Thursday, May 26, 2011

The National Review Online Is Furious

NRO would like you to know that they are furious that California hasn't spent more taxpayer money to buy private property on which they could erect public buildings to be staffed with union guards, filled with prisoners whose upkeep costs around $100,000 a year.


I'd call this your classic buried lede. Everybody is focussing on the Gingrich-related aspects of this this, but I think something more scandalous is going on.

At the same time Tiffany & Co. was extending Callista (Bisek) Gingrich a virtual interest-free loan of tens of thousands of dollars, the diamond and silverware firm was spending big bucks to influence mining policy in Congress and in agencies over which the House Agriculture Committee--where she worked--had jurisdiction, official records show.

Filings by Tiffany’s lobbyist, Cassidy & Co., and other government records show that the firm’s spending on “mining law and mine permitting-related issues” in Congress, as well as the Forest Service, the Interior Department, and Interior’s Bureau of Land Management shot up sharply between during the period when Callista Gingrich was chief clerk at the House Agriculture Committee.

Tiffany's annual lobbying expenditures rose from about $100,000 to $360,000 between 2005 and 2009, according to records assembled by the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan government watchdog organization.

The Forest Service, which comes under the committee’s jurisdiction, oversees mining, including silver mining, in federal forests.
What I'm wondering is, what exactly is the benefit to taxpayers if Tiffany gets a break? Will I be able to buy this at a 20% discount now? Will an army of diamond-cutters be recruited for jobs? I don't even care if they offer a $3.99 breakfast at Tiffany, it's not worth it. Whatever their discounts, I'd rather spend my tax money on infrastructure.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Michele Bachmann Wants to Buy Out Obama's Option, Apparently

The facts are startling. Almost 14 million Americans are unemployed. Oil prices are at an all-time high. Obamacare is bringing socialism to our doorstep, and the national debt is over $14.3 trillion. Yet, our President is too busy gallivanting around Europe with his Irish cousins, to focus on rebuilding our economy and strengthening our nation.

...Watch my video now and join my money bomb to ensure Barack Obama is a one-term President. I need your help right now to show Barack Obama that he is no match for our conservative base. We've set a goal to raise $240,000 in 24 hours, but we can only do this if you act now.

...My family and I are prayerfully considering what the next 18 months or so may bring. We've seen incredible support pouring in; the Team Bachmann momentum is building and very encouraging as we look to our next steps. With your generous support right now, we can continue this momentum and connect with conservatives nationwide.
-- Michele Bachman, via email

Here's how I thought it works - you run ANOTHER CANDIDATE to oppose the incumbent, and give the money to that person so they can do a campaign of some kind. Apparently the other candidate isn't necessary at all! I think The idea here is you raise enough money in a short period of time and it will scare the president off. Then, presumably, no president! That'll save our taxpayers some money!

Don't laugh. Bachman prayerfully considered this scheme for a while and it's rock solid.

She links to a video in the email, which is as follows. If I'm not mistaken, it's a rare instance of a politician taking herself out of context!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Quote of The Day, READ THE DOCUMENT Edition

"We don’t need to rewrite the Constitution of the United States of America, we need to reread the Constitution and enforce the Constitution. … And I know that there are some people that are not going to do that, so for the benefit of those who are not going to read it because they don’t want us to go by the Constitution, there’s a little section in there that talks about 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.'"
-Republican Presidential Hopeful and Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain

Friday, May 20, 2011

Actually, American Politics IS Civil

"Vice speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, Adam Martynyuk, on the right, throttles deputy Oleg Lyashko during a session in the chamber of the Ukrainian parliament in Kiev on Wednesday, May 18, 2011. According to reports, Lyashko had just asked Martynyuk to let him make a speech, which Martinyuk refused to do on procedural grounds. Lyashko then apparently called his interlocutor a Pharisee, at which point it was on."

- h/t bOING bOING

Fun Questions For Your Rapture-Believing Friends

What time exactly will the Rapture take place?

Does that mean that the rapture will happen hour by hour across time zones? Why haven't any Australians been taken already?

Why is God leaving people behind for a while? Why not send us all to hell? What are God's plan for the Earth once we're cleared off?

Why didn't this happen in 1994?

Why are you at work?

How come the part about people flying to heaven isn't in, you know, the Bible?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Obligatory Schwarzenegger Opinion

The ExGovernator's messy personal life is all over the news this week, and he IS a political figure, so here goes. The question being thrown around is, would he have been elected if it was known then that he had fathered a child outside of his marriage? Did he use any state funds to keep the situation quiet?

I don't care, and you shouldn't either.

If you hire a guy for a job, it's none of your business what they do with their sperm. If they do the job then keep them; if they don't then fire them. Even if they have someone hidden in the podium orally servicing them while they're giving a speech. If the guy makes it through the speech, LEAVE HIM ALONE. It's not your problem, it's his. Unless you want the government regulating your sex life, then you shouldn't try to regulate the government's.

However, since everybody seems to think that a politician's personal life IS of importance, then paying state money to keep it quiet becomes an expense on the par of a clothing budget. The attempt to make it into an issue is no more than a search to officially penalize someone for something you just don't like.

Ditto for Palin's family, Newt's wives, Ensign's mistress, Edwards' mistress, and especially Clinton's intern. People are people and unless you're electing them to have sex with their spouses, it's a non-issue.

Only The Smartest Man In the World Would Try This

YouTube - Newt Gingrich: "Any ad which quotes what I said Sunday is a falsehood.": ""

"Don't believe the man who said those things a couple of days ago! He is A LIAR!"

Newt's problem (aside from the liability of just being Newt of course) is that to be electable he has to distance himself from Ryan's Medicare plan because it polls really badly. However in order to get the nomination he has to support the plan because it's central to the Republican theme of smaller government. I'm guessing that after Saturday, when the non-atheists start getting into the ring, you're going to see a lot of them wreck on the shoals of this dilemma.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

It's Just Like Bush Is Back In Office!

Now that those free-spending liberals are not running congress any more, we can finally bring down the national debt. That's what the big budget wars were about last April! Finally, our children can breathe a little easier.

Hold on, let me get some asthma medicine.

It turns out the six-month spending bill Congress passed in April increased discretionary outlays through the remainder of the fiscal year by a bit over $3 billion. In other words, total direct spending will be higher by the end of September than if Congress had just set spending on autopilot for the remainder of the fiscal year back in April.

Total discretionary outlays in 2011 will be $3.2 billion higher as a result of the legislation, CBO estimates--an increase of $7.5 billion for defense programs, partially offset by a net reduction of $4.4 billion in other spending," reads a just-released report from the Congressional Budget Office -- Congress' non-partisan scorekeeper. Analysts there conclude that increase is due in large part to the fact that the six month spending bill shifted defense spending to more immediate activities, which means the bills will come due sooner than later."
And after that, they should be able to keep the military costs down by keeping them out of the main budget and appropriating through emergency spending measures instead. Worked before! When it's emergency money, it's not from the budget! Just the taxpayers.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Quote of the Day: Debt Ceiling Edition

The full consequences of a default — or even the serious prospect of default — by the United States are impossible to predict and awesome to contemplate. Denigration of the full faith and credit of the United States would have substantial effects on the domestic financial markets and the value of the dollar in exchange markets. The Nation can ill afford to allow such a result.
-Ronald Reagan

Trump Fires Self

"The Blacks" who have a good relationship with Donald Trump may be disappointed to learn that he has dropped out of the presidential race. He released a statement about it!

"After considerable deliberation and reflection, I have decided not to pursue the office of the Presidency. This decision does not come easily or without regret; especially when my potential candidacy continues to be validated by ranking at the top of the Republican contenders in polls across the country. I maintain the strong conviction that if I were to run, I would be able to win the primary and ultimately, the general election".
The statement coincided with an announcement he made from a podium at the NBC "Upfronts" presentation, suggesting that the choice was made to ensure another season of his top-rated (for NBC) reality show. You either run the country or you star in a reality show! The founding fathers won't let you do both!

Of course, when he says he still ranks strongly in the polls, he's being a little Trumpian. His rankings dropped considerably when the President produced a long-form birth certificate. As of this weekend his negatives in the Republican party were roughly equal with Sarah Palin's, the highest negatives of any figure in the "field". The field being imaginary presidential candidates.

So what do we learn about Trumps meteoric rise in the polls and the subsequent sharp decline? Hopefully that Republicans are tired of junk issues and want to see something more substantial coming out of their candidate's mouth. Also, don't underestimate Barack Obama's ability to destroy you by giving you what you ask for. I bet that's how Romney goes down.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Hard To Assign Blame On This One

Republican Federal Communications Commission commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker is planning to leave the agency for a job at Comcast Corp., according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Ms. Baker is expected to announce her departure as soon as this week for an unknown position at the Philadelphia-based cable giant. Comcast declined to comment, a company spokeswoman said.

...Baker’s move to Comcast comes just four months after she voted, along with three of the agency’s other FCC commissioners, to approve Comcast’s $13.75 billion deal to acquire control of NBC Universal from General Electric Co.
So on one hand, Obama appointed her in early 2009, so we should blame the Democrats for this startling display of graft. On the other hand, she's a Republican. There's nothing to be done about it either. You can refuse to give a lobbyist a government job, but you can't prevent an ex-politico from getting a job as a lobbyist.

In any event this isn't as big a deal as you think, because the big four networks are getting smaller every day. It's amazing there still was an NBC to merge by the time they approved the deal.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mitch Daniels is Fearful

I find out today that Mitch Daniels will probably not run for President! Nooooooo! Why not, Mitch?

..the biggest factor holding him back from the race is actually Daniels' wife, Cheri Daniels, who does not want the media snooping into their marriage history....That's because in 1993, Cheri left Mitch with their four young kids to marry another man in California. Four years later, she came back to Indiana, and the Daniels' remarried. Cheri has never spoken about what happened, and Daniels has only said, "If you like happy endings, you’ll love our story."  
Certain people whose tweets I follow have used this as an occasion to snark, "Aren't families off-limits now?" Atta boy, Mitch. Don't reload - retreat! Still I wonder if Republicans learned anything from the Bush administration. When confronted with a threat of something that hasn't happened and you can't produce any evidence for, you don't quit. You attack the whole country that the "threat" is coming from.

Oh wait! That's what they're doin'!

Monday, May 09, 2011

Proof That the Tea Party is a Bunch of Atheists

They're willing to parody The BIBLE to support free market ideals. Or their love of archaic technology so blinds them that they cannot see what they do. (Picture h/t Wonkette)

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Another Problem, Solved!

In the wake of a spate of suicides at Foxconn factories last summer, workers were asked to sign a statement promising not to kill themselves and pledging to "treasure their lives".
Hat tip BoingBoing. Just think how many lives would have been saved if this signing policy had gone in place earlier!

Where Are The JOBS?

Now that Republicans are running Congress, they can finally give unemployment the attention it deserves. and it's working!

More Support for Osama Bin Laden From The Right

It's not just George Bush who is upset that OBL was killed! Look at this tweet from state attorney general Ken Cuccinelli. Maybe ALL opponents of "Obamacare" want to have sex with the ghost of the terrorist mastermind!

Personally, I think this is going a little far. A few words of support maybe, not this. TMI, dude.

John McCain Lays the Groundwork

The administration said Wednesday they will not release a photo. McCain told reporters he did not think the photograph needed to be released. “My initial opinion is that it’s not necessary to do so. I think there’s ample proof that this was Osama bin Laden,” said McCain, a Vietnam War veteran.
Via Politico, emphasis mine.

See? McCain is smartening up finally. When he flip flops on this one, he warned you first!

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Don't Release the Photos, Leak Them

In response to the hue and cry about releasing the evidence of Osama Bin Laden's death - well let's face it, why would you expect people to buy the photos at face value? People who don't believe we killed Bin Laden now aren't going to be convinced by pictures. Shopped! I can tell because of the pixels.

If the photos come out in any official capacity, there is a segment of the population that simply won't believe them. On the other hand, if they come out via Wikileaks and Obama decries the appearance of them on the public scene, that should put the matter to rest. Word to the wise!

Bush Too Consumed With Grief at Bin Laden's Death To Function

Thought I was kidding yesterday?

WASHINGTON — President Obama invited former President George W. Bush to join him at ground zero in New York City on Thursday to mark the killing of Osama bin Laden, but Mr. Bush declined, a spokesman for the former president confirmed on Tuesday.

“President Bush will not be in attendance on Thursday,” said his spokesman, David Sherzer. “He appreciated the invite, but has chosen in his post-presidency to remain largely out of the spotlight. He continues to celebrate with Americans this important victory in the war on terror.”

The White House did not confirm that the invitation had been made or comment on Mr. Bush’s decision.
Which is very nice of the White House, but let's face, it, Bush is going out of the way to be conspicuously absent at this event. And it's not like he's a guy who is squeamish about executions. Bush will probably spend the day in prayer, on a mat facing Mecca.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Why Did Bush Protect Bin Laden

God help me, I'm back to reading Where Are My Keys again, I guess to see what kind of spin is coming out of the events of last weekend. Yeah, you know which events.

If I'm not mistaken, Bin Laden wouldn't have been found and killed at all if it hadn't have been for the enhanced interrogation techniques used on prisoners in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. If that's not the spin, please correct me. My feeling is that Leon Panetta (who was my congressional representative when I was in Junior High! Go, local boy!) is going out of his way in this clip to point out that the information obtained was duplicated in other, less odious, less Darth Vadarish sources. We would have found Chez Bin Laden without tossing away the moral high ground, and we managed to kill him without doing that other Bush standby, bombing the entire country of Pakistan in case he's around there somewhere.

In fact, the whole operation seems to have been accomplished by thinking how Bush would handle it and doing the opposite. Small strike team, detective work, verifying before acting. And success instead of failure.

But let's assume that the vital clues were obtained through torture, like my usual suspects are claiming. How are they crowing about this? Bush had this information for six years! And if so, why didn't he do anything with it? I can understand failing to act on the intelligence preceding 9/11, because there is always a high noise level with terrorist threats. But Bin Laden's whereabouts? Like the right is saying, HE KNEW WHERE THE COMPOUND WAS! And don't tell me Bush was afraid to attack a house - he took out an entire country on a tip from a single source. This is not a cautious man.

The only way it makes sense is if Bush was protecting Bin Laden. Bush obtained the intelligence and sat on it.

Puts this clip in a whole new light, doesn't it?

Monday, May 02, 2011

Quote Of The Day

I hope they mix his body parts with bacon and drop it over Mecca. But I guess since our President's middle name is Hussein that's not likely to happen.
-commenter "Woody" at Where Are My Keys.

Yes what other reason could there possibly be. Obama LOVES ISLAM, and that's why he ordered the leader of Al-Qaida killed but failed to mix his body parts with bacon and drop them on Mecca. Bush would have!

That's not sarcasm. Bush would have. God knows Bolton would have. He's probably carrying around a little bacon all the time, just in case.

A Little Conspiracy Mongering

The one item today on World Net Daily that DOES mention Bin Ladin is an exclusive interview with Abu Saqer of Jihadiya Salafiya, an Al-Qaida leader. What I'm wondering is how come World Net has exclusive access to this Al-Qaida leader? What did they have to trade with him to get this access?

Since there are much more widely-read news sources in the west, World Net Daily must have been especially accommodating to Al-Qaida in order to get this article. I mean, in a giving-aid-and-comfort-to-the-enemy kind of way. It's one thing to report on what a source says, but to cultivate an exclusive, well, I'm just saying that given how WND and Al-Qaida are both so much against the President of the United States it's a little suspicious.

If they loved America, it would be called AMERICANet Daily, wouldn't it?

Again With The Timing

So over the weekend, American forces located and killed Osama Bin Ladin in Pakistan. I mention this to readers of WorldNet Daily, who seem to have other fish to fry.

Whatevs! If Bush didn't spend that much time on him, neither will they!

But anyway, I want to give cynical props to the President for the timing of his announcement.  When did he officially tell the world that Obama Osama* was outta here? Sunday night, 10:45pm EST. Which happened to be exactly the final 15 minutes of what? Celebrity Apprentice. Which is fair, because the whole Trump candidacy is about goosing up ratings for that misbegotten show.

And this came at a cost too, because announcing the death takes all the oxygen out of the news cycle that would have gone to his performance at the White House Correspondant's dinner, where he did a pretty good job of eviscerating Trump. I guess Obama was simply in a position to choose .

*Thanks to WAMK for pointing out my error. While I'm at it, a mea culpa for my tweet about FoxNews misspelling Osama Bin Ladin's name - the picture is from a local Fox affiliate, not FoxNews national. I just found out this morning, and WAMK hasn't found out yet because nothing he reads has even mentioned the error. I learned the about the mistake from Stephanie Miller. 

**Update - I'm gratified to learn that WAMK is reading this stuff and not just sending his brother over for recon and specious claims about the founding fathers' abortion policy.