Saturday, February 20, 2010

Belongs To Its Bureaucracy

The question of whether Turkey should be added to the European Union is rapidly being replaced by the question of whether Greece should remain inside it. The meltdown of government finances in the great stewpot of public debt has made the country an ungovernable shambles, even by its own demanding standards.

Yet while Greece is a special case -- every country is a special case, and every one has its ungovernable-shambles aspect, as visitors to every country have observed-- it is also a typical, democratic country in the sense that its freely elected governments have gradually assembled a universe of financial entitlements which its taxpayers can no longer keep up with.
For deep historical reasons, Greece may have moved farther and faster into crisis, but that crisis will be the same everywhere. It is a country that belongs to its bureaucracy, created by elected governments who now can't face that bureaucracy down.

And Handle Bar Heaters Too


Reader Milt Clary shares this impressive Big Block Chevy machine that treats the symptoms of global cooling while simultaneously attacking its source:

If you're tired of anemic, one-lung snowblowers with their slipping
belts, you might consider Kai Grundt's V8 snow blower which raises the
on the traditional snow blower in every respect. With electric start,
electric block heater, antifreeze heater and eight cylinders, it has
drive belts to freeze up and you'll never get bored with the job as the
cubic inch big block Chevrolet V8 produces 412 horsepower, 430 foot
of torque and can throw snow 50 feet at just 3500 rpm.

Nor will you get cold as the machine has been ingeniously designed to
route the engine coolant through the handle bars, with the rear mounted,
enclosed radiator keeping the operator nice and cozy.


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The way our moonbat rulers lie, you would think they had no idea that video can be preserved from one day to the next. Here's the Moonbat Messiah, formerly known as the Senator From ACORN, stating flatly that his only involvement with that shockingly corrupt voter fraud outfit was representing them regarding implementation of the Motor Voter Act:

In reality, Obama's involvement with ACORN has been as deep and as long-standing as his alliance with Bill Ayers, as has been documented here thoroughly. A few highlights, via Gateway Pundit:

One of Barack Obama's first big "community organizer" jobs involved ACORN in 1992. He worked along side ACORN before he became an elected official. Obama also trained ACORN employees. He represented ACORN in court. Obama worked with and protested with ACORN. His campaign donated $800,000 to ACORN in 2008 for voter registration efforts. … In 2009 Obama promoted a top ACORN operative, Patrick Gaspard

Not Greek To Us

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You have to wonder how far we’ve slipped when the financial wreck that is Greece is assured that its situation isn’t so unique – look at the US.  And the example is made by none other than America’s best friend – Vladimir Putin:

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin played down Greece’s economic woes on Tuesday, telling his visiting Greek counterpart that the United States were no better than Greece in handling its debt and fiscal deficit.

“As we all know, the global economic crisis started neither in Greece, nor in Russia, nor in Europe,” Mr. Putin told a news conference after talks with George Papandreou. “It came to us from across the ocean,” he said in a clear reference to the United States.

“There (in the U.S.) we can see similar problems – massive external debt, budget deficit,” Mr. Putin added, suggesting Russia and Greece should concentrate on the “real economy” to weather the economic crisis.

Keep Doing It

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In many ways he was the opposite of his legend.  Yes, he had a temper.  But he was a softy in many ways.  He got Europeanized at NATO, where he was Supreme Allied Commander.

“WHAT” he snarled, “THE FOWL FILTH IS THIS?”

I confessed that it was my memo, sir.

“Number one,” he was now tearing it up, “DON’T WRITE MEMOS!!!.”  The little pieces were now in the burn bag.  “I didn’t bring you here to have you WRITE FOWLISH FILTHY MEMOS!”

Roger that.

And then probably the greatest orders anyone ever received:  “When I tell you to do something, just go do it.  If I don’t like it, you’ll hear from me.  And if you don’t hear from me, keep doing it.”

Best boss I ever had.

All that business about Haig-the-war-monger was disinformation, by the way, carefully cultivated (as it had been with Nixon, from whom Haig probably learned it).


As is so often the case these days, Michael Ramirez sums up one of the great political problems of our era; click to enlarge:


Entitlements--Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, the creation of "rights" without limits--are the worst idea that Congress ever came up with. Worse than the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Worse than the Smoot-Hawley tariff. Worse, even, than the NIRA. Pretty much everyone understands that entitlements are destroying the federal budget and will soon lead to the collapse of the dollar and perhaps the end of our republic. Still, hardly anyone seems willing to do anything serious to stop the runaway train. Or, in Ramirez's version, car.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Can You Say "President Rubio"?

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Another WTWT. Wow. The first President from the Tea Party. Part 2 Part 3

Will Hits A Homer

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WTWT. Part 2 Part 3

The "Cure"


One of the most annoying aspects of contemporary politics is Barack Obama's incessant complaint that he inherited a big deficit. The obvious question is, was that a good thing or a bad thing? Obama's whining implies that it was bad, but then: a) why did Obama, as a Senator, vote for it, and b) why did Obama, as President, vastly increase it? Like many Democrats, Obama aims his arguments more or less exclusively at the uninformed.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Douche

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The Dumbasses at Kos are already calling this "teabagger terrorism." However, that contention is not supported by the Manifesto that Joseph Andrew Stack, the kamikaze pilot, left behind. If the manifesto is legit, then a few selected out-takes should dispel the notion that this guy was any kind of Tea Partier.

...the joke we call the American medical system, including the drug and insurance companies, are murdering tens of thousands of people a year and stealing from the corpses and victims they cripple...
The recent presidential puppet GW Bush and his cronies in their eight years certainly reinforced for all of us that this criticism rings equally true for all of the government. Nothing changes unless there is a body count.
The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.


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Taxation clarified:

When you give your money to someone in need, simply because you want to help, that’s called CHARITY.

When someone in need holds a gun to your head and makes you give them your money, that’s called ROBBERY.

When someone holds a gun to your head, makes you give your money to him for the benefit of someone in need whom he claims to represent, that’s called SPREADING THE WEALTH.

As a corollary, when someone takes out massive loans in your name and the names of your children in order to give that money to someone else, that’s called STIMULUS.

By The Wayside

But passport fraud and identity theft hardly exhaust the ways in which the slaying of Mabhouh affronts modern sensibilities. For example, the photos of the 11 suspects raise questions about the diversity of the team Mossad (or whomever) assembled. It includes only one woman (an attractive blond,naturally) and looks to be short on people of color.

There is also no indication that the team advised Mabhouh of his rights or offered him a chance to exculpate himself before he was killed. Indeed, from all that appears, no lawyer was present.

Finally, what about the carbon footprint of the operation?

Some reports say they used electricity to stun Mabhouh before killing him. Couldn't he have been executed in a more energy efficient way?

A certain amount of nastiness is inevitable in today's world. But this doesn't mean that protocol, equal opportunity, and principles of good environmental stewardship should fall by the wayside.

Mansourian Update

Looking for evidence of Obama's past, Fox News contacted 400 Columbia University students from the period when Obama claims to have been there, but... none remembered him.

Wayne Allyn Root was, like Obama, a political science major at Columbia who also graduated in 1983. In 2008, Root says of Obama, "I don't know a single person at Columbia that knew him, and they all know me. I don't have a classmate who ever knew Barack Obama at Columbia . Ever! Nobody recalls him. I'm not exaggerating, I'm not kidding. "Root adds he was also, like Obama, "Class of '83 political science, pre-law" and says, "You don't get more exact or closer than that. Never met him in my life, don't know anyone who ever met him. At the class reunion, our 20th reunion five years ago, who was asked to be the speaker of the class? Me. No one ever heard of Barack! And five years ago, nobody even knew who he was.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


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Judd Gregg gets it right:

Republicans voted en masse against the pay-go legislation, criticizing Democrats for including language that would allow exemptions to it. Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) said Democrats’ move to bypass pay-go using emergency exemptions proves that the pay-go law is just a “political statement, not a substantive event.”

“They continue to claim some sort of fiscal discipline … when in fact they basically keep spending money like drunken sailors,” Gregg said.

Drunken sailors only spend what is theirs and what they have in their pocket, so in reality, it is an insult to sailors, drunken or otherwise, to compare them to the profligate deficit spenders in Congress busily talking the talk, but rarely walking the walk.

The Pure Marxist Socialist II

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The Pure Marxist Socialist

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Too late America.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


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 "We have another economic problem which is mixed up in this of too much consumption, too much spending relative to our capacity to invest and to export.  It’s involved with the financial crisis but in a way it’s more difficult than the financial crisis because it reflects the basic structure of the economy.” Paul Volcker, December 11, 2009

Of course it's been greatly exacerbated by watermelon statist policies of high taxation and eco-lunacy driving all the industry and jobs overseas. Du'O.

Sepah State

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Secretary of State Clinton is quite right to say that Iran is now a military dictatorship.  A note on Twitter last week put it succinctly and accurately:

[The Revolutionary Guards,[aka “Sepah”] & its Commander in chief have taken over & have no intention of letting go. [Next year’s regular Army] budget is not even quarter of Sepah’s budget.

- Basij is totally integrated in Sepah now.
- From National police to Central command, all Sepahi & Basijis.
- The Ministry of Intelligence is run by Sepah Intelligence.
- [State broadcasting] & most print media are run by Sepah.
- Most judges are Sepahis.
- 3/4 of Gov is Sepahi.

It is a de facto military dictatorship.
The supremacy of the Revolutionary Guards and their instruments of mass brutality were shown on the Tehran streets last Thursday, the anniversary of the seizure of power by the followers of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979.

Iran today is a preview of what they intend to do to us if they win a war they declared 31 years ago.

Strangely Silent

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Yo, Queef Olbermann, I have to think that college professor Amy Bishop --- the Obama-lovin' progressive whom Progressive Democrat Bill Delahunt (D-Mass) helped escape justice after she shot her own brother three times in the gut fatally and tried to jack a car --- was probably a big fan of yours.

Since you are so concerned about matters of race, Queef, would you care to check out the faces of the people she killed last week.


How many black folks have been shot to death at tea parties, Olbie? I know there was that one guy who got beaten up... but, oh, wait... he was beaten up by progressives from the SEUI.

I can't help notice that MSDNC isn't talking much about Amy Bishop, her fanatical leftism, or the fact that three of the people she shot to death were minorities. And you guys went totally wall-to-wall with coverage when George Tiller was shot to death. What's the deal, Olbie? Rachel? Chrissy?

Already Started

China threatened to dump US debt this week over the sale of $6.4 billion of American weapons to Taiwan. But, it looks like it’s already started. In December China dumped $34.2 billion in US treasuries making Japan the largest holder of US debt.

Gradually we are getting confirmation that Chinese “posturing” about offloading US debt is all too real. The most recent TIC data confirmed the Treasury’s greatest nightmare: China is now dumping US bonds. In December China sold $34.2 billion of debt ($38.8 billion in Bills sold offset by $4.6 billion in Bonds purchased), lowering its total holdings $755.4 billion, the lowest since February 2009, and for the first time in many years relinquishing the top US debt holder spot to Japan, which bought $11.5 billion (mostly in Bonds, selling $1.4 billion Bills) bringing its total to $768.8 billion.

In related news… The foreign demand for US Treasury securities fell by a record amount after China reduced its holding.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Entertainingly Destructive

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Here are some facts warranting understanding:

As recently published by Investor Business Daily, a survey by the U.N. International Health Organization has reported:

Percentage of men and women who survived a cancer five years after diagnosis: U.S. 65 percent, Eng-land 46 percent, Canada 42 percent.

Percentage of patients diagnosed with diabetes who received treatment within six months: U.S. 93 percent, England 15 percent, Canada 43 percent.

Percentage of seniors needing hip replacement who received it within six months: U.S. 90 percent, England 15 percent, Canada 43 percent.

Percentage referred to a medical specialist who see one within one month: U.S. 77 percent, England 40 percent, Canada 43 percent.

Number of MRI scanners (a prime diagnostic tool) per million people: U.S. 71, England 14, Canada 18.

Going Greek In Gullyforneeuh

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The greedy and corrupt public employees unions in the City of Los Angeles are refusing to accept a 5% pay cut. Now, c'mon really. Anyone who can't live on 95% of their current income is just pathetic. 5% is a typical family's budget for entertainment or tobacco and alcohol. And California is broke.

Similarly, the EU country of Greece is also insolvent. Greece also ran up its public debt to lavishly finance public employees unions, even under governments that were conservative by Eurotopian standards.

Greeks can retire at age 63. Germans have to wait until age 67. Naturally, Germans are not enthusiastic about having to work extra years so that Greeks can retire younger. But even worse, California public employees can retire at age 50 on 90% of their final pay.

Socialism just never manages to quite pay or itself, does it? Conservatives understand this implicitly; to increasingly confiscate the wealth of the productive to lavish on the unproductive is unsustainable.


Government Snowplow

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Dead Squirrels

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Arnold Schwarzeneggar's tenure as Governor of Gullyfohnyah has been notable primarily for his willingness to roll-over for Democrats on every policy issue. He has been especially submissive toward the environmental left. To fight the discredited phantom menace of "Global Warming" has passed sweeping "climate change" regulations that have helped to drive industry out of California. and was one of the prime movers behind the Western Climate Initiative that Arizona decided to drop out of last week.

But even simpering RINO's have their limits. And with BANANA (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything) eco-Nazis blocking the construction of "green energy" projects, RINO Arnold has reached his.

"So the environmentalists . . . are confused because they want to have renewable energy but then when it comes to the permitting process, creating that renewable energy and building the solar plants, they are then in the way. And they then talk about, 'You cannot go and destroy this squirrel.'

Insanity On Stilts

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I’m not sure how else to characterize this in a strategic and national security sense:

Canada, faced with growing political pressure over the extraction of oil from its highly polluting tar sands, has begun courting China and other Asian countries to exploit the resource.

The pressure is coming from the United States. The “pollution” is carbon. But the bottom line is the tar sands are going to continue to be exploited in Canada. The question is, to whom will the oil extracted go?

With the US backing away, the answer, apparently, is China.

In the most significant deal to date, the Canadian government recently approved a C$1.9bn (£1.5bn) investment giving the Chinese state-owned oil company Petro­China a majority share in two projects. Prime minister Stephen Harper said: “Expect more Chinese investment in the resource and energy sectors … there will definitely be more.”

Dark Alleys

It's become apparent from recent events that America's political, business and scholarly elites have fundamentally misjudged China. Conflicts with China have multiplied. Consider: the undervalued renminbi and its effect on trade; the breakdown of global warming negotiations in Copenhagen; China's weak support of efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons; its similarly poor record in pushing North Korea to relinquish its tiny atomic arsenal; the sale of U.S. weapons to Taiwan; and Google's threat to leave China rather than condone continued censorship.

Greater conflicts and a collision of national egos seem inevitable. No longer should we sit passively while China's trade and currency policies jeopardize jobs here and elsewhere. Political differences between the countries are increasingly hard to ignore. But given China's growing power -- and the world economy's fragile state -- a showdown may do no one any good. Miscalculation is leading us down dark alleys.


Here in Minnesota, we've been out of the headlines for a while. Others have been bearing the brunt of a winter that is also pretty formidable here. I heard on the radio this morning that in Minneapolis, we have more snow on the ground than we've seen for a number of years. I don't think anyone claims that we're getting a lot of snow because it's so warm. The Minneapolis Star Tribune highlights a Wisconsin farmer who built a snow house in his back yard, measuring 58 feet long, 26 feet wide and 11 feet tall. This is a photo of the interior; it brings back memories of my youth. Back in South Dakota, we liked to dig snow caves, although admittedly they were never quite this large. Click to enlarge:


Once upon a time, science told us that nature is powerful and we humans are relatively puny. That's a lesson that many seem to be re-learning.


We noted here that the "Miss me yet?" billboard of President Bush that garnered national publicity was paid for by a group of small business owners who consider the Obama administration's policies to be hostile to them. No surprise there--pretty much every small business owner I know feels that way. Still, it was a bit of a shock to see these numbers in USA Today, based on a survey of 884 small businesspeople:

How has the Obama administration affected small-business success?

It has had a positive effect: 11%
It has hurt me: 77%
No effect: 13%

If anything like 77% of small businessmen think the Obama administration has hurt them, it's no wonder Democratic Senators and Congressmen are fleeing for the exits.

UPDATE: Small businessmen in Wisconsin paid for this sign. Seems like a trend:



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Yes, well, according to the NYT, these days the attorney general is increasingly consulting with the White House’s political team. Don’t be surprised to find tomorrow that the idea of releasing hardboiled jihadis into Afghanistan because there’s not enough evidence to prosecute them is quite a bit more nuanced for Eric Holder than it used to be. Exit question via David Frum: Why does Dick Cheney continue to attack Obama instead of pointing out that, in some respects on terrorism, The One is actually out-Bushing Bush? No wonder the White House wants to tangle with Cheney. The more they squabble with him, the easier it is to convince their base that they’re actually high-minded civil libertarians who would never do anything as nefarious and neocon-ish as, er, detaining people indefinitely without trial.

Minding Eric

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They don't say that of course -- they describe it in a much nicer way. The administration is merely seeking to improve Holder's "political ear," they tell us.

You tell me how this isn't "politicizing Justice," as the Democrats charged Bush in 2004, 2006, and 2008.

After 9/11 Trial Plan, Holder Hones Political Ear

Last winter, when Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. called the United States a “nation of cowards” for avoiding frank conversations on race, President Obama mildly rebuked him in public.

Out of view, Mr. Obama’s aides did far more. Rahm Emanuel and Jim Messina, the White House chief and deputy chief of staff, proposed installing a minder alongside Mr. Holder to prevent further gaffes — someone with better “political antennae,” as one administration official put it.

In Which George Will Goes Glenn Beck

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A century ago, Herbert Croly published "The Promise of American Life," a book -- still in print -- that was prophetic about today's progressives. Contemplating with distaste America's "unregenerate citizens," he said "the average American individual is morally and intellectually inadequate to a serious and consistent conception of his responsibilities." Therefore, Croly said, national life should be a "school" taught by the government: "The exigencies of such schooling frequently demand severe coercive measures, but what schooling does not?" Unregenerate Americans would be "saved many costly perversions" if "the official schoolmasters are wise, and the pupils neither truant nor insubordinate."

Subordination is dependency seen from above.

There is no school choice here; no voucher will enable Americans to escape from enveloping dependency on this "government as school." The dependency agenda is progressive education for children of all ages, meaning all ages treated as children.


Game Over

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For Greece, with on and off balance sheet liabilities at over 800%, it's game over. For the Eurozone, with the same ratio at about 500%, it is also game over. For the US, at 500%+, it is, you guessed it (sorry Joseph Stiglitz), game over, but since we have the printers, it will simply take a little longer. Following up on yesterday's popular post on prevailing delusions as captured by Albert Edwards' colleague Dylan Grice, we present Albert's latest outlook. Please don't read this if you want to keep believing there is any hope left for the (developed) world.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Against The Unwritten Rules

So you see how this man glided through life unmarred, unchallenged and unquestionable. His monumental omnipotence is matched only by his monumental ignorance. He has never been confronted (What Michele has to say in private is unknown, of course, but not pertinent to the discussion either.)  And so we see what we see – a pompous, self- absorbed narcissist who can speak of virtually nothing ad libitum. He needs a Teleprompter or surrogate.  And if challenged or questioned or criticized, the shock and surprise in his eyes are sincere. He simply cannot believe it. This has never happened. It is not supposed to happen. It’s against the unwritten rules.
It is why his surrogates have ceased to imply and begun to scream and bellow the charge of racism against any person, organization, reporter, commentator, handicapped person in a wheelchair, and so forth and so on ad nauseam. Racism, it’s racism. Not rational, honest, open, fair, democratic debate and discussion. It’s racism.

Off For Friday Night

Call To Retreat

At the peak of the Apollo program, NASA was consuming almost 4 percent of the federal budget, which in terms of the 2011 budget is about $150 billion. Today the manned space program will die for want of $3 billion a year -- 1/300th of last year's stimulus package with its endless make-work projects that will leave not a trace on the national consciousness.

As for President Obama's commitment to beyond-lunar space: Has he given a single speech, devoted an iota of political capital to it?

Obama's NASA budget perfectly captures the difference in spirit between Kennedy's liberalism and Obama's. Kennedy's was an expansive, bold, outward-looking summons. Obama's is a constricted, inward-looking call to retreat.

Fifty years ago, Kennedy opened the New Frontier. Obama has just shut it.

Read it all.

Mediocrity and incompetence has so far been the hallmark of the messiah of 'hope and change'.


The very savvy Robert Kaplan delivers his thoughts on nuclear deterrence:

If U.S. and Russian borders were only 100 miles apart, it's doubtful we
could have survived the Cold War without a "nuclear exchange."

I can see Sarah Palin smiling from my front porch.