Monday, February 28, 2011

Democrats Bargaining Against The Taxpayer

More than half of all union members are now in the public sector. And when they sit across from Democrats for labor negotiations, the taxpayer's interested are not represented
About 36 percent of government workers, or 7.6 million people, are members of unions, compared with about 7 percent of private-sector workers, or 7.1 million people, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

And with that evolution comes different tactics and politics. 

"These people are bargaining against the American taxpayer," said Ned Ryun, a former speechwriter for George W. Bush and the president of American Majority, a grass-roots political training organization that also has helped coordinate anti-tax rallies. "I'm not sure they can win the PR battle. People are saying, 'You're kidding me. They're making that much and I'm paying for it?' " ...

...When a union makes demands of a private firm, the workers and the owners can easily see that there is a natural limit on how high compensation can go. If compensation for workers is too high it will force the firm to close - or, more often these days, result in jobs shifting overseas.

Government workers, meanwhile, can demand wages based on how much tax money is available. With many government services standing essentially as monopolies, it is more difficult for customers to shift.
If even the Washington Post can grasp this concept, it must be getting mighty lonely for the public sector unions out there. Only the New York Times and Eleanor Clift are still in your camp...

The Press Corps Biggest Ass Kisser?

And the winner is: Amie Parnes!
Parnes’s fawning coverage of the first lady has inspired Betsy Rothstein of to launch a “Parnes-o-Meter,” which ranks Parnes’s pieces about Michelle Obama on a scale of 1 to 10 kisses. “People have asked me, over and over again, for the past three weeks, ‘Why do you hate Amie Parnes? Why do you have such a personal thing against her?’” Rothstein told The Daily Caller. “The fact is that I’ve never met her. I don’t know her and this isn’t personal. It’s totally professional. I’ve watched her work, I’ve read her work, day in and day out, and there is never anything, not even slightly, critical of the first lady. It’s absurd coverage. As a media reporter, I don’t know how I couldn’t point that out.”

Parnes’s latest piece, which ran as the lead story on Politico’s website last Friday, frames the first lady as a victim of conservative attacks from figures like Andrew Breitbart, Michelle Malkin, Rush Limbaugh, Rep. Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin. This criticism from the right, Parnes suggests, is hard to understand, given that Michelle has spent the last two years “primarily focusing on childhood obesity, military families and the arts.” Parnes makes no mention of the first lady’s many and varied political activities. She does point out that, “for conservative critics, it is open season on the first lady.”

Right Wing Mayor Attacks Public Sector Unions

The mayor-elect was cagey on the subject during the campaign, but massive tax increases are off the table, and so are big bailouts from Washington DC.  According to Time magazine, the campaign has spoken cryptically about saving $110 million from reducing “outdated and duplicative work processes to focus on front-line service delivery.”  Translate that out of bureaucratic Newspeak and it means getting more work done with fewer people: layoffs.  Emanuel says that the city’s generous pensions need to be preserved, but may also have to be, ahem, renegotiated.  This does not sound like a renegotiation up.

Strip away the fluff and the rhetoric and it looks as though Chicago’s new mayor plans to balance the city budget primarily through layoffs and cutbacks.

Rolling Stone Falls For The Narrative

[Rolling Stone writer Michael ]Hastings apparently took the word of LTC Michael Holmes as the premise and theme of his article. In fact he sets it up with a quote from Holmes:
“My job in psy-ops is to play with people’s heads, to get the enemy to behave the way we want them to behave,” says Lt. Colonel Michael Holmes, the leader of the IO unit, who received an official reprimand after bucking orders. “I’m prohibited from doing that to our own people. When you ask me to try to use these skills on senators and congressman, you’re crossing a line.”
Except LTC Holmes job wasn’t “in psy-ops” (Psychological Operations) nor is LTC Holmes trained in PsyOps. That is a very specific Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) that requires school training. The place in which PsyOps is taught is the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Ft. Bragg, NC. According to Special Operations Command, the Special Warfare School has never heard of LTC Michael Holmes.

Hastings also implies that Holmes received an official reprimand for “bucking orders” associated with the claim he was to use “psy-ops” on Senators. In fact he was instead cited for numerous violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) that included ignoring orders not to go off post in civilian clothes, surrendering his weapon to civilians in civilian restaurants, conflict of interest and telling falsehoods to superiors, among others. The reprimand Holmes received had little if anything to do with the reason implied by Hastings.

Eleanor Clift Getting Even Stupider

As hard as that is to imagine, she's pulling it off, questioning how it is that Wisconsin governor Scott Walker can be considered a representative of the people. Short answer: The people elected him.
ELEANOR CLIFT, NEWSWEEK: Since when does Scott Walker represent "the people"? He’s representing…


CLIFT: …the money interests that helped him get elected including…


The Tea Party Two Years Later

"Unhealthy," and illegitimate, according to the Obama regime.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Ted Kennedy Rented An Entire Brothel For a Party

The man really knew how to party down with communists.
  • “While Kennedy was in Santiago he made arrangements to ‘rent’ a brothel for an entire night. Kennedy allegedly invited one of the Embassy chauffeurs to participate in the night’s activities.”
  • “[I]n each country Kennedy insisted on interviewing ‘the angry young men’ of the country. He wanted to meet with communists and others who had left-wing views. …Ambassador Freeman, Bogota, said the first person whom Kennedy wanted to meet was Lauchlin Currie.” (The document subsequently identifies Currie as a person who “had been mentioned in Washington investigations of Soviet spy rings.”)
  • “[I]n Mexico Kennedy asked Ambassador Mann that certain left-wingers be invited to the Embassy residence where interviews could be held. Mann took the strong position that he would not invite such people and stated that if any such interviews were to be conducted, all arrangements should be made by Kennedy himself.”

Moammar Gadhafi's Rap Video

NEA To Dedicate More Money To Politics

The increase in the assessment has a five-year sunset clause, but this is just eyewash, since the last time the contribution was doubled – from $5 to $10 in 2004 – it also had a five-year sunset clause. The 2007 NEA Representative Assembly made the $10 contribution permanent.

NEA is already the top political campaign spender in the nation. This increase will give the national union an additional $40 million per election cycle. The increase alone is larger than all but two other groups spent during the entire 2007-08 cycle.

Barack Obama Is Not Kenyan?

But maybe Swiss?
However meanly and grudgingly, even the new Republican speaker has now conceded that the president is Hawaiian-born and some kind of Christian. So let's hope that's the end of all that. A more pressing question now obtrudes itself: Is Barack Obama secretly Swiss?

Let me explain what I mean. A Middle Eastern despot now knows for sure when his time in power is well and truly up. He knows it when his bankers in Zurich or Geneva cease accepting his transfers and responding to his confidential communications and instead begin the process of "freezing" his assets and disclosing their extent and their whereabouts to investigators in his long-exploited country. And, at precisely that moment, the U.S. government also announces that it no longer recognizes the said depositor as the duly constituted head of state. Occasionally, there is a little bit of "raggedness" in the coordination. CIA Director Leon Panetta testified to Congress that Hosni Mubarak would "step down" a day before he actually did so. But the whole charm of the CIA is that its intelligence-gathering is always a few beats off when compared with widespread general knowledge. Generally, though, the White House and the State Department have their timepieces and reactions set to Swiss coordinates.

This is not merely a matter of the synchronizing of announcements. The Obama administration also behaves as if the weight of the United States in world affairs is approximately the same as that of Switzerland. We await developments. We urge caution, even restraint. We hope for the formation of an international consensus. And, just as there is something despicable about the way in which Swiss bankers change horses, so there is something contemptible about the way in which Washington has been affecting—and perhaps helping to bring about—American impotence. Except that, whereas at least the Swiss have the excuse of cynicism, American policy manages to be both cynical and naive.

Mental Illness And Congress Compatable

According to insane congressman.
An Oregon congressman facing calls for his resignation from some of the state's largest newspapers said the mental health condition from which he suffers doesn't prevent him from doing his job.

U.S. Rep. David Wu told KGW-TV in an interview aired Saturday that he won't specify his mental health issue.

"There are personal things, even for a congressman," the Democrat told the television station. "I think it is appropriate to have some sphere of privacy about the specific diagnosis because I'm not the president of the United States with my finger on the nuclear trigger."

"Even for a congressman, there are some things which I think appropriately may remain private, and I think Oregonians can respect that," he added.

Raise Taxes - Create Jobs?

Only a union goon could cook this up.
What's the best way to get Americans back to work?

Raise taxes, according to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. Specifically, he wants to raise the federal gas tax as a means to fund infrastructure spending. "We need a dedicated source of revenue to create infrastructure in this country," he tells Aaron Task in the accompanying clip. 

"We need to create jobs. The best way to do that is through infrastructure development." Simply maintaining the existing infrastructure in this country will cost $2.2 trillion over five years, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers. That doesn't include Obama's objective of high-speed rails and green energy projects.

Trumka didn't say specifically how much he would raise the gas tax, but mentioned he's shown the President a $256 billion plan to improve infrastructure. If every billion spent on infrastructure creates 35,000 jobs, as he claims, this package would create close to 9 million jobs over the next five years.

1500 Teachers Paid Not To Teach

Instead, they're paid (by the taxpayer) to do teachers union administrative work.
In the city's funny math, you get only one teacher for the price of two. 

The Department of Education pays about 1,500 teachers for time they spend on union activities -- and pays other teachers to replace them in the classroom. 

It's a sweetheart deal that costs taxpayers an extra $9 million a year to pay fill-ins for instructors who are sprung -- at full pay -- to carry out responsibilities for the United Federation of Teachers. 

With Mayor Bloomberg calling for thousands of teacher layoffs to balance the 2012 budget, critics say it's time to halt the extravagant benefit.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

This Is Your Face

And this is your face on meth. Any questions?

Candy Ass Brits Make Laser Tag An Olympic Sport

Bans real bullets. Actually, it's not even manly enough to be called laser tag.
Laser guns will replace traditional air pistols in the modern pentathlon at the 2012 London Olympics after a successful trial at the inaugural Youth Olympics.

The technology will reduce the cost of the shooting element of the five-event sport by two thirds, while the improved safety could mean new venues are used. 

Klaus Schormann, president of world governing body the UIPM, said: "We will have laser shooting for London. 

"We can now hold competitions in parks and shopping malls."

The Worst Job In The World

To be the mouthpiece of an administration that has nothing to say.
The Middle East and North Africa are erupting in violence. A shutdown of the federal government looms. State governments have been disrupted by noisy protests. And, yet, the White House has been inexplicably passive.
CNN's Ed Henry asked why it has taken Obama so long to speak out about the violence in Libya. "The president puts out statements on paper sometimes," Carney explained.

AP Radio's Mark Smith pointed out that "since your briefing began, West Texas crude topped $100 a barrel. Is this just a matter of watching, or is there anything the U.S. government can do?"

Carney opted for the former. "I don't want to speculate about where prices will go, or any other potential things in the future," he replied. "We're just monitoring it."
Sometime it's best to keep silence and be thought a fool, rather than speak up and remove all doubt. Considering how things have turned out when Obama does get involved, this might be the best strategy.

The Democratic Party's Only Guiding Principle - Getting Your Money

Who would have guessed that the New York City Sanitation Department union’s work slowdown during the Great Blizzard of 2011 would set the high water mark for public sector union civic responsibility? Since then, public sector union behavior has only gone downhill. In Wisconsin, a state facing a yawning multibillion dollar deficit, the governor and the state legislature have attacked the problem where it is, in the excessive compensation paid to state employees. The unions engaged in an illegal strike and behaved as though they were millions of years behind the rest of us on the evolutionary scale.

In Wisconsin, as elsewhere in the United States, the partnership between public sector unions and the Democratic Party has bankrupted the treasury.

In the private sector, the negotiations between unions and management are necessarily adversarial. Management’s role is to represent the best interests of the company. The union’s role is to get the best deal it can for its membership. But the Democratic Party - public sector union merger has created a situation where no one represents the best interests of the taxpayer. When public sector unions and Democrats sit across the table from each other, the discussions revolve around how much money to take from the taxpayers and how to divide the plunder. And even though collective bargaining corruption has given us a multitrillion dollar pension deficit, the ironically misnamed Democratic Party refuses to address the problem.

Democrats are so dependent upon compulsory union dues that, when the Supreme Court struck down Washington unions’ authority to force their membership to donate to Democrats, the Washington Democratic Party rammed a law through the legislature restoring that power using the emergency clause, meaning that it could not be overturned by the initiative process.

Compulsory political contributions and insulation from the voters hardly seems democratic.

But the Democrats and their allied unions have run out of other people’s money. Double digit unemployment has forced the private sector to make sacrifices that the public sector refuses to share. When the plunderers make it clear that, in their view, the people who actually generate revenue should just fork over more, without complaint, the vote will go against them, as it did last November. Wisconsin’s public sector unions are attempting to portray themselves as victims, but all that does is expose how extravagantly compensated public sector workers are when compared to the people forced to pay them.

California is an outstanding example of where most states are headed if public sector unions are not reined in. Salaries and benefits consume 80% of the California budget. Today, well over 5000 retired California teachers draw annual pensions in excess of $100,000. Nearly 20,000 collect over $75,000. And it is nearly impossible to fire an incompetent teacher. Teachers bad enough to expose their school districts to lawsuits are simply put out to pasture with full pay.

In a recent budget cut, the University of California raised the minimum retirement age from 50 to 55. Not only could one previously retire at 50 with 75% of full benefits, but employees could retire while contributing as little as 2% to their own retirement accounts. Few in the private sector would consider having to wait until 55 to retire as a sacrifice.

In Wisconsin’s biggest city, Milwaukee, the average teacher’s annual compensation exceeds $100,000, for nine month’s work. And that compensation is wildly skewed toward benefits, with fully 44% of compensation in the form of benefits. This means that the burden of paying for it will fall upon the shoulders of those now in the classroom. If they truly cared about their pupils, teachers would take that into consideration.

This fiscal crisis has exposed government for what it has become – a massive wealth transfer program. Income redistribution accounts for fully two-thirds of the federal budget

In 1937 Franklin Roosevelt anticipated Wisconsin: "I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place" in the public sector. "A strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of government."

But FDR could never have anticipated that the biggest problem with public sector unions would be the corruption of the collective bargaining process. Roosevelt was a partisan, but he still placed his country first. Today’s Democratic Party puts its own lust for power first, which is why even the President of the United States has chosen to squander his office’s prestige.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Obama Administration Risk Americans Lives

By getting cheap on a ferry ride. Good grief. The Motown-themed party that Obama threw last night probably could have chartered ten ferries.
President Obama has been under intense criticism for his muted response to the bloodshed in Libya, with speculation that Colonel Gaddafi had intimidated the White House into silence by blocking the evacuation of U.S. citizens.

And last night, while the Dolores remained stranded, the president enjoyed a White House pop concert in celebration of Black History month.

Tony Munoz Editor of shipping magazine The Maritime Executive said: 'I don't understand why this vessel didn't leave earlier - The Maria Dolores is a new vessel built for Mediterranean seas.

'I can only imagine the captain was refusing to sail because he felt the vessel was not capable enough of taking the sea on.

Speaking to MailOnline, Mr Munoz said that there was no comparison between the 68 metre Dolores and the 204 metre Hellenic Spirit, used by the Greek government to evacuate its citizens from Benghazi.

'The U.S. needed to charter a bigger boat like the Greeks' he said.

'The fully hulled Spirit will be more durable outside a port, this much bigger vessel could take the rough seas on.

'There is no question about it, they [U.S.] should have been out of there long ago - why haven't they chartered a bigger boat like the Greeks or Turkish.

'At the very least, the government should have had a larger back up vessel on the way.'

Read more:

Obama Losing Afghanistan

It's personal. And Carteresque.
From the Afghan president's perspective, Washington treats him with a mixture of insult and confusion. During Obama's December visit to U.S. troops at Bagram air base outside Kabul, bad weather prevented him from flying by helicopter to the nearby capital. Rather than wait for the weather to clear -- a matter of hours perhaps -- Obama left without seeing Karzai. It was a snub that Afghans will not forget. A few days later, Vice President Joe Biden said that U.S. forces would be out of Afghanistan by 2014 come hell or high water -- and then told Karzai in mid-January that U.S. forces would stay beyond the deadline. 

Both Karzai and Obama seem to be in a dangerous state of denial about the degree to which they need each other, instead making divergent plans for how to wind down the war that can't be accomplished without the other's help. Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, thinks he can fight his way out of the present conundrum by inflicting mortal blows on the Taliban; Karzai wants to negotiate a peace agreement with them, even relying on the assistance of his old enemy Pakistan if need be. But the road out of the conflict runs through a close U.S.-Karzai relationship, whether either of them likes it or not, and today that relationship is imperiled to a degree that it never has been before.

Democrats Vow To Defend Failed Program

Measured by its own standards it's a failure. And it was a bad idea in the first place. Just the sort of program that Democrats believes should be immortal.
The committee will also vote on GOP plans to terminate programs that help state and local governments buy foreclosed properties and sell or rent them, provide loans to unemployed people who have fallen behind in their mortgage payments, and help restructure mortgages for people who owe more than their homes are worth.

Democrats signaled that they will oppose the proposals.

"As we continue to respond to the victims of the foreclosure crisis in a responsible way, we will make the case that there are better ways for the federal government to cut spending than by attacking these programs," said Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, top Democrat on the committee.

We're Number Three! We're Number Three!

As the world watches oil prices rise sharply amid unrest in the Middle East, Buiter's analysis of the world's long-term prospects offer some hope that better times are ahead but if he is right power will shift from the West to the East very quickly. 

"China should overtake the US to become the largest economy in the world by 2020, then be overtaken by India by 2050," he predicted.

Commiserating Anti-Semites

From the Falls Church News-Press, which is Helen Thomas’s new employer, comes an interesting bit of gossip. In an otherwise mundane column, the paper’s editor, Nicholas F. Benton, reports on the “handful” of Thomas’s friends and supporters who reached out to her during her controversy last summer — and apparently, one of these supporters, oddly enough, was former president Jimmy Carter:
[Rosie] O’Donnell sent Thomas, now age 90, flowers in sympathy for the highly upsetting incident and, along with President Jimmy Carter, was one of only a handful of her longtime colleagues and friends to reach out to her.

Democrats Too Oafish?

There is something about former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin that really upsets the left and she often finds herself in their crosshairs as a target of ridicule and scorn. But by putting such contempt on display, is the left damaging itself?

In an appearance on New York City WABC radio’s “Goodman to Go” podcast hosted by David Goodman, Jerry Springer admitted a distinct disagreement with Palin’s world view. However, he also observed she has some redeeming qualities.

“I don’t want her to be president,” Springer said. “I don’t agree with her views. But I would never say anything mean about her. I think she is incredibly charismatic. I think she takes her religion very seriously and her views very seriously. I don’t think there’s anything mean-spirited about her.”

But here’s where Springer advised his fellow liberals not to be so quick to demonize Palin. He explained that by doing so, one runs the risk of offending others because there are people that identify with the former Alaska governor.

Did Chicago Politics Influence Tanker Decision?

Maybe Boeing's move to Chicago is paying dividends?
Capping a decade of delays and embarrassing missteps, the Air Force on Thursday awarded one of the biggest defense contracts ever—a $35 billion deal to build nearly 200 giant airborne refueling tankers—to Chicago-based Boeing Co. over European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. 
 The contract will mean tens of thousands of jobs for a recession-weary nation, with Washington state and Kansas getting the bulk of the work building a replacement for the Eisenhower-era tanker fleet. The decision was a blow to the Gulf Coast and Alabama, which had been counting on EADS to assemble the aircraft at a long-shuttered military base in Mobile. 
Gulf coast red states. Chicago and Washington, deep blue?  Well, Obama believes in rewarding friends and punishing enemies.

Bill Clinton Tells The Truth

Finally! Sort of.
With global food prices rising and more corn being diverted to the production of ethanol fuel, Bill Clinton is warning of food riots in poor nations.
The former president told farmers and Agriculture Department employees on Thursday that while producing biofuels is important for reducing America's dependence on foreign oil, farmers should also look beyond domestic production and consider the needs of developing countries.
"I think the best thing to say is we have to become energy independent, but we don't want to do it at the cost of food riots," Clinton said.
Clinton's foundation has worked to develop agribusiness in African countries such as Malawi and Rwanda. He said the United States needs to look at the long term, global effects of its farm policy.
"We know that the way we produce and consume energy has to change, yet for farmers there are no simple answers," he said. "There is a way for us to do this and to do it right."

At the department's annual Agricultural Outlook Forum, chief economist Joseph Glauber said food prices are expected to rise this year and corn use for ethanol will continue to grow. He said 37 percent of all U.S. corn production could be used for ethanol by 2012.
So, 37% of our entire corn production is wasted? It's well established that have no net gain in fuel when we burn corn in our cars. So why burn even one bottle of ethanol?

Americans In Libya Helpless

Other countries are having no difficulty evacuating their citizens. But, what about the US? 

U.S. efforts to evacuate hundreds of Americans from Libya are being stymied by bad weather on the coast — and by the refusal of Moammar Gadhafi's government to allow American charter planes to land there.
Some 285 people have been sitting on the Maria Dolores, a chartered ferry, since Wednesday, as the ship's crew waits for the stormy seas to calm, according to State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley says.
The ship isn't likely to leave port until Friday, according to reports.
In a Newscast spot, Michele Kelemen reports that 40 of the ferry's passengers are U.S. embassy personnel and their families, 127 of the passengers are private U.S. citizens, and the rest are from other countries. And some of the American passengers are identified as security personnel.
The weather did not stop China from using two large ferries to take 4,500 Chinese workers to safety on the island of Crete, the AP reports. And aircraft from France and Britain have been able to get citizens from those two countries out of harm's way.

Can We Drill Now?

Events in Libya remind everyone, who does not have a "D" after his name, that we need to increase domestic oil production.
Key House Republicans plan to argue next month that the Obama administration should act swiftly to issue offshore oil-and-gas drilling permits amid the political unrest in Libya and other countries.

The House Natural Resources Committee said Wednesday it is holding two hearings in March on what Republicans have termed the administration’s “de facto moratorium” on deepwater oil-and-gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

The administration has issued no deepwater permits since the last year's BP spill, and has slowed the pace for shallow-water projects.

On Wisconsin, On Wisconsin..

Union lose. Taxpayers win.
After two all-night debating sessions and an eleventh hour Democratic bid for a compromise, the Republican-dominated Assembly abruptly ended all debate early Friday morning and approved the bill by a vote of 51 to 17.

The outcome of the vote, which was taken so fast many Democratic lawmakers who were outside the chamber when it was called were unable to participate, was greeted by chants of "it's not over yet" and "we are here to stay" from more than a thousand protesters who stayed to watch in the capitol rotunda overnight.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

If Any Of You Were Waiting For A Great Deal On Ceramic Hex Bolts

Your time is now.

Gadhafi and Goering

Same tailor?

Gadhafi Calls Obama A Good Friend

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi considers the US president a blessing to the Muslim world. In a speech published in London-based al-Hayat newspaper on Saturday, Gaddafi praised Barack Obama, called him a "friend" and said there is no longer any dispute between his country and the US.

Speaking in the Libyan city of Sirt at an event marking the 24th anniversary of an American attack on Libya, he said, "At the time, we were the target of the American cannon, the American navy challenged us in the gulf of Sirt and attacked us all along Libya's shores. America tested Libya, and the Libyan people resisted the large country, but today, thank God, the difference is great."

Reagan And Bush Knew How To Deal With Gadhafi

While Obama frets about how to deal with Gadhafi, the answer lies in history. But then again, those who fail to learn from history...

Reagan bombed Gadhafi into a period of civilized behavior. And George W. Bush frightened him into giving up his nuclear weapons program. Another well-placed bomb would do wonders.
The government of Col. Moammar Gadhafi hasn't destroyed significant stockpiles of mustard gas and other chemical-weapons agents, raising fears in Washington about what could happen to them—and whether they may be used—as Libya slides further into chaos.

Tripoli also maintains control of aging Scud B missiles, U.S. officials said, as well as 1,000 metric tons of uranium yellowcake and vast amounts of conventional weapons that Col. Gadhafi has channeled in the past to militants operating in countries like Sudan and Chad.

Current and former U.S. officials said in interviews that Washington's counterproliferation operations against Libya over the past decade have scored gains, in particular the dismantling of Tripoli's nascent nuclear-weapons program and its Scud C missile stockpiles. But the level of instability in Libya, and Col. Gadhafi's history of brutality, continues to make the U.S. focus on the arms and chemical agents that remain, they said.

"When you have a guy who's as irrational as Gadhafi with some serious weapons at his disposal, it's always a concern," said a U.S. official. "But we haven't yet seen him move to use any kind of mustard gas or chemical weapon" during the unrest.

While America Suffers, Public Employees Getting Fatter

Just a reminder about who those downtrodden workers in public sector unions really are. And a lesson about cronyism in politics.
At a time when workers' pay and benefits have stagnated, federal employees' average compensation has grown to more than double what private sector workers earn, a USA TODAY analysis finds.
Federal workers have been awarded bigger average pay and benefit increases than private employees for nine years in a row. The compensation gap between federal and private workers has doubled in the past decade.

Federal civil servants earned average pay and benefits of $123,049 in 2009 while private workers made $61,051 in total compensation, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The data are the latest available.

The federal compensation advantage has grown from $30,415 in 2000 to $61,998 last year.

What Wisconsin Teacher Really Teach

And it's not what you think they should teach.
Wisconsin’s teachers are required to teach children about the history of the labor union movement and collective bargaining in the United States, per a law former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle signed in December 2009. Wisconsin’s Assembly Bill (AB) 172 requires the state’s teachers to incorporate “the history of organized labor in America and the collective bargaining process” into their lesson plans.

Liberals Confront Foreign Invaders

Wal-Mart. If only they were this concerned about border security in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
All told, Wal-Mart officials say, their four-store plan in the District could mean an estimated $10 million in tax revenue, hundreds of initial construction jobs and about 1,200 full-time jobs. To ease concerns of residents and other stakeholders, Wal-Mart plans to hold local job fairs for construction and store employees.

Company executives say the stores also would offer fresh produce, a direct nod to the concerns of people such as first lady Michelle Obama, who is on the front lines of battling childhood obesity. The local news website also reported this week that Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest gun retailer, has promised not to sell guns and firearms at its D.C. sites.

To Wal-Mart critics, none of that matters. They use sharp words — “war,” “invasion” and “destruction of this city” — to describe the magnitude of the threat they say the company poses.

Porkulus Costs Keep Going Up

Leftists from Paul Krugman to Joe Biden have complained that the Porkulus I wasn't big enough. At this rate, they're going to get what they wanted in the first place.
Congress‘ chief scorekeeper has again raised the cost estimate of President Obama‘s two-year-old economic-stimulus program, calculating it will end up costing taxpayers $821 billion — or $34 billion more than originally projected.
Just one more federal government program that failed to come in under budget.

Democrats Misread The Public Mood

People are angry. Liberal class warriors assumed that the public had joined them. Nope.
The Obama campaign and other liberals are looking to tap into the populist current of today's politics and turn the Wisconsin union fight into a national issue in the 2012 election. While the liberals can wield rhetorical pitchforks and light political torches, they should realize that it's their guys who are living inside the castle today. Specifically, public-sector unions -- by many measures the most entrenched special interest in American politics -- are not fighting against The Man, which is to say the entrenched powers of government. In this struggle, The Man is the government unions, which are sitting in the smoky back room divvying up the spoils of a crooked racket. And cronyism -- not wealth -- is the object of today's populist ire.
The Left has misread the postbailout populist sentiment all along, assuming public anger was directed at the rich. But American anger, I suspect, is directed not at some people who have money or success, but at those who profit through cronyism and their connections to power.

Dennis Miller On Gadhafi, Wisconsin and Hollywood

Unionize The TSA?

Public sector unionization has worked out so well everywhere else, why not repeat the mistake?
I don’t know about you, but when I see a slow, rude Transportation Security Administration agent going through granny’s purse at airport security, I think to myself: “What the TSA needs is more bureaucracy — if only they were unionized!”

Well, we might get our wish.

While the TSA was created in 2001 with legislation excluding its workers from union-rights regulations granted to other federal employees, the administrator does have the authority to allow for some collective bargaining. Current TSA chief John Pistole has decided to do just that, giving some 40,000 TSA screeners collective bargaining rights on “non-security employment issues,” such as shift scheduling and vacation time.

Yet some lawmakers are worried that even partial unionization will result in a more sclerotic  institution that will jeopardize air-travel security. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, wrote pointedly to Pistole, “I am concerned that due to your change in policy, TSA may need union approval to sign off on critical and swift adjustments to airport security protocols.”
 But, of course, unionization of public employees has much more to do with fill Democratic campaign coffers than anything else.

Judge: Eric Holder Acted Stupidly

Again. This has to be the most inept attorney general ever.
Attorney General Eric Holder's public comments regarding a highly-publicized terrorism sting in Oregon violated Justice Department guidelines limiting public statements on pending prosecutions, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

However, U.S. District Court Judge Garr King rejected a request by defense attorneys that Holder and other government be formally barred from making "inappropriate" statements about the prosecution of Mohamed Mohamud, who's charged with conspiring with undercover FBI agents in an attempt to detonate a car-bomb at a Christmas tree lighting in Portland last November.

"I do not believe that the Attorney General made the comments to influence the outcome of the trial. In this high profile case, however, there are statements which I conclude constitute a breach of the [Justice Department] Policy," King wrote.

No Lobbyists Means Hide The Lobbyists

Barack Hussein Obama's populist campaign promised to shun lobbyists. What that has meant in practice is that he conceals his contacts.
“They’re doing it on the side. It’s better than nothing,” said immigration reform lobbyist Tamar Jacoby, who has attended meetings at the nearby Jackson Place complex and believes the undisclosed gatherings are better than none.

The White House scoffs at the notion of an ulterior motive for scheduling meetings in what are, after all, meeting rooms. But at least four lobbyists who’ve been to the conference rooms just off Lafayette Square tell POLITICO they had the distinct impression they were being shunted off to Jackson Place – and off the books – so their visits wouldn’t later be made public.

Obama’s administration has touted its release of White House visitors logs as a breakthrough in transparency, as the first White House team ever to reveal the comings and goings around the West Wing and the Old Executive Office Building.

The Jackson Place townhouses are a different story.

There are no records of meetings at the row houses just off Lafayette Square that house the White House Conference Center and the Council on Environmental Quality, home to two of the busiest meeting spaces.

Read more:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

How The ATF Funneled Thousands Of Guns To Mexican Cartels

And how one was used to murder a border patrolman. The Obama administration at work.
In late 2009, ATF was alerted to suspicious buys at seven gun shops in the Phoenix area. Suspicious because the buyers paid cash, sometimes brought in paper bags. And they purchased classic "weapons of choice" used by Mexican drug traffickers - semi-automatic versions of military type rifles and pistols.
Sources tell CBS News several gun shops wanted to stop the questionable sales, but ATF encouraged them to continue.

Jaime Avila was one of the suspicious buyers. ATF put him in its suspect database in January of 2010. For the next year, ATF watched as Avila and other suspects bought huge quantities of weapons supposedly for "personal use." They included 575 AK-47 type semi-automatic rifles. 

ATF managers allegedly made a controversial decision: allow most of the weapons on the streets. The idea, they said, was to gather intelligence and see where the guns ended up. Insiders say it's a dangerous tactic called letting the guns, "walk."

One agent called the strategy "insane." Another said: "We were fully aware the guns would probably be moved across the border to drug cartels where they could be used to kill." 

On the phone, one Project Gunrunner source (who didn't want to be identified) told us just how many guns flooded the black market under ATF's watchful eye. "The numbers are over 2,500 on that case by the way. That's how many guns were sold - including some 50-calibers they let walk."
The gun shops tried to shut this down and the ATF kept is running? Doesn't quite fit the narrative. I don't expect this story to show up the New York Times.

Obama Motors Making Al Gore Fatter And Richer

Chevrolet pays for carbon offsets. - With your money of course.

Governor Walkers Set Ignorant CBS Host Straight

This is what happens when your "research" consists of reading Democratic National Committee talking points.

Union Goon Talks To Obama Daily

And visits the White House twice a week.

Too Extreme For Current TV

Al Gore's network suggests that Keith Olbermann steer toward the center.
Just how far left is MSNBC? According to the New York Post, Keith Olbermann's new employer, Current TV, suggested he "veer a little to the middle politically."

That's right: MSNBC's former prime time star was too far left for the writers and producers at Al Gore's television network. Says a lot about the true blue cable channel, doesn't it?

The Real Reason Democrats Are Taking A Stand In Wisconsin

It's about money - theirs and yours.
Everyone has priorities. During the past week Barack Obama has found no time to condemn the attacks that Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi has launched on the Libyan people.
But he did find time to be interviewed by a Wisconsin television station and weigh in on the dispute between Republican Gov. Scott Walker and the state's public employee unions. Walker was staging "an assault on unions," he said, and added that "public employee unions make enormous contributions to our states and our citizens."

Enormous contributions, yes -- to the Democratic Party and the Obama campaign.

Read more at the Washington Examiner:

Party Like It's 1773

Refresh the tree of liberty, with votes.
The only time people in Massachusetts care about what’s happening in Wisconsin is when Tom Brady’s playing on Lambeau Field. So why did hundreds of Bay State government workers show up to protest Wisconsin’s governor at Beacon Hill yesterday?

One word: Money. Your money.

The battle over government employees and collective bargaining endangers the entire foundation of Massachusetts politics: Unions use their members’ cash and labor to elect and protect pro-union hacks who then vote to give more money and power to unions. Eisenhower might have called it the “Union-Political Complex.”

Its raw political power is the reason even FDR opposed unionization of government workers.

Congressman's Insane Behavior Blamed On Drugs

Painkillers. I've taken painkillers before. They made me sleepy, not crazy.
An Oregon congressman says that he accepted prescription drugs from a campaign contributor last October, around the time when members of his staff complained of his erratic behavior.

Rep. David Wu told The Oregonian that he had left another kind of painkiller — one prescribed by his doctor for neck pain — in Washington. He said the donor offered him an alternative, and he took two tablets.

"This was the only time that this has ever happened," Wu wrote to the newspaper. "I recognize that my action showed poor judgment at the time, and I sincerely regret having put my staff in a difficult position."

Smart Diplomacy?

Sounds more like grade inflation.
Last Friday’s UN Security Council vote was a case in point. On the one hand, the US vetoed a Lebanese-sponsored resolution that criminalized Israel’s policy of permitting Jews to exercise their property rights in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. On the other, after vetoing the resolution, US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned their own actions and explained why what they did was wrong.

As Rice put it in her explanation of the vote: “We reject in the strongest terms the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity. For more than four decades, Israeli settlement activity in territories occupied in 1967 has undermined Israel’s security and corroded hopes for peace and stability in the region. Continued settlement activity violates Israel’s international commitments, devastates trust between the parties, and threatens the prospects for peace….

Democrat Advocates Refreshing The Tree Of Tyranny...

A Democratic Congressman from Massachusetts is raising the stakes in the nation’s fight over the future of public employee unions, saying emails aren’t enough to show support and that it is time to “get a little bloody.”

“I’m proud to be here with people who understand that it’s more than just sending an email to get you going. Every once and awhile you need to get out on the streets and get a little bloody when necessary,” Rep. Mike Capuano (D-Ma.) told a crowd in Boston on Tuesday rallying in solidarity for Wisconsin union members.

Capuano’s comments come at a time when there is heightened sensitivity to violent rhetoric in the wake of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ (D-Az.) shooting in January.

Capuano is considered a leading contender to take on Sen. Scott Brown in 2012.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Suddenly, It's Cool To Be A Neocon

So cool, in fact, that real neocons aren't even allowed in the club anymore.
Peter Beinart paints an Interesting alternative history here. In truth, George Bush supported pro-democracy movements all throughout the Middle East and one of Obama's first acts of office was to cut funding for those pro-democracy initiatives and then travel to Egypt where he apologized for interfering in Arab nations' business.

Quadaffi Prepared For Martyrdom

Sounds good to me. The sooner the better I say.
Gadhafi just proclaimed he will "be a martyr at the end."

"I will fight until the last drop of my blood."

Oil Prices Jump 7.3% In One Day

Hope? Change? Wouldn't be nice if we had a little domestic oil exploration going on?
Benchmark crude for March delivery was up $6.27 a barrel, or 7.3 percent, at $92.47 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

"The Middle East will remain the market's focus today with moves in the oil price probably the best single indicator of the market's assessment of the wider implications of events there," said Adrian Foster, an analyst at Rabobank International.

With the oil price rising at such a rapid rate, stocks are inevitably under severe pressure.

Rising crude prices are a particular worry for investors as they reinforce fears of inflation and raw materials costs. They also stoke worries of a big drop in global demand levels, as experienced in previous oil price shocks in 1973-4, 1979 and 2008.

Nevada's Preeminant Whore Wants To Ban Prostitution

Just about the only growth industry left in Nevada, thanks to Obama.
Some brothel owners and the brothel industry’s lobbyist at the Legislature are concerned that Reid will call for the end of Nevada’s legal brothel industry, saying it is a detriment to economic development and getting businesses to move to this state.

“If so, the legal battle is going to be incredible,” said Dennis Hof, owner of the Bunny Ranch and Love Ranch in Lyon County. “If they think we are just going to roll over, well, you know me better than that.”

A spokesman for Reid’s office Monday would not disclose the content of Reid’s speech, saying it was still being prepared.

Hof said Reid may be seeking revenge on rural Nevada because he only won one of Nevada’s 15 rural counties (Mineral) during his 2010 U.S. Senate victory over Republican Sharron Angle.

So, How Many Jobs Does $535 Billion In Obama Bucks Create?

None. But I'll bet that a lot of this money found its way back into Democrat campaign coffers - which was the whole point all along.
The company became the first recipient of an Energy Department loan guarantee under the stimulus in March 2009, which was intended to “finance construction of the first phase of the company’s new manufacturing facility” for photovoltaic solar panels.

The Energy Department estimated in a March 20, 2009 press release that the loan guarantee would create 3,000 construction jobs and a further 1,000 jobs after the plant opened...
...The vice president justified the federal government’s investment in Solyndra in front of employees and other dignitaries, including Secretary Chu and former Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwartzenegger, saying the jobs the company intended to create would “serve as a foundation for a stronger American economy.”
“These jobs are the jobs that are going to define the 21st century that will allow America to compete and to lead like we did in the 20th century,” Biden said...

...Solyndra announced on Nov. 3 it planned to postpone expanding the plant, which cost the taxpayers $390.5 million, or 73 percent of the total loan guarantee, according to the Wall Street Journal.

It also announced that it no longer planned to hire the 1,000 workers that Obama and Biden had touted in their speeches and that it planned to close one of its older factories and planned to lay-off 135 temporary or contract workers and 40 full-time employees.

No Good Choices

Democrats have grown so beholden to unions that they're forced to blow off voters.
"They've painted themselves in a corner," Wisconsin Republican state senator Randy Hopper says of his Democratic colleagues. "There's no way for them to get out of it." 

Democratic senators last week fled Wisconsin rather than allow a vote on Republican Gov. Scott Walker's new budget bill, with its curtailments of some public-sector unions' right to bargain collectively. The bill surely would have passed given the Republicans' 19 to 14 advantage in the Senate. So Democrats, deeply dependent on union money and support, ran away to avoid a vote.

Union Goons Try To Shout Down Fox News

The only broadcast news outlet that reported on the fraudulent doctor's notes.

Obama In A Hurry To Distance Himself From Obama

Interference in Wisconsin politics wasn't presidential. But it was Obama.
In a good indication that the Wisconsin protests have become a liability for Democrats, the White House and the DNC have clumsily attempted to distance themselves from the event in the New York Times:

Administration officials said Sunday that the White House had done nothing to encourage the demonstrations in Wisconsin — nor was it doing so in Ohio, Florida and other states where new Republican governors are trying to make deep cuts to balance their budget. …
And, officials and union leaders said, reports of the involvement of the Democratic National Committee — specifically Organizing for America, the grass-roots network born of Mr. Obama’s 2008 campaign — were overblown to start with. …

“This is a Wisconsin story, not a Washington one,” said Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director. “False claims of White House involvement are attempts to distract from the organic grass-roots opposition that is happening in Wisconsin.”

But apparently someone forget to tell the DNC’s communication director Bob Woodhouse to scrub his Twitter feed to reflect this new strategy. Doug Ross has pointed out a Feb. 17 Tweet from Woodhouse saying that the White House was “proudly” playing a role in the protest.
 And of course, there is tape of Obama accusing Governor Walker of "an assault on unions."

Can't Speak Japanese? That's Okay. Here, Teach Advanced Japanese

In a nutshell, much of what is wrong with public education.
Kayla Chung sits in her advanced Japanese language class at Rosemont High School but learns nothing about how to read or write the language.

That's because Chung's teacher – a long-term substitute – does not know Japanese.

"All we do is sit in class, watch movies on Japan and take notes," said Chung, 16, who is in Japanese III. "I'm pretty sure that's not how Japanese is supposed to be taught." 

The situation at Rosemont highlights the difficulties schools face when offering specialized programs that have relatively few qualified teachers.


Barack Hussein Obama creating fake social network identities to manufacture momentum for his policies.
The US government is offering private intelligence companies contracts to create software to manage "fake people" on social media sites and create the illusion of consensus on controversial issues.
The contract calls for the development of "Persona Management Software" which would help the user create and manage a variety of distinct fake profiles online. The job listing was discussed in recently leaked emails from the private security firm HBGary after an attack by internet activist last week.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Another Dictator Bites The Dust?

Like a Wisconsin Democrat, Muammar Gaddafi flees the capital. If history is any guide, Barack Hussein Obama will claim all the credit. I wonder what this means for his all female virgin bodyguard.
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is believed to have fled the capital Tripoli after anti-government demonstrators breached the state television building and set government property alight.

Protesters appear to have gained a foothold in Tripoli as banks and government buildings were looted while demonstrators have claimed they have taken control of the second city Benghazi.

It is thought up to 400 people may have died in the unrest with dozens more reported killed in Tripoli overnight as protests reached the capital for the first time and army units were said to have defected to the opposition.

Read more:

Montanans For Global Warming

If you lived in Montana, a little warm air wouldn't scare you either. I like this because, even if anthropogenic global warming is real, I don't believe that it's all bad, or when everything is balanced, that it's a net negative. I think a little warming would actually be a good thing.
Republican Rep. Joe Read of Ronan aims to pass a law that says global warming is a natural occurrence that "is beneficial to the welfare and business climate of Montana."

Reaction by scientists and environmentalists to House Bill 549 has been harsh. University of Montana climate change professor Steve Running calls it an indefensible attempt to repeal the laws of physics.
Actually, it's an attempt to repeal of the law of hysterics.

New York Times Bias Exposed

Proof, if any was needed, that the New York Times' civility campaign was just a ploy to silence conservatives.
According to the Times, the activities of the Wisconsin public sector unions — whose expensive benefits have put their state on the brink of bankruptcy — are nothing less than the moral equivalent of the demonstrations in Tunisia that brought down an authoritarian dictatorship. As the headline “Wisconsin Leads the Way as Workers Fight Cuts” indicates, the whole focus of the piece is an effort to portray the unions and their Democratic allies as revolutionaries who are on the cutting edge of a movement that will, in effect, reverse the verdict of last year’s election.
There are two points to be made about this coverage.

First, the portrayal of the unions and their Democratic Party allies, who have attempted not so much to defeat the Republican program but to prevent the legislature from even meeting to vote, as the progressive movement that represents the will of the people is absurd. This fight is about the will of the people but it is the public sector unions and the Democrats who are trying to thwart that will. As is the case with many other states, Wisconsin is going broke because past governments have let public employee unions have their way in collective bargaining. The result is an extraordinarily generous package of health-care and pension benefits that few, if any, in the private sector (where workers rarely are paid as much as government workers these days) enjoy.

High Speed Rail - WTF?

What is it with Obama's obsession with high speed rail? The future of the US economy is reliant upon decades old technology? Spending $53 billion to create a taxpayer money pit will reduce the deficit?
Perhaps nothing so illustrates President Obama’s occasional disconnect with reality than his fervent advocacy of high-speed rail. Amid mounting pressure for budget cuts that affect existing programs, including those for the inner city, the president has made his $53 billion proposal to create a national high-speed rail network as among his top priorities.

Our President may be an intelligent and usually level-headed man, but this represents a serious case of  policy delusion. As Robert Samuelson pointed out in Newsweek, high-speed rail is not an appropriate fit for a country like the U.S. Except for a few areas, notably along the Northeast Corridor, the U.S. just lacks the density that would make such a system work. Samuelson calls the whole idea “a triumph of fancy over fact.”

Arguably the biggest problem with high-speed rail is its extraordinary costs, which would require massive subsidies to keep operating. Unlike the Federal Highway Program, largely financed by the gas tax, high-speed rail lacks any credible source of funding besides taxpayer dollars.

Inbreeding (Or Something) Affecting North Korean Monarchy

Next in line too stupid to use binoculars properly.
Last week, North Korea's official television station aired footage of leader Kim Jong-il's past military inspections, during which his third son and heir apparent, Kim Jong-un, was seen watching a tank drill while apparently holding a pair of binoculars upside down.

A Profile In Cowardice

Barack Hussein Obama loses Evan Thomas.

Americans Don't Like Unethical Behavior

Doctors surprised.
Doctors who wrote medical notes over the weekend excusing protesters at the Wisconsin Capitol from work are getting slammed with angry phone calls and profane e-mails from people telling them they deserve to be thrown in jail, one doctor said Sunday. 

The physicians wore lab coats Saturday as they stood on a street corner and offered medical notes to the tens of thousands of protesters who paraded past them. The protesters were rallying against a Republican-backed state bill that would eliminate collective bargaining rights for most state workers. 

One of the doctors was Lou Sanner, 59, who practices family medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Sanner said he gave out hundreds of notes and that many protesters with whom he spoke seemed to be suffering from stress. 
Stress? Oh dear. I need a day off almost every day.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

China Cracks Down On Protestors

Those darned pro-democracy forces are threatening Thomas Friedman's favorite form of government.
Chinese authorities moved quickly and with force to quash a pro-democracy 'Jasmine Revolution', believed to have been inspired by the recent uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa.

More police than usual were scrambled to line the streets today, and there were a number of activists detained after online sites had organised staged protests in Beijing, Shanghai and 11 other major cities.

Citizens were urged to shout: 'We want food, we want work, we want housing, we want fairness' - a slogan that highlights common complaints among ordinary Chinese.

Read more: