Saturday, July 31

Something rotten in the Dept. of "Justice"

The sleazy, unethical, unjust and almost certainly unconstitutional acts of this federal government just keep piling up.

Here's the latest:

On July 22nd, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) sent a letter to President Obama demanding that he appoint a special counsel to investigate the circumstances surrounding the Justice Department’s dismissal of the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case.

On July 28th, the chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Gerald Reynolds, sent Attorney General Holder a letter once again demanding the testimony of Christopher Coates. Coates, the former career chief of the Voting Section at the Civil Rights Division, had recommended that the lawsuit against the NBPP go forward. Reynolds had previously subpoenaed Coates to testify but the Attorney General barred Coates from testifying.

Now the seven GOP members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have written Senator Patrick Leahy, who chairs the committee, demanding that an investigation be opened.

On July 29th, in a letter filled with factual and legal errors, Leahy denied this request.

The major issue here is Holder’s refusal to let Coates testify about what happened in the NBPP case. As Attorney General of the U.S., Holder is charged with enforcing the nation's laws. In letting his department drop a case in which individuals are alleged to have intimidated voters--both verbally and by brandishing a weapon within a ten or so feet of the door to a voting place--Holder has a clear conflict of interest.

The GOP senators wanted to get to the bottom of the matter. But the Dems quickly closed ranks and have prevented any independent investigation. We're left with Holder's assurance that no one in the DOJ directed that the case be dropped because the defendants were black--an assertion flatly contradicted by testimony of a former attorney in the Civil Rights division.

I have no idea who's telling the truth in this case. But I imagine most people would agree that the party seeking to block an independent investigation probably has something to hide.

Welcome to the New America.

And "Remember in November."

TV broadcast goes "down the memory hole"

This story just makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck:

Chris Matthews is a liberal Dem who has a daily show on MSNBC. The show runs once, and then a videotape of the same show is broadcast again two hours later.

At least that's how it was always done before a week ago.

Last week Matthews was on with former Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean, and the subject was Breitbart's posting of the video of the Sherrod speech. Both Dean and Matthews ended up looking pig-ignorant, and Matthews made several comments that seemed to support Breitbart to the detriment of Dean.

Reportedly, heads were shaking in amazement all over the media universe. And evidently the network's switchboard began to light up with calls from angry Democrats.

So instead of doing the usual re-broadcast of the videotape of the show in the second time slot (two hours after the first one), MSNBC and Matthews went to the extraordinary effort of doing a completely new show for the second time slot--apparently to avoid the embarrassment that the liberals/Dems would have suffered had they broadcast the tape of the first show again.

Problem was, Howard Dean wasn't available for this "re-do." So the network and Matthews quickly rounded up a hard-core lefty "reporter" to take his place. (To the audience's credit, a third of them actually noticed.)

Wow. This kind of stuff is right out of Orwell's "1984."

"Down the memory hole" indeed.

Obama, Dems scheme to let more illegals stay here?

Americans trust that the Democrats and the Obama administration will obey the law, right?

No?? Why, I'm shocked, shocked I say!

Yeah, okay, what I really meant was "not a bit surprised." As you weren't either, unless you believe in the tooth fairy.

The latest 'tell' that Obama and the Dems are getting ready to rape the Constitution yet again is found in an internal memo produced by political appointees at one of the endless gubmint rabbit warrens--this one is called the "U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services."

The memo--titled “Administrative Alternatives to Comprehensive Immigration Reform”-- (reported here) describes actions the Obama administration could take “in the absence of Comprehensive Immigration Reform” to “reduce the threat of removal for certain individuals present in the United States without authorization.”

Y'know, you read that last phrase and shake your head and think, That can't possibly mean what it seems to mean, can it? And you read it again, and parse it a word at a time, and son of a bitch!--they really are suggesting ways to let "certain" illegal immigrants stay in the U.S., in violation of existing laws.

I can hear lib/dem/socialists saying, "What a wingnut! The memo doesn't SAY "in violation of existing laws" so how can he possibly claim that's true??"

Simple, moonbats: If existing law allowed said illegal immigrants to be here, these political appointees wouldn't have needed to write the memo, eh?

The memo actually proposes that unless an illegal immigrant has a “significant negative immigration or criminal history,” DHS could simply stop issuing “Notices to Appear” (the document that starts the removal process for illegals).

What a brilliant strategy! If a law inconvenience the government, just refuse to enforce it!

In other words, just what Obie and the Dems did with tax-cheating Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. Or what congressional Dems did with Rep. Charles Rangel, and are about to do with Maxine Waters: i.e. nothing.

According to NRO the four authors of the memo are USCIS "chief of policy and strategy" Denise Vanison (a former immigration attorney and partner at Patton Boggs); USCIS chief counsel Roxana Bacon (former general counsel for the American Immigration Lawyers Association), and two career employees of the agency's director, Alejandro Mayorkas, another Obama appointee.

But don't worry, citizen--nothing at all to see here. We pro-illegal-immigration pushers would never never try to do an end-run around the law of the land to keep a lot more illegals here.

I mean, trust us: We're the government.

Friday, July 30

Corrupt Senators give bill name opposite to its effect

There's a bill pending in both houses of congress that apparently would

a) abolish the use of the secret ballot when employees voted on whether to unionize;
b) prevent the National Labor Relations Board from supervising elections for the purpose of deciding whether to unionize.

Given these effects, what do you suppose the group of 40-some Democrat co-sponsors in the Senate decided to name this piece of crap? That's right:

The Employee Free Choice Act

I know, this sounds like tinfoil-hat stuff: One simply cannot believe that any remotely-ethical person could name a bill something so diametrically opposite to its true effect. But this is *congress* we're talking about, so basically nothing outrageous is off limits.

You gotta read the draft text to believe it. Pay particular attention to this section.

Wednesday, July 28

Why I'm voting Democrat this November

This November I’m voting for Democrats, because I agree with the Democratic leadership that the government would do a better job of spending my money than I would. I agree with Barack that it's good for the government to "spread the wealth around." All the people I know support that idea. Besides, only the rich would end up paying more in taxes, and they wouldn't miss it because...they're *rich*! (duh!)

I’m voting Democrat because I believe businesses shouldn't be allowed to keep any profit they might make. Only greedy people want to make a profit. I agree with Democrats that the government should seize all profits and redistribute them to the poor. (See "Spreading the Wealth" above.)

I’m voting Democrat because Democrats believe we need more regulations and higher taxes on Business. For example, did you know current U.S. law actually allows businesses to set up factories overseas? That lets corporations export American jobs to countries that have fewer regulations and lower wages, so we need to change the law to make that illegal. After all, businesses should be run for the good of ALL Americans, not just the people who own 'em or a few greedy execs and investors.

I'm voting Democrat because Barack Obama has promised to cut taxes for 95% of all Americans. And they say people who don't pay any income tax *now* will get this cut in the form of a big check. Everyone I know loves this plan! Rethuglicans claim the Democrats will use their big majorities in both houses to let the so-called "Bush tax cuts" expire, which will raise taxes on almost everyone, but that's just a lie they're pushing to scare people into voting against Democrats this fall.

I’m voting Democrat because I agree with Democrats that terrorists are entitled to a trial in American courts. That way their lawyers will be able to force the government to produce any secret documents that might help in their defense. It's just awful that we've imprisoned all those poor "freedom fighters" at Gitmo without a trial. We need to let them go back to their home countries. Rethuglicans say if we do that they'll start killing American soldiers again, but that's just silly. After all, they're just peaceful farmers who got captured when they weren't doing anything wrong.

Oh, and I'm voting Democrat to give the president more time to close Gitmo. He's been trying so hard to do that ever since he was elected, but the stupid Rethuglicans keep obstructing every plan the Dems introduce to close that hell-hole.

I’m voting Democrat because Democrats support the idea that every person in this country--legally or otherwise--is entitled to free health care. Rethuglicans claim it won't really be free, because the govt will have to pay for it with taxes, but that's silly: the government is gonna give me health care at no cost to me, so that makes it's free. At least free to me.

I believe doctors, nurses, drug companies, etc. should work for whatever salary the government decides they should get. If any of 'em don't like that, the government should require them to donate their time, products, services, facilities, etc. The result will be lots better than the unfair one we have now, under which poor people and immigrants can only get free medical care by going to the Emergency Room.

I’m voting Democrat because Dems support keeping it easy to file product-liability lawsuits. I think it's just *awful* that ordinary people are injured every day by using products made by giant corporations that don't care if their products are unsafe. And I don't think companies should be able to squirm out of paying just because an injured person didn't read some silly warnings in the instructions. I mean, in this day and age, who bothers reading stuff like that?

I’m voting Democrat because I agree with Democrats that 9/11 was planned by George Bush to trick the American people into supporting his invasion of Iraq--a country that was never a threat us in any way. We never found any WMDs there, and I think those videos of Kurds supposedly killed by poison gas from Iraqi planes were all fake. All my friends agree that the *real* reason Bush invaded Iraq was to steal their oil.

I’m voting Democrat because I want to preserve the Social Security system. Democrat leaders say it's financially sound, and that rumors that the system is about out of money are just scare stories being pushed by Rethuglicans. I mean, how could that be true? Everyone knows the government puts our Social Security contributions in a 'lock-box' so the money will be there when we retire.

I'm voting Democrat because Dems support our public school system. Our kids need to be taught that capitalism is evil and that the U.S. is actually the biggest source of death and misery in the world. You can't count on private schools to teach stuff like that. And did you know that when Barack was running that Annenberg project in Chicago he gave $150,000,000 to some new kinds of schools in Chicago, and the graduation rate went way up. I know that's true because I read it in the New York Times.

I’m voting Democrat because Democrats support gay marriage for the whole country, not just in a few states. After all, it's obvious that marriage is a fundamental right, just like the right to a well-paid job, free medical care, public transit and unrestricted abortion. It says so right in the Constitution. It's just not fair that people can't marry anyone they want to. Us Democrats are all about fairness.

I’m voting Democrat because Democrats support the right to an abortion up to the moment of birth.

I’m voting Democrat because I agree with Barack that Republicans are bitter and cling to their guns and religion for comfort. All my friends agree that the U.S. would be a far better place if we could get rid of guns. And religion.

I’m voting Democrat because Democrats support amnesty for undocumented residents and "mis-directed foreign travellers." ("illegal aliens" is such a judgmental term!). Democrats believe undocumented residents deserve all the rights that the rest of us enjoy--free housing, schooling, food stamps, free medical care and the right to vote. It's only fair. We Democrats are really strong on fairness.

Oh, and I believe once someone is here from another country they should have the right to bring in as many of their family members as they like, because it's cruel to keep families apart!

I’m voting Democrat because Democrats support community groups like ACORN that register disadvantaged people to vote. Otherwise they might have trouble following the confusing requirements of registration. I'm not bothered by reports on Faux News that ACORN has submitted registration cards for felons, dead people, children, Disney characters or the starting line of the Dallas Cowboys (who, surprisingly, turn out to live in Nevada), because Fox is a right-wing network that lies.

Besides, ACORN doesn't *want* to register people who aren't eligible to vote, but they're *required by law* to turn in every card that people fill out. I don't have any problem with this because ACORN has good intentions. Having the right intentions is important. Plus it will help ensure that Dems win in November.

I'm voting Democrat because Democrats know that efforts by Rethuglicans to cross-check new voter registration cards to see if the names match the SS number are designed to keep the poor, the homeless and undocumented residents from voting.

I’m voting Democrat because I believe it's wrong for the state to execute murderers. Also, I agree with Democrats that all women have an absolute right to have an abortion at any time. Rethuglicans are such hypocrites to think it's wrong to get rid of a blob of tissue that isn't even human yet, but they're all for executing a full-fledged adult just because the guy may have killed someone. It's crazy.

I’m voting Democrat because I believe Hurricane Katrina was caused by Bush's refusal to act to stop Global Warming. And then Bush made it even worse by not warning Mayor Nagin and the governor of Louisiana that the hurricane was coming! You can't blame the Democratic mayor and governor for not evacuating people if they didn't know.

I believe Bush ordered the National Weather Service not to tell the Mayor and Governor about the coming hurricane because he wanted to make those two Democratic politicians look bad. Boy that sure backfired on him! I also believe people working for Bush or Cheney blew up the levees in the ninth ward of New Orleans.

I’m voting Democrat because I believe our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan routinely kill innocent people, on orders from higher-ups. I agree with the late Democrat rep John Murtha that our soldiers are worse than the so-called "terrorists." And of course Senator Reid, the top Democrat in the Senate, said those wars are already lost.

I’m voting Democrat because I'm still mad at the hypocritical Republicans for impeaching President Clinton for getting a b.j. in the Oval Office. After all, the intern was over 21 and was a willing participant. Besides, everyone knows that everybody lies about sex, so it was just so wrong of the Rethuglicans to put President Clinton under oath and ask him questions about sex. I don't think it should be against the law to fudge the truth when the question is about sex.
And being under oath is no big thing. I mean, he almost *had* to lie to avoid hurting the office. Besides, everyone I know says truth is relative.

I’m voting Democrat because Democrats want to protect our public schools. Democrats know that "vouchers" are just a scheme by the Rethuglicans to destroy our great public school system, because they take money away from public schools and give it to goofy "schools" that don't care about kids. And did you know that the teachers those schools hire aren't even in the NEA? Who knows what kind of loony stuff they'd teach our kids!

I’m voting Democrat because Democrats believe that every person in this country--whether a citizen or an "undocumented resident"--deserves a fair share of our country's wealth. I support all Democratic efforts to "spread the wealth" by means of many wonderful government social programs. The only people who object to spreading the wealth are the rich, because they're greedy and don't care about anyone but themselves. That's obvious because if they cared about the poor they would voluntarily pay more taxes than the law requires--like most Hollywood stars do. The Democratic ones.

I’m voting Democrat because President Obama promised to pull all U.S. troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan within a year after taking office. After we leave those countries, the people there won't be angry with us any longer, and we can all live in peace and harmony. After all, the only reason the normally-peaceful Muslim guys did 9-11 was because the U.S. invaded Iraq. No wonder they were mad at us!

I’m voting Democrat because Democrats understand that freedom of speech is NOT an absolute right. Republicans want to be allowed to publish political ads that haven't been approved by the government! That's just wrong. Next they'll be wanting to be allowed to say things that offend or hurt people. How could anyone think we could all get along if people were allowed to say anything they wished? That's just stupid.

In Canada there's a special court just to try people who say things that offend others; I think we need that kind of system here.

I’m voting Democrat because I believe oil-company profits are evil. After all, doesn't the oil under America really belong to all Americans? I agree with Democrats that we need to raise taxes on oil companies, and that this will reduce the price of gas at the pump.
The only people who should be allowed to keep profits are Hollywood stars and entertainers. And of course the President should be able to keep the royalties he makes from sales of his books. He's *such* a great writer!

I’m voting Democrat because Democrats believe we need to end our dependence on foreign oil, and only the Democrats have a sound plan to do that. They have a program that will produce bio-diesel from corn, and that will use solar panels to get hydrogen out of plain water! That *so* cool--and totally non-polluting. And it would only take two or three years to implement if the Republicans would just stop obstructing Democratic legislation.
I'm not a tech geek so I don't know all the little details (I'm a "big picture" guy) but my brother knows this guy where he works who says it's a slam-dunk.
The stupid Rethuglicans think we can solve our problems by *drilling* for oil. What a dumb idea! Oil is *so* 20th century.

I'm voting Democrat because Democrats oppose Rethuglican attempts to increase offshore drilling, and to drill in the Artic Wildlife Reserve. Everyone knows drilling for oil is incredibly messy, so there's no doubt that drilling in either the Arctic or offshore would increase pollution. Also, Democrats know that drilling in either area won't produce any oil for at least ten years--so how can that possibly help solve energy problems?

And even if they managed to produce some oil from either place, it wouldn't reduce high gas prices at the pump. I mean, everyone knows gas prices are set by the oil companies. I don't know why the stupid Rethuglicans believe oil prices have anything to do with weird notions like "supply and demand." The Democrats need to pass a law that lets Congress set the price of oil, instead of the oil companies.

I'm voting Democrat because the Democrats oppose building more nuclear power plants. All Democrats know that nuclear power is incredibly dangerous. One little slip and a whole city could explode, like Hiroshima.

And I support the effort by Democrats to pass a law that will tax all sources of CO2 emissions ("Cap and Trade"). That will cut CO2 pollution and stop Global Warming. Rethuglicans don't even believe America is responsible for Global Warming. How stupid is that?

And finally, I’m voting Democrat because I believe the America dreamed of by Rethuglicans is evil, and only the efforts of rational, clear-thinking, non-religious people--Democrats like me--can make America good again.

New Leftist meme gearing up for the election?

A leftist U.K. rag published a piece on the leak (by Julian Assange's Wiki-leaks) of some 93,000 intel summaries. (Assange is currently in the UK.) Wretchard at Belmont summarizes:

"The Telegraph says [Assange] 'has been warned by inside sources in the White House not to return to the US as he could be arrested.'"

This has the smell--in every detail--of a budding lefty meme: Unverifiable sources "inside the White House" warning that he "could be arrested"?? Clearly the Obozo administration didn't mean *they* were thinking about ordering his arrest, because they've demonstrated ad nauseum that they don't care about leaks of secrets material, as long as said leaks damage the U.S.

So this sounds like the anti-American Julian A. setting up a straw-man. Then in a few days he will announce his intention to return to the U.S. *regardless of the warning given him by the Obama folks*, and regardless of the risk to his own freedom !

And the Left will go absolutely wild. "How incredibly brave!", they will gush. "To defy the threat of arrest by the eeevil forces of..." Ah, there's the rub: since he hasn't done anything to irritate the Obozo gang, who else would have the authority to arrest him?

Why, the Left would say, rogue elements of the CIA! Or the military! Or--the trifecta--the "military-industrial complex!", because his brave release of the leaked secrets threatens to bring an end to the war and thus to their profits.

Hey, makes perfect sense--if you're a leftist.

Government and/or legislative lunacy, part 3 million

Lifeguards are typically in great shape, right?

Reason, of course, is that they might have to, uh, swim out into the ocean and rescue someone in distress. Which, if I understand the thing correctly, is the whole point of paying folks to fill those positions.

So most people wouldn't think a lifeguard station--if not open to the public, as this one isn't--would need to be wheelchair-accessible, right?

Welcome to the wacky world of government, division of inevitable looney consequences.

The city of Clearwater, Florida, wanted to remodel their main lifeguard station on the beach. Their remodeling plans were examined by the state of Florida, which informed them that the building had to be handicapped-accessible.

The city--citing the seemingly impeccable logic above--applied for a waiver.

The Florida Building Commission rejected the city's request for a waiver because (said the FBC spokesman) the cost of making the building accessible to the disabled was less than 20 percent of the total cost of the project.

The "explanation" by the FBC totally avoids the hard problem of having to actually address the logic contained in the application for waiver. Instead, the FBC invoked a one-size-fits-all rule that they wouldn't grant a waiver if the extra construction cost to be wheelchair-accessible was less than 20 percent of total cost.

Now, I've searched the ADA--both the original and amended versions--and that 20 percent figure doesn't seem to be there. Instead, the act is absolutely totalitarian in its mandatory language: Everyone will comply or be subject to being sued by the U.S. Attorney's office.

The act contains no language providing for issuance of waivers for "cases in which forced compliance would produce obviously lunatic results." Indeed, the act doesn't even seem to contain the word "waiver."

Perhaps the "20 percent" figure comes from some court decision that has since become a standard. I don't know. But who can be surprised that using the reasoning, 'We don't use logic, we just do what the law says', gives wacko results?

Now, let me say that I believe that the ADA, as originally conceived, was intended to rectify a lot of clear wrongs, and in fact has done much good. I can only imagine how frustrating it would be to be confined to a wheelchair and not be able to negotiate barriers that could easily have been removed. So I'm not arguing with the intent of the act.

But the actual language of the act is harrowing, inasmuch as it shows yet again that members of congress (or their staffers, or lobbyists, or whoever drafts the actual language used in these acts) are either stupid, incompetent or malevolent in passing language that seems guaranteed to produce stupid consequences.

If this no-exceptions interpretation of the ADA stands, what would prevent disability advocates from insisting that a manned interplanetary rocket have an elevator instead of stairs?

Clearwater article here.

Tuesday, July 27

Leftist law prof suggested shutting down Fox News

The 400-odd leftist "journalists" who were part of the infamous "Journolist" group have left a cesspool of their thoughts that hopefully will be preserved on the internet for decades. Few glimpses are more revealing than reading what some of these totalitarian-loving collectivists wrote when they thought no one but the members of their carefully-vetted group of like-minded socialists would see it.

Thanks to Tucker Carlson and the crew, a big chunk of the conspiratorial scribblings of these rat-bastards have now been revealed.

One such gem is from Jonathan Zasloff, a law professor at UCLA. It definitely should be preserved for the ages, to show the utter hypocrisy of the left.

Like all the coercion-loving members of Journolist, Zasloff appears to have hated Fox News--presumably because it was the one network that occasionally managed to question some of the scams and stupid policies beloved by the Left.

So how did Zasloff suggest solving the "Fox problem"? By having the (totally Democrat-controlled) federal government simply yank the network's broadcasting license.

“I hate to open this can of worms,” he wrote, “but is there any reason why the FCC couldn’t simply pull their broadcasting permit once it expires?”

This single sentence should hang in the air without comment for a minute or two, as freedom-loving people (and leftists) absorb its implications.

This is how the Left--which constantly raises fears of the possibility of abuses of government power by Republicans--wants government to act.

Hypocritical rat-bastards.

Monday, July 26

Elena Kagan dishonest, shouldn't be on court

As you know, Obama has nominated Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court.

Maybe I'm out of step here, but it seems to me one of the most important qualities we should look for in a judge is honesty. It also seems logical that such a quality would be even more critical for a judge being considered for a lifetime appointment to our nation's highest court.

So if a nominee were found to have, say, rewritten a scientific conclusion by a panel of experts, so that the new version had exactly the opposite meaning from the real conclusion by those experts, seems to me that would be pretty strong evidence that the nominee would not be honest enough to be confirmed to the court.

In 1996 a huge debate was raging over whether a type of late-term abortion called "Intact Dilatation and Extraction" --often referred to as "partial-birth abortion"-- should be allowed in this country. After researching the procedure at length, a panel of docs from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) concluded that
[We] could identify no circumstances under which [the partial-birth] procedure . . . would be the only option to save the life or preserve the health of the woman.
At the time, Kagan was associate White House counsel for Bill Clinton. She knew that this carefully considered conclusion by the expert panel of MDs in the ob-gyn field would make it easier for Congress to pass a new law being considered that would bar this procedure. And if the measure became law, the conclusion would also make it harder for the courts to overturn it.

In December of 1996 Kagan wrote a memo saying “it would be disaster” if the panel's statement --that the experts could identify no circumstances in which the procedure would be the only option to preserve the woman's life or health--were released or leaked.

So Kagan--by most accounts a zealous supporter of unrestricted abortion--simply re-wrote the panel's conclusion, so that it now read,
[The partial-birth abortion procedure] may be the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman.
Kagan's exact wording made it into the final ACOG report, and was later specifically quoted in the Supreme Court opinion that overturned Nebraska’s ban on partial-birth abortion.

When the Senate Judiciary Committee questioned Kagan about rewriting the panel's conclusion to make it read exactly the opposite of the real one, she first tried to deflect the matter, but eventually admitted that the language she “suggested” was written in her handwriting and found in her files in the Clinton Library. And again, the words she used were added verbatim to ACOG’s final report, and later used--again word for word--by the Supreme Court in the Nebraska case.

Now, let me say that my conclusion that Ms. Kagan is unfit for the Supreme Court has nothing to do with her views on abortion. I'm deeply conflicted about abortion. I fully understand why many women would demand the right to abortion, but also understand why many people consider it an awful taking of human life.

But when it comes to Ms. Kagan, I am concerned that in rewriting the conclusions of the ACOG expert panel that cut against her own position, Ms. Kagan "tampered with evidence." She was dishonest, on a matter of grave importance. And I think that should disqualify her from sitting on the court.

But no big deal for the Dems: The Democrat majority in the Senate will still confirm her, since she is the nominee of their dear leader.

And thus another step toward a government for which anything goes, and the ends justify any means.

Oh, and for you leftist/Dems who think this story is in tinfoil-hat territory: It comes from Scotusblog, which specializes in issues involving that court.

Sunday, July 25

John Kerry and the yacht tax

(mega h/t to commenter Bogie Wheel at Belmont)

You may have read on the Net that the great Democratic supporter of the Little Guy, Senator John Theresa Heinz Kerry, recently bought a seven million dollar yacht.

Wonderful. You've done well in life, John, so enjoy your wife's wealth.

The story here is that Kerry is a resident of...anyone know what state? That's right, Taxachusetts. Which levies two types of taxes on yachts: For Kerry's modest playtoy that would be $437,500 in sales tax--even for yachts built and purchased outside the U.S.!--and $70,000 in annual "excise taxes" on boats berthed in that state.

That's quite a bite. But of course Kerry is a rich guy, so presumably he could afford the tax. So what did John Kerry do?

He's berthed the boat in Rhode Island. Because it's so close to his home and all.

Oh, wait, sorry. A Kerry spokesman said the boat is being kept at Newport Shipyard not to evade taxes--perish the thought!--but "for long-term maintenance, upkeep and charter purposes."

The Kerry yacht tax avoidance illustrates yet again a fundamental lesson of human nature:

Regardless of party, the vast majority of people will consistently make choices that keep more money in their own wallets.

This in turn leads to a second observation: While everyone--regardless of their status in life--can be tempted to use the levers of government power to feather his own nest, only the Kerrys of the world actually have the power to do that. The struggling middle-class guy recognizes this, and his sole defense is to ask (or demand?) that the law be applied equally to everyone.

The struggling guy doesn't have to be a Harvard lawyer to recognize that if we tolerate two different standards of law--one for the rich or powerful, another for the non-elite--he is going to be the one who loses.

This is why equality before the law is so crucial to a free society. If enough "little guys" conclude that the law consistently hurts them while letting the rich get away with murder--whether literal or merely financial--they’ll shrug off the “let’s all obey the law” credo and start building IEDs in the garage.

While no one knows exactly how much tolerance the non-elites have for being shafted and shaken down by the "ruling class", it seems likely that there’s some point at which the struggling class decides that "enough is enough;" that if ridiculous government spending and punitive laws are killing 'em, and they can't reform the government (which administers the law) via elections, they're gonna take someone down with 'em.

This is one of the reasons being arrogant and vindictive after an election victory is a bad idea: After the '08 election Democrats/leftists/progressives practically did anal inversions, crowing "I won, you lost, deal with it!" When 2000-page bills set off alarm bells among serious congressmen on both sides, so that passage seemed doubtful even with the huge Democrat supermajority (61-39 in the senate, a 50-vote margin in the house), the leftist crew bribed members of their own party with special goodies to win enough votes.

And now the shoe-shine guys are eyeing the lathes in the workshop.

Oh, there's a postscript to the Kerry yacht tax story: A spokesman for the Massachusetts Department of Revenue said Kerry would be liable for Massachusetts taxes if he berthed the boat in the Bay State within six months of its purchase. But if the the boat is brought to Massachusetts after that period, the state would have to decide if it wanted to pursue the taxes.

With Kerry still being a senator, any bets on whether he brings the boat to Mass after six months, and whether the state will decide to waive the taxes?

Oh, and for any socialist/Dem/"progressives" out there: You think this yacht tax story is bullshit, from some wacko wingnut website? Okay, okay, you're partly right: It's a wacko lunatic site all right--MSNBC.

UPDATE: Most cheatin' pols know how to handle the spotlight of public attention: They either try to control it via sympathetic flacks in the MSM, or else they stop appearing in public until the attention spotlight is pulled elsewhere. But *sometimes* that spotlight can have an absolutely salutary effect--as in this case. Kerry agreed to pay the taxes to his home state.

I suspect he realized continuing to stonewall might have put his senate seat at risk. What's a measly half a million bucks compared to what you can knock down every year as a U.S. senator? Not to mention that their pensions increase with more years in office (or used to, at least; it's just barely possible that changed).

The Huffington Post School of Engineering

Ran across an article at HuffPo that may show the delusions and current disarray of the Leftist/"progressive"/socialist/marxist movement better than most.

Like most progs, the author is chock full of horror and outrage about oil and gas, but instead of the more typical prog line about "I don't need steenkin' commercial energy; I can live off a 100-watt solar panel," he proposes that homeowners install their own small powerplants.

He also claims progs have never been in favor of wind-power; that they've always opposed it but have had to lie about the real reason. So progs claimed windmills were ugly and killed lots of birds, but the real reason for their opposition was...just read below. [yeah, long; sorry]
Progressives, Conservatives, and Energy
by Andrew Reinbach at HuffPo, June 7, 2010

Last week a new gas well exploded in western Pennsylvania and blew natural gas and a million gallons of toxic fracking fluid sky-high. Luckily there was no explosion. It took 16 hours to bring the well in the Moshannon State Forest under control.
OMG! Sixteen *hours* before that horrible wild well was controlled?! It's yet another environmental disaster, I tells ya! Oh, you know what's in that fracking fluid that enables you to call it toxic?

Meanwhile oil kept gushing at the Deepwater Horizon site, drenching the Gulf of Mexico in slimy goo. Capping the wellhead cut the flow in half...but for the foreseeable future tens of thousands of barrels of oil a day will join the estimated 500,000-to-800,000 barrels that have already fouled the nation's most productive fishing grounds.

This is no time to be shouting "drill baby, drill." But down the road these disasters may be remembered as the time America stopped shouting slogans past each other and took up the serious conversations we must have, unless we're willing to watch our country go down in flames.
"...these disasters.." See? Told ya Andrew was gonna call the gas well blowout (brought under control in 16 *hours* thanks to highly-trained men performing astonishing feats every day) a "disaster."

Oh, and Andrew: I'm pretty sure that if we run short of energy, that's gonna be a 'watch our country go down in flames' scenario. But I could be wrong.

These disasters come just when many conservatives, backing away from the apocalyptic rhetoric of the right-wing media, have been reaching out to progressives to find common ground.
Really? "Many conservatives" are reaching out to progressives to find common ground? Somehow that slipped under my radar. How 'bout giving us some *names*? Oh, ya say David Frum? Lindsey Graham? The Maine twins? Ah...*now* I understand.

This is because conservatives aren't stupid -- just, in most cases, misinformed. Most of them not hopelessly seduced by the Emir of Glennbeckistan know that, as The New America Foundation says on its website, we're facing " era shaped by transforming innovation and wealth creation, but also by shortened job tenures, longer life spans, mobile capital, financial imbalances and rising inequality." And they know that energy is part of that, root and branch.
"...seduced by the Emir of Glennbeckistan..."! Honestly, Andrew, you are *so* witty! So are you saying energy is, uh, important to us? Seems ta me conservatives have been saying that rather loudly for, oh, forever. But for as long as I've been alive, you so-called "progressives" have been
a) blocking permits for proposed nuclear power projects;
b) trying as hard as you can to get drilling banned in every place a petroleum geologist thinks might possibly produce commercial quantities of oil;
c) pushing for a big tax on CO2 emissions, because that will jack up the cost of making electricity for all those yucky ol' coal-fired powerplants.

But didn't you hear your fearless leader Obomba on tape saying the kind of Tax & Trade scheme he wants would cause electricity rates to, what did he say? Oh yeah: "skyrocket." Is that what you progs actually *want*? Or are you part of the crowd that believes that when government levies a tax on a corporation, the mean ol' corp just absorbs the cost instead of passing it on in the form of higher rates?

I believe we're in enough trouble now to do what we've always done -- solve our problems by being practical. ... What I'm unsure of is whether *progressives* are ready to take up that conversation. After all, we've been on the defensive since Reagan.

"In the past 30 years every belief we held dear has been ridiculed...and otherwise mistreated in bars across America, by people we didn't much respect in the first place. We had to watch while conservatives plunged us into unnecessary wars, dismantled as much of the New Deal as they could get their hands on, stacked the Supreme Court, almost destroyed the nation's finances, and generally left a mess for us to clean up.
You claim conservatives "dismantled as much of the New Deal as they could get their hands on." Can you give some examples? You say conservatives "stacked the Supreme Court." By that do you mean conservative presidents appointed justices they thought might have had somewhat conservative values? Do you believe that's unethical? If so, is it unethical for Obomba to appoint left-leaning judges? Hypocrite.

Oh, and you claim conservatives "almost destroyed the nation's finances." Would that be by using the so-called "Community Reinvestment Act" to force banks to extend mortgage loans to folks who clearly couldn't afford to make the payments? And wasn't that policy made even *worse* by having Democrats/progressives direct the infamous pair of government-backed agencies--FannieMae and FreddieMac--to buy hundreds of billions of dollars of such crap loans, or to guarantee payment of same? Or was that all just peachy with you and your prog friends?

So now [conservatives] want to make nice? No payback?

Well, no. If we [progressives] want to win, we have to be adults and engage. Conservatives are already beginning to question their beliefs; I've seen it in recent conversations. If we make them pay, they'll just get huffy, stand on their dignity, and drop the whole thing. Then we'll be worse off than we have been -- just when the country needs redemption.
Wow. The only belief I've seen conservatives questioning in the last few months is why we were tolerant enough to let you stupid bastards run on for so long with your stupid, destructive ideas.

If progressives can put over a practical solution [to energy, apparently], conservatives will start wondering what other tricks we have up our sleeves.

Luckily, progressives -- tree-hugging environmentalists, no less -- have something to offer in the way of energy policy that conservatives can buy into; a decentralized power grid.
WARNING: Whiplash-inducing reverser immediately below! Ensure ample supplies of duct tape before reading further!

A big reason progressives have fought industrial wind power, for instance, isn't because they oppose wind power. Far from it. It's the industrial part of the idea--the huge scale of the towers, owned by yet another giant corporation.
WOW!! All this time I thought leftists just *loooved* wind power (except for Teddy Kennedy, who opposed a wind-farm offshore of Martha's Vinyard because he felt it would spoil his view). But now Andrew tells us that all this time, socialist/leftist progs have actually *fought* [we presume he means "fought *against* instead of "fought *for*, but in prog writing you never can be sure] a big chunk of the wind-power industry--the one segment of the industry that's actually (sometimes) making a detectable amount of electricity: the "industrial" part, that installs those big 250-foot-diameter turbines.

So let me be sure I understand: Progs love wind power, but have actually been fighting against it, if the device producing the power is owned by a large company? Can this possibly be right? But doesn't this mean it's not about saving Gaia at all, but about...anti-capitalism?? Wouldn't that expose the Left as total hypocrites who only support a "green" technology if it's NOT owned by a corporation?

The case usually made -- that the towers would ruin views and were bad [sic] for birds and other living things--was mostly resorted to because [progressives] figured that their real reasons for fighting the towers would be die [sic] on the table as pie-in-the-sky. So they left themselves open to claims that they were a bunch of hypocritical NIMBYs who talk a great game, but won't pay the price.
So you're saying progs are NOT hypocritical NIMBYs, but have merely been pretending to be?

It was a big mistake for [progressives] fighting wind power not to make their real case-- that what they favored was a future in which everybody generated their own electricity, be it wind, solar, or mini-hydro. Because that's an idea that conservatives can buy into.
Yep, they've been fighting wind power. Wow, and all this time we thought...

Thanks to BP, most of the country knows we've reached the limits of where we can drill for oil.
Really? So, Andrew, you travel by train a lot? I mean, you and your fellow progs surely don't fly on commercial jetliners, because after the first one went down over the ocean in 1952 it proved that jets were unsafe for passenger travel, right? And after the Apollo fire on the launchpad that killed 3 astronauts, I guess you progs pushed the government to shut down the effort to go to the moon, right? 'Cause everyone knows that accidents set the boundaries of safe operations, right?

And thanks to EOG Resources Inc, which owns the Pennsylvania gas well, we know that natural gas is just as dangerous to get as deep-water oil drilling is--more, if you consider what would have happened if a spark had ignited that 75-foot-high gas cloud.

Andrew, put me some knowledge, here, dude: How long did you spend roughnecking before you became a "journalist"? You didn't? Well, did you work for a "wild-well" company? No? Well then, are you an engineer? No? Well in that case, can you tell us what logic or training enables you to claim that "natural gas is just as dangerous to get as deep-water oil drilling?"

And FYI: down here in oil country a 75-foot gas plume is no big deal. When I was in college one blowout produced a 250-foot torch that burned for six months. But I can understand why you might not know anything about that. That's perfectly okay--I don't know who the best editors are to work for as a journalist, so we're even. But I wouldn't presume to advise you about the latter, while you and your fellow progs, on the other hand....

Now, I'll readily agree that fighting a wild well is dangerous--as is the regular business of drilling any well--and I admire the guts and skill of the men who do either for a living. But if you think danger or risk means we shouldn't drill for oil or gas, shouldn't you want to outlaw, oh, motorcycle riding while you're at it? After all, that's clearly dangerous, and unlike drilling for energy, it produces *no* social benefit, eh?

It would be a pity for progressives to let a victory like that slip through our fingers out of a perfectly human appetite for some payback.

"a victory like that..." Like what? A society in which individuals buy, build and run their own home powerplants? Say, that does sound great! Of course most people don't have enough tech savvy to program the clock in their VCR, but that's just a detail we can fix later.

And you say you've got the technology to do this? Any cost estimates yet? Of course there won't be any emissions, right? And none of your proposed home generators will need an environmental impact statement, right? Geez, dude, you're gonna be as rich as Bill Gates! Cool!

But of course you've got...absolutely nothin' like that. You've got what the software folks used to call "vapor-ware." And *damn*, that stuff is fabulous!

Friday, July 23

The "Cult of Diversity"--Dick Lamm

Some time ago, former Colorado governor Richard Lamm reportedly gave a short speech at a conference on U.S. immigration. Lamm said if he were bent on destroying the United States, he would attack on 8 points.

One of these was to push for "diversity" as a national goal. Another was to encourage various ethnic groups to keep their original culture rather than assimilate.

Still another point was to get wealthy foundations and businesses to give these efforts lots of money to push ethnic identity and a cult of 'victimology.' Part of this shakedown of business would encourage minorities to believe that any lack of success on their part was the fault of the majority.

Lamm said part of his hypothetical attack on the U.S. would including making it taboo to say anything negative about the cult of diversity. He suggested the attackers would find a word like 'racist' or 'xenophobe' that would abruptly cut off any discussion or debate.

Turns out, of course, that everything Lamm warned about in his speech has come to pass in America, forced on the rest of us by progressives and Dems. Those groups have repeatedly told us that cultures that practice female genital mutilation and stone rape victims are as valid as ours.

That members of cultures that strap explosive vests to children are as valid as ours.

That cultures that openly praise and assist lawbreakers are as valid as ours.

Oh, wait...that last one is ours, as self-styled "elites" and left-wing "journalists" praise a government that openly rapes the Constitution.

Tuesday, July 20

Oliver Stone: Grade-A stupid

AP reports that director Oliver Stone believes oil is too important to trust private companies with its discovery, production and refining. He said oil and other natural resources “belong to the people.”

Hey Oliver! Do you know a *single first-hand thing* about the business of drilling, producing and/or refining oil into the gasoline you use in your piston-engine car? I’m pretty sure you don’t, because if you knew one one-thousandth of what’s involved in that process, you’d give thanks every day for the folks whose brains and sweat and capital make that happen.

This nation uses around 19 Million barrels of oil every day, which takes a vast number of people and companies to find, produce, refine and deliver. And you really think the government could do this better? If so, you’re are a moron.

Imagine a government bureaucracy–say about the size of the one that runs that paragon of efficiency called Medicare/Medicaid–running all the oil in the U.S. How much fraud do you think there’d be? How many billion pounds of unnecessary paper–and people paid to push those papers?

The government can’t stay within a budget to save its life–and you want to turn something as vital as OIL over to those people? You’re absolutely NUTS!

Even with its absolute power to tax and legislate, and all the computing power available, and the ability to hire any experts it needed, the federal government couldn’t manage to keep Social Security solvent for more than a few decades. But you, dear stupid Oliver Stone, want to turn the huge American oil business…aw, fuck it. You leftists are naive morons and impervious to history, facts and logic.

When the bullet hits you between the eyes you STILL won’t know why the all-powerful govt turned on you. You'll be whining "I voted for Dear Leader! Really! I was one of his most dedicated supporters! Just call him--he'll tell you I am NOT supposed to be executed!"

Monday, July 19

Dem smoking gun found by Tucker Carlson

Tucker Carlson has found yet another smoking gun on the Lib/Left/socialst/Dems: he seems to have gotten hold of some of the posts on the infamous "Journolist", in which various reporters (all of whom apparently work for the Democratic party) candidly discuss ways to avoid covering stories that would have hurt Democratic candidates or causes.

When an embarassing videotape would surface, for example, they would discuss ways to exert pressure on media outlets and less-leftist reporters to get them not to cover the vid.

Powerful stuff. Shades of the former Soviet Union's "Pravda" newspaper. (For those under 30 or so, Pravda was the main propaganda paper of the Communist Party.)

Here's one of Carlson's examples of how it worked: After the shocking video emerged before the 2008 election of Obama's pastor screaming "God damn America!", the members of J-list sprang into damage-control mode:

Chris Hayes of the Nation posted on April 29, 2008, urging his colleagues to ignore Wright. Hayes directed his message to “particularly those in the ostensible mainstream media” who were members of the list.

Hayes castigated his fellow liberals for criticizing Wright. “All this hand wringing about just how awful and odious Rev. Wright remarks are just keeps the hustle [sic; "story"?] going.”

“Our country disappears people. It tortures people. It has the blood of as many as one million Iraqi civilians — men, women, children, the infirmed — on its hands. You’ll forgive me if I just can’t quite dredge up the requisite amount of outrage over Barack Obama’s pastor,” Hayes wrote.

Hayes urged his bury the Wright scandal. “I’m not saying we should all rush en masse to defend Wright. If you don’t think he’s worthy of defense, don’t defend him! What I’m saying is that there is no earthly reason to use our various platforms to discuss what about Wright we find objectionable,” Hayes said.

Someone asked Mr. Hayes for a response, and it's an instructive look at how deftly left/liberals rationalize this crap:

Reached by phone [yesterday], Hayes argued his words fell on deaf ears. “I can say ‘hey I don’t think you guys should cover this,’ but no one listened to me.”

Lovely. "Doesn't matter if I conspire to hide the truth from the American public, as long as I'm not successful in doing so," eh Mr. Hayes?

Why do I feel you'd explode in indignation if a conservative were to attempt the same line?

Spencer Ackerman chimed in:

I do not endorse a Popular Front, nor do I think you need to. It’s not necessary to jump to [Wright’s] defense. What is necessary is to raise the cost [to] the right of going after the left. In other words, find a rightwinger’s [sic] and smash it through a plate-glass window. Take a snapshot of the bleeding mess and send it out in a Christmas card to let the right know that it needs to live in a state of constant fear. Obviously I mean this rhetorically.

And I think this threads the needle. If the right forces us all to either defend Wright or tear him down, no matter what we choose, we lose the game they’ve put upon us. Instead, take one of them — Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists. Ask: why do they have such a deep-seated problem with a black politician who unites the country?

Ah, Spencer, you waste of carbon, would that be the "uniting" brought about by Obama's taking over General Motors and AIG? Or by bribing wavering Dem congresswhores to get the last vote to pass Obamacare over the objections of a strong majority of the populace?

Or perhaps it's the "uniting" achieved by having the so-called "Department of Justice" dismiss a summary-judgment win against two thugs who were intimidating voters in the doorway of a voting place last election?

Hypocritical rat bastards, all of 'em.

Crap excuse by WaPo for ignoring voter intimidation story

The Washington Post (a newspaper that suffers from delusions of importance, as many of the big ones do) has carefully ignored what many people believe is a big story: That's the one about the so-called "Department of Justice" allegedly instructing its employees NOT to prosecute a case in which two guys were videotaped standing in front of the doors of a voting place in the 2008 election and allegedly yelling intimidating remarks at people wanting to vote.

The defendants showed their contempt by not even showing up in court to present their side of the case. Whereupon the government got a "default judgment" against them.

Sometime later the government backed off the case.

One can argue whether the backoff was politically driven, and what would have happened if the racial roles had been reversed, but those aren't the issues the WaPo chose to focus on. Instead, the paper has ignored the case entirely.

Finally, after the NYT and AP gave it a tiny amount of coverage, the Post's "ombudsman" wrote about the paper's non-coverage here. What's funny is his excuse: According to the ombudsman
National Editor Kevin Merida...said he wished The Post had written about it sooner. [National Editor Merida claimed] the delay was a result of limited staffing and a heavy volume of other news on the Justice Department beat....
A "heavy volume of other news on the "Justice Department" beat? What a load of crap.

The "result of limited staffing"? Commenters noted the Post had enough staff to publish 124 critical articles on a college paper written by a candidate for governor. (Guess which party?)

Again, an utter load of crap.

The silver lining to this story is that the ombudsman's excuse story generated something like 2000 comments--virtually every one calling the Post for their ridiculous excuse, and their brazen partisan reporting.

The Post has been in the tank for Democrats for all of living memory. They're just now getting called out for it in a *slightly visible* way.

Hope they go out of business sooner rather than later. Lying rat bastards, every one of 'em.

Saturday, July 17

Any more cram-downs on the horizon?

Early polling suggests conservatives might pick up tens of seats in the House in November. With this in mind the Wall Street Journal's John Fund wonders whether Democratic congressional leaders may choose to try to use the so-called "lame duck" session between the election and the seating of the new House members--when they'll probably have a lot fewer Dem votes-- to cram through a tax on CO2 emissions and/or the misleadingly named "card check" bill.

Sound far-fetched? Well, since these bills are opposed by healthy majorities of the public, you'd think the Dems would be stupid to buck the will of their constituents yet again.

But of course, congressional Dems (and a few Repubs) have shown that they couldn't care less what a majority of their constituents think.

And if a Dem representative has already lost his or her seat, what would keep 'em from backing yet another unpopular bill just as a big F-U to the folks who just voted 'em out of office?

What's that you say? the Democratic congressional *leadership* would never try that, because they'd be risking the wrath of the electorate in the *next* House election in 2012? Ah... you seem to have forgotten that virtually all the congressional Dems (and a few Repubs) care not a fig for the power of the electorate, since they voted against a strong NO sentiment to pass the so-called "Health Care Reform Act."

So perhaps we need to reach out to *Democratic* voters: If your leaders take advantage of the lame-duck session to pass a CO2 tax --even if just on electricity producers--your electricity prices will go up by exactly the same amount. If that bothers you, you might let your congresscritters know that you won't be supporting them in the *next* election in 2012.

Probably won't do any good, but you'll feel better.

"You hatin' conservatives can't DO that! Because..."

Over the next two years and four-ish months, Americans will have a ringside seat at a fight to take this country back from the brink of disaster--financial, social and political.

Some will throw up their hands and say it's too late, that there's not enough time or will to pull off a victory after we've lost so much ground to the socialist/"progressive"/leftist Dems. The pessimists may be right. But they WILL be right if we simply concede the outcome without a fight, eh?

Others--mostly but not exclusively from the Dem side-- will say, Yes, the government's addiction to spending more than the amount of tax revenue it takes in (or, when Dems control both houses of congress and the White House, to spending two or three or four times more!) unsettling BUT that we can't POSSIBLY cut back on entitlement programs because **that would be cruel to the poor**!!

Same with the recently-crammed so-called "Health Care Reform Act:" "You heartless, hatin' conservatives can't repeal THAT because that would be...*cruel to the poor.*"

But of course, well before Obamacare was crammed down our throats, America's health-care system was already arranged so that *no one was denied critical care because of inability to pay*. In fact, poor Americans (and illegal aliens) had learned they could use hospital emergency-rooms to get medical care for virtually any malady or accident-- at no cost *to themselves.*

Point is that ALREADY we don't have nearly enough money to cover the financial costs even of *current* government programs. So if the U.S. is to ever become solvent again, we've got to cut those programs back--by a fairly significant amount.

I don't want the poor--or anyone else-- to suffer from lack of medical care. But I don't find anything in the Constitution that says the federal government is *obligated* to provide health care for anyone. Nor anything that gives it the *power* to do so.

How did Americans cope with health problems before congress started throwing all these federal funds at the poor? If we stopped doing that--except for true emergency care--would the nation blow up?

I think the problem is, *most* politicians aren't very sophisticated when it comes to math. So what I think happens is, congresscritters pass programs to feel good about their own "compassion" --which also happens to buy votes from the beneficiaries--without paying much attention to future consequences.

America is like a jetliner with pilots who know how to take off and get to cruising altitude, but have never had any experience with what they need to do later.

Doesn't look good.

Friday, July 16

On July 7th the Department of Homeland Security announced that the government would "assume control" of the joint website run until that time by BP and various organizations in charge of providing information about the BP oil spill and recovery.

The website had been jointly owned and updated since the spill occurred in March. Once it switches to dot-gov, instead of dot-com, the government will be able to police the content posted. [to "police" something sounds so much more wonderfully ambiguous than "control."]

BP has been funding the website and the government may require the company to continue funding the site after the it takes control.

DHS, which has no current connection to the site, said it wanted to create more transparency, according to AP reporter Harry R. Weber:
A DHS spokesman told The Associated Press on Sunday that the joint relationship won't change when the website is given a dot-gov address instead of a dot-com address. But who can post information to the site would change. Details are still being worked out.

The spokesman, Sean Smith, said the government wants to be as transparent as possible and increase Americans' access to information.
Problem is, to Obama and his Dem henchmen, "transparency" has some sort of bizzare meaning: It's associated with 2000-page bills that no congresswhore has read in its entirety before voting to cram down our throats. Or with secret visitors' logs to the White House. Or with doing away with the secret ballot for union certification elections.

Ah, *that* kind of "transparency." Well, why dincha' say so?

If the consequences didn't promise to be so tragic, the Dems' behavior would be funny.

Who would have predicted, when they started these programs...

Found this in National Review:

Just three federal programs — Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid — consume 100 percent of all revenue received by the federal government.

Everything else the government does is paid for with borrowed money. Which is why it's impossible to balance the budget just by cutting military spending, foreign aid, food stamps or anything else outside the Big Three.

Our deficit/debt problem can't be solved without deep--and perhaps painful--entitlement reform. And the longer we wait to admit that fact and get going on it, the worse it is going to be.

No politician wants to commit political suicide by proposing we cut so-called "entitlement spending." George W. Bush tried and got hammered — and no one else in Washington wants to try.

Oz had its own version of Obama, sort of...

Australia just ousted a Prime Minister who had a few Obama-like traits. For example, he decided [!] that Australia needed to build and sell more hybrid cars. So he induced his party to set up a program to "encourage" that goal. Initial budget: half a billion dollars.

Car-making giant Toyota was given about $70 million of that fund to build a hybrid in Oz.

As of a couple of weeks ago, they'd sold less than 700. If you're curious, that works out to a taxpayer-funded subsidy of $100,000 per vehicle.

In fairness, they had projected sales of 3000 by this time. If they'd achieved that figure it would have dropped the per-car subsidy to a measly $20,000 or so.

Now compare that to Obama's and the Dems' latest canny bidness venture in the battery factory in Michigan (see above), where U.S. taxpayers ended up paying $151 million to employ 300 workers--a cool half-million bucks per job!

Hey, U-S-A ! U-S-A ! We'll show those piker Aussies, eh?


It appears that all governments routinely make terrible decisions. But when it comes to anticipating market trends or consumer preferences, bureaucrats--and Congresscritters, and present-ents-- make even worse decisions than usual.
Way back in the 1830's Alexis de Tocqueville said:
The American Republic will endure until politicians realize they can bribe the people with [the taxpayers'] own money.
Obama's and the Dems' "stimulus" is nothing more than vote buying, and lining the pockets of his and their political cronies. This corrupt patronage must stop. The most dangerous enemy of our Constitution is discretionary money in the hands politicians.

When government doles out money it is for political benefit, and only for political benefit.

Obama will spend whatever is necessary to get political capital out of [the success of a company that's been given federal (i.e. taxpayer) money] because that will convince voters that such programs are good. But in reality, Obama is just buying votes for himself and the Democrats, not creating jobs.

All the stimulus dollars have gone to friends of Dems. And there is a lot in reserve which will be poured into the unions as we get closer to the election. Those taxpayer dollars--your money, confiscated from YOU--will then find their way back to Democrat campaign warchests in the form of campiagn contributions by those same unions.

Your tax dollars, taken from you by the government and given to special interest groups, will be used to re-elect the same Dems who have taken us to almost 20% "real" unemployment and the continued strangling of businesses. The "Stimulus" is the Dems campaign treasure chest.

h/t to a commenter at Belmont, I think. Sorry I didn't grab their name!

It's been three years since my last post...!

It's been three years since the last time I signed in here, and what an astonishing three years it's been.

I'm confident no one predicted, back in June of 2007, that within just three years our nation and government would have changed so radically (which is exactly the right word):

* Federal government effectively owns controlling interest in the largest U.S. car maker, and one of the largest insurance companies;

* Government now controls medical care for all citizens except those in high government positions;

* The Dinosaur Media, after blasting George W. Bush for annual deficits of $170 or $200 billion, now have nothing bad to say about a deficit six times that large! (We passed one Trillion bucks last week, and still have a quarter of the fiscal year to go.)

* Unemployment at 9.4%--at least if you believe the government!

* Obama and his Democrat henchmen in congress are reportedly gearing up to cram two more economy-busting laws down our throats: A tax on carbon emissions by electric companies, and a measure that will eliminate the secret ballot in union certification elections--which rides under the deliberately misleading name of "Card Check." (Rule 234 for Democrats: Don't ever name bills what they really designed to do, to avoid making the stupid voters anxious!)

* Federal government giving $151 million to a foreign company to create a measly 300 jobs in a Michigan battery factory. (Yes, that does work out to half a million bucks per job!! I tells ya, those Democrats a *such* canny businessmen! Dey are SO smart when it comes to pickin' da winners in businesses.)

* Federal government refuses to enforce border security, forcing a border STATE to step up and do the job the Feds won't--and the Feds SUE the state for...some kind of bullshit theory.

It's all so amazing--by which I mean, anti-American, unConstitutional and just plain stupid and wrong-- that it's really hard to believe only 3 years have passed.

In the next few days (barring accidents) I'll be discussing the state of the country in more detail, try to get a handle on what's ahead, and possibly some things that can be done to make life to put it? Oh yeah: survivable.