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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

On Earmarks, Who's Holding Feet To The Fire?

I've written more than a few posts about Congressman Rick Boucher and his millions of dollars in earmarks (go here, here and here for a taste).  What I haven't written about is whether any of his largesse has ever been put to good use.  Was it a waste of our tax dollars or did his promises actually materialize in some meaningful way?

Someone should ask him: What happened to our moneyHas anything measurable come of it?

Don't hold your breath for answers.

But there is this.  Someone - somewhere else - has been asking those questions of another congressman, and has gotten disturbing answers:
Rep. Murtha's earmarks lead to fewer jobs than promised
By Carol D. Leonnig, Washington Post Staff Writer

Ford City, PA. -- In 2005, Rep. John P. Murtha announced here that a technology firm was moving into an abandoned plate glass factory. Best of all, he promised, the new firm would generate 140 jobs.

The Pennsylvania Democrat steered $150 million in defense money to Caracal Inc., along with a $3 million grant for factory renovations. "Today's ribbon-cutting ceremony is yet another indication that our investment in this region's economic revitalization is paying off," he said that day. But Caracal never created the jobs the congressman touted. The firm peaked at 10 employees and then folded in early 2008. Once its Murtha-engineered Navy contracts ended, the company could not survive.

"Let me tell you: We look at jobs. How do we attract jobs?" he said. A Washington Post analysis of Murtha's earmarks, however, shows that his job promises often come up short. Of 16 local companies the congressman has helped win federal earmarks, 10 have generated far fewer jobs than forecast, and half of those already have closed operations in his district.

The Post analysis illustrates the fleeting success of some of the companies backed by earmarks. Some of the jobs generated by Murtha's earmarks cost about $2 million each, and scores disappeared as soon as projects were completed. [link]
So maybe someone (maybe someone who is paid to ask questions - at either the Bristol Herald Courier or the Roanoke Times) should be asking Mr. Boucher: What resulted from the following expenditures?

• $6,400,000 for the Center for Injury Biomechanics

• $3,838,500 for the Center for Advanced Separation Technology

• $1,569,000 for the Biodesign and Processing Research Center

• $1,001,000 for something called Sustainable Engineered Materials from Renewable Sources

• $400,000 for Horseshoe Crab Research

• $282,000 to the Alleghany Highlands Economic Development Corporation "to develop business assistance software tools"

(source)

The list could go on and on.

Generally, Mr. Boucher receives high praise from movers and shakers in Southwest Virginia for "bringing home the bacon."  But is it bacon?  Or is it a decayed, rancid, putrified, smelly carcass?

Did anything - A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G - come of these taxpayer investments?

I think we have a right to know.

The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of

Wouldn't this be something?
Rumors abound that new Leonardo da Vinci painting has been found in Boston
By Sarah Kaufman, Washington Post Staff Writer

Is the world about to gain another Leonardo da Vinci painting?

The multitasking Renaissance genius who produced the most famous portrait in the world -- Mona somebody -- left us only 10 to 20 other paintings. Yet if current whispers bear out about a picture in Boston, that number may increase by one more. Art experts say it's the equivalent of stumbling upon a surprise Shakespeare play or a lost Homeric epic.

At this point, we have only a tantalizing mystery -- perhaps the unspooling of a new Da Vinci code -- dangling on the slender thread of secrets and a handful of clues that emerged this week:

-- The Washington Post receives a tip from a source who wishes to remain anonymous that the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, has in its possession a painting believed to be by the Italian master, and is in the process of authenticating it. Were it deemed a true Leonardo, such a painting would be only the second one in all the Americas. [link]
I'd bet it'll turn out to be a wild goose chase.

But still, the mind reels at the possibility ...

Obama Gov't. Your Hard-Earned Income. Rathole.

You would just have wasted it on food and clothing anyway:


Expect Care packages and the Peace Corps to be sent in next.

As The Globe Warms ...

Is there an odd disconnect between reality and "science"?

India Meteorological Department: “It could turn out to be the coldest Calcutta winter ever.”

Ever.

Somebody has some 'splainin' to do.

Hmmmm

Maureen Dowd:
If we can’t catch a Nigerian with a powerful explosive powder in his oddly feminine-looking underpants and a syringe full of acid, a man whose own father had alerted the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, a traveler whose ticket was paid for in cash and who didn’t check bags, whose visa renewal had been denied by the British, who had studied Arabic in Al Qaeda sanctuary Yemen, whose name was on a counterterrorism watch list, who can we catch?
We must protect one another.  Uncle Sam Obama ain't gonna be there for us.

* She might have included the fact that the Islamist bought a one-way ticket, a tell-tale sign.
** I can't believe I quoted America's Ditsiest Columnist.
*** Dowd, in her column, stole my comparison between Janet Napolitano and Janet Reno.  Still, she deserves a mention from me.

Quote of the Day

On those who believe in global warming:


Lefties have long mocked Christians on the fringe for proclaiming the imminent end of the world and the coming of God. Yokels, bumpkins, knuckle-draggers, Bible-thumpers, crazies, and zealots are but a few of the epithets that have been hurled at End-Times Christians. 

It's therefore more than a little ironic -- perhaps divinely ironic -- that many of these same oh-so-worldly liberals have come to embrace their own version of the end times.

The global warming cult, in one sense, is the left's last stand: It's a lashing out at the human race for all its perceived deficiencies, avarice, narrowness, and failings -- or at least, that portion of the human race that resides in the west.  The human race stands in the docket accused of degrading the world with the intent of destroying it. But the evidence doesn't bear out the charge. It is instead the accuser who has and continues to destroy human life. It's the left that's intent on making the end times a self-fulfilling prophecy.
J. Robert Smith, "The Left's End Times," American Thinker, December 31, 2009

A Shudder Runs Through Conservative America

Our last best hope of saving the country from the ravages of the Obamaniacs may have experienced a heart attack:
Limbaugh hospitalized in Hawaii

Honolulu – Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh is staying overnight in a Honolulu hospital after he was admitted Wednesday afternoon in serious condition, according to local news reports.

Limbaugh, 58, was sitting in a chair in his 9th floor hotel room at Kahala Hotel and Resort when paramedics arrived, local ABC affiliate KITV reports. Sources told the news station that Limbaugh informed emergency crews that he was having chest pains ... [link]
Get well, Rush.  The outcome of the fight for our freedom and the well-being of our children's children are at stake.

The Question Of the Day

Would Senator Ben Nelson be foolish enough to vote for ObamaCare again when it comes up for final vote?

One thing I've learned about Washington Democrats over the years is this: Priority Number One in their eyes is not mother or country.  It's getting reelected.  And if ol' Ben is looking to keep his cushy job in the Magic Kingdom, and we all know he is, then he'd better be paying attention to the polls back home.  For they are truly eye-popping:
Ben Nelson's Purgatory
By John Fund, Wall Street Journal

The scriptures refer to reaping the whirlwind. That certainly describes Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson after the first state-wide poll since the controversial deal he cut in exchange for his deciding vote on the Senate health care bill.

A new Rasmussen Reports poll shows that if he were running for re-election today, Mr. Nelson would lose to Nebraska's GOP Governor David Heineman by a stunning 61% to 30%. Only three years ago, Mr. Nelson won his current term with a solid 64% of the vote.

Clearly, the senator's fall in public esteem is a direct reaction to his having voted for the health care bill as part of a deal in which Nebraska was exempted from the costs of new federal Medicaid mandates. The ObamaCare bill was already unpopular enough in Nebraska but became even more so when state residents discovered they would be saddled with it anyway, plus exposed to national ridicule over Mr. Nelson's sweetheart deal. Now 53% strongly oppose the bill, while another 11% somewhat oppose it. Only 17% favor the deal that Mr. Nelson struck in order to vote for the bill. [link]
I think Nelson's problem goes beyond just his vote for ObamaCare.  Here you had a seemingly principled Democrat - a rare breed - who stood up against his own party on the issue of abortion.  He was admired for having backbone.  Ideology superceded crass political posturing.  He would not support any bill that allowed for the federal government to fund the slaughter of babies.

Well, as it turned out, he would.  Nelson flushed his support for the lives of America's innocent little children down the toilet in return for a couple of political favors.  A Medicare deal and some vaguely worded promises about abortion and state's rights.  So much for principle.  So much for ideology.

So much for Ben Nelson's future.

He's now toast.

It couldn't happen to a more deserving Democrat.

How Quickly The World Has Changed

From George W. Bush's foreign policy to that of Barack Obama.  From Pax Americana to this (from Fouad Ajami):
There was that "diplomacy of freedom," the proclamation that the Pax Americana had had its fill with the autocracies and the rogues of the Greater Middle East. There but for the grace of God go we, the autocrats whispered to themselves as they pondered the fall of the Iraqi despot. To be sure, there was mayhem in the new Iraq—the Arab and Iranian rulers, and the jihadists they winked at and aided, had made sure of that. But there was the promise of freedom, meaningful elections, a new dignity for men and women claiming their own country.

What a difference three or four years make. The despots have waited out that burst of American power and optimism. No despot fears Mr. Obama, and no blogger in Cairo or Damascus or Tehran, no demonstrator in those cruel Iranian streets, expects Mr. Obama to ride to the rescue. To be sure, it was in the past understood that we can't bear all burdens abroad, or come to the defense of everyone braving tyranny. But there was always that American assertion that when things are in the balance we would always be on freedom's side.

We hadn't ridden to the rescue of Rwanda and Burundi in the 1990s, but we had saved the Bosnians and the Kosovars. We didn't have the power to undo the colossus of Chinese tyranny when the tanks rolled into Tiananmen Square, but the brave dissidents knew that we were on their side, that we were appalled by the cruelty of official power.

It is different today, there is a cold-bloodedness to American foreign policy. "Ideology is so yesterday," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton proclaimed not long ago, giving voice to the new sentiment.
There has been much written in recent days about how long it took for Obama to make a statement to the American people about the terror attack in the skies over Detroit. And about the fact that his scripted response was, in the words of one correspondent, "like a tepid legalistic statement from a deputy district attorney."

His supporters have brought up the fact, in his defense, that it took George W. Bush as long to make a public declaration about a similar incident involving the "shoe bomber" in 2001.   But everyone knew that Bush had by then declared war on terror and had unleashed American power on that now-hated foe.  And that we were engaging the enemy on a daily basis.  And that it was his driving intent to win the fight.

These days, the war on terror - or "overseas contingency operation," as the Obama people want us to call it, which speaks volumes in itself - as everyone knows, is but a distraction to our current president.  And that his foreign policy could best be summed up in the immortal words of Rodney King - "Can't we all get along?"

And then there's the bowing to foreign dictators.



My God.

Things in the world have changed a lot in a year.  And not at all for the better.

- - -

And there's this from the man who ought to be leading the fight.  Dick Cheney:
"As I’ve watched the events of the last few days it is clear once again that President Obama is trying to pretend we are not at war. He seems to think if he has a low-key response to an attempt to blow up an airliner and kill hundreds of people, we won’t be at war. He seems to think if he gives terrorists the rights of Americans, lets them lawyer up and reads them their Miranda rights, we won’t be at war. He seems to think if we bring the mastermind of Sept. 11 to New York, give him a lawyer and trial in civilian court, we won’t be at war.

“He seems to think if he closes Guantanamo and releases the hard-core Al Qaeda-trained terrorists still there, we won’t be at war. He seems to think if he gets rid of the words, ‘war on terror,’ we won’t be at war. But we are at war and when President Obama pretends we aren’t, it makes us less safe. Why doesn’t he want to admit we’re at war? It doesn’t fit with the view of the world he brought with him to the Oval Office. It doesn’t fit with what seems to be the goal of his presidency — social transformation — the restructuring of American society. President Obama’s first object and his highest responsibility must be to defend us against an enemy that knows we are at war."
The enemy is at war.  Obama is on vacation.   That says it all.

- - -

And, most telling, there's this:


Priorities.  Priorities.

- - -

And let's put this in perspective:


Click on the Ramirez/Investor's Business Daily image to enlarge it.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

We Are Where We Were Destined To Be

I shook my head in dismay after 9/11 when the Bush administration and Congress began to ramp up our anti-terrorism efforts by building a whole new federal bureaucracy.  A bureaucracy that became - largely - the Department of Homeland Security.  My thought: Another feckless, unwieldy behemoth in Washington the main purpose for which is to reward political cronies and expand the (unionized) federal workforce is exactly what we didn't need.

But there were those, including Mr. Bush, who thought it was a swell idea.  So we now have the behemoth in place.

The end-result?
The System Failed
New York Times editorial

Only luck and the courage of passengers on Northwest Flight 253 averted a tragedy on Christmas Day. When a Nigerian man allegedly tried to blow a hole in the airplane’s side, the explosive powder he had concealed failed to detonate properly and passengers subdued him before he could do any more damage.

Terrorists will always look for new ways to breach security, and let’s hope luck and courage don’t ever run out. But as this case makes chillingly clear, the airport security systems put in place after the Sept. 11 attacks — complicated, expensive and hugely onerous for travelers — have serious flaws. And so do the bureaucracies that run them.

Let us be clear: the system did not work. It is disturbing that Janet Napolitano, the secretary for homeland security, seemed to suggest, even briefly, that it had.

What makes this so much worse is that officials had something they can’t always expect: fair warning. [link]
It's refreshing to think that the New York Times is on the side of those who see the government having taken a step backward in its terror fighting efforts when it developed the massive DHS.

Or not.

The Times editorialists' recommended solution to the problem?
As soon as Congress gets back to Washington, it must confirm the heads of the T.S.A. and the customs agency, both of which have been under interim management for a year. There is no excuse for more politicking or delay with the nation’s security.
Lost in the wilderness.  My God, they're all just lost in the wilderness.

Maybe He Should Look For Another Profession

Music To My Ears

With echoes of "Drill, baby, drill," the commonwealth of Virginia is finally developing an energy policy that didn't have its antecedents in fairy tales:
McDonnell seeks offshore drilling leases
By Anita Kumar, Washington Post

Gov.-elect Robert F. McDonnell (R) recently sent a letter to U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar asking him to allow for the exploration of oil and gas off Virginia's coast.

In the letter dated Dec. 23, McDonnell urged him to avoid any further delay in granting offshore leases, now scheduled for 2011.

"It is time to develop our off-shore energy resources to create new jobs and provide necessary new revenue for schools, roads, public safety and alternative energy research and development in Virginia," he wrote. "I respectfully request that you direct the U.S. Minerals Management Service to expedite its preparatory work in support of the lease sale in 2011. The leasing process should not be further delayed."

McDonnell's letter comes months after outgoing Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) sent his own letter to Salazar earlier this year asking for a delay in drilling off the Virginia coast. [link]
Kaine is the guy who talked a lot about "green energy" and "green jobs" though no one was ever sure what exactly they were. And no discernible change in our approach to energy production or in the number of jobs - at least in a positive way - ever materialized while he was head of state.

McDonnell, on the other hand, seems to know exactly what he's doing.  And he's doing it.  Here's to Governor Bob.  Here's to energy independence and cheap gas.

Soon They'll Be Calling Him White

The left in this country is getting more and more worked up over our (half white) president's shifting - on issue after issue - to his predecessor's position.  They hated Bush; they loved Obama; now what?

In today's news, more bad news for the haters.  Obama is coming around - if ever so slowly - to Bush's position on Iran:
Iran Arrests Opposition Aides, Ex-Minister
By Chip Cummins, Wall Street Journal

President Barack Obama on Monday joined other world leaders in condemning Sunday's attacks, offering his strongest support yet for Iran's opposition movement and possibly signaling a less accommodating approach to Tehran.

Speaking in Hawaii, Mr. Obama for the first time publicly demanded Iran's release of "unjustly" detained political opponents. He joined with European leaders in calling for Iran's leaders to abide by international conventions on the treatment of political activists.

The Iranian people wish for "justice and a better life for themselves," Mr. Obama said, adding that "the decision of Iran's leaders to govern through fear and tyranny will not succeed in making those aspirations go away."

During the turmoil after Iran's controversial presidential elections in June, Mr. Obama -- then in the midst of a diplomatic outreach to Iran -- was criticized for his relative silence on the protests.

Senior U.S. officials said the Obama administration recognizes that it is now at a "pivot point" in its strategy toward Tehran. This shifting U.S. position, said these officials, has been driven by Iran's rejection of direct negotiations over its nuclear program and its crackdown on democracy activists in the country. [link]
They'll never admit it, but that "pivoting" is in the direction of the Bush policy on Iran.  That "cowboy" position that the left ridiculed and denounced.  The sane, realistic position.

How happy the leftists in this country must be that Mr. Hope&Change is evolving into Mr. Hope&ChangeNothing.

They Voted For Him. They Never Knew Him.

But that didn't matter.  The color of Obama's skin was all that mattered.

Shelby Steele:
America's primary race problem today is our new "sophistication" around racial matters. Political correctness is a compendium of sophistications in which we join ourselves to obvious falsehoods ("diversity") and refuse to see obvious realities (the irrelevance of diversity to minority development). I would argue further that Barack Obama's election to the presidency of the United States was essentially an American sophistication, a national exercise in seeing what was not there and a refusal to see what was there—all to escape the stigma not of stupidity but of racism.

Barack Obama, elegant and professorially articulate, was an invitation to sophistication that America simply could not bring itself to turn down. If "hope and change" was an empty political slogan, it was also beautiful clothing that people could passionately describe without ever having seen.

Mr. Obama won the presidency by achieving a symbiotic bond with the American people: He would labor not to show himself, and Americans would labor not to see him.
It's interesting that most defenses of the man, to this day, have the word "Bush" in them.  Because the defenders know so little about Obama and realize that, in terms of his actions, there is not much to defend.

Steele says The Chosen One may be " the least known man ever to step into the American presidency."  That is not a good thing.  Yet his supporters remain blissful in their ignorance.  An odd circumstance indeed.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

We Need a Copy Editor!

Read the following headline in this morning's Roanoke Times and tell me what it means to you:


Sailors.  Lots of them.  Deploying in Virginia.  Right?

Where, you're asking, will all those Navy boys and girls be deploying in Virginia?  Bland County?

Well, it's not what it appears:
More than 6,000 sailors from the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group are preparing for a regularly scheduled six-month deployment.

The strike group is scheduled to ship out Saturday.

The ships are prepared for missions such as maritime security operations, theater security cooperation and crisis response.
We'll assume that those missions are not in Virginia.

Okay, Who Interrupted His Vacation?

Obama finally said a few words about the terrorist attack in Detroit.

Americans are wondering why he even bothered.

A quote: "Should a guy who just came from the beach be promising that we 'will not rest' until the perpetrators are dealt with?"

Expect More Taxpayers To Become Homeless

A Prediction

Victor Davis Hanson on Obama's future:
I think the overseas bowing, apologizing, and kowtowing will stop in 2010—it brought no tangible results. Indeed, Obama is one bow away from global caricature and humiliation. Obama’s advisors will try to stop his natural inclinations to apologize, and I think will be successful—given the gathering storm clouds of 2010.
Personally, I think Obama's distrust of all things USA is now firmly ingrained, and apologizing for who we are is a necessary part of his psyche.

But we can hope ...

They Just Don't Get It

It's amazing - and amusing - to listen to mainstream journalists continue to heap praise on themselves at the same time most Americans have turned their backs on them because they - the news people - no longer relate and deliver a woefully poor product to the marketplace of ideas.

Encapsulating the times in which we live a cartoon (Click on the image to enlarge it):



If I were doing the strip I might have taken that blurb - "But ... we speak truth to power" and changed it to "But ... we speak truth for power." That's really what doomed the mainstream press. It disgorges that which government hands it to disseminate.  Obamania is just the latest manifestation.

But the self-exalted members therein need to come to grips with this fact: The marketplace has spoken.  And the dinosaur media are on the way out.

Too bad.  So good.

Cartoon courtesy of daybydaycartoon.com

They Just Don't Get It II

A glaring example of journalistic misconduct - ClimateGate:
Biased reporting on Climategate
Washington Times editorial

With trillions of dollars at stake in the battle over global warming, now would be the time for the press to closely scrutinize the claims of those who would reorganize the world's economy from farm to factory and laboratory to living room. And the Climategate scandal - where leaked e-mails and dodgy computer programs from the University of East Anglia raise powerful new questions about the role of politics in climate science - would be the perfect opportunity to explore what is going on behind the scenes.

That's not happening. To judge by recent coverage from Associated Press, the Fourth Estate watchdog has acted like a third-rate pocket pet. Case in point is an 1,800-word AP missive that appeared in hundreds of publications, many carrying it on the front page of their Sunday, Dec. 13 issue with the headline, "Science not faked, but not pretty." AP gave three scientists copies of the controversial e-mails and then asked them about their conclusions. The wire service portrayed the trio of scientists as dismissing or minimizing allegations of scientific fraud when, in fact, the scientists believe no such thing.

East Anglia and Penn State are not the only two institutions that need to answer questions about what is going on behind the scenes.  [link]
Read the whole thing.

Modern day journalism.  Speaking truth for power.  There's not a better example out there than this.

On Rehabilitating Terrorists

You'll get a chuckle out of this.  Though it's not funny in context.

Buried in a Washington Post article ("Explosive in Detroit terror case could have blown hole in airplane, sources say") about that Northwest Airlines bomber who failed the other day to complete his mission - thank God -there's this about a Muslim who allegedly sent him on his suicide journey, one Said al-Shihri:
One of the top leaders of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is Said al-Shihri, 36, a Saudi national. He was captured in Pakistan in December 2001 and spent six years in the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, before being transferred to Saudi Arabia in November 2007.

In Saudi Arabia, he entered a highly praised rehabilitation program that uses dialogue and art therapy to persuade former militants to renounce extremism. But after graduating, Shihri crossed the border into Yemen and rejoined al-Qaeda. [emphasis mine]
We're now using dialogue and art therapy to rehabilitate those whose religion is calling them to jihad.  The stuff that made "Saturday Night Live" famous.

And we should talk about why it's "highly praised."

For the love of God.

Even Funnier

You know that multi-billion dollar system we now have in place to combat terrorism?  The one that Department of Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano said marvelously prevented that terrorist from bringing his bomb aboard Northwest Airlines flight ... uh, scratch that ... the one that worked marvelously in preventing the terrorist from detonating the bomb he ... well, the system that was able to put out an alert after the incident was over and the Islamist terrorist was subdued by civilian passengers aboard the plane?

Marvelous ain't the word most people are using in reaction.

So Terror Warrior Janet has changed her tune:
Clueless Napolitano Now Concedes System 'Failed Miserably'
By Mark Finkelstein, News Busters

It took a tough question from Matt Lauer, but after having laughably claimed that "the system worked," DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano has now conceded the obvious: that the security system that permitted Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to board NWA 253 with explosives "failed miserably."

MATT LAUER: You made a comment over the weekend and I want to call attention to that because a lot of people are disagreeing with it this morning.  You talked about this incident aboard this Northwest flight and you said "when it came right down to it, the system worked."  A lot of people don't think the system worked at all, that the only thing that prevented outright disaster was luck.  Can you respond to that?

JANET NAPOLITANO: Sure, I think the comment is being taken out of context. What I'm saying is that once the incident occurred, moving forward, we were immediately able to notify the 128 flights in the air of protective measures to take, immediately able to notify law enforcement on the ground, airports both domestically, internationally, all carriers, all of that happening within 60 to 90 minutes, so --

LAUER: So you're only talking about what happened after this man tried to ignite this explosive device on the plane.

NAPOLITANO: Indeed.

LAUER: You would then concede that the system prior to that, the system that's supposed to prevent something like this from happening, failed miserably?

NAPOLITANO: It did. [emphasis in the original]
One wonders why a lowly TV personality had to pry this admission out of her.  The system failed.  Again.  Everyone knows it.

With the kind of money we're paying this gal - and the kind we're pouring into Homeland Security - shouldn't we expect more of a return on our investment?  This isn't security; it's clown central.  And lives are at risk.

Maybe we need to take another hard look at this whole business.

Monday, December 28, 2009

You Can't Make This Stuff Up

The Roanoke Times's deep thinkers have come up with a way to reduce Virginia's budget deficit:

Open the commonwealth's prison doors and let some of those convicted and sentenced to hard time walk free. And be kinder/gentler to those who commit heinous crimes in the future.

See "Reducing waste, improving safety."*

- - -

* Don't ask me.  I have no idea what the header has to do with the editorial either. 

** My favorite line: "The tab is too high, the recidivism rate too great to continue business as usual in state corrections."  Isn't a high recidivism rate a good argument for keeping the human waste that walks our streets and preys upon the most vulnerable among us a good argument for locking the assholes up and throwing away the key?

Expect More Of the Same

Last time terrorists succeeded at infiltrating our commercial air traffic security system - on September 11, 2001 - we responded by unionizing America's baggage handlers and metal detector technicians. And we created a new federal bureaucracy to write detailed regulations governing how they dressed and when they were allowed work breaks.

Now that it's happened again, expect a ponderously ineffectual and mind-numbingly costly response.  Again.

It's all our government is capable of doing.

Unfortunately.

We're on our own, folks.  Act accordingly.

It's Not About The 'Public Option'

It's about ObamaCare.  Which is in itself the public option.  And the implications are far more profound.

Mark Steyn:
My Republican friends often seem to miss the point in this debate: The so-called “public option” is not Page 3,079, Section (f), Clause VII. The entire bill is a public option — because that’s where it leads, remorselessly. The so-called “death panel” is not Page 2,721, Paragraph 19, Sub-section (d), but again the entire bill — because it inserts the power of the state between you and your doctor, and in effect assumes jurisdiction over your body. As the savvier Dems have always known, once you’ve crossed the Rubicon, you can endlessly re-reform your health reform until the end of time, and all the stuff you didn’t get this go-round will fall into place, and very quickly.

As I’ve been saying for over a year now, “health care” is the fast-track to a permanent left-of-center political culture. The unlovely Democrats on public display in the week before Christmas may seem like just a bunch of jelly-spined opportunists, grubby wardheelers and rapacious kleptocrats, but the smarter ones are showing great strategic clarity. Alas for the rest of us, Euro-style government on a Harry Reid/Chris Dodd/Ben Nelson scale will lead to ruin.
Steyn is of the belief that ObamaCare will be far worse for America than the government-administered systems created for Canada and Britain - both awful messes in their own right - will ever be.

And he's right.

Say goodbye to the best health care delivery system ever devised.  Forever. 

Say hello to the Ministry of Dying With Dignity.

My God.

And These People Are In Charge

To read the mockery being heaped upon Janet Napolitano, our chief homeland terror warrior, for her bumbling, cluelessness, and seeming confusion as it relates to those she's supposed to be protecting us from, I'm reminded of another shining star of a Democrat appointee to high office from another decade - Janet Reno.  She too was a buffoon with a big title.

Sad to say, the mainstream media gave her a complete pass as well.

Only difference is, lives are now at stake.  And lots of 'em.

My God.

Quote of the Day

The Washington Post on the government's performance in the most recent terrorist attack on the United States:
Finally, it is hardly reassuring to argue, as Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano did on ABC's "This Week," that "once the incident occurred, the system worked." The attack was averted because of the luck of a faulty detonator and the quick response of alert passengers. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said the president has ordered a review into "did the government do everything that it could have with the information that they had?" The answer to that question seems obvious.
"Once the incident occurred, the system worked."  Ambulances, mops, brooms, and body bags were prompt and at the ready.

For the love of God.

But Will Obama Listen?

Looks like cooler heads and the realities of the planet have finally prevailed.  At least for now.
Senate Democrats to W.H.: Drop cap-and-trade
By Lisa Lerer, Politico

Bruised by the health care debate and worried about what 2010 will bring, moderate Senate Democrats are urging the White House to give up now on any effort to pass a cap-and-trade bill next year.

“I am communicating that in every way I know how,” says Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), one of at least half a dozen Democrats who've told the White House or their own leaders that it's time to jettison the centerpiece of their party's plan to curb global warming.

The creation of an economy-wide market for greenhouse gas emissions is as the heart of the climate bill that cleared the House earlier this year. But with the health care fight still raging and the economy still hurting, moderate Democrats have little appetite for another sweeping initiative — especially another one likely to pass with little or no Republican support. [link]
It's sweet irony that Virginia's 9th District Congressman Rick Boucher (D-Abingdon) stuck his neck out and voted in favor of Obama's cap-and-trade monstrosity despite the fact that it will kill thousands of coal jobs in his district, and could possibly kill his lucrative gig in Washington because of it.  Ironic because now the bill he voted for has gone into the dumper.

Boucher and his ilk will be back though.  "Global warming" and all that.

But the good guys are winning this one.  And you are to be thanked for it.  You and the climate.

This Is How Laws Get Passed

Drunk.  And in charge.

My God:




This sloshed old man, so you know, is chairman of one of the committees that wrote the Senate version of Obama's health care bill.

Whether he remembers doing it or not is another thing.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The GOP Deserves This

They swallowed the GW Bush Big Government ("compassionate conservative"; same thing) Kool Aid and now find themselves stinking up the place:
Dems Question GOP Lawmakers Who Changed Tune on Health Care
Associated Press

Democrats are troubled by the inconsistency of Republican lawmakers who approved a major Medicare expansion six years ago that has added tens of billions of dollars to federal deficits, but oppose current health overhaul plans.

All current GOP senators, including the 24 who voted for the 2003 Medicare expansion, oppose the health care bill that's backed by President Barack Obama and most congressional Democrats.

The Democrats claim that their plan moving through Congress now will pay for itself with higher taxes and spending cuts and they cite the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office for support.

By contrast, when Republicans controlled the House, Senate and White House in 2003, they overcame Democratic opposition to add a deficit-financed prescription drug benefit to Medicare. The program will cost a half-trillion dollars over 10 years, or more by some estimates.

With no new taxes or spending offsets accompanying the Medicare drug program, the cost has been added to the federal debt. [link]
Hang on a second.

It's laughable to read that the Democrats are "troubled" by the Republicans' about-face on the expansion of the role of government in our health care system.  Troubled?  How about "gleeful"?

And the Democrats can "claim" their proposal to be "paying for itself" till the cows come home.  It's going to cost us trillions in additional taxes and health care costs.  No sane, reputable person can argue otherwise.  (The CBO can't change that; it scored the initiative as it was presented; it can't deal with the fact that the data provided was manipulated so as to force the CBO to give a favorable response).

But the point is well taken.  Republicans in Congress - to go along with the head of their party - threw away any semblance of limited government credibility when they signed on - en masse - to Bush's reckless Medicare expansion.  For their actions, they deserve all the criticism and mockery that is now being heaped upon them.

Alas.  They knew better.  They could have done what was right.  Instead they did what was politic.  They became - briefly? - Democrats to  a man.  And they reaped the whirlwind.

Have they seen the error of their ways?  I have my doubts. There's always that uncontrollable need for praise from Katie Couric that skews their thinking.  Alas indeed.

- - -

So you know, I wrote the following on February 9, 2005, after passage of ObamaCare BushCare:
If you are a Republican, you need to hang your head in shame this morning. You were forewarned that the Medicare supplemental drug benefit - that was the new entitlement for the elderly that liberal Republicans and President Bush thought was a neat idea - was going to cost a lot more than was being estimated at the time the legislation was being fashioned.

Even those who predicted a much higher cost had no idea that it was going to be this bad ... (article cited).

This is, in a word, staggering.

And it was accomplished on your watch.

The people in this country put you Republicans in power in 1994 to put a stop to this sort of thing. Instead, it was your Republican majority that gave birth to this monster.

Another entitlement that we are unable to afford.

Of course, now you're going to hear your leadership fret about rising costs and about the need to do something. As they are already.

You deserve this, oh party of Reagan. Shame on all of you.
You deserve this, oh party of Reagan.  What were you thinking?

We Never Learn

I said after 9/11 that our government was going to push billions of dollars into efforts to secure our commercial air travel system so as to prevent the events of that days from ever occurring again, which would prompt the terrorists to simply change their tactics and seek out weaker, more vulnerable, targets other than United 757's.  Bridges.  Malls.  Nuclear facilities.

But I was wrong.  Al Qaeda knows weakness when it sees it.  It is still going after commercial jetliners.  And had a resourceful passenger not stopped the latest attack, tragedy in the skies of America would have been the news headline on Christmas day.

See "Explosive device set off aboard airliner."

See "Investigators: Northwest Bomb Plot Planned by al Qaeda in Yemen."

See "Passengers help foil attack on Detroit-bound plane."

Then there's this:

"Failed terrorist attack on Detroit-bound plane raises new security concerns."

New security concerns?

What's new about this attempt to bring a plane down from the skies over an American city and to potentially kill hundreds of people in the process?  This is a years-old concern.

Yet all the planning failed.

In fact, Homeland Security - after hundreds of millions have been poured into it - looked the other way.  See "Suspect in plane attack was on terror watch list."

For the love of God.

We're on our own, folks.  If you see a suspicious looking Muslim, prepare yourself, be alert, inform those around you, and work with them to prevent this kind of tragedy from ever occurring.

You'll get no help from your government.  That's painfully obvious.

- - -

A quote: ""On the one hand, it seems he's been on the terror watch list but not on the no-fly list.  That doesn't square because the American Department for Homeland Security has pretty stringent data-mining capability. I don't understand how he had a valid visa if he was known on the terror watch list."

Just as with 9/11 the collection of information isn't the problem.  Homeland Security has trillions of bits of information.

Acting on the information gathered was - and is - the problem.

Nothing has change.  Nothing has changed.

It's Called Racism

Either that or fear for their lives.

You decide:

Guess The Missing Word In NY Times Report On Attempted Plane Bombing
By Mark Finkelstein, NewsBusters

Imagine that there had been a series of three incidents in which members of a [invented for present purposes] fanatical Jewish sect had attempted to bring down airliners from Arab countries.

In reporting on the latest attempt and describing the previous ones, do you think the New York Times might have mentioned the religion of the perpetrators? So do I.

But with the legerdemain required to describe a spiral staircase without using one's hands, the Gray Lady has managed in its article today to report yesterday's attempt to bring down a NWA airliner, and the earlier attempts by Richard Reid [the "shoebomber'] and the those who plotted to bring down as many as ten jets leaving the UK for the United States, without using the word "Muslim." [link]

Sure enough, nary a one.

How does one prepare a stew and intentionally leave out the main ingredient?  Islam, like it or not, accept it or not, is what is driving these madmen to perpetrate the crimes they are seeking to commit.  It may be only their twisted interpretation of their religion, but it's still the driving impetus.

But the New York Times refuses to countenance the notion.  Like that'll make it all okay.

I prefer to think this isn't a matter of (perverse) racism, a mindset that refuses to allow these people to say a bad word about certain minorities and their customs - ever.  I think they're just cowards.

Could be wrong though.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

What's To Be Said About Mark Warner?

According to Amy Gardner, Washington Post reporter, Virginia Senator Mark Warner's first year in office was a waste of time (he "has found himself mainly on the sidelines"), but he's doing his best to pull his liberal Democrat colleagues back toward the "center" of American politics.

Say what?

See "Senator Warner grapples with freshman status."

This is standard pablum that the Post has put out there about our "hugely popular former governor" even in the days when he wasn't all that popular.  Warner's a centrist pulled to the left only because of circumstances.  It's not his fault.

In the day, as governor, Warner raised taxes and mushroomed spending.  But it wasn't his fault.  He was forced to do it.  Don't blame him.  Circumstances.  Circumstances.

Now, as senator, Warner:

• Voted for the government takeover of the American health care system, but felt bad about doing it.

• Voted in favor of that $446 billion omnibus spending bill a few weeks ago, money that the government doesn't have, an expenditure that goes right into the exploding national debt, within which there were 5,224 pet earmarks.  But Warner's arm was twisted; he had no choice.


• Voted to raise the nation's debt ceiling to a staggering $12,000,000,000,000.  But felt bad about doing it.

• Voted in favor of extending federal health care welfare to the middle class.  But, shoot, he had no other choice.  Necessity called.

•  Voted to make Washington D.C. a de facto state and give its residents voting privileges specifically denied them in the Constitution.  But, hey, it was only fair.

• Voted against requiring reinforced border fencing to keep illegal activity from occurring along our southern borders.  But that was a Bush idea, so ...

• Voted, in fact, in favor of every Obama appropriations bill that has been set before him, despite the fact that the country is broke, the deficit has soared, and the passage of each risks the complete collapse of the dollar and the onset of inflation the likes of which this country has never seen before.

The devil, according to the Post reporter, has made him do all of it:
Warner entered the Senate in January with big plans to show Democrats a middle path, taking to the national stage the blend of fiscal conservatism and business know-how that had helped him win over Virginia independents and Republicans. But the freshman senator has found himself mainly on the sidelines as Congress and President Obama have pushed health-care reform, spending and energy measures without much attention to creating a center-based coalition.
Pay no attention to what he does.  Look only at what he says he wants to - but has failed to - do. Look at his words, not his deeds.

For the love of God.

Thus far, this chicanery has worked.

Not a bad ploy if you can get away with it.

The Lesson To Be Learned?

Al Gore says the planet is warming and is bringing about "a man-made natural disaster."

A professor of physics says we're in for "Five Decades Of Cooling Ahead."

Who's right?

Maybe both.  Maybe neither.  Nobody knows.

Until the experts decide what's actually going on, what say we shelve the talk about climate taxes and reordering society.

We don't have a clue.

'Who but the Mindless ...'

A question that is often asked these days: What kind of rational person could possibly listen to the pronouncements coming out of Washington and believe a word of it?

Dan Freeman, writing in Big Government, asks in detail:
• Who but the mindless can believe that government run health care will reduce costs and improve care while covering more people?

• Who but the mindless can believe that this President is now serious about reducing the deficit after shattering spending records during his first year?

• Who but the mindless can take seriously the sham “jobs summit” held by a President whose every policy is a lesson in job destruction?

• Who but the mindless can believe Obama’s lie that “Cash for Clunkers” which cost taxpayers $24,000 per car was successful?

• Who but the mindless would not outraged that our government has reneged on its promise pay back the unused TARP fund to taxpayers?

• Who but the mindless would not question the morality that the world’s finest health care, which has extended and improved human life in unimaginable ways—conceived and produced by countless unsung heroes in the private sector—should magically be transformed by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi into a “human right”, taken over by the state and rationed out as they please?

The assault on reason by our President and Congress goes on ad infinitum. It is mindlessness that elected “hope and change” and mindlessness that sustains it.
Yet the mindless rule.

Frightening.

They're Still Out There

And they're still plotting:
Terror attempt on Detroit plane
By Harry Siegel & Carol E. Lee, Politico

The passenger detained on an airplane in Detroit Christmas morning said he was acting on behalf of Al Qaeda when he attempted but failed to detonate an incendiary or explosive device, U.S. officials said Friday evening.

A White House official confirmed that the incident ... was indeed an attempted act of terrorism. It’s not yet known if the suspect in custody, 23-year-old Nigerian Abdul Mudallad, was in fact working with Al Qaeda, or if he identified with the group but was acting independently of it.

“The subject is claiming to have extremist affiliation and that the device was acquired in Yemen along with instructions as to when it should be used,” according to a federal situational bulletin. [link]
The war goes on.

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Morning For Celebration

What could be better on Christmas morning than a wonderful rendition of "Ave Maria."

Hail Mary, Mother of God.




From my family to yours: Everyone have a Merry Christmas.

Time To Celebrate

Is there something wrong with pouring some eggnog and spiking it with Old Grand-Dad this early in the morning? 

Fireplace.  Christmas music.  Holiday hooch.  A celebration.

I call it Christmas cheer. The first one is to all of you.

Is Hollywood Out Of Touch?

Critics of the new movie, "It's Complicated" are saying Y-E-S.  Because the Motion Picture Association of America has given the flick an R rating.  But not for reasons that you might think.  The film doesn't have a Hillary moment in which one of the two main characters - played by Meryl Streep - throws objects at the other - Alec Baldwin.  Nor is there an explicit nude scene with the two (thank God).

No nudity.  No violence.  So why the R?
New Film Ignites Debate on Ratings Policy
By Brooks Barnes, New York Times

Los Angeles — The romantic comedy “It’s Complicated” arrived at the multiplex on Friday complete with an R rating, ranking it in the same category as “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “Basic Instinct” in the eyes of the Motion Picture Association of America.

But there is no violence in “It’s Complicated,” and the bedroom scenes are decidedly tame by contemporary standards. Instead, the R rating — which experts say could limit the box-office potential of the Universal Pictures film — comes largely from a sequence in which Steve Martin and Meryl Streep smoke marijuana.

The rating has kicked up dust in Hollywood, with movie bloggers starting blistering attacks on the M.P.A.A. for being out of touch. The marijuana lobby is equally miffed. [link]
I'm afraid I must agree.  I think if kids can handle the gruesome death of Mufasa, they can handle a couple of elderly has-been actors doin' the smoke-a-dope.

But I am also inclined to believe that it really doesn't matter what rating the MPAA puts on the movie.  Ain't no children going to want to go see it.  (Ain't no member of the From On High family goin' to see it either) (Alec Baldwin is still alive; who knew?)

But I did want to make a point.  About Hollywood being out of touch.  As exemplified by this movie.

Take a close look at this promotional photo:



It shows the Streep character and her husband (played by Steve Martin) sitting at the dinner table.  And what's on the table before them?  Water, white wine, and lettuce.  Meaning no disrespect, but does anyone out there actually sit down to a meal of leaves?  Ever?

Hello.  USA to Hollywood.

Tinseltown is indeed out of touch.  But not because of anything having to do with marijuana.  We're all out here eating Kentucky Fried Chicken - extra crispy - and Hollywood is depicting fun-loving couples feasting on crap that real Americans reserve for the guinea pig.

Get with it, people!  We want to see a romantic comedy with protagonists - clothed or otherwise - stoned or otherwise - mooshing Big Macs.  Sonic foot-longs.  Texas chili cheese fries.  The stuff that made America great.  Leave the leaves to the environmentalists and other lesser creatures.

Photo courtesy of Melinda Sue Gordon, Universal Pictures, and the New York Times
Click on the image to enlarge it.

A Radicalized Democratic Party ...

... is driving "moderate" Democrats out.  And is giving pause to others:
Keep the Big Tent big
By William M. Daley, Washington Post

The announcement by Alabama Rep. Parker Griffith that he is switching to the Republican Party is just the latest warning sign that the Democratic Party -- my lifelong political home -- has a critical decision to make: Either we plot a more moderate, centrist course or risk electoral disaster not just in the upcoming midterms but in many elections to come.

Rep. Griffith's decision makes him the fifth centrist Democrat to either switch parties or announce plans to retire rather than stand for reelection in 2010. These announcements are a sharp reversal from the progress the Democratic Party made starting in 2006 and continuing in 2008, when it reestablished itself as the nation's majority party for the first time in more than a decade. [link]
Bob McDonnell's landslide victory in the governor's race here in Virginia in November should be a red flag to the few remaining moderates in the party of Pelosi.  If they think they can cling to the coattails of radical liberals like James Webb (whose voting record mirrors that of avowed socialist Bernie Sanders nearly down the line) and Mark Warner (ditto) they are in for a rude awakening.  Americans are fed up with out-of-control government - brought on by a host of Webb/Warners - and they are in a surly mood.

It's Come to Jesus time.  Either read and believe the happy horseshit that the Washington Post puts out or pay attention to the voter turnout in November.  And be careful.  You have only one chance at this.  Get it right.

Point, Counterpoint

The New York Times:

"Given the atmosphere of nasty partisan rhetoric, it's probably no surprise that not a single Senate Republican will support the current health care bill."

Given the overwhelming disapproval of the bill by the American people, it's probably no surprise that not a single Senate Democrat will oppose the current health care bill.

* See "Gallup: Public Support for Health Care Drops 21 Points in Four Weeks."

It's No Accident

Back-to-back headlines in this morning's New York Times:

• Senate Passes Health Care Overhaul on Party-Line Vote


• Senate Passes an Increase in Debt Limit

Speaks volumes.

Want To Know Why The Tea Partiers Are Enraged?

This is just the latest example of corruption, waste, and favoritism in Washington that must stop:
ObamaCare's Longshoremen Rules
Wall Street Journal editorial

President Obama praised the Senate yesterday for clearing a 60-40 procedural vote on his health plan in the dead of night and "standing up to the special interests who've prevented reform for decades and who are furiously lobbying against it now." They're furiously lobbying all right—not against ObamaCare but for the sundry preferences in the Senate bill.

Start with the special tax carve-outs included in the "manager's amendment" that Harry Reid dropped Saturday morning. White House budget director Peter Orszag has claimed that the bill's 40% excise tax on high-cost insurance plans is key to reducing health costs. Yet the Senate Majority Leader's new version specifically exempts "individuals whose primary work is longshore work." That would be the longshoremen's union, which has negotiated very costly insurance benefits. The well-connected dock workers join other union interests such as miners, electrical linemen, EMTs, construction workers, some farmers, fishermen, foresters, early retirees and others who are absolved from this tax.

In other words, controlling insurance costs is enormously important, unless your very costly insurance is provided by an important Democratic constituency.

The Reid bill also gives a pass on the excise tax to the 17 states with the highest health costs. This provision applied to only 10 states in a prior version, but other Senators made a fuss. So controlling health costs is enormously important, except in the places where health costs need the most control.

Or take a separate $6.7 billion annual "fee" on insurance companies that is supposed to be divvied up by market share. This beaut doesn't claim to be anything more than a revenue grab, but at the behest of Michigan Senator Carl Levin Democrats chose to apply it to some insurers and not others. Select companies incorporated as nonprofits will be exempt, even though nonprofits typically have net income exceeding for-profit companies because they pay no taxes. [link]
Contemptible.

And the worst part is, when confronted with the fact that this process is not only wrong but completely out of control, Washington politicians - Democrats to a man, but too many Republicans as well - dismiss the criticism saying, "This is how it's done here."  As if "this" is how their employers - us - the owners of this country - want it done.

Public opinion of Congress is at its lowest it's ever been.  Yet they blindly forge on with their shameful machinations.

Those in the Tea Party movement are mad as hell.  They should be.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wild, Wild Wytheville

I'm still trying to figure out what this was all about:
Man in wheelchair surrenders after Va. standoff
By Mitch Weiss, Associated Press

Wytheville, Va. (AP) - A disabled man in a wheelchair who authorities say held three people for more than eight hours inside a small-town Virginia post office surrendered to police after freeing the hostages unharmed.

Warren "Gator" Taylor of Sullivan County, Tenn., was being questioned and authorities did not have a motive, state police Sgt. Michael Conroy said.

The standoff began at about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday after Taylor, who has an artificial leg, pushed the wheelchair into the one-story post office in the mountain town of Wytheville in western Virginia, state police said. Shots were fired soon after Taylor entered the building, but no one was injured and at least two of the hostages were able to call family or friends.

About 8 1/2 hours later, authorities ordered the suspect to come out. The three hostages walked out first and Taylor followed, this time sitting in the wheelchair. Dozens of SWAT members surrounding the building armed with automatic weapons did not have to fire a shot. [link]
Paula is of the belief, since this "Gator" character has an extensive criminal record, that this was an effort on his part to be sent back to prison where he can get three square meals a day.  And he's in luck; committing a terrorist act against a federal property will get him just that.

What a weird story.

But everyone's safe.  Thank God.

It Just Goes On & On

What could be wrong with U.N. dignitaries getting together in Stockholm to discuss the plight of the world's poor?


Poor, shmoor.  They have their lifestyles to consider.

Ah, the land of make-believe.

Quote of the Day

From Glenn Reynolds:

"Will 2010 be the year of bankrupt governments? The trouble with socialism is, sooner or later you run out of other people’s money."

Truer words were never writ.

- - -

A side note:   I watched a rerun of the movie "Dave" the other night.  It's a charming story about a kind-hearted nobody (played by Kevin Kline) who finds himself suddenly thrust into the position of being president of the United States.  In the most poignant moment in the flick, "the president" says to a gathered press corps:

"If you've ever seen the look on somebody's face the day they finally get a job, I've had some experience with this, they look like they could fly. And its not about the paycheck, it's about respect, it's about looking in the mirror and knowing that you've done something valuable with your day. And if one person could start to feel this way, and then another person, and then another person, soon all these other problems may not seem so impossible. You don't really know how much you can do until you, stand up and decide to try."

Dave, you see, is a liberal.  And that's what liberals do.  They think it's their job to buy jobs for those who have none.  And it dawns on President Dave that he now has the power to "stand up and decide to try."

The problem with Dave's thinking - as well as that of every other liberal knucklehead - is that it isn't his money he's prepared to give away.  Dave feels good about himself because he thinks he's helping people when, in fact, he's helping no one.  He's taking advantage of "other people's money."  He's demanding that others help.  He's prepared to rob from people, regardless of their individual financial situations, just to feel good about himself.  It doesn't get any more cynical.

That's liberalism.

Yeah, it's just a movie.  But you can just bet every bleeding heart do-gooder in America came up out of his seat at the theater when that scene played out.

But, as Glenn Reynolds points out, that money - "other people's money" - eventually runs out.  Then what?

But It Did Get Him Elected

Quote of the Year

I always enjoy the Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting. If for no other reason(s) than the fact that the mainstream media members who are quoted give me fresh impetus to stay far, far away from them, and also because they send out a clear signal that if they are a fair representation of the left in this country, I am on the right side of history.

You can find the many awards that the Media Research Center handed out for 2009 here.

My personal favorite (well, "most favorite"; there were so many delicious favorites): In the category of "Let Us Fluff Your Pillow Award for Obsequious Obama Interviews" an obviously horny Katie Couric to her Love Daddy:

"“You’re so confident, Mr. President, and so focused. Is your confidence ever shaken? Do you ever wake up and say, ‘Damn, this is hard. Damn, I’m not going to get the things done I want to get done, and it’s just too politicized to really get accomplished the big things I want to accomplish’?

I can picture the enraptured cheerleader fondling Obama's bicep while asking that painfully embarrassing question.

Was it as orgasmic for Couric as it was for conservative Americans?  One can only imagine.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Obama Brings 'Change' To the White House

Beyond words.  Obama has the likeness of a communist who killed 70 million human beings adorning the people's Christmas tree.


For the love of God.  When will this nightmare end?

A 'True Believer' Becomes a Believer

This from a reporter who was, not long ago, in the tank for Al Gore:
From Global Warming Believer To Skeptic
By Bradley Fikes, North County Times

A few years ago, I accepted global warming theory with few doubts. I wrote several columns for this paper condemning what I thought were unfair attacks by skeptics and defending the climate scientists.

Boy, was I naive.

Since the Climategate emails and documents revealed active collusion to thwart skeptics and even outright fraud, I’ve been trying to correct the record of my earlier foolishness.

My mistake was assuming only the purest of motives of the global warming alarmists, while assuming the worst of the skeptics. In fact, the soi-disant moralists of the global warming movement can also exploit their agenda for profit.

Climategate jolted me into confronting the massive fraud and deception by top global warming scientists, who were in a position to twist the peer-review process in their favor, and did so shamelessly. [link]
Fikes goes on to point out that others in his profession have intentionally (he uses the word "desperately") tried to ignore the Climategate scandal.

But honest, rational people can't ignore it.  It goes to the heart of "climate science," making it circumspect and removing from it all vestiges of objectivity, openness, and fairness.

Climate science has proven itself - with the release of these damning emails - to be nothing more than junk science.



When you can't tell the difference between Miss Cleo and a Harvard PhD, there is a big, big problem.

Look On The Bright Side

Obamacare has its pluses:



To laugh.  To cry.

Opposed To Abortion?

Tough.

You're going to be paying for it anyway.

And if you refuse?


You will be imprisoned.

In the United States of America. 

Like a Bullet

Is it even possible that Barack Obama has disappointed so many people so quickly?

Apparently so.  Rasmussen reports:

So many broken promises.  So many dreams became nightmares.  And he has three years to make matters worse.

- - -

Gateway Pundit puts Obama's popularity - or lack thereof - into perspective:
At the end of his second term President George W. Bush had a 43% disapproval rating. [Mr. Hope&Change now stands at 46% disapproval]

In less than one year Barack Obama managed to pi$$ off more people than George W. Bush.

Nice work, Barack.
To think, except for a massive jump in tobacco taxes, we haven't even seen that big across-the-board tax increase yet.  But it's coming.  It's coming.

Expect Obama's disapproval numbers, at that point, to be right up there with Osama's.

Bluff Called

Remember when candidate Obama blamed Iran's militancy on George W. Bush?

Remember all the tough talk back then from the man whose previous experience in global politics came from his checking out National Geographic at the Chicago Public Library?

Remember that line drawn in the sand? If Iran doesn't come around by December, we're going to have to get tough.  Nasty tough.  George Bush tough.

It's December.
Ahmadinejad dismisses US deadline for nuclear deal
By Nasser Karimi, AP

Tehran, Iran (AP) - Iran's president on Tuesday dismissed a year-end deadline set by the Obama administration and the West for Tehran to accept a U.N.-drafted deal to swap enriched uranium for nuclear fuel. The United States warned Iran to take the deadline seriously.

President Barack Obama has set a rough deadline of the end of this year for Iran to respond to an offer of dialogue on the nuclear issue. Washington and its allies are warning of new, tougher sanctions on Iran if it doesn't respond. [link]
The man is laughing at you, Barry.  And at your tough talk.  What now?

If your efforts to block sanctions against Iran are any indication, your plan is to send out some more tough talk and nothing more.

Here's my prediction: Expect a June deadline for Iran to come around.  Or baaaaad things are going to happen.

Ahmadinejad must be shaking in his boots.

- - -

Ed Morrissey:


It's come to this.

More Guns, Less Crime

There are now some 270 million guns in the hands of private citizens in this country.  That's an average - nearly - of one per man, woman, and child.  Everyone is armed.  Now even the good guys.

And it shows.  Crime was down dramatically again last year:



 Newspaper editorialists are too stupid to make the connection between gun ownership and crime reduction, but the facts tell the story.  As gun purchases have skyrocketed - and the easing of gun restrictions has taken place across the country - crime has fallen precipitately.

From the FBI:
For the third year in a row, our Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report shows that violent crime, property crime, and arson have decreased. The latest report compares January-June 2009 figures with the same time period in 2008.


Crimes reported to our Uniform Crime Program are down collectively: violent crime overall decreased 4.4 percent, property crime is down 6.1 percent, and arson fell 8.2 percent.
Here's to the Second Amendment!   It's the one sure thing that keeps the wolves from the door.

Graphic courtesy of the Federal Bureau of Investigation

Angry Voters, Disinterested Politicians

Why "the mob" has taken to the streets, by Wendi Lynn G:
I, like many, have had those heart-pounding dreams where I'm battling evil. When trying to cry out, I cannot utter a sound. I try to get away, but my legs won't move. At the height of fear, I wake up, relieved that it was only a dream. I wake up every day realizing that the America in which I am currently living is this nightmare, and I wish it were only a bad dream.

Yes, yes, call us names like "astroturfer," "teabagger," and "angry mob." Such is the motif of our accusers in government who seem to think that we're angry because "our party" isn't in power, all the while neglecting the log within their own eyes that blocks their view of the truth. This hypocrisy and ignorance exemplify the reality behind why we're angry.

From day one of Obama's presidency, the dismantling commenced. We have continued to call and write to our elected officials. "We don't want the bailouts, spending, cap-and-trade, ObamaCare," etc. On April 15, 2009, I joined thousands across the country in attending our first protest. We wanted to be heard by our representatives. We believed that in addition to reading letters and fielding calls -- if they even did that -- perhaps our visibility would finally capture their attention. Then, at a town hall, the president un-presidentially and mockingly dismissed us, saying we were "waving tea bags around" like we're just a joke! As our disapproval and disagreement with the Obama agenda has grown ever louder, we have essentially asked, "can you hear us now?!" And the answer has been further dismissal, lack of acknowledgment, and blatant media attacks ...

We're trying in every way legally and officially possible to make clear that we don't want the radical meal we're being forced to eat. We fervently do not want to "fundamentally transform" America. But there is such a huge disconnect from our world to our representatives'. It's as if we are ghosts whom they can't see or hear! When someone refuses to listen, going so far as to ignore you, don't you shout louder? Doesn't it anger you? When you're attacked and belittled because you have to shout to be heard and you're still ignored, doesn't that infuriate you? These people miss that we passionately don't want what they want. The more they refuse to hear us, the more we try to make them. We are not going away.
Liberals from the northeast and from California, having "transformed" their own corners of this once great country into the cesspools they've become, are now trying to do to the USA what they have done to New York and New Jersey - and California.  Does it surprise anyone that Americans who love their country are alarmed - and angered - by such a prospect?

Yet Obama and his liberal ilk pound away.  And send this nation hurtling toward the abyss.

Wendi Lynn G says "We are not going away."  Let's hope she and patriots like her never lose heart.

Or we're truly doomed to the fate that Obama has in store for us.

Can Boucher Be Far Behind?

This comes as a surprise, and yet shouldn't:
A Democrat Defects
Wall Street Journal editorial

News from the Obama re-alignment watch: Alabama Congressman Parker Griffith announced yesterday that he plans to switch parties and become a Republican. At a press conference, the oncologist-turned-politician said he could not continue to align himself with a Democratic Party pushing a health-care bill that is "bad for our doctors . . . bad for our patients, and . . . bad for the young men and women who are considering going into the health-care field."

Our own view is that Mr. Griffith is the first Blue Dog casualty of this year's hard-left Democratic policy turn, but he decided to switch rather than fight next year. Many other Blue Dogs who voted for the stimulus, cap and tax, and health care are likely to experience a different kind of exit from the majority. [link]
Griffith's district went overwhelmingly for John McCain in 2008.  He denies the fact that that had anything to do with his decision to switch parties.  That may be, but in any case, the move can only help his chances for reelection.

Other southern Democrats are looking at similar demographic shifts and political realignments.  Like Congressman Rick Boucher of Virginia's 9th District.  Each election year the 9th (which has always been made up of of conservative voters) goes ever more Republican and Boucher knows that he is soon to be the odd man out.

Couple the shifting political winds with the fact that he really has no particular political ideology (he's big on guns and on abortion, coal and the environment, big government and unions; it's no accident - the NRA, the AFL-CIO, Sierra Club, and NARAL, along with AARP, have the big bucks and don't hesitate to shower him with it), and you can see him switching parties too.

Because Boucher's primary driving force is to get reelected.

Southwest Virginia has gone Republican.  So goes Rick Boucher?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Your Gov't Working For You

A Roanoke Times headline this morning:


And just in the nick of time:


Kinda reminds me of that movie about the Alamo where the American military rides to the rescue just in the nick of time to ... save ... well, you know how that story played out.

Well, thank God that the shelf life of the H1N1 vaccine allows for it to be warehoused till next year anyway.


Oops.

For the love of God.

Headline Of The Day

He's a lefty. He's not supposed to be consistent:

[Nobel winner Paul] Krugman 2005: Religious extremists will try to kill the filibuster. Krugman 2009: Let’s kill the filibuster.

Idiot.

Harmonic Convergence

Amusing.

What species on this planet is most likely to be driving one of those tiny, ugly, extremely expensive, low-range electric cars?

Liberals.

And what group generally is most likely to buy into We're-All-Doomed! health/life/cosmos scenarios? (global warming, secondhand smoke, electromagnetic radiation, caffeine, ozone holes, sugar, the arms race, Malthusian overpopulation, x-rays, Y2K, DDT, PCB's, genetically engineered foods, fossil fuels, chicken flu, butter, light pollution, swine flu, Christianity, Big Macs, animal growth hormones, Sarah Palin, radon, plastic baby bottles, nuclear energy, little hunks of metal that go bang! ...)?

Liberals.

Well, what's going to happen when those who (a) love their electric cars and (b) go through life frightened of just about everything find out that there's a good likelihood that they are going to die from ...

... electric cars!
Do Electric Cars Cause Cancer?
By Matthew DeBord, Slate

Obviously, however, an EV [electric vehicle] running off an electric motor with a battery that can weigh 600 lbs. raises the health-hazard issue: Does the electromagnetic field generated by the car pose a threat to drivers and passengers?

This question has been bandied around the blogosphere, and answered as best as can be, given limited research, much of which is extrapolated from EMF studies of the fields generated by power lines, cell phones, household appliances, and so on. The National Cancer Institute says that there are indications that EMFs can cause certain cancers, but the research is far from conclusive. EVs and hybrids haven’t been in the market long enough for studies to be done, although automakers have tested their vehicles for EMFs (conventional cars as well as hybrids and EVs), and found them to be within accepted limits. [link]
"The research is far from conclusive."  That means we're all going to die!  It's now a certainty!  Aaaaagggggghhhhh!

Liberal wieners.   They're such easy targets.

- - -


* And then there's range anxiety.

Aaaaggggghhhh!