30 April 2012

Eating the social seed corn

Barack Obama has already held more fundraising events to build cash for his re-election bid than all five Presidents since Richard Nixon combined, according to figures to be published in a new book.

Obama is also the only president in the past 35 years to visit every electoral battleground state in his first year of office. [source, via]

Speaking of lack of respect for an office because of how its occupant has degraded it …

This is what the MAL does — it uses and abuses social capital for momentary rewards, leaving destruction in its wake. Why does anyone except a nihilist support this sort of policy?

Regulatory attainders

In the same vein of losing sight of the real purpose, when regulators use regulations to punish and reward regions based on their political reliability I don’t see why the citizens should have any respect for the regulators, regulations, and those who support them.

Let’s add this scandal at NOAA which has not only been shaking down fishermen, but managed to lose track of a big chunk of the money. ($40M out of $100M).

Laws for whom?

I think when a government is at the state where it is adjusting its laws to specifically accommodate illegal immigrants it has lost track of its proper purpose.

29 April 2012

Context

Remember, kids —

Making fun of Ann Romney as an out of touch elistist — just hard ball politics.

Making fun of Michelle Obama as an out of touch elisist — racism

That’s how you know if an organization, magazine, or website is racist — if they make fun of any of the Obama’s case closed.

27 April 2012

Content matters

Don Surber advises journalism students to switch majors and get a real job. I think that’s excellent advice, and not just from a financial perspective. One of the biggest problems I see with modern journalism is how disconnected its practitioners are from reality. A couple of decades having a real job would cure much of that, and given them some actual expertise.

I would also note that this reminds of the Big Lie about college education — that there is a thing called “college education”. No, there are distinct fields of study which you can study in college. Some of them are more financial rewarding than others. But telling vulnerable kids that they just need a “college education” to do well is a lie so pernicious that not even a libertarian / free market guy like me would be willing to make it. Proglodytes, on the other hand …

Tales from Narrative World

Washington Post‘s Rosalind S. Helderman tells her readers that Arizona’s anti-illegal immigration law, S.B. 1070, is “deeply unpopular with Latino voters.”  Really? A very recent Quinnipiac poll found that 49% of Hispanics oppose the law, but 47% approve of it.  If thats “deeply unpopular” I wouldn’t want to be President Obama. … A similarly slim majority of Hispanics actually wants the Supreme Court to uphold S.B. 1070. … [source]

Is there some actual political purpose to this, or are is Old Media just providing morphine to the cancer stricken ideology that is the Modern American Left?

Hayek, visionary

The looter vote — those in charge like this because running a plantation full of dependent serfs is their dream. Why the serfs want it, I don’t know.

25 April 2012

Just have to make a few sacrifices for the common good

EPA Region VI Administrator Al Armendariaz: “I was in a meeting once and I gave an analogy to my staff about my philosophy of enforcement, and I think it was probably a little crude and maybe not appropriate for the meeting, but I’ll go ahead and tell you what I said:

“It was kind of like how the Romans used to, you know, conquer villages in the Mediterranean. They’d go in to a little Turkish town somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they saw and they’d crucify them.

“Then, you know, that town was really easy to manage for the next few years.”

“It’s a deterrent factor,” Armendariz said [source]

Clearly Somalia style anarchy is the only alternative to this kind of punishing the innocent in order to terrorize everyone else in to submission.

War on belief

There is an ongoing flap at Vanderbilt University about membership in campus based Christian organizations. Vanderbilt insists that there can be no ideological tests for membership or officers in ideologically based organizations. That is, a Christian group cannot exclude atheists. I find that laughably ludicrous — an organization should be able to set whatever rules it wants.

This is described as “anti-Christian” but I wonder if it is not really “anti-belief”, that our modern ruling class (the MAL) simply cannot tolerate sincere belief in anything. One of the MAList delusions is that everyone should be able to just “get along”, something which would certainly be a lot easier if no one actually believed in anything.

Another explanation is an intolerance of diversity, that it’s not so much anti-Christian as against any belief system that is not in complete accord with the MAList ideology. After all, science shows that Republicans are more open-minded and better informed than Democratic Party members. That’s why conspiracy theories are so accepted by the MAL.

Heh. But I did find that survey interesting because of how it highlights the hollowing out of the middle that is so much a result of MAList policy, as can also be seen in California. Yet those who complain about the disparity advocate more of that. Ignorant or disingenuous, you make the call.

20 April 2012

To be fair ...

… I think I must link to this post about what seems to be a political prosecution of former Senator John Edwards. Based on what is there, I have to agree with Maguire that it’s about punishing Edwards, not law.

The idea of wealthy donors supporting the lifestyle - but not the campaign! - of their favored candidate feels like it ought to be illegal. One is left wondering whether the benefactor is buying favors or simply access, and whether a bribery charge might be possible. Still, “feels illegal” is not the standard that we like to see applied. I am not nor do I ever intend to be an expert on campaign finance law but the DoJ needs to bring real cases, not politically expedient ones. [emphasis added]

Maybe the Department of Justice could look at credit card fraud in the Obama Campaign which is both more illegal and relevant.

Political tribalism

What’s important is to not be “one of those people”, therefore the Democratic Party National Committee is selling bumper stickers that read “Not A Republican”. Because that’s all you need to say.

P.S. For example, liberal opinions on drones and the jihadi prison in Guantanamo changed once The Leader’s tribe changed. “Not A Republican” means it is now good policy.

European Civil War

Apparently World War II is too controversial in Europe, so the new EU history museum will just not mention it except as a “European civil war”. Those darn right wingers, always ignoring history when it’s inconvenient!

Getting tangled in their own web

The President Obama birth certificate issue just keeps getting weirder.

Last Tuesday, the case of Purpura and Moran v. Obama, STE 4534-12, came to trial before Administrative Law Judge Jeff S. Masin. Nick Purpura of Wall, NJ, and Ted Moran of Toms River, NJ, said that Barack H. Obama should not appear on the ballot of the June 5 New Jersey Democratic Primary. They gave two reasons:
  1. Obama has never shown that he was born in Hawaii, or even who he is.
  2. Obama cannot qualify to be President because his father was a British colonial subject.

[…]

the part that has excited observers nationwide happened in the second hour of the hearing. Alexandra M. Hill, of Genova, Burns, Giantomasi and Webster, represented the Obama campaign at the hearing. Apuzzo called Brian Wilcox, an Internet document expert, to the stand, to attack the Obama birth certificate document that the White House served to the Internet on April 27, 2011. Ms. Hill then said that the PDF document was irrelevant to the case at hand, and conceded that Obama never once gave his birth certificate, or any good copy of it, hard or soft, to the New Jersey Secretary of State or the Division of Elections. Hill then claimed that New Jersey law did not force Obama to give anything to qualify himself for a primary ballot, and that New Jersey residents could nominate Mickey Mouse if they could get enough signatures to nominate him.

I keep trying to come up with plausible theories that would explain all the facts on the ground but I can’t. Is that PDF a fake, or not? Is it fake but accurate? Was Hill just caught in the headlights because she has no idea either and hadn’t been briefed? I begin to wonder if anyone, including Obama, actually knows. Any suggestions from the peanut gallery would be appreciated.

P.S. In typical Obama Administration fashion, their first reaction is to suppress information by demanding (through the law firm cited) that videos of the hearing be “struck from the record”. Of course those videos are not in fact part of any court record so it’s hard to see how they could be struck. It is apparently legal in New Jersey for private citizens to record public hearings such as this, but there has never been much concern for actual law in the Obama Administration.

19 April 2012

Kinsley gaffe?

“The choice in this election,” said [President Obama’s chief strategist David] Axelrod, “is between an economy that produces a growing middle class and that gives people a chance to get ahead and their kids a chance to get ahead and an economy that continues down the road we are on.”

One wonders why Axelrod is making the case for former governor Mitt Romney, but I suspect that he has spent so much time in “Blame Bush!” mode that he just slipped and forgot he wasn’t in 2008.

"Shut up" she explained

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wants to amend the First Amendment so that Congress can take control of political speech. What could go wrong?

Spice it up

Instapundit has a post about the health benefits of spicy food. I found it interesting because I prefer spicy food when my stomach is upset. SWIPIAW finds this odd but I think I can now claim vindication.

Obama Administration shows its view of justice...

… by embracing Al Sharpton, someone who made his name with false prosecutions, racial strife, and mob violence.

At what point may we reasonably assume that the Obama Administration’s view of justice is the same as that of a lynch mob?

Fiscal responsibility

The Democratic Party majority in the Senate hangs it up with respect to their fiscal responsibilities. These are the people for whom we should accept higher taxes? Leaders who dare not put their actual policies up for accountability with the voters?

P.S. And let’s wonder whether results count — if a state cuts its budget without tax increases improves its situation, and a state raises taxes and ends up deeper in a fiscal hole, how does that show we have to raise taxes to solve our federal budget problem? And it never hurts to point out the end result of proglodyte fiscal policy.

18 April 2012

3AM

The 3 AM phone call:

Bill Ayers: Who the hell is this, oh, hey Bamster, waz up?

0bama: I can’t believe you put this dog-eating sh!t in my book. What else is in there?

Strawman Cometh

So it was a coffee table book for President Obama as well.

Fear placement

Apparently, I’m supposed to be more angry about what Mitt Romney does with his money than what Barack Obama does with mine.

Iowahawk

10 April 2012

An unexplained attraction

As I think about the distinct possibility that President Obama will be re-elected, I consider Ann Althouse to be exhibit A on why that’s feasible. First we have this post where Althouse basically says “Hey, Obama, if you lie about being a moderate we’ll believe and vote for you”. What describes this except “doublethink”? She is simultaneously giving cynical yet practical political advice (“this is the most effective lie”) and at the same time indicating that it will work on her. As Justice Kagan says “Wow, wow”. Then we have this post where Althouse plaintively asks

Who would have thought that in the last year of Obama’s presidential term, the public mind would obsess over race at this level?

As many of her commenters point out, any one who was paying attention. Yet Althouse, even at this point, continues to believe that Obama can do, will do, or cares something about this.

If it’s not Obama’s fault, can he at least do something to yank us up out of this awful place?

After he’s worked so hard to get us here? And if so, what could he do?

In 2009 or even 2011, he would have given a speech.

Written apparently without irony or even knowledge of how well those speeches made progress that we’re in “this awful place”.

Althouse is a successful person, with a career teaching law. Yet this is what passes for her awareness of reality.

What continues to mystify me is why do people like Althouse want so desperately to believe in Obama? It’s not what he’s done (epic fails with massive collateral damage) and now not even what he says (he’s not giving a speech either). What exactly remains that attracts so strongly? I can only conclude it’s some sort of internal psychological need, which is why I think so much of MAL politics is really an internal psycho-drama with little connection to reality, a disease I sometimes call “reality dysfunction”.

Poisoned Well

Ah, local newspapers, the things people should read to be informed. The problem isn’t that Old Media and its practitioners are skeptical of conservatives but that somehow they have lost all skepticism of anything that confirms the Narrative. This leads to not everything they write being a lie, but enough is that it poisons the entire product. I think it is an accelerating process as various ideological predators realize just how unresistant Old Media culture is to flagrant falsehoods if they are politically correct.

04 April 2012

Modern Lysenkoism

The Obama Administration wanted to issue a drilling ban for Gulf of Mexico oil, so they asked a panel of experts to support that. The panel did not do so, so the Obama Administration had some flunkeys just put that recommendation in post facto and issued the ban. The experts then repudiated the report, but the ban remained. Now the most transparent Administration in American history won’t tell Congress how and who altered the report. This kind of politics over science wouldn’t happen if Obama were President.

03 April 2012

It's so clear now - the process is the result!

Down in Texas there exist some ranches with exotic (and endangered) African antelope species. The ranches profit off them by selling hunting rights. That’s clearly unacceptable so obviously the only thing to do is stop the hunting so the ranchers kill off all the antelope because we need to exterminate the animals in order to protect them.

Ignorant Contempt

With President Obama’s direct assault on the legitimacy of the Supreme Court if they don’t do what he wants, when can we openly admit that Obama is not only ignorant of our how our government works, but openly contemptuous as well?

P.S. Speaking of contempt, here is our First Lady stating that for her husband to succeed, we must change our history. Maybe I’m wrong and these people have actually read 1984 but didn’t realize it a “how to”.

War on Prosperity

“SOLYNDRA WAS JUST THE APPETIZER:” World’s Largest Solar Plant, With Second Largest Ever Department of Energy Loan Guarantee, Files For Bankruptcy.

Actually, I think the taxpayers may have dodged the bullet here, but the boondoggle-point remains. And note the video of California Governor Jerry Brown and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar praising the plant as our economic future. . . . [source]

As far as I can tell, bankrupt green companies is in fact the future the proglodytes plan for us. It’s hard for feudal lords when there’s a functional merchant / middle class.

02 April 2012

Let's be reasonable

JUSTICE KAGAN: And as I understand it, I mean, when the Secretary withdraws funds, what the Secretary is doing is withdrawing funds from poor people’s health care, and that the Secretary is reluctant and loathed to take money away from poor people’s health care. And that that’s why these things are always worked out. It’s that the Secretary really doesn’t want to use this power, and so the Secretary sits down with the State and figures out a way for the Secretary not to use the power. [Page 58]

There you have it, the Constitutionality of a power legislatively granted to a Cabinet Secretary can be judged by presuming the Secretary will of course behave reasonably. One wonders why have any legislation at all beyond letting the Secretary do anything because he’s going to be “reasonable”. But it does seem to sum up the essence of the MAL on how government should work.

Laws are for the little people

Obama Campaign disables credit card verification system — after all, why should The Leader be burdened with petty laws which exist to keep the conservatives in line?

Results count ... so don't let people know

A good post at Instapundit which describes the travails of the California higher education system. A detailed study of history invalidates proglodyte policies so naturally the solution is to fail to teach such details to the next generation.

Although, to be cynical (as is my wont) it’s quite possible that the MAL just isn’t that smart, they’re just self-indulgent narcissists. Which do you think it is?

This wouldn't happen if Obama were President

So how did Zimmerman ever get the idea that someone in a hoodie might be suspicious? From the Obama Administration, of course.

Last March Homeland Security released the controversial video, If You See Something, Say Something™. In the video the bad guys planting bombs… wear hoodies. [source]

When will the Bush Administration and the Tea Party stop with this stereotyping?

Crazy vs. Corrupt

Good news! The California high speed rail that will require massive subsidies to operate may cost somewhat less to build. Here’s my favorite quote —

The drastic revision, which puts the proposed cost of the system at $68.4 billion instead of the $98.5 billion estimated in November, intends to cool opposition to the project [emphasis added]

That tells the tale right there, doesn’t it? But even if this were a purely political cost revision, might one not still wonder about the details of a project where the estimated cost goes up and down in the span of a few months by 100% and 30%? Why should any citizen have the least bit of faith in this or any future estimate?

What’s been striking to me, though, is the difference between Illinois and California as they race to be the first failed US State. In Illinois the budget problems are basically corruption — special deals for unions, government employees, cronies, etc. Stupid, venal, destructive, yes, but I can understand what’s going on. California, though, seems to be hooked far more on the crazy. The people in Illinois support the corruption either due to tribal loyalties or because they think they’ll get a piece of the action. The support in California seems much more of a reality dysfunction (excluding the small set of people who will profit from this).

P.S. Some data on how much European nations must subsidize their rail systems to keep them operating. Money quote —

The $42 billion that these six countries, which have a combined population of 269 million, spent on just passenger rail in 20061 is roughly proportionate to the $54.8 billion (most of which was funded by user fees) that the government of the United States (population of 309 million) spent on all forms of transportation, including highways, rail, aviation, water transport, and mass transit2.


1 Randal O’Toole, “High Speed Rail: The Wrong Road for America,” Cato Institute Policy Analysis No. 625, October 31, 2008, p. 12, Table 2 (March 11, 2010).

2 U.S. Office of Management and Budget, Historical Tables, Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2009 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2008), p. 161, Table 8.8 (March 11, 2010).