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CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR'S BOOKS

Friday, August 03, 2012

WORD AROUND THE NET

"Thanks to President Obama I can fill my truck with gas for cheaper than the price of two light bulbs!"

What if every Olympic sport was photographed like Beach Volleyball?

Various websites and radio pundits are talking about how the flood of humanity that has been going to eat at Chik-Fil-A represent what will happen this November, but I'm skeptical. While its true that some deep blue areas were pretty hammered Wednesday (Los Angeles, for example) most of the areas are in suburbs or more rural places where you'd expect people to vote for Romney anyway.

Unexpected economic news again. Unemployment rose again, this time to 8.3%, while demand for factory goods dropped .5% when analysts expected a .7% increase. Its almost as if they don't really know what's going on and are guessing like the rest of us. Spending by consumers has dropped by .1% and savings has gone up. We're guessing bad news, I suppose, but as disposable income continues to drop for the average America, we're starting to be more cautious. There was a shred of good news though: for the first time in months, the US economy added more jobs than the birth rate, barely. There's a reason we keep hearing "depression" from analysts.

Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) a pederast? That's what someone told someone else, and by the Romney tax return rules the media have given us, that's worth reporting, right? This mockery of Reid's second-hand secret rumor story has gained so much ground it has high ranking on search engines and Twitter. Its nonsense, of course, but it has just as much foundation as the tax story he's telling about Romney. When even Jon Stewart is yelling at you to shut up, its time to reconsider your approach, Senator Reid. Especially against a fellow Mormon.

Ohio law allows members of the US military to come in person and vote at assigned places up to six days before the actual election. This was done largely to help get around the scheduling difficulties and demands on a soldier's time. The National Defense Committee reports:
[f]or each of the last three years, the Department of Defense’s Federal Voting Assistance Program has reported to the President and the Congress that the number one reason for military voter disenfranchisement is inadequate time to successfully vote.
This certainly happens for overseas voters who for some reason have been facing great difficulties in getting their ballots when Democrats are in power. Well Mike Flynn reports at Big Government:
On July 17th, the Obama for America Campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and the Ohio Democratic Party filed suit in OH to strike down part of that state's law governing voting by members of the military. Their suit said that part of the law is "arbitrary" with "no discernible rational basis."
Funny how disenfranchisement isn't such a big deal when it comes to soldiers, for the Democrats.

Sequestration is a strange term for a budgetary trigger which will take place should there be no debt reduction by January 2013. Democrats demand this be done by a tax increase (on who is a matter of which Democrat you ask), Republicans demand this be done by spending reduction. If nothing happens, an across-the-board cut called a "sequester" will take place by law. If the "sequestration" takes place, it would result in "the smallest Army since 1940, the smallest Navy since 1916, and the smallest Air Force in our history," according to Representatives Buck McKeon (R-OH) and Paul Ryan (R-WI).

Due to federal law, defense contractors are getting ready to release warnings of layoffs which must be done two months before they are expected to take place. This would be January - 2 months = November, right before the elections. The WARN act requires this, but the Obama administration is warning these companies to not do so or face consequences (mainly that this would hurt Obama).

President Obama has already announced that the sequestration would not result in any military personnel being fired, so the cuts would come from elsewhere. And while Senator Coburn (R-OK) has pointed out there's at least a trillion dollars of cutting room in the military, you know they won't cut waste, fraud, duplication, and mismanagement, they'll cut where it hurts to make people want to throw them more money.

Meanwhile, Representatives Thune (R-SD) and Sessions (R-AL) wrote a bill which would require the president to present a plan within 30 days of the bill's passage detailing exactly what he'd cut and where due to sequestration. The bill passed the House, but won't make it out of committee with Harry Reid in charge of the Senate.

Homosexuals plan on having a "kiss in" at Chik-Fil-A's around the United States, the news of which has been largely met with shrugs. However, I should warn guys thinking "sweet chicken sandwiches and girls kissing" that lesbians in real life rarely match what you see on TV and in movies. I live in Oregon, I've seen a fair amount, and you probably don't want to see them kissing while you eat. And you really don't want to see dudes kissing.

Legacy media opposition work on Romney seems unfocused and confused. They keep trotting out contradictory portrayals of the man, apparently unsure which to pick or perhaps just uncertain about the man himself. Matthew Continetti at the Washington Free Beacon writes:
They shoot at Romney coming and going. One day he is a bully, the next day he is a wimp. One day he has “no core,” the next day he is a radical. One day he is out of touch, the next day he is pandering to his base. In the morning they say Romney is too vague, in the evening they say his specific policies will be ruinous. Romney is too secretive, but what we know about him is scary. The whiplash from attack to attack provokes nausea. Some, like Harry Reid, have taken simply to making things up.
They're trying out "gaffe prone" lately, although its hard for me to remember a single gaffe from the guy. My problem with Mitt Romney is that he'll say whatever anyone wants to hear and is entirely too polished, study-driven, demographics-shaped, and part of an almost clinical system to get elected.

Schools discipline students according to their various misdeeds, in theory. This means that someone who punches a teacher gets a more significant punishment than one that texts their buddy during class. Because some schools have more disciplinary problems than others, they see more punishments meted out, and most of these schools are inner city and have a lot of minorities. So leftists see a balance sheet: minorities punished worse than whites. And that's why President Obama is pushing a plan where punishments are limited by racial categories: no more suspensions for blacks than whites, regardless of what they did or why. Most teachers and school officials are dismayed by this plan, pointing out the obvious problem with such a mindless book balancing scheme: either you punish white kids disproportionate to their actions, or you let minorities skate on theirs.

The US Postal Service continues to face financial woes, as it is buried under union pension benefits and excessive costs. Losing an average of $25 million dollars a day by Post Office estimates, the organization believes it will default on payments to the US Treasury for future retirement benefits. Just privatize it, for crying out loud, they clearly cannot run what ought to be a guaranteed profitable business.

President Obama and Mitt Romney came to Newport Beach California at separate times to campaign (wouldn't it be more interesting if they showed up at the same time, maybe had a fist fight? Granted I doubt either one can fight very well, it might just be embarrassing). Both left the city with a significant bill for cleanup, set up, security, and so on. Mitt Romney's campaign paid for the costs, but the Obama administration has simply ignored requests for payment. And Newport Beach isn't the only place they've left stuck with the bill. An anonymous donor paid for the costs in New Hampshire so the campaign wouldn't have to - but is that a campaign finance violation?

Another story about how packaging, especially of food, has been shrinking over the last few years, this time at Good Business. Its interesting that inflation stories are almost nonexistent despite the continuing increase in cost of food and energy in America, but we get semi-regular stories about shrinking packaging. My guess is that this is deemed okay in a Democrat administration by the media because it makes companies seem like bad guys instead of being about inflation. Businesses are faced with three choices when food costs go up: don't put out a product, raise prices on the product, or reduce packaging so you get less for the same price. Usually they do the last two in some combination.

Shrinking Packaging
Remember those WMDs that we were all told over and over again that nobody found in Iraq and Bush was a huge liar? UK experts are helping Iraq destroy some. Chemical weapons are still WMD, and old Sarin is still deadly. Note the careful wording of the article: 'residues.' They were just lying around, old residues. Could have come from anywhere. Its total coincidence they are in weapons labs, artillery shells, and other munitions.

According to a book, President Obama had four shots at Bin Laden, and canceled 3 of them on the advice of uber-advisor Valerie Jarrett. While I wouldn't at all be surprised to find out that Mr "gutsy call" bailed on three chances, its just some rumor in a book. The only reason I'm writing about this is because blogs all over the place did and treated it as absolute fact. It isn't, its unsubstantiated - if highly plausible - rumor.

According to a study by Herman Pontzer of Hunter College in New York City, along with David Raichlen of the University of Arizona and Brian M. Wood of Stanford of hunter-gatherer cultures and western civilization, both groups use up roughly the same amount of energy. The study determined that both hunter-gatherers and modern westerners burn about the same number of calories a day of average activity. If this is true, my guess is that it is because westerners are active most of the day, every day, and hunter-gatherers are very active part of the day, not every day, then much less so the rest of the time.

According to US District Court Judge Reggie Walton (a Bush the younger appointee), Assistant Attorney General Perez may have lied about the New Black Panthers voter intimidation case.
Hans von Spakovsky at the PJ Tattler writes:
what is most disturbing about this court order is that it strongly suggests that Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez essentially lied in sworn testimony. At a hearing before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights on May 14, 2010, Perez was asked by Commissioner Peter Kirsanow whether “any political leadership [was] involved in the decision not to pursue this particular case.” Perez’s answer, on page 79 of the transcript of that hearing, is an uncategorical “No.” When the statements of Perez are compared to the documents that Judicial Watch forced DOJ to release in the FOIA lawsuit, it is clear Judge Walton was polite when he said they are contradictory and “cast doubt on the accuracy” of Perez’s account.
Surely the Holder justice department under President Obama didn't play politics to protect an ally!

CNN is facing a continual loss of audience, something that started in 2001. For over a decade they have dropped in ratings after massive growth in the 90s. If it wasn't for airports I'm not sure anyone would actually watch CNN.

Ted Cruz won big in Texas against his GOP opponent in the primary election. Now the Republican Party nominee and expected to win a seat in the US Senate for Texas, Cruz presents himself as conservative and is a Tea Party Movement favorite. The Tea Party has been quiet after 2010, not due to lack of interest but because it only took to the streets out of an extreme in frustration and anger to begin with.

Portland Oregon's mass transit Tri-Met is moving in to a new multimillion dollar headquarters, which is fine they probably needed to. What isn't fine is that the HQ is owned by Portland city commissioner Dan Saltzman for a million bucks a year. Even if this was a perfectly innocent deal it really looks ugly and corrupt for a city official to work out a deal for a city organization to use his building for sweet cash. And the Portland Oregonian doesn't care to report about that.

FBI Agents have raided multiple locations, raiding Black Bloc and faux anarchist organizations and homes. Apparently they do care about repeated, organized violence and vandalism. Note, however, the Big Government article tries really hard to tie the Occupy movement with Black Bloc which is coincidental at best. Occupy probably had people who are in Black Bloc, but they probably had people who sold pottery too, that doesn't make them part of the same group.

There was a persistent story that went around during the Clinton administration which said they were laying off of child porn cases and ignoring them. I can't find the data right now but when I dug into it I couldn't find any change in the rate of prosecution during those years. However, according to former undercover FBI agent Brandon Darby, the Obama justice department is ignoring child sex-trafficking. It appears that the reason is largely bureaucratic and inter-agency rivalries rather than some lack of concern over children, which sounds all too likely to me.

Ahh the Olympics. NBC's coverage has been almost universally criticized as being maudlin, ignoring many events, too focused on US athletes even if they suck, and too much about personal stories and not enough about sports. To top off this awful job, NBC interviewed a "random tourist" about the Olympics and moved on without recognizing heavyweight boxing champ Evander Hollyfield, who was the man on the street they spoke to. Sorry, champ.

Reading the emails from the Obama reelection team, you'd think they were in the poor house, desperately trying to buy enough food to keep themselves alive. They scream about how Romney is going to bury them in cash and how awful the whole campaign finance thing is. This is a far cry from last year's "we're going to bury Romney in a billion dollars" but hey, things change. Yet the Obama team is outspending Romney by 2:1, dumping $43 million into ads for June alone. Which if you think about it is pretty typical for President Obama: spending like crazy and demanding more money. That's pretty much his fiscal policy in a nutshell. Lets hope it works out as well for him as everything else he's dumped money into.

Ever wonder who those anonymous sources are that the media relies on? At least sometimes in the past its been the same "random" guy three times in a row, a Democatic Party activist, or friends around cocktails. But there's actually a resource that reporters use called Help a Reporter Out (HARO) which tries to put journalists in contact with sources. How good are the sources? Betsy's Page links to a Forbes article in which a guy tried to help out with every single request for a year, even if he didn't have a clue about the topic. David Thier writes at Forbe's:
On Reuters, he became the poster child for “Generation Yikes.” On ABC News, he was one of a new breed of long-suffering insomniacs. At CBS, he made up an embarrassing office story, at MSNBC he pretended someone sneezed on him while working at Burger King. At Manitouboats.com, he offered helpful tips for winterizing your boat. The capstone came in the form of a New York Times piece on vinyl records — naturally, Holiday doesn’t collect vinyl records.

“I could hear hands going up and down the frets, and stuff that they probably didn’t want you to hear. Which is a nice little surprise,” he told them.

Well its so much easier as a reporter if you don't question or research anyone's claims.

Mitt Romney apparently annoyed Massachusetts legislators. He ran things like an executive (something President Bush the younger did as well), focused on the job and results while staying in boundaries of the job. An Associated Press piece has the tone of condemning this as problematic and contentious but read this part:
But his top-down, corporate management style soon rankled Democrats who overwhelmingly controlled the state House and Senate and saw themselves as an equal partner in the government. His approach jolted a clubby political culture where schmoozing over after-hours drinks and cutting backroom deals are well-worn pathways to success.
Uh, that's bad, somehow? That he was the executive and wouldn't go party with them at night and make back room deals? If they were trying to make people not like Romney, they failed with me.

President Obama's supporters are willing to turn a blind eye (Nelson reference, from Napoleonic war) to a lot of things that drove them tooth-gnashingly insane under the Bush administration. At the blog Dan From Squirrel Hill, he's collected almost fifty, including:
  • Gave a no-bid contract to Halliburton
  • Supported government faith based programs
  • Supported the Patriot Act
  • Supported indefinite detention of U.S. citizens without filing any charges
There are some which are either in error (Obama didn't ban kids from working on their own farms) opinion (Obama isn't necessarily the stupidest president in history) and so on, but the bulk of the list is made up of stuff the left claims to despise, but supports him in, or just ignores.

Somali comedian Abdi Jeylani Malaq Marshale had a show on a radio station in Kulmiye Somalia in which he did funny bits. One of the bits he did poked gentle fun at radical Muslim jihadis, and he was shot dead when he left the station. Somalia is averaging one dead journalist a month so far this year.

Corn growers are being destroyed by a drought this year in America, which grows most of the world's corn supply. The reasonable thing to do would be to shut down corn ethanol subsidies (well the reasonable thing would be to never have started them), but ethanol businesses have sent lobbyists to Washington to keep that sweet cash flow going. Because demand is low and the Linksubsidies have made supply high, there are 2.5 billion gallons of ethanol sitting in storage, more than enough for this year. Will EPA head Lisa Jackson listen to the lobbyists or the farmers?

Gore Vidal has died. I wouldn't write about the man because while he was a skilled writer, he was a conspiracy-mongering leftist twit who hated Christians and was to the left of Dennis Kucinich. What caught my attention about this is the news coverage of his death, via Newsbusters:
“A conservative Republican was beaten by an even more conservative Tea Party candidate,” CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley announced Wednesday night in reporting Ted Cruz’s victory in the Texas Republican primary. Sharyl Attkisson relayed how the candidate Cruz defeated, David Dewhurst, “is considered a very conservative Republican,” yet “Cruz spent months tacking even further to the right.”

CBS, however, was unwilling to apply any ideological label in their obituary piece on hard-left writer Gore Vidal, though in that story Martha Teichner did issue one tag: She referred to the “televised confrontation between Gore Vidal and conservative commentator William Buckley.”

Pelley described Vidal as an “author” and hailed him as “a man of letters and words, wielding them as swords to cut down the powerful.”
Yeah, well at least they didn't call them right wingers or radicals like usual. Incidentally, Dewhurst is not considered a conservative by acctual conservatives. The word "RINO" and "establishment Republican" are used to describe him.

Senator Coburn from Oklahoma has annoyed conservatives at times, but he had us cheering when he confronted an MSNBC panel with their lack of constitutional understanding recently.
Washington Post reporter and MSNBC contributor Jonathan Capehart went on to ask Coburn to provide examples of how the United States has abandoned the Constitution. And so he did.

“Go read Article 1, Section 8 and it gives the enumerated powers… The American people get it and our founders got it. And the one part of the balance of power that doesn‘t get talked about and what you’re seeing expressed through the Tea Party is the real balance of power that our founders wanted is we the people to hold the government accountable. And that‘s what’s going to start happening in this country,” he replied.

“We’re $16 trillion in debt. We have totally cut the legs out from underneath our kids and grand kids and now we‘re saying there’s something wrong with the people that want to get back to the thing that built this country rather than the thing that tore it down.”

After asking the initial question, Capehart then admitted he wasn’t even familiar with the article of the Constitution that Coburn was talking about.
The whole segment is quite encouraging, that at least one congressman can talk like this.

OK this is wrong and he should go to prison for this. It cost the taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars and its bad for cops who I tend to support and like. But its still funny:
Orleans County sheriff's deputies didn't know what was happening in their parking lot until a neighbor called 911.

A man on a big farm tractor, angry about his recent arrest for resisting arrest and marijuana possession, was rolling across their vehicles — five marked cruisers, one unmarked car and a transport van.

By the time they ran outside, the tractor was down the driveway and out onto the road.
With their vehicles crushed, "We had nothing to pursue him with," said Chief Deputy Philip Brooks.
I thought weed made you mellow.

And that's the Word Around the Net for August 3, 2012.

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