A National Mall full of white middle-class disillusioned Obama supporters would beg to differ.
Reason.tv was on the scene at the Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert rally yesterday in Washington D.C. and this is their report.
Wonder how Stewart feels about being a tool of the left? The expllcit intent by Stewart to make his event apolitical was betrayed by the explicit intent of those that attended.
Can't imagine Dem leadership was very enthused with timing of the rally either as we imagine at least a few of these folks would be hitting the phones and/or the pavement for (D) candidates back home instead of participating in this mass exercise in meta-navel gazing.
Nihilism: catch the fever
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Hipster irony is dead
A National Mall full of white middle-class disillusioned Obama supporters would beg to differ.
Posted by Dean at 10/31/2010 03:24:00 PM 3 comments
Labels: liberals, miscellany, politics, Washington D.C.
In a radio interview that aired Monday on Univision, President Obama chided Latinos who “sit out the election instead of saying, ‘We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us.’” Quite a uniter, urging Hispanics to exact political revenge on their enemies — presumably, for example, the nearly 60 percent of Americans who support the new Arizona immigration law.
This from a president who won’t even use “enemies” to describe an Iranian regime that is helping kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. This from a man who rose to prominence thunderously declaring that we were not blue states or red states, not black America or white America or Latino America — but the United States of America
This is how the great post-partisan, post-racial, New Politics presidency ends — not with a bang, not with a whimper, but with a desperate election-eve plea for ethnic retribution. Nice.
Perhaps Charles Krauthammer's critique of how HopenChange went southbound and nasty is a tad harsh, after all...
Then again, with this current crop as opposed to what we had over 200 hundred years ago, it's painfully obvious we have to grade on a curve.
Posted by Dean at 10/31/2010 07:36:00 AM 2 comments
Labels: campaigning, Charles Krauthammer, elections, President Obama, smack
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Mass. pol provides unsolicited clinical assessment of America
It's come to this: After being told that the reason for the impending mid-term ass-kicking was because the Democrats did not advertise their "accomplishments" adequately and that we, the electorate, were not sufficiently appreciative, the senior Senator from the Bay State offers up one last gasp: America has gone bat-crap crazy.
“It’s absurd. We’ve lost our minds,” Kerry said. “We’re in a period of know-nothingism in the country, where truth and science and facts don’t weigh in. It’s all short-order, lowest common denominator, cheap-seat politics.”
Well, not completely nothing, Senator.
There are a few things we do know: We know that unemployment is at 9.6% after being promised it would not rise above 8% if we passed $800 billion worth of porkulus. We know that health insurance premiums are going up instead of down with the advent of ObamaCare after being promised that ObamaCare would bend the health care cost curve downward. And we know that the passage of ObamaCare was done in a horrendously partisan, crass, shameful and corrupt manner that was the very antithesis of HopenChange.
We know that Fannie and Freddie are still holding a mountain of toxic assets and that we will continue to pour tens of billions of tax-payer dollars into these black holes with no hope of unwinding the poisons in the greater housing market. Indeed, we know that there are no incentives in place to prevent yet another housing bubble in the near future.
We know that Keynesian economics does not work. After reading about it in books, we saw first-hand how demand-side gimmickry like Cash for Clunkers was merely a $3 billion exercise in bumping the demand curve to the left with the inevitable flattening out of that curve after the program ended resulting in zero net sales.
We also know that the government/General Motors lied about how GM was paying down its TARP loan.
We know that the administration's team of economic advisers are making like rats leaving a sinking ship such was their collective "success" in handling the economy. They will repair to universities to spread their lunacies to impressionable 20 yr. olds or to Wall St. boards to perpetuate our current system of crony capitalism.
We know that the President has alienated our friends abroad and has abased himself and our country in the face of those nations hostile to us.
We know that Congress has demonstrated cowardice by not addressing the budget or the impending expiration of the Bush tax cuts before the mid-terms.
We know we have a corrupt hack that is running the Department of Justice of which there is credible evidence that top-level DoJ political appointees worked to cover-up the malfeasance in the shuttering of a highly visible voter intimidation case.
We know we are piling up record deficits and debt with an administration that shows no inclination to reverse course.
And we know that we have a President and administration that are economic illiterates who are hostile to free-market principles to the degree they have introduced a regulatory regime that has stalled a recovery and has kept private capital on the sidelines as companies wait to see what broadsides they will be forced to absorb next.
For John Kerry, possessing the giant intellect that he does, this may not seem a comprehensive list of grievances confirming that we don't know much, so us simple folk out here in fly-over country will try to send a more complete message next Tuesday.
Posted by Dean at 10/30/2010 02:05:00 PM 8 comments
Labels: douche-baggery, elections, Obama administration, President Obama, the economy
College football Saturday open thread
A weak slate of games today but here are the ranked matchups:
Our newly adopted and #5 Sparty of Michigan State is in Ames to take on the #18 Iowa Hawkeyes (btw, Hawkeye Nation convenes each Saturday at the Pacific Beach Ale House. Decent beer, nice people, good scene).
The Black Shirts of #14 Nebraska host #6 Missouri.
Observation: San Diego St. is 5-2 and currently un-ranked. They would be 6-1 and we gotta believe be ranked in the mid-teens had the refs called what was an obvious block in the back on the games deciding scoring play in the closing seconds of their game against Mizzou back in September. And don't get us started about the BYU game where the home-town Cougars had school employees and alums manning the replay booth. 7-0 would not be that far away for the most snake-bit program in America.
Other games of note:
#1 Auburn and their Heisman front-runner, QB Cam Newton, go to Oxford to take on Ole Miss.
Aforementioned San Diego St. goes to 7,000 ft. elevation Laramie, Wyoming to take on the lowly Cowboys in a classic stumbling block game.
World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party: Florida vs. Georgia at neutral Jacksonville. Could not tell you when neither of these teams were unranked. Stay outside and enjoy another Jack'n'Coke.
Tulsa at a grieving Notre Dame.
And finally, out here on the Coast: the prime-time matchup will be the #2 Oregon Ducks at USC. Can't recall the last time we saw SC as 7 point dog at home. Offense has not been the issue this season for the Trojans, it has been the defense. When SC's D squares off against a more traditional attack like they did against Cal two weeks ago, they are fine. But what defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin never had to prepare for in all his years in the professional ranks was the spread-option attack and it shows now that he is being asked to stop it at the collegiate level and no one, repeat, no one runs it better than Chip Kelly's Ducks.
USC will get their yardage and points but they don't have a ghost of a chance of stopping RB LaMichael James (pictured) and the rest of Oregon's weapons on offense. Take Oregon giving the 7 points tonight at the Coliseum.
Posted by Dean at 10/30/2010 07:20:00 AM 11 comments
Labels: college football, football
Friday, October 29, 2010
Radio KBwD is on the air
Jazz, baseball, the PC, hickory-smoked ribs, rock'n'roll, the light bulb, the Chevy Camaro, the string bikini, the twelve-pack, "America the Beautiful", Stagger Lee, big box retailers, Mark Twain, Port Brewing Company, John Wayne, Christmas morning, side one of the Pretenders first album, the sweet spot, hands-free dialing, the Battle of New Orleans, 4th of July fireworks, Irving Berlin and Ray Charles, Shazam, the Kentucky Derby, the Bill of Rights, Abraham, Martin and John, deep-fried turkey, the Pacific at sunset and the Grand Canyon at sunrise, New Year's Day bowl games, Chick Hearn and Vin Scully and the peddle steel guitar... American originals, all.
And in that spirit of innovation, vitality, rebellion, creativity and American exceptionalism and in honor of one of the most idiotic statements ever made, we bring you an undeniable force of nature, an act of God, a force majeure that could only happen here in America.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it's the hardest working man in show business, Mr. James Brown, performing "Sex Machine" and "Get on the Good Foot".
Posted by Dean at 10/29/2010 04:11:00 PM 1 comments
Labels: American exceptionalism, KBwD, Radio KBwD
From the mouths of great thinkers
“Every single great idea that has marked the 21st century, the 20th century and the 19th century has required government vision and government incentive,”
Communism, Fascism, Japanese Imperialism, Maoism, the Great Leap Forward, Prohibition, Stalinism, Khmer Rouge, the Great Society, state-sponsored terrorism, the faith-based global warming cultists, universal health care, hate speech laws Euro-statism and the Che' Cafe' approve this message.
H/T: W.C. Varones
Posted by Dean at 10/29/2010 11:41:00 AM 4 comments
Labels: Adolph Hitler, Communism, douche-baggery, fascism, Joe Biden, Maoism, statism, terrorism, Universal health care
Link of the day
Loyal reader and commenter, Sarah B., passed this along to us.
The American Festival on Saturday down on the Embarcadero here in San Diego from 10 A.M. to 8:30 P.M.
Beers from Ballast Point, Green Flash and Coronado Brewing Co., live music and classic cars. We think that about covers it.
What a great idea. Right, Left or completely indifferent, we think that sometimes the most important thing gets overlooked and that is the fact that as Americans we're free to speak our mind and to assemble peacefully to enjoy some of the stuff that a free and vibrant society produces as opposed to what the government produces as per our Vice President.
We're definitely going to be there for at least a portion of it and we hope you can make it as well. See ya down there.
Posted by Dean at 10/29/2010 06:44:00 AM 3 comments
Labels: America, American exceptionalism, cool cars, microbrews, san diego
Thursday, October 28, 2010
One in a series that takes a look at some of the zany and madcap things said by Sarah Palin.
Posted by Dean at 10/28/2010 05:18:00 PM 0 comments
Labels: douche-baggery, idiocy, Nancy Pelosi, sarah palin
Tales from Bailout Nation Pt. XXVII
...and like that, it's gone.
The special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Fund (TARP) has reported that the Treasury Department’s initial estimates of the cost of the American International Group bailout are likely too low, according to Bloomberg. In a report on Tuesday, Neil Barofsky said the government’s latest projection of a $5 billion loss on AIG’s TARP investment “represents a dramatic shift from the $45 billion loss that Treastury had projected in its AIG investment just six months earlier.”
Barofsky acknowledged that there has been improvement in the situation over the past six months, but said the dramatic revision was likely more a product of “a change in Treasury’s methodology for calculating the loss,” and called the discrepancy a “serious question.” However, a Treasury official defended the estimate and insisted that the methodology has remained consistent, clashing with claims from the watchdog that the latest estimate “fails to meet basic transparency standards,” for withholding information about a new calculation protocol. The Treasury official said the lower loss estimate treats the government’s AIG position like common stock due to recent a recapitalization transaction announcement.
$40 billion makes like Keyzer Soze.
You wouldn't be blamed one bit for thinking no one knows what the hell is happening here and also thinking this stinks to high heaven.
Barofsky has appeared to be a stand-up guy in watch-dogging Bailout Nation so if we are taking any sides in this, it's got to be his.
Apply Occam's razor: if General Motors can simply draw from a seperate line of TARP credit and apply it to original TARP loan and then lie about it claiming the retirement of that debt was from sales revenue, what's to prevent the Treasury-AIG partnership from engaging in similar shenanigans?
Given their track record why should we believe them?
Instead of scolding the electorate or opining that voter frustration is due to poor "salesmanship", perhaps this country's electoral leadership should look at the fact that they have exercised such malfeasance and have done so in such a dishonest fashion that the country's default position on everything they do and say is... You Lie!
Posted by Dean at 10/28/2010 12:08:00 PM 0 comments
Labels: AIG, Bailout Nation, douche-baggery, General Motors, lying, Tales from Bailout Nation
Not so random thoughts of the day
Today is the big day. It's October surprise day - the Thursday before the election. Just far enough away from next Tuesday to allow the surprise to sink in and alter the behavior of the electorate but not so close that it's lost to the noise of the weekend and football and the World Series.
We believe it was surprise day when we were told Arnold was a Nazi (2006) and that Bush was a drunk (2000). If you are thinking how a pig can be a Nazi, then it only proves how forgettable a governor he already is.
The President has said that when people become angry they don't want to listen to reason and logic. He's wrong and he's got it bassackwards. Precisely because we have been paying attention is the reason why we are so angry.
Posted by Dean at 10/28/2010 05:38:00 AM 1 comments
Labels: elections, miscellany, politics, President Obama
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Audio clip(s) of the day
We love it when the poster of an audio/video clip provides the set-up... saves us from doing it.
(if embed no worky please click here)
That wasn't too shabby but it pales in comparison to the single greatest sports-related meltdown of all-time.
The set-up: Michigan State (the chronically underachieving Michigan State who happens to be undefeated at 7-0 and whom we are thinking of ruining their season by adopting them as "our team" as our normal faves, the USC Trojans, are on a two-year bowl probation) had lost a game to Notre Dame back in 2006 that they had in the bag. We remember watching it and the 4th quarter was a phantasmagorical nightmare. It was the kind of game that sends coaches into retirement if they are not fired first and as you will soon hear, sports talk guy to the loony bin.
A 15-minute descent into madness brought to you by Mike Valenti* and AM 1270 out of Michigan, here.
* Valenti was supposedly 25 years old when this went down. 25 yrs. old?
Chain smoking and drinking corn liquor since age 11 may do that to you.
Posted by Dean at 10/27/2010 06:34:00 PM 0 comments
Labels: college football, football, radio
Ethanol: just in time for a global food crisis
It's been a while but there's been some exciting new developments on the ethanol front. Or as we like to refer to it: the absolute worst energy idea ever.
Who's up for some food riots and sky-rocketing food prices?
World wheat and maize prices have risen 57%, rice 45% and sugar 55% over the last six months and soybeans are at their highest price for 16 months.
UN special rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier de Schutter, says a combination of environmental degradation, urbanisation and large-scale land acquisitions by foreign investors for biofuels is squeezing land suitable for agriculture.
"Worldwide, 5m to 10m hectares of agricultural land are being lost annually due to severe degradation and another 19.5m are lost for industrial uses and urbanisation," he says in a new report.
"But the pressure on land resulting from these factors has been boosted in recent years by policies favouring large-scale industrial plantations.
"According to the World Bank, more than one-third of large-scale land acquisitions are intended to produce agrofuels."
Sure, there are many factors that go into what determines the price of food but explain to us how taking arable land out of food production helps increase the world food supply?
And on the environmental front, ethanol has proven itself to be so green and wonderful for the environment, this is what the EPA has to say about some key pollutants:
At the same time, other vehicle emissions may increase as a result of greater renewable fuel use. Nationwide, EPA estimates an increase in total emissions of volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides (VOC + NOx) between 41,000 and 83,000 tons. However, the effects will vary significantly by region. Areas that already are using ethanol will experience little or no change in emissions or air quality. However, those areas that experience a substantial increase in ethanol may see an increase in VOC emissions between 4 and 5 percent and an increase in NOx emissions between 6 and 7 percent from gasoline powered vehicles and equipment.
This comes precisely at the time that the government is cracking down on both Volatile Organic Compounds and Nitrogen-Oxides.
So, armed with this knowledge, what do you think the feds do as Big Ethanol is sitting on a glut of its snake oil? Of course...
For months, administration officials have been hinting that the EPA would approve the ethanol industry’s request for an increase in blend volumes. The industry desperately needs a bailout, because it has built far too many distilleries over the past few years. As Bob Dinneen, president of the Renewable Fuels Association, explained, “We have lots of gallons of ethanol chasing too few gallons of gasoline.”
And sure enough, back on October 13th, the EPA granted Big Ethanol its wish when it approved an increase in the amount of ethanol that can be blended into gasoline from 10 percent to 15 percent. 2/3rds more of a corrosive, hydrophilic, low-heat content element will now be allowed to be blended into our fuel.
This move comes on top of the reality of an already highly-fractured market where refineries in this country produce 45 different blends of gasoline and multiple blends of diesel. The cost of managing this hydra (different fuel pumps, different underground storage tanks) will simply be passed along to the consumer.
There's actually more breaking news that we will share later but we're running long here. When the tingle wears off, go on over to our blog buddy Harrison's place, who, like us, is very excited for the prospects of ethanol.
More expensive, drives up the cost of food, not good for the environment, heavily subsidized and thus highly politicized... what's not to love about ethanol?
Posted by Dean at 10/27/2010 01:55:00 PM 5 comments
Labels: crappy ideas, EPA, ethanol, subsidies, the environment
Lost in the 53rd
See below for both sides of a mailer we received this past week from our current California 53rd Congressional district rep, Democrat Susan Davis.
It's fairly representative of the mailers we've received from her in that she does not identify herself as a Democrat and she crows about issues that are totally irrelevent in this election cycle.
We love and actively support our troops and vets both on this website and with our personal fortune but we can't say that veteran affairs are the pressing issue of the moment.
We'd also like to add that the VFW has dissolved their PAC as the PAC's endorsement of candidates like Davis and Barabara Boxer ran counter to the desires of the vast majority of the VFW's membership.
And here is the mailer we've received from Michael Crimmins, the Republican candidate.
Um, well... we're sure it's around here somewhere. We just cannot find it at the moment. The fact of the matter is, we haven't received jack squat from Crimmins or his people. We did not even know who was running against Davis until we found out from Sarah B. at the Oceanside rally a few weeks ago.
Here we are in an atmosphere so ripe for upset that the Democratic candidate is afraid to state her party affiliation and the fact that she voted for the President's legislative crown jewel, ObamaCare, and the Republican challenger is a no show.
B-Daddy assures us his lawn sign presence is manifest in his neck of the 53rd woods and we will certainly take him at his word but Crimmins is figureatively the invisible man out here in Rolando Beach and the greater College area.
We met and spoke to 2 or 3 Republican primary candidates at tea party rallies who were out pounding the pavement, handing out literature and spreading the good word but did not see this guy Crimmins nor any of his people.
We're sure there are some very good reasons why Crimmins has been been ignoring us. In this particular political climate, however, we don't happen to think those excuses are good enough.
Posted by Dean at 10/27/2010 07:45:00 AM 3 comments
Labels: elections, Republican Party, tea party
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Link of the day
A chance meeting at K and B wine cellars a couple weeks back had us chatting with Ryan who is the co-publisher of the WestCoaster. Ryan and the rest of the gang over there hope to churn out a (monthly?) publication that will be the only one of its kind to be devoted exclusively to the microbrew scene here in San Diego.
Ryan seemed like a really great guy and the passion he had for this venture was undeniable. Writing about beer in your hometown? What's not to like about that?
Anyway, you are hereby directed to get on over to their website, here. Check it out and leave a comment to let them know they are being supported.
* Picture above is of the Oktober Hess Festival at Hess Brewing this past weekend.
Posted by Dean at 10/26/2010 05:19:00 PM 1 comments
Labels: beer, Beers, great beer, microbrews, san diego
The New York - D.C. axis media's one last push.
The talking points have gone out and in hopes of stemming the ass-kicking that will be administered next Tuesday, the last bullet remaining in the ruling classes clip is: you ungrateful slobs, can't you see what this wonderful man and Congress have done for you?
First up, David Ignatius of the WaPo:
Constant repetition of anti-government rhetoric in our political echo chamber has dulled Americans into overlooking an important and perhaps surprising fact: We have just lived through one of the more notable successes of government intervention in modern times -- the auto and bank rescues that almost surely saved the country from another Great Depression.
Ignatius admits he's friends with Steve Rattner, the Obama hack that recently stepped down as head of the Administration's auto task force. Ignatius conveniently whistles pass the graveyard in the column not wanting to address the more unseemly points of order in the bankruptcy cramdown and the fact that GM lied about how they were paying back their TARP loan.
But enough about Ignatius, how about our favorite NYT columnist, Frank Rich:
PRESIDENT Obama, the Rodney Dangerfield of 2010, gets no respect for averting another Great Depression, for saving 3.3 million jobs with stimulus spending, or for salvaging GM and Chrysler from the junkyard. And none of these good deeds, no matter how substantial, will go unpunished if the projected Democratic bloodbath materializes on Election Day. Some are even going unremembered. For Obama, the ultimate indignity is the Times/CBS News poll in September showing that only 8 percent of Americans know that he gave 95 percent of American taxpayers a tax cut.
Admit it, you're sensing a trend here, aren't you?
And here's Yahoo! News' Jane Sasseen:
Indeed, despite their professed desire for compromise, voters hardly have rewarded President Obama for attempting to achieve it.
Most likely, because the President didn't even try, Jane. Remember: "I won"?
And from MSNBC's "Morning Joe" panel, we have: Where's the love? (via NewsBusters)
"Where is the celebration over what has been done and accomplished in the face of all this anger and vitriol in Washington?" complained co-host Mika Brzezinski. "No credit. No credit at all for what he's accomplished," lamented "60 Minutes" correspondent Lesley Stahl.
Is there an original thought that is formulated in any of these peoples' heads anymore?
Even the foreigners get in on the lament of why we don't appreciate such a swell guy. From Der Spiegel:
Barack Obama is not a bad president. He is eloquent, sharp-witted, and has certainly not lost any of his talent since moving into the Oval Office. Members of his staff say he still listens to what people say. A senator who once lost an election to Obama says the president demands dissenting opinions and that he's reliable, funny and works best under pressure.
Nor is he a weak president. He has begun withdrawing American troops from Iraq. He has been able to strengthen his alliances. And he has tackled the global economic crisis with an $800 billion stimulus package and a reform of the financial markets. His education policies target performance and aim to improve the disastrously under-resourced public school system. Millions of Americans have been dreaming of healthcare reform for decades. Bill Clinton failed to get it passed. Barack Obama succeeded.
It is entirely beyond our understanding how these people cannot grasp the concept that the reason why the President's party is going to turn over control of the House and, in a less-likely scenario, possibly the Senate is that his policies stink and the manner in which they were put into effect, even more so.
Even so, we commend the New York - D.C. media axis on one of the most incredible displays of group-think we have ever witnessed. Well done, gang!
Posted by Dean at 10/26/2010 12:07:00 PM 7 comments
Labels: Big Media, elections, group-think, Main stream media, New York Times, President Obama, Washington Post
Monday, October 25, 2010
Thomas Friedman likes this
Reap the benefits of being a "world leader" in wind turbine and lithium-ion battery production, reap also the benefits of a top-down command-and-control energy infrastructure.
Since the Communists came to power, November 15 has been circled in red on many Beijing calendars. It's not Mao Zedong's birthday. November 15 is the day when city officials dutifully flick the switch to turn on the capital's centrally-controlled heating system, supplying warmth to most of Beijing's 22 million residents.
In one of the last vestiges of collective living, Beijing's coal plants pump heat to city apartments on a strict schedule, from November 15 to March 15, every year. Since the 1950s, the schedule has rarely changed, even if temperatures plummet before the appointed day.
After enduring record heat-waves this summer, with the mercury soaring to its highest mark in 60 years, and thick pollution in the fall (which the government blamed on "fog"), Beijingers are now suffering through the early onset of bitter cold. China's state-run media reported October 18 as the city's coldest autumn day since 1986, with temperatures peaking at 48 degrees and then dropping to 44.
Many residents of the capital city are counting down the days to November 15 hunched over their computer keyboards, commiserating about the frigid weather and lack of government-provided relief.
The image of China's growing, increasingly tech-savvy and some would say restive population, hunkering over an internet-connected computer is certainly metaphorical.
And in other totally related news:
An eight-months pregnant woman was dragged from her home and forced to have an abortion because she had broken China’s one-child-per-family law.
Twelve government officials entered Xiao Aiying’s house where they hit and kicked her in the stomach, before taking her kicking and screaming to hospital
There, the 36-year-old was restrained as doctors injected her with a drug to kill the unborn baby.
Her husband Luo Yanquan, a construction worker, yesterday described the moment officials burst into his family home.
‘They held her hands behind her back and pushed her head against the wall and kicked her in the stomach,’ he said. ‘I don’t know if they were trying to give her a miscarriage.
‘Our ten-year-old daughter has been excited about having a little brother or sister but I don’t know how I can explain to her what has happened.’
He recalled how a month before the child was due to be born officials told the couple they weren’t allowed to have another baby because they already have a daughter.
His wife (pictured), who was filmed in hospital with large bruises on her arms and her dead child still inside her, said: ‘I have had this baby, feeling it moving around and around my belly. Can you imagine how I feel now.’
Her harrowing experience in Siming, near the city of Xiamen, south-west China, on October 10, comes a month after the government in Beijing said there would be no relaxation in strict family planning laws.
Most Chinese families are allowed only one child to reduce the 1.3 billion-plus population and cut unsustainable demand on resources.
The policy leads to an estimated 13 million abortions every year, with many of those ordered by local authorities. Infanticide is also widespread in many rural areas.
Those who violate the one child law can be fined up to £25,000.
As well as a home invasion and a beating.
The Yanquan's apparently lacked both the money and political connections to prevent this from happening.
Are we somehow implying that Thomas Friedman, with his odd obsession regarding China's economic planning, condones this? Certainly not. However, when your column, time after time, extols, on the whole, the virtues of this command-and-control authoritarian state, you're going to have to answer for certain things.
You may say that it is only with respect to China's economic direction does Friedman's affection lie. China's One Child Policy was put into place, in large part, because of economics and the fact that China was worried that families (and the country, for that matter) could not afford more than one child per couple.
Crappy economic policy spills over and creates brutal, thuggish and murderous human policy.
What better example is there of the importance to rein in the influence and power of government? If the government can direct economic activity, what gives you the reason to think that they will not see that as justification for directing other parts of society. Please see: ObamaCare.
Sorry, Tom. When it comes to being a Chi-comm apologist, if you're in for a dime, you're in for a dollar.
This story is revolting and heart-breaking. Please pray for the Yanquan's as their going public with this will not be viewed favorably by China's own ruling class.
Posted by Dean at 10/25/2010 09:06:00 PM 2 comments
Labels: abortion, Chi-comms, China, energy, green technology, horrible economic policy, thuggery
After 9 or 10 drinks, anything sounds reasonable...
...even our tax code.
If you think the tax code is complicated, there's nothing like sitting down to a couple of beers and having it demystified by the folks at HillBuzz.
H/T: Thanks, Leslie.
Posted by Dean at 10/25/2010 03:55:00 PM 2 comments
Video clip of the day
Fellow SLOB (San Diego Local Order of Bloggers) W.C. Varones and some mates got together and put together the following video.
Entrance question: After a year and a half, is it now safe to embrace the term? W.C. thinks it may be.
Posted by Dean at 10/25/2010 12:02:00 PM 1 comments
Labels: elections, tea party, Video clip of the day
NYT columnist wants you to know that Sarah Palin is no Marilyn Monroe
It's come to this: Marilyn Monroe as some sort of intellectual giant compared to, you know, those conservative chicks.
Marilyn was not completely in on the joke. Scarred by her schizophrenic mother and dislocated upbringing, she was happy to have the classics put in her hand. What’s more, she read some of them, from Proust to Dostoyevsky to Freud to Carl Sandburg’s six-volume biography of Lincoln (given to her by husband Arthur Miller), collecting a library of 400 books.
Miller once called Marilyn “a poet on a street corner trying to recite to a crowd pulling at her clothes.”
As conservatives we're not really sure what that means (Miller lost us a "poet") but we're confident that both Bobby and JFK can totally relate to that last clause in Miller's quote.
And how smart was Marilyn? Let's let Maureen describe her writing style.
“Fragments,” a new book of her poems, letters and musings, some written in her childlike hand with misspellings in leather books and others on stationery from the Waldorf-Astoria and the Beverly Hills Hotel, is affecting.
We can assume that Faulkner's,Whitman's, Twain's, Wolfe's (both of them) place atop the American literary food chain are secure.
But, hey, we're not here to pick on Monroe. He're the piece d'resistance from Mo:
On Saturday, at a G.O.P. rally in Anaheim, Calif., Palin mockingly noted that you won’t find her invoking Mao or Saul Alinsky. She says she believes in American exceptionalism. But when it comes to the people running the country, exceptionalism is suspect; leaders should be — as Palin, O’Donnell and Angle keep saying — just like you.
If liberals like Maureen Dowd and President Obama want to argue the merits of American exceptionalism and who possesses it and who doesn't, does it not make sense that they should at least have an inkling as to what it means?
That paragraph is stunning in that Dowd thinks of American exceptionalism as either a measure of qualification (for running the country) or as the opposite of commonness... we're not sure such is the degree of incoherency. Or maybe she does know and completely abused the meaning in order to make a cheap and lame point at the end of her column.
Either way, another sloppy, sloppy effort from the nation's paper of record.
Posted by Dean at 10/25/2010 07:33:00 AM 7 comments
Labels: American exceptionalism, Maureen Dowd, New York Times, sarah palin
Sunday, October 24, 2010
And from KT:
Ignore the "Those crazy Frenchies are striking again" meme and consider this: every time they nationalize an industry, its problems become political, not economic. That is, there is an upper limit on what unions working for a private firm can demand because they don't want to bankrupt the company. When you work for a government that can print money, that limit is practically unimaginable.
KT's right. There is no rational purpose behind public-sector unions. Government bureaucracies do not have bottom lines and balance sheets in the same way private enterprises do. In the private sector, when the unions and management sit down to negotiate a new labor contract in good faith, there is an understanding on both sides of concessions that can be made and new benefits granted. When management can print money, what is its pain threshold? What new benefits that labor is going to demand will hurt management's bottom line?
We suppose Europe is finding out the answer to this question, right now.
P.S. As federal employees, we do not belong to a union. The AFSCME set up shop in our office about 6 months ago and we decided not to join, not only out of principle as explained above, but also because the labor rules governing the conduct of the union turn the traditional concept of labor-management relations completely on its head. It's a parody of a union to the degree that an old-school union type would not recognize it.
Let's put it this way: Under AFSCME labor rules, labor and management are basically in bed together. Scandalous? Perhaps. But the completely perverse concept of public-sector unions, as it is, actually makes this arrangement sensible.
Posted by Dean at 10/24/2010 03:40:00 PM 2 comments
Labels: Big Labor, federal government, SEIU, unions
News reader has strange new respect for dead, white conservatives
Christiane Amanpour on ABC's This Week laments conservatism's good ol' days:
"I mean there's been a long and venerable tradition of conservatism in this country. You can go back at least to Ronald Reagan, William F. Buckley, all of that sort of intellectual conservatism that lasted about 30 years and people are saying that right now, it's really gone to the extreme. People are looking at the tea party and saying this is not conservatism as we knew it, but it's extreme."
George Will can barely conceal his contempt by rightly calling out Amanpour on her convenient revisionism by pointing out it was indeed people like Reagan, Goldwater and Buckley who were called extreme some 30, 40 years ago.
Go here for video at Real Clear Politics.
Posted by Dean at 10/24/2010 08:02:00 AM 5 comments
Labels: Conservatism, conservatives, liberals, media, tea party
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Your tax dollars at work
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees is now the biggest outside spender of the 2010 elections, thanks to an 11th-hour effort to boost Democrats that has vaulted the public-sector union ahead of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the AFL-CIO and a flock of new Republican groups in campaign spending
The 1.6 million-member AFSCME is spending a total of $87.5 million on the elections after tapping into a $16 million emergency account to help fortify the Democrats' hold on Congress. Last week, AFSCME dug deeper, taking out a $2 million loan to fund its push. The group is spending money on television advertisements, phone calls, campaign mailings and other political efforts, helped by a Supreme Court decision that loosened restrictions on campaign spending.
"We're the big dog," said Larry Scanlon, the head of AFSCME's political operations. "But we don't like to brag."
Contrary to what the President is insisting of other campaigning organizations, no need to ask who is funding this massive effort, just look in the mirror.
Full disclosure: We're employed by the feds, though we do not belong to the AFSCME union.
Posted by Dean at 10/23/2010 06:44:00 PM 0 comments
Labels: federal government, taxes, unions
Video clip of the day
Posted by Dean at 10/23/2010 01:36:00 PM 2 comments
Labels: American exceptionalism, miscellany, politics, Video clip of the day
College football Saturday open thread
No doubt the biggie: #4 Auburn and QB Cam Newton (pictured) host the #6 Bayou Bengals of LSU. Gaming advice at bottom of post.
#13 Wisconsin after their take down of then-#1 Ohio State last week are on the road at #15 Iowa.
Big 12 showdown Pt. I: #1 Oklahoma at #11 Missouri.
Big 12 showdown Pt. II: #16 Nebraska at #14 Oklahoma State.
We want to believe, we want to believe: Chronic underachieving and yet still undefeated #7 Michigan State goes to Northwestern. Classic stumbling block game. Let's see what Sparty does here.
BCS busters: #3 Boise St. has a bye and #5 TCU hosts Air Force.
B-Daddy advises us that its better to be lucky than good. The inexplicably charmed life that is led by LSU head coach, Les Miles, rolls on and with that said, we cannot believe that LSU is getting 6-1/2 pts. at Auburn. Yes, Auburn rung up 65 points last week but that Arkansas defense is a sieve so take LSU and the points and prepare yourself for some maddeningly horrendous clock management that still works out in a peachy fashion in the end.
Posted by Dean at 10/23/2010 05:01:00 AM 3 comments
Labels: college football, football, Les Miles, LSU
Friday, October 22, 2010
Radio KBwD is on the air
OK. Time for a little sacrilege. That Lee Greenwood song of which he's made an entire career singing at rallies and ball games? Tired of it.
And with all due respect to Yankee fans and 7th inning stretches everywhere, "God Bless America" just doesn't do it for us anymore.
And our National Anthem? The tune is that of a British drinking song. Obviously, not that there is anything wrong with that but if it takes bad teeth and being half in the bag to make a song sound good, we think we can do a whole lot better. Go ahead: stack it up against Ray Charles' "God Bless America" and give us a goose-bump count for each song.
With all that said, we want to introduce a song that can perhaps be worked into the mix at our rallies in addition to the above (Gaia forbid, don't want to cast aside any of those time-honored gems) as it's a bit more topical and relevant to this point in time.
Ladies and Gentlemen, via W.C. Varones, a rather disillusioned Neil Young performing "Fork in the Road"
(Mild NSFWoH warning)
Exit question: You do realize we're going to hell for this post, don't you?
Posted by Dean at 10/22/2010 03:38:00 PM 2 comments
Labels: great music, KBwD, Radio KBwD
Viva La "X"!
In a sense, our wacky ex-girlfriend has already won.
Chris Coons changed his previous position on the Bush era tax cuts this morning telling me that he would support extending all of the tax cuts for everyone for “several years.” “I am committed to extending the Bush tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans for everybody making up to $250,000, but I would extend them for everyone,” the Democratic candidate for Delaware’s Senate seat told me on “GMA.” “I’d be willing to extend them for several years for all Americans, of whatever income if that also allows us to reach a bipartisan compromise that makes real progress in offering tax relief to small and medium businesses, to the home office exception, to research and development,” he said. That contradicts President Obama’s position and Coons’ own campaign website, which states “High-Income Bush Tax Cuts Should Expire on Schedule.” The vote on whether to extend the Bush era tax cuts will come up after the November election in the lame duck session. And if Coons wins he will be a sitting Senator during those sessions. With Coons shift he now joins a growing list of Democrats who support extending all of the tax cuts.
Yeah, yeah, yeah... it's more than just about tax cuts but when a bearded Marxist like Coons from a deep-blue city-state like Wilmington is talking about extending Bush tax cuts, you know that worm has turned.
Posted by Dean at 10/22/2010 11:22:00 AM 0 comments
Labels: Bush tax cuts, campaigning, politics, taxes
Fannie and Freddie have some really good news for you...
... but first, the bad news.
According to a government study based upon 3 predicted models of the economy, the cost of the bailouts for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may grow to $363 billion over the next three years. This figure was based upon the worst case scenario of the 3 models which comprised of a stalled economy and sluggish home sales.
And now, the good news.
If housing prices recover quicker than expected, the two companies would need a combined $73 billion on top of the $148 billion they already have received in bailout funding, according to new projections from the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
If prices stay on their current course, the bailouts would total $238 billion.
See. Don't you feel better?
And recall how last Christmas Eve, two-time tax cheat, Tim Geithner, lifted the cap on how much tax-payer money could be poured into Fannie and Freddie and to put a cherry on top of all this, we mused the following at the time:
Just how toxic the assets that Fannie holds may be difficult to figure out since Fannie effectively wacked their own Inspector General. And to keep form, don’t expect the Justice Department run by that miserable hack to look into it. This also begs the question, with no IG oversight and no effective spending limit, what’s to keep Fannie from continuing to encourage and back subprime lending?
After all this, it does not appear there is much in the way of checks or incentives to prevent another housing bubble.
Posted by Dean at 10/22/2010 07:53:00 AM 1 comments
Labels: Bailout Nation, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, housing crisis, mortgage crisis, Tales from Bailout Nation
Thursday, October 21, 2010
The civil rights organization that time flew right by
There is, however, a serious issue represented by this report. We have come to a moment in our national development when identity based organizations like the NAACP have a strong vested interest in impeding progress, especially for the groups they purport to represent. If things get better for black people, the NAACP has no reason for being — or must devolve into some kind of social club.
Now of course things aren’t perfect for African-Americans, far from it, but the NAACP is part of the problem, not part of the solution (to quote, ironically, from Huey Newton). They yearn nostalgically for a past that, like all pasts, is gone.
That from former liberal activist, Roger Simon and in reference to the NAACP's "report" linking the tea party to racism.
Simon is spot-on as what benefit does it serve the NAACP to have blacks in anything other than in an oppressed and 2nd class citizen status? How they keep striving for the bad old days, however, because how much more anachronistic can you get than by having the word "colored" in your organization's name?
Unfortunately, it's no longer about civil rights but being a rather large and outdated cog in the machinery of the grievance industry.
Jump in the 21st century, NAACP... the water is fine.
Posted by Dean at 10/21/2010 07:26:00 PM 2 comments
Labels: NAACP, Race, race relations
A semi-regular look at some of the zany and madcap things said by Sarah Palin.
As the video clip alludes, it's not even the first time he's left out "by our Creator" as the source of our rights. And that is a point that cannot be over-emphasized as it suggests, whether you are a Believer or not, these rights are not at the whim of king, Congress or President. You've got a beef with them...? see the Man.
Perhaps, the first time you could blame it on TOTUS, but after that, it becomes the conscious effort of the mind behind the moving lips.
Should we be surprised, though, for a man that has no clue of and therefore does not believe in American exceptionalism that he would emit those words?
A few questions:
Is he actually inviting attacks from us right-wing loons?
Is he that ignorant?
Or does he just not give a crap?
Were we Vegas odds-maker, we could not even begin to lay odds on this.
How about this: He's an American illiterate.
Posted by Dean at 10/21/2010 12:46:00 PM 0 comments
Labels: American exceptionalism, President Obama, sarah palin, TOTUS
The dubious value of "doing it for the children"
Two Charger home games thus far this year and so far, two blackouts as the team did not sell the requisite amount of tickets as dictated by the NFL.
Now short of the NFL revising this long-standing policy in this age of recession and 52" inch LCD televisions, what is to be done?
Some enterprising folks here in town have set up a site Stop Chager Blackouts that will accept donations in order to purchase seats for the Boys and Girls Club of San Diego.
Now, assuming everything is on the up and up, what a great idea. Blackouts are lifted, we get football on Sunday and some disadvantaged youngsters get to see their home town, 2-4 Chargers.
The drawback as we see it? To paraphrase Beano Cook upon learning that then-MLB commissioner Bowie Kuhn had granted free life-time baseball passes to the released Iranian hostages back in 1981: "Haven't they suffered enough?"
Posted by Dean at 10/21/2010 05:50:00 AM 2 comments
Labels: charity, football, Iran, NFL, San Diego Chargers
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Another Porkulus success story
Seriously, were you expecting anything else...?
Projects to weatherize homes are a key part of the Obama administration's fusion of stimulus spending and the green agenda. But a new report by the Department of Energy has found serious problems in stimulus-funded weatherization work -- problems so severe that they have resulted in homes that are not only not more energy efficient but are actually dangerous for people to live in.
The study, by the Department's inspector general, examined the work of what's called the Weatherization Assistance Program, or WAP, in Illinois. Last year, the Department awarded Illinois $242 million, which was expected to pay for the weatherization of 27,000 homes. Specifically, Energy Department inspectors took a close look at the troubled operations of the Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County, known as CEDA, which is the largest recipient of weatherization money in Illinois with $91 million to weatherize 12,500 homes. (Cook County is, of course, home to Chicago.)
Inspectors failed 14 of 15 homes that were weatherized by the community-based operation that was funded to do the work with Porkulus dollar because of poor workmanship and/or inadequate initial assessments. One failed because new attic insulation was put in a house that already had a leaky roof which was not repaired.
Not only was the workmanship crappy, it was dangerous, as well.
Department inspectors found "heat barriers around chimneys that had not been installed, causing fire hazards." They found "a furnace [that] had not been vented properly." The found "a shut-off valve that had not been installed on a gas stove." And they found "carbon monoxide detectors, smoke alarms and fire extinguishers had not been installed as planned."
And what's a little government contracting in Chicago without graft and fraud?
And then there was fraud. At ten of the 15 homes visited, Department inspectors found examples in which "a contractor had installed a 125,000 BTU boiler, but had billed CEDA for a 200,000 BTU boiler costing an estimated $1,000. more." Another contractor "billed for almost four times the amount of drywall actually installed." And another "installed 12 light bulbs but had billed CEDA for 20." (The Department found that CEDA paid almost three times the retail price for each light bulb.) "Billing issues appeared to be pervasive," the report concludes.
The President has admitted to there being no such thing as "shovel-ready" projects but it's good to see, however, that those "fraud-ready" projects sprout up like weeds.
* The picture is from our trip out to Colorado and if you click to enlarge, you will better be able to see the signalmen on either side of the highway who will stop/slow down traffic on that stretch of highway. There was one problem, however... there was not any work going on at the time nor was there any signs of work on or in the vicinity of the highway and thus, this picture became the perfect metaphor for Porkulus.
Posted by Dean at 10/20/2010 05:16:00 PM 0 comments
Labels: Chicago, Keynesian economics, Obama administration, porkulus
Bloggers: doing the work the rest of us won't
Off script references.... non-chronological scene sequencing. Pulp Fiction? No. We're talking the Koran.
Shane Atwell read the whole darn thing. Check out his excellent book review, here.
Posted by Dean at 10/20/2010 12:43:00 PM 0 comments
One in a semi-regular series that takes a look at some of the zany and madcap things said by Sarah Palin.
Again, with respect to the sovreignty of this country, has Christine O'Donnell or Sharron Angle said anything as remotely ridiculous and tone deaf as this?
Addendum #1: As if on cue...
Sarah Palin, at a rally, makes a crack alluding to the Boston Tea Party occurring in 1773 and the the left goes completely bonkers wondering what the hell happened in 1773.
W.C. Varones has the details, here.
We swear it. She does this on purpose. She makes a completely factual statement that, prima facie, sounds a little off-kilter then sits back as hilarity ensues as the left makes complete asses of themselves.
Posted by Dean at 10/20/2010 08:23:00 AM 2 comments
Labels: illegal immigration, sarah palin, sovreignty, tea party
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
About that cost curve Pt. III
If we're beginning to sound like a broken record around here, don't blame us... just meet us at the polls on November 2nd.
WASHINGTON – Aerospace giant Boeing is joining the list of companies that say the new health care law could have a potential downside for their workers.
In a letter mailed to employees late last week, the company cited the overhaul as part of the reason it is asking some 90,000 nonunion workers to pay significantly more for their health plan next year. A copy of the letter was obtained Monday by The Associated Press.
"The newly enacted health care reform legislation, while intended to expand access to care for millions of uninsured Americans, is also adding cost pressure as requirements of the new law are phased in over the next several years," wrote Rick Stephens, Boeing's senior vice president for human resources.
Boeing is the latest major employer to signal a shift for its workers as a result of the legislation, which expands coverage to more than 30 million uninsured people and ranks as President Barack Obama's top domestic achievement. Earlier, McDonald's had raised questions about whether a limited benefit plan that serves some 30,000 of its employees would remain viable under the law. That prompted the administration to issue McDonald's a waiver from certain requirements under the law.
Those last two sentences are somewhat of a non-sequitur as the article does not suggest that Boeing will lobby-up as McDonald's did and ask for an exemption. Unless the non-union employees the article is referring to are on low cost/low benefit plans provided via Boeing and Boeing will indeed be going hat in hand and with an open check book to the White House to request their own little carve-out.
How dare we suggest anything untoward with respect to the administering of ObamaCare, you say.
This byzantine 2,800 page monstrosity what with its scads of ambiguous "to be left to the discretion of the Secretary (of Health and Human Services)" directives is a lobbyist's dream. So in the spirit of the current smear campaign against the Chamber of Commerce, prove that there was not some greasing of the skids that went down with the McDonald's carve-out.
Spokeswoman Karen Forte said the Boeing plan is more generous than what its closest competitors offer, and the company was concerned it would get hit with a new tax under the law.
The tax on so-called "Cadillac" health plans doesn't take effect until 2018, but employers are already beginning to assess their exposure because it is hefty: at 40 percent of the value above $10,200 for individual coverage and $27,500 for a family plan.
"We want to manage our costs so this tax doesn't apply to our plan, but that's down the road," said Forte. "If this health care law hadn't passed, would we be making changes to the health care benefit? Absolutely. For competitive reasons."
In the letter to Boeing employees, Stephens said out-of-control health care inflation is hampering Boeing's ability to compete with other manufacturers. Its major civilian aviation competitor, Airbus, is based in Europe, where governments shoulder the burden of health care costs.
This helps explain what will be happening to the union workers alluded to at the top of the article: their time is coming.
And please note what Forte said about "managing" the costs so that the tax doesn't apply to the current Cadillac health plans. If you were to suppose that those union workers would be "managed" from their Caddy and into a Chevy, you move yourself to the head of the class. How else is Boeing going to avoid that 40% whopper without slashing benefits?
Finally, it's also important to note what Stephens says about out-of-control health care inflation and Forte saying they would be making these changes even without the dawning of ObamaCare in America.
The take-away is that ObamaCare has done nothing to address this inflation... nothing whatsoever... and has only exacerbated the situation by mandating additional benefits that must be taken out of the hide of the consumers in the form of higher premiums.
ObamaCare: doing absolutely nothing to solve current problems while creating a myriad of new ones for the future.
Posted by Dean at 10/19/2010 07:37:00 PM 0 comments
Labels: health care reform, inflation, Obamacare
Photo image(s) of the day
TIJUANA — It started with some police officers noticing a suspicious convoy of vehicles moving through a neighborhood in eastern Tijuana late Sunday, turned into a shootout and ended with the Monday seizure of 115 tons of marijuana — an unprecedented bust for Baja California.
The processed pot, about 230,000 pounds of it, could fetch about half a billion dollars on the street in the United States, according to one criminology source.
Eleven suspects were under arrest as of Monday evening. One of them was being treated for injuries sustained in the confrontation. One police officer also was injured.
The article somewhat unhelpfully explains that the seized 115 tons of marijuana weighs about as much as 15 adult male African elephants or a Boeing 757 at maximum takeoff weight.
Since neither elephants nor jumbo jets are in our day-to-day frame of reference, perhaps the Union-Tribune could've been more helpful by adding "appetite-wise, 115 tons of marijuana is the equivalent of 436,000 bags of Doritos.
Posted by Dean at 10/19/2010 03:35:00 PM 0 comments
What we nearly missed on Sunday
We've been totally remiss in not calling attention to an Op-Ed piece which appeared in Sunday's San Diego Union-Tribune co-authored by loyal reader, frequent commenter, friend, lioness of the San Diego tea party movement and all-around member in good standing of BwD Nation, Sarah Bond.
Here are a couple of pull-a-graphs.
Nationwide, the first major tea party victory was realized in the May 2009 California special election. Tea party activists played a key role in alerting taxpayers to the public unions’ attempt to pass a stealth $16 billion tax increase disguised as a “rainy-day fund.” The entire nation gasped when Proposition 1A and its suite of companion initiatives were crushed by a nearly two-to-one popular vote.
Proposition 1A demonstrated that a million educated voices shouting in defiance empowers even the average working Californian to overcome the multimillion-dollar coffers of the public employee unions and mega-corporations.
Commenters to the article were curious/demanded to know where the tea party stood on social issues. With 12 tea party organizations in San Diego county alone and 185 in California, there are no consensual or codified platform planks on issues such as abortion, school prayer, flag burning, etc. For the tea party movement, as a whole, these issues are irrelevant and we view this as a good thing.
Nothing smacks of intellectual laziness and makes us cringe like a Republican pol talking about "family values". We hate family values and we say this as family value types. So does that what it feels like to be a Catholic?
Another commenter theme: "Where were all you wing-nut tea partiers during the Bush years?"
Please feel free to search the archives of this blog (search: President Bush) for our feelings regarding the domestic policies of our 43rd President. Also, it's all about tipping points and momentum: Take a look at the graph below regarding debt under President Bush vs. President Obama and ask yourself if that doesn't represent the proverbial frog in the simmering pot of water followed suddenly by a cranking up of the heat and a WTF? moment of realization.
Yes, the spending under Bush was atrocious, however, it took something like this to finally get people to act. Memo to libs: Sorry we didn't get here sooner but aren't you glad that we're here now?
In parting, please go over to Temple of Mut where Leslie, our favorite registered Democrat, responds to San Diego Democratic Party chairman, Jeff Dufree's contention that the tea party movement is somehow a partisan tool of the Republican Party.
Posted by Dean at 10/19/2010 12:40:00 PM 0 comments
Labels: debt, deficits, President Bush, President Obama, tea party
Video clip of the day
We love it when it's a respected and devoted (to you!) public official like Kathleen Sebelius kicking off this PSA of sorts.
Posted by Dean at 10/19/2010 05:32:00 AM 0 comments
Labels: 1st amendment, Free Speech, Kathleen Sebelius, politics
Monday, October 18, 2010
About that cost curve Pt. II
Recall back in September, the premium hikes sought by health insurers in Connecticut and the open threats made by Health and Human Services chief Kathleen Sebelius directed at those same insurers for having the gall to pass along the cost for the extra benefits mandated by ObamaCare.
These rate increases, some up to 22%, were approved without change by state regulators.
Well, now it appears things are a lot worse than originally thought as premium rate hikes for individual plans have been requested and also approved without change by Connecticut state regulators.
The state's largest insurer has been approved to raise health premium rates by 41 percent to 47 percent for some of its policies sold to individual buyers, in the largest price hikes yet seen in Connecticut since the adoption of national health care reform.
For all of its individual market plans, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield has received approval to raise rates by at least 19 percent -- including a range of 30 percent to 44 percent for the brand of plans in the individual market that was most popular in 2009, Century Preferred.
The reason for the increases is the new federal health reform mandates, according to Anthem and the state Department of Insurance, which is defending its approval against charges by Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. Those reforms took effect Sept. 23.
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, by letter, has asked the insurance Commissioner Thomas Sullivan to please reconsider approval of these rate hikes. Here's Sullivan's reply:
"There is not one person in the state of Connecticut who will see an increase in their current premiums based on what the department approved for Anthem and Aetna," Sullivan said last week in response to Blumenthal's letter. "The rates that were filed and approved reflect the current cost to deliver care and the impact of more comprehensive benefit designs required under the federal healthcare reform law. If the attorney general wants to complain to someone, he should be complaining to Congress.
That's some pretty nice smack, there.
We honestly can't believe that Team O or anybody else for that matter would express surprise for these premium increases. If you are going to mandate extra benefits, that cost has to be taken out of hide somewhere and in a free market system, that usually means the customer.
And this goes even more so for the low cost/low benefit individual plans favored by small businesses, students and the self-employed. The reason these types of plans are so popular with the aforementioned is precisely because they aren't loaded up with crap they neither want nor need. ObamaCare is effectively destroying the individual health plan market.
The President told us he was pursuing ObamaCare to bend downward the cost curve but because neither he nor his people have one clue as to how the free market operates, he has given us a piece of legislation that is doing the exact opposite of what he intended.
Posted by Dean at 10/18/2010 03:17:00 PM 2 comments
Labels: health care reform, Kathleen Sebelius, Obamacare
Dreams from my Porkulus
We suppose the prospects of getting an electoral drubbing in November leads people to say all sorts of goofy, er, truthful things.
Just last week, the President admitted to the non-existence of shovel-ready jobs. Or was it, perhaps, last year?
Here's NYT columnist David Brooks on PBS' NewsHour with respect to the ultimate folly of Porkulus and when it was this fact dawned upon the President:
DAVID BROOKS, NYT: Yes. Well, I shouldn’t have confessed this. He said this to me off the record about a year ago. But it hasn’t…
JIM LEHRER: Off the record? So, then you can’t talk about it.
DAVID BROOKS: Yes, because Peter Baker is a better journalist than I am, because I couldn’t get him to go on the record with that thing.
JIM LEHRER: He said this to you a year ago?
DAVID BROOKS: It was obvious. I mean, you are trying to build a stimulus package. And when they were trying to build it, believe me, they would have loved to have filled it with infrastructure jobs. But the projects just didn’t exist. They couldn’t do it. They couldn’t find them.
Last week, last year... what's $800 billion amongst friends and uh, voters.
And dig this:
Most of all, he has learned that, for all his anti-Washington rhetoric, he has to play by Washington rules if he wants to win in Washington.
So, does this mean no more HopenChange? Good lord, what was Porkulus and ObamaCare the result of anything but the ultimate in D.C. insider arm-twisting and buy-offs. Consider the lesson well learned, sir.
It is not enough to be supremely sure that he is right if no one else agrees with him. “Given how much stuff was coming at us,” Obama told me, “we probably spent much more time trying to get the policy right than trying to get the politics right. There is probably a perverse pride in my administration — and I take responsibility for this; this was blowing from the top — that we were going to do the right thing, even if short-term it was unpopular. And I think anybody who’s occupied this office has to remember that success is determined by an intersection in policy and politics and that you can’t be neglecting of marketing and P.R. and public opinion.”
We love this guy. He is the ultimate politician. No sooner than he admits Porkulus was a policy failure, he proceeds to gratuitous back-patting with respect to his perception of how well he handled policy matters.
And as Democratic candidates flee from obvious policy success stories like Porkulus, ObamaCare and cap and trade, we can't help but notice that Obama is doing some distancing himself and chalking it up to the fact that it all was not adequately explained to the unwashed masses, i.e., you ungrateful dumb-asses out there.
Exit question: For those of you out there who don't believe he is capable of tacking to the center, (outside of cap and trade) what's left to be done?
Posted by Dean at 10/18/2010 05:30:00 AM 1 comments
Labels: Obama administration, politics, porkulus, President Obama
Sunday, October 17, 2010
NFL Sunday open thread
Yeah, we don't normally do NFL open threads, but when a cheap excuse comes along to share some silk screen art from our friends in Wisconsin, we jump at the opportunity.
Thought: We'll take seriously the NFL's commitment to breast cancer awareness what with all the pink accessorizing, when the WNBA starts wearing latex gloves.
Posted by Dean at 10/17/2010 10:21:00 AM 2 comments
Labels: Brett Favre, football, miscellany, NFL
(a round up of news items, columns and blog posts that caught our eye this past week)
Shocker: Young men in their early 20s treating women in a less than chivalrous manner.
The misogynistic treatment of women in the movie "The Social Network".
More culture, more Hollywood:
Cooper, who had been hosting a week long CNN series about bullying against gays and a series of suicides by gay teens, appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” where he said that he was “shocked” to see the trailer in a movie theater. Although the joke probably falls into the category of mildly amusing and not so horribly offensive, Cooper said he was disturbed that “they thought that it was OK to put that in a preview for the movie to get people to go and see it.”
That's right. Gay news reader, who used the term "tea-bagger" on the air, shocked, shocked... that there would be a gay joke in a movie trailer.
Tommie Smith, who won the gold medal and set a world record in the 200 meters in the '68 Olympics while enjoying a completely functional and non-controversial medals ceremony, is putting said gold medal and red Pumas he wore during the race up for auction.
Yep. He's doing it for the money. Starting bid at $250,000. And since you're asking, the glove is not up for sale because Smith doesn't know where it is.
All the cool kids are getting it first. Well, getting the flu first, that is. If that is any real barometer, then we were outcasts of the highest order while growing up.
Somewhat annoying video of an assault at that dopey, lefty rally, America Working Together or whatever the heck it was called.
The take-away as far as we're concerned is that tea party/conservative activists have to be absolutely above any appearances of impropriety. We happen to think that's a good thing. When Congressional Black Caucus members made up charges of racial insults being hurled at them on Capitol Hill right before the vote on ObamaCare back in March, the charges stuck for a few news cycles then died down because of the thousands of cell phones, video cameras and other audio/visual recording devices that were out there, not a single person could verify what those mobsters in the CBC alleged.
We'd like to think the protesters knew the deck was stacked against them and behaved accordingly and above reproach.
Farming safer than Wall Street? What does it say about the volatility of the stock market when people are investing in farm land rather than stocks. Forgot where we heard it but: People will always need to eat.
Pittsburgh QB, Ben Roethlisberger, makes his return against the Cleveland Browns after serving a four game suspension for, among other things, an alleged assault upon a woman in a bar in Milledgeville, Georgia, this past off-season.
And finally, get ye over to Temple of Mut for some blogger predictions with respect to the mid-terms in November.
Posted by Dean at 10/17/2010 09:10:00 AM 0 comments
Labels: miscellany, Quickies
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Video clip of the day
Unless you've spent the last two months in a Chilean mine, you are probably aware that Brett Favre is in a bit o' dutch for allegedly sending pictures of little brett via text to former NY Jets sideline reporter, Jenn Sturger, when both were employed by the team during the '08 season.
So, for the benefit of our Chilean friends, none other than the Taiwanese offer their animated summary of the allegations.
What we like best about this video is the fact that the depiction of Favre looks nothing like him. The depiction of Favre, himself, that is?
Do the Taiwanese have something against Bill Pullman?
Posted by Dean at 10/16/2010 09:51:00 AM 4 comments
Labels: Brett Favre, football, miscellany, NFL, Video clip of the day