Saturday, September 19, 2009

Obama's Coup

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Lech Wałęsa, former President of Poland had this to say about the Obama announcement that the US was pulling the anti-missile defense system from Poland:

“Americans have always cared only about their interests, and all other [countries] have been used for their purposes. This is another example,” Mr Walesa told TVN24. “[Poles] need to review our view of America, we must first of all take care of our business,” he added.

“I could tell from what I saw, what kind of policies President Obama cultivates,” the former president added. “I simply don’t like this policy, not because this shield was required [in Poland], but [because of] the way we were treated,” he concluded.

Another foreign policy coup. Treating our allies shabbily while sucking up to the Putins and Chavezs of the world.

The Government Is Criminally Insane

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Nothing builds confidence in government’s ability to make choices than to find out that the state of Washington took an insane murderer on a field trip to a county fair — and lost him.  Not only did Washington take him from the hospital for the criminally insane to the state fair, they put $50 in his pocket, enough to buy a bus ticket to get out of the area (via Power Line):

A criminally insane killer from eastern Washington is on the run after escaping during a field trip to the county fair that his mental hospital organized.

Why such a dangerous person was out in public was a question many, including Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire, were asking as authorities searched for Phillip Arnold Paul.

Authorities at Eastern State Hospital, where Paul is a patient, are being criticized for allowing him to visit the fair despite his violent criminal past and a history of trying to escape.

Paul murdered an elderly woman in 1987, soaked her body in gasoline to throw off the dogs, and buried her

Case closed.

Not A Lot Left Over

It is interesting to contrast the administration’s “wise” diplomacy abroad with its willingness to go nuclear at home. If you go to a town-hall meeting and express misgivings about the effectiveness of the stimulus, you’re a “racist” “angry” “Nazi” “evilmonger” “right-wing domestic terrorist.” It’s perhaps no surprise that that doesn’t leave a lot left over in the rhetorical arsenal for Putin, Chávez, and Ahmadinejad. But you’ve got to figure that by now the world’s strongmen are getting the measure of the new Washington. Diplomacy used to be, as Canada’s Lester Pearson liked to say, the art of letting the other fellow have your way. Today, it’s more of a discreet cover for letting the other fellow have his way with you.
Bernard Lewis warned, during the debate on withdrawal from Iraq, that America risked being seen as “harmless as an enemy and treacherous as a friend.” In Moscow and Tehran, on one hand, and Warsaw and Prague, on the other, they’re drawing their own conclusions
Bingo. Steyn strikes again. RTWT.

Projecting Jimmah

When former president Jimmy Carter accuses the opponents of Barrack Obama’s policy of nationalizing broad aspects of our economy and spending us into bankruptcy of being “racists,” perhaps he should look in the mirror. In his 1982 book, Keeping Faith, Carter disingenuously said he “was not directly involved in the early struggles to end racial discrimination.” No kidding — in fact, he directly and unambiguously supported segregation.
As Laughlin McDonald, director of the ACLU’s Voting Project, relates in his book A Voting Rights Odyssey: Black Enfranchisement in Georgia, Carter’s board tried to stop the construction of a new “Elementary Negro School” in 1956.
The prospect of black and white children commingling on the streets on their way to school was apparently so horrible to Carter that he requested that the state school board stop construction of the black school until a new site could be found.
When he makes such a claim, is he projecting his own inner racial beliefs?
In case you were wondering how our worst President got that way.

OSocializing The Web

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The U.S. government plans to propose broad new rules Monday that would force Internet providers to treat all Web traffic equally, seeking to give consumers greater freedom to use their computers or cellphones to enjoy videos, music and other legal services that hog bandwidth.

The move would make good on a campaign promise to Silicon Valley supporters like Google Inc. from President Barack Obama, but will trigger a battle with phone and cable companies like AT&T Inc. and Comcast Corp., which don't want the government telling them how to run their networks.

The proposed rules could change how operators manage their networks and profit from them, and the everyday online experience of individual users. Treating Web traffic equally means carriers couldn't block or slow access to legal services or sites that are a drain on their networks or offered by rivals.

Welcome To The OGulag

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Americans who slap $1 pricetags on their used possessions at garage sales or bazaar events risk being slapped with fines of up to $15 million, thanks to a new government campaign.

The "Resale Round-up," launched by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, enforces new limits on lead in children's products and makes it illegal to sell any items that don't meet those limits or have been recalled for any other reason.

The strict standards were set in the 2008 Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act after a series of high-profile recalls of Chinese-made toys.

The standards were originally interpreted to apply only to new products, but now the CPSC says they apply to used items as well.


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We noted here that the United States has the most progressive income tax system in the developed world. That's right--embarrassingly enough, more progressive than Sweden's.

Actually, a generation of economic stagnation has taught the Swedes a lesson. They've learned that government does not produce wealth, and if they want more people to work, jobs have to pay better, after taxes. Sweden is therefore in the midst of a series of tax cuts aimed at preserving the long-term viability of its economy. Today's headline: "Sweden slashes income tax further to boost jobs."

It's an interesting comparison: Sweden experimented with the nanny state, learned that it was devastating to the economic and moral health of its people, and is moving back toward individualism. Here in the U.S., we had the world's most dynamic economy, and the lesson we took away from that--some of us, anyway--was that we were doing something wrong and needed to socialize everything. Curious.

This was so good I just lifted it whole. Powerline has been doing some excellent stuff lately. Go look around if you've never been there.

Squish Us Like A Bug

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The Guardian recently interviewed Xiao Ziniu, the director general of the Beijing Climate Center.

He added:

“Climate prediction has only come into operation in recent years. The accuracy of the prediction is very low because the climate is affected by many mechanisms we do not fully understand.”

We would do well to listen.

More important, we should take note of the fact that China laughs in the face of the west when it comes to regulating their own economy through self imposed emissions goals, while the west cuts back its manufacturing capability, China surges forward.

Nixon awakened a sleeping giant. They’ll squish us like a bug economically and in many other areas. For example China just this week broke ground on a fourth space launch complex.

China will likely go to the moon before the US returns there, perhaps as early as 2014.

Friday, September 18, 2009

How The Marches Will End

Will somebody please explain to me how it is that placing a ballistic missile defense system in Poland has any hope of stopping a Russian ICBM attack against the continental U.S.? Putin is ROFL.

And how out of all of our options outside of Russia itself (let me hold my breath) an American President would consider placing a missile defense against Iran for the American homeland anywhere other than Poland or the Czech Republic?

We have such an epic educational fail in this country that people apparently can't even pick up a globe and trace an ICBM trajectory a line on it.

The only good news is that we're soon going to be able to save money out of our precious family budgets by no longer funding marches on Washington. Because since stupidity is self correcting there won't be a Washington left to march on.

Unless the Green Revolution succeeds. Which seems closer to happening than I dared hope. It's very interesting about the timing of Iran acquiring nukes and the people throwing caution to the wind -- “Tanks, rape and torture have no effect anymore”. Moussavi certainly knows how close his fellow nut-jobs really are to the bomb. He started them down the path after all.

Pray for the success of the Green Revolution. (No, not the Van Jones one.)

And pray for America as well.

Not Taking Torture For An Answer


Maybe one of the Sunday show interviewers will show this when they ask the inevitable "are you at risk of being over-exposed" question:

Wake Up America Redux

I have often been asked what it would take to bring the consumer credit picture back into balance with incomes.  My "off the cuff" estimate was that we had to take a 10% adjustment to GDP in 2000, a 20% adjustment now, and that credit would have had to contract by about 20% in 2000.

This graph makes it clear - as of 2006 the answer is "roughly a 40% decrease in credit outstanding, a 40% increase in per-capita income, or any combination of the two."

Of note the "correction" required was 25% in 2000. 

It was 40% in 2007. 

It is likely better than 50% now.

This graph, more than any other, illustrates the folly of "kick the can" when it comes to recessions.  We are in this recession and facing an economic depression due to consumers "hitting the wall" - the spread between per-capita income and per-capita debt became impossible to service, and the defaults started to snowball.

There is no path out of this mess that involves taking on more debt

Wake up America. 

Sorrowing Redux

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Cheng Siwei, former vice-chairman of the Standing Committee and now head of
China's green energy drive, said Beijing was dismayed by the Fed's recourse
to "credit easing".

"If they keep printing money to buy bonds it will lead to inflation, and
after a year or two the dollar will fall hard. Most of our foreign reserves
are in US bonds and this is very difficult to change, so we will diversify
incremental reserves into euros, yen, and other currencies," he said.

Mr Cheng said the root cause of global imbalances is spending patterns in US
(and UK) and China.

"The US spends tomorrow's money today," he said. "We Chinese
spend today's money tomorrow. That's why we have this financial crisis."

Yet the consequences are not symmetric.

"He who goes borrowing, goes sorrowing," said Mr Cheng.

It was a quote from US founding father Benjamin Franklin.


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President Nixon's Treasury Secretary John Connally once famously quipped to a gathering of European central bankers that "the dollar may be our currency, but it's your problem." Connally got it partially correct.

Rather than a problem solely suffered by those outside the U.S., the dollar's debasement on Connally's watch brought Americans great harm too. Devaluationist policies never enhance growth, and just as they created problems for the rest of the world, they similarly gave us the lost decade that was the 1970s.

Indeed, what's regularly forgotten is that money is insignificant except as a measurement of value that enables investors to more reliably put capital to work, and producers to exchange goods. Far from wealth itself, money is what enables us to exchange and put value on true wealth.

Cautionary Tale

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President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claim that a new government health insurance option would strengthen competition and lower health care costs. If they really believe that theory, it doesn't explain why they are pushing a complete government takeover of the college-loan industry 16 years after federal tuition loans were created to compete with loans by private lenders. The student-loan power grab offers a cautionary tale that is relevant to the health care debate.

This wasteful effort demonstrates how publicly financed alternatives to the private sector can be a slippery slope. It's common practice for government to stick its foot in the door before taking over an industry.

Would I Lie To You?

WASHINGTON -- You lie? No. Barack Obama doesn't lie. He's too subtle for that. He ... well, you judge.

Herewith three examples within a single speech -- the now-famous Obama-Wilson "you lie" address to Congress on health care -- of Obama's relationship with truth.

(1) "I will not sign (a plan)," he solemnly pledged, "if it adds one dime to the deficit, now or in the future. Period."

Wonderful. The president seems serious, veto-ready, determined to hold the line. Until, notes Harvard economist Greg Mankiw, you get to Obama's very next sentence: "And to prove that I'm serious, there will be a provision in this plan that requires us to come forward with more spending cuts if the savings we promised don't materialize."

Just look at the supposedly automatic Medicare cuts contained in the Sustainable Growth Rate formula enacted to constrain out-of-control Medicare spending. Every year since 2003, Congress has waived the cuts.

A Handy Chart

These days it's hard to tell. If you think government-run medicine is a bad thing, former President Jimmy Carter and many other Democrats say you're most likely a racist. So explains everything in this handy chart; click to enlarge:


Death To Russia! (Part 9,386,387)

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It had been weeks since anti-government protesters gathered in large numbers in Iran. Today, they were out again not just in the capital Tehran but in several large cities. Eyewitnesses reached by telephone in Tehran say opposition supporters turned what is traditionally a day to protest oppression around the world (namely Palestine) into a protest against oppression at home. Mixing among the crowds who came out for Iran Protest the officially-sanctioned marches, protesters shouted the names of opposition leaders Mirhossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi and turned the official slogans on their head. When the imam at Friday prayers called for ‘Death to Israel’, the protesters shouted ‘Death to Russia’ instead (a jibe at Russia for supporting the Iranian regime). When the imam talked about Gaza or Lebanon, protesters replied ‘Not Gaza, not Lebanon, what about Iran?’

One of the most repeated chants today: “Tanks, rape and torture have no effect anymore.”

Who are the real torturers again?

COTD: Ignoramus

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15. Pathena:

President Obama seems to be ignoring the protests in Iran. But then he has ignored the massive protest in Washington, D.C., of September 12.

Sep 18, 2009 - 12:26 pm

Unconstitutional Lies

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Federal legislation requiring that every American have health insurance is part of all the major health-care reform plans now being considered in Washington. Such a mandate, however, would expand the federal government’s authority over individual Americans to an unprecedented degree. It is also profoundly unconstitutional.

An individual mandate has been a hardy perennial of health-care reform proposals since HillaryCare in the early 1990s. President Barack Obama defended its merits before Congress last week, claiming that uninsured people still use medical services and impose the costs on everyone else. But the reality is far different. Certainly some uninsured use emergency rooms in lieu of primary care physicians, but the majority are young people who forgo insurance precisely because they do not expect to need much medical care. When they do, these uninsured pay full freight, often at premium rates, thereby actually subsidizing insured Americans.


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President Obama said it's ok if we scrap the missile defense system that we have spent billions of dollars developing, testing, and perfecting because we have something better.

Really? I call bullshit.

There is nothing better than our current missile defense system. We know it works because we have tested it over and over again. We have spent many years and billions of dollars publicly testing and perfecting our land based missile defense system. We tested it publicly as a show of force so all hostiles knew what our capabilities were. It sent a message that we could shoot down anything they shot at us or our allies.

And we have just dismantled it in Europe.

So we have something better? Why haven't we read anything in the news that we were testing a new mobile missile defense shield? That's because Obama pulled the entire idea out of his butt at the last minute, which is why we are just hearing about it now.

Information For Fools

President Obama’s decision not to deploy an anti-missile system in Poland and the Czech Republic is intended to improve U.S.
Russian relations. In fact, it will make them worse.

The missiles were never a threat to Russia. This has been acknowledged by Russia’s own experts. Russia’s ICBM force is designed to attack the U.S. over the North Pole and the missiles intended for deployment in Poland are too slow to catch them and designed for a totally different purpose. The constant anti-western propaganda around this issue was referred to in the Soviet Union as “information for fools.” It served to consolidate the support of the population around a corrupt leadership by directing its frustrations against an external foe.

Russia opposed the missile deployment for a completely different reason. Had they been deployed on the territory of the former Warsaw Pact they would have demonstrated that this region was once and for all part of the defense architecture of the West.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Almost Makes Me Want To Donate

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Let's see if he can keep this up. I'm guessing there'll be no more invites back from Blitzer though...

Nobody Came ;)

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Nippy In Hell Today

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DEMOCRAT RUSS FEINGOLD joins the anti-Czar chorus. “… asking Obama to detail the roles and responsibilities of all of the czars in his administration and to explain why he believes the use of czars is consistent with the Senate’s constitutional power to offer advice and consent on top-level executive branch officials.”

Underground Amtrak

A Texas congressman sent a letter Wednesday to Metro General Manager John B. Catoe Jr. demanding an explanation for why the transit agency didn't do more to prepare for the massive influx of conservative activists at Saturday's march on the Mall.

Rep. Kevin Brady (R) said an 80-year-old woman and her 60-year-old daughter were forced to walk and pay for a cab because the subway system was so crowded. He said he heard many complaints from people who traveled long distances to attend the event, which served to challenge some of President Obama's signature policies.

"Based upon numerous eyewitness reports by participants in the march, it is clear Metro did not adequately prepare for the influx of Americans traveling to D.C. for this historic event," Brady said in his letter.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Shaping O The Agenda

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ACORN's "Partners:" Lotta banks on the list.

You know, the ones who built the financial crisis by giving out mortgages like they were condoms in a middle-school nurse's office.

Hey, Lefties

The following pictures belong to Omid Golbaz. Golbaz was arrested on July 14, 2009. He was severely tortured and beaten during his interrogations. His fingers were crushed by batons and he is currently suffering from internal bleeding. His fingers were jammed in a metal door by his interrogators and as a result he has lost the tip of one of his fingers. He is currently out on bail and seeking medical attention.
Would you like to see some actual torture?

What's that? It was all fauxtoshopped by that racist Glenn Beck?

Barack would never ignore something like this?

MmmHmm. Yup. Yes, you are true geniuses.


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Because personal income tax revenues bring in around $1.37 trillion a year, a $200 billion additional tax would be the equivalent of a 15 percent increase a year. A $100 billion additional tax would represent a 7 or 8 percent increase a year.

One odd point: The document written by Jaffee includes this line: "It will raise energy prices and impose annual costs on the order of XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX." The Treasury Department redacted the rest of the sentence with a thick black line.

The Freedom of Information Act, of course, contains no this-might-embarrass-the-president exemption. You'd hope the presidential administration that boasts of being the "most open and transparent in history" would be more forthcoming than this.

Read My Lips

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The Obama administration has privately concluded that a cap and trade law would cost American taxpayers up to $200 billion a year, the equivalent of hiking personal income taxes by about 15 percent.

A previously unreleased analysis prepared by the U.S. Department of Treasury says the total in new taxes would be between $100 billion to $200 billion a year. At the upper end of the administration's estimate, the cost per American household would be an extra $1,761 a year.

A second memorandum, which was prepared for Obama's transition team after the November election, says this about climate change policies: "Economic costs will likely be on the order of 1 percent of GDP, making them equal in scale to all existing environmental regulation."

Britney World Watch

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GREGG EASTERBROOK ON NORMAN BORLAUG: The Man Who Defused the ‘Population Bomb’. “Norman Borlaug arguably the greatest American of the 20th century died late Saturday after 95 richly accomplished years. The very personification of human goodness, Borlaug saved more lives than anyone who has ever lived. He was America’s Albert Schweitzer: a brilliant man who forsook privilege and riches in order to help the dispossessed of distant lands. That this great man and benefactor to humanity died little-known in his own country speaks volumes about the superficiality of modern American culture.”

American media culture, anyway.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


We'd booked a hotel in the downtown area, and when we arrived a family with three small children was also checking in with some Tea Party paraphenalia.  If they can face bringing three children under five to a political rally with the uncertain knowledge of available restrooms, I'd better stop whining.
So the young woman and I talked some politics.  Everyone around me was collaring some friendly stranger to talk politics:  to joyously, vociferously talk politics.
Observing this, my young companion mentioned that everyone in her social set were "progessives" and that she had been dragged to a Green event.

"You should have seen the mess they left," said in disgust.  I concluded that she was a closeted conservative ready to Come Out but only beginning to figure out how to go about it.  She had decided to come to the Party at the last minute, had come alone, and had found her way to the Metro.
Everyone, everyone in the crowds grinned big grins.  Joy.


The White House Council of Economic Advisers said Thursday the $787 billion stimulus plan kept one million people working who would otherwise not have had jobs.

You wouldn't let me stand up and make the simplistic claim that these million jobs were saved at a cost of $787,000 per job without challenging the details of my accounting, would you? Surely, reality is more complex.

But when the White House Council of Economic Advisers calculated the number of jobs saved by our government's massive stimulus spending, how is it that they entirely neglected to account for the impact on employment of removing $787 billion dollars from the balance sheet of the private economy?

The White House Council of Economic Advisers is lead by three presidential appointees. Currently, these are Christina Romer, Austan Goolsbee, and Cecilia Rouse.

According to their biographies on the Council web site, these people have never held jobs outside of academia.

Only Outlaws Will Have Swords

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A Johns Hopkins University student armed with a samurai sword killed a suspected burglar in a garage behind his off-campus home early Tuesday, hours after someone broke in and stole electronics.

Some shocked neighbors said they heard bloodcurdling screams in an area just blocks from the university.....

The intruder's left hand was nearly severed — Guglielmi described it as "hanging on by a thread" — and the man suffered a severe cut to the upper body. The 49-year-old suspect, whom police described as a habitual offender, died at the scene.

Sword Control:

Real swords with a sharp edge are illegal in every state that I know of (no kidding, check your laws).

Sword Control doesn't appear to be working any better than gun control.

posted by: Huckleberry

I had no idea. I know they sell replica swords on that damn 4 am knife show.

You can't put an edge on them? All those ninja swords on dude's walls aren't sharpened?

Regime uncertainty. We need a whole lot less of that.

Criminals being uncertain of what they will face. We need a whole lot more of that.

This student gets an A.

Bin Laden's Bubble


While Oprah’s seal of approval on a book cover is sought after in America, Osama Bin Laden’s is, to put it mildly, not. On Monday, the authors of three books apparently recommended to American readers by the leader of Al Qaeda in his latest communique might be wondering how one goes about returning an unsolicited endorsement to a shadowy militant who has been in hiding for eight years.

Here is the blurb from hell the books’ authors will not want to see printed on their jackets above Mr. Bin Laden’s name: “After you read the suggested books, you will know the truth, and you will be greatly shocked by the scale of concealment that has been exercised on you.”

1. “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy,” by Stephen M. Walt, a professor of international affairs at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, and John J. Mearsheimer
2. “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid,” in which former President Jimmy Carter gives his views
Confessions of an Economic Hit Man,” by John Perkins.
Some of you wonder why the NYeT doesn't seem responsive to anything that seems common sense to Americans that live in the real world.

If you want a real education, scan through the comments including the authors defensive responses.

This looks to me an interesting gauge on the "adults" in the leftist bubble. These are the ones that aren't the foul-mouthed 14-year-olds living in their mother's basement.

God help us all.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Watermelon Update: Green Outside, Bleeding Red Ink All Over

Obama lards his speeches with statistical factoids, but they are frequently wrong. For example: he loves to tell audiences that Denmark obtains "20 percent of [its] electricity through wind power." Sure, Denmark is a flat, windy place, but it still isn't true. The Institute for Energy Research explains:

The findings of a new study released this week cast serious doubt on the accuracy of that statement. The report finds that in 2006 scarcely five percent of the nation's electricity demand was met by wind. And over the past five years, the average is less than 10 percent -- despite Denmark having 'carpeted' its land with the machines. ...

All told, each new wind job created by the government costs Danish taxpayers between 600,000-900,000 krone a year, roughly equivalent to $90,000-$140,000 USD.

We've gotten rid of our green jobs czar, now we need to get rid of the myth of green jobs.