Thoughts On A Sunday

I spent late yesterday afternoon trying to diagnose the problem with The Boat, figuring at first there was water contaminating the gasoline, in turn causing the loss of power and the sputtering I experienced Thursday evening. (Since marine gas started using 10% ethanol last year there has been an ongoing problem with the high moisture in a marine environment causing the ethanol in the gasoline to separate out and combine with the water. This usually leads to clogged water separator/fuel filters. Requiring a 10% ethanol mix for marine gas was not one of the EPA's better ideas. It has cost the boating public millions of dollars in repairs and lost recreation or work time.)

After removing the water separator/fuel filter and emptying it into an appropriate transparent container, I was surprised to see no evidence of water or ethanol/water sludge. Uh oh. That left one other possibility: electrical.

Because I had removed one of the batteries in The Boat to lend it to my work compadre for his boat and since the problem didn't occur until after I did this, I thought it might have had something to do with it. I reinstalled the battery, fired up the engine, and let it run for a few minutes to get it to operating temperature. Then I opened the throttle to rev it to the same level it was when I had the problem. There were no misfires, no sputtering, and the engine ran smoothly. This wasn't proof positive the problem had been fixed as the engine wasn't under load. That had to wait until today so I could take it out onto the lake and try it...or so I thought. Other duties took precedence so the test cruise out onto Lake Winnipesaukee will have to wait until after work on Monday.

One advantage of waiting until Monday: BeezleBub won't be working. Today was his last 'full' day because school starts Wednesday and he goes to his Saturday-only work schedule at the farm.


It was Old Home Day yesterday here in our little town. It's a celebration of everything that makes our town special to us. BeezleBub's boss Farmer Andy and his missus were the Grand Marshals for the celebration.

There were all kinds of activities running the gamut of kids games, tours of a number of historical society museums and sites, horse-drawn wagon rides, a parade, and lots of vendor booths selling all kinds of goods and food. I admit to partaking of an ice cream sundae (sold by our local church for fund raising), two oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (made by our favorite breakfast eatery), and some double fried french fries (really crispy, just the way I like them).

Needless to say I didn't feel the need to eat dinner after eating all that stuff. At least I didn't overdo it otherwise I might have never been able to work on The Boat afterwards.


The big gathering hosted by Glenn Beck at The Mall in Washington DC was not what the MSM had probably believed it was. The Washington Post tried to minimize the size of the gathering, claiming 'thousands' attended. The photo in the article was misleading, giving a very narrow view towards the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. An aerial view of the same event shows over 300 thousand people attending the event.

Beck's gathering certainly didn't fit into the narrative Reverend Al Sharpton was selling, trying to paint it as some kind of twisted theft of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's legacy. That Dr. King's niece spoke at the conservative gathering has more to say about the Tea party than anything Sharpton could.

Should the Left be worried about the gathering steam of the Tea party? Absolutely.


Now to something entirely different: The Wankel Engine.

I've been a big fan of the Wankel ever since the Mazda RX-2 came on the market. A former girlfriend had one entirely tricked out and it was an absolute screamer, pumping out a lot of horsepower out of only 1300 cc's of displacement. I co-drove a Mazda RX-3 Rally car for a couple of seasons and was always impressed with the performance. I saw more than my share of RX-7's out on the track during my road-racing days. A co-worker drove a latter day RX-7 for a couple of seasons and had nothing but praise for its performance. I've even seen a head-to-head comparison of two identical boats, one with a fuel-injected 4.3L Volvo Penta V6 power train and the other with a marine version of the modern Mazda 13B Wankel. The Wankel powered boat blew away the V6, with equal horsepower (~225HP) but at a fraction of the weight. (A two rotor 13B Wankel has only six moving parts. The V6 has approximately 166 moving parts.)

Here's a video showing the components of a Wankel and how it works.


A number of diseases once thought to be on the verge of extinction are making a comeback.

I believe some of them have returned because misinformed parents have decided immunization is far more dangerous than the diseases those immunizations are supposed to protect against. They're wrong and it's their kids who are paying the price for it.

Other maladies have also returned, including bedbugs. These pests could be dealt with easily if the EPA allowed the use of DDT to eradicate them. But because of Rachel Carlson, DDT – one of the most effective insecticides ever created – has been banned. Not that there weren't problems with DDT if used incorrectly, but use in situations like this are highly unlikely to cause any disruption of the ecology or create a Silent Spring.

(H/T Instapundit)


It's one thing when climate scientists 'analyze' data. It's another thing when statisticians analyze the same data sets and come up with entirely different results. And so it goes with the Mann Hockey Stick which, after the statisticians used Mann's data, came up with an entirely different looking graph. (Scroll down below the updates to see the original post and links.)

(H/T Maggie's Farm)


Adding a little more fuel to the fire about the Ground Zero Mosque is this opinion video from one Brit who gets it.

I'd say Pat Condell has hit the main points about the Ground Zero Mosque and how it will be perceived, not just in America, but in the Muslim world. Those perceptions will be entirely opposite to each other, sending the wrong message which in the end will mean more trouble, pain, and death rather than less.


As if we need even more evidence that high tax rates affect business decisions, an increasing number of high tech companies are abandoning California for low tax states.

The latest to join the departing crowd: Adobe, eBay, and game maker EA are all pulling up stakes and heading to Utah.

The list of companies that have already left or have moved a majority of their operations out of California include Apple, Buck Knives, Ditech, Fluor Corp., Lennox, Pixel Magic, Denny's, DuPont, Fidelity National Financial, JC Penney, Intel, Intuit, Hilton Hotels Corp., Nissan North America, Northrop Grumman, Schott Solar, Starkist, Teledesic, Toyota, Yahoo, and USAA Insurance, just to name a few.

And with those moves go a lot of jobs and the taxes that would otherwise go to California. And people wonder why some business in the US have shifted their operations overseas when the taxes and regulations being dumped on them in greater numbers makes it less attractive to do business here.

As has been said over the years “As goes California, so goes the nation.” Let's hope not.


Cassy Fiano links and comments about Muslim bullying at Disneyland, where Disney officials have made every effort to accommodate the needs of a female Muslim employee who insists she be allowed to wear her hijab while in costume. Every attempt to reach a compromise has been met with rejection.

I have a feeling this woman and her friends at CAIR have bitten off more than they can chew. I hope Disney stands its ground and doesn't cave on this issue. After all, this employee knew the conditions of her employment before going in and now after two years of employment wants to change the rules after the fact.

(H/T Pirate's Cove)


I have to agree with Michelle Malkin on this one: The Summer of Recovery is looking more like The Beltway Chainsaw Massacre.


Gateway Pundit gives us the Tale of Two Rallies: Clean Conservatives versus Filthy Liberals.

It appears conservatives clean up after themselves while liberals believe someone else will pick up after them.


A bit of not surprising news: Used car prices are up as much as 30%. Gee, could it be that Cash For Clunkers had something to do with that? Radley Balko certainly thinks so.

So we have a government program whose stated aim was to shore up huge, failed corporations by giving public money to mostly upper-income people that in the end will penalize low and middle-income people. But remember folks, it’s the libertarians—who opposed C4C—who are greedy corporatists who hate the poor.

What did Obama and Congress think would happen to the used car market in light of Cash For Clunkers? When they artificially reduced the supply of used cars (using taxpayer money) did they really believe there wouldn't be a rise in used car prices? I certainly thought it was a really bad idea.

Call it yet another example of the Law of Unintended Consequences coming into play and biting Obama and Congressional Democrats in the a**.

(H/T Pun Salad)


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where school starts on Wednesday, a new heat wave started today that's expected to last all week, and where I'm still feeling the effects of our town's Old Home Day.


Oikophobia-Striken Liberals In For A Rude Awakening

James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal has come across a term that describes the contempt the ruling elite holds for the average American: Oikophobia.

While xenophopia is fear of the alien, oikophobia is defined as fear of the familiar: "the disposition, in any conflict, to side with 'them' against 'us', and the felt need to denigrate the customs, culture and institutions that are identifiably 'ours.' " I think the term applies. After all the “liberal elite finds Americans revolting”, something that can be taken two ways.

They may see the rest of us as the great unwashed masses, but they are also experiencing our long overdue revolt against their condescending We-Know-Better-Than-You attitudes, particularly about how we live our lives. It's not like they're a shining example of how we should live considering they suffer from the same maladies as everyone else: infidelity, licentiousness, addiction, sloth, greed, larceny, ignorance, jealousy, violence, and yes, murder. I think what makes them worse though is their willful ignorance, choosing to remain ignorant about things the rest of us find important because they affect our every day lives and the lives of those around us. But that is likely just another manifestation of their oikophobia. Yet another? How about this for an example:

If you think it's offensive for a Muslim group to exploit the 9/11 atrocity, you're an anti-Muslim bigot and un-American to boot. It is a claim so bizarre, so twisted, so utterly at odds with common sense that it's hard to believe anyone would assert it except as some sort of dark joke. Yet for the past few weeks, it has been put forward, apparently in all seriousness, by those who fancy themselves America's best and brightest, from the mayor of New York all the way down to Peter Beinart.

So if we do not agree with their view of how the world should be, we are dismissed as barely cognizant troglodytes, incapable of higher thought processes? It figures. But then, that's how they raise their self-esteem. - tearing down those they see as inferior, even when they aren't. It makes them feel special.

Unfortunately special can be defined for them as “snooty, self-appointed anointed...and clueless.”

It's Time To Take Action

Received via e-mail:

There's nothing I can add to this. It speaks for itself.


Tea Party As Scapegoat For Leftist Violence

Do we need any more proof the Tea parties are getting short shrift from the media and being blamed for acts of violence actually committed by those on the Left.

It seems the media and the Left want to see the Tea party as nothing more than an extension of the GOP or the Religious Right, and therefore not worthy of their attention, unless it's for something negative (even if they have to make it up). They ignore that the Tea party isn't happy with the GOP either and have worked to “throw the bums out” from both the Republican and the Democrat parties. We've seen this in a number of state primaries where incumbents have been defeated by newcomers supported by their local Tea parties. If anything it can be said the Tea party isn't an extension of the GOP. Instead it's an insurgency aiming to reform the GOP and remove the RINO faction that has made it seem more like the Democrats, with profligate spending and expansion of the size of government (though to a lesser extent).

All kinds of motivations and political beliefs have been laid at the feet of the Tea parties and their supporters by the Left. Unfortunately for them they're wrong. All those supporting the Tea parties want is fiscal sanity by the government to to be left alone by that same government. How do we know that?

Because they've told us so.

Ground Zero Mosque - A Response

While I have not commented upon the controversy in New York about the Ground Zero mosque..er...community center, it isn't because I don't have any to offer. Quite the contrary. It's only that nothing really spurred me to put words onto the 'net. That has changed.

An occasional commenter here posted her viewpoints about the Ground Zero mosque and I felt compelled to answer her. Paulina and I rarely see eye to eye on anything, but I respect her opinions because, quite frankly, she tends to think things through before writing about them. There are times when she lets emotion override logic, but it occurs rarely (that I've seen). I think this is one of those times.

When I first heard about the "Ground Zero Mosque" a few weeks back, all the controversy made me think there was a plan to build a Hagia Sophia type structure right where the trade center stood. Turns out it's some sort of community center (gym, swimming pool, theater and a mosque) two blocks away from ground zero, planned by a Sufi (read: peaceful, Buddhist-like) Imam (Feisal Abdul Rauf, or whatever). Never mind that there is already a mosque four blocks away and that lower Manhattan was originally a very muslim community (back in the late 19th century it was called Little Syria) - why is it that the very people who like to get all outraged on behalf of the constitution are forgetting it's very first amendment?

I know why, of course. It's because most Americans and certainly most conservatives, like to think of America as a christian nation. They like to throw their bible into political arguments (gay marriage? no way - it's an abomination!). More importantly, they have found themselves a nice little enemy in Islam. What used to be a multifaceted religion practiced by nearly a third of the world's population, is now equated with intolerant governments and terrorism. The idea that Islam is a violent religion is now somehow taken as a fact. And this I also understand. We all need an "other" to hate or put down. I myself have an "other" in conservatives and all religious fanatics, christian and muslim alike. Still, it is the intolerance and bigotry that piss me off the most when it comes to my "others" and so I've decided that it would be an excellent idea to build and actually mosque, with minarets and all, right there next to where the trade center stood, to symbolize the hope for tolerance and peace.

So the reason for the opposition is because we're all Muslim-hating, intolerant conservativs, and worse, Christians? Yeah. Right.

Here was my comment to her post:

We’re told we must be tolerant of other beliefs, primarily Islam. However the reverse isn’t true, as seen every day by the likes of the media, academia, the government, and the multi-culti proselytizers. Those of us of Judeo-Christian beliefs must not be tolerated because, after all, It’s-All-Our-Fault. The Muslim community in New York has shown great insensitivity to the feelings and beliefs of those who lost loved ones on That Terrible Day. It is they who are showing intolerance, not those protesting against something they see as a slap in the face.

The argument has been made in other places that there are already churches, strip joints, and an OTP parlor surrounding Ground Zero, so why should building a mosque create such a controversy? It's simple, really. They were already there on That Terrible Day. Frankly, if the mosque had also been there on That Terrible Day, I doubt there would be nearly as much opposition to it. There might even have been none. But that isn't the case here.

Whether the intentions of those wanting to build the new community center are good or otherwise, I believe they could have handled it differently which might have lessened the opposition to it. Instead, they sprang it on the people of New York with little or no notice, something they should not have done. It showed insensitivity. Did they really expect any different response under those circumstances?


Taxes And Spending - A Study In Contrasts

As much as many have been using the financial difficulties in states like California, New Jersey, New York, and a few other states to illustrate the problems with profligate spending and over-the-top tax burdens, they are more like the extreme examples that not everyone can easily relate. So rather than repeating the same old same old, it would be better to use two other states. These two states are similar in population, demographics, and just happen to share a border. However it is the differences between these two states that may give us a better comparison for their different approaches to state spending and taxes policy.

Which two states are we talking about?

Maine and New Hampshire.

Amity Shlaes uses these two states to show how out of touch our President is when it comes to how tax policy and government spending can have an effect on the economy, positive and negative.

Even before Obama was born, some states were applying the Obama rule of “spend, even if it means higher taxes, and you will grow.” Others operated on the philosophy that less government, even perhaps in times of trouble, served their residents better.

J. Scott Moody of Public Choice Analytics, a New Hampshire public policy consultant who specializes in cross-state analysis, ran his own experiment. Moody compared Maine, a state that more than 60 years ago embarked on one path, with New Hampshire, which went a different route. Like the president, Moody favors an emphasis on the household pocketbook. He therefore spends time looking at per capita personal income of individuals.

Amity goes on to explain how both states were at parity in regards to taxes, income, and government largess back in 1946, but took divergent paths from that point on. Maine ended up adopting both a sales and income tax while New Hampshire still has neither. (The point could be made that New Hampshire does actually have one in the form of an Interest & Dividends Tax, but most folks pay neither because they don't have enough income from either to trigger the tax.)

In the end the two different paths taken have illustrated quite handily how taxes and federal largess can have an overall negative effect on the state so afflicted.

Overall today, Maine residents shoulder a heavier tax burden than do those of New Hampshire. State and local taxes take 12.6 percent of personal income in Maine, the sixth-highest share among states. In New Hampshire state and local taxes take 8.7 percent, putting New Hampshire at 49th for tax burden.

The result? Decade in, decade out, New Hampshire’s economy grew faster than Maine’s, so that the Granite State surpassed the Pine Tree State in 1984 and today boasts an output that is 20 percent bigger. Maine’s recessions and double dips were worse than New Hampshire’s. Eventually New Hampshire also won the population contest, passing Maine, in part thanks to migration. Last month, joblessness was 8.1 percent in Maine, better than Ohio but still bad, and 5.8 percent in New Hampshire.

In general New Hampshire hasn't suffered nearly as much from this recession as the other states in New England and the rest of the northeast. Historically, New Hampshire has fared better during recessions and recovered from them more quickly since the 1970's. Such success can be attributed to the state's low tax burden and limited government.

Unfortunately over the past 4 years the state has been inflicted with a milder form of the Tax-And-Spend disease that has plagued so many other states. Fortunately the voters have managed to hold the line at the town/city level, reining in spending and keeping property taxes in check. They are also making known their displeasure with their spendthrift legislators, seeing them for the wastrels they have become. An example: the legislature made the mistake of trying to abscond with $110 million in private funds from a state chartered medical malpractice association to help fill a ~$250 million budget deficit of their own making. Fortunately the state Supreme Court saw through the maneuver and told the state government the money wasn't theirs and to keep their hands off. That hasn't stopped the legislature from trying an end run around the Court, but the voters are quite aware of what's been going on and will likely correct the problem this coming November.

How many other states would have had their Supreme Court slap down a money grab by their legislatures? How many other states would fire the legislators trying to spend and tax their citizens money to the point where the state would no longer be attractive to businesses? Not to many, from what I can see.

So what does any of this have to do with what's been going on in Washington? Simply this: If the tax, spend, and grow the government at any cost agenda doesn't work at the state level, what makes Obama, Pelosi, and Reid think it will work at the national level? The only difference will be the number of zeroes in the size of the deficits. Unfortunately I doubt any of them will take the hint.


Market For Existing Homes Tanks In July

Yeah, this is the Recovery Summer. NOT.

If the 27.2% plunge in existing home sales is any indicator, the 'recovery' has just had a major setback. If home sales are falling, small businesses tied directly and indirectly to housing aren't seeing any increases in their business. This in turn means they won't be adding any new employees.

Can anyone say “Double Dip Recession?”


Thoughts On A Sunday

It was definitely one of those 50/50 weekends, weather-wise. Pretty much sunny and warm Saturday, with late day cloud cover moving in, and cloudy and rainy Sunday, with a bulk of the rain arriving in the afternoon.

I wish I could say I spent Saturday outdoors, but duty called and instead I worked most of the day at our small business performing the quarterly maintenance on the machinery that is part and parcel of our business. There's still some electrical work to be done, replacing fluorescent light ballasts in two fixtures and checking a third, but that will wait until later.

The day inside was a small price to pay for our business to survive.


Could it be that the cure for the problems with our housing market could be solved by taking a lesson from our neighbor to the north?

Canada's housing market hasn't been suffering a downturn like we're seeing in the US because they've managed to avoid the mistakes our government has made over the years. Unlike the US, Canada has always managed to finance its housing through private banks with no government funding or guarantees. And even though the US government efforts to increase home ownership through numerous government housing finance agencies, Canada has a higher percentage of home ownership than the US. There has been little or no government interference in the housing market in Canada, meaning there aren't the distortions in the Canadian housing market as seen here in the US.

Maybe it's time for Washington to get out of the home financing game because, quite frankly, they suck at it. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, and a whole host of other government agencies dealing with housing finance should go away.


Another thought: The US should also take a lesson from New Zealand and do away with farm subsidies. The Kiwis did that a number of years ago and their agricultural system stopped shrinking and farms actually started making money again.

The farm subsidies here in the US distort food prices and only help the big agribusinesses at the expense of family farms. (The agribusinesses are usually the ones receiving the subsidies.) In effect, the government has been choosing the winners and losers, something that always ends up costing consumers more in both prices and taxes.


Another subsidy we could do without? Ethanol.

Ethanol has been sold as the answer to our greenhouse gas and foreign oil dependency problems. But it's scam. Just like farm subsidies, ethanol subsidies distort the market, raising food prices as farmers grow crops (corn) for ethanol production and not as food. With a guaranteed price, courtesy of Uncle Sam, it makes economic sense to the farmers (or should we say agribusinesses) to grow a crop where they know exactly what their profits will be.

It's one thing if crop-based ethanol actually did lower our dependence on foreign oil sources and lowered the greenhouse gases generated, but it doesn't. Instead it tends to be neutral or even have a negative return, meaning it takes more energy to produce what we get back and generates more greenhouse gases than if we did nothing.

Now if that ethanol was in the form of some good sippin' whiskey, I might be willing to pay for that...


Ron Enderland reminds us (at least those of us who are Baby Boomers) about how foul language by kids was usually taken care of by washing their mouths out with soap.

It never ceases to amaze me how expletives that would have gotten us grounded until we were 35 are now used like punctuation in every day speech. And it's not just kids using it, it's adults, too.

I am guilty of that infraction from time to time, but not like so many I hear today. I use far fewer of them than I used to, and then only when I do something like mash my thumb with a hammer or some other self-damaging accident. BeezleBub certainly had something to do with that, calling me on it back when he was 10 years old.

Sometimes there's something to be said for the old ways.


Even though it's still summer we've already started preparing for winter here at The Manse.

We received our first of three cords of dried firewood for use in the Official Weekend Pundit Woodstove over the winter. The first cord was a pretty good mixture of ash, red and white oak, and maple, stuff that burns well and long. Farmer Andy tells me the other two cords will be the same. (BeezleBub tells me the same thing, seeing as he was the one who split and stacked it last year and the year before and loaded it on Farmer Andy's trailer.)

With the two cords of well dried wood we have left over from last winter we'll be pretty well covered for our heating needs...unless Global Warming gives us a particularly long and bitterly cold winter.

Deb has also made an appointment with the chimney sweep to clean our chimney of all the creosote and ash from last winter's use.


Skip's right on this one. The problems we're seeing today with our spendthrift and Constitution-ignoring Congress and President are all Woodrow Wilson's fault.

It certainly seems that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is following Wilson's progressive philosophy, seeing the Constitution as an impediment to government power. We also know she wants to silence dissent, as did Wilson.

I want a bumper sticker just like the one Skip found.


Obvious headline of the week from the Washington Post: With Consumers Slow To Spend, Businesses Are Slow To Hire.

Gee, ya think?


It may be just me, but it seems more people are missing Dubya as time goes by. The Anchoress has the reasons to explain why.

What I find most interesting is that an ever larger number of Democrats are missing him every day. Could it be because without him their cohesiveness has been waning due to the fact that they no longer have a GOP nemesis at which to point a finger? Or could it be they have come to understand that their president is either inept and/or malicious. Or could it be both?

(H/T Pirate's Cove)


Bogie brings up the subject of aging pets, something any pet owner has to deal with throughout our lives.

Of our eight cats, one is 11 years old, another is old but we don't know how old, and the rest are between 2 and 4 years of age. So far all of them are healthy, but we did have a scare when one of our younger cats became quite ill and it looked like she wasn't going to pull through. Fortunately the vets were able to save her and she's back home looking none the worse for wear, though she does have a few places were her fur was shorn.


Is it any surprise Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged is “flying off the bookshelves”? As the USA Today article reports, it is the second most read book in America behind the Bible. Is it any wonder, considering we're living Rand's dystopian nightmare today?


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the long overdue rain is falling, school starts soon, and where I could really use a week off.


The Housing Market By The Numbers

As the economic news has been anything but good, with unemployment numbers up, orders for durable goods down, and spending by consumers down across the board in July, is it any wonder the housing numbers have also been sinking, showing a deepening second dip? Some have ascribed the falloff to the end of the the home buyer tax breaks that expired at the end of last April, but the effects of that should have ended by now. But the housing market continues its descent.

The government program that was supposed to help people renegotiate their mortgages in an effort to head off foreclosures hasn't been successful, with nearly 50 percent of 1.3 million homeowners taking advantage of the program dropping out. All the program managed to do was delay the inevitable for a few months. But many of the homes meant to be 'saved' by the program were still foreclosed. I wonder how much tax money all of that cost us?

Another thing driving down the prices of housing is the large inventory of homes being held by banks. With over 2.3 million homes foreclosed since 2007, and the present national median home price of $179600, over $406 billion in real estate inventory is waiting in the wings to be sold. If all of that property were to hit the market at the same time housing prices would plummet even faster than they already have. That might be a great deal for someone looking to buy a home (assuming any bank would be willing to give them a mortgage), but many of those looking to sell homes would likely be forced to hold on to them or sell them at a huge loss.

What's worse is that some have been driven to pull what's come to be known as a buy & bail, where they buy a lower cost home they know they can afford and then let the mortgage on their first home go into default. This has been a prevalent tactic for those deeply underwater on their mortgage where they owe far more than the home is worth but don't want to pour their money into a sure money-losing property.

And the Obama Administration wonders why the housing market trend is still downward?


An Apt Description

I've heard lots of people on both sides of the political dividing line describe Barack Obama using a number of terms and phrases, but the following from a comment to Karl Rove's op-ed about Harry Reid has got to be one of the best I've seen:

...I have never witnessed an administration so truculently at odds with the American public's values and culture. Obama combines the vindictiveness of Nixon with the ineptness of Carter. Add a dash of Adlai Stevenson's elite professorial aires (sic) and you have an accurate picture of BHO.

The vindictiveness of Nixon with the ineptness of Carter.” After thinking about it for a while it became clear to me that this description of our present President was apt.

Nixon may have been vindictive, but at least he was an effective President. Carter may have been inept, but at least he had actually done something substantive with his life before he became President. Obama cannot make either claim.


Voters Ready To Back Tough Measures To Regain Fiscal Sanity

As the various state primaries are held and incumbents from both parties are finding themselves being seriously challenged by newcomers, the question we must ask ourselves is will the voters back tough steps to reduce the deficits? So far the answer appears to be yes.

Despite the disdain that many in Congress feel for the American electorate, more of them are feeling the heat back home. Some have already lost their primary bids to run for re-election, becoming victims of hubris after they decided it was just a dandy idea to spend the nation into debt to a level never seen before with little hope of ever being able to pay it off. And should the Republicans manage to take back one or both houses of Congress, there's another question all of us have to ask them, that being do they “have the stones” to take the measures necessary to bring our government's fiscal house into order?

Reading comments to the two posts linked above it appears that a substantial number of people on the left cannot conceive of the actual size of the deficit or what it will take to fix it. More than one of those commenting wrote something along the lines of “All we need to do is slash defense spending and we'll have enough to pay for everything.” All that phrase did was prove to me and others commenting that they really have no idea how much money we're talking about. As one commenter put it in response to the clueless:

If we cut defense spending to zero, we'd still have almost a trillion dollar deficit to deal with every year. Better to cut things that really do nothing more than suck up tax dollars with little, if anything to show for it.

This same commenter also brought up the point that defense is one of the duties of our federal government as defined in the Constitution. ObamaCare, Cap and Trade, corporate bailouts, union bribery, and government departments like the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, and a number of others are not. Yet we waste billions on them with little return for that 'investment' of our tax dollars except more needless regulation, more costs associated with complying with those needless regulations, and tighter restrictions on our economy's ability to function. How does any of this help anyone...except those in Washington wishing to exercise more power over our lives?

I have a feeling those in power are in for a rude awakening come this November and November 2012. A lot of them will be hitting the unemployment lines.


Thoughts On A Sunday

It's been a relatively quite weekend for us here at The Manse, with nothing unusual occurring. BeezleBub and I managed to get his 1973 Jeep CJ5 running again, correcting a problem stuck float in the carburetor, though it still needs a rebuild to ensure it will keep working. Deb worked and I did my usual weekend work around The Manse.

Every so often a quiet uneventful weekend is appreciated.


Penn & Teller give us another lesson in the B.S. that passes for conventional wisdom, this time covering nuclear power and hybrid vehicles.

Penn Jillette confirms what I've known for some time - the folks pushing hard to eliminate nuclear power don't know what they're talking about, nor do they care. It's all about control using fear and disinformation in order to 'save' us from ourselves.

When it comes to hybrid vehicles, it's more about feeling good and not actually about saving the planet (or energy). I've seen (and driven) a number of vehicles that get better overall fuel economy than the hybrid Penn & Teller use for their demonstration (a Toyota Prius) that also perform better and can transport a family of 4 and all their luggage in total comfort.

By the way, the clip linked above is Not Safe For Work as it includes bare boobies and lesbians making out in the back seat of the aforementioned Prius. (No, I'm not kidding.)


Here's more information that points to a recoveryless Recovery Summer.

Consumer spending is down. Unemployment applications are up. Businesses aren't hiring.

I'd like to see the White House spin all of that as signs of recovery.


You've got to like John Boehner (R-OH). He managed to come up with a number of possible names for the nameless $26 billion union bailout bill passed by Congress. It proves the man has a sense of humor.

Here is the list he created:

Save Our “Stimulus” (SOS) Act

“Recovery Summer” Bailout Act (Cash for Flunkers)

Delivering Unions a Major Boost (DUMB) Act

Helping Election Expenditures, Hurting American Workers (HEEHAW) Act

Democracy Is Strengthened by Clearly Leveraging and Optimizing Special-Interests' Effectiveness (DISCLOSE) Act

Rescuing Incumbent Democrats Is Costly (RIDIC) Act

Summertime Cash for Union Bosses Instead of Spending Cuts for Taxpayers Act

Frivolous Act of Ineffective Largesse (FAIL) Act

Naming These Things Hasn't Gotten Us Anywhere, So Why Bother Act

My two favorites are the DUMB Act and Cash For Flunkers.


Fellow Granite Stater Patrick Hynes lets it be known there's nothing wrong with New Hampshire.

After 4 years of being lied to by our two representatives to the House and the spendthrift budgets (with 30% spending increases over two biennial budgets) and tax increases by the Democrat majority New Hampshire legislature, Granite State voters have shifted away from the Democrats and are favoring the rejuvenated New Hampshire GOP.


And speaking of the Granite State, here's a rather astute look at New Hampshire through the eyes of a Maine comic. What makes it so funny is that it's absolutely true.

(H/T GraniteGrok)


I had mentioned that nothing unusual had happened around The Manse over the weekend. That's not exactly true, sort of. Let me explain.

Shortly after leaving The Manse for a quick shopping trip to WalMart I came across a doe with her two fawns. They slowly crossed the road, giving me the once over before continuing their way into the woods. This experience in and of itself isn't unusual...for here. We see it all the time. But it would be my guess that most folks not living in rural and semi-rural areas see deer rarely, making what we experience on a somewhat regular basis unusual to most folks.


Cap'n Teach points us to yet another example of the Gore Effect during an anti-Anthropogenic Global Warming protest. In this case it was an anti-AGW protest in Australia during one of the coldest winters on record Down Under.


Whoever came up with the phrase “Payback is a bitch” must have had a crystal ball.

As Cassy Fiano tells us, femisogynists moms are finding out their teenage daughters have taken their ideology to an unexpected place.

There’s a new nightmare on the block for femisogynist moms. Now that they’re all grown up and settled down with teenage daughters of their own, they’re shocked to find out that the sexual empowerment they’ve been championing for decades has backfired on them. How has it backfired? Well, the femisogynist moms are finding out that sexual empowerment has really turned their daughters into slutty teens.

Talk about the punishment fitting the crime. What did they expect?

(H/T Pirate's Cove)


The suggestion has been made that New York sell off its roads and universities to raise funds to deal with its budget shortfall.

Of course that will only work in the short term. What will the Empire State sell when it runs out of roads and schools? Of course they could always sell the Brooklyn Bridge again...and again and again. (It's probably been the most 'sold' New York landmark except this time the 'sale' would be state sanctioned.)


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the well-to-do weekenders have already left in their Citations, Lears and Gulfstreams, the weekend weather has been nice, and the summer nights are arriving sooner every day.


Is It Weather Or Is It Climate?

Watching the national news (specifically ABC News), one would think we're in the midst of a string of record breaking summers, with hot and humid temperatures across most of the US. They've attributed it to global warming all while ignoring a number of cyclical weather patterns (El Niño and La Niña) that are far more likely to be the cause of this summer's weather. We here in New England have managed to avoid much of what the rest of the nation has been dealing with (it's been warm but with mostly low humidity), but that doesn't mean we haven't noticed what's been going on. We've seen the reports from all over the nation about the never ending heat waves. But we've also been hearing about the Southern Hemisphere, which has been dealing with record cold temperatures.

This summer's weather has caused a bit of amnesia about the previous two summers, where the weather was mostly cooler and wetter than normal. During those summers, here in the northeast we didn't really experience summer weather until August. June and July were cold and very wet, seriously affecting the farm industry and the tourist trade. On the farms crops ran late and some were drowned out altogether. And who wants to go to the beach or go hiking or boating or hit the tourist spots when it's in the 60's, cloudy, and damp?

If we have a string of summers like the one we've been experiencing this year, then we might be able to attribute it to global warming. But if it's just this summer, and the following summers are 'normal' then wouldn't we have to say it was just weather and not climate? If you're like most folks, I'd say the answer would be yes. But knowing the It's-All-The-Fault-Of-The-Evil-Humans global warming folks they will ignore the normal summer pattern and focus intently on this summer as proof of AGW. Never mind there's been a decade long cooling trend.

And then of course, there's this. But let's not let facts get in the way of our opinions, right?


McGovern's Words Of Wisdom...And Warning

They just don't make 'em like they used to. Democrats, that is.

George McGovern, former Senator from South Dakota and Presidential candidate in 1972, was a class act. And one thing that made him that was his ability to see things from someone else's viewpoint. And once he 'walked a mile' in that someone's shoes, he came to a realization that some of the legislation he supported or authored while in Congress did more harm than good, particularly in matters pertaining to the economy and the businesses that drive it.

How do we know this? Because he told us so way back in 1992 in a WSJ op-ed piece. It so impressed another member of Congress that he had it submitted in its entirety to the Congressional Record, both as a reminder and a warning.

Here are McGovern's very words, words that should be read by every member of Congress, and particularly those from the Democrat Party.

A Politician's Dream Is A Businessman's Nightmare

`Wisdom too often never comes, and so one ought not to reject it merely because it comes late.'--Justice Felix Frankfurter.

It's been 11 years since I left the U.S. Senate, after serving 24 years in high public office. After leaving a career in politics, I devoted much of my time to public lectures that took me into every state in the union and much of Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.

In 1988, I invested most of the earnings from this lecture circuit acquiring the leasehold on Connecticut's Stratford Inn. Hotels, inns and restaurants have always held a special fascination for me. The Stratford Inn promised the realization of a longtime dream to own a combination hotel, restaurant and public conference facility--complete with an experienced manager and staff.

In retrospect, I wish I had known more about the hazards and difficulties of such a business, especially during a recession of the kind that hit New England just as I was acquiring the inn's 43-year leasehold. I also wish that during the years I was in public office, I had had this firsthand experience about the difficulties business people face every day. That knowledge would have made me a better U.S. senator and a more understanding presidential contender.

Today we are much closer to a general acknowledgment that government must encourage business to expand and grow. Bill Clinton, Paul Tsongas, Bob Kerrey and others have, I believe, changed the debate of our party. We intuitively know that to create job opportunities we need entrepreneurs who will risk their capital against an expected payoff. Too often, however, public policy does not consider whether we are choking off those opportunities.

My own business perspective has been limited to that small hotel and restaurant in Stratford, Conn., with an especially difficult lease and a severe recession. But my business associates and I also lived with federal, state and local rules that were all passed with the objective of helping employees, protecting the environment, raising tax dollars for schools, protecting our customers from fire hazards, etc. While I never doubted the worthiness of any of these goals, the concept that most often eludes legislators is: `Can we make consumers pay the higher prices for the increased operating costs that accompany public regulation and government reporting requirements with reams of red tape.' It is a simple concern that is nonetheless often ignored by legislators.

For example, the papers today are filled with stories about businesses dropping health coverage for employees. We provided a substantial package for our staff at the Stratford Inn. However, were we operating today, those costs would exceed $150,000 a year for health care on top of salaries and other benefits. There would have been no reasonably way for us to absorb or pass on these costs.

Some of the escalation in the cost of health care is attributed to patients suing doctors. While one cannot assess the merit of all these claims, I've also witnessed firsthand the explosion in blame-shifting and scapegoating for every negative experience in life.

Today, despite bankruptcy, we are still dealing with litigation from individuals who fell in or near our restaurant. Despite these injuries, not every misstep is the fault of someone else. Not every such incident should be viewed as a lawsuit instead of an unfortunate accident. And while the business owner may prevail in the end, the endless exposure to frivolous claims and high legal fees is frightening.

Our Connecticut hotel, along with many others, went bankrupt for a variety of reasons, the general economy in the Northeast being a significant cause. But that reason masks the variety of other challenges we faced that drive operating costs and financing charges beyond what a small business can handle.

It is clear that some businesses have products that can be priced at almost any level. The price of raw materials (e.g., steel and glass) and life-saving drugs and medical care are not easily substituted by consumers. It is only competition or antitrust that tempers price increases. Consumers may delay purchases, but they have little choice when faced with higher prices.

In services, however, consumers do have a choice when faced with higher prices. You may have to stay in a hotel while on vacation, but you can stay fewer days. You can eat in restaurants fewer times per month, or forgo a number of services from car washes to shoeshines. Every such decision eventually results in job losses for someone. And often these are the people without the skills to help themselves--the people I've spent a lifetime trying to help.

In short, `one-size-fits-all' rules for business ignore the reality of the market place. And setting thresholds for regulatory guidelines at artificial levels--e.g., 50 employees or more, $500,000 in sales--takes no account of other realities, such as profit margins, labor intensive vs. capital intensive businesses, and local market economics.

The problem we face as legislators is: Where do we set the bar so that it is not too high to clear? I don't have the answer. I do know that we need to start raising these questions more often.

It seems to me that question hasn't been asked at all by the Democrats in Congress since at least 2007. It certainly hasn't been asked since 2009 by either the Democrats in Congress or The One in the White House. There have also been far too few Republicans asking that question, too. It's a question that is long overdue.


Bribing The Public Employees Unions With Our Money

As if we need any more evidence that Obama and the Congressional Democrats are paying off the public employees unions for their past support, there's this little $26 billion bribe just passed by Congress and signed by the Socialist In Chief.

Never mind that we don't have to money to pay for this. Never mind the string attached that are trying to force states accepting any of this money to bypass their own budgeting process. Never mind that the $10 billion of that money to be used for education won't help anyone because it won't be available until after the school year starts and cities and towns have already set their budgets and their personnel requirements.

It is a blatant, in-your-face bribe to the unions using our money and the Democrats in Congress don't care who knows it. It doesn't help that President Obama helped sell the lie by making claims he knew the general public wouldn't accept. For one thing there isn't a single public union contract out there that guarantees employment for life, but to hear the President tell it the $26 billion he and Congress just spent are supposed to help spendthrift states do just that. Since when are public employees supposed to be immune to the effects of a recession? Since when are we supposed to fund pay raises when many of us haven't seen a pay raise in two years, or worse, have received pay cuts?

All this little $26 billion bribe does is further illustrate the utter contempt the Democrats in Congress and the present occupant of the White House have for those of us actually paying the bills.


Why Businesses Aren't Hiring

Many in Washington are wondering why more businesses aren't hiring. Anyone in business could give all kinds for reasons, many of them emanating from those self-same folks in Washington. With all kinds of new regulations, taxes, and other burdens coming why should anyone in business, large or small, want to hire when there are far too many unknowns? The answer: they wouldn't.

A life in business is filled with uncertainties, but I can be quite sure that every time I hire someone my obligations to the government go up. From where I sit, the government's message is unmistakable: Creating a new job carries a punishing price.

And what happens when the provisions of ObamaCare kick in and adds thousands more to the cost of hiring a new employee? The probability of hiring that new employee goes down.

More than one commenter to the op-ed piece linked above made it quite clear they had absolutely no understanding of business and why businesses hire new employees. To them all that was needed was for the business to hire new employees and the economy would start its recovery. They didn't understand that businesses won't hire them until they are needed. To do otherwise places a burden on those businesses with little or no prospect of generating any more income for that business and quite possibly turning a marginally surviving business into a money losing business. Businesses hire only the amount of employees they need to provide the goods or services their customers require. But these economic morons either can't or won't understand this simple concept.

My wife and I own a small business. (We both have other jobs.) While it is surviving it is barely viable. The economic downturn saw our income for the business shrink by almost 70%. My wife stopped taking a salary a year ago in order to ensure the business would survive. Both of us put in countless hours without pay in order to make sure we can pay our bills, our taxes, and meet our payroll. If the economy recovers we expect our customers to return as well (though not necessarily to the pre-recession level). But until then there's no way we could even consider adding another employee because if we did we wouldn't take in enough to pay them and pay all our bills, taxes, and business loan. In a short period of time we would be out of business and 5 employees would be unemployed. Yet this is exactly what the aforementioned economic/business morons want us to do.

Need I say more?


Thoughts On A Sunday

Though the weekend started out well, I had to make a dash to the local emergency veterinary clinic this morning with one of our feline family members.

Hilda hadn't been feeling well the past couple of days and this morning she was totally listless, unable to keep anything down, including water. After a brief phone discussion with the vet at the clinic I gathered Hilda up, put her (unprotesting) into the cat carrier, and got her to the vet.

The vet found she was severely dehydrated, probably due to a stomach ailment. Hilda will be getting a couple of x-rays, some blood work, and an I.V. to help rehydrate her. She'll be staying overnight and I'll pick her up Monday morning and take her to her regular doctor.


As if my post of yesterday about the 'Political Class' needed any more juice to back it up, here's Chris Muir's take on the same issue.

Take my word for it, his take is far scarier than mine.

Victor Davis Hansen adds his three cents worth in regards to Obama's total disconnect with the American electorate.


Skip Murphy points us to a graph that illustrates just how well the “Summer Of Recovery” is working.

Hint: It's not.


Stephen Spruiell also piles on the lack of economic recovery, specifically in the private sector.

The argument from the Left appears to be that government workers should remain insulated until private-sector hiring picks up again. It does not seem to occur to those making this argument that maybe one reason private-sector hiring isn’t picking up again is because the government is vacuuming up capital to preserve government jobs, taking on large amounts of debt in the process that will have to be repaid through higher taxes in the future. Higher taxes in the future means lower returns on investments made today, which means that the private sector will create fewer jobs than it would have otherwise.

Gee, why didn't someone think of that? Oh, wait...we did way back in late January 2009! Too bad Obama and the Congressional Democrats chose to ignore us then and continue to do so now.

(H/T Viking Pundit)


Deb and I ventured out on the lake this afternoon with a friend's family.

Going out onto Winnipesaukee on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon is something we rarely do due to the large number of boats and the rough water created by them. It makes for slow going unless you're willing to deal with the thumping you'll take at higher speeds. The weekend also meant our favorite sandbar would be crowded, which it was.

It took a while to maneuver through the other anchored boats at the sandbar and once at our destination we had to use both a bow and stern anchor to keep The Boat from swinging about and striking an adjacent boat. Leaving wasn't all that easy either, having to pull both anchors at the same time in order to keep from drifting into another boat.

It's things like that that usually keep me off the lake on weekends. I'd rather enjoy our time out on the lake, not work at getting from one place to the next and then dealing with hundreds of other boats trying to use the same small patch of water at the same time.


The Feminazis aren't gone, they've just been re-branded as femisogynists.

I've seen how the feminist movement was hijacked and became less about equal rights and more about revictimizing women, making them out to be incapable of standing on their own while at the same time vilifying men. Betty Friedan must spinning in her grave.


As happens almost every year on the anniversaries of dropping the A-Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the revisionists come out in force to decry Harry Truman's decision to use the bomb. And, as always, they are wrong.

Between those two cities about 150,000 died. That's half of the number of civilians killed when the Japanese invaded and took Nanjing, China.

It was estimated that there would have been 500,000+ American casualties and up to 15,000,000 civilian casualties if we'd had to invade the Japanese home islands.

Of course the revisionists ignore those particular factors when condemning Truman's decision. After all, it's not like he's still here to defend himself. Nor are there many left who actually fought the Japanese or planned the battles during the Pacific campaign to tell the revisionists that they're full of crap.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the weekend weather was great, the lake was rough, and where we're still waiting to hear about Hilda.


The Political Class Doesn't Understand America Or Americans

It has become quite evident to me and many millions of others that the Powers-That-Be, meaning the so-called 'Political Class', are clueless and out of touch with the rest of America and the people who live there. What's worse, they are convinced they are the anointed, the only ones with the knowledge, wisdom, and the will to use it even though those they look down upon see them as nothing more than elitist snobs without a lick of common sense or decency.

What's sad is the 'common folk' – that's you and me – are right and they are so incredibly wrong. The political class has no advanced wisdom, no special knowledge divulged to them through secret and ancient organizations, and no divine right or ability to rule you, me, or anyone.

They are nothing more than a mutual admiration society striding within the halls of power with impunity, an undeserved sense of entitlement, and the arrogance to believe they are the only ones with the answers. They believe the rest of us are incapable of running our own lives and need to be taken care of. That's ironic considering how many of them can't even run their lives. They have the same problems, the same foibles, the same weaknesses, the same flaws as everyone else. But somehow I doubt you'd ever get them to admit that, for to do so would mean they aren't any more enlightened than the rest of us and that doesn't track with their belief system.

How do I and the rest if America know this? Because we see it every day on the news, on CSPAN, in the newspapers, and in almost every law passed by Congress or a large number of blue state legislatures over the past few years. Our wishes, our desires, our demands, and our knowledge of the real world is dismissed out of hand because we aren't them. Never mind that we're the ones who pay the bills, create the jobs, build the cities, grow the food, and everything else they depend on. With out the rest of us they are nothing.

Wait. What the heck am I saying? I meant to say that even with us they are nothing. Perhaps it is time for them to learn this truth.


We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Program....

I was working on something profound but realized I wouldn't have it done tonight, so I haven't tried to rush it. In its stead I give you some food for thought, literally.

Let me introduce you to a true culinary masterpiece, found courtesy of my missus.


The Texas Turtle Burger...

Handmade ground beef patties, topped with sharp cheddar cheese, wrapped in a bacon weave, then the next step, add hotdogs as the heads, legs and tail. Next step?

Place on an oven rack, covered loosely with foil and baked for 20-30 minutes at 400 degrees. A little crispy, not too crunchy...just how a turtle should be, no?

Mmm! Bacon!!


Keep Raising Taxes And Keep Falling Short

This is a concept that needs to be repeated again and again and again until it sinks in to the minds of the Progressives: You cannot tax our way into prosperity.

Again and again it's been tried, even here in this country, and it's failed EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Yet the Progressives are incapable of realizing a very simple and easily proven truth, that being you cannot enrich the poor by impoverishing the rich. Yet again and again they insist that in order to be “fair” they need to spread the wealth. Unfortunately they will quickly do away with what wealth there is (except theirs, of course) and make sure everyone is poor. As if that were somehow fair.

The argument they use is that the wealthy can afford confiscatory taxes. But for every means the Progressives come up with stealing what isn't theirs through taxation, the wealth producers find ways around them. And as the tax rates climb, they collect less revenue from the wealthy. Should it become bad enough, the wealthy will leave, taking their wealth with them. That's a lesson the UK learned during the 1970's, when their 'wealth' taxes caused a mass migration of wealth to more tax-friendly locations, with the end result being the collapse of the British economy.

Could the same thing happen here? Absolutely. We've already seen some elements of that occurring, with US corporations moving their 'headquarters' to tax-friendly nations like Bermuda, allowing them to greatly reduce the amount of corporate taxes they pay. Why? Because the US has some of the highest corporate taxes in the world. Only a sucker or an idiot wouldn't make moves to lessen their tax burdens if at all possible.

Now that Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Frank, and Dodd have decided the rich are the problem, they've been wasting no time trying to figure out even more ways of extracting money they did nothing to earn to give to their 'core' constituents, meaning not the average working man or woman. One commenter to the piece linked above has some of it figured out.

[They] are not really interested in raising revenue - but to continue punishing those that have money - ... It is as simple as that.

They are so envious of those that can create wealth, that the only thing Obama and his ilk can do is grab onto as much as they can, spread the misery and distribute anything they can grab - The fact that they may have less to distribute is also irrelevant - As long as those that have money feel the sting, Obama is happy - and when those that have money do whatever it takes to try and escape the taxman, the misery creators, Obama will keep turning the screws ...

The Progressive mindset does not allow them to think anything other than wealth is a 'zero sum' game. That means they believe that if someone became wealthy it was because they stole it from someone else and made them poor. It appears it is hard for many of them to believe the wealthy became that way through hard work, long hours, and taking risks others were not willing to take. That many Progressives in government have managed to become wealthy through their government connections and not through the traditional American system of hard work again leads far too many of them to think their way is the only true way to become wealthy. It is true in a kleptocracy, something it seems a lot of Progressives are working very hard to create. One thing they have overlooked though is that most kleptocracies are Third World nations, with a vast majority of their populace living in poverty because that's exactly the way the kleptocrats in power want it. The Progressives in this nation are no different, though they'll try to pretty up their attempts in mind-numbing governmentalese and politically correct speech, trying to make it seem as if it's a good idea.

In the end, though, it all comes down to envy. Democrats, and particularly the Progressives within the party, envy the successful. It's all they have that might reach others of the same bent of mind. They'll work hard to take away what the successful have made, but won't work that hard to make themselves successful. They are, as Ayn Rand described them, looters.

But all of that aside (I do go off on tangents, don't I?), what Laffer describes, what most Americans understand, and what the nation needs can be broken down into two simple sentences, provided by yet another savvy commenter:

Who cares if tax breaks don't fill the pockets of lower wage earners (like myself)? If raising taxes doesn't help the economy, then don't do it. (Emphasis added)



Thoughts On A Sunday

This weekend started auspiciously, with Deb's Florida cousins – Anita and Jonny – arriving at The Manse Friday afternoon. They'd driven Deb's grandmother up from the Orlando area and were spending their free time visiting relatives and wandering around New Hampshire and Maine.

We managed to get them out onto the lake before the weekenders showed up (though our trip back was a little rougher as the weekenders were hitting the lake just as we were heading back home). We also took them to the farm where BeezleBub works and they checked out the produce and other products for sale at the farm's retail stand. They came away with some fresh sweet carrots, some baked goods and a quart of Jordan's strawberry truffle ice cream. (Jordan's is a local ice cream maker with some of the best ice cream I've ever had!)


For the party that was supposed to “drain the swamp”, they've failed miserably. The latest Congressional Democrat to face ethics charges? Maxine “We're going to nationalize the banks!” Waters.

First, it was Jefferson. Then Rangel. Now Waters. Between bribery (Jefferson), tax evasion (Rangel), and influencing bank bailouts for a bank with ties to a family member (Waters), the Democrats are showing they are no more ethical or moral than the GOP.

And we musn't forget to add John Kerry (tax evasion - “Do as I say, not what I do!”) to the list.


I've always liked Penn & Teller. Their illusions are great, thoughtful, and just plain fun to watch. And as great illusionists, they also have a pretty good understanding of the illusions politicians and wackos of all stripes try to persuade us to do things that aren't really in our best interests at any level.

That being said, I found this one at Maggie's Farm. It points out the hypocrisy involved with all these recycling initiatives.

(Warning: There is some strong language as this was originally aired on Showtime.)

I've been a fan of recycling for a long time, but only for specific materials, those being steel, aluminum, and copper. There's a big market for those materials and no need of government subsidies to 'promote' recycling of those metals. (They are also the most recycled materials on the planet.) All other materials, like paper, plastics, cardboard and the like, are a waste of time, and more importantly, money. Tipping fees for these recyclables are as much as four times higher than the tipping fees for trash. We never get back the money spent on recycling these materials, leaving the government to kick in the $8 billion+ needed every year to make up the gap between the cost of recycling and the money made from using those materials. It's a money losing proposition.


Powerline has two posts covering the weakening of the Constitution, starting with Woodrow Wilson's contempt for it and latest Progressive move to make it irrelevant through the instrument of ObamaCare.

As Bird Dog wrote about this issue: “I like to remind myself that King George lll had nothing close to the power that our modern federal government wields today.”

That's one heck of an unsettling thought.


Is a second American Revolution on the not-so-distant horizon?

If Obama and the Congressional Democrats stay the course, greatly expanding government power and reach while spending far more than it collects in taxes, I'd say it's inevitable. It isn't as easy to hide the machinations of the Progressives in government as it was in the past. The Internet makes that darn near impossible.

Of course I expect the Progressives to try to stifle dissent on the 'net by severely limiting political speech and opinion, particularly by opponents during election season. Oh, wait, isn't that what the DISCLOSE Act was all about?

(H/T Instapundit)


Oh, I like this one! What makes me like it even more is that it's from the Boston Globe.

The Yacht versus the Pickup Truck.

Democrat John Kerry sets sail in a $7 million yacht built in New Zealand. Republican Scott Brown hits the campaign trail in a GMC pickup truck with 200,000 miles on it.

From Newport, R.I., — where Kerry’s “Isabel’’ was berthed before heading to Nantucket — to Rhinebeck, N.Y. — where Chelsea Clinton will marry in a mansion modeled after Versailles — today’s Democrats are looking more like Louis XVI than Tip O’Neill.

I expect a proclamation to come forth any day now, stating “Let them eat government cheese!”


I really don't need to comment on this one. It stands all by itself.

(H/T Eric the Viking)


Gee, who'da thunk this would happen?

Witness last week's land speed record for unintended consequences, as a liability provision in the Dodd-Frank financial reform brought new issues to a screeching halt in the $1.4 trillion asset-backed securities market.

The financial genius behind this section of Dodd-Frank is Representative Mary Jo Kilroy. The Ohio Democrat inserted a line in the bill that removes the exemption for credit raters like Standard & Poor's and Moody's from being considered "expert" advisers in judging securities offerings. This makes them closer to underwriters or accountants in vouching for an issued security, and it means that their consent is required before their ratings can be included in a registration statement filed at the Securities and Exchange Commission.


Both S&P and Moody's cited this enhanced liability in announcing that they would not consent to participating in SEC asset-backed securities registrations. Fitch, DBRS and others followed suit.

If rating services will be held as accountable as the securities they're rating, is it any surprise they'll withhold permission for any of the securities brokers or firms to use them? That's like holding TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian responsible for someone's credit rating, good or bad, and then suing them if you lend money to that someone with a reasonable credit rating who then, for one reason or another, couldn't make the loan payments. It's one thing if they'd falsified the rating, but if they generated the credit rating based upon the criteria they generally use, assuming the data they had was accurate, how could they be held responsible for that someone failing to pay their note?

If that were to happen, all three would refuse to allow their ratings to be used to judge whether someone was creditworthy or not. That kind of legislation defeats the purpose of the rating bureaus and makes them useless.

Like that's going to help the economy.


According to Vermont Tiger, a new right-wing madman has been spotted within the environs of Newark, New Jersey.

In order to fix a $70 million city budget shortfall, he's been saying things like “Taxes cannot be the answer,” and suggesting things like spending cuts to close the budget gap.

Who is this madman? Newark Mayor Cory Booker, a Democrat.


We all know the Obama Administration has no problem with stretching the truth. It's also quite apparent that it has problems telling fact from fiction. Now it appears it also has a problem reading charts, particularly those that put the lie to its claims about its spending in relation to the Gross Domestic Product. They claim its spending is lower than the Bush Administration's, but the chart, based upon the CBO's numbers, say otherwise. The Obama Administration's spending is a higher percentage of GDP than Bush 43's, Clinton's, Bush 41's, and Reagan's.


An area of Lake Winnipesaukee known as “The Witches” has claimed yet another boat.

Located to the east of Governor's Island and south of Timber Island, it is a formation of submerged rocks that has damaged or sunk an untold number of boats. Despite warning buoys along its periphery and clearly marked KEEP OUT labels on charts, hapless boaters still find themselves in the middle of The Witches every boating season. If the water is high enough and the boat is on plane it just might make it out in one piece. But far too often the boat will strike one of the submerged rocks, damaging its prop, rudder, outboard or stern drive, or worse, holing the hull and sinking the boat.

This time around the latest victim of The Witches had its hull breached and the boat sank in less than a minute. Fortunately the eight people on board were able to escape, jumping into the lake and swimming away from the boat. All eight were picked up by other boats and none were injured.

On more than one occasion I've seen boaters cutting across The Witches, oblivious to the danger. And on far too many of those occasions I've seen them strike one of the rocks hidden beneath the surface. I've also listened on the Marine VHF band here at The Manse and heard more than one call to the Marine Patrol reporting a boat stuck on The Witches. And so it goes on the so-called Bermuda Triangle of Lake Winnipesaukee.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the boating weather has been spectacular, some of the boaters have not, and where the warmer and more humid summer weather is returning.