Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Year end wrap up

The things I'll miss from 2008

- George Carlin
- Luther Vandross
- Tony Snow
- Paul Newman
- Hair
- My old basketball buddies
- A great UC football season

Things I won't miss from 2008

- Arugula
- Hope and Change
- Bailouts
- Bad UC basketball
- The Billary
- Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr.
- Rosie
- My significantly lower retirement account.
- John McCain

Unfortunately, one of the reasons I won't miss any of that second list is that they'll all still be around next year.

Please add to the list.

Is social security a Ponzi scheme?

Here's an article discussing the merits of social security being a Ponzi scheme or not.

Ask yourself this question, if you go to the local social security office and ask how much money you have in your account what would they tell you?

I've been kicking in to social security for 30 years. I have yet to get an IRA like statement that says how much money I currently have in "my account".

Oh, for sure I get a statement every year telling me what my future retirement benefit will be. But what if I die tomorrow? How much of that money I kicked in over these 30 years do I get to pass on to my heirs? Prior to being married that answer was a big fat ZERO. As a result of getting married later in life, Mrs. Gekko will probably get none of my contributions.

Here's the wiki description of a Ponzi scheme......
A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to investors out of the money paid by subsequent investors rather than from profit. The term "Ponzi scheme" is used primarily in the United States, while other English-speaking countries do not distinguish colloquially between this scheme and other pyramid schemes.[1]

So you tell me, where is our money? I don't call boxes of IOU's from the same people we gave the money to an investment.

Let's put it another way. If everyone in the US quit working tomorrow and demanded their money, where is it?

As far as I'm concerned, each and every politician who oversees this actuarial nightmare is a worse human being then Bernard Madoff. Yet he'll get prison time.

Sweet Caroline

Norma has a post about Caroline Kennedy's assent to the NY senate seat.

The question? Is she qualified?

This answer is a slam dunk. Just ask yourself, is she a multi cellular organism? If the answer is yes, then of course, she's qualified to be a senator. Maybe not qualified to be the feces shoveler for a circus but senator? You betcha'.

Just look at what the "honorable" senate has brought us.

- Ponzi schemes called "Social Security" and "Medicare" that makes for about 1000 Bernard Madoff investment opportunities. And it's all legal.

- A member who dunked a poor young woman to death..... and still keeps his job.

- Tom Daschle

- Earmarks

- A democrat who runs for the presidency as a republican.

- A president who never did his job as a senator.

- Bailouts for everyone but the people who need them.

So yes, I think Caroline Kennedy is more than qualified to deliver us more of the same. You know.

Why government doesn't work

In what might make me the only person in the world. I want to defend Blago.

First, he is still governor of Illinois.

Second, while he has been charged with crimes he still has not been convicted of anything. What if the totality of the evidence is that Blago is not guilty of any of the charges against him? Are you telling me that we need to strip him of his governor duties, which includes appointment of the Illinois senator, without due process.

Third, my understanding is that Illinois has a procedure to remove Blago from office. They've known that this was a potential outcome for doing nothing and guess what? They've done nothing.

This indictment has been out there for over a month, how long does it take for a slam dunk to get done in the Illinois legislature?

Look, Blago is a narcissistic pile of excrement. That really doesn't make him different from any other democrat. Apparently, that alone doesn't qualify anyone from removal from office without exposing all Illinois democrats.

This whole escapade is a good reminder why government doesn't work.

Hitchens on Bush

I think this is old but it's making rounds through the blogoshpere. It's still funny.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Obama Backing North American Union Agenda

CNN is supposed to be a legitimate news source, yet believes in this goofy NAFTA highway.

And people wonder why national media outlets are going under.

More life in "Progress" City

You always have to love "progressives". They're all about diversity and inclusiveness until it reaches their back yard.

Out in the "progressive" confines of California....

As more and more black renters began moving into this mostly white San Francisco Bay Area suburb a few years ago, neighbors started complaining about loud parties, mean pit bulls, blaring car radios, prostitution, drug dealing and muggings of schoolchildren.

In 2006, as the influx reached its peak, the police department formed a special crime-fighting unit to deal with the complaints, and authorities began cracking down on tenants in federally subsidized housing.

Now that police unit is the focus of lawsuits by black families who allege the city of 100,000 is orchestrating a campaign to drive them out.

"A lot of people are moving out here looking for a better place to live," said Karen Coleman, a mother of three who came here five years ago from a blighted neighborhood in nearby Pittsburg. "We are trying to raise our kids like everyone else. But they don't want us here."


More...

Life in "Progress City"

It just keeps getting better for Detroit.

With Kwame Kilpatrick in the hoosegow, the city needs a new mayor. Look at this fine list of candidates....

As the race to complete the term of former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick speeds toward the Feb. 24 primary, tax liabilities are expected to come under scrutiny as 15 candidates seek to succeed a mayor whose fall from grace began when he used taxpayer money for private gain. Last week, for example, Dave Bing disclosed his personal income and challenged his opponents to do the same.

Bing, who moved to a Detroit condo this fall from Oakland County, paid $9,995, including $384 in interest, this month to settle property taxes on his home in Franklin. Campaign spokesman Cliff Russell said the bill was a "mishap" that was corrected once it was discovered.

Last week, Wayne County Sheriff Warren Evans paid $11,656 in delinquent summer taxes on his Washtenaw County horse farm. He bought the roughly 20-acre farm in 2001 for $590,000, according to property records. Tax bills on his three rental properties in Detroit and Grosse Pointe had already been up to date.

"It was an oversight," said Bob Berg, a spokesman for Evans' campaign. Evans rents an apartment in Detroit and that address is on his voter registration, but he uses the address for his farm, located along a gravel road in Salem Township, to register his motorcycle. It also is listed as the address on some of the mortgages and tax records for his business interests. Evans, who does not declare any of the properties as a primary residence to reduce his tax bill, paid the overdue bill after his campaign was contacted by The Detroit News.

Owing the most for unpaid income tax is candidate Duane Montgomery, an engineering consultant. According to liens filed by the IRS and the state of Michigan, he owes $34,697 in federal and Michigan income taxes. Montgomery outlines some of his woes on his Web site -- www.4etr.com -- that includes a receipt from the IRS stating he overpaid his federal taxes last year and the excess was used to reduce his debt.

"If there are skeletons in my closet, then they are listed here," writes Montgomery on the site. He didn't return phone calls seeking elaboration.

First-time candidate Jerroll Sanders, a businesswoman who recently moved to Michigan from Missouri, owes $19,650 in taxes, according to liens filed in St. Louis.

On Dec. 23, Sanders explained the liens as the result of "political malfeasance" waged against her by operatives in the federal government that began in 1999 when she lost a government contract. "We are going to slug this out," she said last week from a home she owns in Missouri.

Observers say the way candidates handle their tax obligations is a fair indicator of how seriously they take their role as public servants and how responsible they would be as mayor.

More....

Real Leadership

So how does a real leader like Obama handle the Gaza bombings.....

(Chirp)

(Chirp)

As the third day of Israeli air strikes drew to a close, Mr Obama continued his holiday in Hawaii with a game of golf, keeping his distance from reporters who might hurl a question at him.

Mr Obama does not become president for another three weeks and his aides argue that any comment by him could send mixed messages to the world about American foreign policy.

But Mr Obama's silence is being interpreted by many as an implicit agreement with President George W Bush's stance that the crisis is the fault of Hamas and that Israeli military action should not let up until the Islamist group agrees to stop firing rockets into Israel.

No, his silence should be interpreted as if things turn out badly in Israel, it's Bush's fault. If things work out well, he was right behind the real president; you know, the one who actually shows real leadership.

More...

Who runs Detroit?

Just how awesome is Detroit?

Here's a piece that lays it out pretty well....
In a city often known as the nation's murder capital, with over 10,000 unsolved murders dating back to 1960, the police are in shambles through cutbacks and corruption trials. (They have a profitable sideline, though, as one of the nation's largest gun dealers, having sold 14 tons of used weapons out-of-state.) Their response times are legendarily slow. Their crime lab is so inept that it has been closed. One Detroit man found police so unresponsive when trying to turn himself in for murder that he hopped a bus to Toledo and confessed there instead.

Detroit schools haven't ordered new textbooks in 19 years. Students have reported having to bring their own toilet paper. Teachers have reported bringing hammers to class for protection. Declining enrollment has forced 67 school closures since 2005 (more than a quarter of the city's schools). The graduation rate is 24.9 percent, the lowest of any large school district in the country. Not for nothing did one frustrated activist start pelting school board members with grapes during a meeting. She probably should've reached for something heavier.

An internal audit, which was 14 months late, estimates next year's city deficit to be as high as $200 million (helped along by $335,000 embezzled from the Department of Health and Wellness Promotion). With a dwindling tax base--even the city's three once-profitable casinos are seeing a downturn in revenues (the Greektown Casino is in bankruptcy)--the city has kicked around every money-making scheme from selling off ownership rights to the tunnel it shares with neighboring Windsor, Canada, to a fast food tax. It's perhaps unsurprising that Detroit now has the most speed traps in the nation.

It also has one of the highest property tax rates in Michigan, yet has over 60,000 vacant dwellings (a guesstimate--nobody keeps official count), meaning real estate values are in the toilet. Over the summer, the Detroit News sent a headline around the world, about a Detroit house that was for sale for $1. But it's not even that uncommon. As of this writing, there are at least five $1 homes for sale in Detroit.

Now ask yourself this question. Who runs Detroit? Looking at the information above, you would have to guess that republicans must have infiltrated the city in a covert attempt to create a cesspool.

Or you could guess that democrats run the city. The same party that seems to have its fingerprints on any cesspool around the country.

Given that Jack Bauer couldn't find a republican in the city with a GPS tracking system, I think it's safe to answer democrat on this one.

What's so "progressive" about an armpit?

More......

Downsizing The Federal Government

From the CATO institute

Miami or Bust

Escape from New York


Some fellows with a paper about the New York State residency laws.

Without question, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance has the most advanced residency audit program in the nation. We would hazard to guess that the department, whether out of necessity -- because so many taxpayers in the New York region have, at least allegedly, questionable residency issues -- or sheer force of will, does more auditing of taxpayers on residency issues than does any other state, and perhaps more than all states combined. So, like it or not, that is an area with which practitioners have to be conversant. And given that this column is generally devoted to tax practice issues (with a focus on New York), We thought it a good time for a nuts-and-bolts discussion about what a residency audit is all about.

Of course, the focus here will be on New York's rules and procedures, but the department generally follows the outlines of the 1996 North Eastern State Tax Officials Association cooperative agreement regarding domicile, statutory residence, and allocation, in which 13 states pledged to focus on the same primary factors for considering a person's domicile status. So the analysis in this article will likely be helpful in addressing other states' residency audits as well.


I wonder how many of the thirteen states noted above are red states (I know Ohio is one of the states mentioned). Sounds like Cuba to me.

Here's an idea. Create an environment where businesses and people want to reside and then you won't have to spend so many resources on this kind of waste.

More...

HT TaxProfBlog

We need a gangsta cool president

I have to admit. Training Day is my favorite Denzel movie.

The Detroit Abyss

Another good piece about how the UAW actually runs Detroit and why bankruptcy is inevitable.

It's easy to blame the problems of the Detroit Three on their CEOs. Yet the three leaders come from different business backgrounds, with only Rick Wagoner at GM an industry man. Alan Mulally was a star at Boeing and has only two years at Ford. Robert Nardelli comes from General Electric by way of retailing (Home Depot), and has only about a year at Chrysler.

How is it that successful executives become so unsuccessful as soon as they move to Detroit? Also, how can we explain that whenever GM, Ford and Chrysler leave our shores, they compete well in foreign markets as varied as Europe, South America and China? What makes them viable competitors as soon as they cross the border?

One can point to state franchise laws, or to the federal government's Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations. But the most striking difference appears to be that the Detroit Three are unionized, and the foreign transplants are, overwhelmingly, not. (The exceptions are the transplants that have historic ties to the Detroit Three, like NUMMI, the GM-Toyota venture in California.) Yet the issue can't just be about wage rates. The foreign transplants pay well, and the UAW has given significant concessions in recent bargaining.

It is perhaps the mode of doing business in a unionized company that remains a crippling disadvantage. The UAW is arguably the most successful industrial union of all time. But its very strength has allowed it to permeate into every aspect of manufacturing in the Detroit Three.

The collective bargaining agreement with the UAW is a heavily negotiated document the size of a small telephone book. It is virtually identical for each of the Detroit Three, owing to "pattern" bargaining, but it doesn't exist at all in their U.S. competition, the nonunionized transplants. Not only work rules, but fundamental business decisions to sell, close or spin-off plants are forbidden without permission. That permission may come, but only at a price, since everything that affects the workplace must be negotiated.

Both the UAW and the Detroit Three maintain large staffs of lawyers, contract administrators, and financial and human-resources representatives whose principal job is to negotiate with the other side. These staffs are at all levels, from the factory floor to corporate headquarters and the UAW's "Solidarity House" in downtown Detroit.

The collective bargaining agreements are now renegotiated every four years; in each negotiation the power and penetration of the union grows. If the company asks to change the flow of work for any reason, from cost-savings to vehicle improvements, the local union president will listen politely, and then say something like, "We can help you with this, but what's in it for my guys?"

Typically, he will have a list of things he wants, some understandable (better cafeterias) some questionable (hire my nephew), but there is always a quid pro quo. These mutually sustaining bureaucracies exist to negotiate with each other.

more....

Spending your way out of recession

An excellent piece by Peter Schiff in yesterday's WSJ.

Individuals, companies or cities with heavy debt and shrinking revenues instinctively know that they must reduce spending, tighten their belts, pay down debt and live within their means. But it is axiomatic in Keynesianism that national governments can create and sustain economic activity by injecting printed money into the financial system. In their view, absent the stimuli of the New Deal and World War II, the Depression would never have ended.

On a gut level, we have a hard time with this concept. There is a vague sense of smoke and mirrors, of something being magically created out of nothing. But economics, we are told, is complicated.

It would be irresponsible in the extreme for an individual to forestall a personal recession by taking out newer, bigger loans when the old loans can't be repaid. However, this is precisely what we are planning on a national level.

I believe these ideas hold sway largely because they promise happy, pain-free solutions. They are the economic equivalent of miracle weight-loss programs that require no dieting or exercise. The theories permit economists to claim mystic wisdom, governments to pretend that they have the power to dispel hardship with the whir of a printing press, and voters to believe that they can have recovery without sacrifice.

As a follower of the Austrian School of economics I believe that market forces apply equally to people and nations. The problems we face collectively are no different from those we face individually. Belt tightening is required by all, including government.

Governments cannot create but merely redirect. When the government spends, the money has to come from somewhere. If the government doesn't have a surplus, then it must come from taxes. If taxes don't go up, then it must come from increased borrowing. If lenders won't lend, then it must come from the printing press, which is where all these bailouts are headed. But each additional dollar printed diminishes the value those already in circulation. Something cannot be effortlessly created from nothing.


More.....

Global Warming challenge update

With two days to go.

The score to the Global Warming Challenge

Warm 338
Cool 370

I'll have some interesting factoids about the numbers on New Year's Day along with a new challenge if some liberal has the balls to take me up on it.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Ramirez



More of Ramirez at IBD

Can't I just eat my waffle

In a move reminiscent of a celebrity going into rehab, Obama doesn't like all the scrutiny he's under....

Now the president-elect appears increasingly conscious of the confines of his new position, bristling at the routine demands of press coverage and beginning to chafe at boundaries that are only going to get smaller.

These guys marketed this clown like a rock star, now they don't like that he's being treated as one?

Welcome to the NFL. You better grow a set.

More...

I didn't know she played in the NFL

Excerpts from a Caroline Kennedy interview, you know....

"I'm really coming into this as somebody who isn't, you know, part of the system, who obviously, you know, stands for the values of, you know, the Democratic Party," Kennedy told the Daily News Saturday during a wide-ranging interview.

"I know how important it is to, you know, to be my own person. And, you know, and that would be obviously true with my relationship with the mayor."

"Andrew is, you know, highly qualified for this job," she said. "He's doing a, you know, a great job as attorney general, and we've spoken throughout this process."

"You know, I think, you know, we're sort of, uh, sharing some of this experience. And um, as I've said, he was a friend, a family member, and um so, and uh obviously, he's, you know, he's also had an impressive career in public office."


More "you know's" here....

And those upper west side elites made fun of Palin you know.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Fannie Mae eat Freddie Mac and Cheese

Data dump

A bunch of must read articles I don't have time to comment on...

The hilarious Denver gun buy back program. Basically, how to recycle your old, non functioning gun. Here...,.

2008, the year Global Warming was disproved. Here...

Israel finally made good on a promise... Here...

Africa needs God? From an atheist. Here.....

Thomas Sowell, Postponing Reality.

San Fransisco names a sewage plant after Bush. Kosovo names a street.

For a guy who's done nothing wrong, why does Obama have all these Blago lawyers?

How the Branch Gorevidians explain the earth's cooling.

The writer's to the Sesame Street theme want the feds to quit using it as a means of torture. When will they quit torturing parents with it?

The List

Ok, you've decided that you are going to do a New Year's resolution to get back in shape. So you roll into your basement to look for your old workout gear.

Leg Warmers....check
Sweatbands........ check.
Nut hugger gym shorts..... check
Sony Walkman..... check

You whip out that Walkman and decide that the Carpenter's Greatest Love Song mix tape you made for your college girlfriend is probably not going to motivate you to do an hour on the treadmill.

What do you do?

First, don't panic.

Second, go buy some new gym shorts that don't have you looking like Larry Bird in his last championship.

Third, burn the leg warmers and sweatbands.

Finally, go buy yourself one of these new mp3 player things.

Let me give you a list of what I think are the best 15 songs to get you through the burn.

1) Welcome to the Jungle, Guns and Roses. This song will get the juices flowing right out of the gate. Those Axl Rose wails will have you feel like your running from some deranged cyclops.
(for a change of pace go with Paradise City).

2) Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen. Hey, the title says it all (c.o.p No Surrender, Badlands).

3) Long Train Running, Doobie Brothers. You'll be singing right along with this one. Hopefully, that person next to you can't hear it (c.o.p. China Grove)

4) Train Kept a Rollin', Aerosmith. Hey, you're rollin'. Keep rollin'. (c.o.p. Dream On, Mama Kin)

5) Superman (Live), The Kinks. Nothing like a song describing your "old bony knees" to get you fired up. But the guitar rift in this song will definitely have you moving. (c.o.p. All Day and All of the Night, You Really Got Me).

6) In Bloom, Nirvana. Again, a power rift that will knock the sweat off of your face. (c.o.p Smells Like Teen Spirit, Lithium).

7) Achille's Last Stand, Led Zeppelin. This song is right in the middle of that workout. And just like your workout, you think it's just about over right in time for a even bigger stampede of sound. (c.o.p. Trampled Under Foot, Whole Lotta Love).

8) Needle and the Spoon (live), Lynyrd Skynyrd. Sure, it's a song about shooting heroin..... you're running...... about the same.

9) Rock and Roll (live), Heart. My way of getting another Led song on the list. None the less, A great cover and a drum solo that will have your heart pounding. (c.o.p Magic Man).

10) If You want Blood, AC/DC. This is you talking to your treadmill. (c.o.p. Whole Lotta Rosie, TNT).

11) That Smell, 3 Doors Down. Another Lynyrd Skynyrd song about heroin. Is there a connection? (c.o.p. Kryptonite (Live)).

12) Land of Confusion, Disturbed. An old Genesis cover and I like the song.

13) Paranoid, Black Sabbath. Just because your paranoid doesn't mean someone's not following you (c.o.p. Iron Man).

14) Gimme Shelter, The Rolling Stones. You're almost done. Just think, Mick burns more calories in a show than you just did..... and he's 60 (c.o.p Sympathy for the Devil).

15) You Could be Mine, GNR. Another spoon of H waiting for you. this song's your way of saying F off (c.o.p. Civil War).

There you have it. Load these songs and you burn 100 calories just listening to them or you'll have this unusual craving for coke and heroin.

The misery is over

Well the misery is over for Bengal, Brown and Lion fans. The nice thing about being fans of these teams is that you always have January weekends available for that honeydew list.

It's probably no coincidence that some of the most economically challenged areas of this country play some of the worst football in the country.

The question for Bengal fans remains, do you continue to put money into the hands of a first hand pile of crap (Mike Brown) for fear that you won't have a shot at tickets in some imaginary playoff year.

Well, let's do the math. A Bengal's season ticket is between $600 - $1,000 (includes the price of those God awful preseason games).

Given that the beagles are three seasons away from being competitive again, you could save your money for the next two years and get back in, even with a new seat license.

Or you could invest that money into Bearcat season tickets which will cost you about $200 a ticket and actually enjoy a quality team.

You decide; be an enabler to a continual shit product on the field or make a stand for some real change.

Speaking of shit product, nice to see the Bears show up large on a game that counts.

From Michelle Malkin:

Ah, the perks of media affection. On Christmas Day, the Washington Post delivered a front-page paean to Barack Obama’s workout habits. The 1,233-word ode to O’s physical fitness read more like a Harlequin romance novel than an A-1 news article.

Sighed smitten reporter Eli Zaslow: “The sun glinted off chiseled pectorals sculpted during four weightlifting sessions each week, and a body toned by regular treadmill runs and basketball games.” Drool cup to the newsroom, stat.

Zaslow imparted us with vital information about buff Bam’s regimen: “Obama has gone to the gym for about 90 minutes a day, for at least 48 days in a row.” The Washington Post enlightened us with more gushing commentary from Obama friends and associates who explain how, as the subtitle of Zaslow’s opus put it, “Gym Workouts Help Obama Carry the Weight of His Position.”

John Holdren


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Liberals hate the poor

How do you know liberals don't care about poor people?

When they won't plow and salt the streets for their citizens. Take Seattle's dereliction of duty where they decided salt on the street might hurt Puget Sound, a body of salt water.

Ask yourself the question, who is hurt the most when people have no options to commute to work?

The Rich? First, the rich aren't living in the city, they're out in the 'burbs where they do crazy shit, like maintain their lines of transportation.

From the Seattle Times.

DIRE weather cries out for a dramatic response. If you've been attempting to drive anything other than an all-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive vehicle, you know Seattle has taken a laid-back approach to clearing streets.

Days of freezing cold and heavy snow produced a list of major streets and arterials that may or may not have been plowed, while the city purposely avoided a useful ingredient, salt. In Seattle, a plowed street means snow-packed, often sand sprinkled atop snow and ice.

The Seattle Department of Transportation eschews salt because it is not good for Puget Sound. Most snow days, most years, that makes sense — snow falls, lasts a day or two, and melts. The inconvenience to drivers, retailers and others is minimal. But Earth to city leaders: This is not a normal year. The city should have made an exception to its policy. Salt is an effective ice-buster.


What's so "progressive" about no transportation for the poor?

Warren = Hitler

Boy for people all about tolerance, liberals sure have a problem tolerating people who don't thionk like they do.

You would have thought Obama asked Bush to be his VP the way libs are crying about Rick Warren to be a part of the inauguration.

From the WSJ....

Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said that "By inviting Rick Warren to your Inauguration, you have tarnished the view that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender [LGBT] Americans have a place at your table."

The head of People for the American Way, Kathryn Kolbert, is "deeply disappointed." She says Mr. Obama should have picked someone with "consistent mainstream American values."

Perhaps the most telling comment came from a "very disappointed" Rep. Barney Frank, who pointed out that during the campaign Senator Obama's "stated commitment to LGBT rights won him the strong support of the great majority of those who support that cause." Mr. Frank is putting down a marker; the left will monitor whether the new President deserves their continued support after the Warren-blessed Inauguration.

By the way, for you liberals, The Messiah campaigned on being against gay marriage. What makes him so different from Warren?

More.....

Saturday Morning Comics


Friday, December 26, 2008

Global Warming challenge update

Over the weekend, I got to discover that the score I was keeping on the global warming challenge was coming from two different sources.

When I was scoring at home, my computer picked up this site; at work it was this site.

As a result, I did not have a consistent data base to pull from.

So I got to spend about four hours over the weekend reentering information on my spreadsheet.

Since the one site I used had the disclaimer "Averages and records for this station are not official NWS values." I decided to pull the information from CVG the official NWS values.

There were some slight variations to the day to day scoring. However, one significant change were in the scores from record temperatures. In my original sheet I reported seven record highs and two record lows for the year. In fact, using the NWS figures, there were two record highs and no record lows.

I apologize for any confusion.

The score through Christmas day....

Warm 326
Cool 370

I guess they didn't serve arugula

The Messiah received a, not so, enthusiastic reception at a Marine base in Hawaii....

The diners represented seven military units -- Marine and Navy -- some of whom were joined by their families for Christmas dinner.

As Obama entered the room, it was absent of the regular fanfare of cheering and clapping. The diners were polite, staying seated at their respective tables and waited for the president-elect to come to them to stand up.

Obama, dressed casually in a blue polo shirt and dark khaki trousers, worked his way around the room -- table by table -- and took pictures with the service members. He slapped them on the back at times, shook hands, and signed some autographs.

“Hey guys, Merry Christmas,” The president-elect said as he walked from table to table.

The servicemen and -women were already seated at their holiday dinner when the president-elect made his impromptu visit. They were dining on salad, candied sweet potato with marshmallow topping, cream of mushroom soup, mashed potatoes, beef, ham, turkey, broccoli and corn.

The president-elect spent about an hour with the troops. Obama transition aides say that Obama did not eat with the uniformed men and women -- he ate at his beach home with his family and friends Christmas night.

More....

Catching up

Due to family holiday commitments, I don't have the time to comment on these items but they're worthy of reading.

So here's a data dump for your holiday reading pleasure.

A nice piece on one douche bag, senator McCain.

The NY Times prints an editorial on another douche bag named Bill Ayers, but refuses a rebuttal from an FBI informant.

The WSJ on how to get out of our credit mess.

Skepticism on climate change.

An idiot's take on education reform.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Santa's On His Way


In Hoc Anno Domini

Every year since 1949, the WSJ has printed this piece about the paradigm shift that the birth of Jesus meant for the world. It's a must read.

When Saul of Tarsus set out on his journey to Damascus the whole of the known world lay in bondage. There was one state, and it was Rome. There was one master for it all, and he was Tiberius Caesar.

Everywhere there was civil order, for the arm of the Roman law was long. Everywhere there was stability, in government and in society, for the centurions saw that it was so.

But everywhere there was something else, too. There was oppression -- for those who were not the friends of Tiberius Caesar. There was the tax gatherer to take the grain from the fields and the flax from the spindle to feed the legions or to fill the hungry treasury from which divine Caesar gave largess to the people. There was the impressor to find recruits for the circuses. There were executioners to quiet those whom the Emperor proscribed. What was a man for but to serve Caesar?

There was the persecution of men who dared think differently, who heard strange voices or read strange manuscripts. There was enslavement of men whose tribes came not from Rome, disdain for those who did not have the familiar visage. And most of all, there was everywhere a contempt for human life. What, to the strong, was one man more or less in a crowded world?

Then, of a sudden, there was a light in the world, and a man from Galilee saying, Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's.


More....

The 2012 Pelosi GTxi SS/RT Sport Edition

Couresy of Iowahawk

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Journalistic integrity? Surely you jest.



From Newsbusters

The "Progressive" Utopia

And they called it paradise
The place to be
They watched the hazy sun,
sinking in the sea

From the Great "Progressive" state of California......

The budget crisis is a case in point. Frustrated with their inability to raise taxes, Democrats got creative: They decided they could declare outright hikes in taxes to be "fee increases." This would let them pass a massive $9.3 billion in tax hikes without consulting Republicans in the legislature, in direct violation of state law.

We had high hopes that Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger would put a stop to this madness after he won the state's highest office in a recall vote against Democrat Gray Davis in 2003.

But spending has actually grown faster under Schwarzenegger. Since 2003, total spending is up $41 billion, or 40%, to $144.8 billion. The governator's compromise plan to eliminate the massive deficit is only marginally better than the Democrats' — he would cut the deficit through a 50-50 combo of tax hikes and spending cuts.

Call it Democrat-lite. More disappointing, Schwarzenegger has supported sweeping new greenhouse gas rules that will add billions of dollars in costs and force even more companies to flee the state.

California is already the most costly place in America to do business, according to the Milken Institute's business cost index. Its business costs in 2006 were 23% higher than the average for the rest of the states, and well above those of its neighboring states.

Worse, energy costs are already 35% higher than the national average. With California's costly new CO2 mandates about to kick in, the economy could well grind to a halt.

Such business mainstays as Intel, Exxel Outdoors, Toyota and Tesla have already left California. Intel is a particularly alarming example: The world leader in chip technology started in Silicon Valley but no longer makes anything in California.

Since 2001, according to the California Manufacturers and Technology Association, the state has lost 440,000 high-wage jobs. Today, the state's jobless rate of 8.4% is third-highest in the nation.

Even Hollywood feels the pinch. In 2003, 66% of Hollywood's feature films were made in-state; today, it's down to 31%. Increasingly, Hollywood is a state of mind — not a place to do business.

Things are so bad that, just last week, 25 business groups wrote an open letter to the state's legislature begging it to think about the role businesses play in the economy.


More.....

What's so "progressive" about fleeing citizens?

HT Bizzyblog

That hard to find Festivus gift


Is you father as hard to buy for as mine is?

For a last minute suggestion, get him one of these beautiful decorative urinals for his bathroom.

Several styles for the dad in your life.

More choices here.....

HT Dave barry

Pro football wrap


The best thing about being a Bears fan is that, well, you don't have to be a Bengals fan.

The Bears are actually in contention even though they haven't had a quarterback since Vince Evans. Doh.

They won last night in overtime and still have a shot at the playoffs.

In unrelated news, check out Brian Baldingers fingers. Ouch.

Welcome to the NFL.

HT Deadspin

Madoff was only employing the Social Security business model

American Thinker with a good take on the world's largest Ponzi Scheme know as social security.

Ever wonder why the New York Times can report on a Ponzi scheme in the private sector and be totally oblivious to the Ponzi scheme that the U.S. Government has been running right under the Gray Lady's nose for seventy-five years? This hustle is called "Social Security."

In an article about the Bernie Madoff scandal and Ponzi schemes in general, Catherine Rampell makes it clear that she understands the basics. Her article is entitled "A Scheme With No Off Button":

"Mathematically speaking, Ponzi schemes are doomed. They work by bringing in new investors to pay off old ones. In pure form, there's never any actual business activity; the money just rolls backward from ever-increasing numbers of investors to keep up the appearance of profits. This means the scheme requires an infinite supply of new suckers."

This is also an accurate description of Social Security -- though no one at the Times seems to be aware of that fact.

Here is the same paragraph translated to reflect the big government version of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Ponzi scheme -- which happens to be collected with the threat of imprisonment. (Words in bold italics are my reinterpretation throughout this article.):

"Mathematically speaking, Ponzi schemes are doomed. They work by bringing in new FICA payers to pay off old ones. In pure form, there's never any actual business activity; the money just rolls backward from ever-increasing numbers of new workers to keep up the appearance of being solvent. This means the scheme requires an infinite supply of new suckers -- for example you and me."
More....

Brought to you by a local US senator.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Dannimal House is baaaaacck

Apparently, Marc Dannimal was more than just rush chairman at the AG fraternity house.

He was also corrupt....
Former Attorney General Marc Dann ran a vulgar and unprofessional office and misused campaign funds to make lavish payments to friends and family, the state's government watchdog said Monday in releasing the results of a six-month investigation.

Dann, a Democrat elected in 2006 on an anti-corruption platform, resigned in May amid a sexual harassment scandal in his office that included his admission that he had an affair with an employee.

The report by Inspector General Tom Charles said Dann hired a coterie of young women dubbed "the Dannettes" who were so unqualified and unprofessional in their dress and conduct that an office assistant was assigned to conduct etiquette training.

Doesn't being corrupt just make you a democrat by definition?

more....

The perfect Festivus Gift



I've got Mrs. Gekko covered for Festivus.

Festivus for the rest of us

Festivus is almost here and let me tell you, Mrs. Gekko's going to rake.

By the way, no need to thank me for single handedly saving the jewelry and auto business this weekend. From the lines I was in, it doesn't appear that the depression is quite near.

None the less, I'm in pretty good shape this Festivus, so I think I can take my old man this year in the feats of strength. The bad side, I think I'm going to be the brunt of lots when the airing of the grievances commences.

Fortunately, there's lot of egg nog.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Charitable liberals?

From the "tell us something we already know department".

Nick Kristoff with a piece on liberal stinginess....
This holiday season is a time to examine who’s been naughty and who’s been nice, but I’m unhappy with my findings. The problem is this: We liberals are personally stingy.

Liberals show tremendous compassion in pushing for generous government spending to help the neediest people at home and abroad. Yet when it comes to individual contributions to charitable causes, liberals are cheapskates.

Arthur Brooks, the author of a book on donors to charity, “Who Really Cares,” cites data that households headed by conservatives give 30 percent more to charity than households headed by liberals. A study by Google found an even greater disproportion: average annual contributions reported by conservatives were almost double those of liberals.

Other research has reached similar conclusions. The “generosity index” from the Catalogue for Philanthropy typically finds that red states are the most likely to give to nonprofits, while Northeastern states are least likely to do so.

More....

Bengalmania - Catch It!

I went to a Bengal's game once in similar weather conditions as today and left at halftime for the warm, smoke filled air of Willie's in Kenwood. They should do psychological exams on anyone that shows up for today's Cleveland-Cincinnati game at 'the mistake'.

CLEVELAND, OHIO -- A BLAST OF ARCTIC AIR WILL INVADE THE AREA TODAY ALONG WITH GUSTY WEST WINDS. THIS WILL CAUSE WIND CHILL READINGS TO RANGE FROM 10 BELOW TO 20 BELOW STARTING THIS AFTERNOON AND CONTINUING THROUGH MONDAY MORNING.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...A WIND CHILL ADVISORY IS ISSUED WHEN STRONG WIND WILL COMBINE WITH COLD TEMPERATURES TO CREATE DANGEROUSLY COLD CONDITIONS FOR EXPOSED SKIN. THE WIND WILL MAKE IT FEEL LIKE IT IS 15 DEGREES BELOW ZERO OR COLDER FOR A PERIOD OF SEVERAL HOURS. IF YOU WILL BE OUTDOORS USE COMMON SENSE AND DRESS WARMLY...MAKING SURE THAT ALL EXPOSED SKIN IS COVERED. IF POSSIBLE...AVOID PROLONGED EXPOSURE TO THE COLD TO PREVENT FROSTBITE AND HYPOTHERMIA.

Gordon


Photo of Gordon after a recent Christmas party.


Sunday Morning Funny

Winter Sucks II



Glad to see Key West's current wind chill is 65.

Doh!

A 60-year-old man who was thrown into the air in celebration at his retirement party died after his colleagues failed to catch him and he fell to the floor, a Japanese newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The case came to light after the man's wife filed a police complaint against colleagues who threw the man up into the air, accusing them of gross negligence...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Winter Sucks

Where's Gordon and Gore's damn global warming? And... when do pitchers and catchers report?

"... storms will be sandwiched around an arctic air mass plunging out of the Arctic. The Midwest Regional News story reports the core of the cold will spread across the Plains into the Midwest this weekend. Temperatures will plummet to or below zero, while AccuWeather.com RealFeel temperatures will make it feel much colder. The extreme cold could cause hypothermia or frostbite in anyone exposed to the cold for even short periods of time."

Sorry... out of town bums not allowed

News Flash! San Francisco has a homeless problem.

So much so they're going to do something about it....

City officials are finally admitting what others have been saying for years: San Francisco is attracting huge numbers of homeless people from all over. Thousands of transient people, arriving from other counties, states and even countries, are overwhelming the city's homeless system.

Facing a crippling budget shortfall, officials at San Francisco's homeless agencies are proposing a radical idea - take care of the city's own first, and require newcomers to show proof of residency for aid.

"If a homeless family living in San Francisco doesn't get shelter, and somebody just off the bus does, it doesn't seem fair," said Trent Rhorer, director of the Department of Human Services.


C'mon, where's the love? It's not a homeless guy's problem he miraculously found enough money for bus fair so he could squeeze your city services.

I'll give the San Franciscans a really radical idea. Do what Westerville, West Chester or Beavercreek Ohio does. Don't spend any money on the homeless and they'll disappear

More...

Add this to your periodical charts

A tribute to Helen Jones-Kelley, Marc Dann, Blago and others....

Lawrence Livermore Laboratories has discovered the heaviest element yet known to science.

The new element, Governmentium (Gv), has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons, and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.z

Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert; however, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A tiny amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second, to take from 4 days to 4 years to complete.

Governmentium has a normal half-life of 2- 6 years. It does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places.

In fact, Governmentium's mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes.

This characteristic of morons promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass.

When catalysed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium, an element that radiates just as much energy as Governmentium since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons.

Here.....

From reader Bartman

Yeah, what about that Bill of Rights

Liberals love to worry about the Bushies listening in on their conversations.

But if you haven't read about this total bit of government intrusion right here in Ohio, read this.

It will frost your balls.
On the morning of December 1, 2008, law enforcement officers forcefully entered the Stowers' residence, without first announcing they were police or stating the purpose of the visit. With guns drawn, officers swiftly and immediately moved to the upstairs of the home, finding ten children in the middle of a home-schooling lesson. Officers then moved Jacqueline Stowers and her children to their living room where they were held for more than six hours.

Such are raids are beyond the scope of the purely administrative authority delegated to ODA and county health departments. In enforcing licensure laws, these agencies are only permitted to contract for routine enforcement services. Forceful raids and sweeping searches and seizures are not routine, and exceed the authority granted to ODA and county health departments.

The Buckeye Institute seeks an injunction against similar future raids, and a declaration that such licensure laws are unconstitutional as applied the Stowers and individuals like them.


Last I checked, Ohio was run by a democrat.

The party of corruption

Which party is truly the party of corruption?

By a scale of 3 to 1, it would be the party of the working guy; democrats.

American Thinker with a take....

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Hair

While facing his own legal cloud, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich decided to pardon 22 other people.

The Democratic governor rarely acted on pardon applications during his six years in office. The backlog of requests at one point topped 1,600.

But Blagojevich has acted more often in recent months.

His office says he issued 22 pardons Friday, the same day Blagojevich vowed to fight the federal corruption charges he faces.

Aides wouldn't provide any information about why he granted the pardons or what crimes the people were accused of committing.

Friday Funny

Why Iraq is taking so long





Thanks to reader Bernie

Are you a civics buff?

Try this quiz from American Civic Literacy.

I like to fancy myself as a civics aficionado but only managed to get 75%.

Let me know how you do.

Clinton responsible for global warming


More global warming alarmism being exposed.

It appears that the Clinton/Gore administration is primarily responsible for global warming....

From NRO

Since Clinton's inauguration, summer Arctic sea ice has lost the equivalent of Alaska, California and Texas. The 10 hottest years on record have occurred since Clinton's second inauguration. Global warming is accelerating.

Rubbish. Global warming is not “accelerating”: global warming has stopped. There has been no statistically significant rise in mean global temperature (MGT) since 1995, and MGT has fallen since 1998.

The Earth has been warming for 300 years since the Little Ice Age (LIA) so, of course, the warmest years happened recently. But that warming from the LIA peaked in the El NiƱo year of 1998. MGT has been near but below that peak for the last ten years.

Arctic ice advances and recedes over decades. The year 2007 saw a minimum in Arctic ice cover in the short period that it has been monitored using satellites. But 2008 saw the most rapid growth in Arctic ice cover in that same period and Arctic ice cover is now back to the average it has had in the period. Also, 95 percent of polar ice is in the Antarctic, and Antarctic ice is increasing.

Nobody can know if the recent halt to global warming is temporary, permanent, or the start of a new warming or cooling phase. But it is certain that anybody who proclaims that “Global warming is accelerating” is a liar, a fool, or both.”

What's so "progressive" about being a liar, a fool or both?