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CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR'S BOOKS

Friday, September 23, 2011

WORD AROUND THE NET

"As I walk around the Capitol, the only black folks I see are slaves holding the %*@#(!& horses."
-Representative Rangel, 2007

Union Thug
Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) has an image he wants you to see. Its a breakdown of how much 35 states got in "stimulus" dollars for infrastructure. The failed "green" energy company Solyndra got more "stimulus" dollars than all of these 35 states, a total of $535,000,000.

Meanwhile, the Solyndra execs plan on "taking the fifth" in their testimony before congress. Nobody has ever done this in the history of mankind because they were innocent of what they were charged with.

A recent study by the Ohio Department of Insurance (courtesy Don Surber) states that the Government Health Insurance Takeover Act will increase insurance premiums by 55%-85% when it takes full effect. And that's by design; the purpose of this bill is to destroy private insurance and force a "crisis" which can only be solved by socialized medicine.

Recently a book came out which claims that the Obama administration is a "hostile workplace" for the women working there. The idea of Rahm Emmanuel running anything less than a hostile workplace is hardly surprising - and President Obama's comment to a female reporter "Hold, hold on one second, sweetie—we're gonna do, we'll do a press availability..." suggests a less than progressive attitude toward women. But I can't help but agree with Jim Geraghty at National Review Online:
I’m just going to go out on a limb and offer the insane theory that if you had to pick the group of people most prone to complaining that they’re being ignored and disrespected, you would probably pick a bunch of Democratic political staffers, lawyers, academics, apparatchiks and wonks, no?
That's pretty much what I was thinking when I first read about the complaint. Its not possible to treat a hyper-sensitive leftist radical woman in a manner she fails to find paternalistic and offensive.

President Bush was elected on promises to "reach across the aisle," work with Democrats, and heal the divide in the nation, and unlike his successor, actually tried really hard to do so when in office. One early example was the 'No Child Left Behind' act, which he co-wrote with uber leftist Senator Kennedy (D-MA). Teachers hate the bill, schools hate the bill, pretty much everyone complains about it, although it has some excellent provisions in it (such as allowing parents to pick other schools if their kid's school sucks bad enough). President Obama is reworking that bill now, eliminating some of the more union-unfriendly parts.
On Friday, Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan are scheduled to detail plans to waive some of the law’s toughest requirements, including that schools ensure that every student be proficient in math and reading by 2014 or risk escalating sanctions.

In exchange for relief, the administration will require a quid pro quo: States must adopt changes that could include the expansion of charter schools, linking teacher evaluation to student performance and upgrading academic standards. As many as 45 states are expected to seek waivers.
And we all know how much the Obama administration loves to hand out waivers. Requiring schools to properly teach math and reading is so old fashioned, we've evolved past that. Of course, this won't be sent to congress to actually get a new bill, no he's just rewriting it and intends to enforce the new law without bothering to have it passed.

Unions fought long and hard for the private ballot to protect workers from business retaliation and intimidation. Now, as Unions wane, they're fighting long and hard to get rid of it, so they can engage in retaliation and intimidation. In Connecticut, the governor has issued two executive orders. The first requires daycares to pay union dues (the state is a closed shop: you either join a union or pay dues anyway) which they were exempt from before. The second eliminates the secret ballot from union votes. This is following President Obama's executive style, as the Connecticut state legislature failed to pass a bill with these elements, so he's just ordering it to happen anyway.

Related to this is the Obama Administration's new rules they're trying to implement. Warner Todd Huston explains at Right Wing News:
This month the DOL has a public comment period on a 160 page rule change and tucked into that new rule is a section that will require staffing agencies to file with the government when they supply temp workers to businesses experiencing strikes, walkouts, or slow downs initiated by unions.

The new rule seems to also require that the people these temp agencies hire to also file their names and addresses with the DOL via a new form they would have to fill out. (See Labor Union Report for a copy of the form in question and for more technical info on this rule.)

The only possible reason that anyone would want to make personal information about replacement and temporary workers during union strikes public is intimidation and even potential violence. This is just part of the "Save the Unions" push by the Obama administration.

Former Vice President Al Gore's 24 hour slide show stunt netted him $8,600,000 viewers, he claims. Except the actual number was actually 17,000 worldwide. Well, the man has established that he thinks science, numbers, and data means only what he wants it to with his climate change hysteria.

On*Star always seemed like an incredibly bad idea to me. The service lets a company unlock your car, start or kill the engine, and continually tracks your location via satellite. That just strikes me as begging for someone to use it to take your car. Previously the company kept all its records private, but it turns out that even after you've canceled the service its still keeping track of your car.

And with the GM bailout and government takeover, now On*Star's data is no longer secret, but the US government has access to it. The service tracks your fuel economy, your location and travel, your mileage, and even if you're wearing your seatbelt. All your billing information and the rest of that data is now out for sale:
OnStar has granted themselves the right to collecting and selling this personal information for any purpose, at any time, provided that following collection of such location and speed information identifiable to your Vehicle, it is shared only on an anonymized basis.”
And people are upset at Netflix? As if people needed another reason not to buy GM cars.

Representative Charlie Rangel (D-NY) is one of the most corrupt congressmen in office today. He was censured (lightly) by the Pelosi House for violating tax laws and ethics rules and is still under investigation by the IRS. Apparently that means nothing to the House of Representatives, who are planning to honor Rangel with a new painting hung in the capitol building and a ceremony. Rangel is still on the House Ways and Means committee. And the GOP is proving yet again it hasn't learned a thing.

President Obama worked for ACORN as a legal advisor and had ties with them in his Community Organizer role. His administration has, in direct violation of US law passed last year, fed the corrupt, lawless lefty group almost $800,000 through the Housing and Urban Development department. The most recent grant was the second of this month, for "housing counseling” in Philadelphia. Maybe they can get a grant for advising pimps about underage prostitution and tax evasion.

Ron Paul has some good ideas and is a useful voice in debates, but here's one example why I could never vote for him: he thinks lunatic Democrat Kucinich would be great for a cabinet position in a new "Department of Peace."

Lightsquared isn't getting as much attention as Solyndra, but that's the telecommunications company that the Obama administration pressured a general to change his testimony about. President Obama has been invested in this company for years, and here are a few tidbits about the company:
  • LightSquared's main lobbying firm is owned by Norman Brownstein, a major fundraiser for Obama's 2008 nominating convention.
  • George Soros is an investor in the company.
  • telecom- and tech-related liberal nonprofits Soros funds have gone to bat for LightSquared in its various policy fights.
  • A second figure has stated the White House leaned on them to change testimony.
  • Emails have surfaced showing LightSquared executives discussing donations to Obama's campaign in policy conversations with White House officials.
This isn't as big a scandal as Solyndra, but it doesn't benefit from the dubious virtue of being "green" energy either.

Fraud in welfare programs and "entitlements" is an ongoing problem, as shown by a recent report that unemployment cheats pulled in $16.5 billion dollars last year. This is why Michigan recently passed a law that cuts off people from welfare benefits after several years of continuous coverage: leaving it open ended simply encourages fraud.

Unemployment isn't the only spot with this kind of problem. Retirees getting benefits from the federal government continue after death. Every year, an average of $120,000,000 is paid to deceased former government employees, according to another report. But government under either major party can't seem to find any way to make cuts.

Syria is erupting with violence as the hard line Assad government fights against rebelling locals. Who or what would replace Assad is unclear, but there's a chance that a lot of secrets and hidden material from Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq may come to light if the Assad government collapses.

Faux hate crimes, sometimes it seems like there's more of them than actual "hate crimes" in America, assuming you even accept the validity of such a category. The most recent example is of a man who mailed threatening, racist letters to the O'Fallon police department, claiming to be from the KKK. It turns out the man is black and the letters were all fake, but his motivation is unclear, unless it was just to make the situation seem more dire for local blacks than it really was.

Some are saying we've crossed the line, that the recent stock market dump was not so much the problem as the reason behind why it took place. I don't know for certain but these economic numbers from Pro Publica are pretty grim:
None of that adds up to any good.

In response to poor economic policy, incompetence and lack of solid leadership in the US, Israel has dumped 46% of its US Treasury Bills. Russia has dumped 95% of theirs. The US is not seen as a solid investment and people are getting ready for really hard times.

In response, New York Times editor Bill Keller claims that all this is the fault of Republican economic saboteurs and George Bush.
Obama inherited a country in such distress that his Inaugural Address alluded to George Washington at Valley Forge, marking “this winter of our hardship.” Unfunded wars, supply-side deficits, twin housing and banking crises enabled by an orgy of regulatory permissiveness — that was the legacy Obama assumed.
...
And the Republicans have been relentlessly effective at rebranding every failing of the Bush administration as Obama’s fault. The historical truth, therefore, is no longer a viable political shelter for the Obama presidency. At best we can hope it serves as a caution against those who preach a return to the indiscriminate tax cuts and regulatory free-for-all that helped produce our lingering mess in the first place.
Well its either that or the left's economic ideas are idiotic and failed, and we can't admit that, can we?

Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick declared last week "car free" week to encourage people to take public transportation, walk, and bicycle to places. The idea was to promote cutting back on traffic and "green" alternatives to driving. He was caught on camera driving his SUV around that week. I don't so much begrudge the governor driving himself around so much as telling others they should an then taking personal trips in a car. Hey, Governor Patrick, maybe they drive around for the same reasons you do huh?

Former President Clinton remarked recently that God may not want peace in the Middle East. Hey guess what: clearly He doesn't right now because there isn't peace there. Either God is sovereign and in control of what happens or he's not. The God Bill Clinton professes to believe in is absolutely sovereign.

And that's the Word Around the Net for September 23, 2011.

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