Friday, December 30, 2011


“May the stars shine all around you. May your courage never cease.”

World Giving
Troops are finally all home from Iraq, but there's no word of victory from the White House, and no plans for a parade. Why not? Because a parade signifies victory, and the Bush administration would get credit, humiliating the left in general and President Obama in specific after their years of opposition and insistence it was failure. And from the leftist mindset, celebrating victory hurts self esteem of others, so you just pretend it never happened.

Unfortunately, now that the US has no presence in Iraq, President Obama having directed the State Department to deliberately avoid having a base there, the place is starting to fall apart. There's been a huge series of bombings and chaos is starting to build up again now that there's nobody to keep the peace. Its almost as if as long as the Democrats keep doing what the Bush administration set up, it works, but when they change courses, it falls apart. People recall peace and stability there under Bush, but will the press bother reporting troubles there under Obama?

Donna Brazile wants to know why the Tea Party and Republicans are so upset at Democrats. I guess she didn't bother actually reading the signs or listening to what Tea Party rallies had to say, because we made it abundantly clear. What's funny is that she then launches into a hateful screed about how evil Republicans are, courtesy Weasel Zippers:
For that matter, what did seniors, women, students, folks that breathe air and drink water, and anyone who puts in an honest day’s work do to make Tea Party Republicans so angry and determined to attack us?
Now either she's so ignorant and clueless she is unable to work out that this is clearly someone who is so angry at Republicans she'll slander and lie about them, or she's just a crass, amoral political drone who spews anything for an advantage. Which is worse?

Forclosure is a process, not a result. You can foreclose on someone for not paying their mortgage, but it can take months if not years to actually get them out of the house so you can resell it (and hopefully only make minor repairs). Renters have known this for years, but Les Christie at CNN Money notes that banks are finding out how much fun the process can be.
Nationwide, the average time it takes to process a foreclosure -- from the first missed payment to the final foreclosure auction -- has climbed to 674 days from 253 days just four years ago, according to LPS Applied Analytics.

It takes much longer than that in Florida, where the process averages 1,027 days, nearly 3 years. In D.C., foreclosure averages 1,053 days and delinquent borrowers in New York often stay in their homes for an average of 906 days.
Its hard to blame home owners for being surly about being thrown out of their house, but... don't buy something you can't afford, right?

South Korea's Kongju National University has produced a new paper that establishes firmly the existence of something anyone with common sense (and the ACU guys worried about people demonstrating in Climaquiddick I emails): urban areas are warmer than rural. This "heat island effect" matters for three reasons. First, most temperature stations are actually in an urban area. Second, most of the planet by a factor of like a thousand is rural, not urban. Yes, New Yorkers, the bulk of the world - even your own state - is quite rural. And finally, climate alarmists adjust rural temperature stations to more closely match urban data. Which throws into question the entire warming curve we've been told about over and over.

You probably aren't reading European newspapers, particularly their financial sections, but they're panicking a bit this week. The Euro dropped significantly against the dollar just after Christmas and has continued downhill since then. Its almost as if they were all hanging on for dear life trying to make it past the holidays and have finally given up. Given how emasculated the great states of Europe have become, war isn't likely, but with how big the EU economy is, a collapse there will tip the US over the edge and I fear the whole world will see a depression on a scale that will make the Dark Ages seem familiar. Pray we make it through somehow without this happening, for the sake of the poorest and weakest among us.

Euro vs Dollar
News that will surprise no one who has been through a recent world disaster: the US leads the world in charitable giving. You'd expect the US to do well, since it is the richest nation on earth, but the way people talk about America, you would never expect it to be first, but as an American, I knew it was true. Every time there was a big disaster under President Bush, the usual suspects complained that other nations gave more money than the US, but what they really meant was other nations' governments gave more. The US people are who are generous. The better the economy and lower the taxes, the more US citizens give to charity, too.

Climaquiddick II emails keep being revealed. One has Michael "Piltdown" Mann passing on some code to an alarmist ally, cautioning them to "not let it fall in the wrong hands." Because nothing says good science like keeping your work hidden and secret.

Shocking news out of Jerusalem: there's a greater push to kidnap Israeli Soldiers after they gave a thousand prisoners away to get one free. Its almost as if rewarding behavior results in more of it, or something.

Attorney General Holder is quite put out by deaths caused by illegal guns. No, not Fast & Furious guns walked to drug gangs deliberately by the US Justice Department, he's still denying that. This is about pushback. The gun control effort of Gunwalker has boomeranged, so the left is trying to sell a narrative about dangerous guns again.

Another pattern in the Climaquiddick II emails is the experts keep privately admitting to each other that they are confused, uncertain, or have too little data to make conclusions which in public they insist are absolute, certain, finished, and completely reliable. For example, this from Phil Jones, former head of ACU:
Bottom line - their is no way the MWP (whenever it was) was as warm globally as the last 20 years. There is also no way a whole decade in the LIA period was more than 1 deg C on a global basis cooler than the 1961-90 mean. This is all gut feeling, no science...
He also states that the Hockey Stick graph is at the very least a "sloppy piece of work."

Part of this pushback effort is a recent New York Times piece by Michael Luo that tried to portray concealed carry licensee as dangerous gun wielding maniacs. While its unfortunately true that 200 CCL holders were convicted for felonies over a five year period in New York City, there are 240,000 people who are licensed to hold a gun in that city alone, or .08% of their numbers convicted. That's not exactly a trend, its not even statistically significant. Instapundit has even more problems with the article on his site.

Kevin D. Williamson at National Review Online has a disturbingly informative piece up about the Obama administration's crony ties with big finance and the deals made behind the scenes. He lists all the names of the financial corporate stooges working in the White House:
Obama’s first National Economic Council director, Lawrence Summers (of hedge-fund giant D. E. Shaw and venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz), who has had some nice paydays courtesy of Lehman Bros., JPMorgan Chase, and Citigroup. Let’s hear it for Citigroup’s Michael Froman, deputy assistant to the president and deputy national-security adviser for international economic affairs, for Hartford Financial’s Neal Wolin, deputy Treasury secretary, for JPMorgan’s William Daley, Obama’s chief of staff, and for his predecessor, Rahm Emanuel of Wasserstein Perella. Let’s hear it for Fannie Mae’s Tom Donilon, national-security adviser. (No, seriously: One of the luminous interstellar geniuses who brought Fannie Mae to its current aphotic state of affairs, upside down to the tune of trillions of dollars, is running national security, and the former director of the White House Military Office, Louis Caldera, was on the board of IndyMac when it finally went toes up — sleep tight, America!) And, lest we forget, let’s have three big, sloppy cheers for economic-transition team leaders Robert Rubin (Goldman Sachs, Citigroup) and folksy tax enthusiast/ghoulish billionaire vulture Warren Buffett.
And that doesn't include Geithner, who cut special deals for major finance corporations both before and after becoming Treasury Secretary. He was working with these cronies to help them for both Bush and Obama. I don't think President Obama is deliberately in bed with these guys, other than for campaign finance. I think he's just too ignorant and easily gulled and they have been pulling quick ones on him for years. Not exactly presidential material.

Although he wasn't trying to, an alarmist climate scientist named Rahmsdorf proved that the natural variability of climate is greater than presumed "forcing" by CO2 concentrations, almost as if some vast external energy source, perhaps as big as the sun, is the primary driver of climate.

Solyndra is the focus of a recent Washington Post article about how deeply and totally politics went into the loan guarantees and grants given the failing company from Stimulus dollars. Again, I suspect this has more to do with a gullible and credulous Obama administration being gamed by slick corporate guys than any deliberate corruption - I think the president really thought this was a smart idea that would transform the economy.

ACORN raises its ugly head once more. This time its voter fraud convictions in New York State. This one is about absentee ballot fraud (mail in voting - the only kind allowed in Oregon).
One of the Democratic operatives who pleaded guilty, Anthony Defiglio, told New York state police in 2009 that absentee ballot fraud works. “This is an ongoing scheme and it occurs on both sides of the aisle. The people who are targeted live in low-income housing and there is a sense that they are a lot less likely to ask any questions.
I'm a bit skeptical about how much Republicans do this; it wouldn't surprise me if they did, they just hold virtually no political power in New York State against a vastly powerful Democratic Party machine.

Gore on his global climate alarmist snake oil sale trips keeps claiming that the big oil complex has a memo leaked out stating "reposition global warming as a theory rather than fact" as a strategy. Now, setting aside the truth that global warming is absolutely theory rather than fact, there's a problem with this supposed "smoking gun." Its nowhere to be found. Al Gore has listed two different sources of it, neither of which actually have the information he claims. Russel Cook tore through the internet and Nexis/Lexis database looking for it and it doesn't exist. Al Gore just made it up, because its convenient for him. By now he probably even believes its real.

President Obama's "stimulus" money was meant to kickstart the economy and we were told it would be primarily to rebuild infrastructure. The problem is that most of the money went for stuff other than infrastructure, such as billions for "green" energy startups that are dropping like flies. A large chunk of the rest went to leftist schemes which even if economically viable wouldn't show results for years, if not decades. Then there's stuff like this: $1.5 million went to a program to encourage inner city residents to get online. This would have zero economic benefit but its one of those lefty dream schemes that got piled on the "stimulus" package like spiderlings on the back of a Wolf Spider. The money went to pay already rich, successful movie and television types to make shows that feature inner city people on the internet. In other words, it was a subsidy for entertainment, that impoverished, struggling sector of the economy.

Back in 2008, the New York Times ran a story all about how the Pentagon was manipulating the press, controlling stories, lying to the press, and had cultivated “military analysts” in a “Trojan Horse” campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the the War on Terror. At the time I remember thinking "if that's true, they must really suck at it" because the coverage was relentlessly hostile and negative. David Barstow won a Pulitzer Prize for the article (he fulfilled the basic requirement of kicking the military or US in the pills). Well the Pentagon's Inspector General (you know, those guys that keep finding stuff out that upsets and annoys the departments they cover) looked it over and found absolutely no evidence to support this story. The NYT ran a little piece on how it turns out their story wasn't true, but the buried it on page A20. They have no plans to give back the Pulitzer.

Drones have been busy for about 20 years now, with the most active use of them starting under President Bush in the War on Terror. For almost a decade we read about how they were gathering intelligence, saw footage of them in action, and read about how they would take out Taliban leaders and terrorist hives. Yet only now does the Washington Post write a piece about how effective these weapons are, and they give credit to... President Obama. The name of the article is "Under Obama, an emerging global apparatus for drone killing." I'm not making this up. Obama has been using the drones, following on established procedure and method that the Bush administration set up. But he's doing so after years of them being used already, not creating some new apparatus.

Occupy is pretty much done with now, although I'm sure they'll try to start up again next year. Yet their big issue was how evil it was that only 1% controlled so much money, how dare they! They called themselves the 99%, which as Speaker Boehner pointed out is erroneous, they're part of the 100% Americans (presumably). Yet the backers, the financial machine behind the occupy movement is... the 1%. 25% of the backers of the Occupy movement are worth $4 billion dollars or more. It takes a lot of money to let people stay in tents for weeks at a time without working or doing anything productive. They have to be given food and supplies, lots of media attention, paper machet heads, and so on. All that costs money. This is yet another example of how everything the left accused the Tea Party movement of being, Occupy actually is. Racist, violent, radical, mostly male, mostly white, astroturf, run by the wealthy, you name it.

Girl scouts, primarily known for their cookies and cute uniforms, are one of the left's targets. The problem with the scouting organizations is that they're so traditional, so old fashioned, and have a creepy military vibe (if you're a leftist). So its no surprise they're continually targeted, and recently several chapters have just shut down because of a push to get "transgendered" boys into their ranks. If you're 8 years old, you're too young to be swapping sexes. You don't even know who you are, let alone if you're really a secret girl inside a boy's body.

Meanwhile, the long march through the institutions that the socialists in America have been working on has reached the Girl Scouts in other ways. In their official material, they include the hard left, Soros-run, deliberately biased organization Media Matters as a go-to source for news fact checking. Its never too early to start indoctrinating girls into the left's viewpoint.

AARP is pretty blatantly a Democratic Party machine, but like Media Matters, it still enjoys Tax Exempt status. Well, three Republican congressmen have requested that the IRS take a look at this status to see if they're violating it and deserve continued protection from taxation. The IRS is probably torn between gathering more taxes and being controlled by Democrats who'd rather the AARP was left alone.

More Democrats are abandoning ship. Every time a major shift in power is in the wind, congressmen start retiring or changing parties; Republicans did it in 2006 and 2008. Why? Well, they lose their ability to control the money flow if their part is out of power, and they can't cash in on sweet lobbyist and corporate no-work gigs if they aren't any use to the companies any longer. Best to get out while you can get a benefit out of it. And besides, it takes huge ego to run for high office, and if you know you can't win, that's a pretty big blow to the ego.

One of these congressmen retiring is Ben Nelson, Democrat from Nebraska. As I wrote last year, Nelson sold out his constituents for big money to his state, and the voters there were outraged. Ten years ago or so, you could get away with that; five years, even. These days, people hear about it and don't forget.

Austria, like a lot of European states, has pretty restrictive laws designed to protect Islam. They're ostensibly to protect religion, but many only came into being recently and only are used to stop people from criticizing Islam. The most recent case is Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff who gave a talk in which she noted that Muhammad was a pedophile for sleeping with a nine-year-old girl (Aisha, reported in the Hadith and an event unquestioned by Muslims although some try to push her age up a few years). The judge ruled that since Muhammad stayed married to her until he died, he wasn't really a pedophile, so the statement was a slanderous attack on a religion. The sentence was 60 days in jail or a €480 (about $600) fine. It would have been more, but the judge recognized that as a poor single housewife, she can't afford to pay much. Your speech is free, unless you speak about Islam in a manner that annoys Muslims. Which doesn't take much.

Occupy is "sexy" according to the Smithsonian Institute, which is gathering debris and materials from the events. Apparently the people working there think lice, dysentery, rape, and feces is sexy stuff.

Here's the fastest selling single in England in six years. Its the number one song, and its not by Lady Gaga or Lil' Wayne. Its by military wives, singing a song to their husbands on Christmas and sending their love out. Be ready to tear up:

What a wonderful gift for those men.

Less pleasant news is the bombing on Christmas that killed 40 Christians worshiping in churches. Nigeria has one of the older Christian communities on earth, but Muslims hate them and want them destroyed. What they don't seem to realize is that while Islam thrives in conquest, Christianity thrives in persecution.

GoDaddy has built quite a net empire by offering cheap web hosting and advertising with hot babes. However, they made a severe blunder recently by backing the Stop Online Piracy Act which is basically a combination between an increase in US government control over the internet and massive protection laws for big entertainment. 21,000 people left GoDaddy for other hosts in one day of protest, and more have followed since. Let that be a lesson to other businesses.

Mining is permitted in various parts of the country, but the restrictions on this critical industry are growing every year. Recently the 9th circuit court (yes, the most reliably leftist and overturned federal court in America) upheld a federal law banning building any new roads into designated forested areas. In Montana, a judge upheld a law that restricts mining to these conditions:
  • The drill sites must be cleared using hand tools,
  • The drilling equipment and fuel must be transported to the site by a team of pack mules,
  • The mules must be fed certified weed-free hay, and
  • Drill site and trail reclamation must be done using hand tools.
So you can mine, but you have to do it by hand, can't take a road, can only use mules, and they can only eat special government-approved food. How the west was lost.

This tweet by the Obama administration had a lot of people laughing. As Jim Hoft says at Gateway Pundit: "No wonder the economy sucks, the Obama administration can't add."

Also by Jim Hoft is this point. Its great that people are finally getting to vet the old newsletters that Ron Paul campaigned on and said represented his positions on topics. They're full of wierd conspiracy theories, racist comments, and gay bashing. But what about all those Trinity Church bulletins and sermons the press couldn't bother looking into about President Obama? There's still time, he's running for president again. Maybe this time you can vet the guy?

Finally, remember when President Obama campaigned on a promise to raise energy prices? Remember when he said that several times as a presidential candidate? Well he's not kept most of his promises, but he's keeping this one.
As CNBC reported earlier this week, the typical American family will spend the largest portion ever of its budget -- 8.4 percent -- on gasoline this year. Economists expect the average price of a gallon of gas to be $3.53, a 76-cent increase over 2010.
But that's not inflation inflation, we don't count energy and food prices for official inflation numbers. Regular people don't use either, apparently.

And that's the Word Around the Net for December 30, 2011. See you next year!

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