Archive for September, 2009

In California, Unemployment Highest in Seventy Years

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

New York Times, via Lucianne:

California’s unemployment rate in August hit its highest point in nearly 70 years, starkly underscoring how the nation’s incipient economic recovery continues to elude millions of Americans looking for work.

While job losses continue to fall, the state’s new unemployment rate — 12.2 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics — is far above the national average of 9.7 percent and places California, the nation’s most-populous state, fourth behind Michigan, Nevada and Rhode Island. Statistics kept by the state show California’s unemployment rate was 14.7 percent in 1940, said Kevin Callori, a spokesman for the California Employment Development Department.While California has convulsed under the same blows as the rest of the country over the last two years, its exposure to both the foreclosure crisis and the slowdown in construction — an industry that has fueled growth in much of the state over the last decade — has been outsized.

Those of you who think America’s halcyon days of “hope and change” are just around the corner, as soon as we de-fang, muzzle and geld the Republicans just a little bit more and get just a little bit more power to the democrat party, maybe have a few more “One Revolution Away From Happiness” revolutions of their choosing and at their request…

Look to my state as the crystal ball for what your future holds.

Thirty-six million souls living out their lives on this giant billboard that serves as a warning to you. As one of them, I really don’t know how it can be made any plainer. Seriously, how are you gonna reply? It’s conservatism that got us into this fix?

This Sunday, the Sacramento Bee (I’ll try to find a link later) had a front-page story about the California economy sucking…actually, the budget…economy is everything, budget is just the government piece. So the story was about the budgets sucking — as in, this year’s budget, last year’s budget, the year before’s budget, next year’s budget. And SacBee finally managed to figure it out: Income tax receipts from taxpayers making more than $500k a year, have far too big of an effect on how things are going to turn out in any given year. Uh yeah, like duh. If one of the “privileges” of doing business in the Golden State is that your profits will never be seen by you, because those profits have to be used to prop up our dilapidated state government that doesn’t have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of — but nevertheless still wants to cook up more ways to get rid of money — well, what’re you gonna do? What would anyone want to do?

Our financial picture is bleak, because we don’t want it to be in any other condition. We hate rich people, and we don’t want ‘em around. It’s really just as simple as that.

Community Reinvestment — Part Deux?

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

Get the word out

“From 1995 on, there was an incredible push by the Clinton and Bush administrations in every way they could — CRA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and other ways — to increase the homeownership rate,” says Russell Roberts, a professor of economics at George Mason University. “What that did was to push up the price of housing, and that made it imaginable to lend money to people you never would have lent money to, on terms you wouldn’t have done before.”

In particular, Fannie Mae began to aggressively promote homeownership using the Community Reinvestment Act to give loans to people who couldn’t afford them. Fannie went to bankers and said, make as many CRA loans as you can; we’ll buy them and take them off your hands. “Our approach to our lenders is ‘CRA Your Way,’ ” top Fannie executive Jamie Gorelick told the Mortgage Bankers Association in 2001. “Fannie Mae will buy CRA loans from lenders’ portfolios; we’ll package them into securities; we’ll purchase CRA mortgages at the point of origination. …”

Fannie promised to buy billions and billions of dollars worth of CRA loans because it was under pressure to do so from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which in turn was under pressure from Congress, which set ambitious quotas for low- and moderate-income loans.

The policy ended in a lot of people losing their homes. Now, Johnson’s bill would ensure more of that by applying CRA’s lending requirements not just to banks but to non-bank institutions like credit unions, insurance companies, and mortgage lenders. It would also make CRA explicitly race-based by, in Johnson’s words, “requiring CRA exams to explicitly consider lending and services to minorities in addition to low- and moderate-income communities.”

Republicans on the Financial Services Committee strongly oppose the plan. “Instead of looking to expand the number of institutions that must abide by CRA regulations, I think we should reassess the role this and other government mandates played in the financial collapse and consider scaling it back,” California Rep. Ed Royce said at the hearing.

It’ll never happen now, but I’d be all in favor of a litmus test for voters that says you cannot vote for a member of Congress unless you can demonstrate your capacity to understand: Things that happen, have a cause-and-effect relationship to other things that happen. We’ve got a lot of people voting who seem to think every single event in life is just either a “gosh darn” or an “oh goody!” — isolated and separate from all other events. Rather like objects in a parade. Clown; float; juggler; guy on unicycle; dancing bear; guy on stilts; life’s just a series of pleasant and not-so-pleasant surprises. There are no side-effects, and in fact there are no effects…apart from that which was primarily intended. Minimum wage goes up, people make more money; guns are outlawed, guns go away; rent controls are imposed, people pay less rent. Niiiiiiice and simple.

We’ve got a lot of harsh words for people like me, coming from both sides, who “see things only in black and white” and fail to capture something called “nuance.” How I wish we had a similar stigma against people who think everything we want to have happen in life, can be made to happen by simple decree. For their own good, I think, they should be gettin’ theirs. Stop them from voting. They don’t really want to make any big decisions anyway. They cannot accept the responsibility.

And if such a restriction were ever to be put into effect, somehow, I envision a Congress that has maybe twenty democrats in it. Tops.

Morgan Beats City Hall

Monday, September 21st, 2009

Do not — do not — f**** with the Morgan-Man…

Today was my court hearing. It’s a follow-up to what happened here. Below you see my 15-slide presentation I had prepared in electronic form, in letter-size print-out form, and in oversize full-color hard copy ready for presentation on an easel. Sixty dollars worth of Kinko’s product, ready to present in combat against a $204 ticket…written out way, way back in June…

So what do you think happened.

A. The judge was overwhelmed by the sheer power and force of my irrefutable logic, that the sign objectively failed to fulfill the non-negotiable standards imposed on it by Sections 2A.12, 2A.16, 2A.22, 2B.03 and 2B.19 of the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices, published by the United States Government and customized by the California Department of Transportation.

B. The judge was unprepared for the extremely compelling case I made that it was simply not reasonable or realistic to expect motorists to see such a tiny road sign, around so sharp a bend in the road, amidst such a great multitude of other distractions. The video really put this case over the top when I captured all those cars ignoring the sign that they probably couldn’t see any better than I could anyway. And then of course, as frosting on the cake, there is the matter that the sign is plainly NOT legal.

C. The judge was completely bowled-over by the sensible arguments I made in favor of u-turns being allowed at that intersection. No one can recall who ever made the dumbass stupid decision to prohibit u-turns at that location, but they will make every effort to hunt down the miserable sonofabitch, and may God have mercy on his soul.

D. The judge had the wind knocked out of her sails by my water-tight argument that for 206 years now, it has been ingrained into the spirit of American jurisprudence a neverendingly hostile reaction to any hint of an all-powerful legislature; and, that an all-powerful legislature is precisely what we create when laws lose all force and effect as soon as they they apply to other laws. We are bound to follow the law, be it sensible or not, especially when we enforce that law against others. The judge was particularly impressed when I quoted Chief Justice John Marshall from the Marbury vs. Madison decision of 1803. Surely that applies to the case at hand, does it not, for if a sign is enforceable at 12″ wide and 17″ tall, when the standards plainly state that it should be 24″ square or higher — why stop there? Make it as big as the ticket I was written for disregarding it. Make it as big as a Post-It note. Why not? Where does it end? And for that reason, you must dismiss this case and yank the sign out by the roots…or else the standards have no meaning…and we are living in a tyrannical government of our own making.

E. The judge dismissed the case when the cop didn’t show up.

F. I’m guilty, and sentenced to a dog’s lifespan of bicycling to work.

This little drama has been going on for three months now. And I can safely say that every single person I see on a regular basis…son…girlfriend…co-workers…UPS guy…lady who does our dry-cleaning…is sick and tired of hearing from me about u-turn signs. And curious about how things were going to turn out this morning. Both. Feeling conflicted. And letting it show.

Meanwhile, I have been consumed in an endless morass of obsession over road signs that are unreasonably small. I’ve become quite a difficult person to have in proximity, and occasionally something of an embarrassment.

But that all ends now.

Maybe.

Colt .45

Monday, September 21st, 2009

I just plain like this.

Who Exactly Is This Guy, Anyway?

Monday, September 21st, 2009

Neo-Neocon notices some things unflattering to our current President…and yet, of interest to all sorts of ordinary citizens, at all kinds of points across the political spectrum:

Left and Right alike, people are busy asking the question “Who is Obama, what is he?”

I cannot recall another president about whom this question could be asked so often and with such great urgency. To be sure, some of them gave us unpredictable moments, or favored policies that surprised us (think Nixon and China). Some of them changed while in office, such as the pre-9/11 vs. the post-9/11 George Bush.

But in some essential way, we knew who each president was and what he stood for, even if we might heartily disagree with every bit of his agenda or even dislike him personally. Obama is the first president we’ve ever had about whom many of us are beginning to suspect he has been lying not just about this or that topic, but about his very essence: who he is and what he wants for America.
:
Richard Fernandez notes the Obama pattern that is emerging:

[A] President can’t be like an onion without creating problems. He sends a variety of signals to his supporters, to his enemies, to the ordinary citizens of the country. And every leader — even Stalin and Hitler to use extreme examples — had an implicit duty to be consistent. Consistently bad, maybe, but consistent. So supporters and enemies could know which end was up.
:
Maybe I’m making too much of it, and it is just my personal opinion, but I’ve always felt there was something that I wasn’t quite getting about the President. It’s there, just on the edge of vision. And then it’s gone. One day I’ll see it clearly, but it’s an elusive thing.

I don’t see any note of this made in NN’s writings, or in her excerpts, or in her links…from what I’ve sampled…maybe it’s there and I missed it.

But what scares the piss out of me is this: President “Barry Sottero” is, within the pool of knowledge that is at my command, the very first President of the United States — ever — to have gone under a plurality of names. A generation ago, this would have been unthinkable…for a POTUS, anyway. And a century ago it would have been a disgrace. Public-service-honor and personal-honor were inseparable; and ambiguity, of any kind, lacked compatibility with either one.

So even if you’re in love with the hardcore-lefty politics. The question stands: What in the hell are we doin’?

Peter and Chris Eat Oreos

Monday, September 21st, 2009

The minute this came on, I hollered at the kid to come out and watch the eight seconds with me. He said he already saw it but didn’t mind seeing it again…which is a little odd since it’s obvious what kind of fun I’m having at his expense.

Not that the little shit doesn’t deserve it.

Is Your President Racist?

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

Gerard saw a real Newsweek cover, and it got his mind wandering about what might be coming out next week.

Feeling guilty yet?

Kseniya Simonova

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

From Top of the Ticket.

Pregnancy Test

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

Biggest Bunch of Crybabies I Have Ever Seen

Saturday, September 19th, 2009

Hat tip to Rick.

I’ve been noticing this, the way you notice an itch that you might be able to scratch if you could only find it, but you can’t quite find it. This meticulous attention to public image. The mindset of the current leadership seems to be one of unrelenting determination to provide stewardship to the packaging, without regard to the contents.

Perhaps it would not seem so odious if now and then I heard an explanation of how a plan is supposed to work. The steps involved in the plan working. But I very seldom hear anything about steps; it wouldn’t service the interest of providing stewardship to the packaging. The fear must be one of: This step worked out the way you said, that step worked out the way you said, and then oopsie this third step went off in some different direction from the way you said it would and now we are being criticized. Who cares if ultimately the plan is successful, now you’ve exposed our precious administration to criticism.

So everything is Barack Obama giving a wonderful speech about “I just think…” We live in their universe in which there is no cause and no effect — things do not happen because of other things. There is just Barack and all the things He has figured out. Every argument is concluded not, in spite of appearances, because of a brilliant point that was made; but because someone managed to get the last word in.

Over on Gerard’s page, our First Lady is acting like quite the Marie Antoinette in maintaining — and showing off, of course — her much-discussed vegetable garden. I think this is an apt metaphor for the 44th presidency. Not that I mean to insult vegetable gardeners, but it seems to me an imbalanced lifestyle has been embraced, one devoted to the lifestyle of a vegetable gardener who possesses vast holdings of land, but is obsessed only with that one damn garden. Pull the weeds, spray the weeds, fertilize the vegetables, plant the vegetables, harvest the vegetables…from the moment the gardener rises in the morning, until he puts his weary head down for the night. Just stay fixated on image, image, image the way the gardener remains fixated on the garden.

Elsewhere, there are bridges that need mending…and fences too. There are taxes to be paid on owning the land. There is a house to be painted with a roof that needs patching. Babies with dirty wet butts that need changing. Meals to be cooked, and after that’s done, dishes to be washed and ovens to be cleaned. And on the far corner of the property a pack of wild coyotes is making inroads, doing their scavenging and fornicating and pooping and yelling. As they get bolder, they’re going to start carrying off things like kittens and puppies, then work their way up the babies.

There’s shit to be taken care off. All over that spread.

But no. Nothing matters except the vegetable garden of public image. So get someone on the phone with Chris Wallace to do some whining.

McDonalds Ad

Saturday, September 19th, 2009

Why We Don’t Need Government-Run Health Care

Saturday, September 19th, 2009

Hat tip: Treacher.

“As If the Free World Has Forgotten to Inhale”

Saturday, September 19th, 2009

I disagree with much in this video, but I thought that line was ingenious.

Hat tip to Daphne, whose commenter James Wilson speaks for me:

Men who take the trouble to present their former leftist credentials as proof of their humanity, instead of being mortified by it, have not crossed that divide. He tells us further that he is not left or right, but something in between. There is nothing in between.

Mr. Condell says people on the left hate themselves and hate America.

This is not necessarily true. I wish it was; if it was, their numbers would dwindle quite drastically.

No, the left is made up of agenda-driven zealots like the ones he is describing, who in turn are hard at work recruiting new leftists from sheep exactly like what he used to be. And these sheep, by and large, are just trying to stay cheerful, positive and respectful…they’re just plain busy. Putting together spreadsheets the boss will never take the time to read, chatting up the folks in the other cubicles about who got kicked off American Idol, figuring out the perfect six-dollar unpronounceable coffee drink to order…

…Breaking the law talking to the missus on a cell phone while driving through heavy traffic, for thirty minutes or more, as if she was delivering step-by-step instructions on performing a brain transplant rather than orders to pick up milk on the way home…

…Cutting off other drivers and giving them the finger, as if racing to defuse an atomic bomb three miles away, rather than simply picking up milk on the way home…

They simply aren’t paying attention to what’s going on. They vote for Obama to get all kinds of things done, things that are the polar opposite of the things Obama has really been doing. Earn respect from other countries around the world, trim down that deficit, create a tax system that will work for “everyone,” create a post-racial America that doesn’t pay any attention to skin color…oh God, I gotta quite writing that stuff I’m laughing so hard I can’t keep my fingers on the keys.

Because all you can do is laugh or cry.

No, James Wilson is right. There’s nothing in between. There are people who accept that life involves risk, that absolute security in everything is a toxic agent, and that when a culture abjures its own identity on its own native soil it begins a slow certain process of suicide. And then there are other people who do not realize this. The people who do not realize this, as unconcerned as they may be with political events when the next cup of Macchiato is waiting for them, nevertheless manage to achieve that first lesson in short order…where they recognize those who do not pursue the same solutions, lock the cross hairs on them and scream “raaaaacist!” to whoever else might be paying attention.

They begin the certain tumble down the ten terraces of liberalism.

There is no “center.” It’s an illusion.

“Not Computer People”

Saturday, September 19th, 2009

Now that you’ve made it through the tough, tough week, here’s another xkcd to help recap it.

Click to embiggen. A three-weeks delayed hat tip to Immediate Regret.

F and G

Saturday, September 19th, 2009

We’re late on this one, because it was tough to find anyone who could go up against the lovely Famke Janssen. Adding to the challenge was the fact that there are so very few supermodels, actresses or WAGs whose first names begin with G.

But then we found lingerie model Gemma Atkinson. And her…uh…face…is plenty appealing for the task of competing, at least.

Yup. That’s right, I picked out Gemma because of her beautiful face. Doesn’t she have a pleasant looking face?

Not pleasing enough, I’m afraid. Famke prevails yet again.

While keeping most of her clothes on. Who knew?

Memo For File XCV

Friday, September 18th, 2009

The Editors of National Review Online weigh in on the dismantling of the missile defense shield in Europe…

President Obama knows how to put a smile on faces in Tehran and Moscow: This morning, he announced the abandonment of plans to develop a small missile-defense system in Eastern Europe.

This overturns one of the major diplomatic and national-security achievements of the Bush years. When George W. Bush came into office in 2001, the United States lacked long-range missile defenses. Today, Americans enjoy a rudimentary shield against North Korea as it strives to produce intercontinental ballistic missiles. There is no such protection for the United States or Europe against a similar threat from Iran, but agreements to build a powerful radar in the Czech Republic and to base interceptors in Poland had put NATO on a course for preparedness.

And here‘s Mister Wonderful promising just five months ago not to do this very thing. Perhaps that’s why the Prime Minister of Poland won’t take Hillary’s phone calls. Chalk up another foreign policy defeat for President Sottero.

It’s a funny thing about liberals. One of the many things that makes their decisions wrong much more often than right, is that they’re constantly in search of the “prime time television” moment in which a decision that looks good, instantly, to those who wouldn’t know a good decision if it smacked ‘em in the face, has good results immediately as well as in the longer term. This often doesn’t work.

But here’s the twist: This “hawk versus dove” thing comes up, and then they manage to land on the wrong side of both of those goals — which, in other walks of life, are so often mutually exclusive from each other. They manage to make an enormous tactical mistake while looking like dorks. And the “smartest” among them seem clueless about it. It’s as if they really do expect you can disarm yourself, place the blade of the enemy’s knife against your own throat, and everyone all over the place will think that’s a really cool move. Well, here’s some truth for you. It’s not a cool move; nobody thinks it is; you look like a nimrod when you do it; and as far as wise decisions go, it’s boneheaded. To say nothing of dishonorable, when it sends our allies up the creek without a paddle.

I don’t need to elaborate on any of that. Announcing His own decision yesterday, The Holy One used one of my most-deplored phrases…I have no idea where I read it…but I could just go on that. “After an extensive review” or “After an extensive process” or some such.

I recall my mother, who is long dead by now, had another favorite: “At this time” or “At this point in time.” She was a very wise, perceptive woman, and made a point of noticing someone was always up to skulduggery and shenanigans anytime she heard some variant of that phrase. And if you were stupid enough to use “At this particular point in time” around Mary Ann Freeberg, something would be slammed in your face, probably. The door, if it was there, or the phone call would be dropped after a terse but courteous forever-farewell.

I didn’t think much of this at the time. But in the years that have passed, I see she was on to something. There are some sequences of words that honest people have no business using. There are some sequences of words that, if you hear them, you know someone’s snookering you. You’d be ahead of the game just terminating the conversation on the spot. President Obama’s decision, and His way of talking about it, reminds me that my favorite most-loathed phrase does indeed belong in the top slot — I think it does. When’s the last time you heard someone in a position of authority say “After an extensive review”…and then whatever comes afterward is a good idea? No, that hasn’t happened to you. Hasn’t happened to anyone. You know why? Because if it’s a good idea there’s no reason for him to say how extensive the review was — is there? If it leads to good results, the guy in a position of authority can wait, and then point. If it makes a lot of sense when people first hear it, he can stand on that. “After an extensive review” is a phrase used by those who know, down to the marrow of their bones, they’ll be deprived of both of those advantages. And they know you know. And they’re trying to make you forget.

Sorry Mom, I like my phrase better than yours. Living in different times, I guess. I’ll still give you credit for a good idea though.

In fact, I’ve decided to add on to the list…

1. After an extensive process
2. Let me be clear
3. At this ((particular) point in) time
4. In service of a more well-rounded education
5. To serve our increasingly diverse community
6. Smacks of racism
7. Let me (just) say this about that
8. Heteronormative
9. Patriarchy
10. Stereotyping
11. Blue-ribbon panel (commission)
12. Basically
13. Totally
14. Thought/hate crime
15. Separation of church and state
16. His oil buddies
17. (Wall Street) greed
18. Common good
19. Will of The People
20. Disappearing middle class
21. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer
22. Mental/verbal abuse

When there’s time, I’ll go over the What Gave You Away? list of things stupid people say, to put others on the alert to the fact that they’re stupid. Then I’ll go over the list of Words I Totally Hate. There may be redundancy, or there may be far less overlap than I’m hoping…since the Gave-You-Away list is for stupid folks, and this one is for dishonest ones.

Wonder if I missed anything?

Anyway, there’s little point to debating this decision. It’s a disaster. President Obama Himself knows it to be a disaster. You can tell by the way He talks about it.

Update 9/19/09:

From Dad…

23. Let’s move on/Time to move on

From my favorite gal…

24. Trust me
25. (Why) would I lie (to you)?
26. Capiche?

From Blogger Friend Phil…

27. Dialectic

From me…again…

28. Sit down and talk out our differences with our enemies
29. Save money and save the planet (Hey…if the planet’s a goner, what do you care how much $$$ you have??)
30. Xtians
31. Sky fairy/Spaghetti monster

From me, inspired by what Dad said…

32. Distraction
33. Private life separate from his public service

From me, after browsing Feministing looking for some more ideas…

34. Hostile work environment
35. (Basic) human right(s)
36. Loving couple
37. Glass ceiling
38. Making inroads
39. Representative of the community
40. Social justice

What’s an “Acorn”?

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Michael Savage occasionally is heard to make the charge that we aren’t nearly as free in this country as they are in Iraq. This one-minute clip, which has become truly an “Everyone else is blogging it, I might as well do it too” moment, is part of one larger issue that compels me to take that charge seriously.

Lots of snarky comments in reply to this; my favorite (from somewhere) was “That’s okay Grandpa, we’ll go get our news from somewhere else.”

Well, John Stewart has a thing or two to say about this, and his words may surprise you (hat tip to Rick)…


The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
The Audacity of Hos
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Healthcare Protests

I’m just lovin’ that thing at the end. Of all the things Stewart’s lampooning, that “competitive spirit” between liberals and Fox and non-Fox news organizations, needs lampooning the most. “Ah HAH! It’s a seed, not a nut!”

Yeah, an acorn is a seed, and don’t worry about where your tax dollars are going. Traffic report next, followed by weather. Investigate Acorn…by all means…but once that’s done, in all seriousness, let us not forget about the bigger problem. As we’ve been told about it and forgotten about it oh so many times before.

“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” — Thomas Jefferson.

Update: AllahPundit comments on the investigation about to get underway. Hope you weren’t looking for any encouragement here:

I can’t do better than Karl’s summary so I’m going to steal it: “A Soros hack, an SEIU thug, someone who pleaded to lying to the FBI, and a Kennedy.” All that’s missing are a few pimps and prostitutes for “technical expertise.” Hardest-hitting internal investigation evah:

In a press release, ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis says, that as “a result of the indefensible action of a handful of our employees,” the group will immediately stop accepting anyone into ACORN office for service programs, will conduct in-service training of staff, and begin an audit “to review all of the systems and processes called into question by the videos,” to be conducted by the group’s Independent Advisory Council.

The Council includes many prominent Democrats, including the man who helped President Obama Transition Team, John Podesta, President and CEO of the Center for American Progress; former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend; Andrew Stern, International President of the Service Employees International Union; and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros.

What an amazing coincidence! That’s exactly the list of names I had in mind, of the wise and principled public servants I was hoping would be leading this thing up! They’re my go-to guys, absolutely! I have them on speed-dial! Before Super Friends! “Help me, Podesta, Kennedy, SEIU and Cisneros!” I shout it out almost reflexively, anytime I see some kind of mess that needs to be cleaned up and disinfected.

Yeah, of course I’m being sarcastic. Rather sad that some folks need to be told that.

How’s that hope and change working out for you?

Jimmy Carter to Take it Back?

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

It’s only obvious what the old boy is trying to set up…

Guys on the radio are betting by the end of the day, he’s got to eat his words.

I’d take that bet. democrats have no history. Their scandals bother them a little bit for a day or two; they don’t take ‘em down.

And Carter will never do anything to give us a better cause to stop taking him seriously, than his one term as our President. Anyone who can forget that can forget anything.

Snow Melts

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

Like, on a hot stove (hat tip to Cassy).

[Olympia] Snowe (Maine), who was one of three Republicans who backed the $787 billion economic stimulus package, was being lobbied heavily by the White House, and some centrists view her refusal to strike a deal with Baucus as troubling. But concerns about how the plan would be paid for prompted her to back away in the hours before its release.

“I do have concerns and I’m not sure they can be addressed before he issues [legislation] tomorrow,” Snowe said.

This leads to an interesting discussion about the readiness, willingness and ability — or lack thereof — of the democrats to use fancy procedural moves to pass the bill through the Senate by simple majority, thereby leaving an indelible fingerprint of the democrat party on our nation’s brand new health care plan.

The President’s Plan Codifies Too-Big-To-Fail Policy…

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

Anthony Randazzo, writing in Big Government:

The White House plan, as proposed, would not create an even playing field for competition, but would give big firms a competitive advantage by labeling them too big to fail. Ultimately, the regulation reform proposals represent a massive power grab from Washington.

The president criticized the doctrine of too big to fail (TBTF) yesterday, but his plan will create a tiered structure naming the biggest firms systemic risks to the system because of their size and interconnectedness. The proposed resolution authority would essentially act as a built-in bailout mechanism for those firms. So instead of ending TBTF, the president’s plan actually codifies the policy, essentially turning Wall Street’s biggest institutions into government-sponsored entities in the mold of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac before the crisis.

I’ve got some money riding on the prospect that 1) Obama is a one-termer, and 2) He’s going to get His ass handed to him next year in the midterms, just like Clinton in ’94.

I think Obama’s betting the same way I am. He isn’t governing like a President with a hefty, solid mandate; and He isn’t governing like a post-partisan anxious to heal a divide. Nor is this avalanche of ambition, with so little finalized substance to back it up, indicative of any kind of special energy or drive.

He is governing as if He is acutely aware of a terminal illness. “Now or never” seems to be the bumper-sticker slogan attached to each effort. He moves with all the haste of a man charging across a bridge made of solid ice, during an early spring thaw. Or slithering through a window that is about to slam shut, never to be opened again.

Media Malpractice

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

Jeffrey Lord, writing in The American Spectator. And quoting Tom Brokaw:

[O]ne of the things I’ve been saying to audiences is this question comes up a lot, and a lot of people will repeat back to me and take it as face value something that they read on the Internet. And my line to them is you have to vet information. You have to test it the same way you do when you buy an automobile or when you go and buy a new flat-screen television. You read the Consumer Reports, you have an idea of what it’s worth and what the lasting value of it is. You have to do the same thing with information because there is so much disinformation out there that it’s frightening, frankly, in a free society that depends on information to make informed decisions.

From what I understand, this is after the Van Jones thing although it’s before the ACORN thing (the former is mentioned alongside the interview, the latter is not).

Lord then, pretending to write a letter to Brokaw, launches into a dizzying array of historic chunks of “disinformation” that turned out to be quite true — but we didn’t know it at the time because the old-guard media was busy protecting us from ourselves, tossing us bromides about Jackie Kennedy’s pink hat.

Lord closes his imaginary letter with:

The investigation of Mr. Jones — a government official no less — is but one example of the competition your colleagues now must face every minute of every day. The investigation into the corruption in ACORN is still one more. So too with the Bush National Guard story. Not to mention the real details of the President’s health care plans. The response to Mark Levin’s book — and the importance of that response, in spite of a virtual blackout from your peers — is, in its quite distinctive fashion, yet another.

In truth? Either you really don’t get all this — or you do, and simply can’t bring yourself to admit the fact. Much less do anything about it.

What do I think? I think you’re a really smart guy, and so are your colleagues.

Which is exactly what troubles.

Thanks for your time.

What the Van Jones and ACORN things have to do with each other, I notice, is not just a rogue underground media, but also video. In that setting, what exactly is it Mr. Brokaw means by “disinformation”? Does he mean the video tells us stories about Jones and ACORN that are accurate this time ’round, but we’re getting into a bad habit with starting to trust these guys standing around in back alleys selling us news from mysterious pockets in their overcoats?

Or does he mean the video was somehow taken out of context, telling us tall tales that are not true?

Wonder what Brokaw had to say about that spate of Michael Moore movies just a few years back.

I’m not much for conspiracy theories, but speaking for myself, if someone’s paying me a livelihood to do something I really don’t give a rat’s ass what their political leanings are when I get done telling them what I’ve been paid to tell them. The way these guys act, it’s like they have some job on the side; like they aren’t really being paid to bring us information. It’s like they’re being paid to keep it away from us.

“The Whole Thing is Becoming Undone”

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

“Brace yourselves!”

Words Matter

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Blogsister Daphne at Jaded Haven: The word “racist(m)” has been bludgeoned into shapelessness, beyond any form of possible usefulness. Just like “shit,” “piss,” “ass,” “fuck” and “damn” lose meaning if you throw them around too carelessly. Now that we’ve elected a President who’s going to get us past all our racial-tension problems for good — Hah! — we find the R-word has been worn out like no other word has ever been worn-out before.

James Taranto has some more thoughts on this.

Neo-Neocon has come up with a new word for people who use the R-word against anyone who might possibly disagree with them, for whatever reason: “Racers.” I like it. Like it a lot. Truthers…birthers…racers. Hat tip again to Gerard.

Update 9/16/09: Jimmy Carter is helping to wear it out too.

Racer.

Fables for Adults

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Sowell.

Hat tip to Linkiest.

A Note to His Bedwetting Liberal Friends

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Boortz.

Compare and contrast: That oh-so-classy Alan Colmes who gets oh-so-many extra props for being oh-so-civilized and observing proper rules of decorum and enjoying sophisticated good-natured calm cool and collected exchanges of ideas with his good friend Hannity…is indulging in Maher humor. And when people call him on it he says it’s their problem.

The More We Know, the Less We Like It

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

CNSNews.

Being a Liberal Means Everyone Else Has to Clean Up After You

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Gateway Pundit.

Hat tip to Sister Toldjah.

I Made a New Word XXXIII

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

My-Way-Itis (n.)

A mental disease.

It is, quite plain and simply, an inability to comprehend a situation in which some other person might take charge of a familiar task, and by implementing methods the observer would not have used, acquire beneficial results. It is an irrational conviction that the observer’s way is not only the best way, but the only way, to achieve the stated goal.

In the advanced stages it becomes paranoia: Anyone who’s doing things differently from the way I would be doing them, must be acting under sinister ulterior motives.

The technology business tends to see more than its share of this. It moves through stages that seem like fresh-blazed brand new trails at the time, but with the benefit of hindsight one realizes it’s all the same old turf:

Phase One. A youngster is discovered who can demonstrate his ability to do neat things most other people cannot do. Executive or capitalist opportunists cluster around him, he discovers a livelihood, and a fledgling industry is assembled around what amounts to nothing more than a boy’s parlor trick.

Phase Two. The business interests find out, through a series of painful exercises, about the yawning gap that exists between a business process and a parlor trick.

Phase Three. Out of a desire to close this yawning gap, a premiere value is placed upon the commodity that is the Idea-Man…the guy who has strong ideas about how to do stuff. Not quite so much how to do the stuff, but having strong ideas about how to do the stuff. A candidate who shows a strong track record of getting things done on time and under budget, but doesn’t talk too much about how he does them, is not valued quite so highly. Another candidate who lacks the strong track record, but talks quickly, loudly and forcefully about the steps involved in doing things — and who identifies all who would do things a different way, as potential enemies — is valued much more highly.

Phase Four. Once all the projects of any magnitude or importance are managed solely by people with festering, advanced cases of My-Way-Itis, the business goes through new pains.

An interesting aspect of My-Way-Itis is the degree of willingness — even enthusiasm — with which the sufferer will knowingly depart from reality. He labors under the unspoken conviction that anybody who doesn’t follow his ready-made-script for success, will have to fail. Confronted with an example of someone who got ‘er done a whole different way, he makes absolutely no effort to revise the paradigm he just spoke aloud that was instantly debunked; instead, he will regard this alternatively-completed successful project as some kind of evil thing, something that can be the source of absolutely nothing good, something that must be banished. Much in the same way the villagers of olden times might have ostracized a suspected witch, or had her burned at the stake. He becomes the fox in Aesop’s fable about the “sour grapes.”

Another notable symptom is that once the patient is put in charge of weighty responsibilities dealing with the allocation of staff, he starts to show a myopia with regard to understanding specialties; his mind neatly categorizes talents according to “the things I do” and “the things others do,” the latter being completely fungible. In other words, one hour of whatever it is John does, is equal to one hour of whatever it is Susan does, which is equal to one hour of whatever the hell it is Charlie does. And so the business that has been entrusted to him, deteriorates from one extreme to another: Coming into existence specifically for the purpose of making use of a little boy’s parlor trick, it suffers a senile dementia to such an extent that it cannot appreciate a potentially-profitable parlor trick if the parlor trick walks up and bites it square in the ass. After that, it must suffer all the pains attendant to any business that has forgotten what it is in the business of selling; and these are not paper-cut pains. They are life-threatening.

I imagine I’ll be accused, with some legitimacy, of venting my spleen over some specific unpleasantness that occurred within one particular experience. The truth is darker than that: I don’t have any one single experience out of my twenty years that fits this better than any of the others. Except, perhaps, for my very first jobs…in which I was the inexperienced young boy who knew the parlor tricks. I’ve seen this play out, over and over again, in pretty much every position I’ve been placed in as I watched it from different vantage points, playing different roles. Wherever I worked that this did not happen, there was at the very least, a very powerful pull in this direction. The pull is always there, in any business in which a service is needed but not yet acquired. It’s tough to think in moderate, realistic, self-restraining terms about the Holy Grail that is still out of reach, especially when dollars are on the line.

So for all the above reasons, I suppose management by the insane is ultimately unavoidable. A business finds out a parlor trick doth not a profit center make — and then, tragically, it overcompensates, putting the inmates in charge of the asylum.

I Have a Dream, a Dream of Liberals Becoming Defensive…

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Throughout all of my mortal life, conservatives have been on the defensive about two things: That they lack compassion, and that they think of and treat people “different” from themselves as inferiors. Time after time I see a prominent conservative granted the opportunity to do the right thing, and take a pass on doing it, only because doing the right thing would reverse some of his “progress” in trying to deny or refute one of those, or both. They are “When did you stop beating your wife” questions: Once you are accused, any action you take to address the accusation in any way whatsoever, only does more damage. Denying it does the greatest damage.

I’d like to see liberals become defensive about something: Their tendency is to make bad decisions, because they aren’t motivated to understand why someone might disagree with what they propose to do. To them, it’s always something that begins with “you’re”: You’re stingy, you’re cold-hearted, you’re mean, you lack compassion, you’re a racist, you’re a homophobe, you’re just a jerk, you cling to your gun and your Bible…

For the good of the country, I’d like to see liberals placed under suspicion for this, everywhere they go, just as conservatives are placed under suspicion of being racists and sexist pigs — and are never, ever finished proving that they aren’t these things. I’d like to see liberals caught on a spinning hamster-exercise-wheel of trying to disprove this thing about themselves, that they cannot intellectually grapple with an opposing argument, and the ad hom is their only refuge. Because in many cases, from what I’ve seen, it’s true.

Update: Gerard wants to push the definition all the way out:

“A raaaaacist is anyone who’s winning an argument with a liberal.”

Obama Calls Kanye a “Jackass”

Monday, September 14th, 2009

See Cassy’s place for the background info…

This year, Taylor Swift (one of my favorite artists) won Best Female Video, only to have the award ruined for her by a no-class idiot named Kanye West.
:
So, as Taylor Swift is in the middle of giving her acceptance speech, Kanye West storms onstage and takes the microphone from her, announcing that Beyonce should have won for Single Ladies. The camera pans to Beyonce, who looked mortified. Kanye then gives the microphone back to Taylor, who stands there looking like she’s about to cry. It was Taylor’s first VMA.

If that’s not strange enough for you — Politico has a brand-new bombshell to drop…

ABC’s Terry Moran set the Twitter-sphere all aflutter when he wrote:


:
Now, an ABC spokesperson explains to POLITICO what happened:

In the process of reporting on remarks by President Obama that were made during a CNBC interview, ABC News employees prematurely tweeted a portion of those remarks that turned out to be from an off-the-record portion of the interview. This was done before our editorial process had been completed. That was wrong. We apologize to the White House and CNBC and are taking steps to ensure that it will not happen again.

The White House had no immediate comment.

They reported the facts of what happened, now they acknowledge it was wrong and it will never happen again. Okee dokee.

Move along, folks. There’s nothing to see here.