Wednesday, January 29

"The State of the Coup Address"

A little blurb from NBC:
As President Barack Obama enters his sixth year in the White House, 68 percent of Americans say the country is either stagnant or worse off since he took office, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

Just 31 percent say the country is better off, and a deep pessimism continues to fuel the public’s mood. Most respondents used words like “divided,” “troubled,” and “deteriorating” to describe the current state of the nation.

On the eve of Tuesday’s State of the Union address, more than six-in-10 Americans believe that the nation is headed in the wrong direction and 70 percent are dissatisfied with the economy.
Whoa!  NBC has always been slavishly devoted to King Barack.  How curious that they'd print a piece showing that his policies have little public support.  How could this happen?

The reason--I suspect the only reason--is that the poll was conducted *jointly* by NBC and the Wall Street Journal--meaning that the results were going to be published by the latter regardless of what NBC decided to do.

Ah.

One wonders how that piece would have read if the WSJ hadn't had access to the results.

Saturday, January 25

Only in San Fran: Gay-rights activist caught sending toddler-porn, will get 6-month sentence--and keep city pension !

Normally I wouldn't bother writing a post about a sex crimes--normally no surprising or world-class issues there. But I'll make an exception for this one:

Rights advocate pleads guilty in child porn case

SFGate, January 21, 2014

Veteran gay rights advocate and former San Francisco Human Rights Commission staffer Larry Brinkin pleaded guilty Tuesday to possessing child pornography.

Brinkin, 67, made a deal with that will result in a sentencing recommendation of six months in county jail, six months of home detention, five years of probation and lifetime registration as a sex offender.

Authorities said e-mail attachments were found on his America Online subscriber's account that contained images of toddlers engaged in sex acts with men. 

Prosecutors originally charged him with six felony counts of possessing and distributing child pornography, but dropped all but one felony count of possession as part of the plea bargain.

During his 22 years with the rights commission, Brinkin helped craft the city's Equal Benefits Ordinance, which became a national model for workplace equality for gays and lesbians. When he retired, the Board of Supervisors declared the week of Feb. 1, 2010, as Larry Brinkin Week.
Brinkin's attorney said he did not believe Brinkin's city pension would be affected by the plea because his conviction doesn't fall under "moral turpitude."  Under a Proposition approved in 2008 a city employee can only lose retirement benefits if convicted of a crime involving "moral turpitude" -- usually theft, fraud or a breach of the public trust.
One hardly knows where to begin on this one.
 
The SFGate is totally pro-homosexual, so the news article isn't anti-gay.  Rather, it got my attention for several other reasons:  First was the ridiculously light sentence, compared with other child-porn cases.  The average sentence is far higher--up to 40 years in a couple of cases.

Why did this guy get off so easily?  Remember, they caught this bastard with images of toddlers engaging in sex acts with men.  If he were in any city other than San Fran he would have been hammered hard.  But notice how the author of the article goes to great lengths to polish the guy's image, saying he's a "veteran gay-rights activist."  That's a big plus in San Fran.  Hell, even the headline of the article starts "Rights advocate pleads..."

Then the author tells us Brinkin spent 22 years on the Human Rights Commission.  Again that's a huge plus in San Fran:  the guy's a huge supporter of human rights--particularly the rights of people to have whatever kind of sex they want with anyone they want.  Which makes him one of Good Guys out there.

Hmm.  Wonder how he felt about the rights of the "toddlers" being abused?

The next thing that got my attention was that even after being caught with toddler-porn, the guy's attorney didn't think his client would lose his taxpayer-funded city pension.  Dude, if you don't lose your pension for toddler porn, no one ever could.  Well, maybe unless you made a disparaging remark about gays or something.

Finally the topper:  Voters apparently approved an ordinance specifying that city employees could only lose their pension if convicted of a crime involving "moral turpitude."  But apparently neither the author of the piece nor San Fran voters considers sending toddler porn as "moral turpitude."

What in the hell is going on?

Oh, wait:  It's San Francisco.  Beautiful city but weapons-grade crazy government.

"Design margin" and collapsing houses of cards

If you look out the window or drive to work or go to your kid's hockey game, everything looks pretty much like it always has.  Almost entirely normal.

If you agree with that you probably shouldn't read any more of this post.

Because if you follow national politics, legal decisions, foreign relations, social trends, currency markets, energy markets, one gets a sense of a collapsing house of cards.  Every trend is headed in a frightening direction.

The Obama administration has demoralized our national psyche.  The percentage of Americans who have dropped out of the labor force is at a 36-year high.  Far too many seem to have lost hope of things getting better--at least during their lifetime.  In every survey the percentage of Americans who think the nation is going in the wrong direction is higher than a month ago, a year ago or a decade ago.

For example, we now expect Obama to lie about virtually everything.  No one is even surprised anymore.  The only debate is whether his lies are malicious or simply a result of being uninformed.  Neither conclusion is reassuring.

But the really depressing fact is that 53% of those who voted, voted for him — and many support him still.  That strikes me as the most accurate predictor of the future of our nation.  And that prediction is...awful.

It's depressing to realize that 98% of the nation's media actively supported Obama for president, and deliberately suppressed all negative information about him as much as possible.  How can that much concentrated malice or stupidity be corrected in a single human lifetime?

You can imagine a nation as a big jet airliner:  It's been carefully designed to carry loads a full 50% higher than it will ever actually have to carry.  That's called the design margin.  Then it was very carefully built exactly to plans.  But over time the gremlins of corrosion and age nibble away at that design margin.  And in the case of our nation, some people are actually grinding metal off the wing spars, either because they think they're entitled to it or sometimes just for the pure hell of it. 

And each cut weakens the structure just a bit more.

You warn the metal-thieves that they're weakening the wings, but they smirk and say "Nonsense--this thing was designed to be way stronger than it had to be, so it won't hurt if we take just a little metal out."  And since you can't kill 'em, all you can do is try to explain that the design margin is finite, and that if they keep grinding on the wing spars, at some point the margin will be cut to zero and the structure will fail.

Inevitably, they all respond the same: with a puzzled look that says they have no earthly idea what you mean.  And that they're not interested in learning.

America was beautifully designed--the Founders knew human nature very well, and tried to design a framework that would protect us from bad leaders.  And the country has been carefully built over the better part of 130 years or so, by the hard work of millions of dedicated, honest, moral Americans.  But starting around 1970 or so the number of people living off others or actively trying to destroy the country started to rise dramatically.

Gradually others, not firmly in either camp but taking their cues from politicians and media, began to see that their friends who blew off school and didn't seem to keep a job very long were still managing to have a ton of fun and live pretty comfortably.  They started to realize that one didn't have to work hard and have self-discipline to have a fine time--helped by food stamps, welfare and low-cost public housing.

Why bother working hard if you don't have to? 

The number of kids born to never-married moms skyrocketed.  I'm not concerned about the morality of that issue but the practical effects were and are devastating:  Most teenage boys without a father in the home grow up absolutely self-centered and without any sort of moral compass.  Very few single moms have both the willpower and enough physical strength to make their kids do the right thing.

Prime-time network television shows in the '80s had story-lines in which their female stars gave birth outside of marriage, removing whatever small reservations about that may have remained.  Only a few in flyover country found this unsettling, and they were quickly ridiculed by the media.

If you're an adult I assume you've seen the numbers for unmarried births to U.S. women. 

Take a guess.

In 2011, for the entire population, 40.7% of all births were to single women.  But there's a big difference in races: 32.3% of births to white women, versus 63.7% of births to blacks.  (Source, p.9)  In many big cities 80% of black births are to single women.  But everyone in government, the media and elite circles tries to pretend these numbers have no effect on...anything.

Uh-huh.

Most of these kids--not all by any means, but most--will never have enough education--and more important, will never have the self-discipline, habit patterns or desire--to hold down any job above entry-level.  In effect they will be permanent members of the underclass.  And they'll vote Democrat, since Democrats will promise to increase government handouts while they'll hear that Republicans are trying to cut 'em.

For the last 40 years or so we've been living on the "design margin" provided by the Founders and those who came before us.  But each year some of that margin is nibbled away, mostly by politicians and their dumb, vote-buying programs.  At some point we won't have enough margin left to carry the real load.

Even today we no longer have the political will to rein in even such a non-power as Iran.  Instead Obama and Kerry and Hillary pose and posture and yammer about having reached an agreement with that country under which it will abandon its quest for the atomic bomb--while the Iranian leaders laugh and openly go on TV to say they agreed to no such thing. 

Not only do we have no power on the world scene, the American people no longer seem to even want to have any power.  Far too many Americans have eaten our seed corn and forgotten how it was planted.

Fortunately it's a big country, and there are still lots of people who value ethics and are accustomed to work, so the arc to impact will take many years yet.  Hopefully that will be some comfort.

Unless you have kids, of course. 

Saturday, January 18

Solar activity declining faster than any time in 10,000 years?? Scientists say may be entering *cold* period

Yesterday the BBC reported that an analysis of ice-cores, which hold a long-term record of solar activity, suggests our sun's activity is declining faster than has been seen in 10,000 years.

Solar activity seems to be linked to the number of sunspots, which have been recorded for about 400 years. The number of spots oscillates in a well-known rhythm of highs and lows with a period of 22 years or so.  From this known record, right now the sun should be near peak activity, but very few sunspots are actually being seen.

In fact the last time solar activity was this low was around 1600 A.D.--a period that saw record-cold temperatures on earth, called the Little Ice Age. 

"I've been a solar physicist for 30 years, and I've never seen anything quite like this," said one scientist. Dozens of papers have been published in the last two months suggesting that based on what we're seeing on the sun, we're in for a major, long-term cold spell.

But remember, citizen:  Global warming is settled science.  Oh, and it's caused by humans, cuz y'all drive and fly way too much.

Of course you know what'll happen next:  The warm-mongers will claim that they *really were* right about humans causing Globull Worming, but the dumb ol' sun--unpredictably--did something totally unexpected and wrecked their otherwise-perfect predictions.

Count on that one.  You can see that one coming a mile away.

How Iran sees the nuclear agreement with the U.S.

We're slowly seeing more statements from Iranian officials about the swell deal Team Obama made with Iran regarding nuclear enrichment. The constant message from Iran is that it's Not An Agreement, but merely a non-binding "declaration."

In an interview with Iranian TV November 25, 2013, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, one of the chief nuclear negotiators at Geneva said: "This agreement does not constitute a legal obligation and these steps are reversible. It is not a treaty but a six-month joint plan of action. Do not call it more than that. There is always a way out [of the deal]... any time we decide to do so, we can get out of this agreement.

In a November 30 interview on Iranian TV, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi, another of the negotiators at Geneva, said: "The agreed text is not a legal and binding agreement but is more like a political declaration under the headline 'joint plan of action.' Both sides have prepared a table of voluntary steps to be taken within a defined time frame."

Team Obama--aptly represented by the traitor John "I served in VietNam" Kerry--is telling Americans that they've negotiated this amazing deal that will keep Iran from getting an atomic bomb.  But the Iranian negotiators are telling Iranians that the whole thing is just a non-binding statement of intent, with no obligations. 

In prior years I'd believe the U.S. president over the Iranians, but with Barack "you can keep your doctor" Obama I'm far more inclined to think the Iranians may be telling truth about the thing.

Tuesday, January 14

December jobs report? Pay no attention, because unemployment *fell* a huge amount!

The government released the jobs report for December, and it showed the fewest jobs created in three years.  How bad was it?  Check out the graph:


To get a feel for this number, many analysts have written that the economy needs to add an *average* of about 220,000 jobs each month just to absorb the number of people just entering the job market.

So how did the Democrat-loving media report this?  Why, it reported that it was "surprising."  And that the unemployment rate actually *fell* in December, to a warm fuzzy 6.7 percent!

This number was achieved because so many people officially stopped looking for work.  The percentage of Americans actually working is the lowest in 35 years.  But if you read the NY Times, the big news is that the "surprising" jobs report has "strengthened the hand of Democrats" in the battle to extend unemployment benefits again.

Did the Times by any chance look at possible reasons for the dismal job figure, perhaps musing whether it could have anything to do with uncertainty by business owners and managers regarding, say, Obamacare, or the prospects for the government reining in huge deficits?  Why yes, they did.  And their conclusion?

They attributed the weak job number to...unusually cold weather.

In that case we should be due for a huge surge in January, as the unfilled job demand from December adds to the "expected" demand in January.

Guess we'll see.

Monday, January 13

Obamacare was about to force towns to buy health insurance for *volunteer firefighters*

When is a volunteer considered an "employee?"

When that decision is made by someone in the federal government. 

Lots of small towns that can't afford full-time fire departments have volunteer firefighters.  But because they sometimes get gym memberships or modest retirement pay or similar perks, the feds have "deemed" them employees.

And you can guess what's coming next, right?  Sure you can:  The f'n federal gummint was gonna require these thousands of volunteer outfits to provide health insurance for their so-called "employees," due to the carefully-thought-out provisions of Obamacare.

Representatives of the little towns were stunned:  The whole point of a "volunteer" force is that they're NOT employees, you dumb bastards.  But Duh Won, he don' say nuffin'.

Now, finally, the Treasury Department has seen the light and won't demand that towns purchase health insurance for their volunteer firefighters.

Whew.

Saturday, January 11

Just keeps getting better: Holder's department orders schools to discipline students equally by race and sex.

Well here they go again:  Last Wednesday the DOE and DOJ issued a joint "Dear Colleague" letter--describing it as "guidance to assist public schools in meeting their obligations under Federal law."

For those not familiar with gobble-speak, the translation is "We hereby announce a new order--and if any of you violate as much as the dot on an "i" of it we will bring the weight of the federal 'justice department' down on you so fast you won't know what hit you."

The order?  That schools can't impose any type of discipline on members of any race out of proportion to that race's percentage of the student body.

For the terminally-Democratic, this means that if 90 percent of a school's disciplinary problems are caused by members of a race that only makes up, say, 12 percent of the students, school administrators must choose to either let most of the bad apples get clean away with their assaults, or start punishing other races for...nothing.

Hey, sounds to me like it's about par for the course for this government.

To say this is an outrage, a travesty, an abomination or a perversion is an understatement. Imagine if this brilliant insight were applied to criminal behavior in general:  The state couldn't charge criminals at a rate greater than the percentage of offenses by the most law-abiding racial subset.  Insanity.

Outrageous.  But not all that surprising.

Friday, January 10

Formula for disaster?

From a commenter:
When half the people in a country hear that they don't have to work, because the government will take care of their needs; and when working people learn that they no longer profit much from their work--because the government now takes half of what they make and gives it to somebody who doesn't work--that's the beginning of the end for that nation.
That seems hard to dispute.

Democrats: "We should let undocumented immigrants vote *even if they're not citizens.* It's the only fair thing to do."

It's been well documented that poor immigrants favor the Democratic party by about 98 to 2.  So it's not at all surprising that Democrats want to give amnesty and citizenship to every illegal alien--even those who have committed crimes the Dems can wave away as "minor."

But just in case they can't get this done, they've got a Plan B:  Push to let illegal aliens vote even if they're not citizens.

Naturally you think I'm kidding--you think that's such a goofy, outrageous idea that the Dems would never, ever even propose it, for fear of the firestorm they'd unleash.

Think again, cupcake.

The idea has already been floated, most recently in the latest issue of the leftist mag "The Atlantic," in a story titled "Immigrant voting: not a crazy idea." 

The main buzzword is "disenfranchised."  The author knows this word resonates with his readers, and it's likely most of 'em will sign on to this Great New Cause on that basis alone.  Of course the fact that people who have entered the U.S. illegally after around 1920 have never been able to vote would seem to rebut the charge that they've been disenfranchised, but apparently the author hopes his readers will ignore this because a century ago a number of states allowed non-citizens to vote.

See how neatly he slipped that in?  If you'd entered the U.S. illegally before 1920 you would have been able to vote, he says, so the fact that the last state stopped letting non-citizens vote 90-some years ago means y'all have been disenfranchised.

Expect to see this idea pushed more and more by the Left.  Salivating at the prospect of owning the White House and congress for 50 years, Democrats are determined to give illegal immigrants the vote, even if they can't give 'em citizenship yet. 

Thursday, January 9

Newest Hot-Button-Issue from Team Obozo:  "Promise Zones"--troubled neighborhoods in five cities and areas "that will be eligible for tax breaks and other forms of assistance designed to create jobs and improve education, housing and public safety."

And we're absolutely certain these will work just as well as Obama's other promises:
>"Mine will be the most transparent administration in history."
>"The content of all bills will be posted 72 hours before a vote, so people can see what's in them."
>"If you make under $250,000 your taxes won't go up by even a dime."  (Before the Supremes said Obamacare's forced cancellation and purchase of goofy insurance had to be considered a "tax" to be Constitutional.)
>"Use of chemical weapons in Syria will cross a red line."
>"If you like your health insurance you can keep it.  Period."
>"If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor.  Period."
>"I was never briefed on the gun-running program called 'Fast and Furious.'"  But he invoked "executive privilege" to prevent Eric Holder from having to testify before congress--and for EP to legitimately be invoked the executive employee has to have provided counsel to the president.

Eh, what difference does it make?

Wednesday, January 8

Predictions on Team Obama's focus for 2014

Does anyone recall an instance of a foreign-policy success by Team Obozo?

They backed the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, even after the Egyptian people said "no thanks."

They backed the rebels who overthrew Libya's crazy colonel, only to find the newly-liberated country joining the fanatical al-Qaeda stable.

Obama famously announced his "red line" in Syria, then got in deeper by declaring that he didn't need permission from congress to order a military strike, then said that even though he really, truly didn't need congressional authorization, he'd ask for it anyway.

But then he didn't.

Oh, and right after the 2008 election there was that business of giving the queen of England an iPod with his speeches on it.  And returning a bust of Churchill that had been loaned to the White House by our British allies.

So it's hard to believe foreign policy going forward will involve better decisions.  Which brings me to some political predictions for 2014:

I suspect Obama and his supporters will *strenuously* avoid foreign-policy initiatives, and mentioning anything about Obamacare.  Instead they'll focus on income inequality, raising the minimum wage, extending unemployment benefits and possibly on a thing called a "guaranteed income"--a much loftier-sounding re-packaging of welfare. 

And Nancy Pelosi and Nuclear Harry will be fawning all over the idea.

At least that's how I think it'll go.

School: "Free speech doesn't extend to mentions of Christianity in public school"

Just before Christmas a first-grade student in California tried to pass out candy canes to classmates. His teacher prevented that because the student had attached a small tag to each one telling how candy canes became a symbol of Christmas.

Sensing a Level-5 Religious Crisis the teacher quickly conferred with the principal before telling 6-year-old Isaiah Martinez, “Jesus is not allowed in school." The teacher then removed all the tags, threw them in the trash and then permitted the student to distribute them.

The superintendent of the West Covina Unified School District has issued the expected bullshit "We dint do nuffin'" statement, saying the district's goal was merely to "maintain religious neutrality in the classroom and to communicate this to the child in an age-appropriate manner.”

Oh, definitely. Wouldn't wanna get that sweet, sweet "religious neutrality" across to kids in a way that wasn't "age-appropriate," eh?

What unalloyed bullshit. Suppose a muzlim student had wanted to hand out candy with a label saying Islam was their friend and a peaceful religion. Can you in your wildest fucking dreams imagine any public employee stripping off *those* tags?

Of course not. They'd be scared to death to try that. This is typical government cover-your-ass bullshit.

If I had a grade-school kid I'd try a gig like that just to watch what would happen.

BTW, anyone hear the phrase "the war on Christmas?" It's a phrase used by conservatives to designate the fact that mentioning Christmas, or even *wishing someone* Merry Christmaas has become controversial. But this year I'm seeing that the Left has adopted the same phrase but in a sarcastic way, as a way of saying that this isn't real.

Ah. "Not real." Like this kid's experience.

Tuesday, January 7

Street scene in a modern city

Submitted for your consideration:  a pleasant street in Syria, 2011.


Then the same street three years later.

Now consider this:  These people had cars, satellite TV, cell phones, excellent restaurants and hotels, shopping--all the pleasantries of modern life.  And yet they still came to the end shown in the lower photo.

Ask yourself what caused the destruction.  Then ask yourself, What is the difference between Syria and the U.S. that would keep us from suffering this same fate? 

I suggest that the difference is razor-thin.

Group proposes statue of satan next to Ten Commandments monument

Sign of the times, I suspect:
A group calling itself "The Satanic Temple" has proposed to build a statue of Satan near a depiction of the Ten Commandments on the grounds of the Oklahoma capitol.

Drawings of the statue on the group's application show a 7-foot tall goat-headed creature seated and flanked by a child on both sides.

The group’s spokesman said the statue was designed to "serve as a beacon calling for compassion and empathy among all living creatures.” Spokesman Lucian Greaves added that people of all ages could sit on the lap of the statue "for inspiration and contemplation.”

In 2009 the Oklahoma legislature voted to let a privately-funded group install a monument to the Ten Commandments, which was installed last year over the protests of the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

"This is a First Amendment issue," Greaves said. "Once they open that door, they can't discriminate."

Greaves assured the Satanists’ monument would be “in good taste and consistent with community standards.”

Asked why the New York-based Satanic Temple had chosen to descend on Oklahoma, Greaves said the locals had reached out to him after the Ten Commandments monument had been erected.  But he admits "We were looking for this."

I'll just bet you were, Sparky.
"We needed locals who were members in a town, people who were willing to sign affidavits and use their address on the documentation," Greaves said. "People to say they're members of the Temple and living in that town. Otherwise it would be encroachment by New Yorkers on the people of Oklahoma."
Ah, I see.  Wouldn't want to do that, eh?  Oh, wait...isn't that exactly what you did?

Why yes, yes it is.

And you have the gall to claim this statue will be "consistent with community standards," eh?

Like I said:  a sign of the times.

Congressman says he's suing the administration over Obamacare

Yesterday a Republican congressman from Wisconsin wrote an article in the WSJ about why he's suing the Obama administration to make congress live by the letter of the health-care law it imposed on the rest of America.

One of the provisions used to win votes in congress for the razor-thin passage of Obamacare was that the law would also apply to members of congress and their staff.  The congressman claims this provision was specifically debated in the House, as members were aware that if they rammed through yet another law that they exempted themselves from, voters would be furious. 

The cover story was that Obamacare was going to be so good that congress would eagerly participate in it, just as they were forcing everyone else to do.

But certain legislators and staffers never had any intention of playing by the same rules as us peasants, and began lobbying their friends in the White House to craft a sly workaround.  And sure enough, after the bill was safely passed the Obama administration arranged for members of Congress and their staffs to receive an extra "employer contribution" that would let them get top-quality benefits at little personal cost.  Yet supposedly congress had intentionally ruled this out to help get the votes to pass the controversial law.

The guy claims that having the federal government make an employer contribution to help pay for insurance coverage was explicitly considered, debated and rejected in the House.  This was a major confidence-building move offered by Democrats to reassure skeptics that ObamaCare would live up to its billing.  Democrats wanted to appear willing to subject themselves to the same laws, rules and regulations as their constituents.

After the bill was safely passed they sought a special exemption from Obama.  Last October the president supplied it, through a bizarre ruling from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).  The pretext used by OPM is astonishing:  they essentially declared the federal government a small employer—thus qualifying members of Congress for coverage through a program that allows small businesses to buy insurance for their employees.

Interestingly, Republicans tried to block this special treatment, passing a bill in the House on Sept. 29.  

Of course you can guess what happened: The bill was blocked in the senate.  Amendments have also been offered to senate bills that would do the same thing, but Democrat majority leader Harry Reid has--surprise!-- refused to allow a vote on any of those amendments.

All right, students, time to warm up your predictive skills.  What do you think will happen to this lawsuit?
  • The court where he files it will throw it out due to "lack of standing" to sue;
  • The court will allow it to be filed, the government will appeal, and the case will finally reach the Supreme Court in October of 2016, after which the outcome won't make any difference;
  • The congressman will have a mysterious accident involving a bus;
  • The congressman will suddenly withdraw the lawsuit on some weak pretext; or
  • The lawsuit will go to trial, and a jury composed of 12 Democrats--all quite impartial of course--will find in favor of the administration; or
  • The suit is tried and the congressman wins, but the Obama administration ignores the ruling that it must comply with the actual law.
You'll notice I didn't include a choice in which the congressman actually wins and the administration complies with the court order.   That's because I'm over the age of 8 and have watched Obama and the Dems at work for far too long to believe they'd ever obey a law or court order they didn't want to.


"Primary function" of FBI quietly changes

With no fanfare whatsoever, the FBI has changed its "primary function."  Take a look:


Of course the reason is obvious:  No one in the entire Justice Department has any interest in enforcing those quaint things called "laws"--unless you're on the wrong side of the political aisle.  In that case they'll hound you to the ends of the earth.

How cold is it?






Okay, it's a twist on an old Carson or Leno bit, but still funny.

Monday, January 6

Gobblespeak, part 548,395

Both laws and the rules and regs implementing them are written in a bizarre language often called "bureaubabble."  Or "gobble-speak."  It's a language that while technically using English words, uses them in ways that seem designed to be as impenetrable as possible.

Example: If some agency said you were to "operationalize the premium stabilization programs" does that mean to put them into effect?  What does "premium stabilization" even mean? Before stabilization do the little bastards spontaneously increase or decrease on their own?  Is there a glossary?

I wanted to see how the emperor's lackeys went about implementing one of the emperor's press-release changes to Obamacare, so I went to what's supposedly the official word on such things, the Federal Register.   The following footnote is typical of the whole thing--and there are probably 100 pages of confusing crap just like this:
1. The word “Exchanges” refers to both State Exchanges, also called State-based Exchanges, and Federally-facilitated Exchanges (FFEs). In this proposed rule, we use the terms “State Exchange” or “FFE” when we are referring to a particular type of Exchange. When we refer to “FFEs,” we are also referring to State Partnership Exchanges, which are a form of FFE.
Let me try to decipher this:  There are two different "exchanges"--state and fed.  Got that.  State exchanges are also called "state-based."  Fed is also called "FFE."  Okay.  But when they use the term "FFE" they mean BOTH types??  Because, they helpfully explain, the state exchanges "are a form of FFE."  Oh wait, "State Partnership Exchanges" are a form of FFE.  But just two lines earlier they listed just two names for the state exchanges, and "Partnership" wasn't mentioned.

Okay, it's probably safe to assume that a "state partnership exchange" is the same as the state exchange or state-based exchange, but would you bet your company on that?  I've submitted several appeals to federal agencies based on the fact that they were interpreting statutory or CFR language that clearly said "X" as "not X."  Or else doing the functional equivalent: "Oh, well, maybe you can make a case that X really does mean X, but in this case it's very clear that it doesn't."

You listen to bureaucrats say crap like that and it drives you nuts.  Dude, when the language says "X", how the hell is anyone outside of your office supposed to know that--as you put it--it clearly. doesn't. mean what it equally clearly says?

Aw the hell with it.  In this day and age, it wouldn't really matter what the law said until a group of judges put their twist on the thing anyway.

I think it was the Red Queen in one of Lewis Carroll's novels who said "Words mean exactly what I want them to mean--nothing more and nothing less."  That's from memory, which I'll cheerfully admit has gotten a lot more sketchy over the years, but it's pretty close. 

Leftist rag claims record-breaking cold temps are caused by...yep, *global warming."

You knew it would happen.  It was only a question of how long it would take.

After acknowledging the record-breaking cold in eastern two-thirds of the U.S., and noting that it's so cold that in places like Chicago, high temperatures on Monday could break current record lows, writer Eric Holthaus, in the leftist rag The Daily Beast, still felt compelled to hoist the warmer flag high, writing
As crazy as it sounds, global warming may be at least partly to blame.
In fact the title of the post was "Thank global warming for freezing you now."

Ah yes, to moonbat leftists, nothing screams "global warming, caused by humans" better than record-breaking cold.

Keep the faith, gang.  Keep the scary stories coming.  Keep it up as long as you have a job.  Cuz every time you write something like that, another few hundred American teens question why you're trying SO hard to ignore reality.  And that's way, way good.

NY Times not too sure about those flyover states

Recently the NY Times published a map of the U.S. showing where pot was now legal.  Here it is (and you should be able to enlarge it by clicking).

Notice anything unusual?

The Mainstream Media constantly claims whatever they say or print is far more reliable than anything you can find on a blog--because the MSM "has layers and layers of fact checkers and editors."

The implication is that you can believe whatever they print.  Oh yeah.  You bet.

We all make mistakes.  The difference is that the self-appointed "elites" claim that because of all their vaunted fact-checkers and editors, they always catch theirs before publishing.  But as you can see, even screamin' obvious mistakes get by 'em.  All the time.

Oh, and in this case the Times immediately changed the map once bloggers started laughing at the error.

Wait, maybe they were just taking their cues from the Democratic party, because six months ago in an open committee hearing the Dim governor of Louisiana said South Dakota borders Canada.  Seriously. Click on the short vid below.  It's hard to believe how she could make that mistake.  But, well...


Socialism in action, again

So, how many of you admire and want socialism?   Okay, I see about 40 percent of Americans say they do.

Well here's more socialism in action, this time in Cuba:

For decades, Cubans could only buy a car if they got a government permit to do so.  As you could easily have guessed, it took months or years to get such a permit.  As the AP drily noted, "that requirement that has greatly restricted vehicle ownership in the country."

But with the new year the government abolished the requirement for a permit, and Cubans flocked to the dealerships.  There they found--can you guess?--that the prices were three times those in a free market.

For example, a new Kia Rio hatchback that sells for $13,600 in the U.S. costs $42,000 in Cuba.


The huge markup is almost entirely taxes.

See, the Castro government couldn't care less whether you get a new car or not.  They have government limos, and that's the end of their interest.  Plus, if only the rich can afford a new car then the huge tax will fall entirely on them.  And we all know how well "Tax the Rich!!" resonates with voters.

So it's brilliant:  Cuba's dictator gets a few hundred million more in taxes and is adored by the common people for taxing the rich!  Win-win.

Well, except for the folks in the middle class who wanted a new car.  But hey, that's socialism.  Can't make an omelet without breaking eggs and all that.

Sunday, January 5

Winter pic

Remember, citizen:  Global warming is very real, and you're causing it, by burning...anything.





So remember, record-cold weather doesn't prove anything.  You must believe that the planet is warming at a scary rate--because we say so!  And we have all the temperature records to prove it!

No, we won't show you the records.  Why would we do that?  You don't have any right to see those!  Well, yes, we did use public funds to collect these records, but what difference does that make?



Check out The Peoples' Cube

If you want a great laugh, check out a blog named "The Peoples' Cube."  Here's an example:


And does anyone doubt the Democrats would try this if they thought they could get away with it?

Some of their other mock headlines:
GOVERNMENT WARNING: If you were able to successfully enroll in ObamaCare online, it wasn't a legitimate gov't website; you should report online fraud to your service provider and change all your passwords.

Washington Redskins agree to drop 'Washington' from team's name because most Americans find the term offensive

President resolves Obamacare debacle by issuing an executive order declaring all Americans are now equally healthy

Obama to Iran: "If you like your nuclear program, you can keep your nuclear program"

Obama administration gets serious with Syria, threatens to make Syrians comply with ObamaCare

Distressed by accusations that they're just doing Obama's bidding, media elite demand instructions from White House on how they should respond

To conserve energy, Obama orders the light at the end of the tunnel to be turned off
And one of my favorites:
Al Qaeda cancels attack on USA, citing launch of Obamacare as "already devastating enough"

These guys deserve a bigger audience.  Click on the link and enjoy!


Co-author of Obamacare: Law wasn't designed to save money--that was a "misleading motivator." In fact it will *cost* $$

Among the many advantages to Democrats of having the entire mainstream media thoroughly devoted to their side is that Democrats can say two diametrically opposite things a month apart and be confident that no mainstream reporter will ever point that out.

Case in point:  Jonathan Gruber is a pencil-neck from MIT who is often described as one of the two main authors of what became Obamacare.  Back in late October Gruber co-authored an article in a left-wing rag saying that Obamacare was already saving Americans BILLIONS each year. 
The Affordable Care Act is already working: Intense price competition among health plans in the marketplaces for individuals has lowered premiums below projected levels. As a result of these lower premiums, the federal government will save about $190 billion over the next 10 years, according to our estimates.
Well there ya go, citizen!  We tol' ya this was a great idea!  Not only did we give free health care to every poor person in America, we also saved everyone billions in the bargain!  We are SO  BRILLIANT!

But despite the Lying Media trying its best to hide the truth from the public, reality eventually has a way of asserting itself.  In this case it was a study published Thursday in the journal Science that showed that low-income Oregon residents who were randomly given free health insurance ended up using emergency rooms 40 percent more than those who weren't given the free insurance.

Say what?

Washington Post writer Sarah Kliff--lips firmly planted on Obozo's ass, as always--did a magnificent job of finessing what should have been a real bombshell, by writing 
This runs counter to some health-care law supporters' hope that Medicaid coverage would decrease this type of costly medical care, by making it easier for low income adults to see primary care providers.
 "I would view it as part of a broader set of evidence that covering people with health insurance doesn't save money," says Jonathan Gruber, a health economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology... "That was sometimes a misleading motivator for [Obamacare]. The law isn't designed to save money. It's designed to improve health, and that's going to cost money."
Isn't that precious?  "This runs counter to some health-care law supporters' hope that Medicaid coverage would decrease this type of costly medical care."  And to claim that saving money was "sometimes a misleading motivator" for the law, and that the law "isn't designed to save money"--anyone recall the famous line that the average premium would drop by $2500 per family per year?

And does Post author Kliff happen to know any supporter of the law who might have flatly stated that Obamacare would save--indeed is already saving--billions?  Evidently not, even though she's quoting one of those who made such a statement.

Of course Gruber made his "it'll save $190 Billion over ten years" bullshit statement, oh, eons ago.  Like, October 23rd of last year.  Why, that's so long ago that no one could possibly hold him to account for that statement.  I mean, did they even have the Internet that long ago?

Now, before some reader gets all huffy:  I'm not complaining about the fact the Gruber made a statement that turned out to be completely, utterly the reverse of reality.  Hey, we all make mistakes.  I'm not even complaining that when conservatives pointed out, before the bill was passed, the certain consequences of it, the uniform reaction in the Lying Media was a snort of derision and the shrill cry that we were all haters.

No, what I want to point out is that the leftist reporter published Gruber's later statement--totally contradicting his earlier position--without saying a word about the fact that the new Gruber is saying the complete opposite of what he wrote (in an article he authored, so he can't claim he was misquoted) just six weeks earlier.

This is classic goal-post moving.  The Dems and their Mainstream Media wing have always done it, and the only thing that's changed is that thanks to the internet we can catch them at it more quickly.

I would have had a lot of respect for the Dems if when they were debating (!) the ACA, they'd said "This sumbitch is gonna' be *hugely* expensive--probably at least $300 billion a year.  And we propose to increases taxes on you taxpayers $2000 a year or so to pay for it.  But even though that's a big hit on your families, it's the only way we can give health insurance to the poor."

Of course that might have made it just a tiny bit harder to pass the damn thing, eh?

But as the World's Smartest Woman said about some minor dustup overseas somewhere, What difference does it make, citizen?  It's the law now, so you can't repeal it, or change its provisions.

Unless you're a Democratic president and the change will make it easier for Dems to win re-election this November.  In that case you can change whatever you wish.

Saturday, January 4

Cable channel host ridicules Romney family for adopting a black child

Apparently there is a liberal propaganda channel on cable called "MSNBC."  One of the talking heads on this channel is named Melissa Harris-Perry.

Last Sunday Perry's show ran a segment called "Funny Pictures of 2013" or something similar.  One of the pictures was the Christmas photo of the extended family of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

One wonders who in the world would consider the Christmas family photo of a former presidential candidate a "funny picture of 2013."  What really happened is that the left-wing trolls who come up with the ideas for the show's segments discovered this photo and saw a chance to ridicule Republicans by pointing out one of the family members.

That would be the adopted black child of one of the Romney kids.  The theme of the joke was that the child was simply a "token black."  Panelist Pia Glenn sang the "Sesame Street" song, "One of these things doesn't belong here."  After finishing the ditty, Glenn says, "And that little baby, front and center, would be the one.”
Another panelist noted that the picture "really sums up the diversity of the Republican party.  At the convention they find the one black person.”

The presentation and the comedian's singing comment was totally, carefully scripted.  Throughout, Harris-Perry laughed approvingly.

This kind of thing is absolutely routine on a huge number of television shows.  A typical example was when Sarah Palin appeared on a show hosted by someone named "Letterman" about five years ago, and when they introduced her the house band played Elton John's "The Bitch is Back."

Hahahahahaha!  That is so clever!

All the hip media laughed with each other about what a devastatingly clever prank the Letterman crew had pulled.  Not a critical word was said.  But with the MSNBC ridicule of Romney's adopted grandchild something absolutely unprecedented happened:

Someone at that cable channel ordered Harris-Perry to apologize.

Which she did, first on Tuesday (two days after the segment) via Twitter.  Then today, nearly a week later, she did an on-air bit, claiming she actually "intended to say positive and celebratory things" about the Romney family's inter-racial adoption.  (Click here to see her alleged apology.)

What utter rubbish:  The only point of the show's creative people choosing to put the photo of the Romneys on was to ridicule Republicans for supposedly having a token black child in their family.  

Okay, I am not a bit surprised that a leftist host on a leftist cable channel would use an adopted black child to ridicule Republicans.  What I find surprising is that some executive ordered her to apologize.

Oh, and if you're wondering about my conclusion that she was forced to apologize, rather than realizing that her alleged intent "to say positive and celebratory things" about the Romney family's inter-racial adoption had somehow been misinterpreted:  If she'd really been misinterpreted she would have hit the Twitter keys in a matter of hours at most.  The fact that it took two days suggests she came to no such realization.

Democrats knew all along that Obama's "if you like it..." promise was a lie

Anybody recall hearing King Barack say (about 40 times on video) "If you like your health insurance you can keep it"?

Conservatives have claimed King Barack and all his Democrat sycophants/enablers (Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid in particular) knew all along that their law wouldn't allow this, and yet no Dimocrat said a word.  I mean, who would dare say anything that would contradict The King?  Do that and the Dimocrat National congressional committee stops giving you cash for your re-election!

Of course skeptics understandably doubted that the Dems really knew:  They simply couldn't believe that King Barack, former speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and current Dem senate leader Harry "No More Filibusters" Reid would deliberately lie. 

You mean like Reid and the Lying Media wailing and screaming a few years ago when Republicans were muttering about using the "nuclear option" to eliminate the filibuster, and then Reid does exactly that when he gets control of the senate?

I don't blame you Dems.  I wouldn't believe it either.  But here's the evidence, right in the Federal Register.  Source is a survey of employers, conducted by Kaiser--an outfit that's been pro-Obamacare in the past:
You should be able to click on the pic to enlarge it.  It shows that as early as 2010 the govt had as its *median* estimate that half of all employers would "relinquish their grandfathered status" by 2013.

In other words, if you liked your health insurance, tough shit: you'd lose your health insurance.

It's hard to avoid the conclusion that all the Democrats knew about this, but simply stayed silent as the Liar in Chief told his whopper again and again.  You guys sold out every American family that was already paying for their own health insurance, or who had jobs that provided it, for the votes of your base, and to make yourselves feel good about all your "compassion" for the poor. 

By rights, this deliberate misconduct, willfully concealing what your staffs knew, should cost y'all a *lot* of seats.

But of course, it won't.  Because your media arm will ensure that not a word of this is published or broadcast in the Mainstream Media.

Thursday, January 2

Study: people given insurance coverage use ER's *more* rather than less

One of the strengths of a decentralized system versus a centrally-directed one is that with the former, new ideas are tested on a small scale first.  That gives people a chance to see if the new idea or program, y'know, works.  If it turns out to be a disaster, the damage isn't nearly as great.

But of course, under our new, enlightened emperor this old, outmoded way of doing things has been junked in favor of revamping the health insurance system for the whole nation, all at once.  But the new all-at-once way is really better, because Obama.

So...one of the big arguments for Obamacare touted by Democrats and True Believers was that people who didn't have health insurance or money used emergency rooms for their routine health care.  Everyone agreed that this was terribly expensive.  But if you gave people health insurance, the Dems claimed, they'd stop using emergency rooms for routine care.

For example, in 2009 Obama said:
I think that it’s very important that we provide coverage for all people because if everybody’s got coverage, then they’re not going to the emergency room for treatment.
As it turns out, this theory has actually been tested in one state.  And the results were...unexpected:
Supporters of President Obama’s health care law had predicted that expanding insurance coverage for the poor would reduce costly emergency room visits as people got care from primary-care doctors instead. But a new study in Oregon has [found] that the newly insured actually went to the emergency room more often.
The study compared thousands of low-income people randomly selected in a 2008 lottery to get Medicaid coverage with people who entered the lottery but remained uninsured. Those who gained coverage made 40 percent more visits to the emergency room than those without insurance.
The finding casts doubt on the hope that expanded insurance coverage will help rein in rising emergency room costs just as more than two million people are gaining coverage under the Affordable Care Act.  Instead, the study suggests that raising the number of insured people may result in even more people using emergency rooms, increasing costs.
Nearly 30 million uninsured Americans could get health insurance under the law, about half of them through Medicaid. The first policies took effect on Wednesday.
The "Marvelous Understatement Award" goes to one of the authors of the study--Katherine Baicker, an economist at Harvard University’s School of Public Health.
“I suspect this finding will surprise many in the policy debate,” she said.
Gosh, if only the Dems had been willing to wait til this study was completed, we might have had a chance to fine-tune that mahvelous piece of legislation called Obamacare.  But that's just not their style, y'know?

An M.D. commenter had some insight:
Medicaid patients have no motivation to *not* use the ER, even if they have a primary care physician (take it from me). I'm a primary care internist in an upstate community. If I tell my Medicaid patient they do not need an antibiotic for a cold, they are likely to just go to the ER to get what they want, as it's "free" there.
Another commenter relates,
My sister, an emergency room MD in a large, inner city hospital, predicted that the poor would continue to use the ER as a doctor's office. Having health insurance, she said, would require people to find a doctor, make appointments in advance and get themselves to and from the doctor's office.

By contrast, to go to the ER they just dial 911, get a lift and a voucher for a taxi ride home. It all takes place on their schedule (aside from the ER wait) and costs them nothing. Having a Medicaid card doesn't change the basic equation.

Oh, and for those who think this story was from a horribly biased source that you wouldn't stoop to use as a bird-cage liner, you're absolutely right:  It's from the NY Times.

Summary of the global warming (now known as "climate change") debate, in three minutes

"Climate change" in three minutes:

For at least 15 years scientists have been arguing about whether the planet is getting warmer, and if so, what the cause might be.

One of the fronts where this battle is fought is computer models.  Essentially, one tries to imagine all the major drivers of temperatures on earth, figure out how much each one influences the result, and then see how well your model predicts future temperatures.

The pic below shows the results of the 30 or so models most beloved by global warming pushers.
As you can see--and as you'd expect, given the allegedly "settled science" that the globe is getting warmer at a scary rate--every one of the "approved" models (i.e. those representing the claims of the human-caused global warming believers) show a pronounced warming trend.  But there's also something else on the plot worth mentioning:  The little blue circles and squares.  They represent measured temperatures.

You may note that the measured values are way lower than the predictions of the models.  Wow, that's...interesting.

Why yes, yes it is.  How can this disagreement be explained?  Cuz, surely all those expensive models--created by PhDs with years of study in atmospheric science--can't possibly be wrong, can they?

No sir, say the warming acolytes.  The models must be right, so the problem must be that the alleged measured values must be wrong.  Yes, that must be it!

Remember, citizen:  "The science is settled."

Wednesday, January 1

On December 28 the NY Times ran a long piece on the death of four Americans--including our ambassador to Libya--in Benghazi a month before the presidential election of 2012. 

The conclusion, according to author David D. Kirkpatrick, was that the attack was pretty much triggered by anger over a video hostile to Islam being played on Egyptian TV.

Interestingly, one name that should have been prominent in such a discussion was never mentioned in the article:  Former SecState Hillary Clinton.

Cynics claim the article is the Times' first salvo in the effort to get Hillary into the presidency.