Friday, December 31, 2010

The first of many

I'm sure we'll all see a lot of these montage videos of the famous folks we lost in '10, but I'm going to post this one b/c CNN focused on those who impacted our national politics.



Interesting that they lead with Haig. Very influential in three GOP administrations. I will miss Bobby Byrd. Elizabeth Edwards' story is just tragic. Terrible, really.
Thursday, December 30, 2010

Snow job

If this story turns out to be true, then Bloomberg better show half the testicular fortitude of Reagan (a la the air traffic controller strike) and s-can a bunch of people. Calling for a slowdown in plowing efforts is dangerous to public safety and flat out unacceptable. In my sister's neighborhood alone it caused her downstairs neighbor to nearly be unable to get to the hospital to give birth.

I know one thing - Giuliani would have put his foot deep up someone's ass over this.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Between Two Ferns: Natalie Portman



Ah, WTH, I'll throw in Ben Stiller too:

More memorable 2010 videos

Hat tip to Brobible.com, here's GOP candidate for Governor of Tennessee Basil Marceaux:
Sunday, December 26, 2010

Lookin' grrreeeaaatttt


Can't wait for this one.
Friday, December 24, 2010

As 2010 draws to a close...

it's fitting to remember the high points of the past year.

At #1, Antoine Dodson:

Hide ya kidz, hide ya wife, and hide ya husb, becoz they raping errbody out here.



And of course, it would be incomplete to recall this event without noting this genius effort to distill Dodson's wisdom into its purest form:

Friday, December 17, 2010

T-Paw's in it to win it.

Gov. Pawlenty, currently wrapping up a farewell tour in his homestate is preparing to run for President. Or tend bar for chicks in bikinis.

You be the judge:

"If I don't run for president I'm going to open a margarita bar in south Florida and play Kenny Chesney music," Pawlenty told KAAL-TV in Rochester, Minnesota on Tuesday.
Sunday, December 12, 2010

Metrodome roof collapses!

No mention of injuries, which is just hard to believe. Imagine if this had happened at gametime?

Wow. You'd think they would have engineered it with this type of thing in mind. Snow in Minneapolis doesn't sound that unsual to me.

On the flip side, kudos to the teams for having the judgment to postpone the game. They weren't exaggerating the risk, and weren't willing to look the other way.

Link.
Thursday, December 09, 2010

Explaining QE2

From an 11/30/2010 speech delivered by Benn Steil, winner of the 2010 Hayek award:

To grasp what we are getting ourselves into, consider this analogy: Imagine you get into the shower, turn on the water, and nothing comes out. You call the plumber. He tells you there's a hole in the pipe, and it will cost you a thousand dollars to repair it. You tell him just to turn up the water pressure instead.

Sound sensible? Well, this is the logic behind QE2, the Fed's strategy to keep flooding the money pipes until credit starts flowing freely again from banks to businesses.

Politico on T-Paw

This article contains a lot of meaty info on how Gov. Pawlenty is positioning himself to run in 2012. More later...
Monday, December 06, 2010

Can't wait to hear the songs...

Well, D.C., at least you'll be back in the area from time to time. Gonna have to fit this one into the calendar, me thinks:

Move over, Sweeney Todd -- another singing psycho is nearing his Broadway debut.

The tale of Patrick Bateman -- a fictional Wall Street banker obsessed with designer clothes, Phil Collins, rape and murder -- is going to drench the Great White Way in blood in "American Psycho: The Musical," producers of the show told The Post.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I'm back in blue & white

Couldn't be happier with the Mets new front office. Sandy Alderson is a pro, and by all accounts a grown up who doesn't even carry a switchblade. Terry Collins shows lots of fire and heart, and obviously expects his ballplayers to perform.

What will all this mean next season? I doubt it will mean too much to W-L bottom line. But it will mean I'm happy to buy tickets and go to games again, and can end my self-imposed ban on (in some small way) funding the franchise.
Friday, November 19, 2010

And This Is Why You Should Go To The Range More Often

I'm glad I paid them not to include the footage of me in this video:


That's why no one could find his name on the ballot...

From Upstate Political Report:

Looks like Rent is Too Damn High mogul Jimmy McMillan is fixing to sue the Board of Elections for omitting the "Damn" from Rent is too Damn High" during two previous elections. The board claims that the name was too [Damn] long to fit on the ballots.


Jimmy spells out how he feels here:

"I would love to put on my website that the Board of Elections can suck my dick, I would love to do that, but I got little children going to my website, I can't do it, the motherfuckers. I would love to, before every one of them go to bed at night, suckin' my damn dick. That's what I'd love to put on my website. Every fuckin' one of them, you know."
Thursday, November 18, 2010

Checking for Suspicious Packages



Sometimes a picture stands on its own. This is one of those times. Thanks to Drudge.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010

We Are All Becoming Sheep, Vol. 7893

From Yahoo!:

Last night in front of an audience of hundreds at a presentation at the University of Southern California, TV personality Bill Nye — popularly known as the "Science Guy" — collapsed midsentence as he walked toward a podium. Early indications are that Nye is OK, but what's odd about the incident isn't so much Nye's slight health setback as the crowd's reaction. Or, more precisely, its nonreaction, according to several accounts.

It appears that the students in attendance, rather than getting up from their seats to rush to Nye's aid, instead pulled out their mobile devices to post information about Nye's loss of consciousness...

Indeed, a cursory search on Twitter revealed a virtual play-by-play account of the incident. One student wrote, "Bill Nye tripped on his computer cord while speaking at USC, was out for abt 5 secs, got back up, spoke w/ slurred speech and fainted."
Monday, November 15, 2010

The World has Gone Mad

(Or at least California.)

CA state Supreme Court ruled that illegal immigrants are entitled to the same tuition breaks as other in-state students.

I am so beside myself that you could even figure out how to twist logic to arrive at this unanimous decision that I have no comments to post.

Olbermann

It's hard to overstate just how egocentric this guy is. According to this insightful article that just came out on the Daily Beast, Keith is a man on an island at NBC. Everyone in management, and in the news department, can't stand him. Rachel Maddow is, not surprisingly, the exception here.

It's interesting how some pompous liberals insist on playing right into stereotypes. Just in case you think he's playing a role on TV, that his "I'm-smarter-than-you" shtick is put on and not genuine, well, not so much:

"Even those who admired Olbermann’s broadcasting skills felt that his behavior, such as making his staff leave notes outside his door rather than speaking to him, had gone too far....

Willingness to throw colleagues under the bus, with disinformation, to save his own hide:

"The sniping grew worse. Olbermann’s side asked why he was being penalized when Joe Scarborough, the former Republican congressman who hosted Morning Joe, had given $5,000 to a state candidate in Alabama the previous spring. Griffin checked and Scarborough provided the bank record showing that his wife had made the donation to a friend..."

Even among his liberal colleagues he's a bridge too far:

"Network staffers use phrases like “scorched-earth policy” and “totally narcissistic response” to describe how Olbermann has dealt with criticism of his political donations...The word hypocrisy has frequently been aimed at Olbermann."

Repeat offender:

"Olbermann quit MSNBC once before, in 1998, after openly criticizing his bosses. He is, today, a far bigger star. Management doesn’t want to turn him into a martyr, but no one will be shocked if he winds up leaving again."

He similarly burned bridges at ESPN. From his wiki:

... he referred to Bristol, Connecticut (ESPN's headquarters), as a "'Godforsaken place." Olbermann abruptly left ESPN under a cloud of controversy, apparently burning his bridges with the network's management; this began a long and drawn-out feud between Olbermann and ESPN...

...in an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman, he said: "If you burn a bridge, you can possibly build a new bridge, but if there's no river any more, that's a lot of trouble." During the same interview, Olbermann stated that he had recently learned that as a result of ESPN's agreeing to let him return to the airwaves, he was banned from ESPN's main (Bristol, Connecticut) campus.


From a piece in Salon:

Amid chatter that Olbermann might seek a return to the network in 2001, ESPN P.R. officer Mike Soltys famously said: "He didn't burn bridges here, he napalmed them."


Later in the same article:

In 1999, after leaving MSNBC, Olbermann joined the Rupert Murdoch-owned Fox Sports Net, where he anchored "The Keith Olbermann Evening News," which was in direct competition with "SportsCenter." The new program proved unable to beat its ESPN rival's ratings, and his contract with Fox was terminated early, in the spring of 2001. Murdoch later said he "fired" Olbermann because "he was crazy," to which Olbermann replied: "As to the 'crazy' part, he had to pay me $800,000 for the rest of 2001, and lord knows how many tens of millions I’ve helped MSNBC take out of his pocket ever since -- so: who’s crazy?" Murdoch and his empire became one of Olbermann's favorite punching bags as he developed "Countdown" at MSNBC.


Um, really? You're taking money away from the most dominant name in cable news?

It's amazing that he's not just a know-it-all on TV. The man is just a bad human being, someone whose professional douchebaggery flows naturally from his spiteful and self-obsessed personality.

Interesting news

Dems infighting: Larry Summers is the whipping boy for O's problems.

GOP infighting: Mitch McConnell seems bent on preserving the use of earmarks. Exactly the wrong approach after the tea party-infused success of the last election. Quin Hillyer with a good write up here.
Thursday, November 11, 2010

A man who understands how to prioritize

When you get shot, there's no sense going to the hospital on an empty stomach.

Issa will be looking at Holder

That's the only way I can interpret this article, which is a fairly lengthy indictment of the way Holder has been operating as a mini-tyrant and the President's axe man.

I'm sure this is out in the conservative journo-sphere on purpose. A trial balloon or announcement of what's coming.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010

OK, so I'm not first to the party

I know they've made this Twitter feed into a CBS sitcom, but damn if it isn't pretty funny.

Warning: NSFW
Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Google diplomacy

We're not invading in your country.

We're just moving our soldiers inside territory that you thought belonged to you. But Google Maps says all your lands are belongs to us.

It is Google, after all.
Monday, November 08, 2010

"12 in '12"

FoxNews highlighting 12 possible GOP presidential candidates, each weeknight at 6 PM for the next couple of weeks. T-Paw tonight.
Friday, November 05, 2010

Bwah, ha, ha, ha--what a tool!

http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/05/olbermann-suspended-from-msnbc-for-campaign-donations/?src=me

That is all.

If you're going to be anti-deficit,

you've got to put this on the table.

Mitch Daniels gets big points for being the first GOP Presidential hopeful to do so.
Thursday, November 04, 2010

CT-GOV

You can't even make it up.

20,000 votes get "found" for the Democrat in the most urban districts two days after the election.

Hartford papers referring to their state as having a "Florida-like" election.

That didn't take long

SarahPAC has a self-congratulatory ad out less than 36 hours after the polls closed. Sure looks like a campaign ad. Maybe Sarah's thinking of running for Sen-AK or something.

Some Other Wins and Fails

A law in Iowa defining marraige as being between one man and one woman was ruled to violate the state's constituion by three activist judges. They were not retained. WIN!

Right to Hunt ballot measures were passed in Arkansas, South Carolina and Tennessee. WIN!

Right to hunt did not pass in Arizona. FAIL!

Kansas added the right to bear arms to their state consistitution. WIN!

Anti-Obamacare measures passed in Arizona and Colorado. WIN!

Secret Ballots in Union elections were affirmed in Arizona, South Carolina, South Dakota nad Utah. WIN!

GOP will take over house committee leadership. WIN!

California did not legalize smoking the pot. WIN!
Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Why is it always the same?

Why is it, the day after elections, it's always in the Dem heavy district that the "counting" (ballot stuffing?) is ongoing. Look at CO-Sen for example. Every county in the state is showing 100% of precincts reporting, except for Boulder County, the Democratic and heavily populated stronghold. Only 85% of Boulder precincts in, progress at a snail's pace, etc.

Same story in CA-Sen. As Boxer is giving her victory speech, she says, we're ahead by thousands of votes, yada, yada, yada, and "Los Angeles is still out." Of course it is. The Inland Empire? You can guess the red districts counted their votes and dutifully reported them within 90 minutes of the polls closing. 5 hours later, Dem precincts are still "counting."

CT-4: The old Chris Shays Congressional District. Debicella (R) has a lead all night, but with only 10% of the vote outstanding, you know all the Dem precincts are yet to report, b/c AP already called it for the incumbent. Are Bridgeport polling staff simply incapable of doing their jobs? Are they dumb or crooked? I'd love to know. [Edit: Here's more shadiness w/r/t this seat. CT SOS has announced unofficially that the Dem has won without releasing the full count and without counting absentees, seems to imply they won't count the absentees and that Debicellas has no recourse]

WA-Senate: "No one knows how many votes" are outstanding. Gotta love mail-in voting.

Especially since we've seen this story over, and over again. WA-Gov in '04, with fine folks of Kings County comes to mind. And who can forget the Broward County/Palm Beach fiasco?

Personal qualities trumped ideology for challenging Republicans

In the Senate races, I find it interesting that newcomers were able to win on the GOP side regardless of ideology, whether moderate (Ayotte, Kirk), libertarian (Paul), or stridently conservative (Toomey and Rubio). So long as they were well-spoken, on message, and avoided making costly gaffes.

Meanwhile, no matter how favorable the prevailing winds may have been politically, the low quality, gaffe-prone, un-vetted crazies couldn't carry conservative states in a very favorable environment (Angle, Buck, Miller).

Quality matters, folks.

Note to Christine O'Donnell

Please go away. You may start your inevitable career as a conservative "pundit" (read: punching bag/confirmation of low conservative intelligence) on MSNBC now. Just forget about elected office.

Yours truly,
Coalition Republicans Against Zany Youngsters

Final thoughts

GOP managed to eek out victories in some very important races, particularly in the Rust Belt. Governorships in MI, OH, and PA will be huge, particularly as we approach redistricting and the 2012 election.

Senate wins in IL, OH, PA, and WI are also big.

Reid winning in NV is certainly a disappointment, as were the flameouts in CA, WV, and CT. WA looks likely to go Dem as well. CO is still too close to call, and looks likely to be headed to a recount.

The Palin-endorsed candidates got shellacked: Miller looks to be losing to Murkowski, Buck may well lose, Angle lost, O'Donnell lost, and Fiorina lost. This despite the fact that the GOP seemed to be winning across the country in the House.

I can't help but wonder what would have happened with Lowden in NV, Castle in DE, and Norton in CO. GOP gain would have been +9 instead of +6/7.
Tuesday, November 02, 2010

No East Coast Surprises in the Senate

At this point, Blumenthal, Manchin and Coons have all enjoyed relatively quick victories. Color me concerned about Toomey, Kasich, and Kirk.

We still have an outside shot at the Senate if we sweep out West (NV, WA and CA), but based on the way numbers are coming in back East, I have little reason to believe Fiorina will be able to overcome the polls.

The 8 PM calls; wait for it.....

Boom goes the dynamite:

RUBIO WINS!!!!! If nothing else happened this year, this is HUUUUUUGGGGEEEE!!!!!

Blumenthal wins in CT. Booooooooooooo........

Coons wins in DE. Boooooooooo.........

Ayotte in NH. No suprise there.

Blunt in MO. No surprise.

This means WV is now a near necessity if the GOP is to win the Senate. With CNN reporting Raese trailing in the exit polls by 7%,not looking good for the GOP to take the Senate. We'd need a sweep out west, in IL, NV, WA and CA.

Eff CNN

They post raw exit poll data on SEN WV, b/c it favors their candidate. They admit they've never done it for any other race.

Approaching 7:30

Dying to get some OH results. Also looking forward to seeing what happens in NC 11.

Early Results

Coats wins. Lower margins than I thought thus far.

Indiana CDs 2, 8 & 9, seem to be going GOP. Big if we take all three.

In KY, Paul wins by what CNN is calling a "landslide". Surprising and a good sign, if true.

However, KY 6, thought to be in play, seems to be Dem +10 with 20% of the vote in. In KY 3, the Dem is also ahead early.

Getting ready for the main event

I'll be settling into the war room in a few hours to live blog. Feel free to join in if anyone else is home and following the events of the eve.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010

David Zucker directs anti-Boxer spot

Yes, that David Zucker, of Airplane! fame. I'm happy to report, he's still got the touch.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Why Fiorina will win in CA

OK, so "will" win is a little too strong. But according to this analysis by RCP, you've got to figure she's at least even money to win the race, despite trailing in recent polls by anywhere from 2 to 9 points.

The bottom line? The pollsters are clearly overstating the percentage of the electorate that is likely to be Dem vs R or independent. Their likely voter screens are not capturing newly enthusiastic tea party voters and oversampling the '08 "obama wave voters" whom they assume may stay D this year.

In the polls, Boxer's lead over Fiorina has been the D - R spread, minus 5 points. When you apply the percentage of the early voters, and the -4 spread for the GOP, it leads to an implied lead of one for Fiorina. And when you consider that the early vote has tended to be more D than the total vote, it bodes well for Fiorina.
Monday, October 25, 2010

Wanna feel old?

Check out this perky lass running for Congress in AZ-7, a heavily Dem district. She is currently running even with the Dem and has a good chance at being a GOP, (er) pickup next week.

Gov. Pawlenty welcomes the President

T-Paw's got a shot in '12. Right now he's focused on '10. Give a listen:

Someone finally tells Krugman to "shut up."

And does it in print, to boot. Love this column.
Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sen. Thune delivers GOP response to President's weekly radio address

He's not flashy, but hits the all the right notes. If candidates stick with the issues he lays out in the last three minutes, they'll be golden:

Here's the final product, plug-uglies.

I'd like to thank everyone on the baseball club for grooming and looking dapper. It was a powerful hot day, but we persevered, even without the old orchard to pass around. I think we'll really jam the biddies in a cocked hat when they see how nice we cleaned up! And D.C., thanks for leaving your Arkansas toothpick at home.



Standing, L to R: Linderman, Protium, Worm, M.B., Beetz, Fredo, Caboose, D.C.

Seated, L to R: SingleWing, C.E., Professor, Grampy
Friday, October 22, 2010

So glad our legal and political culture...

is primarily derived from the Anglo and not continental tradition.

Here's (another) example of why.

More Dem momentum?

Newsweek corroborates some of the Gallup POTUS JA increase.

Also, in the PA Senate and Gov. races, Sestak and Onorato have seen sharp increases in their polling numbers over the past week. This, despite the lack of any big-ticket story to point to as the catalyst for the increase.

The Dems are still going to lose a ton of seats, but may be starting to mitigate the damage.
Thursday, October 21, 2010

DioGuardi-Gilly Debate

On YNN tonight at 7PM.

It might be streamed. Here's my best guess for finding it.

Potential new GOP Senators

Thought I'd share some thoughts on the potential crop of new GOP Senators. Picking up on the last blog entry, here's how I evaluate their political savvy, and there chances of getting "entrenched" in their job should they win this November:

1) Candidates who are cake-walking into office in GOP-friendly states, and should have long viable careers in the Senate or beyond: Hoeven, Boozman, Lee, Coats (longevity permitting), Moran.

2) Candidates who are running in purple states, and have run excellent campaigns, and shown the political acumen to enjoy long careers: Raese, Portman, Johnson, Ayotte, and Rubio.

3) Candidates running in purple states, but will probably be vulnerable down the line b/c they're somewhat ideologically out-of-step with their state: Toomey, Paul

4) Candidates running in purple states, but will probably be vulnerable down the line (should they win) b/c they're not grade-A politicians: Angle, Buck, O'Donnell (won't have to be worried about Esmerelda winning, I know).

5) Candidates running in lean-blue states, who have run good campaigns, but will always be vulnerable because of the (R) next to their name: McMahon, Kirk, Rossi, Fiorina, DioGuardi.

Current predicition line with the candidates in #s 2-5 above:

Raese (W)
Portman (W)
Johnson (W)
Rubio (W)
Ayotte (W)
Toomey (W)
Paul (W)
Angle (W)
Buck (W)
O'Donnell (L)
McMahon (W)
Kirk (W)
Rossi (W)
Fiorina (W)
DioGuardi (L)

This would leave the Senate 53-47 GOP; an overall gain of 12 seats for the GOP. This is currently a "best-case scenario", and far more optimistic than RCP poll averages. But I think tea-party and GOP support is being under-polled, across the board.

Wha Happened?

Tying into the last post on this blog, about the political risk involved in nominating political neophytes, is today's installment of foot-in-mouth disease.

Scott Conroy has an article up at RCP discussing how the Tea-party GOP candidates have a very divergent set of beliefs on GWOT. Angle and Rubio have been decidedly interventionist. Miller, Paul and Raese are overtly skeptical about the value of nation building.

Ken Buck is also sketpical. He points out, justifiably, that there are important cultural, social, and economic differences between post-War Germany (where nation building was a success) and present-day Afghanistan. He explained the difference thusly:

"It's a fundamental mistake to assume that a people as backward as the Afghans are going to be able to build...what we would consider a Western-style democracy." [my emphasis]

That slapping sound is my palm hitting my forehead.

I'm just praying we can get through these next two weeks and drag Buck, Angle, and Miller (BAM!), over the finish line. Miller seems like the only one with a chance to actually get reelected, but I'll take what I can get while I can.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Are GOP gains slipping away?

It still seems likely, by a wide margin, that the GOP will recapture the house.

But instead of an 8-10 seat gain in the Senate, which looked to be the case 3 weeks ago, we're now looking at a 5-7 seat gain. And the trends are getting worse.

Johnson, Toomey, Raese, Paul, and Rossi have all the seen their polling numbers deteriorate. RCP has Rossi trailing. The other 4 went from mid or high single digit leads to leads that are within MOE or just outside of them.

Obama's JA #s crossed into net positive territory with Gallup today for the first time in months. He was -10 JA a few polls ago, and is now +4.

How is this happening?

First and foremost, four tea-party packed GOP candidates have followed the Dem script, and gotten involved in major campaign SNAFUs that make them look extreme, and/or ignorant, and not-ready-for-prime time.

For Sharron Angle, it was the accusation of american towns operating under Sharia Law. Dearborn, MI, does not. And the Texas town she mentioned does not exist.

Joe Miller was caught waffling about the fact that he was disciplined by the municipality he worked for in AK on the public payroll for using public property (computers) for private ends. And when questioned about it (by a liberal blogger whose behavior was, I'm sure, out of bounds), his security guards detained the man, which ended up drawing attention to his original transgression.

Christine (Esmerelda) O'Donnell, who has had one train wreck after another (and is really the poster girl for the anti-tea party movement), admitted with surprise that she had no idea that 1st amendment of the constitution involved religious freedom.

But the winner, the ring leader of failed campaigners, is NYS gubenatorial candidate Carl Paladino. After months of bellowing about wanting to take a baseball bat to Albany, and his empty boasts about giving Cuomo "the vetting he's never had," he backtracks in last night's debate to say that "he's not angry...just passionate." After the gay baiting, physical threats to reporters, swipes at Cuomo's personal behavior (and bizzare insinuation about Cuomo's "prowess"), and questioning of Rick Lazio's manhood, can he seriously he say he's not angry? I really think in lieu of a campaign, he just needs the Al Pacino snippet from Scent of a Woman, where Col. Slade stands up in uniform, and slapping the table in front of him screams "I'd take a flame-thrower to this place!!!!" That should just be Paladino's one and only ad.

In the end, I think these tea partiers have good ideology. I'm with them way more than I'm against them. But they are political neophytes, and as a result, have been unable to stay on message. They've become political voo-doo dolls that the Dems (and the MSM) have been able to use ad-nauseum as a warning. This is what you're getting if you vote GOP. And with some of the weak-kneed moderates who don't like the direction the country is going in, and don't like Obama's policies--but see Paladino/O'Donnell as too extreme--the Dems are getting some traction.

If we were talking about Tarkanian, Murkowski, Castle and Lazio in place of these 4, as the GOP establishment wanted, my guess is the GOP would be on pace to capturing the Senate right now. The first 3 would have one their races, and Lazio would not have. But the real beneficiaries of not having O'Donnell & friends to kick around would have been Kirk, Buck, Fiorina, Rossi, Raese, DioGuardi, McMahon and Toomey.
Friday, October 15, 2010

Lessons from the Kirk/Giannoulias race

David Brooks takes a close look at the Illinois Senate race, and concludes that Kirk is one of the really good guys in American politics. And that his reward for it is having his name dragged through gutter, and to have to lower himself to doing the same to his opponent. I really liked this particular quote, especially the Frum observation:

The [American political] system will inflame your weaknesses... Then the bad will come to define you, and the good you’ve achieved will be forgotten.

Few people try to weigh the good against the bad and reach some measured judgment. Instead, as David Frum once observed, they regard candidates the way adolescents regard parents: if they are not perfect then they must be irredeemable. [my emphasis]

MoneyBomb for DioGuardi

If you're interested in unseating Gillibrand, take a look at this.

I've put in my C-note, but if you believe in limited government, spending restraint, and lower taxes, give what you can ($10, $51, $100, whatever) to help Joe unseat our unelected junior Senator. Here's Dick Morris, who's been active in supporting DioGuardi:

Funny Miller Ad for US Sen (AK)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Fine Welcome to the Fall Season

I just rediscovered a site I used to love and found a befitting, although NSFW, welcome to the fall season. Enjoy.
Tuesday, October 05, 2010

DioGuardi today on Fox


Interesting item with Gilly's HUD connection at the end. Wasn't aware of that.
Thursday, September 30, 2010

WWI reparations still being paid

I couldn't even believe this story was true, but here it is.

Last payment scheduled for this weekend.

Great news, SHK!

I finally found a job you're qualified for.

And so it begins

Full page story on Romney as GOP front-runner (albeit a weak one), here.

Based on those polling numbers, Mitt sounds like a dead candidate walking.

BTW, NBC news also offered a take on the Paladino/reporter brouhaha in the same blog entry:

Paladino is now caught on tape threatening New York Post reporter Fred Dicker over digging into the daughter that Paladino had out of wedlock. “If you send another goon to my daughter’s house, I will take you out, buddy,” Paladino yells at Dicker. The reporter replies, “You’re going to take me out? How are you going to do that?” Paladino answers, “Watch.” Why should folks care about Paladino, a candidate who will likely lose in November? Because if he becomes an anchor on the Republican ticket, he could cost the GOP a chance at three to five House seats.

PAMP ing away

The latest eruption here.

He's walking a tightrope. I hope he doesn't end up falling and dragging the whole party down with him, a la O'Donnell.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010

That's man's work

Check out these results:

Found A New Barber




Tuesday, September 21, 2010

An Excellent Prescription for GOP Electoral Success

from Grover Norquist:

Earlier in the year there was a danger that Arizona’s immigration law would distract attention from federal spending. And many Democrats from other states could bravely insist that they, too, liked the Arizona law, that therefore they were different from Obama, and that therefore they were moderate or even conservative. It allowed them to throw up what Ross Perot called "Gorilla dust" to distract voters from their actual voting records on the actual issues they were responsible for.When you are losing—you want distractions.

The mosque in Manhattan presented the same danger...

When you are winning—you do not want distractions.

We are winning at present. -- we should remain the “focus like a laser on spending” movement.


Full article here.

Deception

There are lies and there are damn lies.

This is both.
Friday, September 17, 2010

The Lost Opportunies in NY

This Op-Ed in the Post today pretty well sums up the horrific state of the NY GOP. If I could afford it, I swear I'd run for public office next election. I couldn't do much worse than what passes for Republicans in this state.
Thursday, September 16, 2010

I've got a new name for you guys

...and I think you're going to like this guy.

"If it's about the lives of my men and their safety, I'd go through hell with a gasoline can." -Col. Allen West

Today's version of P.A.M.P.

That's Paladino's Angry Man Pronoucements (via the NY Daily News):

"I'm beyond the normal person, I'm not your everyday Joe."

"There will be blood on the floor," he said, washing down pork braciola with red wine. "It won't be pretty, it won't be clean, but I will take them [Lazio & Cuomo] down."

He told building contractors in Ronkonkoma that Gov. Paterson was "a wimp . . . really, he's pathetic." Former Gov. George Pataki? He's a "degenerate idiot."
The Legislature? "They don't have a brain in their heads," he told gas station owners in upstate Rochester.

...he described the Albany work ethic this way: "Their idea is to play pinochle, get sloshed at the bar, rub elbows with lobbyists, then leave town by Wednesday afternoon to go home and play golf."

His solution: "I'm going to have to put some people in prison." Who's at the head of the list? "The petty dictator and master manipulator Shelly Silver." The Assembly speaker, he repeats, "belongs in Attica."

Paladino's policy prescriptions can be unforgiving, like his platform on illegal immigrants. He vowed to send the state police into New York City "and every other sanctuary city in the state to pick up illegals and turn them over to the feds."
Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Beautiful News

Rubio seems to be gaining momentum.

Great news for the GOP. Here's the math on why:

Principled conservative + quick on his feet + made-for-TV face + hispanic background = possible future as a national candidate.

Who said it?

"The budget should be balanced; the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest [we] become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of...living on public assistance."
Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Remember to vote in NY Primaries, contributors!

I used the new paper ballots this morning. It's so crazy hard. I can see where everyone got messed up in Palm Beach.

I mean, there's all these ovals. And you have to mark them. I mean, who wants to leave a blank oval? It's like peanut butter without jelly. I just had to fill them all in.

But don't worry, I'm sure the election officials will figure out who I really wanted to vote for. Because I circled their name AND wrote an explanation on the bottom of the ballot, just for good measure.

DE, NH Primaries

The tea party-backed, Sarah Palin-endorsed insurgent candidates are starting to chap my posterior. I'm not weighing in on the merits. I'm sure Lamongtane and O'Donnell are perfectly good conservatives with whom I probably agree on most issues. And perhaps they will be more reliable conservatives than Castle or Ayotte.

But Castle and Ayotte are both brand name GOP politicians with a good reputation, who have won state wide elections previously. Both have been polling ahead of their Dem opponent all cycle long. And both seemed likely to win and create GOP pickups in the Senate.

And now, both insurgent GOP candidates, who have basically come out of nowhere to be polling in a dead heat with the leaders, may win the nomination. And both Palinistas trail the Dems in statewide polls. Just like in Colorado, Nevada, and Kentucky, where mainstream GOP candidates were likely to win, and now tea party candidates are either fighting uphill (NV) or in a dogfight (CO, KY). In DE and NH, the tea party candidates face even worse prospects.

I feel like the perfect is starting to become the enemy of the good.
Monday, September 13, 2010

US wins gold at the world championships

With this win, Coach K is now the reigning NCAA Champion, FIBA World Champion, and Olympic Champion, simultaneously.

Yet one more reason he is approaching "GOAT" status.
Thursday, September 09, 2010

More Chris Christie Goodness

I love how this guy shuts down the demagoguery. Gov. Christie Responds To Teacher Claiming He Lambastes Education.
Friday, September 03, 2010

Townsend / Berntsen debate

For those interested in the GOP race to oppose Sen. Schumer, here's the link to part one of the debate between the two Republican hopefuls.

NOTE: I fixed the link

California Dreaming

I can only hope the results will pan out on election day similar to today's polls:

California Senate - Boxer vs. Fiorina SurveyUSA Boxer 46, Fiorina 48 Fiorina +2
California Governor - Whitman vs. Brown SurveyUSA Whitman 47, Brown 40 Whitman +7
Sunday, August 29, 2010

Fredo's review of the GOP debate

I've listened to most of this debate at this point. I don't disagree with anything DioGuardi has to say, but I can't seem to warm up to him. He's obviously the most practiced and doesn't get himself too far out on a limb (see: Blakeman) with rhetorical flourishes. His low ACU ranking is an issue, but he's bound to be an improvement on Gillibrand. He just seems a little long in the tooth and, as a former long-time Congressman, unlikely to cash in on the "outsider" sentiment that seems so popular this year.

Blakeman seems to have the most passion, and the most willingness to go out there and battle. He was clearly drawing distinctions between himself and his opponents, and challenging Malpass and Dioguardi on different points througout the debate. It would help if he did a better job getting his facts right (he called Dioguardi a paid lobbiest and really pressed the point, but it would appear he was factually wrong). It would also help if he didn't step on giant landmines, like when they asked each candidate to say one thing they admired about Gillibrand, he led off with "she's an attractive woman." I guess we can see why he's divorced.

Blakeman also seems to be frequently loose with facts and truth. He "can't remember" if he's been sued (wouldn't most people remember that)?

As for Malpass, he's the intellectual elite of the group, long time Bear Stearns chief economists, speaks three languages, etc. etc. He's got tons of published paper trail, and gets the economy better than 99% of the folks in Washington. He also seemed incredibly genuine and likeable. The downside to that is that he's not the practiced with political rhetoric and parry. He seemed unable to defend himself against Blakeman's attacks and unsure how to attack his opponent. He spent plenty of time bumbling and stumbling around. They asked him in the lightning round (yes or no answers only), "should creationism be taught in public schools?" His answer, "um......[6 seconds]...no." He's just not a politican, and he's going to be running into a buzzsaw of attack ads, and he's got a long paper trail for the Dems to distort.

If I were to use a boxing analogy to describe the political approaches taken by the candidates in this debate, DioGuardi was the boxer, Blakeman the slugger flailing away hoping to catch one good uppercut. Malpass? I don't know, maybe a front-row armchair philosopher considering how best to improve the sport.

In terms of policy, there are some differences between the candidates. DioGuardi is clearly most pro-life of the group, and Malpass takes a pro-choice-with-"reasonable"-restrictions approach. Blakeman and Malpass expressed more unabashedly hawkish foreign policy positions, while DioGuardi went as far as saying that, with what we know now, invading Iraq was a mistake (the other two said it was the right position).

The most lacking element of the debate? Discussing the structural problems in our budget that need reform to reduce the deficit, in a real way, over the long term. Malpass spent the most time talking about deficit, followed by DioGuardi, but no one talked about how the Dems were kicking the can down the road, and how the tea party uprising is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fix the long term problems embedded in our entitlement system.

Think I'm leaning to DioGuardi as the most viable, but I think, unfortunately, we don't have a great candidate available in the group. I'd definitely like to support Malpass if he showed the ability to articulate his agenda more clearly and deal with his opponents.
Friday, August 27, 2010

Malpass, Blakeman, DioGuardi debate

The three GOP candidates vying to unseat our unelected Senator Gillibrand debated each other earlier this week. Here's the link.

Update: Christie fires Schundler

As per this article, and after defending Schundler in his presser (see previous blog entry), Gov. Christie has now fired his education chief. Apparently, the Obama Administration was able to provide evidence that proved Schundler had, well, lied to the Governor about the in-person interview conducted in Washington.
Thursday, August 26, 2010

Chris Christie calls out Obama Administration nonsense

Takes accountability for a clerical error, but holds the Feds accountable for bureaucratic B.S. that (as another posted mentioned)would never have happened if Corzine was still the governor.

You're right, Governor, this is the stuff that drives normal people CRAZY about government.


Background on the whole Race to the Top program and the N.J. nonsense from the WSJ here.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Camping

StuffWhitePeopleLike homes in on a Bison favorite: camping. Someone must get to these guys before they reveal all of our secrets...
Sunday, August 22, 2010

Reagan sees the future.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Naming Contest

Name this proposed gay bar catering to muslims next to the proposed giant mosque near gruond zero. There are some interesting suggestions already in the comments.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Congrats to SHK and Mrs. SHK on the birth of their daughter!

Our best wishes for your whole family, and our hopes for a happy & healthy future for the little one!
Friday, August 06, 2010

If I Were A Teenager Again ...

I be in love. This site seems to find these sisters repulsive somehow.
Wednesday, August 04, 2010

If Chris Christie isn't becoming one of your favorite Republicans,

you're just not paying attention.

Here's a primer.
Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Hey SHK

Remember this vehicle?



If not, try and remember the last time you were doing whirling 360s down a dry road.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Don't excuse Obama's sliding popularity

as merely the result of a moribund economy, says Matthew Continetti of the Weekly Standard:

Obama’s agenda has hurt him. It is hard to think of an era in which the political majority pushed so many unpopular initiatives in such a short span of time. From the stimulus to the mandate to cap and trade to flirting with a trial for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in civilian court to suing Arizona for enforcing federal immigration law, it’s almost as if this administration enjoys being on the wrong side of public opinion. Can liberals honestly believe that these policies would be more popular if America were at full employment?

He also lays out the case for the GOP to articulate their agenda:

An enterprising conservative would build on the RSC and Ryan plans with an explicitly pro-growth agenda. He (or she!) would do this with the understanding that only robust, broad-based, and prolonged economic growth will produce jobs, reduce the debt burden, and increase social cohesion. He (or she) would be aware of a recent study by the Kauffman Foundation that found that net job growth in the United States comes from firms less than one year old. This enterprising conservative’s growth agenda, therefore, would make it a point to reduce hindrances to entrepreneurship and small business.

Meaning? An extension of current tax rates on income, dividends, and capital gains until the economy is booming and Congress is ready to undertake large-scale, pro-family, pro-investment tax reform. A payroll tax cut. A promise to take the Federal Register to the paper shredder, reducing the number of regulations that aspiring businessmen face when they start new ventures. A plan to withdraw from GM and Fannie and Freddie and end corporate welfare.
Monday, July 26, 2010

Sen. Webb: Affirmative Action is Reverse Racism

In an op-ed in today's WSJ, Senator Webb discusses race-based policies that "all Americans see but few can understand":

Forty years ago, as the United States experienced the civil rights movement, the supposed monolith of White Anglo-Saxon Protestant dominance served as the whipping post for almost every debate about power and status in America. After a full generation of such debate, WASP elites have fallen by the wayside and a plethora of government-enforced diversity policies have marginalized many white workers. The time has come to cease the false arguments and allow every American the benefit of a fair chance at the future.


While he states the obvious in denouncing affirmative action, he also begs the question in contradicting his premise. African Americans deserve Affirmative Action, he says, because of the unique discrimination they were subjected to (legacy of slavery) and the poor shape the black demographic finds itself in today. For instance, he states that African Americans today "still experience high rates of poverty, drug abuse, incarceration and family breakup." Of course, he cites statistics later in the article showing how the Scots Irish and Southern Baptists are behind the "average" population as well. But he argues that these white demographics need a level playing field, not assistance (of course, level compared to non-African American minorities--not when in competition with blacks). Why would that argument not apply to blacks as well? Why would these underpriveleged segments of the white community not be afforded the "the benefit of a fair chance at the future" when competing against African Americans in today's economy?

One must fall back on the "unique legacy" of discrimination logic. It's hard to argue with him that the shadow cast by the peculiar institution is undeniable and unique. But Webb himself concludes that eliminating Affirmative Action will "allow harmony to invade the public mindset....and bitterness [to] fade away." Why would he not want to allow these results for the African American community as well as other minorities? Why write the following:

"Government should be in the business of enabling opportunity for all, not in picking winners. It can do so by ensuring that artificial distinctions such as race do not determine outcomes"


...and then promptly ignore his own words when they apply to African Americans?

He has clearly laid out that the policies create bitterness for the recipients of the affirmative action, and has implied the pragmatic argument against affirmative action as well: that the policies have not been effective at improving the conditions of the African American community. My guess is that he knows these programs have become institutionalized graft, non-performing for any function other than keeping votes in line. And ultimately, that's probably why his argument takes an 11th hour detour away from a call to abandon affirmative action universally: he knows he needs black votes, as a Southern Democrat, to get re-elected.

In fairness, I'm focusing on the smaller point here. The larger point is that he is on the right side of an issue no one wants to tackle, especially an elected official. For a Southern White politician to open the door to an allegation of "racism" is potentially career suicide. This was a courageous op-ed to pen. For a Republican, the media drumbeat for apology, and possibly for a resignation, would have been swift in building. Whether a Dem can get away with stating some plain truth, without being impugned with trumped-up media charges of racism, will be interesting to see.

In either case, there will be many Dem donors who are livid, down to the core, that the Sen. Webb would pen these words. His fund raising may well suffer as he is abandoned by coastal elites, but my guess is he'll pick up a lot more votes next go-around.
Thursday, July 22, 2010

Special Prosecutor: no charges warranted in firing of US Attorneys

Remember when AGAG was accused of "politicizing" his personnel decisions? And hence politicizing the US government's enforcement of the law? And the insinuation that, as with other matters, the Bush 43 Administration was playing cowboy (shooting first and asking questions later) in its treatment of the Constitution? And how all the hub bub cost the Attorney General his job?

Well, the now ascendant Dems have quietly laid down their grievances in "firing-gate." AG Holder has accepted the recommendations of the Special Prosecutor, agreeing that that no actions in this case were worthy of prosecution.

Apologies from House and Senate Dems are forthcoming to President Bush and Gonzo any moment now.

I can just feel it.

Proof of What We've Known All Along

If you haven't been following the story, it's recently come to light that collusion to push a liberal agenda in the media was fairly well organized. Just do a search for JournoList and you see a bevy of recent stories related to a Google Group of 400 journalists, TV reporters and academics (the qualifier liberal would be redundant) where discussions included how to shut down the Rev. Jerimiah Wright controversy by picking any well-known conservative and calling him a racist, gushing about how their favored candidate (Obama) was winning the election, a gleeful description of how one journalist would like to witness Rush Limbaugh's death firsthand, and lots of other lovely tales.
Thursday, June 24, 2010

From the mailbag

Courtesy of Beetz:

The $50 Lesson

I recently asked my friends' little girl what she wanted to be when she grows up. She said she wanted to be President of the United States.

Both of her parents, liberal Democrats, were standing there.

So I asked her, "If you were President, what would be the first thing you would do?"

She replied, "I'd give food and houses to all the homeless people.." Her parents beamed.

"Wow....what a worthy goal," I told her.

"But you don't have to wait until you're President to do that. You can come over to my house and mow the lawn, pull weeds, and sweep my driveway, and I'll pay you $50. Then I'll take you over to the grocery store where the homeless guy hangs out, and you can give him the $50 to use toward food and a new house."

She thought that over for a few seconds, then she looked me straight in the eye and asked, "Why doesn't the homeless guy come over and do the work, and you can just pay him the $50?"

I said, "Welcome to the Republican Party."

Her parents still aren't speaking to me.
Thursday, June 17, 2010

Where Are The Conspiracy Theorists?

There are plenty of lunatics that still insist 9/11 was an inside job, politically motivated and organized by Bush & Cheney. Where are they now? Isn't it clear that Obama planned the gulf oil spill to halt drilling for oil and pushing his green agenda? After all, he's surrounded himself with members of the Weather Underground who've blown stuff up before. Or is it part of the machines' plan to take over - their first move to destroy life.
Friday, June 11, 2010

The War on the War on Drugs

The latest fad for celebrity activists seems to be legalizing drugs. Not just, "ok, you can smoke a joint now", but meth, crack, anything goes. This post does a good job of pointing out how riduculous and scary it all is. Here's one of my favorite paragraphs from it:


Please Sting, save us! Unleash the full intellectual firepower you’ve amassed
writing forgettable smooth jazz/rock fusion tunes for people who buy their music
at Starbucks. Just because you’ve been waited on hand and foot for three decades
by a coterie of professional sycophants telling you you’re wiser than Buddha and
smarter than Einstein doesn’t mean it’s true.
Tuesday, June 08, 2010

I don't care about the economy,

if you make a good product, people will buy it.

Boom time, baby.

SHK now moonlighting.

D.C. stop reading now.

It's risky work, but it does pay off.

Anyway, what annoys me is the hat. You just put that on to piss me off, didn't you?

60% of the time

it works every time.
Monday, May 31, 2010

Whodathunkit?

Apparently I'm not the only one who is into my namesake. HBO is airing a documentary on the too-short life of John Cazale, who died in 1978 at age 42.

But check this out:

The documentary, which airs on HBO Tuesday night, shines a light on the actor and his times. Cazale...was at the heart of the '70s film golden age, despite appearing in just five films -- "The Godfather," "The Godfather Part II," "The Conversation," "Dog Day Afternoon" and "The Deer Hunter." Every one was nominated for a best picture Academy Award.
Remarkable.

Thank You

to all those who served and paid the ultimate price for our freedom.
Thursday, May 27, 2010

I Try ...

I really try to understand the left's point of view. I even read some of their blogs. I read this really articulate article about Socialism's Inevitable Downfall, and happen to also run across this article titled The Case for Socialism. Both writers seem to truly believe what they are writing. The former article uses examples of how socialism has been tried and failed repeatedly. The latter just uses statistics without any logical connection to capitalism, and states as if fact, that business owners steal the fruits of laborers work. There's no acknowledgement that the business owner creates the opportunity in the first place, assumes all the responsibility for generating revenue, and assumes all the risk.

US Terror Attacks

DHS unclassified memo claims that "...the number and pace of attempted attacks against the United States over the past nine months have surpassed the number of attempts during any other previous one-year period."

It goes on to state that: terror groups are expected to try attacks inside the United States with "increased frequency."

Now, there are many aspects of this information worth discussing, such as appropriate prevention strategies and tactics, but for now I just want to focus on one. This nine-month period they refer to was under Pres. Obama.

I bring this up for one reason--to counter all the naifs out there who claimed that terrorism only existed or was exacerbated because of Pres. Bush and his policies. Such a ridiculous argument should of course have been rejected on its face given the existence of the '93 WTC bombing, USS Cole bombing, and especially the fact that the 9/11 terrorists lived and trained in the US for 3 years under Pres. Clinton. Yet somehow people still advanced the flawed premise that terrorism existed as a response to Bush's policies, and not the reality that they exist because of flawed Islamic societies.

What will their response be to this information, that attacks are at an all-time high despite the Great One and Hope & Change being in office?
Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Kagan

Any thoughts on Kagan as SCOTUS nominee? I'm surprised Fredo hasn't weighed in yet. I guess the key question is this: while she clearly isn't aligned with our conservative views, how does she rank compared to the other possible nominees we could have gotten from a very liberal president and a dominant Dem Congress? I suspect we could have done much worse, but having not paid much attention to other possibilities I don't know if we could have done better.

An obvious and legitimate knock on her is a lack of judicial experience. Seems like this should be a solid pre-req to be on Supreme Court, although she wouldn't be the first to not have any.

Loose Lips

If the media doubted wing-nut claims that they should be judicious with what sensitive information they should report, they'll have a hard time denying this one. Al-Awlaki says that he got some of his intelligence from the Washington Post.
Monday, May 24, 2010

I hope we're just giving them extra rope to hang with

Because I can't figure out the GOP strategy of NOT holding the administration's feet to the fire on this BP mess.

Napolitano is out there with this "We're watching BP" garbage. Holding them accountable and what not.

Like if BP fails to stop the leak, and the entire fishing industry in the Gulf goes under, the appropriate response is merely to give BP's effort the thumbs down, and sue or jail some folks in the corporation. That will make it all better.

If Manhattan was ablaze because a power plant exploded, would the Mayor stand down the fire department and say, "We're watching Con Ed to see whether they respond appropriately. We will hold them accountable."

What's that? The whole city burned? That's it, Mr. CEO, you failed! We're taking you to task!

I mean, isn't emergency response generally the raison d'etre of government on any level? I have a hard time believing the engineers in the military had no plan for dealing with this. That FEMA and homeland security have never considered the possibility of how to deal with this kind of situation, either as an accident or terrorism strike. Or that, even if this had never been planned, bringing the resources of the military, FEMA, and state authorities to bear wouldn't have drastically improved the outcome.

Why, from week 1 of this catastrophe, was the federal government not intervening and taking the lead on the response, rather than merely watching BP fail and shaking its finger?

This seems to me to be a failure of leadership on the highest level, with deep ramifications for the livelihoods of many Americans down there.

I hope the Congress and the GOP is planning on conducting investigations, slowly dragging the story out with low level staffers testifying about how the administration was concerned about "damage control," "not looking like Bush," and being entirely political, when they should have been jumping into the breach to solve the situation.

I really hope the GOP inaction right now is merely designed to let the Administration think that, with the Dem-friendly press at their sides, they will not be held to account. That they can dither and discuss amongst themselves, and hopefully leave a large and damning paper trail.

Of course, better than that would have been some courageous political leadership on either side of the aisle, that forced the government to do more, sooner.
Friday, May 21, 2010

McClintock Pwns Calderon

If you hadn't heard, Mexican President Calderon came here and gave a speech to Congress denouncing Arizona's immigration law. Thankfully, there are still a few reasonable men in the House. Here's Congressman McClintock's response.
Monday, May 17, 2010

RIP Ronnie James Dio

Heavy Metal Vocalist Ronnie James Dio Dies
Friday, May 14, 2010

BP Oil Spill, Part 2

I have to say I am disgusted at the seeming ineptness in responding to this oil leak. I understand that deep-well oil drilling is a dirty business with a lot of risks, and I'm definitely not advocating that we stop doing it.

Rather, I am absolutely amazed at the fact that oil companies were allowed to drill without having suitable emergency plans in place. For example, last week they tried to contain the flow by lowering a huge dome over the top, only to find that ice crystals instantly formed and prevented that option. Are you seriously telling me that they had NEVER tested this low-tech approach before? How could this accident be the first time they've actually tried this out? Amazingly they seem to have no other ideas, claiming it could take months to stop the leak.

In most other industries, you are required to have emergency response plans--that are tested in advance--in place before you begin operations. The "fail-safe" shears that were claimed to be the last defense and highly reliable in fact failed 3 out of 6 trials previously. It's just amazing to me that the first time they are thinking through how to respond to a crisis seems to be in the crisis, rather than before.
Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Times Sq. Bomber

Surprisingly blunt criticism of Obama administration by WaPo.

And on a separate but related topic, when are Congress (Dems and Repubs) and Obama going to get together to confirm a TSA head? How is it that we still don't have a chief for what would seem to be a very important agency? Republicans do not have entirely clean hands on this issue and need to bear some responsibility as well.
Monday, May 03, 2010

Down Goes Al Qaeda

Now this is quite the record.
Friday, April 30, 2010

Headline of the day, from the WSJ:

Geithner: ‘I Never Had A Real Job’

Thanks for clearing that up.

And just for the record, some folks consider tax-evasion a F/T job. Just ask the Gambinos.
Thursday, April 29, 2010

BP Oil

While I generally favor additional offshore oil exploration, the recent BP Oil rig explosion is going to really set back the movement. It is also a slap in the face of another commonly-used argument, which is that since the US is going to consume "x" amount of oil anyway, better to have it drilled here since we use safer and more environmentally-benign equipment compared to other foreign countries.

One possible saving point may be that this particular well did not use a final, remote-controlled cut-off switch. The efficacy of such switches above and beyond the normal safety mechanisms is apparently unclear, but may be the one argument that could be used to save the cause for more offshore drilling. Otherwise, this event may have a chilling effect on any near-term expansion.
Monday, April 26, 2010

This Looks About Right

Friday, April 23, 2010

Health Care

Well well well, what do you know? Looks like Obama's health care bill will indeed raise costs, not control and lower them as he promised. The review by economic experts at the health and human services department confirmed that costs will go up. This review was, in the words of msnbc, "...the first comprehensive look by neutral experts." Given that such a negative piece towards Obama appeared on MSDNC, it must be true and quite bad.
Monday, April 19, 2010

Supreme Court possibilities

So the W.H. is floating Elena Kagan, Janet Napolitano, Diane Wood, and Merrick Garland as possible nominees.

My money is on Wood, FWIW.
Friday, April 16, 2010

Time for my very first link

to Yahoo! Health.

But I actually think, more than politics, sports, or just my own general sexiness, this article holds great wisdom that will lead to more joy in your life.
Thursday, April 15, 2010

Big News

ICYMI: The AP sent this blockbuster over the wires earlier.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Chris Christie off to a great start.

The odds are stacked so long against Christie winning the battle, but he's taking on the dominant paradigm in Jersey: unions squeezing cash out of the state for higher wages that lead to higher union dues that get spent on political campaigns that attack Republicans so that more Dems get elected so that the unions can squeeze more cash out of the state. Got that?

Here's Christie going right after the beast [N.B. not ManBeast] early in his term. Quotes are from a very favorable article (for Christie) that was printed in the WSJ:

Your policies favor the rich. "We have the worst unemployment in the region and the highest taxes in America, and that's no coincidence."

Why not renew the 'millionaire's tax'? "The top 1% of taxpayers in New Jersey pay 40% of the income tax. In addition, we've got a situation where that tax applies to small businesses. I'm simply not going to put my foot on the back of the neck of small business while I want them to try to grow jobs by giving more revenue to New Jersey."

Budget cuts are unfair. "One state retiree, 49 years old, paid, over the course of his entire career, a total of $124,000 towards his retirement pension and health benefits. What will we pay him? $3.3 million in pension payments over his life, and nearly $500,000 for health care benefits—a total of $3.8 million on a $120,000 investment. Is that fair?"

State budget cuts only shift the pain to our towns. "[L]et's remember this, in 2009 the private sector in New Jersey lost 121,000 jobs. In 2009, municipalities and school boards added 11,300 jobs. Now that's just outrageous. And they're going to have to start to lay some people off, not continue to hire at the pace they hired in 2009 in the middle of a recession."
Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pataki FAIL

See here.
Monday, April 12, 2010

This One's for Fredo

A new Duke rule basically says you can be a rapist if you have mutually consentual sex if you're considered powerful on campus.

47% of Americans Will Pay No Federal Income Tax

How long can this be sustained? How far will it go? Mark Stein paints as scary picture.
Thursday, April 08, 2010

Seriously? Really?

I honestly think we may have to start taking away people's right to vote if they put individuals like this into political office...



And this is the man who replaced Cynthia McKinney--best known for her confrontation where she hit a United States Capitol Police officer after he stopped her because she was not wearing the proper ID when she circumvented the metal detectors at the Capitol (run-on sentence alert). Anyways, Johnson's wiki entry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hank_Johnson) details a background of someone who really should have known better...
Monday, April 05, 2010

Too Funny

Somehow I missed this last Thursday, but it's so funny.

My Hope Rests With Justice Kennedy

As all occobs contributors know, Justice Anthony Kennedy is often the swing vote in 5-4 decisions. The count is now up to 16 states suing the federal government over the health care bill. The only remotely plausible argument for constitutionality of requiring citizens to purchase a commercial product is the commerce clause. It states:


[The Congress shall have power] To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and
among the several States, and with the Indian tribes;
Let's analyze. Obviously we're not talking about foreign nations or Indian tribes, so the pundits must be referring to regulating Commerce among the several States. My understanding is that this is usually applied to transactions between at least two states. Since the bill requires an individual to purchase a commercial product that he can only buy within the state he resides, I can't understand how the commerce clause allows the requirement of this bill. I'm cautiously optimistic that the Supreme Court will make the same finding, but Kennedy is the buggest question mark.

If the Supreme court allows the requirement, I anticipate someone will attempt to buy insurance across state lines as a challenge to the current restriction with the commerce clause a justification. Perhaps opening the market across state lines can be a small victory.


Also, Michele Bachmann seems pretty awesome.
Friday, April 02, 2010

Further Down the Path to Socialism

How many people can you support? According to Rep. Paul Ryan, "three out of ten American families are supporting themselves plus - through government - supplying or supplementing the incomes of seven other households". The speech this was taken from (linked above) is worth a full read.

How Will the Census Effect Congress?

According to CNN, there may be shifts in the House as a result of the census. Here's how it might play out.

Provo, Utah: 47% growth. +1 seat for Utah for a total of 4
Raleigh, N.C.: 41% growth. No change in congress
Las Vegas, NV: 38% growth. +1 seat for Nevada for a total of 4
Austin, TX: 36% growth. +3 seats for Texas (or more) for a total of 35
Phoenix, AZ: 34% growth. +1 seat for AZ for a total of 9

New Orleans, LA: 10% loss. -1 seat for LA for a total of 6
Youngstown, OH: 7% loss. -2 seats for OH, down to 16
Buffalo, NY: 4% loss. -1 seat for NY, dropping to 28
Pittsburgh, PA: 3% loss. -1 seat for PA, for a total of 18
Cleveland, OH: 3% loss. -2 for OH as above.

Ok. UT is the reddest state, so that'll be a +1 for R. So TX is a pretty good bet for the R column. So that's +3. The NV could go either way, but I'll bet D since it's Vegas: +1 D. The AZ could go either way, but D is a pretty good bet there since it's Phoenix. So that's +3 R, +2 D so far.

LA will be a -1 R. Youngstown -1 D. Cleveland -1 D. Buffalo -1 R. Pittsburgh -1 D. So -2 R, -3 D.

So my best guess is a net of +1 R, -1 D. But best case is probably +3 R, -3 D.
Thursday, April 01, 2010

Big Surprise - Dem Unemployment Augmentation Encourages People Not To Work

If only we could convince the usually well-meaning liberals to think about their policies all the way to inevitable conclusions, they might understand many of the policies they push actually have the opposite of the intended consequences. Take Mark Krawiec as an example. He lost his job, and instead of milking unemployment for as long as he could, he took whatever job he could get. It was a temporary job, so when it ended, he had to go back onunemployment. Unfortunately for Mark, he ended up getting less than half of what he previously received on unemployment as a consequence.

Minimum wage is in the same category, because it assumes businesses will employee the same number of people at the new higher wage. We'll be able to add the new healthcare plan very soon.

Notice I qualified liberals in the first sentence with well-meaning. There are some that know very well the consequences and have a much different (political) goal in mind.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Capital H Hypocrisy

Pres. Obama is set to announce plans to lift bans on offshore oil drilling. This is the MSNBC coverage. If you read the short article, you'll notice it has no negative comments.

Now, one has to wonder if the same proposal by previous Pres. Bush would also have resulted in a neutral article from MSNBC.

As it turns out, fortunately one does not have to wonder--said article from 2008 actually exists here. Let's look at a few excerpts:

Democrat Barack Obama has opposed the idea...

"If offshore drilling would provide short-term relief at the pump or a long-term strategy for energy independence, it would be worthy of our consideration, regardless of the risks," Obama spokesman Bill Burton said in a statement. "But most experts, even within the Bush administration, concede it would do neither. It would merely prolong the failed energy policies we have seen from Washington for thirty years."

"Once again, the oilman in the White House is echoing the demands of Big Oil," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. "The Bush plan is a hoax. It will neither reduce gas prices nor increase energy independence."

"This proposal is something you'd expect from an oil company CEO, not the president of the United States," said Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Senate Environment Committee.


Why doesn't MSNBC's new article on Obama's plan point out his hypocrisy? Why don't they include the same raft of negative quotes that they found with ease when covering Bush's proposal? Curious.

Curious coverage indeed.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010

This Is Why They're Taking Our Hard-Earned Money


  • fresh produce, raw honey and fresh-squeezed

  • juices soy meat alternatives and gourmet ice cream

  • roasted rabbit with butter, tarragon and sweet potatoes

  • wild-caught fish, organic asparagus and triple-crème cheese

  • artisanal bread, heirloom tomatoes and grass-fed beef


No, it's not a Hollywood diet plan. It's what food stamps are buying these days.


I guess the so-called educated hipsters mentioned in the article aren't educated enough to realize that while they're enjoying a small quantity of expensive gourment food, there might be some people working really hard to afford ramen and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches because they want to stay off the dole.

Goverment benefits are way too anonymous. People receiving welfare, food stamps, etc., that are able-bodied should have to collect the money from an assigned taxpayer directly. Then this might not occur as much.

We Knew It Was In There

Here's the redistribution of wealth in Obamacare hidden in a Kiplinger's article about new tax changes. The changes basically amount to penalizing those who have good coverage and good habits (such as using a flex spending account) or those who don't want coverage, and giving breaks to companies who employ low-wage workers and the low-wage workers themselves.

How is taxing good medical coverage supposed to improve healthcare?

How is offering incentives to companies for employing low-wage workers supposed to encourage them to pay more? I.e. if my company gets tax credit if the average wage of my employees is under $25k, am I going to give raises if I can afford it?

The logic astounds me.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Huh?

Help me out - am I missing something here?

In response to claims by 13 state AGs that the new health care law results in the federal government exceeding its constitutional authority, a Stetson University law professor had this to say:

Not so, said Bruce Jacob, a constitutional law professor at Stetson University in Florida, who said the suit seems like a political ploy and is unlikely to succeed.

"The federal government certainly can compel people to pay taxes, can compel people to join the Army," he said.


What? How is this guy a constitutional law professor? What kind of counter-examples are those? Section 8, Article I of the US Constitution explicitly gives the US government the authority to do the two activities he identifies:

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes...

To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;

To provide and maintain a navy...


So, how do his examples lead to the government therefore also having the right to force individuals to buy health insurance? Am I missing something, or is this guy the worst constitutional law professor ever?
Monday, March 22, 2010

Health Care

Surprisingly, there has been little discussion about health care reform on OccObs. I'm not sure if that's because of the mind-numbing boredom brought on by health policy debates, or sheer depression about the way the Dems are steering us, but in either case I offer this uplifting link: At least 9 state AGs will be banding together to sue the federal government if the health care bill as currently voted on becomes law. I think they will have a very strong case that it is unconstitutional for the federal government to require individual citizens to buy health insurance.
Saturday, March 20, 2010

Levy (D) becomes Levy (R)

This story is fascinating.

Steve Levy, Suffolk County Executive, has defected from the Dems and is planning a run for Governor against the mighty Cuomo (why is it that NYS residents seem like electing litigators?).

I was happy to hear this for a few reasons: (1) Levy is already a powerful incumbent; (2) he said he wanted assurances he could have the GOP line for County Exec if he loses the Gov. race, so he's planning on sticking around; (3) I've been impressed with his spending cuts and willingness to offend interest groups that often feel protected to get spending under control; and (4) Lazio is a dud.

I'm basing #4 on the thrashing he took last time he ran and the fact that he's been trailing other potential GOP candidates in primary polling. Cuomo kills him as well in early polling. A lot could change, this is going to be a GOP year--but Levy strikes me as a much more likely candidate to win, as long as the party switching and opportunism don't kill him.

However, Levy is a little late to the game. Lazio has already lined up a lot of support within the state GOP, including Rudy. Lazio's fundraising to date has been terrible, however.

In other news, I used to go out of my way to vote on the Conservative line (I actually carried my registration there at one point). No more. I'm sick of these guys deep sixing electable candidates b/c they don't want to be pushed around by the state GOP. Get in line and lets do something meaningful to help taxpayers, guys.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Just found a spectacular website

textsfromlastnight.com

Here are some real gems (note: the number in parenthesis is the area code the text was sent from):

(301):

the majority of my texts from you are at 3 AM & consist of either "I'm drunk", "you're asian", or "bratwurst"

(907):

There's a guy at this party taking all the unfinised beers and pouring them into a pitcher so he can drink them tomorrow.

(425):

He yelled "HERE COMES THE WARMTH" before he pissed his pants. In front of the whole party.

(306):

I woke up laying in alphagetti with the message "I'd go get checked asap" written out in the letters.

(256):

dinner with the girl I motorboated last semester wasn't as awkward as I thought it would be

(912):

I woke up with a flask of whiskey and a mason jar full of sausage in my tux jacket. south georgia is where i belong

(616):

This was worse than the time that I shot a bald eagle.

(206):

I feel like im in a tornado of daylight savings, tequila and death
Sunday, March 14, 2010

Jets

Since it's not the start of the regular season yet, and since other than Santana the rest of the Mets look poor so far (see Reyes, Beltran, Maine, Ollie, ...), I figured I'd take the time to post about the Jets.

Specifically, the LT deal. I'm scratching my head about this one - they basically signed LT to the same deal they would have had to give Jones to keep him. Granted, LT is a better receiver and gives them different options, but no more options than a healthy Leon gives them. Since Jones is still in good shape (better than LT), has a well-regarded off-season workout regimen, and he's very popular in the clubhouse for his character and skill, I'm not sure I see the upside to LT over TJ. I'll reserve judgment on this one and give Jets mgmt the benefit of the doubt, but this move is curious at best at this point.
Friday, March 12, 2010

Wind Power Blows

Let's for a minute, like the media, Democratic Party, Gore acolytes and many other, take for granted that there is a climate change problem, that it's caused by human carbon emission, and there is something we can and do about it. We've been led to believe that wind turbines are great way to produce energy without carbon emissions. How come they've actually caused an increase in fossil fuel use in Denmark and Germany?

"Denmark, the world’s most wind-intensive nation, with more than 6,000 turbines
generating 19% of its electricity, has yet to close a single fossil-fuel plant.
It requires 50% more coal-generated electricity to cover wind power’s
unpredictability, and pollution and carbon dioxide emissions have risen (by 36%
in 2006 alone)."



The full article has more.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Rubio continues to impress

I see big things in this young man's future. Wonder if he wants to be a Bison?

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