9/30/2010

New 2010 Democrat Campaign Slogan

From this comment to Don Surber's post linked to in my previous post comes the inspiration for a short history of Democrat campaign slogans:

2008: “Yes We Can!”

2010: “Vote For Us, You Fat Ignorant Bastards!”

Inspiring. Truly inspiring.

Liberals Don't Just Think We're Stupid, They Also Hate us

It's bad enough the liberals blame voters for all their failures and their plunging popularity, it's also apparent they really really hate us.

And so now as they trudge to the electoral guillotine, Democrats shed their skin and their code is exposed.

They really don’t like us.

Seriously.

They think we are fools. They view our religion as superstition. They label our skepticism as ignorance and our patriotism as racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic and fattening.

Nothing is worse to a liberal than fat.

The liberal contempt for America is shining through.

--snip--

Remember when Sally Field told the Academy upon receiving her second Oscar “You love me, you really, really love me!”?

Well, they hate us. They really, really hate us.

Gee, big surprise there, bucko.

I've seen the same kind of contempt here in the Granite State, particularly from a certain member of Congress 'representing' the First Congressional District. Is it any wonder she's behind her Republican challenger by 10 points with a month to go before the election?

Goodness knows we've seen it from the Speaker of the House, the Senate Majority Leader, and both the President and Vice-President of the United States. They've all shown us the contempt they have for us, our beliefs, and for the Constitution..and they still can't figure out why they're losing in the polls.

9/29/2010

Blame The Voters

Another winning strategy the Democrats are using to ensure their defeat in November that's even worse than the first one I wrote about? Would you believe blaming the voters? Yeah, that ought to work.

Said [Senator] Kerry, "We have an electorate that doesn't always pay that much attention to what's going on so people are influenced by a simple slogan rather than the facts or the truth or what's happening." Bay State voters are surely thrilled to be represented by a man so respectful of their concerns.

This week President Obama chimed in with another uplifting message about the American electorate. Mr. Obama told Rolling Stone that the tea party movement is financed and directed by "powerful, special-interest lobbies." But this doesn't mean that tea party groups are composed entirely of corporate puppets. Mr. Obama graciously implied that a small subset of the movement is simply motivated by bigotry.

I guess that's true if one defines bigotry as exercising the right to disagree with The One and his minions, Pelosi and Reid.

From the comments section of the WSJ piece linked above comes this observation:

The problem President Obama represents for the Democrats is that he is their choice for President. After quite a bit of care and thinking and strategy, they offered him up as their standard for the person they most wanted to be their President, our President. Confidently they proclaimed him to be their ideal "leader."

Yet, what Americans want from Their Leader is someone prepared to be Commander in Chief. Obama is, instead, Complainer in Chief. He is Whiner in Chief. He is Denigrator in Chief. He is Apologizer in Chief. He is Berater in Chief. In short, he is entirely non-Presidential.

Barack Obama, rather than being President for All The People, sees himself as for Only Some of the People. The nation wanted to get past partisan, Obama took us deeper into partisanship. The nation wanted a bit less unilateralism, Obama absolutely has shown us it is his way or the highway. Barack Obama, rather than being the Uniter he promised to be, has been most purposefully the Divider, appealing to class warfare, envy, and imagined racial bigotry.

And should the Democrats suffer a November slaughter, the blame will be laid solely upon the voters who were too stupid to recognize the Democrat elite as being far superior to us and the only ones capable of running our lives for us. It will be because we were incapable of coming under the sway of their grand vision and therefore mentally defective. And it will be our fault because we weren't willing to surrender ourselves into state slavery as so many others already have, and letting the Left do our thinking for us.

Or it will be the fault of the voters who saw where the Left has been trying to take us and decided to say “Stop! No more! Not one step further into servitude! We are free men and women and we make our own choices and run our own lives because you are neither smart enough or wise enough to do so, and you never will be.

So yes, it is we the voters who should be blamed for Obama's and Pelosi's and Reid's failure to implement their dystopian plan. Not because we're too stupid but because we're too smart.

But that doesn't fit into the Left's narrative, does it?

9/28/2010

Another Preview Of What's In Store For Us

OK, run this by me one more time.

How is it by eliminating competition in health insurance (i.e. ObamaCare) we'll miraculously see a decrease in health insurance costs?

I haven't figured out the logic of this belief, yet both the federal government and the state of California are pushing it for all it's worth. Never mind that the federal program is full of so many holes, traps, and taxes that there's no way it will do what its creators says it will do. Never mind that California is, to all intents and purposes, insolvent and has no way to actually pay for their version of ObamaCare.

In a matter of days, California will set a precedent for the future of the U.S. individual and small-business insurance markets via ObamaCare's "exchanges," where people will purchase coverage at heavily subsidized rates. The exchanges don't start up until 2014, but the states were given wide bureaucratic latitude in how they're run, and Sacramento is using this flexibility to convert them into a pretext for imposing de facto price controls on the insurance industry.

--snip--

The most dangerous precedent in the California plan is known as "selective contracting." Under ObamaCare, all benefits will be mandated and standardized at the federal level, so all individual and small business plans will be essentially identical except at the margins. Those margins include their brand names, the hospital-doctor networks they've set up, the size of their book of business as pricing leverage and so forth.

--snip--

The California plan passed the legislature in August with the support of soon-to-depart Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who will sign them before the end of the month. The overwhelming sentiment among the authors we spoke with is that the brute force of limiting the number of plans will lower costs. "The only way to drive price, to drive value, is the power to say no," as one of them told us.

In other words, less competition is the best way to drive down costs.

That last line sums up the delusion from which the Democrats in California and Washington DC suffer. Since when have price controls or less competition ever lead to lower costs for the consumer? I can tell you when: NEVER.

They have fallen into the age old trap of assuming they can control prices from afar, short circuiting the necessary feedback mechanisms and pretending market forces are irrelevant. But time will show that mistaken belief to be wrong. Unfortunately the damage will be done, health care will be severely damaged as both the quantity and the quality of it will decrease as providers are priced out of the market. Some providers will close their doors and follow some other career path. Others will merely pull up stakes and set up practices just across the border in Mexico or on one of the Caribbean islands and provide medical services without the need to deal with health insurance or severely restrictive federal government regulations. And they'll be able to provide top notch health care for a fraction of the costs of those within the US.

It will be the Law of Unintended Consequences writ large and tattooed across the foreheads of every Democrat that voted in favor of that stinking-like-a-dead-mackerel piece of legislation called ObamaCare. And we'll be able to watch the health care meltdown happen in California...just like it's happening in the People's Republic of Massachusetts right now. It will be a preview of what's to come for all of us – worse care at higher costs, if it's available at all.

9/26/2010

Thoughts On A Sunday

It's the beginning of fall foliage season here in northern New England, one of the most beautiful times of the year. Peak foliage here in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire usually arrives sometime between the first and second full weekend in October, but I have a feeling the timing is going to be a bit off this year.

The color changes, when they happen, are occurring rapidly. It seems like in the morning on my way to work a tree or group of trees will still have the deep green foliage typical of summer, but by afternoon the reds, oranges and yellows have replaced much of the green seen in the morning. It isn't the gradual over-a-week time it usually takes. It's also quite spotty, if that makes any sense.

What may be driving the rapid change was the warmer/drier than usual summer, which seemed to start sometime in May rather than the middle of June. Everything has been earlier or longer than usual this summer, with corn arriving two weeks early, pumpkins and apples a month early, along with a third hay cutting (it's usually only two cuttings a year). Maybe this summer was making up for the previous two wetter/colder/shorter summers.

This past week's temps have also been more like summer rather than early fall, reaching the 80's more than once, including Saturday. Not that I'm complaining. Any time I can delay the start of heating season is just fine by me. That's that much less firewood and/or propane I'll need to burn.

**********

A number of races for both state and national offices are heating up.

We've seen the rudeness of Harry Reid's supporters at a Senate candidates forum in Nevada which ended in a brawl.

Nancy Pelosi doesn't appear to feel she needs to debate her Republican challenger. (Notice I wrote 'feel'. It's a liberal thing.) I guess she 'feels' she's got it all sown up so why take time away form ramming more unwelcome legislation down our throats or finding new ways to subvert the Constitution.

Despite the Delaware GOP's abandonment of Christine O'Donnell, it appears she's doing quite well without their help, particularly with fund raising. It looks like the Delaware GOP has managed to make itself superfluous. It serves them right.

Here in New Hampshire Carol Shea-Porter has been running her ads in an effort to retain her seat in the House. What's ironic about one of them is that she comes right out and says she'll vote the way she feels is right even if she's being pressured to vote otherwise. My question is this: Pressured by whom? Her constituents?

She has a history of ignoring the wishes of at least half her constituents – the Republican half – and voting in line with Speaker Nancy Pelosi's almost every time.

That's funny, I thought she was supposed to be representing the First Congressional District here in New Hampshire, not Nancy Pelosi's district in Berkeley.

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It's not often we have earthquakes here in New Hampshire, but we did experience a 3.1 magnitude quake late last night. To us here in the Lakes Region it sounded like a heavy loud truck passing by The Manse. There was no damage reported but it did startle a number of people throughout the state.

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As I've always said, there's no such thing as too much bacon.

(H/T Maggie's Farm)

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I haven't been the only one making comparisons between the Obama and Carter administrations. Apparently a number of Democrats have been making the same comparison, too.

It's even more interesting when Walter Mondale, Carter's vice president, is doing likewise.

Walter Mondale, Mr. Carter's vice president, told The New Yorker this week that anxious and angry voters in the late 1970s "just turned against us—same as with Obama." As the polls turned against his administration, Mr. Mondale recalled that Mr. Carter "began to lose confidence in his ability to move the public." Democrats on Capitol Hill are now saying this is happening to Mr. Obama.

That's not a good sign for the Obama Administration.

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“Obama Stimulus Made Economic Crisis Worse.”

Color me surprised.

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Could it be that the sun has something to do with climate change? Who'da thunk it?

The idea that changes in the sun’s activity can influence the climate is making a comeback, after years of scientific vilification, thanks to major advances in our understanding of the atmosphere.

So far, three mechanisms have come to light. The best understood is what is known as the top-down effect, described by Mike Lockwood, also at the University of Reading, and Joanna Haigh of Imperial College London. Although the sun’s brightness does not change much during solar maxima and minima, the type of radiation it emits does. During maxima the sun emits more ultraviolet radiation, which is absorbed by the stratosphere. This warms up, generating high-altitude winds. Although the exact mechanism is unclear, this appears to have knock-on effects on regional weather: strong stratospheric winds lead to a strong jet stream.

The reverse is true in solar minima, and the effect is particularly evident in Europe, where minima increase the chances of extreme weather. Indeed, this year’s cold winter and the Russian heatwave in July have been linked to the sun’s current lull, which froze weather systems in place for longer than normal.

To many of the AGW 'theorists” (I use the term loosely, applying to folks like AlGore, etc.) have ignored the sun as a contributing factor to climate change. Many have tried to minimize its effects by pointing out the Sun's luminosity varies minutely. That's true of its visible spectrum, but not of its radio, infrared, ultraviolet, x-ray, or gamma ray spectrum. To ignore these is to ignore over 95% of its electromagnetic radiation emissions, all of which have an effect on the climate of every planet within the solar system.

**********

Here's an interesting Canadian TV report about the Islamization of France and how the government has been complicit in the process.

Public resistance against this trend and the government's refusal to enforce its own laws has resulted in regular protests against Islam and the government.

**********

Do we really need yet another example of how the media, and specifically the New York Times, plays down the way Democrat candidates have gone negative with their faint damnation of such tactics? As Cap'n Teach asks, what if the word 'Democrat' were replaced by 'Republican'? You know they NYT would be all over the story and heavily condemning those same tactics if they were being employed by Republicans.

The old double standard still applies.

**********

And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the fall foliage season has started, the boating season hasn't yet ended, and where once again Monday has arrived all too soon.

9/25/2010

All Bashing Business Does Is Make Us Mad As Hell

It looks like Democrats in the White House, Congress, and state legislatures have managed to come up with a losing strategy for the upcoming mid-term elections: paint business as the enemy.

That might work when things are going well economically. But when they try something like that when businesses are struggling and voters who might otherwise be employed see the Democrats going after businesses that might have hired them, they get pissed off. How is it the Dems think that by demonizing the very engine of economic development they rely upon they will somehow retain control of Congress, state legislatures, or governors offices?

Something significant is happening on the electoral battlefield, and it has an "Inc." by its name. Many candidates running as Republicans could as easily be sitting for a business profile. Twenty months of Democratic business-bashing has not turned the electorate against entrepreneurs. Quite the opposite. This election is highlighting a political turn, not unlike that of the late 1970s, in which voters are looking to free-market, pro-growth candidates to turn back government.

--snip--

What's behind this shift? Call it a supercharged dose of Democrats and failing liberal governance. As Americans for Tax Reform head Grover Norquist notes, the country has been witness to "pure, distilled government." It has been led by an administration staffed with career politicians and academics who have insisted that government can solve all. It hasn't worked. "When Washington fails, what's the alternative?" asks Mr. [Grover] Norquist. "It's people with real-life experience, who can do real-live things." Business folk have real-life experience.

Some Democrats have been trying to shift the perceptions of their constituents in an effort to get re-elected, but their actions, speeches, and votes are a matter of public record and no amount of spin will be able to explain away their hostility towards business, and by extension, the American economy. (One of our local Democrat Congresscritters is running for the Senate and has been painting himself as a fiscal conservative..except for all those votes he cast supporting TARP, ObamaCare, the $800 billion+ stimulus package, and a host of other wasteful and useless government spending programs.)

President Obama's advisors have no problem showing their disdain for business. But then we must remember that none of them, not one, has ever owned a business. They're all academics or career politicians with little if any experience outside their small self-contained world. They've never had to meet payrolls, worry about how new government regulations or tax laws will affect their businesses, or deal with the ever increasing amount of paperwork with which Congress, the White House, and the entrenched bureaucracy have been burdening business owners. Is it any wonder anti-business attitudes by those higher-ups have resulted in the hostile backlash Democrats are now experiencing? What's worse as that these same 'advisors' don't understand why there's any backlash at all. They have little or no understanding of the Law of Unintended Consequences.

The American people have come to realize the Democrats are doing everything in their power to ensure the American economy will continue to flounder, if not through malice then by ignorance and ideological blindness. Regardless of the reason, Americans have had enough and are calling the Democrats on it at all levels.

This isn't the first time the American electorate has been angry at Congress, nor will it be the last. But what makes it different this time, what makes the American people more than just angry, but livid, is the amount of information available to them about the goings on in Washington as compared to the past.

There are two major developments...that are new this year and insufficiently noted, but they're going to shape election outcomes in 2010 and beyond.

First, Washington is being revealed in a new way.

The American people now know, "with real sophistication," everything that happens in the capital. "I find a much more knowledgeable electorate, and it is a real-time response," Ms. Blackburn says. "We hear about it even as the vote is taking place."

Voters come to rallies carrying research—"things they pulled off the Internet, forwarded emails," copies of bills, roll-call votes. The Internet isn't just a tool for organization and fund-raising. It has given citizens access to information they never had before. "The more they know," Ms. Blackburn observes, "the less they like Washington."

Is it any wonder? In the past many of the Congressional activities were shielded from public by distance and time, with voters in the dark about what their representatives and senators were voting on or proposing for legislation. Unless one read the Congressional Record, assuming they could even find a copy, little detail about much of the activities of Congress were covered by the media. Once C-SPAN arrived a little more light was shed upon Congressional shenanigans, but only if one happened to be watching at the right time. Then came the Internet and, after a bit of a shakeout period, all Congressional wheeling and dealing was available to the public 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It wasn't so easy to hide anything from the voting public any more. And once blogs came into being, Washington is being scrutinized as it never has been before. No wonder the American public is pissed off at The-Powers-That-Be.

But wait, there's more!

How does 2010 compare with 1994 in terms of historical significance? Ms. Blackburn says there's an unnoted story there, too. Whereas 1994 was historic as a party victory, a shift in political power, this year feels more organic, more from-the-ground, and potentially deeper. She believes 2010 will mark "a philosophical shift," the beginning of a change in national thinking regarding the role of the individual and the government.

This "will be remembered as the year the American people said no" to the status quo. The people "do not trust" those who make the decisions far away. They want to restore balance.

And hence, the TEA parties. They go outside the usual political parties or ideologies. They're angry at everyone in office, not just Democrats. It's why a number of TEA party supported candidates have caused electoral upsets of so-called 'establishment' candidates at state and national levels, including a number of incumbents who saw themselves go down to defeat in their state primaries, never reaching the national elections in November. They want change of the kind that won't bankrupt the nation and indemnify our children, grandchildren, and perhaps our great-grandchildren. The days of spending like there's no tomorrow on programs, projects, and government agencies with no real value are gone. The days of eroding our rights one by one using small steps to bypass the scrutiny of the American people are gone.

To quote the late Peter Finch as newsman Howard Beale: “We're mad as hell and we're not going to take it any more!”

9/23/2010

Is It Time To Repeal The 17th Amendment?

Considering the shenanigans seen in the US Senate over the past few years and the backstabbing seen by both party leaderships towards Senate candidates chosen by the people, I wonder if it's time to consider returning control of the Senate (or at least of Senators) to the states? Could the repeal of the 17th Amendment return that control where it belongs?

It appears Congress has forgotten that it is supposed to represent the American people, not rule them. And while both houses of the Congress are guilty of that conceit, I believe the Senate is the worst of the two. Maybe it's time to remind them of the truth.

The 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution removed a competing voice in the national government (the states). Because of the 17th, there is no constitutional check on the national government. This article explains the problem that exists no matter what party is in power.

Spare me the glad-handing politician pandering for my vote in order to gain a Senate seat. We get enough of that from the people running for the House. Better that our Senators remember who it is they work for – their home state – and that their tenure in the Senate is based entirely on their performance as the state legislature sees it. Their constituency is not made up of the voters back home. No media campaign or millions in campaign contributions will sway the legislators from booting them from their office if they fail to meet their obligations to their home state.

That's exactly the way it should be.

9/22/2010

More On The Erik Scott Shooting

Mike McDaniel offers his analysis of the shooting death of Erik Scott by the Las Vegas Police Department outside a Costco this past July.

McDaniel has almost 20 years experience with law enforcement following his service in the Air Force in the Strategic Air Command as a security officer.

He asks a number of questions about the shooting as well as giving insights about how the investigation should be handled. McDaniel writes:

It is not unusual for the police to keep information out of the public eye for a variety of good and lawful reasons, at least until after the initial inquest or preliminary hearing. However, eventually, all of the evidence should be produced, and surely must be produced for the attorneys of the Scott family. If the police are blameless, they should be anxious to release the 9-11 call, the radio transmissions, and most importantly, all video evidence. When the time comes, if they are reluctant to make the evidence public, if evidence has been in any way mishandled, or worse, altered or destroyed, the public would be justified in drawing the most negative and damaging conclusions. After all, if the actions of the police were indeed justified and lawful, the video and audio evidence should exonerate them.

It is standard practice in many professional law enforcement agencies that another, independent agency, such as the state police, investigate officer shootings to remove any suggestion of corruption. Apparently this is not to be the case in Las Vegas. In fact, police procedure for any unattended death, and particularly those involving officer shootings, commonly require that the incident be handled as a homicide until it can be positively ruled out so as to properly deal with evidence and cover all bases. At this point, with admittedly limited information, any competent internal investigator should have serious concerns about the actions of the officers involved. Those concerns might well be eventually alleviated by the evidence, but absent convincing evidence that contradicts initial impressions, it would be hard to imagine how the police were justified in their actions in this case.

In my opinion, something stinks about the whole thing.

9/21/2010

Thoughts About Auntie Zeituni

An interesting e-mail conversation with a co-worker prompted by the television interview with Obama's aunt, an illegal immigrant:

Cath: Ye Gods, did you hear that Auntie Zeituni said that America has an obligation to make her a citizen?

Yours Truly: Ayuh. I like that. “An obligation.” Yeah. Right. Why should she merit special consideration? Or maybe she’s been infected with the “It’s owed to me because the bleeding heart politically correct Progressives say so” virus.

Cath: She said her American Dream has become her worst nightmare. Oh geez, my heart, she bleeds. Maybe she should go home then, eh?

Yours Truly: Funny, I don’t remember my maternal grandparents ever saying their becoming American citizens was owed to them. They did it the old fashioned way: they earned it. Nothing was owed to them. Nothing.

Cath: Same here. I really don’t understand why more legal immigrants aren’t speaking out against these people. [A friend of mine] became a citizen for the sole purpose of voting against Bush and she doesn’t understand why we hate immigrants (another one that doesn’t make the distinction between legal and illegal).

Yours Truly: I’ve run across the same issue, where people seem to think that because I’m against illegal immigration that I’m against all immigration. I’m not. But you know how it is with the bleeding hearts – their logic discriminators were surgically or chemically removed sometime between birth and achieving adulthood (assuming they ever really reach it). Logic and rationality have no place in their thought processes, only emotion. (I think I’ve said this more than once: I don’t know how many times I’ve had to interrupt some fount of progressive wisdom and state “I don’t care what you feel about [place subject du jour here], I want to know what you think about it!” And the only response I usually get is “What’s the difference?”)

Need I say more?

9/19/2010

Thoughts On A Sunday

Deb was in New York to attend her sister's wedding, having left The Manse Friday morning and returning late last night. Neither BeezleBub or I could attend due to work obligations.

Deb called me late yesterday afternoon, telling me about the wedding and about how she really wanted to come home. Instead of staying one more night at the hotel and returning this morning she decided to make the 6 hour drive back last night and pulled in here at The Manse just before 11PM. She never really sleeps well away from home so for her the decision whether or not to come home last night was an easy one for her to make.

I'm glad she did.

**********

It seems the GOP has failed to put any effort in to the Delaware Senate race, putting its focus more on the perceived shortcomings of the GOP candidate and not her Democrat opponent.

I'm surprised they haven't come right out and endorsed the Democrat and gotten it over with. After all, their hand-picked candidate Mike Castle was only slightly less liberal than the Democrat candidate.

It's quite obvious the GOP establishment has lost its way and has lost touch with the rank and file. No wonder so many of their candidates have lost to more conservative opponents.

It's tough enough when a candidate has to campaign against the candidate from the opposing party. It's worse when they have to battle their own party as well.

**********

This isn't a surprise to me: Poverty in the US has risen and it's no coincidence.

Of course the present Congress and the Obama Adminstration have nothing to to with it. It's all Geoge W. Bush's fault. NOT.

One commenter to this piece had the gall (or perhaps it was sheer ignorance) to take a page from the old Leftist playbook and try to claim poverty and wealth is a zero-sum game. If it is, it's because the same aforementioned Congress and President made sure poverty went up by their short-sightedness and use of long discredited 'fixes' to problems they themselves helped create.

**********

In regards to the rise in poverty: Poverty must be redefined in the US. As the News Junkie reminds us, those on “the lowest rung on the income ladder lives better lives today than the average middle-class Americans of the last generation.” I have to disagree with that somewhat. It should read “of two generations ago.” Things that many of us take for granted today didn't even exist back in the 1970's. And the material things that were part and parcel of middle class America back then are pretty much universal among the poverty-stricken. It's all a matter of perspective. In many respects most of those of us in America living in poverty would still be seen as wealthy in many other nations.

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The pressure during the most recent state primaries must have gotten to Markos Moulitsas, founder of the DailyKos, because he has clearly gone off the deep end.

He's had to try to figure out an excuse for the reversal in fortunes of his beloved Democrats, all the while bashing the right and writing a book that calls all conservatives “jihadists”. I guess all of that extra work is starting to go to his pompous head.

Covering the primaries extensively Tuesday night, Moulitsas rambled on about the usual moonbattery. 'All conservatives are racists.' Heard it. 'O'Donnell's inexperienced and dumb.' Heard that too. But taking a step outside of his usual delusions, Moulitsas decided to insult the founder of the nation's most accurate polling service, Scott Rasmussen.

Because it's likely the Democrats will have their heads handed to them this coming November 2nd, and Markos is incapable of understanding why the great unwashed masses have turned against the spendthrift and redistributionist Congress and President, he decides he needs to throw a tantrum? It's time for him to grow up.

As the saying goes, RTWT.

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As if we need any more proof that environmentalism has nothing to do with preserving the environment and more to do with control and feel-good hypocrisy, there's this little video about Hatteras Island, the US Park Service, and the Audubon Society and how the latter two have decided it's perfectly OK to twist and distort science in an effort to destroy the lives and livelihoods of the islanders all in the name of the environment.

Piping Mad: Fair People at the Mercy of a Government Gone Fowl from Kevin Hicks on Vimeo.

(H/T Wizbang)

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Gunned down by police in Las Vegas for being legally armed while shopping?

The victim in question, Erik Scott, committed no crime, threatened no one, and according to numerous eyewitness reports, was shot to death by Las Vegas police officers upon leaving the local Costco after trying to follow conflicting orders given to him by three different police officers. The same three officers that killed him.

Oh, yeah, that ought to help increase tourism. I know any thoughts I had of visiting Las Vegas any time in the future are gone.

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Other than rewriting the Constitution to suit his needs, it appears Obama has decided to edit the Declaration of Independence as well.

Care to hazard a guess what phrase he left out?

(H/T Pirate's Cove)

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You've got to love it when the AGW crowd contradicts itself with reports coming to opposing conclusions. What makes it even better is when they “beclown themselves” by saying both contradictory reports are right.

Say what?

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Home Depot founder Bernie Marcus “apologizes” to the White House for being such a successful
bastard entrepreneur and creating 300,000 jobs in the process.

The gall of the man!

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The Constitution celebrated its 223rd birthday this past Friday. If you noticed, there wasn't a lot of hoopla about it, at least not in the media. Maybe it's time for that to change.

And who might we be thanking for that change?

Barack Obama.

It was on September 17, 1787, that 39 delegates to the Constitutional Convention met for the last time to sign the Constitution of the United States. There had been more delegates, but some had already left and three refused to sign the document.

The challenge for the Convention was in many ways the challenge we still face today: How to create a central government strong enough to perform the needed tasks to manage and defend the country, and yet limited enough to ensure that it doesn’t rob the people of their rights and freedoms.

While the Founding Fathers succeeded admirably, we have failed … miserably.

Indeed. We've seen the weakening of the Constitution in regards to our freedoms and the ever growing power of the federal government. We've seen that failure in our political leaders (Nancy Pelosi is one that comes to mind, with Barack Obama and members of his administration not too far behind).

In the past, the people may have not noticed. But this isn't the past, and we have noticed. And we're not going to take it any more.

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Glenn Reynolds has a number of links and comments about Senator Lisa Murkowski's (R-AK) decision to run as an independent after her loss in the Alaska primary.

All I can say is that if she carries through she will guarantee a win for the Democrat challenger. But then again, it's really all about her and not about Alaska or the GOP.

**********

China and Germany have abandoned their old socialist economic and government models and have seen their economies expand, and in the case of Germany recover from the recession. Isn't it ironic then that Barack Obama wants to institute the very economic and bloated governmental systems these other nations have abandoned? Germany cut taxes, cut the seize of government, did away with much of the overly restrictive government regulations, and promoted more market freedom. They've already managed to work their way out of the recession and their economy is booming.

But here in the good ol' USA we have a President and a Democrat-majority Congress that seems to think imposing the very things that have made the economies of most of the rest of the EU total basket cases and trapped them in a recession would be just the thing we need here.

Obama, Pelosi, and Reid have proven Santayana's axiom: Those who choose to ignore history are doomed to repeat it.

**********

And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the weather is warming up a bit, firewood is being stacked for the winter, and where boating season should last another 4 weeks...if we're lucky.

9/17/2010

It's The Spending, Stupid! - Round 2

It seems the Left cannot seem to grasp one very simple concept when it comes to the record deficit created by the Democrats in Congress and the President:

We don't have a revenue problem. We have a spending problem.

Or to put it in words even they can understand, “It's The Spending, Stupid!”

Regardless of who is in the White House and which party holds a majority in Congress, it always comes around to the government spending far more than it takes in by way of tax revenues. But the Democrats have taken it to unheard of levels that are in no way sustainable and the American people have come to realize that they just don't care.

Oh, they make the appropriate noises, talk about reducing the deficit, and make a few token spending cuts that don't amount to a fraction of one percent of the entire deficit, but in the end they go right back to spending money we don't have. And when someone actually suggests rolling back budget increases they are lambasted for cutting budgets for vital programs/agencies/departments that do nothing but provide employment for faceless bureaucrats and are vilified for doing something that, in the end, will “hurt the children”. And we don't want that, do we?

And it's not just the Democrats who are at fault. The GOP has to take part of the blame as well.

The GOP was once the party of fiscal sanity, but those days are long gone and the party leadership sounds far too much like the leadership of the Democrats. Rather than actually letting supporters of the GOP decide who will run in the next election cycle, the leadership hand picks 'acceptable' candidates. But when those candidates are trounced by the voters they are shocked that the people didn't listen to them or take advantage of their supposed wisdom in regards to who should run and who shouldn't. All we have to do is look at the recent upsets in state primaries to see the results of that conceit, with the people telling the GOP leadership that they aren't willing to listen to them any more. Is it any wonder the TEA parties have been garnering more support from voters over the past two years?

The disaffected Democrats, Republicans, and Independents have had enough of being pandered to and lied to by both parties. The difference between the Democrats and Republicans in power is a matter of degree, not of magnitude, and the American people are pissed off.

Is it any wonder a number of changes are in the offing this coming November?

9/16/2010

HHS Secretary Sebelius To Health Insurers: STFU If You Know What's Good For You

If we need even more proof the Obama Administration really doesn't care very much for the US Constitution, particularly the First Amendment, all we have to do is listen to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and her declaration that any health insurer speaking about rate increases due to the provisions of ObamaCare will be denied access to the insurance exchanges under ObamaCare.

"There will be zero tolerance for this type of misinformation and unjustified rate increases."

That sounds like a stern headmistress dressing down some sophomores who have been misbehaving. But it's actually from a letter sent Thursday from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to Karen Ignagni, president of America's Health Insurance Plans -- the chief lobbyist for private health insurance companies.

Sebelius objects to claims by health insurers that they are raising premiums because of increased costs imposed by the Obamacare law passed by Congress last March.

So if the insurance companies speak out they will be denied access to the market as punishment for exercising their First Amendment rights? How...how...Chicago of her. She sounds a bit like Al Capone: “Gee, that's a nice health insurance company you've got there. It would be a shame if something bad were to happen to it....”

Sebelius must be reading from Nancy Pelosi's version of the Constitution. You know the one where the Bill of Rights exists only to bolster the power of the federal government? The same one where the only rights the citizens have are those that she, Harry Reid, Barack Obama, and the rest of the Regressives allow.

Maybe it's time for Sebelius to go back to school and study her history, and particularly the Constitution, the Federalist Papers, and a whole host of other tomes that explain why what she said is un-American at its core.

9/15/2010

Delaware GOP To O'Donnell: Drop Dead!

As I write this (5:52PM) the winner of the GOP primary in New Hampshire for the US Senate race hasn't been declared yet. But one Senate race that is finished is the one between Christine O'Donnell and Mike Castle in Delaware. It wasn't even a close contest, with O'Donnell beating Castle 53% to 47%. But what does the GOP leadership do instead of congratulating O'Donnell and pledging their support?

They abandon her.

What a class act, Delaware GOP. Way. To. Go.

Because your handpicked RINO candidate didn't win you've decided you're going to take your ball and go home.

Is it any wonder the GOP is in trouble in a number of states? How many of the GOP establishment favorites have had their heads handed to them in various state primaries? Could it be the people have had enough of the GOP being nothing more than Democrat Lite and have decided to throw the bums out, including GOP bums?

In Delaware it's time for the state GOP to man up and support the candidate the people have chosen. (At least the NRSC has realized the mistake the Delaware GOP has made and kicked in ~$43,000 towards O'Donnell's campaign. A pittance, yes, but a start nonetheless.)

The various state GOP organizations had better realize what the electorate is telling them and start supporting the candidates that reflect the core beliefs of old GOP or they may find themselves supplanted by those who will, or worse, the people will make the GOP superfluous.

9/12/2010

Thoughts On A Sunday

BeezleBub is doing something he's never done before – working at the farm after school. In the past he's only worked the weekends, and then mostly just Saturdays. Occasionally he'd work a Sunday if Monday was a holiday. But this week he's been heading down to the farm late in the afternoon to put in a couple of hours. (The only rule we have in regards to this is that his homework must be done before he goes to work.) From what's he's said this is likely to continue until the regular retail season for the farm comes to a close at the end of October.

From that point on it will be just weekends at which time he'll be working on splitting firewood, some for this year (ash can burn whether green or dry) and for the year after next (red oak, white oak, and maple take 2 years to dry). I expect Farmer Andy will also have him delivering firewood as well as hay over the fall and winter months.

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Speaking of firewood, Farmer Andy delivered our final cord dry hardwood to The Manse this morning. We now have 31/2 cords stored in the garage and another cord and a fraction outside.

In order to make things easier for us over the winter we'll probably start burning the cord stored outside first. That way we won't need to haul it inside in the dead of winter or try to shovel or snowblow around it after any snowfall.

**********

I like this idea a lot: Allow motorists to pay for the privilege to speed on highways.

While it might not work in some areas (too congested), it would in others. It would also raise revenue for the state, probably far more than it would collect in speeding fines.

Maybe it's an idea whose time has come.

(H/T Instapundit)

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Laser pointers: They're not just for using with PowerPoint presentations!

In the case reported in the link above, a 15-year old boy bought a green laser “pointer” and, in the midst of fooling around with it, managed to damage the retinas in both eyes. Most laser pointers have an optical output of 5 milliwatts (or 5 thousandths of a watt). The one the boy purchased over the Internet had an optical output of 150 milliwatts, a level where the normal human aversion response to bright light won't protect the eye.

Though most of the lasers I deal with at work emit in the infrared part of the spectrum, care must still be taken to prevent damage to eyes. Some of our stuff is far more powerful than the laser the boy was using when he damaged his eyes.

(H/T Instapundit...again)

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There's nothing I can add to this that would make it any more profound or provocative than it already is.



(H/T GraniteGrok)

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Ron brings us a history of the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon, which got its start in 1952 on a local New York TV station.

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What's not to like about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie? He tells it like it is and he doesn't mince words. He also makes sure he knows exactly what he's talking about, making his opponents look uninformed an ignorant of the realities the state of New Jersey faces. Here's an example:


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Sarah Palin isn't running for office, yet she sets the Left into full-on panic mode. The claims made by them are ludicrous in the extreme. Why are they so afraid of her? Maybe it's because she isn't them and they find she appeals to everyone who isn't them, including a number of people in other countries, like out neighbors to the north. An example from one of the commenters:

I was in Windsor, Ontario in 2008 doing some work at a power station and I was talking to the lead operator in the control room. He was English and had emigrated to Canada a few years before. The Canadians were having an election at the time, but all he wanted to talk about was Sarah Palin. The operators and mechanics loved her. They said they needed someone like that in Canada to represent THEM. What they meant was someone from a non-elite background who was one of them. Sarah fits the bill. This is what the left fears. The idea that their pseudo hereditary claim to power and influence can be simply ignored knocks the legs out from under them.

Is it any wonder the Left is panicking? Who do they have that appeals to the non-elite like Palin? No one. Not even Obama has that kind of foreign fan base.

**********

Professor Jacobson of Cornell Law School delves into anti-Americanism in Europe and how much of it can be attributed to their failure to understand the nature of our nation, our people, and our form of government. From the Telegraph piece Jacobson links:

What is unique about the US – and indispensable to the understanding of it – is that it is a country of the displaced and dispossessed: a nation which invented itself for the very purpose of permitting people to reinvent themselves, to take their fate into their own hands, to be liberated from the persecution and the paternalism of the old cultures they had left behind.

Or to quote Bill Murray's character John in the movie Stripes: “We're Americans, with a capital 'A', huh? You know what that means? Do ya? That means that our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world. We are the wretched refuse. We're the underdog. We're mutts!”

But we have a bigger problem with anti-Americanism, where members of our own Democratic Party have started to resemble and sound just like many of the European anti-Americans.

The modern Democratic Party, beholden as it is to unions and welfare-state sycophants in the European style, embodies attitudes which are alien to this nation. Three generations of leftist education have resulted in a substantial minority of the population who accept that we should be like Europe, but still a minority.

The notion that everything we have and are devolves from the state is not natural to this country, but the modern Democratic Party can't comprehend why that is so. It is inconceivable to them that people would not want their form of health care system; it must be that we don't understand how good it will be for us.

It's sad that they have less understanding of America and the American people because they were born and raised here.

One last quote from the Telegraph piece:

I wonder if the Obama liberals – in their eagerness to turn the US into a European country, complete with paternalistic interventionism and bourgeois guilt – realise what is in the rest of that package: passivity, resignation and the corrosive cynicism that makes it impossible for Europeans to believe that ordinary people can use words like “freedom” and “justice” without smirking, and are not prepared to give up on the attempt to reconcile their ideals with the difficult realities of human behaviour.

Indeed.

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The first games of NFL regular season kicked off today. The New England Patriots played the Cincinnati Bengals and beat them 38-24. It's a good start.

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And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the summer weather has fled (for the time being), the woodpile is getting bigger, and where we still have another 5 weeks of boating before we have to pull them out of the water.

9/11/2010

Getting To Big For Her Britches?

It's bad enough when Nancy Pelosi is working hard to take control of our economy and, in the process, damage it. Now she wants to do the same thing to the Canadian economy, too.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will be in Ottawa to attend a meeting of the G-8 Speakers. But the buzz around town and across Canada has nothing to do with the official summit agenda. Ms. Pelosi, along with Massachusetts Rep. Ed Markey (co-author of the House's climate and energy bill), will be having dinner tonight with Ed Stelmach, premier of Canada's energy-rich Alberta province.

--snip--

A boom is underway in Northern Alberta to extract the gooey, thick tar and convert it to oil for refining into gasoline. But environmentalists hate the oil sands, calling them the worst climate-offending energy source of all, and almost no one expects Mrs. Pelosi is on an intellectually honest mission. As columnist Don Martin wrote in Canada's National Post, "A suspicious observer would think Wednesday's visit to Ottawa will be more about gathering input for a future trash-talking of the Alberta and Saskatchewan oilsands than an unbiased hearing of the facts."

It seems Nancy Pelosi doesn't like the tar sands. Never mind that Canada provides 10% of the US oil needs and provides thousands of jobs to Canadians, which in turn adds billions of dollars of income to Canada's economy. She doesn't want that nasty oil coming into her country and wants Canada to stop extracting that nasty oil from their tar sands and wants Canada to lay off all those workers extracting all that nasty oil from Alberta's tar sands. (She hasn't come right out and said that, but from listening to some of her earlier pronouncements, it's apparent to me that's exactly what she wants.)

Maybe it's time to remind Nancy that she is the Speaker of the House in the US, not Canada. She holds no power in Canada despite her lofty position in Congress. Does she believe she can convince Canadians to abandon one of their most plentiful natural resources, one that the US so desperately needs? Or does she figure she can ruin the Canadian economy, too? Is she really that arrogant?

Wait a second. Of course she is! We've seen enough of that when she was ramrodding that g**awful ObamaCare bill down the American people's throats. Did she care if it was unconstitutional? Heck no. (That we do know as we've seen her response to a question asked by a reporter about the constitutionality of the ObamaCare bill. She doesn't care.)

Wrecking the American economy isn't enough for her. She has to wreck Canada's too.

That ought to make her popular.

9/11/01

This day always seems to sneak up on me. I don't know if it's a conscious decision of mine or whether I'm just too busy living life. But every year over the previous eight years the eleventh day of the ninth month arrives and almost takes me unaware.

That Awful Day was nine years ago today.

Many of our children aren't old enough to know about or remember what happened. In their lives the World Trade Center towers never existed. There never was a scorched and burning scar on the side of the Pentagon. There never was that deep hole hammered into the ground by Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

For some it's just another day that also happens to be the anniversary of the attacks, something that happened long ago. But to me and many others, it was just yesterday. The sights and sounds are as fresh as if That Awful Day were happening right now.

It. Still. Hurts.

And we are the lucky ones.

Almost 3000 people died on That Awful Day. For some, the end came quickly. For others, they knew they were doomed and that there was no hope of being saved. It was only a matter of time before their time on Earth would end. And as they waited they called family and friends, giving them their last words of love, hope, and prayer.

Some waited in the growing smoke and flames until they could stand it no more and launched themselves into eternity and plummeted along the walls of steel, glass, and concrete to a certain but quick end. Others had no choice but to wait until their world collapsed around them, making them part of all that which once was the substance of the towers.

When the echoes of the rumbling and thunder of That Awful Day faded away, the dust settled, and the smoke drifted away, the world gasped at what had been wrought.

From the skies came death and then from the skies came...silence.

Slowly the skies emptied and then were empty. No contrails could be seen. No distant rumble or drone of flying aircraft could be heard. Nothing made by man moved in the air. All was still, as if to move would somehow deepen the grief and shatter our tenuous control over our emotions.

All over the world, American flags flew where perhaps they had been rarely seen before. And in a place that had helped give birth to America, red coated soldiers stopped in the midst of performing their duties, raised their instruments, and played the Star Spangled Banner. The crowds surrounding Buckingham Palace were stunned, for such a thing had never been done before. The Americans in the crowd sang the anthem as it played, even as tears filled their eyes and blurred their vision.

And we grieved.

Some of us still do.

9/10/2010

Mid-Term Elections - A Leftist's View...And A Fisking

It isn't often I get to fisk someone's post on another blog. It's rare I get to do so twice in as many weeks. It's even rarer when I get to do it to the same blogger. I am going to enjoy this.

A Warning: This is a lengthy post.

Our friend Paulina, an occasional commenter here at WP, has posted about her confusion in regards to the upcoming elections. Let's help clear up her confusion, shall we?

The midterms are almost upon us, and the latest polls show Republicans overall ahead by 10%. As it stands now, Dems will probably keep the Senate majority (51 to 49) but the House is up for grabs. This is sad news indeed. And to be honest, I don't entirely understand the reason why Republicans are favored. So here is my post about why Dems are better than Republicans for the future of this country. (But mostly it's me being really mad).

She doesn't understand why Republicans are favored? Hmm. I think I can explain that easily – The people are tired of being ripped off by a spendthrift, thieving government filled with people who really don't really give a rat's ass about the American people except how to exploit them (and their money). Not only that, but Americans are tired of being condescended to by those very same people in government who have never had to meet a payroll, don't understand what it's like to run a business, and truly believe they are far better qualified to run our lives than we are.

Better yet I can explain it in fewer words: The government doesn't have a clue what the American people are really like or what they want, which is primarily to be left alone. Certainly the Democrats, including the President, don't understand this. They stopped listening to the American people once they got into office. That's why they'll likely be on the losing end of the mid-term elections.

The last line sums up a lot of her problem: she's emoting rather than actually thinking.

The economy and jobs situation in the US is still pretty sh***y. Unemployment rates are high, banks that profited from the bailout aren't lending, corporations are turning a profit but not hiring. Little guy on the street gets screwed. Surely this is bad, but has everyone forgotten WHY we are in this mess???? Did we forget the Bush tax cuts and pointless wars that depleted the treasury? Did we forget the deregulation of the banks that allowed this entire subprime-mortgage/housing bubble, economy-downturn thing to happen in the first place?

She'll get no argument from me about the economy and unemployment, but I'm not buying her explanation.

The Bush tax cuts weren't a contributing factor to the deficits. It was Congress's profligate spending that was the biggest factor. After the tax cuts the economy grew and with it, tax revenues. Revenues were the highest they've ever been. But Congress increased spending faster than the revenues grew.

Business may be making profits but they aren't hiring for a very good and sound business reason: Obama's hostility towards business and Congressional efforts to slap even more taxes, more regulations, and more onerous (and expensive) programs on them. Until they know what the effects of all of them will be they aren't likely to invest in expanding their businesses. Why should they when it's highly likely they'll be punished by the government for their efforts? Talk about a disincentive!

I'd like to know what deregulation of the banks she's talking about. It certainly didn't happen during the Bush Administration. Maybe she means the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999 during the Clinton Administration? The act separated commercial banks from investment banks. The repeal allowed a the merging of the two, which in turn led to some of the problems we saw in the collapse of the housing bubble.

Also, the so-called pointless wars were a small percentage of the overall deficit. Afghanistan was not a pointless war. The Taliban were supporting and hiding Al Qaeda, refusing to hand them over after 9/11. They gave aid and comfort to the enemy. That were given the opportunity to avoid war. They refused. We obliged them and with the help of the Northern Alliance, threw the murdering medieval bastards out.

Iraq was merely the continuation of the original Gulf War – Saddam had continuously violated the terms of the cease fire agreement since shortly after the Gulf War , so hostilities resumed. (Yes, I know it's simplistic, but in the end that's what it boils down to.)

The bail out and taxes deserve their own little paragraph. Republican's bailed out the banks (upper class). Democrats bailed out the car industry (middle class). Bush cut taxes for the rich (still in effect!), Obama cut taxes for the low/middle class AND is trying to cut taxes for small business which the Republicans in Congress are blocking. And don't even get me started on all the shit the Republicans blocked these past few years, including health coverage for 9/11 rescue workers! And they are upset about a community center!??!?!?

Ah, I can see her memory has again failed her. Blaming the Republicans for the bank bailouts? Really? Too bad it was the Democrats who pulled that off. Yes, Bush may have been in office, but the Democrats controlled both the House and the Senate. If they really didn't want to bail out the banks, then why did they pass the legislation? They had more than enough votes to kill it. Could it be because the legislation that created the bailout – H.R. 1424 - was sponsored by Representative Patrick J. Kennedy, a Democrat? Naw, that couldn't be it. It must have been the evil thought-control rays used by the GOP to get the Democrats to do their bidding.

In regards to the auto industry “bailout”, again her memory fails her. It wasn't so much a bailout as it was a government takeover of GM and Chrysler, using over $60 billion of taxpayer money to short circuit the usual Chapter 11 bankruptcy process, bypass established bankruptcy law, rip off the bondholders (mostly mutual funds owned by pension and retirement funds) who should have been first in line for redress, and instead handed over bondholder funds to the UAW. That's right, the UAW, the same folks that helped force GM and Chrysler into Chapter 11.

Another memory failure? Obama cut taxes for the lower and middle classes when? Did I miss that? I recall something as part of the stimulus program that temporarily rebated income taxes. In other words they were tax credits, not tax cuts, and those 'cuts' will have to be paid back. And how did he cut taxes for low income people who weren't paying taxes? No one has been able to answer that question for me yet. About the only tax 'cut' that comes to mind is the annual adjustment to the trigger level that forces taxpayers to pay the Alternative Minimum Tax. That's nothing new.

I know Obama has proposed tax incentives for small businesses (which is not the same thing as tax cuts), but I am not aware of any actual tax cuts. (I would know as my wife and I are small business owners and we haven't heard squat about any tax cuts that would affect us in any way, shape, or form.)

And those tax incentives? Any idea what they are? I do. They are basically tax credits for hiring new employees. Like that's going to work. Businesses won't hire employees unless they have work for them to do. The tax credits won't even come close to covering the actual cost of adding more employees. They certainly won't induce my wife or I to hire anyone. We can barely cover our payroll, bills, rent, and other expenses as it is. Another employee will end up putting us in the red, even with the tax credit.

All this shows is that the President and his financial advisors haven't got a clue about why businesses hire new employees. And let's not get into the new taxes and fees that will be leveled on small businesses under the provisions of ObamaCare.

As far as “ all the shit the Republicans blocked these past few years, including health coverage for 9/11 rescue workers”, Paulina had better look at the legislation that was supposed to do that. It included so many riders and amendments that would allow waste, fraud, and a whole host of new entitlements that had nothing to do with 9/11 rescue workers and victims that it became an odious piece of legislation. If all it had done was address the health coverage as originally intended the GOP would probably have signed on. But it didn't. Shame on the Democrats for trying to use such a sleazy tactic to ramrod through pet projects and money wasting programs that wouldn't have stood a chance of passing any other way.

Here is a little list of the Dems major accomplishments lately from USA today:

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: The $862 billion "stimulus bill" invested in transportation and energy projects, tax cuts and education grants.

Oh, yeah, that's been such a big success. The only problem is that less than $55 billion has been allocated to infrastructure (building or repairing roads, bridges, and railways; water and sewer systems; electrical distribution and generations systems; communications [broadband access]; etc.), things that will be needed when the economy recovers. (Alternative energy and efficiency upgrades for homes, government buildings, and commercial facilities were not included in the total above.) What about the other $823 billion in stimulus funds? Wasted on unimportant things as far as I can see.

Affordable Health Care for America Act: The law $940 billion in the first 10 years will create new health care exchanges, expand insurance coverage to 32 million people who have gone without, close gaps in Medicare prescription-drug coverage and forbid insurance companies from rejecting people for pre-existing conditions.

This was an abominable piece of legislation that will cost hundreds of billions more than Congress has projected and provide nothing but substandard health care. How can anyone have voted for this piece of crap without knowing what was actually in it? That's insanity. It should not have passed as written because it has so many hidden and buried costs, obligations, and outright unconstitutional provisions that it should be scrapped in its entirety. Congress should start with a clean sheet of paper and try again, this time with complete transparency and true bipartisanship (not the “Sit down, shut up, and vote the way we tell you!” kind of bipartisanship as practiced by the Democrats in Congress) and with ideas that will actually work without destroying our health care system. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, “We have the worst health care system...except for all the others.”

One of the first things that should have been done is tort reform. Without that the rest is moot. Doctors are forced to practice defensive medicine, which costs money, rather than actually working to treat their patients. Can anyone blame them? Who wants to be sued because they didn't perform all the tests to back up their diagnosis or because a patient demands extra tests? So the doctors cave and perform the extra tests to gather evidence in case they're sued for malpractice. That's no way to practice medicine. Unfortunately it's far too common.

It must also be remembered that every time government adds health insurance mandates, it costs money to provide those new services. They aren't free.

Oh, and one last thing: It will take 10 years worth of revenues to pay for 6 years worth of benefits. How do we pay for the following 6 years of benefits? No one has explained that yet.

The HIRE Act: A jobs bill that provided $18 billion in tax breaks for small businesses to spur hiring and $20 billion for transit and highways programs.

I already covered that above, so I don't need to go into it again.

Auto companies bailout: Billions of dollars in government loans to struggling Detroit automakers Chrysler, General Motors and GMAC.

I also covered that, too. Basically, it was a ripoff of the bondholders and a payoff to the UAW. They should have followed the law in regards to the bankruptcies.

But it adds to the deficit people complain! Where were your complaints when Bush was waging a ludicrously expensive war in Iraq for NO REASON???? And it was off the books too! The 3 trillion dollars, that's TRILLION DOLLARS spent by using emergency approrpriation bills rather than putting it on a budget. That's 12 billion a month in Iraq, 16 billion a month if include Afghanistan. And why? Because Saddam Hussein oppressed his people? Do the oppressed people in Sudan, North Korea and Iran not count? Shall we go around liberating everyone? And why is it more important than the unemployed of THIS country???

Excuse me? $3 trillion dollars for the war in Iraq? Where the hell did she come up with that piece of crap number? Thin air? Or maybe HuffPo? Oh, wait, it was the Washington Post! Of course. That was her first mistake.

The Congressional Budget Office says otherwise. (The CBO may not be all that great in estimating the future costs of various pieces of legislation, but it does a pretty good job tabulating actual costs based upon real and verifiable numbers.) According to the CBO, the cost of Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003 – 2010) was $709 billion, which covers military and related activities (diplomatic operations and training of Iraqi security forces, including its army), but does not cover costs of State Department/USAID operations and programs. (The full CBO report can be found here, but will require a little arithmetic to separate out the costs of operations in Afghanistan and some Homeland Security operations.)

As the Fox piece linked above notes, the cost of the Iraq War is less than that of the $878 billion stimulus program.

Paulina asks why we got involved in Iraq. First she needs to be reminded of some history.

The Gulf War, which took place in January and February of 1991, ended with a cease fire agreement between the UN Coalition Forces and Saddam Hussein. It was not a surrender. It was not a truce. It was not an absolute end of hostilities. There were conditions both sides agreed to in order to maintain the cease fire. The ink was barely dry on the agreement before Saddam violated it. He continued to do so for another 12 years.

After the Gulf War UN inspectors inventoried Iraqi weapons stores, including chemical weapons and their delivery systems. 10 years later no trace of the previously counted chemical weapons could be found. Saddam had no records of what he had done with them. Intelligence services of a number of countries, including those hostile towards the US, reported Saddam still had the weapons in direct violation of a number of UN Security Council directives. The last one, UNSCR 1441, gave Saddam and ultimatum: divulge the whereabouts of those weapons or face the consequences. He chose the latter.

It wasn't until after Saddam had been captured and interrogated that we learned that he gamed the intelligence services, making it seem like he still had the weapons in order to keep Iran in check. It was a bluff that backfired on him.

Then there is the whole Obama is a Muslim thing, or he respects Muslim people more than he does his own citizens (latest Newsweek poll says most Republicans believe this s**t). Can someone tell me why this belief is so popular? I mean obviously I know why, because of our brain washed fox watching population who think that what Glenn Beck and O'Reilly tell them is fact. Sure Obama tried to mend relations with some Muslim leaders after we killed over 100,000 Iraqi people for NO REASON, but that's just good manners really.

Part of it could be his actions, where he shows deference to Muslim beliefs even when they are in contradiction to American sensibilities.

He bowed submissively to the King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, something no head of state should ever do unless he is showing submission to the King, ruler of the seat of Islam. (If it was done in error, a protocol gaffe, then the protocol officer should have been fired, particularly because this was the second gaffe Obama has made. His first was bowing to the Emperor of Japan as if he were an inferior.) It could be his cool demeanor when it comes to America and his statements that more than imply he thinks he needs to constantly apologize to the rest of the world for American exceptionalism and his less than enthusiastic endorsement of American ideals...except when he's on the campaign trail.

It could be his weak denials about his anti-Americanism in light of his 20 years attending a church that has preached black liberation theology, racism, and anti-Americanism, and his all too cozy relationship with self-avowed and unapologetic Weather Underground terrorists Bill Ayer and Bernadine Dohrn.

And we did not kill 100,000 Iraqi people for no reason. It was war, and in war people die. We were careful as compared to past wars. If we had prosecuted the war like we did World War II we would have reduced every Iraqi city and town to rubble with continuous aerial bombing and artillery. There wouldn't have been 100,000 deaths (a number that so far hasn't been confirmed). It would have been millions dead.

So someone please tell me why we would want to go back to the days of reckless spending, invasion of privacy (Patriot Act anyone?) and endless [cronyism] that was the Republican majority rule?

Go back to the days of reckless spending? Say WHAT?! Obviously she hasn't been paying attention to what the Obama Administration and the 110th and 111th Congress has been spending. When Obama's first budget deficit was bigger than all of Bush's combined, that's reckless spending. The Democrats decry Bush's deficit spending in one breath and then quadruple down on it with the next. So in their minds it comes down to this: Republican deficit = bad. Democrat deficit = good. Or to put it in financial terms only the Left understands: $1.2 trillion in deficit spending over eight years is far worse than $2.4 trillion in 2 years (I am including the $600 billion deficit that was part of the Democrats “continuing resolution” sleight of hand at the end of Bush's eighth year). Or to restate it, Bush's deficits totaled a little over $600 billion in 7 years. That's less than $86 billion in deficit spending per year. So far the Democrat majority Congress has managed $1.2 trillion per year in deficit spending.

What do we have to show for it?

A chronic unemployment rate of almost 10%, increasing mortgage foreclosures, a contracting business climate, banks afraid to lend, entrepreneurs afraid to invest, businesses and consumers holding on to cash in case things get worse, and a spendthrift President and Congress that have come to believe that if they need more money they can just take it from the rich. The problem is that very shortly “rich” will be defined as “anyone with a job.”

There's something else they will learn the hard way: Eventually they will run out of other people's money to pay for all their programs and social engineering efforts.

When the Obama Administration states it wants more control of things like the Internet, political speech (the DISCLOSE Act), and use selective enforcement of the law to allow groups like the New Black Panther Party to intimidate voters and groups like ACORN to commit massive voter fraud, the Patriot Act is a minor distraction in comparison. (While I agree that a number of provisions of the Patriot Act are unconstitutional, it seems Obama and Congress want to do away with the First Amendment and make sure the only ones who will have freedom of speech are those who agree with them.)

If you want to get into crony capitalism, one only needs to look at what the present Congress and the White House have done, decrying it on one hand but practicing it to a level not seen since the old Tammany Hall days. (They make the Bush Administration look like pikers in comparison.) Obama and Congress are deciding who the winners and losers will be (GM, Chrysler, the UAW, the oil industry, etc, etc, etc.) rather than letting market forces decide. Neither Congress or the President are smart enough or wise enough to make that decision. They never have been, even going back to the days of President George Washington. But at least Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Madison, and the rest understood that.

Republicans taking control of the House and maybe even the Senate would not be the worst thing that could happen. The worst thing that could happen would be maintaining the status quo, with an out-of-touch Democrat-controlled Congress and a clueless, incompetent, and arrogant President spending the US into oblivion while the Left cheers them on.

9/07/2010

Best Line Ever

The best line I've ever heard in regards to Congress came during a televised debate between Republican candidates for New Hampshire's 1st Congressional district. The candidates were asked about earmarks and what they would do about them. All the candidates said they should be done away with. However, the best response came from Nick Ashooh, talking about how the seniority system made it easier for those in Congress to 'bring home the bacon':

“We need to do away with the seniority system [in Congress] altogether. Why should Congress operate like a union?”

Indeed.

When you think about it, Congress does operate like a labor union. Seniority rules over ability or experience in a given area. That's how some of the least qualified Congresscritters end up on various committees even though they may have no knowledge about whatever the committee is supposed to be handling. Worse, these know-nothings sometimes end up as the chairman of the committee. How is that supposed to be in the best interests of the nation?

9/06/2010

The End Of Summer - A Bittersweet Time

Here it is, the closing hours of Labor day, the unofficial end of summer.

It's always a bittersweet time for me, seeing the yearly wonders summer brings coming to an end.

In days the local beach will be closed.

The boating season may well run for another month or so, but it won't be the same. No one will be anchoring to do some swimming. Boats won't be towing waterskiers, wakeboards, or tubes behind them.

Many of the waterfront eateries and amusements will be shutting down during the weekdays and not long from now will be closed until next summer. And not long after that the diehard boaters (like me) will be pulling our boats from the water and getting them ready for winter storage.

Another summer will fade away, to live on only in our memories. It is these that will sustain us through the coming winter, reliving some of the great moments of this wonderful summer.

And as always happens this weekend, Don Henley's Boys Of Summer runs through my mind, with almost every line evoking the very feelings the end of summer entails.



It's been a great summer, one of the best in a long time. It only ended too soon for many of us.

9/05/2010

Thoughts On A Sunday

BeezleBub's work weekend started a little earlier than usual this week. After having to help him by towing home his Jeep (again), he checked his voice mail and found a message from one of Farmer Andy's other farm hands. BeezleBub called Andy and after a brief discussion was on his way to the farm in my pickup.

He managed to get about 4 hours in at the farm Friday afternoon/evening and another 12 hours yesterday. From what BeezleBub told us the farm stand has been the busiest he's ever seen it, with cars and trucks filling the parking lot and parked along both sides of the road in front of it.

Not a bad way for the farm to celebrate the unofficial end of summer.

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I mentioned BeezleBub's Jeep needed to be towed home Friday after school. It looks like he can no longer put off rebuilding its carburetor, so I've picked up the rebuild kit and we'll take the time Monday to fix the darned thing once and for all (I hope).

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I see the trend started by SouthWest Airlines has caught on overseas.

Apparently Kulula Airlines of South Africa has borrowed a number of pages from SWA's book, making them a much friendlier airline than many of the others in the area they serve. Even their planes paint jobs show they have a sense of humor.


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In regards to the Ground Zero Mosque, Melissa Clouthier asks “Many things are legal, but are they right?”

It is perfectly legal for New York Muslims to build their mosque, the so-called Cordoba House, within sight of Ground Zero. But the question that hasn't been answered is whether it's the right thing to do.

In my opinion, it is not.

(H/T Maggie's Farm)

And then there's this at Wizbang, which puts it all into perspective.

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Art Woolf tells us how the Vermont Public Assistance Institute has been building a 'straw politician' in an effort to head off attempts by campaigning politicians to roll back funding for public schools because “education is a luxury we can no longer afford.” There's only one problem: No one has said any such thing. It doesn't help that they're also twisting words to make them fit their narrative.

I hope that the next PAI post will identify some of these campaigning politicians. Even one would do. No one that I've heard speak has ever said anything remotely like "education is a luxury we can no longer afford." Several campaigning politicians (and some non-campaigning non-politicians, including me) have been saying that being one of the highest per pupil spending states in the nation is a luxury that Vermont can't afford, but that's very different than the PAI statement.

Frankly, that makes a lot more sense. If the Vermont taxpayers aren't getting the most bang for their buck in regards to education, then spending even more money won't solve the problem. It isn't that the schools are underfunded, it's that they aren't spending the money wisely or effectively. And if they are incapable of doing so then perhaps the answer is to force them into it by cutting back the amount of public funds they're presently receiving. Endlessly pouring even more money down a bottomless hole isn't the answer when the schools are giving a poor return for the money already being spent.

We've seen the same effect here in New Hampshire, where a number of school districts sued the state, saying they weren't being adequately funded and that student performance and grades were suffering because of it. They won the suit and the state money started pouring in. The only problem: the schools did not increase the performance of their students to any appreciable amount, but they spent a lot more money doing it.

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And you shall know them by the company they keep.

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Is America Islamophobic? To hear the Left tell it, it is. But if you ask a lot of American Muslims, you'd get an entirely different answer.

And if you had to look at America's history in regards to Islam, it has a far better record of coming to the aid of Islamic nations and its citizens during disasters, natural or man-made, than any Muslim nation. But that must be because we are Islamophobic, right?

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I spoke with friends down on Martha's Vineyard today, asking how they made out with Hurricane/Tropical Storm Earl. As they said, “It was much ado about nothing.” After the build up over a few days, a lot of folks planning a last summer weekend on the island canceled their reservations. But Saturday and today had beautiful weather and large crowds still made it out to the island.

While they weren't as busy this weekend as we've been here in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, they were busy enough to have a good finish to their summer tourist season. Things will quiet down a little bit there and get really quiet just after Columbus Day weekend as the last of the tourist trade ends.

Deb and I are hoping to visit our friends down there after that when it's easier (and cheaper) to get out to the island.

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Instapundit points us to the latest Carnival of Nuclear Power.

There's plenty of interesting stuff there you may have never known about nuclear power...at least if you left it up to the MSM to provide you with information.

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As if we needed any more proof that the Chrysler dealership closures had nothing to do with economics or saving Chrysler and everything to do with politics. Dealerships owned by Democrat supporters were spared while those owned by Republican supporters were told they had to close.

It is also my understanding the same pattern was true of the many GM dealership closures.

I haven't quite understood how it is closing successful money-making dealerships is somehow supposed to boost auto and truck sales. No one has been able to explain that to me. All that does is make it more difficult for buyers because now they have to travel a lot farther to buy a vehicle they want. Could that be but one more reason Ford saw sales increase while Chrysler and GM saw their sales fall?

Could be.

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And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the summerfolk are getting their last taste of summer, cash registers are filling with cash, and where we now have to start getting ready for leaf peeper season.

9/04/2010

Union Leadership Out Of Touch With The Rank And File?

This isn't exactly news to me.

Unions Out Of Touch With Workers.

So why has union membership declined so far in the last 54 years? Some of it has to do with the changing American work trends. We've moved from large-scale industry to service and white-collar jobs, from big employers to small business, and from lifetime tenure to job insecurity and frequent career changes -- all of which makes union organizing more difficult. But the biggest problem for unions has been their own leadership, which has grown more out of touch with the people those unions hope to represent.

This is not something new by any means. I saw it during my 20-year union membership (IBEW), with union officials at all levels espousing views and political beliefs in direct opposition to the rank and file. They supported political candidates that did not have the average American's well being as their focus. The candidates pandered to the unions, hoping for votes and contributions to their campaigns. Never mind their political beliefs were just this side of Marxism. (I have to disclose that much of what I saw took place in the People's Republic of Taxachusetts, a bastion of leftist-think rivaled only by Berkeley, California in its intensity.)

Many of the original reasons for labor unions no longer exist. Much of what unions fought for are now codified in law. As such, they've had to come up with new reasons to stay relevant, new groups of workers to maintain their raison d'ĂȘtre. It's one of the reasons public employees unions have become so prevalent today. Unfortunately the unions didn't do anyone any favors, helping to create the very economic conditions that are burying state and federal budgets in unsustainable entitlements. Not that the union leadership really cares as long as they can keep collecting union dues that pay for their salaries and perks. Union leaders have seen to it the government has shafted bondholders in favor of the unions, violating the law (and the Constitution) in the process. They don't care as long as they get theirs. The unions are no longer working to 'protect' the rank and file. It appears more the unions are working on just plain 'protection'. You know, like the Mob used to sell to local businesses.

One of the biggest mistakes made by Congress was allowing public employee unions to organize. It's one of the reasons government jobs pay more than private sector jobs and started the contraction of the private sector. They are killing the goose that provides the golden eggs they depend upon and heaping ever bigger tax burdens on the very people they'll need to survive. How is that in anyone's best interests?

Maybe it's time to take a page from the Right-To-Work states and eliminate the closed shop as it exists today. For the most part the time for labor unions has passed. They have no real reason to exist anymore...except to enrich the union leadership.