Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Without Bush, media lose interest in war caskets | Washington Examiner

In April of this year, the Obama administration lifted the press ban, which had been in place since the Persian Gulf War in 1991. Media outlets rushed to cover the first arrival of a fallen U.S. serviceman, and many photographers came back for the second arrival, and then the third.

But after that, the impassioned advocates of showing the true human cost of war grew tired of the story. Fewer and fewer photographers showed up. "It's really fallen off," says Lt. Joe Winter, spokesman for the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations Center at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, where all war dead are received. "The flurry of interest has subsided."

Signs that even the mainstream media may start viewing this as Obama's War. They have to position themselves to actually be supporters (or at least not detractors) of it now don't they?

The there's this:

So far this month, 38 American troops have been killed in Afghanistan. For all of 2009, the number is 220 -- more than any other single year and more than died in 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004 combined.

Appeals court dismisses Dan Rather's suit vs. CBS - Yahoo! News

A New York state appeals court on Tuesday dismissed former TV newsman Dan Rather's lawsuit against CBS Corp in which Rather claimed he was made a scapegoat in a scandal over a 2004 report on then-President George W. Bush's military record.

Alternate headline: Court Rules Media Can't Just Make Stuff Up (at least all of the time)

WaPo’s Social Media Guidelines Paint Staff Into Virtual Corner; Full Text of Guidelines | paidContent

MSM Behind the times. Again.

$35 Billion Slated for Local Housing -

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration is close to committing as much as $35 billion to help beleaguered state and local housing agencies continue to provide mortgages to low- and moderate-income families, according to administration officials.

The move would further cement the government's role in propping up the housing market even as some lawmakers push to curb spending at a time of rising debt.

The effort, which could be announced as early as this week, is aimed at relieving pressure on government-operated housing finance agencies, which have been struggling to find funding amid the downturn. These agencies, or HFAs, are a small part of the housing market but are critical to many first-time and low-income home buyers, who can get lower-rate mortgages through an HFA than they could through a private-sector lender. Rates are typically 0.5 to one percentage point lower than commercial lenders.

In case there was any doubt that the current administrations IQ hovers safely in the two digit range, this is it.

One thing that is as inevitable as night follows day is that when the government subsidizes something, that thing gets more expensive, requiring larger subsidies, ad infinitum*.

The best way to have affordable housing, is to let housing prices return to rational levels, which in spite of the "housing collapse" they still have not. The Journal over the weekend described a rather fancy 20s era house (built by an auto industry exec) that recently sold for $10,000**. Now that's a reasonable price, and the house, once restored a bit, will certainly be worth more. Only problem is that it is in a part of Detroit that nobody in their right mind wants to live... reasons listed: high taxes combined with high crime and few services... duh! It sold to a church, who plans to do the renovation in hope of reselling the house at a profit. I wish them luck. And who knows, once Detroit and similar cities get over grieving over the loss of industries that they helped drive offshore, maybe there can be some sort of urban renewal that will last beyond the artificial pumping of funds into the area.

* It's tempting to mention health care here, but let's leave that for another time.

** Interestingly, that's about what the house was considered worth when it was built, only then, $10K was considered a fortune.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Businesses Take Another Look at Virtual Desktops -

As companies look for new ways to squeeze costs out of their technology budgets, some are deciding that the next PC they purchase need not be a PC at all.

Instead, they are rolling out virtual desktops -- a set-up consisting of a screen, keyboard and small connector box that ties into a powerful server in the computer room that has all the software, storage and processing capabilities that each desktop user needs.

YouTube - Radical Speech: Dave Barry Talks About Politically Correct Campuses

Phone Calls Add to Din Over Loans -

The discovery that Countrywide Financial Corp. recorded phone conversations with borrowers in a controversial mortgage program that included public officials -- and that those recordings have been destroyed -- has prompted new congressional calls for more information about the program.

Rep. Darrell Issa of California, the ranking Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is trying to subpoena the remaining records of Countrywide's VIP loan program. So far, the committee's chairman, New York Democratic Rep. Edolphus Towns, has turned down that request.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Yosi Sergant Gets Hypovehiculated -

The good news for job-seekers is that Sergant's departure appears to have left two positions open at the NEA: director of communications, and new media and special projects adviser. To judge by the phone list, the director of communications oversees a staff of three communications specialists. We have one request: If you get this job, Victoria Hutter will be working for you. Please be kind to her. She has had a rough week and has been doing her best in a job that cannot help but take a toll on one's dignity.

As for the new media and special projects adviser position, we're afraid we still don't have a job description. We do know, however, that this job has somewhat of a troubled history. Our understanding is that the last guy held it for slightly less than one business day.

And more hilarious coverage of the loopy left.

Peter R. Kann: Quality Reporting Doesn’t Come Cheap -

The reason any of this matters has little to do with the plight of newspaper publishers or even with the future of newspapers. The real threat is to the future of news—informative, relevant, reliable news of the wider world around us. And that is disappearing as newspapers, whose reporting staffs still produce most of the news, no longer can afford to do so. As their news budgets and staffs continue to shrink, the key question is what can fill that gap?

Television does not begin to fill it. To the extent broadcast networks ever tried they now have abdicated to so-called cable news channels. These, in turn, now devote most of their resources to covering celebrities, crimes and sundry social trivia and to prime-time programming that pretends to be analysis and informed opinion while mostly offering the spectacle of extremist heads yelling at each other. There are few resources and even less commitment to covering significant news beyond floods and fires.

Health Problems Health Care Can’t Fix -

The real problem, it turns out, is that Americans are accident-prone, health unconscious slobs. Until the mid-1980s, the U.S. had the highest per capita cigarette consumption in the developed world, and the U.S.'s obesity rate today is more than twice that of Canada and ten times that of Japan. These aren't problems of the health care system (i.e. in the diagnosis and treatment of disease). These are problems of behavior. Adjust that data for the higher U.S. incidence of homicide and obesity, and Americans actually have the highest life expectancy in the developed world.

This is the kind of inconvenient truth that the somewhat lax Mr. Moore is accustomed to overlooking. A svelte gym rat like Mr. Obama should know better.

Yosi Sergant Gets Hypovehiculated -

What a difference a presidential election can make. Suddenly the anti-antiterror left is applauding the U.S. government's antiterror efforts. The New York Times has a fascinating quote on the indictment of Najibullah Zazi for allegedly planning bombings in New York:

The Zazi case "actually looks like the case the government kept claiming it had but never did," said Karen J. Greenberg, executive director of the Center on Law and Security at New York University law school.

Her center has studied all the prosecutions of terrorism-related crimes since 2001, and she said many had turned out to be "fantasy terrorism cases" where the threat seemed modest or even nonexistent.

This time, she said, "the ingredients here are quite scary," and the government's statements have had none of the bombast and exaggeration that accompanied some previous arrest announcements.

So let's see if we have this straight: For the past eight years, when George W. Bush was turning the world against us and making the terror threat worse, there were no serious terror plots. Now that the world loves us again, suddenly a serious terror threat has materialized. What's wrong with this picture?

Theodore Dalrymple: The British Disease -

After 12 years of ceaseless Brownian motion, British public finances have gone from being comparatively healthy to being catastrophically bad. In order to expand vastly the public sector in which he is a true believer, Mr. Brown has raised taxes by stealth, undertaken government obligations that appear nowhere in the accounts and that will weigh on future generations, and eased credit to encourage asset inflation and give people the illusion of prosperity. For the duration of his time in government, Britain has been like a consumptive patient, with an excess of bogus well-being shortly before expiry. If the world is an opera stage, Britain has been playing Violetta or Mimi in the last act.

Sounds familiar.

John Fund: Congress Needs a 72-Hour Waiting Period -

Although Barack Obama campaigned last year for transparency and openness in government, their idea has languished in committee since June. It has 67 Republican and 31 Democratic co-sponsors—a rare show of bipartisanship. Normally, bills can't be considered for a floor vote until House leadership schedules them. That's why Messrs. Baird and Walden filed a discharge petition to dislodge their bill from committee this week. If a majority of members (218) sign it, their proposal can be voted on over the objections of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Rob Pegoraro - Fast Forward: FCC Takes Sides in Net-Neutrality Debate -

On Monday, the new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission said the agency would write rules requiring Internet providers to do something many of them already say they do: deliver online content without discrimination. So why were there so many long faces in telecom afterward?

I think I've posted about a thousand comments on this in various places, here is simply the latest, and maybe most succinct:

Several points:

You mention that new Federal monitoring would invite corruption down the road.

No, I'd say it pretty much guarantees it. And at considerable expense, only to prevent what is commonly accepted as a vendor infringement that has rarely taken place. Also consider that in the cases where it has taken place, existing laws have handled the situation.

You mentioned that you, as a consumer, would rather have usage caps than have a particular application you use stop working.

But what about ME, as a consumer? I hate usage caps and have stuck with DSL over Cable for my Internet primarily for that distinction. If I use any of the applications you refer to then I guess I've never noticed the difference. Now that's subject to change, as are usage caps. Suppose after such new legislation all carriers either established low caps, or cut their existing caps in half or quarter as a defensive measure? Would "network neutrality" be worth it still?

I resent the continued implication that all these still potential problems we face are the result of free enterprise and all we need is yet another government agency to make it all better. There is very little about cable, telephone or cell phone service that resembles free enterprise as all are heavily taxed, and government granted monopoly based.

If we all had a dozen high speed Internet providers to chose from I have little doubt that some would offer plans that satisfy my needs, and others would offer plans that satisfy yours. I'd rather see our legislatures try and figure out how to spur the existence of that many alternatives.

Let's just confess right now that the only way to have a single plan that satisfies everyone is for men from Mars for come down and offer us free unlimited Internet service. Any other option, whether government based or not will have to either limit choice (pleasing one customer but not another) or run at a loss that will have to be paid for unequally by the consumer base.

Not surprisingly this same solution set applies to many other things in our lives and ultimately the decisions we make will determine whether the first two hundred years of our country's history were a waste of time or not.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Gore-Backed Car Firm Gets Large U.S. Loan -

The awards to Fisker and Tesla have prompted concern from companies that have had their bids for loans rejected, and criticism from groups that question why vehicles aimed at the wealthiest customers are getting loans subsidized by taxpayers.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

TARP inspector to say transparency 'attitude' on bailout frustrating -

The government is failing to disclose the full details of how the $700 billion bailout of the financial sector has been implemented, the program's top government watchdog will say on Thursday.

Neil Barofsky, the Special Inspector General over the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), will testify to Congress that the government's "basic attitude" on the transparency and accountability of the program "remains a significant frustration."

Americans Don't Want To Bail Out Newspapers

"Would you be willing to pay an extra $1 a year to fund quality investigative journalism"


Not at least until you precisely define what you mean by that, and even then, such IRS forms and other government handouts are subject to change without notice.

Suppose any of Murdoch's properties were in need of a bailout (mystery: why don't they?) and I'm sure you would agree there would be an outcry.

What is "fair" journalism? If there are extreme left-wing and right-wing positions on an issue should a paper take a centrist position to be "fair"?

To be fair a publication needs to present a variety of points of view (and not put some of them nudge-nudge back behind the local sports pages).

ABC News allowing George Will (hardly and arch conservative) to speak for 45 seconds on Sunday's This Week hardly qualifies as even coverage of all points of view. The company's only "libertarian" Stosel has escaped to Fox after having his stories regularly preempted or buried. Not that Fox is unbiased. There simply is no such thing. So, how to you pick who to bail out?

While there is some danger in public opinion being sling-shotted by a popularity contest between news organizations, there is equal danger in allowing some Washington bureaucrat to decide who gets the dollars and who doesn't.

For now, the anarchy of the Internet is serving us well. Something important may not get picked up by the popular online "media", but nothing can get buried completely, and if there is truth in it, hopefully "the truth will out."

What Is Yosi Sergant? -

Here's how Obama-era "transparency" works in practice: A government agency is caught in a scandal. The chairman of the agency issues a statement blaming the scandal on an unnamed "employee," who, the chairman asserts, "has been relieved of his duties." The statement omits the fact that the offending employee still works for the same agency, in the same office, as he did before. When a journalist inquires about this, he is told by a colleague in that very same office--the communications office!--that she knows nothing about his new assignment.

It's hard to imagine government being more evasive and opaque. | Gideon Rachman's Blog | How Gaddafi upstaged Obama

But that’s the thing. Many of Gaddafi’s statements, which will be scorned in the West, actually probably resonate in the developing world. His views on the Security Council are widely shared. President Lula of Brazil said something not too dissimilair.

Still, there is no denying that Gaddafi makes a weird impression. He looks strangely youthful for a man who seized power in 1969 - but youthful in an eerie, articifical way that reminded me a bit of the late Michael Jackson. He’s definitely had “work” done. But then that is true of a lot of people in New York.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Holman Jenkins: Neutering the ’Net -

Like Chekhov's gun, "net neutrality" gets dragged down from the mantel for every act of the broadband rollout. It's getting dragged down now for the rollout of wireless broadband.

Yet everything you need to know was contained in the first act, when AOL began bleating about "open access" when broadband first threatened its dial-up empire. AOL's business model depended on free riding on the infrastructure paid for by phone users. AOL users were dialing up and keeping a line open for days or even weeks at a time—yet faced no cost for the disproportionate capacity they used up.

This is the basic pricing model the biggest Web companies (especially Google) seek to preserve on the Internet. Their business models are built on a Web that makes their services appear "free" to users.

Good read.

India’s lunar mission finds evidence of water on the Moon

This is a test of SideWiki.

And it's an interesting article.

in reference to:

"India’s lunar mission finds evidence of water on the Moon"
- India’s lunar mission finds evidence of water on the Moon - Times Online (view on Google Sidewiki)

George F. Will - Obama's Tire Tariff May Protect Unions but Harms the Nation -

He must -- or so he thinks -- say so much about so many things; perhaps he cannot keep track of the multiplying contradictions in his endless utterances. But they -- and the tire tariffs -- are related to the sagging support for his health-care program.

The 100 to Blame: Bruce Feirstein | Vanity Fair

Bruce Feirstein charts the 100 people, companies, institutions, and vices most responsible for the economic mess. Tune into for five new financial villains every day.

My favorite:

22. Dick Cheney.
Because as card-carrying members of the Elite Liberal Mainstream Media, we’re obligated to drag his name into this. Rove too. They must have had something to do with the mess. Did we mention that Cheney was C.E.O. of Halliburton? Check. Our work here is finished.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

NASA Scientist Charged in Md. With Aiding Wife's Firm -

A prominent NASA scientist from Silver Spring has been charged in federal court in Maryland with using his position for the financial benefit of his wife, who owns a company that develops science exhibits and educational tools.

Multiply that by what percentage of the federal civilian workforce in a position to divert funds as they see fit?

Latest count=2,716,978 (2008)

And then there is the military.

Acorn Who? -

But the Obama campaign didn't appear eager to discuss the candidate's ties to Acorn. Its press operation vividly denied Mr. Obama had been an Acorn trainer until the New York Times uncovered records demonstrating that he had been. The Obama campaign also gave Citizens Consulting, Inc., an Acorn subsidiary, $832,000 for get-out-the-vote activities in key primary states. In filings with the Federal Election Commission, the Obama campaign listed the payments as "staging, sound, lighting," only correcting the filings after the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review revealed their true nature.

Given his longstanding ties with Acorn, President Obama's protestations of ignorance or disinterest in the group's latest scandal seem preposterous. Here's hoping White House reporters will press the president to clarify just how much he really knows about Acorn and when he knew it.

Arthur B. Laffer: Taxes, Depression, and Our Current Troubles -

While Fed policy was undoubtedly important, it was not the primary cause of the Great Depression or the economy's relapse in 1937. The Smoot-Hawley tariff of June 1930 was the catalyst that got the whole process going. It was the largest single increase in taxes on trade during peacetime and precipitated massive retaliation by foreign governments on U.S. products. Huge federal and state tax increases in 1932 followed the initial decline in the economy thus doubling down on the impact of Smoot-Hawley. There were additional large tax increases in 1936 and 1937 that were the proximate cause of the economy's relapse in 1937.

Obama Interferes in Broadband -

The reality is that the Obama Administration wants the government to replace Internet operators as the Web's traffic cop. President Obama has been a long-time proponent of "net neutrality," which would prevent the use of price to address the increasing popularity of video streaming and other bandwidth-intensive activities that cause Web bottlenecks. But Mr. Obama has also complained about the pace of broadband deployment. If the Administration wants telecom firms to keep expanding their high-speed networks, net neutrality rules are the wrong way forward.

But Americans and their legislators are incapable of learning from the past. Like a mouse in a maze we have to go down every dead end, and in some cases the same dead end over and over looking randomly for the free cheese.

Murtha’s Airport for No One -

Mr. DeMint pleaded with his colleagues that "if we can't cut funding for this project, we can't cut anything in Washington" and that the Senate will have declared "there's no such thing as waste, there's no such thing as fraud and corruption." He lost, but voters keeping score can add it to their mental tally of why we have a $1.6 trillion deficit.

William McGurn: When Speechwriters Kiss and Tell -

As the senior staffer who brought Matt to the White House, let me start by adding some perspective. In a memoir that takes us from Matt's childhood in Michigan through all the morons and phonies he worked for in Washington, only Mr. Rumsfeld gets the full gush. Left unmentioned is that Matt is on Mr. Rumsfeld's payroll, working on the former Defense Secretary's memoirs. Not that Mr. Rumsfeld need fear. If this book is any guide, an employer will read how stupid Matt really thought he was only after he's no longer being paid.

YouTube - The Empirical Evidence Against Big Government

YouTube - Want Less Corruption? Shrink the Size of Government

Monday, September 21, 2009

Big Hollywood - EXPLOSIVE NEW AUDIO Reveals White House Using NEA to Push Partisan Agenda

Much of the talk on the conference call was a build up to what the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) was specifically asking of this group. In the following segment, Buffy Wicks, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, clearly identifies this arts group as a pro-Obama collective and warns them of some “specific asks” that will be delivered later in the meeting.

Dell to Buy Perot Systems for $3.9 Billion -

Dell Inc. agreed to buy information-technology services provider Perot Systems Corp. for $3.9 billion, looking to expand beyond personal computers to better compete with rivals who offer wider ranging products and services.

Spelled "HP".

So what ever happened to Microsoft's entry into the "services" business?

Excluding sending people in to fix broken Windows networks what services do they perform?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Test Post Google Books Picture

Bidenisms: A collection of the vice president's gaffes and head-slappers. - By Jeremy Stahl - Slate Magazine

"I have not bent the law, but I have let imagination take hold in some places where I think it's consistent with the spirit of the law. … Is that the best way of saying that? Yes, … I should stop."

Thus did the vice president add another entry to the growing collection of Bidenisms. The precise definition of Bidenism, like a Bidenism itself, is murky. Some Bidenisms are the sort of miscellaneous verbal or policy gaffes that are made by every politician. But the best ones—the statements that are uniquely Bidenistic—exemplify the bluster, excess verbosity, and fake charm of dumb-politician stereotypes, yet they come from a seasoned politico who can also be clever and self-effacing.

Good that at least part of the MSM (Well, Slate is a tiny part at least) is starting to take notice.

But of course they spin Biden's gaffs as signs of great intelligence while those of Republicans are born out of ignorance.

Never mind that the people of Delaware make fun of him behind his back not so gently and quite a few are happy to have him now graduated beyond the state's politics.

Ted Kennedy Foggily - What's News Tonight

Perhaps Ted Kennedy has another kind of career if the web exists in 1979. His version and Mudd's version would have been tested, fact-checked, hammered into something useful. All bloviating and table-hopping politicians who blossomed in the day of the tiny footprint of CBS/NYT/WaPo are now tiresome or gone. We are rescued from the complacent arrogance of a handful of TV producers and managing editors -- and the social networks of the Kennedys, the Rockefellers, the usual dominating characters. Thirty years ago on network TV is an age as distant from us now as 1979 was from London under the Blitz on radio.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

YouTube - Peter Schiff was right (new) - 2002 to 2009 with exact dates.

If George Bush...

Found on the Internet...

If George W. Bush had been the first President to need a teleprompter installed to be able to get through a press conference, would you have laughed and said this is more proof of how he inept he is on his own and is really controlled by smarter men behind the scenes?

If George W. Bush had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to take Laura Bush to a play in NYC, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had reduced your retirement plan's holdings of GM stock by 90% and given the unions a majority stake in GM, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had made a joke at the expense of the Special Olympics, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had given Gordon Brown a set of inexpensive and incorrectly formatted DVDs, when Gordon Brown had given him a thoughtful and historically significant gift, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had given the Queen of England an iPod containing videos of his speeches, would you have thought this embarrassingly narcissistic and tacky?

If George W. Bush had bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia , would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had visited Austria and made reference to the non-existent "Austrian language," would you have brushed it off as a minor slip?

If George W. Bush had filled his cabinet and circle of advisers with people who cannot seem to keep current in their income taxes, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had been so Spanish illiterate as to refer to "Cinco de Cuatro" in front of the Mexican ambassador when it was the 5th of May (Cinco de Mayo), and continued to flub it when he tried again, would you have winced in embarrassment?

If George W. Bush had mis-spelled the word "advice" would you have hammered him for it for years like Dan Quayle and potatoe as proof of what a dunce he is?

If George W. Bush had burned 9,000 gallons of jet fuel to go plant a single tree on Earth Day, would you have concluded he's a hypocrite?

If George W. Bush's administration had okayed Air Force One flying low over millions of people followed by a jet fighter in downtown Manhattan causing widespread panic, would you have wondered whether they actually get what happened on 9-11?

If George W. Bush had failed to send relief aid to flood victims throughout the Midwest with more people killed or made homeless than in New Orleans , would you want it made into a major ongoing political issue with claims of racism and incompetence?

If George W. Bush had ordered the firing of the CEO of a major corporation, even though he had no constitutional authority to do so, would you have approved?

If George W Bush had proposed to double the national debt, which had taken more than two centuries to accumulate, in one year, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had then proposed to double the debt again within 10 years, would you have approved?

So, tell me again, what is it about Obama that makes him so brilliant and impressive? Can't think of anything? Don't worry. He's done all this in 8 months -- so you'll have three years and seven months to come up with an answer.

9/11 Attacks: New York Subway System Still Vulnerable Eight Years After September 11 - ABC News

New York City Deputy Mayor Ed Skylar said the situation is alarming.

"We are very concerned with the problems the MTA has had implementing the security plan they outlined," Skylar said.

But when questioned by ABC News, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano seemed unaware of the problem.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Charles Krauthammer - Obama, Too Subtle to Lie, Misleads on Health Reform -

Mankiw puts the Obama bait-and-switch in plain language. "Translation: I promise to fix the problem. And if I do not fix the problem now, I will fix it later, or some future president will, after I am long gone. I promise he will. Absolutely, positively, I am committed to that future president fixing the problem. You can count on it. Would I lie to you?"

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Harry Reid: Health care bill won't work for Nevada - Las Vegas Sun

Duplicity overwhelms.

Queens Terror Probe Leads to Colorado -

Two federal officials Wednesday expressed concern that the level of public attention could jeopardize any possible case. The handling of the case has also renewed some tensions between federal and New York law enforcement amid concerns that New York investigators may have moved too soon to conduct raids on Monday.

Ya think?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

VDH's Private Papers::Why Obama Blinked

FP: What most concerns you about Obama?

Hanson: I admire his set oratory, confidence, and ease under pressure. But I am worried on a number of counts:

[A] He distances himself from American history and traditions, as if he is a third party that can enjoy the prestige and power of the U.S. but at the same time not be subject to criticism from its envious enemies.

[B] His naiveté about human nature and his ignorance. He really does think that problems with a Putin, Chavez, Ahmadinejad, etc. were due to Bush and can be solved with his charismatic rhetoric, apologies, good intentions, and empathy, rather than seeing that the regional interests of such autocrats cannot be reconciled with U.S. interests in free commerce, safe seas, human freedom, and the integrity of existing borders.

[C] He has never run anything — other than having dispersed someone else's money as a foundation board member. His cursus honorum is Ivy League, Chicago organizing, Chicago politics, Illinois politics, and so he seems completely unaware of the dilemma of those who run small construction companies, medical practices, real estate offices, etc. — the small businesses that are the backbone of America.

He has conflated them with Wall Street — as if making $250,000 a year is like taking a $10 million yearly bonus from AIG.

Finally, he seems to believe in a 'spread the wealth' equality of result creed that history shows has brought disaster everywhere it has been tried and failed. We are mimicking Europe at a time when they are having earnest discussions about trimming government and seeking more market than government solutions.

Liberal Lies About National Health Care: Bonus Joe Wilson Edition - HUMAN EVENTS

Moreover, liberals won't have to wait for some court to find that the words "nothing in this subtitle shall allow" means "this bill allows," because the bill contains no mechanism to ensure that the health care vouchers aren't going to illegal aliens. Nor does the bill prohibit the states from providing taxpayer-funded health care vouchers to illegals.

Democrats keep voting down Republican amendments that would insert these restrictions -- just before dashing to a TV studio to denounce anyone who says the health care bill covers illegal aliens.

Fourth Videotape Reveals ACORN Advising 'Pimp,' 'Prostitute' in California - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News -

That would be the fourth "isolated incident" that the MSM remains ignorant of.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

FAQ (the Data Liberation Front)

Why did you start The Data Liberation Front?

For a couple of reasons. The first reason is that we heard our CEO, Eric Schmidt, speak out against lock-in time and time again:

How do you be big without being evil? We don't trap end users.
So if you don't like Google, if for whatever reason we do a bad
job for you, we make it easy for you to move to our competitor.

We started looking at our products and discovered that while the door to leave wasn't locked, in some cases it was a bit "stuck" and we thought that we could do better.

Why are you doing this? What's the catch?

We're doing this because we want our users to stay with us because they want to. While locking users in is a way to keep them in the short term, we believe that the way to keep users in the long term is to keep innovating and making our products better so that they choose to stay with us. And besides, if someone stops using one of our products today, we hope that they would be willing to try one of our other products at some point in the future.

Official Google Enterprise Blog: Google Apps and Government

Dedicated Google cloud for government customers in the US. Today, we're excited to announce our intent to create a government cloud, which we expect to become operational in 2010. Offering the same services and features as our existing commercial cloud (such as Google Apps), this dedicated environment within existing Google facilities in the US will serve the unique needs of US federal, state, and local governments. It is similar to a "Community Cloud" as defined by the National Institute for Science and Technology. The government cloud will allow Google to manage and meet additional government policy requirements beyond FISMA.

Finally the Obama administration is doing something I support.

Surely it must be a fluke!

How will the entrenched bureaucracy respond to this?

Done right, this should represent huge cost saving for the feds allowing them to dispense with redundant re-invent the wheel projects (of the sort I was once a part). Yes, that means people out of work, but hopefully out of work doing useless things and re-deployed doing useful things.

The biggest pushback however won't be from downsized consultants but from permanent government staff who "manage" these projects. The size of the budgets assigned to them to do things like replacing everyone's desktop hardware and software every two years they see as an indicator of their importance even though in most cases they have little understanding of the technologies they are responsible for.

Web based applications don't need the latest hardware or software and eventually could be cheaply run on devices that would be impervious to malware and would only need to be replaced when power supplies burned out etc.

This is a ways off for both government and many businesses but the trend in that direction is looking stronger all the time.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Obama calls Kanye a 'jackass' - Patrick Gavin

In the process of reporting on remarks by President Obama that were made during a CNBC interview, ABC News employees prematurely tweeted a portion of those remarks that turned out to be from an off-the-record portion of the interview. This was done before our editorial process had been completed. That was wrong. We apologize to the White House and CNBC and are taking steps to ensure that it will not happen again.

Me wonders how this is different than the "open mike" stunts that partisan control room people regularly pull on Republicans. Oh, wait, I see it now.

PS: I think it's perfectly OK for the President to refer to a jackass as a jackass. In fact I'd love to see some of the "professionals" who leak this sort of information (about any public office holder) fired. The objective of open government initiatives is to expose what government officials do in their official capacity, not to expose private off the cuff remarks that have nothing to do with governance.

Press Accuracy Rating Hits Two Decade Low: Overview - Pew Research Center for the People & the Press

Just 29% of Americans say that news organizations generally get the facts straight, while 63% say that news stories are often inaccurate. In the initial survey in this series about the news media’s performance in 1985, 55% said news stories were accurate while 34% said they were inaccurate. That percentage had fallen sharply by the late 1990s and has remained low over the last decade.


I just subscribed to the newsgroup "" which Google dutifully e-mails to me so I don't have to remember to go check it.

Sometimes it's worth it:

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> My friend has a dell optiplex with XP. She doesn't use it but
> I use it when I visit every week (in fact I am typing this
> question to you from that very machine at this moment!).
> Anywho, every week the clock is off by 3 hours. Why is this?
> It can't be a battery or something like that since the
> minutes are exactly correct (as is the date). Only the hour
> is wrong. What's up with that?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Your friend is clearly in the wrong timezone. She should probably pack
} up her belongings and move East/West about 3000 miles (depending on
} whether the clock is 3 hours fast or slow).
} You owe the Oracle a grovel-producing algorithm written in Visual
} Basic.

Corruption as the Enemy

I think the distinction needs to be made between cleaning up corruption (a subset of "waste, fraud, and abuse") vs eliminating (followed by not creating any more of) systems that foster such problems.

Corruption (and/or waste, fraud and abuse) can and does happen with any system, public or private, large or small.

The problem is when any system (public or private) gets to be so big that they can't be challenged, from within, or from without.

I think my thinking on this subject is consistent, but I don't think we agree entirely, so you be the judge.


I think we are approaching a point of no return, or at least no return other than of the apocryphal variety in that...

We can still challenge elements within our government. We can still challenge non-governmental elements in our society such as the press, religious organizations, trade unions large corporations, including banks, and those hard to classify things like Fannie Mae, Freddy Mac, and the Federal Reserve. And... so far, the interests of all of those organizations don't coincide, so we benefit to the extent that they don't all work together against us (of course they would all claim to be working for us, but sensible people know that they work for themselves first and in hard times the aspects of their activities that benefit "us" go by the wayside.) That fact, that they don't work in perfect unison, is what still allows them to be challenged at all. But how effective are those challenges really? Especially when they come from an individual, or a single newspaper, or talkshow host, all small by comparison to these mega-entities.

In any event the extent to which these organizations are at cross-purposes is diminishing. With big businesses that are "too big to fail", and bailouts of organizations that have made what, in hind-sight at least, seem to be stupid decisions. The carcasses of these organizations (GM and Chrysler at least) are handed over not to creditors who took risks, but to labor unions that took no risks (and may have had more to do with causing the failures than anyone else).

In religion... While the Pope continues to oppose abortion, the mid-levels of the Catholic church continue to support candidates that favor it. Call it soft-genocide, getting rules enacted to make abortions more commonplace (for the undesirables) while us Catholics (nudge-nudge) keep acting like rabbits. Islamists are this way too, but you'll notice the Pope continue to make overtures to Islam, claiming that Muslims are "saved" . Even in the Adventist church there are overtures to Islam in what seems to be an effort to overcome stalled growth. Lets bury our differences and work together as "believers" in a world of "non-believers". Protestants of the mid to late 1800s would not find any of this surprising (predicting that the Papacy and labor unions would be our downfall), nor would they find surprising the trends that follow, even if they didn't have the terminology at hand to express their concern.

Moving on to commerce... GE is everywhere. Almost invisibly present in every aspect of our lives. Invisibility has its advantages. Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, just to stick with the tech sector I'm familiar with, continue to grow in influence and all operate in a closed system of proprietary formats and software patents that I think are both dangerous to liberty and outright bad choices for consumers. These companies as well as the few "good guys" (it's all relative) such as Google who support open standards and "data liberation" also face regular government scrutiny, but it all seems to be for show. A fine here or there, and in the end there is no break-up of the companies, and no real change in their policies of patents on concepts hardly more original than 2+2=4, or patents on how you arrange your waiting room furniture. Everything being done by government now, whether it is ridiculous software patents, higher taxes, and particularly more complicated tax regimes, only cement the standing of these large businesses, which is why the heads of these companies almost universally support Democrats. Great! More Rules! Keeps out the riff-raff!

So, is the trend obvious yet? Bigger is better! Individual liberties gone in favor of big government, big business, big insurance, big health-care and in every place you look power moving from the small to the big and from the big to the bigger. From individual, to local governments, to states, to the federal, and finally to New World Order we keep hearing about. Ecumenicism is the disease, and we all seem to be already infected, waiting for symptoms to show. Achooo!

The world, in its entirety, is becoming "too big to fail" and at the same time setting itself up for almost certain failure. I wonder: if we can achieve some set-back in our recent political direction, will it not be merely a perturbation in these trends rather than a true change of direction?

We need a whole new generation who values liberty down to the individual level and I wonder if that is even possible until individuals are once again responsible for their own survival and group activity is once again viewed as a voluntary approach to solving problems.

Howard Kurtz - Beck and the Mainstream

While not going far enough to match reality, this article probably goes as far as anyone at the Washington Post goes to admitting culpability without losing their job. Then there is this gem:

Back in Kenya

The Boston Globe has an interesting piece from Obama's native country on attempts to cash in:

(the rest of the quote is unimportant)

Freudian slip? Is Kurtz a "Birther"? or is he just using a tertiary definition of the phrase?

Fact is that mainstream media coverage sucks, and it has sucked for quite some time. It reached it's peak of suckage when it contracted Bush Derangement Syndrome, and shows no sign of recovering. Obama to the media represented the farthest thing from Bush they could imagine, which shows how little imagination they have among other things (Bush was NOT a conservative). They did this based on the theory that a Congress and President with extreme leaning and a kooky left wing base tugging it even farther to the left would still exercise restraints based on "common sense". Only now, they, and many Obama voters are seeing that they were wrong about that.

I happen to think that it is probably too late to rectify the wheels that our extremely biased media has set in motion. The wild swings of our politics that they have help amplify, coupled with an economy so bad that people at the top have decided to best approach is to simply tell bigger lies about it have set us on a well worn historical course.

If you want to know where it all ends up, just read your history books. The newspapers right now will be of no use to you.

Google Public Policy Blog: Introducing Liberate your data!

What does product liberation look like? Said simply, a liberated product is one which has built-in features that make it easy (and free) to remove your data from the product in the event that you'd like to take it elsewhere.

At the heart of this lies our strong commitment to an open web run on open standards. We think open is better than closed -- not because closed is inherently bad, but because when it's easy for users to leave your product, there's a sense of urgency to improve and innovate in order to keep your users. When your users are locked in, there's a strong temptation to be complacent and focus less on making your product better.

In Washington, Thousands Stage Protest of Big Government -

NYT made little effort to estimate the crowd size, beyond "thousands" and the photographer they assigned is apparently still in training. But it wasn't hard to find some better pictures from "amateurs"...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Former Leftist Activist, Turned FBI Informant, Pulls Back the Curtain On ACORN

The more I pondered the matter, the more I realized what was happening. As usual in marginalized and impoverished communities, a small group of radical self-proclaimed leaders was insisting that all local aid and relief came through them—even if they were AWOL for several months. Though the majority of residents either hadn’t heard of ACORN or simply disagreed with their politics- ACORN insisted that they were THE Black leaders. This was upsetting to me. Sure, the local pastor we worked most closely with was Black; but that didn’t matter to ACORN. It was as if Pastor Johnson didn’t count because he didn’t evoke the name of Elijah Mohammed or Malcolm X. It was as if Pastor Johnson didn’t count because he didn’t submit to ACORN’s mandate that ACORN was the sole leadership of Black New Orleanians.

Child Labor: Child Labor? In MY Local Store? It's More Likely Than You Think

"List of Goods Produced by Child or Forced Labor required by the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005 (TVPRA List) [U.S. Department of Labor]"

This might do more good if a single US seller of such products was named. As much as most Americans hate business, you would think the DoL would find the balls to name names. Think again.

Media Myth: GOP Has No Health Care Ideas |

If you get your news from the New York Times, however, you are most likely oblivious to the many areas in which congressional Republicans and President Obama agree. The Times declared in an editorial last week that the President has "waited in vain for a bipartisan compromise to emerge — a virtual impossibility from the start given the determination of top Republicans to kill his effort and cripple his administration." The Times also insisted that the President "has been far too passive — for the sake of an unrequited bipartisanship — as his opponents have twisted and distorted the health care debate."

Middle America Bashing Megan Fox Stripped Bare by 'Transformers' Crew |

Megan Fox recently stated that her solution to a real life evil Transformer invasion would be to negotiate and ask, “instead of the entire planet, can you just take out all of the white trash, hillbilly, anti-gay, super bible-beating people in Middle America?”

I also found these quotes from Ms. Fox:

“I don’t want to have to go on talk shows and pull out every single S.A.T. word I’ve ever learned, to prove, like, ‘Take me seriously, I am intelligent, I can speak.’ I don’t want to have to do that. I resent having to prove that I’m not a retard.”

Yeah, don't bother trying, it's an uphill battle all the way. Of course in Hollywood she's probably about average.

George F. Will - The Supreme Court's Chance to Dump McCain-Feingold and Aid Free Speech -

Justice Antonin Scalia was "a little disoriented" and Justice Samuel Alito said "that's pretty incredible." Chief Justice John Roberts said: "If we accept your constitutional argument, we're establishing a precedent that you yourself say would extend to banning the book" -- a hypothetical 500-page book containing one sentence that said "vote for" a particular candidate.

What shocked them, but should not have, were statements by a government lawyer who was only doing his professional duty with ruinous honesty -- ruinous to his cause. He was defending the mare's-nest of uncertainties that federal campaign finance law has made and the mess the court made in 2003 when, by affirming the constitutionality of McCain-Feingold's further speech restrictions, it allowed Congress to regulate speech by and about people running for Congress.

Heard on "Meet the Press" today:

"Congress is always reforming the last issue. They never anticipate the next one."

Thus there are always unintended consequences. Example given is campaign finance reform.

Let's add that they also never consider issues previous to the last issue. Thus creating book banning mandates out of thin air.

We elect Congress and the President largely on their ability to make speeches and appear poised on TV. Judged by what they actually do and if you could see what they would actually write rather than the work of ghost writers) they are far from impressive.

Disoriented indeed.

In Shift, Wall Street Goes to Washington -

Three times as much U.S. taxpayer money has gone into propping up a single firm, insurance giant American International Group, as the world spent a decade ago during the financial rescue of South Korea, then the world's 11th-largest economy. And the emergency bailout of financial firms that Congress approved last year has cost nearly as much as the first five years of the war in Iraq.

Now the Treasury and the Federal Reserve are embroiled in everything from credit cards and home loans to auto manufacturing, from overseeing executive pay to shaping boards of directors.

In response, senior executives of major financial companies are traversing the Beltway to meet lawmakers in person for the first time. Firms such as Fidelity Investments, BNY Mellon and even Goldman Sachs, which has prospered in the crisis relative to many other banks, are opening additional offices or bulking up their staffs in the capital.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

T’was Accountability That Led the Mainstream Media to Suicide

The Dinosaur Media is losing money, viewers and readers hand over fist. The reason they’re folding or on life support isn’t because there aren’t enough left-of-center Americans to keep them in business, it’s because, like everyone else, liberals don’t want to sit in a choir and be preached to. They want information. They want to know what’s going on in the world.

Our liberal friends may not like hearing Van Jones, the NEA and ACORN are under fire, but they still want to know. What a disappointing revelation it must be to open the New York Times or turn on the network news only to discover after the curtain has already fallen that one of Obama’s Czars was forced to resign or that the U.S. Census Bureau let ACORN go.

Progressives Look to Dan Rather for Salvation

Rather is a legend in his own mind-and apparently the minds of those left-wingers who appreciate his effort to defeat Bush's re-election bid and throw the election to Senator John Kerry. However, the effort backfired, thanks to conservative bloggers who exposed Rather's anti-Bush documents as fake. If liberals want to understand "What Will Become of the News?," they first have to understand what Rather & Company did to it. They seem ignorant.

The “True Identity” Of Van Jones

His Marxist rhetoric about a "complete revolution" was made to "Uprising Radio" in April of 2008 and brought to light by Breitbart TV. Going beyond "systems of exploitation and oppression is a process," Jones said, that will take us beyond "eco-capitalism."

He explained, "So the green economy will start off as a small sub-set and we're going to push it and push it and push it until it becomes the engine for transforming the whole society."

In other words, environmentalism and "green jobs" are the cover for implementing Marxism. Obviously, Jones has not changed. Only his methods have changed.

10-Year Private Sector Job Growth Finally Goes Negative - BusinessWeek

Consider this a memorial service. Back in June, I wrote a post called “A Lost Decade for Jobs”, where I pointed out that 10-year private job growth was rapidly heading for zero.

Well, folks, it finally happened this morning. The employment report shows that private sector employment in August 2009 was lower than it was in August 1999—the first time this has happened since the Great Depression.

Mean Street: The Obama Jobs Disaster, Continued - Deal Journal - WSJ

Certainly America’s businesses have kept hiring to a minimum. Job openings dipped to a record low 2.4 million in July. And precious few of these openings will be found in Silicon Valley or on Wall Street. Try the U.S. government or a nursing home instead.

It’s ironic. Two big chunks of our economy are poorly-run and pretty much broken: our government and our healthcare system. But those are the only places where there is any job growth.

Such is the paradox of Obamanomics. It grows those parts of the economy that we need to shrink — and shrinks those parts of the economy we need to grow.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Where Ignoramuses Get Their News

Windows 7 Security Bug Emerges at Worst Time for Microsoft

When Windows Vista was released, the enterprise and consumers had high hopes for the operating system. Microsoft promised that it would be the most secure operating system it had ever released. Some companies bit the bait and immediately updated their hardware with Windows Vista.

In many cases, those same companies found it to be a mistake. Windows Vista didn't have the kind of security companies required. Almost immediately, outbreaks started occurring as Microsoft scrambled to patch them. Meanwhile, all those companies using Windows XP were delighted that they had opted to stick with Microsoft's old operating system. Over time, Vista's security was improved. But the damage was done.

NY's Tax-Funded Ex-Terrorist

And Jones is still proud of his terrorist activities -- saying as recently as 2004: "To this day, we still, lots of us, including me, still think it was the right thing to try to do."

Now, Jones is back to revolutionary organizing -- but with taxpayers footing the bill. He's the director of the Apollo Alliance's New York affiliate and a consultant to the national group.

Apollo unifies the three most powerful elements of the political left -- environmental groups, labor unions and street organizers like ACORN -- and points them toward a common goal that enriches all of them under the banner of "green jobs." (Van Jones was an Apollo board member until he joined the White House staff.)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Big Government

"BALTIMORE (AP) – The nonprofit housing group ACORN has fired two employees at its Baltimore office who were seen on hidden-camera video giving advice to a man posing as a pimp and a woman pretending to be a prostitute."

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

CA Assemblyman Caught on Hot Mic Offering Lewd Details of Affair with Lobbyist

"Two term limit for all in government. One term in office. One term in prison."

YouTube - Rep. McCotter Discussing Health Care on Fox Business Money for Breakfast (Part 1)

The convenient fantasies of President Obama | Washington Examiner

Another interesting thing about Jones is that the administration seems enamored of his "green jobs" concept. There's an understandable political reason. Legislation to restrict carbon emissions that is supported by the administration would undoubtedly kill a large number of jobs by increasing the cost of energy, and so you can see why its advocates might want to argue that there will be a compensating number of "green jobs" created -- at least if the government spends a lot of money on them.

But this sounds like fantasy. If there were money to be made in green jobs, private investors would be creating them already. In fact big corporations like General Electric are scrambling to position themselves as green companies, gaming legislation and regulations so they can make profits by doing so. Big business is ready to create green jobs -- if government subsidizes them. But the idea that green jobs will replace all the lost carbon-emitting jobs is magical thinking.

Too late for Obama to turn it around? | Salon

Why has the Democratic Party become so arrogantly detached from ordinary Americans? Though they claim to speak for the poor and dispossessed, Democrats have increasingly become the party of an upper-middle-class professional elite, top-heavy with journalists, academics and lawyers (one reason for the hypocritical absence of tort reform in the healthcare bills). Weirdly, given their worship of highly individualistic, secularized self-actualization, such professionals are as a whole amazingly credulous these days about big-government solutions to every social problem. They see no danger in expanding government authority and intrusive, wasteful bureaucracy. This is, I submit, a stunning turn away from the anti-authority and anti-establishment principles of authentic 1960s leftism.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


With the building evidence of bad behavior by the NEA, you’d think this federal agency would have issued a statement explaining their position on this “brand new” direction for the arts. But as the cliché goes, the silence has been deafening. This taxpayer funded agency and their civil servants haven’t even returned phone calls from legitimate press outlets such as the Boston Globe,, or the Washington Times.

Even more deafening is the silence on the part of the mainstream media. Documented dishonesty by White House appointed officials should easily draw the ire of our media watchdogs. But the liberal media, historically a protector of the arts, has turned its back on the community of which it adores. Like the Van Jones story, it appears that the blogosphere and conservative media are the only two forums that break news anymore. And the news that they break has dire consequences for those involved regardless of the mainstream media’s blind eye.

Barack Obama accused of making 'Depression' mistakes - Telegraph

The paper, which recommends that the US return to a more laissez-faire economic system rather than intervening further in activity, has been endorsed by Nobel laureate James Buchanan, who said: "We have learned some things from comparable experiences of the 1930s' Great Depression, perhaps enough to reduce the severity of the current contraction. But we have made no progress toward putting limits on political leaders, who act out their natural proclivities without any basic understanding of what makes capitalism work."

Monday, September 07, 2009

BREITBART: Couric should look in mirror - Washington Times

Compounding the problem, the Jones narrative hurts Mr. Obama because it underlines how the mainstream media helped elect the president by glorifying him instead of vetting him.

Just as Mr. Obama was not even cursorily investigated, Van Jones, a fellow "community organizer," was not given the slightest media attention when named as an unaccountable "czar" selected to oversee billions in taxpayer money for the ambiguous purpose of "green energy." And that despite having a body of damning evidence that could be found with a single Google search by an ADHD-addled high-school journalism student.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

The Van Jones (non) feeding frenzy | Washington Examiner

Click link to keep track of who's being "politically correct":

Total words about the Van Jones controversy in the New York Times: 0.
Total words about the Van Jones controversy in the Washington Post: 0.
Total words about the Van Jones controversy on NBC Nightly News: 0.
Total words about the Van Jones controversy on ABC World News: 0.
Total words about the Van Jones controversy on CBS Evening News: 0.

2 radio towers in Washington state toppled

A sign bearing the letters ELF was found near the towers, said Andy Skotdal, general manager of KRKO Radio in Everett, about 25 miles north of Seattle. The Earth Liberation Front is a loose collection of radical environmentalists that has claimed responsibility for dozens of attacks since the 1990s.

Fingerbiters strike again!

Microsoft Word Ban: Maybe it Wouldn't be so Bad - PC World

First, there are plenty of alternative word processors out there, most of which read Word files perfectly well. Sure, there might be a few formatting glitches, but that’s to be expected during any file conversion. Microsoft Office users, particularly those who rely heavily on the well-honed integration between Excel, Word, Outlook, and PowerPoint, would experience the most problems. But, again, the ban would affect new sales of Word, not existing copies. So users would have time to develop workarounds.

Plus, there’d be one big silver lining to a Microsoft Word ban: A true universal document format could take hold, one that replaces today’s defacto standard -- Microsoft’s doc/docx -- that’s tied too closely to the whims of one software vendor.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Rep. Charles Rangel Must Step Aside as Chairman of Ways and Means

OMG! Washington Post calls for Democrat to step aside after wrongdoings! This has never happened before! Do your research WaPo! He is a Democrat and CAN'T be held accountable!

Meanwhile, stand by for upcoming WaPo House restroom hidden camera video of House Republicans (Repuglicans) shuffling their feet suspiciously.

Yes we cannibal!

Florida Exodus: Rising Taxes Drive Out Residents - Yahoo! News

Granted, most local governments often have to raise taxes when they're staring at fiscal craters like the $427 million shortfall in Miami-Dade's proposed $7.83 billion budget. But the less than sunny mood in Miami-Dade is made darker by the feeling among most residents that their fiscal jam is not just a result of falling revenue, but also years of profligate mismanagement. The final determination on their property taxes will be made soon by the Miami-Dade County Commission - a feckless, corruption-tainted body, many of whose members ran up hundreds of thousands of dollars in police overtime costs recently by using cops as their personal chauffeurs. (None of the commissioners face any sanctions for it.)

CURL: Biden fills vacationing Obama's void - Washington Times

Meanwhile, Mr. Obama has hosted a private White House dinner to celebrate Ramadan, a Muslim religious holiday (during which adherents are supposed to fast), played golf at Arlington's Army Navy Country Club (no press allowed), hit the beach on Martha's Vineyard (closed to press) and had dinner with his wife at the Sweet Life Cafe.

So with his boss out of town, Mr. Biden stepped up Thursday to deliver a speech heavy with superlatives about the administration's economic stimulus plan. "Today there's a growing consensus: The Recovery Act is, in fact, working."

George F. Will - U.S. Forces Should Leave Iraq Next Year -

"There are still civilians being killed in Iraq. We still have people that are attempting to attack the new Iraqi order and the move towards democracy and a more open economy. So we still have some work to do."

No, we don't, even if, as Jaffe reports, the presence of 130,000 U.S. troops "serves as a check on Iraqi military and political leaders' baser and more sectarian instincts." After almost 6 1/2 years, and 4,327 American dead and 31,483 wounded, with a war spiraling downward in Afghanistan, it would be indefensible for the U.S. military -- overextended and in need of materiel repair and mental recuperation -- to loiter in Iraq to improve the instincts of corrupt elites. If there is a worse use of the U.S. military than "nation-building," it is adult supervision and behavior modification of other peoples' politicians.

A Separate Reality

YouTube - "Indoctrinate U" Trailer (FC2)

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Larry Ellison Can't Be Bothered With the Facts - Oracle - Gawker

Here's how Oracle hypes its business software: Write an ad claiming it's exponentially better than the competition. Then, mold the facts to fit the hype. CEO Larry Ellison's done this for decades; today he got caught. Click through for evidence.

'Green Jobs' Adviser's Past Could Stir Trouble for White House at Critical Time - Political News -

President Obama's "green jobs" adviser could become a mounting liability for the Obama administration, as the latest revelation about Van Jones shows his belief that the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks may have been an inside job.

Jones joined the "9/11 truther" movement by signing a statement in 2004 calling for then-New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and others to launch an investigation into evidence that suggests "people within the current administration may indeed have deliberately allowed 9/11 to happen, perhaps as a pretext for war."

How do these things unfold?

How do third rate appointees even get past the fist-cut of these things? Bush attempted to get a relatively unknown friend appointed to the Supreme Court. (I can't even remember her name.) Even Bush supporters were poking each other in the ribs over that.

I can only imagine that a President provides a "list of friends to be rewarded" at the beginning of his administration and the clueless clerical workers (that is largely what they are) that surround the office then go to work trying to use as many of them as possible.

From high to low, the vetting of appointees to this president seems to have been non-existent. One more piece of evidence, if we needed any, that this presidency is an empty suite, and getting emptier with every new appointment.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Liberal Lies About National Health Care: Third in a Series (Commemorative Plates On Sale Now!) - HUMAN EVENTS

National health care will eliminate everything outside of Medicare, which is the only thing that allows Medicare to exist.

Obviously, therefore, it's preposterous for Democrats to say national health care will merely extend Medicare to the entire population. This would be like claiming you're designing an apartment building in which every apartment will be a penthouse. Everyone likes the penthouses, so why not have a building in which every apartment is a penthouse?

It doesn't work: What makes the penthouse the penthouse is all the other floors below. An "all-penthouse" building is a blueprint that could make sense only to someone who has never run a business and has zero common sense, i.e., a Democrat.

Sentenced to death on the NHS - Telegraph

In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, a group of experts who care for the terminally ill claim that some patients are being wrongly judged as close to death.

Under NHS guidance introduced across England to help doctors and medical staff deal with dying patients, they can then have fluid and drugs withdrawn and many are put on continuous sedation until they pass away.

But this approach can also mask the signs that their condition is improving, the experts warn.

Motto of socialized medicine: A penny saved is a penny earned?

American Thinker: Kennedy and the KGB

The issue is a remarkable 1983 KGB document on Kennedy, which I published in my 2006 book, The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism (HarperCollins). The document is a May 14, 1983 memo from KGB head Victor Chebrikov to his boss, the odious Soviet General Secretary Yuri Andropov, designated with the highest classification. It concerns a confidential offer to the Soviet leadership by Senator Kennedy. The target: President Ronald Reagan.

The Obama “Birth Certificate” Scandal

What Happened To Journalism?

"Journalism used to ask who, what, when, where, why and how," said Kincaid. "But today's pro-Obama journalists want to ignore those questions when it comes to the constitutional eligibility of the current occupant of the oval office. They would rather accept what the Obama campaign (and now administration) wants them to believe. The Obama document may reflect what is in another document, but we really have no way of knowing. The only way to address these questions is to identify where exactly he was born, in what hospital, and what doctor was present. All of this information should be on an original birth certificate."

New ABC World News Anchor Diane Sawyer: A Profile in Bias |

Great Minds Think Alike

Diane Sawyer: “I’ve always thought the theological, the one theological question I’d like to ask [Pope John Paul II], and it’s a serious question, is ‘What do you think Jesus would think of the way you dress?’”
Oprah Winfrey: “Ohhh! That’s a great question!”
— Exchange on Oprah, February 19, 1997.

Just another airhead reading the news.

Date with a Dictator? One Million Plus Dollars, The Irony? Priceless - Atlas Shrugs

We're obviously not transporting five big helicopters. I went and talked to the Marines guarding the "fleet" and found that they were flying all five helicopters home and we were only transporting the Marines and the maintenance equipment. After talking to the Marine in charge, I was told that the White House requested FIVE helicopters. The Marines told me that they spent all morning trying to figure out how much it cost them to come and said they figured it cost them $140,000 to stay there (I don't know where they came up with that). Overall, the trip's total had to be about $1,000,000.

We heard that the President didn't use Air Force One (the 747) so I asked if he came in on one of the 757's. I was told that he came in on THREE Air Force Lear jets. So, date night consisted of:

Two C-17's flying three missions, 3 Lear jets, 5 Helicopters, Presidential Motorcade, 44 Marines, more than 20 USSS personnel on our plane. Who knows what it cost the NYPD and NY Port Authority (at the airport) in overtime.

Note that these are the people who chastised automobile CEO's for using their aircraft. One also sees that the media only use the facts that make the President look good and hide any facts that will detract from his persona..

Obama 'czar' on 9/11: Blame 'U.S. imperialism'!

Speaking to the East Bay Express, Jones said he first became radicalized in the wake of the 1992 Rodney King riots, during which time he was arrested.

"I was a rowdy nationalist on April 28th, and then the verdicts came down on April 29th," he said. "By August, I was a communist.

"I met all these young radical people of color – I mean really radical: communists and anarchists. And it was, like, 'This is what I need to be a part of.' I spent the next 10 years of my life working with a lot of those people I met in jail, trying to be a revolutionary," he said.