Saturday, December 31, 2011

It's A Good Thing This Judge Wasn't Around In The Fifteenth Century

So, who is permitted to discover and disseminate truth? According to a judge in Oregon, only “real journalists” accredited by him may do so.

Crystal Cox is a self described “investigative blogger.” She specializes in the investigation of investment firm practices – a subject not typically covered in journalism school.

One firm she investigated sued her. The judge in that case ruled that she was not entitled to protections normally accorded journalists because, “Although the defendant is a self-proclaimed ‘investigative blogger’ and defines herself as ‘media,’ the record fails to show that she is affiliated with any newspaper, magazine, periodical, book, pamphlet, news service, wire service, news or feature syndicate, broadcast station or network, or cable television system. Thus, she is not entitled to the protections of the law in the first instance.”

She’d be okay if she were a pamphleteer?

His definition of a journalist is completely arbitrary. He could just as easily have defined a journalist as someone publishes on clay tablets.

Here’s the problem. The mainstream media are often disinterested in the sort of stories that Crystal Cox and other bloggers pursue. There are a number of reasons of this. Many are simply disinterested in information that conflicts with their political prejudices. This is why most “real” journalists persist in blaming George W. Bush for the recession even though the definitive investigation into the subject, “Reckless Endangerment,” by New York Times business reporter Gretchen Morgenson tells a radically different tale.

Another problem is that the mass media publish stories interesting to the masses. That’s why we know so much more about Lindsey Lohan (whoever that is) than we know about the shady accounting practices of Goldman Sachs that contributed to the Enron debacle.

 Another is that reporters are not terribly bright. That’s not to say that they’re unintelligent. It’s just that journalism school does not prepare them to understand fraudulent accounting practices, the geology and chemistry of oil and gas hydraulic fracturing,  atmospheric physics, genetically modified crops, nuclear engineering, or any of the other subjects that they end up writing about.

In 2004, just before the election, real journalists at CBS News produced memos proving that President Bush was frequently AWOL from his Air National Guard duties during the Vietnam War. The memos were accepted as authentic by the mainstream news media, but were exposed as crude forgeries by more knowledgeable bloggers.

Here’s how smart you have to be before you can qualify as a “real” journalist. Recently, an Associated Press story, that passed inspection from AP’s editors, proof readers and fact checkers, reported that fully one half of all Americans earn less than the median income.

You read that right. And if you understood how stupid that is, then you’re probably not a journalist.

“Squeezed by rising living costs, a record number of Americans -- nearly 1 in 2 -- have fallen into poverty or are scraping by on earnings that classify them as low income,” according to the AP’s Hope Yen. “Many middle-class Americans are dropping below the low-income threshold -- roughly $45,000 for a family of four.”

According to the last US census, the median income in the US is $45,000.

Not only did this pass the AP’s standards, but it was widely printed in newspapers and made it into broadcast news.

This is precisely why bloggers such as Crystal Cox are essential. Many have the expertise to authoritatively investigate issues opaque to “real journalists.” I consult law blogs to help me understand court decisions. For energy issues, I avoid the mainstream news and visit blogs written by engineers and executives in the field. The same goes for economics. Few journalists possess even a glimmer of economic comprehension, which is why there was so much journalistic celebration when the unemployment rate dropped to 8.6% last month. This was mostly due to a shrinking labor force rather than an uptick in economic activity.

You wouldn’t know it to read the papers, but many climate scientists disagree with Al Gore.

The blog is the modern day equivalent of Gutenberg’s moveable type printing press. It liberates information from the gatekeepers who don’t share information they don’t like, don’t understand, or don’t think that enough of their readers care about. Mainstream journalists may be celebrating that judge’s decision, but their victory is temporary. The ruling with either be overturned or the laws will be updated.

This is the 21st century. Pamphlets are 18th century.

Known By The Company He Keeps

Obama enlists psychopathic terrorist to facilitate US surrender of Afghanistan.
The surrender is complete now. The Hindu reports that the Obama administration has turned to Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s leading jurist, to mediate secret negotiations between the United States and the Taliban.

I wrote about Qaradawi at length in The Grand Jihad and, here at NRO, have regularly catalogued his activities (see, e.g., here, here, here, here, and here; see also Andrew Bostom’s “Qaradawi’s Odious Vision”). For those who may be unfamiliar with him, he is the most influential Sunni Islamist in the world, thanks to such ventures as his al-Jazeera TV program (Sharia and Life) and website ( In 2003, he issued a fatwa calling for the killing of American troops in Iraq. As he put it
Those killed fighting the American forces are martyrs given their good intentions since they consider these invading troops an enemy within their territories but without their will. . . . Although they are seen by some as being wrong, those defending against attempts to control Islamic countries have the intention of jihad and bear a spirit of the defense of their homeland.

Qaradawi urges that Islam must dominate the world, under a global caliphate governed by sharia. He maintains that Islam “will conquer Europe [and] will conquer America.” He sometimes qualifies that the conquering will be done “not through the sword but through da’wa,” but the qualification is a feint.

Obama To Focus Exclusively On What He Does Best

Obama's campaign-driven, domestic-travel schedule starts in Cleveland on Wednesday, the day after GOP presidential hopefuls square off in the Iowa caucuses. He will also keep up an aggressive re-election fundraising schedule, with events already lined up in Chicago on Jan. 11. 

Campaign officials say Obama will fully engage in the re-election campaign once the Republicans pick their nominee. He will focus almost exclusively on campaigning after the late summer Democratic National Convention, barring unexpected developments at home or abroad. 

Among the issues that could disrupt Obama's re-election plans: further economic turmoil in Europe, instability in North Korea following its leadership transition and threats from Iran.
The president's signature legislative accomplishment will also come under greater scrutiny in the new year, when a critical part of his health care overhaul is debated before the Supreme Court.
Obama's foreign travel next year will be limited mainly to the summits and international gatherings every U.S. president traditionally attends. He's expected to travel to South Korea in March for a nuclear security summit and to Colombia in April for the Summit of the Americas. He's also likely to visit Mexico in June for the G-20 economic summit. 
So, aside from unavoidable interruptions when he might be forced to govern, Obama's going to campaigning on the taxpayer's dime, most of whom don't want him back.

What's Wrong With The Other 52 Percent?

Forty eight percent of Americans believe that most congressmen are corrupt.
The belief that politicians use their office for personal gain is growing. 

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 48% of Likely U.S. Voters believe that most members of Congress are corrupt. Just 28% disagree, and another 24% are not sure. (To see survey question wording.

Goods News For Normal People Equals Bad News For Liberals

You'd think that the discovery of vast reserves of natural gas in an impoverished African nation would be good news. The New York Times thinks otherwise.
The New York Times, of course, is wringing its elegantly manicured hands.  And why not?  The soil of the Karoo desert is “fragile,” and the extraction of the natural gas will involve fracking.  What will happen to the sheep?
The Times finds a local farmer who is worried about exactly that.
“If our government lets these companies touch even a drop of our water,” [the farmer] said, “we’re ruined.”
This is what the New York Times Wishes To Preserve
Ruined!  By wicked natural gas companies feeding the world’s hydrocarbon addiction.  The farmer in question has a herd of 1400 sheep.  (It was 2000 last year before a drought forced the slaughter of 600.)  One somehow suspects that the farmer will find some other way to make money when the district becomes a major gas producing center.  And, worst case, roughnecks eat a lot of meat.

Getting Our Money's Worth

This is what the $4 million of your money is buying for the Obamas.

Michelle Obama's Latest Extravagance

We're back to Michelle Obama, and as much as I hate to say it yet again - it's all about the double standard.  Here we have a woman who preaches financial abstinence, but whose personal expenditures are promiscuous beyond belief.  Mrs. Obama is a harbinger of 'safe-spending' and then uncontrollably prostitutes herself on the altar of sartorial elegance and sumptuous living.

The latest controversy surrounds a $2,000 designer sundress the first lady wore to church on her $4 million Hawaiian vacation.  That's right - a $2,000 muumuu; the damned thing didn't even have sleeves.  Michelle wore the unassuming frock to church to worship the humble birth of Jesus. 
You remember Jesus? He was the one wrapped in swaddling clothes, placed on a bed of hay in a manger as many years ago as dollars made up the cost of that dress.

Besides appointing herself the guru of healthy eating and then dining at high-calorie Shake Shack, the only thing more inappropriate than donning designer duds for Jesus' birthday was when Michelle wore $575 Lanvin sneakers to ladle out soup to the homeless at a food bank.

The current cause of the ruckus is a flimsy white/striped number from Sophie Theallet's Resort Collection, which, at the time it was purchased in late 2009, cost between $1000 and $2000.  For 2012, similar pieces from the newest Resort collection sell for that and much more.

Therefore, it appears as if "1,960 dollars less than I need toward another Sophie Theallet sundress" might be Michelle Obama's answer to Barack's most current question: "What does $40 dollars mean to you?"

New York Teachers Union Versus The Children

The teachers union is so dedicated to keeping crappy teachers in their jobs that it forced New York to forfeit $58 million dollars. And that might be just the start.
New Yorkers have 58 million reasons to jeer teachers union President Michael Mulgrew.

Thanks to him, 33 schools in desperate need of money to improve have just lost $58 million in funds intended to turn them around. Thanks to him, some of the worst teachers at some of the worst schools will continue to be protected at the expense of the kids in their classrooms.

Thanks to him, the state may soon have to forfeit $700 million in additional federal Race to the Top money awarded based on promised reforms.

These are reforms that Mulgrew, along with city and state leaders, pledged to help implement — before it became clear through his actions that he had no intention of following through.

On Friday, five months of negotiations between schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott and the union on sculpting a teacher evaluation system in exchange for School Improvement Grant funding hit a wall.
A state deadline set for year’s end had failed to focus Mulgrew’s mind.
Walcott rightly walked away.

Nobody was asking Mulgrew to demonstrate particular courage here — simply to, in a tiny subset of failing schools, put in place a professional system for identifying underperforming teachers and, yes, removing some of them.

Another Democrat Donor Jugged

This would be a story, if Dupree were a Republican.
A Democratic fundraiser was found guilty Friday of engineering a $21 million bank fraud scheme.

Courtney Dupree was convicted of vastly overstating the billings of his Long Island City-based lighting company GDC Acquisitions in order to fraudulently obtain a loan from Amalgamated Bank.

Dupree, 42, sat stone-faced as the verdict was read in Brooklyn Federal Court. He faces up to 30 years in prison and has to pay back at least $18 million...

...Dupree, who attended the elite Wharton School of Business, was a rainmaker in Democratic circles.

In 2008, Dupree hosted a $1,000-a-ticket fund-raiser for Barack Obama at his Broad St. apartment that was attended by top aide Valerie Jarrett.

One More Bit Of Evidence That Eric Holder Is Just Plain Stupid

He's suing South Carolina for implementing a voter ID law that the Supreme Court has already upheld twice in two other states.
Interestingly, this is almost identical to Indiana, which has a provision for free state IDs but only for the purpose of voting.  They require the same documents to get the state ID, and charge between $5 to $12, depending on which county the birth record resides.  Why is Indiana important?  Because the Supreme Court approved an identical photo-ID voting requirement in Indiana in 2008, not to mention one in Georgia, also covered by Section 5, in 2005:
The 1965 Voting Rights Act was created to combat the systematic disenfranchisement of minorities, especially in Southern states with a history of discrimination. But the Justice position is a lead zeppelin, contradicting both the Supreme Court and the Department’s own precedent. In 2005, Justice approved a Georgia law with the same provisions and protections of the one Mr. Holder nixed for South Carolina. In 2008, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board that an Indiana law requiring photo ID did not present an undue burden on voters.
In a later case, this one involving Holder, the Court declined to make a decision about Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, although they did note the “substantial federalism costs” of interfering in the law-making ability of a subset of states decades after the voting-rights issues have been settled.  But that’s not all they said on the matter to Holder:
A second case offers a further glimpse into the High Court’s perspective on the modern use of Section 5. In 2009′sNorthwest Austin Municipal Utility District v. Holder, the Court declined to decide the question of the constitutionality of Section 5, writing that while it imposes “substantial federalism costs,” the “importance of the question does not justify our rushing to decide it.” But the Justices didn’t stop there.
They also cast real doubt on the long-term viability of the law, noting in an 8-1 decision by Chief Justice John Roberts that it “imposes current burdens and must be justified by current needs.” That such strong criticism was signed by even the Court’s liberals should concern Mr. Holder, who may eventually have to defend his South Carolina smackdown in court.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley tells us she “will absolutely sue” Justice over its denial of her state’s law and that challenge will go directly to federal district court in Washington, D.C. From there it may be appealed directly to the Supreme Court, which would have to consider whether South Carolina can be blocked from implementing a law identical to the one the High Court approved for Indiana, simply because South Carolina is a “covered” jurisdiction under the Voting Rights Act.

While America Suffered, Nancy Pelosi Got Richer

During 2010, her last year as Speaker of the House, Pelosi used her position to inflate her personal fortune by 62%, up to $35 million. Remember this the next time you hear some politician flapping his yap about their "service and sacrifice."
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's net worth skyrocketed 62% last year, to a jaw-dropping $35.2 million, according to financial disclosure forms released Wednesday.

Nancy Pelosi Living Really, Really Good Life

I believe Leader Pelosi on this. I think she really has dedicated her life to the 99% and 1%. Its just that her focus has been on using advocacy for the 99% to get into the 1%. And it seems to be working. In 2010, her last year as Speaker, her net worth exploded by 62%:
Pelosi’s drastic growth, from an initial $21.7 million in 2009, is attributed to recent stock gains and smart investments. Her husband reported raking in $1 million to $5 million last year from a sale of Apple stocks.
Funny how so many of these politicians make so many “smart investments.”

The Next Great Cause For The Tea Party

Nancy Pelosi and Rahm Emanuel Share a Tender Moment
ial Services ranking member Spencer Bachus, the Republican who now chairs the same panel. According to Schweizer, Pelosi and her husband made millions participating in a special invitation Initial Public Offering from VISA at the same time legislation critical to the credit card company was before Congress. Kerry added to Teresa Heinz' millions by trading on insider information he got while on the Senate Finance Committee. Hastert profited big-time by getting an earmark to build a highway that doubled the value of land in which he had previously invested. Bachus fattened his bank account with stock deals he made during the 2008 financial crisis. 
What makes these blatant examples of getting richer on public service so galling, of course, is the fact that Pelosi, Kerry, Hastert and Bachus can't be prosecuted for violating the laws against insider trading that would send corporate executives to jail. As they have with the federal Freedom of Information Act, members of Congress are exempt from such enforcement. They and members of their staffs are free to make millions on information they get by virtue of being in Congress, whether ordinary citizens like it or not.

Jalen Rose: Education Reformer

Believes that schools and teachers should be treated as businesses. Accountability in education? What a concept!
Every weekday, 120 high-school freshmen from these neighborhoods attend Mr. Rose's academy, some arriving after two bus trips and all before 7:30 a.m. Located in a former public school building, the school has spartan facilities—a science lab with almost no equipment, cracked windows—and few modern frills, though every student is given a computer. 

As you approach and knock on the front door (the school is always locked to keep troublemakers away), you cross over a blue line. "When you cross that blue line," explains Mr. Rose, "you have to agree to leave all your troubles behind for the next eight hours." This is a sanctuary—and "one of the most promising school reform initiatives in the state," according to Michigan's Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Detroit Mayor Dave Bing has also offered praise. 

For non-sports fans: Now a regular commentator on ESPN, Jalen Rose was a member of the University of Michigan basketball team's controversial and multitalented "Fab Five" from 1991-93. He joined four other high-school all-Americans—Juwan Howard, Jimmie King, Ray Jackson and Chris Webber—who became the first major team to start five freshmen. Not only did they start, but they won and won, going to two straight national championship games. In the process they became a cultural sensation with their yellow jerseys, baggy shorts, black socks and brash, trash-talking style of play. Fans either loved or hated them. 

After skipping his senior year to enter the pros, Mr. Rose played 13 seasons in the NBA, earning millions in salary and endorsements—and getting his college degree along the way. On this drizzly and cold December afternoon, he could be living the good life in Palm Springs or South Beach.
Instead he's here building a school, work for which he takes no pay. And he doesn't just lend his name to the letterhead—he's often in the building for 20 hours a week, he says.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Where In The World Is Keith Olbermann?

File under questions nobody is asking. Except for the New York Times.
Keith Olbermann, who came to Current TV this year to remake the channel and compete against his old home, MSNBC, is sitting out the biggest political nights of the season.

Despite being the biggest star on the fledging channel, Mr. Olbermann is not scheduled to anchor Current’s coverage of the Iowa caucus or the New Hampshire primary in January. Instead, Current’s other prime time anchors, Cenk Uygur and Jennifer Granholm, will be joined by the channel’s chairman, the former vice president Al Gore, according to the channel’s TV schedule.

Mr. Olbermann also was noticeably absent from two special reports that Current produced after Republican debates in mid-December. Those, too, were anchored by Mr. Uygur.

These absences suggest that there may be new tension between Mr. Olbermann and the managers at Current, who are trying to create a progressive-oriented cable news channel. 
What? Keith Olbermann is fouling his new nest already? Imagine that!

And no, I don't know what a Cenk Uygur is either.

Occupy Protesters To Follow Rose Parade

An army of volunteers from across the nation has once again descended upon Pasadena's Rose Palace, where several floats are being covered with flowers.

Half a mile away in Singer Park, dozens of Occupy activists worked Thursday to prepare for a protest.

The activists, part of a movement whose encampments across the country grabbed headlines for months, are trying to take their message into 2012 with a high-profile foray into the Rose Parade.

While volunteers at the Rose Palace were armed with scissors, thousands of gallons of glue and millions of flower petals, Occupy activists worked with plastic pipe and banners.
If they worked this hard looking for a job...

Chutzpah Or Simple Stupidity?

I'm gonna go with stupid. I mean, if you can't win a debate with Lindsey Graham...
The classic exemplar of "chutzpah" has always been the young man who murders his parents and then begs the judge for mercy on the grounds that he's an orphan.

No more, however. The new benchmark for chutzpah is Eric Holder, who has solemnly announced that more police officers were killed by 'illegal guns' in 2011 than in the previous year. 2011's total was 173, at least according to Mr. Holder. (It would have been 174, but Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in December of last year.)

Holder said “too many guns have fallen into the hands of those who are not legally permitted to possess them,” in explaining the increase.
"Fallen into"? "Fallen into"? Is that what we're calling it now? Look, Eric, if I walk up and hand you something, it has not "fallen into" your hands, okay?

Either Holder is dumb as a stump or he is setting himself up to be the most courageous Washington fall guy since G. Gordon Liddy, and since I can't imagine Eric Holder holding his hand over a fire just to show people how tough he is, I know which way I'm betting.

Meanwhile, Obama's America Is Reduced To Buying Tickets On Russian Spacecraft

China planning a manned mission to the moon.
“Chinese people are the same as people around the world,” Zhang Wei, an official with China's National Space Administration, told the Financial Times. 
“When looking up at the starry sky, we are full of longing and yearning for the vast universe.”

The Emperess's New Clothes

Back in 2008, the Politico (along with the rest of the news media) was obsessed with the price of Sarah Palin's wardrobe.

The left wing mainstream media were similarly obsessed with the price of Nancy Reagan's gowns.

So surely they'll have something to say about the current First Lady's taste for pricey duds.
What isn’t silly and stupid is that the left-wing, journOlist-infested institution known as Politico was obsessed with Palin’s wardrobe in ‘08 and one of the prime drivers of that narrative. Just for starters see here, here, here, and most especially here.

And now for the news that will surprise no one. A good faith search has revealed that the left-wing, journOlist-infested institution known as Politico isn’t at all interested in Michelle Obama’s pricey wardrobe.
Before Michelle Obama, I didn't even know that there was such a thing as $540 sneakers.

US To Sell $30 Billion In Fighter Jets To Saudi Arabia

Ironic isn't it? Since Obama took office, two of the brightest spots in the US economy has been domestic gun sales and weapons of war.
The Obama administration announced Thursday that it has signed an arms deal with Saudi Arabia, selling more than $30 billion in highly advanced F-15 fighter jets and sending other advanced weapons to the kingdom just as tensions between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia's regional neighbor Iran continue to escalate.
The sale of 84 new aircraft, and the upgrading of 70 F-15s already in the Saudi air force, sends "a strong message to countries in the region that the United States is committed to stability in the Gulf and broader Middle East," said Assistant Secretary of State Andrew Shapiro. "It will enhance Saudi Arabia's ability to deter and defend against external threats to its sovereignty." 

The first new aircraft will be delivered to Saudi Arabia in early 2015, Pentagon officials said.

When You Fail In The Marketplace, Turn To Government For Help

Especially when you're as politically connected as GE Capital is to the Democratic Party.
General Electric Co.'s finance arm agreed to buy the U.S. retail-deposit business of insurer MetLife Inc., in a deal that matches the life insurer's desire to get out from under federal regulation with GE's pursuit of a more-reliable funding source. ... The agreement announced Tuesday is the latest sign of how new rules and stricter oversight are changing the finance landscape. GE Capital, which long existed in a regulatory gray area between banking and industry, has grown more comfortable emphasizing traditional banking after falling under the regulation of the Federal Reserve in the wake of the financial crisis.
MetLife, moving in the opposite direction, put its banking operations on the block in July in hopes of getting out from under the regulation of the Fed.
GE has been looking for a way to turn GE Capital around for years. Dodd-Frank offered them the perfect opportunity to enlist the federal government in their reorganization effort. MetLife is no mom-and-pop operation, but a deal like this only solidifies GE Capital as an institution that is too big to fail.

The Dearth Of Job Creation

Simple minded left wing journalists (I know, I repeat myself) celebrate every time the weekly statistics for new unemployment claims come in under 400,000. But the more critical data is the feeble job creation numbers. In 2008, the United States was ranked 4th in the world in the ease of new business creation. Since the Obama regime claimed power, it has dropped to 17th.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits rose 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 381,000 last week, the Labor Department reported today. CNBC goes on to report: "Claims remain below the 400,000 mark that is normally associated with an improvement in labor market conditions."

But these aren't normal market conditions. In a normal economic recovery, new firm and job creation are higher than recession levels. That is not the case in the Obama recovery.

While job losses have slowed, job creation has not picked up. In fact, as The Heritage Foundation chart based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data above shows, while gross job losses are now at their lowest level in years, so are gross job gains.

Did Eric Holder Trade Guns For Information

A defendant in a trial claims that Obama' gun smuggling operation was part of an exchange negotiated between the Sinaloa Cartel and the Obama Administration.
A Mexican drug trafficker awaiting trial in a Chicago federal court claims that the notorious Sinaloa cartel received weapons from “Operation Fast and Furious” under an alleged immunity agreement that the U.S. government made with cartel leaders, in exchange for information on rival gangs.

The defendant in a trafficking case before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Vicente Jesus Zambada-Niebla, also claims the immunity deal allowed the criminal cartel to “continue to smuggle tons of illicit drugs” into the United States.

He wants the U.S. government to provide documents relating to the botched gun running sting operation along the southwest border, arguing that it would benefit his defense.
I wish this were implausible, but considering that evidence has come to light suggesting that Fast and Furious was part of political ploy to gin up public support for stricter gun control laws, I must conclude that nothing is beneath this regime.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Obama Keeping MF Global Money

Earlier today, Obama's campaign manager described as "bullshit" reports that Obama was planning another billion dollar campaign underwritten by big wigs.
In a video to supporters and donors, Obama for America campaign manager Jim Messina pushed back against the idea that President Barack Obama will raise huge sums of money from big donors to fund his reelection campaign.

"People have speculated that this is a billion-dollar campaign. That's bulls**t. We don't take PAC money, unlike our opponents. We fund this campaign in contributions of three dollars or five dollars or whatever you can do to help us expand the map, to put more people on the ground, to build a real grass-roots campaign that is going to be the difference between winning and losing."
 So, how many $3 - $5 donors did it take to meet those accumulate the $30,000 he received from MF Global that he has not returned?
An Obama campaign official said no MF Global donations besides Corzine’s have been refunded. “Contributions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and if the facts merit it, they will be returned,” the official told The Post. ...
I wonder how many $3 - $5 donors George Kaiser had to bundle to reach the six figure donations he made to Obama?
Corzine is not the only connection between MF and Obama. Three other MF honchos, including Corzine’s second-in-command, Brad Abelow, and his wife have given $5,000 to the president’s re-election campaign and another $30,800 to the DNC.
In addition to Abelow, the other MF donors are former board member David Schamis and Joseph Patt.

Fat Americans Defeat Fuel Emission Standards

All the technical gains that auto makers have invested into increased mileage have been defeated by Americans' fat asses.
Americans, on average, have gained enough weight during the past 40 years to cancel out automakers' vehicle-lightweighting efforts such as using lighter components or removing spare tire, reflecting an additional challenge automakers face to meet progressively more strict fuel-economy and greenhouse-gas emissions standards. The information comes from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in a recent Automotive News report.

The average adult U.S. male weighs almost 195 pounds, up 28.4 pounds from what an average adult male weighed in 1960, while the average female adult weight has risen 24.5 pounds over the same time period, Automotive News said, citing the CDC. The weight gained by the average male is about the same as a typical tire found on a Ford Mustang and almost cancels out the 30 pounds Ford was able to cut from the 2012 Focus by using a new, six-speed Powershift automatic transmission instead of the old Focus gearbox.

The combined weight gained by the average American male and female can cut average fuel economy by as much as one percent, which could translate to an additional 153 million gallons of gas burned in the U.S. over the course of a year.
Expect Obama's psycho-fascist EPA to declare Americans' diets as within their authority to control.

The One Thing Nancy Pelosi And I Agree On

Alexandra Pelosi, daughter of House Minority Leader and former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, told Big Government this week that her mother wants to leave Congress–and that she remains in Washington only at the behest of her campaign donors.

During a telephone interview, Ms. Pelosi–speaking from a friend’s home in New York City–described her mother’s predicament:
"She would retire right now, if the donors she has didn’t want her to stay so badly. They know she wants to leave, though. They think she’s destined for the wilderness. She has very few days left. She’s 71, she wants to have a life, she’s done. It’s obligation, that’s all I’m saying."

Lose A Billion, Get A Job With Obama

Somehow, this guy managed to lose $1.2 billion in the private sector. Obviously, talent like this cannot be wasted.
During two days of recent congressional hearings into how as much as $1.2 billion disappeared from MF Global customer accounts, the chief operating officer of the imploding investment firm responded again and again that he did not know.

Yet as the House and Senate interrogated Bradley I. Abelow and other top executives at MF Global Holdings Ltd., lawmakers did not mention Mr. Abelow's role as a financial adviser for the Environmental Protection Agency, which as of Tuesday listed him as the chairman of its financial advisory board.

Even as he finds himself the public face of a bankruptcy and admitted to lawmakers that he had no idea how client funds disappeared, Congress and the administration have voiced no public concern about Mr. Abelow's role advising the $8.6 billion government agency on its finances.

Unemployment Claims Rise

New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, a government report showed on Thursday, but the underlying trend continued to point to improving labor market conditions.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 381,000, the Labor Department said. The prior week's claims data was revised up to 366,000 from the previously reported 364,000. 

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to 375,000. A Labor Department official said that because of a public holiday on Monday, claims from seven states - including California and Virginia - had been estimated.

Karl Rove's Political Predictions For 2012

And all are possible because of this one: "In 2008, voters told the Pew Poll that they got more election information from the Internet than from daily newspapers. Next year, that advantage will grow as the Internet closes in on television as America's principal source of campaign news." 

Here is my favorite.
Scandals surrounding the now-bankrupt Solyndra, Fannie and Freddie, MF Global and administration insider deals still to emerge will metastasize, demolishing the president's image as a political outsider. By the election, the impression will harden that Mr. Obama is a modern Chicago-style patronage politician, using taxpayer dollars to reward political allies (like unions) and contributors (like Obama fund-raiser and Solyndra investor George Kaiser).
Does anybody believe that this would have percolated to the surface without the internet? The mainstream media would have buried this in the deepest hole they could find.
As appealing as it sounds, I'm not sure that I'm buying this one.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Harry Reid or both will leave the Democratic leadership by the end of 2012.
Both of these people exist in a fantasy land of their own imaginations and neither is capable of confessing responsibility for the Democrats' hard times. Besides, Nancy Pelosi raises big bucks from the screwball left and, after Harry Reid, the Democratic Senate leadership is Chuck Schumer (too weird for anyone outside of New York City and northern New Jersey) and Patty Murray (too stupid). I think that even most Democrats know that having one of these two as Senate Majority Leader would be catastrophic for the party.

Anthony Weiner's Proposed Three Way Sex Romp

I was almost starting to miss Anthony Weiner.
Disgraced former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner was caught in online trysts with numerous women, but has exclusively learned that according to one of his mistresses, he expressed wanting a threesome - with another man.

In old conversation excerpts obtained by from mistress Traci Nobles' proposal for a tell-all book, the former politician brings up the topic of "3 ways" and reveals that the idea of being with another man is a turn on.

"I'm not really talking about other chicks... How about with another guy?" Weiner asked Nobles.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The First Guy Obama/Biden Call For Economic Advice Was Jon Corzine

Motorsports In The Age Of Obama

The Prius Cup. Sounds like something that would just a much fun as a Michelle Obama nutrition lecture.
Drivers in Japan have once again taken to the track in an effort to wring maximum mileage from their Toyota hybrids. According to AutoWeek, the Prius Cup resumed this year after a two-year hiatus.

Toyota officials said they have no plans to bring the hybrid competition to the U.S., but played up their
promises to compete and win at Le Mans next June with a hybrid.

Dealerships fielded teams at
Fuji Speedway in Oyama, Japan, for a national championship race held on December 7. Puttering around the Formula 1 track at Fuji, at least one team managed an astounding 80 miles per gallon in their hypermiling efforts, according to the report.

But is it really racing when the drivers are attempting to maintain an average speed of 37 miles per hour and coasting up hills? We will give them credit though – at least they do turn both left and right.

When Seconds Count, The Police Are Just Minutes Away

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Harry Reid's Fake Facts

It's too bad that the mainstream news media simply repeats this crap, without critical examination. Most of what Harry Reid, Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi say is bullshit, but they know they can get away with it, so there's no cost to them for lying.
Harry Reid’s statement on December 6 on his proposed 1.9 percent surtax on million-dollar incomes has kicked up some dust. Here is his statement: “Millionaire job creators are like unicorns. They’re impossible to find, and they don’t exist… Only a tiny fraction of people making more than a million dollars, probably less than 1 percent, are small business owners. And only a tiny fraction of that tiny fraction are traditional job creators…Most of these businesses are hedge fund managers or wealthy lawyers. They don’t do much hiring and they don’t need tax breaks.”

Taking their cue, National Public Radio launched a search for one millionaire job creator. They triumphantly announced: “NPR requested help from numerous Republican congressional offices, including House and Senate leadership. They were unable to produce a single millionaire job creator for us to interview.”

Were it not for Google, I would have accepted Harry Reid’s unicorn story and NPR’s confirmation. Unlike Harry Reid’s office, I went to the IRS’s Table 1.4 “Sources of income, adjustments, and tax size of adjusted gross income, 2009” to check things out. (I summarize my sources in a separate blog posting). Here is what I found: There are 236,883 tax filers with incomes of a million dollars or more. By Harry Reid’s count, only one percent, or 2,361 of them, are business owners, and a tiny fraction of them create jobs. I do not know what Harry means when he says “a tiny fraction of a tiny fraction.” If we let 5 percent represent Harry’s “tiny fraction,” we are left with 118 businesses owners who earn a million or more and create jobs. Yes, they are only slightly less rare than unicorns, if Harry is to be believed.

This leaves 236,765 million-dollar-plus tax payers, most of whom are “hedge fund managers and wealthy lawyers” who “don’t create jobs and don’t need tax breaks.”

My Google search for Harry Reid’s quarter million hedge fund managers and wealthy lawyers came up empty handed. I could identify at most sixteen thousand “wealthy lawyers and hedge fund managers,” not Harry Reid’s quarter million.

Obama Ignores Christmas, But Celebrates Kwanzaa

I suppose that Jews should be thankful that Obama only celebrated Hanukkah disrespectfully. He ignored Christmas altogether. But he did remember Kwanzaa! And it's worth noting that he never misses Muslim holidays.
Michelle and I send our warmest wishes to all those celebrating Kwanzaa this holiday season. Today marks the beginning of the week-long celebration honoring African American heritage and culture through the seven principles of Kwanzaa — unity, self determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.
 We celebrate Kwanzaa at a time when many African Americans and all Americans reflect on our many blessings and memories over the past year and our aspirations for the year to come. And even as there is much to be thankful for, we know that there are still too many Americans going through enormous challenges and trying to make ends meet. But we also know that in the spirit of unity, or Umoja, we can overcome those challenges together.
As families across America and around the world light the red, black, and green candles of the Kinara this week, our family sends our well wishes and blessings for a happy and healthy new year.
If you'd like to fully appreciate the absurdity of Kwanzaa, read Ann Coulter's brief history of this fake holiday.

Oniony Pig Farts Legal In Germany

Once again, my blog is the place to turn for for news you won't get anywhere else.
A court in the northern German town of Osnabrück has ruled that a farmer is allowed to feed his pigs vast quantities of raw onions, despite complaints from neighbours about their eye-watering gaseous emissions.
The farmer has been feeding his 1,500 pigs several cubic metres of onions every week for the past 14 years, but city authorities ordered him to stop, and threatened to fine him €2,500, after locals complained of the resulting pungent porcine farts.

The council justified its decision on the grounds that planning permission for the pigsty forbade “strong-smelling
foods, e.g. kitchen waste.”

But the court overturned the decision, saying that the city council had imposed the penalty on the assumption that
the onions were to blame for the stink without providing sufficient evidence.

According to the court’s statement, the court called in an expert witness on “emissions control,” who testified that “onions did not count as strong-smelling foods, because they are untreated organic
raw materials that have not decomposed.” 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Washington Post Is Shocked, SHOCKED To Learn That Politics, Not Science Drives Obama's Green Energy Program

Well, your closest friends are often the last to know.
“It’s not about the people; it’s politics,” said Sterio, who remains jobless and at risk of losing her home. “We all feel betrayed.”
Since the failure of the company, Obama’s entire $80 billion clean-technology program has begun to look like a political liability for an administration about to enter a bruising reelection campaign.

Meant to create jobs and cut reliance on foreign oil, Obama’s green-technology program was infused with politics at every level, The Washington Post found in an analysis of thousands of memos, company records and internal ­e-mails. Political considerations were raised repeatedly by company investors, Energy Department bureaucrats and White House officials.

The records, some previously unreported, show that when warned that financial disaster might lie ahead, the administration remained steadfast in its support for Solyndra.

Barack Obama, The Conservative Candidate

Yes, you really can be this stupid and still get paid to write for the Washington Post.
Today’s Republicans cast the federal government as an oppressive force, a drag on the economy and an enemy of private initiative. Texas Gov. Rick Perry continues to promise, as he did last week during a campaign stop in Davenport, Iowa, to be a president who would make “Washington, D.C., as inconsequential in your life as he can make it.” That far-reaching word “inconsequential” implies a lot more than trims in budgets or taxes.

The GOP is engaged in a wholesale effort to redefine the government help that Americans take for granted as an effort to create a radically new, statist society. Consider Romney’s claim in his Bedford speech: “President Obama believes that government should create equal outcomes. In an entitlement society, everyone receives the same or similar rewards, regardless of education, effort and willingness to take risk. That which is earned by some is redistributed to the others. And the only people who truly enjoy any real rewards are those who do the redistributing — the government.”

Obama believes no such thing. If he did, why are so many continuing to make bundles on Wall Street? As my colleagues Greg Sargent and Paul Krugman have been insisting, Romney is saying things about the president that are flatly, grossly and shamefully untrue. But Romney’s sleight of hand is revealing: Republicans are increasingly inclined to argue that any redistribution (and Social Security, Medicare, student loans, veterans benefits and food stamps are all redistributive) is but a step down the road to some radically egalitarian dystopia.
Actually, Romney was being much too generous to Obama. Obama believes in equal outcomes for everybody who does not support him politically. Those people he enriches greatly.

Pakistan Knowingly Sheltered Osama (previously spelled Obama)

Our friends, the Pakistanis.
An article on the Jamestown Foundation website, which cited Butt, said that despite denials, evidence is emerging that "elements within the Pakistani military harboured Osama with the knowledge of Musharraf and Kayani". Ashfaq Parvez Kayani is the current army chief.

Ziauddin Butt, a former army chief, told a conference on Pakistani-US ties in October 2011 that according to his knowledge then director general of Intelligence Bureau, Brigadier (retd.) Ijaz Shah, had "kept Osama bin Laden in an Intelligence Bureau safe house in Abbottabad".

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Barbara Walters Shamelessly Sucks Up To The Obamas

Remember when journalism was all about "afflicting the comfortable and comforting the afflicted?" Neither do I. And neither does Barbara Walters.

Here's what passes for penetrating, hard hitting journalism these days.

The Education Of Margaret Carlson

Although I doubt the lesson will stick. They never do.
Like so many of her liberal media colleagues, Bloomberg's Margaret Carlson believes cutting payroll taxes for a short period of time stimulates the economy.

Fortunately for viewers of PBS's Inside Washington, when she tried to make this absurd conclusion Friday, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer was there to give her and others on the panel a much-needed education

Read more:

Jon Corzine? Who's Jon Corzine

While no one is looking, Obama returns Corzine's cash. Besides, Jon Corzine's gonna need the money more than Obama does.
President Obama's re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee have returned more than $70,000 in contributions from former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine following the collapse of MF Global, Corzine's financial firm, officials said Friday. 

Obama's campaign and the DNC returned contributions of $35,800 from Corzine and his wife, Sharon Elghanayan, said Democratic officials who spoke on condition of anonymity. They were not authorized to speak publicly. 

Corzine was among Obama's top fundraisers, raising at least $500,000 for Obama's re-election campaign since April, according to records released by the campaign. The former Goldman Sachs chief held a fundraiser for the president last April and was considered a main Obama emissary to Wall Street. 

One of the Democratic officials said the campaign and DNC would evaluate whether to return donations from other MF Global employees on a case-by-case basis. 
Friday night, already the designated safe time to reveal embarassing information. Plus Christmas weekend, because no one's paying attention to the news anyway.

He needn't have worried, the news media are playing dumb on this one already.

"In The End, We Will Remember Not The Words Of Our Enemies, But The Silence Of Our Friends"

The persecution of Christians continues unabated (and largely unremarked upon) in the Muslim world.
On this Christmas Eve, one of the great unreported stories throughout what we used to call Christendom is the persecution of Christians around the world. In Egypt, the “Arab Spring” is going so swimmingly that Copts are already fleeing Egypt and, for those Christians that remain, Midnight Mass has to be held in the daylight for security reasons. In Iraq, midnight services have been canceled entirely for fear of bloodshed, part of the remorseless de-Christianizing that has been going on, quite shamefully, under an American imperium.

Atheist Bigots

Obstruct display of nativity scenes. Just another example of liberal tolerance.
Every Christmas for the past 60 years, Nativity scenes have dominated two blocks of a park on bluffs overlooking the ocean in Santa Monica, California.

The 14 scenes depicting Jesus Christ's birth have long been a popular attraction among area residents and tourists to the southern California city.

This year, however, atheists have taken over most of the two-block stretch, nearly shutting out and angering a group of churches who contend the atheists have organized against the Christians and gamed a city lottery process allocating the holiday exhibit space.

Religion Of Peace Update

Nigerian church bombed during Christmas services.
Some 10 people died and more were hurt in an attack at St Theresa's Church in Madalla near Nigeria's capital Abuja.

The Islamist group Boko Haram said it carried out the attack, which came amid deadly violence between Islamist gunmen and soldiers in northern Nigeria.

A second explosion shortly afterwards hit a church in the central city of Jos, killing at least one person.

Nearly 70 people have died in days of fighting between Nigerian forces and suspected Islamist gunmen in the country's north-east, but the BBC's Fidelis Mbah in Lagos says no trouble had been expected in the capital.

Boko Haram - whose name means "Western education is forbidden" - often targets security forces and state institutions.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Don't Believe In God? Would You Rather Believe This?

Merry Christmas! You’ll not hear “Happy Holidays” around a Costello household. We remember the reason for the season.

At the same time, I understand that quite a few people out there take a certain smug pride in their disbelief of such things. Faith to them is nothing but superstition. I would agree that religious attempts to lay earthquakes and hurricanes at God’s feet cross into superstition, but I would also argue that the universe we see around us is impossible without intelligent design.

I was at a gathering of scholars once when I was asked how I reconciled my faith in God with my profession as a biological scientist. Inwardly I smiled because the question was overheard by several scientists who share my faith, including two biological scientists and two physicists. I answered simply that I did not treat the Bible as a biology text anymore than Copernicus treated it as an astronomy text.
I did not pursue the question further because the venue was inappropriate for debate. But in truth, an intellectual disbelief in God requires at least as much faith as belief in God.

Here’s an example: The universe as we observe it is impossible. According to the physics that we understand, those pretty spiral galaxies that you see in photographs should all fly apart because there is simply not nearly enough observable mass supplying the gravity required to hold them together.
In fact, the observable matter of the universe can only account for about 2% of the necessary mass.

So how do physicists solve this dilemma? With “dark matter” of course. Dark matter is by definition invisible and directly unobservable. We can only detect its presence by inference. If it weren’t there, then the universe couldn’t exist. Therefore, it must be there.

If this sounds a bit like religious faith, it should. Most of the planet’s pagan religions evolved to explain what humans could not understand.

Here’s another scientific conundrum that physicists rely upon faith to explain.

The universe that you see around you is highly unlikely. According to physical theory, at the moment of the Big Bang, a single unified force was shattered randomly into the four forces we now observe, the strong nuclear force, the weak nuclear force, electromagnetism and gravity. These four forces are balanced on a knife edge. Only very slight deviances in the strengths any one of these forces from what we observe would make the state of matter you see today impossible. There would either be no atomic nuclei, and therefore no atoms, or all the matter in the universe would fuse into a single nuclei. All the matter in the universe would either fly apart, never coalescing into stars and planets, or it would collapse into a single black hole.

And there is no known law of physics dictating that the four forces should have fractured as they did, yielding the perfect balance that we see today.

If you thought that dark matter was a strange journey into faith, wait until you learn how physicists explain this one.

In the world of secular physics, the forces that gave us that gave us the Big Bang also give rise to a great many alternative universes. Depending upon your chosen multiverse theory (and they are many), the number ranges from uncountable to infinite. With so many possibilities, they argue, it’s inevitable that at least one would have turned out the way that ours did.

According to one multiverse theory, every elementary particle at any given time exists in a vast range of quantum states of differing probabilities. Every possible quantum state creates a new universe of its own. So, to estimate the number of simultaneously existing parallel universes out there, you multiply the number of possible quantum states for each particle (infinite) times the number of possible intervals that time may divided into (infinite) times the number of elementary particles in the observable universe (might as well be infinite).  With so many possibilities, a universe such as ours is more than simply inevitable. This theory predicts that there are actually an infinite number of identical copies of our universe.

Where are these alternative universes? They’re invisible. They’re undetectable. How do physicists know that they’re there? Faith my friend.

And once we get into the elegance of biology, the influence of intelligent design becomes even more apparent. Science does not replace God, but clarifies His presence.

The Real Reason Obama Is Seeking Reelection

He can't afford this woman's tastes on his own income.
Michelle Obama insisted on a pricey holiday to Hawaii when her husband would have rather gone to a presidential retreat, according to reports.

She allegedly wanted the taxpayer-funded $4million trip when Barack Obama sought instead to make the short trip to Camp David in Maryland.

Political sources told the National Enquirer that the 47-year-old’s spending is rocketing and she even went on a shopping spree before the Hawaii trip.
‘The President’s advisers have told him that Michelle’s spending has spiralled “completely out of control”,’ one source told the National Enquirer.

‘Barack read his wife the riot act, but his words fell on deaf ears. Michelle said there was “no way” she was going to disappoint her daughters.’
Even when she's at home, he as to feed her Kobe beef steaks and arugula.
The U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama has revealed during a trip to an organic farm in Hawaii that her 'favourite meal' is steak and arugula.

Mrs Obama had been discussing how to tackle childhood obesity in the U.S. when she described the simple meal of steak accompanied with the fragrant salad, also known as rocket, as her 'favourite'.