Right Thinking From The Left Coast
Adventure is worthwhile - Aesop

Monday, February 28, 2011

The BATF, letting guns in to Mexico?
by HARLEY

For some time now, the anti-gun left and government officials, have been blaming a lot of the firearms violence in Mexico, on guns shows and firearms dealers in the SouthWest US. 
The hard truth is yes American firearms purchased illegally are being shipped to Mexico, the numbers have been claimed as high as 90% of the fire arms used in crimes in Mexico come from the USA. But that number is highly dubious, given that over 30,000 fire arms were captured by Mexico in 2008, and only 3480 could be traced back to the USA by the ATF.  Many of these firearms were fully automatic and select fire weapons, arms that are not legally sold in the USA, without a LOT of paper work and back round checks. Of these many are obviously from Mexico’s own military, sold by corrupt officials or stolen from armories. Russian,and Chinese full autos, Grenades, and medium machine guns have also been captured, none of these can be obtained in gun stores or gun shows here in the USA.

In t he last few weeks a few news organizations, and pro gun groups got wind of problems with a BATF operation called “Gunrunner”. The program was set up to track and stop the exportation of American arms into Mexico. That sounds noble enough, but reports have been surfacing that BATF agents, after being notified by gun dealers of questionable person attempting to buy large quantities of fire arms, compelled the dealers to complete the transactions. Was this a program to track the firearms? You would think so, but as more and more information on this program has come to light, the more it appears it was a political ploy to boostthe numbers of guns recorded by the ATF, going over the boarder, to the determent of dealers and gun owners.

Sources tell CBS News several gun shops wanted to stop the questionable sales, but ATF encouraged them to continue.

Jaime Avila was one of the suspicious buyers. ATF put him in its suspect database in January of 2010. For the next year, ATF watched as Avila and other suspects bought huge quantities of weapons supposedly for “personal use.” They included 575 AK-47 type semi-automatic rifles.

ATF managers allegedly made a controversial decision: allow most of the weapons on the streets. The idea, they said, was to gather intelligence and see where the guns ended up. Insiders say it’s a dangerous tactic called letting the guns, “walk.”

One agent called the strategy “insane.” Another said: “We were fully aware the guns would probably be moved across the border to drug cartels where they could be used to kill.”

On the phone, one Project Gunrunner source (who didn’t want to be identified) told us just how many guns flooded the black market under ATF’s watchful eye. “The numbers are over 2,500 on that case by the way. That’s how many guns were sold - including some 50-calibers they let walk.”

50-caliber weapons are fearsome. For months, ATF agents followed 50-caliber Barrett rifles and other guns believed headed for the Mexican border, but were ordered to let them go. One distraught agent was often overheard on ATF radios begging and pleading to be allowed to intercept transports. The answer: “Negative. Stand down.”

CBS News has been told at least 11 ATF agents and senior managers voiced fierce opposition to the strategy. “It got ugly...” said one. There was “screaming and yelling” says another. A third warned: “this is crazy, somebody is gonna to get killed.”

Some one did get killed.
Boarder Patrol agent Brian Terry, was killed by one of the very guns that the BATF agents let walk.

All this has motivated Sen. Charles Grassley to beginning a, investigationand he immediately hit a wall at the DOJ.
The BATF, it seems could not, or would not try to stop or intercept all these arms crossing over the border into Mexico, and one has to wonder why?

Posted by HARLEY on 02/28/11 at 07:06 PM in 2nd Amendment  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Forfeiture Abuse

The latest dispatch for one of those evil Koch-funded organizations: the Institute for Justice:

Honestly?  I’m surprised these guys haven’t been prosecuted for inadvertently recording the conversation.

Asset forfeiture laws may have made sense once upon a time, when we were worried about British businessmen smuggling hooch into this country.  But, despite what SCOTUS says, there is absolutely no reason for asset forfeiture when the supposed criminal is standing right there.  It’s one thing to convict someone and then take his ill-gotten gains.  But just grabbing shit?

(It can get worse.  In Indiana, the loot mostly goes to lawyers.)

This is another instance—like eminent domain—when the legislatures must act because the courts won’t.  It’s time to end this bullshit.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 02/28/11 at 04:06 PM in Politics   Law, & Economics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Donkey union protection racket backfires

So the Wisconsin demcorats that fled across the border into neighboring Illinois in an obvious slap to the tax payers of Wisconsin and the recent elections in order to cockblock and avoid a vote that would they are going to lose but which would hurt one of their biggest donor-special interest constituencies, are set to cost the tax payers of Wisconsin an additional $165 million in interest payments if they do not come back and vote on a bill to refinance the state’s debt. Funny how democracy to the left only is worthy when they and their ideas win out, and any elections that repudiate their wants and wishes results in all forms of anti-democratic shenanigans and not just vitriol about their oppositions motives, but comparisons to the most undemocratic people they can come up with. Although never Lenin, Stalin, or Mao, though, huh?

These senate demcocrats say they fled the state to slow down the governor’s evil scheme of denying working class people their due protection from “Da Man”, all so the American people could have enough time to learn about the evil budget repair bill. The massive union machine, the DNC, and if you believe the facts and not the attempt to distance itself once the poll numbers showed the unpopularity of this move, even the WH, set their grand counter scheme in motion, and if we grant the donkeys that their flight was truly intended to just buy time for people to see how evil Walker and his plan was, they have been successful. Unfortunately though, the public at large has not been swayed by their bullshit, and in fact holds a very negative opinion of the democrat’s flight to avoid their responsibility in addition to siding with Walker on the issue of public unions putting way too large a burden on the Wisconsin tax payers.

In short, this stunt backfired. The unions were unable to gin up popular support, even with massive help from the MSM, and it is obvious Walker will win this fight. But the demcorats are going to make sure that the people of Wisconsin pay for daring to stand against them and their special interests and continue to drag this out hoping eventually the cost is just too high. Heh! Promises of massive turnout over the weekend to show solidarity, even though heavily coordinated, with lots of busses to get their masses out, fizzled out. The turnout numbers outside of Madison were pathetic at best and no attempt by the MSM to pretend otherwise will convince anyone that these people are anything but elitists children throwing a tantrum now that their parents have told them the good old days are over.

And they wonder why more and more people have come to realize, after acts of blackmail like this one, with heavy costs to the tax payers, why the concept of public unions and their hold on government cronies like them, has reached its tolerable zenith and have to come to and end. The battle ground has changed. The days where the MSM parroting DNC talking point allowed these crooks to easily sway public opinion in their favor, no matter how idiotic what they were doing was, are no longer here. The economy is in shambles because of the statists and the costs of their ideas, and the real people are rebelling against being told they have to sacrifice more so this protected class can live better than they do. We are fed up and we are not going to back down, and America in general will be better off for it.

Posted by AlexinCT on 02/28/11 at 02:07 PM in Deep Thoughts   Elections   Election 2008   Election 2010   Left Wing Idiocy   Politics   Law, & Economics   The Press Machine  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Black Rain

See, now this is the sort of thing that environments should be focused on:

A new United Nations Environment Program report [PDF] focuses on measures that would dramatically the emissions of black carbon and methane gas by 2030. The report finds:

Full implementation of the identified measures would reduce future global warming by 0.5 ̊C (within a range of 0.2–0.7 C, Figure 1). If the measures were to be implemented by 2030, they could halve the potential increase in global temperature projected for 2050 compared to the Assessment’s reference scenario based on current policies and energy and fuel projections. The rate of regional temperature increase would also be reduced.

I’ve blogged about methane emissions before.

We leak some three trillion cubic feet of gas into the atmosphere every year.  Eliminating these leaks would not cripple our economy—it would save money.  And it would reduce global warming by about a third within ten years.  That’s a bigger impact than all the hybrid vehicles, dim CFC bulbs and outlawed TVs combined.  And it would happen now, not in 2050.  This is such a good idea that even the Bush Administration was quietly pushing it.  Obama is hesitating a bit but looks like he’ll move forward on it.

Why are the environmentalists not all over this?  This would potentially delay any global warming harm for decades.  At the very least, it would buy time for more technological breakthroughs.  They’re ignoring it precisely because it doesn’t cripple economies or leave us in dimly let rooms or force us to drive crappy cars.  Saving the environment is supposed to involve a return to nature not saving money.  Industry is something to be feared, not something to be helped.

Black carbon falls into the same category—it’s mostly a product of inefficient combustion.  The US has cut emission of particulates by 40% in just the last two decades—two decades of strong economic growth.  Moreover, black carbon is the sort of lung-choking stuff that people usually think about when it comes to pollution.  Reducing black carbon uses existing technology and would improve air quality.

Of course, cutting black carbon and methane emissions have a lot of problems.  For one, they don’t involve massive corrupt collectivist government cap and trade schemes.  They don’t put us back into a near stone age, relying on hamster wheels to power our civilization.  You wouldn’t have to crush capitalism and the encouragement of “green industry” would be minimal.  In fact, it might stimulate even more industry and economic development.

So, we can’t have that.  Better to force everyone to CFC bulbs that cut global temperatures by an amount too low to be measured.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 02/28/11 at 07:05 AM in Science and Technology  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Koch Derangement Syndrome

Now that George W. Bush is no longer in office, the Left needs a villain.  As noted by many, mass movements can succeed without a God, but never without a devil.  The Republicans have their devil in Obama but the Left is desperately scrounging around for theirs. For a while, Sarah Palin was filling that role but she’s gotten so silly even the Left is having trouble getting worked up over her.  Clarence Thomas and Herman Cain come in for racist invective, but they’re not mainstream enough.  Romney, Daniels, Christie, Nikki Haley, Jindal, Pawlenty—these guys are too bland and/or too competent.  No, they need someone who feeds the conspiracy-addled brains and open-ended paranoia that comprise the base of any political movement.

They need the Koch brothers.

I’ve addressed the Left’s obsession with Koch before.  Suffice it to say that this the screaming about them is the rankest sort of hypocrisy.  The Koch Brothers do not conceal what they do—the infamous webs of “corruption” that are drawn up like Jim Garrison on meth are the result of looking at public disclosures and statements from Koch industries.  And, of course, the people who vilify the Kochs have no problem with George Soros or any of the other millionaires and billionaires who frequently fund Left Wing causes, including the ones currently hyperventilating about the Kochs.

The Koch Brothers have come in for some more bashing because of the juvenile prank pulled on Wisconsin Governor Walker last week (which, as I’ve pointed out, was meaningless).  Supposedly, the fight between Republicans and unions in Wisconsin is a result of the evil influence of Koch.

Except ... Walker and the Kochs have never met. Except ... that the money they donate to politics is dwarfed by what unions contribute.  Except ... that even the supposed dirty deal to sell power plants to the Kochs is not happening.

And the ultimate joke is that Kochs support numerous causes that the Left hold near and dear (supposedly).  The Kochs are anti-war, anti-torture, anti-war-on-drugs and anti-Patriot Act.  They’ve donated tens of millions to science and the arts and the largest recipient of their political largesse, by far, is that notorious Right Wing Fascist organization—the ACLU.  They given the eeeevil ACLU $20 million—more than they’ve contributed to all political candidates combined—specifically to fight the Patriot Act.

Now it is true that the Kochs have almost exclusively supported Republicans for office, mostly to fight climate change legislation that would affect heir energy interests.  To the Left, their failure to support Left Wing candidates to support their more liberal agenda on social issues and civil liberties is a glaring problem. If they really want to fight the Patriot Act and stop the war, why don’t fund Democrats?

Well, probably because the Democrats don’t oppose the War, haven’t done anything about the Patriot Act, keep ramping up the war on crime and have no interest in pulling back the war on drugs.  As I’ve said about a million times, the idea that the Democrats are some bastion of sanity on crime and civil liberties is complete bullshit.  Their record on civil liberties—all civil liberties—is terrible.  And they have not just embraced the excesses of the War on Terror, they’ve expanded them.  Glenn Greenwald has a new piece up about how the Obama Administration is tracking down and jailing every whistle blower they can get their hands on.  They want to look “forward not backward” when it comes to things the Bush people did.  But they’re digging up whistle blowers from five years ago to throw in prison.

If I want to support free markets, I might fund Republicans (although their support for farm subsidies, tariffs, ethanol, etc. belies their supposed free-market credentials).  But if I want to support civil liberties, I’m not giving a penny to either party.  I’ll give them to people with an unwavering interest in liberty and an army of lawyers to fight in the courts.

A number of people are speculating that this whole Koch business is, in fact, a dress rehearsal for 2012.  The campaign against them, like the protests in Wisconsin, had benefited from White House support.  And the Democrats simply luuuv to play the “we’re standing up against evil rich people” card even as they sell the country completely down the river to their particular groups of rich people.

We’ll see.  This sort of thing plays well among people who obsess over politics.  But among the general public—the vast majority of whom never watch Fox News and wouldn’t know a continuing resolution if they fell over one—this is just more Washington insider bullshit.  It might rally the “base”, but it won’t help much with the ballot box.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 02/27/11 at 09:56 AM in Left Wing Idiocy  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Downtime
by JimK

Sorry about that today. Something hardware-related failed, although I haven’t been told specifically what. Upside is, the host fixed it for free. So yay us. As opposed to the old days, when I would get held up for hundreds - and once into thousands - for “repair” and “data recovery.”

Ya get whatcha pay for, eh? :)

Posted by JimK on 02/26/11 at 11:22 PM in Site News  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Friday, February 25, 2011

If you want to increase per capita income, raise taxes! - Really?

The other day I had a post about a battle between the republican governor of NJ, Chris Christy, and the new democrat governor of CT, Dan Malloy, going at it about taxes - NJ is cutting taxes and shrinking the burden government is putting on the productive sector, while CT is basically going with the donkey’s established approach which has caused government to expand and become the bloated unwieldy behemoth strangling the productive by hiking taxes - which you can find here, and our resident pooh flinging lib in the comments ended up the following ridiculous claim:

Posted by AlexinCT on 02/25/11 at 10:45 AM in Decline of Western Civilization   Deep Thoughts   Elections   Election 2010   Left Wing Idiocy   Politics   Law, & Economics   Tooting My Own Horn  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Another Oops Moment

I find this more amusing than anything else.  It’s from yet another of Obama’s endless series of “meet with business leaders to find out how this whole ‘capitalism’ thing works” things.

President Obama spent the day in Cleveland on Tuesday touting his interest in hearing directly from the country’s small businesses about job creation.

“Entrepreneurs like each of the ones who are here today create two out of every three new jobs in this country,” Obama said. “So you’re the cornerstones of the community. You’re the sources of pride for working families.”

But out of the 22 members of Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, announced Wednesday, only one of them represents small businesses or has had significant experience running one.

...

But nearly every other business leader on the panel, including its chairman, GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt, represents a large company. The list includes representatives from Comcast and NBC-Universal, a former subsidiary of GE; DuPont; pharma giant Proctor and Gamble; Kodak; and Facebook.

This is probably just a result of a speech-writer and an event organizer not coordinating properly.  But it’s almost Bushian misfire. I guess we should be grateful that Obama didn’t bow to them or something.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 02/25/11 at 09:57 AM in Fun and Humor  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Narcissistic hubris, or what?

There really is no shame:

When the DNC’s Resolutions Committee brought up a resolution commemorating Pelosi’s years as speaker of the House, Pelosi’s daughter sought to alter the proposal at her mother’s behest, adding some of the accomplishments that the elder Pelosi felt the committee had overlooked. “I have some friendly amendments,” said Christine Pelosi, a political strategist, at the committee’s session during the DNC Winter Meeting at the Marriott Wardman Park hotel Thursday afternoon. She is a member of the committee.

“You think I’m kidding,” Christine Pelosi added, to surprised laughter from the room. The proposed changes, she indicated, came out of a discussion with her mother. First, Pelosi wanted to add a mention of her fight against HIV and AIDS, because it was “why she went to Congress.” Then, she wanted to insert a paragraph on her “accomplishments for equality,” mentioning the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 and the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” in December.

Pad that résumé Nancy! Meaningless bullshit tripe all of it, but she is so full of herself she can’t even just show up and thank the DNC for trying to resurrect her corpse after the pasting she caused the donkeys to take in the last election. Come to think of it, this attitude is standard with the democrat leadership right now, starting at the top: a bunch of whiney pissants, full of themselves, with little good accomplished or to be accomplished, that think their destructive actions have done good. Pfeh to the lot of them.

Posted by AlexinCT on 02/25/11 at 09:15 AM in Celebrity Idiots   Elections   Election 2010   Life & Culture  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Thursday, February 24, 2011

You can not make this shit up…

Looks like the Obama team has another bad moment when they pull an epic fail telling us all not to ”look behind the curtain”:

Caught between their boss’ anti-lobbyist rhetoric and the reality of governing, President Barack Obama’s aides often steer meetings with lobbyists to a complex just off the White House grounds — and several of the lobbyists involved say they believe the choice of venue is no accident.

It allows the Obama administration to keep these lobbyist meetings shielded from public view — and out of Secret Service logs kept on visitors to the White House and later released to the public. “They’re doing it on the side. It’s better than nothing,” said immigration reform lobbyist Tamar Jacoby, who has attended meetings at the nearby Jackson Place complex and believes the undisclosed gatherings are better than none.

I am serious: you can’t make the shit that these scumbags are up to up. Even in your wildest conspiracy theories!

This is like the guy that promises to stop child rape and clean house basically hoping you don’t catch him molesting children in his shed and find out he is not just a scumbag, but a lying scumbag. Seriously, whom do you take more seriously? The guy that doesn’t lie about meeting with lobbyists or the scumbags that tell you they are above all that then go overboard pulling the wool over your eyes in an attempt to keep you from finding out they are doing it anyway?

Posted by AlexinCT on 02/24/11 at 12:51 PM in Decline of Western Civilization   Deep Thoughts   Elections   Election 2008   Election 2010   Left Wing Idiocy   Politics   Law, & Economics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Idiocy Round-Up

Let it not be said that the Democrats are the only stupid party in this country.  Since I’ve been bashing them up quite a bit lately, I’ll spare a punch or two for their counterparts.  Four stories in particular have been buzzing in my RSS feed.

In Congress, Republicans are proposing some spending cuts.  That’s good, depending on what they’re cutting.  But those cuts exempt one of our biggest economic drains: farm subsidies.  Worse, they are retaining the program by which we pay hundreds of millions of dollars to Brazilian farmers to prevent a trade war over said subsidies.  This would seem to be a no-brainer—save billions by subsidizing neither American nor Brazilian farmers.  But with a party that sometimes has no brain…

Then we have the anti-abortion loon in Georgia who wants the state to not only outlaw abortion, even if the mother’s life is at stake, but to investigate miscarriages to make sure they’re not secret abortions.  There are probably as many miscarriages every year as there are live births, so that should keep people busy.  It’s jobs program, really.  Mr. No-Fetus-Left-Behind also wants to rebrand rape victims as “accusers” for no obvious reason other than being a pinhead.

Then there’s Jeff Cox, the now former Wisconsin state attorney who not only said the protests should be dispersed with live ammo, but stood by those remarks until his ass got fired.  It’s not just that he said something stupid; it’s that he gave live ammunition to the Left to brand the GOP side as mindless thugs.  So ... thanks, a lot, asshole.

Finally, we have Arizona, which is considering another wave of illegal immigrants laws, the pinnacle of which is a special birth certificate for children of illegals that says Arizona doesn’t recognize them as US citizens.  You can imagine how the Left is falling over themselves with Godwin’s Law on that one.  The funniest part is that this has provoked a bunch of Left-wing morons to talk about secession from the state.  This is being met with applause from the Left.  You can imagine, of course, how’d they’d react if a conservative county in California talked about seceding.  We’d hear endless screaming about Right Wing loons and their dangerous extreme secessionist rhetoric.

My occasional alignment with the GOP is not because I love Republicans or am not aware that the party includes a lot of morons, thugs and dim bulbs.  I am temporarily siding with them, in some disputes, because debt is the issue of the day.  It’s not going to do us any good to have legal abortion or whatever if we’re all in the poor house anyway.  Still, I wish we’d have more primary challenges to these embarrassments rather than RINOs.  These twerps are harming any chance of fixing our debt problems by opening the window to branding an entire party as a bunch of creeps.  Can’t they stay focused on the task at hand?

One final note on a Right Wing Idiocy that isn’t an idiocy.  You may be aware of the prank phone call some Leftist pulled calling Scott Walker and pretending to be on of the Koch Brothers (cue scary music for guys who have less financial pull than ... just about every big union in the country).  Even Ezra Klein admits that this has been blown way out of proportion.  I’m with Reihan Salam:

I hate to tell you this, but I’m pretty sure that virtually all elected officials are willing to talk to campaign donors, rich people, and celebrities. Think about it. You’re basically the kind of person who ran for student body president, and suddenly really, really important people want to talk to you. Imagine how thrilling that must be! It should go without saying that this is completely pathetic. This is a big part of why we right-wingers think that politicians should have very narrow, circumscribed powers. They’re not an attractive bunch. Speaking only for myself, the politicians I come closest to admiring are the bona fide nerds who’d rather hang out at a diner in rural Indiana than talk to billionaires or celebrities.

If any billionaire who could potentially fund my work calls my office, they can get right through to me.  They can even call my cell phone.  If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: if you want rich people to stop controlling our government, stop making it worth their while by getting the government involved in every sector of our economy.

There’s enough idiocy among GOPers to go around.  Why on Earth would someone want to manufacture some?  Well because citizenship revocation, miscarriage investigation and protester shooting are very unlikely to ever happen.  But breaking the unions is a distinct possibility.  And so the attempts to smear Scott Walker continue apace.  As does the attempt to find the most extreme elements in his party with which to brand him.

I just wish the GOP wouldn’t make it so easy sometimes.

Update: Here is the transcript of the Walker-"Koch" conversation.  I’ve read through it twice and I still don’t see anything incriminating or damning.  Walker does most of the talking and comes off a bit full of himself, perhaps.  But there’s really no there there, unless you pull out a few select quotes were Walker was joking or dismissing “Koch“‘s suggestion of planting troublemakers amid the protesters.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 02/24/11 at 11:49 AM in Politics   Law, & Economics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

DOMA Joins DADT?

This is interesting.

President Obama has decided that he won’t “defend the constitutionality” of a part of the Defense of Marriage Act that seeks to bar gays from marrying, the Justice Department announced.

The change in the White House’s position means that the administration will no longer argue for that part of the law in two lawsuits filed in the Second Circuit challenging it.

Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement Wednesday that Obama “has concluded that given a number of factors, including a documented history of discrimination, classifications based on sexual orientation should be subject to a more heightened standard of scrutiny.”

“The President has also concluded that Section 3 of DOMA, as applied to legally married same-sex couples, fails to meet that standard and is therefore unconstitutional,” Holder said. “Given that conclusion, the President has instructed the Department not to defend the statute in such cases.”.

Being supportive of gay liberty, you’d think I’d be all for this.  But it actually makes me a little nervous.  Orin Kerr has a great commentary over at Volokh arguing that this amounts to a power grab by the executive branch.  By refusing to defend the Constitutionality of a law—based on a legal theory expounded by ... no one, really—they are retroactively vetoing the legislation.  It’s a power grab equivalent to the Bush Administration’s re-interpretation of Article II powers.

By taking that position, the Obama Administration has moved the goalposts of the usual role of the Executive branch in defending statutes. Instead of requiring DOJ to defend the constitutionality of all federal statutes if it has a reasonable basis to do so, the new approach invests within DOJ a power to conduct an independent constitutional review of the issues, to decide the main issues in the case — in this case, the degree of scrutiny for gay rights issues — and then, upon deciding the main issue, to decide if there is a reasonable basis for arguing the other side. If you take that view, the Executive Branch essentially has the power to decide what legislation it will defend based on whatever views of the Constitution are popular or associated with that Administration. It changes the role of the Executive branch in defending litigation from the traditional dutiful servant of Congress to major institutional player with a great deal of discretion.

Kerr goes on to suggest that this is a way to retroactively repeal legislation without actually repealing it.  For example, if Sarah Palin wins the election in 2012, she could refuse to defend Obamacare in court, effectively repealing the legislation without a vote.  That may sound fine and dandy to you if you oppose Obamacare, but imagine the same tactic being used to stop the Patriot Act.  Or entitlement reform.  Or any other piece of contentious legislation you can imagine.  Hell, imagine the next Administration decides they’re going to resume enforcing DOMA in the absence of a Supreme Court ruling.  Do we want that to be the case—when the applicability of federal law depends of the opinions of the President? I think the President should have the power to refuse to enforce or defend legislation that is an egregious violation of the Constitution.  Any my view of negative power is that all three branches should agree that a law is Constitutional before it is enforced.  But I don’t think DOMA is so thorough a violation of fundamental liberty that it warrants the nuclear option.

In the end, I think this may be unimportant.  I believe that gay marriage opponents can defend DOMA in court without support from the Administration although I can’t seem to find a definitive statement on this.  However, the game has shifted dramatically.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 02/23/11 at 09:07 PM in Politics   Law, & Economics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Chris Christie schools the MSNBC “Morning Joe” crowd

And he does it by pointing out that the demcorat that the people of Connecticut just elected to be the governor, whom is raising our taxes all over the place while pretending he will get concessions from his party’s biggest & most powerful donor block - public employee unions - and telling us all it is so we all share the burden equally, is going to cost the state of Connecticut more jobs and not sharing the burden equally at all.

Posted by AlexinCT on 02/23/11 at 11:41 AM in Elections   Election 2008   Election 2010   Left Wing Idiocy   Politics   Law, & Economics   The Press Machine  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Rumsfeld runs circles around MSNBC stooge

Andrea Mitchell, pretending to be reporting while simply spouting the usual idiotic and debunked lefty talking points about Iraq, as if they were factual still, gets a good schooling from Donald Rumsfeld during that attempt at bushwhacking him masquerading as an interview. 

Posted by AlexinCT on 02/23/11 at 07:01 AM in • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Smacking Maddow Down Again

Rachel Maddow is not a reporter or a journalist.  She opines.  You have to keep that in mind when you watch her.  Because she’s not fair or accurate and doesn’t bother to dig up facts before going on her show and spouting them to her unthinking audience.  She’s also a smear artist. Viz:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


If you can’t stand watching, I’ll summarize.  Governor Walker previously fired union security personnel.  He then hired guys from a subsidiary of a firm that has another subsidiary that’s been caught with embarrassing pictures in Kabul.  Those guys were then restored by an arbitrator at heavy cost to the taxpayers.

Notice what Maddow doesn’t say.  That the embarrassing pictures have anything to do with Walker or Wisconsin (or even Wackenhut).  But there’s three degrees of separation so ... something.  She doesn’t look into why Walker fired the security personnel but seems to regard the arbitrator’s restoration of their position as some kind of vindication.  I wonder if she’d say the same thing about the judge and arbitrator who have kept a Florida cop involved with domestic abuse and DUI on payroll for seven years.  Or the one who made Philly hire back four cops caught beating a suspect.  Or the one who forced DC to hire back the teachers Michelle Rhee fired for gross incompetence.  This is part of the problem.  It is almost impossible to fire incompetent people in government thanks to the deals Democrats have cut with their union paymasters.

Now maybe these guys were perfectly competent and Walker was just union-busting.  It certainly looks like he mad a bad call.  But given Maddow’s history of shoddy reporting, I’ll wait until I hear that from a reputable source.

Maddow also repeats the half-truth that Walker exempted public safety unions because they backed him, a common liberal claim.  Politifact again:

During the campaign last November, leaders of the Milwaukee Professional Firefighters Association and Milwaukee Police Association appeared in an ad supporting Walker and blasting his opponent, Democrat Tom Barrett. Walker also won endorsements from the West Allis Professional Police Association and the Wisconsin Troopers Association

Walker didn’t get the endorsements of two statewide unions, the Wisconsin Professional Police Association and the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin, which both backed Barrett.

...

We then contacted the Wisconsin Professional Police Association, the statewide union that endorsed Walker’s opponent last year. Executive director Jim Palmer said the statewide organization is much larger than the local Milwaukee police union that endorsed Walker. The state group has approximately 11,000 members versus Milwaukee’s roughly 1,400, he said.

Similarly, the state firefighters association has more than 3,000, compared with the Milwaukee union’s 875.

The unions, incidentally, oppose Walker’s changes.  They do agree that Walker is exempting them because his proposals would be a lot less popular if they included public safety employees.

But that’s just the beginning.  Maddow then goes off on a rant about this isn’t really about saving money (apparently having not read Politifact’s debunking of yesterday’s bullshit) but breaking unions to support “big business”.  Of course, big business doesn’t really have a dog in this fight, since the unions are employed by the taxpayers, not businesses and, as McArdle points out, business taxes are a small portion of state budgets.

But even that is not far enough through the looking glass.  The ultimate goal, according to Maddow, is to break one of the principle special interests backing the Democratic Party. She may have a point, but notice the subtle bias.  When Democrats attack Republican interest groups, it’s Republicans who are the villains for standing up for those groups.  But when Republicans attack Democrat interest groups, it’s Republicans who are the villains again.  Never are the Democrats held responsible, even when the spinelessly flee from states to avoid votes.

(That link is for the Indiana confrontation, in which the eeevil Republicans are trying to ... bar unions from negotiating contracts that require non-union workers to pay union fees.  Ed Morrissey has (possibly) coined the term “fleabagging” for the Democrats fleeing states to avoid votes.)

There’s a saying among lawyers.  If you have the facts on your side, pound the facts. If you have the law on your side, pound the law. If you have neither on your side, pound the table.  As Politifact showed, the Democrats don’t have the facts on their side.  This may end up in court, but it’s unlikely they have the law on their side.  So ... they’re pounding the table with rants about coconut brassieres, union busting and campaign contributions that would make Glenn Beck blush.

Maddow has a closing rant on how Republicans are trying to make it harder to vote.  The crux of this is an evil bill that would ... require ID to be presented at the voting booth.  I’m not familiar with the Wisconsin bill, but bills in other states have had numerous provisions put in so that people can get a free identification card—fees for ID being regarded as an illegal poll tax.  It has nothing to do with voter registration.  Only in Maddow-world does having to show ID to vote constitute ripping the franchise away from to poor downtrodden Democratic voters.

Update: Just to be clear: I’m not a Walker disciple.  It’s possible he acted stupidly in his previous union fight.  I disagree with his pro-life views.  And I’m very concerned about his apparent plan to sell of state-owned power companies in a no-bid process.  Hell, I’m not sure that this entire dust-up isn’t over-reach.

But this continual attempt to change the subject to something, anything other than Wisconsin’s budget problems, is ridiculous.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 02/22/11 at 09:43 PM in Left Wing Idiocy  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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