Monday, August 27

Anti-Obama film does well at box office

The anti-Obama documentary "2016: Obama's America" came in eighth overall this weekend. That's an amazing performance for a documentary film.

But even more amazing: it had the highest average revenue per-screen of the top ten films. This suggests that if it had been shown more widely it would have done even better.

Interesting.

Friday, August 24

City says you can't give free water without a permit ??

A couple of weeks ago I posted about city bureaucrats in Philly threatening to fine a woman for giving free lunches to local poor kids. The bureaucrats said the woman didn't have a permit to do what she was doing.

A permit. To give kids something to eat.

Almost unbelievable. And yet, somehow we all knew this was coming as politicians at all levels of gummint expand their reach and try to justify their jobs.

Well here's the next phase: In Phoenix a woman who was handing out bottles of water--at no charge--in the city's 112-degree heat claims a city employee told her she couldn't do that without a permit from the city. The employee added that they'd get a ticket if they continued.

In an ideal world when crap like this happened, you could just look a certain way at the mad bureaucrat and they'd vanish in a puff of smoke and carbon dust.

Thursday, August 23

More apparent Dem/Obama corruption...mainstream media yawns

Late last year, as voters were becoming irritated over Obama's minions giving hundreds of millions of dollars in "government-guaranteed" loans to shaky "green energy" companies that quickly went bankrupt (like Solyndra), someone in the administration decided they needed an "independent" review of the program that would clear them of any wrongdoing.

The guy picked to do the review was a Wall Street veteran named Herbert Allison, and his report was released this last March.

Can you guess what he concluded? "No problems at all."

Guess what he did for the gummint before that? He oversaw the gummint's mass buy of "toxic" Wall Street "assets" known as TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program)--a multi-billion-dollar boondoggle that basically resulted in taxpayers bailing out Wall Street's big firms.

Now it's been revealed that within a week or two after completing his report, Allison began giving tens thousands to Obama and the Dems: $52,000 and change. Allison said he made his decision to support Obama after he "saw his administration in action and decided that I believe broadly in the things he's trying to accomplish."

I'll just bet you did, cupcake. You loved helping the gummint shake down taxpayers for tens of billions in TARP, and $23 Billion in guaranteed loans for companies run by Obama cronies.

If this guy was appointed by a Republican president and turned around and donated $50,000 to the same guy, the mainstream media would be screaming bloody murder. But if it's Obama...crickets.

Tuesday, August 21

Video: interview of happy female bomb accomplice

Stumbled onto a clip allegedly from Palestinian Television, recorded July 12 of this year and translated by MEMRI. According to the caption it's an interview of a woman who helped carry out a suicide bombing of a restaurant in Israel that killed 16 civilians.

You really need to see this clip, because this woman is so clearly delighted by what she accomplished. She's smiling and laughing through the entire clip as she describes the joyous reactions of fellow Arabs as radio reports of the details of the fatal attack are broadcast.

Now I don't speak Arabic, so it's possible this is a clip of a woman talking about how much fun she had making a movie or something. But the audio seems to be sync'd to the video, and anyone who knew the language could either verify the translation or reveal a hoax.

If this is real--and I don't doubt it is--this will tell you everything you need to know about the prospects of peace in the Middle East.

Dept of Education demands equal discipline rates regardless of behavior

As far as I can tell, any time the federal gummint gets involved in trying to solve a "problem"--whether real or invented by bureaucrats--you can count on three things:
1. There will be a boatload of unintended consequences, some of which will be worse than the original problem;
2. After years of effort, the problem will be essentially unchanged in impact; and
3. The amount of taxpayer funds spent to do this will be eight or ten times the original estimate.

This is the situation with public schools and the problem of "disproportionate minority discipline rates," which is now being attacked by the Departments of Education and Justice.

If you're not in the education biz this phrase may not ring any bells, but it turns out that members of some minority groups are suspended from school more often than others. The Obama administration claims these suspensions are prima facie evidence of racial discrimination, and is strong-arming school systems to ensure that students of different races are disciplined at identical rates.

But what if the differential in discipline rates is due to different racial groups actually misbehaving at different rates?

Oh no, citizen, this cannot be the case.  Because...shut up, that's why.

This demand by Obama's minions strikes the normal person as so ludicrous as to be a spoof or prank on goofy liberal ideas in general. Sadly, it's all too real. Heather MacDonald has the full story here.

It seems the liberals running the Department of Education noticed that blacks--and particularly black males--are suspended from school two or three times more often than whites. Being liberals, they simply could not and cannot believe this could be due to a higher rate of misbehavior by black males, and instead concluded that the only possible explanation had to be racism by teachers and school administrators.

Go read the article at the link. It'll make your blood boil.

Iran bans women from 70+ college courses; U.S. feminists silent

The religious nutbars who run the Islamic Republic of Iran have now banned women from more than 70 university courses, inluding English lit and computer science.

They'll still teach the courses, but women won't be allowed to take 'em.

Now, if a country wants to ban women from certain courses I figure that's on the same order as making 'em wear black robes and hoods--it's their culture, their problems. What I do find *very* amusing about this is that you won't hear a single word of protest about this from feminist organizations in the U.S.

Gosh, and here I thought American feminists were supposedly all about "female empowerment" and "throwing off the chains of the patriarchy" and so on. Oh, wait...maybe they just get concerned about alleged discrimination against women here in the U.S.

Yes, that must be it. They're simply using the time-honored Democrat/liberal double-standard and just ignoring mistreatment of women in other countries. That makes perfect sense, because that way they don't offend Muslims.

Wait...it must not the possibility of offending just *Muslims* that's important to them, cuz, see, I'm pretty sure Iranian women would *love* to have some support from feminists in other countries.

So...I guess U.S. feminists are afraid of offending Muslim...males.

Wow, never saw that one coming, eh?

Sunday, August 19

California sales tax revenue down 40 % from last July???

As my four readers may know, I'm pretty good with numbers. And while numbers can obviously be fudged or cooked, when an entity reports numbers that are harmful to its own interest, one tends to take notice.

A week ago California's state controller reported that the state's sales tax revenue for July was lower than for the same month last year.

That's odd, because the state didn't reduce its tax rate, and population is probably growing very slightly. But let's be conservative and call it flat. In that case, what could account for the drop?

Oh, wait...I left out a significant number: California's sales tax revenue was off 40 percent from last year.

At first I thought that figure had to be four-point-zero, but it really is forty percent.

Now, big entities--the U.S. gummint, big states and huge corporations--have a huge amount of inertia, so their statistics almost always change only slowly. Absent civil war or a change in the law that would push sales tax collections to a different month, I don't know of any legitimate reason for sales tax to drop by 40% from a year ago. The figure is so incredibly unlikely as to suggest there's a big error somewhere.

The link above is to a report released by the state controller's office, so the reported 40% drop isn't just a baseless rumor. The report has a narrative by the controller, which starts by saying July is normally the second-lowest income month for the state. All well and good but that would have no bearing on why this year is 40% lower than the same month last year.

It's been reported that people are leaving CA, but I doubt the state has lost more than a percent or so of its population. It's possible that distressed businesses looking at approaching failure didn't remit their sales tax, but again, hard to see how you could get more than a percent or two from that cause.

I'm mystified. I don't think the controller's office is lying because this is basically an admission against interest.

Sure would be nice if some reporter in Sacramento would ask the controller's office whether they really believed the reported 40% drop was correct; and if so, what they thought the reason for the reported drop might be.

To understand how much of an anomaly this is, imagine if a state government reported that their state had lost 40% of its population in a single year. Wouldn't you find that very hard to believe? Of course. And this is exactly the same thing.

Something doesn't track here.


Saturday, August 18

80 days til election

We're now 80 days from the presidential election so it's probably time to start deciding who to vote for. (Yes, I know about the missing objective case, thanks.)

As I see it there are essentially three questions that need to be asked:
1. Is the nation in a good position now? If not, what's the reason?
2. If we're not in a good position, how much of the problem is due to the president's (aided by Democrats in congress) policies?
3. Finally, does it look like choice offered to replace Obama will be any better for the country?

On the first question: I think virtually everyone agrees that unemployment is too high; that *real* unemployment--the number you get if you count the people who have given up looking for work--is roughly twice the official figure, and even higher for minorities; that the federal government is spending SO much money that it has to borrow something like 40 percent of the huge spending; and that the U.S. is still exporting jobs to other countries.

I hope most Americans realize that three-quarters of the jobs in this country are created by private businesses. And equally crucial, that these private-sector jobs are the ONLY jobs that result in a net income to the government. That is, while federal employees do pay federal income tax, they draw six or eight times more salary than they pay in tax, so are a net outflow to the government.

This means if you want to create more net-positive jobs here, the only place to look is to the private sector.

What most Americans *don't* know is that a) only a small percentage of all people have the right mix of skills and imagination to start and successfully run a business; b) small-business owners work a staggering number of hours every week, especially during the early years; c) if government--on any level--makes things too hard on 'em, they'll quit and draw welfare just like regular folks; and d) Obama has made things harder on small businesses.

Obama has also spearheaded the massive ($800 Billion) so-called "stimulus bill." He and his advisors, like Tax-cheat Timmy Geithner, said spending that much on "shovel-ready projects" would stimulate the economy enough to get us out of the recession and bring unemployment down to 5 percent. As you all know, that didn't happen--not even close. And after the money vanished, some high munchkin in the Obozo regime went on the record admitting that they didn't actually have a bunch of "shovel-ready" projects ready to go, so most of the $787 Billion was simply used to pay the salaries of federal, state and local employees in Democrat-run cities.

Wow, that's some real world-class economic thinking there!

Although the president obviously doesn't literally control the economy, there are lots of things he can do, or refrain from doing. As far as I can tell, Obozo has made bad decisions every time. While the blame for these bad decisions may properly rest with underlings and advisors instead of Duh Won, a certain amount of blame properly attaches to the guy who *selected* his advisors and cabinet members.

Now for the last question: Is the alternative likely to be better? I have to say I'm not particularly impressed with Romney's positions on many things, but his pick of Ryan showed he knows where to look for advice and talent. There's a saying that "Nines pick Tens for advisors, while Fives pick Threes." From what I've seen in life that's pretty accurate.

On the merits, looking to the long-term benefits to the nation, the choice should be R&R. Problem is, so many people are now wards of the state, living off the dole and paying no income tax. So they have an overwhelming interest in keeping the Dems in power, since the Dems are far more likely to keep giving massive "freebies" to the non-working folks.

Unfortunately I don't think R&R will have significantly better results in that department, since congress would have to approve any cutbacks--and congresscritters are notoriously unwilling to risk being called "mean." But at least if R&R are elected, businesses may start investing more.

But Obama is holding three aces: First, he's got the media totally on his side, and against R&R. As one media exec said, that's worth 15 percent of the vote right there.

Second, Obama has shown that he's willing to lie outrageously about his opponents, and the media won't expose his lies. That's got to be worth another five percent.

Finally, Obama's union goons have undoubtedly registered half a million illegal aliens who can be counted on to vote for Obie. So R&R have to work some real magic to pull out a win.

Interesting times.

Friday, August 17

Brokerage/bond house claims to have simply lost track of a billion dollars--nobody's fault

Anyone remember a news story about a firm called MF Global?

If that name doesn't ring a bell don't worry: In the grand scheme of things to worry about it was just a tiny blip. A mere Billion dollars of customer money vanished from customer accounts.

That's Billion...with a B. As in, a thousand millions.

But hey, no big deal.

And it's no big deal because the guy who ran the firm was a Democratic senator, Dem governor and Dem fundraiser: Jon Corzine.

CEO of Goldman Sachs from 1994-1999, Corzine personally made an estimated $400 million when that firm went public. He was then elected to the U.S. senate from New Jersey, then elected governor of that state.

In March of 2010, after losing a re-election bid, Corzine was appointed CEO and Chairman of MF Global, a multinational futures broker and bond dealer. On October 31, 2011, trading of MF Global shares was halted and the company declared bankruptcy shortly thereafter.

When the dust settled investigators found a cool Billion dollars was missing from customer accounts. That is, money in customer accounts had been transferred out of those accounts, without the owners' permission or knowledge.

In December of 2011 Corzine appeared before a House committee looking into the matter of the missing Billion. Because this was back when the House was still controlled by the Democrats (after the 2010 blowout but before the winners had taken office), no hard questions were asked, and Corzine had a relatively easy time.

But in March 2012, Bloomberg reported that a memo produced by congressional investigators quoted an internal company e-mail as saying Corzine gave "direct instructions" to use customer money to cover the company's own trading shortfalls. A Corzine spokesperson denied that Corzine ever gave such an order.

So now that you're up to speed, here's the latest: No charges are expected to be filed against any top executives.

Yep, that's right. After 10 months of examining evidence surrounding the mysterious "disappearance" of one Billion dollars, investigators are concluding that "chaos and porous risk controls at the firm, rather than fraud," allowed the money to disappear.

Ya gotta love that last phrase, "...allowed the money to disappear." No one actually, y'know, stole it or nothin'. It just plumb disappeared all on its own.

Yes, that's right, folks: If you get enough money together it becomes sentient and can just walk right the hell out of the room! Pretty weird to watch, eh?

Kinda' like how the credit-card security information choices in Ogabe's campaign contributions mysteriously went from the default ON position to OFF all by themselves--no human intervention whatsoever! I tells ya, it's skeery how capable big amounts of money become.

Y'know, I'm sensing some oddities with the investigation into MF Global: The firm did NOT just misplace a billion bucks. Dat money went *somewhere.* That is, it was in the accounts of more than just a few customers, and at some point one would think it was pulled out of said accounts, since they apparently no longer contain any money.

Someone--presumably a living person-- had to physically order the transfer of funds from account wxyz to some other account. If this isn't the case everyone who has a bank account or brokerage account is in great danger, because apparently a few computers have become sentient and are doing things on their own initiative.

Yeh, dat's it!

Of course not. This is horse-shit, pure and simple. Someone did it, and according to Bloomberg congressional investigators have an email saying Corzine ordered it.

Presumably that email originated from *someone.* Was that person interrogated about the source of his email comment?

Now, I'm not gonna automatically accuse Corzine of either theft or gross negligence, but I can't help noticing that Corzine was a huge "bundler" of contributions to Obama.

So here's a firm that claims to have somehow "lost track" of a billion dollars of customer money, there's an e-mail specifying that the head honcho ordered the money pulled from customer accounts and used to cover the company's losses, he denies it, and both the SEC and Justice let him walk right out.  And he just happens to be a major contributor to Obozo.

Wow, what were the odds? 

Tuesday, August 14

Amnesty for illegals under 30 starts today

Guess what, taxpayers? Today is the first day that illegal aliens up to age 30 can apply for Obama's amnesty.

What's that, liberals and Democrats? Y'say this is NOT an amnesty?

What makes you conclude that it's not an amnesty? Because King Barry said so? Must be that, cuz here's how dictionary.com defines the word:
  1. a general pardon for offenses, especially political offenses, against a government; often granted before a trial
  2. an act of forgiveness for past offenses, especially to a class of persons as a whole;
  3. an overlooking of any past offense.
Let's see here: are the people who entered the U.S. illegally being prosecuted for doing that, or are they being allowed to stay here with no penalty?

Did their entry into the U.S. violate U.S. law? Of course. But not only is Obama giving them a pass on this, he's giving them a huge present on top, by permitting them to stay in the U.S. indefinitely. In effect Obama is rewarding them for breaking the law, by jumping them ahead of people who followed our laws.

Sounds like amnesty to me.

Seems to me Obama's unilateral order to federal employees to ignore the status of illegal immigrants has effectively rewritten U.S. law. Wow, here all these years I'd been under the impression that the Constitution didn't allowed that--and in fact commanded the president to faithfully enforce the law. But clearly, Obama and the Dems only obey laws when they want to.

If that's the new standard,
why even have a federal code?

It may be instructive to look how the U.S. Supreme Court treated presidential overreach in the past, and compare to today: Back when Nixon was prez, congress kept approving funding for activities Nixon opposed. Nixon countered by simply refusing to spend the money congress
allocated to those functions.

This was called "sequestration" or sequestering, and the court eventually ruled that it was illegal. In other words, the president had to follow laws passed by congress.

Another tactic was called a "line-item veto." Democrat congresspricks were famous for inserting pet items into "must-pass" bills. This put the president in the position of having to accept the outrageous spending item to avoid vetoing a needed bill. Thus Republican presidents who disagreed with a particular item of spending would line-out the offensive item. In essence this was sequestering under another name. And the court treated it the same way: yew can't do dat.

Seems to me that a president ordering federal employees not to enforce a law is tantamount to a line-item veto, and if the Supreme Court rejected the latter it should reject Obama's order as well. But of course, with as many idiot liberal judges as we have now it's likely that the court would allow Obama to do as he wishes, and simply hope no one noticed the court's inconsistency in the two cases.

We are no longer a country of laws.

National Weather Service orders 46,000 rounds of .40 cal ?

Saw this on Moonbattery: The DOC (?) NOAA National Weather Service - Western Acquisition Division, apparently in Boulder, Colorado, is soliciting bids for 46,000 rounds of .40 caliber ammunition.

Now, I'm intensely curious as to what kind of job the National Weather Service can possibly have that uses handgun ammo. Let alone 46,000 rounds of the stuff.

Some of this ammo is to be delivered to each of the following:
Ross Lane at 130 Oak Street, Suite 5, Ellsworth, ME.
Troy Audyatis at 53 North 6th Street, Room 214 New Bedford, MA.
Jeff Radonski, 263 13th Avenue South, Suite 109, St. Petersburg, FL.
James Cassin, 3350 Highway 138, Suite 218, Wall, NJ.

No doubt there's a really good explanation for why the weather service has ordered 46,000 rounds of handgun ammo. I'd sure like to know what it is.

UPDATE: According to bureaucrats, the National Weather Service ammo order was a “clerical error.”

City dictators, part gazillion

Yet another step on the road to totalitarianism: A woman in the corrupt cesspool known as Philadelphia has been giving free lunches to about 60 poor children in her neighborhood. She donates her time and has been complying with the state's ridiculously strict paperwork requirements, filling out weekly reports and being visited bi-weekly by a state monitor.

Well, the city just couldn't let a good deed go, and has now proclaimed that she needs a "zoning variance" to do this. Applying for one will cost her $1000. If she doesn't get one, the city vows to fine her $600 a day.

I would *love* to litigate this one. What does the city claim she's doing that requires a variance? Running a business? No money changes hands. Wait, I know: They'll say she's running a restaurant. Or maybe daycare. Ah, probably some arcane reg against performing charity without a city permit. Yeah, dat's it.

Folks, this is what happens when government has decided it wants to be the only source of help for the poor. This is made even worse by the existence of city-government drones trying to justify their salaries.

Honestly, what's next--making it a crime to give a scrap of food to a starving dog? Hell, you can see that one coming a mile away.

They say hate is corrosive, so I'm gonna keep trying really hard not to hate all these officious assholes. And yes, I realize that some cities establish some permits to keep the lunatic fringe from abusing everyone else. But how stupid of the city pinheads to hard-deal this woman instead of saying "You're doing a wonderful thing. Is there anything we can do to make things easier for you? Oh and by the way, here's that permit you, uh, "applied for" back in ought-six and we just found behind a file cabinet.

Yeah, that would have been a really smart thing to do. Which is why it didn't happen.

Monday, August 13

Lefty PAC claims Romney wants to end Medicare; The Hill repeats verbatim

The left-leaning blog The Hill reports that a "super-PAC" called Worker's Voices, affiliated with the AFL-CIO, has been holding protests outside Romney rallies. Now they're planning to extend their protests to Ryan rallies as well.

This would be pretty ho-hum, except for one thing: In the Hill's post they repeated verbatim a couple of charges contained in a prepared statement from the PAC:
Up to now we have had working families outside all of Romney's events protesting his outsourcing policies at Bain,” reads a PAC statement. “We're now going to expand that message to incorporate Ryan and the plan to end Medicare ... What Romney and Bain did to middle class families and companies, Romney [and] Ryan want to do to all Americans with their plan to end Medicare.
Did you know Ryan had a plan to end Medicare?

Did you know Romney [and] Ryan have a joint plan to end Medicare?

Wow, I didn't know that. That's just awful! Guess those Democrap ads showing a Republican pushing a wheelchair-bound granny off a cliff weren't just dramatizations after all!

Okay, enough sarcasm. Neither Romney nor Ryan has announced a plan to end Medicare. But by publishing this dastardly, false claim by the Democratic PAC without comment or rebuttal, The Hill plants the seed in the minds of gullible readers that the Republicans DO have such a plan.

And no amount of denial by the GOP will ever erase that suspicion.

Clever, huh.

This is Propaganda 101. And given the number of low-information voters, it's a good bet that at least ten million will wind up believing this is the truth.

But The Hill isn't finished yet. If ending Medicare didn't scare you enough, they'll imply that the Republicans want to end Social Security too! The blog ends its Democrat press release by quoting a statement about Romney from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka:
Aligning himself with the poster-child for ending Medicare and Social Security puts to rest any suggestion that Romney has a clue what the middle class needs. (Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO thug)
Fun, fun, fun, huh? Just release the most outrageous lies you can devise, and trust the MSM will reprint those lies verbatim. After which roughly half the electorate will believe those lies.

Hell of a system, eh? Remember these lies, and who told them. Because if Obozo gets re-elected and our economy either suffers four more years of the current crap, or else collapses outright, your children are gonna want to know how it happened.

And how we let it happen.

Saturday, August 11

Lefty mag blasts Ryan as having "no private-sector experience" ?!

Liberals/"progressives"/Democrats could not wait to start bashing Romney's choice of Paul Ryan as his running mate--resulting in an unintentional own-goal by at least one of them.

Writing on the New Yorker's on-line site, a goofy lefty named Ryan Lizza led with the most scathing criticism of the veep pick he could imagine:
Let’s tally the risks of a Ryan pick. For one thing, Ryan has no significant private-sector experience.
Oh my, yes, Mr. Lizza, you have nailed it. How could *anyone* with an IQ above 70 vote for a guy with "no significant private-sector experience" to be Vice-president?

After all, private-sector experience is absolutely crucial to a candidate being able to identify with all of us po' non-gummint folks who aren't working for a non-profit foundation or some such.

Yeah.

Yep.

Uh...wait. Tell me, Mr. Lizza: Does this crucial factor apply to ALL candidates for high office, or just Republicans?

And just when did you have this magnificent epiphany? Yesterday, perhaps?

Cuz' see, your party's candidate for president--the Chicago Jesus--had absolutely no significant private-sector experience prior to being selected as your party's nominee for president.

Ooopsie.

So which way you wanna' jump, you hypocritical rat-bastard? If private-sector experience is crucial NOW, why was it totally unimportant to you four years ago?

And now I'll bet I can guess what you'll do: You'll ignore your perfect foot-shot and hope no one will point it out. And of course your leftist allies in the MSM will do their part to ignore your hypocritical blunder.

Thankfully the Internet already gotcha.

Not content with shooting himself in just one foot, Lizza then took a second shot:
Ryan’s Washington experience is also light, at least for a potential President—which, after all, is the main job description of a Vice-President.
Let's see here...Ryan has been a member of the House for 14 years and is chairman of the Budget Committee. Contrast that with the magnificent experience of the current Democrat preezy, who spent--was it two years?--as a senator before running for president. However, during this time Obama's keen analytical skill, hard work and brilliant oratory won him key leadership positions as chairman of the powerful senate Parking Assignment committee and vice-chair of the key senate School Lunch Menu Planning committee.

Jeez, the Republican candidate for vice-prez has seven times more Washington experience than the Democrat's presidential nominee had when he ran for the top slot.

But pay no attention to the facts, taxpayers. Instead, listen to an elite writer for New Yorker magazine when he declares Ryan is "light on Washington experience."

Y'know, I'm amazed that lefty writers can push out any of the crap they write with a straight face.

Friday, August 10

Man sentenced to jail for collecting rain...on his own property

An Oregon man has gone to jail, sentenced to 30 days. And what he was sentenced for should give you a long, long pause:

He was sentenced for...collecting rainwater and snow that fell on his own property.

Yep. Seems the state of Oregon says the man has been "diverting the state's water." Not sure how the state determined that it owned God's rain falling on a man's own land, but the pencil-dick jerks in Oregon's government managed it.

Oh, he was also charged with having three "illegal reservoirs." Not "illegal moonshine stills" or "illegal bombmaking factories" but "illegal reservoirs."

Now, I can see how if you had a million-gallon concrete tank on a hill, the state might want to look over your engineering data to protect folks downhill. But why do I suspect that this guy's "reservoirs" were more on the order of two-foot kiddie pools?

Oh yeah, that's it: I've *dealt* with morons in state and city gummints before. I've seen first-hand what passes for "thought" in this crew, and it's a travesty. So without having seen the "reservoirs" I'll put $20 that says they're under 200 gallons each.

Somehow I'm not seeing the danger there. But the state will enforce its will regardless. They wanted to slap this guy down, so they'll pull out every stop, even if it's a ridiculous nitpick.

Politico revises story to make Obama look better

Politico is another of the thoroughly-in-the-tank-for-Obama groups. It ran a piece in which Obozo is quoted as saying
I believe in this American industry, and now the American auto industry has come roaring back,” he said. “Now I want to do the same thing with manufacturing jobs, not just in the auto industry, but in every industry.
Uh...to "do the same thing" as you did with the "auto industry"? First, you gave over $60 Billion of taxpayer money to GM, bought controlling interest, then essentially gave control to the UAW. Is that what you want to repeat?

Second, all that illegal generosity with borrowed money did NOT save "the auto industry." Ford declined your bribe money and they've done quite well all along, thank you very much. What you "saved" was the jobs of your union buddies in the UAW who worked for two companies: GM and Chrysler. So don't hand us this bullshit about saving "the industry."

So Politico wrote a post on this, originally under the headline “Let’s repeat auto industry success with every manufacturing industry.” But then, because what Obozo actually, y'know, said could be interpreted to mean...uh...something that might not help him win votes in the flyover states, Politico changed the story's headline to “Obama: Let’s repeat auto industry success.”

The revised header omits the words, "...with every manufacturing industry.” Inquiring minds might well wonder why. So we asked the staff at Politico and they said "Every extra byte we transmit costs energy, and we'd already exceeded our allowed power consumption for this story, so we didn't see any reason to keep the entire header for the rest of time."

Nah, just kidding. They'd never say anything quite that...well, just kidding. I guess they were concerned that normal people would infer from Obozo's words that he was contemplating a government takeover similar to the GM acquisition, but with all industries. Presumably they didn't think the public was ready for this kind of concern.

Nice that they're always looking out for our tender sensibilities, eh?

At the very bottom of the story Politico helpfully told us the reason they revised it:
Clarification: This post was updated to reflect the president's intent to express his support for manufacturing success. An earlier version was unclear about his intent.
"Updated to reflect the president's intent to express his support for manufacturing success," huh? How, exactly, did you determine his intent? Did someone at the White House tell you what it was? Maybe take you to task over an ambiguous headline?

Tell us how you shameless socialist ass-kissers determined his fucking intent.

And the earlier headline was "unclear about his intent", eh? No, cupcake, it wasn't unclear at all. It was simply that the first headline you wrote might possibly have been interpreted by voters in a scary way. That's why you changed it.

The really unusual thing here is that you admitted changing "the post." And of course you only admitted that because your original was already out on the internet, and you couldn't change it without someone saying Hey Look! So you had to 'fess up--to reassure all us poor bitter clingers that Obozo really isn't a socialist.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki in perspective

There's a large group in this country who agonize over the fact that the U.S. is the only nation to drop atomic bombs on people.

That, of course, is their right. They are surely kind, gentle souls who believe there is no such thing as evil and that every criminal is really a choirboy who was mistreated or molested or something. No doubt they would never own a gun, and if they're elected to office they would never have personal bodyguards, since they feel safe being the wonderful people they are.

Problem is, these people use the atomic bomb fact as a springboard to "prove" that the U.S. is really a terrible nation, or the government was/is terrible (at least "is" if a Republican is president). And unfortunately, young, impressionable minds lack any sort of context to defeat this notion.

So...if you want to get some perspective, something you can call on to set your kid straight if he or she asks why we did such a horrible thing, click on this link. It's a masterful recounting.

A liberal tells what's wrong with government

Philip K. Howard is a lawyer and author. His most recent book--Life Without Lawyers: Restoring Responsibility in America--suggests he's refreshingly candid about his own profession. He also wrote the introduction to Al Gore's Common Sense Government--so he's certainly not a conservative.

Now he's written an article in Atlantic titled "The federal government needs a complete makeover." While this isn't a revolutionary thought, the fact that it's coming from a liberal Democrat, in an article published by a liberal magazine, is most interesting.

Howard makes several great points:
Programs are piled upon programs, without any effort at coherence; there are 82 separate federal programs, for example, for teacher training. Ancient subsidies from the New Deal are treated as sacred cows. The idea of setting priorities is anathema. Nothing can get taken away, because that would offend a special interest.

Government is played as a game, not as a fiduciary responsibility to get things done. Running the country is not what political leaders mainly think about. They wake up every morning calculating how to beat the other party. You think this is too cynical? Hearings for completely unobjectionable judicial candidates are held up for years because of unrelated partisan bickering. A chief of staff for a Democratic senator once told me that a bill that perfectly reflected Democratic policy was rejected because it was introduced by a moderate Republican.

Right and wrong no longer matter in this deviant subculture. Sealed off from personal responsibility by accumulated bureaucracy and thick walls of special interest money, our government is covered by a putrid mold of cynical gamesmanship and everyday hypocrisy. People scurry around its baseboards seeking short-term advantage, but big change is so inconceivable as to be laughable.
But he's also got a solution, if only tongue-in-cheek:
[We] should move the national capital. It wouldn't matter where, as long as government is run by new people not infected by the current culture. Almost no current public employees would be able to move to the new capital ... because they wouldn't be able to sell their homes. Just imagine it: a sea of "For Sale" signs up and down the streets of Georgetown and Chevy Chase, with no takers because there are soon to be no jobs. I ended this riff with Disney taking over Washington as a theme park and rehiring everyone to do just what they're doing now -- pretending to do something.
Definitely worth reading the whole thing.

Thursday, August 9

Promises trump reality. Wait, is that right?

One of my favorite reads is Richard Fernandez--"Wretchard"--at PJMedia. He's a student of history and sees some grim signs of convergence in current events. Here's one succinct summary:Link
Campaigns are won in the abstract, but governance occurs in the concrete.

As long as Obama stayed on the plane of smoke and mirrors he could tell voters the lies that 52% of them were eager to hear. But when it came down to where his people would find the money to fund all the wonderful promises, then the truth became unavoidably evident.
Yep.

Wednesday, August 8

CA school district offered 12% bonds??

Story this morning out of California about stupid school district execs says a lot about why government at all levels is in such bad shape.

Seems a couple of school districts borrowed money by selling bonds that had...uh...unusually high interest rates. So for example, the Poway Unified SD borrowed $105 million that over the life of the bond will cost homeowners there a whopping one Billion dollars to pay off, or about nine times the amount of principal.

By comparison, over the full term of a 30-year mortgage you wind up paying back about three times the amount you borrowed. So the school bonds were bringing in a lot higher interest rate than an individual mortgage--which doesn't make sense since the entire taxpayer base guarantees the bonds, instead of all depending on just one homeowner to pay.

Don't know the exact rate on these bonds but the district borrowed other sums at the astronomical rate of 12.6%--and this was in the last ten years or so!

But wait--it gets better: Once the school district's execs had negotiated such a canny deal on the high interest, the underwriters included a provision that they couldn't be paid off early!

Wow, what skilled negotiators the school district had!

The author of the linked article notes drily, "A Poway official declined comment."

I'll just bet he/she did.

Author also notes that the terms on these bonds are so unusual that the State of Michigan outlawed this type of bond years ago.

Point of the story is, 99.5 percent of all city officials are NOT Rhodes scholars or SAT kings. What they are, obviously, is human, and so can be bribed or conned into making decisions that most of us would characterize as dumb.

The problem is that so many cities now handle such enormous amounts of money that canny bond underwriters seem to see them as marks. The underwriters can throw out bullshit numbers and the city exec doesn't have the data to call bullshit. Add a sweet scholarship for the exec's kids and the deal is done.

I don't pretend to know what percent of outrageously predatory municipal bond deals happen because of bribery and what from simple lack of savvy on the part of city negotiators, but where I live they caught one firm outright bribing an official and it was a big deal for about three years as they unwound the details.

One big aspect of the thing is that underwriters make a percentage of the deal regardless of whether it's good or bad for the city. What they want is a bond offering, period. And city negotiators have zero incentive to really push hard for the best deal for the taxpayer. With one-sided incentives like that, the outcome is predictable.

Kudos to the folks who ferreted this out. We need more reporters this diligent. At one time there were more.

And on a related note, I see that the former police chief of Bell, CA--a guy who was drawing $770,000 per year in salary and benefits--has now sued the city seeking severance pay after he was fired.

The chief was able to wrangle such an outrageous pay package because the city's former Chief Administrative Officer--guy named Robert Rizzo--was knocking down even more. This from a town of something like 30,000 people.

How stuff like this can go on without igniting a revolution and heads on pikes is a mystery to me. And the astonishing brazenness of suing for severance pay after years of raping the local taxpayers is nothing short of...words fail me.

Just...wow.

Obama regime caught lying yet again--media yawns

Remember the "Occupy Wall Street" protests that dominated all the headlines last year? The Mainstream Media were falling all over themselves to get interviews and provide sympathetic coverage.

One particular Occupy scene took place in Portland, Oregon, where protesters took over a park in downtown Portland. It was much like OWS protests in other cities, except apparently this park was owned by the federal govt.

Local cops initially arrested two dozen of the protesters, but then abruptly stopped doing so. Many people were curious about this, especially after it was rumored that the Obozo regime had ordered the federal GSA not to arrest the protesters.

Apparently some reporters asked the White House if they'd ordered the GSA not to arrest the protesters. White House denied giving any such order.

Such an order would be no big deal--cops often ignore things that are techically illegal if they're outnumbered or believe police action will trigger a riot or similar reaction. What makes this ho-hum scenario noteworthy is that after some industrious research and use of the FOIA, a watchdog group has found that a former "commissioner" of the GSA's Public Buildings Service--guy by the name of Robert Peck--has confirmed that the WH did issue the "don't arrest" order.

In an email on Nov. 6, 2011, a DHS official named Caitlin Durkovich asked Peck if it was true that his agency had asked Federal Protective Service officials not to take action against the Occupy Portland protestors. Peck replied that it was true.

So once again the Obama regime is caught in a flat-out lie. But because the "catch" happened almost nine months ago the MSM will be able to claim that this is "old news" and therefore of no interest.

This is a standard procedure for the MSM where Democrats are caught lying.

But remember, there's no such thing as media bias. It's all a figment of your imagination.

Tuesday, August 7

"Electricity is a basic human right!!"

It seems to me people can be divided into two groups: those who have at least a fair understanding about how things work, and those who not only don't know but aren't curious in the least. They're the folks whose explanations for things often wind up as "It just *is*."

Example: Most smart people have a pretty good feel for the fact that the electricity that powers their homes costs something to produce. It follows that if too many people don't pay their electric bills, or if government taxes the fuel the electric utility uses too harshly, the company won't recover its costs.

When that happens, most smart people realize that--absent some sort of magic--the lights will go out.

This seems as if it should be common knowledge. Yet many people don't seem to grasp either of the above--seemingly obvious--points.

To such people electricity, water and sewage are regarded as Forces of Nature. That is, they believe that regardless of economics, profit, loss, scarcity of fuel, whatever, all three services will just "be there." All they need is to do is believe that the lights or water will work, and it will be so.

It's but a trivial step from here to the magical thinking of socialism, in which politicians can order people to work, take most of what they earn, give it to the people who--for whatever reason--don't work, and the society and economy will continue to function as it always has.

Does this seem to you to be a workable plan? Would *you* continue to work if the government took most of the fruits of your labors and gave them to someone who chose not to work, or to show up but simply lean on his/her shovel? If so, congratulations: you have grasped a point that has totally eluded many PhD economists, Nobel laureates and a host of ivy-league-schooled babblers.

You think I'm being hyperbolic, perhaps? Not a bit. Paul Krugman, to name just one, apparently thinks socialism is totally workable. As does former Labor Secretary Robert Reich. And thousands of other so-called "elites."

You have to wonder what they're smoking. And by what convoluted reasoning they can suppose such a system will function well.

Charity is all well and good, but when the government takes your "contribution" at the point of a gun, it ceases to be charity. In fact in some cities it becomes a race to the bottom, to see who can scam the system most effectively.

Democracy is wonderful, but its fatal flaw is that it depends on people having a strong moral and ethical grounding. Because the folks who prefer to live on government "freebies" can vote--and eventually, in a poorly educated and ethically ignorant society they will become a majority.

At that point the party that promises the most "freebies" will win virtually every election, and the society implodes.

To be more precise, it collapses from financial insolvency, since the politicians will have promised more to the freebie-seeking voters than those who work can deliver.

If that sounds pretty much like what's happening today, congratulations.

Vote fraud may have provided Dem majority for Obamacare

The Obama administration, most Democratic lawmakers and the mainstream media constantly tell us voter fraud is NOT a problem in the U.S. When you mention a documented case they reply that this is "the exception that proves the rule" (a ridiculous piece of bullshit designed to defeat teenage arguments).

Allegations of vote fraud, they say, are little more than pretexts conjured up by Republicans to justify voter ID laws designed to suppress Democratic turnout.

But according to the authors of a new book about the 2008 race for a U.S. Senate seat for Minnesota, not only was there a lot of fraud but it almost certainly threw the election to the Democrat. In other words, fraud decided the winner of a critical race.

In the '08 race, Republican Norm Coleman ran against Democrat Al Franken. The vote was incredibly close: on the morning after the election Coleman led Franken by 725 votes out of 2.9 million.

Democratic strategists immediately challenged the results. After the first canvass, Coleman's lead dropped to 206 votes. Finally, after seven months of wrangling and litigation Franken was declared the winner by 312 votes.

During the fight over which ballots should count, a conservative group called Minnesota Majority began to look into claims of vote fraud. Comparing criminal records with voting rolls, the group identified 1,099 felons -- all ineligible to vote -- who had voted in the Franken-Coleman race.

Minnesota Majority took this information to prosecutors across the state, but curiously, most showed no interest in pursuing it, even though Minnesota law requires authorities to investigate such leads.

So far, the authors report, 177 people have been convicted -- not just accused, but convicted -- of illegally voting in the Senate race. Another 66 are awaiting trial. "The numbers aren't greater," the authors say, "because the standard for convicting someone of voter fraud in Minnesota is that they must have been both ineligible, and 'knowingly' voted unlawfully." The accused can get off by claiming not to have known they did anything wrong.

Still, that's a total of 243 people either convicted of voter fraud or awaiting trial in an election that was decided by 312 votes. With 1,099 examples identified by Minnesota Majority, and with evidence suggesting that felons, when they do vote, strongly favor Democrats, it's a reasonable bet that Franken was elected because of vote fraud.

And that's just the question of voting by felons. Minnesota Majority also found all sorts of other irregularities that cast further doubt on the "official" results.

This race was particularly important because Franken's alleged win gave Democrats the crucial 60th vote in favor of Obama's national health care proposal -- the exact number needed to shut off a Republican filibuster. If Coleman had kept his seat, Obamacare would not have become law.

Voter fraud matters. Yet Democrats across the country continue to downplay the importance of the issue. Last year, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, denounced "the gauzy accusation that voter fraud is somehow a problem, when over and over again it has been proven that you're more likely to get hit by lightning than you are to [be] a victim of voter fraud."

Except when a guy elected by fraud turns out to be the deciding vote in congress that results in passage of a disaster like Obamacare. In that case we're all victims.

(Original in Washington Examiner; I've edited slightly.)

Sunday, August 5

Axelrod: "I never said that." Uh...roll tape...

A constant tactic of Democrats, liberals and "progressives" (and socialists and communists) is: Lie. Lie big, lie brazenly, lie shamelessly.

They keep doing it because--with air cover provided by the mainstream media--they've always gotten away with it.

The good news is, because they've always had MSM cover, they've gotten sloppy (that is, sloppier than usual).

Example: Have you ever heard anyone in the Obama White House use the phrase "Recovery summer"? Like, say, last year or the year before, touting what an incredibly strong recovery we were seeing, due to all those hundreds of Billions of your tax dollars that the regime spent on...nothing? Yeah, we all heard that.

One of the guys who was spouting that bullshit was a little-known, not-quite-bright bit player by the name of Biden. Here's lefty blog Politico, June of 2010:
Vice President Joe Biden today will kick off the Obama administration’s “Recovery Summer,” a six-week-long push designed to highlight the jobs accompanying a surge in stimulus-funded projects.

David Axelrod, a senior adviser to the president, said: “This summer will be the most active Recovery Act season yet, with thousands of highly-visible road, bridge, water and other infrastructure projects breaking ground across the country."
So imagine my surprise when the same David Axelrod went on one of the Sunday morning talk shows and carefully implied that he never used that term. He's clearly surprised when the host says he used the term, and counters with "Well I was always very careful...you'll have to show me the tape."

These clever, clever Dem strategists can't remember what they said. Because so much of it has been lies for so long that no one has the vaguest idea which end is up.

Cars with Romney stickers being vandalized?

Someone commented on another blog that they were afraid to put a Romney sticker on their car.

Seems they lived in a "blue" city and they'd heard that other folks who had Romney stickers had had their car vandalized--typically keyed or tires slashed.

This triggered an avalanche of comments from people who had actually had this happen to them--and the range of offenses is both chilling and infuriating.

It occurs to me that precisely these acts define the Left better than anything else I know: Leftist sees a sign or bumper sticker he doesn't like, so he vandalizes the property it's affixed to. Sort of like leftist thug governments destroying the offices or presses of newspapers that criticize them.

Has anybody seen any reports of Tea Party folks destroying the property of socialists, Democrats or "progressives," either because said property bears an inflammatory bumper sticker or for any other reason?

No?

I suggest that difference alone tells you pretty much everything you need to know about the two movements and philosophies.

Saturday, August 4

Vote fraud in Miami? Not a problem

Vote fraud: Democrats/libs constantly tell us it's not a problem, that the cases that *are* found are just accidents, or misunderstandings, or...well, basically anything innocuous.

They say this because it supports their position that there is absolutely no need for people to show photo ID to vote. Not only no need, but it's an unconscionable, discriminatory imposition to be required to do so.

Wow, it's such a relief to know there's no vote fraud. Oh, except maybe in that marvel of Democratic governance, Miami.

But don't worry: Vote fraud is NOT a problem.

Well it sure isn't a problem to Democrats.

Children of illegals will be given priority in green cards

So, ya think we've been having problems with huge numbers of illegal immigrants in the last couple of years? Like, too many?

Just wait--it's about to get much worse.

Reason is that Obozo's executive orders that not only directed federal agents not to deport illegals, but also gave amnesty to "children" of illegal immigrants (as long as they meet a few tough requirements, like having a pulse) have given a huge reward not only to the kids but also to their parents.
Link
That is, Obama's unilateral orders not only removed the penalty for illegally entering the U.S. but also hugely raised the payoff--which is that your kids not only get to stay legally but also get green cards (work permits), and will get these ahead of legal immigrants. At least that's the current word from the office of Rep. Luis Gutierrez (Democrap-Ill.), chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Immigration Taskforce.

Hope and change, baby.

Can you imagine what this socialist son of a bitch will do if he's re-elected?

Wednesday, August 1

Able to read character with uncanny accuracy. Wait...

Been following the last few months of civil war in Syria? Wouldn't blame you if you hadn't. Horrible atrocities, on both sides.

To review: The dictator is a guy named Bashir al Assad, son of the previous dictator who ruled for something like 25 years before old age got him. As often happens in cases like this, Junior is more brutal than dear ol' Dad but with even less charm.

Onto this stage in March of last year strolled the world's smartest woman, who offered her opinion:
There’s a different leader in Syria now. Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he’s a reformer.
The speaker, as you may have guessed, was the U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, appearing on “Face the Nation,” March 27, 2011.

Stories like this make you wonder: Do the so-called elites really have a more accurate assessment of things than the rest of us, or is it, as so many have noted, that they only seem smart when they’re talking about stuff that we know nothing about?

h/t Wretchard at PJM

Conservative religious leaders seek ban on public biking by women

Bicycles are amazing contraptions--efficient, quiet, non-polluting and a stress-free way to get great cardio exercise. So if you're a female and you enjoy riding a bike, you may not be happy to hear this next story.

Seems that a handful of conservative religious leaders have decided that women riding bikes leads to "corruption and prostitution," so they're proposing that women who want to ride only be allowed to do so in their own yard.

And the back yard, at that. Can't go riskin' any o' dat "corruption and prostitution," right?

And as usual, opportunistic big-city politicians eager to curry favor with influential religious leaders have said they'll support the proposed ban.

See?! We told you those eeebil Rethuglican pols were gonna take away a woman's right to choose where she wanted to bicycle! You shoulda listened when you had a chance!

Oh, wait, my internet connection mixed some things up.

Turns out the ban on public biking by females has been proposed by Islamic poobahs in Iran. The big-city mayor agreeing to the ban is the Muslim mayor of Teheran.

But you fine, consistent feminists just keep ignoring the atrocities being committed by muslims on your sisters under Islamic rule, and all will be well.

Media slams Ann Romney For $990 blouse, praises Ms Obama for $6,800 jacket

A few months ago Ann Romney wore a $990 blouse for a media appearance. The mainstream media reacted by accusing the Romneys of being out of touch with average Americans. The Washington Post said wearing the pricey blouse would reinforce this perception "no matter how many laundromat photo ops are on the campaign’s itinerary.”

Then last Friday Michelle Obama attended an Olympics reception wearing a $6,800 jacket. The media reaction was essentially identical to their earlier disdain for Ann Romney's fashion choice, claiming it showed the Obamas were "out of touch" and "unable to empathize with the plight of average Americans."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! You didn't believe that for a second, did ya!

And you're right. This time the WaPo simply described the intricacies of the jacket and noted that Mrs. Obama has previously been criticized for “not dressing up enough for Queen Elizabeth.” No snide remarks, no outrage over the cost, not even the ghost of a suggestion that Moochelle was “out of touch.”

But there's not a hint of left/liberal bias in the mainstream media. No no no no no. None. Zip. Zilch. In fact, the MSM are all owned by big corporations and therefore are conservative! Yes, repeat after me: "conservative bias!"

And they think all y'all are stupid enough to believe that.

Sad part is, half the population does believe it.

"Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer!"

This may all be old, but bear with me:

It keeps getting better: On April 30th Obama's campaign munchkins pushed out a twitter post that said "There are no red states or blue states, just the United States." Aww, that's so sweet! Accompanying the text was a map of the U.S. with what seems to be Obama's face in the middle.

So...one nation, one government, one wise, powerful, fearless but so-compassionate leader, always looking out for his people, I guess. For some Americans that's a very reassuring image.

It took blogger Adam Baldwin (not the actor) about a minute to realize he'd seen something a lot like that before: A poster from Germany in 1938 (for those under 30 and educated in public schools that was a year before the Second World War began), featuring the face of Adolf Hitler in the middle of a map of that country, with a slogan that translates to "One People, one government, one leader."


The similarities are...either amusing or disconcerting, depending on your party.

Amazingly, Baldwin found a copy of the Hitler poster and at 10:05 pm on April 30th tweeted the Obama artwork next to the Hitler poster, with the text "No comparison!"

Some time later--still trying to find out exactly when--the White House crew decided it was better to quietly remove the Obama artwork from the tweet rather than leave it.

It would be interesting to know if they tried to delete the whole tweet.

Amazing how similar thought processes lead to similar expressions and graphics, eh?