy like giving the country a new coat of paint, you leave all the hum-drum and mundane questions of financing and debt to other people, like this:

So, why cast off a questionable economic theory that has only led to disastrous practical applications when your glorified deferred maintenance program becomes, in reality, a deferred responsibility program? Thanks, kids!

Not a beer commercial

... though all the elements are there.

Watching this made us feel a little bit better about forgetting our little brother's wedding ring.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Big Media's Madoff dillemma

And the American Jewish Committee's executive director, David A. Harris, wrote a letter to The New York Times criticizing what he saw as "a striking emphasis" on Madoff's faith in one of the paper's many stories about the scandal.
The case is "fodder for the bigots," Abraham H. Foxman, the ADL's national director, said in an interview this week with The Associated Press. "It's both embarrassing and it's painful."

Though the extent that Madoff made substantial contributions to Jewish charities and organizations merits mentioning as the holdings of many of those charities and organizations have been decimated and in the case of the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity, completely wiped out, we also found it somewhat odd the number of times we saw Madoff’s faith mentioned in news articles about his Ponzi scheme scandal. We know, for instance, that Governor R-Blag has met in the morning for prayers with a number of ministers and pastors, but we’ve never been informed of what particular faith or denomination they are.

But considering the other juicy side bar to this unfolding drama is the amount of contributions he has made to Democrats and Democratic fundraising organizations, including $100,000 alone to a committee run by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) dedicated to getting Democrats elected to the Senate and what those Democrats intend on doing with that tainted money that has not already been spent.

Sooo…… have you heard? Madoff’s a Jew.

The original Ft. Dix terrorist

“guilty as hell, free as a bird, America is a great country.”

The Weather Underground crossed lines of legality, of propriety, and perhaps even of common sense. Our effectiveness can be — and still is being — debated. We did carry out symbolic acts of extreme vandalism directed at monuments to war and racism, and the attacks on property, never on people, were meant to respect human life and convey outrage and determination to end the Vietnam war.

Peaceful protests had failed to stop the war. So we issued a screaming response. But it was not terrorism; we were not engaged in a campaign to kill and injure people indiscriminately, spreading fear and suffering for political ends.

That, from home-grown terrorist, Bill Ayers, in his New York Times Op-Ed piece that you can go look for yourself, if you’re so inclined. Of course, Ayers’ attempt to rehabilitate his image is a big lie as the central tenet of his argument is, leaving behind his torturous bending of definitions (making bomb containing roofing nails has but one purpose - killing and maiming people), that he was just swept up in the passion of the times.

Unfortunately, one man who is best suited to shed some light into Ayers’ black hole of history has been denied. Larry Grathwohl, the only FBI informant to successfully infiltrate the Weather Underground twice submitted a rebuttal to Ayers’ work of fiction and was twice denied.

I must conclude by acknowledging that in one respect Bill is probably being absolutely truthful. When he says that “I never killed or injured anyone,” he is most likely being totally honest. Bill, like Charles Manson, never exposed himself to any kind of danger. He always gave orders and then left it to his then-girlfriend, Diane Oughton, and others to implement his plan. If you listen closely you can even hear the similarities in the arguments Manson and Billy use today to justify what they did: the 60s made me do it.

Pajamas Media has Grathwohl’s rebuttal in its entirety, here.

No amount of inspired fantasy, however, can omit the simple truth that there is only one significant difference between Bill Ayers and Timothy McVeigh. Competence.

A Silver Lining?

By this time you’re probably a tad weary of being brow-beat with stories of inefficient and incompetent bureaucracies that are continually over budget without actually accomplishing near what they were originally commissioned for in the first place.

So, in the spirit of the season in this year of the bailout, we do some double duty over at The Liberator Today to shine a light on a “can-do” outfit whose employees have managed to slash through the red tape while maintaining that personal touch to bring first-rate customer service to their clients. Read more here.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas 2008

Merry Christmas, everyone! We'll be back tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Radio KBwD - Christmas tunes edition

One last Christmas Eve installment, we think. By the way, it appears that people are catching on to the BwD method of Christmas shopping… though we didn’t have our cameras with us to prove it, trust us, BevMo was packed today. It seems this year, more than others, America needs a stiff one.

Alright, KBwD takes a trip to the ‘hood and if you can make it past the demented elf at the beginning, you will be treated to Run-D.M.C’s Christmas in Hollis which samples some Motown, the exact song and artist we will try to track down and present later.

And don’t forget about the A Christmas Story marathon starting at 8 tonight on TBS. Merry Christmas, everyone!

He would be wise, though, to stay away from any Mary Magdalene references

A lot of people are in a huff over the fact that Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, will be giving the Channel 4’s (in Great Britain) Alternative Christmas Message. The (regular) Royal Christmas Message, a tradition started in 1932 (Joe Biden saw it on his 27” Philco) will be given by the Queen of England and Mahmoud’s “spiritual message” will be broadcast after the Queen Mother’s.

While we aren’t necessarily denying the fact that this represents another chambered round in Great Britain’s cultural suicide gun, it is the Alternative Christmas Meassage, for cryin' out loud and you don’t get much more alternative to the Western ideals of freedom and liberty than ol’ Mahmoud, so let the guy ramble a while and make a general ass of himself while we’re all enjoying our ‘nog.

Still having it their way.

"Immediate disqualification because of its involvement with the Big Chill."
- Jack Black’s character, Barry, from the 1990 movie High Fidelity.

We caught a little of “The Boomer Century: 1946-2046” (we’ve still got 38 more years to go?) on PBS last week. The largely self-congratulatory and self-gratifying nature of the program rendered “little” very operative in this context. We flipped over there 3 times and in two separate occasions we were treated to the following:

Noted filmmaker, Oliver Stone, giving us a look at his formative political sensibilities: “I was a conformist… I voted for Barry Goldwater.”

It would appear that some of the license that Ollie has taken with the facts in his movies applies as well to his own life as Stone, born in September of 1946 would’ve been 18 years old when he “voted” for Goldwater in 1964. Unfortunately, the voting age was not lowered to 18 (from 21) until 1971 and the passage of the 26 amendment. Bummer, dude.

And this notion of equating conformity with Goldwater is equally incongruous. Goldwater’s nomination to the Republican presidential candidacy represented a revolt within the G.O.P. that was a bold and risky gambit to wrest control of the party away from the gray fannel suit-wearing, Northeastern, Rockefeller establishment (read: “conformist”) base of the Party. There was nothing remotely conformist about this rebellion that paved the way for a confederacy of social conservatives, libertarians, anti-communist foreign policy hawks, etc. that would become the new identity of the Party.

And then we have this. The famous diner scene from Five Easy Pieces that was to illustrate the youthful anti-authoritarian attitude of the times in the face of the old-world establishment.

Can’t you feel it? Can’t you just feel the righteous indignation and the demand for justice in Nicholson’s character, Bobby DuPea, as he and his friends gang-up on and completely humiliate the poor short-order diner waitress, the symbol of the crushing oppression of authority and the establishment?

For us, the real message is at the end of the scene when Bobby acknowleges that despite all the theatrics, appeals to reason and generally boorish tactics, he didn’t get what he wanted, afterall.

Commenter Picture Caption Contest

...courtesy Awful Announcing

"Get off my lawn!"- Anon

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Radio KBwD - Christmas tunes edition

Just when we think we’ve developed a fully functioning sophisticated listening palate that eschews all that greasy kid stuff… we go right back to the ear candy – the pure pop gems. Folks, Elton John is here to remind us that Christmas is free so go ahead and Step into Christmas.

P.S. Apologies for the VH1 graphics. There was another clip of the same performance sans the graphics but the audio was not as good.

Lendale White didn't want to track any mud into the locker room

The video below is Tennessee Titan running back, Lendale White, cleaning the muck off his cleats with a Pittsburgh Steeler Terrible Towel after the Titans beat the Steelers, 31-17 on Sunday. Former Steeler coach and current CBS studio analyst, Bill Cowher was not amused, however.

"That looks like a pregame talk the night before to me," Cowher said, his eyes lighting up and his voice rising. "If [we'd] meet in the postseason, I know what I'm pulling out the night before the game."

Cowher admonished White by saying, "You've got to learn. ... I wouldn't do this, I wouldn't go there," and said Bulluck should know better because "you are a veteran, Bulluck."

Of course, nothing like this ever happened when one Joey Eugene Porter (now of the Miami Dolphins) played for Cowher. Aside from all that, the best way to curtail this sort of untoward behavior though is to not get your teeth kicked in by 17 points. That usually does the trick.

Headline guaranteed to spill coffee:

Confident Chargers focused on postseason

We would like to remind the Chargers that they will be inconvenienced one remaining time as they will actually have to close out the “meaningless” regular season with a victory over the free-falling Denver Broncos on Sunday in order to take their sorry 8-8 record into the post season.

“We're starting to develop a little swagger about ourselves,” linebacker Shaun Phillips said. “We're starting to put everything together. . . . Teams should be nervous.”

We freely admit that there is a small part of us that hopes the Chargers lose on Sunday night. That quote by Phillips illustrates the mentality that has existed on this team for the last 4-5 years. It seems that once a year, after a bad start to the regular season or bad stretch of games, we hear from the Chargers about how they got a little ahead of themselves, started reading the press clippings and lost focus, etc., etc., Unfortunately, we get these stories and these lines every single year because they never seem to learn – the lessons of not getting over-confident and retaining one’s focus appears to be completely lost on these guys.

And a win on Sunday night will only serve to further re-enforce the notion that the Chargers can just coast through half the season, flip a switch and… ta-da!… Playoffs!

And to help matters, the money thinks the Chargers only have to show up and the Broncos will roll over as the Chargers are currently 8-1/2 point favorites.

And the irony is that after going 4-8, win or lose, the Chargers have probably done just enough to save head coach, Norv Turner's job. Yaaay!

Radio KBwD - Christmas tunes edition

As we, this band is big fans of the Holidays but are somewhat blasé about it this time around. And we’ll apologize up front for the somewhat eye-burning sensation this video may cause…. Think Trans-Siberian Orchestra…

Anyway, courtesy Mongo, who passed this along to us the other day… from Akron, Ohio – it’s the Waitresses doing Christmas Wrapping.

Monday, December 22, 2008

No Good Deed Shall Go Unpunished

"…A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who both stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. By chance a certain priest was going down that way. When he saw him, he passed by on the other side. In the same way a Levite also, when he came to the place, and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he traveled, came where he was. When he saw him, he was moved with compassion, came to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. He set him on his own animal, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him."

- Luke 10:30-34

Was the good Samaritan rendering medical assistance or rescuing this man? Why does it matter? Well, the California State Supreme Court felt compelled to weigh-in on the matter and in the process have muddled our better angels in legalese.

The California Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a young woman who pulled a co-worker from a crashed vehicle isn't immune from civil liability because the care she rendered wasn't medical.

The divided high court appeared to signal that rescue efforts are the responsibility of trained professionals. It was also thought to be the first ruling by the court that someone who intervened in an accident in good faith could be sued.

Lisa Torti of Northridge allegedly worsened the injuries suffered by Alexandra Van Horn by yanking her "like a rag doll" from the wrecked car on Topanga Canyon Boulevard.

In the ruling, the court has made a distinction between rendering medical care and emergency response… which is now supposed to be left to the experts as the intent of the Health and Safety Code enacted in 1980 by the state Legislature was to protect those people acting in good faith who rendered emergency care at the scene of an emergency.

Justice Marvin R. Baxter said the ruling was "illogical" because it recognizes legal immunity for nonprofessionals administering medical care while denying it for potentially life-saving actions like saving a person from drowning or carrying an injured hiker to safety.

And he’s right because one will not be legally protected from breaking the arm of that drowning swimmer but cracking that person's ribs while trying to revive that same person is protected behavior.

And Van Horn’s attorney is not helping matters any...

Van Horn's attorney, Robert B. Hutchinson, disputed the notion that the ruling could have a chilling effect on laymen coming to the rescue of the injured. Good Samaritan laws have been on the books for centuries and state that "if a person volunteers to act, he or she must act with reasonable care," Hutchinson said.

"Ms. Torti ran up in a state of panic, literally grabbed Ms. Van Horn by the shoulder and yanked her out, then dropped her next to the car," he said, deeming Torti's assessment of an imminent explosion "irrational" and her action in leaving Van Horn close to the car inconsistent with that judgment.

The fact that “reasonable care” was determined to be found wanting and not merely a determination of “malicious intent”, we call bullshit on Hutchinson’s contention as attempting to determine a “reasonable” course of action in a potentially unreasonable situation will, as we see it, put a crimp in that whole “volunteers” thing.

G.O.P. leadership, NFL head coaches and the California State Supreme Court, sorely in need, all, of a crack upside the head from the common sense 2x4.

Spinal Tap's current drummer would like to have a word with this woman

The ex-cop who is a suspect in the disappearance of his fourth wife and whose third wife died suspiciously in a bathtub is planning to walk down the aisle for a fifth time.

Drew Peterson, 54, is engaged again, his lawyer and publicist confirmed Wednesday to

Though Peterson is still married to his fourth wife, Stacy, who was 23 when she disappeared last year, he has found a new 23-year-old fiancée, he told "Drew Peterson Exposed" author Derek Armstrong Tuesday.

A publicist? Sure. All that bad press obviously hasn't tarnished the man's rep to the degree that he is shunned as a pariah.

Nothing to see here.... please move along

Proponents of the BCS and those willing to hold onto the antiquated bowl system will tell you that adopting a play-off system for college football would render regular season games meaningless…..

This is precisely why we didn’t watch that compelling Saturday night game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Dallas Cowboys where rookie quarterback, Joe Flacco, played nearly flawless ball in bring down the curtain on Texas Stadium and where the Ravens beat the Drama Boyz, 33-24.

It also explains why we didn’t bother tuning in to see the Chargers stay yet another execution by pummeling the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their vaunted defense behind Philip Rivers’ 4 touchdown throws to the tune of 41-24, which was confirmed immediately afterwards by the Buffalo Bills going into Invesco Field to steal one from the Denver Broncos 30-23 which sets up another meaningless regular season game next Sunday night as the Broncos come to San Diego to play the Chargers for the winner-take-all – loser-goes-home AFC West championship.

And because the playoffs render regular season games moot is why we didn’t bother to watch a playoff atmosphere-like matchup between the New York Giants and the Carolina Panthers, last night, where the only thing the two teams were playing for was home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and which, incredibly enough and against all logic, turned out to be an excellent, well-played and exciting ball game as the Giants defeated the Panthers 34-28 in overtime.

And what was college football doing over the weekend? There were a few bowl games… we think. We seem to recall Colorado State playing Fresno State for the honor to take home some pottery but not much else.

When, outside the obvious (the BCS championship game – Florida vs. Oklahoma), the most intriguing bowl match up is the Poinsettia Bowl between Boise St. and TCU here in San Diego tomorrow, you know you’ve got problems with your bowl match-ups and your Bowl/BCS system.

We know it’s not happening anytime soon but the bowl season is dead to us. Stick a fork in it.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

What...? An actual Plan?

Given the recent difficulties the Republicans have had with “governing while ahead”, we’ve been content with the G.O.P.’s filibuster-proof-proof minority status in the Senate as the best the best offense (?) against the Democrats. Dammed though, if the Democrats and their own mounting ethics scandals, don’t seem willing to hand things back over to the Republicans in 2010. Well, if they insist, I suppose the Republicans might want to put together an actual game plan to run on and a list of principals from which to actually govern, if and when they ever get back in power.

Over at The Liberator Today, B-Daddy, has hammered out the platform with 7 individual planks of which we find 3 being appealing to minorities as we are supposed to be appealing to these folks according to learned establishment of the Party and which by our count exceeds by 3 the actual number of proposals the learned establishment of the Party has proposed to the same effect.

Also, please pay close attention to B-Daddy’s logic regarding partial-birth abortion. It is one that even Ms. “Oggedy Boogedy” Kathleen Parker and the rest of the establishment jerk-offs might be able to fall in line with.

Now, does the G.O.P. have the common sense and testicular fortitude to climb onboard? We’ll see.

Radio KBwD Christmas Special

KT has been putting together his Top 10 Christmas songs – we’ve been enjoying it and it has inspired us to share some of our favorites. Our little brother Matty, said this was his favorite Christmas song and it is among our favorites as well. The video is a little fuzzy and the audio a tad scratchy but the spirit is there and as Tom Petty once said, “It’s rock’n’roll, man – it ain’t supposed to be good”. Ladies and Gentlemen, from Asbury Park, New Jersey…. It’s Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performing, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”

Stay tuned as Mongo sent us one that sums up our sentiments this year and which we'll share later.

Gay Marriage Jeopardy

Us: “Democratic Presidential candidate quotes for 400, Alex.”

Alex: “I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman”

Us: "Who is Barack Obama?"

Alex: "To be sure."

Byron York is curious as to why all the anger? Perhaps the Rev. Jeremiah Wright could be coaxed out of retirement to give the inaugural invocation, instead.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

"It's mid-December. It could never happen here..."

San Diego area parents let their guard down.

Children attack...

Pool party ensues!

True, perhaps. So, where's the outrage?

And how do you pronounce this guy's name? Is it "Mad-off", "Ma-doff" or... "Made-off"?

Jerry Brown to whip out his invisible ink decoder ring

California Attorney General Jerry Brown changed course on the state's new same-sex marriage ban yesterday and urged the state Supreme Court to void Proposition 8.

In a dramatic reversal, Brown filed a legal brief saying the measure that amended the California Constitution to limit marriage to a man and a woman is unconstitutional because it deprives a minority group of a fundamental right.

Brown, whose office requires him to defend state laws unless he cannot find legal grounds to do so, earlier had said he would defend the ballot measure against legal challenges, even though he personally opposed Proposition 8.

But Brown said he reached a different conclusion “upon further reflection and a deeper probing into all the aspects of our Constitution.”

“It became evident that the Article 1 provision guaranteeing basic liberty, which includes the right to marry, took precedence over the initiative,” Brown said in an interview last night. “Based on my duty to defend the law and the entire Constitution, I concluded (that) the court should protect the right to marry even in the face of the 52 percent vote.”

We’re assuming the AG meant Article 1, Section 1 which states:

All people are by nature free and independent and have
inalienable rights. Among these are enjoying and defending life and
liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing
and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy.

See it? Neither do we.

(For those of you curious, the section that Brown finds in conflict with the invisible ink portion of Article 1, Section 1 is Article 1, Section 7.5)

But do you know what we did find while doing some searching around? This from a commentary on the state’s constitution with a historical perspective for how we, the people, got to do swell things like, cap our own property taxes, kick governors out of office and define marriage:

In 1910, the Progressive candidate for governor, Hiram Johnson, won the Republican primary and the general election. Victory was most sobering to Johnson. During the campaign, he had remarked to an aide that he had no idea what he would do if he was elected governor. The aide replied that “they could institute a system of direct legislation… so that when they were defeated at some inevitable date in the future, the old machine would never again have the power over the people of California it once enjoyed. Johnson … confessed that he did not know what direct legislation was… (and asked for an explanation) how the initiative, referendum and recall worked. It is hardly surprising that “the chaplain opened the first session of the 1911 California legislature with an extraordinary plea: “Give us a square deal for Christ’s sake.”

Friday, December 19, 2008

Quote of the Day and... a thrill running up someone else's leg?

"When you look at her, and you know what the Kennedy's are capable of and you know the family she comes from... think of the DNA."

That, from noted eugenicist and excitable former New York City mayor, Ed Koch on Caroline Kennedy's "listening tour" of upstate New York.

This country's supposed hostility to privilege, entitlement and above all else, nobility, remains just that, supposed - with some people, at least.

So, perhaps to better align the mayor's sentiments, we should put a new twist on an old phrase: "We talk like Jeffersonians but govern like Royalists."

Commenter Picture Caption Contest...

... courtesy Awful Announcing.

"Minutes after ringing the opening bell to the NYSE, Sam Bradford watched his stock in the NFL draft drop 10 spots...."- Rex


"At another location, Graham Harrell was giving a speech to the "Christmas Sweaters Wearer of America""- IWEA

Ours: "Awesome. I win the Heisman and now I get to preside over the nuclear vaporization of millions of Americans' retirement accounts."

Gotta think that ringing the bell at the opening of the NYSE only to see stocks immediately drop through the floor isn't quite the thrill or honor it has been in the recent past.

Radio KBwD visits the Petting Zoo

"Just before we did God only knows, Carl and I had prayer sessions asking the Lord for guidance and maximum love vibes for this crucial single. It was the first time that anyone ever used the word "God" in a commercial song... at least this is what we were told. During the production of PET SOUNDS, I dreamt I had a halo over my head. This might have meant the angels were watching over PET SOUNDS."

Brian Wilson 1990

KT and Terrie sittin' in a tree....

Click on over there to see what all the fuss is about.

Just more proof that grace, wisdom, love and album liner notes are not download-able.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Still stuck below his paygrade

Dude, we get it. We get the “cool reserve”, we get the “refusal to panic”, the “thoughtful repose” and, of course, the “temperment” but say something… anything…take a stand… make a point - you’re not on the campaign trail anymore.

B-Daddy has more, here.

Hey, maybe we are going to try to grow our way out of this, afterall.

Good news for U.S. farmers is not so good news for the 3rd world and developing countries with respect to food prices.

Mr. Obama, a Democrat, nominated Sen. Ken Salazar of Colorado as secretary of the interior and former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack as agriculture secretary.
Mr. Obama said that Mr. Vilsack "led with vision" and "understands the solution to our energy crisis will be found not in oil fields abroad but in our farm fields here at home."

Shoot, we’d settle for oil fields right beneath our feet but that lacks that whole “vision” thing – way too easy. Additionally, it is noted that since Obama has not been accused of or linked to any wrongdoing in this article, it's safe to print his party affiliation.

But back to biofuels and ethanol: Just when we thought that this idea would die a nice quiet death, slowly crushed under the weight of its own stupidity, it’s back… and not only is it back, it too is looking for a handout.

"The Renewable Fuels Association, a trade group for the U.S. ethanol industry, has spoken with staff members from Capitol Hill and President-elect Barack Obama’s team and “provided them with some ideas on how to craft the language of” an economic recovery package, said Matt Hartwig, a spokesman for the RFA.

Hartwig said RFA has suggested a number of steps including setting up a $1 billion short-term credit facility so ethanol producers could finance current operations; a $50 billion federal loan guarantee program to finance investment in new renewable fuel production capacity and supporting infrastructure; and a requirement that any auto maker receiving federal aid only produce new vehicles that can run on any blend up to 85% ethanol, beginning with the 2010 model season.”

Yes, you would be correct in figuring here that we are going to bailout an industry that is essentially a bailout of sorts in the first place. Of course, playing connect-the-dots, we will be subsidizing cars from Detroit that no one wants to buy, the purchase of the same which will be incentivized by rebates (more of your tax dollars) and where those very cars that have been subsidized on the production and purchase ends will be fueled by a subsidized form of energy that is inefficient, drives up fuel prices, drives up food prices and is ultimately harmful to the environment.

wow. We stand in awe. The monumental and breathtaking calamity that is this arrangement is stunning in both breadth and depth and is something that could only be concocted by the Parliament of Whores that currently resides in D.C.

Fred Thompson is looking more and more prescient every day.

Your much-anticipated Prop. 8 update

Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church will give the invocation at President-elect Barack Obama’s inaugural swearing-in ceremony. For those of you in Placentia, California that would mean the opening prayer.

From the L.A. Times:

"Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California, a gay rights organization that worked against Proposition 8, called the decision to include Warren in the inauguration ceremony a "slap in the face to millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people who donated for, worked for and helped elect Barack Obama president."

This being the Times, no word in the article about the millions of pro-life Americans who might take issue with Pastor Rick participating in the swearing-in of a President who has received nothing but 100% marks from NARAL.

And of course, the obligatory “Gays protest/boycott – Gays lose jobs”. Again, from the L.A. Times on the protests at landmark Mexican restaurant El Coyote whose manager Margie Christofferson made a $100 donation to the Prop. 8 campaign:

"A boycott was organized on the Internet, with activists trashing El Coyote on restaurant review sites. Then came throngs of protesters, some of them shouting "shame on you" at customers. The police arrived in riot gear one night to quell the angry mob.

The mob left, but so did the customers."

"Sections of the restaurant have been closed, a manager told me Friday during a very quiet lunch hour. Some of the 89 employees, many of them gay, have had their hours cut, and layoffs are looming. And Christoffersen, who has taken a voluntary leave of absence, is wondering whether she'll ever again be able to work at the restaurant, which opened in 1931 (at 1st and La Brea) and is owned by her 92-year-old mother."

We suppose its all about suffering (and causing others to suffer) for your cause.


If the Christmas/Holiday season is really supposed to be all about life’s simple pleasures, then it doesn’t get any more simple nor any more pleasurable than those fat port wine cheese balls with the almond flake thingys on them. Yum.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Kicking the country clubbers to the curb... again. Pt.II

We continue to be amazed at some of the rhetoric from, ahem, leading Republicans when it comes to the future of the Republican Party. Colin Powell was on CNN Sunday saying that the Republican party must stop "shouting at the world" and start listening to minority groups if it is to win elections in the 21st century. Folks, this is code-speak for not making such a big fuss about immigration reform, affirmative action and possibly the horribly disgusting and gut-wrenching Terry Schiavo affair.

Remember last year around this time, we were told that John McCain was the only Republican candidate that could win in the general election because of his bipartisan legislative record and that his ability to reach across the aisle would attract moderate voters? Remember that? As you may recall, we had some rather cross words regarding Senator McCain during the primaries which led to some rather nasty internecine scraps within the Theocratic brotherhood.

But then, guess what? Instead of rigidly clinging to ideology, we went pragmatic – we did some intense soul-searching and as a result, came to see that Senator McCain had many redeeming qualities that we had perhaps overlooked and that would be tremendous qualities to possess as Commander-in-Chief, not the least of these “character”. And for the politics of McCain that we disagreed with, we believed that a combination “containment” and McCain being effectively promoted out of the way could be an effective defense against matters, such as, immigration reform.

And then do you know what happened? All those moderate big-wigs in the Party who had advised us that McCain was the only elect-able Republican and to which are currently calling on Republicans to “tone down their rhetoric” (i.e. lay-off the abortion stuff and pass immigration reform because that would, like, be cool with minorities), what did they all do? What did many of these high profile hands-across-the-aisle moderates do when the Republican Party chose the “moderate” John McCain?

They went out and endorsed the other guy.

Swell. Thanks, Christopher Buckley. Thanks, Colin Powell. (Hell, even the Democrats have this figured out: the dirty little secret of the ’06 midterms when the Democrats swept into power is that they didn’t do it with anti-war liberals – they ran rightward-leaning blue dogs like, James Webb and Heath Shuler against tax(cut) and spend-some-more Republicans in conservative-leaning districts. They out-Republicaned the Republicans)

If one is looking for anymore reasons outside their hollow logic and abandonment of principals as to why the Republicans shouldn’t follow Powell’s, Christie Todd Whitman’s and Mort Kondracke’s advice, it is because we nominated and got behind the man all these people were clamoring for and they turned around and voted for Obama, anyway. So, congratulations on backing the right pony, Mr. Secretary. Enjoy the inaugural ball and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Wondering how Warren Buffet feels about all this.

Tired of seemingly never-ending and wildly expensive election cycles? So are we – let’s just appoint our relatives.
(D)The Senate

The Kennedy Clan, apparently not content with merely one legacy seat, will be seeking another as Caroline Kennedy has thrown her hat into the ring for consideration for Hillary Clinton’s vacated New York Senate seat. We were going to use this time to marvel at her burnished credentials as curator of her mother’s poetry writings and as award presenter but, you know, given the current state of our two federal legislative bodies and their actual accomplishments, credentials are obviously no indicator of future performance. So…. Welcome to the club, Caroline!

Caroline (on left) with person rumored to be the world's first face transplant recipient. (H/T: Jammie Wearing Fool)

Quote of the Day

In many ways Milton Friedman was a devil figure in my youth, in a Keynesian household of economists. I grew to see the issue as more nuanced as I was in school and ultimately have come to have enormous respect for Friedman's views on a range of questions. That's a respect that is born of the power of his arguments as one considers them more and more deeply. But it's a respect that's also born of the lessons of the experience of the success of decentralization in a place like Silicon Valley and of the failures of centralization in places like Central Europe and Russia.

Read more from Obama's advisor and Secretary of Treasury pick, Lawrence J. Summers at Carpe Diem.

As one commenter noted, the arguments been settled. Now, it's just a matter of political will.

Fred Thompson has a warm and encouraging Christmas message for you and especially for your children.

“Bless their little hearts, they have no idea what they're in for… well, that’s their problem."


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bush: Sorry about that whole free market thing.

US President George W. Bush said in an interview Tuesday he was forced to sacrifice free market principles to save the economy from "collapse."
"I've abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system," Bush told CNN television, saying he had made the decision "to make sure the economy doesn't collapse."

Of course, this makes no sense.

President-elect Barack Obama said Monday a review by his own lawyer shows he had no direct contact with Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich about the appointment of a Senate replacement, and transition aides did nothing inappropriate.
(emphasis ours)... because this required a "review" by a "lawyer"?

Perhaps in some lawyerific parallel universe, this makes sense, but in terms of plain-speak it illustrates perfectly why there is such a disconnect between modern politicians and their constituents: They are either making zero sense or we don’t know what the hell they are talking about.

We now break from this woolly populist rant to return you to your normal BwD programming.

Not nearly as complicated as you might think

As Woodward and Berstein were advised by Deep Throat in Watergate, “Follow the money”. For the reading-challenged among us… it’s cool – we feel you… the graphic below provides an easy-to-follow causal relationship connect-the-dots. All that jack that was raised on behalf of the Democrats and the Democratic presidential candidate wasn’t only because people thought those Democratic candidates were swell guys and gals. Chicago politics is just emblematic of the inherent quid pro quo that exists at all levels of politics and further proof that you will not remove money from politics until you remove a corresponding amount of power from politics.

H/T: Pajamas Media via Instapundit

(click to enlarge)

Line of the Day

“Regrettably, he didn’t learn anything from the course in Lebanon, where we were taught ethics of journalism and how to be detached and neutral,”

- Zanko Ahmed, a journalist and colleague of Muntadhar al-Zeidi, the Iraqi TV reporter who hurled his shoes at President Bush over the weekend.

No word yet on whether al-Zeidi will be hosting his own MSNBC show.

H/T: Sweetness and Light

Thousands of Catholics not taking to the streets to riot in protest

On the week of feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Playboy’s attempt to be racy and cutting edge falls on its face. Hell, no one even reads the magazine for the articles anymore. If their soft-core format fails to elicit the desired amount of shock and awe these days, may we suggest instead Mohammed and a half-naked 12-year old virgin on the cover. We predict a spike in circulation and a Q score boost in the untapped Arab-world market.

Another 5-year plan failure

We were ten minutes south of San Clemente when the putrid green daisy walls of the van started closing in. I recall the fat four-eyed lesbian sweater girl saying something like "are you okay, Mr. Duke? We've got a mystery to solve..." when suddenly the gullet of the garish chartreuse steel beast began to spasm, as if a digestive track readying itself to vomit. I began clawing at my hamstrings and when I turned my head I was looking into the irridescent eyes of a grotesque animal screeching "Ruh Roh! Ruh Roh!" in a hoarse irritating dog-accented gibberish. That's when it things began to turn weird.

Iowahawk, the interweb tubes most brilliant satirist is celebrating its 5th anniversary in the most bold and unabashedly narcissistic manner possible. Click on over where ‘hawk spins 25 of his greatest hits including a Scooby Doo episode starring Hunter S. Thompson that didn’t quite see the light of day.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Jerking some blogspot chain

Back in July, we noted how difficult it was to track down the popular satirical Obama-Obey icon, having to sift through 8 pages of Obama-Hope and Obama-Change iconography before arriving at our ultimate destination on page 9. (Full disclosure: said icon can now be found all the way up on Page 2with a bullet.) Turns out there was a very Occam’s razor-type reason for this:

Google this week admitted that its staff will pick and choose what appears in its search results. It's a historic statement - and nobody has yet grasped its significance.
Not so very long ago, Google disclaimed responsibility for its search results by explaining that these were chosen by a computer algorithm. The disclaimer lives on at Google News, where we are assured that:
The selection and placement of stories on this page were determined automatically by a computer program.

And we provide the photo below as a public service (H/T: Protein Wisdom) because an “Obama aide groping Hillary cut out” Google image search will not net you an Obama aide groping a Hillary cut out image.
Read more here about Google’s unimpeachable objectivity and the search engine’s algorithm that "relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page's value. "

They ought to know

Since then, music played at unbearable volumes has been frequently deployed in Guantánamo Bay and elsewhere by the CIA, as part of a sophisticated portfolio of torture against detainees.
Now the music world is hitting back. A collective of bands and artists, including some whose recordings have been used against their wishes, have come together to demand the US stops using their work as an instrument of war.

So, what’s on the playlist at Gitmo?

The styles of music used range from heavy metal to pop. According to the British legal charity Reprieve, these are among the songs they have used most frequently: Enter Sandman Metallica, Bodies Drowning Pool, Shoot to Thrill and Hells Bells AC/DC, I Love You from the Barney & Friends children's television show. Born in the USA Bruce Springsteen.

(emphasis ours)

We can’t get too worked up in a lather over waterboarding but… Nine Inch Nails at 110 dBs 20 hours a day? Dude.

So, just how does this actually improve driver safety?

"Some mope chatting on a cell phone, texting his roommate or skimming the Blackberry for messages so he has fewer to answer during the game tonight doesn't notice that the car ahead on the Kennedy Expressway has stopped.


Only a 5-m.p.h. impact, but by the time it's reported and traffic squeezes into the two other lanes, everyone is going to be at least an hour late.
If only an automaker would come up with a system to keep that mope from hitting the guy ahead, spoiling everyone else's dinner—and insurance premiums."

Volvo unveils its City Safety which will be standard on its 2010 XC60 crossover and which will activate the anti-lock brakes at speeds less than 9 m.p.h if it senses via infrared imaging, that a car ahead of you is going slower than you or is stopped. At faster speeds, the system brakes and cuts fuel flow to the engine but only to slow you down to reduce impact force.

Hey, we’re all for driver safety and improving the design of automobiles from a safety perspective but like some minivans that come equipped with a speed governor for driving around curves, at what point does the driver decision-making being removed from the equation actually hinder automotive safety?

Human nature being what it is, knowing you have this device in your car, are you more or less inclined to text away while crawling through rush hour traffic having been provided this (false?) sense of security?

Just asking...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Line of the Day

Don't be fooled by Bob Gates staying on. Obama didn't get elected to manage Afghanistan.
- Charles Krauthammer

For those of you divining the intent of Obama’s cabinet picks, it’s shaping up like this: Since he has no experience nor driving passion for foreign policy (leave the community organizing to the 3rd Infantry Division), he is content to farm-out that role to members of the two previous Administrations so he can concentrate on radically transforming the private/government economic dynamic here at home.

We’ll freely admit that we were one of those that felt a silver lining of the financial crisis and recession was that it would put a check on any of Obama’s grander designs regarding universal health care, not-ready-for-market energy policies and massive Depression-era and Depression-lengthening public works programs. How things change. The events of the last six months or so have leveled virtually any and all preconceived notions regarding what the government will do to save itself from the (excesses) of itself.

The Keynesian model that provides the intellectual fuel behind Obama’s stimulus package is even turned on its ear as it’s supposed to be: run a surplus during the good times to be able to spend during the bad times. Unfortunately, we’ve spent, spent, spent and bailed, bailed, bailed on rainy days, sunny days, good times and bad and thus have effectively eliminated the concept of “pain” from our cultural vocabulary.

Of course, Obama and his $1 trillion spending plan (that David Brooks likens to “This Old House”) had it’s John the Baptist, the man who would set the table, socialize the masses to “change” and herald the arrival of the Messiah. Unfortunately, this person who has been the point man for this new dawn of Fabian Socialism is none other than the man we voted for President in the last two elections. And to think some scoffed when we casually dropped the Bush III term.


Old Schoolin' it on a Saturday Afternoon

This post is dedicated to "Pops".

"The culture of a thousand years is shattered with the clanging of the cell door behind you. Life outside, behind you immediately becomes unreal. You begin to not care that it exists. All you have with you in the cell is your bare animal instincts.

I speak partly from experience. I have been behind bars a few times. Sometimes of my own volition, sometimes involuntarily. Each time, I felt the same feeling of kinship with my fellow prisoners."

So begin the notes scrawled on the back of Johnny Cash’s live concert album at Folsom Prison and which serves as a reminder that for all the convenience modern technology provides, one cannot read liner notes or fold open, say, a 3-panel Led Zeppelin album or experience that reassuring snap-crackle-pop of a vinyl 33 with an MP3 download.

(Picture above was taken at our new neighbors' house-warming party yesterday where we had a blast sifting through their sizable vinyl record collection.)

From GM to GSE and a few other random thoughts on the D-3 bailout

We’re not quite sure why the President is hitting the panic button so quick by resorting to TARP money as a source of capital for the Detroit 3 bailout. Recall, it was TARP itself that was shot down in its first go-around (though, it failed first time around in the House vs. the Senate). Pull it back, add more sweeteners, re-submit. We don’t think that rural schools have been fully funded yet.

The Pulitzer prize-winning and beacon of hard-hitting, investigative journalism (including an expose’ of racist, black liberation theology churches – thanks again, Mongo), the L.A. Times made our hearts soar with this headline: Senate Republicans kill auto bailout bill. Made our hearts soar until we learned it wasn’t true. Turns out that the Democrats did indeed have the 10 Republican senators necessary to block a filibuster which also means there were a few Democrats that couldn’t be kept in line. And just when a respected journalistic organ like the Times tries its best to keep hope alive, the damnable truth eventually leaks out.
Restructuring. Slimming-down, Alternative fuel cars. Reorganizing. No corporate jets. No perks. No Bonuses., etc. (Can’t you feel that populist lynch-mob beating in your heart?) We’ve heard all this and more when Big Media attempts to breakdown the details of the Congress’ plan for the Detroit 3 but we have yet to hear “turning a profit”. Its as if the term has become an anathema. Think about it. If the auto companies start becoming profitable because we’re buying Detroit again, will the spin then become, “we’ve become too dependent upon our domestic automobiles”?

And what happens when no one wants to buy the cars Congress tells them to produce? Well, Congress can’t have egg on their face, so after failing to properly incentivize the supply side they will, of course, be forced to incentivize the demand side with… rebates! Yaay! You know it’s going to happen. How could Congress actually turn down an idea to throw more good money after bad.

You say: Beers, you’re looking at it the wrong way. All that restructuring and reorganizing is just the means to the end (profits?). Oh, really? All that restructuring, reorganizing, congressional oversight, going green, etc. is the endgame, as it would appear that Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, some as-yet-named Car Czar and environmental “advisor” will be running Detroit alongside the UAW which will be aided and abetted by soon-to-be minted card check legislation. Damn. If this wasn’t all so transparent and 2x4 upside-the-head obvious, one would think there’s some ulterior motives being pursued here.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Next huge NFL flop to be designated this evening.

Graham Harrell spared this potential fate.

Colt McCoy of Texas, Sam Bradford of Oklahoma and Tim Tebow of Florida, the designee last year, will be on hand at the Downtown Athletic Club this evening for the presentation of the Heisman Trophy.

Harrell’s exclusion from this party would appear to be puzzling as his team, the Texas Tech Red Raiders share identical 11-1 records with the 3 finalists’ teams and he has passed for more yards than the 3 finalists.

The Heisman committee claims, though, that the voting tally determines who goes to New York.

Coordinator of the Heisman Trophy Trust, Tim Henning: "It's not a mathematical formula that determines the number of invitees. It's just wherever there is a natural breaking point in the voting,", i.e. Harrell did not get anywhere near the number of votes that McCoy, Bradford or Tebow did.

So who’s going to win it? There’s two general themes circulating. One is that Bradford and McCoy, the two Big 12 QBs will split votes leaving an opening for Tebow. The other contention is that voters will not vote for Tebow thus denying him a 2-fer, something not seen in these parts since the mid 70s when Ohio State’s Archie Griffin became the only player to win it back to back. Allowing Tebow to go back to back would be sacrosanct… or something.

We’re going with Tebow as we think voters recognize the fact that there is absolutely no defense played in the Big 12 and while Bradford and McCoy are fine quarterbacks, those gaudy stats they have piled-up are as much a result of this fact as anything else. So, mark it down: future NFL fullback, Tim Tebow will take home the hardware this evening.

A quick note on the national championship betting line: the money hasn’t reacted to Florida’s offensive coordinator, Dan Mullen, being named head coach at Mississippi State and his uncertainty as to whether or not he will relinquish his duties at Florida to full-time it at Miss. St. Florida remains 3 point favorites and this indicates that the betting public sees the key match up as Florida’s defense vs. Oklahoma’s offense and not the Gator O vs. the Sooner D.