Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Shocker: Administration official who wants high gas prices tells Congress he's not interested in lowering gas prices


You can call Department of Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, many things including "uncaring", "foolish" and "wrong-headed" but if you call him those things, you better call him "principled" as well, doggone it.

The man who said a few years back that we need European level gas prices told Cogress lowering gas prices here domestically really isn't much of a priority:

The Energy Department isn’t working to lower gasoline prices directly, Secretary Steven Chu said Tuesday after a Republican lawmaker scolded him for his now-infamous 2008 comment that gas prices in the U.S. should be as high as in Europe.

Instead, DOE is working to promote alternatives such as biofuels and electric vehicles, Chu told House appropriators during a hearing on DOE’s budget.

ut Americans need relief now, Rep. Alan Nunnelee (R-Miss.) said — not high gasoline prices that could eventually push them to alternatives.
“I can’t look at motivations. I have to look at results. And under this administration the price of gasoline has doubled,” Nunnelee told Chu.

“The people of north Mississippi can’t be here, so I have to be here and be their voice for them,” Nunnelee added. “I have to tell you that $8 a gallon gasoline makes them afraid. It’s a cruel tax on the people of north Mississippi as they try to go back and forth to work. It’s a cloud hanging over economic development and job creation.”

Chu expressed sympathy but said his department is working to lower energy prices in the long term.

“We agree there is great suffering when the price of gasoline increases in the United States, and so we are very concerned about this,” said Chu, speaking to the House Appropriations energy and water subcommittee. “As I have repeatedly said, in the Department of Energy, what we’re trying to do is diversify our energy supply for transportation so that we have cost-effective means.”

Being a green energy zealot means never having to say you,re sorry, we suppose.

Here's a nice little infographic that summarizes how bad things have become under the current regime courtesy Gateway Pundit:

(click to enlarge)

We're not opposed to alternative energy. What we are opposed to is a Department of Energy subsidization program of not-yet-ready-for-market alternative energy technology that very much appears to be a crony fund for friends of the administration of which Mr. Chu is in charge.

That we have a reliable energy source setting beneath our feet that could grow the economy and thus provide capital for the research and development of alternative energy without wasting tax-payer dollars, yet we don't go after it represents the height of stupidity.

Americans, particularly those rubes living in fly-over country, we're sure could really care less about the long-term viability of green technology in a crappy economy and especially when they are now spendig $50, $60, $70 bucks to fill up their car or truck.

As we have said before, liberals can afford their statist policies, the rest of us can't.


Video clip of the day


Nick Gillespie of sits down with James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute to talk about the current state of the economy and why economic growth is so sluggish in this 6 minute clip (no commercials or adverts!).

What is the biggest threat to the economy? There seems to be a real lack of vitality in this economy.

The #1 thing the government can do is to create a tax system that is pro-growth. Right now, we have a tax system that penalizes capital investment which is very important for creating new innovation, new products and new companies of the future.

Temporary tax cuts don't work because people know they're temporary. Their long-term spending and investment behavior will not be influenced

(ed. note: lending a hand to why this seemingly endless battle over the payroll tax cut is so much bunk.)

Why didn't the stimulus package work? Pethokoukis reiterates the point we have made from the get-go: the statist dream of the Keynesian priming pump to the economy got derailed by the statist dream of a comprehensive system of regulatory choke points.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tuition, books, housing and sex, of course.


In previously describing the contraceptive mandate, we have said it is akin to paying someone else to have sex. It appears now we can remove that "akin" qualifier as that is precisely how people on the other side of this debate see it also.

Testifying before Nancy Pelosi's House panel, Georgetown University student and birth-control activist Sandra Fluke told the panel that paying for their own contraception is absolutely killing them in the pocketbook and that free contraception would sure help out in getting them through college.

"Forty percent of the female students at Georgetown Law reported to us that they struggled financially as a result of this policy (Georgetown student insurance not covering contraception), Fluke reported.

It costs a female student $3,000 to have protected sex over the course of her three-year stint in law school, according to her calculations.

"Without insurance coverage, contraception, as you know, can cost a woman over $3,000 during law school," Fluke told the hearing.

There you have it, folks... the logical conclusion to radical secular redistributive statism: taking the position that free contraception is somehow a right, or liberty interest, that others must pay for.

This is a perfect example of how making a good or service a "right" will necessarily entail the involuntary confiscation of property or wealth of others who will not enjoy the benefit of that "right", unless, of course, they are Biblically aquainted with, say, Ms. Fluke.

So gone is Ms. Fluke down the statist black hole that she seems unwilling to even hit up her partner for some help. Would it be too much to ask that if they go "dutch" for dinner that they do the same later on in the sack?

And what of this young lady's heartless and cruel parents that they would force their child to possibly cut out a pizza a week in order to properly finance her dalliances?

We appreciate, however, Ms. Fluke and her plight as no theoretical argument we could ever devise would illustrate perfectly the absurdity contained within ObamaCare. We thank you, Ms. Fluke for providing this invaluable service.

We await treatment of this matter from Iowahawk.




A round-up of news items, columns, articles and blog posts that caught our eye this past week.

Glenn Reynolds presents his own Occupy cirriculum:

2) Bourgeois vs. Non-Bourgeois Revolutions: A Comparison and Contrast. The Occupy movement left its major sites—McPherson Square in D.C., Zuccotti Park in Manhattan, Dewey Square in Boston—filthy and disheveled. By contrast, the tea party protests famously left the Washington Mall and other locations cleaner than they found them, with members proudly performing cleanup duties.

This unit would note that social-protest movements are sometimes orderly and sometimes disorderly as a matter of approach, and it would compare the effectiveness and ultimate success of such relentlessly bourgeois movements as the tea party, the pre-1964 Civil Rights movement, Women's Suffrage activists, and the American Revolution, against such anti-Bourgeois movements as the post-1968 Black Power and New Left movements, and the French Revolution.

Which accomplished more lasting good? Is Max Weber's Protestant work ethic applicable to social movements?

Southern talk:

We have utilize a few, uhh, coloquialisms of our own but being native Southern Californians, we don't know if the following accounts for regional-speak:

Busy? "Busier than a one-legged man at an ass-kicking contest."

See you tomorrow? "Lord willing and the river don't rise."

Someone forget or srew-up your name upon a subsequent meeting? "Call us what you want, just don't call us late for dinner." on capitalism and charity:

Capitalism, aka the free market, is the best assurance of individual and societal prosperity. Turns out, capitalism is also the best spur towards charity and generosity to the less fortunate. People are most generous to others when their own needs are secure. Capitalism provides the economic security necessary to inspire charity. The cold-hearted businessman is a tired Marxist myth.

B-Daddy has a round-up of news events himself and which includes this take-down of the faith-based global warming climate change community from the Wall Street Journal:

The Trenberth letter tells us that decarbonization of the world's economy would "drive decades of economic growth." This is not a scientific statement nor is there evidence it is true. A premature global-scale transition from hydrocarbon fuels would require massive government intervention to support the deployment of more expensive energy technology. If there were economic advantages to investing in technology that depends on taxpayer support, companies like Beacon Power, Evergreen Solar, Solar Millenium, SpectraWatt, Solyndra, Ener1 and the Renewable Energy Development Corporation would be prospering instead of filing for bankruptcy in only the past few months.

B-Daddy has long claimed that the warmers rejection of a carbon tax in return for dropping the income tax is proof of their purely statist intentions and we believe him.

Terrific: We're No. 1!...

... in per capita debt.

It's come to this: Asian American Journalists Association releases guidelines on Jeremy Lin media coverage.

Headline: Exclusive: State Department quietly warning region on Syrian WMDs

The State Department has begun coordinating with Syria's neighbors to prepare for the handling of President Bashar al-Assad's extensive weapons of mass destruction if and when his regime collapses, The Cable has learned.

This week, the State Department sent a diplomatic demarche to Syria's neighbors Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia, warning them about the possibility of Syria's WMDs crossing their borders and offering U.S. government help in dealing with the problem, three Obama administration officials confirmed to The Cable. For concerned parties both inside and outside the U.S. government, the demarche signifies that the United States is increasingly developing plans to deal with the dangers of a post-Assad Syria -- while simultaneously highlighting the lack of planning for how to directly bring about Assad's downfall.

Who wants to bet that we will find quite a bit of Hussein-era Iraqi WMDs should this come to pass? However, we're glad we are thinking this issue through ahead of time vs. supporting a completely haphazard and unauthorized kinetic military action in Libya to protect civilians take out military targets take out a foreign leader and which resulted in thousands of RPGs going unaccounted for. There has been pretty much zero media coverage of this circumstance in the past 4-6 months.

Gotta run... may be back with more fun later today.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Your contraceptive mandate update


We're not letting this go and if the reception given to upstate Democratic New York representative Kathy Hochul at a town hall meeting Thursday night is any indication, neither are a few other people.

"We were taking care of this country's sick long before the government got involved"

And as for this "accommodation" Hochul speaks of, either she has been misinformed or she is outright lying as Catholic employers will not have the choice, nay, they will be forced to provide contraceptive devices in their insurance plans. Catholics and other persons of freedom realize this and this is why this issue is not fading away as Team O has hoped.


We had to revisit the WaPo column written a month ago by liberal Catholic, E. J. Dionne and what he said that continues to misrepresent/mislead the public in this particular debate (for the record, Dionne is not specifically against the mandate, he's just bummed that the Prez botched the optics on it):

Speaking as a Catholic, I wish the Church would be more open on the contraception question. But speaking as an American liberal who believes that religious pluralism imposes certain obligations on government, I think the Church’s leaders had a right to ask for broader relief from a contraception mandate that would require it to act against its own teachings. The administration should have done more to balance the competing liberty interests here.
(italics, ours)

Competing liberty interests...

That would mean there are more than one liberty interest, right? Well, we certainly can identify one and that would be the Catholic church and Catholic employers. But who is/are the other competing liberty interests? There is/are none. The other side of the debate wants Catholic employers to provide free of charge, contraceptives and abortifacients. That has nothing at all to do with liberty... nothing. Nothing that is unless you are coming from a cultural and societal viewpoint that makes up rights out of thin air.

A right to affordable housing, a right to a job and a now reproductive rights means that the government can insert itself into the role of the Catholic Church and compel them to violate their conscience with this "accommodation".

Now, how's that for some separation of church and state?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The interwebs have long memories


Alternate headline: Oh, for the days of $3.50/gallon gas

While the President bemoans his potential Republican presidential opponents of making political hay of high gas prices at the pump, guess who totally wasn't making it a campaign issue back in 2008?

We're currently paying $4.27 a gallon here in San Diego and we are counting our blessings as meanwhile, up in L.A....

Wonder what his campaign commercials are going to look like come this summer when prices traditionally peak as America gets out on the road.

Here's Victor Davis Hanson on the sorry state of affairs:

As gas nears $5-a-gallon out west, the president, who has cancelled a key pipeline and frozen federal leases from Alaska to the East Coast, teaches us about American algae potential, in the way he used to emphasize the importance of tire pressure and “tune-ups.” He castigates the opposition for making political hay out of bad news, in the way he routinely did as a senator in compiling the most partisan voting record in the Senate. Energy Secretary Chu cannot and will not say a word about soaring gas prices, since he is on record not so long ago hoping that they might double — that is, get to $8- to 10-a-gallon as they are in Europe. The Energy Department can do almost everything Americans don’t want, but not the single thing they do want.

This is precisely what the President wanted so it's perplexing that he doen't own the situation. No matter... if prices stay at or go above the current levels, the voting public, come November, will remind him that he does indeed own it.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A nudge or a shove?


We have previously been against anti-Sharia law legislation that has been floating around in various shapes and sizes at the state level over the past couple of years.

We have an American justice system enshrined in code and culture: Right to a trial by a jury of our peers, a speedy trial at that, and the given of guilty until proven innocent is how we roll and though not perfect, it best fits us as Americans and remains better than anything anyone else has come up with. Enacting anti-Sharia laws would then seem to extemperaneous and subject to grand-standing.

Then... then we read the following from Andrew McCarthy:

I have made a transcript of the Pennsylvania case in which state judge Mark Martin, a Muslim convert and U.S. Army reservist who served in Iraq, relied on a sharia law defense (as well as some evidentiary contortions) to dismiss an open-and-shut harassment case against a Muslim man who assaulted an atheist activist at a Halloween parade.

The victim, Ernest Perce, wore a “Zombie Mohammed” costume and pretended to walk among the dead (in the company of an associate who was the “Zombie Pope” — and who, you’ll be shocked to learn, was not assaulted). The assailant, Talag Elbayomy, a Muslim immigrant, physically attacked Perce, attempted to pull his sign off, and, according to police, admitted what he had done right after the incident. The defense argued that Elbayomy believed it was a crime to insult the prophet Mohammed (it is, under sharia law), and that because he was in the company of his children, he had to act to end this provocation and set an example about defending Islam.

As you will see, Judge Martin did not lecture the defendant about free speech or how disputes are resolved in a civilized country. He instead dressed the victim down for failing to appreciate how sensitive Muslims — including the judge himself — are about Islam. The audio of Judge Martin’s remarks can be heard on YouTube (The audio, beginning at around the 2-minute mark on the YouTube clip, lasts about 7 minutes. Martin has reportedly threatened to hold Perce in contempt for recording and publishing the judge’s statements, which were made in open court. Perce says he had permission to make a recording as long as it was only audio, not video.) Here is the transcript:

Well, having had the benefit of having spent over two-and-a-half years in a predominantly Muslim country, I think I know a little bit about the faith of Islam. In fact, I have a copy of the Koran here, and I would challenge you, sir, to show me where it says in the Koran that Mohammed arose and walked among the dead.

[Unintelligible.] You misinterpreted things. Before you start mocking someone else’s religion you may want to find out a little bit more about it. That makes you look like a doofus.

And Mr. Thomas [Elbayomi's defense lawyer] is correct. In many other Muslim speaking countries – excuse me, in many Arabic speaking countries – call it “Muslim” – something like this is definitely against the law there. In their society, in fact, it could be punishable by death, and it frequently is, in their society.

Here in our society, we have a constitution that gives us many rights, specifically, First Amendment rights. It’s unfortunate that some people use the First Amendment to deliberately provoke others. I don’t think that’s what our forefathers really intended. I think our forefathers intended that we use the First Amendment so that we can speak our mind, not to piss off other people and other cultures, which is what you did.

I don’t think you’re aware, sir, there’s a big difference between how Americans practice Christianity – uh, I understand you’re an atheist. But, see, Islam is not just a religion, it’s their culture, their culture. It’s their very essence, their very being. They pray five times a day towards Mecca. To be a good Muslim, before you die, you have to make a pilgrimage to Mecca unless you are otherwise told you cannot because you are too ill, too elderly, whatever. But you must make the attempt.

Their greetings, “Salaam alaikum,” “Alaikum wa-salaam,” “May God be with you.” Whenever — it is very common — their language, when they’re speaking to each other, it’s very common for them to say, uh, “Allah willing, this will happen.” It is — they are so immersed in it.

Then what you have done is you’ve completely trashed their essence, their being. They find it very, very, very offensive. I’m a Muslim, I find it offensive. F’Im a Muslim, I’d find it offensive. [Unintelligble] aside was very offensive.

But you have that right, but you’re way outside your bounds on First Amendment rights.

This is what — as I said, I spent half my years altogether living in other countries. When we go to other countries, it’s not uncommon for people to refer to us as “ugly Americans.” This is why we are referred to as “ugly Americans,” because we’re so concerned about our own rights we don’t care about other people’s rights. As long as we get our say, but we don’t care about the other people’s say.

All that aside I’ve got here basically — I don’t want to say, “He said, she said.” But I’ve got two sides of the story that are in conflict with each other. I understand — I’ve been at a Halloween parade, I understand how noisy it can be, how difficult it can be to get a [unintelligible]. I can’t believe that, if there was this kind of conflict going on in the middle of the street, that somebody didn’t step forward sooner to try and intervene — that the police officer on a bicycle didn’t stop and say, “Hey, let’s break this up.”

[Unintelligible]. You got a witness.

[Unintelligible response. Judge Martin then continues:]

The preponderance of, excuse me, the burden of proof is that the defendant — it must be proven that the defendant did with the intent to harass, annoy or alarm another person — The Commonwealth, whether there was conflict or not — and, yes, he should be took [sic] putting his hands on you. I don’t know — I have your story he did and his story that he did not.

But another part of the element [of the offense charged] is, as Mr. Thomas [the defense lawyer] said, was — “Was the defendant’s intent to harass, annoy or alarm — or was it his intent to try to have the offensive situation negated?”

If his intent was to harass, annoy or alarm, I think there would have been a little bit more of an altercation. Something more substantial as far as testimony going on that there was a conflict. Because there is not, it is not proven to me beyond a reasonable doubt that this defendant is guilty of harassment. Therefore I am going to dismiss the charge.

Well, there you have it, folks: a cut and dry assault case and we get a religious sensitivity lecture invoking Sharia law from the judge and a dismissal from the same because he couldn't determine whether there was sufficient intent to harass, annoy or alarm (as if any of that matters).

It’s unfortunate that some people use the First Amendment to deliberately provoke others. I don’t think that’s what our forefathers really intended. I think our forefathers intended that we use the First Amendment so that we can speak our mind, not to piss off other people and other cultures,...

It's apparent that this judge doesn't get out a whole lot nor watch much late night cable comedy.

And is it unfortunate that people use the 1st amendment to deliberately provoke others? Why is this judge in the business of determining what sort of speech is offensive to someone else as he doing in this case.

And our founders established the 1st amendment precisely to afford protection to those whose speech others, particularly the government, might find offensive, provoking or dangerous. Protection from getting the crap kicked out of you because of your t-shirt would seem to fall under this broad category.

This instance is a case model in 1st amendment/free speech protection and the judge gets it completely ass-backwards.

We still might not believe we need anti-Sharia laws but we'd be fine with the occasional tarring and feathering and riding out of town on a rail a hopelessly un-qualified judge.

Consider this just one more nudge (shove?) of ourselves into free speech extremism.

And because we (still) can:

Yes, Judge Martin, thank you for allowing us this existential 1st amendment moment and the attendant potentiality of pissing off someone.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Radio KBwD is on the air


Only in America: Leave it to four Canadians and a cat from Arkansas to be the finest repository and performing chroniclers of popular American music forms from rock, country and western, blues, Dixie jazz, folk, gospel and rythm and blues over the past 150 years.


Ladies and Gentlemen, from the aforementioned locales, here's The Band performing their achingly beautiful "Acadian Driftwood":


Wiki page on the song here.

Things we all know but choose to ignore anyway


News flash No. 1: People, particularly rich people who have the means to do so, will alter their behavior, acting upon their own self-interests, to avoid having to pay higher taxes... People just like Warren Buffet!

News flash No. 2: Higher tax rates do not necessarily bring in the anticipated revenue.

Quite unexpectedly, a higher marginal tax rate on the rich in England did not bring in the anticipated additional tax revenue.

From The Telegraph:

The amount of income tax paid fell sharply last month in the first formal indication that the new 50p higher rate is not raising the expected amount of revenue.

The Treasury received £10.35 billion in income tax payments from those paying by self-assessment last month, a drop of £509 million compared with January 2011. Most other taxes produced higher revenues over the same period.

Senior sources said that the first official figures indicated that there had been “manoeuvring” by well-off Britons to avoid the new higher rate. The figures will add to pressure on the Coalition to drop the levy amid fears it is forcing entrepreneurs to relocate abroad.

The self-assessment returns from January, when most income tax is paid by the better-off, have been eagerly awaited by the Treasury and government ministers as they provide the first evidence of the success, or failure, of the 50p rate. It is the first year following the introduction of the 50p rate which had been expected to boost tax revenues from self-assessment by more than £1billion.

Although the official statistics do not disclose how much money was paid at the 50p rate of tax, the figures indicate that it is falling short of the money the levy was expected to raise.

A Treasury source said the relatively poor revenues from self-assessment returns was partly down to highly-paid individuals arranging their affairs to avoid paying the 50p rate.

“It’s true that SA revenues are a bit disappointing — it’s still early, but it looks like there’s been quite a lot of forestalling and other manoeuvring to avoid the top rate,” said the source.

Manoeuvring... Arranging their affairs...

You better believe there was a whole lot of that going with the evil 1-percenters of England. Who wants to pay higher taxes? Warren Buffet, despite his calls for higher taxes on the rich, sure doesn't.

Why else would he pay himself a salary of only $100,000 while receiving the vast majority of his income from capital gains that gets taxed at a much lower rate (15%) than would income tax on, say, a $200,000 salary.

Buffet and his hypocritical "Millionaire Patriots" can certainly pay more in taxes should they so choose. They simply choose manoeuver not to do so.

We'll let New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie, summarize this whole shamefully deceitful situation much better than we:

"Just a write a check and shut up."



Thursday, February 23, 2012

And the Captain Louis Renault award goes to...


... Reuters!

How's that Arab Spring working out?

After months of reassuring secularist critics, Islamist politicians in Tunisia and Egypt have begun to lay down markers about how Muslim their states should be - and first signs show they want more religion than previously admitted.

Islamist parties swept the first free elections in both countries in recent months after campaigns that stressed their readiness to work with the secularists they struggled with in the Arab Spring revolts against decades-long dictatorships.

With political deadlines looming, a key Tunisian party in the constituent assembly and the head of Egypt's influential Muslim Brotherhood both made statements this week revealing a stronger emphasis on Islam in government.

Popular List, the party tasked with writing Tunisia's new constitution, announced on Monday its draft called Islam "the principle source of legislation" - a phrase denoting laws based on the sharia moral and legal code.

On Tuesday, Egyptian Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie said his group wanted a president with "an Islamic background." That term is vague, but not as vague as the conciliatory "consensus candidate" talk heard from most parties until now.

Secularists in both countries warned voters against trusting the Islamists and these subtle changes could have come straight from a secularist playbook on how Islamists would gradually insert more religion into the political and legal systems.
(italics, ours)

Reuters is shocked... shocked that previous moderate signals from various Islamist factions would take a turn for the Sharia.

It's eerily similar to their reporting (along with the rest of the American press) on bad economic news... unexpectedly!

And subtle changes? Let's call it for what it is gang... minority groups from women and Christians to gays and adulturers (alleged or otherwise) are screwed now more than ever.

How it is that Reuters seems to be taken off-guard by these as-predictable-as-the-Sun-rises-in-the-East developments is beyond us.


Remember when gas was $1.82 a gallon...?


... these guys don't.

Rising gas prices used to be big news, but not so these days. Although the national average climbed to $3.56 on Feb. 20, setting a February record after going up nearly a month straight, there was far less coverage than in 2008. Broadcast networks repeatedly covered the rise under the Bush presidency. Gas prices bounced around eventually reaching $3.56-a-gallon on April 24, 2008.

The Business and Media Institute analyzed broadcast network news references to gas or fuel prices between Jan. 20 and Feb. 20, 2012 and from March 24 and April 24, 2008. BMI found that in the 2008 period there were more than 4 times as many gas prices stories, news briefs or news headlines on ABC, CBS and NBC as there were in 2012 (97 to 21).

Coverage during the time periods differed not only in quantity, but in tone as well. During Bush’s tenure, gas prices were a huge economic threat and cause of suffering. The networks also used the high gas prices to attack the administration. In 2012, the networks aired mostly matter-of-fact stories on the rising gas prices, and worried primarily that they would hinder the economic recovery, not that they are making people suffer.

Dismal broadcast network reports about “skyrocketing” gas prices filled the newscasts in 2008. There were reports about businesses closing, airlines struggling and truckers protesting -- all because of the high prices. One ABC report said families were facing the “tough choice” between food or fuel. Others said that “wallets were running on empty” and consumers were told over and over that there was no relief in sight. But by the end of November 2008, prices had collapsed to $1.82.

Related: Anecdotaly, we recall quarterly GDP figures quite often being revised upwards after the fact while Bush was in office and conversely, those same figures being routinely revised (unexpectedly!) downward under Obama.

We suppose that when you are in the tank for a man who has been nothing but passive-agressively hostile to oil production and who has on his team an energy secretary who actually said “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe,” , higher gas prices at the pump are really no big deal and, in fact, are something to be celebrated. If it weren't for these damn elections every four years, though.

We'll let Victor Davis Hanson wrap things up:

Obviously putting American oil off-limits and blocking the Keystone pipeline hardly encourage Middle East producers to make up the slack by doing things that we will not. Nor can we blame the “oil men” in the White House. Under the old calumny, the Bush-Cheney oil connections led to supposed profiteering that got gas up to an average of $1.85 when Bush left office in January 2009; apparently that slur is now inoperative given that gas has roughly doubled under the wind-and-solar team.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

This guy saw it coming... and he even warned us about it


We've just started a video lecture series on Tocqueville's "Democracy in America" so while perusing the interwebs, we are naturally going to gravitate towards anything regarding the author and/or his famous book (Tocqueville fun fact: ostensibly, he took leave from his job with the French government to write about the American prison system.).

It has been said Tocqueville was a "prophet" as he was able to predict many things that would come to pass in American culture, society and politics.

Michael Barone's latest column quotes Tocqueville from the book:

Tocqueville, after describing in "Democracy in America" how Americans avoided the perils of equality by forming voluntary associations, engaging in local government and believing in religions that disciplined their pursuit of self-interest into a pursuit of virtue, painted the picture of a darker future.

Above a democratic populace, he writes, "an immense tutelary power is elevated, which alone takes charge of assuring their enjoyments and watching over their fate. It is absolute, detailed, rigid, far-seeing and mild. It would resemble paternal power if, like that, it had for its object to prepare men for manhood; but on the contrary, it seeks only to keep them fixed irrevocably in childhood; it likes citizens to enjoy themselves. It willingly works for their happiness; but it wants to be the unique agent and sole arbiter of that."

Situation sound familiar to you? It should. We are currently living in a day in age when the powers that be measure economic success by dependency on the government (see food stamps and unemployment benefits)

Don't believe us? Apart from the myriad of examples provided at the link above, the President's BFF got into the act Tuesday night at North Carolina State University touting the "stimulus" benefits of unemployment checks.

"Even though we had a terrible economic crisis three years ago, throughout our country many people were suffering before the last three years, particularly in the black community," Jarrett said. "And so we need to make sure that we continue to support that important safety net. It not only is good for the family, but it's good for the economy. People who receive that unemployment check go out and spend it and help stimulate the economy, so that's healthy as well."

And all this time, we thought the whole idea was to get people off unemployment benefits.

We suppose we shouldn't be so rough on Team O, though. If throwing $800 billion dollars of porkulus against the wall to see what sticks with the belief that it would keep unemployment under 8% and passing a 2,000+ page health care reform bill with countless as-yet-identified and still unrealized mandates and regulations with the thought that it will lower the cost of healthcare, then using food stamps and unemployment checks as some sort of barometer of economic success would certainly make sense. And people are offended that he is called the food stamp President.

It's become pretty obvious by now that Team O kinda likes the fact that so many people are on food stamps. Makes them feel good and if you are a statist at heart with a fundamental distrust of individualism, initiative and entrepeneurialship, why wouldn't it? After all, the warm fuzzy paternalistic glow that befalls our ruling class when all is quiet with the little folk down on the plantation is all that matters, right?

Your tax dollars at work


We can't think of a better summation of the current state of Planned Parenthood than this 8 minute public service "cartoon".

For those of you who don't have the time, stomach or inclination to watch, here's what you and your kids didn't miss: the self-styled Dionysus, the Greek goddess of wine and madness and now mascot of Planned Parenthood being willfully ignorant and deliberately misleading with respect to the fact that condoms are far from being full-proof when it comes to preventing STDs and three times using violence to shut down 1st amendment-protected dissenting view points.

Via Secular Apostate:

"... the stench of misinformed conservatism."

Tax payer-funded agitprop never sounded so clever.

Forgive us our harshness but the Susan G. Komen foundation will not get one red cent from us as long as they are in league with Planned Parenthood.

Exit observation and question: there was quite a bit of Facebook hand-wringing a couple weeks back and accusing Komen of "caving in to political pressure" when the foundation initially susupended donations to Planned Parenthood. What was it then that caused them to retreat from this stance and resume giving to this excrable outfit?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Lesson #283 on how "free" really isn't free


Strangely enough, insurance providers not too jazzed on the contraceptive mandate.

One of two chimeras worked into the contraceptive "compromise"/"revision" by the Obama aministration a couple of weeks ago was that Catholic employers would not have to pay directly for the subject contraceptives or abortifacients and that cost would be covered by the insurance companies (the other being that the Catholic employers could strike that specific policy language from the policy... but they'd be forced to provide it anyway. No, really. This is what passes for legislative and policy logic with these people).

Insurance providers, as you might imagine, we're rather puzzled by this turn of events.

The insurance industry is concerned it will take a hit from the Obama administration’s mandate that they provide birth control in health plans for employees of religious organizations that object to the coverage.

Publicly, the health insurance industry has avoided getting involved in the fight.

But in private, the industry is dubious of the administration’s argument that the insurance industry wouldn't take a hit because birth control is cheaper than unwanted pregnancies.
The trade group America's Health Insurance Plans has limited its comments to saying it worries about the "precedent" the mandate would set. The concern is that the government could eventually require health plans to cover any number of preventive services – even prescription drugs - without copays or deductibles, under the theory that they save money in the long-term.

When the text of ObamaCare has over 700 instances of "The Secretary (of Health and Human Services) "may" or "shall", insurance providers have every reason to worry about arbitrary mandate shenanigans in the future.

They would also like to remind everyone that "free" really isn't free.

Privately, however, insurers say there's nothing "free" about preventing unwarranted pregnancies. They say the mandate also covers costly surgical sterilization procedures, and that in any case even the pill has up-front costs.

"Saying it's revenue-neutral doesn't mean it's free and that you're not paying for it," an industry source told The Hill.

Doctors still have to be paid to prescribe the pill, drugmakers and pharmacists have to be paid to provide it - and all that money has to come from insurance premiums, not future hypothetical savings, the source said.

This notion of long-range savings from the prevention of unwanted pregnancies doesn't really do the insurance companies any good as they are expected to balance their sheets and turn a profit this year.

So, if in the "revision", Catholic employers/employees are freed the burden from paying for this, who is going to pay for it?

It's not clear how those costs would be passed on. The regulation bars the health insurance plans from raising the religiously-affiliated employers' premiums, so it's possible workers at companies that directly offer contraceptive coverage would get stuck with higher premiums to make up the lost revenue.

Excellent. Paying for someone else, not even covered under the same policy, to have sex.

For a bill that wasn't even read, stand by for a continuing stream of absolutely non-sensical and confounding "revisions" and "compromises".

And it is duly noted that the only time the statist-left becomes interested in cost-savings, they are talking condoms and the pill.

We leave you this evening with the Master, talkin' about "free":

"No doubt we could go on forever..."

No, actually since Friedman laid waste to that smug professor's notion of "free", we can all go home now.


#OWS update

Occupy Our Home working out pretty much as you would expect.

Inequality of income and home foreclosures are bad, apparently, but what to do about it?

From The Post:

“Occupy Our Homes” was that idea. The group would take over an empty house, foreclosed on by a bank, fix it up and provide shelter to a homeless family.

For those sympathetic to the Occupy movement, it was a brilliant strategy. Foreclosures touched almost every neighborhood in America; an estimated 1.2 million homes were repossessed in 2011. In East New York, the hardest hit in the city, the foreclosure crisis struck 16.8 homes per thousand. Occupy Our Homes would alleviate neighborhood blight, provide shelter to the poor — and put banks on the defensive.

Last week,Wise Ahadzi opened the door to the house he still owns, 702 Vermont Street in East New York.

Inside is a war zone. The walls are torn down, the plumbing is ripped out and the carpeting has been plucked from the floor. It’s like walking through a ribcage.

Garbage, open food containers and Ahadzi’s possessions are tossed haphazardly around the house.

“This is where my kitchen was,” Ahadzi says. There is no sink, no refrigerator and no counter space. Instead there are dirty dishes piled high waiting for a dip in three large buckets of putrid water that serve as the dishwashing system.

In a first-floor bathroom, Christmas lights dangle from a shower curtain rod. The only thing separating a toilet from the elements outside is a thin veil of paper.

Ahadzi, a single father and homeless advocate, appeared to Occupy to be the perfect candidate for Occupy Our Home while he moved into a smaller rental to work on his finances with the hopes of being able to move back into his house.

To date, Occupy has yet to pay for any of the damages to his home.

And what's worse for the neighborhood than a foreclosed, un-occupyed home? A foreclosed, Occupyed one.

Even in this condition, protesters are still squatting on the floors, cooking using a bunsen burner and walking around guided by candlelight when a generator is not up and running.

Their efforts have actually made the neighborhood worse — because what used to be an empty house is now a hovel of squatters and probably should be condemned.

Ahadzi has our sympathy... to a certain point. Out of work and out of your house... but Occupy?

It's beyond all reason how it is this man thought that his house would not turn out like your typical big city Occupy encampment upon letting the same set in.

Mr. Ahadzi, what in god's name were you thinking?

Another Occupy success story.

We're probably going to lay off the Occupy updates for a while. Too easy of a target. Good intentions aside, far too many of them have proven themselves to be counter-productive moral degenerates as demonstrated by the story above. Until politicians, as they did in the beginning, start attempting to align themselves with or co-opt the movement here in the spring and as the political heat starts getting turned up, we're going to give it a break.


Monday, February 20, 2012



A round-up of news items, columns, articles and blog posts that caught our eye this past week.

Of course, he did:

Sean Stone, son of American Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone, said on Wednesday that Islam is the religion of justice and equality.

'Unfortunately, those displaying grievances over the injustice imposed by the capitalist and liberal governing system in the worldwide Occupy protests are not aware that they would not achieve their goals in the absence divine religions and Islam as well,' Sean said.

Not to mention being the religion of stonings, honor killings and genital mutilation. So, yeah, maybe Islam and Occupy is a good fit.

Did the Catholic Church paint themselves into a corner with respect to the contraceptives controversy?

Here is what Cardinal Bernardin said in the Gannon Lecture at Fordham University that he delivered in 1983:

Those who defend the right to life of the weakest among us must be equally visible in support of the quality of life of the powerless among us: the old and the young, the hungry and the homeless, the undocumented immigrant and the unemployed worker.

When you start equating the rights of the unborn to clothing the homeless, you start backing yourself into some morally untenable situations.

Selling out to social justice will do that for you. Go ahead and read the whole excellent piece at Ricochet.

Is it really for the kids? We start watching our backside whenever we hear about legislation couched in that manner.

Leslie at Temple of Mut wonders why her children and church are being weaponized against her.

Here's B-Daddy on the Greek debt crisis:

But let's also be clear about the game being played by the rest of the EU. An anonymous commenter previously posted that it is not really that big a deal if the Greeks default, the worry is the example set and the impact to banks. Much of the worry has been about the spread of bank failure if Greek default causes Italian and Spanish bond yields to rise. Once again, too big to fail leads to irrational economic policy. No one wants to learn this lesson, not the U.S. and not the Europeans. Heck even the Chinese prop up their banks with enforced savings and below market interest rates for the working stiff. So instead of too big to fail, why don't we require ever increasing capital reserve requirements as banks become larger? That would make it harder for big banks to leverage access to cheap capital from the Fed to make easy money, but that should be their problem.

No, you wouldn't. No, you wouldn't be mistaken if you sensed a complete lack of seriousness, worldwide, when it comes to making hard decisions with respect to sovereign debt. It's 10 PM, the final exam is tomorrow but everbody in the dorm is munching out on Hot Pockets and playing Mortal Combat.

W.C. Varones on a potential leading economic indicator: runs on safe deposit boxes.

Fed up with the current state of the GOP primaries, Sarah B. wonders: Gov. McDonnell, Where For Art Thou?

For you Romney fans out there, the Governor of Virginia does indeed have great hair.

Here's Sir Charles of Doo Doo Economics on that post-constitutional notion of "freedom":

This is why the wisdom of America's founders is so profound. We are supposed to be a society where people on their unique paths are free to join or separate in the pursuit of happiness. Even if you take a dead end job, you have the opportunity to become your own boss through individual effort. Unions, governments and other tyrants should not control the fate of you, your property or your hopes and dreams.

We are here for a fleeting moment in time. Forge your own path or join with us who wish to ensure future liberty. Whatever you decide, do not give up, do not surrender, and do not lose your dreams. Andy Whitfield pursued his happiness and contributed to freedom, so can you.

After a months-long absence Secular Apostate is back. Check out his most excellent blog at the link.

OK, gang. That's probably it for today. We hope to enjoy the remainder of our 3-day weekend so we'll most likely give the staff the rest of the day off and see everybody tomorrow.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Not so random thought of the day

We could be wrong and please feel free to correct us if so, but there appears to be a curious lack of outrage from the libertarian wing of our great big ol' Freedom coalition/tea party tent with respect to the contraception mandate.

Just a reminder, gang: This mandate ain't a Catholic thing, it ain't a social conservative thing and it ain't a religious thing, it's a freedom thing.

We know, we know... when a sitting Supreme Court justice is openly questioning our constitutional model and jack-booted thugs are confiscating perfectly healthy home-packed lunches, that term does indeed appear to be quite antiquated and, shall we say, post-constitutional.

No matter. You gotta fight for something, right?

So, let's peel it back. Let's get away from all the noise and hype from the lapdog media who are trying to play up opposition to the contraceptive mandate as akin to starting a holy war (for the record, if this "holy war" motivates Catholics or any other conscience objecters to vote against the current Occupier of the Oval Office, so much the better. We are indeed not without our pragmatic side.)

Why is the federal government in the business of mandating anything in healthcare plans let alone a vending machine-accessible item?

Well, it might have something to do with values.

Check out Debbie Wasserman Schultz, head of the DNC, explain values and who should be imposing them on other people.

So, let's get this straight: The Catholic church by choosing not to provide free contraceptives to its employees is somehow imposing it values yet the federal government forcing the church to provide the same free of charge, is not. Got it. This is what passes for logic with today's statist left.

At the end of the day, the contraceptive mandate is forcing Catholics to pay for other people's sex. Crazy notion: how about everyone pay for their own sex? We don't think that's asking too much.

As Debbie Downer ably demonstrates, this isn't about cost nor is this about access, what this is all about is the federal government dictating its agenda upon the American public, pure and simple.

Profiles in courage


Via B-Daddy. This is jaw-droppingly stunning: if there is a bigger case of management-speak bullshit bingo than what Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, gives in the first minute of this clip regarding the admninistration's budget proposal, we have yet to hear it.

"Leaders are supposed to fix problems"

They've pretty much given up. Geithner admits they don't have any plan nor any actual desire to get long-range debt, which is driven by currently unsustainable entitlements in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, under control.

More lying to the American public will have to suffice because Geithner's basis for opposition to Paul Ryan's budget is simply, "We don't like yours".

This is what passes for leadership in this country in 2012. Four more years of cowardice and shameful cynicism. We can't wait.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Radio KBwD is on the air: the covers edition


We know, we know... it's not the first Friday Saturday of the month but enough is enough... time to get on with it.


First up, The Byrds and their take on the state and nature of pop phenom, "So You Want To Be a Rock and Roll Star":





And now, from the US Festival up near San Berdoo back in 1982, it's a youthful Tom Petty and his Heartbreakers:

Friday, February 17, 2012

Awww... Hollywood still (hearts) Obama

After much angst and hand-wringing with respect to Hollywood's supposed flagging support for the President, we can call off the suicide watch - Hollywood's got Barack's back!

Despite complaints about his failure to support Hollywood's position on online piracy, President Obama does not appear to have lost his fundraising base in the entertainment community.

As Obama arrives in Los Angeles on Wednesday, local campaign fundraisers said there has been no drop-off in Hollywood donations to his reelection bid since the D.C. demise of long-sought anti-piracy legislation. Hollywood's chief lobbyist Chris Dodd suggested last month that Obama and his fellow Democrats could pay a price for not representing the industry's interests in Washington.

But there was no evidence of that in the run-up to Wednesday's fundraising events. A dinner and a reception at the Holmby Hills home of "The Bold and the Beautiful" producer Bradley Bell and his wife, Colleen, co-hosted by actor Will Ferrell and his wife, Viveca, sold out faster than any fundraiser in the last several years, according to Ken Solomon, co-chairman of Obama's Southern California fundraising committee.

You can read more about the 1 percenters support of the President at the link but there were a couple of quotes that stood out to us.

First this:

The robust turnout underscores the ties that bind many in the entertainment industry to the Democratic president on topics such as abortion rights and the environment. Because much of Hollywood political giving is ideological, campaign donations are not usually tied to short-term legislative items, fundraisers said.

"Hollywood money for the most part is actually quite pure," said veteran Los Angeles Democratic fundraiser John Emerson, the other co-chairman of Obama's Southern California finance team. "It's given by people who really believe in the issues. They're not writing the checks because they're after some regulatory change."

Then this:

Producer and former MCA Inc. President Sidney Sheinberg said Newt Gingrich once asked him why Democrats got so much Hollywood support and the Republicans did not: "I told him the reason is that most people in Hollywood vote their conscience, not their pocket book."

Allow us to translate: Hollywood 1-percenters can afford to be liberal, the rest of us can't.

Things like CARB, high-speed choo-choos and the budgetary 3 card monty as currently practiced in Sacramento are probably big hits with these folks as they won't feel the consequences of their job-killing results. There is, quite simply, no skin in the game for these people.

It's the same sort of mentality shared by Warren Buffet and his hyprocritical "Patriotic Millionaires" clowns who allegedly want their income taxes raised (for what exact purpose, we are not quite sure). What's a few more dollars out of their paycheck? It's of no real consequence other than some perverse self-serving smug satisfaction that they believe they are actually doing something to boost the economy or cure the scourge of income inequality.

Indeed, the rich aren't at all like the rest of us. They can afford the negative impact of horrible legislation and executive fiat while everyone else suffers.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Great moments in the history of crony capitalism



Sanjay Wagle was a venture capitalist and Barack Obama fundraiser in 2008, rallying support through a group he headed known as Clean Tech for Obama.

Shortly after Obama’s election, he left his California firm to join the Energy Department, just as the administration embarked on a massive program to stimulate the economy with federal investments in clean-technology firms.

Following an enduring Washington tradition, Wagle shifted from the private sector, where his firm hoped to profit from federal investments, to an insider’s seat in the administration’s $80 billion clean-energy investment program.

He was one of several players in venture capital, which was providing financial backing to start-up clean-tech companies, who moved into the Energy Department at a time when the agency was seeking outside expertise in the field. At the same time, their industry had a huge stake in decisions about which companies would receive government loans, grants and support.

During the next three years, the department provided $2.4 billion in public funding to clean-energy companies in which Wagle’s former firm, Vantage Point Venture Partners, had invested, a Washington Post analysis found. Overall, the Post found that $3.9 billion in federal grants and financing flowed to 21 companies backed by firms with connections to five Obama administration staffers and advisers.

Picking winners and losers in any particular industry is not the business that a presidential administration should be in. But it's particularly galling when that administration keeps picking the losers... after they were told by third-party auditors and investigators that they were losers as in the case of Solyndra, the DOE's $535 million black hole.

Not coincidentally, Fred Upton (R-MI), who has been wishing to speak with White House officials knee-deep in the DOE's clean energy loan program, is running out of patience with the White House's recalcitrance.

Staffers who once worked for White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel may have to answer questions about their involvement in a botched solar energy deal.

Congressional Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee are putting together subpoenas for five White House aides who allegedly worked to pour more than $500 million in federal loans guarantees into Solyndra, a California solar power company that has since gone defunct. It filed for bankruptcy last year despite the loan support.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee plans to meet on Friday to issue subpoenas for five executive branch employees that they say were involved in the Department of Energy loan given to Solyndra. This will be the third subpoena the committee has considered to obtain information or testimony regarding the Solyndra case.

The staffers being targeted include Kevin Carroll, Kelly Colyar and Fouad Saad of the Office of Management and Budget, Heather Zichal, a White House aide who worked on energy and Aditya Kumar, who worked for Rahm Emanuel in the West Wing and whose name appears in emails on the subject of Solyndra.

It has been one year since the committee started investigating the Solyndra meltdown and to date, the White House has yet to comply with the committee's desire for a sit down.

This must be more of that transparency we've been hearing so much about.


Project Gunrunner/Operation Fast and Furious update


Do you remember when they told us that if we voted for McCain, it would mean at least four more years of opaque and non-transparent federal governance? Well, they were right.

Issa sharpens his sword:

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa signaled Tuesday that his committee will "move forward with the contempt proces against Attorney General Eric Holder unless the Justice Department commits to "providing, at a minimum, a detailed description of documents it is withholding" from his committee in the course of their investigation into ATF's Operation Fast and Furious.

“The Justice Department’s request for additional time has, unfortunately, not been followed by efforts to bridge the significant differences between its legal obligation to Congress and the reality of its stonewalling,” Issa said in a statement. “The committee is determined to know what happened in Operation Fast and Furious and how the Justice Department responded when it was publicly confronted with evidence of reckless conduct after Agent Terry’s death."

And in other totally related news, Justice wins an award:

The U.S. Department of Justice has won the infamous Rosemary Award for worst open government performance over the past year, according to the citation posted on the Web today by the National Security Archive ( The award is named after President Nixon's secretary, Rose Mary Woods, who erased 18 1/2 minutes of a crucial Watergate tape.

The Rosemary Award citation includes a multi-count indictment of Justice's transparency performance in 2011, including:

- selective and abusive prosecutions using espionage laws against whistleblowers as ostensible "leakers" of classified information, with more "leaks" prosecutions in the last three years than all previous years combined, at a time when expert estimates of over-classification range from 50 to 90%;

- persisting recycled legal arguments for greater secrecy throughout Justice's litigation posture, including specious arguments before the Supreme Court in 2011 in direct contradiction to President Obama's "presumption of openness";

- retrograde proposed regulations that would allow the government to lie in court about the existence of records sought by FOIA requesters, and also prevent elementary and secondary school students – as well as bloggers and new media – from getting fee waivers, while narrowing multiple other FOIA provisions;

- a mixed overall record on freedom of information with some positive signs (overall releases slightly up, roundtable meetings with requesters, the website collating government-wide statistics) outweighed by backsliding in the key indicator of the most discretionary FOIA exemption, (b)(5) for "deliberative process," cited by Justice to withhold information a whopping 1,500 times in 2011 (up from 1,231 in 2010).

"The Department of Justice – which is responsible for enforcing FOIA government-wide – was supposed to be the change agent and role model for President Obama's FOIA reforms," said Nate Jones, the Archive's Freedom of Information Act Coordinator. "But, despite the president's clear instructions, the DOJ has embraced a 'FOIA-as-usual mindset' that has failed to transform the decades-old FOIA policies within its department, much less throughout the government."

A hearty congratulations to that miserable hack that runs the Justice Department. Trust us, it didn't take long but we can think of no more worthy winner.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Obama's America: when constitutional republics just won't do...

... it's mandate mania, baby!

Alternate headline: U.S. Public School System: making the case for home-schooling on a daily basis

Have a moral objection to providing certain healthcare services to your employees? Tough luck, champ. Hand over the pill. Think that turkey sandwich is part of a healthy home-packed lunch for your cheap labor. Think again - and will that be cash or charge for the chicken nuggets?

More bad behavior from the excrable Department of Health and Human Services:

A North Carolina elementary school forced a preschool student to eat cafeteria chicken nuggets for lunch on Jan. 30 after officials reportedly determined that her homemade meal wasn’t up to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s standards for healthfulness, according to a report from the Carolina Journal.

The newspaper reported that the four-year-old girl brought a turkey and cheese sandwich, a banana, potato chips and apple juice in her packed lunch from home. That meal didn’t meet with approval from the government agent who was on site inspecting kids’ lunches that day.

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Child Development and Early Education requires that all lunches served in pre-kindergarten programs must meet USDA guidelines. Meals, the guidelines say, must include one serving each of meat, milk and grain and two servings of fruit or vegetables. Those guidelines apply to home-packed lunches as well as cafeteria meals.

The Carolina Journal reported that the girl and her mother wish to remain anonymous to avoid public scrutiny, but she did write to her state representative to complain about it.

(ed. note: At this poinit, we're thinking it's the lunch Nazi government inspector who probably desires anonymity more, perhaps.)

“I don’t feel that I should pay for a cafeteria lunch when I provide lunch for her from home,” the mother wrote in a complaint to her state representative, Republican G.L. Pridgen of Robeson County.

“What got me so mad is, number one, don’t tell my kid I’m not packing her lunch box properly,” the girl’s mother told a reporter. “I pack her lunchbox according to what she eats. It always consists of a fruit. It never consists of a vegetable. She eats vegetables at home because I have to watch her because she doesn’t really care for vegetables.”

Personal supervision of the kid's diet because the parent knows she won't eat veggies on her own sounds like the very model of responsible parenting which, we're sure, puzzles the hell out of Sebelius' thugs.

At the end of the day, for the statist-left, all this talk of choice and freedom of choice is so much bunk. Coersion, whether it's forcing employers to violate their conscience or ordering kids to eat crappy cafeteria food or sweeping physical assault under the carpet because it clutters the narrative, really is the order of the day.


Smack of the day


Now who was it that was supposed to be the patriarchal, chauvanistic pigs?

Here's Dana Loesch on the liberal-left's leading men, rape and, of course, "context":

No one is debating capitalism, what Moulitsas mistakes as “Occupy points.” The movement has had zero impact, except on crime statistics. At best, it was the shining hope of a manufactured populist unrest to aid Obama in his reelection efforts, but it dissipated into an irrelevant criminal cesspool.

The bottom line is that neither man gave any concern to the number of rape victims in the Occupy movement. Sexual attacks have gone wholly ignored by progressive males. Moulitsas calls the rape accusations (the rapes all sourced above) “bogeymen.” Yes, the “compassionate” progressive tosses women under the bus because acknowledging their assault at the hands of a progressive ideology that takes what it wants — be it capital, property, or sex — harms the stability of their movement. Progressive males have sent a message loud and clear to victimized females in the Occupy movement: we don’t care. They want to win more than they want you to be safe.

If you disagree, ask yourself how many times one of them has condemned the sexual attacks.

If you try to excuse the attacks with the “rogue” excuse, then ask yourself why none of these men reported on how many camps were working to cover up the rapes and prevent women from reporting them to the authorities.

Ask yourself why none of these men have discussed why so-called “safe zones” were established in various camps to protect women from sexual predators which were other Occupiers.

Now ask yourself if these progressive men ignoring this issue really care about the equality they prattle on about whenever they gum in front of a camera.

The answer is, of course, that they don’t.

The statist mindset is that of coersion. If it applies to capital and private property, why shouldn't it also apply to that most private of properties, your body?

Everyone in this movement talks about “fair shares” and “spreading the wealth,” how about spreading the respect for women’s bodies? How about spreading the wealth of consideration? Or did that get downtwinkled at the frat party meeting?

Olbermann and Moulitsas talk a really good game about compassion and equality but at their core they share the same oppressive traits that sparked a revolution, and they’ve gotten lazy about hiding it.

Yep. Kinda like the tea party.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Disappointing headline of the day


Even the Wall St. Journal got it completely wrong:

Obama Retreats on Contraception

From the article:

Some Catholics expressed relief but others were unmoved after President Barack Obama on Friday loosened a requirement that religious employers cover contraception in health plans, an issue that had turned into a political firestorm in recent weeks.

President Obama on Friday announced a new policy that no longer requires a broad swath of religious organizations to provide employees with contraception coverage in health-insurance plans.

Under the new policy, religious employers opposed to most forms of birth control wouldn't be required to directly pay for such coverage in their workers' insurance policies. Instead, insurance companies would be required to offer contraception without explicitly charging either the religious employer or worker.

That shift means the cost of providing the coverage to religious employers is likely to be spread across all policyholders by insurers.

There is no retreat here - if anything it is a retrenchment.

This "loosening" is the most shamelessly cynical thing we've seen in quite some time. We will hand it to Team O for this bit of politics, though: It allows the lap dog media and squishy Catholics eager to just get this whole thing over with, a hook on which to hang their hat. "See, they compromised" they can claim when effectively nothing has changed.

Merely changing the bucket of money for how this is paid does nothing to alter the fact that Catholic employers will still be required to provide, free of charge, contraceptives and abortificients even if it isn't expressly written into the policy - another "loosening" bit of shameless slickery worked out in this alleged "revision".

If they want to move on from this self-made controversy while effectively keeping in place their 1st amendment-violating agenda item, they may have accomplished that if they can bamboozle even the usually reliable Wall St. Journal.

We're not letting this go, however, and neither is our friend Leslie at Temple of Mut, who happens to be a newly-minted Catholic.

“The Obama Administration is denying to Catholics the fundamental freedom of religious liberty guaranteed by the First Amendment…”.When I heard Obama’s press conference regarding the vaunted “accommodation”, I was struck my the dictatorial tone (click HERE for a link that includes the video). How could Obama order insurance companies to pay for contraception? Where is the legislation? Where is the bill? What portion of the Constitution allows the President to dictate exactly what kinds of goods and services one set of Americans had to give to another?

Bill? Legislation? Constitution..?

Our dear Leslie, as per Pete Stark, there really is not anything the federal government cannot compel you to do.

Doesn't sound like freedom to us. Does it to you?

H/T: Hot Air

The more things change, the more they stay the same

On the President's proposed budget:

The White House is focusing on re-election themes such as jobs and public works projects in President Barack Obama's new budget blueprint while relying on familiar but never enacted tax increases on the wealthy and corporations to reduce future deficits after four years of trillion dollar-plus shortfalls.

Obama's 2013 budget, set for release Monday, is the official start to an election-year budget battle with Republicans. It's unlikely to result in a genuine effort to address the $15 trillion national debt or the entrenched deficits that keep piling on to it. But it will serve as the Democrats' party-defining template on this year's election stakes.

The president's plan is laden with stimulus-style initiatives: sharp increases for highway construction and school modernization, and a new tax credit for businesses that add jobs. But it avoids sacrifice with only minimal curbs on the unsustainable growth of Medicare even as it proposes a 10-year, $61 billion "financial crisis responsibility fee" on big banks to recoup the 2008 Wall Street bailout.
(italics, ours)

Sound familiar? And how has that all been working out?

And closer to home, here in San Diego:

Democratic leaders this weekend implored attendees at the state party convention in San Diego to harness the energy and enthusiasm of 2008, casting the upcoming elections as pivotal moments that will determine the trajectory of the country for decades to come.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Saturday that the only way to maintain the firewall against Republican and tea party “extremism” is to re-elect President Barack Obama, return her to the U.S. Senate for another term and marshal the resources to regain control of the House of Representatives.

She was among dozens of speakers — including Gov. Jerry Brown, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn. — to paint an unfavorable picture of the alternative.

“Just think of the damage a Gingrich or a Romney or a Santorum would do if they reach the White House or if the tea party takes over Congress,” Feinstein said in a speech at the San Diego Convention Center.

“It would be no health care reform,” she added. “It would be no job program. No financial regulation. No effort to deal with climate change. No stem cell research. No reform of a broken immigration system. ... No woman’s right to choose. And a meat ax to Medicare and Social Security.”

Ask yourselves: does any/all of the above sound very "progressive" to you?

We are facing a very real debt crisis in this country, yet we have an entrenched political class of statists who simply refuse to acknowledge the math. Far from being the self-proclaimed reformers and progressives, they are fully vested in and will fight tooth and nail for the status quo.

Whether it's the $120 billion train-to-and-from-nowhere high speed rail system here in California or yet another unsustainable entitlement program in ObamaCare to be stacked on top of Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security, there is no change, yet only more of the same.

A President perfectly positioned to address this sovereign crisis cynically turns in a budget designed only to get himself re-elected... to do what exactly?