Tuesday, December 11, 2012

#PureHooligan: At the Capitol today

Michigan altercations provoke our indignation, elevate our blood pressure, dismay us and inspire us to avoid large gatherings of union thugs. Michigan's union halls, large manufactories, public schools, government departments and more are stuffed with people yearning to be free. But felonious assault, is... Pure Hooligan.

A Michigan Union man discusses right-to-work with Steven Crowder

The Teamsters, UAW and SEIU play the Irish Republican Army to MEA's Sinn Féin.

That guy's face is on camera, and the union logo on his jacket is easily identifiable. The authorities response will be of interest.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Four more years

The president's insistence on taxing "the rich" is populist tripe, because he presents an argument that a relatively tiny amount of taxation revenue will make a serious contribution toward solving our deficit and indebtedness problems, while he simultaneously promotes more government spending.

His ideological refusal to stop incurring debt makes a mockery of his argument for any tax increase whatsoever: He's just going to spend it. His plan appeals to the economically ignorant; from Nobel Prize winning "economists" such as Paul Krugman, through welfare scammers, to the truly destitute - for many of whom Barack Obama already bears personal responsibility.

His ideology is cynical, cruel, elitist and dangerous.

Let us look at just two results of the enervating Federal Government spending he promotes:
[T]he amount spent on federal welfare programs last year was enough to mail a $60,000 check to every one of the 17 million households living beneath the poverty line. And that doesn’t include spending by state and local governments.
If a single Federal agency just wrote checks to those who merely express need, we'd use the money more efficiently. Maybe we'd even see an eventual revival of shame, for those who lied about their need. They're currently brazen enough to brag about it. Even though we couldn't completely trust all the claimants, I'll bet half of them wouldn't need assistance by 2014.

We have entrenched bureaucracies who resist the idea that individuals under their care can ever become self sufficient. It isn't about their clients, it's about their own salaries. Not their fault. We created the system rules.

And here's a simple, clear example of what government spending does to the market: Editorial: Federal flood insurance subsidizes risks
...Get appraisals for their homes, write them a check, knock the homes down and just let it go back to its natural state," said Steven Sweeney, a Democrat and president of the New Jersey Senate.

Good luck with that. A huge federal apparatus and powerful special interests are intent on doing just the opposite. The best illustration of this misguided policy is the National Flood Insurance Program, created in 1968 to provide insurance to homeowners on coasts and near rivers who had trouble getting private coverage.
It's why people are still willing to build houses in high risk locations. They get a discount on disaster.

We will not be seen to have been doing these people any favors when we can no longer supply the welfare, or market distorting subsidies. Stein's law applies: "That which cannot continue will stop." A catastrophic stop, the kind our leaders are arranging, will damage the poor most. We will eventually run out of the money we are stealing from our great-grandchildren.

All this brings me to a point about morality. It isn't simply immoral for government to lie to people about the economy, it is evil.

Governments aren't just inefficient at spending, they lie about it. Fiat currency is just governments' way of lying about the value of money and imposing the hidden tax of inflation on every citizen. That hurts the poor most, too.

We've seen this movie several times before. It never ends well.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

A sad and fearful day

Yesterday, Barack Obama received 9.1 million fewer votes than he did in 2008.

Yesterday, Mitt Romney received 2.4 million fewer votes than John McCain did in 2008, and lost by 2.8 million votes.

How could this happen? Because sometime in the last four years this nation reached an inflection point. We've forgotten what America stands for. We're fundamentally transformed.

We were offered a choice between "voting for revenge" and voting for "love of country."
We chose revenge.

We were offered a choice between "free" stuff and earned stuff.
We chose "free" stuff.

We were offered a choice between Julia and Horatio Alger.
We chose Julia.

We were offered a choice between a cult of personality and traditional values
We chose the cult.

We were offered a choice between equal outcome and equal opportunity.
We chose outcome.

We were offered a choice between dependency and economic freedom.
We chose dependency.

Worst of all, this was accomplished by the most vicious and petty campaign tactics in living memory. Therein lies an unfortunate lesson, which we will see applied again.

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.
H. L. Mencken

And get it we will.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

#Votefraud. It exists and we need to stop it.

Doesn't anybody remember ACORN?

Three voters disenfranchised at one poll in NC. All three black.

One man, one vote. Democrat apparatchiks don't believe in that. "Those people" might not have voted correctly.

Voters in Philadelphia forced to vote next to giant Obama mural; Update: Not fully covered despite court order

You don't cover religious icons. It's like contraception... or something.

Obama Poster Hanging in Florida Polling Station

Not a chad, anyway.

Election Judge Wears Obama Cap While Checking in Voters in Obama's Chicago Ward
A Chicago high school graduate, he thought it said "Cubs."

Intimidation in Detroit: Report of GOP vote observer chased by man claiming to have gun, Obama supporter punches woman in face
I know! We'll pay for the bridge if Canada agrees to merge Windsor and Detroit.

New Black Panthers Back at the Same ’08 Polling Place in Philadelphia

Thanks to encouragement from Eric Holder.

Philly GOP: Poll inspectors being ousted for Dems
On orders from the DOJ, no doubt.

GOP senators: Thousands of ballots unlikely to reach military voters in time

Yep, stood down and left behind.

When cheating goes on in such blatant and petty ways, it means people have no fear of the law, much less shame. They have no honor. Why, then, do Democrats doubt it goes on in secret?

Probably they don't:
Pat Moran Relied on Civil Rights Lawyers for Voter Fraud
"Moran was the field director of his father’s reelection campaign and worked out of the joint campaign office for President Obama and Democrat Senate candidate Tim Kaine in Virginia."

Indiana Democratic Party Head Resigns as Fraud Probe Heats Up


Obama campaign staffer thinks vote fraud is “funny and cool”


The third world gets it, even if the ACLU doesn't: The head of Libya's national election commission, among them.
"The most often noted difference between American elections among the [foreign] visitors was that in most U.S. states, voters need no identification."

The lack of voter ID is eroding the trust which so amazes those visitors. It will result in chaos.

Finish it

VOTE!

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Make sure you vote

In addition to Mr. Obama, there are other notable threats to freedom on the Michigan Ballot.

The most important of these are Proposals 1, 2, 3 and 4, and the composition of Michigan's Supreme Court.

Michigan Ballot Proposals:
Yes on Proposal 1.
NO on Proposal 2.
NO on Proposal 3.
NO on Proposal 4.

Yes on Proposal 5.
? Proposal 6.

If you only remember "Yes on 1. No on the rest," that'll work. In fact, if you can only remember "NO," that'll even work.

Proposals 2, 3 and 4 must be defeated.
More information on these proposals can be found by scrolling down.

Be sure to vote for Supreme Court Justices on the non-partisan ballot!

It is important to keep lawmakers off the Supreme Court, especially since the same self-promoting elites who brought you Proposals 2, 3, and 4 won't be finished when the Proposals are defeated.
Michigan Supreme Court:
Stephen Markman
Colleen O'Brian
Brian Zahra

That's 2 incumbents and O'Brian.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Proposal 1 - Yes!
We need an adult in the room.

Proposal 1 can be described as the "adult in the room" proposal. Voting "Yes" keeps a strong Emergency Financial Manager law in place.

Public service unions oppose Proposal 1 on the same basis they push Proposals 2 and 4: Maintaining their advantaged economic position.

Proposal 1 is about changes to an existing Emergency Manager law passed after Rick Snyder was elected governor. The old law did not allow an Emergency Manager to recommend that the state amend a local government’s collective bargaining agreements. That mainly affects pensions and health insurance in insolvent local jurisdictions, like Detroit. The new law must be kept for that provision alone. Pontiac provides an example:
Pontiac is one city where the new law appears to have worked. The EM there is Lou Schimmel, who has served as emergency financial manager for another city under the old law and also served as a court-appointed receiver for one city. Among the necessary changes in Pontiac that were made possible by PA 4 [the new, stronger law]?

* Pontiac contracted out its police force to Oakland County and saved $2 million annually while increasing enforcement personnel in the city;

* Pontiac contracted fire duties to Waterford Township and expects to save more than $3 million a year; and

* The city consolidated 87 city health care plans to one; saving $5 million annually while still offering very generous benefits at a cost of $20,000 per employee.
Any supporter of regional cooperation must logically support a stronger Emergency Manager law.

Employee benefits are a major expense in most local government units. But don't take my word for it, let's visit the problems faced by Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero:
Lansing taxpayers will foot the bill for more than $16 million in fringe benefits – including retirement and health care – for Lansing police officers in the next year, according to budget documents obtained by MLive.com.

That's nearly $3 million more than they'll pay in salaries for officers in the same time frame.
Responsible local governments will never need an Emergency Manager. Corrupt and/or irresponsible local governments have demonstrated they desperately need a strong Emergency Manager law: A law that gives them the tools needed to prevent fiscal collapse.

You will recall a "Public Safety" millage was passed in Lansing in 2011; targeted for police, fire and roads. Without it, Lansing residents were told public safety would suffer and policemen and firemen would face layoffs. Turns out most of that money will go for "Pension Safety." Even Virg Bernero gets it:
Out-of-control pension costs are seriously undermining our ability to continue providing essential city services and threaten our ability to keep police officers and firefighters on the job protecting our residents. We must take action sooner rather than later to control these costs or we will be in a very serious predicament very quickly.

...Bernero has said more than two-thirds of the new revenues generated by a voter-approved millage have been dedicated to health care and pension costs.

Without concessions from the unions, the city would have to use all the millage funds to cover the increased retirement and health care costs, and supplement that with money from the city's general fund, the administration said in the release.

The millage is expected to generate about $7.6 million annually.
This issue boils down to whether Lansing keeps a promise on police pensions or is forced to continuously downgrade public safety. In the private sector, this choice is known as bankruptcy vs. reinvention.

I'm not happy when a promise isn't kept, but I understand that if keeping it is not sustainable, everyone will end up with nothing.

Stein's law applies: "Something that can't go on forever will stop." The question is whether it will stop because adult decisions are made, or because it collapses in chaos. Bernero is suggesting an adult decision. The unions, like those in Detroit, prefer their perks to keeping police on the beat. Bernero:
"We can't force changes if we have a contract in place. We have to honor the contract, and I don't want to have to lay off anymore officers."

"We're saying in a time like this, put (funds) into a Police Officer Preservation Fund because our challenges are getting worse from year to year," Bernero added. "I don't want to have lay off anymore officers. If I had one rallying cry it's no more layoffs."
Lansing has been realistic, relatively, in addressing this issue, though battles with the unions continue. Union parasites may prefer keeping the promise alive until their host collapses. I do not.

The current Emergency Manager law should be retained by voting "Yes" on Proposal 1.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

#Votefraud

Democrats say voter ID laws are unnecessary, but there seems to be enough #Votefraud for them to have advisors on how to go about it

Sunday, October 07, 2012

NO! 2 4

That title is intended to make it easy for you to remember to vote NO! on the two most dangerous proposals on the Michigan ballot. If you do nothing else, remember: NO! 2 4.

You will bring your own opinon about the present day contribution of public-sector unions to this post, and will probably leave with that unchanged. However, the world has changed and the response of the public sector union elite has been unconscionable. They have decided exploitation is fine, as long as it's taxpayers being exploited. That's Proposal 2; To enshrine collective bargaining rights in Michigan's Constitution.

For better or worse it's been decades since the UAW had to strike. The Pinkertons haven't busted a strike, or a head, in nearly a century. Nine year olds haven't been forced to work 7 day-a-week, 18 hour shifts in coal mines since before Dickens' wrote about it. In any case, none of those memes apply to any government workers in this country today. And they never did.

Here's a fact that does apply: It has been 70 years since Big Labor and Big Government denounced the idea of public sector union collective bargaining. Proposal 2 runs counter to the considered opinion of that champion of collective bargaining and creator of the New Deal, President Franklin Roosevelt. On August 16, 1937 he wrote to Mr. Luther C. Steward, President, National Federation of Federal Employees, as follows:
All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management. The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations. The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress. Accordingly, administrative officials and employees alike are governed and guided, and in many instances restricted, by laws which establish policies, procedures, or rules in personnel matters.
Even the labor movement considered the idea of public employee collective bargaining an idiotic idea. George Meany, president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O had this to say in 1955: "It is impossible to bargain collectively with the government." He meant that collective bargaining with the government was like two wolves and a sheep debating on the dinner entrée. "Bargaining," as it is commonly understood, involves two parties discussing their differences. It does not mean two parties deciding how a third party should be exploited.

Public sector union collective bargaining has brought us the highest cost for education in the world along with less than mediocre results. Despite the economic conditions in this country, and despite the fact that 40% of Chicago high school graduates are functionally illiterate, the teachers in Chicago just got a 17% increase in pay: As a result of a strike FDR would have considered illegal and immoral.

The consequences of collective bargaining with government are bankrupting Illinois and California due to skyrocketing pension and retiree health insurance costs.
Since 2002, for every $1-an-hour pay increase, public employees have gotten $1.17 in new benefits; private-sector workers, meanwhile, have received just 58 cents in added benefits.
We know the financial impact of Proposal 2 would be huge, but what about changes to existing law? As the MEA has noted, Proposal 2's Amendment to Michigan's Constitution could effectively repeal many laws, unexceptional in the private sector, regarding employment:
The new prohibited bargaining topics created by 2011 PA 103 and included in Section 15(3) of PERA would NO LONGER exist. This law currently prohibits bargaining over the decision or impact concerning the following subjects:
a. The placement of teachers;
b. Personnel decisions for teachers during a reduction in force, recall or hiring after a reduction in force, as set forth in MCL 380.1248;
c. Teacher evaluation systems, including the format, timing or number of classroom observations, as set forth in MCL 380.1249 and in the Teachers’ Tenure Act.
d. Teacher discipline policies, which may NOT include a standard different than the arbitrary and capricious standard; and
e. Performance-based compensation systems for teachers, as set forth in MCL 380.1250
f. Notification to parents and legal guardians that children are being taught by ineffective teachers, as required by MCL 380.1249a.
Wow. And that's just the MEA's early analysis.

There is, in fact, no way to be sure about all the laws which would be retroactively repealed. The audacity of this power grab by the public sector union elite is matched only by its venality.

Proposal 2 would have us place collective bargaining rights in the Michigan Constitution. This is a pre-emptive strike by public sector unions, notably the SEIU and MEA, to prevent right-to-work legislation ever being passed in Michigan.

If Michigan wants to emulate the financial basket cases in Sacramento and Springfield we should put this fiscal time bomb into our Constitution. If we want to roll the dice on what laws the MEA wants repealed we should vote for it. Me? I'd rather we didn't make the whole state into Detroit. A vehement NO!! on Proposal 2.

With Proposal 4, we have yet another example of public sector union greed and corruption. Proposal 4 is an attempt to Constitutionalize Jennifer Granholm's stealth gift of $30 million to the SEIU. The SEIU dearly wants to re-institute the dues Granholm helped it loot from private citizens who had no interest in SEIU "representation."

The SEIU wants to perpetuate a fake union in order to skim dues from government payments to individuals who provide home care for their own relatives. To grab this money, SEIU is willing to reduce the funds available for care by extracting dues from self-employed citizens who don't want to be SEIU members. "They didn't build that," so the SEIU must be paid. This is the best argument for a right to work law we'll see any time soon.

While the MEA is circulating ideas that Proposal 2 would overturn prohibited bargaining topics created by PA 103, such as teacher discipline, Proposal 4 requires background checks on people providing care for their own relatives. Those checks will initially be vetted by SEIU appointees. This amendment is designed to accomplish two things: 1-Restraint of trade in order to 2- fill the coffers of a corrupt and venal union. NO!! on Proposal 4.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Why have medical and education costs risen so much faster than everything else?

Because the government distorts the market.
The Central State directly spends over $1 trillion a year on Medicare and Medicaid, and controls private spending with rules and regulations.

As for college costs: could their incredible expansion have anything to do with the Central State backing $1 trillion in student loans?
Not to mention that student loans cannot be discharged via bankruptcy, a big incentive to lenders. "Safer than houses," so to speak.

I include one chart, but read the whole thing at the link:
The Source of High Inflation: Government Spending


In the case of energy, the cause is the decline in value of the world's reserve currency - a result of printing too much of it.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

YES on Proposal 6.

I am unconvinced that we need a new bridge and I am certain that the guarantee Michigan "will never pay anything" can easily be subverted in the future. This bridge agreement is nothing more than an executive decree. I would vote against building the bridge if I had the opportunity, but I have a hard time amending the Constitution for that narrow purpose.

Here are some of the arguments for and against.

A Canadian who doesn't like the agreement (would vote "YES" on Prop 6):
The PM/Governerd Non-Agreement DRIC Agreement
Governerd’s Bill 411: How Michigan Taxpayers Really Pay For DRIC

It is worth asking why Canada is willing to pay for the whole thing. Apparently, it will provide for better long range transport of goods landed at Halifax, Nova Scotia. Those goods would otherwise most likely pass through the Port of New York. Canada has an economic reason to fund, and control, this bridge: Competing with an American port.

The opposition to Proposal 6 seems to be composed mostly of ad hominem attacks and arguments that the agreement absolutely means Michigan will never pay anything.

Unfortunately, while Michigan may not be required to pay, neither is it prevented from finding creative ways to pay. As State Representative Paul Opsommer pointed out in the LSJ today, "[There is n]o ban or limit to the creation of a community benefits program for Detroit and Windsor. During House discussion, Detroit wanted $100 million with no strings attached."

I very much dislike amending the Constitution to require votes on bridges. However, in the course of writing this post, I have changed from a NO to a YES on Proposal 6.

The manner in which Governor Snyder has foisted this deal on Michigan should be challenged, and is the greater of two evils. I'm holding my nose and voting YES on Proposal 6.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The American people are easily misled... err... confused

What Mr. Clinton is saying is that a majority of Americans can't tell the difference between the word "Is" and the word "is." He should know.

It depends, don't you see.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

NO on Proposal 3.

Michigan voters are faced with 6 ballot proposals in the November election.
Proposal 1: Referendum on the Emergency Manager Law
Proposal 2: The 'Protect Our Jobs' Amendment
Proposal 3: '25 x 25' Renewable Energy Standard
Proposal 4: The Unionization of Home-Based Caregivers
Proposal 5: The Two-Thirds Majority Tax Limitation
Proposal 6: The International Bridge/Tunnel Voting Requirement

I will have something to say on each of these. I start with Prop 3, because I have serendipitously found some dots related to it. These dots connect themselves.

Germany's wind power chaos should be a warning to the UK
Because renewable energy must by law have priority in supplying the grid, the owners of conventional power stations, finding they have to run plants unprofitably, are so angry that they are threatening to close many of them down. The government response, astonishingly, has been to propose a new law forcing them to continue running their plants at a loss.
No one is allowed to "go Galt" in Germany. A warning to the UK, certainly, and to Michigan: The Projected Economic Impact of Proposal 3 and Michigan’s Renewable Energy Standard

Unfortunately, wind-power fits perfectly with the president's plans for redistributing wealth and ensuring “…Electricity Rates Would Necessarily Skyrocket”.



As it happened, the president couldn't get Cap and Trade passed. Instead, he loosed the dogs of regulation at the EPA.

Without cheap and effective energy storage, wind-power will never fill more than a niche. It may increase greenhouse gases by forcing the real power plants to run at idling speeds. Wind-power dependency will reduce the reliability of the grid.

Proponents must necessarily purport to know precisely the best alternative energy technology 13 years from now. This is spectacularly risible, given the result of their taxpayer funded bets on the ethanol and battery corporatists. A Constitutional amendment to enforce such a fever dream vision is incredibly stupid.

Proposal 3 is a very bad idea. I am voting NO.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Diplomatic note to the shores of Tripoli:

While the United States of America thoroughly condemns images that offend your exquisite religious sensitivities, it is our official position that use of RPGs at film festivals is overzealous. We have therefore withdrawn our Ambassador.

Notwithstanding that sanction, and as a show of good faith, we have given a "two thumbs down" rating to the perpetrator of the most recent offense against The Prophet Mohammed. See attached photograph. The United States therefore expects all film related festivities in the Middle East and Africa to cease being hosted on US soil.

To further encourage a return to normal relations, the President of the United States will issue an executive order banning showings of the movie
"Zero Dark Thirty." As you may know, this film documents the death of Osama bin-Laden. The rumor that President Obama's Administration directly co-operated in the making of that film must be stopped.

Below you will find reporting indicating that the American people fully support our initiatives.

Yours Truly,
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of Statism

Alleged 'Innocence of Muslims' filmmaker taken in for interview

Pay No Attention to the Burning Flags, Stormed Consulates, and Dead Americans . . .
By Victor Davis Hanson
Raging crowds and Islamic wrath could not possibly be connected to the enlightened Obama administration or, more generally to a U.S. that has been “reset” on his watch — given the three years of laborious Muslim outreach and the long-ago departure of George Bush. So we are to think away all those burning flags, stormed consulates, and dead Americans, and instead remember that the violence “is a response,” a sort of cry of the heart against a couple of America-residing video makers — and has nothing much to do with any anger at well-meaning Americans per se.
The Unofficial Campaign’s Latest Disinformation Offensive
Paul A. Rahe
The American people cannot be allowed to discover that Barack Obama’s policy of appeasement has persuaded our enemies that we are weak and feckless and has elicited aggression on their part. Nor can they be allowed to learn that Hillary Clinton and our minions have been grossly negligent with regard to the security of our embassies, consulates, and other installations in the larger Muslim world. Instead, we must ignore the spirit of the First Amendment and vent our wrath on an inept Coptic Christian immigrant from Egypt.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Illegal immigrants being pwnd, Democrats committing vote fraud, Useful idiots calling for confiscation of all profits, Union bosses lying about their employers, God is dead to Democrats, Women defined as vaginas

Just a day at the Democrat's convention.

Young face put on illegal immigration at DNC
“I’ve had to live almost my entire life knowing I could be deported just because of the way I came here.” And "how you came here," that would be… illegally? Same with how you stay here?

Just whose votes does Obama expect to gain by suing Arizona, or issuing that executive "no deportation" order? A possible answer:
State Rep. Hudson Hallum, 3 Others Plead Guilty to Election Fraud

Democrats loudly proclaim there's no such thing as vote fraud, and call Republicans racists for mentioning it. But, is there any reason to believe arranging for illegal immigrants to vote would have caused Hudson Hallum the slightest pang of conscience? Is there any reason to believe the president's executive order was not crassly political in its timing? He could have done it over 3 years ago if he thought it about justice or compassion.

DNC delegates: Let’s ban corporate profits!
And these are people supposedly knowledgeable about politics and business? They are selecting THEIR candidate for the most (as yet) important job in the world.

Steelworker Featured at DNC Didn’t Work for Bain
They've got commercials where Democrat operatives claim to have converted from the GOP, why not someone who prevaricates about where he worked?

On the removal of "God," and "Jerusalem" from the platform. First, the floor vote was obviously a fraud. Second, the President either knew about it and agrees, or didn't know about it and is incompetent. On his record, I lean toward believing the former - his acolytes made it clear they (also) don't like people "clinging to religion," or calling Jerusalem the capital of Israel. As if it was their decision rather than Israel's.

Then, there's the nearly incoherent speech by Sandra Fluke. Ms Fluke became famous because Rush Limbaugh used the word 'slut' to describe her demand that you pay for her birth control pills. Slut is imprecise, because it leaves out the Federal pimp. I'd say 'cheap whore to big government.' Cheap, because the contraceptives she wants your Uncle Sam on the hook for cost 4 bucks a month. Whore, because it's not about wanting to have sex, it's about making someone else pay for it.

DNC delegates: Let’s ban corporate profits!

And these are people supposedly knowledgable about politics and economics? They want to say Obama's" "You didn't build that," is taken out of context? They ARE the context.

Steelworker Featured at DNC Didn’t Work for Bain

They've got commercials where Democrat operatives claim to have converted from the GOP, why not someone who prevaricates about where he worked?

The Democrats think these ideas are good ones for their brand. Consider that while (if) you're watching the soaring rhetorician accept his annointment tonight.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Ironic?

Add obeisance to Barack Obama to its historical tendencies, and one expects the New York Times means this article to show that Obama works extremely hard to become super-competent at anything he does.

What is actually demonstrated is that Barack Obama is an egomaniacal poseur with a perhaps significant ADHD component. As a bonus, the contrast between his supposed super-competency and his actual job performance lurks, smiling like the Cheshire cat, between each and every line of the story. Either the author and editors have a most sublime sense of irony, or they are utterly ignorant that the word "irony" exists. There is no middle ground. The story is brimming with lines that a vehement Obama supporter should see as outrageous criticism. Much as I hate to send any traffic to the NYT, it is well worth reading the whole thing for laughs. Or what would be laughs if this guy was not President.

An example - possibly the least - "If he [Obama] picks up something new, at first he’s not good, but he’ll work until he gets better." Apparently, this is considered remarkable in elite Democrat circles, and deemed quotable by the NYT.

And - "So perhaps it is not surprising that he [Obama] cites not just his record, but also every other accomplishment he can think of." Cite his record? He hasn't mentioned Obamacare or Libya since 100 rounds of golf ago. No wonder he hypes his ability to deliver “the best rendition ever” of “Green Eggs and Ham...” No word on whether he used a teleprompter for that.

Overconfident past the point of arrogance. Disdainful of his opponent. Just how we want him to enter the debates - thinking the chair he's sitting in isn't actually devoid of occupancy.

P.S. As I reread the first two paragraphs, I'm thinking maybe the NYT does understand irony. This is a remarkably snarky introduction:
As Election Day approaches, President Obama is sharing a few important things about himself. He has mentioned more than once in recent weeks that he cooks “a really mean chili.” He has impressive musical pitch, he told an Iowa audience. He is “a surprisingly good pool player,” he informed an interviewer — not to mention (though he does) a doodler of unusual skill.

All in all, he joked at a recent New York fund-raiser with several famous basketball players in attendance, “it is very rare that I come to an event where I’m like the fifth or sixth most interesting person.”
If he's lost the New York Times, he's lost the east coast condescending leftist elite, and maybe some of their toadies in fly-over country.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Canard, it is not

Jesse Singal at The Daily Beast (link included for completeness, but not recommended) is reviving the idea that Obamacare contemplates no elite panel of experts who will judge what treatments will be available to Americans.

Desperate Measures: Paul Ryan Tries To Revive the “Death Panel” Canard, contains Singal's complaint that when Paul Ryan said,
"Obama’s health care law "puts a board of 15 unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats in charge of Medicare who are required to cut Medicare in ways that will lead to denied care for current seniors.""
...Ryan has shown mendacity, ignorance or both. The Liberal objection to Ryan's point is that nowhere in Obamacare is there any required government judgment regarding what treatments a given individual may have. True, but irrelevant. The pretense that a bunch of bureaucrats prohibiting certain treatments for everyone does not constitute a "death panel" is belied by years of exactly such decisions made by Britain's NHS and, topically, by Ontario's Health Ministry.

Last-hope prostate drug not funded
There are two tiers of men with advanced prostate cancer in Ontario: Those who get access to a remarkable drug through private insurance, and those who get a death sentence.

The grim news is often delivered at the London Regional Cancer Program to men whose shoulders sag and jaws drop when told Ontario's Health Ministry has for 15 months refused to pay for a medication covered by every other Canadian province.
For a more comprehensive examination of the question, see this article at The Heritage Foundation:
Comparative Effectiveness Research Under Obamacare: A Slippery Slope to Health Care Rationing
Abstract: One element of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is the advancement of “comparative effectiveness research” (CER). Intended to compare available treatment options, CER can benefit patients if used for informational purposes only, but it could also be harmful in practice. The expansion of the Medicare bureaucracy under the PPACA will allow the use of CER for more government micromanagement of personal medical decision making—hurting patients, doctors, and the practice of medicine.

...The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) has created a quasi-governmental entity, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), to advance CER and its use by doctors, patients, and others.
There are several links in that article which document US government health care "best practice" advice which has already killed people.

If you believe the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute will live up to its Orwellian moniker, I have an almost new solar-panel manufacturing plant I'd like to sell you.

Friday, August 17, 2012

The investment that's Left

Last week the president took time off from golf and fundraising to brag about what a great thing he did in bailing out the UAW General Motors:
“Now, I want to do the same thing with manufacturing jobs, not just in the auto industry, but in every industry.”
Barack Obama, Pueblo, Colorado - Thursday Aug 9

“I want to say what we did with the auto industry, we can do it in manufacturing across America.”
Barack Obama, Colorado Springs, Colorado - Thursday Aug 9
That's what we're all afraid of.

The president should have waited to comment on the wonderfulness of Government Motors, as these stories from Forbes and Investors Business Daily show:

General Motors Is Headed For Bankruptcy -- Again
Obama's $25 Billion Government Motors Lemon

Any competent CEO/CFO would insist on knowing these facts, certainly he would do so before wishing GM's fate on every other US manufacturer. I'm sure Mr. Obama did know these things. Think about it. Unlike every other CEO/CFO, he has the CIA, the NSA, the CBO, the GAO, the FBI, Tim Geithner, Harry Reid and John Corzine to help him out with industrial intelligence.

The president failed to mention his accomplishment in trashing the contracts for GM bondholders. Nor did he speak of raping Delphi salaried pensioners. Recognizing those acts as counter to the rule of law would involve ideas, not intentions.

At the moment, the GM bailout is just barely a better investment than A123 and Solyndra, two "green" initiatives the president has funded. He is at least consistent. The president dumped $500 million into A123 for batteries, and $500 million into Solyndra for solar electricity to charge the batteries.

What's the return on investment from that? A bunch of temporary jobs in China, a taxpayer funded bankruptcy and the Chevy Volt.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Liberal Ayn Rand?

At Slate, Beverly Gage asks "Why Is There No Liberal Ayn Rand?"
Ask Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan how he became a conservative and he’ll probably answer by citing a book. It might be Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. Or perhaps he’ll come up with Friedrich Hayek’s Road to Serfdom, or even Barry Goldwater’s Conscience of a Conservative. All of these books are staples of the modern conservative canon, works with the reputed power to radicalize even the most tepid Republican. Over the last half-century, they have been vital to the conservative movement’s success—and to liberalism’s demise.

We tend to think of the conservative influence in purely political terms: electing Ronald Reagan in 1980, picking away at Social Security, reducing taxes for the wealthy.
The answer to "Why Is There No Liberal Ayn Rand?" is right there, in the first sentence of the second paragraph. It's blindingly obvious (it's even Ms Gage's point) that "Liberals" don't think in terms of ideas. Ideas are hard work, intentions are easier. Liberals like to think in terms of intentions, and mostly they think in terms of how they interpret the intentions of others based on their own intentions to improve humanity. Liberals don't think like free people, they think in terms of how to apply power to the purpose of perfecting their fellows. To a Liberal, making everybody else perfect is what Liberty means.

The reason there's no Liberal Ayn Rand is the same reason there's no Liberal Rush Limbaugh. It's been tried and it has utterly failed. It's the very definition of oxymoron.

You might as well ask why there's no "Liberal" John Galt. A question you couldn't ask if you'd bothered to pay attention to certain compelling arguments from your opposition. Even if the ideas weren't compelling to you, would the demands of diversity not require you to attempt to understand? Would not a reasoned defense of your own ideas demand it?

And here the answer is again - in the first sentence of the third paragraph:
Liberals, by contrast, have been moving in the other direction over the last half-century, abandoning the idea that ideas can be powerful political tools. This may seem like a strange statement at a moment when American universities are widely understood to be bastions of liberalism, and when liberals themselves are often derided as eggheaded elites. But there is a difference between policy smarts honed in college classrooms and the kind of intellectual conversation that keeps a movement together. What conservatives have developed is what the left used to describe as a “movement culture”: a shared set of ideas and texts that bind activists together in common cause. Liberals, take note.
But it's yet more subtle than that. First, the tea party people needed no institutional bastion of conservatism, controlled by an insular elite, to "re-educate" them. They'd have a hard time finding one if they did. They didn't need the ivory tower re-education camps in the first place. They get it innately. They fundamentally understand it. When they read Ayn Rand, they can see today's headlines. Our president's success as a community organizer doesn't make them swell with pride. Rather, it reminds them of Wesley Mouch.

"Liberals" have not abandoned the idea that ideas can be powerful political tools, they have abandoned the idea that anyone but them is allowed ideas. They are shocked, shocked when anyone deigns to challenge their intentions.
Liberals have channeled their energies even more narrowly over the past half-century, tending to prefer policy tweaks and electoral mapping to big-picture thinking. When was the last time you saw a prominent liberal politician ascribe his or her passion and interest in politics to, of all things, a book? The most dogged insistence on the influence of Obama’s early reading has come from his TeaParty critics, who fume constantly that he is about to carry out a secret plan laid out a half century ago by far-left writers ranging from Alinsky, the granddaddy of “community organizing,” to social reformer Frances Fox Piven.
In fact, no. Tea party criticism is not about the books Obama may have read, it's about the books he "wrote."
Liberals may argue that they are better off knocking on doors and brainstorming policy than muddling through the great works of midcentury America.
Policy without theory is untestable, and I can see why "Liberals" would consider that a strength. It allows them the excuse that without Obama's stimulus the unemployment rate he promised wouldn't go over 8%, but hit 10% (and more), deserves a Mulligan. He meant well.

And that Obama predicted the unemployment rate, with stimulus, would now be 5.6% is irrelevant. Get that? Not below 6%, but 5point6%. This is the same administration that quibbled over whether an unemployment rate of 8.254% should be reported as 8.3%.

So much for the precision wisdom of the centralized planners. You know, those very same people who turn out to be even more wrong than our president... in some book written by Ayn Rand.

Nothing to see here about testing ideas, let's just MoveOn:

Ms Gage continues:
Some of this imbalance is due to the relative weakness of the current American left. Liberals are not the logical counterweight to conservatives; leftists are, but they are few in number.
Some of this perceived imbalance is due to self delusion. Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barack Obama (who, as a teen, was mentored by an avowed Communist, wrote about hanging out with Marxists in college and who, in 1996, received the endorsement of the Chicago branch of the Democratic Socialists of America), Bernie Sanders, Maxine Waters, Barbara Boxer and Debbie Wossname-Schultz are not left? The self-declared Communist (Van Jones) and admirer of Mao (Anita Dunn) whom Obama appointed to positions of power were not left? Please.

And, finally, a note is required on the lead sentence of the closing paragraph:
In the current election this means that liberals also run the unnecessary risk of ceding intellectual authority to the right.
Excuse me, but this is the risk Liberals continually choose. They do it gleefully, confident in the ascendance of their intentions, and with no thought about ideas. There is no necessary or unnecessary when peering down from the summit of moral superiority.

This election may represent increased risk for those who don't have, or care about, ideas; but they don't care enough to read Atlas Shrugged or Capitalism and Freedom to find out about the ideas that oppose them. Many of us who've read Atlas, have also read Das Kapital and Rules for Radicals and The Black Book of Communism. We have some idea what we're up against, and, unlike Ms Gage, we can even name Liberals we used to consider serious thinkers. We were wrong, but we could say why.

Monday, August 13, 2012

And the winner the statists picked is... China

China just bought the battery manufacturing darling of the US DoE and the Granholm adminstration.
A company that two years ago was one of the most promising U.S. innovators in the clean-fuel auto industry was rescued from collapse Wednesday. Its buyer: A Chinese auto-parts company.

Wanxiang Group Corp., one of China's biggest parts makers, offered a $450 million lifeline to A123 Systems Inc., a maker of advanced batteries for electric vehicles that received U.S.-government backing. The deal would put the firm's lithium-ion technology and its U.S.-funded manufacturing plant into the hands of a company that has slowly acquired a passel of auto assets across the Midwest.
A123 has ripped off the American taxpayer for $249 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Energy. It was one of former governor Granholm's favorite picks, to the tune of $100 million. The Chinese are grateful, I suppose, for taxpayer assistance while A123's stock dropped from $26.00 to $0.82. Without said assistance, A123 might have been gone before they could buy it. Worse yet, from Obama's point of view, Bain Capital might have turned it around.

TOC has mentioned A123 as an excellent example of government "investment" failure.

So. Is anyone wondering why the Chinese didn't buy Solyndra? My guess is that they, unlike the Obama administration, sometimes know a hopeless investment when they see one. And the fact that Obama himself deigned to appear at, and specifically cite Solyndra, while leaving A123 to the likes of Debbie Stabenow, does tell you that the more money government uses to tilt the market the higher the political profile, and the worse the results. A123's jobs may be going to China now, but at least there are still jobs.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Good choice, Mitt!

You'll find some of the few dollars the president has allowed me to keep in your campaign contribution fund today.

By choosing Paul Ryan you have demonstrated that you care about ideas. Or, can at least be influenced to appear to care about ideas. We will see which it is, and it matters very much.

You have called this a pivotal election. Indeed, it is. Picking Representative Ryan indicates you appreciate what "pivotal" means.

You have drawn a clear, bright line on the federal budget and entitlement reform. Resist any impulse to blur it. Your choice remains inspiring only so long as there is no prevarication and no obfuscation about the choice we face in November. There must be no quarter given the statists now scurrying for cover. To do so now will destroy your campaign. That's the beauty of your choice.

It's going to get even uglier than it has been, and we expect you to stay the course you have set. We know who built that.

This election is pivotal because ideas matter. That is the whole of it. People who care about the Founding Principles of the United States are awakening to an innate, fundamental and visceral commitment to those principles. They may not be able to articulate this, or relate it to their daily lives, but Paul Ryan can show them why it matters.

The general population's ignorance of basic economics makes a campaign of ideas seem risky, but in our guts "we" know Obama is wrong. If "we" don't know that, the Liberty experiment is over. Paul Ryan can show us why.

Thanks, Mitt, you've given us the battle we want to fight.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Voters less likely to vote for Obama are less equal than others.

Obama campaign sues Ohio over early voting law for military
The Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee have filed a lawsuit to block a new state law allowing men and women in uniform to vote up until the Monday right before an election, while the cutoff on early voting for the rest of the public is three days earlier.
If you're a Seal Team 6 member from Ohio, Obama thanks you for your usefulness in campaign propaganda service, but he doesn't think you're mature enough to vote.

He's not the first Democrat to attempt this, of course. So did AlGore.

I suppose the rationale is that military voters already have picture ID's, so they should lose their franchise, no matter their superficial melanin content. Anything else would be racist.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Dr. Pritchett and the Philosopher's Moan

"Dr. Pritchett" speaks:
There is no such thing as a self-made man. Every businessman has used the vast American infrastructure, which the taxpayers paid for, to make his money. He did not make his money alone. He used taxpayer infrastructure. He got rich on what other taxpayers had paid for: the banking system, the Federal Reserve, the Treasury and Commerce Departments, and the judicial system, where nine-tenths of cases involve corporate law. These taxpayer investments support companies and wealthy investors. There are no self-made men! The wealthy have gotten rich using what previous taxpayers have paid for. They owe the taxpayers of this country a great deal and should be paying it back.
-George P. Lakoff, PhD, Professor of Linguistics - UC Berkeley

Dr. Lakoff's advice is important to Democrats. Speeches by Elizabeth Warren and the president have been informed by his writings.

A man who has been supported solely by taxpayers for his entire adult life, every check from the government, may quite naturally confuse his employers with the paymaster. This includes Barack Obama and Elizabeth Warren.

We may debate who today has Mouch as his avatar, who plays Kinnan, who is Toohey, who is Thompson, who Boyle and who Taggart; but Lakoff is unequivocally Rand's Dr. Pritchett.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Decontextualization

The president insists he didn't say hard-work and intelligence are of little value without collectivist government intervention.

He claims his recorded, clearly articulated, heart-felt words are being taken out of context. To paraphrase his Democrat predecessor, "It depends on the context of "context."".

In the context of reality, the context of the president's remarks is even worse than the bald meaning of "You didn't build that.". That's why he's saying he didn't say it. At question is the difference between meaning what you say and saying what you mean.
“Then you should say what you mean,” the March Hare went on.

“I do,” Alice hastily replied; “at least—at least I mean what I say—that’s the same thing, you know.”
When the president says what he means he gets in trouble. As for meaning what he says? He does mean he didn't say "You didn't build that," and probably even believes it himself.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mitt was right

And so was I.

GM The UAW should not have been bailed out. Thanks to ZeroHedge: GM Stock Slides To Fresh Post-Bankruptcy Lows


GM Stock Price vs GM Channel Stuffing:
Click to enlarge.



Monday, July 23, 2012

Animal Farm Shrugged

Google Says Some Apple Inventions Are So Great They Ought to Be Shared

In plain English, Google wants Apple's intellectual property to be declared public property. Google General Counsel Kent Walker wrote:
While collaborative [Standards Setting Organizations (SSOs)] play an important part in the overall standard setting system, and are particularly prominent in industries such as telecommunications, they are not the only source of standards. Indeed, many of the same interoperability benefits that the FTC and others have touted in the SSO context also occur when one firm publishes information about an otherwise proprietary standard and other firms then independently decide (whether by choice or of necessity) to make complementary investments to support that standard in their products. … Because proprietary or de facto standards can have just as important effects on consumer welfare, the Committee’s concern regarding the abuse of SEPs [standards-essential patents] should encompass them as well.
He means some Apple patents should be seized and given freely to Google, because they are popular. And Google is at a competitive disadvantage without them. License them? No, that's unfair, or too expensive, or insufficiently damaging to a competitor. It is the job of government to DO SOMETHING about this.

A reading of Atlas Shrugged reveals this is exactly the same pressure Hank Rearden faced from an eerily familar Kleptocracy. I used to nod and have a smallish chuckle when I saw an Ayn Rand plot device writ in MSM headlines. Now? I'm scared.

I understood Animal Farm as a warning, not a manual for governing. Now, I hear the president of the United States paraphrasing Old Major and Napoleon in every campaign speech.

Reality's convergence with the "fiction" of Rand and Orwell is accelerating. Google is Orren Boyle, Jim Taggart, Wesley Mouch and Dr. Potter combined. Old Major and Napoleon are the current administration.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Outgoing President Felipe Calderon, Mexico's Answer to Mike Bloomberg

Two words for you Mr. President Calderon. Butt out. You already stood with Obama and Hillary to lie about guns coming to Mexico from the US, and that didn't work out. All you're doing is encouraging Eric Holder to start Fast & Furious II. So thanks for your "advice," but take care of your southern border and then get back to us. It's the border with Guatemala you should look to.

Massacres of the Aurora scale happen monthly in Mexico. They happen on the streets. They happen neither because of guns from the US, nor due to certifiable PhD program dropouts. Automatic weapons are NOT legally entering Mexico from the US, unless those guns come from a program run by Eric Holder. And that's not legal, either.

You might consider giving honest Mexican citizens the right to defend themselves, rather than Tweeting this sort of BS:
Mexican President Felipe Calderon condemned U.S. gun laws as "mistaken" and urged Washington to review them after a shooter killed 12 people and injured more than 50 others at a U.S. movie theater on Friday...

Fighting among the [Mexican drug] cartels and their clashes with the state have killed more than 55,000 people since 2007.
55,000? That's more than Chicago in a decade, so I'd appreciate a comment on the effectiveness of Mexican gun prohibition. If it's really working well there I might change my mind. You know, if between 2002 and 2007 there were 100,000 people killed, and it's almost been halved.

We don't need your advice Mr. Calderon. Your citizens are disarmed and unable to defend themselves. THEY need the Second Amendment.

As to guns used against innocents in your corrupt state, it's you who is mistaken. You'll find educational material here.


#youdidntbuildthat
Subsidies required to meet government mandates

BMW CEO Orren Boyle James Taggart Norbert Reithofer says that Germany's goal of having a million electric cars on German roads by the end of the decade will require the government to enact subsidies in the form of tax incentives. It brings to mind Solyndra, A123, General Motors and others. Especially General Motors.

The struckthrough names are fictional. James Taggart and Orren Boyle are obsequious, scheming crony capitalists in Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged.

Taggart's railroad is failing because he is incompetent, but the government is there to help:
Empty trains clattered ... They carried a few carloads of sheep, some corn, some melons and an occasional farmer with an overdressed family, who had friends in Washington. Jim [James Taggart, President of Taggart Transcontinental Railroad] had obtained a subsidy from Washington for every train that was run, not as a profit making carrier, but as a service of "public equality."
Later, in a meeting with a Federal Czar*, who is hammering out a series of edicts designed to seize complete control of the economy, Taggart and Boyle have this exchange:
"It is not essential whether you can afford it or not," Taggart said coldly. "You have to be prepared to make some sacrifices. The public needs railroads. Need comes first - above your profits."

"What profits?" yelled Orren Bole. "When did I ever make any profits? Nobody can accuse me of running a profit-making business. ... But, of course, the public does need railroads, and perhaps I could manage to absorb a certain raise in rates if i were to get - it's just a thought - if I were to get a subsidy to carry me over the next year or two..."
*Wesley Mouch, Co-ordinator of the Bureau of Economic Planning and National Resources. See Atlas Shrugged Chapter VI, from the start, for the meeting minutes.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Blunt Instrument of Goverment

"Swatting" is the term describing an attempt to have a SWAT Team dispatched to an innocent person's house by fraudulently reporting a serious crime. When a SWAT team comes to your house because they think you've just murdered your wife, someone could easily die.

This practice has recently been employed against several conservative bloggers by those on the far left. It was combined with harassment of their families and employers sufficient to force some into hiding.

"Swatting" is not the only form of harassment to which government may be put by the unscrupulous. There are yet blunter instrumentalities that can be aroused. Here is an example:
  • An Obama campaign website, "Keeping GOP Honest," calls out eight private citizens backing Mitt Romney as "wealthy individuals with less-than-reputable records." One of them is named Frank VanderSloot, owner of Melaleuca Inc..
  • Within days, a former law clerk (on the Democratic side of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations) asks for court records regarding Mr. VanderSloot's divorces, as well as records of cases involving Melaleuca. He is later found to be working for a firm that does oppo research. Remember, VanderSloot is a private citizen. He's not running for office. Character assassination doesn't change votes here, it can only be intended to deter others from speaking without approval.
  • Shortly after the Obama campaign website's attack, VanderSloot is made subject of an IRS audit.
  • Two weeks later, Mr. VanderSloot is told that the Department of Labor will be doing an audit of workers he employs on his Idaho-based cattle ranch.
Maybe it's all coincidental, but it appears to be blatant application of undue political influence. Someone not well marinated in Chicago-style politics might avoid even the appearance. One is certainly justified in wondering if any highly placed Democrat politician or bundler happened to pass a note about Mr. VanderSloot to the IRS and DoL.

"Swatting" is a crime for obvious reasons, the perpetrator must lie to authorities to solicit the response and, if successful, he puts lives at immediate risk. "IRSing" by public innuendo is legal. It requires no overt lies. Indeed, it seems to require no activity beyond the suggestion that specific donors to your political opposition are disreputable. If certain list-keeping authorities appear to act independently on such allegations, who is to say those authorities are politically motivated? Who is to say it's government that's unscrupulous? No lives are immediately at risk, it's merely the principle that government operates fairly and without favor put in jeopardy. We know that that is of little consequence to the present administration.

When the IRS and Labor Department are the actors instead of your local police SWAT unit, the perpetrator is some politically motivated bureaucrat, protected by the state. Which is worse? And before you answer, recall that the IRS is hiring over 10,000 new enforcers to deal with the tax that is Obamacare.

The bullet points above were drawn from stories by Kimberley Strassel at the WSJ:
Strassel: Trolling for Dirt on the President's List and
Strassel: Obama's Enemies List—Part II

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Harry Reid and the Burning Yellow ap-Peril.

The US Olympic Team is outfitted in uniforms made in China. This has some people upset. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., for example:
I think they should take all the uniforms, put them in a big pile and burn them and start all over again.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said, "You'd think they'd [The US Olympic Committee] know better." It's John and Harry who should know better.

My first thought was to put all the Senators and Congressman in a big pile. But I couldn't figure out if Barney Frank would be on the top or on the bottom, and I quickly stopped thinking about it.

But what's the problem? The president and Congress gave a loan guarantee of $529 million to a foreign competitor of US automobile manufacturers. The president and Congress spent at least a billion and a half taxpayer dollars to create jobs overseas, sending a lot of it to places who don't do much for us at all. The Chinese, at least, have lent about a trillion dollars to the US. And whose fault is that?

In any case, the US Olympic Committee is privately funded, so it isn't even taxpayer dollars Harry wants to burn. It's private funds, like the more than $40,000 Ralph Lauren has donated to Democrats since 2008.

What's Ralph Lauren got to do with it? He is the guy who outsourced the uniform production. Harry should raise his objections with Ralph about this, give back the money, and then get in the pile.

Update 4:16PM. Similar thoughts at Cafe Hayek and RealClearMarkets.

Update 5:01PM Jul 15. More thoughts at FutureOfCapitalism.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Government Motors: Morally Hazardous...

... to the Rule of Law; to the economy; to taxpayers; to shareholders.

This is not Capitalism, it is Fascism. Capitalism actually requires that bad companies be allowed to fail. And their assets, or lack thereof, cannot appear on a government balance sheet.
"It looks like General Motors will be throwing everything in but the kitchen sink to help fluff its second quarter earnings numbers. Taxpayers continue to help with the cause as President Obama campaigns on the "success" of GM following the manipulated bankruptcy process that cost taxpayers $50 billion and another $45 billion of tax credits gifted to GM to help protect powerful UAW interests. We now learn that government purchases of GM vehicles rose a whopping 79% in June."
And the old channel stuffing trick has been revived to inflate "earnings."
"Old habits die hard at GM. According to a Bloomberg report, "GM said inventory of its full-size pickups, which will be refreshed next year, climbed to 238,194 at the end of June, a 135 days supply, up from 116 days at the end of May." 135 days supply is huge, the accepted norm is a 60 day supply. The trick here is that GM records revenue when vehicles go into dealership inventories, not when actually sold to consumers."
There's now a shareholders' class action suit filed because of that.

Who'da thunk there would be political motivation to maintain the illusion that UAW/Federal joint-ownership of a car company was a good idea? In an election year yet... from the most transparent Administration ever to preen before a mirror.

Mitt Romney, along with many others, was right: GM should have gone bankrupt.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Life. Liberty. Pursuit of happiness.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security."

Is the United States better off than it was 48 years ago?


Re-Declaration of Independence Day
- Tuesday, November 6, 2012 -

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Free Riders of the Purple Wage

Nancy Pelosi is now insisting that the #ObamaTax is not a tax. Since this would make it unconstitutional, one wonders whether Ms Pelosi's sanity has been trumped by her partisanship. Not.
The former speaker vigorously disputed Gregory's characterization of the individual mandate as a "new tax," based on the court's finding that the mandate passed constitutional muster based on Congress' authority to impose taxes. Pelosi said the fines to be levied on those without insurance should be considered a penalty, not a tax.

"The penalty is on people who have the wherewithal but refuse to buy health insurance figuring they won't be sick and if they do other people will have to cover it," Pelosi said. "So these free riders, as they were identified by Gov. Romney himself, he said people have the ability to pay and don't can't expect to be free riders. And I think that he termed it exactly right. These free riders make health insurance for those who are taking responsibility making it more expensive."
The Free Riders are apparently 75% comprised of Americans earning less than $120,000 per year.

Added to the illegal immigrants who are the major free riders, and to a large number of whom the president has just granted amnesty, that probably covers 99% of US residents.

Happy Canada Day!

To my friends north of 49.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Largest tax hike in world history

The Obamacare health insurance mandate is unconstitutional according to SCOTUS:
The individual mandate, however, does not regulate existing commercial activity. It instead compels individuals to become active in commerce by purchasing a product, on the ground that their failure to do so affects interstate commerce. Construing the Commerce Clause to permit Congress to regulate individuals precisely because they are doing nothing would open a new and potentially vast domain to congressional authority:
But, says John Roberts, it's OK if you think of it as a tax hike instead. So, SCOTUS just passed the biggest tax hike in all of time, in the middle of a severe economic downturn. Talk about judicial activism.

Whatever happened to paying heed to the intent of the legislators, who roundly denied the mandate was a tax, going so far as to eschew the word entirely in a 2,000 page bill?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

True that

"When the entitled elect themselves, the party accelerates, and the brutal hangover is inevitable."

-Dr. Michael J. Burry at UCLA Economics Commencement 2012

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Clown the Cop and the Clown

New York Times blogger Timothy Egan, in a post titled The Clown and the Cop, attempts to demonstrate why “Tea Party” types are ignoramuses whose priorities are fatally skewed because of addiction to FOX News. Instead, he demonstrates over-immersion in the Statist echo chamber, and reveals a general allergy to principle.

The first Clowns of the title are GSA employees who dropped nearly a million dollars on a party in Vegas. The Cop is the guy the GOP wants to "put on the street," and not in an employed way. In between there's mention of a $642 billion dollar defense appropriations bill ("$8 billion more than the Defense Department asked for.").

These introductory themes are somewhat loosely coupled by Egan's disdain and blind faith.

  • Disdain for the GOP's hatred of public employees in general, and Mitt Romney's deplorable views in particular.
  • Blind faith that Barack Obama is not responsible for anything that happens on his watch.
Oh, and there's a slap or 3 for FOX News - really for anyone possessed of the temerity to disagree with the NYT narrative.

Egan: [M]ost people are unaware that the Republican majority, the same politicians who rode into office in 2010 (on a pledge of not spending beyond our means, voted to run up the deficit last month on behalf of those parochial projects.
The Republican majority?  Egan is apparently unaware that the Democrats control the Senate and the White House as he writes, and in 2010 also controlled the House, where they, like the Democrat Senate, were busy not passing budgets.

Egan: "[Obama] has been stymied by a Congress that wants to end his presidency by sabotaging the economy"
The Democrat majority Senate has a poor record in resisting this sabotage. It voted 0-0 for a budget in 2010 (no budget was considered in the Democrat House or Democrat Senate). The president's proposed budgets were defeated in the Democrat Senate 97-0 (2011) and 99-0 (2012). The Democrat Senate has not performed their legal budgetary responsibility since April of 2009. 

The president has tried to kill the Keystone pipeline, encouraged the EPA to classify carbon dioxide as a pollutant (Obama's stated plan was that electricity rates “would necessarily skyrocket”), conducted withering class warfare against job creators, wasted tens of billions picking "winners" like Solyndra, and made investors wary by demonstrating his willingness to ignore the rule of law: The 100% loss he decreed for GM and Chrysler bondholders, the shipment of firearms to criminals in another sovereign state and subsequent coverup, and suspension of immigration law in defiance of Article Two, Section 3, Clause 4 of the United States Constitution, to name but three.

Egan: "Obama is a relative miser on the [spending] growth chart"
Only because the baseline jumped so high with TARP - which the tea party opposed.  Obama, in 3 years, has run up a deficit - on top of TARP as a baseline - greater than the combined previous deficits since 1787.

Egan: on Romney “We have 145,000 more government workers under this president,” Romney said in Colorado last month. “Let’s send them back home and put you back to work.”

Again, this is simply not true.

There are, in fact, 145,000 more Federal government employees.  (You have to go to the 4th from last paragraph, that is an ABC report, after all. It's amazing they even noted it.)

Those 145,000 are the ones under president Obama. Egan disingenuously counts local and state government employees, and though that's on whom the vast majority of the stimulus money was spent, it is not what Mr. Romney was talking about.

And while I know “The private sector is doing fine,” Mr. Egan might further have noted that job losses run 11 to 1 against the private sector – 11 private sector jobs lost for every 1 government job lost, even when you consider those state and local employees.

Mr. Egan's general ignorance of principle, however, is his largest failure. He does not know that the clown and the defense department are of equal importance, because it is not the amount of money that is the point.  It's the venality on steroids, and in-your-face disrespect for the rule of law that are at issue for this administration. For example.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Petty statism isn't petty

On June-14, one Peter Cousins wrote to the Lansing State Journal in support of NY Mayor Mike “Nanny” Bloomberg's ban on 32 ounce sugary drinks. In a missive titled Avoid unhealthy foods for a longer life, Cousins writes: “I would argue that society has a right to regulate activities that impose a heavy burden on the public treasury.”

Since the public treasury is always and only free citizen taxpayers, I would argue that those citizens have the right to reject such regulations and demand that the burdens be relieved.

If you believe government can establish a right to curtail individual freedom by overspending, you may be a Greek politician. You certainly have confused the public treasury with the public good. You likely are ignorant of d'Tocqueville:
After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp and fashioned him at will, the supreme power then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small, complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.
Cousins is right to the extent that life will seem longer.

Finally, even if Mayor Bloomberg's policy was about health instead of control, the scientists he cites in his support say it won't work.

See also: Health Care and the Dynamics of Intervention and Unintended consequences

Friday, June 15, 2012

Not #brettkimberlin's Velvet Revolution

Added to the blogroll.

Here's the initial post: Brett Kimberlin and the Justice of Google
On November 30, 2004, convicted terrorist bomber, drug dealer, and perjurer Brett Kimberlin formed a Maryland corporation for the purpose of soliciting tax-exempt donations from the public and charitable foundations, to promote an alleged “network of more than 100 progressive organizations reaching millions of people demanding progressive change through our various campaigns”. Campaigns such as offering bounties for the head of the Chamber of Commerce, the impeachment of a Supreme Court Justice, and proof that John Kerry actually won the 2004 presidential election.

This corporation was also known as the Velvet Revolution, or “VelvetRevolution.US, Inc.” according to its corporate filings.

...We believe it is a farce and a disgrace that Brett Kimberlin seeks to cloak his nefarious acts under the name “Velvet Revolution”, a name which in the rest of the world stands for courage and dignity in the face of terror.

Brett Kimberlin stole the Velvet Revolution. We’re stealing it back.
Visit them often, and it would be nice if you do so from TOC's blogroll.

Update: 3:28PM Criminal charges dropped against Aaron Walker, but gag order remains

Friday, June 08, 2012

Vulture Statist

Maybe the first three letters of "economics" and "ecostatism" being the same are confusing the president. He thinks the "private sector" is Solyndra, ethanol subsides and windmills. You know, the corporatist whores to whom he's given a hundred billion dollars, and who keep going bankrupt.
The private sector is doing fine. Where we’re seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government. Oftentimes cuts initiated by, you know, Governors or mayors who are not getting the kind of help that they have in the past from the federal government and who don’t have the same kind of flexibility as the federal government in dealing with fewer revenues coming in.

And so, you know, if Republicans want to be helpful, if they really want to move forward and put people back to work, what they should be thinking about is how do we help state and local governments and how do we help the construction industry?
- president Barack Obama
If Republicans want to be helpful they'll be sure to vote in November.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day

Remember Bunker Hill and Yorktown; Vicksburg, Shilo and Gettysburg; Ypres, Belleau Wood and Dieppe. Do not forget Iwo Jima or The Bulge or the Chosen Reservoir or Khe Sanh. Remember Fallujah, it was only yesterday. Honor those who have preserved your freedom by reflecting on their service.

If we do not remember those who gave their lives to preserve our way of life, we are likely to lose that way of life by the worst possible means - the mistake of thinking things had to be the way they are and not some other way.


In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep,
though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
- John McCrae, May 1915

Friday, May 25, 2012

Blog about #brettkimberlin day

News about #brettkimberlin
Brett Kimberlin, AKA "The Speedway Bomber," is a convicted serial bomber who served only 17 years of a 50 year sentence. He was convicted of perjury while still a teenager. Since his release he has been quite active in support of "Progressive" causes. He has also been busy with lawsuits against bloggers who mention his felonious past. That's why today is his day.

Rather than repeat information given elsewhere, I'm providing some links to help him lower his profile to the depths it deserves: Here, here, here, here and here.

There is much more, but those will give you some feeling for the man.

Update: 5:25PM. These links are well worth a visit: How to kill the First Amendment and Free speech blogburst.