Thursday, December 20, 2012

Today's Moment of Bliss

Ron Burgundy: Brick, what are you eating? 
Brick Tamland: Oh, it is one of those delicious falafel hot dogs with cinnamon and bacon on top. 
Ron Burgundy: What do you mean "one of those?" Those don't exist... that's a used coffee filter with cigarette butts on it. 
Sunday, December 16, 2012

Just wondering....

Anyone else as juiced for Django Unchained as I am?
Thursday, December 13, 2012

Wage Confiscating Unions Get Violent

Remember back in 2010, when a Tea Party rally of 3,000 would have one moron get caught with a stupid a sign and the press would describe the whole rally as "angry," "racist," with "violent overtones?"

Michelle Malkin is covering the happenings in Michigan this week.  The legislature there passed bills making MI a right-to-work state, and Gov. Snyder signed it into law.  Thus, Unions now will actually need to have their membership deicide to join the Union.  They will have to convince workers that they are getting a value commensurate with the dues they are paying to join.  The Union won't simply be able to confiscate a portion of every employee's paycheck, regardless of whether they like the Union, think the Union is working in their best interest, etc.

As a result of this legislation, Unions are out demonstrating, in a largely peaceful fashion, according to the MSM.

Michelle Malkin captures the reality of these "peaceful" demonstrations.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Quote of the Day

... or at least the hour.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Israel IQ at UCLA - A Dip?

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

JoAnn Watson: Thank you for your service

As you can see in this article (and please do watch the video), JoAnn Watson has publicly called for "leadership" out of Detroit's city government.  What is "leadership," you may ask?  Creating incentives for businesses to invest in Detroit and rebuild its woeful economy, and hence, its tax base?

Nope.  Leadership means going to Washington to get some "quid pro quo" in return for the city's denizens supporting the reelection of Barack Obama.  As she terms it, "bringing home the bacon."   She also gets in a little historical footnote, recalling when Mayor Coleman Young successfully, er, leveraged his relationship with President Carter.

Personally, I feel that JoAnn Watson has done a public good here.  Not in lowering politics to city-level electioneering.   But in being honest, clear, and direct.  Our politicians (the "good ones", anyway) have become paid actors, adept in obfuscation and half-truths.   I can live with JoAnn Watson asking D.C. for a Dem GOTV payback if it allows some sunlight into the dark back-rooms of the American political establishment.  If the American public is given enough truth, I am confident that this approach to politics (as well as other forms of radical redistribution) will be rejected.  And if not, the fault lies squarely on the shoulders of our citizens. Fox 2 News Headlines
Friday, November 09, 2012

Puzzling math

I'm really having a hard time understanding tax math.

Obama wants to raise rates for individuals making $200 K, or families making $250 K. Hmmmm... So if the level for one person is $200 K, then how is the level for two or more people (say a family of four) $250 K? Seems to me that the family level should be at least $500 K to be comparable, but maybe I just forgot to carry a 1 somewhere. It's also possible I'm just not qualified to do math. Perhaps I should have spent more time and gotten two Ph.D.s in engineering, instead of just the one. 

Also, here's another outrageous suggestion. Maybe, must maybe, there should be a cost of living adjustment to the levels. I'm thinking cash doesn't go quite as far living near major cities along the coasts as it does in the midwest. But what do I know, I'm probably just being silly again. It's not like my wife's family is from the Midwest and I have direct firsthand knowledge of living costs on the coasts vs. Midwest.

 Yeah, I'm just being silly. The central planners know best.

Petraeus resigns

Analysis from Ben Shapiro at Brietbart:

This is only the latest in a string of groundshaking events demonstrating that the Obama administration hid information vital to the American people during the last days of the 2012 election cycle. The fact that the most respected soldier of his generation, Petraeus, would be leaving the administration during an Obama second term, had to be known by the White House prior to the election. And they said nothing in order to run out the clock.

The fact that Attorney General Eric Holder was considering stepping down from the administration had to be known by the White House prior to the election. Meanwhile, during the election cycle, the Obama administration claimed executive privilege in order to shield Holder from questions about Fast and Furious.

The fact that an American drone was fired upon in international airspace by Iranian airplanes was hidden from the American public for a week in order to prevent the American public from recognizing the failure of the Obama Iranian foreign policy. The facts in Benghazi were lied about by virtually every member of the Obama administration for weeks upon weeks.

The fact that the administration had been slow-walking reams of vital regulation to beyond the election in order to avoid scaring off voters was hidden from the public. Now that the Obama administration has succeeded in winning a second term, they are cleaning house. The two figures most linked to the disaster in Benghazi, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Petraeus, are gone. The figure most linked with Fast and Furious, Eric Holder, will be gone. The figure most linked to the administration’s economic failures, Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner, will be gone.

Only Obama remains. He ran out the clock on his scandals, and now throws anyone associated with them overboard.

The Petraeus resignation is only the most recent evidence that the Obama administration will lie to the American people to achieve its ends. But with all of his experts gone, Obama’s cabinet will now be staffed by the political C team in a time of crisis, both domestically and internationally.

Obama supporters celebrate no more Israel

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

A Shrewd Observation

Trying to pick up the pieces, there is a thread at Race 4 2012 discussing what's next, likely '16 candidates for the GOP, and how the GOP needs to position itself.   This was one of the better observations I read:
People are taking the wrong lessons away from this. It is not about issues. It is not about being more vicious in campaigns (though that may be an effective tool is used correctly). It is about empathy, stupid.

Look back at every Presidential race. 9/10 (or more) the candidate that is perceived as more empathetic wins the race. You can’t get a better predictor than that. That is the goal … be more empathetic than the other guy. Make your policies so that they appear better for the middle class than the other guy’s. If that takes character assassination (as it did in this race), you might need to do it. If it takes lofty rhetoric of “hope and change,” do it.

The problem is not the tactics, it is the positioning. You can be more qualified than the other candidate, and you can still lose. The other candidate can be incompetent and inexperienced, and you will still lose. The key is empathy.

Romney (yes he deserves blame) and his campaign made a terrible mistake by not responding to Obama’s character assassination, and the 47% video (while taken out of context and a complete freak accident) was a death knell for Romney.

We must get our heads in the game and focus everything we say and do on convincing people that we care about them as people (because we do). That doesn’t mean we give them handouts or engage in liberal policies. But we must change our tone and rhetoric.

Monday, November 05, 2012


I'd love to hear from contributors on your predictions for tomorrow's results. Here's mine:

R 50% (275 EVs)
O 49% (263 EVs)

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Hurricane Sandy: As It Happened

Friday, November 02, 2012

Maybe the best story ever

can be found here.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Think you could come up with an X-Files plot around this graphic?

Here's looking at you, D.C. Check out this link.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A British take on debate #3

In The Guardian. There are a few great zingers in the article, but I'll only copy some of the main arguments below:

Obama seemed to have a touch of the Bidens, wriggling about in his chair, waving his hands dismissively and always – always – smirking in Romney’s direction. By contrast, Romney sucked up the abuse and retained a rigid poker face all night. He looked like a Commander in Chief; Obama looked like a lawyer. Who would you rather vote for?

...they agreed on the essentials, which were all about foreign policy. Romney refused to tackle Obama directly on Libya (I shouted at the TV that he should, but he just wouldn’t listen) and Fast and Furious seems to have been forgotten by the GOP. In everything else, Obama has become so homicidally neoconservative and Romney so desperately peaceful that they’ve met in the middle on most issues. Both would defend Israel in the event of an attack, both want out of Afghanistan in 2014 and neither would let Iran get the bomb....

Romney tried his darnedest to bring everything back to the economy and Obama seemed to say in every answer, “So what we need to do in the Middle East is talk more about how rubbish my opponent is.” It’s almost lucky that Obama isn’t running unopposed in this election because then he’d have nothing to run on at all.

We...have to judge this debate as part of the narrative arc of this season. Romney won the first debate by a mile. Because Romney’s win was so decisive, it sparked an image change: Americans started to think of him as presidential material. That’s why Obama winning the second debate by an inch made little impact – people were watching Romney not to see him land punches but to see how well he could take them. He won the third debate because, by the end of the night, his and Obama’s positions in the narrative arc had switched. Romney now looks like the President and Obama looks like the challenger.
ht: Drudge
Monday, October 22, 2012

New Solid Citizen Award

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mitt holds his own

in Debate #2--IMO, it was a draw.  None of the debaters, not even Candy Crowley, scored a clean knockout (Candy had to walk back her factually incorrect interjection on Libya immediately after the debate).

The feeling heading into the debate was that the pressure was on Obama to change the trajectory of the race, and I'm not sure he did that.  Panels of independent voters on multiple networks (including MSNBC!) agreed that Mitt had won, although CNN's snap poll showed the President with a slight lead.

A few observations:

-Crowley was horrible, just like Raddatz.  The clear bias that a GOP candidate has to deal with, debating an opponent and a moderator, is just absurd.  Luckily, Crowley was so obvious in her bias, her excessive interruption and "fact checking," and so wrong (as the record now shows), that perhaps we will finally see a change to the ridiculous format of our Presidential debates.  I don't want to see a moderator.  A timekeeper will suffice, then let the candidates have it L-D style on a pre-arranged set of issues/questions.

-Obama drips with so much condescension, I can't even stand to hear his voice or see his visage any more.

-Romney absolutely decimated Obama when rebutting on the question of "What have you done over the past 4 years to earn my vote again."

-Romney completely fudged the end of the debate, failing to hit the President effectively on his obfuscation of the situation in Benghazi.  He also did not challenge the President's faux outrage over Romney challenging his decision to go to Vegas the day after the murders.  Mitt should've come back with something like this: "Mr. President, you seem very passionate about this now, in a debate.  I would have liked to see that passion in your actions after the murder of our Ambassador.  I would have been rescheduling fundraisers and political events to get facts and respond appropriately.  Your priorities were different."  Instead, Mitt said nothing.

-Obama is still wrong on Benghazi.  Even if Obama had called it terrorism in his Day 2 press conference (which his intentionally vague statement did not, sorry Candy), it would just make the rest of the Administration's actions even more curious.
Friday, October 12, 2012

RNC ad on VP debate

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Occ Obs Contributors: Alert!!!

Occ Obs GOTV operation in effect!

If you have friends or relatives in New York who will vote for the right candidate, please help them get registered ASAP.  The deadline is this Friday.  Fill out the form and mail it in or deliver it in person this week.

Link to the form, including the County-by-County list of addresses for Boards of Elections, is

If you're in another state, Google the registration process and make it happen!
Friday, October 05, 2012

RJC - Bernie Marcus TV Ad

Best Movies You Haven't Seen in the Past Decade

Well, I've seen 4 of the 23.  You may have seen more, but you probably haven't seen most.

A real Beetz special made the list, too.
Thursday, October 04, 2012

A Truly Outrageous Abuse of Power

Linked without commentary here.


This minute forty was all you needed to see. Unless you enjoy watching the President of The United States of America stammering to get his words out, disrepecting his opponent by continually looking down when he was being spoken to and ultimately being totally unprepared for a fight.

BLR: Paul Ryan

So we've been told not to use the name Steak Baby.

Sometimes, it's all in the eye of the beholder

A funny thing, point of view.

Warning:  Below the fold is NSFW

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Debate #1

The stakes:

Clearly a big Obama win would tough for Mitt to overcome.

Can Mitt lay a glove O?  He can't just point that O's record is one of failure.  Everyone who agrees with that statement is already on board.  He's got to convince people he actually has a plan to improve economic outcomes--a plan that will benefit even the 47%.

A tall order for the Mittster.
Tuesday, October 02, 2012

7 Greatest Quotes by IDF Generals • IDF Blog | The Official Blog of the Israel Defense Forces

7 Greatest Quotes by IDF Generals • IDF Blog | The Official Blog of the Israel Defense Forces
Monday, October 01, 2012

Fool me once...

Click here to go to documentary Absolutely Uncertain.
Friday, September 28, 2012


Thursday, September 27, 2012

The biggest anti-Obama, pro-Romney ad on Israel you've ever seen

Excellent Analysis of the Galactic Empire's Failure

This is a must read for all OccObsers.  The only thing I would add to the analysis is the Emperor's and Darth Vader's over-reliance on their ability to foresee the future using the force led to over confidence.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012

One of the worst headlines you will ever read. Ever.

This story gave me a feeling roughly akin to the passengers in Airplane 2 after being told they'd run out of coffee:

SNL focuses on the "Undecided Voter"

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Colbert on the 47%

Colbert made my sides hurt.  Particularly around the 6:10 mark.  "See how they love it?"

The Invasion is On!

As part of OccObs' ongoing "Annex Canada" series, I'm excited to bring you some web links I've recently discovered.  One makes a comprehensive case for our pending land grab:


The next link shows that our government has already planned the attack.  It's sitting in the archives somewhere right next to the Ark of the Covenant:

Invasion Plans

Which just leaves me with one question:  How much do we need to give each citizen of Canada to get the Canadians to surrender their meek past and embrace their new calling as Americans.  I'm thinking $10K to each man, woman and child.  For a measly $350B (only 1/3 of our typical annual budget deficit, funded--of course--by T-bonds purchased by the Federal Reserve), we will have successfully "integrated" Canadian resources into our sovereign territory.  It will go down in history as a better deal than the Alaska purchase.
Monday, September 10, 2012

Presidential Knife Fight

I love it.  This Canadian blogger wrote a lengthy post with some analysis titled "In a Mass Knife Fight to the Death Between Every American President, Who Would Win and Why?"

Awesome.  It reminds me of something we'd come up with in the hunting cabin.  I agree with his conclusion that T.R. has a good chance of winning.  Though, I'm not sure I'd put Lincoln in the top 3.  He had the reach, but I'm not so sure about the killer instinct and the fighting skills.  I'd probably give some of the other civil war vets a better shot.
Friday, September 07, 2012

Three Times.

New Allen West ad. In the words of Spinal Tap manager Ian Faith, "Controversial. Very controverisal.
Thursday, September 06, 2012

Democrats for banning all corporate profits.

There are no words...

How Democrats count votes

The following is a video of what took place on the floor of the Dem Convention when the platform committee tried to re-insert the two "controversial" phrases they had stripped from the '08 platform:

1) that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel

2) that we have "God-given ability" (apparently the notion that God exists and/or gives us anything is objectionable)

But most of all, it's fun to watch the party of "vote early, vote often", er.... vote often.

In essence, Dem leadership figured out they screwed up in removing the language, and then tried to reinsert it, but the rank-and-file delegates apparently agreed with original version (e.g., that God and support for Israel have no place in the Dem platform).
Monday, September 03, 2012

"We've Heard It All Before"

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Star Wars Haikus

For reasons I don't fully understand, Strawberry Girl asked me to write a Star Wars haiku. Finding it fun, I wrote many. Please accept my humble contributions below without malicious laughter:

You say "I love you"
Awaiting cold carbonite
I say that I know

MB: Admin privelege granted

Go to work, young man.

Spotted in Florida

Goofing on Ole' Joe never gets old.
Friday, August 24, 2012

GOP platform to include Gold Standard "commission"

Some legitimately important news with real implications. Expect it to get little coverage, as people need to know whether Mitt's dog really rides on the roof or if Barry really does eat dog for breakfast.
Thursday, August 23, 2012

My last word on Akin

From a thread at R 4 '12:

I weary of whipping the horse carcass any further, but this has never been about RTL or the “rape exception” debate.

The firestorm of coverage is because Akin’s comments could be reasonably interpreted to blame women for getting pregnant in case of rape. Either the victim partially consented (hence her body didn’t “shut that whole thing down”), her female parts didn’t work properly, or she wasn’t actually raped.

In other words, the rape victim is either a slut, less than a real woman, or a liar.

The cruelty in sending this message to the victim of a horrible crime is mind-numbing. The hubris Akin has shown in not withdrawing highlights his selfishness and his lack of awareness.

The damage he is doing every day to the pro-life cause should cause pro-lifers to be at the forefront of those demanding his withdrawal. With every headline, every passing day, every regurgitated story about Akin “missing science class”, Republicans “hating their mothers,” etc., Akin’s words are being used not only define him, but every pro-life advocate out there.

The majority of Americans, who have mixed feelings on this issue, are being convinced every day that pro-lifers who are against the rape exception are motivated NOT by love of the child and the mother, but by ignorance and a prejudicial bias against the victim.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Levin on Akin

Pretty much says it all.

Great NR take on Mitt and Mitt's money

Theme is that Mitt needs to be more comfortable in his own skin, but also has a great takedown of O:
Sure, he grew up rich — Dad was the CEO of American Motors. (Hey, where was their bailout?) But Mitt didn’t inherit his fortune: He gave away everything his father left him, establishing a school of public management in his father’s memory. (Old-school patriarchs build monuments to their fathers.) Why would he do a thing like that? Because he didn’t need the money: “I figured we had enough of our own,” he explained. And then some. George Romney made his money by being a boss — a leader. Mitt Romney has been the same thing. When things went wrong, people put Romney in charge of them — at Bain, at the Olympics, at a hundred companies he helped turn around or restructure. Bain is a financial firm, but Romney wasn’t some Wall Street bank-monkey with a pitch book. He was the guy who fired you. He was a boss, like his dad, and like his sons probably will be. Barack Obama was never in charge of anything of any significance until the delicate geniuses who make up the electorate of this fine republic handed him the keys to the Treasury and the nuclear football because we were tired of Frenchmen sneering at us when we went on vacation. Obama made his money in part through political connections — no, I think Michelle Obama was worth nearly 400 grand a year — and by authoring two celebrity memoirs, his sole innovation in life having been to write the memoir first and become a celebrity second. Can you imagine Barack Obama trying to pull off a hostile takeover without Rahm Emanuel holding his diapers up for him? Impossible.
As good as that is, this part's better:
It is time for Mitt Romney to get in touch with his inner rich guy. Some Occupy Wall Street types, believing it to be the height of wit, have begun to spell Romney’s name “Rmoney.” But Romney can do better than that — put it in all caps: R-MONEY. Jay-Z can keep his puny little lowercase letters and the Maybach: R-MONEY doesn’t own a flashy car with rims, R-MONEY does billion-dollar deals with Keystone Automotive and Delphi. You want to make it rain? R-MONEY is going to make it storm, like biblical. Rappers boast about their fat stacks: R-MONEY’s fat stacks live in a beachfront house of their own in the Hamptons, and the bricks in that house are made from tightly bound hundred-dollar bills. You have a ton of money? R-MONEY has 200 metric tons of money if he decides to keep it in cash.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Todd Akin is a douche canoe

That is all.
Monday, August 20, 2012

My letter to Congressman Akin

Dear Congressman Akin,

Your comments cannot be walked back with an apology.  In substance, they are deplorable.   You have implied that women who become pregnant via rape were actually consenting to it.  Disgusting.

Politically speaking, it is the type of statement that not only loses votes, but takes people from disagreement to hatred, from "lean Dem" to "I'm calling all my friends and relatives to turn out against you."  You have not only severely damaged your electoral prospects, but provided Democrats a weapon to wield against Republicans nationwide.  

As a lifelong Republican, I feel this election may be our country's only chance to beat back Obamacare,  prevent our government from becoming insolvent, and preserve the American Dream for future generations.

The MO Senate race is too important to be thrown away.  For the love of our Country, and for the love of the unborn, we need a GOP majority in the Senate.  Please realize your career is not more important than that.  Step down as the GOP nominee for Senate before it is too late.

You can send your own to Congressman Akin here.  
Update:  I received this in my inbox:
Hi. This is the qmail-send program at'm afraid I wasn't able to deliver your message to the following addresses.This is a permanent error; I've given up. Sorry it didn't work out.
<>:This address no longer accepts mail.
What a coward.

Man of the People

Blockquote below is from Investor's Business Daily. Hat tip to Mark Lowe at Race 4 '12.

… As the president’s big black armored bus began to waddle its way out of town along one of the leafy streets, a little girl was standing, up ahead. She’d set up a sidewalk lemonade stand, like thousands of kids across the heartland on hot summer days.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Mike Mellia photo art

Maybe it's just 'cause I'm connected to the financial services industry....

But this is genius.
Friday, August 17, 2012

Toure and MSNBC: y'all is racist

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Paul Ryan: Deer Killa

Check it
Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Doesn't sound like this was a rescue mission

Red October was skulking about the Gulf for a month, and we had no idea.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Polling and party ID split

Gallup and Rasmussen show the race approximately even, while a few other polls have shown a > MOE lead for Obama. Why the discrepancy? The Fox and CNN polls that showed high single digit leads for Obama had a party ID split of D+7 to D+10.

Check out this link for an explanation as to why that is unlikely.   Current Gallup polling (which has historically shown itself to be pretty accurate on party ID split, even 3 months out from the election) shows R+1.  If that (or anything close to it) happens, given Mitt is typically carrying independents in most polls, it is difficult to see how Obama wins.
Sunday, August 12, 2012

Why am I excited about the Ryan VP pick?

I done already told you.

Ryan takedown on Obamacare

6 minutes of light

[Note: Embedded video removed b/c it kept auto starting and I couldn't take it any more.]
Thursday, August 09, 2012

Great music AND a great video

I've been listening to this song heavily. By my standards, that means 5x a week, which is about half of my music consumption.

The song hit me right away, with its blend of melancholy chords and the primitive, almost tribal, feeling that the xylophone (or whatever perscussion chime that is) brings. The verses are explanatory, quiet, but emotionally accessible.  His lyrics perfectly capture the internal tension that one would feel trapped in that circumstance, including the ways he lies to himself.  Then the chorus explodes with passion as the anger he feels towards her (and towards himself) comes to the surface.

The fact that his anger fixates on things that are trivial rings true. How often have you observed a friend, colleague, or maybe even yourself, when really affected by a relationship gone bad, focus on points of argument rather than core issues?

Just when I was ready to crown the song as greatest artistic achievement of the year, I finally got a look at the video.  It's the best visual adaptation I've seen since Peter Jackson filmed the bloodthirsty hordes of Isengard storming Helm's Deep (although the two are polar opposites in terms of on screen "action").


I love everything about this video. As Gotye sets his thoughts on the dissolved relationship, he blends into the mosaic. He's no longer an individual, he's part of something bigger than himself. And yet he is defined by jagged lines. He's fragmented by the painting, and the fragmentation is reinforced by the close-ups that emphasize parts of his body over the whole.

Panning out for the holistic shot that includes Kimbra, the new vantage point changes the overall feel to one of beauty. This nicely complements the "he said, she said" nature of the song.

While explaining her reasons for the break-up, she approaches him in a somewhat sultry fashion.  She leaves her place in the painting, and invades his space.  She's breaking her role in the design; his vision of her role in their relationship.   She's getting closer to him than he wants, almost hauntingly in his ear with her indictment. All the while, in how she moves, brings her open mouth near his ear (and her naked body near his), she's seductive.  Frustratingly so, since she (or the memory of her) is also driving him mad.   You almost feel like he's screaming for relief when he belts out his verse in the chorus.

Finally, she fades away, is stripped from the mosaic, paint removed from her body.  She has released herself from him, and from his fractured, static view of their relationship. And left him alone, shattered, with his self-consoling half-truths.
Tuesday, August 07, 2012


Drudge banner hinting at Petraeus as Mitt's Veep choice (citing anonymous Obama donor as source). Not exactly solid footing for a rumor, but good for a round of good ole fashioned speculation.

Will on Reid: "McCarthyism from the Desert"

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Paul Ryan: The potential veep who gets it

and can effectively articulate the difference between an Obama future and non-Obama future. I doubt Ryan will be picked for obvious reasons, but it would be a true "double down" against Obama's corporatism, crony capitalism, and statism. The guy gets it, and here are two brief videos that are very much worth listening to and sharing:
 ht: Matthew E Miller
Friday, July 27, 2012

Vote for Your Favorite Queen (Cover)

See all three versions of Bohemian Rhapsody over at Reason.

You also have the like the Hayseed Dixie version mentioned in the comments.

I'll give it to the first guy.  He's got some stamina.  And you have to love the Muppets.  But my vote goes for #2.  What can I say, I'm a computer geek.

Also in the comments, the totally unrelated best video ever! Enjoy.
Thursday, July 26, 2012

New web ad from Mitt

Friday, July 20, 2012

Caribou vs. Insects

Some wild photos and interesting stuff:

"The bugs on the North Slope are pretty ferocious," Joly told OurAmazingPlanet. "The mosquitoes just harass them 24 hours per day." The warble flies and nasal bots that are out now are even worse in some ways, he said; the warbles try to lay eggs on the animal's sides and the bots try to fly up caribou nostrils to deposit eggs.

To avoid the flying pests, caribou move inland and into higher elevations where there are fewer winged menaces. This forces them closer together in groups called aggregations, which reduces each individual's exposure in terms of relative numbers of bugs and body area open to harassment.
Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bright Outlook for My Chances of Bagging a Deer One Day

There are two companies developing guided bullets that track a laser on the intended target.  Now if we only were able to actually see any deer in the field I'd be in business.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Rant About The Simpsons

I went to go see the new Ice Age movie with my family this weekend.  After the 15 minutes of previews, I thought the movie would start.  It didn't.  Instead we were treated to a bonus 3D short of the Simpsons.  I haven't watched the Simpsons since 2006, when they abandoned comedy for politics.  Prior to that I was a big fan - buying DVDs and other merchandise.  The short was not only political, it wasn't very entertaining and it got the attempted leftist political statement all wrong.

The central character to the short was the baby, Maggie.  It started with her entering The Ayn Rand Pre-School (or something similar).  I knew I was going to be annoyed just from that opening.  It then proceeded to show an exaggerated security checkpoint.  They passed a room for the gifted kids with all kinds of nice things in it and left Maggie in the remedial room which was gloomy and barren. 

First of all, I suspect the majority of the viewers of an Ice Age movie have no clue who Ayn Rand is. 

Secondly, if the liberal writers knew anything at all about her, they'd know she was a libertarian, not a conservative.  Extreme government security measures are anathema to her philosophy.  She also would not have advocated giving better opportunity to students deemed gifted.  Fairness is central to her writing.

If you consider yourself a clever liberal cartoon writer, at least get it right.  Better yet, keep the politics to yourself and work harder on making it funny.

Mitt's veep choice: On Stranger Tides

Mitt appears ready to announce, and all the CW is that he's going with one of the pasty boring choices, probably Pawlenty or Portman.  A position that I've agreed with, and endorsed, since the beginning of the campaign.

That said, Obama has changed the trajectory of this campaign in the past week and half, and is clearly winning the argument.  Looking at the polling numbers I linked to last night, there can be little doubt that Mitt will lose, unless he can convince people his business experience is a positive, and not a negative, for the country.  He seems incapable, to this point of taking Obama to task on his attacks other than whining for an apology.

Should Mitt wait a bit longer, for the head-to-head polling numbers will begin to reflect the reality that the foundation of his campaign is being broken.  I think that would change his veep calculus.   A riskier, more confrontational persona might be in order to take on the lies and distortions that are effectively damaging Mitt's reputation.   I have never thought Mitt, with his cautious calculating personality, would ever roll the dice on a veep selection, but that hour may be at hand.

Is it time for large-and-in-charge?

Cool time lapse photos: Northern Lights

ht: CNN iReport
Monday, July 16, 2012

The Bain Capital Chronicles

Mitt is losing this round, and losing it badly.  The President has taken the initiative, and is defining Mitt not just a rich, heartless outsourcer, but also as a liar and a corporate miscreant.  Another boardroom bad-guy.

What's ridiculous about this is that the evidence is in Mitt's corner, but he's not hitting back hard, and not effectively.

Want to see how well the President's attacks are working?  Check this poll out.
Thursday, July 12, 2012

Is Fredo an Ostrich or Am I Chicken Little?

A little while back, Fredo and I had a conversation about buying silver.  I gave my reasons for wanting to do so which included using it as a hedge against runaway inflation.  When I mentioned the Weimar Republic scenario, Fredo said he didn't think that would be able to happen here any time soon.  Doug Ross does a write-up of a Peter Schiff article from Investment News about the real fiscal cliff.

Schiff describes how the German people at that time didn't heed the warning signs and used brief periods of stability to rationalize leaving their wealth in the mark.  Are we doing this now?

What say you Fredo?  Is your head in the sand?  Or am I claiming the sky is falling?
Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Date cleared for veep announcement?

7/24 or 7/25, per the Eagle.

ht: R 4 '12

As for the veepstakes, that would mean Raekwon if pick is the field (Condi Rice, Ayotte, etc.); C.E. if Rubio; Fredo if McDonnell; and SHK if Martinez. If it's Rob Portman, Jindal, Christie, Thune, Pawlenty, Daniels, or Ryan, then we crapped out (no one wins) and we really suck. Odds are pretty heavily on the suck right now. Caribou and Raekwon both still have a shot. I'd be shocked, based on the lack of noise, if me or SHK win.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012

And the Sully goes to...

This truck driver, who lost his brakes, and managed to bring his rig down without hurting or killing anyone.
Thursday, July 05, 2012

This is redunkulous...

Fox 2 News Headlines

More predicitions from "The Eagle"

Always take this stuff with a grain of salt, but it's good grist for the mill (is that crossing metaphors?).  

For the full transcript, see the following link:

The Race 4 2012 Rumor Mill – GOP Convention Edition

The first part discusses the GOP Convention.  I'll cut to the bottom line, but there's lots of interesting stuff if you click the link:
Rubio gets the Keynote speech [Monday night]. Christie and Rice dominate Tuesday night, Woman’s night. Wednesday will be the reformers, the Governors of the GOP. Jindal or Pawlenty finishes the night with the Vice Presidential acceptance speech. Thursday will be Mitt Romney’s night.
Regarding the veepstakes:
Nothing has changed. Except maybe Jindal’s people are getting more involved. What I mean is that they’re spending time getting to know the people in Boston. I think it’s a great sign for Jindal becoming the selection. Honestly, the people who I have talked with, well let’s put it this way: If you ask Jindal’s people they will tell you they think it’s between Jindal and Pawlenty; if you ask Pawlenty’s people, they will tell you it’s between Jindal and Pawlenty. A whole lot of people would have to be reading this stuff wrong if it’s not between those two guys, you know what I mean? Now I think it’s still going to be Pawlenty because of where the battlefield is taking place. But Jindal is the option that Boston is looking at very closely. 
It's worth noting that "the Eagle" has previously admitted to being part of the MN GOP establishment, which means his information is probably coming from T-Paw circles, and hence somewhat tilted in that direction. The only thing I would take away from this (assuming the whole thing is not some planted misdirection on behalf of the Mitt folks), is that Jindal and T-Paw are both under consideration. The fact that he takes Pawlenty as the favorite? We'll see.
Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Why I'm nervous about November

Based on current polling, Obama would win if the election were held today.  That frightens me, because the headlines could not have been worse for O heading into last week.  The AG getting cited for contempt, and the President taking ownership of Fast & Furious with his executive privilege claim.  Unlike Watergate, this is a scandal with a body count.  A big one.  2 American ICE agents and up to 300 Mexicans killed by the guns we walked to the bad guys.  Obama covering up for his guys, reminding the voters that his administration is "politics as usual", not "hope & change"

Then you have the economy.  ISM numbers show manufacturing contraction for the first time in 3 years.  Unemployment rate moving back up.  

Next, the ongoing implosion of European socialism across the pond, reminding American voters that we're only trailing them on the path to insolvency by a few paces.

Finally, the Middle East about to erupt.  Whether the blood letting is inevitable, and our hands-off approach justified, I'm not sure.  But with the Iranians threatening to seal the strait of Hormuz, and/or launch a pre-emptive strike on Israel; with Turkey militarizing their border with Syria (Iran's puppet); and a new Islamist regime in Cairo causing Israel to reassess their military preparedness; the tinder box is primed to erupt.  When the price of oil goes through the roof, Joe Sixpack will be none too pleased with $5.00/gallon gas.

Despite all of this, Mitt trails the EV count and most of the popular vote polling.  

I still belive that Mitt will win, but his campaign doesn't seem to be taking advantage of the opportunities that are being afforded to it right now.

A quirky bit of S&G trivia

Love obscure stuff like this.  Pretty classic Paul Simon move. 
"Fakin' It" was one of Simon's and Garfunkel's single releases in 1967. Its B-side was "You Don't Know Where Your Interest Lies," the duo's only non-LP track which made its album debut on the Old Friends CD box set in 1997.
The running time of the song was actually 3 minutes and 14 seconds. Radio stations at the time resisted playing songs lasting longer than three minutes, so Paul Simon had the time "faked" to read 2:74 on the label.
Monday, July 02, 2012

Sure sounds like CJ is gone to the dark side

Link:  Roberts Switched Views to Uphold Health Care Law

Wow, didn't take long for sources to leak to the press what went on behind the scenes.  The dissenting justices were apparently furious for being double-crossed, and refused to mention the CJ's opinion in the dissent, because they'd given up on arguing with him.   Kennedy supposedly led the effort to bring the Roberts back into the fold after he went wobbly in May.   They refused to join the Chief even in the portion of his decision they agreed with, namely the Commerce Clause limitations.

Sounds like a permanent change in working relationship to me.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Ed Burns explains ideological drift

As I mull over the phenomenon of "textualist/originalist" jurists drifting to the left (and/or upward, for MB's benefit), it occurs to me that Ed Burns explained it perfectly in the Brothers McMullen

After her first tryst with the married Jack McMullen, temptress Ann asks him if he's ever cheated on Molly before.  "No," he replies.  Ann: "You won't find it so hard next time."  

Yes, John, you will be feted by the Washington Post, the President, and the Ivory Tower crowd today.  It will stroke your ego to ecstasy.

You won't find it so hard next time.

Mitt tries to make hay with Court's declaration that "Obamacare is a tax"

Strong ad or not?  What say you, contributors?

Roberts has "gone native," liberal accolades are everywhere

Liberal legal writers and MSM outlets are out in force today.   Hailing Roberts the Great.  Roberts the Wise.  Roberts who Saved the Court.

Other left-wing/statist Illuminati who have offered congratulations for Roberts "coming of age":

Laurence Tribe
Bill Press
Jeffery Rosen

Holder in Contempt of Congress

Call me a conspiracy theorist, but this whole business of withholding documents and executive privilege smells like a trap to me.  I can see the documents getting released in October with little or nothing of importance in them to make the GOP house look foolish.  I'm just saying...

The Senate Race is the New Front Line

A strong GOP nominee for POTUS would be a slam-dunk winner, but I think even Romney has a very good chance of winning now.  The Senate is where the GOP needs to concentrate now. Here's the picture.

OccObs awarded!

OK, so this blog didn't win an award, per se, but our very own Strawberry Girl did place in a writing contest over at WordPress.   On her own blog.

Why she no write here ever?

Why this blog always ignored in contests?

Congrats L&L!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The dissent holds the key

The final word on this flawed decision, and it comes from the dissenting Justices.  The final nail in the coffin of CJ John Roberts as unmoored and unreliable:

Chief Justice John Roberts held in his majority opinion today that Obamacare's individual mandate may be considered a constitutional tax rather than an unconstitutional mandate. 
Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito forcefully disagree with Roberts in their dissent:
"[W]e cannot rewrite the statute to be what it is not," the four Justices write. "[W]e have never—never—treated as a tax an exaction which faces up to the critical difference between a tax and a penalty, and explicitly denominates the exaction a 'penalty.' Eighteen times in §5000A itself and elsewhere throughout the Act, Congress called the exaction in §5000A(b) a 'penalty.'" 
The dissenting Justices also argue that "judicial tax-writing is particularly troubling," since the Constitution requires tax bills to originate in the House of Representatives, "the legislative body most accountable to the people, where legislators must weigh the need for the tax against the terrible price they might pay at their next election, which is never more than two years off."

Krauthamer on Roberts

I always feel like I am on firm ground when my political read of a situation lines up with Krauthamer's, and in this case it does, almost completely.  While he's more measured and understanding of the CJ's predicament than I am, he sees the same tension between his judicial philosophy and insitutional prerogatives (fears?).

But in the end, he agrees it was a welch, a cop-out, a bad choice, or in CK's language, "a dodge":
Law upheld, Supreme Court’s reputation for neutrality maintained. Commerce clause contained, constitutional principle of enumerated powers reaffirmed.
That’s not how I would have ruled. I think the “mandate is merely a tax” argument is a dodge, and a flimsy one at that. (The “tax” is obviously punitive, regulatory and intended to compel.) Perhaps that’s not how Roberts would have ruled had he been just an associate justice and not the chief. But that’s how he did rule.
Obamacare is now essentially upheld. There’s only one way it can be overturned. The same way it was passed — elect a new president and a new Congress. That’s undoubtedly what Roberts is saying: Your job, not mine. I won’t make it easy for you.

Chief Justice Souter

While I thought it more likely than not that the Supreme Court would overturn the Individual Mandate in PPACA, I was hardly confident. Arriving at work this morning, my boss told me not to worry. Either the Court would throw out the mandate, he told me, or they would invalidate the whole bill. I told I was far less confident. I remember, all too well, Casey v Planned Parenthod.  Kennedy switching his vote at the 11th hour, welching on conservatives. Conservative justices always seem to flinch when all the chips are down. Liberal justices never do.

SCOTUSblog breaks down the PPACA decision

From their liveblog of this morning's events:

10:32 Amy Howe:
In Plain English: The Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional. There were not five votes to uphold it on the ground that Congress could use its power to regulate commerce between the states to require everyone to buy health insurance. However, five Justices agreed that the penalty that someone must pay if he refuses to buy insurance is a kind of tax that Congress can impose using its taxing power. That is all that matters. Because the mandate survives, the Court did not need to decide what other parts of the statute were constitutional, except for a provision that required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or risk losing their funding. On that question, the Court held that the provision is constitutional as long as states would only lose new funds if they didn't comply with the new requirements, rather than all of their funding.
Monday, June 25, 2012

Fortuno gets some love from NR

While I still can't imagine him as the veep pick (only b/c of the more trivial aspects of our political system--he's certainly worthy), I know he's ManBeast's favorite dark horse, and his name keeps popping up. Here's the link.
Saturday, June 23, 2012

Stewart rips on everyone w/r/t Executive Privelege defense/apologies

The whole segment is pretty much devoted to showing how the Dems arguments supporting Obama's use of Executive Privilege are no different than those used by the GOP in 2007.  The same arguments Dems pilloried back then.  But he closes with the point that the outrage shown by GOP now is contradictory with the apologies offered back then.

Now the two situations may not be equivalent on the legal merits.  But Stewart is on to something here. The accusation-counter accusation dynamic in Washington is so canned, so pre-scripted, that it has almost zero credibility in the eyes of most citizens.   As a lib, Stewart is inclined to more deeply skewer the Executive Branch's desire to hide info.  As a conservative, I (and many others) find ourselves in the paradoxical position of defending executive privilege while trying to draw a fine line that it doesn't apply in this case.

Not sure this is evidence of a healthy government or polity.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Nancy Pelosi... she's pretty cool...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Physician Explains the Problem with Obamacare

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


ht:  Drudge
I'm stunned that Obama would wait until the 11th hour to assert Executive Privelege and deny the House GOP access to Holder's Fast & Furious documents.

I'm not clear if a President has ever done this for a cabinet head, who has been reviewed and approved by the Senate.  But even if so, the timing of this will hurt.

This action by the President is what it appears to be: a crass attempt to circumvent legitimate fact-finding.  What state secrets could Obama protecting, here?  Was there an intentional policy to destabilize Mexico at an existential level, or something like that?

Doubtful.  More likely, he's trying to save his ass.  Was this part of a direct effort to undermine gun rights and the 2nd amendment?   Did the President directly authorize the program?  

It will take court action to force release of the docs, at this point.  Which gets back to the issue of timing.  Maybe Obama figures he can weather the PR storm now, and with the Supreme Court adjourning for the summer, there won't be time for the judiciary to act on this matter until after the election.  Too cute by half, IMO.

As I tweeted earlier, Darrell Issa has won Mitt the election.

Pawlenty rumors gain traction

Now being repeated by the WSJ and Politico--see here.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Longest Wait

She was married for 6 weeks.  And faithful for 7 decades.

Kudos to CBS News.

Romney-Pawlenty '12?

So says the "insider" over at Race 4 '12. Maybe he knows something, maybe he's floating a trial balloon, maybe he's using faulty logic. Who knows. But he certainly offers a very detailed explanation of why he thinks it's Pawlenty. I'll try and distill his argument as concisely as possible:

1) There's noise coming from the outer ring of T-Paw guys that Pawlenty's the pick. T-Paw's inner circle is remaining tight lipped.

2) "The Eagle" has heard there was an agreement that Mitt wouldn't drag T-Paw into the national spotlight as a short-list guy, only for Tim to fall short (again).  T-Paw went through it with McCain, and only agreed to be vetted by Mitt if he'd get an "easy landing"--e.g., some other spot in the administration, and dumped from consideration early in the process before the press heated up. It's too late for that soft landing now.

3) People close to the Pawlenty's have been watching Mary Pawlenty as an indicator. The Pawlentys need cash and Mary could be a high earner, but continues to avoid getting tied into a job that could impact Tim's being picked, or be difficult to get out of quickly.

4) Romney is doing all his campaigning in the Midwest, in rural/exurban districts that were light blue last time around. These are the kinds of districts where T-Paw helps the most, and Mitt's internal polling must be indicating he can make hay there.

5) T-Paw buys him as much a pass as Mitt can get with evangelical leadership.

You grab my junk...

I'll grab your gunt ... and go to jail.
Monday, June 18, 2012

I'm glad I'm not Ronan Farrow

b/c if I was, Father's Day would really suck.
Friday, June 15, 2012

The Veep is full of #win

Can't believe POTUS would player hate like dat.
Thursday, June 14, 2012

A helpful chart

contrasting Romney's First 100 Days with Obama's Next 100 Days, below the fold:

National Bourbon Day


Kindegarten Graduation... Palestine Style

No cake & cookies?
Friday, June 08, 2012

The Daily Show on WI recall

Pretty damn funny, Mr. Stewart.

Why do unions do all the intimidating?

The AFL-CIO, UAW, AFSCME, SEIU, NEA / AFT, et al. have been dumping bazillions of dollars into our elections for decades.  They have consistently advocated for candidates who are directly responsible for our nation's current fiscal crisis and stagnant economy.  These groups, as far as I'm concerned, are bad for the country.

But bankrolling Dem campaigns is just the beginning of how they operate.  These organizations base their operational effectiveness on intimidation and the subversion of independent thinking.   How else does one describe a picket line?  Will picketing workers respect the conscience of a co-worker who decides to cross the line?  Sort of.  If by respect you mean ongoing harrassment and shooting up her house.

That's the power of bacon

The New Yorker has a fun little article up showing some of the more interesting brunch cocktails that are served up in NYC-area establishments.   Scroll down to the last one, and you'll see what captured my attention:

The New Bacon Cocktail
Bacon and Eggs, $12 at Fatta Cuckoo (63 Clinton St., nr. Rivington St.; 212-353-0570) is the liquid equivalent of Michael Fassbender. (Just look at it: Have you ever seen a more masculine concoction?) Fashioned with bacon-infused bourbon, frothy egg whites, bittersweet Aperol, and bright lemon, and topped with a salty-sweet strip of maple-glazed bacon, it’s creamy and savory and hits all the right carnivorous notes, not to mention a few boozy ones.
Thursday, June 07, 2012

This is a product that needed to be made

Hornady was already my ammunition producer of choice, but this is just spectacular:

Wednesday, June 06, 2012


Gentlemen of caliber on par with my own
(Those that know me may claim there are none)
May seem uncouth, wretched or slovenly to some
But I will describe without farce, satire or pun
The perception of those who insult with “elite”
Especially those who propose suckling the teat
Of government programs created to assist
The least among us, when ought to persist
The notions of Hayek, Rand, von Mises and Smith

If you’ve not read then you may have missed
That when men are given freedom to pursue
Life, liberty and happiness, soon will ensue
Hard work, innovation and the prosperity of few
Which then spreads to the management, partners and crew
Of the companies they create to offer fair trade
Of value for value for the products they’ve made

Through risk and reward, supply and demand
The winners made plain by invisible hand
Not picked by the President or his servile minions
By the unions or protests or media opinions
“Too big to fail” is not in our vocabulary
The forces enforced not by constabulary
But by consumers, in whom we trust
As better arbiters of boom or of bust
Than regulations designed to defend
The weak (or the earth) but in the end
Contradict the goals they purport
And harm those they wish to support

My Jeb mancrush compels me to link this

He is just so easy to like.

I grow weary of labor unions

for so many reasons:

1) their insistence on bullying people into paying dues (and their insistence that workers in union shops have no choice to opt out),
2) their constant bankrolling of leftist politicians (which support an agenda that goes far beyond issues directly involving the unions),
3) the cultural divisiveness they foster via the institutionalization of class warfare (e.g. recruiting and training people into a culture of class envy and hatred),
4) the nonsensical "rule generation" that abounds with unions and stifles economic activity,
5) the way they lead to higher unemployment, less growth, and a less dynamic U.S. economy,
6) the way they aid competing economies to grow more quickly and gain in relative wealth and power (which ties into why, IMO, the labor movement has always considered itself "global" and not American)

Unions in this day and age are counterproductive--period.  I wish them a quick death.
Tuesday, June 05, 2012

An Economic Argument for the Traditional Family

In an op-ed piece from, of all places, the LA Times, Kay Hymowitz makes a stats-based economic case for getting married before having kids.  Much of it is due to self-selection - unskilled, low-earning women are more likely to be single mothers in the first place, but her citation of a Ron Haskins of the Pew Center is very telling:

"If young people do three things — graduate from high school, get a job and get married and wait until they're 21 before having a baby — they have an almost 75% chance of making it into the middle class."

There's a reason the traditional family came to be - it was evolutionarily advantageous despite males' biological imperative to reproduce with as many females as possible.

DOJ to monitor WI recall election

Which should really help.  I'd hate if it partisans were responsible for policing the election and announcing who is "cheating."
Monday, June 04, 2012

A great explanation of why the Fed is f*cking you

This blog post is a few months old, but on point.  Here's the money shot:
The primary purpose of ZIRP was (and is) a backdoor bailout for banks......not to help consumers with lower interest rates as advertised. Anyone still under the illusion that it had to do with encouraging lending might want to find out why the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 included a provision for the Fed to pay interest to banks on reserves (which they never did before).
Obviously paying banks NOT to lend money isn't going to encourage lending. It shouldn't come as a surprise that excess reserves shot up after this was enacted...
The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis makes it quite clear:
"By keeping short-term interest rates low, the Fed helps recapitalize the banking system by helping to raise the industry’s net interest margin (NIM), which boosts its retained earnings and, thus, its capital."

More Veepstakes rumors

For those who clicked on the last link I offered to Race 4 '12 and the "inside information" being blogged there, you probably saw the blogger's contact is code-named "The Eagle."   Well, the Eagle allowed for an interview, subject to a bunch of his own rule, and offered up some more juicy tidbits.  The short version is that, in his opinion, the shortlist will be down to 3 names in the near future, and those names will be Portman, Jindal, and Pawlenty.  But the whole interview is worth a read and available below the fold.

The man who should have been President

in 2000, but for Lauton Chiles.  Or 2012, but for Dubya. Alas, the fates have kept Jeb from running, and that is a real loss for all of us.

In any event, I lucked out this weekend, and flipped on C-Span (which I usually don't, b/c it's not in my HD channel range) and happened to come across the hearing below.   It's a bit of a long session, but I found it totally engrossing, because it addressed THE issue that should be consuming our federal government: "What should be the role of government in our economy?"

Friday, June 01, 2012

Blogger bash!

So I had an idea...

How's about we try and get all contributors and friends of this blog together for a little par-tee?

I had the notion that we might try to return to Foxwoods which would be convenient for our NY (7), Boston (3), and Connecticut (1) bloggers.  If we go 4 to a room, prolly be pretty cheap too.

Little bit of a trip for D.C., but I think we could make it worth his while.  If you know what I mean.

At the other end of the experiential spectrum, we could go up to Ehrhardt's for their Halloween party.
* whistling *

Summer?  Fall?  What all y'all think?
Thursday, May 31, 2012

I try not to get too alarmist

but you might want give this one a read.   If you're so lazy that you can't bother to read one stinking blog post, here's the crackerjack finale:

Spain has illustrated the true nature of the EU Crisis in just one week. Specifically… 
1.  Both governments and banks are lying about the real risks to their balance sheets (Bankia passed the EU’s stress tests). 
2.  We have reached the point at which Governments can no longer bailout their own        failing banks as the Governments themselves are bankrupt (see Catalonia and Spain as a whole).
To recap… Spain has only €5 billion left in its own bailout fund… at a time when its largest bank needs €19 billion (at the least)… and its regional government have begun asking for bailouts too.

Oh, and the Spanish banking system needs to write off another €270 billion…  if Spain cannot cobble together €19 billion, where on earth will it get the money needed to support its collapsing banking system which is on the verge of having to write down hundreds of billions of Euros?

This is the state of affairs in Europe: bankrupt nations trying to bailout bankrupt banks or looking for bailouts from funds that are backed by other bankrupt nations.

What could go wrong?

VeepWatch update

Per an alleged insider who leaks to a "front page poster" at Race 4 2012, the veep list has been narrowed to 7 and the "door is now shut" on further possibles.  Additionally, the insider states they have now moved to phase 2 of the vet--the interviews.  Here's the list, if it is to be believed:

  • Senator of Florida – Marco Rubio
  • Senator of Ohio – Rob Portman
  • Senator of New Hampshire – Kelly Ayotte
  • Governor of New Jersey – Chris Christie
  • Governor of Minnesota – Tim Pawlenty
  • House of Representative of Washington State – Cathy McMorris Rodgers
  • Governor of Louisiana – Bobby Jindal
If this is the list, I'd be surprised if Ayotte, Christie, or Rodgers get the pick (though either Ayotte or Rodgers will "allegedly" make the final cut for appearances).  Any of the others seem possible.

If we were veepstaking today, I'd probably have Portman as my most likely, followed closely by Jindal, Rubio,  and T-Paw.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012

So just continue and try again....


OccObs weather update

Tropical Storm Brl is storming Florida.  Lots of drr ll get wet.
Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day

To all those who served or are serving. To all of America, except the d-bag flavor of the month over at msnbc, Chris Hayes. In case you hadn't heard, he indicated that he had a problem referring to fallen American soldiers as 'heroes.' Fortunately, we have Ann Coulter on our side. I haven't laughed out loud reading politically commentary in a while. Here's her response: Meanwhile, Ann Coulter took to Twitter to give her assessment of the MSNBC host’s comment. “Chris Hayes ‘Uncomfortable’ Calling Fallen Military ‘Heroes’ — Marines respond by protecting his right to menstruate,” she tweeted.
Sunday, May 27, 2012

All Zombie preparation plans should be upgraded to DEFCON 2

Because we've had our first outbreak:
Miami police have not confirmed the details of what happened next, but sources close to the investigation told CBS4 News that officers found one man gnawing on the face of another, in what one police source called the most gruesome thing he’d ever seen. 
The fight was taking place at the causeway exit near the Miami Herald building, and amazed officers tried to stop it, ordering the man making a meal out of the other man to stop. Sources told CBS4 that the man refused to obey, and continued his attack. 
Investigators sharing limited details about the confrontation, saying only that the two men were fighting and the officers felt they had no choice but to take deadly force. “During this confrontation an officer did discharge his weapon striking one of the individuals, said Det. Willie Moreno, spokesperson for Miami Police.
..."refused to obey"....


..."officer did discharge his weapon striking one of the individuals..."

 Notice how they left out, "in the head"?
Saturday, May 26, 2012

Hey Watto

I loved it when you flipped off the Jedi here and got paid.

My reply to Watto

Friday, May 25, 2012

Happy 35th Anniversary, Star Wars! The iconic film was released May 25, 1977

Happy 35th !
Wednesday, May 23, 2012

"Pro-Choice" Americans at Record-Low 41%

"Pro-Choice" Americans at Record-Low 41%
Friday, May 18, 2012

This Year's Mounts

Found a good taxidermist for the mounts from this year's hunting take.
Thursday, May 17, 2012

I be pimping

Blog pimpin, that is.  Our very own ManBeast (aka Doc) has done some great work.  He should probably charge for the knowledge, but he's taken pity on you sad sacks.

Check out this mofo if you think bad things sometimes happen, and survival is preferable to awaiting whatever end fate has in store.

And remember, I keep my pimp hand strong.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Kilroy Wuz Here

How is putting your own petty so-called accomplishments on other President's bios not just like graffiti?  Obama just keeps reaching new heights of jackassery.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Visit Stawberry Girl's new blog, y'all

It can be found at

If you scroll to the bottom-right of the page, you will see a field to enter your email address and "follow" the blog.   If any of you are so inclined, I'm sure she'd appreciate it.

In which we have been out Casting Called

Pennsylvania Hunting Seasons of note

Deer (firearms): 11/26 - 12/8 (our hunt: 11/26 - 12/1)
Bear (firearms): 11/17, 11/19 - 11/21, 11/28 - 12/1

Deer (archery): 9/29 - 11/12, 12/26 - 1/12/13
Bear (archery): 11/12 - 11/16

Wild Turkey/Fall (male or female): 10/27 - 11/16, 11/22 - 11/24

Spring Gobbler (bearded only): 4/27/13 - 5/31/13

Conservative budget approach vs Progressive budget approach

Guess which one works out better?
Friday, May 11, 2012

Casting call

So many choices, such a classic flick.

Great, kid. Don't get cocky.

The good news:  polling looks good.  Romney 50%, Obama 43%.

The bad news: we've been here before.  To wit: 

04-07-2004, 12:24 PM

Kerry 48% Bush 42%

Wednesday April 07, 2004--Senator John F. Kerry leads President George W. Bush 48% to 42% in the latest Rasmussen Reports Presidential Tracking Poll. This is Kerry's biggest lead of the year and the lowest level of support for Bush since Kerry became the front-runner.

Today's result marks a nine-point net gain for Kerry since last Friday morning. That change is especially dramatic because Friday's strong job creation report was expected by many to boost the President's numbers.

The President receives some modestly good news on the economic front--39% now give him good or excellent marks for handling the economy. That's up from 36% a week ago. Still, 41% of Americans believe the economy is still in a recession.

Any bounce the President might have enjoyed from the economic news was outweighed by developments in Iraq. In a survey conducted over the past two nights, 44% of voters say Bush is doing a poor job handling the situation in Iraq. That's up six points in a week.

The President's Job Approval rating has dropped to its lowest level in 2004. Democrats have also moved to their largest lead of the year on the Generic Congressional Ballot.

The Rasmussen Reports Presidential Tracking Poll is updated daily by noon Eastern
Thursday, May 10, 2012

Government is suing arpaio

Of course they are. d-bags.

Why government shouldn't be allowed to regulate anything

OK, so that's a bit of hyperbole.  But this was then Sen. Ted Stevens, who was chair of the committee overseeing the debate on net neutrality, describing the nature of the internet.  

I think I could've done a better job on live national TV, in boxer-briefs, after a liter of Jack Daniels.  

Ten movies streaming across that, that Internet, and what happens to your own personal Internet? I just the other day got… an Internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday. I got it yesterday [Tuesday]. Why? Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the Internet commercially.
[…] They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the Internet. And again, the Internet is not something that you just dump something on. It's not a big truck.It's a series of tubes. And if you don't understand, those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and it's going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material.
Maybe it's just me, but I could also see Caribou Sr. describing the internet in similar terms. Can you see it? Right after the "I got it yesterday," just imagine the dismissive hand wave and the look out of the corner of his eyes, lips pursed. Kindred spirits, those two.
Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Without the first person singular...

Sometimes he seems like a bit of a relic, but when Will cranks up the insults, he can leave his mark looking, well, just plain silly.

Here he is eviscerating Obama:

ht: Fox News
Monday, May 07, 2012

Veepstakes update: final selection board

No one took Portman. We could easily get punked on that one.

Fredo: McDonnell (July 1 or after)
ManBeast: McDonnell (June 30 or earlier)
D.C.: Field (6/20 or earlier)
Beetz: Field (8/5 or after)
Raekwon: Field (6/21-8/4)
Michelangelo: Rubio (7/17 or earlier)
Caribou: Rubio (7/18 or after)
SHK: Martinez
Saturday, May 05, 2012


A couple days late, but condolences to the family and friends of Adam Yauch, aka MCA from the Beastie Boys.  Seems to me that most of our generation (Gen X) has at least some good memories that involved the Beasties' music playing in the background.  We have MCA to thank for that.

One thing I wasn't aware of was his affinity for Buddhism.  It led him to question some of his earlier antics.
"I didn't realize how much harm I was doing back then and I think a lot of rap artists probably don't realize it now... 
I said a lot of stuff fooling around back then, and I saw it do a lot of harm. I had kids coming up to me and saying, 'Yo, I listen to your records while I'm smoking dust, man.' And I'd say, 'Hey, man, we're just kidding. I don't smoke dust.' People need to be more aware of how they're affecting people."
Friday, May 04, 2012

First Sweden then...

Who's next?
Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Obama's "I killed Osama" campaign

Let's start with the obvious:  kudos to the President and his administration for taking out bin Laden.

Now onto the next point:  why are we still "spiking the football"?  It's been a year.  Everyone's still glad he's dead.   But how is that the basis for the argument to reelect?  Does anyone really believe that Obama's administration brought some brand new skill set to terrorist hunting, that our professional intelligence services didn't have right along?    Does anyone believe another President, after being asked for the order to take out OBL, would have said, "F*ck no!  The man hasn't even been arraigned yet!"  Why are we even talking about this, from a political angle?

That's not to say we shouldn't be talking about it at all.  It's worth recalling for several reasons:  most importantly, justice for OBL's victims and their families; next, for national healing; next, as deterrence;  and finally, as a validation that our intelligence apparatus and military can execute an incredibly difficult and dangerous mission.

For the President to be taking credit, beyond a quick bow, is absurd and lacking in dignity.  He couldn't have done anything about OBL without the institutional groundwork being laid in place long before he (and long before W) came into office.  Or without intelligence gathering on OBL that went back as far as the Clinton administration.  Or without the massive global search for OBL that began in Afghanistan, almost succeeded at Tora Bora, and continued throughout Bush 43 and Obama's terms.

This is obvious on its face and shouldn't even really need to be argued.  But in the instance you feel the need to get the details behind the ongoing effort to get OBL, which clearly pre-dated Obama, and how that effort can be directly tied to the killing of OBL, check out this op-ed in today's WaPo.

The only thing Obama can really claim credit for here is not effing it up.  He could have pulled the plug on the search for OBL, or completely caved at the moment of truth.  That he did neither of those things speaks to fact that he's neither a complete coward, nor so politically myopic that he loses sight of essential goals.  While I don't view hurdling that low bar as much to crow about it, it's probably also true that there might be some politicians that could still manage to trip right over it.


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Always sniffing for the truth

Always sniffing for the truth

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