Friday, June 04, 2010

One PO'd liberal

Kirsten Powers is not happy............

After first stonewalling, the White House yester day confirmed that it tried to lure Andrew Romanoff out of the Colorado Senate primary with an administration job, to help its preferred candidate, incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet.

Sound familiar?

The Denver Post ran a story on the rumored job offer last September -- but White House spokesman Adam Abrams said then, "Romanoff was never offered a position within the administration."

Under the Bill Clinton standard, that's true: There was no formal "offer." But Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina's e-mail outlined in great specificity three government jobs that happened to be open, should Romanoff (who'd previously been denied an administration job) decide not to run.

The White House's reasoning is migraine-inducing: It insists it didn't offer a job -- but also that the president has an interest in influencing party primaries. But if the president wasn't offering a job, then what was he doing to prevent a primary contest?

He was offering a job. Stop insulting our intelligence.

But that's not the worst. To justify the presidential interest in influencing party primaries, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs yesterday noted, "We went through a contested primary, and they aren't fun things." Huh?

By that logic, Obama should have been pushed out of the 2008 primaries to avoid a contentious fight and give the establishment candidate, Hillary Clinton, a walk to the nomination. At the outset, she was by far the favored candidate.

Does the White House not see the irony in trying to entice two insurgents (Romanoff and Pennsylvania's Joe Sestak) out of challenging the establishment choice?

Many Beltway talkers are claiming that the president actually has the "right," as head of the party, to clear the field in primaries. Sorry, the only people with the right to choose a nominee are primary voters. We live in the United States, not some Middle Eastern dictatorship (or, apparently, Chicago).

When I voted for Obama, I voted for him to be president, not for him to use government jobs or perks to drive out qualified challengers in Democratic primaries.

Kirsten, I know you're hot and all but let me get in an "I told you so".

Flotilla Choir presents: We Con the World

Rebranding The Messiah

The One is tarnished as a brand. Or is he?

From the earliest days of the campaign, the Obama "movement" contained two political time bombs: First, the curse of absurdly high expectations ("first we're going to change Iowa! Then we're going to change America!
Then we're going to change the world!") And second, electing to office a president with no governing or leadership experience.

Expectations of utopian "change" were flattened long before the Sestak and Romanoff revelations, and many of the politically necessary co-agents of "change" (i.e, Democrats in Congress) will not live to see the second half of this president's first term.

And now the chickens are also coming home to roost on the leadership and competency question. The White House is continually slow-off-the-mark, reactive, defensive, and unsure of its footing. I.e., it appears in over its head.

It will be difficult (if not impossible) to re-build the Obama "brand," because it never really existed as a tangible thing in the first place.

Jennifer Rubin with analysis


It now looks like the word "flotilla" will be in our political lexicon for the near term.

Dr. Zero on how the flotilla folks are advancing anti-civilization (thanks reader Tim for the tip)....

Look at the world through the eyes of Hamas and its apologists, and ask yourself: what’s the point of sending a couple of boats full of terror “activists” to run the Gaza blockade?

The short-term benefit is obvious. Israel is placed in another no-win situation. If the Israeli military had allowed the Terror Flotilla to cruise on its way, they would have displayed a dangerously provocative weakness. Enforcing the blockade brought the Israelis into contact with armed and determined terrorist agents. When the IDF commandos defended themselves, a credulous global media was ready to write stories of “peace activists” being “massacred,” as Hamas desired. Within twenty four hours, regimes noted for the regular murder of their captive subjects were at the podium of the United Nations, denouncing a democracy for defending its borders. I have yet to see a major media figure ask how many of the countries denouncing Israel would respond to an invading flotilla by sending in a squad of guys with paintball guns.

The long-term strategy behind the Terror Flotilla is more troubling, because the pieces in that game are moved by the skeleton hand of anti-civilization… and it is winning.

The central flaw in Western liberal foreign policy is the naïve belief they can construct a civilization without enemies. No amount of multicultural babble, foreign-aid payoffs, or servile bows before foreign leaders can accomplish that task. Every society has both rivals and enemies. Rivals have plans which extend beyond victory in any given contest or campaign. The conquerors of old were looking to assemble empires, and the most successful of them made efforts to incorporate the people and cultures they overwhelmed. Not even the rowdiest English king planned to exterminate the French.

Anti-civilization is different. It destroys without assimilation. It learns nothing from its enemies, studying them only to find weaknesses it can exploit. In ancient times, it took the form of barbarian reavers, who looked upon graceful cities full of art and music and felt nothing but hunger and contempt. The industrial age refined anti-civilization into a powerful black oil, fueling massive engines of murder. It learned to wear crisp uniforms, and build concentration camps. It orchestrated decades of mechanized slaughter, with an atomic finale. By the end of the twentieth century, it had learned to manufacture terror, and transform the wonders of the civilization it hates into firebombs that could level mighty skyscrapers.


US economic statistics

Here's a piece noting 50 statistics about the US economy almost to crazy to believe. (thanks reader Jeremy for the tip).........

Most Americans know that the U.S. economy is in bad shape, but what most Americans don't know is how truly desperate the financial situation of the United States really is. The truth is that what we are experiencing is not simply a "downturn" or a "recession". What we are witnessing is the beginning of the end for the greatest economic machine that the world has ever seen. Our greed and our debt are literally eating our economy alive. Total government, corporate and personal debt has now reached 360 percent of GDP, which is far higher than it ever reached during the Great Depression era. We have nearly totally dismantled our once colossal manufacturing base, we have shipped millions upon millions of middle class jobs overseas, we have lived far beyond our means for decades and we have created the biggest debt bubble in the history of the world. A great day of financial reckoning is fast approaching, and the vast majority of Americans are totally oblivious.

But the truth is that you cannot defy the financial laws of the universe forever. What goes up must come down. The borrower is the servant of the lender. Cutting corners always catches up with you in the end.

Sometimes it takes cold, hard numbers for many of us to fully realize the situation that we are facing.

Read the whole thing..........

Governor Christie: Not About Teachers

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Life in "Progress" Country - Canada edition

In yet another nod to the protection of fledgling self-esteem, an Ottawa children’s soccer league has introduced a rule that says any team that wins a game by more than five points will lose by default.

The Gloucester Dragons Recreational Soccer league’s newly implemented edict is intended to dissuade a runaway game in favour of sportsmanship. The rule replaces its five-point mercy regulation, whereby any points scored beyond a five-point differential would not be registered.

Kevin Cappon said he first heard about the rule on May 20 — right after he had scored his team’s last allowable goal. His team then tossed the ball around for fear of losing the game.

He said if anything, the league’s new rule will coddle sore losers.

“They should be saying anything is possible. If we can get five goals really fast, well, so can the other team,” said Kevin, 17, who has played in the league for five years. “People grow in adversity, they don’t really get worse…. I think you’ll see more leadership skills being used if a losing team tries to recuperate than if they never got into that situation at all.”

Sore losers? Like the type of people who make all the wrong decisions in life, get pissed and and expect the government to take the wealth of someone else to make the score all even again.

Punishing success?

Now that's "Progressive"!


PS kind of funny how a 17 year old can understand concepts you're average "progressive" can't grasp.

Cash for clunkers - a case study

I have written a lot about the Cash for Clunkers law, and the fact that it was a hit with its beneficiaries because it bought cars that blue-booked for just under $1500 for two or three times that amount. Other studies have shown that the program did abate some CO2, but at ridiculously high prices per ton.

But I have found a reason to love the Cash for Clunkers program: it is a fabulous demonstration project for just how utterly pointless government stimulus programs can be. Stimulus programs tend to be hard to evaluate in our complex economy — sort of like trying to calculate the effect of a butterfly flapping its wings on world climate. But since cash for clunkers only lasted a few weeks and hit only one industry, we can learn a lot about the effectiveness of government stimulus.


Life in "Progress" City - Philadelphia edition

From the city of Brotherly Love.........

Camille Cates Barnett will get nearly $50,000 annually from the city pension fund for the rest of her life after June 30, when she leaves her post as Philadelphia's managing director after two years, five months, and 24 days.

On the same day that a City Council committee moved to close the loophole that allows short-time employees such as Barnett to buy credit in the city's pension fund based on public service elsewhere, the Board of Pensions and Retirement revealed that Barnett had done just that.

Barnett has paid $122,303 to become vested in the pension plan, according to the Mayor's Office and the Pension Board, a privilege unionized employees are entitled to only after serving five years.

She had already made some payments toward the buy-in this year, and paid the balance of $106,564 on April 15.

Bankrupting a municipal pension?

Now that's "progressive"!


Life in "Redville"

Authorities in Warren County say evidence collected at a fire scene where three adults died Wednesday morning shows that the explosion and subsequent fire occurred at a house where methamphetamine was produced.

Names of the two men and woman who died in the home on Deardoff Road were not released.

The bodies were found more than 10 hours after firefighters arrived at the secluded home around 3:30 a.m.

“It is very important for investigators … to be very methodical in their on-scene examination,” State Fire Marshal spokesman Shane Cartmill said of the time it took investigators to find the bodies. “It is crucial for them to not miss anything, and it is a process that takes time.”


Global Warming challenge update

The latest update to the global warming challenge.

For the month of May the average high temperature was 75.1 degrees v an historical average of 74.4.

The average low temperature was 57.1 degrees v the historical average of 52.9 degrees.

That brings the score to the challenge

Global warming - 6
Global cooling - 4

Life in "Progress" state - California edition

They called it paradise
The place to be
They watched the hazy sun
Sinking in the sea

So your state is financially sinking like the Titanic. What do you do?

If you are the Golden state, you respond by banning plastic bags..........
It could soon cost California shoppers at the checkout aisle if they forget to bring their own bags to the store under what would be the nation's first statewide plastic bag ban.

The California Assembly on Wednesday passed legislation prohibiting pharmacies and grocery, liquor and convenience stores from giving out plastic bags.

It also calls for customers to be charged for using store-issued paper bags.

The goal is to get rid of unsightly disposable plastic bags that often wind up in urban rivers and the ocean, as well as to reduce the number of bags heading for landfills.

Did it ever occur to these dumb asses that the reason most of these plastic bags are in a landfill is because they contain garbage?

Yeah, see in the Gekko household we multitask those bags; bring home the groceries then line our garbage cans with them. They are cheaper than buying more expensive Hefty or Glad bags (free) they're also more green. But hey what can I tell you. So far everything's working out great for California so who am I to criticize.

Banning plastic bags while you're state is collapsing?

Now that's "Progressive"!


Wednesday, June 02, 2010

You own it baby

A must watch

Foreclosure facts

You know the current myth is that as soon as a borrower gets 30 days behind on their mortgage, the foreclosure police are there to kick the young, hard working family to the curb.

In reality, many of these foreclosures are "strategic".........

Strategic walkaways gets the NYT treatment today. The data is fairly impressive:

-Foreclosure procedures have been initiated against 1.7 million households.
-Average borrower in foreclosure has been delinquent for 438 days before eviction;
-This is up from 251 days in January 2008.
-More than 650,000 households had not paid in 18 months.
-19 percent of those homes, the lender had not even begun to take action to repossess the property — double the rate a year earlier.

I find the rationalizations by the people who engage in the process rather interesting. The excuses — and they are simply excuses — consist of a long list of reasons that only hint at the simple truth of non-payment:

-The bank wouldn’t help
-“They’re all crooks.”
- “free rent”
- we have little to lose
- its self-preservation

A few people hint at it, but no one actually makes the rational claim as to the math of strategic (rather than emotional) default.

I would like to read one person make the honest statement:

“I’ve done the math, and it doesn’t make sense to pay the mortgage. I can rent the same house a block over for half of what I am paying. I am so far underwater that if I stay here, struggle, and make all the payments, in 10 years, I will merely be back to break even. Why bother?

Like all the big banks have all done, I’ve made the calculation that it is financially beneficial to default on the loan — so that is what I am doing. As Sonny was told in the Godfather, “This is business, not personal…”


Thanks reader Tim for the link

A stimulus grant

Watch the whole thing.........

Two Americas

From Powerline.......

There are, indeed, two Americas: the increasingly straitened world of the private sector, where jobs are competitive, money is scarce, and job security is, for many, nonexistent; and the lush world of the government employee, where competition is more or less unknown, salaries and benefits often double those available to private workers, retirement is ten or more years earlier than in the private sector, and it may take a felony to get fired. This is the central economic conflict of our time, between lavishly compensated and ever more gluttonous government employees, and wealth-creating private citizens who are increasingly unable to support their public-sector masters in the style to which they have become accustomed.

Let's follow the time line

1) BP launches a big campaign a few years ago proclaiming it's new green ways "Thinking outside the barrel". (see here)

From the February 2006 issue:

For an example of a company apparently trying to single-handedly save the planet through expensive public relations alone, one needn't look farther than the corporate darling of serious environmentalists and greenish consumers alike: BP

BP is first among many companies that have opted to do their environmental penance in the glare of the spotlight. British Petroleum (recently rechristened BP, following KFC's model in removing unsavory words from its brand name) has been much ballyhooed for its commitment to the environment. Most of the ballyhooing is being done by BP itself.

A gas and oil company with $225 billion in revenue, BP is part of an industry that will keep environmental advocacy groups in business for as long at it exists. Yet these days BP is styling itself "Beyond Petroleum" and declaring that it's "thinking outside the barrel." BP's Environmental Team has crafted an elaborate advertising campaign and rebranding effort, recently expanded to the Web. Its goal: to convince the world that a company that sucks dead dinosaurs out of the earth, turns them into gasoline, and delivers that gas to SUVs can also be environmentally friendly enough to use a green and yellow sunburst (or is it a flower?) as its logo....

One might be forgiven for wondering how BP is managing to take in hundreds of billions in oil and gas revenue, apparently in its spare time.

2) Then continues to operate with more safety violations than all the other oil companies combined. (see here).

In two separate disasters prior to the Gulf oil rig explosion, 30 BP workers have been killed, and more than 200 seriously injured.

In the last five years, investigators found, BP has admitted to breaking U.S. environmental and safety laws and committing outright fraud. BP paid $373 million in fines to avoid prosecution.

BP's safety violations far outstrip its fellow oil companies. According to the Center for Public Integrity, in the last three years, BP refineries in Ohio and Texas have accounted for 97 percent of the "egregious, willful" violations handed out by the Occupational Safety and Health

3) Yet gets systematic approval from MMS for everything they want to do. (see here)
Just a week before the Deepwater Horizon exploded, BP PLC asked regulators to approve three successive changes to its oil well over 24 hours, according to federal records reviewed by the Wall Street Journal.
The unusual rapid-fire requests to modify permits reveal that BP was tweaking a crucial aspect of the well's design up until its final days. One of the design decisions outlined in the revised permits, drilling experts say, may have left the well more vulnerable to the blowout that occurred April 20, killing 11 workers and leaving crude oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico.

The Minerals
Management Service approved all the changes quickly, in one instance within five minutes of submission.

4) Despite the horrible safety record and OSHA violations were due to receive a safety award from MMS (see here)

Talk about bad timing . . .

The Interior Department’s Mineral Management Service has postponed a Monday safety awards luncheon at which a nominee for two awards was BP -- which operated the oil rig that sank in the Gulf of Mexico, threatening an unprecedented environmental disaster along much of the nation's Gulf Coast.

The awards ceremony recognizes "outstanding safety and pollution prevention performance by the offshore oil and gas industry." BP was nominated for its work on the outer continental shelf.

5) Oh, it just so happens that BP lead the way in giving money to the Obamunists (see here)

While the BP oil geyser pumps millions of gallons of petroleum into the Gulf of Mexico, President Barack Obama and members of Congress may have to answer for the millions in campaign contributions they’ve taken from the oil and gas giant over the years.

BP and its employees have given more than $3.5 million to federal candidates over the past 20 years, with the largest chunk of their money going to Obama, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Donations come from a mix of employees and the company’s political action committees — $2.89 million flowed to campaigns from BP-related PACs and about $638,000 came from individuals.

I'm sure it's all a coincidence and one congress will look to investigate real soon.

Can't I just vote present?

David Gergen thinks The One should take charge..........

Enough is enough! After the latest failure by BP to plug the gaping hole, it is time for President Obama to take full command of this growing national catastrophe. Immediately!

The president in his press conference this past Thursday assured the nation that he and his administration were already in charge and he has manfully taken personal responsibility -- "the buck stops here," he said, echoing Harry Truman. Well, it may be true that BP has been acting all along under the oversight of the federal government, but that supervision has been loose and ineffective.

To the world, it has been apparent that the government has been riding shotgun and BP has been at the wheel. It's time for the White House to get in the driver's seat and get us to safety -- fast.

First, I don't hold Obama responsible for the slick just like I didn't hold Bush responsible for Katrina because, unlike your average voter, I understand that government's are impotent when it comes to handling every contingency that comes down the road.

Like it or not, it's the private sector is who solves problems in this world. I was kidding some relatives over the weekend instead of calling FEMA to handle the Katrina issues Louisiana should have called Walmart. I guarantee it would have been handled faster and more efficiently.

With all that said, Obama brought this on himself. Remember his democratic acceptance speech when he declared "the rise of the oceans began to slow." Somehow, he failed to tell us they would be covered in a giant slick during that slowdown.

Believe it or not, I blame nearly all of this on the elder George Bush. Do you happen to remember his first debate with Clinton and Ross Perot when he was asked some pathetic question from a ding dong about the president being a father and the citizens being their children.

Instead of stammering around, it would have been a great opportunity for him to educate the public with this line. "I am president of the United States. I am not your father, mother, sister, brother. I am not omnipresent. I cannot solve all the ails of the world, or even this country's. What ails you is your responsibility and yours alone."

Instead we've had administration after administration over promising solutions to everything from global warming to bunions and then ending up with a dissatisfied public when they under deliver.

The media is a conspirator in this myth as well looking to the government to solve ever problem known to man kind without having enough smarts to realize government's limitations.

But hey, as long as there's a president who believes he can slow the rising oceans I say go for it dude.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Who did he vote for? #77

Meet Alex Ralles. Why is Alex in the news?

The annual Memorial Day parade here is considered one of the area's biggest and best, attracting about 1,000 people to the flag-lined streets each year.

But one Westwood man was apparently bent on tearing down the flagpoles and removing five of the flags from the route, police said Tuesday. Police said some of the poles were broken and some of the flags were damaged.

Alex Ralles, 20, of Cyclorama Drive was found with five of the flags and some broken poles - each about 8 feet long - in his car after being pulled over by police at 3:25 a.m. Monday, 7½ hours before the parade's start time.

About 200 flags are placed along the roughly half-mile route.

Police say a witness called police to say the young man was knocking down and stealing the flags.

So in 2008 did Alex here vote for The One or The Maverick?


What does "full responsibility" mean?

If I have to hear another pol tell us they're taking full responsibility to some crisis I think I'll kick them in the balls.

What exactly does that mean to a politician?

We just heard The Big O tell us he's taking full responsibility for the giant oil slick in the gulf and then I get to read this.......

Struggling to convey command of the worsening Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the Obama administration is taking steps to distance itself from BP and is dispatching Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to the Gulf Coast to meet with federal and state prosecutors. The Holder trip could signal that the environmental calamity might become the subject of a criminal investigation.

I guess that means he's fully responsible except when he's not.


How long should you live rent free?

Nothing makes my blood boil more than reading these bleeding heart pieces on home foreclosures on homes worth substantially more than the 1300 square foot palatial estate home the Gekko's reside in.......

For Alex Pemberton and Susan Reboyras, foreclosure is becoming a way of life — something they did not want but are in no hurry to get out of.

Foreclosure has allowed them to stabilize the family business. Go to Outback occasionally for a steak. Take their gas-guzzling airboat out for the weekend. Visit the Hard Rock Casino.

“Instead of the house dragging us down, it’s become a life raft,” said Mr. Pemberton, who stopped paying the mortgage on their house here last summer. “It’s really been a blessing.”

A growing number of the people whose homes are in foreclosure are refusing to slink away in shame. They are fashioning a sort of homemade mortgage modification, one that brings their payments all the way down to zero. They use the money they save to get back on their feet or just get by.

So I get to pay taxes to bail out Mr. and Ms. Douche bag here while they get to roll into Hard Rock Casino on their airboat? All while they're living in a home worth twice as much than the Gekko estate?

Is there anyone else out there that finds that offensive to common sense?


You have to hear it to believe it.

I don't listen to Michael Savage but this is a must listen.

Thanks reader Bernie.........

Let's just leave those borders open

Watch this and make your blood boil..........

Part 2 here

Remember, these are the people being protected by democrats.

Thanks reader Jim for the link.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

Next to Thanksgiving and Easter, this holiday probably has the most meaning for me.

While some would criticize me for what they perceive as some form of jingoism, the fact is, being an American means something and it means something really great.

None of us could experience the greatness that is America without the ultimate sacrifice of so many.

It is so easy for all of us to assume that our inalienable rights recognized by the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution are a given. But when those documents were drafted that wasn't so. In fact, up to that point in history, the concept of individual freedoms had never been recognized though out human history and, to this day, continues to be threatened throughout the world.

If it weren't for people like Crispus Attucks and all those who died after him, our country would not be the free America it is today.

I never served and to me that might be my greatest regret in my life for it feels as though I'm getting a freebie....and I am.

But I will always recognize and honor the sacrifice of so many to pave the way for our wonderful Memorial Day holiday and all of the freedoms we enjoy as a result. Those soldiers did not die in vain. For the country that is the United States of America is the product of their ultimate sacrifice. For that we owe each of those people our unending gratitude.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Life in "Progress" City - Toledo edition

From the glass city...........

A couch potato's utopia

Because of the lovely Mrs. Gekko's work schedule, old Gordon has been left alone to batch it for the weekend. In the past 24 hours, I have watched

Men's Lacrosse
Stanley Cup Hockey
Two Red's games
Women's softball
NBA playoffs
PGA golf
Indy 500
College baseball

While I feel like I should feel guilty, I don't. I haven't had a mental health day in over six months, so I'm due.

I'm capping off the evening with the Coke 600 and the Ranger's/Twin's game tonight.

Who knows, I may follow Nancy Pelosi's advice and pursue my lifetime dream to be a professional sports spectator. And you guys can pay for my health care.

It's all coming together.

Now where did I put that remote?

Life in "Progress" City - Chicago edition

From the Windy City...........

At least 22 people were wounded in separate shootings around the city roughly between noon Saturday and noon Sunday, including a man who died this morning after he was shot in the head, Chicago police said.

At a news conference this morning, Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis said that nearly half of the shootings appear to be gang-related, including the fatal incident. Weis added that at least two of the other victims have refused to cooperate with police, "which makes the job of our detectives ... far more difficult."

One of the shootings was particularly disturbing because one of the female victims was eight months pregnant, the superintendent said. No one in custody for any of the incidents.

Turning your city into Afghanistan?

Now that's "progressive"!