Friday, December 31, 2010

Glad tidings!

Happy birthday, Adrienne!  We women, like wine, get better with each passing year.

To everyone else, have a safe and blessed New Year!

There's a new boogie man in town

Want to scare the bejesus out of a "progressive"?  Sidle up to one and whisper those two magic words that turn grown Lefties into thumb-sucking, mewling, rubber pants wearing little crybabies:  Paul Ryan.

And here’s one coming up, now: the incoming House majority will be establishing a rule that will give the House Budget chair the ability to set the spending ceiling for any 2011 budget. This rule is currently causing House Democrats to freak out like koalas deprived of their eucalyptus leaves/junkies deprived of their heroin/hipsters deprived of their iPhones, for two reasons:

•The Democrats never passed a budget in 2010, so this is going to affect spending for this fiscal year. A lot.

•Who is going to be the House Budget chair? Why, Rep. Paul “Embrace the sweet pain that comes from cutting entitlements” Ryan.
And when I say “freak out,” I mean freak out: the Democrats are so upset about this that they’ve lost all control of their higher brain functions and have reverted to babbling about Social Security privatization. And unilateralism! We haven’t heard that one in a while.

Heh.  Winning is always good but this time it is absolutely dee-lish-ous!  The Dems set this up by failing to pass a budget and now the Republicans hold the checkbook.  More specifically, a true fiscal conservative holds the checkbook.  Let the heads commence exploding.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Back to business as usual? I don't think so.

In what is presumably a hat tip to the Tea Party, Republicans in the House will read the Constitution on the floor and will require that each bill presented include a memo outlining how the bill conforms to the Constitution.  Not everyone is impressed:

"I think it's entirely cosmetic," said Kevin Gutzman, a history professor at Western Connecticut State University who said he is a conservative libertarian and sympathizes with the tea party.

"This is the way the establishment handles grass-roots movements," he added. "They humor people who are not expert or not fully cognizant. And then once they've humored them and those people go away, it's right back to business as usual. It looks like this will be business as usual - except for the half-hour or however long it takes to read the Constitution out loud."

I supposed that Prof. Gutzman could be correct.  Maybe this nothing more than a legislative parlor trick-the equivalent of giving a screaming kid a lollipop so they'll shut up.  But does anyone really believe that members of the Tea Party or the 912 Project or just plain folk who for the first time have become involved in the political process will be mollified by empty gestures?

Yes, that is exactly what they believe.  On both the Left and the RINO Right, the conventional wisdom is that the Tea party will simply peter out.  Or as Sen. Lindsey Graham put it:

"The problem with the Tea Party, I think it's just unsustainable because they can never come up with a coherent vision for governing the country. It will die out."
Actually there is a lot to be said for being "misunderestimated".  And being misunderestimated beats the hell out of being taken for granted.  The base, you and I, have been taken for granted for along time and I don't see any of us ever sitting quietly in the corner again.

I could not possibly care less whether the Left takes my political awakening seriously and I am willing to give the Republican Party a second chance.  But I don't think I am alone when I say I will be watching our Congressmen closely and any attempt by Republicans to return to their old ways will be met with fierce resistance.  Remember, the next election is less than two years away.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Thank God for 'dangerous madmen'

Writing in the Washington Monthly, Steve Benen has this to say of Rep. Paul Ryan:

Talking to various aides on the Hill, I get the sense that Democrats tend to look at Paul Ryan as the kind of Republican they can at least talk to. Unlike so many GOP leaders, the far-right Wisconsinite appears to have read a book and learned how to use a calculator. When he speaks, Ryan tends to use complete sentences, and tends to resist at least some partisan bomb-throwing.

But there's a catch: the guy is a crackpot. A polite crackpot who, by contemporary Republican standards, takes his beliefs seriously, but a crackpot nevertheless.

Ryan doesn't want to search for common ground with Democrats; he's hopelessly convinced that Democrats are radicals intent on destroying modern capitalism. He considers the very ideas of charity and sacrifice deeply offensive. His entire worldview is so bizarre, it has no meaningful place in the American mainstream.

Matt Yglesias recently noted that Ryan "is a dangerous madman," and the description doesn't seem especially hyperbolic.

Well, thank God for dangerous madmen!  The entire basis for Benen's criticism of Ryan is that Ryan has read Atlas Shrugged and requires his staff to read the novel as well.  Clearly we are dealing with a real sicko here (Benen, not Ryan).

Ayn Rand supported individualism and opposed collectivism.  Ryan shares these beliefs and therefore, according to Benen, has no meaningful place in the American mainstream.  What then does Benen think the "American mainstream" to be?  Does he suppose that subjugation of the individual to the group is mainstream? 

Benen gives Ryan credit for avoiding partisan bomb-throwing and then he throws a bomb of his own-He considers the very ideas of charity and sacrifice deeply offensive.  Really?  Care to back that up?  Maybe Benen should have written that Ryan finds the very idea of forced charity and sacrifice deeply offensive.

Benen and his ilk have no problem with forced "charity".  I rather imagine that is because the pro-collectivists believe that they will be on the side of the enforcers rather than that of the forced.  Kindness is for the other guy.

Paul Ryan rattles cages on the Left not because he has read a book and can use a calculator but because he rejects the notion that the individual is beholden to the almighty State.  He has a plan, a Roadmap, for freeing the individual from the grip of the State.  Paul Ryan speaks out when others, including other Republicans, are silent about the entitlements that are threatening the very survival of this country.  Again, thank God for dangerous madmen.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Maybe if Ben Affleck actually had to earn his keep...

Ben Affleck, playing his favorite role-champion of the ‘little guy’, appeared on NPR to push his new movie, Company Men:

INSKEEP: There's a line in Company Men that's staying with me. Tommy Lee Jones is at a corporate conference table. Someone else at the conference table is discussing their plans to lay off a bunch of workers. And nearly all the workers being laid off are older, which could be construed as being wrong or illegal. Someone at the table says: "Oh, no. This is going to pass legal scrutiny." And Jones responds: "I always thought we aimed for a little higher standard than that."

AFFLECK: That speaks so perfectly to people's feelings about our country. It's like it's just about getting by, or people can like let people go if they can get away with it, that there's no deeper sense of right or wrong. The banks shouldn't -- people shouldn't make such a giant profit off just moving money back and forth. And CEOs' pay shouldn't be 200 times the average worker. It used to be nine times.
Wow, two hundred times the average worker? That’s a lot isn’t it?

From the comments at the above link:

# 5 "Gigli" Starring Ben

Submitted by Chris Norman on Wed, 12/22/2010 - 8:37am.

"Gigli" Starring Ben Affleck

Net losses, inflation adjusted: $77,961,644

Total cost: $74,000,000

Worldwide theater gross: $7,266,209

Net losses (actual): $66,733,791

Affleck’s salary for the film was $12.5 million

The "Mainstream" Media: By liberals. For liberals.
Hmmm-the average actor (IMHO Affleck would need to improve quite a bit to be average) earns $50,000 a year. Affleck made $12.5 million for acting in a total flop. He made two hundred and fifty times the pay of the average worker for a movie that lost $66,733,791. I can see why he considers himself an expert on who is overpaid.

I don’t begrudge Affleck his pay but nor do I begrudge the typical CEO his pay. I would, however, argue that the CEO does a hell of a lot more to earn his money than Mr. Affleck. Therefore I am anxious to know how Affleck justifies his pay while claiming that others are un-entitled to benefits he routinely enjoys.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Child Marriage Prevention Act fails

From Don Suber:

No one wants 12-year-olds to be forced into marriage. This bill had bipartisan momentum behind it. $5 million to stop 12-year-olds from getting married? Sure.

But few nations recognize such marriages: Sudan, Tanzania and Yemen. The Senate bill was a product of Democrat Dick Durbin of Illinois and Republican Olympia Snowe of Maine. The House version was a product of Democrat Betty McCollum of Minnesota and Republican Ander Crenshaw. (A curious thing though, girls under 16 can still marry in both Maine and Minnesota. Perhaps they should fix that first before saving the world.)

House Republican leaders, though, took a closer look at the bill and, according to Amanda Terkel, decided to oppose it. She said they sent this in an e-mail:

S. 987 authorizes $108 million over 5 years without sufficient oversight of the taxpayers’ money. According to the Congressional Research Service, there is no available, confirmed figure on how much taxpayer funding is already being used to fight child marriage in developing countries and this bill does not address that issue.

In contrast, Ranking Member Ros-Lehtinen has introduced H.R. 6521, which would result in no more than $1 million in potential costs, while making it clear that child marriage is a violation of human rights and that its prevention should be a goal of US foreign policy; requiring the creation of a multi-year strategy; requiring a comprehensive assessment of what the United States is already doing and funding in the effort to fight child marriage; and requiring that the practice of child marriage in other countries be reported each year as part of the annual Human Rights Report.

There are also concerns that funding will be directed to NGOs that promote and perform abortion and efforts to combat child marriage could be usurped as a way to overturn pro-life laws.
While we're spending taxpayer money on symbolic gestures why not have a Genital Mutilation Prevention Act or a Stoning to Death of Innocent Women Prevention Act? I don't think anyone is arguing that the marriage of insanely young girls to their uncles is a good thing but you would have to be a fool to believe that throwing American taxpayer money at culturally ingrained travesties in other countries would a) do any good and b) is the work of the US Congress.

Congress needs to get out of the symbolism business.

Skipping out

Joe Manchin is off to a rousing start. The new senator from W.VA skipped both the DREAM ACT vote and the DADT vote. Manchin sited the old "family obligations" excuse for missing the votes. I think I'll give that one a whirl on Friday-yes sir, I know I was supposed to work on Christmas Eve but I had family obligations.

Manchin says that he would have voted "No" to both. Maybe. Who knows? At any rate he obviously has the gig all wrong. When trying to avoid creating a record you should always show up and vote "Present".

Checking back in

Did you know that it is possible to go two weeks without even looking at the Internet?  I wouldn't have believed it had my professional life and personal life both intensified at the exact same time.  At the same time my grandkids moved back home the NCUA started a three week top to bottom audit of the credit union where I work.  In any case, life has now calmed down and I'm going to try to get back in to the blogging routine.  What better place to start than by quoting Stacey McCain:

As for “how to fix it,” the answer is equally simple: Stop!

Stop the endless deficit spending, stop the endless extension of unemployment benefits, stop trying to “fix” the housing market with further interventions, stop trying to “fix” deflation by having the Fed buy Treasury debt, stop the government takeover of the health-care industry — stop just about everything that Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Tim Geithner, Ben Bernanke and Barack Obama have been doing since January 2009.

Once you’ve stopped doing the wrong things, that will be about half of the solution. The other half of the solution — actually doing the right thing — will probably have to wait until January 2013, when the next president is sworn in and we rid ourselves of Barack Obama, who now looks much less like the messiah Ezra Klein once worshipped and a lot more like the Second Coming of Jimmy Carter.
The Second Coming of Jimmy Carter-I love it.  Right now it is looking like Jimmy Carter would be a vast improvement.  Stacy is referring to the defeat of the Omnibus Bill.  It contained eight billion dollars of pure pork proving that our Congress is composed of the single most tone deaf incompetents to ever plant themselves in one location.  Fortunately, Mitch McConnell was able to hold the Republicans together forcing dear Harry Reid to shelve the bill.  Let's hope a pattern is emerging.

The problem is that Democrats believe in "fixing" things by do more of the same.  They want to tax and regulate their way to a Utopia but that has been tried and it hasn't worked.  As Stacey says, stop it!  We gotten so far off track that our Department of Homeland Security now wants to take on global warming.  Um, how about taking on border security first?  Can we please get our priorities straight?

On the bright side, in just three weeks Republicans will be holding the purse strings in the House.  We will soon know if there were any lessons learned from the last election.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Merriment abounds!

Does anyone actually take seriously the rumors of Obama facing a primary challenge? It is nothing but talk from a bunch of spoiled Leftists who are so inbred that they believe they can influence policymaking by making empty threats. The overwrought Lefty/Loony comment of the day (emphasis mine):

It's over. This was the last straw.  (Note to commenter-Obama has two years to go. No way this was the last straw.  Hee.)

If he wants to run in 2012, let him run as a republican which is what he is now that the facade he wore in 2008 has come off.

Health care reform? Yeah, right. Didn't even consider the only real solution which is Medicare for all. We were duped into thinking we'd have a public option but that didn't happen either.

Bank reform? Yeah, right. Investigations into fraud and criminal activity? None. Breaking them up so they aren't too big to fail? Nope. Nothing. A joke all around.

Closing Guantanamo? Another lie.

Investigations into previous administration war crimes? Didn't want to look back - the law only applies to the little people.

Ending the wars? Still 50k troops in Iraq and escalated involvement with the hopelessly corrupt Afghanistan government. Another con job.

Green jobs investments? Another promise that never happened.

I could go on, but I've made the point.

Democrats had better get rid of this republican masquerading as a democrat and get someone who represents progressives or get out of town. We don't need two conservative parties in this country.
Ah, yes-Obama has come out of the Conservative closet. He’s a DINO. Next thing you know we’ll find out that “Community Organizer” is code for “Venture Capitalist”. Pinch me, I think I’ve died and gone to Everyone is a Comedian heaven.

No boys and girls, Obama doesn’t ride unicorns. The seas do not part as he nears. He did not descend from Mt. Olympus. Barack Hussein Obama is a politician, though not a very bright or skilled one at that. He made promises during his campaign that any reality based sentient should have known were unkeepable. Even Obama himself seems hacked that the dolt filled masses fell for his lines.

So who would they run against Obama-Howard “The Scream” Dean? Make my day. Over a Crooks and Liars a commenter suggested Dean, Sanders or Grayson. Make my millennium. Nope, the Left is stuck with Obama and him with them. The upside is that until recently the Left gave me high blood pressure and ulcers but now they provide endless hours of entertainment. Whine on.

Monday, December 6, 2010

They are a cranky bunch over there on the left. I like it!

Geez, they call us Tea Partiers racist. Have you ever paid attention to how Progressives talk about Obama when he ticks them off? The following is a comment that appeared on the Firedoglake post AFL-CIO Legislative Meeting Explodes Over Obama’s NAFTA-Style Korea Free Trade Deal:

Leo Gerard is probably in a state of shock

A lot of decent, kind loving, warm hearted, people can’t deal with the devil at first.

It is hard to attack someone that says they love you, while stabbing you in the chest at the same time. It takes a special person or persons to deal with this type of Devil.

Know Thy Enemy!

Think about it like this, OBAMA destroys the middle class of the USA, with no remorse, yes he is killing your kids, my kids, future, and laughing about it! people

Obama is not some wuzzy, weak minded, fool, he is a cold blooded tool the elites developed to destroy democrats, and their followers.

Leo Gerard is probably like most people,just trying to live a simple life. Now his simple life has change for ever, he has seen the DEVIL, and knows what the Devil is capable of doing.

Obama is no JOKE!!! Here you have a Man, who lets nothing get in his way, he sticks to his mission, which is DESTROY THE USA MIDDLE CLASS. (Obama passed the bob dole health care bill, and he has not skip one beat, 80% of the nation hated the bill, Obama said SO WHAT!)

So progressives have better develop the same will and drive Obama has to fight Obama.

Obama has no intentions of winning in 2012. Obama knows black candidates win state wide re- elections only 10% of the time. Remember Obama was the only Black Senator in the Senate in 2006.

One has to admire Obama cold blooded attitude about killing the MIDDLE CLASS, it takes a very bad man, to support a NAFTA trade deal in the middle of a depression.
I wonder what Eugene Robinson would think of that comment? Would he cut the commenter some slack or would he, as he does with members of the Tea Party, attribute the negative comment to something a bit more sinister than a mere policy disagreement:

First, I'll state the obvious: It's not racist to criticize President Obama, it's not racist to have conservative views, and it's not racist to join the Tea Party. But there's something about the nature and tone of the most vitriolic attacks on the president that I believe is distinctive - and difficult to explain without asking whether race is playing a role.

That was a total aside-I couldn’t care less what Robinson thinks. But if you read the FDL post linked above and the comments or just about any far Left site these days it becomes obvious that they have lost that loving feeling. It’s kind of like lighting a cigarette and then finding out that you are surrounded by former smokers-things turn nasty quick. It seems that the more enamored the person was with O in the beginning the nastier they are now. 

I love it. My only regret is that I don’t own stock in Orville Redenbacher.

Eventually they grow up

My son turned thirty today. My Dad put a hammer in J’s hand the moment he was big enough to hold it and that was it. When asked, “What are you going to do when you grow up?” the answer never changed, “I’m going to build tall buildings.” I used to dream about “my son the architect”. Nope- the operative word turned out to be build not design. He’s an ironworker.

I was disappointed, actually devastated, when he decided against college. But he loves his job, loves his life and he makes a pretty darned good living. I’d rather see him happy in the career of his choosing then miserable in a career that he felt he had been pushed in to. Besides, recently he has talked about taking some business and construction management courses to prepare himself for owning his own business.

In any case he has become a fine young man and I am very proud of him. I hope I can be forgiven if I’m also sad that he’s no longer a little boy.

Today is also Reagan McCain’s birthday. She’s a cutie, Stacy. They really do grow up so fast.

Your “Government Sucks” post of the day

How inept is our government? Well, they just spent $120 MILLION dollars printing unusable money:

As a metaphor for our troubled economic and financial era -- and the government's stumbling response -- this one's hard to beat. You can't stimulate the economy via the money supply, after all, if you can't print the money correctly.

Because of a problem with the presses, the federal government has shut down production of its flashy new $100 bills, and has quarantined more than 1 billion of them -- more than 10 percent of all existing U.S. cash -- in a vault in Fort Worth, Texas, reports CNBC.

"There is something drastically wrong here," one source told CNBC. "The frustration level is off the charts."

….More than 1 billion unusable bills have been printed. Some of the bills creased during production, creating a blank space on the paper, one official told CNBC. Because correctly printed bills are mixed in with the flawed ones, even the ones printed to the correct design specs can't be used until they 're sorted. It would take an estimated 20 to 30 years to weed out the defective bills by hand, but a mechanized system is expected to get the job done in about a year.

Combined, the quarantined bills add up to $110 billion -- more than 10 percent of the entire U.S. cash supply, which now stands at around $930 billion.

The flawed bills, which cost around $120 million to print, will have to be burned.
Is it just me or is it kismet that these bills are the first ever to bear Timmy Geithner's signature?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

When did we join the European Union?

Look, I feel as bad the next guy for our European brothers.  I mean those poor Greeks are being forced to raise their retirement age to a whopping sixty-three years old.  But Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal, et al, spent their way in to their current financial mess and I can't see where we in the United States are in any position to bail them out.  Unfortunately it looks that we may do just that:

USA to bail out EU?

Looks like it,

US Ready to Back Bigger EU Stability Fund: Official

The United States would be ready to support the extension of the European Financial Stability Facility via an extra commitment of money from the International Monetary Fund, a U.S. official told Reuters on Wednesday.
There are contradictory reports regarding the extent of the proposed bailout, but

U.S. Treasurys’ prices fell and the euro strengthened against the dollar on Wednesday after the news that the United States would be prepared to support an enlarged EFSF.
Wonderful to know that we're so flush we can afford to spread our wealth around.

Read more

Somebody has her nose out of joint

Over at Salon Elizabeth Williams is in a snit:

Never mind that only 55 percent of the Smithsonian's budget is federally funded, that generally exhibitions are mounted through private fundraising, or that, as the Washington Post notes, Hide/Seek in particular "was funded by the largest number of individual donors for a Portrait Gallery show … underwritten by foundations that support gay and lesbian issues." Never mind the truth -- that your tax dollars really aren't supporting a whole 11 seconds of hot, hot Formicidae on Yahweh action.

Nope, that bluster was enough to turn the Smithsonian, America's most prominent cultural institution, totally chicken and pull the video. On Tuesday, NPG director Martin Sullivan issued a statement that read, "I regret that some reports about the exhibit have created an impression that the video is intentionally sacrilegious. In fact, the artist’s intention was to depict the suffering of an AIDS victim. It was not the museum’s intention to offend. We are removing the video today."

So while acknowledging that the work is not sacrilegious and its meaning has been misreported, they're getting rid of it anyway. Congratulations, whiners! You win again. The show, which runs through Feb. 13, promises visitors it explores "how major themes in art were influenced by social marginalization," but the Catholic League, Boehner and their god-fearing, gay-averse cronies may have strong-armed their way into the Gallery's curatorial discretion, by caving to pressure, the NPG is no longer just exploring marginalization, it's actively perpetuating it.

Yeah, well, take that!  I mean is there anything worse than a bunch whiny taxpayers?  And besides, the artist was gay and died of AIDS so we're talking about a sacred work of art here.  Sheesh!

By now everyone should know the rules-Christians threatening to cut off funding over offensive art is very, very bad.  Muslims threatening to cut off your head over offensive art is okay because you deserve it for not being more sensitive and multi-cultural and you know, enlightened.  And besides, these weren't just any Christians complaining.  They're Catholics.  (Would Williams somehow be less riled up if John Boehner were Methodist?)

People like Williams believe that Christians should be neither seen nor heard.  If they must exist, they should keep to themselves.  Not a standard that she would impose others.  I would think that taxpayers of any stripe have the right to speak out.  I guess I'm not very enlightened.

We need more of this!

I saw this earlier and Fox & Friends so when I saw a link at Weasel Zippers I just had to post it.  The narrative via Freedom's Lighthouse:

CBS NEWS: . . . . Here’s what happened: Buyer this afternoon asked Democratic Rep. Laura Richardson of California, who is acting as speaker, to yield time for him to speak on a veterans bill. Richardson refused, prompting Buyer to ask sarcastically, “as a sitting member of the House, the speaker chooses not to recognize another sitting member, is that correct?”

Richardson responds that the decision on recognizing Buyer is up to the speaker – that is, her. An increasingly frustrated Buyer replies that she is choosing not to recognize a ranking Republican member dispute the fact that isn’t anyone on the floor to object to his request.

“This is why the American people have thrown you out of power,” he says to Richardson. He then begins walking around the chamber angrily, throwing down a folder and muttering that Democrats are wasting time despite the fact that there are many things to be done, including repeal of the health care reform bill.

When Buyer returns to the microphone, Richardson changes course, yielding Buyer one minute to speak. He responds sarcastically, “wow.”

“Was treating another member with dignity so hard, madam speaker? I don’t believe it was,” he says. . . . Read More

We hear an awful lot about Republican "obstruction" to which I say obstruct away.  Our Republican congressmen should say "No" when bad bills are being forced down our throats.  What we don't hear enough about is the dirty tactics employed by Democrats.  Acting Speaker Richardson was acting like a jerk for no other reason other than because she could and Rep. Buyer called her on it.  Good for him.

Back online

The kids are at their new school today and I am back online.  I haven't even turned the 'puter on since Monday and as a result my inbox is stuffed to the gills.  It has been a great couple of days.  Yesterday was a picnic at the park that included a stone skipping contest that I lost badly and then we were off to see Harry Potter.  I'm tired and broke but incredibly happy.  Andre works for the government and I know that if the government needs him somewhere else they will be off again.  It is hard to be separated but I am proud of Andre's service and thankful that my daughter and grandchildren have such a wonderful man in their lives.  For the foreseeable future they'll be home and I'm going to enjoy every minute of it.

P.S.  Jeremy caught a fish in the canal that runs behind their house.  I have been informed that from now on Friday nights are "fish fry" night.  I love catching them, don't mind cleaning them, but I hate eating them.  Oh well, it is nice to see traditions from my youth repeated.