Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Just Damn….

Look at this damn thing:

That big red bar on the far right there looks like somebody turned on a spigot.  Courtesy of SayAnythingBlog.  I’ll be charitable here and allow that $800 billion or so of that is TARP money, which I agree was necessary.  If you were looking to invest in a business and you saw the revenues take the dive that they do in 2009 while the spending goes through the roof, you would run screaming from the broker who is trying to get you to buy this pig.  Jeez, the deficit is roughly equal to all of the tax revenue.

We cannot get out from under this any time soon and Unicorn One, along with Pelosi, will blow this thing up in 2010.  I don’t care if Obama has suddenly discovered that he is using Monopoly money, this is unsustainable.

Greens vs. Greens UPDATED—AGAIN!


First, I can’t give one good reason why I haven’t posted for so long.  I’ve been commenting away on various websites, but for whatever reason, nothing here.  Whatevs, I will try to get back to it here.

So, I’m reading around this morning and I come across this article about Senator Dianne Feinstein blocking construction on a solar farm in the Mojave Desert.  She has blocked the solar farms, a decidedly green initiative, because an environmental group acquired and then donated the land for the express purpose of keeping it undeveloped.  So, the enviros spent $45 million in donated funds and another $18 million of federal money, aka, our money, to acquire the land and then donated it to the federal government.  WTF?  The enviros want us to save land, reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, eat less meat, blah, blah, blah.  But they won’t allow someone to build a solar farm in the Mojave-frakkin’ desert?  I’m just guessing here, but the desert might be a good place to harvest sun fruit.

The Left in general and the Greens in particular have tied themselves into a giant circular jerk whenever anybody wants to do something.  Inevitably, they violate one of their umpteen rules, to the point that nothing happens.  When something like this happens, they should be required to contribute electricity back into the grid in some fashion to offset the loss they cause.

UPDATE:  More redonkulosity here:  The greenest way to make a holiday fire.  Pure navel gazing.  Just burn some damn wood.

More Updates:  It just keeps getting more redonkulous all the time.  I’m guessing Al Gore and the rest of them didn’t stop to think that a commodity market works both ways.  From the Financial Times:

“Prices for carbon permits for December 2010 delivery, the benchmark contract for pricing European permits, dropped nearly 10 per cent in early trading, before recovering to end the day 8.3 per cent lower at €12.41.

Lower prices give companies less incentive to invest in cutting their greenhouse gas output. Analysts estimate that prices of more than €40 a tonne are required to stimulate investment in new low-carbon technologies.”

If €40 a tonne is what is needed to stimulate investment and carbon credits are currently trading at €12.41, then there is a long ways to go to get to where the greenies have to go.  Which raises a question that has always bothered me about cap and trade and that is the cap.  There is really only one way to drive that price up and that is for the underlying value of the credits to increase.  That can be done by either a) everybody out there generating so much carbon output that they have to mitigate their output by buying credits or, more problematically to me b) reducing the cap by fiat.  Because that is what is going to happen if this system gets implemented.  Every year, some bureaucratic body, under political pressure, will sit down and decide that the cap needs to come down by, say, 10%.  Only it may not be technologically feasible to do so, which will not alter the decision of an ideologue one bit.  And it is ideologues that will be making these decisions.  In keeping with the likelihood of unintended consequences that is my theme here, those ideologues won’t always be greenies.

And then there is this:  Pets may be worse for the environment than SUVs.  This just kills me!  I have spent a good bit of time in parts of Atlanta that are, shall we say, leftist.  These areas are overrun with pets.  My own two sisters, both of whom are to the left of center, have 5 dogs and 2 cats between them and they both drive SUVs.  One of them lives in a house that is much too big for the number of people who live there.  They frequently put their dogs in their SUVs and drive them places.  In the interest of family relations, we no longer discuss these issues, but once I pointed this out to one of my sisters, the leftier of the two, who drives an SUV.  Her reply was that it was a Low Emission Vehicle.  Then I pointed out that it didn’t matter because it still carried a big carbon load due to its manufacturing and the fact that, low emissions or not, it still burns gas.  And that was about the last time that we talked about this stuff.  I don’t begrudge either of them their homes and pets, I just wished that they would either live up to their so-called beliefs or stop conveniently overlooking their own transgressions.  Be honest about it.  I wonder if Ed Begley, Jr. has pets?  Hell, he probably feeds his dog broccoli.

Monday, December 07, 2009

In Which I Venture Into the Land of the Dingbats


Below is an exchange I prompted at Huffington Post today, link here.  (Link should take you right to the comments, may have to scroll down just an inch or so.)  Yeah, I’ve only got 2 fans there.  Imagine that.


DaveyNC 2 fans permalink

OK, I'm a conservative, particularly in comparison to the HuffPo crowd.
I don't get it. I don't get the Palin allure for those on the right and I don't get the profound hatred of her from the left. This article helps me to understand a little more why lefties don't like her, but it doesn't help me to understand the unbridled hatred she receives. I mean, come on folks, the way to handle such a lightweight is to ignore her, yet you all seem to fairly obsess over her. I come from the right side of the spectrum and I don't pay very much attention to her, other than that poster of her I have on my ceiling.
I can only compare her baffling popularity on the right to the baffling popularity that Obama enjoys (once enjoyed?) from those on the left. There is/was absolutely nothing in their CV's to suggest that they were competent to hold high office, from these babblings by Palin to Obama's unteleprompted ramblings and continued losing streak in initiatives.
When we fall into a cult of personality, like we have now, we are in dangerous waters.

Reply Favorite Flag as abusive Posted 05:13 PM on 12/07/2009

-heidiMT I'm a Fan of heidiMT 34 fans permalink


Under normal circumstances I would ignore someone of Palins intellectual caliber. That being said, I cannot stand by and remain silent at the divisiveness that she promotes. She is encouraging policy that is based on her religious beliefs. She is encouraging the resurgance of racially motivated attacks. I could go on and on about how I believe she is taking us backwards as a nation. Silence can be interpreted as approval.

Reply Favorite Flag as abusive Posted 05:54 PM on 12/07/2009

-KayJay90 I'm a Fan of KayJay90 33 fans permalink

She's the face of a group of theocrats who are intent on "stealth" candidating their way into a majority of our national legislative branch, and if they can do it again, into our national executive branch of government. Witness: the C Street not-so-secret-any more secret society, of which several hypocritical 10-Command ment-break ing so-called christians belong, and are counselled (to hide their behavior) and "forgiven" by their peers.
The theocrats I'm talking about, also known as political evangelica l/dominion ists, have also done a dam'nd good job of infiltrating the U.S. Military with their brand of christianism, tinged with more than a little bit of race- and other-orga nized-reli gion hatred.

Reply Favorite Flag as abusive Posted 05:56 PM on 12/07/2009

-sippewissett I'm a Fan of sippewissett 54 fans permalink

Your last sentence is in fact why the Left and Moderates dislike Palin. (Don't use "hate"; she slings that word around against anyone who criticizes her legitimate ly.)
We are united in our belief that we need smart, ethical leaders, NOT a former beauty contestant who looks at public service as a series of pageants to "win". It is precisely "the cult of personality" that we disdain. Palin doesn't know what she doesn't know -- nor do her "base". Can you imagine someone with her shallow grasp of economics, finance, foreign policy, geography and history in the White House?
* If Faux News wants to give her a show, have at it. We don't watch Fox anyway.
* If Wasilla wants to make her their sled-dog catcher, have at it. We won't have her in our neighborhoods any more.
* If she wants to write another book with more "haters" in it, more victimhood, more adventures from a private jet so she can connect with "real Americkuns", have at it. We won't buy it.
We just don't want her on the national political "stage" thinking that it's time to play her flute as a way to obtain a serious public service position. Bring on smart, serious, public-ser vice-minde d people for national positions and leave Palin to rail against the unfairness of it all...back in Alaska, please.

Reply Favorite Flag as abusive Posted 05:57 PM on 12/07/2009

-wanda665 I'm a Fan of wanda665 32 fans permalink

Well said, Sipp, and I am in total agreement. The reason she flits around military bases is she is well aware many of the soldiers are from the towns she plays to. You know, the real Amerikuns. Well I am from a family of military men who do not care for her. Some men in the military know we need real leadership, not quitters. Trust is very important, and that whining bird cannot be trusted. Check her record in Alaska. Check about the school buses, if information is still available.

Reply Favorite Flag as abusive Posted 09:06 PM on 12/07/2009

-MJHammonds I'm a Fan of MJHammonds 136 fanspermalink


As a woman who is also from a family of military men (father, brother, husband & son), I agree wholeheartedly, as does my family.

Reply Favorite Flag as abusive Posted 09:47 PM on 12/07/2009

-MJHammonds I'm a Fan of MJHammonds 136 fans permalink


Sippe, I just wrote a rather long post in response to the same one you responded to, but I think you said it best. Fanned.

Reply Favorite Flag as abusive Posted 10:07 PM on 12/07/2009

-c2morow I'm a Fan of c2morow 10 fans permalink

I dont hate her, but at the same time I dont respect anything about her. However, I think the biggest fear is that there are people out there who actually believe in her and find her acceptable to hold higher office, thus presenting the statistical probability, that she could actually have a position of influence at some point. It baffles any rational person, to the point of frustration, that others buy into her logic, her views and it just seems perposterous that someone like Sarah could even get this far. At least, that's my take.

Reply Favorite Flag as abusive Posted 05:59 PM on 12/07/2009

-Kitzy I'm a Fan of Kitzy 3 fans permalink


Well said.

Reply Favorite Flag as abusive Posted 09:19 PM on 12/07/2009

-Jeff1958 I'm a Fan of Jeff1958 42 fans permalink


FaiI. Dragging Obama through the same mud as Palin suggests that you are, in fact, cIueIess.

Reply Favorite Flag as abusive Posted 06:27 PM on 12/07/2009

-michelesda I'm a Fan of michelesda 3 fans permalink

I always wonder when people talk about lefties hating or fearing Palin; where does this impression come from? Is it because they don't take her seriously, make fun of her; does that equate to hate for some people? In fact, you have to take somebody seriously to hate or fear them. To fear SP, you'd have to believe that she actually has a snowball's chance in hell; who really believes that? Certainly not lefties, who are actually hoping she will run. That, and being a perpetual walking punch line; what's to hate or fear about that?

Reply Favorite Flag as abusive Posted 07:11 PM on 12/07/2009

-jdunaway65 I'm a Fan of jdunaway65 7 fans permalink

You know, I have been wondering that myself, and as I read your comment, a theory dawned on me...
As you say, not too many on the left have stated that they "hate" Palin. Many (myself included) are amused by her, and those with any intelligence keep an eye on her movements and followers, hoping there are not enough of them out there to actually get her elected.
But back to the "hate"... if you remember during the Bush years, they made all those statements that anyone who criticizes or does not blindly follow the President or support his war are unpatriotic, I think some even suggested treasonous (if that's the case, what are Cheney, Rush, Beck, O'Reilley, etc?). That same mindset comes into play when they say that anyone who criticizes or does not support her, HAS to hate her.
Again, I ask -- if non-supporters or critics of Palin hate her, wouldn't that mean that these same people who say that and at the same time do not support, or criticize Obama have to hate our President as well? Hmmm -- that's not very Christian (or patriotic), is it?

Reply Favorite Flag as abusive Posted 07:42 PM on 12/07/2009

-drlouise I'm a Fan of drlouise 17 fans permalink

I don't hate her...I'm just worried about the permission she gives folks to be intolerant, angry and bitter. Scares me, saddens me and amazes me that there are people who believe she is qualified to lead the country.

Reply Favorite Flag as abusive Posted 08:56 PM on 12/07/2009

-Sundiszno I'm a Fan of Sundiszno 3 fans permalink

It's not that I hater HER. I hate the politics that she represents. I hate the resurgence of the Know Nothings.

Reply Favorite Flag as abusive Posted 09:42 PM on 12/07/2009

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Wanna Know Why the Economy Is Still In the Ditch?

Robert J. Samuelson, writing in the Washington Post nails it in the last paragraph of today’s column (emphasis is mine):


Obama can't be fairly blamed for most job losses, which stemmed from a crisis predating his election. But he has made a bad situation somewhat worse. His unwillingness to advance trade agreements (notably, with Colombia and South Korea) has hurt exports. The hostility to oil and gas drilling penalizes one source of domestic investment spending. More important, the decision to press controversial proposals (health care, climate change) was bound to increase uncertainty and undermine confidence. Some firms are postponing spending projects "until there is more clarity," Zandi notes. Others are put off by anti-business rhetoric. The recovery's vigor will determine whether unemployment declines rapidly or stays stubbornly high, and the recovery's vigor depends heavily on private business. Obama declines to recognize conflicts among goals. Choices were made -- and jobs weren't always Job One.


If you are not familiar with Samuelson, you should read him.  He is always clear, concise and accurate in his economic assessments.  He shows little if any bias, staking his positions based on solid data, not opinion.

So today, we have President Obama hosting a “jobs summit”.  This is a Potemkin village of a summit, put together for show.  He has already said that nothing will happen in the area of job creation until next year.  Of course not, Mr. President.  Because you waited until December to think about the issue.  This incredible prioritizing of issues will cost him re-election more than any other of his actions.  Somehow, it was more important to prop GM up, dive into health care, play with cap and trade, diddle around with bringing the Olympics to Chicago and pass a $787 billion porkulus bill that nobody can figure out exactly how many jobs it has “saved or created”>

OK, I’ve called him out on this clusterfuck he has made of things.  Here is how I think he should have prioritized things from the time that he took office:

  • 1.  Address Afghanistan
  • 1a. Take over and sell off the big zombie banks.  Get the bad stuff out so that the good stuff can grow.We’ve spent trillions in porkulus, bailouts and so forth.  $1.9 trillion is pretty close to the number, I believe, without trying to chase down the correct number.  Adjust that to $1.5 trillion to be conservative.  Instead of using that money to prop up banks and crappy car companies, buy up the bad assets of those companies and then sell them off, over time, for whatever they can get.  This, of course, is what TARP was supposed to be for in the first place.  This economy is languishing now because nobody knows what to do with all those empty houses and full car lots.  If the bad actors (GM, Lehman, etc.) go out of business, well, then too bad.  Obama has socialized the loss.  Bullshit.
  • 1aa. Cut taxes, especially business taxes.  Right now, an estimated $13 trillion in corporate profits is held offshore in order to avoid the 35% tax rate that companies would have to pay if they brought that money home.  That money could have been repatriated with the stroke of a pen by signing a tax amnesty bill that would either eliminate that 35% or reducing it to some much lower lever.  Instead, we went and borrowed trillions when we could have had just as much capital brought in for zero cost.  No interest at all and even gain some tax revenue if that rate were lowered to say, 15%.  This was proposed by a Texas Congressman, but since he had an R next to his name, it wasn’t considered.
  • 2.  Go collect undeserved nobel peace prize*, because those assholes were gonna give it to him no matter what he did. 

Had he done this, he would have utterly disabled the Republican party by co-opting their notions for running the country.  And he would have won over a large part of the Republican base in so doing.  And, oh yeah, he would have saved the country a Depression.

*Never capitalized here.

UPDATE:  He’s having this summit without his critics, otherwise known as people who might have some better ideas.  Jeez.  Somebody needs to remind him of how the Hegelian dialectic works.

Would You Like a Sample?

“If they make peanut oil from peanuts and they make corn oil from corn, what do they make baby oil from?”

We’ve all seen these little cups, in restaurants and in the grocery store with food samples in them:

Well, it looks like they have come out with a new size:


Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Atta Boy, Cadet!

The caption says that they were still waiting for Him to appear. I'm thinking this fellow knew that cameras would be firing away.  Photo from Reuters via Yahoo! News.

How to Fix Healthcare With a Healthy Dose of Capitalism

A personal story:  Back in about 2002, my now ex-wife and I were both out of work and thus out of health insurance.  She developed bursitis in her shoulder, a problem that she had had once many years before.  She lived with it for a while, but eventually she couldn’t bear the pain any longer and needed medical attention.  She knew from her previous experience that a cortisone shot would clear it right up, so I set about finding a doctor that would do the job for a reasonable charge.

I started calling doctors in our little town and the story was pretty much the same from all of them; $200 deposit, x-rays, treatment, office charge, etc.  Most of them could not readily give me a price; they didn’t know it but eventually I got numbers and they all came in between $800 and $1000.  All we wanted was the cortisone shot; she knew what was wrong and what would fix it.  We didn’t want x-rays or any of the other crap they were all talking about.

Finally, I found a doctor (and actually got to speak directly to him!), explained our situation and what we needed and he agreed to give her the cortisone for $120.
That is how markets work; a buyer shops for what they need and finds it at a price that is suitable and the deal is done.  In one hour on the phone, I knocked the price down by hundred’s of dollars.  Think what would happen if we all did that every time we needed medical attention.

She got the shot and in short order was as good as new.  Pretty damn simple, if the assholes in Washington would just get out of the way and let it happen.

What To Do If You Are Attacked by a Great White Shark

First, karate-chop the hell out them and then flip them on their back.  Nothing to it.

From article at Daily Mail UK Online

Obama on Afghanistan


Obama has clearly learned that actually being the man charged with making a decision is hard. It's damned easy to run around the country in a campaign and read teleprompters that tell you to call for the end of the war and another thing entirely to suddenly realize that he can't just vote "Present" any longer.

True to form, he straddled the whole thing. McChrystal asked for 40,000 troops; Obama sends him 30,000 and no doubt congratulates himself for his Solomon-like (in his mind) decision for halving the infant. It's a half-measure, calibrated to calm critics on both sides of the aisle. Eighteen months isn't enough time and he knows it, but that coincides nicely with the next Presidential election, so he tosses that number out. These are not decisions made to win the war; they are intended to buy time and relieve pressure on himself.

What a cynical, no-balls move from the President. Not that he deserved it, but the nobel committee should rescind their peace prize* award.


*never capitalized here ever again.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Something Doesn’t Make Sense Here


Have a look at this photo of Tiger Woods’ car, after his crash:



Photo courtesy of TMZ.com, via the Washington Post.

Tiger’s wife, Elin, supposedly bashed out the rear window with a golf club so that she could get him out.  OK, why?  Look at the driver’s side door.  No damage.  Why wouldn’t she simply open the door and pull him out?  Because she was whalin’ away on the car, that’s why!  And the story that they have told is an attempt to explain how the back window got shattered when not even the windshield in this frontal impact was damaged.  And check out the gangster dubs being sported by the billionaire.  Sorry Tiger, the photographic evidence does not support the weak story.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Hey, if you’re going to do something that hasn’t been done before, you might as well raise the bar really high; like, doubling the previous record.  This would be the equivalent of Usain Bolt running the 100 meter race in 4.79 seconds.  President Obama has doubled the budget that even George W dumped on us.  He’s done this in just eight and a half months in office.  He’s already spent one-fifth of the total that Bill Clinton spent in his entire eight years in office.

To be fair, spending comes from Congress, though they are often acting on a President’s demands.  One of the most dangerous times for our freedom and financial safety comes when we have stupidly managed to give one party control of Congress and the White House.  We did this with W and have done it again with O and the result is ruinous.  An economy in collapse, trust in government shattered, a country ideologically split.  I told everybody I could back during the election, when it became clear that Obama would win to go ahead and vote for him but to vote Republican for Congressional and Senate seats in order to emplace a forceful opposition to Obama.  (This was pre-blog, so not on the record anywhere; you’ll just have to take my word for it.)

So now we have a leftist President handing off the heavy lifting to the even more leftist Nancy Pelosi and the dweebish Harry Reid.  Obama sets the course and Pelosi and Reid push the spending through to advance their agenda and they seem to have little to no understanding of how the real world works out here.  They are finally making noises about juicing job creation but amazingly, they think that they can do that by raising taxes and heaping the health care entitlement onto the backs of business.  If the health care bill passes, we will get to see another spike in the unemployment rate and it will be permanent this time as businesses either leave the US or retrench in such a way as to function on lower revenues and with less staff.

Callous Children.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

This Makes My Teeth Hurt

Well, he is the first, uh, the most unprecedented pop culture President ever:

ABC announces Oprah-Obama Christmas special


He can’t stand it, he has to be on a TV screen somewhere all the time, telling us how wonderful and unprecedented he is.  ABC has guaranteed that roughly half the people in the country now have zero interest in watching ABC that night.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Caption Contest


White House photo from here.

“I’m so sorry about what I did to your future!”

“If I could reach that flower vase, I would crack you a good one!”

The Pelosi/Reid Deception


The deception is that their proposed health care plan will begin collecting taxes in 2010 but not provide any benefits until 2014, despite the urgent pleas that we have to do something right now because Americans are hurting!  This will go unnoticed by the vast majority of American people; all they will understand is that the bill passed and now they don’t have to hear any more about it.  The depth of the deception is made clear by this chart that I stumbled across here (click to embiggen):




The timing of the increases is no accident.  There is no increase at all in 2010, during the Congressional midterm elections.  There is no significant increase in 2012, when Obama stands for reelection.  There is a huge acceleration in 2014, half way into Obama’s 2nd term (if there is one) but things really get cranked up in 2016 as Obama enters the home stretch of his final term in office.  Presumably, he will be leaving a mess for his successor to clean up, since this whole plan and its ridiculous cost virtually assures a stagnant economy and job market for the foreseeable future.

I really don’t know what they are thinking.  I wish just one of the three, Pelosi, Reid or Obama, had ever met a payroll so that they could understand what they are doing to us.  For a good example of what these government imposed higher costs do to a small business (hell, to any business), read this article that the AP ran yesterday.  This is how Atlas shrugs:


• Chuck Ferrar, who owns a liquor store in Annapolis, Md., expects to pay $9,000 in unemployment taxes next year, up from $3,000 this year. Health care costs for his employees will rise by $8,000, or 17.5 percent. "When you start adding this up, it turns into real money," he said. "If I lose an employee through attrition, I will not replace him. You can't afford to do it."

• Sam Schlosser, owner of Plymouth Foundry Inc. in Plymouth, Ind., said his unemployment tax bill could double next year. Revenue at the family-owned company, which makes iron castings for machine parts, has fallen about 50 percent, he said. In case of higher taxes, his company may have to consider layoffs, he said.

• Marjorie Feldman-Wood, president of Al's Beverages in East Windsor, Conn., which makes soda fountain syrup, said higher taxes would make pay raises less likely. Connecticut is borrowing from the federal government, and employers fear the state will have to raise taxes soon to repay the loan. "There's only so much money at the end of the day," she said.

Callous children.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sarah Palin


I do not understand the Sarah Palin phenomenon at all.  Look at this video taken in Roanoke, VA:



That level of devotion is eerily…..Obama-like.  I am generally conservative but I don’t see any real substance to Palin, any more than I see any substance to Obama.  They are both lightweights, lacking in any meaningful training or experience that would justify the level of fervor they seem to inspire.

Obama got elected by virtue of being the most popular professor on campus and being able to make a good speech, as long as the teleprompter is plugged in and all filled up with the words.  As he is currently showing, to our peril, he has little real-world experience that he can look to for guidance and is left to working from the wish lists that were put together in the faculty lounge.

It would be easy to dismiss Palin’s popularity as being a result of her hawtness, except that most of the people in that video above are women.  To them, she seems to be Everywoman, the blank slate to which they can ascribe their hopes.  The next Oprah.  She inspires an equally strong repulsion among those on the other side of the electorate, the Left, who respond to her with a level of hatred that is just absolutely unhinged and makes no sense, since she is currently a private citizen and can have zero affect on policy.

The thought of Palin at the top of the Republican ticket in the 2012 presidential election and running against Obama just makes me want to pour bleach into my eyes.  I like her fine, but she’s no more ready for that office than Obama was when he ran.  We are devolving down into dueling cults of personality and that is not good.

I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I kind of miss Bill Clinton right about now.  At least he brought an energy to the office and still believed in American exceptionalism.  He started off poorly, too, but with the advent of the Republican Congressional majority in 1994, he learned how to be President.  It took the Gingrich revolution to push Clinton to the center; we can only hope that the same thing happens to Obama.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

As the Worm Turns….


Drip, drip, drip—like Chinese water torture for Obama, the media is beginning to doubt him.  First the serious, here at Politico.


And then the funny:



And now the profane (if it hasn’t been pulled down yet):


Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Press, and Maybe the Left, Are Starting to Have Their Doubts


Op-ed piece at Politico here, my comments there are reprinted below.

This is what denial looks like, in print:

"Certain things are not his fault: the unprecedented truculence of the Republican Party, scared silly by right-wing ranters on cable television; the unholy economic and foreign-policy mess that he inherited; the fact that he never had, as so many liberal commentators asserted, the 60 (or 58 or 59) Senate votes that would enable him to get what he wanted from the Congress. It’s not his fault that unemployment rates remain stubbornly high following a traumatic recession."

The Republican truculence is due to the offering by the President of plans and programs that are so antithetical to basic common sense as to make normal people incredulous. Economy crashing? Let's have a stimulus program that in reality is standard political patronage for getting him elected. Jobs slow to recover? Let's pass a health care bill that heaps even more cost to hire someone onto businesses. Gotta make a decision on a war where Americans are fighting and dying? Do it in March and then dither about it for months. GM dying? Let's step in and abrogate centuries of bankruptcy law by pushing secured creditors to the back of the line. Make a public statement that he is open to any good ideas then meet with the opposition and tell them to pound sand because, "I won".  His trip to Copenhagen to try to secure the Olympics for Chicago is one of the dumbest, most openly provincial acts I've ever seen a President undertake. He had absolutely nothing to gain by doing that and much to lose.

And yes, it is his fault that unemployment rates remain so high. He has taken a minimalist, philosophical approach to a real world problem. We needed liquidity in the financial markets and his solution was to borrow more money and redistribute it to large banks. A better solution would have been to offer an immediate tax amnesty for companies and individuals that hold money overseas to avoid our confiscatory tax rates, estimated to be as much as $13 trillion. Offer amnesty and that money comes home and is rapidly injected into the economy. (This idea was proposed by a Texas congressman, whose name escapes me. It was ignored because he is a Republican and because it was a good idea.) Instead, he dithers, mulling over various ways to seize or tax any few dollars that are laying around. He seems to thing that leading consists of making a speech and then handing the details over to Congress to work out, essentially throwing a giant pile of money into a pack of ravening hobos to fight over.

So, Ms. Drew, go back to the Washington salons and dinner parties and tell the people there that they helped to elect the most popular professor on campus, a brittle personality with much hubris and little accomplishment, not a man who was even remotely qualified to be President of the United States.

Friday, November 20, 2009

It’s Good to be the King


First, a nobel peace prize* for no good reason, then this.  Chuck Norris would kick his bony ass.


“Kiy-um, er, uh-AAA!”

*never to be capitalized here

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

At the Point of a Gun


This is an example of how oppressive government can be.  Rather than correct whatever conditions are present here in the U.S. that caused people to move money offshore, the government chose instead to take a foreign-based bank to court and essentially strong-armed them into surrendering their centuries old business model that relied on discretion and privacy.

The U.S. has the second highest corporate tax rate in the world and one of the highest personal tax rates and headed markedly higher soon.  In fact, U.S. tax rates are confiscatory, designed to take money from the politically disfavored and redistribute it to the politically favored.  It is no wonder that companies and individuals are hiding assets; we have created this ravenous monster in Washington that takes any spare change that is laying around and devours it.  Run afoul of it and face prison so that Nancy Pelosi can have enough money on hand to fund whatever nonsense strikes her fancy.

“Cyborg Sphincter”


No, there really is such a thing now, apparently.  “Cyborg Sphincter” would be a good name for a band.  It has a remote control!  Remote controlled bomb bay doors! 

“I Thought I Was the Emperor Now?”


Obama is learning slowly, painfully, that his mere utterance of words are not sufficient when you actually have to do the work of governing.  Gitmo, he now admits, will not be closed by the January 2010 deadline he had set for closure.  Closing Gitmo, he says, is “…just technically hard.”  That was kind of the idea, wasn’t it?  To put those animals into a type of retention from which they could not easily escape. Neither will he commit to a date by which it will be closed and then tosses the ball to Congress: 

"We are on a path and a process where I would anticipate that Guantanamo will be closed next year," he said. "I'm not going to set an exact date because a lot of this is also going to depend on cooperation from Congress."

That passage is full of indecision and gobbledygook and the passing of the buck.  First, let me rewrite it without the indecision and gobbledygook:  “We will be closing Guantanamo next year.”  I am not in favor of closing Gitmo, but I am in favor of a President, even one I do not care for, being decisive and acting like a leader rather than an organizer.  He has also shown a troubling tendency to simply toss all the tough actions to Congress for them to wrestle over.  He tossed the bailouts to them, he tossed healthcare to them and since Gitmo is not magically closing as he has decreed, he is now ready to toss that to them, too.

Obama in China

Our President goes to China and suddenly he gets that cost cuttin’ fevah!  After a little time with those true capitalists in China, he has just figured out that too much debt is bad for the economy.  Evidently, the President considers this to be an acceptable amount of debt:



I read a great quote somewhere, should have saved a link, that Obama’s trip to China was like a homeowner with a very large mortgage taking a plate of cookies by the bank that holds the mortgage.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Someday, I Want to be This Good at This Blogging Thing… (UPDATED)


…This piece, by DirectorBlue (with whom I am not familiar) at HotAir, is a great piece of bloggatation.

The Secret Scrapbook of Barack Obama. 


Obama Head Tilt1 Kissing your money goodbye

UPDATE: or maybe I should say, BACKDATE.  Apparently, the scrapbook has been around since last year’s election.  First time I’ve seen it, though and there is much to add to it, now.

ObamaPrescription  ObamaBowsToHirihito111409Oct09BudgetDeficit

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Saturday Morning Amazingness

Wasn’t planning this, but after seeing that soccer goal, found this.  Our bodies are amazing machines when we treat them right.  I can promise you that if parkour had been around when I was growing up, I would have been doing it.  Not this well, but no doubt about it, I’d have been bouncing off walls near you. 


Amazing trick at the 1:18 mark, and this guy can get in a car reeeaalllyyy fast.

Can We Trust the Saudis?


They claim this was a 2 second goal, but I don’t buy it.  Maybe 3.

Friday, November 13, 2009

America, uh, Just Watch This

Can’t believe that I haven’t seen this before now.  Awesome, and NSFW:

We Are Sucking Hind Teat to the Boomers Once Again

Health care reform, in keeping with politicians propensity to pick favored constituencies at the expense of others, is purely a pander to the Baby Boomers.  We have a giant glob, 77 million of them, of Boomers that are currently retiring and just in time comes His Wonderfulness to offer to them health care for the rest of their days.

Technically, I am a boomer.  The Baby Boom ran from about 1949 to 1964 and I was born towards the end of that time frame, but the biggest chunk of them were born and came of age in the early to mid-60’s when I was just a kid.  Realistically, I have spent my whole life picking up the leavings of the goddamn Boomers.  They hold the best jobs, they will get the full measure of their Social Security benefits, they sucked up all the market capital then destroyed several trillion dollars’ worth of it and now they are poised to help themselves to 20 years’ more time of perpetuating their scorched earth lifestyles.  They will roar through the system, taking everything with them and leaving a mess in their wake.  And if you don’t believe that, take a look at the current value of your home.  If you are under the age of 50, think about whether or not you will see your Social Security benefits sliced before you retire, in favor of maintaining benefits for those who are about to retire or have already retired.  Think about the current value of your 401(k)’s and how long it will take to recover, if ever.  Think about working until the day you die.

So, we must fight the health care proposal and cap and trade and bailouts and demand the shrinking of the federal government.  If I’m tilting at windmills here, so be it.  But if you are under the age of 50, you better think about storming the gates of Congress.

A Modest Proposal

Here is a proposal, to send a message to the bastards.  Here is a link to IRS form W4.  For January of 2010, under-withhold your taxes.  In fact, fill out the form so that you have exactly zero taxes withheld for the month of January.  You can do this by claiming 10 or 12 dependents and little, if anything will be withheld.  Then, in February, change your withholding again to your normal rate, plus the amount you would have normally withheld in January, spread over the remaining 11 months of the year.  Let’s send a message to the dirtbags up there that we have had enough.  The only thing they want out of the producers of this world is money; take it away.  It’s the only way we will ever get their attention.  Don’t get your asses arrested; pay your taxes, but let’s put a little hitch in the cash flow up there.  Atlas needs to shrug a little.

Spread the word; if you don’t, who will?

GM Offers Discounts to Members of the National Community Action Foundation—You Know, Community Organizers

Government at work, picking and choosing its favored constituencies.  The left sees nothing wrong with this, the choosing of what they see as preferred parties to receive benefits.  Such actions are evident in everything that government does, particularly at the federal level and inevitably leads to market failures.

You know, like what happened with Fannie Mae and the whole loaning-money-to-unworthy-borrowers-thereby-causing-the-near-total-collapse-of-the-world-economy thing.

One of two things has happened here; either this incentive came down to GM from their New Boss, pictured here in his customary looking-down-his-nose pose:

Obama Head Tilt1

Or, GM took it upon themselves to attempt to curry favor with The One.  Supplication to the gods, as it were.  Either way, it is politics-driven, not market driven and that is a problem.

More such shenanigans reported here by NRO.  Any chance that GM had to survive was doomed the minute it took government money.  They were probably going to go bankrupt soon anyway, now they will die the death of a thousand cuts, inflicted by politicians as they slice it up for their own ends.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Just Amazing

Hats off again to Captain Sullenberger, his crew and all involved with the ditching in the Hudson.  Here is a computer-animated reconstruction of the landing (not a crash, a landing!):



Be sure to embiggen it to full screen.  Another angle here:


Peggy Noonan Was Right


Been sick for the last few days, not much up to anything at all.  Even though I’ve been sick, I still don’t want Obama’s version of health care.

Politico has a column up today, link here, about the still-unknown cost of the bill.  Here is my post there on the story:

“Just a bunch of idiots up there in the White House.  They want to add "billions in new taxes...immediately on insurers, device manufacturers, and drug makers", eliminate pre-existing conditions and remove the lifetime cap on coverage and lower costs at the same time.  I really am beginning to think that our President cannot operate a calculator, let alone manage such a huge part of our economy.

He formulated all of these plans while ensconced squarely in his ivory tower where he could talk about such things ad nauseum with his fellow theoreticians, like a bunch of over-diploma'ed societal geeks building their own fantasy team of public programs.  Health care, cap and trade, "bending the cost curve", "spreading the wealth"; it's all just the mutterings of a man who hasn't got an original thought in his head, he is merely very good at parroting what he heard in the faculty lounge in Chicago.

Peggy Noonan was right, these are cruel children we have elected.

We are screwed and so are our grandchildren.”

OK, fine, I misquoted Noonan, she used the phrase “callous children” but the difference in meaning is slight.  They are not interested in our health, they are interested in consolidating power as the party that “gave” us health care and then daring any other party to take it away.  It would virtually assure their power for decades to come.  Until we go all the way broke, anyway. 

Obama and much of the leftists want us to be more like Europe as far as social programs and seriously, I am OK with that so long as everyone here understands that it means permanently higher unemployment rates, a drop off in business and scientific innovation, loss of vigor in our attitudes towards productivity and an increase in sitting around in sidewalk cafes wearing black, skinny-legged jeans and smoking thin, stinky cigarettes while bloviating about the ennui of modern life.

Here, by the way, is Obama’s default position on all of us; looking down his nose:


We really are hosed.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

New World Record for Congress!

Newly-elected Congressman from New York's 23rd district, has surely set a record for screwing his constituents over.  He broke 4 campaign promises in his first hour in office.  Just stunning; these guys really don't think that they work for us.  (Link is a little iffy; their server is getting hammered right now since the story is referenced on Drudge.)

If memory serves, this was a special election with about a year left in the term, so the possibility exists that the Dems put this guy up solely to cast his vote in favor of the PelosiCare bill and, if it gets to a vote, cap and trade.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Cutting Health Care Costs With Global Warming

More in the ongoing debate at Freakonomics.  This post, about whether or not global warming belief is a religion, has prompted a mini-debate in the comments.  In the course of responding to another commenter, I Googled the phrase “unexpected benefits of global warming” and found an interesting academic paper.  My Freakonomics post is here:


I have stumbled over the trump card for this debate. I Googled the phrase, “unexpected benefits of global warming” and this is the first link that came up: http://www.stanford.edu/~moore/health.html

And, in the second paragraph of the Section II, “Health Effects” was this line:

“Thus the gain in reduced health costs from a warming of 2.5deg.C would be on the order of $3.0 billion in 1971 dollars or $21.7 billion in 1994 dollars, adjusting for population growth and price changes (using the price index for medical care).”

Why, this paper from Stanford is just full of interesting tidbits:

“Other studies of the influence of climate change on human health have examined a rather narrow set of potential medical areas. The underlying research has generally referred to Lyme disease, malaria, dengue and yellow fevers, and encephalitis, none of which is a major health problem in the United States. The IPCC (1995, p. SPM-10) has asserted that the “geographical zone of potential malaria transmission in response to world temperature increases at the upper part of the IPCC-projected range (3-5deg.C by 2100) would increase from approximately 45% of the world population to approximately 60% by the latter half of the next century.” On the other hand, the WHO notes that until recent times, endemic malaria was widespread in Europe and parts of North American and that yellow fever occasionally caused epidemics in Portugal, Spain and the USA. Stringent control measures … and certain changes in life-style following economic progress, have led to the eradication of malaria and yellow fever in these areas. (WHO 1990, p. 21).

Concern about tropical and insect-spread diseases seems overblown. Inhabitants of Singapore, which lies almost on the equator, and of Hong Kong and Hawaii, which are also in the tropics, enjoy life spans as long as or longer than those of people living in Western Europe, Japan, and North America. Both Singapore and Hong Kong are free of malaria, but that mosquito-spread disease ravages nearby regions. Modern sanitation in advanced countries prevents the spread of many scourges found in hot climates. Such low tech and relatively cheap devices as window screens can slow the spread of insect vectors.”

I’ve only skimmed this and will look further into it over the weekend, but lemme ask something: What about that “scientific consensus”?

Attack at will.

— DaveyNC”

Can’t wait to see the responses that that provokes.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

More on Republicare…

…from Hot Air, the CBO has now scored the Republican plan and it looks very reasonable and worth pursuing.

“Their plan, which relies on interstate competition, HSAs, and tort reform, would only cost $61 billion in the first ten years of the plan — or slightly less than 6% of what Democrats plan to spend to overhaul the entire system…”

Makes so much sense, using existing concepts instead of trying to create something new out of whole cloth.

Good Job, Mr. President!

Hey, when he does something right, I’m willing to say so!  Nice video here of a teachable moment with one of his daughters, reflecting that he and Michelle seem to be excellent parents (via Breitbart):

Kinda funny, though, that when he announces that he is going off teleprompter, there is nervous laughter from the crowd.

I Do Battle with the Global Warming Crowd

I’m a big fan of the Freakonomics blog at the New York Times.  The Steves, as they are known there, have really tweaked the noses of the environmentalists in their newest book, “SuperFreakonomics”, and the war has raged on their blog.  Today’s installment of the kerfuffle is here, and is about the supposed misrepresentation by the Steves of Ken Caldeira, one of the leading climate experts.  As you can see, the Steves did no such thing, at least not intentionally.  The whole flame war started with this post and continued here, here, here and here.  You will see comments from me throughout these posts and Nathan Myrhvold even quoted me directly in his response, here.  The Steves continue to tweak, with today’s posting, noted above and this one as well
Today’s article has a comment from a guy named Rob; here is his comment, followed by my response.  I thought some of the ideas in my response were worth posting here.
“Are all the new right-wing fans of Levitt and Dubner actually as happy with SuperFreakonomics as they sound? After all, this is a chapter that says flat out that global warming is real and humans caused it.
If the Steves’ venture outside of their area of expertise helps the debate turn into “global warming is real and we should do something about it” (the environmentalist position) versus “global warming is real and we should do nothing about it” (the SuperFreakonomics position), that’s at least an improvement.
— Rob”
“Rob@3: Speaking as a "right winger", global warming (or more specifically, climate change) is real. The book does not say that humans alone caused it and it for sure doesn't say that it is worth completely remaking the world's economy in order to stop it. The cost-benefit analysis doesn't work. The world is not going to end because of warming.
Al Gore and the like have sown fear that the planet's coastal areas will be inundated. According to the book, the seas have been rising now for 12,000 years. They've risen 425 feet in that time frame and most of that was in the first 1000 years. Most projections have the seas rising about 18 inches over the next 100 years. So, when the seas rise that .18 of an inch each year, at some point the people in Miami will walk out, see the ocean at their back door, and do something about it. They may build a seawall, they may move or they may dig a moat. And they will bear the cost for that and that is as it should be. But they're not gonna have to swim out of there.
My own personal theory is that Florida is just one giant sandbar anyway. If you look at the way that it is shaped, hurricanes come in from the Atlantic, hit the coast and carve out the coastline as they turn and move north. Over a few hundred thousand years, it is bound to erode the coastline and it has exactly zero to do with man's activities. The harm comes from man having built in that area. Take a look at this Google satellite image, link here.
See that underwater ridge offshore of the east coast of Florida? Follow it up the coast; it exactly follows the existing coastline. Do you think that once upon a time the Florida coast was a bit further out at sea? Now zoom out even further, so that you can see both the east and west coasts of Florida and you can see that what is left of Florida is far smaller than what must have existed billions of years ago. For that matter, the entire eastern coast of North America looks like it was bigger. What's going on in Florida is Mother Nature running her course, nothing more. Ocean currents and winds and storms are and have been eroding the coastline and won't stop or even slow down because we suddenly stop emitting carbon.
I love Google's satellite view.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Republicans Health Plan Alternative

Haven’t had a chance to go through it, but if this article from Breitbart is correct, I like what is in the bill.  They should have offered this plan sooner and more publicly, maybe in the brief reply they had following President Obama’s prime time speech on health care.  (And has anybody noticed that the prime time speeches have dropped off significantly?)
McDonaldspeaceprize-1Click on image to enlarge

Monday, November 02, 2009

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Lobbying at Work Before Your Very Eyes!

This is how it looks when a lobbyist is successful.  There is a special little exemption carved out in a giant, onerous piece of legislation.  Speaker Pelosi, rather than reaching across the aisle and including some form of tort reform in the Health Care bill, took the opportunity instead to stick her hand out to the legal bar and ask for votes and money.

So much for honesty and transparency and considering other, helpful ideas in crafting the bill.

“Crafting” the bill’; now there is a misuse of a word if ever there was one.  It’s a common enough phrase, to “craft” a piece of legislation, as if the legislator is some sort of artisanal craft worker or wildly skilled artist, gifted in the ways of taking a dictionary and removing all the words that do not express the artist’s vision.  There’s no “craftwork” afoot here; merely naked political power, used to force the views of the few onto the many.  Throw ‘em all out and limit congressional sessions to three months of the year and send them home to their districts instead of having them all grouped together in that big ass high school known as Washington DC.

It’s in Their Nature…

…Democrats, that is.  Specifically, Hilary Clinton.  She doesn’t think the Pakistanis are taxing their people enough.  She seems to forget that most of them are probably subsistence farmers.  At least, the ones who aren’t dug in with an AK-47 and a pile of loaded clips easily at hand.

I’m starting to wonder when the Dems are going to simply propose to hire everybody in the country to be on the government payroll.  That way, they can pay us and tax everything we earn and then just hold on to the money.  Throw us a FEMA trailer and some government cheese to live on.  I hope the Pakistanis toss her the hell out. Oh, wait---they DID tell her to go pound sand.  And heaped a “sharp rebuke” or two on top of that.  I love when that happens.

Seriously, sending an overly bossy woman over to that part of the world who then takes it on herself to tell them what to do as far as taxation and their Israeli policies is just asking for a sharp rebuke. right in the ass.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Why the Environuts Annoy the Crap out of Me

It has become tiresome that any discussion at all of an undertaking that might use the tiniest bit of electricity or other form of energy is instantly dismissed or discussed in terms of its environmental impact. I am a huge fan of all things Freakonomics and post at the Freakonomics blog regularly.  Today, there is one of their usually provocative headlines, “What’s More Likely: That Your Vote Will Matter or That You’ll Help Discover Extraterrestrial Life?” 

The first damn comment was this one:

“What about the power usage of a computer running SETI? Those costs are not negligible, especially when compared with the chances of finding life via SETI.”

Killjoy. Instead of discussion on the topic, this knucklehead instantly tries to derail the conversation into his own narrow view of the world.  As if power usage is the Single Most Important Thing in the world for every single aspect of our lives.  So I answered:

"Exploration, by its nature, carries with it the risk of absolutely zero real benefit. So are you, Jason@1&@6, Dan J@2, saying that there should be no exploration without knowing ahead of time that there will be an adequate payoff? Columbus had no assurances that he would find the West Indies or that he wouldn't die at sea, but he went ahead and killed a bunch of trees to build his ships anyway. And then we enslaved the Indians, blah, blah, blah--we're evil, etc., etc., ad infinitum. The SETI Project is taking advantage of otherwise idle resources, the very definition of responsible stewardship. Doesn't matter whether or not the payoff is there, if it does no harm, it's worth doing on the off chance that something good may come of it."

Sometimes, a thing is worth doing for the sheer sake of doing it.  SETI is not likely to produce anything of value in the near future, if ever, but that doesn’t mean you don’t do it.  The people behind SETI have enough interest in the possibility of extraterrestrial life to raise money, write code, ask for help and generally do whatever they think they need to do to satisfy their quest for knowledge, quixotic or not.  And all these knucklehead environuts can think about is whether or not Mother Earth is being harmed a little.  By their standards, we should try nothing that cannot immediately show a return that satisfies THEIR standards for usefulness.  Assholes.

Monday, October 26, 2009

When is a 10-foot shark just a snack?

When you are a 20 foot shark:

I am of the generation that stood in very long lines to see "Jaws".  For that reason, I never go in the ocean much over knee deep.  Silly, I know, but there it is.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Voting Present

From the Wall Street Journal, via The Weekly Standard and to me via Hot Air.  Both the Weekly Standard and Hot Air rightly focus on this quote:

“People familiar with the internal debates say Mr. Obama rejected a strictly counter-terror approach during White House deliberations in early October. One official said Pentagon strategists were asked to draft brief written arguments making the best case for each strategy, but the strategists had difficulties writing out a credible case for the counter-terror approach — prompting members of Mr. Biden’s staff to step in and write the document themselves.”

But as I read the Journal piece, another passage caught my eye:

"Signs the White House is moving towards Gen. McChrystal's view of the conflict mounted Friday as the 28 North Atlantic Treaty Organization defense ministers endorsed the commander's counterinsurgency strategy and signaled they might be open to modestly increasing their military and civilian contributions to the war effort.
Gen. McChrystal made a surprise visit to the NATO meeting in Bratislava, Slovakia, to personally brief the defense chiefs on his strategic thinking. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told reporters after the closed-door session that he had heard "broad support from all ministers of this overall counterinsurgency approach," though he cautioned that the NATO members hadn't taken a position on Gen. McChrystal's request for more than 40,000 new U.S. troops.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has also publicly backed Gen. McChrystal, and people familiar with the matter said the endorsements from Mr. Brown and NATO were likely part of a coordinated effort to lay the groundwork for Mr. Obama's eventual decision.
"This may be part of an effort by the Obama administration to have the suggestion come from Europe first before the president makes a public commitment," said one person who has discussed Afghan strategy with senior U.S. officials."

Emphasis added.  Our president has once again chosen to outsource the hard work and hard decisions to someone else.  He voted present in the Illinois statehouse, he was barely present in the US Senate and, amazingly, he is continuing that trend in the desk that Harry S. Truman once designated as the place where the buck stops.  Now the president is in the process of passing on the devalued buck to Europe.  While the Journal piece provides us with encouragement that our nobel peace prize* winner is coming to take General McChrystal's view of the long war, it only provides further evidence that our president is an empty suit.

*never again to be capitalized here.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Why Solar, Wind and Hydro Power Won't Work and Nuclear Will

This is maybe the best explanation I have seen yet for why nuclear power is our best bet to wean ourselves off of fossil fuels.  Careful now, it involves some actual science, but is absolutely understandable by anyone with a high school education, or at least what a high school education used to be.

We can stop building the windmill farms now.  Maybe keep building solar, but it is only part of the solution at best.  And people will have to let go of some highly irrational fears over nuclear energy.  By the way, I live within an hour of a nuclear power facility and it is clean as a whistle.  A nuclear-powered whistle.

And "Nuclear Powered Whistle" is a good name for a band.