Friday, April 20, 2012


"Obama – the Quixote of deficit slayers"

Himalayan Glacier
Matthew Yglecias is one of the more respected and intelligent leftist bloggers out there, and like Kevin Drum or Markos Zuniga gets read by left leaning pundits and reporters, quoted, and invited to talking head shows to discuss politics. And here's a sample of his thinking, courtesy Legal Insurrection:
“Barack Obama Deficit-Slayer”, by Matthew Yglesias, June 22, 2009

As the economy recovers, tax revenues will rise, social safety net outlays will fall, and stimulus measures will begin to tamp down. If we can assume further growth in 2011, the complete expiry of Recovery Act provisions, and the winding down of the Iraq War, that’ll be further deficit reduction.
Now, ultimately there's nothing wrong with his argument here except his initial premise: the "stimulus" package will turn the economy around. If it had worked yes, things would have largely gone as predicted. Except not only did it not work, it could not work, and he should have known better. And we told you so, Matt.

European nations signed away their sovereignty to a bunch of unelected leftist twits in forming the European Union, and no aspect of their lives is beneath regulation and meddling any longer. For example, this story out of the Telegraph in Australia (courtesy Don Surber):
A health and safety directive orders stylists to wear ‘non-slip soles’ when they are cutting hair and bans wedding rings and watches as unhygienic.

The plans will see hairdressers told not to let staff do too many haircuts in one day to prevent ‘emotional collapses’.

And the bizarre rules will tell salon workers to have a regular ‘social dialogue’ – code for gossipy chats – to encourage ‘mental wellbeing’ in the workplace.

The National Hairdressers’ Federation warns the plans will cost the UK industry £3million a year in wasted time and red tape.
Yes, they have to gossip, by law, with people they are styling and cutting.

Since the very start, conservatives have pointed out that the Government Health Insurance Takeover Act was a budget busting piece of tyrannical junk, but congress and the CBO played lots of accounting games to make it seem like it would reduce the deficit. Well eventually the games failed and even left leaning media outlets like the Washington Post had to admit that it was going to cost far more than claimed and increase the debt. Except as the Ombudsman for the Post explains, they deliberately buried that clarification:
Putting the story (inside the paper) on A3 was the right judgment for a print publication. (Story author Lori) Montgomery urged her editors, correctly, not to put it on the front page: it wasn’t worth that.
Oh no of course not, its a huge, hot button issue whose cost is under fierce contention during an election year, so its not really something people need or want to know about. Their job isn't informing, its instructing, apparently. Well give the guy credit, he can't just come out and say "it would hurt Democrats," so he works hard to develop a credible excuse.

Twitter has struck again. Providing unwise people an instant forum of tiny quips to spew at the world has proved entertaining, if not constructive. This time it was Maine Democrat Representative Chuck Kreuger, who said "Cheney deserves same final end he gave Saddam," and "Hope there are cell cams." He's falling back on the "it was a joke" defense. The wierd thing is that Democrats used to love Cheney, and called his addition to the Bush white house a very good thing that lent the presidential ticket "gravitas."

Tim Tebow attended a Yankees baseball game, and when he was shown on the big on field screen, the crowd... booed. No, he didn't say anything recently to criticize New York City. No, he wasn't part of a contentious game between Denver and the Jets. He was recently traded to the Jets. What on earth is going on? Well New York City is home to some of the nastiest, bitterest leftists on earth, and they can't stand his open Christianity. He represents middle America Republican voting small town folks, and they despise that kind of thing in New York City. And, lets be honest, not a few Yankees fans are jerks.

Parents and educators (and especially reporters) are increasingly alarmed by the horror of bullying online, but a new study shows that actual students are less concerned. It turns out that these kids are significantly more jaded to mean statements and personal attacks online than adults, who have lived by rules of politeness and what you don't say to others their whole lives and are shocked by what they see online. Kids shrug off what enrages me online.

President Obama's schedule these days is mostly fundraising and campaigning, as it is with most presidents this time of the election year. Which begs the question: how on earth can they do their job? If they can get by with this little focus on the real job of being president during an election year, why not the rest of the time, or are they just blowing off their duties to maintain power? Back about 100 years ago, presidents didn't campaign much, they stayed at the office. These days its a full time job just to get reelected. Maybe we should restrict all presidents to one term?

Somali Muslims in Tennessee and Minnesota are on trial for a two-state prostitution ring involving girls as young as 12 years old. Thirty-nine defendants including one Laotian and one Ethiopian are on trial now, and their defense are claiming cultural differences and teen age rebellion is to blame instead of a sex trafficking ring. Conspicuously missing in most of the news reports: the religion of the Somalis.

First we were told that the Himalayan Glaciers were melting away at an alarming rate. Then we learned that the people who claimed this just guessed it and had not even bothered to check. Now we learn that these glaciers are actually growing, not melting away, along with many other places around the world. And Al Gore wonders why people are increasingly skeptical of his snake oil road show.

Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Patrick McHenry (R-NC) has some questions for Attorney General Eric Holder. He wants to know why it is the Justice Department intervened in a state case that the federal government has no jurisdiction or place in. The authorities in St Paul Minnesota were trying to get housing owners to get their buildings up to code. These owners happened to be black. Holder filed a civil rights suit to stop the authorities from penalizing these housing owners and the court threw out the case. Now McHenry wants to know why the Justice Department interfered in the case to begin with.

This week was the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Act, which officially freed all slaves in America. This was the result of the bloody, awful Civil War which, led by Republican president Abraham Lincoln, forced the South to free all slaves. Republicans in congress passed the bill over Democratic Party objections, and the vote was unanimous. All Republicans voted for it. All Democrats voted against it. A Republican, Henry Wilson from Massachusetts wrote the bill. Grateful freed slaves sculpted and donated the statue "freedom" which now sits atop the capitol building in Washington DC. Just something you might want to pass along.

Thinkers such a James Tunstead Burtchaell and C Everett Koop have been warning about this for decades, but the first true rumbles have only started recently. Two British ethicists have written in an Oxford journal all about how babies - not unborn, but delivered alive - have no "moral status" and only are "potential persons" and hence can be killed without qualm, particularly if they are handicapped. Well, why not? Nothing magical happens by exiting a mother, a baby is just as much a human baby inside the womb as outside. All they are doing is being consistent and following the pro-abortion argument through. Remember: with no ethical foundation, anything is permissible.

Paper or plastic? In Los Angeles, it may be neither. The city council is looking at a ban on both, forcing everyone to buy and use those cloth bags or baskets for their shopping. Ah, I remember the days back in the 80s when paper bags were killing too many trees and the environmentalists demanded we use plastic bags instead.

President Obama is the darling of the left and feminists, but like President Clinton before him has problems with how to treat women. In fact, women who work at the White House complain its a horrible place to work, with men in charge everywhere. Although the statistic is misleading, Obama pays women 16% less than he does men (I mention it because almost all proportional pay statistics are misleading, so why not be consistent?). Given the kind of leftist women that would work for President Obama, you have to question how bad it really is, but you'd think they would be less enthusiastic in their support of this guy.

Seymore Hersch is a prime example of an awful person using journalism for his personal agenda, who got famous for attacking America and has been riding it ever since. Considered a saint by most leftists for his distorted and misleading Mai Lai "massacre" story, he recently all but admitted that he inventedsome of the evidence used in his book on the Kennedies.

Competition, long despised by the left for making some people feel bad (usually them), is so hated that its crushing athletic events. Two soccer (football) coaches in England set up a match with under-11-year-old players, and got suspended a year for their efforts. Why? Because it ran afoul of anti-competition rules.
Russell Hughes-Pickering and Dilwyn Roberts-Young, who give up hours of their time to run a junior league, were disciplined and ordered to step down for 12 months following a complaint.

They were accused of breaching the Central Wales Football Association’s regulations, which ban under-11s from taking part in competitive matches.

To protect the losing side, rules dictate that teams belonging to the league must play each other on a friendly basis, with no league table or points being recorded.
The horror! Children competing? What will happen next, will they get graded on tests?? This is the environment in which the "occupy" movement grew up: protection from failure and difficulty that ends when you face real life and throw a tantrum.

Pointman has a good essay worth looking at, examining the asymmetric war fought between the alarmist global warming crowd and skeptics who doubted their scientific validity. He notes that while the alarmists are certain that we're all well funded by oil companies... our side gets a tiny fraction of the funding - even from oil companies - that the alarmist does. We just had facts, skepticism, and the truth on our side, and individually kept plugging away. The real enemy of the alarmists is the internet, which armed us with information we wouldn't have had access to in the past.

Komen is one of the world's leading anti-cancer organizations, particularly breast cancer. Their research, money, and efforts have been very effective in raising awareness and fighting this killer. And they may be on their last legs. Donations from the left dropped off after the organization announced it wouldn't be supporting Planned Parenthood any longer, and although their donations from pro-life folks went up considerably, that dropped off too when Komen backed out of that decision and fired the people responsible. Yet the leftists haven't started donating again. Its as if, as Moe Lane writes at Red State, they broke a rule and must be punished forever, according to leftists. So the organization collapses, this isn't about saving women's lives or fighting cancer, its about sending a message to anyone who tries to flee the plantation. Cut off half his foot so he can't run any longer.

Stimulus funds went to the Colorado company CH2M Hill which does nuclear waste clean up and was working at Hanford in Washington State. The bill threw them $1,960,00,000 which kept the company open, and now the money ran out, they were looking at laying off 1300 workers. So the federal government threw them another $1,300,000 in a grant to keep the workers around. You'd think a business this specific and valuable would be able to pay its own bills, but where did all that money go? You can't keep 1300 people employed with two billion dollars? Note: CH2M designed and built the elaborate Solyndra complex.

Speaking of collapsing green companies, the Solar business First Solar was given $1,460,000,000 in loan guarantees by the "stimulus" package, and is collapsing. In December the DOE committed $1.46 billion to a project in Riverside County, California expected to create 15 permanent jobs and 550 construction jobs. But now the company is laying off 2000 workers and shutting down production lines in Malaysia. Money well spent.

Spending of that "stimulus" money was so sketchy, despite "Sheriff Biden" on the watch to keep them on the straight and narrow (President Obama's words, not mine) the Justice Department is investigating billions of dollars of fraud and waste in the funds. Its almost as if when you throw 3/4 a trillion dollars of money we don't have all over the place, people will take advantage or something. Fear not, with Holder in charge, we'll get to the bottom of this. Sure we will.

Chicago's Teacher's Union is fighting against school choice like they do everywhere. Any organization that gets rich off people will fight competition, naturally. In this case, one activist exclaimed “If charter schools were so good, why didn’t the white folks keep them for themselves?” Which isn't just dumb and illogical, but racist and hateful. But hey, that's not really news worth reporting to anyone except Breitbart.

Economic news continues to be unhappy but not disastrous. Manufacturing output dropped, and residential housing dropped as well last month. We keep bouncing along the bottom of the toilet, hoping that we don't get sucked down the drain before things can turn around. Things can be turned around, but it will require a distinct change in leadership in Washington DC to start it off.

Muhammad Abu Shahala was a spy for the palestinian Authority, and he is a palestinian Muslim himself. However, he sold a house to a Jew and for that he's been sentenced to death. The last time such a law was in place and enforced was in Nuremberg, Germany. So far international outrage has been... nonexistent.

President Obama put the "Buffett Rule" before congress and it was soundly rejected. This bill, if passed, would pay for 17 days of the federal debt interest only, and would affect few people in America - in particular it wouldn't affect Warren Buffett himself. John Hindracker suggests perhaps we should have a "Geithner" rule instead - make all those thousands of federal employees who aren't paying taxes do so. That would cover Warren Buffett's company which hasn't payed federal income taxes since 2006.

Spot the political party in this story about a Comptroller in Dixon, Illinois for misusing $30,000,000 or an average of $1500 per resident of the town. The article is all about buying horses and the case... but never mentions she's a Democrat. You'd think a political story might mention that, but I think you can be certain if she was a Republican they'd bring it up at least once.

Mitt Romney for months was depicted by the Democrats as a squish with no center, no principles and flip flopped constantly, which isn't without merit. Now, as Helene Cooper notes in the New York Times, they are trying to portray Romney as a radical conservative hard right extremist. I don't see that as having any real validity, but it seems like a pretty poor strategy because people seem more welcoming to conservative ideas these days.

Fast food and poor access to healthy food causes kids to get fat, right? Actually, two independent studies say no: those inner city areas actually have plenty of access to healthy food, and fast food joints aren't to blame for fat kids.

And that's the Word Around the Net for April 20, 2012.

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