Friday, July 30, 2010

Beware of Democrats trying to Divide and Conquer

From Examiner.com:
Always unable to compete on a level playing field, Democrats are once again corrupting the system to manufacture electoral victories for themselves in November. This time, they have established a slate of bogus "Tea Party" candidates in Michigan to split the vote across the board and minimize the left's losses.
From the Detroit Free Press:
Affidavits filed by more than half of the 23 candidates from Michigan's mysterious Tea Party were notarized by the political director of the Oakland County Democratic Party, elections records show, providing more fuel for suspicions that Democrats organized the new party to hurt Republican chances in the November election.
The party, which most of the tea party movement's visible leaders in Michigan disavow, also is represented by a Lansing attorney with long ties to state Democrats. And the California-based petition firm hired to collect signatures to qualify the new party for the November ballot was used by Michigan Democrats for another stealth petition drive two years.
As I have noted, Democrats have also been busted using a phony Tea Party candidate to split the vote for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. They have also funded professional smear campaigns against Tea Parties, impotently tried to copy them with their own "grassroots" movement, and were even caught trying to infiltrate them to discredit the cause from within.
Desperate much?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

You have to pay the piper,

Dance with him that brought you, etc. etc. It all comes home eventually. New York and California politicos have been bought and paid by the unions. In New York some chickens are coming home to roost. (enough of that old adage thing, ok?) From Gateway Pundit:
-By Warner Todd Huston guest poster
The unions in New York have the idea that they own state government. It’s not too easy to deny their claim seeing as how unions (all of them) have been paying the bills and filling the pockets of ruling Democrats for decades now.
But Accidental Governor of New York David Paterson is finding himself in a quandary, one that more and more politicians are finding themselves in these days. These pols are finding that doing the right thing is hard when all your financial backers don’t want you to do the right thing at all.
Like most deep blue states, New York is about bankrupt without having to say it out loud. Its financial responsibilities far out pace its treasury. From state pensions, welfare, Medicaid and healthcare, to the simple day-to-day operations of operating a government, New York State is unable to pay its way.
New York spends an astonishing $4,328 per second which amounts to $10,983,333,333 per month. It is estimated that New York will face a $14.6 billion shortfall for the 2012 budget.
So, Gov. Paterson has tried one of the sure ways to cut the budget: cut the luxurious salaries and benefits that go undeserved to public employee unions.
That sounds like an "OOPSIE" to me. Read the rest here.

Healthcare Chart from Pajamas Media

Ed Driscoll in Pajamas Media has labeled this Great Moments in Flow charts.


Go read his commentary, too.
There is an original source for this chart at Gateway Pundit.
The Republicans of the Joint Economic Committee have come out with a chart that shows the shocking and just plain idiotic complexity that is Obamacare. (Download .pdf file)

This is an Outrage - PLO is a terrorist organization

We heard this on the Bob Jones show yesterday.  It is outrageous.
From Israeli National News:

PLO Flag to Fly in Washington, D.C.
by INN Staff
The United States State Department has announced to the Palestinian Authority/Palestinian Liberation Organization Mission representative in the United States that its status will be upgraded from a 'bureau' to that of a "general delegation' and that this change will allow the office in which the representation is situated to fly the PLO, now also the Palestine Authority, flag at its entrance.

In addition, the upgrading grants certan privileges to the delegation staff, such as diplomatic immunity, although it is not equal to embassy status.
The PLO's chief representative in the United States, Maen Areikat, said that this step makes the PLO's status in the United States equivalent to its status in Canada and many western European countries.

Israel Radio reported that sources in Prime Minister Netanyahu's office said that the Prime Minister knew of the planned step and did not object to it. Diplomatic sources in Jerusalem claimed that the step was taken to strengthen Abu Mazen and try to get him to agree to direct talks with Israel. However, they expressed dissapointment that the White House did not make the upgrade contingent upon the cessation of the PA's anti-Israel incitement.

Netanyahu may not object, but I do.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Star Parker: Why are we discussing racism?

Can anyone tell me why suddenly race is the hot topic of national discourse?

According to Gallup polling of last week, the issues most on the minds of Americans are the economy and jobs followed by dissatisfaction with all aspects of government.

I didn’t notice racism on the list anywhere.

The NAACP says it was “snookered” by Fox News on the Shirley Sherrod story.

I say we’ve all been snookered by the NAACP.

The NAACP has shown that those who have written this organization off as irrelevant are wrong. It demonstrated this past week that if it so chooses it can dominate the national discussion with its racial agenda, regardless of what the real pressing issues of national concern may be.

The accusation about Tea Party racism is ridiculous. But even if you don’t think it’s ridiculous, is this the discussion we need to be having when national unemployment hovers at ten percent, and when black unemployment is closer to 15%, double that of whites?

Now, of course, we should be talking about racism if this is what is driving black unemployment. But is it?

I don’t think so. Nor do most blacks.

In January of this year, well into our recession, and well into the emergence of the Tea Party movement, the Pew Research Center surveyed black attitudes.

In answer to the question, “When blacks don’t make progress, who or what is to blame?”, 52% of blacks responded that “blacks” themselves are “mostly responsible”, and 34% said “racism.” This is the reverse of how blacks responded to this question just 15 years ago, when 56% said that racism was the impediment to black progress.

In the same survey, blacks responded almost identically as whites to the question of whether success in life is “determined by forces beyond one’s control” or whether “everyone has the power to succeed.”

Read the details here



Prerequisites for a two-state solution

Jer. 6:14 They have healed also the hurt of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. American Standard Version.


I have long scoffed at the "Peace Accords" and its offspring, since it ushered in not peace, but more mayhem, yet still politicians and the news media cried "peace, peace when there was no peace". Mort Zuckerman is neither a hawk nor a conservative, but here is his essay outlining the whole thing.

By Mort Zuckerman

Will the world applaud Israel's just-announced decision to restrict its military forces by imposing even more stringent rules to avoid accidental civilian casualties? Don't bet on it. The world remained silent as Israel endured hundreds of Palestinian suicide bombers, stabbings, drive-by shootings, and kidnappings. No censure or demands for a cease-fire impeded Hezbollah in the north and Hamas from the south as they rained thousands of missiles on almost 40 percent of the Israeli population.

Read entire article

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Britain Plans to Decentralize National Health Care

Practical details of the plan are still sketchy. But its aim is clear: to shift control of England’s $160 billion annual health budget from a centralized bureaucracy to doctors at the local level.

By SARAH LYALL
Published: July 24, 2010

Perhaps the only consistent thing about Britain’s socialized health care system is that it is in a perpetual state of flux, its structure constantly changing as governments search for the elusive formula that will deliver the best care for the cheapest price while costs and demand escalate.

The new British government’s plan to drastically reshape the socialized health care system would put local physicians like Dr. Marita Koumettou in north London in control of much of the national health budget.

Even as the new coalition government said it would make enormous cuts in the public sector, it initially promised to leave health care alone. But in one of its most surprising moves so far, it has done the opposite, proposing what would be the most radical reorganization of the National Health Service, as the system is called, since its inception in 1948.

Practical details of the plan are still sketchy. But its aim is clear: to shift control of England’s $160 billion annual health budget from a centralized bureaucracy to doctors at the local level. Under the plan, $100 billion to $125 billion a year would be meted out to general practitioners, who would use the money to buy services from hospitals and other health care providers.

The plan would also shrink the bureaucratic apparatus, in keeping with the government’s goal to effect $30 billion in “efficiency savings” in the health budget by 2014 and to reduce administrative costs by 45 percent. Tens of thousands of jobs would be lost because layers of bureaucracy would be abolished.

In a document, or white paper, outlining the plan, the government admitted that the changes would “cause significant disruption and loss of jobs.” But it said: “The current architecture of the health system has developed piecemeal, involves duplication and is unwieldy. Liberating the N.H.S., and putting power in the hands of patients and clinicians, means we will be able to effect a radical simplification, and remove layers of management.”

Read whole article here.

The Alchemists rise again

 Back when the world was coming out of the dark ages, men of note were the alchemist.  In case you don't know what alchemy means, or is, this is the wikipedia definition:
Alchemy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The best-known goals of the alchemists were the transmutation of common metals into gold (called chrysopoeia) or silver (less well known is plant alchemy, ...

Every time I read of more and more money being spent on solar energy I think "alchemy."  We are beginning to believe in magic.  Magically we will solve the energy crisis. Magically we will produce all the power we need from wind and sun.   The source of all energy is the sun.  It has been working to produce what we need from the time the earth began. We need to tap into more of what it has stored up for us through the eons, with gas, coal, and oil.

We need to quit playing the game that we are in charge of the planet. We are on it, we can use it, but we cannot fundamentally change it. I do not worship the earth.  I respect it. I do not believe that man is powerful enough to even ruin it.  Small portions of where we are, yes, we can ruin that. But the earth immediatley begins to heal itself.  We are minscule on it.

Let's get a grip, let's quit thinking we are more powerful than we are.  Let us just start using the gifts of the earth we are given more wisely, making sure our way of life is sustained for our grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Let the alchemists stay in history where they belong, not in the halls of power trying to convince naive politicians they are the all knowing gods of the universe.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Shirley Sherrod "Complete Video" is Incomplete

I just watched the "entire" Shirley Sherrod video on the NAACP website. And it is edited. (Funny, they complain that Breitbart maliciously edited it...)

The headline says: "VIDEO: WATCH THE SHIRELY SHERROD SPEECH IN FULL"

But it is not full... it is edited. Something was cut out. I do not know what. I'd like to though because it is at a crucial point in the "white farmer" story.

At 21:00 (21 minutes) exactly there is a "cross-fade" -- which is a video editing technique to smooth out a video cut. And it's at the end of the story of the white farmer she worked with.

If the NAACP wants us to trust them, they need to post the WHOLE video. You can see the edit for yourself. This is the link on the NAACP page.
http://www.naacp.org/news/entry/video_sherrod/

This is the link on the YouTube page.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9NcCa_KjXk&feature=player_embedded#!

UPDATE from Rockport Conservative on this subject:
I don't have the energy to view this again today,  but I think the point being misssed, or deliberately left out of this story is the laughter at how a white man might lose his land by the members of the NAACP audience.  Is that what is edited out?

CNN Needs to be Renamed CYA

Because that's what they do. Cover people's ass. Specifically liberals who screw up. They finally did a story on NASA's mission of manned exploration of Muslim outreach. And, as you'll see, they spend most of the story covering Whitehouse ass. That's right. CNN covers the news... mainly in the form of covering Obama's ass. (CYA).
(http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2010/07/08/todd.nasa.muslim.outreach.cnn?iref=allsearch)


They do it again here in the story of the Shirley Sherrod from the Dept of Agriculture. The CNN story is very long -- and more than half of it is allowing Sherrod and others to cover her ass. No conservative ever gets so much positive news page real estate.
http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/07/20/agriculture.employee.naacp/index.html

Liberal Journalists Plotted to Protect Obama

Duh.
Nothing surprising here. It's a story detialing how the reporters on the "Jurnolists" (online forum for elite media reporters) conspired and/or tried to get other reporters to ignore the story of Obamah's Pastor (Rev. J. Wright) and his hate speech. This was during the presidential campaign.

The online forum is now shut down because the liberal journalists talked openly of their bias and someone shared it with the world.

Read the details here.
http://dailycaller.com/2010/07/20/documents-show-media-plotting-to-kill-stories-about-rev-jeremiah-wright/3/

At least we have Fox news and Breitbart to Report the News

That and the internet is the only way we heard about this travesty. By 6:20 PM she had resigned.

Video Shows USDA Official Saying She Didn't Give 'Full Force' of Help to White Farmer

Days after the NAACP clashed with Tea Party members over allegations of racism, a video has surfaced showing an Agriculture Department official regaling an NAACP audience with a story about how she withheld help to a white farmer facing bankruptcy -- video that now has forced the official to resign.

Shirley Sherrod, the department's Georgia director of Rural Development, is shown in the clip describing "the first time I was faced with having to help a white farmer save his farm." Sherrod, who is black, claimed the farmer took a long time trying to show he was "superior" to her. The audience laughed as she described how she determined his fate.

Read the rest. -- See the entire Sherrod video here. (The farmer story starts at about 17 minutes in.)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

What Does $1 Trillion Look Like?

It's kind of amazing. Click here to see.
(If it comes out too small, clikc on the picture to make it bigger.)

Lobbyists Wrote the Reform Bill -- and They're Proud of That

Do not vote for any incumbent, ever again. Please. Time to clean house. Speaking of "time".

The article is in TIME magazine. And it's amazing and disgusting. This country is run by lobbyists. They write the bills. Below is an excerpt from a paragraph talking about the money the financial guys spent on lobbyists for this new "reform" bill:

"And what did the money managers get for their $15 million investment? While lawmakers did manage to boost the taxes of hedge-fund managers and other folks who collect carried interest as part of their work, they agreed to a compromise (tucked into a pending tax bill) that will tax part of those earnings at the regular rate and another part at a lower capital-gains rate. The result? A tax bite about $10 billion smaller than what the reformers wanted. "

They're just getting warmed up. Read more: http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,2000880,00.html

TIME's article on how big pharma had their way with the Healthcare Bill:
http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1931595,00.html

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Forgotten Story: Greene cleared in South Carolina investigation

So... it turns out the guy who came out of nowhere to win the Deomcratic nomination for Senate in South Carolina actually did pay the $10,000 filing fee with his own damn money. Just like he said.

Nobody stopped the presses to report that their "Republic Plant" conspiracy theories were false. They were also stupid and made no sense. Just like the mainstream media... who reported them hoping (assuming) they were true.

Short version below. Read the whole CNN story here: http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/07/09/south.carolina.greene.investigation
----------------
(CNN) -- South Carolina's top law enforcement agency announced Friday that it will not file charges against Democratic Senate nominee Alvin Greene.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) had been investigating how Greene, a political newcomer who could not afford a lawyer when facing criminal charges last year, came up with the $10,440 needed to get his name on the Democratic Senate primary ballot.

"After a thorough investigation, SLED has concluded that there is no evidence of wrongdoing, criminal intent or deception to the court when Greene applied for a public defender last year," the agency said in a statement Friday.

"During the course of the investigation, SLED determined that monies spent for Greene's filing fee were the candidate's personal funds and therefore, no laws were violated in association with Greene's payment to the South Carolina Democratic Party," SLED said.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Taking the Week Off

RC is getting a new knee this week (as I type this). Keep her in your prayers.
Other contributors are on vacation and/or really busy with life and work. So expect a fairly light week for posts... at least until the end of the week when RC gets out of the hospital.

Thanks!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A New Black Panther Video has surfaced

I hadn't planned to say anything more about this but this video is just too much to ignore.
This is from Mediaite via Lucianne.
by Frances Martel
This Black Panther just keeps getting more and more absurd. New Black Panther Party head Malik Zulu Shabazz burst onto the scene with some strongly-worded messages to Glenn Beck and a interview with Fox News' Megyn Kelly and has usurped BP CEO Tony Hayward's place as this summer's most disliked non-celebrity in some circles. And now, video has surfaced of Shabazz praising Osama Bin Laden in 2002 for "not bowing down" to America.
Holding up an illustration of Bin Laden at what appears to be an NBPP meeting, Shabazz dramatically sings the praising of the head of Al-Qaeda:
“Let’s talk about this brother, because he’s a bold man… Usama Bin Laden, Mr. Bin Laden. Gotta give him his respect. He’s not bowing down. He’s not cutting [?] the tap dance… Mr. Bin Laden standing up. There’s a man born in Saudi Arabia bringing reform, Mr. Bin Laden. But you’re not supposed to say these things about him. I thought we had free speech.”
It goes on from there, with Shabazz declaring that he is unsure of Bin Laden’s guilt in the 9/11 attacks. The entire video is quite a bizarre thing. The whole thing is below:

Friday, July 9, 2010

NASA Problem? Not In the Main Stream Media


Attached is an image of the search results, today, July 9, 2010 -- of the word "NASA" at CNN.com, MSNBC.com and CBSNEWS.com.

And the results are... ZERO. Nada. Nothing. Zip. Same results for NASA as "Bolden" or similar on CNN. On the others, older stories about him pop up.

It's 8 days after NASA Cheif Charles Bolden announces outreach to Muslims is probably his top priority.

Obviously those news organizations think protecting their man in the White House is more important than balanced reporting of what truly is an absurd statement. Meanwhile, it's all over YouTube.

Here's FoxNews' story on it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWn1fAS8ZF0

Here's the entire Al Jazeera Interview.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e857ZcuIfnI

UPDATE: Charles Krauthammer snuck it into the Washington Post via an Op ed that showed up online this morning.
RC

Will it be 60 years before our health care start to follow Great Britains latest news

Powerline blog has the article linking the Telegraph UK headline:
Doctors are to be given sole responsibility for overseeing front-line care to patients under Coalition plans described as the biggest revolution in the NHS since its foundation 60 years ago.
by Andrew Porter
About £80billion will be distributed to family GPs in a move that will see strategic health authorities and primary care trusts scrapped.
The plan, contained in a white paper to be published next week, is designed to place key decisions about how patients are cared for in the hands of doctors who know them. Tens of thousands of administrative jobs in the health service will be lost as a result. At present, funds are given by the Government to primary care trusts, which pay for patients from their area to be treated in hospital.
Under these plans, GPs — who are currently not responsible for paying for hospital referrals — would receive the money instead and pay the hospitals directly.
The change will be compulsory.
The Coalition hopes the new system will be less bureaucratic and give doctors and patients more control over treatment. GPs will also have to organise out-of-hours services, which may see family doctors offering 24-hour care once again.
I think we have some in America who see this as a mistake.  This is not the British health care they wish to emulate.  Read more of the article here.

More on The DOJ craziness

Lawlessness at the DOJ: Voting Section Told Not To Enforce Purging the Dead or Ineligible from Voting Rolls
It's not just the New Black Panther case: in November 2009, political appointee Julie Fernandes told a packed room of Voting Section employees to simply ignore this provision of the "Motor Voter" law.
by J. Christian Adams

I was at the Voting Section of the Justice Department for over five years. This office is responsible for enforcing most federal election laws which do not involve criminal matters. My previous articles at Pajamas Media have spoken of the DOJ’s lawless abandonment of race-neutral enforcement of voting laws, and other outrageous conduct. I will continue to publish here at Pajamas Media more instances of failure to enforce the law equally by the Department.

One such instance relates to the Motor Voter law, and will shock Americans who care about integrity in the electoral process.

The “Motor Voter” law was passed in 1993 to promote greater voter registration in the United States. It did this — most Americans now know from visits to the DMV — by requiring states to offer voter registration materials whenever someone had contact with a variety of state offices. These included welfare offices, social service agencies, and motor vehicle departments.

A lesser-known provision also obliged the states to ensure that no ineligible voters were on the rolls — including dead people, felons, and people who had moved. Our current Department of Justice is anxious to encourage the obligations to get everyone registered, but explicitly unwilling to enforce federal law requiring states to remove the dead or ineligible from the rolls.

In November 2009, the entire Voting Section was invited to a meeting with Deputy Assistant Attorney General Julie Fernandes, a political employee serving at the pleasure of the attorney general. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss Motor Voter enforcement decisions.

The room was packed with dozens of Voting Section employees when she made her announcement regarding the provisions related to voter list integrity:
We have no interest in enforcing this provision of the law. It has nothing to do with increasing turnout, and we are just not going to do it.
Jaws dropped around the room.
Read it all here.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Look what you get if you search for an Eric Holder/ Al Jazeera story in the Washington Post

Site Search


No Results Found


Please Try Another Search

We guess they really don't want you to know about it.  I didn't try any other MSM sites, maybe they have finally put it up. In case you missed it, here's the video.



Jonah Goldberg has this to say about it in his newsletter:
 Dear Reader (and members of the radical faction of Up with People that dances out this "news"letter with life-affirming, family-friendly performances that make all decent people want to blow their brains out),
By now everyone knows about the NASA cheif propeller-head who never seemed to think twice (until this week, at least) about the fact that he was hired to be the Stuart Smalley of remedial-math-and-science students in Sudan. "Listen up, little Muhammeds, as the head of NASA, let me tell you: You're good enough, you're smart enough, and doggone it, we rocket scientists like you."
What I'm hoping is that Charles Bolden, a decorated Marine, just sucks at diplomacy and was basically making it up, because it's actually a little scary to imagine that the president of the United States actually told the chief administrator of NASA any such thing. Did he tell the head of the Social Security Administration to remind gays of their rich history of interior design and keen fashion sense? Has the poobah of OSHA been informed that his foremost priority is to buck up Chinese living abroad about their entrepreneurial achievements?
If you don't get his newsletter, you should try it. Join the Goldberg File mailing list. Click here.
Also go read what Paul at Power Line blog has to say about it., He is a much better writer than I am.

Business is Realizing they have been had

By Jon Ward
The idea that President Obama is anti-business broke into the mainstream this week.
It has long been a widely held view on the right that Obama’s rhetorical nods to the free market and American business were little more than that. But as Washington slowly staggered back to work this week following a long July 4 weekend, discussions of Obama’s troubled relationship with the private sector popped up with surprising frequency.
Newsweek’s Fareed Zakaria wrote Monday that after speaking with numerous corporate executives, most of whom voted for Obama, he found that “all think he is, at his core, anti-business.” Tuesday, the Washington Post reported on a 65 percent decline from two years ago in donations to Democrats from Wall Street, due to the financial regulation bill nearing passage in Congress. 

This is major, these people have been so supporting of this administration it is good news to see this.
Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2010/07/08/obama-as-anti-business-moves-into-mainstream-discussion/#ixzz0t6oeq2W9

And there is more from the Daily Beast:
by Lloyd Grove
Even the Aspen Ideas Festival, an annual gathering of the country's brightest lights, isn't Obama country anymore. Lloyd Grove on the president's waning support among the intelligentsia. (ed note: the moneyed elite keep an eye on the money, they don't want to lose it.)
You’d think the well-heeled and enlightened eggheads at the Aspen Ideas Festival—which is running all week in this fashionable resort town with heady panel discussions and earnest disquisitions involving all manner of deep thinkers and do-gooders—would be receptive to an intellectually ambitious president with big ideas of his own.
In a way, the folks attending this cerebral conclave pairing the Aspen Institute think tank with the Atlantic Monthly magazine might even be seen as President Obama’s natural base.
Apparently not so much.
“The real problem we have,” Mort Zuckerman said, “are some of the worst economic policies in place today that, in my judgment, go directly against the long-term interests of this country.” (ed. note: glad he finally noticed!)
You really do need to read the rest of this story, I think they are actually turning on the ideas and ideals of this administration.  Rush is talking about it now as I write this.

We have such wonderful lawyers at the DOJ - NOT!!!

This is from Fox News:
Lawyer Who Defended 'American Taliban' Now Heads DOJ Suit Against Arizona
The federal prosecutor tasked with quarterbacking the Obama administration's high-profile case against Arizona's immigration law is no stranger to controversy or the limelight.
Justice Department attorney Tony West is a member of the so-called "Gitmo 9" -- a group of lawyers who have represented terror suspects.

West, the assistant attorney general for the department's Civil Division, once represented "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh, a controversial move that West feared would derail his political ambitions and helped delay his nomination to the department for three months in 2009.
Aren't we proud of our patriotic DOJ.  How low our country has fallen. Read the rest of it here. via Lucianne.

VDH recognizes a ministry from Harry Potter

In his Works and Days column for Pajamas Media.
The Ministries of Truth Weigh In
The Hope and Change Edicts
What are we to make of our current NASA chief, the distinguished retired Marine Corps major general and astronaut, Charles Bolden, who, in an interview with al Jazeera, listed a “foremost” NASA objective as finding “a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering.”?
All of this, Bolden adds, expands the Obama “Cairo initiative,” those lofty revisionisms that the president offered to the Muslim world last summer in Cairo.
Surely, there is some mistake? Did a right-wing satirist hijack the transcript and insert “to help them feel good”?
[.......]
Groupspeak
We could do this all day — Van Jones and his various lunacies, Anita Dunn and her Mao worship. The real point is, however, that Obama has set a revolutionary tone, and everyone beneath him is falling all over themselves to trump it — and thereby gain traction and approval from their leader.
“We are the moment we’ve been waiting for” means that federal officials no longer worry about their tasks within their job description, but, in varying degrees and according to their station, must chant along in a holistic revolutionary process, one that sees traditional American strength as weakness, and sympathizes with those abroad who feel wronged by America. At home, the government is now on occasion one with those who break federal law for revolutionary purposes, against those who have capital and have found success. The law becomes malleable while the rhetoric reflects the higher calling of social justice.
Notice to truth ministries: on race, we got the message from “stupidly,” “typical white person,” “clingers,” “cowards,” and “wise Latina.” From now on it’s all redundant.
On capitalism and free enterprise, we got the message from the Chrysler broken contracts; the slurring of surgeons, Las Vegas, and insurance companies; “kick ass” and “boot on the neck”; “redistributive change”; “spread the wealth”; “them”; and “they,” etc. No need for any more.
Overseas, on day one it was the al Arabiya interview. After that, the Cairo speech and the NASA al Jazeera interview were just relish.
Go here to read it all, he makes the facts stand out. It is a fairly long post and all very relevant.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

NYT Story: Congressional Corruption is Still Legal

A recent New York Times article shows how for-profit companies are skirting the earmark ban by creating faux-non-profit sister companies.

All the examples they highlight are democrat earmarks to companies who contributed to their campaigns. That means legalized bribery and gov't money as rewards for their support. And skirting legistlation designed to stop it.

By the way, it's the NYT, you know they would have used a Republican example if they could have found one. Meanwhile, they used the republican quote to admonish the practice.

Corruption by any other name still smells as foul. The profiteers in D.C. will always find a way around their rules -- and their corrupt congressional friends will always support them until voters wake up and do something about it.
Read it all here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/05/us/politics/05earmarks.html?_r=2

As Paul Harvey used to say "There's Good News Tonight"

Mexico has busted some Hezbollah supporters.  This is in Haaretz.
Mexico thwarts Hezbollah bid to set up South American network
Militant group employed Mexican nationals with ties to Lebanon to target Israel and the West, Kuwaiti newspaper reports.
By Jack Khoury and Haaretz Service
Mexico foiled an attempt by Hezbollah to establish a network in South America, a Kuwaiti newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Hezbollah operatives employed Mexicans nationals with family ties to Lebanon to set up the network, designed to target Israel and the West, the Al-Seyassah daily said.
According to the report, Mexican police mounted a surveillance operation on the group's leader, Jameel Nasr, who traveled frequently to Lebanon to receive information and instructions from Hezbollah commanders there.
Police say Nasr also made frequent trips to other countries in Latin America, including a two-month stay in Venezuela in the summer of 2008.
Nasr was living in Tijuana, Mexico at the time of his arrest, the report said.
The report follows warnings from the United States that Hezbollah and its backer Iran are stepping up operations in the region.
Read the rest.

Good News for Tea Party people from the Texas Tribune:
Texas GOP Incorporates Some Tea Party Positions
by Morgan Smith
If the rainbow flavors of the Tea Party feature a common taste, it’s that of fiscally restrained government — and the anti-Washington and pro-state fervor that comes along with it. Not coincidentally, that was the overwhelming theme of the Republican Party of Texas’ recent convention, setting the tone — as the Democrats did in their state gathering — for the November general election.
Gov. Rick Perry railed against the “shameful excesses” of Washington in his opening address. U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, a keynote speaker, praised a limited government that acts within its “jurisdictional boundaries” and excoriated the “unlimited credit card people” that make up the “cabal” of the nation’s Democratic leadership. And Attorney General Greg Abbott's constant assurances that he was defending the state’s rights against the overreach of the federal government were characteristic of all the statewide officials’ nods toward the Constitution and states’ rights. Does all this rhetoric mean the Tea Party’s growing influence within the state GOP has initiated a shift in focus from social to fiscal issues?
It’s easy to read the ascendancy of Steve Munisteri as party chairman as a token of that movement. Munisteri campaigned on his business bona fides and the contemptible state of the party’s finances. Cathie Adams, a former leader of the Eagle Forum and Perry favorite who came of age politically prior to the Tea Party’s insurgency, is known for her ferocious social conservatism, not her fiscal know-how. Debra Medina, the self-appointed flag-bearer of grassroots conservatism who has a history of scrapes with state party leadership — and of alliance with U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, the former libertarian presidential candidate and a hero to some Tea Partiers — is claiming Adams’ defeat as part of her legacy.
Read the rest.

From KTVU in California
Flag Mural Reappears On Sunol Highway Hillside
SUNOL, CAlif. -- Angered by California Department of Transportation removal of an American flag mural from a highway hillside, two men have painted a replacement in time for the Fourth of July celebrations.


Steve Giordano and Jim Gallagher scaled the hillside on Saturday and had the flag back in place for Sunday’s Bay Area Independence Day celebrations. There was no word from Caltrans whether or not the new rendition would be removed.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Subjects or Citizens

What a great change it was when Americans became citizens instead of subjects. Subjects of a government, governed by a king, an unelected entity. It is wonderful to know that Jefferson in his wisdom, with his own hand, changed the wording of the declaration from subjects to citizens.

Let's make sure we keep it that way.

Have you heard about Texas WatchDog? They are reporting on a $5.6 million federal stimulus contract halted in Abilene,

I check it about once a week.  This week has this story I want to share with you.
$5.6 million federal stimulus contract halted in Abilene, subpar work found statewide in Texas' weatherization program
By Mark Lisheron

State inspectors have found administrative, workmanship and accounting problems in Texas' $326 million federal stimulus program to weatherize homes. An Abilene program has been stopped.

AUSTIN -- State officials ordered Community Action Program Inc. of Abilene to stop work on a $5.6 million federal weatherization stimulus program after inspectors detailed mismanagement at the core of the organization.

And the stimulus screw-ups aren't just going on there. There are problems statewide.

In all, inspectors for the Department of Housing and Community Affairs found administrative, workmanship and accounting problems with seven community groups that have state contracts with the $326 million Weatherization Assistance Program in Texas, a review of monitoring reports obtained by Texas Watchdog shows.

The others are: Cameron and Willacy Counties Community Projects, Brownsville; Concho Valley Community Action Agency, San Angelo; Arlington Housing Authority; Economic Opportunities Advancement Corporation of Planning Region XI, Waco; Community Action Center of Victoria; Bee Community Action Agency, Beeville.

This also comes on the heels of problems in Houston with the state's second-largest recipient of weatherization stimulus cash: Click here to see the Texas Watchdog story on those widespread problems -- and the fallout.Click HERE (TEXAS WATCHDOG) to see the rest of this story.

NASA is reaching out to the Muslim World

According to this article in the Washinton Examiner
Charles Bolden says President Obama has ordered him to pursue three new objectives: to “re-inspire children” to study science and math, to “expand our international relationships,” and to “reach out to the Muslim world.” Of those three goals, Bolden said in a recent interview with al-Jazeera, the mission to reach out to Muslims is “perhaps foremost,” because it will help Islamic nations “feel good” about their scientific accomplishments.
Read more at the Washington Examiner

We Could learn a few things from the British and Australians

From The Australian, via Lucianne

Politicians finally hear the people say 'enough'
by Melanie Phillips
VOTERS in Australia and Britain have had their fill of out-of-control multiculturalism.
     AT first blush, Julia Gillard's volte-face over immigration would seem to be as unlikely as Osama bin Laden singing the Star Spangled Banner or Richard Dawkins taking holy orders.
     Here is a politician with a solid pedigree on the "anti-racist" Left rejecting former prime minister Kevin Rudd's call for a "Big Australia" formed by continuing large-scale immigration.
     Instead, Gillard has said she understands the anxieties of folk in western Sydney, western Melbourne or the Gold Coast growth corridor in Queensland.
     As for the boats of asylum-seekers, Gillard has made clear she wants to be even more effective in stopping them in order to protect "our sanctuary" and "the Australian way".
     In other words, Gillard is signalling that she sympathises with the concern that large-scale immigration and multiculturalism are threatening Australia's core values and identity, a position the Left denounces as bigotry.
     Consequently, Gillard's remarks have produced predictable cries of "racism" and "dog-whistling". So why has the new Labor leader ventured into this particular cultural minefield? The explanation is that something tumultuous is happening, not just in Australia but in Britain too, something so unusual that people are stumbling around in a state of stunned disorientation.
     It is that politicians are at last actually taking seriously what their electorates are saying to them about immigration and multiculturalism. This is that they will no longer put up with a policy which threatens to destroy their country's values and way of life, and will vote accordingly. 
Read it all here.    

Revenge? Reform? Both?

This is the gist of Robert Samuelson's op-ed in the Washington Post. the last paragraph says it all:
What's called "financial reform" has twin motivations: to stabilize financial markets and to punish "Wall Street" for the crisis. So much in the legislation (a consumer protection agency, restrictions on "proprietary" trading by banks) is left to regulators that no one can now know the full outcome. It could be greater stability, overregulation or a scattering of risky activities into lightly regulated institutions. History will judge whether this qualifies as genuine "reform" -- or just revenge.

Obama shows every symptom of being anti-business, so why would anyone ask why CEO's are frightened

From the Washington Post Opinion section.
By Fareed Zakaria
The American economy is sputtering and we are running out of options. Interest rates can't go any lower. Another burst of government spending -- whether a good or bad idea -- looks politically impossible. Can anything protect us from the dangers of stagnation or a double dip? Actually, there is a second stimulus that could have a dramatic effect on the economy -- even more so than government spending. And it won't add to the deficit.
..........
But government spending can only be a bridge to private-sector investment. The key to a sustainable recovery and robust economic growth is to get companies investing in America. So why are they reluctant, despite having mounds of cash? I put this question to a series of business leaders, all of whom were expansive on the topic yet did not want to be quoted by name, for fear of offending people in Washington.

Economic uncertainty was the primary cause of their caution. "We've just been through a tsunami and that produces caution," one told me. But in addition to economics, they kept talking about politics, about the uncertainty surrounding regulations and taxes. Some have even begun to speak out publicly. Jeffrey Immelt, chief executive of General Electric, complained Friday that government was not in sync with entrepreneurs. The Business Roundtable, which had supported the Obama administration, has begun to complain about the myriad laws and regulations being cooked up in Washington.
........
Most of the business leaders I spoke to had voted for Barack Obama. They still admire him. Those who had met him thought he was unusually smart. But all think he is, at his core, anti-business. When I asked for specifics, they pointed to the fact that Obama has no business executives in his Cabinet, that he rarely consults with CEOs (except for photo ops), that he has almost no private-sector experience, that he's made clear he thinks government and nonprofit work are superior to the private sector. It all added up to a profound sense of distrust.
Read it all here. And again I ask, why would anyone bother to ask the question, the answer speaks for itself.

I knew this would happen, if you don't pay taxes, you cannot prove you need to be paid for lost wages or income

It is well known in Louisiana and probably all along the Gulf Coast with fishermen and those who sell their products, some sales and wages are "under the table." I have known some of them and they are very proud of how they get around the tax man.  They drive better cars, live in nice houses and somehow their income shows it is below the proverty level.  As a well reported Rev. Wright said, "the chickens have come home to roost." I feel for them, but.......  
This article is from the Houston Chronicle.
Not keeping records in cash-only industry puts compensation at risk
By RENÉE C. LEE
For as long as many can remember, the Gulf fishing industry has operated on a mostly cash-only basis. Shrimp and crab are purchased on the dock with cash and deckhands who help on the boats are paid in cash.
"It's an industry that goes back seven and eight generations," said Ewell Smith, executive director of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board. "It's based on relationships and handshakes, and it doesn't change much."
Fishermen are supposed to keep records of what they sell and pay taxes on their income, but many sell under the table and skirt the law. The scofflaws now may lose a chance to get a share of the $20 billion BP oil compensation fund set up to help individuals and businesses hurt by the largest-ever oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Without verifiable proof of income, they cannot access the fund to recoup any financial losses.
St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro said he would like to see a federal tax amnesty for those fishermen who have not paid their taxes and has shared his idea with a U.S. senator. Any compensation fishermen receive will be taxed, and for those who have not followed the law, that could trigger IRS scrutiny and, possibly, retroactive tax payments, he said.
"These are people who are not used to operating in a corporate world," Taffaro said. "There needs to be a separation between tax obligation and the ability to validate appropriate compensation to these fishermen."
Not everyone supports the idea, especially some fishermen who have lived by the industry's honor system and abide by state and federal laws. About 40 percent to 50 percent of what a fisherman catches is sold for cash, said Peter Gerica, a third-generation fisherman from New Orleans.
"I don't think you should reward people for doing wrong," Gerica said. "I feel like, if you play, you gotta pay."
Smith, whose organization represents 13,000 fishermen and processors, said he understands Taffaro's compassion. No one wants to see any hard-working fishermen miss out on assistance, he said, "but that's what happens when you don't pay your taxes."
There is more, read the rest here.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July

This will stay at the top all day, look below for new posts.
This is our annual celebration of our nation's birth.   I try not to say "Happy Birthday, America" because the actual birth of our nation took many days.  It took many  meetings, writings and rewritings to get to our Declaration of Independence.  It took our patriots months of talking and meeting to get to the point of no return which was the declaration. 
We then had a long war.  A war fought by soldiers who were many times just a ragtag group of men who believed in the nation, who believed in the future.
Since then we have had many wars to keep us free, and to keep the world free from dictators who would take us over. 
We had Constitutional Conventions and amendments to the final constitution. We still have the freedom to do that.  Let's all work to keep it that way. 
So today instead of Happy Birthday I say
LET FREEDOM RING!

A very expensive energy package

From the Daily Caller:
Obama announces plan to spend billions on creating a few thousand solar energy jobs

In his weekly address to the nation, President Obama today announced that — in the name of bringing “jobs back to the country” — the Department of Energy has awarded $2 billion dollars to two energy companies.

Abengoa Solar and Abound Solar Manufacturing will use the money to create some of the world’s most advanced and largest solar panels and plants, the president said.

In all, though, the billions are expected to buy just 5,000 jobs, meaning that each position will likely end up costing the federal government upwards of $392,000 per job. Of those 5,000 jobs, the majority are expected to be temporary positions in fields like construction.

Observers — including blogger Ed Morrissey — have pointed out that, even if the employees were taxed heavily and their jobs generated significant tax revenue, the president’s initiative would likely not pay for itself for over fifty years.

Read the rest here.

Vote for Candidate Nobody - Sharron Angle

George Will has a great op-ed on her today.
Candidate nobody is not to be underestimated
Las Vegas

Sometimes provocative people become that way because they were provoked. Sharron Angle, 60, could be enjoying the 10 grandchildren she loves even more than her .44 magnum. Instead, she is the Republican nominee against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's quest for a fifth term as senator. Her campaign began, in a sense, three decades ago, when a judge annoyed her.

When her son was depressed about having to repeat kindergarten -- "He was a 6-year-old dropout" -- she decided on home schooling, which Nevada law permitted. But a judge construed the law to require that parents who home-school must live at least 50 miles from a public school.

She and many kindred spirits descended on Carson City to get the Legislature to correct this. One legislator, irritated by such grass-roots impertinence, said, "If I'd known there would be 500 people here instead of 50 and it would take five hours instead of 30 minutes, I would have thrown it [the legislation] in my drawer, and it would never have seen the light of day." Angle asked a cowboy standing next to her, "Can he do that?" The cowboy said yep. She has been politically incandescent ever since.

Even when asked where she was born, she is on message: "I was conceived in Lovelock [Nevada] but -- if you're not pro-life -- I was born in Klamath Falls [Oregon]." During her four terms in Nevada's 42-seat Assembly, many votes were "41-to-Angle." She wears as a badge of honor having been voted Nevada's worst legislator, a disparagement she says is always bestowed on a conservative because the voters are members of the press and the political class (the legislators and their staff).
Read the whole thingShe may be a nobody but she has been re-elected three times.

A Heart Warming gift to America, you and me

This is in Houston and the story is in the Houston Chronicle.
A 'birthday gift' to America
New York artist's hot idea mixes paint and patriotism
by Amanda Casanova
Scott LoBaido eyed the weather Friday, pointing to the rainfall with hands dotted in dried white paint. The New York City artist bounced anxiously inside Lamons Gasket Co. near Hobby Airport.
 
"Ask me how I'm feeling," he said, referring to the weather that has stalled his plans to paint the largest American flag on the company's roof.

"Three days of rain," he said. "I'm like a bird with clipped wings. This weather is not letting up, but it's OK. It's hustle time, and I like the challenge."

LoBaido said he hopes the weather will let him finish the 150,000-square-foot painting of a waving flag by Independence Day.

"Most people just put a flag in their yard," he said, laughing.

"I want people to fall back in love with America," the artist said. "I just saw our nation start to become divided and knew I had to do something."
 
photo
Here is his finished product. Thank you, Scott LoBaido.

Petraeus Knows How to Win

He plans to do just that in Afghanistan.  This is from the Houston Post.
Petraeus: 'We are in this to win' in Afghanistan
By Deb Riechmann (AP)
KABUL, Afghanistan — Gen. David Petraeus formally assumed command of the 130,000-strong international force in Afghanistan on Sunday, declaring "we are in this to win" despite rising casualties and growing skepticism about the nearly 9-year-old war.
 
During a ceremony at NATO headquarters, Petraeus received two flags — one for the U.S. and the other for NATO — marking his formal assumption of command.
Read the rest.

He said it was important to demonstrate to the Afghan people and world that al-Qaida and its extremist allies will not be allowed to again establish sanctuaries in Afghanistan from which they could launch attacks on the United States and other countries.

"We are in this to win," Petraeus told a crowd of several hundred NATO and Afghan officials at the ceremony held on a grassy area just outside coalition headquarters. "We have arrived at a critical moment."

Why the Afghan People Need Us told by Michael Yon

I've quoted and linked to Michael Yon before, you really need to read this post.

The Hands of God
A Village, North of Mosul: Friday 26 January 07
The attacker walked down this alley.


He was dressed as a woman as he walked down the alley toward the mosque full of worshippers. It was Friday, just before Ashura, and the air was chilled.
 
The bomb strapped to his body was studded with ball-bearings so that he could kill more villagers as they gathered for prayer. The detonation would eviscerate and dismember those closest, shattering bones into fragments, but the ball-bearings would ensure lethality beyond the percussive edge of the blast wave, ripping through the flesh of people who might not have been knocked down by the explosion.
 
There were no soldiers in his path to stop him; no police to alert to the man in women’s clothes. There were only villagers. The man dressed as a woman was to be the agent of their deaths. He kept walking down the alley toward the mosque where more than one hundred people were praying, a mass murderer masquerading in a woman’s garb.
.........
The prayerful people may not have known he was coming, but we hear the explosions every day. Every single day. Seven days per week. I remember the story told to me by Tennessee National Guardsman of another such man who had grabbed the hand of a nearby child as cover, then walked over to some policemen before detonating himself and the child. I remember the bomber who rammed a car full of explosives into vehicle full of American soldiers in Mosul. The Americans had been surrounded by Iraqi children, and the bomber could have waited a block or two then attack the Americans man-on-man, but instead he chose to blow up the Iraqi kids. Sometimes we see the torn and mangled hunks of flesh. Sometimes their open bodies curl a baleful steam into the cold morning air.

The closer a counterfeit comes to the genuine article, the more obvious the deceit. As the murderer dressed in women’s clothes walked purposefully toward his target, there was a village man ahead. But under the guise of a simple villager was a true Martyr, and he, too, had his target in sight. The Martyr had seen through the disguise, but he had no gun. No bomb. No rocket. No stone. No time.

The Martyr walked up to the murderer and lunged into a bear hug, on the spot where we were now standing.
Go to the Michael Yon site to read the rest and see all the photos.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Would you believe we have a Chicago Politician in the White House?

Why, yes, yes we do.  This story is from the Telegraph in the UK.
Barack Obama's 'Politics as usual' revealed by Rod Blagojevich Trial
Obama's action is trying to ease his friend Valerie Jarrett into his old Senate seat will fuel cynicism about politics, argues Toby Harnden.

In a year when Americans are arguably more cynical and disillusioned about politics than at any time since Watergate, the corruption trial of Rod Blagojevich is a sobering reminder of how its practitioners operate.

Although "Blago", the foul-mouthed bouffant buffoon, is the main attraction of the Chicago production, the former Illinois governor's reluctant co-star is Barack Obama. The President forms part of the proceedings each day even though the judge has spared him a personal experience.
[.........................................]
At issue in the Blago trial is whether the then governor was trying to sell the United States Senate seat that Obama ascended to in 2004 after his initial Republican opponent imploded.

Blago had the power to appoint a new Senator when the seat was vacated because of Obama's presidential election victory in November 2008. Clearly, he thought the seat was a valuable prize.

"I got this thing and it's f------ golden and I'm not just giving it up for f------ nothing," he said in a conversation recorded by a federal wiretap. Blago's instinct was that Obama – who he mockingly described as "this historic, f------ demi-god" – would be willing to pay to have his preferred choice be duly appointed. (ed. note: I wonder why he would think that? Read on to see)

That choice, the trial has confirmed, was Valerie Jarrett, who now rejoices in the title of senior White House adviser and Assistant to the President for Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs.

Her qualification to be a Senator? Jarrett had worked for Mayor Richard Daley and chaired the Chicago Transit Board. She had been a successful businesswoman in Chicago. But she had never held elected office and her name would not even have been mentioned had it not been for her closeness to the President-elect.

Jarrett was a long-time personal friend of Obama and his wife Michelle and that seemed to be qualification enough for the man about to enter the White House.

Tom Balanoff, president of the Service Employees International Union's powerful Local 1 branch, took on the role as "emissary" for Jarrett, who initially wanted the Senate seat, and testified that Obama telephoned him personally to speak about it.


Next, Obama's incoming chief of staff Rahm Emanuel spoke to John Wyma, a lobbyist, who then telephoned Blago's right-hand man John Harris to communicate that "the president-elect would be very pleased if you appointed Valerie and he would be, uh, thankful and appreciative".

Blago's problem seems to have been that he wanted something a little bit more concrete that appreciation. To be precise, his response was: "F--- them."

The gratitude of a President, however, is no small thing and who knows what favour Blago might have found coming his way in due course had he duly appointed Jarrett.

That, of course, is how Chicago politics works – mutual back-scratching, a nudge and a wink. Blago's problem, if the allegations prove to be founded, is that he took a much cruder and more literal approach to such matters.


It has also become clear from the trial that Obama wanted to make sure that Emil Jones, then President of the Illinois State Senate and the man Obama referred to as his "political godfather", (was kept) out of the seat.

The former sewer inspector had taken Obama under his wing when he was a callow state senator but he had apparently now outlived his usefulness. Perhaps Obama did not want such a reminder of his past in Washington.

Team Obama soon concluded that Blago was out of control and that the way he was dealing with the Senate vacancy could be extremely damaging to the President if he was too closely associated with it. So they pulled back and Jarrett took her White House job instead.

Quite why the President who promised hope, change and transparency thought it proper to have been trying to ease his friend into his old Senate seat just days after he had won the White House has not been answered.

There is no suggestion that what Obama was doing was anything illegal, improper or even out of the ordinary, at least in Illinois. He was simply engaging in politics as usual.

Unfortunately, politics as usual is what Candidate Obama promised to bring to an end.
Go here to read it all.

Friday, July 2, 2010

He Really is trying to kill the oil industry, and a by product is our economy

Yahoo news has this AP headline
Volunteers ready but left out of spill cleanup
By Tom Breen
NEW ORLEANS – BP and the Obama administration face mounting complaints that they are ignoring foreign offers of equipment and making little use of the fishing boats and volunteers available to help clean up what may now be the biggest spill ever in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Coast Guard said there have been 107 offers of help from 44 nations, ranging from technical advice to skimmer boats and booms. But many of those offers are weeks old, and only a small number have been accepted, with the vast majority still under review, according to a list kept by the State Department.
And in recent days and weeks, for reasons BP has never explained, many fishing boats hired for the cleanup have done a lot of waiting around.
There is more on volunteers here.

But that's not the only reason for my headline.  There is also this showing they have gone to war against Texas. Again it is from Yahoo news, AP.
 EPA overturns 16-year-old Texas permit program
By RAMIT PLUSHNICK-MASTI,
HOUSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday officially overturned a 16-year-old Texas air permitting program it says violates the Clean Air Act, leaving some of the country's largest refineries in a state of limbo.
The move comes after years of backdoor bickering, negotiations and public arguments between the EPA and Texas. The argument recently escalated from a battle over environmental issues into a heated political dispute over states' rights.
Gov. Rick Perry has been using it to drive home his contention that President Barack Obama's administration is overreaching, saying in a statement Wednesday that "Texas will continue to fight this federal takeover of a successful state program."
The EPA's decision, announced in a statement, will force some 125 refineries and petrochemical plants to invest millions of dollars to get new permits. Many of the plants may also have to invest in updates to comply with federal regulations.
The decision did not come as a surprise to Texas or the industries. EPA regional director Al Armendariz has said for months he would disapprove the permits if Texas did not comply with the Clean Air Act.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's chairman Bryan Shaw insisted Wednesday the state's permitting program complies with the Clean Air Act and has improved air quality in Texas. However, in an effort to satisfy the EPA's concerns, Shaw said the commission recently changed the rules but apparently the EPA "did not take them into consideration."
Texas can challenge the ruling in court, but a commission spokesman said it hasn't decided whether to go that route.
It doesn't matter what laws we change it is hard to fight a takeover of our way of life.

Lindsey Graham, say what???

I swear,(in the old time sense of the word meaning as my grandma would have said, I Swan)  every  time Lindsey Graham says anything I just shake my head in wonderment.
He really, really, really doesn't get it.  The Washington Post has this article (Media Notes) by Howard Kurtz:
Lindsey Graham Spits out Tea Party
.......
"In a previous conversation, Graham told me: 'The problem with the Tea Party, I think it's just unsustainable because they can never come up with a coherent vision for governing the country. It will die out.' Now he said, in a tone of casual lament: 'We don't have a lot of Reagan-type leaders in our party. Remember Ronald Reagan Democrats? I want a Republican that can attract Democrats.' Chortling, he added, 'Ronald Reagan would have a hard time getting elected as a Republican today.' "
Yow. He's saying the tea party has no answers, and that his party has moved so far to the right that Reagan would be seen as a squishy moderate.
Graham didn't duck when asked why the Original Maverick, John McCain, wasn't with him on his compromise efforts: "John's got a primary. He's got to focus on getting re-elected. I don't want my friend to get beat."
It is all just ridiculous. Read the whole thing to see what all is said.  Graham tries so hard to be one of the guys in Washington it makes you think he has no friends. 

Radical Islam by other names - self described

Charles Krauthammer writes about this in the Washington Post:
Terror -- and candor in describing the Islamist ideology behind it

The Fort Hood shooter, the Christmas Day bomber, the Times Square attacker. On May 13, the following exchange occurred at a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee:

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.): Do you feel that these individuals might have been incited to take the actions that they did because of radical Islam?

Attorney General Eric Holder: There are a variety of reasons why I think people have taken these actions. . . .

Smith: Okay, but radical Islam could have been one of the reasons?

Holder: There are a variety of reasons why people --

Smith: But was radical Islam one of them?

Holder: There are a variety of reasons why people do these things. Some of them are potentially religious-based.

Potentially, mind you. This went on until the questioner gave up in exasperation.

A similar question arose last week in U.S. District Court when Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square attacker, pleaded guilty. Explained Shahzad:


"One has to understand where I'm coming from . . . I consider myself a mujahid, a Muslim soldier."


Well, that is clarifying. As was the self-printed business card of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter, identifying himself as SoA: Soldier of Allah.


Holder's avoidance of the obvious continues the absurd and embarrassing refusal of the Obama administration to acknowledge who out there is trying to kill Americans and why. In fact, it has banned from its official vocabulary the terms jihadist, Islamist and Islamic terrorism.
This head in the sand tactic does nothing to help make us more secure. It does make us less secure and an angry populace to boot.  Eric Holder knows the truth, he also knows he doesn't dare say it.
There is more, read it here.

The SCOTUS and our rights

Clarice Feldman writes in the Pajamas Media:
SCOTUS Decision Attacks ‘Honest Services’ Law
The Supreme Court has upheld the principle that a law be well-defined, not simply established when a jury decision is made on it.
 
The right is often so concerned with maintaining scrupulous standards of probity that during criminal proceedings involving friends and allies they vanish, fearful of getting their own spotless white togas spattered with mud. Further, too often the right ignores the seamier side of criminal law.
I am not suggesting that the proper course in such cases is to join in a chorus attacking and smearing those who’ve made the accusations, or to bespatter prosecutors as Ken Starr was. But I do suggest that they maintain a vigilant eye on the proceedings, and maintain their loyalty until the facts are fully known.

Also, that they pay more attention and offer more resistance to the growing problem of prosecutorial overreach than they have, rather than simply assuming the propriety of the proceedings.

With few joining me, I have written repeatedly of the outrageous behavior of Patrick Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald succeeded in so poisoning the jury and public opinion with his extrajudicial statements and so manipulated evidence before the trial court that he got the innocent Lewis Libby convicted. Libby was a man targeted, I believe, by opponents of the prior administration who considered him a proxy in their bureaucratic wars against Bush and Cheney.

That behavior continued in Fitzgerald’s treatment of Conrad Black and his hapless Hollinger general counsel, Mark Kipnis. Now, it continues against former Illinois Governor Blagojevich, who was removed from office on the basis of the prosecutor’s conduct before he was found guilty of anything. This is a prosecutor who, having seen the likely direction the Court was heading on the question of “honest services,” was forced to add other charges against the governor to account for the likelihood that the honest services charges would be thrown out.

What is the “honest services” provision? It’s a simple, less than 30-word addition to the federal mail fraud statute:
§ 1346. For the purposes of this chapter, the term “scheme or artifice to defraud” includes a scheme or artifice to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services.
Last week, the “honest services” arrow in the prosecution’s quiver was severely blunted by the Suprme Court when it reversed three convictions based on that law.
Read the rest of this here.

Jonah Goldberg says, "Who Cares about 10,000 years from Now" re Yucca Mountain"

His contention is will it go bad in  50 years? or when.  From his Goldberg File (newsletter) he says:
Yuccan't Take the Nukes Out of Yucca
First of all, the science is settled: You can't be 20 on Yucca Mountain. Oh wait, wrong mountain. On Yucca Mountain, you can't be 10,000. Or something like that.
I bring this up because there's news on the Yucca front. A judicial panel held that the law requires the application process go forward even though the Obama administration has decided to kill the project. Yucca will probably still never open, but as fate would have it, the Yucca process has a half-life all its own.
Which brings me back to this 10,000 years thing. I'm not going to get deep in the weeds on Yucca mountain (where I've been and reported from). Suffice it to say, a strange coalition of Nevada tourism officials, nimbyers, casino owners, national environmental groups, the Democratic party, and American liberals generally all conspired to kill Yucca Mountain. I don't think all of the arguments against Yucca are idiotic, but many of them are for a simple reason: Who the Hell cares if it will work 10,000 years from now?
Much of the debate over Yucca Mountain has revolved around this absolutely batty issue. Here's how I put it in the magazine eight years ago:
Seriously: Critics of constructing a subterranean repository for nuclear waste in Nevada's Yucca Mountain argue that if the fictional Lothar decides to live in this godforsaken patch of desert 100 centuries from now, he must not be exposed to more radiation per year than you or I receive from a single chest x-ray. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission agree: Their minimum standard is for containment of the waste for no less than 10,000 years -- at which point, even if the waste did seep into the groundwater and make its way back into the environment, its radioactivity would have decayed enough to be safe.
But here's the thing: Who cares whether it will be safe 10,000 years from now? The question is: Would it be safe 50 years from now? A hundred years from now? Five hundred years from now? And the answers to all of these questions is: Yes. Perfectly safe? No, of course not. But nuclear waste is not perfectly safe in the dozens of messy stockpiles scattered across the U.S. now. Does anyone doubt that, a century from now, we'll be unable to fix this stuff? We can recycle some of it now. All we need Yucca Mountain for is to leapfrog our current ignorance. In 10,000 years, we'll either all be dead (well, you folks will be dead -- my un-frozen head will be doing just fine) or we'll consider radiation sickness one of those ancient problems, like the mercury poisoning that once gave us "mad hatters" and Helen Thomas.
Meanwhile, there are serious people who think the Yucca project was ill-conceived from the start because the waste won't be safe for a million years. A million years! In a million years, humans will have giant foreheads shaped like Jennifer Lopez's ass and we'll be able to turn plutonium into Nutter Butter with our minds. We won't even be on earth; we'll have leased it out to super-intelligent bees -- and even they won't be worried about Yucca Mountain.
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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Louisiana seafood and oil spill contamination/ or NOT

Those of us who know about natural oil seeps in the Gulf know there has always been a certain amount of oil coming onto the beaches and into the ocean and onto the beaches . We know there are tar cleaning stations at the parks and motels.  This article addresses the current oil spill and the fact that only a small amount of the gulf seafood is a affected even in Louisiana.
From The Christian Science Monitor via Yahool news:
Oily rain and cracks in the earth: Busting Gulf oil spill myths
By Bill Sasser
New Orleans – As the prospect of an active hurricane season adds a new dimension to the on-going BP Gulf oil spill disaster, on-line media is awash with rumors of impending worst-case scenarios for the region. Viral Internet myths range from a collapsing seabed to oily rain to contaminated seafood.
Here are a few oil spill myths and misconceptions, addressed by scientists, experts, and official sources: • The blown oil well has spewed so much oil and gas from the substrata of the Gulf floor that the earth around the wellhead could sink and crack, opening multiple oil gushers that could never be stopped. A variation of this scenario involves a sinkhole forming under the well that could collapse, sending tidal waves ashore, or a giant methane gas bubble exploding to similar effect.
According to Gary Byerly, a professor of geology at Louisiana State University, none of this could occur.
Read the rest for the full story.

We are back to the Gee, Who Knew posts, this time on utilities for the poor.

From the Houston Chronicle
Feds wasted millions in utilities program for poor
By KELLI KENNEDY
MIAMI — A federal program designed to help impoverished families heat and cool their homes wasted more than $100 million paying the electric bills of thousands of applicants who were dead, in prison or living in million-dollar mansions, according to a government investigation.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services spent $5 billion through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program in 2009, doling out money to states with little oversight of the program. Some states don't verify applicants' identifies or income. For example, the program helped pay the electric bill of a woman who lives in a $2 million home in a wealthy Chicago suburb and drives a Mercedes, according to the yet-to-be released report obtained by The Associated Press.
The Government Accountability Office studied the program after a 2007 investigation by Pennsylvania's state auditor found 429 applicants received more than $162,000 using the Social Security numbers of dead people.
The GAO investigated Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Virginia, which represented about one-third of the program's funding in 2009. The agency found improper payments in about 9 percent of households receiving benefits in those states, totaling $116 million.
The report comes after a dramatic increase in the size of the assistance checks as fuel oil costs soared in 2008 and 2009.
Read more here.  Are you disgusted by this, I am.  I know there are many non-government programs that help people in need.  I would bet they do not have this rate of fraud.

Let's meet at the coffee house across the street and see who shows up

Michelle Malkin in NRO writes about the way the lobbyists manage to meet the Obama people to circumvent having meetings in the White House.
Obama’s Coffee-House Loophole for Lobbyists
K Street influence peddlers routinely meet with Team Obama — outside the White House, in an effort to circumvent the public’s right to know.
President Obama is finally uniting the Left and the Right — in joint opposition to his administration’s chronic sabotage of transparency and public-disclosure rules. It won’t be long before liberals disillusioned by Dear Leader’s reveal-as-we-say-not-as-we-conceal policies link arms with me and join in on my two-year-old chant: Obama lied, transparency died.
Watchdog groups and Republicans on Capitol Hill want an investigation into hundreds of White House meetings with corporate lobbyists at D.C. coffee houses. K Street influence peddlers told the New York Times last week that they’ve met routinely with Team Obama officials over the past 18 months to discuss policy matters — at Starbucks, Caribou Coffee, even on a side lawn — with the express purpose of circumventing the public’s right to know.
Much more here. Transparency, does it mean anything?