Friday, December 31, 2010

Top 2010 MSM Lies

Pajamas Media's Tom Blumer does a phenomenally thorough job listing the Lamestream Media's top 10 lies stories for 2010. Among them:
  1. Phony "channel stuffing" at GM just before its fall "IPO," to pump up the apparent sales numbers.
  2. Hidden marriage disincentives in the Obamacare legislation. (Genuinely unsure if these were intentional or oversights by lefty Dems who couldn't be bothered to read the legislation.)
  3. Never telling the full story about how even some "global warming" scientists ideologues admitted to lying about their faux science, the better to redistribute income to the "third world," the primary motive behind "global warming" all along.
  4. The completely un-reported fact that Shirley Sherrod--fired from a Federal government position after her racist rant before the NAACP--had received a 13 million dollar "settlement" in the recently-settled black farmer lawsuit. 

Follow the link above to Blumer's piece for more incidents and more details on all of them. Crucial news continues to be suppressed in this country. Blumer correctly includes that only bloggers on a gatekeeper-free internet can bypass this kind of underground censorship. So let's watch out for more of that "net neutrality" crap in 2011.

Meanwhile, Happy New Year to all. Personally, I can't wait for 2010 to conclude its journey. What a regrettable way to end a decade! Hopefully, 2011 will be much better.

A Digital Nativity Story

Luther sent me a copy of the following YouTube video a couple of days ago, and it's so good I've decided to share it. (I'm a few days late since I've been on the road.) It's a genuinely good-natured re-imagining of the Christmas Story as it might have occurred in our own Digital Age. Since the Magi don't show up on the liturgical calendar until January 6, it's still more than timely and a great way to start closing out the chaotic 2010. For a fuller-sized version of the video, which enables you to see even more details, check out the original link here.


Monday, December 27, 2010

Rendell: A Nation of Wussies

We never thought we'd see the day when we agreed with an observation made by Pennsylvania's outgoing Dem Governor Ed Rendell. But then again, sometimes strange things happen. When queried on the NFL's wimpy postponing of yesterday's Philadelphia Eagle's game to Tuesday due to this weekend's heavy but not particularly spectacular snow event, Rendell ranted away according to ESPN:

Rendell viewed the NFL's decision as a referendum on the toughness, or lack thereof, of the United States.
"My biggest beef is that this is part of what's happened in this country," Rendell said. "I think we've become wussies."

"We've become a nation of wusses. The Chinese are kicking our butt in everything," Rendell added. "If this was in China do you think the Chinese would have called off the game? People would have been marching down to the stadium, they would have walked and they would have been doing calculus on the way down."
As one of my old merchant marine buddies once said: "Truer words was never spoke." I agree. Wanna switch parties, Ed?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Light Holiday Blogging

As you've probably already figured out, Mr. and Mrs. Wonker are on vacation, up in good old Cleveland, Ohio--a state that woke up this week to the fact that it's declining, grossly overtaxed populace is now so reduced that they're losing two Congressional seats to redistricting in 2012. (So's New York--imagine that?)

Unlike New York, however, Ohioans are gradually waking up to the severe damage that big city Democrat machines and public employee unions have been wreaking on them for decades. Only took the Great Recession to do that, but better late than never.

We actually like the folks up here. After all, it's our home state. And we have at least modest hopes that in 2011, the now all-Republican legislature and state house will be able to continue the long slog of removing corruption and reducing the taxes that have reduced this once great state--and most particularly its decaying northern industrial cities--to a mere husk of the dynamo it once was.

Rhode Island: Nanny State Takes Away Christmas Toy Guns

This from today's Boston Globe online:
Dominic joined dozens of children yesterday at the annual Toy Gun Bash in the gymnasium of Pleasant View Elementary School. There, they lined up to toss their toy guns, from dainty purple water guns to camouflage-painted pistols, inside the Bash-O-Matic, a large black, foam creature with churning metal teeth and the shape of a cockroach spliced with a frog.

Prodded by Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch, who wore a fuzzy Santa hat, the children stared curiously as the Bash-O-Matic mashed up their guns and digested them into a plastic bin near its tail.
Hat tip to Instapundit for the initial link. (Lotsa interesting stuff on this topic is there as well.)

Rhode Island, like most other states, is burdened with debt and beset by criminals. And THIS is how the attorney general spends his time on stuff like this?? What a smarmy, crappy, demoralizing Christmastime story. Not only are our lefty pols a batch of condescending, controlling nannies. They're secularist sadists as well, pulling this kind of nonsense on the eve of the Christmas holidays--where every self-respecting little boy looks forward to a toy gun, a ray gun, a light-sword, you name it--the better to protect those he cares about from the bad guys. My God, what is wrong with these morons?

Wake up, people. It's not surprising that this is yet another one of the reasons why true Blue states are losing population and representatives which will be reflected in Congressional district allocations in the 2012 elections. (The other one is the looming, gathering scandal of out-of-control public employee salaries, benefits, and pensions.) People don't need Idiotarian pols telling them how to raise their families, let alone approving of it.

Meanwhile, Earth to Patrick C. Lynch: get back to work, you idiot, and quit wasting time trying to run other people's children and their lives.

Disgusting.

111th Congress Adjourns. Merry Christmas!

We just got our best-ever Christmas present. The disgusting entity known as the 111th Congress has now adjourned. Permanently. Here's hoping the new year will bring us, in the 112th Congress, a batch of Representatives, at least, who'll acknowledge that they're the employees of the U.S. taxpayer, not the other way around.

And perhaps in 2011 as well we'll stop hearing tireless drivel about how this tax cut and that tax cut "costs" the Federal government money. Wrong answer. The Federal government costs US--you and me--money. Let's not forget where the funding--and the deficit service comes from.

Friday, December 03, 2010

The Surber Challenge to Warren Buffett

It was just a few blog entries ago that I fulminated about the idiotic proposal advanced by Warren Buffett--and other filthy rich Democrats for that matter--for the Federal government to raise taxes on the super-wealthy such as he. Of course, he was supporting the Democrats' desire NOT to extend the Bush tax cuts for the "rich"--i.e., couples who make $250K or more per annum. The sage of Omaha thus proved himself to be a senseless, hopelessly out-of-touch dope, having no clue that even $250K ain't "rich" anymore in this country, particularly if you live in a large urban area with catastrophic real estate taxes. Wealthy morons like Buffett and others (i.e., Nancy Pelosi) don't even remember what it was like to live on real-life salaries anymore. So what business do they have telling us what we should pay, eh?

Well, now, here comes Don Surber with a modest proposal of his own. Since he knows that Warren, Bill, and others are full of hot air and know they'll never have to pay more taxes than they want, due to the kinds of intricate (and legal) tax sheltering they use, he calls them on it, challenging them to write a check and send it in to the Treasury themselves rather than waiting for their fellow rich socialists in Congress to act.

And to make his challenge stick, Surber is sending in a check to the Treasury for $10. As Surber himself says:
The beauty of this is the next time some lib lips off about Republicans and tax cuts for the rich (which Democrats did not rescind upon assuming control of Washington) I can say, pay up — I did.
Nice touch, Don. You need something to stop left-wing stupidity in its tracks and get them off their always-ready, memorized talking points. BTW, Surber challenges the rest of us right-thinkers to do the same. I'm thinking about it. But to be honest, given my two years of technical unemployment already, I think I need the $10 more than the Feds.

(BTW#2: Surber duly notes that your check to the Treasury is NOT tax-deductible. Oh, the humanity....)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Independent Collegian Gets F in Economics

Randomly surfing, I spotted the following headline in a recent issue of The Independent Collegian:

Kasich plans to scrap Strickland’s 3C rail program and send 16,000 jobs elsewhere


John Kasich, of course, is Ohio's Republican Governor-elect, and the Collegian is the campus newsrag of the University of Toledo. So right away, we can parse the headline and what is to follow. Kasich, being a Republican, must necessarily be reviled by an Ohio college student newspaper which, of course, encourages only budding leftist journos (are there any other kind?) to write for them.

But what's more interesting in this hit-piece is how ideology trumps any knowledge of economics or politics. Kasich plans to reject Federal funding to set up an allegedly high-speed all-Ohio rail service from Cleveland to Cincinnati via Columbus. The Collegian sees this as robbing Ohio of "16,000 jobs" and views it as hypocrisy on the part of Kasich who (correctly) tarred current Governor Ted "Tax 'Em High" Strickland as having lost 400,000 jobs on his brief watch.

Well, dudes, check again. The way you create REAL jobs is to encourage the private sector to do it. Ohio's now blessedly-terminated rail line would be funded by the Feds, sure. I.e., by hapless taxpayers from Ohio and other states. Once built, it would, like Amtrak and all other publicly-funded US rail services, lose money by the bucketload. Which would be made even worse by the ridiculously high union-led salaries that would be paid to the railway's staffers, all of whom, surprise, would be paid for by out-of-work Ohio taxpayers--presumably.

The problem with Federally funded or Federally assisted programs like the one Kasich intends to terminate is that once the initial $$ have been spent, the boondoggle entity gets turned over to state and local jurisdictions which then must, ta-da, raise taxes on a consistent basis to fund a money-losing operation and cave in to extortionate public employee union salary demands. It's precisely this kind of thing that's brought Rust Belt states like Ohio and Michigan to their knees. 

By rejecting this boondoggle, Kasich will save individual Ohioans and Ohio-based businesses billions of dollars going forward. This is a small step in the direction of real business stimulus which will create real employment, not more taxpayer-funded union jobs, the kind that are bankrupting state after state. 

Kasich's action is similar to the recent rejection by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie of a massive second-tunnel project from New Jersey to Manhattan. The Feds were to pony up a good chunk of the money, New Jersey and the Port Authority were to pony up the rest. And if there were cost overruns (which, given union featherbedding, there will be--and how!) New Jersey alone would have to pick up the bill.

Christie rightly torpedoed the whole project, saving his state from a major--and perpetual--financial catastrophe. On a lesser scale, Kasich proposes to do the same thing.

So, Collegians. Watch and learn. 16,000 more Ohioans on the public dole payroll will only serve to increase Ohio's systemic unemployment which is mainly due to the state's ridiculously high, business-deterring taxes. If you want to pay for 16,000 more public employees for the rest of your lives, why don't you do it? And in the meantime, why don't you stop writing stupid, ill-informed editorials and leave Kasich alone to clean up Strickland's sorry mess?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Removing Don Luskin link

Every once in awhile I go through our "Good Guys" list to make sure links are still working and appropriate. I've noticed that my link to Don Luskin, which used to offer nonstop and quite useful critiques of Idiotarian faux economist Paul Krugman, has morphed into a more specific financial site--Trend Macro--whose up-to-date content now requires a subscription. Luskin's thoughts and observations on the economy are actually quite astute--a fact you can grasp during his occasional appearances on Larry Kudlow's CNBC TV show.

But for our readers, this site's evolution (and the fact it's now behind a pay window) makes it less useful for reference, so we're removing it as a link--even though we still consider Don one of the "Good Guys."

Republicat vs. Democat

Hilarious video here, portraying, in highly dramatic fashion, a battle between two cats--aided and abetted by a pair of funloving birds. The soundtrack is a stroke of genius. But I wonder if there's also a political metaphor here.



This starts out as a fair fight between evenly matched cats. But when the birds start distracting and intervening to the detriment of the multi-colored cat, he quickly loses ground to his opponent and eventually is forced to flee the field of battle. If the multi-colored cat is the Republicat and the black cat is the Democat, one can imagine the birds to symbolize the MSM and academic intellectualoids. Three against one, and you can guess who gets to lose. Hey, I thought it was a good metaphor, really, giving us a pretty good notion of Democat's idea of a "fair" fight, eh?

On the other hand, if you're into cats, just sit back and enjoy a really extensive catfight.

Hat tips to Breitbart TV and Polipundit for providing the clip.

Clarice's Pieces: Interesting thoughts on Thanksgiving just past

Clarice Feldman offers some interesting insights, looking forward and looking back, on Thanksgiving 2010. She opens with the following observation:
Community organizers, like most Democrat candidates, gain power by dividing people and by emphasizing what distinguishes groups (sex, age, religion, race, ethnic background). They promise that they will "fight for you" -- that is, fight for spoils for the group from whom they are seeking support or votes. Thus, if, for example, you can be made to believe that all Democrat candidates are better for women, blacks, and Hispanics and you are a member of one or more of these groups, then you act in your own best interests only when you vote for Democrats. If there are any Republican women, blacks, or Hispanics running as Republicans, they must be treated especially harshly, as they are clearly traitors to your cause. Little effort is made to enunciate the candidate's policy notions or on the part of the media to examine in depth his views or qualifications for elective position.
Clarice takes this blunt and factual observation into some interesting places. Read the rest here.

This piece appears on the American Thinker blogsite, which we're adding today to our "Good Guys" list in honor of their consistently clear and fact-based insights on the meaning of democracy.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Progressives = Regressives

As readers of this blog know, I detest the use of the phony term "progressives" to describe--antiseptically--proponents of state-sanctioned Marxism/Socialism. It's quite simply a trick of language, the quite-successful use of a positive sounding word to describe an approach to government that has always turned out quite badly. Apparently, I'm finally getting some company. This from Samizdata:
...the word "progressive" is just as wrong as the word "liberal". The statists who argue for the destruction of the dollar and for bank bail-outs (again) and for nationalised derangement of medical care and for green-inspired economic sabotage aren't "liberals". They do not believe in liberty; they believe in curtailing liberty. But neither do they believe in anything which it makes sense to anybody except them to call "progress". Progress is the exact thing these statists are now trying and have always tried to destroy, and just lately have been doing a pretty damn good job of destroying. Progress means things getting better. These self styled "progressives" are only making things worse.
 But wait! There's more:
Underneath these unsatisfactory labels, which the statist (a better word for these people in my opinion) enemies of liberty and progress have chosen for themselves and have been using for decades, is an assumption, both by the statists and by those who really do believe in liberty and in progress, that the statists are the people who will inevitably continue to decide about such labels....comments to the effect that there are much better words than "statist" out there, just waiting to step up or which already have stepped up to verbal stardom, so to speak, which I hadn't thought of or which I have temporarily forgotten about, would be very welcome. Dirigiste? Centralist? Governmentalist? Despotist?
Why make it difficult dude? The right answer: REGRESSIVES.

These people are actually the ultimate Conservatives. They want every bit of today's state-sponsored socialism and more. And they want to run it all the time. They are not "progressives." They are "regressives." They want less freedom, not more.

You heard it first here on HaZzZmat.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

David Broder Flunks Math

It has only taken two weeks or thereabouts from the date of the Democrats' overwhelming defeat in 2010's off-year elections for their flacks and toadies in the MSM to start reconstructing The Narrative.

Usual suspect David Broder, still writing columns for the Washington Post but no longer on staff, tries to frighten the bejeebers out of everyone today in a feeble, laughable piece entitled "The GOP's lame-duck hardball." Broder somehow arrives at the conclusion that the Republicans already possess omnipotence in the Senate without even having achieved a majority in the recent election--and without their new members capable of constitutionally assuming power until just after the first of the new year, 2011.

Broder is not just calendar-challenged, though. He's math challenged as well. Bemoaning the terrible fate of the country, Broder wrings his hands over the fact that "the rich" might even get their Bush-era tax cuts extended beyond 2010. And then he tosses in this whopper:
On the face of things, Democrats hold the high ground rhetorically. When it comes to taxes, Obama is calling for extending the Bush cuts for every family making below $250,000 a year, which he says will take care of 98 percent of the population. Only Republicans are holding out for the millionaires to be included. 
Let's give Broder a pass for his initial, silly, faux-observation that Democrats "hold the high ground morally." Is that sort of like, "The Washington Redskins lost by a score of 50-2, but they played a very physical game"? But now comes the fun part.

Obamanation wants to generously extend the Bush tax cuts for those making up to $250K a year which is apparently the Democrats' cut point for being "rich." (Which the Prez didn't intend to at all prior to the Dems' shellacking at the polls.) But those rotten Republicans are holding out for "millionaires" to be included in this largesse, right? Well, no, they're holding out for the individuals, families, and small businesses pulling in $250,001 and higher to be included. And, unless my mathematical skills fail me here, the band between $250,001 and $999,999 doesn't include one single millionaire. Which makes this observation inoperable.

Well, don't blame me--read Broder's logical leap again. Either the guy needs an editor, or he assumes we're too dumb to see how his already feeble reasoning is smithereened by a mathematical leap of faith that conveniently omits a significant batch of non-millionaires.

You can see how trial balloons begin here. New Jerseyites earlier were told that a proposed "millionaire's tax" would salvage the bloated state budget. But it turned out that an awful lot of those "millionaires" were actually in the income bracket we just described above. I.e., they're NOT millionaires, but let's use that term anyway, shall we, just to fudge the issue a bit. It's a standard leftist tactic. Yell something loud enough and long enough, and even if it's not exactly the truth, everyone will think that it is.

Both the Jersey Democrats AND Broder know full well that their pitifully weak arguments in favor of creeping socialism aren't working any more either on their merits or lack thereof. So the next refuge of these scoundrels is in, ah, achieving the "rhetorical high ground" by shouting "millionaire, millionaire" over and over again until somehow, "millionaires" encompass a sizeable demographic that earns a pretty good living but isn't close to achieving a million dollars of annual gross income let alone a million dollars' net worth.

Voters have wised up to these sallies into the land of rhetorical high ground highjinks, and they don't work anymore, Tom. Pity an editor didn't catch your gaff today. (If you even have one.)

Your column today, Tom, demonstrates to your few remaining readers, if they don't already know, that you were, are, will be, and always have been in the tank for the Democrats and are more than happy to spend the twilight of your career flacking for a party of scoundrels. And sowing fears about those terrible Republicans who don't run the Senate now and who won't run the Senate in 2011 either. Why don't you just retire to your swell vacation paradise on Beaver Island, dude, and spare us the hyper-partisan drivel and scare tactics? Geez.

Liberal Condensation Alert!

All three of our regular readers know that above and beyond this blog's concern with creeping socialism and willful ignorance, we also get bugged by the improper and/or gauche use of language on both sides of the political aisle. Here's a great example.

In a delightful Hot Air post, starring (who else) New Jersey's Governor Awesome, Chris Christie, we discovered an embedded video of the gov relating a visit made to his office by the head of the New Jersey teacher's union.

By all means you should view the video. But in this and other posts, never miss looking at some of the comments, either. In this particular case, we note some pro and con comments discussing whether Christie is or is not a RHINO (Republican In Name Only). But the best one, so far, is this one from MSGTAS:
Here comes the straight talk express, and those on the Left have no idea how to handle the ‘truth’. The tactic is to use it at the right time.

The right time is the moment they open their mouth and begin showing any level condensation toward you.
Erm, don't we mean "CONDESCENSION," MSGTAS? This is one of the funniest malapropisms I've seen in awhile, folks, although it distresses me that it comes from the right, which is collectively more articulate, grammatically at least, than Blue State flamers. CONDESCENSION irritates me, too, dude. So why don't we attract laserlike focus on the issue by spelling it correctly?

Warren Buffett: Simpleton

This today from the Sage of Omaha:

Billionaire Warren Buffett said that rich people should pay more in taxes and that Bush-era tax cuts for top earners should be allowed to expire at the end of December.

“If anything, taxes for the lower and middle class and maybe even the upper middle class should even probably be cut further,” Buffett said in an interview with ABC’s “This Week With Christiane Amanpour” that is scheduled to air on Nov. 28. “But I think that people at the high end -- people like myself -- should be paying a lot more in taxes. We have it better than we’ve ever had it.” 
You know, I've about had it up to here with the MSM worship of Warren Buffett. With all due respect to an arch-capitalist who's made a considerable pile with his investment philosophy, Buffett is yet another lifelong Democrat who blindly supports creeping socialism without a clue as to how destructive it is. He's sort of like George Soros in sheep's clothing.

Buffett in this case either conveniently or obtusely ignores the fact that the Obama Administration's definition of "the rich" includes "millionaires" who make over $250,000. Excuse me? In what mathematical system does $250,000 = $1,000,000?

Second, why SHOULD people like you pay more taxes, Warren? You already pay plenty of taxes anyway. Could it be that you want the Federal government to squander even more taxpayer money than they're squandering now? And what will we be getting for that money? Right, precisely nothing.

Buffett has for decades been lauded for buying value investments/companies and having the patience to let the scenario pay out. Does he consider the Federal government on a par with a value investment or company? Seriously?

Look, Warren. You go pay the extra taxes for the rest of us if you feel guilty, particularly over that great deal you cut with Goldman Sachs. Me, I'd rather keep what little money I have left in this economy. If you're feeling guilty for being rich beyond avarice, that's not my problem.

As movie stars, sports "heroes" and now, Warren Buffett all prove, great wealth in no way correlates with rational or political maturity.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Boycott the GM Offering

To those familiar with the long, sordid tale of GM's bankruptcy and apparent re-emergence today as an exchange-traded issue, our headline here might be something of a mystery. How can you boycott the hot new IPO of brand new, never-tainted GM stock if you can't get any?

Precisely.

The taxpayers bailed GM out. The previous stockholders were left holding worthless paper. The bondholders got shut out (illegally, BTW) by the Feds in order for the current administration to pay off the unions that helped destroy the company. And now all the fat cats get dibs on the new stock which is virtually guaranteed to jump to the upside ("pop" in Wall Street parlance), thus guaranteeing them milliions of dollars in profits while Katie Couric's "great unwashed" sit out in the hinterlands still waiting for all those jobs Washington promised.

To be sure, indirectly, some individual investors will be getting some new GM stock via mutual funds in which they invest. A few others will get small allocations from full service brokerage firms--usually the bigger investors who are given the shares as "rewards" for keeping their lucrative business with company X.

But you 'n me? Forget it. So my advice is to boycott the IPO in this sense--if you're interested in the stock anyway, don't just go in and rush it as it bounces (or soars) above the IPO price which the lucky rich dudes get without commission, BTW. The rich guys will only be too happy to "flip" the stock to you for a quick, tasty profit and leave you holding the bag when the stock inevitably settles down--lower than the price you bought it at. You get left holding the bag.

So don't help the fat cats out. Just sit there. Should the stock drop down somewhere near the offer (dubious but possible, at least in the next couple of weeks or months), then by all means, pick some up if you insist. But in the long run, I'm not sure GM--or its unions--have learned anything, and we might get a repeat performance of what happened last time: bankruptcy, worthless stock, and ruined bondholders.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Olbermann Bites (the dust)

We rarely mention MSNBC's poster boy of the left, the sneering, condescending, hatemongering Keith Olbermann. We've never wanted to encourage him with our criticism. Well, surprise--looks like Keith has been "suspended"--perhaps permanently--from his MSNBC hatefest for violating the network's regulations (they had 'em) prohibiting "newscasters" making donations to political candidates. Keith apparently violated his "neutrality" by doing so in the recent election cycle, so now he's been "suspended."

Hugh Hewitt, with whose observations we generally concur, surprised us a bit by speaking out in Olbermann's favor:
NBC is making itself look more ridiculous than NPR or any MSNBC host ever has with its suspension of Keith Olbermann

With all the credibility that a two-time "worst person-in-the-world" winner can muster, let me join the chorus of Kos Kids in demanding the return of Keith.  The idea of the "ethics" of the network being imperiled by a campaign contribution is absurd. 

Transparency by lefties is much to be preferred than sanctimonious posing by lefties. Olbermann is nothing if not transparent.  The whining of washed-up "journalists" and professors of journalism about "journalistic standards" are the most hilarious of the reactions...
Read the rest via the link in my text above.

I appreciate Hugh's fairly libertarian attitude on this, but I'm wondering if Hugh and others have been had, missing, perhaps, another reason for the suspension and possible firing. Viz., the idiotarian Olbermann's cable ratings have been so abysmal that I suspect MSNBC, if they have any business sense at all, has been looking for a pretext to salvage his coveted primetime timeslot from the tank.

Whatever the case, Power Line's Scott Johnson sums up this latest MSNBC kerfuffle most elegantly:
What is to be said? The Olbermann case features a joke pundit working for a joke network. It is impossible to take seriously.

Brownsville, TX Annexed by Mexico?

Here's a disturbing little announcement from the University of Texas at Brownsville, the southernmost city in Texas, bordering on Mexico:
UTB/TSC Emergency Warning #5
The campus is closed and evening classes have been canceled today and Saturday, Nov. 6 because of gunfire taking place across the Rio Grande. Anyone who needs to come to campus or has questions about events can call Campus Police at 882-8232 or 882-8233. Homecoming activities for Saturday, Nov. 6 have been affected. Coffee with the President has been canceled...
Read the rest via the link above.

Now refer back to our earlier posts on the undeclared war in Arizona by drug cartels who apparently feel free to shoot at citizens and cars on I-8; and concerning Mexican pirates apparently murdering an American boating on the Rio Grande. Are we detecting a pattern here? One that reflects current Mexican criminal attitudes towards American sovereignty and our willingness to protect our borders, i.e., their utter contempt for both.

This is the third time I've mentioned it. Living in the DC Metro area, albeit outside the Beltway somewhat, I can't know everything that goes on in that part of the US. But if these incidents somehow slipped into the media, where I unearthed them, I'm wondering how many, many more we're not hearing about. What's it going to take, besides this past Tuesday's midterm elections, to get our government to pay more attention to foreign criminal predation against American citizens. Currently, it seems the Feds are more interested in quashing Arizona's brave attempt to get control of this situation since the Feds are clearly not very interested.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Return of the Washington Times

Interesting news this evening confirming rumors that started back in late August. To make a very Byzantine story short, an entity run by Rev. Sun Myung Moon has purchased back the nearly bankrupt Washington Times for $1 and an agreement to assume all the paper's extensive debts. Plan is to ramp what's left of the Times back up into being a respectable newspaper once again, apparently re-incorporating local coverage, the much-mourned sports section, and at least some entertainment coverage. Which former editors will be rehired, if any, remain to be seen.

I got a tip on this earlier in the evening. But the story is now running on Bloomberg and elsewhere. Here's the Times' own take on recent events. No details yet as to when and how the ramp up will occur.

Hope and Change: Part II

Polls are opening across the country along with the time zones, and tonight will be interesting for sure. Repubs should sweep the bulk of governorships along with the House. A Senate Republican majority will need an act of God to happen, although Dems won't be anywhere near in firm control by the end of the count whenever that might be.

Anticipating a big, pre-work rush to the polls this morning here in Reston, Mrs. W and I will wait until the commute ends before heading up to vote. (We still do it the old-fashioned way.)

Meanwhile, here are some short(ish), informative links to ponder during your morning coffee. I'll blog as possible today, but given my time factors, I'll leave things up to folks like Fox News and RedState to do the heavy lifting this evening and perhaps into the night.

Links to various:

Mickey Kaus: Countdown to Demageddon. Great title Mickey. For those unfamiliar, he's a (pretty much) lib who's moved to the otherwise reprehensible shell that's left of Newsweek. But he's worth reading since he still engages his brain.

The Fix: WaPo's Chris Cillizza has already begun the post-election spin, predicting that the Repubs won't take the Senate and leading with that in his list of predictions, all the better to spin this as "Republicans really don't have a mandate." Watch for various flavors of this spin as the night progresses. (You know, it's fun to harass these people online. No wonder the Dems want to re-impose the "fairness doctrine.")

Accuracy in Media: In case you missed it, a post-mortem on this weekend's risable Jon Stewart rally on the DC Mall. Attendees were pretty much all Democrats. Shocking. But what neither accuracy nor anyone else dared to report? We'll whisper it here (shhh, be vewwy, vewwy quiet): attendees were predominately white.

Daily Telegraph: It's all about jobs. Good assessment from a reliable source across the pond.

FIRE: University of Virginia removes all speech codes. Great news from the ol' home state. Finally, someone sends those academic PC Brownshirts packing. No doubt the result of some prodding from our currently Republican attorney general Ken Cuccinelli. PS, the media is already after him, prepping perhaps to smear him if he runs for gov.

Fox News: Preventing voter fraud. Ya think? Seriously, the problem with modern elections is that in certain states, the Democrats in control are so thoroughly corrupt that they can easily game any close election by selective recounts. Having tried and failed to do this to Bush in Florida in 2000, they pulled it off in Minnesota by playing the ground game for the detestable Al Franken who actually lost. Be on the lookout, particularly if things are close in Illinois and Nevada.

Sissy Willis is up and at 'em this morning preparing for a bit of tasteful schadenfreude and offering some interesting observations on the coming spin cycle.

Lefty Buckeye State Blog links to a third-party smear of Republican gubernatorial candidate John Kasich from an alleged "right winger" who's obviously a lefty. Since lefties routinely avoid even talking to those on the right, I guess we can't expect them to know a real one when they see one. Or maybe lefties just routinely lie.

RightMichigan provides a last-minute pitch for the UP's Dan Benishek, the Repubs' best hope for picking up the sniveling Bart Stupak's seat.

That's it for now. Back later.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Another Shovel-Ready Project

Here's the best answer I've yet seen for those who like to chant the "Bush Did It" litany/meme:


Hat tip to The Interface for finding this one!

Postscript to ObamaFlop

We duly noted earlier that President Obama couldn't even fill a downtown Cleveland auditorium for another of his patented pep talks this weekend. According to Right Ohio, which carried the earlier report, the Dem "excuse" was that things like Halloween and football were a deterrent, not the lack of that old Obama magic. But, there's just one problem with that says Right Ohio blogger Matt:
Liberals typically aren’t interested in real, manly sports like football… because if they did, they would have known yesterday was a bye week for the Cleveland Browns...
Touchdown!

Heh.

MSM: Corrupt Bastards

Leave it to Mama Grizzly to lay it on the line:



As one of my shipmates back in my merchant marine days once said: "Truer words was never spoke!"

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Take That, David Brock

You remember David Brock, right? The guy who used to work for the right side of the aisle until he chickened out under social pressure and switched to the hard left. Well, he's at it again, once again for the other side, and once again up to their sleazy tactics via the dreadful "Media Matters" lie shop he's currently running with Soros money.

This time, sleazemaster Brock's trying to smear Sarah Palin for defending Alaska Senate Candidate Joe Miller against a planned smear against him by Alaska CBS media elites. They, in turn, got caught red-handed via a mis-transmitted phonemail message. Ooops. Another black mark for the Journolista types. Typically, Brock demands "evidence" he knows simply doesn't exist, creating a phony "scandal" in the process.

But Professor William Jacobson calls him on this, and then goes Brock one better, issuing him a challenge of his own:
"Legal Insurrection Blog challenges David Brock to refuse to accept donations to Media Matters from currency manipulators and speculators who want to undermine our national sovereignty."
 Heh.

Let's put Jacobson's blog on our "Good Guys" list right now.

Washington's Arena Stage Returns

Leaving politics for a moment, Washington's venerable Arena Stage, dark for over 30 months due to a massive renovation, has reopened as the magnificant new Mead Center for the Performing Arts. Still at its old locale in the little-known SW quadrant of the nation's capital, this is one magnificent new facility whose structure actually contains within it Arena's original pair of theaters along with a third performance space.

Check out my article describing the new space in my home away from the Washington Times, DC Theatrescene. Here's a photo of the Center (credit: Nic Lehoux, courtesy of Bing Thom Architects), Washington's newest monument and certainly its most visually interesting.


Mad Dem Dash to Steal Ohio Election

Just incredible what lefties and their minions are up to in their last-minute attempt to thwart the Republican-leaning landslide in my old home state of Ohio. Right Ohio has all the details.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, President Obama, on the final lap of his Ohio Losers' Tour, can't even fill a Cleveland auditorium during a personal appearance. Click here for details. If you read this link to the now-desperate New York Times, the fun part is in the comments section, where left-leaning Democrat lefties try to make excuses for themselves and for The One's pitiful showings, claiming that the media is in the bag for the Repubs due to "bad reporting." You gotta laugh. I guess "good reporting" is the kind that trashes Bush. These are some of the most puerile observations I've ever had the misfortune to read.

Less than 48 hours to go. Time to be on alert for massive, last-ditch voter fraud by the leftists, all of whom believe in free speech, of course. For themselves alone.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

SEIU in violation of RICO statute?

Answer: of course. These union thugs have been violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute for years. Whenever this topic comes up, I wonder aloud why these clowns haven't been prosecuted yet (a rhetorical question) for their consistent history of voter fraud and intimidation efforts, always on the part of far-left Democrats. I usually get a shrug, even from Republicans--one of the reason that ingrained corruption is so difficult to root out.

Now we get a coredump of specific info via a post on RedState. Here are just a few tidbits:

Maybe if the Repubs take the House next week, we'll start getting some hearings on the malign influence of the astoundingly corrupt SEIU.

Shout-out to the Great Unwashed

The Great Unwashed. That's what Amerikkka's favorite pixie newscaster, Katie Couric thinks of you, according to this report from Howard Kurtz (who recently left the Washington Post for The Daily Beast):
....Couric has spent recent weeks in Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston and New Brunswick, New Jersey. She is touring what she calls “this great unwashed middle of the country” in an effort to divine the mood of the midterms.
Yeah, that's you, dear reader, if you just happen to live somewhere in America that's between slightly west of the DC Beltway and slightly Ease of Nancy Pelosi's safely-gerrymandered Congressional district in the People's Republic of San Francisco. It's amazing that we used this very phrase in a recent HazZzmat post--in a satirical way, of course, describing exactly what the media elite thinks of you and me. Now, amazingly, Couric actually deploys the phrase in the elitist's casual, comfortable, offhandedly contemptuous manner.

This clip created a lot of buzz this morning when Drudge linked to it. Oddly, when I first accessed it, the page was there but the post was missing--just a lot of white space. As of this writing, the post is back with all the appearances of having been quickly redacted edited, although the damning phrase is still there.

The most interesting thing about the Obama Years to date is that after the 2008 election, the Democrat party nationwide dropped all pretense that they were not a pack of Marxists bent on ignoring the will of the people. This simple fact is what is really ignited the Tea Party as well as next week's promising electoral tsunami. Yet most Dems still don't have a clue.

But Couric's casual gesture of contempt for Middle America--the real America--tells us, quite eloquently, all we need to know. The clearly intentional disenfranchising of the military vote in New York and Chicago is yet another.

Election Break: So you want to be an English professor, eh?

I thought I'd take a break from the politics of meaning and re-post here a most amusing video cartoon that pretty much says it all when it comes to aspiring to a teaching career as a professor in the humanities--specifically in English. That's where I started out years ago. Needless to say, I ain't there now, nor have I been for a long, long time. Just run the video and you'll hear what I wish I'd heard, more decades ago than I'd care to admit. (BTW, audio is a pretty good flavor of "robo-talk.")

Hat tip, Instapundit. Enjoy.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Palin stupidity on Tea Party date--NOT!

As we promised you in our previous entry, here's another swell example of the alleged intelletual prowess of the coastal elites via the excellent NewsBusters:

Sarah Palin at Monday's Tea Party rally in Reno, Nevada, told attendees, "Don't be thinking that we've got victory for America in the bag yet...We can't party like it's 1773."

Clearly not understanding that was the year of the famed Boston Tea Party, history challenged media members, including PBS's Gwen Ifill and Daily Kos's Markos Moulitsas, mocked Palin via their twitter accounts (screencaps follow with video of Palin's remarks courtesy Right Scoop, h/t Perfunction).
But wait--there's more:
Maybe even more humorous, the Huffington Post actually reprinted Moulitsas's tweet as "News Broken on Twitter."

Of course, all these geniuses needed to do was a simple Google search of "historical events of 1773." The first response would have helped them identify that the Boston Tea Party happened on December 16th of that year.
Links above will get you more details, but be sure you read NewsBusters' whole story. 

Over many years now, I've never quite been able to determine what bugs me about these clowns more: their their socialism, their sheer ignorance and lack of any discernible intellectual heft, or their superciliousness and condescension towards the Great Unwashed (i.e., you and me).

Buy a Gadsden Flag

Down here in Virginia, home to George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, Patrick Henry, George Mason, and God knows how many other patriots, most of us (except for inside the Beltway) are in a Tea Party mood this month. Even though we know the actual Tea Party was held in Boston in 1773. (See our next post on this item.)

After we put the Tea Party's official unofficial emblem--the Gadsden "Don't Tread on Me" flag--up on our website in solidarity with right thinkers everywhere, we began to wonder. Is there a place where you can find these things. And if so, can you buy one?

In the words of our current President, YES WE CAN!


The Gadsden and Culpeper American Heritage Shoppe Ltd. website is right here, and I'm about to pull out my credit card. The yellow flag will look swell flying outside of my house on November 2. How about yours? Extra added bonus: the top of the line flags, at least, are made right here in the USA, not in the People's Republic like everything else. Double bonus. This place is in the state of New York. How counter-intuitively subversive is that?

There's no time like the present for the Silent Majority to make its presence known. Let's party on November 2. (And let's also not forget to go to the polls first.)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Moving Day for a "Good Guy"

Longtime readers are aware of our "Good Guys" and our "Enemies List," both of which appear in the right column in our new design right after current news links. Nomenclature is obvious. The Good Guys are bloggers who use their noggins and aren't deterred by leftist doublespeak and bafflegab. The Enemies List (with a hat tip to Tricky Dick) are the far left pond scum who collectively observe the diktat that the "truth" is whatever the Party says it is.

We try to keep this list and the links up to date. For example, we removed the once-admired "Little Green Footballs" from the Good Guy list once it was obvious that the writer had degenerated into a strangely garbled lefty incoherence. Links change, sites come and go, so we do check once in awhile.

But we missed a recent change. I've just been informed by "The Interface" himself (a veteran Good Guy) that his blog has relocated to a new site. Link's been corrected accordingly. If you're not familiar with the site, check out what's currently the latest entry (October 8) here. It's on one of our favorite topix: "global warming" climate change.

PS: FYI, we've also added Sissy Willis to the Good Guys list even though she's a Good Gal. (I'm from Ohio where both genders are guys anyway.) I discovered Sissy's blog through Instapundit and she's quite insightful and interesting. And also the only one besides moi in the blogosphere, apparently, who recognizes Antonio Gramsci's controlling interest in the great Alinsky-Obama food chain of World Socialism. 

Austan Goolsbee. Who is this idiot?

From CNN online:
Americans can help the recovery along by saving more than in the past, but also by spending responsibly in proportion to income, one of President Obama's top economic advisers said Tuesday.

In a wide-ranging interview based on questions from CNNMoney.com readers, Council of Economic Advisers chairman Austan Goolsbee said the nation can't simply spend its way out of this economic downturn, adding "we need a different style of recovery."
How do these people get jobs in Washington? Americans can "help the recovery" by "spending responsibly in proportion to income"? Are you kidding me? Two questions:
  1. What recovery?
  2. Should we spend in proportion to our income the way the Federal government does under this administration?
Herein, we observe the primary problem with both this administration and the current Congress: neither has a clue as to how things work or as to how a BUDGET works for the average American. Why bother with a budget when you can just steal money from the taxpayers and then claim it as an "accomplishment" for your constituents? In fact, that's probably why the current Congress didn't bother to pass an FY 2011 budget before adjourning. They wouldn't have adhered a budget anyway, so there wasn't really a need to have one.

The problem is that most current legislators and administration figures are either failed lawyers or lousy academics, most of whom have neither held a real job nor run a real company. I am wondering here if Goolsbee actually comprehends the unintentional irony in his ridiculous statements. Well, wait a minute. No, I'm not wondering. Here are three of the concluding grafs of the CNN piece with my comments interspersed as bullet items:
[Goolsbee] disagreed that the president focused so much on health care reform in late 2009 instead of on policies that would have spurred more job growth.
  • What a whopper!
"The president has been absolutely non-stop focused on creating jobs," Goolsbee said. "But that doesn't mean that should be to the exclusion of everything else."
  • The first sentence is a lie. The second sentence is an absolute falsehood. 
"I disagree with the premise that (the president) prioritized health care above jobs," Goolsbee said.
  • You can disagree all you want, Austan. But that's precisely what your Fearless leader did. It's not a "premise." It's a verifiable fact.
Goolsbee and his pals are the Marxists people who are currently running the country into the ground. Remember this on the first Tuesday of November. And once again in November 2012.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fisher, Fed Agree with HazZzMat

How's that for prescience? We published a blog entry yesterday criticizing people for trashing the Fed's QE2 stimulus scheme, arguing that like it or not, the Fed is getting absolutely no help from elected officials in waging the battle against the Great Recession and its effects--namely, unemployment and apparent deflation. So what do we see this morning? A comment from Dallas Federal Reserve President Richard Fisher that corroborates our observation:

Dallas Federal Reserve President Richard Fisher said on CNBC that the Fed can't help the economy alone, and that there is "ample liquidity"  in the market that hasn't been put to work.
Fisher also said the Federal Reserve needs the help of fiscal and regulatory authorities if it is to help the US economy grow at a faster pace.
That's pretty much what we said. There really is money out there. Companies just won't spend it to hire people, fearful that this will backfire on their bottom line when the unpredictable but expensive effects of Obamacare start creeping into their collective bottom lines. Government is just sitting there in Washington imposing ridiculous mandates and expenditures while millions of Americans are sitting home unemployed.

The Fed is doing what it can, but it could use a little help from its alleged friends. That's what both Fisher and we are saying. You can say it too this November by voting the socialists out.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

QE2: Fed Rowing in the Wrong Direction?

QE2, for those not familiar with current market terminology, refers not to the soon-to-be-mothballed British cruise ship Queen Elizabeth II, but to the Federal Reserve's almost certain-to-happen effort to increase the velocity of money into the economy to stave off incipient deflation and a second round of the Great Recession. In other words, for lack of a more precise description, they're going to run the printing presses overtime and inflate until someone, somewhere, starts hiring people again to get the US economy off its collective ass.

But "critics" have happily taken the floor to question what the Fed is doing. Here's an example:
“The Fed is trying to achieve too much,” said Mickey D. Levy, chief economist at Bank of America. “They want to stimulate demand, but there are a lot of nonmonetary factors that are inhibiting the economy, including distressed mortgages and foreclosures, the need for households to save, and a whole array of factors deterring businesses from hiring.” 
There are plenty of others.

What I've never seen mentioned, though, is this: why get on Bernanke's case when he is getting absolutely zero help from the elected Democrat politicians (including the President) who are currently steering the US economy in the direction of socialism and ignoring job creation altogether? Used to be that the Federal Reserve could count on a little help and a little support from the US government for its efforts to revive the economy in tough times. In this case, it would seem that the Congress and the Administration are doing precisely the opposite.

As a result, businesses are sitting on enormous piles of cash, in the trillions of $$, both here and abroad. And they're not going to bloody well put it to work inventing new things and hiring people to build them if they can't get any clarity whatsoever as to what the Feds plan to do to them over the next 4-8 years.

So, with the politicians effectively forcing American business to go on a massive capital sitdown strike, the only weapon remaining to the Fed is--inflation! And so my question is to the pundits, and in fact to many economic conservatives, is this: What the hell else is the Fed supposed to do when they're getting no help? Just sit there and watch the economy tank?

Think about it. Can you come up with any other solution with the current crowd in power?

Valerie Sez: "Stay the course."

Brilliant advice to President Obama from deep administration insider Valerie Jarrett. What does the Prez need to do?
"To stay the course and to know that it will get better," she said in an interview Friday. "He's a student of history, so he knows that it's in times of great challenges when our country has been the most innovative and creative, and we look for new solutions and new opportunity. 
Yep, new solutions. From Das Kapital and the Saul Alinsky Playbook. Keep it up, Valerie. You go, girl!

(PS: "Stay the course." Hmmm. Was that line original with Jarrett?)

The Empire Strikes Back. (Which one?)

This just in via RealClear Politics:
President Obama, with a coarse voice, warned a crowd in Ohio: "They're fighting back. The empire is striking back. To win this election, they are plowing ten's of millions of dollars into front groups. They are running misleading negative ads all across the country."
Gee, Barry, you mean George Soros, the Tides foundation, and all the unions are plowing tens of millions of dollars into front groups to spam the airwaves with negative ads right?? The horror! The horror!

Oh, sorry. Guess he was referring to the Republicans. Honestly, you can't make this stuff up. I never thought anyone could make Jimmy Carter look like an effective president. Looks like I was wrong.

Video of the speech at the link above.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Barack Obama: Narcissist-in-Chief

This just in from Bluegrass Pundit. In a video taken at an Obama-Democrat rally in Maryland (where else but the bluest of the Blue states?), Barack Obama gives his remaining enthusiasts the real reason why they need to go to the polls and vote for the Evil Party this November. The money quote appears in a longer piece in Democrat house organ, Politico:
BOWIE, Md. - President Barack Obama’s message to thousands of African Americans who came to see the man they voted for two years ago was simple: Get out and vote for the Democratic ticket in next month’s mid-term elections, even though he’s not on the ballot.
“Don’t make me look bad, now,” he quipped.
Apparently, it's still all about him. Let's all do the POTUS a favor this fall. Let's show him the predictable results of narcissism and hubris. The ancient Greeks taught these lessons over two millennia ago. But apparently America's scholar-and-narcissist-in-chief never encountered them in college.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Tracking the Continuing Great Recession

In spite of economists' proclamations that the Great Recession concluded last June, it's increasingly obvious that these dinosaurs are academics whose theoretical metrics have little if any connection to reality.

For a huge number of unemployed and/or underemployed Americans, including yours truly, the Great Recession is still on and not getting any better, courtesy of the current administration which is deep on Marxist ideals and a little short of how business and evil capitalism actually work. (Hint: they don't work at all when you call businessmen names 24/7 while creating monstrous unpaid-for programs and terminal uncertainty that undermines the confidence to invest.)

We found a nifty, interactive chart that shows you just where the major trouble spots are today in terms of economic recovery, or lack thereof. Stories, links, and the chart itself are all available here. Check it out.

In the meantime, try to ignore the increasing number of MSM stories being put out via Son of Journolist, meant to chart a nonexistent political resurgence by the Democrats. It's a voter-suppression attempt (aimed at Republicans). Nothing less, as in this feeble attempt by WaPostie lefty Chris Cilliza, who operates at Ground Zero for the "former" Journolistas. He sneeringly minimizes current polling results, confidently implying that Pelosi's majority will be diminished but still intact after the first Tuesday in November.

Nice try, Chris, but we know how you guys operate now. By all lights, people are furious at the Democrats for completely ignoring them. And an awful lot of those who did do the ignoring are going to pay for it very shortly at the polls. All the fact twisting in the world is not going to get around this reality. If not coming to an exact end this fall, our current lefty reign of terror is about to start getting curtailed.

Monday, October 04, 2010

70 "Germans" trained to terrorize Europe

This just in from the AP:
An American missile strike killed five German militants Monday in the rugged Pakistan border area where a cell of Germans and Britons at the heart of the U.S. terror alert for Europe — a plot U.S. officials link to al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden — were believed in hiding.

The attack, part of a recent spike in American drone strikes on Pakistan, came as Germany said it has "concrete evidence" that at least 70 Germans have undergone paramilitary training in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and about a third have returned to Germany.
 The Daily Telegraph roughly corroborates this but adds a chilling detail:
...the German police agency responsible for terrorism investigations, the Federal Criminal Police Office, said as many as 220 people have travelled from Germany to Pakistan and Afghanistan for paramilitary training,  and at least 70 have received it. [Italics ours.]

Five down, 65 to go. Nobody will miss any of them. At least not in HazZzmat Territory.

California's Supremes tell public employees to take a hike

This just in from the Governator:
The California Supreme Court Monday handed down a unanimous opinion to uphold Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's furlough of state employees during the budget impasse. 
Overruling lower court judge-idiotarians, I might add.

About time. You know, looking back myself on a long work-life, I'd have to say that I've worked for my fair share of idiots over the years. Nonetheless, some of them provided me with the opportunity to earn a pretty decent living over all. And of course, had I hated things enough around any given workplace, I could have simply taken a hike. No one was keeping me there.

And so it is now for most of the public employees of California. Union or no, they too can experience what their own arrogance and greed has wrought. They too can sustain an effective pay cut, just like most worker bees in the private sector have--at least those who haven't already lost their jobs and their benefits. Benefits they had to pay a good deal of $$ for anyway, I might add, unlike some people.

Time to wake up, public employees. Who the hell do you think is paying your overly rich salaries? And how do you think they can pay for your luxurious benefits packages when they themselves often have none at all?

Another Nail in the "Global Warming" Coffin

This from Power Line:

Global warming alarmism is not science. It is a toxic combination of pseudo-religion and totalitarian politics. To the extent that there is any debate over climate science--the alarmists run from debate like vampires fleeing garlic--the "skeptics" always win. If you want to follow climate science controversies in a rigorous but accessible fashion, check out the Science and Environmental Policy Project's web site. Among other things, it features a weekly update on matters relating to the global warming debate.

This week's SEPP newsletter includes an excellent piece by Dr. Harrison "Jack" Schmitt, a former United States Senator from New Mexico as well as a geologist and former Apollo astronaut who currently is an aerospace consultant. Dr. Schmitt reviews some of the basic evidence that the alarmists try to wish away. You really should read it all; here are some excerpts:
Policy makers at the head of government in the United States and elsewhere apparently want to believe, and to have others believe, that human use of fossil fuels accelerates global warming. They pursue this quest in order to impose ever greater and clearly unconstitutional control on the economy and personal liberty in the name of a hypothetically omnipotent government. There exists no true concern by the President or Congressional Leadership about the true effects of climate change - only a poorly concealed, ideologically driven attempt to use conjured up threats of catastrophic consequences as a lever to gain authoritarian control of society.
These elitist busibodies are costing us our jobs, our livelihoods, and our futures. Next thing you know, these self-important, sour-faced bastards will be criticizing us for the kind of showers we like to take.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Commie "Progressives" Party Hearty in DC

Via MarketWatch:
Van Jones, a former Obama Administration environmental official, spoke at a labor and civil rights rally Saturday in Washington billed as the Democratic response to a Tea Party rally held there in August. 
I read yesterday where this bought-and-paid-for astroturf One Nation Working Together "rally," sponsored as an antidote to the Glenn Beck fest a few weeks back, expects to boast an attendance of "over 100,000." The MSM tried to obscure the substantial attendance figures for the Beck rally. I wonder how this one will play. So far, I can't find posted (and/or altered) pix, but I'll keep trying.

As you might expect, the "rally," fronted by the notoriously corrupt SEIU and others, has apparently been funded by the highly secretive, George Soros-funded Tides Foundation, according to RightPundits. I have been wondering for at least a decade why no one on our political side of the fence, particularly during the Bush Administration, has ever bothered to investigate Tides, Soros, and the countless left-wing front groups like the Sierra Club, all of which are almost certainly in violation of American laws regarding the use of nonprofit organizations.

Actually, I'm glad to see this "rally" taking place. It'll provide even more reasons for Americans to vote for real "hope and change" just over a month from now. I hope the "community organizers" waste a lot of money on it.

UPDATE: The usually left-sympathetic AP reports that today's rally attendance did not measure up to Beck's, although they're a little coy about providing an estimate:
Organizers claimed they had as many participants as Beck's rally. But Saturday's crowds were less dense and didn't reach as far to the edges as they did during Beck's rally. The National Park Service stopped providing official crowd estimates in the 1990s.

Mexican "Pirates" Gun Down American

This from Fox News:
Texas officials renewed warnings Friday about pirates marauding on a U.S.-Mexico border lake after a Colorado tourist was gunned down in Mexican waters while his wife dodged bullets and raced her Jet Ski back to American soil.
The incident happened near Laredo. The reservoir-lake straddles the U.S.-Mexican border although the demarcation line is not always clear. It's the second such incident in the past several months. The remains of the tourist have yet to be recovered. The Fox piece details how these "pirates" are almost certainly in the employ of Mexican drug cartels.

We've said this before and we'll say it again. Already on the increase, this kind of border violence is only going to get worse.

The Obama Administration's current solution: Sue Arizona.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Bush Tax-Cut Extensions? Democrats Don't Care

This link to the relevant article in The Hill via Glenn Reynolds' Instapundit:
PUNT! Democrats put off votes to extend Bush tax cuts until after midterm election. Of course, the uncertainty this creates will probably hurt job growth in the intervening months.
HazZzmat addendum: Try to imagine how little they care.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The GOP Pledge: The Journolista Line

This just in, hot from the virtual pen of Chief Journolista Ezra Klein:
"America is more than a country," begins the GOP's 'Pledge to America.' America, it turns out, is an "idea," an "inspiration," and a "belief." And the GOP wants to govern it.
Their policy agenda is detailed and specific -- a decision they will almost certainly come to regret.
Like NJ Governor Chris Christie regrets details and specifics, maybe?

Think about it. Details and specifics. Yep, you've gotta regret that stuff if you're a Democrat politician in 2010. It's just the kind of thing that might get you send to the back of America's lengthening unemployment line come the first Tuesday in November, eh Ezra? Better to launch fusillades of BS at the cretins in flyover country while spending their tax money on your pals' re-election efforts. These clowns simply can't handle the truth, can they?

But that's not the funniest part of this breathtakingly dishonest anti-Republican screed. As they used to say in the old Batman TV serials, "the worst is yet to come!":
Because when you get past the adjectives and soaring language, the talk of inalienable rights and constitutional guarantees, you're left with a set of hard promises that will increase the deficit by trillions of dollars, take health-care insurance away from tens of millions of people, create a level of policy uncertainty businesses have never previously known, and suck demand out of an economy that's already got too little of it. 
You have to read the above graf at least twice to truly savor the irony. Didn't the current administration  already "increase the deficit by trillions of dollars;" "take health-care insurance away from tens of millions of people" whose employers will drop them from the rolls courtesy of Obamacare fines, taxes, and punishments; "create a level of policy uncertainty businesses have never previously known" by sowing fear and uncertainty in corporate boardrooms and stock markets alike; and in so doing, "suck demand out of an economy that's already got too little of it"? Why the hell has the stock market been trapped in the Phantom Zone for the past year?

Clearly Klein assumes complete and utter brainlessness on the part of his dwindling Washington Post readership. (Another link here.) Either that, or he's entirely lost touch with reality. Or both.

David Axelrod: Hippie Puncher

Hippie puncher? New one on me. Like XOMG! President Obama's odious PR flak, David Axelrod, apparently tried to enlist the aid of the left-wing blogosphere to counter the increasingly effective smaller-government message of the Tea Partiers. This, of course, after odious faux presidential press secretary Robert Gibbs recently trashed them, much to their obvious consternation.

The response to Axelrod's plea? Right back at ya, dude:
Top Obama adviser David Axelrod got an earful of the liberal blogosphere's anger at the White House moments ago, when a blogger on a conference call directly called out Axelrod over White House criticism of the left, accusing the administration of "hippie punching."

"We're the girl you'll take under the bleachers but you won't be seen with in the light of day," the blogger, Susan Madrak of Crooks and Liars, pointedly told Axelrod on the call, which was organzied for liberal bloggers and progressive media.
Fishing about for a real definition of "hippie punching," I found a fairly complex but good one here, loaded with useful context.

I wonder...does this usage derive from the earlier term "bitch slapping?"

Government Motors (GM) Resumes Political Kickbacks to Dems

Here's a real outrage. General Motors--known these days to cynics as "Government Motors," given that unwilling taxpayers now own the majority of this bankrupt company--has resumed the time-honored corporate practice of paying bribes political kickbacks making campaign contributions to politicians whose favors it wishes to curry.

Although this is not outlawed in a strictly legal sense, it's a profoundly asinine, politically tone-deaf  action by GM's management, particularly when you look at who's supposed to be getting the dough:
The beneficiaries include Midwestern lawmakers, mostly Democrats, who have traditionally supported the industry's legislative agenda on Capitol Hill, including Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.), Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) and Rep. John Dingell (D., Mich.).
Yep, all the people that helped the Obama administration illegally screw GM's bondholders and reward its rapacious unions while "saving" this bankrupt corporate relic, all courtesy of money coming from you and me. As if we had it to give in the first place. 

Oh, yeah, Josh Mitchell's WSJ Online piece does mention that a few bucks were tossed in the direction of Republican House Whip Eric Cantor. Big deal. Cantor should take a stand and give it back. The Dems never will.

We'll perhaps never know who initiated this generous donation out of taxpayer pockets. GM's endless parade of loser-executives has rarely been cited for its intelligence, political sensitivity, or business acumen. It's my guess that beleaguered Democrats--particularly those like Dingell, who could be in real trouble in Michigan this fall--sorta kinda made this $$ suggestion themselves, maybe via two or three levels of subordinates on either side. A little like Nancy Pelosi "suggested" that DC Representative-for-Life Eleanor Norton, hit up ask her old donors to help out the Party itself since Norton doesn't really need the dough. (Audio and story here.)

It still galls me when I recollect, years after the fact, how Ohio's then-Senator Howard Metzenbaum (D-OH!) sternly lectured Ronald Reagan's Attorney General Ed Meese how he must avoid "even the appearance" of impropriety.** When it comes to the appearance of impropriety or actual impropriety itself, however, Democrats apparently don't give a rat's derrière. Advice from a Democrat is always for everyone else. The condescension of these people is infuriating.

Meanwhile, except for this piece in the Journal and my comments in this blog, I imagine that the MSM Journolistas ignore this "impropriety" entirely and remain fixated instead on Christine O'Donnel's youthful flirtations with witchcraft. (Maybe they should throw out their own kids' Harry Potter books while they're at it. Who knows what might come up in, say, the 2030 election campaign.)

UPDATE: Well, Don Surber actually noted this news item as well, and has a particularly pithy comment:
Paying off politicians is cheaper than paying back taxpayers.
**Metzenbaum postscript for those who care: Having made a fortune from investing in parking lots, multimillionare Metzenbaum was ensnared in a Washington DC parking lot scandal just a couple of weeks after he delivered his stern, sanctimonious lecture to Meese. Metzenbaum passed away a couple of years ago in Florida where he'd retired after leaving the Senate. This may not seem like a big deal but it is. Ohio has the most ridiculously low inheritance tax threshhold in the United States. Leaving an estate of just $383,000 (or thereabouts) puts your estate in probate court in the Buckeye State. Like the despicable John Kerry, who docks his yacht in Rhode Island to avoid Massachusetts taxes, Metzenbaum made sure that, as a resident of Florida, his own estate escaped Ohio's confiscatory inheritance tax system, even as his former constituents continue to pay, pay, pay.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Market Flat, Budgets Flat, Dollar Stores Gain

Since I recouped my losses in the stock market last year--and then some--I've been remiss on providing updates on my investing adventures. Part of that is due to the fact that there haven't been many of them this year. I'm essentially flat.

The machines have taken over the market as exchanges and brokerage firms have become addicted to the phenomenon known as HFT, or "high-frequency trading," essentially (in my opinion and that of others) a scam whereby batteries of computers buy and sell tens of thousands of shares in nanoseconds to scalp a tenth of a penny on a large scale or, in some cases, to put large, traditional investors at a price disadvantage. This nonsense should be declared illegal, as it's completely distorted the market and driven nearly all retail investors (except me, apparently) from the market. With big upswings canceled almost immediately by big downswings, my portfolio, and many others, are essentially flat this year which isn't part of the game.

The only redeeming grace of this market is the mostly-ignored (until now) huge dividends being paid by high yielding junk bond, real estate, and energy ETFs (exchange-traded funds) and MLPs (master limited partnerships), all of which must pay out roughly 90+% of their profits as dividends to their investors. To make things even better, these dividends, to varying degrees in varying situations, can be tax-advantaged as well, a big plus in the era of Obamanomics where income redistribution appears still to be the rule.

Another fitfully lucrative investment has been the dollar stores, specifically Family Dollar (ticker FDO, now offering coupons online), Dollar Tree (DLTR), and Dollar General (DG, more online coupons). (California also has "99 Cents Only Stores" [NDN] which proudly proclaim that they're "the right store...now more than ever!") I've been in and out of the first three as the occasion warrants, and they've generally been eating the lunch of larger big box retailers by offering decent quality goods at the price points most newly frugal Americans eagerly seek out.

Their secret is simple: they cater to battered American consumers by finding ways of packaging a large variety of useful goods in or around the $1 price point. Needless to say, sometimes, if you compare weight and unit cost with more normal sized packages, say, at Wal-Mart, the larger retailer may very well win on unit cost. But many consumers are so strapped these days, they only want to buy exactly what they need. Big bulk buys (as at Costco) will wipe out their meager monthly budgets.

It's a sign of our times and a fascinating story about how the once lowly-regarded (by the faux-wealthy) dollar stores are making a big difference in the lives of millions of cash-strapped Americans. Happily, the efforts of the dollar stores to help make budgets stretch are also putting $$ in the pockets of their investors as well, another aid in repairing those damaged portfolios that will be our only hope when Social Security ultimately fails.

For more about the dollar stores, read this interesting piece posted to CNBC online and originating from, mirabile dictu, the New York Times, which took the care to drop Tea Party bashing for a moment to report on some real news about real people and real companies.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ding Dong the Well is Dead...

Well, at least that's what AP says, re: the now notorious BP gulf oil well blowout:
The well is dead. Finally.

A permanent cement plug sealed BP's well nearly 2.5 miles below the sea floor in the Gulf of Mexico, five agonizing months after an explosion sank a drilling rig and led to the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.
Watch how quickly the Obama Administration and/or the MSM will leap to take credit for this feat. Alternative tactic: Not mentioning anything at all, hoping to put this damaging issue to bed--most notably the complete failure of this administration to do anything other than yell at BP and blame Bush while throwing an estimated 50,000 taxpaying oil rig workers out of work.

Obama's Increasing Irrelevance to Anything

Opining on advice to the tone-deaf Obama administration to go-postal-Alinsky on Sarah Palin, the better to distract the electorate from the coming Republican tsunami, Doc Zero of "Hot Air" fires off a stunning spot-on barrage of telling rhetorical questions:
Let me put this bluntly: virtually no one in America gives a damn what Barack Obama says about anything at this point.  What could be more predictable, and less interesting, than Obama’s opinion on any given subject?  Who wants to contemplate the economic wisdom of a guy who looted the Treasury for a trillion dollars, with less benefit than we could have achieved by stuffing hundred dollar bills into random cereal boxes?  Who’s excited to hear about the next plan to convert taxpayer dollars into Democrat campaign funds?  Who’s hungry for another hour of tedious excuses about permanently broken markets and the titanic dead hand of George W. Bush?  Who wants a lecture on ethical business practices from the titular head of the party that gave us Charlie Rangel and Maxine Waters?  What use is another hollow foreign-policy speech from a man who sees no global adversary to rival the menace of Arizona?  Even Obama’s supporters don’t hear anything he says any more.
Italics mine.

Any questions?

Global Warming = Climate Change = Global Climate Disruption

Like ACORN and Journolist, the "global warming" collective of hoaxsters, including Liar-in-Chief and private jet-lover Al Gore, were caught red-handed in their deceit which nearly cost all of us a great deal of freedom, not to mention money. But, like ACORN and Journolist, the warmists are a resilient lot of shape-shifters. After being exposed as frauds and liars, warmists first changed their terminology, referring to their favorite faux phenomenon as "climate change" to deflect the, er, heat from their Big Lie. That didn't work. So now:
The White House wants the public to start using the term "global climate disruption" in place of "global warming" -- fearing the latter term oversimplifies the problem and makes it sound less dangerous than it really is. 
No mention of the earlier attempt at "climate change." Nothing to see here folks. Let's move along.

The genius behind the latest revision of this unbelievable chunk of zombie science is none other than
White House science adviser John Holdren [who] urged people to start using the phrase during a speech last week in Oslo, echoing a plea he made three years earlier. Holdren said global warming is a "dangerous misnomer" for a problem far more complicated than a rise in temperature. 
Sure it is. Serial lying is always more complicated than the simple initial lie. Holdren, by the way, is a notable radical Idiotarian whose ideas for "saving the planet" also include mass abortion and mass sterilization of women (helps balance the eco-system better) as well as sterilization of "undesirables," presumably Republican women. So much for the "right to choose," eh, John.

How much have we increased the deficit by paying this pompous and dangerous jackass?