Right Thinking From The Left Coast
Don't stay in bed, unless you can make money in bed. - George Burns

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Another One Bites the Dust

This will probably end up being subsumed in the press by the Tiller murder, but it appears that GM is going to join Chrysler in the bankruptcy line:

May 31 (Bloomberg)—General Motors Corp. plans to name Al Koch as the automaker’s chief restructuring officer tomorrow when GM is expected to file for bankruptcy protection at 8 a.m. New York time, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.

Wonderful.  Simply fucking wonderful.  Chrysler got $7 billion in taxpayer money for a “bailout” and declared bankruptcy.  GM recieved $19.4 billion, with the same result.  And to add insult to fucking injury, the cherry on top of this shit sundae?  Chrysler won’t be paying the loan back:

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com)—Chrysler LLC will not repay U.S. taxpayers more than $7 billion in bailout money it received earlier this year and as part of its bankruptcy filing.

This revelation was buried within Chrysler’s bankruptcy filings last week and confirmed by the Obama administration Tuesday. The filings included a list of business assumptions from one of the company’s key financial advisors in the bankruptcy case.

Some of the main assumptions listed by Robert Manzo of Capstone Advisory Group were that the Treasury would forgive a $4 billion bridge loan given to Chrysler in the closing days of the Bush administration, a $300 million fee on that loan, and the $3.2 billion in financing approved last week by the Obama administration to fund Chrysler’s operations during bankruptcy.

I’m sorry, but I simply cannot control my language here.  This is fucking abominable, and Bush, Obama, and every Congressperson that approved this should be kicked in the goddamn crotch for approving this.  $30 billion down the fucking drain, and for absolutely nothing.

I was watching CNN during my weekly Saturday lunch at Mickey D’s, and they were doing a bit with all the union autoworkers for GM giving their sob stories on how worried they were about their jobs, how they were going to pay for their kids’ college (here’s an idea, the kid saves up or takes out student loans to pay for it his own damn self), and all the typical “appeal to sympathy” misdirection bullshit that leftists pull when the actions they supported blow up in their face.  Remember how pundits were crying that by declaring bankruptcy, the auto industry would have a “waterfall effect” on the economy because they wouldn’t be able to get parts from suppliers, it would be harder to sell vehicles, etc., and that these bailouts were NECESSARY to prevent the bankruptcies and keep the economy from imploding?  How many of these same assholes will be singing the same tune tomorrow?

Christ, I’m so pissed off I can barely see straight right now. 

Update: Man, this just keeps getting better and better! More below the fold:

Posted by on 05/31/09 at 07:10 PM in • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Tiller and O’Reilly

An anti-abortion lunatic has decided to take matters into his own hands:

Authorities said they had a suspect in custody Sunday afternoon in the shooting death of George Tiller, a Wichita doctor who was one of the few doctors in the nation to perform late-term abortions.

Dr. Tiller, who had long been a lightning rod for controversy over the issue of abortion and had survived a shooting more than a decade ago, was shot inside his church here on Sunday morning, the authorities said. Dr. Tiller, 67, was shot with a handgun inside the lobby of his longtime church, Reformation Lutheran Church on the city’s East Side, just after 10 a.m. (Central Time). The service had started minutes earlier.

Let’s make on thing clear before we start: the assassin is just a murderer and a terrorist.  No matter what you think about the abortion issue, shooting doctors accomplishes nothing.  Abortions will still be legal; abortions will be performed.  All he’s done is ended one more life.

That having been said, I’m a little put off by the insinuation in the usual circles that this is somehow the right wing’s fault—specifically it’s Bill O’Reilly’s fault because he profiled Tiller.  This is nothing but sliming.

When a tragedy occurs, should we put blame on those who were previously critical of the victim?  If someone shoots Dick Cheney, should we wag our fingers at the people who spoke out against torture—who pilloried him and compared him to Nazis?  If someone had tried to assassinate Bush, would we have blamed that on Michael Moore’s dumb movie?

Of course not. That would be stupid.  We blame violence on people who ... stop me if I’m going too fast ... commit violence, materially support violence or openly call for violence.  We don’t blame people who say nasty things but do not call for violence.

Something similar happened in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing.  Many leftists, notably Bill Clinton, tried to imply that this was somehow the fault of the Right Wing and Rush Limbaugh.  They were full of shit then and they are full of shit now.  When Right Wing talking heads endorse violence, then we can blame them.  Until then, this is nothing but an attempt to silence and intimidate the opposition by linking them to extremists who happen to share a political opinion.

I’m curious what the critics think O’Reilly should have done.  If O’Reilly truly believes we are killing a million people a year in this country, is he supposed to stay quiet about it rather than inflame some lunatic’s passions?  If Bill O’Reilly believes a doctor is harming his patients and violating the law in performing abortions, should he be silent lest some terrorist be making a list?

I’ve watched the O’Reilly clips and found them extremely wanting.  O’Reilly doesn’t call for violence—he calls for an investigation by the state.  I don’t find this even half as inciting as Keith Olberman repeatedly and literally branding people as the “Worst Person in the World”.

Coates takes it even further down the rabbit hole, bringing up something really stupid Rush Limbaugh said about Sotomayor and implying ... something.

We don’t have the luxury of thinking about these bilious hate-mongers as loonies running off the lip. People are dying. And these shameless goons are cashing checks. Disgusting. I’m sick over this.

He links to the story about the racist anti-semitic piece of shit who murdered three cops in Pittsburgh because ... well, it’s not really clear why Ta-Nahisi thinks that’s relevant.  Polawski called some radio shoes; Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly have shows; and ... well, don’t you see?

I’m always impressed by how much the Left hates free speech.  From campus speech codes to the Fairness Doctrine to “hate speech” laws to linking talk show hosts to violent lunatics who (more likely than not) have never seen the show, the Libs constantly want to silence the opposition.  Look, I can’t stand listening to Rush these days.  I’ve never liked O’Reilly.  I can feel the Democrats gaining congressional seats every time Hannity opens his stupid fat mouth.  I think Ann Coulter is a disgrace.  And I could flip that over and spew the same bile at Al Franken, Robert Reich, Randi Rhodes, Janeane Garafalo and Keith Olberman.  Half the reason I remain conservative is because I can’t stomach their bullshit.

But I would never support any attempt to silence these people—not even the backdoor slithering way of linking them to violent acts they had nothing to do with.  There is one person and one person alone who bears responsibility for this terrible crime.  And it ain’t Bill O’Reilly.

Update: I also find it extremely unlikely, given the allegations, that O’Reilly was Tiller’s only critic—or the most vociferous.  To default to blaming O’Reilly immediately smacks of laziness.

Update: Great commentary here.  Whoever this murdering swine is (he has yet to be caught), he’s only strengthened the hand of his opponents.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 05/31/09 at 03:29 PM in Politics   Law, & Economics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Great Inflation, Take II

The FInancial Time has a must-read on the coming inflation:

Under President Barack Obama’s budget plan, the federal debt is exploding. To be precise, it is rising – and will continue to rise – much faster than gross domestic product, a measure of America’s ability to service it. The federal debt was equivalent to 41 per cent of GDP at the end of 2008; the Congressional Budget Office projects it will increase to 82 per cent of GDP in 10 years. With no change in policy, it could hit 100 per cent of GDP in just another five years.


To bring the debt-to-GDP ratio down to the same level as at the end of 2008 would take a doubling of prices. That 100 per cent increase would make nominal GDP twice as high and thus cut the debt-to-GDP ratio in half, back to 41 from 82 per cent. A 100 per cent increase in the price level means about 10 per cent inflation for 10 years. But it would not be that smooth – probably more like the great inflation of the late 1960s and 1970s with boom followed by bust and recession every three or four years, and a successively higher inflation rate after each recession.

The whole thing is worth a read.  Inflation is, perhaps, the scariest aspect of the massive debt Bush and now Obama have and are piling up.  It has historically been how governments have weaseled their way out of debt.  It has a crippling effect on the prudent (those whose savings crumble), the retired (who are on fixed incomes) and, in this case, the banks (who have trillions of dollars in mortgages at low interest rates).  It would also be a colossal middle finger to those who have so patiently financed our recent spending binges.  It is the cruelest kind of tax hike but the easiest to get passed.  And I fear is too complex and hidden for Barack Obama to bother with.

Most Americans are too young to remember the awful inflation of the 1970’s.  Hell, I barely remember it myself.  I do remember the intense early-80’s recession—the hangover that resulted when Volker ended the party.  I have no desire to relive those times.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 05/30/09 at 10:09 PM in Politics   Law, & Economics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

It’s donatin’ time
by JimK

(This post will stay sticky for a week, please scroll down for new posts)

I’m afraid it’s that time again...time for a server drive. With Lee’s passing, the entire cost of the server is now on my shoulders, and times - as they are for everyone I’m sure - are tight.  Blogads are a thin trickle these days, not nearly enough to pay for the server.  And so I’m coming to all of you hat in hand.  If you find any value in any of the sites I host, please consider a small donation. Every penny will go directly to the cost of paying for the $250 a month this machine and the associated bandwidth costs me.

We host the following blogs:

Right Thinking
Right Thoughts
Made of Awesome
Wasting Time WIth Alex
The Victorious Opposition

So if you are a fan of any of these sites, consider sending maybe the cost of a beer or two. The cost of a couple of beers, when multipled by a group of you, could keep us going for months. Unfortunately we only have Paypal as a donation solution, since Amazon closed their donation/payment program. Hopefully that’s okay for most people.

I wish there was a way to express to all of you how little I like doing this.  Some day I will either be rich or Supreme Ruler of the Universe and then I’ll host everyone’s websites for free. :)

Posted by JimK on 05/30/09 at 05:21 PM in Site News  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Former marxists see our fall into marxism..

How ironically sad that after Ronald Reagan proved the leftist twits that rooted for the USSR to win wrong and brought that abomination down, is it to see what once was a mouthpiece of that evil empire pointing out how fast America is going marxist:

It must be said, that like the breaking of a great dam, the American decent into Marxism is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple, excuse me dear reader, I meant people. True, the situation has been well prepared on and off for the past century, especially the past twenty years. The initial testing grounds was conducted upon our Holy Russia and a bloody test it was. But we Russians would not just roll over and give up our freedoms and our souls, no matter how much money Wall Street poured into the fists of the Marxists. Those lessons were taken and used to properly prepare the American populace for the surrender of their freedoms and souls, to the whims of their elites and betters.

First, the population was dumbed down through a politicized and substandard education system based on pop culture, rather then the classics. Americans know more about their favorite TV dramas then the drama in DC that directly affects their lives. They care more for their “right” to choke down a McDonalds burger or a BurgerKing burger than for their constitutional rights. Then they turn around and lecture us about our rights and about our “democracy”. Pride blind the foolish.

Then their faith in God was destroyed, until their churches, all tens of thousands of different “branches and denominations” were for the most part little more then Sunday circuses and their televangelists and top protestant mega preachers were more then happy to sell out their souls and flocks to be on the “winning” side of one pseudo Marxist politician or another. Their flocks may complain, but when explained that they would be on the “winning” side, their flocks were ever so quick to reject Christ in hopes for earthly power. Even our Holy Orthodox churches are scandalously liberalized in America.

We are basically getting scolded by former collectivists about how stupid we are to follow down the same path to disaster as they once did. And how do they tell us our downfall is at hand?

The final collapse has come with the election of Barack Obama. His speed in the past three months has been truly impressive. His spending and money printing has been a record setting, not just in America’s short history but in the world. If this keeps up for more then another year, and there is no sign that it will not, America at best will resemble the Wiemar Republic and at worst Zimbabwe.

The messiah from the left. Me, I am worried the Zimbabwe comparison is more likely. And before the usual collectivist accusations of racism are bandied in hopes of silencing those pointing out the facts, let me say that I chose Zimbabwe, not because the idiot destroying our country’s skin is black, but because he is doing the same shit Mugabe did and does: he is stealing the wealth from the rightful owners, and giving it all to his cronies as payback for their support. This Marxist crap has never worked anywhere ever. I wonder why people think it will work here in the US. I hope there is a mythical “John Connor” like character to lead us out of the devastation soon to come.

Cross-posted at Wasting time with Alex.

Posted by AlexinCT on 05/30/09 at 11:35 AM in Decline of Western Civilization   Left Wing Idiocy   Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Friday, May 29, 2009

Those Who Forget History, etc.

Being a history-manic, I try to keep an eye out for quality texts to add to my library.  About 2 years ago, a blurb from Paul Johnson’s book Modern Times was quoted in a blog called Mean Mr. Mustard (the blog itself is now history, the author having joined the Army as a JAG officer).  I’ve since read this book, along with Intellectuals and A History of the American People.  Johnson is basically the anti-Howard Zinn--he’s staunchly pro-capitalist and small-government, which is a relief in a field dominated by scholars who don’t have a problem with communism if it’s “run by the correct people.” So I have no problem whatsoever pimping the man’s work on this blog.

Anyway, I was recently reading through his analysis on the Great Depression, and it was a little disconcerting as to some of the similarities between what happened then and what has been occuring, really, over the past six years and continues today.  I’ve put some of the passages below the fold with relevant comments as appropriate.  The notion that Hoover was a laissez-faire President in contrast to Roosevelt was largely the work of FDR’s propoganda machine and has been debunked for some time, but Johnson goes into more detail on this.

Now, whether history truly is setting up to repeat itself remains yet to be seen; however, the signs are troubling and being aware of what happened back then may help us recognize how things could play out in the future if similar policies are followed.  Note in particular the last paragraph cited below the fold.

(If you’re interested in checking out this guy’s books, Amazon has a link here. You can always check them out from the local library if you don’t want to spend the money)

Posted by on 05/29/09 at 09:23 PM in • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Still think we are heading in the right direction??

Looks like our government, and especially the current bunch of lunatics in charge which admit they are out of money, has an incredible 63.8 trillion dollars debt commitment.

Taxpayers are on the hook for an extra $55,000 a household to cover rising federal commitments made just in the past year for retirement benefits, the national debt and other government promises, a USA TODAY analysis shows. The 12% rise in red ink in 2008 stems from an explosion of federal borrowing during the recession, plus an aging population driving up the costs of Medicare and Social Security. That’s the biggest leap in the long-term burden on taxpayers since a Medicare prescription drug benefit was added in 2003. The latest increase raises federal obligations to a record $546,668 per household in 2008, according to the USA TODAY analysis. That’s quadruple what the average U.S. household owes for all mortgages, car loans, credit cards and other debt combined.

That Medicare Part D thing was the most shameful thing to come along with a supposedly conservative president at the helm of the nation. Libs still love to call Bush a right wing whatever, but the guy was a big government socialist. If he had had a (D) by his name he would right now be touted as the greatest president since FDR. Kind of like the crap we hear about the current collectivist nut job - the one responsible for tacking on all this extra debt and making our debt, which I should remind everyone he promised he would reduce, not double, when he was campaigning - from the MSM and the leftist twits that worship this emperor without clothes. My bet is that this 63.8 trillion number, because it makes the collectivist morons look bad, could actually be on the low side. Then again, considering the source is one of the MSM DNC outlets, the converse could be the case. Of course the reason this is published by these propagandists is not so people can finally realize that our government is out of control, that these democrats are lying scumbags, and that we where stupid to believe democrats would ever be fiscally responsible, but so they can soften us all up to the idea of the obligatory row of tax increases that Obama and his team of power-hungry collectivist robber barons will have to pass, and pass on everyone (buh-bye no middle class taxes lie) to cover a fraction of this debt obligation. And just so there is no confusion about how concerned the left is about this massive debt, be aware that they want to tack on a few trillion more, just so they can get even more control over our lives. Get ready to be destitute people living in a banana republic.

Cross posted at Wasting time with Alex.

Posted by AlexinCT on 05/29/09 at 11:05 AM in Left Wing Idiocy   Politics   Law, & Economics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

One more new author
by JimK

Join me in welcoming AlexinCT, someone who has been quietly blogging for years and was a regular around here for awhile. Alex will be our last addition for now (unless Para says he wants to get back in the Thunderdome!), and I hope we now have a group that will have various opinions all across and around the center-to-right end of the spectrum. I think we’re never going to agree on all the details, but we all have the same basic desire; to get The Man off our damn backs and keep him off the backs of future generations.

How weird is it that conservatives and libertarians have to be the new hippies? The hippies are now power-mad and running things into the ground and we have to be the new “rebels.”

I’ll start. STEAL THIS BLOG.  Imagine me saying it while wearing an American flag shirt and looking like I haven’t showered in a week.

Posted by JimK on 05/29/09 at 11:26 AM in Site News  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Systemic Risk for a Trillion, Alex

From the people who brought you the first great depression, and helped with this recession, comes the likelihood of more authority.  Yes, the Federal Reserve may be the new grand regulator to monitor risk.

As is always the case with government screw-ups, and government backed screw-ups from the so-called private institutions like the Fed, those who helped bring about the mess ALWAYS get rewarded with more power. Nope, there will be no regulation or oversight for the worst offenders, because they are the ones looking out for us. Now if you want to think I’m exaggerating a little in blaming the Fed for the first depression, and what may turn out to be a long and drawn out stagnant pain fest for the modern era, I bring you Bernanke’s view of the cause of the first depression.

Bernanke’s speech in 2002 honoring Milton Friedman

For practical central bankers, among which I now count myself, Friedman and Schwartz’s analysis leaves many lessons. What I take from their work is the idea that monetary forces, particularly if unleashed in a destabilizing direction, can be extremely powerful. The best thing that central bankers can do for the world is to avoid such crises by providing the economy with, in Milton Friedman’s words, a “stable monetary background"--for example as reflected in low and stable inflation.

Let me end my talk by abusing slightly my status as an official representative of the Federal Reserve. I would like to say to Milton and Anna: Regarding the Great Depression. You’re right, we did it. We’re very sorry. But thanks to you, we won’t do it again.

Bernanke’s reasoning behind the first depression was bad monetary policy, which started the downturn, and how the Fed stood by and let the banks fail via banking runs, but what’s also important to note is back then the banks already had a solution to prevent such havoc regarding banking runs, and the market did ok on monetary policy too, and it actually worked until the Fed came around and took over monetary policy and crisis management.

Before the creation of the Federal Reserve, Friedman and Schwartz noted, bank panics were typically handled by banks themselves--for example, through urban consortiums of private banks called clearinghouses. If a run on one or more banks in a city began, the clearinghouse might declare a suspension of payments, meaning that, temporarily, deposits would not be convertible into cash. Larger, stronger banks would then take the lead, first, in determining that the banks under attack were in fact fundamentally solvent, and second, in lending cash to those banks that needed to meet withdrawals. Though not an entirely satisfactory solution--the suspension of payments for several weeks was a significant hardship for the public--the system of suspension of payments usually prevented local banking panics from spreading or persisting (Gorton and Mullineaux, 1987). Large, solvent banks had an incentive to participate in curing panics because they knew that an unchecked panic might ultimately threaten their own deposits.

In the modern day with an already expanded Fed that’s grown over the decades as a reward for the pain they helped cause in the first depression, we now see the results of a Fed that had loose monetary policy for too long during the housing bubble, years of rules and regulations that brought about bigger banks who will always survive because we bail them out at the expense of the small ones, and along with bad government policy with the everyone deserves a house mentality, well here we are. Yes, the bankers have their share of the blame, and we get to see it all over the news, and we get the reminders to thank God the government and Fed are here to save us.

If you are skeptic like me though, don’t worry, in this era of swelling government intervention with such vast power in the hands of a few, surely someone will monitor the Fed. Well, maybe not. If you have not already seen the discussion between Democratic congressman Alan Grayson, and the Inspector General for the Federal Reserve Elizabeth Coleman, I suggest watching it. Try to count how many times Grayson asks her where all that money went. I mean no big deal if there aren’t any answers, she’s only the Inspector General for the Fed. Also, notice what is missing. A packed room full of reporters, angry crowds, and congressional leaders looking for that photo op. Anyhow who cares, what’s a few trillion among friends with zero oversight? There’s no risk in that.

Posted by on 05/28/09 at 10:13 PM in • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Of Jobs and Spending

One of the more egregious examples of Obama’s Merry Bullshit Parade has been his promise last November to save or create 2.5 million jobs with the stimulus plan.  Although there no way to empirically measure if a job has been “saved” by the stimulus, it does provide the President with a ready-made meme to tout whenever he does what he does best--completely make up numbers to suit his needs. (Hal has pointed this out in his healthcare posts)

Well, as Aaron-Free Will’s recent post showed, not only has the stimulus NOT delivered the promised jobs, unemployment has actually risen beyond what the administration projected had the stimulus not passed at all.  Things are grim enough that even the media is calling him on it:

Obama’s aides had mocked reporters for making a fuss over his first 100 days in office, but the president was eager to assess the first 100 days of his $787 billion economic stimulus package.

It has “saved or created nearly 150,000 jobs,” he said, including “jobs building solar panels and wind turbines; making homes and buildings more energy-efficient.”

The White House job claims are difficult to verify because they are based on estimates of how bad the economy might have been without the stimulus rather than actual employment data. The country has lost 1.3 million jobs since February, a figure the Obama administration says would have been far higher if not for the recovery effort.

Notice the rhetorical sleight-of-hand at play here--Obama claimed back in November that the stimulus would “save or create” 2.5 million jobs, and promoted the plan as necessary for stabilizing unemployment long enough for the economy to recover.  The administration notably predicted that unemployment levels would drop to the same level within five years REGARDLESS of whether the stimulus passed or not.  Now Obama is saying that 1.45 million jobs would be lost rather than 1.3 million if the stimulus hadn’t been passed.  Never mind that our friends at Innocent Bystanders have noticed that stimulus spending hasn’t exactly been gushing forth like a geyser and creating jobs.

While this may simply be an example of the President trying to cover up for an economic recovery plan that hasn’t come close so far to delivering what he promised, I’m still holding out on the theory that he’s deliberately holding back a great deal of the spending until next year, when Democrats in Congress will need something tangible to promote in order to justify the trillions of dollars that are supposedly being allocated for this program.  So one is left with either unexcusable incompetence or rank cynicism as the foundation of the plan’s execution.

One little problem--Obama is saying that we are out of money. So where exactly is all this money going to come from to pay for this?

Posted by on 05/28/09 at 10:11 PM in • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Cherry-Picking the Judge

If one factor has made me distance myself from the Gang of Idiots currently calling themselves the GOP, it has been the ridiculous and unncessary smears hurled against their political opponents.  Taking little quotes and exploding them beyond all measure; gathering tiny residues of a rumor in place of large rivers of fact; accusing opponents of the worst sort of motivations—that’s something liberals do, Goddammit.  The strength of conservatism, for a quarter of a century, lay in being confident in our point of view and letting the liberals make jackasses of themselves all on their own.  They excelled at that.

We’re seeing this ugly shrillness—or at least an echo of it—in the Sotomayor nomination.  No less than Karl Rove, who wouldn’t know the rule of law if it put him in a stress position, opines that Sotomayor will judge based on her empathy.  Contrast that with Greenwald, a constitutional lawyer who has actually argued a case before Sotomayor, describing her highly technical and narrow decision in the case he brought.  Then John Yoo, whose torture memos would get a first-year law student kicked out for incompetence, bashes her record and her empathy again.  Contrast that with Orin Kerr’s careful explanation of the role empathy plays in justice.  Then there’s Tom Tancredo, calling her a member of the Latino KKK.

We’re told she’s had three of five decisions overturned by SCOTUS—not told that SCOTUS overturns about 75% of the decisions they get anyway.  A random comment from eight year ago about “wise Latina women” suddenly indicates she’s a secret racist lunatic.  Read the relevant section of the actual speech here and judge for yourself.  To me, it’s just standard liberal blithering about “diversity” laced with enough caveats to render it all meaningless.

Sotomayor is liberal (although maybe not as liberal as some Dems would like).  But her record—her entire record, not two cases plucked from the larger sample—is not that of a radical.  Read the AP’s analysis here; read Walter Olson here.  Read about her disturbing Didden decision here (if you can call an unsigned one sentence dismissal a decision).  Read more about the Ricci case here.

Why do I care about this?  Not because I am afraid of hurting the delicate feeling of liberals, I can assure you.  I care because we only have so much ammunition we can throw at the liberals before the American Middle tunes us out.  Last year, the GOP got played like a violin by Barack Obama.  They screamed about Jeremiah Wright, they shouted about Bill Ayers, they tried to dig up dirt in his wife’s thesis, they called him a celebrity and an elitist.  They won every news cycle.  But when it came time to point out that Obama was filling oceans of spending with teacups of taxes, when it came time to point out that he was pulling health care numbers out of his ass, when it came time to point out his unswerving obedience to the unions ... no one was listening anymore.

Sonia Sotomayor does not cross me as the fire-breating, racist, unqualified, affirmative action picked, empathic, radical running dog crazy person that is drawing such shrillness.  We need to slow down.  Be patient.  Quietly gather our facts.  Discard pointless distractions like a meaningless speech.  Focus on the relevant, like her record.  Let Obama win today’s news cycle.

And then, when the hearings begin, question her as thoroughly and effectively as possible.  If she’s incompetent or crazy, a good hearing will make that very very obvious.  I would particularly like to see her grilled on the commerce clause.  Stick to what’s relevant, not what’s juicy.

Because if we don’t cut it out and focus on the task in hand, then Obama will send up someone really crazy next time.  And the public won’t be listening.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 05/28/09 at 07:07 PM in Politics   Law, & Economics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

NO gun for you!

Slithering though congress is another anti-terrorist bill, this one which has the stated purpose of giving the attorney general of the united states, the power to deny the transfer of firearms or explosives to a known or suspected terrorist.
Now on the surface this sounds very reasonable, however, once you dig in to it the meat of it, one begins to worry.

The Attorney General may deny the transfer of a firearm pursuant to section 922(t)(1)(B)(ii) if the Attorney General determines that the transferee is known (or appropriately suspected) to be or have been engaged in conduct constituting, in preparation for, in aid of, or related to terrorism, or providing material support thereof, and the Attorney General has a reasonable belief that the prospective transferee may use a firearm in connection with terrorism.’;

first off one would thing that being a terrorist would automatically make you ineligible for buying a firearm at the local gunstore, or buying explosives, for that matter. I belvie there are already Laws on the books for this situation, so why is this needed?

I don’t know about you, but this seems to be a very loose definition, and could easily be adapted to fit many other groups that the government is not fond of.
What bothers me is that it gives the AG a new broad set of powers, which can and will be abused, to what extent we can only imagine, till we see it in the news.
but then again, like many bills , this one despite it bipartisan support, may not go much further. but then again it is a democrat controlled congress, and given what has happened in the last few months...............
I begin to worry.

Posted by HARLEY on 05/28/09 at 06:24 PM in • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Obama: Everything To Everyone

Perfection through emptiness.

It’s no secret that people, especially his supporters, project their own beliefs and feelings onto Obama and thereby perceive his values to line up utterly with theirs. Even Obama knows and acknowledges this… I’d have found the exact quote, but Google is so bogged down by people pointing this very thing out that I can’t actually find his own words for the phenomenon.

But he’s definitely aware of it, and it’s pretty clear that he’s cultivated this trait to at least some extent. His “Present” voting record is the most obvious of these, even its very existence allowing his supporters to make up reasons for his having done so. (A favorite seeming to be “He just didn’t want to make waves, so he could be elected and become an awesome President!") Much about Obama is groomed to be charming while also slightly bland and designed not to stand out too much… almost like the politician equivalent of Garfield.

I think, though, one of the most interesting things is just how far people will take this, up to the point that they will assign him views that specifically go against his actual actions or stated opinions. Whether they make the excuse of “He’s just saying that because he needs to play politics”, or just simply refuse to acknowledge his actions and statements, leftists will convince themselves that Obama really actually thinks as they do. It’s almost become a game to see just how much of this you could spot.

So in a way, I wanted this to be a kind of open thread. Post something that you’ve seen people currently claiming Obama believes, thinks, or will do (links optional). Bonus points if you can then post something Obama’s said or done that’s in direct conflict with this. Extra heresy bonus points if it’s really out there.

I think the most amusing belief I’ve seen ascribed to him is probably atheism. I’ve seen more than a few hardcore/staunch/fundamental (whatever you wanna call them) atheists say that Obama simply must have the same disdain and dismissal for organized religion (read: the Christian type belief systems) that they do. That his going to church for all those years and all his claims of being guided by faith are just pure politics, and that just under the surface is a diehard Nietzsche reader. Obama has given absolutely no indication of this… if anything, he’s gone further than he needs to in touting his faith credentials (whether because he really feels it’s that important or is trying for “crossover"). The closest he’s ever come to an atheist-ish statement is the “Clutching their guns and Bibles” insult, but even then, it’s still a pretty big stretch to think that he’s just covering up a complete disbelief in any kind of God or spirituality. And yet, because people are just so desperate for some of that Hope and Change…

(Kinda ironic, when you think about it, huh?)

Posted by on 05/28/09 at 09:59 AM in Politics   Cult of Personality  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

The Wicked Witch of Washington lets the truth out
by JimK

You know how some people say that “Liberals” and Democrats want to control every aspect of your life? And often when you hear that you roll your eyes a little, because after all it does sound a lot like saying that the Jews run the banks on behalf of the Illuminati. It just seems so out of whack that it’s easy to discount the idea that any organized political party would want to control everything about your life. And then you hear the Speaker of the House say this:

In answering a question from a student about how Pelosi was going to get Americans to cut back on their carbon emissions, the leading Democratic lawmaker said it was important to educate children on how to conserve energy and for citizens to build more environmentally friendly homes.

“We have so much room for improvement,” she said. “Every aspect of our lives must be subjected to an inventory ... of how we are taking responsibility.”


Let’s break it down a little. In order for a politician at her level to say a thing out loud, a large number of people had to have input. Her staff, the lobbyists that work to persuade her staff, the activists that tirelessly work for organizations that hire the lobbyists, etc. This is not a sentiment that sprang wholly formed from the mind of Nancy Pelosi. This is not just one politician saying something crazy one time.  It’s a sentiment that has been spoken before by many, many Democrats that have actual power over our lives. In short, it’s not new for the Democrats. It’s business as usual. Every “crisis” we face requires that some aspect of our decision-making be given over to government. Specifically the Federal government.

Anyone here, even those of you on the left, do any of you think that government should be this intimately involved not just in your daily life, but in what decisions you make within that life? Or worse, that they should be allowed to take away the ability to even make a decision in the first place? When Nancy Pelosi says “Every aspect of our lives must be subjected to an inventory” do you trust her to be honorable and do only what is actually best for you and your family?

Liberty in this country is dying the death of a thousand cuts. How many times do these scum-sucking pieces of garbage have to slice you before you say “ENOUGH?”


Forgot the link, sorry. Fixed

Posted by JimK on 05/28/09 at 10:35 AM in Left Wing Idiocy   Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Minnesota Terminator

Despite a recent and inexcusable veto of a compassionate use medical marijuana law, Tim Pawlenty is getting on my good side.  Minnesota, like most states, was facing a huge budget shortfall.  Minnesota, like most states, is run by Democrats who think ordering a diet coke with your triple cheeseburger is a diet.  So what does he do when they send him a tax-and-spend budget?

As the clock wound down (the session ended at midnight this past Monday), the legislature sent Mr. Pawlenty one large spending bill after another. The assumption was he’d veto them, be forced to call a special session, and then be negotiated into tax hikes. That’s when the governor got Minnesota nice.

Upon receiving the last spending bill, he announced that he would exercise the power of “unallotment,” which has been on the books since 1939 and which has been used four times. Under it, the governor is allowed to “unallot” (take away) any state spending for which there is no money to pay. Panicked, the DFL passed tax legislation to cover its blowout spending bills, 10 minutes before the session’s end. Too late. The governor said he’d veto the bill and would not be calling back the legislature to do any more mischief.

Mr. Pawlenty is now free to strip $2.7 billion from state spending to balance the budget. Tax hikes are dead. He tells me this will be one of the first times in modern Minnesota history that the state will reduce the size of government in real terms, not just slow its rate of growth.

Unfortunately, I don’t believe that other states have similar laws on their books.  But this is going to turn out very interesting.  According to Democrats, unalloting those spending bill should destroy Minnesota’s economy, pollute her waters, impoverish her children and cause plagues of locusts.  If that doesn’t happen—if, as I predict, Minnesota leads whatever meager economic recovery we can squeeze out under Obama—it will be a massive blow to the Keynsian worldview.

Actually, you know something? I’m being too generous in describing the Democrats as Keynsians.  Say what you will about the tenets of Keynsianism, at least it’s an ethos.  There’s at least an undercurrent of thought involved.

The same can not be said of the Democrats, who just like to throw money at politically-powerful entities.  They’re not Keynsians, they’re Spendians.  Their economic theory comes down to “Spending good; more spending even better.”

Posted by Hal_10000 on 05/27/09 at 11:20 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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