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.