Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Joke of the Day: 239 Bean Irish Stew

Why do the Irish put only 239 beans in their stew?

Because just one more and then it would be too farty, if you know what I mean.

h/t Cathy

Tax Policy is Social Policy, And It's Anti-Marriage, Just Like ObamaCare

So says Phyliss Schlafly here:

[A] fourth of those unmarried heads of household have an unreported live-in partner with a job. Simple arithmetic shows that a single parent with an unmarried live-in partner would then be valued at 2.4 persons, which is more favorable tax treatment than respectable married couples struggling to support their own children.

That means, if the single mom has a live-in boyfriend who files his own tax return, they end up with more favorable treatment in the income tax system than a married couple raising their own children. We should not allow marriage to be discriminated against in the income tax code.

Even ObamaCare contains a marriage penalty by reducing the insurance subsidy when cohabiting couples marry. As a Democratic staffer explained to the Wall Street Journal reporter who questioned the marriage penalty written into ObamaCare, "You have to decide what your goals are."

The Democrats know that 70% of unmarried women voted for Obama in 2008. Democratic consultant Tony Podesta has cooked up 83 bills to increase handing out more taxpayers' money to single moms.

The real war on women is a Democrat war on married women.

Larry Kudlow Has Been Sensitive About "Socialism" Since His Support Of TARP

He got ripped big time for it by the left:

No wonder he's been slow to slam Obama as one.

Kudlow Changes His Tune: Calls Obama A Socialist

Last July Larry Kudlow was positively insisting that Barack Obama is just a liberal, not a socialist.

Today on his radio program in the opening hour he's changed his tune, calling Obama's policies socialist in most respects.


It Turns Out, The Cost Of Free-Riding Is A Straw Man Argument For ObamaCare

Thanks to Ronald Reagan's signature on EMTALA in 1986, hospitals must by law provide service to anyone, regardless of ability to pay among other things.

It turns out that the costs of this beneficence have indeed grown into a big problem, but it is nowhere near as big a problem as advocates of ObamaCare would like to make out.

Here's the government's best estimate of the problem, from the Congressional Budget Office, which everyone has known about since 2008 (italics added):

"A recent study by Hadley and others, which used that analytic approach, examined a sample of medical claims for uninsured individuals and projected that they would receive about $28 billion in uncompensated care in 2008. That study also examined cost reports from hospitals and a survey of doctors and generated a different estimate: The gross costs of providing uncompensated care would be about $43 billion in 2008, of which $35 billion would come from hospitals and $8 billion from doctors. Total spending on hospital care in 2008 is estimated to be about $750 billion, so those figures would imply that uncompensated care accounts for about 5 percent of hospital revenues, on average. Those findings are consistent with CBO’s analysis of uncompensated hospital care (cited above), which found that a sample of for-profit and nonprofit hospitals incurred costs for such care that averaged between 4 percent and 5 percent of their operating revenues."

So there you have it. The government has known all along that this  has been a problem in the neighborhood of 5 percent of the gross costs of care overall, yet it is preparing under ObamaCare to spend $200 billion annually to bring in the uninsured, almost 5 times as much as the problem warrants, wrecking insurance for everyone else in the process.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Who Knew The American Red Cross Was UNIONIZED?!

They went on strike today in Michigan!

I must be the last person alive to realize this. The photo shows Red Cross workers on strike in Ohio in February (image source here).

Story here:

More than 200 American Red Cross workers in Michigan went on strike this morning.

Staff members represented by the Office and Professional Employees International Union Local 459 and Teamsters Local 580 walked out because of a dispute over health care benefits.

The strike affects blood collection centers in Kalamazoo, Jackson, Lansing, Flint and parts of northern Michigan.

That's the last time I give them any dough. If they can go on strike, so can I.

North Texas Woman, 71, Gives Wood To Queer, Charged With Hate Crime

The story is here.

I guess he didn't like it like that.

Justices Appointed By Republican Presidents Have Been Opponents Of Conservatism

In the attack on the traditional values of the American people, Republican presidents bear heavy responsibility for betraying them by their Supreme Court appointments.

Reagan is a particular disappointment. In the history of conservatism, he should assume the status more of "Democrat in recovery" than "conservative." And if it weren't for his signature on the 1986 law known as EMTALA, we might not be in this mess today.

So don't get your hopes up about Roberts and Alito on ObamaCare, let alone Kennedy.

Consider Roe v. Wade, 1973:

"In disallowing many state and federal restrictions on abortion in the United States, Roe v. Wade prompted a national debate that continues today, about issues including whether and to what extent abortion should be legal, who should decide the legality of abortion, what methods the Supreme Court should use in constitutional adjudication, and what the role should be of religious and moral views in the political sphere. Roe v. Wade reshaped national politics, dividing much of the United States into pro-choice and pro-life camps, while activating grassroots movements on both sides."

In the majority were:

Blackmun (NIXON APPOINTEE, 1970),
joined by
Burger (NIXON APPOINTEE, 1969),
Powell (NIXON APPOINTEE, 1971).

Or consider Lawrence v. Texas, 2003:

"In the 6-3 ruling, the Court struck down the sodomy law in Texas and, by proxy, invalidated sodomy laws in the thirteen other states where still existed, thereby making same-sex sexual activity legal in every U.S. state and territory."

In the majority were:
Kennedy (REAGAN APPOINTEE, 1988),
joined by
Stevens (FORD APPOINTEE, 1975),
Souter (BUSH APPOINTEE, 1990),
with concurrence by O'Connor (REAGAN APPOINTEE, 1981).

The sheep will get in line and follow their shepherd Romney this year. But if you believe that as president he will appoint anyone substantively different than this lot, fuhgehtaboudit. The Senate would never confirm such a person anyway, especially its Republican members, as disgraceful and disreputable a lot as you'll find anywhere in America.

Moochelle and the Girls Take a Trip to Vegas "On the Taxpayers' Dime"

Michelle Obama is off to the western US, including Mt. Rushmore and Vegas before hitting the left coast for a fundraiser for her husband and Democrats.

The president's wife doesn't seem to remember or care about what her husband said about keeping up appearances in 2009 and in 2010, how Vegas somehow connotes wasteful excess, especially for people who take public monies.

The Boston Globe has the temerity to feature the germaine quotations from the president, here:

The feud [with Vegas] began in 2009, when Obama admonished corporations using federal bailout money: "You can't go take a trip to Las Vegas or go down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayer's dime." A year later, Obama warned families against gambling away college tuition: "You don't blow a bunch of cash in Vegas when you're trying to save for college."

Sure you can go, if you're The First Lady.

The first family isn't trying to save anything except its ability to milk the presidency for all its worth.

Government Shape-Shifting in Hutaree Case Decisive to Federal Judge

US District Judge Victoria Roberts, quoted here:

 "The evidence is not sufficient for a rational factfinder to find that defendants came to a concrete agreement to forcibly oppose the authority of the government of the United States as charged in the indictment."

"The prosecution is not free to roam at large — to shift its theory of criminality so as to take advantage of each passing vicissitude of the trial."

"If the government now admits that the plan alleged in Count 1 of the indictment (seditious conspiracy) did not exist, then defendants must be acquitted."

Prepare for Police Drones Spying on You from 400 Feet Starting May 1

Total information awareness, brought to you by the Republican US House of Representatives, the Democrat US Senate, and the president who cares only about himself: his ideas, his pleasure and his power.

Computerworld has the story here:

The Federal Aviation Administration Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, signed into law by President Barack Obama last month, requires the FAA to permit the use of drones by law enforcement agencies, commercial organizations and hobbyists.

The statute will initially let law enforcement authorities and emergency services use drones that weigh less than five pounds and fly at an altitude of less than 400 feet starting in May. The law requires that the FAA have rules in place permitting the use of all varieties of drones by law enforcement and private entities by the end of 2015. ...

The Center for Democracy and Technology contends that the legislation provides no privacy or civil liberties protections for ordinary citizens.

The law "says nothing about the privacy implications of filling the sky with thousands of flying robots," said Harley Geiger, senior policy council at the Washington-based think tank.

The Pantywaists at National Review Finally Notice the Hutaree, After Vindication

Mark Steyn does a nice job here in National Review of covering up for the way "the right" ignored the significance of the government's ridiculous entrapment of a bunch of religious nuts with guns in southeast Michigan the week ObamaCare passed in March 2010, but still misses the point by connecting their treatment to that of . . . Conrad Black!

I guess it's Canadian obsessive compulsive disorder, or something, on display there.

And I'll bet Conrad isn't too flattered with the comparison, either.

While some of these Hutaree ne'er-do-wells had to rot in jail for two years and others were released with monitoring devices attached to their ankles, all of these hapless souls had to rely on government attorneys to defend them against trumped-up charges while conservatives all across this country pretty much ignored them, except when the left tried to tar the right with their example.

What we got was the right stiff-arming that charge by participating in the marginalization which the Hutaree saw as confirming their peculiar position as God's chosen warriors against the imminent appearance of the AntiChrist. Only extremists or nuts buy guns and train on weekends in the woods. They might as well be the same as those who threw rocks through local Democrat Party offices to show displeasure at ramming government healthcare down our throats, or who made intemperate or even threatening phone calls to Congressmen, some of whom got tracked down, arrested and convicted.

Now vindicated, the Hutaree can become an example of "who's kookier?" Steyn writes:

But they weren’t paranoid, were they? They were convinced that one day the black helicopters would be hovering overhead. And one day they were. Or, actually, one night – in the wee small hours, descending from the skies with searchlights circling. Oh, and Humvees – just like in Waziristan. So Eric Holder proved their point. In Lenawee and Hillsdale counties, they still talk about it – and the general consensus is the pseudo-commandos of the federal constabulary looked way more ridiculous than the survivalist kooks.   

As at Waco, our feeble tyranny finds itself constrained to choose targets who are already estranged from the mainstream of society, in order the more easily to make an example of them to the rest of us who had better not get out of line when government decides to force its will on the people.

This week Rush Limbaugh has been complaining that it's astonishing that the question of government force, the individual mandate, at length comes down to just nine people in black robes who will decide the fate of a once free people.

It is astonishing. He's had the power of a microphone in all this and has done nothing to stop it coming to this pass, all because he's afraid of being called an extremist, just as are almost all conservatives. Rush Limbaugh is most certainly afraid of what people will say, which is why Rush protests so often that he doesn't care what people think. It's his livelihood to care, otherwise he's out of a job.

Let's suppose the Supremes uphold the mandate. What will become of people's fear then? They will have a choice, to let their children become Red, as we now know John F. Kennedy was prepared to do in the Cuban missile crisis, or to fight.

I have just one question for all you pantywaists. When George Washington and his ilk decided it was time to start shooting Red Coats (over taxes which were paltry compared to what we endure), was he an extremist?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

That Would Be "Invoke," Todd, Not "Evoke"

How embarrassing.

Seen here at Minyanville:

". . . so I’m gonna evoke my literary license and shoot from the hip with some quick and dirty random thoughts."

Remaining Hutaree On Trial Cut Deal With Government Over Weapons Charges

The Detroit Free Press has the details here:

The Hutaree terror case officially ended today with the last two defendants cutting deals with the government, two days after their five codefendants were cleared of all charges by a federal judge. ... [T]hey pleaded guilty to possession of a machine gun that is punishable up to 10 years in prison. The judge agreed to release the two on bond. ... Under the terms of the plea agreements, Stone Sr. faces 33 to 48 months in prison. Joshua Stone faces 27-33 months. They will be sentenced in August. ... Both men have been jailed since their arrests in 2010.

My hunch is these two guys get credit for time served and a long parole.

And, of course, as convicted felons they will not be able to possess firearms ever again.

Much more at the link.

Four Years Ago Today's Level of Initial Claims was Alarming! Now, Not So Much.

Initial claims for unemployment started to go ballistic in 2008 and by the time it had reached the level to which it has fallen today, in early June, forward thinking managers were sharpening their firing axes, which started to fall hard and swift on the necks of millions all across this country.

Sometimes the cessation of the infliction of pain, even though you continue to bleed badly, seems like an improvement. 

Third Estimate of Q4 2011 GDP at 3.0 Percent, Q3 2011 at 1.8 Percent

The latest news release from the BEA is here.

About 60 percent of the real growth rate increase is from counting inventories:

The change in real private inventories added 1.81 percentage points to the fourth-quarter change
in real GDP, after subtracting 1.35 percentage points from the third-quarter change.  Private businesses increased inventories $52.2 billion in the fourth quarter, following a decrease of $2.0 billion in the third quarter and an increase of $39.1 billion in the second.

Real final sales of domestic product -- GDP less change in private inventories -- increased 1.1
percent in the fourth quarter, compared with an increase of 3.2 percent in the third.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My Favorite Dennis Millerism


Santorum's Lead in Pennsylvania Shrinks from 30 Points to 2

As reported here:

Rick Santorum's home state advantage may be disappearing. According to a Franklin and Marshall College poll released Wednesday, the former Pennsylvania senator now leads former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney by only two percentage points in the state. He led Romney by nearly 30 points in a Franklin and Marshall poll released in mid-February.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hoodie v. Hoodie 2012

Hutaree Verdict Leaves Egg On Attorney General Eric Holder's Face

From a detailed accounting by the Columbus Telegram here:

"The court is aware that protected speech and mere words can be sufficient to show a conspiracy. In this case, however, they do not rise to that level," [US District Judge Victoria] Roberts said.

Prosecutors said Hutaree members were anti-government rebels who combined training and strategy sessions to prepare for a violent strike against federal law enforcement, triggered first by the slaying of a police officer.

But there never was an attack. Defense lawyers say highly offensive remarks about police and the government were wrongly turned into a high-profile criminal case that drew public praise from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who called Hutaree a "dangerous organization."

Militia leader David Stone's "statements and exercises do not evince a concrete agreement to forcibly resist the authority of the United States government," Roberts said Tuesday. "His diatribes evince nothing more than his own hatred for _ perhaps even desire to fight or kill _ law enforcement; this is not the same as seditious conspiracy."

You are now free to hate about the country.

Hutaree Militia Acquitted On Second Anniversary of Arrests for Sedition

Government prosecutors and the FBI prove their incompetence yet once again.

The Detroit News has the complete story here, and begins with this:

A federal judge acquitted seven members of the Hutaree militia Tuesday of the most serious charges following six weeks of testimony in a high-profile terror case.

On the second anniversary of the Hutaree arrests, U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts granted a defense motion Tuesday to acquit the militia members on seven charges, including seditious conspiracy and conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction. The most serious charge could have resulted in life prison sentences.

She ordered the trial to continue against Hutaree leader David Stone Sr. and his son, Joshua Stone, on weapons-related charges.

The Incredibly Fading TARP

USA Today Away recounts here how the political toxicity of TARP has been diluted since 2010, primarily because of the passage of time, its putative success, and the inevitability of one Mitt Romney, who supported TARP and still does, one issue on which Mitt Romney has not flip-flopped:

Mark Calabria, director of financial regulation studies at the libertarian Cato Institute think tank, said some conservatives still oppose the bailout, but the growing assumption he will be the Republican presidential nominee has caused them to "pull their punches."

"Republicans are divided on it: (Some say) it was distasteful but had to be done; others say it was an abomination," he said.

Calabria said it was unlikely that TARP and the bank bailouts would become a general election issue if Romney is the nominee because his and Obama's positions "aren't all that different."

Two years ago, some Republicans found their vote for TARP was enough to draw a populist conservative opponent into the GOP primary.

Never mind bank failures have cost the FDIC nearly $90 billion and GSE failures have cost the taxpayers $150 billion and climbing.

More to the point, legitimizing bailouts legitimizes moral hazard, making the prospect of gaming the system, with even larger bailouts next time, a certainty.

This is not capitalism.

Romney for president!

US District Judge Says Hutaree Militia Entitled To Oppose Government With Words

AP Obama reports, here, via

"They're entitled to oppose the government with their words," Roberts said. "It's still unclear to me after hearing all these arguments how that speech crossed the line into becoming illegal, and how I get there without building inferences upon inferences."

The case against the Hutaree, who seem to have been arrested to quell opposition to the passage of ObamaCare, appears to be unconvincing to the judge and may unravel shortly just as the Supremes hear arguments against the healthcare law.

May the case and the law die with a whimper.

Individual Mandate is Effective and Efficient? So is a Bullet, or Zyklon B.

Jonathan Gruber defends his ObamaCare monster child, here, and he's written a 160 pp. comic book to explain it to the ignorant masses. Just $14 at fine book shops everywhere.

The Daily Beast supplies the word "efficient," which shows the attraction government force has for the left.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Obama's Hot Mike Proves He Has Treasonous Plans For US Missile Defenses The Voters Would Reject

The congressman, of course, doesn't quite put it in those terms, here, but it's clear the president has hatched a plot which the Russian president supports:

[T]he defense authorization bill signed into law by the president contains a provision that limits the president’s ability to share classified data with Russia.

“Congress took this step because it was clear based on official testimony and administration comments in the press that classified information about U.S. missile defenses, including hit-to-kill technology and velocity at burnout information, may be on the table as negotiating leverage for your reset with Russia,” Turner said, noting that the president said he may treat the limit as nonbinding when he signed the defense bill into law.

The comments in Seoul, in addition to the signing statement, “suggests that you and your administration have plans for U.S. missile defenses that you believe will not stand up to electoral scrutiny,” [Rep. Mike] Turner [R., OH] said.

The Weekly Standard has the hot mike transcript, here:

President Obama: "On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space."

President Medvedev: "Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…"

President Obama: "This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility."

President Medvedev: "I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir, and I stand with you."

What more evidence do we need that this traitor needs to be removed from office?

Al Hunt Blames Christian Anti-Mormon Bigotry For Romney's Troubles

Al Hunt for Bloomberg blames evangelical Christians for Romney's problems in this article:

Mitt Romney has a persisting Mormon problem. Less certain is whether this is limited to the Republican primaries or it’s a general-election worry, too.

“This nomination would be in the bag if it weren’t for the Mormon factor,” says John Geer, a professor of political science at Vanderbilt University who works on the intersection of religion and politics.

The exit polls from a plethora of primaries confirm that. Romney, a deeply devout leader in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, gets clobbered among white evangelicals and those who believe the religious views of a would-be president matter a great deal. This has caused him to lose a few primaries and denied him decisive wins in others.

The trouble with this argument is that it is wrong and ignores the fact that Mormonism is a bigger impediment in a candidate for Democrats than it is for Republicans, who might well realize this and instead want someone without this baggage who can also garner Democrat votes in the general election.

Last June's Gallup poll is a case in point: 27 percent of Democrats are unwilling to vote for a Mormon, compared with 18 or 19 percent for Republicans and Independents.

But there is another reason for Romney's woes, a candidate with far superior organization and much more money than any of the rest: proportional primaries.

Joseph Curl discusses the advent of proportional primaries in the Republican Party here, in the wake of the 2008 candidacy of John McCain:

[T]his is ... the scenario Republicans set up in 2010. Party leaders felt the process was too front-loaded, tilted too far to establishment leaders. So, to extend and open up the nomination, the leaders moved from mostly winner-take-all primaries and caucuses to proportionate distribution of delegates based on popular vote.

“There were a lot of people on the [Republican National Committee] and other places who were not very happy after ‘08,” David Norcross, chairman of the party’s Rules Committee when the changes were made, told the Daily Beast. “We didn’t think it was right that four or five states got to pick the nominee. It was slam, bam, thank you, done - and I think we were not helped by that. In fact, some of us think [Sen. John] McCain was not helped by that because he was not forced to sharpen his candidate skills. It was over and he went on to wait for the Democrats to produce a candidate. Just sitting around waiting.”

The new system established hefty penalties for any state that sought to move up on the calendar, in essence halving the number of delegates a state could award if it were so brash. It didn’t work; Florida moved its primary up anyway, with disastrous results.

But the new system also suggested the stakes be ramped up after April 1. The idea was for states holding primaries and caucuses after that date to be winner-take-all. But many of the late-date states wanted the nomination battle to still be alive when their date came up, so they stuck with the proportional setup.

That is why, almost into April and just halfway through the primary calendar, front-runner Mitt Romney has less than half the 1,144 delegates needed to secure the nomination. And while everyone’s math differs, it looks as if he has to win about half of all delegates from now until the final primary in Utah on June 26.

With 1099 delegates still to be apportioned as of today in the rest of the primary contests, Romney needs 576 more to capture the nomination. Santorum needs 871.

But under a winner-take-all scenario, Romney would possess 625 delegates already and could theoretically clinch the nomination by winning the next thirteen states through May 15th. It would take Santorum through May 29, winning all sixteen of the next contests to add to his would-be current total of  461 under winner-take-all, including such places as Maryland, DC, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, Oregon and Texas. A dubious proposition.

Presumably the dynamic of the race under those conditions would look far worse for Santorum because of Romney's natural advantages in boots on the ground and money. What is keeping Santorum viable today, however, has little to do with what Christians believe about Mormonism. What keeps Santorum alive is proportional voting.

Santorum needs to capture 79 percent of the still available delegates to win it, which is crazy. And if he thinks he's got a snowball's chance in hell of carving out a role in any future administration after the things he's said this season, he's even crazier than I think.

Let's hope he puts us out of our misery and gets out before Pennsylvania humiliates him on April 24th.

Why Can't Rick Santorum Imagine A Republican Worse Than Mitt Romney?

"Pick any other Republican in the country. He is the worst Republican in the country to put up against Barack Obama."

Santorum made the statement in Racine, Wisconsin, quoted here.

How about John McCain, for example? He actually lost against Barack Obama, as I recall. Wouldn't he be a worse candidate today than Romney?

Or how about Mark Foley?

Or Duke Cunningham?

There must be scads of Republicans who would be worse candidates than Mitt Romney, but Rick Santorum can't seem to muster the proper perspective to imagine who they might be or where Mitt Romney fits in the scheme of things Republican.

Rick Santorum has proven before that he exercises bad judgment from time to time, say by encouraging Democrats to interfere in Republican primaries, or by writing-off mainline Protestants, not just from electoral politics but from Christianity itself. This is yet one more example of an ill-considered opinion best left unexpressed.

And those sorts of things make him an incendiary candidate who cannot win against Barack Obama.

I'd say that makes him a worse candidate than Mitt Romney.

CBS News Reports Debt Increased More Under Obama Than Under Bush

Don't forget folks, the conservative press is the enemy.

Mark Knoller has the story here:

"The National Debt has now increased more during President Obama's three years and two months in office than it did during 8 years of the George W. Bush presidency.

The Debt rose $4.899 trillion during the two terms of the Bush presidency. It has now gone up $4.939 trillion since President Obama took office.

The latest posting from the Bureau of Public Debt at the Treasury Department shows the National Debt now stands at $15.566 trillion. It was $10.626 trillion on President Bush's last day in office, which coincided with President Obama's first day.

The National Debt also now exceeds 100% of the nation's Gross Domestic Product, the total value of goods and services."

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Saturday, March 24, 2012

"You're Umbday in Any Language"

See Moe say it here, in "Tassels in the Air" (1938).

George Will Notices Amicus Brief That ObamaCare Violates Centuries Of Contract Law

In his Washington Post column, here:

The individual mandate is incompatible with centuries of contract law. This is so because a compulsory contract is an oxymoron.

The brief, the primary authors of which are ... Elizabeth Price Foley and Steve Simpson, says that Obamacare is the first time Congress has used its power to regulate commerce to produce a law “from which there is no escape.” And “coercing commercial transactions” — compelling individuals to sign contracts with insurance companies — “is antithetical to the foundational principle of mutual assent that permeated the common law of contracts at the time of the founding and continues to do so today.” ...

Throughout the life of this nation it has been understood that for a contract to be valid, the parties to it must mutually assent to its terms — without duress. ... Under Obamacare, the government will compel individuals to enter into contractual relations with insurance companies under threat of penalty.

Like governments, contracts derive "their just powers from the consent of the governed." And when the consent is missing, "it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it."

And we will, one way or another.

Santorum The Weasel On Display Again

When confronted recently about things he wrote in his book about radical feminists, Sen. Santorum blamed them on his wife, even though nowhere in the book does she get credit as a co-author.

Now he's protesting, as reported here, that his words suggesting we will end up voting for the real deal, Obama, instead of a paler version, in Romney, have been misunderstood as self-referential:

Santorum's original comment came Thursday in a San Antonio speech, in which the candidate said Obama and Romney had so few differences that "we may as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk" with Romney.

Santorum argued that when he used the word "we" in his comment, he was referring to the general public. But he said people mistook his remark to mean that he personally would vote for Obama over Romney.

"No, I was saying the people may not vote for someone they don't see as different," Santorum said.

What Republicans should and do find objectionable about this, contrary to Santorum's explanation, is that a high profile Republican such as Santorum seems to be campaigning for the Democrat opposition.

Indeed, he's given evidence that he's more interested in crossover votes from the Democrat Party, e.g. in the Michigan primary, than he is in Republican votes. Moreover his bashing of Protestants unfortunately legitimizes bashing Mormonism, which will come back to haunt, and hurt, Romney in the general election when PACs unleash a torrent of criticism on Romney's strange beliefs.

It's disloyal and dispiriting for Santorum to speak this way in public. Independent voters will lose, not gain, respect for Santorum as a result, not that it matters much. His is a negative campaign anyway, lock, stock and barrel. We all know the many things Santorum is against. The trouble is, we don't know what he's for.

Santorum should withdraw from the presidential contest.

Obama's Lazy Mind At Work

"Danes have punched above their weight in international affairs."

"I've said this before, but I want to repeat: Norway punches above its weight."

"We have no stronger ally than the Netherlands. They consistently punch above their weight."

"Ireland punches above its weight. It's a small country."

"The Philippines is not the largest of countries . . . It punches above its weight."

See the video here.

h/t The Weekly Standard

Friday, March 23, 2012

George Orwell on Adolf Hitler

"[T]he situation in Germany, with its seven million unemployed, was obviously favourable for demagogues. But Hitler could not have succeeded against his many rivals if it had not been for the attraction of his own personality, which one can feel even in the clumsy writing of Mein Kampf, and which is no doubt overwhelming when one hears his speeches. I should like to put it on record that I have never been able to dislike Hitler. ...

"I have reflected that I would certainly kill him if I could get within reach of him, but that I could feel no personal animosity. The fact is that there is something deeply appealing about him. ...

"Also he has grasped the falsity of the hedonistic attitude to life. Nearly all western thought since the last war, certainly all 'progressive' thought, has assumed tacitly that human beings desire nothing beyond ease, security and avoidance of pain. In such a view of life there is no room, for instance, for patriotism and the military virtues. ...

"Hitler, because in his own joyless mind he feels it with exceptional strength, knows that human beings don’t only want comfort, safety, short working-hours, hygiene, birth-control and, in general, common sense; they also, at least intermittently, want struggle and self-sacrifice, not to mention drums, flags and loyalty-parades. However they may be as economic theories, Fascism and Nazism are psychologically far sounder than any hedonistic conception of life. The same is probably true of Stalin’s militarized version of Socialism. All three of the great dictators have enhanced their power by imposing intolerable burdens on their peoples. Whereas Socialism, and even capitalism in a more grudging way, have said to people 'I offer you a good time,' Hitler has said to them 'I offer you struggle, danger and death,' and as a result a whole nation flings itself at his feet."

-- from George Orwell's review of Mein Kampf, 1940 (reproduced in full here)

Hutaree Defense Maintains FBI Plant Incited Escalation to Bomb-Making

The Detroit Free Press reports here:

The defense argues it was the FBI agent who introduced "violent explosives" to the group in an effort to incite greater criminal activity.

"Your agent moved the ball down the field," [defense attorney] Swor said in court Thursday.

Romney's ObamaCare Op-Ed in USA Today is Intellectually Incoherent

The op-ed may be viewed in it's entirety here.

Two streams of thought collide throughout: federalism vs. strong federal interventionism.

"I favor giving each of the 50 states the resources and the responsibility to craft the health care solutions that suit their citizens best. ... Also, individuals are currently prohibited from purchasing health insurance across states lines, which reduces competition and makes many plans subject to expensive state benefit requirements. The federal government can open up these restricted markets. States could still regulate their insurance industries, but consumers across the U.S. would benefit from lower costs and greater choice."

Federal mandates to the states and federal interference with "expensive state benefit requirements" are not the federalism Romney spends much of the op-ed touting:

"I've opposed a one-size-fits-all health care plan for the entire nation. What we need is a free market, federalist approach to making quality, affordable health insurance available to every American. Each state should be allowed to pursue its own solution in this regard, instead of being dictated to by Washington. ... It is the genius of federalism that it encourages experimentation, with each state pursuing what works best for them. ObamaCare's disregard for this core aspect of U.S. tradition is one of its most egregious failings."

If some states decide that they want to require benefits in insurance plans which are more costly, the federal principle demands that they be allowed to do so.

Likewise with Romney's proposal to have the feds cap "non-economic damages" and encourage "specialized health care courts" in the states. These too are examples of a muscular, activist federal government steering the states in a predetermined direction.

Which is it, governor? Federalism, or federal meddling masquerading as leadership?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Santorum Self-Destructs By Urging Real Liberal Obama Over Also Liberal Romney

The reasoning makes sense, and is also correct, but that's not how you win in politics, let alone preserve your position for a future run.

Talk about a tin ear.

The LA Times has the story here:

"If you're going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk with what may be the Etch-A-Sketch candidate of the future."

I think that spells the end for one Rick Santorum.

Star Witness Against Hutaree Cut Corners in Prior Case

Another case of the feds trying to get by on the cheap by using amateurs, as reported here:

Haug acknowledged he was suspended without pay for five days for signing another agent's name on an evidence package in 1996 in Newark, N.J. He had been with the FBI less than a year. It had nothing to do with the Michigan militia investigation.

"You know chain-of-custody issues can jeopardize a prosecution," said attorney James Thomas, who earlier said it was proof of Haug "cutting corners."

The story also reports that Hutaree member Joshua Clough, who cut a deal which was important for establishing criminal intent by the Hutaree, is not going to testify against the Hutaree in this trial.


Romney Campaign Trots Out Wife To Say Mitt Doesn't Change Positions


Video here.

Norwegians the Most Anti-Israeli in Europe

Spaniards are tops for saying Jews are more loyal to Israel than to Spain.

Hungarians are tops for saying Jews have too much power in the business world and in international finance. Hungarians also are tops for saying Jews talk too much about the Holocaust.

Poles are tops for saying the Jews killed Jesus Christ.

The latest survey results may be found here:

Romney Again Defends TARP, Says Bush, Not Obama, Prevented Depression

Romney's complete and utter nonsense from yesterday, quoted here:

"There was a fear that the whole economic system of America would collapse -- that all of our banks, or virtually all, would go out of business."

"In that circumstance, President Bush and Hank Paulson said we've got to do something to show we're not going to let the whole system go out of business. I think they were right. I know some people disagree with me. I think they were right to do that."

"I keep hearing the president say that he's responsible for keeping America from going into a Great Depression."

"No, no, no. That was President George W. Bush and Hank Paulson that stepped in and kept that from happening."

Never mind the stock market nose-dived after TARP was passed, millions more lost their jobs, housing went into the toilet and stayed there, and 2008-2009 were back-to-back years of GDP declines. A small depression, but a depression nonetheless.

And never mind that George W. Bush himself characterized his own actions as abandoning free market principles in order to save the free market system. As senators, both John McCain and Barack Obama voted for the measures Bush signed.

This was liberalism in action, not conservatism. And Romney the corporate raider is just fine with it, as are over 4 million Republican primary voters to date.

But over 6 million Republican primary voters to date disagree, voting for Santorum, Gingrich, and Ron Paul. Still others have voted for candidates not named Romney who have dropped out of the race.

Romney seems bound and determined to subdue the base of the Republican Party, as John McCain before him.

Therefore he will lose to Barack Obama. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Prosecutorial Misconduct in Hutaree Case May Lead to Mistrial

Prosecutors withheld evidence about the key FBI operative's handling of an informant gone wild and now in the pokey in an unrelated case, as detailed here:

According to defense lawyers, the government’s star witness in the Hutaree case, FBI agent Stephen Haug — who spent months spying on the group while undercover — was the FBI handler for the New Jersey informant. The informant, Hal Turner, was a right-wing radio host and blogger who made threats against critics and public officials while on the FBI payroll. 


How the 1980s paved the way for today's politicians, we hardly knew.

At about 1:10 here:

Jonah Goldberg Wants More Federalism, Doesn't Realize It's Spelled 'Representation'

In the closest thing yet to a nationally recognized columnist calling for the founders' vision of localization of the political, Jonah Goldberg here misses an opportunity to score a blow for constitutional originalism:

What if instead the solution is to disempower the national elites who think they’ve got the answers to everything?

Federalism — the process whereby you push most political questions to the lowest democratic level possible — has been ripe on the right for years now. ...

But that may be changing. In an essay for the spring issue of Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, Yale law professor Heather K. Gerken offers the case for “A New Progressive Federalism.”

Gerken’s chief concern is how to empower “minorities and dissenters.” ... [S]he makes the very compelling point that the current understanding of diversity — having minority members as tokens of inclusion — pretty much guarantees that racial minorities will always be political minorities as well. ...

A Left-Right federalist compromise would make America a happier, freer, more prosperous and interesting country. It would also dethrone those in both parties who think they know what’s best for more than 300 million Americans.

The theoretical talk is welcome, but the practical application is the rub.

That's what's missing from these discussions, and where the genius of the authors of the constitution shone brighest.

The founders long ago conceived of just such a compromise between political extremes in Article 1 of the constitution when they proposed one representative for every 30,000 of population. Today we have one for every 708,000 on average because Congress arrogated power to itself in the 1920s by limiting representation to the then-current number apportioned, or 435. If you want to know where elitism started in our politics, look there.

By all rights we should have over 10,000 representatives today, a more interesting country indeed.


After 10 Million Votes Republicans Still Prefer Anyone But Romney 1.5 to 1

See here at Real Clear Politics for the data:

Romney is Nearly Half Way to Needed Delegates After IL Victory

The Wall Street Journal tracks the contests and totals here:

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

With Malia Obama in Off-Limits-For-Everyone-Else Mexico With 25 Secret Service Agents, The Whole Family Is Milking The Presidency

And Moochelle Obama protests on Letterman she's trying to preserve South Side of Chicago values in The White House.

Uh huh.

Here's a South Side value: When you want to be safe on the South Side, bring the Blackstone Rangers.

Stories here and here. And here.

She gotta new gang now.

My Plan For Middle East Peace

  • Evacuate all persons from the Holy Land
  • Muslims get Nevada
  • Jews get Florida
  • Christians get to settle anywhere in the US
  • Disney becomes the concessionaire of the Holy Land
  • America gets 50 percent of the take
  • Disney gets 40 percent
  • Nevada and Florida split the rest
  • Muslims cannot visit Florida anytime, nor the Holy Land in February, April, June, September, and November
  • Jews cannot visit Nevada anytime, nor the Holy Land in January, March, May, July, August, October and December

US Postal Service Worker Links Obama To Marxist Ayers Family in Glen Ellyn, IL in 1980s

Jerome Corsi breaks down the story for here, speculating that Bill Ayers' parents were responsible for financing at least some of Barack Obama's education.

Perhaps the most interesting point of the whole story is how much damage one well-placed commie can do to a country. And I don't mean Obama, but Bill Ayers' father, who was formerly president and CEO of Com Ed, the electric utility:

"[The postman Allen] Hulton recalls that he had one conversation with Tom Ayers, who was retired as CEO and chairman of Commonwealth Edison, shortly after the Ayers family moved into their home in Glen Ellyn.

'He asked me how I liked my job, and he started into what seemed to me a Marxist viewpoint on what it is like for the working man, trying to convince me that working people like me were exploited by their employers,' Hulton remembers of the conversation.

'As an American citizen, I appreciated everything I had, and I was not at war with people who had more than I had,' [Hulton] says. 'It surprised me to hear somebody who had been president of Consolidated [sic] Edison talking in these terms.'

Hulton says he got the feeling that Tom Ayers thought he knew more about the plight of the workingman than he did."

Having lived near and worked in that area between 1989 and 1997 I can say that the postman's recollections of Glen Ellyn ring true.

What are the chances that Big Sis will give Allen Hulton an award for saying something?

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Individual Mandate: An Unprecedented Assertion of Government Power

Adam J. White for The Weekly Standard here makes the case that the Supreme Court of the United States has quite a history of ruling against sweeping innovations which have no precedent, which means ObamaCare just might not pass muster:

"[T]he [Obama] administration’s latest actions encapsulate precisely the concerns embodied in the Roberts Court’s decisions regarding Sarbanes-Oxley, Guantánamo, and preelection book banning, as well as the New Deal Court’s unanimous refusal to simply acquiesce to FDR. Unprecedented powers asserted by the government threaten to give rise to stark abuses of power​—​some foreseeable, perhaps many more unforeseeable. Faced with similarly novel assertions of government power in previous cases, the Court drew a constitutional line in the sand, out of an abundance of caution. The Court’s review of the individual mandate poses no less a challenge, and merits no less a response."

We're all in deep trouble if the individual mandate survives.

Socialists Agree: Obama's Their Man

As seen here:

STERN: You like Obama?

MACPHERSON: Yeah, I’m living in London and I’m socialist. What do you expect?

Can't wait until he confiscates her $60 million net worth.

Oh wait, he can't. Obama's only President of the United States. Elle Macpherson (Eleanor Nancy Gow) is Australian.

ABC News/WaPo Poll Finds 67 Percent Opposed to ObamaCare Mandate

As usual, people want the goodies in the plan, without the compulsion which is necessary to fund it.

Story here.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

In Case You Missed It, Noted Libertarian RC Whalen Endorsed Newt Gingrich

RC Whalen's expertise with all things banking frequently is on display at ZeroHedge, where his endorsement of Newt Gingrich appeared, no doubt to the chagrin of its many liberal readers.

Here is the concluding paragraph:

"To me Newt is the only credible conservative in the presidential race for 2012, but one who brings a mixture of core American values, real world experience and a pragmatic, compassionate approach to a range of issues.  Gingrich wants to facilitate real change in America, while Romney only wants to run the welfare state better.  And Newt Gingrich is not afraid to call Barack Obama a socialist in a national presidential debate.  That is why I support Newt Gingrich for the Republican nomination for the presidency."

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Marine in Missouri Will Vote For the Republican Candidate, But Gives $ Only to Newt

From the LA Times, here:

Jim Crossland, a retired Marine handing out flyers about the national debt after a Santorum speech in northern St. Louis, shrugged when asked about the candidate, the apparent local favorite. “In Pennsylvania, his nickname was ‘Tricky Ricky’ -- talks one way, votes another,” Crossland said. “But if he’s elected for our side, I’ll get behind him.”

“I’m still sending money to Newt,” he confessed. So what if it’s Romney, like a lot of people predict?

Crossland paused. “I’ll vote for him,” he said, “but I won’t send him any money.”

A Real Recovery is not Confined to Sectors, But is Ubiquitous

From Jeffrey Snider, here:

I think what is happening in oil, gasoline, electricity and energy is a microcosm of this recovery. In many ways this is not a recovery, certainly not in the sense that most people have of what a recovery is supposed to be. This is the speculators' recovery, as free money finds its way into (and then rushed out of) risky financial assets all over the world. ... 

[I]f you take the perspective of the real economy over the now long-term, what appears to be a cycling period of inflation might start to look like a single period of depression, an economy trapped in artificial financial risk, unable to awaken into a healthy long-term recovery where marginal actors freely choose to accept and welcome true risk so that any economic "success" is no longer concentrated in a few sectors.

A Nation of Renters Does Not Spend on the Nest

The Fiscal Times, here, tries to put a pretty face on the current economic situation in "Real Recovery: America's Debt is on the Decline," but the underlying facts show, as the article concludes, that there is no driver for jobs and thus nothing driving increases in real income, without which prospects for growth going forward are poor:

[A] new report from the McKinsey Global Institute says U.S. consumers are unlikely to assume their historic posture as spender of last resort for the global economy. ...

The lingering impact of the Great Recession is turning America into a “renter nation,” and that will have major implications for the rest of the economy over the next few years. ...

U.S. households have reduced their debt-to-disposable-income ratio by 15 percentage points to about 110 percent, which is a greater reduction than any of the ten largest industrial economies over the last four years. ...

The $150 billion in reduced mortgage debt – deleveraging – was more than offset by the $170 billion in new consumer credit. ...

[M]uch of the reduced mortgage debt is due to banks foreclosing on properties and writing off loans, not people paying off debts.

(image source)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Powerline Blog Says Santorum Was A Three Term Senator, Fiscal Moderate

He was a two term senator, not a three. How do you get that wrong?

But it's true Santorum lacks credibility as a fiscal hawk, and Romney is correct to go after him on that score.

The story is here.

The Inflation Quotation of the Second Millennium for the Third

"Inflation is like a banana. Once you see one brown spot, it's too late."

-- attributed to central banker Henry Wallich by Jerry Jordan of the Cleveland Federal Reserve  (source)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

China's Boom is a Debt Boom, Misallocated to Real Estate

It's the same as it ever was.

This time, just like most times everywhere, cheap money in China has been massively misallocated to real estate.

Gwynne Dyer (who isn't especially alarmed about Iran) for The Japan Times, here:

People in the West want to believe that China's economy will go on growing fast because the fragile recovery in Western economies depends on it. Twenty years of 10 percent-plus annual growth have made China the engine of the world economy, even though most Chinese remain poor. But the engine is fuelled by cheap credit, and most of that cheap money, as usual, has gone into real estate.

Is there such a thing as a good commie?

Good commies would invite the rural hordes to live in all that new, mostly unoccupied, real estate.

Human nature being what it is, I wouldn't count on it. Revolution is more likely.

Obama Has Deliberately Obscured His Life-long Marxist Extremism

From Investor's Business Daily:

The videotape of Obama praising and hugging his America-bashing, Constitution-trashing law professor Derrick Bell isn't the only evidence that's been hidden from the public. A 1998 video of Obama praising the late Marxist agitator Saul "The Red" Alinsky alongside a panel of hard-core Chicago communists also exists. ...

[A] 2003 video of Obama speaking at a Chicago dinner held in honor of former PLO spokesman Rashid Khalidi. ... [T]he radical Khalidi — a close friend and neighbor of Obama, who held a 2000 political fundraiser in his home for him — has strongly defended the use of violence by Palestinians against Israel, while expressing clearly anti-American views. ...

[W]hy did Obama disguise the name of his radical Alinsky trainer Jerry Kellman in his memoir? And why did he also try to shield from readers the identity of his Alinsky mentor John McKnight, who wrote him a letter of recommendation to Harvard? ...

[W]hy did Obama leave out his weeks-long training at Alinsky's Industrial Areas Foundation in Los Angeles? This station of the cross for Alinsky acolytes is strangely missing from all 500 pages of his tediously detailed memoir. For that matter, the late Alinsky is not cited by name in either of the president's autobiographies, even though leftist activists confess this father of community organizing had a powerful influence on Obama.

Moreover, if communist Frank Marshall Davis wasn't a controversial factor in Obama's life, why did Obama also mask his identity in his first memoir? If listening, spellbound, at the feet of a known subversive isn't a red flag, why keep his real profile a secret?

Obama also couldn't find room in "Dreams From My Father" to mention the most striking thing about his father's politics. Obama Sr. was a pro-Soviet socialist, who as a government economist wrote a communist tract for Kenya in 1965. If this published paper wasn't a big deal, as Obama apologists have suggested, why is it conveniently missing from the 143-page section Obama devoted to boast about his father's career in Kenya? ...

[Obama] never mentioned Bell or the Harvard strike he led on his beloved professor's behalf in either autobiography. If he wasn't trying to fool people, why leave this seminal event out?

Even more radical — and influential — than Bell was Harvard law professor Robert Unger, who taught Obama a couple of courses, including one called "Reinventing Democracy." Like Bell, Unger called U.S. jurisprudence a sham system designed to protect the rich at the expense of the poor. But Unger also taught Obama how to dismantle it. He argued for seizing all private capital and redistributing it.

Obama kept up communications with Unger long after he graduated, but those contacts stopped in 2008. "I am a leftist, and by conviction as well as by temperament, a revolutionary," Unger explains. "Any association of mine with Barack Obama in the course of the campaign could do only harm."

Read the complete op-ed here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Tyrant Fears His Own: All His Life Long He Is Beset With Fear

"He who is the real tyrant, whatever men may think, is the real slave, and is obliged to practise the greatest adulation and servility, and to be the flatterer of the vilest of mankind. He has desires which he is utterly unable to satisfy, and has more wants than any one, and is truly poor, if you know how to inspect the whole soul of him: all his life long he is beset with fear and is full of convulsions, and distractions, even as the State which he resembles."

-- Plato's Republic, Book IX

Feds Want You To Believe The Hutaree Guy Who Lived Here Was A Threat . . .

. . . to the Federal government of The United States.

Right, just like the kid who draws pictures of guns in grade school is a threat to the snot-nosed mouth breather sitting next to him.

"No tolerance." Same as "I'm too stupid to think. I have no ability to put things in proper perspective. 'Proportionality' might as well be Greek to me. So we go immediately to DefCon1."

An eight week federal trial for someone who can't even afford to live in a real trailer park?