Friday, April 08, 2011


“That’s how you know that the cause has actually become a movement, you look around and see a lot of new faces. It’s no longer just the usual suspects.”

The big news of this week is all about a potential government "shutdown" in which some parts of the federal government deemed non essential would be temporarily defunded until a budget can be completed. A few quick thoughts on the matter:
  • Obama's promise to veto anything Republicans passed means any shutdown is on his hands
  • Democrats failed for 2 years to pass a budget, merely passing continuing resolutions to keep funding things at a given level; they didn't want to go on record as voting for their idea of a budget.
  • Government "shutdowns" have virtually no effect on the country or citizens; a few places like national parks close, but this time of year that's hardly significant.
  • President Obama is apparently at present looking at "shutting down" military spending; in other words, during a time of war he wants to stop paying soldiers. The president can deem executive branch spending as essential and non-essential, even President Clinton didn't go there.
  • President Obama is going to go on vacation to Williamsburg to show how dedicated he is to getting a budget passed.
How bad is the budget deficit? Geoff at Ace of Spades has all the DOOM you need, including this information:
This is what the President and his crackerjack economic team have wrought. A one-year deficit that is so large that it can only be paid back if everything goes exactly right. And if everything goes exactly right, we’re still looking at decades before we can get back to the debt level we had only 6 months ago.

But, on the bright side, perhaps as early as 2023 we can start working on paying off the FY10 deficit.

So when the Dems start their caterwauling about how “extreme” the GOP’s suggestions are, just remind them that these “extreme” suggestions may not succeed in paying back even 1 year of Obama’s spending.
But trying to cut a tenth of a percent of the total budget is "extreme" and "draconian" to the Democrats. People will be dying in the streets if the federal government cuts the 3% that NPR
' budget gets from the federal government.

Coffins are the subject of a Right Wing News post by Van Helsing; in this case, woolen coffins. In an effort to come up with "green" coffins (and bilk gullible people), some British are weaving wool ones to biodegrade faster. Personally I don't care what you do with me when I die, but I like the idea of one commenter:
I've given strict instructions that I'm to be mailed to someone we don't like.
A viking funeral sounds good, too.

Sir Richard Branson, billionaire and the man behind Virgin Atlantic Records and other endeavors (such as a private space program) has another idea. Dan Nosowitz writes at Popular Science:
When Sir Richard Branson unveiled the Virgin Oceanic submarine, he noted that "More men have been to the moon than have been down further [underwater] than 20,000 feet." To that end, he and an explorer pal will take the submarine to the deepest trenches of the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Southern, and Arctic Oceans, feeding first-of-its-kind data and video to Google, to be added to Google's Earth and Maps databases. The deep sea is truly the final frontier on our planet, and Branson wants to make it as accessible as possible.

Virgin Oceanic is a five-journey proposal, in which they'll hit the Mariana Trench (Pacific), Puerto Rico Trench (Atlantic), Diamantina Trench (Indian), South Sandwich Trench (Southern), and Molloy Deep (Arctic). "They" is Sir Richard Branson (whose cojones can only be measured in cubic miles at this point) and Chris Welsh, an American pilot and explorer. The Puerto Rico Trench is the deepest trench known, and has never been explored.
Apparently the craft is able to get to 37,000 feet deep and dives at 350 feet a minute.

Although their support is still absurdly high, Blacks and are backing off of their once-stratospheric support of President Obama. According to Andrew Malcolm at the LA Times Blog:
...for unclear reasons [support by blacks] declined about 7% from well above 90% to 85% in March. That's a new low since Obama's inauguration 26 months ago.

Equally ominous for Obama in 2012, his approval among Hispanics, the nation's fastest-growing demographic, has also fallen to again tie his term low of 54%. That's a drop of 11 points from its early high of 65%.
When it comes to election time, that number will climb again for Blacks but will it for Hispanics? I doubt it. As Ace notes, this can only be explained by racism and hatred, as Jeaneane Garafalo stated. Plainly there can be no other reason for not supporting a radical leftist.

Few people really like jury duty, and some go out of their way to avoid it. A woman recently made it very clear in her questionnaire that she was very racist, and the judge deemed this a patently obvious attempt to get out of jury duty. His response: to hold her in the pool until the trial was over anyway as punishment. However, he has relented because you can't legally punish someone simply because you don't like their answers on a jury questionnaire. Its stupid to be bigoted, but not illegal.

Others are starting to notice that, unlike the Bush years, the "anti-war" movement simply isn't materializing despite President Obama's attack on Libya. If anything this is an even less legal attack than Iraq, and Obama has simply decided he doesn't need congressional approval. This appears to be even more blatantly about oil, but the left just doesn't care much. Scott Mclemee writes at Inside Higher Education:
...public opinion polls suggest that opposition to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq remains as high as it was during Bush’s second term, or higher. But the streets no longer fill with protesters. This coming weekend there will be antiwar demonstrations in New York (April 9) and San Francisco (April 10). They won’t be on the scale that became almost routine a few years ago, however, when hundreds of thousands of people attended such events. They will be one-tenth the size, more or less.
He suggests a major reason is because people voted for allegedly anti-war Democrats and figure that was enough, so why protest? However, that wasn't enough when Bush was in office, and people voted for Democrats. The big difference: Republicans were still in control of two branches of government. The "anti-war" protests were actually anti-Republican protests. Once Democrats had enough power they just gave up, even though nothing about the war had changed.

Egypt is heading the way conservatives warned and feared it would, but those fears were mocked and attacked by the left back in February. Now, the legacy media is admitting that they were wrong and the conservatives were right. Scott Rubin writes at Pajamas Media that the small "social media" revolutionaries were soon eclipsed by Muslim radicals, extremists that the legacy media thought were nice guys because they would open day care centers and schools. After all, the Muslim Brotherhood told Christiane Amanpour that they were nice guys, who could have predicted that they were hardline, Israel-hating radical Muslims... other than conservatives.

Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) had a problem. Her friend, who ran a bank, was so idiotic and irresponsible with investments and trading funds that she ruined the bank. What to do? Get Ms Waters to bail them out! R Jeffrey Smith tells the story in the Washington Post:
The claim that OneUnited benefited from assistance organized by Waters — whose husband held substantial stock in it — lies at the heart of unresolved House Ethics Committee charges. A special subcommittee alleged last spring that Waters’s actions related to the bank had brought discredit to the House, a claim that she has rejected.
FDIC officials complained that this was clearly unjust and probably unethical if not conflict of interest, but the Democrats in congress blocked hearings because it would be "too close to an election."

Playing favorites is something few people really appreciate in government, but it appears that the Obama administration is doing just that. ABC's World News did a bit on this, but the rest of the legacy media gave it a pass. Scott Whitlock at Newsbusters writes:
Reporter Brian Ross looked at investor Steve Westly and whether White House connections and fund-raising played a part: “Four companies tied to Westly have secured over a half billion dollars in loans and grants. And the White House has since had him appointed to a special advisory board for the Secretary of Energy.”

NBC and CBS have yet to cover this story and a report by the Government Accounting Office that “found officials were favoring some companies and disadvantaging others.” Ross explained, “Westly, in fact, boasts of his connections to the Obama administration. His website says his investment company is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the billions in government loans.”
Maybe they could ask Geoffrey Immelt of GE about getting special favors from the Obama administration then going to work for there. Leftists blew a gasket about Dick Cheney resigning from Halliburton and selling all his stock to become VP but they don't care a bit about this kind of thing.

According to Tom Brokaw, the Saudi Arabian government is so unhappy with the Obama administration that they're reaching out to Russia and China to form closer ties with those nations. Smart diplomacy at work, good thing we don't have that cowboy in charge who was upsetting our allies and enraging "Arab street."

Hummingbird nests are hard to find, they usually are high enough and on thin enough branches that predators can't get to them, and they're so small they are easy to miss. Here's a picture of one (yes, that's an ordinary fly on the branch next to it) from India Peaks Golf Course in Colorado (many more pics at the link).

I love hummingbirds, they are so fascinating and beautiful. They've always been around our homes as I grew up because mom made sure a feeder was out and filled for the tiny birds.

Wisconsin's Department of Justice studied the law and determined that because of agreements with Illinois, the police could have gone and captured the pathetic runaway legislators and forced them to show up in the state assembly. One catch: the study was done and sent in secret to the legislators, warning them to stay hidden or they might get nabbed. In other words, the WDOJ had people working in it who were helping these politicians find ways to avoid the law. Professor Jacobson at Legal Insurrection has the details.

Pakistan's government has concluded that anyone who quotes the Koran to try to argue against behavior of Muslims - or for any other reason than rote recitation - can be arrested and punished. You are not to study, question, or understand your faith, according to Islam, you are to obey and submit.

Yet another leftist has been arrested for sending death threats to Wisconsin politicians, this time a Portland Maine Democrat. Quite a few have been nailed for this lately but you just don't seem to see that in the legacy media for some reason, almost as if they don't want to report on it for some reason.

Weather Services International has predicted that the next few decades will be unusually cold in Europe. People living in Europe find this as no surprise, as for several years in a row it has been snowy and cold, particularly in places like England. That's why people don't tend to use the term "global warming" much any more; its not warming. Maybe this is one prediction that these guys can actually get right.

Meanwhile, George Moonbat Monbiot in the Guardian tries feebly to argue that global warming is actually causing cooling, and humans are still to blame so we should all submit to a global socialist tyranny and reduce our population and technology to 19th century levels.

China is continually held up as some economic colossus, the next superpower, overtaking the US with its immense wealth and power. The problem is, as a few people are pointing out, this is all based on misleading information and a house of cards that relies on US purchasing to continue. That's like saying a Chauffeur is rich and powerful because he gets paid by a billionaire. Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis has more details.

Most people are pretty unhappy at the rising price of fuel (other than folks like President Obama), and while the government is limited in what it can do to reduce fuel prices, it can make things worse. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell recently pointed out just how President Obama is doing that:
According to McConnell, “Over the past two years, the administration has undertaken what can only be described as a war on American energy. It’s cancelled dozens of drilling leases. It’s declared a moratorium on drilling off the Gulf Coast. It’s increased permit fees. It has prolonged public comment periods. In short, it’s done just about everything it can to keep our own energy sector from growing. As a result, thousands of U.S. workers have lost their jobs, as companies have been forced to look elsewhere for a better business climate.”
That all adds up over time, and everyone is feeling it in their wallet now.

Another industry attack is taking place, this time to ban the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) in children's toys. The drug is harmful to children, but there isn't any real evidence that it transfers to children from plastic toys and items, even when chewed on. Because of various reports, companies are moving away from using the chemical in children's products, but the fearmongering keeps going on. Is it truly harmful? Scientists can't say so, but the Oregon State legislature joined other states in banning the chemical from products sold in the state. The way the legislature has been acting lately, maybe that's why they got Rickrolled on Youtube.Link
Oregon isn't the only state with goofy lawmakers. Maryland's state legislature is looking at a bill to ban single-sex showers and restrooms in public areas because it discriminates on the basis of gender. The bill actually covers a lot of ground, primarily intended to make it possible for transexuals and drag queens to get into any bathroom they want, but it has broader impact than just this area. Here's a pdf of the bill.

Just so you know it doesn't only happen in the US (despite the depiction in popular media), here's some grim news. A gunman entered a school in Rio De Janeiro and killed 12 teenagers, then turned the gun on himself when a cop caught up with him. So far Chris Matthews hasn't been able to link him to the Tea Party Movement. By the way, the young man who shot up the school had recently converted to Islam.

And that's the Word Around the Net, April 8, 2011.

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